Project Canterbury













LONDON: 28 Margaret Street, Oxford Circus, W.
OXFORD: 9 High Street
MILWAUKEE, U.S.A.: The Young Churchman Co.


Transcribed by the Right Reverend Dr. Terry Brown
Retired Bishop of Malaita, 2008


THERE are here reprinted three short papers from the Oxford Diocesan Magazine which deal with certain critical ecclesiastical questions of the moment, and the general problem arising therefrom. These questions have to be attended to even in the midst of the momentous struggle in which the country is engaged. For to ignore such questions and let them be decided in the easy way of mere acquiescence will prejudice the very life of the Church. To these three papers are added two sermons dealing with a certain aspect of the spiritual, and with certain aspects of the national crisis as the war discloses it. The sermon on the idea of a catholic church is printed from the report of an unwritten sermon and retains, I fear, the roughness and abruptness which such a sermon has if I am the preacher.

C. O.

November, 1915.




THERE is to-day a widespread feeling of disgust in face of the division of Christendom both at home and in the mission field, and this dissatisfaction with our "miserable divisions" every good Christian ought to welcome as containing at least the promise and possibility of repentance and reform. But we must acknowledge that the actual movements towards unity are divergent and point in opposite directions. To use terms we cannot avoid--catholic-minded people look towards unity on a catholic basis. Among ourselves they look towards reunion with Rome and the East, and their very zeal for reunion with the Catholic communions makes them shy of even the most wholesome elements in Protestantism: while people of Evangelical or Protestant sympathies practically direct their aspirations towards an alliance of the Evangelical and Protestant communities and leave Rome and the East out of account. This is obviously true on the whole. Thus if these movements towards reunion were to take effect to-day they might result in a rearrangement of the forces of Christendom into what we may broadly call Catholic and Protestant camps, but in the process, our own communion would have been split in twain.

At home the idea of a split in our communion seems absurd. The extreme wings might easily separate if taken by themselves. Indeed they could not hold [1/2] together. But the extreme men in each diocese are held together by an almost infinite gradation of opinions, so that any representative gathering of a diocese seems to present a sort of cohesion which makes the idea of schism absurd. But of recent years in the mission field we have a novel phenomenon. We have "monochrome" dioceses consisting more or less entirely of missionaries from one or other of the extremes with those whom they have converted and instructed--Mombasa and Zanzibar are only examples of what is to be found elsewhere: and such startlingly contrariant dioceses are to be found in juxtaposition. Schism between two such dioceses is very easily imaginable. And were it to occur, or even seriously to threaten, we at home according to our sympathies might find ourselves forced to adhere to one or the other of the divergent dioceses, and a schism which began in a remote part of the world might affect our whole communion and rend in twain our Lambeth Conference.

This is the possibility which has confronted us in connection with the Kikuyu Conference. I propose to return in my third paper to the whole question, and to the question whether the Anglican communion on its present basis of comprehension is really worth while maintaining. In this paper I propose to deal only with one particular manifestation of the movement towards unity on the Protestant side--the Conference at Kikuyu. I call it a movement towards unity on the Protestant side because it exemplifies what I said at the beginning of the paper.

There is a very large Roman Catholic community in the dioceses of Uganda and Mombasa, but inevitably--things being what they are--it was left out of account. The movement towards unity at Kikuyu concerned itself only with the Protestant communities.

[3] The representatives of the various religious bodies assembled at Kikuyu proposed a scheme of federation. Nothing was settled: it was only a proposal. The proposal was vehemently impugned, as by others of our communion, so especially by the Bishop of Zanzibar. The proposal, as well as the question of the "open Communion" which had followed the Conference, was referred by the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Consultative Committee of the Lambeth Conference. And the archbishop, on the basis of the Committee's advice, gave his opinion. The tone of the Advice differs in some respects from the tone of the Opinion. But in actual conclusions the Advice and the Opinion agree. In very brief summary the opinion is as follows:-- [See Kikuyu, by the Archbishop of Canterbury (Macmillans, 1915, 1s.).]

1. As regards the proposed federation the archbishop holds that it goes beyond what a small group of dioceses could do without committing the whole Anglican communion, and that it must wait for the Lambeth Conference, when the opinion of all the bishops of our communion can be brought together and can express itself. But certain details of the proposed federation can be considered apart, and might be acted upon in the interval at the discretion of a particular bishop. Thus (a) an Anglican bishop might invite the minister of another religious body, who, according to the proposed basis of federation, "loyally accepts the Holy Scriptures as the supreme rule of faith and practice, and the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds as a general expression of fundamental Christian belief," to preach in an Anglican church. And any of our clergy, if invited to do so, might preach in the churches of the other bodies. (b) Members of other denominations, deprived for the time of the ministrations of their own communion, although they have not been confirmed, [3/4] and have no intention of being confirmed, might be admitted to communion at our altars. On the other hand, (c) though the archbishop deprecates the distinction of "valid" and "invalid" celebrations of the Holy Communion, yet he regards it as impossible to sanction our people receiving Communion at the hands of ministers not episcopally ordained.

2. The Communion Service celebrated by an Anglican bishop at the conclusion of the Conference, at which the representatives of all the denominations present communicated, is declared by the archbishop to be different in principle from the temporary or occasional "hospitality" allowed towards individual members of other denominations, and is judged to be undesirable at present.

Now, I have already explained to the diocese that the opinion of the archbishop is only an opinion, and does not claim in any way to bind us. I have also stated that I cannot accept it. Now, I want briefly to explain why I cannot accept it. It seems to me to be a compromise based on no intelligible principle and tending far beyond what is, at present, contemplated. In fact, the words "at present" used in deprecation of the open Communion appear to be highly significant of the whole document.

Suppose mission churches in Central Africa and other parts of the world to act on the opinion--suppose that in the "Evangelical" missions of our communion all the world over Protestant missionaries were widely invited to preach in our churches, and our missionaries were commonly to go and preach for the other denominations, while meanwhile the suggested "hospitality at the Lord's Table" for wandering Christians of all denominations were commonly exercised, is it not inevitable that there would ensue a great strengthening of undenominational teaching and feeling in all these [4/5] missions, and that a situation would arise which would make the refusal to allow non-Anglican ministers to officiate at the Holy Communion, or Anglican members to go to Communion with other bodies, seem quite arbitrary and unreasonable? In particular the temper of mind generated in the African or Chinese or Indian communities concerned would be such as seems to me to render it practically certain that, if the European missionaries were withdrawn, the restrictions on complete spiritual fellowship would speedily vanish. This conclusion seems to me to be inevitable.

In fact, in the long run there is no justification for refusing full recognition of Nonconformist ministers, in view of the spiritual fruits of their labours, except the belief (1) that the episcopate is of the essence of a valid ministry, and (2) that an episcopally ordained priest is necessary for a valid eucharist.

As to the first of these positions I have elsewhere argued at length. [Most recently in Orders and Unity (John Murray).] I hate the argument, because I love Nonconformists, and admire them and acknowledge the abundant fruits of their ministry. But the conclusion seems to me quite irresistible that the whole idea of the visible Catholic Church has been from the beginning bound up with the institution of the ministerial succession which took shape universally and solely in the succession of bishops: that, if in any respect the Church Catholic has exercised the authority of binding and loosing, it has exercised this authority so as to make episcopal ordination strictly necessary for ministry in the Church--of the esse, not of the bene esse of "valid" or recognizable ministry. The episcopate as the necessary mark of the Church holds exactly the same position of catholic authority as the Creed or the Canon of Scripture. To accept a non-episcopal ministry is an act of explicit rebellion against the [5/6] authority of the ancient and undivided Church than which there can be no rebellion more complete. Then, when I go back to the origin of our religion, I am convinced that the institution of the visible Church and its ministry belongs to its original essence and bears the authority of the Lord Himself.

I seem to see and have elsewhere tried to express the reasons of this position. Also I have constantly asked those who denounce the catholic doctrine of the episcopal succession to explain as precisely as possible what their view of the basis for ministry is, and I can find no other tenable theory except the Lutheran, which frankly undermines the idea of a visible church. All this I have tried to explain elsewhere. Now I am maintaining this point only:--that no other theory than the theory of the necessary episcopate can really justify our refusing to recognize, at the Holy Table as well as in the pulpit, the ministry of "non-conformists," or our refusing to allow our people to communicate with them. And in the long run this logic will work out in people's minds to its results, and they will have to choose.

