Life of Edward Bouverie Pusey
by Henry Parry Liddon, D.D.
London: Longmans, 1894
Transcribed by The Revd R D Hacking
SEC QND PERIOD OF EUCHARISTIC CONTROVERSY--SERMON
ON THE HOLY EUCHARIST--CASE OF ARCHDEACON
DENISON--CHARGE OF THE BISHOP OF BRECHIN.
'Still is the might of truth, as it hath been:
Lodged in the few, obeyed, and yet unseen.
Reared on lone heights and rare,
His Saints their watch-flame bear,
And the mad world sees the wide-circling blaze,
Vain-searching whence it streams, and how to quench its rays.'
Lyra Apostolica, lxxxv.
PUSEY had preached several times before the University since the termination of the period for which he had been suspended. Of these sermons three had been published, two on the 'Entire Absolution of the Penitent' and one on the 'Rule of Faith.' This last sermon, preached in 1851 was intended at once to define the true position of the Church of England with regard to the Faith, against Puri–tanism on the one hand and the Church of Rome on the other, and also to shew the nature of the authority to which she appeals on such subjects as the Eucharistic Presence. It was neither Scripture interpreted by the individual, nor tradition, nor a philosophy independent of Scripture, but Scripture interpreted by the consent of the Fat hers, which was the real rule of Catholic and Christian Faith; and a recognition of this principle would make what Pusey had to say on other subjects intelligible, if not convincing.
He was now called upon to preach again; as usual he began to think about the object, plan, and details of his sermon some months before. He wished to apply the general principles of his sermon on the Rule of Faith to the Doctrine of the Eucharist as held by the Church of England.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. KEBLE.
Asherne, Oct. 16, 1852.
I want your thoughts on another subject. I am to preach, please God, before the University on Jan. 16. My last two sermons have been on the Roman subject, 'The Rule of Faith' and 'The Unity of the Church.' I had thought of preaching on the Unity of the Faith (which I touched upon in the sermon on the Rule of Faith) as a sort of Irenicon, following Le Blanc, Cassander, and the like, as showing approximations of doctrine where there seemed to be difference, real agreement in differing words.
I have since thought whether there may not be reasons rather for taking one doctrine, the Holy Eucharist, with a practical application to young men, not to profane It, when it is part of the College system to receive It. I preached before 'The Holy Eucharist a comfort to the penitent.' This would be on danger to the impenitent. This would give it a practical character.
The reasons are (1) the Bishop of Oxford has asked me to explain myself (my Letter which I began has stuck): (2) I am still under a slur, for my former condemnation, among a large party; while the University is committed to condemnation of these doctrines in the eyes of others : (3) I suspect that Roman doctrine is increasing on the one side, while there is a vague fear of any definite doctrine among others. R. W.' is writing what I think is quite untenable; that the Roman Church by 'transubstantiation' does not mean a physical change; which I believe to be contrary to fact. He treats also the belief of any change in the physical substance of the elements as something very rare; from which people would infer that our Article was very superfluous, and founded on a disbelief in the Real Presence, i. e. that the compilers laid hold of an unreal thing to oppose, from not believing the truth themselves.
I had some correspondence and talks with R. W. I suspect we each remained of the same mind.
My line would be, as in my Letter and my sermon, to inculcate the doctrine of the Real Presence and to speak of the elements as remaining; as the obvious teaching of Holy Scripture and of the Fathers.
The words at the end of the first book of Homilies 'under the form of bread and wine' furnish a good formula for the truth. Durandus says, 'It is easier to believe that the Body and Blood of Christ are present under accidents whose substance remains [which I suppose to be the English doctrine] than under accidents whose substance is gone.' This mode of statement avoids the charge of Consubstantiation…If they [i. e. my former judges] pass it, they own that they were wrong before, in not giving me a hearing, whereby I might have cleared whatever in my sermon seemed to them unsound. If they condemned me again, they would take a more effectual measure than a two years' suspension. So I am told. My brother-in-law (a Low Churchman), Cotton, will be the V. C.
Will you, after a little time, tell me what you think? There is no hurry. But I must write the sermon next term in Oxford, where I have books.
Your very affectionate and grateful
E. B. P.
Keble cautiously suggested that the sermon might raise more questions than it settled: more especially he depre–cated any merely theoretical discussion of so sacred a subject. By the end of the October term, however, Pusey had 'written little fragments of' his sermon, that Keble might judge whether 'it would do.'
E. B. P. TO REV. J. KEBLE.
[Christ Church, Dec., 1852.]
If what is preached is undisputed a good deal will have been gained. People will no more be able to say that the doctrine is condemned. Those at Oxford are a good deal more accustomed to the doctrine than they were. When it was preached, too, we were a strong, concentrated, aggressive body. And they had settled to put down some one. Now, truth is more widely spread; but we are weak and broken and forsaken by so many; and I do not think they wish to attack us.
Another question is, whether the sermon itself would be a good one to preach? The form of it would be to set forth to young men the greatness of the mystery, that they may be more careful to live as they should, to whom such gifts are vouchsafed.
I should be quite ready, of course, to take another subject (as Justi–fication, in order to show that there is not that discordance as to the doctrine which people think), if you judge best.
Your very affectionate and grateful
E. B. P.
The Christmas vacation of 1852-3 was mainly spent in preparing the sermon: and it was preached on the first Sunday in term in the midst of the excitement of an University election. It differed from the earlier sermon on the Eucharist, as a careful statement of doctrine might differ from a devotional appeal. The doctrine enunciated was the same in both sermons; but the first was the language of unguarded fervour, the second that of precise definition on this side and on that. Thus the second sermon differs from the first in the distinctness with which it insists not only on the .Reality of the Sacramental Presence resulting from consecration, but also it deals with the continued existence of the substance in those conse–crated elements, which are the veils of our Lord' s presence. This latter side of truth was as much present to Pusey' s mind when he preached his first sermon as the fact of the Objective Presence, itself: but he had then supposed, that unfriendly critics would take this for granted, and he now put it forward as an explanation of his earlier language which, had opportunity been allowed, he should have given ten years before. The sermon abounds in passages of great beauty; it is penetrated through and through with Pusey' s intense reality, and it closes with an appeal to the junior portion of his audience, based on the obligations of the sacramental life in Christ, which few who heard it can ever forget.
Pusey could not, however, be sure that he would not be attacked again. Certainly, the discredit attaching to the proceedings of 1843, and the sense of insecurity which the appointment of a Commission had brought with it to all who filled places of authority in Oxford, might make them hesitate. On the other hand, Pusey' s teaching was in sub–stance the same, and there was no change in the minds of those who had previously condemned him. On the day after the sermon Pusey wrote to Keble:--
[Christ Church], Mo. morning, [Jan. 17, 1853.]
'No bad report as yet about my sermon. So I hope all good. Harington, Principal of B.N.C., said, " They cannot attack him this time. He has guarded himself too well." So I hope that there is a real gain, through God' s mercy. Dr. Faussett was in Oxford, and the Provost of O. heard the sermon. If they are peaceful, may I not look upon it as a retractation of their former attack; so that whatever their private belief may be, they are not public impugners of the truth?'
Pusey daily expected 'the first drops of the storm.' But a month passed, and the sermon had not been sent for.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. KEBLE.
[Feb. 9, 1853.]
It is a great mercy, I trust, that the sermon has passed off thus quietly. Certainly it has passed off, thanks to your help and sugges–tions. For my Preface might have provoked them. The Provost of Oriel and I believe Dr. Faussett were present: the other five not.
Pusey delayed his publication of the sermon for some weeks in the hope of being able to write an appendix which would exhibit the teaching of the Fathers in its completeness. But for the present he had to content himself with adding to the text a series of notes which showed what might be coming at a later time. After Easter all his spare time was taken up with reading and pre–paration of evidence for the Delegacy of the Hebdomadal Board, on subjects raised by the University Commission.
But shortly afterwards the question of the Holy Eucharist was brought before the mind of the Church by two Arch–deacons,--each of them men whose character and accom–plishments would have given prominence to any question they might take up.
Archdeacon R. I. Wilberforce was, as has been stated, received into the Roman Catholic Church in October, 1854; and he has told the world that this step was determined by his acceptance of the Roman doctrine of Papal Supremacy. But his work on the Holy Eucharist had attracted much more attention than was given to that on the 'Principles of Church Authority,' which stated at length the motives for his seces–sion. The former treatise was in truth a much more considerable and original effort; and its author had main–tained, and maintained to the last, that it was not incon–sistent--as was avowedly his later work--with the formu–laries of the Church of England. A report was circulated to the effect that legal proceedings would be taken against the author in the Court of the Archbishop of York. On the Archdeacon' s resignation of his preferments, which was completed before he knew that a trial was in con–templation, the proceedings were stopped by the Arch–bishop' s orders; but the book as a whole was thus left under the shadow of hypothetical or implied condemna–tion, from which Pusey was anxious to rescue the greater portion of it,--all, in fact, which asserted the doctrine of the Real Presence within the true lines of Catholic anti–quity,--although it contained some matter which did not command his assent.
