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the new Tractarian school, has taught us in his work on The Body of Christ that the early liturgies speak of this sacrament chiefly as 2 μνημόσυνος. 15 And it will at once occur to the least intelligent of mankind that the words This do in remembrance (áváμvnois) of Me' could have no meaning where the Reality Himself was locally present.
And with this avowedly Catholic language the Church of England assuredly agrees. Transubstantiation, the twentyeighth Article declares, of necessity overthroweth the nature of a sacrament'; while the Black Rubric' repeats almost verbatim the essential part of Aquinas' several arguments that Christ's Body being now in heaven cannot at the same time be on earth, because a body cannot be in two places at once. 16 Such and similar were the arguments urged against the Real Presence in the commentaries of the late sainted Bishop Wordsworth of Lincoln.
The Tractarians, however, held with the new-fangled heresy of modern Rome :
'The point,' Liddon exclaims, 'is Eucharistic Adoration. . . . I do not know how the subjective doctrine of the Eucharistic Presence can be denounced as HERESY in the sense in which we should apply that term to Arianism, for instance.' [Liddon thus admits that the Tractarian doctrine of the Real Presence is virtual heresy.]
That this was for some time his deliberate opinion is proved by the fact that on one occasion to a priest of the Roman communion he frankly confessed that he agreed with the present Papal definition of the Eucharist! And Mr. Keble is his authority that we agree with the Roman Church on matters of principle, and that our differences with her are on matters of fact.'
Liddon seems to have been at this time a Roman at heart both in doctrine and in practice. He acknowledged the 'primacy' of the Church of St. Peter. He held the modern Roman doctrine of Confession, Baptism, the Mass, the Intercession of the Virgin and the indelible character' of the Priesthood. He defended, at any rate, as an opinion,' the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception and the strange and painfully ludicrous title (largely a heresy of the seventh century) of the Mother of God.' He constantly recommended and even translated modern Roman Catholic books of devotion." He was often mistaken by Roman Catholics (and with justice as he himself acknowledged) for a Roman Catholic.
18 I.e. a memorial feast, not a bare åváμvnois or 'remembrance.'
16 See that jungle of contradictions, the Summa 2, 2; Q. lxxv., art. i., where Aquinas expressly allows that in this sacrament Christ's Body is present not according to reality but only in a figure or so to speak by way of a sign.' . . . according to the exposition of Augustine.'
1 The Roman Catholic Lord Acton severely censured Liddon's translating into English Rosmini's Five Wounds of the Church (Life, pp. 299, 310).
He went so far as to assert that 'there were many features in the Roman Catholic Church more in harmony with his mind and soul than the corresponding features of his own Church.' The following is his description of an audience of the Pope :
At length I reached the apartment in which the Pope was sitting. His face wore an expression truly beautiful, and I think the most ferocious Protestant could not but appreciate it. I knelt first on entering the room, and a second time to kiss his feet. I proffered some objets to be blessed, and then knelt and left the apartment. What a wonderful day in my life! The first time I ever found myself in the presence of royalty [sic]! Strange that this should have been in the Court of the successor of St. Peter! This is not the Liddon we know. But it was the Liddon of Tractarian Oxford, the Liddon whom Archbishop Magee described as a monk in petticoats.
It is painful to contrast Liddon's position at this time with that of Archbishop Laud, the supposed hero of the movement, in the seventeenth century.
All PROTESTANTS unanimously agree in this [says Laud], that there is great peril of damnation for any man to live and die in the Roman persuasion. A mere calumny it is that we profess only a negative religion. Romanists do call our religion a negative religion. But in the meantime they forget that we maintain all those articles and truths which are contained in any of the ancient creeds of the Church, which I hope are more than negatives. PROTESTANTS did not get their name by protesting against the Church of Rome, but by protesting. against her errors and superstitions. Nor is protestation itself such an unheard-of thing in the very heart of religion; for the Sacraments . . . . are called . . . . ‘visible signs PROTESTING the Faith.' Now if the Sacraments be signa protestantia, signs protesting, why may not men also, and without all offence, be called PROTESTANTS, since by receiving the true Sacraments and by refusing them which are corrupted they do but PROTEST the sincerity of their faith against that doctrinal corruption which hath invaded the great Sacrament of the Eucharist and other parts of religion? I glory in the name of PROTESTANT. My lords, I am as innocent in this business of religion, as free from all practice or so much as thought of practice for . blemishing the PROTESTANT religion established in the Church of England as I was when my mother first bare me into the world. I pray God His truth, the true PROTESTANT religion here established, sink not! God of His mercy preserve the true PROTESTANT religion amongst us!
