Project Canterbury

The Issues before the Church: A Letter to the Clergy of the Diocese of Delaware.

By Frederick Joseph Kinsman

New York: Edwin S. Gorham, 1915.

The Issues Before the Church

Brethren of the Clergy of the Diocese of Delaware:

Our people in all parts of the country are at this time perplexed and disturbed by the discussions caused by the recent action of our Board of Missions in regard to participation in the Conference to be held in Panama between representatives of a number of Protestant Churches of the United States concerning missionary work in South America. I wish to call your attention to some of the issues involved because of my conviction of their serious importance, and because in a matter of this sort the Clergy and People of the Diocese are entitled to know the position of the Bishop. ' My comments relate more to the principles involved in determining such action as the Board of Missions had to take, than to details of the action in itself. They would be equally relevant, had the Board taken different or contrary action; and they are independent of the correctness or incorrectness of my own opinion as to the exact significance of the Board's action.. I have definite opinions as to this action, and think it to have been unwise and unfortunate. Had I been a member of the Board, I should have opposed it; and to show my conviction that no farseeing Churchman could seem to be committed to the Board's policy, I should have joined the five members who resigned. But I am concerned less with the special occasion of present discussions than with the perplexity which lies [1/2] back of the occasion. The Board of Missions was perplexed as to what action it should take in special circumstances. The Church is perplexed as to what to think of that action. We cannot escape perplexity in the face of many similar problems that confront us; all of which compel serious reflection on the foundations of our Church's life.

The Board of Missions and the Panama Congress

The chief facts concerning the Panama Congress which have determined my judgment of the matter are the following:

1. The Congress will contain representatives of Protestant religious bodies only, and its action will be determined by Protestant assumptions. No other inference is possible in view of the preliminary statements and plans. Share in its deliberations is a move in the direction of Protestant Federation, even if it stop short of actual co-operation at this time. This has been plainly avowed by some of those who wish our Church to be represented as the reason why they wish it. It is so understood by those outside who have considered the matter. Share in it by our Church tentatively commits us to Pan-Protestantism. This would appear from the statements of "The Committee on Cooperation in Latin America," representing various mission boards in New York, to whose initiation the Panama Congress is due. The Committee was appointed in 1913 "to deal with the whole subject of work in Latin America, and especially the question of co-operation." In a letter issued February 14th, 1914, various questions to be considered were suggested, including (1) "possibilities of educational co-operation or union"; (2) "consolidation of periodicals, and (3) union in theological education", all apparently on the assumption of "the substantial unity of the Missions in their message"; also (4) "redistribution of territory" [2/3] and (5) "transfer between denominations of church-members moving from one section of the country to another." It was naturally assumed that there would be one program for all "co-operating denominations". [The following extracts from a letter recently received refer to this document: "Let me point out to you that the name of 'The Committee on Co-operation in Latin America' has been carried throughout in all the bulletins. Moreover the first bulletin of 1915 that began the series relating directly to the Panama Congress connects itself with what has gone before, including this document, by the explanations on the first page. I make this explanation because they tried at the Missions House at the outset to take the ground that this circular had nothing to do with the Panama Congress. That this position simply is not true is shown by the internal evidence throughout; by the continuing use of the same title throughout for the committee; by the fact that the plan for a general conference of that nature is broached on the last page of this present document; by the fact that at the outset of 'Bulletin No. 1' early in 1915 recognition of what had gone before as a continuous part of one whole is explicitly given."] The ultimate result of these suggestions was arrangement for a conference at Panama in regard to modes of co-operation. The plans are all along lines leading to Protestant Federation. Federation among Protestants, constituting one-fourth of the Christian World, is to be desired; but it would only be possible for our own Church to join such a federation through abandonment of principles held in common with the other three-fourths of the Christian World, and of special opportunities for promoting the infinitely greater cause of Christian unity. Pan-Protestant is not Pan-Christian.

2. It is an act distinctly hostile to the Roman Catholic Church. Although one or two Roman Catholic laymen are understood to have said that they thought Protestant opposition in South America might serve as useful spur to the Roman Church there, the Roman Bishop of Panama, representing Roman Catholic authorities, has [3/4] forbidden his people to have anything to do with it: the Governor of Panama, regarding it as an unfriendly demonstration to the people of the country, has refused the use of public buildings for its sessions: many Roman Catholics, clergy and laymen, have expressed their opinion that it must be regarded in this light: and, from the political standpoint, warnings have been uttered that this North American campaign against the form of Christianity prevalent in Latin America may interfere with the friendly relations with the Latin American peoples which our Government is seeking to cultivate. In spite of efforts to conceal the fact, the plan for the Congress has made the ordinary Protestant assumption that Roman Catholicism is always a corrupt form of Christianity, and that Roman Catholic territory is always therefore a proper field for Protestant missionary endeavour. A recent announcement of the meetings of a Protestant missionary society spoke of its work as "Christianizing people in pagan and papal" lands. It can not sincerely be denied that a similar assumption underlies much of the Panama propaganda. It was rather clearly expressed in some of the preliminary literature, although the defenders of it in out Board of Missions, and now in the propaganda itself, are endeavouring to hush it up. Judged by officially expressed intentions and by the impression made upon Roman Catholics, it is an anti-Roman Catholic move; and for our Church to participate in it is to commit us to a direct attack on the Latin Communion. We are non-Roman Catholic; but that is quite a different thing from being aggressive anti-Roman Catholic partisans.

[Our Communion has various missions in lands chiefly occupied by Catholic Communions. The Anglican policy, however, is to promote all influences which will assist decadent Churches to develop their own possibilities rather than to disrupt by proselyting. The Archbishop of Canterbury's Mission to Assyria, is an excellent example. We wish to help South Americans to the finest development of Catholic Christianity; but we do not wish to force on Latin peoples ecclesiastical forms of Teutonic Kultur. To quote the Bishop of Chicago, "If we can help South America, in the name of God, let us do it. Let us be sure however that we help and not hinder. Protestant propoganda in Latin countries has not so far demonstrated great skill in ministering to the people. The missions in Italy, France, Spain, Quebec and elsewhere--they are all pre-eminently respectable and pre-eminently unsuccessful. It looks as though the Latin peoples and the Latin Church must travel together. Perhaps we can help them by administering to our own people in their midst, and trying to set a good example. Perhaps in this way we can help them to be better Catholics. To try to help them by converting them from Catholicism to Protestantism is to hurt them. The converted Catholic does not make a good Protestant. Has the Panama Congress any special genius for making South Americans better Catholics? If not, the Episcopal Church will serve a broader purpose by keeping out of it."]

[5] 3. In taking this action, the Board of Missions ignored the action of General Convention which refused to authorize it to co-operate with other missionary Boards at discretion. [The following resolution, proposed in the General Convention of 1913, was voted down by, the House of Bishops: "Resolved, That the Board of Missions be informed that in the judgment of the General Convention it has full authority to take such steps as it may deem wise to co-operate with other Christian Boards of Missions in this country and elsewhere, in the united effort to arouse, organize, and direct the Missionary spirit and activity of Christian people, to the end that the people of this Church may be enabled to discharge their duties to support the Mission of the Church at home and abroad, through prayer, work, giving; provided that the expense incurred in such co-operative educational efforts shall not be a charge upon the funds raised through apportionment."] In particular, it defied the House of Bishops in which this proposal had been vetoed. The question most directly raised is the obligation of the Board of Missions to recognize the authority of General Convention. Plea was made that the Board was not so bound because of being legally independent as a New York corporation. This contention seems now to have been dropped. Yet a [5/6] letter sent to all members of the Board, seriously upheld the position that the Board was not legally responsible to the Convention; and this had its influence in making some feel that if the legal obligation was questionable, no moral obligation need be recognized.

[The position taken in this letter would be indicated by the following sentences: "The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society has a Board of Directors called the Board of Missions. The Society and its Directors get their authority from the State of New York, just as if they were a concern organized to do an industrial business. * * * When, therefore, as a matter of law, you want to find out what the powers of the Board of Missions are, instead of having recourse to the mind of the Church or to the instructions given by General Convention to an agent, you have to turn to the charter and by-laws of the incorporated Society and construe these documents like the constituent documents of any other corporation. * * * If General Convention had expressed its mind as opposed to participation in this conference, the Board of Missions ought not, as a matter of policy, to exercise its legal right to ignore the expression. * * * The proposition concerns conference and has no relation whatever to co-operation, and when the resolution dealing with co-operation fails of passage under circumstances which leave us free to speculate as to what is the true significance of its failure, we are entirely free to vote upon the proposal on its merits. * * * The conference is in its nature local and special and involves no questions of faith and order, to stand aloof would be hard to explain on any other ground than that we did not like the conferees and did not want to meet them."