I can quite imagine an Evangelical Churchman and a Baptist or Wesleyan accepting the archbishop's "not at present" and submitting to limitations which .in their own minds were temporary. But I cannot imagine the Baptist or the Wesleyan permanently accepting for his ministers a position amongst us equivalent to that of the lay-reader, [This is the position suggested for them by the Bishop of Uganda (see the archbishop's Kikuyu, p. 25)] or an absence of reciprocity in communion which implies the non-validity of his eucharist.

For while the Church of England does not require its members to accept one particular theory of the episcopal succession, or the theory of the non-validity of eucharists celebrated by those who are not priests, [6/7] it does require the acceptance of the practical results of these theories. The archbishop deprecates the words valid and invalid, and prefers the words regular and irregular. This I cannot but feel is only a refusal to face the question. "Valid" and "invalid" [See appended note A, p.49.] express a different and more fundamental idea than regular and irregular. If there is a visible Church having authority to bind and loose in the administration of sacraments, it must say, "Sacraments administered under such and such conditions are not sacraments which we can recognize--they carry no longer with them the guarantee of the Church." The Church has not said that baptisms celebrated by those who are not priests are not valid; it has not even said universally or in all cases that confirmations not administered by a bishop are invalid: it has not as a whole said that schism invalidates sacraments: but it has said that ordinations to Holy Orders not celebrated by a bishop are invalid, and that eucharists not celebrated by an episcopally ordained priest are invalid. Let us be thankful that the Church cannot and does not claim to restrict the free action of God. But it does claim, and the claim seems to me irresistible, that the new covenant was with the Church, and the Church was endued with authority to bind and loose, and has done so with an unmistakable emphasis and constancy and universality in respect of creed and episcopate alike.

If this be so, and the Anglican Church accepts the results of this determination of the Church, and interprets in the light of this determination great passages or principles of Holy Scripture, then it seems to me that we must, in the mission field as at home, give plain notice of our platform; and I feel quite convinced that if it is once understood where we intend to stand--where we must stand if the Anglican communion is to [7/8] hold together--one result is certain to follow: we must be left out of any general Protestant federation.

There are certain other defects in the proposed compromise which seem to me to be fundamental.

l. It is not enough to ask for "the acceptance of the Apostles' and Nicene Creed as a general expression of fundamental Christian belief." The acceptance of the Creed has been particular, not general. Even for the layman it has been "Dost thou believe . . . that . . . and that . . . and that?" "All this I steadfastly believe." And for the ministry it has been even more definitely the acceptance of particular and explicit phrases. I think the phrase "general acceptance" would be found in result to mean very little.

2. Membership has been for the Church as important a matter as orthodoxy--membership of Christ mediated through membership in the visible body, and carrying with it the obligation of obedience to the body and its rules. It is not too much to say that the idea of membership by baptism is as fundamental to the Church as the idea of the Godhead of Christ or the atonement. It seems to me quite impossible to accept as a teacher in one of our churches (shall we say?) a Baptist whose whole idea of the basis of membership must be different.

3. If we believe that the laying on of hands is the completion of baptism--the appointed channel for the bestowal of that gift of the Holy Ghost which strengthens or equips the Christian for full membership and service--if we believe that this rite was appointed with this intention by the Apostles, and was so used and believed in by the whole Church, how can a particular bishop--in defiance of the explicit rule of the Church--presume to dispense with it?

4. It is one thing that a particular bishop should do so on his own authority, but it is a much more serious [8/9] thing that he should by any general action of the Church be authorized to do so.

It is for this reason that I hope and pray that, when the Lambeth Conference meets, it may have the courage and constancy to refuse adhesion either to the general scheme of federation or to the particular details of the compromise which the archbishop suggests. Perhaps no rule is without exception: but if a minister of another body is anywhere to be admitted to preach in a church, or a member of another body, unconfirmed, to be admitted to Communion, I had rather that it be done on the responsibility of a particular bishop, and that he should be able to claim no assent at all from the assembly of bishops, or from any province of bishops.

All this will doubtless seem very narrow and hard to some of my friends. But I shall try in the third paper to justify myself on grounds alike of principle and of a general and broad expediency. [See appended note B, p. 51.]

[10] II


OF late years a widespread pressure has made itself felt for the restoration among us of the practice of reserving the Blessed Sacrament for the sick and dying. The grounds of this pressure are found in the needs of large parishes where there are many sick to be communicated; in the difficulty which arises in many of the meanest class of houses in making suitable provision for the "simple altar by the bed" (though the rubric, we must observe, admits of our celebrating anywhere in the sick man's house); and in the unreasonableness of requiring a priest frequently to celebrate at any hour of the day after his ordinary food, in obedience to sudden calls, when the Church has in almost all ages and places provided a method of Communion for the sick which lays upon the priest no such painful necessity. Is it possible, then, under our present discipline, "as this Church and realm hath received the same," for the practice of reservation to be revived for the Communion of the sick, and, if so, under what conditions?

The First Prayer Book of Edward VI, abandoning the precedent practice and rule which required the constant reservation of the Blessed Sacrament in parish churches generally, ordered the priest, when a sick person was to be communicated, if the need fell upon a day when the Holy Communion was [10/11] celebrated in church to "reserve (at the open Communion) so muche of the sacrament of the body and blood as shall serve the sick person and so many as shall Communicate with him (if there be any:) And as soon as he conveniently may, after the open Communion ended in the churche," to "go and minister the same. . . . But if the day be not appointed for the open Communion in the church, then . . . having a convenient place in the sycke man's house (where he may reverentlye celebrate) . . . he shall there celebrate the Holy Communion after such forme and sorte as hereafter is appoynted." (The subsequent differences between the form for the Communion of the Sick in the First Book and in our present Prayer Book are not material and need not be considered.) Dr. Brightman [The English Rite (Oxford, 1915), ii. 842.] finds the precedent for these directions in the Brandenburg Kirchenordnung (1540)--in part, but not entirely. But the provision for carrying the Blessed Sacrament to the sick from the altar after the open Communion, without any permanent reservation in church, corresponds with the practice of the early Church as described by Justin Martyr.

It is plain that the First Prayer Book intended to abandon the mediaeval practice, and the practice of permanent reservation did, in fact, cease suddenly or gradually. In the Second Prayer Book the practice of reserving at the open Communion for the immediate communion of any particular sick person was also abandoned, and the rule and practice of our present Prayer Book alone survived--viz., that the Communion of the sick is to be provided for by a celebration in the sick man's house. [2] (2) The ancient practice of reservation was revived, of course, in Mary's reign. And after the restoration of the reformed use on the accession of Elizabeth, though the Prayer Book in English gave no scope for reservation, the Latin Prayer Book, with Letters Patent of [11n/12n] Elizabeth (1560), intended for colleges, retained the use of the First Prayer Book as regards reservation for the sick. I do not know that there is any evidence that this direction for reservation was acted upon, and I suppose it was superseded by the translation of 1571--certainly by the later legislation of 1662.] I need not discuss the question [11/12] of the authority of the First and Second Books. Our present book has all the authority which Church and State combined can give it. It represents as formal an act of the Church of 1662 as possible. The abandonment of the ancient practice of constant reservation had probably been long complete before that date. It is not referred to. And though it is probable [1] [(1) See Procter and Frere, Prayer Book (Macmillans), pp. 501-2. Scudamore, however, has something to say, Notitia Eucharistica, p. 894.] that the rubric directing the immediate consumption of the sacred elements after the blessing was directed not against reservation but against profanation, yet the rubric could hardly have been worded as it was if reservation had not been quite outside the purview of its compilers: and it does, in fact, formally exclude it.

Thus the rule and practice substituted for reservation in 1552 receives now, at any rate, the fullest authorization of the Church; and when we priests solemnly undertake, as a condition of receiving any kind of cure of souls, that "in . . . administration of the Sacraments we will use the form in the said book prescribed and none other, except so far as shall be [Shall be in the future: not has been in the past. The promise at our ordination also interprets this undertaking. It is "so to minister . . . the sacraments, and the discipline of Christ, as the Lord hath commanded, and as this church and realm hath received the same, according to the commandments of God." Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament, it is stated truly in the Articles, was not "by Christ's ordinance," and is therefore not unalterable, according to the claim of the Church of England.] ordered by lawful authority," we bind ourselves strictly, except so far as other direction shall be given by lawful authority, to the use of the Prayer Book form in communicating the sick.

I believe that there are some among us who claim [12/13] the right to fall back upon ancient canons because they have not been expressly rescinded. But I cannot imagine that any one acquainted with the general practice of the Church in making canons and ordinances could maintain such a position. Canons have very rarely been rescinded. What the Church has done, where circumstances or opinions have altered, and where formal canonical legislation has proved abortive, is to make new canons and give new directions, which the ministers or members of the Church are henceforth required to obey. On all subjects which the Prayer Book deals with, we must regard ourselves as having our directions in the Prayer Book.

