MY DEAR FRIENDS,
It is now sixty years since I joined the Union, and just fifty-seven years since I was elected President. I am anxious to address the Union once more, and I do so for two reasons. The first being that, owing to recent circumstances, there is one matter in particular to which I wish to draw the attention of the Union, and at my age this may be my last opportunity of doing so. The other, that an experience acquired by more than fifty years' work on behalf of the objects the Union was founded to promote, may contain matter worth recording in the interests of the Society as a whole. I must, however, preface what I have to say by an allusion to some personal matters. It is not well to talk about oneself, but sometimes it is necessary in order to be understood.
I don't think that my religious belief has changed since I was confirmed at Eton by Bishop Wilberforce more than seventy years ago. Amid much of which I have reason to be ashamed, I recall what a disappointment I was to my father. He had been engaged in politics all his life, and he would have ked me to follow in his steps and those of both my grandfathers. But in those days it was not easy for me who thought as I did about Church matters to come into Parliament on the Liberal side, and when it was suggested that I should contest a certain Yorkshire Borough against a man who was devoted to the [1/2] interests of the Church, I felt it was a thing I could I not do, and so it happened that my interests, and such 1 work as I took up, were outside, instead of being inside, Parliament. As time went on I became more and more engrossed in Church matters of all sorts. It so happened that in the autumn of 1866 I was helping in a cholera hospital, organized by Miss Sellon, in Bethnal Green, in which Dr. Pusey was working, and this led eventually to my becoming President of the English Church Union, work which, for more than fifty years, occupied my life and practically took up most of my time. I need say no more about this: except that, when Mr. Tooth was sent to prison--the first of the clergy who were imprisoned for refusing to obey the Privy Council in regard to spiritual matters--certain people in high places objected to I my remaining in the Prince of Wales's household, in which I had been since his marriage. The Prince refused to accept my resignation, which I was more than ready to give; but I did not wish to compromise him in any way, so I insisted, and we parted the best of friends.
My father, though he took no active part, had been to some extent concerned with Archbishop Thomson of York in passing the Public Worship Regulation Bill, out of which the trouble above referred to had arisen. He died in 1885, but not long before his death he begged me to ask Canon Knox Little, who had been of great use to my sister, Mrs. Meynell Ingram, to come to Hickleton. I did so. My father, who had taken to his bed, greeted Canon Knox Little the moment he entered the room by saying, 'You once said something to me about Confession, I want to make mine.' If the skies had fallen I could not have been more surprised. After the Canon went away, my father, talking to me, said, 'What a pity you can't give me some rats'-bane, good for me, but it might be inconvenient for you.' He saw his nephew, Lord Grey, was much interested in hearing what [2/3] it was thought likely Mr. Gladstone would do about a Home Rule Bill for Ireland, asked if I thought it odd he should, under the circumstances, still be interested in politics, and died quite happily about ten days later.
To revert, however, to my own affairs. My acceptance of the Presidentship of the Union was at the time a serious annoyance to my father, and the cause of great trouble to myself--to him, because he thought I was neglecting my natural duties--to me, because the more I considered the matter the more obvious my duty seemed to be. The offer had been none of my seeking. It might well be that, as President of the Union, I should be in a position to do more for the Church of England than I could do in any other way. So, though it went to my heart to grieve and disappoint the best father ever man had, I accepted the Presidentship, and had the happiness to know that before he died my father thought I had done right.
That decision determined the whole course of my life, which, with the exception of the years from 1890 to 186, as described in Leo XIII and Anglican Orders, was chiefly employed on the work of the Union. That work enables me to speak with some confidence about the history of Church affairs during the last sixty years, and to indicate, as it seems to me, the lessons that history teaches.
I think, indeed, there can be nobody now alive who is more competent to speak for what is called the Anglo-Catholic body. No one has been more intimately concerned in the later history of the Oxford Movement than I have. I believe I have known everybody and everything connected with it, from Cardinal Newman and Dr. Pusey downwards, for some sixty years. The objects which those concerned in the Oxford Movement had at heart have been the interests of my life, and among these objects none have absorbed me more than the reunion of Christendom and the misery and [3/4] innumerable evils which result from the divisions and antagonisms of Christians.
REUNION IN GENERAL
Can any one read carefully the 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th chapters of S. John Gospel and the first General Epistle of S. John without having it brought home to him, in the most forcible way, how repugnant to our Lord and to His will our divisions must be? Our Lord tells us, 'a house divided against itself cannot stand.' What, then, must we think is likely to befall the Christian body, when we look round at the divisions which rend it in pieces, at the little care there seems to be to heal those divisions, and at the unhappy conditions and dangers surrounding so many souls which are directly due to those divisions? Is not the condition of the religious world one to cause us the deepest distress and anxiety? We see the need of union in the region of worldly affairs. There is the League of Nations, which witnesses to the conviction that it is by union, by personal contact, by being brought together, that the evils of civil and temporal society can best be met and overcome. Is such union less necessary in regard to all Christian interests? Is it not Christian principles, and Christian practice which are the things most needed if our social difficulties in England, as everywhere else, are to be met and successfully encountered? Is it not the forgetfulness and disregard of them which lie at the root of our Labour difficulties and disputes, just as it is upon the recognition of our duties as Christians that our hope of seeing them remedied depends? There can be but one answer to these questions. What a responsibility does that answer impose upon us all.
In regard to the divisions within the Church of England, are not these, so far as the Evangelical party and ourselves are concerned, greatly exaggerated--an exaggeration largely due to misunderstandings, and, let me add, ignorance of Catholic teaching, and to [4/5] antiquated prejudices founded on reasons which, so far as those reasons had any justification, have ceased to exist?
Let me give two examples of how much nearer we are to one another in regard to doctrinal questions than is sometimes supposed.
It will not be denied that if there is one matter more than another round which our religious differences group themselves it is the subject of Holy Communion--or to call it by its other names, 'The Lord's Supper,' the Holy Eucharist, the Mass. That which, by God's ordinance, should unite us with Him and with one another is made the cause and the occasion of our disputes.
