THE CANON ON RITUAL,
AND THE HOLY EUCHARIST; A SPEECH DELIVERED IN THE GENERAL CONVENTION,
OCTOBER 26TH, 1874,
BY THE REV. JAMES DE KOVEN, D.D.,
WARDEN OF RACINE COLLEGE.
2 BIBLE HOUSE.
PROPOSED CANON ON RITUAL
UNDER DISCUSSION IN THE HOUSE OF DEPUTIES, October 26th and 27th, 1874.
Resolved, The House of Bishops concurring, that the following additional section be added to Canon 20, Title I., Of the Use of the Book of Common Prayer.
§ II. [i] If any Bishop have reason to believe, or if complaint be made to him in writing by two or more of his Presbyters, that ceremonies or practices during the celebration of the Holy Communion, not ordained or authorized in the Book of Common Prayer, and setting forth or symbolizing erroneous or doubtful doctrines, have been introduced into a parish within his jurisdiction, [and, as examples, the following are declared to be considered as such:
a. The use of Incense.
b. The placing, or carrying, or retaining a Crucifix in any part of the place of public worship.
c. The Elevation of the Elements in the Holy Communion in such manner as to expose them to the view of people as objects towards which adoration is to be made.
d. Any act of adoration of or towards the Elements in the Holy Communion, such as bowings, prostrations, genuflexions, and all such like acts not authorized or allowed by the Rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer,] it shall be the duty of such Bishop to summon the Standing Committee as his Council of Advice, and with them to investigate the matter.
 If, after investigation, it shall appear to the Bishop and the Standing Committee that erroneous or doubtful doctrines have in fact been set forth or symbolized by ceremonies or practices not ordained or authorized as aforesaid, it shall be the duty of the Bishop, by instrument of writing under his hand, to admonish the Minister of the Parish to discontinue such practices or ceremonies; and if the Minister shall disregard such admonition, it shall be the duty of the Standing Committee to cause him to be tried for a breach of his ordination vow; provided, that nothing herein contained shall prevent the presentment, trial, and punishment of any Minister under the provisions of Section I. of Canon 2, of Title II., of the Digest.
 In all investigations under the provisions of this Canon, the Minister whose acts or practices are the subject-matter of the investigation shall be notified, and have opportunity to be heard in his defence. The charges preferred and the findings of the Bishop and Standing Committee shall be in writing, and a record shall be kept of the proceedings in the case.
By order of the Committee,
WM. COOPER MEAD, Chairman.
October 23, 1874.
The Convention resumed the consideration of the proposed Canon on Ritual, reported from the Committee on Canons.
The PRESIDENT. Before Dr. De Koven commences his speech, I wish to inform the House that I cannot permit any interruption. I will call to order any person who rises to ask a question. If questions are to be asked, let it be done after the speaker has taken his seat or left the stand.
The Rev. Dr. DE KOVEN, of Wisconsin. Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention—Before I begin, I hope you will allow me to express my thanks to this House for the kindness and courtesy which was shown to me a moment since, in allowing me to express myself on this occasion with such measure of time to do it as might be needed.
First of all, I fully recognize the point that was made by the clerical delegate from Alabama, that this question is not to be considered as an isolated question. The Canon on Ritual comes up as one of four distinct measures that are brought before this House. The Clerical Deputy from Alabama mentioned three of those measures, but failed to mention the fourth of them. Those measures are, first, this Canon on Ritual; second, the appointment of a commission by ballot to take up the whole question of the Rubrics, and to report to the next General Convention, if desirable, a revision of the Rubrics; the third, is the whole matter of shortened services, a matter which I believe weighs very seriously upon the heart and the conscience and the mind of this Church; and the fourth, was a measure introduced either by the Committee on Constitutional Amendments or by the Committee on Canons—I think the latter—providing for certain freedom in the use of the baptismal service, permitting certain Rubrics to be made permissive instead of absolute, and also the use of the Collect for Easter Even instead of the thanksgiving in which the word "regenerate" occurs. I say, we cannot possibly consider this Canon on Ritual except we consider it as one of a group of measures, and so it is absolutely necessary that one's position on all those measures should be clearly defined.
I say then first of all, with regard to the last of these measures, upon which the Clerical Deputy from Alabama said nothing, that I suppose it is hardly likely that this House can pass the proposed measure which was brought in by the Committee on Canons, and in the bringing in of which they reserved to themselves the right not to vote upon the measure which they brought in. I say, I suppose this House can scarcely pass it, because I believe it will be found on consideration that any such measure touches the doctrine of baptismal regeneration, and therefore there will be a large majority of this House who cannot assent to it. And yet while I say this, I am ready to acknowledge that I regard the motive of bringing in that resolution, or proposed Canon, or whatever it was, as being worthy of the most profound consideration of this General Convention. It is a fact that cannot be gainsaid that our Church has permitted to enter her orders, to serve at her sanctuary, to be her priests, men who do hold, and who have always held, and who held when they were ordained, not the doctrine of baptismal regeneration, which I myself hold and which I firmly believe to be, in some shape or other, the authorized doctrine of this Church, and which to deny is, I believe, to deny that article in the Nicene Creed which says, "I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins:" but some negation of that doctrine. Now, here is my point. I say a Church which allows people to serve at her altars not holding a doctrine which may be said to be a doctrine of this Church, is cruel to them, if she perpetually requires them to say what they do not believe; and therefore, while it would be hard for me to accept, in deed I would oppose to the utmost of my power anything which should throw the slightest doubt upon the doctrine of baptismal regeneration, I for one should be prepared to refer to this Committee on the Revision of the Rubrics, provided such a commission should be appointed, the consideration of some means whereby the Bishop of the Diocese, or the ecclesiastical authority of the Diocese, should have the power to protect and to defend real and true conscientious scruples wherever they might be.
I feel most happy, Mr. President, and gentlemen of the Convention, at the large-hearted and Christian-like statesmanship of the measure which proposes that a commission shall be selected by this House by ballot to consider the whole question of the revision of the Rubrics. It is evident to anybody who has studied the subject that the provisions of the Church in this country on the subject of our Ritual law are eminently vague and unsatisfactory. I know full well that there are legal gentlemen who have the power to trace, through I know not what dark sources, all sorts of laws that go back first to the Church of England and then to the earlier Church, and I bow with great reverence to all such legal acumen. I merely mean to say that, for a clear, definite system of law, the whole thing is so full of vagueness and indefiniteness that it does not come practically before the mind of this Church; and surely the time has come, or, if it has not come to-day, it is coming, when this Church of ours shall be prepared to say, not in the interest of any narrowness, not in the interest of bigotry or intolerance, but in the broadest-hearted way, what is the limit of Ritual on the one hand, and what on the other, giving scope for services which shall be free from all sorts of ceremonial, that men may go where they will, and use extempore prayers and preach the Word of God wherever it is needed; and permitting those, on the other hand, who love a high and holy service, to have all the glory and the beauty which belong to God's holy Catholic Church; and I say that a commission formed in this generous spirit will serve to protect this Church from perpetual accusations of licentiousness and lawlessness against those who would rather die than disobey one of her known laws.
