Being a Course of Lectures Delivered at S. Petersburg in the Official Residence of the Chief Procurator of the Holy Synod to Audiences Consisting for the Most Part of Members of the Orthodox Church of Russia
The Legal and Spiritual Continuity of the English Church before and After Its Reformation (Part I).
SOME people have an idea that in the time of King Henry VIII. a new Church was set up in England, and that the King and the Parliament transferred the cathedrals and church-buildings, and tithes and other endowments from the old Church to this supposed new Church. Such an idea is absolutely false. If such a transfer had ever taken place, it would be easy to prove it. There would be Acts of Parliament ordering such a transfer to be made; and historians would have written accounts of how the old clergy were driven out and how the new clergy were put in. But there are no such Acts of Parliament, and there are no such historical records. And the reason for this silence is the undoubted fact that there was no new Church made, and therefore no transfer of Church buildings and Church property from the old to the new. The old Church went on under its old name. It had always been called " the Church of England," even in the days when the Popes had exercised great authority in England. The great charter of English freedom, known as the Magna Charta, which was signed by King John in 1215, begins with the words,--"Libera sit Ecclesia Anglicana " (Let the Church of England be free). In 1307, at the parliament held in Carlisle, the lay Lords and the Commons presented a remonstrance to King Edward I., in which they complain that the Pope of Rome wrongfully claims to fill up vacant archbishoprics and bishoprics in England, as if he was the patron of those dignities and benefices, and they say that, if this is not stopped, "the estate of the holy Church of England" will be destroyed. The English Parliament quoted and embodied the words of this remonstrance in two later statutes, one of which became law in 1350, and the other in 1389. And when we pass on from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries to the reign of Edward VI., the son and successor of Henry VIII., in the sixteenth century, we find that nobody had any idea that a new Church had been created and substituted for the old Church. It was in the reign of Edward VI., in the year 1549, that the services used in the public worship of God were translated from Latin into English, and simplified, and gathered together so as to form one volume, which has been known ever [since as the Book of Common Prayer; and in one of the prefaces to that book, a reason is given for the services having been translated into English: and that reason is expressed in the following words:--"The service in this Church of England these many years hath been read in Latin to the people, which they understand not; so that they have heard with their ears only, and their heart, spirit, and mind, have not been edified thereby." Here it is clearly implied that the same Church of England, which had in past times used Latin services, was now to use English services. There was no new Church. It was the old Church which continued without any break. I believe that I am right in saying that, in the time of the Patriarch Nikon, the holy Church of Russia corrected certain mistakes, which had crept into her service-books; but those salutary corrections and changes did not make a new Church of Russia. The old Russian Church went on, notwithstanding the changes. And so it was with the Church of England. The old Church of England went on, notwithstanding the simplification of her services, and their translation into English.
When King Edward VI. died, he was succeeded in the throne by his half-sister Queen Mary, who married Philip II., King of Spain. Mary and her husband were strong Papists, and they forced the Church of England to ask the Pope's pardon and to submit to his claims, and the Pope admitted the English Church once more to his Communion. But this state of things only lasted for a short time. After reigning for a little more than five years, Mary died; and was succeeded in 1558 by her half-sister, Queen Elizabeth; and under Elizabeth's rule the English Church threw off once more the yoke of the Papal tyranny, and began again to use the English services of the Book of Common Prayer instead of the Latin services, the use of which had been restored during the reign of Mary. The Pope did not at once excommunicate either Elizabeth or the English nation; and the same old English Church went on without any break in its continuity. [It was in February 1570 that Pope Pius V. fulminated the bull, Regnans in Excelsis, deposing Queen Elizabeth, absolving her subjects from their oaths of allegiance, and anathematizing such as continued in their obedience. The bull is printed in the Magnum Bullarium (edit. 1727, tom. ii. p. 304), and also in Burnet's History of the Reformation (edit. Pocock, vol. v. pp. 579-581).] During the latter part of Queen Mary's reign, one of the Cardinals of the Roman Church, Cardinal Pole, had been Archbishop of Canterbury. But he died on the very same day that Queen Mary died; and so, when Elizabeth came to the throne, the see of Canterbury was vacant. In due time it became necessary for a new Archbishop to be elected. It will, I think, illustrate the entire absence of any idea of creating a new Church, if I quote the letter which Elizabeth wrote to the Dean and Chapter of the Church of Canterbury, giving to them her permission, as representing the royal founder of that church, to proceed with the election of a new Archbishop. The Queen's letter is thus worded: --" The Queen to her beloved in Christ, the Dean and Chapter of the Metropolitical Church of Canterbury, health. We have received from you a humble petition in which you pray that, since by the natural death of the most Reverend Father in Christ, the Lord Reginald Pole, a Cardinal, the last Archbishop of your Church, that Church is now vacant and is deprived of the consolation of having a chief Pastor, we would condescend to grant to you our licence, as founder, to elect for yourselves another person to be your Archbishop and Pastor; Now we, being favourably inclined to grant your prayers on this behalf, have thought fit to concede to you that licence, begging you to elect such a person to be your Archbishop and Pastor, as shall be devoted to God, and useful and faithful to us and our kingdom." [Rymer's Foedera, tom. xv. p. 536.] The Queen at the same time in another letter let the Dean and Chapter know that she expected and required them to elect Dr. Matthew Parker; and so in fact they did elect him; and the election was in due time confirmed; and afterwards Matthew Parker was consecrated by four Bishops who had themselves received valid consecration. The point to be noticed is that the Queen in the ordinary form, that had been used for centuries, gave her licence to the Dean and Chapter to elect a successor to Cardinal Pole. She assumes that by the death of Pole the Church of Canterbury is deprived of the consolation of being under the guidance of a Chief Pastor, and that by electing Parker that consolation, of which they have been deprived, will be restored to them. There is no hint that in her mind Parker is to be the Primate of a new Church. He is to succeed Pole as the Primate of the old Church.
Perhaps you will think that I am spending too much time in proving that neither in the time of Henry VIII. nor in the time of Elizabeth was there any idea of setting up a new Church. But this point is a point of very great; importance; and before I pass away from it I should like to read to you the words of one of the greatest of our more recent English historians; I mean Dr. E. A. Freeman, formerly Regius Professor of Modern History in the University of Oxford. Dr. Freeman says:--"Looking in this way at the events of the sixteenth century, it is certain that no English ruler, no English Parliament, thought of setting up a new Church, but simply of reforming the existing English Church. Nothing was further from the mind of either Henry the Eighth or of Elizabeth than the thought that either of them was doing anything new. Neither of them ever thought for a moment of establishing a new Church or of establishing anything at all. In their own eyes they were not establishing but reforming; they were neither pulling down nor setting up, but simply putting to rights. They were getting rid of innovations and corruptions; they were casting off an usurped foreign jurisdiction, and restoring to the Crown its ancient authority over the State Ecclesiastical. . . . There was no one act called 'the Reformation'; the Reformation was the result of a long series of acts. There was no one moment, no one Act of Parliament, when and by which a Church was established; still less was there any Act by which one Church was 'disestablished' and another Church 'established' in its place. ... In all that they did Henry and Elizabeth had no more thought of establishing a new Church than they had of founding a new nation?' [E. A. Freeman Disestablishment and Disendowment, What are They? 2nd edit., 1885, pp. 27-29).]
I think that I have shown clearly that neither in the reign of Henry VIII. nor in the reign of Elizabeth was there any intention on the part of the rulers of England to set up a new Church. There was no breach in the outward framework of the Church. The Church of England, after its loss of communion with the Church of Rome, completely preserved its legal continuity with the old historic Church of England, which had been founded at the end of the sixth century by S. Augustine of Canterbury and his companions.
But perhaps it will be said,--Legal continuity and the preservation of the outward framework of the Church are good things; but, in a Divinely founded and Divinely endowed society like the Church, other things are also necessary, if the spiritual identity and the spiritual continuity of the Church are to be successfully vindicated. There have been instances in the long history of Christendom of national Churches becoming tainted with heresy, and so losing their union with Christ, the great Head of the Church, and being rightly cut off by excommunication from fellowship with the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, which is the true mystical body of Christ. And again it is conceivable that through carelessness, or through some untoward misfortune, or through ignorance of what is necessary to insure the validity of ordinations, a Church might cease to have validly consecrated Bishops, and consequently would cease in a little while to have validly ordained Priests and Deacons, since no one has the power to make a true Priest or a true Deacon except a validly consecrated Bishop. If such a calamity were to happen, there would be no valid Confirmation, no valid Eucharist, no valid Absolution in a Christian body which had thus ceased to enjoy the ministrations of true Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. And such a Body could have no right to claim to be a living portion of the Catholic Church of Christ.
Two questions must therefore be asked about the Church of England as she is at present. Has she preserved the true Catholic faith? And secondly, has she preserved a validly ordained ministry? Let us consider first the question whether the English Church has preserved the true Catholic faith; and then in a future lecture we will consider the question of the validity of English ordinations.
In regard to the holy Faith, it will be well to deal first with the teaching of the Church of England on what are sometimes called the Fountains of Faith, namely Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition. Our Church teaches in the sixth Article of Religion that "Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation." The Thirty-nine Articles, from one of which I have quoted the preceding sentence, were brought into their final shape and in that shape synodically authorized by the Synod of London held under the presidency of Dr. Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the year 1571, the thirteenth year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. And that same Synod enacted a canon, in which Preachers are required to "see that they never teach aught in a sermon, to be religiously held and believed by the people, except what is agreeable to the doctrine of the Old and New Testaments, and what the Catholic Fathers and ancient Bishops have collected from the same doctrine." [Cardwell's Synodalia, edit. 1842, vol. i. pp. 126, 127.]
