By Timothy Larsen
The Victorian challenge of religion has ruled discussions of faith and the Victorians. tales are usually instructed of well known Victorians comparable to George Eliot wasting their religion. This trouble is gifted as demonstrating the highbrow weak spot of Christianity because it was once assaulted through new strains of proposal resembling Darwinism and biblical feedback. This research serves as a corrective to that narrative. It specializes in freethinking and Secularist leaders who got here to religion. As sceptics, they'd imbibed the entire newest rules that looked as if it would undermine religion; however, they went directly to event a problem of doubt, after which to protect of their writings and lectures the highbrow cogency of Christianity. The Victorian obstacle of doubt was once unusually huge. Telling this tale serves to revive its precise share and to bare the highbrow power of religion within the 19th century.
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Extra resources for Crisis of Doubt: Honest Faith in Nineteenth-Century England
The next morning . . he . . purchased a Testament, which he read carefully with pencil in hand, crossing out all the passages he could not believe. He then, with a pair of scissors, cut out the portions which he could believe, and pasted them into a book for his own use. ’26 Many of Hone’s most successful published works, as he himself freely admitted, were similar cut-and-paste jobs. 27 Hone alluded to his ‘Extracts from the Bible’ in one of his trial speeches, couching it in the most reassuring terms as follows: ‘He on all occasions made frequent use of the language of Scripture.
51 Hackwood, William Hone, 55. 52 J. M. , 1889), 174. 53 [Paul H. T. d’Holbach], The System of Nature; or, The Laws of the Moral and Physical World (London: G. Kearsley, 1797), iii. 309. 54 Ibid. 362. 34 William Hone no real motives to separate themselves from the superstitious, and that it is impossible to Wx the line of demarcation, which separates them from the most credulous men, or from those who reason the least upon the article of religion. . 56 If Hone was persuaded by this book, as he said he was for a season, then he was indeed convinced by the intellectual claims of materialistic atheism.
59 55 [Paul H. T. d’Holbach], The System of Nature, 370–2. 56 Ibid. 366. 57 Ibid. i. p. xi. 58 Ibid. iii. 281. 59 Hackwood, William Hone, 313–14. William Hone 35 For Hone for most of those thirty years, the doctrine of the Trinity was mere superstition and corporate worship was superXuous, but there was a God in heaven, and Jesus of Nazareth was a great example for humankind. 60 Notable, formal responses by indignant orthodox Christians included an article in the July 1821 issue of the Tory Quarterly Review (as well as an answer to Hone’s reply in the January 1824 issue); a published charge to the clergy of the archdeaconry of Derby by Samuel Butler; and a book on the inspiration of Scripture by Thomas Rennell that named Hone in its very title: Proofs of Inspiration, or the Ground of Distinction between the New Testament and the Apocryphal Volume: occasioned by the recent publication of the Apocryphal New Testament by Hone (1822).
Crisis of Doubt: Honest Faith in Nineteenth-Century England by Timothy Larsen