"I am very glad of your account, and earnestly trust you may be able to persevere. I feel sure you ought to take good courage and have a brighter hope. Your present state seems a stronger one than I have before known you to have reached. Go on, therefore, with the brighter assurance that you can put forth strength, and can maintain now a more steadfast discipline of inner life. You may do this and not find the loss of the Retreat, as God ordered it. I am quite ashamed of having let a pressure of things hinder my writing to you before, and now I am uncertain whether you may not have returned to England; and I regret my delay, as I fear you may have suffered from a continuance of the tried state you were in when you wrote. I do not think that I less care to be all that God enables me, only at these pressing times I find writing especially difficult. And now, my dear child, I would earnestly tell you that you must not dwell on thoughts which will revenge themselves in destroying your true peace. I am most anxious about your feelings toward your mother. I feel the trial of the present, but there is a special warning against our turning from parents in the days of their infirmities, and when from any cause they become a burden. It requires an effort of faith, but the remedy for present trial is to be found in thinking what they have been, what in one's own infirmity and faultiness when we wearied them, and what we can look for from God, if when we received life, this giving through them, we lose the grateful love and care which is the only possible recompense. And, then, there are sorrows in a parent's heart, especially in a mother's; specially there may be in yours, which to think of at all cannot but move one's soul to its depths. My dear child, you will not forget that one deep part of the mind of Christ is that which feels now as fully and warmly as ever towards her who gave Him birth; and you will dwell on this, and not think of weaknesses and faults, things which may try you, nor shrink from self-sacrifice which it may cost now to 'requite' what you have received of her in your need. May God bless you in this care, and enable you to repair by increased thoughtfulness whatever you may have been wanting in.
"I am greatly sorry you have been tried otherwise, with the sad disturbance of mind you have known of old. That charge was a sad view to take; the mystery of God's love towards us, and the augury of life in us, is that, with such drawbacks and such hindrances, the very movement of grace, which so stirs opposition, is yet so widely spreading, and, I think, so surely now settling in amongst us. And it is enabling us to express what would otherwise have seemed mere theory--the blessed doctrine of the Eucharistic Presence and Sacrifice. It makes us feel more sure that God is bringing it out, and awakening a wider intelligent sympathy. The more blessed this is that there is so much to teach in humility and patience, so much that ought to breathe in us a spirit of quiet waiting for God Himself to do what He will in His own way and time. Your own personal life will not lose by the denials and far distant separation to which you are subjected, even though it be from sacraments, if you can but leave all, subdued and patient, and keep such rules as you tell me truthfully. To be thrown on yourself, then, and inner communion with God, tests you, and will indeed lead you to a deeper, truer work of grace in you, if you can still cherish hope. It will teach you to value much better what you may have had in time past and not used as well; and the past simple spiritual leaning on His love, with less of outer aid, is for a time not against the growth of your life. Trust me, my dear child, in this. I shall like to hear again from you, and if I can see you on your coming near, I shall be glad.
"T. T. C."
The Sin against the Holy Ghost.
"There is but one sin that can shut out any man from the mercies of God, and that is the sin against the Holy Ghost; and the sin against the Holy Ghost means an impenitent and persistent rejection of all the working of the Holy Ghost, and all the witness to the truth which He gives. Where there is sorrow for sin and fear of offending God, there cannot be the sin against the Holy Ghost, for that sorrow and that fear are the work of the Holy Ghost in the soul. The very fear and despondency you describe prove that this sin is not being committed. What you describe is a morbid and diseased state arising from a weakened state and oppression after the conscience has been awakened; this the desponding nervous apprehension that not unfrequently follows a stirring of the conscience in weakened health. The remedy is to be found in steadfast carefulness as to duty, and active usefulness, and all natural interests innocently entered into, and to believe it is unreal and unfounded distrust of God. By taking all natural means of cheerful employment, such a person would be helped.
"I believe that the faithful departed are nearer to us than we ordinarily think, and there is a communion of thought and sympathy in ways we hardly know. They have ways of seeing and knowing in the light of God's Presence that we can now hardly conceive, and we may surely feel the intercourse, only believing that God hides from them what would pain them, and in some way reveals what would be a delight to them to know. Perhaps the angels may in some mysterious way minister between us and them. May God guide and bless you always.
"T. T. C."
With reference to the first point in this letter, "The Sin against the Holy Ghost," there is a sermon upon this awful subject by the Rev. T. T. Carter, which was preached in the Church of St. Mary-the-Virgin, Oxford, on March 6, 1863, and published by Messrs. Parker. The text was St. Matt. xii. 31,32; and the opening words were, "One of Satan's chiefest snares is to make the soul distrust the mercies of God. Where he fails to produce disobedience, he may cause distrust, or doubfc, or despondency." Whilst the preacher acknowledges the awful doom of the guilty one, and, with St. Augustine, the difficulty of the passage, he describes the sin as the final rejection with "amazing hardihood" of Divine Tenderness and appealing Love. Though "like some dark orb in space, wholly eclipsing the sun, so this fearful doom traverses the face of Holy Scripture;" yet it must be remembered that this sin is not to be viewed as a "single sin, and so taken separately, but as a whole and complex state, the entire antagonism to the entire revelation of Mercy."
For many years Canon Carter held a leading position amongst those who held, or sympathized with, the "Catholic Position," as against Rome on the one hand, and the ultra-Protestant or Erastian view on the other. Hence it followed that questions would be from time to time submitted to him for his opinion or guidance. It was felt by many that the Tractarian leaders in Oxford, through long academic training and associations, were inclined to take a stiff and unbending line in their reverence for recovered truths, which required some modification and tolerance when these truths were applied to the masses in our great cities. Then the question would naturally arise how far this change was justifiable or not; whether it was necessary; how far it should go; whether it was a degeneration or healthy evolution of the original Tractarian position. There were not wanting those who felt that the change might be fraught with danger, and some wanted to be reassured of the historic claims of the High Church point of view.
We are allowed to print the following questions and answers, which will have something more than historic interest:--
"In answer to two questions: (1) At what point does the toleration of Protestant errors in the Catholic Church in England become wrong and altogether unjustifiable? If the temporary phase of the present 'comprehensive' state of things be allowed--even in theory--to become normal, how is Anglo-Catholic 'tolerance' to be reconciled with the 'exclusiveness' of the true Church, and how is it to be marked off from popular nineteenth-century Latitudinarianism?
"(2) On the question of tolerance of error within the Anglo-Catholic Church, have not the present representatives of the Tractarians largely receded from the firm position taken up by those great men? And can such a change of attitude--if a fact--be justified?"
Canon Carter replied as follows:--
"Clewer, September 26.
"DEAR MR. -------,
"I quite understand the difficulty many may feel as to our Catholic position. I think our later history explains the question. When William of Orange came to the throne, all the High Church clergy, unable to surrender their oaths made to the Stuart family, were ejected from their livings; and the Broad Church party, with some few exceptions, came to the front. And the consequence was the deadness that prevailed during the last century, and the early part of the present century (XIX.). I say 'deadness'--I mean a much lower condition of things. When the Oxford movement of 1833 came, it was thought to be an innovation, instead of its being a true revival of the true Church of England. But then came resistance, as you must know, and since then it has been a struggle of parties. And we have at present to bear with this conflict, not as true to the Church, but as the consequence of the historic difficulty. We who hold to the higher Church line are the true descendants, as I hold, of the Reformed Church of England; and we have to bear with the Broad and Evangelical lines as imperfect representatives of the Church. It is not that the Church of England is comprehensive of different sides of truth or a compromise, but that the higher, being the true [side], has to bear with the lower condition of things, because this lower condition of things prevailed so long before the true and higher elements of the Church awoke. ... I look on this toleration as a present necessity to be borne with, in hope of its becoming raised into the higher fellowship which possesses the whole truth. It is not that we allow Latitudinarianism, but that we have to be patient with the lower condition, as an unhappy consequence of the history [and experience since 1833] of which I have spoken. I do not mind what some of the bishops now say. I do not think that we have receded, or ought to recede, from the Tractarian position, which is our true one.
"Believe me, very sincerely yours,
"T. T. CARTER."
"My DEAR ------,
"I trust your home life is peaceful, and that you are exact in the fulfilment of all duties. Any special trials should be calls for patience and loving helpfulness.
"I suppose you keep some midday prayer, renewing spiritual desires at such times. And can you give more time for reading some helpful book--half an hour in the day at least? And it would be well to make some special grace to be remembered about midday and about five o'clock--
"Readiness to help.
"To make more than usual intercessory prayers.
"To keep certain times of reading devout subjects daily.
"To offer each night thankfulness for any special blessing, or regret for any failing in speech.
"Nothing unnecessarily against another; care of thought; keeping off unkindliness of any kind to any one.
"Regularity in duties; carefulness as to any light matter.
"The grace--such as patience, perseverance, readiness to help. Contentment with things that come unexpectedly, and such-like. God bless you.
"T. T. C."
In another letter we find the following suggestions for growth in grace:--
"(i.) Thankfulness for past mercies; (ii.) Sense of joy in the love of our Lord; (iii.) Desire to please Him in all possible ways; (iv.) Endurance of minor difficulties; (v.) Self-sacrifice in little details; (vi.) Thoughtfulness in prayer and thanksgiving; (vii.) Thoughts of Divine love and care; (viii.) Recollectedness of God's Presence through the day; (ix.) Thoughtfulness and steadiness in reading; (x.) Intercession for others, far and wide; (xi.) Desire for progress, upward and onward; (xii.) Possibly a day of prayer, and offering all things to God; (xiii.) Thankfulness for having been uplifted in prayer."
The Eastward Position.
The following letters are from a copy. We mention this as being unable to guarantee the accuracy of every word. The transcriber says, "I had much difficulty in making out his writing. The words in the second page, which I have marked, fairly beat me."
"Clewer Rectory, February 14, 1867.
"MY DEAR SIR,
"I have to thank you for your kindness through your sister and for your papers which I have received. I have the second with much interest, and look forward to reading the other. I hope you will not think me obstinate in still holding my own, however serious such contentiousness seems to be, against such an assailant as yourself. I write frankly, and say where I feel your argument fails to convince me. I do not think you have allowed for the history of the Prayer-book, and so not taken into account how slight indications mark important meanings. The history of the insertions in the revision were often at least gains to the High Church view, yet only after a long period sometimes working themselves out. Thus, the insertion of placing the elements on the Lord's Table at the offertory has succeeded only in our own day to establish the credence and all its consequences, what the Greek Church terms the 'Lesser Entrance.' This principle, I think, throws on a new rubric (light?); i.e. it would show how the rubric of 'standing before,' etc., which here preceded the 'Consecration Prayer,' really involves the eastward position at the most solemn part of the service, though only a later generation might develop its full significance. Though I feel a certain difficulty in the expression 'before the people' yet I cannot conceive the mere ordering, in the sense of moving the elements from the centre to the north end for consecration, could have been the object of introducing that rubric, after more than a century's use without it. As to the actual rubric in question, what you admit on page 8 seems to me the justification of Walker's view. For clearly 'north side' is an idea connected with the lengthwise idea of the Holy Table--down the church. This latter would be, as you rightly say, the law view, but that Laud's move overruled it.
"But with this, the 'north side' idea seems to me also to go to the wall. The one falls with the other, for 'north side' meant the long position thus turned toward the north, and if this actual intention of the rubric must be given up in respect of the Holy Table, then I think it may as well be argued that SIDE is to rule the priest's position as that NORTH is to rule it. The Catholic (Church) position has always been for the priest to stand at the long side, as one ministering at an Altar table would naturally do, so that side, if we take Church custom, would more truly rule the point than 'north,' which is quite a new idea.
"But the truth, I suppose, is that neither determined it, but that the priest is left to return where ancient custom placed him, as the Altar returned to where ancient custom placed it. The matter is important, because, as far as symbolism is concerned, the idea of offering a sacrifice is most fitly expressed by the mid-Altar position and facing in the direction to which one most naturally turns as towards God. The basilica idea I suppose to be peculiar, and depending on the apse and corona of clergy, etc. I am afraid I have but poorly expressed myself, and must ask you to excuse a hurried expression of thoughts, yet they are what have been long deep at heart. I do not think that custom can rule such a point as this, if we consider the Puritan leaven in some, and the yielding to anti-Roman reaction in others, and only in our own later days, I believe, has the full meaning of the Catholic indication in the Prayer-book come to be fairly investigated; compare, e.g., Wheatley's even, and Blunt's New Annotated Prayer-book. Pardon, I request you, my hasty way of expressing myself, and believe me, with sincere respect,
"Very truly yours,
"T. T. CARTER."
"MY DEAR SIR,
"Your sister kindly procured for me a copy of the number in which your paper occurs, and so I trust to possess as well as read it, and so with sincere thanks I return your proofs.
"I am sorry I cannot find an agreement with one so earnest and true as yourself, but there are so many different points of view. Certainly I long to find it true that we may without breach of law keep to the west side, for the 'north end 'seems to me utterly wrong, on symbolic and Catholic grounds, and I believe I do not find the justification in the fact that the rubric, of which the 'north side 'idea forms a part, is abrogated, particularly by the fixture of the Holy Table in the east end; and that north side never meant north end, but expressed an idea which cannot be carried out, happily because of Laud's move of the Altar, and therefore I feel we are free to fall back on the first Prayer-book rule of the 'midst of the Altar.'
"Nor can I think this position 'midst of the Altar' was singular, but that we represented what many in that day began to do, as part of the intended consequence of the removed Altar.
"T. T. C."
"Barmouth, November 8.
"MY DEAR S-------,
"I am sorry I cannot have the pleasure of being with you at the Chapter, and must lose the benefit of the discussion. I do not reach home in time.
"On No. 1 I suppose there will be a general unanimity, and I trust it will be carried nem. con. in favour of the Episcopal Veto. On No. 2 one should be thankful to hear the minds of thoughtful men. There are, of course, several points included under it.
"On one point, as to which much has been said from different sides, it has seemed to me that the case is clear, viz. that according to the terms of the IMPLIED contract between Church and State, as well as to statutes touching the royal supremacy, the Final Court of Appeal is the Sovereign's Court; even if it was composed of the whole Episcopate it would still be the Sovereign's Court, because they would sit, not as a Synod, but as a body convened by royal authority. In this respect, therefore, it would make no difference whether the members of such a Court were clerical or lay, because the authority which convened them would give to the Court its character.
"To suppose that there would be one Final Court to deal with spirituals, and another with temporals, so that a man. might be upheld in the former and condemned in the latter, would be out of the question, because one cannot separate the power of ministering from the property held by the minister. So far it seems to me clear. The difficulty arises as to the component members of this Appeal Court. I have been accustomed to think that a Court composed of lay and ecclesiastical persons would be best, as ensuring the two requisites of such knowledge as experts only can have, and such experience as practical lawyers only can have. But one knows the objections that lie against this under our present circumstances, considering the divisions among Churchmen, whether bishops or professors of theology, and it may be that the lay body of judges, with power of application to the Episcopate on points of doctrine, may be the best scheme. And considering the learning and care and fairness shown in the Commission Report, we might, I think, well trust them for having done the best that could be done under the circumstances.
"Where the shoe pinches is the possibility of the Archbishop's Court being forced to reverse its own decision, and inflict penalties on a priest whom it had previously judged true and faithful. One sees no help for this, except in the archbishop's refusing to act and taking the consequences. But will any one do this? Is it not possible that the archbishop may say that he has to act ministerially, and so has no responsibility, as we know to have been done in kindred cases? In this case the only remedy would be a remonstrant and recalcitrant Church.
"But there must be trust somewhere; and it may be that we must trust to the fairness of the Court of Lay Judges, and that no such Appeal Court will again say that there is a 'not' to be read before 'retain and be in use,' in the Ornaments Rubric, in order to understand it.
"I see in this week's Guardian that T. W. Perry, whose opinion on this question is worthy of all respect (in a report of the St. Albans' Diocesan Conference), proposes that the 'Lay Court should not be at liberty to vary the judgment of the Provincial Court upon any direct or indirect interpretation of doctrine or ritual which is inconsistent with the interpretation relied on by the Archiepiscopal Court.'
"But how, then, if the hands of the Appeal Court are thus to be tied on, perhaps, the very question at issue, would there be a Final Appeal Court at all?
"I am afraid, living here in idleness, I have allowed myself to run on to an enormous length, and must have sorely wearied you. But the subject you propose is deeply interesting.
"Believe me, ever most sincerely,
"T. T. C.
"I am afraid we are in a great fix. If Parliament deal with the question, it will probably do away with the Episcopal Veto--our chief safeguard.
"If nothing is done, the Church remains in the hands of Lord Penzance."
"Clewer, November 5.
"MY DEAR S-------,
"I am sending a brochure of mine. Some years ago I expressed what conclusions I could gather as to vows touching Religious Communities. I always thought that a dispensing power resides in the Church as part of the absolving power. Vows may be taken rashly or ignorantly, and if this be quite clear, it would seem that the mercy of God would be extended to such persons if there were reasons sufficient against keeping such vows, and then the Church, through her priests, would absolve from the guilt incurred in the act rashly and ignorantly done. As to vows in 'religion,' those of obedience and poverty, of course, have reference to the state of life. If for any reason the state of life came to be impossible, as, e.g., overstrain, or from any really necessary course altering the circumstances and powers of the person to keep them, there would be a necessity for freeing the person from any guilt. The rule of a society would properly, I suppose, lay down some principle touching the case. The vow of 'chastity' or celibacy is a different thing, and is, of course, more of a personal character, and so more difficult to deal with, for it might be kept after one could no longer remain in Community. As to this, one can only say that the Pope has exercised a dispensing power even in this matter in extreme cases. You know the difference between 'solemn' and 'simple' vows; how any bishop can absolve from the latter, the Pope from the former. But all this implies that the Church generally has acted on the principle of a dispensing power being matter of discipline within the range of the Church's authority. As to Brotherhoods now being formed among us, I feel vows to be a very grave matter, and I am strongly inclined to think that there should be greater caution exercised before perpetual vows are taken. It would not be well, as far as I can judge, except after a long probation, and might be approached as a final step, if approved, after a period of periodical vows had been passed through. I can fancy a Society in which perpetual vows were taken by some, and periodical vows by others, as the more usual practice, or as the Oratorians do--the vow of love freely taken.
"Can you kindly throw any light upon this most anxious question of the archbishop's jurisdiction, or can you say what Bishop Stubbs thinks, or your dear brother-in-law? To me it is the most anxious question that has been raised.
"Can we reject the growth of the power of Metropolitans, which certainly took place in early days?
"Is it possible that the whole body of bishops of a province would sit on a practical matter for weeks and months, as a Court, in any individual case? Must not councils be------to be of force? And if so, however get a verdict? And in our case would there not be an appeal from such a Court to the Crown? And would not such an appeal be a far more damaging matter, if taken from a Synod unanimous of the bishops of the province, than from the archbishop?
"I cannot but say that I am profoundly anxious at the state of things, and should be thankful for any light upon it. I am delighted to add my quota.
"Ever yours sincerely,
"T. T. C.
"Can a bishop rightly act as assessor if he thinks the jurisdiction unsound?"
This letter, written early in Canon Carter's ecclesiastical career, and difficult to decipher, shows how at that time questions about jurisdiction occupied his attention and anxious consideration. Mr. Carter advised submission to the Lambeth opinion, though retaining the use of incense in processions,' and in places not touched by that decision. He did not regard it as a hard-and-fast rule. In this respect he was in accord with the late Bishop of London, Dr. Creighton, who is said to have given permission for its use on the Dedication Festival in one of the churches expressly connected with that ruling. Mr. Carter felt strongly that the "six points" which had been so long contended for ought to be contended for still. But whilst he felt this, there were practices or developments which he regarded as "un-English," and had no desire that these should find a home in our Communion. He held, we gather from a letter to Mr. C------, that "the judgment about ceremonial use of incense only touches parish churches."
