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to dispense with the arbitrary division of natural and supernatural, and to find ample room within the realm of nature for divine intervention in the adaptation of means to ends for the fulfilment of a cosmic purpose. And, he concludes, this view alone is adequate to the theistic conception of God and His relation to the world He has created.
The Christian Hypothesis. By the late E. C. TAINSH. (London: Longmans. 1922.) Paper, 2s. 6d. ; cloth, 3s. 6d.
THIS book has a short preface by Mr. Belton, of Birmingham, in which he says he feels it will be a help to persons of good education who have failed to find those grounds for belief in the Christian religion which are essential if they are to accept the Christian ideal as their aim in life.' To which we should like to add that they should be persons of some determination, as the book is by no means easy reading.
One difficulty with regard to books of this kind is that the writers are likely to use familiar technical terms with a meaning of their own. Thus, in this book there is a good deal about Faith, in the course of which we read: 'The importance of the contention that Faith is an act and not a gift lies in the fact that, so, it is a duty.'
But the theological virtue of Faith is, according to Catholic teaching, most certainly a gift, a supernatural gift of God. It is true that further on we read 'Faith is through and through by the Holy Ghost, but it is by the Holy Ghost in such a sense that it is the duty and act of man.' To use the well-worked principle it is probably true to say that the writer is right in what he affirms and wrong in what he denies. He appears to be anxious to emphasize the dynamic character of Faith.
The arrangement of the book is orderly. The first two sections set out what Faith is, and what are its objectives. The next section, which is parenthetical, deals with hindrances to faith. The last two treat of the grounds of the Christian faith and the divine provision for the fulfilment of the Christian ethic.
The book contains, so far as we recall, no references to other books, though there are echoes of Kant here and there. It has a few imaginary dialogues, but otherwise little of the metaphor and illustration so dear to our picture-loving age, while there is a good deal of solid argumentation.
IV. PRACTICAL AND DEVOTIONAL THEOLOGY.
Prayer as a Force. By A. MAUDE ROYDEN. (London: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1922.) 3s. 6d. net.
EMERSON has remarked that the only matter fit to proclaim in public is that which we have acquired to satisfy our own curiosity.
These addresses of Miss Royden will certainly stand this test. They are first-hand and fresh. She has pondered upon the Problem of Prayer and has given to her audience the results of her thoughts and the fruits of her experience.
But whether this teaching coincides altogether with the Catholic Faith is another matter. It would not be difficult to quote statements which are, to say the least, of very doubtful theological accuracy. This is all the more unfortunate as we imagine that the majority of the readers of this book will not be competent to test the truth of its theological teaching.
In view of this we are glad to record Miss Royden's defence of orthodoxy in the address 'The Power of Faith.' Here she combats the notion that Divine Power is now a needless hypothesis, or that it is only a mistaken name for the unrecognized powers of man's own subconscious mind. Indeed Miss Royden shews herself fully alive to the tendencies of modern psychology, though happily she does not obtrude this rather fashionable science.
The tone throughout is serious and spiritual. The discourse called 'Unanswered Prayers' is a very searching one, directed against those who did not really want the things they asked for at the cost which such things must demand.'
These ten addresses contain practical instruction on Prayer, and deal frankly with the difficulties of the subject which are present to the men and women of to-day.
Political Christianity. By A. MAUDE ROYDEN. (London: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1922.) 3s. 6d. net.
'You may talk for ever in the terms of the Sermon on the Mount, but as long as you do not apply them to the world in which you live, nobody will resent it.' So speaks Miss Royden in one of these addresses, which range over a number of presentday matters such as Reparations and Russia and Disarmament, Ireland and Unemployment and the Care of the Insane.
Considered as popular expositions of these different problems
the sermons are admirable, and the bearing of Christianity thereupon is stated, briefly, it is true, but with clearness and force.
There are one or two sentences we should be glad to see omitted. For instance, in speaking of the insane Miss Royden holds that, on the whole, there is too great a reluctance to discharge patients who may be considered as cured, and that this reluctance is largely a ' question of fear.' She then suggests that Our Lord, in His dealing with the insane, loved them so much that He forgot to be afraid.'
The publication of this little volume tends again to raise the old question regarding the propriety of political sermons. It would seem that, even if it be right, it is of little use to preach such sermons until the Church of England as a whole has a thought-out policy on a particular matter. After all, preaching is not a method of solving problems, but of proclaiming a solution. In such matters the work of the Council Chamber should precede the pronouncements of the pulpit.
Political Christianity in its religious aspect reminds us a little of Ecce Homo, and in its political exposition of the articles of the late Lord Northcliffe.
A Book of Quaker Saints. By L. V. HODGKIN (Mrs. JOHN HOLDSWORTH). With illustrations in colour by F. CAYLEYROBINSON, A.R.A. (Macmillan. 1922.) 8s. 6d. net.
