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Prayer. In theory, but not in practice. Were
those who had complained most loudly that Mr.
Newman and his friends were unfaithful to the
Church, faithful to it themselves ? Were such plain
injunctions as those concerning the daily service,

^ As generally happens, a reaction was provoked, and some
went so far as to say that the Civil Power should have no control
over any part of the action of the Church; But the head of the
party, Dr. Pusey, was too well read a man to agree with this
view, and to correct it he published his valuable fragment on
' The Royal Supremacy,' in which he showed that this was not
so, even in spiritual affairs, though the voice of the Church
should be heard (see Liddon's ' Life of Pusey,' iii. 341, etc).
Dr. Pusey thoroughly agreed that the laity never had a part in
settling the doctrine, discipline, or ritual of the Church [ibid.^
iii- 35).


the observance of holy-days, the re.e^ular and fre-
quent celebration of the Holy Communion, the
administration of Holy Baptism in the public
service, the offertory, the dress of the preacher,
duly attended to ? Glaringly they were not. The
Bishop of London (Dr. Blomfield) called attention
to these points in his Charge of 1(842, and desired
that the rubrics might be observed. Islington,
which had long been a stronghold of the Evangeli-
cals, protested, and the Bishop gave its clergy a
sort of tacit dispensation from full obedience to the
rubrics. But he could hardly enforce in other parts
of his diocese what he had dispensed with in one
part.^ He had distinctly intimated in his Charge
that the surplice was the only garment contem-
plated in the Prayer-Book for the use of the
preacher — at any rate, at the morning service, in
which alone a sermon is recognised ; and as that
which catches the outward eye is sure to make the
greatest impression, the wearing of the surplice in
preaching gave the greatest offence. The Bishop
of Exeter (Dr. Philpotts) took up the tale, and
enjoined the strict observance of the rubrics in his

^ Even nearer home than Islington the Bishop had some
difficulty in enforcing^ his wishes, as the following passage from
the interesting ' Reminiscences of William Rogers ' will show : .
'The Bishop had just [1842] l^een delivering a Charge in which
he had severely admonished the clergy on the duty of complying
literally with the requirements of the rubrics, etc. Mr. ISaker
[the Vicar of Fulham], who was a strong Evangelical . . . by no
means saw things in the same light as the Bishop, and was not
very inclined to carry out the episcopal wishes. The Bishop,
"on the other hand, could hardly afford to have his injunctions
slighted under the very shadow of Fulham Palace, and met the
case half-way by offering to provide an extra curate at his own
cost. This the \^icar agreed to, and I was the result,' pp. 41,42.


diocese. Surplice Riots occurred in both dioceses,
and the clcrfj^y who, in obedience to the orders of
their diocesans, preached in the siirphce were
mobbed, pelted, and sometimes in danger of their
lives. In fact, the regulations were so unpopular
that Bishop Blomfield, in his Charge of 1846, with-
drew what he had recommended in 1842.

But he did not thereby put an end to the ritual
disputes. One of the most advanced churches (for
those days) was S. Paul's, Knightsbridge, of which
the Rev. J. W. E. Bennett, a very able and ener-
getic man, and an effective preacher, was the
incumbent. Bishop Blomfield was an indefatigable
worker himself, and he was always ready to recog-
nise good work in others, though he might not
altogether agree with the views of the workers. He
therefore consented to consecrate a daughter church
of S. Paul's, which Mr. Bennett had erected. On
S. Barnabas' Day, 1850, the consecration services
at S. Barnabas', Pimlico, took place with a high
ceremonial, as it was then thought. All passed off
well on the day, but when the services were con-
tinued on the same lines the mob began to interrupt
them with hootings and groanings, and to insult the
clergy. The Bishop remonstrated, but Mr. Bennett
replied with some effect, that there was nothing in
the services but what his lordship had sanctioned
on the day of consecration. The Bishop then
claimed the fulfilment of a promise which Mr.
Bennett had given him, that he would resign his
living if it was for the good of the Church.

