Wednesday, December 06, 2006

D. R. Davies VIII: Back to College

In October of 1912, Davies began a course at United College, Bradford, preparing for the Edinburgh University entrance examinations, with a view to entering the Congregational Ministry. His intention was to take the College's Arts course. As at Manchester, he found the course dull, but he had the warning of Manchester, and stuck the course.

Even so, there was friction. Davies admitted to a settled dislike of Hebrew, Old Testament and other subjects, based on his dislike of the tutor, Dr. Archibald Duff. His first Hebrew exam netted him exactly no marks, a result serious enough to lose Davies £10 of his scholarship and the threat of dismissal unless he achieved over sixty percent in his next exam. Even so, he only did the minimum in the areas taught by Professor Duff, with the result that he was dangerously ignorant in important areas.

He went to Edinburgh, only to have his course cut short by a nervous breakdown, caused by long hours of work, frequent preaching engagements, and the need to work underground during vacations.

After consultation with the Principal, it was decided that Davies would follow the theological course, based in Bradford. In preparation for this, he was appointed student pastor at Horton Bank Top Congregational Church, just outside Bradford. There he could exercise a settled ministry and continue his studies in settled peace.

It was the summer of 1914, and soon everything was to change. The war was to break in on the easy theological liberalism that D. R. Davies had picked up in his two years at Bradford.

And that is such a serious topic that it must wait until the next time, God willing.



Post a Comment

<< Home