The question was raised in another form by the action of another Archdeacon, of whose loyalty to the Church of England there has never been room for question.
Archdeacon Denison had found it necessary as Examin–ing Chaplain to the Bishop of Bath and Wells to reject certain candidates for ordination who did not accept the full teaching of the Church on the subject of Holy Baptism. This was not forgiven by the 'Evangelical Alliance' ; but that body, with other opponents of the Archdeacon, had to bide their time. In days when the very air seemed charged with controversy they had not long to wait. In the autumn of 1853 and the following spring, the Arch–deacon preached three sermons on the Holy Communion in Wells Cathedral. After the first two of these sermons a formal complaint was made to the Archbishop of Canterbury, in February, 1854, by the Rev. J. Ditcher, the Low Church Vicar of South Brent, which adjoined the Archdeacon' s parish. The Archbishop referred Mr. Ditcher to Dr. Bagot the Bishop of Bath and Wells; and the Bishop in a letter, dated April i6, 1854, gave his judgment, somewhat informally, on a doctrinal statement which the Archdeacon had submitted to him. Of that judgment the effect was practically an acquittal. The Bishop indeed censured 'speculations on the conditions of the Supernatural Presence' in the Eucharist, and also any attempt on the part of the Archdeacon to require assent to his private opinions as 'the condition of holding faithfully the doctrine of the Real Presence itself.' But he did not deem it necessary to seek an authoritative decision in the Ecclesiastical Courts. Bishop Bagot died within a month of writing this letter, and his successor, Lord Auckland, was no sooner consecrated than Mr. Ditcher made a second application that legal proceedings might be instituted against the Archdeacon. Lord Auckland replied that a public prosecution on such a point was inadvisable; and that the matter was a res judicata, having been settled by his predecessor. But Mr. Ditcher was not to be baffled. It was discovered that, as patron of the living of East Brent, the Bishop of Bath and Wells could not decide the question at all; and the question whether proceedings should be instituted was therefore referred to Archbishop Sumner.
On Sept. 5, 1854, the Archbishop wrote to the Arch–deacon stating that it was his painful duty to inform him that, after the expiration of fourteen days, a commission of five clergy would be appointed to inquire into a charge of false doctrine that had been brought against him, and report whether there was a prima facie case to be submitted to the Court of Arches. The Archdeacon hereupon ap–plied to the Court of Queen' s Bench for a rule to stay proceedings on the ground that the Bishop of the diocese had already decided the matter. The Court refused the rule; and the matter had to follow its course. In truth the prosecution appeared to be part of a general plan for getting rid of advanced High Churchmen, both in the Southern and the Northern Province. So at any rate Pusey thought. He wrote to Keble:-
E. B. P. TO REV. J. KEBLE.
[Oct. 1, 1854.]
This had been. my continually oppressing fear for the last year. However much Denison may have provoked it, the Low Church, in a war of extermination against us. Every fresh attack in, and increases our difficulties, and mows down those whom we can ill spare. There must have been something amiss that we thus had blow upon blow. Could you make a short prayer to be used daily?
REV. J. KEBLE TO E. B. P.
DEAREST PUSEY, Bisley, Oct. 2, 1854.
I have not St. Gregory' s Sacramentary here, which I always turn to, when asked to suggest a form of prayer. If I had, I dare say I could do better: as it is, I just send what has come into my head; the hint taken, as you will see, from yours from St. Ambrose. I hope some one will greatly improve on it. . . . Indeed, one knows too well that there has been a great deal very much amiss in many of those who have been moving in this 'Movement,' and I suppose it is but too likely that many of the troubles are due to such unworthiness: but that does not affect the cause, does it? If there is a subscription, as I suppose there must be, to support G. A. D., I shall wish to put down my name.
Your very loving
The Archdeacon was at first charged with teaching that 'the act of Consecration causes the Bread and Wine, though remaining in their natural substances, to have the Body and Blood of Christ really though spiritually joined to them, so that to receive the one is to receive the other,' and that 'the wicked and unbelieving eat and drink the Body and Blood of Christ in the Lord' s Supper, just as much as the faithful.'
Pusey was anxious to allay the rising excitement, and with this view wrote a public letter, in which he endeavoured to show that the theological importance of the question thus raised was not so great as was generally supposed.
But immediately after the appearance of this letter, Mr. Ditcher made a second application to the Archbishop, who thereupon transmitted to the Archdeacon a more elaborate statement of the charges made against him. He was accused of teaching,
'That the Body and Blood of Christ being really present after an immaterial and spiritual manner in the consecrated bread and wine, are therein and thereby given to all, and are received by all who come to the Lord' s Table' -- 'that to all who come to the Lord' s Table, to those who eat and drink worthily, and to those who eat and drink unworthily, the Body and Blood of Christ are given, and that by all who come to the Lord' s Table, by those who eat and drink worthily, and by those who eat and drink unworthily, the Body and Blood of Christ are received' -- 'that the universal reception of the inward part or thing signified of the Sacrament in and by the outward sign, is a part of the doctrine of the Real Presence itself' -- 'that worship is due to the real, though invisible and supernatural, presence of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Holy Eucharist under the form of bread and wine' -- 'that the act of Consecration makes the Bread and Wine, through the operation of the Holy Ghost, to be Christ' s Body and Blood' -- 'that in the Lord' s Supper the outward parts or signs and the inward parts or things signified are so joined together by the act of Conse–cration, that to receive the one is to receive the other' -- 'that all who receive the Sacrament of the Lord' s Supper receive the Body and. Blood of Christ.'
Keble recognized the serious issues of the controversy; and wrote a public letter which at once commanded the attention of the Church. He did not, indeed, think that it was necessary to defend all the propositions at–tributed to the Archdeacon in order to be true to the doctrine of the Real Presence. In particular he pointed out an ambiguity attaching to the word 'receive' as applied to wicked communicants. In one sense it ex–pressed what all must allow who believe at all in a Real Objective Presence. In another sense it would affirm what many such believers would account erroneous. But Keble observed that, without committing himself to every ex–pression of the Archdeacon, the pending charges on the three most important propositions involved the whole doctrine of the Real Objective Presence. He was sorrow–fully convinced that if the propositions attributed to the Archdeacon were 'declared untenable in the Church of England, a far more serious question would arise con–cerning the reality of our communion with the Universal Church than had ever yet arisen.'
In writing thus, Keble was not less moved by personal regard for the Archdeacon, than by a sense of the theological importance of the question. It was, however, difficult to help directly except under conditions which appeared to both Keble and Pusey unadvisable. There was for the moment no more to be done in this: therefore, so as to be ready for all emergencies, Pusey set himself to the work of pre–paring the 'Notes' to his University sermon on the Holy Eucharist, which had been so long delayed.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. KEBLE.
Christ Church, Jan. 26, 1855
I have been working very hard with Notes on my Sermon on the H. Eucharist, in hopes that, in the event of a trial, it may the rather hinder, by God' s mercy, any wrong decision as to the Real Presence. But then, it was necessary to clear the passages, alleged in support of Transubstantiation, both that our own people may not be perplexed and because people want to be assured that they are not to be taught, either Transubstantiation or (what never was taught) Consubstantia–tion, and it is so hard to be accurate.
As usual, he laid his friends under contribution. As in the Paradise for the Christian Soul, Mr. Copeland was the poet on whom he relied for rendering the old Latin hymns into English.
The book cost Pusey a great effort, especially at a time when his brother was lying at his house in what proved to be his last illness. 'Last term,' he wrote to a friend after Easter, 'I was working at my book on the Holy Eucharist, mostly till one a. m., and at every spare moment.' By the beginning of May the work was published and in circulation.
