Simple Faith. Signed with initials “ECD” (Edward C. Dalziel). Source: Fun (16 June 1880): 246. Click on image to enlarge it.

Exceedingly Evangelical young lady: — “Poor old Jones seems to suffer very much from rheumatism. Though rather late, I think if he were confirmed it might do him good, don’t you Mr. trotter?”
But even the worthy little curate couldn’t subscribe to this.:

This Fun cartoon takes a common satirical view of Evangelical Protestants within and without the Church of England for their oft stated assumptions of moral and spiritual spirituality and their tendency often to speak to the supposed spiritual needs of those in extreme poverty, most famously displayed, perhaps, in examples of sending Bibles rather than blankets and food to victims of floods and other disasters. Dickens and others who criticized Evangelicalism often aimed their criticism as the superciliousness of wealthy women who obtruded into the lives of the poor. The Evangelicals, to be fair, also achieved much good, for they led the fight against slavery in England and abroad and accomplished far more than satiric glances such as this one might lead us to believe.

Why does the “worthy little curate” find himself unable to support the young woman’s notion that Jones should become confirmed in a religious service? Does he believe him unworthy of such a religious ceremony, or, more likely, he does he himself believe how unhelpful and intrusive such a suggestion would be?—  George P. Landow

Last modified 16 February 2016