Mr. Bennett resigned, but his successor, Mr.
Liddell, conducted the services, both at S. Paul's
and vS. Barnabas, on the same lines ; and hence arose


the first of the great ritual suits. In the Consistory
Court of London, Mr. Westerton, a churchwarden at
S. Paul's, prayed for a faculty ' for the removal of
the hi.s^h altar with the cross elevated thereon, or
attached thereto, the gilded candlesticks and candles,
the credence-table, and the several divers coloured
altar coverings.' Mr. Beal, a parishioner of S.
Barnabas', Pimlico, made a similar petition for that
church, and on December 5, 1855, the Judge of the
Consistor}' Court pronounced judgment in the two
cases. He decreed a faculty for ' the removal of the
credence-tables and all cloths for covering the table,
except one covering of silk or other decent stuff.'
The cross was to be removed ; a wooden table was
to be substituted for the stone altar ; only a fair
linen cloth, without lace or embroidery, was to be
used. The brazen gates were censured, but not
declared illegal. Mr. Liddell appealed to the Court
of Arches, and on December 20, 1856, the Dean of
Arches (Sir John Dodson) affirmed Dr. Lushington's
rulings, and condemned the appellant in costs. Then
Mr. Liddell appealed to Her Majesty in Council.
The case was heard in 1857 by the Judicial Committee,
which reversed the judgment about the wooden
cross in the chancel of S. Barnabas', and that about
the 'cloths,' but affirmed that about the stone altar
at S. Barnabas' and that about the embroidery.^

Meanwhile, a still more important, if less sensa-
tional, case of doctrine was being agitated. In 1853
Archdeacon Denison, then, as now,- ever ready to

1 See Archdeacon Perry's ' Student's English Church History,'
Third Period, iii., 317-321.

- Since these words were written, the brave old Archdeacon
has been called to his rest.


fight for what he deemed to be the truth, preached
two sermons in Wells Cathedral, strongly inculcating
the doctrine of the Real Presence in the Holy
Eucharist. He published the sermons, his object
evidently being, not merely to instruct the congrega-
tion he was addressing, but to have the momentous
subject ventilated for the benefit of the whole Church.
He was not disappointed. A neighbouring clergy-
man, Mr. Ditcher, Vicar of South Brent, took up
the glove, as it were, and applied to the Archbishop
of Canterbury, who issued a commission under the
Church Discipline Act of 1840. The commission
(which consisted of five clergymen of the diocese)
found that there was prima facie ground for further
proceedings ; so the suit was proceeded with in the
Pro-Consistory Court at Bath, the Archbishop of
Canterbur}' presiding. In 1856 Dr. Lushington,
acting for the Archbishop of Canterbur}', passed
sentence, depriving the Archdeacon of his vicarage
and archdeaconry. The Archdeacon appealed to
the Provincial Court, which set aside the sentence on
technical grounds. The case was then carried to
the Final Court of Appeal, which in 1858 confirmed
the sentence of the Provincial Court. Thus, so far
as law was concerned, the brave Archdeacon had
not gained his object, for matters were left in the
same uncertainty as before ; but the agitation
elicited two treatises which must have gladdened
Archdeacon Denison's heart, Dr. Pusey's fragment
on ' The Real Presence,' and John Keble's work on
' Eucharistical Adoration.'

The next year, 1859, witnessed a very sad episode
in the history of the English Church, which must
be briefly noticed. In 1842 the Rev. Bryan King,


a Fellow of Ikasenose Collej^je, Oxford, accepted the
collep^e liviiif,' of S, Georo^e's-in-the-East, London.
The parish included a lar^e waterside population,
amonf^ whom a separate mission was established,
which now forms the parish of S. Peter's, London
Docks. In this mission noble work was done by
two mission priests, the Revs. C. F. Lowder and
A. H. Mackonochie. In conjunction with these
two good men and other earnest workers, the Rector
was gradually ameliorating the moral and spiritual
state of his parishioners, and thereby, of course,
injuring the profits of those who had pandered to
their vicious tastes. Mr. Bryan King had already
encountered much opposition in carrying out the
order of his diocesan to use the Prayer for the
Church Militant, and to preach in the surplice ; but
he had also rallied around him a party who helped
him to establish a choral service in the parish
church, and who afterwards presented him with the
eucharistic vestments. By an Act of George II. the
vestry of the parish had the privilege of nominating
an ' afternoon lecturer,' or ' reader,' and in May,
1859, they nominated the Rev. Hugh Allen, a strong
no-Popery man. On the unseeml}' conflicts between
the morning and the afternoon congregations — that
is, between the adherents of Mr. Bryan King and
the adherents of Mr. Hugh Allen — we need not enter.
Suffice it to say that the church practically fell into
the hands of the mob. The riots that occurred were
most disgraceful, and on September 25 the church
had to be closed by the order of the Bishop. It was
re-opened after a month, and the riots broke out
afresh, reaching their climax on February 26, i860.
Not only High Churchmen, but men of the type of


