Monthly Archives: July 2022

Why A Minister Resigned (1884)

Baltimore, Md.—There is a stir in Protestant Episcopal Church circles here. Ritualistic troubles in the diocese are revived by the Rev. Nelson Ayres resigning from the rectorship of the Church of Our Savior, because the congregation objected to his High Church views. He has been Rector of the church about 18 months, and has gradually been introducing forms and ceremonies of a ritualist or Romish character. He is a prominent clergyman, and personally was popular with his congregation, but his extreme ritualistic practices caused many members to leave the church. The opposition grew against him, and a few Sundays ago he preached a sermon strongly favoring the Roman Catholic view of purgatory, which brought matters to a climax. Before resigning, he appealed to the congregation to stand by him, that he was right, but finding that the majority were against his views he resigned in accordance with their wish. Mr. Ayres will, no doubt, connect himself with one of the ritualistic churches here, or possibly become a Catholic.[1]


[1] The New York Times, February 27, 1884

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The “Pro-Roman” Position, by Charles Chapman Grafton (1908)

To the Editor of The Living Church:[1]

WE have read with much sympathy the article in your late issue in behalf of pro-Romanism. We believe those who agree with it are loyal Churchmen and have a right to a place amongst us. Our heart’s desire is that we Catholics, who are a feeble folk and small in number, shall keep in loving union. We have grown together by years of suffering and struggle and must not let questions which are largely academical divide us into factions.

Will my pro-Roman friends give one who for sixty years has been in the fore-front of the battle a kindly hearing? God, in His good providence, has placed us here in this portion of His vineyard with a special work to do in reviving in the Church its Catholic heritage and preparing souls for their exaltation into the kingdom of Glory. This is our great mission, and if I may so say, the terminus ad quem of the Catholic movement.

We have all of us, at times, sorrowed with our Lord over the condition of a divided Christendom and desire to see its reunion. But we must be careful in our spiritual life not to make of reunion an idol, nor, by determining the way in which it might be brought, to dictate seemingly to Almighty God. The Church is Christ’s Church and not ours, and as He can make all things work together for good, even the sins of men, so He can the division of Christendom. Christ prayed both for internal unity and the outward union of His Church, and His prayer was accomplished. The Apostolic Church became one by unity of a divine life sacramentally given that cannot be broken; also for a thousand years it was, with some disorders, practically united. Through the sins of men, Christian fellowship has been interrupted, but whether it is God’s will that it should be reunited by restoring inter-communion, or otherwise, no one can affirm. He did not pray or promise that if union was once lost it should ever be restored. He did not bring the Jewish nation together after its disruption, and we cannot affirm that it is God’s will to do so to the Christian Church. So far as God’s will is made known to us in Holy Scripture it does not look like it. For the prophecies concerning the Church foretell its outward rending. The gates of hell will not prevail against it, but it is not said they shall not divide it. While the inner garment of Christ was preserved in its entirety, the outward garment was rent in pieces. While it was prophesied that no bone of His body should be broken, and thus unity should be preserved, it was also written that all His bones should be “out of joint.” The gospel ship in which salvation was promised nevertheless outwardly goes to pieces, though all in it are saved. In the latter days we know that both sun and moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall fall, and “when Christ cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?”

We cannot, therefore, say but that it is the will of His good pleasure to let the divisions existing remain and to work through each to the gathering in of the predestinated number of the elect. We must, therefore, not make an idol of any scheme or theory or plan of our own concerning the Church’s earthly future, for doing so only brings distress and unsettlement of mind; but we must learn to rest securely in His dear will, though it is a hidden will of God.

If, indeed, it is His purpose to reunite divided Christendom, then is it not more likely that the reunion should begin by an establishment of our recognition by the East? We are but very slightly separated from the East in doctrine, and more like the Orthodox Churches there than we are now in agreement with Rome. From Rome we differ in our form of Church government, having for our final authority a General Council, and, with the East, rejecting the monarchial idea of the Papacy. Our rule of faith differs from that of Rome, which involves a belief in the Papal infallibility, and so does that of the East. We reject together the dogmas of Papal infallibility and the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin. While agreeing with the East in allowing a married clergy, we differ from Rome in this and its discipline, give with the East the Blessed Sacrament in both kinds, and have the services in a tongue understood by the people. Is it not rather, then, through the East that union should first come, if reunion is the will of God’s good pleasure?

Of course we recognize that there is a difference between ourselves and our pro-Roman friends in regard to the Papacy. We believe that there is a difference between the mediaeval and modern monarchical Papal claims and the precedence of honor and dignity of the early ages, While some of our pro-Roman friends give a minimizing interpretation to the Vatican decrees, we must, as serious thinkers and practical men, take the interpretation of them as given by accredited authorities. According to Roman authorities the Pope is “the source and fountain of all jurisdiction.” The appointment of all Bishops is claimed by him. He is the source of all legislation, so that the Church without him can do nothing. He is, in a word, the absolute monarch of the Church, and apart from general councils, his utterances, when he speaks ex cathedra, are infallible. Along with the Eastern Church We believe this claim to supremacy is largely the outcome of a human spirit and the great cause of the divisions of Christendom.

Your correspondent refers to the statements of Harnack and Dr. Briggs concerning the Papacy, but the environment of neither has been such as to give them a spiritual insight into the gospel system or make them authorities for Churchmen. We possess no such Biblical learning as either of these scholars, but we venture humbly to state that we know more about the relations of the blessed apostles, including St. Peter, than either of them. We have stated the discoveries the Holy Spirit enabled us to make in our book, Christian and Catholic, which we believe if our friends will seriously consider they will abandon their view that the modern monarchical Papacy is entitled to any divine authority.

How in this condition of things can union be ever brought about? Certainly not by any arrangement or scheme of theologians. No joining together in such wise as diplomats might arrange an alliance or union of nationalities would result in any spiritual benefit to either party or to the world. A restoration of Christian fellowship to be spiritually effective must be brought about by the action of the Holy Ghost leading all parties of the Church to repentance for their own sins and those of their forefathers. If Peter is to strengthen his brethren he must first of all be converted.

Catholicity and the Papacy are two distinct things. One is of God, the other largely of man. Until the Papacy is repented of and given up, reunion with Rome is impossible; and if this is impossible, so, too, reunion with Rome is. Our pro-Roman friends, we fear, will not agree with this, and holding what they do, these courses of action are those apparently open to them:

First, believing in the divine authority of the Papacy, they might individually submit to it.

Secondly, holding that their orders, in which they believe, prevent this, then to work for reunion with Rome by making our Church as like her as possible; and to show their sincerity in the importance of this, for those who are married to separate themselves from their wives.

Thirdly, if this plan involves an immoral rejection of obligations they have assumed, then to apply for some sort of a Uniat Church, which, while it would involve the desertion of their posts of duty and assumption of the responsibility of the harm done to souls, and involve a reordination and create another scheme, would, on the other hand, allow of the retaining of their wives and give them the gratification of a smug little Church all by themselves with the academical delight of using King Edward the Sixth’s liturgy.

Or, lastly, they might give up their own wills and submit to God’s will, who can overrule the divisions of Christendom to His own ends of gathering in the predestinated number of the elect. Then would they be at peace in their own souls, and would find that they could work best for the union of Christendom, if that was God’s will, by staying where they are and helping on the good, work of developing our own Church’s Catholicity.

We shall do our best work for reunion by standing firmly for the ancient Catholic faith as set forth by the Ecumenical Councils, and by working for the renewal amongst ourselves of a true Catholicity, and cultivating a spirit of charity towards all in our own communion, and a greater trust in God.