What is the central fact of the Christian religion? Is it not the sacrifice made by our Lord on the Cross? By that offering--the offering of His Body and Blood in death--our Head has made the one, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the whole world--past, present, and to come. There is but one sacrifice, and nothing can be added, taken away, or substituted for it. That sacrifice, anticipated as 'The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,' accomplished on Calvary, pleaded by our Lord in the courts of heaven, and represented by our Lord Himself in the exercise of His Melehisidecian priesthood on earth, is the one great sacrifice of the Christian Church, and it is to His ministers on earth that He has entrusted the duty of repeating what He did at the Last Supper, commanding them so to show forth His death till He come. The sacrifice on Calvary is the one, only sacrifice, perfect and complete in its abiding efficacy--the same in heaven, on the altar, and on the Cross.
Why was this Sacrament ordained? Bishop Moule, late of Durham, a distinguished and saintly Evangelical, tells us 'that the primary object of the Lord's Supper was to show forth the Lord's death till He come, and that this death is represented by the separate consecration of the bread and wine which thus mystically [5/6] represent our Lord under the aspect of death.' The statement speaks for itself, for it is the Catholic doctrine of the Eucharistic sacrifice. ['Consider how the Death and Passion of the Son of God is in a lively manner represented to us by the separate consecration of the Bread and Wine into tile Body and Blood of Christ, Who thus presents Himself as delivered up and His Blood as shed for us'--Meditations for every day in the Year. By Bishop Challoner, the author of The Garden of the Soul, the original of most of the Roman Catholic books of devotion.]
Bishop Hedley, the late Roman Catholic Bishop of Newport in Wales, may be quoted in the same sense.
'The suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ to all Christian minds, to all Christian thought, on every aspect of the Christian dispensation devotionally, practically, are full, complete, and superabundant . . . His sufferings completely atoned for man's offence against God, and purchased all necessary grace for every human being. He is a propitiation for the sins of the whole world. For faithful and unbelievers, for the elect and the non-elect, His Blood has made satisfaction for original sin, for actual sin, for all the punishment due to sin, He has cancelled the account that was against us, nailing it to His Cross.'
The late Prebendary Webb Peploe, a leading Evangelical, told me this statement exactly expressed his own belief.
To these may be added the opinions of many prominent divines of various schools of thought.
The following statement was signed by Dr. Pusey, Canon Carter, Mr. Butler of Wantage, Mr. Mackonochie, and Dr. Liddon
'We repudiate the notion of any fresh sacrifice, or any view of the Eucharistic sacrificial offering as of something apart from the one all-sufficient sacrifice and oblation on the Cross, which alone "is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole wor1d both original and actual," and which alone is "meritorious."'
 'We believe there is, and always was, in every Christian Church (whether dependent on the Bishop of Rome or not) an outward priesthood ordained by Jesus Christ, and an outward sacrifice offered therein by the men authorized to act as ambassadors for Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.'--(John Wesley.)
'Why is the faithful seed decreased,
The Life of God extinct and dead? The Daily Sacrifice is ceased,
And charity to Heaven is fled.
O wouldst Thou to Thy Church return
For which the faithful remnant sigh,
For which the drooping nations mourn,
Restore the Daily Sacrifice.' (John and Charles Wesley.)
'We are most of all to desire those prayers which are offered up at the Altar where the Body and Blood of Christ are joined with them. '--(William Law, author of the Serious Call.)
'I will lead my child to the Altar of our Eucharistic sacrifice.'--(Daniel Wilson, Bishop of Calcutta, a distinguished and leading Evangelical.)
'The sacrifice of the Mass is stigmatized as idolatry, but the reality which those words express is of the very essence of religion.'--(Speech in Parliament, Henry Drummond, the Irvingite Apostle, whose hatred of Rome amounted almost to fanaticism.)
'The doctrine of there being in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper a commemorative Sacrifice, wherein the Church on earth pleads before the Father the atoning death of the Son, imitating in a divinely appointed way our Lord's own intercession above.'--(Bishop Samuel Wilberforce.)
'The Lord's Supper was designed to represent, commemorate, and show forth the Lord's death as a [7/8] sacrifice for sin. This is done as a prevailing mode of pleading His merits before God. It has been observed that "What we more compendiously express in that usual conclusion of our prayers, Through Jesus Christ our Lord, we more fully and forcibly represent in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist when we plead the virtues and merits of the same Sacrifice here which our Great High Priest is continually urging for us in Heaven."--(Rev. Edward Bickersteth, a name justly venerated in Evangelical circles.)
In the light of such statements, what ground is there for serious dispute, what excuse is there for thinking and declaring that reunion is impossible?
In connection with this subject, it will be well, however, to allude to certain matters such as those denounced in the recent 'Call to Action,' some of which are also objected to by Bishop Gore and others as inconsistent with that obedience which is due from the clergy to the requirements of the Prayer Book. The best way to approach this is from the devotional side, connected as they are with the Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament for the sick and with the cultus of the Blessed Sacrament for purposes other than those for which it was directly instituted. That cultus must be judged by its results. That the Blessed Sacrament should be reserved in every parish church for the purposes of Communion, whether for the use of the sick and dying, or for the needs of those whose circumstances prevent them from coming to church at the appointed hours, is what all must desire to see insisted upon. Further, all must be conscious of the difference between a church in which the Blessed Sacrament is reserved and one in which it is not; but when undue emphasis is placed on the Sacrifice of the Mass and the external cultus of the Blessed Sacrament, in contrast to that which is attached to Communion, difficulties may arise.
In the interesting book Le culte du S. Sacrament, it is pointed out that for the first ten centuries the emphasis was laid on Communion, and that later the stress was rather on the Sacrifice. [Cordonnier (Lethellieux, Paris, 1925).] It will be remembered that the Cornish rebels in Edward VI's reign required that Mass should be said every Sunday, but Communion given once a year. And the author of the book above mentioned relates the fact that the students at Eton, which fixes the date as during or subsequent to the reign of Henry VI, were in the habit of running in at the Consecration 'in order to look on their Maker.' it is in the light of such facts that we are able to understand and do justice to such orders as those in the Book of Common Prayer that the Communion of a consider able number of the parishioners should be required for the celebration of Mass. The intention may have been good, but the result was that in many parishes Holy Communion came to be celebrated four times a year, and in cathedrals, despite the fact of the different rubrics applying to cathedrals and collegiate churches, not infrequently once a month.
Will any one pretend that these rubrics ought to be obeyed? Further, what is the attitude of those who condemn their brethren in such matters? How do they justify their own conduct? What is their practice in regard to joining with the Church on Sundays in the one service our Lord has Himself appointed? Do they read all the exhortations prescribed by the Book of Common Prayer? Do they observe the Friday abstinence and the fasts of the Church? What is their observance of the feasts of the Church? Do they absolve themselves if they fall into grievous sin, and systematically ignore all that the Church enjoins, as is prescribed in the Prayer Book, in regard to the duty of seeking absolution from those empowered by our Lord to impart it?
