RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS----LONDON SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION AND "THE COMPROMISE OF 1871"----PARISH COUNCILS BILL----THE MAINTENANCE OF CHURCH AND DENOMINATIONAL SCHOOLS----THE CHURCH AND BOARD SCHOOLS----DECEASED WIFE'S SISTER'S BILL----THE ESTABLISHED CHURCH (WALES) BILL----MEETINGS IN SOUTH WALES----REPORTS OF CANON LAW COMMITTEE ON REFUSAL OF COMMUNION TO A DIVORCED WOMAN ("INNOCENT PARTY") AND A MAN WITH WHOM SHE HAD SUBSEQUENTLY GONE THROUGH THE FORM OF MARRIAGE, AND ON "RESERVATION"----FIRST EXAMINATION BY CHURCH PRINCIPLES COMMITTEE----DEATHS OF BISHOP SMYTHIES AND DEAN BUTLER----SCHISMATICAL CONSECRATION OF A BISHOP IN SPAIN BY THE ARCHBISHOP OF DUBLIN----THE NEW CRITICISM.
A COMMITTEE on Religious Instruction in Elementary Schools had been appointed by the Council, in accordance with a resolution passed at the First Ordinary Meeting of the session (1892-93) on Feb. 17, 1893, to consider the working of the Cowper-Temple Clause, and to report on the answers received to the questions submitted for consideration to the Branches and District Unions. On July 4, 1893, the Committee reported to the Council that replies had been received from 82 Local Branches and two District Unions to the following effect:--
(a) Fifty-four were in favour of the repeal of the Cowper-Temple Clause, and twenty-four were against such repeal;
(b) Seventy were in favour of legislation which would secure the teaching of the Church Catechism to the children of such parents as desire it, and ten were against such legislation;
(c) Sixty-two were in favour of an allocation to Church schools of at least a portion of the rates paid by Churchpeople, and fourteen were against such allocation.
In their report the Committee pointed out, with regard to (a), that the Cowper-Temple Clause had probably done more than anything else to suggest the mischievous idea of an undenominational religion, which should contain only such parts of the truth as all might be supposed to hold in common--in reality, an impossible thing. As regards (b), they pointed out that the Bill introduced by the Bishop of Salisbury (Wordsworth) "for providing greater freedom of religious instruction in Board schools," if passed, would, for all practical purposes, repeal the Cowper-Temple Clause, and at the same time secure what was desired by the answer (b); and as regards (c), they pointed out that no scheme for the allocation of rates, however just in itself, ought to be accepted by Churchmen, unless their rights were safeguarded, both in the management of their own schools and in the election of School Boards which control the education of so large a proportion of Church children.
The Bishop of Salisbury's Bill was, however, subsequently dropped, and the general interest diverted to the conflict which raged for months in the London School Board, in consequence of Mr. Athelstan Riley's strenuous and successful efforts to ensure the maintenance of what is called "the Compromise of 1871," in the sense in which it was understood when originally agreed to, viz., that the so-called common religion taught under the Board should be at least Christian--i.e., founded on belief in the Deity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In view of the School Board Election for London, which would take place in November, 1894, the Committee was directed by the Council to take the subject into consideration, and to report on the best means of securing the return of candidates who would support the Christian character of religious teaching in Board schools, and defend the interests of the Church schools in the Metropolis. The following clause from their report, other points being held over for further consideration was unanimously adopted by the Council:--
That the general organization of the E. C. U. be employed as far as possible in disseminating information, and in educating public opinion, as to the religions question involved at the next School Board election, and the grave responsibilities of those electors who are Churchmen.
