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Title: A Second Letter to the Rev. William Maskell, M.A.
Author: Mayow, Mayow Wynell
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Second Letter to the Rev. William Maskell, M.A." ***

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WILLIAM MASKELL, M.A.***


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



                             A Second Letter
                                  TO THE
                        REV. WILLIAM MASKELL, M.A.
                                  BY THE
                      REV. MAYOW WYNELL MAYOW, M.A.


            VICAR OF MARKET LAVINGTON, WILTS, RURAL DEAN, AND
                  LATE STUDENT OF CHRIST CHURCH, OXFORD.

               SOME THOUGHTS ON THE POSITION OF THE CHURCH
                      OF ENGLAND, AS TO HER DOGMATIC
                                TEACHING.

                      [Picture: Decorative graphic]

                                 LONDON:
                            WILLIAM PICKERING.
                                  1850.

                                * * * * *

    “Is, then, the Church of England so isolated from the Universal, that
    the faith of the Church Universal has no influence into its
    theology?”—_A Letter to the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of
    Chichester_, _by_ HENRY EDWARD MANNING, M.A. _Archdeacon of
    Chichester_, p. 41.



ADVERTISEMENT.


I NEED hardly express my sorrow that the publication of this letter has
been delayed so far beyond the time I had calculated upon.  But I hope I
may be allowed to say, the delay has been occasioned not so much by
idleness as by business; and that, chiefly upon subjects akin to those
treated of in the letter itself.  Still I cannot but be grieved at the
delay, both on general grounds, and because during this time, Mr. Maskell
has taken the step which would seem to make the letter wholly useless as
regards himself.  Still my grief would be of a very different and of a
deeper character, did I imagine that what I have written would have
influenced him to any other conclusion than that to which he has come.
Though I fully believe him to have been honest in his seeking an answer
to his difficulties, I have not the presumption to suppose that such
answer as I have here attempted, would by him have been deemed
sufficient.  For others who may read this letter, I would only say in
justification of even now publishing it, that certainly the subject has
lost none of its interest, nor is the necessity for some reply, that I
can see, diminished.  Therefore, perhaps, I need take up no more time in
apologizing for the publication, even though so late.

It may be useful to observe that far the greater part of the manuscript
has been written many weeks, though I have not found time earlier to
digest it, and correct the proofs, which fact, if borne in mind, may
perhaps explain many expressions, not recognizing the altered position in
which Mr. Maskell now stands, which certainly I do not think it worth
while to correct.

The reader will perceive that I have availed myself largely of portions
of Mr. Badeley’s speech before the Committee of Council, as well as of
other assistance, wherever I found any thing already collected or
condensed, which appeared to me useful in the statement of my
argument:—my object being, (as I am certain it will be allowed it ought
to be) to set this forth in the most intelligible manner I was able to
do, without being careful as to any charge of want of originality or
research.

Market Lavington, August 10th, 1850.



LETTER.


MY DEAR MASKELL,

ONE who has known you so long and loved you so well as I have, cannot
fail to experience much sorrow of heart in now addressing you.  But
private sorrows, and private feelings have little place in the great
crisis in which we live.  I do not mean that we are required to be
stoically indifferent; but that our duties to God and God’s truth, are so
paramount over any regard to earthly ties, or private griefs, that we
must needs put them by—so far at least as that they be no hindrance or
impediment to the doing His will.  Truly, in our time does the cycle of
the world’s course seem to have come round, and never perhaps since the
early days of persecution has there been so much need to remember and
apply the warning, “He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not
worthy of me.”  Believe me, I acknowledge fully, and am glad to
acknowledge thus openly, that I am as much persuaded you are acting under
the constraint of this great law, as that I am desirous to be guided by
it myself.  I acknowledge your trial (and have good cause to know how
severely you have felt it), and I as much believe in your sincerity as I
do in my own.  I trust, therefore, that never by me at any rate shall
your anticipation be realized, when you say, “I am prepared to be judged
harshly, and the more harshly by oldest friends.” {6}  Though I do not
come to the same conclusions with you, and am about to controvert the
general argument of your “Second Letter,” I know you will be the first
and readiest to do me justice as to the temper in which I write.

Whatever view the world may have taken of that letter, or however it may
regard its author, I think few will deny it is well it should have some
answer.  It is a different thing to say, it were well it had not been
written, or, not written by one in this or that circumstance, from saying
that _being_ written, it does not demand a reply.  Persons may and will
judge differently, as to the propriety of your having published it,
though I dare say, far the greater part of English Churchmen will be
against you in that respect, and say they know not how to reconcile your
having done so with either dutifulness or wisdom.  For my own part,
however, I must say (whatever may be thought of me for saying so) I do
not condemn you for having published it; if only you will seek patience
to weigh all circumstances indicating the line of duty, before you shall
finally act upon the doubts and difficulties it discloses.  I confess, to
my mind, there is but one justification for any man in the communion of
the Church of England, having written and published such a letter;
viz.—that, feeling the oppression of the difficulties it sets forth, he
is yet _no more than in doubt_, as to the matters debated in it, and the
conclusion to be drawn from them.  Perhaps in ordinary times even such a
frame of mind would not be a sufficient excuse for the unsettling
tendency of that which you have written; but certainly these are _not_
ordinary times; and, I agree with you in thinking, many ordinary rules do
not apply.  Enquiries therefore how far the Church of England may have
sanctioned error, or failed to teach the whole Catholic truth, pressed
even with painful nakedness and pertinacity, must, perchance, now of
necessity be instituted, in order “to do her good at her latter end.”  At
any rate there is a show of reason on _his_ side, who says, “If her
‘grievous wound’ be not probed to its full depth, it will never be more
than ‘slightly healed;’” and of this argument, I, at any rate, am
disposed to allow you the full benefit.  Moreover, when it cannot be
denied that practically “the trumpet” _has_ given “an uncertain sound,”
it seems far more “tolerable” to have enquiry pushed even to what some
will call the verge of disloyalty, than would be the case if the cause of
uncertainty were only in the writer’s mind, and might not, with any
plausibility or truth be charged upon the Church herself.  Still, after
making all due allowance for these disturbing forces, there is, I think,
no justification at all for such statements as those in your “Second
Letter,” but in the one consideration that the writer is grievously
pressed by the difficulties of the case; (“the archers have hit him, and
he is sore wounded;”) yet, believing it would be _sin_ to let go his hold
upon the Church in which his lot has been cast without the most direct
and earnest endeavours to ascertain whether his doubts have not an
answer, and his difficulties a solution somewhere, he lays them as a
duty, and with great pain, though with all plainness, before his brethren
of the same communion, that he may rejoice in such answer and such
solution if they can be given.  Take away this honest motive, and
consider the writer’s mind as already made up, and I see no escape from
the reproach of his having written as a traitor: but grant the
supposition I have made (and I know, better, I believe, than most men,
how safely it may be granted you), and there remains, to my mind, no
ground for the invective and reproach with which in some quarters you
have been met. {8}

You will not misunderstand me, if I say that I approach the task I have
undertaken with a certain disquietude, arising from the responsibility I
appear to take upon myself, and the consciousness how little qualified I
am duly to discharge it.  These thoughts have made me feel at times
uncertain whether I do well to attempt it at all.  Still, as I do not
think at present there is any notice of another undertaking it; and as,
if there be, my letter will be no hindrance to any one else more worthily
occupying the same ground, and as I do seem (to myself at any rate) to
have _something_ to answer as to the principle on which your difficulties
rest, perhaps I better discharge my duty by writing what I _can_, than I
should do in withholding my letter, from the knowledge my ability does
not reach to the half that I could wish.  I trust, however, you will
remember, if I have not learning or skill to state the Church of
England’s argument in the way it may best be stated, that _I_ only am
responsible; and it is no fair mode of reasoning, to argue, the Church of
England can say no more in defence of her position than I may be able to
set down for her.

But I proceed to the subject before me.

The drift of your whole second letter appears to me to be summed up in
this one sentence towards its close, “I have resigned my cure of souls,
because I have no doctrines and no faith to teach, as certainly the faith
and doctrines of the English Church.” {10}  Plainly this involves the
whole point at issue; for if _you_ have none, (I mean as a result not of
your own mind, but from the Church’s defect,) then of course neither have
I, nor has any one of her priests; and if so, we have all, (all, that is
to say, who are enough imbued with the spirit of Catholic antiquity to
know and feel that we _must_ teach as the Church in all ages has taught,)
no other line before us but to follow your example in resignation of our
cures.  And this again is a sentence of deposition to the Church of
England altogether; for that Church which drives from her all that is
sound and Catholic, and can admit none but such as are more or less
heretics to minister at her altars, is manifestly faithless to her trust,
and has forfeited the “good deposit.”  She can claim no longer to be a
living branch of the true vine; nor can any man believe that she can bear
and convey the grace of life-giving sacraments.  To ascertain whether
indeed this be so with us, is the point to which I purpose presently to
direct my argument, endeavouring to show the contrary, inasmuch as I
think it may be proved, that where the faith has been directly assailed,
as on the subject of Baptism by the late decision of the Privy Council,
our business is to clear and vindicate it; and that we have _time_, and I
trust also, _means_ to do this; whilst upon all other essential subjects,
not in like manner attacked, though the Church of England may possibly
seem upon some of them more open to objection or assault than upon
Baptism, we yet have a rule of Catholic teaching which _is_ dogmatic, and
_ought_ to be received _as such_ by every one of us on the very face of
the matter, until in any like mode it may be brought into question, when
again, as such cause arises, the objection must be met, and the faith
vindicated and cleared.

Before, however, I proceed to these positions and the proofs of them, I
am anxious to say something on one or two preliminary considerations.
And first, I must make an observation on my own former letter, and on the
notice taken of it by you, (in the kindest terms, but, as I think, with
some little misapprehension of its argument,) in the appendix to your
“second letter.”  I refer to this, not merely to clear up the
misapprehension, which might appear a personal matter hardly worth the
time, but also because I think the point will be found to have a further
and necessary bearing on my present subject as we proceed.  After
speaking of my letter as to its tone, you say, “But as it was not
intended to be an answer to the facts stated in my first letter, so it
seemed to me to fail in meeting the real difficulty of the case.” {12}
It is quite true it was not intended to be an answer to the _facts_, viz.
the positions advanced by you as to the powers of the regal supremacy,
and the jurisdiction of the Committee of Privy Council, as a court of
appeal.  Rather, it admitted the facts, for argument’s sake at any rate,
(I did not intend to commit myself, and, I think, did not commit myself
to more than this in the way of concession,) in order to show that, even
so, the conclusions you drew would not follow legitimately from them.
Its aim, therefore was, that even granting the premises to be as you had
stated them, as to the authority of the said court, and granting also the
judgment (then about to be delivered) to be heretical, still the Church
might not be thereby committed to heresy; and _would not be so_, unless
it could be reasonably made manifest that she _intended_ such heresy to
be permissible; that her _animus_ was to include the heresy in her
teaching.  “Its point was,” (you continue) “that even granting such an
ambiguity to exist in our formularies, yet it might have been an
inadvertence at the time when our Prayer Book and Articles were put
forth, and that we must prove that the Church of England at the
Reformation _intended_ that there should be such an ambiguity.  But this
is a line of argument which must admit that which has been so
energetically denied to bear upon the question at issue, namely, the
opinions of the reformers and divines of the sixteenth century; and it is
to be remembered that if such are to be referred to as evidence of the
animus of our Church on the subject of Baptism, so they must equally be
appealed to upon the doctrines, for example, of the Eucharist and
sacramental grace.  In short, it is making use of an argument wisely and
long repudiated by the High Church party.” {13}

This statement, as I conceive, does not represent the argument of my
former letter at all, and therefore is no answer to it.  And for this
reason it does not represent it; that it confounds together and then
unconsciously interchanges, two somewhat similar, but by no means
identical propositions, making me answerable for both, whereas to one
only of them am I really committed.  Observe, it is one thing to say, “It
is necessary to take into account the animus of those who sanctioned
them, in order to ascertain _the true sense of the documents_:” it is
another to say, “It is necessary to do this, in order to determine _the
guilt of the Church_.”  The first of these propositions I have never
maintained at all.  The second was the very essence of my argument.  I
never maintained we were to go to the intentions of the compilers in
order to arrive at the meaning of the formularies; but I did say, (and I
must venture still to think the argument sound, at any rate not refuted
by your remarks,) that we could not condemn our Church of heresy, without
considering whether she had ever _intended_ to sanction heresy.  For (let
me say it once more) I was speaking of the animus, not to show the sense
of the documents, but to show the guilt or innocency of the Church.  The
first, as I understand the matter, is the ground “so wisely and long
repudiated by the High Church party,” (and which I quite agree in
repudiating;) the second, I think is, when fully stated, almost a
self-evident truth wheresoever a moral delinquency is to be affirmed.
The first view too, would not really have agreed with my argument; for, I
said, “The only postulate I ask 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.” {14a}  Neither would this representation
of the drift of my argument agree with the particular illustration, of
the factory act, by which I tried at some length to make my meaning
plain: for certainly I never said, the judges were to have recourse to
the animus of the framers of that measure in order to ascertain _its
legal sense_, though I did (as I think justly) argue, they who framed or
passed it were not to be _convicted of cruelty or double-dealing_ because
an inadvertent ambiguity might for a time defeat their object. {14b}
Neither should it be forgotten that ecclesiastical history itself
furnishes plain instances of the difference of those two propositions,
and I think of the justness of that one which alone I supported.  There
was a time when the Apostles’ Creed was found insufficient to protect the
one Faith, even on the most sacred subject of the true divinity of the
Son of God.  Arianism crept in, in spite of its wording: and had there
been a Judicial Committee of Privy Council to hear the case of Arius, no
doubt we should have heard there too, of “charitable interpretations,”
and “qualified senses,” and the impropriety of “fixing one meaning upon
doubtful words,” and the liberal intention to include as many as possible
under an “hypothetical construction.”  It might not have been deemed even
then, cogent or sufficient merely to appeal to the known sentiments of
the framers to arrive at the sense of the document in question: at any
rate to have done so, might have been the introduction of a dangerous
principle for another day: but surely then, and in all times, it would be
a maxim among the faithful, that the Church could not be condemned as
guilty of the heresy, (whether of Arius or any other,) even if there were
an ambiguity or want of strict definition in her holy words, without
considering also whether her animus in her sanction of them had been
heretical.  The absence of any such suspicion, even had the East and West
been then divided, would have prevented any from withdrawing from the
communion of the Church at Constantinople at that time, even though she
might fail for a brief space to enforce the truth.  And this very
consideration, as it seems to me, was sufficient to clear the Church’s
faithfulness, during the rise of Arianism, and until the great Council of
Nicea could be held.  It gave her time to pass what we may call a
declaratory act of the true meaning of the Creed, without in the mean
time forfeiting her trust. {15}  There can be no doubt the Nicene Creed
was such an act; and I have asked for ourselves only the patience that we
may try to procure such a vindication of ourselves and of our faith, now
in our day, as to baptism, in our somewhat parallel circumstances.  I
have endeavoured to enforce only the similar claim so far as this
parallel will hold good: viz. not at all the claim to have our
formularies interpreted by the known or suspected intentions of their
compilers; but merely, not to have our branch of the Church Catholic
hastily adjudged guilty of heresy, or of forfeiting her name and place in
Christendom, without consideration had of her real guilt or innocence:
without weighing the point, whether, even granting it were true (though
_I_ cannot see it) that her formularies on Baptism are ambiguous, she has
ever had the guilty intention of permitting heresy within her.  The only
claim therefore which I have made, is that she has the right to _time_ to
throw off the ambiguity, and re-affirm her faith.  If she will neither
do, nor try to do this, I have all along admitted she will “become bound
by the said sentence,” forfeit her claim on our allegiance, and blot out
her name from the kingdom of Christ: but she does not appear to me to
have done this already, and _our duty_ is now to see that she do not.  As
I have said, I think we have the _time_, and I trust we have the _means_,
effectually, though it may be gradually, to vindicate her.

I must cite a few lines more from the next paragraph of your appendix, in
order the more directly to mark what I feel called upon to do in this
letter more than I attempted in the last.  You say (App. p. 86), “I
cannot refrain from citing one passage more from Mr. Mayow’s letter.  He
says: ‘Let me be well understood.  If such ambiguity of language can be
shown to be intentional on the part of the Church; if she can be proved
to have _desired_ in drawing up her articles and services to have
admitted two interpretations on baptismal regeneration; if her view and
plan be 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.’”  On which your
observation is, “Instead of _baptismal regeneration_ in the above
sentence, put _the Eucharist_ or _justification_!”  This opens new
ground, and I own involves very weighty considerations, most fairly
calling for a reply.  It is the application of the whole principle of
your second letter, the want of dogmatic teaching, to an extension of the
subject of my first.  You say in fact, “If the Church’s animus be sound
on baptism, consider whether it is so likewise, on justification and the
Eucharist, and then answer as to her condition.”  Of course in all these
cases I conceive you exaggerate the grounds against me, rather, I should
say, against the Catholic character of the formularies of our Church, by
having imagined I appealed to the opinions of the compilers of our
services, in order to ascertain their meaning; but, as I have allowed,
nay claimed, that in one respect, i.e. in order to ascertain the Church’s
_guilt_, such reference to her animus is necessary, I do not think it is
a sufficient answer merely to have pointed out the above distinction.  A
further examination and reply I think is needful, which I propose
presently to give.

Here, however, I wish merely to observe, that my former letter did not
deal with this extension of the subject; did not go into the general
principle of the dogmatic teaching, or want of dogmatic teaching, in the
Church of England, because this was not a point embraced or discussed in
your first letter; and mine of course was not an answer by anticipation
to your second, but merely a brief argument as to the one point of the
Catholic doctrine of baptism, and the way in which the (then) expected
judgment of the Committee of Privy Council, should it impugn that
doctrine, would affect our Church’s position: and I think I am justified
in saying (even upon your own showing since {18}) that _had that point
alone_ been brought in question, my argument would have been sufficient;
at any rate, so far sufficient and satisfactory, that you would have felt
with me we might one and all remain at our posts, and that the Church of
England would not be involved in the heresy of that sentence, upon the
very grounds which I enforced, namely, that her mind and heart were not
proved to be unsound, and therefore that we _have time_ to strive
earnestly to clear her from the ambiguity of her words (so considered),
and to vindicate her character for Catholic truth.  But it is your
feeling, now since enunciated, that there are other points of equal
importance less clearly defined; that, in fact, baptism was the very
_best_ ground for our Church to stand upon in her conflict with the
liberalizing spirit of the day; and if she could not maintain herself
there, what chance has she elsewhere:—it is this, which supplies the fuel
to your despondency, and almost despair of her.  I say again, to this
argument I propose to come in the sequel, and would only here explain,
what perhaps I ought to have stated, something more definitely, in my
former letter, (though it is a point on which I think you will make no
quarrel with me for “amending the record,”) that when I say, if “the
Church intended to include two such opposite doctrines,” I mean, of
course, “_intended to include_” and _did include_.  I should not be
shaken in my persuasion of her innocency of heresy, either as to baptism,
or any other doctrine, merely by being convinced, if so it were, that
there was an evil intention of an unlawful comprehension by the Church of
England of the sixteenth century, if yet, in God’s mercy, it were
frustrated in the actual settlement of her rule of faith.  I hold that
both parts must combine to place us in a dilemma now, that is to say,
both the heretical intention, (so that it is not merely an inadvertence,)
and the actual ambiguity, (so that the heresy _is_ permitted).  If the
latter be not found, she will stand upon her formularies, in God’s
providence, enunciating the truth; if the former be not found, then, as I
have already said, I think she is not so hastily to be pronounced guilty,
as not to be allowed the reasonable time (so she do but begin to use it)
to vindicate or re-affirm her faith.

There is a second preliminary matter on which I must likewise ask leave
to make some remark before I proceed further.  It is obvious that any
man’s view of the catholicity of our Church’s mind on baptism, will be
much affected by the force he may attribute to the argument, and his
general opinion of the soundness of the judgment, of the Privy Council in
point of fact.  It is true, even one of the Judges themselves might say,
“I believe our decision to be the only correct one; the one we were
obliged to come to upon the wording of the formularies and articles
minutely scanned; but I do not believe it represents the mind of the
Church;” and if this were so, (supposing, that is, the words to have this
ambiguity really inherent in them, and the Court skilfully to have
detected it,) the judgment might be called in this sense “able,” or
“probably correct,” as you have called it, {20} and yet the whole
argument of my former letter still remain intact.  But if anywhere it be
thought that the late judgment is sound or probably correct as a true
representation of the Church’s mind, then in so far is the force of my
letter and its argument diminished or destroyed.  Of course, just in so
much on the other hand, if it be thought or proved that it is not “an
able judgment,” or “a probably correct” one, the position I have
maintained is strengthened, because it is, a priori, to a certain extent
probable that the _intention_ is, as _the sound interpretation_ of the
words is; and consequently that if the words cannot, without straining
them, or an ignorance of their subject-matter be made to include heresy,
then the animus of the Church must not be supposed to be heretical.
Therefore, although, if upon mere technical grounds of legal
construction, the late judgment be “able,” and “probably correct,” my
argument remains still, as I think, tenable and sound; yet much more
weighty and conclusive is it, if that judgment can be shown to be neither
able nor acute, neither well considered, nor fairly apprehensive of the
points at issue.  On this subject therefore I will ask you to bear with
me for a few words.

I am persuaded that such is the case:—that the judgment is not sound; nor
able; nor probably right; regarded merely as an exposition of the
documents which the court had before it, independently of all
consideration of the abstract truth or falsehood of the theology
involved.  I do not indeed mean to go into this subject at large, or to
test the decision throughout in its several parts, but I do desire to
direct your attention to two or three particulars, in the hope even these
may make you re-consider your verdict as to its being “probably a right
decision.”  If in that expression you meant “probably right,” not merely
on the technical ground of verbal criticism, but as I certainly imagine
you mean us to understand, “_right_” according to your present view of
the likely aim and intention of those who put forth our articles and
formularies, and of the Church of England of the sixteenth century which
sanctioned them; “_right_” therefore as to a real intention of leaving
baptismal regeneration an open question, then it becomes all the more
important to subject some few points of the judgment to a careful
scrutiny, that we may see on what foundation such an opinion rests.

In the first place then, we find the following declaration of the judges,
presenting their own view of their powers.  “The Court,” they tell us,
“has no jurisdiction or authority to settle matters of faith:” {21} that
is, they give us to understand it was by no means its province, and as
little its desire, to invade the precincts of the Church’s sanctuary and
“determine what ought in any particular to be the doctrine of the Church
of England.” {22a}  Of course the latter part of this sentence is true.
Their duty was to declare, (so far as any jurisdiction they had might
enable them to declare,) not what _ought_ to be, but what _was_ the
doctrine of the English Church.  If they only meant therefore to say, it
was not their business or their wish to enact any new canon on baptism,
one is almost tempted to smile at their simplicity in thinking it
necessary so solemnly to enunciate such a truism, or thus to magnify
themselves upon such moderation and forbearance; but if they thought or
meant to disclaim settling any thing concerning doctrine by the powers of
interpretation, which they could not avoid exercising, one is tempted
again to smile, only more bitterly, to think of any persons, and
especially judges in so solemn a cause, entertaining so chimerical a
notion as this disclaimer evinces.  What! did they imagine they could
escape “settling doctrine” by the judgment they gave, merely by leaving
every man to teach what he pleased?  Did they forget that interpretation
itself _is_ a power that settles what it interprets? {22b}  Did they
suppose a translator assigns no sense to the book which he translates?
Did they, or could they for a single moment lose sight of the fact, that
they _must_ “settle” whether Mr. Gorham were to be instituted to the
living of Bramford Speke or not; and in so doing must determine that “the
doctrine held by him” was, or “was not, contrary or repugnant to the
declared doctrine of the Church of England?”  One can hardly believe they
could lose sight of or misunderstand such a point, and therefore we seem
driven rather to let them take refuge in the truism, than chase them into
the paradox, however the latter may be the more natural suggestion of
their words.  But even so, it must I think be allowed that the diction of
what ought to have been a most carefully considered document is very
clumsily obscure; as is evident from the number of persons since its
publication who keep continually quoting upon us those words of the
judgment, and assuring us that by the showing and declaration of the
Committee of Privy Council itself, “doctrine is not affected.”  And this
obscurity is darkened even more by the aid of the published comment upon,
or perhaps I should say reiteration of, the same view, given since by an
eminent member of the court.  Lord Campbell in one of his letters to Miss
Sellon says, “I assure you we have given no opinion contrary to yours
upon the doctrine of baptismal regeneration.  _We had no jurisdiction to
decide any doctrinal question_, and we studiously abstained from doing
so.  We were _only called upon to construe the articles and formularies
of the Church_, (!) and to say whether they be so framed as to condemn
certain opinions expressed by Mr. Gorham.” {23}  If Lord Campbell
individually, or the judges generally, mean merely that their own
personal faith being in agreement or disagreement with Mr. Gorham’s
opinions, is not a point decided by their sentence, I most entirely allow
this; but if they mean, as certainly a large portion of the world has
understood them to mean, that to admit Mr. Gorham to a benefice with cure
of souls, and to say the doctrine held and published by him is “not
contrary or repugnant to the declared doctrine of the Church of England,”
does not “settle doctrine,” so far as that Church’s teaching is
concerned, (and so far as they have authority,) this certainly strikes me
as a most marvellous inaccuracy, bespeaking any thing rather than ability
or judicial clearness.  Yet if they did not mean this, (though to speak
of a matter of personal faith might be in point, as far merely as
regarded Lord Campbell’s clearing himself with Miss Sellon,) how should
their judgment tend, as they seem to have hoped it would, to peace:—“to
heal,” as Lord Campbell expresses it, {24} “the wounds from which the
Church of England has lately suffered?”  “What hast thou to do with
peace,” surely we may demand of the judgment itself, unless something
real is to be made of this profession of not settling doctrine?  By such
a mode of writing, the judges appear to have thought peace could be
preserved; nothing being settled, but the latitude of interpretation
which might, as they supposed, include all, and let every man do “that
which was right in his own eyes:”—a scheme that might possibly have
answered if the points in question had been mere matters of human
opinion, or if there had been none in the Church who believed them to be
God’s truth which they had no right to give away: none also who were
sharp-sighted enough to see that to make any doctrine an open question,
_is_ to rule that there is no dogmatic teaching upon it at all.  Not to
have observed these things more distinctly, and not more distinctly to
have expressed themselves as to what they really thought their office
was, appears to me, in the very outset, to be _not_ indicative of ability
or acuteness in the Court.

