The Catholic Movement and the Society of the Holy Cross.
By J. Embry, M.A.,
Vicar of St. Bartholomews, Dover.
London: The Faith Press, 1931.
"THY ELDERS WILL TELL THEE."
FOR the first thirty years of its life all the Masters of S.S.C., with the exception of Canon Carter for one year (18789), had been London priests. For the next thirty-eight years in succession, from Father Mackonochie's last resignation at the May Synod 1886 until 1924, all the Masters resided out of London.
Some casual remarks dropped at the May Synod of 1886 implied that London members of the Society were considered more "timorous" than those in the Provinces and that the Branches showed more vigorous signs of life than did the Society at headquarters. Whatever truth or exaggeration there may have been in the remarks, it was clear that for the next twelve years (18861898) the Society was guided, and in degree influenced the forward part of the Movement, by two remarkable priests, whose churches represented the one Faith from two different aspects, the setting of which was almost as unlike as were the two priests themselves, in temperament, training and environment.
There were some Catholics of that day who mentioned "a Cambridge school" exercising its influence over some priests and over some who hoped one day to be priests. It stood for the expression of definite canonical principles based on a revived study of ecclesiastical law. Not indeed the ecclesiastical law commonly quoted by lawyers and referred to by the greater number of church dignitaries and officials, which meant nothing more than Privy Council rulings and Statute Law of Erastian birth, but the Canon Law of the Catholic Church supplemented by the local legislation of the English Provincial Synods.
Canon Law as a definite study had received but scanty attention in England since the Suppression of the Monasteries. The last to graduate in its faculty had been Henry Siddall in 1536. The legislation of Henry VIII. brought it to a standstill as a sacred study and in 1534 removed its centre of gravity from the Church to the State while, with the exception of what was contrary to the laws of the realm or the king's prerogative, it, together with the pre-reformation Provincial Canons, continued in force as the law both of Church and State. Some successful but isolated attempts were made in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to reawaken an interest in the subject, but approached it from the antiquarian side rather than the legal. In 1639, Sir Henry Spelman produced a book on English Canon Law which became the foundation of the Concilia Magnae Britanniae by David Wilkins in 1737. Earlier in the same century Bishop Gibson, when librarian at Lambeth, had produced in 1702 his Synodus Anglicana, and in 1713, his Codex Juris Ecclesiastici Anglicani. In the last half of the eighteenth century all interest in the subject faded away until the revival of Convocation led many to see the well-nigh eccentric position of a Church which had neither a synod nor a workable canon law.
The advance of Catholic principles and the charge of lawlessness levelled against the clergy who advanced those principles led the latter of necessity to a study of the Canon Law of the Catholic Church as it had come down to them through the centuries. In this lay the legitimate line of resistance against the usurpations of the State on the one hand and the defence of the claim to be bound, on the other, by the legislation and judgment of the whole Church in matters of teaching and essential discipline.
This revived study of Canon Law demonstrated definite ecclesiastical principles of discipline and practice, with which the English Provinces by their claim to be a part of the Catholic Church must be in harmony, or be not that convincingly, which they claimed to be. They could not be one thing in theory, and another in practice. The continuity which they rightly asserted was not one alone of a true succession and of sees canonically occupied, it was also that of the pre-reformation constitutions, decrees and canons, which were bound up with them and which, by a definite Act, were still in force although they had come too frequently to be disregarded. The insistence on these principles was associated in many minds with what they considered to be "a Cambridge school."
There were some, too, at this time, who spoke of "a Plymouth school." This was one of practice. It took for its principle that that which was the living practice of Western Christendom was also the legitimate use of the English Provinces,except where otherwise ordered by local constitution or custom,since they formed a part of the West. In acting up to this principle it produced what some at the time did not hesitate to describe as "ultra-extreme services." It is fairly accurate to say that it inaugurated, both in cult and in ornament, what to-day, in the narrower sense of the term, is included in the appellation "catholic."