In pursuance of this resolution meetings were held in London and elsewhere, at which addresses on the subject of religious instruction in schools were delivered by members of council and others especially qualified for the task, whilst a large quantity of pamphlets bearing on the subject was widely circulated. In referring to this subject, the President and Council, in their Annual Report for 1893-94, said:--
Whatever may be the ultimate solution of the question, two points seem to emerge clearly from the controversy as of immediate importance--first, the maintenance of our Church schools, not only for the sake of the definite Christian teaching which may be actually given in them, but also for the sake of the direct influence which they exercise on the religious instruction in all schools; and secondly, the insistence on the Christian sense of the Compromise adopted by the London School Board in 1871.
The First Ordinary Meeting of the session was held on December 13, 1893, at the Westminster Palace Hotel, when the following resolutions were adopted:--
Moved by the Rev. T. Outram Marshall (on behalf of the Council), and seconded by Mr. E. C. Ireland (Vice-Chairman of the Brompton and Chelsea Branch)--
(1) That justice requires that all Parish Rooms belonging to the Church, whether used exclusively for secular purposes, or used partly for secular and partly for religious purposes, shall remain under their present management, and be exempted from the operations of this Bill.
(2) That closed churchyards, notwithstanding the transfer to the Parish Councils of the obligation to maintain and repair them, ought to remain under the control of the incumbent and the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical authorities.
The following preamble, moved by Mr. Thomas Layman (Delegate of the London (South-East) D. U.), and seconded by Mr. H. W. Hill (Chairman of the Southwark and Bermondsey Branch, and Delegate of the Lincolnshire (North-East) D. U.), viz:--
That this meeting approves of the principle of the Government (England and Wales) Bill"--
was lost by a considerable majority.
(3) Moved by the Rev. G. Bayfield Roberts (on behalf of the Council), and seconded by Canon Lucas--
That all persons, after the passing of this Bill, which deprives churchwardens of their civil functions, ought to be required (as under the Peel and Blandford Acts dealing with new parishes), in order to be eligible for the office of churchwarden, to be members of the Church of England.
This concluded the business of the Council, and the following rider, moved by the Rev. G. Bayfield Roberts, and seconded by the Rev. E. W. Enraght, was then adopted nem. con.--
And this meeting is further of opinion that the electors of churchwardens should themselves be Churchmen.
The Second Ordinary Meeting of the session was held in the New Gallery, Bar wick Street, Birmingham, on January 16, when the following resolution was unanimously adopted at the Afternoon Meeting:--
Moved by the Rev. F. Willett (Delegate of the South Staffordshire D. U.), and seconded by Mr. J. Lovell Hamshaw (Delegate of the North Staffordshire D. U.)--
That it is the duty, not only of Churchmen, but of all Christian men, to do their utmost at the present time to maintain, by liberal offerings, the Denominational schools of the country, ns affording the only guarantee for definite religious teaching in Public Elementary schools.
The following motion was then submitted to the meeting:--
Moved by the Rev. Prebendary Grier (Vicar of Hednesford), and seconded by the Rev. T. P. Ring (Rector of Hanley)--
That it is further the duty of Christians to endeavour to obtain by legislation the removal of all religious disabilities in matters touching education, so that religion may no longer be regarded by the State as a bar to equality of treatment, but that all Public Elementary schools, whatever their religious character, may share equally in the moneys raised for the purpose of public elementary education.
To this motion the Rev. T. B. Pollock (St. Alban's, Birmingham) moved the following rider--
But that, without wishing to close the question, the members present are of opinion that it would be most impolitic to attain such equality by asking for a share of the general school rate.
A prolonged debate followed, in the course of which a great divergence of opinion was exhibited, and eventually it was resolved that the question be not put, inasmuch as, in consequence of the length of the proceedings, most of the members had left the meeting, and therefore the votes of the few members remaining would not be certainly representative of the large numbers who had attended, and whose views, in their absence, could not be ascertained.
