Project Canterbury



















Early in the morning of the first Saturday in August, 1875, we met by appointment at the Victoria Station, in London, the Secretary of the Venerable Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign parts, the Rev. Prebendary Bullock, and the Secretary of the Anglo-Contintental society, the Rev. Prebendary Meyrick, who were to be fellow travellers on the journey to Bonn. We passed in swift succession the Cathedrals of Rochester and Canterbury, and were soon looking regretfully at the receding cliffs of Dover, as we experienced the roughness of the Channel passage. Once across, the journey to Brussels was neither tedious nor disagreeable, and the rest of Sunday in this lovely city proved an agreeable preparation for the exciting and exhausting duties of the week. We lingered on our way to visit the shrines and shops of Cologne, and here were joined by the Lord Bishop of Gibraltar, Dr. Sanford, with whom we proceeded by steamer up the Rhine to Bonn.

Already the Conference had begun, although our little party, reinforced at the last momemnt by the arrival of the Dean of Chester, Dr. Howson, was the van-guard of the English and American delegation. A number of the Orientals had arrived early in the week, with a view to conference among themselves, and with the Old Catholic theologians. On the morning of the 10th of August, there was a preliminary meeting of Easterns and Old Catholics, at the Episcopal residence of Bishop Reinkens, and it was agreed, after an informal interchange of views, that Professor [1/2] Ossinin, of St. Petersburgh, than whom, as it proved, no keener dialectician was in attendance, should formulate the opinions of the Easterns on the dogmatic questions to be considered, and present the result at a similar conference on the following day. The Oriental element present was not only large, embracing as it did upwards of a score of names; but it was composed of prelates, dignitaries and counsellors of State, representing various geographical divisions of the Greek Church. Among these delegates, constituting by far the greatest and most distinguished representation of Eastern theologians the West has seen since the Council of Florence, four centuries ago; we may name first and foremost the late Venerable Lycurgus, Archbishop of Syra and Tenos--alas! that he has passed to rest!--clad in the rich Oriental costume betokening his rank, with an icon set in precious stones on his breast, and bearing traces in his enfeebled walk and almost inaudible voice, of his nearing the last of life. The presence of this Prelate, whose visit to England and conferences with dignitaries of the Anglican Church, will be remembered by all who have taken an interest in the questions connected with Eastern intercommunion, gave especial dignity to the conference, in the progress and results of which he continued to show interest till the close of his honored and useful life. On either side of the Archbishop sat two Roumanian prelates, Gennadius, Bishop of Argesu, and Melchisedek, Bishop of Dunarei-de-jom; forming in their Episcopal habits and with their Oriental features, a singularly picturesque grouping, quite striking to Western eyes. With them were three Archimandrites, Sabbas, from Belgrade, Anastasiades and Bryennios, from Constantinople, deputed to represent the Patriarch; the Archpriest Janyschew; a Doctor in Theology from Macedonia; Professors from Dalmatia, Athens, the Shores of the Euxine, Kiew, and St. Petersburgh, together with several laymen of rank and theological attainments. Thus notable was the Eastern representation at this Second Reunion Conference.

Later on the day of our arrival we found our numbers increased by the presence of Canon Liddon, confessedly the leading theologian, as he is certainly the most brilliant preacher, of the English Church. With him came the well-known Malcolm MacColl, a [2/3] trenchant writer, as we already knew, and a forcible speaker as well, as we shortly found out. The Master of University College, Durham; the Rev. F. S. May, the well-known editor of the Colonial Church Chronicle; the Rev. Lewis M. Hogg, for years a leading member of the Anglo-Continental Society, with a score or more of other clergymen of the English Church, two or three from Scotland, and the Rev. Lord Plunkett, and the Rt. Hon. Master Brooke, from the Church of Ireland, made up the representation from the United Kingdom, to which were now added, of the American Church, Rev. Dr. Henry C. Potter, of New York, Secretary of the House of Bishops, the Rev. Dr. Robert J. Nevin, rector of St. Paul's, Rome, the Rev. Dr. Wm. Chauncy Langdon, so long connected with the Italian Reform movement, the Rev. John B. Morgan, rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity, Paris, France, together with the Rev. Dr. Wm. P. Lewis, of Central Pennsylvania, the Rev. H. F. Hartmann, of New Jersey, the Rev. G. W. Hodge, of Philadelphia, and the Rev. T.A. Snively, of Albany.

In the evening of Wednesday, the 11th of August, the venerable Dr. Von Döllinger received the English and Americans at the Episcopal residence of Bishop Reinkens. Too numerous for the accommodations offered by the modest "palace," of this truly primitive Bishop, the guests were received in the gardens of the Bishop, which were brilliantly illuminated, and where we had the pleasure of meeting, face to face, not only the notabilities present from abroad, but the leaders of the Old Catholic movement. Where all were men of mark, the grand central figure of the venerable Von Döllinger was pre-eminent. Speaking English with the ease and perfectness of a native, he was especially the object of the interest and regard of the Americans present. To them in coming so far to show their sympathy in this reunion movement, the great theologians showed marked attention. His great familiarity with our ecclesiastical annals, citing volumes, of the existence of which he could scarcely be supposed to be aware, his firm grasp of the peculiarities of our organization, and his acquaintance with our present and prospective successes, proved the wide range of his observation and the universality of his knowledge.

