Project Canterbury


Deacons, Deaconesses


Proposed Adaptation, in part,


The Third Order

of S. Francis,





By the Author of "A Suggestion for the Times."











Transcribed by Wayne Kempton
Archivist of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, 2007


In bringing out the Second Edition of this little book on the New Order or Fellowship, spiritually associated with the Third Order of S. Francis, I wish to quote this beautiful thought from the Guardian, which strikes me as being not foreign to this proposed revival:--"It seems as if a movement may begin within a communion and go on outside it, without ceasing to be itself.

"S. Francis was quite obedient to his rulers, and quite content with them. Wesley's rulers mismanaged him, and he was wilful and impatient; but the spirit of the Order which each founded was alien to the Church each meant to serve.

"Saint Catherine, of Siena, fulfilled her mission to preach and prophesy, in the habit of S. Dominic. Has her mission been inherited by those who wear that habit now, or by Elizabeth Fry and Catherine Booth? [* Probably by both]

"Who are we, to say how the tree of life grows, whether above ground or underground? If our senses are exercised, we know it by its fruits; there are twelve manner of them." "The true test is life, which does not end here."

Where it is formed, I hope it may be Parochial and Diocesan, and that it may bring some more proved soldiers into the great army of the Church Militant--which comprises all.


Those objectors who, logically enough, cannot conceive of a Third Order without a First and Second, are reminded that we have already the First and Second Orders to more or less extent now at work in our Church again, and I desire to see the Third added to them.

Also, if it is necessary it should be a following Order, I desire that this Order should follow the Orders of Deacons and Deaconesses, the two primitive forms of selected lay helpers, long before the introduction of monks and nuns, and all other after-developments; though doubtless other associations were soon called for, and began to take shape, for the further help and consolidation of the Church.

These institutions, the Deacons and Deaconesses, are also of necessity Diocesan and Parochial, and I desire that this following Order now proposed should be that also, and that it should be as elastic and many-sided as the Parochial system in the Church of England, on which it is founded.

[vi] At the same time there is another view of the reason why I speak of the Third Order, which Canon Body, in answer to an enquirer, has thus expressed:--"This Society is not called the Third Order, as connected with any Society possessing two other Orders. It is so termed because it is organized on the plan of the Third Order of S. Francis of Assisi."

That subject I have enlarged on in the following pages.

Some such Order might bring those suitable for it into being recognized and useful lay members of the Church, saving the clergy from much work of a kind which one thinks should never have come into their hands.

Anyone who has experienced, or seen much, of the life of a parochial clergyman nowadays, would indeed be disposed to think that the days had come again, as in the Apostles' time, when they should be spared from, serving tables, and have more clearness from worry, small accounts, etc., and leisure for becoming imbued with the spirit of the Bible (the source from which to take the food with which to instruct and feed their flock), the best source, as has been said, for good sermons. As it is, they and their wives often live at a degree of pressure which cannot last, and
[vi-vii] which often ends in a breakdown. The work, that of it which is of least importance, might surely be subdivided; not always, as a cure for this pressure, proposing the subscribing for another curate, but giving it to lay hands, which are much less expensive, and the laity would feel more interest in a work in which they are partly personally concerned.

Those who give up their time and their lives to such work, or who are thereby prevented, as the clergy are, from entering into any money-making pursuits, have a right to more or less of a salary and income; but those whose place is in their homes, who abide in the calling whereto they have been called, who are of the Order on which I write, are not meant to be paid. They are meant rather to give, than to receive; to give of what they have, according to their ability--the poor as well as the rich--for God requires nothing from us that is unwillingly or unsuitably given.

When I hear of there being a great want of workers in various parishes, town and country alike; when I know how many large families of daughters there are who are pining for some outlet for their powers, how many single women whose lives would be greatly brightened if they became more interested in humanity; how many young men also, who become frivolous and [vii-viii] self-seeking for want of higher aims, to the deterioration of their moral and physical being and the spoiling of them for useful citizens and members of society--I regret that the Church cannot grasp all these, more than she does, and utilize them in the service of her Lord and Master, and it is in the wish to at least point out some such possible way that I have taken up this subject.







[5] Deacons and Deaconesses


Proposed Adaptation, in part


The Third Order of S. Francis

By the Author of "A Suggestion for the Times."



"Soldiers of Christ, arise,
And put your armour on,
Strong in the strength which God supplies
Through His eternal Son."

"The wants of our people are so many and so complicated that if we are wise we shall ever be devising, or borrowing, fresh plans of usefulness. It will be with our spiritual, as with that old secular warfare, in which the masters of the world rose to their pre-eminence by never being too wise or too proud to learn from any quarter."
Archbishop Tait.

There may, or will be a certain number of Deacons and Deaconesses, but what are they among so many? And what of the vast body that are left, that [5/6] are willing workers and true Christians, willing to do what they can, indeed, already doing so, but, as I have been told, "unrecognized"-- as part of the Church's organisation for work. This called for immediate alteration, which has been attended to in some quarters. The "Suggestion for the Times" was written about two years ago, and as I have been frequently asked about it, I now make a few notes from it, as explaining better the purpose of this present book. My first pamphlet was for Lay Deacons and Deaconesses, in which I meant to propose an organisation for the many, not the few; and to emphasize the lay element, thinking it more desirable to permeate ordinary life with religion than to take ordinary life out of the world, as a separate life. "As it appears the name Deaconess can only be used for a woman set apart by a Bishop for good works, the name Lay Deaconess had to be dropped."

Though expressing very much what I meant, and recognized as what was wanted, in some quarters, I leave, of course, the word Deaconess in this matter, as the Scriptural [6/7] offices of Deacons and Deaconesses are separate in name from any following organizations.

An unsigned article which I have lately seen on Church Reform in Macmillan, 1874, so expresses a similar feeling as what prompted me to write, that I now quote it--

"My second is a much more serious and pressing matter. Nothing is more sad than the way in which the organization of women for religious work has missed its mark. How are we to bring light, civilization, secular improvement, cleanliness, hope, contentment, and trust in the Divine Order, in one word, Christianity, to the heart of the masses of the people? No answer has been suggested that is half so helpful as the employment of that great number of women who have the time, the means, and the will, to be useful. I have seen too much of the good accomplished by communities of 'Sisters' to say a disparaging word about them, but they have advanced as far as they are likely to do, and what we now want is something more suitable to the genius of the people, more comprehensive in its scope and views, more secular, but not less religious. All which can only be done as a diocesan work, with experiments, consultations, [7/8] the bringing to bear new ideas, and the adaptation of means to ends. Every diocese ought to have an institution under episcopal control, and lay as well as clerical management, for the purpose of sending women to act as nurses, visitors, teachers, and wherever there was demand for their work. And to develop and superintend this movement might well occupy the whole time and thought of at least one clerical member of the Chapter. This is my crown of Church Reform."

I think it would have been unnecessary to find this difficulty out so late in the day if the translation of I Tim. iii. II (women, not wives) had been different in our English Bibles and Prayer Books (Ordination Service).

The Deacon's wives (i.e., clergymen's wives) seem to have had the duties of Deaconesses laid
upon them for many years, and nobly have they sustained them, with multiplicities of work, and service in all required directions,--and often with lives laid down. But the duties of Deacons and Deaconesses are both plainly set down in I Tim. iii. 8--"That the Deacons should be grave, not double-tongued, not given [8/9] to much wine," etc.; and in verse II, "Even so must (not their wives, but 'the women.') (Revised Version) 'women Deacons' (Bishop Lightfoot) be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things." Besides, why should these directions be given to the wives of the Deacons only, and not to the others? I wish to point out the much stronger meaning given to the sharing of the work between men and women chosen for the purpose, when the words are translated Deacons and Deaconesses. Lay Deacons we now have. S. Francis was a Deacon to the end, never receiving the Priesthood; therefore, as Bishop Westcott says, his message is for laymen. But either men only, or women only, are only the half of humanity, and religion was meant for the whole of it.

I lately attended a drawing-room meeting for considering subjects of social reform. The master of the house who kindly lent his house for it (and who I am sure will excuse my mentioning this, if he sees it), said he would withdraw, being, as a layman, not wanted there; but would leave [9/10] it to the "ladies and the clergy." It is much better that some things should not be discussed indiscriminately; but I agreed with the presiding Bishop, when he said soon after; "I think we have perhaps had enough drawing-room meetings on these subjects. What we may now want are a few dining-room meetings."

Let it be ever remembered that it was for men, as well as women, that S. Francis instituted his Third Order, and I think there has been too much of the setting aside of men and boys as necessarily worldly and lost, and unable for Christian work. Let them take up arms again against evil, and put on the whole armour of God. I think the Apostle had men, rather than women, in his eyes, when he described the several pieces of the heavenly armour. "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit ye like men, be strong;" is another virile text.