The Church of England therefore regards both Scripture and the tradition of the Holy Fathers as being fontes fidei, fountains of faith; but she gives the first place to Scripture. Following the teaching of the glorious S. Athanasius, she holds that "the Sacred and Inspired Scriptures are sufficient to declare the truth"; and, to quote again the words of S. Athanasius, she holds that "Holy Scripture is of all things most sufficient for us"; and agreeing with S. Augustine, she holds that "in those things which are set down plainly in Scripture are found all things which contain faith and the way of life, that is hope and charity"; and taught by S. Cyril of Jerusalem, she believes that "nothing at all ought to be delivered concerning the Divine and holy mysteries of the faith without the Holy Scriptures." [S. Athan., Contra Gentes, § i. S. Athan., Ad Episcopos Aegypti, cap. i. § 4. S. Augustin., de Doctrina Christiana, ii. 9, § 14. S. Cyrill. Hierosol., Cat. iv. § 17.] But, while the Church of England holds that all the necessary articles of faith are contained in Scripture, so that they may be either read therein or at any rate may be proved thereby, she also holds that, whenever there is the least possibility of doubt as to the meaning of Scripture, it must, if it has to do with the obligatory articles of faith, be interpreted, not according to the private opinion of individuals, but according to the uniform teaching and tradition of the Catholic Church. She enjoins on those to whom is committed the ministry of preaching that they should "see that they never teach anything in a sermon, to be religiously held and believed by the people, except what is agreeable to the doctrine of the Old and New Testaments, and what the Catholic Fathers and ancient Bishops have collected from the same doctrine." [The great scholar, Isaac Casaubon, who, though he was bred a Huguenot, had been led by his study of the Fathers to revolt from the anti-Catholic positions maintained by the continental Protestants, came to England in 1610, and wrote (Ep. 837) to another great though younger scholar, Salmasius:--"You must not suppose that this people is a barbarous people. ... If I am not mistaken, the soundest part of the whole reformation is to be found here in England, where the study of antiquity flourishes together with zeal for the truth." Casaubon's biographer, Mark Pattison, says (Casaubon, edit. 1892, p. 270) that on arriving in England Casaubon found "a whole national Church encamped on the ground on which he had believed himself to be an isolated adventurer."]
The teaching of the Church of England on this point seems to me to agree very well with the teaching of the Russian Church in the Longer Catechism, which was drawn up by the illustrious Philaret, the Metropolitan of Moscow, and was afterwards after careful revision adopted and promulgated by the Most Holy Synod as the Catechism of the Russian Church herself. In that Longer Catechism it is stated that Holy Scripture was given "to this end, that Divine Revelation might be preserved more exactly and unchangeably." It is also stated that "we must follow that tradition which agrees with Divine Revelation and with Holy Scripture." And once more it is said in the Russian Catechism that "Tradition is necessary even now, as a guide to the right understanding of Holy Scripture." [Blackmore's translation of the Longer Catechism in his Doctrine of the Russian Church, edit. 1845, Aberdeen, p. 36.]
But it sometimes happens that controversies arise within the Church in reference to very important points of doctrine; and differing opinions are held as to what is the true teaching of Holy Scripture, and what is the real authentic tradition of the Church on the point about which the dispute has arisen. In such cases the Church herself is the Judex Controversiarum, the Judge of Controversies. And therefore the Church of England in her twentieth Article of Religion states that "the Church hath . . . authority in controversies of faith." The authority of the Church in judging concerning controversies of faith may be exercised in different ways, according to circumstances. Sometimes a controversy which is very limited in the area over which it rages, may be terminated by the decision of a single Bishop, or by an Ecclesiastical judge, appointed by a single Bishop. [Cf. S. August. contra duas Epp. Pelag. lib iv. cap xii. § 34, Opp. edit. 1696, tom. x. col. 492.] Sometimes it will need to be decided by a Provincial Synod or by a National Synod, or by a Synod of all the Bishops in some group of Nations, or finally by an Ecumenical Synod. In every case except the one mentioned last, the decision is liable to be over-ruled by a Synod of higher authority. In the case of a true Ecumenical Synod, that is to say, a Synod which is recognized as Ecumenical by the whole Church, the great Divines of the Church of England have been accustomed to teach that its dogmatic decisions are irreformable, that is to say, incapable of being altered in substance. [Dr. Edgar C. S. Gibson, the present Bishop of Gloucester, in his excellent explanation of The Thirty-nine Articles (6th edit., 1908, p. 536), which is a book very largely used in our Theological Seminaries and Colleges, speaking of the decisions of Councils claiming to be Ecumenical, says:--"Where the decisions win their way to universal acceptance, there we have the needful guarantee that the Council has faithfully reflected the mind of the universal Church, and we may well be content to believe that the Council has not erred. But 'the inerrancy of a Council can never be guaranteed at the moment. The test of the value of a Council is its after-reception by the Church'" (Forbes, On the Articles, 3rd edit., 1878, p. 299).] Thus Dr. Hammond, a very learned and pious theologian, who flourished in the middle of the seventeenth century, speaking of the general sentiment of learned Anglicans, says:--"We do not believe that any General Council, truly such, ever did or ever shall err in any matter of faith." [Hammond, Of Heresies, p. 163.] Similarly his contemporary, Archbishop Bramhall, one of our ablest divines, contrasting the members of the Roman communion with members of the Church of England, says:--"They [the Romanists] have subjected Ecumenical Councils, which are the sovereign tribunals of the Church, to the jurisdiction of the Papal court. And we are most ready in all our differences to stand to the judgement of the truly Catholic Church, and its lawful representative, a free General Council." [Bramhall, A Just Vindication of the Church of England, chap. ii.; Works, edit. 1842, vol. i. p. 100.]
Again, Dr. Saywell, Master of Jesus College in the University of Cambridge, says:--"The same truth is contained in Scripture, in Tradition, in Ecumenical Synods. It cannot be that an Ecumenical Council, or the free and true testimony of the College of Pastors, should be contrary to the tradition of the Church; nor can any doctrine be confirmed by the tradition of the Church which is repugnant to Sacred Scripture, since among all traditions none is more certain than that of Scripture. Therefore let the Scripture retain its perspicuity and sufficiency, Tradition its firmness and constancy, the pastors and Ecumenical Synods their authority and reverence; nor let any one set them in opposition to each other, since the same faith, the same doctrine in all things necessary to salvation, is taught in its own method and order by each; and each has its own use and authority in handing down and preserving the truth." [Saywell, Praefat. ad Epistt. Launoti, Cantab., 1689. This preface was re-printed in the edition of the Opera Omnia of De Launoy published at Geneva (Coloniae Allobrogum) in 1731. The passage quoted in the text is to be found in torn. v. part. i. pp. Ixxvi, Ixxvii of that edition.] In a previous sentence Saywell had made it clear that he is speaking of "Councils truly Ecumenical, received and approved by the Catholic Church." He would have readily admitted that there have been Councils, claiming to be Ecumenical, which have put forth heretical definitions, such as the Council of Ariminum, and the Robber-Council of Ephesus, and the Iconoclastic Council of Constantinople in the year 745. It is because of such councils as these that the Church of England in her twenty-first Article says that "General Councils may err, and sometimes have erred, even in things pertaining unto God." [That that is the meaning of the statement in the twenty-first Article is clear from a parallel passage in a contemporary document, the Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum (De Summa Trinitate et Fide Catholica, cap. xiv., edit. Oxford, 1850, p. 6). This document was drawn up to a great extent by the very same men who are responsible for the original draft of the Articles; and the passage, to which I refer, deals with the same subject as that with which the statement quoted from the twenty-first Article deals.] But of course such Councils would never be received and confirmed by the Catholic Church, and would therefore never be numbered among the true Ecumenical Councils. The passages, which I have quoted, happen to be taken from the writings of Anglican Theologians of the seventeenth century, but the doctrinal decrees of the true Ecumenical Councils have always been regarded by the Church of England as authoritative. [Bishop A. P. Forbes of Brechin in his Explanation of the Thirty-nine Articles (3rd edit., 1878, p. 299) says:--"In the case of dogma, the decision of an approved Ecumenical Council forecloses the matter for ever."] To give one quite recent example:--in the year 1867 Dr. Longley, the Archbishop of Canterbury, invited all the Bishops of the Anglican Communion to come together from all parts of the world for the purpose of holding a Conference under his presidency in the Archiepiscopal Palace at Lambeth. The Conference met and passed a number of important Resolutions, together with a preamble or introduction in which the Bishops express "the deep sorrow with which they view the divided condition of the flock of Christ throughout the world;" and they go on to say:--"We do here solemnly record our conviction that unity will be most effectually promoted, by maintaining the faith in its purity and integrity, as taught in the Holy Scriptures, held by the primitive Church, summed up in the Creeds, and affirmed by the undisputed General Councils." [The Lambeth Conferences oj 1867,1878, and 1888, edited by Randall T. Davidson, 1889, p. 97.]
I hope that I have made it clear that the Church of England regards Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition as being the fountains of faith, and that, if disputes arise as to what the real teaching of Scripture and Tradition on any point of faith is, she regards the Church herself, acting through her local synods and courts, and in the last resort through a true Ecumenical Council, as the Judge of such controversies.
This is the position which the Church of England takes in regard to these matters, and she not only takes it in theory, but she puts the theory into practice. If I were dealing with this matter at length, I might illustrate what I have said by referring to many instances, in which the Church has guarded the faith once for all delivered, by punishing those who in her judgement have perverted or denied truths forming part of the deposit of faith committed to her custody. But in a lecture like this, it is necessary to be brief. I will therefore refer to only two cases, the records of which are easily accessible to me. Both these cases were dealt with by the Church within my own life-time, and I well remember their occurrence. One was a case occurring in the Province of Canterbury, and therefore in England. A certain Priest named Dunbar Isidore Heath, who was in charge of the parish of Brading, published a book in the year 1858; and in that book he maintained that Christ, our Lord, did not shed His Precious Blood to propitiate the Eternal Father for our sins. He further maintained that forgiveness of sins has nothing at all to do with the Gospel; and he inserted in his book other heretical statements. Whereupon he was accused of being guilty of the criminal offence of heresy in the Court of Arches, the Provincial tribunal of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the charge being proved to the satisfaction of the Court, he was sentenced to be deprived of the cure of souls in the parish of Brading and also of the temporalities attached to that benefice.
The other case, to which I shall refer, is a more celebrated case, and occurred in the Province of Capetown in South Africa. One of the Bishops of that Province, Dr. John William Colenso, Bishop of Natal, published in 1861 a Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans; in 1862 he published the first part of a work entitled--The Pentateuch critically examined, and in 1863 he published the second part of the same work. These books gave very great scandal to the Church. The Bishop maintained that all men, whether they are believers or unbelievers, Christians or non-Christians, are counted by God to be righteous, that they all are dead unto sin and risen again unto righteousness. Further he denied that God is reconciled to us by the death of His Son. He asserted that all men, even the heathen, are at all times partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ. He spoke of and treated the Holy Scriptures as a merely human book, not inspired by God the Holy Spirit, or inspired only in such a manner as other books may be inspired; and he made himself responsible for much other grievously erroneous teaching. Accordingly a charge of false teaching was formally brought against him and was taken into consideration in November, 1863, by a Provincial Synod of the Province of Capetown, over which Synod Dr. Robert Gray, the Metropolitan of Capetown, presided. As Bishop Colenso refused to recant, he was by the decree of the Synod deposed from his bishopric and prohibited from exercising any ministerial function within any part of the Province of Capetown. Dr. Colenso in defiance of this sentence continued to act as Bishop among the small number of people in Natal, who had been led astray by him; and accordingly in December, 1865, his Metropolitan was compelled to pass upon him the sentence of the greater excommunication, and he remained deposed and excommunicated until his death in 1883. In July, 1868, the Province of Canterbury synodically affirmed that Bishop Colenso had been canonically deposed; and in January, 1869, Dr. William Kenneth Macrorie was consecrated to be Bishop of the Church in the colony of Natal, to shepherd the flock, which had been deprived of its former pastor by his lapse into heresy and by his subsequent deposition.