[4] Patient, considerate, with a friendly greeting for all, and a courtesy equal to the task of entertaining the crowd that ever surrounded him, we felt that in hearing him speak and in watching the changing expression of his scholarly, striking features, we were hearing and seeing the greatest man of his age.

Second only to the Nestor of the Old Catholic movement was the genial and attractive Bishop Joseph Hubert Reinkens, the fascination of whose presence was felt by all. Gentleness and goodness, purity and piety, added to courtly manners and a rare personal address, gave him the power of winning all hearts; and the interest of the Americans in the good Bishop, was not diminished when he vied with Von Döllinger in reiterating loving reminiscences, and in making earnest inquiries, respecting the Bishop of Pittsburgh, whose presence at the first reunion Conference, in 1874, had been so marked a feature in that most important meeting, and whose interest and sympathy in the Old Catholic movement had been marked from the first. Less widely known, but each a man of note, were Drs. Langen, Menzel, Reusch, the able secretary of the Conference, and Knoodt, Professors at Bonn, and Professor Herzog, of Switzerland, the Bishop-designate of the Swiss Old Catholics. These, with earnest and devout-looking Pfarrers from various parts of the Empire, and some laymen of high position and rank, made up the Old Catholic representation. Von Schulte, Huber, and Freiderich were unfortunately absent, but enough were present to impress each of us with the intellectual strength of the Old Catholic movement and the purity and piety of its leading men.

No more memorable evening has place in my remembrance; and in the profound feeling pervading the whole gathering and the deep earnestness of everyone present, whether from near or from far, there was good hope for the future of a religious movement springing, as Bishop Reinkens so well expressed it, "from the Spirit of God by means of conscience."

The second preliminary meeting of the Orientals and Old Catholics was closed by the presentation of the following paper, prepared by Dr. Von Döllinger:

"Confession of Faith in reference to the Holy Ghost in the language of the fathers:"

1. The Son is with the Father the Fountain of the Holy Ghost (Athanasius).

2. All which the Spirit has He has from the Logos (Athanasius).

[5] 3. The Spirit does not unite the Logos with the Father, but receives from Him (to be understood of the immanent divine oeconomy, according to Epiphanius).

4. The Spirit is the partaker of the Son, metocon tou uiou (deducted from "He shall take of Mine," and evidently understood of the community in being). (Cyril of Alexandria).

5. The Spirit is related to the Son as the Son is related to the Father (Basilius; his expression is: suntetaktai).

6. The Son is Prototype (prwtotupoV) of the Spirit (the so-named Confession of Faith of St. Gregory Thaumaturgus; the same expression used of the Father with reference to the Son).

7. The expressions which the fathers use of the relation of the Son to the Holy Ghost point decidedly to a substantial emanation; the Spirit is poured out (proceitai) or wells forth (proienai, anabluzein) from the Son. His going forth from the Son is according to Chrysostom, like that of water from the fountain.

8. It is only the same thought, otherwise turned, when Athanasius says: The Spirit has all that He has from the Son (therefore before all, Being itself).

9. That the Spirit actually has Being from the Son, even as the Son has His from the Father, stands in so many words in Gregory of Nyssa (at the conclusion of the first book against Eunomius).

10. We acknowledge with Gregory of Nyssa, that in the Trinity there is no other difference than this, that the one Person is the Principle, the others from the Principle. The Son is accordingly not Principle, but only from the Princple--namely, from the Father as the common principle (arch).

11. We appropriate to ourselves the doctrine of Cyril of Alexandria:

a. The Spirit is by nature (fusikwV) in the Son, as the Son is in the Father (springs therefore also from His Being);

b. The Spirit inheres substantially in the Son;

c. By means of both (the Father and the Son) the Spirit goes forth;

d. The Spirit is the own Spirit of the Being of the Son.

[In our quotations from papers and speeches made at the Conference we have in general availed ourselves of the translation of the "Bericht über die vom 10, bis 16, August, 1875, zu Bonn gehaltenen Unions-Conferenzen, in Auftrage des Vorsitzenden Dr. von Döllinger herausgegehen von Dr. Fr. Heinrich Reusch, Professor der Theologie--Bonn, P. Neusser, 1875." This translation, made by the Rev. Prof. Buel, D.D., of the Gen. Theological Seminary, New York, and prefaced by the Rev. Dr. Nevin, of Rome, is published by Mr. Thomas Whittaker, Bible House, New York City, and well deserves the reading of every intelligent Churchman.]

Such was the state of the discussion when the more general sessions of the Conference were opened on the morning of the 12th of August.