This remarkable book of 722 pages came before the world as 'Notes' on a single sermon. This form was adopted from Pusey' s sense of a duty to support by adequate authority the most deliberate doctrinal utterance he ever made on the subject of the Holy Eucharist in the University pulpit. But it also relieved him from some of the literary obligations which would have been entailed on him by the composition of a more formal treatise; while he was able to exhibit in ordered sequence the whole line of authorities which such a treatise would have contained. He first removed out of the way the objection made by Calvinists and Zwinglians on the one side, and by Roman Catholics on the other, that to hold the reality of the natural substance of the Elements after their consecration together with the Real Objective Presence as taught by Our Lord, could be rightly characterized as Consubstan–tiation; then he proceeds to show that Our Lord' s language, " This is My Body," cannot be understood figuratively, while on the other hand His allusion to one consecrated Element as " the fruit of the vine" proves the survival of its natural substance. The Fathers are then quoted to illustrate each side of the truth thus presented. Pusey shows that they speak most exactly of the survival of the substance of the Elements, when they are engaged in con–troversies with heretics; and perhaps the most instructive of the many instructive notes in this volume is that in which he elucidates the real force of words, employed especially by Eastern Fathers, and inaccurately supposed by Roman writers to sanction the doctrine of Transub–stantiation. The closing note is a massive accumulation of witnesses to the positive side of the doctrine as held by the ancient Church, namely, that after Consecration, Our Lord is Objectively Present in the Holy Eucharist., At the conclusion of upwards of five hundred pages de–voted to the establishment of this point, Pusey breaks out into sentences of exultant eloquence which he permitted himself on comparatively rare occasions:--
Yes! along the whole course of time, throughout the whole circuit of the Christian world, from East and West, from North and South, there floated up to Christ our Lord one harmony of praise. Unbroken as yet, lived on the miracle of the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit from on high swept over the discordant strings of human tongues and thoughts, of hearts and creeds, and blended all their varying notes into one holy unison of truth. From Syria and Palestine and Armenia; from Asia Minor and Greece; from Thrace and Italy; from Gaul and Spain; from Africa Proper, and Egypt, and Arabia, and the Isles of the Sea; wherever any Apostle had taught, wherever any Martyr had sealed with his blood the testimony of Jesus; from the polished cities, or Anchorites of the desert, one Eucharistic voice ascended; righteous art Thou, 0 Lord, and all Thy words are truth.' Thou said, 'This is My Body,' 'This is My Blood.' Hast Thou said, and shalt not Thou do it? As Thou hast said, so we believe.
Truly, 0 Lord, 'Thy holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge Thee.'
The book came out in May, 1855. It was welcomed by friends whom Pusey most valued. Sir John Coleridge thought that the question of authority in respect of the doctrine of the Eucharist would be settled by Pusey' s work. Archdeacon Churton was of opinion that, while the ar–rangement of the work might have been better, Pusey had gathered such a mass of authorities as wellnigh to exhaust the subject, and had cemented them together with such arguments as to leave nothing out of consideration. Bishop Phillpotts described the book as containing a well-timed and triumphant statement of the doctrine of the Church. There were, of course, estimates enough of a different character; but they might have been discounted beforehand.
Meanwhile the commission appointed to report upon the alleged heterodoxy of Archdeacon Denison' s sermon had sat at Clevedon. The conclusion of its proceedings had been foreseen. It reported to the effect that there was a prima facie case against the Archdeacon.
'What do you think,' wrote Keble to Pusey, on Jan. 18,1855, 'of the Denison case so far? It seems to me that they (I mean the Arch–bishop, etc.) are so mismanaging it, that they will almost make Denison popular in spite of himself. But surely some of our friends are putting themselves in a wrong position, in maintaining so earnestly reception by the Wicked as an integral part of the doctrine. I am afraid of the consequences when they find they have less sympathy than they had imagined. For myself, I must confess that if I were forced to decide I think there is mere to be said against that tenet than for it, especially looking to St. Aug., and most especially to Tractate 26 on St. John, and to the passage in Ep. 98. § (I think) 17, in which he speaks of calling Sacraments by the names of the things of which they are Sacraments. But surely our Church permits us to leave it open, and surely she is right in so doing, and we are wrong to close it either way. I write all this that you may kindly point out, when convenient, any thing amiss in it.'
After the report of the Clevedon Commission, Lord Auckland was again asked, as Bishop of the Diocese, to send the case to the Court of Arches. On his refusal to do so, the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose hand was forced by decisions obtained in the Queen' s Bench, reluctantly proceeded, as obliged by the Church Discipline Act, to constitute a Court to hear the case. This consisted of the Archbishop with assessors, the Rev Dr. Heurtley, the Very Rev. G. S. Johnson, Dean of Wells, and Dr. Lushington. It met in the Guildhall at Bath on July 22, 1855, and on August 12, the Archbishop made, through Dr. Lushington, a declaration to the effect that the passages in the Arch–deacon' s sermons alleged by the prosecution were contrary to the doctrine of the Church of England. It thus con–demned, as contrary to the Articles, the doctrine that the Body and Blood of Christ are given to and received by unworthy communicants, as well as the assertion that worship is due to the Real though Invisible and Super. natural Presence of the Body and Blood of Christ. The Archdeacon was allowed until the first day of October to revoke his adhesion to the condemned positions.
This Judgment was a great shock to all Churchmen who believed that the Church of England rejected no portion of the Sacramental teaching of the ancient Church. It dis–tressed Keble and Pusey equally, but in different ways. Keble felt the condemnation of Eucharistic Adoration most .strongly, Pusey thought the denial of the reception by the wicked was at least equally important.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. KEBLE.
35 Grosvenor Square, Friday, [Aug. 15, 1856].
The news of this judgment reached me at the D. Duchess of Argyll' s only yesterday morning. I am here with my good old Mother till Tuesday evening. Richards is in great trouble, apprehending imme–diate secessions. I inclose you his note (which I have torn inad–vertently).
Would it be ,good for you .to see the Bp. of Salisbury? A protest from him might be attended to, and might influence the decision of the Judges. J. Coleridge told me that he had no doubt that the Privy Council would reverse the judgment. But here is Dr. Lushington, a lawyer, concurring in it.
I only arrived here about 5.30 this morning. The Judgment really denies the Objective Presence as you will have seen: but what i condemns are points with which people have little sympathy. They only see indistinctly or do not see that the Objective Presence involves the reception by the Wicked, and few probably use any worship of Our Lord, except as in Heaven. God reward you.
Your very affectionate and grateful
E. B. P.
REV. J. KEBLE TO E. B. P.
DEAREST PUSEY, Llandudno, Conway, Aug. 16, 1856.
It is only this morning that I have seen this miserable Judgment of Dr. L.' s and I want to ask you one or two things about it. (1) Whatever it is in respect of the point of reception by the Wicked (in regard of which I think it quite intolerable, although as you know I do not see my way in that point so clearly as Denison thinks he does), does it not also expressly condemn him, and by implication all who believe a Real Presence, on an entirely distinct ground, viz, that of Adoration? (2) Is there anything at all in the Articles to justify this? or to seem to justify it in the least? I only find one saying-- 'the Sacrament…was not by Christ' s command . . . worshipped' : which seems to me naturally to mean that outward Adoration, as well as Receiving and Elevation, were not absolutely necessary in the Sacrament. Had they meant more they would have said so, as in the matter of Transubstantiation. I could not have believed that even Dr. L. would have sharpened those words into anything so highly penal. Perhaps this was alleged in Dr. Phillimore' s argument, but if so, I missed or have forgotten it. (3) Would it not be right for such as feel with me, that they are as obnoxious as Denison to this part of the sentence at least, to come forward in some way and state it, at the same time alleging reasons? And if so, in what way? by simple Protest? by addressing their Diocesans? or Convocation? or the whole Episcopate in Communion with the Church of England, in abeyance of any lawful Synod of that Church? I do not mean that such a Paper should confine itself to the matter of Adoration, but that it should state the truth on the other matter too: as well as on the abuse of the Queen' s Supremacy--the unconstitutional and unfair tenor of the whole affair. I can fancy such a thing so done as to draw many adhesions and produce a considerable effect.
But it would very likely fail: and ought we not to be in some measure prepared beforehand for some course of action in that event?