I have gone into some detail in giving you an account of these two cases, because I want to make it clear that the Church of England recognizes the duty which is laid upon her of guarding the deposit of the Catholic faith, which is committed to her care, and of cutting off from her communion open and notorious heretics, even though they may have been raised to the sacred office of the episcopate.
Now I pass from the consideration of the fountains of faith, namely Scripture and Tradition, and from the consideration of the Church's judicial office in deciding controversies about the faith, and I come to the authorized standards of faith and doctrine, which the Church of England recognizes and continually uses.
I might begin with the doctrinal decrees of the accepted Ecumenical Councils, which are undoubtedly recognized as authoritative by the Church of England, and are continually referred to as authoritative by our great theologians. If a suspected heretic was brought before one of our ecclesiastical courts, and was accused of contravening the doctrine laid down in any of those doctrinal decrees, the matter would no doubt be investigated, and, if the accusation were proved, the heretic would be condemned. [See Phillimore's Ecclesiastical Law of the Church of England, 2nd edit., 1895, vol. ii. pp. 842-844.]
But I am thinking rather of the standards of faith and doctrine with which members of the Church of England come into continual contact, and which they have, so to speak, in their hands. Of these I shall mention four:--namely (I.) the Creeds, (II.) the Catechism, (HI.) the Prayer-book including the Ordinal, and (IV.) the Articles of Religion.
I. As the Church of England is bound by the doctrinal decrees of the accepted Ecumenical Councils, she necessarily accepts the Nicene Creed in the form in which it was drawn up and sanctioned by the first Council of Nicaea, and also the creed, commonly called the Constantinopolitan Creed, in the form in which it was sanctioned by the Council of Chalcedon. I remember the second of these being publicly used, when the Reverend Edmund S. Ffoulkes, who had previously seceded to the Roman Communion, was received back into the Communion of the Church of England by the late Dr. Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Winchester. But neither the original Nicene Creed nor the original Constantinopolitano-Chalcedonian Creed are commonly used either in public or private by English Church people. The creeds which we commonly use are (i) the Apostles' Creed, (2) a Western form of the Constantinopolitan Creed, and (3) the creed commonly called the Athanasian Creed.
(i) The Apostles' Creed is the old Roman Baptismal Creed of the first half of the second century, with a few additions, mostly Gallican, of the fifth and sixth centuries. This is in England the most generally known of all the three creeds. It is the one which is used at Baptisms; and it is the one which is taught to children, when they learn their catechism; and it is the one which is rehearsed by the Priest to a dying person, when the office for the Visitation of the sick is being used; it is the one which normally is said daily in church at the two choir-offices of Mattins and Evensong; and finally it is the one which is almost universally used by English Church people, when they say their private prayers. As I have already mentioned, it was the baptismal creed of the local church in the city of Rome; and the missionaries, who went forth from that centre all over the West, carried it with them and taught it to their converts. The later additions to it were not made by any plenary Western Council, but by local churches in Gaul and elsewhere; and these additions were at last accepted at Rome, perhaps about the end of the seventh century, and finally the use of the enlarged creed became universal throughout the West.
(2) The second creed which is commonly used in the English Church is a Western form of the Constantinopolitan Creed. Speaking generally, one may say that the English form agrees with the Latin version of the Creed, as it was commonly used in the West during the middle ages. Both the English and the Latin versions have an additional clause--"Deus de Deo," "God of God," inserted immediately before the clause --"Lumen de Lumine," "Light of Light"; and both have the addition of the expression--"Filioque," "and the Son," following the words--"ex Patre," "from the Father," in the clause which deals with the Procession of the Holy Ghost. But the English Version differs from the ordinary Latin Version, in that in the clause dealing with the Catholic and Apostolic Church the English Version omits the adjective, "Holy." It is certain that this word was not omitted for any dogmatic reason, because in the English Version of the Apostles' Creed, we every day express our belief in "the Holy Catholic Church." But it happened that in most of the early printed editions of the Councils, as for example in the editions of Merlin, Crabbe, and Carranza, the Constantinopolitan Creed appears without the word "Sanctam," " Holy," in the clause dealing with the Catholic Church: and the compilers of our Prayer-book probably concluded that the word "Holy" was an interpolation, and omitted it for that reason. [Merlin's first edition was published at Paris in 1524, and his second edition in 1535. Crabbe's work was published at Cologne in 1538. Carranza's first edition was published at Venice in 1546, and his second at Salamanca in 1549. See an article entitled "The Anglican Version of the 'Nicene Creed'" in the Church Quarterly Review, viii. 378, 379.]
This English Version of the Constantinopolitan Creed is the Creed used in the Church of England at Celebrations of the Holy Eucharist. The fact that it contains the expression--" Filioque " in the clause, which deals with the Procession of the Holy Ghost, constitutes, I imagine, one of the principal obstacles to intercommunion between the Eastern Churches and the English Church. I am at present explaining to you what are the Church of England's standards of faith, and it would be confusing to your minds if I were now to interpolate a long digression on the Filioque; but I am quite ready to discuss the matter with Russian Theologians if such a discussion should be thought desirable. [By the kindness of Bishop (now Archbishop) Evlogie of Kholm I had the opportunity of conferring with a certain number of Russian Orthodox theologians on the Filioque clause a few days after this lecture was delivered. I was delighted to find that, when I explained the Filioque as equivalent to the Per Filium, and when I assured those with whom I was conferring that the theologians of the English Church condemned altogether the notion that there is more than one original arche in the Godhead, they all declared that my explanation was in entire accordance with the teaching of the Eastern Orthodox Church. I also pointed out to them that local churches in the West had added on their own authority clauses to the Apostles' Creed, and that local churches in the East had added on their own authority clauses to the original Nicene Creed, and that consequently the addition of the Filioque to the Constantinopolitan Creed was a defensible proceeding. See also the Preface to this volume, pp. xiv, xv.]
(3) The Athanasian Creed is the third creed which is regularly used by the Church of England. It sets forth very clearly and at considerable length the two great fundamental doctrines of the Holy Trinity in Unity, and of the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, and it contains some very salutary clauses, warning Catholic Christians of the danger of apostatizing from the Catholic faith. The teaching of this Creed is absolutely in harmony with the teaching of the great Doctor of the Church, S. Athanasius; but it was not written by S. Athanasius. He wrote in Greek, whereas this Creed was originally written in Latin. It is not certainly known when, where, or by whom it was written. But, following the most recent investigations, I am inclined to believe that it was written in Spain during the second half of the sixth century, and that its author was perhaps S. Martin, Archbishop of Braga. [See the Lectures of the learned Benedictine, Dom Morin, published in the Journal of Theological Studies, vol. xii. pp. 161, 337. [But I see that, in the Revue Benedictine for October, 1911 (tome xxviii. pp. 417-424), Dom Morin has receded from the position taken up in his Oxford Lectures, and he is now inclined to assign the Quuumque to S. Caesarius of Arles.]]
According to the use of the Church of England, the Athanasian Creed takes the plate of the Apostles' Creed at Mattins on all the chief festivals of the year and also on some few Saints' days.
I believe that the Athanasian Creed is never used in the public worship of the Orthodox Eastern Church; though it is printed, is it not? as a useful doctrinal instruction in the appendix to some editions of some Slavonic and some Greek service-books.
It is to be noticed that all these three creeds, the Apostles' Creed, the Western form of the Constantinopolitan Creed, and the Athanasian Creed, were in use in the greater part of the West, two centuries and a half before the final rupture between the East and the West. Their use in the West did not prevent there being intercommunion between the Eastern and Western branches of the Church.
II. I pass now from the Creeds to the Catechism, which is an Instruction by way of Question and Answer, to be learnt by every baptized member of the Church, before he is brought to be confirmed by the Bishop. The Catechism consists of two parts, the first of which contains an explanation of the Baptismal Covenant, and the second contains a short instruction about the two greater Sacraments, those two which are necessary for all classes of Christians, if they would be saved, and the only two, concerning which we have any assurance in the New Testament that they were explicitly instituted by Christ our Lord, while He was here on earth. These two greater Sacraments are of course Holy Baptism and the Holy Eucharist.
In the first part of the Catechism those preparing for Confirmation are taught the Apostles' Creed with a short explanation of its teaching about the Three Persons in the Blessed Trinity. They are also taught the Ten Commandments, with a summary account of the principal duties which they enjoin. And finally they are taught the Lord's Prayer, together with an explanation of its several petitions.
The second part of the Catechism explains that the outward part of a Sacrament is the means whereby we receive the inward part, and a pledge to assure us that we are receiving that inward part. It goes on to explain the outward visible sign in Baptism, and the inward spiritual grace which it conveys. It lays down that adult converts must have repentance and faith, before they can be baptized; and it also explains that in the case of infants faith and repentance are promised on their behalf by their sponsors. Then the Catechism goes on to give similar instructions about the Holy Eucharist, and it teaches very plainly that the inward part of that Sacrament "is the Body and Blood of Christ," "which," it says, "are verily and indeed taken and received" by Christian people, when they communicate.
This Catechism was not intended by those, who compiled it, to be a full exposition of the Christian religion, but only a short instruction fit to be learnt by heart by children of the age of seven years; for it was at that age that English children were usually confirmed in the sixteenth century and during the earlier part of the seventeenth century. [Compare Scudamore's Notitia Eucharistica, edit. 1876, p. 51.]