Dean Stanley and Mr. T. Hughes, were indignant at
the disgracefulncss of the proceedings. Stanley, who
was deeply interested in the mission work of Lowder
and his colleagues, intervened as peacemaker. He
persuaded the Rector to retire on a year's leave of
absence (which the then Bishop of London, Dr.
Tait, the friend of Stanley and Hughes, was very
ready to grant), and with the full concurrence of
Mr. Lowder and Mr. Mackonochie, who were of
course deeply interested in the matter, procured the
appointment of Mr. Septimus Hansard, an old
Rugbeian and a former pupil of the Dean, as
locum tenens. The arrangement was not in the
end perfectly successful ; but at any rate, it put a
stop to the riots, which were nothing less than a

We next come to a very different case. In the early
part of i860 appeared a volume under the rather vague
title of * Essays and Reviews,' written by seven writers,
six of whom were clergymen. The volume seems to
have been intended as a sort of continuation of the
series of Oxford and Cambridge Essays which had
lately appeared, and to have been written on the
same principle of independent authorship. In a
preface which has now become historical, it was
declared : ' The authors are responsible for their
respective essays only. They have written with an
entire independence of one another, and without
concert or comparison.' Whether this was a wise
plan, considering the nature of the work, which is
described in the same preface as ' a free handling in
a becoming spirit of subjects peculiarly liable to
suffer by the repetition of conventional language,'
may be doubted ; but that the statement was literally


true is shown by the fact that the first cssa}^ (on
' The Education of the World ') is simply the sub-
stance of a sermon preached by Dr. Temple a year
before in the Oxford University pulpit on the
occasion of his appointment to the head-mastership
of Rugby. It is rather difficult to conceive how so
wise a man could have blindly committed himself to
a quasi-partnership with men, some of whom must
have held very different views from his own ; but he
at least succeeded in disentangling himself from his
associates, and has become one of the ablest and most
effective of modern bishops.^ The volume did not
make much sensation at first, until the Westminster
Review gave it the doubtful benefit of its warm
approval, and called upon the writers to come out of
the Church and boldly declare themselves Comtists.
Then the Quarterly Review in an article, the writer of
which was soon known to be the Bishop of Oxford
(Dr. Wilberforce), showed up the tendency of the
volume in scathing terms, and the most intense
excitement prevailed. Addresses and memorials
were sent in from all quarters to the bishops as
guardians of the Church's faith ; and in Februar}-,
1861, a meeting of the bishops was held at Lambeth,
and a reply was sent to one out of the \cvy man}'
addresses, signed by twenty-five bishops, expressing
' the pain it had given them that any clergyman
should have expressed such opinions ' as those which
were found in the volume, which, they intimated,
were ' not consistent with an honest subscription to
the formularies of our Church, with many of the

' Since this was written, Dr. Temple has become Primate of
all England, with general approval.


fundamental doctrines of which they appear to be
essentially at variance.'^

The book was neither unanswerable nor un-
answered. Few unprejudiced persons will now
deny that the ' Aids to Faith ' and the ' Replies to
" Essaj's and Reviews"' were at least as able and
convincing as the volume which called them forth,
to say nothing of the many very able replies to
individual essays. What alarmed Churchmen was,
not the formidable nature of the attack on ' conven-
tional Christianity,' as it was termed, for in truth
the attack was not ver}' formidable, but rather the
fact that there were clergymen in responsible posi-
tions who held such opinions.

So far as litigation was concerned, it was confined
to the two most glaring clerical offenders — the Rev.
Rowland Williams, Vicar of Broad Chalk ; and the
Rev. H. B. Wilson, Vicar of Great Haughton, the
very same man who, twenty years before, had pro-
tested, as one of the four tutors, against Mr. New-
man for tampering with the Articles. Dr. Williams
was prosecuted by his own diocesan. Bishop Denison
of Salisbury ; Mr. Wilson by a private clergyman in
the diocese of Ely, the Rev. James Fendall. Both
suits came before the Court of Arches under the
Church Discipline Act, No less than thirty -two
articles were produced against Dr. Williams,
nineteen against Mr. Wilson. The judge, Dr.
Lushington, rejected all but three in each case,
but declared (December 15, 1862) that the three in
both cases had been proved, and suspended the
defendants from their benefices for one year, and
condemned them in costs. Both appealed to the
^ See ' Life of Archbishop Tail," i. 282.