Secondly, I see no marks of an able view of the subject in the Court’s
extraction and representation of the peculiarities of Mr. Gorham’s
opinions.  On the contrary, the Committee of Council appear to me (I
trust I shall stand excused in speaking very plainly; the matter is of
too much importance to permit soft words merely for fashion’s sake;) to
have been absolutely unable to master the sense of what he wrote.  It is
so _manifest_ they have not accurately represented it, in their summary,
that if I _did_ think they really understood his book, I should be
_compelled_ to believe they knowingly softened down, and _mis_represented
his doctrine, to be able the more easily to pronounce _for_ his
institution, without daring absolutely to say the Church did not condemn
his heresy; that they made his doctrine into something which it is _not_,
something, at any rate, less glaringly heretical than it is, in order to
satisfy his partizans, by giving judgment in his and their favour, at the
same time that they trusted to escape the direct assertion of his real
opinions being admissible in the Church of England, by altering them
knowingly themselves.  But I certainly do not make any such charge
against the Committee; only, I have no alternative but to believe they
did not rightly apprehend his book at all.  They took it, in fact, with
many (perhaps not unnatural) complaints, that they should be expected to
find out its meaning; {27a} and then, even with all the help of counsel,
and all the advantage of the really able judgment of the Court below,
(which, however, as has been pointed out by the Bishop of Exeter, they
appear wholly to have ignored, and thought unworthy of consideration,)
they set down sundry propositions as those maintained by him, which not
only are _not_ in his book, but which do not even represent what _is_ in
it.  Thus they say, “The doctrine held by Mr. Gorham appears to us to be
this: . . . that the grace of regeneration does not so necessarily
accompany the act of baptism that regeneration invariably takes place in
baptism: that the grace may be granted before, in, or after baptism: . . .
that infants baptized, and dying before actual sin, are undoubtedly
saved, but that in no case is regeneration in baptism unconditional;”
{27b} statements not found in his answers, though perhaps he may hold
some of them; while some of them are actually inconsistent with what he
does maintain.  Thus, the Committee of Privy Council say, Mr. Gorham
holds the grace of regeneration may be granted “before, in, or after
baptism,” apparently never having perceived at all his own words, which
exclude, as the Bishop of Exeter has most justly pointed out, the
possibility, in his (Mr. Gorham’s) real view, of justification _in_
baptism, except by a miracle; the miracle of one coming to baptism
hypocritically, but being converted at the very moment, and so receiving
the benefit concomitantly with the Sacrament. {28a}  But the Privy
Council appear never to have seen, or seeing, not to have weighed, those
passages in Mr. Gorham’s answers in which he positively asserts that all
the benefits which we ascribe to baptism, through God’s gift and mercy,
are given neither _in_ nor _by_ baptism, but in all cases _before_ it,
where baptism is rightly received at all.  Thus he says, “That they (i.e.
infants) must have been regenerated by an act of grace prevenient to
baptism, in order to make them worthy recipients of that Sacrament.”
{28b}  Again, “The new nature must have been possessed by those who
receive baptism rightly, and therefore possessed before the seal was
affixed.” {28c}  Again, “As the stipulation of faith goes before baptism,
and as the condition of being ‘the child of God’ is a blessing conferred
by faith, hence the blessing of adoption also precedes baptism in its
essence.” {28d}  Again, “The blessing is, ‘adoption to be the sons of
God;’ that blessing is undoubtedly to be ‘ascribed to God.’  For faith is
‘not of ourselves: it is the gift of God:’ and to such as possess faith,
to them giveth He (Jesus Christ) power to become the sons of God.  But
that faith and that filial state, though clearly to be ‘ascribed to God,’
was given to the worthy recipient (for we are all along assuming this
worthiness) _before_ baptism, and not _in_ baptism” {28e} (sic).  Again,
“As faith must precede beneficial baptism, and as justification is
invariably consequent on faith, therefore justification also precedes
beneficial baptism, and cannot be equivalent to it.” {29}  Thus Mr.
Gorham, when heard for himself, plainly declares that the gifts of
regeneration, adoption, remission of sins, and justification, so far from
being ever given to any one _in_ baptism, must have been possessed before
it, if it be not hurtful; and so far from being ever given _by_ baptism,
are always given, if given at all, by prevenient grace.  I cite these
passages here, however, not in the least to argue upon the amount of
their error or heresy; but merely to show how very superficially the
Committee of Privy Council have regarded them; how very inadequately they
have represented them in their summary of Mr. Gorham’s opinions.  And I
must own here again, I am unable to discover any marks of ability or
acumen; of discrimination or accuracy.  This unreadiness and slowness to
throw their minds into abstruse points of theology, may be very
explainable, by considerations of the want of previous training; by the
naturally untheological character of their mental habits; and by a
certain very imaginable ignorance of the subjects with which they were
compelled to deal.  These things may be their personal excuse; may show
it was, in great measure, their misfortune, and not their fault to err;
but yet must necessarily be taken into consideration in determining the
moral weight and importance of their judgment.

Thirdly, I am unable to find any acuteness or probable approximation to a
right decision in the manner in which the Committee of Council examine,
compare, and draw conclusions from the various services of the Church.

And first, as to the burial service:—They say {30a}—“In every case in the
burial service, as the earth is cast upon the dead body, the priest is
directed to say, and doth say, ‘Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God
of his great mercy to take unto himself the soul of our dear brother here
departed; we therefore commit his body to the ground, earth to earth,
ashes to ashes, dust to dust, in sure and certain hope of the
resurrection to eternal life;’ and thanks are afterwards given—‘for that
it hath pleased Almighty God to deliver this our brother out of the
miseries of this sinful world;’ and this is followed by a collect in
which it is prayed that ‘when we shall depart this life, we may rest in
God, as our hope is that this our brother doth.’  The hope here
expressed,” (continues the judgment) “is the same ‘sure and certain hope
of the resurrection to eternal life,’ which is stated immediately after
the expression—‘it hath pleased Almighty God of his great mercy to take
to himself the soul of our brother here departed.’  In this service,
therefore, there are absolute expressions implying positive assertions,
which must” (the Court tells us) “be construed in a qualified or
charitable sense.” {30b}  Thus it will be seen, not only is “_a hope_”
declared to be “an absolute expression implying a positive assertion;” (I
thought there was good authority to say that hope, however confident or
well founded, is always to be distinguished from, not made identical
with, certainty: “Hope that is seen is not hope:”) but even beyond this,
the Court seems never to have entertained the notion at all; never to
have weighed the matter; never to have grasped the idea; never to have
had it occur to their minds, that any one else thought or could think
otherwise than they did; never to have supposed it possible, that there
_could_ be any difference in the _object_ of the hope mentioned in these
two places; that “the sure and certain hope of the resurrection,” might
perhaps mean, the _general resurrection_ (a topic not unsuitable to be
introduced one would think) whilst the hope of the other passage might be
the hope of the individual’s welfare.  However, in each place, the
Committee of Privy Council unhesitatingly assure us, the hope _is the
same_, and _that_, the hope of the individual’s resurrection to eternal
life.  They are dogmatic enough in their own teaching, in the
construction of the service to suit the conclusion to which they are
coming (this hope _is_ the same as the one before-mentioned); but, alas!
all this, only in order to make away with dogmatic teaching, of a higher
prestige surely than theirs;—to evolve a charitable hypothesis out of the
most definite expressions! and these used in a most solemn religious
office!  Again, I say, and know not how to avoid saying, I cannot see
herein the mark of ability or acumen. {31}

Further, it seems as if the judges had never even heard of any other
meaning being given to the “thanks, that it hath pleased Almighty God to
deliver this our brother out of the miseries of this sinful world,” than
that thereby a thanksgiving must be intended that the dead person is
taken to heaven.  They appear never even for a moment to have entertained
the thought that there might be a cause for thankfulness, even in the
cutting off of a soul unprepared, if this were the cutting off a life of
longer and deeper sin, so that by a further time, the man would only have
plunged himself deeper in misery, and have “received greater damnation.”
They perhaps had never contemplated such things as possible in the depths
of the counsels and mercies of God; never thought of any as being
possibly so past salvation, that the only remaining mercy which could be
shown them was to cut short a life whose daily continuance was an
increase of crime; whose daily walk a progress, farther and farther into
the wrath of God.  Yet had Lord Campbell been as well read in another
great poet, as he seems to have been in Milton, he might perhaps have
been reminded of these things:—

    “The longer life, I wot, the greater sin;
       The greater sin, the greater punishment:
    All those great battles which thou boast’st to win,
       Through strife and bloodshed and avengëment,
       Now prais’d, hereafter dear thou shalt repent:
    For life must life, and blood must blood repay.
       Is not enough thy evil life forespent?
    For he that once hath missed the right way,
    The further he doth go, the further he doth stray!” {33}

God forbid, indeed, that we should say this of a man, because he “once
hath missed the right way;” (nor is Spenser answerable as implying that
doctrine, as the context will show:) but at least the thought is
suggested which might have assisted the Committee of Council in
considering whether there may not be a time when it will be lawful and
reasonable to give thanks to God, if the removal of a man unprepared, has
yet removed him from only fresh sins, and saved a soul from greater
punishment.  Neither, let it be observed, is it in the least necessary to
this view to suppose that we are either called upon, or able, to
determine _who_ among the departed have so fallen past grace, that an
immediate death was the only mercy left for them.  It is sufficient that
such an explanation can be given, if perplexity should appear to be
involved in the fact that for every one for whom our burial service is
used, thanks are given “that it hath pleased Almighty God to take unto
himself,” or “to deliver, this our brother out of the miseries of this
sinful world.” {34a}

Again: there is the treatment of the service for private baptism.  In one
or two respects this service is unquestionably stronger in its wording
than the office for public baptism, as to regeneration being the gift of
baptism, which made a careful examination of it very important.  Let us
therefore see how the Committee of Privy Council have dealt with it.

In the certificate of the due baptism of children privately baptized,
when brought to be received into the Church, (and Sir H. J. Fust has very
properly pointed out that “this is not the certificate of the minister,”
(who had baptized the child,) “but the certificate of the Church” (to the
congregation) “founded upon the answers given as to what had been done;”
{34b} in this certificate,) it is stated that the child, having been
“born in original sin, and in the wrath of God, is now, BY THE LAVER OF
REGENERATION IN BAPTISM, received into the number of the children of God,
and heirs of everlasting life; for our Lord Jesus Christ doth not deny
his grace and mercy unto such infants, but most lovingly doth call them
unto Him;” {34c} and in the further part of his office, where the priest
is directed to declare what benefits that child hath received, and how
received them, the words are, “Seeing now, dearly beloved brethren, that
this _child is by_ BAPTISM _regenerate_, _and grafted into the body of
Christ’s Church_;” {35a} where, in the corresponding place in the public
office, the two words, “_by baptism_” do not occur.  Mr. Badeley had
drawn especial attention to this point; and had most aptly explained why
they are introduced in the private office, and omitted in the public.
“Omitted, (he says) not being necessary there, where the rite was being
administered.” {35b}  The Church does not seem to have contemplated any
judicial-committee-hypothesis to separate the benefits mentioned, from
the whole service in which their mention occurs; nor to have provided any
safeguard against eyes prying curiously into the point, whether, though
all these benefits are declared to be given in the very office for the
ministration of public baptism, yet, perhaps, it might not be “_by
baptism_” after all.  But in the office for private baptism, the very
words, “_by baptism_,” do occur; “important here, (as Mr. Badeley
continued,) that the regeneration might be exclusively referred to the
_previous administration in private_;” that no one might be under any
possible doubt that it was by no rite or ceremony of admission into the
congregation, by nothing else but by baptism itself, before administered,
that the child became partaker of all the privileges of a Christian.

I wish to draw out this point a little further, because it seems to me to
bear much upon the ability of the judgment.  That judgment acknowledges
(as it cannot help doing) that the office for private baptism provides
for “a baptism which may have taken place without any prayer for grace,
or any sponsors,” {36a} but it deals with it “as exceptional,” as
“intended only for cases of emergency;” and seems to put by the argument
to be drawn from it as nothing worth upon that ground.  But is it
intended by this that the benefits of baptism, whatever they be, are not
given in cases of emergency, as well as in cases of leisure?  Is it meant
by the judicial committee that the effects are different, the blessings
less full, the statements less to be relied upon, as to what is given the
child and _how_ given, in one case than in the other?  It almost seems as
if they thought so.  “The private baptism of infants (they tell us) is an
exceptional case provided for an emergency, and for which, if the
emergency passes away, although there is to be no repetition of the
baptism, a full service is provided.” {36b}  I do believe, if the rubric
had not been absolutely too strong for them, (“Let them not doubt but
that the child so baptized is lawfully and sufficiently baptized, and
ought not to be baptized again;”) that they would have wished well to the
idea of some further baptism than this “exceptional” proceeding, and (I
say, _but_ for this rubric,) would have tried to make out there _was_
some completion of the sacrament in the latter part of the office used
when the child is brought into the Church, that the congregation may be
certified respecting the baptism.  Nay, one almost wonders they have not
done so as it is: for surely there might have been found as much
implication, that there is ground for doubt in the words, “Let them _not_
doubt;” as there can be for the “amazing” assertion in another place,
that the very earnestness of the prayers of the Church afford an argument
“for thinking that they are not uniformly granted.”  Why should we pray
(is the argument of the judges, {37a}) “for that which God has promised
to give unconditionally.”  “Those who are strongly impressed with the
earnest prayers which are offered for the divine blessing and the grace
of God, may not unreasonably suppose that the grace is not necessarily
tied to the rite, but that it ought to be earnestly and devoutly prayed
for, in order _that it may_ THEN, or WHEN GOD PLEASES, be present to make
the rite beneficial.” {37b}  Such is absolutely a part of the actual
judgment delivered by this court, sitting as a solemn court of appeal, to
weigh and determine the force of words, and to draw necessary
consequences from them.  Surely they might equally have argued, “Those
who need to be instructed ‘_not to doubt_,’ may not unreasonably suppose
that there must be _some_ ground for _doubt_, or else why should they be
thus cautioned;” and so make a reason out of the very rubric in question
for supposing a child baptized with this “exceptional” baptism, is _not_
thereby “lawfully and sufficiently baptized.”

And in truth the Judicial Committee do seem to come very near to
believing, if they do not actually believe, that something more _is_
essential to baptism than the form appointed in the private office,
provides, for they tell us, “Any other conclusion” (than that the
promises of the sureties are implied,) “would be an argument to prove
that none but the imperfect and incomplete ceremony allowed in the
exceptional _case would be necessary in any case_” (sic.)  This looks as
if they had no notion of what are the essentials of baptism at all, and
then it appears they use their ignorance as _an argument_, _a fortiori_,
to establish their heretical conclusion.  They are ignorant that “nothing
more is necessary in any case,” and therefore they deem the benefits do
not come to the child in and by baptism.  I cannot call this able or
acute; quite independently of all view as to the truth or falsehood of
the conclusion they arrive at.

But still further on this very point; consider how sharp-sighted they
have been to see that the words “by baptism,” do not occur in another
place.  “It is certain by God’s word, that children which are baptized,
dying before they commit actual sin, are undoubtedly saved.”  Yes! (says
the Court) saved no doubt—Mr. Gorham does not deny it—by prevenient
grace; (which their death, he thinks, proves them to have had; though
this too seems rather a charitable construction than anything else;
founded, so far as I see, “upon no sure warranty” of either “Scripture,”
or the Church’s teaching;) _saved_, however, again says the Court, but
not _by_ baptism.  “This Rubric does not, like the article of 1536, say
that such children are saved _by baptism_.” {38}  Thus sharp-sighted are
they to see what makes for the side they advocate (no one can feel it to
be too strong a word); whilst all notice of the very same words occurring
where they might be difficult to construe in the same sense is entirely
omitted.  “Seeing, dearly beloved brethren” (says the office for private
baptism), “that this child _is by baptism_ regenerate.”  Here there is
surely a plain statement how, and when it is, the regeneration takes
place.  But the words do not occur in the public office; and so they are
ignored apparently as being “exceptional,” as if they could mean nothing.
Let us see, carefully, what this amounts to, if pursued and followed out.
Instead of taking Mr. Badeley’s most reasonable argument into
consideration, that the thing intended is exactly the same in each case,
only it was too plain to require to be stated that the regeneration was
_by baptism_ in the public office, when the declaration “seeing this
child is regenerate” is made in the very midst of the celebration,
immediately upon the administration of the sacrament; but that it _was_
stated in the other service to prevent all doubtfulness as to _when_, and
_by what means_, the regeneration was given to the child;—instead,
therefore, of interpreting the one office by the other; instead of saying
we must suppose regeneration, and grafting into the body of Christ to be
the same, and attained by the same means in each case, the Court appears
to have said simply, we will ignore the office which is most express, as
an “exceptional case,” and proceed upon the wording of the other only.
But see, yet again, what this amounts to; it is declaring that there is a
difference of the gift in these different baptisms.  Take ten children
baptized privately, who have lived to be brought to church, and ten
baptized publicly, and of the first ten you will have it said by the
Church that they are “_by baptism regenerate_:” of the others that they
are regenerate—but, according to the Gorham phraseology—by prevenient
grace, and _not_ by baptism; or, by the Privy Council’s exposition of
this (not exactly a correct one, however), “taking place either before,
in, or after baptism.”  Is any man in his senses expected to believe such
a mode of interpretation to be sound and true; or the way to make the
Church’s services agree together; or that it is a due application of the
principle to let the services explain each other, as would be the case in
any and all ordinary legal documents.  Why! according to this rule, the
right and blessed thing for parents to do, would be, _not_ to bring their
children to church to be baptized as soon as they _can_; _not_ to give
any heed to the exhortation of “the curate of every parish, often
admonishing the people that they defer not the baptism of their children
longer than the first or second Sunday next after their birth, or other
holy-day falling between unless upon a great and reasonable cause;” {40}
but in every possible case TO _defer_ the baptism, till the children may
be sick, and then procure them to be baptized privately.  _Then_ will
they have the Church’s assurance that “their infants are _by baptism
regenerate_, and grafted into the body of Christ;”—then will they make
the exception the rule, and take all advantage of the “exceptional
case;”—then may they feel that knowing _when_ the regeneration took
place, they may be sure it _has_ taken place;—but if they be obedient and
faithful to the Church’s exhortation; and bring their infants soon to
church to be baptised, then indeed, according to the Gorham theology, and
the Privy Council’s judgment upon it, then will they have no knowledge
whether “remission of their sins by spiritual regeneration” hath come to
their babes at all, every thing being dependent upon the prevenient
grace, which no one pretends is given to all infants; and though, (it is
said,) to some, yet no one can pretend to say, to which!

The Privy Council, although this point of the force of the words
“_regenerate by baptism_” in the office for private ministration, was
pressed upon them by Mr. Badeley, take no notice at all of it I think in
their judgment; merging all they had to say on the subject of that office
in “its being exceptional,” and “intended for an emergency.”  I cannot
deem this clear-sighted and acute.  If I thought it so, I could not by
any compulsion think it honest.  I do not impugn their honesty; but they
must (and will _find_ they must in time) take the world’s verdict as to
the ability of such reasoning.

One other passage I must briefly notice: “The whole Catechism” (the court
tells us) “requires a charitable construction, _such as must be given_ to
the expression, ‘God the Holy Ghost who sanctifieth me, and all the elect
people of God.’”  Thus it is evident the Judicial Committee have lived so
out of all theological training and the commonest catechetical
instruction, that it has never occurred to them this passage can have a
literal meaning.  They seem never to have heard or dreamed of such a
thing as “the elect people of God” being, _the baptized_; never to have
supposed that the words “GOD THE HOLY GHOST _who sanctifieth_,” might be
descriptive of the _office_ of the HOLY SPIRIT, and mean (surely an easy
and natural sense enough) who _is the Sanctifier of_; never,
consequently, to have considered the possibility that the intention of
the whole passage might be (and be thus literally true), that it is _God
the Holy Ghost who is the Sanctifier of the baptized_, at their baptism
at any rate, although such persons may no doubt afterwards fall away,
grieve or quench him, and drive him from them. {42}  Again I say, they
use their own ignorance on a point upon which any catechumen might have
taught them better, as a cumulative argument to explain the whole
Catechism in an hypothetical and unreal sense, such as they tell us
_must_ be given to these words.  Truly, if, like the boy in the tale, the
Court had expressed their thankfulness for their ignorance, (and it is, I
fear, their best friend as to many parts of this decision’s merits,) one
would be tempted to agree with the response there given, that they “have
a great deal undoubtedly for which to be thankful.”

I do not think, then, I could call this document, put forth to the world
after so long a preparation, and known by the court itself to be of so
much importance, a clever paper, even if looked upon merely as the
exercise of an advocate, desired to make up a judgment upon a “foregone
conclusion.”  But assuredly this is _one thing_; to be an able judicial
document is _another_:—another and so different a thing, that I presume
there will be little dispute, whether among lawyers, or any men of sense,
that for a judicial document to be (_if_ it be) _but_ the subtil,
ingenious effort of a partisan, is so far from even faint praise, that it
is the most disastrous imputation which could rest upon a judge’s
character, to have been a party in any such transaction as the framing
it.  I cannot either call it talent of any high character, to see all
that makes _for_ one view, and nothing that makes _against_ it.  I cannot
praise _that_ discrimination which is only great at finding a solution to
one-sided difficulties.  I cannot consider these as the marks of an able
judge, however they may be the natural characteristics or proceedings of
an advocate or partizan.  Yet let me explain;—even so, I do not say a
partizan is by any means necessarily a dishonest man.  The habit of being
biassed by what we much wish, is as natural as, in some cases, to
forecast what we much fear.  It works even unconsciously to ourselves,
and is not inconsistent with the most upright intention, nay, sometimes,
not with the most earnest endeavour after truth.  But certainly _he_ only
is to be called a great judge who can master this habit; whose mental
discipline is such, that he can abstract himself from these circumstances
of his wishes, and in spite of all the promptings of his heart, preserve
the coolness of his head; who can divest himself, when he takes his place
on his judicial throne, almost of his personal existence, and pass
judgment as if the world would end to-morrow.  The calculation of
consequences; the being guided by what shall make most for peace, or any
other desiderated end, is one of the snares to be most carefully shunned
by any man who would occupy a distinguished place in the temple of
justice.  _He_ has no pretence to stand upon the roll of fame, as eminent
in his calling as a judge, whose eyes wander into the future, whose mind
is pondering the consequences which may ensue.  Such an one shows
manifestly that he is unable to separate his judgment from his advocacy;
his judicial character from the wishes and bias of his mind; and
therefore, though a very honest man it may be, still that he is deficient
in the first of all the qualities necessary to form a great judicial
character, or secure a lasting judicial name.

I do not say, in saying these things, that Lords Campbell and Langdale,
Mr. Pemberton Leigh, Dr. Lushington, and Mr. Baron Parke were consciously
one-sided in the judgment they delivered: but I do say, it appears to me,
and I believe it will appear to posterity, when all these things shall be
matters of unimpassioned historic reference, that whatever their judgment
in the case of Gorham v. the Bishop of Exeter may be as to its
uprightness, they lose caste as to ability, by its delivery.  They lose,
and will lose caste, if only from the fact that they were not able to
see, to remember, to combine, to take count of various matters (some of
which I have just noticed) bearing upon the very documents, (the great
things as they themselves allow by which they were to be guided,) and
essential to a fair decision; and this moreover when those very points
had been distinctly pressed upon their attention.  They deviated
likewise, I believe, from all the ordinary rules of courts of appeal, in
ignoring, instead of examining, the judgment of the court from which the
appeal came up, the decision of which they were about to reverse.  Many
will be the hearts that will grieve over these things as time goes on,
first, generally, on the ground of the dissatisfaction and distrust which
such proceedings cast upon the character of the administration of our
law; but next also, on the narrower though hardly less painful ground, of
seeing men who might have stood so high, losing their position in the
world’s history, by the too sensitive desire to do the things which, as
they imagine, make for peace, rather than boldly daring to adopt the
divine motto, “Be just, and fear not.”

To say nothing of others, how many will think remorsefully of the deed
done which cannot now be undone, when they find (as find I am sure they
will) that this judgment has struck down from the pedestal of honour
where he might perchance have stood with few equal and none superior to
him, one, whose name as a lawyer was promising to fill the world.  That
learned Baron’s name might perhaps have descended to posterity, coupled
with the very greatest of the judicial names this country has ever
boasted; but now, (sorrowfully will many hearts attest it,) in spite of
all the blind flattery of party feeling, and all attempts to patch the
matter up or smooth it over by party declamation; now;—_for_ and _by_
this Gorham judgment, will he fall from that pre-eminence, and be found,
to those highest honours, to have forfeited his claim.

Before I leave this part of my subject there is one further remark I must
needs make.  This is not the first time that the people of this country
have had cause to look with suspicion upon the administration of the law,
where the interests of the Church have been affected.  There is, I think,
a growing feeling in the world, that, (it may be unadvisedly and
unconsciously in those concerned, still really and practically,) the
Church does not meet with exactly the same measure which would be dealt
out in mere legal construction of documents to a railway company or a
merchant’s clerk.  When in the year 1848, in the Hampden case, the Lord
Chief Justice of the Queen’s Bench of that day reversed the unvarying
practice of his court for 250 years: {46} (if I am mistaken in the fact,
no doubt I shall be corrected,) when Lord Denman nullified in that case
(and expressly from a _regard to consequences_;—his own reason, as stated
by himself in his judgment;—) so general and so just a practice as that
when the judges are divided equally in opinion, “the writ should go,” to
give opportunity for further argument, and consideration by a higher
court (that a writ of error, I believe it is termed, may lie), he did a
thing so pernicious, that Englishmen may well be grieved he should ever
have held so high an office.  To throw suspicion on the fountains of
justice is among the greatest wrongs any man can inflict upon his
country.  It is high treason against the majesty of law.  It is a
teaching of rebellion to all who have the wit to understand what has been
done.  It substitutes distrust even in the rightfully condemned, for the
general and generous confidence even of him who may think or know, in his
own case, the law has erred.  Let such a persuasion grow but a little,
and we shall find no more instances of the spirit of him who said

                   I had my trial
    And must needs say a noble one: . . .
    The law I bear no malice for my death,
    It has done, upon the premises, but justice;

whilst “every puny whipster” who thinks himself aggrieved, will only
proclaim “with outstretched throat,” the impossibility of obtaining equal
justice, and the corruption of the law.  No man can doubt it is the
paramount duty of those concerned in its administration to “abstain from
all appearance” of this “evil,” and give no possible colour to its
existence.  In truth, so sacred is the subject I have here handled, that
nothing but the most weighty considerations should induce us to mention
at all the circumstance of so just a rule having ever been disregarded.
These however do exist in reference to the present matter; and where the
question at issue is the preservation of the true faith in our branch of
the Church of Christ, we dare not omit the notice of any of the dangers
which beset it.  We dare not, for peace’ sake, or for the sake of a
worldly expediency, “keep silence.”  We dare not, for fear of casting an
imputation (not, observe, a vague one, but supported by fact and
testimony) on the administration of human law, run the risk of its being
cast upon the truth of God, and the Church of Christ.  Much have these
things pressed upon me, in reference to our present state, and future
prospects: and many times have I weighed them before venturing thus to
bring my thoughts to light.  “My heart was hot within me, and while I was
thus musing, the fire kindled, and at the last I spake with my tongue.”
{48}

But it is more than time that I turn from these, however very important,
yet somewhat preliminary considerations, to the more direct purport of
your letter, and to the answer I may be able to give to the charge
contained in it.  What this is, your title-page sufficiently declares:
“The want of dogmatic teaching in the reformed Church of England:” and my
answer is plain and simple: such as you will not quarrel with for want of
distinctness and pertinency, if only I sustain it.  I join issue as to
the fact.  I maintain we _have_ a rule of dogmatic teaching in our
Church’s constitution on all those points on which it is essential a
Church should have it.  I think, in and by God’s good providence over us,
(and if it be so, you will yourself allow it is a most singular mark of
his gracious favour towards us,) this has been preserved as to what we
_ought_ to teach, though I acknowledge in practice and in fact, we fall
lamentably short of teaching, and our people of believing according to
it.  I imagine, however, you will not charge it as any conclusive
argument against the catholicity of either ourselves, or any branch of
the Church of Christ, that gross and frequent cases of practical
short-comings may be adduced, if it can nevertheless be shown, that the
Church’s rule requires what is right, and, rightly understood,
dogmatically inculcates it.

