The Catholic Movement and the Society of the Holy Cross.
By J. Embry, M.A.,
Vicar of St. Bartholomew’s, Dover.
London: The Faith Press, 1931.
“A GOVERNOR OF HIS BRETHREN.”
"THE time has come when, by the Statutes of our Society, I must vacate the office to which you have so often elected me. It is difficult for me to see the motive which has so often induced you to replace me in it, unless it be to practise patience and forbearance through the shortcomings of your Master." These words were said by Father Mackonochie in 1882, when he resigned the Mastership of S.S.C. for the sixteenth time. It was no expression of false humility which gave rise to their utterance, he was too single-minded for that,—whatever others thought, it was his own convinced judgment of himself. For thirteen years in succession (1863—1876) he had held the Office and the break which came would not have come but for a revision of the Statutes, which limited the holding of the Mastership to three years in succession, and which he enforced upon himself as soon as it was framed. For another three years (1879—1882) he again held office and was elected Master for the last time in 1885, when ill-health and the need of mental rest prevented him from the active discharge of the official duties during the latter part of the time.
If Father Mackonochie was too humble-minded to "see the motive" for his repeated elections, the Brethren of the Society saw and had no doubt as to the wisdom of their choice, or of the clearness of their motive in electing him, while his own life of self-repression and heroic "patience and forbearance," was an object lesson in itself, demanding an imitation of these virtues, while never the occasion for compelling their practice. Each year renewed the experience that in Father Mackonochie the Society was under the guidance of one of the most ideal priests the English Church or, for the matter of that, any part of the Church, had ever produced. To the Society he, in degree, was like the patriarch Joseph of old,—"a governor of his brethren."
The Life of Alexander Heriot Mackonochie, edited by the Rev. E. F. Russell, and Saint Alban the Martyr, Holborn, by the Rt. Hon. G. W. E. Russell, to say nothing of smaller publications, have made this wonderful priest well known to church-folk and his name a household word, by reason of his courage, devotion and steadfastness to the Faith. The position occupied by the Church of which he was the first Vicar with its memories and associations, the Mackonochie Chapel with its Cenotaph and Effigy and the tragic poetry of his death will, even in the age of short remembrances, long postpone the asking, should it ever be asked,—"Who was Father Mackonochie?"
By most churchmen his memory will probably be linked with the turmoils, difficulties and ritual prosecutions and suits of more than half a century ago, when every endeavour was being made to crush out the Catholic Movement, and be cherished as that of a Confessor who suffered almost uninterruptedly for the Faith during the whole of his active ministry. To many others he will always be the type of the parish priest who, amid the storms which raged around him, was an enduring testimony of the sacred truths he taught and the sacraments he ministered by his unstinted labours for the spiritual and social welfare of the flock he loved. To such, his life will always be the embodiment of the fact that sacrifices are never useless. The granite cross, which marks the spot where his body was found in the Mamore Forest, will seem to many a true emblem of his character. The extraordinary difficulties of that monument's transit over narrow paths and dangerous precipices achieved successfully, the strength of its grey Scotch stone, its lonely yet firm fixture, and its perpetual exposure to blizzard, rain and sun not inaptly symbolise him, whose ecclesiastical mottoes were,—"No surrender—No desertion," and "Stand firm."
To the Society of the Holy Cross, Father Mackonochie has become revered by something different and in a different kind of way. If others got, as it were, photographs of him, S.S.C. obtained his living portrait. He had been more identified with the Society than anyone else had ever been, or probably ever will be. At the time of his death it was said by his then successor in office that, humanly speaking, S.S.C. owed everything that was or had been good or prosperous in it, in one way or another, to him. His conduct of its discussions, his decisions and rulings on points of order were ever clear, lucid and practical; yet, valuable as they were, they were not the most valuable of the influences he brought to bear upon the Society. It was always felt that while the voice of strong, good common sense spoke, it was ever modulated by that calm, holy, interior spirit, the true priestly spirit, which it was the primary purpose of S.S.C. to cultivate. His memory, to the Society, has become, in consequence, that of a peculiar possession, it is like a "precious relic” as it were, of wonder-working fame. He was the Builder of S.S.C., its unobtrusive Defender and Repairer, at a time of its greatest trial, nor is it mere sentiment to say that the Society is ever reminded at its gatherings of his service, strength and enthusiasm, and inspired to continue in the spirit of his sacrifice and labour; for, by a felicitous act, the then Master at the time of Father Mackonochie's death, the Rev. E. G. Wood, gave to the Society a silver gilt cross in memory of him as an appanage of the office of Master and always worn by the Master at the Chapters and Synods of the Society.
It is true to say that Father Mackonochie's long term of office created a tradition which, amid many changes and advances inevitable with time, has never been departed from. He understood and lived out the real spirit of the Society and it is no exaggeration to say that he infected the Society with it. It was under his care, during his first thirteen years of rule, that its original ideas were carefully fostered, that the Statutes took their shape, and the Society both as regards numbers and efficiency reached its highest development.
The Records of the Society tell us that Father Mackonochie was nominated to the Society on February 8th, 1859, being proposed and seconded by C. F. Lowder and G. Cosby White. The number of members then was only thirty-two; when he relinquished office they had risen to three hundred and seventy-six. In the following year (1860) we find it recorded that he was present at the S.S.C. Retreat at Cuddesdon, one amongst many instances of the special interest he took in the promotion of Retreats, particularly through the agency of the Society. At the May Synod, 1863, he was chosen Master. To that office he was during the long period of thirteen years at each recurring May Synod re-elected. As already stated, after the passing of the Statute (suggested by himself) limiting the tenure of the office of Master to three years, he vacated the Chair in 1876. The Address given by him on that occasion was one of peculiar interest. In it he gave an outline of the Society's foundation and the gradual growth of its organisation; but, what was far more valuable, he gave utterance to his own conception, in the light of his own experience, of the true spirit of the Society. As moreover it coincided with " the coming of age " of the Society, the occasion served still more to emphasise its interest. Father Mackonochie said:—
"By the goodness of God the Society to-day completes its twenty-first year. Born at a time when the Church of England was still suffering from the effects of the ‘Durham Letter,'  and of the leakage towards Rome which had followed it, she has lived, and grown, and strengthened, under the influence of continued blessings from God, amidst an almost unceasing succession of perplexities. In herself she has been at peace, but all without her and around her has been distracting war in the very House of God. We cannot now look back upon the past age of the 'Movement' without seeing that it has carried the element of strife within it. Along with those among its members who were true to the Catholic Faith, because it is Catholic, and therefore of God, it has always contained many who have valued it as an instrument for work, without realising its life. These have naturally been, more or less, disturbed by all that is supernatural in her; not seeing that this is her very self, but rather is something which she can lay aside at pleasure, if not, indeed, something which positively hinders that work upon which alone they have been able to fix their minds. It is inevitable that these persons, only partially realising her work, and not at all her life, should, from lukewarm friends, soon become open enemies. Thus, at each stage of her progress, she has projected from herself those who have walked with her up to the point of the supernatural, and then, like the disciples at Capernaum, have forsaken her. Through all those difficulties our Society has held its ground, and deepened, we trust, in its life, even while it has matured both in growth and constitution. It seems to me that it will be a fitting subject for my last Address to you, from this place, if I strive to give you some sketch of the development of this constitution, from its first beginnings to what I may, in some sense, call its maturity.