In my first paper I mentioned some lines from Punch, which struck me at the time they came out; on a young Knight, riding in the midst of sin, cruelty, and oppression. As a baptized Christian, and with the Cross upon [10/11] his shield, he thought he could ride in and charge the evil with his spear, but his way was stopped by a figure in white, who said to him, "Hold! I am a holy man, ordained to fight against evil; you must let it alone." So the Knight withdrew, and his good sword was left to rust.

There has been too much of this in the past, but I think it is past. I am sure I hope so. While preserving order, and giving every one their due place, I would give the laity theirs; for I believe, as I heard Canon Liddon once say, of any ordinary listener; "We do not know if there may not be in him the making of a hero--yes, the making of a saint."

I am sure that our Heavenly Father meant His sons, as well as His daughters, to adorn and lighten earthly life while in it, and that the rules of moderation and temperance in all things would be to the advantage of both, in body and in soul.

There will be the few who take the so-called religious life, but there might be many who in a much freer Order may adorn Christianity, and take their right place in life and its uses. [11/12]
Happier, inconceivably happier, both in this world and the next, than those who, sowing to the flesh, reap corruption.

Soon after I had sent out my first paper, I was told that both S. Francis de Sales and S. Francis d' Assisi had made a more lay or secular order in their time for the further advancement of Christianity. "The rule for men and women living in the world, drawn up by S. Francis d' Assisi, had in it nothing strained or fantastic in the provisions which promised consecration, and calm, and dignity, to ordinary life. The rule was widely embraced throughout Christendom by people of every rank. Louis of France and Elizabeth of Hungary were among the first royal persons who were enrolled under it, and a multitude of poor were united with them in one sacred fellowship of service. It was a startling innovation on the current conception of holy living. In a solemn and striking form, open to the eyes of all men, the likeness of Christ was recognized as attainable through the offices and powers of every station."

[13] "By the institution of this Third Order of penitents, as they were called, the work of Francis was consummated. It seemed for a short space as if the Kingdom of God were indeed about to be established on earth. Then followed a quick decline." [* Bishop Westcott] Ambitious Orders warred against each other, and few inherited the apostolic spirit of Francis, their founder. But it seemed at first as if the Apostolic Institutions had been restored to us; and if based on a firmer basis than the irregular clergy, it might have better held its former place in the Church. Some such following Order as the Tertiary in the Anglican Church, based on the parochial system, has seemed to many a good way to embody the zeal of the masses, and to bring them into the Church's organization. When separate from Roman errors, while keeping the wisdom and experience of the Catholic Church, in its rules for moderation of life, shewing piety at home, being suited for all ranks and conditions of men, this Third Order has been thought "likely to [13/14] prove a most useful adjunct" to the Church's organization.

Different Deaconesses have told me they would be glad to train young people for it, separate from their own probationers; as their lives would be so different. While there they could wear the working dress of the Order.

I believe the motto of the Deaconesses is this text, "To me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." The Order which I wish to suggest the formation of should have for its motto, "Ready to every good work." Lower in status than the Deacons or Deaconesses, it would yet be of utility in many ways, and might, as I said before, if well used, be a stepping stone to a yet higher life. But the original idea of it should be, that "every man in the calling wherein he is called should therein abide with God." That being baptized into Christ by the sign of His Cross, he should fight manfully under that banner, and wear it when belonging to this League as a badge and connection to it--to be ready to every good work in the calling of [14/15] God, and to be known as such in the world.

I was told that S. Francis de Sales had begun in his time some such Order, which he called the Order of the Visitation, to which he called Madame de Chantal to be the head. It is true that S. Francis wished to form a new Order for those who wished to lead a Christian and religious life, separate from the world and its perils; but who could not realize their pious desire, because in one, weakness of temperament, in others too advanced an age, others, of a good disposition but not energetic, were unable to accommodate themselves to the existing rules of communities already existing. To fill an existing want, the holy Bishop desired

"Non un ordre ou l'on engage par les voeux, car il pensait qu'il y en avait assez dans l'Eglise sans en créer de nouveaux, mais une congregation des femmes pieuses, soit filles, soit veuves, ou l'on s'adonnerait plus au recueillement intérieure qu'à la multitude des prières, à la désappropriation qu'à la pauvreté, a la charité qu'à la solitude, a l'obéissance qu'aux observations pénibles, ou enfin la sainteté [15,16]--d'autant plus solide qu'elle serait plus interièure-ne se revélerait guère au dehors que par le douceur, la condescendance, l'affabilité, la simplicité, toutes vertus sans eclat aux yeux des hommes, mais belles aux régards de Dieu et Ses Anges."

Vie de S. Francis de Sales, Evéque and Prince de Genève, par M. le Cure de Saint Sulpice.

This Order, though so much less severe than existing ones, and formed with that end, was yet completely the religious life as we should call it; but at the time, they had some persecution in building or arranging their house, because they were accused of making the way to Heaven too easy--of expecting no difficulties--of wishing roses without thorns.

S. Francis d'Assisi, in his formation of the Third Order, gives us a more fully developed idea of what might perhaps be introduced with advantage again--at least I will quote what is said :--

"The Third Order was instituted for the advantage of those who could not join the Second Order, that [16/17] of the religious or monastic life, owing to worldly entanglements and engagements. S. Francis wisely knew that the work of the world is meant to still go on, and that it would not do for all to leave it.

"When the excited people wept and besought him to permit them to follow him, he silenced them with tranquillizing words, 'Remain in your houses,' he said, 'and I will find for you a way of serving God.'

"It was in answer to the entreaties of these married people, fathers and mothers, and others entangled with the affairs of this life, that the Third Order was instituted. He persuaded them to remain at home and to live there in practise of the Christian virtues, and in the fear of God, promising to make out for them in a short time, a form which they could keep without leaving the condition of life to which God had called them.

"Without knowing it, thinking only what was the best way to keep alive that suddenly aroused anxiety for divine things, and to secure the salvation of all those eager Italian men and women about him, whose burdens he understood, and whose natural duties he approved, the humble monk threw forth an organization more powerful, influential, and universal, than [17/18] any Freemasonry. What he thought of was the conversion of souls, the service of God, and the imitation of Christ."
From Mrs. Oliphant's "Life of S. Francis d'Assisi."

The dress or habit of the Order was optional and not generally worn. In short the Order was not intended to be marked out from the world, not to leave it, but rather to leaven that world; forming a link between the secular and the ecclesiastical. As was to be expected its more fervent members drifted continually into the stricter enclosures, as life became clearer.

I have just seen a letter in the Church Times which expresses a feeling which I hope will become more and more prevalent among the laity--

"The absence of any parochial organization and practical acknowledgment of the priesthood of the laity tends to alienate men from the Church. The subject of parochial councils is one full of difficulties, and I do not presume to put forward any scheme or plan of my own; but the feeling is daily growing amongst [18/19] the laity that there should be some recognition of their spiritual character as recipients of Holy Baptism and Confirmation. This is felt not by men who deny the distinctive character of the Priesthood and the Apostolate, but who accept it ex animo. Yet, with Canon Mason ('Faith of the Gospel,' p. 248), they believe that 'the contrast between clergy and laity is that between a higher and lower degree in the priesthood,' and that 'this is implied in the ancient title of "Ordination" and of "Holy Orders," which bear witness to the fact that the difference between clergy and laity is one of function and arrangement and mutual relations, not a difference of fundamental opposites.'" G. C. E. M.

I met lately a well-known worker in the Church of Christ, a lady, who has much sympathy with the young who are, as she expressed it, "eating their heads off in their homes, longing for work, but with nothing to do." And she besought me, above all things, to be practical, and to give the idea a practical form. Head centres have been discussed, but my own wish would be that each diocese or parish should form for [19/20] itself a nucleus of that kind, and that everywhere it should be in subservience to the parish system, as forming part of it--so that machinery already existing should be made use of and strengthened--not any new thing begun as a separate one.

The Church, I think, would be a good deal stronger if better supported by the laity, as a component part of it--the base, in fact, on which it stands, not interfering with the specially ordained ministers, but forming part of a strong body. Let the clergy, like S. Paul, not only desire ours, but ourselves: not only our money--leaving the work to the clergy--but our intellects, talents, and time, as far as we can give them. Church lay people have been instructed from their youth. Baptism and Confirmation, with its careful preparation, they have gone through. They are united to Christ in His Holy Sacraments, and are taught of the Spirit. They have also attained the kingship and priesthood which is the gift of God to men. Let us go on and work, and [20/21] bring forth fruit also, each according to our measure. The commandment to all good works is to the laity and the Church at large, not only to the ordained ministers; beginning with little, we may attain to more.

