Distinguished Churchmen and Phases of Church Work/George Bayfield Roberts
|←Henry Elliott Fox||Distinguished Churchmen and Phases of Church Work by
George Bayfield Roberts
|Alfred Robert Tucker→|
THE REV. GEORGE BAYFIELD ROBERTS
Vicar of Elmstone, and Chairman of the Canon Law Committee of the E.C.U.
THE ENGLISH CHURCH UNION AND ITS STORY.
“To be of no Church is dangerous. Religion, of which the rewards are distant, and which is animated only by Faith and Hope, will glide by degrees out of the mind, unless it be invigorated and reimpressed by external ordinances, by stated calls to worship and the salutary influence of example.”—Dr Johnson (Life of Milton).
Childhood's Associations with Musical Celebrities—Musical Bent descends from Father to Son—Inhibited by Mr D'Oyly Carte from conducting Savoy Operas—A Gift from the Emperor of Germany—Active in the Literary World—Effect of the Educational Policy of the Liberal Party on Churchmen—Mid-Century Efforts to restore Catholic Doctrine and Discipline—Break-up of Coalition of Churchmen in Defence of Church Education—E.C.U. established in 1860—Aims and Objects, Growth and Government—No Party Shibboleths—Laity hold more Advanced Views than Clergy—Dr Pusey and the Union—Position of Privy Council on Church Matters—Delivering the Death-blow to Rampant Erastianism—About Catholic Ceremonial and Incense—Athanasian Creed saved at Remarkable Meeting—Why Bishops quit the E.C.U.—Bishop Gore's Case—Bishop of Lincoln remains—Spread of the Movement in America—Important Questions for the Future.
According to Burke's Visitation of Arms (ed. 1854), the Rev. G. Bayfield Roberts is descended, on the male side, from Celynyn, of Llwydiarth, in Powys Baron, who was himself sixth in descent from Aleth, Lord of Dyvet, who was living in the eleventh century. On the female side, Mr Roberts is the grandson of David Mushet, the celebrated metallurgist and ironmaster, whose discovery of the black-band ironstone in 1801, “founded,” to quote Mr Menelaus, President of the Iron and Steel in 1876, “one of our leading British industries, and that was the Scottish Iron Trade.” Mr Mushet's Papers on Iron and Steel, published in 1840, have been described by Mr Samuel Smiles, in his Industrial Biography, as “among the most, valuable contributions on the literature of the iron manufacture that have yet been given to the world. They contain the germs of many inventions and discoveries in iron and steel, some of which were perfected by Mr Mushet himself, while others were adopted and worked out by different experimenters.” The Mushets, who trace their origin to the Montefixos, followed the Conqueror to England, and Reginald de Mushet entertained Richard Cœur de Lion in Sicily. On the female side, Mr Roberts is also related to the Mars and the St Clairs of the Isles.
The subject of this narrative was born in London in 1847, the son of the Rev. George Roberts, successively Vicar of Monmouth, Curate-in-charge of Limehouse, Lecturer at St Andrew's, Holborn, Incumbent of St John's, Cheltenham, and Rector of Beechamwell. In 1849 the father published anonymously a vigorous and eloquent satire on the abuses of the administration of the Episcopal system, under the title of Speculum Episcopi. The book, subsequently acknowledged, passed through two editions, and made a profound sensation. This Rev. George Roberts, a double honours man of Trinity College, Cambridge, was well known in the metropolis as a brilliant preacher, and, associated with Mr Henry Hoare, took an active part in promoting the revival of Convocation. He wrote several of the tracts published by the Metropolitan Church Union to further that object, and contributed to the literature on the Education question. He was also a learned antiquary, and wrote several papers for the Archæologia Cambrensis. For some years he was President of the London Sacred Harmonic Society.