Judicial Committee, who in 1864 reversed the
judgment of the Arches on the ground that ' no
verbal contradiction between the impugned state-
ments and the Articles and formularies of the Church
had been established.'

The decision caused a general cry of indignation
among both High and Low Churchmen, but was, of
course, warmly welcomed by the Broad Church party. ^
Verbal contradiction there might not be ; but no one
could read the essays of Dr. Williams and Mr.
Wilson without feeling that the obvious tendency of
the one was to shake men's belief in the accuracy of
Holy Scripture, and of the other to dispense with
any definite creeds in a National Church.

After some difficulty and hesitation, the Church
freed itself from any complicity with the teaching of
either of the acquitted writers, by pronouncing a
synodical condemnation of the book in both Houses
of the Convocation of both provinces.

One expects criticism from the students at a
learned University, but hardly from the practical
workers in the mission -field, where, of all places.
Christians should have no doubt about their position,
and should show a united front. Nevertheless, it
was in the wilds of Africa, not in the cloisters of
Oxford, that the next case of heresy arose. To
understand its origin and significance, we must go
back a little. In 1853 the gigantic diocese of South
Africa, over which the indefatigable Bishop Gray
had presided since 1847, was divided into three ;
John Armstrong was appointed Bishop of Grahams-
town, and John William Colenso Bishop of Natal.

1 For a view of the matter from the Broad Church side, see
' Life of Dean Stanley,' ii. 157, 158, and 187.


Both had the reputation of being sound Churchmen,
and the latter was appointed on the unexceptionable
recommendation of George Hills, then the very
successful Vicar of Great Yarmouth, afterwards
Bishop of British Columbia. The arrangement
which was then made marked very strongly the
position of Bishop Gray as Metropolitan. From
1847 to 1853 he had been simply Bishop of Cape-
town, and a suffragan of the Archbishop of Canter-
bury ; but in November, 1853, he resigned his see, in
order that it might be reconstituted as a metropolitical
see, with jurisdiction over Grahamstown and Natal.
On December 8 he was reappointed, the Attorney-
General (Sir Richard Bethell, afterwards Lord West-
bury) insisting upon letters patent from the Crown
being drawn up for the three African prelates. So
Bishop Colenso received letters patent declaring
him Bishop of Natal, * subject and subordinate to
the Bishop of Capetown,' to- whom he was to take
an oath of due obedience.

For a time all went well. Bishop Colenso was an
active, earnest prelate, and Bishop Gray himself
bore deserved testimony to his ' noble character.'
But after a while he became unsettled in his views.
He was puzzled by the questions of an ' intelligent
Zulu,' which he could not answer, and which shook
his faith in the historical accuracy of the Old Testa-
ment. Nor does the New Testamerit appear to have
fared much better; for in 1861 he published a ' Com-
mentary on the Epistle to the Romans,' contending
that that Epistle dealt a death-blow to all notions of
covenant and privilege — that is, to all notions of a
Church, as the term had always been understood.

Then followed his ' Critical Examination of the


Pentateuch,' published in detachments from 1862 to
1866. His conclusions were sufficiently startling.
He declared that the books contained much matter
which was not historical, and that he could no longer
use the Ordination Service, in which the truth of
the Bible is assumed ; nor the Baptismal Service, on
account of its allusion to the Deluge. The legisla-
tion of Leviticus and Numbers was pronounced to
be the work of a far later age than that to which it
was attributed ; the Book of Deuteronomy to have
been probably written by the prophet Jeremiah, and
so forth. That Bishop Colenso was an honest and
fearless inquirer after truth seems to me unquestion-
able ; but he certainly laid himself open to the
characteristically caustic description of him by Mr.
Disraeli as * the Bishop who commenced his
theological studies after he had grasped the crozier ' ;
and it was surely not narrow-mindedness which made
Churchmen feel outraged and alarmed. It was bad
enough for beneficed clergymen, and men who held
offices in a University which took Doiniiins illuniinatio
uiea for its motto, to propound heresy ; but it was
worse still for a Bishop, and a Bishop who was
supported by the voluntary contributions of Church-
men for the express purpose of commending the
Book which he attacked. The Society for the Pro-
pagation of the Gospel appealed to the Primate as
its President, and the Bishops met, and advised the
society to withhold its confidence from the Bishop
of Natal until he had cleared himself; they also
agreed, by a majority of twenty -five to four to
inhibit him from preaching in their dioceses. He
was tried at Capetown in a Church synod, and
Bishop Gray, acting as Metropolitan with coercive


jurisdiction over him, on December i6, 1863, pro-
nounced sentence of deprivation against him.
Bishop Colenso refused to appear at the trial,
protested against the proceedings, and appealed to
the Crown ; and the case was tried before the
Judicial Committee.

