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Title: A Letter to the Rev. William Maskell
Author: Mayow, Mayow Wynell
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Letter to the Rev. William Maskell" ***

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MASKELL***


Transcribed from the 1850 William Pickering edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org

                        [Picture: Pamphlet cover]



                                 A LETTER
                                  TO THE
                        REV. WILLIAM MASKELL, A.M.


                                    BY

                    THE REV. MAYOW WYNELL MAYOW, A.M.
                    VICAR OF MARKET LAVINGTON, WILTS,
                AND LATE STUDENT OF CHRIST CHURCH, OXFORD.

                                * * * * *

           HOW FAR THE JUDICIAL COMMITTEE OF THE PRIVY COUNCIL
              COMMITS THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND BY ITS DECISION,
                         EVEN ALLOWING IT TO HAVE
                          JURISDICTION IN POINTS
                               OF DOCTRINE.

                                * * * * *

                             Second Edition.

                                * * * * *

                                 LONDON:
                            WILLIAM PICKERING.
                                  1850.

                                * * * * *

MY DEAR MASKELL,

IN these “last days,” in which “perilous times” have “come,” it seems a
duty, to be somewhat less nice and scrupulous as to any charge of
presumption or lack of modesty to which a man may lay himself open by
making known his thoughts upon the great matters which now agitate us,
than would be the case at another time.  One whose name will add no
weight to any thing he may say, might well shrink under ordinary
circumstances from commenting upon your recent letter, and appear, even
to himself, over-bold in supposing he can add any thing to the views
therein expounded.  But the very pain with which we approach these topics
is some warrant to express our thoughts; inasmuch as it is, I think,
something of a guarantee that whatever is said, will be, at any rate, not
said lightly.  Most heartily do I desire to adopt and echo your words
“that the enquiry on which we are all engaged is far too great to admit
of any personal consideration; and our aim is not to win a victory, or to
prove that we ourselves are in the right, but to discover the truth, and
point it out to others.”

If then I imagine a line of argument tending to elucidate this truth, has
been partially overlooked in the expression of your views, I trust I
shall stand excused, both by yourself and any others who may read this
letter, from the charge of a too great boldness in writing it.  The
crisis and exigence of the time is, as it appears to me, too great to
allow us to stand upon niceties, or permit any thing to be kept back
which may even by possibility be found of service in indicating the line
of duty.

Let me, however, here say in the very outset, I am not by any means about
to attempt an answer to your letter; a task for which I am, in the first
place, not qualified, and in the second place, not disposed.  I feel the
difficulties you bring forward too much myself to be prepared to ignore
them, though I will not say I go with you in the whole of the positions
you are concerned to establish.  But it is _became_ I feel the pressure
of many of them so strongly; _because_, much as the names of Mr. Keble
and of many who take the same line of argument with him, are to be
revered, nevertheless, I am at a loss to make up my mind that they have
established an unassailable position in denying the competency and
authority of the court of the Committee of Privy Council, that I am the
more anxious to say a few words upon one point which appears to me to
have escaped your notice.

Let me come at once to this point: and to do so I cannot, perhaps,
proceed more conveniently than by making a quotation from your letter.
At page 54, you say:—“No doubt this court,” (The Judicial Committee of
Privy Council,) “nor any other court cannot make canons: but, as has been
before said, this is a question, not of new canons and formularies, but
of the right construction of old ones.  Now, in such a cause, either the
court of the Judicial Committee has authority or it has not: . . .  If
then the decision of the court is to be listened to at all, it is not
easy to discover how one will be able to draw distinctions, and place
limitations upon the extent to which it reaches.  _There seems to be no
middle way between accepting and acting upon it_, _and repudiating it
altogether as if it had never existed_.  I mean, repudiating it in every
other respect than in the one point, comparatively unimportant and
trivial, of the institution of a certain person to a certain benefice.”

You say, it is not easy to discover a middle way.  I would hope, though
not _easy_, it may be _not impossible_.

