Project Canterbury

From The Works of the Rt. Rev. Charles C. Grafton (Volume 6),
edited by B. Talbot Rogers, New York: Longmans, Green, 1914, pp. 355-376


IN the last century Religion in the Church of England went to sleep. It was a period of spiritual paralysis. The paralysis affected her organisation, its functions and the spiritual life of all her members. The Church's legislative machinery stopped. The Convocations of Canterbury and York, the two General Assemblies of the Church, one for the southern, the other for the northern part of England became practically suspended. This was the case from 1718 to 1852. During this period the Royal writs for summoning Convocation were always issued accordant with writs summoning Parliament. The Church met in Convocation, represented by a few officials, went through a show of opening, passed perhaps "a legal address to their Royal oppressor" and adjourned. It did not deliberate, could not enact canons of discipline, could devise no measures for the Church's welfare.

It is difficult satisfactorily to account for acquiescence of this state of prolonged dormancy. Somewhat perhaps is due to the action of George I, in proroguing Convocation to shield the writings of a favorite divine (Dr. Hoadley) from condemnation, and something also to a lack of harmony existing between the clergy and the new Bishops introduced in place of the unfortunately retiring Non-jurors. This latter cause was probably increased, writes Dr. Joyce, the modern historian of Convocation, "by the secret methods of spying investigations lately discovered to detect the clergy's incompliance with archepiscopal proclivities." To use the celebrated Ignatian simile, the concord and harmony of the lyre, which the Presbyters and Bishops should form, became marred. The Bishops also forgetting Bacon's maxim, that as a material castle so the edifice of the Church needs repair, fostered by their neglect the synodical lethargic decay.

As the century advances, the low condition of spiritual life is recognised everywhere. The saintly line of the theologically learned Bishops who went out at the Revolution of 1688 gave place to the classical scholars of the Georgian period. The King said all his Bishops were gentlemen, and probably they were; but the visitor to the great hall of Christ Church, Oxford, rich with so many portraits of her distinguished sons, can easily pick out the Caroline divines, their faces wearing the purified livery of prayer, and the full rubicund countenances of the Secularised appointees of the Hanoverian dynasty. The patronage zealously lavished upon clergy of liberal views stimulated the growth of the extremest latitudinarianism in doctrine and unspirituality in life. Thus, in this dark age of England's Church, we find along with Clayton and Hoadley's riotous unbelief, a Blackburne running his career at York, and a Cornwallis dancing away his evenings at Lambeth, till George III had peremptorily to interfere.

On the other hand, the physical phenomena at times attending Wesley's preaching, which the good man did not know whether to ascribe to GOD or the devil, made sedate Churchmen dread what under a general term they called "enthusiasm." Enthusiasm according to their idea was piety without morality. Archbishop Sutton counsels Heber departing for his Indian missionary work to "Preach the Gospel and put down enthusiasm." Moved by this fear of an emotional religion, preachers confined themselves more and more to the inculcation of morals, and got themselves consequently labelled as " formalists," " dry as dusts," and " legalists." The received ideal sermon of the period, as described by Robert Hall, was a "discourse upon some moral topic, clear, correct, and argumentative; in the delivery of which the preacher must be free from all suspicion of being moved himself, or of intending to produce any emotion in his hearers." Blackstone has given us his experience of the pulpit when as a young man he came up to London: "As to its morality, it did not always rise in his opinion to that of Plato or Cicero; and as for the religion, it was difficult to say whether the preacher believed in the Koran, Confucius, or the Bible." Perhaps Blackstone's experience was a limited one, but of a number of sermonizers, the description of Cowper was true enough: "They skipped up into the pulpit, cried ‘Hem,’ pronounced a text, read what they did not write, and then skipped down again."

"Just fifteen minutes their discourse did last,
And so the business of the week was past."

The religious decadence expressed itself in the neglect of Church architecture and in the slovenliness and infrequency of the Church services. The old Church buildings of England were thoroughly Catholic. They were regarded as Bethels, or covenanted meeting-places of GOD with man. In their structure they were like the natural world in its order, embodiments of the Nicene creed. Their three-fold divisional arrangement spoke of the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity; the cross form of the Church, of man's redemption through CHRIST. The Nave was symbolical of the ship of the Church passing through the waves of the world. The Font near the door, of our entrance into the living Ark by baptism. The Choir portion of the chancel, filled with its white-robed choristers, spoke of the Church in Paradise. Separating chancel and nave was often found the open Rood screen, suggestive of the rent veil and the way opened heavenward to all believers by CHRIST. Placed over it as the source of the soul's strength in life and death was the Rood or Crucifix. Seen beyond the open Rood door and within the sanctuary, was the Altar evidencing the fact that CHRIST while reigning in glory was yet ever present with His people.

