Page:Modern Rationalism (1897).djvu/26

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26

MODERN RATIONALISM.

with denial of the Atonement and the divinity of Christ, belief in justification without knowledge of Christ, denial of the endlessness of punishment and of the truthfulness and inspiration of Scripture. English Rationalists rallied round him, and collected £ 2,000 for an appeal to the Privy Council. The Council decided in favour of Colenso, and declared the sentence of the Bishop of Cape Town to be null and void. Of the religious state of South Africa after Colenso's return a bewildered Mussulman wrote to a Constantinopolitan paper: "The priests all advocate different creeds; and, as to their bishops, one Colenso actually writes books against his own religion." When Colenso revisited England in 1874, the Bishops of London, Oxford, and Lincoln forbade him to preach in their dioceses.

Thus the Broad Church advanced with rapid strides from year to year. There was no longer a necessity for the timid reserve and the veiled utterances of its early prophets. Their position was now fully recognised in the Church, and their speculations were practically unassailable, except by argument. They assimilated the results of modern thought with surprising facility, in the departments of higher criticism, philosophy, and science; and they continued to develop the ethical modifications of dogma of their predecessors. Indeed, now that Jowett's "Life and Letters" have been given to the world, his Rationalism is found to have been most destructive. One reviewer says of him: "He regarded them [the creeds] as extinct superstitions . . . He scarcely believed in a personal Deity, and less and less as life went on . . . He rejected miracles entirely, the Resurrection, of course, included . . . of the doctrine of the pardon of sins he had no conception." Mr. Mallock has happily delineated his position in "The New Republic." Dr. Jenkinson (Jowett) preaches the Sunday sermon in the private theatre, whereupon the opinion of the Agnostic professor (Huxley) is given that, apart from unavoidable matters of form, he finds himself in substantial agreement with the divine. The incident is typical of the attitude of a large section of Churchmen.

In the year after the decision on "Essays and Reviews" an important legislative measure was introduced for the express purpose of strengthening the position of the Broad Churchmen. The terms of subscription to the Thirty-nine