Project Canterbury







A Paper

OCTOBER, 1885,














By LORD PLUNKET, Archbishop of Dublin.

"Come over and help us."--ACTS xvi. 9.

SAFE have we reach'd the shore--
Praise God on high!
But through the tempest-roar--
Hark to that cry!
'Tis from companions brave,
Battling still against the wave,
Hear how for life they crave
"Help--or we die!"

Shall these our brethren sink--
And we so near!
Dare we from danger shrink--
And they so dear!
Ah! ye who still delay,
What if in the last Great Day,
Ye should for mercy pray,
And none should hear!

Christ! let it not be thus--
Be Thou at hand!
Dear Lord Who died for us,
Now by us stand!
Teach us the lost to seek,
Help the strong to help the weak,
Safe through the waters bleak,
Bring all to land!

Then shall fresh anthems rise--
All dangers past!
Nor will despairing cries
Then pierce the blast,
As we, through endless days,
With our dear companions raise,
To Thee triumphant praise
In heav'n at last!

This Hymn, which may be sung to the music of "Vigil" ("Hark! 'tis the watchman's cry"), of "Happy Land" ("There is a happy land"), or of "St. Edmund's" "I'm but a stranger here"), is intended principally for meetings of the SPANISH AND PORTUGUESE CHURCH AID SOCIETY, but is suitable for use at any Mission Service or Meeting.


WHAT should be the attitude of our Church with respect to movements in foreign Churches? This is the question with which I have been asked to deal. I shall at once answer it, but in words not my own.

Six years ago a similar question was submitted to the hundred Bishops of the Anglican Communion assembled for Conference at Lambeth. They were asked to express their opinion as to the position which the Anglican Church should assume towards the "Old Catholics," and towards other persons on the Continent of Europe who had renounced their allegiance to the Church of Rome, and who were desirous of forming some connection with the Anglican Church, either English or American. Their reply to this question was drafted by one whose name will be held in honour so long as the Church of England endures, and of whom, as a true friend and valiant defender of the Church of Ireland in her darkest days, I must now and always speak with grateful reverence--I refer to the late Bishop Wordsworth, of Lincoln. From his report (as finally adopted by the Conference) I quote the following:

"We gladly welcome every effort for Reform upon the model of the Primitive Church. We do not demand a rigid uniformity; we deprecate needless divisions; but to those who are drawn to us in the endeavour to free themselves from the yoke of error and superstition, we are ready to offer all help, and such privileges as may be acceptable to them, and are consistent with the maintenance of our own principles, as enunciated in our formularies."

This is the answer which I give this evening to the question before us. I cannot imagine a better one; and it has this advantage, that it comes with an authority which I could not claim for myself.

But what, it may be asked, are these movements--these efforts for Reform--to which our attention is called? To this question an answer will be given this evening by witnesses who will speak of what they have not only heard but seen. And their witness will have this further significance, that they will tell of what has taken place not in one or two favoured and contiguous spots, but in many widely-distant parts of Christendom, thereby assuring us that these movements are not isolated spasmodic results of local excitement and artificial pressure, but that they are in very truth the tokens of a wider, deeper, more pervading influence--even the mighty working of that Blessed Spirit by whom the whole body of the Church is sanctified and governed!

Here, however, I must make a reservation. Among those who in these latter days, on the Continent and elsewhere, have renounced [3/4] allegiance to the Church of Rome, multitudes, I am well aware, have been influenced simply by a spirit of indifference, a desire to follow their own fleshly lusts, an evil heart of unbelief. Our attitude towards these must be one of stern rebuke. When, for example, as in France, we see all religion trampled in the mire by these recreants, our sympathies must be all with the Church of Rome, rather than with her assailants. Such seceders from her ranks are deserters to the camp of a common foe. We cannot welcome them.

On the other hand, when we see earnest men and women driven from the Church of Rome by a craving for something more in the way of spiritual food than the husks which that Church can supply--to them, in the words of Bishop Wordsworth, we should be ready to offer not only empty sympathy, but "all help."