I am making these suggestions for the consideration of those in authority. Myself, I see no need for vows or rules under these circumstances, beyond those already taken in Baptism, and renewed in Confirmation. I would have the members avoid extravagance of dress or life; "Let your moderation be known to all men." To be ready to every good work wherever and however it may turn up. In daily devotions to use always one or more of the collects, especially that for S. Barnabas' day.

When there are a number of educated people in a town, near to any colliery village, where all are of one class, why not give two afternoons in the week to assisting the work of the Church, thus lightening a little the lives of the people, and lessening the labour [21/22] of the clergy, and their wives and daughters, who are perhaps the only representatives of the upper classes there? I do not say there may not be some follies or indiscretions visible sometimes in the conduct of these workers, but when is there a body of human beings anywhere, however well intentioned, where that does not appear?

My idea, though I know that things may not be yet ripe for it, is, that this Order should be acknowledged in the Church at large, as an efficient and simple form of lay work for men and women of all classes; who, by their time, education, money, and influence, might exercise a wholesome influence in the world, and be fruitful in good works, doing much good. That Convocation should recognize it, as it is now doing the other forms of workers.

As a revival of the beautiful and useful idea of one who lived very near to God and gave his life to his Father's work; who, though a layman, devoted himself to making the salvation of Christ known to all men,--S. Francis,-- [22/23] this Third Order, adapted to modern life and our Anglican Church, might be useful to humanity and the world, which is much as human nature ever was; that, at least, cries out for aid, when it is made to see, as it ever did. Let us not stand idle in the fight between light and darkness, but in well-ordered ranks stand up on the Lord's side, till the time comes when we are called to higher or different work, while others take our places here.

"Lift up your eyes and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest."
"Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest."



"Of sweet S. Francis. Would he were here again!"

As I think we are at liberty to make use of any good and useful form in other Christian Communions, (as long as they are on the ground of our common Christianity,) I will now give some extracts, to begin with, from the rules for this now existing Order, in the Roman Manual.

The present Pope is a native of Perugia, near Assisi, and is much interested in the Third Order, which he has lately reformed from the accretions which had grown upon it. The first part of this little book is quite evangelical, like the Puritans, the Friends, and others who have [24/25] tried to go back to primitive times. Afterwards, there are in it rules for indulgences, etc.; and what are to us Roman errors, with which we have nothing to do.

"Like all the works of God, this holy institute has met with adversaries throughout its whole course. It has been engaged in manifold and prolonged struggles during past ages, and even in our days it still has to encounter the contradiction of determined opponents, and yet, after existing nearly seven centuries, it can proudly defy its enemies. Spread throughout the countries of the world, it is still as young and flourishing as on the day when it issued forth, pure and radiant, from the seraphic heart of its father and founder.

"No sooner had the thrilling voice of God's messenger resounded throughout the world than Europe beheld such a spectacle as had not been witnessed since the birth of Christianity.

"'The world,' says the illustrious Lacordaire, 'was all at once peopled with young maidens, married persons, and men of all ranks and classes, who publicly wore the insignia of a religious Order, and bound themselves to observe its rules in the privacy of their homes.'

[26] "The spirit of association which reigned in the Middle Ages, and which is the spirit of Christianity, was favourable to this new movement. Just as a man belonged to a corporation by the service to which he had devoted himself, to a nation by his birth, and to the Church by baptism, so would he also by a voluntary self-devotion belong to one of those glorious armies which serve Christ in the labours of prayer and penance. It was no longer deemed necessary to fly from the world in order to imitate the saints more perfectly; every chamber might now become a cell, every house a Thebald.

"The history of this Institution is one of the most beautiful pages we can read. It has produced saints in every rank of life, from the throne to the cottage, and in such profusion that even the desert and the cloister might well be jealous!"

I could extract much more. "Soldiers of Christ" and "modern Maccabees" they were called.

"A body of men," says Leo XIII., "who contributed with all their might to revive in society true Christian [26/27] morality in all its ancient splendour." "Yes, union in families, and public peace, purity and gentleness in manners, the good use and preservation of temporal goods--all of which form the solid basis of civilization, and are a guarantee of the stability of states--all these proceed from the Third Order as from their root, and Europe owes every one of these benefits, in great measure, to S. Francis." "Thanks to the Institute of Francis restored to its primitive state, we should see faith, piety, and purity of morals flourish among us once more. The unbridled desire of earthly goods would be moderated, men's passions would be subdued by virtue, who so many regard as a hard and unsupportable yoke. And thus, all being united by the bonds of fraternal charity, they would love one another, and learn to treat the poor and miserable with the
honour due to them as the representatives of Christ. Moreover, those who have deeply imbibed the true principles of Christianity look upon submission to lawful authority, and respect for the rights of others, as an absolute duty. There can be no more efficacious means for rooting out the opposite vices, such as violence, injustice, and the love of novelty and change, all of which are the origin and source of Socialism."

[28] "In fine, the important question of the relations between rich and poor, which occupies the attention of so many politicians, would be satisfactorily solved. All men would learn that poverty is no disgrace, that the rich man should be compassionate and generous, and the poor man contented with his lot. As neither was created for merely temporal ends, the one should strive to gain Heaven by patience, and the other by generosity."

Leo XIII wrote an Encyclical on the Third Order one year and the next a further constitution of it.

"We must render thanks to the Author and Helper of all good counsels, that the ears of Christian people were not closed to our exhortations. From many places we hear that devotion to Francis of Assisi has been aroused, and there is everywhere an increase in the number of people seeking admittance into the Third Order. Wherefore, as though to give fresh impulse to men already running, We determined to turn Our thoughts to all that in any way hinders or retards this salutary race of souls."
"Encyclical Auspicato."

[29] This Order was formed for all classes; so that the prince and the artizan alike wore its insignia with pride.

In mentioning the moderation in which members of the Order should live, it is said:

"Our dress, house, and furniture should be certainly decent, and becoming to our position, but Christian simplicity should be our most beautiful adornment."

"Our dress should always be in keeping with our position in society. Nowadays most persons seem to aim at effacing the difference of ranks by uniformity of dress. It is not an uncommon occurrence to meet maid-servants decked out as if they were high-born ladies. Who will not allow that such a custom is not a flagrant abuse? No child of S. Francis should ever be ashamed of his position."
"Little Manual of the Third Order." Burns & Oates.

There are many further directions about worldly amusements, grace before meat, and making of wills, and arranging one's worldly affairs, which remind one very strongly of some [29/30] of the rules in the Society of Friends, or of the Scotch Moderators.

Bishop Westcott, from whose sermons on "Social Aspects of Christianity," preached at Westminister, I am now about to quote, spoke of S. Francis and George Fox as two great social reformers, and says that "Work begun with the Spirit of God will never entirely end, or fail."

"We have forgotten," he also says, "that the Church is a body in which an appropriate office belongs to every member, and so we have suffered grievously from a loss of power, and from a loss of mutual understanding.

"We have suffered grievously from loss of power. Those who are fit to be teachers among us, who need ample leisure for calm reading and high thinking in order that they may follow the swift currents of opinion, have been overwhelmed with labours not their own, with anxieties of finance, and with details of parish organization. And those again who have a practical knowledge of affairs, a wide influence in business, a [30/31] rich endowment of 'saving common sense,' have found no proper sphere for the exercise of their gifts. The clergy, by the force of circumstances, have added the work of the laity to their own; and the laity, left without work have, almost of necessity, remained without zeal.

"We have suffered grievously also from a loss of mutual understanding, from the want of a free interchange of opinion between all the classes of which the Church consists."

Speaking of S. Francis d'Assisi, the Bishop says:

"Three main lessons seem to be pressed upon us by the work of Francis: the capacity of simple humanity for the highest joys of life, so that the poorest even in his utter destitution may realize the bliss of Saints; and again, the necessity of taking account of the fulness and variety of life in our endeavours to hasten the kingdom of God; and yet again, the importance of the mission of the laity."

"We need yet once more to embody the ministry of laymen. The Order of the Franciscans was essentially [31/32] a lay institution. Francis, with his unmeasured devotion, with his missionary zeal, with his gift of preaching, never received the priesthood. Of the first group of twelve who received the commission to preach from Innocent, one only, as it appears, was in Orders. Thus the lesson of the spirit of Francis, the fulfilment of his work, brethren, is for you. His sympathy with every living creature, his feeling for everything without life, as we speak, the hallowing, that is, of all natural science, is for you. The message of peace, by which he reconciled the feuds of noble towns, is for you. The message of purity, by which he vindicated the sanctities of home, is for you. It is for you, with a clear vision of the Will of God, with a sure confidence in the might of God, to lift from the nations the paralyzing load which is laid upon them by the ambition and selfishness of men."

After further describing the fellowship to come, he wishes for, Bishop Westcott says:

"Such a fellowship of brethren and sisters of the common hope may seem to some to be visionary, to others, I think it will be only the expression of their own deep longings. It is, at least as far as I can [32/33] judge, nothing more than the translation of our Creed into action, according to the conditions of the time."
"Social Aspects of Christianity."

