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The Fair Haven By Samuel Butler Characters: 34615

Updated: 2017-11-29 00:05


The subject of this Memoir, and Author of the work which follows it, was born in Goodge Street, Tottenham Court Road, London, on the 5th of February, 1832. He was my elder brother by about eighteen months. Our father and mother had once been rich, but through a succession of unavoidable misfortunes they were left with but a very moderate income when my brother and myself were about three and four years old. My father died some five or six years afterwards, and we only recollected him as a singularly gentle and humorous playmate who doted upon us both and never spoke unkindly. The charm of such a recollection can never be dispelled; both my brother and myself returned his love with interest, and cherished his memory with the most affectionate regret, from the day on which he left us till the time came that the one of us was again to see him face to face. So sweet and winning was his nature that his slightest wish was our law-and whenever we pleased him, no matter how little, he never failed to thank us as though we had done him a service which we should have had a perfect right to withhold. How proud were we upon any of these occasions, and how we courted the opportunity of being thanked! He did indeed well know the art of becoming idolised by his children, and dearly did he prize the results of his own proficiency; yet truly there was no art about it; all arose spontaneously from the wellspring of a sympathetic nature which knew how to feel as others felt, whether old or young, rich or poor, wise or foolish. On one point alone did he neglect us-I refer to our religious education. On all other matters he was the kindest and most careful teacher in the world. Love and gratitude be to his memory!

My mother loved us no less ardently than my father, but she was of a quicker temper, and less adept at conciliating affection. She must have been exceedingly handsome when she was young, and was still comely when we first remembered her; she was also highly accomplished, but she felt my father's loss of fortune more keenly than my father himself, and it preyed upon her mind, though rather for our sake than for her own. Had we not known my father we should have loved her better than any one in the world, but affection goes by comparison, and my father spoiled us for any one but himself; indeed, in after life, I remember my mother's telling me, with many tears, how jealous she had often been of the love we bore him, and how mean she had thought it of him to entrust all scolding or repression to her, so that he might have more than his due share of our affection. Not that I believe my father did this consciously; still, he so greatly hated scolding that I dare say we might often have got off scot free when we really deserved reproof had not my mother undertaken the onus of scolding us herself. We therefore naturally feared her more than my father, and fearing more we loved less. For as love casteth out fear, so fear love.

This must have been hard to bear, and my mother scarcely knew the way to bear it. She tried to upbraid us, in little ways, into loving her as much as my father; the more she tried this, the less we could succeed in doing it; and so on and so on in a fashion which need not be detailed. Not but what we really loved her deeply, while her affection for us was unsurpassable still, we loved her less than we loved my father, and this was the grievance.

My father entrusted our religious education entirely to my mother. He was himself, I am assured, of a deeply religious turn of mind, and a thoroughly consistent member of the Church of England; but he conceived, and perhaps rightly, that it is the mother who should first teach her children to lift their hands in prayer, and impart to them a knowledge of the One in whom we live and move and have our being. My mother accepted the task gladly, for in spite of a certain narrowness of view-the natural but deplorable result of her earlier surroundings-she was one of the most truly pious women whom I have ever known; unfortunately for herself and us she had been trained in the lowest school of Evangelical literalism-a school which in after life both my brother and myself came to regard as the main obstacle to the complete overthrow of unbelief; we therefore looked upon it with something stronger than aversion, and for my own part I still deem it perhaps the most insidious enemy which the cause of Christ has ever encountered. But of this more hereafter.

My mother, as I said, threw her whole soul into the work of our religious education. Whatever she believed she believed literally, and, if I may say so, with a harshness of realisation which left very little scope for imagination or mystery. Her plans of Heaven and solutions of life's enigmas were direct and forcible, but they could only be reconciled with certain obvious facts-such as the omnipotence and all-goodness of God-by leaving many things absolutely out of sight. And this my mother succeeded effectually in doing. She never doubted that her opinions comprised the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; she therefore made haste to sow the good seed in our tender minds, and so far succeeded that when my brother was four years old he could repeat the Apostles' Creed, the General Confession, and the Lord's Prayer without a blunder. My mother made herself believe that he delighted in them; but, alas! it was far otherwise; for, strange as it may appear concerning one whose later life was a continual prayer, in childhood he detested nothing so much as being made to pray and to learn his Catechism. In this I am sorry to say we were both heartily of a mind. As for Sunday, the less said the better.

