Project Canterbury

Law-breakers in the Church: A Reprint of Letters Appearing in the "Singapore Free Press" together with Leading Articles on the Subject, June 13th-July 4th, 1899.

Singapore: Printed at the American Mission Press, 1899.

This correspondence has been most interesting, and should be seen by even a larger public than the Singapore Free Press can reach.


Johore, July, 1899.

Colonial Money and the Church.
(June 13, 1899)

A letter appearing in to-day’s issue is of material interest not only to members of the Protestant Church of England as by law established, but to all concerned in the proper expenditure of Colonial funds on the ostensible objects for which these are voted; that is to say, to the public at large. There are, as is well-known, certain secret societies within the Church of England whose members are either clergymen, or clergymen and laymen proselytised to the views of these societies, the chief object of which societies appears to be to effect a gradual yet cardinal change in the doctrines of the Church, accompanied by certain changes in ritual, which are ostensible aesthetic, and are of intent doctrinal. One of these secret societies is named the “Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament,” which is alleged to have as its special object the teaching of the [1/2] doctrine of the “Real Presence” in the sacrament of the Holy Communion, a dogma held by the Roman church and deliberately rejected by the Church of England “as by law established.” Mr. WALSH’S Secret History of the Oxford Movement, a recent publication, has fluttered the dovecotes of these secret societies, and in no way more than by the publication of the lists of their members. This will be well understood when it is obvious that any tampering with the accepted doctrine of the Church must of necessity be, as long as the force of the Ordination oath lasts, of a fugitive and subterranean character. But Mr. WALSH has turned on the white search light of publicity on the hitherto convenient obscurity. Names are named, and the positions or appointments in the Church specified, of men who, by their now discovered membership of a secret guild established for the purpose of undermining the chief foundation stone of the Church’s doctrinal fabric, are to be held as conniving at and aiding in such cryptic policy, unless they do now openly declare that their names have been included by misrepresentation, and do now overtly dissociate themselves from such unlawful secret action. Two names included in the published list of the Romanising “Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament” are of local clergy, who are presumed to have taken the Ordination [2/3] vows upon them and to have subscribed their names to the “Thirty-nine Articles” of the Church. These are Archdeacon PERHAM, of Singapore, and the Revd. Mr. DUNKERLEY, of Penang. At present we content ourselves with calling attention to what purport to be the facts of a very strange case. It is obvious that it is for these clergymen either to endorse or to disavow their membership of a secret society whose objects are notoriously incompatible with the fundamental tenets of the Protestant Church of England as by law established. In any case the careful attention of H.E. SIR CHARLES MITCHELL is invited to a matter on which it is open to argument whether there is not a mal-appropriation of Colonial Funds in the payment of salaries to Colonial Chaplains who may be presumed, till they prove the contrary, to be secretly exercising action and influence in the Church in a direction and towards ends held to be illegal.




SIR,—The crisis in the Church of England has undoubtedly arisen owing to the fact that it has been found that the “Confessional” and the “Mass” are actually in operation, to a very considerable extent, in what was established, and has since [3/4] been controlled, by the State, as the “Reformed,” the “Protestant” Church of England. In 1862 a Society named the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament” (C.B.S.) was founded for the special purpose of teaching the Real Presence, and the “Eucharistic Sacrifice,” i.e., the Mass.

We admit the largest liberty in matters of mere opinion, but hold that the clergymen, who secretly joined, and as secretly worked, that Society, acted contrary to their position and promises.

The XXXIX Articles—those “forty stripes save one,” so galling to the “priestly party”—are what all ministers of the Establishment subscribe to at their ordination, when they receive the emoluments and accept the duties and responsibilities of a State-paid and State-controlled Church.

The XXXI. Article reads:—“The offering of Christ once made is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction, original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin, but that alone. Wherefore the sacrifices of Masses, in the which it was commonly said that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits.”

The secret doings of the C.B.S. have not been known until lately. They have been unearthed and exposed by Mr. Walsh in his “Secret History of the Oxford Movement,” much to the disgust of the offending parties. Mr. Walsh has naturally been much abused for speaking the plain truth, and in March [4/5] last, in the National Review, he gives proof again for the existence and tactics of the “Secret Societies” in the Church of England.

He writes:—“I defy the Romanisers to prove their libellous and slanderous charges. They know very well that I have secured them (the information from papers &c) all in the open market in a fair and honourable way. I frankly admit that I do not repent, and am not ashamed of having told the whole country, through my book, the secrets of Ritualists. If they were honourable secrets I would respect them. It has been said that no gentleman would have ever published them as I have done; but I have yet to learn that a gentleman is expect to respect dishonourable secrets. The Romanisers plot in the dark, because, like bats and owls, they dread and hate the light.”

All this is of more than mere academic interest, as Mr. Walsh has published a list of the Foreign Members “priests associate” of the C.B.S., and among other names known here are those of “Perham, John, Archn. of Singapore, Straits Settlements,” and “Dunkerley, Wm. Herbt. Cecil, Ch. at Penang, Straits Settlements.” It is Mr. Walsh’s contention that the C.B.S. seeks to undermine and overthrow the Protestantism of the Church of England, this being so, it is reasonable to ask whether these gentlemen should continue to receive their support as servants of the Crown out of Colonial funds. The Colonial Chaplain of Singapore draws $4,800 per annum, and the Colonial Chaplain of Penang also draws $4,800, with an additional [5/6] £100 per annum, as Acting Military Chaplain.