Mr Bayfield Roberts, the son, showed decided musical talents as a child, and his earliest recollections are of Sontag, Sims Reeves, Henry Phillips, Clara Novello, and other eminent singers with whom he was brought in frequent contact during his father's presidentship of the Sacred Harmonic Society. To his friends it is known that he can just recall sitting on Sontag's knee at Exeter Hall, and that he has vivid recollections of one evening, in his father's house, when Clara Novello and Henry Phillips sang for what seemed to him to be hours. By the time he was twelve years of age Mr Roberts acted as accompanist at Cathedral services, playing from the old scores with figured basses, and the old soprano, alto and tenor clefs. He was educated at Cheltenham College, where he won several class prizes, and, in his last year, a prize for an English poem. From 1862 until 1866, when he matriculated at Oriel College, Oxford, Mr Roberts was organist at Cheltenham College, and was third boy in the first class under Dr Barry when he left. He enjoys telling his friends how, as Vicar of Elmstone, he was “inhibited” by Mr D'Oyly Carte from conducting any of the Savoy operas, in consequence of the success of a stage performance of Pinafore in Cheltenham, given by well-known amateurs and professionals, under Mr Roberts's conductorship, for the benefit of the Cheltenham General Hospital. Mr D'Oyly Carte had come down quietly to hear the performance, and not only refused permission for a repetition, but promptly “inhibited” Mr Roberts from conducting any of the Savoy operas, on the ground that such performances would ruin his provincial companies. But it is Mr Edward Lloyd's testimonial which probably most pleases Mr Roberts. For when the great tenor introduced him to Miss Anna Williams, he is said to have accompanied the introduction with the remark—“Listen to everything Mr Roberts says, for he knows.” Of late years Mr Roberts has, unfortunately, had to retire from active musical work for lack of time, but he still occasionally evinces his interest as a musical critic.
In his second term at Oxford Mr Roberts, like Prebendary Webb-Peploe at Cambridge, met with a serious accident in the gymnasium, which necessitated his going down for the next term and brought to a close his reading for honours. Still, as he says, it was some consolation when he went in for a pass, to have his viva voce limited to the first two lines of the first book of Virgil's Æneid, and to be told by the examiners that they greatly regretted he had been prevented from being examined for honours. After leaving Oxford, Mr Roberts postponed his ordination for more than three years, in order that he might study the burning theological questions of the day and be quite sure of his position. In 1874 he was ordained by the present Archbishop of Canterbury, then Bishop of Exeter, to the curacy of Lower Brixham. During his three years residence there he found a football and cricket club, of both of which he was captain, very evangelising agencies. In 1877 he went to Folkestone as senior curate and precentor at the parish church. That recalls an incident. While he was at Folkestone the German battleship Grosser Kurfürst was rammed and sunk by one of her consorts off Folkestone, with enormous loss of life. Mr Roberts buried nearly all of the crew who perished in this terrible disaster, and, as the funerals were attended by the survivors and by the crews of the rest of the squadron, he very thoughtfully read the service in German. A laudatory recognition of his good offices appeared in the Cologne Gazette, which further remarked:—“Mr Roberts on every occasion read the solemn service for the dead in the German language. This fact contributed greatly to the satisfaction of the mourners who were present by rendering the prayers intelligible to them.” In 1878 Mr Roberts accepted Dr Hawtrey's offer of a classical mastership together with the chaplaincy at Aldin House School, Slough, where he was associated with Charles Hawtrey and W. F. Hawtrey, both now of world-wide theatrical fame. It was while at Slough that Mr Roberts received a letter from Count Munster, the German Ambassador, conveying to him the thanks of William the First for his services. This was followed by a handsomely-bound and valuable Bible with an impressed inscription recording that it was given him by “William, Emperor of Germany, in recognition of his services on the occasion of the loss of H.M.S. Grosser Kurfürst.” In 1879 Mr Roberts was presented to the benefice of Elmstone, near Cheltenham.
