not degraded and disfranchised, as it has been by bis alleged followers for ages past. Not only in this respect, as it seems to me, would the adoption of such a word bring science and philosophy into harmony with the true religion of Christ and nature, but it would also compel the beginning of a change in organized Christianity that would eventually bring it into complete harmony with them.
Whether the best word is metagnostic, metanostic, metagnosticism, or metanosticism, or some other form derivable directly or more remotely from the root nous, mind, is to me a question of minor importance. I would select that which, on the whole, is the truest and best, for the purpose of bringing about the desired reconciliation of religious with other forms of truth, even if it were necessary to manufacture the form for the occasion; and this, it seems to me, we are at liberty to do, since, strange as it may seem, while we have in our language and in frequent use all the other words derived from the kindred Greek words, the most important words of all, and the supreme words of the religion of the English race (metanoeite and metanoia), have never, apparently, up to this time, been transferred to or adopted into the English language.
The suggestion is based upon the proposition that the words to be adopted do and shall express, cover, or include the affirmative side of the terms agnostic and agnosticism. The selection of the proper forms I leave entirely to you, in co-operation with Prof. Huxley, if you approve the suggestion and think the matter worthy your and his attention.
Certainly it must, it seems to me, be considered a desirable thing to find words of affirmative import to designate the affirmative meaning hidden under the terms in present use, since it must seemingly tend to foreclose further argument and confusion on that branch of the subject.
I inclose copies of these papers to be addressed and forwarded to Prof. Huxley, if that course meets your approval.
My own plan would be, on receipt of the approval of yourself and Prof. Huxley, to bring the matter before the public, through our Association, at one of the meetings of the series now well commenced for the season, through The Popular Science Monthly, and by other means within my present reach. I am confident that recognition in the Century Dictionary would follow, and that a great impulse would be given to the new philosophy, to what would practically be a new or reformed Christian religion, m harmony with human intelligence and progress, with the express word and thought of the founder of Christianity, and calculated to combine them in the interests of the world and the race.
Very respectfully yours, James A. Skilton.