Charles Dickens wrote one of the world’s most famous Christmas works “Christmas Carol”. And although this is a classic work still widely read and study (even many families have a holiday tradition to do it together), but few people know, did the author himself in his story. This story is about the deep faith of Charles Dickens.
The transformation of the miser Ebenezer Scrooge to a generous philanthropist finds an echo in the hearts of both children and adults. All the performances and the film adaptation based on the classic novel by Charles Dickens “a Christmas Carol”. The legendary English writer of the nineteenth century loved this holiday and even said: “I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to celebrate it throughout the year.”
Scientist and writer Dr. Gary College has long been studying the life and work of Dickens. This native of Akron, Ohio, even studied in the UK, receiving a doctorate from the prestigious St. Andrews University for the study of the faith of Dickens.
“Whatever of Dickens we read, it is dominated by the idea of “true Christianity,” — says the researcher. — The term “true Christianity” Dickens repeatedly uses in his letters and writings. In its representation of “true Christianity” means the imitation of Jesus.”
In the course of their research, the College discovered that Dickens was a Christian and his faith in Jesus Christ runs through all his work is in various plots and characters.
He read us a letter from Dickens to one of his critics: “All my strongest examples are taken from the New Testament. All the evils of society are shown as departures from its spirit. All my Goodies — people are humble, generous and faithful, ready to forgive again and again. I clearly show them as disciples of the Founder of our religion.”
For example, according to the College, “Christmas song in prose” addressed to Scrooge Marley caution about what it means to truly live, reflects the importance of the imitation of Christ.
“Taking care of people, help your fellow man, the need to treat others how you want to do with you — following this “Golden rule” Dickens believed it absolutely necessary”, — says Gary College.
According to the College, the most convincing evidence of the Christian faith of Charles Dickens is this little known work which he wrote at the peak of his career for three years for their children. It is entitled “Life of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
“Critics are right: this is not an outstanding work, but it is… It sheds a bright light on the faith of Dickens, because he was the only editor of this work,” he says.
Gary College called “Life of our Lord Jesus Christ,” “gospel harmony”, because the author combines the four Gospels into one narrative. In this book, Dickens described the life of Christ for the next generation — their children.
“My dear children, I am eager to learn something about the history of Jesus Christ, because everyone should know about It” — quoted line of the message Dickens Gary College.
Gospel harmony was very popular in the XIX century. A normal Christian family that time had a home at least two books: a Bible and a gospel harmony.
“Dickens didn’t want to commit to someone else the spiritual education of their children. He was not able to do so. Therefore, this book must have been in the family Dickens a very important tool of religious education and instruction in the Christian spirit,” continues the researcher.
According to College, very few people know about this side of Dickens or his Christian faith. Literary critics found his beliefs are slight and superficial, and teachers followed their example. Even the College itself was criticized when he presented his thesis at the University.
“I was arrogant enough to assume that this idol of British literature was a believer. I don’t know how else to explain such hostility, but that “men loved darkness rather than light,” he says.
In past years, it is not always denied. Some literary critics have discussed the faith of Dickens. To shed more light on the Christian beliefs of one of the greatest writers in the history of the College, as he claims, by the will of God, wrote this book. It’s called “God and Charles Dickens. Restoring the Christian voice of a classic”. The book was published in 2012, when we celebrated the 200th birthday of Dickens.
“It was so ordained and arranged by God. I quite easily managed to find a publisher, although this is not always the case. Nice to know that everything is the work of the spirit of God and it’s not your project,” continues Gary College.
He dedicates the book to his grandchildren, writing: “Let each one of you, like Dickens, will find joy in our Saviour”.