Four years before this, however, Mr Roberts took the step which was the beginning, so to speak, of the justification for his appearance in this collection—he joined the E.C.U. To-day he is not only the historian of that important organisation, but also one of the most active, as he certainly is one of the most enthusiastic, of its office-bearers. Wherever he goes he carries E.C.U. influence with him, and, as some of his co-members think, it is the influence of the advance guard of the party. At home his connection with the E.C.U. has brought him into prominence as Chairman of the Cheltenham Branch and President of the Gloucestershire (Central) District Union; but his activities have found a wider scope in work for the Union at large. He is one of the twelve clerical members of Council elected by the whole body of the E.C.U., a member of the Press and Publications Committees and Chairman of the Canon Law Committee. In the literary world Mr Roberts is well known as a contributor, on important occasions, to the columns of the Guardian, Church Times, Church Review, etc. As Chairman of the Canon Law Committee, a great deal of work comes to him, chiefly in dealing with correspondence from every part of the empire. Early in the nineties—to be precise, 1892—he was one of three invited speakers on Canon Law at the Folkestone Church Congress. Two years later he published his History of the E.C.U., with preface by Lord Halifax. This work, which not only deals with the annals of the E.C.U., but is also a useful and accurate history of ecclesiastical matters during the latter half of the last century, has passed into a second edition. In 1896 he contributed several articles by request to the Revue Anglo-Romaine, one of which in particular made an excellent impression abroad, and won a high eulogium from the Abbé Duchesne for its tone and solid argument, although it traversed several opinions recently published by the Abbé. Several of his speeches and pamphlets on important occasions have been issued by the Publications Committee.
Mr Roberts vouchsafed the interview on the occasion of one of his flying visits to London and at a time when other engagements pressed heavily. To begin with, it was but natural to discuss the circumstances which called the E.C.U. into existence.
“Whatever people may say against the E.C.U.,” Mr Roberts observed, with a smile, “it must be acknowledged, I should suppose, that its existence as a species is scientifically accurate—quite Darwinian, in fact. It is, indeed, a beautiful and instructive illustration of the great naturalist's law of ‘natural selection,’ and, happily, there are no ‘missing links.’ The ‘primordial form’ is to be found in the Bristol Church Union, created in 1844. Other similar unions were gradually established four or five years later in different parts of the country. The Bristol Church Union was founded in consequence of the alarm felt with regard to the Educational policy of the Liberal party, which threatened to undenominationalise the parish schools. But the restoration of Catholic doctrine and discipline soon became the primary object. All the unions were affiliated with the Bristol Union, and among them were the Metropolitan Union, which particularly laboured for the revival of Convocation, and the London Church Union, which organised the Gorham meetings—after the Gorham judgment in 1850. Things went on thus for some time. Then the failure of Archdeacon Denison in 1853 to secure the rejection of Mr Gladstone from the Parliamentary representation of the University of Oxford broke up the coalition of Churchmen which had hitherto existed in defence of Church Education. The prosecution of Archdeacon Denison, the passing of the Divorce Act, and the decision of the Privy Council in Liddell v. Westerton, led to the incorporation of the existing Church unions with the Church of England Protection Society. That Society originated in a conference of a small number of leading Churchmen, under the chairmanship of Sir Stephen Glynne, Bart., on February 8, 1859. In May 1860 the Society became the English Church Union, with the Hon. Colin Lindsay as first President and the Rev. W. Gresley as Vice-President. Among the members of the Council were some notable Churchmen of the time, such as Mr Bennett, of Frome, the Hon. George Boyle, Mr Robert Brett, Canon Carter, Mr J. D. Chambers (Recorder of Salisbury), the Hon. and Rev. R. Liddell, the Rev. T. W. Perry, the Rev. W. Upton Richards, the Rev. James Skinner, Mr G. E. Street and the Hon. H. Walpole. I am afraid this is a little dry,” added Mr Roberts, “but then the most important facts, like the best humour, are often very dry.”
“In what respect do the principles of the E.C.U. differ from those of the older Society—the Church Protection Society?”
“Substantially, not at all. The objects of the older Society were—‘(1) In general, so to promote the interests of religion as to be, by God's help, a lasting witness in the land for the advancement of His glory and the good of His Church; (2) To afford counsel and protection to all persons, lay or clerical, suffering under unjust aggression or hindrance in spiritual matters; (3) To advance and enforce the doctrine and discipline of the Church.’ Such, you understand, were the principles of the Church Protection Society. But when, in 1860, that Society was transformed into the E.C.U. the third principle was recast and placed first, in these terms:—‘To defend and maintain unimpaired the doctrine and discipline of the Church of England.’ Principle No. 1 took the place of No. 3, and No. 2 remained unaltered.”
