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succession as narrow as that of Newman. The Scottish Church Society' has drafted a programme for itself, which would not be found seriously defective as a scheme for developing the characteristic doctrines and practices of the Tractarians. Its 'general purpose is to defend and advance Catholic doctrine as set forth in the ancient Creeds and embodied in the standards of the Church of Scotland,' and with this no fault can be found. But it is impossible for an English Churchman, who has learned by experience what strange meanings may lurk under the phrases, to avoid a certain misgiving when he studies the list of twenty-one special objects' which the Society aims at. The third of these is the maintaining of the necessity of a valid ordination to the Holy Ministry, and the celebration in a befitting manner of the rite of Ordination.' We turn to the publications of the Society to seek an explanation of this somewhat unusual language. A recently published volume of 'Scottish Church Society Conferences,' entitled The Pentecostal Gift, will serve our purpose sufficiently. One writer (the Rev. S. J. Ramsay Sibbald) quotes in order to endorse the language of Bishop Gore, who is well known to be the ablest exponent of the narrowest Anglican doctrine:
General assent will be accorded to the opinion which the Bishop of Worcester (now of Birmingham) states thus : 'In any case, it is certain that the development of the ministry occurred on the principle of the Apostolic succession. Those who were to be ministers were the elect of the Church in which they were tɔ minister ; but they were authoritatively ordained to their office from above, and by succession from the Apostolic men.' (P. 173.)
* The Scottish Church,' says this writer, ‘admits Episcopal as well as Presbyterian ordination to be valid, while maintaining that it is through presbyters, headed by a bishop, or by a moderator, that the succession has been transmitted from the Apostles to ourselves.' (p. 175). Professor Cooper writes to the same effect : 'The Church of Scotland,' he says, 'is bound, as much as the Church of England is, to the principle of “ Apostolic succession ” ; though we hold it in a form which, we believe, delivers it from many of those objections to which, in its extreme Anglican shape, it lies exposed' (p. 178). Dr. Sprott appeals to the doctrine of the Reformers : The Reformed Churches believed in the necessity of Apostolic succession through presbyters, or bishops acting in that capacity' (p. 195). "The Reformers did not object to Episcopacy so long as bishops were not regarded as a separate order by Divine right. While holding the equality of Presbyters in office power, they admitted the lawfulness of an inequality in rank for purposes of order, efficiency, and unity, and some of them considered such inequality as of Apostolic institution. It is not inconsistent with Presbyterianism to hold that, while bishop and presbyter are the same in order, permanent presidentship, with considerable powers, began in some parts of the Church under Apostolic direction' (p. 197). He reviews, in a very interesting way,
the action of the Church of England, 'which alone of the Reformed Churches claims to have retained what is nowadays called the historic episcopate,' and he shows easily that the modern doctrine of the invalidity of non-episcopal ordinations was not held either by the reformers or by the restorers of the Church of England:
Even the Act of Uniformity passed at the Restoration has a clause which leaves the door open for the admission to benefices without re-ordination of foreign Reformed ministers. Shortly after it became law, a French Protestant who was ordained by Presbyters in France was admitted to a rectory in Kent without re-ordination, in succession to a minister who had been deprived because he had been ordained by Presbyters in England during the Rebellion. Philip Henry, father of the commentator, writes in his Diary, under the year 1672:
Suppose a Dutch or French Protestant minister to come to England to preach, he is not re-ordained, but only licensed '; and so late as 1820 many of the paro. chial clergy in the Channel Islands, which form part of the Diocese of Winchester, had only Presbyterian ordination. A generation ago many of the missionaries sent out by the Propagation Society, which is presided over by the whole bench of bishops, were foreigners in Presbyterian orders. (P. 206.)
Dr. Sprott is an unflinching Presbyterian, and will have none of that latitudinarian Anglicanism which can regard with equal charity all forms of ecclesiastical polity:
The most learned Anglican writers are now admitting that Episcopacy was gradually introduced, and was not universal in the Primitive Church, and some of them are prepared not only to recognise Presbyterian orders, but the Congregationalist ministry derived from the people. Here we must part company with them. Because the argument for the Divine right of Episcopacy breaks down, it by no means follows that ordination by Presbyters, and Apostolic succession through them, are not essential to a valid ministry. (P. 207.)
