Life of Edward Bouverie Pusey
by Henry Parry Liddon, D.D.
London: Longmans, 1894
Transcribed by The Revd R D Hacking
THE EXETER SYNOD--PLACE OF LAITY IN SYNODS
REVIVAL OF CONVOCATION--BOOK ON THE 'COUNCILS
OF THE CHURCH.
THE action of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in the Gorham case had drawn men' s attention with considerable urgency to the question of the relation of Church and State. The objections to that tribunal were exaggerated by some into a theory that the civil power could rightly have no control whatever over any part of the action of the Church, and that the Roman Catholic position was alone consistent with loyalty to the rights of our Divine Master. But Pusey had set himself to prove, in his fragmentary work on the Royal Supremacy, that the facts of Church history would not support such a theory; on the contrary there was a legitimate area for State action in relation to spiritual affairs, although at all times it was important that there should be some effectual means of expressing the voice of the Church. In case the limits of State interference were transgressed, it was necessary also that the machinery for protest should be at once available.
But here a question of grave import at once arose. What kind of assembly was necessary adequately to express the voice of the Church? In other words, what sort of constitution was necessary to a Synod in order to make it really effective? Some influential laymen--influenced, unconsciously perhaps by considerations which obtain in political life--and a small band of sympathizing clergy, held that no Synod exclusively made up of clergy had the right to speak on behalf of the Church, and that it was therefore necessary to include a lay element.
The theory of lay representation in 'Synods had been encouraged by the action of the Church Unions immedi–ately after the decision of the Privy Council in the Gorham case. The importance of those meetings seemed to a large extent due to the prominence and numbers of the laity who attended them: and this fact innuenced the dis–cussion of the various projects for combined Church action which were almost immediately put forward. On all sides men were asking for the revival of Convocation,--the legal representative gathering of the clergy; while those who were connected with the several Church Unions were anxious to fuse their forces into a single powerful body, whose action might command the attention of those in power. The immediate need of the moment seemed to be the union of as many persons and influences as possible, with a view to vindicating the doctrine of the Church; and it was perhaps natural that for the moment the principles involved in the constitution of such union should fall into the background, and especially the share which could be assigned to the laity in the formal and public action of the Church.
Pusey and Keble fully recognized the importance of combined action; their immediate concern, it will be noticed, was not with any Diocesan Synod, nor with the revival of the Synodical action of Convocation, but with a proposed representation of all the Church Unions in the country at a central Church Council in London.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. KEBLE.
Aug. 14 .
Are you afraid of the workings of the representative system? I gave into Palmer' s plan so far, because a desperate condition requires, or at least allows, desperate remedies. This vis inertiae is so great, that it requires a strong effort to overcome it. I suppose (do not you?) that there are scarcely three of our Bishops who would not acquiesce in the present state of things, not feeling what they involve, unless they were pressed from without. But in order to make that pressure effectual, it must- be consolidated....
The Bishops, no doubt, will try to obtain for us a better Court of Appeal. Even this they will (I do not mean it disrespectfully) compromise, if they think that the compromise will satisfy the body of the Church.
I was inclined then to any lawful measures to set this stone rolling. We may be hopeful that it will not roll too fast. I am not without anxiety that it might roll in rather an oblique direction, and so should have let it rest, had I dared. But do we dare? We have the pressure of this decision upon us: can we dare not do all we can to put it off?
Keble was in favour of the 'representative system,' although in the then state of the law there was room for doubting its strict legality. But Pusey had expressed in a postscript a fear lest an effort should be made to bring a lay element into Convocation.
Keble asked in reply:--
'Do you not think -- and -- right in wishing for some constitu–tional innuence for the laity in a non-established Church? Only it should not be in Convocation, but in election of Bishops.'
The question was pressing on Pusey from various quarters. The Bishop of Exeter had already summoned a Diocesan Synod to meet on June 25th; but he was per–plexed by some constitutional question that had been raised.
THE BISHOP OF EXETER TO E. B. P.
MY DEAR SIR, Heligan, June 3, I851.
I am much obliged to you for transmitting to me Mr. K.' s valu–able communication. On that subject I will trouble you soon again.
But I now much wish to obtain your sentiments on a very different subject. What might be honestly and safely said--with as much of LIBERALITY as can be exercised under those qualifications respecting the rights and position of a sound and orthodox laity in a well-ordered branch of Christ' s Church?