“And what has been the growth of the E.C.U., measured by periods of ten years?”
“Well, in 1860—the first year—the number on the books was 205; in 1870, 7895—the result of steady growth throughout the ten years; in 1880, 17,736; in 1890, 30,861; in 1900, nearly 40,000. As to growth in other ways, I may tell you that under the original constitution the Council, in addition to ex-officio members and delegates from local branches, consisted of twenty-four members, half in Holy Orders and half laymen, annually elected. The system of delegates has been very largely developed by the institution in 1865 of District Unions, which embrace local branches for members within their respective areas, and send up two delegates each to the Council. One striking feature of the organisation of the E.C.U. is that it is governed by an aristocracy which derives its authority from the democracy. Let me make that point clear.
“The Union is governed by a Council consisting (besides Episcopal Vice-Presidents) of elected Vice-Presidents (of whom not less than half must be laymen), twenty-four members (half clerical and half lay), the Presidents and delegates of District Unions and certain branches, and certain ex-officio officers. The President, all the elected Vice-Presidents, four clerical and four lay members of the ‘Twenty-four,’ the Treasurer, Proctor, and Solicitor, retire annually. The Council nominates to the vacancies, but any members of the Union may nominate one member instead of the candidate nominated by the Council. The election rests with the whole body of members.” “What are the conditions of membership?”
“No party shibboleths are required. The only condition of membership is that a person shall observe the rubric of the Prayer-Book, which requires members of the Church of England to communicate three times a year. Of course, he must also accept the three principles of the society which I have already mentioned.”
“Under this organisation and these rules, do your members work in harmony?”
“Oh, yes. No doubt in speeches and letters you come across divergent views—notably as regards Education and Church Reform. But it is like the discordant canons in the Decretum. The discordancy is apparent, not real; and when we have to act, we act with a wonderful amount of unanimity. By the way, it is a little amusing at the present time to remember that in its earlier days the E.C.U. was gravely divided as to whether loyal Churchmen could refuse to accept the decisions of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.”
“What about the lay members of the Union?”
“Well, I go about into all parts of England, speaking at meetings on behalf of the E.C.U., and one fact has been strongly impressed upon me, viz., that the laity as a body are far more advanced in their views than the clergy.”
“You have mentioned the principles which are necessarily accepted by members. Now, will you point to any special service rendered by your organisation to the Church?”
“The E.C.U. I look upon as a great educational power in the Church. The increase in numbers has been uniformly gradual, except at some particular crisis, as, for instance, at the time of the trial of the Bishop of Lincoln, when a large number of persons joined, perhaps more out of sympathy with the Bishop than because they were thorough-going advocates of the principles of the E.C.U. Of those who joined about that time a certain proportion afterwards withdrew. Now I will tell you how the E.C.U. is an educational power. Besides the annual and ordinary meetings of the Union, meetings, more or less frequent, are held every year by the District Unions and the local branches. These meetings are usually open to the public; members bring friends, and outsiders sometimes come to hear what is to be said. Many may not be convinced of the righteousness of our cause at once, but they generally come again, and after such a process of education they eventually come forward and join the Union. That is not so in all cases, of course. I might further add that the editors of newspapers are always ready to report our meetings, the result often being a controversy in the local press, attended with an influx of new members. At any rate, public controversy enables us to educate those who have not made up their minds. Then outside the E.C.U. there 134 DISTINGUISHED CHURCHMEN
exists a large number of Churchmen high, rather high, moderately high and highly moderate who sympathise generally with the objects of the E.C.U., but are far too respectable to commit themselves by becoming members of a society upon which the Episcopal Bench from time to time frowns. In gathering materials for my History of the E.C.U., I found that about 10 per cent, of those who join in any one given year resign sooner or later ; but it may be said with assurance that never at any time are more than i or at the very outside 2 per cent, of the members out of touch with the whole body. Of course there have been occasions when a strongly-marked differ ence of opinion has arisen. For instance, when the Burials Bill became a Government measure, the Council was severely criticised for not taking energetic action. I am afraid I was the prime mover. Again, in the controversy about Lux Mundi, which led to Archdeacon Denison s re tirement from the Union, there were certainly burnings of heart. But on both occasions the number of withdrawals was singularly small."
