Project Canterbury

 

AN EXAMINATION

OF THE SO-CALLED

AMERICAN MISSAL

 

 

 

 

THE REV. CARL ECKHARDT GRAMMER, S.T.D.

Rector of St. Stephen's Church, Philadelphia. Sometime Professor in the
Virginia Theological Seminary, and Chairman of the Committee
on Publications of the Evangelical Education Society

 

 

 

THE EVANGELICAL EDUCATION SOCIETY
OF THE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH

PHILADELPHIA, PA.

 

 

  


POINTS ILLUSTRATED BY FAC SIMILES

The following fac-simile pages of the Missal are the most important part of this pamphlet. The Evangelical Education Society has gone to the expense of producing them becuase it is convinced that the great majority of our Church people will refuse to believe that this Missal is, what it is, unless they have the most incontrovertible evidence. So here it is. Our readers will find here extracts from the Ordinary and Canon of the Mass, and also from special services. They can judge for themselves whether this book, with its pharisaic emphasis on the lesser matters of position and posture, with its copying of Romish rites, conforms to the morale of our Prayer Book with its dignified simplicity. On one occasion the great scientist Faraday was requested by a friend to witness an experiment. Faraday agreed, but asked his friend to indicate first what he was [3/4] particularly to look out for. If such a great observer as Faraday made such a request, we hope that it will not be considered impertinent if we mention beforehand some points that our readers will do well to notice.

1. Notice how the Communion is consistently set forth as a propitiatory rite, designed to win the favor of God and earn from Him benefits.

2. How it is referred to as a sacrifice, a propitiatory sacrifice-which is exactly what the Roman Mass is, and the Communion office of our Church is not.

3. How every effort is made by attitude and devotion to localize Christ in the elements-a physical presence in the bread and wine and not a spiritual presence in the heart, as the Prayer Book teaches.

4. Notice the Mariolatry.

5. Notice the Saint worship.

6. Notice the Masses for the dead.

7. Notice the inclusion of Charles I as a martyr. Strange exaltation for an American book of worship of the untruthful king who lost his life in resisting the progress of civil and religious liberty-as if loyalty to the Apostolical succession outweighed his disloyalty to Stratford, his intrigues with the Irish, and his oppression of the Scotch and English.

8. Notice how modern Rome, rather than the primitive Church, has captured the imagination of the compilers of the Missal, and the lack of interest in English Christianity since the Reformation-as evidenced by the list of Saints, especially the inclusion of Ignatius Loyola and Xavier, and the omission of Wesley and Heber.

9. Notice the childish importance attached to signs, symbols, to ashes, and candles, to signs of the Cross.

10. Notice how absolutely untrue is the statement that these additions can be inserted into our Prayer Book in the private devotions of the minister, and are therefore no concern of the congregation and not in conflict with our rubrics.

11. Notice how Prayer Book language is avoided and Romish terms used, the Communion office being a Mass. The title of our Protestant Episcopal Church nowhere appears in the book.


FOREWORD

The following excerpts and articles are sent to the members of the next General Convention, and, as far as funds will permit, to selected members of the Protestant Episcopal Church, who have shown themselves interested in preserving the gains of the Reformation. Legislators cannot discharge their functions wisely unless they are acquainted with existing conditions. The revelation that the publication of this Anglo-Catholic Missal makes of the spirit, aims, and lawlessness of the Anglo-Catholic element in our Church cannot be ignored. Like the outbreak of a rash upon a patient, it is a symptom of a diseased condition. The book, being published for use "at the Altar" is so expensive, costing in the cheapest edition, thirty dollars a volume, that it is not apt to fall into the hands of the laity, and will probably be purchased only by those who intend to use it. We are, therefore, publishing some specimen pages. Many would not believe in the possibility of such a lawless repudiation of the spirit and teaching of our Communion Office unless they saw the documents. So here are some significant exhibits. We wish that it were possible to publish more.

The Bishops are, ex officio, the chief custodians and administrators of our Church's discipline, so we have gathered together the judgments of those who have, in accordance with the obligation laid upon them by Canon No. 46, spoken out about this unauthorized publication. Their judgment is clear: it is a thoroughly lawless book. The Custodian of the Standard Prayer Book had no business to authenticate any part of it and will certainly be called to account for his conduct at the General Convention.

That the voice of reason may be heard as well as the voice of authority, we have followed the opinions of the Bishops, by discussions upon the law and doctrine in the case, which we believe are well grounded and certainly have not been confuted.

The pamphlet is put forth in a spirit of brotherliness, as well as in zeal for the truth. While we disbelieve both in the teachings and methods of the Anglo-Catholics, as revealed by this Missal, we credit them with some great virtues. They have courage and zeal, and they have a real devotion to religion and the Church--not so much the Protestant Episcopal Church, as the Catholic [5/6] Church of their own imagination and their own definition. We acknowledge that they have a zeal for God, but like St. Paul in the case of Israel's zeal for the Law, we hold that it is not a zeal according to knowledge. We are convinced that the righteousness they seek to establish by their unbloody sacrifice of the Mass, is not the righteousness of the Gospel, as our Church hath received the same; is not, as the Apostle Paul put it, "the word of faith which we preach."

Some people may be inclined to turn away from any discussion that seeks to rid our Church of superstition, on the ground that we are a comprehensive Church tolerant of many divergent types of Churchmanship, and that nothing must be done to narrow its breadth; that our real danger comes not from superstition, but from scepticism and the philosophy of Humanism. "Let us ignore minor differences" will be their cry, "and unite against the common foe."

We have no desire to lessen the proper and statesmanlike comprehensiveness of our Church, but the stream must have banks if it is to have a current, and there must be limits to the Church's comprehensiveness if it is to bear a consistent witness, and be a teaching institution. Law is a limitation of freedom for the sake of efficiency. Helpful comprehensiveness must be based on law, and this book is thoroughly lawless, departing both from our discipline and doctrine. Moreover we hold that such a derogatory view of the Lord's Supper, such a radical departure from our Church's teaching about this Sacrament, cannot be counted a "minor matter." We are firmly convinced that the Church cannot effectively make war upon error and unbelief, unless it rids itself of superstition--for while apparently foes, superstition and scepticism are like Siamese twins; each keeping alive the other. The remedy for each is the same, the truth as it is in Jesus, the simple gospel of the love of God, as revealed in Jesus Christ. We must resist the tendency to extremes, the falseness of extremes, as it has been well said. That is always the inclination of emotional, or narrowly rationalistic people. As a rapid stream sets up eddies along its banks, so a dominant tendency in thought creates a reactionary current in a certain type of mind. If superstition is widespread, the intellectuals are sceptical. If scepticism is the vogue, the aesthetes yearn for the colour and romance of the Middle Ages [6/7] and feel the attractiveness of the Mass and cry "Credo quia absurdum." This Missal is a derelict floating upon a reactionary current. It is a manifestation of the same distrust of reason that has recently produced the theology of Karl Barth in Germany. In Barth's case the return is to the letter of the Scripture; in the case of Anglo-Catholicism the reversion is to the authority of the Church in the ages before the enlightenment of the Renaissance and the Reformation.

With the untempered mortar that was mixed in the Middle Ages by combining Jewish legalism and pagan magic, in the doctrine of the Mass, the Anglo-Catholics would build up the walls of Zion. Believing that such battlements are not of the Lord, we would take them away. A teaching so un-Biblical, so unreasonable and so unethical, we hold can be no cure for doubt. History has confirmed the teaching of theology and shown that such a doctrine of the Lord's Supper is really a source of scepticism among peoples where education is widely diffused.

It is in the interest of the efficiency of our Church that her official teaching should not be perverted by such a distortion of the Gospel. In a spirit of loyalty to the Church, and to the Gospel of our Saviour, the Evangelical Education Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church commends this pamphlet to the thought ftil perusal of the members of the Church into whose hands it may fall, and especially to the Bishops and Clerical and Lay Deputies of the next General Convention.


II

Pronouncements of Bishops

The first to speak out on the subject of the Missal was the Bishop of the historic diocese in which the English and Scotch ordinations were first united. BISHOP HELFENSTEIN, OF MARYLAND, spoke thus in his Convention address:

"The Book of Common Prayer, as revised by General Convention has now been in constant use for nearly two years. It has already won for itself our love and affection. Its richness in special prayers and offices, its flexibility and provision for shortened services, justify the time spent in its revision. Because of all this, I must again ask you to be loyal to its rubrics and commands. Frequently I am asked to go beyond its generous provisions and sanction the use of other prayers and services. This cannot be; such authority is not committed to me. I have no more authority to sanction the use of the Grey Book and other like books than the so-called American Missal. Neither can nor does bear the certificate of the Custodian of the Book of Common Prayer, and in my judgment, therefore, have no place on Prayer Desk or Altar. Forbidden additions as well as omissions should find no place in our regular services."

