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dealing with those forms of words which, as a matter of history, undoubtedly are the formal and authorized expressions of the faith of the Church as a whole throughout the centuries—that is, the Apostles' Creed, in the directest and completest sense conceivable; the Nicene Creed (so-called), with a completeness practically almost indistinguishable from that of the Apostles; and at least all the positive and actual meaning of the socalled Athanasian Creed: so far from being on the defensive against what may be expected to be more or less misleading, he is in the presence of what may naturally be presumed to be the simplest and most necessary utterance of that which is the very life of the Church's faith." (p. 9.)
The writer of this paper, it is evident, was rightly called a High Churchman. His conception of the Church could not be higher. It is to it that he refers his ultimate standard of theological truth. For him the belief of the Church, when once it has been ascertained, is final.
An outsider may ask, On what does this position rest? We may be sure that with Dr. Moberly its foundations lay very deep. A sentence I have quoted hints that the basis on which it stands is philosophical: it is "a truth primary and essential, a necessary result of the nature of man and of God." Those who have read the chapter on the "Holy Spirit" in "Atonement and Personality," will know what this means. No belief lay nearer to the heart of Dr. Moberly than this in the immanence of the Spirit, "the Breath, and Life, and Being the beginning and consummation-of the Church."*
This is significant; and there is another set of expressions which is also significant -those in which stress is laid on the use of the Creeds in acts of worship. For instance, the following:
"When he is baptized into Church membership, he is expected to repeat his Christian profession in the form of his baptism —that is, in the form of the Apostles' Creed-week-day and Sunday, day and night, as part of his unchanging worship -practically, you may say, every time he enters the House of God for worship at all." (p. 6.)
"(There is) an immense presumption in favor rather of the devotional profession in all ages of the Church's Creed, than any critical capacities of his own or others." (p. 10.)
"You will observe that, while there is this strong a priori presumption in favor of creeds in the abstract as creeds, the authority, to him, of any particular creed will vary just in proportion as it can be said, with more or with less approximation to truth, to be the very form with which the heart of the faith of the Church in all ages and places has been identified, and in which the devotional aspiration and worship of the whole historical Church has expressed itself with most undeviating conviction and joy." (Ibid.)
One feels that this impassioned imaginative language is as far removed as possible from that which regards the Creeds as a cold external authority, severely say ing, "Thou shalt believe this," and "Thou shalt not believe that"-much as St. Paul conceives of the Mosaic Law. The writer seems rather to identify himself with the Church, and to desire only to think what the Church thinks and say what the Church says. The identification is no new thing, but part or parcel of his very being; it has grown with his growth and strengthened with his strength, until it has become a kind of second nature. For all that, the identification is not merely
"Doctrinal Standards," p. 5.
emotional, but deliberate; it is an outcome of "the doctrine of the Incarnation, which sees in what is outward and bodily the consecrated method, not the imprisonment, or mere degradation, of the Spirit. Of the doctrine of Incarnation in that aspect, Church unity and Creed unity are, as it seems, a necessary corollary." (p. 19.)
And yet, in spite of this exalted ideal, there is allowed to be room for a certain progressiveness of interpretation. "One who takes the view described is prepared to comment on them (the Creeds) to any extent. He is prepared to recognize and to protest against all prejudices, however venerable, which may have attached to them." (p. 12.) He is prepared to admit that "Christians may have in some points attached to them false or inadequate meanings." But the one point at which he stops short is the admission that what "they properly do both say and mean is itself inadequate or false."
The margin of error, on this view, lies between expression and substance, expression and the truth expressed.
"He is perfectly conscious that human language is far less than a perfect instrument. He knows that spiritual realities are larger and subtler than our words. He knows that to different minds, to the same minds in different moods, the same creeds convey varying capacities of meaning. He is therefore prepared as on the one hand for all sorts of possibilities of misinterpretation or difficulty, so on the other for such progression, or at least varying capacities of spiritual apprehension in individuals or in the Body, that the same simple utterance of fundamental faith, being throughout in essential character the same, may yet have different aspects and a deepening significance." (p. 10.)
It is important to note that this range of interpretation is left open, not only for the individual, but for the Body (i.e., the Church). It is assumed that the current interpretation of clauses in the Creed will differ at different periods. The examples given are "the descent into hell, the resurrection of the body, or even the forgiveness of sins."
