Monthly Archives: June 2022

Evening Communions and Individual Communion Cups, by Charles Chapman Grafton (1911)

To the Editor of The Living Church: [1]

THERE are two un-Churchly customs, one of which, we believe, started in England. These customs are evening Communion, and the giving of the Sacrament in individual cups.

When the custom of having early celebrations increased in England, the Low Church partisans there introduced what was then unusual, the practice of evening Communions. It was a partisan move for the purpose of counteracting the practice of coming to the Communion early and so fasting. Fasting Communions became common, not on account of any English Church law, but as a matter of devotion and reverence. The fresh, early morning before the day’s work had come in was found to be a fitting time for devotion. The partisan excuse for evening Communion was that it met the wants of the servant class and working people. It was seemingly insincere, and a manufactured subterfuge to cover up a partisan movement; for it was obvious that the Roman Catholic Church, which largely dealt with those classes of persons, found no difficulty in getting them to early Communion. It is a growing sign of Christian consideration of others’ feelings that now evening Communions in England are diminishing. We trust it may be so here, where the restoration of good feeling amongst the different schools is the most important need for union.

The other un-Churchly custom is that of the introduction of individual cups.

We are sorry to think that the real reason for their introduction is a partisan one. It gives great pain to a large class of devout Church people, and introduces another cause of division amongst us. Love and charity towards their brethren should lead to its withdrawal. The excuse for it is the danger of infection. But as no instance of infection had been proved, and medical experts have said the danger was infinitesimal, the reason appears to be more fictitious than real. Moreover we believe that our Lord will protect His own Sacrament, and that His promise must here apply: “If ye drink of any deadly thing, it shall not hurt you.” Those who believe that the element, by consecration, has been changed from its natural use, cannot believe that any physical harm can come from receiving the chalice.

What, however, shall a Catholic-minded communicant do, finding himself where this un-Churchly custom has been introduced? In my judgment, the priest has broken the rubric. The rubric requires him, in consecrating, to take the Cup into his hands, and in giving the Sacrament, to give the Cup. Is it not the Cup which has been consecrated that he is to give into the hands of the people? He is not to give any cup, but the Cup in which the wine was consecrated. Would he not break the rubric by giving any other? If he should prepare all the individual cups previously and consecrate them, all the symbolical significance of drinking of one cup would be lost.

On the other hand, if he fill the individual cups from the chalice or vessel in which he has consecrated, he runs the great risk of spilling the sacred element. For the wine cannot be poured from the consecrated chalice or other vessel in which he has consecrated, in the small quantities of two or three drops, without some being spilt, if there are many cups. Nor can he cleanse all the cups, taking ablution in each, without seeming irreverence and greatly prolonging the service, or else falling into the greater irreverence of not taking the ablutions and so cleansing the cups.

What then is the devout communicant to do where the individual cups are used? The rubric and custom of the Church appear to be broken. Holy Scripture, in joining the partaking of the Cup of Blessing or one consecrated Cup, seems to be violated. Possibly Churchmen might be willing to be governed by our Lord’s action in the Last Supper, who did not have individual cups, but the one Cup which He blessed and of which all the apostles received.

The custom of individual cups seems to me so un-Churchly, unrubrical, so distrustful of Christ’s protection, that I should advise a devout communicant, where individual cups were used, to go to some other church to receive his communion, or to leave the parish.

C. C. Fond du Lac.

[1] The Living Church, August 26, 1911, p. 577.


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Roman Imitations, by Charles Chapman Grafton (1911)

To the Editor of The Living Church:[1]

I feel very strongly the importance of Catholics avoiding even an apparent imitation of Roman ceremonial. There is, or was (for I hope it has passed away with the late secessions), an idea, that if our ritual could be made like that of Rome, it would help on a reconciliation. But the present attitude of Rome shows this to be an impossibility. Reunion with Rome as an end of our movement should be dismissed from every Catholic-minded Churchman. For Rome does not ask for our agreement with her in Faith, but for submission to papal authority. There is a vast difference between the Catholic religion and the papal monarchical system. The latter is, we believe, a perversion of the Gospel, a destroyer of unity, a promoter of schism, a claim unsupported by Scripture or tradition, and a form of anti-Christ. Even if reunion were within the scope of possibility, an agreement with her in details of ritual would not aid the result. What we must do is to make it clear to our fellow-Churchmen that our Catholic movement has neither in thought or wish a return to papal submission. If we are to gain the good will of our Evangelical and High and Broad conservative brethren, we must make this obvious by our teaching and practice. It is only so that we can succeed.

Now the omission of the Nicene Creed in our weekly Eucharist gives the impression to our brethren that it is a Romish imitation. Are we not here, as in other cases, to consider our weaker brethren, and to avoid any appearance of evil? Ought we not to make any personal sacrifice in order to demonstrate our loyalty to our Book of Common Prayer? Does the allowed omission of the Nicene Creed in the first Prayer Book of King Edward VI. give us any authority to do so, who have promised our obedience to the present book? The omission is not so obviously a return to an English precedent, if such a return were allowed, as it is to an apparently Romish imitation. Allowing the good intentions of all our Catholic friends, we would, however, kindly ask them: Is the omission wise? Also, may we not say the same as to the shortened Mass?