Meanwhile, though certain regulations contained in the Prayer Book may be disregarded, the objects they had rightly at heart have been largely realized, Communions have increased on all sides, daily Communion [9/10] is common. In this parish of Hickleton Holy Communion was only celebrated four times a year--and there were few communicants. It is now celebrated every day and twice on Sundays; there are many communicants, and a very large number indeed, for so small a parish, on the Greater Festivals.
I would venture to ask Bishop Gore whether, in view of such facts and the history of the Reformation in England, obedience to rubrics is not subject, mutatis mutandis, to a similar qualification as that which he implies in his recent pamphlet attaches to obedience to bishops. [The Anglo-Catholic Movement To-day, pp. 44, 45.]
A not dissimilar conclusion may be drawn from the history of the past. I remember, as one of the Church-wardens of S. Mary's, Graham Street, asking Arch bishop Benson if he would sanction the Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament at the morning celebration for the purpose of the many sick Communions which were constantly being asked for in the parish. He flatly refused. Where are we now in regard to Reservation?
Again, does not the widespread use of the Vestments prescribed by the Rubric, for which, a short time ago, clergy were prosecuted and sent to prison, teach the same lesson?
In the earlier stages of the Oxford Movement the work, to a large extent, was to remove the rubbish which was obscuring the true teaching of the English Church and hindering the spread of the Catholic religion. This has largely been accomplished, and it is well that at this juncture we should be reminded of what we owe to the generation that is past, and re member that it is due to those that have gone before that we are now able to look forward hopefully to the future. If England is to be converted to the Catholic Faith it will,, not be by the easy lives of those professing the Catholic religion--but by self-sacrifice and all that such self-sacrifice entails. No one realized that better than the early leaders of the Oxford Movement. Their example has been followed by [10/11] many a priest in addition to those who went to prison rather than deny the spiritual rights of the Church and abandon practices having a direct bearing on the maintenance of the Faith. God has been very good to us. He has allowed us to see with our own eyes more than those who began the work could, in their most sanguine moments, have thought possible. It is for us to carry on that work in their spirit, and if we ask upon what the success of that work depends, it is that it should be inspired by personal devotion and love for our Lord, which is the abiding force of all true religious life in whatever place or shape it may be found. Have we not much need to be always reminding ourselves that the service of God and conformity to the world are incompatible? The real world that concerns us is not this world that we see around us, but that other world we see by faith, that City of God, that Heavenly Jerusalem, of which even now we are the citizens--that general assembly of the Church of the First-Born, the dwelling-place of those spirits of just men made perfect, with whom, though out of sight, we may converse in the spirit, as truly as we converse with our fellow men here on earth.
If these are visions, then visions are the truest things around us. We owe to them the inspirations which determine our lives. What greater inspiration can there be than the thought of the reunion of Christendom? Could anything tend so much to bring our Nonconformist brethren back into communion with the Church? Could anything do more to hasten the realization of our Lord's prayer that all the members of His Body should be one?
How, then, can we best promote such reunion? Is it not by an honest and general acceptance on all sides of the teaching of the Catholic Church?
THE TRUE CONCEPTION OF CHRISTIANITY
"I believe in the Holy Catholic Church.' That is the profession we aft make every time we recite the [11/12] Apostles' Creed. What do those words assert? They assert a conception of Christianity which does not look merely to the action of the Holy Spirit upon the individual conscience, but to a conception of Christianity which by its very essence is indissolubly attached to and embodied in a visible organized society. The Church in which we profess our belief--the Israel of God--is the continuation of God's Ancient People--the Israel of Old.
More clearly still the declaration made by our Lord to S. Peter reveals His intention of finding for this spiritual building a living foundation, and leads Him to single out S. Peter as the foundation on which He can build. Peter shall be the rock or stone on which the divine building shall be erected, and he is invested in his office by the gift of the keys of the kingdom of heaven, the same symbol as that of 'the key of the House of David,' by which Eliakim is invested with the government of the House of Judah.
Surely no one who studies the New Testament can doubt that after Pentecost no distinction is drawn between being a member of Christ and a member of the Church. Surely every one must admit that nowhere does S. Paul imply that there is a faith which justifies apart from Baptism, or that he does not everywhere assert that it is by the act of Baptism we are made partakers of Christ, and at the same time receive incorporation into His Church. A Christian is one who is made the member of a society and accepts the obligations that such membership involves. The covenant is not primarily between God and the individual, but between God and a visible Church.
This visible Church realizes its unity in the first place by the faith which its members hold in common--a faith which draws its origin from the Old Testament explained by the New, the New Testament implying an antecedent authority which is none other than tradition, that is, the teaching of the Apostles, the [12/13] deposit of faith entrusted to them by our Lord, which they transmit.
Secondly, its unity is realized by the Sacraments, Baptism, including Confirmation, Communion in the Body and Blood of Christ, Penance, that is, the discipline by which the unworthy are excluded from Communion, or reconciled. These Sacraments are effectual symbols and signs of grace conferred individually, but they are also social instruments and give expression to the visible character of the Church as that of a visible society.
Thirdly, the Church is hierarchical in the persons of the Apostles and their successors, constituted by the imposition of hands as a sacrament of investiture, and as the means of securing the one faith, participation in the same Sacraments, and submission to the one hierarchy.
Fourthly, this unity was to be not merely local, but a unity which includes all local Churches, constituting a visible unity between them analogous to the unity which bound all the members of the local Church with one another. And finally, just as there was one faith, so, as the Church spread and increased, the need was increasingly felt for one authority which should have a care for and watch over the faith common to all.
THE CHURCH'S TEACHJNG
I do not think any one will seriously dispute that substantially this is a true account of what we under stand by the Christian religion, and I go on to ask whether it is not the failure to recognize in practice what that presentment involves which is chiefly responsible for present difficulties? Can reunion be brought about in any other way than by an honest and general acceptance on all sides of the teaching of the Catholic Church as a whole, in which we assert our belief every time we recite the Apostles' Creed? Are we not in England too much inclined to talk of 'our Church'? No doubt local Churches can do many [13/14] things, but there are also many things they cannot rightly do. They cannot set themselves up against the teaching of the Church Universal, but must recognize its authority in matters of faith and practice as higher than their own.