C. C. Fond du Lac.
Baltimore, Feb. 11, 1908.


[1] The Living Church, February 22, 1908, pp. 567-568.

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Greek Liturgy Celebrated in a Church of the Anglo-American Communion (1865)

We are indebted to the Guardian for the following well condensed report, taken, in the main, from the New York papers:—

An event which has recently taken place in America, in connection with the movement for the renewal of friendly relations and intercommunion between the Eastern Orthodox and Anglican Churches, deserves something more than a passing notice. If, as appears probable, this step should lead to other and more important results, and if the courtesies interchanged between individual Churchmen should extend to the clergy generally, the service celebrated on the 2nd March, 1865, in Trinity Chapel, New York, will be referred to as an historical incident; for on that day, for the first time in a thousand years, the Sacred Liturgy (or Eucharistic Service) was celebrated in a Western Church by a priest of the Holy Orthodox Communion, and the Creed of Christendom was chanted in English without that Filioque clause which caused the great schism of East and West.

In October last year, Father Agapius Honcharenko, a Slavonian in Russo-Greek orders, monk of Mount Pentelicus, near Athens, was sent by his ecclesiastical superiors to minister to the spiritual wants of the members of the Greek communion in and about New York. The cordial letter of commendation which he took with him from Mr. Hill, the American missionary and English chaplain at Athens, at once obtained for him the sympathy and co-operation of the clergy in the United States; and a school-room was placed at his disposal by the Rector of Trinity, the oldest and most influential parish inAmerica. The Rev. J. Freeman Young, whose recent visit to Russia has done much towards the removal of prejudice and ignorance about the two Churches, made known to the Bishop of New York the wish of Father Agapius publicly to celebrate the Liturgy of the Orthodox Church on the 2nd March, the anniversary of the accession of the Emperor Alexander II.

The letter in which Bishop Potter expresses his ready acquiescence in the suggestion shows how fully he appreciated the opportunity thus afforded for promoting a good under standing between the two Churches. He says:

“Rev. and dear Brother,—In reply to your inquiry respecting a proposed public celebration of the Divine Liturgy of the Holy Orthodox Oriental Church on the2nd day of March (N.S.) next in one of the churches of my diocese, I beg to say that Í have great pleasure in giving m y hearty consent and approbation. In so doing it adds much to my satisfaction that the proposed service is intended to do honour to the anniversary of the accession of His Imperial Majesty Alexander II.,the present Emperor of Russia, who has done so much to promote the true glory and welfare of his own people, and who has so generously encouraged the friendly feeling of Russia towards our country. Such courtesies as the one now proffered, between Churches which have so much in common, it has seemed to me might be very well extended, without prejudging, on either side, any of the questions that may affect their relations with each other. On occasion of the visit of the Russian fleet to the port of New York last year, I took pleasure, as you know, in giving permission, through you, to the rev. the chaplains, to hold any service which they might find desirable, anywhere within the limits of my diocese. The rev. the chaplains of the Russian fleet did not find it necessary to avail themselves of the permission granted them, but it was very grateful to me to hear that the feelings which prompted that trifling act of Christian courtesy were duly appreciated in Russia, and that some of the most venerated of the prelates of the Holy Orthodox Church would have been well pleased had the offer made by me been accepted. On the present occasion I shall be happy if this proffer of one of the churches of my diocese for the proposed public service, shall be accepted here and in Russia as as light token of my fraternal regard for the Church of the nations which our beloved brother, the Priest Agapius, represents.

“I am, my dear Brother, most truly and affectionately yours,

“HORATIO POTTER,
Bishop of New York.
“New York, Feb.4, 1865.”

Episcopal sanction having thus been obtained, it remained with Mr. Young to ensure the complete success of the proposed service, and to render it as perfect and beautiful as possible. Fortunately, he had procured the score of the liturgical music in Russia, and by means of constant practice and careful arrangement of the parts under his own superintendence, he was able to overcome the difficulty which arose from the pronunciation of a strange language. The choir included members of various quartette societies, who volunteered their services from interest in the occasion, learning the responses by the representation of Slavonic sounds in English letters. Mr. Young, also, himself directed the preparation of the Oriental vestments the first ever made in America. The proposed celebration excited very general interest, although all public announcement of it was avoided, and on the morning of the 2nd March TrinityChapel, one of the few really beautiful churches in New York was completely filled. The building, it may be added, is of considerable length, with an hexagonal apsidal chancel, but without side aisles, and is capable of seating 900 or 1000 persons. The sixty or seventy Slavonians and Greeks residing in New York occupied seats at the end of the nave ;near them were more than fifty clergymen of the American Church, while Bishop Southgate, formerly missionary Bishop at Constantinople, the rector and clergy of Trinity parish, together with Dr. Thrall, a member of the Russo-Greek committee, and Dr. McVickar, the oldest presbyter of the diocese of New York, occupied the choir stalls. The chancel was brilliantly lighted by the corona above, two standing candelabra with clustered lights below, and a smaller one on the altar itself. Under the white linen altar-cloth, and upon the stone altar, was a board about two feet square, over which the consecration of the Eucharist was to take place— the rules of the Greek Church for bidding this to be done upon stone. This custom is due to the fact that the cross was of wood. So far do the Orientals carry their aversion to the idea of a carnal sacrifice, that they do not suffer even the books used at the altar to be bound in the skins of animals, or anything made therefrom. Gold, silver, cloth, silk, velvet, or jewelled work may be used, but no kind of leather. Those of the clergy who were present in the chancel were in black gowns, it being the Oriental custom that those only should be vested who take part in the service of the altar.

Father Agapius was clad in a white phænolion, adorned with bands and borders of gold, under which the epitrachelion of crimson, similarly adorned with gold, hung down in front. When he had entered, and made his lowly obeisance at the holy table, the deep silence was first broken by his chanting, in a high tenor voice of great sweetness and purity, the opening of the service in Slavonic, “Blessed be the kingdom of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, now and forever, even unto ages of ages.” At once the whole congregation rose, as if by instinct, and remained reverently standing throughout the entire service, according to Oriental custom. The well-trained choir of men’s voices responded, and as the solemn service proceeded, the oft-recurring response, Hospode pomelue (Lord have mercy), swelled forth again and again. The Liturgy was that of St. Chrysostom, translated into Slavonic, and the Russian music, which has been in use about two hundred years, is very simple, grave, and sweet. The organ was not used, only vocal music being employed in the Orthodox worship. The Beatitudes were chanted in English, the Trisagion in the original Greek, to a rich and varied harmony; but the “Eje Cheruveme,” or Greek Cherubic Hymn, was the vocal crown of beauty, and each repetition of its exquisite strains gave it a fresh hold upon feeling and upon memory. The following translation of it is from the pen of a well-known English scholar, G. M.:

Let all mortal flesh keep silence, and with fear and trembling stand,
Ponder nothing earthly-minded—for, with blessing in His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth, our full homage to demand.

King of Kings, yet born of Mary, as of old on earth He stood,
Lord of Lords, in Human Vesture—in the Body and the Blood
He will give to all the Faithful His own Self for Heavenly Food.

Rank on rank the host of heaven spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of Light descendeth from the realms of endless day,
That the Powers of Hell may vanish as the darkness clears away.

At His Feet the six-winged Seraphs Cherubim with sleepless eye
Veil their faces to the Presence, as with ceaseless voice they cry
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Lord most High!

