WHAT I BELIEVE. Selected by Sir James Merchant (Odhams, 12s. 6d.).
THIS is the sort of book which 1 those who have no firmly held belief love to read. Twenty wellknown men and women, ranging from the late Lord Astor to Madame Chiang Kai-shek, define their beliefs or explain why it is impossible to do so.
The Socialist Professor G. D. H. Cole dogmatically asserts his atheism without, as he himself says, making any pretence of being able to prove God's non-existence. In describing the changes in family life resulting from modern "free-thinking," Kingsley Martin makes out a good case, without intending to do so, fora return to Christian moral values.
An interesting contrast is provided by the contributions of the Anglican Bishop of London, Dr. Wand, and that of Archbishop Downey of Liverpool. Says Dr. Wand: "But who can say precisely what he really believes? We can no doubt enumerate the truths to which we are prepared to give an intellectual assent. But intellectual assent is not belief."
Archbishop Downey begins his essay with these words: "My beliefs may be very briefly summarized : I believe in God. I believe in the personal immortality of every human soul, and I believe in the one holy Catholic Church." And he then proceeds, with an equal economy of words, to explain just what it means and why he believes it.