Again, may we urge all our Catholic friends strictly to conform to the rubric which bids the consumption of the Sacred Elements left over from the Communion of the people to be made after the Benediction? It perhaps will surprise some churchmen to learn that there are any priests who consume the Sacred Elements after their own or the people’s Communion. Why do they do this? The only reason I know is that they do it in imitation of the Roman rite. Now our prayer Book, with seemingly great wisdom and devotion, reserves the Blessed Sacrament to the end of the service. The people standing, sing the Gloria in Excelsis in Its presence, as an act of devotion. We regard it as one of the most glorious heritages of our American Liturgy. But our friends set the rubric aside, and consume the Elements before the Benediction. No wonder the Church loses confidence in any party or cause that allows such a custom! Now wonder that these men look Romewards.

Another apparent imitation is the covering of the Sacred Elements, after the recitation of the canon, with a silk veil, instead of a “fair linen cloth,” a direction which we put in by the reformers for the purpose of protecting the Blessed Sacrament from pollution by flies or other insects. Symbolically, it has a beautiful reference to our Lord’s Body when taken down from the Cross, being wrapped in fair linen. It also bears witness to our Lord’s Blessed Body and Blood being present, though under sacramental veils. In the Roman rite, the Mass being over, when the priest has communicated, the Sacred Elements are covered with a silk veil, like that which is used by many of our clergy when bringing in the empty Chalice and Paten at the beginning of the service. A covering by the silk veil thus teaches the Roman doctrine that the Mass is over, and is a sign to our people that the Sacrament is no longer there. Be this as it may, it is a Roman and not an Anglican practice.

Again, we fear that some are still governed in their ritual by the book Father McGarvey put forth before his secession to Rome. He was, as his secession proved, a Romanist at heart. His apparent desire was so to interpret our rubrics as to make them conform with Roman practice. He sought in many ways to undermine the loyalty of our people. It seems a small thing, but why should a priest go to the epistle end of the altar to say the concluding prayers? The Roman priest does this, for having consumed the Blessed Sacrament which he had consecrated, he naturally returns for the concluding prayers to the epistle side, where he began the service. But with us the Blessed Sacrament is still unconsumed. Why then should not the priest stand before it, as he had previously done? Why go away, and leave It, and go to the Epistle side? It is, we grant, very immaterial.

There are a good many other smaller points like these which we would respectfully bring before our good Catholic friends, as one who has had the great cause so long and so deeply at heart. The first and great work to be done in the Church is to unite the Evangelicals, the Conservative-broads, the old-fashioned High Churchmen, and ourselves together in loving Christian fellowship, in mutual trust, and toleration, and cooperation in the building up of our communion.

C. C. Fond du Lac.

[1] The Living Church, July 1, 1911, pp. 303-304.

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Where Should the Priest Begin the Holy Communion? by Charles Chapman Grafton (1907)

To the Editor of The Living Church:[1]

I HAVE little or no interest in the ritual question raised by the Bishop of Marquette. In this time when men calling themselves Churchmen are, under the pretense of defending Christianity, undermining its very foundations, and in the presence of an apostasy unparalleled in the history of Christendom, this matter of ritual seems too trivial for consideration. We are living in an awful and most solemn time when the final anti-Christ is making his most subtly satanical attack on Christianity.

I do not care where one stands at the beginning of the Holy Eucharist. For forty years I have always begun at the Epistle side, and have seen most celebrations begun in that way. It is now the established custom in England and America of a very large number.

I have adopted it, as I suppose others have done, not because it is like the Roman way, but as the best interpretation which, as a lawyer trained, I could give a difficult rubric. The intention of the rubric, as a directory one, must be assumed to be the determination of the place where the priest shall stand. It must be interpreted, therefore, as designating that one place for him and not leaving him to make his own choice of position.

Which of the interpretations does this best?

The rubric reads: “Standing at the right hand of the table.” Does this mean the Epistle or Gospel side? Is the “right hand” to be determined by the table as facing the priest, or by the priest as facing the table?

The arguments in favor of the Gospel side are that in changing from the English rubric which placed the priest at the “north” side, our revisers probably meant to denote the same side without reference to the points of the compass, which, in the loss of the orientation of our buildings, was not advisable. We are, however, obliged, in considering a law, to derive its intention from the law or rubric itself, and not from the supposed purpose of its legislators. Obliged thus to interpret the rubric by itself, its construction must be governed by the intention to designate the position of the priest.

Contemporaneous exposition of a law may be referred to in cases where the law is ambiguous. Until the rubric is shown not to be clear by itself, contemporaneous exposition may not be appealed to. In this case, whatever was the usage in the early part of the last century, it was a continually changing usage and therefore can have little weight, legally considered, in understanding its meaning.

Whatever weight a judicial mind would give to these two reasons, there is this fact in the case which requires consideration: the table may, by the rubric, be moved about and placed in the body of the church. This was done in Puritan times and the rubric still allows it. It might be so placed that the smaller or Gospel end would be turned technically eastwards. In this case the “right side” would be what we now call the back of the altar. I have known clergymen taking that position. A table, therefore, that can be turned about and turned around, has no fixed portion which can be called its right side. The Bishop of Marquette also claims that the rubric would be complied with by the clergyman standing either in front of the Gospel side or by taking up an entirely different position both in respect to the people and the altar at the north or Gospel end. According, then, to this interpretation, no one position is designated to the exclusion of all others, and the clergyman is left to make a choice. This interpretation, therefore, is to be rejected because it defeats the intention and purpose of the rubric.

It seems, then, that it is more in accord with the rubric’s intent to define the right or left hand by the clergyman’s attitude to the table rather than by the table’s attitude to him.

