Book First: An Interpretation of the Quadrilateral A Scheme for the Reunion of the Church Offered by the Bishops of the Anglo-American Episcopate to the Various Communions of Christendom, Being A Lecture Delivered Before the Connecticut Church Club in Trinity Church, New Haven, February 17, 1897.
The Lecturer desires to acknowledge the courtesy of the Connecticut Church Club for the permission to use this Lecture in this book.
Lest he should be misunderstood, the writer of the Lecture desires to reaffirm the vows which he made at the time of his ordination.
He professes his belief in the inspiration (not necessarily in the infallibility) of the Holy Scriptures, and holds them to be the Word of God.
He professes his belief, explicit and implicit, in the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds as setting forth in language, the best that man can speak, the truth as it is in Jesus.
He professes his use and veneration of the Sacraments as the means of union between the soul and God.
He is ready, confessing past failure, to follow, with a glad mind, the Bishops and others who are set over him in the Lord.
But he begs also to affirm, as the strongest conviction of his soul, that Scriptural inspiration without personal inspiration, that intellectual creed without faithfulness of heart, that sacraments without holiness, and episcopates without oversight are but dead and useless things that hinder the work of the Spirit of God in the Soul of Man.
THE QUADRILATERAL. CHAPTER I. THE PROBLEM OF THE CHURCH.
It is with gratitude, gentlemen of the Connecticut Church Club, that I come to speak before you this night.
Your kindness has given me a time and a place when I may, with propriety, give expression to a thought and a feeling which it has long been in my heart to utter. What I have to say will, I trust, not only interest you, who are called laymen, and all faithful men and women who, like you, have the welfare of the Church of God at heart, but I hope also to gain the ear of men who, like myself, are priests of God and ministers of His Word and Sacraments.
And I have a wish even more daring than this. In all humility and as one speaking under correction, I address my words more especially to the Bishops of the Anglo-American Communion, who are soon to assemble in Synod under the presidency of the Archbishop of Canterbury to take counsel concerning the spiritual interests of the English-speaking race.
It is to the honor of that Episcopate that it has [23/24] seen a great evil in the present state of Christendom and has offered a remedy for that evil.
The English Communion is the only Communion of Christians that has laid seriously to heart "our unhappy divisions," and the Anglo-American Episcopate is the only influential body of men that has made any definite proposal, having for its end the re-establishment of the peace of the Church.
It is of that proposal that I wish to speak to you to-night, and through you to the great body of men with whom that proposal originated, and who are most deeply interested in its acceptance by the Christian world.
What I shall have to offer will be in the way of interpretation. I shall endeavor to make clear to all men the terms of that treaty which our fathers have offered to a divided and suffering Christendom. And I will try to show our Fathers that if they will themselves hold and live the terms of their treaty, the peace of the Church will follow as a necessary consequence of their thought and action.
That the evil which the Bishops deplore is a real evil nobody can deny.
Except the personal immorality of Christian men and women there is nothing which so hinders the spread of the gospel and the growth of the kingdom of God as the present distracted state of the Christian Church. Christendom to-day is a house divided against itself; the City of God is rent by factions; the forces of the kingdom are wasted in internecine strife.
 This warfare of Christians among themselves is the stumbling-block in the way of all progress; the ever-present scandal that gives assurance to the unbeliever and grieves the heart of the faithful. It is an argument hard to meet against the truth of our holy religion. It is a deadly sin against the fundamental law of the Christian life; the law of love. It is, as long as it lasts, a denial of God, a dishonor to Christ, a rejection of His Holy Word. It is one of the baleful effects of that hardness of the human heart which does so much to kill the joy and wither the hope of human life.
Nothing but custom and use, which reconciles at last to every present evil, could lead us to endure a sight which is seen in any American village on any Sabbath day.
We see the people of that village, who all the week long have lived in perfect love and peace together; who in all social and business relations are a united people, working together for common ends; we see them, I say, coming forth on Sunday morning from their houses to attend upon the public worship of God.
They walk side by side until they come to the public square, and then instead of going on as one great force of life into a common house of worship, to offer a united act of praise, they separate at their church doors, and, without force and power, dribble off a dozen insignificant companies into a dozen desolate, half-empty buildings. And in these dreary places of so-called worship the meager [25/26] members sit, Sunday after Sunday, vainly striving to blow the gray ashes of a dead schism into some faint and feeble glow of life.
In this village there can be no noble worship of God, no true and loving work for man. The whole force of Christianity is spent in the maintenance of a dozen outward forms of worship, for the most part so nearly alike that the closest observer can hardly tell them apart; and forms of worship in themselves so scant and mean that they starve the soul of their devotees with spiritual cold and hunger. To keep alive their wretched differences Christian people sacrifice every power they have to do good to man, every possibility of glorifying God. And when we turn from the village to the city, the sight is not more reassuring to the Christian observer. In the village the church accommodation is ten times too great for the people, in the city it is apt to be ten times too little. Vast sections of our great cities, where hundreds of thousands of men and women and children live and die, are as nearly devoid of any opportunity for Christian worship, as nearly desolate of the consolations and helps of the Christian religion, as if they were in the heart of the African desert.
The expense consequent upon the support of a dozen forms of Christian polity; the confusion and cross purposes entailed by a dozen independent organizations doing the same kind of work in the same field, prevent anything like a wise ordering to produce an efficient result.
 The necessity of securing material support leads the various denominations to plant their best churches among the wealthy and the well-to-do, so that in such regions we have the same congestion that we find in the village: a dozen churches where one is enough.
The Christian churches, at least the Protestant churches, seem no longer to be with Christ our God in the Ark of Salvation, going out over the waters of life seeking to save the clean and the unclean; but they seem to be in the ship Argo under the lead of Jason, sailing forever toward the setting sun, in search of the golden fleece.
And when we turn from the work of the Church in Christian lands to the work of the Church in heathen lands, we behold a sight even more distressing.
Not content with airing our quarrels among ourselves, we must carry them abroad to scandalize the heathen.
Future ages will, I think, see in this fact, more than in any other, the crudeness of our Christian intelligence; the coldness of our Christian love. They will wonder why we did not see the folly of trying to teach others a doctrine, which after years of instruction, we ourselves did not seem to comprehend with sufficient clearness to be able to agree among ourselves as to what that doctrine really was.
They will marvel also that we should try to lead others into a way of life, which we ourselves did [27/28] not follow, a way of life which we all professed to consider very true and very beautiful, but which we held also to be very unwise and very unpractical.
They will wonder why it did not occur to us to say "Physician, heal thyself." [S. Luke iv, 23.]
They will wonder, not so much at our wickedness as at our stupidity, when they see us taking our quarrels, out of which all anger is gone; quarrels that no longer separate man from man in the ordinary affairs of life; quarrels of which the great majority have utterly forgotten the cause and the occasion; quarrels that no one considers it worth while any longer to quarrel about; and carrying these with us, to hinder our work as we go forth to preach the gospel to the heathen.
Our children will be astonished that we should have tried to convert men to the love of God, by showing to them the hatreds of men.
Is it not an awful fact that the Christian world is to-day spending millions of treasure to sow the seeds of Christian discord in heathen lands?
Every denomination is carrying in its hand not the great Chrism of the Lord, but some paltry ism of its own. "Compassing seas and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, making him twofold more the child of hell than themselves." [S. Matthew, xxiii, 15.]
This evil cry of the Church has reached the ears of the Fathers of the Anglo-American Communion, and they have tried to answer that cry and to deliver the Church out of her distress.
 From the very first there has been in the heart of the Anglican Church a yearning for unity.
When in the course of Divine Providence the English nation annulled the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome within the limits of the kingdom, and the English Church adjusted herself to the new conditions, the adjustment was not made upon lines of exclusion but upon lines of comprehension.
The English Church is the great compromise. She holds fast with one hand her ancient, catholic polity, faith and worship, while with the other she grasps modern post-reformation thought and life.
At her capacious bosom she has always nursed her twin schools of thought, her school of veneration and her school of penetration.
While unwisely at times trying to compel men to stay in her communion, she has never cast out a single soul. Her separation from the churches of the Continent has always been a pain and grief to her.
Having, then, as her very heart's blood this longing for unity, it was natural that she should be the first to propose a plan for the reconciliation of the Church; the first to hold out an olive branch to offended and alienated brethren.
The plan of reunion which has been devised by the Bishops, has in view modern Protestant Christendom, rather than the ancient churches of Greece and Rome.
And as it is Protestant Christendom that is most [29/30] sadly divided, so it is Protestant Christendom that most sadly needs unification.
The scheme of the Anglo-American Episcopate for the readjustment of the Church is known as the Quadrilateral. It consists of four propositions. The Anglo-American Church offers perfect peace and full communion to all who will accept the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as the Revealed word of God; who will profess the Nicene Creed as the essential faith; who will receive the two Sacraments ordained by Christ, and who will submit to the Historic Episcopate locally adapted to different Christian nations.
I am not at this time concerned with the history of the Quadrilateral. That can be read in the New York Church Club lectures of 1895 and in the Union Theological Seminary lectures of 1896.
What I am concerned with is not the history but the present status of the Quadrilateral.
I wish to call the attention of the Bishops to the remarkable fact that this proposition has been before the world for more than ten years, and yet it is not so much as known by the great mass of Churchmen, not to say the great mass of Christians. It has been discussed by scholars and by doctors. The people have never heard of it. It has sent no thrill of hope to a sect-ridden, sect-weary nation.
