In the first of a series, HumanistLife brings you a great essay from the public domain.
Born Mary Ann Evans, George Eliot was a remarkable person. Not only did she pen brilliant novels such as Middlemarch, she was a fierce and formidable essayist.
Even in her personal life, she defied the oppressive Victorian morality of her day to live with her married boyfriend, the philosopher and critic George Henry Lewes.
Today Eliot is buried in Highgate Cemetery in an area reserved for agnostics and dissenters. Since her death, many great men and women have been inspired by the excoriating wit of her essays; the influence of her non-fiction is especially evident in writers like Christopher Hitchens.
The below essay is called ‘Evangelical Teaching: Dr. Cumming’, a scathing attack on the intellectual dishonesty of the clergyman Rev. John Cumming, and in which Eliot expresses in clear and beautiful language her own humanist perspective.
Beware only one thing: she writes in long paragraphs.