I come now to the Canon which is before us; and, first of all, I must explain precisely what I wish to effect with regard to it. If I could have my own way, I am free to say that I would much prefer that there should be no Canon passed whatsoever. At the same time, the main principle of this Canon I assent to as a measure for the time, until such time as the law of this Church on the subject of Ritual is laid down. That is to say, I feel, if matters are doubtful, it is infinitely better that the Bishop and the Standing Committee of the Diocese should have the power to regulate it, than that individual presbyters should have that power; and if any one says that such a principle will make a use for Wisconsin and a use for Ohio, which uses will differ, I have only to say that it is infinitely better to have a differing use in Wisconsin and a differing use in Ohio, than to have forty different uses in Wisconsin and forty different uses in Ohio. But I only accept this, let me say, as a measure for the time, to meet a difficulty, because our law is not clear, is not distinct, and until such time as it is clearly and definitely laid down. Consequently, while I am prepared to vote for the main principle of this Canon, there are some portions of it which I could not possibly vote for, and which it will be my object to show to this House that, if we do vote for, we shall make a mistake, a mistake that nobody here would like to fall into.
In the first place—and this point I am not going to dwell upon—I do think that the forbidding of particular things like the use of incense, the placing or carrying or retaining a crucifix—I am not particular about these things; but the forbidding of any particular thing does interfere with that principle which has been laid down by the Deputy from Alabama, and which I believe to be a true principle. This Church cannot legislate upon her worship in any other way than by Rubric; this Church cannot legislate upon her doctrine in any way except by an Article of Religion; and if this House, or any other House, attempts to legislate upon Ritual or upon doctrine by indirection, there are many who will feel that it is unconstitutional; and this is my point: the forbidding of certain particulars does seem to interfere with that principle, for it may be just as much going against that principle to forbid certain things as it is to allow them. It is not positive action indeed, but it is negative; and thus by specifying certain things, as is done in this Canon, I think this great principle is interfered with.
I come now to my second objection to the Canon, and that is to the clause which is to be found in the first section: "If any Bishop have reason to believe, or if complaint be made to him in writing by two or more of his Presbyters." The clause that I object to is, "or if complaint be made to him in writing by two or more of his Presbyters." It is quite right that the Bishop should govern his Diocese; it is quite right that his Standing Committee should be his council of advice; but I must say that I trust this House is not going to organize the Reverend Paul Pry into a canonical institution in the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America. Are we to have two or more Presbyters—and, generally, the Presbyters who would go about on such business are not the most earnest and the most devout that can be found—for this melancholy purpose? I would not wish to be the Presbyter who should go and visit his brother's parish for the purpose of finding out just what he was doing, and measuring the angle at which he bowed, or the kind of devotion that he showed when he knelt on his knees in the church. I say that to organize two Presbyters to go and find out what other people are doing is simply to organize something which the gentlemanly heart of our Church will utterly and totally condemn. And here let me say that I recognized the importance of the question which was put by a Lay Deputy from Georgia to the Clerical Deputy from Alabama. He asked, "Why not laymen?" Certainly if we are to have Presbyters to do it, by all means, if laymen want it, give them the same privilege. But let me say that the Canon is wiser than the Clerical Deputy from Alabama showed that it was, because it does provide an honorable way for this thing. It says that the Bishop may call together his Standing Committee as a council of advice, and with them investigate the matter. He can send his clergy, the dignified clergy of his Diocese; he can send the laity, the lay representatives of his Diocese. They can go in an honorable, straightforward way. They can say, "We have come to investigate your practices, and we have come to see whether you are symbolizing wrong doctrines." They can do it in a canonical and proper manner; and let me say that I do not believe there is any clergyman in this Church who would not accept such a visitation, and be glad of it, and explain anything which might seem doubtful, or be supposed to symbolize erroneous doctrine.
I am aware—and here I must say something which I hope I shall be excused for saying—(and I do not quite like to say this, because everybody knows that I am the only clerical Ritualist in this House, so that I may possibly seem to be defending myself)—there has been a sort of idea that Ritualists are very disingenuous, and I can hear down in the heart of some gentlemen who so believes, a thought something like this: "Well, if the Bishop sent his Presbyters and laity to examine into this matter, that cunning Ritualist then would not do the things, you know." [Laughter.] Well, Mr. President, all I have to say is, that if there is any Ritualist of this sort, I am inclined to think you will scarcely bind him by canonical regulations; for, if he can cheat in this way, he may perhaps find a way to cheat in another; but I am happy to say that I do not know any Ritualist who could possibly be guilty of such a wrong.
And now I come to my third point, and that is to be found in the third line of this same section: "Ceremonies or practices during the celebration of the Holy Communion, not ordained or authorized in the Book of Common Prayer, and setting forth or symbolizing erroneous or doubtful doctrines." The word I want to object to is the word "doubtful." I was very much amused at the Clerical Deputy from Alabama, who read from the Prayer-Book what a Bishop was required to promise. He read that he was required to promise that he would drive away erroneous and strange doctrines. The Bishop is never required to drive away erroneous and doubtful doctrines. Permit me to say, gentlemen, that there are no such things as doubtful doctrines. Doctrine is either true or false. The Truth of God is true, and the lies of the devil are false. There can be no such things as doubtful doctrines. The term is used in its subjective sense. Objectively, all doctrines are true or false. Subjectively, you and I may doubt about them. My objection to it is, that it covers a field the extent of which we do not realize.
One Presbyter may think a doctrine doubtful, and another Presbyter may not think it doubtful; one standing committee may think it doubtful, and another standing committee may not think it doubtful. Or, as our standing committees change every year, the standing committee of 1874 may decide it to be doubtful, and the standing committee of 1875 may decide it to be true; and perhaps that very thing may be the issue upon which the standing committee may be elected or defeated. Therefore let me say that the change of the old-fashioned words, "strange or erroneous doctrines" into "erroneous or doubtful doctrines," is simply to introduce into this Church the beginning of endless confusion.
And now I come to the particular specifications. Let me say that I believe this Church has the right, if it does it in a lawful way, to regulate its ceremonies as it pleases; and if it chooses to forbid the use of incense, I have nothing to say. I am a Presbyter of this Church of twenty years' standing, and I am accused of Ritualism. Allow me to say that, though I have attended Ritualistic services in England and this country—and I am well aware that incense is and has been used—I never was in any church in connection with the Protestant Episcopal Church at a time when incense was used. I remember upon one occasion having a gentleman call to see me at my own chapel, and when he arrived in the chapel a very singular thing came over him. He commenced making a sort of snuffing as if he were smelling something; and finally he said to me, "My dear brother, is that incense that I smell?" [Laughter.] I was compelled to say to him that I never had used incense, and that I thought the smell was nothing but the smell of oakwood; and he was perfectly satisfied. [Laughter.]
Now let it be noticed; and in order to get the force of my argument you will have to follow the Canon, and I believe the argument to be one which, if I can set it forth, will convince the House that at least that specification, "the use of incense," is an utter piece of nonsense. Let us see. It says, "Ceremonies, or practices during the celebration of the Holy Communion not ordained or authorized in the Book of Prayer, and setting forth or symbolizing erroneous or doubtful doctrines, have been introduced into a parish within his jurisdiction; and, as examples, the following are declared to be considered as such."