If any Colonial civil servant fails to keep his contract he is at once dealt with; the “clergy,” who are Colonial civil servants also, must not be made any exception to this rule, for the clergy exist for the laity, and not the laity for the clergy. Parliament has already spoken plainly, in regard to the present lawlessness in the church, and will yet speak more plainly, if need be, unless those who are in revolt submit to the laws of the Realm.


June 13th, 1899.

LEADER (June 15th)

An ingenious apologist sends us for publication a letter which endeavours to shift the ground of the question as to the right application of public funds to the salaries of certain clergymen over to that of theological controversy as to the character of the phases of doctrine known as “transubstantiation” and “consubstantiation.” All that is outside the matter for consideration, and as to the attempt by way of side issue, to turn this journal into an arena for abstract theological, or quasi-theological discussion, it is sufficient to say that no such letters will appear. The situation is simplicity itself, and it may be convenient to restate it in its public aspect. (1) In a recent “Secret History of the Oxford Movement” [6/7] a list is given of the members of a secret, or private, society within the church whose object is alleged to be the introduction of specified Romish doctrines and practices into the “Protestant Church of England as by law established.” (2.) In this list are included the names of two clergymen whose salaries are provided, in whole or in part, by the public funds of the Colony: whose names appear on the Civil List of this Colony; whose names appear on the Colonial Office list; who may draw pensions and do draw exchange compensation: and are practically Civil servants in respect of those emoluments, present and prospective. (3) The material points to be noticed by the local government are whether the alleged membership of the said secret “Confraternity” if the fact, on the part of these two public civil servants—there may be more—is compatible with the holding of church appointments which presume the loyal complete and unreserved adhesion of such persons to the obligations and tenets of the Protestant Church of England as by law established: whether such inclusion in the membership list is voluntary, or has been the result of misrepresentation; whether, if such membership be admitted and be voluntary, it is expedient or in accordance with public propriety that Colonial funds shall continue to be applied to the [7/8] support of persons whose incumbency of office may be held, on prima facie grounds, to imply systematic and deliberate infidelity to their ordination obligations What these obligations may be does not lie within this field of discussion, but the point is simply this, whether the status and obligations assumed at ordination, continue to be held by the specified persons with absolute fidelity, or whether these have since entered into a secret confraternity whose objects, if not misrepresented, are publicly and notoriously incompatible with the honest maintenance of that status and those obligations. And all this, we repeat, is now a matter on which it is within the discretion of the Colonial Government to make enquiry and take action of a very direct character.



SIR,—In the House of Lords on 8th ult., Lord Lansdowne, in reply to a question by Lord Greville whether a Mr. Little was a member of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament said: “I understand that the association is a private one, and if I were to ask the incumbent whether he belonged to it, I should probably be told in polite language to mind my own business;” and [8/9] this I would recommend to your correspondent Singaporean.


[The answer is stated to have been given in Lord Lansdowne’s reply to Lord Greville’s question:—

Whether the soldiers stationed at Brighton, who were members of the Church of England, were marched each Sunday to St. Martin’s Church, the incumbent of which was a member of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament and of the English Church Union, and at which the law was violated every Sunday by the use of incense, vestments, lights, and other illegal practices; whether the incumbent, the Rev. Hardy Little, received £50 per annum from the Government, and whether such involuntary participation in law breaking would continue to be enforced upon the rank and file with the sanction of her Majesty’s Government.

Lord Greville’s main point seems to have been, if practices of the kind alleged were carried on by Mr. Hardy Little, could he be called a member of the Church of England? But Pax’s advice is beside the point. It is everybody’s business that public money is not paid away on fraudulent pretences.—Ed. S.F.P.]



SIR,—One can very well understand that if your correspondent Singaporean had gone to Archdeacon Perham and Mr. Dunkerley, and had asked them whether they belonged to the “Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament,” they might have been “told in polite language to mind their own business,” as Lord Lansdowne thought he would probably be told by Mr. Little. But Pax seems to overlook the fact that the case is quite different in regard to our two local “padres.” There is no need to [9/10] interrogate them on the subject, for it appears that their names are included in the printed list of the members of this secret Romanising Society. The fact that their names are on that list is prima facie evidence that they are receiving public money under false pretences.

If they are straightforward and honourable men, it is evidently their duty to deny their connection with the “Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament” (if they are not members of it), or to admit that they are occupying a false position, and resign their appointments. The public will not tolerate such a breach of contract in the name of religion any more than it would put up with it on the part of any other person in receipt of Colonial funds.




SIR,—It appears to be made the ground of assumption that Archdeacon Perham is not a loyal churchman from the fact that (in common with many Bishops, clergy, and laymen of the English Church) he belongs to a Society called “The Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament,” a society which in certain quarters is styled secret and lawless and established to overthrow the Church of England and set up something else in its place.

I am not a member of this society, and I hold no brief for Archdeacon Perham, (who, I [10/11] am told, is at present absent from the Colony) but if I do not mistake he is not the man to submit his opinions to public discussion, or to care very much what views others may take as to his duty as a public servant, still less as a servant of the Church.

The question is: Has this society worked in secret? Are its aims admittedly dangerous or fraudulent? Has it been condemned by authority ecclesiastical or civil? Does it teach doctrines or practise rites which the Church has condemned? If so, when and by whom has the condemnation been pronounced?

It is important when dealing with a matter like this to clearly distinguish between private views and the public voice of the Church. Quite certain it is that there ever have been, and will be, High and Low Churchmen. It is the wisdom of the Church to find room for both. It excludes neither the one or the other and, within limits, allows the greatest freedom.

