Project Canterbury

Apostolic Order in the Anglican Communion.

By Robert Baker, C.R.

No place: no publisher, no date.

(The place of the Metropolitan and the Province in the Anglican Communion)

IN the Preface to a Report recently published under the title CHURCH RELATIONS IN ENGLAND, a quotation is made from an address of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Convocation of Canterbury on Tuesday, September 12th, 1950. He said: "The Report will, I think, raise some questions regarding the Church and Church relations which have not received much attention before and which certainly have not been thoroughly examined." The line of thought worked out in the following paper has grown from a discussion which began at a recent meeting of a "Ministers' Fraternal".

We have grown so accustomed to think of the Apostolic Ministry in terms of the following-on of individuals in episcopal succession from the Apostles that it is time to consider another angle from which the subject may be approached. We read that the Christians of the first age continued stedfastly in the apostles' fellowship at a time when, for obvious reasons, the idea of succession had not come to the fore. In discussing the origins of the Christian Ministry most Anglicans overlook the fact that the apostolic body was a unity--a collegium.

The writings of the New Testament are most decided as to the number of this Apostolic College. They are referred to as the twelve eight times by St. Matthew; ten times by St. Mark; eight times by St. Luke and four times by St. John. The same style of enumeration is carried forward by St. Luke into the Acts of the Apostles where, in the opening chapter, we find Matthias "numbered with the eleven"; and on the day of Pentecost St. Peter is represented as "standing up with the eleven".

Our Lord in the Gospel represents these twelve as chosen with the purpose of forming a body who should be the heads of the new Israel. In St. Matthew X he called them and gave them authority to work in his name. Later in chapter XVI, he elicits from St. Peter the confession that he is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. In the next chapter we read of the "Transfiguration, where, to the chosen three, he revealed himself in the company of Moses and Elias. Thus, theologically, it was shown that the law and the prophets were one in Christ, which prepared the way for fuller teaching to the twelve as a corporate body, so that in chapter XIX, v. 28, he said to them:--"Verily, I say unto you, that ye which have followed [1/2] me in the regeneration when the Son of Man shall sit on the throne of his glory ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel".

Saint Luke records a somewhat similar utterance after the institution of the last supper:--"I appoint unto you a kingdom as my Father hath appointed unto me, that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and ye shall sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel".

They were all members of the chosen race, the Israel of God. In the events of the Passion the majority of the Jews had shewn themselves incapable of entering into the promises of God because of their unbelief. But the twelve were the central core of the faithful remnant. Our Lord represented the apostolic body as occupying in his kingdom a position of joint rulers. Judas fell from the place to which he had been called, and at once the evangelists speak of eleven, regarding them still as a corporate body with one of their number missing. This implication in regard to the missing place is carried over by St. Luke into the Acts of the Apostles, where in I, v. 26, we find the statement that after the divine choice had been evoked, Matthias was numbered with the eleven apostles.

In the following chapter St. Peter is represented as standing up "with the eleven", where, by his wording, the writer again gives the impression of a corporate body apart from and directing the laity, who numbered 120. In chapter VI, the authority recognized as existing in the apostolic body is again affirmed when "the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them". This special and peculiar position is asserted by St. Peter at Joppa in the house of Cornelius, when in witnessing to the resurrection of our Lord (Acts XI, vv. 40, 41) he says: "Him God raised up the third day, and gave him to be made manifest, not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even unto us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead". In a similar way in the first epistle to the Corinthians (XV, v. 5), St. Paul makes mention of the twelve as a corporate body, and to this we may add the inference which follows from the reference in the epistle of St. James to the "twelve tribes that are scattered abroad", and in the Apocalypse to the "twelve foundations" of the heavenly Jerusalem. Saint Paul's words to the Corinthians are important, as neither the Gospels nor Acts make reference to an appearance to the 500, nor to St. James. So St. Paul relies on early tradition which accounts for his use of the term "the twelve", and this recognition of the corporate importance of the apostolic body is carried forward into early Christian literature.