For my own part, I deeply deplore the abandonment of reservation, at least for more than a time, under the stress of necessity. But I do not think the Church exceeded its powers in making a new provision for the Communion of the sick--that, however, is not the point. If the Church of England did what in my judgement it is beyond the power of any province or national Church by itself to do, then I must not solemnly undertake to obey it. Having undertaken solemnly to obey it, as a condition of receiving my office, I must obey it or retire. We have experienced a strong abhorrence recently of the German doctrine of the "scrap of paper," and I am sure that this abhorrence ought to lead us to a renewed sense in all relations of life of the sanctity of covenants. I hold, therefore, that an individual priest has no right under our Prayer Book, as it stands, to make reservation of the Blessed Sacrament on his own authority.

But there is an exception in our undertaking"--except so far as shall be ordered by lawful authority." I am disposed to believe that this exception was couched in terms intentionally vague. And nobody [13/14] who, however generally, accepts the tradition of the Catholic Church can doubt that any presbyter may accept the authority of his own bishop as lawful ground for doing what it is not the clear intention of the Church to prohibit. The fact that the normal canonical action of the Church has been suspended so long among us, while circumstances and needs have utterly changed, renders it necessary to make the most of the authority inherent in the episcopate. I said last month that I did not think it was within the competence of a bishop to dispense from the Church's requirement of Confirmation. I hold this to be so because the authority behind the requirement is so universal, so ancient, so Apostolic; and also because I have the best reason to believe that, accordingly, the present episcopate and Convocation of this province would refuse to alter the rubric. But I think a bishop is justified in allowing the omission at many celebrations of the Eucharist of the sermon, which the rubric requires, and of various exhortations commanded to be read: because the matter is not of great importance because there is urgent need to relax the requirement and because the existing Church would sanction the omission, as it has shown definitely in the proposals now current for Prayer Book revision. For reasons partly the same and partly different I think it is competent for a bishop to allow reservation for the sick, because (1) the rule which strictly excludes it, the rule which requires the total consumption of the consecrated species after the Blessing, does not appear to have been intended as anything else except a safeguard against irreverent treatment of the sacred elements; (2) the needs described at the beginning of this paper are real and urgent; (3) the practice of our Prayer Book in the matter differs from a "practice of the whole Catholic Church of [14/15] Christ," and has no larger authority than that of our own Convocations behind it; and (4) the present intention of our province is to alter the practice by reverting approximately to the use of 1549.

This is the proposal of the bishops of our province, agreed to by the Lower House:

"But when the Holy Communion cannot reverently or without grave difficulty be celebrated in private, and also when there are several sick persons in the parish desirous to receive the Communion on the same day, it shall be lawful for the priest (with the consent of the sick person), on any day when there is a celebration of the Holy Communion in the church, to set apart at the open Communion so much of the consecrated Bread and Wine as shall serve the sick person (or persons), and so many as shall communicate with him (if there be any). And, the open Communion ended, he shall, on the same day and with as little delay as may be, go and minister the same. And, except where extreme sickness shall otherwise require, before he administer the consecrated Bread and Wine, at least the parts of the appointed office here named shall be used, namely, the General Confession, the Absolution, and the Prayer of Humble Access, and, after the delivery of the Bread and Wine with the appointed words, the Lord's Prayer and the Blessing. And immediately thereafter any of the Bread and Wine that remains over shall reverently be consumed.

"If the consecrated Bread and Wine be not taken immediately to the sick person, they shall be kept in such place, and after such manner as the ordinary shall approve, so that they be not used for any other purpose whatsoever."

This proposed rubric of course has not any present [15/16] authority. I take it simply as expressing the present mind of the bishops of this province, and the existence of this intention to change our present use, not taken by itself but taken in conjunction with the reasons (1) (2) and (3) which I have stated above, seem to give an individual bishop sufficient ground--not for a general proclamation authorizing reservation, but--for authorizing reservation under certain conditions on the application of individual priests.

What I mean by "certain conditions" is this: I have assented to the proposed rubric, which it is desired to enact as a permissible substitute for the present rubric which stands at the head of the office for the Communion of the Sick. I was satisfied that this is the best substitute for the present provision that we can obtain. I am quite sure that it is not the intention of our bishops to grant a more complete return to mediaeval practice than this rubric admits of. I consider myself therefore bound in honour to observe its restrictions.

This means that we must not abandon or exclude the method of celebrating in the sick man's house, but must use it where we can and the sick man wills.

It means also in my judgement that there is no sufficient ground for allowing permanent reservation except in large towns. In other places all reasonable needs can be met by the method of 1549.

In large towns the discretion of the bishop extends to allowing the reservation to be constant, but it must be in my judgement in a strictly secluded chapel. [See appended note C, p. 52.] This, I am sure, is involved in the clause "for no other purpose whatsoever," to which I have, in common with the other bishops, given in my agreement.

That means quite certainly that the bishops of our province, though they utter no theological or other condemnation of the practice, do not intend to allow [16/17] the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament as an object and centre of devotion. About this western development of the use of the Blessed Sacrament I have spoken, from a theological point of view, in my book called the Body of Christ. I do not now intend to say anything about it. And, as far as my own feelings go, I recognize its attractiveness to the full. But it must be acknowledged that this later western use of the reserved Sacrament as a permanent centre of devotion has not behind it either catholic or ancient authority. The Eastern Church does not know it and the ancient Church did not know it. It has not the sanction of our own part of the Church, the Church of England. The present episcopate exhibit no change in this respect. If there were proper authority for it, I should of course be wholly willing to allow it. But it is plainly not the intention of the bishops as a body to allow it. And individual bishops who have assented to the proposed new rubric, as I have, are in my judgement bound in honour not to sanction the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament in the open church, which confessedly is desired not solely in order for the Communion of the sick, which can be provided for by reservation in a secluded chapel, but also in order that the faithful may direct their devotions to our Lord in the Holy Sacrament. Perhaps there is no line to be drawn between directing devotions to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament reserved in the tabernacle and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Perhaps exposition and also benediction would follow upon reservation in the open church. But I am not discussing this or reflecting upon it. I am only saying as explicitly as possible why I feel sure that a bishop of the Church of England to-day may sanction reservation for the sick and dying under the conditions contemplated in the proposed new rubric, without outrunning his legitimate [17/18] discretion, but is bound, if he has assented to that rubric, not to go beyond it. And I would add that I feel convinced that if a current practice amongst us, even within a restricted circle, be found to have outrun the provisions of the proposed rubric in the interval before its enactment, we shall lose what I think would be the immense gain of a restoration of reservation in the Church of England to-day by synodical authority.

I have spoken in these two papers about matters of detail: about the proposals of Kikuyu in the first, and about reservation of the Holy Sacrament in the second. These proposals or practices come from opposite quarters. But it is only when taken in connection that they can be considered in their true bearings. Indeed they cannot be so considered without admitting also the consideration of other proposals emanating from the Liberal or Critical camp. [These I considered in The Basis of Anglican Fellowship (Mowbray).] Altogether they present us with a situation which makes it quite worth while asking some general questions about the Church of England. And to these questions I now propose to return.

[19] III


THE nation is to-day engaged in a life-and-death struggle with Germany. And we are deeply impressed by the strength of her organization: that is to say, by the degree in which her vast capacities, intellectual, industrial, and personal, are concentrated and put at the disposal of the central government. By contrast with Germany we are conscious that we are a disorganized people. Sectional interests and the claims of individual liberty have perilously weakened our sense of the authority of the whole over all its parts. In three departments of our common life we seemed to be near upon civil war before the war, and though the call of the war averted the conflicts, yet we bear the traces of disunion. In the crisis of this war we find ourselves at a great disadvantage owing to our engrained habit of undiscipline--to our being so unused to obedience. If by God's mercy we come through the war without disaster, we feel that we must repent. The common national interest must dominate our private lives and sectional interests more than it has done in the past. Even in respect of organization we do not want to become altogether like Germany. We recognize in Germany an extreme of organization, an undue suppression of the individual. But we recognize in ourselves an opposite extreme. The common good--the res publica--must recover authority, and the individual [19/20] must learn to find his satisfaction in service. So we are feeling under the pressure of the war.