"The archbishop evidently thinks it will go on with permission on State occasions. I think the archbishop's appealing to the first three hundred years, when incense was in all the temples around the Christians, as showing the law for the Church, was a pity. It would hardly be used by Christians when the heathen were in full use of it. I think some have exceeded the course; one would have wished to have been kept back. The archbishop's request is, I suppose, for peace sake, and because of the extravagance of some. I have always thought that along with the written law there was an unwritten tradition, and that incense was such. But certainly it is only a few years it has been used among us liturgically."
The opinion that the ruling laid no moral obligation upon Religious Communities to change their use where the services are not open to the public (which Mr. Carter strongly held) may yet be called in question, if the chaplains and the buildings are licensed by the bishop; but it is not likely that bishops would trouble themselves to apply the "opinion "in such cases, and the institutions may have chapels in various dioceses.
There was a strong anti-Roman vein in Canon Carter's character, which may be traced in other parts of this volume.
He always regarded the Oxford movement as not Romeward; but as a return to primitive doctrine and practice, which was the standpoint of the old Tractarians. He had, however, a delight in a beautiful ceremonial--a natural delight as well as that which arises from the conscious uplifting of the soul to the beauty of the worship in the Courts above.
He regarded the present condition of things as "a real medley "as to Church government. Thus in a letter, bearing date 1899, he writes:--" It seems to me unlike the early time when bishops consulted their presbyters. They now act separately, even individual bishops, different from one another. It is a real medley." And he then refers to the archbishop's letter on the marriage question, and his fear of any mere accommodation to State action.
It has been already said that in Mr. Carter's character may be traced a great dislike of hard-and-fast lines. This comes out again in a letter, dated 1897, on the Divorce Question. Writing to a priest, he says--
"I feel the difficulty you so clearly feel. I cannot take ------'s absolute line. I have thought there is justification for that resolution of Convocation, in not liking to extend the absolute prohibition to those believed to be the 'innocent party.' I have thought there is some weight in Blight's line. At the same time I would earnestly desire that no such marriage should take place in our churches, in the face of our Marriage Service.
" But with the thing done, in such a case as your letter describes, I should be disposed to be lenient, i.e. to allow the girls to visit, but to avoid as much as possible too close intercourse with the elders. I suppose this could be done, at all events for the present time. What I mean is, that there might be partial intercourse of a friendly and social kind, but short of what could have been if no such hindrances. I suppose that a certain allowance must be made for the law of the land in the special case, where the Church does not pronounce an absolute bar, which seems to be the character of this case. I do not know whether you may think this all well.
"Your very loving
"T. T. C."
It will be seen by his correspondence his intense love for the Church of England, and how every kind of controversy which affected her touched him. The following letter bears the date January 17, 1898, and was written to an old and close friend:--
"I am wondering whether you have read the letter on Anglican Orders by the Cardinal and Roman bishops. But I must first express my delight in thinking of you and yours in our old quarters. It is really most delightful to think of you there. I know all in and around your present home. I am thinking what enjoyment it must be to you all. Kindly give my best wishes to the landlady. I can see you going about, and am very thankful to think you have fine weather. I can see you all going about the Esplanade, the Gardens, at the Library, and along the lanes, and can journey with you in your expeditions. I will let you know what passed at the meeting at Oxford about the question of Religious Communities. But to return to my first sentences. They (the Romans) meet us face to face at the telling point of the 'Real Presence,' and all seems to me to turn upon a difference of view. It is thought out thoroughly. It must be met as thoroughly. It goes into the whole matter, bit by bit, and asks the question--do you believe? Do you think the archbishops will meet it? They must meet it thoroughly, or we fail before the world. They go on the full quasi-material view of transubstantiation, as against our doctrine of the Real Presence. I should like to know how you think it may be met.
"T. T. C."
The following letters bring up again Canon Carter's conservative lines of thought:--
"I am so glad you are sending out another edition of that book. It is a happy sign of the 'traditionary' theology holding its guard against the new ideas. I am just reading D.'s sermons on the Old Testament. How sad it is to see how he minimizes the Divine side of it, and throws the weight of his argument into the new literary view. I have read with great delight Robertson's Blair Lectures. Surely they will tell. They seem on such solid ground. I saw Bishop S. last week before he went off, and we had a good talk. He began to see the danger of these modern criticisms, as I thought before he did not. He spoke of the patchwork of J. E. P. in making up the Bible. We got upon the new ideas about Baptism and Confirmation. He inclines rather in a way to this, on account, no doubt, of P.'s influence, which he acknowledged. I hope this restlessness of new ideas will pass over. The solid ground will surely hold its own.
"T. T. C."
"What do you think of an idea that has come pressing itself on my mind--to send an address to the archbishops and bishops, stating our conviction that the Higher Criticism so called is 'not proven' and is founded on a false view of the Holy Scriptures; that we grieve at the distress caused to the faithful at the infidelity fostered and upheld by such criticism, and praying the archbishops and bishops to uphold by all means in their power the traditionary view of Holy Scripture, specially as to Mosaic records, and of the absolute truth of the words of our Blessed Lord concerning them. An address simple and true, to be signed by twenty or thirty priests; if possible, one at least from all the dioceses. It seems to me that we ought not to let it go by without some protest directly aimed at it, and an appeal to authority to discountenance it.
"Ever your affectionate
"T. T. C."
Notwithstanding the manifest difficulties in the wording of a Declaration upon the extremely difficult subject of "Inspiration," Canon Carter with his friends succeeded in carrying out his purpose, and the document was drawn up and signed by eighteen clergymen, the name of Dr. Bright being among them. We print a copy of this document.
A Declaration on the Inspiration of Holy Scripture.
The undersigned, deeply sympathizing with the distress and disturbance of mind which have been widely felt among Church people generally, and in particular by many theological students, in consequence of the unsettling effect of recent discussions on matters connected with the criticism of the Bible, have ventured to put forth the following Theses, under the conviction that they express truth which form an essential part of the Church's belief, and in the hope that when published they may tend to clear the issue, and be found to indicate with sufficient plainness the attitude which Churchmen may adopt in the present controversy.
I. By Inspiration is meant a special action of the Holy Ghost, varying in character and in degree of intensity, upon those writers from whom the Church has received the books included in the Canon of Scripture, by which those books were directed to certain Divine purposes, and protected from all defects injurious to those purposes.
II. The main purpose of Holy Scripture is generally to reveal truths concerning God and man, and in particular to bear witness to our Lord Jesus Christ. It fulfils this latter purpose, as in other ways so specially, by being the record (1) of the preparation for Christ's Incarnation by the selection and supernatural training of a chosen people; (2) of His manifestation when "The Word dwelt among us; "(3) of the results of that manifestation, viz., the Coming and Presence of His Holy Spirit, the revelation of His mind in Christian doctrine, the building up of His Church on the foundation laid by and in Him, the communication of the fruits of His redemptive work, and the promise of His appearing and His kingdom.
III. The several books of the Old Testament were delivered to the faithful of the Old Covenant, to whom God had revealed Himself through the oral teaching of His messengers and prophets; and were retained as "Holy Scriptures," "able to make men wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus," when the several books which make up the New Testament were successively entrusted to faithful Christians, baptized and instructed in the Church of God, which is "the pillar and ground of the truth." The way in which Holy Scripture has been sometimes isolated, by the attempt to use it as the sole ground of faith and without the precedent condition of belief in Christ and fellowship with His Church, has been the cause of much misconception and confusion.
IV. The frequent reference made by our Lord to the Old Testament in support of His own claims, or in illustration of His teaching, is decisive in favour of its inspiration in the sense defined above.
V. It is certain that all the words of our Lord were always the most perfect words for His purpose, and that the forms in which they have been recorded for us are those which are best adapted to the needs of the Church.
VI. Since the Human Mind of our Lord was inseparably united to the Eternal Word, and was perfectly illuminated by the Holy Spirit in the discharge of His office as Teacher, He could not be deceived, nor be the source of deception, nor intend to teach, even incidentally, for fact what was not fact.
VII. The Divine revelation set forth in the Bible is progressive, and issues in the final manifestation in the New Testament of God's truth and will. The Bible taken as a whole possesses conclusive authority in matters pertaining to faith and morals.
VIII. The Church has never authoritatively formulated what she has received to hold concerning the scope and limits of the Inspiration of Holy Scripture; and it may even be said that there has not been a complete unanimity of view among her accredited teachers in regard to some points connected with that scope and those limits; but the undersigned believe that at least so much as these Theses express has been held "everywhere," "always," and "by all."
GEORGE BODY, M.A., D.D.,
Canon Residentiary of Durham.
H. E. BRAMLEY, M.A.,
Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, Prebendary of Lincoln, and Examining Chaplain to the Bishop of Lincoln.
WILLIAM BRIGHT, D.D.,
Canon of Christ Church, and Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History.
T. T. CARTER, M.A., Hon. Canon of Christ Church, and Warden of the House of Mercy, Clewer.
W. M. G. DUCAT, M.A.,
Principal of Cuddesdon College, Vicar of Cuddesdon, and Rural Dean.
C. W. FURSE, M.A.,
Canon of Westminster.
DAVID GREIG, M.A.,
Rector of Cottenham.
CHARLES EDWARD HAMMOND, M.A.,
Vicar of Menheniot, and Rural Dean, Hon. Canon of Truro.
W. H. HUTCHINGS, M.A.,
Rector of Kirby Misperton, and Rural Dean.
J.O. JOHNSTON, M.A.,
Theological Lecturer of Merton College, Examining Chaplain to the Bishop of Oxford, and Vicar of All Saints, Oxford.
E. C. LOWE, D.D.,
Provost of St. Nicolas College, and Canon of Ely.
P. G. MEDD, M.A.,
Rector of North Cerney, and Examining Chaplain to the Bishop of St. Alban's.
W. C. E. NEWBOLT, M.A.,
Canon and Chancellor of St. Paul's, and Examining Chaplain to the Bishop of Ely.
F. W. PULLER, M.A.,
of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, Cowley.
B. W. RANDOLPH, M.A.,
Principal of Ely Theological College, Hon. Canon of Ely, and Examining Chaplain to the Bishop of Lincoln.
DARWELL STONE, M.A.,
Principal of Dorchester Missionary College.
R. J. WILSON, D.D.,
Warden of Keble College, and Hon. Fellow of Merton College.
A. J. WOELLEDGE, M.A.,
Canon Residentiary and Chancellor of Truro Cathedral, Proctor for the Chapter, and Examining Chaplain to the Bishop of Truro.
The "Higher Criticism."
"MY DEAR FRIEND,
I am most grateful for the kindness with which you have treated the suggestions on which I had ventured. One feels how great is the opportunity connected with any reference to Dr. Pusey's teaching; and as the volume in question has become (most naturally) very popular, I thought that a second edition might be imminent, and that it would be a good occasion for considering the series of extracts, as well as for making some points clearer, or increasing the 'orderliness 'of some statements.
"I have forgotten what that letter of mine was, to which you so kindly allude. I did, indeed, feel that the sixth and seventh lectures involved some very perilous speculations, and disappointed some hopes which one had entertained as to 'redeeming the occasion' in reference to points which had been, to say the least, unsatisfactorily treated in the Essay. I was particularly disappointed by finding that the book had been sent so soon to press. The consequence was, that the notes were strangely meagre, and that language which had seemed to give a one-sided and exaggerative account of the so-called KEVWCTIC had been left without due revision and qualification. Then the Atonement was a conspicuous defect in a volume on the Incarnation. But when a report of a Lenten sermon appeared professing to explain what the sacrifice of Christ was in itself, and 'the preacher' at the same time expressly declining to discuss its propitiatory character, one's anxiety was inevitably increased. Any average lawyer in the Temple church congregation would infer that whatever in the doctrine of the Atonement went beyond the idea of a 'perfect act of obedience,' i.e. of the most complete and illustrious martyrdom, might be neglected as a nicety of professional divines.
"Another anxiety has been caused, I feel, by the theory that there is no' indwelling of the Holy Spirit' in the baptized as such. At any rate, a soul may be 'in Christ' and yet not 'in the Holy Spirit;' may be regenerated, yet have no presence of the Life-giver; may be grafted into the body mystical, yet not indwelt by, the Spirit, which is the very formative principle of that Body; and then, as it seemed to me, a separation will be established between the work of the Son and the work of the Spirit, to the great disturbance of theological unity. Why do Cambridge Churchmen instinctively attempt to strike out lines of their own, and seem to ignore the logical consequences of their own premises? The theory in question will have its natural outcome in a denial of baptismal regeneration.
"Yours affectionately and gratefully,
The following contains also criticisms on the "Kenotic" theory:--
"I had hoped that the opportunity, a very great one, would be so used as substantially to remove the anxieties which, as is well known, had been caused by the Essay. The larger part of the book fulfils this hope, when one allows, as in fairness one must, for the very modern tone, unlike the traditional Churchly and 'Tractarian' tone, in which the book is written, and which causes a jar, almost a shock, in readers belonging to an older school; but we must remember that the author is a man of modern Oxford, and that he would not have got the hold that he possesses over many men of the present generation in the University--a hold that has unquestionably been most beneficial to many souls--if he had been simply a disciple of Pusey---perhaps of Liddon. Each mind has its own needs, and they must be dealt with in the way appropriate to its conditions. But after this is fully allowed for, I, at any rate, am constrained to dissent very earnestly from language used in the fifth and sixth lectures and in corresponding notes. I do not in the least believe that our Lord's condescension involved any limitation or contraction of the Godhead itself, as if He not only,' as touching His manhood,' held certain powers in restraint, but absolutely gave up all perfectly Divine activity, and, by consequence, all perfectly Divine life. This would mean a humanizing of His Divinity itself--temporary indeed, but real while it lasted; and such an idea I conceive to be not only incompatible with the Catholic view of the Incarnation, but with consistent Theism itself. Yet this action is, unless I misunderstand a combination of passages, what is intended. The author does not write with sufficient clearness; he uses repeatedly ambiguous terms; he seems to be misled by false analogies, and not really to appreciate the logical issue of his own position. Even in an argumentative point of view he disappoints one by vagueness and inconsecutiveness. But the graver aspect of the case is this--that some momentous sayings of our Lord are explained away, and some of the objectionable suggestions of the Essay, as to the Old Testament, are reiterated, and the 'Kenotic' theorizings go beyond what has been already advanced. A way of speaking of our Lord's condescension is commended, which, I fear, must lead to conclusions which will eat out faith in a Christ personally and immutably Divine. The author himself would most earnestly deprecate this result, but when a ball has been set rolling, disclaiming will not arrest its course.
Canon Carter was, it will be seen, strongly opposed to what is called the "Higher Criticism," especially in its extreme form. His great reverence for the "Word of God, and his fear of injuring faith in those who had been accustomed to regard the Bible as above criticism, were roots of this opposition. Besides this, the "Higher Criticism "of the Bible had become associated with a view of the Incarnation and Atonement which he regarded as defective and erroneous. He had not the time, nor perhaps the taste, to enter upon minute investigations of the sacred text. Moreover, he agreed with the accepted view that none but Hebrew experts, who had been specially trained and had "superior capacities of linguistic penetration," were capable of expressing opinions "that deserve to be received," upon the language of the Old Testament. Mr. Carter's great age alone is not an adequate account for his opposition to the new theories. Though very old, he had a wonderful freshness, and was attracted by young life and thought. He was heartily in accord with Dr. Liddon in the line which he took in that celebrated sermon preached at St. Paul's on Sunday, December 8, 1889, entitled, "The Worth of the Old Testament," and he feared the effect upon the religion of the country, that faith would become unsettled about Divine Revelation. He was anxious that some steps should be taken to hinder this disastrous result. When "Essays and Reviews" was published, the archbishops and twenty-four bishops issued a letter to condemn the opinions which were put forth in that work. When Colenso published his criticism of the Old Testament, Bishop Gray excommunicated him. Mr. Carter was desirous now, that some step should be taken, not against persons, but against the new opinions, which seemed to him to undermine the Word of God, and, it may be, obscure the doctrine of the Atonement. He had before taken a leading hand in drawing up "Declarations," when some portion of the Church's doctrine was assailed or obscured, and he thought this a proper occasion, and had been in communication with Dr. Liddon and Dr. Bright and some other leading divines upon the matter. Dr. Pusey had been shocked by "the changes in the text of Holy Scripture in the Revised Version in 1881," which, he thought, weakened passages bearing upon the Divinity of our Lord. We cannot doubt what his feelings would have been had he been now alive to see the extremes to which some "higher critics" have gone in dealing with Holy Scripture!
The difficulty, however, of drawing up any declaration which would exactly meet the case was suggested by Dr. Bright, whom Canon Carter consulted. It appears that the latter did not at first see the main point to be objected to in the new teaching--that which concerned our Lord's Incarnation and Sacrifice. Mr. Carter, in a letter to a friend who had called his attention to this most serious difficulty, says--
"I quite feel with you; I forgot to say I did not see the mention of restraint in the Godhead--certainly I never saw anything of this. Did I tell you our bishop said to me that the author's 'line touched the Atonement.' I supposed him to mean as a consequence of the suppression of the Divine Power.
"I am rather carefully going through M.'s work. I thought I ought to do so, as he gave it me. It is interesting to see the various views of different parts of the Church. It is wonderful to me how he could expend such immense pains on such minute details, when I fancy one leaves off much as one begins. The Western tendency has long been, as he says, to exalt baptism. I fancy this will continue.
"I dread with you the growth of individualism. It seems to me very blameable to popularize the new criticism in such a heavy way as------does."
Dr. Bright, in his reply to Canon Carter, puts clearly the difficulty of framing a protest, as there are very different degrees or levels of higher criticism.
"MY DEAR FRIEND,
"I am not at all qualified to attempt any criticism of the paper which you have so kindly sent to me, for I know very little of the writings of the 'Higher Critical' School so called. Of course, one has heard a good deal about their 'results,' although one has not been cognizant of the processes in detail.
"I think, however, that I may suggest a query: Is not the language of your draft a little too general? The 'results' are, as indeed your second paragraph admits, of various 'degrees,' Will not those who criticize the address, when it is made public, be tempted to ask for more precise information as to the propositions objected to?
"Then, again, if the bishops are asked to uphold the 'traditionary view of Scripture,' how much does that phrase include? That Moses wrote the whole Pentateuch? That there is no combination in it of narratives varying in date, and to some extent in character? That the legislation called Mosaic belongs entirely, in all its details, to the period of the wanderings? That Ecclesiastes is undoubtedly Solomonic? That no part of the Book of Isaiah is of a date later than his time? That the same is the case with the Book of Daniel? And that (allowing for a free use of 'phenomenal' language, such as still is common, sunrise and sunset, and otherwise for an absence of scientific accuracy in such matter as the account of the Creation) there are no historical errors in the Old Testament? Such questions will certainly be put. "Would it not be well to provide against them? Bishop Ellicott, as you know, admits modifications and corrections in the 'traditional' view. Much turns on the value of such modifications; and is your draft meant to exclude them, in the main, from acceptance? Will you ask the Episcopate to ignore them absolutely? What would be the result of such a request on the minds of a good many of the younger clergy, who desire and intend to retain their faith, but who are persuaded that some points have been made by criticism against the 'traditional view' as a whole?
"I dread the effect on such minds, and on the minds of other Churchmen, of that general, and, if unqualified, uncompromising 'conservatism' on (and Archdeacon Denison, I fear, has unconsciously done harm in this way) these subjects. The questions of authorship and of date seem to me subordinate, in comparison of the crucial question--given that this or part, say, of the Mosaic history or legislation is post-Mosaic, perhaps by several centuries--Do you, or do you not, believe that the history is substantially true, and that the legislation, supplementary as it may be to what is in a fuller sense Mosaic, is at the same time an exhibition of the Divine intentions for Israel, and not a mere unauthorized stereotyping of existing [usages] or a composition, under falsely claimed sanction of practices which seemed edifying to the compilers, whether under Josiah or after the Return? In short, the results of criticism, which seem to me, as far as I know them, truly destructive and pernicious, are not really [interests] of chronology, or conclusions of numbers, or comparative studies, as they might be called, of the contents of this or that prophetic or historical book, tending to new views as to authorship, but such as proceed from naturalistic premises, and the Old Testament as simply so much ancient literature, representing the 'evolution' of Hebrew religion apart from any directly supernatural oversight and guidance. This is, I imagine, the real issue. Does the Old Testament represent the action of a supernatural inspiration, or does it not? One has to use, even here, terms which may be used in some inadequate and misleading senses; but still one knows what one means by them. One means that 'prophecy' is something more than the forecasts of spiritual genius, and that the 'law' even supposing that its different parts were put together at different times, was yet substantially an expression of the mind and will of God for the chosen people, and in this sense really 'spoken by' Him.