One further reservation. Among those who have just left the Church of Rome because of a yearning after better things, there are not a few who have done as did the Continental Reformers of the sixteenth century. While renouncing that which is new and false in the Church of Rome, they have, alas, abandoned much that is old and true as well. I am far from saying that these Reformers have not strong claims on our brotherly love and good-will. By many of them, as I know, Christ is preached, and I therefore rejoice and will rejoice. But the special outgoings of our sympathy will naturally be reserved for those who have followed in the steps of our own Reformers--for those, in other words, who have shown a desire to abide by the ancient institution of the Episcopate, to use a fixed Liturgy, based, as is our own, on early Catholic ritual, and otherwise to build themselves up on the model of the Primitive Church.

Some movements of this type I need only refer to in the most cursory manner, inasmuch as they will be dealt with by those who follow. My friend, Canon Meyrick, to whom as editor of the Foreign Church Chronicle, and secretary of the Anglo-Continental Society, the cause of Church reform owes a debt of lasting gratitude, will tell us about the 100,000 "old Catholics," of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Dr. Nevin will give information respecting the work of Count Campello, and Signor Savarese, in Rome. There are, besides these, other efforts in the same direction on which time forbids me to dwell--such, for example, as the brave stand which Pere Hyacinthe is making, almost single-handed, in France, against Romanist on the one side and Infidelity on the other; the persevering labours of Pasteur Varnier in Sicily, and the Sabrevois mission among the French Canadians. These have each a special interest of their own. But I must pass on to notice those tokens of reformation abroad, of which personally I have special cognisance--those, I mean, which are manifesting themselves among the Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking nations of the world. Tidings of an awakening among those who represent, as these do, the ancient Church of Spain ought, as it seems to me, to be welcomed with a special interest. When we remember the prominent position which that Church once held in Christendom--how for a thousand years it proudly refused submission to the Church of Rome; how in the sixteenth century, its lion-hearted reformers dared the rack and the stake, rather than deny the faith; how at last the remorseless machinations of the Inquisition had their bloody triumph; [4/5] and how the voice of truth was then hushed as if for ever, and gross darkness reigned over all--which of us must not rejoice to hear of light again bursting through the cloud-rift, of truth again making herself heard!

With regard to some of these tokens of revival, I can speak only on the credible testimony of others. I have, for example, seen and received letters telling of efforts towards reform in Brazil, in Chili, in Peru--isolated efforts, no doubt, yet full of promise. I have read, as many of you no doubt have done, the thrilling reports published by the Bishop of Florida (in that interesting American periodical The Spirit of Missions) telling of reformation work in Cuba, where, within a few years, nearly 2,000 Spaniards have left the Church of Rome, and formed themselves into congregations under the Bishop's care. I have heard from Bishop Riley himself the remarkable and touching history of the Reformed Church of Mexico; of its martyr-heroes faithful unto death; and of the gathering together of its many congregations, numbering some 5,000 souls. That Church, as many of you are aware, has had of late to encounter many difficulties, and to suffer some reverses. I am not prepared to defend the course pursued by Bishop Riley, or by others, in respect to these complications. But, having had communications with almost all the American Bishops who sat upon the Mexican Commission, I am sure that I express their opinions as well as my own when I say, first, as regards Bishop Riley, that though he may have shown himself lacking in some of the qualities of a leader, his integrity and his self-devotion have not been, for a moment, open to question, and secondly, as regards the work of reform itself, that notwithstanding all these troubles and perplexities, it remains a great work, demanding our sympathy and giving much hope of future blessing.

It is, however, of the movement in Spain and Portugal that I myself can speak with greatest confidence. For I have not only watched its progress with anxious care for the past six years, but I have also, during that period, twice visited the Peninsula, for the purpose of testing the accuracy of the reports that had reached my ears.

Did time permit me to tell you in detail what I have seen and heard I should not fail, I know, to interest you deeply. For the present all I can do is to state briefly certain leading facts.

Five and twenty years ago there was not, I suppose, a score of native Protestants in the whole Peninsula. Seventeen years ago there was not a single Protestant congregation. There are now some to,000 Protestants, distributed among about fifty congregations. Of these ro,000 Protestants, nearly one-third have adopted an Episcopal constitution, and a fixed Liturgy, and have formed themselves into two Churches, named the Reformed Church of Spain and the Reformed Portuguese (or Lusitanian) Church respectively. Connected with the Reformed Episcopal Church of Spain there are eight organised congregrations, viz., one in Madrid, two in Seville, one in Malaga, two in the neighbourhood of Salamanca, and two in the neighbourhood of Barcelona. These, together with some scattered groups, represent in all (including the children attending the schools) nearly 2,000 souls, of whom about 700 are communicants. There are eight native ordained ministers (five of whom were priests of the Church of Rome), one lay-evangelist, and thirteen teachers.