That is, it does not simply forbid the use of incense—I wish that were all. What it does is to say that the use of incense symbolizes erroneous or doubtful doctrines, which is a dreadful thing to commit this House to. For this House to forbid the use of incense is a very proper thing, perhaps; but for this House to say that the use of incense symbolizes false doctrines, is for this House to put itself in utter and total opposition to the Holy Scriptures; for, remember, what does David say? "Let my prayer be set forth in Thy sight as the incense, and let the lifting up of my hands be an evening sacrifice." In other words, David says that the use of incense, to which that holy prophet and king was accustomed—having not lived in our own day—symbolized prayer; and will this church say—is it prepared to say,—that the use of incense, which symbolizes prayer, symbolizes false doctrine?
Then again, I heard it read in St. Thomas' Church yesterday morning at the beginning of the services, "From the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles, and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering; for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of Hosts." I am not going to enter into the question whether that was a prophecy of something that was literally to take place. Some people say it was, but I am afraid they are Ritualists. My only question is as to its symbolical meaning. The prophet Malachi holds that incense symbolizes the pure offering,—I suppose the Eucharistic offering; and for the sake of this argument I am willing for the moment to concede that that offering is nothing but an offering of prayer and thanksgiving; though I do not think so. Then we are to understand that incense, symbolizing the pure Eucharistic offering, symbolizes false doctrine! Or again—and this is something more awful—when Aaron stood between the dead and the living with the censer in his hands, and the smoke of the incense was wafted to heaven; the people were saved. What did he typify but that Eternal Son of God who alone stands between the dead and the living, and whose mediation for the souls of men forever ascends to the right hand of God? and what did the ascending incense symbolize but the atoning Sacrifice and the everlasting Mediation? And is this Church then, prepared to say that the eternal Mediation and the awful atoning Sacrifice are false doctrines? Or, when the priest on the great day of atonement went before the mercy-seat, and clouds of incense covered it, typifying the ceaseless intercession of the Son of God, is this Church prepared to say that such a use of incense symbolized false doctrines? But this Canon, if it be passed as it stands, makes it so!
I pass over the second specification, although I must say that I do not think the iconoclasm goes quite far enough; for when, in St. Thomas' Church only yesterday morning, I witnessed the great statues of the Apostles standing all around, I am free to say that, had I not been as much of a Protestant as I am, as I bent and bowed, I might have been led into the Roman error of worshipping images or something of that kind. [Laughter.] I do not think that thing goes quite far enough. Cut out the crucifix from the stained windows, put it out of your prayer-books, forbid pictures as well as images, if it be necessary; but do not let us believe, in this day, that the mere looking at the image of the human nature of our Divine Redeemer, and exciting our emotions by his thorn-crowned brow and his bleeding head and pierced hands, can possibly be said to symbolize false doctrine!
Now I pass over "the Elevation of the Elements in the Holy Communion in such manner as to expose them to the view of the people as objects towards which adoration is to be made," only with one remark; for it will answer something that was said by the Clerical Deputy from Maryland, and that is this: that if this is to be decided to be a thing which symbolizes false doctrine, I am free to say that we shall pronounce against every other true portion of the Christian Church that has ever been since the beginning of time. No one can read the ancient Liturgies without finding just this: "When the consecration is over, before priest or people have received, and the priest comes forward holding the holy things in his hands, turning towards the people he says, 'Holy things for holy persons,' and the people answer, 'To Thee, O Lord,' and burst forth into a hymn of adoration and of praise to the present Saviour." I say that after the consecration is over, according to the Liturgy of St. Mark, which writers on this subject date back to about the year 200, the priest comes forward with the holy things in his hands, and actually turns to the people and says, "Bow the knee to Jesus," and the people answer, "To Thee, O Lord." Again, I say, that in the Liturgy which the most careful Anglican writers declare to be that Liturgy that most Represents the mind of the Apostles, the Clementine Liturgy, when the priest comes forward and says, "Holy things for holy people," the people break forth into this hymn, "There is one Holy, one Lord Jesus Christ . . . . Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace and good-will toward men; Hosanna to the son of David; blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; God is the Lord, and He hath appeared unto us. Hosanna in the highest." And let me call the attention of the Lay and Clerical Deputies from New Jersey to the fact that I am told that in the Diocese of New Jersey the bishop, when he consecrates, when he comes to that part of the service where he breaks the bread, turns around to the people, and breaks it in presence of the people; and again, in the apsidal chancel, when the priest stands behind the altar facing the people, he does exactly that self-same thing: and shall we say that this symbolizes false doctrine? Now I come to another point: "Any act of adoration of or toward the Elements in the Holy Communion, such as bowings, prostrations, genuflexions, and all such like acts, not authorized or allowed by the Rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer." I am exceedingly pleased to find that this Canon makes a distinction which the public mind has not made before this session. I was delighted to hear the Clerical Deputy from Massachusetts (Rev. Dr. Huntington), who is always clear in whatsoever he says, state very carefully and distinctly the difference between outward adoration and inward adoration, between external acts of adoration and internal acts of love and honor. The distinction is a vital one. It is one which it behooves this Church carefully to remember, for I am free to say one thing which, believe it, I say with the deepest humility; and yet I know when I say it there are a thousand hearts that will respond to me. You may take away from us, if you will, every external ceremony; you may take away altars, and super-altars, and lights, and incense, and vestments; you may take away, if you will, the eastward position; you may takeaway every possible ceremony; and you may command us to celebrate at the altar of without any external symbolism whatsoever; you may give us the most barren of all observances, and we will submit to you. If this Church commands us to have no ceremonies, we will obey. But, gentlemen, the very moment any one says we shall not adore our Lord present in the Eucharist, then from a thousand hearts will come the answer, as of those bidden to go into exile, "Let me die in my own country and be buried by the grave of my father and my mother!" to adore Christ's person in His Sacrament, is the inalienable privilege of every Christian and Catholic heart How we do it, the way we do it, the ceremonies which we do it, are utterly, utterly indifferent; the thing itself is what we plead for, and I know I should not plead to unkind or unfeeling hearts. I remember those words of the great Christian poet:
"No distance breaks the tie of blood;
Brothers are brothers evermore;
Nor wrong nor wrath of deadliest mood
That magic may o'erpower.
Oft ere the common source be known
The kindred drops will claim their own,
And throbbing pulses silently
Move heart toward heart by sympathy.
"So is it with true Christian hearts;
Their mutual share in Jesus' blood
An everlasting bond imparts
Of holiest brotherhood.
O might we all our lineage prove,
Give and forgive, do good and love,
By soft endearments in kind strife,
Light'ning the load of daily life.
"There is much need, for not as yet
Are we in safety or repose;
The holy house is still beset
By leaguer of stern foes:
Wild thoughts within, bad men without,
All evil spirits round about
Are banded in unblest device
To spoil love's earthly paradise.
"Then draw we nearer, day by day,
Each to his brethren—all to God.
Let the world use us as she may,
We may not lose our road;—
Not wondering, though in grief to find
The martyr's foe still keep her mind;
But fixed to hold love's banner fast,
And, by submission, win at last."