And I venture the prediction that if it were read by proclamation in the squares of every city, on the green of every village and at every cross-road, it [30/31] would attract hardly a passing thought, rouse hardly a passing emotion.
The people would see in it no prospect of better things. In spite of all protests to the contrary, the plain common sense of men would think it a scheme to make everybody an Episcopalian, and as things are now they would see no particular reason for that. So the heart of the people is and will be forever cold to such a proposition.
But the heart of the people is the test of truth. What does not reach and move that heart must have in it some fatal weakness.
And if the Bishops will pardon me, I will make bold to tell them that their plan is not effective and never can be effective, because it is based upon a fundamental error in thought. The Bishops have mistaken effects for causes.
The error was a simple and natural error. Looking back at that wonderful creation of God, the Holy Catholic Church, as she was in the days of her separation, her purity and her strength; beholding her as she comes forth from her obscurity into the clear light of history, seeing her in the dawn of her new life, as "she looketh forth as the morning; fair as the moon, clear as the sun, terrible as an army with banners," [Solomon's Song, vi, 10.] we see her as she goes into all lands, reading out of the Holy Scriptures for the edification of her people, reciting her great creed, professing an unfaltering faith in God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, washing her [31/32] children in the waters of Baptism for the remission of their sins and feeding them with the Body and Blood of the Lord; as we see the people everywhere under the eye of the Bishop and guided by that eye, we think naturally that we have here the secret of the Church's unity.
It was Her Scriptures, Her Creed, Her Sacraments, Her Bishops that made her one.
And here, if I mistake not, is the error that vitiates all our reasoning.
These are not the causes of the Church's unity, they are the consequences of that unity. They are not the Church's life, they are simply the organs of that life.
The organs of a man's body, his head, his hands, his feet, are not the causes of the unity of a man's body, they are the effects of that unity. The unity of the body is the effect of something infinitely greater than these.
It is the mysterious awful life-principle which builds up the body, differentiates the organs and makes them the instruments by which it works its will in the world.
So the unity of the Church is created not by the Scriptures, nor by the Creed, nor by the Sacraments, nor by the Episcopate, nor by all these together; but by the great life-principle of the Church, which is passionate love and devotion to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. It is this life-principle of the Church that builds up the body, differentiates its organs of Scripture, of Creed, of [32/33] Sacrament and of Episcopate, and makes these the instruments by which it works its will in the world.
Now these organs are connected with the Body of Christ by a most beautiful and delicate spiritual mechanism. And it is man's violation of that connection, his meddling with that mechanism which is the cause of all our woes.
The Quadrilateral of the Bishops has no independent existence. Neither it nor any proposition of it can be offered to man for his acceptance.
The Quadrilateral rests in and derives all its force from somewhat greater than itself. The basis of the four propositions of the Bishops is found in four words of S. Paul.
As the life-principle of a man manifests itself variously in his various organs, his intelligence in his head, his affection in his heart, his skill in his hands, his motion in his feet; so in the Church there is a four-fold manifestation of the one great life-power. It is this that gives a four-fold character to the Christian life.
This manifestation of the Spirit was so clear and strong that it gave to the early Christian a fourfold name. He did not call himself a Christian at the first; that name came to him from without. If asked concerning himself, who and what he was, he would have answered, I am of the called, I am of the faithful, I am of the saints or holy ones, I am of the brethren.
When S. Paul addresses the Christian churches he uses this four-fold name. He speaks of them as [33/34] the klhtoi, as the pistoi and as the agioi and as the adelfoi, and it is this four-fold manifestation of the Spirit of God in the soul of man which has been the creative energy that has constructed the organs of the Church's life in the world.
Out of the force that makes men klhtoi or called comes all scriptures.
Out of the force that makes men pistoi comes all creeds.
Out of the force that makes men agioi or holy comes all sacraments.
Out of the force that makes men adelfoi or brethren comes all episcopates.
And now let us put off our shoes from off our feet, for the place whereon we stand is holy ground. And let us reverently examine these inward principles in relation to their outward manifestations.
CHAPTER II. THE VOICE OF GOD.
In writing his letter to the Romans, S. Paul addresses them as the klhtoi; those who were called. He speaks to the men and women in Rome who had heard the Voice of God.
It was natural that S. Paul should think first of all of this fact of their calling, for he himself had been called of God. He remembered a certain day in his life when he had heard a Voice speaking unto him in the Hebrew tongue, and saying unto him "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" [Acts of Apostles, xxvi, 14.]
And that day the holy Apostle considers ever afterward as his birthday; the day when he was new born unto God. The Voice from heaven speaking in his soul called him out of darkness into the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
The conversion of S. Paul is so perfect an instance of the true relation between the Voice of God speaking in the soul and the outward written Word as it is read in the churches, that it will be well for us to dwell for a moment upon that remarkable and important event.
S. Paul from his youth up had been learned in the Scriptures. He had not only read them, he had studied them. He had gone to the most famous teachers of his day that he might learn [35/36] from them the interpretation of these oracles of God. But for all this S. Paul was not satisfied. His heart was yearning after a truth which he could not find in the written Word. He went to Jerusalem and sat at the feet of Gamaliel; but this wise master in Israel could not take away the vail that was upon the face of the Scripture. He only obscured the Scripture with endless comment. He could give the young man from Tarsus nothing to help him to a better knowledge of the law of God. He could only tell him what Hillel had said and what Zadok had said. It was the voice of man and not the Voice of God which was heard in that school. With such husks as these the ardent soul of Saul had to be satisfied. He adopted the doctrines of his teachers and gave to them the passionate devotion of his loyal nature.
For their sake he did violence to the natural tenderness of his heart, and became a persecutor of his brethren, haling them to prison and consenting unto their death.
But all the while his soul was uneasy; his conscience was kicking against the pricks.
At last God had pity on him and spoke to his bewildered spirit, directly from heaven.
When S. Paul heard that Voice in his soul speaking to him, he was converted to the truth. That Voice was the truth itself, making known to him the meaning of the Scriptures: revealing to him mysteries which had been hid from the foundation of the world.
 S. Paul had at last found his teacher. It was God Himself. God, who in time past had spoken to the prophets, had now spoken to him. God was not only speaking to him, but through him and by him. Saul also was among the prophets.
There is a very interesting psychological fact brought out in this history of the conversion of S. Paul. He tells us that this Voice spake unto him in the Hebrew tongue.
Now S. Paul was by culture a Greek. The Greek language was the language of his ordinary conversation and of his ordinary thought. When he had occasion to write he wrote in Greek.
But in this hour of supreme emotion he did not hear the language which he had acquired in the schools; he heard the language which he had inherited from his fathers. It was not the speech of the market and the court; it was the speech of the temple and the place of prayer. His religious experience found expression in the language of religion.
It was that great race language which for all practical purposes had been forgotten; which was not heard in the street: a tongue which had been mute for four hundred years; which spake out of its living past to the soul of this bewildered man in his living present.
Is this not a beautiful psychological fact? showing us that the soul of man is full of hidden treasure; not only is his own individual past laid up in store for him, but the past also of his family, of his [37/38] race, of humanity, of all the creation, is hidden away in his nature to be called out into living activity when occasion comes.
This fact in the life of S. Paul is an instance of that wonderful law of continuity which runs through all the works of God.
It was no new thing for God to speak in the Hebrew tongue. He had been speaking in that tongue for more than two thousand years.
The Hebrew people were separated from all the people of the earth because they were a God-hearing people. Their nation owed its separate existence to the Voice of God.
Abraham, the Hebrew, heard the Voice of God calling to him and saying, "Get thee out from thy country and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house unto a land that I will show thee of." [Genesis xii, I.]
And when Abraham heard that Voice and followed it, then the Hebrew people began to be. God spake and they were made; He commanded and they were created." [Psalms cxlviii, 5.]
And all through their history the Hebrew people were accustomed to the Voice of God. He was speaking to them every day. That Voice was the guide of their lives in all things great and small; it told them how to feed their sheep and how to teach their children; it told them how to build their temples and how to wash their kettles.
This Voice of God speaking to the soul of the Hebrew is the source of all that we call Scripture.
 God spoke to His servants, the prophets, and the prophets told what God had said to them in the ears of all the people, and then some scribe wrote at the mouth of the prophet all the words which God had given him, and so those wonderful books which we call Scripture came into existence. [Jeremiah xlv, 1.]
The part which the Hebrews have played in the religious history of mankind has been the cause of great good and of some evil.
Because the Hebrew heard the Voice of God so constantly and so clearly, the impression has gone abroad that God does not know any other language. Men think he can only speak in the Hebrew tongue.
This belief found a fantastic expression in the opinion of some scholars of the seventeenth century, that Hebrew was the original language of mankind. It was that which Adam heard, when he heard the Voice of the Lord God "walking in the garden in the cool of the day." [Genesis iii, 8.] We know now that this is a fond belief. We know that the Hebrew is not an original language; it is only a minor stem on the great Semitic branch.
But this opinion shows how profoundly the Hebrew and early Christian writings have impressed the mind. So full are they of the God-hearing quality, that distinguishing mark of the Hebrew people, that men say they are the very Word of God, ascribe to them the infallibility of God, and clothe their very signs and sentences with unapproachable divinity.
 Now no one can overestimate the influence of the Holy Scriptures. They are woven with the very warp and woof of the life of civilized humanity.
They are the source of much that is best and
noblest in that life. They tell us of all the wonderful works of God, of His wisdom, of His power, of His love.