In the marriage service the parties are placed, according to the rubric, “the man on the right hand and the woman on the left.” The Bishop of Marquette says this could not refer to the table because there is no reference to the table in the marriage service. I would respectfully call his attention to the fact that there is a reference to the table in the form given in the English Prayer Book. There “the minister, after the blessing, goes to the Lord’s table.” The Psalm ended, “the man and the woman kneel before the Lord’s table and the priest, standing at the table, shall say,” etc. The reason why the rubric that states that the minister shall go to the Lord’s table, etc., was left out of the American Prayer Book, was because there was ordinarily no recess chancel with a distinction between the nave and the sanctuary. The American usage assumed that the parties would present themselves before the priest standing at the table. Therefore, the direction that the man and woman shall stand on the right and left, while it may refer to each other, may also refer to the table. If it does refer to the parties themselves, anyway it places the man, who is said to be on the right hand, on the Epistle side of the altar. But it was not so much for this reason I have given, that I and others have been led to adopt our present practice.

Though I have, therefore, been led to think that when the priest is bidden to stand on the right hand of the table, the right hand is determined by the priest’s attitude as he faces the altar and not as the altar faces him, for this interpretation gives him no choice of position, while the other interpretation makes his position an indeterminate one which vacates the legal interpretation of the rubric.

But as I have said, it is not a matter in which I feel any concern, especially with the tremendous issues now before the Church, which should lead all conservatives to drop minor questions and rally to protect our Church from what seems to some an impending apostasy.

C. C. Fond du Lac.

Bishop’s House, Fond du Lac, Wis.

[1] The Living Church, March 9, 1907, p. 654. Grafton responds to a letter to the editor by Gershom Mott Williams (1857-1923, Bishop of the Diocese of Marquette from 1895-1919) in The Living Church, March 2, 1907. Three further letters on the subject of the position of the celebrant during Holy Communion followed on March 15, 1907, when the editor declared “The discussion of this subject is now at an end” (p. 691). Notwithstanding this statement, further letters on the topic continued on March 30, 1907 (pp. 768-769) and April 6, 1907 (p. 804).

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Children at the Eucharist, by Charles Chapman Grafton (1907)

To the Editor of the Living Church:[1]

ONE regrets to find any one so narrow-minded as to forbid the presence of children at the Eucharist. But loyal Churchmen, one would think, would be willing to be guided by the Prayer Book. When children are baptized their sponsors are bidden to have them “hear sermons.” Now the only place where sermons are ordered by the Prayer Book is in the Communion service. Surely if, in obedience to the order in the Prayer Book, children are taken to that service, has a Bishop a right to forbid their presence at it? As there is no provision for the withdrawal of any, they have a right to stay through. The Spiritual advantages to the children are very great, and we encourage in our diocese what are called children’s Eucharists, but here we are merely pointing out the illegality of forbidding their attendance.

C. C. Fond du Lac.

[1] The Living Church, August 31, 1907, p. 603; reprinted in Works, Vol. 7, pp. 215-216.

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The Holy Eucharist, by Charles Chapman Grafton (1902)

To the Editor of The Living Church: [1]

A CORRESPONDENT in your January number, after referring to my Tract on the Holy Eucharist, asks me two questions: “Does the Bishop mean to imply that by the act of consecration the Body of Christ is made by the priest?” Our answer is in the negative. No, he does not. The next question is, “Does he mean to say that by the invocation of the priest the real Body and Blood of Christ are brought from the right Hand of God the Father Almighty and placed on the altar, etc.?” Again, the answer is in the negative.

            The questions of your correspondent show that gross misunderstanding exists concerning the doctrine of the Real Presence as taught by the Catholic School of Churchmen. In the interests of Christian charity and of that unity amongst ourselves, upon which the future usefulness of our beloved Church so much depends, let me try to explain this matter.

            The first difficulty to be cleared up relates to Christ’s Ascension. What is meant when the Apostles, St. Paul and St. Peter say, “He is at the right hand of God?” God is not a Being having material or corporeal parts, a right hand or a left hand. God is everywhere, for all things created are in Him. He is indeed “above all,” being separate from all, but is by His Omnipotence and Omnipresent Energy “through all and in us all.”

            The Son of God made man is now reigning in that Human Nature, with its glorified and spiritual Body, which has been gathered into union with the Godhead, and made partaker of His power. “Christ,” says Bishop Pearson, “is said to sit down at the right hand of the Father in regard of that absolute Power and Dominion which he hath obtained in heaven.” Our Lord Himself declared this truth, saying, “Hereafter shall the Son of Man sit at the right hand of the Power of God.” It means that He is gathered into it and shares in it as the angels do not. While, therefore, although our Lord’s glorified Humanity is not by itself omnipresent, yet by virtue of its union with the omnipotent Deity, Christ can, without its involving any change of locality, make Himself and His Blessed Body present where he will. St. Stephen saw Him as in heaven, St. Paul in the roadway.

            This answers the two questions. The priest does not by consecration make a new Body, nor is Christ “brought” down nor in any material way does He move.

            For the further aid of those who seek not controversy but are willing to be taught by the Spirit let me try and explain something further concerning this Blessed Mystery of condescending Love.

