Item 136 - Letter from John James Tayler to Henry Sidgwick

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Add. MS c/95/136


Letter from John James Tayler to Henry Sidgwick


  • 23 Dec 1868 (Creation)

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Had intended to write to Sidgwick in relation to the Sub Committee of the Free Christian Union, of which he was appointed a member with Kegan Paul and Sidgwick, when he received a note from Mr Edward Enfield, informing him that Sidgwick and Kegan Paul would be in London from 5 to 9 January. Replied to Enfield suggesting Friday 8th at 4pm as a suitable time for meeting. Declares that this 'will leave ample time for some [ ] [ ] conference between the members of the subcommittee [Motion] to the matter on which they were to offer some suggestions to the General Committee. Asks whether Sidgwick and Kegan Paul would come out to the Limes, Hampstead on Wednesday 6 January to take dinner with him at 6pm and spend the evening in discussion.

Puts forward to the three main points to be considered; whether a series of public lectures or a volume of essays would be the most effective way of acting on social opinion 'in favour of Catholic views of Religion'; the general aim and character of the subjects that such a series should embrace; and the men who should be invited to join in such an undertaking. Believes that the writers or speakers should be free from any appearance of denominational and sectarian influence and that a large majority of them should be 'members of the Broad Church', with some representatives from the nonconformist churches. Would like to secure the aid of Mr Goldwin Smith, and states his wish to propose the name of Mr M[ark] Pattison, whose pamphlet on Oxford Education he has just read. Refers to Mr Jowett also, whose cooperation he would also appreciate. Believes that they should confine their subject to 'the broad ground of a practical and spiritual [Chris]tianity. Discusses the role of Christianity in the world, and declares that their schools, universities and churches need to be brought under the influence of a more spiritual and Catholic Christianity. Suggests some topics for discussion: 'A Reform of the Doctrinal [Formularies] of the Church; the Necessity of a Scientific Theology; on Intercourse between different Religious Denominations; on the Limits of State Action in Ecclesiastical Organisation.' Refers to the [ ] of the Irish Church.

Would like the benefit of Sidgwick's mature reflection on the above topics. Hopes to have returned to London by the evening of Monday 4 January. Gives the address to which HS should send any communication during the following ten days.

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