The C.B.S is not a secret society. Once every year it publishes a list of its members in the form of a directory I find several copies of this book exist in Singapore, on the title page its objects are clearly stated. Some time ago these were reprinted in the St. Andrew’s Magazine, and he must be a very narrow-minded person who can find anything savouring of Romanism or disloyalty in these.

I find that its meetings are held in public; never, as has been stated, in secret; that its services take place in open church under the sanction of the Bishop, and that its President for over thirty years is a Canon of Canterbury Cathedral, to which [11/12] office he was promoted by Archbishop Benson.

Looking at the list of members I find therein bishops, clergy and laymen of the English, American and Scotch Episcopal Churches, men eminent in their station, some of them holding high preferment, of great ability and several notable preachers. The society and its objects are known to every Bishop of the Anglican communion; and membership has never yet been held a bar either to ordination or preferment. Both the Crown and successive Prime Ministers have freely promoted its members to high office.

Is it to be supposed that if the Society had all the dreadful aims some (I venture to think quite erroneously) imagine, that such preferment would be given, unless indeed these persons would have us believe that Crown and Bishops are all alike engaged in one grand conspiracy, which your correspondent Singaporean has at last run to earth?

As to the Society holding what is called the doctrine of the “Real presence” the public press is not the place to discuss such matters, but let it not be imagined that the doctrine is Roman. The Privy Council laid down in the case of Shepherd v. Bennett that it was quite permissible to hold such views, and refused to condemn Mr. Bennett for teaching such. One of the judges is stated to have said that “to do so one must first get rid of the Prayer book.”

As to lawlessness, whatever there may be in some quarters, there is none here. No rite or ceremony, small or great, has ever been introduced here, but has received the [12/13] sanction of the Privy Council in the case of Read v. Bishop of Lincoln, not so long ago decided.

Truly, Sir, if the work of the Archdeacon in this place for ten years past has not proved his honesty and sincerity of purpose, it is singular that he has the respect of most men, and not least of those outside his own particular Church.

I don't think Sir Charles Mitchell likely to burn his fingers; but should he approach Mr. Chamberlain, I would willingly give $50 for a copy of the reply.

It is generally believed that the root of this agitation is the desire to get rid of a Colonel Chaplain altogether. It this desire is general no doubt Mr. Chamberlain will cheerfully acquiesce. In the meantime better say no more about the Church as by law established. Paying so many hundred dollars a month to one man, has not established a Church, nor will its withdrawal disestablish it. This is just one of those empty phrases which make the matter seem very big, whereas all that is required is a telegram from Mr. Chamberlain, and the thing is done, the salary goes, the Church remains; then perhaps, Sir, we shall all round take the advice of Pax, and “mind our own business.”




SIR,—Your correspondent Layman seems to have a very slight knowledge of the “Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament.” [13/14] This can easily be understood if it is really, as has been asserted by Singaporean, a secret society, for Layman confesses that he is not a member of the fraternity. Then where does he get his information, such as it is? Unfortunately he does not tell us. But what does all his knowledge of the society amount to? Once every year it publishes a list of its members in the form of a directory. Publishes, forsooth! Where is it published and from whom is it obtainable by the public? Layman has discovered that several copies of this “book” (? pamphlet) exist in Singapore; why cannot he get the loan of a copy for the benefit of the editor of the Free Press. The public of Singapore would no doubt be glad to know if there are any new names of local clergy on the latest list of members; the list from which Singaporean unearthed the names of Archdeacon Perham and Mr. Dunkerley is not very recent, though it is the last edition of this annual directory which Protestants in England have been able to get hold of. Layman is perhaps not aware that even this secretly circulated Roll does not contain the names of all the “Priests-Associate,” for the following official notice will be found on page 88 of the Roll of Priests-Associate for 1894.

“Notice—Priests who do not wish their names to appear in the printed list should give notice to the Secretary to that effect.”

And again on page 23 the following:

“N.B. there are in addition certain Priests-Associate who do not wish their names to appear in print.”

The official Manual of the Confraternity [14/15] of the Blessed Sacrament is a book which is on public sale, and your correspondent may have confused this with the secret Roll of Membership.

Layman says that the meetings of the C. B. S. “are held in public; never, as has been stated, in secret.” I would suggest that Layman should ask his informant whether it is not a fact that at the annual meetings of the Society none are admitted unless they can produce the medal which proves that they are members. In regard to these medals the Superior General in the course of his annual address on the 1st of June, 1893, said: “Moreover, for the medals special care is needed. They might be buried with deceased persons, if so desired, or they should be at once returned. Otherwise our medals run a great risk of being used by unfit persons, who may thus pass themselves off as members of the Confraternity.” (C.B.S. Annual Report, 1893, p. ix.)

The fact that the list of members of the C.B.S. includes bishops and other clergy of the Church of England holding high preferment is notorious, and proves nothing in favour of the Society. Of course the bishops know all about the aims of the C.B.S. The question is whether they are prepared to do their duty. It is only because the Bishops have shown that they have no power or no sincere desire to check the Romeward movement in the Church of England that Parliament has at last been compelled to take action in order to restrain the lawlessness of a section of the Anglican clergy and to maintain the Protestant religion as by law established.

[16] The last paragraph in Layman’s letter seems to imply that he would have no particular objection to the entire withdrawal of the Straits ecclesiastical vote. Probably that would be the best solution of the difficulty. Of course no one could have any reasonable objection from the public standpoint, to the clergy holding what views they like, if they were not in the position of public servants.