[The following comments may be made on points touched upon in these sentences.

[1. Conference for a special purpose can not be considered apart from the special purpose proposed. Refusal of General Convention to sanction co-operation is refusal to sanction conference from which it is implied that co-operation will result.

[2. Missions always involve questions of Message and Messengers, the message being a Faith, the messengers a Ministry. To assume "substantial unity and message" of the "co-operating denominations" raises many questions of Faith: necessity of considering comity between missionaries and "transfer between denominations of church-members" raises questions of Order. It is difficult to see how there can be such a thing as mission-work which "involves. no questions of faith and order".

[3. "Circumstances, which leave us free to speculate as to the true significance" of things we do not like as they are, are a bit suggestive of John Wiclif's doctrine of "Dominion founded in grace" Kings, magistrates, bishops and parents exercised feudal authority in their respective spheres: but a "liegeman" was not bound to obey his "lord" on any occasion when he considered him not "in a state of grace". "A man is no civil lord, nor bishop, nor prelate, so long as he is in mortal sin". Similarly our modern Lollards, when displeased with particular acts of the House of Bishops, have only to assume that they were temporarily not "in a state of grace": hence their "dominion" vanishes! [See Appendix I, page 39, for a statement of legal aspects of the case by the Reverend W. J. Seabury, D.D., and the Bishop of Marquettes's pamphlet on Legal Discussion of the Matter of the Panama Congress.]]

The five members of the Board who resigned did so on the express ground "that the Board had exceeded its powers and that this action was contrary to the expressed judgment of the last General Convention." There was thus [6/7] raised a question of lawful authority in the Church, and in particular, of the authority of the collective episcopate. St. Ignatius in the sub-apostolic age urged "Let nothing be done without the Bishop". The Board of Missions apparently does not agree with him. It seems willing to dispense with the sanction of the House of Bishops, and uses some of its episcopal members to express its views. Nevertheless, there is something a bit awkward in the question, Does the Episcopal Church believe in Episcopacy? It is well to put the question of authority in this form, as it goes somewhat beyond the question, Does the Board of Missions owe obedience to the General Convention? The General Convention has behind it all the authority that attaches to the action of our Church-people from 1789 onwards in establishing it and recognizing it as the governing body of the Protestant Episcopal Church. The Episcopate represents something more than that. It is the upper House of General Convention; but it also represents an authority that goes back of 1789. It stands for the [7/8] principle of derivative authority in the Church, not confined to the Episcopate but shared by the whole Ministry, for the principle of Apostolicity, which is the foundation of Church authority. The Board of Missions has ignored not only the authority which attaches to the legislative body of the American Church, but also that which attaches to the derivative principle in the historic Church in all ages. This is a serious predicament.

The action of the Board has not been fortunate in its results. The claim that the Panama Congress is to be "along the same general lines as the Edinburgh Meeting" has roused friends of Edinburgh on both sides of the Atlantic, including members of the Continuation Committee, as is illustrated by the statement of Dr. John R. Mott.* Edinburgh was not anti-Roman Catholic or anti-anything. The decision to send delegates to Panama has startled [8/9] those who do not believe in Pan-Protestantism: the binding of delegates hand and foot has displeased those who do. In trying to please everybody, we have apparently pleased nobody. Incidentally we have been playing fast and loose with principles. The word "conference" has an irresistible fascination for many people; and it is assumed that an affirmative answer only can be given to the question. "Ought we not to confer at any time on any subject with anybody?" Certainly not: neither to further ends undesirable in themselves, nor under conditions which give false impressions. The object of the Conference at Panama is co-operation in missionary work on Protestant lines. Opinion concerning the Conference is determined by opinion concerning the object; and under the circumstances participation in the Conference is deceptive, unless it imply possible co-operation. It has been asserted that "conference at Panama has nothing to do with co-operation". But to the questions, "If the Panama delegates are not going to confer about co-operation in South American missions, what are they going to confer about?" and "Is there use or sincerity in conferring about action which, it is known, some of the conferees can not take?" no satisfactory answers have been given.

[Dr. John R. Mott presided at the Edinburgh Conference and is chairman of the Continuation Committee. No one can speak in behalf of Edinburgh with more authority. His statement follows.

["Dr. John R. Mott is arranging to go to the Panama Congress and is helping in the preparations for it, but he is going not as Chairman of the Continuation Committee of the Edinburgh Conference, nor as a member of that Committee. He believes it to be an injustice to the Edinburgh Conference and to the Panama Congress to attempt to base the latter on the former.

["They are essentially different. Edinburgh was and is a World Movement, and Panama is confined largely to the group of Latin-American countries. The effort at Edinburgh was to secure a conference of Christians throughout the world on the 'missionary problems in relation to the non-Christian world.'

["Edinburgh's subject was the Whole Non-Christian World, and its appeal was to the Whole Christian World.

["Panama's subject is Latin-America which Edinburgh treated as a part of the Christian World.

["As an individual Dr. Mott feels entirely free to take part in the Panama Congress and hopes for its enduring success. But it is not an Edinburgh Conference, and to confuse the two is an injustice to both."]

With excellent intentions the Board of Missions seems in more ways than one to have stultified itself, and to have come perilously near to nullifying itself.

For these and other reasons, such as the dissension caused at home, and a consequent distrust in the Board of Missions which threatens to hamper our missionary work, I believe the action of the Board to have been seriously mistaken. But I am chiefly concerned with the importance of the general questions raised, and of the principles lying behind them: such questions as--What is the Church's attitude toward Protestant Federation? What is the Church's [9/10] attitude toward Roman Catholicism? Does the Episcopal Church believe in Episcopacy?

The Board of Missions has not invented, or gone out of its way to raise questions like these. They were up and clamouring for answer long before it had to consider Panama. The difficulties felt by the Board are only difficulties felt by us all. The incident of the Board's action has created no new situation; it has merely called attention to one that exists. It has raised no new questions: it has merely forced them to the front. The importance of it consists not in the wisdom or unwisdom of its details, nor in the fact that it occasioned serious disagreement, but in its being a symptom of a condition existing in the Church, a reflection of an uncertainty in the Church itself as to its position. It will have served a useful purpose, if it has set in train a course of events which will lead the Church better to under stand itself, and to prevent possibility of similar disagreements in future. It is a good thing that present discussions are bringing these issues fairly and squarely before the Church. The Church as a whole does not see yet all that is involved; but it is necessary for it to make a decision in regard to upholding, or repudiating, the action of its missionary Board, and consideration of the necessary data ought to clarify convictions and prepare the way for more clearly-defined and consistent action in future. An intelligent decision either way will serve to answer the question, What is the Protestant Episcopal Church? Most outsiders do not know exactly; many Churchmen are hazy. Perhaps we can do away with this. It is only by clear apprehension of the Church's general position that we can form an opinion as to whether or not we should be represented at Panama. The question concerns not ourselves in America only but the whole Communion to which we belong. What concerns part concerns the whole; and at this time the same series of problems is demanding solution in England and the
[10/11] British Colonial Churches, although presented in varying forms. Panama is the South American way, and Kikuyu the Central African way, of propounding the same query. Is the Anglican Communion Protestant or Catholic? It is strange that a great religious body should be so frequently perplexed as to its own identity, and seem to be the victim of ecclesiastical aphasia. The root of the trouble lies in the constitutional ambiguity of Anglicanism; and until this be treated by some drastic remedies, we must expect frequent attacks of the same malady. The necessity of clearer definition of principles seems to be forced upon us; and clearer definition of any sort ought in some way to add to the effectiveness of the Church.

Anglican Ambiguity.

The history of Anglicanism shows in all periods and stages the existence of contrasted types of Churchmanship, which may be distinguished as Protestant and Catholic. Partisans on either side have believed themselves to represent the true spirit of Anglican Christianity, and that its history fairly interpreted was only susceptible of the interpretation placed upon it by themselves. The Anglican Church has provided place for both; one of its most cherished ideas has been inclusiveness, comprehension of all differing degrees of emphasis and contrasted angles of approach. It has, however, sheltered and sanctioned not only various aspects of one presentation of Christianity, but also opposed points of view and contradictory assumptions. One-sided versions of its history are beginning to make way for truer interpretations which plainly recognize its confusing "double witness".