But if we separate the Scripture from the living voice of God speaking in the living soul of man, then we cut the Scriptures off from the true source of their life.
If we are so lame in our reasoning as to say because God has spoken, therefore God cannot speak; if we think His voice is no longer a voice but only a Written Word, then the Scriptures will be to us nothing but Scriptures; so many written books of which we may and must at last judge the value.
Cutting them off from their vital connection with the soul-life of man, we throw them into the arena of discussion, the prey of the higher and the lower criticism; the powerful cause not of concord, but of discord; not of unity, but of dissension.
And this is just what Modern Protestant Christianity has done. It has founded its religion upon a book and then upon the interpretation of a book, so that sects have multiplied between the leaves of the Bible as maggots multiply within the rind of a cheese.
What then? Shall we cast the Bible away? God forbid; but we must use the Bible in living [40/41] union with the soul of man and with the life of the Church.
We must remember that Bibles, wonderful as they are, are still the work of men. Men wrote them out of the fullness of that revelation which God made to them of Himself in the secret places of their hearts.
And what men have done men may do. If men heard the Voice of God a thousand years ago we must believe that men can hear that Voice to-day. And we must see to it that men do hear it. Bach man must hear that Voice for himself. Each generation must hear. That Voice must speak to us as it spoke to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. We must hear it as Saul of Tarsus heard it, if not in the Hebrew tongue, yet in our dear English tongue, which, next to the Hebrew, is most apt in the utterance of religious thought and feeling. And if we listen we will hear that Voice crying unto us and saying, not perhaps "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" for alas, we have not zeal enough for God to persecute anything or anybody in His name; but we will hear that more heartbroken cry of "Saul, Saul, why neglectest thou me?"
And the great office of the Christian Church and of the Christian ministry is to make the Voice of God heard in the world.
That Church and that ministry is God's eternal prophet to proclaim from age to age God's eternal truth. That Church and that ministry was not [41/42] set up in this world to be the reader of a book; it is here to be the preacher of a life.
The Christian Church, like the Hebrew nation, owes its existence to the Voice of God. The great flock of Jesus Christ came together at the call of the Shepherd.
The very name of the Church speaks to us of the nature of its origin. It is called by S. Paul the ekklhsia tou qeou.
This word ekklhsia, means an assembly summoned by the crier. It is from ekkalew, to call out. And as the khrux or herald, went up and down the streets of Athens calling the selected citizens into the public assembly, so the khrux, or preacher, went up and down the streets of this world calling the elect souls into the assembly, or congregation, of God. He called with the Voice of God, and the people of God heard it. They came at that call, a motley crowd indeed of halt and lame and blind. Slaves from the market, gladiators from the arena; rich men weary of their riches and poor men dying in their poverty; they came out of the barrenness of Judaism and the wretchedness of heathenism; they came at the call of the apostles and prophets of the Christian Church, as hungry doves come at the call of the child that feeds them.
So came into existence that wonderful ekklhsia tou qeou, that assembly of living souls called out of the world into the kingdom of God.
And the Church owes its continued existence to the same cause that gave it being. It is the Voice [42/43] of God that gave it life; it is the Voice of God that gives it life.
If in any age or among any people that Voice is no longer heard, then the life of the Church pines and dies away.
In the thirteenth century, the Christian religion was ready to perish in Europe. An ambitious hierarchy had lost all sense of the spirit world, in its eagerness to grasp the power and wealth of this world. It had drowned the Voice of God in the din of arms. A brutal and a sensual priesthood performed the rites of religion in a language which it did not itself understand. A neglected people were fast lapsing into a worse than heathen wretchedness. Then it was that God raised up one of the sweetest of his prophets and the voice of St. Francis of Assisi, which was the Voice of God, went out like the voice of a flute calling men back to the knowledge and the love of God.
This Voice of God can never be disguised and never imitated. As soon as you hear a man speak you can tell whether God is in him or not. There was a quality in the voice of our Lord Jesus Christ that astonished and charmed the multitude. "He spake as one having power and not as the scribes." [S. Matthew vii, 29.]
If the Voice of God is in the heart, the mouth must speak it. Balaam the son of Beor may try to hide that Voice, so as to please Balak the son of Zippor, but in spite of himself the words of God ring out [43/44] to his own dismay, and to the dismay of the king of Moab. [Numbers xxii, II.]
And if a man has not that Voice he can never assume it. Is it not a painful fact that you will go into a Church of God, and you will hear a man reading, as he supposes, the Word of God, or you will hear him preaching, as he thinks, the Gospel of God, and yet in his very tones and accents you will hear the hollow ring of death? He is that saddest of all things in God's creation, a hypocrite, a man who says with his lips what he does not believe in his heart.
We can tell the Voice of God also because it is a simple voice and always expresses itself in a command. God's Voice is in the world to call men to God. It commands men to leave sin and death and hell, and come to holiness and life and heaven.
It comes to Abram in Ur of the Chaldees, where all is idolatry and forgetfulness of God, and bids him get out of that country into a land which God will show him: it comes to Peter and Andrew on the shores of Gennesaret, and says to them, "follow me and I will make you fishers of men."
And if that Voice ever comes to me on the banks of the Genesee, or to you here by the waters of New Haven, it will always come as the call to follow Jesus, a call to some greater holiness, to some higher duty.
But, Fathers in the Church and brothers in the [44/45] ministry, we must remember that the Voice of God always says come, never go. It does not point to others "the steep and thorny road to heaven, while it the primrose path of dalliance treads." [Hamlet, Act 1st, Scene III.]
Remember that we are to call men out of the world into the Kingdom of God. But how can we call them out of the world, when we ourselves are still in it. If the world and its dignities is still our world; if we aspire to the episcopate because of its social importance, because it makes us equal to the men of rank and wealth; if we use our priesthood not for God's advantage but our own; if we are of all worldly men the most worldly, how then shall we call men out of the world?
And yet this is our appointed task. We are sent to call the people home, as "Mary called the cattle home across the sands o' Dee." And though the tide of popular disfavor run high against us, until our feet are washed by the "cruel crawling foam," still we must stand and call the people home across the sands o' Dee. [Chas. Kingsley's Poem.]
And, O my Fathers and my brothers, are we doing this, are our voices going out, clear and sharp and strong as the fife of the pied piper of Hamelin, charming the people to follow us to the mountain of God?
Whoever speaks with the Voice of God will be followed by the people of God. John Wesley [45/46] spoke with that Voice in the last century, and God gave him the thousands of Wesleyanism and the millions of Methodism.
It is the Voice of God speaking in the Church that will give peace to the Church. If that Voice cannot speak to us or if we cannot hear it, then all the scriptures written since the world began will not help its. The unbeliever, then, will have us on the hip. He will say if God cannot speak, God has not spoken.
There is nothing in this world more wonderful than the origin and the history of a word. It exists first in that region dim, mysterious, wonderful where unconscious thought dwells alone; then it comes out into conscious thought and the mind gives it form and order; then the lips utter it and it becomes a sound, it goes out and enters the ears of the hearer; he writes it down, and sound then becomes transformed into sight. Ages afterward, it may be, a man sees this written word; he speaks it with his lips: it becomes sound again; it enters into his mind through his ears; it becomes thought, it goes back into the dark chambers of unconsciousness, and there by the magic of the soul's power, it is transformed into life. And in this wonderful process we have the conservation of spiritual energy; the secret of man's progress.
So God's written word upon the lips of the preacher must become God's spoken word: it must be not what God said to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but what God says to you and me, and that spoken [46/47] word must pierce the heart of the hearer, and from that heart it must come back, not as a word, but as a life.
The unity of the Church will never come from the reading of a book, it will come from the hearing of a Voice.
When the Voice of Jesus sounds over land and sea, and men hear that Voice and begin to follow it, then they will be united as the sheep are united who hear and follow the voice of the shepherd.
O, that it were in us to stop our din and our discussion, to give up every man his psalm and every man his doctrine, and lay our fingers on our lips and listen, if perchance we may hear Jesus "calling o'er the tumult," "Come and follow Me."
CHAPTER III. THE FAITHFUL IN CHRIST JESUS.
When S. Paul writes his letter to the Church in Ephesus, the most spiritual of all the churches, he calls its members the faithful in Christ Jesus. ToiV pistoiV en Ihsou Cristou.
And this word faithful was the dearest word to the Christian heart during all the heroic ages of the Church. It was to him what the word loyalist was to the followers of the Stuart during all the dark days of the rebellion; what the word royalist was to the noble of France during the horrors of terror.
Faithful in Christ Jesus. These words expressed the supreme devotion of his life; that for which he lived, and that for which he was more than ready to die.
If a stranger met a stranger on the highways of Rome and saw that stranger make, as it were, the sign of the cross, he hurried to him and whispered in his ear "Art thou of the faithful," and if he answered yea, then these two clasped hands, and though they had never seen each other's face before, were instantly brothers in a common faith. The Christian man and woman of the early ages lived by faith in the most real sense of those words. The whole order of their life was based upon an implicit belief in Christ Jesus. They believed that He was the great power of God sent down from heaven for their salvation. They believed that He [48/49] had lived for them and died for them, and that they in turn ought to live for Him and die for Him.
They received every word of Christ Jesus as a word from God and staked their whole existence upon its truthfulness. Whatever Jesus told them to do, that they tried, with all their might and main, to do; holding that whatever Jesus said was right.
There is nothing in the history of the world to be compared with the devotion of the early Christians to the Lord Jesus Christ.