I am sure that we have to learn the same lesson in the Church. Congregationalism in towns and parochialism in villages have been dominant in our Church life to a disastrous extent. More than this, sectional movements within the Church have been formulating themselves in a sense incompatible with any real corporate unity. The "liberal" or "critical" school, the "catholic party," and the evangelical school, especially in the missionary field where its interest is in promoting a general Protestant Federation, have been forming each its own atmosphere which is repugnant to the general feeling of the Church, and formulating demands which the rest of the Church are not by any means willing to concede--demands which seem to be incompatible with our common public professions. Individual initiative and the personal courage involved in asserting unpopular opinions have in the past done so much for us, and attempts at repression have been so often mischievous, that we cling instinctively to a policy of toleration. But the situation, as we all recognize who believe in the distinctive mission of the Church of England, is very perilous. For my own part I feel quite sure that the time has come when we must retrace our steps, in the Church as in the State. We must reassert the central authority, and that on a basis which shall be unquestionably spiritual and legitimate, so that the Church shall be governed not by merely ancient rubrics and canons, but by its own present Spirit-guided mind.

But of course I am assuming that there is a real and intelligible Anglican position and vocation for these times which it is worth great sacrifices to maintain and realize. What is this position and vocation?

In a certain sense the "Reformation settlement" in [20/21] England was anything but a settlement. It was stamped with features, theological and political, of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries which have passed away. It seems indeed as if the ideas of these centuries are further off from us to-day than the ideas, theological and political, of the early centuries of Christianity. But mercifully these accidents of the Anglican settlement were not erected into dogmatic requirements. Mercifully, the articles of religion were allowed to remain indecisive--intentionally so for the sake of comprehension. But behind the special and transitory features of the Reformation settlement, general principles, capable of permanence and of value for all time, were enunciated and remain as the real foundation of the reformed structure. These were (1) the Catholic Creeds and decisions of the ancient undivided Church about the person of Christ; (2) the ancient system of ministry and sacraments; (3) the principle that the authority of the Church is limited by Scripture--that nothing can by the Church be made dogmatic, or required of the conscience of Christian men, except what is confirmed in Scripture, as being part of the original apostolic preaching--"except what can be concluded and proved by the Scripture."

These principles have a formidable sound in modern ears. The modern mind dislikes dogmatic statements. But it appears to me that no substitute has been found or is likely to be found for the ancient Catholic dogmas about the Holy Trinity and the person of Christ, if the faith of the Apostles' Creed and the undoubted witness of Scripture is to be protected and maintained unimpaired. I believe that history justifies the claim that the principles of the apostolic succession and the sacramental system are really essential and permanent elements of the visible Church. I believe that the appeal to Scripture, limiting the dogmatic function of [21/22] the Church, really represents the ancient position, and is of immense importance practically as protecting the Church from the accumulation of dogma, or in other words as the safeguard of a liberal Catholicism. I think, moreover, that when you get outside the special atmosphere of academic circles, the only way in which a Church with a definite message can make itself understood in this world is by enshrining its principles in decisive statements.

I hold then that, if the Anglican Church has a real message and vocation, it is because it embodies these principles of a liberal or comprehensive Catholicism, which both accepts the fundamental dogmas and also severely limits the dogmatic requirement.

This of course is, in circles which specially love the name of catholic, an unpopular idea. In these circles it appears to be maintained that there is only one kind or type of Catholicism, and that practically the Roman. The ideas and practices of the Roman Church are supposed to be the "catholic" ideas and practices, and the promotion of Catholicism means in effect the promotion of Romanism.

Now I do not at all wish to minimize the greatness of the Roman Church, but two things seem to me self-evident. (1) That it is in the highest degree absurd to attempt even temporarily to separate the Roman system generally from the authority of the Papacy. In fact, if there exists anywhere in the world a system which has a centre and coheres with its centre, it is the Roman system, and the centre which alone renders its distinctive doctrines and practices tolerable and justifiable is the Papacy, understood as the Roman Church understands it. There can be no Romanism without submission to the Pope.

(2) That the Roman Church cannot claim to be the whole Catholic Church. If it was ever possible to [22/23] ignore the Eastern Church, it is no longer possible. We suppose that the Russian Church will bulk bigger in the eyes of the world as the century passes on. There is no justification for refusing the claim of the Eastern Church as a whole to be the lineal inheritor of the Church of the Greek Fathers, a portion of the Church Catholic which cannot be ignored: and if so, then there is more than one type or kind of Catholicism. For the Russian Church differs from the Roman not merely in respect of this or that doctrine or practice, but in its spirit and atmosphere. It is a different kind of Catholicism. Moreover it disposes of the Roman claim to be by itself the Catholic Church. Like a great breakwater it throws back the whole force of that claim long before it reaches us; and so in fact it gives us the room we need. It justifies our fundamental appeal beyond Rome to the ancient and undivided Church.

Moreover any one who regards the Roman Church as not the whole Church but a markedly one-sided development of Catholicism, will recognize that there lies with Rome in great measure the responsibility for the reaction of the Reformation. The reaction was one-sided, as revolts, however justifiable, always are. But it had a great deal of truth on its side. A great deal of what really belongs to Catholicism became incorporated in Protestantism. This perhaps I can best express by saying that the Roman Church has never succeeded in being at home with large elements of the New Testament, and notably of the writings of St. Paul. His passion for liberty and his ideas about justification are not incompatible with his almost equally marked insistence on authority in the Church, and on the "institutional" side of religion. St. Paul is not in the least anti-catholic. But if so, then a great deal that is really catholic has failed to find a home in the Roman [23/24] Church, and has found a home in Protestantism. Thus we should firmly decline either to identify Catholicism with Roman doctrine and practice: or to treat much that belongs to Protestantism as if it did not also belong in some real sense to the Church. Here, then, is the vocation of the Anglican Church, a vocation for which, in spite of all its pitiable weaknesses, it appears to be marked out by a manifest divine providence: it is to maintain on the basis of the catholic creed and system, the largeness, the comprehensiveness of the Catholic Church; it is to seek to show how much of what is now separated in many sects or divided portions of Christendom is capable of being held together on the catholic basis.

Thus apart from our special function of ministering to the people who more or less deliberately at present belong to us, we have a witness to bear in the whole world as to the meaning of the Catholic Church.

But if so, the first business of us Anglicans is to attend to our own coherence. We can do nothing for a divided Christendom till our own position is made more intelligible and our own unity more real. I cannot pretend to be an optimist. I think that our congregationalism and individualism have very nearly reached the point when the common mind of the Church will be unable to assert itself. It is true that the Rationalist or Romanizing or merely Protestant parties are very small parties numerically considered but they are very vigorous and active and determined. I can conceive no way in which we can recover ourselves except by taking steps to revive the central or corporate consciousness and activity of the Church of England. How is this to be done? How is the central mind of the Church to assert itself? I think that Church Congresses and Diocesan Conferences and our new financial Boards and Boards of Missions, [24/25] and our Church Councils without powers, have done for us almost all that they can do. They express indeed the central mind of the Church, and it is surprisingly real and united on the whole. But the minorities I have referred to are largely outside all this voluntary system. For the most part they do not attend our councils. They live in their own circles. They can afford to ignore the "official" meetings, which after all have no power. The only power lies in the personal influence of bishops, who again, more or less influential as individual bishops, lack the strength belonging to an episcopate which has really behind it the authority of a self-governing Church.

Here I get to my point. I believe that if the Church of England is not to go to pieces, it must recover, speedily and not merely in some remote future, the power which it ought never to have suffered itself to lose, the power of binding or loosing with which Christ endowed His Church. The words "binding" or "loosing," and the sister words "remitting" or "retaining sins," describe nothing else than this: the power of the spiritual society as a whole, first in legislation and then in disciplinary action, through its divinely-appointed ministry, to assert itself over all its members and to claim their allegiance.

Now we have been talking about this these many years. We have been getting our machinery ready. I fancy a very fairly complete agreement may be reached as to the composition of our Church assemblies, Parochial, Diocesan, Provincial, National: as to the adjustment of functions between clergy and laity, between bishops and presbyters. I do not think there is any insuperable difficulty about either principles or methods. But the difficulty is as to driving power. To insist on regaining our spiritual liberty involves much driving power. The parties I have [25/26] referred to are all holding aloof. They are afraid that a church with a recovered power of effective self-government will restrain them. They are afraid of losing their liberty or license, whichever it is to be called. And the great moderate party is lukewarm because it sets a high value on Establishment, and it is afraid that any really effective demand on the part of the Church for the recovery of its fundamental powers will threaten its established position.