[6] In the Reformed Lusitanian or Portuguese Church there are five organised congregations, viz., two in Lisbon, one at Rio de Monro, and two in the neighbourhood of Oporto. These, together with school children, represent nearly 'moo souls, of whom about 400 are communicants. There are five ordained ministers (three of whom were priests of the Church of Rome), a lay-helper, and other accredited teachers and workers.

Such are the statistics of these Churches. As regards the character of the movement, the impression left on my mind by my two visits is as follows. The work appears to me to be clearly one of self-reform. Colporteurs, no doubt, prepared the way, and evangelistic agencies have subsequently lent their help, but the need and the craving was there before, and it has been by the spontaneous efforts of native reformers that the movement has acquired its real strength. Secondly, self-interest has had no part in the result. Those who have left the Church of Rome have done so in the face of obloquy, social ostracism, and persecution. They have had everything to lose, and nothing to gain. Thirdly, the movement is not a political one, nor due to any mere ephemeral outbreak of excitement. Rather is it the result of a deep-seated longing for that truth and peace which Rome is powerless to supply. Lastly, so far at least as the two Episcopal Churches in question are concerned, the work would seem to have within it the elements of unity, order, and permanence. The congregations, though few and scattered widely apart, are hound together by a sense of corporate oneness. They send their delegates to a central Synod. They have, in Spain, chosen their Bishop-elect--a man with all those qualities of head and heart that fit him to be a leader in such a movement. In Portugal they are prepared to make a similar choice when the proper time arrives. In each Church, moreover, they have a Prayer Book of their own, compiled on the lines of that ancient ritual which was in use throughout Spain and Portugal before the intrusion of the Church of Rome in the 11th century. In each Church, too--and this is best of all--there seems to be growing among these reformers a profound conviction that few and weak and poor though they be, they have a mission to then native land, and are bound not to rest till it be accomplished.

One word more as to the character of this movement. Looking forth on the various efforts for Reform on the primitive model to which our attention is directed this evening, I myself am strongly of opinion that these Spanish and Portuguese Churches represent more nearly than any others that combination of Apostolic Order and Evangelic truth--that intermixture of the Catholic and the Protestant elements--which is the distinguishing mark of the Anglican Communion throughout the world. I cannot, of course, expect all whom I address to concur with me in this opinion. Some here present, looking at these movements from a different point of view will regard the "Old Catholic " and kindred efforts as more closely representing what they accept as the true standard of Anglican churchmanship. But, speaking to generous and large-hearted men, as I do, I would ask whether, while taking each of us a special interest in some one phase of this work, our sympathies may not be wide enough to embrace all. For my own part, as my friends are aware, the interest which I feel in the Spanish cause has not prevented me from extending sympathy and practical help to the old [6/7] Catholics of Germany, Switzerland, France, and Rome as well. And why might it not so be with us all? We have all, I trust, come to the conclusion--and if we have not, a Congress such as this ought to teach us the lesson--that even more widely different schools of thought than those which differentiate these reformers can find each of them a legitimate standing-ground within our own comprehensive Church. Why should not the loving arms of that mother Church be opened as widely towards those without her Communion as they are, thank God, to those within?

It only remains for me to notice one or two difficulties which are felt as to this whole question of foreign reform by some conscientious members of our Church. I do not speak of objections brought by those who regard our own Reformation as having been a mistake, or by those who from strong party feeling have come to regard this subject with inveterate distaste. I will hope that none such are present here this evening. I, therefore, address myself now rather to those who in their hearts welcome these reformation efforts, and would help them if only conscience gave them leave.