"Bring into play (what our German friends would call) the Historic Element; not trying the vain course of reproducing the past, which can never be, but giving to our whole condition by the Historic Element that continuity and connection with the past which throws such chains round the individual's affections, and is so precious for Society itself. All this is not only feasible, but full of hope, powerful to win, to charm, to attract, to hold."
Hugh James Rose.

"We have as much right to restore the old as invent the new, if either new or old are found to supply an acknowledged want. We want machinery to bring the truths of eternity to bear on the masses, no less than motive power to aid our commerce."
"The Third Order, to which I have more than once alluded, was a great means of binding people together. The rules are few and simple, interfering in no way with the everyday duties of life."
Charles Walker, from "Life in an English Monastery."

[34] After speaking of the number of Tertiaries who drifted into the higher and stricter orders, Mrs. Oliphant says:

"It was not, however, in this intention that the Third Order of S. Francis was formed. Its purpose was, in all simplicity, to promote the purity of common life; to sanctify, by active practice of the Christian virtues, the troubled and disturbed existence which most men and women have to live, in the midst of an uneasy world; and to make all work practicable, and all patience possible, by impressing upon the minds of the labouring and heavy laden a constant sense of the aid of Christ, and the presence, in the midst of all their mortal enemies, oppressions, and perils, of that one unfailing though unseen Friend."
"Life of S. Francis."


"Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the Lord; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the Lord, and work: for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts:
"According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not.
"For thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;
"And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come."--Haggai ii. 4-7.

"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
I Thess. v. 21.


It is this beautiful spiritual ideal and interpretation of the Third Order, now sorely needed, that I propose. I would have the rule of it be very light, and very very [35/36] little of a yoke. S. Francis, I believe, at first gave them little beyond the Lord's Prayer and the Ten Commandments, and giving a rough dress and a rope, and a few devotional exercises, to his two first members, man and wife, told them to consider themselves of the Order, to which next year he gave the rules.

Those who are already living in the spirit of this Order might be received at once as members; others wishing to join should receive a year's instruction from the teachers licensed to teach by the Bishop, or from those who have been already especially instructed for that purpose, and of practical work of some parochial kind. The parish clergyman should receive the names of those wishing to join. It will not interfere with other bodies of workers already successful and working, even though many of them have Associates, and some even a Third Order of their own. Such Institutions in themselves are self-contained, and belong to the First and Second Orders.

But I think the whole Church will be none [36/37] the worse for an Order combining all, men and women of all classes, who like to join. I think also this was the Original Order intended, which the others may have led up to again--history repeating itself. If we are to have the First and Second Orders, let us by all means have the Third also.

I have been also asked, and more than once, What better will people be for belonging to this Order? Why can they not remain where they are, and ask their parish clergyman for something to do, and do it? That is all very well; we have long been in the habit of doing that, and it has answered well or ill, according to character and circumstances. But now new times and ways are coming in. There will always be some who are content with the old ways, and who have done well in them. But now that there is so much of recognized, authorized, and systematic work coming in, the old ways seem forgotten, and in danger of being set aside for it, and those who have spent their lives in work are discounted for a [37/38] newly ordained worker of a new school, instructed, prepared, and received. These are often excellent, but there have been good workers before their day; and all have not time for so much special training; have already learned much from experience; nor have they inclination for a special form or school.

I want to mass and organize the splendid workers that exist, and who are at work unrecognized; to secure them to the Church, as part of the organization of the present day, with power to add to their number by improved teaching and practice those who can only give a portion of their time, but who will gladly give that, as a free-will offering.

It seems to me as if, in the Apostle's time over again, many of the secular duties of the clergy are becoming unbearable, and might be well taken by any authorized worker with a definite position in the Church. It sometimes seems as if the present pressure could hardly go on which now exists among many [38/39] of our clergy, from the Bishops downwards. Parishes are not all well worked by subdivided labour, or one would not hear people say, "No one comes here!" "No one ever visits us!" We must trust in time that we shall have some further light in the suitable division of labour, and the right exercise, not exhaustion, of our powers in the service of God.

There is room for all, for those who can give little time, and for those who can give all, to His service.

This Order should be very elastic; yes, as elastic and varied as our circumstances are. For is it not the will of God that we should live where He has placed us, and fulfil thus the works He has prepared for us to do?

Without detracting from the holiness of a life separated from the world, and more exclusively given up to the things of the Lord, is it not the more general rule that we are placed in families, and with certain positions, and it is for these, forming so large a portion of humanity, that this Order is proposed: no fear, while continuing [39/40] in the state of life to which we are called, but that crosses, trials, and duties, will be abundantly found to prove the strength and reality of our Christian faith.

Also, I think that those who have had the advantage of the training of a hospital nurse might find advantage in this Order, as a dress is worn when desirable, or engaged in work, and the hospital nurses will work. One cannot well pick up a dirty child even, in an ordinary dress, or go into the worst parts of East London, or our large towns, without feeling it would be pleasanter and more convenient to have a dress kept for those occasions. I hear that the present supply of nurses almost exceeds the demand, in the hospitals; but I think there will never be one too many for the exigencies of life, and that the valuable training in nursing the sick rightly, in obedience, industry, and punctuality are all likely to improve and make more valuable the person who has had it.

As I said before, while allowing for all schools of thought in the Church, and wishing that [40/41] workers should be trained in them, I am rather jealous of that word "instruction," because I can remember so much good work done by those who thought no further instruction necessary than what was given by their parish priest on special occasions for his workers; by his ordinary sermons, which fed them with spiritual meat, by the strengthening and refreshing of their souls given by receiving the Holy Sacrament, when "he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me." They had a close spiritual tie with the Source of Life, so that they could go here and there, teach and comfort and help, among the poor and ignorant: raise and support schools and classes, mothers' meetings, etc., and spend their health, time and money, for the love of Him in Whom they lived.

Instruction and organization, the two necessities of the present plan of working that we hear most of, had their place; but it was neither of them that formed these workers--welcomed sometimes as angels in human form, when known, wherever they went, and remembered [41/42] long after by rich and poor when they went to their rest. Such lovely characters are perhaps exceptional, but they are, even in the world's eyes, one of the clearest and plainest proofs of a Divine influence in humanity.

I wish on no account to deprive the Church as an organization of what is so great a proof of a living Power: holy lives given up to the service of their Lord, and I would utilize all good ways for forming such into Orders of workers, if that is found to give strength and efficiency.

Why should we be deprived of all the agencies for good which we have had in common with all Christendom till the sixteenth century, because in that century it was necessary to purify and reform them? Purification is not Destruction.

We are crying out for new agencies. May it not be because we have destroyed too many of the old ones, not recognizing that some of them were built upon Eternal Truth?

As Frederica Bremer said, in washing the child we nearly threw it away with the bath! Let us [42/43] have the child washed by all means, but not only that: let us keep it clean; and for that some discipline and watchfulness will be required, without which no individual or Church is likely to remain pure.

Faults and imperfections there will always be. Let us rejoice in all things we can find in which we can agree, and in which we can together serve our Lord and Saviour; and so, we trust, shall error fall and perish, as it is a thing of time, while truth is great, and shall prevail.

"To be practical," I have asked the opinions of two or three parish clergymen on the subject, which follow; and I have also asked a lady who has had much experience as a Deaconess to give some practical account of her work and experience. The newspaper cutting, which I asked her to let me print also, shows how such labours are sometimes appreciated, and that where it is not expected, but is the more gratifying.

In thinking over how best to utilize the [43/44] "Suggestion for the Times, the Third Order, or the proposed League of the Cross," a clerical friend proposes--

"1. To put in practice on a small scale, and in parishes where it commends itself; such work among only those already qualified by experience, and who think well of the suggestion.
"2. To league together, first in smaller numbers, such workers under an appointed instructor.
"3. To secure the services of some clergymen of influence in the Diocese.
"4. Discussion in the official assemblies of the Church."

Another, a Vicar of a large and crowded parish, says:--

"Such a scheme as this seems to me not to be impracticable. That there are many with means and leisure, and with an earnest wish to do good, and that there are parishes needing such help, is a fact. The difficulty is, so to organize that the two shall be brought together, and whoever by any possibility can manage that, will have conferred a boon on the Church and Society."

[45] The same preacher also said lately in a sermon that many people are suffering from "spiritual indigestion" for want of some form of active spiritual work, in the same way as we may suffer also from physical sloth and ease. A layman also agrees that those who are fed with living water themselves must let it flow on to others, "or it will become stagnant, breed false and morbid forms, and lose its original life."

I am attached to the idea of the Third Order myself, but would object to no name which thus preserves our religious liberty and the spirit of Primitive Christianity. As the Archbishop of Canterbury lately said, "Let us not stand at names when thousands are perishing."