But the most thrilling part of the service was the chanting of the Nicene Creed in English, so distinctly that each word was heard throughout the church, and the singing of the phrase, “Who proceedeth from the Father,” showed how easily at least two great branches of the Catholic Church could be reconciled on the old foundations laid by the General Councils. The cloud of incense, which ascended from time to time, added much to the beauty of the ceremony. Before the communion of the priest, the Lord’s Prayer, chanted in English, united the congregation in the act of worship, and the Cherubic Hymn again filled the air with the depths and heights of its swelling harmony. The Liturgy proper was followed by the special service for the day (the accession of the Czar), during which the officiating priest, the clergy, and all the congregation knelt. After the Amen all rose, and the familiar tones of the Gloria in Excelsis, in English, brought this beautiful service to a close. May it prove to be only the beginning of a new era of “peace and good will” among the long-severed branches of the one true Vine! It is stated that the leading motive of Father Agapius in holding this public service was to show his fraternal sympathy and fellowship with the American Church and with the whole Anglican communion , and his desire to aid in bringing about full intercommunion. Nor can we take leave of this affecting service without calling attention to the fact, thus publicly demonstrated, that the common inheritance of all Christendom belongs neither to the one nor to the other communion, but that the Lord’s Prayer, the Glorias, the Beatitudes, the Commandments, the Apostles’ Creed, and, with the exception of one clause, the whole Nicene Creed, can be thus used in the same tongue, in the same words, and with the same sentiments in the two Churches.

—Frederick George Lee (editor), The Union Review: A Magazine of Catholic Literature and Art (London: J. T. Hayes, 1865), pp. 336-339.

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Watering the Stock, by Charles Chapman Grafton (1907)

To the Editor of The Living Church:[1]

IT is well known that since the Crapsey condemnation, the Radical party has been busy in its endeavor to lower the Church’s standard of doctrine, and make it more comprehensive. They are attached in a degree to the Church’s worship, but feel the strain upon their consciences of being obliged to utter in it statements of doctrine which they do not believe. It is the old story of the Low Churchmen, at the time of the Cummins movement, over again. More astute and clever than the straightforward Evangelicals, they will probably seek their end in the coming General Convention, in a more subtle manner. A meeting, we understand, has lately been held in New York, presided over by the Hon. Seth Low, and encouraged by letters from several Bishops, which considered the best methods of “Liberalizing the Church.” To the worldly and carnal-minded the cry of “liberalizing” will be a popular one. But to old-fashioned, conservative Churchmen of all schools, it will look like a method borrowed from Wall Street, known as “Watering the Stock.”

In favor of the plan, it will be urged that there is a considerable body of men now outside the Church’s organization who would willingly join her if from her doctrines the supernatural could be eliminated, and the Church be brought more into agreement with modern rationalistic, i.e., unbelieving thought.

But this, we may observe, is a mere gold-brick scheme. There is no such body of men desirous of joining the Church, and kept from it by her consistent witness to the Faith once delivered. For any such persons, there are already many organizations of a religious character open and glad to welcome their support, but they do not join them. The only effect upon this body of men would be to make them yet more contented in their present attitude of indifference. Men do not, or should not, join the Church because they like its form and service, but because, having been brought under conviction of sin, and converted, they come into it to find Christ their Saviour. Propositions to liberalize mean parting with some of the Church’s inherited faith, either in respect to her government, or her doctrines, and accepting in place a large amount of variable opinions produced in the theological workshops by the clash of modern thought.

Now the ancient doctrines and practices of the Church have upon them the stamp and signature of the Church in all ages, countries, and times. They are doctrines and practices which have borne the test of nineteen centuries. Their value has been demonstrated by the conversion of millions of people and the lives of saints. We are asked to surrender some portion of this true and good money for a lot of unauthorized “green goods.” It is a “green goods” game, which it will be well for the Church not to take part in.

Another delusive comment pressed, is that if we wish our Church to grow and become the Church of the land, it must be more “liberal.” But certainly the way to develop the real spiritual growth and efficiency of any religious body is not by letting down the bars, and by making matters of indifference of doctrines received from the beginning and held universally in the Church. It is just those bodies that have held more stringently to the Faith, and have more positively taught it, that in this age of unsettlement have drawn the greater number within their fold.

The spiritual growth of our own body depends, not upon liberalizing, i.e., minimizing the Faith, but upon more explicitly avowing our Catholic heritage, apostolic government, and sacramental system of worship.

An important factor in the plan of the liberals to enlarge our membership they overlook. They mistakenly think a number of half-breeds now partly Christian and partly infidel, will be drawn into the Church. But they do not stop to consider how many more they will drive out of this Church. No well instructed Christian Churchman could remain in a Church which, for instance, made formal recognition of the position taken by Professor Allen, i.e., that the Anglican Church has broken with the fourth Ecumenical Council, or any Ecumenical Council! The Church has affirmed again and again she has not done so. But if now the Protestant Episcopal Church takes that position, she breaks the thread of life that binds her to the Church as founded by Christ. She is no longer Catholic. She has committed spiritual suicide. And no loyal Churchman could remain in her communion. To one who might be drawn to her, those who left would be counted by the hundred.

There is, with some, a desire to see all Protestant bodies, as they are called, brought into some one great confederation. It goes along with the American trust-forming business spirit. Its dominant idea is the formation of a big concern. It measures strength by quantity, not quality. It thinks of the Kingdom of God as if it were a mere human-made society, or a combination of societies. It would make the Episcopal Church simply an annex or member of a man-made trust. If such indeed is the course that our Church is to take, our liberal friends cannot avoid adopting for it a new name. They would not, of course, take the title of “American Catholic.” They would want a title which would express the new attitude and the changed quality of the old Episcopal Church. A title we would therefore respectfully suggest for their consideration. Considering the left-handed connection with the sectarians involved and the embodiment of Unitarian principles, the title might well be “The Great American Liberal Morganatic Church.”

When the popular cry of Liberality is raised, it is well for Churchmen to consider that the word “liberal” means to make free with, and we have no right to make free or give away that which is not our own. Now the Faith has been given in trust to the Church. St. Paul’s command to Timothy was in the selection of clergy, to pick out “faithful men;” men, that is, who would be faithful to the Church. In our day, the Church is asked to embark, so to speak, in a speculation for its growth. Promises are made of an increased number of adherents, and of large sums of money, and of increased missionary enterprise. And it is proposed, in order to secure this great, enticing profit, that the Church shall put her hand into the strong-box of her creeds and abstract from that sacred deposit of her Faith some of her most valued possessions. The Church is being thus tempted to betray her trust and commit a crime; a crime worse than that of any embezzlement or defalcation of earthly money. Men who would abhor committing such a crime in respect to funds entrusted to them, think it right to be liberal or “make free with” the things of God.

This attempt to modify the Church’s Catholic position and doctrines breaks her continuity with the past, reduces her thereby into the condition of a sect, and under the specious promise of greater growth and earthly prosperity, it brings before the Christian mind the solemn scene of our Lord’s final temptation. Disguised as an angel of light, Satan proposed to the Master, simply on condition of His acknowledging his authority, to give Him all the kingdoms of the world. There was to be no crucifixion, no opposition on the part of man. It was a Broad Church offer. It had a business-like ring. Undoubtedly Satan could have done what the Radical party cannot do—deliver the goods. But the Kingdom of God was not to be a successful kingdom in the world, or for the world, or even over the world, but was to be built up and prepared for the eternal reign with Christ in glory of those who are dead to the world, and crucified with Christ.