"The Society, as we all know, was formed on the 28th of February, 1855. From that time, till its first Synod on the next following Festival of the Holy Cross, Thursday, May the 3rd, of that year, its constitution was provisional. Still it is in that provisional constitution of the first three months that we must seek for the primary idea of our founders, some of whom are here present to-day, to correct me if I go wrong in my statements.
"The Society sprung out of the necessity, manifest to its founders, of meeting the unbelief and misbelief of the day, and the increasing opposition to Catholic Life, by a combined action, on however small a scale, of greater personal mortification, more entire corporate unity, and a supreme sense of Brotherhood, for Christ's sake, in a Society. These were its fundamental principles.
"In accordance with this, its dedication by the title of the Holy Cross, and its constitution, were deliberately adopted. The Master was to be the central object in the Society's Life, that his very position, reminding both him and the Brethren of the Great Master of the one perfect Society of the Holy Cross, might give to all an earnestness fitted to the emergencies. The vicars were four, and only four, corresponding to the four arms of the Cross, supporting the Master in the labours and responsibilities of his office. The bond of union between the Brethren was to be as strict as possible. .....
During the first eight years of the Society's life, its Statutes and Rules existed only in manuscript, except that a small paper of "Nature and Objects" existed—somewhat like the one which the Society still possesses—in which the form of the Green Rule then in use was printed. But several things had been agreed upon touching the Society's Constitution, from time to time, which being found only in the Minute Books, were unknown to many of the Brethren. To remedy this a Committee was appointed, which in September, 1864, presented to the Synod the printed Statutes of the Society, in the form which they had then assumed through the operation of divers Acts of Synods. The principal thing to notice in that first book of the Statutes is the formation of Local Branches. At first the Society lived in London; but by that time it had spread far into the country, and was threatened with a collapse through the isolation of its more distant brethren. It had never lost sight of the fact, that prayer and faith in the power of a common life are the great bond of union in any Christian Society formed under the principle of the Incarnation. But the Brethren at a distance, while fully accepting this, had a not unnatural desire in their isolation (necessarily so much greater than that of their Brethren in London) to share in the benefit which those enjoyed from mutual conference. It was to meet this that our constitution was so far altered as to admit of local organisation, care being taken that it should not interfere with the meetings of the Society, and that the Chapters of Local Branches should be local only, and not take the place of the Synods or Chapters of the Society. It would of course be possible for the Society to meet anywhere, as well as in London, and if it did so, the Chapter or Synod so convened would be the true Chapter or Synod of the Society, but it could only be so by being held in the particular place in accordance with a constitutional vote of the Society, and under the presidency of the Master or his constitutional substitute. Local Chapters would be held by virtue of the existence of Local Branches as constituent parts of the Society, but would not represent the Society itself.
"From this institution there next arose a desire, on the part of the Local Branches, for fuller information as to the proceedings in the Society's Synods and Chapters, than was attainable on the part of those who are unable to be often present. Also, it was desirable that Brethren should have an opportunity of knowing the names of other Brethren, which they could not have while they were only to be found in a written book kept by the Secretary. These two wants led to the custom (1) of the Master reading his address at the May Synod, in order that the Society might, if it should think fit (as it has done ever since 1865), move that it be printed; and (2) to the preparation in that year of a Roll of Brethren, then numbering in all 86, and now showing 377.
"It will be seen that a popular element has been springing up in the Society alongside of the original character of a very clearly marked electoral monarchy. The two seem, in fact, to be the necessary complements one of the other, as a Society such as this develops its constitution. Eventually, step by step, other advances in the same direction have been made. In December, 1871, the annual publication of the Master's Address was supplemented by the monthly Acta and Agenda Paper, although at first looked upon with great suspicion, but which has proved of immense use to the Brethren. As far back as 1866, the four vicars had assigned to them each a separate Local Jurisdiction, or Province, and each has ever since been elected by the votes of the Province over which he is to preside. From time to time, provisions have been made to give the Brethren in Local Chapters a greater voice in regard to matters discussed in Synods and Chapters of the Society, and those impediments which deprived absent Brethren of a vote in the election of Officers have now been entirely swept away. Moreover, this year we are entering upon an organisation, by means of Districts in each Province, from which, if effectually worked, I anticipate very large results, both in the deepening and extension of the Society's life. It has been decided to recognise in each Vicar a double office. He has since 1866 had this double office, but it has not been recognised formally in the Society. Now each Vicar will be Vicar and Provincial-Vicar as he represents the Master, Provincial as having jurisdiction over a Province. I dwell somewhat upon this, that the expression, 'Provincial Vicar,' which I venture to think alien to the genius of our Constitution, may not prevail. It would be better to keep the two terms as distinct as possible. Wherever he simply represents the Master, he is a Vicar; wherever he exercises the jurisdiction entrusted to him, he is a Provincial. As Provincial, then, he will, for the future, have under him Sub-Provincials, each of whom will have supervision of a District. They are really meant to be his hands and eyes, by means of whom he may better help those entrusted to his care. But here again, the Society has been careful to proceed in electing the Sub-Provincial in the most popular form which was compatible with giving any voice in the matter to the Provincial, who himself is the elected of his Province.
