Christopher Howse: Why Gladstone had God up his sleeve

Posted by Kendall Harmon

William Gladstone was a very peculiar man indeed, and not just for meeting prostitutes to "rescue" in the streets near his house.

His astonishing energy - 63 years in parliament, 11 budgets, four times prime minister - was directed chiefly towards realising God's purposes, as he saw them. Or, as Henry Labouchere, put it: "I don't object to Gladstone always having the ace of trumps up his sleeve, but merely to his belief that the Almighty put it there."

Much of what we think we know of WE Gladstone (1809-98) derives from the first, three-volume biography of him by John Morley. But Morley was an odd choice for biographer, since he was a "freethinking" atheist, and he agreed to the Gladstone family's stipulation that he should refrain from treating Gladstone's religion in any depth. It was like leaving Nazism out of a life of Hitler.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted November 25, 2007 at 4:27 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]
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