The Wesleyans set us a brave example in their time, which we did not rightly meet. I know also that the present day is very different to the times when S. Francis lived and preached. We do not require to be told that to win Heaven we must join any Order whatever. But in so far as Special Orders are made [45/46] for special work and reasons, I would have the Third Order added to those that are, as forming a link with the Orders set apart, and living by their rules, and the common Christian people; some of whom, by being massed in this Third Order, may add to the regularity and force of the Church's organization.

The opinion I most value is that of the late Bishop of Durham, Dr. Lightfoot, who having asked for suggestions for means of work and influence to bear on the masses, gave this idea, when sent to him in its earliest form, his attention, and said "it should be productive of great good." He also wrote to Canon Body about it, as the Canon Missioner of the Diocese, and the latter asked that the idea should be as far as possible developed. Collecting the thoughts of others, which bear on it, seemed to me a good way of doing so.

A Vicar who has worked for more than thirty years in a large parish in Lancashire also writes, saying:--

[47] "I like your admirable suggestion for the revival of the Third Order, or League of the Cross; and I know no parish where the good of such an Order really at work might be more effectual, with God's blessing, than in my own, if only the field might be occupied."

Others have also expressed commendation of the first idea.

Another Durham clergyman has also sent me these extracts from a sermon of Archdeacon Farrar's as being of more weight than anything he could say, and with them I will close:--

"When so much headway has to be made up, when it has become the far harder task of a Church not to evangelise, but to reclaim, ordinary methods are insufficient. Immediate reparation is never possible where long-continued evils have been at work; but desperate conditions, even for their alleviation much less for their removal, require nothing short of desperate remedies. Let it not be said that work like this is not, cannot be, for the majority. We have not the powers for it; not the gifts, not the opportunities, not even the call; we are not worthy of it; we are not good [47/48] enough for it. Are we not exempt, then? Not so. It is the one plain, positive duty of every one of us to be engaged in some effort for the good of our neighbour."

"If we want new orders of clergy, we want also for the laity something resembling the mediaeval 'Tertiaries,' in which men and women, married and single, living the common life of the world's routine, may yet bind themselves to the work of Christ in the world, striving in some way or other, outside the limits of domestic egotism, to escape the vulgar average of sloth and ease."

Two Quotations from a Sermon preached by Archdeacon Farrar June 29th, 1884.


"In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good."
Ecclesiastes xi. 6.

I have been asked by the Authoress of "A Suggestion for the Times" to put together a few thoughts and incidents, to be incorporated with her portion of the work to be published. I do this with reluctance, because, though an active worker for many years, I have no experience in the way of sending forth anything which may be of interest to general readers.

My only hope and earnest prayer is that this may fall into the hands of thinking men and women, who have not as yet realized that it is their privilege, as well as their duty, to "come [49/50] over and help" those who so greatly need it. If my few untutored words are blessed to the pressing into active service for the King of any who have hitherto held back, I shall be more than repaid.

A new way seems to be indicated in the scheme suggested by my friend. I have endeavoured to explain and speak of some of the many branches and methods, and also the pleasures and delights to be found in following that way; when once organized, it will be a boon to many who have leisure to spare, if they only knew how to employ it.

This new scheme seems to be one calculated to meet a pressing need, and to increase the number of workers in our parishes, without their feeling bound to take vows or to live in community. Where there are home duties which must be attended to, this is often impossible to many, who yet might be able and willing to devote, say a couple of days or evenings a week, to help in parts where the labourers are few. Each person can thus take up the [50/51] one sort of work that best suits his or her time, ability or opportunity; whereas those living in parishes where few come forward to help, feel impelled to try to fill up, more or less, every gap in the ranks.

Result--too much is undertaken, and consequently inefficiently carried out. In the parish in which I now reside there are several workers who fill the offices of Sunday school teacher, district visitor, night school teacher, helping also in guilds and bands of hope, and yet having their own household work to do, and in some cases a husband and children to care for. In a neighbouring parish there are scores of people who could each give up a day or two days a week to help in other parishes in the town. From nine to twelve in the morning is a good time for house to house visiting; from two to four or five in the afternoon, visiting invalids, helping in mothers' meetings, cottage readings, or reading to sick people or chronic invalids; and from seven or half-past, to nine or half-past, is the usual time for evening [51/52] meetings. Surely there must be many who could spare three, six, or nine hours a week to do God service and work for the "Inasmuch," which will be theirs if they work with a single eye to God's glory. There is such an infinite variety in Church work, enough to suit the powers of men and women of any age or station of life, and of different stages of intellectual culture. If, like Saul of Tarsus, our cry is "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" we shall not be long in finding employment in that which is lying ready to our hand. Guilds, bands of hope, G.F.S., young women's help societies, working parties, mothers' meetings, cottage readings, night schools, savings banks, clothing clubs, sick fund clubs, parish libraries, Bible classes, young men's institutes, parish bands, singing classes, temperance meetings, and C.E.T.S. work, unvisited streets, aged and blind folk "longing to hear a bit of reading," chronic invalids yearning for a bright-faced visitor who will talk and read awhile, and change the current of their thoughts are all [52/53] silently yet earnestly appealing for help to those able to give it. Many are willing but are withheld from beginning parish or Church work by a dread of possible failure. They imagine some special training must be necessary, and is indispensable. I grant this is imperative now in these days of Trained Nurses and Deaconesses for those who fill these, or any remunerated post, but we are thinking now of those who, in the course of God's providence are set free from the obligation of earning their daily bread, and can devote part of their leisure time to this work. The possession of the following qualities would enable anyone to do yeoman service in the work of this "Adaptation of the Third Order":--

1. A knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ as a personal Saviour, and a deep-seated love for our poorer, afflicted, uninstructed, and unintelligent brothers and sisters for His sake.
2. Much love for young folk and children, and a thorough understanding of their tempers, ways, and needs, and great patience. [53/54]
3. To have a thorough dependence upon God's Holy Spirit as a Guide and Counsellor, a heartfelt interest in both the temporal and eternal welfare of all with whom we come in contact, and a power of adapting one's self to, and guiding circumstances, instead of being guided by them.

This work is one of faith and love. The constraining power of love to Christ, and through Him to the ignorant and "out of the way" folk, must be the motive power in this, as in all other Christian work. A knowledge of sick cookery, ambulance work, nursing, music, singing, the routine of a night school, or of Sunday schools (where Sunday is a day when help can be given) are of immense help to Church workers, whether male or female. I certainly think for women a distinctive dress to be worn when employed in work is a great advantage. A plain close bonnet, black preferable, a black cloak, and plain black dress made to clear the ground, with no trimming round the bottom, will be acknowledged by all who [54/55] have worked in our cities and large towns to be a sine qua non.

A distinctive dress inspires confidence, makes the wearer easily recognizable, and puts one at once on good terms with those visited, protects from insult and impertinence, and if out late at night is a real necessity. I have a dim and indistinct remembrance of an Order in Naples or Sicily, I think, of men of noble birth, who at the sound of a bell leave their employment or amusement, as the case may be, and, attiring themselves in a special garb, go out at once to attend funerals, so that none may go to the grave unfollowed. In this case a request from a clergyman to a member of this Order would be as the signal bell, calling them to come aside for a time into the wilderness, till their efforts, blessed by their Father's approval, cause it to blossom as the rose.

Punctuality, regularity, unswerving loyalty to the Church, the power of working in complete harmony with the wishes of the clergyman in whose parish the worker finds him or herself, [55/56] are imperative. Fear of ridicule, a dread of what others may say or think of our doings, must be put entirely on one side, and the mind and brain kept ever on the alert to meet the unexpected contingencies which will arise. For those who have undergone bereavements, sorrows, troubles and trials, no better heart cure could ever be devised, than to enter on the work of helping to soothe the sorrows and troubles of Christ's poor; your reward is sure hereafter, and you will receive many a sweet foretaste here in the love and affection of those to whom you minister. Have you what seems a heavy cross to bear? Go forth and help some of your toiling, struggling brothers and sisters to bear theirs, and your burden will be far lighter. There is nothing which brings its own reward more surely and swiftly here, besides earning the "Well done, good and faithful servant" hereafter, than being not only "ready to every good work," but taking up whatever is set before us, and doing it with a loving heart, as unto the Lord.

[57] You will begin, possibly, by thinking "I can spare two afternoons a week;" you will end probably by wondering how much more time you can devote. It is amazing what a small amount of such work faithfully undertaken brings forth in the way of love and gratitude. You have a trouble which only your Father in Heaven knows of, or can help you in, visit some patient sufferer, see the brightening eye, the happy look on the worn face as you enter, and listen to the heartfelt thanks. The gift of a flower, a book--small things to you--are much to them. The thorough enjoyment of the hymn you sing or say, the passage you read and explain from God's Word, or some devotional work, the prayer you offer, may well make one feel ashamed of the depths of gratitude our small efforts have elicited. The result of constant intercourse with Christian cultured men and women becomes apparent in almost all with whom they come in close contact, and the result of bringing them to the feet of Christ is seen in their growing nearer and nearer to [57/58] the "Be pitiful, be courteous," of the Apostle, in their daily life and behaviour to others.

