Sara Coleridge pp 111-127 | Cite as


Part of the Nineteenth-Century Major Lives and Letters book series (19CMLL)


One of the most prominent complaints registered against Sara Coleridge’s father centered on the elevated status he gave to Reason in his religious system.’ William Palmer accused STC of subverting the faith by founding Christianity on “philosophical argument … a mere rope of sand” rather than the sure, inspired words of the Bible (“Tendencies” 422). When Sara’s new edition of Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit appeared in 1849, Reason once again attracted the reviewers’ attention:

We do not read that he was guided by God’s Holy Scripture, or by the instructions of God’s Church. His system was formed by Reason, by philosophy, which was supposed to be divinely guided… He will acknowledge that Scripture contains divine truth, because his inward light or reason tells him so; but he will not admit that Scripture is infallible—that is to say, he holds that it is not the Word of God in any other sense than the persuasions of each individual’s mind are the word of God. He will not admit that the individual judgment or reason is bound to submit to scriptural authority. (“Review” 254, 256)


Religious System Divine Truth Chapter Division Scriptural Authority Inspire Word 
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© Jeffrey W. Barbeau 2014

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