"Our Lord's use of the Old Testament is again a matter on which one must 'distinguish.' I mean that whenever He argued from a particular proposition regarding the ancient Scripture in support of His Messianic claim or teaching, He set His seal to that proposition, and made it indisputable for His servants. This is what I think we are bound to contend for. Whether on other points as to what He did not teach explicitly or implicitly, His mind took cognizance of all the questions which criticism can raise or has raised, is a matter on which we are not informed, and which does not in the least affect our loyalty. This letter has extended to a length considerably beyond my intention.
"Your ever affectionate
It would appear from the following letter that Canon Carter had entertained the idea of appealing to the bishops to put out some manifesto or some judgment. As we have no copy of the letter to Dr. Liddon, the reply will appear a little obscure.
"Taunton, October 4.
"MY DEAR CARTER,
"I have read your letter with the deepest interest. While I feel the force of the considerations which you urge, it is difficult not to be anxious lest any effort of the kind proposed is not sufficiently in the bishop's way to have the desired effect. His great power is moral, religious, devotional; the presentation of a case, and all the attention to system, sequence, logic, and, more or less, law, which would be required, seems to be less likely to be at his command. And a failure, or what the world might deem such, would be criticized in the harshest manner. Perhaps he might be able to do virtually what you suggest in the form of a Charge, or of a printed letter to some one.
"Your most affectionate
"H. P. LIDDON."
The following letter was written to the present Archbishop of York when he was Bishop of Lichfield. It is, of course, inserted here with his Grace's permission.
"Clewer, April 18, 1890.
"MY DEAR LORD BISHOP,
"May I venture to offer you my very sincere thanks for your Charge, which I have read with very real pleasure and helpfulness. It will come to many as a strength and stay, and I am sure there is a cause, from much that comes to me from various quarters.
"It is indeed strange and most sad that such a trouble should have taken root in Pusey House; this, too, in alliance with Keble, and with the support of both Dr. Pusey and the Bishop of Lincoln's successors. Probably we may have to look to Cambridge to supply a remedy, and to meeting the attack on scholarly grounds.
"With very much respect, and trusting you will kindly excuse my writing,
"Believe me, my dear Lord Bishop,
"Very sincerely yours,
"T. T. CARTER."
The following letter may be inserted in that it concerns a book which has since become famous. It is addressed to the editor of a newspaper.
"MY DEAR ------,
"I am about to ask a great favour, if without any variance from your rules you may be able to grant it. It is that you may allow Mr.------(one of the writers for the paper) to review the volume which accompanies this note. It is not that I wish any favouritism in regard to it, only I think he would be interested in the scheme. The volume is a carrying-out by one of my staff of a plan which I have long had at heart--a manual of a Catholic type of instruction for English Church people. Leaving it entirely to your kind discretion,
"Believe me, yours sincerely,
"T. T. C."
This request was graciously granted. We have frequent evidences of the great interest and care which Mr. Carter not only bestowed on his own works, but also upon those which he edited. An instance of this at once occurs:--
"I wanted to say that the statements as to the Communion of Saints are being changed. I felt it was much wanting, and got M------to cancel what originally appeared, and put in two new pages. This he has done, and in what is being printed off this new bit will appear. S------has had great encouragement; in fourteen days 2600 copies have been sold. It seems to want a few additions if a second edition is called for."
Canon Carter was evidently anxious about the book which we have just referred to. In another letter, shortly after, he writes again to the same friend.
"I think I told you that S. was bringing out what I have long wished--a manual of instruction for the masses, especially the more intelligent of them. Would you kindly look over the part on the Sacraments, and please vary or correct anything. I am anxious to get all the help we can. Bright corrected the history part. P. also had his say, and will you kindly return it as quickly as possible, as he has begun the printing, and is getting on quickly.
"T. T. C."
As Canon Carter wished everything to be thoroughly discussed, and any defect pointed out, so when an article or paper was sent to him for his opinion, after critical examination, he would spare no trouble in commenting upon it. The following letter will reveal this. Something had been sent to him, pertaining to the Roman Controversy--we do not know what it was, or by whom it was written; but the letter reveals the great care he took in examining it and declaring an opinion, whilst the obiter dicta in the letter are very significant. We ought to say, in case there should be any verbal mistake, that the letter in question is most difficult to decipher.
"I have gone rather accurately through this MS., and without speaking of or committing myself to every detail, it seems what I should feel to be true, and no doubt it touches on the main point on which this unhappy controversy turns, and it does so searchingly well, and in a telling way. But to one point of the Papal Supremacy I think it would want a good deal of correction to make it quite accurate. Puller's book on the Primitive Saints, etc., would set some of it right. But on the doctrines taught in Rome, speaking generally, the main details are well taken. But as to publishing, I do not feel able to judge. It might be useful to some, but I do not feel the highly controversial exposures tend to much result. L.'s book was said to be useful. I have no experience of its having been so. It would depend, I suppose, on the how and the where.
"I have not myself much faith in this kind of discussion, though no doubt there is need of exposing details, and assuredly if details are overpowering to any one who is influenced by them, and looks at the controversy as a question of truth, which so few seem to do, they are important.
"T. T. C."
This seems to us a very important letter, as expressing in some measure the author's mind on the Roman question.
Mr. Carter would open his mind very freely to any one who consulted him upon literary work, not only in giving suggestions to help others, but to consult with any whom he knew well, and to express any sense of difficulty which arose out of the subject. He was very kind and eager about whatever he undertook. We have many letters about a Memoir which a friend had induced him to write. He was most anxious to find out everything he could, in order to give a faithful account of the character and work. He was at first afraid that there would not be enough matter. There are "no letters nor anything to show his mind, nor anything like the reminiscences you mention." You want, in writing a life, "events to hang anything upon," etc. Yet his creative powers did not fail him in using what afterwards came to his hand. Canon Carter's gift for that difficult species of literature, biography, had been well attested by his "Life" of Harriet Monsell. Those who knew her best will endorse this statement. The "Life "of such an extraordinarily gifted x woman would be a severe test of the powers of portraiture. But there were "events "upon which to "hang things "--her marriage, her widowhood, her "self-consecration in sorrow." Her width of mind, her warmth of heart, her spirit of devotion, her capacity for work, her artistic powers, her radiant brightness, her quick sympathy, needed one like the late Warden and Founder of Clewer to perpetuate her memory, as he has done in the book "Harriet Monsell: a Memoir," published in 1884, and since in several editions.
We have before quoted letters which prove that Canon Carter did not encourage direct addresses in prayer to the Saints. In the following letter we come again on the same theme, and with a little difference, which may need explanation:--
"The Retreat is now over. B. gave it. It was very good and appreciated. He took our Lord's Intercessory Prayer. I enclose what Davidson has just sent me. I suppose I cannot get more, but will ask D. when I see him. Nothing disloyal would be meant, but there are those who may use such terms unadvisedly. Sister L. M. was buried on Thursday. She was truly saintly. The cold blasts, I suppose, hastened her end.
"I have been looking over past letters. I feel with you as to what you say about the' Communion of Saints.' I hope the revision of the article may be satisfactory. We must further change slightly, not concerning prayer to Saints, but lean on Pusey's line, i.e. if God would put it into their heart. Ten thousand copies are sold, and the new edition will be ready in about a week, with this alteration. I cannot see my way to direct invocation of a Saint, but I could address desires, as, 'O ye spirits and souls of the righteous, bless ye the Lord,' and commit the desires to the company of Heaven."
Perhaps a reference to "Notes and Questions on the Catholic Faith," compiled from the works of Dr. Pusey (A. D. Innes & Co.), may help to clear what Canon Carter means. On page 100 of first edition it runs:--
"Is it wrong or vainly superstitious for any, in their private prayers to God, to express their desire to Him that the Saints may pray for them?" And the answer is, "It would be very difficult to prove that such a desire, expressed to God in prayer, could be wrong in any way."
We think this passage throws some light upon what is meant in this letter. It is a subject about which Mr. Carter exercised great caution. The fear of in any way obscuring the office of the "One Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus," seemed to outweigh all other considerations. He took a strong grasp of a doctrine, as laid down in Holy Scripture and taught by the Fathers, as, e.g., that of the Mediation of Christ, and therefore was on his guard against secondary mediation. The distinctions of later days that Christ was Sole Mediator proprie dictus, or by His Nature, Office, and Merits, but that, though there was only One Mediator in these respects, there was a ministerial mediation of the Saints, leaning on Christ's Merits, he might regard as a refinement, and a refinement which had certainly led to great excess. He was aware that we might read "through volumes of St. Augustine and St. Chrysostom "and find "no mention of any reliance except on Christ alone."
But besides what Canon Carter felt as to the great danger of this ministerial intercession--that it might obscure Christ's office as Sole Mediator between God and man--there was the further question, whether the Saints "knew the details of our wants," and whether the belief that they hear men's prayers is not trenching upon an Attribute of God. .Such points as these would weigh with Canon Carter, and make him feel that the line of the English Communion in this was cautious and wise. Yet, on the other hand, he would be keenly alive to the fact that such direct intercessions were not only permitted but encouraged by the Latin and "Eastern-Catholic "Communions; and that the Holy Scriptures teach us that there is an offering from a golden censer in Heaven "by (?) the prayers of all Saints," [Rev. viii. 3, 4. 2 Lect. xxiii. 9.] and the smoke of the incense is said to ascend up before God "by (?) the prayers of all Saints; "and that St. Cyril of Jerusalem, in the fourth century, speaks of a prayer to God "to receive their petition by the prayers of the Saints."2 But notwithstanding this, and possibly having sometimes to resist pressure from some of highly developed devotional instincts, the Warden of Clewer would remain loyal to the standard of his own Communion, we think this a palmary instance of loyalty, because of the practice of other districts of the Catholic Church on the one hand, and, we regret to add, the dulness in ourselves in regard to the article of the Creed, "the Communion of Saints," on the other, which has been ascribed to the cessation of direct addresses to them.
It must be added here, that even with regard to the ceremonial use of incense, about which Mr. Carter felt very strongly--for the beauty of the symbol and its Scriptural sanction, and the practice of the Church throughout the world, appealed to him with great force; yet he would not counsel standing out against the bishop's orders, if he brought the "opinion "to bear upon them, even in the chapel of Religious Houses, which he believed the judgment did not touch. In the following extract from a letter to one who held charge in a large Sisterhood, this statement is borne out. Canon Carter writes:--
"This judgment is an anxiety. It practically condemns one of the 'six points' for which, with Denison, I contended, now many years ago. I can only look at it as for a time, and for parish churches. I cannot conceive it settling the matter but for the present. I do not see that it touches Religious Houses, which have always had their separate uses. I suppose men must see what their own bishops do, and for the time obey their bishops. It seems to me a breach of the Catholic system. But I have always regarded Communities as separate things. If our bishop presses it on us, we must accept it. But I do not suppose he will. The chaplain at------uses incense every Sunday. I talked it over with the Superior, and she will tell the bishop when she sees him."
We are anxious, by these extracts from his letters, to give and preserve his mind upon the vexed subject. It touched a prominent feature of his character--his love of beauty. This love of natural beauty is conspicuous in his correspondence. In the midst of other subjects, seemingly absorbing, the tints of the trees, or the blueness of the sea, or the pure splendour of the stars, or the fragrance of flowers, or the singing of birds, or poetry, or architecture, or painting, would suddenly appear and attract his attention, and call forth a radiant expression of delight. The next letter we take up affords an illustration of Canon Carter's delight in scenery. He is describing a little fishing village where he stayed:--
"A remarkable place; the fishermen seem to be the aristocracy of it, and the villas, jotted on the hills, are occupied by men who have returned to rest, after small fortunes made in their calling--natives of the place; a good church, daily service, early celebrations on Sundays and Saints Days, coloured stoles, altar lights. There are curious contrasts here and there. In the next parish, a very retired village, is a church as old as the Conquest, perfectly unrestored, with a 'three-decker 'and dilapidated chancel. Then we drove to another church, where the 'six points' are kept, though no censing congregation, and vestments only in linen; a very pretty vicarage, fields and gardens around; then from an eminence there is a most picturesque view--a long headland, a range of cliffs beyond; above are various walks about the cliffs on both sides; very interesting view, with points to look out. I am reading Sanday's Bampton on 'Inspiration,' most interesting, a very devout view, moderately done, of the 'Higher Criticism.'"
Here is the love of scenery and the sudden transition to the religious problems of the day, which is a marked feature of Canon Carter's correspondence--of course, he is writing mainly to those who share his interests, and live for the same objects; but this does not do away with the fact that his letters are revelations of his mind and character.
Canon Carter's interests were many-sided. His earnestness reached out in many directions, as he watched the signs of the times, in politics as well as in religion. Thus in a letter to a clergyman upon parochial matters we come upon the following:--
"Are not the election returns most striking? The Welsh Church, I suppose, safe--the mover of the antagonistic measure losing his seat. It was, I imagine, English feeling rising up against revolution. Is it not remarkable that Gladstone's name does not seem mentioned? The glamour has passed with his personal presence. What a lesson for greatness, when it goes astray."
Again, in another letter--
"What a remarkable 'subversal' of Gladstone's past. His personal influence gone. His schemes fall to the ground; very sad in a man's old age."
Canon Carter, although he led such a busy life, had always some book on hand, to fill up any vacant hour. He was no great student of patristic or scholastic divinity, but he kept himself well abreast of the thought of the present time. Very valuable guidance as to modern works and the choice of them may be gathered from his correspondence; whilst little escaped his eye which was in the columns of the Times. When he was staying at Budleigh Salterton, he writes:--
"I have been re-reading Ottley's 'Bamptons.' They are worth it. I cannot but accept his general view, not meaning to say as to all details. Did you see the Times yesterday?--very important as to the marriage law; the Bishop of London's letter, as well as the judgment of the bishops, worth much consideration. I wonder whether the archbishop will answer------'s attack."
Another glimpse, about the same date, of a visit to Devonshire:--
"We passed two days in Exeter with the Oxenhams, and had the restfulness of the cathedral each day, and one of the canons--Canon E.--learned in all that the cathedral embodies, showed us over it--all in beautiful order. Then one day we had tea with the dean, after service, who is able to be at home in the summer, and reads the second lesson in his impressive way. He is bright and pleasant, as you probably know. We came in here, a retired place, after six miles' drive from Kingsbridge. We have lodgings high up, looking over the whole winding reach of inland sea at floodtide, and a good deal of sand beach at low tide, but with beautiful windings. A boat out to the sea yesterday, and a drive inland to-day, make up our movements."
He was much touched by the death of Mr. Shaw Stewart. He says:--
"Dear Shaw Stewart, it was very sudden. He had two nurses, and his daughter who conies to St. Stephen's, so critical it all was. It is a most serious loss. We had just elected him one of the treasurers of the House of Mercy. He was admirable--quite a pattern! "
With regard to the "Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament," Mr. Carter, who was, we believe, Founder and Superior of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, did not go the whole way with those who may have desired the restoration of this practice for the purpose of Benediction and adoration. We have a letter before us, bearing no date, in which he says:--
"I suppose always the retention of the Blessed Sacrament required the bishop's permission. You know that I never can feel satisfied that we have any right to reserve except for the sick, when our Lord's object was evidently for Communion."
Canon Carter, when a Sister was suffering from cancer, and so frequently troubled with sickness, that when the morning came it might be impossible for her to receive, wrote to the bishop, asking, under the circumstances, for permission to reserve the Sacrament, so that she might 'be communicated when the sickness passed, and Bishop Mackarness kindly granted his request, but limited the reservation to forty-eight hours. Bishops, too, gave permission for reservation in the time of the cholera, "that the viaticum should be easily and readily obtained by the poorest and most suffering of our people in our dense populations." Canon Carter felt, too, that the practice "in the sister Church of Scotland was a point in favour of such reservation." He never could understand why the bishops seemed to shrink from granting this boon, if distinctly assured that the reservation would be for no other purpose than to communicate the sick and dying. No doubt their hesitation arose from the fear that some might turn the retention of the Sacrament to some less primitive use, or, that the safeguards for the due protection of the Blessed Sacrament from irreverence might not always be sufficiently provided. When Mr. Carter reserved the Sacrament with episcopal sanction, it was kept at Clewer on the altar in the old chapel.
There were occasions when Canon Carter's historical knowledge enabled him to clear up perplexities, as, for instance--
"I should think with you that ------'s statement is not a fair one, and is one-sided. It is founded on the confusion between Convocation meeting as a Synod, and the same body of men meeting for voting taxes. .From Edward's time the king had summoned the latter, and, to save trouble and time, the custom had been long settled that the writs should go out from the archbishop; for the former from the king, through the archbishop for the latter, at one and the same time. After the Submission of the clergy, both writs were issued from the king. This I believe to be the truth." (See Dixon, "History of the Church of England," vol. ii. p. 471, etc.)
Before the Submission the clergy had been summoned to their own assemblies, the Convocations, by their archbishops, who issued writs in that behalf. But after the Submission it had been enacted that they should be summoned, like the temporal assemblies, only by the authority of the king's writ. Dixon, in a note, refers to Canon Stubbs, who in his great work observes that the parliamentary question could only affect those Convocations which were called by the king's command, and that there were many convocations not so called before Henry the Eighth (25 Henry VIII. 19) ("Const. Hist.," iii. 320).
Canon Carter had a wide way of dealing with doctrinal difficulties. "I am accustomed," he says, writing to a friend who had in some measure made the study of Eschatology his own," to answer the objections urged as to the ultimate issue of things, by saying, that we have two lines to keep, the one of fear, the other of hope, that we cannot entirely reconcile them. We must leave this to God; but that we must keep hold firmly of the former, as the traditionary teaching has certainly done; that beyond this we have not any power to go." Yet he strongly opposed Universalism. This is evident again and again in his letters. E.g.: "I hope you will strike at------'s book. Since Juke's book, it is, I think, the first avowed declaration of an English divine (for Farrar has disclaimed entire Universalism) of that position, and coming from one in his circumstances, it seems to me serious." The Bishop of L. "disapproves of the work." He finishes the letter by asking a question: "Can G------ be right in saying that St. Peter is 'the Rock'? for this he certainly accepts. We do not know. Probably the passage referred to is p. 76, 'Roman Catholic Claims,' but it is not very clear; it may be remarked that Tostatus, [St. Matt. cap. xvi. Quest. lxvii.] a great authority in the Roman Communion, and the author of a voluminous commentary on the Holy Scriptures, extending to thirteen folio volumes, understands the rock as not Peter, but the faith and confession of Christ, agreeing with St. Chrysostom, 'aedificabo Ecclesiam meam, in fide et confessione; aedificatio est super petram, ideo non est super Petrum.' Though this is only an incidental reference to the controversy, in fairness it should be stated that if our Lord spoke in Aramaic, probably our Lord would employ the same word in both cases." Mr. Carter, in the controversies of his day, had always a quieting influence, and was always fair. His mind would take in all sides of a subject, and he would try to see the good points in those from whom he differed. In the following letter these features were evident; it is again about "Lux Mundi." His humility made him consult inferior minds, and sometimes, perhaps, give undue weight to individual opinion. In the midst of the unfortunate controversy about "Lux Mundi" he writes to a friend:--
"I should like to know your mind. D- --having been foiled in his endeavour to get Convocation to take up the 'Lux Mundi' matter, and also finding E. C. U. unable to deal with it, is now set upon getting up an address to the Archbishop of Canterbury, signed by certain names. He is corresponding with G------ about it, and he will seek to get a meeting to consider it. I have told him I would go to such meeting, if a few only present, and very privately. I have said to him that I should think, if such an address is to be drawn up, there ought to be a recognition of what is good in the book, and also a disclaimer of anything against such criticism as Lightfoot carried out in the Tubingen matter. D----- would rather say nothing of this kind of allowance. What do you think of such a move? Certainly the book in its main principles is of too rationalistic an order--is it not?
