Hugh Lyon, former Headmaster of Rugby School, talks about God and man and explains that the noble qualities of man, such as love, and vlaor and heroism, prove that he must be the children of God, and God gives life meaning and purpose. In addition, this essay contains an advertisement for a This I Believe LP album.
And now, This I Believe. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Hugh Lyon was, for seventeen years, Headmaster of Rugby. Since his retirement from that post in 1948, he has continued his interest in education through a number of activities. Here now is the creed of Hugh Lyon.
I believe that this world must ultimately make sense; that it is not just a casual jumble of beauty, ugliness, pleasure, and pain, but the expression of an unchanging purpose; which I suppose is another way of saying that I believe in God. This is not always easy, but is it any more difficult than the
alternative philosophies which deny God and yet cling to a conviction that life has some meaning?
To me there is no sure resting place anywhere between the certainty of God and the abyss of Atheism, which is the denial of meaning, the despairing acceptance of fate, the resignation which dismisses life as a piece of nonsense. No, life has sense, and God has His purposes, and purpose implies personality. Man has been accused of making God in his own image. Yet who has implanted in man his impulses of heroism, of sympathy, of love, if not his Creator, who must, by definition, have these qualities to a degree far beyond our understanding?
I believe that if I, at my rare best, can be good and loving, then God must be perfect good and perfect love, love at the heart of all sorrow and of all tragedy, and good beyond all man's cunning and beastliness; his selfish, bitter misuse of life. We who have been brought up as Christians have learned to see in Christ the interpretation of God in human terms. When we were young, we took this for granted. When we encountered doubt, when we thought we'd discover inconsistency--above all when we first came into personal contact with bereavement and death--most of us were, for a time, bewildered and astray, and many still are. Yet if our anchor holds, we can ride out the storms,
the anchor not of blind acceptance or wishful thinking, but of belief in God as revealed in Christ, as the only conception which makes sense of human life. That for me is enough: enough to inspire me to try and live decently; enough to give comfort in distress, and assurance of forgiveness and renewal when I have sinned.
I'm not particularly interested at this stage in what comes after, in the various pictures of eternity which many Christian teachers paint for us. I accept my limitations. I realize that I see only a minute part of the whole, and that only for an instance of time.
Faith, after all, means trust, as well as belief. And I trust God. And if I believe in God, I believe also in man, man with all his potentialities: the lovely innocence of children; the sensitive perception of artist and poet; the fine mind of philosopher and scientist; the strong natural emotions of love and friendship. Above all, man with his tiny share of God's goodness, what Paul calls his "earnest" or "token" of the Holy Spirit. Humanity's best is what all men could always be. Humanity's best is not a product of chance, nor a victim of blind fate. He is a child of God.
That was Hugh Lyon, a British educator, whose beliefs and faith in the potentialities of people have inspired scores of young minds at the famous Rugby School.
This I Believe is now a Columbia LP record album. Two records, with two exciting new ideas, commentary by Edward R. Murrow. First, the beliefs of ten living Americans. Second, the beliefs of ten immortals, including Socrates, Lincoln, Queen Victoria, Will Rogers, Confucius and Ghandi, written by their most famous biographers, spoken by their best portrayers, Helen Hayes, Katharine Cornell, Raymond Massey, Jose Ferrer, and others. See the This I Believe LP album at your record dealer today.