As races go, the English-speaking races are truthful races; but they are also races with strong prejudices and strong convictions. These, more than facts, often determine their judgments of past events. The influence of [11/12] prejudice appears in most histories of the Church of England. Students and authors have too often read into the history things they wished to find, and have isolated things they liked without regard to other things equally part of the history, which they did not like so well. They have not invented facts; they have found what they wished without necessity of invention. But they have sorted and selected. They have not always recognized that there are at least two sets of facts, two different lines of development, discoverable side by side, emphasizing different sides of truth, and sometimes contradicting each other. This inconsistency has always been a source of weakness and the cause of uncertainty in pursuit of policies. It would seem to be one of the tasks for our generation to get rid of this ambiguity and its resulting handicap.

Is the Anglican Communion Catholic or Protestant? Glibly and confidently we answer "Both". We insist on regarding the Christian world as a whole, and on making the most of agreements with all its parts. We are thankful to believe that we can perform a mediatorial function in the work of unity. This attitude we ought always to maintain. Hence we wish to believe ourselves both Catholic and Protestant. But this answer "Both" is not so adequate or satisfactory as at first it seems. "Both" often only means "Neither": the chronic habit of avoiding extremes does not tend to produce force of character: the balanced shrinking of Anglicans from Rome and Geneva has tended to narrow the interval on which stand was taken until their theologians have too often borne an undesirable resemblance to mere experts on the tight-rope.

"'Catholic' and 'Protestant' are not the same thing; and a Church must be either the one thing or the other." There is not total separation between the ideas they represent, not an impassable gulf between the two. They may be hyphenated; but it is impossible, least of all in these [12/13] days of discredited hyphens, to take Hyphenism as raison d'être of an additional sect. Either Anglicans constitute a Catholic Communion with great admiration for, and sympathy with, Protestants; or they constitute a Protestant Communion with somewhat less than the average prejudice against Catholics. One thing or the other they must be, although in either case a distinguishing characteristic is sympathetic appreciation of the other side. The present movements in the Church ought to assist in demonstration of which it is.

Too long has Anglicanism rested on "the Elizabethan Settlement", which was quite the reverse of a settlement, being no more than a workable makeshift adopted in a troubled time, the ecclesiastical counterpart of the political coquetry habitually practiced by the Virgin Queen. We have been coquetting long enough; it is time to declare our serious intentions. No development of the Reformation period represents a last word in Christianity; there is no more finality in the English arrangements of 1559 and 1662 than in those of Augsburg, Geneva and Trent. We have inherited a general position in which we believe as approximately truthful and as relatively useful: we must develop it and improve on it, if we can. One of its defects is uncertainty. Now is a time when something may be done to get rid of this.

["As for the English Church, her theological intention was good, and she was mercifully spared the action upon her of any of those masterful individualities and uncatholic wills, which helped the foreign Reformations down different roads of heretical defection. But when we ask whether the English Church of the Reformation arrived at a satisfactory statement of doctrine in accordance with her fundamental intentions--at a permanent 'settlement'--we must, we fancy, answer to a great extent in the negative. She was in fact suffering from reaction, and her formulas are too often protests against what is exaggerated or false, rather than statements of what is true. She was more at pains to arrive at a working compromise than at a clear statement. Indeed she had not, the Church at large had not, a knowledge of ancient liturgies or ancient theology, such as would have admitted of a position being formulated which could be regarded as (from a simply catholic point of view) a satisfactory settlement.

["When we have said this it becomes apparent that we do not think catholic-minded people can be in any idolatrous attitude towards the English Reformation, or indeed that we can take an optimistic view of the process. The ship of the Church went through a great storm--she lost a great deal, not only in decoration and accoutrements, but in rigging and in bulwarks, but she came out of that storm--the ship. So far then we can accept the statement of our case from Cardinal Newman's lips: 'There was a very trying interval for the Church of England in the sixteenth century, when it ran great risk of being wrecked; but it weathered the storm, and its good fortune may be regarded as a providence and become a positive argument for its being what * * * its great history betokens'." Gore: Roman Catholic Claims, pp. 164f.]

[14] It is much to be desired that we get away from the old policy of trying to assent to everything, of trying to agree with everybody, even in cases of views directly opposed. The double witness does not stand searching tests for us any more than for Lear.

"To say 'ay' and 'no' to everything I said! 'Ay' and 'no' too was no good divinity. When the rain came to wet me and the wind to make me chatter, when the thunder would not peace at my bidding, there I found them out, there I smelt 'em out. Go to, they are not men o' their words; they told me I was everything; 'tis a lie, I am not ague-proof."

Considered merely as policy, straightforwardness and sincerity are better than non-committal evasiveness and amiable duplicity. The consequences of a straightforward policy must be beneficial. There is no question of "dividing the Church". The Church is divided as the result of an equivocating policy. Only by getting rid of this can we prevent perpetuation of existing division and perplexity. It is not that "we have all been dishonest together". On the contrary we have all been quite honest together. Those of us who are Protestants have for the most part learned to [14/15] cherish Protestantism in our own religious body which flaunts the Protestant name. In the case of the great majority we are what we are as Churchmen because the Protestant Episcopal Church has made us so. This is true not only of us as representatives of the different types, "High Church", "Low Church" and "Broad Church", which usefully supplement each other, but also of the toleration side by side of "Church" and "No Church". The last mentioned type, radically opposed to the principles of revealed religion is not native to Anglicanism. It is a German immigrant and often behaves like a German spy. Yet in recent years, it has been naturalized not only by indolent toleration, but even by the special favour of some in authority. There are oppositions corresponding to those which exist between Reformed Episcopalians and Old Catholics, and also those which exist between Trinitarians and Deists. These diametrical divergences not only hamper work but are on principle indefensible.

It seems apparent that we must enter into new and serious discussions as to the principles and policies.' Controversies have left sad blots on Christian history; but this need not be so. We have been urging conference in a Christian spirit between representatives of the whole Christian world. Now we have an opportunity to exhibit the Christian temper in the discussion and adjustment of our own differences. We put ourselves in the wrong whenever, and from whatever motive, we display "bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and evil-speaking"; but there is such a thing, even in controversy, as "speaking the truth in love" and not losing unity in spirit. It is to be assumed of all of us that we wish to know truth and to do our duties. We all wish to keep the Church loyal to its principles and efficient for its work. We do not see and think alike on all subjects, largely because our Church itself has made it inevitable that we see and think differently. We [15/16] differ; and we must discuss differences. If we do it like Christians, it will do us and many others good. We may be equally loyal though, in following truth as we see it, we are led along different paths. New calls to difficult duties may involve pain and sacrifice. We must not shrink from either. When the Church gives a command, we must obey. When she adopts a definite policy, we must loyally support and further it. If for any reason this be impossible, the only way we in positions of responsibility can serve her is promptly to make way for those who can. It is quite probable that there are trying times ahead for many or all of us. We may be quite sure that no effort to be simply loyal to our Lord and His Church will fail to count.

The Anglican Communion Catholic.

I have been urging that the ambiguity of the Anglican position must be recognized, and that continuance of this ambiguity is not desirable. Whether or not there has been justification for this in the past, there would seem to be none-in the present. Our Communion rightly makes place for different types of Churchmanship; but it ought not to give equal sanction to Church and No Church. So far as the conceptions commonly called Catholic and Protestant run counter to each other, the Church must choose between them. During most of its history the Protestant tendency has predominated. Yet the Anglican Communion, though Protestant in its practice has always been Catholic in theory. "A Catholic Church with a Protestant membership." "Catholic" signifies conforming to the standards of the ancient undivided Church. I have stated that a more definite declaration of principles either way would be a good thing for the Anglican Communion. My main object is to urge that the definiteness ought to take the form of demonstrating more plainly her right to claim a position among the Catholic communions of the Christian world.

[17] It is important to note that the Church of England claims always to conform to the teachings and standards of the primitive Church. "The principle of authority to which the Anglican Church has always consistently appealed is the (catholic tradition of the ancient and undivided Church). The Convocation of 1571, which imposed upon the clergy subscription to the Articles of Religion, issued a canon to preachers enjoining them to 'teach nothing in their sermons which they should require to be devoutly held or believed by the people, except what is agreeable to the doctrine of the Old or New Testament, and what the catholic fathers and ancient bishops have collected out of the said doctrine.' And the formal appeal of the Anglican divines has always been to the quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus, as well as to Scripture." [Gore: The Body of Christ, p. 227 f.] This appeal to "catholic fathers and ancient bishops" has not only assured tolerance in the Anglican Communion for such as hold to doctrines and practices approved in the primitive Church, but also claims for Anglicanism the primitive standards as her own. When choice had to be made between continental reformers and "catholic fathers and ancient bishops', the typical English theologians chose the ancient fathers without hesitation. The English Prayer Book was interpreted by them as consonant with the teaching of the fathers; and on most points this could be clearly shown.

