Christ or nothing

Malcolm Muggeridge

In 1968, Malcolm Muggeridge resigned in protest as Rector of Edinburgh University because of the university’s relaxation of its policy on drug use by students. His resignation speech – delivered from the pulpit of St Giles Catherdral in a service marking the beginning of the university term in January 1968 – includes the following:

“Speaking for myself there is practically nothing that you could do in a mood of rebellion against our impoverished way of life for which I should not feel some degree of sympathy. But how infinitely sad, how macabre that the form of your rebellion should be a demand for drugs, for the most tenth-rate sort of self-indulgence ever known in history. All is prepared for a release of new life. We await great works of art, the spirit of adventure and courage, and what do we get from you? Self-centered folly. You are on a crazy slope. For myself, I always come back to the King, to Jesus, to the Christian notion that all our efforts to make ourselves happy will fail, but that sacrifice for others will never fail. A man must become a new man, or he is no man. Or so at least I have concluded, having failed to find in past experience and present dilemmas any alternative proposition. As far as I am concerned, it is Christ or nothing. Goodbye and God bless you.”


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