A worker was once told by an old nonconformist living in the street where a mission room was started, "I can live in peace since the children go to the mission, they don't quarrel and fight on my step, and dirty it, and they say If you please, and No thank you, when you speak to them." "There has not been a fight in this street since the mission started," was another remark. Any lover of music and singing, may do much by training a singing class, with what heartiness the younger ones join in, and much might be done in this way amongst our humbler friends to train them to appreciate a better and higher style of music than obtains at present. Violin playing is an intense source of delight to them. I know a street where "Daily, daily" taught to the mission children has been carried into many houses, the refrain, "Oh, that I had wings of angels," being sung and lisped by babes of three and four, while infants in the cradle are [58/59] rocked to sleep by mature nurses of five, who promise as the reward of being "good and going to sleep," when you can walk and talk you shall go to Sunday school and learn "Daily, daily."

Another very effective way of helping can be set in motion by those who perhaps do not feel able to help in any of the ways suggested above: and that is to help in a parish library; or, themselves to be the centre for distributing the parish magazine. Given a clear head, and a knowledge of arithmetic, a worker could soon divide and sub-divide a parish, or district, and relieve the already overburdened clergy of the parish by organizing a regular band of distributors, amongst young friends of their own, who could deliver magazines once a month in the course of their walks, and return money and unsold copies, or give in fresh orders to the "head centre." The Church Evangelist, a splendid halfpenny weekly, has been started quite lately by a worker, its circulation began with thirty copies given away; in three months [59/60] the number of copies sold rose to one hundred and thirty eight. These are distributed by some of the scholars of a mission school, who are provided with a book, in which the names and addresses of subscribers are entered, and a pencil. They take a deep interest in the paper, and their glee when they get a fresh subscriber, when every one in their book has paid that week, or, when they hand over what they call "back money," is almost ludicrous. They also bring in a great deal of useful information as to illness, requests for a visit from the clergy, and removals--information not to be despised in a large parish. Anyone undertaking this branch of work could easily get Sunday scholars eager to help on a Saturday afternoon, and, if it is well pressed home to their young minds that it is a work they are doing for the Lord Jesus, may be of untold benefit to them, as the commencement of a training in at least one form of Church work. Night schools, if you can get the use of the voluntary day school for the purpose, and can [60/61] gather together married men and married women, and grown up single men and women, are a most interesting branch of work, and much needed even in these days when everyone is supposed to have had at least the opportunity of learning to read and write.

My own experience is that there is a very large percentage of persons who can do neither, or do so very imperfectly, and many so-called good writers in the poorer classes can neither read their own or anyone else's handwriting. In one of our northern towns a night school was held twice a week for men and lads of any age, and once a week for women and girls. Both were well attended, fathers and sons, uncles and nephews, mothers, granddaughters and grandmothers, all of them willing and anxious to learn. An odd incident took place one night. The lady worker was single handed, the women in number thirty, of various ages from fifteen to fifty, were all deep in the mysteries of the three R's, when two drunken men entered and gazed vacantly around. Advancing [61/62] to the centre of the room, they enquired what was going on? Being informed, they stated their wish to learn geography. The worker took them to the map of Africa, and began to explain it to them. Their inability to stand steady, or to distinguish land from water, soon convinced them it was better to retire. They were escorted to the door. Their addresses, when obtained, proved they had wandered far from their own homes. Out of earshot of the class a little temperance lecture was given them, and the taking of the pledge suggested as a means of enabling them to understand the geography of their own town. The faces of the class were a perfect study during the interview, and it was a relief to all when the men were shut out in the dark street and the door locked.

I had, like many others, done a little so-called District Visiting in the south, in my early years. I know now how imperfect it was; but to do any real good you require to know the people thoroughly, and, as it were, identify yourself [62/63] with their ways and thoughts. North country people at first seem abrupt and rough, but it is astonishing how friendly they become if you are what they term "free" with them, and speak to them as if you felt for and with them. You have really to study their expressions if you want and wish to be "understanded of the people." Especially where south country people are working in the north does this apply.

With regard to temperance work, no one doubts that "prevention is better than cure," and when it is proved that so many relapse after years of abstinence, it more and more confirms the truth of the adage. Many believe the following to be the most useful course to pursue for the "present distress"; To induce children when young to join the Band of Hope, and on leaving at fifteen or sixteen, to become members of the temperance society or guild. Abstinence will be the rule of their early manhood and womanhood, and also of their married life, thus giving the little ones at least a chance of being born comparatively free from that [63/64] hereditary craving for drink, which is the deep-seated cause of the existing drunkenness.

We all have influence of some sort or another, and if conscientiously used in ever so small a degree, it brings about, under God's blessing, such results; should we not, if we are not using it, dread lest the question, "Why stand ye here all the day idle?" be put to us.

It only needs men and women to come forward in greater numbers than heretofore; to band themselves (those not already recognized) in some such simple, easily-worked organization as this now proposed, in order to utilize a vast power for good which at present lies dormant. This is chiefly due to the need of some mediatory centre for introducing unemployed and rising workers to clergy requiring such helpers. [* As the writer of the preceding chapter will probably bring out a work on Parochial Experiences separately, the rest of this book is now confined more to the subject in hand.]


A Summary & Warning for the Times

"Just so it is, when we come to take our life out of the condition of chaos and bring it within the domain of the Realm of Order; when once you take your work, whether in the parochial society, or sisterhood, or in the street, out of the realm of confusion, and bring it into the Realm of Order, with set times, with a recognition of things that are primary and secondary, with a reverence for a due subordination, then you have become straightway not an element of confusion in the world, but a tower of strength, and men will look up to you, and lean on you, because they see in you that columnar quality, which is the fruit of obedience to law."
Four Addresses to Women engaged in Church Work, by the Right Reverend the Bishop of New York.

Some one remarked to me with some sagacity, after reading this book, "Then you mean to turn all our District into a Third Order?"

[66] That is not far wrong. Not all though, for many of them will prefer to remain as they are. But good District Visitors, whether men or women, by no means confine themselves to visiting the twenty or twenty-five houses allotted to them. Without interfering in other people's districts, many other calls and duties fall in and take up their time, and to lead a good devoted Christian life in the place where God has put us is of itself a great good. A band of union, which is strength also, for work, which God in His providence may set us to do, either in our own families--our parish, our town, or country, or in any country to which we may go--to show a devout Christian life, living thus in the strength of a Christian association, with antiquity to support it, and a high Christian ideal for its mould and form; is what I mean by this proposed revived Tertiary--the members of which formerly served their Church at home and abroad, and shrunk from no trials of their faith, even to martyrdom.

I have, it is true, thought of an Order above [66/67] the District Visitors, and below that of the consecrated or dedicated life, such as both men and women are now taking. The Order I think of would be the lowest of the Orders. S. Francis' first Order had both priests and laymen in it, the second was the Nuns of the religious life. [* Corresponding to our Sisters, etc.] These two Orders of his, except to shew them, as the reason the other was called the Third, or the Tertiary, we are not concerned with in this proposed fellowship. Let it be clearly understood that it is no Roman Order whatsoever that I want, but as we have now Sisterhoods and Brotherhoods adapted to our Anglican Church, so we could now again have an outer Order which any one living in the world could join, and of the same spirit as that which commended itself to the saintly mind of Francis of Assisi, as a sequel to the establishment of the dedicated Orders.

Of course I leave it to the learned in the Church to arrange how these things can be--[67/68] only suggesting it as a possible way of meeting an acknowledged want. For I am by no means alone in my wish for some such institution as the Tertiaries again--ready to every good work--an organized body suitable for action and support, a Rule to act as a voucher, and also right restraint, on the numbers of voluntary workers now springing up--to turn their powers into well-directed channels. Lay Orders in distinction to Holy Orders. [* If Orders are objected to, let some other name be found]

To one who has lately been visiting in Deaconess Homes and Sisterhoods, an old friend, a priest, writes, "You will now be able to form a sound judgment as to the efficiency of those female orders which have long done such good work in the Church. I highly reverence the Catholic Institution of Deaconesses, a most Scriptural Order."

What I have seen of such Institutions makes me say that I think such lives at their best, most Scriptural and Christlike, and a great ornament and addition to the life of the [68/69] Church as long as they take their right place in it, and fill that, in due submission to the higher Officers of the Church. I think the "women deacons (I Tim. iii. II), being both lay and clerical," (Bishop Lightfoot) have a right to a certain position in the Church as instructors of others and advisers, etc.