We assembled to the number of upwards of one hundred, full [5/6] half of whom were English or Americans, in the Music Hall of the University of Bonn. There was no question as to the presidency of the meeting. Every eye was turned to the venerable theologian at whose summons we had met together, and for whose lightest word each one waited in profound expectation. With characteristic modesty he had proferred the chair to the learned Dr. Wordsworth, Lord Bishop of Lincoln, but this eminent prelate, though in full sympathy with the object of the meeting, was unable to be present, and the invitation served only to show the good feeling existing bewteen the Old Catholics and the Anglican Church. The simple organization being effected, Dr. Von Döllinger opened the proceedings with an address, or rather an historical lecture, in which with masterly skill and perspicuity he traced the connection between the controversy, which, for centuries, had separated the Eastern Church from the West, and the revolutionary movement of to-day emanating from the Vatican. It would be impossible to present in other or in fewer words than in those of the great ecclesiastical historian himself, an address which gave the keynote to the Conference, and held the audience, even those but little verse in the language in which it was delivered, enchained from its opening sentence to the close. [We have not space for quotation--the address in full will be found on page 26 of the "Bonn Conference of 1875."]

Following this noble utterance, which we hope our readers will peruse in order that they may grasp somewhat the nature of the subjects treated and the mode of treatment pursued in the gathering of long parted Christian men, Professor Ossinin, after a graceful acknowledgment of the eloquence and thought of the opening address, offered a paper as embodying the views of the Orientals on the main question under consideration. This "Scheme" was as follows: [Bonn Conference, p. 35.]

"We believe and teach, that in the Holy Trinity there is only one Principle (arch), and that this Principle, of the Son as well as of the Spirit, is the Father--the word arch taken according to the interpretation of John of Damascus, that arch is that only, which is anarcon.

[7] We profess that the Eastern Church is wholly right in holding fast to the expression, "The Spirit goes forth from the Father," while it understands by the Procession (ekporeuesqai) that primordial divine activity by virtue of which the Son is endowed with the capability of sending forth, and the Spirit is also immediately from the Father.

We grant that the relation of the Son to the Spirit is not wholly the same as that of the Father to the Spirit, because Paternity, in the wider sense, or the property of being the Fountain of the Divine persons, does not appertain to the Son, but only to the Father. In so far, therefore, the Eastern Church is justified in rejecting the procedere ab utroque or a Patre Filioque, as it connects with the ekporeuesqai a sense different from the procedere of the Latins--namely, that of the causality which appertains only to the Father (monoV gar aitioV o Pathr), against which the Latins disregard the difference between the action of the Father and that of the Son, with reference to the Spirit, and only have in view the common concurrence, the co-operation of the Father and of the Son, in their procedere ab utroque.

In regard to the temporal sending forth of the Spirit through Son and Father, there is no difference of doctrine between East and West.

A discussion of the various points of this "scheme" followed, in which the patience, forbearance, wisdom, ready acquaintance with every phase of this controversy of a thousand years duration, and the absolute mastery of the whole range of patristic theology and thought, displayed by the untiring President were most fully displayed. The morning session, the debates of which had been in German, which had been ascertained to be the only common language of the Orientals and Occidentals, closed with the feeling on every side that God's Spirit was with His servants, in their efforts to lead the way to a fuller realization of the Lord's high-priestly prayer in behalf of His people--"That they all may be one!"

The afternoon discussions were conducted in the English language, and were prefaced by the reading of two important communications, one from the Lord Bishop of Winchester, Harold Browne, and the other from no less a personage than the late Premier of England, Mr. Gladstone. The impression made by the reading of these letters was so marked, and the interest excited so great, especially the latter, which, on account of the peculiar chirography of the writer, was first essayed by Canon Liddon, and finally and successfully by Mr. MacColl, that we call especial attention to them, and express a hope that our readers will peruse them. [They will be found on pp. 43-52 of the translation referred to.] Both will be found of value, especially in view [7/8] of the persistent misrepresentations of the aims and results of the Conference, which for a time filled the press in England, from the "Times" and the "Westminster Review," down to the most obscure journals of the day, and were to a certain extent reproduced on this side of the water. The interest shown by the Lord Bishop of Winchester (then of Ely), in the visit of the Archbishop of Syra and Tenos to England, and the share his Lordship, in common with the Bishops of Lincoln and Maryland, had earlier taken in the Old Catholic movement, made his words of the greatest moment.

Leaving these weighty communications to the grave consideration of the various representatives present, the President alluded to the question of the validity of Anglican Orders, left unsettled the year before. he proposed, in view of the presence of Oriental theologians in greater numbers than at any Western assembly for centuries, to set forth in detail for their information, as they had scarcely had occasion to occupy themselves with the subject, the grounds which had led the Old Catholics to the full acceptance of the Anglican succession. The Bishop of Gibraltar for the English, and the Rev. Dr. Chauncy Langdon in the name of the Americans, and reiterating the manly language of the Bishop of Pittsburg in 1874, deprecated any discussion of the validity of Anglican Orders, but united with Canon Liddon and Dean Howson, in the wish that Dr. Von Döllinger would give in detail the historical facts of the question, for the information of the Orientals, who had been for several centuries dependant upon the Romish theologians for their knowledge respecting the consecration of Archbishop Parker. Reserving this explanation for a later period in the Conference, he discussion, which had now become of absorbing interest, was continued by Prebendary Meyrick, whose dignified bearing, persuasive manner and complete knowledge of the subject, secured marked attention for whatever he proposed, and by Canon Liddon, who ably sustained his reputation for theological learning and pre-eminent eloquence. The session closed with the presentation of two propositions; one that of Canon Liddon, set forth in a speech of great power; and a second, offered by the Dean of Chester, the Rev. Dr. Howson.