You may be curious to learn upon what basis I think myself able to
sustain so direct a challenge to the whole principle and bearing of your
second letter; and, strange to say, I know no one, whose words so aptly
enunciate, and give expression to my argument as your own.  You will
think, I doubt not you have disarmed the quotation I am about to make,
(which by this time you anticipate,) by having already brought it forward
yourself, and stated you can no longer rely upon it.  But you must excuse
me for not so easily parting with it, and for endeavouring to prove you
right in your earlier view, even against your own subsequent change of
mind.  “It is a miserable matter,” (you say, after having given various
authorities among our ritualists to confirm your view of absolution,) “it
is a miserable matter merely to be able to escape from condemnation.  I
am not content to think the interpretation which I insist upon is but one
of many which _may_ or _may not_, according to individual caprice or
individual ignorance be held without rebuke by our people, and taught by
our clergy.  If any one of the above theories is the true one, all the
rest are false.  And are we for ever to remain disputing?  Is there no
voice by which we may learn the truth?  I believe that there is a voice,
long neglected and long forgotten, the voice of the Church of England.
Let us listen to her teaching, and we shall find that now, as of old, by
the great grace of God, she does not speak with a doubting or hesitating
tongue.” {50}

This was your opinion at the close of the year 1848, and this is what I
still claim.  I am prepared, even against yourself, to maintain, and I
believe I can shew, its soundness.  Do not suppose that I dream of
quoting this or a further passage which I shall have occasion to extract
presently, merely in order to show a discrepancy between what you
asserted then, and what you hold now.  I do not desire to cavil with your
right to be inconsistent in search of truth, if that were all; and I must
allow besides such things have “come to pass in these our days,” between
then and now, as may much diminish our surprise at inconsistency or
change of mind in any one.  At any rate, it would be, I am well aware, a
most idle task to endeavour to prove _my_ position in favour of the
dogmatic teaching of the Church of England, merely by convicting you or
any man of inconsistency, and showing that what you think and say now is
different from what you thought and said a year and a half ago.  In all
truth this is not my object; but I cite these passages, because I know
not how better, nay, not how so well to express my own meaning; that I
may also comment a little upon the passages I cite, and your reasons for
thinking the position they take up no longer tenable; and that in so
doing I may add a few words beyond what you said even in 1848, for
believing in their soundness.  Let me turn to your words.  You say, “Here
though open to the charge of repetition, I must again lay down the
principle upon which alone we can possibly decide what the judgment of
the Church of England really is; and to which principle we are bound to
bring for proof as to a test every doctrine which we assert or deny.”

Then this principle follows, most clearly enunciated:—

    “We declare, therefore, that the Church of England now holds,
    teaches, and insists upon, all things whether of belief or practice,
    which she held, taught and insisted on before the year 1540, unless
    she has since that time, plainly, openly and dogmatically asserted
    the contrary.  This we declare in general.  And in particular, as
    regards that most important question, the right interpretation of the
    various services in our Common Prayer Book, we further add: that
    whatsoever we find handed down from the earlier rituals of the Church
    of England, and neither limited nor extended in its meaning by any
    subsequent canon or article, must be understood to signify (upon the
    one) hand fully and entirely all, and (on the other hand) no more
    than it signified before the revision of the ritual.” {51}

                                * * * * *

    “Few persons will deny that the existence of a doctrine known,
    acknowledged, and taught in the Church of England at the beginning of
    the sixteenth century, coupled with the fact that no reformation or
    alteration of that doctrine has at any time since been made—and
    therefore that it was intended to be still known, acknowledged and
    taught, is strong evidence by itself that such a doctrine must be
    true.  The obligation to enquire accurately into it, and if possible
    overthrow it, is in the first place, upon the shoulders of those who
    are inclined to doubt or to dispute.  It will then be for us to see
    if it can be defended.  One thing only I am bound to say before I
    pass on.  And it is this: that, equally on this matter of absolution,
    as upon all other essential portions of the One Faith once delivered
    to the saints, I believe that the Church of England holds the true
    and complete doctrine of the holy gospel, and follows in her practice
    of it, the example of the primitive age.  Our Church now claims, in
    right of her succession, all the ordinary powers and privileges which
    the Apostles received from their and her Almighty Lord; now offers to
    her children all the means whether in aid of, or as being necessary
    to, the salvation of each one which were offered from the beginning;
    and now, as of old and ever, either insists upon the reception, or
    entreatingly urges the acceptance, according to their various nature,
    of all and every of those means of grace.” {52}

I think I am justified in saying that you admit yourself, by inference,
in your second letter, that if the principle of these passages can still
be sustained, the case and position of the Church of England will be
tenable against the charge of being without necessary dogmatic teaching.
But you explain in your recent letter that you feel you must give up the
soundness of these views; that you cannot now believe the same things
concerning our Church’s rule of faith.  Let me give this comment in your
own words:—

“Here, very probably, some one may object against me my own language,
published rather more than a year ago.  I allude to my book on the
doctrine of absolution.  Let me quote it.”  Then follows the quotation I
have already made as to our Church retaining the teaching she held
previous to 1540, except where expressly repealed; upon which you add:
“When that passage was written, it was written in entire assurance that
every word might be established.  I do not think so now.  And with
whatever pain I say this, it is not because my belief has altered from
accepting the fixed principle that all essential Christian truth is one
and eternal; and that every part of the Church-Catholic is bound of
necessity to hold it whole and undefiled.  Believing, as at that time I
did, with the strongest confidence and trust that the Church of England
was a living and a sound portion of the one holy Catholic Church, _I
could not but assert_, as being capable of undeniable proof, her claims
to teach authoritatively and undeniably every single doctrine of the
Catholic faith.  If I searched into her foundations it was with no shadow
of fear lest they should be seen not to be resting on the rock, but much
rather in the undoubting hope that the more she was tested and examined
the more triumphantly she would declare herself to be divine.

“If the end of long enquiry and consideration has resulted in
disappointed hope, and what seems to be evidence of the fallacy of former
expectations; if I am compelled to own that the utmost we are justified
in declaring seems to be—not that the Church of England now ‘holds and
teaches’ &c., but—that the Church of England how _suffers_ and _permits_
to be held and taught; and again, as to the right interpretation of the
prayer book, not ‘_must_ be understood,’ but ‘_may_ be understood:’ let
none suppose that I have lightly yielded up that ground upon which alone
a minister of the Church of England, as a minister of the Church
Catholic, can stand securely.” {54}

Now, the first observation which hereupon occurs is this:—you state you
can no longer think that ground tenable; but you do not sufficiently give
a reason why you thus change your mind.  I do not say you give _no_
reason, because I suppose we are to take the whole of your second letter,
as in fact the reason; but I mean, you do not go into the particulars of
the matter, nor in detail state the grounds why you should think the
Church of England does not still appeal to her doctrine before the year
1540, wherever unrepealed, to supply the defect or short comings (if any)
of her later teaching.  You seem to have condemned her on her _practical_
or _external_ deficiencies, not as going into and proving her to have
changed her internal rule.  Indeed, it seems to me you have hardly
weighed at all, either in asserting or denying the principle you formerly
maintained and now yield up, the external evidence for its truth.  This,
perhaps, was originally not an unnatural omission, since you held the
view co-ordinately with, and as an essential part of, your belief in the
Catholicity of the English Church, not as a proof of it, nor as an answer
to objections.  You then so unhesitatingly believed the Church of England
to be “a living and sound portion of the one holy Catholic Church,” (and
were not engaged in _proving_ any thing about this at that time, your
argument quite allowing you to assume it;) that, as you say, “_you could
not but assert_ her claims to teach authoritatively and undeniably every
single doctrine of the Catholic faith.”  It followed directly as a
natural and necessary consequence from the position you assigned her,
that she _must_ be able so to teach; and, I repeat, you had no need to do
more than assume it, because none of those with whom you were arguing,
denied it; and your point was to show what followed from this
unquestioned statement as to the particular doctrine you were then
treating of, not to give the proofs of it in detail, if at all.  That the
Church of England was a true and living branch of the Church Catholic was
therefore your premiss: that she taught necessarily the one essential
Christian truth, all necessary dogmatic teaching, was your natural and
just inference.  And to show what this Christian truth was on absolution,
you referred to the prior teaching of the Church of England, and of the
Church Catholic as received by her before the reformation.  But no
wonder, when upon other grounds your premiss was shaken, the truth (as
_I_ still believe it) of the inference was shaken also in your mind.  It
could not be its own proof.  If you are no longer certain the Church of
England _is_ a true and living branch, you lose _your_ evidence, I mean
the evidence adduced by you in that treatise, and on which you were then
resting, that she embraces all necessary dogmatic teaching.  But if _I_
can shew by plain reasoning in the nature of things, or by external
proof, without first assuming her Catholicity, that she _has_ this rule
of faith; that she is linked up to, and holds on by, the whole of her
teaching previous to the reformation, except where she has “plainly,
openly, and dogmatically asserted the contrary,” I shall have just so
much proof to give that she does not fail in point of dogmatic teaching,
and therefore so far an answer to your difficulty and your enquiry, “What
am I to teach as the faith and doctrines of the English Church?”  If by
this process I can make it reasonably clear that, “by the great grace of
God,” the Church of England has had preserved to her a strict rule by
which she does teach the whole Catholic faith, then shall I meet all the
objection of your recent letter, so far as _principle_ is concerned, and
sustain, as _my_ conclusion, what was _your_ premiss, that (in so far, at
any rate, as her dogmatic teaching is concerned,) we have no right to
doubt her claims; but that she is still what you so unhesitatingly
believed her to be in 1848, a living portion (though it may be now a
wounded one) of the one holy Catholic Church.

You have touched upon, though without entering into proofs to sustain it,
(which as I have said before, your argument did not there require,) the
principle by which the said dogmatic rule is to be established; viz. “the
Church of England now holds and insists upon all things, whether of
belief or practice, which she held, taught, and insisted upon before the
year 1540, unless she has since that time plainly, openly, and
dogmatically asserted the contrary.” . . . Again:—“Whatsoever we find
handed down from the earlier rituals of the Church of England, and
neither limited nor extended in its meaning by any subsequent canon or
article, must be understood to signify (on the one hand) fully and
entirely all, and (on the other hand) no more than it signified before
the revision of the ritual.”

You do not say precisely _why it must_ be so received, unless we are to
understand (a position with which I make no quarrel) that common sense
and the nature of things declare it to be a self-evident truth,
immediately the proposition is announced.  But I venture to think, beyond
this strong support it has other and more particular evidence, and so
rests altogether upon a much wider basis than is overthrown by the
general and sweeping rejection of it in your assertion, that you do not
now think it tenable.  It appears to me in the first place, as I have
said, to rest on principles of reason and common sense, and next to admit
of particular proof, that the Church of England does retain such
teaching.

Let me ask you to examine with attention the evidence I am about to
adduce.  I would arrange it under the following heads:—

I.  Common sense, and the nature of things.

II.  Appeals of our Church to antiquity, and the teaching of the Church
universal, as well as to her own previous constitutions and canons.

III.  Recognition of such previous teaching by the civil power; if not
proving the same point positively, yet at least shewing negatively that
it is not contradicted.

IV.  Some confirmation of the above view from considerations of what the
Church of England would deprive herself of, (which no one has ever
supposed her to have done) if the principle were to be carried out that
her existence is to be dated from the sixteenth century only; and nothing
to belong to her rule of faith but what was then determined, and in words
set down.

I.  Surely it is most certain on grounds of abstract reason and common
sense, that things will stand as they are, if they neither fall to decay
of themselves, nor are altered by any external power.  No one pretends
that the dogmatic teaching of a Church will fall to decay of itself.  The
other alternative, therefore, is all we have here to consider.  I say
then that, of any building, what you do not destroy, remains.  You find
such or such a fabric standing.  It is, in your opinion, out of repair,
or deformed with unnatural or unsightly excrescences, which in process of
time have overgrown, or been engrafted upon it.  Additions you may
conceive them to be to the original structure, and now, injurious or
inconvenient.  You resolve that these, whether accidental or evilly
contrived, shall be removed, and you address yourself to the task.
Surely, your own principle in 1848, that what is not removed, remains, is
most sound: I know not how to consider it less than axiomatically true.
If a tower be taken down here, or a turret there, a window blocked up on
this side, or a door opened in that, still the foundations remain the
same as ever, unless you absolutely root them up.  The basis of the
building, except in such case, cannot be imagined to be moved, and just
so much of the superstructure as you do not throw down, must stand as
heretofore.  It may be obscured by something else; it may be much less
noticed, or noticeable, than it has been; it may be disregarded in the
public eye; one whole side of the building may be clothed in shadow, but
yet, if not destroyed, there it will remain, and remain as an integral
part of the building to sustain its uses, and to be claimed for them when
need is by the owner of the whole, and by his servants at his bidding.
And so in that “city set on a hill,” her foundations are the same for
ever; and, unless the Church of England at the reformation destroyed the
foundations;—save where she may have “plainly and openly” pulled down any
thing which had before-time been built up;—that which was laid, and that
which was built remains, and is our heritage at this very day.  So great
is the absolute and essential difference between FORMATION and
REFORMATION, and such the argument in favour of your principle in 1848,
from abstract reason and the nature of things! {59a}

But further, we are not without an abundance of external proof, if I may
so call it, besides this common sense reasoning, shewing that the Church
of England at the reformation, if we gather her intentions not from
opinions of individual reformers, but from her own authoritative acts,
did not mean to adopt a wide and indiscriminate destruction of her
previous teaching, and _did_ mean to keep all that she did not mark to be
destroyed.  This point was the foundation of a large part of the most
learned and able argument of Mr. Badeley before the Committee of Privy
Council, by which he asserted, and as it seems to me, proved (although
the Court appears to have taken absolutely no notice at all of this part
of his speech) the certain and positive connection of the Church of
England with the previous Church in this country, and with the Church
universal, and this, not only by the links of the same apostolical
succession, but in the maintenance of a connected doctrine.  And the
general principle as to antiquity, and the sense of the Church precedent
to the reformation, which Mr. Badeley laid down expressly with a view to
the matter of the suit in which he was engaged, and in order to apply it
immediately to baptism; that same principle, be it observed, is
applicable in exactly the same way, and the same fulness to every other
article of the faith, unless any where it can be shown that the Church of
England at the reformation did “plainly, openly, and dogmatically
contradict it.”  It would therefore be very much to my present purpose to
cite here nearly the whole of this part of Mr. Badeley’s speech, but as
you know it well, and can easily refer to it, I shall but extract a few
of the more important passages, where the proofs of this principle being
the rule of the English Church are given.

    “I shall next appeal” Mr. Badeley says, “to antiquity in order to
    shew more fully that this doctrine for which I contend,” (of course
    the immediate doctrine which Mr. Badeley had in view, was baptismal
    regeneration: but his argument reaches, as I have just said, to the
    full purpose for which I cite it;) “has always been, and must
    necessarily still be, the doctrine of the Church of England. * * * If
    there can be any doubt at all about the sense and meaning of our
    Church, if it can be supposed by any criticism or minute
    construction, that these Articles and Formularies do leave any
    question open—do omit in any degree to declare with certainty the
    doctrine of the Church, resort must be had not to the writings of the
    reformers, not to the opinions of any individuals, however
    respectable they may have been; the only appeal can be to the early
    Church, and the doctrines which that Church professed.  That is
    indisputably the standard to which we are referred, not only by our
    Prayer Book and our Homilies, but by those who took the most
    prominent part in the reformation in this country, and it is natural
    that this should be so, because what was in fact the reformation, and
    what its object?  My friend, Mr. Turner, the other day, spoke of the
    Church of England in 1552, as being then in its infancy: but
    according to my understanding, it was then at least more than 1200
    years old, for we have evidence of British bishops having attended
    some of the earliest councils.  Some are supposed to have been
    present at the Council of Nicea, and it is positively stated that
    three attended the Council of Arles, which was prior to that of
    Nicea.  The Church of England, therefore, is an ancient and an
    apostolic Church, deriving its succession from the primitive Church,
    and one and the same through all ages.  The Reformation was no _new
    formation_, not a creation of a _new_ Church, but the correction and
    restoration of an old one; it professed only to repair and reform,
    not to found or create—and it assumed to do this, according to the
    doctrines and usages of the primitive Church.  The reformers well
    knew, that if they did not stand upon that ground, they had no
    resting place for the soles of their feet; they were fully conscious
    that if they attempted to alter the Church any otherwise than
    according to its ancient model, it would crumble to pieces
    altogether, and probably bury them in its ruins.  All they professed,
    was to strengthen it where it was decayed, and to strip off those
    additions, which have encrusted or grown upon it in the lapse of
    time, without the authority of the Scripture, or of primitive
    tradition; but to this they declared that they adhered; they bound
    themselves down by this rule, and appealed to antiquity for all they
    did.” {63}

Then having quoted a passage from Bishop Jewell’s Apology, appealing to
antiquity as our Church’s guide, and shewing (to use Mr. Badeley’s words)
“that the intention of our reformers in departing from the Church of
Rome, was not at all to depart from the doctrine of the Catholic Church,”
he goes on to cite confirmatory authority to the same point in even more
weighty documents.

    “In the preface to the Prayer-book, as well as in the Articles, we
    have frequent references to the Fathers and the Primitive Church.  We
    have the same in the Homilies; in almost every page they teem with
    quotations from the Fathers, and support themselves upon the ancient
    doctrine and the Catholic tradition; and therefore, in inquiring into
    what was the doctrine of the early Church upon the question now in
    issue, we are following precisely that course of inquiry, and
    appealing to that tribunal, which was marked out for us by the
    reformers themselves.  They referred to the primitive doctrine as an
    indication of their meaning; and of course, if they had departed from
    that, they would have departed from the Church itself, because the
    Church, and the faith of the Church, can be but one.”

                                  * * * * *

    “I can show, that at the time of the Reformation there certainly was
    no intention to depart; and was no real departure in any respect from
    the doctrine of the early Church, on this or any other matter,
    certainly not on the Sacrament of Baptism, or upon the Sacraments
    generally; AND WHATEVER WAS NOT ALTERED AT THE PERIOD OF THE
    REFORMATION, REMAINS, AND CONTINUES TO BE THE DOCTRINE AND LAW OF THE
    CHURCH TO THIS DAY.” {64}

Again, Mr. Badeley says, “we have authority for looking to antiquity in
one or two public documents which are of importance; for in the canons
which were made in the year 1571, in that very Convocation which ratified
the Thirty-nine Articles, we have this in the directions to preachers:—

    “Imprimis vero videbunt, ne quid unquam doceant pro concione quod a
    populo religiose teneri et credi velint, nisi quod consentaneum sit
    doctrinæ veteris aut Novi Testamenti, _quodque ex illâ ipsâ
    doctrinâ_, _Catholici Patres et veteres episcopi collegerint_.”—Pp.
    100, 101.

There can be no doubt that what the Convocation considered to stand _not_
with this foundation, they lopped off and pulled down: what, therefore,
they left, _of what was in their time so taught_, is to be _so taught
still_; and remains as the dogmatic teaching of the Church of England.

    “Again, we have,” (continues Mr. Badeley, for I know not how to omit
    these links in his argument, so much are they to the purpose of my
    own,) “we have, in the directions given to the bishops by the lords
    of the council in the year 1582, with a view to their disputations
    with the Jesuits and seminary priests, a similar rule laid down.  ‘If
    the latter shall show any ground of Scripture’ (says this order in
    council), ‘and wrest it to their sense, you shall call for the
    interpretation of the old doctors, such as were before Gregory I.,
    for that in his time began the first claim of the supremacy, &c.’  So
    that in these we have public directions by authority as to the rule
    to which parties are to conform,—there is that of Convocation with
    reference to the clergy in their preaching, and there is this of the
    council with reference to public controversies and disputations; and
    therefore there is plenty of authority, as I conceive, for appealing
    to the early Church, for the Church and State both send us to the
    same source.  No doubt it was the case in all the disputations which
    were held about the period of the Reformation, to appeal to primitive
    doctrine and tradition.  In one of the statutes of Elizabeth (stat. 1
    Eliz. c. 1), there is a direction as to what is to be regarded as
    heresy, and that is to be judged by the authority of the first four
    general councils, or any of them, and any other general councils
    which declare it heresy in the words of Scripture. {66a}  We come,
    therefore,” (thus Mr. Badeley concludes this part of his argument)
    “under such sanction to the ancient Church, and to primitive and
    Catholic tradition, and I think we shall see beyond question that
    these prove the doctrine of baptism, &c.” {66b}

What Mr. Badeley cites for the special purpose of his particular case, I
conceive holds good, and may be asserted precisely in the same way for
the whole range of doctrine which our Church maintains; and with this
persuasion it is that I have so largely cited passages from his most
lucid speech.  This part of his argument, though of course limited in its
application by him to the special circumstances in which he stood, and
the case then before the Privy Council, is evidently not _exclusive_; and
I think proves thus much at least satisfactorily; that the Church of
England at the reformation never intended for a moment to shut out
previous _doctrine_, (though she might not actually mention and repeat
it,) any more than she could have intended to shut out previous
_history_.  Whatever may have been said _of_ her, or _for_ her, since,
the idea that she was then a new Church; making a beginning for herself,
creating herself, as it were, and her doctrine; not being joined to the
whole early Church, and not acknowledging her own previous existence, was
evidently not only never in her mind, but the exact contradictory was so
entirely an essential part of her life and being, that it is everywhere
felt and assumed, and the only wonder is, it is as much stated as it is.