To Cambridge men of from forty to fifty years ago who were churchly-minded, St. Clement's represented a very great deal. There was about it an unpretentiousness and an independence unlike anything else. The Catholic Faith was taught there, definitely and fearlessly, instructions were given, while occasionally on Sunday evenings mission services took place. It was the first Church outside London, and perhaps the second or third in England, in which the "Three Hours' Devotion" was held on Good Friday. The first church, it may be mentioned, to do so was St. Peter's, London Docks, so that this now popular Good Friday Devotion, like so many other pious practices, owed its introduction into the English Church to S.S.C. The "Notices of Services" at St. Clement's employed the use of the then unfrequent term "Mass" publicly (the Plymouth term was "Holy Sacrifice" at this time). Ample provision was made for hearing Confessions. The Lent Services' Lists were marvels of announcements and it seemed almost incredible that one priest could undertake so many "courses," on such varied subjects as they presented, coupled with an invitation to those who could not attend at any of the times advertised to make the hindrance known and other special means would be arranged for them. The Church influenced undergraduates but in no way did they influence it. They were welcomed and sometimes supervised, but they were not specially catered for. St. Clement's suggested a peculiar ethos of canonical stability and of Prayer Book Rite. It fitted in, as a completing influence, for certain Catholic undergraduates with the efforts made for them by the S.T.C., under the shy and learned Canon W. R. Churton, in the well known rooms at King's and the urbane and scholarly Dr. Hicks, Vicar of Little St. Mary's, afterwards Bishop of Bloemfontein, together with the proffered and genial hospitality of the Rev. F. Slater (later Hon. Canon of Ely), Vicar of St. Giles'.
The Vicar of St. Clement's, the Rev. E. G. Wood, was regarded by Church undergraduates with the peculiar respect which one who is known to be superior intellectually always inspires, which in an University more than elsewhere helps the average man to find his level and to dispossess himself of any "priggery" to which he might be disposed. The fact that Father Wood had been a good "Senior Op." in the Mathematical Tripos, together with the further fact that he had been senior in the Moral Science Tripos, one which only a few ever cared or dared to sit for, with the further appreciation that he was a Hulsean Prizeman to boot, set him in undergraduate eyes on a pedestal far above them. It used to be whispered of him, moreover, that he knew the University Library, where he was so often seen, better than any other man in Cambridge, and also on a lower plane, Bradshaw and railways. To those who knew him ministerially he was the wisest, kindest and most fatherly of Catholic priests, while at the same time his presence instilled that righteous awe of priesthood which the ascetic devotion to vocation so often inspires.
St. Clement's stands near the place of the first bridge over the Cam from which the town derives its name. It is in the heart of what once was old Cambridge. It occupies the site where had been for centuries a chapel with an ecclesiastical title going back to the time of Edward III. It was fitting that here, in the Catholic Movement, Canon Law should find a revived home, that from here should emanate a work which opened the eyes of many to its first principles, viz.:The Regal Power of the Church.
All Saints', Plymouth, had quite a different atmosphere. It was a new church and parish, formed from a district of St. Peter's in 1875. It possessed a fine chancel and temporary nave. Its walls were almost covered with sacred pictures, the window-sills and brackets fixed to the wooden pillars afforded standing places for statues of saints. It was probably one of the first churches to introduce the erection of the Christmas Crib. At the beautiful "Lady Altar," the revival took place in England of the Perpetual Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament in 1882. All Saints' was the centre of a vigorous Catholic campaign where the Faith was fairly established and as clearly taught, while at the same time it was truly Evangelical. There was daily evening preaching throughout the year, daily Masses were said, and various devotions were practised in which that of the Blessed Sacrament received its due honour. The liturgical services were celebrated with ornate ceremony, accuracy and reverence which, founded on strong conviction and uniformity, as far as possible, to Western use, excluded both "fancy ritual" and "high church" trimming. The church was always to the front in everything that represented both Catholic and philanthropic work in the "Three Towns." "To the poor the Gospel was preached," nor was the social side neglected. While services, devotions, classes, guilds and instructions were amply provided, so also were social gatherings, clubs, entertainments and dancing classes. The whole atmosphere was charged with homely catholic life.
The Vicar of All Saints', the Rev. C. R. Chase, was in every sense of the word a great priest, whom no one could meet without feeling better for it. His friends who still remain will re-echo what his biographer wrote of him:"Dear Charles Chase, how his noble form and beautiful face live amid the sacred memories of the past! and how impossible it is to express on paper the charm of his loving personality." The story of Fr. Chase's life has been published, in From Hussar to Priest, by H. P. Russell. While there is much in it that is of necessity painful to his old friends, nevertheless, it is a true and faithful portrait of him. He was a priest of strong convictions, wonderful as a mission preacher and teacher, uplifting and inspiring as a spiritual guide, experienced as a Retreat conductor, one whose indomitable will often triumphed over bodily weakness and much suffering, of unquestionable good faith, whose closing career left an aching sadness and a strange blank, no less than an incredible and strange wonder, in the hearts of his many former friends.