God help us, and bless and reward you. Your very loving
But the difficulty of united action arose from some slight difference of opinion existing for a time between Keble and Pusey on the question of 'Reception by the Wicked.' Keble, thought the Judgment on the point to be intolerable, could not exactly follow Pusey in his reasons for accepting the doctrine of Reception by the Wicked, and wrote to that effect a letter…
Pusey acknowledged this in a letter written in pencil on the railroad. He agreed with Keble that a strongly signed Declaration of belief in the Reality of our Lord' s presence in the Holy Sacrament was desirable; and suggested a list of the names of those who might sign. The objects of such a Declaration would be, first, to deliver the souls of the signatories by declaring the truth; secondly, to influence the Privy Council; and thirdly, to offer themselves for attack as did the Christians before the Proconsul of Africa. ' If you slay us, you must decimate Carthage.' 'If,' Pusey argued, 'they do not condemn us too, the doctrine is not condemned.' Keble hesitated about the proposed Declara–tion: but still more about a generally signed Protest which was proposed at the time. He agreed that a 'vital doctrine of the Gospel had been in substance denied' by the decision of the Court at Bath. But the legal uncertainties of the case were very great; and it was undesirable to commit people, if it could be helped, to special forms of speaking, on such high matters. But Pusey did not think it advis–able to delay a Declaration too long, if it was to be made at all. Present impatience would not be allayed by engagements to do something in the future. Nobody could say what the future might not bring forth. A mere Declaration, which did not involve some present action, would only again expose them to taunts such as those which Mr. Dodsworth and others had so constantly made since the Gorham case. He thought that they had better 'make themselves marks for others to shoot at.' If the opponents of the doctrine did not 'shoot or hit them,' the doctrine would be uncondemned. It was morally certain that if the technical objections against the proceedings were not sustained, the Archbishop, as Archbishop, would judge the case on its merits, on the same lines as Dr. Lushington had judged it at Bath. It was better to forestall this contingency by a statement of doctrine which should make their position and responsibilities plain to all the world.
Pusey replied more at length to a remark of Keble' s that he found less sympathy than he had expected on the subject of Adoration of our Lord in the Holy Eucharist:--
E. B. P. TO REV. J. KEBLE.
Aug. 28, 1856.
I quite expected that we should have very few (yet some) who would commit themselves to the Adoration. I fear that the belief in the Real Presence is very often something very undefined: and among a large class, the presence of the Elements is a ground against Adoration, (as though in adoring Our Blessed Lord in the Flesh, people hesitated because of the dress under which it was veiled).
This makes me strongly think that whenever we make the Protest, we should not aim at any wide circulation (which might also produce a counter statement), but should select a certain number of names, whom people would not like to dislodge. For if the doctrine is re–affirmed, and not condemned, it is saved.
C. C. Bartholomew will join in signing, and he says that 200 of the Clergy in the Diocese have generally gone along with him.
What do you think that the Bp. of Exeter would do? I should have been afraid that he would have been against 'Adoration.' I suppose that the Article has commonly been interpreted in an Anti-Roman sense, as against all Adoration. I am not surprised at Wilson being alarmed; yet there would be enough, I doubt not, for a limited Protest. I suppose that, practically, people do not adore (i. e. it is no part of their worship), but they pray Christ to come into their souls.
As the time allowed by the Archbishop to Archdeacon Denison within which he might revoke the condemned statements was drawing to a close, Pusey became in–creasingly anxious.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. KEBLE.
[Sep. 27, 1856.]
Time is hastening on, and the Archbishop' s decision, and some tell me that people are looking much to you and me now. I fear that some will be disturbed, if the doctrine of the Reception by the Wicked is not re-asserted by those who believe it. I do not see how it can be re-asserted as matter of faith; because I know not where it has been ruled to be so. Aquinas, I see, mentions those who imagine a with–drawal. Still, 1 Cor. xi. 29 looks so strongly the other way, that I do not know how otherwise it can be explained. And then the consent of Fathers is so large, and begins so early, that I do not see how we can avoid receiving it, if not as certain faith yet as the probable truth. I suppose that St. Augustine may most easily be explained, according to the distinction which has been inherited from him of 'spiritaliter' and 'sacramentaliter' ; sacramentaliter being the mode of reception by the good and bad, spiritaliter by the good only, because in them only, the spirit or soul is united with Christ. With regard to our Lord' s words (St. John vi.) which weighs so much with you, is it not the case, that all which God says implies certain conditions on man' s part? 'He that believeth' [i. e. with a faith which worketh by love] 'and is baptized,' &c.: 'Whoso cometh unto Me' [i. e. truly and in sincerity] : 'Whose sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them' [if penitent]. So I should have thought that our Lord' s words 'Whoso eateth My Flesh,' &c. implied [with right dispositions, persevering in grace] &c. But I think I have written this before.
I should like very much to know what the Bp. of S. thought. I hear that the Bp. of O. is sanguine, that even Sir J. Dodgson will set it aside. But I fear that the Bp. does not believe the Objective Presence, although I suppose he believes a simultaneous reception of the Body and Blood of Christ by the faithful.
Would a meeting of a few of us at the time of the Sentence be of any use?
I should like to see your statement again; but I fear that I must put out a statement of my own, because since I believe that the wicked do receive to their hurt, the Body and Blood of Christ, it would be cowardly not to say it now.
Ever, my dearest F.,
Your very affectionate and grateful
E. B. P.
I am to leave Christ Church early next week; on Saturday--Monday (Oct. 4--6) I am to be at the Vicarage, Brighton. I do not know on what day I am to be in London, nor exactly which day I leave, perhaps Monday. I am going to Great Malvern again to see Capt. Sellon.
Keble was greatly concerned that he and Pusey did not seem to be entirely at one on the point at issue, and on Sept. 28 wrote on the subject a long letter…
On Sept. 30 Archdeacon Denison handed into the registry of the diocese of Bath and Wells, a paper stating the grounds of argument and precedent upon which it was 'not in his power to make the revocation required by the Court.' Dr. Lushington at once announced that sentence would be pronounced by the Court at Bath on Tuesday, Oct. 21.
'The necessity for some Protest was now increasingly evident. It was currently reported that names of num–bers of Anglicans were known, intending to join the Church of Rome as soon as the decision was issued. Pusey was anxious on the one hand to shew how slight was the difference between himself and Keble as to the expression regarding the Reception by the wicked, and on the other to shew, even more at length than before, why probability appeared to him to lie on the side he was advocating. Readers of these letters will be reminded in more ways than one of the correspondence of SS. Augustine and Jerome. Pusey' s letter..was a little treatise or pam–phlet... The answer seems to shew that his learned and thoughtful arguments were making the way plain to Keble' s assent.
After a conversation with the Bishop of Brechin, Pusey had drawn up a paper, which Keble consented to sign, if he might omit a passage from Bishop Poynet about 'wor–shipping the Eucharist.' Although in meaning quite true, it would, says Keble, 'give needless pain and offence to some. Indeed, it is in words contrary to what Denison has said, " doubtless the Sacrament may not be wor–shipped”; also Bishop Andrewes-- 'Sacramentum nulli adoramus." Might not the passage from Bramhall, quoted by Denison, p. 13, be taken? or Taylor? or Beveridge?'
Keble always considered the Church of England to be under appeal,--to a General Council since the Reformation, or perhaps to a Synod of the whole English Episcopate since the decision of the Privy Council in the Gorham case. It was accordingly in his eyes no objection to an appeal to a free and lawful Synod of the Bishops of the Province of Canterbury that Denison' s advisers might recommend him to appeal to a law court as well. Certainly there would be two appeals; but they were in different provinces. 'Our appeal,' he wrote to Pusey, 'is to my mind the main point. I must have it (such is my pertinacia) if no one else does.'
It was during the final proceedings of the Court at Bath on Oct. 21st and 22nd, that Pusey' s 'Protest,' with the single modification suggested by Keble, was made public. It may be well to point out that the signatories to the document wished to make clear their position that, in spite of the Opinion of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Catholic doctrine on the Sacrament in question as stated by them was not repugnant to the Thirty-nine Articles. The point really at issue was whether this high Catholic sacramental doctrine was consistent with loyalty to the Church of England. Such a position they were prepared to vindicate. They felt strongly that it was the popular Protestant interpretation of the Articles, as distinct from the text of the Articles themselves that had governed the decision of the Court at Bath.
The following Declaration has been signed and issued:--
Protest against the Bath Judgment.
We, the undersigned, priests of the one Catholic and Apostolic Church, called by God' s providence to minister in the Province of Canterbury according to the Book of Common Prayer, do hereby, in the presence of Almighty God, and in humble Conformity with the tenor of our ordination vows, as we understand them, make known and declare as follows:--
1. We believe (in the words used in the Book of Homilies) that we receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the form of bread and wine' ; and with Bishop Cosin, 'that upon the words of consecration, the body and blood of Christ is really and substantially present, and so exhibited and given to all that receive it; and all this, not after a physical and sensual, but after an heavenly and incomprehensible manner' ; of which statement, Bishop Cosin says, 'it is confessed by all divines.'
2. We believe in the words of Bishop Ridley, 'that the partakinge of Christ' s bodie and of His bloude unto the faithfull and godlie, is the partakinge and fellowship of life and of immortalitie. And, again, of the bad and ungodly receivers, St. Paul plainlie saieth thus: " He that eateth of this breade and drinketh of this cuppe unworthilie, he is guilty of the bodie and bloude of the Lord." He that eateth and drinketh unworthilie, eateth and drinketh his own damnation, because he esteemeth nça the Lord' s Bodie ; that is, he receiveth not the Lord' s Bodie with the honoure whiche is due unto Hym.' Or with Bishop Poynet, 'that the Eucharist, so far as appertains to the nature f the Sacrament, is truly the body and blood of Christ, is a truly and holy thing, even when it is taken by the unworthy; while, er, they are not partakers of its grace and holiness, but eat and their own death and condemnation.'