[3] Certain points need to be noticed. There is the charge that our Lord gave to the eleven during the time between his resurrection and ascension:--"All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore and make disciples of all the nations". One, however, is absent from the apostolic body. One of the thrones is vacant. Judas by transgression had fallen. They were to tarry in the city of Jerusalem until they were clothed with power from on high. But on their return to the city the Holy Spirit was not at once given. The vacancy in the apostolic college had first to be filled. They ask Almighty God to show whom he will choose. Two are selected. The divine power is invoked to indicate God's choice. The lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. The number of the twelve was again complete.

We must be quite clear that Matthias was numbered with the eleven before the descent of the Holy Spirit. When He came at Pentecost, He descended on the apostles not as on a group of individuals, but on the divinely appointed centre of the new kingdom, the princes of the New Israel. It is essential to insist on this, for a theory has been put forward which implies otherwise. In the well-known Century Bible series, a commentary on the Acts was published in 1901 (just fifty years ago) by Dr. Vernon Bartlet who was Professor of Church History at Mansfield College, Oxford, a leading Congregational institution. In this volume the author implied that the apostles had made a mistake in electing Matthias, and that the true successor of Judas was St. Paul, a suggestion which has been widely followed by Free Churchmen.

This is not the traditional belief of the Church. In the appointed service for St. Matthias' day the Collect in our Prayer Book says:--"O Almighty God, who into the place of the traitor Judas didst choose thy faithful servant Matthias to be of the number of the twelve apostles .... " The plain implication is that the apostles neither conducted an election nor performed a consecration, but sought a revelation of divine choice. The collect in the Roman Missal, which, with the Collect in our Prayer Book, goes back into liturgical history, uses similar language.

The divine choice shewed that Matthias was to fill the place that had been vacated by the defection of Judas. Our Lord is represented in the Acts as telling the eleven that they shall receive power when the Holy Ghost is come upon them, so they return to Jerusalem to await the descent of the Holy Spirit. Their one immediate important act is to meet and ask divine guidance in finding a successor to fill the vacant throne. They do not elect Matthias. They leave the final choice to God, and that choice is revealed by casting lots. [3/4] The number of the princes of the new Israel is then again complete, and the Holy Spirit comes down upon the waiting band, which receives the power from on high promised by our Lord, accompanied by visible signs in assurance of the gift.

At a superficial glance Dr. Bartlet appears to have some support for his theory that St. Paul succeeded to the place of Judas when we see that our Prayer Book selects the passage from St. Matthew XIX, with the reference to the twelve thrones, as the Gospel for the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. This has been the traditional Gospel in Western Christendom. It is also to be noted that in the Gradual in the Roman Missal we find the words:--"The great St. Paul, the vessel of election, is truly worthy of all glory; for he hath deserved the possession of the twelfth throne".

A perfectly plain answer is at hand. The position of St. Paul is not on the same footing as that of Matthias. At the time of the Ascension, after the defection of Judas, our Lord had told the eleven to wait for the descent of the Spirit by which power would be given to them from on high. Saint Paul had not then appeared. It was necessary that the collegium should be completed, and Matthias filled the vacancy which then existed. Then in chapter IX of the Acts we read of St. Paul's conversion. He has the vision of the Lord and is qualified to be an Apostle--"not from men, nor through man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father who raised him from the dead" (Galatians I, v. 1)--he has a direct revelation. As Père Prat says: "He is neither the delegate nor the mandatory of men". He is an apostle by divine appointment. How then can it be said that he possessed the twelfth throne? On continuing the study of the Acts we read in Chapter XII that Herod killed James the brother of John with the sword. Another member of the apostolic college had been removed and it is the throne thus made vacant which is filled by the new apostle, the converted Saul of Tarsus. The accepted chronology suits such a conclusion. His conversion took place in A.D. 36. Herod Agrippa I killed James the son of Zebedee and died in A.D. 44, and St. Paul apparently set out on his first missionary journey in that year or the year following. It is not unnatural to infer that he was accepted by the apostolic college as filling the place of James; and whereas in the days of our Lord's earthly sojourn the chosen three are Peter, James and John, so now we find the one-time persecutor replacing the first apostolic martyr, to share with St. Peter the leading place in Western Christendom as the occupant of an apostolic throne.