            Christ founded His Church and it was made a living organism on the day of Pentecost. He did not go away from it at His ascension. Many persons make this mistake. They think of Him as gone off to some distant locality. He did not, however, go away from His Church, but remained within it. This He declared He would do. He would not only send the Holy Spirit, but “I will not leave you comfortless. I will come to you.” The Spirit was not to come to take the place of an absent Lord, but “I will be with you always unto the end of the world.” “Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them.” Thus He went away, by an ascension to the Right Hand of Power. He went from a visible companionship with all the collected Apostles, that He might be with each of them and their successors and all His followers as they became separated in all lands. Remaining, He dwells in His Church, which is a temple of living stones, a spiritual organism of which He is the Light and Life. What Almighty God is to the material universe, that the Son-Man is to this new spiritual creation. The Light and Life go out from Him and His Humanity to bless and sustain every member of it. It is by the ordained means of the sacraments that the Light and Life are communicated to us. It is by the Holy Spirit that dwells in the Church that those sacraments are made effectual signs and instruments of grace and our hearts by repentance, faith, and love are prepared beneficially to receive them. So it comes to this: That Christ stands in the midst of His Church, ever present to all within it. He now, as when He stood at the Holy Table at the Last Supper, takes, by means of His authorized agents and ministers, the Bread and Wine, and by His Word and Spirit gathers them into union with Himself and calling them after their divine engrafting declares them to be His Body and Blood. That Body indeed can never again be broken or that Blood again be shed, and so the priest in giving the sacrament says “the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ,” “the Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given and shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul to everlasting life.” But that which is not only received, but “given” and “taken,” though in this heavenly and spiritual manner, is as our articles declare “The Body of Christ.”

            It would greatly aid concord amongst Churchmen of all schools if they would realize what these words “heavenly and spiritual” signify. They mean in their deepest, fullest sense that the whole transaction of the Eucharist takes place in the Kingdom of Heaven and by the power of the Holy Spirit. The whole transaction is done—not in the material, natural world, but in the spiritual organism or Kingdom of Christ. Every person and thing and act and word connected with the Oblation, Consecration, Reception belongs to this spiritual Kingdom and makes the whole transaction, from first to last, in all its processes and gift, a divinely spiritual one. How the outward sign and inward gift are united is a mystery which cannot be explained by any natural law or by human philosophy. The Gift cannot properly be assented to be “under” or “in” or “below” or “above,” or by any like terms which necessarily denote locality. Taking our blessed Lord’s words literally, all we can say is: it is a Mystery, the work of the Spirit, and that the two parts are sacramentally and supernaturally identified.

            But while that which is present and the sphere of that Presence, and the Power by which it is effected, and the persons, priests and people—all belong to the spiritual order, yet it does not follow that Christ, in the totality of His two natures, is not present (or He is not otherwise) by virtue of the consecration and the Spirit’s power.

C. C. Fond du Lac.

[1] The Living Church, January 15, 1902; reprinted in Works, Vol. 7, pp. 201-205. Transcribed by Richard Mammana, 2012.

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萱 澤雪村








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The Polish Catholic Petition (1903)

During the year we had the honor of presenting to the House of Bishops a letter from the Right Reverend Dr. Kozlowski, the Polish Catholic Bishop, asking under the terms put forth by the Lambeth Conference and the General Convention, for Christian recognition and fellowship. Bishop Kozlowski was consecrated in Europe by the Old Catholic Bishops, with whom in the person of Bishop Hertzog, our Church has long been in friendly intercourse and with whom at the meetings held at Berne and elsewhere our Bishops have met in Conference. Bishop Kozlowski is an ecclesiastic of recognized scholarship and high standing in the Communion to which he belongs. The self denying and holy life he leads bears witness to the integrity and nobility of his character. The work among the Poles in which he is engaged is one of great importance and fraught with most fruitful consequences. There are at least twenty if not more ecclesiastics under him and a staff of teachers and sisters are engaged in his hospital and school work at Chicago. The movement in which he is engaged is of wide extent and more than sixty thousand Poles have turned to him for spiritual guidance. Responding to the invitation of our church he asks not for absorption into our Communion, but for Christian fellowship and intercommunion. He stands as do the Old Catholics in Europe on the broad principles of Catholicity and the Faith as set forth in the ancient Creeds and recognized Ecumenical Councils. One with us and the Eastern, Russian, and Greek Churches, he repudiates the Roman papacy and its modern additions to the faith. He is reforming the Latin liturgy and putting it into the language spoken by his people. To the objection sometimes made that the Old [44/45] Catholics in Europe, are, in consequence of separation from Rome, in schism; our reply is that the sin of schism in the case of a separation always lies with that party which demands uncanonical and unscriptural terms for communion and as modern Rome does this she is in schism everywhere. It is Rome that is the schismatical body, not the Old Catholics. If ever there was a man raised up by God to do a reforming work in the Roman Church in this Country, we believe he is to be found in this brave, noble hearted and sincere follower of Jesus Christ. Of course his work will be subjected to every kind of misrepresentation and every thing that malice and intrigue can effect will be done to hinder it. It needs not only our sympathy and response, but the aid which a rich Church like ours should give. Not being a party movement it ought to appeal to all Churchmen. It is here in America that the greatest religious struggle for Apostolic order and evangelical truth, against papal error and sectarian loss is going on, and in helping this brave Bishop we shall most efficiently aid Christ’s work. God forbid, that to those who are struggling up out of the mists of mediaeval darkness and seeking release from the shackles of papal bondage, the voice and the hand that refuses Christian recognition and help comes from our Church.[1]

[1] “THE POLISH CATHOLIC PETITION” in Journal of the Twenty-Ninth Annual Council of the Diocese of Fond du Lac, Held in S. Paul’s Cathedral, Fond du Lac, on the 2nd Day of June, A.D. 1903 (Fond du Lac: P.B. Haber, 1903), 44-45.