An evening meeting was held in the large Lecture Theatre of the Birmingham and Midland Institute. The following motion was adopted:--
Moved by the Rev. W. E. Ivens (Member of the Birmingham School Board, and Vicar of St. James's, Edgbaston), and seconded by Mr. Athelstan Riley--
That the attempt to prevent the teaching in Board schools of Christian doctrines by Christian teachers to the children of Christian parents is a grave attack upon freedom of conscience, and that in the opinion of this Union no settlement of the religious difficulty can be satisfactory to Englishmen which is not based upon the principles of religious liberty, and does not recognise the right of the parent to have his child instructed in accordance with his own religious convictions.
The President was unfortunately unable to be present, owing to the effects of an attack of influenza, and the chair was taken in his absence at both meetings by Sir Theodore Hope, K.C.S.I., C.I.E.
The Third Ordinary Meeting was held at the E. C. U. Office on April 17, 1894, when only formal business was transacted.
The Deceased Wife's Sister's Bill was read a first time in the House of Lords on March 27, 1894, and was eventually thrown out on the second reading on June 15, by 129 votes to 120. The Bill as introduced this year contained two new clauses, which indicated some slight measure of regard for the convictions of Churchmen. The clauses were as follows:--
(1) No clergyman of the Church of England .... shall be liable to any legal pains or penalties for withholding the rights and privileges of Church membership from persons living together in marriage made valid by this Act, or from either of them.
(2) Nothing herein contained shall relieve any such clergyman from any ecclesiastical pains or penalties to which he would otherwise be liable if this Act had not been passed by reason of his contracting, or having contracted, or living in marriage with his own deceased wife's sister.
"The Established Church (Wales) Bill" was introduced into the House of Commons by Mr. Asquith on April 26, 1894, and read the first time on April 30. It formed the sole subject for discussion at the Annual Meeting which was held at St. Martin's Hall, Charing Cross, on June 14.
The following lengthy resolution, enumerating the various provisions of the Bill, was enthusiastically adopted by an overflowing audience:--
Moved by the Earl of Cranbrook, seconded by Professor Jebb (Regius Professor of Greek in, and M.P. for, the University of Cambridge), and supported by the following invited speakers, viz., the Rev. H. Henson (Vicar of Barking), Mr. J. Trevarthen (Provost of the Guild of St. Alban), the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Cairo, U.S.A. (Vice-President of E. C. U), and the Rev. G. Bayfield Roberts (President of the Gloucestershire (Central) D. U.)--
That, inasmuch as the Bill now before Parliament, dealing with the Church in Wales and in the comity of Monmouth, proposes to dissolve every cathedral and ecclesiastical corporation, and to enact that the cathedrals, episcopal palaces, and other ecclesiastical buildings shall become national property, while consecrated burial-grounds shall be vested in some secular body; and assumes to transfer parishes and incumbents from the jurisdiction of one Bishop to that of another without the consent of the ecclesiastical authority, and to interfere with the constitution of the Synod of the Province of Canterbury, and with the rights of the Metropolitan by prohibiting the Bishops and clergy of the dioceses of St. David's, Llandaff, Bangor, and St. Asaph from sitting in the Convocation of the Province; and, drawing a distinction between the ancient and more modern endowments of the Church, proposes to secularise all Church property devoted to the service of God and the maintenance of religion previously to the year 1703, and to apply the same to any public purpose of local or general utility for which no provision has been made by statute out of public rates, this meeting of the English Church Union records its conviction that the said Bill should be met by the united and uncompromising opposition, not only of all loyal members of the Church, but of all who have the cause of justice and religion at heart.
The Bill was withdrawn, with others, on July 18, for the purpose of "closing the session within a reasonable time."