"In this large infusion into the Society of the most extravagantly popular form of election which can well be imagined, some may see a danger of losing the gravity and depth of the Society's character. That is no doubt the side on which danger may be apprehended. How is it to be met? I confess I see only one way, and that is by deepening the individual character and tone of the Brethren. This tone can ordinarily only be gained by life according to rule. As secular clergy, it is clear that our rule must be only such as is adapted to the changeableness and uncertainty of the conditions under which we have to discharge our duties, and yet it must be something which we shall feel to have the constraining power of a rule. Such I believe to be the medium, which the Society, after very careful consideration, has attained in the present form of its threefold rule. Personally, I confess I should dread any relaxation, as far as the future of the Society is concerned, in a rule so simply expressing the manner of daily life according to which the Brethren are, I believe, every one striving to walk, and yet at the same time made capable of greater flexibility still, where occasion requires, through the dispensing power of the Master. If, however, any further lightening of the rule should seem desirable, it seems to me that it would be best effected by enlarging the Master's dispensing power. The rule certainly does keep our tone, and many Brethren have expressed their thankfulness for the parts of it which they have found hardest to keep, because they are just the points which make the rule a reality.
"I have ventured to detain you thus long, on a subject which cannot but be of deep interest to the Brethren. If I am not mistaken, the Society, which started with its secrecy and absolute obedience, under the Shadow of the Cross, has succeeded in keeping itself under the same shadow, and in retaining the same principles of mutual forbearance and love, of a self-possessed spirit of reticence, and of a simple devotion on the part of each of its Brethren to the mind of the Society, subject always to the will of the Church and of her Lord, with which it started twenty-one years ago, and in which it will continue, by the help of God, to serve Him to the end.
"Before concluding you will expect, as usual, some review of the past year and the present circumstances of the Society and the Church. In regard to the latter, I am not one of those who see a very heavy bank of clouds on the horizon. When we are coming more and more closely to an issue with those who consciously or unconsciously oppose the truth, when we are realising more and more fully the particular evils which press upon us, and are more and more definitely preparing ourselves to act for their removal, the time does not seem to be one of despondency. It is in the nature of things that at such a moment the efforts of foes should be greater, and the battle more threatening; but these very things are to us tokens of the Master's presence. Some, I know, fail in heart, because year after year we seem to gain indeed something in our own preparedness, and yet to see each gain fail to effect a deliverance. But is not this always the history of progressive movements;—many a wave rises and seems as if it must float the ship, yet it retires and leaves it stranded, till at last the full tide flows, and all is well: Our tide is rising, we must stand to our posts, and act as occasion serves. Moreover, I cannot but hope, in spite of some recent misunderstandings, that there is more unity among ourselves, and more determination to stand to our colours. We know now the animus of our opponents, and that no concession on our part is of any avail. This is something. Stand we must now, whether we like it or not; for that or spiritual death are the alternatives."
The above lengthy extract from an Address delivered on a momentous occasion needs no apology, for it is something more than an outline of the Society's early life and the aims which animated its Founders. It is, in spite of the speaker's self-repression, a witness of what the Society owed to him, in setting it upon a working basis, just as, unsuspected by him, it revealed those personal characteristics which fitted him so primarily for the office of Master. In all that has been written of Father Mackonochie, the writers, while agreed on the practical element in his character, have always emphasised his exactness and his sanguineness.
Behind the Constitution and the regulations of the Society, as reviewed by him, may be seen the marks of his master-hand and practical mind; so, too, in his governance of the Society, we find at their very best those traits which others had always observed in him.
It has been said that a successful builder is one who knows what to gather and how to govern. Measured by this, it can be seen very readily, how it was that Father Mackonochie became the Master-builder of S.S.C. He was an expert in both these lines of knowledge. He was firmly convinced that S.S.C. had a special mission and a definite place among the agents for the regeneration of the English Church. As the consequence of this conviction, he was always urging the necessity not only to stand upon the old paths, but also to declare them to others in the face of all contradictions. And so he furthered all legitimate means to gather together in a holy bond those like-minded and solemnly pledged, so to stand, and thus to declare, encouraged with the spiritual power gained by association. In the earlier years of his Mastership, when speaking of the vast amount of work which lay ready for the action of a Society like S.S.C. to carry out, he had said,—"We must dig the pit for the Cross." As a step towards the attainment of this missionary end, he pointed out that there were three things to be striven for, although he termed them in themselves as "cold, dull, earthly thoughts." They were, an increase in the Society, more intercommunion, and better organisation.—"We must increase, not rashly, or in haste, but by pressing wherever we can the acceptance of a portion with us as a great means of glorifying our Lord."
If he knew how to gather, he knew equally well how to govern. Here, again, could be seen the practical element of his character. In the detailed account he gave of the growth of the Constitution to meet the growth of the Society, while the latter extended on a basis both electoral and local, he never lost sight of the centralisation of its government. The Constitution as he framed it was at one and the same time both popular and magisterial. To impress the latter, he had suggested in 1868 that the Master when entering on his office should do so by a form of Institution which recognised the responsibility he incurred. Previously it had been simply a matter of election only. The suggestion matured three years later, when an office for the admission to the Mastership came into use. With care and exactness, he also saw that as the Society spread, so an accurate knowledge of it should accompany the growth. He knew that if priests were to be helped by the Society and also to help it in its missionary efforts, and the awareness of its brotherhood were to be a real thing, then each member must possess a wider acquaintance with the Society than that provided, particularly if he lived out of London, by an occasional Synod or a Local Branch. To meet the difficulty, he persuaded the Society to adopt the printing of the Rules, the Roll, the Master's Address, the printed analysis of the Proceedings of the Synods of the Society, and later that of the Chapters also.
His sanguineness cannot be doubted. The closing paragraph of the Address quoted above, with its simile of the stranded boat and the flowing tide, was the kind of encouraging note he always uttered. Certain of Catholic truth himself and of the meaning of the Catholic Church, he never uttered an uncertain sound, and so was always prepared, not only for battle, but for eventual victory, even though it might be long delayed. As in his Address when resigning the Mastership, so was it again at his next opportunity of addressing the Society. He preached at the September Synod of the same year (1876). On that occasion he delivered what afterwards came to be regarded as one of his famous sermons,—"Who is this Son of Man?" In it he maintained that the Catholic revival, in spite of weakness, many ghastly failures, many retreats in the moment of victory, much disorganisation, in spite also of the fact that every step that had been gained had been won without the bishops, and in the face of their open opposition and strenuous resistance, had leavened and was leavening the Church at large, and that Catholic truth, practice and worship, had gained a footing which even its enemies saw to be unassailable. In the difficulties and perplexities which perturbed others, the preacher saw only "the undeniable tokens of His presence," and so he was enabled to say,—"Surely, we would hardly wish even our religion to be without its Cross, when He Who purchased it for us bought it at so costly a sacrifice. Rather, as the strain becomes greater, we shall realise more and more that however great the strain, it is under the shadow of the Cross, in the place where He has put us, that we must live for Him and fight for Him. ... If day by day we more and more discover that there is a hideous incubus of wrong to be lifted off the shoulders of our Church, we do not think of abandoning her to her fate, but, all the more for her crying needs, cling to her, and to one another for her sake, rejoicing to share with one another the burden of the Cross."