Now, if these views were generally held in the Church of Scotland, it would be pardonable to think that, by some such arrangement as that suggested by the Lambeth Conference, a union might be effected between the two Established Churches of the Island, and Laud's dream of one episcopal Church of Great Britain might at length be realised. But even so, the problem of domestic reunion would remain unsolved, and there could not fail to be an immense development of Nonconformity in Scotland.
If, however, it be the case that the Scottish Church Society' is as little representative of the Church of Scotland as the 'English Church Union' is of the Church of England, then it must be very regrettable that the Lambeth Conference should have been so illinformed as to the true state of religious feeling in Scotland as to address itself exclusively to a small and unrepresentative group of Presbyterian High Churchmen.'
At least it is certain that there are weighty voices raised in utterance of a larger and more genuinely Catholic doctrine. 'The best men in Scotland,' writes Dr. Tulloch,'have ceased to believe in their own or any form of Church government being divinely prescribed,
in any divine form of Church government at all in the old dogmatic sense.' Dr. Mitford Mitchell, the late Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, declared that most Presbyterians ‘would admit that the precise form of Church government is matter of minor importance, that the most efficient is the most divine.' Dr. Theodore Marshall, the present Moderator, used similar language: ‘While we believe in the ultimate unity of the Church, it does not seem necessary that its every branch must in all details of worship, doctrine, discipline and constitution, be fashioned exactly on the same model. There seems little or no reason why Churches varying greatly in externals should not be really one; but there can be no true unity, and therefore the world will not be impressed as it ought to be with the divine mission of the Son of God, so long as those who call themselves His followers are divided into separate sections, who, if they do not actually deny the name of Christian to bodies not constituted as they are, do deny that they are in any real or even in the fullest sense, members of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, which is the body of Christ.' Principal Lindsay has stated the more generous doctrine in the Preface of his admirable volume on The Church and the Ministry in the Early Centuries. There he exposes the fallacy which is constantly appearing in the arguments of those who advocate the doctrine of ' Apostolic succession ':
There is and must be a valid ministry of some sort in the Churches which are branches of this one Visible Catholic Church of Christ ; but I do not think that the fact that the Church possesses an authority which is a direct gift from God necessarily means that the authority must exist in a class or caste of superior office-bearers endowed with a grace and therefore with a power specific, exclusive, and efficient,' and that it cannot be delegated to the ministry by the Christian people. I do not see why the thought that the authority comes from above,' a dogmatic truth, need in any way interfere with the conception that all official eoclesiastical power is representative and delegated to the officials by the membership, and that it has its divine source in the presence of Christ promised and bestowed upon His people and diffused through the membership of the Churches. Therefore when the question is put: 'Must ministerial character be in all cases conferred from above, or may it sometimes, and with equal validity, be evolved from below ?' it appears to me that a fallacy lurks in the antithesis. From below! is used in the sense 'from the membership of the Church,' and the inference suggested by the contrast is that what comes 'from below,' i.e. from the mombership of the Church, cannot come 'from above,' i.e. cannot be of divine origin, warrant, and authority. Why not? May the Holy Spirit not use the membership of the Church as His instrument ? Is there no real abiding presence of Christ among His people ? Is not this promised Presonco something which belongs to the sphere of God, and may it not be the source of an authority which is 'from above ?' (Pp. ix, x.)
The present writer has within recent years had the opportunity of discussing these matters with many of the clergy of the Church of Scotland, and he is persuaded that Principal Lindsay has well expressed the prevailing belief on the subject of the Christian ministry ; he is also persuaded that the general body of English Churchmen, while
valuing for themselves the episcopal polity which is established in their own branch of the Church, agree in the same view. If this be so, the variety of organisations need be no barrier to an effective recognition of non-episcopal Churches, and the solution of the difficult problem of Nonconformity is brought appreciably nearer. All the more regrettable must it be that the Lambeth Conference should have committed itself, and in some sense the Anglican Communion, to an ideal of reunion which presupposes the exclusive validity of an episcopal ministry.