Let me however here, and in the first place, clear myself from any
suspicion, if you should be inclined to attach it to me, that I am about
to seek a middle course by softening the amount of error contained in a
denial of the exclusive doctrine of regeneration in baptism.  Let me not
be deemed guilty, even in thought, of doubting that such denial is a
denial of the “one baptism for the remission of sins,” and is absolute
unmitigated heresy; being such as would have shut out any Church
permitting its profession, from the communion of Christendom in the
primitive ages; such as no Church can maintain, and remain a living
branch of the one Body of Christ.  I cast to the winds and repudiate with
all my soul, that spurious charity of our day, which would seek to
“please men” at the expense of God’s truth; which would recommend the
Gospel by denying the Faith; which would render it more popular or
palatable, by explaining away the Creeds; and all, to be able to include
_the more_ within the Church’s pale, under the plea of an extended
usefulness.  Such liberality (with what is not our own to give,) is, in
my estimation, a giving away God’s honour, and so, mere and absolute
treason against HIM: therefore is a giving away our place in His Church,
and a blotting out it’s name from the book of life.

Let me explain further: that in what I am about to write, I am going to
admit, at any rate for the sake of argument, the authority and
jurisdiction of the Committee of Council as a tribunal in this case.  I
may, and indeed do think, that in your letter, you have allowed too
little for the difficulty in which the Church has been placed as to
making her voice heard: too little therefore to the circumstances which
have hitherto trammelled her, as accounting for and excusing her silence,
especially in later times: as for example in the changes made in 1832,
and perhaps in other instances.  Still I am not concerned in what I am
about to write to controvert your positions on this matter, because for
the present purpose of my argument I am going to admit the competency,
i.e. the authority as distinct of course from the fitness, of this
tribunal to try the issue, between Mr. Gorham and the Bishop of Exeter.

Still, as it seems to me, both these points may be conceded: first that
the court is sufficient: and secondly, that to deny unconditional
regeneration in the case of infants, is heresy; and yet, it may be
reasonably maintained, that whatever the decision in this trial shall be,
The Church of England may not stand committed to heresy thereby.

No doubt, at first sight this will appear a paradox; and the interpreter
the harder to be understood of the two, in thus imagining it not
impossible to find a middle way between “accepting and acting upon this
court’s decision, and repudiating it altogether as if it had never
existed.”  But I mean, not impossible to find a point of view, regarding
the tribunal from which, we may be able justly and reasonably to allow
it’s competency for the present judgment on doctrine, and yet to
repudiate, not exactly the decision itself, but the effect of it as
committing the Church at large: repudiate it, in your own words, “in
every other respect, but the one point comparatively unimportant and
trivial of the institution of a certain person to a certain benefice.”

Now the only postulate I ask for this conclusion, is, that the Church
shall not, and cannot, stand committed to heresy without proof that her
crime is something not accidental, but wilful and deliberate; something
more than a mistake, which she is ready and willing to clear up the
moment opportunity is given her to do so.  In short that as a man is not
a liar, without the intention to deceive; so a Church is not heretical,
unless the animus of heresy be proved against her.

If you will concede me thus much, I think I may be able to shew that
there is a middle course between denying the jurisdiction of the Court,
and admitting the _weight_ even if I allow the justness, of the sentence:
that is to say, the sentence may be such as under the circumstances, the
judges were bound to give, (I am not conceding but supposing this:) and
it may therefore carry the conclusion that the Church’s formularies on
the subject in question are indistinct; still without proving also that
the Church ever intended them to be so; and therefore without affording
ground to say that, though her words are ambiguous, her heart and mind
have ever been heretical.  Of course upon the strength of the sentence,
if thus given, Mr. Gorham would gain his institution; but I say again, I
do not think the Church would be committed to his heresy.

Let us consider again, what it is precisely which the judicial Committee
of Council are about to do. {8}  It cannot be stated more entirely
according to my sense, than in your own words.  You say (page 7) “The
question is one simply of _interpretation of the Law of the Church of
England_ . . .  It is not a question of what is in itself true or untrue,
agreeable or not agreeable to the Holy Scriptures, but solely whether a
certain doctrine has or has not been clearly defined to the exclusion of
some other statement about the same doctrine, which would seem to deny it
or explain it away.”  Again in the passage already quoted (p. 54) “This
is a question not of new canons and formularies, but of the right
construction of old ones.”