There are some, for example, who ask whether, in these days of doubt and unbelief, it is right to unsettle the minds of any who profess and call themselves Christians, even though they belong to a corrupt Church? In reply, I would say--If their position be a really safe one, or if we approach them merely with negative and destructive controversy, offering then no sure refuge in the shape of a definite Creed or an organised Church, it would not be right. But, confining myself for the present to the work in Spain, I would ask is the position there occupied by our Roman Catholic brethren a safe one? Let me quote the words of one whom none will describe as having been an ultra-Protestant. The late Dr. Neale, in his essays on Liturgiology, published some twenty-five years ago, writes thus--"What wonder that the miserable result is Spain as we now see it! A clergy impoverished, but not holy; a middle class, when not utterly careless, utterly infidel; a peasantry with all the seeds of faith yet strong in their hearts, but finding no other nourishment for it than the wildest excesses of Mariolatry I" Such was the position of Roman Catholics in Spain a quarter of a century ago. Since that time, as all who know Spain are aware, Romanism has not improved, and the Infidelity which then had reached the middle classes now threatens the peasantry as well. And what can Rome do to grapple with this advancing foe? Let me quote the words of another witness whom none will accuse of having been biassed by any spirit of narrow sectarianism. The late Archbishop of Canterbury, speaking at a meeting held on behalf of these very Spanish reformers, and giving us reasons for extending to them a helping hand, used these words, and they are words which must, I think, approve themselves to every thoughtful and observant mind. "There is a danger," he said, "and an obvious danger, that powerful influences are at work throughout the most enlightened nations, which are entirely antagonistic to Christianity. I believe that the Church of Rome is absolutely powerless to meet these anti-Christian movements." The testimony of such witnesses would seem to show that the position of Roman Catholics in Spain is not a safe one; and that therefore we should be justified, under any circumstances, in warning them of their [6/7] danger. But what ought, as it seems to me, to remove any scruple on this head is the fact, that in going to the succour of these reformers our mission is not to unsettle the minds of those who are at ease, but rather to settle and tranquillise the minds of those who are already in a state of disturbance, perplexity, and, at times, despair. We go to their succour, too, at their own invitation. We are not volunteering to send Anglican missionaries to reform Spaniards. We are helping Spaniards who are already engaged in the work of reform themselves. Moreover, as Anglican churchmen we do so with a further special object in view. At a time when many heterogeneous forms of Protestantism are trying to impress their shape on this work of reform, bewildering the minds of those who have fled from the Church of Rome, and giving, besides, a handle to the enemy, we feel that we have something more to do than to give financial help. We desire to give our moral support to those who are seeking for some place of safety which will offer them a real prospect of permanent security--some Church, purged indeed from Romish error, but shaped after the primitive model, and associated with the traditions, ecclesiastical and national, of the past. Surely to aid our brethren in such an effort is not to unsettle, but to settle and stablish them! Had they been asleep on the sinking ship, it would, I assert, have been right to startle them, and bid them leap from the deck, provided we had the lifeboat awaiting them below, but, when they have themselves taken the plunge, when they have themselves reached the boat and are nearing the shore, and when, tossed to and fro on the angry waves, they cry out for fear and ask our help, can we with a clear conscience turn a deaf ear to their appeal?

But, it may be asked, are not these reformers guilty of schism? Do they deserve our help? This is a scruple which, I know, sorely tries the conscience of some. I hope I am not presumptuous in believing that it will not bear the test of sober reflection.

No Roman Catholic, as we know, can have access to the means of grace without confession of sin to a priest. If he conscientiously disbelieves the dogma of Transubstantiation, or of the Immaculate Conception, or of the Infallibility of the Pope, what must he do? If he be honest he must tell it all out to his confessor. He is at once excommunicated. A schism, or separation is no doubt thus brought about. But who is responsible for it? The man whose honest convictions forbade him to conceal the truth, or the Church which thereupon exiles him from her communion? Surely there is but one reply. And can those who know the value of participation in the means of grace, and especially those who prize and advocate their frequent use--can they with a clear conscience continue, themselves, to enjoy, these privileges, and, at the same time, by refusing their help, condemn a brother to live without this spiritual food? Are they prepared to tell him to be spiritually warmed and filled, and yet to withhold from him what is needful for the life and nourishment of his soul?

But there is another difficulty which checks the sympathy of some who might otherwise be friends.