Canon Liddon's proposition was as follows: (p. 58)

[9] The Holy Ghost proceeeds eternally from the Father alone, in the sense that the Father alone is the Fountain of Deity, but he also proceeds eternally, as we believe, through the Son.

While for ourselves--subject to the future decision of a truly Oecumenical Council--we retain the formula, that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son, we do not believe that there are two principles or two causes in the Godhead; but we believe in one principle and one cause.

So we begin with a concession, since we accept the ek tou PatroV monou of the Confessio orthodoxa. This expression belongs not to the patristic, but to the period of the Oriental theology, which one can name the scholastic. But it can be taken in the sense, in which, in fact, it is not impugned, in the sense that in the mystery of the divine life, the Father alone is the Fountain of Deity. It is entirely accordant with this, when we add, that the Holy Ghost goes forth eternally THROUGH the Son, and when we even abide by our Western formula, according to which He goes forth FROM the Father and the Son. For He goes forth from the Son, not as from a second cause, or a second principle, but as from the Co-essential with the Father, through whom he ceaselessly goes forth from the Father. The proposed formula concludes with a rejection of the thought of two principles or causes in the Deity. The West has at an earlier period repeatedly rejected this error, but the rejection can not too often be repeated, since many Orientals, as it seems, cannot free themselves from the idea that this error stands in a necessary connection with our doctrine of the Procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father and the Son."

Dr. Howson's formula was briefer: (p. 61.)

While the Orientals retain their customary formula ek tou PatroV, and while the Westerns retain their longer formula ek PatroV kai tou Uiou, both agree that the formula ek tou PatroV dia tou Uiou expresses accurately the theological truth held by both.

While the days at Bonn were thus given to the German and the English discussions, the members of the English, Scottish, Irish and American Churches assembled every morning and evening, and often at noontime as well, in the apartments of the Lord Bishop of Gibraltar at the "Golden Star" Hotel, which was the head-quarters of our party, primarily for prayer, and after our acts of united worship, for mutual interchange of opinion respecting the public discussions. No more courteous or agreeable prelate could have been selected to represent the English hierarchy, than the learned and amiable Dr. Sanford; while his personal relations with the Primate made his presence and opinions of great weight. It was at one of these gatherings in the Bishop's rooms, and at that stage in the proceedings we have reached in our narrative, that it devolved upon the Anglicans and Americans to [9/10] choose members of a committee of the larger body to meet for freer discussion, and, if possible, to settle upon some basis of agreement to be presented to the General Conference. Of this committee Canon Liddon and Prebendary Meyrick were almost without discussion chosen by the English. The Rev. Dr. Nevin, our accomplished Chaplain at Rome, was selected to represent the American Church, both from his long and intimate relations with Old Catholic leaders, as well as in view of his perfect familiarity with the German tongue. It was at another of these private conferences of the representatives of the various branches of the Anglican Communion, that the action of the American Church, in many of its Dioceses, memorializing the General Convention for the removal of the filioque from the Nicene creed, was brought prominently to the notice of the English theologians in speeches by the two secretaries of the Convention; exciting, particularly in the mind of the learned Canon of St. Paul's, the gravest apprehensions as to the claim thus in effect set up by the American Church, of being autonomous. Forgetful that the Mother Church had communicated to us the succession after our rejection of the "Creed of Athanasius;" and, in fact, when the use or disuse of the Nicene Creed was hanging in an almost even balance, and when the omission of a clause in the Apostles' Creed was further allowed by the radical innovators of the period of the American Church's organization; Dr. Liddon took exception, both in the private session and on the floor of the Conference, to the removal of a confessedly interpolated expression in the Nicene Creed, which was a bar to union with the East, and, in this country at least, a means of impairing confidence in the faith itself. It was in his opinion within the province only of an Oecumenical Council thus to rectify an acknowledged wrong; and even the pertinent inquiry as to the probability or even the possibility of such a Council in this age of the Church, failed to effect more than an unwilling modification of his original proposition--that the Western representatives present should agree to a statement which pledged them definitely to the perpetual retention of the filioque. The previous action of the American Church, whether right or wrong, precluded the acceptance of such a pledge by the Americans present; and their refusal secured the modification of the [10/11] Anglican proposal to which we have referred. It is but due to the learned Canon of St. Paul's to add that his aversion to the removal of the filioque, shared, as it afterwards appeared, neither by all his fellow theologians nor by the Old Catholics, arose from a fear that its removal would prove a stumbling block to believing souls at the West, as giving "the impression that God has not actually revealed a relation of the Son to the eternal procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father." [It is almost unnecessary to add that the Orientals, and especially the learned Archbishop Lycurgus, strongly repudiated, in the private sessions of the committee, the notion that it required an Oecumenical Council to expunge the Filioque. It is not too much to say that the presence of the Americans at this Conference, few in number though they were, and though lacking the presence of a member of the Episcopal order, availed to prevent the opposite view, maintained with great ability and determination by the leading English Theologian from proving a stumbling block in any further progress in the work of reunion.]