I have just said that Mr. Badeley advances these proofs of the character
of our Church as to dogmatic teaching for one particular purpose, and in
order to support one specific doctrine—baptismal regeneration.  To that
subject he confines himself in the application of what he had said, and,
of course, most properly; because such only was the subject-matter in the
appeal on which he was pleading; such the doctrine which, on behalf of
his client, the Bishop of Exeter, he was bound to clear.  But what I
venture to say generally, from all these considerations and proofs as
advanced by Mr. Badeley, is this,—that his mode of meeting the attack on
the Catholic doctrine of baptism is precisely the just mode, and the
right mode for us to meet _any_ assault upon the faith of the Church of
England; because those considerations of the nature of her rule of faith,
and those proofs of her appeal to antiquity, and to the unrepealed dogmas
of preceding ages, connecting herself with them, and showing her mind to
retain the same teaching, are general, and apply not merely to baptism,
or to any one doctrine, but to all our doctrines.  And this defence, as
it appears to me, is not only legitimate but sufficient: at any rate
sufficient until specific exceptions are made and particular defects
named, and proofs given, (if they may be,) of a contradictory teaching,
by reference to the later authoritative expression of our Church’s mind;
a position however which, as I shall presently show, you do not yourself
assert.  One thing further I would here observe before I proceed; that
this line of argument and mode of defence of the Catholic doctrine of
baptism not having been successful in this particular instance, and with
this particular court, (although a reason to stir up all our energies to
show the Church _does_ not and _never will_ acquiesce in the decision of
that court,) affords no ground to any man to affirm that it has been
authoritatively condemned as an unsound defence, nay, shows not at all
that it might not even be admitted, and succeed in another case.  The
court cannot be said to condemn all the arguments on the losing side,
however it may disregard them.  The court is not sitting to try the
arguments of counsel, but the general merits of the case; and no one, I
suppose, would say that all the arguments of every lawyer who may not
gain his cause are judicially pronounced worthless or unsound.  What may
be justly said of them appears to be no more than that they are not
accepted as of weight by that court, or, at the most, that there is an
implication of some censure or contempt upon them; but certainly there is
nothing to prevent individuals still believing in their soundness;
nothing to prevent their being advanced again as occasion may again
arise; nothing to prevent them at another time, before even the same,
and, much more, before another tribunal, being weighed, being allowed,
and being successful. {69}

Under such sanction then it is that we claim the Catholic teaching of the
universal Church, and the teaching of the Church of England prior to the
reformation as _our_ dogmatic teaching still, in all points save where it
may be shewn (if it may) to be since plainly and expressly contradicted
or repealed.  And let us observe, more particularly, to what this
principle will reach.  Mr. Badeley’s beautifully connected statement has
given as many grounds to think we know the _Church’s_ mind upon the
matter: it has also touched upon the injunction of the _State_ looking in
the same direction: (to this point, however, I shall have occasion to
return).  But I say at once, observe to how much doctrine this principle
will take us; how much, at the very outset, it will claim and secure for
us.  Surely, _every matter of faith embraced in the first four general
councils is retained_; for no one I presume will dare to say that the
Church of England at the Reformation repealed, or intended to repeal, any
single article, canon, or doctrine of those four councils.  “Yea, even as
it were a thing unreasonable,” says Hooker, “if in civil affairs the king
(albeit the whole universal body did join with him) should do any thing
by their absolute supreme power for the ordering of their state at home,
in prejudice of any of those ancient laws of nations which are of force
throughout the world, because the necessary commerce of kingdoms
dependeth on them; so in principal matters belonging to Christian
religion, a thing very scandalous and offensive it must needs be thought,
if either kings or laws should dispose of the affairs of God, without any
respect hath to that which of old time had been reverently thought of
throughout the world, and wherein there is no law of God which forceth us
to swerve from the way wherein so many and so holy ages have gone.
Wherefore, not without good consideration, the very law itself hath
provided,” he continues, quoting the section of the same act of
parliament (1 Eliz. c. 1, § 36,) already referred to by Mr. Badeley,
“‘that judges ecclesiastical appointed under the king’s commission shall
not adjudge for heresy any thing but that which heretofore hath been so
adjudged by the authority of the canonical Scriptures, or by the first
four general councils, or by some other general council wherein the same
hath been declared heresy by the express words of the said canonical
Scriptures, or as hereafter shall be termed heresy by the high court of
parliament of this realm, with the assent of the clergy in the
convocation.’  By which words of the law,” Hooker adds as his comment,
“who doth not plainly see how that in one branch of proceeding by virtue
of the king’s supreme authority, the credit which _these four general
councils_ have throughout all churches evermore had, was judged by the
makers of the foresaid act a just cause wherefore they should be
mentioned in that case as a requisite part of the rule wherewith dominion
was to be limited.” {71}

The admission, then, of the decrees of these four general councils, which
I see not how any man can dispute to be admitted and received by the
reformed Church of England, will surely give us a certain large,
definite, important body of theology _from_ and _by_ which to teach our
people; not perhaps all that we may want, explicitly set forth, however
implicitly contained, because it was of course not until “emergent
heresies” pressed upon the Church that she saw, or could see, in what
direction her declaratory acts required to be put forth.  But certainly
in the adoption of these councils and their decrees, the Church of
England both indicates her love and reverence for antiquity; and clears
herself from all suspicion of attempting to begin “a new thing” at the
reformation; as well as establishes a wide and satisfactory basis, on
which to rest her further teaching.  Can you yourself deny that so far we
build upon a good and sure foundation?  Or will you say that, after all
this is _but_ a semblance? that whatever the ecclesiastical appearance or
tendency of these matters may have been, the erastian current swept them
practically away?  Will you say?  “Even if I grant you the first four
general councils, yet this is _all_; and this is insufficient; at the
reformation, whatever her own wish, the Church was so grievously
oppressed by the civil power (as she is now) that all the further links
connecting her with the doctrine held previously to 1540 were snapped
asunder: the enormous jurisdiction claimed by, and conceded to, and used
by, King Henry VIII. swept away that Catholicity which you are bent to
shew, and which the Church herself might have been glad to keep.”  Will
you say?  “Whatever may be the vague expressions of some at that time or
afterwards appealing to antiquity, yet look at the acts of Parliament of
that date, and you will see all this is a delusion, and no real adherence
to the prior doctrine is sustainable.”  Even this charge I am not afraid
to meet.  I promised to return in order to consider a little more fully
the secular recognition, at the least, non-condemnation of the principle,
that whatever previous teaching is “not plainly, openly, and dogmatically
contradicted” at the reformation or since, remains to us; and I will
endeavour to fulfil my pledge.  I think I shall be able to show, that
whatever claims of an erastian nature might be made or might be conceded
in the sixteenth century (I am not arguing how great they were), yet they
did not reach to the point, and were not used to the end, you now
suppose, but in God’s good providence over us, left your own principle of
1848 still untouched.  By whatever constraint or chance it may seem to
man’s eye to have occurred,—with whatever view, or by whatever mind
devised, there is something where we should least have expected to find
it, in the famous statute called “The Submission of the Clergy,” so much
and often lately brought under notice (25 Henry VIII. c. 19), which, if
it do not expressly prove the point in hand in favour of the Catholicity
of the English Church, yet at any rate, to my mind, much supports it;
and, at the very least, shows that the law of that day leaves the matter
as it found it; and therefore does not militate against the position of
our Church as it stands and is maintained in Mr. Badeley’s statement, nor
exclude any of the general arguments from abstract reasoning on the
point.  “Hast thou appealed unto Cæsar? unto Cæsar shalt thou go.”

I turn to the _Submissio Cleri_—the statute 25 Hen. VIII. c. 19.  The
first section recites that several canons have been made in time past
prejudicial to the king’s prerogative as well as to the laws and statutes
of the realm; and thereupon refers to the petition of the clergy that the
king’s highness with two-and-thirty commissioners may examine, confirm,
or abolish such canons, ordinances, and constitutions.  It provides also
that henceforth the clergy shall not enact or promulge any constitutions
or ordinances without the king’s assent; and that convocations “alway
shall be assembled by authority of the king’s writ.”  The second section
empowers the king to name the two-and-thirty commissioners, and makes
provision for the supply of the said number in case of the death of any
of them.  It also further prescribes their duties.  Then after sundry
enactments in the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth sections as to the
courts and modes of appeal, and “the restraint of appeals” to Rome, the
seventh section contains a proviso, thus stated, and commented upon by
Lord Coke, in his fourth Institute: “But by the said act of 25 Henry
VIII. their jurisdiction and power” (i.e. the clergy’s in convocation)
“is much limited and straitened concerning the making new canons; for
they must have both licence to make them, and after they be made, the
royal assent to allow them, before they be put in execution.  But in the
end of that act there is an express proviso that such canons as were made
before that act, which be not contrariant nor repugnant to the king’s
prerogative, the laws statutes or customes of the realm, should be still
used and executed as they were before the making of that act.” {75}  This
is Lord Coke’s comment, and it is much to be noted that he should stop
where he does in citing the words of the proviso; because, as thus given,
no one would entertain a doubt that all previous canons and ordinances,
so far from being abrogated, were by this very act specially confirmed,
except just in so far as they might be found contrariant or repugnant to
the king’s prerogative, or the laws of the realm.  It is manifest, too,
that this is no oversight (lawyers will smile even at the supposition) on
the part of Lord Coke, but that such indeed is his reading of the
proviso; for he immediately applies it to a matter which he wishes to
show was not binding in law before that time, to bar it, as it were, from
_claiming_ under the powers of that very act, which evidently it could
not do, unless that proviso were understood to confirm precedent canons.
“But before that time,” he continues, “a disme” (i.e. a tenth) “granted
by the clergy at the convocation, did not binde the clergy before the
king’s royal assent.”  The argument of Lord Coke in this place appears to
determine the point, that he so read the proviso, as to make it
absolutely confirmatory, even under the terms of this very act “for the
submission of the clergy and restraint of appeals,” of all “canons,
constitutions, ordinances, and synodals provincial being already made,
which be not contrariant or repugnant to the laws, statutes, and customes
of this realm, nor to the damage or hurt of the king’s prerogative
royal,” and that these should, as the proviso directs, “now still be used
and executed as they were afore the making of this act.”  I repeat that
this view of the force of the said proviso, and this method of quoting
it, is certainly remarkable—remarkable because there are further words in
the latter part of the section appearing to qualify the sense, which yet
are wholly passed over by Lord Coke, not merely in his quotation, but
actually in his argument.  I mean that his argument touching the previous
power of the clergy to grant a disme, implies his belief that the
_general_ previous powers of the canon law still prevailed and this,
(whether he considered the said disme to infringe the king’s prerogative
or not) shews that the remaining apparently qualifying words of the
proviso are by him advisedly set aside.  Nevertheless, I will here add
them, lest, in spite of such authority for the omission, I should be, or
seem to be, acting unfairly, and not making the most of the adverse
argument.  The words I allude to are these: “The previous canons,
constitutions, &c. shall now still be used and executed as they were
afore the making of this act, _till such time as they be viewed_,
_searched or otherwise ordered and determined by the said two-and-thirty
persons_, _or the more part of them_, according to the tenor, form, and
effect of this present act.” {76}  It would no doubt appear from these
words, as well as from Section 2 of the act, that there was an intention
at that period of reviewing the whole body of the canon law, with a view
to the obliteration of everything in the previous enactments which might
appear to those commissioners unsound or inconvenient.  This design,
however, was never carried into effect.  I know not how to regard it as
other than a special mark of God’s great mercy and gracious goodness to
this branch of his Church that it was frustrated.  Perhaps it is not
quite clear that the powers of these commissioners were intended directly
to touch doctrine, or to reach beyond the abolition of canons and
constitutions appearing to be contrariant to the king’s prerogative, or
repugnant to the laws and customs of the realm, though I think the terms
employed embrace a wider field, and at any rate in the temper of that
day, might very probably have been understood and used to a wider
purpose.  “Great and manifold” indeed would have been the perils
attendant on so sweeping a reformation of all the previous doctrine and
discipline received by the English Church; and not without a trembling
thankfulness as well as, to my mind, a heart-felt acknowledgment of the
divine mercy, are we to think of our escape from so great a danger.  To
have had only so much of the laws and usages, doctrine and discipline of
the primitive Church, or of the distinctive teaching of our own Church
previous to the passing of this act, as such a board of commissioners
might have thought good to leave us, would indeed have been to be put to
the utmost hazard as to the measure of dogmatic teaching left us at all,
and to the greatest risk of our being cut off from Catholic antiquity
altogether.  Of course even then, the mere act of parliament, and its
authority to the commission could not have effected this.  The Church
might, theoretically at any rate, have broken from the bondage, and
severing her connexion with the State at whatever cost, have preserved
her purity and freedom. {78a}  But, considering how little likely any
such resistance appears to have been, if that commission’s work had been
carried out, we may well thank “the Lord our defence,” that in another
mode we were delivered from the danger; and that although in the reign of
King Edward VI. the two and thirty persons (at any rate one and thirty of
them) were appointed, yet they never accomplished the review in question.
“It is not necessary,” says Mr. Gladstone, “to discuss the wisdom or
propriety of this petition of the clergy,” (i.e. to have such a
commission appointed) “since the enactments passed in consequence of it
never took final effect; and however material they may be as illustrating
the spirit and tendencies of the day, they have not in any direct manner
entered into the constitution of the English Church.” {78b}  “The review
of the laws ecclesiastical, indeed,” he says again in a further passage,
“has no longer any effect for us, as the scheme ultimately failed of
effect, and has now no legal or practical being.” {78c}  It is not,
indeed, that the whole act is repealed.  As we well know this is not the
case.  It _was_ repealed by the 1 & 2 Philip and Mary, but revived by the
1 Eliz. c. 1, so that, if it bind some things upon us now which the
Church might wish otherwise, we yet have the advantage of that proviso in
its last section, establishing previous canons and constitutions of the
Church of England, (with the exception of such as may be contrariant to
the king’s prerogative, or repugnant to the laws,) _until_ a contingency
should arise, which has never been fulfilled.  That it never was
fulfilled, may perhaps explain Lord Coke’s comment upon the proviso in
question as an absolute assertion of the previous canon law, and his
having apparently passed over as entire surplusage the, at first sight,
qualifying words with which it concludes.  And thus we may see there is
an actual statute of the realm declaring, however unintentionally, yet
really and practically, the authority, so far as statutes can declare it,
of that very rule of the Church’s teaching previous to 1540, which you
yourself so happily, as it seems to me, explained and enforced in 1848.
Thus the very act of parliament, and the very proviso in it which
threatened to be the destruction of the Catholic character of our Church,
(i.e. if those commissioners had done the work contemplated,) become not
only a witness in its favour, but actually declaratory by law of its
connection with the Church previously existing.  Henry VIII., and his act
“for the submission of the clergy,” become the one,—really “Defender of
the Faith,” and the other,—so far as the temporality can effect it,
absolutely a charter, securing the Church’s dogmatic teaching by legally
binding upon us the general body of the canons and constitutions,
ordinances and synodals provincial of the previous ages.  Surely we
should be slow to say it is a straining of the eye of faith if herein it
seems to see an accomplishment of the prophet’s word, “No weapon that is
formed against Thee shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise
against Thee in judgment, Thou shalt condemn: This is the heritage of the
servants of the Lord.”

I have spoken of the proviso in this act of parliament (25 Hen. VIII. c.
19) as confirming generally the canons precedent to its enactment.  Of
course I have not forgotten that the statute itself makes two exceptions,
or rather, excepts two classes of canons and constitutions from that
confirmation.  1. Such as may be “contrariant or repugnant to the laws
and customes of the realm.”  2. Such as may be “to the damage or hurt of
the king’s prerogative royal.”  It may be well to pause a few moments,
just to point out, though it is so plain it will require only to be
mentioned to be allowed, that these limitations in no wise affect the
argument as to the dogmatic teaching of the Church on doctrine.  They
point evidently to the claims of the papacy, and the powers of the
supremacy.  Indirectly, no doubt, the question of the supremacy may come
to _affect_ doctrine, as we plainly see at this time, but I mean that, as
to previous canons upon doctrine, properly so called, these limitations
of the act do not touch our assertion, that they remain as they were,
except they may be shown to be plainly and openly repealed.  Thus the two
exceptions made have no bearing upon those great doctrinal points,
whereon you and I alike desiderate dogmatic teaching; for no man will
contend that the doctrine of the Church Catholic on baptism, on
justification, on confirmation, on the holy eucharist, or on absolution,
though carried ever so far, will in any wise clash with the king’s
prerogative, (“that only prerogative which we see to have been given
always to all godly princes in Holy Scriptures by God himself:”) nor are
we asking that any doctrine shall be received which may be, _if it be_,
repugnant to the laws and customs of the realm.  All that we assert is,
that where previous canons be not so, (and we fully believe those for
which we contend do not come into collision with either law or
prerogative at all,) and where the Church has not herself directly
annulled them, there these same doctrines remain, as they have ever been
received by the Church Catholic, and by the Church of England as a branch
thereof;—as indeed she has, and had received them from primitive times
and sources;—as she had accepted, guarded, and enforced them prior to the
year 1540.

Of course in matters of law and legal construction I desire to speak with
all deference and submission.  Here, less than any where, should I wish
to argue with over-confidence.  I trust I shall not be doing so, if I sum
up this part of my argument by saying, that it appears to me we are
entitled to believe that the proviso in the 25 Henry VIII. c. 19 (the
condition stated in the “until,” &c. never having been fulfilled), either
actually asserts the force of the general body of previous canons and
constitutions of the Church of England; or, at any rate, and at the very
least, that it offers no bar, even secularly, to the general reasons as
stated before, from common sense and the nature of things, as well as
from the Church’s own appeals to previous teaching that those canons must
remain in force, and that, to use again Mr. Badeley’s words: “_Whatever
was not altered at the period of the Reformation_, _remains and continues
__to be the doctrine and law of the Church to this day_.” {82}

IV.  I have said that there appears to be another confirmation of this
view, from the consideration of what the Church of England would deprive
herself of, if the contrary principle were to be carried out, and her
existence dated only from the sixteenth century, and if it were ruled
that nothing could belong to her faith and doctrine, but what was then
determined and in words set down.  It will not be necessary to enlarge
upon this topic, but a few instances it may be well to give.

What then could we say is the teaching of our Church upon the inspiration
of Scripture, if we had no appeal to ancient law, usage, or belief?  The
whole, which it was thought necessary to declare upon this matter at the
reformation, is contained in the sixth Article, and that deals not with
the inspiration of Scripture at all, a point not in dispute, but with its
sufficiency, as containing all things necessary to salvation, as opposed
to a particular view of tradition.  That article also enumerates the
canonical books, and speaks of their “_authority_;” (the Church also, we
may remember, is said to have “_authority_,” in another article, but many
who assent to that would scruple perhaps to say they believe in her
inspiration); and I do not think any man can say that there is in the
article in question any declaration either that those books which are
canonical are inspired, or those which are uncanonical are uninspired;
not of course, in the least, that it was intended to throw a doubt upon
the inspiration of the Scriptures, but that the articles, and even the
formularies of the Church of England were not drawn up to declare all
points of belief, because the Church unhesitatingly threw herself upon
all previous doctrine, except where in any particular case she saw cause
to alter, correct, or repeal.  Just in the same way consider many other
points.  What strict belief should we have, upon the other hypothesis, as
to the existence and power of evil spirits; or the eternity of
punishment; or what rule for the observance of the Lord’s Day (save just
as any other holy-day); or what mode of ascertaining the Church’s mind
upon very many other subjects which have arisen or may arise, especially
with regard to the pantheistic tendencies and theories of modern times,
not treated of because utterly unknown and uncontemplated in the
sixteenth century, if we were tied down to the mere wording of the
reformation documents, but which are all of them capable of refutation in
the broad expanse of doctrine preserved from the beginning!  It will, I
think, be plain to any one who will pursue this subject into its details,
that the connexion of our Church with the Church previous to the
reformation, is a fact necessarily to be assumed by us all, unless we
would bring the whole question of her doctrine into a manifestly false
position.  To suppose this connexion to be wholly dissolved, is in truth
such an evident reductio ad absurdum, as amounts to a full proof that no
party of men, I do not say of great ability, but of an ordinary reason,
could have intended to adopt that theory.  Therefore it is impossible to
believe that our reformers, in drawing up articles of religion, “to avoid
diversities of opinions, and for the establishing of consent touching
true religion,” and which treated of course of the diversities which then
prevailed; and in putting forth practical offices of devotion, could, I
say, have designed to ignore all that previous body of doctrine, which
happened not to come into direct mention in those documents.  If they had
not purposed to retain the provincial ordinances of their own country,
they might be expected plainly to have said so; but even if they had done
this, they _must_ have cast themselves upon the general teaching of the
Church Universal, in a manner from which after all we should have nothing
to fear, or, they would have left the Church they were reforming in such
a bareness and nakedness of doctrine altogether, as no opponent of the
Catholic character of our Church has ever pretended to imagine or assert.
On this ground therefore, once more, I cannot but believe that the
conclusion which you held and so lucidly expressed in 1848 is tenable and
sound; and therefore that what we are still bound to teach, is the
exclusive doctrine of the Church Catholic, unless the further
explications on any matter at the reformation render it not merely
ambiguous, as far as the documents of the reformation are themselves
concerned, (this is insufficient to harm us, and nothing to the purpose,)
but positively heretical, and absolutely contrariant to “the faith once
delivered to the saints.”

You will see what I mean by saying that mere ambiguity in our reformation
documents will not harm us, is this, that we have a prior and superior
rule to appeal to, (if the preceding argument be sound,) by which such
ambiguity will be corrected.  No one pretends there can be any hurtful
ambiguity or insufficiency in the connected teaching of the Church
Catholic; and therefore wheresoever we may take refuge in that to cover
any omissions or defects, if such there be, on essential doctrine in our
later rule, we shall take no damage.  The only thing which would really
harm us, would be absolute contradiction of the truth, or positive
assertion that such or such essential points were intended to be left
vague and ambiguous.  But this would be harmful, because in fact such
declarations would not be merely declarations of vagueness or ambiguity,
but would be heresy; would not be to assert, of two conflicting
doctrines, that the Church teaches _both_, but, in fact, to rule that she
teaches _neither_.  No one however will, I think, pretend to say that the
Church of England has said any where, in so many words, that she means to
leave open such or such a doctrine, which the Church Catholic has closed.
Perhaps you will say, “Not in so many words:—but by inference she does
it; by her undecided manner where she has dealt with the topic, by the
laxity which her words too evidently permit, by the known bias and
opinions of many of those who framed them.”  This, however, is just what
I have been saying amounts to nothing against the previous unrepealed
doctrine to which she is to be referred, and the consent of Catholic
antiquity, by which she is really bound.  I do assert _such_ a repeal, if
it be no more, is no repeal at all.  _No_ statute law can be so set
aside, and assuredly not this, the law of Christ and his Church.  If,
indeed, we _had only_ what the Reformation left us; if we were
constrained to think all needful doctrine was there treated, and fully
treated of; if any document of authority of that period had declared that
no previous doctrine was admissible, unless then repeated and specially
recognized; that nothing was important as a matter of faith beyond what
the writings of that time included in their summaries, or embraced in
their definitions; if the reformation had thus pronounced itself
_aὐτάpχης_, and thus separated its Church and doctrine from primitive
antiquity and the faith of Christendom, then indeed should we see that we
were “in evil case,” to be required “to make bricks,” and yet to have “no
straw given us.”  But, since there is no such document, and no plausible
evidence of even any such design, we trust we may put aside all fear that
we are in this dilemma, and still build up our doctrine upon the sure
foundation of “that which hath been from the beginning.”

Will you say? “I allow you have the old teaching upon points not
mentioned at the reformation, but on no others: where any thing is
treated of at all, it is definitely settled by whatever is set down; and
thereupon no regard must be paid to any complement of doctrine derived
from earlier teaching.”  I answer, on what authority are we to receive
this arbitrary distinction?  Surely not upon the shewing of any direct
evidence: if so, produce it.  Not on the implied injunction or animus of
the Church at the reformation, for she is full of appeals to precedent
teaching on all points.  Not on that of the state, for, as I have been
shewing, at the very least, and if it do not enjoin the direct contrary,
it enforces no such prohibition.  And if the reformers of the
ecclesiastical polity of that day intended any such restriction in their
appeals to earlier times, (which I do not think they did) yet in that
case, as it appears to me, God has overruled their intention, and brought
to nought their counsel, by their having left no record to bind any man’s
conscience in the Church of England to such a denial of Catholic
theology.  And _who_ shall say, if they “_intended to include_” but “_did
not include_”, the latitudinarian rule; {87} if these things be so
indeed, it was not for this very purpose they have fallen out after such
a fashion; that even after so many practical abuses as we know have crept
in among us, after so many years when the ancient landmarks have been
well nigh removed from sight, after so much deadness of heart among mere
formal religionists, and so much running after novelties among the more
earnest, enthusiastic, or self-willed, after all these things, and after
so long a period of darkness on the land, yet now when there has been
again a brightening, an awakening, “a zeal” more “according to
knowledge,” a regard to antiquity, and a longing for the religion of
apostles and apostolic men of old time, that now we might indeed _have
that_ to fall back upon which should prove our safety: might find the
landmarks were only buried, not removed: might experience indeed and in
truth that “heaviness may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the
morning,” and might in that morning’s light be able to clear the path
again which leadeth “into all truth,” and so walk onward into the “bright
shining of the perfect day.”

Here too you will perceive why I said in the early part of this letter
that it was important to state plainly _what_ it was to which I had
committed myself with respect to the animus of the reformers, and that
this matter of intention being clearly understood, would be found to have
a necessary bearing upon our present subject as we proceeded.  If I had
asserted the authority of the animus of the reformers to explain the
meaning of the documents they put forth, interminable questions might be
raised as to the subjects on which there could or could not be considered
enough of ambiguity to allow the appeal to the previous Church.  But, as
I have before explained, not any where intending to assert that the sense
of those documents was to be determined by the intentions or opinions of
their framers, I trust I am in no dilemma here when I cannot admit the
animus of the reformers, even if it were proved to have been to exclude
such appeals, to be a reason for their exclusion.  Even if the animus of
ever so large a body of them could be absolutely shewn to have been to
conciliate all parties by leaving open questions on essential doctrines
in the formularies they put forth; if even they believed of themselves
they had attained this end, yet as they forgot (if we may use the term)
to break asunder the bond which connected the Church of England at that
date with herself in the preceding ages, and with the Church Catholic,
they left us all we want, to maintain the one faith once delivered, the
faith of Christ our Lord, and of his Church from the beginning.  If this
result came by inadvertence, (as perhaps _they_ might say) but of God’s
great mercy, and the stretching forth of his arm over us, (as I should
affirm) i.e. not by the oversight of man, but by the overseeing of God,
still, any way, the rule of a Catholic theology has been retained, and
their counsel has been brought to nought, so as merely to give us, as
perhaps I may allow, from one point of view the _semblance_, but in no
wise the _reality_ of a lax rule of faith.

There is one argument indeed which, if it could be supported, might prove
the rule to be really lax.  I mean if it might be maintained with truth,
that there are declarations in our articles, or doctrines in our
formularies not merely ambiguous, or less clearly defined on the Catholic
side than we might wish, but actually repugnant to the faith and
contradictory to it.  Of course this would be a fatal objection to the
whole line of argument I have been using; for it would show, so far at
any rate, a repeal of the previous doctrine, and preclude our gaining
that reference to it on which I have been insisting.  But I shall need
take no great time or toil to show that this is not the case.  You grant
me the point yourself, not merely in your treatise on absolution, in
1848, but in the very letter to which I am now replying.  Thus you
concede it in the passage already quoted, and even in the very charge you
make—“I am compelled to own that the utmost we are justified in declaring
seems to be—not that the Church of England now ‘holds and teaches, &c.;’
but—that the Church of England now _suffers and permits_ to be held and
taught; and again, as to the right interpretation of the Prayer Book, not
‘_must_ be understood,’ but ‘_may_ be understood,’ to mean all that was
meant before the year 1540.” {89}  Your charge against the present state
of the Church, you will observe is _no more_ than that questions are left
open; it is not that heresy is exclusively maintained or enforced.
Again, to the same purport are the following passages: “Remember, I am in
no degree withdrawing from the full extent of the assertion, repeated
more than once, that the Church of England leaves ‘open’ so many deep and
important questions.” {90a}  So, in another passage, where you speak of
the Eucharistic sacrifice—“Again I remind you that I am very far from
saying now that the Catholic doctrine is denied and repudiated . . . for
I have for many years taught (and as you know, have lately published in a
sermon) that in the blessed Eucharist the body and the blood of our Lord
are truly offered as a propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the
dead.” {90b}  It is plain you do not think this denied by the English
Church; but your complaint is, that the articles and liturgy do not
peremptorily enforce it.