The apostolic college in the Catholic Church continues the work of Jesus Christ. Not only were its members to be his witnesses, but the power of governing the Church was [4/5] committed to them. "Tarry in the city until ye be endued with power". "As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you." "All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth."

It is not here necessary to discuss such points as the emergence of the Christian priesthood, the development of the monarchical episcopate or other side issues. A volume entitled The Apostolic Ministry appeared a few years ago and brought out the distinction between an essential ministry and a subordinate ministry. We here note the passing of the Apostolate into the Episcopate with its continuance in an enlarged form as a collegium, and carry forward the recognition of this into the Anglican Communion of the present day.

Hooker, a representative Anglican divine, thus states the case in regard to episcopacy: (Eccles., Pol. VII, v. 1). "The apostles of our Lord did, according to those directions which were given them from above, erect churches in all such cities as received the word of truth, the gospel of God. All churches by them erected received from them the same faith, the same sacraments, the same form of public regiment . . . one president or governor among the rest had his known authority established a long time before that settled difference of name and title took place, whereby such alone were made bishops".

"Nor was this order peculiar to some few churches, but the whole world became universally subject thereto; insomuch as they did not account it to be a church which was not subject unto a bishop. It was the received persuasion of the ancient world that Ecclesia est in episcopo." (Cyprian IV, Epist. 9). (=The Church exists in the bishop).

This quotation is from St. Cyprian, and we may note in passing, that in his letters the term sacramentum unitatis refers not to the Holy Communion (as we find in a well-known hymn) but to the episcopate as a body.

St. Irenaeus (Haer. IV, v. 26, 2) ascribes to those elders who have episcopal succession from the apostles the "charisma veritatis", and it is in connection with this belief that we must note the special claim for Bishops to declare the faith in councils to have its justification. But ordination was the most distinctive function of a bishop, although in this he could not act alone except in the ordination of a deacon, as we see in the practice of our own day. The usage of priests joining with the bishop in laying hands on other priests is observed in the modern Roman ordinal as well as in our own. There is a first laying on of hands by the bishop alone and then another by the bishop, with the presbyters. But in the consecration of a bishop the co-operation of other bishops is expressly ordered by the council of Nicaea which prescribes [5/6] three as a general rule. For the bishop is not merely a consecrated individual who may act apart from other members of the apostolic collegium; he is in an inevitable partnership with them. As St. Cyprian says: Episcopatus unus est, cuius a singulis in solidum pars tenetur. The phrase is a legal one and reflects the author's early training and occupation. It may be rendered "The episcopate is one, and all bishops are full partners in it, with joint and several responsibility". Bishop John Wordsworth remarks: --"This maxim is a necessary condition of unity. For otherwise each diocese might have a separate faith, discipline and worship."

It was but sixty-seven years from the martyrdom of Cyprian to the Council of Nicaea in 325, when persecution had ceased and the Church in its world-wide development came out into the full light of day. Its organization and ministry had developed and become formulated under the guidance of the apostles and their successors; and the body of bishops met to bear witness to accepted practice and to set out Canons for the guidance of future ages. We find a recognized provincial organization in existence, with groups of bishops in different areas acting under the headship of Metropolitans. This was no new thing, but recognized even then as traditional, since we find Canon VI which deals with the privileges of certain Provinces, beginning with the words:--"Let the ancient customs prevail". Custom and ancient tradition are both given due weight in Canon VII. Scholars agree that the authority of Metropolitans is much older than the Synod of Nicaea. It is also noticeable that the title of Metropolitan has a more dignified history than that of Archbishop, as may be seen by reference to Dr. Bright's Notes on the Canons of the First Four General Councils. A Metropolitan has always been chief bishop of a Province, and is therefore the title of greater dignity.

In considering the Anglican Communion we need not linger over the very early centuries but pass at once to the mission of Augustine to the English people. He and his companions had been sent by Pope Gregory the Great to Britain where, after planting the Church in Kent, being only in priests' orders he went to Gaul for consecration as bishop. On November 16th, 597, he was consecrated at Arles by Virgilius, the Metropolitan of Southern Gaul and other Frankish bishops. Arles was a see which claimed primatial dignity on the twofold ground of having been the civil capital of Gaul (Ab ea dignitate politica primatus ecclesiasticus initium duxisse videtur. Vit. Greg. III, 3, 3), and also because the bishops of the province had in 450 asserted its primacy from its having been founded by Trophimus, the companion of St. Paul.