All this had faded from the spiritual sight of the eighteenth century. Symbolism lost its significance. Worship became a lost art. Like the Puritan who built his meeting-house under the inspiration of his favorite doctrine of total depravity, the restoring hand of Churchwardens blotted out all the heretical beauties of color with massive layers of whitewash. The interior arrangements of the Churches were changed. A hideous deformity, popularly called a "three-decker," blocked up the middle alley-way and shut out the sight of the Altar.

While in Cathedrals and college chapels the old choral rendering of the service was retained, in the ordinary Parish Churches chanting became unknown. The singing at the Sunday morning service was confined to the Te Deum and Jubilate and a few verses from Sternhold and Hopkin's collection. The congregation gave up the responses to the clerk and not unfrequently sat during the psalter as well as through the lessons. In the large towns the service was said twice on Sundays and often on Wednesdays and Fridays and holy days, and the Communion celebrated once a month, but elsewhere the services were far less frequent. The normal type of service, with its repulsive and grotesque accessories, has been thus described by the late Beresford Hope as existing far into the nineteenth century:

The aisles were utilized for certain family pews or boxes, raised aloft and approached by private doors and staircases. The pulpit stood against a pillar with a reading-desk and clerk's box beneath. There was a decrepit western gallery for the band and the nave was crammed with cranky pews of every shape. A portion of the Communion service was read from the desk and separated from the Litany on the one side and the sermon on the other by such a rendering of Tate and Brady as the unruly gang of volunteers with fiddles and wind instruments in the gallery were pleased to contribute.

The Church of England was in a melancholy condition of spiritual stagnation. Undoubtedly there were some holy Bishops like Wilson in England, and earnest Priests like Griffith Jones of Wales, whose system of circulating schools ministered at last to 8,657 children, and there were martyr-like spirits in Scotland where Churchmen had their chapels burned and the vestments and sacramental vessels seized, and where the English Parliament tried to crush the Church entirely.

But bad as things were in the Church in England they were not so bad as the Catholic biographer of Carlo Borromeo describes the condition of the Roman Church in Milan:

There the clergy generally exhibited the most unblushing contempt of the requirements of their sacred order, their immorality being in fact so public and systematic that it is presumed they had lost all the obligations of their State. They dressed like seculars, carried arms after the fashion of the men of that day, absented themselves from their benefices, and were so totally indifferent to all that concerned the service of GOD, that the churches were abandoned to the most shameful neglect.

The English Church was not unlike the Church in France in this century. There, according to Count de CarnÈ, a philosophical and religious Roman Catholic, "the French Episcopate had become like the cordon bleu a mere privilege of birth; life and genius had withdrawn from the Gallican Church; no protest was made against the dragonnades of Louis XIV; no murmur arose at the consecration of the infamous Dubois; the lamp of knowledge was permitted to pass into the hands of the enemies of the faith." It is, however, but just to England's Church to remember that while the attack of the Deistic school was met in England and met successfully by Butler and Cudworth? no Pascal or Bossuet arose to meet the French encyclopÊdists.

But now at the close of the century, moved in part by the tragic Nemesis of the French Revolution, that first act of the great modern political drama, the spiritual perceptions of Christians were quickened to the discernment amidst the thunderings and voices and showers of blood and vapors of smoke, of the majestic awe-inspiring lineaments of their crucified head and LORD.

As the benumbing influence of Erastianism had extensively affected Christendom, so now, in many places, the evangelical impulse of this new Apocalypse was felt. It manifested itself differently, and according to the Christian environment. Among the Roman Catholics of France, who, with their scientific discernment of the need of a reconstruction of society based upon Christian education, gave themselves, with the chivalrous devotion of their race and its genius for organisation, to the founding of new religious orders. One example is specially noteworthy. The Order of the Sacred Heart, founded by Sophie Barat, attracted to itself ladies of the highest rank and fortune, and, when the saintly foundress died in I865, her society had extended throughout the world, and thirteen hundred of her spiritual daughters, having finished their course in faith, were waiting in Paradise to greet her.