A previous case showed plainly enough what the
decision of the Judicial Committee would be. In
1856 Bishop Gray summoned his clergy to a
diocesan synod. One of them, Mr. Long, refused
to attend, on the ground that the Bishop had no
authority to hold such a meeting. On being sum-
moned to a second synod, in i860, he again refused,
and the Bishop suspended him from the cure of
souls and withdrew his license. Mr. Long and his
churchwarden brought an action against the Bishop
before the Supreme Court of the colony, which
decided in the Bishop's favour. Then Mr. Long
appealed to the Judicial Committee, who on June 24,
1863, reversed the judgment of the colonial court.
It did the same a few months later in the case of
Bishop Colenso ; and, curiously enough, the very
same man who as Attorney- General ten years before
insisted upon letters patent being drawn up for the
appointment of Bishop Gray as Metropolitan, with
coercive jurisdiction over his suffragans, now, as
Lord Chancellor, declared that the Crown had
exceeded its powers in issuing sucK letters, because,
in 1S50, a constitutional Government had been estab-
lished in the Cape of Good Hope. There was, in
fact, in the eye of the law, no see either of Cape-
town or Natal. How this fact came to be over-
looked in 1S53 (the Cape Government having already
been established for three years) is unaccountable.


However, all this had to do with the law of the
State, not of the Church. Bishop Gray appealed
to his brother prelates in England to recognise him
as Bishop of a free and independent Church, to
pronounce his excommunication of Bishop Colenso
valid, and to sanction him in appointing a new
Bishop of Natal. The Church at home could not
move quite so rapidly as the enthusiastic Bishop
desired, but on the whole it showed sympathy with
his trials. The S.P.G. and the S.P.C.K. transferred
their grants for Natal to Bishop Gray, and the
trustees of the Colonial Bishopric Fund declined to
pay Bishop Colenso his episcopal income ; but it
was decided in the Rolls Court, by Lord Romilly,
that Dr. Colenso was still Bishop of Natal, and
entitled to the temporalities, and Bishop Colenso re-
turned to his diocese triumphant, so far as the law of
the State could make him so. Bishop Gray, however,
persisted in his determination to have an orthodox
bishop ; and Mr. Butler, of Wantage, was elected
Bishop of Pietermaritzburg in 1866, but was persuaded
by the Archbishopof Canterbury to withdraw, because,
in the opinion of his Grace, it would be desirable to
have a less-pronounced Churchman in the distracted
diocese. At last Mr. H. K. Macrorie accepted the
post, and was consecrated at Capetown in 1869,
on account of the technical difficulties in the way of
his being consecrated either in England or Scotland.
For twenty-five years Bishop Macrorie performed
his arduous and delicate task most admirably, but
for some years there was in Natal one Bishop in the
eyes of the State, another in the eyes of the Church,
a painfully anomalous state of affairs.

The quarter of a century ^\■hich followed the
VOL. II. 55


secession of Newman was a period durinc:^ which
the minds of many were unsettled on matters of
faith, and besides the more important controversies
which have been noticed above, there were some
minor ones which require at least a passing word.

In i860 Mr. D. B. Heath, a quondam Fellow of
Trinity College, Cambridge, then holding the college
living of Brading, in the Isle of Wight, startled the
orthodox by publishing a series of ' Sermons on
Important Subjects,' in which he directly traversed
the received opinions on justification, on the propi-
tiation wrought by Christ's blood, on the forgiveness
of sins, and on sin generally. He was prosecuted
in the Court of Arches by a Mr. Burder, at the
instance of his diocesan (Bishop R. Sumner).
Judgment went against him, and he was "declared
to have forfeited his living. He appealed to the
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, who con-
firmed the decision of the Lower Court in 1862.
Mr. Heath was deprived of his living, and passed

Online LibraryJohn Henry OvertonThe Church in England (Volume 2) → online text (page 26 of 34)