But although such clauses may be explained, they must not be explained away. The explanation must be such as can fairly be called "natural." The person who recites or subscribes the Creed may put upon it what meaning he honestly thinks it bears; but he may not put upon it a meaning which he does not honestly think it bears. Deliberate glossing is not allowed.
Dr. Moberly does not say in so many words that he regards the essence of the Creed-the "mind of the Church" expressed in the Creed-as infallible; but he evidently regards it as far more likely to be ultimately right than any criticism that has been passed upon it.
The view that has just been expressed turns, as we have seen, upon a conception of the Church that may well be called "high." We may appreciate fully its religious depth and beauty; but it would be another thing to expect that it would be generally, or even very widely, held. The religious experience out of which it grows will not be common, and the philosophical premises that lie behind it will hardly be more common. The "natural man"-the average man-is an individualist in philosophy.* For him to grasp the corporate life in the sense of Dr. Moberly, and to
On this see Dr. Strong's little book, "God and the Individual. (London, 1903.) Much that has of late been written on the subject of Personality would also be in point.
feel his own individuality merged in that larger whole, would require an effort that he will not readily be disposed to make. For the individual, self is the most certain thing that he knows. And the primary fact about it will seem to be that it is distinct from all other selves. It is just this distinctness which constitutes the problem of his relation to the Creeds. The average man, with this sort of common-sense philosophy more or less consciously held, if he is at the same time honest and sincere, will say to himself that his beliefs must be his own. He cannot take them at second hand, or on mere authority, even from the Creeds.
Of course there will be many persons who will not be so scrupulous. Without possessing any such exalted grasp upon the corporate life, but also without feeling the necessity for any philosophical basis, however homely, for their beliefs, they will take their start from the Creeds, and will not care to go behind them. They will accept them, practically on authority, as part of their inheritance as Christians. They will not feel called upon to verify them to their own consciences. They may well say, that what has been good enough for so many generations of Christians is good enough for them.
I suppose that the great mass-at all events the majority-of Churchmen and Churchwomen would come under this description. I am not thinking of them, but rather of those-if not the majority, yet doubtless a large class among professing Christians-who have sufficient robustness and independence of character to feel that they must needs think for themselves, and who hesitate to say, or allow others to regard them as saying, what they do not in their own hearts really believe.
I can easily imagine a member of this large class starting from individualist premises and unable to take anything altogether upon trust, and yet arriving at a result very similar to that which has just been described; at least cordially accepting the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds, and desiring to be, and feeling himself to be, a loyal Churchman.
Such an one will not take the Creeds, as they stand, simply on authority. He will weigh them, and weigh each clause in them. He will not regard the Church -even the Ecclesia docens-as infallible. And yet its decisions, and specially its decisions as embodied in the Creeds, will carry great weight with him. He will treat them, not exactly as authority, but as an argument-a form of the argument from consent. He will be reluctant to think that the universal belief of so many centuries has been wrong.
No doubt it is true, that not all that is found in the Creeds is equally and in the same sense universal. If the person of whom we are thinking is a scholar, and thoroughgoing in his methods, he will feel bound to test, as I have said, each clause of the Creeds in detail, and try to estimate the exact degree of consent which it represents. He will compare the Nicene Creed in its original form and in its later form or forms. He will put aside the Filioque to be considered by itself. will compare both forms of the Nicene Creed with other creeds current in the East. He will take to pieces, as it were, the traditional form of what we are accustomed to call the Apostles' Creed. He will distinguish between the oldest form of the Creed and its gradual accretions. He will consider what elements in both the Creeds have been constant and what variable. He will even go back behind the Creeds, and take into account those floating knpiyuara, as Harnack calls them, brief summaries of belief, current especially in the second century, disjecta membra of
FIRST CONVOCATION OF THE DISTRICT OF CUBA.
From left to right, standing-Rev. E. Planas, E. Sanchez, Rev. Pedro Duarte, Rev. C. W. Frazer, Rev. J. C. Mancebo, Rev. C. B. Colmore, H. W. C. Margary, Rev. E. Morrell, J. G. Peña. Sitting-Rev. M. F. Moreno, T. H. Harris, Rev. C. M. Sturges, the Bishop, the Chancellor-Mr. Albert Wright, Rev. W. W. Steel, E. G. Harris.