" I believe the E.C.U. has nothing to do with politics ?"
" No, indeed. Just as, by virtue of its broad constitution, Churchmen of every shade of opinion among those commonly called High Churchmen, belong to the Union, so every political school in England is represented both on the Council and
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among members. You will no doubt be interested to know that among others who belonged to the E.C.U. were John Keble and Dr Pusey."
" But did not Dr Pusey publicly disapprove of the ritualism which was encouraged and supported by the E.C.U. ?"
" No doubt that statement has been made, and no doubt at one time Dr Pusey had fears with regard to ritual. But when he was elected in 1866, he took the opportunity of making an explanation. Dr Pusey stated that his slowness in joining was not owing to any suspicion of the E.C.U. He had been forced to sever his connection with a previous society, because it was somewhat revolutionary. He therefore had waited until he had seen the E.C.U. tried. The prudence and wisdom of the Chairman/ he said, and the proceedings of the Council have entirely satisfied me upon that head, and I am most thankful to join your association. Dr Pusey also explained that the fears he had previously entertained were chiefly lest the ex ternals might be taken at the expense of the internals ; lest the whole movement should become superficial ; lest the clergy should model the ser vices according to their own will. Now, however, he had * no fear. Difficulties had been removed, and * what we (the Tractarians) then taught in words is now being taught in acts.
" How would you meet the charge of lawless ness so often brought against the E.C.U. ? "
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" Oh ! no doubt we are a lawless society, as law less as what shall I say ? well, as lawless as John Hampden. Was there ever a more lawless man ? There was a man flouting the King s judges, and actually declaring their interpretation of the law to be erroneous. He challenged neither their legal competency nor their legal capacity. He merely refused to accept their interpretation of the law. To-day John Hampden is recognised to have been right, and the judges wrong. He is a venerated patriot who, by his lawlessness, gave the death-blow to arbitrary taxation. I am afraid, though, that we are not quite as lawless as John Hampden. For he admitted the competency of the Court, whereas we denied the competency of the Privy Council on canonical, historical and constitutional grounds, and the evidence laid before the Ecclesiastical Courts Commission (1883) thoroughly vindicated our position. We smashed the Privy Council, and there is an end of it."
" But what about disobedience to the Bishops? " " Well, in those days the Bishops acted merely as the bailiffs of the Privy Council. As regards the Lambeth Opinions, the so-called Court had no canonical competency. The paragraph in the Prayer- Book referred to other matters, and even so, its provisions were not observed, whilst the conclu sions arrived at were contrariant to the general law of the Church in both cases, and to the specific law of the Prayer- Book in one case. Apart from
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that, it is monstrous for a Metropolitan to claim to sit as a Court of first instance, and a Court of Final Appeal, both rolled into one. The one-man system is absolutely uncanonical, and simply a Papal corruption. The only Metropolitans who have exercised such powers are those who were Papal legates. I thought we got rid of Popery in the six teenth century, but I confess I have my doubts. It is ultra vires for individual Bishops to demand obedi ence to these Opinions, and if they do well, we shall see."
" But what of the other charge brought against the E.C.U., viz., that of being a persecuting society ? "
" No doubt the charge has been made, but it is mere bluff on the part of the Church Association. It is the broken reed on which they lean when they are accused of that offence. The facts of the stock case do not at all bear out the charge. It is absolutely false that the Union offered ^500 to the Archbishop of York (Dr Thomson) to prosecute the Rev. C. Voysey. It is true that the Union offered ^500 to His Grace, but all the facts of the case, without which a complete refutation of the charge is impossible, cannot be made public at pre sent. When they are, some persons will be astonished. Two facts, however, need to be re membered. The first is that no question of ritual was involved. Mr Voysey had openly denied the Divinity of our Lord. To talk of persecution in
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such a case appears to me to be absurd. The second fact is that this sum of money was not offered to the Archbishop of York in order to induce him to prosecute Mr Voysey. It was known known with absolute certainty that the Archbishop of York was about to take proceedings. Representations had been made to the Council that these proceedings would involve His Grace in very heavy expenses. Upon that representation the E.G. U. proposed to the Church Association that each society should contribute ^500, not to initi ate a prosecution, but in order to help the Archbishop of York to meet the very heavy ex penses which would be incurred by him, particularly if, after the proceedings canonically taken by His Grace in his consistory court, Mr Voysey like Dr Colenso should appeal to the secular tribunal of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. The Church Association refused to co-operate with the E.C.U., and the latter then made the offer to the Archbishop of York, which His Grace felt compelled to decline, although he characterised it as a liberal proposal.