In America, the Wesleyan Society, which had been organised on lines suggested by some of the best elements of the religious orders of the middle ages, permeated with the Apostolic zeal of its founder, true to its early spirit of poverty and discipline, counted its converts by hundreds of thousands. In the Church of England there arose a body of earnest preachers, who came to be known as Evangelicals. Their spiritual progenitors were John Newton, Henry Venn, Richard Cecil, Charles Simeon. The characteristic of their preaching was their vivid presentation of CHRIST. In contrast with the preceding formalism and legality, the Evangelicals dwelt upon man's lost condition, his deliverance through the satisfaction made on Calvary, and the need, in order to be savingly incorporated with CHRIST and made partaker of his atoning work, of a living faith.

Now the satisfaction made in behalf of humanity by CHRIST as its Representative, removed the barrier raised by disobedience which hindered the free action of GOD'S love towards the creature he had ever loved. The Evangelicals, however, adopted Milton's crude, unchurchly idea, that the Father represented Justice, and the Son Mercy, and the Atonement was a reconciliation between these Divine Persons. But, by their earnest preaching, they won many souls. They founded the Church Missionary Society. They began a reform in the public services of the Church. Against the opposition of High Churchmen, who thought that only the crown could authorise their use, they introduced the singing of hymns. The services began to be more frequent and more reverently said, according to Simeon's practice and direction, "not to read the prayers, but pray them." Societies of clergy for mutual improvement were formed. The pulpits of some of the most important parishes, both in the metropolis and larger provincial towns, became occupied by men of these sentiments. In the language of one of their writers, many Bishops, Deans, Archdeacons, and other dignitaries, could now be classed as belonging to themselves, and being truly men of GOD.

The movement was not a learned one. It dwelt mostly on the subjective side of religion. It was in the nature of a St. John Baptist awaking, limited in its theology, and temporary in its duration. Up to the year 1833, it rapidly increased throughout the country. Then new political events began to force the Church into the consideration of other portions of her creed, and a new religious movement began.

GOD seems to mercifully prod the English nation, determinately dull in the comprehension of abstract principles and slow to act except from obvious self-interest, into fresh considerations of spiritual things, by some calamity or oppression. The first great reform bill, imperilling to the Tory and their High Church mind, the stability of the constitution; together with the Roman Catholic emancipation act, and the suppression about this time of ten Irish bishoprics, compelled Churchmen to think about the future of their Church in the political chaos that seemed coming. What if the subtlesolvents of political freedom should eventually dissolve the connection between Church and State? In the prevision of such an upheaval, Christians began to catch sight of the ancient and Apostolic foundations of the Church as a visible society, just as previously, when straining their eyes through the tears and blood of the Revolution, they had caught sight of the faded features of their LORD.

The fact was now recognised that Christianity came into the world not as a doctrine, or offer of salvation, or model of conduct, but as an organisation, with a head, offices and rite of initiation. CHRIST, the GOD-man is Christianity.

As we must be incorporated into Him and made partaker of His nature, to be made a Christian; so we must be gathered into and made partakers of the powers of His three-fold offices of Prophet, Priest, and King, to be made His minister. The visible Divinely ordained instrumentality for our incorporation into CHRIST is Baptism, that for the second is Episcopal ordination. This second instrumentality CHRIST established by forming the one Order of the Apostolate, which ecclesiastically developed or unfolded itself under the guidance of the HOLY GHOST into three orders. It did this by the progressive gathering into different degrees of fellowship with its own prerogatives, and so with CHRIST'S offices, of deacons, presbyters, and those now called Bishops. According to the earliest known established usage, it was this last and highest order which was so made partaker of CHRIST'S power of ordination, that without its action official ministerial powers cannot be proved to have been conferred. Thus the threatened danger of loss of State position brought vividly to the Christian consciousness, the old Catholic basis of the Church's claim to the allegiance of her children and her clergy's authority to minister in CHRIST'S name.