[7] In correspondence that followed Augustine's return to England, Pope St. Gregory referred to episcopal consecrations, and admitted that though normal circumstances required the presence of three bishops, yet, if no other bishop were within reach, the presence of one consecrating bishop alone would suffice. Though such an act was not to be encouraged, yet for the preservation of episcopacy in a distant outpost of the church, it might be essential for the continuance of Christianity. This indeed came to be the case about a quarter of a century afterwards when Honorius, the fourth in succession from Augustine was obliged to seek consecration from Paulinus, the first of the new line of bishops of York. This took place at Lincoln on the site of the present church of St. Paul (a corruption of Paulinus) in 628. In their early history the two metropolitical sees of England are thus linked together.

In Phillimore's standard work on Ecclesiastical Law we find a detailed account stating the position of the Archbishop of Canterbury as Primate and Metropolitan of all England. He goes on to tell readers that the Archbishop of York holds the position next in dignity with metropolitan jurisdiction, and that these two archbishops are said to be inthroned when vested in the archbishopric, whereas other bishops are said to be installed. Those who wish to examine further the present legal position of a Metropolitan in England will do well to consult the interesting case of Lucy v. Watson, Bishop of St. David's.

Phillimore gives the present position as it had developed in later days and then become controlled by Tudor and later legislation. It seems to have been Gregory's intention to give metropolitan rank to the bishops of London and York, and to give Augustine at Canterbury primacy over both, though circumstances did not allow the plan to work out exactly in that manner.

We can still see in the Anglican Communion the working of the sub-apostolic methods of jurisdiction. Each bishop had his area assigned to him, within which he had authority and beyond which he had none. He owned no superior except a council of bishops, and was looked on as the temporal fountain of all spiritual authority within the boundaries of the territory placed under his charge. In modern language, sees were created, and the sphere of a bishop's work was territorially limited to the area of his see. In consecration the bishop received his plenary authority in the apostolic ministry; by jurisdiction the sphere of the exercise of that authority was limited. Only by the permission of a brother bishop could he exercise his ministry elsewhere. Every bishop was consecrated to a particular see, and in the act of consecration his jurisdiction was defined and limited. His "power of order" he [7/8] received from the bishops who ordained him to his episcopal office; and from the same hands he received authority to exercise his office in all things pertaining to it, within the sphere of jurisdiction marked out as his diocese.

When the number of dioceses increased as the result of the extension of the church, it became necessary to organize them in groups of larger or smaller number under some bishop to whom a certain authority over the rest was assigned. To such a person the title of Patriarch was given in the case of the five principal divisions of the Church (Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem and Constantinople). In subordinate divisions the title of Archbishop or Metropolitan was used.

Such addition to the past episcopal system was therefore a further growth of the diocesan system and established a new class of jurisdiction, that of a chief bishop over ordinary bishops. But it made no change in the older system as regarded the reception of jurisdiction within a particular see, by the rite of ordination or consecration to it. Because of the new and supplemental jurisdiction given to the chief bishop, he had the privilege of taking part in the consecration of every bishop consecrated to sees within his province (Can. Nicaea VI; Chalcedon XXVIII); and his assent thus became necessary. But this neither added to nor took away from the old jurisdiction which belonged to every bishop. The development of patriarchal jurisdiction, therefore, leaves the older system untouched, so far as the authority by which a bishop is sent to exercise his office within his diocese is concerned, that authority being still given by the collective act of all the consecrating bishops.

A new question, however, is raised when a bishop is consecrated by a Metropolitan and his suffragans to a jurisdiction outside the Province of the consecrating bishops. This is illustrated by the case of Augustine, who on returning from Gaul came to be bishop of the English, and Metropolitan of an entirely new Province. A new and distinct sphere of jurisdiction can only come from the authorization inherent in consecration by a Metropolitan. In this way, as the evangelization of the world continues, the sphere of episcopal control and government extends.

