Paulist Fathers.

Catholic world online

. (page 84 of 136)
Online LibraryPaulist FathersCatholic world → online text (page 84 of 136)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


of similar decisions of the same tribu-
nal, the ultimate court of appeal for
Anglicans in matters of doctrine, nat-
urally gave an opportunity for review-
ing the gradual retirement of the
Hjgh-Chnrch party from the bold
ground which they had taken up in
1850, at the time of the Gk)rham case.
The fitcts only required to be pointed
out; the mere narrative spoke more
forcibly than any possible comment-
ary. History, eidier political or eccle-
siastical, scarcely contains such an-
other example of a sot of high-minded
and earnest men having so ostenta^
tiously to shrink from their implied
pledges, and belie their most solemn
declarations. Immediately after the
Gorham decision the leaders of the
High-Church party published a series
of resolutions, the purport of which
was that the Church of England
would be '^eventually'' committed to
heresy unless she "openly and ex-
pressly" rejected the erroneous doctrine
sanctioned by the decision. The con-
sequences were drawn out, involving
the loss on the part of the Church ^
England of the office and authority to
witness and teach as a member of the
universal church ; and it was said that
she would thus become '< formally
separated from the Catholic body, and
be no longer able to assure to her
members the grace of the sacraments
and the remission of sins." Dr. Man-
ning's task was therefore easy ; here
were men who had pledged them-
selves in this way in 1850, and, as far
as in them lay, pledged the party of
which they were leaders. What were



tbey doing in the Qmrch of England
in 1864, after fourteen years in which
she had not only not cleared herself
from the Gorham judgment, but ao
quiesced in it? She had spoken in
convocation on a number of subjects,
never on this ; she had moreover seen
a controversy on the Lord's Supper
within her pde, the issue of which was
diought a triumph to the High-Church
party — not because it proscribed the
hereUcal doctrine held by the larger
number of clergy in the Church, but
because it just shielded their own doc-
trine from being proscribed in turn ;
finally, the " Essays and Reviews'* had
appeared, and their writers also had
been protected from proscription bj
the crown in council. Dr. Manning
might well say that it seemed as if
Providence had been mercifully striv-
ing to open men's eyes to the position
of the Church of England. On the
ground taken by the resolutionists of
1 850, she had forfeited whatever daim
she ever had to allegiance over and
over again.

This is hard truth ; but it was not
urged by Dr. Manning in a hard waj«
nor with the intention of taunting with
their inconsistencies men of whom he
has always spoken with respect and
affection. The only important matter,
after all, is, whether the High-C%urch
party, whose opinions were expressed
by the resolutions lately refeired to,
have in ideality receded from their
former ground. This is a very serious
question ; because, unless it can be an-
swered in the negative, it involves an
abandonment on their part, not of this
or tliat particular doctrine, but of the
whole Catholic idea of a church. The
resolutions of 1850 proceeded on the.
hypothesis that a church that tolerated
heresy became itself ^ilty of it; and
that the Church of England was re-
sponsible for the acts of the courts to
which she submitted without protest
From a Catholic point of view, a vf*iy
grave change must have come over a
set of men who held this principle, if
they afterward contented themselves
with a church that tolerates heresy oa



Digitized by VjOOQIC



Dr. Piuey on the Church of England.



5SS



iSbe ground that it also tolerates ortbo-
doxj; that its prayers are ortho-
doXy tliat its formularies admit of an
orthodox sense. Yet it seems quite
hnpossible to draw from the declara-
tions of Dr. Pusey and others any-
thing but an acknowledgment that such
a change has taken place. It is not
therefore a question as to their view
of the present effect of the Gorham de-
dsion or any other, but as to their
view of the character of the Church in
which they hope to be saved.