Again, in commenting upon the “real presence,” and the words of the
Catechism, that the body and blood are verily and indeed taken and
received by the faithful, you say, “At the risk of weary repetition, let
me once more say, that of course this place of the Catechism does not
assert that the body and blood of Christ are not verily and indeed taken
by all; and if there were in other places of our formularies anything
even approaching to a statement of the reality of the presence of our
blessed Lord in the consecrated bread and wine, independently of any
qualifications or dispositions in the soul of the receiver, we might be
able to show at once and distinctly that these passages in the liturgy
and catechism cannot justly mean what they are generally brought forward
to prove.” {91}  I need not multiply quotations on this head, though I
believe I have not nearly exhausted the passages I might cite.  In short,
your whole letter merely charges the heresy of “open questions” upon our
Church, not the heresy of our being forbidden on any point to teach the
catholic truth.  And I say again, if this be all, we fall back at once
upon your own former principle, though now by you abandoned and forsaken.
We say, that we are not left to these the documents of the reformation
alone, and therefore, if there are in them deficiencies merely negative,
which is all your charge, we can supply the necessary teaching from those
deeper wells of truth from which, whether intentionally or otherwise, the
promoters and managers of the reformation have not debarred us.  Neither
the Church nor State enactments hinder, as I contend, this appeal; and
observe, _if we_ MAY _make it_, _we_ MUST.  We are not at liberty to use
it if we please, and discard it if we please, for it is “THE VOICE OF THE
CHURCH OF ENGLAND,”—a voice, as I firmly believe, which, if duly listened
for, and scrupulously obeyed, will clear up every open question which the
Church Catholic demands should be cleared up, and will answer every
charge which a shallow observation of only the later documents, of the
reformation, might bring against us.  So fair and strong from these
considerations do the grounds of hope and confidence appear, that I am
tempted to paraphrase, though in a contradictory sense, one of the most
despairing pages of your letter.  You argue, “It is not necessary to
pretend to know the dealings of Almighty God with men and nations so
accurately, as to attempt to lay one’s finger upon the one, two, or three
special acts which may avail to cut off any portion of the one holy
Catholic Church;” {92a} and then you further bid us think whether with us
the actual cutting off may not have been at the reformation, although a
certain life may have been found for a time even in the severed limb.  I
am not concerned indeed to deny that there may have been much in the
reformation to wound the branch; but I also maintain that its connection
with the parent stem never having been severed, the life remains, and the
wound may be wholly healed. {92b}  ‘As regards the Church of England in
particular, it may be that the so-called reformation contained—perhaps
unknown to the original promoters of it’—precious ‘seeds’ of good ‘to
bring in a certain though slow’ revival of all vital powers weakened by
so great a shock; ‘and that then either’ old principles were secretly
preserved, which in their after development would most surely avail to
the restoration of all essential truths, or new principles were,
unintentionally perhaps, so guarded and circumscribed that ‘the gradual
course of time,’ as they came to be applied, would show them to be
harmless.  ‘Or, once more, it may be with portions of the Church Catholic
as with the vine her mysterious type.  “I am the vine, ye are the
branches,” were the words of our blessed Lord, speaking of his body the
Church, of which he is himself the Head.  And we may well conceive how a
branch,’ partially injured by some disease or canker, may suffer from the
pruning-knife which endeavours to eradicate it; and yet in a
period,—longer or shorter, as the case may be,—never having been severed
from the stem, but deriving from IT the fulness of its life and sap, may
wholly recover from the wound which the knife has made, and after a time
flourish again in its pristine vigour, even as in its days of early
youth, before any corruption had laid hold upon it, and bring forth fruit
again an hundredfold for its master’s use; though requiring time to heal
its wound, yet certain to be restored, if no fresh accident befall it,
because of its union with the parent tree.’

I know well, analogies and similitudes may be made on all sides, and in
support of almost anything.  I know also, however useful as illustrations
to clear our meaning, and to answer objections taken in limine, yet how
little they can be relied upon as proofs: but I venture upon this
antagonistic paraphrase of your illustration, that I may ask the
question, whether perchance the view sustained by mine may not as
probably be the truth as that sustained by your’s; and that I may express
my trust we shall none of us be led astray from doing all that duty bids
us do, in the tendance of our branch of the vine, by any such similitudes
as those you have advanced, if the principle of your letter may be
supposed to have found an answer; if, upon the grounds I have endeavoured
to draw out, we may claim our union with the parent tree; in short, if
the fact of the severance of the reformed Church of England from the
Church Catholic be not made out beyond question or dispute.  Until it be
so proved, _I_ at any rate feel it to be my duty stedfastly to cleave to
her; not being blind to practical shortcomings, not refusing to
acknowledge the dangers which beset her, even to the extent that she
_may_ so bend to the spirit of the world, and recognize the erastian
liberalism of this day and age, that she may, instead of rising up again,
be wofully and entirely cast down, but certainly not seeing that God hath
so cast her down as yet.  I do not, and I cannot take this as proved, or
as done already, and therefore cannot accept the statements of your
letter, nor the conclusions to which they lead.  For you ought to have
proved in detail, not that our Church’s articles or formularies since the
middle of the sixteenth century, taken by themselves, or interpreted by
cotemporary opinions, admit a double meaning, but that they actually
_exclude_ the sense and meaning of the Church previous to 1540; because
if they do less than this, the admission in themselves of open questions
(if it be so) is qualified and overruled by the earlier unexcluded
dogmatic teaching; and I say it boldly, in spite of the scorn and
contumely with which the liberalism of the day will greet such a
sentiment, the present Church of England must thereby be understood to
_require_ all those ancient dogmas to be enforced, as the ONE ONLY TRUE
SENSE of documents, themselves perhaps, _by_ themselves, capable of a
doubtful interpretation.  Nothing less than the having “plainly, openly,
and dogmatically asserted the contrary” will annul this obligation, and
herein, as I believe, and as I have endeavoured now to show, will be
found, in God’s providence, the safeguard and shield which He has thrown
over this branch of his Church,—a safeguard and a shield, under the which
we may rest a little while, “until this tyranny be overpast,” until she
shall be able not merely to _claim_, but again to _use_, “the whole
armour of God,” and convince the world practically of her _teaching_ as
well as _holding_ “the Catholic faith whole and undefiled.”  I do not, I
dare not, shrink from the thought that further proof, shall I say trial,
on this point awaits us.  In God’s time and in God’s way I expect it.
Humbly and reverently I trust I may add, “Let it come.”  Perhaps it may
be nearer than we think; for it is evident those who agree with me at all
in the defence I have here set up against the charge of want of dogmatic
teaching, must, in these days, as the assault upon catholic truth grows
fiercer, be even more and more distinct, earnest, and plain-spoken in its
assertion.  As we claim, so will we, if it please God, more and more use
the ancient faith, whether men “will hear, or whether they will forbear.”
Not indeed as a process of tentation upon the Church, but as a simple
matter of duty, and as a safeguard to our people, lest unawares, and step
by step, they “forfeit all their creed.”  But this, one way or another,
is likely to bring us to a trial, and to a very practical solution of the
questions raised, perhaps I may say somewhat speculatively, in your
letter.  If the Church of England then “will not endure sound doctrine,”
let her say so.  It may be we shall have immediately to distinguish
between the voice of the Church and the voice of the establishment; but
at any rate, let the Church speak out.  Our perils are too great and too
pressing on the side of acquiescence in heresy, to give us any option now
as to speaking or keeping silence.  Will you tell me that the bishops of
our Church neither hold nor will tolerate these ancient doctrines; that
they will soon settle this matter, “make a short work,” speak out, and
show us the true Anglican faith; and drive from the Church of England
those whose walk and whose heart are with a faith older than three
hundred years?  God forbid that I should sin against them by believing
you.  God forbid that I should believe any such thing, unless I live to
see it.  But if it _should_ be so indeed; if the erastianism and
latitudinarianism of the day _should_ so have eaten, or _should ever_ so
eat their way into the heart of our episcopate, that such assertion of
our Church’s catholicity, such clinging to ancient doctrine, such walking
with the Church of the Apostles, and the religion derived in
uninterrupted succession from them, shall be no longer endured among us,
then let them know assuredly that they who bring this to pass,—they who
drive the matter to such a point,—they who take the aggressive against
sound doctrine, and ancient faith, will be responsible for that which
shall follow, and will excite and evoke a spirit, with the which they and
all their’s will in vain contend.  They will do that which will provoke,
not dribbling secessions, here a few and there a few, but that which,
setting up the mark of Jeroboam in the land, as the symbol and banner of
the establishment, will drive from _it_ and _them_ all the true
priesthood and really Church feeling of the country.  Then will there be,
either a return to the Roman communion such as “neither their fathers nor
they” have ever dreamed of, or a free Episcopacy, which shall cast aside
the establishment as an “accursed thing,” throw itself upon Christendom
for communion, and appeal to a general council of Christendom for
approval, and, shaking to the very centre the whole religion of this
country, shall gather into its own bosom, I will not say all that is good
and holy, but all that is good and holy, and has with this goodness and
this holiness any distinctive Church knowledge or Church feeling.  Men
who calculate consequences, if there be such, may well ponder these
things, before they tremble “at the fear of man,” or think any way safer
than the old paths, and the ancient faith.  Let no man say I threaten
wrongly, or threaten vainly.  I desire not to threaten at all; but I know
what I write; and truly, “is there not a cause?”  Let all, friends and
foes alike, know and well weigh on what a sea they are now embarked.  Let
them be prepared for what must come, if there be anything like
faint-heartedness or cowardice among us, anything like treason to the
Catholic faith in those in high place.  Let it be known well that we, who
are firmest and plainest in declaring the duty of cleaving to the Church
of England now, and so are fighting her battle against you, and those
like you, who take the easier perhaps, at any rate the shorter, road to
escape from her embarrassments, that we do not pretend _if_ the
difficulty should arise that we cannot remain members of the English
Church, and members of the Church catholic at the same time, we can
hesitate as to our duty.  Neither can we unlearn all that we have learned
from the ancient fountain-heads of doctrine, and believe the catholic
faith to be a thing of yesterday, or square it by the liberal theories of
modern schools.  We have drunk too deeply from the well-heads of
antiquity for this to be possible.  We can no more go back and believe
the catholic truths we have imbibed to be no more than superstitious
inventions and human figments, than we could return to the system of
Ptolemy, and believe this earth to be the centre round which the sun and
the stars revolve.  These things we cannot do; but certainly we can, in
mind and theory, and we do in fact, separate the ideas of the _Church_
and the _establishment_, and can contemplate the possible arrival of a
time and circumstance when the one must be kept to at the expense of the
total abnegation of the other.  And here foreseeing, we also count the
cost.  We compute whether we be able, “with ten thousand, to meet him
that cometh against us with twenty thousand,” and in His name, and with
His presence, who has promised to be “with His Church always,” we are not
fearful, and shall not be careful if we must let the establishment go.
We sit down to “build our tower,” not without considering whether we have
“sufficient to finish;” and again, in the riches of His grace, we deem we
have.  We would make it “after the pattern which has been showed us,” and
know then full well it will be a building which shall be able to shelter,
and an ark which shall be able to save, all that are committed to us, all
who will take refuge in it.  To attain this, we are ready to sacrifice
all but truth, to fight against all but GOD!

But I say once more, our perils are too great at the present time to
allow of silence in the Church, to admit of any compromise or
uncertainty, when inquisition is made as to what we hold, or teach our
people.  Let the Church of England speak, and speak unequivocally, and we
shall know what to think.  Let her courts, duly constituted, and
especially her synods if they may meet, pronounce what she will bear, and
what she will not bear; what she will recognize as her own with a
mother’s love; what she will repudiate and put from her with a
step-mother’s aversion.  Then shall we know our duties, and see our way.
Then perchance will it be found the State has reckoned unwarily, and
counted upon too much.  Then, if it try to bind _her_ with the chains of
the spirit of the day, may it be seen of all men that they are but as
“green withs,” or “as threads of tow touched by the fire,” to bind the
mighty.  Even should the State prevail in mere numbers, who shall say but
there shall be found some high in authority, and endowed with the powers
of the Apostolate, who will stand “valiantly for the truth,” and “be of
good courage, and behave themselves valiantly for their people, and for
the cities of their God,” and use their powers, and the authority
received from Christ, to shake, as I have said, the establishment to its
fall, if there be any effort, by means of it, to take from us “one jot or
tittle” of the faith?  If _they_ do this, even but six, or three, or two,
or one among them, with the Creeds and Christendom to back them, surely
_we_ shall know what to do also.  If they do not, we shall again know
both what to think and what to do!  Surely then God will “make a way
under us for to go,” and at his word alone, we shall go forth; not
certainly, as _I_ should go forth now, were I to follow your steps, and
remove from the place where He has cast my lot, with no light upon my
path, no assurance, no conviction, no belief that I was proceeding under
his guidance, or doing that which is according to his will.  Rather, I
cannot but adopt, and with it I will conclude this part of my present
subject, the noble profession of thankful confidence made by yourself at
the close of your treatise on absolution, where, acknowledging the
singular preservation to us of a very minute particular, (involving, as
you considered, important doctrine,) even a single letter in one of our
rubrics, you thus expressed yourself:—

    “The more I consider this circumstance, with the more heartfelt
    thankfulness and confidence do I look upon it as a token among many
    hardly to be unseen of the care and guiding with which the Almighty
    Head of the Universal Church ceaselessly has guarded, to his own wise
    ends and purposes, this our Church of England.  These considerations,
    and such as these, bring their especial comfort.  Some men, perhaps,
    may be indifferent about them.  For myself, at one time in one thing,
    and at another in another, light and trivial as alone or singly they
    may or might have been together in their accumulation they supply—not
    arguments merely, for that in comparison would be a poor result,
    but—patience, in days of dispute and difficulty, in days of trial and
    obloquy and reproach; motives, again, to exertion and untiring labour
    in our Church’s cause; constant confirmation of the sacred truths
    which I believe she holds; and above all, with God’s most gracious
    help, an undoubting determination to endeavour by all means, and in
    every possible way, under her own holy shadow and protection, still
    and for ever to defend her against avowed enemies from without, and
    against mistaken friends within.” {101}

Although these remarks have extended far beyond the length which I
contemplated when I began them, I am unwilling to bring my letter to a
close without adverting to one or two points further, connected with the
whole subject of which I have been treating, and the prospects which are
before us.  I have said, “I think we have the _time_, and I trust we have
the _means_, effectually, though it may be gradually, to vindicate our
Church.” {102}  You may ask, perhaps, “What are these means?”  You may
say, “Deeply as many may feel the present crisis; earnest as they are to
disclaim the decision of the Judicial Committee, that Mr. Gorham is fit
to hold a benefice with cure of souls in the Church of England;
determined as they may be to leave nothing undone which may be done to
shake off the grasp of state interference with her spiritual rights and
jurisdiction; yet what _can_ they do more than uselessly agitate, or
hopelessly complain?  I know well,” you may say, “you are looking to the
revival of the Church’s synodical functions; to the restoration of her
convocation, to set all these matters right; to clear her doctrine, and
consolidate her freedom.  But these things are too uncertain and too
distant to be accounted of.  If you have nothing nearer and more direct
than these, or such hopes as these for remedies, I can but reckon them
‘as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.’  You will sooner be committed
to the denial of the whole faith, than regain from the ingrained
superstitious erastianism of this day and this people, the slightest
approach to ‘the churchmen’ being permitted in their convocation to ‘do
the work which is proper unto them.’”  Now, I do not think this, yet I
will not argue it:—but will rather come to something nearer and more
direct as, at any rate, the beginning of a remedy.  This, then I say, is
nearer:—direct to clear ourselves individually from blame, and, it may
be, competent in time to work for us an efficient cure either with or
without the consent of the State, as God in his providence shall order.
This I say:—to break communion with the Archbishop, and with those who
uphold him in upholding the judgment of the Privy Council.  This is a
course open to us all; and is a direct course towards one part, at any
rate, of our objects—the freeing ourselves from blame.  Perilous,
however, as our position is, I do not say the time has come for this to
be done as yet; much less that _I_ am competent to decide when such time
shall have arrived.  But I mention the thought, that you may perceive
men’s minds are not without the suggestion of something immediate,
practical, and real.  However fearful the thought of such a course;
however loth we may be to contemplate it; however startling it may sound
in many ears to hear a priest in the Church of England speak such words,
as of cutting himself off from communion with the primate of his Church;
yet it is so far more fearful to think of that Church coming to deny an
article of the creed, falling into such a condition that no Christian
Church in ancient times would have communicated with her; (and this, I
will plainly say, is what I think we are in danger of coming to, and
shall come to if we acquiesce in the present state of things; and) this
is so much more fearful than the alternative I have suggested, that I
feel it is only right to call attention to that alternative, as a means
by which we may escape being “partaker of other men’s sins.”  _Your_
difficulty is, whether a man may lawfully remain a member of the Church
of England and trust his soul to her keeping.  _Mine_ would be to justify
myself in leaving her whilst such a remedy remained in my hand unused.
Surely if we are able to separate ourselves from all responsibility in
the latitudinarian guilt, it will be sufficient for us, for the time at
any rate, and may besides result in further good.  If our archbishops or
archbishop should bring things to that pass that no early Church would
have communicated with them, then, no doubt, if we cannot escape from
implication with what they have done, we shall be ourselves involved in
the desert of excommunication; but if we can do what those very Churches
would have done, we may hope this will avail to show we should not have
been cast out of the communion of Christendom.  If we can so separate
ourselves from their deed, and the erastian influences which admit
heresy, that we should have been received by all early Churches as “the
orthodox,” or “the Catholics” of the English Church—then I do not think
we shall have any excuse for deserting our spiritual mother for the
blandishments of another communion, for anything that has been done as
yet.  Thoughts of this method of proceeding, and musings whether the time
has not come openly to disclaim communion with all those who support the
Judgment of the Privy Council in the recent case, have been now for many
months in the minds of some.  Thus I may cite the very passage quoted by
yourself, at the close of your first letter, from Mr. Keble’s first
number of “Church matters in 1850.”  “If the decision be adverse, it
needs to be distinctly proved that a bishop or archbishop acting on that
decision would not involve in heresy both himself and all in communion
with him.” p. 26.  Again, the same author has said: “In old time, such a
step” viz. as the archbishops have taken, “would have been met by the
Christian people withdrawing from their communion for a time.” {105a}  It
is true the writer did not appear then to contemplate such a measure as
possible for us; and added some explanations at a later date on this
point, showing what were our peculiar difficulties in reference to it:
yet he added, at the same time, “I do not say that such interruption of
communion may not even now be an orthodox bishop’s duty; although, as
yet, by God’s good providence, the contingency which we have been told
would make it so has not occurred.”  (I presume this means the
Archbishop’s institution of Mr. Gorham.)  “I do not say that it may not
ere long be a priest’s, or even a layman’s, duty; I only say that it is
not _the_ step for priests or laymen to take just now.” {105b}  Again,
let it be remembered, that as might be expected, he who has borne the
brunt of this battle, who has waged the Church’s war after the pattern of
a soldier and bishop of ancient time, was among the very first to suggest
this remedy; nay, more, to encourage and cheer us by openly saying he
should in a certain contingency, himself adopt it.  Even so far back as
last March, immediately upon the delivery of the judgment, the bishop of
Exeter thus sounded the note of warning:—

    “I have to protest,” he said at the close of his letter to the
    Primate, “against your Grace’s doing what you will speedily be called
    upon to do, either in person, or by some other exercising your
    authority.  I have to protest, and I do hereby solemnly protest
    before the Church of England, before the holy Catholic Church, before
    Him who is its Divine Head, against your giving mission to exercise
    cure of souls within my diocese to a clergyman who proclaims himself
    to hold the heresies which Mr. Gorham holds.  I protest that any one
    who gives mission to him (Mr. Gorham) till he retract, is a favourer
    and supporter of those heresies.  I protest, in conclusion, that I
    cannot, without sin, and by God’s grace I will not, hold communion
    with him, be he who he may, who shall so abuse the high commission
    which he bears.” {106}

What, then, do such weighty passages press home upon us, but that the
time for such action may come?  Perchance even now it is drawing very
near.  One almost trembles to write it; so fearful and awful a thing it
is to contemplate openly breaking the unity of the Church of England, and
interrupting communion with its primate, if he proceed to consummate, or
permit to be consummated by his authority, (nay, without his most deep
and solemn protest on behalf of God’s truth, the Catholic faith, and his
own high office,) the institution of Mr. Gorham.  If he make no
disclaimer, and throw no impediment in the way, the Rubicon indeed is
passed, and there must come the counter-action of all earnest-minded
Catholics in this “city of our God.”  I, at least, am desirous to say
that I stand prepared (not indeed to act alone and upon my own mere
judgment, but if those who may best advise us sanction the proceeding, as
I verily believe in no long time they will,) to withdraw openly from
communion with the archbishop.  You will ask what I mean by the term.  I
do not pretend to answer for other persons’ meaning: but what _I_ mean is
at least this, that I will say openly and solemnly I would refuse him the
holy communion in my parish church, were he to come into it, and offer
himself at the altar, and equally refuse to receive it at his hands, or
with him.  Nay, more, I think we have it as a weapon in our armoury, to
be used, were it well advised and sanctioned, (and certainly to be used
before one would think of giving up the Church of England as forsaken by
God,) to extend this same withdrawal from communion, from him who is “the
head and front,” even to all those, at any rate of the clergy, who refuse
thus to join in breaking off communion with him.  However strange,
however painful, however solemn, however awful it may be to say such
things, I esteem it now an absolute duty not to withhold them, both that
those whose steps are faltering, whose hands are made weak, whose feet
are sliding, whose hearts are “failing them for fear, and for looking for
those things that are coming upon the earth,” may know to what resources
some among us at any rate are looking, and also (with all humility and
due reverence would I say it,) that he who has been set as the highest
ecclesiastic in our branch of the Church of Christ, may at least know to
what extremities he is driving matters by such efforts for peace, at the
expense of an article of the creed, and the faith once for all delivered.

It may be well to draw out even a little further still, some of the
thoughts suggested by the foregoing observations.  It is plain that, if
it shall come to pass that we have to withdraw from communion with the
archbishop, it will immediately and at once become also our duty to
withdraw from all societies retaining him as their head.  Rather, it will
be their duty to remove his Grace’s name from their committees, and
refuse to act under his presidency.  If we may not hold communion with
him, we may not acknowledge him as fit to preside over, or be a manager
in, our church societies.  In such societies as he now holds the post of
president by annual election, or by some standing rule, the proceeding
will be comparatively easy, because the next general meeting of the
society can elect some other in his room, or annul the rule by which he
is ex officio the president, or a member of the committee.  In cases, if
there be such, where he holds such position by charter, the matter may be
more difficult and more perplexing, but I believe myself it will then be
any and every such Church society’s duty to apply for an alteration in
its charter under the new and unforeseen circumstance of the Archbishop
of Canterbury having abetted heresy.  But if such societies, or any of
them, neglect or refuse to take these steps, it will immediately become
the imperative duty of individuals to withdraw their names, and (so far
as it may depend upon them,) break up their parochial or district
associations in support of such societies as refuse to recognise the
importance of keeping the faith of the Church of England pure, and thus
become partakers in the guilt of allowing it to be stained.  Many will
say, no doubt, “How can you contemplate, much more counsel, so violent
and destructive a policy?  What is the Church to do in missions and
promotion of Christian knowledge, if such a plan be put in execution?”  I
can but answer, _if things come to that point_, _that we must break
communion with the archbishop_, in order to save our name and keep our
place in Christendom, then these consequences necessarily follow, and we
have no choice.  We shall never come to such resolve but upon the
weightiest grounds:—grounds that will leave us no option as to following
them out.  We shall have no right to make matters of principle into
matters of expediency or calculation of consequences.  But if I did look
to such, I should come to the same conclusion: for, whether is it better
to paralyze our efforts for the present, if so it be, by the weakening
such societies, or to aid them when they, those very societies
themselves, will be actually spreading no longer truth, but error and
sinful compromise?  Whether is it better for us all that we be stopped in
a career of sin, or that we run on in it, in a seeming prosperity
perhaps, but in reality spreading wherever we go, and whatever we do, the
heresy that the Church in which we live and serve, has _no doctrine_ on
baptism, and _we_ think it best to take no notice of the fact; but still
to hold willingly in the post of chief honour and authority him who has
“_concurred_” in, who justifies, who acts upon the decision which thus
assails the faith?  No! indeed and in truth, if we do look to
consequences, the very confusion, perplexity and distress which may
ensue, do but bind upon us the more this line of action: they are the
very things probably to “bring us to ourselves.”  If we prove that our
Church cannot do her work under the charge of heresy, surely it is well.
No doubt all this is full of dismay and sorrow; but any thing is better
than to be easy in or under heresy.  And it is _by_ distress, _by_
suffering, by being made “to go through fire and water,” that we may
afterwards be “brought out into a wealthy place.”  It is by being exposed
to any amount of misery and degradation that we are to be purified.  If
we never feel “the mighty famine,” and even be driven “into the fields to
feed swine,” and have to “fill our bellies with the husks that the swine
do eat,” and “no man,” perchance, “give unto us,” or pity us, it may be
we shall never be brought to say, “I will arise and go to my Father;”—I
will seek again in all its purity the early faith, even though it be
through the sufferings also of those who early held it.  And “_who_
knoweth but God may be gracious unto us,” to forgive us our sins,
especially the sin of lax holding, or practical denial of that early
faith on so many sides; who knoweth but He may bring us back into our
good place in his favour, that He may give us “beauty for ashes, the oil
of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of
heaviness;”—even the place of favoured children in our Father’s house,
for the isolation of a “far country;”—nay, that He may even say, “Bring
forth the best robe and put it on him, and put shoes on his feet, and a
ring on his hand; and bring hither the fatted calf and kill it, and let
us eat, and be merry, for this”—this Church of England so long, as it
were, estranged from Christendom, is again at one with her; whereof let
Christendom rejoice together!

The thoughts of such results as possible in God’s providence, if now we
stand firm, and fight for the truth, must not make us forgetful of our
present state and our present danger.  I must repeat it, if these be so
evil, we must look for sorrows before we expect relief; we must be ready
to go through it; we must, like our divine Master, “set our face like a
flint;” whatever reproaches be cast upon us, we must be prepared not to
hide it “from shame and spitting.”  We must not care for any loss or
confusion in this time of rebuke, if only we may preserve the faith _for_
and _in_ our Church, whole and undefiled.

So strongly do I feel these things, that I can deliberately say I could
even wish we might be laid under an interdict;—no baptisms, no marriages,
no communions, no christian burials, rites, or ordinances be performed or
celebrated among us, until we humble ourselves, and return unto our God,
rather than the Church among us fell asleep, and all our zeal and fervour
cool down, and we lose an article of the creed, and merely cry
despairingly, “what can we do?”—recognising in all this no real
difference, and believing in no real loss.  Such an affliction, if there
were any to put it on us, (and it may be it would be laid upon those who
are hardened or careless, as the result of what we are now doing, if we
be still and tranquil, supposing only an œcumenical council could be held
to pass its judgment on these things, I say, such an affliction) might
purge and purify us, might separate the wheat from the chaff, might prove
_who_ were infidels, and _who_ believers in that other article of the
creed, “the one Catholic and Apostolic Church,” and might show we were
not without such “a remnant” at any rate, as might cause HIM to look upon
us with some favour who is all mercy to those whom He perceives to be
really bent, to bow no knee to Baal.