A very right-minded layman of considerable station and innuence urges me to take an opportunity of saying something on this matter publicly, which may allay the widely-spread, however unreasonable, jealousy of our own laity, very few of whom can be deemed sound or orthodox.
What was their right in the Primitive Church, in respect to Canons, especially of government, as well as doctrine?
Oblige me by addressing your answer to me at Exeter, so that it may reach that place before the 10th.
Yours, my dear Sir, very faithfully,
Mr. Henry Hoare, whose name is so honourably associated with the revival of Convocation, appears to have thought that Diocesan Synods should consist partly of laymen, and that a Bishop' s hands would be greatly strengthened by the adoption of some measure of the kind. He appears to have consulted Pusey on the subject.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. KEBLE.
Mr. Hoare mentioned his subject to me. I said that, of course, a Bishop might consult whom he liked, and act by their advice, if he pleased; that it would often be wise in him to get at the minds of his people, and still more to carry them with him, by this sort of consulta–tion. Our public meetings, imperfect as they are, are meant to be something of this sort. So is the S. P. C.K. and the S. P.G. But this would be a very different question from formal representation and enacting what should be binding on the conscience. A Bishop would be wise who should not order anything throughout his diocese without ascertaining the mind of the laity. The Surplice war in the dioceses of London and Exeter was owing to a strange want of foresight. This would be a wise concession on the part of a Bishop. It is, in a measure, like St. Cyprian saying, 'I have determined ever since the beginning of my Episcopate, to do nothing without your judgment had,' i. e. nothing of a practical nature, for at the same time all principles of discipline or matters of doctrine were ruled without them. But he could not make anything binding on the conscience.
I looked into some books on Diocesan Synods for the Bishop of Exeter, but did not find much. I should think it very advisable to get at the minds of the laity. But I do not know that there would be any authority by which the majority should bind the minority, or the representatives of the majority of parishes have any claim to rule the minority, or the Bishop himself be governed by them (the shepherd by the sheep), but it would be very well for him informally to ascertain their minds, as his own ground for acting or suspending his action.
Excuse haste. I have been detained this morning by the Roman question.
But the question arose in the most pressing form north of the Tweed. Pusey heard from the Bishop of Brechin that Mr. Gladstone was about to write a pamphlet advocating some scheme for the admission of laymen to Convocation.
E. B. P. TO RIGHT HON. W. E. GLADSTONE, M.P.
Pusey, Jan. 19 .
I have heard from one who was very much saddened by a report that you were going to advocate the lay element in Convoca–tion. He was very much pained at the prospect of having to write against you. When writing the 'Ancient Precedents' I went with great care into that German element, of the mixed assemblies as it existed in France, Spain, and among our own Saxon forefathers. I was satisfied that the relation was the same which in good time was continued by Convocation and Parliament, i.e. that the laity accepted but that the original decision was with the clergy.
I look with perfect dismay at the prospect of lay legislation in matters of faith. It is a new element; one stamped by no precedent, no experience except by a body which has laid aside the Athanasian Creed, and that for a few years only.
The Exeter Synod itself shows the exceeding carefulness necessary in a doctrinal statement. For even theirs was grammatically unsound. It would have been a grave matter had it been Convocation, not a Diocesan Synod.
It is invidious to write to you as a layman against the lay element. But I feel that we can only look for a blessing and safety in ways of God' s appointment; and that we should be incurring exceeding risk in trying in the present state of things an untried plan. I have always looked hopefully, but then I should look no more with hope to end my days in the Church of England. (I do not mean that I look to Rome.)
The laity ought to have a voice in the nomination of the Bishops, which is now political in the hands of the Prime Minister. They ought clearly to have a negative voice. But it is an ill compensation to give them direct authority in matters of faith, which they never bad, because they have not the indirect influence [over appointments] which they ought to have. . . . God bless you.
E. B. PUSEY.
Mr. Gladstone replied that he had addressed a letter to the Bishop of Aberdeen, with his concurrence, in favour of the introduction of the lay element into the Scottish Synod, without any reference to Convocation. But he would also desire to see it in Convocation, subject to the proper limita–tions for maintaining the supreme power of government and teaching in the episcopate e. g. in Scotland--
1.. That the Bishops should be the original donors of the power.
2. That the Bishops exclusively should have the initiative--at least in all matters of doctrine or discipline.
3. That the distinction should be kept broadly in view between the essential and inalienable powers of the Epis–copal College, and the administrative provisions, so to speak, by which laymen, and even presbyters, share in the supreme acts of the Church.