These Spanish and Portuguese reformers (and it is to their case that my further remarks will apply) not only ask us to give them that financial aid which, after doing all they can themselves, they so sorely need. They [8/9] ask us for something more. They ask us to supply other needs which money cannot meet. They have adopted an Episcopal constitution, but as yet no bishop of their former communion has joined their ranks. Under these circumstances, they come to us and say--"We have done that which you as Episcopalians cannot fail to approve. We have followed the example of your reformers. But by so doing we are reduced to great straits. Had we chosen to be Presbyterians we could have ordained our clergy; our children would not have sought for confirmation; our churches would not he c needed consecration. But without the offices of a bishop our Church cannot live. We ask you, therefore, to do as the Archbishop of Utrecht did for the `Old Catholics,' and as the American Church did for Mexico. We ask you to consecrate our bishop-elect, and, meanwhile, we ask that some one of your bishops shall come and provisionally supply our wants. If this be not done, one of two courses lies before us--we must return to the fold of Rome, or we must give up Episcopacy. If you think we have done rightly in following your example, do not allow us, for so doing, to become a byword and a laughing stock to our fellow-countrymen, and at the last, as a Church, to become extinct. Come over, as brethren, and help us!"

But here arises a difficulty. Is there not a canon of an ancient Council forbidding a bishop to discharge episcopal functions in the diocese of another bishop without that bishop's consent? And are there not already Roman Catholic bishops in charge of all the dioceses of Spain and Portugal? How can another bishop exercise his office within any of these dioceses without infringing the canon?

Many answers might be given to questions such as these. It might be said that this canon had become obsolete. Or it might be said that the Roman Catholic bishops represent a Church which herself intruded into Spain in times gone by. Or it might be said that the Church of Rome, by the enunciation of the recent Vatican Decrees has decatholicised and denationalised herself, and lost her claim to the alleged protection supplied by the canon. But without questioning the force of any one of these replies, I would take my stand on what seems to me a simpler and safer ground of defence. This canon was framed for the Catholic Church at a time when it was as yet undivided. It cannot, therefore, be assumed that it applies to Christendom as now rent asunder through the disintegrating action of the Church of Rome herself. Bishop Coxe, of Western New York, has well expressed this distinction. When preaching on the occasion of the consecration of Bishop Riley, he asked whether any one would be deterred from entering a burning house and rescuing a friend from the flames by scruples as to the laws of trespass? Those laws are not obsolete, but they were not intended to apply, and do not apply, to the case in point. It would, no doubt, be a violation of the canon (which I myself do not regard as obsolete) were I to exercise my episcopal functions in this diocese where we meet this evening without my brother of Winchester's consent, because my Church and his are in close communion one with another. But our Churches are not in communion with the Church of Rome, and neither he nor I are precluded by the canon from entering within the confines of that Church, and giving succour to those who, if we do not come to their aid, may perish for lack of spiritual food.

Did time permit, I could easily show from the history of the early [9/10] Church, from Patristic writings, and from later divines (including Bishop Wordsworth in our own day) that this interpretation has abundant authority in its support. [See Appendix.] But it is more to the point to note that this is, in fact, the view which the Lambeth Conference must have taken of the canon. Not only does the Report of that Conference already quoted embody such a principle, but that principle was actually put in practice by the Conference itself, and that, too, in the case of these very reformers of whom we now speak. A memorial having been submitted to the Conference by them, asking for the consecration of a bishop, the Conference suggests, in a formal resolution, that so soon as the Episcopate should have been extended by the American Church to Mexico, the bishop thereby appointed should visit the Peninsula, and there render such assistance as he might deem advisable. Here, then, we have the hundred Bishops of Lambeth, not only acquiescing in the course about to be adopted by the American Church in the consecration of a bishop for Mexico, but recommending that this bishop should render Episcopal assistance to the reformers of Spain. I may add that this Bishop, having received a formal letter of commendation from the late Archbishop of Canterbury, did visit Spain, and having ordained and confirmed such as needed his offices, recommended these reformers to apply to the bishops of the Irish Church for further help. Also, that the Irish bishops have deferred a final decision on the course that they shall adopt until they shall have had an opportunity of consulting their brethren of the Anglican Communion at the next Lambeth Conference. Also, that I myself, on the earnest invitation of these reformers, and without any protest from my brethren of the Irish Episcopate (to whom I formally conveyed my intention) felt myself bound to visit the Peninsula, and by holding ordinations and confirmations, to carry out what I understand to have been the spirit of the Lambeth resolution, and what I believe to have been my solemn duty in the sight of God.

