26 OCTOBER 1867, Page 16


[To THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR."] Sin, —I have just read the two articles on the "Future of Human Character," which appear in the current number of your journal. I have not been careful to ask myself whether I agree with every- thing contained in them ; but I have been so struck with their general truth, and have found them so useful in strengthening certain convictions of my own, as well as in helping me to stand against forebodings such as the first article dwells upon, that I can- not refrain from writing to thank you for the publication of these papers.

I have for some time been in the habit of regarding that "thirst for truth by itself," that 4, sovereign, driving faith in" truth and the "utter indifference to and contempt of the results of "it, to which the writer so vigorously refers, as being really one of the highest—shall I say the highest ? — principles in Christianity. Certainly Paul seems thus to interpret Christ. Were the great apostle alive now, surely he would speak of the modern yearning for truth as being closely connected with the "liberty wherewith, Christ hath made us free." And if I understand Christ's own teaching as we have it through John—" the truth shall make you free,"—perfect freedom is subjection to the truth, and to nothing else.

In one sense, the modern Churches seem to me to be leas Chris- tian than many who have cut themselves off from the Churches. Certainly, the Bishops seem to be more anxious to test truth by their creed, than to test their creed by truth. It would be very discreditable to the Churches, but it is not an impossible sup- position, if the reanimation of Christianity should begin among those who are supposed to be repudiating Christianity, but who, in reality, may be only repudiating the human narrowness which has so long bound up our religion in little creeds and wordy theologies.

With the writer of the articles I have named, I believe that Christianity, "supposed to be dying," is only "stripping itself to put on its new armour." I have good reason to know that I have not adopted this belief lightly, for I, in common with a multitude of men in our day, have gone down into the darkness of that soli- tude out of which a simple faith in truth alone can lead the soul. I believe, too, that a simple faith in truth will lead men—as it has led me—back to the truth as it is—not in the Churches, but "in