But whatever the risk may be, we must face it. We have gazed so long at the picture which the New Testament and the ancient Church give us of the divine society governing its members by a divine commission, that it is nothing less than treasonable cowardice on our part to acquiesce any longer in being without a power essential always to the real being of a Church, and essential especially in an age of change, when a new vocation is calling us and new demands are confronting us. We shall run a great risk, we shall encounter many dangers, if we set to work to govern ourselves in the proper manner of a Christian Church. But at least we shall confront the dangers with a sense of fundamental loyalty. At least we shall be going along the high road. At least we shall be taking the way of principle in seeking to save the sorely distracted soul of the Church of England. Only then when we have insisted on recovering the powers of self-government and discipline which belong to a church shall we be able to put our principles to the proof and make our proper claim on the allegiance of our members and find out what is our real worth among the communions of Christendom.

[27] IV


A sermon preached in St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, on the Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity, 1915.

"They shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it." Rev. xxi. 26.

THE Bible gives us pictures of great commercial cities made rich with the produce of all the earth. There is the magnificent picture of Tyre sketched by Ezekiel. It is the mart of the world--"the merchant of the peoples unto many isles." Forty peoples, some known to us, some unknown, are enumerated, whose products and whose skill are brought to the service of Tyre. Then there is the thrilling picture of Babylon, which is imperial Rome, in the Apocalypse of John, in which all the riches of all the world are brought to be the glory and the luxury of Rome.

And these great cities are represented to us as under judgement for their insolence, for their luxury, for their cruelty. They are under the judgement of the just God; and that which has misused the gifts of God is to be swept away in the fire of His judgement.

But when the earth has been purged from their violence and their uncleanness, still there is to be a city where now is no luxury, no insolence, no cruelty, no national exclusiveness. It is a city in which all races and kinds of men have equal place; it is the city of God, it is the city of redeemed humanity. And there the same picture is renewed; it is to be a centre to which all that humanity can contribute is to be [27/28] brought together. They bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

That is, of course, a very natural kind of text for a harvest festival in a modern city, in England most of all. In the Middle Ages people had to live, on the whole, on the produce of their own districts, because transport was so difficult. Take a mediaeval bishop in England--take the Bishop of Lincoln with a diocese stretching all the way from the eastern sea down almost to London; he had a number of manors in all parts of his great diocese, and because he could not bring the produce of one to feed him in another, he had to live at all his manors in turn, and when he had eaten up all the produce of one he moved on to another.

Nowadays the ideal which was in a measure realized in Tyre and Rome is realized for us. It is a lesson in geography if I sit down and try to think where all the things I eat and wear and use in a single day come from. When I have made my list (with all its ambiguities and uncertainties) I shall see what is meant by saying that the glory and honour of all nations are to be made available for me, for my own country, for my own city. In this terrible war, it is the glory of our fleet that, though now we receive nothing from Germany, yet the produce of almost all the rest of the world is still as of old available for us--please God, to be used with a very careful and strict frugality. Still that is what we have to give thanks for: the fruits of all the earth, the glory and honour of all the nations, brought here to London.

And here you have a divine idea, a real intention of God, and it is this that I want to lead you to think about this morning. Every soil, the soil of all the different countries, produces more or less different things: things that men need can be grown in one place and not in another. On the other hand if we cannot in [28/29] England grow cotton, yet we can make cotton up. Therefore what can be grown in one place must be manufactured in another; and it is not only the products of the soil of all countries, but also the products of their industrial capacities, all the resources of all countries, that are to be brought together; each country is to make the best of itself, according to the divine purpose, for its own good, and also for the good of all the others. That is the ideal--each to make the best of itself for itself, but also by a universal free exchange each nation is to profit by the good of all the others. That is the spirit, the ideal, of commercial brotherhood between the nations.

Then, of course, that has its intellectual analogue. We at this moment certainly and with good reason hate the spirit of Germany, but we are very foolish if we let ourselves depreciate Germany. We cannot think at all without knowing the enormous, the incalculable debt which the world owes to the philosophy, to the music, to the science of Germany; and not only so, but, if we begin to think, we realize that we are witnesses of one of the most stupendous national efforts which the world has ever known. One hundred years ago Germany lay at the feet of Napoleon, and when Napoleon was gone it remained--thirty-nine separate states, and for more than thirty years after that they existed, as it seemed, paralyzed and helpless. Then they embarked, under the hegemony of Prussia, on what is certainly one of the most marvellous efforts of national reconstruction which the world has ever seen--with a stupendous calculating intellect, with an almost boundless sacrifice of the individual to the cause and interest of the nation, using all the resources of a matchless industry, and a splendid power of organization. So Germany reunited and consolidated itself.

[30] These are stupendous gifts, gifts as great as the great gifts of old, the gifts of Greece or of Rome. We are fools indeed if we think we can leave Germany and German gifts out of account because the Germans are our enemy, without a marvellous impoverishment of mankind. We can only pray that the day may come when our children may see again an intellectual fellowship in which we and the Germans may alike participate.

Every nation has its own great intellectual gifts, and in a sense it takes a man of the nation to appreciate them. There is a sense in which only an Italian can understand Dante; there is a sense in which only a Frenchman can appreciate Pascal. In a sense that is true; but there is a much wider sense in which it is not true. The intellect of all the world is to be fed by an equal interchange of the intellectual gifts of all the nations, each serving for its own intellectual satisfaction and joy, but serving also for the enrichment of the world and receiving in turn from all the world that which it needs.

And then we pass to the spiritual analogue. First you get the tribal God. Each region has its own religion, which seems to be an exclusively home product. The very idea of any nation participating in the religion of any other seems impossible. And we owe the truth chiefly no doubt to those great prophets of Israel--the idea of the one God who made all mankind alike, the one God who is the Father of all men. And in Jesus Christ that great unifying truth is brought to its perfection. God has no favoured people. Henceforth there can be no chosen race. Jesus Christ, in whom the divine is perfectly realized and consummated for man in a perfect human nature, Jesus Christ is for no particular race. In Him is neither Jew nor Greek, barbarian nor Scythian, any more than male [30/31] or female, or bond or free. All are on equal terms. There can be no preference of one over the other. Christ is all in all.

It was an extraordinarily difficult idea to grasp or to retain. We see its difficulty in all the fervour of St. Paul, in all the vehemence of his contention with the Judaizers, in all the passion he throws into saying, "If ye be circumcised Christ shall profit you nothing." This seems indeed a hard and narrow saying; but we find its interpretation in St. Paul's deep sense that there is nothing more essential to Christianity than its Catholicism: that it cannot tolerate the idea of national or racial prerogative.

It is a catholic church which Jesus Christ has established. Of course, that does not mean that there are not special national capacities in religion as in the world of intellect, as in the region of physical products. The religion of the Greek and the religion of the Roman are to have their special characteristics. Each is to bring out of the one universal religion the aspect it is specially competent to realize. Its own distinctive gifts are to be enriched out of all those treasures of wisdom and knowledge which lie hid in Christ.

So also it must be with nations not yet made Christian. We believe that we shall never know the full meaning of Christ on earth till He is at home in China, in India, in Corea, in Japan, in Africa, and in all the nations of the earth, till the Church is really catholic. It takes the catholic Church of all nations to bring out into its fullness and completeness the meaning of Christ. Christ is supernational quite as truly as He is supernatural. So it is in this highest sense that the glory and honour of all nations, all that is best in each race and in each individual sanctified in Christ, are to be brought into the light and liberty of the Holy City; and the idea of the body is to be [31/32] realized which St. Paul gives us in that wonderful passage that was read to you this morning: "From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in due measure of each several part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."

That great idea has its application to individuals, to nations, to races, to all classes of humanity in all forms. It is only when each member uses its gifts for its own advantage, loving itself with a true love, making the best of itself, and also delighting to put all its capacities at the service of humanity at large in one great and universal fellowship--it is only when men learn to love their neighbours as themselves, that they can find their true happiness.

That is the divine principle of Christianity. And that is what has broken down. That is what always breaks down in time of war. I can tolerate nothing less easily than that people should make war an occasion for complaining of God; because it shows they can have thought so little of the God in whom they profess to believe. For this certainly is true, however we explain it--the God of the Bible is a God who has made men so far independent and responsible, as that He stands aloof far enough to let men manage their own affairs. He commits to men the government of men. Now this horrible war, whence comes it? From any will of God? No; but in the first instance from the flattest refusal of the will of God. His will for mankind has been over the Christian nations for many centuries as something acknowledged, unmistakable, and plain. And we can see how they have refused it and thereby passed under judgement. This war is due to something quite ascertainable--to an excessive and exclusive [32/33] nationalism. Do not mistake me. Nationalism is a great thing. Men must realize the fellowship of their home, the fellowship of their nation, ere they can realize the fellowship of humanity. Mazzini, the greatest prophet of modern democracy, was always saying that. He was always telling his fellow Italians that they would never be able to realize what Italy was to do for them till they had got a strong united Italy of their own; only then they must not be content to be Italians; they must let the service of Italy be for all the world.