The Cambridge "School" which represented Authority and the Plymouth "School" which represented Devotion, when found in combination, were bound to produce a Catholicism filled with appeal. These were the two streams of influence which flowed into S.S.C. for the next twelve years in succession.
In 1886, the Rev. E. G. Wood was elected to the Mastership, and he and the Rev. C. R. Chase held the office alternately, for the permitted three years, down to 1898.
The Rev. E. G. Wood, who had joined the Society in 1869, was one whose special knowledge and intellectual powers were bound to make him a force within the Society. He is first mentioned as taking a part in the deliberations of S.S.C., at the May Synod of 1871. The proposal of the London Oratory was being considered when he struck the keynote of the future guidance he would render by urging the Society not to sanction any violation of Canon Law. That his words carried weight was evident, for in the resolution expressing the need of an Oratory which followed, the proviso was inserted that "the obligation of Canon Law be respected." A few months later, he impressed upon the Society the "Importance of a knowledge of Canon Law." He pointed out the difficulties to be encountered in forwarding such knowledge, both internal, from overlooked obligations to the Episcopate by many priests, and external, from the denial by many of the nature of the Church and the assumption of judicial powers in matters spiritual by the State. The charges of "lawlessness" levelled against Catholics, he maintained, were untrue and arose from an ignorance of the Church's settled code of laws, which as a visible society she possessed. He urged the study of Canon Law generally and especially of English Provincial Canon Law, which was absolutely binding on English priests, including the decrees of both prior and post Reformation Provincial Councils. His speech bore fruit in the first appointment of a "Canon Law Committee." This was in 1871. The Committee consisted of the Revs. Dr. Little-dale, J. Chambers, J. E. Vaux, T. T. Carter, W. H. Cleaver, H. Humble, R. B. Jenkins and E. G. Wood.
From this time, the Rev. E. G. Wood took a prominent part in the councils of S.S.C. On all occasions his wide, expert and accurate knowledge was given to the Society. If, as sometimes happened, his legal mind aroused a criticism of impracticability, his opinions were always received with the respect they merited together with the conviction that they possessed a finality. It is not too much to say that the English Church owes very much to him for guidance given in unsuspected ways, the more helpful because rendered privately; for much soundness of policy, in the defence of faith and discipline, as exercised through the English Church Union; while no small number of priests, who now belong to the older generation, would confess probably that they learned from him the true meaning of the words so often on his own lips, " the King's daughter is all glorious within." The only outward recognition given to his scholarship and to his remarkable knowledge as a distinguished canonist was when the Bishop of Ely (Dr. Chase) made him an honorary Canon of Ely in 1911. The whole of his ministerial life has been spent at St. Clement's, from his ordination in 1865 to be its Assistant Curate, and since 1885 as its Vicar.
When he was first elected to the Mastership of S.S.C. in 1886 there was no priest who was more imbued with the ethos of the Society or who commanded a greater feeling of confidence within it. There had been, as was intimated in the last chapter, a feeling of restlessness spreading itself within the Society, although there was little ground for it. All the same, a bad impression is like a germ; when once it has taken root, it is not always a matter of child's play to sterilise it. It was quite true that the Society needed pulling together, and Father Wood, with his unique aptitude for authority and discipline, no less than for his lofty ideals of S.S.C., was the man to do it. The first Synod over which he presided struck a note which changed the atmosphere from the controversial to the spiritual by an Address from the Rev. T. T. Carter, on "The Special Virtues of the Priesthood." The headings of this address have been preserved. They were as follows:
"i. Three Exterior Virtues, (a.) Consistency (in intercourse with others, even in minute details), (b.) Moderation (epieikeia of St. Paul, the gentleness of Christ), (c.) Prudence (sanctitas tibi, prudentia aliis prodest).
"ii. Three Interior Virtues, (a.) Separateness (sense of mission), (b.) Humility (the ' washing of the feet' primarily refers to the ministry), (c.) Minor virtues of manner (the meeting of all sorts of claims, quiet calmness in turmoil, management of temper, entering into each case brought before us).
"iii. Three Unitive Virtues, (a.) The suffering spirit, (b.) Zeal for souls, (c.) Generosity of sacrifice.
"Chief means of gaining these virtues, i. In Intellect, by study (God's Word, the Saints, the hearts of men), ii. In Affections, by the love of God. iii. In Will, by the copying of Him."
