'To a large extent the working people of this country do not care any more for the doctrines of Christianity than the upper classes care for the practice of that religion.'-JOHN BRIGHT in the year 1880.
It is wonderful how quickly, when a peril is past, men forget about it and straightway compose themselves to slumbrous dreams again. It was so after the Great War; it is so already regarding the great strikes. 'Don't disturb our repose,' they as good as say; 'we have had an anxious time; do let us sleep.' But wars and strikes are only symptoms of the hidden disease; and the allaying of a symptom without the healing of the disease is of all things the most dangerous. What we must consider is the disease and set ourselves to find a remedy. Then, and then only, will the symptoms harass us no more. It was a little bald man with a straggling beard and one eye that had got a little tired of the long-continued effort to look at the other, who set me thinking. The burden of his contention was that this country and the world at large is sinking back into paganism. Though I endeavour to keep an open mind and refuse to accept opinions ready-made, however much inclined I may be to shirk the preliminary fatigue of forming opinions of my own, yet the opinions of my friend are worth recording. They are at least gropings after the truth.