23 JUNE 1894, Page 3

Mrs. Humphry Ward delivered a lecture at the Essex Hall,

Strand, on Tuesday, on "Unitarianism and the Future," in which she found fault with the Unitarians on three grounds : (1), That they still give too much prominence to certain Puritan elements of thought which had served their purpose and are now in the way ; (2), that they keep too much out- side the currents of the national life ; and (3) that there is a great deal of indecision in Unitarian thought and teaching. She held this last criticism to be much the most important, though we should have supposed that it would have excited in her a certain sympathy, for surely there is a good deal, if not of indecision, at least of arbitrary and vague surmise in Mrs. Humphry Ward's own thought and teaching, which, if not identical with indecision, involves at least very much the same result, namely, decisions in which very few can follow her. She remarked that no one could look into a Unitarian hymn-book without seeing in it a perpetual struggle between the phraseology of the old dogmatic Christianity, and that of the new historical Christianity into which it was settling. Mrs. Humphry Ward insists that we have now the means of revising the Gospels, determining what Christ did, and what he did not, say, of the sayings there attributed to him, by the help of the higher criticism, and of seeing "accurately, and yet passionately," his true life. To us it seems that Mrs. Ward's historical principles should land her in a. complete suspense of judgment, and put an end to all pretence of the "accurate and passionate" seeing on which she lavishes so much panegyric.