" What evidence can be adduced in proof of the E.C.U. s past achievements ?"
" Well, in the first place, I think the Union has dealt a death-blow to that rampant Erastianism which has been so harmful to the Church of England in the past. It has taught Churchmen generally that the Privy Council has no authority
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over the Church in purely spiritual matters. It has, in fact, utterly discredited the reputation of the Privy Council. Then, again, although the energetic action taken by the Union at the time of the passing of the Clergy Discipline (Immorality) Bill was not successful in its immediate object, yet it has been universally recognised that the principle for which the Union contended will be acted upon in future, viz., that in matters affecting the Church canonical action must precede Parlia mentary legislation. Further, there can be no doubt that the E.C.U. has leavened the whole Church. The extreme men of to-day are the moderate men of to-morrow. Or, put it thus as the skirmishers and firing line advance, the moderate supports follow, and occupy the ridges we have carried. They express themselves shocked at our rashness and temerity, but they follow close on our heels, while in the rear, far away, you see the Evangelicals coming up at the double.
"The E.C.U. has also won for the Church a recognition by those in authority of its right to practise certain Catholic ceremonial, such as the eastward position, lighted candles during divine service, Eucharistic vestments, the mixed chalice, and wafer-bread."
"But what about incense?"
11 Oh ! that will come in time. The Opinions of the Archbishops have been pulverised by lawyers no less than by canonists. Our victories on the
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other five points were won by the deprivation and imprisonment of men who stuck to principle. The liturgical use of incense will be vindicated and won in the same way. The surest omen of victory is that what one generation of Bishops solemnly condemns the next heartily approves. Why, some of the present Bishops actually practise what their predecessors denounced."
" You have had some remarkable meetings under the auspices of the Union. Can you recall the most important ? "
" There was, I remember, a great public meet ing, practically organised by the E.C.U., in St James Hall, Piccadilly, in January 1873, m defence of the Athanasian Creed. Among those who served on the committee were Dr Pusey, the Dean of Ripon (Dr M Neill), Charles Kingsley, Canon Liddon and Archdeacon Denison. The meeting was for men only, and over 3000 were present. Indeed, so large was the attendance, that an overflow meeting had to be held in the Hanover Square Rooms, presided over by the Marquis of Bath, supported by Earl Beauchamp, Earl Nelson, Canon Gregory, and others. The Duke of Marl- borough, owing to illness, was unable to preside at the principal meeting, and his place was taken by Mr J. G. Hubbard, M.P. It is worth men tioning that the Marquis of Salisbury was the mover of the second resolution, which was to the effect that the meeting " earnestly deprecated, as
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fraught with danger to the preservation of Christian truth throughout the world, any mutilation of the Athanasian Creed, or any alterations of its status in the Book of Common Prayer." That meeting had great weight with the authorities ; but it may be said to have had more weight with public opinion. Humanly speaking, it saved the Athanasian Creed. Then there was another most important and influential meeting at the Freemasons Tavern, in 1883, in opposition to the Wife s Sister Marriage Bill. Earl Beauchamp presided, and among the speakers were Lord Shaftesbury, the Bishop of Emmaus (representing His Eminence Cardinal Manning, who had thought of attending the meeting) and Professor Milligan, late Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland."