In his governance of the Society, Father Mackonochie had not only the qualities which particularly fitted him for the role, but he possessed an unbounded confidence in the Society itself with a vivid vision of what it should accomplish.—"What the English Church Union is to churchmen at large," he once declared, "that, and much more than that, we ought to be to the Catholic Priesthood." To him, S.S.C. was "the Society of all Societies, the Church herself alone excepted." His ideal of the Society's end, as also that of the individual member's loyalty to it, was exactly on the same footing as that in which a Religious stood towards his Community.
Unity of Action was one of his foundation truths as applied to the Society. It was thus expressed by him.— "At a time (1872) when parties are falling to pieces, and so many casting about for an authority on which to rest for a while, until our bishops once more become leaders of the Catholic army, a Society of three or four hundred clergy acting together might be an agent of true spiritual power both in the right guidance of the priestly life and conscience, and also in defence of Catholic Truth, such as no power of the enemy could withstand." To gain this unity, he impressed the necessity of fuller attendances at the Society's gatherings so that matters decided on should be carried not merely by a few, with an adverse vote, but by a real representation of the Society. He insisted that there must be freedom of discussion and mutual confidence, while each one, he urged, should approach some practical question with humility and prayer, and having drawn on his learning, discretion and experience, to "throw it into the common crucible to contribute whatever of good there might be in it, and leaving it there equally free to be cleansed from any dross of ignorance or prejudice that might have clung to it." He at the same time reminded the Society that unity of action had to be carried out amidst vastly varying circumstances. "The principles of action must be clearly defined, but their application must be subject to a great amount of modification—such however, as not to alter the principles themselves. We must learn to discuss and to decide, not as dealing with questions of pure science, but as priests, responsible for souls, seeking for oneness of principle in those actions, which, whether great or small, must necessarily have their effect upon the souls for whom we shall have to answer. We cannot afford to push a theory to the utmost, because it is its legitimate and logical conclusion; nor can we dare to give up truth in statement or in action, because the sick soul that needs it will certainly rebel against it. In matters of principle, we must learn to submit opinion to authority; and in those of practice to let experience rule over theory. We need that true virtue of andreia (manliness), which shall expose us alike to the charge of deilia (cowardice) and thrasittes (over-boldness)."
Foreseeing the difficulty of complete attendance at the Society's gatherings, which he knew at the same time to be so vital to unity of action, he saw that there must be a more perfect working order of the system of Provinces and, most specially, of Local Branches. If the Society was to work as one man, every important question would have to be talked over in the country twice for once that it was discussed in Synod. Such subjects as were to rule the action of the Brethren should be considered carefully in each Local Chapter and a representative be sent from it to the London Synod. Father Mackonochie's perspicuity was well illustrated by the sketch he drew of a qualified delegate. He must be "sufficiently gifted with impartiality, learning and that faculty for grasping both sides of a question which can only be called intelligence, to state to the Synod the mind of the Branch and to carry back to the Branch a clear account of the views propounded and the result arrived at."
While always urging unity of action as the external mark of the Society, the Master's optimistic nature made him thankful for the continued energy of the Society and its depth of spiritual life, which showed no symptom of decay. "The men who join us," he said in 1873, "are, we have reason to hope and think, the right sort of men. God has drawn to us men of various stamps, some like our Brother the Preacher (Rev. W.J.E. Bennett, Frome), who comes to us, after several years of hesitation and thought have satisfied him that, with due allowance for human mistakes and weaknesses, we are trying in a real way to do the work of the Catholic Church and of the Master, in the way in which He would have it done; and some young men who seek in its holy bond for a stay which may enable them to be more true, than otherwise they might be, to the deep responsibilities, internal as well as external, of the Sacred Ministry." Yet in spite of this declaration, it is also true to say that during the whole of its history, no Society has been more misunderstood in its life or in its aims, both by those who should have been in sympathy with it and also by those generally opposed to what is Catholic. Many priests have joined it for a time, and then left, because they never really came in living contact with it or grasped the spirit which animated its Founders. Regarded by others as an exotic clerical society composed of men of "extreme views," and where such paraded their ecclesiastical cranks and debated them, it was given not infrequently a wide berth by many who could have enriched its life. "We all have our crotchets," Father Mackonochie once owned, but the admission was not intended to indicate either any disintegration in the Society or any petty eccentricity of the members. The vulgar protestant misunderstanding of the Society as a "dangerous, ritualistic and Romanising " one was an example of one of those strange phantasies, which only a certain type of mind could devise, especially in its application to Father Mackonochie, as the Figure-Head of the Society. He was the antithesis of both. Yet, if no ritualist in the vulgar sense, he was in the truer. The care he exercised in all that he undertook, together with a natural precision of character, made him particular in the right use of ecclesiastical terms. One example of this will suffice. When through some slovenliness of nomenclature the word "offertory" had crept two or three times into the Society's Acta Paper, he moved as a Standing Order, that "the alms should always be mentioned as 'offerings' instead of 'offertory’ the latter expression meaning an action in the Mass, not a money collection."
The term "Romanising," as used by protestants, is always a difficult word to handle, seeing that they use it in no restricted or grammatical sense, as the term "Romish," for example, is employed in Article XXII., but in an unguarded way as the synonym for everything that is Catholic. If restricted to its literal meaning of persuading men to leave the English Church and accept the Papal Claims, or to teach obsolete abuses which the Reforming Council of Trent swept away and the Counter-Reformation readjusted, then no word could be more misapplied; or the same misapplication would hold good, if by it was meant the teaching of Ultramontane theories. As the official head of S.S.C., no one representing it could have been more balanced or definite in his acceptance and enunciation of what was meant by the Catholic Church, and the entire Faith, than was Father Mackonochie. No one knew more clearly than he the difference between Catholicism plus the Pope, and Catholicism minus the Pope.
To call the Society "Romanising" in the violent protestant sense, and stopping short at the literal and grammatical sense, would, of course, be true, and thus, not only of the Master and Brethren of S.S.C. would it be admitted to be so, but also of everyone opposed to puritanical prejudice and misbelief. In such sense all complete Christians would rejoice to be so classed.