Again, do we ask ourselves, as we should, what determines our faith? Do we sufficiently consider that it must be on grounds equally applicable to the learned and unlearned alike? Instruction and prayer may bring new grounds for our individual assent, but the foundation of our faith must be the teaching of the Church. We in England claim that the collective episcopate, representing the Apostolic College, is the witness to, and guardian of, the faith for Catholic Christians. We point out that there was a time when there was no Bible, and that it was only as years went by that the different books of the Bible were put together and accepted by the Church as a single whole. The teaching contained in those books was the expression of what constituted the tradition of the Church, and it was the same authority which determined the Canon of Scripture, and (since no scripture is of private interpretation) its rightful meaning.
It follows, therefore, having regard to the fact that the Anglican episcopate, including that of America and the Dominions and Colonies, is but a part, and the smaller part, of the whole episcopate of the West, that where the teaching of the episcopate in communion with Canterbury differs from that of Rome some doubt at least must be cast upon what, on Anglican principles, is to be accepted as the teaching of the Church.
No reference is here made to the Eastern Church, but the statement holds good so far as the West is concerned, and we must remember that we are Westerns and not Easterns.
Further, whether, also on our own principles, and precisely because we recognize the authority of our own episcopate, are we not bound to recognize the [14/15] authority of the episcopate in communion with Rome, and, where there is disagreement between the two bodies in regard to matters of importance, whether it is not our duty to seek for such explanations as may reconcile the differences in question?
S. PETER'S PRIMACY
In regard to these differences I will confine myself for the moment to the fundamental question that has to be considered, in regard to which some solution, acceptable to both sides, must be found, if any hope of reunion with Rome is to be entertained. That question is the nature of the primacy conferred by our Lord upon S. Peter. Is the primacy of S. Peter and his successors a primacy jure divino, and if so, what does it involve, what is its extent, and what are its limitations? The matter is one which, for every reason, needs consideration in an impartial and sympathetic spirit. Unless we can come to an agreement in regard to it, the idea of reunion is hopeless.
Let me state what I think we should be prepared to admit and accept, together with the reasons for my conclusions.
I should be disposed to say that a primacy jure divino was implicit in the New Testament and the sub apostolic age--so far as we have any information of that period--and explicit at the Council of Chalcedon, in the fifth century, a Council which is one of the four specially referred to in Anglican Formularies.
If such a conclusion could be arrived at on the basis of such a moderate theory of development as is to be found in the general current of Church history, there would be a good hope of reaching an agreement with the Holy See which would sacrifice no principle by which the Roman Church is bound, or/which we and the Orthodox Church are bound to maintain. If this could be accomplished, other and lesser difficulties disappear, and it is possible that the coming reassembly of the Vatican Council may be the occasion [15/16] for further steps towards the definite healing of the wounds of Christendom.
Let us therefore consider, did our Lord when He founded His Church provide that it should possess a visible head, as part of its divine constitution? The Roman contention is that our Lord did provide a visible headship for His Church, and that this headship was to be the prerogative of S. Peter and his successors. What evidence is to be found in Holy Scripture in favour of such a visible headship, and of this headship being continued in the successors of S. Peter? The prominent idea that stands out before us in Holy Scripture respecting the Church is that it is a Body, and, so far as it is represented to us as an organized Body, it is a visible Body, Society, Fellowship. But a visible Body suggests a visible head. Did our Lord make provision for a visible head over the Church--the Fellowship He founded?
That Church was built on the foundation of Apostles and prophets, Himself being the head corner and in furtherance of His design our Lord chose twelve Apostles to. be the foundation-stones, distinguishing one of them by a new name. To all He gave a like commission--the power of binding and loosing; to S. Peter, and to him alone, He entrusted the custody of the keys, still further distinguishing him to whom He had given a new name, and further developing, as it were, the plan and organization of His Church.
Consider the circumstances of S. Peter's confession. S. Peter had just said, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.' In response our Lord declares that S. Peter bad received the knowledge of this fundamental truth by special revelation of the Father, and bestows upon him the keys of that building of God, of that Church of which He Himself was the Divine Head. Following on this confession of His Apostle, our Lord goes on--for this is the force of the implied antithesis--thou hast confessed that I am the Christ, the Son of the living God, I now say unto thee, what I said at the beginning, that thou art Peter, the special name I gave thee to signify how in the building of My Church I intended to use thee, and the strength that thou shouldest be to the building itself.
Further, since the building was to abide, but S. Peter would, in the course of nature, pass away, can we doubt
1. That the promise of the keys could only be personal to S. Peter in so far as he was the representative of an unfailing line of successors, who should inherit through him the same divine gift?
2. That the will and purpose of our Lord was that there should always be in the Church one possessing the authority symbolized by the gift of the keys, and that this authority should be an element of strength, stability, and durability in it for all time? May not the same conclusion be drawn from our Lord's words to S. Peter before his fall? 'When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren,' words that are important also for other reasons, because if S. Peter strengthened his brethren by virtue of his office as keeper of the keys, yet without any infringement of the powers committed to the other Apostles, it follows that a visible head of the Church, holding the keys as S. Peter's successor, is perfectly compatible with the rights of the rest of the episcopate.
THE NEED FOR A CENTRE
Again, if, as stated by Dr. Dollinger in his First Ages of the Church, the power of the keys differs from the power of binding and loosing, inasmuch as it extended £to the whole Church and passed to the successors of S. Peter, can it be disputed that the possession of the keys symbolizes headship and primacy of place? Archbishop Benson, in his Primary Charge, said, and no doubt said truly, that the first thing which the Church did after a country had heard the Gospel was to create for itself strong centres. Further, if we look at the [17/18] history of mankind we see that civilization has also for the most part been carried on through strong centres. Must there not, in accordance with the analogy of God's working in the sphere of moral as well as material things, be a strong centre for the Catholic Church, Christ's visible kingdom on earth? It is no answer to allege that Christ Himself is the strong centre. Christ is in heaven, the supreme, everlasting Head of His Church, and from Him flows out and down into the Church its life, its being, and all sufficiency. But Christ is invisible in heaven, and His Church is visible on earth, and He governs it as a visible society, by visible instruments, having visible authority delegated to them by Himself, and exercising that authority by moral means. Why, then, should not the Church, as a moral system set up in the world, by Almighty God, for the recovery of mankind to Himself, follow the analogy of His other works? Why should it m have its own strong centre? Are we not, in fact, bound to look in the visible Church for a strong visible centre, and unless our Lord's promise to S. Peter is to be emptied of all adequate meaning--unless the gift of the keys is, as far as we can see, a useless gift, is it not inevitable that we allow something at least answering to a visible headship, and that such headship should be in our Lord's intention and purpose a source of strength and stability to His Church.