As to the general principle of the ecclesiastical vote in such a place as this Colony, it may fairly be said that the Chinese, Hindu and Madommedan inhabitants of the Straits do not expect the Government to subsidise their systems of religion, or to build and maintain their places of worship. It might be added that the Scotchmen in this Colony do not enjoy this privilege, if it is a privilege, which is very doubtful from the layman’s point of view. When people pay for what they get, they usually get what they want, and it is well known that many of the members of the Cathedral congregation do not want the Romish innovations which have been introduced in what the natives call the Company punya greja in recent years.



SIR,—My letter, which you were kind enough to publish on Saturday, was not intended as a complete reply to Layman. My own time and the space which I supposed you would be prepared to devote [16/17] to the subject were not sufficient to enable me to cover the whole ground. I therefore dealt mainly with the question of the secrecy of the Society of which Archdeacon Perham and Mr. Dunkerley are stated to be members.

With your permission I will now reply as briefly as possible to Layman’s other questions in regard to the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, namely: “Are its aims admittedly dangerous or fraudulent? Has it been condemned by authority ecclesiastical or civil? Does it teach doctrines or practise rites which the Church has condemned? If so, when and by whom has the condemnation been pronounced?”

(I) What are the aims of the C.B.S? and are they fraudulent? (The question should be rather, whether it is fraudulent for a clergyman of the Church of England who is bound by the thirty nine articles to have such aims.) The chief object of the society, as its name implies, is, to put it plainly, THE INTRODUCTION OF THE MASS INTO THE PROTESTANT CHURCH OF ENGLAND. For persons of unbiassed mind, it will be enough for me to say in proof of this, that the very word “Mass” is used in many papers printed by the C.B.S. Here is a quotation from the 20th Annual Report of C.B.S., page IX: “children should be instructed, not only by oral teaching, but by bringing them to Celebrations of the Blessed Sacrament for children, or to put it more simply, to Children’s Masses.” If Layman requires more complete proof he can refer to Rev. E. W. Urquhart’s address at a “Synod” of the C.B.S. held at Salisbury on April 30th, 1889, subsequently [17/18] published as a pamphlet by Mowbray of Oxford, “by request of members present,” who thereby signified their assent to Mr. Urquhart’s views. We quote one paragraph: “And in conclusion, to avoid misunderstanding, whilst I hold that the time has come when we must ourselves recognise the identity of our own teaching with that which is expressed in the Tridentine canons by Transubstantiation, and with the authorised formularies of the Eastern Church; it is only gradually, as they are able to learn, that we should expect to bring this conviction home to the minds of our weaker brethren, whom we are striving to bring over to the faith.” Compare this with Article XXVIII. Secondly, the members of the C. B S. are required to pray “That obstacles to the due and reverent RESERVATION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT for the sick may be removed, and that the use of the Sacrament of HOLY UNCTION may be restored throughout the Anglican Church.” (Intercession Paper, May, 1897, p. 15.) Contrast this with Article XXVIII:—“The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was not by Christ’s ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up or worshipped.” In Article XXV, Extreme Unction is described as having grown out of the corrupt following of the Apostles. As to the adoration of the consecrated elements, the Superior General acknowledged at the annual conference on May 31st, 1877, that the teaching of the Confraternity is identical with that of the Church of Rome. Thirdly, the C.B.S. advocates AURICULAR CONFESSION and in its Altar Book for Young Persons prints a form of confession [18/19] in the presence of a priest On page 16 of the Intercession paper for May 1897, the Associates are urged to pray “That there may be true repentance and due use of Sacramental Confession on the part of those needing it.” “Those needing it” are usually our wives and daughters. Fourthly, the members of the C.B.S. are expected to offer PRAYERS FOR THE DEAD. The Manual of C.B.S. contains a form of service which concludes with the prayer: “May the souls of the Faithful, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.” (p. 34.) Moreover the Society holds annually a “Solemn Requiem” which is really a MASS FOR THE DEAD. At this service, on November 10th, 1893, the preacher (Rev. E. de S. Wood) is reported in the Church Times of 14th Nov., 1890 to have said “The souls in Paradise are offering the homage of their spiritual sufferings in the realms of PURGATORY, and are helped by our prayers and eucharistic offerings on their behalf.” Article XXII reads as follows: “The Romish doctrine concerning Purgatory .... is a fond thing vainly invented, etc.;” and Article XXXI: “Wherefore the sacrifices of masses, in the which it was commonly said, that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits.”

This is probably a sufficient revelation of the aims of the C.B.S. for most people. As to whether they are “admittedly dangerous” from the Protestant point of view, or whether a clergyman aiming at the introduction of such things in an underhand and secret way into the Reformed Church [19/20] of England is acting fraudulently, your readers must be left to judge for themselves.

(2) Whether the C.B.S. itself, or the doctrines and rites which it advocates, have been condemned by the ecclesiastical and civil authorities or by “the Church” (whatever Layman may mean by that elastic expression) is a matter of secondary importance. The underground tactics of the Romanising clergy have been condemned as un-English by the English people, and deserve exposure. I must quote, however, the following stern denunciation of the C.B.S. by the High Church Bishop Wilberforce, who wrote as follows to its Superior General early in the history of the Society: “It is sure to stir up a vast amount of prejudice from its singularly un-English and Popish tone ... I view with the utmost jealousy any tendency to ally that reviving earnestness to the unrealities and morbid development of modern Romanism. You may do much one way or the other. I entreat you to consider the matter for yourself, and as Bishop I exhort you to use no attempts to spread this Confraternity amongst the clergy and religious people of my diocese.”

