When Dr. Coulton took up, instead of H. G. Wells, the challenge which Father Heenan Made, THE CAntouc HERALD proposed that Mr. Arnold Lunn should deputise for Fr. Heenan who had no time to write a book instead of debating on a platform a's he had offered. Mr. Lunn was ready to do so, but only on condition that Dr. Coulton first settled old scores.
Dr. Coulton has now replied from Canada, accepting Mr. Lunn as a " competent exponent of Roman Catholic doctrine and Church history," but giving reasons why he cannot take up the Older issues.
Mr. Lunn will reply and state his position in a letter next week.
Dr. Coulton writes: Sir,—Fr. Heenan is too busy with parish work; and therefore you have selected Mr. Arnold Lunn to "deputise" for him.
But even Mr. Minn is disappointing. So far from shouldering Fr. Heenan's burden he will not write one single 'word on that gentleman's thesis until in my 116th year, shall first have written half of a bulky book on a different subject, to please Mr. Lunn. On the face of it, such a proposition is absgrd.
A well-worn Oxford " Joe Miller " recounts how. at the preliminary Divinity examination, one candidate had crammed half-a-dozens questions on chance. None of these, unfortunately, was chosen by the examiner; but the first ran: " Name the Major and Minor Prophets." Our triers catching at this straw, an:Mimed : " Far be it from me to draw invidious distinctions between those holy men; but I will give you a chronological list of the Kings of Judah and Israel."
But there is a method behind Mr. Lunn's startling irrelevance, at I must crave space to explain, Since I have to say things almost incredible, I am sending you vouchers. My Cambridge secretary will forward you a copy of the booklet or which Mr. Lunn wrote half, ,9 Critic and a Convert, wherein both you and any inquisitive reader can verify my assertions.
I knew him, after his schoolboy days, only as a rencarkahle show-athlete and a young aspirant to journalism. Among other things, he wrote piquantly against your Church. More than.once he came to me for ammunition, and_thus I took his measure.
DISCUSSION BOOK Presently he invented (or at least exploited) the " Discussion Book " as a fertile and popular form of literature. In his book against Mr. Joad he quoted me as indirect sponsor for assertions which, on the contrary, I had publicly and emphatically repudiated. I therefore wrote (May 3, 1933) asking him to' correct this error in his next edition. I softened this plain protest with: " I am sure you will not feel this in any way incompatible with our friendly relations and our general agreement on religious matters." That courteous sentence proved my undoing. He answered me (May 11) with studied impertinence, and went off as a tangent from mar Major Prophets to his own Kings of Judalt—the question of Modernism iT1 Christianity. He brutally implied that I was sailing all the time under false religious colours (pp, 2-3). I answered that my friendly sentence gave him no excuse for any such unfriendly coninfliction. I disagreed with Joad on many points, but almost as often, though less radically, with Lunn.
For instance, I now went on to specify, and confront with the facts, twenty-eight important points on which his superflial studies had led him into blunders (I). 7). On none of these points did he ever attempt to produce serious evidence, preferring to plunge into further irrelevances. But now his mere bark turned into a vicious bite (p. 11). He wrote: " I suggest that we should collaborate in a series of letters in which I will defend the. Roman Catholic conception of Christianity and you the Modernist." This, then, is that " original challenge " upon which Mr. Lunn now demands peremptorily that I should first spend probably a year or more before he will condescend to deputise for Fr. Heenan!
Moreover, even if I consented, with what effect? In our Critic and Convert I rashly promised from the first to print at nty own expense every word that he might find to say. s This, as he truly tells you, ran me into nearly £100, apart from waste or time: for he spun it out until February 5, 1935. As Me wrote himself; "I am not learned, and I am not clever; but I have one admirable characteristic, dogged persistence " (p. 113).
Vursing himself in this comfortable conviction that obstinacy of method makes up for obliquity of aim, he wallowed on from blumier and parer. ogism to paralogism and blunder, until