From the allusion made above to a restlessness of atmosphere, as contrasted with a "spiritual" one, it must not be supposed that the Society had either departed from its original aims, or relaxed its rules of life, or that the members had lost the appreciation of its discipline and charity. Controversy may become a hard and bitter thing, or it may become that which develops a style of debate, after the manner of the "schools." It was chiefly in the latter sense that S.S.C. was becoming controversial. There must always be some who are more brilliant than others, and in its composition, S.S.C. was not unlike other active societies; it also had some stars of larger magnitude in its constellation, and it pertained to the properties of stars that they should shine. It was quite true that one end of the Society was that its members were to edify and instruct each other, but shining and instructing were not exactly the same thing. It could never suffice to instruct, even a priest, in matters expert; it became necessary that the instruction conveyed should be converted into a grace that would impart an additional enrichment and spirituality to his priesthood. It was the danger of missing the latter which was felt.
Customs and prejudices tend to produce patches of mental mist, and when they do this, the perception of the shining is dimmed. This was also true of some in S.S.C. The debates, which arose over a few subjects, not unfrequently caused a restlessness, occasionally even a misgiving, as to whither the Society was inclining. It certainly produced, in the minds of a few of the Brethren, as it also accounted for the withdrawals from the Society of others,a feeling that S.S.C. by the debating attitude, into which it seemed to be drifting, was losing thereby much of its spiritual power. To combine and proportion the instructive with the spiritual and thus to preserve the Society from becoming enslaved by a procedure, too didactical and too sensitively dialectical; or to maintain it as a life instead of degenerating into a system, was the great problem that the Society had to face. The first step was to restore confidence among the Brethren themselves. It was necessary to demonstrate, that even if some of the members had expressed their opinions in a manner too premature for total acquiescence, or possessed certain idiosyncrasies, these, after all, were not the Society. It became necessary, as it were, to emphasise the fact, that as regarded responsibility, a private member's bill was not on all fours with a Government measure.
The Society did rise to the sense of its responsibility and the success of the effort was almost entirely due to the old loyalty clad in the renovated dress, which the two Masters respectively fashioned.
There belonged to the second generation of the Society a few who were men of special knowledge, character and perspicuity. They formed a dynamic element in its life and thought, while their special genius made them to be accounted undeniable authorities upon the particular subjects of which they treated.
There was the Rev. J. W. Kempe, who had joined S.S.C. at the same time as the Rev. E. G. Wood. He had worked with Dr. Dykes, at St. Oswald's, Durham, and later for a long period of years was connected with the parish of St. John the Divine, Kennington. He was an ardent lover of the English Church and declared that he had never once had the faintest shadow of doubt as to her possessing the Catholic heritage. He was also ardent in his love of S.S.C., which he regarded as "the outgrowth of her supernatural life and a true exponent of Catholic principles in her communion." His love for the English Church made him a strong upholder of her constitutional rights at home, no less than an almost daring adventurer to obtain the recognition of her Catholic rights abroad. His knowledge of liturgical matters was wide and accurate, while his application of it to the Rubrics of the Prayer Book was of a convincing kind, in keeping with his special genius. There can be little doubt that the revivals of the Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament and of the use of Unction in the English Provinces were influenced by his efforts not inconsiderably. As far back as 1885, he wrote a paper, which was published by S.S.C., in which he showed that the "Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament was in no wise inconsistent with the Rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer, and moreover was expressly enjoined by the Provincial Constitutions of the Church of England." The influence of Mr. Kempe's monograph was seen, not only by the growth of the restoration of the practice of Reservation, but also from the fact that the majority of those who defended the Anglican case for Reservation of the Sacrament, as distinct from Western precedent, acknowledged their indebtedness to him and confessed to having made use of his arguments. He took a leading part also in the work of the Committee appointed by the Society to issue the Report on Unction. His eagerness for the restoration of the latter Sacrament, however, led him to accept the dangerous conclusion that a priest was justified in blessing the oil, if the bishop declined to do so. He admitted, as was to be expected, the irregularity of such proposed action, but believed that if it were done it would lead up to a more orderly administration of the Sacrament. It was not surprising that this special pleading of expediency drew forth from certain lips steeped in canonical procedure the immediate retort:"This would justify a deacon's giving the people bread and wine in the hope that he might thus induce the bishop to make him a priest." For many years, as long as his health permitted, Mr. Kempe was an active, zealous and useful member of
Two years after the advent of the Revs. E. G. Wood and J. W. Kempe, or in 1870, the Rev. T. Outram Marshall joined the Society. The great part enacted by him in the Catholic Movement received its appraisal from his having been for fifty years the Organising Secretary of the English Church Union. His unique acquaintance with everything that had to do with proposed legislation, whenever the discipline of the Church was in question, his knowledge of correct procedure, his ready and lucid style of expression, made him a valuable asset to S.S.C.