The Catholic principles of the Anglican Communion are best summarized in the items of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral:

(1) The Holy Scriptures as backgrounds of traditional authority;

(2) The Creeds, as brief statements of the gist of the teaching of Scripture, the Incarnation of the Son of God;

(3) The Sacraments, representing the extension of the Incarnate Son's ministry of grace, through a sacramental

(4) Ministry, as instrument of His discipline and authority. [For statement of reasons for this interpretation of "Historic Episcopate" see Kinsman: Principles of Anglicanism, pp. 104-110.]

These four items may be reduced to two, the Divine Christ and the Sacramental Church. That was the gist of belief in the early centuries, the substance of Christian tradition of which the New Testament represents the earliest stage. It began with belief in God, and ended in the life of prayer. It is based on belief in the supernatural, that is, God above nature, and on recognition of authority, that is, God in the Church.


Protestantism has shattered this fabric, both in historical fact and inevitable logic. It was as far as possible from the intention of the first reformers, as it is far from the intention of Protestants today, to relinquish the faith of the Gospel. Yet the religious history of Western Christianity for the past three hundred years has shown an inevitable drift in all parts of the Protestant world from definite Christianity to various forms of religious negation.

The course of events may be considered in four stages which represent the successive elimination of the principles of the Quadrilateral in reverse order.

(I) First, came repudiation of the ministry on the ground, unfortunately supported by many facts, that the existing priesthood was tyrannical and corrupt, and acted as a barrier between souls and God. In opposition to sacerdotal authority was set up the authority of the individual private judgment or conscience.

(2) Second, came repudiation of Sacraments regarded as supernatural, for the reason that on them rested the priesthood's power. Back of this opposition to priests lay [18/19] the restiveness of private judgment, not only at external authority, but also at mystical conceptions. [Many object to the word, "mystical,"--possibly because of its likeness to "mythical"--as signifying unreal. It means merely "conscious of God and of the unseen", and hence in the highest sense relates to Reality.]

(3) Third, came a practical ignoring, and then often open denial, of the Creeds. The denial, ostensibly in the interests of private judgment's intellectual freedom, is due to private judgment's rejection of all miracle as lying outside its own comprehension. Beginning with "Miracles do not happen", it proceeds to "Miracles never did happen". Hence it has no use for categorical assertions of the Incarnation of the Son of God.

(4) Fourth, in spite of initial proclamation of the authority of Scripture, assumed to support private judgment against the Church, came first ignoring, then definite rejection, of the authority of Scripture, and also of the substance of all except such meagre portions as private judgment could approve. The gist of the Scriptures is the same as the gist of the Creeds; and both are rejected in certain quarters for the same reason.

That reason is that the basis of Protestantism was, even in the beginning, a protest not only against ecclesiastical abuses, but also a protest against authority as such and a protest against the supernatural. The gradual developments of Protestant history have made this increasingly evident. God is a supernatural authority; and in the end God has to go. Hence it is that one of the bishops could say recently "The goal of Protestantism is atheism". Not that Protestants set out for this goal, or that many have reached it; but that being rooted and centered in self, Protestantism inaugurates a tendency which ultimately excludes God.

[20] "Faith and unfaith can ne'er be equal powers;
Unfaith in aught is want of faith in all.
It is the little rift within the lute,
That by and by will make the music mute,
And ever widening slowly silence all."

Luther, the typical Protestant, wished to be, and was, a man of sturdy faith. His appeal to the men of his age, and the appeal of men like him in subsequent ages, has been in behalf of faith. Yet his practical regard for faith, intellectual and moral, as self-evolved rather than God-given, and the resting of everything on the authority of private judgment, introduced an element of defiance which, intellectually, has become sceptical, and morally, antinomian. In the long run the negative influence has prevailed. Luther stands at the head of a line that ends in Treitschke; in the land of Luther, Odin has superseded Christ. In every line of Protestant development the same things have appeared. Worship and prayer so-called have ceased to be conscious of the presence of God; authority in all forms has been defied; religious practices have been gradually abandoned. In the end has appeared in many places virtual oblivion of the existence of God.

Evangelical Germany is a classical example. In spite of Luther's fervour and the splendid impetus given to personal religion by his gift to the Germans of their own Bible and their own hymns, the influence of his example led to anarchy and license. The Zwickau Prophets, for example, were the wildest of fanatics, the Anabaptists of Münster the most shamelessly immoral of many wicked in a time of chaos. These were not isolated examples of the characteristic products of an age of violence. Then came a period of dry formalism, in which those who had begun by forsaking priests proceeded also to forsake preachers. Private judgment, which needed no ministry of grace, could equally well dispense with a ministry of truth. It has ended in a [20/21] sort of established scepticism. The Evangelical Church of Germany has ceased to represent any actual pastoral activity; its ministers are used for political purposes in instruction, being strictly subservient to the ruling House: and the people care for churches chiefly as halls for sacred music. Music and the State go far to make up the popular religion. Militarist paganism is freely taught. The Christianity of Germany exists not in its decadent Evangelicalism but in a revived Roman Catholicism. Phillips Brooks expressed a common impression when he wrote: "Modern German Protestantism is the dryest thing. It seems to have had no power to develop any poetry or richness. At present it seems to be ground between the upper millstone of a military State, and the lower millstone of the learned universities. It was almost a relief to be again with the Catholics this morning." In Germany Protestantism had its birth: and in Germany has there been the most striking exhibition of its dechristianizing tendency.

Calvinism has not so conspicuously exhibited a Christianity collapsed: but it has shown in all the countries in which it has flourished that Protestantism quite normally leads to Unitarianism. Protestantism does away with mystical conceptions of ministry and sacraments. It is but a next step to drop the mystical truths of the Creeds and of the Scriptures. Dean Inge notes that "The Sacramental system is the only means of holding the nearness of Christ to the believer. It is a matter of fact that all bodies which reject or explain away the Sacraments drift into Unitarianism." The process has in most instances been an unconscious one: but there is no mistaking the tendency and its inevitable result.

Conscious and avowed Unitarianism sprang from the Calvinistic Congregationalism of New England, and from other forms of Calvinism in England and Holland. This was due in part to humanitarian revolt from an inhuman [21/22] theology and to Calvinistic preference for the thought of God as the Almighty of the Old Testament rather than of Him as existing in Trinity. It was due also to the inevitable tendency to shift the supernatural to a quarter so remote as to be practical meaningless. A priesthood regarded as supernaturally absolving and a Eucharist regarded as enshrining a supernatural presence could not be tolerated; and the idea of supernatural redemption was shifted to Calvary centuries remote. As the thought of miracle had more and more to be eliminated, the chief thought was of the God of the Deists supernaturally active only at the moment of creation. The assumption "I will not believe what I cannot comprehend; and I will recognize nothing that transcends physical experience" leads ultimately to the agnostic elimination of God even as First Cause, "the ultimate superstition".

In all Protestant countries is this course of negative development noticeable. In most cases it is unavowed and unconscious; but anyone who keenly scrutinizes the facts cannot fail to discover that a great part of the Protestant world is already virtually Unitarian. Our Lord is vaguely Master, Elder Brother, Friend, Example; the Scriptures are studied, and Creeds are said. Yet the substance of them is not understood; all sense of the Johannine conception of the Word made flesh, and of the Pauline conception of the Son possessing the Pleroma of Godhead is gone. The doctrine of Election has made way for election of doctrines: and New Testament doctrines cannot poll many votes. In most conservative Protestant circles is this true. The religion is nobly humanitarian in its philanthropy, but also merely humanitarian in its theology, and humanly uncertain in duration. The merely human Christ, belonging wholly to the past, is virtually a dead Christ; and belief in a dead Christ can sustain at best but a dying Church. [22/23] The Living Church of the Living Christ has in many quarters become unthinkable.

The Mystical Church has had to make way for myriad churches. The principle of unbelief is a principle of schism. The Reformation everywhere aimed at securing for the Church an arithmetical exactness. It set out to substract additions. It has ended by adding substractions and multiplying divisions. "He who runs may read". Decay of faith and destruction of unity are obvious products of three centuries of Protestant influence. Superstition and tyranny provoked violent reaction; and they must be held accountable in large degree for the disastrous results. Yet the sins of the reaction itself must be admitted, the superstitions of its scepticism and the tyrannies which it has practiced in the name of Liberty.