I like myself also to see a dress affording some shelter, and suited to the exigencies of the English climate, in those who work--not heavy Eastern draperies; or in avoiding one evil we may fall into another, but a light and strong costume, convenient for the purposes required. It seems also to me a good plan to have young girls trained by one or more suitable matrons, to do the house work, so that the Sisters are free for their labours; the girls are instructed in service by those who have had experience of it, and a suitable position of great usefulness is found for older women of a lower class, where they can live in respect and comfort. I mention what has struck me, as on some of these points there may be a [69/70] difference of opinion; but I think there can be but one of the high ideal and aim of these lives, and that they are following in the footsteps of their Master, which He pointed out while in the world. The tide is setting that way, and it will flow, because it is drawn onwards by the love of Christ. Kept in right limits, it will overcome obstacles until it has free course and is glorified.

There is one subject on which I believe the Sisters, Deaconesses, Brothers, and all workers among the poor will agree, that is, in regarding the public-houses as their universal foe; giving them the cause of much of their work, and of dire disappointment in it. I know of course that men must have some place to meet in, and talk, and enjoy themselves; but that is different to men and women standing at the bar, spending their wages in drinking as much bad spirit as they can, all to add to the profits of some rich man. If a drunkard is to be considered unaccountable for his actions, and therefore unpunishable, as some doctor lately [70/71] said, surely it should not be lawful to make him drunk; the one who does that is the guilty one,--and not the publican, but his employer.

I wish some statesman would try a plan I heard proposed lately, viz, to shorten the hours the houses are open, at both ends of the day, more every year; so that the change would come on by degrees, and the troublesome question of compensation be settled by letting them down gently, and giving them good warning. But if we drive them out of this country, these men will kill off the savages in another, or fit themselves out to meet the fishermen on the Deep Sea. The manufacture should be checked; covetousness under one form or another being such a subtle sin. This may be deemed a digression, but has more to do with our work, the whole question of it, and the necessity for it, than those can understand who have not gone down into the field of action.

I acknowledge to some impatience on the [71/72] subject of this permitted and organized evil, and that the devoted lives of educated men and women should be so heavily handicapped.

In the present day we hear much of the doings of two foes of our English Church:--First, the attacks of the Roman one, which seems to be at present doubly strong in its efforts against the Church as established in this kingdom, and secondly of those of either open Infidelity, or the evil undermining of the Christian faith received at the hands of its professed friends. This latter form I think worst of all. Cowardice, dishonesty, and perverseness, all show in such conduct; as well as an over-weening opinion of ourselves and the power of our own intellects as compared with those of other generations. Marks like these bear their own condemnation as being opposed to all we know of goodness and greatness, in times past, or in times present.

But it is chiefly in regard to the attacks of Rome, being not without knowledge of that Church, that I desire to write this warning. [72/73] Well may the chief Ruler of our own Church lately warn his brethren that in no other will they keep, or have, the liberty they enjoy in the English one. We must remember also that till lately any priest exercising private judgment, or differing in teaching, was liable to be taken away, to simply disappear. [*Whiteside's Italy in the Nineteenth Century] Many a Luther, Döllinger, or Hyacinthe, have probably worn out their lives in the four walls of an underground dungeon. The inquisition has not been feared by all the nations of the world, nor the Jesuits hated, for nothing. Then as regards our future hope, what strange contradictions there are in it. Faber, who wrote such lovely hymns as--

"Souls of men, why will ye scatter,
Like a crowd of frightened sheep?"


"For the Heart of the Eternal
Is most wonderfully kind,"

was a member of the Church which holds the terrible doctrine of Purgatory. These hymns, [73/74] and the "Lead, Kindly Light" of Dr. Newman, both breathe the spirit of the early Christian Church before such errors as Purgatory crept in. But I have been told that all these hymns were written while they were yet Protestants: after, Newman disclaimed knowing what he meant, when he wrote the words, which are to me the gem of the hymn--

"And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which we have loved long since, and lost awhile."

Give me the first faith, which holds such heavenly hope and light. Give me the blessed words, "Them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him." (I Thess. iv. 14.)

The doctrine of Purgatory, as I heard it lately expounded in a London Church, [*Sermon by Monsignor ___, preached in the Carmelite Church, at Kensington, on Sunday afternoon] would be enough to condemn any Church, in an unbiassed and free mind, comparing it with the words of our Lord and His Apostles. I do not mean that the announcement that the [74/75] pains of Purgatory--(not Hell, which are eternal, but Purgatory)--are beyond anything that we can imagine in this life:--that those who have lived and died in the full exercise of their Church's command and faith, with extreme Unction, and all its blessings, yet have to suffer that extreme pain and torment; which, however, they endure joyfully, as their salvation, never sure in this life, they know now to be secure, but that these sufferings can be relieved and shortened by our money! (The coin of what realm can reach them there?) That we are often deceived by the poor in this world with their lying tales, but that the money given to the holy souls in Purgatory is never wasted. These are they who were in prison, naked, and sick, and we visited them--with our alms--these are the holy souls in Purgatory crying out for our assistance; never are we deceived by them, or our money wasted. I know also that it is meant that our money should go for Masses for their souls. But the preacher went on to say that the priests had [75/76] been known in time of necessity to melt down even the holy vessels for the benefit of the holy souls in Purgatory.

You see also on a box at the door of a Roman Church--"Put freely into the box for the holy souls in Purgatory, as you may thereby escape burning yourself, as well as help your friends."

Was there ever so strong a device found for obtaining money! Let those who wish to read more about these abuses read Alexandre Dumas' clever little book, "Les âmes en Purgatoire," when he speaks of the errors which before long crept in about Christianity--"so pure at its source."

I see that one of the chief Roman Catholic shops, by way of attracting the English, is now advertising New Testaments at sixpence, and Family Bibles. This is a new step, and one to be very thankful for. Let the same people who listen to such sermons, hear the words of our Lord, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that [76/77] sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." (John v. 24) I cannot but hope that "the entrance of this Word which giveth light" may make a great change in the views of the members of that Church as regards the errors of it, now they are permitted to read it for themselves--even with the added notes. When I once spoke to a Roman priest about indulgences, which are to us one of their strongest errors, which greatly caused the need of reform, he said the Church had always held that money given was equivalent to a good work or deed--yes, and even to atoning for, or gaining permission for, a bad one, as history down to the present day, can prove abundantly, though of course he would deny that.

The only mention I can see of such a doctrine in the Bible is where Simon the sorcerer received a sharp rebuke from S. Peter himself, for thinking of such a thing--"Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought the gift of God might be purchased with money." [77/78] (Acts viii. 20.) But while anxious, and very anxious, to save impulsive people, forgetful or ignorant, of these things, from leaving the Church of their country by warning them against the errors of Rome, still at the Reformation we made some mistakes, and cast away with the bad a great deal that was pure and good, and belonged to our common Christianity--undivided in the beginning. We made terrible mistakes in outward destruction when we robbed and took the Church's property, and levelled with cannons the chancel arches of Glastonbury and all our splendid abbeys and Churches, which we now revisit with deep regret, that spiritual pride and arrogancy should have called for so bitter a lesson, [* See Note 4] and remodel as we best can in our new erections. When we raked the sides of Melrose from the low hills beside it, and destroyed right and left. As Andrew Fairservice said, "There are those who think the Reform would have been just as pure as it is, if these buildings had been [78/79] left standing;" but happily the citizens of Glasgow, reformed as they were, took a sudden alarm and came out to resist the approaching fanatics, for the preservation of their Cathedral; a reaction of Scotch common sense for which we may be thankful. Yes, I would even agree with what I heard lately said, "that for the last three hundred years the Church had abandoned her sacred heritage of the poor to the State," [* Rev. W. Carlile, Church Army] who had made poor work of it. Workhouses are not satisfactory things--from a Christian or worldly point of view. No, our Church has had to retrace her steps towards a pure Christianity in many ways since the Reformation--but she will not reach it by copying or imbibing Roman errors, but by retaining what is good and useful in that communion, which is not Roman, but Christian, and belongs to all--the religion which began so pure with its Saints and Martyrs long before the evil spirit of covetousness took possession of it. S. Cecilia, who is said to have carried always a copy of [79/80] the Gospels on her person, S. Agnes, S. Sebastian, and the long roll of those of whom the world was not worthy, and who welcomed death as a brief step to the Presence of their Lord. The organization and machinery of Rome is wonderful, and the good of it we may well feel the necessity for--but not its heavy yoke. In reforming we meant to discard the evil and keep the good--to purify, not to destroy.

Give me the English system with its priests not removed from human nature, but understanding it, and one with it, as the Apostles were--a set of men set apart for a higher life, and office, and example, but still of humanity--among which it has to work according to the gifts given it by our Heavenly Father--"Who divideth unto every man severally as He will." I would also have all freedom given for Orders of men and women who choose to devote themselves more entirely to the work of Christ in such ways as are expedient for the good of souls. We can ill afford to do without these helps; the regularity and discipline necessary [80/81] for the best work of a large body is not to be objected to.