Dr. Manning's pamphlet was no-
ticed by Dr. Pusey, in a preface
placed by him before a legal statement
as to the immediate effect of Lord
Westbury's decision in the case of the
"Essays and Reviews." This pref-
ace, like many of Dr. Puse/s hro-
churesy was marked by considerable
strength of language against those
whom he was assailing, and contained
distinct threats that he and his friends
might set up a free church if their de-
mands for a reconstitution of the court
of appeal were disregarded. It was
implied that the chancellor had acted
from " the pure love of the heresy, and
the desire of throwing open to unbe-
lief an article of faith against which
rationalism rebels,'* at the price "of
breaking off churches of the colonies
from the Mother Church" (no colo-
nial churches are named), " and famil-
iarizing devoted minds among us at
home to thoughts of organic severance
from the Church whose discipline is
fettered by such a tribunal ;" and so
on, "The Church of England has
necessarily more tenacity than the
Scotch establishment For, having a
divine original" [origin ?], " it is an
organic body, and knows more of the
value of intercommunion, not indeed
OS a condition absolutely necessary, but
as the natural fruit of divine unity.
It is then the more remarkable when
members of the Church of England
begin to speak {as they have) of a
free church. Our extension in the
Golonies, which has so enlai^ed the
Chardi and its episcopate, makes
such a rent possible, even though not



one bishop in England should join it
And *if ever there should be a r«it
in the Church of England,' said one,
Uhe rent in Scotland would be noth-
ing to it' " At the end of the pref«
ace, men were urged to league to-
gether as in the days of the Anti-Corn*
Law agitation: no candidate was to
receive support at the next election
who would not pledge himself to do
his best to bring about a change in the
court of appeal. And a note was ap«
pended, suggesting that "no church
should be offered for consecration, no
sums given for the building of churdies,
which by consecration should become
the property of the present Church of
England, no sums given for endow-
ment in perpetuity, until the present
heresy- legalizing court shall be modi*
fied."

It must surely have occurred to Dr.-
Pusey, as it did to so many of his
readers, that this threatening language
accorded very iU with another pas-
sage in his pamphlet, in which he
avowed his retirement from the threats
he had jomed in making in 1850. No
fair-minded man can doubt that the
resolutions to which we have alluded
implied a threat of secession from An-
glicanism, unless the Church of Eng-
land cleared herself from the Grorham
decision. Unless she cleared herself,
the resolutionists declared she would
"eventually" be bound. Dr. Pusey
in explanation says that he wished the
word to be "ultimately." We can
see no great difference between the
two. He then (p. 17, note) says that
the resolutions were modified so as to
be made acceptable to him; all the
more, we suffpose, is he responsible
for their wording, having signed them.
He also says that the difference be-
tween the Ime of action adopted by the
different persons who signed them is to
be accounted for by the fact that some
of them thought that the judgment, in
itself, committed the Church of Eng-
land ; others, that it did not Surely
men must be judged by their words.
We may think as we please of the
conduct of those who fdterward left



Digitized by VjOOQIC



584



Dr. Piaey on the Chtreh of England.



the Church of England, or of those
who remained in it ; hut it cannot be
doohted that, as far as these resolu-
tions are concerned, the former acted
oonsistentlj, the httter inconsistently,
with them* Moreover, in the page we
are quoting, Dr. Fnsey seems to us
to retire altogether from his po-
sition, without saying so openly.
He tells us that when he signed
the resolutions, *'not having a paro-
chial cure, and worshipping mostly
in a cathedral where baptism did
not enter into the service, I felt the
value of the baptismal office as a wit-
ness to truth rather than as a teacher
of it" Since that time he has come
to realize more distinctly ^ the value
of the Prayer-book, speaking, as it
does, to the hearts of the people in
their own tongue, in teaching and im-
pressing on the people the doctrines
which it embodies." This seems to
us to imply, that as long as the formu-
laries used in public offices speak an
orthodox language, the Church may in
other ways be committed to heresy
without losing her character. On the
tame ground, as long as the words of
consecration are used in the << Lord's
Supper,** any doctrine whatever may
be taught concerning it. At laSl
events, this is all that Dr. Pusey says
as to his adherence to or disavowal of
the resolutions of 1850. He cannot
1)0 surprised if his threats in 1864 have
been taken as worth no more than his
declarations fourteen years ago— if the
politicians on whose will the decision
of these questions depends have found
out that the bark of the High-Church
leaders is worse than their bite.

**Hl motas anlmoram, atqne luec oertamlna

unta
PolTerls exignl jactn compressa qniescnnt/*

So long as the Bible is read and the
Prayer-book used, they will impress
on the people the doctrines which they
embody ; and the Essayists and Re-
viewers and Dr. Colenso will labor so
entirely in vain to pervert them, that
no court at all will be necessary to
punish the propagators of false doc-
trines. At all events, it may fairly



Ue presumed that the throats about a
free church are worth just as much,
and no more, as the threats- about se-
cession.

