To Frederick Temple [c. 28 Feb 1861]
To the Rev. Dr. Temple
We the undersigned have read with surprise and regret a letter in which the Archbishop of Canterbury and the other English Bishops have severely censured the volume of Articles entitled Essays and Reviews.
Without committing ourselves to the conclusions arrived at in the various Essays, we wish to express our sense of the value which is to be attached to enquiries conducted in a spirit so earnest and reverential, and our belief that such enquiries must tend to elicit truth, and to foster a spirit of sound religion.
Feeling as we do that the discoveries in science, and the general progress of thought, have necessitated some modification of the views generally held on theological matters, we welcome these attempts to establish religious teaching on a firmer and broader foundation.
While admitting that each writer in the Essays and Reviews is responsible only for the opinions expressed by himself, we address to you, as author of the first article, this expression of our sympathy and our thanks.
Regret that the Archbishop of Canterbury and other English Bishops have severely censured Essays and Reviews . Believe "such enquiries conducted in a spirit so earnest and reverential … must tend to elicit truth, and to foster a spirit of sound religion". [Signed by CD, numerous men of science, and others.]
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2628,” accessed on 11 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2628