We do not know what the plan of the liberalizing party is. It has been suggested that any legislation respecting the establishment of a Court of Appeals in matters of doctrine will be opposed. So long as none exists, the followers of Crapsey can say the Church has not condemned them. Or if a Court of Appeals must be had to complete our system, then they would have a small one, whom they might influence, composed of a few Bishops, clergy, and laity. Such an one would not be a Churchly one. The only Churchly Court on doctrine should be the House of Bishops. They are elected by the Church and represent her. Their number secures a balanced judgment. They have been especially commissioned by Christ as the guardians of the Faith.

C. C. Fond du Lac.


[1] The Living Church, July 6 , 1907, p. 340-341.

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Reminiscences, by Charles Chapman Grafton (1903)

To the Editor of The Living Church: [1]

THE Catholic party has in the course of its eventful history made its mistakes. It has, however, never been unwilling to recognize them when kindly pointed out by friend or foe. Our cause has been too great not to be able to bear criticism, and too precious not to be willing to avail ourselves of it.

Having for more than fifty years been closely identified with it in America and England, let me, with the open acknowledgment of my own blunders and inferiority to many of my juniors, give your readers the result of some of my observations and experience.

The Tractarian movement under its earliest leaders was one of notably great learning and holiness. No one could be with such men as Pusey, Keble, Marriott, or Carter but felt he was in the presence of saints. But in its earlier manifestations the movement was largely academical. It touched mostly the intellectual, the scholars, the refined. But it did not reach the masses. Then a day came when an intense missionary spirit was kindled and Catholics began that wonderful work among the poor in the East of London of which Charles Lowder and Mackonochie were such notable leaders. Along with this popular missionary work Ritual began to be more strikingly developed than it had previously been.

There was always from the beginning a class of the Tractarians who devoted themselves to the study of the ancient liturgies, architecture, and ceremonial. The Cambridge-Camden Ecclesiological Society took in this department the lead. Much had been done in the improvement of the interior of the old churches. All Saints’, Margaret Street, had been built and was looked on as a sort of Catholic Mecca. But in the later fifties and early sixties there was a much greater ceremonial development. The common folk could not read the learned treatises which established the continuity of the English Church with the past, or the validity of her orders, or the sacramental life she possessed. It had to be brought home to them by ritual as an object lesson.

And so, based upon the ornaments rubric which stood at the beginning of the office of Morning Prayer, the practical missionaries of that day revived the vestments and lights and ceremonial that the English Church by this rubric claimed as her inheritance. Whenever it was tried along with faithful parish work, and with the deep evangelical spirit of the early pioneers, great marvels were wrought and the English Church began to regain its hold on the masses, especially the poor.

But now came a trial. The Low Church party were held in the grip of their inherited Calvinistic or Puritan theology. They were intense partisans and had succeeded in getting a worldly Prime Minister to fill most of the Bishoprics with Low Churchmen. They saw, and would see, nothing in the Tractarian movement but an approach to Rome. It was undoing the work of the blessed Reformers. It was reestablishing priestcraft and was a retrogression to the Dark Ages. And by inflammatory appeals to the Englishman’s inherited prejudices against Rome they lashed the popular mind into a white heat of hatred and distrust. The poor Tractarians were seeking like Wesley to save souls. They were working for Christ and were trying to develop a higher standard of holiness. They were setting the example in the midst of a worldly age, of entire consecration and self-sacrifice. Their watchword was the Bible and the Prayer Book; the Bible the Word of God, the Prayer Book its interpreter. But it did not matter. The mark of the scarlet woman was on them. So the Bishops thundered opposingly in their charges, and the world’s great organ, the “London Times,” never ceased to rage against them. Under the stress some were driven, as Newman had been before, to Rome. But in the sixties and there along, there were not so many secessions, save of inferior persons and some fashionables whom Manning, the great apostle to the “Genteels,” captivated.

But in the development of their onward ritual movement some of our good men made a grievous tactical blunder. They went on too fast in their ritual development. Mackonochie, to whom all honor belongs for his noble, self-sacrificing life, “felt,” as Canon Woodford, afterward Bishop of Ely, said to me—“the pulse of his congregation but not of the Church. The Church was ready for an advance on the ritual of All Saints’, but was not prepared for what Fr. Mackonochie introduced.”

Some of us here in America have made the same mistake. We have thought what it was possible to do in our own parishes and have not considered whether we might not be endangering the whole cause. It requires much judgment so to advance as to draw more with us than we drive back. Mackonochie and his friends went ahead and developed a ritual that at the time startled the Church. It might have succeeded if his friends had not asserted, and in seemingly defiant tones, that this was the legal ritual; that it was the legal ritual authorized by the rubric, the legal ritual that all true Churchmen were bound to obey.

It was this attitude that created the opposing Church Association. I always thought we were partly to blame for its existence. For this attitude simply made the Low Churchmen mad. And no wonder. It was as much as saying, nolens volens, you, too, have got to wear all these abominable and popish vestments. So, as fighting for their very existence, the Church Association arose and appealed to the Law.

Now the Ritualists were able and learned men, and especially skilled in the history of the Prayer Book, but they were Englishmen, and insular and obstinate at that. The ornaments rubric declared that vestments and altar lights and incense were legal. Our friends started in with that conviction. I remember in the fifties, being then a student of law at Harvard, examining the question and coming to the same conclusion some great English lawyers subsequently did. I believed the six points were part of our lawful heritage.

But our English friends made one mistake. They were Englishmen, and had a great belief that justice would be rendered in their courts of law. What was law would of course be decided to be law. Now courts of last resort in all countries, in France, in the United States, and in England, when political or religious questions are involved, do not decide according to law. They have not done so since the days of Pontius Pilate. These courts are governed by policy. Some have a theory that, being courts of last resort, they may usurp legislative functions, but it is scarcely defensible. Anyway, so it turned out in England. The Privy Council, whose judges are selected, was packed with persons known, like the Presbyterian Judge Collins, to be of a hostile mind. The notorious Lord Westbury was another member. The decision in one instance was so in violation of justice, that one of its members, Chief Baron Kelly, publicly proclaimed it was a decision governed by policy. The decisions became contradictory and were afterwards riddled by experts. But we Ritualists were to blame for not knowing, or not believing when told, that the decisions were bound to be not according to law, but to public opinion.

The Ritualists played the game badly. They ought to have deferred a legal contest till they were stronger. But they did not accept the cautions given them by Pusey and older men. They should have acted more unitedly, and advanced more together, and not have joined horns in legal battle till they had got a public moral backing of some weight behind them. Well! we got beaten in the English Law Courts, and badly beaten, and for nigh twenty years the movement sagged and suffered. Then came the deliverance.

The (Low) Church Association had wisely, up to this time, picked out for attack churches whose Rectors had little standing. They attacked, for instance, Purchas of Brighton, who was a florid Ritualist, and then attacked a precocious young Ritualist whose name was Ridsdale. The Church Union was forced into their defense. The old Tractarian leaders among themselves regretted the unwisdom of these men, but they could not help themselves. These advanced Ritualists, not caring for others, threw the match into the powder magazine. The Church Association won their triumph over them. But, flushed by success, at last the Church Association ventured to attack the saintly Bishop of Lincoln, Dr. King. Then Archbishop Benson took the matter into his own hands, and sweeping away the Privy Council’s authority and decisions, gave a judgment which allowed of a use of lights and vestments and the mixed chalice, and so gave new life to a beaten cause.