Then if this be so: though the Decision should affirm what shall be in
its form, heresy, may there not still be a limitation as to its effect:
rather perhaps I should say, a suspension of the actual heresy altogether
until some further condition shall be fulfilled to give it life: that is
to say, though the decision may affirm that the formularies of the Church
of England do not so clearly define the faith on this point, as to
preclude the words admitting an uncatholic, nay an heretical
interpretation, does it follow that the animus of the Church is therefore
even in the least degree shown to desire or intend to teach such error,
nay even to allow it to be taught; and if there be no heretical animus,
can She be pronounced herself to have incurred the guilt of heresy?  I
answer, (and I hope safely) to both questions; No! because all that will
be brought out, even in the event of the decision of the court of appeal
being to reverse the judgment of the court below, will be merely that
there is _an ambiguity of language_, in the documents on which that court
had to found its judgment; and this, an ambiguity, it may be,
unintentional on the part of the Church, though really inherent in the
wording of her formularies, acting therefore imperatively on the judges
in the case (if so,) and _obliging_ them to give a decision such as shall
leave the point at issue, an open question.  Let me be well understood.
If such ambiguity of language be intentional on the part of the Church;
if she can be proved to have _desired_ in drawing up her articles and
services to admit two interpretations on baptismal regeneration: if it be
her view and plan to include two such opposite parties within her as
those represented by Mr. Gorham and the Bishop of Exeter, by such
ambiguous, and therefore comprehensive language, I most fully admit she
stands convicted of unpalliated heresy both in form and matter.  But if
it be lawful without violence to reason or conscience to believe she had
no such view, but meant to assert the undoubted ancient catholic faith on
baptism, I do not think we are bound to make her answerable, as if she
had knowingly and wilfully assented to uncatholic doctrine, though as it
turns out (if so it be) the wording of her formularies is inadvertently
insufficient to protect the one truth.  I cannot but think that though
the misfortune of such inadvertence is not to be denied, its guiltiness
is not lightly to be admitted; and that we are bound in all reason, (and
I am sure if so, in conscience and loyalty) not to consider her chained
by such ambiguous language to the denial of God’s truth, and the catholic
faith.

With regard then to the animus in question.  Surely in the first place we
may say this; that it is not settled adversely to sound doctrine, because
not involved in, this decision itself, whatever it may be.  The Judges in
the present trial would I imagine, even though using to guide them in
their judgment contemporary documents, and even contemporary opinions to
elucidate the language of the formularies, yet themselves admit, that to
_decide the animus_ with which those formularies were originally drawn
up, is _beside_ the point they have had to try: that it suffices for them
to declare the ambiguity if they find it in the words; but that it is
foreign to the matter in hand to settle whether such ambiguity be
accidental or intentional.  Of course I am not saying they would _deny_
the intention of comprehensiveness.  On the contrary they would probably
appear as a matter of course to infer it; and may even make mention of
what they suppose the intention of the Church to have been: but still
they will not _rule_ the animus, as a part of their judgment.  As to mere
legal consequences indeed, I presume they will necessarily so far imply
the intention to have been according to the judgment they deliver, as
fully to give the benefit of their construction to the appellant in the
cause: but yet this intention is to be distinguished, as a different
point from any which they have had to try, which has surely been merely
_what is_ in the words of the formularies, _not how_ it came to be there.

But even should the court proceed so far as to say it gives its judgment
on the latitudinarian side, expressly on the ground that it believes the
Church in drawing up her formularies intended such comprehension, even
that declaration would have no judicial authority to impose itself on any
man as the truth.  The _grounds_ of a judge’s sentence are a different
thing from the _sentence itself_; and, I think all those “learned in the
law” will bear me out in saying, form no part of it.  It is not an
impossible nor an unheard of case for a judge to give a right judgment,
yet upon wrong grounds.  The _grounds_ are merely _his opinion_ which
challenge no authority beyond their intrinsic weight, and which any man
may canvas; the _judgement_ is _authoritative_, and of course in a court
from which there is no appeal, is assumed ex necessitate rei, to be
sound.