The devotion of the forty-seven Ronins to their lord, the devotion of a highland clan to its chief, the devotion of the old guard to Napoleon, these are all splendid examples of what love and loyalty can do with the human heart and with human life. But they are all weak and things of a day in comparison with that age-long devotion, extending over three hundred years, by which the Christian Church testified her love and loyalty to her Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Every sacrifice that could be made was made to gain the favor, and upbuild the cause of the Lord. S. Paul set the keynote of the coming ages when he cried "I count all things as dung that I may gain Christ." [Philippians iii, 8.]
The Christian Church planted itself upon its simple faith in Christ Jesus, and standing there, defied the whole force of the Roman empire and of ancient civilization.
 They did not take up arms against the State: for Christ had said, "Whosoever taketh the sword shall perish with the sword." [Matthew xxvi, 52.] They did not resist their enemies: for Christ had said "Resist not evil."
But theirs was not a cowardly submission to baseness and injustice, it was the bravest resistance the world has ever seen. The early Christian martyr stood calmly in his place; refused obedience when his conscience told him he must not obey, and for his refusal died. And his sufferings and death made up what was "lacking in the sufferings of Christ."
And all this was done so calmly and so sweetly, for the most part, that the very persecutors were won by the faith and devotion of the Christian. When S. Polycarp was brought before the Governor and commanded to deny Christ, he answered, "eighty and six years have I served him and he has done me no harm. Why should I deny him today." [Martyrdom of S. Polycarp. Apostolic Fathers. T. & T. Clark. Edinburgh, 1873.] And he went out from the presence of the Governor into the presence of death as calmly as he would go to his morning meal. To die for Jesus was to him and all like him a mere matter of course.
Such was the faithfulness of heart and life which gave to the Christian his name of the faithful.
 And this faithfulness when fully roused is one of the strongest passions of the human heart. All great and heroic deeds and words spring from it. To this emotion, Christ Jesus appealed when He presented Himself as the supreme object of human adoration. He stood and cried, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." [Matthew xi, 28.] "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." [John iii, 16.] Believe and be saved was the cry of the Gospel.
Jesus presented Himself, in His divine Personality, as the supreme object of human faith, because faithfulness can reach its highest development only when it is directed toward a person. An abstract doctrine, an impersonal cause can never fire the human heart to intense devotion.
A cause can never lay hold of the mass of the people until it shows itself in some great life and leadership. The cause of righteousness itself made no headway until the King of righteousness came to champion his own cause and to win men to it by winning them to Himself.
Faithfulness is the root of faith, and faith is the source of creed. Faithfulness is the heart's love and devotion. Faith is the expression of faithfulness in life. Creed is the expression of faith in words.
The Christian creed grew up naturally out of [51/52] the Christian faith. As Christian men and women went up and down the world, they were whispering in their souls of all that Jesus had done for them, "Beginning from John Baptist until the day He was taken up from them into heaven." [Acts i, 22.] When they met together they told each other of His wonderful birth, His life, His passion, His death, His resurrection, His ascension. They told each other to wait and watch for His coming, as men wait and watch for the morning. They cast this belief of theirs, which was the very warp and woof of their life, into songs, and they sang them when they came together to worship. And they sang as they went about their work at home. As it is written, "And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads." [Isaiah xxxv, 10.] So those ransomed of the Lord returned to Zion with songs. These songs were the great distinguishing mark of the Christian.
"Paul and Silas in their prison
Sang of Christ the Lord arisen." [Longfellow.]
All the information that Pliny could give to his master, the Emperor Trajan, concerning the Christian was, "that they met early in the morning to sing songs to one Christ as God, and bound themselves by a solemn compact to do no evil." [Pliny's letters to Trajan.]
So the Christian creed came into existence. A song, a saying, a few pregnant sentences, passed from lip to lip; and grew at last into a settled form [52/53] of sound words. There was no attempt at systematic arrangement, no effort at completeness, no struggle to fathom the awful mystery of the life of God in the flesh. It was all simple and natural and childlike.
The Christian creed was not the result of an effort of the human intelligence to know God; it was the outgrowth of the human heart in the greatest effort that heart has ever made to love God.
The Christian creed has no existence apart from the person of Jesus Christ. The creed apart from devotion to the person of Jesus is a mere intellectual puzzle; good only to frighten the intelligence and perplex the soul.
During the first age the Church was careless of her creed. She had one faith to which she held with all the tenacity of her life, but she had as many creeds or forms of faith as she had children. For three hundred years there was no creed enforced under authority.
It was not until the great Arian discussion that the Church in its corporate capacity became a formulator of creeds. This action was forced upon the Church by that most unhappy controversy that wasted her life for two hundred years.
Men of subtle minds had arisen in her midst, who, not content with the simplicity of the gospels, must needs define more exactly the nature of the Lord's person, and the inter-relations of the God-head.
These definitions frightened the Church. It seemed to her that men were defining her Lord out [53/54] of existence; they were making of Jesus, that man of sorrows, a mere phantasm; they were making of the Son of God, not a son but a creature. They were dividing His divine personality; they were destroying His human nature.
The Lord Jesus Christ was betrayed into the hand of Greek Dialetic; He was worse than crucified; the unsanctified human intelligence entered into the Holy of Holies and stared with unhallowed gaze upon the Divine mysteries, and like an unruly child sought to take those mysteries apart, that it might see how they were made up.
The Church in her fright met definition by assertion. She brought in new words to set forth old truths. She did her best in her hour of danger to guard the faith once delivered to the Saints. But her best was simply a choice of evils. Her own definitions and assertions became stumbling blocks in her way.
I wonder if we know when we sing the great Nicene creed, what that creed cost the Church. We set it to music and sing it lightly with our lips, all unmindful of the fact that it cost the Church two centuries of life and the fairest portion of the earth.
The great Nicene Council opened that era in the Church's history, which to my thinking is the most futile and unhappy in all her life.
It was the era of discussion. The whole world was taken with an itch for definition. Bishops and laymen, emperors and slaves; every man was [54/55] trying to explain God. One controversy followed another in rapid succession: the Arian by the Nestorian; the Nestorian by the Eutychian; the Eutychian by the three chapters; the three chapters by the Monotholite, with a dozen smaller controversies thrown in. The whole world went mad in an effort to set down in words the exact truth about things, which words at the best can never adequately express, but only faintly shadow forth.
In this impious attempt to build this intellectual tower of Babel, and to scale the heavens upon the ladder of his reason, the Christian of the fourth century sacrificed the life of primitive Christianity. Love perished, righteousness was driven from the earth, reverence was torn to tatters. Banishment and death was inflicted by each party upon its opponents; every impurity and injustice was forgiven a man, if he would only cry omoiousia or omoousia in the right time and place; the most sacred mysteries of our holy religion were bandied to and fro upon the profane lips of the factions in the circus of Constantinople, and the different schools of Christian doctrine were patronized by mimes and harlots. [See Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.]
Now the result of all this was death. The life was eaten out of the heart of Eastern Christianity. In three centuries it fell an easy prey to Islam, and the storm centers of the controversy, Antioch, Alexandria and Constantinople are to this day in the power of the infidel.
 That is the awful price which the Church has paid for definitions.
But a still greater price was demanded by the terrific logic of life. In her great controversies the Church lost the vital connection between Creed and Faith. Her devotion was no longer to a person, it was to a doctrine; it was to a system. Men were led to lay great stress upon words to the forgetfulness of persons and things.
And to this day that vital connection between Creed and Faith has never been restored. To this day right thinking, so called, is set far ahead of right living. The connection between Faith and Creed is, of course, strong in a multitude of human hearts, else Christianity had long since perished out of the world. But the organized bodies of Christians still bow down to their definitions as an African bushman bows down to his fetich.
And men and women who love the Lord Jesus Christ and who might live in holy concord, are separated from each other by obsolete words and worn-out phrases.
Therefore it is hopeless to expect to unify Christendom upon the basis of a creed. Christian men have fought so long over their creeds that the very word is a war cry. If we would restore the lost unity of Christendom, we must go back to the point where unity was lost. We must go from Creed to Faith, and from Faith to faithfulness. We must bear in mind constantly the fact that [56/57] Christianity is not a doctrine, it is a life; it is not a philosophy, it is a religion. And this religion consists in personal devotion to Jesus Christ.
It is for the Christian ministry to show to the Christian Church, and for the Christian Church to show to the world that it really believes in Jesus Christ. What it believes of Him may be left for after consideration. What then? Shall we cast away our creed? God forbid. I that speak to you am the very last that could give up the creed. I love it with all the love that comes of custom and of use. For twenty years I have said the creed morning by morning, as at my altar I have sacrificed the mysteries of the Precious Blood.
And it is this very thing that gives me pause when I stop to think what great words I have said about God, what little things I have done for Him, what adulation for Jesus has been on my lips, what coldness for Him in nry heart, then that heart stands still with fear, and I am wondering not what I am to think and say concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, but what He is to think and say concerning me. Dare I stand before the judgment of conscience, and cry egw eimi pistoV. En Ihsou cristou.
Fathers in the Church, brothers in the ministry, Churchmen and women of this generation, am I alone in this fear? Can this great Anglo-American communion, which has asserted its unfaltering belief in the creed, say also that it has implicit faith in Christ Jesus, undying faithfulness toward Him? Is this great communion day by day [57/58] translating its Creed into Faith, and Faith into faithfulness?