III. The third standard of faith and doctrine, which binds the members of the Church of England is The Prayer-book, or, to give it its full title, The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church according to the use of the Church of England together with the Psalter or Psalms of David pointed as they are to be sung or said in Churches and the Form or Manner of Making Ordaining and Consecrating of Bishops Priests and Deacons. The Prayer-book is the official liturgical book of the Church, and it contains directions for the performance of the public worship of God, and also the words which are to be used in that public worship. In our services the principal part is taken by the Bishop or Priest, but the people, led by the Choir, when there is one, also take their part. They join with the Officiant in the singing or saying of the Creeds, and in the general Confessions of sin, and they take their part in the chanting of the Psalms and Canticles, and in the Litany, and from time to time they make the appointed response to some utterance of the Officiant, and at the end of each of the prayers they express their assent and cooperation by the Amen. Thus the teaching of the Prayer-book is binding on the people as well as on the Priest, according to that ancient principle to which the Fathers of the Church often appeal, and which is expressed by one of them thus:--"ut legem credendi statuat lex supplicandi," [Auctoritt. de Grat. Dei, cap. xi., Denzinger's Enchiridion Symbolorum et Definitionum, edit. Nelreda, 1909, p. 28.] "that the law of our prayer may determine the law of our belief." Moreover the Clergy, when they are ordained, and on certain other occasions, are required to make and subscribe the following declaration:--"I assent to the . . . Book of Common Prayer, and of the ordering of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons: I believe the doctrine of the Church of England, as therein set forth, to be agreeable to the word of God; and in public prayer and administration of the sacraments, I will use the form in the said book prescribed, and none other, except so far as shall be ordered by lawful authority." The Prayer-book is therefore not only a liturgical manual, but it is also a standard of faith and doctrine binding both the Clergy and the Laity.
It seems important here to emphasize the fact that the prayers and thanksgivings and other liturgical items, which go to make up the Prayer-book, were not for the most part new compositions. On the contrary that which was new formed a small part of the whole. A very learned English liturgical scholar, Dr. Frere, has written thus about the sources of the Prayer-book: he says:--"Apart from the Bible, the old traditional Latin services of the English Church have provided by far the greater part of the contents: this is not merely true of actual bulk, but it is still more markedly true of the whole spirit and method of the Prayer-book: it has drawn also from other sources--Greek, Gallican, Lutheran, and Swiss, in their measure; but nowhere is the Catholic temper of the book better shown than in the treatment of the matter which is adopted from sixteenth-century sources, such as the Consultation [of Hermann, the reforming Archbishop of Cologne] or the suggestions of Bucer; and even when the borrowing has been most extensive, there are still the clear signs of careful editing, and the excision of what might sound out of tune with the old devotional temper preserved in the traditional prayers of the Church." [A New History of the Book of Common Prayer by Procter and Frere, edit. 1902, pp. 674, 675.]
The main object, which the compilers of the Prayer-book seem to have set before themselves, was to make the public worship of the Church comprehensible to the mass of the people. The old mediaeval services were beautiful, but they were in Latin, and were very complicated, and were scattered about in different books, such as the Missal, the Breviary, the Manual, the Processional, the Pontifical, and others. The compilers of the Prayer-book undertook the task of shortening the offices, simplifying them, and translating them into English, so that all the offices, which were in ordinary use, might be comprised in one volume, which every layman who could read might take to church, and by the help of which he might follow the services intelligently, and not only understand the words spoken by the Officiant, but also make the responses and fulfil his own appointed share in the holy act of worship. There can be no doubt that the compilers of the Prayer-book were remarkably successful in carrying out the very difficult task which they had undertaken. The beautiful and stately English of our translation of the Bible and of our Prayer-book has done a great work in commending to the English nation the truths of God's revelation, which have been committed to the custody of His Church.
The most important Offices contained in the Prayer-book are the following:--The Order for Mattins and Evensong; the Order for the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist, together with the varying Collects, Epistles, and Gospels to be used at that service throughout the year; the Litany; the Order of Baptism for infants, and the Order of Baptism for adults; the Order of Confirmation; the form of Solemnization of Matrimony; the Order for the Visitation of the sick, and the Communion of the sick; the Order for the Burial of the dead; the Thanksgiving of Women after childbirth; the Psalter; the Form and Manner of Making, Ordaining, and Consecrating Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. Besides these there are Offices of less importance, and the Calendar, and Tables of Lessons, &c. The directions for hearing confessions and the form for giving Absolution are to be found in the Order for the Visitation of the sick.
Some services, which are regularly used, have never been included in the Prayer-book, probably because the need for them occurs only rarely. As examples of these I might mention the service for the Consecration of Churches and Church-yards, and the service for the Unction and Coronation of the Sovereign, and of his Consort.
Altogether, it will be seen that provision is made in the Prayer-book for all the more important of the ordinary needs of Christian people; and consequently the teaching of the Prayer-book, which is based on the great articles of the Faith, shows in a devotional form the bearing of those revealed doctrines on the various aspects of the Christian life.
Undoubtedly the teaching of the Prayer-book is not Lutheran teaching or Calvinistic teaching. It is thoroughly Orthodox and Catholic, and in harmony with Holy Scripture and the general doctrinal tradition embodied in the writings of the Holy Fathers.
I have now spoken of three Church of England standards of faith and doctrine, namely the Creeds, the Catechism, and the Book of Common Prayer. These three standards have this in common, that they all of them bind the Laity of the Church as well as the Clergy. The Laity recite the Creeds in Church; the Laity have to learn and accept the Catechism before they can be confirmed; and the Laity have to worship God according to the liturgical forms of the Prayer-book; and, as they are bound to put their whole heart into the worship in which they take part, the "lex supplicandi" inevitably determines the "lex credendi"; or, in other words, the teaching of the Prayer-book becomes as a matter of course the rule of their faith.
IV. Now I come to the fourth Church of England standard, and that is the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion. It differs from the other three, in that it binds the Clergy only. The lay members of the Church of England, as such, are never asked to subscribe the Articles, or to express in any way their assent to them; but, according to the strict rule of the Canons, if they go out of their way to pass judgement upon them in an unfavourable sense, declaring that it is wrong to subscribe them or that they are superstitions or erroneous, they become excommunicate ipso facto. [See the fifth of the Canons of 1604.] No doubt there are some propositions in some of the Articles which the laity are bound to accept as true, but the duty of accepting those propositions as true does not rest on the laity on account of those propositions being found in the Articles, but it rests on them because those propositions express fundamental articles of the Catholic faith, which are proposed by the Church either in the creeds, or in the definitions of General Councils, or in other ways, to all her members for their acceptance.
The Church of England never calls the Thirty-nine Articles articles of Faith; they are always called "Articles of Religion." In their first form they were Forty-two in number, and the title prefixed to the first edition of them speaks of them as agreed upon "for the avoiding of controversy in opinions, and the establishment of a godly concord in certain matters of religion." Some of those matters of religion are no doubt fundamental articles of faith, but others are pious opinions or inferior truths, and others again are practical truths which do not come within the category of points to be believed. Another point to be noticed about the Articles is that from the time of their composition they were never meant to be regarded as forming a complete system of theology. It was intended that they should deal with certain particular points which were actually in dispute during the reign of Edward VI.
In saying all this, I am not putting forth a private opinion of my own, I am expressing the view which is taken by all the great divines of the English Church, whether they belonged to one school of thought or to another. As the point under discussion is important, I will quote two or three passages bearing on it from some of our most illustrious theologians. Archbishop Laud of Canterbury, who died a martyr's death in 1645, in his Conference with Fisher the Jesuit, said:--"The Church of England never declared that every one of her Articles are fundamental in the faith. . . . Besides, the Church of England prescribes only to her own children, and by those Articles provides but for her own peaceable consent in those doctrines of truth." [Laud's Works, edit. Oxon., vol. ii. p. 60.] Archbishop Usher of Armagh, a most learned prelate, who died in 1656, says: --"We do not suffer any man to reject the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England at his pleasure, yet neither do we look upon them as essentials of saving faith, or legacies of Christ and His Apostles; but in a mean as pious opinions, fitted for the preservation of peace and unity; neither do we oblige any man to believe them, but only not to contradict them." [Quoted by Bishop Bull (Bull's English Theological Works, Oxford, 1844, Appendix pp. 52, 53).] Bishop Pearson of Chester, who died in 1686, one of the most authoritative of all our divines, says:--"The book of Articles is not, nor is pretended to be, a complete body of divinity, or a comprehension and explication of Christian doctrines necessary - to be taught; but an enumeration of some truths, which upon and since the Reformation have been denied by some persons; who upon their denial are thought unfit to have any cure of souls in this Church or realm; because they might by their opinions either infect their flock with error, or else disturb the Church with schism, or the realm with sedition." [Bishop Pearson's Minor Theological Works, edit. Churton, vol. ii. p. 215.]
At the Conference of Bishops, held at Lambeth Palace under the presidency of Archbishop Benson of Canterbury in 1888, a Resolution was unanimously passed by the 145 Bishops who took part in the Conference, which throws light on the position of the Thirty-nine Articles as a standard of faith and doctrine. The Resolution is thus worded:--" That, as regards newly-constituted Churches, especially in non-Christian lands, it should be a condition of the recognition of them as in complete intercommunion with us, and especially of their receiving from us Episcopal Succession, that we should first receive from them satisfactory evidence that they hold substantially the same doctrine as our own, and that their clergy subscribe Articles in accordance with the express statements of our own standards of doctrine and worship; but that they should not necessarily be bound to accept in their entirety the thirty-nine Articles of Religion."
This Resolution shows very clearly that the Bishops of the Anglican Communion do not regard the acceptance of the thirty-nine Articles of Religion in their entirety by newly-constituted Churches, as a condition sine quâ non of their admitting those Churches to recognized and complete inter-communion with themselves. It follows necessarily from such a view of the matter that the Anglican Episcopate holds that it would be wrong to regard all the propositions contained in the Articles as being articles of faith necessary to be believed. Taken as a whole, they are Articles of peace and godly concord rather than Articles of faith, and it is in that light that they have always been regarded.
The Articles of Religion were first published in 1553, near the end of the reign of King Edward VI., but it is almost certain that they had not then received the sanction of the Synods of the Church. [See Bishop Gibson's Explanation of The Thirty-nine Articles, sixth edit. 1908, pp. 15-20.] Though drawn up by theologians, they were authorized by the King and not by the Bishops; and two months after their publication the King died; and the Church was forced by his successor, Queen Mary, to submit to the claims of the Roman Pope. When, five years later, Mary died and Elizabeth succeeded, the Roman tyranny was once more shaken off, and in 1562 the Articles were carefully revised and improved and sanctioned by the Synods of the Church; and they were again revised in 1571 and brought to their present form, and in that form they were sanctioned both by the Church and by the State.