Let us then next proceed with one or two considerations which may be of
service in determining for ourselves what animus we shall attribute to
the Church in drawing up those of her formularies which bear upon the
doctrine of baptism.

A point of great weight surely is this:—that they are (even if really
ambiguous when subjected to the searching eyes and acute minds of the
most subtle lawyers: I use the word in no ill sense; yet) to all ordinary
men, and ordinary unbiassed minds, so clearly on the catholic side, and
so plainly to such minds convey nothing but the ancient doctrine of
regeneration in baptism, that it is much more easy and natural to believe
the Church never contemplated the ambiguity than that she did.  Let it be
remembered too that if now on the present appeal, the six eminent law
officers who have heard the case do decide for the ambiguity, yet, so
indistinctly is this ambiguity itself discernible, that not merely
ordinary men, but one of the ablest and perhaps _the_ most practised
ecclesiastical lawyer of our day, had no doubt or hesitation on his mind
when the case was argued before him as the Archbishop’s judge of doctrine
in the court of Arches, that it did not exist; that there was no such
_approach_ even to ambiguous language as to make him have recourse to
extraneous comment to guide him, or cause him to give in the very
slightest degree a doubtful judgment; but on the contrary, thought there
was no sense to be put upon the Church’s statements on this subject but
the one catholic doctrine, which, a priori, we should suppose she would
enunciate.

Take with these general considerations the particular circumstance that
if we assert the ambiguous animus, we must suppose the Church, not only
in fact to have inadvertently qualified words naturally carrying the
catholic meaning; but so to have intended to qualify them, that when she
says “seeing this child is regenerate,” she meant “seeing he is not
regenerate,” or, at the least, “seeing I have no reason to believe he is
regenerate,” and shall we not have a sufficient case to prevent our
feeling compelled to “think” that “evil,” that the Church had a double
mind.  To me, at least these thoughts bring home a satisfactory
conviction that it is much more likely the Church herself has been
ignorant of ambiguity, and did not mean to be indefinite, than that she
purposely drew up her articles and services, with merely such a subtle
and almost imperceptible residuum of doubtful words that it appears a
mere chance, under a peculiar combination of circumstances that it ever
comes to the light at all: that she so speciously concealed her own
desire to include a second meaning, that taken “in her own craftiness”
she deceived Sir Herbert Jenner Fust, so that even when her words were
most elaborately sifted by him, this hidden sense escaped his
observation; and is only now at last made manifest upon the most laboured
and minute investigation in another court, where it is not too much to
say there has been every inducement to the learned judges composing it to
split hairs, and find an ambiguity if by possibility they could.  I say
this not as impeaching the impartiality of the tribunal, but yet as
worthy of note by any, who knowing what human nature is, would rightly
weigh the circumstances of this decision before drawing further
inferences from it.  If I am at all correct in the argument I have
attempted to draw out, that decision, if in Mr. Gorham’s favour, will
decide the ambiguous language of the formularies, and nothing more.
Abstract then your mind from the present judgment, and what will you say
is the animus of the Church?  Will it not be the same as heretofore; and
that our estimation of our Church’s soundness in the faith is as yet
unshaken?  For should we, I boldly ask, judge that any friend of ours
intended an indirectness or double dealing by us upon no better evidence?
Should _you_ so judge _me_, or _I you_, in any circumstances bearing even
a distant analogy to these? and if not, how thus judge our mother, who
has borne us unto Christ?

An illustration from secular affairs may perhaps make my meaning in all
this clearer, and, as it happens, there is one made ready to our hand.