[Messrs. Duarte and Morrell were not members of the Convocation, but were in attendance upon its sessions.]
creeds not as yet exactly made, but in the making. All these multitudinous items our scholar will try, as best he can, to put into their place, in order that the argument from consent may take concrete shape, with due discrimination of its various shades and degrees.
It is probable that the scholar of whom I am now speaking-for we may as well take the type of mind that I have in view as seen in a scholarly representativewill be a strong believer in Divine Providence. If he is, he will not need to regard the Church as infallible, in order to have, short of this, a very considerable assurance that no belief that has ever extensively prevailed has so prevailed without a purpose. The enlightened Christian of the present day, who is student of comparative religion, will have this strongly impressed upon him by many common features even in the ethnic religions. Much more will it be impressed upon him when he comes to apply the same comparative method to the study of the many forms of the religion of Christ. Instead, for instance, of pouring scorn on the pagan stories of supernatural birth, he will regard their currency as testifying to some real principle in the nature of things, one of those hidden mysteries which, whether or not God wills that we should believe in it now, He certainly has willed that men should believe in time past.
An inquiring mind of this type will look out with a certain reverence and awe into the manifold phenomena of history and life. He will be slow to call anything common or unclean that he can reasonably
believe that God has cleansed. He will have little inclination to give up deeprooted elements in the faith, at the bidding of what he considers a shallow and sometimes flippant criticism.
For such an one the Creeds will be a great deal more than a string of dry propositions, the skeletons of belief unclothed with flesh and blood. They will be what, I think, Tertullian called his creed, contesseratio, "the password of brotherhood," the password by which a Christian is known to his fellows, the countersign that he gives when he is challenged.
When the Creeds are looked upon in this light, we begin to understand the emotion with which they are regarded; we begin to understand how they enter into worship, and as a part of worship are recited (to use Dr. Moberly's words) "with undeviating conviction and joy."
(To be continued.)
Rt. Rev. Albion W. Knight, D.D., Bishop. The first annual convocation of the Missionary District of Cuba convened Wednesday, Jan. 10. in Holy Trinity chapel, Havana, on Bishop Knight celebrated the Holy Communion, being assisted by the Rev. M. F. Moreno and the Rev. C. M. Sturges.
BISHOP KNIGHT ON THE NEEDS AND PROGRESS
OF THE CHURCH IN CUBA.
In his address, which he delivered in place of a sermon, the bishop called the attention of the convocation to the fact that the Church is now laying its foundations in Cuba, and that the convocation has before it the momentous duty of deciding upon those foundations. He emphasized the immediate need of a proper revision of the constitution and canons of West Virginia (which had been selected for use in Cuba by the Bishop of Porto Rico, while in temporary charge of the district), with reference to the requirements of the district, subject to the approval of the House of Bishops. Speaking of the Prayer Book, he said that the committee of the House of Bishops thought that they had no authority to adapt it to Cuban needs, or to do more than make a literal translation in Spanish of the American Book; but inasmuch as his district was under government, he felt at liberty to authorize and request the substitution of the words, "The President of Cuba" for "The President of the United States," in the Prayer for the President. He emphasized the imperative necessity of action with reference to securing a charter from the State, for the incorporation of the district, and the desirability of se
lecting a proper seal. For the proper preservation of important documents, he requested that all such should be filed with the registrar of the district, marriages. He spoke of the need of a with special reference to baptisms and school for the training of workers, to be held in some central location, where the clergy who had had such training might meet during a few months in the year for the purpose of giving this instruction. In order to teach the people that they are an integral part of the great body of the Church, and the imperative need of self help at the soonest possible moment, he called the attention of the convocation to certain offerings to be taken at appointed timesfor General Missions; for the Widows and Orphans' Fund; for the Fund for the Disabled Clergy; and for the Missionary Thank-offering. He especially emphasized the latter, saying that it was due from the district as a mark of its appreciation of what the Church is doing for it. "Let us begin right," he said. "I lay it therefore as a charge upon each missionary at work in Cuba, that he give each congregation abundant opportunity to make an offering to this great and important work."