"Yes. The great meeting of delegates from the branches and District Unions, at the Cannon Street Hotel, on February 28, 1899, after the remarkable Corporate Communion at St Paul s Cathedral, when over 1000 persons were present, and nearly 700 made their Communion. The Declaration, addressed to the Queen, and adopted by the meeting, was a vindication of the E.C.U. from public accusations of lawlessness and dis loyalty, and a firm denial of the right of the Crown, or of Parliament, to determine the doctrine, the discipline, and the ceremonial of the Church of England. I think we nailed the colours pretty
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firmly to the mast on that occasion. The secular Press, for the most part, lost its head through sheer ignorance of the subject matters at issue and the professedly Protestant Press very happily howled itself hoarse, and then incon tinently relapsed into its normal mental con dition I speak not uncharitably, but truthfully of ignorant amazement."
" Any more ? "
" Well, I may add just one more. I refer to the Congress Meeting, in St James s Hall, on the Monday night (October 9, 1899) before the opening of the Church Congress. The subject for discussion was The Lambeth Opinion, and its bearing on the Liberties and Present Needs of the Church of England. It was the largest meet ing ever organised by the E.C. U. The two halls were crammed. Some 7000 members and their friends endeavoured to find their way in, whilst there was only accommodation for half the number. The Duke of Newcastle and other members of Council were unable to reach the doors. The meeting was extraordinarily enthusi astic and applauded point after point in Lord Halifax s address. Among many points I would mention his expression of the sense of betrayal produced by the Archbishops condemnation of the liturgical use of incense, not on the ground of any prohibition in the Prayer- Book, but by reading into the Prayer- Book of 1662 a clause of an Act of
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Parliament more than 300 years old. Or, the affirmation that, had it been known that the ques tion was to be decided on such grounds and not on canonical principles, no one would have argued the question at Lambeth. Or, the assertion that if the Church of England is really bound to-day by such an interpretation of such an Act of Parlia ment as that embodied in the Archbishops opinion, there is only one thing for her to do, and that is to free herself from bonds which are incompatible with the new life which is circulating in her veins. Or, once more, the plain statement that the present agitation, and the attitude of the Episcopate with regard to it, is forcing upon us the question of the relation of the Anglican communion to the rest of the Catholic Church, and that Catholic doctrine and ritual is not to be brought to the bar of what is supposed to be Anglican teaching and practice, but Anglican teaching and practice is to be judged by, and harmonised with, the doctrine and practice of the Catholic Church. You see, we know our mind, and Lord Halifax has the knack of making that mind perfectly clear."
" Do you care to say anything about the Bishops and the severance of their connection with the E.C.U. ? For instance, you saw the statement in the press recently announcing Canon Gore s resignation after his nomination to the Bishopric of Worcester ? What do you say about Canon Gore s case ? "
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11 1 considered Dr Gore s resignation to be the best thing that could have happened, both for him and the E.C.U. It would seem to be an exceed ingly delicate and difficult position for a Bishop to be a member (and, as a Bishop, Vice- President) of a society of which he might one day have to be directly or indirectly the judge."
" But is it not a fact that the Bishop of Lincoln is still a member of the E.C.U. ?"
"Yes; but, in my humble judgment, the same remark would apply to him as well as to Dr Gore. Other of our English Bishops have been members of the E.C.U., but none of them, I think, were members at the time of their consecration. I believe that Dr Gore and the Bishop of Lincoln are the only two prelates who were members of the Union when Bishoprics were offered to them, but some twenty-seven Bishops Scottish, Colonial, Missionary and retired are amongst our Vice- Presidents. I should like to add that I intensely admire the Bishop of Lincoln s pluck in sticking to the Union."
"Are you at liberty to tell me anything about the recent visit to America of the Duke of New castle, the Rev. Henry Wilson and Mr Clifton K el way ? "
"Oh, yes; but they acted as private persons, not officially. Mr Harry Wilson told me that they were very much struck with the growth of Catholicity in America, especially considering that
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the movement was practically begun less than twenty-five years ago by Dr Mortimer and Father Maturin. In the Western States the Low Church party has been practically obliterated. The Bishop of Fond-du-Lac said at a meeting that the contest of Catholics was not now with the Low Church, because they have practically ceased to exist, but with the Broad Church. Another thing which struck the visitors was the splendour of the churches and the gorgeousness of the ceremonial, This is the more remarkable as there are no endowments and all the expenses have to be paid by the various congregations. The Church in America is, indeed, a comparatively small body, but Mr Harry Wilson assured me that it has a general influence exceeding the actual proportion of its members, who are also rapidly increasing."