I have already hinted (but as a warning to other parents I had better, perhaps, express myself more plainly), that this aversion was probably the result of my mother's undue eagerness to reap an artificial fruit of lip service, which could have little meaning to the heart of one so young. I believe that the severe check which the natural growth of faith experienced in my brother's case was due almost entirely to this cause, and to the school of literalism in which he had been trained; but, however this may be, we both of us hated being made to say our prayers-morning and evening it was our one bugbear, and we would avoid it, as indeed children generally will, by every artifice which we could employ. Thus we were in the habit of feigning to be asleep shortly before prayer time, and would gratefully hear my father tell my mother that it was a shame to wake us; whereon he would carry us up to bed in a state apparently of the profoundest slumber when we were really wide awake and in great fear of detection. For we knew how to pretend to be asleep, but we did not know how we ought to wake again; there was nothing for it therefore when we were once committed, but to go on sleeping till we were fairly undressed and put to bed, and could wake up safely in the dark. But deceit is never long successful, and we were at last ignominiously exposed.

It happened one evening that my mother suspected my brother John, and tried to open his little hands which were lying clasped in front of him. Now my brother was as yet very crude and inconsistent in his theories concerning sleep, and had no conception of what a real sleeper would do under these circumstances. Fear deprived him of his powers of reflection, and he thus unfortunately concluded that because sleepers, so far as he had observed them, were always motionless, therefore, they must be quite rigid and incapable of motion, and indeed that any movement, under any circumstances (for from his earliest childhood he liked to carry his theories to their legitimate conclusion), would be physically impossible for one who was really sleeping; forgetful, oh! unhappy one, of the flexibility of his own body on being carried upstairs, and, more unhappy still, ignorant of the art of waking. He, therefore, clenched his fingers harder and harder as he felt my mother trying to unfold them while his head hung listless, and his eyes were closed I as though he were sleeping sweetly. It is needless to detail the agony of shame that followed. My mother begged my father to box his ears, which my father flatly refused to do. Then she boxed them herself, and there followed a scene and a day or two of disgrace for both of us.

Shortly after this there happened another misadventure. A lady came to stay with my mother, and was to sleep in a bed that had been brought into our nursery, for my father's fortunes had already failed, and we were living in a humble way. We were still but four and five years old, so the arrangement was not unnatural, and it was assumed that we should be asleep before the lady went to bed, and be downstairs before she would get up in the morning. But the arrival of this lady and her being put to sleep in the nursery were great events to us in those days, and being particularly wanted to go to sleep, we of course sat up in bed talking and keeping ourselves awake till she should come upstairs. Perhaps we had fancied that she would give us something, but if so we were disappointed. However, whether this was the case or not, we were wide awake when our visitor came to bed, and having no particular object to gain, we made no pretence of sleeping. The lady kissed us both, told us to lie still and go to sleep like good children, and then began doing her hair.

I remember that this was the occasion on which my brother discovered a good many things in connection with the fair sex which had hitherto been beyond his ken; more especially that the mass of petticoats and clothes which envelop the female form were not, as he expressed it to me, "all solid woman," but that women were not in reality more substantially built than men, and had legs as much as he had, a fact which he had never yet realised. On this he for a long time considered them as impostors, who had wronged him by leading him to suppose that they had far more "body in them" (so he said), than he now found they had. This was a sort of thing which he regarded with stern moral reprobation. If he had been old enough to have a solicitor I believe he would have put the matter into his hands, as well as certain other things which had lately troubled him. For but recently my mother had bought a fowl, and he had seen it plucked, and the inside taken out; his irritation had been extreme on discovering that fowls were not all solid flesh, but that their insides-and these formed, as it appeared to him, an enormous percentage of the bird-were perfectly useless. He was now beginning to understand that sheep and cows were also hollow as far as good meat was concerned; the flesh they had was only a mouthful in comparison with what they ought to have considering their apparent bulk-insignificant, mere skin and bone covering a cavern. What right had they, or anything else, to assert themselves as so big, and prove so empty? And now this discovery of woman's falsehood was quite too much for him. The world itself was hollow, made up of shams and delusions, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

Truly a prosaic young gentleman enough. Everything with him was to be exactly in all its parts what it appeared on the face of it, and everything was to go on doing exactly what it had been doing hitherto. If a thing looked solid, it was to be very solid; if hollow, very hollow; nothing was to be half and half, and nothing was to change unless he had himself already become accustomed to its times and manners of changing; there were to be no exceptions and no contradictions; all things were to be perfectly consistent, and all premises to be carried with extremest rigour to their legitimate conclusions. Heaven was to be very neat (for he was always tidy himself), and free from sudden shocks to the nervous system, such as those caused by dogs barking at him, or cows driven in the streets. God was to resemble my father, and the Holy Spirit to bear some sort of indistinct analogy to my mother.