In conclusion, I have only to urge all those who hear this appeal for help from our struggling brethren in Spain and Portugal to give that help without delay. And I would especially ask all whose opinion may have weight in bringing about the consecration of their bishop-elect to do what they can to use their influence on that behalf. I know that there are those who think that, even after so much biding-time already, it is still our policy to wait. Some are of opinion that if only we would wait for the accession to the ranks of these reformers of a bishop from the Church of Rome, we should escape the risk of wounding national pride which they fear might be incurred by imparting the Episcopal succession through a foreign channel. Others believe that if we would only wait until these reformers had been largely increased in numbers and importance--especially by the advent to their company of some of their wealthier and mightier fellow-countrymen--we should have a clearer ground for giving them our help. For my part, with all the earnestness of which I am capable, and as one who has made himself thoroughly acquainted with the circumstances of the case, I plead against any further procrastination. As to the chance of a Romish bishop joining this movement, it is, alas, [10/11] hopeless, and the risk of wounding national feelings by conveying the Episcopate through foreign hands is nothing to the danger of hurting those feelings by prolonging the time of foreign supervision and interference that must intervene pending the election of a bishop of their own. And as to the accession of the rich and mighty, that, too, is hopeless so long as these poor reformers can be pointed to with the finger of scorn as having been neglected and disappointed by those in whom, above all, they had placed their trust.

But there is another reason why that which we do we should do quickly. While we are wearying our consciences with subtle scruples, while we are standing aghast before fine-spun cobwebs of difficulty, a rival claimant is advancing steadily, and if we are not up and doing, will pre-occupy the ground which we seek to gain. Infidelity is making its way stealthily into the recesses of these lands. Already it has its victims in the towns, and among the middle classes. It is creeping on to the rural districts, but it has not yet, to any great extent, affected them. The peasantry are profoundly dissatisfied with the teaching of Rome, but, as Dr. Neale tells us, the seeds of faith are still strong in their hearts. By and by it may not be so. Those hearts may be crusted over with the hard surface of unbelief, and the sower may sow in vain!

We are told that but for three weeks delay Khartoum might have been reached, and Gordon saved. It is said that while England was trifling away precious time with small questionings as to political expediency and international propriety, a glorious opportunity was allowed to slip, and all was lost. Whether this be so, it is not for me here to assert. But this I will say. Let us not be guilty of any such folly. We have now in Spain and Portugal our glorious opportunity. While we have that opportunity, in God's name, let us have courage to use it. By and by it may be too late!

APPENDIX (See p. 10).


1. The learned BINGHAM, in his "Antiquities of the Christian Church" [Book ii , cap. vi.], describing "the office of Bishops in relation to the whole Catholic Church," says

"Dioceses were but limits of convenience for the preservation of order in times of peace; but the faith was a more universal thing, and when war was made on that, then the whole world was but one diocese, and the whole Church but one flock, and every pastor thought himself obliged to feed his great Master's sheep according to his power, whatever part of the world they were scattered in. Hence came that current notion, so frequently to be met with in Cyprian, of but one Bishopric in the Church, wherein every single bishop had his share in the whole: Episcopatus unus est, cujus a singulis in solidum pars tenetur.''

[12] BINGHAM goes on to illustrate the Church's practice in this respect by citing the following examples:

"Athanasius, as he returned from his exile, made no scruple to ordain in several cities as he went along, though they were not in his own diocese. And the famous Eusebius of Samosata did the like in the times of the Arian persecution under Valens. Theodoret says he went about all Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine, in a soldier's habit, ordaining presbyters and deacons, and setting in order whatever he found wanting in the Churches. He ordained bishops also in Syria and Cilicia, and other places, whose names Theodoret has recorded. . . Epiphanius made use of the same power and privilege in a like case . against which, when some of his adversaries objected that it was done contrary to canon, he vindicated his practice upon the strength of this principle--that in cases of pressing necessity such as this was, where the interest of God was to be served, every bishop had power to act in any part of the Church; for, though all bishops had their particular Churches to officiate in, and were not ordinarily to exceed their own bounds; yet the love of Christ was a rule above all; and therefore men were not barely to consider the thing that was done, but the circumstances of the action, the time, the manner, the persons for whose sake, and the end for which it was done."