In the other and true sense, it would amount to an accusation of bad faith to call the Society so, and silence on the point would be golden, except that Father Mackonochie's portrait, as Master of S.S.C., would lack some deep and thoughtful lines, if it were passed over entirely. In a shortly-written appreciation of him in Memories of a Sister, he was compared to "the mountain lifting the lowland to its side." By his own strength and intrepidity, he lifted up the faint-hearted and seemed to impart to them something of his own steadfastness. When some wearied with the fight were tempted to secede, or seek a truce in other ways, his own motto, clear and distinct, was,—"No Surrender—No Desertion." And nothing stirred him deeper than the procedure of those who were, from whatever cause, led to act contrary to it. His lucidity of expression was never clearer,—"If, by God's grace, our Faith lasts, while that of others has failed, it has not been for any goodness of ours, but from the supreme bounty of God. We dare not speak lightly of the fall which such a renunciation of the Catholic Church involves, and yet we cannot think of the men themselves as without some excuse. I should like, however, if I may do so without offence, to urge very strongly the avoidance of expressions which seem to condone the evil of the act itself, as distinct from any opinion of the guilt of the person. Lately one was reported by a Local Branch as having 'submitted to the Church of Rome,' or some like phrase; but surely these words may be taken to imply that the Roman Body has some jurisdiction in this land, to which obedience can be given. Sooner or later, the like expressions can hardly fail to produce the conviction that the Roman Schism is at least an alternative form of the Catholic Church, membership in which may lawfully be accepted by those whose circumstances or inclinations dispose towards it. It must be hazardous to ourselves and others to adopt such euphemisms."
Perhaps on no occasion did Father Mackonochie ever display a greater force of sympathy combined with indignant sorrow than when he spoke of Father Lowder's breakdown, occasioned more by the defection and desertion of his colleagues, than by the overstrain of his long and arduous labours. In one week and without any warning, three of Father Lowder's curates, in Father Mackonochie's words, "forsook the Church to which, under Christ, they owed their allegiance," and were received into the Roman Communion. (See Life of Charles Lowder, Chapter XV.) In his closing words, when referring to the catastrophe, in Synod, Father Mackonochie said,—"The fierceness of protestantism and prejudice, both without and within the Church, had done its worst, but the work stood firm. Sin and ungodliness had howled at it, but their anger was harmless. It remained for three of our own younger brethren, with heartless treachery, to do this work of Christ (on which our.older Brethren had expended, from the very foundation of the Society, so much care and love) a wrong which protestantism, prejudice, sin and open ungodliness had failed to effect. May God, Whose cause has been attacked, yet save His work. We can only offer to our dear Brother, as I am sure you all do, our most affectionate sympathy and promise of our most hearty prayer. . . . We could bear the hatred of the world, and even the cowardice of our leaders, if only the line itself were firm. But alas! we know not when or where treachery may lie hid. The priest who gives us Communion to-day may tell us that for months he had been convinced that it was all a sham. If the very elements of the army be thus disorganised, who shall order the battle? Still, it may be that even here we have the token of God's acceptance, we are not yet reduced to the three hundred of Gideon to whom the Lord will give victory. Let us at least recognise our high calling; let us be brave enough to declare that we must cling to the Church of England, our one channel of union with Christ, for good or ill, and God will reward our patient strife with Victory. ' He will surely come, He will not tarry.' "
Mention has already been made of the preciseness with which Father Mackonochie carried out everything with which he was associated. Like a great general, he not only looked after, as in duty bound, the main ordering of the campaign, but he entered into all the lesser details which tended to its fitness and smoothness. We read that, in the South African War, a great British General, placed in high command, in addition to his supreme responsibility, saw also that his men were made as comfortable as an equipped commissariat and circumstances could render them, and that he superintended moreover the foddering of the horses and saw that they had sugar sprinkled on their hay. These were just the kind of thoroughnesses and thoughtful attention to details that would have delighted Father Mackonochie, if he had been a leader in the regular army instead of that of a Company in the Church Militant. Not his least cause of success in ruling was this sense of attending to details, and of orderliness. He not only was pre-eminent in exercising these qualities himself, but he also expected the like in others and had the faculty of drawing it from them. We get numerous instances of both during his long years of Mastership. A few of these are worth recording, if only by way of illustration. It sometimes happened that a few of the Members at a Synod forgot to register their names as being present. On one occasion, finding more than a hundred there, but only eighty-four names put down, he immediately drew attention to the defect, stating emphatically, "this paper ought to be carefully signed." On a particular occasion, when it had been necessary to call a special meeting to consider some important business, it so turned out that only a few responded to the summons. His comment at the time, which was both corrective and salutary, told its own common story,—"I know that some overlooked the Notice Paper among other documents of the Synod. The Society, however, is manifestly obliged to depend upon the care with which Brethren read the Notice Papers sent to them." Most persons who have had anything to do with the working of Societies would understand and appreciate all that lay behind the remark,—"I venture to ask the Brethren to help the Secretaries as much as possible, by avoiding needless correspondence, and by addressing themselves to the proper officers." The Marthas who have had to cater for unknown quantities and have been faced with the awkwardness of forty multiplied into three hundred and fifty, would applaud the chivalrous request,—"Is it too much to hope that Brethren will show their gratitude by saving these ladies trouble, as far as possible, by the small expenditure of a postal card?" Trivial as such incidents, on the surface, may appear to be, nevertheless these little attentions to them indicated the disinterestedness, grit and sense of self-discipline which so fitted Father Mackonochie to be the Ruler of his Brethren. He showed himself a true disciple of Rodriguez, whose ascetic rules for the Practice of Christian Perfection were displayed in the virtues of care, diligence, candour and charity.—"A good servant is not so soon found or known in those great things, which purely belong to his duty, as in certain little cares to which he is not obliged." His tact and power of extracting the best out of others to secure corporate action were displayed by the firm yet persuasive way in which he pressed the duty of attending Synods.—"We all feel the difficulty of attendance," he said on one occasion, "and therefore have a right to look to all who live within reasonable distance to support us by their companionship and example. Two special evils result from slack attendance, over and above the neglect of an obligation. One is that judgment has to be formed on weighty matters—e.g. of Conscience—with very small help of counsel; the other, that there is often a great dearth of valuable matter for discussion, whereas a full concourse of Brethren would bring with it a varied range of interesting subjects." There is a strain of Scotch humour to be found in the comment he made on the excuse of one who complained that he could not attend the Synod because it was held at such a distance from him, and involved much loss of time in coming and going. Having stated that the place of meeting was decided constitutionally by the whole Society, he proceeded,—"Clearly two hundred Brethren might reasonably enough have as many different places which would be to one or other of them the most eligible," and added,—"It is always open to any Brother, either at a Synod, or at the Chapter at which the arrangements are made for the Synod, to propose a different place of meeting." 
