Goode's suggestion that Pollock's choice of 'The Deliverance of Man' as a chapter title is relevant for Deliverance is both persuasive and suggestive.
In his preface to the first edition of his translation of the Ethic (published in 1883, between The Autobiography (1881) and Deliverance (1885)), White abandons the editorial neutrality he had claimed for himself:
But it is clear that it may be relevant for Rutherford's last words - rather as that long quotation from the preface to the first edition of the Ethic indicates one way in which The Autobiography and Deliverance embody at least one of White's concerns (even obsessions): 'Death has always been a terror to me, and at times, nay generally, religion and philosophy have been altogether unavailing to mitigate the terror in any way' (Autobiography, 2).
Rutherford's last sentences contain what I propose are best read as Spinozan key words ('Hope', 'repose', 'actual joy', Deliverance, 128), and White commends Spinoza for his search for 'a joy continuous and supreme to all eternity' (Pages from a Journal, 33).
And, since 'salvation, or blessedness, or liberty' are very much what Pollock meant by 'The Deliverance of Man', it appears that I can say with Spinoza 'QED'.
And Shapcott extends not only the posthumous life but the range of Rutherford's achievements by supplementing the autobiographical texts with the pieces ('Notes on the Book of Job', 'Principles', 'A Mysterious Portrait') which follow on his conclusion to Deliverance - and by suggesting that there may be more to be discovered.
Since Deliverance has to be read as Shapcott's choice of title, since his own words (especially the preface to the second edition of The Autobiography) suggest that he would not recognize, let alone appreciate, ambiguity, ambivalence, or irony, then it has to look as though he is imposing a single meaning, even verdict, on another man's words, a text with not just ambiguous but conflicting terms of value.
One crucial historical (and therefore secular and political) gap between author and editor was opened up in Deliverance in the form of the only two footnotes that Shapcott appended to Rutherford's life-story.
If this is so, there may be another definition of deliverance that readers are at least invited to consider - even to create.
I would argue that when Hale White came to reissue a one-volume edition, consecutively paged, of The Autobiography and Deliverance in 1888, he realized that Rutherford's own words made the point about his historically representative role redundant (for a hint of this, see n.
17 William Hale White, The Autobiography of Mark Rutherford and Mark Rutherford's Deliverance Edited by his Friend Reuben Shapcott, introd.