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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. B. Innes   27 November [1878]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway station | Orpington, S. E. R.

Nov. 27th

My dear Innes

Many thanks for your most kind letter & for sending me Dr Pusey’s sermon, which I have been glad to see, but I am a little disappointed in it, as I expected more vigour & less verbiage.—2 I hardly see how religion & science can be kept as distinct as he desires, as geology has to to treat of the history of the Earth & Biology that of Man.— But I most wholly agree with you that there is no reason why the disciples of either school should attack each other with bitterness, though each upholding strictly their beliefs.

You, I am sure, have always practically acted in this manner in your conduct towards me & I do not doubt to all others. Nor can I remember that I have ever published a word directly against religion or the clergy. But if you were to read a little pamphlet which I received a couple of days ago by a clergyman, you would laugh & admit that I had some excuse for bitterness; after abusing me for 2 or 3 pages in language sufficiently plain & emphatic to have satisfied any reasonable man, he sums up by saying that he has vainly searched the English language to find terms to express his contempt of me & all Darwinians.3

We have just returned from a week in London, where we went as I wanted rest, but I am now tired, so will write no more.4

I suppose that the misery from that wicked Glasgow bank is something inconceivably great in Scotland.5

Believe me | My dear Innes | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


CD disappointed in Pusey’s sermon against evolution [Un-science, not science, adverse to faith (1878), sermon read by H. P. Liddon at St Mary’s, Oxford, on 3 Nov 1878]. Does not agree that religion and science can be kept as distant as Pusey desires. Geology and biology must deal with history of earth and of man. But that is no reason for bitter hostility.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Brodie Innes
Sent from
Source of text
Cleveland Health Sciences Library (Robert M. Stecher collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11763,” accessed on 19 December 2018,