About thirty other Bishops have since declared the Missal unauthorized and objectionable. The list includes the heads of such great dioceses as New York (Dr. Manning), Long Island (Dr. Stires), Pennsylvania (Dr. Taitt), Virginia (Dr. Tucker), Washington (Dr. Freeman), California (Dr. Parsons), Central New York (Dr. Fiske). Many Bishops who strongly disapprove of the book made no declaration on the ground that it is not in circulation in their dioceses and they have no reason to think that it will be introduced. In this class were the Bishops of Maine, Springfield, Montana, South Carolina and Indianapolis. Others having in mind the unity of the Church and our common task of spreading the Gospel have felt it their duty, regardless of their diocesan immunity from this evil, to warn their people against such lawless departure from our Church's conception of the Lord's Supper. We give extracts from the most significant utterances:

[9] BISHOP JOHNSON, OF COLORADO, is emphatic in his denunciation. In an editorial in The Witness he uses these expressions:

"The honor system breaks down . . . when each man does that which is right in his own eyes regardless of the rights of others."

"Here is a group which adopts the theology of the Roman Church but rejects its polity."

"They continue mediaeval doctrine . . ."

"They look upon their own parishes as little principalities in which they can do as they please without reference to Episcopal authority or the action of General Convention."

(Each Presbyter) "Ignores the fact that his own orders and his own altar are not his own property but belong to the whole corporation."

"When it ("The American Missal") is officially placed upon a parish altar for use in the divine service the question arises 'Who can put it there?'"

"I question the right of Bishop, priest or vestry to put it there."

". . . General Convention has designated what books shall be used."

". . . There is no power . . . which can put it there but an act of General Convention."

BISHOP FISKE, OF CENTRAL NEW YORK, speaks in no uncertain terms in his Convention address and makes some important observations about the limitation of the liturgical authority of the Bishops in our Church:

The use of the book, I need not say, is not authorized in this diocese. Indeed, I have no right to authorize it. I am a constitutional officer, acting under constitutional restrictions. Under the Constitution of the Episcopal Church, the right of the Bishop to set forth a "use" for his own diocese was relinquished, and one "use" was adopted for the whole country, the Bishop retaining, of course, certain liturgical authority in setting forth prayers on special occasions for which no provision had been made elsewhere. I am glad that the action was taken. It is sufficiently confusing to the faithful Church layman to find almost every variety of ceremonial as he goes from parish to parish; if, as he moved from diocese to diocese, he found each Bishop fixing his own rite, he would be about as happy as a riotous and excitable flea!

[10] The declaration of the liberal Bishop of California, Bishop EDWARD L. PARSONS, D.D., is important, for its refutation of the sophism that the book does not conflict with the claims of the Prayer Book, and also for stressing the rights of the congregation, rights so frequently ignored in these discussions:

"The book itself includes what is commonly included in the altar service books of the Church; but it adds a great amount of other material, such as private prayers for the priest, directions as to posture and ceremonial and collects, epistles and gospels for days other than those provided in the prayer book. Some of these are supplementary; some are interpolations. Furthermore, it modifies rubrics, making, e. g., provision for a 'shortened mass,' and rearranges parts of the service.

". . . The Missal itself is quite careful to make no claims to be authorized by the Church. It is issued as a supplement to, not a substitute for, the Prayer Book. This is, of course, both a necessary and an entirely unreal statement. General Convention alone can issue an authorized book but, on the other hand, no one for a moment supposes that this book is to lie on the altar beside the Prayer Book as a mere guide to the priest when he is not sure of his way; nor for reference in his private devotion. Its form and cost precluded that and except formally I do not think its editors intend anything other than to have it used as a substitute. . . .

". . . Every congregation of this Church has the right to be protected from the individualism of the priest; we are not a conglomerate of independent congregations but a Church organized with a code of law."

The profound dissatisfaction that the Missal has excited in strongly Protestant dioceses is manifest in the utterances of the Virginia Bishops. Their senior, Bishop Gravatt, of West Virginia, speaks out roundly:

". . . the Church ought to be seriously concerned about 'The American Missal.' The publication of that, is one of the boldest things I have ever known. The object of course is, to get this Missal on the Communion Table, with the hope that becoming accustomed to seeing it, the clergy will gradually use it,--and many will--until the Mass takes the place of the Service for the Holy Communion in the Prayer Book.

"I will in my address to the Council of this Diocese, sound no uncertain note, will say it has no place in the Church and its use will be most distasteful to the Diocese.

[11] "I rather think Mr. Morehouse has over-reached himself. I hope the General Convention may express itself strongly against its use. Mr. Robinson's action is most reprehensible."

In his address to his council, BISHOP JETT OF THE DIOCESE OF SOUTHWESTERN VIRGINIA did not mince matters:

"This volume is a strictly foreign, gravely obtrusive and highly subtle and dangerous publication. It represents an unfolding breach in the Church on the part of a closely organized partisan group. The constitutional authority of the Church and its enactments for its detailed administration are, by implication certainly, declared to be insufficient and in effect a revolution is proposed. This movement is unauthorized and defiant and is committed to policies and practices which are in violation of the very genius and laws of the Protestant Episcopal Church.

"The authors and editors of 'The American Missal' openly acknowledge their dissent from the position of the Protestant Episcopal Church as this is set forth in the newly revised Book of Common Prayer and the Church's Constitution and Canons. This Party in the Church is at last openly organized against the Church as we know it, and has frankly challenged the ability of the General Convention to properly legislate for its government. The authors and editors of the Missal therefore presumptuously and publicly affirm their refusal to perform the Church's ministry within the bounds of its doctrine, discipline and worship. Such an attitude is contrary to their subscription to the Eighth Article of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

"The authors and editors of 'The American Missal' without reservation (and I quote their language) acknowledge the Missal to be 'an attempt to unify existing practices among Anglo-Catholics'. Please note the words: 'practices among Anglo-Catholics'. Again I quote their very words: 'These practices are derived from more or less complete translations of the medieval Western rites'. In other words, the General Convention is repudiated and defied as the final source of authority in matters of doctrine, discipline and worship.

"Therefore, in consistent accord with this extraordinary attitude of disloyalty the self-styled 'Anglo-Catholics'--a strictly partisan group have in entire disregard of constituted authority, infringed, in 'The American Missal', upon [11/14] the Book of Common Prayer, so recently revised and sent forth as the official book of devotion to be used in the public services of the Church.

"By their own admission, the proponents of the Missal have changed the nomenclature of the Church and its offices, have made additions to our Prayer Book, have revised, supplemented, interpreted, retranslated and introduced partisan musical settings and unauthorized elaborations.

"Strangely enough, while frankly confessing the 'unofficial' character of the Missal, they send it broadcast over the land, into every diocese, and encourage its use in all our churches, thereby inviting disloyalty and a breach of ordination vows and Canon law on the part of the clergy of the Church.

"I should be derelict if I should fail to give my official condemnation and complete rejection of the American Missal. I am comforted in the thought that it will have no place upon the altars of the churches in Southwestern Virginia.

"I have spoken at such length and with such frankness upon this subject because I believe it involves the peace, the unity, the honor and the very life of this Church and her ministry. If I am correct in my judgment, then this Council might well place in the hands of its deputies to the General Convention a suitable resolution expressing its hope that 'The American Missal' will be disapproved and its use in the Church emphatically denied.

"I quote from two letters recently received on this subject: The Rev. Dr. Carl E. Grammer writes: 'There are three classes who have no right to be in our ministry: (1) Those who do not believe in God and His supreme manifestation through Jesus. (2) Those who do not believe in written prayers and in a prescribed form of worship. (3) Those who believe in the Romish doctrines repudiated at the Reformation, especially the doctrine of physical presence in the elements.'

"I also share the opinion of Dr. Bowie, who writes: 'If the Anglo-Catholic group can carry through successfully this most amazingly arrogant act, they will be encouraged to think that they can do whatever they choose in changing the essential genius of this Church."

These strong words show that in the regions where the Protestant Episcopal Church is deeply rooted there will be no otiose and supine submission to Anglo-Catholic lawlessness and repudiation of Reformation gains.

 

[15] The same note is sounded in the Diocese of Arkansas by BISHOP WINCHESTER:

"I see no authority, given by our Church, to use 'The American Missal' (so called) in public service.--Where the Clergy take it upon themselves to advocate it, as a part of the Ritual of" The Protestant Episcopal Church, they are treading upon very dangerous ground, in these days when the feet of Bishops and others in official positions should stand firmly on the rock as laid down by The Reformation."

Kentucky, in both its dioceses, speaks with the same voice through BISHOPS WOODCOCK and ALMAN-ABBOTT as was to be expected.

It is significant that North Carolina, always somewhat higher on Orders than Virginia, is equally explicit.