Such were the ideal theories of his childhood-unconsciously formed, but very firmly believed in. As he grew up he made such modifications as were forced upon him by enlarged perceptions, but every modification was an effort to him, in spite of a continual and successful resistance to what he recognised as his initial mental defect.

I may perhaps be allowed to say here, in reference to a remark in the preceding paragraph, that both my brother and myself used to notice it as an almost invariable rule that children's earliest ideas of God are modelled upon the character of their father-if they have one. Should the father be kind, considerate, full of the warmest love, fond of showing it, and reserved only about his displeasure, the child having learned to look upon God as His Heavenly Father through the Lord's Prayer and our Church Services, will feel towards God as he does towards his own father; this conception will stick to a man for years and years after he has attained manhood-probably it will never leave him. For all children love their fathers and mothers, if these last will only let them; it is not a little unkindness that will kill so hardy a plant as the love of a child for its parents. Nature has allowed ample margin for many blunders, provided there be a genuine desire on the parent's part to make the child feel that he is loved, and that his natural feelings are respected. This is all the religious education which a child should have. As he grows older he will then turn naturally to the waters of life, and thirst after them of his own accord by reason of the spiritual refreshment which they, and they only, can afford. Otherwise he will shrink from them, on account of his recollection of the way in which he was led down to drink against his will, and perhaps with harshness, when all the analogies with which he was acquainted pointed in the direction of their being unpleasant and unwholesome. So soul-satisfying is family affection to a child, that he who has once enjoyed it cannot bear to be deprived of the hope that he is possessed in Heaven of a parent who is like his earthly father-of a friend and counsellor who will never, never fail him. There is no such religious nor moral education as kindly genial treatment and a good example; all else may then be let alone till the child is old enough to feel the want of it. It is true that the seed will thus be sown late, but in what a soil! On the other hand, if a man has found his earthly father harsh and uncongenial, his conception of his Heavenly Parent will be painful. He will begin by seeing God as an exaggerated likeness of his father. He will therefore shrink from Him. The rottenness of stillborn love in the heart of a child poisons the blood of the soul, and hence, later, crime.

To return, however, to the lady. When she had put on her night-gown, she knelt down by her bedside and, to our consternation, began to say her prayers. This was a cruel blow to both of us; we had always been under the impression that grownup people were not made to say their prayers, and the idea of any one saying them of his or her own accord had never occurred to us as possible. Of course the lady would not say her prayers if she were not obliged; and yet she did say them; therefore she must be obliged to say them; therefore we should be obliged to say them, and this was a very great disappointment. Awe-struck and open-mouthed we listened while the lady prayed in sonorous accents, for many things which I do not now remember, and finally for my father and mother and for both of us-shortly afterwards she rose, blew out the light and got into bed. Every word that she said had confirmed our worst apprehensions; it was just what we had been taught to say ourselves.

Next morning we compared notes and drew the most painful inferences; but in the course of the day our spirits rallied. We agreed that there were many mysteries in connection with life and things which it was high time to unravel, and that an opportunity was now afforded us which might not readily occur again. All we had to do was to be true to ourselves and equal to the occasion. We laid our plans with great astuteness. We would be fast asleep when the lady came up to bed, but our heads should be turned in the direction of her bed, and covered with clothes, all but a single peep-hole. My brother, as the eldest, had clearly a right to be nearest the lady, but I could see very well, and could depend on his reporting faithfully whatever should escape me.

There was no chance of her giving us anything-if she had meant to do so she would have done it sooner; she might, indeed, consider the moment of her departure as the most auspicious for this purpose, but then she was not going yet, and the interval was at our own disposal. We spent the afternoon in trying to learn to snore, but we were not certain about it, and in the end regretfully concluded that as snoring was not de rigueur we had better dispense with it.

