Highlights from British publications since the 1800s
I well remember that the Rev Dr Chalmers led the schism - the great disruption - in the Church Of Scotland against state interference, and established what then became known and most highly respected as The Free Church Of Scotland (not the same as that small section today which retains that name and is largely confined to the highlands. The principal of that Bible training institute in Glasgow - which I mention in my Young Spiritual Tramp was for a period moderator of the latter) I find it truly amazing that whereas Wesley the founder of Methodism; Chalmers largely the founder of The Free Church Of Scotland; and Booth the founder of the Salvation Army, were all later led to commend and uphold a humane and caring concern for God's animal kingdom, that their followers just couldn't care less! Of more recent times - based still in the Hendon region of London - is an American denomination known as The Pillar Of Fire. They live as a commune, following Wesley's teaching, and in the 1950s were strong vegetarians; but today they have dwindled and when I met the British leader there a few years back, I mentioned vegetarianism and - not knowing my views - he speedily began to infer that such nonsensical stipulations no longer prevailed! How sad! Keep up the wonderful work, John.
Certainly shall, James!Whether any of us will ever match your tenacity in the face of constant disenchantment is another matter but whatever we do to promote ethical religious values is always worthwhile in itself. At least there are chinks of light along the way and the occasional burst of sunshine which tends to suggest that 'spiritual literacy' towards animal plight is not completely lacking amongst the churches. It remains for future generations of Christians to reveal if their faith can buck the trend of centuries...
Deeply appreciate that John! 'Never weary in well doing, for' - as St Paul says - 'we will reap the fruits of our labours if we faint not.'