The bishop then proceeded to give a general survey of the work for the past Holy Trinity church, Havana, alyear. though still without a building and using a rented one, secured a lot on which a church will soon be erected, which will be the cathedral of the district. In this will be held services in English and in Spanish, and to it will be attached all the clergy of the city. Calvario chapel, Jesus del Monte, Havana, has been organized as a mission and received into union with the convocation. The greater number of communicants are children; the work is entirely among the Cubans; and both Sunday and day-schools, which are held in a building owned by the Church, are large and flourishing. In Bacuranao is a growing Sunday-school due principally to the great interest of Mr. C. J. Huelsenkamp, co-operating with the archdeacon, the Rev. C. W. Frazer, and the devoted lay-reader, Mr. José Gonzalez Pena. Guayabal is only a preaching station where no organization is to be expected at present. The Church day-school in the Vedado, Havana, has an enrolment of about thirty, and the indications are that in the course of the year its income will meet the current
expenses. The work in the Church of the Incarnation, Matanzas, is growing stronger daily; the Rev. E. Planas has recently opened, in the old orphanage building, in connection with his school, a boarding and industrial department for which he has personally raised the funds needed for its equipment. There is imperative need for another mission in another part of the city. At Bolondron there is a good church, well furnished, in which worships a congregation thoroughly trained in the principles of the Church. Several hundred dollars are in hand, raised by Mrs. Van Buren, for the building of a rectory, and the Cuban Guild of Philadelphia has contributed $150 for a cement floor to the church. Ceballos is a rapidly growing town, with many Church people from England, Canada, and the United States. Services began there in December, under the Rev. Mr. Sturges, of Camaguey. Camaguey is another rapidly growing city, with many Englishspeaking people, among whom are many Church people. Owing to the rapid growth of the city it was impossible to rent a building, and property was therefore purchased. On the lot is a house for a rectory, and a chapel has been built. Nuevitas is in charge of the priest at Camaguey, and is visited in regular course. At Santiago de Cuba the Rev. J. B. Mancebo is doing an earnest, faithful and very successful work. At Guantanamo, the United States naval
station, and the headquarters of large sugar interests, one of the most important points in Cuba, there is already a very successful school for girls, inaugurated by Mrs. Brooks, and a mission has been organized. On the Isle of Pines services have been held monthly by the archdeacon in four places. The bishop expressed his hope that before the end of another year he might be successful in his efforts to secure an appropriation for the support of a resident minister.
OFFICERS APPOINTED AND RESOLUTIONS
After the opening services, the regular sessions were held in the bishop's house in the Vedado. On calling the roll, it was found that all the clergy entitled to seats in the convocation were present, with the exception of the Rev. José Ramon Pena; and that six lay delegates were in attendance. The Rev. C. M. Sturges was elected secretary, and selected the Rev. C. M. Colmore as his assistant. Various committees appointed by the bishop; the members of the Council of Advice being the Rev. Messrs. Steel, Sturges and Colmore; Messrs. T. H. Harris, Conant and Warren.
Salutations were sent to the President of Cuba and the Presiding Bishop, and the following motions were carried: (1) Expressing the hearty approval of the members of the council of any movement before the city of Havana looking toward the closing of stores and places of business on Sunday; (2) to memorialize the General Convention with reference to giving an official translation into Spanish of its constitution and canons and of the pastoral letter.
that a permanent fund be created, and
the Spanish Prayer Book now in use, The Creed a Series of Living
and prepare and report to the next con-
After the report of the committee on the Laymen's Missionary Thank-offering had been received, it was ordered that a committee be appointed to consider the question of cemeteries, and the legal status of the congregations of this Church in relation to them; another on Sundayschool instruction; and another with reference to the securing of a general Sunday law.
The committee on constitution and canons, to whom had been referred the revision and adaptation of the constitution and canons, was able to make its report only on the constitution; but this committee was empowered to act with the bishop in the matter of this revision, and report immediately to the House of Bishops, in order to secure their approval at the earliest possible moment.
The following officers were elected for the ensuing year: Treasurer, T. H. Harris; chancellor, Albert Wright; historiographer, W. W. Steel; registrar, E. G. Harris.