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Ralph Adams Cram on the General Convention (1916)

To the Editor of The Living Church:[1]

We are called at this time, and through this War of Wars, to reëstimate our philosophies, to test by newly revealed criteria many dogmas and formulae held for long to be axiomatic, to scrutinize anew many institutions, methods, long accepted principles, that we may see how they stand the touchstone of revealing events. Government, education, economics, society, industrial civilization, all must submit themselves to the new and mordant tests, and more than all—for us at least—must the Church come under the same testing.

As Sir Thomas Browne says, “But the long habit of living indisposeth us for dying,” and so the long habit of peace indisposeth us for action, hence spontaneous movement towards analytical scrutiny is as hard for us as a prompt reaction to new and catastrophic stimuli. Still, the question forces itself on us: did the Church, there in England, here in America, rise buoyantly, or even tediously, to her anomalous and appalling opportunities? And again, is she taking thought now, not only of the novel conditions opening before her but also of those even more startling and challenging conditions that must confront society when peace has been reëstablished and the long, hard era of readjustment and regeneration opens before?

Has the Church made herself the spiritual leader of the people in this most grievous testing of souls, has she sloughed off old prejudices, old habits born of inertia and of jealousy, has she discarded the narrow shibboleths of faction, the rallying cries of partisanship, and, with a single view to the healing and saving of souls, given herself over to the one labor of meeting the heart-breaking appeals of a world almost in its death agony?

These questions are pertinent on the eve of General Convention. No assemblage of the shepherds of the flock of Christ and of its representatives has ever come together in this country under such conditions as hold at this moment. If the time of Convention is given over to the sole consideration of the old divisive issues that served their turn during a dead peace; if we are to hear nothing but Panama, the Open Pulpit, the curbing of monastic orders, the disloyalty of Catholic Churchmen, the heretical tendencies of Broad Churchmen, the Protestantism of Low Churchmen, has not the Church in America failed of her opportunity, and if she fails now, under the greatest test and ordeal of five centuries, will not her candlestick be removed?

I plead as a layman, for the lifting of every discussion in General Convention, and of the Convention itself, to a level of charity and Apostolic zeal and truly Catholic constructiveness. Unless the Church can take back into its hands the spiritual leadership partly surrendered and partly wrested from it, then the case of society is hopeless, and those conditions which made the war will continue until descent ends in the abyss of another Dark Ages. The trial by fire that is on all the nations is not withheld from the Church: will she meet this trial and come through it, not only unscathed but purged and regenerated?

The great question to-day is how, already, has the Church met the test and how shall she meet it in the future? Has she stood fearlessly for righteousness before the concentrated materialism of the last two years, here in America, and without regard to policy or profit: has the English Church done the same? And if not, why? New needs of the soul have fought their way through tears and agony to cry aloud for help and fortitude and consolation: how have these been met in England where a nation is at the same time bowed in desolation and exalted by the consciousness of immortal sacrifice?

It is for us to find the answer to these questions. If they are the answer of failure we must know this for our warning; if of success, then for our guidance. I hope that not only may General Convention be transformed into a great and fearless inquiry into the state of the Church, but that, as a detail, a small commission of bishops, clergy, and laity may be sent at once to Great Britain to study there the methods the Church is following in adapting herself to these anomalous conditions. If one has a right to judge, there seems to have been conspicuous failure in some cases, conspicuous success in others.

We should know of both, for from both we may learn. What have such bishops as London to say, bishops who have been at the front and lived with the men in the trenches, and who have also been at home and have seen the heart of a nation at the point of breaking, saved only from this by the consciousness of a glorious renunciation and sacrifice? What has Fr. Carey to say, back from his chaplain’s duty on the ships of the North Seas—and Fr. Figgis and Fr. Waggett, and Dr. Campbell? There is a vast amount of testimony to be had for the asking, and a great and constructive lesson to be learned from it all—learned, and applied as well.

In any case, let the next General Convention take its place as the Great Synod that forgot for a time the contests and the bickerings of peace, and met in Apostolic temper to meet the universal challenge of a world at war.


Boston, September 12, 1916.

[1] The Living Church (Milwaukee), September 30, 1916, pp. 771-772.

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Something About Stamps, by John Albert Douglas (1908)

CHILDERMOTE and Eldermote are words coined in connexion with the system by which a stamp placed in an appropriate album records each attendance of its possessor at Public Worship. Childermote (the first syllable is short) stands for the children’s meeting, Eldermote for that of their seniors. At the end of Divine Service the stamp for the day is served out, fastened by the recipient in his album, and may be subsequently postmarked in situ with the date and name of the local church in the afternoon.

The thing is, on the face of it, a plagiarism upon the familiar hobby of the philatelist. I venture to claim that it is a sound adaptation. To collect is a passion and a pastime; more, it is the expression of an instinct. Everyone, unless he is too busy or cynical, collects something or other. The value, utility, or even the beauty of things collected, does not count for much. The collector’s interest and pride of possession centre in the watching his collection grow, in the effort its formation costs, above all in the associations of experience and imagination which belong to each specimen. The whole forms part of the man’s life, and has therefore no small part in shaping his character. The unhappy millionaire miser cares for money the more he acquires it, and the same may be said in regard to his speciality of the bibliophile, the virtuoso, and the natural history collector. It is a case of action and reaction: the appetite grows with that which it feeds upon.

