Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 13 July 5, 1939
Mr. Mitchell's Letter
Mr. Mitchell's Letter
As quite a large part of Mr. Mitchell's case against "Salient" was based upon the non-publication of two letters he wrote to that paper, and as his arguments upon that score were said to be invalid because (a) one of the letters was "irrelevant to the point at issue, and (b) two other letters in opposition to the article in question were published." "Salient" is publishing this letter so that readers may judge for themselves as to its relevancy. It might first be pointed out that, as readers may verify for themselves, only one reply, that of Mr. Linton, was published.
Dear "Salient." The report, written by H.W.G., of the Rev. J. A. Linton's recent address to the S.C.M., and more especially the third paragraph of Mr. Linton's reply, might well leave the impression on some of your readers that all Christians repudiate the idea that reason can lead man to God. I should therefore like to point out that this is certainly not true of Catholics.
The Catholic holds. It is true, that reason usually cannot take man the whole way to God. The gift of Faith, which comes from God alone, is also necessary. In fact, it often happens that a man is fully convinced by reason of the justice of the claims of Christianity, and yet cannot bring himself to enter the Christian Church, purely for want of this supernatural gift of Faith.
Nevertheless, Catholics know that their act of Faith is in no way in conflict with reason. Reason shows (vide St. Thomas Aquinas or his more modern exponents) that there must be a God, and only One; reason shows from history that the Man Jesus Christ proved Himself by His miracles, and above all by His Resurrection, to be God, and left behind a body of teaching which has been infallibly preserved by His Living Church to the present day and will be preserved for all eternity. All these facts are established by history and reason: and reason will inevitably lead us to them, If we can only shake ourselves free of the mass of irrational prejudice with which we are surrounded.
I hope I have shown, then, that Catholics emphatically reject H.W.G.'s contention, with which he says the Rev. Mr. Linton is in agreement, that "Religious belief is utterly unscientific and logically groundless."
W. S. Mitchell.
P.S.—Should you be unable to publish this letter, I should be obliged if you would let me know. A note in the rack would be sufficient.—W.S.M.
No note was received.