It is sometimes wrongly supposed that the compilers and revisers of the Articles were moved by only one desire, namely to root out from the Church of England certain errors and superstitions, which had crept in during the middle ages. No doubt that was one of their motives, and that motive can be clearly traced in fifteen out of the forty-two Articles, which were published in King Edward's reign. But there was another motive which acted even more strongly than the one which has just now been mentioned, namely the -desire to provide a bulwark against the far more fundamental errors of the Anabaptists of Germany and the Netherlands, who held extreme Protestant views, and were taking refuge in England from the persecution which they had to endure on the continent. At least twenty-three of the forty-two original Articles were aimed at one or other of the differing sections of the Anabaptists.
It would be quite impossible for me to go through all the thirty-nine Articles, and to prove to you that they are all in harmony with the teachings of Holy Scripture and of Holy Tradition and also with the dogmatic decrees of the accepted: Ecumenical Councils. If I were to attempt to do so, I should have to prolong these lectures through many weeks. I believe myself that most of our Articles would be accepted at once by the learned theologians of the Holy Church of Russia and of the other Orthodox Eastern Churches. In regard to some few they might wish for explanations, before they could express their complete approval of them. But the Articles ought not to be regarded as an obstacle to inter-communion, unless Eastern theologians are prepared to maintain that any of them are irreconcilable with the faith once for all delivered to the Saints.
I am inclined to think that, as, for lack of time, I can only speak about a few of the Articles, it will be best for me to call your attention to the principal Article which deals with the subject of the Holy Eucharist, namely the 28th, and also with the Article which deals with the Sacraments generally, namely the 25th. I choose those particular Articles just because I imagine that some of your theologians would wish to have those Articles, or at any rate certain parts of those Articles, explained. [For a discussion of the true meaning of the 31st article, which very rightly condemns certain mediaeval misrepresentations of the Catholic doctrine of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, I may perhaps be allowed to refer to a paper of mine published in 1896, and entitled, Les Ordinations Anglicanes et le Sacrifice de la Messe.]
But before I begin my explanations, I must remind you of a fact which I have already pointed out, namely that the Articles were not intended to be a full statement of the Church's teaching on the matters with which they deal. They for the most part touch only on certain particular points which were in dispute in England during the sixteen or at most the twenty-five years which followed the death of King Henry VIII. in 1547. I must also call your attention to the fact that the theologians who drew up the Articles and the synods which revised and sanctioned them had hardly any knowledge of the writings of the later theologians of the Orthodox Eastern Church. They did indeed know some of the writings of the Eastern Fathers, but they knew little if anything of the writings of Eastern theologians who lived after the breach between the East and the West in the year 1054. The disputes with which they were dealing were Western disputes; and the theological expressions, which they used, were understood according to the meaning assigned to them either by the theologians of the West, or by the common usage of popular language in Western countries and more especially in England.
The title of the 28th Article is De Coena Domini, "Of the Lord's Supper." This is one of the names which the Holy Fathers, following S. Paul, give to the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist. It is so called by S. Basil, S. Chrysostom, S. Augustine, and others. [Reg. Brev. Tract., n. cccx., Opp. ii. 525, edit. 1722. S. Chrys., Hom., xxvii. in i. Cor. (xi. 20) § 2, Opp. x. 285, edit. Par., 1837. S. Augustin., Ep. liv. c. vii., Opp. ii. 168.] The dogmatic part of the 28th Article runs thus:--"The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another; but rather is a Sacrament of our Redemption by Christ's death: insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith, receive the same, the Bread which we break is a partaking of the Body of Christ; and likewise the Cup of Blessing is a partaking of the Blood of Christ." Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.
"The Body of Christ is given, taken and eaten in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten is Faith."
In the first paragraph of the Article a false opinion of the Anabaptists about the Lord's Supper is rejected. They held that it is "only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another." The Article denies that it is only that. "Rather," it says, "it is a Sacrament of our Redemption by Christ's death. Insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the Bread which we break is a partaking of the Body of Christ: and likewise the Cup of Blessing is a partaking of the Blood of Christ." All this teaching is based upon the doctrine laid down by S. Paul in the tenth and eleventh chapters of his first Epistle to the Corinthians. [See i. Cor. xi. 28, and x. 16.]
Then in the second paragraph the Article repudiates the mediaeval Latin doctrine of transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of bread and wine) in the Holy Eucharist. The mediaeval Latin doctrine is based on the distinction between "substance" and "accidents" invented by the heathen philosopher, Aristotle. These Aristotelian terms are not used in reference to the Holy Eucharist either in Holy Scripture or in the writings of the holy Fathers. They were introduced into the theological language of the Latin Church after the breach between the East and the West in 1054; and I am thankful to know that the holy Church of Russia like the holy Church of England has carefully avoided any use of them in her dogmatic formularies. Some time ago I read with great pleasure an account of a conversation which took place about fifty years ago between the much venerated Metropolitan of Moscow, Philaret, and Dr. Young, Bishop of Florida in the United States of America, a Bishop belonging to the Anglican Communion. The account was re-produced in the journal of the S. Petersburg Ecclesiastical Academy, the Tzerkovny Viestnik of March 27, 1897, under the title, "The views of the Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow upon the Latin doctrine of Transubstantiation." [See Publication xli. of the Church Historical Society, entitled Priesthood in the English Church, pp. 54, 55, edit. 1898, S.P.C.K.] In the course of the conversation the Metropolitan Philaret spoke as follows:--"The manner of our Lord's presence in the Blessed Eucharist is a mystery to be apprehended by faith, and not a matter to be speculated and dogmatised upon, or to be reasoned about. All definitions or pretended explanations, such as the use of the word Transubstantiation (Transsubstantziatzija), are nothing but attempts to penetrate into the mystery, and thereby they overthrow the essence of a sacrament." That expression singularly resembles what is said in our 28th Article. It is there asserted that "Transubstantiation overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament" (sacramenti naturam evertit). After this statement made by the Metropolitan, Bishop Young said:--"But is not the word Transsubstantiation used in your Longer Catechism?" "No," replied Philaret with emphasis, "it is not. In Russian we say [not transsubstantzija, but] presusbchestvlénie, a word corresponding exactly to the Greek word metoousiosis." "But," said Dr. Young, "it is used more than once by Blackmore in his translation of the Russian Catechism." "In that case," replied the Metropolitan, "the translation is incorrect. We have taken good care that the word should not appear in our Catechism." The writer in the Tzerkovny Viestnik observes that this conversation "is extremely interesting as showing the extraordinary acuteness of the famous Metropolitan's theological intellect, in thus finding a means of preserving the Orthodox teaching . . . from the irruption into it of the coarse metaphysics of the schoolmen, with their self-made and, even from a philological point of view, unnatural term, Transsubstantiation." [About five weeks after the account of this conversation had been published in the Tzerkovny Viestnik, it was re-printed in the Guardian of May 12, 1897, with the following note:--"We may add that the word presushchestvlénie is the exact Slavonic equivalent of the Greek erowiWis, the Slavonic word sushchestvo philologically corresponding not to substantia, but to ousia (essentia), and being formed in just the same way from súshchi, present participle of the verb bytj, to be. When it is remembered that the Metropolitan Philaret was himself the author both of the Longer Catechism and of the translation of the Articles of the Synod of Jerusalem in the form in which the Holy Synod of Russia finally accepted them, it will be difficult to exaggerate the importance of this conversation, and of the fact that it has been re-printed just at this time in one of the leading ecclesiastical journals of Russia."]
It is clear that in our English repudiation of the mediaeval Latin doctrine of Transubstantiation, we find ourselves at one with the holy Church of Russia.
And when we pass from what we repudiate to what we believe about the real presence of the Body and Blood of Christ under the form of bread and wine, I have no doubt that on this point also the Church of Russia and the Church of England are at one.
Before I go on to the next paragraph of the Article, it will be well to set before you the official teaching of the Church of England on the holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, as it has been gathered from her Prayer-book and Catechism and other formularies by one of the most learned and devout of our theologians, who lived in the last century, and died in 1882, thirty years ago. I mean Dr. Pusey, a Canon of the Cathedral Church of Christ in Oxford, and Regius Professor of Hebrew in the University of Oxford.
Dr. Pusey says:--"There now remains only to sum up the teaching of the Church of England on the Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist. She teaches then, that 'Sacraments ordained by Christ Himself are means 'whereby God doth work invisibly in us;' 'means whereby we receive the inward part or thing signified' by 'the outward and visible sign'; and that they are 'pledges to assure us thereof [These passages are quoted from the 25th Article and from the Catechism]. She teaches that 'the inward part or thing signified in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is the Body and Blood of Christ, which are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord's Supper' [This is quoted from the Catechism]. She teaches that 'Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, hath given His Son our Saviour JESUS Christ to be our spiritual Food and sustenance in that holy Sacrament'; and that this is 'a Divine thing to those who receive it worthily' [These passages are from the first warning Exhortation for the Celebration of the Holy Communion]. She teaches that then 'we spiritually eat the Flesh of Christ and drink His Blood; then we dwell in Christ and Christ in us, we are one with Christ and Christ with us' [This is from the longer Exhortation at the time of the Celebration of the Communion]. She teaches that we 'come' there 'to the Body and Blood of Christ' [This is quoted from S. Basil in the second Part of the Homily concerning the Sacrament]. She teaches that we 'receive His Blessed Body and Blood under the Form of bread and wine' [This is from the Notice at the end of the first Book of Homilies]. She teaches that 'at His Table we,' if we be faithful, 'receive not only the outward Sacrament but the spiritual thing also; not the figure only but the truth; not the shadow only, but the Body'; 'spiritual Food, nourishment of our soul, a heavenly reflection, an invisible meat, a ghostly substance'; that 'Christ' is our 'refection and meat'; that that Body and Blood are present there; for 'in the Supper of the Lord, there is no vain ceremony, no bare sign, no untrue figure of a thing absent' [These passages are from the first Part of the Homily concerning the Sacrament]. She teaches that 'the bread' which 'is blessed' or 'consecrated' with our Lord's words, 'This is My Body,' 'is the Communion or partaking of the Body of Christ'; that the Cup or wine which 'is blessed' or 'consecrated' with His word, 'This is My Blood of the New Testament,' 'is to such as rightly worthily and with faith receive the same,' 'the Communion or partaking of the Blood of Christ' [These passages are from the rubrick immediately following the words of administration, and from the 28th Article]. She teaches that, if we receive rightly, 'we so eat the Flesh of JESUS Christ, the Son of God, and drink His Blood, that our sinful bodies are made clean by His Body, and our souls washed through His most Precious Blood' [This is from the Prayer of humble access in the Eucharistic Liturgy]. She teaches that, if we receive rightly, we are made 'partakers of His most Precious Body and Blood '; and so, 'partakers of Christ' [These passages are from the Prayer of Consecration and the 29th Article]. She teaches that 'God Himself vouchsafes to feed those, who duly receive these holy Mysteries with the spiritual Food of the most Precious Body and Blood of His Son our Saviour JESUS Christ' [This is from the second Thanksgiving after Communion]. She teaches that 'the Body and Blood of Christ which were given and shed for us,' when received by us, do, if we persevere, 'preserve our bodies and souls unto everlasting life' [This is from the words of administration]. She teaches that they are 'a salve of immortality and sovereign preservative against death'; 'a deifical Communion'; 'the pledge of eternal health, the defence of faith, the hope of the Resurrection'; 'the Food of immortality, the healthful grace, the conservatory to life everlasting'" [These passages are from the first Part of the Homily concerning the Sacrament]. [Pusey (The Real Presence of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ the Doctrine of the English Church, edit. 1869, pp. 234-237).]