We are told to be distinctive, but we are to be distinctive for mutual service. That is the principle that has broken down. We see the spirit of exclusive nationalism in one very terrible and repulsive form in Germany; but unless we are blind we must recognize in ourselves and in all men of every nation, a similar forgetfulness of other nations, their wants and their rights. So it is that the nations have gone on using the resources of peaceful science--science which used to be proclaimed to be the bond of humanity--for each nation to build itself up by armaments to become irresistible for mutual destruction. And we do well to lay to heart one certain conclusion. No victory, not the most conclusive--no victory such as our hearts can conceive and desire will do the nations any good without a change of spirit; otherwise they will be left after the war to build themselves up again with the same or greater concentration of purpose, one against the other in mutual jealousy, until after a period of weariness war breaks out again; and the only prospect is the end of our civilization.

No, there must be a change of spirit. And it is in this that the Church is intended by our Master to lead the way. The Church has to show men the way. In fact it did show men the way. It startled the world with the idea of a universal humanity, a [33/34] fellowship in which, still loving their families and loving their countries, men should be bound together in a bond which literally and really should be closer than the family, closer than the nation--the bond and fellowship of the Catholic Church.

It had reality. Think of the time when a very old man, a Greek from Paul's city, Tarsus, already sixty-seven, passing through Rome and sent thence, could come to our country and become certainly one of the greatest of our archbishops, though he had never been to England before, though he knew nothing of English affairs. That was Theodore of Tarsus in the latter part of the seventh century. He shows us how real the spirit of Catholicism was among the nations of the earth; how really the Church was an international, supernational fellowship.

Well, the jealousies of Rome and of Constantinople broke that bond; but even after that, think of another great English archbishop, Anselm, brought up in Italy, ruling his monastery in Normandy and then coming to be archbishop in England. There was really a supernational religion, in which men could pass from one place to another easily and naturally, could be brought up in one country and serve in another.

There was really an international fellowship, the Catholic Church. But then we know how that was broken up by the rise of nationality in its intenser modern form. We know how the principle of nationality bore disastrous fruit at the Reformation, so that the nations reverted almost to the idea that as a man's region is so is his religion. We know how far this temper has gone in England, so that we have almost forgotten anything but our own national Church. We acknowledge the extraordinary narrowness with which, when we Englishmen go abroad, we run about the tops of the Alps or the cities of Italy [34/35] to ask for 11 o'clock Matins as in England. The very idea of a catholic religion in which you would naturally seek to join in worship with the nation among whom you are sojourning, has gone. Something of the same kind, I suppose, has befallen the Russian Church. I once heard of an Englishman who wanted to join the Russian Church; he tried for about three years; but he could not find out how it was to be done. The Russian Church was Russian. But the Roman Church, you will say, has retained a great advantage--the great idea of catholicity. Well, what do we see? Belgians, Austrians, Frenchmen--what does it matter to them? So weak has the bond become as compared with the interests of nationality that it does not count. At the beginning of the war it did not seem to come into the reckoning, where the jealousies and interests of nations were concerned.

No, Christianity has not failed. There are just as many pious Christians as ever, amidst all the horrors of war; indeed, Christianity in some ways was never more vigorous and real than at this moment. But what has failed is the idea of the catholic church, the idea of the supernational fellowship, the idea which St. Paul would not for one moment have suffered us to forget; for to forget that, he would have said, is to forget Christ.

Now, my friends, we are to have a great opportunity. Do we mean to use it? This is what I mean. This war must leave the nations almost in despair. They will say: Are we to start again to build up all these horrible armaments for mutual destructiveness until another war breaks out? Are we to be for ever jarring nations, mutually jealous and nothing more? Is there no possibility of realizing the international relationship which shall restrain excesses of nationalism?

[36] Well, out of that despair it may happen that men of all countries, even we insular Englishmen, will begin again to understand the part of the divine message that we have been forgetting. Once again men all the world over may see that what we want, what we must have again, is a really Catholic Church. We have been talking about reunion; but mostly it has been the reunion of English-speaking peoples. We want to talk about something different. We must ask ourselves: Is that great divine idea, the idea for which St. Paul lived and died, to be for ever nugatory? Can we not again plant the standard of the Catholic Church, which means not one particular set of doctrines or one particular kind of ceremonial, but a supernational fellowship in Christ which is to bind men together by a bond closer--yes, closer, more intimate even than the bond of home and nation, the bond of the fellowship which is in Christ Jesus, in whom is neither Jew nor Greek, Englishman nor German, Italian nor Frenchman, Chinese nor Japanese, but Christ all and in all; each nation redeemed in itself and each individual redeemed in his own personal self out of the tyranny of sin; in order that, all his faculties set free, he may make the best of himself, and each nation may make the best of itself, physically, spiritually, and intellectually, for its own honour and glory and profit; but then, much more, that that which is the glory of each may be brought to the service of all; and that which is Christ's intention may become real, namely, that the glory and honour of all nations shall be brought within the compass and light of the Holy City.

[37] V


A sermon preached in St. Philip's (the pro-cathedral) Church, Birmingham, on Monday, October 4, 1915.

"With my soul I desired Thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek Thee diligently: for when Thy judgements are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness."--Isa. xxvi. 9 (R.V.).

THIS church of St. Philip has now been ten years a cathedral, and for two hundred years it has stood here in the very heart of Birmingham--for two hundred memorable years of expansion, prosperity, influence, and wealth. And you are celebrating its bicentenary in a year which doubtless will mark an epoch. Great wars inaugurate great social and political changes, and doubtless it will be so with this--by far the greatest and most terrible war which history will have so far to record. Men will speak of the period before the war and the period after the war--that is to say, they will speak of the great period of industrialism of which this city is a monument, and of the catastrophe which fell upon it; and, we trust--if we will attend to the warnings of God--of the epoch of recovery and reconstruction which followed after the war.

"After the war!"--we have learned to hate the words. In spite of the warnings of our wise men we entered upon the war, most of us, with a shallow lightness of heart and with extravagant hope. But all that is gone from us. We know now what the war means. Recently, until the relief of the last week, [37/38] to open the newspaper day by day has been a terror. Our soul has been filled with a profound and unuttered anxiety. Not that there has been any failure of spirit or intention. For the sake of our allies--for the sake of Belgium and France and Russia--or our own sake and all that we stand for and hold dear, we mean to fight this awful war through to such a conclusion as can give to England and Europe security and hope; and we believe that it can be done. But it is grim work we need to concentrate all our faculties upon it. Later on, when the running of the tide is more obvious, it will be time enough to talk about "after the war." So we feel.

True--from most points of view. But I would quote the opening words from an article full of sound thought in the review called the Round Table--"In these days, when the mind of the civilized world is almost wholly pre-occupied with war, it is well at times to lift our heads above the din and turmoil of the conflict and make sure that we are struggling in the right direction."

As the reviewer proceeds to expand his meaning, it appears to be this. A more or less definable fault of thought or temper in the nations has produced this war. It is a judgement upon an almost universal sin. And we must pay attention to this sin. For if we fail to correct it, even the longed-for victory will provide no remedy for our desperate state. That is the meaning of the passage in Isaiah which I have read as my text. God's judgement is upon us. He is manifestly striking us in chastisement for manifest sins. And it behoves us and all other inhabitants of the world to learn the right lesson.

I can tolerate almost anything that one hears to-day more easily than the voices of those who make this war a reproach against God or a reason for disbelieving [38/39] in God. For surely it is not of the will of God, but of the lawless wills and affections of men refusing God--refusing and rebelling against the God of the Bible--that some 10,000,000 of the best and bravest of all nations have been slaughtered or maimed upon the battlefields of Europe. War is a wholly senseless method of settling differences, directly due to ascertainable neglect of God's will and law. It is a manifest judgement on human wickedness. What sort of wickedness? do we ask. Corporate selfishness--an exclusive and jealous and excessive nationalism. It has taken shape in the arrogant militarism of Germany, which must bear at the moment most of the blame. But the causes of war are to be sought in the long reaches of history. And--to say nothing of other nations--the same excessive nationalism has characterized us Englishmen, taking shape, in our religion and our politics, in insularity and contemptuous disregard of other nations, and exclusive preoccupation in our own commercial and other interests. Selfishness, self-love, is not generally a purely individual thing. It is the selfishness of family, of class, of city, of nation. It takes different forms according to different personal or national characteristics; but always and everywhere it resents and repudiates the divine law and purpose, which Christendom at least has always known--that God has no favourite class or nation. That the duty of every individual and every nation is to serve the interests of all mankind--to "love your neighbours as yourselves." Thus we in Europe have fallen under a deserved judgement of God in this war. It has long been manifest, if we had chosen to see it, whither we were tending. And Isaiah's warning to us is that when God's judgements are in the world, it behoves the men of the world to seek to understand what God wants of them. [39/40] That is what the reviewer also means when he bids us "make sure that we are struggling in the right direction."