Two others who were to become outstanding figures in the Society were the Revs. T. A. Lacey and W. Crouch. The former's brilliance, versatile talent, dialectical skill, and literary powers have received general recognition both in the English Church and beyond it. His manifold gifts always have been placed ungrudgingly at the disposal of S.S.C. and its Acta bear witness to the no inconsiderable force he has been in enriching and elevating the Society in its aims and ideals. The list of his published works found in Crockford furnishes an indication of these gifts. He was made a Canon Residentiary of Worcester in 1918. The Rev. W. Crouch, whose long Diaconate of nine years was occasioned by no deficiency on his side, either academical or theological, but solely from his firm adherence to Catholic faith and practice and his connection with S.S.C., soon made his influence felt. His accurate knowledge of the Constitution of the Church and of canonical principles, particularly as these applied to the English Provinces, has been of the greatest service. At the time of the "Lincoln Trial" (1888) he did much critical work, both on E.C.U. platforms and in the Church Press, in attacking the jurisdiction of the Court. It is difficult to assign the part individual influences have exercised in a Society possessed with one common spirit, but like the Rev. J. W. Kempe, Mr. Crouch did much to help forward the revived use of the Sacrament of Unction, while it is also true that he was a pioneer in drawing attention to the practical belief in "the Communion of Saints," at a time when it was less recognised than it is to-day.
Another stalwart of this second generation was the Rev. G. Bayfield Roberts. Possessed of an imposing presence, an attractive voice, with a geniality that nothing could disconcertthe more in any spoken controversy he was attacked, the more benevolently he smiledhe soon made his great powers felt in S.S.C., as also in many other places outside the Society. To look at him inspired confidence, and his utterances, which always gave evidence of painstaking and sureness, also carried with them a sense of finality. Well-informed on most matters, secular and sacred, he was particularly expert in all that pertained to oecumenical authority and also to the questions connected with sacredness of Marriage, the intricacies of the prohibited degrees and the opposition to Divorce. For many years he was a great power in S.S.C., not only as one of its chief speakers and organisers, but as Vicar of the Western Province, which brought him into close touch with many of the Brethren. His alertness in discovering a weak spot in a thesis or an argument, no less than a finesse for interpreting a Statute, or noting the slightest breach of a rule, was of the most signal kind. Yet this logical and legal propensity was always biased by an appreciation of the practical. None knew better than he the difficulties both of town and country life, or how to analyse the idiosyncrasies of human nature. There were few matters on which his opinion was not sought. The Catholic Movement, especially on its forward side, owed much to him, not only for his clear and definite grasp of its principles, but also for the lucidity and courage with which he expressed them.
The Rev. W. J. Scott joined the Society in 1881. He had worked at St. Peter's, Plymouth, at Prestbury, at St. Peter's, Barnsley, and was for many years the Perpetual Curate of St. Saviour's, Sunbury. His was a charming personality, rendered still more attractive by a versatile mind and a rare genius. In his undergraduate days at Cambridge, he had been a President of the Union Society, a selection which more often than not has been followed by a notable career in the case of those elected to the office. It would be quite consistent to say that, but for his strong Catholicism, more probably would have been heard of him. But if little was known of Mr. Scott in the Church, outside S.S.C., he was well known in the railway world. He was a director of the G.W.R. and an authority on Bradshaw.. He was known personally to many of the employees on the main line, particularly the engine-drivers, whose locomotives at that time bore on their plates the names of Saints, selected by him. When travelling by rail, his comfortable place in the director's first-class compartment was often exchanged for one on the engine, beside the driver. Ingenuousness such as this was a marked feature of his character; it was not surprising therefore that in his connection with S.S.C. he was often found, as it were, "riding on the engine." He possessed a piquancy of speech and a suavity of style which had added to them a daring ingenuity. His knowledge of ecclesiological books was in no sense small and he knew his way about out-of-the-way pieces of information, as well as he knew it in the intricacies of Bradshaw. To few others would the suggestion have come, that while the prayers after "the third collect" in the Prayer Book were, of course, no part of the Divine Office, yet they were analogous to the "Divine Praises," or to "Salve Regina!" Or, that the "Anthem," to follow, which alone had any authority "in Quires and places where they sing," was, according to the season, one of the four Anthems of our Lady. He had an accurate knowledge of the Scandinavian Churches and made it manifest in the Church Press, whenever proposals arose for an Anglican recognition of their Orders, or of an identification with their confession of faith. Mr. Scott was no believer in half-measures and was always at enmity with what he called "popular religion." He believed strongly, not only in building and planting, but also in pulling down and rooting up all fundamental errors. He once expressed it thus:"In trying to build up the house of Catholic Belief and Practice, we must remember that much rubbish and some unhealthy drains lie among the foundations; these must be dug up and cleared away, or our building will not be a sound one." Or again,"We often mistakenly look upon obsolete and unchristian superstition as bits of religion which ought to be cherished. The Englishman believes not in the Bible, but in the heresy he has
read into it and fancies he finds in it." His unusual powers of observation, almost of the detective order, were illustrated by a remark he made when supernatural appearances were being discussed and he had quoted the case of the archangel, who had come as the tutor and guide of Tobias. He then added,"it is curious that we are not told whether the dog recognised him."