And yet I am thankful to say that this clause, marked "d" instead of forbidding Eucharistic adoration, is the most definite assertion of it that ever has been adopted in our Church since the time of the Reformation, and I mean to prove that fact. I do not know, of course, whether there was any Ritualist amongst the great Committee of Thirteen. I do not know how this came to pass. I do not know whether it befell them, as it does sometimes befall men, that they builded other than they intended. But I do not hesitate to say that this clause is the greatest assertion of Eucharistic adoration that has ever been made since the time of the Reformation. Now let me prove it.
You will please look at the words, "any act of adoration of or towards the Elements in the Holy Communion, such as bowings, prostrations, genuflexions, and all such-like acts not authorized or allowed by the Rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer." In other words, if there is any such act allowed by the Rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer, then that is an act of adoration of or towards the Elements. Now, if I can prove that there is such an act allowed by the Rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer, and that, historically, this Church has a very peculiar relation to this act, then I think I shall have proved my point. Now, in the Book of Common Prayer there is but one Rubrical direction of this sort. It is all I want. We are directed to kneel, and I do not want any other posture whatsoever to express my feelings of adoration to Christ. We are directed to kneel I say. Everybody knows that. It does not need to be proved by looking into the Prayer-Book. Now, the question as to kneeling in the Eucharist has historically been a very vexed one in the Anglican Church. No sooner was the first book of Edward VI. set forth than the King and his Council surreptitiously put into it, without the consent of the Convocation, an explanation of the kneeling; and the explanation showed what they thought the kneeling might mean, inasmuch as they declared that this kneeling is not meant to express any adoration of " any real or essential presence there being of Christ's natural flesh and blood." But no sooner did Bloody Mary come in than she abolished it, and when Queen Elizabeth ascended the throne she did not revive it, for the Prayer-Book of Elizabeth has not that declaration in it. When King James the First came to the throne, his Prayer-Book did not have it either, and it was not until the time of Charles II. that the question came up, and then it came up in this way. Those people who were not willing to consent to the Act of Uniformity, sent in to the Savoy Conference, at the beginning of the reign of Charles II., a series of objections to things in the Prayer-Book, and one of those objections was to kneeling in the Holy Communion, and then the divines of King Charles' time, who were shrewdly suspected of being very High Church indeed, quite inclined towards the Laudian school, while they inserted the declaration as to kneeling, did it with a significant alteration. That alteration was, that no adoration is due to any "corporal presence of Christ's natural flesh and blood." They changed the words "real or essential presence," to the words "any corporal presence of Christ's natural flesh and blood;" and ever since, around that declaration of kneeling there has been a contest in the Church of England. There was a contest only the other day, and the judgment of the Privy Council, in the Bennett case, which I have here, declares expressly—though the Privy Council, everybody knows, is tolerant of everything excepting the faith—that the declaration of kneeling cannot be so construed as to deny the right to adore Christ present in the elements;—that it permits both ideas.
Now I come to my argument. Strangely enough, when the American Book of Common Prayer was adopted, the declaration of kneeling was left out. It is not to be found in our Book of Common Prayer, and I think I know the reason why. It pleased God to give to Bishop White an utter abhorrence of all Calvinism, and he knew-that that Rubric could be interpreted in a Calvinistic direction; and, though you cannot find any allusion to its omission in the records of the time, somehow or other it slipped out, and I suppose it slipped out precisely as a single word in the Catechism has slipped out. The Catechism says: "The Holy Ghost, who sanctifieth me and all the elect people of God." That is the way it reads in the English Prayer-Book; but in our Prayer-Book it is "The Holy Ghost who sanctifieth me and all the people of God." The word "elect" was left out under a mistake, no doubt, but under that dreadful terror of possible Calvinism which so affected the excellent first Bishop of Pennsylvania.
It will be justly said that this clause of the Canon is a contribution in the same direction, and when it impliedly asserts that there are certain acts of adoration which are authorized and allowed by the Rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer, and people remember that kneeling is allowed, it will not take twenty-five years before this clause of the Canon will wheel into line, and will be an argument in favor of Eucharistic Adoration in the books of that, day, of the very strongest character. And let me say that, if our debates go down to posterity, as I trust they may, the fact that I have pointed this out to this House, being duly recorded and duly read, will add a point and pungency to the fact, if you pass it without disproving what I have thus definitely pointed out.
These are my objections to the Canon, and I intend to propose an amendment to it. I would not for the world bring it before this House without having first submitted it to the Committee on Canons. They tell us that like the Greeks of old they have burned their ships, and mean to stand or fall by this Canon; and woe betide me if I attempt to pass anything through this House with the great Committee against me, and so I will not propose it to this House; I will only propose that it be referred for their consideration to the Committee on Canons. Now let me read it; and I believe, although I have argued with a great deal of earnestness, that what I have to say is really in the interest of truth, and peace, and kindness, and love, and the settlement of difficulties.
"If any Bishop shall have reason to believe that ceremonies or practices, during the celebration of the Holy Communion, not ordained or authorized in the Book of Common Prayer, and setting forth or symbolizing doctrines not in accordance with those of this Church, have been introduced into a parish within his jurisdiction, it shall be the duty of such Bishop to summon the Standing Committee as his council of advice, and with them to investigate the matter; and if, after investigation, it shall appear to the Bishop and Standing Committee that doctrines not in accordance with those of this Church have in fact been set forth or symbolized by ceremonies or practices," etc. The rest of the Canon is just the same.
The amendment merely leaves out these specifications; it leaves out the word "doubtful" in connection with "doctrines;" it leaves out the two prying Presbyters, and keeps the Bishop and Standing Committee to their duty; and if they do it, I am free to say that all over this country there will be a tolerable freedom from rites, and ceremonies, and practices which offend the mind of this Church. That is my proposition. I say, I consider it in the interest of truth and peace; and if such a proposition is brought forward, I myself will vote for it. I understand that a lay deputy from Maryland has a Canon drawn up that he wishes to bring forward, and if at this moment it would be of any service to him to bring it forward, to be referred at the same time to the Committee on Canons, it will give me great pleasure to yield the floor to him for that purpose, if it be not taken out of my allotment of time.
At the end of my speech, therefore, I propose to offer my amendment, and also this substitute which is proposed; but if the Committee on Canons desire it, I will simply propose that they be referred; or if they tell me I shall not be doing discourtesy to the Committee, I will venture to propose them immediately to this House; for I do not venture to interfere with what I think is a rightful thing,—that a committee constituted like that which has had this subject before it, and has reported to us a Canon, which I am ready to acknowledge is very moderate, and which, no doubt, has been the result of a good deal of consideration and of a certain amount of compromise, should have at least the opportunity of fully considering the proposed amendment.