But our immediate subject is the
course of the controversy about the An-
glican establishment. Some expres-
sions in Dr. Puse/s preface, in which
he said that some Catholics " seemed to
be in an ecstasy at this victory of Sa-
tan" (the decision of the Privy CouncO
as to the '^ Essays and Reviews'*) ap-
pear to have suggested attacks on Dr.
Manning with reference to his "' Crown
in Council," in which he was said to
have rejoiced in the troubles of his
fermer friends, and to be merry over
the miseries of the Church of England.
The same kind of charge has often
been made against Catholics, especial-
ly converts ; and it is in the nature of
things that it should be made. Every
** trouble" in the Church of England
of the kind of which we are spedung,
while it weakens it as a teacher of
fragments of Catholic truth, weakens
also its hold on the minds of many
who have hitherto been in the habil of
making it the object of that allegiance
and that obedience which the instincts
of every Christian heart urge it to
pay to Uie one mother of the children
of Grod. So far, therefore, as the
Gorham case or the Denison case, or
the question of the *^ Essays and R^
views " and the Colenso decision, tend
to expose the true and simply human
character of the institution that calk
itself the Church of England, so far,
many good and loyal souls are set
free from a delusion, and their affec-
tions transferred to their right and le-
gitimate object This, in the case of
individuals, is a matter of rejoicing.
On the other hand, on the groun£i
stated so clearly by Dr. Newman, it
is no matter of rejoicing that a body
which has to teach so large a number
of baptized souls all that they will
ever know of Catholic truth should
have the truths that it yet retains di-
minished in number and in certainty,
and should lose all power of piwenr-
ing them from corruption.



Digitized by VjOOQIC



Dr* Puieg en the Okwrch of England.



6B5



]>r. Manning's letter to Dr. Fosej
contains a clear and calm statement of
the doctrines on which the feelings of
Catholics toward bodies like the
Qinrch of Engbind are based. Dr.
Posej had declared that he knew that
" a very earnest body of Roman Cath-
olics rejoice in all the workings of God
the Holy Ghost in the Charch of
England," and bad contrasted them
with others who are in << ecstasy at the
victory of Satan." It became neces-
sary Uierefore to state in what sense a
Cadiolic can admit that the Holy
Ghost works in the Church of Eng-
land. No Catholic, then, by denying
Qtterly and entirely anything like the
character of a church to the Church
of England, denies thereby -the work-
mgs of the Holy Ghost or the opera-
tions of grace among those who are
its members ; nor when these opera-
tions are affirmed and rejoiced in is
any affirmation thereby made that the
Church of England is in any sense
whatever a church at alL Dr. Man-
ning stat(» in full the reasons why we
affirm the workings of the Holy
Ghost among the English people;
aod these ])arts of his pamphlet — ^in-
deed, the whole of it — ^are extremely
valuable, as a clear statement of
truths which it is very difficult to get
Englishmen generally to underatand,
on account of their prevalent igno-
rance or misconception of the doctrine
of grace. The truths in question, we
need hardly say, enable Catholics to
rejoice heartily in the effects of grace
among the Dissenters, not less than
among Anglicans. Dr. Manning has a
few pages also on the specific truths
that have been preserved by Anglican-
ism, and the fear with which he re-
gards the process of undermining the
Christianity of England which is go-
ing on. He also explains how natur-
ally he rejoices at conversions, which
are to him the bringing of souls from
the imperfect to the perfect knowledge
of the truth ; and sums up by an ar-
goment to pro\e that the Anglican
establishment, instead of being, as
Dr. Pusey had called it, ^ the great



bulwaik against infidelify in this
land," is in reality responsible for that
infidelity; as having been the source
of the present spiritual anarchy in
England; as having weakened even
those truths which it retains by de-
taching them from others and from the
divine voice of the Church, which is
the guarantee of their immortality ;
and as being a source of unbeUef by
the denial of the truths it has rejected
and also of the perpetual and evei^
present assistance of the Holy Ghost
to preserve the Church from error.
We may add, having quoted Dr«
Newman on the subject of Anglican
orders, that Dr. Manning speaks with
equal clearness as to their entire in*
validity.