3. Layman thinks that the C.B.S. must be all right because its members have been promoted to high offices in the Church by the Crown and the Prime Ministers. Of course the Crown has nothing to do with it, and the Prime Ministers who have made most of the bishops since the commencement of the Tractarian movement, Gladstone and Salisbury, are well known to have held high ritualistic views [20/21] and to have appointed men of their own way of thinking. Gladstone has fortunately put on record his views on the subject of the Romanising clergy remaining in the Church of England, for, writing of those who have “Romish opinions” and an “antipathy to the proceedings taken at the Reformation” he says:

“If their private judgment prefers the religious system of the Church of Rome to their own, and even holds the union of the English Church with Rome to be necessary to her perfection as a Church, yet, so long as they cannot deny that she is their spiritual parent and guide ordained of God, they owe to her not merely adhesion, but allegiance ..... The doctrine that such persons ought to quit the pale of the Church, in our view both drives them upon sin, and likewise constitutes an unwarrantable invasion of the liberty which the Church herself has intended for them.”

On this most extraordinary view Mr. Walsh in his Secret History of the Oxford Movement very justly says:—

“I venture to submit that Mr. Gladstone’s argument would not be accepted in the army. If, in a time of warfare, it were discovered that some of the officers in a citadel preferred the rule of the enemy to that of their own sovereign, and at the same time were actively at work for the purpose of handing over the whole citadel to the enemy, the authorities would soon deal with the traitors in a very different manner from that suggested by Mr. Gladstone for the traitor officers of the Church Militant. It would not be thought “an unwarrantable invasion of the liberty” of those officers to [21/22] treat them as they deserved; indeed, it would be considered a bounden duty to deprive them at once of their commissions in the Army, and turn them out of it in disgrace.”




SIR,—Thanks many and hearty, for your permitting in your open correspondence columns the showing up of these little “priestlings.” I can understand, and I hope appreciate, the position of the honest R.C. priest to the manner born, trained and disciplined, but I have nothing but scorn for the poor creatures who ape them.

“I would rather be a dog and bay at the moon than such a Roman,” (or Anglican, if you will). No wonder men-of-the-world grow more and more out of sympathy with religion in general. Let each man be fully persuaded in his own mind, and act accordingly. If our colonial chaplains are honest, and have the courage of their inner convictions, the road to Rome is easy enough for them to find the way along. But alas “an honest man is the noblest work of God,” and even the Almighty (let it be said with reverence) must find it awfully difficult to make an honest priest out of these men, who play fast and loose with their conscience, and are “all things to all men” to retain their pay and position and carry on their own little game. This the Nation will not have at any price, [22/23] and surely we in the Colony are not going to stand it much longer.

June 20th, 1899.




SIR,—The “Objects” of the Society known as “The Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament” appear to be as follows:—(1) Honour due to the Person of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament of His Body and Blood (2) Mutual and special Intercession at the time of an in union with the Eucharistic Sacrifice (3) Observance of the Catholic and primitive practice of the receiving the Holy Communion fasting.

In the case of Sheppard v. Bennett, cited by Layman, the highest Ecclesiastical Court in England decided (1) That the Church of England does not by her articles or formularies affirm, or require her clergy to accept, any other presence in the Holy Communion than a presence in the soul of the faithful receiver; (2) That it is not lawful for a clergyman to teach that the sacrifice or offering of Christ upon the cross or the redemption, propitiation or satisfaction wrought by it, is or can be repeated in the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper; nor that in that ordinance there is or can be any sacrifice or offering of Christ which is efficiacious in the sense in which Christ’s death is efficacious, to procure the remission of the guilt or punishment of sins; (3) That all acts of adoration of the consecrated elements [23/24] in the Holy Communion are unlawful. But as it was decided that the articles and formularies of the Church did not exclude the maintenance of a “real, actual objective” presence in the Holy Communion, inasmuch as a presence other than spiritual was not thereby affirmed, the Court refused to condemn Mr. Bennett, in the above case.

As it appears that the C.B.S does require a more widespread belief in the catholic doctrine of the “Real Presence” and of the “Eucharistic Sacrifice” and that its teaching does seem to affirm a presence other than spiritual, it may be presumed that the practices of the Society would be declared to be unlawful by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

It is suggested that the local clergymen whose conduct has been questioned in this matter should resign their membership of the Society so as to avoid further discussion and division.

With reference to the letter of your correspondent Plain Service contained in your issue of the 19th inst., it may be stated that it has been decided in a case of Breeks v. Woolfrey (1838) that “Prayers for the Dead” are not a violation of Article XXII. or are otherwise prohibited by the Church of England. But as such Prayers were associated in the popular mind with the doctrine condemned by the Article, the Church has discouraged the practice of such Prayers being offered in public, and an Ecclesiastical Court has recently in the case of Egerton v. All of Odd Rode (1893) refused to sanction the introduction into a church of any inscription of which words [24/25] suggesting such Prayers would form part.


[As an appendix to the last paras in R.’s letter this may be given from a paper to hand by the mail.—(Ed. S.F.P.)

(Daily Mail, May 20th)

Mr. Gladstone passed into the great unknown a year ago yesterday, and the anniversary was celebrated by a service in London and another at Hawarden, as well as by meetings of Liberal and Radical clubs in different parts of the country.

As the great statesman was a High Churchman, it was natural that the day should be observed in the old church of St. Peter’s, Great Windmill-street, with which he was associated, and where, it may be remembered, he remained so long in private prayer on his first appointment as Prime Minister.

