Page:Satires and profanities -microform- (1884).djvu/18

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THE DEVIL IN THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND.

(1876.)

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The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has delivered judgment in the case of Jenkins v. Cook. Many of the highest personages in the realm, including the Archbishop of Canterbury and the great law-lords, were present to give weight and solemnity to the decision, which was read by the Lord Chancellor. It was reported at full length in the Times of the following day, Feb. 17, 1876, the length being two columns of small print.

I must try to indicate briefly the main facts of the case, before hazarding any comments on it. Mr. Jenkins, of Christ Church, Clifton, brought an action against his vicar, the Rev. Flavel S. Cook, for refusing him the Sacrament of the Holy Communion. Mr. Cook justified the refusal on the ground that Mr. Jenkins did not believe in the Devil, all passages relating to the Devil and evil spirits having been excluded from a bulky volume published by Mr. Jenkins, entitled "Selections from the Old and New Testaments." By the evidence of Mrs. Jenkins, who attempted an amicable arrangement, it appears that Mr. Cook said to her: "Let Mr. Jenkins write me a calm letter, and say he believes in the Devil, and I will give him the Sacrament." Whereupon Mr. Jenkins wrote on July 20, 1874: "With regard to my book, 'Selections from the Old and New Testaments,' the parts I have omitted, and which has enabled me [meaning, doubtless, and the omission of which has enabled me] to use the book