Dr. Puse/s controversial appear-
ances are generally rather late in the
day : the method of his mind is induc-
tive, and he rejoices above all things
in the accumulation of a vast amount
of materials, which he does not al-
ways succeed in clearly arranging or
lucidly epitomizing. Ho has taken a
year to answer Dr. Manning's short
pamphlet of less than fifty pages, or
rather a part of it. The volume teems
with undigested learning ; and a very
large share of it is taken up with a
long postscript and a set of notes. It
will not be our business at present to
do more than state concisely in what
the answer to Dr. Manning consists,
and endeavor to draw out from the
pages of Dr. Pusey what his idea is
of the Anglican Church, and what his
ovra position in her.

There is nothing in direct answer
to Dr. Manning's explanation of the
doctrine as to the working of the
Holy Ghost outside the visible
Church — ^an explanation which of
course places the Anglican Church
on the same ground wi^ the Dissent-
ing sects. The satisfactory answer to
this would of course be some proof
that the Anglicans have orders and
sacraments, and that grace is given
through them, not merely to the dispo-
sitions of the individual who receives it.
Dr. Pusey, of coarse, maintains tha



Digitized by VjOOQIC



5B^



Dr. Puiey on the Church of EngUmd.



yalidity of Anglican orders, bat
lie adds nothing to the controversj,
except the remark that the form of
consecration used in the case of Par-
ker was taken from that used in the
case of Chichele a century before.
As the controversy does not turn
solely upon the form used in Parker's
consecration, the &ct adduced by Dr.
Pusey has little to do with it.» With
regard to the other point, it is of
course impossible, or very difficult, to
prove the connection between the ef-
fect of a supposed means of grace
and that supposed means itself, inde-
pendent of the subjective dispositions
and belief of the recipient Dr.
Pusey has no proofs which would not
equally show that any one who
thought himself a priest was one,
and that any one who thought he
received a sacrament irom him
would receive it But the state-
ment of Dr. Manning on which Dr.
Pusey fastens more particularly is
that which accuses the Anglican es-
tablishment of being the <' cause and
spring of the prevailing unbelief.'*
Dr. Pusey remarks first that there
is plenty of nnbelief everywhere.
That is true ; and eveiywhere it can
be traced to some cause ; the charge
is, that the Reformation has produced
it in England, which was free from it
before. Dr. Manning's first proof —
that Anglicanism rejects much Chris-

« PractlcalW gpeaking, it is snrely a matter
of surpriso that eo few Anglicans shoald have
Interested themselves in aecertainlnt^ what Is
thought ahont their orders bv others than them-
selves. No portion of the Catholic Church (as
thej consider it) has ever been persuaded to
aclcnowiedge them in any way. It is of course
their bneiness to obtain their acceptance, not
ours to disprove them ; all the more, as so very
large a nnmber of those who have borne these
orders have never believed in their sacramental
character. Dr. Pasey says (p. 278), " I do not
believe that Ood maintains the faith where there
is not the reality." He is speaking directly of



l>een believed, even with all the force of the old
Catholic traditions to maintain it? And as to
the priesthood and its correlative, the eacriftce,
a strong argument, on Dr. Pasey's own ground,
against their exiatance in Anglicanism, might be
found in the fiict that all practical belfef in
them has so completely died out in the mass of
the people. If there had been the realltv, there
would have been the fiiith; and so it Is with
Bastern heretics and BChlsmatlca.



tian truth — ^is met by a statement of
the amount of truth which both com-
munions hold. In this part of his ar^
gument Dr. Pusey seems to us to
avoid the real question at issue. Dr.
Manning speaks of the formuUiries <A
the Church of England, no doubt, as
well as of her practical teaching, such
as it has been for the last three hun-
dred years, and such as it is through-
out the length and breadth of England
at this day. But in a question as to
the amount of truth with which she
claims to be "the great bulwark
agsunst infidelity," it is obvious that
her formularies must be judged ac-
cording to the sense commonly attach-
ed to them, and according to the
interpretation of them supplied by the
ordinary teaching of her clergy.
Every one knows that various senses
have been applied to the Anglican
formularies ; and it was the object of
the celebrated No. 90 of the « Tracts
for the Times" to prove that, in some
cases, it. was the intention of the com-
pilers of the articles to allow men of
various schools to sign them. Still, it
is going far beyond this to put for-
ward the so-called ** Catholic?* inter-
pretation of the formularies as ihB
sense of the Church of England. It
would be untrue even if we consider
the matter as a simply literary ques-
tion; much more is it in the highest
degree unfair to put forward this in-
terpretation in a controversy which
turns upon what actually has been and
is taught by her. If a foreigner — ^as
unacquainted with the real teaching of
Anglicanism as Dr. Pusey is with
that of Catholicism — ^were to take up
this book and believe what he finds in
it, he would, we venture to say, derive
a totally false impression of the doc-
trine of the English Church as it lies
on the face of her formularies, and as
it has always been understood and
acted upon by nine-tenths of her
clergy and people. He would find an
assurance that she holds the three
creeds, which would give him to un-
derstand that she interpreted them in
the same ssnse as the Catholic Church*