Now I come to something which is perhaps more important than anything I have said already, and yet which I feel constrained to say. I listened with a certain amount of astonishment to an assertion which was made in a different way by two persons in this House, during the course of our debates. A gentleman said here that a certain person did not believe in Eucharistic Adoration. Another gentleman said that Eucharistic Adoration was a doctrine tolerated in our Church. And there are a great many people who evidently believe that Eucharistic Adoration is a thing that is not only not allowed, but is very wicked and very sinful. Now, I have only to say that, while I have no question that the gentlemen who use this language have in their own minds a clear and determinate sense in which they use it, yet to say that one does not believe in Eucharistic Adoration, or to say that Eucharistic Adoration is a tolerated doctrine, is to say a thing which to the theological mind is simply and totally unintelligible; for—and here I am going to take a bold flight of ambition—if there be one man in this House whom I admire for his logic, for his clearness, for his wonderful power of management, it is a Clerical Deputy from Virginia (Rev. Dr. Andrews), whose voice has scarcely been heard during this Convention. I always tremble when he speaks. Now let me say that in my poor, humble way I desire to follow him; and when I read, in a very clever and able article, that he had found out no less than seven ways in which the doctrine of baptismal regeneration might be held in our Church, I tried to think in how many ways the doctrine of Eucharistic Adoration might be held somewhere. But, even after long effort, I have only been able to discover six. So I am just one behind him, and I am glad in this respect that Wisconsin is not quite "so advanced" as Virginia. [Great laughter.]
The PRESIDENT. If there is any attempt at applause the galleries will have to be cleared.
The Rev. Dr. DE KOVEN, of Wisconsin. The first sense in which Eucharistic Adoration may be held to be affirmed, or denied, or tolerated, is that to which I have already alluded, namely, that acts of adoration paid towards or to the elements make up Eucharistic adoration; and yet it is quite possible that a man may go through all sorts of genuflexions and prostrations, and never adore Christ in the Eucharist at all. The Clerical Deputy from Maryland (Rev. Dr. Leeds) told us that in the Eastern Church, at the Greater Entrance, when the elements unconsecrated are brought forth, the people prostrate themselves before those unconsecrated elements, in token of their belief in the coming down of the Son of God into this world; and so it is possible that, for far less reason than the adoring of Christ in the Eucharist, for the sake of all sorts of things, a man may go through with external acts of adoration. But I have said sufficient about that. The distinction, I trust, is impressed on the mind of this House.
The second is (and I have heard people say it in this House) that it is wrong to adore the Sacrament. The word "sacrament," as everybody knows, is an ambiguous term, and may mean either the outward elements, or that union of the outward and inward which makes up the Sacrament; or, again, the whole sacramental rite. I suppose when they say this they mean the outward part of the Sacrament. It is quite possible that in Mexico and the States of South America, and possibly in Southern Europe, where the Host is carried about the streets—a practice which I believe to be a terrible evil—it is possible that the ignorant may adore the outward elements; but I never heard or knew of anybody in our Church or in the Church of England who held to any such erroneous or false doctrine.
There is a third sense in which a man may hold Eucharistic Adoration. He may believe that after consecration the substance of Christ's Body and Blood has taken the place of the substance of the bread and wine, and that nothing but the accidents of the bread and wine remain. In other words, he may hold the doctrine of the Council of Trent on the subject of transubstantiation, and, when he falls down before the consecrated elements, he may be adoring, not the substance of the bread and wine, but the substance of Christ's Body and Blood hidden under these veils, and believing in transubstantiation, may adore Christ present in His substance; and this the Roman Church does. Let me say that I do not know of any one in our Church who holds to Eucharistic Adoration in this sense; and when I heard a lay deputy from Kentucky, in a very able and interesting speech, say that he only wished that somebody, whose name shall not be mentioned, would come out and say, "I abhor and detest the Roman doctrine of transubstantiation," I feel certain that any well-trained Churchman could do as he desired.
And now I come to the fourth view of Eucharistic Adoration, and that is, that a man may hold that Christ's Body and Blood, and so Christ's human nature, and so Christ Himself, is in sacramental union with the bread and wine after consecration, not by transubstantiation, not by impanation, not by consubstantiation, not by a view which is largely held in our Church, and which is known as identity of substance: but in sacramental union with the holy elements, and so, not adoring the external elements, may yet pay his reverent homage to the Son of God, whom he believes to be present in His own Sacrament. Or again, a man may hold in our Church, and if he does so he can claim very venerable authority for it,—and I am free to say that the difference between this view and the other is rather a difference of words than of things—he may hold that Christ our Lord is personally present by His Divine Person in the Holy Eucharist. He may hold that Christ's human nature is present there, first by way of conjunction, secondly by way of cooperation, and thirdly by way of force and efficacy; and holding that Christ in His Divine Person is there, and there to give us His own Body and Blood, though that body and blood be not in the mind of this person connected with the elements, he too may adore Christ present in the Eucharist.
Or again, he may hold something which I believe the conscience of this Church will utterly and totally give up, but which nevertheless is held in our Church, and that is, that Christ our Lord is to be adored and only adored at the right hand of His Father in heaven; and holding that, he may believe that the Eucharist is the very special opportunity for paying his express adoration to Christ, though absent in heaven; and he too may adore Christ by means of the Eucharist, though he may adore Him as only at the right hand of His Father.
And so I assert that there are no less than six ways in which a man can believe in Eucharistic adoration—two of them which are not held in our Church at all, one of them which no logical mind can possibly hold, and the other three of which, I firmly believe, include in some one of their forms ninety-nine one-hundredths of the churchmen of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America; and therefore I assert that when a man says he does not believe in Eucharistic adoration, or asserts that it is tolerated or not tolerated, without further explanation, he says something that is totally unintelligible. And this leads me to a thought which is of the gravest possible description. Our Church in this country was planted in the darkest days of the Church of England. It brought over here every narrow feeling, every insulated policy, every miserable convenience, that resulted from the connection of the Church and State; and for one hundred and seventy-seven years our Church was left without a Confirmation, without an Ordination, without a Bishop, for all these evils to crystallize around her. And when it pleased God to give us Bishops, what for seventy years has been the life of the American Church? She has been struggling for her own; she has been grasping at the truth of God; she has been seeking for that which was her heritage from the ages; she has been striving to obtain in all its fullness that which came down to her from her fathers. When I was a boy, the doctrine of baptismal regeneration was a doubtful doctrine—so very doubtful that a man scarcely dared to say that he held it, and I have lived to see petitions presented to this House desiring the alteration of the Prayer-Book because it so distinctly asserts the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. Now let me say, about the doctrine of the Eucharist, there is precisely this, that we have not arrived at a full and clear determination about it. Better a thousand times, my brethren, that rash and incautious expressions should be used, better that things should be said that the great heart of this Church may possibly condemn, than that we should hastily formulate this doctrine. Let me illustrate: I know there is an illustration which presents itself to your own minds, and which it is quite impossible for me to assent to after the adjectives with which I have qualified it." Nor do I mean to apply those adjectives to this that I shall say, Within the past three years I have read a charge from a Bishop of this Church, honored, venerated, one of the noblest and best of our most aged Bishops, advocating something which he called in terms Zwinglianism. I have read also a pamphlet of a Clerical Deputy from Virginia, advocating the same thing. I do not mean to say that it was Zwinglianism. It did not seem to be as bad as Zwinglianism; but, nevertheless, it was a clear and definite expression of what anybody would say was a very low Church view of this subject, and I have never heard a single word said against it. I have never read an article in any newspaper against it. I have never heard that it was going to make a crisis in the Church. I never heard that the man who held it was not to be elevated to the Episcopate. I have seen that it had free scope and fair play, and for my part I would give it free scope and fair play too. Let this Church on this doctrine preserve its equanimity. Let it study. Let it read. Let it pray. Let it think. Let men who have the grace and the gift of understanding pour forth their contributions; and if there are things that ought not to be said, we may be sure that free thought, free play, free consideration, and full consideration, never harmed the Church in any way; for, mark you, it is a philosophical truth, which no man can read ecclesiastical history without understanding, that no doctrine, though it be formulated never so often, becomes the doctrine of any Church until that doctrine receives the moral unanimity of its members; and if any one here should be tempted either by Rubric or by Article to attempt to take away from the doctrine of this Church on the Eucharist, it would only be endeavoring to do something which in time to come this Church will rise as one man, clerical and lay, and sweep away.