Upon this, our friends acted with their usual unwisdom. In London a few, without any reference to their Bishop, with whom as Catholics they knew the jus liturgicum resides, began to introduce new and additional services. One had Benediction, one the saying of the Rosary, another the Roman offices for Holy Week. They began to have a wild time generally. We are Catholics and believe no national Church can contradict the utterances of undivided Christendom. But has any priest a right to introduce any service in addition to those in the Prayer Book without at least the tacit assent of the Ordinary? But our friends, shouting out, “Catholicity, not Anglicanism,” went their own way. Not a little that frightened the public was the unwise negotiation with Rome. No wonder the English public went mad. No wonder a Kensit arose. No wonder the Archbishops decided against the use of incense. No wonder that the British Parliament has brought in a new drastic Church Discipline Bill. Our extremists in England have just steered their ship on the rocks.

God, who had delivered the people again, and again, may allow and overrule all this to a readjustment of the relations of the Church and State. But we Ritualists have chiefly to blame ourselves for the disaster.

The mischief is done, in England. The question for us in America is, Shall we follow the lead of those who have brought such disaster upon the English Church?

C. C. Fond du Lac.


[1] The Living Church, May 9, 1903; reprinted in Works, Vol. 7, pp. 205-212.

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Independent Polish Catholic correspondence with Charles Chapman Grafton (1900-1910)

From the Archives of the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Bishop II, Grafton, Charles Chapman, Box 4.

ALS by L. W. Pochiechowski to CCG, Chicago, February 16, 1900.

            I am perfectly to his Grace but I hope his Excellence will exept my following prayers as I am an old friend to the Episcopalion church in American and my prayers are as follow. Being well acquainted with a student from Krakow Austria Europe who received Subdiaconate from Duke Bishop Przen formerly the Slavonic Greek Catholic and now Roman Catholic Bishop, The Subdiacon Anthony Ostrogski. I have advised him to ask your grace to ordain him as priest for the Slavonic Independent Church in America or for Roman Church or to ordain him as an missionary the gentleman can not write English therefore I am doing this. The gentleman concerning to the Slavonic Greek Catholic Church understands well the ceremonies in there own native language as well as the Romans Missaele I must say that the gentleman has got good moral standing and not from common family but he is alone without any friends and is in need and out of financial. I made him proposition to go to the Old Catholic Bishop Kozlowski and he answered I should never go to a two faced man, than Kozlowski’s consecration is very low and I as well as my friends shall always look out from Kozlowski and Kaminski. I do not blame the gentleman then when my priest who was ordained by Kaminski in Buffalo and comes to Kozlowski is ordained again so Kaminski repeats the same way. Now we can see how low these two Church Prelats standing between there country people. So I must say that the circumstances as well as the hope is very poor and further would not be any use for me to take it into consideration as there is no God’s blessing. The Slavonic people would be very glad to have there own priest and the prayers in there own language the gentleman is perfectly satisfied to ask your Grace to receive the Holly ordination from your blessed hands. We have seen your worthly photograph it represents a Roman Bishop, and it is very nice token therefore the wishes of the gentleman are to be ordained as a priest from yours Grace and not from other Episcopalian Prelats.

I Remain Yours,

Homilibus servus

L. W. Pochiechowski

28 Mautene Ct.

Chicago, Ill.

ALS by AK to CCG, Chicago, August 10, 1900. Letterhead of Independent Catholic Diocese of Chicago.

Right Rev. Sir:—Your communication of the 7th inst. to hand and contents noted.

            When you arrive at Chicago kindly let me know either by mail or telephone and I will be greatly pleased to pay you a visit at the Auditorium and extend you an invitation to see the Hospital which I am building. I will be pleased to talk over the propositions made by you. With kind and fraternal regards I remain

Respectfully Yours

Bishop Anthony Koslowski

ALS by AK to CCG, Chicago, September 3, 1900. Letterhead of Independent Catholic Diocese of Chicago.

Right Rev. Sir:—I must beg pardon for not answering immediately to your favor of the last month enclosing $100.00 for which kindly accept my sincere thanks, everything is progressing quite favorably and our in hopes to visit you when the time arrives.

            The loan is progressing slowly as the opposition is giving us a great deal of trouble.

            Kindly inform me whether and when I could visit you prior to the consecration, say about the first of Oct., I would like to see you. I remain

Respectfully Yours

Bishop Anthony Koslowski

ALS by Alexander S. Leszczynski to CCG, September 18, 1900

To His Lordship:

            Your letter to hand and contents noted. Bishop Kozlowski has left the city for several days and I reply to your letter, stating that he will notify you twenty four hours prior to his departure to Fond du Lac, by telegraph. Will be very glad to visit with you and hope that his visit will be of some benefit towards the hospital. I remain with kind regards,

            Respectfully yours,

Alex. S. Leszczynski

ALS by AK to CCG, Chicago, September 28, 1900. Letterhead of Independent Catholic Diocese of Chicago.

My Dear Bishop: I have been very much pleased with my visit to you at Fond du Lac and shall be pleased to visit you in November. I have spent a very pleasant few hours with you and am pleased to have the opportunity of meeting you again.

            I have received several books from you which have pleased me greatly, for which please accept my thanks.

            The hospital is progressing and I hope to move into it shortly, nevertheless my opponents are causing all sorts of objections which gives me a great deal of unnecessary work.

            Hoping that your work is nearing completion and that your school is fairly started. With the best regards I remain

            Most Respectfully Yours in Christ—

            Bishop Anthony Koslowski

ALS by AK to CCG, Chicago, November 9, 1900.

Rt. Rev. Sir:—We have arrived home safely last evening, after spending an excellent and enjoyable day. I think the plan talked over is very feasable and by united efforts can be brought about.

            I am very sorry that I could not bid you a hearty good by, I have been looking for your Excellency but that we were hurrying home so as to go out and gather some means to pay my men working upon the hospital, have been unable to meet you before the train left.

            Another reason for my hurry home is that those working on the hospital must be looked after, for when I am not at home they only spend their time in idleness.

            I am certain that the efforts on your Excellency step forward toward the unity of Catholics will, by the visit of San Francisco and [torn page with lost text] good results I remain

            Most Respectfully Yours in Christ—

            Bishop Anthony Koslowski

ALS by AK to CCG, Chicago, November 25, 1900

Rt. Rev. Sir:—“Have pity on me, have pity on me, at least you my friends, because the hands of the enemies hath touched me.”

            The above as you will see is exactly my position at present. The Romans are persecuting me at every point. Loans which I have attempted to make have fallen, through their continuous watch, and now I must appeal to my friends to assist me in my undertaking. I would therefore kindly ask Your Lordship, if possible to assist me, or refer me to some charitably inclined persons who will be kind enough to give me immediate assistance.

            Hoping my few remarks will be received by Your Lordship as from a friend striving for the same cause and that my remarks at Fond du Lac will be remembered I remain

            Most Respectfully Yours in Christ—

            Bishop Anthony Koslowski

ALS by AK to CCG, Chicago, December 6, 1900

Right Rev. Sir:—I have noticed that an article circulated, endeavors to connect me with Mgr. Leon Bouland, who, at present is somewhere in the East. In reply to such a charge I will state that he (Bouland) has been with me for a brief period, (about 3 months), and was contemplating the building of an industrial school. As the work I am interested in and finding his commercial interests, also that I could not associate with a man who was dispossessed of all religious faith, I at once dropped him.

            I am sorry to hear that he (Bouland) is in any way connecting my name in seeking aid for his own enterprise. He had permission to collect for the work I am interested in, while at Chicago, but a day before his departure we learned that he as Judas sold Christ for a few silver pieces, would sell what is holy. Having proof of the above we demanded the return of our permission for collection of funds, but also not to use our name, as it would be absurd to be connected with such people. If you can kindly inform me where he is I shall make a demand for the return of the permission etc.