Yet how many like it! Dear------, whom I saw on my way through Exeter, liked it much, and would regret any move against G------, he likes him so much personally. I have just re-read the essay on the 'Development of the Incarnation,'--very thoughtful, very well written, full, very impressive. Evolution is taken as the unquestioned truth, and that the Bible must be made to square with it. But it is written best."
Mr. Carter had a way of consulting others upon matters, of which he himself was a master. We have letters from the Bishop of L. and Father B. replying to such inquiries, and deprecating the idea that they could instruct the Warden of Clewer, who was not only in the habit of giving Retreats to clergy, Sisters, and others, but had written an Essay on the subject, and seemed in a special degree, as was acknowledged by all, to possess the ethos which appeared to be necessary for the success of such devotions. The Bishop of L. replies to one of these letters of inquiry in the following letter:--
"Cuddesdon Vicarage, August 23, 1869.
"MY DEAR MR. CARTER,
"Thank you for your kind letter, but pray do not ask me about Retreats. I have only given a very few, and always with a very great reluctance. As to the point you propose, I have thought of it, and it seems to me that there may be different kinds of Retreats, the kind depending both on the conductor and the people attending. As to the people that attend, when they are able to obtain information, or are elderly, or in the habit of thinking and knowing, I should think the object would be to draw them off from the idea of adding to their knowledge by a more spiritual contemplative meditation without the element of instruction. But in some places, where they are beginning, it has seemed to me a great opportunity to give instruction, and even to point out the means of gaining information on some subjects, as, e.g., the Patristic authorities for Absolution and Confession, frequent Communion, Commemoration of Departed, etc. Or even ways of meditation, prayer, arrangements for intercession, preparation before and thanksgiving after celebrating. Many do not clearly know what to do on such points, and, as the conductor, I have always openly considered them on two lines, 'consideration' and 'contemplation.' This I got from St. Bernard, and adopted it; not as the better way, but as the more honest for me.
"I think many young conductors might take the consideration-instruction line, who could not honestly yet reach the more truly contemplative meditation. If I may add a word more, I think we all value most highly the very high way in which you have conducted the Retreats, and I for one would say, and I believe others would join with me in saying, we should be very sorry for you to change your way.
"I must take the opportunity of asking you if it would not be possible to have a meeting of priests to give us instruction regarding cases of conscience, how to deal with vows, discipline, etc. I should very much value this, and perhaps that is the real answer to the question why the spiritual life is a science progressing and so dividing, so that we now want spiritual Retreats for priests; and also instruction for priests separate. Pray forgive my writing so much.
"Yours very affectionately,
"MY DEAR S.,
"It was much on my mind as I left, what pressed on yours. I can remember, on first venturing to give a Retreat, that I felt just as you were feeling. I do not suppose it is a reason against venturing to give a Retreat, and one can hardly choose the kind of Retreat to give first; so that should you be at all disposed to yield to the request, I think you may well take courage. Your habit of thought would be the best preparation, and seem to mark you out for such work, and I cannot wonder at your being asked. I suppose there would be a good line in the mysteries applied to the special difficulties of the devout in the world, such as reconciling the highest love of God, and the aim at perfection, and the life of prayer, and the hidden life with domestic and ordinary calls and claims.
"I should be glad if, amongst other things, you could support my injunctions, about which I am anxious, to------, as to short sermons. He seems a remarkably simple man, but wanting in mental ways manifold. I had urged him very specially to preach a short sermon, about twenty minutes, in the morning last Sunday, as I try to do on the first Sunday in the month. He told me afterwards that he intended to divide his sermon, and keep to the time I had wished; but he was so carried away by the good congregation that he was tempted to give them the whole. I really think it is a simple kind of earnestness. We came on from Paris here to-day, and to-morrow hope to reach Neufchatel. We had a clear day in Paris. I unfortunately missed the Mother. She had not arrived. Beautiful weather. Trust all is well with you.
"T. T. C."
The following paper on Confession was written in 1852. From the number of erasures in it, it is difficult to decipher, and it is therefore possible that every word might not be exactly in accordance with the original, though the manuscript has been carefully read.
"The argument on the vexed subject of Confession has been brought within a narrow compass. It turns on the question whether the principles laid down in the First Prayer-book of Edward VI. still hold good or not. Mr. D. considers that the Second Prayer-book marks an essential change of principles, which he supposes continue in force up to the present day, and a statement which came with no ordinary authority in an Episcopal charge has taken up the same ground. In proceeding to remark upon this view, I trust that I may be animated by similar courtesy and the same gentle spirit which characterizes Mr. D.'s handling of the subject, especially in the very kindly references to statements made in my late letter. It is a sincere gratification to discuss such a subject with so fair and Christian an opponent.
"All are agreed that under the terms of the First Prayer-book confession to a priest was equally free to use or not to use; and if to use, to use frequently or infrequently as occasion might arise. It is urged that the changes made in the Second Prayer-book unsettled this concordat, if such it may be termed. The answer generally given to this plea is this, and one often urged as sufficient--that on the Act ordering this Second Book, the First, which it superseded, is declared to be 'agreeable to the Word of God and the Primitive Church' and very comfortable to all good people. It is from this urged that there could be nothing in the First Prayer-book which can be considered to have been condemned and in principle, at least, set aside by the Second. But Mr. D. argues that to interpret the above words of the Act in this sense is 'erroneous, and to miss altogether its true significance.' His reason for this plea is that the Act further declares the changes to have been made 'as well for the more plain and manifest explanation hereof, as for the more perfection of the said Order of Common Service.' Mr. D. implies that one part of the extended explanation, and perfectly contemplated in the Act, is to alter the doctrine of Confession, or at least further limit its use.
"For this assumption there appears to be no ground whatever in the Act itself. The reason given in the Act itself for the changes made in the Second Book is that 'a great number of people abstain and refuse to come to their parish churches,' that 'in the use and exercise of the Common Service in the Church, heretofore set free, divers doubts for the fashion, etc., of the same had arisen;' that in some places it is necessary to make the same prayer and fashion of service more earnest to stir Christian people to the true 'honouring of Almighty God;' and at the close of the Act penalties are enacted against persons who should 'hear and be present at any other manner of Service, of Common Prayer, etc.' The object thus set forth to be considered by the explanation, perfectly and clearly made, relates to the Public Service of the Church. Any other intention that may have actuated the authors of the changes referred to is in no way connected with the subject of Confession; but the introduction of the General Confession and Absolution in the Second Book is another matter.
"The object of this addition is evident. It was intended to supply a solemn form of confession, and a declaration of the terms on which alone absolution could be given, which were continually kept before the minds of the people by being expressed in the Daily Service, as well as made in the Exhortation of the Communion Service, and in the Visitation of the Sick.
"The most important are the changes made in the Exhortation in the Communion Service. They will best be seen by placing it as it stood in the First Prayer side by side with how it stands now, 1849 and 1552.
"The chief alterations are (1) the entire omission of the concluding paragraph, etc."
The following Declaration on the subject of Confession was written with exceedingly great care, and after much correspondence and consultation. Violent discussions had taken place upon the subject, chiefly amongst those who had no personal experience of the matter. The idea of "licensing duly qualified Confessors," who should be especially trained and fitted for this delicate portion of a priest's ministrations, in order to prevent unsuitable persons from undertaking the office, instead of quieting the storm, caused it to rage more vehemently. The "Declaration," which was the product of such minds as Pusey, Carter, and Liddon, whilst claiming most clearly this ministry in the Church of England, were careful, it will be seen from a perusal of it, to keep within the limits assigned to it by the Book of Common Prayer. We need not enter fully into the subject. This weighty document was written twenty-six years ago. We print it in extenso, and content ourselves with adding a few letters written at the time of its production. "Pusey," we are told, "spent more thought over this Declaration than over any other work of the kind in which he had been engaged."
It appeared in the columns of the Times in 1873, and was reprinted in 1877.
Declaration on Confession and Absolution, as set forth by the Church of England.
We, the undersigned, Priests of the Church of England, considering that serious misapprehensions as to the teaching of the Church of England, on the subject of Confession and Absolution, are widely prevalent, and that these misapprehensions lead to serious evils, hereby declare, for the truth's sake, and in the fear of God, what we hold and teach on the subject, with special reference to the points which have been brought under discussion.
1. We believe and profess, that Almighty God has promised forgiveness of sins, through the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, to all who turn to Him, with true sorrow for sin, out of unfeigned and sincere love to Him, with lively faith in Jesus Christ, and with full purpose of amendment of life.
2. We also believe and profess, that our Lord Jesus Christ has instituted in His Church a special means for the remission of sin after Baptism, and for the relief of consciences, which special means the Church of England retains and administers as part of her Catholic heritage.
3. We affirm that--to use the language of the Homily--"Absolution hath the promise of forgiveness of sin," although it adds, "by the express word of the New Testament it hath not this promise annexed and tied to the visible sign, which is imposition of hands," and "therefore," it says, "Absolution is no such Sacrament as Baptism and the Communion are." [Homily "of Common Prayer and Sacraments."] We hold it to be clearly impossible, that the Church of England in Art. XXV. can have meant to disparage the ministry of Absolution any more than she can have meant to disparage the Rites of Confirmation and Ordination, which she solemnly administers. We believe that God through Absolution confers an inward spiritual grace and the authoritative assurance of His forgiveness on those who receive it with faith and repentance, as in Confirmation and Ordination He confers grace on those who rightly receive the same.
4. In our Ordination, as Priests of the Church of England, the words of our Lord to His Apostles--"Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them, and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained," --were applied to us individually. Thus it appears, that the Church of England considers this Commission to be not a temporary endowment of the Apostles, but a gift lasting to the end of time. It was said to each of us, "Receive the Holy Ghost for the office and work of a Priest in the Church of God, now committed unto thee by the imposition of our hands;" and then followed the words, "Whose sins thou dost forgive, they are forgiven, and whose sins thou dost retain, they are retained." ["The Form and Manner of Ordering of Priests."]
5. The only form of words provided for us in the Book of Common Prayer for applying this absolving power to individual souls runs thus:--"Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath left power to His Church to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in Him, of His great Mercy forgive thee thine offences; And by His authority committed to me I absolve thee from all thy sins, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." ["The Order for the Visitation of the Sick."] Upon this we remark, first, that in these words forgiveness of sins is ascribed to our Lord Jesus Christ; yet that the Priest, acting by a delegated authority, and as an instrument, does through these words convey the absolving grace; and, secondly, that the absolution from sins cannot be understood to be the removal of any censures of the Church, because (a) the sins from which the penitent is absolved are presupposed to be sins known previously to himself and God only; (b) the words of the Latin form relating to those censures are omitted in our English form, and (c) the release from excommunication is in Art. XXXIII. reserved to "a Judge that hath authority thereunto."
6. This provision, moreover, shows that the Church of England, when speaking of "the benefit of absolution," and empowering her Priests to absolve, means them to use a definite form of absolution, and does not merely contemplate a general reference to the promises of the Gospel.
7. In the Service for "the Visitation of the Sick" the Church of England orders that the sick man shall even "be moved to make a special Confession of his sins, if he feel his conscience troubled with any weighty matter." When the Church requires that the sick man should, in such case, be moved to make a special Confession of his sins, we cannot suppose her thereby to rule that her members are bound to defer to a death-bed (which they may never see) what they know to be good for their souls. We observe that the words, "be moved to," were added in 1662, and that therefore at the last revision of the Book of Common Prayer the Church of England affirmed the duty of exhorting to Confession in certain cases more strongly than at the date of the Reformation, probably because the practice had fallen into abeyance during the Great Rebellion.
8. The Church of England also, holding it "requisite that no man should come to the Holy Communion, but with a sure trust in God's mercy, and with a quiet conscience," commands the Minister to bid "any" one who "cannot quiet his own conscience herein," to come to him, or "to some other discreet and learned Minister of God's Word and open his grief, that by the ministry of God's Holy Word he may receive the benefit of absolution, together with," and therefore as distinct from, "ghostly counsel and advice;" and since she directs that this invitation should be repeated in giving warning of Holy Communion, and Holy Communion is constantly offered to all, as the most precious of the means of grace, it follows that the use of Confession may be, at least in some cases, of not unfrequent occurrence. [Exhortation in the Service for Holy Communion.]
9. We believe that the Church left it to the consciences of individuals, according to their sense of their needs, to decide whether they would confess or not, as expressed in that charitable exhortation in the First English Prayer-book, "requiring such as shall be satisfied with a general Confession, not to be offended with them that do use, to their further satisfying, the auricular and secret Confession to the Priest; nor those also, which think needful or convenient, for the quietness of their own consciences particularly to open their sins to the Priest, to be offended with them that are satisfied with their humble confession to God, and the general Confession to the Church: but in all things to follow and keep the rule of charity; and every man to be satisfied with his own conscience, not judging other men's minds or consciences; whereas he hath no warrant of God's Word to the same." And although this passage was omitted in the second Prayer-book, yet that its principle was not repudiated, may be gathered from the "Act for the Uniformity of Service "(1552), which, while authorizing the second Prayer-book, asserts the former book to be "agreeable to the Word of God and the primitive Church."
10. We would further observe, that the Church of England has nowhere limited the occasions upon which her Priests should exercise the office which she commits to them at their ordination; that to command her Priests in two of her Offices to hear confessions if made, cannot be construed negatively into a command not to receive confessions on any other occasions. But, in fact, since the Christian ought to live in continual preparation for Holy Communion and for death, the two occasions specified do practically comprise the whole of his adult life. It is notorious that a long succession of Divines of great repute in the Church of England, from the very time when the English Prayer-book was framed, speak highly of Confession, without limiting the occasions upon which, or the frequency with which, it should b.e used; and the 113th Canon, framed in the Convocation of 1603, recognized Confession as a then existing practice, in that it decreed, under the severest penalties, that "if any man confess his secret and hidden sins to the Minister for the unburdening of his conscience, the said Minister shall not at any time reveal or make known to any person whatsoever any crime or offence so committed to his trust and secrecy, except they be such crimes as by the laws of this realm his ovrn life may be called into question for concealing the same."
11. While, then, we hold that the formularies of the Church of England do not authorize any Priest to teach that private Confession is a condition indispensable to the forgiveness of sin after Baptism; and that the Church of England does not justify any parish Priest in requiring private Confession as a condition of receiving Holy Communion, we also hold that all who, under the circumstances above stated, claim the privilege of private Confession, are entitled to it, and that the Clergy are directed under certain circumstances to "move "persons to such Confession. In insisting on this, as the plain meaning of the authorized language of the Church of England, we believe ourselves to be discharging our duty as her faithful Ministers.
"Clewer Rectory, 1877.
"MY DEAREST SKINNER,
"The enclosed is the result of many and long consultations with Pusey and Liddon, and mainly their work. We thought to get about twenty names, avoiding any identified with the extreme party. Mackonochie would sign, but mainly the rest are men of other minds.
"Pusey will send it to the Times with a note from himself, when signed. We should be most glad if you would sign. Is there any one you would specially think of as signing? I heartily trust you are better. My love to your dear wife. I keep well, I am thankful to say.
"Ever yours affectionately,
"T. T. C.
"What a wonderful week at All Saints!"
"Christ Church, Oxford.
"MY DEAR CARTER,
"I have kept the enclosure a long time, but I have been working against time. My own idea is that it would be best to proceed by written propositions, which would bear no name at all, but as to which the Council might be asked whether they were orthodox or not. In those statements we might include certain statements in excess, which we might declare we do not hold, and which, although we could not ask them to repudiate, would thereby be authoritatively declared not to be de fide.
"I have made some progress in making such propositions. If such propositions were acceptable, the next step would be to publish them in England. ... It would be an enormous step forward. ... It would be a
"The worst of a conference is, that the Romans have no thought except of individual submission. They have no idea of our being very happy where we are, and having no personal need of incorporation into the Roman Church. They look upon such conferences as proposing terms on one side, and their acceptance on the other, upon which persons, more or fewer, are to join the Bornan Church. I did, however, explain this to the Archbishop of Paris and Mgr. Dupauloup, who understood us. Gould we have a talk over your sermon, which Liddon, Courtenay, and many thoughtful persons would like to procure?
"E. B. PUSEY."
There appears to have been on the part of some a desire to omit the quotation from the Homily in the Declaration. Thus Mr. Carter says--
"I am writing to Pusey to press the entire omission of that quotation from the Homily. I have come to think it would be best. Will you let me know what you wish, and what you will do in case it is omitted. I have also asked to alter 'who, as God, forgives sins,' which I think an unfortunate expression.
"Your ever affectionate
"T. T. C."
"MY DEAREST FRIEND,
"I do not see how anything can be done. I have felt anxious not to moot the question of the 'sign.' But I could not see any way to omit the passage. I have always felt that that sentence, 'Absolution hath the promise of forgiveness of sin' is the most authoritative one, indeed the only one positively affirming the sacramental character of absolution. It would be imperfect, I should feel, without it. I feel it is enough to indicate (?) that it is in the Homily. It would be quite open to you, or to any one at any time, to question the statement of the Homily on that particular--we are not committed to it. Wagner noticed it, but nobody else has. Wagner does not sign, but this is on other grounds, He, like some others, seems to hold that Confession is a necessity, and would, I suppose, go beyond the Formularies. I should be grieved if you cannot sign. But I would not press you, dearest friend.
"Ever your affectionate
"T. T. C."
"MY DEAREST FRIEND,
"I sent your letter on to Pusey and urged the leaving out the passage about 'imposition of hands.' I send you his reply. P. and Liddon have united in it, as you will see. Scudamore, whom I told it was under consideration, urges not withdrawing it. I suppose we must accept the Homily as it stands, if we draw an argument from it as to sacramental virtue, which I feel is very important to do. I urged an objection against the clause 'except such crimes,' but it was felt that we are responsible, as this thing stands as it does, and it might be urged that we are not true in quoting a part, and not all. What do you think? Let me hear.
"Your ever loving friend,
"T. T. C.
"I have heard at the end an alteration, which I think an improvement, throwing it on the Formularies, etc." [There is a paragraph at the end in Mr. Carter's hand, to the effect that private confession must not be enforced by parish priests as indispensable for forgiveness.--ED.]
"MY DEAREST S.,
"I have been disappointed in my hope of seeing you before leaving home. You will have heard that I have been pressed to stay away longer. I am anxious that this should not delay your departure, as that would additionally grieve me if your time of absence were shortened on this account. I should at all events have seen you hurriedly. I do not know whether there is anything that you would wish specially to say of any one, or matter, but if there be any, perhaps you would write a line. I will endeavour to take up what you leave. I know you will have done all that is possible, and I thank you very heartily. I am trusting that the Mother will kindly arrange about the Bishop of Gibraltar, whom I had hoped to have received at the Rectory, and I think had told him so. I suppose he will come down from Town for the day, as I am sure L. would give him a bed. I wished to have been there to assist you that day. The Mother said something about parish matters, that I should have to make up my mind to. If there is anything to be decided, I shall be very glad to know your opinion. But I do not think ------ can do anything, he has so little weight with any one. I have been writing a reply to Archdeacon Freeman. I do not know what people generally think, but I have felt that new venture (?) a most serious thing. I was stirred to take it up, though I can do little. I hope others will do more. Petition to Convocation I should think most important. How cleverly the judgment was put to save themselves, while yet freed to acquit. I hope we shall not hear of disturbed minds from the doctrine being thus made an open question, though some, I fear, will take occasion. But it is surely a great step towards establishing the truth. Did you know 0. of Plymouth? I fell in with him the other day; a broad, kind-hearted evangelical. I saw also W. of Plymouth. My best love.
"T. T. C.