We all remember the act of Lord Ashley and the late Mr. Fielden, to
prohibit the labour of young persons in factories, for more than ten
hours a day.  It was drawn up, no doubt, to the best of their ability to
attain this object: to give persons under a specified age, rest and
cessation from labour after ten hours at the mill.  But as we well know
likewise, an interpretation of the act grew into use among the
mill-owners, by which they worked their factories twelve or fifteen hours
a day, using the labours of the younger persons employed by relays; so
that though no one of them was actually at work more than the ten hours,
the object of the bill was frustrated, if it were to secure their being
dismissed to their homes after so many hours at the mill.  The resting
them an hour, or two hours, in the middle of the day, whilst others took
their place, to be also rested for the same time, at another period, did
not secure to those young persons what was at any rate supposed to be the
humane object of the framers of the bill, and the legislature which
passed it; a return to their homes at such a reasonably early hour as
might afford some time for relaxation, and some opportunity for mental
cultivation.  This usage however of the mill-owners did not pass
unquestioned, and a case involving the principle of it, was first heard
before an inferior tribunal, and, the decision being given there I think,
against the legality of the system of relays, was brought afterwards by
appeal before the Barons of the Exchequer.  The jurisdiction, observe, of
this court was beyond all question, and it applied itself to the decision
of the case.  Of course, (exactly as in the Gorham cause before the Privy
Council,) the matter in hand was simply a question of the interpretation
of the act of parliament.  The judges had nothing to do with _which_
arrangement might be most humane, nor even with which they imagined to be
most accordant with the mind of parliament in passing the act, if the act
itself were clear to their understanding.  They most properly confined
themselves to the terms of the act, and to the determination of this
point, whether it excluded the working by relays or not.  It might be,
(as has been strongly asserted,) perfectly true, that to permit that
system, frustrated in great measure, if not wholly, the attempt to better
the condition of those young persons; but however true, it was nothing to
the purpose.  And those judges, as the event shewed did come to the
conclusion that the terms in which the act was couched were not
sufficient to make the system which had been used, illegal: and therefore
judgment went in favour of the mill-owners.

Now let it be granted that this, in its effect, destroys the bill as a
measure of humanity: that so to legislate is in fact _cruelty_, whatever
the intention of the act may have been.

But shall we on this account blame the judges in the case?  Assuredly
not; they have but done their necessary duty in interpretation.  Shall we
say the court was not competent, or the decision not binding, or in any
way attempt to resist its legal effect?  Assuredly not; or we overthrow
all principles of law and order.  Nevertheless shall we say that this
judgment convicts of cruelty or double dealing the framers of the
measure, or the parliament which passed it?  Assuredly not; because it is
much easier; much more accordant with common sense and experience; much
more agreeable to charity and reason, to believe that the subtleties of
language introduced an unintentional ambiguity, which the judge’s eye was
obliged to search out and judicially recognize, than to believe that Mr.
Fielden, or Lord Ashley, or even parliament at large, when they professed
to relieve young persons working in factories, intended to “palter with
them in a double sense and keep the word of promise to the ear but break
it to the hope.”

Does any one then, I ask again, now feel justified in charging those
parties with cruelty, whose bill is nevertheless found capable of a cruel
working.  Do we charge them with the intention of such ambiguity, and
such consequences, though they are found both to exist in the act of
parliament?  Do we infer the animus from the wording, and say that such
as the bill is practically, such _must_ have been the intention of its
framers?

The application is so obvious, I fear to be tedious in drawing it out
ever so briefly.  But, for _Parliament_ read, _Church_; for _The Ten Hour
Factory Bill_, read _The Formularies bearing upon Baptism_; for
_Doubledealing and Cruelty_ read _False Doctrine and Heresy_: and if in
both cases, there be an ambiguity, and yet we charge no such
double-dealing or cruelty on the one, as believing no such animus
existed, or need be suspected in the parties who framed the one document,
may we not equally acquit of false doctrine or heresy those who drew up
the others because, though these may perchance be latent in the wording
of them, no such animus is shown, or need be suspected in their authors:
_i.e._ the Church which has sanctioned and used them.

There is another point in this analogy which will carry us a step
further, and in a most practical direction.