            Hoping that this explanation will sufficiently vindicate me of the connections between us and Mgr. Bouland, and that you will kindly espouse the Christian cause for which we are endeavouring, that the “American Churchman” will kindly use its columns to rid me of such charges I remain

            Most Respectfully Yours in Christ—

            Bishop Anthony Koslowski

ALS by AK to CCG, Chicago, April 3, 1901. Letterhead of Polish Catholic Diocese.

Rt. Rev. Sir:—Having returned from the East and having had the pleasure of visiting Bp. H. C. Potter also lunch and conference with the Bishop which has given us great pleasure.

            We have also visited a number of men with wealth, which we need at present to complete our work, and results have been quite favorable.

            Although promises, we are pressed for the present, as our work progresses, it requires to much obligations. We are also giving a Concert and entertainment at the Auditorium for the benefit of our work, which takes place on the 11th inst. and hope to make it a success. We would kindly as Your Lordship to write a letter to Bishop Wm. E. McLaren 1825 Rosco Bould. asking him to recommend us to Bishop Wm. A Leonard 840 Euclid Ave. Cleveland Ohio, as the Bishop has promised us assistance providing he had reference from Bishop McLaren to present to various men of means in Cleveland.

            We must also inform you that while at New York, we had the pleasure of being at his church and taking part in Confirmation and the Rt. Rev. Bishop invited us to call on him any time we should be at New York.

            From what we have heard from the European Bishops as Herzog etc. that they are of the same opinion as we are as to the unity of Churches, and have faith in the Lord that the unity will soon take place.

            We enclose under another cover some of our phamphlets setting forth our works.

            Hoping Your Lordship is enjoying good health and Your Co-Adutor Bishop Weller also.

            We remain

Yours in Christ

Bishop Anthony Koslowski

ALS by AK to CCG, Chicago, June 14, 1901. Letterhead of Polish Catholic Diocese.

Rt. Rev. Sir:—Kindly inform me when I could pay you a visit at your residence. I would be greatly pleased to call upon your Lordship, to have a personal conference with you, when you are at your earliest leisure.

            Hoping you will kindly give me an early reply I remain

Yours in Christ

Bishop Anthony Koslowski

ALS by William E. Enman to Moorehouse, Nashua, New Hampshire, February 11, 1903

Dear Mr. Moorehouse,

            My Polish friend, whom I saw Sunday, is much pleased that his letter has been published, and also with your editorial. But he says it is a mistake to say that Fr. Hodour was “refused” consecration by the Armenians. When Fr. Hodour went to Europe early last autumn he did not even see the Armenian Bishops, but had hoped while in Poland to complete the negotiations begun in this country, through correspondence. The Eastern Polish Catholics still have reason to hope that the Armenian Bishops will confer the episcopate upon Fr. Hodour, whom they (the Poles) say is in every way worthy of it.

            My friend would be pleased if you would correct the statement that Fr. Hodour was refused consecration.

            What follows is not for publication:

            My friend considers that Bp. Kozlowski is large to blame for the fact that the Poles in the East are not consolidated with those West. He says the Bishop was invited to the conference held by their priests. Bp. K. did not attend and has treated them with great indifference. He says “Bp. Kozlowski has no energy.” My friend would like to see the Eastern Poles consolidated with those of the West under a Bishop consecrated by the Old Catholics. He thinks that possibly Bp. Grafton might be able to stir Bp. Kozlowski up to a sense of his duty in this respect. I said I thought I would write Bp. Grafton about it.

            I have written this to you thinking that possibly sometime you might find opportunity to make suggestions to some who could help.

            Yours very sincerely,

            William E. Enman

P.S. There are 14 churches under Fr. Hodur, who is very energetic in forming parishes. Besides these there are a number of independent congregations not yet attached to any Bishop or overseer.

ALS by AK to CCG, Chicago, July 25, 1903

Rt. Rev. and Dear Bishop,

            Your kind letter of the 24th inst. to hand.

            I am sorry I cannot accompany you to Europe to the Old Catholic Conference which takes place on the 26th day of August 1903 at Warnsburg, Bohemia, also the Holy Synod at St. Petersburg, Russia, the fist reason being that financially I am unable to undertake the trip, and secondly I cannot go to Russia as being a Pole their politics will not permit me.

            I am very pleased to learn that Your Lordship has been honored with the invitation to attend the Holy Synod at St. Petersburg and hope that the Conference will result for the good of the Unity of the Holy Catholic Church.

            I have had a very pleasant visit (when East) with Bishop Potter at Cooperstown and was promised that the Bishop would do all in his power to aid me so as to secure a loan for the hospital, but as time is passing fast and the loan is not consummated, probably a few words from Your Lordship  to Bishop Potter would hasten matters. I also had a conference with Rev. Dr. Huntington and others at New York, at Boston I have seen Rev. Dr. Van Allen, Rev. Dr. Lindsey and others.

            Financially no results were obtained, as the wealthy people have had left for their summer resorts, and will not return until fall. I have seen some very Influential persons and showed them Your Lordship’s recommendation also Bishop Potter’s, they expressed the greatest of sympathy and promised aid in the fall.

            Our work is progressing. I have an addition of five new parishes, but am short of priests who speak Polish.

            With the best of wishes and an enjoyable trip to Europe

            I am Yours in Christ,

Bishop Anthony Kozlowski

To Rt. Rev. C.C. Grafton

Bishop of Fond du Lac

ALS by Henry Codman Potter to AK, New York, November 12, 1903

My dear Bishop

            I believe in you, and in your work, and I am assured, on authority that I think good, that the property on which you want a loan is abundantly worth more than you want temporarily to borrow. I can not command any such sum; but I shall be glad to subscribe one hundred Dollars toward the interest for one year.

Fraternally yours,

H.C. Potter

Typescript “excerpt from letter dated Fond du Lac, July 18, 1905.”

I hear of the result of the book in various directions. A Roman Catholic Priest of clean life and obvious ability, has put himself in correspondence with me, and desires to enter my Diocese. He wants, as he says, to be a Catholic but not a Roman. I believe there are many such, and if our Church was only what S. Edwards is, or our Cathedral here, we should have more applications than we should know what to do with.

            Bishop Potter and some others are really awakened to the Polish Catholic movement in this country. For several years I addressed the House of Bishops on the subject and gained but little hearing. Now they want me, with some others, to see what can be done in the way of establishing intercommunion.

I cannot begin to tell you of the enthusiasm and love and unity manifested amongst the clergy in my diocese. The influence of it is extending in various directions. I cannot be too thankful to God for the love of my clergy and their co-operation.”

Typescript “excerpt from letter dated Fond du Lac, September 23, 1905.”

On the 8th Sept. I dedicated the new Convent here. It was an epoch. The building is strictly Conventual. It cost about $60,000 and is paid for. The Chapel is very devotional and was the gift of Miss Codman of Boston in memory of her mother. We had 32 Sisters and postulants in line.

I have been called on to help in drawing up a Constitution for the Old Catholics in this country and they have taken my suggestion and adopted verbatim my Theological Articles. Some members of the Committee appointed by our house meet Bp. Kozlaski and others October 4. It is only a preliminary.

Typescript “excerpt from letter dated Fond du Lac, November 22, 1910.”