We were put to bed; the light was taken away; we were told to go to sleep, and promised faithfully that we would do so; the tongue indeed swore, but the mind was unsworn. It was agreed that we should ke

ep pinching one another to prevent our going to sleep. We did so at frequent intervals; at last our patience was rewarded with the heavy creak, as of a stout elderly lady labouring up the stairs, and presently our victim entered.

To cut a long story short, the lady on satisfying herself that we were asleep, never said her prayers at all; during the remainder of her visit whenever she found us awake she always said them, but when she thought we were asleep, she never prayed. It is needless to add that we had the matter out with her before she left, and that the consequences were unpleasant for all parties; they added to the troubles in which we were already involved as to our prayers, and were indirectly among the earliest causes which led my brother to look with scepticism upon religion.

For a while, however, all went on as though nothing had happened. An effect of distrust, indeed, remained after the cause had been forgotten, but my brother was still too young to oppose anything that my mother told him, and to all outward appearance he grew in grace no less rapidly than in stature.

For years we led a quiet and eventless life, broken only by the one great sorrow of our father's death. Shortly after this we were sent to a day school in Bloomsbury. We were neither of us very happy there, but my brother, who always took kindly to his books, picked up a fair knowledge of Latin and Greek; he also learned to draw, and to exercise himself a little in English composition. When I was about fourteen my mother capitalised a part of her income and started me off to America, where she had friends who could give me a helping hand; by their kindness I was enabled, after an absence of twenty years, to return with a handsome income, but not, alas, before the death of my mother.

Up to the time of my departure my mother continued to read the Bible with us and explain it. She had become deeply impressed with the millenarian fervour which laid hold of so many some twenty-five or thirty years ago. The Apocalypse was perhaps her favourite book in the Bible, and she was imbued with the fullest conviction that all the threatened horrors with which it teems were upon the eve of their accomplishment. The year eighteen hundred and forty-eight was to be (as indeed it was) a time of general bloodshed and confusion, while in eighteen hundred and sixty-six, should it please God to spare her, her eyes would be gladdened by the visible descent of the Son of Man with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ should rise first; then she, as one of them that were alive, would be caught up with other saints into the air, and would possibly receive while rising some distinguishing token of confidence and approbation which should fall with due impressiveness upon the surrounding multitude; then would come the consummation of all things, and she would be ever with the Lord. She died peaceably in her bed before she could know that a commercial panic was the nearest approach to the fulfilment of prophecy which the year eighteen hundred and sixty-six brought forth.

These opinions of my mother's were positively disastrous-injuring her naturally healthy and vigorous mind by leading her to indulge in all manner of dreamy and fanciful interpretations of Scripture, which any but the most narrow literalist would feel at once to be untenable. Thus several times she expressed to us her conviction that my brother and myself were to be the two witnesses mentioned in the eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation, and dilated upon the gratification she should experience upon finding that we had indeed been reserved for a position of such distinction. We were as yet mere children, and naturally took all for granted that our mother told us; we therefore made a careful examination of the passage which threw light upon our future; but on finding that the prospect was gloomy and full of bloodshed we protested against the honours which were intended for us, more especially when we reflected that the mother of the two witnesses was not menaced in Scripture with any particular discomfort. If we were to be martyrs, my mother ought to wish to be a martyr too, whereas nothing was farther from her intention. Her notion clearly was that we were to be massacred somewhere in the streets of London, in consequence of the anti-Christian machinations of the Pope; that after lying about unburied for three days and a half we were to come to life again; and, finally, that we should conspicuously ascend to heaven, in front, perhaps, of the Foundling Hospital.

She was not herself indeed to share either our martyrdom or our glorification, but was to survive us many years on earth, living in an odour of great sanctity and reflected splendour, as the central and most august figure in a select society. She would perhaps be able indirectly, through her sons' influence with the Almighty, to have a voice in most of the arrangements both of this world and of the next. If all this were to come true (and things seemed very like it), those friends who had neglected us in our adversity would not find it too easy to be restored to favour, however greatly they might desire it-that is to say, they would not have found it too easy in the case of one less magnanimous and spiritually-minded than herself. My mother said but little of the above directly, but the fragments which occasionally escaped her were pregnant, and on looking back it is easy to perceive that she must have been building one of the most stupendous aerial fabrics that have ever been reared.