2. CASAUBON, perhaps the most learned student of antiquity in the seventeenth century, thus writes in his treatise De Liberbate Ecclesiastica:--

"The ancient fathers did so attend to the government of the several flocks peculiarly committed to their charge, that they thought the care of the universal flock did likewise in some measure belong unto them; for which reason St. Cyprian, St. Athanasius, St. Basil, and other persons of the same dignity did not confine their care within the bounds of the particular churches intrusted to them, but through the fervour of their piety and desire of unity, extended it to the universal Church of God. . Pious bishops are often said to have instituted priests and other clergymen in the districts of other bishops with impunity, how much soever by the ordinary canon law ordinations in other dioceses were forbidden; and this they did not out of any ambition, but by virtue of that universal Episcopacy above-mentioned; and it appears that this has been done especially in the exigency of the Church." (Quoted in "Hicke's Treatise, Anglo-Catholic Library," vol. iii., p. 189.)

3. ARCHBISHOP POTTER, in his "Discourse on Church Government," p. 301, says:--"When any bishop turned heretic the neighbouring bishops deposed him, and ordained another in his stead; and that because they, as officers of the Catholic Church, were in duty bound to have a general concern for the whole body of Christians, as well as for their own particular districts. This is expressly affirmed by Cyprian. 'There is,' says he, 'a large body of priests' (whereby he means bishops, though it would be all one to the present argument if he had meant only presbyters) 'cemented by the ties of mutual concord and the bond of unity; so that if any of our (episcopal) college shall turn heretic and waste the flock of Christ, the rest may come into their assistance, and as useful and merciful shepherds restore the wandering sheep of Christ to His flock.' Again, 'Though,' says he, 'we are many shepherds, we feed only one flock, and it is our duty to gather and [12/13] cherish His sheep which our Lord purchased with His blood, and not to suffer our brethren to be despised, and trodden under foot by some man's pride and presumption.' In pursuance of this principle, two bishops of Spain, who had fallen into idolatry, were deposed, and others ordained in their stead by the neighbouring bishops, as may be seen in the same epistle of Cyprian, out of which the forementioned passages are taken" (p. 301).

4. The following solemn declaration made by the AMERICAN EPISCOPATE at the Convention of 1880, and signed by 53 bishops, is so in accord with the above principles, that it will not be out of place to append it here:


WHEREAS, The Lambeth Conference of 1878 set forth the following declaration, to wit:--

"We gladly welcome every effort for reform upon the model of the primitive Church. We do not demand a rigid uniformity; we deprecate needless divisions; but to those who are drawn to us in the endeavour to free themselves from the yoke of error and superstition, we are ready to offer all help, and such privileges as may be acceptable to them, and are consistent with the maintenance of our own principles as enunciated in our formularies." Which declaration rests upon two indisputable historical facts:

1st. That the Body calling itself the Holy Roman Church has, by the decrees of the Council of Trent in 1565, and by the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854, and by the decree of the Infallibility of the Pope in 187o, imposed upon the consciences of all the members of the National Churches under its sway, as of the Faith, to be held as of implicit necessity to salvation, dogmas having no warrant in Holy Scripture or the ancient creeds; which dogmas are so radically false as to corrupt and defile the Faith; and

2nd. That the assumption of a universal Episcopate by the Bishop of Rome, making operative the definition of Papal Infallibility, has deprived of its original independence the Episcopal Order in the Latin Churches, and substituted for it a Papal Vicariate for the superintendence of Dioceses; while the virtual change of the Divine Constitution of the Church as founded in the Episcopate, and the other Orders, into a Tridentine Consolidation, has destroyed the autonomy, if not the corporate existence, of National Churches:

Now, therefore, we Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in the United States of America, assembled in Council as Bishops in the Church of God, asserting the principles declared in the Lambeth Conference, and in order to the maintaining of a true unity, which must be a unity in the Truth, do hereby affirm:

That the great primitive rule of the Catholic Church, "Episcopatus unus, cujus a singulis in solidum pars tenetur," imposes upon the Episcopates of all National Churches holding the primitive Faith and Order, and upon the several bishops of the same, not the right only, but the duty also, of protecting, in the holding of that Faith, and the recovering of that Order, those who, by the methods before described, have been deprived of both; and, further, the Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, assembled in Council, not meaning to dispute the validity of Consecrations by a single Consecrator, [13/14] put on record their conviction that in the organisation of Reformed Churches, with which we may hope to have communion, they should follow the teaching of the Canons of Nicaea; and that, where Consecration cannot be had by three Bishops of the Province, Episcopal Orders should at all events be conferred by three Bishops of National Churches,

5. The following extract from a speech delivered by the late BISHOP (WORDSWORTH) of LINCOLN (November, 1881), at a meeting held for the purpose of expressing sympathy with the "Old Catholics," states the question with great clearness. Though the Bishop's words have primary reference to the Old Catholic movement, they apply, of course, with equal force to the Reformed Churches of Spain and Portugal.


6. The language of the late ARCHBISHOP (TAIT) OF CANTERBURY, delivered in 1879, when Convocation was asked to deal with the action of certain Scotch Bishops, who made a tender of provisional oversight, and promised episcopal ministrations to Pere Hyacinthe, is equally clear. His Grace then said--



Since the delivery of the foregoing address, I have made a special appeal on behalf of the Reformers of Spain and Portugal, in a letter addressed to some of the leading papers, entitled, "WHILE IT IS DAY." From this letter I would venture to quote the following extract:--

In view of this great emergency, I have thought it right to make this special appeal. I do not ask for contributions without giving some security that such help will he wisely allotted. There exists a Society--the Spanish and Portuguese Church Aid Society--which more than twelve years ago was organised for the purpose of helping these Reformers to help themselves. This Society has among its patrons the Bishop of London, the Bishop of Liverpool, and other members of the English and Irish Episcopate. Its indefatigable Secretary--the Rev. L. S. Tugwell--is one who, by the wise counsel and self-sacrificing aid which he gave to the leaders of the movement when Chaplain of Seville, is entitled to be called the father of the Reformed Episcopal Church in Spain. He is assisted by a central committee in London, of which I have the honour to be Chairman, and of which the Rev. Canon Fleming, the Rev. W. H. Webb-Peploe, and other well-known and well-trusted clergymen and laymen are members. The official expenses, as I can certify, have been brought within the smallest compass, and its report and accounts are yearly submitted at a public annual meeting. It is through this Society that any contributions which I receive will be transmitted, and I guarantee to those who may give them that they will be well applied.

Last New Year's Day I made a similar appeal, to which many generously responded, and I now return them my best thanks. I then stated that some ten years ago the Society of which I speak, with a view to meeting a special emergency, encumbered itself--rashly, as I believe--with a debt of some £2,000, which has ever since been hanging about its neck and hampering it on its onward work. I offered to give £100 myself towards the liquidation of this debt, and asked that in so doing I might not be allowed to stand alone. Owing to the response then made, as well as to funds accruing from other sources, one-half of that debt, I am thankful to say, has been cleared off. And my earnest hope and prayer is, that before another year passes by, our Society may be set free from this harassing burden, and at liberty to help the work of evangelisation in Spain to an extent at present impossible. That this my hope will be realised, I, at least, have faith to believe. And strong in this conviction I now issue this appeal. I do so in the full consciousness that a duty has been cast on me from which I must not shrink. In the providence of God, not at my own bidding, I have been brought into close contact with this movement, and, as an eye-witness of its result, have now an opportunity of enlisting confidence and sympathy on its behalf. But which of us knows how soon we may ourselves hear the summons--"The night cometh?" And how great, therefore, the responsibility of using this my opportunity before the shadows begin to close around!

If I seem importunate, I have at least one plea, and it will, I trust, he deemed a sufficient one--"I must work the works of Him that sent me WHILE IT IS DAY."

I have only to add that any communication addressed to me as follows:--THE MOST REV. LORD PLUNKET, ARCHBISHOP OF DUBLIN. 12, EARLSFORT TERRACE, DUBLIN--Will receive immediate attention. PLUNKET, DUBLIN.

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