Let us look back on the great industrial epoch which the period of this church stands for in this industrial city. It was based on the principle of individualism which is really the principle of selfishness. Abolish political privileges, it said, such as have been associated with the landed aristocracy, such as, in fact, were swept away by the Reform Bill and similar legislation. Let all have an equal voice and a fair chance. Let competition be free. Let universal education sharpen men's wits. Let science explore and exploit the resources of nature for the advancement of man. Let each man's religion be what his own mind prompts him to, freed from ecclesiastical authority and dogmatic requirement. Let religion be a private concern and keep its hand off business. Let the civil law also confine itself as far as possible to the protection of life and property, and leave us free to live our lives and make and spend our money in our own way.

That was the spirit of the industrial epoch, as we older men remember it in its confident days when we were young. And progress of a kind, progress such as was represented by the expansion of Birmingham, was so manifest, so marvellous, that it seemed as if there were at work some inevitable law of human progress, as if progress could be taken for granted. The boundless expansion of wealth, the boundless achievements of science, none could gainsay. They were taken to be the greatest goods. In industry, in international relations, even in religion, free competition was to bring the best result out of human capacity. Universal commerce and universal science would surely mean universal peace.

So the splendid vision of the industrial epoch unrolled [40/41] itself before our eyes, as in the glorious oratory of John Bright.

We had become widely sceptical of the glorious vision, long before the war, both in England and America. Gloom and anxiety had succeeded the exultation. Free competition so-called had meant wealth for the successful, but it had meant slums, poverty, disease, sweated labour, the child death-rate, the dwindling of villages, a widespread sense of injustice and discontent. As England's historical refusal to look with Irish eyes on Irish affairs had bred a hostile Ireland, so the refusal of the governing classes effectively to look at the state of the country from the point of view of labour had bred a hostile and embittered labour-world. We seemed to be in Ireland and England alike at the verge of civil war eighteen months ago. And we had learnt sorrowfully that education, such as our national education had become, did not build character or the spirit of mutual service; and that our individualistic religion, with its innumerable sects and parties, could give us no corporate feeling of fellowship; that poverty and luxury alike had sorely cankered the discipline and the sanctity of the home; that competition between nations had placed the whole world under a constant threat of war, while science was arming the nations against one another with more and more terrific instruments of destruction. After all, we kept saying to one another, is it so certain that we are on the sure road of progress? Are we not rather on the edge of disaster? If feudalism and militarism are such bad things, is industrialism any better? So we murmured or protested in a continually increasing force of reaction against the old gospel of individualism; perhaps with an increasing hope for effective reform without revolution. And then the blow fell.

[42] Some things now we know. We know that, without a change of spirit in the nations, no victory, however complete or according to our desires, can save our civilization. Without a change of spirit, the rivalry of competing nationalities, armed with all the destructive resources of science, will be the seed-plot of new wars. But more than this, at home the urgent needs of the moment and the terror of our industrial anxieties cry out for a new spirit in the nation. We realize how class competition and individualism have endangered the power of the nation to act together. We feel that we need a new spirit at home. I think we have very nearly reached what, I am sure for my part, is the right conclusion, that a civilization which is to be permanent, which is to have upon it the blessing of God, cannot be based upon the principle of competition, whether between nations or classes or individuals. That is what God--the God revealed in Christ--would have told us all along. We must make a deep repentance. In international and national politics, in social ideals, in education, in religion, for the principle of self-assertion, competition, and self-love we must substitute the divine principle of service and fellowship--the love of our neighbours as of ourselves.

And we look with a deep thankfulness and wistful longing upon the signs of hope--upon the splendid flow of self-sacrifice which has filled the ranks of our army and navy, and the not less noble self-sacrifice of so many women; upon the new fellowship of men of all classes who are learning to love one another amid the horrors and wearinesses of the trenches and the battlefields; upon the sense of national duty which, in spite of grave peril, has at least kept our old quarrels and divisions--between capital and labour, between Ireland and England, between men and women--from breaking out into irreparable mischief; upon the deepened [42/43] sense of the value of the divine principles of justice and mutual truth and liberty; upon the real and widespread revival of religion, real and widespread though falling very far short of our desires; upon the wider and freer entry of women into the whole business of the country, an entry which we are sure will prove to be permanent. These are signs of hope: especially the reassuring conviction inspires us that we know ourselves now to be capable as a nation of sacrifice on a great scale.

I am sure that I interpret the general feeling when I say that the inspiring but awful spectacle of sacrifice--the self-sacrifice for their country of our best and noblest men--the awful sacrifice which is darkening almost innumerable homes with the shadow of anguish and bereavement--this vast sacrifice must not be in vain. "To what purpose is this waste?" It is waste indeed if it does not attain the end which alone can justify it, in the redemption of our country--aye, of the world--in the bringing to the birth of a better England and a better world.

I will endeavour very briefly and in summary to indicate what I think should be the five chief points of our striving.

1. First we must strive in our own country to make the principle of brotherhood and fellowship dominant over the principle of selfishness. What is for the common good? Plainly, for instance, it is not for the common good that the country life should deteriorate and become dull and hopeless, and that our lovely villages should dwindle and decay. Plainly it is not for the common good that great masses of our fellow countrymen at the lower end of the social scale should be inadequately fed, ill-housed, thrown into the world without a fair chance of making the best of themselves, to deteriorate manifestly after they leave school, to go [43/44] out into life without any secure hope of regular and fruitful work. Manifestly it is not for the common good that the workers--if such a name must be still applied to one class or group of classes--should be inspired, as to-day they are, with so deep a feeling of dissatisfaction and resentment and jealousy of the classes above them. Manifestly it is not for the common good that the division of the proceeds of industry should divide men and women as it divides them to-day.

We must make the thought of the common good supreme. We must think, not nothing, but less of the rights of private property and the power to grow wealthy, and more of the greatest welfare of the greatest number--a fairer sharing out of the goods of life. We must remember the words in which Horace describes the ideal of ancient Rome--words which have a really Christian sound: "Their private income was small; what was for common use that was large." We must apply St. Paul's words in all directions, "If one member of the body politic suffer, all the members suffer with it." The real wealth of a nation is the power of every individual to make the best of himself for the service of all. And the stimulus to industry must be not chiefly the freedom of a very few to make fortunes, but the freedom of all to find life interesting and fruitful and fairly secure.

2. We must think afresh of the meaning of education. The aim of education--the aim which inspires the educator and the aim which is impressed upon the boy or girl--must be training for service, service in a free people in which all citizens are needed and cared for, and encouraged and helped to find their place. The ideal of getting on in the world, each for himself, must be merged in the nobler ideal of the common life and the opportunity of service. And the whole educational [44/45] effort for every class, from the University down to the primary school, must be to form character, at least as much as to impart knowledge.

3. We must lay to heart, what experience has been teaching us, that education at school can do very little of its perfect work unless it has behind it and in front of it a worthy home life. The course of our civilization has been disparaging and disintegrating the home. The sanctity of marriage has been seriously threatened; we have been learning in all classes, except the most careless, the miserable philosophy of very small families or none; by our social customs and prejudices we have been setting an embargo upon large families; and meanwhile the discipline of the home for boys and girls alike has manifestly declined. It is a deep and thorough reformation that is wanted. And whatever evil lessons have come from Germany some of us may remember what a lesson some Birmingham workmen learnt on a visit to Germany some eight years ago about the discipline and order of the working-class homes.