There were many other priests of the second generation of S.S.C., who, if they did not take such a prominent part in the proceedings of the Society as those whose names have been mentioned above, nevertheless were powers within it and rendered much valuable help. When they spoke, it was always under a sense of obligation and a feeling that they had something to contribute to the general edification. Among such were the Revs. C. J. E. Smith, J. H. Amps, C. S. Wallace, S. Greatheed, R. A. J. Suckling, J. E. Swallow, C. J. Fuller, C. W. Worlledge, and others.
At the May Synod, 1886, there were only eighteen members left who went back to the first decade of the Society's life. During the past thirty-one years, all the Masters had belonged to this senior generation. The Elections of 1886 resulted in the guidance of the Society passing into the hands of the second generation. The new Master (E. G. Wood) who, as already indicated, had taken an effective part in the deliberations and served on many committees, had never held any official position hitherto in the Society. Except for one year on the Master's Council, he had not participated in what might be termed the "cabinet" proceedings of S.S.C. Of this body of thirty-two, there were only five who belonged to the older generation, while of the remainder, in addition to the Master, nine were entering it for the first time.
The Society stood in need of strong guidance and of an infusion of new blood into its councils. S.S.C. was not a "Religious Society" but a "Society of Secular Priests." All the same, it experienced some of those minor difficulties which on a large scale in the history of the Religious Orders aroused their renewal and development.
The older men, in carrying out their ideal of "digging a pit for the Cross," had not only succeeded in doing this, but they had seen the "tree" planted and bearing fruit. Retreats, missions and other marks of Catholic life, which they had inaugurated, in spite of much misunderstanding and opposition, they had lived to see regarded as parts of the Church's system, or at least tolerated and recognised as permissible and edifying. In the advance of the Catholic Movement there was much which of necessity was experimental. There were also in it many things that had to be re-discovered; this was particularly the case regarding ceremonial and devotion. Pioneers had always been in advance of their age. In their advance, however, they had not only to press forward, but sometimes they had been forced to halt in order to enquire the way. Meanwhile, their younger followers came eagerly over the ground already conquered and brought with them ideas, plans and knowledge, acquired by later study, together with the advantage of beginning where their seniors had left off; consequently, they wished to push on at a faster pace. It had often happened in human experience that those who drew the advance sketches were sometimes a little out where the details had to be filled in, while quite accurate as regarded the essentials. For the details, the younger were often better equipped than the elder, while the latter were disposed to leave them alone altogether. Older men, especially when they have been unduly exposed to the heat of the day, in the halt of the evening hour exhibit a tendency to become stationary. It must not be imagined for one moment, however, that S.S.C. ever had in its mind, much less in its vocabulary, anything like that suggested by the modern and ill-mannered sobriquet "back number," for not only its fraternal duty and discipline forbade this, but it revered the heroic efforts and the personalities of the first generation as sacred possessions and marvelled at the fewness of their mistakes. While on the side of the younger devotion to the Cross and the sanctifying of the priestly life were studies far too serious ever to admit, if faithful to the rule and spirit of S.S.C., any creation of what was sometimes described by the unattractive title "spike."
What had happened in the Society was that with many churches established in the essentials of the Catholic Faith, there was an increasing desire on the part of many within S.S.C. to give a more emphatic expression to it; particularly was this so in the application of belief in the Communion of Saints, the necessity for the Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament and the increase of practical devotion. This growing desire, in particular as it related to the Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament, had no wish to express itself in any unconstitutional or uncanonical way. It was felt that it must have behind it, clearly, validly and historically, the full weight of Catholic authority.