Pusey and Mr. Gladstone had a long interview on Sunday, Jan. 25th: but without much agreement, excepting on the point that, if laymen were admitted to Synods, questions of doctrine should be' reserved for the Episcopate. On this subject Mr. Gladstone had expressed himself with great force and clearness.
'As the governing power over the Church resides most properly and strictly in the Bishops, and as they are supremely responsible in particular for the decision of doctrine, I cannot but express the strongest conviction, that the initiative of all legislation should rest with them absolutely and exclusively; and that it should be competent to either of the other chambers to approach them spontaneously in the way of petition only. Their veto would, of course, remain complete; and between these two powers duly carried through the whole scheme, I hope adequate provision would have been made for preventing any collision between such a constitution and the great and immovable principles of our ecclesiastical polity.'
Pusey was no believer in the permanence of any arrange–ments for admitting laymen to Synods and debarring them from voting on questions of doctrine and discipline.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. KEBLE.
[Undated, but 1852.]
In truth I think that let people guard, how they may, both doctrine and discipline, it can only be for a time. The power of the laity is a growing power. To admit them into Synods, and then exclude them from what is to both parties of most real interest, will, I am persuaded, never hold. If Parliament could disown the functions of legislating for the Church, and invest the lay members of the Church with authority to give a civil sanction to the decisions of the ecclesiastical body, this would be something tangible. Anything else would, I am sure, be only preparing for encroachments. I look with terror on any admission of laity into Synods. It at once invests them with an ecclesiastical office, which will develop itself sooner or later, I believe, to the destruction of the Faith.
The Scottish bishops, however, met, and accepted the principle to which Pusey was so strongly opposed. The Bishop of Brechin was almost in despair.
E. B. P. TO RIGHT HON. W. E. GLADSTONE, M.P.
private. April 23, 1852.
I hear that the Scotch Bishops have decided by a majority of 4 to 2, that the infusion of the lay element into Synods is 'both permissible and Scriptural.' This, unless something can be done, will end the Episcopate of the Bishop of Brechin, and I should think discharge out of the Church many whom the Gorham Judgment left. It is blow upon blow, blow upon blow. No sooner has one recovered one, but one is stunned by another. The Bishop of Brechin says rightly, this changes the basis on which we stand; we no longer stand on the basis before the Reformation; 'we break the whole connexion with the current of history.'
I do not know whether anything can be done. Although there is authority for the laity accepting and so ratifying what has been done, there has been no authority, that I know of, for their rejecting or amending anything, except as to matters of discipline. I think that even of these, the only instance of reference with admission of changes which I could find was that which I mentioned, 'Royal Supremacy,' p. 1271.
I understood from you, that you did not contemplate that the laity would be called in to decide in matters of doctrine. And yet if, without all reserve, they are admitted into Synods, there is nothing to hinder them. And doctrine is quite as likely to be brought in as any other question. In fact, it is inevitable that it would. But this would alter the whole theory of the Church. The Church meets, not to settle what the faith shall be, but to declare what it always has been. The Bishops primarily, and presbyters as delegated by them, declare this. There cannot be two faiths. Either those who declare it, or those who reject it, are heretics. If the Bishops are not heretical, the laity ought to receive their statement of faith. If they are, the appeal ought to lie to some large body. If the Scotch Bishops decided (me genoito) heretically, the whole Anglican Episcopate, all which are in communion, might be appealed to. But it does not belong to the laity to reverse it, or to reject it.
I write in haste, thinking that you might define your own views more clearly than I think they were in your pamphlet; anti I trust that you will look to precedent. For the nineteenth century is too late to experimentalize on the constitution of the Church.
God be with you. Yours affectionately,
E. B. PUSEY.
Pusey was anxious to ascertain exactly how far, in Mr. Gladstone' s judgment, the influence of the laity was to affect doctrinal questions. The laity, Mr. Gladstone had said, were not to have a joint decision in matters of faith. They were not to frame any decision in such matters. But they might consent or not consent to doctrinal propositions framed by the Bishops. Did this mean that, without their consent, such propositions should not be received by the Church?