Previously to the Annual Meeting a series of meetings, presided over by the President, and arranged by the President and Council, were held in South Wales, April 24-27. At Cardiff--Speakers: Rev. G. Bayfield Roberts, Mr. P. J. Mitchell, J.P. (President of the Monmouthshire D. U.), and Rev. R. J. Ives (Vicar of St. German's, Roath); Carmarthen--Speakers: Mr. H. N. Miers, J.P. (Chairman of the Swansea Branch), Rev. G. Huntingdon (Rector of Tenby), Rev. H. G. Brown (Principal of the South Wales Training College), and Rev. T. R. Walters (Vicar of St. David's); and Swansea--Speakers: Rev. Z. P. Williamson (Vicar of Margam), the Hon. Aubrey Vivian, Professor Green (Professor of Hebrew, St. David's College, Lampeter), Rev. G. Huntingdon, Rev. A. W. Batson (Rector of Great Ringstead, and formerly a Master at the Swansea Grammar School), and Mr. H. N. Miers. The meetings were exceedingly well attended, and a considerable amount of enthusiasm was evoked.
In the course of the year two matters of the gravest importance came before the Council; the one involving the question of repelling from Communion two persons, one of whom had obtained a decree of divorce a vinculo in the Civil Divorce Court, and who had subsequently gone through the form of marriage with the other person; the other relating to the Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament for the Sick. In each case the influence brought to bear upon the respective parish priests was so weighty, that very serious apprehensions were aroused as to the grave consequences which might ensue, especially as there was sufficient evidence to suggest that the pressure employed in each case was the outcome of a determination in certain quarters to initiate repressive action against those who are popularly designated "extreme men." In each instance the advice and assistance of the Council was solicited. The matter in each case was referred at once to the Canon Law Committee, whose valuable reports were adopted by the Council, and communicated to the parties concerned. Both reports subsequently appeared in extenso in the Church papers. The Reports were as follows:--
The refusal of Communion to two parties, one of whom has obtained a decree of divorce a vinculo in the Civil Court, and who has subsequently, during the lifetime of her husband, gone through a form of Marriage with the other party:
By the Canon Law of the English Church--
(1) The vinculum matrimonii cannot be dissolved save by death.
(2) The only possible divorce is a mensa et thoro. Consequently, the woman is still bound, so far as the vinculum is concerned, to her husband from whom she is separated; and, further, she cannot contract matrimony during his lifetime. The parties referred to in the case are therefore now living in a state of sin.
The matter has been shown to fall within what canonists call notorietas facti.
The parties being, therefore, "notorious evil livers" in the canonical sense, a parochus is not only justified in refusing to give Communion, but, further, is bound so to act under the provisions of the 107th and 26th Canons of 1603, and the second Rubric at the beginning of the Communion Office in the Book of Common Prayer.
The parochus was therefore justified in refusing Communion to the said parties, and in charging his assistant curates to do the same.
Further, inasmuch as the parochus is custos sacramentorum as well as pastor of the flock, and inasmuch as refusal of Communion in such a case falls within the province of the forum internum, the parochus cannot devolve upon the Bishop his responsibility, but must act in the way prescribed by the aforesaid Canons and Rubric, even if the Bishop unhappily otherwise direct.
The Committee recommend that the question as to a possible action for defamation of character be referred to the Legal Committee.
In the issue, the two persons decided to refrain from attempting to insist upon being communicated. It is important to notice that the question involved was the right of the so-called "innocent party" to Communion.
The other case was that of a single-handed parish priest, who, with a daily Celebration in a large town-parish, was in the habit, when necessity arose, of carrying the Blessed Sacrament to the sick, from the Altar, immediately after the Blessing, and who had been served with a formal monition from his Bishop to discontinue the practice.
REPORT OF THE CANON LAW COMMITTEE ON THE CASE OF THE REV. --------.
The Lord Bishop of Vicar of the Parish of ---- has served upon the Rev. ------, a monition directing him "under no circumstances to reserve the Elements consecrated at Holy Communion, but to cause such portions of them as may remain to be reverently consumed in your church at the conclusion of the Communion Service according to the directions contained in the Book of Common Prayer."