Here is BISHOP CHESHIRE'S opinion:

"In regard to the publication you refer to, 'The American Missal' I have no hesitation in saying, that, so far as it professes to be a directory of worship, or any interpretation and devotional expression of the worship and teaching of that Branch of Christ's Catholic and Apostolic Church, now known and legally designated as The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, it is, in my judgment, a libel on the Church, and a perversion and misrepresentation of the Doctrine and Worship of the Church, whoever may be responsible for it."

With this BISHOP MORELAND, OF SACRAMENTO, agrees:

"The whole spirit of this book is alien to the American tradition and the pure Catholic life which is our distinctive glory."

And the Bishop of Nebraska, Dr. Shayler:

"Loyalty to the Church and to her Book of Common Prayer forbids me to use or approve of the 'American Missal.' To me the Prayer Book is not only our compendium of public worship and devotion but a definite statement of doctrine as 'this Church hath received the same.' My personal acts of devotion, or private prayers, are a personal matter, but should never be intruded upon a Congregation."

The Bishop of the Diocese of Eau Claire, Dr. Wilson, minimizes the evil of the book but he does not like it and makes significant admissions. We quote him in part:

[18] "It happens that I do not care for it myself, which, of course, is no reflection on the book. Not having been educated to many of the forms contained in it, I would be only confused in attempting to use it.

"Most of the things I have read about it, pro and con, seem to be productive rather of heat than of light. Mr. Morehouse's editorial in the 'Living Church' of June 20 is interesting, as his editorials always are, but to my mind not very illuminating. I cannot see what the Missal has to do, one way or another, with our pronouncements on Church unity.

* * * *

"The particular exception which I take to 'The American Missal' is the certification of the Custodian of the Standard Prayer Book stating that certain parts of the Missal are in conformity with the corresponding parts of the Book of Common Prayer. This gives it a quasi-authority to which I do not believe it is entitled."

BISHOP JOHNSON, OF MISSOURI, has sent a letter to every clergyman in the Diocese of Missouri, admonishing them not to introduce this book into the worship of the congregation.

BISHOP LONGLEY, OF IOWA, showed a firm grasp on the constitutional principles of our Church:

"At a meeting of the Clergy and Lay delegates to the annual conference for Clergy and Laity held at Clear Lake, Iowa, the matter of the 'American Missal' was on the agenda.

"In my remarks at that meeting, I made it clearly understood that the Bishop of Iowa could not constitutionally allow the use of the book in the Diocese. It is unnecessary for me to make further comment as I am in quite hearty agreement with all the Bishop of Central New York and the Bishop of Colorado have written regarding the matter."

It is strange that we have not seen any declaration from Louisiana. In parts of the country where the Roman Catholics have been long entrenched, this Missal must appear as a deadly obstacle to the progress of our Church, and a disastrous effort to conform to Romish usages and inculcate Romish or near-Romish doctrines. Doubtless the Bishops in the other parts of the ancient dominion of France and Spain (North of the Rio Grande) have spoken out, and we are only unfortunate in not knowing their utterances. [18/19] BISHOP SEAMAN, OF NORTHERN TEXAS, has, however, atoned for their silence, if they have failed to speak, by a most significant pastoral letter which we print in full. He realizes the necessity of maintaining the Protestant character of our Church if it is to render any efficient service in that part of our land in this age when Roman Catholicism is being found in adjacent Mexico such a foe to progress and enlightenment, and is being dis-established in Spain.

"July 9, 1931.

"To the Clergy, Lay Readers and Church Wardens of the
Missionary District of Northern Texas.

"My dear Brethren:

"It is required of your Bishop under the sixth section of the forty-sixth Canon of the General Convention of 1928, that he give public notice that an edition of a part of the Book of Common Prayer has been published and offered for sale and for use in this District. It is called 'The American Missal.

"The book, according to the publishers' prospectus and sample pages, contains the Order for the Administration of the Lord's Supper or Holy Communion according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church, but nowhere does the proper name or legal title of our Church appear, and the service is frequently called the mass. The book purports to show how to render our Protestant service as high mass, low mass, solemn mass, sung mass, requiem mass and whatnot.

"This missal--which means the mass book--contains the pre-Reformation Ordinary of the Mass, medieval English forms and medieval and modern Roman forms, with apparently no consideration of the primitive Christian simplicity of the Apostolic age and no regard for American traditions, scholarship or life of our modern times and no regard for Anglican standards since the Reformation.

"It contains directions for inserting in our Prayer Book service of Holy Communion a great variety of bodily acts of adoration before the Altar and with and before the consecrated Bread and Wine, together with other ceremonies whose doctrinal significance and implications have been specifically repudiated and forbidden by our Church, and to the avoidance of which our clergy are committed by their ordination vow based upon the Constitutional declaration that they would 'conform to the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church.'

[21] "A form of confession printed in the book begins: 'I confess to God Almighty, to blessed Mary ever Virgin, to blessed Michael,' etc. There are other provisions for Mariolatry. There are provisions which tend toward withholding the chalice from the laity, with the consequent intemperance on the part of the priest, and there is a tendency toward the traffic in indulgences, aside from a general inclination to discredit our Church's prescribed forms and precious doctrines, with a drift toward formalism as a substitute for genuine spiritual experience. It all seems to make for the worshipper's mystification rather than edification.

"These are some of the reasons why the appearance of the so-called American Missal has aroused so much protest throughout the Church.

"Many of your Bishops have already published their warnings against its use, and I do now hereby give public notice that the said edition is not of authority, and its use is therefore unlawful and unconstitutional in this Church, and I further give my solemn counsel under Canon 21, Section 1, paragraph 1, (General Convention of 1928) that the rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer in the Order for the Administration of the Holy Communion, as all others, be carefully and accurately followed, and that 'The American Missal' or any other unauthorized service book be not placed, kept or used on the Altar or in the sacristy of any of our parish or mission churches.

"It is your Bishop's further godly counsel, for the furtherance of Integrity in worship, that every one of the clergy in this District refrain from using even from memory, the spoken forms, the secret prayers, the ceremonies of adoration, and all provisions of 'The American Missal' and other service books in as far as they vary from the clear import of the rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer. Within the limits of propriety we have great flexibility and abundant variety. May we not loyally confine ourselves to these?

"Deep conviction prompts me to say that our loyalty to the holy Catholic Church of the Scriptures and of the historic creeds and of our common Christian experience can be evidenced and developed only by our loyalty to that branch thereof by and through which we have our membership in the body of Christ.

"Your Bishop is grateful to our heavenly Father for the loyal co-operation with him, and with the General Convention, on the part of the Clergy and laity alike who rejoice to do the Master's will in the way our Church has undertaken that service in worship and in work.

[22] "Will you kindly acknowledge receipt of this notice, and will you please give to your Bishop the assurance of your cheerful support of the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and of your co-operation in the observance of his pastoral counsel herein given?

"The Clergy and Lay Readers of North Texas are hereby requested under the provisions of Canon 18, Section III, to read to their respective congregations, at their first regular 11 o'clock Sunday service, or first regular Sunday evening service after its receipt, this pastoral letter in its entirety."

The ground has been thoroughly covered by these episcopal charges and letters, but it may be interesting to close with the pronouncements of the Bishops of Washington, New York and Pennsylvania, the bishop of our national capital and of part of the ancient diocese of Maryland, and of the dioceses of Bishops White and Provoost, the two largest and strongest dioceses in our land.

In his Convention address BISHOP FREEMAN, OF WASHINGTON, declared:

"The book of Common Prayer is our sole official manual for the conduct of the Church's corporate offices. We are not at liberty to amend or alter it or to use substitutes, however appealing they may be. I should certainly be unworthy of your trust and confidence did I not express the conviction that, any book, no matter by whom edited or published, that in any respect departs from the offices duly set forth by this Church's authority, may not be used in the churches of this Diocese. To give any such book place is to do violence to our solemn obligation as loyal sons of this Church. . . ."

BISHOP MANNING, OF NEW YORK, made this pronouncement:

"The publication of an unauthorized service book for use in our churches bearing the title of 'The American Missal' having come to my knowledge, I find it my duty as the ecclesiastical authority of the diocese to give public notices, as I do hereby in accordance with the provisions of Canon 46 of the general convention, that the said book is not of authority in this church and that it is not authorized for use in this diocese."

Our list fittingly closes with this utterance of BISHOP TAITT, OF PENNSYLVANIA, the diocese of the patriarchal and statesmanlike Bishop White:

"The revised Book of Common Prayer represents the mind of the Church. There is in the Prayer Book thus [22/23] revised the order for the Administration of the Holy Communion. There is no other permitted Order for that Administration.

"The American Missal, by what authority it is so called I do not know, has sent advance sheets to the clergy and Bishops. In it rubrics, which are not directions of our Church, are printed in the same type and color with the valid directions, and unauthourized additions are made to the text of the canon.

"I do not know that this purely individual fiction is used in any parish of this diocese. I trust it is not. Canon 46, Section 6, declares, 'It shall be the duty of the ecclesiastical authority of any diocese or missionary district in which any unauthorized edition of the Book of Common Prayer, or any part or parts thereof, shall be published or circulated to give public notice that the said edition is not of authority in this Church.'