During these years, under the Mastership of Fathers Wood and Chase, the Society underwent a great change in its internal life. The debating spirit of the harder scholastic type died down, while even the necessity for outside controversy had languished, for with the exception of St. Margaret's, Liverpool, it could be said that the "churches had rest." The Church Association were preparing for their great coup, which, aiming at the big game of the Lincoln case, left the lesser in peace. The Society was given an opportunity to deepen its spiritual life and the idea of S.S.C., as a really spiritual power, was once more being developed. At the September Synod, 1887, the Master was able to say, "the tone of discussion at our Chapters, besides many other things, does indicate that the raison detre of the Society is more recognised and is becoming more felt." At this same Synod, a Conference was held dealing with the religious tendencies of the later eighties, ecclesiastical, moral and spiritual. It was felt that there was generally a grave danger of the supernatural character of the Priesthood, in life and conversation, not keeping pace with the development of ceremonial, or even with the spread of the Catholic Revival itself. S.S.C. therefore set itself seriously to work by discussing "Secularity in the Clergy," "The Promotion of Spiritual Ends by Secular Means," and "Un-Catholic Ways of regarding the Church." On the moral side, it pointed out the "Decay of the Sense of Obligation and of Reverence" and the grave travesty of "Humanising Religion," or the lack of Holy Fear, which caused in religious matters "low, vulgar notions and principles to be intruded where all ought to be high and refined." In the spiritual tendency, stress was laid on the evils that came from "Formalism," "Decay of the Penitential Spirit," and from "Ignorance of the Church." This Synod was as memorable as it was helpful in pressing urgently that what was needed in the Catholic Movement above all things was a deepening of the inner life. Canon T. T. Carter, then in his eightieth year, wrote to emphasise the necessity of the penitential spirit being deep-rooted in the minds and lives of priests themselves, if they were to teach it and speak intelligently of it to others. It was pointed out that the greatest danger of all was that of people "taking up the Catholic Faith without the spirit of the Cross," therefore the Brethren were urged to "stand in the old paths of Catholic simplicity and Christian discipline." They were encouraged to preach Christ Crucified and make the power of the Cross felt and were asked to do this in plain dogmatic (not speculative but simple catechetical) and moral discourses, to shun all the deceits of popular religion and sentimentality, to magnify their office, and to feed and govern those over whom the Holy Ghost had set them.
In drawing attention to the requirements of simplicity, discipline and the deepening of the inner life, S.S.C. showed how well it had gauged the spirit of the day, which was devoid of these and as far as it was religious was essentially subjective and agnostic. Subjectivism inculcated religion as a matter of sentiment and consolation only; consequently, it ended in despondency and impatience, the sure results of a religion that ministered to the feelings alone. The Agnostic spirit, with its do-not-know and consequent am-not-bound assertions, liked sometimes to join in services because they satisfied the human instinct for the beautiful, just as a landscape or a picture did, and especially when augmented by the ceremonial adjuncts which bore attractive evidences of continuity and antiquity. This drew people who were often singularly lovable and outwardly devout, but who very seldom resorted to the Sacrament of Penance, or accepted the Cross in any form. It was felt, and not without reason, that the Catholic Movement was drifting away from the Tractarian teaching and insistence on penitence. It was thus realised that the real influence of the Church's ministry to remedy the evil must depend generally on the depth of tone which, through repentance, had been worked into the character of those who were responsible for the ministry. The Society, therefore, in its own life and being now at rest, tried to "deepen" itself, in a way that it had found more difficult to do when it was in conflict.
If it became necessary, as it did, to be reminded of the root of penitence, planted so deeply in Tractarian soil and from which the Catholic Movement had come; it could also be seen that "to stand in the old paths of Catholic simplicity" meant that the "foundation" of "repentance and the doctrine of baptism" led on to the "perfection" of Eucharistic truth and practice. It had been so in the past. The suspension of Dr. Pusey, the Denison litigation and the Bennett case had meant this. The imprisoned priests who had been the victims of the P.W.R. Act had meant the same. All had been fights for the "perfection " of the Blessed Sacrament. It followed, therefore, by the same rule, that a true "deepening" meant a greater expression of devotion to that Holy Sacrament. Puritan irreverence, infrequent Celebrations of the Holy Communion and long desuetude had caused the bad habit to prevail of misinterpreting a cautel at the end of the Communion Office, while a few words in one of the Thirty-nine Articles, also misinterpreted, or robbed of their "literal and grammatical sense," added thereto, had been used as evil instruments to "strike at a laudable practice of the whole Catholic Church of Christ." It had been taken for granted, somewhat erroneously, that the English Provinces had forbidden the Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament. The ultra vires of this, even supposing it had been so, if the English Church were really what she claimed to bea part of the Church Catholichad been overlooked. S.S.C., however, had never fallen into the fallacy of supposing that two Provinces of the Church could forbid or set at nought what the whole Church, both East and West, had not only never forbidden but openly practised. Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament, when examined, rested upon the same authority as the keeping of Sunday and the Baptism of Infants. The English Provinces had never done any such thing as to forbid so primitive a practice. The worst that could be said truthfully was that, in the later years, they had made no regulations concerning it. As a consequence of this, it stood to reason that the regulations of the pre-reformation Canon Law, or the enactments of the Provincial Synods were still binding. This moreover was emphasised by the fact of its having been incorporated into the Civil Law of the Realm. The Constitution of Archbishop Peckham, 1281, was the existing law, regulating the Reservation of the Sacrament. It enacted that there should be a "tabernacle" in every church, in which "the venerable Sacrament" was to be enclosed and "be renewed every Lord's Day." This Canon never having been abrogated was still binding.