Whatever may have been the history and origin of the Papal claim to universal jurisdiction it was rejected in England in the 16th century. "The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm of England." In England the only Provincial jurisdiction that can claim plenary authority is that of Canterbury, whose Archbishop is Primate of All England and Metropolitan.

[9] At the time of the Reformation, controversies were largely on doctrinal issues, but in recent years disagreements have passed over into the sphere of jurisdiction to a greater extent than is commonly recognized. In the recent affair when the Pope raised belief in the Assumption of our Lady to an article of faith, it was jurisdiction rather than doctrine that was primarily at issue. And since the establishment of a Roman hierarchy in England it has been ' jurisdiction rather than doctrine that is at the root of most of our differences. We find much the same thing with non-conformists, who often at heart resent our claim to jurisdiction more than they object to particular doctrines.

The minds of our people are often further confusedand the attitude of the clergy is largely determined by that of the people with whom they have to do--by the complications of establishment. So we shall see matters more clearly if we look to the Anglican Communion in its expansion overseas during the last century.

An Archbishop--or rather, a Metropolitan--is competent to send out missionary bishops into areas where episcopal rule does not exist. This was the case in the last century when Selwyn went to New Zealand and Gray to Capetown. Special difficulties came to Gray in South Africa regarding the ecclesiastical organization of that Province. Various lawsuits helped to clarify the position. He went out with the support of Royal Letters Patent as Bishop of Capetown. It appears that the direct invitation to accept the post had come not from the Crown, but from the Archbishop of Canterbury, who consecrated him in 1847. Gray wrote on the subject: "If the Archbishop as chief pastor of our Church fixes upon me to fill a certain post, I shall not decline it, but shall, I hope, cheerfully, at least dutifully, obey his summons."

At that time the church in S. Africa, like that in England, was under the Royal Supremacy. But when Responsible Government was granted to the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope, Royal Letters Patent no longer had effect, and what we popularly call "establishment" came to an end. Miss Burdett Coutts had been a great benefactress of the See of Capetown, and Mr. Gladstone, as Treasurer of the Colonial Bishoprics' Fund, wrote to her in explanation of the changed circumstances in these words:--"In effect the Royal Supremacy in South Africa is barred by the existence of the Colonial Legislature . . . The sentence of the Privy Council amounts to the utter destruction of the Supremacy in South Africa by the act of the Crown itself . . . The restoration of the Supremacy of the Crown, such as it exists in the Province of Canterbury, in the Province of South Africa is practically impossible."

[10] This was in April, 1866. About eleven months previously Bishop Gray had expressed his attitude to the problem in writing, saying that "the Governor of the Cape, a thorough Church and State man of the old school, bothered me a good deal with his notions. He thought we must resolve into a voluntary religious association, and I gathered that it was to elect me, and of course devolve what powers it liked upon me. 'Oh, no'; said I; 'we are a voluntary religious association; we have been that ever since I came here, and those have joined it who liked. And we have been a visible association ever since I held my first Synod. It is for me to say whether I will take you into my association, and on what terms.' This was rather a new idea to him, I think, and so it will be to many others when they find it out."

During the same month, Gray also wrote to Cotteril, Bishop of Grahamstown, who was then in England: . . . "As to the future, at present we are not called upon to act, but my first thoughts run in this direction. On your return, Bishops, representatives of clergy, and laity from each diocese meet here in Conference, with an understanding that the Conference would probably end in a Provincial Synod. We agree in Conference upon a line. Then the Bishops meet in Synod, lay down principles and agree to invite clergy and laity. These form a mixed Synod, and clergy and laity assent to what the bishops have done. This is the centre and basis of our voluntary association. All join us who like on these terms. The Church of England declares herself to be in communion with this body. It seems to me that we Bishops are the only essential parts of this voluntary association, and that all steps towards organization must formally proceed from us."