3. We hold with Bishop Andrewes, 'that Christ Himself, the inward part of the Sacrament, in and with the Sacrament, apart from and without the Sacrament, wheresoever He is, is to be worshipped.' With whom agrees Archbishop Bramhall: 'The Sacrament is to be adored, says the Council of Trent, that is (formally), " the body and blood of Christ," say some of your authors; we say the same: " the Sacrament," that is, " the species of bread and wine," say others--that we deny.'
We, therefore, being convinced,--
1. That the doctrine of the Real Presence of 'the body and blood of our Saviour Christ under the form of bread and wine' has been uniformly accepted by General Councils, as it is also embodied in our own formularies;
2. That the interpretation of Scripture most commonly held in the Church has been, that the wicked, although they can 'in no wise be partakers of Christ,' nor 'spiritually eat His flesh and drink His blood,' yet do in the Sacrament not only take, but eat and drink unworthily to their own condemnation the body and blood of Christ which they do not discern;
3. That the practice of worshipping Christ then and there especially present, after consecration and before communicating, has been common throughout the Church. And, moreover, that the Thirty-nine Articles were intended to be, and are, in harmony with the faith and teaching of the ancient undivided Church;
Do hereby protest earnestly against so much of the opinion of his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, in the case of Ditcher v. Denison, as implies, directly or indirectly, that such statements as we have cited above are repugnant to the doctrine of the Thirty-nine Articles.
And we appeal from the 'said opinion, decision, or sentence of his Grace, in the first instance, to a free and lawful Synod of all the Churches of our communion, when such by God' s mercy may be had.
BARTHOLOMEW, C. C., M .A., Perpetual Curate of St. David' s, Exeter.
BENNETT, W. J. B., M.A., Vicar of Frome.
CARTER, THOMAS T., M.A., Rector of Chewer, Oxon.
GRUEBER, C. S., Incumbent of St. James' s, Hambridge.
HEATHCOTE, W. B., B.C.L., Precentor of Salisbury Cathedral.
HENDERSON, T., M.A., Prebendary of St. Paul' s, Vicar of Messing.
KEBLE, JOHN, M.A., Vicar of Hursley, Winchester.
NEALE, J. M., M.A., Sackville College.
OXENHAM, N., M.A., Vicar of Modbury.
PLUMER, C. J., M.A., Rector of Elstree, Rochester.
POPHAM, J. L., M.A., Prebendary of Salisbury, Rector of Chilton Folhiatt.
PUSEY, E. B., D.D., Regius Professor of Hebrew, Canon of Christ Church, Oxford.
SCOTT, W., B.D., Perpetual Curate of Christ Church, Hoxton, London.
STUART, E., M.A., Incumbent of St. Mary Magdalene. Munster Square, London.
WARD, W. P., M.A., Rector of Compton-Vallence.
WILLIAMS, ISAAC, B.D., Stinchcombe, Gloucestershire.
WOODFORD, J. R., M.A., Vicar of Kempsford, Gloucestershire.
YARD, G. B., M.A., Rector of East Torrington with Wragby, Lincolnshire.
On October 22, Dr. Lushington proceeded to pronounce sentence on Archdeacon Denison. By the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury, he was deprived of all his pre–ferments; an interval extending to Dec. 5 being granted for an appeal.
Meanwhile the Protest was being circulated in high quarters.
'I am sending one,' writes Pusey to Keble in October, 1856, 'with a letter to the Archbishop and other Bishops (except Hereford), leaving it to you to send one with a private letter (as I suppose you will) to the Bishop of Winchester. I said to the Archbishop that it was a matter of conscience after his Grace' s decision, to state publicly what I believed, in order that my subscription might be honest.'
The Protest did not win much sympathy from the Bishops to whom it was sent with the exception of the Bishop of Exeter; he however proposed a less strongly worded declaration with a view to its being more generally signed, although he allowed that the judgment condemned Bishop Andrewes and misquoted the Articles.
'The Bishop of O.,' wrote Pusey to Keble, 'discourages signing. The Bishops of B. and W. and St. Asaph think it premature. T. Carter of Clewer wants a meeting to get more signatures. Perceval Ward and Grueber suggested alterations. " Quot homines, tot sententiae." Meanwhile our act is, I suppose, done, past recall: that is one comfort. But will you think whether you would advise anything more?'
Keble agreed with the Bishop of Exeter' s suggestion. But, he added:--
'Oct. 28, 1856.
'It will not do to confine the statement to the Adoration as he has done. I have written to S. O. to ask what we should do next, assuming in my simplicity that we had done right so far! I shall be curious to see his answer. I dread the Bishop of W.' s, which I have not yet received. As you say, the thing being out is a real comfort; and if we made a mistake we did it for the best. Those who do not believe as we do can hardly be judges. I wrote to Gresley yesterday, on a plan of a mitigated Declaration, which he had sent me proposing divers additions. We are keeping our Consecration Feast to-day, and I have no time. No doubt the cold water from Oxford will quench for the present the spark at Sarum: so I fear.'
Large numbers of clergymen and others were anxious to sign the Protest. But Keble did not think this desir–able. A large number of signatures might look like an attempt to influence the Law Courts. He wished simply for a Church Defence Fund.
Another question was raised both by friends and oppo–nents. What should be the effect of the Archbishop' s Judgment in the court of conscience? Pusey writes:--
E. B. P. TO REV. J. KEBLE.
Oct. 31, 1856.
The Master of Pembroke seemed to think that our opponents would expect that if the Archbishop' s Judgment were confirmed, we should acquiesce and resign as matter of course, accepting his Judgment as the legal interpretation. But the interpretation of an Archbishop alone, though it may make a legal interpretation, cannot bind a con–science. Do you think that it would be best to show our line of policy that people may not say again, that we hold out what we do not fulfil? Unjustly, in both cases.
It appeared to Pusey to be important to make the future action of himself and his friends perfectly clear. Whatever their opponents might wish, or decide to be honourable or imperative, he and his friends had no intention of aban–doning their duties in and towards the Church of England until they were ejected from the posts they held. Accord–ingly at the end of October Pusey drew up a letter, stating the grounds of the Protest against the decision of the Court at Bath. The letter ran as follows:--
'It having been given out that those who signed the Protest and Appeal against the recent decision on the doctrine of the Holy Eucharist may probably end in forming a Nonjuring Church, will you allow us to state through your paper that we have no such intention or thought. The object of that declaration was to liberate our own consciences.
'We believe, in their most literal and fullest sense, every word of the Articles, on the ground of which Archdeacon Denison has been condemned. We cannot see how the doctrines for which he has been condemned can be fairly brought under the Articles. We are con–vinced that they are points upon which the Church of England has not decided; and that those who have condemned him, have pro–ceeded on grounds foreign to the Articles. They have brought mean–ings into the Articles, not out of them. Still, since we believe that which the Archbishop and his Assessors have condemned as contrary to the Articles, it became matter of honesty to avow it. We are in a place of sacred trust. If we voluntarily retire from our place, we betray our trust; if we continue in our place, saying nothing, we seem to betray it. Either way there is grievous scandal. The only course open to us is, publicly to apprise those in authority over us, that we cannot obey them in this, and to go on as before, leaving it to them to interfere with us, or no, as they may think fit. It was on this view of our duty that we signed that Paper. Our subscription to the Articles is honest in itself for we believe them in the only sense of which we can see them to be capable. But we did not feel it honest to hold a belief which had been condemned as contrary to the Articles, and not to avow that we held it, and make ourselves liable to the con–sequences.
'The being of the Church of England we believe to be perfectly unaffected by this decision, grievous as the result of it may be in respect of her well-being. The sentence of an Archbishop' s Court may make an Act penal; but the sentence of one man cannot bind the conscience. Prosecution after prosecution can but deprive individuals. Nothing less than the voice of the Church can make any decision the judgment of the Church; and nothing but the judgment of the Church (in fact, a new " Article of Religion " ) can limit, as now proposed, the meaning of the present Articles. If the Church of England should will to condemn what hitherto she has not condemned, she must do it by a distinct Act.