" What do you consider the future work of the Church Union to be?"
" I think the great work which lies before the E.C.U. in the future is to secure the recognition by Churchmen as a whole of the fact that there is no such thing as an independent Church of England. What we have to teach Churchmen is, that the Church of England is in reality only two provinces of that One Catholic Church, in which we daily profess our belief in the Creed. That is to say, that while in matters of discipline these two provinces have the undoubted right to
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make what may be called bye-laws for them selves, yet they cannot repeal either directly, or by implication, any ceremonial which has ecumenical authority, whether by specific enact ment or by custom which has the force of law. As regards matters of doctrine, the two pro vinces, as being integral parts of the One Catholic Church/ cannot even synodically pro pound any dogma contrary to the teaching of the One Catholic Church, or condemn any doctrine held to be de fide by the whole Church. This less is really not greater than the greater ! "
"Then what have you to say as to the claim which has been made that the Provincial Synods are the final Court of Appeal in matters of dogma ? "
"What I have to say is this. For local pur poses, no doubt, these Synods are, in a sense, the final Court of Appeal. But, then, by the very constitution of the Church, they are bound to speak only in harmony with the teaching of the One Episcopate throughout the whole world. No Provincial Synod has any inherent authority of its own. It cannot have its own particular doctrine and its own particular discipline in opposition to the common doctrine and discipline of the One Church, of which it is only a portion. Its function is not to decide on what is the Faith, but to safeguard and declare the Faith as taught
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by the One Episcopate of the One Church. When once you have passed beyond those limits, you have arrived at the confines of heresy. The private interpretation of Scripture by a provincial Synod seems to me to differ only in degree from the claim of the individual to interpret for himself. Both processes are Protestant to the core. What differentiates a sect from the Catholic Church is that the sect has its own system, its own doctrine, its own discipline, its own absolute independence. If, then, the Church of England has its own peculiar doctrine and discipline, it is a sect it is not the Catholic Church in England. The conflict of this century will rage round this point, and the question will have to be settled once for all whether these two provinces of Can terbury and York are provinces of the Catholic Church, and therefore subject to its authority and deriving their authority from it, or whether they are independent and owe no obedience to the voice of the living Church. We have to teach Churchmen that the English Church is not an independent member in a confusion of inco herently waving arms and legs, attached in some mysterious and inexplicable fashion to an inert Primitive Church which became fossilised, accord ing to the Archbishop, about 300 years from the Apostolic times, or according to the authority of a Reformation Act of Parliament, some 500 years or more later. We have to teach men
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that the Church is one body a living organism, a living authority, a living teacher. We have to teach the Oneness of the Church, as the Kingdom of Christ under the delegated govern ment of His Vice-gerents, the Episcopate of the whole Catholic Church, with all the consequences which flow from the acceptance of that funda mental truth. The Establishment may have to go in the process. Probably it will. But, as Lord Halifax once said, There are some things worse than Disestablishment. The Bishops, I may add, when they are consecrated, are con secrated, not Bishops of the Church of England, but, as anyone may see who will take the trouble to look in the Ordinal, Bishops of the Church of God. The very title page of the Prayer- Book also speaks of the sacraments and other rites and ceremonies of The Church, according to the use of the Church of England. " :
" Do you consider that your views represent the views of the E.C.U.?"
"Of course, I cannot speak for the Union as such. No one can. But I should be greatly surprised if the Union ever repudiated the main features of the views I have expressed. At any rate, Lord Halifax s speeches of late have laid very great stress indeed upon the ecumenical authority of the whole Church. In particular, he has insisted that the Church of England is bound in matters of Faith by whatever can
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appeal to the sanction and authority of the whole Church, and in matters of ceremonial by every laudable practice of the whole Catholic Church of Christ. I have never heard any dissent expressed from those views."