Edward Thompson, a friend and neighbour of Robert Bridges, remarked that he knew no one who was so sensitive about human physical suffering. Bridges had trained and worked as a doctor in London hospitals; his comprehension of physical pain influenced his religious views, making him regard ideas of hell as abhorrent human inventions which should be disregarded in the formation of modern religious doctrines incorporating scientific understanding. Bridges referred privately to The Testament of Beauty, the long poem in which he set out his religious beliefs, as 'De Hominum Natura', in tribute to the De rerum natura, Lucretius' sceptical metaphysical picture using the science of his day. In a letter to H.J.C. Grierson, Bridges disparages puns in Shakespeare and Donne in the face of Grierson's attempts to justify them. He took the opportunity to explain why he found Donne himself so uncongenial (The Selected Letters of Robert Bridges, ed. D.E. Stanford, vol. II, 1984, p. 782).
I naturally very much dislike 'humans' who are afraid of Hell. I feel Lucretian on that topic, and I also dislike the Phallic tribe, wherefore I have little sympathy with Donne as a human: and am no doubt severe on him or towards him.
Eliot returned to ponder Donne's particular interest for modern readers in a review of the Nonesuch Love Poems of John Donne ('John Donne', Nation and Athenaeum, 9 June 1923, pp. 331-2).