If this wonderful process of transmutation is not going on; if the creed is held external to the life; if it is not in vital connection with the living faith and loving faithfulness, then that creed is vain. It is death and the cause of death.
There is no more deadly error than to think that we can please God "by word, while we displease Him by thought and deed. It is vain that we cry Lord, Lord, if we do not the things which He says.
God does not love adulation. A man tried that once; he came running to Jesus and knelt down and worshiped Him, saying, "Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus looked at him in pity and in scorn and answered, "why callest thou me good? Go sell all that thou hast and give to the poor and come and follow me."
When I think of all the adulation that goes up to Jesus Christ in creed and hymn; how we call Him God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, and then go on about our business and our pleasure, with the same indifference toward Him as if He were no more than the stump of Dagon fallen on the threshold of the temple, I wonder that He does not wither us with His scorn and vex us with His sore displeasure.
And, when I look out on the world, I see that is just what He has done. He has smitten us with impotence. Our weakness, our foolish [58/59] divisions, our worldliness, all show us that Jesus is not pleased with us.
We must beware how we use our creed, lest we make of it a charm or talisman; lest we mumble it as a witch mumbles her incantation, thinking that in the mere words there is a virtue to save our souls.
Outward words in themselves are nothing, they are mere waves of the air; they live, they die, they change their meaning, they pass away. Words heretical in the third century are war cries of orthodoxy in the fourth.
It is the besetting sin of the ecclesiastic who is largely a dealer in words, that he mistakes words for things. I have heard men wisely argue, that if such and such a definition were not accepted, Jesus would cease to be; His salvation fail from the earth.
Now a true conception of Jesus and of His plan of salvation is most necessary to man, but Jesus, Himself, exists apart from all conception, a Fact in the Universe. What we have to do at our peril is to see that our words correspond to the fact, and our life to our words.
And the one fact concerning Jesus is that He is here in this world as the guide of our life, the object of our devotion.
If we love Him and follow Him, if we are faithful to Him, that faithfulness will soon become faith, that faith a creed or confession.
The creed or confession will not be and ought [59/60] not to be the same for every man. [The Church's Creed is the expression of her corporate faith and is the same for the whole Church. But the Church must live her creed as well as say it.] Maybe, our creed will be the heart-broken creed of the Publican, "God be merciful to me a sinner," or the creed of the woman with the issue of blood, "if I do but touch the hem of His garment I shall be whole," or we may rise to the creed of S. Peter, "Thou art the Christ, the son of the Living God," or of S. Thomas, "My Lord and my God." But whatever our creed, let it be the true expression of our faith, as our faith is of our faithfulness.
And, O Fathers of the Christian Church, as you stand in the streets, and cry unto men, I beg and beseech of you by all that is wise and true, do not cry unto men, believe in the Nicene or any other creed, but cry, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Do not rob the heart of man of a Person and give him a definition.
The center of spiritual gravity is not in the decree of any council however great; the center of spiritual gravity is in the heart of Jesus Christ.
THE POWER OF HOLINESS.
To the Church in Pergamos the Spirit saith to him that overcometh "will I give a white stone and in the stone a new name written." [Revelation ii, 17.]
This gift of the white stone and the new name was not confined to the church in Pergamos: it was a gift of God to the whole Church of Christ.
Among the four names given by S. Paul to the Christians was one which may well be called a new name. The sound of it, in the sense in which he used it, had never before been heard on the earth.
Men had known before what it was to be called of God, not only men of the Hebrews, but men of all the nations of the earth.
We make a great mistake if we suppose that the great Pre-Christian religions of the Aryan nations, the Indian, the Greek, the Scandinavian, the religions which we now call mythologies, were the work of devils, or the creation of diseased and insane imaginations. These religions had in them the voice of God. They were man's first efforts to hear that voice and give it human articulation. The Aryan nations heard the voices of their gods at Delphic oracle and Dodona oak; in Druid forests and by Ganges waters; and those voices had called them to a higher and a better life, to love of [61/62] beauty and of order, to love of family and of state, to sacrifice and to worship. [See Cox, Mythology of the Aryan Nations.]
So it was no new thing for men to know that men might be called of God.
Nor was faithfulness a new virtue in the earth. It was one of the great civic virtues of antiquity, the one most highly rewarded, the one most severely avenged. For its performance Rome gave the consulship: for its violation the Tarpeian Rock. Men had learned to be faithful long before Paul preached Christ to the Gentiles.
But there was one name of S. Paul's which was in reality a new name and signified a new quality in humanity.
In writing to the Church in Philippi he writes to all the Saints in Christ Jesus which are in Philippi, and this is the new name given of God to men, toiV agioiV en Ihsou cristou.
And of all the qualities of the Christian character this was that which he valued most. It was that gift of God to him which won his lasting gratitude and made him a devoted servant of God and of Jesus Christ his Lord.
When a man became a follower of Jesus Christ he became a holy man, a saint of God and this was to him a treasure hid in a field, a pearl of great price.
As some weary traveler who all day long has made his way through some foul bog, where death and decay were all around, where hissing serpent [62/63] and deadly cypress strewed his path with poison, where the dank and stagnant water was not fit to drink, nor could he wash his hands and face in it, where the air was heavy with the breath of death: when this man at eventide drags his almost exhausted body upon some upland and breathes pure air again, and comes upon a spring of water and washes his hands and his face; then that man is happier than he ever was before in all his life. He has escaped from death; he has seen the sky again; he has water to drink and he has washed and is clean.
Now this was the feeling that was in the heart of the Christian when he came out of the world into the Christian Church.
That world from which he came out was an unclean world, a world lying in wickedness, a world of moral and spiritual death.
We cannot look back to the world as it was when Paul was preaching Christ to the Gentiles, without a feeling of pitiful horror for the men and the women who lived at that time.
The world as it was then was a world in decay: a world smitten with moral leprosy, and was sloughing off into a shameful and dishonored death.
Whatever there had been that was good and noble in the Aryan religions of Greece and Rome was gone; only the base and degrading, the meaningless ritual, the senseless doctrine, the unclean ceremony was left to satisfy the heart of man.
 The orgiastic religion of Semitic Asia had to a great extent supplanted the more simple, natural religion of Aryan Europe. The favorite divinities were Dionysius, a god from the East, and Aphrodite or Cythera, who was none other than Astarte, the moon goddess, of evil fame.
The orgy was the ceremony that men and women practiced as most pleasing to the gods.
To drink till a man was drunken; to dance till a woman was mad; to gratify lust till lust became a frenzy, was counted among the highest duties of religion.
The ancient religions at their best, even the Aryan religions, were lacking in two great essential qualities; they were without mercy and without purity. There were brave gods and beautiful gods and wise gods, but save only Athene there were no pure gods and no kind gods. [See Cox, Aryan Mythology. Tylor's Primitive Culture.]
From the death of Julius Caesar to the death of Nero the dissolution of Roman society went on with frightful rapidity. Rome, by her conquests, had destroyed the smaller states, and in their destruction the one redeeming virtue of ancient civilization perished. Patriotism was gone. The best men in the cities of Greece and Asia, having no openings at home, hastened in crowds to Rome, seeking honor and preferment from the favor of the emperor. Men who might have been statesmen in Athens, in Antioch, in Jerusalem, became mere politicians in the Imperial City.
 Rome could excite the emotions of awe and terror, but never reverence and love. Rome was to the Provincial as cold as death, as resistless as a glacier, as cruel as the sea. She was as silent as the stars and as impartial as the sands of the desert. She covered the whole civilized world with one even, arid, implacable tyranny.
She not only conquered the nations, she conquered their gods, she carried them about and mixed them up in one corrupting mass of decay, and no man knew his god from another. [See Gibbon's Decline and Fall. Satyres of Juvenal.]
Now when human society goes to pieces it lets loose the primitive passions of man, the passion of lust and the passion of cruelty. And these passions ran riot in those days and there was nothing to hinder them. Lust took on the most unnatural and revolting forms. Mere ordinary sins and crimes no longer satisfied the jaded senses and depraved imaginations of a worn-out race.
The simple prostitution of woman was sweet and wholesome and almost a virtue in comparison with darker deeds of uncleanness.
Men and women were in despair; they did not know what to do. The stoic fled for refuge into his cold and hopeless austerity. The epicurean sought to satisfy his conscience with a philosophy that made sensual pleasure the supreme good. But neither stoic nor epicurean found peace. Men ran from themselves as from a horror and suicide was the fashion of the day.
 Now out of this world of sin a man came into the Christian Church. No sooner had he crossed the threshold of the holy place, than he found he had passed from death unto life.
In the Christian community he found not only purity, such purity as the Roman knew in the days of Lucrece and Virginia, he found a higher quality of soul, he saw for the first time what men call holiness. It was a revelation to him. It took possession of his soul as light takes possession of the eyes, and filled him with joy and gladness.
It was this power of holiness which was the great staying power of the Primitive Christian Church.
We wonder what brought men into the Christian Church and what kept them there. The whole world was against them, Christianity was not then fashionable. To become a Christian meant to become an outcast. The very name was an accusation. If a man entered the Church he did it at the hazard of his life; he severed the noblest ties of humanity, he became an object of hatred to his father and mother, the wife of his bosom despised and forsook him. At any instant he might hear the cry of ad leones and find himself in the jaws of the beast.
Yet for all this men and women crowded into the Christian Church by the thousand, and there they staid in spite of entreaty, of persecution and of death.