Anglican Protestantism which, after conflict of a century and a half with Puritans, definitely set its face against their excesses and sought still to "stand in the ancient ways", has held its place somewhat more firmly than its Continental contemporaries. Yet in so far as it is Protestant, it has exhibited the same tendencies. Many of its members have practically ignored what the Church has taught; and many have tried to make it seem that use of words and forms need not imply their expressed belief. "We have kept the historic episcopate; but we don't think it amounts to anything. The ancient forms of our Liturgy make us use words about 'holy mysteries'; but we mean nothing by them." That is the line taken by many. Ministry and sacraments are kept; but they are emptied of meaning.

Recently it has come to the Creeds. All official statements stand firmly by them; but on many sides are claims being made that though we still tolerate belief in the Christian facts, we should not try to impose them. Clergy and laity alike, it is urged, should be allowed to keep regular standing in the Church, without being required to hold the [23/24] Church's faith in the Church's sense. The Bishops of Oxford and Ely may declare the necessity of loyalty; but the Lady Margaret Professors of Divinity in Oxford and Cambridge oppose them on the plea that the Church must specially cherish "scholarship" which has lost belief in miracle. The young writers in Foundations go on sapping; and the episcopal admonitions are unheeded. Anglicans are still to be permitted to believe in the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection; but they must tolerate explanations that explain away.

This history of Protestantism makes it clear that in spite of its Evangelical appeal and desire to foster personal religion, it has as its base a principle of opposition to authority, and to the supernatural, which tends to do away not only with the Church but with God. The fruits of private judgment are not merely suggested by logic but are exhibited before our eyes. Eve exercised her private judgment in regard to the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil, characteristically assuming, at suggestion of the Devil, that she knew more about it than God. The world ever since has had to endure the restiveness of this form of feminism. The Pilgrim Fathers were not unlike her. They wished "to worship God in their own way". But what about God's way? The Reformation did not invent these tendencies although it displayed them with all their characteristics of self-will and self-deceit. The remedies for them are Faith and Obedience.

Faith and Obedience were ostensible aims of the Reformation. Luther was pre-eminently a preacher of Faith, Calvin a despot in imposing Obedience. Yet history shows that the movements they inaugurated missed these aims. The explanation lies in their radical defect, self-centeredness. Luther proclaimed Justification by Faith as the one saving truth; yet what he meant by it practically was distrust of every opinion except his own, supreme self-confidence. [24/25] Calvin, more than any man in modern times, insisted on obedience to the Law, the written word of God. Actually, what he established in Geneva was complete submission to his own self-will, backed by the teaching of a theology which assumed that Self-Will was the essence of God. From self as root cannot spring those growths and fruits which are rooted in Divine Love. Faith and Obedience are the basis, as well as the products, of what we mean by Catholicism.

Justification of Anglicanism.

Not only has Anglicanism failed to make as clear an impression as would have been desirable; but, in this country at least, it has, if considered merely as a form of Protestantism, little to say in justification of its independent existence. In England it may claim to perpetuate the ancient Church of the land, in recognition whereof it is "by law established". [Yet its possession of the ancient churches sometimes gives a semblance of continuity not wholly in accord with facts. Continuity of buildings does not prove continuity of principle. Consider the significance of "The Nine Altars" of Durham Cathedral. The "Nine Altars" were, I believe, erected in the thirteenth century and dedicated to the memories of some of the finest of the Northumbrian saints. They may have succeeded nine altars earlier still. At any rate, from the thirteenth century until the twentieth there have always been "Nine Altars" in the east end of Durham Cathedral. There has been absolutely no break in continuity of name. This nominal permanence sometimes blinds people to the fact that a clear distinction must nevertheless be made between the three centuries during which there were nine actual altars, daily used for celebrations of the Holy Eucharist, and the three centuries during which there have been but nine holes in the surrounding walls! Continuity of walls and of name must not obscure the fact that in the sixteenth century the nine altars were smashed, and that in the twentieth century they have not yet been restored. The "Nine Altars" of Durham illustrate by parable the actual condition of many things in the Anglican Church. There has been over-emphasis on "continuity" in writers upon English Church history. It was long popularly supposed that the Roman Catholic Church was wholly abolished in England in order that a brand-new Protestant Church might be set up in its place. To combat this fallacy ecclesiastical writers have rung the changes on "continuity." Some curiously have urged that the Church of England was very Protestant all through the Middle Ages, and that, apparently in consequence, she must be regarded as having been very Catholic ever since! Neither contention is borne out by facts.] The argument of "Church of England for [25/26] the English" has its force in the British Empire; but the force does not apply to us. If we perpetuate principles of the English Church, it must be for reasons independent of English association. There are no good reasons for the existence here of an Anglican Church merely as an additional Protestant sect. I can conceive of but two, one of which would never be alleged.

It is said that many prefer the Episcopal Church for social reasons. It has decent and orderly ways, good English connections, is sometimes regarded as "an upholstered religion for the rich", a "Pullman car on the road to salvation". Yet none would claim respectability--were it a fact--as reason for the existence of an additional sect. Bare statement of such a reason is condemnation.

The only reason which could be alleged to justify the existence of the Episcopal Church on a Protestant basis would be the love for the Prayer Book. None who know the Prayer Book can fail to love it. It contains the cream of devotion of many ages, expressed in a majestic, moving English which is without parallel. Not even that of the English Bible is quite equal to it. Acquaintance and use enhance appreciation of this greatest of devotional treasures in the English tongue. It is not only Churchmen who feel this. Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists and others have taken much of it for their own Prayer Books; and use of its forms is becoming more and more common. But mere [26/27] liking for Prayer Book forms to express Protestant devotions is no sufficient reason for a special Prayer Book sect. In these days most Protestants would be large-minded enough to allow congregational use of the Prayer Book to any who wished it. If the Episcopal Church is, or can be, nothing but a Prayer Book sect, it had best speedily lose itself in the largest possible Protestant Federation. It would not have to lose its Prayer Book--expurgated after a Reformed Episcopal pattern--and it could make useful contributions toward a corporate Protestantism for America. A mere Prayer Book sect could best promote the cause of Christian unity by the prompt dissolution of itself.

The Anglican Communion can be most clearly justified as embodying "principles of a liberal or comprehensive Catholicism, which both accepts the fundamental dogmas and also rigorously limits the dogmatic requirement". It is most nearly akin to that of the Old Catholics, the only other non-Roman Catholic Communion in the West, and among Protestants to the Swedish and Danish Lutherans who have apparently retained a high doctrine of Sacraments and the historic Ministry, and are not losing grip on Creeds and Scriptures. It may have special value for the whole religious world so long as it tries to bridge the chasm between Catholics and Protestants from the Catholic side. As Liberal Catholicism it has raison d'être; as ritualistic Protestantism it has none. The only interpretation of it which justifies independent existence is the Catholic interpretation. This is briefly that it stands for the principles of the undivided Church in a way to make special appeal to the English-speaking world. It has also a witness to bear to the whole world as to the meaning of Catholicism, as something more than rigid enforcement of moulds of thought and conduct belonging chiefly to one people and one age, as "guaranteeing, on the basis of the Catholic Creed and system, a largeness of mind and liberty of action" such as [27/28] characterized St. Paul. It has a duty of protecting certain aspects of Catholic truth which have found their fullest modern expression in the Protestant world. It never fails to recognize that a one-sided development of Catholicism in the Roman Church was largely responsible for the one-sidedness of the Reformation reaction, and that the reaction though violent and disastrous, as reactions always are, had nevertheless great and important truths on its side. It stands for an ideal of comprehensiveness and combination. It can never ignore or fail to sympathize with the Protestant world. Yet if it comes to taking sides between Catholic Communions and Protestant, its principles place it on the side of the Catholics.

Attitude Toward Protestant Communions.

What does this involve in relations with our nearest neighbours in the religious world, the different Protestant denominations with whom we have obviously so much in common, and with whom for every reason we wish to be on the best of terms? Divergences, plainly, in regard to Ministry and Sacraments and attitude toward Creeds.

This is a discomforting fact. I can best express the difficulty, which I feel keenly, by concrete personal illustration. [For statement of sympathy with positive aims of Protestantism, see Kinsman: Principles of Anglicanism, pp. 127-135, and Kinsman: Catholic and Protestant, pp. 82-85.] All my life I have had to do with Presbyterians. I have never known any but good ones; and my Presbyterian friends include the best people I have known anywhere. From personal knowledge I know that the Spirit of God is working in the Presbyterian Communion; and I have the highest respect for what Presbyterians have contributed, and are likely to contribute, to the development of the country. In some communities I know I consider that they [28/29] represent the strongest element for good, a stronger element than the Episcopalians. There are no people with whom I should more wish to be in sympathetic co-operation, none with whom I should feel less justified in making arrogant assumption of superiority. Every personal feeling makes me wish to work with Presbyterians. I acknowledge that their religious system is good, because I know its fruits in work and character.