Here may be pointed out the unfortunate result of the unanimity of the Conference Report. The Committee was numerous and influential. Four archbishops and fifty-three bishops were nearly one-fourth of the Conference. The number included the Bishops of Birmingham, Durham, Exeter, Lincoln, Newcastle, Salisbury, Southwark, Stepney (now Archbishop of York), and Winchester. It is as certain as any fact which is not mathematically demonstrable can be, that these bishops do not agree in their conception of the Christian ministry in general or of the episcopate in particular, yet they all appear as committed to this Report, which affirms, though with much superfluous suavity of phrase, the stiff episcopalianism which the Tractarians bound upon the Church of England. There is, indeed, a note placed in front of the Reports which warns us that the Committees were not in every case unanimous in adopting the Reports, but no record of divisions was preserved, and we are left to conjecture how men voted, or to learn the interpretation they place on the Report by their subsequent declarations.
The Bishop of Birmingham has seized the opportunity of his accustomed Lenten preaching to develop his familiar argument for exclusive episcopacy. The Bishop grows more crudely dogmatic as his absorption in practical affairs forces him to speak ' off the surface' of his mind. Unhappily when questions of this nature are raised, it is the mind of a despotic and prejudiced man. The Bishop of Exeter, a more moderate thinker, preaching in his own cathedral declared that 'we, i.e. all Anglicans, are ' firmly resolved to hold fast to what has been intrusted to us, nor to be drawn for one instant outside the lines marked out for us by the Bible, the faith of Nicaea, the two Sacraments, the historic Episcopate.' Another preacher in the same place, a prominent London clergyman whose books have obtained the public recommendation of the Bishop of London, declared communion with non-episcopalians 'sacrilegious. We are reminded of the almost frantic language in which the Tractarians denounced the Jerusalem Bishopric scheme in the early forties. * Atrocious,' 'fearful,' ' hideous,' 'miserable' were some of the adjectives used by Newman, then the recognised head of the Tractarians, of a proposal which implied a recognition of a non-episcopal Church. It is as certain as the unalterable logic of religious fanaticism,
that if ever what Pusey called an experimental Church' were fashioned by means of some adaptation of 'the precedent of 1610,' we should have another domestic crisis similar to that precipitated by Archbishop Howley's well-meant effort in 1841. The Bishop of Liverpool has persuaded himself that the Lambeth Resolutions are really of the nature of an olive-branch offered to the non-episcopal Churches. “Some of you, my younger brethren,' said his lordship, to assembled clergy of his diocese on March 22nd,“ may perhaps live to see the dawning of the day when the sundered Churches of the Reformation will once more become one, and when English Christianity will present a united front to the serried ranks of unbelief and superstition, of sin and oppression, and will move as one mighty army to the evangelisation of the world.' But the Bishop of Liverpool was not a member of the Committee, and may not have found time to examine carefully its Report.
The vice of the Lambeth policy is its mistaken ‘ideal of reunion.' We may fairly apply the language of the Encyclical to the Resolutions of the Conference. ‘All will be fruitful in proportion as it is dominated by a right ideal of reunion.' Rejecting the spiritual ideal of the Reformation, and adopting the mechanical ideal of the Roman Church, the bishops, so far as lies in their power, have placed the Church of England on wrong lines with respect to this question, and nothing but failure can come of their leading. This ideal of corporate reunion on the basis of the historic episcopate’ is essentially identical with the Roman ideal of ' corporate reunion' on the basis of the historic papacy’; only the latter is incomparably better justified in history and in reason. The ultimate gainer from the episcopalian policy, to which the Tractarians have succeeded in binding the Church of England, is the Roman Catholic Church, in which alone episcopalianism finds its true logical development.
How different might have been, might yet be, the course of Anglican history! With goodwill on the part of the episcopate the relations between the separated denominations of English Christianity might have been steadily improved; every element of justifiable irritation might have been removed ; every opportunity of religious co-operation might have been seized and made the most of, every factor of our ancient ecclesiastical system which violated the principles of religious equality might have been suffered to fall into desuetude and oblivion. If any doubt the power of the bishops to help forward a tendency with which they sympathise, the demonstration is ready to their hand in the history of Tractarianism. The law of the realm is broken in hundreds, not to say thousands, of parish churches with the full knowledge of the bishops; and when the popular indignation reaches the point of demanding some guarantee of stricter control, the answer of the leading members of the episcopate is a proposal to legalise the objectionable practices! What is the