I have given the above in its more amusing aspect, and am half afraid that I may appear to be making a jest of weakness on the part of one of the most devotedly unselfish mothers who have ever existed. But one can love while smiling, and the very wildness of my mother's dream serves to show how entirely her whole soul was occupied with the things which are above. To her, religion was all in all; the earth was but a place of pilgrimage-only so far important as it was a possible road to heaven. She impressed this upon both of us by every word and action-instant in season and out of season, so that she might fill us more deeply with a sense of God. But the inevitable consequences happened; my mother had aimed too high and had overshot her mark. The influence indeed of her guileless and unworldly nature remained impressed upon my brother even during the time of his extremest unbelief (perhaps his ultimate safety is in the main referable to this cause, and to the happy memories of my father, which had predisposed him to love God), but my mother had insisted on the most minute verbal accuracy of every part of the Bible; she had also dwelt upon the duty of independent research, and on the necessity of giving up everything rather than assent to things which our conscience did not assent to. No one could have more effectually taught us to try to think the truth, and we had taken her at her word because our hearts told us that she was right. But she required three incompatible things. When my brother grew older he came to feel that independent and unflinching examination, with a determination to abide by the results, would lead him to reject the point which to my mother was more important than any other-I mean the absolute accuracy of the Gospel records. My mother was inexpressibly shocked at hearing my brother doubt the authenticity of the Epistle to the Hebrews; and then, as it appeared to him, she tried to make him violate the duties of examination and candour which he had learnt too thoroughly to unlearn. Thereon came pain and an estrangement which was none the less profound for being mutually concealed.

This estrangement was the gradual work of some five or six years, during which my brother was between eleven and seventeen years old. At seventeen, I am told that he was remarkably well informed and clever. His manners were, like my father's, singularly genial, and his appearance very prepossessing. He had as yet no doubt concerning the soundness of any fundamental Christian doctrine, but his mind was too active to allow of his being contented with my mother's child-like faith. There were points on which he did not indeed doubt, but which it would none the less be interesting to consider; such for example as the perfectibility of the regenerate Christian, and the meaning of the mysterious central chapters of the Epistle to the Romans. He was engaged in these researches though still only a boy, when an event occurred which gave the first real shock to his faith.

He was accustomed to teach in a school for the poorest children every Sunday afternoon, a task for which his patience and good temper well fitted him. On one occasion, however, while he was explaining the effect of baptism to one of his favourite pupils, he discovered to his great surprise that the boy had never been baptised. He pushed his inquiries further, and found that out of the fifteen boys in his class only five had been baptised, and, not only so, but that no difference in disposition or conduct could be discovered between the regenerate boys and the unregenerate. The good and bad boys were distributed in proportions equal to the respective numbers of the baptised and unbaptised. In spite of a certain impetuosity of natural character, he was also of a matter-of-fact and experimental turn of mind; he therefore went through the whole school, which numbered about a hundred boys, and found out who had been baptised and who had not. The same results appeared. The majority had not been baptised; yet the good and bad dispositions were so distributed as to preclude all possibility of maintaining that the baptised boys were better than the unbaptised.

The reader may smile at the idea of any one's faith being troubled by a fact of which the explanation is so obvious, but in truth my brother was seriously and painfully shocked. The teacher to whom he applied for a solution of the difficulty was not a man of any real power, and reported my brother to the rector for having disturbed the school by his inquiries. The rector was old and self-opinionated; the difficulty, indeed, was plainly as new to him as it had been to my brother, but instead of saying so at once, and referring to any recognised theological authority, he tried to put him off with words which seemed intended to silence him rather than to satisfy him; finally he lost his temper, and my brother fell under suspicion of unorthodoxy.

This kind of treatment might answer with some people, but not with my brother. He alludes to it resentfully in the introductory chapter of his book. He became suspicious that a preconceived opinion was being defended at the expense of honest scrutiny, and was thus driven upon his own unaided investigation. The result may be guessed: he began to go astray, and strayed further and further. The children of God, he reasoned, the members of Christ and inheritors of the kingdom of Heaven, were no more spiritually minded than the children of the world and the devil. Was then the grace of God a gift which left no trace whatever upon those who were possessed of it-a thing the presence or absence of which might be ascertained by consulting the parish registry, but was not discernible in conduct? The grace of man was more clearly perceptible than this. Assuredly there must be a screw loose somewhere, which, for aught he knew, might be jeopardising the salvation of all Christendom. Where then was this loose screw to be found?