This pretty little church was fairly full, and, curiously enough, the congregation included several eminent Nonconformists. The service, which was called a “Memorial Eucharist”the Anglican term for Requiem Mass—was admirably rendered, except that the choir-boys, in the excitement of getting an unexpected holiday from school, sometimes sang out of tune.

Pulpit and sanctuary were draped in violet, and the Rev. W. T. Farmiloe, the vicar of the parish, who was celebrant, wore a black chasuble of Old English type.

Many of the congregation also wore mourning, while nearly all had white flowers, the favourite emblem being the lily-of-the-valley.


were used, including the much-debated “processional lights” and incense.

An eloquent sermon was preached by Canon Scott Holland, who said his old friend was always [25/26] on the side of righteousness at whatever cost. If he were living now, his clarion voice would bid the Church take heart to solve the present “crisis” by her own inherent spiritual power, rather than by the law of the State.

After pointing out the lessons to be drawn from the life of a great Christian with whom religion and politics were identical, Canon Holland concluded by asking the prayers of the congregation in Mr. Gladstone’s own words, for him, his wife, and all, having previously submitted them to the Bishop of London, and obtained his sanction with the alteration of a few words.


DEAR SIR,—There is a strict law against Secret Societies in this Colony. Harmless bodies like Cricket Clubs, Chess Clubs, Church Work Associations and the like, which do not meditate infringement of the law, but be officially excepted from the penalties attaching to non-registration. What about the C.B.S., which possesses agents or members here, and does contemplate and does try to effect infringement of the law? What is sauce for the Ladies Lawn Tennis Club goose should be sauce for the C.B.S. gander. (Good word “Gander.”)




SIR,—Apropos the present unsatisfactory state of matters under discussion, I have been curious to turn up the last Blue Book published (1897) to find what amount of colonial and state funds the clergy of the Church of England draw. The Bishop gets £100 per annum, in addition to his salary from his wealthy society, viz.—The S.P.G. Archdeacon Perham draws $4,800. Mr. Dunkerley $4,800 (with an additional £100 as acting Military Chaplain, but now there are no troops in Penang there will not be this expenditure there). Mr. Eccles (Malacca) drew $3,600, and, I presume, his successor draws the same; besides, I hear, he is acting headmaster for the High School, and will draw something for that, and it will give him some work to do, for according to the last census the total number of resident Europeans in the Settlement of Malacca only amounted to the grand total of 32. The three Colonial Chaplains draw “Exchange compensation allowance,” and all are entitled (I believe, the bishop also) to pensions out of Colonial funds. It is fair to ask what advantage the colony receives for this outlay of at least $15,000 or £1,500 per annum.

It is notorious that nearly all the aggressive Christian and educational work in the colony has been done by the voluntary agencies in operation during the last twelve or fifteen years past, and the rich and favoured Church and its agencies has been left hopelessly in the rear.

Perhaps the clergy, if dependent for their support on the laity entirely, might give more attention to their proper duties, and leave their childish copying of Romanism alone, and the laity would then most certainly take much more interest in the affairs of the Church.

June 22, 1899.



The Topicist, who sometimes agrees with his friend the Editor, and sometimes has his little shy at the Editorial judgments on men and things, is quite with him as to the propriety of maintaining a judicial attitude over the recent discovery that we too have in the Colony our “Law-breakers in the Church,” in posse if not in esse. The two Colonial-paid recruits to the Confraternity that keeps its roll-call a dead-secret from the mass of English Churchman are perhaps considering their position. (We said “mass,” but we mean it in the numerical sense—not the other.) Why this imperium in imperio? Why this dread of publicity? Why this Arch Chapter, this surreptitious conclave with admission ticket by jealously-guarded medal? Why do the Carbonari of the church aim at objects, so that the outer herd of Churchmen are not even to know what they are or who are promoting them? It may be all clean enough on Sicilian, Maltese, or Levantine moral principles; but it is very far away from the open frankness of the typical Englishman. Why should their lists of members be “on the sly?” Why should members so fear their association being known as to have their names kept only on a still more secret unprinted list? There is too much “Anna Maria” about this for average English straightness. This rat-hole Society is either dishonest, or—like the “Boy Pirates” and “Apple tree Free-booters” or “Ring and Run-away” Gangs, of which “Confraternities” most boys have been members in their extreme youth—it [28/29] poses as being dishonest. To the mere outside observer there is a comic want of dignity about this “Conclave-cum-medal” ecclesiasticism.



SIR,—I have been waiting day after day since my last letter appeared at the beginning of last week to see what more Layman would have to say as toe the secrecy and the dangerous character of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament. Of course I knew that my quotations from the Society’s own Reports, &c., could not be disputed, and it seemed difficult to imagine how any fair-minded person could avoid the conclusions drawn from the facts adduced in regard to the teachings and practices of the C.B.S. Yet I must confess surprise that no attempt has been made to reply to the damning accusations which have been brought against those persons who associate themselves with such a sneaking organisation. It was suggested that the Archdeacon’s absence in Malacca might have something to do with this conspiracy of silence, but he did not leave till two days after the first letter appears, and he has long since returned. In seeking for some explanation of the peculiar way in which the Romanising party in Singapore have been struck dumb by the disclosures which have been made, I have happened on this remarkable piece of advice given by the Superior General of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament to the “Priests-associate,” which will be [29/30] found on page 3, of the Report of the Twelfth Anniversary of the C.B.S.:—”We must endeavour to make our position accord with our constitution, in keeping, as far as possible, out of public notice.”