That is the principle which underlies the church stamp system. Children, at any rate, can no more help collecting than a broody hen the sitting on a china egg. Coins, crests, postage stamps, even bits of broken glass, anything good, indifferent, or pernicious in its educational effect, will serve their turn. They will barter the very sweets out of their mouths to add to their treasures.

Now, many of us have learnt most of that which we know about geography or natural history from our schoolboy collections. Very few may keep the thing up, those who do become experts. But, at the least, the old interest survives. A man of sixty who once went in for stamps or eggs can always spend a happy half-hour at the British Museum or South Kensington. Why should not this instinct be used in the service of religion? was a question which was answered by the Church stamp system. It aims at using the collecting instinct to stimulate and steady church-going, and in the end to leave the full-grown man either with the lingering affection of the former collector for his old passion, or to pass him on as an ‘expert,’ i.e. an habitual worshipper.

Stamp collecting was chosen for many reasons. It was already established as a serious occupation, and one common to every was possible to produce something on a large scale at a very cheap rate

age and class. It duce something on a very cheap rate which would be worth preserving and easily handled. As a matter of fact, the elaborate albums produced by the Society of the Faith from their Press at Leighton Buzzard are sold at a penny, while the 102 stamps in a full year’s collection cost only fourpence. Again, not only could the colour scheme of the Church Calendar be employed attractively and in a way which would certainly interest and instruct, but ‘the stately progress of the Gospel in the Church’s year’ could be made the medium of a large amount of evangelical teaching. Above all, an album would record not only Church attendances by its stamps, but also heathenish derelictions of duty by its empty spaces; while at the end of the year its pages would be either a thing of shame or something to be prized—a Kttj/io « atl well worth keeping.

The initial experiment was made during the autumn of 1905, in the parish of St. Stephen’s, Regent’s Park, at the little chapel-of-ease of St. Andrew, in Henry Street. The children were provided with what was very like a washing book, and the first stamp was issued for the Patronal Festival of the Church. During the year 1905 6, the most that could be done was to issue a

different stamp for each month. The lack of variety in the designs was, of course, a drawback, but there could be no mistake in the effect of the system. The idea ‘caught on’ from the first, slacksters and ‘treat-hunters’ conveniently lost their albums, but when, after a little, mere acquisitiveness changed into pride in what the stamps meant, the children came to care about them because they represented ‘duty done.’ The experience of the clergy at St. Augustine’s, Stepney, St. Mark’s, Regent’s Park, and a dozen other churches where the stamps were in use, was the same. It was, therefore, decided to put down sufficient ‘ stationery’ to work the system, which had been registered under the patent laws, in its entirety. An album was prepared with a space for every Sunday and Holy Day of Prayer-book obligation in the calendar for the year 1906 -7. The texts ‘Be thou faithful unto death’ (Rev. ii. 10) and ‘Missed because thy seat will be empty’ (1 Sam. xx. 18) were taken as the telling mottoes of the Childermote, and a stamp was got ready for every space in the album. The designs for these, which were admirably executed by Mr. F. Harding, of Lewisham, were chosen from the Eucharistic Gospels, and were printed in the common seasonal colours, i.e. gold for the Great Festivals, yellow for the white days, green for Trinitytide, violet for Lent and Advent, black for Good Friday, blue for feasts of the B.V.M., and red for Whitsun and the Martyrs. Thirty thousand albums were issued in 1906-7. In the current year 100,000 albums have already been sent out to over 1000 centres. These have comprised not only parishes in the United Kingdom, the Colonies, and America, but also mission stations in Africa and Asia. A stay-at-home would not easily imagine how thoroughly coloured men and women, as well as children, enter into the spirit of the thing.

The demand continues to increase with every week. The ‘get up’ of the album itself has been improved, and an automatic mark register added at its end. Mr. T. Noyes Lewis has completed a series of very spirited and expressive stamp designs. A new album and a fresh series of stamps are necessarily contemplated for each year. A full album is rewarded by a gilt medal for Sundays, the price of which is kept down to 4s., and a bar for Holy Days. The motive is less economy than the desire that albums, stamps, and medals should be a symbol and not a marketable commodity. A different medal will be issued for each of the seven years of a child’s life. The medals form a chain when fastened together, a photo of one such chain being placed at the head of this article. Anyone who has been present at an elementary school prize-giving will understand the strength of such an incentive to perseverance.

Unquestionably the strength of the system lies in its elasticity. No revolution is required in the methods which already obtain in any parish, and but little additional routine is involved in its introduction. It will be intelligible to the children and efficacious in a Sunday school of the 1880 type, but at the same time it has its greatest force where the organisation is highly developed. Many of the churches at which it has been most successful are those where the work of the Society of the Catechism is in full swing.

It may, indeed, be worth while to notice in passing the analysis paper, printed also in seasonable colours, issued in connexion with the Childermote albums. The designs illustrating the Law, Prophets, Psalms, Writings, and New Testament should give an additional inducement to the scholar to form a Corpus Theologicum of his own composition. A similar encouragement to the happily growing custom of painting the Sunday text is now in preparation.

While, however, the Society of the Faith has not attempted to lay down hard and fast rules, and has preferred to offer the stamps to the clergy as an instrument to b.e used in their own way, there are two conditions on which much of the profit of the system depends. In the first place, the stamp ought to be given at the chief service of the day, and in the second, it should be a record of public worship and not a bribe or a reward.