It appears that Mr.--------'s practice has been, when necessary to carry the Blessed Sacrament to the sick directly from the Altar' immediately after the Blessing. '
The matter having been referred by the Council to the Canon Law Committee, the Committee report as follows:--
(1) That in their opinion such practice, as was accurately stated by Bishop Harold Browne (Chronicle of Convocation of Canterbury Session 77, Feb. 12th, 1885), "could not properly be called Reservation of the Sacrament, There was no reservation in it whatever so far as he understood?"
(2) That, even if such practice could properly be included under the head of Reservation, its lawfulness is undeniably sustained, not only by the universal and immemorial custom of the Catholic Church, but also by the general Canon Law of Western Christendom, by specific Provincial Constitutions of the English Church, and by the Provisions of the Ornaments Rubric in the Book of Common Prayer.
(3) That if it be urged that the sixth paragraph of the Rubric at the end of the Communion service, "If any remain that was consecrated, it shall not be carried out of the church, but the priest," &c., abrogates primitive custom and the Canon Law of the Catholic Church, it is sufficient to reply that the words were inserted by Bishop Cosin, as is shown by his notes, to guard against irreverence, and cannot now be used to hinder a primitive practice, indispensable at the present time, unless in many cases the sick arc to be debarred from Communion; a practice which had been previously definitely provided for in Elizabeth's Latin Prayer Book, put out by authority in 1560, which ran concurrently with the present Prayer Book.
The Committee therefore suggest that Mr. -------- should be advised that the monition is in excess of the obligations imposed upon him by his oath of canonical obedience, and that, in most respectfully representing this to the Bishop, he should press upon his lordship the extreme gravity of a course of action which would deprive the sick of opportunities of Communion which they have a right to demand.
It has only to be added that, in this case also, steadfastness of principle prevailed.
During the year the first examination of candidates for examination in a subject chosen by the Church Principles Committee was held, and awards given. About fifty members had entered for examination on the subject--"The Royal Supremacy: What it is; and What it is not." The examiners were the Rev. the Warden of Keble (Wilson), and the Rev. C Gordon Browne (Rector of Lympstone, and formerly Assistant-Secretary of E. C. U.).
In the death-roll of the year the names occurred of the great Missionary Bishop of Zanzibar (Smythies), the Dean of Lincoln ("Butler of Wantage"), and Mr. Chambers, Q.C., Recorder of Salisbury--the latter one of the original members of E. C. U., and an authority upon the ritual of the mediaeval English Church, as well as one of the ablest critics of the legal and historical blunders of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
During the year 2,710 persons joined the Union, bringing up the total to 35,034, of whom 4,266 are clergymen, including 27 Bishops. Seven new District Union, and eleven Local Branches were formed, and four Guilds affiliated. Total--District Unions, 68 (in addition to the Scottish Church Union and the New South Wales Church Union); Branches, 387; Affiliated Guilds, 74.
Although not strictly falling within the year 1893-94, which, according to custom, terminated with the Annual Meeting, the action taken by the Union on two such important subjects as the proposed consecration of a Bishop for certain "reformed congregations" in Spain, and the New Criticism, may here be fitly recorded.
On April 17, 1894, a small committee had been appointed to report on the former question, which on May 9 presented the following Report to the Council:--
Report of Committee appointed April 17, 1894, to consider the matter of the proposed Consecration of a Bishop in Spain, by the Archbishop of Dublin.
