Слике страница
PDF
ePub

own formularies, with the prerogatives of the One Divine Head of the Church, or of the One Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. Your proposed revision of your ritual on the basis of the Primitive Gallican Liturgy, adapted to your present necessities, would seem to furnish the best assurance that your reformed Liturgy will embody the principles which, you say, are common to us both, and thus remove any difficulty on this head. I await your further communication on this subject.

“If, as I hope may prove the case, we may be enabled to provide for you the Provisional Episcopal superintendence which you desire, I trust and earnestly pray that, by the assistance of the Holy Spirit of God, we may be permitted so to guide the movement as shall prevent the possible formation of any such schisms as those which resulted from the refusal on the part of the Bishops to recognise and guide the great religious movement of the 16th century—a guidance and recognition which were as earnestly desired by the Reformers of that day as they are now by yourself and by those who are co-operating with you.

I am happy to add that the Bishop of Edinburgh has, at my request, kindly consented to be associated with me in the future conduct of this work.

'I beg to subscribe myself, Reverend and dear Sir, very faithfully yours in the Lord Jesus Christ, ‘ROBERT, Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness, Primus of

the Scottish Episcopal Church.' It is only just to say that a more temperate and grave document upon a great subject could not be desired. We recognise in it the practical wisdom, piety, and administrative ability of the Primus of Scotland.

Père Hyacinthe says in effect :- These new doctrines of the Vatican are destructive of the Church: you may trace, since their promulgation, the rapid growth of the two worst evils that can beset her--novelty of doctrine and superstition. The Gallican Church, the Church of my forefathers, hallowed by noble traditions, which the greatest divines of France illustrated by their labours and their talents, lies gagged and bound at the feet of the Vatican councillors. Give me help in the arduous task of endeavouring to set her free, and restoring her to her ancient and Catholic position. The need is urgent- earnest pious men are bewildered, and the turbulent scoffers and the philosophical infidels are destroying her.

So many unjust burdens are laid on men's shoulders they will not bear those that are just, such monstrous novelties are required to be believed, that men take refuge in general scepticism. Come and help us, and delay not. We are no revolutionists, no founders of a new religion, no speculative dreamers.

Co try ne dryed them hat in ne denie

All we ask is to be enabled stare super antiquas vias' of the Church of Christ.

Must this cry for help go up in vain ? because we have fallen on evil days for which there is no precedent, are we to do nothing?

The disease in its present state and terrible magnitude is new : are we to try no remedy?

For what are the dry bones of precedent valuable when the life which once inspired them is gone?

There is surely much weight in the petition thus presented to our Bishops. It cannot be denied that a state of things may possibly arise in one branch of the Church which would justify the intervention of a foreign Episcopate in. aiding the congregations of that branch, even without the consent of their proper Bishop.

If, for instance, the Vatican were to insist on belief in the immaculate conception of S. Joseph, or on a dogma that Bossuet, Fénelon, Pascal, D'Aguesseau, and Montalembert are in Purgatory, on account of their infidelity to the Church of Rome, or on a dogma that all the kingdoms of the earth were in the gift of the Pope, and that no other construction, as the Canon law declares, can be put upon the 'Ecceduo gladii' (Behold here are two swords')—if the Vatican were to insist on the necessity of a profession of belief in positions such as these-an event unfortunately not only possible, but by no means inconceivable-surely the intervention of a foreign Episcopate would be justifiable.

It is a question, therefore, rather of degree than of principle. That the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin was not holden by the Universal Church is plain to any honest reader of authentic history. We cannot easily forget the manner, the look, the tone, and the energy of expression with which the late Archbishop of Syra and Tenos, when, in answer to a question how the Greek Church characterised this dogma, replied,

Neu und falsch.'1 So with regard to the other new dogma of Papal infallibility, it is abundantly, superabundantly, proved never to have been the belief of the Church Universal. A belief in both these dogmata has recently become the condition required by Rome of admittance into her fold. The rise of the Old Catholic Church in Germany, and Père Hyacinthe's attitude of supplication on behalf of the Gallican Church, are the results

1 His Grace always spoke German or modern Greek.

of this un-Catholic and un-Christian conduct on the part of the Vatican. The necessity of introducing a foreign Episcopate is the fruit—to borrow the expression of Thomassinus on the subject of two Bishops in one see--of an 'ineluctabilis, invictissima necessitas '—(T. i. p. 100).

The last, but not the least important remark remains to be made. The Vatican has been troubled with no scruples about thrusting strangers into her neighbour's vineyard : there could not be a plainer violation of the principles of Canonical law and the practice of the Church than was afforded by her nomination, not many years ago, of foreign Bishops to exercise episcopal functions in the sees in this country; and only the other day, in the ancient sees of Scotland. The truth is, that the Vatican has never hesitated to be the author of schism in the Church, when her Italian policy seemed to dictate such a course. Witness her base and tortuous conduct to the Greek Church--conduct which has necessitated the appointment of Greek ministers and the erection of Greek churches in almost every Latin country where the Greek race is to be found. On the whole, we venture to commend this question to the immediate and earnest attention of the Church, hoping heartily, and praying humbly, that the evils which attended the Reformation in Germany, when Luther thought himself obliged to break down the ancient discipline of the Church, in order to preserve Evangelical truth, may, by the timely action and succour of the Catholic Episcopate, be averted from the Church of France. And may God grant that the reformation of that Church, which cannot long be delayed, may be built on the restoration of Evangelical truth and Catholic order.