The objective of the system, it must be remembered, is less to secure the mere attendance of the child than to make him an intelligent and habitual churchgoer. Doubtless, if the stamp may be obtained for presence at Sunday afternoon school or catechism, a larger number of strange children will be drawn into the parochial net, and the percentage of attendances look better. But I venture to urge that to accept the lower standard, when the demand should be for the higher, is to abandon the object aimed at. In the immediate future the strength of organised Christianity, let alone that of the Church of England, would seem under God to depend largely upon our success or failure in training up the next generation as morning churchgoers. If it be the case, then, that morning worship as a religious act is a thing vastly superior in kind to that of the afternoon, the stamp should be given for the morning—and the morning only. It is senseless to emphasise the second best. The service, therefore, even if only a fraction of the children come to it, which the parish priest lays down as the child’s obligation, is the ‘duty done’ .which should be recorded by the stamp. Opinions and local limitations may cause the highest act of worship open to a child to be different in neighbouring parishes, but whether it be the Lord’s Supper, Mattins, or the ordinary Sunday School morning service, there is no doubt that unless the stamp is used for it, half the point of the system will begone. On the other hand if it is made firmly and persistently, children will respond to a demand which has reason at the back of it. A distinctly ragged urchin of a town Childermote told his parish priest the other day ‘I didn’t spoil my album. I didn’t go on the canal. I got the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary.’ A straw is significant, and the word ‘spoil’ is the essence of the story. A year’s album is worthless for its stamps, however pretty they may be. It is valuable only because it is a concrete record of a year’s religion. Can you doubt that, as time goes on, the collectors of to day, whether they lapse or persevere, will point with triumph or regret to the stamps and spaces which record victory or defeat in bygone struggles, when the world and the flesh wore the form of be3 or a lark in the park and the fields?

And, further, we have bribes enough for our children without wasting the opportunity which these stamps provide. A workman is, of course, worthy of his hire, and no child-lover can grudge the incentive of books and buns and the summer splash in the sea. I would stuff a boy with sweets for doing a good analysis, if it would not stop him from ever doing another. The mischief of it all does not lie in the prizes and the treat, but in what they are given for. To reward a child for work well done seems to me to be both common sense and a moral obligation, but to give him a burnt-out match for worshipping God nothing short of rank immorality. It is here that the stamp system differs from the ingenious ticket exchange and star card methods. They are the transitory means of securing something tangible and delectable. The stamps, on the other hand, lead to nothing but a good conscience and a full album with at the most a fourpenny medal thrown in at the end of the year. So far as they are a reward, they are a reward in kind. Who would care to keep his seven years’ albums and medal chain when he had definitely discarded his religion?

I have myself found it best to give marks for Sunday school and catechising only, to make these marks dependent on actual work done, and to fine children at treat times who are short of the amount prescribed. If a boy will not work, he must pay or go without what others get. Nothing, however, is to be had for worship. This method will doubtless not commend itself to some people. It is at any rate vital, and should be possible to separate the idea of worship from school rewards and to connect the stamp with the former only. A child can realise that a naughty boy’s worship is not less dear to God than that of a saintly archbishop. God misses His ‘little human praise.’ That God keeps his ‘great book of record’ and they keep theirs, is a metaphor which represents a reality to children, for it is of a piece with the things which influence their imagination.

It is for this reason that the Holy Days are included in sequence with the Sundays in the Childermote album. At the outset we had some hesitation in the matter. The result has completely justified the bolder policy. Sixty thousand stamps are now sent out for every Saint’s day.

Except on Sundays and in holidays it is, of course, difficult to get children to church in the morning. In common with many of my brother clergy, however, I have found that about 60 per cent, will come to a six o’clock evening service. Personally, for training purposes, I elect to follow the rubric and have a solemn Evensong with the fullest ritual accessories. The effect upon the church tone of the breaking down of ‘week-end only’ religion is immeasurable. If the stamp system had done nothing else, the hundreds of Saints’ Day congregations which it has called into existence, in themselves a standing reproach to the prevalent laxity, would have justified the experiment.

In the early part of 1906-7 a Childermote album and stamps were shown to an experienced dignitary. His comment was that they were pretty and ingenious, but he thought the children would soon tire of them. The reverse has been the case. A new craze, of course, brings a reaction. If the system be adopted merely from the lamb-stealer’s ‘madness for numbers,’ the cupidity which prompted its introduction will happily not be gratified. The stamps are not a spiritual power-saving apparatus, but simply an instrument for the worker’s use. But when the motive is to raise the children’s conception of Church-life, the inner kernel will soon dread a blank more than they desire the possession of a picture, and half the battle will be won. There is, however, a very real danger of a slump in the holiday season of the first year. By August the novelty will have worn off, irregulars will have many blank spaces, ‘oncers’ will have postmarks only, and, in spite of the renewal of their wrappers at Whitsuntide, many albums will be broken and hopelessly dirty. The crisis will test the parish priest’s motive. If he aims chiefly at a mechanical attendance, he will not notice the minority who have nearly all their stamps, but will lose heart at the feckless outsiders whose lapses will tempt them to pronounce the grapes sour, and will vote the thing a failure. If he knew it, he is probably near success. The general enthusiasm will more than revive at Advent, when it will be redoubled in those who have been steady, and the others can make a fresh start. A friend of mine, who I suspect used the stamps more to encourage analysis-doing than to instil habits of worship, told me last summer that he had been disappointed at the falling off of his newcomers. A few days later I met the mother of one of his better-class children in Scotland, to whom I was unknown. She detailed the stamp system to me, telling me that her boy had become mad on church-going since he had had his album. If, as some of us think, even the best of our children’s congregations are lamentably far from any conception of church-going as a great muster parade at which the youngest soldier of the Church dare not willingly be absent, the system can obviously only take hold at first on the comparatively few. The majority, without doubt, will catch the contagion in good time. It is very necessary, however, to take care that a child who is unavoidably sick or absent should receive a ‘Reasonably Let’ stamp. The depressing effect of blanks should be confined to those who deserve them. A ‘Reparation’ stamp (i.e. one to be obtained at a subsequent service) has been found to have a good effect. At a particular parish there are always to be found some dozen children at the midday celebration. They came first in ‘ Reparation,’ liked the service, and now persist in attending it.

