4 MARCH 1905, Page 16

(To THB EDITOR OF TUX "Spam:m."1 SIR,—" It is idle,"

you say in your issue of January 28th, to argue, as Dr. Moberly did, "that 'spiritual excellence' is a necessary factor in a competent judgment on such a point" as that of the Resurrection of Christ being fact or fiction ; because this "is a question for the critical intelligence trained to appreciate evidence." Your argument would certainly be valid if belief in the Resur- rection of Christ, and the credibility of the miraculous generally, stood absolutely isolated and iciriopn, uncon- nected with anything that we believe about the history of the universe at large. If we believed that supernatural power had interposed on a single occasion, or on a single series of occasions, in a universe whose entire evolution had otherwise been purely physical, with no regulation whatever from any Supreme Intelligence, then I grant that the spiritual character of any one who believed or disbelieved it might have nothing to do with his capacity for weighing the evidence. But then, if such were the position, I, for one, must lay down my arms before Professor Huxley's assault, when he said that the miraculous, as such, was certainly not incredible, but that none of the evidence produced was sufficient to establish it as fact. Were there nothing in the story of evolution to indicate at any one point that an Intelligent Being was its Author—that Nature, in its least variable sequences, obeyed the Will of a Creator—then nothing would induce me to believe that a dead Man arose and ate and drank on a certain day long ago. What makes me listen to the witnesses when they assert that He actually did so is my belief in an earlier miracle, compared to whose stupendous greatness the Resurrection itself is but a little one, —the miracle of the origin of all things. Setting aside, what I actually believe, that the first origination of life was the work of a divine interposition ; even granting that from the mole- cule to the mollusc, and from the mollusc to the brain of a Shakespeare, the evolution of everything that exists was the result of unconditioned sequences, proceeding in an ordered development without supernatural interference, there remains the one grand fact that matter has come to exist, with all the marvellous potentialities which have actually issued in evolu- tion. Did I hold it to be tenable, nay, thinkable, that all these glorious potentialities came to be, and grew into actualities, apart from a Creative Intelligence, then no pro- ducible evidence would convince me of any miracle. That such have actually occurred I believe, just because I am con- vinced that Nature, from first to last, is the expression of a Personal Will. Now surely it cannot be "idle" to argue that one's particular belief on the evidence for a miracle in fact is dependent to some extent on one's attitude towards that Intelligence, Whom one must first have discerned at work throughout the whole history of Nature. To put the extremest case, should you hold that a drunken expert bad a better "critical intelligence" for discerning the supernatural in Nature than Dr. Moberly's "penitent tender from his first humiliating confession " ? Unless you are prepared to assert

this, your argument against Dr. Moberly omits the most important point of which it ought to have taken account.—