Yet that does not lead me to think it the best, nor make me feel that sympathy and charity compel me to sacrifice my own convictions to the supposed wishes of Presbyterian friends any more than I expect them to sacrifice their convictions to mine. (I have never found that straightforward avowal of convictions prevented friendly intercourse with those who had different, but equally strong, convictions of their own. Quite the contrary.) The older I grow, the less I can believe that Calvinistic theology adequately presents the teaching of the New Testament, and that systems based upon it are best fitted to preserve the finest qualities of Christian life. The more I know of the history of Calvinistic influence, the more I am convinced that, when compared with original Christianity, it represents a down-grade. It has shown an inevitable trend toward Unitarianism, which I understand and respect, though I am unable to accept its negations, and can only regard it as "a feather-bed to catch a falling Christian". Hence, the more I value many positive products of Presbyterian influence, the more for the sake of their preservation would I wish to see them on what I believe a more secure basis. When I have to choose between the fundamental principles and assumptions of the ancient Catholic Church and those of my Presbyterian friends--or rather of the system from which they are named--I choose the ancient principles, not that theories of ministry and sacraments are things of [29/30] chief importance, but because they apply and protect the central doctrines of faith which we all alike profess.

I know of no words which, both for myself and for the Church to which I belong, I should more wish to make my own, than some descriptive of "the world-task of the Presbyterian Church" used by Dr. Robert E. Speer. "Our Church has been and is of John the Baptist's mind. It holds its mission to be not world extension, not absorption of other bodies, not a permanent partial testimony to the truth of God which is greater than any single statement of it, but disappearance in the larger unity of the Body of Christ. At home and abroad, the Church conceives its task to be to prepare for and to welcome not only the largest possible measure of co-operation and friendship, but also the organic union of the bodies of which Jesus Christ is Head". (I should change this last to "the different parts of the one Body of which Jesus Christ is Head".) This seems to me perfectly to express a feeling that ought to be shared by all who wish to preserve Christianity and promote unity. The great point is that we should be working for the greater and more perfect Church of the future. The stages which we have now severally reached represent, thank God, nothing final. They all have partial contributions to make to the Church that is coming, but are of value only in relation to a greater whole in which we all have common stake. I do not at all believe in the approximate perfection of the Protestant Episcopal Church; nor should I wish to see the religious world Protestant Episcopalian. My main interest in the Episcopal Church is due to conviction that she has useful contributions to make to the development of American Christianity, chiefly in the form of holding to the Sacramental principle, not only for herself but also for Protestants generally, to keep them from cutting loose altogether from ancient tradition and the major part of the Christian world. [30/31] Moreover, though the Episcopal Church has obvious defects, and too often fails to live up to principles and possibilities, those who know her innermost life can not fail to be conscious of her fundamental loyalty to the Catholic Faith, and of her ability to nurture saints.

Yet the Church I believe in is not the Episcopal, but the Holy Catholic Church, and in this not as a verbal abstraction but as a concrete reality, best seen in the days before the division of East and West, still discoverable amid the differences of the great Communions of the Catholic world, and not wholly obscured in the multitudinous fragments of Protestantism. We wish to emphasize agreements everywhere; but when those of us who view Christian problems from the standpoint of historic Christianity, and, against the current of sceptical drift, wish to preserve faith in the Incarnate Son of God, have to choose between identification with Catholic Communions or Protestant, we must keep our stand on the Catholic side.

Attitude Toward Roman Catholicism.

This at once suggests the indisputable fact that none of the other Catholic Communions plainly recognize the right of our Communion to do so. That does not affect its duty, if it live up to the principles it avows. And there is special difficulty in regard to its attitude toward Roman Catholicism, which recognizes no other Communion, in the West at least, as having any right to share the Catholic Name. We live in the atmosphere of the reaction from the position that "everything Roman is right", which goes to the other extreme and assumes that "everything Roman is wrong." Anglicans make neither of these assumptions.

Some years ago a man lay on his death-bed. His friends, seeing the end near, asked if he had not some religious sentiment to express, a dying message to proclaim his faith and convey to them a message of lasting spiritual [31/32] comfort. With difficulty he roused himself, and with his last breath uttered "I hate the Pope". Then he died. He has been dead ever since. There are still some like him. Most of them are over sixty. This special form of fanaticism will soon be as extinct as the Dodo.

It does not follow, however, that the decay of ignorant and fanatical prejudice against the Roman Communion means acquiescence in Roman claims. These are opposed from two points of view, that of the Eastern Church and that of Protestants. The Eastern Church in the ninth century, when the developed Roman claims first made themselves unmistakably felt, rejected them as being accretions upon the primitive Catholic faith. With the Eastern Church, in this matter, the Church of England aligned herself in the sixteenth century, as did the Old Catholic Communion in the nineteenth. The opposition of the Easterns and their allies in the West takes the line, non-Roman though Catholic; Protestant opposition takes the line, anti-Catholic. Fuller knowledge of the facts of Christian history, and events of the present War, are likely to emphasize the force of criticism of what is merely Roman in Latin Christianity from the standpoint of what is primitively Catholic--a point of view ably represented in the Roman Communion itself.

The attitude of a well-instructed Anglican toward the Roman Church might be stated as follows. It is not possible to accept the claim to universal dominion made in behalf of the Papacy, nor over-precise scholastic definitions and newly-declared dogmas as of faith, nor a quasi-idolatrous cult of saints and withholding of the cup in the Eucharist, on the ground that these things were unknown in the primitive Church, and have proven mischievous as modern developments. It is impossible to accept dogmatic standards which would rule out St. Paul, St. Augustine and even St. Thomas Aquinas. It is also impossible to assent to the [32/33] standards of Jesuit ethics, and incidentally to meddlesome intrigues in politics. The terms of communion now imposed by the Papacy, and acquiesced in by about one-half of the Christian world, we can not accept. But it is only possible deeply to regret that this is so. Some of these obstacles to inter-communion on Catholic principles are of comparatively recent origin; it may be that they will not be of long duration. The world can only long and pray for the time when all Catholics shall be in communion with the great Churches of the Latin Communion; but from the standpoint of those who hold to the ancient standards, there seems no possibility of this until--to use Laud's phrase--"Rome be other than she is".

Controversy forces us to criticize the Roman position along lines similar to those taken by the Eastern Church; but it ought not to blind us to the forces for good always operating in the greatest of all Christian Communions. The Bishop of New York is reported to have said in an address at Cooper Union, "The great secret of the influence of the Roman Church is its consistent witness to the supernatural". That is certainly true. In these days of drift away from the supernatural, which means from religion, how thankful must we be to the Roman Church for its exhibition of Petrine loyalty to the fundamental Christian truth! How encouraging to feel certain that the authoritative force of half-Christendom will be steadily on the side of religion as a fact of Divine Revelation rather than as mere individual discovery! And how thankful we should be for the thousands of saintly lives which are, and always have been, nurtured within the great Communion of the Latin races! None but a blind and bigoted partisan can shut his eyes to such inspiring facts; and none but a fallen Christian can fail ungrudgingly to acknowledge them. All honour to the Roman Church for all the good it does as a mighty bulwark for the central principles of faith, and, in [33/34] these days of defiance of all authority, for its resolute maintenance, on the whole, of the sanctity of marriage and family life. Doubtless in parts of the Roman Communion, as in other Communions, there are sad examples of failure and degradation. Facts of this sort we can not ignore; neither ought we to ignore greater facts on the other side. We wish to see, confess, and thank God for, the virtues of all in the Christian world, most of all in that most influential of Communions on whose loyalty and sanctity so much for all the world depends.

In the early days of the English Reformation, was inserted in the Litany the suffrage, "From the tyranny of the Bishop of Rome and all his detestable enormities, Good Lord, deliver us." "Is it not a fact", I was recently asked, "that this was once in the Litany?" It certainly was. It is also a fact that at the end of ten years, during only four of which it had been used, it was removed; and a further fact, that it will never be restored. Nor will the temper it represents ever come back.

[The following is an admirable statement of the Anglican attitude toward Roman Catholicism, taken from Bishop Gore's Roman Catholic Claims, pp. 16f.

["We find ourselves by our baptism members of a Church which claims to be a part of Christ's Holy Catholic Church, and which, at the same time, has become separated from the rest of Western Christendom by a refusal to submit to the claims of the see of Rome.

["We do not find on examination that we fail to comply with any of the conditions of catholic communion which the ancient and undivided Church recognized.