Now this extreme language of Laud 19 was the common language of all the Laudian Divines without exception. Hear how Laud defends the doctrines of the civil power interfering in matters ecclesiastical:
In the REFORMATION... our princes had their part and the clergy theirs. And to these two principally the power and direction for reforma
18 The Dean of Canterbury in his latest work, The Principles of the Reformation (Nisbet, 1910), has in the same way proved that Protestantism does not mean a protest against error so much as a protestation for the truth; and this he establishes as being a fact of philology quite as much as a fact of history.
19 See references in next note.
tion belongs. That our princes had their parts is manifest by their calling together of the bishops and others of the clergy . . . . in the national synod. And the articles there agreed on were afterwards confirmed by acts of state and the royal assent.
The learned Dean Hook of Leeds has pointed out in his Lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury that the mediaeval Church was an Act of Parliament Church and he tells us in his own Life that he wrote the Lives of the Archbishops from the point of view of a John Bull Protestant.' That Hook was right and expressed the common language of all Church Divines of all ages may be proved by the following quotation from Bishop Bramhall :
King Henry the Eighth . . . . challenged and assumed a political SUPREMACY Over ecclesiastical persons in ecclesiastical causes. So did Edward the Confessor govern the Church as the Vicar of God in his own kingdom. So did his predecessors. 20
Liddon would have none of this. He would recognise, apparently, no State-appointed tribunals. In the dispute with Rome. he held with her Primacy,' not with her Supremacy.' We fear that this Jesuitical distinction is against the truth of facts; for Bellarmine, the stoutest champion of the Jesuit position in the seventeenth century, has put in writing that the whole question of the truth of the Christian religion turns upon the acknowledgment of the Primacy,' not the Supremacy, of the Pope (de primatu pontificis agitur).
But Liddon while in this mood could not afford to be fair to the facts of history. His splenetic language against the Reformers and the Reformation, against Knox and against Luther, against Archbishop Tait and Bishop Jackson of London, against the doctrine of Justification, against the times of Henry the Eighth and Elizabeth, against, in fact, everybody who disagreed with himself and Dr. Pusey, makes painful, or rather pitiful, reading. Could any good man, proud of his nation's history and anxious for her highest welfare, write on these points as Liddon often wrote, or act as Liddon often acted? He studiously insults on every occasion the cause of the Reformation and the Protestant interest. He attends High Mass on St. Bartholomew's Day-the day which Lord Clarendon called the most criminal since the Crucifixion, the day on which the Huguenots were massacred with full concurrence of the Pope, who celebrated the deed with a Te Deum at Rome and commemorated the occasion with a medal struck in honour of the event. He preaches his first sermon at Oxford on St. Thomas's Day at the Church of St. Thomas the Martyr; for St. Thomas was
20 The unanimous opinions of the Laudian School have been admirably collected and summarised in the Quart. Rev. for March 1842 ('Divines of the Seventeenth Century'). Archbishop Benson's dying warning to the English Church was against losing her 'Protestant' character (Wace, Principles of Reformation, p. 189).