I cannot bring myself to leave these things unsaid, much as, on many
accounts, I should be glad to do so; because they serve to show what kind
of action I think we have it in our power to use, and prove of course how
light a matter it must be to withdraw from this or that voluntary
society; nay, comparatively how easy to strike off an archbishop’s name
from a committee; nay, even to withdraw from communion with him, and
those who may uphold him, when placed in the scale with such a tremendous
infliction as I have named.  And although the effects of such withdrawal,
if done by but one priest here and there, may be little indeed; yet,
whatever line of action shall be deemed necessary, if it be taken by many
in different parts, separated by distance and circumstance, but one in
heart and action, this will, I think, produce so great a difficulty in
the position of affairs, that the restoration of a convocation will be
the only remedy.  Whatever may be the difficulty, if it prove the Church
of England cannot do its work whilst under the curse of heresy, that is,
not until it shake it off, (for the which we trust we shall be found to
strive unto the death,) it cannot be amiss. {112}

I cannot leave this subject without adding a few words, to explain how it
is I feel compelled to say these things, and yet continue to hold
preferment in the Church of England; how “I justify my deeds unto
myself,” in contemplating and speaking of the possibility of refusing the
holy communion to her highest ecclesiastic, were he to present himself
for it, in my parish church, and yet retain any parish or parish church
at all.  I have no doubt this will strike some persons as requiring, some
perhaps as not admitting, explanation.  But since what I have here said
is not the result of petulant feeling or hasty resolve, but is said with
thought and deliberation, it may be better to state the grounds on which
I feel bound _both_ thus to speak _and_ to retain my living, than leave
it to be supposed I have never considered whether there is any
inconsistency in my conduct, and to each man’s own mind to guess my
motives, and supply my reasoning.  Honestly, if I know my own heart at
all, can I say, I do not think still to hold my cure of souls in the
Church of England for the sake of the loaves and fishes to be obtained by
so doing.  I am ready and willing, if any man can show me my duty
requires it in consequence of what I have written, to resign my living
to-morrow.  But I do _not_ resign it, because I am fully persuaded there
are times when, much as we should delight to pay to those in highest
place superabundant honour and the most glad submission without scrutiny
or question of any kind, yet we are bound to institute inquiry whether we
_can_ do this, and not betray HER “who is the mother of us all;”—times
when it is a duty to “withstand to the face” those who inherit even an
Apostle’s robe;—times when we are forbidden to “flee away,” even if it
were “to be at rest.”  Then we must learn to bear not only the reproach
of “envious tongues,” and the “evil report” of such as are adversaries to
the whole cause we have at heart; not only the hard thoughts of those
whose utmost charity is only able

          “in see-saw strain to tell
    Of acting foolishly, but meaning well;”

but even the misconstruction and condemnation of some, who do go with us
on the catholic side a certain way, but who are alarmed when anything is
proposed or done beyond the ordinary routine of a gentle resistance.
Nay, even more than bearing these things from others, we are constrained
to become, yet in no ill sense of the word, casuists ourselves, and weigh
minutely what that is which in principle we are bound to give to them
“who sit in Moses’ seat,” and where we must stop, lest we should be found
to break a higher command than theirs “by doing after their works.”
There are, no doubt, difficulties on the side of _action_, lest we be not
sufficiently observant of the “powers that be.”  There are difficulties
on the side of _inaction_, lest, while we sleep, “tares may be sown”
which we shall never be able to eradicate.  So we come to be obliged,
even against our will, to consider _what_ deference, _what_ authority,
_what_ guidance of affairs, must _needs_ be given to a chief ruler,
simply for his office’ sake.  And the first thought which meets one is,
that undoubtedly no Archbishop in the English Church can claim to be to
us a Pope; the second, that matters are much simplified as to compliance,
if it be any fundamental of Christianity, any article of the creed, which
is brought in question.  For then, history, and the uniform tradition of
the Church, alike teach us that it is not merely the _right_, but the
_duty_, not merely of the _priest_, but of the _lay people_ also, to
contend for the faith openly and uncompromisingly, by whomsoever it may
have been assailed, and under whatever circumstances.  The word, too,
which is above all words, speaks not of gentle resistance, or moderate
opposition, or needful quiet, or charitable construction: but is,
“contend earnestly;”—“resist unto blood;”—“quit you like men, be
strong;”—“accept no man’s person”—fear no man’s rebuke;—regard no man’s
favour;—consult no mans feeling;—“wish him not so much as God speed,” be
he who he may, who would give away God’s honour and God’s truth.  “If thy
brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife
of thy bosom, or thy friend which is as thine own soul, entice thee
secretly, saying, Let us go serve other gods, which thou hast not known,
thou, nor thy fathers:”—(let us make a new faith other than that once for
all delivered:—let us change the creeds of the Church Catholic) . . .
“thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall
thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal
him.”  Well, surely, have we been reminded, “It was a simple bishop who
addressed the First Patriarch of the Church with the _Anathema tibi_,
_prævaricator Liberi_, when that Pope had tolerated Arianism; they were
simple priests who appealed against the Second Patriarch of the Church,
and him too a saint, when Dionysius of Alexandria appeared to deny the
Catholic faith concerning the Son of God; it was a simple layman who
attacked the then Second Patriarch of the Church for heresy when
Nestorius broached his errors on the Incarnation; and both bishop,
priest, and layman have received eternal honour, as having been ‘valiant
for the truth upon the earth.’  In our ordination oath, to ‘be ready with
all faithful diligence to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange
doctrines, contrary to God’s word,’ I find no proviso, ‘except they shall
be supported by superiors.’” {116}  Surely, then, to refuse communion to
one, however high in station, is no such great thing, where the faith is
put in peril.  Alas! I fear those who talk most of peace and quiet, who
are, more than anything else, afraid lest Churchmen should do _too mush_,
forget, or it may be have never realized, that it is _no less than the
faith_ which is now endangered.  And if there is one thing more than
another which now disquiets and disheartens thoughtful, earnest-minded,
far-seeing men, it is this;—to perceive that there are numbers who are
not themselves in the least heretical on baptism, who yet say that all we
need is rest; whose great anxiety is that excitement should cease, and
quiet be restored; who believe all would be well if these “unhappy
differences,” as they call them, could be forgotten; these “sad
animosities,” as they appear to them, could be laid aside, and all things
return into a peaceful current.  Alas! “Peace, peace, when there is no
peace,” is the order of the day, I fear, with only too many.  Oh! that I
could “lift up my voice like a trumpet,” to arouse such, before they give
up, step by step, to the encroaching liberalism of the day the very
vantage ground it covets, and be only turned at last, and _made_ to stand
at bay, when they find they can recede no further without being pushed
absolutely down the gulph; discovering this, however, only when it is too
late, because they will already have surrendered their strongholds, and
yielded up God’s armour, and then find, to their sorrow and dismay, that
even such weapons as they may still have left are profitless and vain,
the space in which they are pent up being all too strait to allow them
rightfully to wield them.  Oh! that I could awaken the sleeping heart of
this English people to feel for God’s honour as for their own, or for
their country’s! and to know, if they would indeed win His battle, they
must, one and all who have Catholic hearts, throw themselves into the
very midst of the fight, and strain every nerve, and use every weapon,
now whilst there is time, as I believe, in God’s might, and by His help,
to win it.  Oh! that we all knew we may not leave our cause to fight for
itself alone, (which is to desert it,) and so provoke Him our Saviour and
Defence to forsake us, and permit us to become at last as Ephesus and
Smyrna, as Pergamos and Thyatira, as Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.

I do not, then, resign my cure of souls, because I feel God has appointed
me to be one in this warfare, and I may not give away anything He has put
into my hand wherewith to bear my part in it.  I do not resign my cure,
because I think I should not be doing my Lord’s work;—I should not be
fighting his Church’s battle;—I should not be using his weapons;—I should
not be feeding his flock;—I should not be avouching his truth;—I should
not be bearing, in any appreciable degree, the same testimony to it, were
I to resign my cure of souls, and then say, “I would not admit such or
such to holy communion _if I had a parish_.”  No! let it be known and
felt that as a priest, in the exercise of the priestly office, I do what
I do, and promise what I promise.  And although I have allowed even
herein I am but speaking prospectively of what may _become_ our duty, I
repeat that I dare not withhold my thought of what possibly is coming
upon us, both that we may all be prepared if it come, and that those who
have most power to avert any such necessity, may see how very urgent and
extreme is the crisis in which our (and their) lot is cast.

I know well how the world will take my saying, and meet my argument.  It
will say this at least, if it say no worse, “Granting what you urge has a
certain force and consistency in itself, if you were merely a priest; how
is it reconcileable with being a priest in the diocese of Sarum, and
province of Canterbury? how is to say these things, compatible with the
canonical obedience which you have sworn?”

I might answer, perhaps, that I know not that I _have_ sworn anything to
the Archbishop, since I never was in his diocese, either in Chester or
Canterbury; but this answer would be possibly insufficient, even for my
own case, as there may be an implied canonical obedience through the
suffragan bishop to the metropolitan.  Moreover, if it cleared other
dioceses, and the priests in them personally, it would be no general
answer, but leave a burden on the consciences of those who minister in
the diocese of Canterbury.  I will therefore make a further, and, I
trust, a more complete reply.  I say, that what I myself, and every
priest among us, has subscribed to, is obedience to his bishop “in things
lawful and honest.”  Can this ever bind me to acquiesce in expunging an
article of the Nicene creed? in not contending to the _utmost_ against
the heresy that our Church has no dogmatic teaching on baptism at all?
You may tell me, the law will take another view of what is “lawful,” and
compel me to subscribe to it.  When it does, it will be time enough for
me to think what I shall next do; and I trust I shall not be forgetful
that there is an authority higher than the law of man. {120}  Therefore
this I will say even now, (indeed I have already said it,) if the time
ever come when this _Church_ and realm shall so receive doctrine that we
cannot hold the Catholic faith, and remain members of the Church of
England too, one thing at least will be clear, that we must then give up
the Church of England, and I will join with you in seeking somewhere else
a purer faith.  But I do not believe as yet, whatever _this realm_ may
think, that _this Church_ hath acknowledged the Gorham theology to be her
faith; and I will say this besides, if ever it shall come to pass that it
is about to be ruled, not to be “lawful and honest” to separate from any
that openly abet or foster heresy; that our subscription to “obey in
things lawful and honest,” binds us to a bishop or an archbishop so
committing himself, so aiding and abetting the permission of heresy, then
will a new phase open upon our Church; then will that great argument of
the day be ranged on our side, “Take heed what you do, or three thousand
priests will resign their cures, and seek some other shelter!”  Yes! then
indeed will it be, (I doubt it not) that some of our spiritual fathers
will make it plain to all men wherein our great “strength lieth,” and
show that we depend not upon “an arm of flesh;” that there are men of all
ranks and circumstances among us, willing to “count all things but loss,”
so they may “keep the faith,” and that in deed and in truth _the Church_
is separable from _the establishment_.  In the mean time, as I have said,
I find myself, not as yet bound down to the decision of the Privy
Council, nor ensnared, by having undertaken to minister in my cure as
“this Church and realm hath received” doctrine, because, even though this
realm may have received that judgment as legal, I think the Church has
not ratified it as valid.  I find no burden upon my conscience in having
subscribed to obey my ordinary “in things lawful and honest,” nor do I
perceive how I shall find it, even though I may come to think it unlawful
to hold communion with the Primate.  And I find no cause to resign my
cure, though I have deemed it necessary to say these things.

There is one subject more, which I cannot make up my mind to pass over.
I have said the very struggles which we make for freedom, will, in their
making, test our Church.  This itself is used as an argument by some,
against exertion; at least against exertion for the objects which most
Churchmen now advocate—the regaining for her, her free synod or
convocation.  “Convocations and Synods.—Are they remedies for existing
evils?” is the title of a thoughtful pamphlet which I have seen.  The
“Anglican Layman” (such is the author’s description of himself on his
title page) says, the remedies which he has heard suggested appear to him
“one and all of a dilatory and inconclusive character, in part hopeless,
in part useless, and in part of doubtful propriety.” {122}  I will not
swell what I have already written by any comment on the first two of
these objections; on the last I must say something; and, to introduce it,
I will make a further extract from the pamphlet in question:—

    “Suppose the convocation assembled with universal consent, or even
    suppose a properly constituted synod to be convened with the
    approbation of the State, or suppose the united episcopate to be
    assembled without it, would the decision of any or either of these be
    really _authoritative_?  In what sense would it be so?  Would any or
    either of the parties in the Church consent to be bound by it?  What
    is meant by an _authoritative decision_?  What do the ‘Resolutions’ I
    have quoted mean by an ‘_authoritative declaration_’?  What does the
    Metropolitan Church Union mean by ‘_the only body possessing
    authority in controversies of faith_’?  What does the Bishop of
    London mean by ‘_finally settling the question by a synodical
    decree_’?  Would you be bound by it?—Should I be bound by it?—Would
    the minority of such an assembly be bound in conscience by the
    majority?—Would the majority itself be bound by the decision in any
    permanent sense, because they were the majority?  In fact, who can
    doubt that there is on both sides a determined foregone conclusion on
    the point in dispute, and that no one individual on either side would
    hold himself bound in conscience to abide by the decision.”

                                * * * * *

    “But it will be said—it _is_ said, ‘although the decision, if wrong,
    will not bind us, it will _bind the Church_, and if the Church should
    commit itself to heresy, our course would be plain.’  Now, a great
    deal of very solemn and serious language is used in speaking of the
    Church of England, and of the duty, and allegiance we owe her, much
    too solemn indeed, and too serious, unless we mean what we say; she
    is ‘the Church of our Baptism,’ we are her ‘children,’ we call her
    ‘our Sion,’ ‘our beloved Church,’ ‘our holy Mother,’ we profess to be
    jealous that any one should intrude upon her office as a ‘teacher of
    the Truth,’ or speak in her name without her commission.  All this
    implies respect, deference, an admission of her right to guide us.
    Now, if it be true that whatever our Mother may say, we shall one and
    all turn a deaf ear to her voice, unless she speaks in accordance
    with our own previous convictions, that we are reserving our
    objections to her authority till we hear her judgment—that we intend
    to test her authority by her judgment, is not our language of
    reverence and affection somewhat unreal?

    “To assemble the Church in Convocation or Synod, for such a purpose
    as this, would be to place her in a most undignified position, that
    of exhibiting herself for approbation.  We should be treating her as
    a mob would treat a popular leader; if she should speak our
    language—‘hosanna,’ if not—‘crucify.’  We should have the air of
    enquiring of an oracle, whereas we should only be questioning a
    suspected delinquent.  We should seem to ask advice, but approbation
    of our own predetermined opinions would be all the answer we should
    condescend to receive.

                                 * * * *

    “If the assembling of the convocation or synod would in any real
    sense ‘settle the question,’ if its declaration would be really
    ‘authoritative,’ if the members of the Church would be religiously
    bound to listen to its voice as that of the teacher of truth, or even
    if it would be a step towards a decision by a higher tribunal, that
    may be a reason for assembling it; but if it is to bind no one, and
    its decision is only sought for as a test of its own vitality, then I
    should be disposed to ask whether such a proceeding is not of very
    _doubtful propriety_.

    “No doubt, it might be quite right to force a subordinate court to
    speak, in order to arrive at a decision by a higher tribunal, but to
    force a _final_ court of appeal to speak when you have no intention
    of obeying it, seems to me to be an act of the same kind as pleading
    before, or sitting upon, a tribunal, against the authority of which
    you intend to protest, should its decision displease you.” {124}

I have cited this somewhat lengthy passage: but it will enable me to make
my own remarks the briefer that I have thus fully stated the objection.
The answer to its whole drift seems to me to be this, that no synod or
convocation of the English Church is, or can be, a “final court.”  This
writer seems to have let it escape him that, though we may have _among
ourselves_ no higher appeal, yet there is one in the world.  The Church
Catholic, and especially It in council, is an authority to which all
provincial synods are subject, and to which our deepest reverence is due.
The writer in question does say indeed, _if_ a decision by convocation
would be “a step towards a decision by a higher tribunal,” it would be a
reason: for convocation being assembled; not however, I think, as
contemplating any higher tribunal than our convocation, but merely as
shewing the impropriety of its being called together at all.  In the next
paragraph he explains this:—“No doubt it might be quite right to force a
subordinate court to speak, in order to arrive at a decision by a higher
tribunal; but to force a _final_ (_sic_) court of appeal to speak,”
(evidently assuming this quality to belong to the English synod or
convocation) “when you have no intention of obeying it, seems to me to be
an act of the same kind as pleading before, or sitting upon, a tribunal,
against the authority of which you intend to protest, should its decision
displease you.”  Now, my view certainly is not merely that we should
protest against (though we will not contemplate) any heretical decision
by convocation; but, if it were so, should also appeal from it to the
voice of Christendom.  “The only superior known to the local Church is
the authority of the Church universal.” {125a}  Surely of that authority
we must not be forgetful, whatever be the difficulties at present in the
way of an appeal to it.  “Is the Church of England so isolated from the
Universal, that the faith of the Church universal has no influence unto
its theology?” {125b}  And yet this point seems to be forgotten by the
otherwise careful writer of the pamphlet in question.  And in forgetting
this, of course he must do wrong to the position of the Church of
England, as well as, I fear, discourage those who are labouring for her
freedom.  We are but a part of Christendom, but this claim to allow no
appeal from our convocation, seems to arrogate to ourselves to be either
the whole, or so capable of standing by ourselves, that we desire to be
freed from any subordination to the whole, which would be, in fact, no
less than to make ourselves “guilty of a formal schism from the universal
Church of Christ.” {126}  We must not allow ourselves to forget there is
such a thing as an œcumenical council of Christendom, and whatever the
difficulties in the way of its assembling, yet to it, as I believe, all
true hearts should turn.  Certainly, for myself I can say that this, as
the great remedy for all our troubles and distractions, and “not for
_ours_ only,” but for those of Christendom at large, has been constantly
present to my mind these many years.  That God of his mercy, and in His
good time, would grant us a general council to ease and compose our
differences, and to restore the unity of Christendom, and, if it come,
grant us all the due mind of submission to it, has been now for no short
period a portion of my daily prayers; and I think there is no just ground
to decry the petition as either fanciful or wrong; at least we have the
warrant of some among us of great name who have not thought so.  “That I
might live to see the re-union of Christendom,” says Archbishop Bramhall,
“is a thing for which I shall always bow the knees of my heart to the
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” * * * * “Howsoever it be, I submit
myself and my poor endeavours,” he continues, “first to the judgment of
the Catholic œcumenical essential Church, which, if some of late days
have endeavoured to hiss out of the schools, as a fancy, I cannot help
it.  From the beginning it was not so.” * * * * “Likewise I submit myself
to the representative Church, that is, a free general council, or so
general as can be procured, and until then to the Church of England,
wherein I was baptized, or to a national English synod.” {127}  I do not
say whether the confidence with which Bramhall trusted an English synod,
was excessive in his day, or would be excessive in ours, but assuredly he
recognises the appeal to a higher court; and this is exactly what I
affirm we must bear in mind there is, if we seem to put our own Church to
the test, by demanding that her convocation shall again be allowed to
meet.  It may be supposed, indeed, that an œcumenical council is at
present hopeless, and therefore that all mention of an appeal to it is
out of place; but I do not think this, and for two reasons; in the first
place that there are certain points of doctrine which have been so
definitely ruled by general councils, that we _know_ on them there could
be no variation; and in the second, that I see no ground to despair of
another such council in God’s good time being called together. {128}
Even in the mean time the thought of such a council is neither
impertinent, nor unpractical: for I suppose no one will hold that a
national synod or convocation may determine _anything_ as to its Church’s
doctrine, and yet no man be justified in leaving her communion.  Such
course however must be taken, to be taken rightly, not on the impulse of
a man’s own will, or the bent of his own mind; but only in obedience to
what Christendom _has_ definitely ruled, and in implicit submission to
what she would now say, could she meet in free and general council.  Such
right of action, so guarded, I think must be allowed, for if not, it
would follow that, during the suspension of the voice of the Church
Universal, any provincial Church might commit herself to Socinianism,
nay, to Deism, or Pantheism, under the name of Christianity, and yet no
man have even his individual remedy against a body so lapsing from the
faith, until a general council could pronounce upon the matter.  This is
clearly a reductio ad absurdum, and therefore we may and ought, (though
we will never contemplate our Church authorising or affirming heresy in
her synods or convocation,) yet not to be afraid to strive for their
revival, as though there were no appeal above her, and no solution if she
should fail under the trial.  When too we remember what we are in danger
of sanctioning by acquiescence, and in what a position we may thus place
ourselves for the judgment of an œcumenical council upon us when it may
come, we see all the greater cause to wish for the restoration of our
synods and convocations, nay, to account it an absolute duty which, thank
God, needs no calculation of results at all, to run the risk, if risk it
be considered, of what our Church will say, and positively claim by them.
In order to clear herself, she _must_ be allowed to speak.

Further, the “Anglican Layman” admits if convocation’s meeting “would be
a step towards a decision by a higher tribunal, that may be a reason for
assembling it.”  I take him at his word; I ask him especially to consider
if this be not one of the results to be expected, and, (if he shall, upon
consideration, be satisfied on the point) then I ask him further to join
in the efforts which are being made to obtain the revival of our Church’s
synodical functions.

I have said what the higher tribunal is.  I have said I think we ought to
work even now with a view to its judgment.  Suppose a general council
were to be held;—say then, whether the determination of these questions,
which now distract us, would not be a step towards a final resolution of
them all by its authority.  For, say first, the English Synod or
Convocation boldly asserted the catholic verity on Baptism, would not
this be a great step towards our being received openly and unhesitatingly
into the bosom of Christendom, when her council shall meet, and say, as
say it must, in what light the Anglican communion is to be regarded.  Or
suppose (let me be forgiven for the supposition in the way of argument,
and here necessary to it,) that the result of her counsel were an
ambiguous or heretical determination.  Surely even this would not be
without its use in limiting the points in issue, and help (no small
consideration) all Catholic-minded men among us to acquiesce in any
censure which Christendom might pass upon us.  This, I cannot regard as
an unimportant gain, since owing to our isolation, and I fear I must say,
our national prejudices, there might be great danger, that even the
decision of an œcumenical council upon our position and our duties, would
hardly be received as it ought to be even by all those who are striving
humbly after truth.  But if then we must be condemned (I am not saying it
would be so; again and again I must repeat it; but if it were so,) it
would surely be something for the comfort and guidance of us all, that it
should be on plain and undisputed grounds; that our Church had spoken,
and spoken amiss; that she had tampered with the ancient faith, and
changed the primæval creeds.  Though I do not say any of these things
will come upon us, yet I do think the position in which we stand without
convocation, and the dangers of, what would be called in human affairs, a
downward policy, are so great that they justify us in speaking out very
plainly, and in looking to help from Christendom in case of need.  I do
believe never till we get to look out of ourselves to Christendom at
large, never till we remember our due place in it, never till we are
ready to accept its decrees better to define our position, and help us in
the practical restoration of our teaching to what it ought to be, shall
we be in that right mind and heart, which is waiting duly for the
Bridegroom’s call.

I am quite prepared to have these remarks called visionary and unreal;
and all dependence on, nay all reference to, the Universal Church,
unpractical and absurd.  But “none of these things move me,” and I am,
though I trust, no fanatic, yet hopeful of the help of God for those who
will try to help themselves.  As I have said before, I cannot think the
expectation of a general council is chimerical.  I cannot believe if it
come it will be useless.  I agree with you in saying, “we have no right
to expect an audible or visible interposition of Almighty God,” to direct
us in our difficulties.  “We must not wait to see his handwriting on the
wall, or to hear his voice among us;” {131} but I have yet faith enough
in miracles to believe, if that be one, that God may grant us the miracle
of Christendom again in council, and make it the means to heal all our
distempers, and bind up all our wounds.  Of this hope and this faith, no
man shall deprive me by the mere calculations of human policy, or by the
perverseness of an un-Catholic despair.

And now, my dear Friend, if you have followed me through these pages, as
I know with all kindness and attention you will have done, you will see,
in some measure at any rate, why I must bitterly lament and utterly
condemn the steps which you have taken.  I cannot see that the Church of
England has forfeited her trust.  I cannot, therefore, believe God has
forsaken her.  I cannot think that He bids us leave her.  I have not
indeed concealed my opinion of the dangers which beset her.  Humanly
speaking, her _safety_ lies in their being known and felt by her
children; but I firmly believe there is yet a battle to be fought _in_
her, and _for_ her, which is worth all our energies and should engage all
our hearts.  No man knows better than you what is to be done: no man
better how great is the stake: no man better how glorious the result, if
God grant the battle to be won.  Alas! that it should be bitter now to
say it, no man has fought more nobly in the ranks of the English Church:
no man more distinctly or with less hesitating lips has enunciated her
dogmatic teaching: no man has contended more boldly on the side of God,
and the creeds, and the Catholic faith than you have done in this our
battle for life and death!  Oh! that you might even now once more “cast
in your lot among us;” confess you believe you have been blinded by care
and grief, and so been at least over-hasty in your resolves; and throw
yourself once more into the ranks of the chosen warriors among us, and
into the battle with us.  Believe me,—nay, rather judge it for
yourself—great things are coming on apace: things which will make men’s
course plain before their face, without their being over-forward to
decide them in isolation for themselves by the mere act of their private
judgment; and perchance if we may but be wisely guided, and have patience
to endure, we may both come out ourselves “as silver purified seven times
in the fire,” and be the means, though all unworthy, to unite Christendom
again in one.  Oh! what heart can exaggerate the beauty with which our
Church shall again shine forth, if she can retain the good that is in her
and discard the evil!  How nobly will then appear the characteristic
virtues of the English mind;—its love of honesty and truth;—its
conscientiousness and repudiation of pious frauds;—its loathing disbelief
in the avail of expiation of sin by mere formal observances, the sinner
remaining unrepentant all the while!  If these qualities may be fostered,
and its characteristic vices;—its arrogancy and pride;—its unbounded
reliance upon itself, and the miserably ignorant as well as utterly
destructive habit and abuse of private judgment: therefore its refusal of
Catholic teaching, and practical denial of sacramental grace; if these
can be eradicated, how fairly indeed shall the Church of England shine
forth once more, as “clothed in white raiment,” as able “to save alive
the souls” committed to her, as “the ransomed” and “well-beloved” of the
Lord! “as a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams
from Lebanon.”  But for this (though we know God needeth no man’s help,
and can spare _whom_ he pleaseth, and his work not the less be done, and
his counsel stand,) yet _we_ seem to be able to spare no man from our
ranks who has ever fought upon our side.  Oh! (with a breaking heart, one
is almost tempted to exclaim:) Oh! that we could but have with us now,
all those who in these last five or ten years have “lost patience” in our
camp.  What with them, could they be restored to us, might we not seem
ready to attain, even against all the “principalities and powers” that
latitudinarian indifference or infidel philosophy may array against us?
But, I may not indulge in such longings.  I may not ask, nor think of,
nor hope, even _your_ return.  I do not ask it, for I know it is a thing
you may not grant for asking.  I will not think of it, for “vain are the
thoughts of man!”  I will not even hope it; for why should “the heart be
made sick,” when so much work is to be done.  But I may and will _pray_
for it, if it be His gracious will, who is able to give more than we know
how either to ask or to think, “whose way is in the sea, and whose paths
in the great waters, and whose footsteps are not known.”