My very dear Friend:

            I know that you are so much interested in all my doings, and follow me with such loving prayers, that I write to tell you what the doctor says of me. You know I have been troubled for many months with this pain in my right knee and leg, and nothing seems to relieve it. Dr. Wiley gave me an examination yesterday, and gave this disorder some technical name. He says nothing will relieve it except absolute rest, and has put me in bed for a couple of weeks, so I shall keep my Thanksgiving Day in bed, but hope to be up before Christmas surely.

            It has been a spiritual benefit to me to think how our dear Lord fell in carrying His Cross to Calvary, and so bruised His knees and I may humbly hope that this dispensation of His Providence may be like a little stigmata of the Passion. I am all unworthy to be united to Him in any way, but it may thus be for my own sanctification and the good of the Church. 

I am trying to arrange a meeting between our Committee and the Polish Old Catholic Bishop, and also with the Syrian Bishop Raphael. I am glad I can help somewhat by direction and prayer.

            You must take care of yourself, my very dearest Friend, for God has given us a work to do together for His Church.

            With my loving regards and blessing,

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Bishop Kozlowski and the Quadrilateral, by Charles Chapman Grafton (1907)

To the Editor of The Living Church:[1]

I HAD not before heard that the mode of administering the Sacrament by the Old Catholic Polish Church had been a ground of objection to entering into Christian fellowship with them. It never came up in any official dealings with Bishop Kozlowski, and he would not, I believe, have objected, had it been made a condition of conforming to our custom. Indeed he did so on some occasions. The feast of St. John is one of special observance by the Poles and in his church the Sacrament was administered in both kinds. It is fair to presume he would have done it always if asked to by us whose advice and counsel he sought. Administration in both kinds was commonly done, I know, in one of his churches. The Old Catholics in Europe, of which his organization was a part and by whose Bishops he had been consecrated, give the Communion in both kinds. I have three congregations of the Old Catholics (French) under my jurisdiction, and the same rule obtains. We should remember and make allowance for the fact that under Bishop Kozlowski the large body of Poles were being led out of Romanism and were in a transition state.

The objection raised by some was that in putting forth the Quadrilateral, we were only stating the preliminaries to a conference and that we should in practice demand much more than an acceptance of them. It was argued that we ought to have an authoritative statement of the faith of anybody seeking fellowship with us. In response a series of articles was drawn up and adopted in Synod by the Polish Old Catholics. I subjoin a copy. You may have published them before. But as such matters are quickly forgotten, I would respectfully ask their reinsertion. If we can bear in our communion with Pusey and Keble and Liddon and all of that school of Churchmanship, I do not see why we could not have allowed intercommunion between ourselves and these Old Catholics.

It is true that the opposition of Bishop McLaren had something to do with the failure. But with all respect to his great ability and theological learning, he, like some others, did not look kindly on any who left the Roman obedience. He thought they ought to stay where they were. He had no sympathy with the Old Catholic movement and consequently was opposed to Bishop Kozlowski. But if the Old Catholics had no right to break with the Papacy, neither had we, and I venture to think his ground was not in accord with the spirit of the Quadrilateral.

Concerning the latter, its third condition is somewhat ambiguous. It requires that there shall be in the administration of the Lord’s Supper “the unfailing use of Christ’s words of Institution and of the elements ordained by Him.” I think the general teaching of Catholic Christendom is that the priest in the prayer of consecration should purpose to do what Christ did. Our own words of consecration seem to be descriptive of what He did, rather than a repetition of the exact words He used. Does any part of the Church claim to know or use the words just as Christ spoke them? Then as to the elements, the condition was chiefly to guard against the practices of those who substitute water or grape juice or who do not use proper bread. While so far agreed as to the requisites of a valid consecration as to the administration of the Sacrament, the Catholic Church is not so unanimous. The Eastern Church administers by intinction. The Roman to the laity under one species. We may hold ours the better and more scriptural way, but it would be temerarious to say that the Roman laity did not receive Christ. And if this is the more charitable opinion, is it right for us to make the mode of administration a condition of intercommunion? I am loath to believe this is the determined position of our Church and the meaning of our peace-loving and peacemaking Quadrilateral. It would make the reestablishment of intercommunion with the East and West an impossibility.

Allow me to say one word for Bishop Kozlowski. I had much intercourse with him. He was a well-read theological student, a man of marked sincerity, one who made great sacrifices in leaving Rome, who was notedly humble and most responsive to advice, who lived in great poverty and self-denial, who had heavy burdens to bear and was incessantly attacked and plotted against, who suffered as few are called to do. He could not but feel the way his overtures and himself were treated by us. For one I am thankful his life of toil and suffering is over. He was a Christian hero and a devoted servant of God.C. C. Fond du Lac.


[1] The Living Church, February 9, 1907, pp. 505-506; reprinted in Works, Vol. 7, pp. 212-215.

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Early and Evening Communions, by Charles Chapman Grafton (1911)

To the Editor of The Living Church: [1]

I AM aware that the Rev. Daniel Wilson, an Evangelical clergyman, had an early celebration of the Eucharist. I do not think he began the practice. In the Annals of the Low Church Party, vol. I., p. 344, it is stated: “In 1828, Mr. Wilson commended a celebration of the Eucharist at 8 A.M., though how often we are not told. It was probably once a month.” Early celebrations were not a partisan movement inaugurated by the High Churchmen.

I was not aware that Dr. Hook had an evening celebration. I should be glad if anyone would cite the authority for it, as I do not find it referred to in his Life. Possibly he may have had a Maundy Thursday celebration, but that is a different thing. Evening celebrations, as established by Low Churchmen, have the aspect of a partisan movement, for the reason given for them, viz., to provide for the wants of the servant and laboring class, is evidently a fictitious one, as the Roman Church, which deals largely in this class, finds no need for evening Communion.

C. C. Fond du Lac.


[1] The Living Church, October 14, 1911, p. 815.

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Proportionate Representation in the House of Deputies, by Charles Chapman Grafton (1901)

TO THE EDITOR OF THE LIVING CHURCH:[1]

THE advocates of proportionate representation are wont to point to the correspondence between our national government with its Senate and House of Representatives, and our House of Bishops with the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies. They liken the House of Bishops to the Senate, and the House of Deputies to that of the Representatives. But do they not make a fatal mistake in overlooking the fact that the General Convention is composed of three houses and not, as Congress is, of but two? To be sure the clerical and lay deputies sit together, and on many questions vote, for convenience, as one body, but their house is composed of two distinct orders. These assert their independence by voting on all important questions separately, and each has thus a veto on the other. Thus the analogy breaks down. There are three Houses, not two.

Again, the House of Bishops is not in many particulars like the United States Senate. In the latter case the Senators are chosen by their State legislatures and represent their respective States. The Bishops, on the other hand, are not elected to the General Convention. They are not chosen by their Dioceses to represent them. They do not represent Dioceses. They do not come, as Senators do, for a term of years. They come there by virtue of their Order, of their prerogative as Bishops of the Church of God. They all have equal rights, whether Diocesan Bishops or Missionary Bishops, Coadjutors or Suffragans. They all belong to that same Order to which by Divine authority the government of the Church is primarily committed. So again the supposed analogy breaks down.

If there is any likeness in our General Convention to the secular government it is to be found in this: that the House of Deputies is like the Senate. It is utterly unlike the House of Representatives, for its members are not chosen by districts or by the people. Nor are the clergy chosen by the clergy of the Diocese to which they belong and so are their representatives, nor are the lay delegates chosen by the laity and so made their representatives. They are both chosen by their Diocesan Conventions or Councils, and so represent the Dioceses, just as Senators represent their States.