"Do you know M. Landriot's Conferences on the Holy Spirit? I am accustomed to associate St. Basil and your work at All Saints. S. A. is anxious to translate some book, and I got her this. It is full of interesting matter, subjective and practical. She has translated it very well. It is full of life, not special doctrines. It is a great interest to know what will come of that decision about 'invocation.' Did not the matter arise about the B -- School? I suppose only indirect mode of intercession can be sustained, but that surely can be. I feel truly with you that the Oxford Movement is much ignored, but I fancy it will revive, only if the bishops do not rise to it, that will give great power to the ultra-party. I wrote to demurring about the 'Divine Right 'of the Papacy. I think the whole matter will pass, and I do not expect to hear anything more from the Pope about our Orders. Cardinal Vaughan has squashed the effort, and k- ' ee s ik - *s interesting to know that so many French clergy and others can keep alive to Anglo-Romaine lines (?)[This was a French magazine in the interests of Reunion.]
"Canterbury seems to go straight at a point, and then leave it. He has not known the questions which arise to priests, and is still the schoolmaster. York has had parochial experiences, though his dealings with priests in their difficulties in actual life may bring up matters which are new to him.
" I have been reading D.'s book. How wonderfully elaborate it is. I see, I am sorry to say, G.'s wholesale acceptance of his criticism. Do you think it can carry the day, and rule for the future? I can hardly think it. It makes such complete revolutions of all our ideas of Scripture and our Lord's practice. I am so glad of those articles against it and those 'leaders.' I am just taking up Pusey's 'Daniel' again. It is refreshing, and he saw the whole result of the German criticism, and argues against it on literary and historic grounds. Will this rise up again and prevail?
"As to this move, I am surprised at the Bishop of------ accepting Evening Communion, and at his ideas about laymen. I quite agree that laymen cannot go into doctrine. The Pilot comes to us now, but I cannot read more serials. I see a change in the G------, and am sorry L. left it. It seems now so different. I have thought that the archbishops are acted on by the threat of the interference of Parliament. We have just heard from 'Willie,' from his See in Zululand. He was met at the boundary of his diocese by twenty clergy and three hundred people, and escorted in a waggon after they had a service by the way."
"The Sign of the Cross."
In the "Private Prayers for Boys, especially at Public Schools," compiled by Rev. Herbert L. Jones (Skeffington), Mr. Carter wrote a short introduction. In this the following passage is to be found:--
"Whenever you find this + in a book of prayers, it signifies a suitable occasion to make the sign of the cross. . . . If you make this sign, neither hide it or parade it; but remember how great and sacred an event it is the sign of, and always be ready to give a reason for making it."
Some wished the remark concerning the sign of the Cross to be omitted, and the compiler wrote to Mr. Carter to ask whether he ought to accede to such a desire. The following was his reply:--
"May 23, 1897.
"I would not give way on such a point. It seems to me to be a simple means of marking off as a religious act the use of the prayer. Several wished me to omit this sacred sign in the 'Treasury of Devotion.' I would not give way. I do not think it has lessened the sale. At all events, it has kept its ground, and it makes a great difference. There is a feeling (?) and strange disinclination amongst our people against outward signs, excited in this respect against the simplest and holiest form. And I think it is better for those who prepare devotional books to keep to it. In the simple mind it is of great importance to mark off the devotional from the ordinary, and it is by this simple means this is done.
"Ever sincerely yours,
"T. T. C."
TO A LADY.
"Stafford, October 7,1875.
"I am staying here for the Congress, but I hope I shall catch you before you leave. I have heard a good deal of the spread of this belief and some cases of its effects. I am disposed to think that there are links that connect us more than is ordinarily thought with beings of another world and unseen powers, both in our bodily and mental constitution, and that they are nearer to us than we can well conceive, and that, indeed, the outer and the inner world as it were interpenetrate each other. And I also suppose that in certain stages of our world's life this communion comes out more to the surface as it were, just as at the time of our Lord's being upon earth the active presence and power of devils was more manifest and more felt. And this our own day may be in some unknown manner one of those periods in which there may be some unusual coming out of these hidden forces, and the consciences of people more awakened to the sense of unseen agencies. But such a time I should regard as a time for special watchfulness against the temptation to tamper with what we know from Holy Scripture in former days to have been such a snare. And the warnings of the Old Testament seem to me specially applicable now against those who deal, as God describes, with their 'familiar spirits.' The very terms used in these passages exactly resemble what is now become the ordinary language of those who have been led to accept this belief.
"I am confirmed in this view from all that I have heard of the repeated sayings of these spirits. It is, e.g., a general report of these sayings that Universalism is true, and what is popularly believed on this subject is reflected in the sayings of these spirits, as if it were only various minds reflecting themselves in their supposed conversations with their imagined familiars, and their sayings generally are such trivial things that they have no kind of appearance of anything beyond the shadows of people's own thoughts.
"It therefore appears to me that men have so lost the sense of the indwelling Presence of God and the inner communion with holy angels, that, having the sense of the need of supernatural companionship, they have sought to fill the void with these imaginations, and perhaps thus taken in a snare. If the visions, or sounds, or supposed revelations, are anything real, I should interpret them in this way of an evil and unlawful converse arising out of desires which some unseen beings are taking advantage of; or perhaps more probably they may be people's own imaginations reflecting themselves in imagined but unreal beings and conversations.
"In either case they seem to me things not to be tampered with, and among the modes of intercourse with another world that men have often craved after, but which have been forbidden.
"I am afraid I am writing rather hurriedly on a grave subject. All truest blessing and guidance be with you.
"T. T. C."
"MY DEAR FBIEND,
"I am unwilling to let you go so far away without writing a few lines to you. I trust it may please God to sustain all your better purposes, and preserve in you the spirit of prayer and a sound mind. There is a danger always to be guarded against in great change of scene, habits of life, and outward impressions, which possibly you may feel abroad. I think it would be helpful and an inward stay to make the first Sunday in every month a day of special recollection, recalling all your promises, and make them, renewing them on your knees before God. I wish also you could remember to say everyday the Lord's Prayer once, with a special intention of devoting yourself to what is right in all things. There is much help found often in such a simple habit. Perhaps you have the habit of learning verses of Psalms, and using them as ejaculations at leisure times and vacant intervals. It is a very useful habit, tending to deepen and raise the soul. I trust God may bless and sanctify you more and more. You will, I trust, not forget at times to join with your wife in prayer, specially at the Blessed Sacrament.
"Your wife told me of questionings which recent discussions had caused in your mind about confession. I know the disturbing effect of such questionings. The evil is that so many talk on a subject on which they have had no personal experience, and merely theorize, or take what is called public opinion as a guide. It is a question, I think, on which every one can judge only by practical experience. Much is said of its tending to weaken the soul, if continued as a habit. I cannot myself see that it has this tendency, if the habit is arising from a felt need. It helps weak souls that would otherwise be weak. My own experience is that it is a means of strengthening by quieting and deepening the inner life, and freeing it from oppression and temptation, which are the things that really weaken. There is more weakness from going on under a burden, or with perplexities or violent temptations, than there is in removing them by opening the grief of the soul, by sympathy and by renewed pardon and grace of God.
"You may have felt this truth, and you will also, I am sure, have felt how it tends to check the recurrence of temptation, and cause a restraint and deeper self-searching which is of the utmost help, and will draw the more into unearthly communion with invisible things, and altogether free the path before one's feet, and give an assurance of perseverance. I must close with affectionate and best wishes. God bless you. "Ever yours affectionately in Christ,
"T. T. C.
Please to give the enclosed to your wife."
"Clewer Rectory, Wednesday in H. W., 1863.
"MY DEAR FRIEND AND SON IN OUR LORD,
"I am ashamed to see how long it is since I heard from you. Much has happened since I received it which has kept me unusually occupied. About that time we lost our dearest Mother. Preparation, etc., for a rather pressing Lent came on, with some other calls, besides ordinary work; so I have let slip by week after week without writing as I had intended. I felt I was leaving you, as I ought not to have done, without a reply to an anxious question. . . . Should you be left without the possibility, I think you should regard it as of God and a trial of faith, and it would be good if you were to prepare your paper for confession, and in Church before the altar offer it, and, in Our Lord's love, trust that grace would be given and a sure hope (of) forgiveness. The will God will accept where the means are withheld by His own permission. We are now reviving in our Church its true sacramental system, and we must not wonder if men are slow to accept the more, what we may call, fine and delicate and inner parts of the system. This depends so much on personal life and habit and experience that it can only be understood and appreciated under special circumstances; and in parts distant from the centre of the Catholic movement, these inner parts of life will necessarily be slow of growth; and the whole matter has been so intricately mixed up with confusion, and even fears and misapprehensions, that more thought and study are required to disentangle it, in minds trained in other ways, than men can ordinarily give in the midst of pressing work, and the more honest and earnest men are often, as is natural, the slower to accept new views. So to be patient and unjudging, and to live much on God, as sustaining of Himself in the midst often of much dearth, seems to be the special trial of our times, and we must not shrink from it, and God will not fail us.
"I earnestly trust you will be sustained in your work. I am sure it will be blessed to you, and you must persevere in good heart. Your way has been very plainly marked.
"We are going on much as usual, thankful for a portion of Lent at least being quiet after the excitement and great disturbance of the wedding. The Church of Dedworth, which you have known of, I think (Tudor's work), is within a month or two of its consecration. It is very simple, but a good Church tone about it. We had a Confirmation here yesterday. The Bishop (Wilberforce) has had a good deal of illness. He has got through his Confirmation pretty well, but I think he is weakened and sooner tired.
"Things are going on here as usual. We have formed a Confraternity in honour of the Blessed Sacrament, and for intercessory prayer in connection with it, which I think you would like to join, were you here. Image, Grieve, O'Brien belong, and all the Sisters. I think there is a growing sense of the blessedness and reverence due to the B.S. This day, for the first time--Maundy Thursday--we have had celebration at our parish church, and we have now on all Holy Days and every Sunday at 8, besides the alternate days at 11. I trust the truth is spreading on this central point, and I don't think Yard's secession has caused much, or extensive, disturbance of mind, though some trial caused at All Saints for the time.
"God bless you,
"Your affect, father,
"T. T. C."
This letter is specially interesting, as speaking of the Consecration of All Saints, Dedworth, the formation of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, and the Eucharist on Maundy Thursday as being then an unusual thing.
"Clewer Rectory, Windsor, December, 1876.
"MY VERY DEAR SON,
"I grieve with you at this bereavement. Most touching and tender is a parent's loss. I am so very glad you had the blessing of seeing him and offering the last prayers, and I trust he was conscious enough to know it.
"We (you and I) have been united in losses that I have known, and now I feel thankful in being able to sympathize in yours.
"May God comfort you and all your own people. "Ever very affectionately,
"T. T. C."
Written on the occasion of my father's death.
With regard to frequency of confession in the case of Sisters, the following letter, written to a clergyman who had the charge of Sisters, may be of value, considering Canon Carter's experience in the Religious Life:--
"I have felt that some Sisters do need, and are the better for, weekly confession, and when I doubted about it some years ago, on finding the pressure for it, I found that other priests who had had to do with Sisters had felt the need and practised it. I have not felt reason to doubt this since--now for some years--I have acceded to it. But I would add, those I have known are special cases, and I should be very slow to admit it in others. Fortnightly I should prefer keeping to. One of the cases in which I have found it advisable is when the person is a teacher of Sisters. This involves special strain and responsibilities, of course.
"I mention it as an illustration. If a Sister is left very lonely with a heavy charge on her, and with some special infirmities, a fault needing much aid, this too would be a case, I suppose, of exception.
"Perhaps this may help you to see the limits I would draw.
"Ever your affectionate
"T. T. C."
The following letter, on the same ordinance, was written to a priest who was coming to Mr. Carter for the first confession:--
"The only special suggestion I would make, is to look through some special form of examination upon the Commandments, the deadly sins, and the rule of faith, and then to take the life in periods, search in each for the leading sins of omission, and note them on paper, as a help to memory in the successive periods of life. May God bless your purpose and keep you in His Son.
"T. T. C."
"Will you kindly tell me what has been generally believed as to our Lord's consciousness of what happened to Him, e.g., in His infancy--whether, owing to the Hypostatic union, His consciousness differed from that of others so as to have from the first an intelligent perception of what affected Him, and what was passing around Him, so that it could be said that He teaches from His cradle, and that His will acted in the occurrences, as in the flight to Egypt, etc., etc. Was this so as far as general belief has gone; and would it follow from the Hypostatic union? I remember a sermon of Newman's, speaking of the foresight of the Cross always being part of the trial, and this extended to infancy an intelligent perception of events, as I have said. I hope I am not giving you trouble at a busy time. I have just been reading the Article on Church Reform. It seems all right. I wonder what will come of it all. I do not see the way out of it.
"T. T. C."
"I am very anxious that you should secure a higher tone. In one respect your present circumstances may be helpful. You are withdrawn from the home distractions and many social calls. You can have quiet times, and S. H.'s help and example. You must endeavour to retain the greater earnestness in a few particular points. There could not be any harm in making leisure easy times, with the rest of the party, and going freely about, if you would keep a few points steadily. You need in the present life, running away irregularly and listlessly and falling in with each fresh difficulty, yielding to it, the bracing air of a few steadfast purposes, as essential to your soul's well-doing. You must be constantly making fresh starts, that is, the second chance, if you fail to persevere steadily. Hereafter you may hope to be strengthened and kept steadfast, if you can continue to renew your efforts; though you fail and relax again and again, you need not despair or doubt. Your sluggish nature is against you. But grace is powerful if we will co-operate. God will hear the cry of a steadfast desire, and will raise you to a higher spiritual state. Begin, then, again to keep a few rules. Try and regularly rise by 7.30, and get the hour before breakfast. It is tiring to walk then. Keep it for quiet reading and meditation. Keep Sext and Nones, though one or both may sometimes be only by commemoration. Take a special grace every Sunday, to be made an intention in prayer through the week; and once a week--Friday, it may be--say the Beatitudes, as an act of intention to aim at them as a longing and resolve, with an act of contrition as the means to express sorrow for having fallen so short of them. Watch against dreaming, against mere vacant contemplation, and be active in any little thing that arises to help others or make others happier, and make secret sacrifices, and so help up the high aim unobservedly.
"Write to me again, just to say how you are going on. Love to your aunt, and affectionate remembrances to father and mother.
"T. T. C."
On not joining in R. C. Novena.
"MY DEAR --------,
"I am very anxious that you should keep the line that your parents most desire, and the blessing of God would most surely follow you in doing this. There is at present such an unfair pressure made by Roman Catholics to draw us from our true line, and it is so disturbing that I feel every one ought to be very cautious and restrained in their intercourse with them, especially if they show a desire to proselytize. I have reason to know that they do not scruple to use what we should consider an unfair and unscrupulous means in effecting this object. One cannot perhaps blame them for this. If they think we are in deadly error, it may seem a sufficient cause. Yet even on this supposition I cannot reconcile it with our ideas of truth, and indeed there seems to be a different standard and idea of truth between us and Rome; and this, which I cannot but see, is the greatest practical matter which makes me shrink from the system. But I should have had no objection to your going to the Mass (this was in France), and using their churches in the weekday as you can, only I should be most anxious that you should keep strictly to our English services whenever you have them. I wish you not to receive anything from your R. C. friends of books, or prayers, or suggestions. They have but one design. This you should say when they ask you, however simple and good it may seem in itself. There is a secret purpose in all, which wholly alters the case, and I think you ought to make them feel there is a barrier between you and them as to religion, which closes the subject.
"I think you should not address the Blessed Virgin directly, but only express to God your earnest wish for the intercessions of the most Holy Mother of God and of all the Saints. You may say then, 'May the intercession of the Holy Mother of God and of all the Saints be accepted for me and help me. The thought of such intercession may be very helpful. But make some prayers direct to the Holy Ghost. He is the indwelling Sanctifier and Strengthener.
"Irreverence in the administration of the Blessed Sacrament is indeed most painful. I think, however, that letting it fall is to be viewed with hope that it is not from real irreverence. I should only offer a prayer for the priest, and for the Lord's dishonour make an act of reparation by expressing great sorrow. But it is not a sufficient reason for not receiving. I think you should go all the more humbly and earnestly to please Him who may be displeased by any other. God bless you. Affectionate regards to father and mother.
"T. T. C."
It has been said that Mr. Carter, like Dr. Pusey, was never near the Roman Communion. The view which he takes of intercession of the Saints in this letter he retained to the end of his life. He did not encourage, or, as a rule, allow, direct address to the Saints, only prier pour prier, which seems to be in accordance with the principle of the English Church--the appeal to antiquity. We are not, however, dealing with the subject controversially here and now, but only with Mr. Carter's teaching upon the matter. Canon Carter edited a large number of devotional works; perhaps the best known of these is the "Treasury of Devotion." He did not merely lend his name to these works, but he accepted the responsibility of all that they contained. Nothing was inserted without his consent and approval, and we believe we are correct in saying that they none of them contain direct addresses to the Saints. He has himself explained that there was on the one hand "the careful desire of preserving Catholic devotional doctrine and phraseology," and on the other hand of avoiding "anything distinctively Roman." It was not Canon Carter's habit of mind to draw hard-and-fast lines, nor to feel himself always bound by them. Our attention has been called to one or two instances where he came near to allowing direct address. In one case we have no proof of authorship; and in the other--the "Ave Maria "upon a bell hung in one of the chapels, which he certainly allowed, is hardly an exception, but more a matter of antiquarian interest. If such, however, should be discovered, it would be only in accordance with his character, who felt there were occasions when "exception proves the rule." With regard to his own private devotions, we should be greatly surprised if he could not say with another great Anglican divine, "I never addressed a prayer to a Saint in my life." We are quite aware of what may be said for direct addresses on the part of individuals, from the evidence of the Catacombs and from Fathers; but we have no clear authority for "direct" invocation, only "comprecation," in the Leonine, Gelasian, and Gregorian Sacramentaries. Canon Carter, on this matter, did not act alone, but was in correspondence with Dr. Pusey and other leaders of the Oxford Movement, who agreed with the phraseology which he adopted. [It will hardly be necessary to explain that by the technical term "comprecation "is meant "asking God that the Saints may pray for us;" whereas "invocation "is "Ora pro nobis." The "Sacramentaries "are the ancient authorized forms of devotion in the Western Church.]
The Blessed Sacrament.
Mr. Carter from the first appears to have had a special devotion towards our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. His first work (but one) was upon this subject, and we believe we are right in saying that he was the Founder of the Confraternity, which now has upon its roll many thousands of members. He was for a great number of years the "Superior General," and thus became a centre of devotional influence throughout this organization. A considerable devotional literature upon this solemn subject has been created, which began with two or three Eucharistic Collects, printed on a leaflet, as follows:--
"O Lord Jesu Christ, Who vouchsafest to be still present in the midst of us, giving Thyself, Thy most sacred Body and Blood, in the Holy Eucharist, we bewail the injuries and sacrileges to which Thou art thus exposed; and we beseech Thee grant us grace to believe rightly Thy adorable Presence and the continual oblation of Thy Sacrifice, and overcome all opposition to the saving Truth of this ineffable mystery, that we, and all that belong to us, and all who follow after us with Thy whole Church, may be made One Body and One Spirit through Thy indwelling, Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end. Amen."
Mr. Carter did not usually act alone, but in association with those like-minded--Dr. Pusey, Dr. Bright, Dr. Liddon, and others. From this correspondence we gather with what intense care words and phrases were used in the revival of truths well-nigh forgotten, and sometimes Mr. Carter appears to have been in advance of others in the adoption of devotional terms. The following will illustrate what is meant:--
"MY DEAR MR. CARTER,
"Many thanks. The letter goes in one point, I think, beyond what I was previously aware that the bishop would say. I mean the dislike of the phrase, 'Eucharistic Adoration.' Still I do not feel certain (you see, I wish not to believe) that he meant to denounce what Keble taught, for in speaking to me (in a much calmer tone) the other day, he seemed to be deprecating such adoration as implied a material Presence, which he supposed some persons to hold. Also, he spoke of Keble in a way one who seriously differed from him on the Holy Eucharist would, perhaps, hardly do. He deprecated the alteration of the Christian Year on the ground that Keble's real meaning on the stanza would have been well expressed in his note.