 And if by any chance, by slip of sin or act of cowardice, a man lost his place in the Church, then he was heart-broken and stood for years in the porch, and begged the faithful to pray for him that he might be restored again to his place and once more share in the prayers and rites of the Saints. Now the power that brought him to Christ and held him there was the power of holiness.
Man is so constituted that when he has once seen the best, he never can be satisfied with less than the best.
When Esther Lyon has known the love of the strong, severe and truthful Felix Holt, she cannot decline to the soft and sensual love of Harold Transome. [Felix Holt the Radical. Geo. Eliot.]
When a man has seen and known the holiness of Christ and lost it, he is more wretched and forlorn than a man who has had a crown and lost it. The wisdom of God is seen in nothing so much as this device of His to win and hold the soul of man. He wins him and holds him by giving him the best thing that He has.
Christian holiness is not simply chastity. Chastity may be and often is a mere negative virtue, simply the absence of passion. Holiness is not the absence of passion, it is the presence of passion. It is the purity not of the celibate but of the lover. Holiness is the gift of God to those who give themselves to God. It is the reciprocal affection between the soul and its Maker.
 Holiness is nothing else than a passion for God. Now holiness was a mark of the Christian Church, because the members of the Church were holy.
It never entered the mind of S. Paul that a man could be a Christian and not be a saint. If a man did not love Christ, why then was he a Christian? But to love Christ is sanctity. The primitive Christian man and church were pure because they were passionate. It was the passionate love of Jesus that burned in the soul and destroyed all loves in conflict with it. [See Ecce Homo.]
Now holiness, which is love, is the source and power of all sacraments. Sacraments are nothing but the love tokens that pass between God and the soul.
What is baptism but the water which Christ gives us to wash our feet when we come in, sin-stained, foot-sore and weary with the travail of life!
What is the sacrament of the Precious Blood but the bread and wine with which Christ refreshes us after we come back from our work and our labor in the evening!
Holiness, then, is the very essence of the sacraments. Without holiness the sacraments are but cold and dead formalities, such as pass between alienated souls.
For a sacrament to have its full force and power, there must be holiness in the Church that administers the sacrament, as well as holiness in the soul that receives the sacraments.
 There must be holiness in the Church. The great mass of men and women in the Church must be, at least, potential saints. They must be men and women who have tried at least to give their hearts to God: men and women whose desire is " to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of their life, to behold the fair beauty of the Lord, and to visit his temple."
If there is no difference at all between the Church and the world; if the Church does not require for membership any consecration to God; if membership in the Church is mere fashion, or convenience or what not; if the Church does not guard her sacraments from pollution; if she gives to any and everybody without thought or care; if a man may go from his sin to his sacrament, easily, lightly, without repentance, then the sacraments of that Church are without force, as worthless as the drop of water that is used, as insignificant as the wafer and the wine.
I know that it is an approved doctrine of theology that the wickedness of the minister does not invalidate the sacraments. Nevertheless I should think it unsafe long to receive the sacraments at the hands of a priest of known wickedness.
But when a whole Church is unholy; has no passionate devotion to God; has an indifferent priesthood and a careless people, then the sacraments of that Church may be valid, but I am sure they are very unwholesome; they are salt that has lost its savor, good food tainted by bad air.
 Does it ever occur to us to seriously inquire into the condition of the modern Church. Its doors are wide open, it is easy and popular to enter, there is nothing to hinder, and yet for some reason the people do not throng and press as they did in the primitive days.
And surely it cannot be that there is no need for the Church, that holiness is now the common possession of all men.
The condition of the modern world is not much better than was the condition of the ancient world. The decay of faith which has been going on for the last three hundred years, has left a vast body of men and women without God in the world.
The forces of modern economic conditions, the terrific pressure of competition, the vast aggregation of population in the cities, the presence in every city of a mass of hopeless, irresponsible poor, and a small company of equally hopeless and irresponsible rich, have brought our modern cities into almost as wretched a moral and spiritual decrepitude as that which afflicted the cities of Asia in the days of the decadence of Rome.
The necessities of the poor, together with their lack of moral strength, make them the cheap and easy instruments of the vices of the rich.
A gentleman in London said to me one day, as we were watching the ceaseless flow of under-sized, underfed men and women, go up the Grays Inn Road: "Humanity is cheap in London. You can buy a man or a woman for any purpose for 'tu-'pence."
 Now, why is not the Church a city of refuge in the midst of the cities of the world? Is it not because the Church has lost the character of holiness? Is it not because the very men who are making the world wicked; the men who are grinding the faces of the poor, the men who are defiling the women and corrupting the children, are in the churches, paying the expenses of the churches, hiring the ministers, and entertaining the dignitaries? I do not say this is so; I only ask with fear and trembling, is it so?
If there is any approach to such a condition in the Church, then the whole trouble of the Church is accounted for. She sleeps the sleep of death because she does not discern the Lord's body.
It is useless for a church in such a state to administer the sacraments to those who are within, or to offer them to those who are without.
Sacraments are a means of holiness to the holy, just as bread is the means of life to the living. If you give bread to a dead man will he take it? If you give it to a dying man will it not kill him?
O my fathers in the Lord; O my brothers and my sisters, if you want to unify the Church, purify it. The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable. Not till she is holy can she or ought she to prevail in the world.
In these latter days we have tried every device to win the people to the Church. We have had fine music and eloquent preaching, and church teas and church dances, and church theatres, and [71/72] I know not what scheme has been left untried to attract the people.
Some of us have thought that if we surrounded the sacrament with beauty and dignity, with pomp and ceremony, we might in that way bring back the people to the forsaken altars of God.
And some good has come of all this; the revival of ritual has been a help to devotion. But, alas! have we not found men and women ever ready to substitute the holiness of beauty for the beauty of holiness.
Now that we have tried everything else and found it wanting, why not try again that which was so successful in the days of our Lord, of the apostles, confessors and martyrs. Let us try holiness. Let us pray God to give us back again the white stone and the new name. Let us think of ourselves and of all Christian men and women as holy unto the Lord. Let us dare to use again the name so dear to Agnes, to Agatha, to Sixtus and to Laurence, let every Christian man and woman humbly bow his head and say, egw eimi agioV en tou cristou Ihsou. I am a saint in Christ Jesus.
We must not think of the Saints as if, like the Ichthosauri, they were an extinct race of men, with shaven heads and pinched faces, with gown and girdle and sandal shoon, men and women useful for purposes of ornament, to be carved into statues and painted on windows.
We must think of them as men and women living to-day; living as the saints of God always [72/73] have lived, little in the eyes of the world, much in the eyes of God; living some of them lives of hardship at the wash-tub and the work-bench; others with their children and fathers bearing the heat and burden of the day; some of them with the vast responsibilities of riches and making friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; some of them living at home and some homeless tramps abroad; some of them in prison and some, alas, in brothels, for the saints of God are sadly lost and bewildered at times.
We must believe that this is not the devil's world, but God's world, and God's people are in it. And they will come home fast enough if we will only keep house for Him and the doors wide open for them.
We must not have anything in the Church to frighten the saints of God. The Church is no place for the display of wealth or pride or social precedence. The people in the Church must as a class be sweet and clean and merciful, not given to much wine, no strikers, no brawlers.
Jesus our Lord will not be pleased with us if we are at great pains to shepherd the goats and leave the sheep all night on the wold.
And, O my fathers in the Lord, bishops and priests, if you will do this one thing, if you will be holy and try to make others holy; if when you go into the house of the Lord, the bells on your garments are holiness to the Lord; if you will give your whole thought as to how you may best [73/74] sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, I am prophet enough to tell you, that without might, violence or persuasion, you will unify the Church of God. The people will flock to your churches as doves to their windows. When once they know you can heal their spiritual diseases, they will crowd your doors as they crowded the doors of the house at eventide when Christ was in Capernaum.
But, as you value your life in God, do not offer them the barren sign of a holiness, when what they want is holiness itself.
Love the Lord Jesus Christ and then you will love the people and the people will love you.
THE STRENGTH OP BROTHERHOOD.
In his letter to the Colossians S. Paul addresses them as the saints and faithful brethren which are at Colosse; thus joining together three of the great names by which the Christians were known to each other. And this last name, the Brethren, oi Adelfoi en tou Ihsou kristou is the name which S. Paul uses most constantly in all his epistles. He uses it of himself. He loves to think of himself as one of the brethren in Christ Jesus. He is an apostle of the Lord; he has great and wonderful gifts; he has rendered signal service to the Church, but all this does not lift him out of the ranks. He does not because he is a great man and a useful man, demand for himself rights and privileges. He is not above any man nor beneath any man. He sits in unconscious dignity, and makes tents beside Aquila and Priscilla, and talks with perfect ease and freedom to Agrippa and Bernice.
S. Paul valued the principle of Brotherhood because a greater than he had come among men and had not been ashamed to call them brethren.
The Son of God, when he came into the world, was careful to come not only as the Son of God, but also as the Son of Man. And it was his manhood that was most in evidence during his earthly life. His divinity was for the most part hidden, His humanity was ever in sight.
 In all things He was anxious to share the common lot of man. He was born indeed of royal blood, but that royal blood had flowed obscurely and now ran in the veins of the carpenter of Nazareth.
Jesus came out of the great middle class which has always given to the world its greatest men. He was at neither extreme of the social scale; neither a prince nor a beggar. He was a common working man.
And when He became a teacher, He did not affect the teacher's robes nor the teacher's titles. He went out in all the simplicity of His early life and was but a man teaching men. He was not by His divine nature and wonderful spiritual genius lifted out of the common lot.