With that sense of accuracy, and of giving interesting information regarding the Society, for which he was famous, he made the above remarks, a peg on which to hang an account of all the places where the Society had met, from its foundation to that date.—"It may interest some to know what have been the places of meeting for Synod and Chapter during the past times of the Society. Down to September, 1867, the Synod usually met at St. Mary's, Crown Street, or the House of Charity. The only exceptions were the holding of the Synod in September, 1856, at the All Saints' Clergy House, 10 Great Titchfield Street; and of both the Synods of 1857 at the Old Mission House, 36 Wellclose Square. In the year 1866 certain changes in the House of Charity obliging our Brother Chambers to ask us to change our place of meeting, we obtained in September of that year from him the use of the Church in Crown Street for the Synod, and went to Carlisle House for our Refection. This, however, seeming to most of the Brethren to be an unsatisfactory arrangement, Brother Lowder again offered us the use of the Church of St. Saviour in Well-close Square for our May Synod and, as soon as it was consecrated, this church, in and from the September following.
"The places of meeting for the Chapter have been much more varied. From the first institution of the Society to February, 1856, it met at the House of Charity, then in Rose Street. From that time to August, 1857, at the Clergy House, 10 Great Titchfield Street; after this for a year at the Mission House, Wellclose Square, and then at the Clergy House of St. Mary's, Crown Street, down to the end of 1859. At this time it became inconvenient for us to meet there and we shared a room in Langham Street with the Guild of St. Alban, moving with them to 3 New Boswell Court, behind Clare Market, in 1862. From this, in October, 1863, a further remove was made to the Clergy House in Brooke Street, Holborn. Now, as you know, arrangements have been made for the Society to have the use of a room belonging to a Ward of Associates of St. John Baptist, Clewer, at No. 26 in the same street. It has seemed to the Brethren that the independent use of a room of that kind will be more convenient to them than coming to rooms, often pre-arranged, as were ours at the Clergy House; and, glad as we have always been to do our best for the accommodation of the Society, we could not be blind to the fact that we often had to receive the Brethren in a very unmannerly fashion."
Not a great while after Father Mackonochie gave the above particulars, the Society acquired rooms of its own, at 5 Greville Street, Holborn. The first Chapter held in the New Rooms was on Tuesday, February 11th, 1873. Before discussing the subjects on the Agenda Paper, Vicar Br. Lowder wished to call the attention of the Brethren to the Master's donation of a Crucifix for the Society's room. It was, he said, one of the many acts of kindness which the Master was continually showing to the S.S.C. over which he had presided for so many years. These rooms became the home of the Society for the next ten years. After April, 1883, the Chapters were held until 1886 at St. Michael's, Shoreditch, then for a time at St. Peter's, London Docks. For very many years the Society has had no fixed headquarters, while its Chapters and Synods have been held in different London churches and sometimes in the Provinces.
Before leaving the subject of the Society's places of meeting, the following utterance is worthy of record, as a linking together of gratitude and of humour.—"We are still sometimes asked," said Father Mackonochie, "why we come so far East as this (St. Peter's, London Docks), for our Synod. One reason might be that we should hardly find elsewhere a Brother willing to have so great an interference with parish work inflicted upon him; but the fact is that our demands are so large that, so far as we know, no other church in London could satisfy them in all points."
In welcoming the removal of the Chapter Meetings from the Clergy House in Brooke Street, the Master had spoken of the exigencies of the situation producing "a very unmannerly fashion" of receiving the Brethren. Whatever lack of Chapter etiquette there may have been, occasioned by the many irons in the fire of a busy Clergy House, it was as superficial as it was unavoidable. The disinterestedness of Father Mackonochie's nature and his unselfish care for other's welfare made him susceptible to anything that might appear casual, where others were concerned. His appreciation of what was done was immense and his disinterestedness again made him give the fullest credit for it. He was warm in the thanks proffered to all who did anything, and no one was ever overlooked. One example of his care in doing this is the following.—"I feel myself bound to thank the members of Council most warmly for the steady work which they have done in preparing their Report for this Synod. Especially I ought to mention Br. Lowder, and the Secretaries, Br. Statham and Br. Going. Br. Nihill has also given us what help he could. Our printer, Mr. Knott, has thrown himself heartily into the work, and carried out very satisfactorily a very intricate piece of deciphering and printing." Commonplace as these words read, they are very significant indeed, as an indication of the character, intuition and ruling power of the one who uttered them. The same care in rendering thanks to whom thanks were due was always followed by him. At each Synod, there were never omissions, or afterthoughts, in these items. From the Officers of the Society, down to those who arranged the refection-tables, each received a measure of thanks and of courteous appreciation.
It need hardly be said that to Father Mackonochie any claim of the Society was a clarion call of duty. He could not condone less than this in others. He was jealous of its obligations and discipline, and was in consequence essentially practical in counteracting excuses which, if unchecked, might have blunted interest in the Society. It so happened that at the May Synod of 1873, there were a few Brethren absent, who would have been there if they had not unfortunately made other arrangements, in forgetfulness of the Society's days. The Master immediately neutralised the danger of such tabula rasa for the future by ordering a card, legibly printed, containing a list of the Society's Fixtures, which it was hoped would "be carefully kept in a place where it may be seen." This useful reminder has been sent yearly ever since, to each member of the Society.
The chief characteristic which made Father Mackonochie's Mastership so noteworthy was his magnanimity. So great was this, that while always able to see the other side of an argument and to make the fullest allowance for others' prejudices, and to welcome open discussion and legitimate persuadings, he could never understand childishness or pettiness. "We want men who are deep, earnest lovers of the brethren, and lovers of souls, but, above all, lovers of Jesus." This was his own conception of those who should compose S.S.C.—"A priest ought never to be surprised at anything," was one of those expressions of his, which marked the self-repression of his own mortified life and indicated his firm hold upon the Cross. It perplexed no less than grieved him, therefore, that some Brethren should resign or threaten to resign, if they found themselves holding a difference of opinion as to some vote of the Society. He was the antithesis of the cynical statesman who some years later was of opinion that it was "the lot of minorities to suffer." Things which thwarted some men only seemed to help and discipline him, and even if convinced that others were mistaken, and he had to suffer, he looked for the good to be drawn out of it, and laboured accordingly with renewed energy. In a Society united on all the great principles of Catholicism and bound together fraternally and devotionally by a special dedication to the Cross, withdrawal from it, in his mind, was suicidal to all true corporate action, and therefore to him it was incredible that members not unanimous on some minor point should feel that resignation from the Society was a right course to adopt. Why should the Society suffer when it had come to a conclusion, even though an individual might think it mistaken? This was the question he asked, while he insisted on the wider duty of furthering its welfare, either by acceptance or the awaiting future proposals, rather than by withdrawing from the Society for reasons which were neither factious nor disloyal.