And now, Mr. President, I want to say one word—
THE PRESIDENT. It will be necessary to ask for an extension of your time.
The Rev. Dr. DALZELL, of Louisiana. I move that full time be given to the Clerical Deputy from Wisconsin.
The motion was agreed to unanimously.
The Rev. Dr. DE KOVEN, of Wisconsin. It will be remembered in this House that, in the last General Convention, under peculiar circumstances, I stated a phrase which I hardly need to repeat because it has so often been rung in my ears and in the ears of others, "that I myself adore, and would, if it were necessary or my duty, teach my people to adore, Christ present in the elements under the form of bread and wine." I then expressed what was my conviction on this subject, but I did not express it merely because it was my conviction. The object which I had in expressing it was something which has clearly and evidently been lost sight of. Woe be to that man, I say, who in this age of ours attempts to force down the throats of Churchmen any particular formula upon a given doctrine! The doctrine is eternal; the words in which we express it may change and alter. I only used those words, not because they were my conviction, though they were so, but because they were words which a court of law—the second to the highest in England—had adjudicated, and decided that they were words which could be used in the Church of England, and that the man who did use them was not thereby liable to penal prosecution. This was simply my motive in doing it—to express what a court of law had decided a man might say in our Church, in opposition to the very extreme views which had been expressed on the other side. Now, I am quite conscious that in that phrase—for no one could have gone through the series of controversies in which I have been involved without having considered it most carefully—there are two expressions which seem to convey to the mind something which I did not mean to convey, and therefore many people have said that I hold a view which I do not hold, and have attributed to me doctrines which I do not believe in.
I take up, first of all, the words, "under the form of bread and wine." Let me ask if there are not members in this House who have held that when a man says he believes in the presence of Christ in the elements under the form of bread and wine, he really means that the form of bread and wine remains, while the substance is gone and another substance has taken its place, In other words, I believe there are those in this House who think that the words, "under the form of bread and wine," definitely teach the doctrine of transubstantiation, and I am compelled to admit that they have been used to express, at some time in history, the doctrine of transubstantiation. I am also able to say that the words have been used over and over again in the Church of England to express, not the doctrine of transubstantiation, but the doctrine of the real spiritual presence of Christ our Lord in sacramental union with the consecrated elements. Those words are to be found in an advertisement annexed to the first Book of Homilies. It says, "Hereafter shall follow sermons of the Nativity, Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension of our Saviour Christ, of the due receiving of his blessed Body and Blood under the form of bread and wine." I know people have said that that title has no authority. I know that they made the statement that it was introduced by that extraordinary person, the King's printer. I know that they also correctly add that when the second Book of Homilies appeared, the homily upon the Lord's Supper did not bear that title; and yet the fact is that the Book of Homilies has been twice revised since this statement was put in, and it has never been altered, and is to this day to be found in the advertisement annexed to the first Book of Homilies of the Church of England. I also must say that the words themselves were familiar to our Reformers because they had been used by Bertram, or Ratramn, in his treatise on the Lord's Supper, not in the sense of transubstantiation, but in the sense of the Real Presence. The words occur in a formal prayer set out by Queen Elizabeth after the Reformation, though they were afterwards dropped from that form in the year 1566. The words are to be found in varying senses in books like "Nicholson on the Catechism," "Sherlock's Practical Christian," "Sutton's Godly Meditations upon the most holy Supper of the Lord"; and in our day they have been used by very many writers. In the famous argument, and an argument of unequalled power and eloquence,—though it was on the wrong side, and though rumor says it converted the man who made it to the right side,—I say, that in the argument of Mr. Stephens before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, he distinctly asserted that the words "under the form of bread and wine" may be used to express the Real Presence of Christ in the elements, and that they did not necessarily mean or imply the doctrine of transubstantiation. But what shall be said of the phrase "in the elements?" It is true that the Bennett formula, as it is sometimes called, did not use the words "in the elements." It used the words "in the Sacrament." So I was accused of having corrupted and perverted the Bennett judgment in order to express something more strongly than he did. I took the opportunity of writing a letter to a gentleman who holds a distinguished position in the Church of England, Mr. Walter Phillimore, the son of Sir Robert Phillimore, the judge who pronounced the judgment; and he wrote back to me that I had quoted it exactly; and while it was true that the words "in the Sacrament" were the words of Mr. Bennett, for the purposes of legal decision in this case, the words "in the elements" and the words "in the Sacrament" were exactly identical.
And now, because I said "I believe in the Presence in the elements," people held that I must believe in a local, physical, carnal Presence in the elements. Let me say that it is impossible for me to say in what sense I hold to a presence in the elements. Where Christ has not defined, I do not define. Where the Church has not defined, I do not define. I merely say negatively, as the Church has said that it is not by transubstantiation; that it is not by impanation; that it is not by identity of substance; and if you ask me how it is, I answer, I know of but one word to express it, and that word expresses it without defining it, and that word is the consecrated word "Sacramental." I hold that Christ is in sacramental union with the consecrated elements, and that presence is called "real," to show that it is not a mere figurative or virtual presence, and the presence is called "spiritual," to show that it is not a physical or carnal or corporal presence. Having made these negative definitions, I declare that I hold that Christ has ascended into the heavens, and is set down on the right hand of the Throne of God. I hold that around Him are the Angels and the Powers and the Principalities, the Cherubim and Seraphim, and that the hymn of praise to the Eternal King ever ascends; and I also hold that He is present in the elements by this way of sacramental union; and how both are true I cannot tell. I believe the one, and I believe the other: just as I believe in God's predestination and in man's free will, and am neither a Calvinist nor an Arminian, because I accept both sides of the truth. I hold that Christ is there [pointing to the sky]; I hold that He is here; I hold that He is there locally; I hold that He is here spiritually.
Mr. President and gentlemen, I have a great deal more to say, but I had no idea that I could be so verbose; and now you must be tired to death. ["Go on! go on!"] Mr. President, I want to read something, and I want to say beforehand that it is not my own, so that nobody need quote it against me. [Laughter.] These words are (they are in the form of prayer):
"How Thou art in heaven and art present on the Altar, I can by no means explain; but I firmly believe it all, because Thou hast said it; and I firmly rely on Thy love and Thy omnipotence to make good Thy word: but the manner of doing it I cannot comprehend."