These passages have been quoted at length as they show how the Anglican Communion in South African came to be freed from the Act for the Submission of the Clergy, forced on them by Henry VIII, which still impedes us here in England. It was emancipated from external control; it derived no jurisdiction in any sense from the Crown, but from the Catholic Church of all the ages through the fact that the Metropolitan of the Province of Canterbury had conferred episcopal orders on Robert Gray, authorizing him to exercise jurisdiction in Southern African with Capetown as his See-city. It is not merely that Gray was consecrated by a bishop, but that he received jurisdiction from a Metropolitan, who in turn had received an inherited Metropolitical jurisdiction which went back through Augustine, through the Metropolitan of Southern Gaul, through the Patriarch of Western Christendom, to the original organization of the Catholic Church which rests on the commission given by our Lord to his own personally chosen Apostolic College.

[11] The preface to the Anglican Ordinal makes this clear when it is read in conjunction with the Form and Manner of conferring Holy Orders that follows. It states that the three orders of Bishops, Priests and Deacons have been in the Church from the Apostles' time, and that these Orders are to be continued in the Church of England. The implication is not merely that they are to go forward from the time of writing this particular preface, but also that they are identical with the orders that from time immemorial had been used and esteemed in England, where the Archbishop of Canterbury has from the beginning been Metropolitan and Primate. No one shall be lawfully recognized as in Holy Orders unless he has been received according to the English Ordinal, or admitted to the Sacred Ministry by episcopal consecration or succession in some other land where Catholic principles prevail. Such a case may be illustrated from the ministry of Marc Antonio de Dominis, once Archbishop of Spalato, who became Dean of Windsor during Stuart times, and assisted in episcopal consecrations in England in 1617.

Our Prayer Book Catechism unfortunately contains no section on the ministry, but the catechism allowed in the Church of the Province of South Africa states that a man is made a Deacon, Priest or Bishop through the laying on of hands and prayer by a Bishop or Bishops in full communion with the Catholic Church. The implication is that mere episcopal consecration of a Bishop is not enough. The consecrator of another Bishop must be in full communion with the Catholic Church. (This raises an interesting question as to consecrationsif such there be--performed by bishops of the S. India United Church. Even if consecration has been performed by bishops who are in the line of Anglican succession, they belong to a body in isolation. The Church in S. India "will not itself be an Anglican Church: it will be a distinct Province of the Universal Church". The term Catholic is cautiously avoided. Its episcopate does not appear to be integrated with the Apostolic collegium) .

The action of any bishop or body of bishops who consecrate or ordain has to be in conjunction with the episcopal and Apostolic collegium. The Archbishop of Capetown was in the first instance consecrated by the Metropolitan of Canterbury, but the S. African Bishops now make the oath of allegiance to their own Metropolitan. Elsewhere in the Anglican communion, in the absence of a local Provincial organization, episcopal consecrations take place under the authority of the Metropolitan responsible for the supervision of the missionary diocese. Crockford's Clerical Directory informs us (e.g.) that the missionary bishops of Iran and S. Tanganyika were [11/12] consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury. As the English Ordinal was used, they took an oath of due obedience to him before he proceeded to the consecration. It should be noted that in the consecration of Bishop West-Jones (who succeeded Gray as Bishop of Capetown and Metropolitan in 1874) which took place in England, the oath of obedience to Canterbury was guarded by excepting the Constitution and Canons of the Church of S. Africa; and the declaration in this form was received by Archbishop Tait.

Recognition of the historic nature of the collegium of Bishops in Provincial organization, and of the authority and function of Metropolitans, is of the utmost importance at the present time. Precedents are being created of a kind that were beyond our imagination a few years ago. The Primate of All England, who is Metropolitan of the Province of Canterbury has just returned from a visit to Australia and New Zealand, being the first ecclesiastic holding this position to travel south of the equator. He has a first-hand knowledge of the problems of the Anglican Communion far in advance of any of his predecessors. His welcome in those distant lands has been of the most enthusiastic description. He has recently in 'West Africa inaugurated an ecclesiastical Province, the formation of which has been long overdue. A new Province will soon be created in South Central Africa; and other similar Provinces are in course of formation in accordance with precedents existing elsewhere. Apart from a few places with anachronisms in their Constitution, it is noticeable that the two English Provinces of Canterbury and York are the only Metropolitical areas in the Anglican Communion where "establishment" still remains.

