103, Milton Street, Dorset Square,
August 20th, 1859.
To Rev. F. D. Maurice.
I hope that you will, in your great kindness, forgive my troubling you by asking whether you can give me a few words of advice on questions that are troubling me practically very much indeed.
1st. I have been very much impressed by the good and joy Mr. Furnivall's Sunday excursions seem to be giving to the men and to their wives, sisters, and friends, who from time to time accompany them. I have rarely seen a more respectful, intelligent, and happy party than they. Of course I shouldn't approve of members of the Church missing service habitually ; but that doesn't seem to me to be at all necessary to the plan. I know some people, to whom such a refreshment after their week's work would be an inestimable good. It would give me a great delight to accept invitations for them ; and have this opportunity of seeing them, and helping them ; nor can I see any rule which can make it right for me to go and see my friends on Sunday, or go into the country, and yet makes it wrong for them to go all together. Ought I to give up my only day for seeing relations and friends ? I shouldn't have hesitated about it, but that I imagine, perhaps incorrectly, that you disapprove of those excursions. May I ask if it is so ? I have been trying to enter into the full purpose of Sunday, as you told me, quite giving up work, and, as you told me, everything that was an effort (except writing to my sisters, which ought to be none), and I do at last understand Sunday as a duty as well as privilege ; but is not refreshment by seeing friends and change of scene right ?