4. As to our religion: religion as individualistic as ours has been, can produce much individual piety and philanthropy. No one in Birmingham could question this. But in the way of corporate fellowship, national or supernational, it can produce very little. But the central idea of the Bible is that the knowledge and worship of God is to express itself in a visible and tangible human fellowship, and in the New Testament it is apparent that this fellowship must be catholic--that is, must be supernational. The very idea of the sacraments, which are social ceremonies of incorporation and sharing together, is to identify the idea of personal union with God with the idea of fellowship in the community. There is to be no knowledge of God allowed to be valid which does [45/46] not show itself in love of our neighbour. Now we have lost this idea of religion. Our various Churches at home, at least in our great cities, speak rather of individual preference than of corporate obligation. Still more completely have we lost the idea of catholic communion. Our aspirations after reunion are apt to be aspirations after the reunion of English-speaking Christians. We have drifted far away from the point of view of our Lord and St. Paul. It is a terribly difficult and deep reformation that is needed in the religious world. But may it not be that the very despair which will threaten our exhausted Europe after the war may again cause to dawn upon the eyes of men the true vision of the Christian religion--the idea of the Catholic Church?

5. Finally, the religious idea of the Catholic Church (which, if it is to be truly Christian, must remain fundamentally independent of national organization) is to be the handmaid of such an organization of nations as shall subordinate the nations to humanity. Joseph Mazzini was one of the greatest of modern prophets. He fought with profound conviction against all such cosmopolitanism as depreciates nationality. He saw with profound insight that it is the home and the nation which are the divine instruments for realizing human capacity, and that nothing that weakens these ties can be otherwise than disastrous; but he saw quite as clearly whither an unrestricted nationalism must lead. We see it now. We see that the science of the nations is proving their curse. Mere nationalism means war, and a war provided and armed by science means destruction. There is no hope for our civilization unless over the nations humanity can find some such expression of itself, with some such restraining power, as can prevent the ambition of a single state from forcing the world [46/47] from war to war till the hope of civilization is utterly in ruins.

I have named five points of necessary reform--in national life, in the home, in education, in religion, in international life. I doubt whether any one could deny that they are the points of necessary reform. But are we capable of so great an effort of corporate thought and corporate repentance and reorganization as is suggested? I answer: look at the recent history of Germany. When the grinding of the iron heel of Napoleon was removed, Germany, after a period of exhaustion and paralysis, began to breathe again. It took stock of the situation. It set itself deliberately to reorganize and rebuild Germany, under the hegemony of Prussia, into unity and strength. It has been a marvellous work of sixty or seventy years. This triumph of intellectual and social diligence and concentration has become more and more misdirected, and German militarism has become the common enemy. Meanwhile in England individualism has been allowed to run riot till we were at the edge of irrecoverable disaster in State and Church. The war has arrested us. Can we learn this double lesson: (1) that a nation can reconstruct itself, if it will, with a conscious corporate aim and effect; that it can rescue and redeem itself; but (2) that its efforts and its aspirations must be such as culminate in the worship not of a national God, of a nation's own devising, but of the only true God who has no preference for nation over nation, but wills that all should realize themselves in mutual service, and has founded a catholic Church to show to men of goodwill the true path of human progress?

This cathedral stands a notable church in the heart of a great city, with a great history. As it of old expressed the confident spirit of industrial Birmingham; [47/48] as it has of late years so often echoed to our growing anxieties and deeper aspirations; as doubtless now during the war it is witnessing your penitence and your urgent and insistent prayer; so may it stand after the war to be the centre of a recovering life.

There is much to reassure our hopes. Of late years there has been a recovery of the life of the Church in Birmingham, leading up to and following upon the formation of the diocese, and expressing itself in all that can be called organization. It is a recovery identified by you very largely with the name of a man whom Birmingham is losing--Charles Mansfield Owen. It is a grievous loss for you. But as his friends hope it will be for him the beginning of a new period of fruitful labour, so we hope that what he has been doing among you here others will carry on. And the future may be, nay, if we are faithful, must be, better than the past. This church must stand the centre of a new civic life tending towards a worthier and more satisfying fellowship of men, and the home of a religion that once again shall be in spirit really catholic.



(See above p. 7.)

THE word BebaioV (valid) occurs first in connection with the sacraments in Ignatius Ep. ad Smyrn. 8. "Let that be esteemed a valid eucharist which is under the bishop or one to whom he commits it. . . . It is not lawful apart from the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate an agape: but what he approves, that is also pleasing to God, so that whatever you do may be secure and valid." Lightfoot refers to Romans iv. 16; Hebrews ii. 2, ix. 17. The idea is that of the security which belongs to a divine covenant. The new covenant of God is with His Church, and the bishop, to Ignatius's mind, represents the Church, so that all acts of the Church which are to have about them the element of public security, such as belongs to the divine covenant, must be celebrated under the bishop's authority. There was endless controversy about the conditions of validity, and Ignatius's words express only a general principle before it had been rendered precise. But the controversy resulted in a clear distinction, which cannot be obliterated, between what is irregular and uncanonical on the one hand, of which it is said, "fieri non debet; factum valet," and on the other hand what is invalid so that it must be treated as null and void.

The words "null and void" suggest that the action so condemned has no spiritual reality or efficacy. But the Church has saved itself from this conclusion. It has recognized that "God is not tied to His own ordinances." See St. Thomas Aq. Summ. Theol., p. iii, q. 68, art. 2, "Deus cuius potentia [49/50] sacramentis visibilibus non alligatur"; St. Aug. Quaestt. in Levit, 84, "colligitur invisibilem sanctificationem quibusdam affuisse et profuisse sine visibilibus sacramentis"; Andrewes in Library of Anglo-Cath. Theol., Sermons vol. v, 92, "gratia Dei non alligatur mediis." God is free to give His fullest gift of Himself wherever He will. Thus there is no reality of divine presence or operation which we are required or entitled positively to deny in any particular non-episcopal ministry.

No Nonconformist who becomes a Churchman is required to repudiate any past experience of grace received. The more we realize how much the sins of the Church are responsible for the alienation of those who have left its visible fellowship, the less can we experience any surprise that God should not have left them without His grace. And it is something like blasphemy against the Holy Spirit to deny His activity where His fruits appear. But on the other hand we cannot but recognize the reality of the sin of schism. A divided Christendom is paralysed. We are bound to seek union in one visible Church. We must come back to the idea that membership in the one visible Church is Christ's intention: that the Church has authority to bind and loose: and that it has bound us to certain conditions of validity in the administration of sacraments, that is to say has declared that without such conditions the Church can take no account of ministerial acts. As I have been specially asked (in the Challenge, November 5, 1915) to make it plain what I mean by validity, I will venture to say that I have again and again endeavoured to explain the idea as above: see The Church and the Ministry (5th edition), pp. 100f.; The Mission of the Church, pp. 24f.; Orders and Unity, pp. 184f.

Now I would repeat a request which I have made again and again, viz., that those who repudiate the doctrine of validity would explain themselves. Do they admit that any sacraments are "generally necessary to salvation," i.e., are of such authority that the Church cannot dispense from them? Can they then [50/51] in the long run decline to define the sacrament? Is the admission service of a member to the Salvation Army to count as baptism? Who is and who is not an ordained minister? Such questions must be answered by any living practical society. And the answers involve definitions of validity. And no society which is to have any coherence can avoid recognizing the principle of validity.



(See above p. 9.)

I have spoken very plainly about the archbishop's Opinion. May I speak equally plainly about the unwisdom of those who have sought to hinder the acceptance of the Opinion by cross-questioning missionary societies or missionary bishops as to their intention of allowing or disallowing it, with the threat that, if it is allowed and acted upon with their consent, the questioner will withhold supplies? As to missionary societies such as the S.P.G.--surely its principle is the right one, that it is not the business of the society to administer discipline, but the business of the bishops or synods. All that a society could rightly do is to withhold supplies from any diocese in which fundamental Church principles had been gravely and confessedly violated: but it could not rightly dictate beforehand. And I do not think any self-respecting bishop could reply to a threat based on the principle that "the man who pays the piper, calls the tune." The giver must trust the bishop until he has reason to distrust him, and not dishonour him by supposing that his principles of action will be determined by fear of losing subscriptions.



(See above p. 16.)

I have made this requirement because our Church, as I have explained, following the Eastern and Early Church, declines at present to allow the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament as an object of devotion for the faithful. The Roman Church has taken the opposite line. Those who maintain its practice must look to its authority as there is no other authority to look to. But the practice of the Roman Church is that no attention should be paid to the Blessed Sacrament if it is secluded behind a partition. A high authority in the Roman Church in England informs me, "If there were any obstacle such as a wall or partition, no catholic would think of genuflecting . . . nor would he think of genuflecting at the door, if it were closed." A secluded chapel therefore for the Blessed Sacrament when reserved, puts it on all showing outside the conditions of being an object of worship for the faithful.


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