'We know there are some who wish us to be removed. But we do not, please God, intend to do their work for them by withdrawing. Even should we be deprived, we should hope not to be silenced, nor degraded, nor excommunicated. Meantime, in full conviction that we teach oily what the Church sanctions, or at any rate allows, we shall go on teaching as long as we are permitted to do so. Through God' s good Providence we have had our several spheres of duty assigned to us. If it be His will, He will help us cheerfully to exchange them for others. But it-will be His doing, not ours. We hope to know His Will best, by waiting for it .'
Keble warmly approved of the letter. He had himself revised it. 'Every day shows me,' he wrote, 'that some such thing is needed…I hope you will not grudge me what I do not quite deserve,--my name at the foot of that letter.'
The importance of this explanation will be at once apparent. Pusey and Keble did not mean to secede to the Church of Rome, or to form a Nonjuring Church. They meant to stay where they were; but they did not mean to hold their tongues. 'Make that new Paper,' Keble had written to Pusey, 'such as to commit no one but us two, any more than is possible, consistently with it committing us entirely.' They themselves were prepared for any consequences. The paper however was not pub–lished at the time: it raised fresh questions about which it was found impossible to secure the complete agreement of all the signatories of the Protest.
But meanwhile Archdeacon Denison had appealed from the sentence at Bath to the Court of Arches. Although the Archbishop of Canterbury had presided in person at the Court at Bath, he had only done so as the Judge of the Diocesan Court of Bath and Wells; he had taken the place of the Bishop of the diocese, because the latter was disqualified for hearing the case by being patron of the benefices held by the defendant. The Court of Arches, however, in the first instance, refused to admit the appeal, on the ground that the Archbishop, whose Court it was, had already passed sentence on the de–fendant. This refusal was overruled, on appeal, by a mandamus from the Queen' s Bench, which held that the appeal lay not from the Archbishop in person to the Archbishop' s Court, but from the Diocesan Court of Bath and Wells to the Provincial Court of Canterbury. Accordingly on April 23, 1857, Sir John Dodson, Dean of the Arches, reversed the decision of the Court at Bath on the technical ground that the suit on which the Arch–deacon had been deprived had not been taken against him within the time required by the Church Discipline
Act. Mr. Ditcher hereupon appealed to the Judicia Committee of the Privy Council, which on Feb. 6, 1858 confirmed the decision of the Court of Arches, without expressing any opinion on the question of heterodoxy This brought the case to an end, but in a manner which exposed the Archdeacon to the charge, freely advanced by his theological opponents, that he had shielded himself from a decision on the merits of the case under a legal technicality. The Archdeacon, however, has told the world, in his own vigorous style, what he thought of this point, as well as of the whole case.
This controversy produced two books which will be re–membered and read when all the incidents connected with it are forgotten. We have seen that the point in the Judgment which touched Keble most closely led to his composing what is perhaps the most beautiful of his con–tributions to the theological treasures of the Church of Eng–land,--his treatise on 'Eucharistical Adoration.' Keble fell back on authority no doubt; but he also rested on general considerations suggested by the requirements of faith and the instincts of piety. His book is consequently almost as much a devotional treatise as a theological disquisition; and it is lighted up, here and there, by touches of the poetry which played like sunshine round Keble' s deepest thought. It was not his way to set store on anything that he did: he was impatient of allusions in conversation to the 'Christian Year,' which he would refer to without naming as 'that book.' But he was really anxious that people should read what he had written on the worship of our Lord in the Eucharist. 'I wish,' he said one morning after opening his letters, 'that people, instead of paying me compliments about what they call my poetry, would see if there is not some sense in my prose. You know what I mean'
Pusey' s work was of a different character from Keble' s, though one topic in it covered the same ground. He had before him a more prosaic task, that, namely, of shewing that his teaching on the question of the Eucharistwas consistent with honest subscription to the formularies of the Church of England. In his book on the 'Nature of Christ' s Presence in the Holy Communion,' Mr. Goode had raised this question; which was to be decided, he maintained, 'not by an appeal to Holy Scripture, inter–preted by the private judgment of individuals' (the writer for the moment surely forgot what was due to really Pro–testant principles), 'still less by an appeal to the Fathers' (it would certainly have been very imprudent for the writer to discuss the subject in that field of inquiry), 'but by an appeal to the authoritative formularies of our Church.' Pusey' s book, therefore, from the necessity of the case, is throughout an appeal to texts and documents; and much of it is discussion of so minute and technical a character as to repel any but a person who is deeply interested in ascertaining the true answer to the question what, by her formularies, the Church of England does or does not teach, permit, or exclude on the subject of the Holy Eucharist.
The treatise on the 'Real Presence,' considered as the doctrine of the English Church, is, after all, only a fragment. Pusey had intended to add to it a vindication of the literal interpretation of the Words of Institution; a reassertion of the belief of the Fathers on the subject; and a comparison of the English Sacramental Articles with the Confessions of the Zwinglian and Calvinistic bodies. He had hoped to produce this work before Archdeacon Denison' s case came into the Court of Arches: but the collapse of the case, and his own broken health, led him to content himself with the existing work. He was longing, too, to address himself to tasks which would divide him not from Christians who held a less perfect faith, but from unbelievers. 'While we who would love Christ are thus engaged in attack and defence, infidelity finds its way undisputed, the Old Testament is given over to unbelievers, our Redeemer is blasphemed, His Godhead, His Atonement, or even His Existence are denied.'
Both of Pusey' s considerable works on the Eucharist were criticized at some length by a Low Church clergyman of industry and reading, who however can scarcely be thought to have known how to arrange or interpret his materials. When Dr. Harrison' s 'Answer to Dr. Pusey' s Challenge' appeared fourteen years after the publication of the 'Real Presence in the English Church,' Pusey only expressed his great. satisfaction that a person belonging to that school should have induced some of those who agreed with him to read the Fathers, and his confi–dence that if they persevered in the study they would be brought nearly, if not entirely, into agreement with himself.
A controversy of a similar character was raised at the same time in another quarter. It has been mentioned that the Rev. A. P. Forbes was chosen, while Vicar of St. Saviour' s, Leeds, to be Bishop of the Diocese of Brechin. It is unnecessary here to speak of the way in which Bishop Forbes recommended himself to various classes of men, by the charm of his manner, or his theological knowledge, by his devotion to the poor, and in general by the high ideal of Episcopal life which he endeavoured to translate into action. His episcopate, however, was not without its anxieties and troubles. His primary Charge, delivered on August 5, 1857, in some respects reflected the controversies connected in England with the trial of Archdeacon Denison' s case, and was combined in Scotland with the long-standing discussions about the Scotch Com–munion Office. The Bishop, besides warmly recommending this office, insisted especially that the Eucharistic Sacrifice is the same substantially with that on the Cross; that 'supreme adoration is due to the Body and Blood of Christ, mysteriously present in the gifts,' and that such 'worship is due not to the gifts, but to Christ in the gifts' ; and that 'in some sense the wicked do receive Christ indeed to their condemnation.' The Bishop further asserted that 'the Church to which we belong never committed herself to any expression which forbids the worship of our Lord in the Holy Sacrament.'
The Charge excited general attention, and some con–siderable hostility. At the Synod held in Edinburgh in December, 1857, it was proposed to issue a declaration on the doctrine of the Holy Eucharist, in opposition to the statements of the Bishop of Brechin. The motion was lost; but the Bishops of Edinburgh, Argyll, and Glasgow, signed a document which, if not identical with that pro–posed, was to the same purport. They denied that the Body and Blood of Christ were so present in the Eucharist as to be proper objects of adoration; they held adoration to be repudiated by the declaration at the end of the Com–munion Office; they objected to the Bishop of Brechin' s statement of the doctrine of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, as implying a divergence between the teaching of the Primitive Church and the 25th Article, and as being opposed to the teaching of the Epistle to the Hebrews and the language of the Scottish Communion Office. On the other hand, they quoted the positive language of the Catechism and the Homily as expressing their belief on the subject. This declaration of the three Bishops was followed by others from the clergy, which kept the subject before the public mind.
Meanwhile Keble, soon after the appearance of Bishop Forbes' Charge, had sent his book on 'Eucharistical Adora–tion,' then just published, to the Scottish Bishops. His chivalrous impetuosity led him thus to throw in his lot with Bishop Forbes: and when he received a copy of the Episcopal declaration, he understood it to condemn his own book as well as the Bishop' s Charge. This induced him to address to the Bishop of Edinburgh a letter which, read together with the declaration, is one of the most instructive documents produced in the whole course of the controversy. The point on which he principally insists is the impossibility of distinguishing, as did the Scottish critics of the Bishop of Brechin, between the Presence of the Body of Christ an the Presence of His Person. If His Body was really, an not only virtually present, then all believers who were m Nestorians, must admit that His Person was present well; since in Him two whole and perfect Natures wet joined together in One Person, never to be divided.