"When I give this notice I am sure, if by any means this book may have been inadvertently introduced, it will be removed from the altar."

We are indebted to the CHRONICLE for most of these Episcopal deliverances, and appreciate the courtesy of the Editor, Dr. Alex. G. Cummins, in granting us permission to use them.

  


III

The Law of the Church

If there were loyalty to the Protestant Episcopal Church among the Anglo-Catholics, these Episcopal declarations would never have been called forth, for the law of the Church and the policy of the Church are clear and unmistakable. Our policy is to have a Book of Common Prayer, in which nothing is set down that is not fairly defensible for soundness of doctrine. As one of the historic prefaces of the Prayer Book puts it, the purpose of the book is to simplify worship, not making it "a hard and intricate matter," the aims being:

(1) The presentation of Peace and Unity.

(2) The procuring Reverence and exciting Piety and Devotion.

(3) The cutting off occasions of Cavil and Quarrel.

All these evils this Missal brings back; it makes the celebration of the Lord's Supper "a hard and intricate matter," with its genuflections and signs of the cross, with meticulous and innumerable directions as to posture and behavior. It introduces much matter "not fairly defensible" with its prayers to the Virgin and saints, with its propitiatory and requiem masses, and Romish and medieval observances. It is a disturber of our peace, and leads to discord and disunion.

Instead of our Communion office, simple, scriptural, reverent and reformed, it establishes a hybrid office, in which the Priest speaks in one tone out aloud and officially, and in another tone either to himself or to the fellow minister at the altar or unofficially to the congregation.

It is a flagrant departure from the policy that lies behind the formulation of a book of Common Prayer, and Offices for the Administration of the Sacraments.

Equally plain is its deviation from the letter of the Church's law. Article Ten of the Constitution runs thus:

ARTICLE X

"The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church, together with the Psalter or Psalms of David, the Form [26/27] and Manner of Making, Ordaining, and Consecrating Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, the Form of Consecration of a Church or Chapel, the Office of Institution of Ministers, and Articles of Religion, as now established or hereafter amended by the authority of this Church, shall be in use in all the Dioceses and Missionary Districts of this Church. No alteration thereof or addition thereto shall be made unless the same shall be first proposed in one triennial meeting of the General Convention, and by a resolve thereof be sent within six months to the Secretary of the Convention of every Diocese, to be made known to the Diocesan Convention at its next meeting, and be adopted by the General Convention at its next succeeding triennial meeting by a majority of the whole number of Bishops entitled to vote in the House of Bishops, and by a majority of the Clerical and Lay Deputies of all the Dioceses entitled to representation in the House of Deputies voting by Orders."

That due notice be taken of any infringement of this Article, there is a canon requiring Bishops to denounce such lawlessness. It is Canon 46, Sec. 6, which reads:

"It shall be the duty of the Ecclesiastical Authority of any Diocese or Missionary District in which any unauthorized edition of the Book of Common Prayer, or any part or parts thereof, shall be published or circulated, to give public notice that the said edition is not of authority in this Church."

The Custodian of the Standard Book of Common Prayer is also enjoined to certify editions of any part or parts of the Prayer Book, as correctly published, i. e., of course, without alteration or addition, as the Constitution requires.

Nothing could be plainer than the law. The Custodian of the Standard Prayer Book erred grievously in giving the Missal the following endorsement:

Certificate

I certify that the portions of this book taken from the Book of Common Prayer, and so indicated by the use of a distinctive type and style, have been compared with a certified copy of the Standard Book, and that they conform thereto.

LUCIEN MOORE ROBINSON,
Custodian of the Standard Book of Common Prayer.
December 1, 1930.

[29] It will be recognized, of course, that except in portions of this book that are taken, without alteration, from the Book of Common Prayer, this book can claim no degree of authority from the Church, and is not an authorized publication thereof; but is distinctly supplementary to, and not a substitute for the authorized publication of the Book of Common Prayer. It is submitted for voluntary consideration and use, in whole or in part, where and only where it may seem to possess any degree of value. (Publisher's Note.)

The book contains alterations and additions. For example, it leaves out the Church's official title, The Protestant Episcopal Church. It modifies certain rubrics. It directs the omission of certain parts of the service for a shortened Mass. It rearranges parts of the services. As for "the additions"--forbidden, mark you, in the Constitution--they are countless, and go far beyond the private devotions of the priests and extend to ritual acts of a Romish complexion and responsive services in which others are called upon to take part.

We cannot conceive what blindness fell upon the Custodian of the Standard that he should give an appearance of legality to such a book by his certificate. He will undoubtedly be called to account at the General Convention.

His best excuse will be that he was deceived by the following specious disclaimer of authority that is published in the Missal below his certificate: "It will be recognized, of course, that except the portions of this book that are taken, without alteration, from the Book of Common Prayer, this book can claim no degree of authority front the Church, and is not an authorized publication thereof; but is distinctly supplementary to and not a substitute for the authorized publication of the Book of Common Prayer. It is submitted for voluntary consideration and use in whole or in part, where and only where it may seem to possess any degree of value." It is really rather clever in its disclaimer of authority. But the Custodian is expected to be watchful and clearsighted. He ought to have realized that the disclaimer of authority conceals the real point at issue. Any ignoramus ought to know that unknown editors have no authority to put out a liturgy. The question is whether they have the right as loyal members of our Church to induce its ministers to break its law. The question is not whether the Missal has [29/30] any authority in our Church, but whether it has any right to be used in our Church.

There would be no difficulty in dealing with such a defiance of our laws were it not that there is a widespread feeling on the part of _the Protestant element in our Church that the proper safeguard against error is in the proclamation of the truth, and that the exercise of a contentious jurisdiction in the Church only awakens sympathy with the wrongdoers and so defeats the purpose of discipline. There is a great deal of truth in this contention as long as the departure from the Church's norm lies entirely in the realm of thought. The whole genesis of our Church is in favor of considerable latitude of opinion, as the presence of such divergent schools of thought makes plain to all men. Yet even in the realm of liberty, there are limits beyond which difference of opinion can not be permitted if the Church is to give a helpful testimony. Still the Church realizes that in the realm of thought, external control is peculiarly difficult. Conduct, however, is another matter, especially official conduct which affects the rights of third parties. Worshipers have been guaranteed by our Church a service of a special character. They have a right to demand that service from the minister. This distinction between opinion and conduct is frequently overlooked, especially by Liberal Churchmen. But it is fundamental and ought to be obvious. A clergyman may hold with many higher critics that the original form of baptism was in the name of Jesus only, but he is under the most imperative obligation in our service to baptize in the name of the Trinity, whatever his private opinion may be. The worshipers and the baptized person have rights which he must respect. This distinction has been called special pleading, but is only common sense. It is stupid not to see it.

In putting forth a Book of Common Prayer, enjoining its use and prohibiting additions and alterations our Church limits the liberty of the minister in the interests of the worshipers. It lays down a worship the people have a right to claim, and the clergy are under solemn promise to carry out.

The radical and sceptical members of our Church who decry all discipline are out of touch with the realities of the situation. Every doctrine is with them more of a symbol than a working hypothesis, and they are prone to think any differences between doctrines a mere question of Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee. They are therefore [30/3131 in favor of giving the Anglo-Catholics a free hand, in complete disregard of the rights of the congregation. Indeed they often favor Anglo-Catholic ritual; with them it is a mere question of aesthetics. They do not try to bring their own worship into accord with their own beliefs, because their private beliefs are so vague, so formless, so indefinite and illusive that it would be impossible to mould any worship upon them. Voltaire was as scornful of Pascal and the Port Royalists as he was of the Jesuits; indeed, more so. He had no patience with so much earnestness of conviction in religion. There are some radical liberals who will assume a similar attitude towards the opposers of Anglo-Catholicism and the proponents of this Missal! A plague on both their houses, especially on opposers, is their feeling.

The declaration of our Bishops, and especially of such a liberal as Bishop Parsons, shows that this will not be the general attitude of our Church. The Bishops in whose diocese the book has circulated have in loyalty to our Canons and Constitution condemned it. We may count on the reprimand, if not the removal, of the Custodian.

The book is widely recognized as a lawless and disloyal production, contrary to our discipline. The legal aspect of the case will be fittingly concluded by two quotations from the House of Bishops--quotations that ought to bring conviction to the moderate element among the Anglo-Catholics and certainly will guide the action of the next General Convention. The first is a message sent by the House of Bishops to the clergy in the shape of resolutions moved by the late Bishop of Vermont, Dr. Hall, and seconded by the Bishop of Central New York, Dr. Fiske. It is an appeal to loyalty from the Bishops in General Convention in 1928.

"After fifteen years of careful study the Church is authorizing for use in public worship a revised and enriched Book of Common Prayer.