["We cannot in the face of history treat the present claims of the Papal see as tenable or just. In particular, the force of these claims is broken as by an immense breakwater, by the whole Eastern Church with her millions of Catholic Christians, long before it reaches us. For history forces us to recognize in the Roman claims the main cause of the schism of East and West; it forces us to see in the Papal system a development of Christianity which is less than Catholic.

["On the other hand, we see in the ancient and undivided Church a system of coherent beliefs and institutions and practices which has been continuous under the development of Rome and in the traditions of the East, and which is, richer and fuller in possibilities of life than either the one or the other taken apart. To this richer and completer life of the undivided Church we make our appeal. From it we would start afresh. For while we thankfully recognize that, in God's good providence, nothing occurred in the English Reformation which broke the continuity of our Church in any essential matter with the Church of the past. it is not to the Reformation we wish to appeal so much as to antiquity. The Reformation was a time of reaction rather than of settlement. We see the 'fresh springs' of a life constantly new rather in the principles of the ancient Church and in the present power of the Holy Ghost. And to reassure us in appealing back to the undivided Church and claiming our continuity with her, God has blessed with results beyond what its first leaders would have dared to ask, the revival of religious life amongst us, which, during the last fifty years, has stirred and taken form on the basis of this very appeal, Just in proportion as the Anglican Church has been content to act as if she were Catholic, and to stir up the gifts within her, in that proportion we find she is so and has the living Spirit in her body."]


There is constant need for policies of sympathy. To know people is invariably to learn that they have something to give and to teach; and to know them is the only way to help. Different types of churchmanship, and different religious bodies, have hold of different aspects of truth and usefully supplement each other. But sympathy needs to be tempered by reason and by justice. We are bound to be as sympathetic with upholders of principles we ourselves profess, as with those who expressly deny them! Not an unnecessary caution to some of our people. Moreover, we must be constantly on guard against influences subversive of the Faith. If there is discrepancy between principles and practice, it is more likely to be necessary to abandon bad practices for sake of conformity to good principles than vice versa. We must not defend principles merely from motives of vanity, because they happen to be our own; but if they stand for truths of which we are [35/36] guardians and trustees, the highest motives compel us to show an unflinching loyalty.

There is nothing eccentric in the Catholic interpretation of the Anglican position. It has not only always been tolerated, but is, if we think seriously, the only one that is really tolerable. I am quite aware that it is imperfectly known to many of our people; that it differs from opinions commonly held both in past and present. Yet there is nothing unusual about it. If I differ from the many who have the same point of view, it would be merely in the conviction that this interpretation ought to be more unequivocally asserted in the formularies and practices of the Church. Many think the old easy-going, non-committal policy is a good one. I don't. Many think it not desirable that there should be a clearer avowal of principles. I do. I believe that we can only do useful service in the development of American Christianity, if we take a strong and consistent stand on Catholic ground. To take a more definite stand--either on Catholic or Protestant ground--would doubtless cause some present inconvenience, quite probably loss of some adherents. Yet it is better to stick to principles and let consequences take care of themselves: in the long run we and our work will be gainers by straightforwardness. [See Appendix II, extracts from a letter by the Bishop of Chicago, page 43.]

The Church should stand fairly and squarely for its Catholic principles, not merely for policy, although it is surely the best policy, nor even for the sake of giving a plausible explanation of its existence; but because its position represents something true in itself, a loyalty to the principles of Divine revelation and to important aspects of the faith of the Gospel, in a form having special usefulness for this country. It seems likely that at this time we must make decisions of critical importance. The Panama [36/37] episode has forced certain issues to the front. We must meet them squarely. The Board of Missions,--unconsciously perhaps, but none the less really--has seemed to ignore the very important point of view which I have been trying to state. But whatever be the exact significance of its action, the issue, Catholic or Protestant, is before us. We must all deal with it with Christian gentleness, with the sole motive of loyalty to truth and to our Lord.

With much that I have been saying you will all agree. With some things I have said only some of you, with others perhaps none, will agree. Let that be as it may. You will, however, all be with me when I say that, if a time of perplexity and testing has come upon us, there is special need in us clergy for the Christian graces of clear thinking and good temper.

O God Who didst teach Thy faithful people by sending to them the light of Thy Holy Spirit; Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in His holy comfort: through the merits of Christ Jesus, our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Faithfully yours,


Bishopstead, Wilmington
St. Andrew's Day, 1915.


Legal Aspects of the Action of the Board of Missions.

The following extract is taken from a letter written by the Reverend William J. Seabury, D.D., Professor of Ecclesiastical Polity and Canon Law in the General Theological Seminary.

"I thoroughly agree with the attitude which you take, and think that the action of the Board was seriously mistaken. It acted on its own responsibility in authorizing action, and in adopting a policy which, by the nonconcurrence of the House of Bishops with a proposed approval, had been distinctly disapproved.

"One can hardly say, indeed, that refusal to enact a permission, amounts necessarily as a matter of law to a prohibition: but if permission was needed to authorize the action, then the refusal to permit, increases a pre-existing obligation to refrain from the action. And, even f the permission were not needed, yet by persistence in the action after permission had been refused by the Bishops, the Board flouted not only the Bishops, but the whole of the supreme legislative authority of which the Bishops are an essential component part. What was wanted was the sanction of that authority. To act in spite of the denial of it, was to flout the authority.

"There is more significance in this when it is considered that the Missionary Society, of which the Board is the representative, does not exist of its own right, but because General Convention has created it. By a species of legal fiction the membership of the Society is regarded as identical with membership in the Church; but the Society as an organism is not called into existence by action of the members of the Church en masse, but by legislative act of the body representing the Dioceses associated under the [39/40] Constitution, and the Districts which are dependencies of that association. By Canon, (now 55), of this legislative body the Society is constituted, organized, and established, and its government, duties and functions are prescribed; and, so far as the Church is concerned, neither the Society, nor the Board which is established as its functionary, has either rights or powers except by virtue of that canon, which is the charter of its existence. By Canon, the Society receives its Constitution, and authority to act under it. By Canon that constitution may be amended or annulled, and the authority conferred by it modified or withdrawn. So that in its every act it is amenable to the authority of General Convention.

"The plea that the Society is not legally under obligation to General Convention seems to partake of what you call Anglican ambiguity. As incorporated under the laws of the State of New York, the Society of course is under obligation to transact the business for which it exists in accordance with the State law, as expressed in its Act of Incorporation, or otherwise; and it receives also, as such Incorporation, certain civil privileges, and facilities for business which its members could not have without incorporation. But its right to represent the Church in the work of missions it does not derive from State law, but from Church law. It is the chartered and constituted agent of the Church, for missionary work, and in that missionary work it has such powers as have been canonically delegated to it, and it has no others. Its acts in the sphere of missions beyond such delegation are null and void. And in any case in which its right to act should be questioned in the courts, if the action were not contrary to the law of the State, the test of its lawfulness would be its conformity to the terms of its agency under the canons of the Church which it had been created to represent.

"There are, of course, corporations created by Civil [40/41] law for ecclesiastical or eleemosynary purposes over which, as such, the Church has no jurisdiction; but the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society is not one of them. It derives all the right it has to carry on the Missionary work of the Church, from that canon of the supreme legislature of the Church which has created it.

"The question whether, in the course now adopted the Society has exceeded its powers as the Agent of the Church, depends, therefore, for its answer, simply upon the construction of the Canon.

"Among the mandatory specifications of the duty imposed upon the Society, there occurs, in Article IV, Sec. I, of its Constitution as set forth in the canon, that of holding (Missionary Conferences); but the context, and the purport of the whole instrument, make it obvious that such conferences are conferences within the Church for the furtherance of the missionary information and zeal of its members; and not conferences with representatives of organizations outside of the Church; which conferences, as you very well point out, necessarily involve the adoption of a policy of co-operation, and an inevitable compromising of fundamental principles of faith and order, whatever disdains of intention may be made.

"From the facts presented in your paper, it seems plain that the Board of Missions would not undertake to extend the interpretation of the requirement of conferences so far as to cover meetings with representatives of bodies other than the Church whose agent it was; and, therefore, desired its Principal to confer authority to do so; and that the Principal having refused such authority, the Agent concluded to act without it.

"It remains to be seen whether that unlawful act will be ratified and approved by the Principal."

[42] "Act of Incorporation of 1846, as amended by L. 1867, Ch. 374, passed April 12, 1867, and as amended by L. 1880, Ch. 26, passed May 8, 1880."

Chap. 331.

An Act to incorporate The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America. Passed May 13, 1846, by a two-third vote.