Your Committee, having considered the matter referred to them, are of opinion--
(1) That, apart from all considerations of the orthodoxy or otherwise of the persons who have separated themselves from the Church in Spain, it will be advisable to concentrate attention upon one single fact--viz., the unlawfulness in itself of the intended consecration of a Bishop in Spain by the Archbishop of Dublin. This act is so plainly contrary to the most simple and elementary principles of Catholic discipline and order that the Committee feel it to be almost unnecessary to say anything about it. It may, however, be well to draw attention to the provisions of the Thirteenth Canon of the Council of Antioch (A.D. 341), which is as follows:--
Let no Bishop dare to go from one Province into another and ordain in the Church certain men to the honour of the Ministry, not even if he bring others [sc. Bishops] with him, unless he come invited by the letters of the Metropolitan, and of the Bishops with him, into whose country he comes. But if, while none [sc. Bishops] invite him, he goes forth in a disorderly manner for the ordination of certain persons and the regulation of ecclesiastical matters which belong not to him, the things which have been done by him are indeed null, and he also is to suffer the proper punishment for his irregularity and unreasonable attempt, being deposed forthwith by the Synod. This Canon, which is a part of the Primitive cumenical Code, recognised both by East and West, seems to exactly represent the conditions of the Archbishop of Dublin's proposed action. We submit that it places that proposal in the most serious light, as under the ban of the Church.
(2) We deprecate the use of any expressions which would seem to imply an idea that the Church of England would be in any way compromised by such a proceeding; nor indeed that the Church of Ireland would be. At the same time we are aware that in consequence of the ancient and intimate relations between the Church of England and that of Ireland, such action would be regarded by the rest of Western Christendom, as well as by the Eastern Orthodox, as gravely affecting our claim to a Catholic position.
(3) We therefore consider that an effort ought to be made to avert the intended schismatic consecration. We suggest the presentation of a Memorial to the Bishops of England. Should the consecration however, unhappily, take place, we would in such case urge the presentation of a Memorial to the Archbishop of Toledo (the province, of which Madrid is one of the sees) and the Comprovincial Bishops, deploring the grave breach of Catholic order and discipline.
We propose to present a draft Memorial to the next Council Meeting, by which time we expect to be in possession of further information.
May 9, 1894.
The Report having been adopted by the Council in the above form, a Memorial was subsequently drafted, approved by the Council, and signed by the President, on July 4, 1894, in behalf of the Council, in the following terms:--
To His Grace the President and their Lordships the Bishops of the Province of Canterbury in Convocation assembled.
THE HUMBLE MEMORIAL OF THE UNDERSIGNED--
We desire to bring before your Grace and the Bishops of the Province of Canterbury the very grave anxiety which is being caused by the statements recently made as to the intention of his Grace the Archbishop of Dublin to confer episcopal consecration on certain members of the Spanish and Portuguese Churches who have separated themselves from the communion of their own Bishops. We humbly represent to your Grace that such proposed action on the part of the Archbishop of Dublin, though it cannot formally commit the Church of England to any approval of such action, or involve its members in the very grave consequences which attach to it, does, in view of the relations which exist between the English and Irish episcopate, informally and indirectly compromise the whole Anglican communion.
We do not deny that cases may arise in which the interference of one Bishop in the diocese of another may be justified on principles which have governed the action of the Catholic Church in such matters, but such justification can only be pleaded in extreme cases of the very gravest necessity, and then only after serious deliberation, and with the approval of a more than local, gathering of the episcopate.
We respectfully submit to your Grace and the Bishops of the Province of Canterbury that in the present instance no such justification exists for so grave a violation of ecclesiastical order, that such action on the part of the Archbishop of Dublin, far from having even obtained the formal and unanimous approval of the Province of Dublin, is viewed with the gravest apprehension and distress by many of the most attached members of the Church of Ireland, who believe that, if carried into effect, it must directly compromise the Irish episcopate, and indirectly react upon and weaken the position and legitimate authority of the Bishops of the Anglican communion.
We would therefore most humbly beg your Grace, in conjunction with the Bishops of the Province of Canterbury, to make such representation, as in your wisdom may seem desirable, to the Archbishop of Dublin, as may induce his Grace at least to postpone any further action in the matter till after the meeting of the next Lambeth Conference, when the subject could be laid before, and fully considered by, the whole of the episcopate in visible communion with the see of Canterbury.
HALIFAX, President. (On behalf of the Council of the. E C. U. July 4, 1894.)
