On this ground, the ground of economics, his position seems to me unassailable; but it is a position which suggests the posture of a lecturer in front of his black-board rather than that of a shepherd seeking the lost sheep of his flock. If the socialist must think again, at least we may ask that the Bishop should sometimes raise his crook to defend the sheep against the attack of the robber and the wolf. If the sheep are to be patient, if they are not to stray, if they are not to die, there must be food for their grazing.
But the Bishop, at the very roots of his being, is conservative, and the good qualities of conservatism do not develop foresight or permit of vision. He would stick to the wattled cotes; and I think he would move his flock on to new pastures as seldom as possible. This will not do, however. The social reformer tells the Bishop who thinks democracy has rejected religion that “the hungry sheep look up and are not fed.” The roots of the old sustenance are nibbled level to the ground, and the ground itself is sour. If socialism is wrong, let the Bishop tell us where lies a safer pasture.
One seems to see in this thrusting scholar and restless energetic prelate a very striking illustration of the need in the Christian of tenderness. Intellect is not enough. Intellect, indeed, is not light; it is only the wick of a lamp which must be fed constantly with the oil of compassion—that is to say, if its light is to shine before men. The Bishop dazzles, but he does not illumine the darkness or throw a white beam ahead of heavy-laden and far-journeying humanity on the road which leads, let us hope, to a better order of things than the present system.
Whether such a man calls himself traditionalist or modernist does not greatly matter. One respects him for his moral qualities, his courage, and his devotion to his work; one honours him for his intellectual qualities, which are of a high and brilliant order; but one does not feel that he is leading the advance, or even that he knows in which direction the army is definitely advancing.
MISS MAUDE ROYDEN
ROYDEN, AGNES MAUDE, Assistant Preacher at the City Temple, 1918-20; Founder with Dr. Percy Dearmer of the Fellowship Services at Kensington; b. 1876, y.d. of late Sir Thomas Royden, 1st Bart. of Frankby Hall, Birkenhead. Educ.: Cheltenham Ladies’ College; Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. Worked at the Victoria Women’s Settlement, Liverpool, for three years and then in the country parish of Luffenham; Lecturer in English Literature to the Oxford University Extension Delegacy; joined the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies, 1908; on Executive Committee, 1908; Edited the Common Cause till 1914; wrote and spoke chiefly on the economic, ethical, and religious aspects of the Women’s Movement; resigned executive, 1914.
[Illustration: MISS MAUDE ROYDEN]