The people of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows:

Sec. 1. All such persons as now are, or may hereafter become members of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, originally instituted in the year eighteen hundred and twenty and fully organized by the General Convention of the said Church in the year eighteen hundred and thirty-five, shall be and are hereby constituted a body corporate for the purpose of conducting general missionary operations in all lands by the name aforesaid. Nothing herein shall affect the power of the said Convention to make such rules and regulations or so alter or amend the constitution of the said Society, as the said Convention shall deem necessary or proper to promote the purpose for which the said Society is incorporated as aforesaid. (As amended by L. 1880, Ch. 226.)

Sec. 2. For the object designated in the first section of the Act generally, or for any purpose connected with such object, the said corporation shall have power, from time to time, to purchase, take by gift, grant, devise, or bequest, and hold real and personal estate, and to sell, lease and otherwise dispose of the same, provided the aggregate clear annual income of such real estate, at any one time held, shall not exceed the sum of thirty thousand dollars. The corporation hereby created is declared subject to the provisions of chapter three hundred and sixty, entitled "An Act relating to Wills." (As amended by L. 1867, Ch. 374.)

Sec. 3. The said Society shall, in its usual annual printed report, state the amount of its real and personal estate, and the income arising therefrom: a copy of which report shall be deposited in the State Library.

Sec. 4. This corporation shall possess the general powers, and be subject to the provisions contained in title third of Chapter eighteen of the first part of the Revised Statutes, so far as the same are applicable and have not been repealed.

Sec. 5. This Act shall take effect immediately, and the Legislature may at any time alter, modify or repeal the same."

(Taken from reprint in Board of Missions Report, 1912-13, p. 268.)


The Bishop of Chicago on Panama Issue.

The December number of The Diocese of Chicago contains an article by the Bishop of Chicago on The Panama Congress, the Board of Missions and the Episcopal Church. Like every statement that comes from Bishop Anderson it is clear and cogent; and it compels attention to the issues which the Board of Missions has raised. The concluding sections are quoted in corroboration of some positions taken in this pamphlet.

"While at first glance our participation in the Panama Congress might appear to. the superficial observer as a step in the direction of unity, I am inclined to think that it works in an opposite direction and tends to defeat any special contribution that we might make towards unity. It certainly does not make for unity within the Episcopal Church. It certainly does not foster unity between the Catholic and the Protestant world. It certainly does not touch the fringe of the problem of unity with the Protestant churches. To my mind, it simply befogs our own people, and befuddles our good neighbours. It evades and avoids the main issue to follow the line of least resistance. Unity will never come by sacrificing principle to good natured amiability, nor by substituting sentimentalism for sane thinking. Our own people are becoming confused and our Christian brethren bewildered because we are not instructing the one nor making our position clear to the other. The Episcopal Church is drifting, drifting with the tide. Whither? So far, she has never been Romanized, she has never been Protestanized, but the drift just now is toward the latter. Recognizing this, I, for one, in the interest of her larger usefulness in the world, and in the interest of higher ideals of Christian unity, will exert every effort to prevent this drift from her historical position to a modern denominational basis.

"Between Romanism and Protestantism the Anglican Communion may be crushed. Or, she may divide up, half and half. Or, if she is true to her ideals and mission, she may become the Church of the Reconciliation. She cannot become the latter by blurring her own outlines until she becomes indistinguishable from the one or the other.

[44] "There are two distinct tendencies in the Christian world today. On the one hand, an increasing number of people are learning to think in terms of the whole. They think of Christ as the Universal Saviour, redeeming the whole world through a world Church. They think of the Church as the Body of Christ possessing the marks of unity and universality and having many organs of expression and many modes of worship and work. They speak the language of the whole Church rather than that of many Churches. They think of unity embracing diversity rather than heterogeneity encompassing unity. They have got beyond the logomachies of sectarian warfare and think of one God as their Father and One Holy Church as their Mother.

"On the other hand, there is a tendency amongst many people to attribute finality to 'our unhappy divisions' and to regard unity as an irridescent dream. Dissatisfied nevertheless with our 'sub-dichotomies of schisms' they seek refuge in federated denominationalism. This finds expression in interdenominational conferences and congresses which are wont to be heralded as the arrival of the only attainable unity. I do not desire to undervalue this latter tendency. It has tremendous symptomatic significance.

"Here, then, are the 'signs of the times'--a clearer vision of the organic unity of the whole Church and a nearer realization of a federated disunity amongst the Protestant churches. The one is a long way off, but is well worth working for here and now. The other is close by, but is a purely local program that tends to shut out the larger issues. As between these ideals, the Anglican Communion, in all her official utterances, comes out squarely for the corporate oneness of the whole family of God, as distinct from mere provincialism or organized individualism. Has the time come for us to abandon our ideals and to substitute Panama for Lambeth? Is Panama really en route to unity? I take the liberty of expressing my doubts.

"No objection is here made to inter-Church Conferences and Congresses in themselves. There are Conferences and Conferences. There are Conferences in which unlike groups could properly meet. There are Congresses in which unlike groups could cooperate only at the sacrifice of their intelligence. It depends on circumstances and on the underlying principles and purposes. It was my privilege to be a delegate to the Edinburg Conference and to take part in the Laymen's Missionary [44/45] Movement and other similar co-operative enterprises. I was most happy in these associations with my Christian brethren. These organizations dealt broadly, as it seemed to me, with the broad question of Christianity in non-Christian lands. Panama is different. It is an aggressive determination to plant an exotic Christianity in a land that is already professedly Christian. Its logical goal is Pan-Protestantism, and its methods are adapted to this end. The Episcopal Church cannot, must not, allow herself to be lured from her own broader platform to this narrower one. The Board itself, in restricting the freedom of its delegation, seemed to have some fears.

"If this is the inevitable terminus of the various missionary conferences which the Board is so energetically assisting, then the Episcopal Church will have to define her position more clearly or risk her own cohesion. She cannot take official part in Panama without this grave risk. It is a serious situation. It is a situation which the Board has created by not tending strictly to its own affairs. It is the Board itself that has broken the peace of the Church. They are the Board's defenders who announce to the world that 'the fight is on'. Very well. So be it. We who stand on sacred historic ground have no fears.

"Faith of our Fathers, holy Faith
We will be true to thee, till death."

"It is not a question in certain forms of Christian work. There is great need of co-operation between all sorts and conditions of Christians--yes, and non-Christians. Contact is to be encouraged. Let us have conferences that raise no life-and-death issues. The more informal they are, the more good they will do. The more formal they are, the more harm they will do. A dozen Bishops might even have gone to Panama on their own individual responsibility, and no one would have said a word. They might have brought back valuable suggestions. It is another story when an official agency of the Church formally identifies itself with an organization whose platform is not only too narrow for the Church to stand on, but foreign to her own genius.

"There is a Commission of the Episcopal Church which is charged with the task of bringing about, if practicable, a conference of Catholics and Protestants on questions touching Faith and Order. The plan of this Conference is such that no risk or [45/46] compromise can overtake any participating Church. I have not been over-optimistic about the success of this effort in either direction. It is quite certain, however, that the Panama controversy which has been so unnecessarily foisted upon the Church, will not help the work along on the Protestant side; while, on the other hand, it is well calculated to embarrass the negotiations of the Commission with the Roman and Oriental world. At any rate, it is poor team work when one of the Church's agencies does what it was told not to do and thereby hampers another agency" in its struggles to do what it was told to do.

"It brings no relief to the opposition to be informed that the Board's delegates are to be tongue-tied and shackled. The principle is just the same. The manner of doing it adds only an element of humiliation. It is a poor honour that the Board has conferred on its Right Reverend delegation, to bind it hand and foot and cast it into--South America.

"When, oh when, shall we get done with these slippery compromises--this steering between Yes and No--this serving of two masters? Let us go in or stay out. Let us be fish, flesh or fowl. If the Episcopal Church is fundamentally Catholic, let us govern ourselves accordingly. If it is fundamentally non-Catholic, let us do likewise. But in the name of consistency let us get done with this acrobatic business of riding two horses at the same time, for we are sure to ride to a fall.

"Let us conclude by hoping that this unhappy affair will cause no falling off in the Board's receipts. It should not. The innocent missionaries should not be made to suffer. The cause of Christ should not be made to suffer. I shall exhort everyone in reach of my voice or pen to stand loyally by the Board in carrying out the real work which has been committed to it. At the same time, I venture to predict, that if the Board persists in trying to shape general policies for the Church, then its own unity and usefulness as well as the harmony of the Church will be seriously jeopardized."

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