"On the whole, I do not think that the bishop's deliberate mind, apart from temporary excitements of feeling (to which his temperament makes him obviously liable), would be found to be against us, although he would prefer seventeenth-century phraseology, and in some other points take up a different position from our own. I am almost reminded of a confession which Ranke cites ('Hist. Reform,' iii. 535) as penned by some Würtemberg divines (Lutheran, I presume), that' corpus et sanguinem Christi vere, id est, substantialiter, et essentialiter' (the alteration of 'essential' into 'corporal' in the Black Rubric seems to give 'essential' a kind of authority) 'non autem quantitative aut qualitative vel localiter, praesentia esse.' Here a Real Essential Presence is apparently held, while one is taken to exclude what, in fact, as we all know, Roman doctrine, as authoritatively stated, excludes not less. I think Overall would have subscribed this; certainly the great passage in Cosin's First Notes (' Cosin,' v. 131) as to the real, substantial non-physical Presence, and the error of Calvinists in confining Christ's Presence to the 'use' of the Sacrament, may be taken to speak Overall's mind. (If I had to adopt as a formula any seventeenth-century statement of doctrine on the Holy Eucharist, I think I would take that.)
"Thanks for your information as to C. B. S.
"Yours very sincerely,
Mr. Carter, speaking on the same subject, says:--
"Looking very broadly at this great truth, we may note, as a very striking fact, the deep impression made on the mind of the Church by the institution of our Lord Jesus Christ in the upper chamber of the Blessed Sacrament. Notwithstanding the centuries which have passed, notwithstanding the changes which have passed over nations, notwithstanding the varieties of civilization and of thought, notwithstanding all the controversies and infidelities which have affected especially this great mystery, the impression remains deep in the minds of men everywhere, derived from what at first seems to be but a simple act, though one fraught with' such intensely momentous consequences for eternity. Far beyond the effect produced by any other institution of Jesus Christ, this mysterious impression remains in a manner peculiar to itself. True that multitudes have fallen away from the right belief of this great mystery, but still the impression of its necessity and of its momentous mysteriousness has not passed away even with the loss of belief in its true meaning--a sense of awe and fear remains, an unaccountable shrinking. They regard it as a duty, even when they dare not approach the Altar. And as death draws near, the solemn realities of the future, imparting a vividness to the internal apprehensions which conscience awakens, many are led to seek to participate at last in what they acknowledge to be the eternal fruit of this Divine mystery. Moreover, the popular expression, 'the Sacrament,' speaks of this indelible impression, such as is attached to no other institution, so great and so peculiar is the mystery connected with this Sacrament of the Eucharist, that it is spoken of as if it was the only one, as if there were no other: 'He Himself, Who comes to be present through the operation of the Holy Ghost, under the veils of the outward forms of the bread and wine, Himself works the mystery, Himself perpetuates its blessedness, as He Himself offers Himself under these sacred forms; Himself sets what the outward ministration of His appointment represents to the outward eye; Himself inwardly and secretly is continually operating the same action which He first performed in that upper chamber in Jerusalem.' But it is to be viewed not so much as a miracle, but as a mystery. The distinction is clear and important. A miracle is the interference with a natural law; a mystery is the manifestation of a hidden truth under an outward form. What the priest does in the celebration of the Blessed Sacrament is to bring about a closeness of contact which 'always exists in the spiritual world, with what is contrary to no natural law, but which is above all law, which is supernatural, to bring the consecrated elements and ourselves into contact with our Lord, through the carrying out of what He declared to be the outward means, thus linking our earthly state with that Eternal State in which He abides, bringing into union the external and the internal, bringing into communion earth and heaven, men and God; our fleshly form with His glorified fleshly Form, our secret spirit with His Incarnate Spirit. We effect this by the continued use of the appointed forms which are the means and pledges of that inward Spiritual Presence being brought home to us, and ourselves brought into union with it."
It will be observed that in the fulness of Mr. Carter's Eucharistic teaching he does not admit any "interference with a natural law," such as the destruction or transition of the "substance" of the bread and wine seems to involve. His writings make manifestly clear that the greatest devotion towards the Blessed Sacrament, or rather our Lord's Presence in it, can be attained without going beyond the teaching of our own formulas. Canon Carter repudiated with warmth any idea of disloyalty to Anglican standards. This will be seen from the following "Declaration," which was found amongst his writings, but we do not know its date, or whether it was signed and circulated:--
"Whereas, at this present time, imputations of disloyalty are being sedulously circulated to the discredit of those who have been--some of them for many years--earnestly inculcating and defending the doctrines of the Real Objective Presence and the Eucharistic Sacrifice, as though they were not faithful to the Church of England, we therefore, the undersigned, exercising the office of Priesthood in the Church of England, beg respectfully to state to your Grace, and, through your Grace, to our Eight Reverend Fathers in God, the bishops of your province, and to the Church at large, what we believe to be the mind of our Lord touching the said doctrines, as expressed in Holy Scripture, and received by the Church of England, in conformity with the teaching of the Catholic Church, in those ages to which she directs us, as 'most pure and uncorrupt,' and of 'the old godly doctors,' to whose teaching she has in many ways referred us. We beg leave to declare both what we disclaim and what we hold touching the said doctrines.
1. Repudiating the doctrine of 'a corporal Presence of Christ's natural Flesh and Blood,' seeing His Natural Body is in heaven; or any materialistic conceptions of His Presence, or any physical change of the natural substances of the Bread and Wine, we believe that, etc."
Mr. Keble writes in 1863:--
"MY DEAR MR. CARTER,
"The second question seems to me more easily answered, therefore I take it first. I have been always taught that it is just as you say--the grace of absolution is the same when pronounced by a priest upon a good confession, i.e. a humble and hearty one, general or special, whensoever and wheresoever made. As to reparation, you will see how unfit I am to be consulted. I acknowledge to you that the very word is quite new to me as a devotional term. I do not recollect even to have met with it, until I saw it in your letter. I could only guess its meaning. But I have since an instance in Mr. Orby Shipley's 'Divine Liturgy,' which sufficiently explains the use of it according to my conjecture. I must say it, seems rather startling, and I should like a little more time to consider it. Could not the true meaning be put in language which should not raise the idea of trusting in human merit, as that phraseology seems to do? But I am so ill-prepared with the necessary knowledge that I had better say no more at present. If I can find anything more definite to write, I will do so before long. But pray do not at all depend on me in the matter.
"I suppose the words may be taken to mean 'cupis emendare quod feci,' but as that cannot be, I beseech Thee to give me a heart to sympathize with the opposite thoughts, words, and actions of Thy holy ones when Thou lookest upon them, to remember me unworthy as longing to join with them vel tale aliquid. But the word 'reparation,' at first sound, hardly suggests this.
"Believe me, dear Mr. Carter,
"With earnest respect and regard,
"Most truly yours,
The following letter will be of interest as showing the activity of both Mr. Keble and Mr. Carter in getting up an address and influencing opinion:--
"MY DEAR MR. CARTER,
"I ought to have reported to you long before now the fate of our address to the bishops. You will have conjectured that it was put by as clashing with the 'Declaration 'of the six thousand. That paper reached me just as I was making up ours--but I believe I mentioned this to you, so I need only now enclose it to you, as it was when I had written it out with many, I believe most, of your amendments, for which I was heartily obliged. I fancied that those who do not quite agree with us would not sign the Convocation Paper, and so I sent ours to Dr. Wordsworth himself, to know whether it might be useful. I enclose his reply, which I did not get for about a week. Might our Paper now do for an address to the Queen or the bishops? I really think both ought in some way or other to be put on their responsibility. To the Queen especially it seems cruel, if we leave her unwarned. We are too busy just now about the women's petition, which is assuming considerable dimensions, that I cannot undertake to write much about this other; but will you, if you approve, take counsel and do as you think best? My name is at your service. "Believe me, dear Mr. Carter,
"With true respect and affection,
There were different opinions as to the value and wisdom of 'Petitions' or public manifestoes, on certain occasions, especially in reference to Eucharistic doctrine; e.g.:--
MR. CARTER, "I have had a little talk with M., and when your letter came I sent it on to him for his opinion. I think I may express his opinion and mine somewhat in this way: If a 'memorial' is, in this case, not strictly necessary, we are at liberty to take into account the inconvenience of that mode of proceeding. Many will object to sign it, not because they essentially and seriously differ from its promoters, but either because they dislike signing any manifesto, or because they scruple at this or that phrase or word in the formula; so that a signed statement is never a good expression of the real strength of the body whose mind it professes to set forth. These and other difficulties would have to be met and got over, if the case were one which really necessitated the proceeding. M. and I do not think it is so. Our reasons, I think, may be stated thus --
"1. There should not be, we think, any such manifesto, except by way of reply to, or remonstrance against, some definite tangible accusation, expressed or implied. But the episcopal resolution is indefinite and intangible, so far as it implies any accusation at all.
"2. Dr. Pusey's speech has said what was necessary to be said to the bishops, in reference to their resolution; especially when it is taken with the proceedings of the E. C. U. which followed on his speech.
"3. The Resolution has served its immediate object, and is lapsing into the character of an unreality, especially when we consider the line taken by Dean Goode in regard to it.
"4. It is eminently desirable not to put a difficulty in the way of the Bishop of Oxford; but to make a solemn doctrinal utterance by way of reply to the Resolution which he undoubtedly excogitated, would be like creating such a difficulty.
"5. Still more, if possible, do we feel the undesirableness of giving to the Archbishop of Canterbury an opportunity, or, rather let me say, of putting in his way an occasion, for some very unsatisfactory statement on the principle involved. We have had trouble enough from such statements of his Grace's mind.
"It is only too possible that, in the course of the St. Alban's case, events may arise which may call for some manifesto. At present, it seems to us that the time is hardly come. What the Catholic party teach and believe is not now seriously misunderstood by reading and thinking men; and our position is not as yet compromised by any legal or canonical proceeding on the part of our authorities.
"For these reasons, we are for ourselves disposed to deprecate any public manifesto at this time. I do indeed feel--and I am sure that M. does the same--that crises may be reserved which will try alike our faith, patience, and prudence. And then------ But we had rather not till then any demonstrative mode of proceeding.
"Odder 20, 1896.
"MY DEAR MR. M.,
"I know the difficulty that arises from the growing tendency to make Fasting Communion absolutely necessary except in extremis. I suppose it is well that this should be pressed in the face of what we all know of laxity and long disuse in the matter. But I have been accustomed to what Keble, Pusey, Liddon, and such men have taught, and cannot but think with them that the rule of fasting, however important, must give way in such cases as you describe your sister's to be. I know of many such cases, and though I have no certainty in the matter, I do not scruple to say that such is my view. I suppose in such a case one would have to communicate less often. But to take what renders it possible to receive without injury to health seems to me perfectly justifiable. I do not see it to be a 'law of the Church.' St. Augustine spoke of it as 'mos,' and such I believe it to be. Jeremy Taylor, as I suppose you may know, speaks of it in his 'Holy Living and Dying,' and so regards it.
"T. T. C."
"DEAR MISS B.,
"I am sorry to have been hindered writing sooner. What you describe is a great difficulty. I regret to say many feel it. When it becomes a question of Communion or no Communion or very frequent Communion, I am accustomed to think that the fasting rule must needs give way to the necessities of the spiritual life, and cannot suppose that the fasting rule, though in itself to be valued, and earnestly to be observed when practicable, can rightly be viewed as a hindrance. We have kept this principle in the C. B. S. It was once carefully discussed in Council, and it was decided that we should do all we could to 'promote' its observance, not force it as obligatory in all cases, as you describe.
"I am very sorry to hear of your weak state of health. But it seems to me to justify your taking something that would enable you to receive; and, if there is this necessity, I do not see why you should lessen the number of your times of communicating.
"Very sincerely yours,
"T. T. C."
In another letter, to a nurse in an infirmary, where the lady began work at 7 a.m., and there was no celebration until after midday service on Sundays, Mr. Carter advised, in 1881, that she should take "something as little as possible early, so as to prevent suffering." "I quite feel," he adds, "you could not fast rightly with so much work to do."
There are exceptions when "the proper rule seems necessarily in some measure to give way." There are several letters to the same effect.
"I quite agree with you--there is a great deal of very unhealthy and disloyal playing at Romanism, which is greatly damaging our cause and undermining the truth and English feeling of younger clergy. I feel we ought to discountenance it in every way; specially I regret that innovation of the 'Reservation,' on the grounds you do. We owe it to Dr.------, I regret to say. But the judgment is a great blessing.
"I suppose you feel, though I do not know what you may think, of the progress of our Natal Petition. We have upwards of a thousand signatures. I am going to the Italian lakes before the heat. We start this week. I trust you are well.
"Ever your affectionate,
"T. T. C,
"P.S.--We have just finished reading aloud 'Queen Mary.' There are some fine scenes and some touching ones; there is yet much that is horrid, the characters horrid, and the ideas and the representations generally. It is altogether painful, and unlike what one has so often enjoyed in Tennyson. If it is acted, it will, I should think, rekindle the embers of the Protestant furor. We are going to read Green on the 'History of the English People.' Perhaps you know the book. White has strongly recommended it, and it looks tempting. I think the author is the same that we met at Copai, while he was writing it.
"T. T. C."
"Clewer. September 6.
"MY DEAR S.,
"I am so glad to hear, and of course delighted to be of any use to H. Mentone has the advantages of greater dryness and greater equableness, and more chance of being more in the air, only liable to keen winds. I am very glad you have done that review for G. I observe F., as a motto to his book, alludes to the first edition of Hook's Dictionary, which was against Lay-Baptism, but refers not to the second edition, in which it is denied. Is it not strange? I have not read 'Water-land.' I am occupying myself in making up the notes which I kept of the Retreats which I gave years ago, to put together with the essay on 'Church and World,' of 1868. You know M. is engaged on that book about which I spoke to you, which is nearly ready for printing. She has taken great pains, and it seems to me very good. I send you enclosed just to show you what I am trying to do.
"T. T. C."
The enclosure mentioned in the above letter was an appeal for the restoration of the Chapel of Abraham in Jerusalem. Mr. Carter's interests were far and wide, and of the most diverse kinds, showing the breadth of his sympathy. Holy vessels for the altar, vestments, and linen had been presented for reverent celebrations of the Blessed Sacrament in the Chapel of Abraham, which were preserved by the Patriarch of Jerusalem until Bishop Blyth took charge of them. The late Patriarch, "with the advice of his Synod, had given his permission, as an act of brotherly kindness and sympathy with the Anglican Church," for priests of the English Communion to make use of the chapel. And a further step was now taken for the thorough restoration of the building, "which is situated in the courtyard of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre," at a cost of about £300. Mr. Carter had been asked to use his influence to raise this sum, and accordingly issued an application for funds, accompanied with an account of the chapel from the "Palestine Text Society."
Death of Mother Harriet (Honourable Mrs. Monsell).
"We were much pleased with your letter. I thought Devonshire would be your destination, but had not thought of the old quarters. You will feel at home there, and not far from------, where you will be always welcome. All best Easter blessings be with you and W. H. We have had it very fair since Friday, only cold air; even now sleet is falling; the lowest temperature we have had more than seventeen degrees of frost at night--Good Friday night. "Dear Mrs. Monsell passed away calmly and painlessly on the morning of Easter Day. I saw her last at the end of Passion Week; the severe weather had tried her. I had the feeling it might be nearing the end, but others thought it only temporary. During Holy Week she was varying much. Sister Elizabeth went down on Easter Eve and just saw her in her armchair, but rapidly failing. After she talked and inquired after all, about four o'clock in the early morning of Easter Day she became unconscious, peacefully calm; she passed away to her well-earned rest. You will understand what a blank it is--it was so great a life, and so true. She is to be buried at Folkestone, her own desire to be there. I go down on Thursday to St. Leonard's, to stay over Sunday for a Pusey memorial expedition.
"Ever your affectionate
"T. T. C."
TO HIS SON.
Reunion of Christendom.
"I see your plan, and I feel that I am criticising it too much; and my own mind being a good deal occupied by these efforts at reunion, I am led too much to think of what is said about them. But I see what you say of this--besides the time involved--involving more than could be said sufficiently to be understood; and I can also see that to those whom you are addressing it would be beyond the mark.
"But one point I would suggest. Could you say anything on the favourable side of Protestantism seeking' Truth,' and then against mere authority? For that is surely how Protestantism began, and is the real meaning of it as a power. It is true that 'Protestantism leans towards disunion' but this first came from Rome seeking to crush inquiry by mere power. I always think that this side of Protestantism ought to be allowed for. At the Reformation, and ever since, Rome has stopped all fair enquiry, and so held all who question Roman claims and teaching with an antagonism which has fostered private judgment endlessly. Might you not add a sentence or two to save this point. The Reformation and its endless consequences might have been spared, possibly, if Borne could have fairly met the spirit of inquiry awakened by the printing press, etc. One can at least conceive the possibility.
"Ever yours lovingly,
"T. T. C."
The following letters will be of great interest, as they contain Canon Carter's mind concerning devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Purgatory, and the Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament:--
(i.) Devotion to the Blessed Virgin.
"You ask me what I believe to be the truth about devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and I am glad to tell you what has been the result of my own studies in this important subject. We look, as you know, to the great Fathers of the early centuries as the truest interpreters of the law of God, and as witnesses beyond all others as to what the Early Church believed. They are clear as to their belief. They speak of the glory of her purity, of her great vocation as the chosen mother of God, our Saviour, the Eve of the new kingdom, and of her great example to us.
"We cannot but believe and have hope in her intercession being offered for us, hers especially, with those of the other blessed saints, herself the chief. And we may surely ask her intercessions, trusting in God to hear us.
"Prayer to the Blessed Virgin is a different thing. This grew in later centuries as the result of the 'Assumption.' You know, the Assumption, or bodily ascension of the Blessed Virgin, I mean, the idea of it, arose out of a mere fable. But the consequences grew and grew till, as you equally know, prayer to our Blessed Lady seems taking the place of prayer to our Lord.
"The Eastern Church has not received it. There the same day is kept as the 'Repose' of the Blessed Virgin, simply her peaceful death. And what now prevails in the Church of Rome is surely a grievous shock to us. For there, Liguori, lately made one of the chief doctors, teaches that prayer to the Blessed Virgin, or prayer through her to God, may be more availing than prayer to our Blessed Lord. Any one who goes abroad may see how chapels dedicated to her are far more frequented than those in which He, the Crucified, is honoured. You know, Holy Scripture has ever kept the Blessed Virgin in a kind of graceful reserve, as best becoming her and the tone of her Magnificat.
"T. T. C."
(ii.) About Purgatory.
"In writing, as you wish me, about Purgatory, it is right to remember that the idea of inflicted punishment seems to have arisen from the growing sense of penal infliction which characterized the Middle Ages. The term properly means simply purification, and so also the term 'damnation,' coming from 'damnum,' means loss, though a similar sense of external infliction grew up. We have no definite revelation about departed souls; only, that there is an Intermediate State before the final judgment, where souls are detained, and are being prepared for their future immortal state. I can see no authority for the Roman idea of a penal condition, an imprisonment of suffering purgation from which souls are to be rescued. There was nothing of this kind in the teaching of the Fathers in the Early Church, nor is there now, as far as I know, in the Greek Orthodox Church. The belief was of a state of light in which remains of sin was being cleansed away through the vision of God, more and more intimately revealed and growing as the soul could receive it, all this, of course, in proportion to the state of the departed--to those prepared, a very paradise of blessedness; to those in their various degrees of advancement, more and more of refreshment and peace.
"We know here how slowly sinful tendencies are entirely cleared away, and though such cleansing will be under far more favourable circumstances in the higher world and in the immediate Presence, yet we may believe the same law of progress, as now, prevails there in perfecting our nature--there as here. The suffering will be in the consciousness of the past, in the sense of remaining evil, the ingratitude of faithlessness, and such-like. This, however, alleviated, cannot but be felt all the more in that transcendent Light.