ART. VIII.-ECCLESIASTICAL BUILDINGS FIRE

INSURANCE BILL, 1878. 1. Report from the Select Committee on Ecclesiastical Build

ings (Fire Insurance) Bill, together with the Proceedings of the Committee, Minutes of the Evidence and Appendix.

Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed June 28, . 1878. 2. House of Lords. Church of England Buildings Fire In, : surance. A Bill (as amended by the Select Committee and

on Report), intituled 'An Act to amend the Ecclesiastical Dilapidations Act, 1871, and to provide for the Insurance against Fire of Buildings belonging to the Church of England. Presented by Lord EGERTON. Ordered to

be printed July 16, 1872. 3. House of Commons' Ecclesiastical Buildings Fire Insurance.

A Bill to provide for the Insurance against Fire of Buildings belonging to Ecclesiastical Benefices in England and Wales. Proposed and brought in by Mr. LEIGHTON, Mr. GOLDNEY, and Mr. WHITWELL, February 4, 1878. The same, as amended by the Select Committee, June 28,

1878. 5. Reports of the Committees to the Lower House of the Con

vocation of Canterbury on the Law of Ecclesiastical Dila

pidations, February 6, 1872, and May 3, 1876. 6. Report from the Select Committee (Mr. Bouverie's) on

Queen Anne's Bounty Board. Ordered by the House of

Commons to be printed, 1868. 7. Report from the Select Committee (Mr. Goldncy's) on the

Law of Ecclesiastical Dilapidations. · Ordered by the

House of Commons to be printed, 1876. 8. History of Queen Anne's Bounty. By CHRISTOPHER

HODGSON.

WE heartily wish that Parliament would show as much sagacity in dealing with Church as with general questions. The great majority of members of Parliament are Churchmen as well as landowners or citizens. The clergy like many other classes demand greater freedom from parliamentary interference, and draw the same distinction between the questions which ought to be handled in Parliament, and those which ought to be left under their own control. Believing as we do that the Church, and not Parliament, should initiate legislation on such matters' as religious worship, ritual, doctrine, Church extension, and the like, we at the same time recognise the fact that there are other quasi-ecclesiastical matters which cannot be settled without Parliament. In order to obtain freedom in the one case, and good management in the other, Churchmen should not overlook the necessity of a complete parliamentary organisation. The Church party put forth their utmost efforts to save the Irish Church. They were defeated. Untaught as yet, however, by the experience of past defeat, they still seem inclined to act as though they thought that what is everybody's business is sure to be somebody's. They are inclined to trust too implicitly to the ability and loyalty of those who at elections repeat the shibboleth of 'Church

Governmenot appear to haocation, Church

and State. They are satisfied to remain without a regular parliamentary machinery of their own. Convocation, Church conferences, and synods do not appear to have the slightest influence on any Government. Those in the House of Commons who appear to be well affected towards the Church are inclined to overlook details, and act as though at the present moment there were only two Church questions before them, “The Burials Question' and 'Disestablishment.' We repeat that there is either real ground for alarm, or else that there is real want of leadership. It is our belief that a better fight will be maintained on both these questions by a contemporaneous consideration of others; and that the habit of acting together on other kindred subjects will enable Churchmen to work together better whenever the main points of their position may be attacked.

Passing from these general observations, it is our object in this article to discuss the issues involved in one of those minor questions which affect the clergy, that is to say, the insurance of ecclesiastical buildings against loss by fire.

The subject has long been familiar to a certain number of active-ininded clergymen and laymen, but it is clear that it has never engaged general attention. Parliament would be a very unwise and a very unpopular assembly if it passed laws, however good in themselves, which were not demanded in an unmistakable manner by those whose interests they touched. Successful legislation requires two ingredients--a popular impulse and a sound principle. So, if those, for whose special benefit a new law is proposed, do not take special heed to the legislation, few others are likely to do so, and no Parliament is likely to trouble itself with the furtherance of the work.

That it is an act of prudence almost amounting to a moral obligation for a clergyman to insure the buildings belonging to his benefice, will generally be admitted. Up to the year 1871 considerable discretion in this respect was permitted, and except in those cases where money had been borrowed on the security of a living, an incumbent was under no positive obligation to insure. In that year, however, was passed an Act of Parliament known by the name of the Ecclesiastical Dilapidations Act, the 54th section of which runs as follows :

• Every incumbent shall insure, and during his incumbency keep insured, in the joint names of himself and the Governors of Queen Anne's Bounty, the house of residence, and farm, and other buildings, outbuildings, and offices belonging to his benefice (including the chancel, when liable to repair it), against loss or damage by fire, in some Insurance Office, or Offices, to be selected by himself, to the

« ПретходнаНастави »