It is not these things that caused the Reformation, but the abuse of them. Money also is required, and it is our privilege and duty to give it according to our means--not grudgingly or of necessity. The Church is brightening now and shewing much new life, with all these new or rather renewed developments, which, as I said before, belong to our common Christianity, and are the marks of active life, well disciplined and trained to bring forth fruit. This we need not fear--antiquity teaches it to us, and formation of outward forms is to some extent necessary for the right development of the powers of each member in Christian work, as it is in other things. We read of the hierarchies and orders of Heaven, and it is not likely that we can stand firm on earth without such aids and formations, considering the force and number of our foes.


NOTE 1, page 13.--"Why," it has been said, "this swift decline and subversion of so beautiful an idea? Surely there must have been something wrong in this formation of the Third Order for it to endure so short a time unchanged."

A student of history may have other thoughts. Is it not rather a proof of the purity of this formation originally, that it was not suffered to remain so? Was Savonarola's pure revival allowed to live? Was he not burnt in the market-place, and his books and followers destroyed or dispersed? Were not Fénélon and Mme. Guyon warned and corrected? Lassère, who meant his New Testament to bring the Saviour nearer to the minds and hearts of men, soon had his book, at first gladly welcomed, recalled and forbidden. Montalembert was warned,--and breathed freely in England. Needless to multiply the legions of cases where four walls, "Quattre mure," were the life-long portion, if life was left. Did not the Spanish Quietist Molinos, who taught approach with confidence to the Redeemer's presence and Sacrament, without the necessary intervention of priests; and who opened men's hearts to the direct rays of the Sun of Righteousness, suffer public execution amid cries of "Fire!" [82/83] for his heresy, while his disciples, priestly and noble as many of them were, were seized by the Inquisition? [* See "John Inglesant," latter part.]

Nothing that is pure or spiritual does the atmosphere of Rome seem long to agree with. But in the Anglican Church we have this freedom and greater liberty. The description Bishop Westcott gives of the original spirit of the Third Order, "that it should give consecration and calm and dignity to ordinary life," is the best compendium of the idea I know.

Mrs. Jameson, in her book on the Monastic Orders, says that the third Orders of S. Francis and S. Dominic (a Spanish monk who adopted the rule), bound as they were by no vows, and comprising both sexes and all ranks of life, began like the Apostolic Institutions restored to us; and that with every drawback caused by superstition, ignorance, and fierce and warlike habits, this institution did more to elevate the moral standard among the laity, more to Christianize the people, than any other thing before the invention of printing.

NOTE 2, page 71.--"No way so rapid to increase the wealth of nations, and the morality of society, could be found, as the utter annihilation of the manufacture [83/84] of ardent spirits, constituting as they do an infinite waste, and an unmixed evil."--The Times.

NOTE 3, page 75.--Such doctrines are not to be found in the early Roman writers. There is one danger in what has been called the Italian Mission (i.e., the Conversion of England) that it has such enormous wealth behind it--and what will not money do! In Rome you may hear some great hotel is going to be turned into a monastery, and if you ask a priest the reply will probably be, "Oh no! how could that be when we are so poor." If you look the next year, there they are established in it. In all ways they "get money"--immense gifts to the Pope, and by very many smaller streams.

A lady visiting in Ireland told me she tried to console a poor woman in a fatal illness with the thought of her home in Paradise. "That is all very well for you--you can buy yourself a place there, but for me!" The priests also counsel early marriages, I am told, as every householder is taxed by them.

A lady living in India says there are many Romanists among the natives there--as they say they are reminded to some degree, by the ornate ceremonial, of their own services--but she would much rather have natives [84/85] of the old faith in her household, because of the priests. On one occasion, when her husband was from home, her ayah's mother died, and as burials must be the same day often in India, she drove out with her children in the afternoon, telling the ayah to send for the priest and to have the funeral over. When she returned, to her displeasure the body was still there; the priest having found some fault in the ayah, refused to bury her mother until she was reconciled to the church, by means, of course, to what was to her a considerable sum of money. The lady was obliged, under the circumstances, to give it, and to have her house disinfected as well. A clever French friend of my own, expressing herself rather freely in a priest's presence, was told, "If you speak that way, you shall not be buried by your mother." I have been told a Roman priest said to someone, in fact twice I have heard of it, "We must make you infidels first--then you will come to us."

This is the voice and form of an old foe. A spirit we are bound to resist where it appears, in any church or connection. "By their fruits ye shall know them."

An open Bible will be our best safeguard.

NOTE 4, page 78.--We must also be on our guard against the recurrence of these sins, as whispers elsewhere [85/86] of petty tyranny and love of power have been already heard. It seems to me that all communities, or hospitals, or workhouses, require some outside superintendence co-existent with the necessary headship or rule within, nor do I see why this should interfere with lives devoted to the things of God. The best among such institutions already have this.

There would not be this necessity for the Outer Order. Like the Sisters of Mercy, its members would have their homes and "the streets for their cloister, and for their chapel the parish church." (S. Vincent de Paul.) The truth is, the Third or Outer Order is already in existence, and is on all sides of us; numbers of members, both men and women, are working in its spirit, but it is not formed. If this cannot be done, as I said before, without depriving us of our Christian liberty, daylight, and the spirit of Primitive Christianity, I, for one, should not wish it. But I have often heard it said that some form of amalgamation is desirable, and that things are not right as they are, therefore this is a suggestion for consideration. Elasticity, a better training, and a slight bond of union for the better serving of the cause of Christ is yet to be desired.

[87] Addenda

All Saints' Day

The Anglican Third Order, or League of the Cross of S. Cuthbert, having now been established by Canon Body, all information respecting it may be obtained from the Secretary, the Rev. Cecil Ledger (address, 12, Chester Road, Sunderland), Senior Curate of S. Mark's, Milifield.

Forms of the Admission Service, cards of rules, with space for the signatures of the clergy who act as vouchers for the members; and Crosses, can be obtained through him.

The Crosses, which are quite small, are designed from a photograph of the original Cross of S. Cuthbert, which is kept in the Cathedral Library of Durham. They are of oxidized silver, with a small amethyst in the centre, purple being the Durham colour; in memory of the great Bishop who first gave encouragement to this idea in its beginning. Prices of Crosses, wrought on both sides, with the amethyst, 11/6; wrought on one side with the stone, or wrought on both sides with no stone, 8/6; and 4/6 wrought on one side without stone.

Quarterly or monthly meetings for instruction and counsel at the hands of the parochial Clergy, or of appointed instructors, are advisable. The Crosses should not be given till the probationers are fully admitted.

[88] The working dress of the Order, which is made for use and convenience, and can be worn anywhere, can be seen at the Deaconess Home, Exeter, and at the London Diocesan Deaconess Home, 12, Tavistock Crescent ,Westbourne Park ,W. When working in London, or where a special dress is desirable, a nurse's cloak and bonnet can be also worn.

However imperfectly executed, this little book has met with commendation from various people of standing and experience in the Church, as expressing an idea which may be the more serviceable from its connection with the old parochial system. It is no new or untried thing. S. Catharine of Sienna and Queen Elizabeth of Hungary were formerly among the "Fiori dell' Terz' Ordine." Begun undoubtedly in the Spirit of God, He will not let this work fail, though it may differ in detail in different ages, and the strong impetus now felt for lay work in both the Anglican and Roman Churches is a sign of the working of the Spirit of Life.

In any Parish where this Order is wished for, and permitted by the Bishop (and in London,--perhaps the most suitable for its beginning,--it is permitted), the clergyman should write for Cards of Rules. Anyone who is a proved worker, and desires to join the Order, should give his or her name to the parish clergyman, and say which kind of Cross they would wish to buy. This Organization, unlike most, is self-supporting, and requires no money, being independent, and rather disposed to give than to receive. At least it is at present enabled to be so. It may help the clergy to know better those in their parishes who, educated and trained to [88/89] some extent already, and zealous of good works, may be moved by the love of God to join this Order; and thereby help the Church in ministering to the poor and ignorant. One of the aims of this Institution is to equalize power for good work, and it is hoped that the clergy will place no parochial difficulties in the way of this body of volunteer workers. It cannot be right that the rich should be massed and confined in some parishes with nothing to do, while they are asked for their money only, until it becomes wearisome. Faith without works is little good. Let the clergy of such parishes train there a good band of workers, to work as from their own parish, in places where they are really wanted; where there is often a dead level of poor, among whom the personal ministrations of those more happily situated might do much good.

I must also mention that his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury has said that if any of the clergy in his diocese apply to him on this matter, he will be glad to give it his favourable consideration.


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