It would be but a repetition of names and arguments with which the reader is now thoroughly familiar to proceed in detail with the narrative of the proceedings of the Conference day after day. The work was now practically confined to the committee; and in the informal meetings of the Anglicans at the Bishop of Gibraltar's rooms, the topics discussed in secret session were reported and reviewed with unflagging patience and zealous determination to attain the truth. One incident, the appearance of Dr. Philip Schaff, of New York, on the floor of the Conference deserves notice. In a speech listened to with evident impatience the Doctor pronounced it "a bold undertaking to wish to settle in a few hours the strife of a thousand years, which to-day yet parts of the two greatest Church Committees into two hostile camps," and, after proposing to ignore the authority of the Fathers in the question under discussion, offered the following proposition as a basis of agreement.

"We believe and confession in agreement with the Sacred Scriptures that the Holy Spirit 'proceeds from the Father,' 'and is sent by the Father and the Son.' (St. John xiv.: 26; xv.: 26; xvi.: 7), and that this scriptural truth is sufficient as the subsistence of a dogma and a basis of Church Union."

The patience of the President had never failed him before, but [11/12] with a most expressive gesture he remarked, that if these were the views of the Conference, its members would have been more usefully employed at home; and Dr. Langdon most happily allayed the evident indignation of the meeting at this intrusive speech by calling the assembly to remember the need of general prayer on behalf of the committee that God the Holy Ghost might be especially with them while they discussed the mystery of His outgoing.

One other matter already referred to demands our attention ere we proceed to sum up the work accomplished at the Conference. I allude to the noble utterance of Dr. Von Döllinger respecting Anglican orders. In a matter of such much interest we give his words, wishing that it were possible to reproduce in our readers' minds the convincing impression made by his singularly effective and earnest address.

I desire, according to an understanding with the gentlemen from the East, to say some words on the question of the validity of the Anglican Orders which has been already spoken of in the former year.

The English Church, in the Sixteenth Century, completed its Reformation without renouncing the Ancient Episcopal Constitution. Under Queen Elizabeth, Parker was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury, and the historical controversy turns upon the question whether his consecration was valid. Into this controversy, all manner of trifling things have been drawn, and it has, from strange motives, been thrown into confusion. The fact that Parker was consecrated by four validly consecrated Bishops, ritè et legitimè, by laying on of hands and the words which are to be regarded as essential, is confirmed by such ample testimony, that one, if he should doubt these facts, could with the same right doubt one hundred thousand facts; or, as some one, after the appearance of the Life of Jesus by Strauss, has done in derision, could represent the history of the first Napoleon as a myth. The fact is as well attested as can be desired for any fact. Bossuet has acknowledged the validity of Parker's consecration, and no critical historian can dispute it. Ordinations of the Romish Church could be impugned with more show of justice. Besides the re-ordinations of the Tenth Century, the following may, in this view, be recollected.

At Florence, a peculiar formula of belief was drawn up in the first instance for the Armenians, with the pretended assent of the Council, which was nevertheless properly at an end. In this so-named Decretum pro Armeniis, the doctrine of the Seven Sacraments is especially developed for the instruction of the Orientals; it is the only detailed statement of the kind before the time of the Trent Council. There is found there in regard to ordination the perfectly astonishing declaration that, the matter of this Sacrament is--not the laying on of hands, which is not even mentioned, but--the porrectio instrumentorum, the delivery of the chalice and the paten. The form also in unexact, drawn out at great length. The decree was to be forced upon the Orientals. Clement VIII. even ordered the Orientals to observe this decree in regard to [12/13] the Sacraments. And yet the porrectio instrumentorum is purely a ceremony, and, in truth, such a one as first arose after the year 1000, and only in the West. How would it be now if bishops, on the ground of this decree, should have viewed the laying on of hands, which is essential the validity of ordination, as a mere ceremony, and should have discontinued it.

The English theologians have only right energetically to hold this Decretum pro Armeniis before the Romish theologians in England, who attack the validity of the Anglican ordinations, and remind them that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

At a later sitting the venerable President returned to this subject as follows:

In reference to my explanation on Anglican orders, I have heard the objection: though all may be correct which I have said of the historical facts, yet nevertheless the validity of the Anglican and American orders will be always at least doubtful, because the question may be asked, whether the English and American Church recognizes the sacramental character of ordination.

Many misunderstandings from the fact the same words can be taken in different significations. An Anglican can answer the question, "Do you esteem orders a sacrament?" with both "Yes" and "No." The English Church uses the word "sacrament" in another sense than the Roman Catholic Church uses the word sacramentum and the Greek the work musthrion. The English Church names "sacraments" only those actions which have been ordained by Christ for the communication of grace to all believers. Whether this limitation of the conception is justifiable may be left undecided. But when the word is taken in this narrower sense, the English Church must omit in its creeds and liturgical books ordination in the enumeration of its sacraments, because it is appointed only for certain persons, not, like Baptism and the Eucharist, for all. The word is of no consequence; what conception the Anglicans connect with the word "sacrament," and whether they name ordination a "sacrament," is to the Orientals indifferent. The important thing is, that, in ordination, laying on of hands be used, that the words besides be uttered in which the communication of the grace of orders is expressed, and that it be assumed there is conveyed through ordination a grace of the Holy Spirit. In this respect, English ordination can not be questioned.