He walked to and fro in the earth, He was tired, He was hungry, He was sad, He was glad, He suffered and He died just as every brother man of His had walked and grown weary, been cold and hungry, had smiled and wept, had suffered and died since the world began.
Now it was not without purpose that God sent His Son to dwell among us; to pitch His tent as one of the tents of Israel. [S. John i, 14.]
This coming of Christ to be one of us was an appeal to the social instinct of the human heart; which instinct more than any other has made man what he is.
It is the instinct which has built up the family [76/77] and the state, and which in these latter days God has used to build up the Church.
Every student knows what a mighty part the social instinct has played in the progress of mankind. His love of companionship and the comparative constancy of his affections is that which has made for him the most beneficent of all his institutions, the institution of the family.
From very early times man has sought the woman not only for the gratification of his appetite but also for the satisfaction of his affection. She is not only his mate, she is his companion.
Marriage as a permanent relationship belongs to man.
There is no marriage among the beasts. Divorce is easy among the birds.
The children born to the man and his wife are first their joy, and then their care, their sorrow, and their solace. The long infancy and youth of mankind welds the family.
Those who live for years together must learn to know each other and to love each other. The dog of three months old does not know his brother dog, and fights him as a stranger in the streets. But a man who has lived for years with a fellow man born of the same seed, offspring of the same womb, cannot soon forget that fellow man, and if he hates and kills him, he hates and kills not a stranger, but a brother, and it is his brother's blood that cries from the ground.
During all those long ages before what we call [77/78] civilization began to be, while men were wandering in small companies about the earth, the family was the unit of social organization. Brothers lived together under the rule of the father, not only for a few years but all their lives; children and grandchildren made up the common family.
And as different families came together in conflict, brother had to fight for brother in defence of the common safety, so that when man came forth from that first formative state he brought with him the instinct of brotherhood as one of the strongest instincts of his nature.
And as the family grew into the tribe and the tribe into the nation, the idea of brotherhood was made to cover those larger relationships. The Greek was the brother to every other Greek, and when our Lord would excuse Himself from going to dine with Zaccheus, of whom the people murmured and said " he was a man that was a sinner," Jesus said " this day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is child of Abraham;" thus appealing to the instinct of brotherhood. No one could deny the right of a brother to help a brother.
What the Christian ideal did was to make the brotherly relation universal. It grasped the very simple fact that the common nature of man proves a common origin; that all men can at last be traced to a single stock, and so in a wide but true sense all men must be brethren.
The Christian ideal carried the origin of man [78/79] back to its ultimate source. It found the origin not in man but in God. It was the common fatherhood of God which made the common brotherhood of man. So when a man was in distress the Christian would turn aside and help him, and in excuse would say of him: "he also is a child of God."
And it was time for this new conception of brotherhood to enter the world. It was necessary for the world to take some wider and more universal conception of the brotherhood of man, or brotherhood itself would perish and the world perish with it.
The brotherhood of the family had been lost in that of the tribe, the brotherhood of the tribe had been merged in that of the nation, and now nationalism itself had been lost in the universalism of the Roman Empire.
And the Roman Empire was only the cover for the most intense and competitive individualism that the world has ever seen.
During the last days of the Republic competition had done its perfect work. Individualism was everywhere rampant. The family relation was gone. The men of Rome mated like creatures of the air and the field, a man would find his solace with a concubine like a beast, and divorce his wife with more than the facility of a bird.
He did not know his own children. They were the offspring of obscure amours, often children of slave girls whom their father sold in the market.
 Unless one has studied the subject he can have no conception of the utter dissolution of the family that came to pass immediately after the great civil wars of Marius and Sulla.
The tribal relation had long since passed away, and by reason of the Roman conquest the nations has ceased to exist. And now the Roman Republic was only a name. It was a mere cover for individual enterprise, an instrument for the benefit of individual greed.
There was no longer any res publica, there was only res privita. The Roman aristocracy fought for pro-consulships in the senate, that a man might go to Syria or to Egypt, where, in two years, he would wring from a despairing people wealth enough to come back to Rome and build marble palaces by the thousand feet, and spend ten thousand sesterce on a dinner.
This went on until Caius Julius Caesar carried individualism to its logical issue and gathered the whole accumulated power of the Roman world into the hands of one man.
The work of Caesar was the inevitable result of what had gone before. He had to fight with the aristocracy for his share of the plunder. He was stronger than they, beat them and took it all.
Caesarism was the ultimate triumph of individualism. Caesar calmly assumed the ownership of the world as a personal possession.
What Caesar secured by force, Octavianus held by craft, and secured the world as an inheritance [80/81] in the Claudian-Julian families. From Augustus the world passed by descent to Tiberius, and from him went down the line to Caius, Claudius and Nero, who used the world as a very little thing to gorge their appetites and to glut their cruelty.
The result of all this was to reduce the Roman world to a state of miserable, degrading dependence. Manhood was gone. It followed the state and the tribe into the maw of competitive individualism.
At the bottom of social scale was the slave dependent upon his master for life, compelled to submit to every caprice; obliged to yield his body to dishonor and outrage. Next after him came the freedman, hardly better than the slave, the pimp of his patron, doing the meanest actions for the smallest reward. There was a crowd of debtors living in daily dread of creditors, who might at will send them to imprisonment and to slavery. The cities were crowded with an idle rabble, which the ruin of husbandry had driven from the country, parasites eating out the heart of the commonwealth, crying for free bread and free shows.
At the top of the social world was the senator, the knight and the publican spending his days in fawning on the Caesar, his nights in a feverish debauch; fearing every hour that Caesar would rob him of wealth and of life.
It was into such a world as this, that the Kingdom of God came with its ideal of universal brotherhood, and in the Christian Church of the second and [81/82] third centuries the Roman world recovered its lost manhood.
In the Christian community there was law, order, self-respect. There was justice and piety and wholesome love.
Some poor slave beaten by his master, would escape in the night and go early in the morning to a Christian assembly. There he would be greeted by a clasp of the hand: he would hear from the lips perhaps of some patrician the word brother; that word would send a thrill of joy to his heart. He was no longer a slave of man, but a brother of man.
Then the brethren would take him and wash his wounds and tell him not to be ashamed, for the Son of God had suffered like things.
Some poor slave girl would drag her outraged body to the Christian Church and there hear how Jesus had been put to open shame, and in the Church find the purity of which she had been robbed in the world.
Some matron fleeing from Caesar's lust, some man of consular rank from his degrading friendship, would find in the company of the Christian Community the personal decency and dignity which the heart craved as the necessity of life. So the Brotherhood increased and multiplied until it was the mightiest force in the Roman world.
This brotherhood, because it was a brotherhood, was a society in which every man was the equal of every man.
 And this brotherhood was and is the source from which all episcopates derive their being and their power in the Church. The brotherhood does not exist for the episcopate, but the episcopate for the brotherhood.
Christ our Lord gave the Christian brotherhood existence. His divine Sonship is that in which all human sonship centers. He brought us home to His Father and our Father, and on that fact of Divine Fatherhood human brotherhood was based.
The Church crystallized round about Jesus Christ. He was the Shepherd of the sheep; Apostles were sent to seek the sheep and bring them to the fold; Bishops were appointed to watch the sheep and keep them in the fold. The Bishops were, as their name implies, watchmen, guardians, overseers.
Neither Jesus Christ, nor the Apostles, nor the Bishops, are by office, dignity or wealth or social importance, separated from the brethren. They are simply brothers doing certain duties.
Now in the course of time, notions of rank and heirarchy have grown up in the Christian Church. Men speak of authority, power and rule.
But all this is contrary to the first principles of the Constitution of the Christian Church and is destructive of the Brotherhood.
There is no opinion that has done so much harm to the Church as the doctrine that bishops and priests are appointed to rule in the Church as kings and magistrates rule in the world.
 This has been and is the cause of discord, disorder and disunion. It has filled the heart of the Bishop of Rome with the conceit that God has given him authority in the world, to govern the world, to rule the thoughts and lives of men. It has turned the head of many a bishop and given him notions of episcopal power which have made him a lord in the earth; it has given many a parish priest airs of authority destructive of all personal influence.
If there is any one thing perfectly clear in our Lord's teaching, it is that a bishop or successor of the apostles is to have no authority or rule whatever. He is not appointed to rule, he is appointed to serve.
This whole matter of dominion or authority was decided by our Lord in the case of Zebedee's children. When the ambitious mother of those young-men asked that one of them might sit on the right hand and the other on the left of the Lord in His Kingdom, and the ten were moved to indignation, Jesus called them unto Him and said, "Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you, but whosoever will be great among you let him be your minister, and whosoever will be chief among you let him be your servant." [Servant and minister are the same. S. Math, xx, 25, 26.]
If words mean anything at all, our Lord expressly withheld dominion and authority from the [84/85] apostleship, and necessarily from the episcopate: He conferred upon it the duty of oversight and service.
It was clearly our Lord's hope and purpose that ambition for place, and pride of power should be banished from His Church. How that hope has been disappointed; that purpose defeated; history too sadly tells.
Because of the usurpation by the Bishops in times past of secular power and authority, because they have been princes in the earth, there has grown up round the Bpiscopal office a tradition of dominion, power and authority that places the Bishops in the highest seats of authority among men. In many countries, the Bishop gives place only to royalty itself, and even that he gives grudgingly. For a long time the Bishops were engaged in a life and death struggle with emperors, kings and princes for the mastery of the temporal world. They tried to exercise the miraculous power of a Moses; they wished to change their pastoral staff into a scepter, their mitre into a crown.
