26 FEBRUARY 1910, Page 26

Socialism and Church History. By Conrad Noel. (Frank Palmer. 6s.

net.)—It would be unprofitable to follow Mr. Noel through his review of Church history. Let us take what should be his strongest ease, the early Jerusalem Church. Here un- questionably there was communism. In one sense the experiment was a success. Jerusalem was the centre of a movement which was to shake the world. The men who were to work it could not lead ordinary lives. Everything was subordinated to this calling. They did not aspire to forming prosperous, orderly communities ; they were a company of enthusiastic missionaries. And they succeeded; they gave the world a religion. In another sense the experiment was a failure. The economic plan by which every man sold what he had and distribution was made to every man as he had need ended in the necessity of raising contributions in all the churches for the poor mints at Jerusalem. All this is obvious enough; but Mr. Noel emphatically condemns those who urge it. "These men hate all such practical expressions of the Kingdom." It is not worth while to argue with a writer who starts with the premiss that an opponent is necessarily a hypocrite who has Christian words on his lips but hates to see them put into practice.