THIS book, by a daughter of the Quaker historian, Thomas Hodgkin, is pervaded with a blend of earnestness and charm. It radiates the specific graces of religious personality which those of us who are not members of the Society of Friends are accustomed to assign to the best of those who are. It is therefore with great regret that we feel obliged to pass an adverse opinion upon the book itself as the carrying out of an incongruous. method or plan of instruction and interest.
The book is an amalgam of history and fiction which does a wrong to both constituents. In general culture fiction has amply vindicated its place, of course; and so has history; but the combination of the two is always of very doubtful value. And this, surely, is especially true in Religion. Here the paramount need is for truth: truth of external facts and happenings, and truth of inner experiences. And the truths lie so embedded in masses of illusions, imaginations and conjectures that when obtained they can be made sure only by being jealously preserved from further admixture. To say this is not to exclude
the Parable or the Allegory: in these the fiction and the fact are plainly exhibited side by side. But the maturest of minds are hindered and not helped by an interweaving of the two, and for children-to whom in particular this volume is dedicated-there is serious harm in a prolonged presentation which is partly historical and partly imaginative.
Now the book before us is a collection of 'stories' of the early Quaker saints, constructed out of authentic records ' and 'original authorities,' but embedded in material supplied by the imagination of the author. There are verbatim extracts from journals-especially of George Fox-letters, autobiographies and lives of the worthies. But of the thirty-two stories the author marks fifteen as 'historical,' and two as 'mainly historical'; only one is acknowledged to be purely imaginary; but as to others, it is said of one, 'the conversation is of course imaginary'; of another the scenes are such as may be inferred'; of another expanded with imaginary incidents and consequences'; of another my account is founded on history, but I have described imaginary children'; and in another a sermon is given which is expanded from a sentence. What are the children who have heard these stories, vivid as all are, and beautiful as are some, to make of them as part of their mental possessions as to religious truths? When in their fighting through life's battles in later years they need to appeal to the realities of human experience, will there not be the weakness caused by bewilderment if their memory calls up such realities as they have learnt intermixed with the projections of imagination which accompanied their first impressions?
If only the design had been acceptable we should have welcomed this book for its literary workmanship, and for the attractiveness of its presentation of the mind of the Friends' in those early days. One need not belong to the Society to be able to offer cordial acknowledgement of the high quality of the Christian thought and character which animated these men and women of the Seventeenth century, and have, we gratefully believe, passed on to their spiritual descendants of our own day.
And we would add a word of appreciation of the light watercolour illustrations contributed by Mr. Cayley-Robinson, A.R.A., which, though somewhat ethereal, are in keeping with the tone with which Mrs. Holdsworth has consistently presented the characters and lives of these spiritual ancestors of herself and of the Society to which English religion owes so great a debt.
V. GENERAL LITERATURE.
Shakespeare to Hardy, an Anthology of English Lyrics, chosen by A. METHUEN; with an introduction by ROBERT LYND. (Methuen.
FIRST Wordsworth's sonnet on The Poets: then title-page followed by dedication, To Walter de la Mare maker of lovely verse then advertisement of Sir Algernon Methuen's Anthology of Modern Verse, which is not quite in the right place here: then Mr. Lynd's Introduction, which provokes a doubt whether introductions by authors' friends make or mar pleasure. But presently we come upon this:
'When Shelley replied. . . he did not trouble to reply to Peacock's arguments. He talked about the nature of poetry from a mountain top, from which his voice could not possibly reach Peacock on his well-trimmed lawn in the valley. Besides Peacock was too busily engaged in conversation to listen to him.'
This wins the heart and we go on merrily with Mr. Lynd till we are ready to enjoy an anthology as a walk and a talk in a garden that is not one's own garden but that in many points resembles the garden one would like one's own to be.'
One more delay however: Sir Algernon Methuen has his brief preface. And here a question is raised:
'The arrangement of the poems is always a problem. Shall we set them in order of time or in alphabetical sequence or according to subjects?'
There is yet another way, the perfect way, once and perhaps once only followed successfully by Palgrave in the Golden Treasury. He divided his whole period into four books, Shakespeare's Milton's Gray's and Wordsworth's, and arranged the pieces within each book according to an interwoven progress of thought the development of the symphonies of Mozart and Beethoven,' he explained, has been here thought of as a model.'
Sir Algernon Methuen chooses alphabetical order as 'the simplest and most easy for reference.' It has, he says, another merit.
'It is full of pleasing surprises and contrasts. The mind tires of too many Elizabethans and turns with relief to the twentieth century. Thus Belloc comes next the Bible, George Herbert rubs shoulders with Henley, Kipling treads on Lamb, and Rossetti on