And those are the words of the saintly Bishop Ken, who wrote the Morning and the Evening Hymns which, for nearly two centuries, have tuned the morning prayers and the evening supplications of the children of our branch of God's Holy Church.
Mr. President, I am anxious to read one other extract, and I especially read it for the benefit of my brethren from Connecticut. I myself belong to Connecticut. I was born there, and trained there, and the man who wrote this was the man who catechised me in my boyhood upon the faith of the Church. I love Connecticut, with its hills and its vales and its blue river, and more than these do I love its grand old names and its noble history, and I trust that the day is far distant I know the day is far distant, when Connecticut Churchmanship shall become the synonym for intolerance or narrowness, or any sort of unchristianlike statesmanship. The words that I am about to read are the words of Dr. Samuel Farmar Jarvis, one of the most honored Presbyters of this Church, the son of Bishop Jarvis, who began that apostolical succession of historiographers of the Church, which, after resting for awhile upon Dr. Hawks, now in its full glory has fallen upon our distinguished Secretary;—I say the words are the words of the Rev. Dr. Samuel Farmar Jarvis, the first historiographer of this Church. They are to be found in a sermon on "Christian Unity necessary for the Conversion of the World," a sermon preached before the Bishops, clergy, and laity of the Board of Missions of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the year 1836. When the Rev. Doctor preached this sermon, the Bishops and clergy were so delighted with it that they invited him to publish it with notes, which accordingly he did in the year 1837, and so for some thirty-seven years this sermon has been before the Church and belongs to the Diocese of Connecticut. I want to read what this great divine says. After preaching as he had a good right to do, and as he ought to have done, against the errors of Rome, he puts in this note:
"As, on the one hand, we have no right to banish from our communion those whose notions of the real presence of Christ in the Sacrament rise to a mysterious change, by which"—
Mark this language:
—"by which the very elements themselves, though they retain their original properties, are corporally united with, or transformed into, Christ; so, on the other, they are not to be excluded who consider that Real Presence as altogether spiritual, but productive of the same blessed results, namely, the privileges of the Gospel resulting from the death of Christ."
And that passage, which is a note to the sermon, is to be found on the twenty-seventh page of this sermon on "Christian Unity necessary for the Conversion of the World," a sermon preached before the bishops and clergy and laity constituting the Board of Missions. Let me say, my dear brethren, that I never in my life said anything as strong as that. Whatever I have said does not come at all up to Connecticut churchmanship. [Laughter.] If perchance I have imbibed some feeble idea of that which the Reverend Father from Connecticut taught, having been catechised by him when I was a boy, I trust that the House will pardon the inheritance that in this respect I have received from him.
And now I hear people asking the old rationalizing question: "How can Christ's body and blood be at the right hand of God, and how can it be at the same time in the Holy Eucharist?" and I find them explaining it away, and saying that it is impossible that it can be in the Eucharist, because it is at the right hand of God. O, Mr. President and gentlemen! I cannot explain mysteries. I do not pretend to do so. I can only speak of that which the Holy Scriptures say. You all remember when our Lord was speaking to Nicodemus, before His body was glorified, He said: "No man hath ascended up to heaven but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man, which is in heaven." He did not say that the Son of God was in heaven. He actually said that the Son of man, at that very moment when He was talking to Nicodemus, was both talking to him and in heaven also; and "the Son of man" at that. If you can explain how these two things are true, possibly I may be able to explain also.
Let me call your attention also to the very remarkable fact of the conversion of St. Paul. Do you not remember that when St. Paul was going to Damascus he fell to the earth, and a great light shined around about him, and he said, "Who art thou, Lord? " and the answer was, "I am Jesus whom thou persecutest." I suppose that some persons may say he only saw a vision, but then we read immediately after, that unto Ananias the Lord appeared in a vision. And so, when Ananias came to Saul, he said that God had chosen him, "that he should see that just One, and hear the voice of His mouth." And then we find that self-same St. Paul saying, "Am I not an Apostle? am I not free? Have I not seen the Lord Jesus Christ?" And then we find that same Apostle speaking on the resurrection, saying, He appeared first to James, and then to five hundred brethren, "and last of all He was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time, who am not meet to be called an Apostle." And so St. Peter says that somehow or other, it was necessary to a call to the apostleship that the man should see and hear the Lord Jesus Christ, because he says, in speaking about the election of Matthias, "One must be chosen to be a witness of the Lord's resurrection;" and also to Cornelius, that "Him God raised up the third day and showed Him openly, not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before of God, even to us." And if any one will explain to me how it was possible for our Lord to be in heaven and be seen and heard by St. Paul, not in a vision, but actually and really, then I may be able to explain the mystery of the Holy Communion.
Now, I have only a word more to say. My explanation, which is not an explanation, but only the bringing forth of a great and true doctrine, is that it is the mission of God the Holy Ghost not to supply Christ's absence, but to accomplish His presence. I know that people hold that the Holy Ghost is God's vicegerent upon earth; I know that people have been bold enough to affirm that Christ is absent personally from this world; that in other words, this world of ours is like the sepulchre, and we, like Mary Magdalene, are left to cry, "They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him." It is not so. It is, I say, the mission of God the Holy Ghost not to supply Christ's absence, but to accomplish His Presence. Blessed are the words which say, "It is expedient for you that I go away, for if I go not away the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart I will send Him unto you." That seems to imply that the Holy Ghost was to take Christ's place; but then when the broken hearts of the Apostles seemed to say, 'Give not Thou us any Comforter; we need no comforter but Thee'; He replied to their thought, "I go away and come again unto you." "I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you." "Yet a little while and ye see me no more; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you." These words indeed applied first to His return after the resurrection; but they also apply to that blessed supplying of His Presence which is the definite work of God the Holy Ghost, and which He accomplishes chiefly, though not exclusively, in the Sacrament of the Holy Communion.
Mr. President, we live in troublous times, and around us are all sorts of terrible questions. It does seem to me the need of the day is not now to legislate on nice points of doctrine, or to prescribe exactly the measure of a genuflexion, or the angle of inclination which can express an orthodox devotion. The answer to all this panic and all this outcry is one, and one only. It is Work; work for the cause of Christ; work for the souls of men; and a fuller, deeper, more noble sense of the obligation of the Church, developing its powers, and sending it forth to mould and form this mighty nation, and to give new life and vigor to every effort that is made for the salvation of men. I see the storm-cloud gathering. I see the lightnings flash. I hear the thunder roll afar. I hear the trumpet call. In my ears the bugle blast is ringing. And I call you, brethren, in a time like this, not to narrow-hearted legislation, but to broad, Catholic, tolerant charity, and to work, as never men worked before, for the souls of those for whom the Saviour died.
I now offer the amendments. I have written them out, and I propose that these amendments be referred to the Committee on Canons for their consideration; and that motion includes the proposed substitute of Mr. Blanchard, of Maryland.
THE CANON AS FINALLY PASSED.