This struggle of the Christian priesthood for temporal power is the tragedy of the Church. It wasted her life, and lost her the spiritual leadership of man.
The Bishops were beaten in their impious attempt to grasp temporal power; they were subordinated by the kings, and then they became the allies and the servants of their former enemies.
The kings made use of the bishops to buttress [85/86] their own absolute and irresponsible power. The kings of the earth gave to the Bishops of the Church much earthly power and dignity, but only on condition that they would hold it subject to the royal prerogative. And in many countries the bishops to-day are in this state of exalted subordination. They hold the position in the world which is given them in the game of chess. On the chess board the bishops stand next the king and queen, having it as their special duty to guard those sacred personages. So that in the eyes of men the office of a bishop has become a secular office, of great power and dignity and social importance, having for its chief duty the guarding and conserving of the secular power.
This conception of the office is deep-rooted in the mind of the English-speaking people. It is the heritage of a thousand years of Episcopal life and rule in the English Church.
We have just been reading of the enthronization of an archbishop. He has entered upon the rights and privileges of his see. He was seated upon his throne with all the pomp and pageantry of a royal coronation.
This man is by courtesy the first subject of the British Empire; he has the revenues of a prince; he has his palace in his diocese, and his palace in Lyondon. Men bow down to him and give him titles of honor. He takes precedence in all social functions. He goes into dinner before dukes and earls, next after the Prince of Wales.
 Now all this charms the popular imagination, but it has nothing whatever to do with the Church of God.
As a Bishop in the Church of God this man has no right to dignity, honor, precedence or wealth. These things do not belong rightfully to the Kingdom of God; they have no place in it. A Bishop in the Church of God has only one right and one privilege. He has the right of service and the privilege of sacrifice.
This is the only right and privilege which the Lord Jesus Christ enjoyed, the only right and privilege of S. Paul. To watch for the people and to die for the people the only right and privilege of the Bishop of the primitive Church. I do not expect any words of mine to disturb the peace of the English establishment, nor do I wish to disturb that peace. [The English Establishment is the creation of Divine Providence, and has served a providential purpose. When that purpose is accomplished, the establishment as an institution will pass away. The Bishops themselves are doing all they can to advance the cause of disestablishment, to prepare for what must come, to get ready for a Free Church in a Free State: the divisions of Dioceses, the creation of Episcopates with purely spiritual functions, are steps toward the separation of Church and State. When there are a large number of Bishops who are not and cannot be called to the house of Lords, the establishment will pass away. The most spiritual of the Bishops will be its enemies.] But if my words can reach the ears of the American Episcopate, I want to say to them in all humbleness and yet in all boldness, that nothing like the English establishment can be set up in this country; our Bishops must be bishops, not princes or lords.
 Even in the world princedom is doomed; in Western Europe it is only a survival; in America it has never had any existence. The great principle of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is now the accepted principle of government in the most enlightened nations of the earth.
The Chief Magistrate of the second greatest nation in the world is simply a citizen holding a public office. He comes from the people, he returns to the people, he is not their lord but their servant.
This is not the age of princes but of peoples, and it is not simply a passing age; it is a clearly defined period in human progress. The time has come when the Church must rest her claim upon somewhat besides Apostolic succession. Mere succession cannot save and never did save. Hilderick was the successor of Hlodowig, and Karl the Gross of Karl the Great, but succession did not save Hilderick from the monastery, nor Karl the Gross from the dismemberment of his empire. There is no case on record where Apostolic succession saved a wicked Church or a faithless Church from the consequences of wickedness and faithlessness.
From this time forth stress must be laid not upon the episcopate, but upon the brotherhood.
And surely the day has come for a new birth of the idea of Christian brotherhood. It is this and this only that can save the modern world as it saved the ancient world.
Once more we see an intense competitive [88/89] individualism breaking down the safeguards of human life. Throughout western Christendom there is a condition somewhat like that of Rome under the empire.
The ties of the family are loosened, marriages decrease, divorces increase, children scatter and soon forget each other. Nationalism is fast losing its hold as a rational and controlling principle. Commerce and travel are making of the world one great country.
Accumulated capital is in a measure playing the part of the Roman army; it is concentrating the forces of the world in the hands of a few.
The division of labor and the introduction of machinery has changed the condition of the workman from a state of comparative freedom to a state of dependence. It has reduced his individual efficiency just in proportion that it has increased his corporate efficiency. He is a part, and a very small part, of a machine.
The vast mass of the people do not share fairly in the average prosperity of the community. We have learned how to multiply. We do not know how to divide. The earth is glutted with abundance while multitudes are starving.
Now what we need is an episcopate that will see this world as the primitive episcopate saw the Roman world.
When some workman is sent from his place without thought or feeling, warning, or help, sent to what must soon be a dreary home with [89/90] disconsolate wife and hungry children, the Church should be there with the bishop at the door to receive and comfort him. To find, if possible, the reason for his dismissal and to rebuke, if need be, the cold-hearted men who sent him away.
And when the men themselves, through ignorance and wickedness, rise up against their masters and destroy the industry by which they themselves live, then they should hear the voice of their bishop calling them back to reason.
There is nothing extravagant in the supposition that there might be in every city a man of God whose word would have power to stay the passions and guide the lives of men.
The present writer will never forget a scene which he witnessed not many years ago. He was visiting a venerated and holy priest of the Church; this priest was old and feeble, simple and inoffensive, and a public official came to see him, a strong man in the prime of life and in the pride of high station, and this man stood before the feeble priest, striving to justify himself concerning a charge of misconduct which this priest had brought against him.
In this incident was revealed the moral and spiritual power which always has been and always will be the strength of the ministry of the Church. And this is the power that we crave for the episcopate. But this power can be had only when the episcopate identifies itself once more with the great commonalty; when it takes its place once more [90/91] in the midst of the people, thinking of them and speaking for them.
In contrast with the incident mentioned above is another which came under my observation at about the same time.
I was visiting in one of our larger cities, and at the invitation of the bishop and clergy, met with them to discuss the matter of Christian unity. For three days that city had been in the hands of a mob. Mad, wild men were beating against the circumstances of their life. While this storm was raging in the streets, we, the bishops and clergy, were calmly, in our little room, discussing our powers and privileges as bishops and priests of the Holy Catholic Church. We asserted, I remember, our rights as the only true shepherds of the people of God in this land. Meanwhile the storm raged on in the streets as regardless of us as if we had been the mummy of Ramases deep hid in the heart of the Pyramids.
Never to my mind was there a more glaring and pitiful a contrast between a claim and a reality than when we that morning claimed to be the sole shepherds of a people upon whose agony we looked with calm indifference. When it was suggested that if we had the power to guide the American people, now was the time to use it; it was at once answered to that suggestion that the mob outside were not subject to our guidance; they were not Protestant Episcopalians.
Such a conception of the Shepherd's office was [91/92] not that which filled the heart of the Great Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, when "He had compassion on the multitude because they were as sheep scattered abroad, having no shepherd," and until we have the mind of the Master we can never fill the place of the Master.
When the overseers see where the people ought to go, and guide them in the way, then we shall have no need of an appeal to the past for our authority. Men will hear that authority in our voice, and see it in our lives.
Such an episcopate will rule simply because it leads.
We have now traversed the great subject presented for our consideration. We have endeavored to trace back to their origin in the spiritual world those outward and visible organs which the bishops of the Anglo-American Communion consider the instruments best adapted to bring peace once more to the Church.
And in this we say the bishops have judged wisely and well. But these organs to have any life or force must be in vital union with the soul of man.
The Holy Scriptures must find their inspiration not in their own pages, nor in the decrees of any council or sanhedrin, but their inspiration must be in the heart of him who hears them. The cry must be "He that hath ears to hear let him hear," [92/93] and if the bishops and the Church would have men hear the voice of God, they must speak with the voice of God.
The creeds must find their origin not in the enactment of some body of men who met centuries ago, to determine what men should forever after believe; these creeds must have their origin and spring to-day in that principle of faithfulness, loyalty and devotion to Jesus Christ which gave them existence a thousand years ago.
The creed must be new born in the heart of every believer.
The sacraments must not be looked upon as charms which will of themselves work wonders, but as the means of that union which is between the soul and God, "a means of holiness to the holy."
Nor is the episcopate to be considered as a separate order of men who are appointed to rule in the church. They are men chosen from the brethren "to take heed unto themselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made them overseers, to feed the Church of God which He hath purchased with His own blood." [Acts xx, 28.]
Now if the great Anglican Communion simply makes its own the rule that it offers to others; if it hears and obeys the voice of God; if it is faithful to Christ Jesus and holy unto the Lord; if its ministry is a ministry serving God and the people; daring to bear witness to God and his [93/94] righteousness "even before kings," then this Church will not need to wait upon the motion of other religious bodies; it will but need to show itself to the people and the people will follow it, and the Church will be one again in that vital unity which comes of a common thought and a common life.
But let us beware how we give the shell out of which the meat is gone.
We must be careful not to confound the outward and accidental with the inward and essential. There are in the history of man's redemption only two permanent factors.
Papacies, prelacies, patriarchates: these all change and pass away. Church governments are but for a season and a time. Books have their days of power and their days of weakness: Rituals are subject to use and disuse. Only two forces are permanent, working on from age to age to accomplish the task of bringing in the kingdom of everlasting righteousness; these two forces ever working and ever the same are God and the people of God.