'Supposing,' writes Pusey to Mr. Gladstone on April 26, 'e.g. that the Convocation, in consequence of the Gorham decision, were to lay down, in plain words, that " all infants duly baptized with water in the Name of the Holy Trinity are regenerate," or " become children of God, members of Christ, is your theory that the assent of the laity of the Church should be formally obtained, before it should become formally one of our Articles? There is no precedent for this, down to the Reformation. Such a Synod is not of Divine institution, and so, I suppose, we could not look for the Presence of God the Holy Ghost in it. Synods of Bishops are Apostolic. If such a plan were adopted, I believe " actum esset de Ecclesia Anglicana." I do not write this, that you may answer it to me. But as you have been the occasion, I suppose, of the decision of the Scotch Synod, I wished you to clear up your own view on this point to others.'
Pusey' s eagerness in the matter was quickened by the anxiety of Bishop Forbes. His Episcopate, so Pusey wrote to Mr. Gladstone, hung upon the course which this matter might take. 'If' , the Bishop had written to Pusey, 'this becomes the law of the Church, I cannot become a Superintendent ; we break our whole connexion with the current of history.' Pusey added:--
'For myself, I have always said, " So long as the Church of England makes no organic change, all is well." How long it would remain without an organic change if this were adopted, God knows. If the laity were to reject such a declaration as to Baptism, it would be an avowed indifference as to doctrine, and the Church of England would then be in a new position. The words of Elijah or Hezekiah, longing to be gathered to his fathers before these evils come, rise often to the mind amid these fresh-gathering storms.'
Pusey wrote to Dr. Skinner, the Primus of Scotland, to remonstrate with him on the resolution in favour of lay-membership of Synods. The Bishop deprecated Pusey' s anxiety. He pleaded the example of the American Church; and observed that the English Convocations themselves were based on a principle inconsistent with the retention of all matters properly of faith in the hands of the Episcopate.
E. B. P. TO THE RIGHT REV. DR. SKINNER, LORD BISHOP OF ABERDEEN AND PRIMUS OF SCOTLAND.
Christ Church, May 15 .
MY DEAR LORD BISHOP,
I thank you much for your letter, but I must say that it confirms my fears. I would rather burn my right hand than sign or have any part in that Resolution. I had not the counter-resolution, nor exactly the wording of that which was carried; but the substance of it was that the admission of laity into Synods was Scriptural and [permissible].
It would be a different proposition to say that it was not contrary to Scripture, although I should think that it is contrary to all the implied teaching of Holy Scripture as to the office of Bishops and Priests. The deposit of the faith, the form of sound words, was committed by the Apostles to the Bishops (Timothy, &c.) with the charge that they should commit it to others also. It is a known fact, that, however laity were admitted to be present at Councils on the faith, they were never (whether Emperors or others) admitted to have a voice as to the decisions on the faith…
I do not mean that a Church which admits laity to decisions of faith has so far abandoned its trust as to be thereby cut off from the Body of Christ. All abandonment of a trust given by God involves evil consequences, but does not, of necessity, involve the extremest evil. If the Church of the United States has admitted the laity to a voice in deciding on matters of faith, I believe that her Bishops have abandoned a trust committed to them, and, sooner or later, they must suffer by it. Probably they are suffering by it already, in that they cannot restore the Athanasian Creed. God only knows how much heresy this may not let in upon them. Some of the heresies on the Incarnation, against which the Athanasian Creed is a protection, do recommend themselves very subtly to the human intellect.
In like way, if the Scotch Bishops admit the laity to decisions as to the faith, I believe most entirely that they will, in a most solemn manner, have betrayed their trust. And I believe no abandonment of a trust can be without evil consequences, sooner or later…
I do most entirely think that 'the Constitution' of the American Church is based neither on warrant of Holy Scripture, nor of the Church, down to itself. I believe that it introduced a new principle. And you too will feel that it is very alarming to introduce a new principle in such matters. ... The United States Church has happily denied no truth. It has, in suppressing the Athanasian Creed, abolishing the form of private absolution, suppressed a good cleat. Not having formally denied anything, it is not heretical, but it has run great risk of forfeiting its deposit by suppressing it…
Your Lordship says, 'If the basis on which we have established our principle be, that it is not inconsistent with the Primitive constitu–tion of the Church.' But, my dear Lord, on what principle can you maintain that it is not inconsistent therewith when the whole practice of the Church is against you' ? Surely when you have Synods in every century, and after a time, in every Church, and have not any instances of laity joining in a decision on faith, what proof can you have for anything, not contained in the most express words of Holy Scripture, if this is not proof? What proof is there, that Priests only, not laity, can consecrate the Holy Eucharist? I fear that the principle might be more extensively fatal than the practice.