It may be useful here to give some quotations from a sermon of Mr. Keble's preached on S. Peter's Day. [The Rev. John Keble, author of The Christian Year. The intimate friend of Cardinal Newman and Dr. Pusey.]
'All readers of the Holy Gospel must have observed Christ's very particular concern for S. Peter. He was manifestly favoured in some sense, more than the rest of the twelve. . . . He is always mentioned as first in dignity over the glorious company of Apostles. He is several times put forward to speak for the rest, in a manner which shows that they all in some way [18/19] looked up to him. . . . It seems his place to stand up and propose matters for the rest to consider; or again, to speak in the name of the rest, when anything was to be said for them all. . . . On two occasions . . . our Lord seems to speak of him in a way which would cause all who desire to enter into the mind of Christ to think very much of S. Peter. One was when, upon S. Peter solemnly owning Him Son of God, He said to him: "Thou art a rock, and on this rock--that is on thee joined to Me by this faith--I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." This would seem to show that on S. Peter, as first of the Apostles, a great deal would depend; the Church was in some way to be builded on him. The other time was on the night of His Agony when He told him He had prayed for him in particular . . . and "when thou art converted strengthen thy brethren." Again, by committing to him three times over and over the special care of the lambs and sheep of His flock.' [Keble's Sermons for the Christian Year, for Saints' Days and Other Festivals, 1877]
To return to the question as evidenced by history of the Church's witness to the primacy jure divino conferred by our Lord on S. Peter and his successors, how are we to account for the fact that as soon as we are enabled to affirm anything definitely about the Roman See, we find it filled by a bishop--S. Victor, who lived towards the close of the second century--not only claiming to be S. Peter's successor, but also claiming, in virtue of such succession, to exercise some sort of authority over the Church at large? The point pertinent to the inquiry is, not whether S. Victor was right or wrong in excommunicating, or threatening to excommunicate, some of the Churches of the East for refusing to give up a custom which was admittedly condemned by the large majority of Christians, but I whether the Bishops of Rome at that early time believed themselves to be something that other bishops were not, and to possess some prerogatives which other [19/20] bishops did not possess? Now, we have the unequivocal testimony of S. Irenaeus that, up to his own time, and therefore up to the time of S. Victor, with whom he corresponded, the tradition from the Apostles had always been preserved in the Church of Rome, and if there is not one of the Roman bishops about whom we know anything who does not, more or less, indicate his belief that he was S. Peter's successor, and that, in virtue of such succession, he was possessed of special prerogatives in regard to the whole Church--how can we account for such a belief except by referring it to the fact that such had always been the tradition of the Roman Church from the beginning? Let any one consider what the admission of such a fact involves, and to what it points, and must it not be admitted that, before the close of the second century after Christ, the Church recognized in the Bishop of Rome a successor to S. Peter, and that in virtue of that succession he occupied a place and had an authority superior to other bishops.
If in consequence of such evidence we have the right to assume a primacy of place and influence accorded to the Bishops of Rome as S. Peter's successors, we shall naturally expect to find that this primacy--within the limits prescribed by our Lord--would go on developing and enlarging according to the Church's exigencies and needs. And this is exactly what we do find. The lapse of another fifty years brings us to the time of S. Stephen, Bishop of Rome, and S. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage. The same features occur as in the case of S. Victor. S. Stephen threatened to excommunicate the African Churches because they insisted on rebaptizing heretics, and those who had been rebaptized by heretics, and S. Cyprian, with a Council of African bishops, resisted S. Stephen, as the Asiatic bishops bad formerly resisted S. Victor. But it is nowhere recorded that, while resisting S. Stephen, they called in question his prerogative of having, as S. Peter's successor, a general care extending over the Church, [20/21] and the most potent voice, after a General Council, in its affairs. Archbishop Bramhall indeed cites passages from S. Cyprian in which the latter speaks of the See of Rome as 'the place and chair of S. Peter,' and calls it 'the ecclesia principalis.' It may also be observed (and the fact is not without importance), that, in the quarrel with the Asiatic and African Churches, both S. Victor and S. Stephen are universally allowed to have been in the right, and their opponents in the wrong.
The same conclusion would seem to follow from the relations of S. Athanasius with Rome, and from the letter and action of Pope Julius vindicating the right of the Holy See to interfere, and deciding in favour of S. Athanasius. The history of the Synod of Sardica, which admitted the superior dignity of the successor of S. Peter, and recognized by Canon the Pope's power of sending legates into foreign provinces to hear certain appeals, teaches the same thing. The sentence of the Spanish Bishop Hosius, who presided at the Council of Sardica, is also important, as showing how the Bishops of Rome and S. Peter were connected in the mind of the Church. 'If any bishop,' he says, 'shall be adjudged in any cause, and think that he has good reason to be allowed a re-hearing, let us honour the memory of S. Peter, and the Bishop of Rome be written to.' It appears clear, therefore, that, up to this point, the Roman bishops, in virtue of their office as S. Peter's successors, claimed and exercised in and over the Church larger powers than other bishops, a fact which is strikingly illustrated by a passage from S. Leo, Bishop of Rome in the fifth century, in which he says: 'Do not think it any invasion of your rights if you see me in this way taking precautionary measures against unlawful presumption. Our care extends over the whole Church, for nothing less is required of us by the Lord, Who committed to the Apostle Peter the primacy of Apostolic dignity as a reward for his faith.'
It would take too long to enter into the controversies [21/22] arising out of the 28th Canon of Chalcedon, but it is sufficient for the purpose of this paper to point out, as Dr. Bright does, in a very full note on the subject, that 'the Synodical letter of the Council to S. Leo addressed him in terms of deep respect as the head or president of the Council, presiding by deputy, and the "Appointed Guardian of the Vine."' Does not the latter statement prove the point it is sought to make good, and justify Dr. Dollinger's statement that the gift of the keys committed to S. Peter a general care over the Church and the duty of watching over the observance of the Canons?
