Page:Satires and profanities -microform- (1884).djvu/19

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SATIRES AND PROFANITIES.

morning and evening in my family are, in their present generally received sense, quite incompatible with religion or decency (in my opinion). How such ideas have become connected with a book containing everything that is necessary for a man to know, I really cannot say; I can only sincerely regret it." Mr. Cook replied in effect: "Then you cannot be received at the Lord's table in my church." Mr. Jenkins, a regular communicant, and admittedly a man of exemplay and devout life, answered: "Thinking as you do, I do not see what other you could consistently have taken. I shall, nevertheless, come to the Lord's table as usual at 'your' church, which is also mine." Accordingly he presented himself, and was repelled, whereupon he brought an action against Mr. Cook.

The case was first tried in the Court of Arches, and the dean dismissed the suit and condemned Mr. Jenkins in costs, saying, "I am of opinion that the avowed and persistent denial of the existence and personality of the Devil did, according to the law of the Church, as expressed in her canons and rubrics, constitute the promoter [Mr. Jenkins] 'an evil liver, and 'a depraver of the Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments,' in such sense as to warrant the defendant in refusing to administer the Holy Communion to him until he disavowed or withdrew his avowal of the heretical opinion, and that the same consideration applies to the absolute denial by the promoter of the doctrine of the eternity of punishment, and, of course, still more to the denial of all punishment for sin in a future state, which is the legitimate consequence of his deliberate exclusion of the passages of scripture referring to such punishment."

So far, so well; the Church of England was assured of the Devil and the eternal punishment it has always held so dear. But Mr. Jenkins appealed to the highest court, and this has reversed the decision of the lower, admonished Mr. Cook for his conduct in the past, admonished him to refrain from the like offence in future,