Page:MKGandhi patriot.djvu/61

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CHAPTER IX

LIFE IN LONDON (2)

Until now, in religious matters, Mr. Gandhi had tried to hold his judgment in suspense. From the days of his boyish atheism, and through all the perplexities which followed, he had looked forward to the moment when he should be free from control, free from the customs of home, free to declare himself according to his conscience. Such time had now come. It brought with it however, a sense of helplessness and ignorance which added to his perplexities. Questions pursued him relentlessly. "Did he know enough to say that nothing could be known after all, why should atheism be the alternative to Hindu faith? Then there was Christianity, now become a kind of atmosphere around him—what of that? Beyond everything, was it fair to pronounce upon Hinduism with the paltry knowledge of it which he possessed?" Very cautiously, but very sincerely he faced these questions.

Dr. Josiah Oldfield, now in charge of the Lady Margaret's Hospital at Bromley, became his intimate friend, and exercised considerable influence over