If the legislature now, knowing all these circumstances, and having the
power to correct the error, if so it regard that to which the ambiguous
or careless wording of the Act of Parliament has led, yet take no measure
for correcting it, and for re-asserting the humane principle which we are
told it was intended to embody, this conduct will surely commit
parliament now to the adoption of the bill as last interpreted.  It would
be too much to say even so, that it would convict the framers of the
measure some four or five years ago, or the then parliament of either
fraud or cruelty: but it might well fasten those charges upon the present
parliament if they believe the act was intended to work otherwise but
will not restore it to its efficiency.  And so now, in our parallel case.
If the Church of this our day, knowing all the circumstances of such an
interpretation as we have been supposing in the matter of baptismal
regeneration, do not use the powers she may have to correct the ambiguity
which permits heresy to be lodged within her, she will acquiesce in and
adopt that heresy as her own.  It would indeed here again be too much to
say that such conduct now would prove there had been a double-mind; an
intended ambiguity for an heretical purpose in those who drew up our
formularies; for _they_ might still have no more intended heresy, than
Lord Ashley and the late Mr. Fielden cruelty to the factory children.
But this, however it might clear the respective characters of men of
another day, would be nothing at all as to establishing a claim to
soundness now, or preserving the Church of England as a living branch of
the Church of Christ.  If we now adopt the heretical interpretation: if
we now knowingly and wilfully continue the ambiguity; if we do not strive
to remove the blot on the face of the Spouse of Christ; we shall be
answerable as a body for the heresy, and must take the consequences both
here and hereafter.

What then is the practical thing to be done in this exigence, supposing
the decision now about to be given to be one admitting heresy?

No doubt there is much difference between our case here, and that in the
analogy we have been using.  The State _can_, beyond all question, take
up its doubtful matter, and re-word it, in another meaning, too plain to
be denied.  The Church (among us) alas! has no freedom of speech: no
direct power of action; no immediate method by which to correct the
ambiguity.

But nevertheless she must do all she can, according to the means she has,
or she will not be clear in this matter; and the most evident of all the
steps for her to take is at once, and in earnest, and with her whole
heart, to petition the throne to be permitted to meet in convocation to
take these points into practical consideration.  If she do all she _can_,
she will not be to be judged, that she can do no more; but at any rate, I
think any one of us may, nay every one of us should, suspend our judgment
as to her being committed to heresy until we see what it is she _will_
do.

Having gone thus far in considering our position and duties, I will
venture a little further, (I trust without presumption offering it merely
as a suggestion,) to state what appears to me, the first actual step to
be taken.

Though as a Church we cannot meet in synod until called together by the
Crown, yet as Englishmen, as mere subjects of the empire we may meet and
petition the throne that convocation may be licensed to deliberate upon
the momentous questions which now affect the Church.  As soon then as
conveniently may be after the decision of the Privy Council shall be
given, (and I may as well say here, that it appears to me to make very
little practical difference as to the necessity of such a step, whatever
that decision may be:) as soon then as conveniently may be after, a
meeting should be called in London of all persons clerical and lay alike,
who desire to see a freer action of the Church, for this one specific
purpose to address the throne praying her Majesty graciously to concede
to the troubled hearts and perplexed consciences of so many of her
subjects, that convocation may be summoned for dispatch of business.  The
day should be carefully chosen: that it be not too soon nor too late: not
too soon for it to be thoroughly and widely known, and for all who may be
anxious to be present to make their arrangements accordingly; not too
late, so as to beget any suspicion of lukewarmness.  The Archbishop of
Canterbury or the Bishop of London, should unquestionably with all duty
and reverence be asked to preside; and all our Right Reverend Fathers in
God, be requested to give us their help and blessing in this endeavour.
All Churchmen who feel in these dangerous days it would be a great
comfort and advantage to hear the Church’s voice distinctly indicating
the course to be pursued, within any reasonable reach of that gathering,
ay, and beyond it, would, it is to be hoped, attend.  No extraneous
matter should be gone into, and if possible the speaking, (at least so it
appears to me,) should be but brief, allowing, if it may be, several
hours afterwards for the sole purpose of those actually present to sign
the address before leaving the room.  I cannot doubt myself that the
largest room in London would be insufficient for the numbers who would
make a point of coming, and each man as he went away might say, with a
heart of thankfulness, “Liberavi animam meam,” and “God defend the
Right.”

Do not think in saying these things I am vain enough to suppose this must
needs be the best plan to follow.  I do but mention my own thought as a
suggestion for others to consider, and I speak in some detail, because at
any rate, by this means a practical character is given to what I say.
What is best will be determined by others much more competent to decide,
and I shall I trust be found ready to follow, wherever the path of duty
shall be found to lead.