the chief saint of the Middle Ages, a man of worldly mind and ungovernable temper, canonised for his lifelong successful opposition to the Crown and esteemed for the physical uncleanliness of his private life.21 All State-appointed officials and all our ecclesiastical institutions, whether Bishops in general or the Privy Council and Judicial Committee and Court of Arches in particular, are not obscurely suspected as being the enemies of Christ'; while all foreign Churches, especially the Greek Church, are regarded as better than our own. It is true, he owns, that religion in Russia has no connexion with morality;22 but religion' in Russia gets after all fair play! Even the English language is apparently too Protestant for Liddon. He is glad, so he writes. from Le Mans, to get 'quite' away from the sound of his mother tongue! 23 In politics he finds it necessary, it seems, to uphold the Liberal cause ;24 for Liberal statesmen apparently do not act so consistently in the English interest. In this connexion the following quotation from one of his letters will show the real mind of Liddon, and will be read by his best friends with something of alarm:
In England I believe we have most to dread not Disestablishment but a careful protection both of our social position and of our Property combined with a systematic endeavour to destroy all firm hold upon doctrine under the plea of making the Church national. 20
Liddon is here seen at his worst, not as the man of God he truly was but as the spokesman of a system then on its trial-a system which was in part the offspring of panic and in part the focus of a truly Christian protest against the desolating abominations of the French Revolution. But
Non tali auxilio, non defensoribus istis
"Stanley's Memorials of Canterbury, p. 100 (10th ed., John Murray, 1904). 23 Dean Church in his well-known Essays has made a similar fatal admission as to the religion (or rather superstition) of the Bretons. Harnack in his What is Christianity? describes the state of the Greek Church as the very state which led to Christ's crucifixion 2000 years ago!!
23 Life (by Johnston), p. 174. [Perhaps I have put too fine a point upon this expression of Liddon's.]
"Yet contrast what he says against Liberal politicians on p. 279.
25 What Liddon means by this may be seen on p. 104: The civil authority. .. in the Colonies as in England [is] very much in the hands of the enemies of Christ.' Pp. 116, 128-9, 214-5, 269, 290: 'Of course the Church of England cannot claim finality for anything that dated from the Reformation period; and that was settled, for whatever good reasons, on her own, i.e. local, authority, and, therefore, from the nature of the case provisionally.' Cf. p. 20: The English Church is clearly in a transitional state. At present it is difficult to divine an issue. She contains the elements first of a COMPLETE DISORGANISATION and secondly of a Catholic reconstruction.' For these sentiments Archbishop Laud would have excommunicated him for heresy and William the Third have probably hanged him for sedition. As it was, the then Bishop of London bluntly reproached him with encouraging anarchy.'
For example, the rubric in our Prayer Book requiring the celebrant at Holy Communion to stand at the North side' is not seriously capable of being misunderstood. So at least Newman thought. So Pusey, at least originally, maintained. And so Bishop King," in part at least, allowed after the Lincoln Judgment. Liddon, however, discovered that the Eastward position,' like his interpretation of Baptismal Regeneration, was 'a portion of the revelation of Christ,' of which it appears that Vestments and disobedience to constituted authority are the logical inference." What Lord Acton thought of Liddon may perhaps fitly conclude this portion of our remarks:
'I am not in harmony with Liddon,' wrote this learned and impartial Roman Catholic Professor of modern history in the University of Cambridge, and scarcely in sympathy. . . . He has got over or swallowed such obstacles on the road to Rome that none remain, which, as it seems to me, he ought logically or legitimately to strain at. . . . As to his soundness, his determination to work in and through the Church and not on eccentric courses, I satisfied myself with the supreme authority of Dean Church on my last night in town. . . . The question would rather be whether a man of his sentiments, rather inclined to rely on others, would be proof against the influence of Newman or of foreign theologians like Newman.'
II. LIDDON THE MAN.
No man can devote his life too exclusively to an impracticable ideal without suffering from a lack of perspective in meeting the demands of this workaday world. That is to say, no man can become the slave of a system without the sacrifice of his better judgment. Liddon's character on that side, and on that side only on which it was a reflection of his theology, was no exception to this rule.
At the age of thirty-seven he was pressed to become the head of Keble College, Oxford. All his friends were eager for him to accept the call. He was, indeed, by temperament and by culture a student and in many respects a man of unique personality and endowments. The college, moreover, was the result of his own original suggestion. But Liddon's peculiarly self-conscious character had ten thousand reasons (which were no reasons) for the refusal. He was not, it appears, a first-class man.' Oxford, too (it seems), required a 'philosophic theologian.' And what was worse than all (may we add-more ridiculous than all?) he thought his reputation had been a little blown upon! The
26 The position he suggested may be described in nautical language as NNE. 27 That Liddon was not here speaking the language of his own mind may be proved by the fact that the Scriptures, as Hooker explains, never use the word priest' of a Christian clergyman, nor did the early Fathers of four centuries regard the Holy Table as an 'altar' strictly so called (see citations in Suicer 8.v. βωμός, θυσιαστήριον).