by A Perplexed Reader
[Reprinted from Light (London), October 13, 1883, p. 449]
To the Editor of "LIGHT"
SIR, -- I am still perplexed. "A Catholic
Priest" is "not of the Roman fold alone." But if he be, as his words
imply, of the Roman fold at all he can be of none other; and if he be of the Greek
communion -- which is the only other Church recognised in his last letter as Catholic --
he cannot be of the Roman too. Whether Greek, or Roman, or neither, the title he uses to
pass off the strange farrago of theology which he has treated us to is a misnomer. Such
heresy would be tolerated in no Church, Catholic or otherwise.
My perplexity is increased by the letter of Mr. Atkinsons which
immediately follows that of the soi-distant "Catholic Priest." What, in
the name of common sense, is the meaning of this bewildering sentence? "May I say a
word on the great mistake on the attempt to fathom the nature of the great First
Cause least understood, itself without a cause -- what must to us be occult and
unintelligible, the incomprehensible of the Christian, the noumenon of Kant, the
unknowable absolute of Herbert Spencer, the unfathomable of all -- so that all
speculation in respect to it must be mere fancy and untrue in a misuse of the human
understanding resting on particulars observed in daylight experience -- a mind in nature,
or a being outside nature."
That is, indeed, "saying a word," but is any human being a
whit the wiser for it?
I am still more perplexed, if possible, by Mr. Sinnetts reply to
Mr. Kiddle. That latter gentleman places side by side two passages from which it appears
that Mr. Sinnetts invisible instructor has committed a very manifest act of
plagiarism. Not only this but he has omitted inconvenient words, and has so distorted the
ideas he has borrowed as to divert them from their original intention to suit his own very
different purpose. Mr. Sinnett, like the rest of us, knows nothing of his instructor
beyond his instructions. Yet he regards what I suppose everybody else will consider a very
grave charge, one which, unless disproved, strikes at the very root of the pretensions of
the adepts, as "trivial," "rather out of date now," and "merely
ridiculous." That does indeed perplex and surprise me.
A PERPLEXED READER.