At many churches where it is impossible to deal with the better-class children as an organised body, it has been found satisfactory to supply the parents with the quarter’s stamps in advance. In this case a pledge must be exacted from fond mothers that Tommy’s Saturday party’s indigestion or arbitrary indisposition shall not be counted a Reasonable Hindrance. An album should not tell lies. Children see the force of this. A choir boy once invaded my room to tell me in tears that he had stolen St. Paul. It was a few minutes before I realised why he was conscience-stricken. Our secretary’s carelessness had given him the chance to fill a space, which cold fact required to be a blank. He had availed himself of the chance.

In this article I have dealt with the Childermote only. Under slightly different conditions the system is being used with the greatest advantage among adults. The members of guilds, Bible classes, men’s meetings, and in some cases whole village congregations have taken the thing up seriously and keenly. The point for them, as for children, lies less in the attractiveness of the stamps than in the possibility of keeping a check upon the performance of religious duty.

It would be possible to quote the letters of a large number of clergy in witness to the effect of the system upon their children. A priest in Johannesburg, for example, writes, that his Sunday attendance had increased from six to ninety, while on a weekday he often finds fifty present and a church full of adults. A pretty story, told me by an Oxford incumbent, will be a better termination to this article. The father of one of his children, in Advent 1906, took a fancy for the albums and obtained one for himself. Both parent and child kept their collections unbroken until after Easter last year. Then the man fell into consumption and the family moved into the country. They asked to have the stamps sent on to them, and Sunday by Sunday, after the family evening prayer, father and son fixed their stamp in the place for the day. The boy’s collection had every space filled at medal time last Advent, the father’s was broken by his death. Neither album is likely to be thrown away.

The Treasury (London: G. J. Palmer, 1908), pp. 168-174.

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The Coelian Press: A Bibliographic Note

The Coelian Press was a small private Anglo-Catholic press founded by the Rev. Herbert Hamilton Maughan (1884-1965), described by Michael Yelton in Outposts of the Faith: Anglo-Catholicism in Some Rural Parishes (2009):

Coelian Press was most noted in the Anglican publishing world as the first venue for the poetry and illustrations of the Forrest Brothers outside of The Church Times.


Places of publication change with Maughan’s place of residence.

1944 Brighton

VINDEX, pseudonym for Herbert Hamilton Maughan
General Disorder; or, the Establishment at the Crossroads
v, 38 pages

1945 Hove, Sussex

Stanley John Forrest, illustrated by Edward W. Forrest
The Church in Reconstruction
31 pages

Herbert Hamilton Maughan
The Conspiracy to Unchurch the Church of England
12 pages

VINDEX, pseudonym for Herbert Hamilton Maughan
Death and Bondage; or, the Liberty of Bureaucracy

Herbert Hamilton Maughan
Do You Read in the Train? Random Reflections and Observations
63 pages, with portrait

Gilbert Pawson
True Nonconformist Witness
11 pages

C.E. Whiting
The Ordination of Women Examined in the Light of History and Theology
15 pages

1946 Hove, Sussex
Futile Festival; or, Belshazzar’s Banquet Revived
7 pages in verse

VINDEX, pseudonym for Herbert Hamilton Maughan
Why the Movement Does Not Move
4 pages

Herbert Hamilton Maughan
Jack of Aldbourne; or, the Romance of the Two Little Pigs
45 pages, illustrations by Sheila K.M. Warr

1947 Hove, Sussex

Stanley John Forrest (1904-77), illustrated by Edward W. Forrest
Anglican Noah’s Ark
32 pages

Stanley John Forrest, illustrated by Edward W. Forrest
Buzzards at Play
19 pages

Herbert Hamilton Maughan
Seven Churches
vii, 50 pages, illustrations, preface by C. L. Cage-Brown

1949 Hove and Dublin

Stanley John Forrest, illustrated by Edward W. Forrest
Parish Fashions
29 pages

Herbert Hamilton Maughan
Wagner of Brighton: The Centenary Book of St Paul’s Church, Brighton
29 pages, five unpaginated illustrations, foreword by C. Hutchinson

Herbert Hamilton Maughan
Anglican Circus
34 pages, illustrations by Warner [unidentified]

1950 Loughlinstown

Ronald Baron
Am I a Real Catholic?
7 pages, reprinted from The Pilot


Stanley John Forrest, illustrated by Edward W. Forrest
Parish Fashions
29 pages

1954 Dublin

Clio Cauterized; Or, Delusions Dispersed: The Myth of “Celtic Continuity”
8 pages

Gregory [pseudonym]
The English Church
8 pages

VINDEX, pseudonym for Herbert Hamilton Maughan
The Red Light; or, A Bid for Freedom
24 pages, illustrated

The Church Times, September 19, 1958

Compiled by Richard J. Mammana, 2017—. Please direct corrections or additions to

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