He would be a bold man who should venture to say what the events of a few
years, nay even of one, may bring: but I think those certainly are not
mistaken who deem that we are in a great crisis of our Church’s lot, and
that very much depends upon our faithfulness, our wisdom, and our courage
now.  I have therefore been anxious to lay before you and any others
whose hearts are burdened with our present troubles some of the thoughts
which have occurred to my mind.  I have been more particularly anxious to
ask whether I am wholly beside the mark of reason and sound sense, in
thinking it possible to see a middle way “between accepting and acting
upon the decision” of the Privy Council, “and repudiating it altogether
as if it had never existed.”  In a persuasion that such a middle course
there is, I have endeavoured to show how far the Judicial Committee
commits the Church of England by its decision, even allowing it to have
jurisdiction in points of doctrine, and my conclusion has been that we
may admit both the authority of the tribunal, and also the formal heresy
involved in the judgment it may feel bound to deliver in its duty of
interpretation, and yet allow no stigma of actual heresy to lie upon the
Church, unless she acquiesce in, and adopt that judgment as her own: that
is, no further stigma, no further evil than, (to use again your words)
“in the one point comparatively unimportant and trivial of the
institution of a certain person to a certain benefice.”  I am glad to
think I recognize in this sentence an admission, that if the Church can
be freed from any further participation in the doctrine involved, and if
she do her best to repudiate any implication with heresy which that
judgment may seem to throw upon her, she may well wait the time (I do not
say for ever, but at any rate for the present,) till she may be enabled
to clear up all ambiguity by restoring the full catholic sense to her
formularies, through the legitimate channel of her own assembly and
convocation.

In conclusion, I will but express how much consolation it affords my mind
to think that the “burden and heat” of this trial, fall upon one so
eminently fitted, as I believe, to bear them.  In spite of all the sorrow
which one cannot but feel that at his time of life when there should be
the rest and repose which in less trying times, and to less true soldiers
“should accompany old age,” _he_ should be called upon still to stand in
the battle’s front, and bear its fiercest shock; in spite I say of this
sorrow, there yet comes over me a lightening of heart and soul when I
think this trial has not fallen upon one less equal to the emergency;
less clear-sighted to see the line of duty; less bold to do it.  If the
burden indeed be heavy to any one of us; Oh! how much more, to him!  And
yet it is not merely a pleasure and a comfort, but a source of the most
heartfelt thankfulness that the present Bishop of Exeter _is_ what he
_is_.  If _we_ are in doubt, yet _he_ may have no cloud upon his mind.
If _we_ almost fail and faint, yet _he_ is one to rally us.  If _we_ know
not how to take or interpret the signs of the times, and question what is
the path of duty, yet is _he_ one most able to enlighten and to guide us:
most fitted (_who_ in our time so much?) to “render a reason” for what he
does, or advises should be done, and _so_ render it, as to attach the
faithful; confirm the wavering; and confound the gainsayers.  I could
almost weep for grief to think of the harassings and care of heart which
he must undergo all these days; but for joy also that I believe they fall
in God’s providence, upon a prelate, than whom the English Church has had
none, since Laud, of a greater heart, to do or suffer all that may be
needful in her cause.  Whilst then in these days of rebuke and blasphemy
we pray for all, let it be doubly for him, that he may see his way
clearly in order to guide us also; that a double portion of that great
Archbishop’s Spirit may rest upon him, both for his own comfort, and the
benefit of God’s people; and that even if his very mantle should descend
upon him, (there are other martyrdoms than those of the scaffold or the
stake;) _he_ may “be strengthened continually with might in the inner
man,” and _we_ may have grace, to _endure_ to see him wear it.

                                              Believe me, my dear Maskell,
                                              Always affectionately yours,
                                                       MAYOW WYNELL MAYOW.

_Market Lavington_, _Wilts._
      _March_ 5_th_, 1850.

                                * * * * *

                                * * * * *

                        C. WHITTINGHAM, CHISWICK.



FOOTNOTES.


{8}  I say here and in the whole of this letter, “about to do;” and
“expected Decision,” because even if the judgement be now given, at the
Time I am writing, I have not seen it or heard what it is.





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