Hence arose what has been called the Tractarian movement. It was begun by giants. The names of Pusey, Keble, Newman are best known, but rapidly a host of scholars rallied around them. A whole literature came into existence. The writers were especially strong in patristic learning and Holy Scripture. The Incarnation was the key-word of its theology and the source of its holiness. Its motto was "We in CHRIST, and CHRIST in us." We in CHRIST, and so saved by our acceptance in Him. CHRIST in us, and so we made perfect by the unfolding of His Life within. It was thus a fuller, deeper, richer, more balanced theological and moral system than the "believe-and-you-are-saved" theology knew. It was not necessarily antagonistic to the general features of the previous movement, but rather supplemented it. It filled up its meagre outline. It was, however, attacked with the zeal of ignorance and a love soured into party spirit. In the contest, the sensitive nature of Newman, suffering under some university censure, was lost to the Church. This would not have materially affected the movement, had it not been that a doughty and stiff High Church Bishop, Harry of Exeter, refused to institute a Mr. Gorham into his living on account of his views on Baptism. The matter came before the Privy Council for decision, and the judges, with some ingenuity, having put a different doctrine into the mouth of Mr. Gorham than that he afterwards declared he had held, acquitted him. Unable as yet to discriminate between the utterances of a State court and the voice of the Church, a number of clergy seceded to Rome. Subsequently, Rome in turn lost Dollinger, Haber, Renouf, Hertzog, and about a hundred thousand of the laity, who, in 1871, left the Roman obedience, and took up practically as old Catholics the same position as the Anglo-Catholics.

But, towards the middle of the nineteenth century, the increasing scientific discoveries, and the development of the critical passion for fact, led to the rise of a new and so-called Broad school of theology. It looked as resolutely away from the past as the Tractarian had looked back to it. Negatively, it was rationalistic in its methods, destructive in its criticism. Positively, it sought to readjust the old religious formulÊ to the new discoveries of the age. This movement is far from having spent its force.

The Church will always be indebted to some of its earliest writers, to the theological genius of Maurice, the brilliant sermonising of Robertson, the chiselled delicacy of Dean Stanley's thought. There is a long reach between the Kingdom of Christ, by Maurice, and Jowett's Commentaries of St. Paul, between Charles Kingsley's sermons and those of Stopford Brooke, but they have been popularly classified as belonging to the same school. The book which startled the Church of England into recognition of the new power developing within her was the celebrated Essays and Reviews. As a contribution to Scriptural criticism and interpretation of dogma, they were not of much permanent value. German critics had said the same things before, and the Unitarians of Boston had said them, perhaps, better. A contest was provoked. The old, blundering inquiry of the Privy Council was set in motion. By the action of King's College, Maurice was deprived of his professor's chair. Theologically, the school broke with the old Vincent de Lerin's rule of a once-for-all received faith, witnessed everywhere and by all. Morally, it minimised the guilt and consequences of sin. Practically, it glowed with an enthusiasm for humanity. By its opponents it was regarded as the unsupernaturalising of the Faith. It was a respectable expression of growing disbelief. It was religion made palatable to educated ungodliness. But the movement did good, and is still doing it. It created a profitable discontent with inherited apologetics, formerly serviceable, but now useless. It helped to demonstrate that no dogma of the Catholic faith is contradicted by any recognised scientific fact. It disillusionised men from a belief in the mechanical theory of verbal Scriptural inspiration. By the controversy it aroused concerning eternal punishment, many came to know the Church's doctrine of a future purificative, progressive state, and it made prayers for the departed acceptable to Protestants. It started the Church on new courses of philanthropy. The sword of faith gleamed with victorious light, as it seemed forged anew.

But like the preceding movements, it found in some persons its extreme logical development. Breaking with the received faith, it was led on to break with the historical Church which guarded it. Bishop Colenso's books were condemned by Convocation and he was deposed by the Bishops of the South African Church. Appealing to the civil power, he contrived by means of the Privy Council to hold office, as a paid servant of the British Government, but ceased to be recognised as a Bishop by the Church of England. The Church was seen not to be indifferent to the truth. She was not a Church of good-natured toleration of everybody’s views and everybody’s practices. Nevertheless she was comprehensive. She held the whole great circle of the Catholic Faith. She had expressed it in her Ordinal, Sacraments and Liturgy. Each revealed doctrine, however, stands related in seeming antagonism to some other doctrine. Truth as it has been said "polarises." This then is the best thought of this school. It recognises that just in proportion as one is able intelligently to hold all the extremes that shine on every point of the great circumference of revealed truth, does he cease to be extreme, and becomes comprehensive like his Church.