"That prayer avails for the departed, as co-operating with their inward purification, has, as you know, been ever felt to be availing through our Lord's Merits and Love. One cannot speak of those in whom no, even the least, seeds of good exist, such as might grow and develop into some measure of the least degree of blessedness, for of blessedness there are many degrees. Our Lord speaks of the Right Hand, etc."
(iii.) Of Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament.
"You ask me what I think of perpetual Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament: whether it is allowable, and whether it is desirable.
"You know that Reservation for the sick dated from the earliest ages. It is, and has been, in fact, only an extension of Communion, for Communion was the object of our Lord's Institution, and our Lord's Body was to be ever ready at hand at all times and places. Many used to carry it with them when travelling, but always and only for the purpose of Communion. So it remained for fifteen centuries; so it still remains in the Eastern Church; so it continued in the West until the Reformation; and consequently Reservation for the sick only has been the use of the Church of England. It has been the use of the Faithful among us to live on the sense of the Indwelling Presence through frequent Communion, on Holy Scripture, and on the witness of the Church of the first eight centuries before the developments began which have so unhappily caused dissension in the Catholic body.
"The Roman mind has evidently taken a different line from what has prevailed in England. Having shut off the Scriptures from the people, and also the witness of the Church's traditions, and having instead established an absolute authority of the Church of the day, of the present time, it has had recourse to other and new influences to keep up devotional life. Thus Roman use established the Reserved Sacrament with the office of Benediction. Thus, it has of late established devotion to the 'Sacred Heart,' which, while having a great tendency to a material view, can only mean an intenser sense of our Lord's affections; and thus it keeps up the mediaeval idea of Indulgences, as attached to specific prayers. If we regard the object aimed at in such devotions, they seem, and were intended, to supply the place which to us has been filled (?) by the use of Holy Scripture and early traditions, and I may add the living influence of the indwelling Spirit of God. I add this last, for any one who reads Roman devotions must have seen how little is said of such a Living Presence, and it is clear how this has come to pass. For Borne has been ever afraid to dwell upon the inspirations of the Holy Ghost, knowing how to such influences have been attributed individual action and schismatic separation as against the dogmatic rule of authority. In all this I am not wishing to criticise Roman ways, only to show the different lines that they and we have been led to take, though I cannot but believe that our ways have been the truer and the best for intelligent and sustaining and truthful devotion.
"Further, as to the question whether perpetual Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament is desirable. I have already implied that it must be by the act of the Church of England as a whole if it were to be ordained. As to whether desirable or no, that, of course, is a different question. One thing, I think, that must strike any one who is acquainted with modern Roman devotions, is the very painful sense of the mode of addressing our Lord in the Tabernacle as voluntarily . there confined. Such devotion is but a natural consequence of the belief. But can this be desirable? What our LORD HIMSELF may think of such a devotion to HIMSELF we cannot know. There is, no doubt, a certain felt sanctity, where there is such Reservation, to a reverent mind, and it may have a helpfulness to devout persons, such as one ought not to judge. But to many a mind, I suppose, doubt must arise. To us, at all events, who look to the object for which our Lord designed His most Holy Presence in the Blessed Sacrament, and who believe that His Indwelling Presence through the Holy Spirit is meant to be the consequence of Communion, and who live in trust in the witness of the Catholic Church for so many centuries to this truth as the ground of our spiritual life--to us, as I believe, it is truer and more according to what we know of our Lord's mind, to follow the witness of the Catholic Church for so many centuries to this truth rather than what Roman use of comparatively later years has introduced in the matter of the Blessed Sacrament, as in other matters which form so much of its cherished devotion.
"I am writing the result of many years of consideration of the many truths concerned in the various usages which are touched by the questions you have asked. I hope I am clear, or I would wish to make any questionable point clear. God bless you, and may He keep us united in seeking to do our Lord all honour.
"Ever your affectionate
"T. T. C."
The following letter, a copy of which has come to our hands, bears upon one of the three questions just discussed, that of "Reservation." It is a reply to a letter upon this subject from the Archbishop of Canterbury.
"14, The Lees, Folkestone, 1885.
"MY DEAR LORD ARCHBISHOP,
"I am greatly ashamed by the condescension and kindness of your Grace's expressions. I am exceedingly sorry if I may have been guilty of any want of deference when writing, as I frankly confess I did, under strong emotion, feeling how serious a loss was being incurred, and having personal grounds for such feeling. May I mention to your Grace some few particulars to show you how much one personally feels in this matter? I have been, and am still, obliged to reserve the Blessed Sacrament every week, as the only means of communicating a very suffering Sister at our House of Mercy, who cannot receive until late in the morning, and is quite unable to bear the service for 'Communion of the Sick.' The bishop knows of the case and its necessity. I am connected with a London parish, where the late archbishop, when Bishop of London, gave permission for such Reservation, where, if it were compelled to cease, many must suffer and die un communicated. I am anxious also about other parishes where similar painful loss would be sustained.
"I am not arguing with your Grace, but only explaining why I wrote under such strong feelings. I was moved by the thought that if it were to go forth with authority that under no circumstances the Church of England permitted the Reservation for the sick, the Church would be maimed in a matter affecting the spiritual life in its deepest needs, while manifestly up to this time such permission has been considered possible under special circumstances. In drawing the conclusions which I did from the proceedings in Convocation, I can only plead that I formed my judgment from the Guardian report, which we are accustomed to regard as accurate and trustworthy. I do not know whether I missed any point. I looked anxiously, but I saw only what I alluded to. It did not occur to me to ask for further intelligence, when the account given seemed to be quite clear. I hope your Grace will not think me indifferent to the dangers which you have pointed out, and will excuse my warmth on the ground of my great anxiety on behalf of suffering souls. I am glad, however, that I have erred in supposing your Grace's judgment and that of the assembled bishops was to cut off any privilege now accorded to us in cases of urgency such as I have referred to. The practice I am anxious to preserve is in accordance with the most certain use of antiquity, and I thank your Grace most warmly for your kind reply, which quiets my anxiety.
"Your Grace's thankful and obedient servant,
"T. T. CARTER."
The Consecration of Barlow.
The following Paper, bearing date April 19, 1864, was probably read by Mr. Carter at some meeting in South Devon. It is related to Roman controversy upon this vexed question, written in Mr. Carter's unmistakable hand, and sent to us by one who was a chaplain of one of the institutions.
"1. The 'great doubt' about the consecration of Barlow ought in all fairness to be given up. Over and over again it has been shown that he was validly consecrated. He was Bishop, though not in possession of a See. Courayer, Dr. Oldham, etc., give the facts. The Church Union Kalendar of the present year has the pedigree and proof of his consecration.
"It is, I regret to say, characteristic too often of Roman controversialists to persist in bringing forward points long ago disproved. Only a little while ago a E. C. who disputed it told me that, on inquiry, she was satisfied that in the original official document of Parker's consecration there was Barlow's name as Bishop.
"2. The form in which our Lord consecrated the Apostles was simply, 'Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whosesoever sins,' etc.
"For a long time in the Catholic Church this continued to be the use; it was originally only as a prayer that the Commission was conveyed. Our form, immediately after the Reformation, was but the same our Lord had used. It is simply idle to call this defective. The truth is, it has been left to the Church to give Sacrament in forms of its own choosing, and they have varied from time to time. For more than a thousand years absolution was given as a prayer, the one which now stands in our Order for the Visitation of the Sick after our Absolution. That precatory form alone was used during all that period, and still in the East the form, I believe, is of this same kind, only the words in Holy Baptism and the Holy Eucharist were fixed by our Lord and unchangeable, and are the form. In all other sacramental ordinances they have varied, whilst the powers given are the same. The words quoted, 'For a bishop,' 'Stir up the grace of God which is in thee by the imposition of our hands,' are St. Paul's, words applied by him to the same purpose, and to say that these words used by bishops canonically consecrating a successor with the full intention would not be a true expression of the intent is hardly reverent.
"The same may be said of what is urged as to omitting the mention of 'offering sacrifice.' There is no specific mention of this function of the priestly office in our Lord's or in the Early Church's form of Commission. Archbishop Bramhall argued against this really frivolous (?) change in Queen Elizabeth's day. He says, 'He who saith, "Take thou authority to exercise the office of a priest in the Church of God," doth intend all things requisite to the priestly function, and among the rest, to offer a representative sacrifice to commemorate and apply the sacrifice which Christ made upon the Cross.' It is true one form of Commission was altered. There was no idea of imperfection before such as would invalidate the Commission. What was used at first was the primitive form, the words added were simply a giving a greater fulness.
"3. As to sacrifice, it is not true that our Church ever denied the Eucharistic Sacrifice. The Reformers wished and strove to raise the idea of Communion, which had been practically lost in the absorbing idea of the Sacrifice, and that the worship of the people was thought to be adequately fulfilled in being present at the Sacrifice, instead of partaking of it. The question really was as to the meaning, what was meant and what the relation of the Sacrifice of the Eucharist to that of the Cross. All our chief Church writers during the Reformation period argued as Bramhall did, 'We acknowledge a Eucharistic sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, a commemorative sacrifice and representation of the Passion of Christ before the eyes of His Father; an impetrative sacrifice and impetrative of the fruits and benefits of His Passion; and, lastly, an applicatory sacrifice. Let him that dares go one step further than we do, and say that it is a suppletory sacrifice to supply the defects of the Sacrifice of the Cross; or else let them hold their peace, and speak no more against us on this point of sacrifice for ever.'
"The latter passage, which I have underlined, shows what idea of sacrifice they endeavoured to exclude.
"4. The idea of the king being able to make bishops was merely a notion of some few, and it is not clear that they meant the royal license as sufficient without consecration. There is no instance of any one becoming a bishop in this way. There were confused notions of the distinction between priests and bishops, but this confusion really arose from the Papal usurpations, which had absorbed most of the episcopal rights into the Papal See; that on the first awakening of the mind to the realities of the condition of the Church under the Roman supremacy, it took some time to clear away the confusion. If the idea existed, it was but the notion of a few, and never acted on. They were careful, some of them, to take out licenses for the time, but this was to give legal security and authority. There is no question in our Ordinal or in any public act of the distinctions between the three Orders.
"5. As to the intention, it really is not as it has been stated. Sacraments are not dependent on the intention of the administrator. What would be the untold misery of the consequences if such were the case, in the days when Arianism nearly overran the Church, or in the case of wicked priests and unbelieving priests, who could tell whether we had been rightly baptized or absolved, or had really received our Lord's Body?
"This is supposing that there may have been since the Reformation a defect of intention as to ordaining, which really is not to be believed.
"6. Is it true that mission and jurisdiction are necessary as well as order for ministers of God? But to say that through the Papal See only mission can come, is to beg the whole question. We deny it on the overwhelming fact that it was never so held and done for centuries in Christendom. Every canonical bishop has power of giving mission, and so it was ever held in better days.
"7. The cause of the differences as to Rome's dealing with Eastern and English priests who go over to them is not difficult to discern. They look on us as revolted subjects, less so in the case of the East. Their hostility towards us is stronger, though Rome has never formally denied our Orders. [This was written in 1864.] What is said of the then Cardinal Archbishop of Paris, when Courayer's book on our Orders was not judged as important on the point? He was condemned as a heretic on other points by the Court, not on this. The policy towards us on the part of Rome has been, however, in practice, 'war to the knife.' The same enmity has not been called out toward the East, at least of later years."
"Sunday Evening, December 9.
"I may not, I fear, be able to remove from your mind the painful feelings which I have unhappily caused, but you may, I trust, be able to be more forbearing in your judgment of me, if you will kindly read the following account of the thoughts weighing on my mind and actuating me. They need no reply, and can be read at your leisure. You can hardly, I suppose, but be aware of the difficulty perplexing us (by 'us' I mean those with whom I am most accustomed to have intercourse) from your avowed desire for disestablishment.
"In addition to this, you may be scarcely able to feel how much anxiety arises from your manifest rejection of spiritual authority in our bishops or bishops' courts, in consequence of their alliance with the State. Nor possibly can you appreciate the extent to which what you do is taken, not only by outsiders, but by the Church world very generally, as expressing the mind of the (so-called) High Church party, or at least of our section of it. I do not wish to speak of myself personally, except by way of explanation. But I have committed myself altogether from very strong convictions to the duty of endeavouring to restore a better order of jurisdiction in our existing status, if, and so long as, it should please God to preserve it.
"I have gone the furthest length to which I could conscientiously go in the way of resistance, and have not shrunk from wounding and estranging near friends in devotion to this cause. But it has been all along--and on this ground alone could I justify it to my conscience--with the view of restoring constitutional order, and, for the sake of this order, believing that authority must come from above, and that the present constitution is out of joint, not in itself radically wrong.
"To come nearer to the point. When the other day the Queen's Bench at least greatly damaged Lord Penzance and his Court, I felt, in common with all our party, that we had gained a great step towards our end--that, through his ruin, in time the day might be clearer towards a true exercise of Church jurisdiction. When your letters to the Bishop of London appeared, it was evident that a new order of conflict was arising, rejecting the bishop's authority altogether in every shape that was now practicable, and proposing no other in the stead of what was possible now, and this in matters of less moment than those in which we had hitherto been engaged.
"Some of us consulted together as to any combined effort of attempting to persuade you to come to terms with the bishop.
"But we decided it was better to write privately and separately; hence some of the letters which must have reached you on or before the Saturday when you returned to London. I was asked to write something publicly to clear those of us who with me lamented the line you had adopted, thinking it injurious to our common cause and future prospects. I declined to do so, trusting to the private appeals.
"When your letter came out on Monday after these appeals had reached you, there seemed no hope of any change on your part, and it seemed to me inevitable that we should all be compromised if we were silent, and be assured of approving.
"Will you forgive me if I add that the tone of that letter in its reference to the Bishop of L. (the last paragraph) was so defiant, beyond anything I could have fancied you would write, that I was dismayed at the spirit that was colouring the action, and all the more it seemed that something was necessary to be done to save those, who, like myself, dissented from it, from being implicated.
"I could not but think your course a mistake, affecting us all, and I had to choose between letting myself and others who might look to me in the matter, take our chance of being identified with your proceeding, or risking the consequences of an open disclaimer.
"I can hardly expect you, my dear------, to look at those points, which I have endeavoured to express as briefly as I could, in the same light as I do; but I earnestly trust that what I have said will show you that much has to be taken into account; that what I have said may lift the question up above personal considerations; that whether I am mistaken or not, it will at least appear that it was the cause of the Church, which you love as dearly as myself (though we look differently at its outward accidents), that actuated me throughout this painful matter; and that you may perhaps somewhat better be able to respect the motives at least, though you may be quite unable to approve of what I did.
"I pray that in anything in which I may have been mistaken in this very painful matter I may be forgiven, as I would pray that anything in which you may have erred may be overruled in mercy for good.
"Believe me, as ever,
"Your affectionate friend,
"T. T. CARTER.
"If you would think well to show this to your curates, I should be obliged to you, for I should like to explain myself to them equally as to yourself."
"MY DEAR S. H.,
"I am obliged to you for writing to me, and am glad to reply. Our Community was meant to sustain the use of fasting communion as far as possible. There are many whom I have known in past years, who, staying from home for a time, and at a distance from church, would have suffered a good deal unless they had taken some support, however slight. But for any one regularly, even with full sanction, breaking the rule, I have never known, and I do not think it would be consistent with the aim which the confraternity has treasured.
"There may be cases of an extreme kind for a time; but this does not seem to be the case you speak of. "Believe me, in the love of our Lord,
"T. T. CARTER."
It may be necessary to mention that this letter was written to the head of a religious community. Mr. Carter's mind upon this subject is clearly given in this and other letters. We have been told that he was much distressed by the violent line which some had taken up, which he thought showed a want of consideration for priests, especially when they were far from their churches. On one occasion he went so far as to describe such rigorism as "binding in iron fetters the sacrament of love."
Canon Carter was desirous of showing his affection for a departed friend, and applied to Dr. Pusey to join with him in the effort to preserve the memory of one who was much loved by both. It appears that the funds raised were to be used for an endowment of some object in which all were much interested. The application called forth from Dr. Pusey the following characteristic reply, which in the light of subsequent events may almost provoke a smile; but it is an evidence of the saintly doctor's unworldly spirit, if not a very practical view of things.
"South Hermitage, Ascot Priory,
"July 3, 1882.
"MY DEAREST FRIEND,
"I am sick of memorials, and only hope that none will be made of me. They are now commonly used to promote some object which some one has at heart. Of course, it is much better that money should go to an useful object; but the object in so many seems to be something which people want, as to fill a church with stained-glass windows, etc.
"Then I have, all my thinking life, disliked making capital out of income. It has seemed to me providing for futurity till our Lord comes, or the destroyer, out of what is given us for the day. I have always thought,' Let us provide for the things of the day, and let the morrow be provided for by those who see it.' I have, on this account, always disliked making fresh endowments. It has been such waste, sinking £1000 (amid the overwhelming wants for the day), in order to produce £30 per annum or so, for some indefinite future.
"I could not then consistently join the memorial to Mr. S. It would be acting on a principle contrary to what I have acted upon all my thinking life.
"The enclosed will also tell you of a practical difficulty, that I am begging as hard as I can for the extension of the usefulness of this place, with its magnificent air, by means of subscriptions. This hospital and its lands have become what they are out of capital, chiefly that of the Foundress, and the new wards which are to be built out of capital, if there is promise of subscriptions to feed the patients. I would only add that the enlargement was part of the original plan of the Foundress, but has been proposed thus late from lack of private funds to build it. With every good wish,
"Your very affectionate
"E. B. PUSEY."
This letter was marked on the back by Canon Carter--"Thoughts on Endowments."
"MY DEAR -------,
"I must thank you very much for your full and very satisfactory reply to my question. It is very supporting to my mind. I shall venture to quote some parts of it, I think, if I can carry out my purpose of publishing another volume of 'Spiritual Instructions on our Lord's Infancy.' I am now correcting proofs of a second volume of 'Parish Teachings.' I am glad to leave behind me some few records of the parish church days, though they do not come to much. I saw that on non-communicating attendance. I am glad that it should be marked. ------ asked me once what it meant.
"Ever yours affectionately,
"T. T. C."
TO HIS SON.
Reunion of Christendom.
"I should like to say a few more words on this I understand that the Paper is on the Reunion of Christendom. You have taken well and graphically the hopelessness of reunion through Protestant principles, and have shown historically their tendency to subdivision and minimizing of doctrine. It is well to state this, and one would desire a clear sentence summing up this conclusion. I forget, but doubt whether this was made clear as the conclusion of your survey of Protestant decays (?). But what seems wanted to make a 'whole' and something 'to rest on' however tersely put, was to the effect (1) that the only hope of reunion is through reconciling the differences between the three separated bodies of the Catholic Communion, to be followed by the return of the sectarian Protestant bodies; (2) that attempts at such reconciliation had been tried and been made in some slight degree, and were being made now; (3) that we ought to do our part by prayer for such a result as well as by cherishing a fair tone of mind on the questions that divide us.
"Ever lovingly yours,
"T. T. C."
"I am truly thankful, and heartily trust that the joy may live on full of hope. What a lightening there is in a new birth of 'a man born into the world!' We came back all well. I had a very pleasant visit to Keble--beautiful days; suited well the buildings, which are toned down, and the creepers are growing up. It all looked delightful. The 'Unity of Christendom' of Wilson caused great excitement. It came on the second day, rather against the bishop's wishes, who did not seem to see its importance or practicability. I suppose you saw in the Times about Cardinal Vaughan.
"I wrote at John's instance. He said it ought to be noticed, or it would tell against us. Johnson had the letter which Pusey wrote to the Weekly Despatch, and will show up the untruth of what a certain' W------h' said of him. I think you are quite right as to your lines. Did you observe a letter in the Times complaining of Ave Maria used publicly? I rather fancy the Times will take up the censorship of Church action, as the bishops have let the mantle fall. All best blessings.