Some of your correspondents appear to expect Archdeacon Perham to make a reply in your paper to their seemingly true statements. This I can assure you he does not intend doing. One can hardly expect him to take notice of anonymous correspondence. Furthermore, some time ago, he expressed his opinion of a writer who makes personal attacks and grave charges, while shielding his personality behind a nom de plume, as being very little removed from a cowardly assassin who stabs in the back. If Plain Service has any definite charge to make, let him come forward in an honest manner and make it, signed with his own signature denoting his acceptance of responsibility. It is manifestly unfair for short extracts to be quoted from the Society’s (C.B.S.) publications, as anyone can easily make words appear to have quite an opposite meaning when deprived of their context.

Yours faithfully,



SIR,—I have no replied to the letters of Plain Service because it seems to me that a correspondent who chooses to employ such language as sneaking traitor, etc., towards an English gentleman, while hiding his own identity under a nom de plume is not worthy of respect.

Archdeacon Perham has nothing to lose or suffer from attacks so unrighteous and devoid of all good taste, he has the sympathy of all those who really know him and value his work here, and who realize how he has been misrepresented. To argue for truth is one thing, and simple for a barren controversial victory quite another. Your correspondence chooses the latter road, and I decline to follow him. I deny his quotations as accurate. I deny that his statements are wholly or in part true; or that they represent the C.B.S. in mind or work. It is not honest to tear text from context and give publicity to the half truth, ever the worst of lies.

Neither is it creditable to extract quotations from a book opposed to the Society and give them to the public as first-hand extracts from the society’s publications.

That Plain Service has done this is evident from the fact that he pretends to quote from a publication of the Society 25 years old. It is not at all likely that he has the publication, or has ever seen it, and I doubt me much if he has ever seen a publication of the Society at all. If he has I can’t see where the “secrecy” comes in. What everybody is at liberty to know cannot be very much of a secret.




SIR,—I must confess to a measure of satisfaction when I saw that the remarks which you published on Saturday had extracted a reply from Archdeacon Perham’s lieutenant, who apparently has semi-official authority for stating that the Colonial Chaplain is above replying to anonymous correspondence) or to your editorial comments either) and has a bad opinion of persons who make “grave charges while shielding their personality behind a nom de plume.” What is all this talk about personal attacks and grave charges? It looks something like an attempt to pose as martyrs, an artifice frequently practised in order to gain sympathy. If any charge had been made which required to be proved by the personal testimony of the individual who brought it forward, the demand that his identity should be made known to the public would be a reasonable one, and would not look so much like an attempt to evade the real question by means of a side issue. If his letter be carefully read, it will be found that Singaporean brings forward no charge at all in the proper sense of the word; he merely calls attention to documentary evidence, namely, that the names of two Colonial Chaplains appear on the roll of a society which is undermining the Protestantism of the Church of England. This does not necessitate his being put in the witness box, and I fail to see what advantage it would be to the Colonial Chaplains or to the public to know who Singaporean is. Even if [32/33] it could be proved that Singaporean is not a reliable person, that he is prejudiced, or for any reason is not to be accepted as a witness, nothing would have been gained. The only way for the Colonial Chaplains to get rid of the evidence is to write to the authorities of the C.B.S. and request that their names be removed from the roll, or place on the list of those “Priests-Associate who do not wish their names to appear in print.”

As for my own letters, it is obvious that I make no charge whatever. This is so palpable to Mr. Stubbs himself that he actually suggests that I should make a charge. But why should I do so? No charge is needed so long as the names of two Colonial Chaplains stand (without any protest on their part) on the rolls of a secret Romanising society. The mere fact of their names being there is in the eyes of the public sufficient condemnation. Mr. Stubbs wishes me to assume the responsibility for a definite charge. The charge, if it can fairly be so called, consists in the presence of the names of the Colonial Chaplains on he rolls of the C.B.S. and I can accept no responsibility for that; neither can I see what would be gained if my identity were discovered to the public, though no doubt it would be some satisfaction to the curiosity of the people on the other side.

Layman’s excuse for not replying to my letters is based upon a misstatement. He says in effect that he does not reply because I “employ such language as sneaking traitor, etc.” I may be guilty of using the “etc.” but I am sure the words “sneaking traitor” do not occur in any of my letters. [33/34] I am attacking an organisation, not any particular individual, and I have nothing more against Archdeacon Perham than I have against Mr. Dunkerley and the other 1,700 clergy who have associated themselves with the C.B.S., as a society which I characterised (justly, I think) as a “sneaking organisation.” My object is not to gain “a barren controversial victory” as Layman imagines, but to inform the public of this Colony as to what is going on sub rosa in our midst. As to controversy, Layman ought to know that the bare denial of the accuracy of my quotations will avail him nothing. To be worth anything, his impugnment of my accuracy must be somewhat more definite. If I have torn text from context, let him give the context (if he has it); then the public can judge whether I have misused my quotations. Your other readers have probably been quite as sharp as Layman in discovering that my quotations were not first-hand. No one imagines that any one in Singapore has any opportunity of getting hold of the secret documents of the C.B.S. though we do sometimes come across the “St. Bartholomew’s tracts” by means of which the clergy of Singapore are disseminating Roman Catholic doctrines among the Protestant population. Walsh’s Secret History of the Oxford Movement, from which my extracts were taken, had already been referred to by Singaporean, and was mentioned by me in my second letter. In his preface to the third edition, Mr. Walsh says in regard to this book, which has had such a phenomenal sale in England, “So far as I am aware, no one has even attempted to prove that this is in any way [34/35] inaccurate as to its statement of facts.” If the officials of the secret societies in England cannot disprove Mr. Walsh’s statements of fact, much less will they be able to deny the accuracy of his quotations from their own literature, so it is quite hopeless for Layman to attempt it, or to pretend that it is possible.