Born of new necessities the Ritualistic movement followed. There was something more dangerous and malefic confronting Christianity than Skepticism. Out of the burning marl of heaving forces, evil and good, naturalism and false supernaturalism, irrational credulity and critical unbelief, struggles between Democracy and Absolutism, contentions of labor and capital, the lust of power and the greed of gold, there was seen arising the developed giant Time-Spirit of the century, with the dream of universal confederated government glowing in its eyes, in form thus not unlike the greatness of the Roman Empire, and in its fire-servant brought from Heaven and miracles of science, not unlike the prophesied final Antagonist of the Apocalypse, which draws men to marvel and worship its greatness and to purchase worldly success by receiving in their right hand or on their forehead the brand which marks them as slaves. If such was the greatness of the evil, a divided Christendom was Christianity's greatest weakness. It was of these necessities the Ritualistic movement was born. Three words will tell us of its spirit. They are, Union, Worship, Work.

The first motto was work, self-denying work, organised work. The old Evangelicals were religious exhorters bidding men flee from the wrath to come.

The broad Church was, however, useful chiefly as a school of literary critics. The Tractarians were learned scholars, defenders of Apostolic order. The three had left the middle classes untouched and had but slightly affected the poor. So the Ritualists took up the work. They strove throughout England to have the sittings of that endowed Church made free to all alike. Some, like Mackonochie and Lowder, in a spirit of heroic self-sacrifice established churches in the east of London amidst the slums of St. Mary's Radcliffe or on the noted site of the thieves' kitchen in Holborn. The clergy, mostly unmarried, lived together in clergy houses and on very small stipends. They gave their lives to CHRIST as men give their lives to their country in time of war. Parish houses, workingmen's clubs, coffee houses, schools of all kinds, parochial schools, night schools, industrial schools, homes, penitentiaries, refuges, guilds, sisterhoods, and all the machinery of the modern city parish came into existence. The Church came into touch with the people. The training also of the clergy was improved. Throughout England new theological colleges were established. In them the future clerics were trained not merely in book learning but in holiness of life and methods of devotion. Societies of clergy binding the members by rule to different degrees of strictness of life were formed. One of these of which Father Mackonochie was the Master numbered about three hundred members. Another society, that of the Blessed Sacrament, having for its Superior General a priest yet living, intellectually superior and not less saintly than Francis of Sales, numbered two thousand priests on its roll. It takes a volume, as may be seen by the English Church Kalendar, to enumerate the societies and institutions and religious orders which have sprung into existence. Contrast a Church festival such as was lately held at Durham, with nineteen hundred surpliced choristers, three hundred clergy and fifty Bishops present with the services of the Georgian period. More churches have been restored and built within the last half century than previously from the time of Queen Elizabeth, and lives, talents, position, wealth, have been consecrated to CHRIST, in home and foreign missionary work, with such a self-sacrificing abandonment as recalls the fervor of Pentecostal days.

Then as to the worship, like their predecessors, the Ritualists were led to emphasise a certain side of Christian doctrine. And it was now well that one other should be. The Being of GOD had been asserted by the English Apologists, CHRIST crucified by the Evangelicals, the Church and ministry by the Tractarians. But CHRIST has not only died for us, He has risen and ascended for us. His Ascension was not a removal from earth to some distant star. It was not a change from one locality to another locality. It was the being emancipated from the conditions of locality. By its union with the Divine Nature, His Human Nature is not everywhere; but now he can make it appear anywhere. He, Whom St. Stephen saw standing at the Right Hand of Power, could appear to Saul in the roadway. He could do this simultaneously to all within the sphere of His Kingdom of light and grace. He could fulfil His promise, that being ascended his people might touch Him, and this privilege is made real by the Blessed Sacrament. It is the certified meeting-point between the seen and the unseen and more full of the Glory of His Presence than the Shekinah of old.