Digitized by VjOOQIC



Dr, Pfney on the Okureh of England,



537



He would learn with surprise that
there is no difference between Angli-
cans and Catholics cm justification*
<^ There is not one statement in th^
elaborate chapters on justification in
the Council of Trent which cmiy ofu9
could fail in receivii^," says Dr.
Fosej. He would find that Dr. Man-
ning had quite falselj said that ^ the
Church of Ei^land sustains a belief
in two sacraments, but formally pro*
pagates unbelief in the other five.''
In fact, that the Church of England
holds all seven \o be sacraments, with
only a difference in dignity. Still
more to his astonishment, he would
read that the Church of England does
not, in particular, object to extreme
unction ; she ^ only objects to the later
abuse of it," which is not the Catholic
practicer— namely, the custom of not
administering it except to the dying.
Then, if some one told him that the
Church of England has discontinued
the practice iJtogether, and that any
one would be called a simple papist
who attempted to introduce it in any
way, he might naturally be inclined
to find fault with the treacherous
guide who had so misled him. It is
the same with other points. Dr.
Pusey tells us that the Cbarch of
England does no^deny the infallibility
of general councils or of the Church.
His reasoning on this last head is so
good a specimen of his method, that
we may HweU on it for a moment.
One of the articles teaches, that as
the other churches have erred, so
also the Church of Rome hath erred
—even in matters of faith. Dr.
Manning sums this up, very naturally,
as a statement that all churches have
erred. "The article," says Dr. Pusey,
** was a puzzle to me when young."
He supposed, it seems, that the con-
demnation must have been meant to
fall on doctrinal decrees. " The two
clauses, being put antithetically, must
correspond. On further information,
I found that there were no canons of
Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch
that were intended ; then it followed
the same principle of the corre-



spondence of the two clauses — ^that
neither were canons of the Church of
Rome spoken of. The article more-
over does not say that the Church of
Borne %9 in error in the present, but
heUh erred in time past"

It is strange to see so much ingenu
ity wasted in a hopeless cause. Dr
Pusey remembers perfectly that th
attempt to put forward the interpreta*
tions for which he contends, not as ike
sense or teaching of the Church of
England, but as a sense of her articles
barely tolerated by her in certain in-
dividuals of Catholic opinions whom
she wished to retain, as others, in her
service, was met many years ago by
an outcry such as has not been heard
in our day in England, save in the case
of the Catholic hierarchy. And yet ho
thinks it fair and just to argue as if the
Church of England not only allowed
such interpretations, but as if the views
which they embody were her regular
teaching, so that she has a right to
claim that she has put forward boldly
in face of the infidelity around her those
portions of Christian truth to which-
they relate. Her people then are, and
always have been, really taught that
there are seven sacraments, that there
is a real presence on the altar, that
there is a eucharistic sacrifice, that
the Church is infallible, and so on. And
as he speaks of her ministers being
vowed to banish anddrive away strange
doctrine, His position implies that any
heresy which might contradict these
great Catholic truths could not be per-
mitted within her pale. And now,
suppose he was taken at his word;
suppose, in consequence of this so-
called Eirenicon^ negotiations were
opened and emissaries sent from
Rome to the bishops and convocation
of the English Church to treat of re-
union. What would be the first step
of the Anglican authorities, those who
really have a right to speak for their
communion, and who would be backed
by the great body of the clergy and la-
ity in the country ? It would certainly
be to repudiate the false face put upon
their teaching by Dr* j^usey, and to



Digitized by VjOOQIC



5SS



Dr. Pu$ey on the Church of England.



declare that their Church had always
been, and meant to be, thoroughlj and
simply Protestant on the points at is-



Online LibraryPaulist FathersCatholic world → online text (page 84 of 136)