It was realised that conformity with this principle underlay the continuity of the practice which had been marked in the First Prayer Book of Edward VI. and, what was more significant still, its retention in the Latin Prayer Book of Elizabeth. Cosin, Thorndike and others had mentioned the way in which Puritan profanation had made its cessation, for the time, necessary. It was known, too, that partial Reservation in the mode indicated by Sparrow in his Rationale had been practised by the followers of the Tractarians and adhered to by the pioneers of the Catholic Movement. S.S.C. during its earliest decades had frequently deliberated on the subject of "Reservation" and some of its members, aware from experience how futile it was only to theorise, were moved to practical action. A few Churches, forced by necessity, ecclesiastical tradition and devotion, began to practise partial Reservation. The first parish church to revive continuous Reservation (as mentioned above) was All Saints', Plymouth, whose mother church, St. Peter's, had been the first to restore the daily Mass, thirty-one years earlier, in 1851.
It was hardly to be expected that Catholics would rest satisfied with the restriction that the Reservation of the Sacrament was a custom only and solely for the Communion of the Sick. Primarily, it was for this, but under special and necessitous circumstances it was also for the Whole. A right belief, moreover, in the Catholic doctrine of the Sacrament would demand that legitimate reverence, devotion and adoration must be given to our Lord, wherever He was. Where the King was there also was His court, was a truism which could not be questioned. Therefore, no earthly mandate, consideration, or attempted restriction could ever avail to restrain His courtiers from rendering the homage and worship which were His due. While Communion was, of course, the first purpose of Reservation and the end of every consecrated particle was that eventually it must be consumed, yet continuous Reservation brought with it both the obligation and the privilege of opportune worship and the advantage of special devotion. That this was fully realised, may be seen from the following significant question, asked as far back as the seventies, of priests, in a Retreat given by the Rev. Orby Shipley, while he was still a member of S.S.C. Each was to ask himself:"What practical steps have I ever taken for the restoration of the primitive custom of Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament and of the introduction of the beautiful evening counterpart of the morning sacrificial offering, the Rite of Benediction?" (Principles of the Faith in Relation to Sin, p. 234). It may not be out of place to draw attention to the fact that more than half a century ago Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament was given in many places, as an occasional, if not as a regular devotion. In the long out-of-print Ritual of the Altar, which at that time was much in use, provision was made for the regulation of the Rite.
It should be clearly understood in connection with this question of the Sacrament, that when the Brethren of S.S.C. were drawing attention to and restoring the Practice of Reservation, they were acting on undeniable and canonical authority. They made no attempt to revive it under cover of the somewhat nebulous phrase,"it is a Catholic custom." They did it entirely on canonical grounds. They knew that by the unabrogated English Canon Law, it was both their duty and their right, as parish priests, to reserve the Sacrament, while the manner in which they were to do so was equally prescribed. If the bishop should attempt to interfere in a prohibitive sense, they knew that he would not be acting as a bishop of the Catholic Church, but that he would be doing so either from the Erastian standpoint, or as exercising the expression of his own private judgment. They were aware that the bishop's authority in the matter of Reservation, on canonical grounds, was purely positive. By Canon Law, it was for him to see that the Blessed Sacrament was duly and reverently reserved. On canonical grounds, his authority could never be negative.
In his book on Reservation, which the Society had sponsored and which had grown out of a paper read by him before S.S.C., the Rev. J. W. Kempe had covered most of the ground that dealt with Reservation, historically, canonically and practically. He had shown moreover that, quite apart from its being "a laudable practice of the whole Church," it was in particular, as applied to the Anglican Provinces, a lawful and canonical custom.