"T. T. C."
"MY DEAR --------
"I am truly glad of your critique on 'Lux Mundi.' I thought the article excellent. We are evidently in for a most serious controversy. I hear from good authority that the question as to Pusey House will not be settled till the long vacation. I wonder how the Council will act.
Evidently L. and ------cannot both remain. The correction of those passages in the Guardian of last week did not seem to make any real difference. I am surprised and sorry for the line which------has taken, who, whilst he would not accept ------'s idea of the dramatic representation of Jonah and Daniel, will accept his view of our Lord's limited knowledge. He appears to think that as the earlier ages had established Christ's divinity, the later would establish His true manhood and real sympathy, which was less traditionally held. But I thought it argued a serious conflict of opinion, and I cannot go with it.
"Your ever affectionate
"T. T. C.
"I am rejoiced to see the Times taking part against' Lux Mundi.'"
Upon this question, Mr. Carter's views were identified with those of Dr. Pusey and Dr. Liddon. He was very anxious to show his affection for Dr. Liddon by attending his funeral. There are several communications about this. Mr. Carter says, writing to a friend--
"I fully mean to be at St. Paul's. I will go with you, meeting at 10.15. I want to make sure of being present. . . . Indeed, it is a sorrow, and a loss of a very grievous kind."
Concerning the Lincoln judgment, he writes--
"It seems to me impossible, absolutely so, to think the archbishop's judgment can settle for ever a controversy of many years affecting the whole Church movement. It may add to the materials of our judging, and, of course, clenches matters as to Bishop of L., but it can do no more."
Again, in a letter apparently bearing the date June 1, 1890, he says--
"I expressed my belief in the address (before a Society) as to the archbishop's decision as not absolutely settling the question, but it must be subject to Church Synod; not as now, in personam, but in rem." [This view (which Mr. Carter expressed also in the Guardian) met with very general approval.] "The bishop's Charge, which we heard yesterday, was very clever and interesting, dealing with 'Lux Mundi' and 'Ritual Judgment' the latter evidently waiting for a compromise.
"I am thinking of going to Switzerland for a quiet kind of visit this year. I suppose the last I am likely to take. I feel a sight of the mountains will be restful. I will do what you wish if there is time. I suppose you want only a subordinate article. C. seems to think the Court may be viewed as supreme. F. M. is now giving a Retreat here, and is with me.
"T. T. C."
Canon Carter had a way of magnifying what in his love and humility he was pleased to regard as famous. Thus in a letter dated July 13, 1893, he writes--
"I thank you very heartily for sending to me a copy of your new edition. The book is becoming a classic, and all you say in the dedication is most touching to me."
He was always real and true, but possessed such a warmth of affection and vivid imagination as to impart a glow and brightness to little acts of courtesy which a proud or phlegmatic disposition would scarcely notice. This is a trait which we constantly discover in his correspondence. E con-tario, what an ordinary character would regard as great occasions and calls, which brought honour and notice, would be met by him without effort or loss of composure, even when press of spiritual work had left no time for preparation. Thus, we have seen him going off to preach on a special occasion and on a special subject, when in the carriage he had great difficulty in recalling what was the topic on which he was expected to speak.
"Lux Mundi" was evidently a continued anxiety to him. In the next letter before us we come upon this theme again, and he says--
"I have been reading some of 'Lux Mundi,' and am grievously sorry for its publication, and it seems to me unlike the work of real theological critics, though there is much in it which is beautiful. The two last essays I read on my way to Bovey, and these seemed to me good and beautiful."
It may be mentioned here that he was in the habit of reading on his journeys, and became so absorbed with the subject that he sometimes lost his way or his luggage--on this occasion the latter for a while.
"I read------'s article a second time, and felt the more strongly against the line. Some of the views about faith in this volume seemed to me more questionable."
Again, Mr. Carter was much distressed by the new teaching about the Holy Spirit's gift in Baptism. He says--
"I came upon------'s note this morning, and it, indeed, startled me! If that really is the end of this argument, I had yet hoped, that in spite of what------says of the Spirit's gift, he would have left the renewal of our nature still as the predominant idea of baptism, and so kept up its dignity. What can ------ think of regeneration as a real fact? He seems to be evidently caught by novel ideas."
Canon Carter was very generous, and would take up his pen to defend any whom he thought hardly dealt with in the press or elsewhere, quite apart from the question of theological sympathy. As an instance of this, when writing to a friend, he refers to a letter of his in the S------, defending a certain dean whom he thought had not been quite fairly treated:--
"I thought," he says, "the comments of S------ very unfair upon him. He is a good 'Broad,' and will, I think, be fair all round. I fancy he is not deep enough to take in the real bearings of the whole question, and that he thinks it can be settled by amiable arrangements and kindly administration. But he will do well in general ways, though he had better have waited for his promotion a few more years.
"How strange it seems to have lived through the storms and struggles, and now to see the vessel moving on so freely as if all were peace. The only trouble now is the independence of people, taking each their own line, but happily some going on the right line."
In the following extract from a letter to a literary friend, Mr. Carter's attitude towards modern views is evident:--
"I should be glad if you would see your way to modify certain expressions in your note, the 'method of evolution.' This seems to accept the whole thing. Might it be 'a certain kind of evolution,' or something to that effect? Again, 'if in details rectified.' This admits a great deal--one hardly knows how much. I think it would need explaining what is meant. Also, 'may still bear the data.' Is not this too apologetic? I should say, 'are thoroughly trustworthy as to data, usually assigned to them.'"
These extracts are given as evidences of the same conservative tone of mind with regard to science as well as doctrine.
"I feel with you the anxiety of the time. I wrote to thank V. for his letter in the Times. I feel very sure that unless the bishops consult the priests and make some common cause, there can only be again and again what has been--the Final Court appealed against and assisted, and so round and round again the same unhappy alternations. I do not know how it may be arranged, but the bishops seem at a loss how to act.
"I cannot see how we can accept censing without any object of person or thing. This is meant, I suppose, to prevent movement in the sanctuary.
"Yours very affectionately,
"T. T. C,"
"Richmond, Yorkshire, August 22, 1887.
"MY DEAR BROTHER,
"You will be glad to hear of our progress. We have had beautiful weather, only one wet day and a thunderstorm; and it has been raining, only to-day it has become coldish and dull. We had four days at Bolton, and greatly enjoyed that most lovely Wharfs--was there ever finer river scenery?--and a day at Ilkley, a most lovely place on the edge of a picturesque moor, on the lower part of the Wharfe. Then we came to the Ingleborough country. We could not get in at Clapdale, and came on to Ingleton. There we found delightful moorland, glens, and waterfalls, and all very pleasant, and beautiful air. We got into a little village, poor, but all very clean, and food good, and manners most civilized and simple. We had a long day's drive round to the------of Ingleborough and down Wensleydale, about 36 or 37 miles. Weather beautiful. It is well worth the expedition, and there are waterfalls, quite striking, by the way. These waterfalls are quite a feature of these Yorkshire dells.
"We came on to Leybourne, and so next day to Ripon by Jervaulx. The ruins there are not much, so great has been the destruction; and we had Ripon cathedral for our Sunday; service very reverent, and inside very good. It is a third-class cathedral, but it is fine, and a real cathedral, though till late only a parish church, as you know well. But it is difficult to say enough of Fountains, or Lord Ripon's magnificent park, and the beautiful gorgeous church he built, and happily made over to the parish and his wife, though he Romanized while it was being built. Burgess was architect, and it is most beautiful, and of exquisite effect. I think of staying here a day or two, and then go on to Durham, where we shall be for Sunday, and after that make for Stirling, to be a few days with my old curate Duthie and his sisters. "Your affectionate brother,
"T. T. C."
A Theological Question.
October 29, 1886.
"I am glad to hear you are coming for the All Saints' Octave. We can then talk over some matters. There is a theological question. I am not clear about it. It is about our Lord's consciousness during His early infancy. Is it believed that the Divine Personality pervaded the human nature so entirely as to give to His infancy a consciousness of what was then done by and to Him. Would it, e.g., be true to say that He was conscious and acted voluntarily in His circumcision, His flight into Egypt, so as to know the meaning and assent to the sacrifice involved in those actions?
"T. T. C."
Prayers of the Saints.
"November 20, 1886.
"I find a stronger and clear passage in 'Law: Answer to Fisher,' ch. ix. p. 385, Cambridge, Pitt Press:--'As here in the Church Militant we have our fellow-soldiers, striving together with us and helping together with their prayers to God for us;' and yet because we pray one for another, we do not pray one to another, so the Fathers who taught that the Saints in the Church Triumphant do pray for us, might with St. Basil acknowledge that they have the martyrs fellow-helpers to their prayers, and yet pray with them only, and not unto them.'
"T. T. C."
It will be seen from this letter that Canon Carter, in regard to the "Invocation of Saints," as well as in other matters of controversy, did not feel justified in going beyond what, at any rate, at the time was regarded as the limits of the teaching of the English Communion. Though his delight in, and reverence for, and admiration of the Saints were almost unbounded, he did not encourage direct invocation. He was not convinced that praying to them was the practice of the Early Church, which was ever the Court of Appeal of the old Tractarians. On the other hand, in consideration of what was practised and encouraged in other parts of the Church Catholic, East and West, he might not have always felt it necessary to forbid this direct invocation, in the case of those who had already formed this devotional habit, provided that there was no danger of their trusting in any merits or advocacy short of that of the One Organic Mediator, "Himself Man, Christ Jesus." Certainly he would not have sanctioned any public use of such devotions, nor have recommended it in private prayer.1
"February 6, 1888.
"MY DEAR S.,
"You will not be surprised to hear that------has at last succumbed to the charms of Rome. His------set the ball rolling. The Jubilee at Rome, where they happened to be together, no doubt inflamed the desire, and everything like that unhappy letter of the Bishop of------kept aggravating the sore. I am not sure whether he has yet been received--but it is as good as done. A kind of parting letter was written. We hurriedly shook hands at Paddington Station the other day. He is doing it very tenderly towards his home, which------did not do. This adds fresh difficulty to------, and what may come of it is not yet seen. They are coming to us for a few days for sympathy (in their sorrow) before returning to S., after parting with him.
"Do you know there was a laudatory notice of------'s Calendar in L. C.? H. wrote to me to disclaim any connection with it. I am told my name is on the title-page with some short extracts. It seems to me to contain insinuating, unpleasant bits of Romanizing. He thought a Jesuit must be the author. Poor Jesuits! I thought of disclaiming any approval of its contents.
"I am rather tired, and obliged to rest, as far as I can, the veins of my leg. With all blessing.
"T. T. C.
"Gurney, of S. B., comes to-day to give Retreat."
B. C. Controversy.
"February 7, 1888.
"You will not be surprised to hear that C. has succumbed to the charms of Rome. His sister set the ball rolling. The Jubilee at Rome, where he happened to be, no doubt influenced the desire, and everything like that unhappy letter of the Bishop of------kept aggravating the sore. I am not sure whether he has been received--but it is as good as done. A kind of parting letter has just passed between us, and we hurriedly shook hands at the station.
"Have you seen a Kalendar, published by W., which has an increasing circulation? I saw a laudatory notice of it in ------. H. wanted me to disclaim any connection with it, as my name in some way appears on the title-page, connected with something which I wrote somewhere. It contains most insinuating, unpleasant bits of Romanism in it. He thought a Jesuit must be the author. I thought of disclaiming any approval of it in------.
"T. T. C."
"September 7, 1891.
"There is a matter upon which I should like to know your mind. D. having been foiled in his endeavour to get Convocation to take up the 'Lux Mundi' matter, and not finding E. C. U. is able to deal with it, is now set upon getting an address to Canterbury, signed by certain names. He is corresponding with Goulburn about it, and he will seek to get a meeting to consider it. I have told him I would go to such a meeting, of a few, very privately, if possible. I have said to him, that I should think, if such an address is to be drawn up, there ought to be a recognition of what is good in the book; and also a disclaimer of anything against such criticism as Lightfoot carried out in the Tubingen matter. He (D.) would rather say nothing of this kind of allowance, or thought it too much of accommodation to popular thought. What do you think of such a move, and h.ow should it be made, if made? Certainly the book in its main tendencies is of a too rationalistic order. Yet how many like it. Dear W. I saw on my way through Exeter. He likes it much, and would reject any move against G. He likes him so much personally, and he is being 'feted' just now. I have just re-read Illingworth's essay on 'The Incarnation and Development,' very thoughtful, very well written, full; but my impression is that evolution is taken as the unquestioned truth, and that the Bible must be made to square with it. But it is written best. I see nothing in Gr.'s subsequent sayings that alters the first impression of his essay.
"T. T. C."
Mr. Carter knew Manning in Lavington days, and when they were both old men a mistake arose, which the cardinal was anxious to have cleared up, and so he wrote to Canon Carter about it. It appears that some one had stated that Carter had said of Manning "that if the Church of England had been then (when he went over) what it is now, that Manning would not have left." Manning, however, thought it an opportunity for taking a parting shot, which was not a very successful one. He said the Church of England was neither Church nor any part of the Church; that it left him, not he it, or words to that effect. We have a copy of Mr. Carter's reply in his own hand, in which, after touching allusion to the circumstances under which they last parted, he disclaimed the words which had been attributed to him--not that he had not used them, but he had used them of some one else, not Manning, and adds--
"You will not think me disrespectful if I add, in reference to your closing paragraph, 'that the Church of England is neither the Church nor any part of the Church,' that it does not pain but surprise me as a hard saying, and surely one that needs to be proved. I suppose it to allude to certain judgments of the Courts to which we are unhappily subjected through our complications with the State, for I know how those shock your faith in the Church of England. But it has been surely manifest that those cruel blows have served to quicken the zeal of many, and brought out more clearly the real truth, which had been denied, and the worst that they have done for us is to open the way for teachers at variance with our true heritage, entering in and finding a temporary place among us--a trouble to which history shows from various causes the Church Catholic to have been exposed at all times, and not wanting, I think, in the Roman Communion at present, as of old, enough, it may be more secretly than among us. Pardon my testifying to so grave a charge."
Mr. Carter's strong antagonism to anything revolutionary comes out in the following:--
"We had a hopeful Council meeting last week at------. Shaw Stewart kindly undertook to come every week to audit the accounts, so that we would have regular Reports, and issue an appeal at once. I had rather a painful talk with ------on finding that the programme of S. M.'s Guild is down with the House of Lords--at least, do away with hereditary peerages--and you may have seen that exhibition in Hyde Park on Sunday last with H. as a speaker, Shaw Stewart remonstrating, which I do also, and I had to say that I must issue the appeal in my name, and not in his. I feel difficulty in working with him. while he is following out what he calls his Mission."
"I am truly anxious at the lower-side elements of Church life showing themselves as they do, and the bishops seem to give free course to the lower side, and only stringent on the higher. I suppose the fear of Rome is ingrained in the English character. It was so before the Reformation, and is intensified in the post-Reformation view. I wrote to the Times to correct a letter answering mine, and correcting the good man's error. The Times likes to keep up this strife, and to hold to the lower line. A good man, who gave the last Retreat, used incense in the common fashion. When the Primate was questioned what he ought to do, he was told he was to retain incense, but not to incense persons and things. I fancy this may come. No doubt incense was first used as a purifier, so in Herbert when near Salisbury. What do you think of the E------? I have just written an article in it on the Oxford Movement. I was glad that the Vicar of S. C. gave up kissing the cross on the ground. It was hardly English."
"MY DEAR --------,
"I am sorry you have been disturbed in mind on this question. In such a case as you describe yours seems to be, even in a strict view of the Catholic use of Easting Communion, it would be permissible to take before communicating such relief (?) as you might need. In a paper lately read, and now published by Father Puller of Cowley Brotherhood, he has taken the highest view of the use, and yet shown the allowable relaxations you speak of. It is published at Masters, entitled 'Concerning the Fast before Communion.'
You may judge of my own conviction in the matter from the course which the C. B. S. Council has taken, and which I have earnestly desired to promote, namely, that as the Catholic and primitive use of very high authority, it ought to be cherished and furthered in all legitimate ways, but that it should not be made compulsory, considering the necessity of exceptions on account of infirmities of health or other causes of overstrain. Many years ago I gathered the opinions of men of most mark at the time, among others Dr. Pusey, Dr. Liddon, and Dr. Neale, who all agreed in this view. We still keep this view in the action of C. B. S. I need not say how anxious one may yet be to observe the rule when it is possible.
"I trust you may be at rest in such a matter touching so closely peaceful communion with our Blessed Lord. I will recall your name in connection with Church work of many kinds, and the memories of our best and dearest ones.
"I trust you keep fairly well. I follow you at a distance of only two years.
"With much respect, very sincerely yours,
"T. T. CARTER."
We gather from a letter to a friend that Canon Carter "was occupying himself in making up the 'Notes '" which he had kept of Retreats given many years ago. These were published by Messrs. Longmans in 1893, together with a reprint of the Essay on "The Church and the World," which first appeared in 1868. The book is dedicated "To the reverend memory of Bishop Wilberforce, in grateful remembrance of his earnest encouragement." It is an invaluable compendium on the subject, of which Mr. Carter was a master. Dr. Liddon used to describe him as "a fountain of spiritual thought." But to those who had the privilege of attending those Retreats at Cuddesdon, these notes seem sometimes but a faint echo of the reality --the person, the face, the voice, the assembly, the surroundings, all formed part of those spiritual epochs, for such they were to many a life. They were, in the main, original methods of treatment, not rigidly following the Ignatian course, though the author was then (1863) evidently acquainted with it, as, e.g., "Address 1. --The End of Man;" and St. Ignatius is referred to in the "Introduction," but the author states, "More formal methods since that day have naturally, in the order of things, systematized what were at first comparatively, so to say, unscientific."
It is scarcely necessary to say that Mr. Carter was himself an embodiment of the spirit of Retreat. His "recollectedness "of manner, his capacity for abstraction from outward things, his spirit of prayer, his natural gentleness --above all, his love for our Lord, marked him out in the beginning as one splendidly equipped for work of this kind. It seemed to him to be no effort; he did not "give "meditations merely, but made them at the time. They were like "living water" from the spring.
In 1898 Mr. Carter issued a circular, convening a number of "representative priests" for conference at St. Saviour's Hospital, Osnaburgh Street, as to limits of Ritual. This had been brought about through a few of the clergy in London and elsewhere having gone beyond the "Six Points," which had been almost from the beginning the Ritual ultimatum of the Oxford Movement. In the earlier days of this revival, a committee of elected clergy was formed for the purpose of giving advice upon such matters, when the High Church clergy moved as a body, and deferred to their leaders. Each felt that not only the interests of their own parish or congregation were at stake, but the Catholic movement; and the introduction of any unauthorized ceremonial might not only impede progress, but be the cause of losing ground already won. The Bishop of L------ is reported to have appealed to those whom he thought guilty of excesses to accept what was carried out at this meeting, but without success. Mr. Carter adds, "I am glad we had our testimony, and trust it will gather sympathizers." But on the other side, he adds--
"I see the danger you apprehend. I suppose the bishop's tendency will be to reduce. When I asked the B------ to allow the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament for the sake of the sick, he let me do so, but would not give special license. It seems a fear that you will take an ell if you give an inch. It is so strange to me that they do not see that the way to stop perpetual reservation is to speak decidedly on the original permission to reserve for the sick. But, as you say, you cannot bind the bishops to maintain what we have won. I suppose in this [there is] a tendency of fear and suspicion."
"MY DEAR -------,
"There is an interesting matter now going on. The Bishop of ------ has appealed to ------ to know whether he and his companions would not now accept what was carried at our meeting; but he and his companions declined, giving as their reasons what they had seen of the Bishop of ------ not holding to true Episcopal rule and authority. Afterwards the Bishop of------went to St.------ to confirm, and had a long conversation with the clergy, and I have not yet heard the final result. You will have seen what passed in Convocation. I am glad we had our testimony, and trust it will gather sympathies.
"T. T. C."