But then, my dear Lord, there is not only the negative evidence of the absence of the laity from the Synods, but the positive declarations of those most in authority, the Emperors, that they, as being laymen, had no voice in matters of faith. The Bishops, on their side, say the same. They say it, too, as matters of principle. You will recollect Constantine' s words to the Bishops, 'God made you Priests, and ye have been given as judges to us.' I wish you could look again at the § 1 in my book on the Royal Supremacy (I would gladly send it you), pp. 17--22, 26. I cannot imagine, in the face of these public disclaimers on the part of the highest laity, and of the claims on the part of the Bishops, what plea can be urged for the admission of the laity into Synods, as not being contrary to the constitution of the Primitive Church.
Now, my dear Lord, you encourage me to write plainly. Are you prepared to establish for the Church in which God has allowed you to have so eventful a position, that the whole question may, I suppose, turn upon you (or any other of the four who voted for it), a new principle of deciding upon matters of faith, unsanctioned by Holy Scripture (I do not say 'contrary to,' although I believe it to be 'contrary to its spirit' ) and without any authority from Antiquity? The utmost you could say was, that it was not forbidden. To this I have said that it is as much or as little forbidden as any of the offices of the Priesthood are. And as to Antiquity, what more ener–getic denial can there be than the uniform practice of 1,700. years? We find (1) it is stated as a principle in early times that laymen are not to interfere in matters of faith, (2) that practically they were uniformly excluded.
Now, may I implore you by His mercies Who has entrusted to you, in a way in which He has not to us, the well-being of the Church over which you are a Bishop, and a great influence over ours, to look, not to the way in which this decision may be made least unsafe, but what plea in its behalf can be adduced from Scripture, or, I do not say Antiquity, but from the Church anywhere, at any time, except the Church which omitted the Athanasian Creed, brackets the Nicene and the words 'Receive the Holy Ghost,' and omits the form of Absolution? If there is no plea from these, what are the Scotch Bishops doing?
I do not wish to involve you, my dear Lord, in justifying your measures to me. There is no call for this. But I do most earnestly wish you to set definitely before your eyes what you are doing, that you should do it clearly and with full knowledge, or not do it. 1 cannot but think that you would not venture to have any part in changing the constitution of the Church from that which it has been since the Apo–stles, 'full of the Holy Ghost,' left it. May God direct your Lordship.
In Him your very faithful servant,
E. B. PUSEY.
Archdeacon Robert Wilberforce had said that the Church would cease to be Catholic if it accepted lay voting. Keble 'thought it would be a sin, but not a forfeiture.' But he 'wanted to know whether the reason why the laity might have no part in making Canons on any subject (which he granted as a fact) was not this :--that the only sanction properly canonical is spiritual censure, tending to excommunication, which of course must be kept in spiritual hands.' If this point were saved, he asked 'whether there would be any objections to such indirect interference of lay persons, as was that of the Christian Emperors? Could such interference be helped? And if not, had it not better be organized?'
'What I meant,' replied Pusey, 'about the laity having no part in settling the doctrines or discipline or ritual of the Church, was that they had never had it. It is one thing whether [of itself] the final appeal being in doctrinal matters to the Queen, or the admission of laymen into Synods, would destroy the Catholicity of the Church; another, whether so altering the constitution of the Church would not probably involve consequences, sooner or later, which would do it; i.e. whether, sooner or later, heresy would not be affirmed, on the doctrine refuted. I should anticipate this; and it is on this account I am urgent against both. The deposit of the faith, and the guardianship of discipline and of ritual, was, as you know, my dearest F., delivered by the Apostles to the Bishops, and in their degree to Presbyters. It was not given to laity, because they are sheep, not shepherds, as one Emperor says. The guardianship of these things seems to have been entrusted to the Bishops as much as other parts of the priestly office. They combined the priestly and the prophetic office of teach–ing, and this was part of the prophetic office. I suppose it to lie in " Feed My sheep," and the texts about the deposit.'
Pusey really wished, as he explained to Keblee, to a body of Church laymen, acting as a substitute for Parlia–ment, by securing civil sanction for the acts of the Church, but adding nothing to the Ecclesiastical. 'Only conceive,' he wrote, 'Convocation passing an article on Baptism, a lay body refusing it, and so 'its remaining suspended.'