Problems obviously are looming in the future which will need careful attention in regard to jurisdiction, which has been given relatively little attention by our theologians. People have been too much concerned with local and domestic issues. It is hoped that this short essay will help to stimulate the study of the subject. In 1877 the Rev. F. W. Puller, Vicar of Roath, wrote an interesting letter published under the title: Is the Bishop by Divine Appointment a Constitutional Officer or an Autocratic Monarch ? He dealt with the problems of his day, but he went on to say: "I ought to go on to show that the power of a Bishop is limited by the authority of the collective episcopate . . . The whole diocesan authority is limited by the canonical legislation of Provincial or larger Councils".

It seems obvious that while the Church in England is hampered by problems connected with Establishment it can do little to help in the wider issues opening out in other lands. [12/13] What can the Provinces in other lands contribute? Are Lambeth Conferences adequate for the needs of the coming age? The late Professor Whitney could write with a wide experience of Colonial Church life, and saw future problems from a wider view-point than the ordinary Englishman. The following words of his are considerably condensed.

"The lesson from the Canadian Church can be reinforced from South Africa; there, too, Episcopacy, Synodal action and self-government have done much. These institutions grew in that atmosphere of unity and Church brotherhood that marked the first two Lambeth Conferences. But if the wishes of the Colonial Churches were clearly expressed, the timidity of the Church at home, due to the dominant regard for the Establishment, was as easily seen. The Colonial Churches found their safety in a realization of Church life on the proved primitive and traditional model. It is strange to note how much of the Episcopal policy laid down by the first Lambeth Conference remains uncarried out."

"The Church of England has failed for many generations to use its Episcopate to the full, to demand from it all it can give. Reform in worship and in doctrine was not accompanied, as it should have been, by reform in organization. The Anglican Church has yet to carry out unreservedly, and with an undivided heart, its real episcopacy . . . Tyranny is easy, but it degrades the future; anarchy is easy, but it has no future at all. It is best to meet the difficulties that lie around and amid constitutional life, and so to save and enrich the days to come. Our history in the past, no less than the promise of days that are coming, calls our people to enter into the fullness of their Catholic birthright; and of that birthright our Episcopate is one valued part."

"Plainly and clearly it has been at its best and done its utmost when it has been in its most constitutional form. Synods and self-government in the spiritual and ecclesiastical sphere are, as we should not forget, essential to a perfect episcopacy. The diocese is a unit just as a priest is an individual, but each has a larger whole behind its separate life. The independence of the diocese, the power of the bishop within it, is limited by the rules and traditions of the Catholic Church beyond it, and by the constitutional forms within it. If these are disregarded, the episcopal power may become arbitrary; the diocese may suffer a loss of strength. In this direction we have some dangers to be aware of, some older institutions to restore. We must, if we wish to keep our spiritual freedom, move within the limits of our Catholic life. In it are gathered the powers of the past; through it we can claim the promise of the years to come."

[14] NOTE.--The following works have been consulted, and passages from them have at times been quoted at length. This acknowledgement is made to save the confusion that comes from foot-notes and quotation marks in the text:

(1) Canons of the First Four Councils. (2) Notes on the Canons, by NV. Bright, D.D., 1882. (3) The Ministry of Grace, Bp. John Wordsworth, D.D., 1901. (4) Life of Robert Gray, Bishop of Capetown. Abridged edition, 1882. (5) A Charge to the Diocese of Natal, at his Primary Metropolitical Visitation, May 15th, 1864, by Robert, Lord Bishop of Capetown and Metropolitan. Pub. by F. Davis & Son, Maritzburg, 1864. (6) A Charge to the Clergy of the Diocese of Capetown, by Robert, Lord Bishop of Capetown, 1865. (7) A Catechism for use in the Church of the Province of S. Africa where sanctioned by the Bishop. S.P.C.K. London, Johannesburg & Salisbury. (8) Phillimore's Ecclesiastical Law. 2nd edn. 1895. (9) The Episcopate and the Reformation by J. P. Whitney, D.D., 1917.

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