Contrasting the report of the committee on the state of the Church with the last report of this district, attention was called to the following facts: That the number of the clergy has increased from four to ten, including the bishop, whose coming has brought order and system and an immense spiritual power to this Church; that the number of baptisms was nine more than those of last year; that the increase in the number of communicants was at the very least 233, being more than 100 per cent.; that the number of Sunday-school teachers has doubled, and the number of pupils has grown from 85 to 437, more than 500 per cent.; that the increase in the day schools has been equally great, i.e., from 4 teachers to 13, and from 70 pupils to 403; that the value of Church property is considerably over $40,000; that the number of missions has increased from 9 to 18; that new missions have been begun in the important cities of Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo and Camaguey, and in the neighborhood of Havana; that a Church school for girls has been started in Havana, and that the school at Matanzas has opened a boarding and industrial department.
The proceedings of the convocation were conducted partly in English and partly in Spanish, as some of the delegates spoke the latter language only. The closing services were held in Calvario chapel, Jesus del Monte, Havana. The next convocation will meet on Wednesday in January,
COMMITTEE REPORTS AND APPOINTMENTS.
Parochial reports gave the following summary from eighteen stations: Baptisms, 50; confirmations, 37; marriages, 16; burials, 7; Sunday-schools, 9; teachers, 30; pupils, 437; parish the second schools, 5; teachers, 13; pupils, 403; 1907, in Bolondron. number of communicants, 453; churches, 4; other buildings, 3; total receipts for the year, $2,897; valuation of property, over $40,000. These reports were very defective, especially There is a certain amount of excuse with reference to the number of com- to be made, says a writer in Chambers's municants, the receipts, and the valua- Journal, for the young curate who, retion of property, which are all consid- marking that some people came to erably more than has been reported. church for no better reason than to On the second day of the convoca- show off their best clothes, finished up tion, after the usual devotions, the com- as he glanced over his audience: "I am mittee on the permanent Episcopal thankful to see, dear friends, that none Fund made their report, recommending of you have come here for that reason."
N. B. All letters intended for this department must be signed by the writers and the names must be for publication.
Truths, Telling the Believer,
To the Editor of THE CHURCHMAN:
It seems that there must be some confusion of mind in certain quarters in regard to the Creed of Christendom. The Creed is, in all its Articles, a series of closed questions. That is, they are no longer in the field for debate.
Every person who is baptized into the Church antecedently accepts the Creed. Every person who is confirmed renews that acceptance. ery person who receives the Holy Communion repeats his acceptance of it. Every person who joins in the Morning and Evening Prayer of the Church repeats the Creed as the confession of his faith to God as a personal and individual act.
This confession of faith in the Creed as a public declaration of belief is made es
pecially solemn and emphatic by its being uttered, as the Church orders, in the singular number, "I believe," etc., and not as the rest of the service, in the plural number, "Our Father," etc., "We beseech Thee," etc.
In the rest of the offices, the clergyman and his congregation are joined together by plural pronouns, "we, our, us"; in the Creed, they are each and every one separated, and each one for himself or herself answers as an individual declaration, "I believe," etc.
The Creed St. Paul calls "The Gospel," as he quotes three articles of it in his first letter to the Corinthian Church (1 Cor. xv. 1-4), "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received and wherein ye stand. By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what 1 preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which also I received, how that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures: and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures."
In this paragraph of his letter, St. Paul quotes to the Corinthians three articles of the Creed which he calls "The Gospel," because it contained the substantial teach
ing of the Old Testament, "according to the Scriptures," and of the New, of which he was made a minister. Thus the Creed, according to St. Paul, is the substance, the marrow of the written Word of God. It is to be noted that the felicitous form of expression, "according to the Scriptures," which St. Paul uses twice, still remains in the Creed as we recite it to-day. Another fact deserves special recognition, that St. Paul expressly asserts that he "received this Gospel, this Creed, this form of sound words." He did not invent it, or draw it up himself.
At an earlier date, on the Birthday of the Church of Christ, we are told in the Acts of the Holy Apostles (ii. 42) that the first believers, baptized on the Day of Pentecost, the very first rank in the army of Christ, "continued steadfastly in the Apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread and in prayers." Here we have the doctrine, the teaching of the Apostles, as the basis of instruction on which these first believers rested as the foundation of their belief.
