An Anglican–who was `very tolerant tho’ very pious; he holds his

An Anglican–who was `very tolerant tho’ very pious; he holds his own opinions fast but treats mine at the same time with due leniency.’57 Tyndall and the chemistry teacher, Edward Frankland, supported Singleton in a Torin 1 structure controversy at the school that nonetheless resulted in Singleton’s being forced out by the head teacher, George Edmondson, and by Edmondson’s wife (who was Singleton’s sister).58 Tyndall also enjoyed the company of two gentlemen whom he met in Blackpool, `one a learned Doctor, the other an enquiring young Catholic–both treat their holy religion with great levity, in fact they seemed to care as little about it as I do.’59 Dogma was the curse of religion. A further difficulty for Tyndall was that each denomination offered its own, apparently definitive, interpretation of scripture. Conflict inevitably arose when each denomination claimed that its unique understanding of the Bible gave it access to God-given truth. In response to a Methodist friend’s passionately held views on free will and original sin, Tyndall perceived `the injustice of binding men to a belief in any particular interpretation [of the Bible] when interpretations were so various and nothing [could be accepted as] determinate’.60 Instead he sought to transcend the petty wrangling over theological issues that divided the different denominations. He himself was drawn towards a transcendent stance in which the `Great Spirit . . . from time to time expresses himself audibly among the sons of men [and] dwells far below the scrum of sects’. He looked forward to a time when `methodism, churchism and many other isms . . . [would] sink and a purer[,] lovelier and more practical faith [would emerge]–a faith which Jesus taught and John understood shall bend with benignant influence over our altered world.’61 That religion was to be firmly grounded in the Bible, as `[I] consider the purity of the Scriptures one of the highest proofs of their divine origin’.62 A crucial aspect of Tyndall’s increasing self-awareness was his insistence on making up his own mind and not being dependent on the views of others. This is a particularly relevant indicator of his having achieved Jung’s third stage of individuation. Freedom of thought, as Tyndall came to believe, extended beyond religion to all aspects of life. He reflected on this issue after an uncomfortable discussion with Edmondson, who seemed too easily influenced by others. `Recent circumstances’, wrote Tyndall, `have caused me to dwell upon man’s individuality and a necessity for self-reliance’, self-reliance being the title of one of Emerson’s essays.63 Tyndall particularly despised those who used religion as a tortuous purchase (��)-BGB-3111 intellectual exercise, such as the preacher he heard in Carlow who `spent half an hour in splitting hairs about baptism and circumcision’.64 Likewise, when a friend discoursed on free will and original sin he `suggested the necessity of a very wide liberality in these speculative matters’.65 Such unproductive theological disputes, he believed, were a travesty of true religion, which should enable people to lead better, more moral, lives. Religion should therefore influence our daily labours. The issue of practicality was emphasized in an entry dating from 20 October 1844, when he attended morning service at an Irish Presbyterian church but disliked the `very flowery sermon–Though highly poetical there was very littleG. Cantorpractical in the discourse.’ That evening, however, he heard Hugh Stowell, the re.An Anglican–who was `very tolerant tho’ very pious; he holds his own opinions fast but treats mine at the same time with due leniency.’57 Tyndall and the chemistry teacher, Edward Frankland, supported Singleton in a controversy at the school that nonetheless resulted in Singleton’s being forced out by the head teacher, George Edmondson, and by Edmondson’s wife (who was Singleton’s sister).58 Tyndall also enjoyed the company of two gentlemen whom he met in Blackpool, `one a learned Doctor, the other an enquiring young Catholic–both treat their holy religion with great levity, in fact they seemed to care as little about it as I do.’59 Dogma was the curse of religion. A further difficulty for Tyndall was that each denomination offered its own, apparently definitive, interpretation of scripture. Conflict inevitably arose when each denomination claimed that its unique understanding of the Bible gave it access to God-given truth. In response to a Methodist friend’s passionately held views on free will and original sin, Tyndall perceived `the injustice of binding men to a belief in any particular interpretation [of the Bible] when interpretations were so various and nothing [could be accepted as] determinate’.60 Instead he sought to transcend the petty wrangling over theological issues that divided the different denominations. He himself was drawn towards a transcendent stance in which the `Great Spirit . . . from time to time expresses himself audibly among the sons of men [and] dwells far below the scrum of sects’. He looked forward to a time when `methodism, churchism and many other isms . . . [would] sink and a purer[,] lovelier and more practical faith [would emerge]–a faith which Jesus taught and John understood shall bend with benignant influence over our altered world.’61 That religion was to be firmly grounded in the Bible, as `[I] consider the purity of the Scriptures one of the highest proofs of their divine origin’.62 A crucial aspect of Tyndall’s increasing self-awareness was his insistence on making up his own mind and not being dependent on the views of others. This is a particularly relevant indicator of his having achieved Jung’s third stage of individuation. Freedom of thought, as Tyndall came to believe, extended beyond religion to all aspects of life. He reflected on this issue after an uncomfortable discussion with Edmondson, who seemed too easily influenced by others. `Recent circumstances’, wrote Tyndall, `have caused me to dwell upon man’s individuality and a necessity for self-reliance’, self-reliance being the title of one of Emerson’s essays.63 Tyndall particularly despised those who used religion as a tortuous intellectual exercise, such as the preacher he heard in Carlow who `spent half an hour in splitting hairs about baptism and circumcision’.64 Likewise, when a friend discoursed on free will and original sin he `suggested the necessity of a very wide liberality in these speculative matters’.65 Such unproductive theological disputes, he believed, were a travesty of true religion, which should enable people to lead better, more moral, lives. Religion should therefore influence our daily labours. The issue of practicality was emphasized in an entry dating from 20 October 1844, when he attended morning service at an Irish Presbyterian church but disliked the `very flowery sermon–Though highly poetical there was very littleG. Cantorpractical in the discourse.’ That evening, however, he heard Hugh Stowell, the re.

Leave a Reply