This then is the official teaching of the Church of England on the subject of the Holy Eucharist, collected out of its authorized formularies by Dr. Pusey. And I think that every one, who is acquainted with the eucharistic teaching of the holy Fathers, will admit that the teaching of the Church of England on this subject is singularly patristic in its tone.
Here I will dwell specially on one point in that teaching. Our Church, when speaking of the Eucharistic Food, often calls it "spiritual" or "heavenly" Food. Thus she says that God has given "His Son our Saviour JESUS Christ to be our spiritual Food and Sustenance" in this Sacrament; and she declares that "we receive not only the outward sacrament but the spiritual Thing also"; and she describes the inward part of the Eucharist as "spiritual Food, a heavenly refection, an invisible meat, a ghostly substance." Now this is exactly in accordance with the language of the holy Fathers. Thus S. Irenaeus says:--"The bread which is from the earth receiving the invocation of God is no longer common bread but Eucharist, consisting of two things (duo pragmaton), an earthly thing and a heavenly thing." [Adversus Haereses, iv. xviii. v., edit. Massuet.] Here the outward part is an earthly thing, the inward part, that is the Body of Christ, is a heavenly Thing. Similarly S. Athanasius in his fourth Festal Letter says:--"Our Saviour also, since He was changing the typical for the spiritual, promised them that they should no longer eat the flesh of a lamb, but His own, saying, 'Take, eat and drink; this is My Body and My Blood.'" The paschal lamb was merely typical food; the Body and Blood of Christ are spiritual nourishment conveying eternal life to those who devoutly receive them. Similarly S. Ambrose of Milan says:--"In that Sacrament Christ is; because it is the Body of Christ; it is not therefore bodily Food, but spiritual. . . . For the Body of God is a spiritual Body: the Body of Christ is the Body of the Divine Spirit, since Christ is Spirit, as we read, 'The Spirit before our face is Christ the Lord.'" [De Mysteriis, cap. ix. § 58. S. Ambrose is quoting the Old Latin version of Lament. Jerem. iv. 20.]
We will now pass on to consider the third paragraph of the 28th Article, which is thus worded:--"The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper only after a heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is faith." This paragraph was drawn up by Bishop Guest of Rochester, and was substituted by the Synod which was held at London in 1563 in place of another very unsatisfactory paragraph which was at first proposed for its acceptance. Bishop Guest was a strong believer in the Catholic doctrine of the Real Presence of our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, and he defended that doctrine in the Synod, and by the help of God persuaded the Synod to adopt the paragraph which he had composed; and for this service the Church of England owes him a great debt of gratitude.
The paragraph states that the Body of Christ is not only received and eaten by the communicants, but it is first of all given to them by the Priest. The Body of our Lord is present in the Sacrament before it is received by the communicant. It is caused to be present under the form of bread, and the Precious Blood of Christ is caused to be present under the form of wine, by the operation of the Holy Ghost at the time when the sacrament is consecrated; and it is by the operation of the Holy Ghost that the Presence is perpetuated. So that when the Priest gives the Holy Sacrament to the communicant, it is already the Body of Christ under the form of bread. But the Body of Christ is, as S. Irenaeus says, a heavenly thing. It is present in a manner above sense and nature. It is not locally enclosed in the outward part of the sacrament, but it is connected with it, somewhat, perhaps, as the human soul is connected with the human body. [So the Romanist, Scavini, in his Theologia Moralis Universa (Tractat. iv. disput. iv. pars i. cap. i. art. 2, edit. 1855, Paris, tom., iii p. 527) says:--"Christus enim non est sub specie eo modo quo corpoar naturalia sunt in locis, sed eo fere modo quo anima est in corpore, quae tota singulis corporis partibus unita est." Scavini refers in confirmation to Vasquez.] The mysterious connexion between the outward part of the Sacrament and the inward part results in the fact that, when one part is given and taken, the other part is given and taken. The connexion between the two parts is brought about and continued by the action of the Holy Ghost; but beyond that we cannot go; because nothing is revealed. But a giving and taking, which depends on a connexion brought about and continued by the action of the Holy Ghost, must necessarily be carried out only in a heavenly and spiritual, though most real, manner.
There was one member of the synod, Cheyney, Bishop of Gloucester, who did not grasp the point, to which I have just now been calling attention; and in his zeal for the doctrine of the Real Presence of our Lord's Body and Blood in the Sacrament, he objected to the word "only," as it stands in this third paragraph. This objection of his led to Bishop Guest writing a very important letter to Sir William Cecil, Queen Elizabeth's principal Treasurer. I will here quote the most important paragraph of that letter. Bishop Guest says:a--"I suppose you have heard how the Bishop of Gloucester found himself grieved with the placing of this adverb 'only' in this Article,--'The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper after an heavenly and spiritual manner only,' because it did take away the presence of Christ's Body in the Sacrament; and privily noted me to take his part therein, and yesterday in mine absence more plainly touched me for the same. [See Pusey (Real Presence, pp. 203, 204, note k).] Whereas between him and me I told him plainly that this word 'only' in the foresaid Article did not exclude the presence of Christ's Body from the Sacrament, but only the grossness and sensibleness in the receiving thereof. For I said unto him, though he took Christ's Body in his hand, received it with his mouth, and that corporally, naturally, really, substantially, and carnally, as the doctors do write, yet did he not for all that, see it, feel it, smell it, nor taste it. And therefore I told him I would speak against him herein, and the rather because the Article was of mine own penning. And yet I would not, for all that, deny thereby anything that I had spoken for the presence."
The last sentence of the third paragraph of the 28th Article runs thus:--"And the mean whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is faith." The Holy Eucharist, as S. Irenaeus tells us, consists of two things, an earthly thing and a heavenly Thing, which are wonderfully united in one Sacrament. When we devoutly partake of that Sacrament, the earthly thing is digested by the appropriate organs of our body, which is strengthened and refreshed thereby; and at the same time our soul appropriates through the organ of its living faith the heavenly Thing or Things, namely the Body and Blood of our Lord, and it feeds thereon and is, in its far higher way, strengthened and refreshed thereby. As the great S. Augustine of Hippo says:--"He [our Lord] gave to His disciples the Supper consecrated by His Hands: but we were not reclining at that banquet; and yet we daily eat by faith that very Supper" ["Coenam manibus suis consecratam discipulis dedit: sed nos in illo convivio non discubuimus; et tamen ipsam coenam fide quotidie manducamus"]. [S. August, Serm. cxii. cap. iv., Migne's P. L., xxxviii. 645. See also Thomassin., Theoll. Dogmm., De Incarnat. Verb., lib. x. capp. xxix., xxx., edit. 1868. Paris, tom. iv., pp. 451-472.
We now come to the fourth and last paragraph of the 28th Article, which runs thus:--"The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped." In order to understand this paragraph, it must be remembered that in the later middle ages, after the breach between the East and the West in 1054, certain new ceremonies were introduced into the Latin Church which had not been practised during the first thousand years of the Church's history. The feast of Corpus Christi was instituted in honour of the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, and it became customary on that feast to carry the Holy Eucharist in procession through the streets of the towns and villages. It also became customary to expose the consecrated Sacrament in a monstrance, which was placed on the Altar, for the worship of the people. Moreover, every time the Holy Sacrifice was offered, it became customary for the Celebrant to elevate above his head first the Host and then the Chalice immediately after the consecration. Finally, whereas in the early times of the Church the Blessed Sacrament was usually reserved for the sick in the sacristy or in some inconspicuous part of the church, it was usually reserved in the later middle ages in the West in a pyx hanging over and in front of the high altar in full view of the people. The compilers of our Prayer-book did not in any way condemn these customs, but for various reasons they did not wish to continue these comparatively novel usages; and in answer to any possible objector who might ask why they had abolished them, they stated in this last paragraph of the 28th Article that these customs were not ordained by Christ, and were therefore not obligatory; and it was within the rights of the rulers of the Church to do away with them. I do not think that any of these customs have ever been established in the Russian Church, and if a Latin were to ask why she did not follow them, she would answer that Christ had not made these customs obligatory. As regards reservation for the sick, it was during part of the reign of Edward VI. permitted that, after the Celebration of the Holy Mysteries, the Eucharist should on the same day be carried to the sick, who wished to communicate. Afterwards it was ordered that the Priest should celebrate in the sick person's chamber, and should impart to him our Lord's Body and Blood. Now the old custom of reserving for the sick is being gradually restored. [The learned Benedictine, Dom Martene (De Antiquis Ecclesiae Ritibus, lib. i. cap. iii. art. v. § xii., Edit. Antverp., 1736, torn. i. coll. 303, 304), says:--"Sed et propter infirmos privatis in domibus celebrare permissum haud inficiamur, idque et ecclesiasticis decretis probare, et sanctorum virorum factis, et exemplis confirmare in promtu esset." He goes on to give various instances of the observance of this custom, and he mentions that it still flourished in Spain in the sixteenth century.
I pass now to the 25th Article, which is entitled "De Sacramentis" ("Of the Sacraments"). I shall only deal with those parts of the Article, concerning which theologians of the Holy Church of Russia might not improbably ask for explanations. But first I must say something about the meaning given to the word "Sacrament" by the holy Fathers and by Divines who have lived in later ages of the Church.