I have already mentioned that the validity of Roman Catholic ordinations can perhaps be questioned with more appearance of justice. If so great ignorance had not prevailed, the Decretum pro Armeniis mentioned day before yesterday must alone have sufficed to hinder the declaration of Infallibility; for here undoubtedly a Pope has erred in a solemn dogmatic degree, in that he has marked the unessential ceremony of the porrectio instrumentorum as the essential in ordination, and not mentioned the essential laying on of hands. Actually, indeed, laying on of hands is retained in Roman Catholic ordinations; but, in the foregoing century, it was declared from Rome that ordinations held in a French diocese were invalid, and to be repeated because the porrectio instrumentorum had been omitted."

Sunday intervened, and the opportunity of attending the Old [13/14] Catholic Service in the Chapel of the University was improved by a large numbers of the Orientals and Anglicans alike. The noticeable feature in the congregation was the predominance of men--a spectacle unusual on the Continent in Romish places of worship--and the favorable impression made at the outset by this complexion of the audience was confirmed by their devout participation in the service, and their rapt attention to the Preacher's homily. At the English services, held in the same place and without the removal of any of the ecclesiastical "ornaments" of the Old Catholic worship--even the large crucifix remaining untouched on the pulpit--the Bishop of Gibraltar preached, and the Holy Communion was administered to a large number of the faithful. At this service and at that later in the day there were many Old Catholics and Orientals in attendance as interested spectators.

The following day witnessed the close of this interesting meeting. I cannot tell the result in other words than those of the President, whose very tone of voice and the play of his striking features expressed the joy with which he spoke. It was at the end of six days of ceaseless intellectual exertion, and yet this wonderful man seemed unwearied with his labors and was only solicitous that every one should share his satisfaction with the agreement which had been attained. He spoke as follows:

"The result of the continued conferences of the commission chosen by you is an agreement which far exceeds my hopes, which I have cherished on my way hither. With regard to the main matter we are one. The conviction has forced itself during the conferences, at least upon us of the West, that, in the essence of the thing, in relation to that which should be an article of faith, an actual agreement exists. Also the Orientals here present partake for themselves this conviction, and we are permitted to hope that the authorities of their churches will agree with them.

We have formulated our consent in the words of John of Damascus. We have chosen him on the following grounds: he stands at the end of the whole chain of patristic tradition; he has put together in short compass the doctrine of the old Church on the Trinity, the Incarnation, etc., and the result of theological development till the council of the year 680; he has, about 750, composed the first complete text-book of the theology of the fathers, especially the Greek fathers. Experience has shown that we have rightly done in placing ourselves on the ground of John of Damascus. We have united on the six Articles, which I will presently read. With regard to the third article, the Orientals had reserved themselves the definite declaration; but they will now assent to the same without reserve when to this third article there are added a further citation from John of Damascus, to be immediately read, and to [14/15] the introductory proposition, the words "in the sense of the doctrine of the old, undivided Church," against which, on our side, there is nothing to allege.

The articles run thus:

We accept the doctrine of St. John of Damascus on the Holy Ghost, as the same is expressed in the following paragraphs, in the sense of the doctrine of the old, undivided Church: [The words, "in the sense of the doctrine of the old, undivided Church," as, in accordance with the remark made above, added.]

The Holy Ghost goes forth out of the Father (ek tou patroV) as the Beginning (arch), the Cause (aitia), the Source (phgh) of the Godhead. (De recta sententia n. 1. Contra Manich. n. 4.)

2. The Holy Ghost goes not forth out of the Son (ek tou Uiou), because there is in the Godhead but one Beginning (arch), one cause (aitia), through which all that is in the Godhead is produced. (De fide orthod. I, 8: ek tou Uiou de to Pneuma ou legomen, Pneuma de Uiou onomazomen.)

3. The Holy Ghost goes forth out of the Father through the Son. De fide orthod. I, 12: to de pneuma to agion ekfantorikh tou krufiou thV qeothtoV dunamiV tou patroV, ek patroV men di uiou ekporeuomenh. Ibidem: uiou de pneuma, ouc wV ex autou, all wV di autou ek tou patroV ekporeuomenon; c Manich. n. 5: dia tou logou autou ex autou to pneuma autou ekporeuomenon. De Hymno Trisag. n 28: pneuma to agion ek tou patroV dia tou uiou kai logou troion.

Hom in Sabb. s. n. 4: tout' hmin esti to latreuomenon . . . . . pneuma agion tou Qeou kai PatroV, wV ex autou ekporeuomenon, oper kai tou Uiou legetai, wV di autou faneroumenon kai th ktisei metadidimenon, all' ouk ex autou econ thn uparxin.) [The citation from Hom. in Sabb. s. was added as supplemental by the Orientals on the morning of the last day of the Conference to enable them to accept this article.]