Let me conclude this portion of my subject by a reference to S. Gregory the Great, the greatest of S. Leo's successors, and the Pope to whom we in England owe the Mission of S. Augustine and our Christianity. Can it be shown that S. Gregory claimed spiritual pre-eminence and Apostolic authority in the Church because he was Bishop of Rome and sat in S. Peter's seat? Listen to his own words: 'Who doubts that it is subject to the Apostolic See? I know not what bishop is not subject to it, if fault be found in him;' and again, 'If any could claim the title of universal bishop it would be S. Peter's successor;' and again, 'Wherefore though there were many Apostles, yet the see of the Prince of the Apostles atone has acquired a principality of authority.'
SUMMARY OF EVIDENCE
From the historical evidence adduced down to the time of S. Gregory the Great, it would therefore seem difficult to deny :--
1. That the Roman Church was acknowledged on all hands to have preserved and handed down the Apostolic tradition.
2. That part of that tradition was that the Bishops of Rome were S. Peter's successors.
3. That putting aside the theory that the authority of Rome was derived from its bishops occupying the seat [22/23] of the Roman Empire, it is impossible otherwise to explain the action of Pope Victor.
4. That as the exigencies of the time and the growing needs of the Church increased, the authority of the Roman See inevitably became more distinctly and strongly operative.
5. That whatever the prerogatives the Popes considered themselves to be possessed of, they rested them on the ground of our Lord's gift of the keys to S. Peter, and of being S. Peter's successors.
6. That in conflict with other Churches, or with individual bishops, there is tacit recognition, within certain limits, of the superior position and authority of the Roman See.
In elucidation of the above the following statements would, I think, be generally accepted by competent Roman historians
(a) Authority in the Church depends on the Pope and the Episcopate. It is of divine authority for both; but as the Church is essentially one because it is a living organization, that authority cannot be divided and separated. The authority of the Pope is not separate from that of the Episcopate. The authority of the Episcopate is not separate from that of the Pope. Both authorities are jure divino.
Since the sixteenth century, the disputes have chiefly turned on what these rights involve. In the earlier times it was the nature and person of Christ which was called in question. We are concerned now with the nature and constitution of the Church. It may be impossible to arrive at a rigorous and absolute delimitation of the respective rights of the Papacy and of the Episcopate. As those rights have been manifested by circumstances in the past, so will they be manifested by circumstances in the future.
A living organization is not an automaton. This is true in regard to the constitution of States as it is in regard to the constitution of the Church, and there cannot be a rigorous delimitation of the rights of the [23/24] Papacy and of the Episcopate in regard to one another. Thus conceived, the constitution of the Church allows, according to its needs, of centralization and of decentralization.
(b) In order to arrive at a right judgement of the history of the Papacy, we must not think of it as an institution which attained its full development in the early ages of the Church. Catholicism has included such different things as, for instance, the régime Rome gave to the Churches of her metropolitan province, and that which she gave to the Churches of the vicariate of Thessalonica. Christian Africa, before the Vandal invasion, was a confederation of Churches which were grouped round the Bishop of Carthage, and recognized by Rome as being sui juris. Christian Egypt was a closer confederation, very strictly subject to the Bishop of Alexandria; Rome had to do only with him, and never, in the time of Athanasius or Cyril, did she intervene in the internal ecclesiastical government of Egypt. To the east of the Roman Empire, in the kingdom of Persia, gathered round its Catholicos, existed a Church apart, not suffering its affairs to be brought before the 'Western Fathers,' that is, the Bishop of Antioch and his council. Over the Catholica, which she included in her horizon, Rome exercised her solicitude, and this sollicitudo implied a potestas which she exercised by a right of supervision and intervention, but which she generally kept in reserve till its help was sought.
On the one hand, whoever in the Catholica was anxious to be in communion with the whole Church knew that Rome was the Church to be in communion with in order to be certain of being in communion with all, and on Rome, therefore, communion de. pended. On the other hand, whoever wished to make certain of the authentic faith, knew that Rome, who claimed to have received it from the Apostles Peter and Paul, kept in surety that precious deposit; and Rome was therefore the standard of faith.
 Now, if these are fair deductions from historical evidence, is there not reason to admit that the Church's history for the first five or six centuries is in accordance with what may be gathered to be the teaching of Holy Scripture, and that when our Lord bestowed the keys on S. Peter He bestowed on him a prerogative which was to provide the Church for all time with a visible head or centre?
Two other remarks are necessary.
1. In regard to the attempt to connect the Roman claims with an 'Imperialism' due to its connection with the Roman Empire, no one can deny that the relation of the Roman Church to the Roman Empire had its influence on the history of the Church, and had something to do with the respect the Roman See inspired in other Churches. By the end of the fourth century, when Catholicism had become the religion of the empire, the Roman Church no doubt gave expression to a unity which, on one side, recalls the unity of the empire, but which, on a different side, was its direct contradiction. The idea of imperialism attached to a State is not that of the imperialism connected with the Church. The claim of Boniface VIII to the possession of both swords--the temporal as well as the spiritual sword--must not be unduly pressed any more than the claim of English Sovereigns to be the Head or supreme Governor of the Church of England. The claims which are thought to justify the assertion of such imperialism were claims vindicating the independence and superiority of the spiritual power as against the claims of the State. It w the sacerdotal claim of the Church as against the temporal power of the State which was the point at issue, a claim in regard to which Dr. Church, the Dean of S. Paul's, makes the statement that without the support of the Papacy the local Episcopate at certain periods of the Church's history could hardly have maintained its claim to the possession of a spiritual power over which the State had no control.
 2. It is next contended that the charge of undue assumption on the part of Rome is justified by the assertion of the Vatican Council that the definitions of the Roman Pontiff are authoritative and irreformable of themselves and independent of the consent of the Church. To this it may be replied (1) that most certainly the Roman Church makes no claim to be the whole Church. And (2) that granted the infallibility of the Church, which neither Anglicans nor the Orthodox Church would dispute, it is a matter of elementary theology that this infallibility is not con fined to and does not reside in the Pope alone, that his authority is not separate from that of the Episcopate, but resides also in the body of bishops dispersed throughout the world, or in the Episcopate assembled in OEcumenical Council. In the eyes of Catholics, it may be stated without fear of contradiction, the prerogative peculiar to the Bishop of Rome does not do away with the prerogative of OEcumenical Councils. It should also be remembered that the phrase in the statement of the Vatican Council in regard to Papal definitions, 'ex sese non es consensu ecclesiae,' is not part of the Dogmatic Decree, but a theological inference.
