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The Parents' Review

A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture

Edited by Charlotte Mason.

"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
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The Christ of All

by the Hon. Lady Welby.
Volume 2, 1891/92, pg. 91-92


Written after reading Prof. Huxley's Article on Agnosticism
("XIXth Century," February, 1889.)

" . . . I had, and have, the firmest conviction that I never left the 'vera via';--the straight road; and that this road led nowhere else but into the dark depths of a wild and tangled forest.

"And though I have found lions and leopards in the path; though I have made abundant acquaintance with the hungry wolf, that 'with privy paw devours apace and nothing said,' as another great poet says of the ravening beast; and though no friendly spectre has even yet offered his guidance, I was, and am, minded to go straight on, until I either come out on the other side of the wood, or find there is no other side to it, at least, none attainable by me."--P. 183.

O, we could preach Thee in a thousand tongues!
The self-same Christ in whom alone man is;
The very Reason of the denying cry,--
Protest of Thine own spirit in our hearts.

We learn of Thee our manhood, as the Sum,
Of all we see as better than Thou art!
Better? Nay; nobler, truer and more pure
Than utmost word of faithful martyr-saint
Is that we need as symbol for Thee--Truth,
Thou, very spring of searchings for the Real!
Seekers through stern renouncement yet work on,
Denying Christs of part for Christ of whole;
Refusing Christs of some, not Christ of all,
Rejecting Christs of only then or now,
Renouncing Christs of merely here or there--
Some tribal Lord for whom we may resist
Some truth or good unchristed by our world!

Show us our folly; take thy world and reign;
Speak in the still small voice of simple hearts;
Shine in the truth of every student's thought,
Call us in duty's name to take Thy cross.
Give us the mind in Thee to go "straight on,
Into the dark depths of wild tangled forest!"
Daunted by neither snarl, nor growl, nor hiss.
Needing no "spectre" hand to lead us on!
Having a more than hand and more than heart,
And more than will itself, a mind of love,
Thirsting for truth, yearning to make men true,
Striving to raise them at all cost of pain;
Seeking the fact, faithful to trust of truth;
Bearing the grimness and the loss of hopes,
Which seem as though no longer ours by right,
Waiting in patience stedfast for the light!

Aye, for the light which only thus can come;
Which easy loiterers wonder that we crave,
Whose Way through tempted homeless life leads on,
To Truth that marks the cross on every step,
And trains us thus at last to know True Life--
Which else we might have shuddered at and fled,
Clinging to blind, self-centred types of life;
Bartering for those the life-throne of the world,
Won but through pain and patience, nobly used;
Reaching beyond itself as "planet" to "sun,"
Knowing derived and "solar" all its worth!


Typed by Blossom Barden, Mar 2013