The Master's magnanimity was further proved by what he was himself enduring in his life outside the Society. Unless it were known from other sources, no one taking the Transactions of the Society as his guide would be aware that these years of directing S.S.C. were concurrent with the sea of troubles which threatened, surrounded and harassed the St. Alban's work. In the Society there was but little evidence of Martin v. Mackonochie. Except some votes of sympathy with him when the shadows were deepest, and a personal explanation by him of a change of tactics, arising from the creation of Lord Penzance's office, scant references were made to what he was undergoing. Even when replying to one of the votes of sympathy, he made it the occasion of drawing attention to the injustices measured out to Father Stanton by certain of the bishops. These votes of sympathy, occasional as they were, became changed at last, through the force of his indomitable character, to a vote of thanks and admiration.
At the May Synod, 1879, Father Mackonochie had once again been elected Master. The closing months of this same year heard the sentence of deprivation for three years pronounced on him by Lord Penzance, and witnessed his firm but courteous resistance to any Erastian intrusion on his ministry. At the December Chapter, 1879, the following vote of thanks to the Master was carried unanimously.—"That the Society hereby offers its hearty thanks to the Master for the dignified resistance he has recently opposed to the intrusion of unlawful authority into spiritual affairs at St. Alban's, Holborn, and prays that he may have vouchsafed to him an abundant measure of Divine guidance and support, both in the present critical period, and also in whatever may be the future consequences of the course he has taken." Br. Nihill, in moving the resolution, said they did not offer their sympathy to the Master; they were thankful for the dignified attitude he had taken; they only hoped it might be an example to those who were wavering. "The Master, in thanking the Chapter, said the crisis had come in a wonderful manner, exactly at the right time, when they could best meet it. He was reminded of the Israelites and Moses at the Red Sea, when he bid them 'Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord’ Everything had passed off quietly, without the smallest interruption to the order of the services."
The genius of the Cross was almost a passion with Father Mackonochie. It was the undertone of all that guided him in his exercise of the Mastership. His habits of self-sacrifice were followed without a consciousness of them, because he lost himself in devotion to a cause and was saturated with zeal to serve it. He was, in consequence, ever hopeful, ever steadfast and ever confident. The genius of the Cross was at once his life and his joy. He had been one of those largely responsible for the birth of the Petition to Convocation, which was presented in May, 1873, on the subject of Confession. While there were some who doubted the wisdom of this course, he was sanguine concerning it. He always held firmly to the conviction that controversial questions led many to an examination of them which, in the case of the single-minded, developed into an acceptance of the truth. The Petition raised a great storm, but Father Mackonochie, during all the cavils and censures that followed, never wavered for a moment from his opinion of the great good which was bound to come of it. The thunders of the public press were all exploded on him, and the blame laid upon his shoulders. In referring to it before the Society, he simply said.—"It seems to have done for the Truth much more than the most sanguine expectations of its promoters anticipated and, if I were entitled to it, I should gladly accept that blame as praise.”
Those who knew Father Mackonochie well often said that a talk with him was bracing like Highland air. The environment of St. Alban's seemed to bring out his strong Scotch heredity, and so we find in his general encouragements, given to others without stint, allusions by way of illustration to his native land. Many of these could be gathered from the Addresses given by him to the Society. The attempts which were made to uproot Catholicism enabled him to discern hearts gaining courage, lips gaining distinctness, wills gaining determination. "Truth is, by means of the very assaults made upon it, being disseminated. When you pull up the thistle, you only scatter its down, and sow plants, young and strong, all over the common." Those who had been true to Catholic principles had not only withstood the stream of opposition which came to meet them, but, like men fishing for salmon, "they had made way up the stream." Or, since it had so happened that the special difficulties of the day flooded around them, like some highland tarn which had suddenly burst its bounds, the last thing to be thought of was to turn in panic. Soon after the passing of the P.W.R. Act, he gave another graphic illustration.—"Since last July, men seem afraid to act, and afraid to sit still. The Public Worship Regulation Bill is not simply a strong enemy, making us all close up together on some basis of principle in belief, in discipline, in practice, in worship; but it is more like the hawk hovering over the birds, throwing them into such confusion that they become the easier prey." And his way to help scatter the thistle-down, withstand the flood, and defy the hawk, was union.
"The point before us must be union. We must not be satisfied to let people alone because they seem impracticable about union, but must use all efforts to find out how the principle of union can be brought home to them as, under God, our strength. At the same time, we must not mistake an agreement to differ for union. The principle of union is not a thing which we may choose for ourselves, it is the deposit of Faith received from our Great Head by the Church, and handed down by her to us. The basis must be firm. It is no use to take out this brick, or that stone, or to use slime for mortar, if we want a basis. The basis of the Truth is wide enough to hold all that love the Truth. At the same time, we must not insist upon adding something of our own, and classing it with the Truth, as part of that Truth itself. We may do so in mistake, and it is here that experience may help to draw our forces together."