"This book is now the only authorized manual set forth by this Church for acts of corporate worship. It would seem that the completion of this work is an occasion for a special message and affectionate appeal from us as your appointed spiritual leaders.

"One of the most conspicuous perils in modern American life is a tendency to put an undue emphasis upon personal liberty, and to pay little respect to what has been set forth [31/32] by duly constituted authority. There is need in the Church as in the State to sound a call to loyalty. Your Bishops, assembled in triennial session, make an appeal for a loyal recognition of our common obligation to render generous obedience in observing in their integrity the provisions of our enriched Book of Common Prayer.

"Such loyalty does not, of course, preclude, as occasions may require, special services as provided for in the rubrics of the Prayer Book or authorized by the Bishops but it does demand of the authorized Ministers of the Church obedience to the rubrical directions of its authorized book of worship, as at all times binding upon priest and people. These rubrics and the various offices of the book are the solemn expression of the mind of this Church. To ignore or disregard them, or to set them aside and substitute other forms for them, is an obvious violation of the Church's law and order. We protest against the tendency towards an exaggerated individualism and eccentricities in devotional practice.

"Doubtless Bishops have been partly responsible in permitting irregularities and in adopting a policy of undue toleration. The liberty of experimental usage allowed during the period of Revision should now cease.

"This exaggerated individualism is found not merely in matters of devotional practice. We hear on every side from the Laity of their distress and disturbance over what they call a distorted conception of the liberty of prophesying. We are all of us Christian ambassadors, with a definite message, and we of the House of Bishops call upon the Clergy to seek, with prayerful care and pastoral affection, so to present their message as to make clearly apparent its loyalty to the teaching of the Church and to our Christian tradition and heritage.

"We feel justified in making this special appeal, because this General Convention has shown a singular harmony of spirit, with a considerateness of the conscientious scruples of others, and an affectionate desire to accommodate divergent views. In nothing was this more apparent than in the work of revision of the Prayer Book.

"All undue license of individual practice disturbs the life of the Church, and prevents the Church from giving a consistent witness to Christian Unity. Such a witness, we believe, this Church is in a peculiarly happy position to bear, and it is one of our greatest privileges and opportunities in this day when the call to Unity is sounding with renewed insistence."

[33] Add to this message the following statement from the PASTORAL LETTER of the HOUSE OF BISHOPS in the 1928 Convention:

"Let us have prophets, let us have life and initiative, but let us remember that there is a norm of teaching and of worship in the Prayer Book. The ordination vows of the Clergy pledge them to loyalty to 'the doctrine, discipline and worship' of this Church. These great words are nowhere accurately defined, but for a loyal priest desirous of doing his work honestly, not obscure in meaning! Loyalty does not consist in meticulous obedience to the letter of rubrics and canons. Such obedience may be rendered accompanied by real disloyalty to the spirit of the Church. Loyalty means the honest attempt to understand, to enter into and to express in one's ministry that spirit. It means the use of Prayer Book language, and the careful distinction between what is Church law or doctrine and what is merely the individual's wish or opinion. It does not forbid reaching out to the best in Christian experience wherever found. It does forbid the submerging of established usage in alien rites. It does not forbid freedom of criticism. It does forbid subversive conduct. Honest loyalty among the Clergy breeds confidence and a sense of security among the Laity."


IV

The Missal's Doctrine of the Lord's Supper

[Republished from The Churchman and Chronicle.]

In a former article I discussed the lawlessness of this astounding revelation of the Anglo-Catholic mind; let us now go a step further and consider the Missal from the point of view of doctrine. A breaker of Canons may be a rebel against the Church's discipline like Wesley, and yet be in entire sympathy with its message. Is the lawlessness of the Missal of that kind, or is it a lawlessness that is the expression of a revolt against the Church's official teaching? Anglo-Catholics are champions of orthdoxy; are they orthodox themselves, in the proper meaning of the term, that is to say in their agreement with the official teaching of their own Church?

I take it for granted that all will agree that a Church is something more than a platform for discussion, that it is a bearer of a message, as well as the inculcator of a method of approach. Anglo-Catholics are most emphatic in their emphasis upon the function of the Church, as the bearer of a message.

It is therefore eminently proper to ask whether this Anglo-Catholic Missal is in harmony with the message of our Church's Communion Office.

All Church Historians agree that the doctrine of the Lord's Supper was of prime importance in the English Reformation. Under Mary the denial of Transubstantiation was the burning article. In the Elizabethan settlement the reformers freed this sacrament from the accretions that beginning in the barbaric conceptions of the Dark Ages were finally systematized and rationalized in the doctrine of Transubstantiation. The purification was achieved by returning to the Scriptural teaching that the just shall live by faith. According to Articles, Catechism and Communion office, Christ is received in the Lord's Supper by faith and not by the hand or mouth of the recipient. "The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper only after an heavenly and spiritual [36/37] manner. [Note particularly this important word, "only," which negatives any other presence except a spiritual presence. As Bishop Knox has pointed out in England, the recent letter of the Archbishop of Canterbury to Bishop Barnes is confuted by this significant word, which the Archbishop overlooked in his quotations from the Church's doctrinal statements in his apology for adoration of the elements as a permissible usage.] And the mean whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper, is Faith" (Article 28). "The inward part or thing signified (in the Lord's Supper) is the Body and Blood of Christ which are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord's Supper" (Catechism). Comparison with the Communion Office and Articles fixes the meaning of the word "faithful" as signifying those who have "a lively faith." This view is also expressed in the words of Administration in the Communion Office. "Feed on Him in thy heart by faith with Thanksgiving:" Thus the Communion Office, the Articles and the Catechism all agree that the Presence is spiritual and the participation is by faith. Any adoration of the elements is condemned as superstitious and directions are given for the consumption of the elements that remain after administration.

Nothing could more explicitly teach that the reception is spiritual than the rubric in the Communion of the Sick. "If a man * * * * by any * * * * just impediment do not receive the sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood, the Minister shall instruct him that if he do truly repent him of his sins, and steadfastly believe that Jesus Christ hath suffered death upon the cross for him and shed his blood for his redemption, earnestly remembering the benefits he hath thereby and giving him hearty thanks therefor, he doth eat and drink the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ profitably to his soul's health, although he do not receive the Sacrament with his mouth."

The Church allows large liberty to its members, but this is its official teaching on the subject. Any deviations from it are personal views.

Now the painful feature of the publication of this Missal is that it is an effort to subvert this official teaching under the guise of harmless additions, and further elaborations. Not content with the liberty which he enjoys of giving in the pulpit his theory of the Lord's Supper, and his vijew of what is ancient and catholic the Anglo-Catholic user of this Missal will refuse to let the Church bear its own witness in the Communion Office and by prostrations, adorations of elements, and interjected prayers and ejaculations will convey another and contradictory conception of the Presence.

A genial indifferentist has likened this conduct to the damaging of the furniture of the home by romping children, which is [37/38] tolerated by large-minded mothers and fussed about only by fretful old maids. But the analogy is unfortunate; the Lord's Supper is not felicitously compared to dead furniture. It resembles much more food or medicine. Those who corrupt our Church's pure and scriptural teaching would be more justly compared to a presumptuous and misguided druggist who should add to the prescription of a physician other ingredients and so interfere with its healing potency, or likened to one who should carelessly mix with wholesome viands corrupted food.

For it is to misunderstand the whole situation to imagine that the Protestant and Liberal objection, (for both Evangelicals and Liberals are at one in this,) to the Anglo-Catholics' passing off their teaching as the Church's official doctrine is based merely upon the historical invalidity of their claim, or the inaccuracy of their exegesis of Scripture and the Church's standards. The core of our objection is an ethical and spiritual repugnance to a conception of the sacrament, which is not, in our eyes, an excess of faith, but a corruption of faith; not a larger faith; but a less spiritual faith; in short a materialized conception of the means whereby God strengthens his children. We hold that the sixth chapter of John's Gospel contains a warning against such a misunderstanding of partaking of the body and blood of Christ. We are certain that a Church that inculcates these views of a Presence in the elements and not in the soul of the partaker really spreads abroad unbelief by such unscriptural and irrational teachings, just as a man who passes a counterfeit note along with good currency weakens the confidence of those who deal with him. Indeed I cannot imagine a doctrine more conducive to infidelity than the incredible doctrine of Transubstantiation, where our most trustworthy senses support our reason in its refusal to accept the doctrine. Moreover we hold that sanctification by magic is injurious to morality.

It is therefore no matter for careless indifference when teachings that closely approximate Transubstantiation are foisted into our Communion Office.

For this is precisely what is done in this Missal. Every addition is toward conformity to the Canon of the Mass. It has Masses for the dead, prayers to the Saints--"Mary, ever Virgin, blessed Michael, the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul and all the saints, etc." The forgiveness that God [38/39] offers to penitent sinners, is to be earned by sacrifices "Receive O Holy Father, Almighty, Everlasting God, this spotless Host, which I, thine unworthy servant, do offer unto thee, my God the living and the true, for my countless sins, offences and negligences, for all here present--for all the faithful in Christ both quick and dead; that it may be profitable both to me and to them for salvation unto life eternal."