Resolved, That instead of the section as passed by the House of Deputies, and proposed to be amended by the House of Bishops, the following additional section be added to Canon 20, of Title I., "Of the Use of the Book of Common Prayer":
Sec. II. [i.] If any Bishop have reason to believe, or if complaint be made to him in writing by two or more of his Presbyters, that within his jurisdiction, ceremonies or practices not ordained or authorized in the Book of Common Prayer, and setting forth or symbolizing erroneous or doubtful doctrines, have been introduced by any minister during the celebration of the Holy Communion, (such as—
a. The Elevation of the Elements in the Holy Communion in such manner as to expose them to the view of the people as objects towards which adoration is to be made.
b. Any act of adoration of or toward the Elements in the Holy Communion, such as bowings, prostrations, or genuflections; and,
c. All other like acts not authorized or allowed by the Rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer),
It shall be the duty of such Bishop to summon the Standing Committee as his Council of Advice, and with them to investigate the matter.
[2.] If after investigation it shall appear to the Bishop and Standing Committee that ceremonies or practices not ordained or authorized as aforesaid, and setting forth or symbolizing erroneous or doubtful doctrines, have in fact been introduced as aforesaid, it shall be the duty of the Bishop by instrument of writing under his hand to admonish the Minister so offending to discontinue such practices or ceremonies; and if the minister shall disregard such admonition, it shall be the duty of the Standing Committee to cause him to be tried for a breach of his ordination vow; provided, that nothing herein contained shall prevent the presentment, trial, and punishment of any minister under the provisions of Section i, of Canon 2, Title II., of the Digest.
[3.] In all investigations under the provisions of this Canon, the minister whose acts or practices are the subject-matter of the investigation shall be notified, and have opportunity to be heard in his defense. The charges preferred and the findings of the Bishop and Standing Committee shall be in writing, and a record shall be kept of the proceedings in the case.
The following remarks were made after the presentation of the Amended Canon, October 31st. A paragraph, in substance spoken at a later time, has been inserted:
Rev. Dr. DE KOVEN, of Wisconsin. Mr. President, I merely want to say a word in regard to the Canon as reported. There are some things in favor of it, and one thing against it. In the first place, it seems to me that the amendment which has been adopted by the Committee of Conference is a very valuable amendment, because it confines the Canon, which the proposed Amendment of the House of Bishops did not do, to the celebration of the Holy Communion, and requires two facts to be proved with regard to the acts: First, That they symbolize erroneous or doubtful doctrines; and, Second, That they are 'not authorized or ordained in the Book of Common Prayer. That, I hold, is the first change, and I regard it as a valuable one.
In the next place, there are two specifications left out, which said that the use of incense and the use of the crucifix symbolized false doctrine. I hope the reverend gentlemen from Pennsylvania will believe it when I say that nothing in this Canon authorizes the use of incense or the use of the crucifix. It leaves that just where it was before. If it was lawful before, it is lawful now; if it was unlawful before, it is still unlawful.
I desire to say still further that I can understand how the House of Bishops might have omitted what was said about the crucifix without entering upon the question of its symbolizing false doctrines, for there was a very curious thing in the Canon as it stood before. It said that the use of the crucifix was unlawful during the celebration of the Holy Communion. Therefore, it could have been inferred by cunning people that the use of the crucifix was allowable in other services than the Holy Communion; and I can imagine a very magnificent ceremony that perhaps some Ritualists might have gotten up; and I will venture to describe it. The crucifix brought into the Church, kept in it all through the service up to the time of the celebration of the Holy Communion, reverently borne by acolytes out of Church when the celebration began, and the clergyman getting up and saying, "We had the crucifix in the Church up to the time of the celebration of the Holy Communion, and took it out when the Holy Communion begins, because when the Real Presence is there, the symbolic representation is taken away." Therefore, I think it might be conceived to be a wise process to cast out this particular specification.
There is one thing which I believe must be granted, and that is to say, that adoration is a twofold act. It is both internal and external. The internal act is an act of inner worship, praise, prayer, thanksgiving, or all blended together. The external act is some ceremony which represents that internal feeling. Now, I suppose that since the sacrament is twofold—it consists of "an outward and visible sign and an inward and spiritual grace"—for sacramental worship there is needed, first, the internal act, and, secondly, the external ceremony, but anything in the character of that external ceremony may be properly regulated by the Church for its members. It may forbid this or it may forbid that, according to its judgment and according to the temper and tone of the times. If the Church were to forbid all external adoration, I believe it would be doing a cruel wrong to its children; but if it says, "You shall not genuflect," or it says, "You shall not prostrate yourself," or it says, "You shall not bow," it may be doing just what it has a right to do.
Now, then, I understand that these specifications permit the act of adoration, which is the act of kneeling, which fully, I think, covers all that the devout heart wants; and it does not say that kneeling symbolizes false doctrine or doubtful doctrine; it merely says the other things symbolize it; and therefore though I would not of my own will vote for these particular specifications, for I would prefer to permit the children of the Church some warmer expression of their internal adoration, yet if this Church thinks it best to limit it to kneeling, I am satisfied.
It may, indeed, be said, that the Canon declares that the "Elevation of the elements, ... as objects towards which adoration is to be made," or any act "of adoration toward the elements—such as bowings, prostrations, or genuflections—and all other like acts not authorized or allowed by the rubrics, symbolize false doctrine." But it must be noticed, that inasmuch as kneeling towards the elements is allowed by the rubric, these other acts must symbolize some doctrine which kneeling does not symbolize. Everybody knows that kneeling symbolizes the doctrine of the Real Presence with all its results. What, then, do these acts symbolize? I will venture an interpretation which may seem only ingenious, and which, therefore, I would not give, except that as this is a penal Canon, the most ingenious interpretation may prove, as it sometimes does, the one the lawyers may adopt. It is as follows. There is a gradation in the acts:
Of these (1), (2), and (4) are said to symbolize false doctrine, while (3) does not. Might it not, then, be said, since kneeling unquestionably symbolizes the doctrine of the Real Presence, that "Prostrations" symbolize some exaggeration of it like Transubstantiation, and "Bowings," and "Genuflections," some diminution thereof? At any rate, if this interpretation be not allowed, it will puzzle lawyer or theologian to discover the erroneous or doubtful doctrine that these forbidden practices symbolize which kneeling does not.
The consequence is that I might vote for this Canon as expressing the present mind of the Church with, only one exception, and if I vote against it, it will be because of the exception. It is this: that I am afraid the Canon is unconstitutional. I am myself not much given to constitutional amendments, but ever since this great approchement between myself and the delegation from Virginia, who are always very keen on the subject of constitutional amendments, I have been educated in that direction. I find whenever there is any practical work in hand, like the shortening of the services, or a court of appeals, things everybody believes we need—then a constitutional amendment is necessary. In other words, our Constitution stands apparently always in the face of work; but when it comes to the question of whether there shall be a little more restriction in ceremonial, then the Constitution is very elastic. Here is my difficulty, and I will state it; it seems to me just this: That to allow ceremonies by Canon, is to interfere with the law of the Rubric; to prohibit ceremonies by Canon, is also to interfere with the law of the Rubric; much more even to seem to declare what is or what is not doctrine by Canon is utterly unconstitutional; and so, if I do not vote for this, it will be simply on the ground that I have been trained by Virginia to respect the Constitution.