This insistence on unity of action was the ground principle which dominated Father Mackonochie's policy all through his long years of the Mastership of the Society. He struck his notes from the Altar and the Cross—the Sacrament of Unity and the Symbol of Unity—and so every Address spoken by him as Master contained some references both to gathering before God's Altar and to the holy bond of the Cross. On the practical side, moreover, and hallowed by the former, he aimed at unity of action, by encouraging and impressing the necessity of the fullest discussion, so that there should be a clear indication of the Society's mind. The organisation of the Society, in which he played such a primary part, was intended for the same end. The Branches brought their minds to the Synod, while the Synod determined the united mind of the Society. He was aware also that unity of action would be helped forward by not neglecting the lighter or social side. Scattered over the country, as the Brethren were, many were unknown to each other except by name, while the solemn, official tone of a Synod was not calculated to break through the difficulty. It was arranged, therefore, in the earlier years of his Mastership, and the custom was kept up for many years, that on one evening of the Synod days, there should be a Conversazione, so that the Brethren might become better acquainted with each other. On the principle that nothing will establish intimacies quicker than the common ties of like interests and hobbies, those possessing attractions in the way of vestments,, pictures and books were asked to bring them. On October the 8th, 1875, Alexander Penrose Forbes, the revered and scholarly Bishop of Brechin, passed away. He had never belonged to the Society, but was on terms of intimate friendship with its Founders and many of its senior members. His learning, experience and advice were ever at their disposal. He had made his first Retreat with the Brethren of the Society in those early years when S.S.C. had first introduced retreats into the English Church. At the October Chapter of the Society, held the week following the bishop's death, the Master, at its request, drew up and forwarded to the Dean of Brechin (the Very Rev. J. Nicolson, a Brother of S.S.C.) the following letter of sympathy:—
"We, the Brethren of S.S.C., cannot allow the present Chapter to pass without expressing our deep regret at the severe loss which the Church has suffered in the recent death of your bishop, and our sincere sympathy with you in your sorrow. It is impossible to overrate the greatness of this loss, both to the Church of Scotland and to the whole Anglican Communion. There is probably no man amongst us combining so many great qualities necessary for these times in so high a degree as Bishop Forbes. His gifts were no less in theology than in holiness of life; his knowledge of, and sympathy with, all the circumstances of the present, combined with his familiarity with the past, gave him a position which few, if any, could equal. Moreover, his urbanity and personal consideration for each, while they attracted the hearts of even the most casual acquaintance, have endeared him to yourselves and your flocks in a degree that you alone can know.
"We believe, also, that he is, if not (as we imagine) the only bishop of our Communion, at least the first, who has conducted Retreats in his own person; and some of us cherish most gratefully the memory of the blessings received at such times under his instruction and guidance.
"Accept, then, these few words of sympathy, and be assured that while we remember him in the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar, we shall not fail to pray that your own 3iearts may be comforted, and that God may be pleased to raise up a successor to him who has entered upon his Test, to whom the Divine Blessing may be given, and through whom the work so well begun by him, and those who went before him, may be carried on towards the perfection of the day of the Lord."
The reference in the letter to the part the Bishop of Brechin had taken in the promotion of Retreats was an indication of the great place that this spiritual work occupied in the heart of the Master. He had always regarded the Retreat movement, together with the erection of St. Peter's, London Docks, and the introduction of Parochial Missions, especially the London Mission of 1869, as the marks of the Divine Blessing upon the Society. He was spared long enough to see the Society's venture of Retreats and Missions become a recognised part of the work of the English Church, and he knew, at the same time, that they would remain monuments of the great spiritual revival that the Society had helped forward, as a part of its quota to the Catholic Movement.
The second and shorter periods of Father Mackonochie's reign over the destinies of S.S.C. had not the same glamour, or impress, as the thirteen. As regards the general life of the Society, they were more or less uneventful and fallow years, and were passed in the last decade of his own. During the last year of his Mastership, there came what Father Stanton observed as, "the storm-beaten expression on his face and the broken utterance of his lips."
Speaking in a Chapter of the Society, held at St. Peter's, London Docks, on Tuesday, January 10th, 1888, the Master (Rev. E. G. Wood) said:—
"We mourn to-day;—it is right, it is natural we should mourn, yet not only have we in our sorrow the comfort which the Christian must always have mingled with his grief when he mourns for one departed in the true faith and fear of Almighty God. In our dear brother's case we have this very fully; but we have more. Whether we look at the narrow field of our own Society, or whether we look on the wider field of the Church in England—nay, I might say, without exaggeration, on the still wider field of the Church in all the countries of the English-speaking race—we feel that he neither laboured nor suffered in vain. One could not but feel, at the Solemn Requiem for him at St. Alban's, at which we were permitted the privilege of being officially represented, that a very distinct, a very deep, a very solemn, a very glorious note of triumph was interweaved like a golden thread amongst the sorrowful strains of our pleading for him, brightening and gilding all that rightly told us of the penal aspect of death. Yes, the truth of the sacred words, 'other men laboured and ye have entered into their labours’ must have made itself felt to many a priest there. He laboured and he suffered,—suffered as none knew but He whose loving eye and whose High Priestly sympathy could alone pierce the armour with which our Brother's grand courage and holy calmness surrounded him, hiding much of that suffering from human eyes,—he laboured and he suffered, and by his labours and his sufferings he, through the merits of Him in the faith of Whom he lived, made things possible amongst us that, save through such suffering, could never have been possible. Yes, though the usage of the Church would not permit most fittingly (as all she does is fitting) Te Deum to be sung at the funeral solemnities even of the holiest of her priests, yet one could not be wrong in feeling that his Solemn Requiem was itself Te Deum. To attempt to say more is useless—words fail one, but deep in our hearts we shall ever cherish the memory of the Brother we loved, our honoured Master, God's faithful priest, Christ's brave Confessor. 'Requiem aeternam dona ei Domine; et lux perpetua luceat ei.'”
 On the 4th of October, 1850, Lord John Russell wrote an open letter to the Bishop of Durham, indignantly protesting in the most violent terms against the establishing of Papal Sees in England. He also made it the occasion of a denunciation of the Catholic Movement, in which the clergy were condemned as "traitors within the fold, who had been most forward in leading their flocks step by step to the very verge of the precipice." The letter aroused the greatest religious animosity and excitement. It caused Queen Victoria to "much regret the unchristian and intolerant spirit exhibited by many at the public meetings." It also produced John Leech's famous Punch cartoon,—"This is the boy who chalked up 'No Popery!' and then ran away!!" Lord John Russell admitted later on that it did more to overthrow his government from office than all the efforts of his political enemies.
 The directions given, in the Notice Papers of the early seventies, for reaching St. Peter's, London Docks, where the Synods were held, may be of interest to some readers.—"St. Peter's Church is within five minutes' walk of the Thames Tunnel Pier, and of the Wapping Station of the East London Railway, is distant about half a mile from the Shadwell Station of North London Railway, and about one mile and three quarters from the Bishopsgate, Broad Street, Moorgate Street, Mansion House and Cannon Street Stations." The earlier Notices reminded Brethren attending Synods that "Greenwich Boats call at the Tunnel Pier (within five minutes' walk of St. Peter's), starting from Westminster Bridge at ten minutes after, and twenty minutes before, the hour, calling at Charing Cross, Temple and St. Paul's Piers; and at London Bridge at the hour and half-hour."