"Come O Sanctifier, Almighty, Everlasting God and bless (sign of the cross) this Sacrifice prepared for thy holy name--".

"Grant unto us, that through the mystery of this water and wine, we may be sharers of his divinity--".

(To the people) "Pray brethren that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God the Father Almighty" and so on again and again.

"We offer this propitiatory Sacrifice to thee, O Lord, humbly beseeching thee that by the intercession of the Virgin Mother of God, with blessed Joseph thou wouldest establish our families in thy peace and grace," p. 582.

The Commission appointed by Pope Leo XIII to examine English Orders correctly decided that in our Communion Office and Ordination service there is no indication that the Communion is an unbloody sacrifice for the quick and the dead. That objection cannot be urged against this Missal. What the Reformers carefully removed, is here assiduously restored. The substance of what Rome teaches, the doctrine of an unbloody sacrifice, the doctrine our Church definitely rejected, is in this Missal taught unmistakably.

The most objectionable feature in the Romish theory of the Lord's Supper is not the doctrine of Transubstantiation, which is simply a survival of Medieval philosophy. The most objectionable feature is the purpose which that theory was meant to serve--that purpose is to fashion an explanation of the sacrament, which will make it the channel of grace very much in the same way that a pipe conveys water or a wire electricity. The meaning of the theory-is to make the sacrament a magic rite. In our judgment all theories of that nature are ethically objectionable, however they may be designated.

No theories of that kind have the official endorsement of our Church. The reformers carefully excluded such teachings from our Church's prescribed devotions. This Missal is a defiant effort to [39/40] smuggle them back. I hate to use such a term as smuggle, but the misleading assertion that these additions are merely "supplementary" to our service, necessitates such plain speaking. Far from supplementing the additions contradict and pervert the service into which they are inserted. Ethically the difference between the teaching of this Missal and of the Canon of the Mass is not worth discussing. One may teach transubstantiation and the other refrain from teaching it, but they have the same conception of the sacrament for all practical purposes. The controversy between an Anglo-Catholic and a Roman Catholic on this subject is, to use a chemical illustration of Ostwald's, as unreal as if theorizing in primitive times about the raising of dough by yeast, one party should have invoked a "brownie" while another insisted on an "elf" as the true cause of the phenomenon. The only differences that count are differences that make some difference in life. There is no difference for life between the teaching of this Missal and the teaching of the Canon of the Mass.

The use of the book should therefore be prohibited on two grounds, first because it is a breaking of our prescribed order of worship, and secondly because it is a restoration of the doctrine we repudiated at the reformation, and a corruption of the gospel. The second objection is of course the more fundamental. Our comprehensive Church can afford to condone a good deal of lawlessness when the breakers of its discipline are in sympathy with its message, although lawlessness is of course hurtful. But the Church can afford to be patient, where there is doctrinal agreement. It can also put up with ministers, whose imaginations have been captured by Roman claims and Roman doctrines, even when such views are promulgated in the pulpit, hard as such teaching may be to stand, if at the same time the people have the opportunity of weighing against such personal eccentricities of belief the testimony of the Church's own scriptural and reasonable worship correctly rendered. But sad, indeed, is the condition both of the Minister and his congregation when there is revolt against both doctrine and discipline such as this Missal reveals.

It is no wonder that many clergy of this way of thinking pass over to the Church of Rome. We are not surprised that they find it hard to comply with our canons and abide loyally by our forms of worship. We have no desire to taunt them with their inconsistency. [40/41] We regard them as deluded and misled by their imaginations, by a mistaken sense of values, by mistaken exegesis. We have no doubt but that in time they will either go further and land in Rome or draw back and return to our Church's position. Our concern is wider than this small, though energetic group. We are anxious to show that the teaching of the Missal is not a supplement to, but a contradiction of our Communion Office and so set our Church before the world in her true colors as a Church that is both Catholic and Reformed. We arc solicitous to have the publication of this Missal rightly used, as an incitement to our Bishops and teachers to set forth the true teaching of our Communion Office.


V

The Significance of This Missal

The full meaning of this extraordinary production will not be comprehended if we restrict our criticism to its lawlessness and its doctrine of the Lord's Supper. Its deepest significance consists in its revelation of the captivation of the imagination of the Anglo-Catholics by the rites, ceremonies and doctrines of the Church of Rome. The Anglo-Catholics may claim that it is the Catholic Church and not the Roman Catholic Church that has won their allegiance; but we shall see that the distinction is not valid.

In one of the English journals a conversation is recorded between an enthusiastic Anglo-Catholic and a liberal French Catholic. When the Anglo-Catholic completed his exposition of Anglo-Catholic aims and ideals, the Frenchman remarked dryly: "You are trying to introduce into England the very features of the Church that we are seeking to get rid of in France." It is an illuminating comment.

The Anglo-Catholics are undoubtedly endeavoring to turn the wheel backwards and restore mediaevalisms that our Church eliminated at the Reformation. Take for example the invocation of Saints. The practice is explicitely condemned in the 39 Articles as a fond thing vainly imagined (a blunt declaration that was one of the unconfessed grounds for the endeavor to get the Articles out of the Prayer Book), and all prayers to the Virgin Mother and Saints were left out of the Reformed Prayer Book with scrupulous care. Their restoration is, next to the doctrine of the propitiatory sacrifice of the Mass, the most conspicuous feature of this Missal. The book certainly tends to produce Mariolatry, to put it mildly. Here is a list of the feasts dedicated to "the Blessed Virgin Mary":

Annunciation,

Common of Our Lady--A Mass provided for feasts not in this book [i. e., for other feasts observed in the Church of Rome but not here specified.--C. E. G.].

Compassion, Conception, Nativity, Purification,

[51] Repose,

Visitation,

Votive Masses of Our Lady on Saturday.

To these should be added, as part of the exaltation of the Mother of Jesus, the Feast of SS. Joachim and Anne, the mythical parents of Mary, the feast of St. Joseph and the feast of the Holy Family.

It is interesting to note how the way is prepared for a reception of the Papal doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, authoritatively promulgated by Pius IX in 1853--clearly not an ancient Catholic doctrine but a Romish development.

December 8th is set down as the Feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The introit begins: "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God: for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels." The Collect is: "O Merciful God hear the supplication of thy servants: that we who are gathered together to honour the conception of the Virgin Mother of God may through her intercession be delivered by Thee from the perils which beset us."

The Epistle is a passage in Proverbs in praise of Wisdom, which must be quoted largely, that our readers may note how the subject, Wisdom, is never mentioned, and the impression is left that these great words apply to the Mother of Jesus. For the Epistle--Proverbs viii, 22:

"The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning or ever the earth was. When there were no depths I was brought forth: when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth. While as yet he had not made the Earth nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth; when he established the clouds above, when he strengthened the fountains of the deep, when he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment, when lie appointed the foundations of the earth; then was I by him as one brought up with him; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him, rejoicing in the habitable part of the earth: and my delights were with the sons of men. Now, therefore, hearken unto [51/52] me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways." But the quotation must be abbreviated. In this strain it continues to the close, "For whoso findeth me findeth life and shall obtain favour of the Lord." Not a single word throughout to show that wisdom is the subject in the original context, all applied to the Virgin. By such methods was the mediatorial throne erected for the Virgin upon which the Church of Rome finally seated her.

The Missal keeps up the work by its Offertory sentence: "Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women."

And the post-Communion prayer,

"Grant we beseech thee, O Lord, that through the intercession of the blessed ever-Virgin Mary, the sacrament which we have received of our bounden duty on this annual celebration may afford us relief in life both temporal and eternal." Note the words "our bounden duty." The same passage in Proverbs is used for the Epistle on the Feast of the Nativity of the Virgin, whose offertory sentence is:

"Blessed are thou, O Virgin Mary who didst bear the Creator of all things: thou broughtest forth him who made thee and ever remained a Virgin." On the feast of the Compassion of the B. V. M. she is addressed as "Holy Mary, Queen of Heaven, Lady of the World." The Epistle for the day is the extravagant laudation of the Charlotte Corday of Judaism, the blood-stained Judith: "Blessed be thou, O our God, which hast this day brought to nought the enemies of thy people, O daughter blessed art thou of the most high God, above all the women upon earth."

The sequence is the Stabat Mater, containing the lines:

When the pains of hell would end me
At the judgment day, defend me,
Gentle Virgin, with thy prayer.