Experience has demonstrated the wisdom, in our civil polity, of having a governing body whose members represent the States and whose numbers are not based upon proportionate representation. The House of Clerical and Lay Deputies is this body in our Church and it would be as un-American to try to overthrow it as to overthrow State rights and State sovereignty and the system of their representation in our national government.

But this plea for proportionate representation is based upon a more grave mistake. It is based upon a worldly-minded and un-Christian policy. It is the evidence of a worldly mind to urge that numbers of communicants or amount of contributions should be taken into account. The deputies are not to represent either wealth or numbers. Like the Bishops, though elected, they represent both the Diocese that sends them (and so each Diocese sends the same number) and also their Order. The clergy represent the clerical Order; the laity, who are in their degree kings and priests unto God, represent their Order. The two do not come together to represent the people as the House of Representatives does. They represent, irrespective of the number who may have voted for them, or the wealth of their Dioceses, their own respective orders. As Church legislation does not represent and is not intended to represent the mind of the majority of the Church members, there is no need of any house for that purpose. Herein is a difference between civil government and Church government. In civil matters we are governed, or supposed to be, by the will of the majority. It is not so in the Church of God. We are governed, or seek to be governed in Church affairs, by the Mind and Will of God. To this end the Holy Spirit dwells in the Church and presides in its councils. What a Church council seeks by its debates and votes to ascertain is, not the mind of the majority of its Church members, but the Mind of the Spirit. Now the Mind of the Spirit is seen by making men to be of one mind in an house. It is by the agreement of the. Bishops, the clergy, and the laity, acting separately, that this Mind is shown. The plan of proportionate representation, in order that the voice of the majority may be learned, is then based upon a false principle. It is the endeavor to reconstruct the city of God upon the earthly principles of the city of Babylon.

The system proposed would moreover tend to increase one of the worst features of the American Church. Its worst feature is the political spirit, with its ambitions and popularity-seeking and maneuvering. That our whole system of elections engenders schools of theology many be beneficial, but party, or the political spirit, is a deadly thing. It would come to pass under proportionate representation that a few great Dioceses would control the Convention. Even if these were groups of Dioceses the evil would be the same or worse. It would lead to the Boss system, or government by bosses and cliques. It would increase a spirit harmful and dangerous and in marked contrast with the ways of God.

C. C. Fond du Lac.


[1] The Living Church, December 28, 1901; reprinted in Works, Vol. 7, pp. 197-201.

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Bishop Grafton on Bishop Peterkin’s “Open Letter” (1911)

To the Editor of The Living Church:[1]

MY good brother, Bishop Peterkin, is in favor of retaining the word Protestant in our Church title because it involves a denial of the Real Presence in the Eucharist, the Sacrament of the Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, and Sacramental Confession. These doctrines, he holds are Roman errors, repudiated by our Reformers, and not in the Prayer Book. On the other hand, many conservative Churchmen of different schools object to the term “Protestant” because it has come to mean a rejection of authority, of the plenary inspiration of Holy Scripture, of the supernatural generally, and miracles. It echoes the rationalizing spirit of the day, tends to a denial of the Deity of Christ, of the Virgin Birth of Christ, of the Resurrection of the body.

Modern Protestantism stands, therefore, for a decadent Christianity. As conservative and evangelical Churchmen we wish, therefore, to get rid of the title.

In the interests of peace, I would point out that what we Churchmen agree in believing, is not the Roman doctrine but one which is largely repudiated by Protestant sectarianism. We believe in the Real Presence. But our belief does not involve the Roman doctrine of Transubstantiation. Rome makes the manner of the change wrought by the consecration a dogma. We do not pretend to define the manner, but leave it a mystery. The Presence is after a heavenly and spiritual manner, ineffable and sacramental, and not in accordance with natural laws. Sectarian Protestantism denies the Real Presence and regards the Communion as a mere commemoration service. The word Protestant is thus associated with Zwinglianism. This is not the doctrine of the Prayer Book or of our reformers. Do we wish to be Zwinglianists? Shall we not get rid of a title that so compromises us?

Then as to the “Sacrifice of the Mass.” We do not hold that the Eucharist is a repetition or an addition to the work of the Cross. We do believe it is a sacrifice or offering made to God. Thus our Prayer Book bids the priest say, “these thy Holy Gifts which we now offer unto Thee.” Our American Prayer Book also calls the holy table an altar, and an altar implies sacrifice. Now our Lord’s Sacrifice had three parts to it. He freely offered Himself in the Upper Chamber. He offered Himself with the shedding of Blood on the Cross. He presented Himself as the Lamb slain before the Eternal Father in heaven. In the Eucharist we commemorate the voluntary offering of Himself. We make an unbloody and symbolical memorial of His death on Calvary, and plead, in union with our ascended Lord, the all-sufficient merits of His sacrifice. But in Protestant sectarian meeting-houses there are no alters, for they have no sacrifice to offer. Protestantism thus denies the existence of a form of worship which is essential to our Church. Ought we not to unite in repudiating a title which denies what our Church and our Prayer Book teach?

Again, then, as to “Eucharistic Adoration.” We Catholics do not adore the elements. Why not take our word as brother Christians for it? If we knelt down in worship before Christ when visible, we could not rightly be accused of worshipping His dress. Now our acts of worship are not paid to the elements, which are like the veils of His Human Body, nor to His Human Body apart from His Soul, nor to His Soul apart from His Divinity, nor to His Divinity apart from His Divine Person. His Divine Person is the object to which our adoration is paid.

He does not move from the right hand of Power, but abiding in His Spiritual Body the Church, makes Himself manifest within it, even as we believe that, without moving, He appeared to Saul on the roadway to Damascus. Our acts of worship, being directed to the Person of the Son of God, cannot be censured as idolatry, or Romanism, or as denied by our Prayer Book.

The worship of God enters largely into our Communion. On entering the church, which is God’s covenanted meeting place, we kneel down and recognize His Presence, but do not worship the building. Protestantism does not do this. It does not believe in the doctrine of holy or consecrated places or things. It regards the Communion elements as simply unchanged bread and wine. It received them sitting in its pews, with the bread and wine passed around on a waiter. Why, out of fear that our Eucharistic Adoration means something we repudiate, do you wish to retain the term Protestant, which implies something Churchmen of all schools abhor?

“Sacramental Confession” is, I know, a bugbear. It cannot however be denied that provision is made in the Prayer Book for confession before God in the presence of a priest, and a form of absolution given for the priest to pronounce. When, by whom, or how often, it is to be resorted to, are too large questions for present treatment. But all of the Catholic school recognize that it is not obligatory—as Rome teaches—but voluntary. It is a prerogative of priesthood and the right of the laity to use it as they please. It is an ancient mark of the Apostolic Catholic Churches. To deny it, by the use of the term Protestant, is to disparage our own heritage. Our Church certainly holds that her priests have power to declare and pronounce to penitents, the absolution and remission of their sins. This, sectarianism denies. Why then adopt a name which rejects what we Prayer Book Churchmen hold?

Let all Churchmen try to draw together. Each school needs the others. They are, when charitably understood, complementary, not contradictory. Much of all our differences lies in words. It is largely through verbal misunderstandings that we are kept apart. Thank God, however, theology is not religion, and it is religion that makes us all of one heart.

C. C. Fond du Lac.


[1] The Living Church, October 14, 1911, pp. 813-814. This letter responds to Bishop George W. Peterkin’s open letter (September 30, 1911, pp. 744-745) on the shared “distrust of Catholic advance which so generally characterizes Virginians.” Peterkin was the first Bishop of West Virginia, serving from 1878 to 1902.

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