Believe me, my dear Maskell, yours, though in sorrow, still in affection,

                                                       MAYOW WYNELL MAYOW.



APPENDICES.


A. p. 15.


IT should be observed, that as to the point of encouragement to “patient
waiting,” I have in the text much understated the force of the argument
to be drawn from the ecclesiastical history of the fourth century,
inasmuch as even after the Council of Nicea, there were fresh troubles
and disturbances upon the same doctrine, which were not settled for more
than fifty years.  To use Mr. Keble’s words (on July 23rd), “The Church
waited till the Council of Constantinople, A.D. 381, under all sorts of
interruptions and anomalies, charges of heresy, and breaking of
communion.”  My purpose, however, in referring to that period of history
being chiefly to point to the Nicene Creed as an instance of a
declaratory act, explanatory of the Apostles’, I did not think it
necessary to pursue the matter further than A.D. 325.



B. p. 22.


    “IT is plain that the meaning of a mute document, if it be tied to
    follow the utterance of a _living_ voice, which shall claim the
    supreme right of interpretation, must vary with its living
    expositor.”—MANNING’S _Rule of Faith_, (1838).  App. p. 85.

    “But neither can it be admitted that if the justification of the
    reformers is to rest on such grounds as the foregoing, their
    reputation can owe thanks to those who would now persuade the Church
    to acquiesce in a disgraceful servitude, and to surrender to the
    organs of the secular power the solemn charge which she has received
    from Christ, to feed his sheep and his lambs: for the real feeder of
    those sheep, and those lambs, is _the power that determines the
    doctrine with which they shall be fed_.  Whether that determination
    shall profess to be drawn straight from the depths of the mine of
    revealed truth, or whether it shall assume _the more dangerous and
    seductive title of construction only_; _of a license of construction
    which disclaims the creation_, _the declaration_, _or the decision of
    doctrine_, _but which simultaneously with that disclaimer has marked
    out for itself a range of discretion which has already enabled it to
    cancel all binding power in one of the articles of the faith_, and
    will hereafter as certainly enable it to cancel the binding power of
    all those which the first fell swoop has failed to touch.”—_Letter to
    the Lord Bishop of London_, _by the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone_,
    _M.P._ p. 60.

See also Archdeacon Manning’s recent letter to the Bishop of Chichester,
where the same subject is again treated in the most convincing manner,
pp. 35, 37.



C. p. 34.


IT will immediately occur to the reader that this particular point as to
the burial service, as well as many others here touched upon, have been
already handled in the most masterly way by the Bishop of Exeter, in his
letter to the Primate.  I suppose I hardly need say I have entertained no
so absurd notion as that I could surreptitiously plagiarize from such a
source; but I may perhaps be allowed to explain, that I should not have
ventured upon the same ground at all, had it not been for a further
object in my remarks than that which appears to have been most
prominently before his Lordship’s mind in writing.  I have been concerned
in my particular argument, not so much to clear our services from being
supposed to require the “charitable construction” asserted by the Privy
Council, as to draw out in somewhat greater detail the points which show
the marvellous inapprehensiveness (as it appears to me) displayed by the
Court on the whole subject-matter with which they had to deal.



D. p. 35.


“THE question must be decided,” says the Court, (Judgment, p. 9,) “by the
articles and liturgy, and we must apply to the construction of those
books the same rules which have long been established, and are by law
applicable to the construction of all written instruments.  We must by no
means intentionally swerve from the old established rules of
construction, or depart from the principles which have received the
sanction and approbation of the most learned persons in time past, as
being on the whole, the best calculated to determine the true meaning of
the documents to be examined.”  It may be worth while, in reference to
their treatment, especially of the office for private baptism, to append
here a few words of the rule of construction as laid down by Blackstone.
“The construction shall be upon the _entire deed_, and not merely upon
disjointed parts of it, so that _every part_, if possible, shall _take
effect_, and _no word but what may operate in one shape or another_.”
(Comm. ii. 379.)  It is manifest there was _no impossibility_, nay, _no
difficulty_, in such a construction of the office for private baptism as
should allow “_every part_” to “_take effect_;” such also that there
might be “_no word but what should operate_,” so far as merely making
that service agree with the other; the only difficulty was to give every
word its effect, _if both were to lead to a particular conclusion_.



E. p. 46.


ON a matter of so grave a character as that referred to in this place it
seems necessary to give at rather more length that part of Lord Denman’s
judgment (in the case of Dr. Hampden in the Queen’s Bench) delivered on
the 1st of February, 1848, which states his reasons for refusing to let
the writ issue, when two of the judges of his court were in favour of
doing so.

    “Now comes the question which presses most on my mind.  Having stated
    my reasons for the opinion which I deliberately form, and
    conscientiously entertain that this has never been at any time the
    law in the Church of England, I must be of opinion that the court
    ought to refuse the writ of mandamus; but upon that opinion I have
    had the greatest difficulty, and have felt the greatest possible
    hesitation in acting, because I feel the authority of my two learned
    brothers, and the ungracious appearance of refusing the opportunity
    of inquiry.  In any ordinary set of circumstances, in the case of an
    inclosure, of a railway, or matter of property, we should have no
    question what ever that the doubt of any one on the bench would have
    made further inquiry desirable.  I should have instantly agreed.  A
    writ of error would lie in that case to correct any opinion that
    might be shown on more discussion to be erroneous.  But every judge
    must act on his own conviction.  I own that my opinion is so entirely
    settled, and, I must say, so entirely unchanged by what I have heard
    of the argument to-day, that feeling the utmost disposition to do all
    that can be done to show my respect for my learned brothers, I do not
    think that I can consent to say for my part that this writ ought to
    go.  I think it ought not. * * * * * I am satisfied that the only
    effect would be to keep alive the dreadful agitation and frightful
    state of religious, or rather, let me say, theological animosity,
    which it is impossible not to observe in this country.  There would
    be a delay of at least two years; probably four more days would be
    consumed in argument, and we cannot tell how much more when it would
    come into the court of error.  The bishopric all that time would be
    vacant, perhaps other vacancies might occur, and no doubt the example
    here set would be followed; and in every case I should expect, in the
    excited state of men’s minds, that the archbishop would be called
    upon to summon all mankind, to hear whether they had anything to say
    against the bishop elect, and to open a court, that would probably
    never be closed.”

                                * * * * *

    “Now, under all these considerations, feeling the utmost respect for
    my learned brethren, and the greatest regret that we do not take the
    same view, I must own that I feel some deference is due also to the
    high person who is named as the defendant in this rule.  Some
    deference is due to those who certify the fitness of Bishop Hampden
    for the office to which he is elected.  Still more deference is due
    _to the peace of the Church_, and _to the tranquillity of the State_.
    It seems to me that we should be _putting every thing to hazard_ and
    _leading to consequences which it is impossible to foresee_, if we,
    who are firmly convinced that there is no such law as that upon which
    these parties seek to act, encouraged the smallest doubt as to its
    existence.  Reserving my opinion on that point till I had heard all
    the observations of my learned brothers, and keeping my mind open to
    the last, and free to say that this is a question which ought to be
    discussed, I must fairly say, with all respect for my brother
    Coleridge’s admirable argument, that it has confirmed me in the
    opinion of the danger of exposing the Act of Parliament, and the most
    simple construction of the plainest language, and the most inveterate
    and universal opinion on its effect, to the speculations of those who
    will bring their forgotten books down, and wipe off the cobwebs from
    decretals and canons, before they can find one argument for
    disturbing the settled practice of three hundred years.

    “In my opinion this rule ought to be discharged.”—_Rule discharged_.
    _Lord Denman’s Judgment in the Hampden case_.  _Report_, _by R.
    Jebb_, _Esq._ pp. 495, 496.

I have no doubt at all, that the honest conviction of the Lord Chief
Justice was, that his view of the law was the sound one; nor any, that he
thought he was doing rightly in using his power to refuse the writ; but
there can be no doubt on the other hand (for he explicitly avows it) that
the reasons upon which he arrived at such conclusion, and reversed the
universal practice not only of his own court but of every court in
Westminster Hall, were a _calculation of consequences_, and a regard to
_future contingencies_, _as they seemed dangerous or advantageous_ to his
eye: and this is precisely the point of view in which I have desired to
lay the matter before my readers in the body of my letter.  It will be
observed that in nothing which I have here said am I impugning Lord
Denman’s Law, or giving any opinion as to the soundness of his view of
the matter then in question before the Court of Queen’s Bench.  I appeal
not to any matter of opinion, but to matter of fact; to the incontestible
fact, that all the precedents of that and every other court of law in
this country for a very long period, were set aside by his Lordship on
that occasion.  I give no opinion at all, save that to do such a thing
upon a ground of expediency, applying, as it appeared to him, to the
individual case, was a course calculated to shake persons’ confidence in
the administration of the law in cases where the Church is affected.  Let
no man therefore say, “What are you, to set up your opinion against the
Chief Justice of the Queen’s Bench?”  I say, again, I set up no opinion,
I appeal to no matter of opinion at all, but to the undisputed matter of
fact, that the usage of the court _was_ at any rate so set aside and set
at naught.



F. p. 48.


I CANNOT refrain from quoting here a few lines from the very able speech
of the Chairman of the Meeting of July 23, so singularly apposite and
illustrative do they seem to me of this passage in my letter written some
time previously.

    “An instinctive reverence for the law, and a well-founded confidence
    in the judges of our land exclude from the minds of some men even the
    thought of questioning the propriety of this judgment”—(i.e. of the
    Committee of Privy Council).  “It is painful to shock this natural
    sentiment—but when such grave interests are at stake, we must not
    allow them to escape the responsibility to which they are
    summoned.”—_Speech of J. G. Hubbard_, _Esq. at St. Martin’s Hall_,
    _July_ 23, 1850.



G. p. 71.


I AM aware it may be said this act (1 Elizabeth, c. 1) was repealed when
the High Commission Court was abolished; but it has been held, I believe
by Lord Coke (I know I have lately seen it referred to, though I have not
marked the reference,) that though no longer binding as law, it would be
accounted probably of some authority to show the mind in which law would
deal with heresy, and as a guide to a judge in any such matter.  Add to
which, this law indicating what was, _at any rate_, and _at the least_,
to be adjudged heresy was restrictive, not augmentative of the offence.
Even so, as we see, it allowed the authority of those first four general
councils, and therefore by its enactment is a special witness for their
reception by the English law.  And its repeal by no means destroys the
force of this argument in their favour, because the law itself having
been, as I have said, restrictive, and no other act being passed upon its
repeal to limit again the judgment of the courts, they would revert at
once to the former rule, and the Church gain instead of losing by the
proceeding.  In other words, the statute (1 Eliz. c. 1) shows what at all
events the law, when most bent upon restriction, acknowledged as to those
general councils, whilst its repeal only removes a limitation, and
restores things again to their ancient footing.  This is well stated in
the following extract:—

    “Our church law acknowledges many other heresies besides those which
    were condemned by the four first œcumenical councils.  The clause in
    1 Eliz. c. 1, which I quoted as the least stringent measure of heresy
    ever allowed among us, was repealed when the court which was
    restrained by it (the High Commission Court) was abolished; and now,
    whatever was heresy before the reformation is still heresy, (by 25
    Hen. 8, c. 19, s. 7,) unless there have been special enactment to the
    contrary.  Now there can be no question that the African canons were
    in force here before the reformation; for, whether received at
    Chalcedon or no, they had been severally received by the whole
    Church, both east and west.  Therefore it still remains to be proved,
    ‘that a bishop or archbishop, acting on the late decision, will not
    involve in direct heresy both himself and eventually all in communion
    with him,’ by the very law of the Church as at present
    existing.”—_Letter_, _J. K. Guardian_, _May_ 1_st._ 1850.



H. p. 128.


I WILL venture to print in this place, as illustrative of several points
touched upon in the preceding letter, and as showing that many of the
views there set forth have not been of recent growth, or merely taken up
as the readiest expedients to suit an emergency, part of a sermon
preached (in my turn, as Master of Arts) before the University of Oxford.
The sermon was preached upon St. Barnabas’ day, 1845.  The early part, of
which I do not here print more than a few sentences, was occupied with
some considerations relating more immediately to the particular festival,
and to the thoughts suggested as to conduct under ministerial
discouragements by the “sharp contention” between Barnabas and Paul.  The
latter part is taken up more directly with general topics, as to our own
difficulties and trials, and with some mention of the hope of a remedy by
means of a general council.  These few remarks will sufficiently
introduce the extract which follows.

                         “Ye have need of patience.”

                                             _Hebrews_ x. 36, former part.

    PATIENCE would be unnecessary if there were no trial: consolation
    would be out of place if there were no affliction.  Without these,
    “the son of consolation” would not have found his office, nor
    received his distinctive name, in being added to the number of the
    apostles.  But He who knew that he came, “not to send peace, but a
    sword;” whose advent was marked with blood, and his very birth,
    though it were “glad tidings of great joy which should be to all
    people,” yet gave occasion for the voice of “lamentation, and
    weeping, and great mourning;” whose own end was even of a piece with
    this beginning, when He had “blood sprinkled upon his garments,” and
    all his “raiment stained” therewith; the intermediate time, too, of
    whose mortal life was one of such hardship and privation that He had
    “not where to lay his head;” He who foretold that if men called “the
    Master of the house Beelzebub, much more would they so call them of
    the household;” who _warned_ his disciples that they should be “_as_
    their Master,” and _promised_ them that they should indeed “drink of
    his cup, and be baptized with his baptism;” HE did not fail to supply
    grace and consolation; a fitting and sufficient Paraclete for the
    nature which was thus to be tried, and the circumstances which should
    try it.  And though, in the only full and perfect sense, the HOLY
    GHOST is _the_ COMFORTER, and that divine PARACLETE; yet also in a
    true, though inferior sense, as an instrument to the same end, such
    as the ever-blessed Son of God saw to be needed, it was appointed
    there should be one, even called by the same name, “a son of
    consolation,” in that Joses, surnamed by the Apostles, Barnabas. * *
    * * *

    But here I would extend our subject, and come more particularly to
    consider some of the trials and discouragements which we (weak and
    unworthy followers of the holy apostles) meet with in our ministry.
    “Ye have need of patience,” says the apostle.  Let me then speak
    to-day, brethren, upon some of those trials and discouragements which
    beset the Church “in these last days when perilous times have come.”
    It is far too wide and large a subject to be fully treated of.  I
    shall but touch on one or two points as I have found their pressure,
    and in so doing shall speak familiarly of the parochial charge.

    Now we know well that a distinctive character of the Church’s
    teaching is this, that she instructs her members that God’s grace,
    and therefore salvation, is not given (as we may say) at random, and
    by a mere inner motion of each man’s heart or mind; that our grafting
    into Christ, and our growth in Christian stature and grace (I mean,
    of course, according to God’s ordinary mode of dealing with us, which
    is what only we have practically to consider;) that these blessings
    are not given according to a mere inner motion of each man’s heart or
    mind, but that (of God’s will and commandment, and for our good) they
    are, I say, in ordinary rule, linked and tied to ordinances: to a
    certain method of bestowal, and a certain method of reception; to his
    Church, and to the ministry of his word and sacraments.  In other
    words, he saves us, not after a manner of each man’s own heart’s
    devising, _but by covenant_.  If we would have his promises and his
    grace, we must seek them in the way of, and according to the terms of
    that covenant.  So it is, we must teach; “Except any one be born of
    water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
    By the terms of the covenant: no promise of salvation to the
    unbaptized!  Again: “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and
    drink his blood, ye have no life in you.”  No promise of salvation to
    the non-communicant!  Again: “Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are
    remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are
    retained;” and, “He that despiseth you, despiseth me, and he that
    despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me.”  No warrant, then, to any
    one to think he has a share in the gospel covenant, if he despise
    God’s ministry, and forsake his Church.  Without these, _where_ are
    the valid sacraments?  Without these, _where_ are the channels of
    saving grace?  Without these, _where_ are the sure promises of the
    covenant?  Alas! for the hardness of heart and unbelief of this our
    day, and this our country!  Are such indeed God’s ways? are such his
    words? are such his works?  (Yea, “He worketh, and no man
    regardeth.”)  But is it not written (let us fear, lest it be for
    _us_), “Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a
    work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a
    man declare it unto you?”  If God indeed be strict with the
    despisers,—with those who deride the power of his sacraments, and
    their necessity,—how shall we abide it?  If he come, and make
    inquisition with us of our faith, and question with us of our
    unbelief, shall not some one take up his parable against us as a
    nation, and say, “Alas! who shall live when God doeth this?”

    For indeed and in truth, if this _be_ truth touching the nature of
    God’s covenant, _who_ are there among us that believe it?  “_Who_
    hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord
    revealed?”  To a scanty few, I fear!  Surely, comparatively to no
    more; even among those who have been baptized into the Church, and
    received the Church’s teaching.  Let any man try seriously any
    approach, (which is all I profess to have tried,) any approach to the
    dealing with a parish upon the belief and system, that of those who
    are not partakers of the sacraments of the Church—of those who,
    though baptized, are not communicants, we have no right to hope,
    according to the terms of the Gospel covenant; and not only how
    arduous and discouraging a work will he find before him, from the
    practical neglect of these things, but how direct and open-mouthed
    will be the opposition of many, and how utter the disbelief of how
    many more, ay, even among such as call themselves members of the
    Church.  Alas! the truth is, (let me say it, however sad, however
    startling! it may be useful,) the real truth is, that the belief of
    there being a ONE HOLY, CATHOLIC, AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH, is almost
    gone from among us!  The belief in ONE BAPTISM FOR THE REMISSION OF
    SINS, is almost gone from among us!  The belief in the REAL POWER OF
    THE SACRAMENTS is almost gone from among us!  The belief of there
    being ANY CHRISTIAN PRIESTHOOD, and any _value_ in it, as such, is
    almost, (nay, among the mass,) quite gone from among us!  Alas! how
    many of our people do not believe these things; will not endure them
    to be said; will risk their souls upon the chance of their being
    false; will sooner condemn the “quod semper, quod ubique, quod ob
    omnibus” of the Church for 1500 years, as an idle fable, than give
    the least reception into their hearts of such doctrines.  And alas!
    even among _us_ ourselves, the Christian ministry, there is, as men
    phrase it, difference of opinion.  Instead of unity of sentiment,
    (rather, we should say, the one faith, once delivered,) there is
    “contention so sharp” that we all but depart, or do “depart one from
    the other:” and this gives the most frequent occasion both for
    enemies to blaspheme, and for the ignorant to be bewildered.  Instead
    of our Church (i.e. by her ministers, and in her practical teaching:
    I speak not of her formularies,) with one mind and one mouth
    glorifying God, _these_ bring railing accusation the one against the
    other; and _that_ speaks well-nigh the language of Babel: and the
    consequence is, as might be expected, the lay people, if pressed with
    the Church’s doctrines, and the neglect of the Church’s commands,
    (which are Christ’s) find, of course, an easy solution of their
    difficulty by observing that many clergymen think otherwise, and
    attach no importance to these _views_, (as they call them) either
    wholly neglecting them, or even speaking against them.  And if a man
    thus pressed with the objection of diversity of opinion now-a-days,
    and at home, appeal to the concordant sense of the early Church, and
    to the even now united and distinct voice of separate branches of the
    Church, on such points as the nature and power of the Christian
    priesthood, and Christian sacraments: the distinct voice, I say, of
    all the Church, except ourselves, (for our’s, surely, practically in
    expression as heard among us, is uncertain and confused, though in
    itself it really have and bear the Catholic meaning,) if any one thus
    appeal to the voice of the Church at large on such points; a voice in
    some respects a more sure witness, as coming from those who are not
    agreed among themselves in others, what happens but the immediate cry
    of how many?  “The man is false, and falleth away to the Chaldæans.”
    Thus the truth is stifled and borne down by clamour, and the
    authority of the Church is yet more set at nought, neglected, and
    despised.

    Many of those too, it is to be feared, who really are sound and
    orthodox upon the doctrines themselves, have yet been too fearful of
    stating the truth plainly, dreading the gainsaying of the multitude,
    or else the imputation of magnifying themselves, if they should
    endeavour to “magnify their office.”  Nor, I suppose, will any man
    maintain (not I myself _of_ myself, God knoweth,) that he has kept
    clear of such offence, though he may have tried somewhat where his
    lot has been cast, to make these doctrines of the Church and
    sacraments, and salvation by the terms of a covenant, not according
    to each man’s private feeling, or each man’s private judgment, the
    basis on which to give the knowledge that might “make wise unto
    salvation.”  Yet _who_ will dare to say other than that he has failed
    grievously, and fallen short miserably, both in the due development
    of such views, and in the effects which they are intended to produce:
    partly, no doubt, from his own deficiencies, but partly it may be
    also from lack of those weapons to carry on the warfare with which
    the Church intended to supply her soldiers; but which, alas! we are
    hardly allowed to wield!

    For, let us notice next, the most serious loss the Church sustains in
    the almost total suspension of her discipline, of her power of
    inflicting censures.  Surely it is not wholly our people’s fault that
    they do not know the sinfulness of sin; nor our ministers’ fault that
    they cannot make them believe it, when the weapon with which they
    should smite they are obliged to leave rusting in the scabbard, and
    the pen with which they should write on a man’s forehead the penalty
    of his sin, (that he is excluded from the house of God, and cut off
    from Christian brotherhood,) is cast aside, and never used.  Our
    people sin, and no note is taken of it!  Our people sin, and the
    Church does not bear her witness against them! first, of private
    rebuke, next of openly censuring, and lastly of exclusion from her
    worship and sacraments, including herein (what would be a plain mark
    also for the living to see,) the refusing burial to those who refuse
    to seek reconciliation with her.  She almost abdicates, as it were,
    her office of binding and loosing, and shall we wonder that men know
    not or care not whether they are bond or free? or, that with all ease
    and security they consider they are all free, though committing sin,
    which, in any period of effective discipline, would have received the
    solemn warning and most sure witness to its sinfulness, of
    excommunication.  And how again, I say, does this work upon our
    familiar intercourse and daily teaching, and attempts to make our
    people believe the Church’s doctrines?  They regard not what we say,
    because we act as though we did not ourselves believe it.  Those who
    _would_ be excommunicate, were the canons but in half their measure
    carried out, who die perchance in open schism, or other notorious
    sin, _have_ yet claimed for them the offices of the Church in their
    burial, and so, receiving these, the great witness of the Church
    against such courses of living, is rendered nugatory, or even worse.
    She even seems to witness _for_ them.  How, then, shall the mass of
    the careless and self-willed, be persuaded the Church thinks ill of
    the state in which those have lived, who have received no public
    censure, who have made their claim, and had it, at least passively
    allowed, to be buried, as her faithful children?  Further still,
    regard this lack of discipline, as it affects the obedience of the
    people to the Church’s voice, if she speak, or were to speak again,
    with her just authority.  _Who_ supposes that any real heed would be
    given to a censure of the Church, declaring such or such a man to be
    “rightly cut off” from its fellowship, “and excommunicate,” so that
    he “ought to be taken of the whole multitude of the faithful as an
    heathen man, and a publican, until he be openly reconciled by
    penance?”  _Who_, I say, supposes that such a sentence would now be
    regarded?  _Are_ such indeed regarded when rarely they _do_ occur?

    Or, again, look at the state of things among us, as to the confession
    of sin; I speak not of regular systematic confession; nor of
    self-sought confessions on the part of a disturbed and awakened mind,
    with the view to the benefit of absolution, together with ghostly
    counsel and advice; but merely with regard to such points as the
    Christian priest feels it often necessary to enquire into, lest a man
    _wholly forget his sins_, and so, _wholly forget to repent of them_.
    What is the awful result at which we arrive here also.  Why, so
    entirely are people unused to be charged with their sins; so entirely
    are they accustomed to be let _remember_ what they please, and let
    _forget_ what they please, that they are only too apt consider all
    such helps to self-examination (I mean when it comes to particulars)
    to be an unwarrantable intrusion: at least this would be so, were the
    thing much attempted: and at any rate, so wholly are they used to
    justify themselves, and bent upon doing it, and determined to do it,
    that it sometimes requires the greatest caution and circumspection
    before we can believe even a dying man’s account of his previous
    life.  Men will confess indeed what is notorious; what they know is
    known; but where they think a matter hidden, there they will deceive.
    Alas! I fear, people will speak untruly, even when spoken to most
    solemnly on such points.  They will speak untruly to God’s minister.
    They will speak untruly to him on their sick bed.  They will speak
    untruly even on their death-bed.  They will speak untruly, I fear,
    even when _they know_ it is their death-bed.  They will desire to
    receive the Holy Communion, without having spoken the truth, but
    whilst persisting in their lie.  I do not say such extreme things are
    common, or wholly attributable to any condition of want of
    discipline, but I am certain they exist, and I do fear they are much
    owing to our having no system of discipline, by which in health,
    persons are made aware, that the priest of God is in any wise to be
    had recourse to, as an adviser, and ghostly counseller, or that he
    has any thing to do with their sins, or practically with the mode of
    remitting them in the name of God.  So the fear and shame attendant
    on speaking to any one whom they have never considered in his true
    relation to their sin, and to their souls, and with whom, it may be,
    they have always had the natural desire to stand well, as with other
    respectable persons in their parish; these things overpower all other
    considerations, even in sickness and in death; and we not only very
    scantily attain to true accounts, but have hardly even the power to
    keep back from communion those who we may feel sure are thus
    attempting to deceive us.

    Now I think it is plain, these defects rest not entirely (surely we
    may say, not chiefly) on individuals.  What is, as a nation, our
    great reproach, is, as individuals, our best excuse.  The fault lies
    in our system: in that practically worked and working system which we
    have among us.  We have well-nigh no weapons to fight with—and we
    wonder that we gain no victory.  We have no means to make people
    believe the Church system, as it exists in theory, is true, or is
    important, and we wonder men neglect the sacraments.  We cannot
    grapple with the wants of our people;—hardly with the cravings of the
    earnest-minded on the one hand, and not at all adequately with the
    mass of irreligion, infidelity, and schismatical proceeding on the
    other.

    These are but a few thoughts, on a small part, of a most large and
    painful subject.

    But truly, “enough,” it may be said, “we have of [ministerial] trials
    and discouragements.  Every one knows it.  To what end then, merely
    to enumerate, and bewail them?  Where, rather is the remedy; and what
    is the drift of these observations?”

    I will very briefly address myself to this point, before I conclude.