The Fathers seem as a rule to use the word very widely. S. Augustine speaks of the Sacrament of the Creed, and the Sacrament of the Lord's Prayer. S. Hilary speaks of the Sacrament of fasting and the Sacrament of Holy Scripture. S. Jerome speaks of the Sacrament of Martyrdom. S. Augustine also speaks of the Sacrament of the exorcized salt which was given to the catechumens. S. Bernard speaks of the Sacrament of the feet-washing. Pope Alexander III. speaks of the Sacrament of the Incarnation. And one might go on almost endlessly enumerating all the Sacraments which are mentioned by the Fathers. There is not one of the Holy Fathers, who ever grouped together the seven rites to which in the later middle ages Peter Lombard and the Schoolmen restricted the use of the word "Sacrament." This fact is admitted by the learned Roman theologian, Cardinal Franzelin. [Tractat. de Sacramentis in genere, edit. 1873, thes. xix. p. 273.]
The fact is that the word sacrament is a word which may be defined in many ways; and, if we attempt to number the Sacraments, we shall arrive at different results, according to the different definitions of the word which may severally form the starting-points of our numbering. The Holy Fathers used the word in such a wide sense that it would have been hardly possible for them to assign any number to them. And as a matter of fact they never do attempt to number them. They sometimes pick out certain sacraments of special importance and group them together. I read in a Romanist article on "The Sacraments of the Gospel," which forms part of a Dictionary much used by the Romanists in England, the following statement, which is certainly a true statement. The Romanist writer says:--"In the earliest ages, Baptism and the Eucharist, the two Sacraments most clearly and directly instituted by Christ, and most necessary for all, were classed together." [The Catholic Dictionary by Addis and Arnold, edit. 1884, p. 736. This dictionary bears the imprimatur of Cardinal Manning.] In other words those two formed a group apart. They were regarded as having been typified by the water and Blood which flowed from our Saviour's side, when He hung on the Cross. The water typified Baptism, and the Precious Blood typified the Eucharistic Chalice. [Cf. S. Chrysost., Hom. lxxxv. in Johann. Evang., cap. xix. v. 31.] But it would be quite wrong to imagine that the Holy Fathers taught that there were only two Sacraments. They taught no such thing. They held that the Sacraments were very numerous; but that two of them held a place of special pre-eminence, and formed a group by themselves, and those two were Baptism and the Holy Eucharist. [The members of the Council of Constantinople, held in April, 1718, under the presidency of Jeremias II., Patriarch of Constantinople, in their answer to the English Non-juring Bishops, speaking of the Holy Sacraments, the number of which they consider to be seven, say:--"Two only exceed in necessity and are such as no one can be saved without them," and they proceed to mention Baptism and the Holy Eucharist (see George Williams's work entitled--The Orthodox and the Non-jurors, edit. 1868, p. 46).]
Afterwards different writers devised different groups. Thus S. Theodore of the Studium, a holy monk of Constantinople, who died in 826, declares that Christ "instituted six Sacraments," namely Baptism, the Eucharist, the Consecration of the Chrism, Ordination, the Monastic habit, and the rites connected with Burial. [Cf. S. Theodor. Studit., Epistt., lib. ii. ep. 163.] Similarly S. Peter Damian, a friend of Pope Gregory VII., groups together twelve Sacraments. [Cf. S. Petr. Dam, Serm. Ixix., P.L. cxliv. 898. Another friend and supporter of Pope Gregory VII., Bonizo, Bishop first of Sutri and afterwards of Placentia, in his Libellus de Sacramentis (P.L. cl. 857), speaking of the Sacraments says:--"Duo ab ipso Domino tradita, quaedam vero ab apostolis instituta." Bonizo died in 1090. S. Peter Damian died in 1072.] Hugh of S. Victor names nearly thirty, which he divides into three classes. [Cf. Hug. de S. Viet., De Sacramentt. Christian. Fid., lib. i. part ix. cap. 7, P.L. clxxvi. 327.] At last Peter Lombard, Bishop of Paris, laid down that there were seven Sacraments. [Lib. iv. Sententt. dist. ii. § I, P.L. cxcii. 841, 842.] He did this in a book entitled The Sentences, which was published about 1150. His book became the principal manual of theology among the Latins during the next four hundred years, and his theory about the number of the Sacraments was very generally accepted.
But in England, when our 25th Article was drawn up, our Bishops thought that it was safer to go back to the phraseology of the Holy Fathers, and to use the word "Sacrament" in the wide sense in which the Fathers used it; while at the same time, like the Fathers, they classed together in a special group the two great Sacraments which had been directly instituted by Christ, and were generally necessary for all persons who wished to live the Christian life. Concerning Baptism our Lord said:--"Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." And concerning the Holy Eucharist our Lord said:--"Except ye eat the Flesh of the Son of man and drink His Blood, ye have not life in yourselves." He said nothing like that of Confirmation or Penance or Ordination or Matrimony or the Unction of the sick. That does not prove that those five are not Sacraments. They undoubtedly are Sacraments. But it does show that they are not such necessary Sacraments as the two great Sacraments which Christ Himself ordained, while He was here on earth.
I have already said that the Church of England thought it best for her own people to use the language of the Holy Fathers rather than the language of Peter Lombard and the Latin schoolmen. She did not condemn that scholastic language; but she preferred for her own use the language of the Fathers. In the Homily of Common Prayer and Sacraments it is stated that "in a general acceptation the name of a Sacrament may be attributed to any thing whereby an holy thing is signified. In which understanding of the word the ancient writers have given this name, not only to the other five commonly of late years taken and used for supplying the number of the seven Sacraments, but also to divers and sundry other ceremonies, as to oil, washing of feet and such-like; not meaning thereby to repute them as Sacraments in the same signification that the two forenamed Sacraments are." By "the two fore-named Sacraments" the Homily means of course to refer to Baptism and the Holy Eucharist, the two which are generally necessary to salvation.
This passage of the Homily shows that the Church of England, following the Fathers, allows the wide use of the word Sacrament, which was customary in the early Church; only she is jealous to guard the special dignity and necessity of the two very great Sacraments which flowed from the Side of Christ crucified; and the Fathers in their day were also jealous about the same point.
But it will be well now to say something about the teaching of the Church of England in regard to the five Sacraments which Peter Lombard classed along with Baptism and the Holy Eucharist, so as to make a special group of seven.
The first of these is Confirmation. The rule of the Church of England is that children, who have been baptized in infancy, should be "brought to the Bishop to be confirmed by him, so soon as they can say the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments in the vulgar tongue, and shall have been further instructed in the Church Catechism set forth for that purpose." When they are being confirmed, the Bishop prays for them thus:--"Almighty and everliving God, who hast vouchsafed to regenerate these thy servants by Water and the Holy Ghost, and hast given unto them forgiveness of all their sins: Strengthen them, we beseech, O Lord, with the Holy Ghost, the Comforter." And the Bishop goes on to mention the seven gifts of the Spirit; and then, after the example of the Holy Apostles, he lays his hand upon the head of every one severally, in order to impart to each one the Pentecostal indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
In the case of adult converts from Judaism, Mohammedanism, and heathenism, and also in the case of any others who for any reason were not baptized in their childhood, but who now wish to become Christians, they are first baptized, and are then brought to the Bishop to be confirmed, so soon after their Baptism as conveniently may be.
The rule of our Church is that "there shall none be admitted to the Holy Communion, until such time as he be confirmed, or be ready and desirous to be confirmed."
The second of the five Sacraments, about which I am speaking, is Penance. There is an important declaration of the mind of the Church of England on this subject in the Order for the Visitation of the Sick in the Prayer-book. At a certain point in the service the following direction is given to the Priest:--"Here shall the sick person be moved to make a special confession of his sins, if he feel his conscience troubled with any weighty matter. After which confession the Priest shall absolve him (if he humbly and heartily desire it) after this sort:--Our Lord JESUS Christ, who hath left power to His Church to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in Him, of His great mercy forgive thee thine offences: And by his authority committed to me, I absolve thee from all thy sins, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."
Here the Priest is required by the Church to urge the sick person to make his confession, if the latter feel his conscience troubled with any weighty matter, that is, I suppose, with some deadly sin, or with some sin which the sick person may suppose to be a deadly sin. The Church of England evidently regards the Sacrament of Penance as the appropriate remedy for deadly sin. No one would urge dying persons to do disagreeable things, unless it was felt to be of the highest importance that they should do them. This consideration seems to show that in the opinion of the Church of England a person who fears that he has fallen out of the state of grace, is under a grave obligation to make use of the Sacrament of Penance, if it may be had, in order that by the right use of that Sacrament he may be restored to a state of living union with our Lord. This principle must necessarily apply also to the case of a person who has fallen into deadly sin, and who wishes to be restored to the state of grace before making his Communion. God may indeed give him grace to make acts of perfect contrition, and so restore him to all the privileges of the new Covenant; but if the sinner is not sure that this has taken place, and therefore cannot quiet his own conscience herein, the Priest is directed in the Communion Service of the Prayer-book to invite him to come to himself "or to some other discreet and learned Minister of God's holy word, and open his grief; that by the ministry of God's holy word he may receive the benefit of Absolution, together with ghostly counsel and advice." [S. Thomas Aquinas (Summ. Theol., part. iii. qu. lxvii. art. iii. ad 3m) says:--"Dicendum quod . . . poenitentia non est tantae necessitatis sicut baptismus; potest enim per contritionem suppleri defectus sacerdotalis absolutionis."]