The whole matter can hardly be better stated than in Mgr. Duchesne's book, The Churches separated from Rome, in which he sums up the history of the Roman primacy in the first three centuries:--
'Thus, all the Churches throughout the known world, from Arabia, Osrhoene, and Cappadocia, to the extreme West, felt the incessant influence of Rome in every respect, whether as to faith, discipline, administration, ritual, or works of charity; she was, as S. Irenaeus says, "known everywhere and respected everywhere, and her guidance was universally accepted." No competitor, no rival stands up against her, no one conceives the idea of being her equal. Later on there will be patriarchs and other local primates, whose first beginning can be but vaguely perceived [26/27] during the course of the third century. Above these rising organizations, and above the whole body of isolated Churches, the Church of Rome rises in supreme majesty, the Church of Rome as represented by the long series of her bishops, which ascends to the two chiefs of the Apostolic College; she knows her self to be, and is considered by all, the centre and the organ of unity.'
Such is the Roman claim, and it is one which in the interests of reunion has to be faced with all its implications.
I will only add in conclusion. If we in England have to consider, with a view to its acceptance, the claim of the Holy See to a primacy jure divino, the Holy See has, on its side, to take into consideration, with a view to reunion, the question of Anglican Orders. The Council of Trent--the fact is often forgotten--was a reforming council. Pius XI is about to reassemble the Vatican Council. By so doing be seems to affirm his desire to take counsel with the Universal Episcopate in regard to what concerns the peace and welfare of Christendom. The Book of Common Prayer, which embodies the lex credendi of the Anglican Communion, was published before the meeting of the Council of Trent. In the reply of the English archbishops to the Bull of Leo XIII questioning the validity of Anglican Orders on the ground of defective intention, appeal is made to the words of the Roman Canon 'Ut fiant nobis' as expressing the belief of the English Church in regard to the Eucharistic Sacrifice--the question at issue.
If the Bull of Eugenius IV, 'ad Armenos,' in regard to the matter of Holy Orders, which is said to consist in 'the porrection of the Instruments,' is now disregarded, what is to prevent the Bull of Leo XIII from being reconsidered? Or if the Bull 'ad Armenos' [27/28] may be considered as still possessing some authority, might not a way out of the difficulty be made apparent?
The Anglican bishops in the interests of reunion at the last Lambeth Conference stated their willingness, if agreement could be arrived at on other points, to accept such a rectification of their orders as might facilitate their recognition by the Roman Church. If the ceremony contemplated by Eugenius IV could be deemed adequate for this purpose, that ceremony could be accepted by the Anglican clergy as in no way infringing principles they were bound to maintain. Some method has to be devised compatible with the honour of both Churches. It is impossible on the Anglican side for Anglicans to consent to anything which in their eyes would seem to invalidate the orders conferred by the English Episcopate.
Other questions also, in the interests of reunion, might need elucidation.
No difficulties need arise as to the Sacraments. The teaching of the Roman Church and that of the Anglican Formularies as to Holy Baptism is identical. The doctrine of Confirmation presents no obstacles. In theory the teaching as to the uninterrupted succession of the hierarchy from the Apostles is the same. No real difficulty need occur as to the Holy Eucharist. 'The Body and Blood of Christ are verily and indeed given, taken, and received in the Holy Sacrament' (the actual words of the English Catechism supplemented by those of the 28th Article). And if Anglicans, in accordance with Anglican devotional teaching, as witnessed to, for example, by such writers as Bishop Ken, Bishop Wilson, Mr. Keble, Dr. Pusey, Mr. Carter, Bishop Hamilton of Salisbury, and Bishop Forbes of Brechin, accept as true that, by reason of consecration, a change is made whereby the Bread and Wine become the Body and Blood of Christ, this, in the view of Roman Catholics, as evidenced by the Conversations at Malines, is the meaning of [28/29] Transubstantiation. To sum the matter up, it can hardly be better stated than it is by Archbishop Murray, a former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, who wrote in regard to the questions which divide England from Rome: 'There are no irreconcilable differences, if only the Church of England people were true to the principles laid down in their Prayer Book, the doctrinal differences, which appear considerable, but are not so, would soon be removed.'
In this connection may not Anglicans ask whether by 'the Church' Roman Catholics always mean the members of a body with an external jurisdiction and subject to a visible head, or whether they do not also mean those who by the gift of the Holy Ghost and the possession of the Sacraments are incorporated in Christ? An answer to this question might facilitate agreement, not only between the Church of Rome and the Anglican Communion, but also between Rome and the members of the Orthodox Church, who insist that the kingdom of Christ--the Church--is a kingdom not of this world.
May not Roman Catholics, with equal reason, ask Anglicans, if they shrink, as they do, from any notion of sin in connection with the Mother of God, to state at what moment in their belief our Blessed Lady was made free from all spot of sin? or why they should think our Blessed Lady was less free from sin at her Conception than Eve at her Creation?
May not Anglicans also ask how the two following statements of the Rev. Vincent Hornyhold, S.J., in Catholic Doctrine, published by the Catholic Truth Society of Ireland, are to be reconciled?
(1) 'The deposit of faith, that is to say the truths God has revealed to His Church, has been delivered to the Saints once and for all, either in the pages of Scripture or as truths that have been handed down to us from Apostolic times, and can admit of no addition or diminution.'
(2) 'There is, however, a growth and an expansion [29/30] of thought ever going on in the mind of the Church, which enables her to arrive at the knowledge of truths which in preceding ages she did not detect. A truth may have been revealed by God to His Church as contained in the deposit of truth, and yet may remain unknown explicitly for ages.'
Would it not seem, therefore, that the test of Catholic truth as given by S. Vincent of Lerins, Quod semper quod ubique quod ab omnibus, must be reconsidered, and that if the world were to last long enough there would be no limit to the truths hitherto ignored which, in process of time, might have to be accepted as truths handed down from Apostolic times, and part of the original deposit?
Lastly, has it not to be realized by Anglicans that the recognition of the claim of the Holy See to a primacy jure divino does not, and cannot in itself, involve, in face of history, and in view of the circumstances of the case, the abandonment of the Anglican Communion, or cancel the force of all other obligations.