He concluded after some months of reflection that the mischief was caused by the system of sponsors and by infant baptism. He therefore, to my mother's inexpressible grief, joined the Baptists and was immersed in a pond near Dorking. With the Baptists he remained quiet about three months, and then began to quarrel with his instructors as to their doctrine of predestination. Shortly afterwards he came accidentally upon a fascinating stranger who was no less struck with my brother than my brother with him, and this gentleman, who turned out to be a Roman Catholic missionary, landed him in the Church of Rome, where he felt sure that he had now found rest for his soul. But here, too, he was mistaken; after about two years he rebelled against the stifling of all free inquiry; on this rebellion the flood-gates of scepticism were opened, and he was soon battling with unbelief. He then fell in with one who was a pure Deist, and was shorn of every shred of dogma which he had ever held, except a belief in the personality and providence of the Creator.

On reviewing his letters written to me about this time, I am painfully struck with the manner in which they show that all these pitiable vagaries were to be traced to a single cause-a cause which still exists to the misleading of hundreds of thousands, and which, I fear, seems likely to continue in full force for many a year to come-I mean, to a false system of training which teaches people to regard Christianity as a thing one and indivisible, to be accepted entirely in the strictest reading of the letter, or to be rejected as absolutely untrue. The fact is, that all permanent truth is as one of those coal measures, a seam of which lies near the surface, and even crops up above the ground, but which is generally of an inferior quality and soon worked out; beneath it there comes a layer of sand and clay, and then at last the true seam of precious quality and in virtually inexhaustible supply. The truth which is on the surface is rarely the whole truth. It is seldom until this has been worked out and done with-as in the case of the apparent flatness of the earth-that unchangeable truth is discovered. It is the glory of the Lord to conceal a matter: it is the glory of the king to find it out. If my brother, from whom I have taken the above illustration, had had some judicious and wide-minded friend to correct and supplement the mainly admirable principles which had been instilled into him by my mother, he would have been saved years of spiritual wandering; but, as it was, he fell in with one after another, each in his own way as literal and unspiritual as the other-each impressed with one aspect of religious truth, and with one only. In the end he became perhaps the widest-minded and most original thinker whom I have ever met; but no one from his early manhood could have augured this result; on the contrary, he shewed every sign of being likely to develop into one of those who can never see more than one side of a question at a time, in spite of their seeing that side with singular clearness of mental vision. In after life, he often met with mere lads who seemed to him to be years and years in advance of what he had been at their age, and would say, smiling, "With a great sum obtained I this freedom; but thou wast free-born."

Yet when one comes to think of it, a late development and laborious growth are generally more fruitful than those which are over-early luxuriant. Drawing an illustration from the art of painting, with which he was well acquainted, my brother used to say that all the greatest painters had begun with a hard and precise manner from which they had only broken after several years of effort; and that in like manner all the early schools were founded upon definiteness of outline to the exclusion of truth of effect. This may be true; but in my brother's case there was something even more unpromising than this; there was a commonness, so to speak, of mental execution, from which no one could have foreseen his after-emancipation. Yet in the course of time he was indeed emancipated to the very uttermost, while his bonds will, I firmly trust, be found to have been of inestimable service to the whole human race.

For although it was so many years before he was enabled to see the Christian scheme as a whole, or even to conceive the idea that there was any whole at all, other than each one of the stages of opinion through which he was at the time passing; yet when the idea was at length presented to him by one whom I must not name, the discarded fragments of his faith assumed shape, and formed themselves into a consistently organised scheme. Then became apparent the value of his knowledge of the details of so many different sides of Christian verity. Buried in the details, he had hitherto ignored the fact that they were only the unessential developments of certain component parts. Awakening to the perception of the whole after an intimate acquaintance with the details, he was able to realise the position and meaning of all that he had hitherto experienced in a way which has been vouchsafed to few, if any others.

Thus he became truly a broad Churchman. Not broad in the ordinary and ill-considered use of the term (for the broad Churchman is as little able to sympathise with Romanists, extreme High Churchmen and Dissenters, as these are with himself-he is only one of a sect which is called by the name broad, though it is no broader than its own base), but in the true sense of being able to believe in the naturalness, legitimacy, and truth qua Christianity even of those doctrines which seem to stand most widely and irreconcilably asunder.

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