What we need at this hour above all other needs is the great teacher, one able to proclaim and explain the truths of religion, and filled with a high enthusiasm for his office. We need, he tells me, men who can restore to preaching its best authority. At the present time preaching has fallen to a low ebb because it is despised, and it is despised because it has lost the element of teaching. But let men recover their faith in the moral law, let them see that retribution is inevitable justice, let them realise that the life of man is a progress in spiritual comprehension, let them understand that existence is a great thing and not a mean thing, and they will feel again the compulsion to preach, and their preaching, founded on the moral law and inspired by faith in the teaching of Christ, will draw the world from the destructive negations of materialism, and wake it out of the fatal torpors of dull indifference.
Happy, I think, is the church which has such a teacher at the head of its disciples. Though its traditions may not reach far back into the historic twilight of ignorance, the rays of the unrisen sun strike upon its banners as they advance towards the future of mankind.
ARCHBISHOP RANDALL DAVIDSON
CANTERBURY, Archbishop of, since 1903; Most Rev. Randall Thomas Davidson, D.D., D.C.L., LL.D.; Prelate of the Order of the Garter, 1895-1903; G.C.V.O., cr. 1904; Royal Victorian Chain, 1911; Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Saviour (Greece), 1918; Grand Cordon de l’Ordre de la Couronne (Belgium, 1919); First class of the Order of St. Sava (Serbia), 1919; b. 7 April, 1848; s. of Henry Davidson, Muirhouse, Edinburgh, and Henrietta, d. of John Swinton, Kimmerghame; m. Edith, 2d d. of Archbishop Tait of Canterbury, 1878. Educ.: Harrow; Trinity College, Oxford (D.D.), Curate of Dartford, Kent, 1874-77; Chaplain and Private Secretary to Archbishop Tait of Canterbury, 1877-82; to Archbishop Benson, 1882-3; Examining Chaplain to Bishop Lightfoot of Durham, 1881-83; Sub-Almoner to Queen Victoria, 1882; one of the six preachers of Canterbury Cathedral, 1880-83; Dean of Windsor and Domestic Chaplain to Queen Victoria, 1883-91; Clerk of the Closet to Queen Victoria, 1891-1901; to H.M. the King, 1905-3; Trustee of the British Museum from 1884, Bishop of Rochester, 1891-95; Bishop of Winchester, 1895-1903.
[Illustration: ARCHBISHOP RANDALL DAVIDSON]
ARCHBISHOP RANDALL DAVIDSON
Let us be flexible, dear Grace; let us be flexible!—HENRY JAMES.
. . . the Archbishop
recalled both to the gravity of the
Because of his great place and his many merits, both of heart and head, and also because his career raises the question I desire to discuss in my Conclusion, I have left the Archbishop of Canterbury to the last of these brief studies in religious personality.