Keble, as always, was on his guard against exaggera–tions. He had had some intercourse with Dr. Medley, the Bishop of Fredericton:--
'I had some talk with him about laymen in Synods, and found that he did not quite enter into our views. Still I think that practically we might agree. I think, though the Apostles would never have allowed laymen to sign Canons, they would not have minded them settling financial points, choosing officers, arranging districts, and the like: and that it is open to any Bishop, and if so, to any group of Bishops, to take them into his counsels to a great extent. With Medley all my arguments were the contrary way.'
On Nov. 5, 1852, Convocation met for the despatch of business after an interval of 135 years. To men who were mixed up with public affairs, and devoted to the cause in the Church, it seemed clear that if laymen could be in some way associated with the labours of Convocation, that body would command much greater attention in Parliament and the country. In the late autumn of 1852, Pusey had a correspondence with Mr. A. J. Beresford Hope on the attitude of the London Church Union towards this question. Mr. Hope, Mr. F. H. Dickenson, and some others had induced the Committee of the London Church Union to assent more or less directly to the principle of lay-representation in Synods. The result was a differ–ence of opinion which threatened the unity of the Union. Mr. Arthur Baker drew up, and Pusey signed, an address to Mr. Beresford Hope, claiming that the Union should be neutral on the question, or that at least no further steps should be taken in it, without formal notice being given to the Society. After some further correspondence this position was accepted; but Pusey was more than ever impressed with the absence of accurate information among laymen with respect to the constitution of the Christian Church, and his work on 'The Councils of the Church' is a serious effort to supply it.
This work was, after all, like that on the Royal Supre–macy, an unfinished fragment. It does not of course pre–tend to be a complete account of the Councils, provincial and general, between the age of the Apostles and that of Theodosius. It is a review of their constitution and action intended to elucidate only one point, namely, 'that matters of doctrine were always exclusively decided or attested by those whom the Apostles left to succeed to such portion of their office as uninspired men could discharge,--the Bishops of the Universal Church.' The form of the work is, however, narrative and historical; and the thesis is suggested to rather than obtruded on the reader.
Pusey had intended to survey the conciliar action of the Church for 1000 years, and especially to determine the place assigned to the laity in the mixed Councils of France, Spain, and England. Of his labours in prosecu–tion of this vast design only some pages of manuscript remain.
The book is very far from being a mere compilation of learned lore without practical aspects. Pusey has not often written pages on the duty of the Church towards the large masses of heathenized population in this country more instructive than those that are to be found in this book. He was deeply convinced that she would only awake to her responsibilities in these respects when her Synods met in Council.
'The Church herself,' he writes, 'ought to debate upon remedies, and should not leave to individual effort the work of the whole. We need missions among the poor of our towns; organized bodies of clergy living among them; licensed preachers in the streets and lanes of our cities; brotherhoods, or guilds, which should replace socialism; or sisterhoods of mercy, for any office of mercy which our Lord wills to be exercised towards His members, or towards those \hid outcast ones whom love, for love of Him, might bring back to Him. We need clergy to penetrate our mines, to migrate with out emigrants, to shift with our shifting population, to grapple with our manufacturing system as the Apostles did with the slave-system of the ancient world, to secure in Christ' s Name the Deltas of population, which the everflowing, overspreading stream of our English race is continually casting up.
'Beautiful as is the relation of the Parish Priest to his flock, lovely as are the village homes of our Village Pastors, and gentle as are the influences radiating from those who
" Point to Heaven, and lead the way,”
yet is there now an appalling need of further organization for a harder, more self-denying, self-sacrificing warfare, if, by God' s help, we would wrest from the principalities and powers of evil those portions of His kingdom of which, while unregarded by the Church, they have been taking full possession .'
But he could not think that these great objects would warrant or would be advanced by any indifference to the teaching of Antiquity. The 'lay element,' which had already become 'a sort of proper name,' was an equivocal term. But those who used it in very various senses con–curred in meaning that the laity should henceforth have some place in the Convocations of the Church which had not yet been assigned to them. It was forgotten that Bishops already represent the laity; they are virtually chosen by the laity; and if Bishops had at times been chosen who did not or could not legislate usefully for the Church, the laity had themselves to thank. The proper concern of the laity was with the temporalities of the Church, or the civil sanction to be granted to her doctrinal decrees, not with Canons of doctrine or discipline. The Apostles had committed the office of teaching to Bishops; and a Bishop' s office was not arbitrary; he had only to bear witness to that which he had received.
In the last resort he maintains that the Episcopate has the right, or rather the perilous responsibility, of decision; and this great principle is traced through Pusey' s work on the Councils with a patient thoroughness that will always secure for it a high position, in spite of its fragmentary character.