"Your project startles me, Mr. Linton," said George Holland. "It startles me as greatly as the first revelation you made to me did. They may be mistaken--the doctors; I have known cases where the highest authorities were ludicrously in error. Let us hope that."
"Well, we may hope; I may live long enough to lay the foundation stone of the Church myself. But I am most anxious that you should give the whole matter your earnest attention."
"I am quite dazed. Do you suggest that I should leave the Church of England?"
"By no means. That is a question which I leave entirely to your own decision. My own idea is that you would like a free hand. You will have to leave the Church sooner or later. A man with your advanced ideas cannot regulate your pace to that of an old woman. In twenty years the Church will think precisely as you think to-day. That is the way with the Church. It opposes everything in the way of an innovation. You stated the case very fairly in your paper. The Church opposes every discovery and every new thing as long as possible. It then only accepts grudgingly what all civilization has accepted cordially. Oh, yes, you'll find it impossible to remain in the Church, Mr. Holland. 'Crabbed age and youth,' you know."
"I should part from the Church with the greatest reluctance, Mr. Linton."
"Then don't part from it, only don't place yourself in its power. Don't be beholden to it for your income. Don't go to the heads of the Church for orders. Be your own master and in plain words, run the concern on your own lines. The widow of the founder will have no power to interfere with you in the matter of such arrangements."
"I shall have to give the matter a good deal of thought. I should naturally have to reform a good deal of the ritual."
"Naturally. The existing ritual is only a compromise. And as for the hymns which are sung, why is it necessary for them to be doggerel before they are devotional?"