In conclusion, and as my last word, may I very earnestly beg the members of the Society with which I have been so long and so happily connected, and the welfare of which is so near my heart, carefully to consider whether, as I have endeavoured to show, there are not sufficient grounds for believing that unprejudiced consideration of Holy Scripture and of the facts of history does not establish strong ground for believing that it was part of the divine intention to impose some special function of jurisdiction upon the Holy See. Can any one doubt how urgently the state of the world calls for such consideration on the part of all who have the welfare of the world and of the Church at heart, or escape the conviction, which every passing day only serves to strengthen, that there never was a time more urgent than the present when their consideration was so imperatively required, their solution so earnestly demanded in the interests of religion, and in regard to [30/31] all that most concerns the welfare and stability of civilized society?
May Pius X be so guided by the Holy Spirit as to be the instrument for repairing the desolations of many generations, and building again the walls of Jerusalem.
Do not the ancient relations of Rome with other Churches in the past, suggest possibilities in regard to the Anglican and American Churches and the Oriental Churches in the present?
An Address on Reunion, delivered by Viscount Halifax, at the evening meeting of the Anglo-Catholic Congress, in the Albert Hall, July 9, 1925.
The great question which confronts all Christian men and women to-day, in face of the unbelief surrounding us on every side, is bow, without the sacrifice of truth, we may hope to restore the broken unity of Christendom
A solemn obligation rests upon each one of us in regard to this matter. We cannot hold aloof, nor can we look on with cold indifference at the efforts being made--few and feeble though they may be--to arrive at a better understanding of the causes which separate us from our fellow Christians.
How, indeed, is it possible for those who share the belief in the Incarnation, Resurrection, and Ascension of our dear Lord, and whose souls are nourished with His most precious Body and Blood, to be content to pass their earthly lives in a state of spiritual estrangement from each other, in direct opposition to His Divine will?
I have, myself, for many years past, been associated with that branch of the subject which especially concerns the relations existing between ourselves and the Church of Rome, having always felt that any steps which led to a reconciliation between us and Rome could not fail in having a profound influence upon the whole question of Christian reunion.
And here, to prevent all possible misconception, let me say at once that I am only speaking for myself. I in no way represent the opinions of those with whom I have been to Malines. I certainly do not express the opinions, of Bishop Gore; what the Bishop of Truro and Dr. Kidd may think I do not know. I am sure the Archbishop of Canterbury would dissent from my words and the interpretation which might be put upon them.
But the Archbishop has been goodness itself and generosity itself in regard to me, and nothing would cause me greater distress than to think I had exposed him to misconception by anything I had said.
Hence this disavowal.
I do not think, however, that I am bound on this account to conceal my own opinions or to hide convictions vitally affecting the whole cause of reunion, which though they may not be accepted to-day will assuredly be generally accepted to-morrow. To proceed, I have said that I have always felt that any steps which led to a reconciliation between us and Rome could not fail in having a profound influence upon the whole question of Christian reunion.
It was, therefore, with peculiar pleasure that I observed a reference to the 'Malines Conversations' in the Whitsun pastoral of Mgr. Chollet, Archbishop of Cambrai, in which he says, 'They have brought men's hearts nearer together, and have stimulated thought and dissipated misunderstanding.'
Let me also read to you a short extract from a letter which I recently received from that great patriot and illustrious Churchman, Cardinal Mercier, Archbishop of Malines, wherein, referring to the subject which is so near his heart, he says
'If our Divine Saviour has willed the union of that Society of Souls of which He is the Head, ought we not all to say to ourselves that unity can be realized, and that reunion can be secured? All therefore that remains for us is to discover by what road we can attain to that union which is necessary for all in Christ.'
Now in considering this aspect of the question of reunion it is well to bear in mind that for the space of a thousand years Rome and England were one. Nor was it the wish, or intention, of the best and wisest of our reformers to sever the link which, for so many ages, had bound us to the Apostolic See, but only to reform certain abuses which, in the course of centuries, had crept into the Western Church.
Unfortunately the period of the Reformation in England preceded the sessions of the great Council of Trent when many far-reaching reforms were carried out. And it is surely not unreasonable to suppose that, had that reforming Council been held at an earlier epoch, it might, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, have altered the whole course of Church history.
 In regard to our relations with Rome it is necessary for us to remember that the authority of the Pope (according to Roman teaching) is not an authority separate from that of the Episcopate, but, when acting in full unison with the Episcopate, he is to be regarded as the centre and symbol of unity, invested, in virtue of his office, with Apostolic authority over, and solicitude for, the visible Church of Christ throughout the world.
It is well, therefore, to remind you that, though it may be difficult, if not impossible, to arrive at a rigorous delimitation of the respective rights jure divino of the Pope on one side and of the Episcopate on the other, reunion between ourselves and Rome is unattainable unless we are prepared to concede a primacy divina providentia as appertaining to the Holy See, and to admit the claim of the Pope to occupy a position in relation to the whole Episcopate such as no other bishop can lay claim to. This is a matter which must be faced by us, with all its implications.
Let us now briefly consider some of the results which might follow complete reunion between the Anglican Church and the See of Rome.
In the first place there is no need to apprehend any undue interference with the peculiar status and prerogatives of the See of Canterbury, nor with the government of the Church as now administered throughout this realm.
Nor have we the slightest reason to fear that we should be deprived of our national liturgy which has come down to us through the centuries, hallowed by the devotions of generations of English Church people. Nor should we be called on to surrender our matchless translation of the Holy Scriptures, which has had so large a share in moulding our language and inspiring our literature, and which may be said to have entered into the very fibre of our national character.
For it must be remembered that reconciliation with 1 does not imply any denial of the historic claim of Canterbury, nor involve the absorption of the Church of England into the Church of Rome, but rather the union of the two Churches under the primacy of the successor of S. Peter, which is quite another thing.
On the other hand, I beg you to consider what an [35/36] immeasurable gain it would be to the Church. of England in carrying on her warfare on behalf of Catholic truth against the forces of unbelief--not in this small island only, but in every corner of the world where Anglican and Roman missions meet together--if she were once more in full communion with the greatest and most potent of Christian Churches. What added strength would be given her. What hidden springs of grace would be revealed!
Let me then, in conclusion, leave this thought in your minds. You cannot undertake a nobler or more inspiring task S behalf of your Lord and Saviour than that of helping to bind up the wounds of Christendom, so that God's faithful people may be once more knit together in one Communion and fellowship. Not by surrendering one fragment of the 'faith once delivered to the Saints,' but by humble submission to the guidance of God the Holy Spirit, Who in His appointed time 'shall lead you into all truth.'
By so doing you will earn for yourselves--
'God's benison on those
Who would make right the wrong
And friends of foes.'