Consequently, about the Altar the Ritualist placed two lights, which witnessed to the night of the Last Supper and of His two-fold Nature Who was the world's true Light. Also, in celebrating he thought it seemly to use the vestments which traditionally represented the two worn by our LORD. When asked for his authority for a Service liturgical, ornate, choral, he replied that so GOD had revealed His Will in the preparatory dispensation, and had never repealed it. On the contrary, He had shown that by such a service He was worshipped where unquestionably He was most perfectly worshipped in spirit and truth. For, as after He had led the Hebrews out of Egypt, He took Moses up into the Mount and showed him the pattern for their worship, so after the latter exodus from Judaism, GOD took St. John up to Heaven and showed him the present heavenly worship as the general model and directory of the worship of the Christian Church. There, upon the Altar Throne, filled with living light, arched by the protecting bow of the Covenant, radiant with all the colors of His Attributes, St. John beheld the Lamb as It had been slain. He saw the High Priest standing in the midst of the golden candlesticks, clothed with His priestly vestments, and girt about with a golden girdle. There, too, was the Angel of the Covenant, offering the golden censer with much incense in front of the Altar and before the great white Throne, where the seven lamps of sacred fire, even in the presence of the dazzling splendor issuing from the Incarnate GOD, burn on in the eternal noonday. He saw the crowned elders of the heavenly hierarchy prostrate themselves, and cast their crowns in mystic adoration, amidst the harpings and hymnings of the white-robed choirs, as, standing on the sea of mingled glass and flame, they antiphonally responded one to another, and accompanied the Divine Liturgy with their Allelujah anthem and credo and thrice holy hymn.

The ceremonial of the Ritualist was attacked. Besides lights and vestments, there were four other accessories, which make up their noted six points. These are, the mixing a little water with the communion wine, the use, for convenience, of wafer or passover bread, the position of the priest on the same side of the Altar as the people) the use of incense on account of the Scriptural prophecy [Mat. ii: 11], and its significance of man's inability to do anything worthy of acceptance, save by the application to it of the merits of CHRIST. In but few churches were all of these adopted. The Ritualists could point to the rubric in their English Prayer Book preceding the Morning service, which authorised the use of lights and vestments, and to that in their communion office, which, at the consecration, placed the priest "before the Table," and they claimed the liberty thus given them.

The contest is misunderstood by Americans, if it is supposed to be one concerning the amount of pipe-clay which is to adorn the soldier’s uniform. As a matter of ceremonial, the Church, if allowed to legislate for herself, could easily restore harmony, by devising an optional minimum and maximum permissive use. But the Church is not allowed to act, and her ministers are being dragged before civil tribunals. It is this which is fostering resistance. For the Church of England forms by itself one of the three estates of the realm. Her freedom in things spiritual is asserted in Magna Charta and recognised by statute. She has never surrendered her right to determine her own spiritual causes. But, by a now acknowledged oversight in drafting a bill, Lord Brougham made the Queen's Privy Council the final court of appeal in ecclesiastical matters. Not acknowledging the jurisdiction of this court, the Ritualists will not appear before it or obey it. Surely, the sympathies of Christians can but be with those who, in the Victorian persecution, are being cast into prison for conscience sake.

Nevertheless, the ceremonial of the Ritualists is not free from criticism. The forced interpretation of some rubrics has led some of its adherents into a loss of straightforwardness. The needless adoption of Roman terminology has naturally excited distrust. The excessive use of music, and multiplicity of ceremonial details, has hindered devotion. The introduction of the sensational and spectacular element has not been without dangers to Christian character. The appeal for authority to some undefined "western use" has had an unsettling effect on Anglican loyalty. But where, as in most cases, the outward worship has been the expression of love restrained only by obedience, GOD'S blessing like a cloud has rested on its temple, "exceedingly magnifical," and accepted the offering.

The third motive of the Ritualist was his desire for the reunion of Christendom. For this, many thousands of them began years ago to say a daily prayer. Associations of various kinds for promoting reunion were formed. Naturally, they turned first to the historic Churches of the East and to Rome. Towards the latter, Dr. Pusey, in 1865, sent an olive branch. But, as Newman said, he discharged his Irenicon as from a catapult. It exposed the uncatholicity of those popularised Roman devotions which hindered reunion. Nothing but controversy came of it. Rome had on hand a scheme more urgent. It was far more important in the interests of the Papacy that its political machinery should be made solid, than that negotiations should be entertained from a Church which was represented to Pius IX as dissolving; and that worldly and malefic influence, to which the Hildebrandine Papacy owes its development, put forth the dogma of infallibility, and the possibility of present reunion with Rome vanished. But the feeling towards other Christian bodies continued to grow, and found an authoritative utterance in action of the General Convention in America, and the resolutions of the Lambeth Conference.

To this end GOD’S children are everywhere working. The various schools we have considered have done their work and are passing. The errors in each are being rejected; the good in each is being combined. A new comprehensive school is arising. It is too soon to outline its principles or its hopes. In the majestic world work the English-speaking people have to do, it will bring in the coming century its contribution to the unification and development of CHRIST’S Kingdom.

return to Project Canterbury