SIR,—Plain Service will no doubt reply for himself. Fair-minded men will judge as to the facts and principles of the case apart from questions of identity of writers.

Mr. Stubbs tells us Mr. Perham last Sunday preached on the Realm Presence. I was not there. Perhaps when he is to explain the tenets of the C.B.S. he will please let it be known beforehand. He has evidently been teaching these for years past secretly, after the manner of the C.B.S. and now promises to enlighten those so long in darkness as to his whereabouts as a minister of the Church of England.

Now it is beyond all controversy what the aim of the C.B.S. is, people will need to decide as to whether or not they will be “partakers in other men’s sins” in seeking to bring about the enslavement of the youth of our nation, through the false teaching of priests, unmasked now, but long in disguise.

Let us hope that robust English common sense can yet be trusted to deal with those men who have played us false, [35/36] and used money meant to defend and maintain Protestant principles to effect quite the contrary.


June 27.

[This discussion is now in a position when for practical purposes it may close. It has served the public purpose of illuminating the situation, whatever that may imply, by light from both sides. As we said at first, it is a matter for the Colonial executive to consider and to deal with.—Ed. S.F.P.]

(July 4th, 1899)

FROM what was communicated to us yesterday by a correspondent it appears that on Sunday evening at St. Andrew’s Cathedral an opportunity was taken by the Colonial Chaplain to deliver an apologia respecting the so-called Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament. The communication from a regular attender at St. Andrew’s, a highly respected Government official, is found elsewhere in our columns to-day. The Chaplain, as an illustration of the sinuosity of mind to be expected from the propagandist casuist, does not appear to have declared himself as endorsing or repudiating the published enrolment of this name in the C. B. S. list. He seems to have evaded what, to the ordinary plain man, would have been the indispensable and essential preliminary to any statement on the question. But he proceeds circuitously and by implication to justify his adhesion to that Confraternity, so obnoxious to what is the undoubted majority of members of the Church of England, by minimising its secrecy, and professing to be unaware that there was anything of a moment at all in its being styled a “Confraternity” instead of, as he professed to prefer, a “Society.” The Chaplain [37/38] quibbles, as indeed is natural from an individual in so dubious a position. To take his profession that the C. B. S. is not a secret society, the common-sense facts are dead against him. Although the limitation of the objects of Freemasonry is to such aims as brotherly love, relief and truth, and although its membership is open to all respectable men of any creed, nationality, or race, yet the Freemasons would not object to their society being considered in a broad sense as a secret society. Only accepted Masons can enter the Lodges, the doors are “tyled” against the admission of intruders, and the non-Masonic outsider does not know at all, or has only the vaguest idea of what is done in Lodge. Still we fancy that no difficulty whatever would be put in the way of ascertaining the entire roll of any and every Masonic Lodge, and the public are regularly made acquainted with the dates and places of meeting, and the annual lists of office-bearers. As compared with Freemasons, the C.B.S. is far more of a secret society; it conceals from the entire body of Churchmen its lists of members; it takes every precaution to avoid these lists being seen by any Churchman not a member of the C.B.S.; it admits only by membership medal to meetings; it permits no outsider to hear the proceedings; and it is a part of advice to members, that than anybody should [38/39] get unauthorised possession of a medal, to see that it be buried with the body of a deceased member. At whose expense is all this done? At whom is all this concealment directed? At the main body of members of the Church of England, each man, woman and child in which Church has precisely as much interest, and no less, in its welfare and purity from perversion as any members of this C. B.S. In civil life, for one partner in a business to undertake a policy implicating the fortunes of the firm, and to conceal the same from his fellow partners, is a wrongful, in some respects may be a criminal, act. But that, neither more nor less, is the precise position of the persons in the C.B.S. to their fellow-partners in the Church. And, as quite disinterested in the matter, we will go so far as to say that for the Chaplain to make the pulpit at a religious service the cathedra from which he delivered an exculpatory defence of this inner Society in the Church, whose professed objects are intensely offensive to a great majority of loyal English Churchmen, is to prostitute that pulpit to an ignoble personal use and to cause grave offense to many of the congregation who met there for a very different purpose, and could in no way protest at the moment, out of reverence to what was to them, excepting the pulpit last Sunday, a sacred edifice.


A correspondent writes:—”I went as usual to the evening service at St. Andrew’s Cathedral on Sunday, and the Colonial Chaplain stated in the pulpit that the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament was not a Secret Society, and he did not know why it was called a Confraternity instead of a Society. He must be very innocent, for there is a Society of similar name in the Roman Catholic Church; hence the choice; all part of a system. The Chaplain also said it was not a secret Confraternity, but no one can reply to the pulpit. It is at least open to question. Why should such matters be raised? It is the only English service of the Church of England in the place that members can attend, and the Colonial Chaplain should avoid all appearance of evil, and every appearance of raising dissension. These discussions have now come in to the Evening Service, and disturb more minds, and do more harm to the Church. Cui bono? If such controversial matters are continued it may induce some to leave the Church before the sermon, as the only way to avoid hearing the Colonial Chaplain’s personal opinions upon matters on which they, as loyal members of the Church of England, totally disagree.”

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