At the feast for the Repose of the B. V. M., the Epistle applies to Mary the passage in Ecclesiastes: "I was exalted like a cedar in Libanus and as a cypress tree in the mountains of Hermon. I was exalted like a palm tree in En-gaddi and as a rose planted in Jericho, as a fair olive tree in a pleasant field, and grew up as a plane tree by the water. I gave a sweet smell like cinnamon and as aspalathus and I yielded a pleasant odour like the best myrrh." The [52/53] Gradual for the Feast of Visitation is: "Blessed and honorable art thou, O Virgin Mary: who without spot wast the mother of the Saviour--Virgin Mother of God."

Surely, enough has been quoted to prove our statement that this Missal will lead its users along the road to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, officially promulgated by Pius IX, in 1853. So it is made plain that not the primitive Church, nor the pre-reformation, undivided Church, but the Roman Catholic Church of to-day has captivated the imagination of the Anglo-Catholics. We shall see further proof later, when we come to their choice of Saints. We content ourselves here with the remark that if our church is designed as a preparatory school for the Church of Rome, this is the right way to go about the work.

The invocation of the Saints is one of the outstanding features of the volume. In the preface it is claimed that "the increasing recognition that the triumph of faith, as exhibited in Sainthood, is by no means confined to the First Christian century, has caused a demand for a more liberal and more catholic provision of commemorations of saintly men and women," but examination of the services discloses that it is not the examples of the Saints that are emphasized but the procuring of their prayers on our behalf. Throughout God is represented as an oriental sovereign who must be approached through court-favorites called Saints acting as patrons.

The confession for the Priest at the opening of the Mass stresses the mediatorial office of the Saints. It is substantially the Romish Confession:

"I confess to God Almighty, to blessed Mary, ever Virgin, the blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, to all the Saints, to you brethren, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word and deed (he strikes his breast three times saying) by my fault, by my own fault, by my own most grievous fault. Therefore I beg blessed Mary, ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, all the Saints and you brethren to pray for me to the Lord."

[Notice how at this point the penitent does not venture to ask God directly for forgiveness, and approaches him only through saintly intercessors.]

[54] The server responds: Almighty God have mercy upon you and forgive you your sins and bring you to everlasting life.

Then the celebrant is directed to stand erect, while the server repeats the confession substituting "father" for "brethren." I quote the section thus fully because not only does it show the immense importance attached to the intercessions of the saints, but also because the dialogue between the celebrant and the server, and the confession to the congregation confute the inexcusably inaccurate apology that has been put forth that the additional devotions are the private concern of the priest alone. It is unnecessary to elaborate the proofs of the oriental view of God and of the overwhelming importance attached to the intercession of the Saints, and especially of the Virgin, in whose honour there is provision for a Mass every Saturday; it is an outstanding feature of the book.

In its exaltation of emblems and material things, rather than of principles and truths, we find an additional justification of the French Catholic's remark. Not only are there innumerable directions for making the sign of the Cross sprinkled all through the Masses, but there are special Masses in honor of the Cross itself: the feast of The Exaltation of the Cross, and one of the "Invention of the Cross." Here are some of the expressions used on these occasions: "Sweetest wood, sweetest iron, sweetest weight is hung on thee: thou alone wast counted worthy the Lord and King of Heaven to bear." "Defend from the malignant foe those whom thou hast bidden to triumph by the Wood [sic] of the Holy Cross of thy Son, that weapon of justice for the salvation of the world." There is also a Mass of the Cross, in which the prayer is offered "By the sign of the Cross deliver as from our enemies, O God."

This emphasis on the material leads inevitably to "The Feast of the Precious Blood of Our Lord," and the feast of the "Most Sacred Heart of Jesus," and the Feast of Corpus Christi in honor of the Sacrament of the Mass where the sequence recounts in verse the substance of the mediaeval doctrine of Transubstantiation. Here are a few lines:

Bad and good the flesh are sharing * * *
See how like participation
Is with unlike issues rife.

Great is the emphasis placed upon the blessing of material things. At Candlemas, with double signs of the Cross, God is besought [54/55] to bless and sanctify these candles. That our readers may realize the puerilities to which the book descends, we copy the rubrics for this festival.

"Then the celebrant, after putting incense into the thurible and blessing it as usual, will thrice sprinkle the candles with holy water, saying as he does so, Thou shalt purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean, thou shalt wash me and I shall be whiter than snow, and then thrice incenses them." At the end the candles are distributed to deacon, sub-deacon and so on down to the laity, "all genuflecting and kissing the candle and the hand of the priest," They leave the Church in procession "all with lighted candles." Doubtless very picturesque, but making modern-minded people think of Whittier's lines:

"He brings not back the childish days
That ringed the earth with stones of praise."

Even more elaborate is the blessing of the Paschal Candle on Easter Even when "The Priest vested in amice, alb, girdle, stole and violet cope proceeds with cross, holy water and incense to the Church porch to bless the new fire which must be struck with a flint [something unholy evidently about sulphur matches] and blesses five grains of incense to be placed on the Paschal Candle; and the font is finally blessed.

On Ash Wednesday much is made of the blessing of ashes to be prepared from branches of palm or other trees blessed the year before. Sanctified by the sign of the Cross and incense the ashes are finally placed on the uncovered heads of the faithful. Perhaps the lowest depth of puerility and abasement before the claims made for St. Peter is the provision of a Mass on August 1st, Lammas Day, in honor of St. Peter's Chains, presumably the chains that did not keep him in prison. The communion sentence on that day is, "Thou are Peter and upon this rock I build my Church."

So in little things as well as great, by signs of the cross, and holy water, and incense, and rites, and ceremonies, and feasts of all kinds, and by the exaltation of everything touching Simon Peter does this Missal lead its devotees toward Rome.

One of the most significant features of the book is its omission of all saints, outside of those acknowledged by the Church of Rome, with the single exception of King Charles I. For many of the medieval saints included in this Missal we have little admiration. [55/56] Becket, the upholder of clerical exemption from the criminal jurisdiction of the state; Edward the Confessor, the incapable king; Cyril of Alexandria, the ecclesiastical bully, and St. George, of legendary existence, do not appeal to us. But we pass over their inclusion; they belonged at least to the common past. But why should we be invited to venerate and ask the intercession of saints of Rome after the split of the Reformation? And why should the compilers be so blind to the saints of the English Church, and I must add of the Protestant world, with which we are seeking to come into closer fellowship?

Why ignore such examples of zeal and learning in the High Church School as Cosin, and Andrewes and Heber and Keble, such devoted Christians of the Protestant school as Ridley and Latimer, Grindal, William Wilberforce and Henry Martyn; such saintly broad churchmen as Dr. Arnold, and Frederick Denison Maurice?

We shall miss the key to the book if we do not appreciate that no saints were acceptable to its authors who did not enjoy the imprimatur of Rome. For this reason not only were the great merits of Baxter, Robinson of Leyden, John Wesley, and Thomas Chalmers overlooked, and all the saints of the Church of England since the Reformation, but all the great French pietists such as Fcnelon, and Madame Guyon and the Arnaulds, who did not please Rome, are omitted, while Philip of Neri, Charles Borromeo, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Francis Xavier who are canonized by Rome are all included.

The sugary St. Francis de Sales is commemorated and the manly David Livingstone is overlooked. Neurotic St. Theresa is there, but Elizabeth Fry and Florence Nightingale are absent. John Wesley of our own Church who founded a great religious society that fills the whole earth with its evangelistic labors is left out, but Ignatius Loyola, who founded a society which nations seeking free institutions had to expel from their borders and the Papacy was obliged to suppress for a time on account of the scandals caused by its intrigues and sophistries has a day whose collect thanks God "who to set forward the greater glory of Thy Name didst reinforce Thy Church militant with a new soldiery through blessed Ignatius." So does this Missal laud the Jesuits, the chief agents of the Counter-Reformation, the authors of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and of the Expulsion of the Huguenots from France.

Surely Ignatius Loyola is strangely out of place in worship in America. [56/57] We have now penetrated, I believe, the inmost meaning of the book. It is clearly an effort to set forth forms of worship that, except in their failure to acknowledge the Pope, come as close as possible to the forms of the Roman Church.

It is really absurd to examine the defenses which take the ground that the book is so cleverly constructed that its additions can be inserted without breaking our rubrics, or departing from the spirit of our services. There are explicit directions for omitting parts of the Communion service, for reservation of the elements for worship, and for the restoration of teachings officially abandoned by the Church. The most candid and serious defense of the book has been put forth in The Churchman, by one of the Missal's editors, Dr. Douglas. It is worthy of the most thoughtful consideration. He claims that its purpose was to check the use of frankly Roman uses. Here is his exact language:

"Two new foreign publications found their way to American altars, The English Missal and the Anglican Missal. The latter claimed to contain the American rite, but did so only in a garbled and imperfect form. Both books were frankly Roman; rearranging the order of the Eucharist more Romano, interpolating the Canon of the Roman Mass before the Prayer of Consecration, and adopting the Roman Calendar even to such feasts as those of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin and of St. Peter's Chair at Rome. To many of us these books seemed alien in manner, inadequate in preparation, and disloyal not only to our formularies, but to our whole morale as a Church." To check this evil he agreed to co-operate with Bishop Ivins "in the preparation of an altar book not open to these grave objections." What an admission! This book that we find "so disloyal not only to our formularies but to our whole morale as a Church," to use Dr. Douglas's own language, with its propitiatory sacrifice of the Mass, its prayers to the Virgin and the Saints, its feast of the Conception of the Virgin and of the Chains, if not of the Chair of St. Peter, with its directions for signs of the Cross, holy water, incensing, genuflecting, kissing hands, with requiem masses for the dead and absolution for the dead, is, it is revealed to us, an effort on the part of the more conservative Anglo-Catholics to control their more [57/58] extreme brethren. These are the uses that have been practiced and are being recommended by the more moderate Anglo-Catholics. It is no wonder that the inauguration of an Anglo-Catholic rector is followed by the disruption of his parish and the secession from the parish of people grounded in the teachings of the Prayer Book.