The slight verbal changes which have been made in the form of the Creed since the beginning have been simply in the way of drawing out implicit truth and making it explicit, as, for example, in the earlier form of the Apostles' Creed it is affirmed simply that Christ was "buried," and that statement was sufficient because the burial of a man is more than the burial of a brute; a man's burial implies that while the body is placed in the grave, the spirit returns to the God Who gave it. But when a heresy arose which denied that Christ had an intellectual soul (Apollinarian), it was necessary to draw out and state the implicit truth, which corrected this error, and which was already in the Creed, and declare that "Christ descended into hell." That is, the Creed now asserts that as to His body Christ was buried, and as to His soul, He descended into hell, or went into the place of departed spirits. Thus the Creed now corrects Apollinarianism by affirming that Christ had a soul which, at His death, went into Hades, or hell, or the place of departed spirits.
The articles of the Creed for all Christians are closed questions, they are like the axioms of mathematics for all mathematicians, forever removed from the field of discussion or debate.
The articles of the Creed 'are not dead truths; they are living truths filled with the love of God for man. The love of the Father, in creation and forgiveness of sins; the love of the Son in redemption and resurrection; the love of the Holy Ghost in sanctification and restoration to "the presence of God and glory of His power." The love of God is a closed question, and the Creed of Christendom closes the door forever for all true Christians against any discussion or debate as to its absolute truth. The Creed, and the articles of the Creed, are not now in the field of doubt. They are absolute truths.
"God is Love" is the equation, so to speak, of the doctrine of the ever Blessed Trinity. The infinite love of God for man reveals His existence in Three Persons as showing His personal love for him, in creation, redemption, sanctification, forgiveness, resurrection and restoration in spiritual life to the Beatific Vision. These truths are all summed up and asserted in a divine order in the Creed of Christendom. That Creed is the proclamation that God is Love. It is the record of that love in its series of divine acts of the redemption of fallen humanity from the power of sin, Satan and death, and its restoration to Paradise, a better Eden than the first, and to Heaven, as the final and Eternal Home. It is impossible in the administration of discipline always to distinguish between the sinner and his sin; the culprit and his crime. The best that can be done in most cases is to meet the cunning, crafty distinction, for example, of Pompey, the pious old slave, with the same craft, as in the reply of his master. Pompey was a very zealous believer. He was loud in prayers, and praises, and exhortations, but he would-it was a bad habit of his-steal chickens. His master called him to account for his thefts and asked him how he explained the inconsistency of such demonstrative piety as he exhibited with the crime of theft. "Well," Pompey replied, “you see, Massa, Pompey has two natures, a spiritual and a carnal; the spiritual is all right, but the carnal sometimes gets the better of Pompey, and he steals. The spiritual nature in Pompey is good, Massa. It is the carnal nature which is bad and impels Pompey to steal." "Well," said his master, "I accept your distinction, Pompey; it is well and cleverly taken. I will let you off this time; but the next time you are proved guilty of stealing I shall feel compelled to flog the carnal na
ture of Pompey and leave the spiritual God's infinite love for man in a series of
Men who are under the bonds of voluntary pledges, promises, and even oaths, and yet deliberately and persistently violate those obligations, and play at the game of shuttle-cock with their vows, and seek to evacuate all meaning from Creed, prayer and sacrament, by interpretation, deserve discipline to uphold the integrity of the Church, just as men who steal and murder deserve the prison and the gibbet for the sake of the public good. There is no persecution whatsoever, nor even the faintest approach to persecution, involved in such discipline. It is simply suicidal for herself and threatened ruin to unnum. bered souls of her household, to allow such offenders to go free, and to make their escape from justice an occasion to promote the overthrow, in whole or in part, of the faith of God's little ones by saying, "Our level is the true plain of the Church. The Church is a home for all, Jew, Turk and infidel, without the acknowledgment of the fundamental principles of Christianity. She has no Creed, no platform of principles, no theological axioms. There is no such thing as heresy. It is an impossibility to be guilty of such an offence. There is, and there ought to be, no discipline in the Church. Discipline is the badge of barbarism. Away with it from the face of the earth. Let every man believe and do what seems right in his own eyes. The system of morality which insists upon truth as a necessity is worse than folly. Truth is for every man what he troweth, thinketh. What was true to him yesterday is a lie to him to-day and his present truth will be to him worthless rubbish to-morrow. He is a truth-seeker, not a truth-receiver and holder."
Our Blessed Lord crushed out all such ideas of faithlessness and disloyalty in his treatment of St. Thomas and St. Peter. Why did Jesus give St. Thomas a discounted blessing and receive him with a shadow of reproof, when He took him back to the embrace of His love? Because St. Thomas made confession of his renewed faith by the cry, "My Lord and my God," as the evidence of his senses drove the conviction into his soul that his risen Master stood before him. Jesus said, "Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." Here is a delicate rebuke and a discounted bless ing for St. Thomas, and a fuller blessing for others who without the evidence of the senses have believed, and do now be lieve.