Pusey had spent the winter of 1857--8 in the neighbourhood of Paris. Philip wanted to go there to work a manuscripts in the Bibliothèque Impériale. During his previous illness, and his absence in Paris, Pusey heard nothing of the Scottish controversy: it burst upon him as a most unwelcome surprise, soon after his return. Keble wrote to deprecate his taking any immediate action.
REV. J. KEBLE TO E. B. P.
Hursley Vicarage, Quinquagesima Sunday, 1858.
…I am so sorry this storm has reached your ears. But if Bishop Forbes will be quite patient, as I trust he will, there seems hope of its turning to good. I believe the Bishops of St. Andrews and Moray and Aberdeen are all peaceably inclined. But the pressure from the Edinburgh and other laity is excessive.
It is in vain to ask you not to be anxious about it: but I do hope you will not be tempted to hurt yourself--by working. You, and in some sense I, have done what we could, in the way of publication, and we must on the whole leave the result in God' s hands.
If you are not much acquainted with those gentlemen, would it not be a good plan to ask leave to send your book? If they said yes, I suppose they would be pledging themselves to read it.
What I want to impress them all with is that we are on the defensive, and only ask for toleration. And this I believe Bishop Forbes accepts.
I wish you had been well, for then I dare say you would have stopped him from bringing forward the subject. . .
Ever your very affectionate
Pusey however entered into correspondence with some of the Scotch Bishops with whom he was acquainted, but with ill success. Bishop Trower in particular expressed complete disagreement both with Pusey' s own Eucharistic position and with that of Bishop Forbes, and intimated that 'Neological' tendencies now developing were only a natural reaction against Pusey' s own teaching.
Pusey, when forwarding this letter to Keble, observes:--
'Bishop F. tells me that he expects a renewal of the storm (which he says is now a little lulled) on the appearance of Mr. Cheyne' s sermons so I have written to Mr. C. to ask him to let you or me see them before they are published. I wish I had seen Bishop F.' s. However, the Bishop of G.' s antipathy seems to be to any Adoration whatsoever; so that, although I could have hindered this attack on the doctrine of the Sacrifice, the storm must have come equally.
So they comfort themselves by thinking that I am, by reaction, the cause of the Neologism. How utterly ignorant they are of its history and growth! I could say, Would that it were true that reaction were the cause. It would then be less widespread and less deep.
'On Saturday Bull' s remains were consigned to their resting-place. It is nearly thirty-nine years since, as an undergraduate, I first came into relation with him.'
Matters looked brighter for the Bishop of Brechin before the Scottish Synod met in May: and this happier interval is reflected in the subjoined letter.
REV. J. KEBLE TO THE BISHOP OF BRECHIN.
Hursley, April 13, 1858.
MY DEAR LORD AND MY DEAR FRIEND,
Thank you for rejoicing my heart as you did by the last words of your last letter. If the holy times are by God' s mercy blessed to us to bear 'peaceable fruit' within, who can doubt that in His good time it will distil, as it were, in outward peace on the Church? And what a token, if one may reverently say so, of some good thing in store for us, that our dear friend at Christ Church should be so far restored as he is--protected from worry and controversy, yet enabled to give good advice to a friend like yourself, to preach to the hearts of young men, and to work 'with all the desire of his soul' on what he had been so many years vainly seeking leisure to accomplish. One 'cannot think enough of it,' as the good people say here.
I return the No. of the Journal: I have it sent regularly to me, so that I had seen the paper on Ridley before; your conjecture had not struck me, but I think it very probable. I hope in a few days to have leisure to compare it critically with Ridley' s works, which I have not within reach here. In the meantime I should be very much surprised if I found a person exactly in agreement with Antiquity who could find it in his heart to overthrow altars as Bishop Ridley did. I shall see if I can make any further use of my letter to Freeman--but I am in great hopes that it may be safely put off to a quieter time.
Believe me, ever your affectionate friend and servant in Christ,
The Synod which met at Edinburgh in the following month determined on the issue of a Pastoral Letter, addressed 'To all faithful members of the Church in Scotland,' and signed by all the Scottish Bishops, except–ing Bishop Forbes. This document is dated May 27, i8~8: it expresses the unanimous regret of the six Bishops that such a Charge as the Bishop of Brechin' s should have been delivered: it uses severe language as to the character and tendency 'of the views therein set forth: and, while acknowledging and approving the reverent intention of the Charge, it fastens upon two points as unscriptural and un–sound; denouncing especially the Bishop' s language as to the supreme adoration due 'to Christ in the Gifts,' and as to the identity 'in some transcendental sense' of the Sacri–fice of the Cross and the Sacrifice of the Altar. From a censure of this teaching and a summary dismissal of the reasoning by which it had been supported, the Bishops proceed to offer to their brethren of the clergy, 'by a right essentially inherent in a Provincial Episcopate,' certain in–structions, three in number, as to what they are and what they are not to teach concerning the Holy Eucharist.
On the promulgation of this document Bishop Forbes, in great distress, wrote at once to Pusey; who, in a some–what pathetic letter, forwarded his note to Keble. Pusey was still poorly in health: he could not quite whole–heartedly commend in all respects the course which the Bishop of Brechin had taken: he was harassed by some other anxieties, both personal and academic. But there was no hesitation in his eagerness to do all he could for the truth which he felt to be imperilled and the consciences which were perplexed in the vehemence of the controversy. He would have gone at once to confer with Keble as to the best advice to be offered to the Bishop, but he was detained at Oxford by the sense of an obligation to be at the Cathedral. 'We have been making an effort (he writes) to have, Holy Communion restored here on Trinity Sunday, which had been left off when the Ordination ceased to be held here; and it seemed inconsistent to press its restoration and then to go away.' At the end of the first week in June, however, he was able to go, and spent a Sunday with Keble: and soon afterwards two letters show the outcome of their conference. Keble had written a long pamphlet, entitled, 'Considerations suggested by a late Pastoral Letter on the Doctrine of the Most Holy Eucharist' : and Pusey revised the proof-sheets, suggesting various emendations, and also contributing a short paper which Keble appended to his own work, as a summary of the main reasons 'for not accepting either the censures on the Bishop of Brechin, or the doctrinal and historical statements of the Letter, as they stand' .
Keble had a recognized place among the Scottish clergy as an Honorary Canon of Cumbrae: he could not be charged with intrusiveness when he laid before them the outcome of his study of the Pastoral Letter which the Bishops had addressed to them: while the publication in the preceding year of his treatise 'On Eucharistical Adoration' gave fitness as well as weight to what he now put forth. He begins by dwelling on the reasons why the clergy may and should 'assume that the Pastoral Letter was not intended to be received as having any canonical authority, but simply as the result of counsel gravely taken by those six individual Bishops' ; a result therefore commanding attention and respect, but still leaving 'room for dissent, silence, or remonstrance, as the case may require, without undutifulness.' The whole letter is most valuable, not only as regards its discussion of the negative positions of the Scotch Bishops, but also in that it set forth a series of dogmatical statements showing 'the special bearing of the Incarnation on the Eucharistical question.'
Two documents form the concluding pages of the pam–phlet: for both Keble says he 'is indebted to kind and venerated friends' : and some allusions in a letter from Pusey written on July the 10th show that the former of the two was his work. It is a brief statement of the main reasons which would make it impossible for Churchmen at large to adopt in any way or express any accept–ance of the Pastoral Letter. These reasons are drawn from the character of its judicial, doctrinal, and historical statements: and they are summed up by Pusey in the following paragraph:--
'It seems to me, in itself, a sufficient argument that the six Bishops cannot mean us to adopt their Pastoral Letter, that it would involve, (1) a direct but extrajudicial and unjudicial condemnation of a Bishop by Presbyters of other Dioceses; and that, (2) for language which is not the language of the Bishop, and itself in part not carefully worded; (3) the adoption of new Articles of Religion, not drawn up in the form of Articles, nor in definite, unambiguous language; (4) it would involve also an indirect acknowledgment of a Canon which the Church of Scotland has never been called upon to acknowledge, and without any explanation of its bearing; and (5) an assent to historical opinions, such as the clergy are nowhere called upon to subscribe.'
The second of the two documents attached to Keble' s 'Considerations' is 'a draft of certain propositions, such as a Diocesan Synod might perhaps safely, and not unpro–fitably, adopt, by way of substitute for acceptance of the Pastoral Letter.'