4. The Holy Ghost is the Image of the Son, who is the Image of the Father (De fide orthod. I, 13: eikwn tou patroV o uioV, kai tou uiou to pneuma), going forth out of the Father and resting in the Son as the force beaming forth from Him. (De fide orthod. I, 7: tou patroV proercomenhn kai en tw logw anapauomenhn kai autou ousan ekofantikhn dunamin. Ibidem, I, 12: pathr . . . dia logou proboleuV ekfantorikou pneumatoV.)

5. The Holy Ghost is the personal Production out of the Father, belonging to the Son, but not out of the Son, because he is the Spirit of the Mouth of the Godhead, which speaks forth the Word. (De Hymno Trisag. n. 28: to pneuma enupostaton ekporeuma kai problhma ek patroV men, uiou men, uiou de, kai mh ex uiou, wV pneuma stomatoV qeou, logou exaggeltikon.)

6. The Holy Ghost forms the mediation between the Father and the Son, and is bound together to the Father through the Son. (De fide orthod, I, 13: meson tou agennhtou kai gennhtou kai di uiou tw patri sunaptomenon.)

So far, therefore, we are one, and theologians know the question of the Holy Ghost is therewith exhausted; a dogmatical position is consequently, in reference to this question, no more between us. God grant that that which we have here agreed upon may be accepted in the churches of the East in the spirit of peace and of [15/16] distinction between dogma and theological opinion. What we have accomplished gives us new ground for hope that our efforts will be blessed by God, and that we shall be yet more successful, whilst the spirit of the earlier union transactions creates the impression that the blessing of God has not rested upon them. I think that it is not rash to believe that here we see the blessing of God, there His malediction. Let us only remember how at Lyons and Florence, illusion, deceit, a complication of falsification, the lust of tyrannical power were employed: how both parties always had the consciousness of having something else specially in view than agreement in the great truths of Christian faith. I hope we will be able in the next year, to continue these international conferences. What joy if then the Orientals can proclaim to us: our bishops, synods and churches have assented to our agreement!"

No one with the slightest theological attainments can read this formula without the conviction that something real was accomplished by the patient discussion of this deep and mysterious subject. That such a perfect accord should have been attained was hardly to have been expected at the outset. Indeed, we may note as the turning-point of the discussion the eloquent appeal of Bishop Reinkens, at the close of the third conference, for mutual forbearance; and the broad basis of agreement laid down by the Archpriest Janyschew, in the speech directly following the Bishop's earnest words. These propositions were as follows:

"1. The Godhead, the divine attributes, the divine Being, are the same in all three divine Persons. In this point of view, any separation whatsoever between the Father and the Holy Ghost can as little be asserted as a separation between the Son and the Holy Ghost. In that we are all one.

2. The special property of the first Person is this, that he alone is the phgh, aitia, or arch, as well of the Son as of the Holy Ghost, and that Himself is anarcoV. In this sense the two other Persons are the production of the first, the Son through the birth, the Holy Ghost through the procession.

3. The special property of the second Person is, that He is the Son, the Only Begotten, the Logos, who is eternally with God, and is sent, as also the Holy Ghost, into the world.

4. The special property of the third Person, the Holy Ghost, is, that he, according to His existence, goes forth from the Father, according to His operation or manifestation--be it in eternity, be it in time--not only from the Father, but also from the Son."

Following this happy beginning Dr. Von Döllinger at the opening of the seventh Conference announced the agreement of the Committee on the following fundamental principles:

1. We agree in the reception of the Oecumenical creeds, and the determinations of faith of the old undivided Church.

[17] 2. We agree in the acknowledgment that the addition of the Filioque to the Creed did not take place in an ecclesiastically legitimate way.

3. We own on all sides the statement of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, as it has been presented by the fathers of the undivided Church.

4. We reject every representation and every mode of expression in which any acceptance whatsoever of two principles or arcai or aitiai in the Trinity is contained."

Thus we have the documentary history of the mode by which the final result was attained.

Nothing remained but the parting words of the President, in which he discussed the Romish view of Purgatory, dating the origin of that error to the beginning of the seventh century, and passing into an eloquent review of the state of the religious world. Of this comprehensive address, a single paragraph, pertinent because relating to our own land, must suffice:

"Turn we now our views to another part of the world. America is divided into a Latin, Spanish-Portuguese, and an Anglo-Saxon half. In this exists a great Protestant State. Certainly there are in the United states six to seven millions of Roman Catholic inhabitants, mostly from Ireland. But the number of the Catholics is much reduced through the influence of American Protestantism. The Irish themselves estimate the loss which Catholicism has suffered through the Protestant education of the children of Catholic parents at three millions. Less numerous than the Irish are the Catholic Germans, and they assimilate themselves in the second or third generation rather to the American Protestants than to the Irish. I do not believe that the situation of the Catholics in North America will essentially form itself more favorably, although their Church there enjoys all the freedom which they can desire, with the exception, indeed, of the one freedom which she specially prizes of being permitted to suppress with force the Heterodox. The Catholics in the United States do not form a significant and influential element; they contribute as good as nothing to the intellectual cultivation and to the intellectual life of the nation. Therefore, Roman Catholicism, I believe, will win there, in the long run, no power and no political influence."