The Memorial was presented in the Tipper House of the Convocation of Canterbury by the Bishop of London (Temple) on July 5. On July 6 the House went into committee upon the subject, and sat for a considerable time with closed doors. Convocation having resumed, it was agreed, on the motion of the Bishop of London (Temple), seconded by the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol (Ellicott):--
That this House does not consider it within its province to pronounce any judgment on, or to interfere with, the action of the Bishop of another province of the Church, but they think it their duty to say that this House cannot hold itself responsible for any such step as appears to be contemplated by the Lord Archbishop of Dublin, until the meeting of the Lambeth Conference in 1897.
With regard to the New Criticism, a Special Meeting of the Union, convened by the President, in compliance with a Requisition signed by the Rev. H. R. Baker (Chairman of the Woolwich Branch), and fifty-eight other members, under the provisions of Rule 71, was held on July 4, 1894, in the Westminster Palace Hotel, to consider the following motion:--
That this meeting of the English Church Union, while fully acknowledging the right of competent persons reverently and cautiously to examine the methods by which it has pleased the Holy Spirit to build up the Sacred Scriptures, emphatically repudiates and condemns, as contrary to the teaching of the Universal Church, all criticism of the Canonical Books of the Old and New Testaments which tends to throw doubt on their substantial Historical trustworthiness, to impair their paramount authority in matters pertaining to Faith and Morals, or to impute ignorance, misapprehension, or error, to the Teaching of our LORD JESUS CHRIST.
The motion having been proposed by Mr. Baker, and seconded by the Rev. W. S. Lach-Szyrma (Vicar of Barkingside), the following amendment was moved by the Rev. T. A. Lacey (Vicar of Madingley, and Delegate of the New South Wales Church Union), on behalf of the Rev. E. G. Wood (Vicar of St. Clement's, Cambridge, and elected member of Council), who was detained by important business at Cambridge, but subsequently arrived in time to speak in support of the amendment:--
That all the words after "Union" be left out, and that in their place there be inserted words so that the amended resolution shall read thus--
That this meeting of the English Church Union, as in duty bound by the terms of its Constitution, adheres to the traditional position of the Church on the question of the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures as laid down,
(1) in the Articles agreed on by the English Bishops and clergy in the Synod of London in 1562,
"In the name of the Holy Scripture we do understand those Canonical Books of the Old and New Testaments of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church";
(2) in the Orthodox Confession sanctioned by the Eastern Bishops in the Synod of Jerusalem in 1672,
"[The Church] teaches that the Holy Spirit is the Author [Auctor genuinus (in the semi-official Latin), i.e. principal cause] of the books of Holy Scripture";
(3) in the Dogmatic Decrees of the last Council of Latin Bishops, which has dealt with the question, in 1870,
"The Church holds [the Books of Scripture] for sacred and canonical, not because after being composed by merely human industry, they were then approved by her authority; nor simply because they contain Revelation without any error; but because, being written under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they have God for their Author [Auctor--Principal Cause], and as such have been handed down in the Church."
Before putting the amendment, the President spoke in its favour, and said:--
I imagine there are few in this room who could not cordially accept it [Mr. Baker's motion] as it stands; but the reason why the Council objects to it is because it is (there is no doubt that it is) an indirect condemnation of individuals and writers.... If you are going to condemn writings and individuals, there are only two methods. It can be done authoritatively or by critical answer. As regards authority, this Union has no authority whatever to condemn writings or individuals, and if it should attempt to do so, there could be only one possible result--it would make itself supremely ridiculous. And I will venture to add, too, if you are going to reply by criticism, who will say the Union is a competent body to put out a critical reply to the very difficult questions now being brought before the public? What this Union can do, and ought to do, is to assert its adherence to the traditional view of the Church, and this is, I think, stated with great precision in the amendment brought forward by Mr. Wood.
The amendment was then adopted by a large majority, and subsequently passed as a substantive resolution, all but unanimously, only six members dissenting.