The third of these five Sacraments is Orders. I think that it will be sufficient at this point in my argument, if I quote a passage from the work of a learned theologian of the Russian Church, Professor Basil Sokoloff of Moscow. His book is entitled--"An Enquiry into the Hierarchy of the Anglican Episcopal Church" and one of the chapters of that book has for its title the following question:--"Has the Laying-on of hands of the English Church the significance of a grace-giving Sacrament?" That particular chapter has been translated into English by Mr. W. J. Birkbeck, and I shall quote what Professor Sokoloff says, using Mr. Birkbeck's translation. In the passage which I am going to read to you, Professor Sokoloff is investigating the teaching of the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England in regard to the Sacrament of Orders, and he is specially investigating the teaching of the Order of Ordination and Consecration which forms part of the Book of Common Prayer. [Professor Sokoloff's book was placed before the Most Holy Governing Synod as his exercise for the degree of Doctor of Divinity, and the degree was conferred upon him. I do not suppose that by this act the Holy Synod was committed to all the conclusions of his book; but one may, I hope, assume that the granting of the degree implied that the reasonings and conclusions of the book fell within the limits of what it is permissible for an Eastern Orthodox theologian to hold and teach.] Professor Sokoloff says:--"In the Preface to this Order the idea is clearly expressed that only that man may take upon himself to minister in the Church who has been first called, tried, and admitted thereunto 'by lawful authority,' and moreover that the ordination itself must be accomplished by means of 'Episcopal consecration or ordination, by public prayer with imposition of hands.' In the prayers of the Office we frequently come upon testimony that the English Church acknowledges the hierarchy to be a Divine ordinance. 'Almighty God,' it says, 'Who by Thy Divine Providence hast appointed divers orders of ministers in Thy Church, and didst inspire Thy holy Apostles to choose into the order of deacons the holy Proto-martyr Stephen, with others.' 'Almighty God, Giver of all good things, Who by Thy Holy Spirit hast appointed divers orders of ministers in Thy Church.' 'JESUS Christ . . . after He was ascended into heaven sent abroad into the world His Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Doctors, and Pastors, by whose ministry and labour He gathered together a great flock in all parts of the world.' He 'poured down His gifts abundantly upon men, making some Apostles, some Prophets, some Evangelists, some Pastors and Doctors to the edifying and making perfect His Church.' The persons ordained to the ministry of the Church are represented in the Anglican Ordinal as direct successors of those Apostles, Pastors and Doctors whom God Himself ordained. According to the words of the prayers, these persons are 'now called to the like office and administration'; the 'Almighty God' Himself 'vouchsafes to accept and take' them 'unto the office' they are to serve 'in' His 'Church': 'the Holy Ghost' calls them 'to take upon' them 'this office and administration.'1 This Divinely instituted service is spoken of in the prayers as a 'sacred office and ministry,' an 'office both of great excellency and of great difficulty,' 'so high a dignity' it is so lofty and so full of difficulty, that, in dedicating himself to it a man cannot rely merely upon his own powers and abilities; that will and ability God alone gives. This is why the Church, in bestowing the laying on of hands upon her ministers, heartily beseeches the Lord God, 'that He may bestow' and 'pour His grace upon them,' and strengthen them by 'the heavenly assistance of the Holy Ghost.' And this is not all: the Church also expresses her firm belief that at her prayers, and in the strength of the commission given to her, he that is ordained actually receives at the imposition of hands 'the grace of God' and 'the Holy Ghost.' By the lips of the consecrating Bishop she in faith exclaims: 'Receive the Holy Ghost for the office and work of a Priest or Bishop in the Church of God, now committed unto Thee by the imposition of our hands. . . . And remember that thou stir up the grace of God which is given thee by this imposition of our hands.' And thus, according to the present teaching of the Anglican Church, the hierarchy is acknowledged to be a Divine institution, into the body of which are admitted only such persons as have received a special calling. These persons receive a consecration through the imposition, accompanied by prayer, of the hands of the Bishop, by means of which there is sent down upon them the grace-bestowing gifts of the Holy Ghost, and it is only this Divine assistance which gives them strength and ability for the fulfilling of their high office. This doctrine concerning the Divine ordinance and grace-giving significance of the hierarchy the Anglican Church has preserved unchanged from the earliest times of the religious reformation and of her separation from her connexion with Rome."
Thus speaks the learned Professor Basil Sokoloff; and I hope that you will agree with me that he proves to demonstration that the Church of England, which speaks of Ordination or Orders as a Sacrament both in her Homilies and in the 25th Article, evidently regards it as a grace-giving Sacrament; though she does not put it into that small group of Sacraments necessary for all who would live a Christian life, into which group she only admits the two great Sacraments of Baptism and the Holy Eucharist.
The fourth of the five Sacraments, with which we are dealing, is Matrimony. In the first part of the Homily concerning Swearing the Church of England expressly calls Matrimony a Sacrament. She has been speaking of the holy promises with calling the Name of God to witness, which are made when any one receives the Sacrament of Baptism. And she goes on to say:--"By like holy promise the Sacrament of Matrimony knitteth man and wife to perpetual love." And in the Form of Solemnization of Matrimony contained in the Prayer-book, after the two parties, that is the man and the woman, have expressed their willingness to be married, and have then mutually taken each other into the holy unity of wedlock, the Priest proceeds to recite over them a number of solemn blessings, in which he beseeches God to pour out upon the newly married pair all the gifts and graces which they need, in order that they may live holily and happily in the holy estate of matrimony unto their lives' end. But the Church of England, ever on the watch to exalt the two great Sacraments which are necessary for all, is careful to warn her children that Matrimony, though it is a Sacrament, is not such a Sacrament as Baptism and the Holy Eucharist are.
The fifth and last of these Sacraments is named in the Article Extreme Unction. In regard to this matter it is necessary that we should remember that those who composed the 25th Article, had before their minds the Extreme Unction of the Latins not the Prayer-Oil of the Easterns. They probably knew nothing about the Eastern Prayer-Oil. What they knew was the rite described eleven years earlier, that is in 1551, by the Council of Trent as the "sacramentum exeuntium," "the sacrament of the dying." [Concil. Trident. Sess. xiv. Doctrin. de Extrem. Unct., cap. iii.] The learned Benedictine, Martene, who wrote about the year 1700, says that in his time it was everywhere the custom to wait until people were in the last stage of dying before the sacrament of unction was administered to them; and he mentions certain mistaken ideas and evil practices current in the thirteenth century as the source of this universal practice, a practice of which he does not approve. [Martene, De Antiq. Eccl. Ritt., edit. Antverp, 1736, tom. i. col. 834.] The practice had therefore been going on for nearly five hundred years, and it was no doubt that practice which was present to the minds of our Bishops, when they drew up the Article. The Unction came to be regarded not so much as a supernatural means of obtaining health for the sick, as a means of preparing a dying person for death. The great Jesuit theologian, Suarez, teaches that the primary purpose of the rite is to give such help and comfort to the sick man as will aid him to overcome the difficulties which crowd upon him, when he is in the article of death. [Suarez, Opp., ed. 1748, tom. xix. p. 438.] And the Council of Trent in the preamble to its decree on Extreme Unction teaches much the same doctrine. Now there is nothing in the Epistle of S. James or in any other part of the New Testament which speaks of Unction as a rite to be administered to people, when they are in the article of death; nor is there any trace of any such notion in the writings of the Holy Fathers or in the liturgical formulas of the Church. No doubt the Apostles anointed the sick, but they did not anoint them to help them in the last struggle of dying. Our Bishops were therefore justified in regarding Extreme Unction, as they knew it, as being a "corrupt following of the Apostles."
It would have been well if the compilers of the Prayer-book had drawn up an office for the consecration and administration of the oil of the sick, together with proper directions which would make it clear that the oil was to be normally administered to sick persons who were capable of recovery, and that the unction was not to be postponed until the moment preceding death. [But it is worthy of note that, while forms for the consecration of the oil of the sick are found as early as the fourth century, I know of no forms for its administration earlier than the ninth century. In particular there are no forms for the administration of the oil either in the Gelasian Sacramentary or in the original Gregorian Sacramentary or in the copy of the Gregorian Sacramentary sent from Rome by Pope Hadrian I. to Charles the Great in or about the year 788. It would seem as if during the first eight hundred years the Clergy were left free to compose their own forms for administering the oil, so as to adapt the prayers to the special circumstances of the several cases with which they had to deal.] This however was not done; though in the first Prayer-book published in the reign of Edward VI., in 1549, a short office for the anointing of the sick was provided. But the Church of England has never forbidden her Bishops and Priests to carry out the directions given by S. James in his Epistle, and at the present time, with ever-increasing frequency, the sick members of the Church are sending for the Priests and are being anointed by them. [A learned Anglican writer on liturgical subjects, the late Mr. W. E. Scudamore (Notitia Eucharistica, second edition, 1876, pp. 1002, 1003) says:--"If a sick person, having faith in the prayers of the Church, were to send for his Parish Priest or Priests (the Presbyters or 'elders of the Church'), and, appealing to the Scripture, were to request them, on its authority, to 'pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord,' I do not see how they could refuse compliance without incurring the guilt of disobedience to the voice of God in Holy Scripture.]
The first of the paragraphs of the 2£th Article, which I shall quote, runs thus:--" There are two Sacraments ordained of Christ in the Gospel, that is to say Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord." This paragraph states a truth which cannot be denied. The two Sacraments, which are generally necessary for all who would be admitted into and abide in the new Covenant, are the only two Sacraments which, as far as we know, were directly instituted by Christ, while He was here on earth, and concerning which a record of their institution has been preserved in the Holy Gospel. In order that these two great Sacraments may be distinguished from all other Sacraments, the English Church has been accustomed to call them "Sacraments of the Gospel."
The next paragraph of the Article is thus worded:--'Those five commonly called Sacraments, that is to say, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and Extreme Unction, are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel, being such as have grown partly of the corrupt following of the Apostles, partly are states of life allowed (probati) in the Scriptures: but yet have not like nature of Sacraments with Baptism and the Lord's Supper, for that they have not any visible sign or ceremony ordained of God." [It is to be noted that Hugh of S. Victor (Summ. Sentent. tract., 5-7) mentions five sacramenta majora or spiritualia, amongst which he does not reckon either Ordination or Penance. On the other hand Robertas Pullus does not discuss Marriage when he is dealing with the other Sacraments, but when he is dealing with the three states of life, viz. the state of the praelati, the state of the continentes, and the state of the conjugati.] As Dr. Edgar Gibson, the Bishop of Gloucester, observes, "the description is somewhat carelessly drawn," as Confirmation, one of the five Sacraments, is not included in it, for it is certainly not a state of life, nor does the Church of England regard it as a "corrupt following of the Apostles," since she has always practised it and attached great importance to it. [Bishop E. Gibson, The Thirty-nine Articles, edit. 1908, p. 604.]
I will end what I have to say on this Article by quoting a passage from Bishop Jeremy Taylor, a much-reverenced Bishop of our Communion, and also a thesis adopted by the Bonn Conference held in 1874. Bishop Taylor says:--"It is none of the doctrine of the Church of England that there are two Sacraments only, but that of those rituals commanded in Scripture, which the Ecclesiastical use calls Sacraments (by a word of art,) two only are generally necessary to salvation." [Jeremy Taylor's Dissuasive, p. 240, edit. Cardwell.] The Bonn Conference of 1874 adopted the following as its eighth thesis:--"(a) We acknowledge that the number of Sacraments was fixed at seven first in the twelfth century, and then was received into the general teaching of the Church, not as a tradition coming down from the Apostles or from the earliest times, but as the result of theological speculation. (b) Catholic theologians (e.g. Bellarmine) acknowledge, and we acknowledge with them, that Baptism and the Eucharist are 'principalia, praecipua, eximia salutis nostrae sacramenta.'" [Dr. Liddon's English edition of the Report of the Bonn Conference of 1874, pp. 20, 21.]