Adding the expression of his longing for the realization of Christ's prayer for the union of His followers, that the world might be converted to Christianity, the farewell words were spoken, coupled with urgent invitations to the meeting of the Conference the following year. The Archbishop of Syra and Tenos respond for his Oriental co-religionists, and the Bishop of Gibraltar for the Anglicans, after which Bishop Reinkens recited the Te Deum, with the whole assembly standing, and the Pater Noster, to which the Bishop added as follows:

[18] "Dabis autem nobis omne bonum, imprimis quod nunc maxime desideramus, pacis bonum inter ecclesias, pacis quidem in veritate. Confirma et sanctifica nos inveritate. Sermo Tuus est veritas. Conserva nos quoque, sive ex Oriente, sive ex Occidente venientes, ad te caritatis vinculo semper conjunctos. Et benedicas nos, Deus omnipotens, Pater et Filius et Spiritus Sanctus. Amen.

It would be unwise to hazard predictions as to the results of this gathering of members of the various Churches of Christendom at Bonn. It was but natural that the proceedings there should have been on the one hand studiously misrepresented, and on the other dismissed with supercilious contempt. The organs of Rome, and the "Times;" the "Pall Mall Gazette," and "Westminster Review;" the prevailing indifferentism and rampant Ultramontanism, for once met on common ground. It was but an illustration of the words of the far-seeing Von Döllinger in his "Lectures on the Reunion of the Churches," published years before. [Oxenham's translation, London, 1872, p 161] "At the beginning of any eirenic movement, its opponents will outnumber its friends and helpers." But the work has advanced since the friendly leave-takings on the Rhine bank that bright August evening in 1875. Already, the tone and temper of the Eastern Church authorities toward the Anglican Churches has been materially changed. The opposition of the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol to any plans of inter-communion with the Easterns has been significantly rebuked by the signatures of Bishops and Clergy, nobles and men of all ranks and callings to the address of thanks to Dr. Von Döllinger from members of the Mother Church. Even the trenchant letter of Dr. Pusey, which at the first threatened to impair confidence in the Bonn resolutions, has been modified and its force destroyed by a later communication practically abandoning the ground earlier assumed. Even in Convocation, both in that of Canterbury and York, the interest shown in the Bonn proceedings, and in the old Catholic movement as a step in the direction of a return to unity, has been marked and encouraging. There are still misconceptions to correct and difficulties to be removed, not only in the various Churches of a divided Christendom abroad, but at home. No one need fear that the unofficial representatives of either the English or American Churches [18/19] at Bonn sought, or would for a moment support, any measures tending towards the subordination of their respective Churches or the surrender of their Church doctrines to Romish or Oriental assumption or error. The effort was not for Church comprehension, but for that mutual good understanding, recognition and inter-communion compatible with that measure of diversity which would naturally be expected of autonomous Churches of various races and with varying traditions received from the past. it was believed that with much diversity on confessedly minor points, and without seeking to make Occidentals of Orientals, or Anglicans of Old Catholics, or vice versa, there might be attained in God's good time and way, and solely on the basis of God's immutable truth, the closer, and, in fact, the full realization of the high-priestly prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ. The baptised throughout the world might and should be in visible fellowship one with another, and each alike with Christ the Church's Head. To effect even the beginnings of unity there must be found some starting point, and we believe it has been found in an agreement confessedly existing, since, to quote the words of the "English Church Quarterly Review:"

"The Eastern Church, the Anglican and the Old Catholics are all agreed on three fundamental questions, the Constitution of the Christian Church, the authority of the first six Oecumenical Councils, and the necessity of believing in the Catholic Faith as propounded in the Creed and interpreted by the Fathers of undivided Christendom." [Vol. 1, p 388]

This is, historically, the American Church's ground. At Lambeth, in 1867, the Anglican Episcopate affirmed the authority of the six Oecumenical Councils. The Episcopal Constitution of the Church is affirmed in the indispensable requirement of Episcopal ordination for ministering at our altars; and the recognition of the Fathers of the Church as giving us the Catholic Faith might be supported by a catena from the works of Reformers and Doctors of the Anglican Church from the earliest days of that Church's return to primitive faith and purity. It was in accordance with these principles that the first reunion Conference, in 1874, agreed upon a series of propositions which have received well nigh universal approbation. They have been spread again and again [19/20] before the theological world, and from that basis of agreement the work has gone on. God grant it may increase more and more.

"The fruits of unity," says Lord Bacon, [Essays, Ess. III.] "next to the well-pleasing of God, which is all in all) are two: the one towards them that are without the Church, the other towards those that are within." These "fruits of Unity" are shadowed forth in the words of our Lord's last prayer. Towards those who are without the Church, the unity of Christendom will bring the conviction that Christ's mission was Divine. "As for the fruit towards those that are within," continues Bacon, "it is peace, which containeth infinite blessings; it establisheth faith; it kindleth charity." We may well remember this; and we who day after day, year after year, with but shadowy longings and with but little faith have put up the prayer that "all who profess and calll themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth and hold the faith in unity of spirit and in the bond of peace;" and have besought our God "to inspire continually the Universal Church with the spirit of truth, unity and concord," may be pardoned if in this wonderful drawing together of members of long alienated divisions of Christendom we begin to hope that Christ's prayer has been heard: "Neither pray I for these alone but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me."


Project Canterbury