Page:Modern Rationalism (1897).djvu/21

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21
RATIONALISM IN THEOLOGY.

opponents. It does not include Ireland, nor some thousands of unimportant parishes in England:—


  { Normal type  . . .  3,100
Broad Church { Exaggerated type (extreme Rationalists)  . . .  300
  { Stagnant type  . . .  700


In 1850, out of the twenty-eight bishops and archbishops thirteen belonged to the High Church, ten to the Broad Church, and five to the Low Church. In 1860 the Broad Church was still more strongly represented on the bench.

In 1850 occurred the famous Gorham controversy, which encouraged the liberty of the liberal thinkers and much discomfited their adversaries. Its final solution is fraught with significance. The Rev. G. C. Gorham had been presented by the Lord Chancellor to the living of Brampford Speke in Devon. The Bishop of Exeter refused to institute him, on the ground that he was unsound in doctrine. He denied that regeneration is in all cases wrought by baptism. The case was brought before the Court of the Arches, the highest ecclesiastical tribunal in England, in 1849, and the Dean decided in favour of the bishop. In the following year the case was carried on to the Privy Council, of which the Queen is a member, and from which there is no appeal. The decision of the Court of the Arches was reversed, and Gorham obtained his institution. On the doctrinal point the Council said that there had always been disputes among the Reformers and among the Anglican divines; and it went on to say that the Court of the Arches had no jurisdiction to settle matters of faith, or to determine what ought, in any particular, to be the doctrine of the Church. "The duty extends only to the consideration of that which is by law established to be the doctrine of the Church of England, upon the true and legal construction of her Articles and formularies." The two archbishops acquiesced in the decision; the Bishop of London refused to do so. At the bewildering and] undignified spectacle, the High Church party again fell into a panic, and numbers, including the two Wilberforces and Manning, seceded to Rome. The liberals continued a steady development.

The Broad Church had now arrived at a second and more acute stage of development, especially with regard to Scripture. The first Broad Church had made antagonism