How can the General Convention ignore the existence of such conditions, or the Bishops consent to visit in their Episcopal capacity parishes whose rectors are using such garbled and disloyal renditions of our Communion office? Bishop Parsons, one of our most liberal bishops, and an influential exponent of the mind of our Church at the Lausanne Conference, puts the case in a nutshell:

"Every congregation of this Church has the right to be protected from the individualism of the priest. We are not a conglomerate of. independent congregations but a church organized with a code of law."

We look to the General Convention to make those words good. If such overt lawlessness and disloyalty to the spirit of our Church escapes censure, we might as well give up legislating and abandon the pretence of having any discipline.


VI

Effect and Remedy

Let us consider the effect of this Missal, if it should make its way to our altars. Not only would it entirely discredit our status as a Reformed Church; it would also make our legislation a nullity. When an organization discards certain things by law it is sheer anarchy to permit their re-introduction without legal warrant. Mariolatry, Invocation of Saints and the unbloody sacrifice of the Mass were taken out of the devotions of the English Church at the Reformation and repudiated in the Articles. The omission is of itself sufficient to rule them out of the devotions, but the repudiation in the Articles double-locks the door. The prevalence of the Missal would mean that in an age which needs to be taught respect for law, the Church disregards its own law. The advocates of the Missal claim to be exponents of the claims of authority: their book is a manifestation of lawlessness and extreme individualism.

The publisher, Mr. Morehouse, who is also editor of the Living Church, and a deputy to the General Convention, claims that it is an effort to promote church unity.

We have yet to learn, however, how this unifying influence will be exercised. There is nothing in this Missal to induce the Roman Catholic Church to modify its exclusive claims or cast off its superstitious accretions. It is true that the Roman objection to our Lord's Supper is met. But the Roman objection to our orders is confirmed, since the sacrificial additions are an admission that for nearly four centuries we were without the unbloody sacrifice, and had a ministry not ordained to offer it. But why should the Pope make any concessions to Anglo-Catholics, when it is plain that all their baggage is checked for Rome? People who believe in the Invocation of Saints, and feel it wiser to limit their petitions to the Saints canonized by Rome, are evidently convinced that the Church of Rome has unique relations with God and can indicate those who may be trusted to act as patrons and advocates in the Court of Heaven.

On the various branches of the Eastern Orthodox Church, I admit, the Missal's sacerdotal sacramentarianism may make a favorable impression. But I am not certain. Those churches have [59/60] a great dislike and fear of the domination of Rome, and that collect to Ignatius and praise of his soldiery may alarm them. But the Churches of the Reformation ought to be on their guard against efforts to assimilate their teaching and usages to those of the Eastern Churches. Our sympathy with their sufferings at the hands of cruel persecutors must not blind our eyes to the sad fact that the worst effect of persecution is often the fierce intolerance and superstition it engenders in the sufferers. When we recall the influence upon the Spaniards of their long conflict with the Moors, we understand the narrow dogmatism, the worship of the formulas of the past, the devotion to forms and symbols, and the Apostolical Succession in the persecuted Christians of the East. We can condone and pity their narrowness and rigidity, but that is no reason why we should move over to their position. Moreover Americans must bear in mind, what the English ecclesiastics have naively admitted, that the complaisant attitude of the English bishops towards the Eastern Church is influenced by their Government's position in Palestine and the adjacent regions. Such secular considerations ought not to modify the doctrinal position of a Church, and competent English scholars have so declared with the authority of reason and scholarship.

We cannot afford out of deference to churches, petrified by dogmatism and fear, to alienate from ourselves the Protestant world. Certainly the Protestant Churches that have been conferring with us at Lausanne will find this Missal a bitter pill.

Ever since the days of Bossuet much has been made of the differences among Protestants, but these differences only bring out more significantly the unanimity of their profound repugnance to sacerdotalism. They may differ on baptism, on the Presence in the Lord's Supper, on modes of church government, and on the Divine decrees, but they are of one mind about sacerdotalism. They hold that no interceding official is needed to bring to the repentant prodigal the forgiveness of the yearning Father. Their God is not an Oriental despot, best approached through favorites. They believe that He is our Father, anxious to forgive and help. This propitiatory, unbloody sacrifice will be a great shock to the Protestant world. A distinguished English Non-conformist recently declared in the Hibbert Journal that the core of the Nonconformist's reluctance to accept Episcopacy is the fear that [60/61] Episcopacy may bring along with it sacerdotalism. This they cannot, will not accept. Like the Evangelicals in our own Church, they are convinced that there is but one Mediator between God and man, the Divine Man, the God-man, Christ Jesus. They will have none nearer to us than God Himself. They cling to Christ as their one Mediator, because they read that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself. Protestants readily come to our Communion, when they are invited, for there is no sacerdotalism in our Scriptural and Reformed Office. But they shrink from this Mass. A liberal Presbyterian minister, kindly disposed to our Church, could hardly believe his eyes when shown some of the pages of this Missal.

Let a copy of this book be sent to India, and the Christians there will conclude that sacerdotalism flourishes under Episcopacy and the South India scheme will go to pieces at once, and the Christians in the North of India who have been considering a similar combination will reject the plan utterly. So much for its unifying influence among Christians outside of our fold.

It is unnecessary to ask whether it will act as a unifying medium inside our Church: the pronouncements of the Bishops have made it plain that it is a source of discord and alarm, that it is a stone of stumbling and rock of offence.

But what can we do about it? Of course the Custodian's certificate ought to be disclaimed. The mind of the Church can be expressed by a resolution declaring the book an incitement to lawlessness and a departure from our Church's official teaching. Such action, especially the action of the House of Bishops, may convince the proponents and users of the book that they are in the wrong household and lead these venerators of the Chains of Peter to accept Rome's spiritual bonds--a consummation certainly devoutly to be wished for their own sakes, as well as ours.

The sad condition of the Church of England, where a politically and sacerdotally minded Archbishop of Canterbury is compromising the Church of England's position by his flirtations with the Eastern Churches and his concessions to militant Anglo-Catholicism should arouse us to the peril which threatens our Church from these well-organized and diligent "borers-within," with their efficient organ of propaganda, the Living Church. Indeed we must go further. There should be great searchings of hearts among us. [61/62] If such superstitions are being spread abroad as the remedy for the doubts and problems of the age, we ought to ask ourselves whether we are not to blame, we who have a more spiritual message. Anglo-Catholicism has manifest defects, but it is a cult and has a programme; its ministers have a sense of mission. Such zeal can never be discredited by mere logic or history. Such ministrations can never be excluded by ministers without a message, who regard the Church as a debating society; or by mystical rhapsodists who insist that the Church stand aloof from the problems of the day; or by prudent self-seekers who court popularity, or preferment and float with the stream; or by mere humanists who have lost their faith in God and are painfully out of place leading the devotions of a congregation. Anglo-Catholicism is a paganized and Judaized form of Christianity, emphasizing deleterious elements, not found in the Scriptures, but it is, with all its crudities, a cult, a religion; it has a programme. It can never be successfully combated with mere negations and exposures of its errors. Starving people will eat tainted meat, if none other is procurable. The only effective remedy for the situation is an earnest setting forth of the Gospel of our loving Heavenly Father, Who calls us to be His co-workers in building up a better order in this world. This is the task that superstition is ever shirking in its preoccupation with rites and ceremonies. Here is a programme that can arouse all our energies. If our Church turning away from the letter that killeth can be filled with the spirit of faith in the loving, indwelling God, and with zeal for His kingdom, our people will lose all taste for these mummeries and posturings and this crude conception of God as an Oriental despot to be propitiated by sacrifices and approached through patron saints. What we need is more consecration to the Divine purpose, more reliance on Divine power, more faith in the loving Father revealed to us by the beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, more zeal for the Divine kingdom. Reason has its proper function, but it can never, in the defense and promulgation of the truth, take the place of faith and service. To wise legislation and statesmanlike administration we must add prayer and self-devotion; no otherwise can the walls of Zion be built.

 


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