    First, then, surely, these things being so: it is well to know them.
    If they are so, we have need of _patience_, but surely we have need
    also of _fear_.  In the days of Jehoiachim, King of Judah, when
    iniquity abounded, and wickedness came to that pass, that the Word of
    the Prophet’s Roll, was not honoured, but “cut with the penknife,”
    and “burned in the fire,” what was even the additional sign of the
    hardness of heart then prevailing?  When this was done, “_yet they
    were not afraid_, nor rent their garments: neither the king, nor any
    of his servants that heard all these words.”  The utmost that was
    done was only this:—that “Elnathan, and Delaiah, and Gemariah, made
    intercession to the king, that he would not burn the Roll, but he
    would not hear them.”  And, if now in our day our evil state be such,
    that, as I have said, if we do not discard, yet we much disbelieve
    God’s teaching; following any teacher of heresy or schism, whom we
    please, or following just the rule of our own private spirits; if
    thus doing, we have lost practically from among us, that is, from
    among the great bulk of our people, the belief of there being any
    Christian priesthood: the true doctrine of the nature, power, and
    importance of the sacraments: (I speak not of places where, under
    peculiarly advantageous circumstances, Catholic truth has been more
    closely brought home, but of the general state, if you “numbered the
    people” throughout the land, in our dense city populations and
    crowded manufacturing towns; nay, in our wild rural districts and
    sequestered villages also,) if throughout the country generally our
    evil state be such, that not one in a hundred of our population ever
    dreams of coming to communion; if, again, when we, as God’s
    ministers; press upon them their duties, and privileges in such
    matters, speaking plainly, boldly, and without circumlocution the
    Church’s language; if then “bye and bye they are offended;” if, being
    offended, they will, as it were, excommunicate themselves, _and think
    nothing of it_; if, indeed, we seem to be living especially in that
    time and place where men “will not endure sound doctrine,” surely
    there is need _of fear_! yet, for all this, _where_ are our fears?
    _where_ are our lamentations? _where_ are the signs of our
    repentings!  Nay, on the contrary, we have _not_ feared; we have
    _not_ mourned; we have _not_ humbled ourselves; rather we have
    boasted, and been puffed up, as if we were better than our
    neighbours!  Oh! I ask again, where indeed are our prayers; where our
    sorrows; where our fastings, for the sin and misery of our state?
    Where are our “supplications offered up with strong cryings and tears
    unto him that is able to save us,” with the hope “that we may be
    heard _in that we fear_.”  “Mine eye runneth down with rivers of
    water,” says the prophet, “for the destruction of the daughter of my
    people.”  “Oh! that my head were waters,” he says again, “and mine
    eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the
    slain of the daughter of my people.”  But, alas! is it _so_ with us?
    Rather is it not—that we are _not_ humbled: we are _not_ ashamed: we
    are _not_ alarmed.  We are in evil case, but we see it not.  We are
    in awful blindness; and yet _so_ blinded, we find not our want of
    eyes.  We are dull and heavy with sleep, yet _so_ inapprehensive,
    that we think ourselves in light and vigour: we cannot see the signs
    of woe, nor hear the sounds of warning!

    And where are our means or hope of our remedy?  The remedy for such a
    state of things?  _Surely_, _if any where_, _first_, _in being
    awakened_, _next in humiliation_, _and then in patience_.  We “have
    need of patience,” and all other things will fail without it.  But
    with humility, and with patience there may be hope; “a hope that
    maketh not ashamed.”  Oh! if we seek God rightly, “surely there must
    be hope in thine end, that thy children shall come again to their own
    border,” as saith the prophet.

    If I humbly may, without going through other hopes, or ways of
    remedy, however nearer, more immediate, and more depending upon
    ourselves, (such for instance as the remedies that might come from
    the godly gathering together again of the Church’s National Synod);
    without dwelling upon such topics, I will direct your thoughts to one
    source of consolation and hope of remedy yet wider, more general, and
    more complete; more powerful and direct (if ever it please God to
    grant it us) than any other means, to salve our wounds, and restore
    the efficiency of our Church’s working for the salvation of souls.
    Surely there may be hope to heal our distractions, and to restore
    true faith and doctrine among us, (nay, even to do _more_ than this,)
    by a general council of the Church, if it please God to allow such to
    be again assembled.  I know not what should forbid the hope.  A
    general council of Christendom, East and West together might do such
    things for us, that “then should our mouth be filled with laughter,
    and our tongue with joy;” till it should “be told out among the
    heathen, the Lord hath done great things for them whereof they may”
    well “rejoice.”

    Why should we not pray, and hope, that universal Christendom might
    meet again in council.  I do not mean now, at once.  I fear we are
    not fit for such a council, if it came.  We should refuse to submit
    to it.  We should despise its authority; and too probably, at once
    repudiate its decrees.  If it were to come so, and we _so_ to receive
    it, we might only be filling up the measure of our iniquity.  But,
    _if_ we prepare for it, God may give it us, when we can receive it in
    a better temper.  If we prepare for it, hoping for it, longing for
    it, and being ready to submit rightly, and give due weight to it, God
    may make it our remedy, and the healing of all our distractions,
    heart-burnings, and disorders.  We may become again a united people
    among ourselves: or even if all the nation _will_ not be re-absorbed
    into the Church, yet we who are of the Church may be again of one
    mind, and _re-union in Christendom might follow_!  Oh! if this were
    so indeed, “who should express the noble acts of the Lord, or shew
    forth all his praise?”  “Then,” indeed, “should the earth bring forth
    her increase, and God, even our own God should give us his blessing.
    God should bless us, and all the ends of the world should fear him!”
    Oh! then, let him who would deserve well of the Church of England,
    pray yet for such a day; and set forward constantly and continually
    the mind and temper which shall first long for, and next be prepared
    for, such a council.  The temper which would not presumptuously
    reject, but gladly accept such appeal to smooth our differences and
    sharp contentions, is perhaps our best defence against the danger, or
    the charge of schism; and when we are in such a mind, let us not
    fear, but rather let us humbly hope, that the general council will
    come.  Nay, be not impatient: be content to wait for years upon
    years, seeking to grow towards it, in love, and preparation for it.
    Perchance it would be of the Lord, even were it now ordered by
    authority that one day weekly, besides the Church’s continued rule of
    a weekly fast, should be set apart; (and gladly by many would it be
    observed) as a day of humiliation, and of prayer: if it were
    appointed, for seven, for fourteen, nay, for forty years, (it may be
    needful a generation should pass away, as was the case in those that
    came up out of Egypt;) whilst we earnestly continued to supplicate
    and beseech our God that it might please him thus to grant us peace
    and consolation: that what we lack might be restored to us, even “the
    years which the locust, and the caterpillar, and the canker-worm have
    eaten;” a renewed strength, a good courage, a sound discipline, a
    believing heart; surely all things are possible with him, “He bloweth
    with his wind, and the waters flow.”  To HIM let us pray, and in HIM
    let us trust, who can “renew our strength as eagles:” who is “mighty
    to save:” “who only doeth wondrous things:” who can “make a way under
    us for to go,” even when there seemeth no path, and disentangle all
    the knots, even of men’s evil hearts, and evil passions.  But “_we
    have need of patience_.”  “Let us run _with patience_ the race that
    is set before us.”  “_In our patience_ possess we our souls.”  In
    this spirit, therefore, let us then thank God, and hope in God, and
    proceed upon our way!

                                * * * * *

                                  FINIS.

                                * * * * *

                                * * * * *

                        C. Whittingham, Chiswick.



FOOTNOTES.


{6}  Second Letter, p. 4.

{8}  The above was written several weeks before Mr. Maskell took the
final step which he has since taken.  Possibly many will point to this,
and wonder at my blind credulity, as it will seem to them.  But, I
neither cancel, nor wish to cancel, any part of my remarks.  All I will
venture to do, is to add (and I trust I shall have Mr. Maskell’s
forgiveness, under these peculiar circumstances, for quoting from a
private letter) one or two extracts which may perhaps help to justify
what I have said, and do him at the same time no wrong.  In a letter to
me, bearing date, “Easter Eve, 1850,” not long before the publication of
the “Second Letter,” he says—“I wish, for my own present comfort, that I
had your _now_ faith, hope, trust and determination; but I have _not_—yet
let me think that we may yet be, as we ever have been, true friends; you
will not repudiate me, even if I do find that for a while we must be
separate in communion; for you will know, surely, that I am not one who
‘would change his faith like a garment unsuited to the clime in which he
dwells.’ . . .  All this is sad enough—sad for it will break up many ties
near and very dear. . . .  Well! it is God’s will—now one, now another;
here a few; there many: as He sees fit, so He calls, and so we _ought_ to
obey. . . .  I am very, very sad: sad especially, because of seeming to
desert and forsake one acting so nobly and so bravely as my Bishop.  _He_
has no doubt about the Church of England: yet _I_ know that, at whatever
cost and pain, God’s truth alone must be fought for.  Yet for all this,
do not conclude that I have _decided_:—only, you will be prepared to know
that the first step has been taken, I mean resignation—and with it my
second letter. . . .  Pray do not judge me harshly. . . .  What an
Easter! yet one day there will be the rising of the morning of the
resurrection: may God grant to you and me, and all whom we love, so to do
our duty here towards him, and to his Church, and to the faith, that we
may be _glad_ to look upon the brightness of those beams.  Here all seems
trouble and anxiety and fear; sorrows, and regret, and parting.  I have
had sorrows before this: scarcely any, nay NONE, (_can_ it be true?) more
bitter.  There is now responsibility; before, endurance only.  God ever
bless you, my dear Friend, ever yours affectionately—W. M.”  And in a
letter somewhat later, written I believe on my first intimating my
intention to publish a second letter to him: he says—“Clear up these
doubts; not one or two, but generally the subject of the dogmatic
teaching; say, especially, with reference to justification and the Holy
Eucharist, and no man will bless you more fervently than I shall.”  Those
who do not know Mr. Maskell may judge him hardly.  I trust I shall never
have that guilt upon my conscience, however I differ from him, or combat
his conclusions.  And perhaps some even of those who may have been least
indulgent to him heretofore, will not now so much question my remarks,
and may possibly believe I know him at least as well as they do.

{10}  Second Letter, p., 77.

{12}  Second Letter, App., p., 85.

{13}  Second Letter, App., pp., 85, 86.

{14a}  Letter to Maskell, p. 7.

{14b}  Ibid. pp. 14, 15.

{15}  See Appendix A.

{18}  Second Letter, pp. 78, 79.

{20}  Second Letter, p. 19, note; p. 75.

{21}  Judgment of the Privy Council, p. 18.

{22a}  Judgment of the Privy Council, p. 18.

{22b}  Appendix B.

{23}  Lord Campbell’s first letter to Miss Sellon, Guardian, April 17th.

{24}  Lord Campbell in his second letter to Miss Sellon, (Guardian, Ap.
17,) has these words, which are likewise remarkable.  “No reproach can be
brought upon her (the Church of England) by a misconstruction of her
articles and formularies; and it must be a very slight reproach to her if
she has omitted to denounce one false doctrine as heretical, considering
that no Christian Church has professed to settle dogmatically all points
of doctrine.”  The beginning of this sentence is a tolerably bold
assumption, I think, unless Lord Campbell will allow a few words to be
supplied, to explain what I trust he will feel to be an omission; that no
reproach will come upon her, by a misconstruction of her formularies, by
that court, _if only with all her heart and soul_, _she set herself to
correct it_, _and cast the misconstruction from her_: but the latter part
of the above quotation seems to admit of no palliation by any possible
addition, and is surely a most marvellous slip for a mind of any
acuteness to have made.  “_A very slight reproach_,” Lord Campbell says
it must be, “_to have omitted to denounce one false doctrine as
heretical_;” without apparently a single thought as to _what_ the
doctrine in question may be.  That it is an article of the creed which is
expunged, and therefore denied, appears never to have crossed his
Lordship’s mind, as worthy of the slightest consideration.  “It is _but
one_ doctrine out of many:—reckon them up by tale, and you will never
miss _one_:—no Churches settle _everything_:—why then so uneasy?”  What
hope, what possible chance that a mind constituted so as to be _able_ to
write such a sentence, can ever have appreciated, or believed, or
understood, the meaning or importance of dogmatic teaching at all.  Had
he lived in the time of the Arian controversy, could the writer of the
above sentence have believed it was possible any matter of moment was, or
could be, involved in so minute a distinction as in the two letters of
the ὁμοούσιον, that it _could_ be worth the toil of Athanasius’s life, to
contend for so slight a point? and repay all the labours and persecutions
of a host of saints to win it? and in truth Lord Campbell’s method of
arguing, or consolation to an afflicted Church, would apply just as much,
had it been the doctrine of the atonement, or of the divinity of the Son
of God, which had been brought in question by Mr. Gorham’s examination.
“No need to settle every thing.  So _one_ open question can be no great
matter, and no great reproach!”

{27a}  Judgment, p. 8.

{27b}  Judgment, p. 9.

{28a}  Bp. of Exeter’s Letter, p. 52.

{28b}  Efficacy of Baptism, p. 85.

{28c}  P. 88.

{28d}  P. 112.

{28e} P. 113.

{29}   P. 197.

{30a}  Judgment, p. 14.

{30b}  Ibid. 14.

{31}  A letter in the Guardian, of March 13th, signed “Solicitus,” has
placed this statement in a very intelligible point of view.  As it is
brief I will venture to quote it.

    “It has been asserted by the Privy Council that the baptismal and
    burial offices are parallel cases:—we _hope_ that the child is
    regenerate: we _hope_ the dead brother is to rise to eternal life?

    “But are the cases parallel?  Is it not a notorious fact, that at the
    Savoy Conference in consequence of the Puritan objections, the words
    ‘in sure and certain hope of resurrection to eternal life’ were
    altered into ‘in sure and certain hope of _the_’ (i.e. the general)
    ‘resurrection to eternal life.’  And on the other hand when the words
    ‘it hath pleased thee to regenerate this infant by thy Holy Spirit,’
    were objected to by the same parties (on the ground that the
    ‘regeneration of every child that is baptised,’ is at least’ a
    ‘disputable point,’) no alteration was made.  How came this to pass?
    Surely the Church of England wanted to show that her language with
    regard to the dead was only that of charitable hope; but that she
    held the doctrine of regeneration in baptism absolutely and without
    qualification.—Yours, faithfully,

                                                              “SOLICITUS.”

As I have said, the notion of the general resurrection being the object
of the hope alluded to, appears never to have presented itself to the
mind of the Court.  If it did not; where was their ability?  If it did;
where their honesty; so entirely to suppress all mention of it, and
_force_ this service to one construction only, in order to open the door
to many constructions in another?

{33}  Faery Queen, Book I. C. IX. St. 43.

{34a}  See Appendix C.

{34b}  Judgment of Sir H. J. Fust, p. 48.

{34c}  Office for Private Baptism of Infants.

{35a}  Office for Private Baptism of Infants.  See also Appendix D.

{35b}  Badeley’s Speech, pp. 58, 59.

{36a}  Judgment, p. 16.

{36b}  Ibid.

{37a}  See Bishop of Exeter’s Letter, p. 88.

{37b}  Judgment, p. 17.

{38}  Judgment, p. 17.

{40}  Rubric in Office for private Baptism.

{42}  It is obvious, _sanctified_, or _hath sanctified_ would not express
the sense intended; just as the Holy Ghost who _comforted_, or _hath
comforted_, would not convey the meaning of the words “_The Holy Ghost_”
(who is,) “_the Comforter_.”

{46}  “In any ordinary set of circumstances, in the case of an enclosure,
of a railway or matter of property, we should have no question whatever
that the doubt of any one on the bench would have made further enquiry
desirable.  I should instantly have agreed, &c.”  Lord Denman’s judgement
in the Hampden case; Report of the Case of the Right Rev. R. D. Hampden,
D.D. by R. Jebb, Esq. p. 495.  See also Appendix E.

{48}  Appendix F.

{50}  Maskell on Absolution, p. 49.

{51}  Maskell’s Doctrine of Absolution, pp. 49, 50.

{52}  Maskell’s Doctrine of Absolution, pp. 50, 51.

{54}  Maskell’s Second Letter, pp. 41, 42.

{59a}  It may be worth while to observe here also how entirely this
principle is acknowledged in the foundations of English law.  I should
indeed soon get beyond my depth, were I to attempt an analysis of this
part of the subject; but I gladly avail myself of the labours of another
whose pen and legal knowledge the present crisis has put in motion, to
bring into juxtaposition with my own observations, one or two of the
acknowledged maxims by which the construction of legal documents among us
is governed.  Mr. Chambers, {59b} in his recent letter to the Bishop of
Salisbury, has several times referred to this subject.  Thus he quotes
Mr. Dwarris (himself quoting Lord Coke):—

    “To know what the common law was before the making of a statute,
    whereby it may be seen whether the statute be introductory of a new
    law, or only affirmatory of the common law, is the very lock and key
    to open the windows of the statute.  For it is not to be presumed
    that the Legislature intended to make any innovation upon the common
    law further than the case absolutely required; the law rather infers
    _that the act did not intend to make any alteration other than what
    is specified_, _and beside what has been plainly pronounced_: for if
    the Parliament had had that design, _it is naturally said they would
    have expressed it_.” {60a}

It appears to me that in some sense, i.e. in reference, at any rate, to
posterior legislation, _the pre-reformation doctrines_ may be called the
_common law_ of our Church; and if so, we shall readily see the analogy
of the civil law, and the authoritative declaration of its rule of
construction of statutes, is, that no alteration is made by subsequent
enactments, _but what is specified_, or _beside what is plainly
pronounced_;—that is to say, what is not “openly, plainly, and
dogmatically” altered, remains as it was before.  To the same purpose
exactly Mr. Chambers adds another passage, stating again “the canon of
construction appropriate to statutes,” and again quoting Mr. Dwarris:—

    “Affirmative words do not take away the common law, former custom, or
    a former statute.” {60b}

And again, a little further on, citing further authorities:—

“When particular words are followed by general ones, the latter are to be
held as applying to persons and things of the same kind only which
precede,” {61a} so that “if a particular thing be given or limited in the
preceding parts of a statute this shall not be altered by the subsequent
general words of the same statute;” {61b} an observation surely of much
weight to show how definitely any part of a statute must be examined, and
how directly mentioned in order to its repeal, according to the usage of
English law.  Once more, to quote but one further passage to the same
effect:—

    “Unless the intention be apparent for that purpose, the general words
    of another and later statute shall not repeal the provisions of a
    former one.” {61c}

Such is the testimony from rules of English law to the principles I
desire to maintain, that the pre-reformation dogmatic teaching remains to
us, except where it has been “openly, plainly, and dogmatically”
repealed.

I need hardly say, these extracts very inadequately represent the force
of Mr. Chambers’s argument.  A reference to the pamphlet itself will well
repay the trouble.

{59b}  A Review of the Gorham Case, by John David Chambers, M.A. Recorder
of New Sarum.

{60a}  Chambers’ Review, pp. 23, 24.  Lord Coke, 2 Ins. 30; 3 Rep. 31,
per Dwarris, 564.

{60b}  Chambers, p. 34.  Dwarris, 605.

{61a}  Chambers, p. 44.  Sandeman v. Breach, 7 B. and C. 96.

{61b}  Ibid.  Stanton v. University of Oxford, 1 Jon. 26.

{61c}  Ibid. p. 45.  Gregory’s Ca. 6 Rep. 196; Dwarris, 514.

{63}  Speech of Edward Badeley, Esq. pp. 95–97.

{64}  Badeley, p. 99.

{66a}  Badeley’s Speech, pp. 101, 102.

{66b}  Ibid. p. 102.

{69}  The objection to be drawn from the sentence of the court in the
case in question, with reference to Mr. Badeley’s argument from
antiquity, and the teaching of the Church previous to the reformation, is
even of less real weight than I have here implied; because that court
does not appear at all to have applied itself to the principle for which
Mr. Badeley contended.  It seems rather to have forgotten its existence,
than seriously to have examined and condemned it; and though it may be
said, perhaps, that such passing it over affords a _presumption_ of its
unsoundness, yet this, I think, is _all_ that can be made out of its
treatment by that tribunal.  Whatever, therefore, be the _presumption_,
it is _certainly no proof_ and no _sentence_ as to the unsoundness of the
position taken up by Mr. Badeley even for the purpose of the particular
case, much less of its unsoundness generally.  So many other causes may
be conceived to have operated upon the Judges’ minds in coming to the
conclusion they did; for instance, they _may have_ admitted Mr. Badeley’s
principle, but thought the doctrine in question, as maintained by the
Bishop of Exeter, was not sufficiently identified with the universal
teaching of the Church; or that that very teaching was itself vague; or
that posterior documents of the English Church absolutely contradicted
the earlier doctrine; (however improbable, such reasons are conceivable
as influencing the actual decision;) and thus we are not warranted in
supposing there is any sentence unfavourable to the soundness of Mr.
Badeley’s principle of catholic tradition, by the proceedings of this
court of appeal in reference to it.

I am persuaded no lawyer will contradict what I have here said, as to
secular affairs, and I see no reason why the same measure should not be
dealt forth in causes ecclesiastical and spiritual.  I mean, that no
lawyer will contradict the principle, that because a certain argument or
line of defence has not been taken into consideration, or not admitted as
conclusive upon the side on which it is advanced in any given instance,
it should be looked upon as judicially condemned, or not be used again if
occasion should arise.  If even the reasons of a court of law on which it
founds its sentence are really no formal part of the judgment, much less
can the mere overlooking or ignoring a particular line of argument,
disable or disfranchise that line of argument, so as to render it for
ever unavailable.

{71}  Eccles. Polity, book viii. ch. ii. § 17, vol. iii. pp. 447–8,
Keble’s Edit.  See also Appendix G.

{75}  Coke’s 4th Inst. p. 323.

{76}  25 Henry VIII. c. 19, § 7.

{78a}  This, however, in the particular case, is an almost impossible
supposition, because it was from the petition of the clergy themselves,
however obtained, that the scheme emanated, and in accordance with its
prayer that this board of two-and-thirty persons was to be appointed.  25
Henry VIII. c. 19, s. 1.  See also Gladstone’s Letter to the Bishop of
London, p. 9.

{78b}  Gladstone, p. 9.

{78c}  Ibid. p. 62.

{82}  Badeley, p. 99.

{87}  See p. 19.

{89}  Second Letter, p. 42.

{90a}  Second Letter, p. 57.

{90b}  Ibid. p. 61.

{91}  Second Letter, p. 63.

{92a}  Second Letter, p. 72.

{92b}  “As regards the Church of England in particular, it may be that
the so-called reformation contained—perhaps unknown to the original
promoters of it—poisonous seeds of evil, bringing in certain though slow
decay; and that either new principles were then secretly established,
which in their development would most surely lead to the destruction and
confusion of essential truths, or old principles were, in ignorance,
given up, which the gradual course of time would prove to be necessary,
because they lie at the very foundation of Christianity itself.  Or, once
more, it may be with portions of the Church Catholic as with the vine,
her mysterious type.  ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches,’ were the
words of our Blessed Lord, speaking of His body, the Church, of which he
is himself the Head.  And we may well conceive how a branch, full of sap
and vigour, may be severed from the stem, and yet for a period—longer or
shorter—still continue to put forth leaves, and perhaps the blossoms of
fruit also; nevertheless, cut off all the while, and severed; requiring
time to die, but death itself inevitable at last.”—Second Letter, pp. 72,
73.

{101}  Maskell’s Doctrine of Absolution, p. 291.

{102}  Letter, p. 16.

{105a}  Letter in Guardian, March 20th, 1850.

{105b}  Guardian, May 8th, 1850.

{106}  Bishop of Exeter’s Letter, p. 90.  I am not unaware that Mr. Keble
has recently further explained his views on this matter in a second
number of his “Church Matters in 1850;” and of course I am not forgetful
that the Bishop of Exeter has repeated his protest and declaration on the
point: but as these authorities serve only to confirm and strengthen the
substance of what I had previously noted down, I do not see any occasion
to withdraw or alter it.

{112}  It may be useful to observe here, that nothing affecting our
Church at large seems to me to result from the correspondence published
in May last, between the Archbishop and Mr. Maskell.  However
unsatisfactory the answers given by the Archbishop to Mr. Maskell’s
queries may be deemed, they do not, as it appears to me, commit the
_Church of England_ to anything, but _himself_ only.  I cannot but think
his Grace is quite right when he says he cannot be understood, in an
unofficial correspondence of that kind, to speak for the Church, but only
for himself.  Therefore, however his answers may serve as evidence of his
own opinion, and be a help in determining how far he stands committed to
having, personally, little or no dogmatic teaching on the subjects
brought under his notice by Mr. Maskell; however, therefore, those
answers may be valuable in the settlement of the question whether we are
morally bound to withdraw from communion with his Grace, they prove
nothing as to our Church at large, and can commit her to nothing unless
accepted, confirmed, and adopted by herself; that is to say, they have no
bearing at all in reference to the argument of this letter, and being
unauthoritative statements, are no refutation of any proofs I may have
given of our rule of dogmatic teaching.  If the intentions of our
reformers are not to be taken as evidence of the meaning of our various
formularies, much less the construction of them by an individual
archbishop.

{116}  Neale’s Few Words of Hope, p. 22.

{120}  No doubt there are persons whose habitual view is so absorbed in
the majesty of human law, that they appear to forget there is any higher
law with which we have to do.  “Sir, I have had the honour to receive
your letter, in which you intimate to me your intention of violating the
law,” was an answer of some celebrity in its day.  Perchance the question
had not presented itself to the writer’s mind,

          “What law is that?
    ’Tis not the law of God, nor yet _above_ it.”

{122}  Convocations and Synods, by an Anglican Layman, p. 6.

{124}  Convocations and Synods, p. 11–14.

{125a}  Archdeacon Manning’s Letter, p. 23.

{125b}  Ibid. p. 41.

{126}  Manning, p. 23.

{127}  Bramhall’s Works, p. 141.  See also Manning’s Sermon on the Rule
of Faith.

    “The Church of England so far from submitting either the rule, or her
    decisions according to the rule, to the judgment of her individual
    members, will not submit them even to the judgment of particular
    Churches, or to any tribunal less than that to which all particular
    churches are subject, that is, a general council, of which either the
    members shall truly _represent_ the Church Catholic, or the decrees
    be universally _received_. * *

    “We therefore no more submit the doctrinal decisions of the Church to
    the judgment of individual minds, than the canon of Scripture itself.
    We do acknowledge an authority higher than either the Church of
    England, or of Rome in particular.  What hinders an appeal to that
    tribunal, Dr. Wiseman knows as well as we.  But if such a council,
    truly general, freely assembled, should meet to-morrow, the rule of
    its decisions would be, ‘non sua posteris tradere, sed a majoribus
    accepta servare.’”—Pp. 25, 26, note.

{128}  See Appendix H.

{131}  Second Letter, p. 80.





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