Throughout the later months of 1858 and the earlier of 1859 fresh causes for anxiety arose as to the course of events in the Scottish Church. Special attacks were made on individual clergymen for expressed agreement with the doctrine impugned, and there was in consequence some talk of a re-affirmation of their faith by those Presbyters who held with Bishop Forbes, in regard to the Holy Eucharist. Pusey writes to Keble on Dec. 29, 1858, evincing great anxiety as to the state of affairs in Scotland.
'I suppose,' he writes, 'that this controversy will bring to light that there is no medium between real absence and Real Presence; and that those who 'refuse to believe the Real Objective Presence " under the form of bread and wine," really hold nothing more than Calvin, a presence of virtue and efficacy," i. e. (as opposed to that Real Objective Presence) Divine grace from our Lord in heaven…
They must mean that our Lord being absent in heaven, produces certain effects on our souls.'
In the middle of 1859 he writes to his son Philip: 'There is a prospect of a most deadly war for truth in Scotland. . . I suppose that the next few months will clear the battlefield, one way or another; which, God only knows.' These anticipations were soon decisively fulfilled: for on October 3 the Bishop was formally presented before the Episcopal Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church, on a charge of holding and maintaining and teaching in his Charge on Aug. 5, 1857, doctrines contrary to the Articles of Religion, the Word of God, the Formularies of Public Worship, and the Scotch Communion Office. It was ap–pointed that the Respondent should lodge answers to the presentment with the Clerk of the Court on or before January 7, and that the case should be heard on February 7.
The situation was clearly one in which the greatest care was necessary if doctrinal consequences were to be avoided, and the wide sense of peril is shown in letters from Sir John Coleridge to Pusey. 'I am overwhelmed,' he writes on October 11, 'by the Brechin troubles. I cannot tell you how much I fear them.' Two days later a letter from Bishop Forbes had given prominence in Pusey' s mind to another fear, namely, that of the Bishop' s retirement if wrongly deposed, and he writes:--
'I had thought that he (the Bishop of Brechin) looked upon his holding his Bishopric if deposed as a thing impossible. . . But no orthodox Bishop would have given up his see because an Arian deposed him. It is, of course, an unheard-of thing that some six Bishops should have the power of deposing a seventh without any appeal. Probably, too, successful persecution would become a ground for persecution in England, so that he might think of himself as fighting the battle of the Faith in England.'
Throughout November and December complicated ne–gotiations were going on, in order that, if possible, the proceedings might yet be stayed, or broken off. It was specially urged upon the Scottish Bishops that there was a grave unseemliness in their sitting in formal judgment on a document against which they had already committed themselves by their Pastoral Letter. Sir John Coleridge writes to Pusey on this side of the question on Dec. 4:--
'If the peace is not made, I hope the Bishop of Brechin will mal a part of his defence to be the position in which the Bishops ha' placed themselves--and specially challenge the Bishop of St. Andrew He may safely say that no Judge in England would try a Charge under the same circumstances.'
But the surrounding difficulties were such as to make a satisfactory outcome of the negotiations impossible Mr. Gladstone and Sir John Coleridge had used their influence to forward a peaceful settlement of the troubles and at one moment there seemed a clear hope that such a settlement might be effected: but the hope soon passed away. On Dec. 31 Bishop Forbes writes to Mr. Gladstone 'I have heard from the Primus, announcing the failure o his mediation. The trial must now take its course' .
The Bishop' s Defence in answer to the Presentment was to be sent in by January 7, and Pusey spent much labour in helping him to prepare it. In its printed form, after the retrenchment of those portions 'which were not properly of a theological character,' it forms an octavo volume of 230 pages; and when the Synod met on Feb. 7 two days were occupied in hearing the Bishop read it. On the third day the presenter read his reply, or 'Pleadings,' a pamphlet of 89 pages; and the Court then adjourned till March 14, having appointed that in the interval the Bishop should make a printed Reply on or before February 23.
It was, apparently, soon after the publication of this Reply that the Bishop of Brechin was sounded as to the possibility of his putting forth an explanation of his lan–guage which might make it possible for the Synod to confine itself to a brotherly exhortation on the disadvantage of polemical discussion, and several letters passed between him and Pusey in regard to the proposals thus made. But nothing came of this effort.
When the trial came on March 14 Keble and Mr. George Williams were among those of the Bishop' s friends who were present. The Bishop' s 'Reply to the Pleadings' was taken as read, and the proceedings were merely formal: on the following day the Synod met again, and the Primus (the Bishop of Edinburgh), the Bishop of Moray, and the Bishop of St. Andrews read statements of their reasons for concurring in the judgment about to be given. This judgment, 'the unanimous finding of the Court,' was then read by the Bishop of Glasgow. The Court finds the first and second charges of the presentment proven, holding that in regard to the identity of the Sacrifice of Christ upon the Cross and of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, and in regard to the adoration due to the Body and Blood of Christ mysteriously present in the Gifts, 'the teaching of the respondent there complained of is unsanctioned by the Articles and formularies of the Church, and is to a certain extent inconsistent therewith.' The third charge, relating to the Bishop' s language about the reception of Christ by the wicked, is found not proven: of the three passages inculpated by the fourth charge one had been withdrawn by the Bishop, the other two were dealt with by the finding of the Court upon the second charge. The judgment then ends thus:--
'In consideration of the explanations and modifications offered by the respondent in his answers in reference to the first charge, and in consideration also that the respondent now only asks toleration for his opinions, and does not claim for them the authority of the Church, or any right to enforce them on those subject to his jurisdic–tion,--we, the said College of Bishops, feel that we' shall best dis–charge our duty in this painful case by limiting our sentence to a declaration of censure and admonition; and we do now solemnly admonish, and in all brotherly love entreat, the Bishop of Brechin to be more careful for the future, so that no fresh occasion may be given for trouble and offence, such as have arisen from the delivery and publication of the Primary Charge to his clergy complained of in the presentment; and we declare the proceedings in this case to be now concluded.'
Precise and exact accuracy of statement, both as. to facts and doctrines asserted or implied, should have been indisputable in a judgment pronounced in such circum–stances. Such, however, was not the case. Several severe criticisms were passed upon it; Pusey himself pointed out that there were misleading suggestions in the document in regard to the Bishop' s conduct. The judgment, for in–stance, spoke of modifications offered by the Bishop in reference to the first charge: the plural was unwarranted, for the only withdrawal which the Bishop made under that head was to substitute a very emphatic passage of St. Cyril of Alexandria, provided that the judges would accept it, instead of language of his own. Again, the judgment says that the Bishop does not 'now' claim more than toleration. He never claimed more. The 'now' is therefore superfluous and suggests an incorrect idea. The judgment says that the Bishop 'does not claim for them (his opinions) the authority of the Church, or any right to enforce them on those subject to his jurisdiction.' . While the latter clause is true, nothing would have been further from the Bishop' s mind than to allow that he had taught simply his own 'opinions' and that he could not claim for them the authority of the Church 'in the sense of her expressed mind, and as a practical guide to the faith of her children.'
It has seemed right to notice these very unfortunate suggestions in the judgment of the Synod, because they account for the deep dissatisfaction which Pusey expresses in regard to it, and for the distress which Bishop Forbes felt at its exposing him to serious misunderstanding. Against such misunderstanding he tried to guard himself in the Address which he delivered to the annual Synod of his diocese on August 1, 1860.
The Bishop' s Address, after treating of the three points indicated to him by Pusey, passes on to the various dangers which follow or attend the stress of controversy, and brings before the clergy the need amidst such trials of strenuous devotion to duty, constancy in prayer, regularity in the daily office, frequency of Communion, deepening in special reasons of retirement the spiritual life, and seeking grace to maintain and set forward, as much as lieth in us, quietness, peace, and love among all Christian people.' At the end of this Statement the following resolution was carried with but 'two dissentients (one of these two being the clergyman who had made the presentment against the Bishop):--
'That this Synod, having heard the Bishop' s explanatory statement with regard to his teaching on the subject of the Holy Eucharist, desires to express its adherence thereto, and, with his permission, to have the same recorded in the books of the synod.'
The three years' conflict over the Bishop' s Primary Charge was closed. Here, for the present, it is necessary to leave the great Sacramental controversy. It is evident that both in England and Scotland the majority of the ecclesiastical authorities was still hostile to the Catholic teaching, which as yet they had failed adequately to grasp. But in England their hands were providentially stayed by legal informalities and in Scotland the adverse sentence lost moral weight through the circumstances in which it was delivered. Within a few years, however, the whole question was to be raised again, and then the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council decided (in the case of Sheppard versus Bennett)--on a strictly legal interpretation of the Formularies, that the whole position for which the Tractarians had contended through the anxious years of misunderstanding and reproach was permissible within the limits of the teaching of the Church of England.