Why did Jesus receive St. Peter back to His favor after his cowardly denials? Be. cause St. Peter repented of his sin, and "went out and wept bitterly." On this genuine repentance, our Lord received His apostle back to His favor, and lifted him by three gracious commissions, "Feed my lambs, Feed my sheep, Feed my sheep," to the level which he had occupied in His Master's confidence before his miserable fall in three denials that he knew Him. When men who have lost their faith recover it, and make confession of their belief, our Lord receives them back to His loving favor; when men who have disowned their Lord repent and bring forth fruits meet for repentance, He welcomes them back to His loving favor with every marked of restored confidence.
As regards Judas Iscariot, our Lord pronounces his doom in the awful sentence, "Good were it for that man if he had never been born." That is a refutation, pure and simple, of Universalism in any of its forms, since it is a declaration that in the case of one man, at least, existence is to him a curse.
We conclude with the statement that the Creed of Christendom is the recital of
The Attitude of the General Convention toward Truth.
To the Editor of THE CHURCHMAN:
I note in your editorial of Jan. 13 the following language, viz.:
"The General Convention has discouraged the original and independent investigations of scholars by refusing to accep in the simplest form the overwhelming voice of scholars as to mistranslations in the version of the Bible which it is our custom to use. The refusal in itself is not so important as the attitude it represents: toward truth. We wish to illustrate
the evil of such a principle of action the arbitrary substitution of something. else for truth.”
This is a strong indictment against the intellectual and the moral perception of the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies, and fills us with dismay. Is it possible that a majority of ninety bishops and a majority of more than five hundred clerical and lay deputies of the Episcopal Church "refused to accept in the simplest form the overwhelming voice of scholars as to mistranslations in the version of the Bible which it is our custom to use"? If so, we are convicted of ignorance and big otry. Let us investigate the charge.
(1) In the Journals of the General Con-vention for 1892 and 1895 I find that a resolution was adopted ordering that the obvious mistranslations and other inaccuracies in the version of the Bible "commonly used" ought to be corrected. I find that a committee of five bishops and five presbyters was appointed to go through the whole Bible, every chapter and verse of it, and report what amendments ought to be made. I find that after eight years of faithful service, the members of this committee, who paid their own expenses and devoted weeks and months of their time, travelling long distances in order to meet together, consulting scholars of high reputation, reported to the General Convention a list of Marginal Readings, which would, in their opinion, correct all the mistranslations in our present version and bring it up to date.
I find that the General Convention of 1901 referred this report to a very able and learned committee to consider, and that this committee, after rejecting some of the emendations proposed, reported favorably to both Houses, and that thereupon the Marginal Readings so agreed upon were authorized for use in the Church. I find, also, that this “Marginal Readings Bible" is now used in many churches, the "readings" being interpolated by the minister in the text, in order that the clergy may not be forced to read a version which is inaccurate. And yet THE CHURCHMAN says: "The General Convention refused to accept the overwhelming voice of scholars as to mistranslations of the Bible," and so adopted the principle "of the arbitrary substitution of something else for truth."
I think, Mr. Editor, that you will agree with me that the language of your editorial hardly does justice to the General Convention.
(2) I presume, that what the editorial was meant to refer to was the refusal of the General Convention in Boston to authorize formally the use of the English Revised Version of 1881; and so virtually to discredit "the Marginal Readings" and revoke its own action and policy for the previous ten years.
The resolution of the House of Bishops was carefully worded as follows, viz.: "Resolved: That, in view of the authorization by the General Convention of the Bible with marginal readings, the further authorization at this time of any other version is premature and unnecessary."
I heartily supported this resolution for many reasons, good to me, one of which was that the American Revised Version of 1901 is a hundred times better than the English Version of twenty years before, and has in this country (which is also good enough for me) practically superseded it. But whatever were the reasons which influenced the large vote in both Houses, it is not fair to say that the action was due to ignorance or obscurantism or bigotry, or that it was the adoption of the principle "of the arbitrary substitution of something else for truth."
THOMAS F. GAILOR, Bishop of Tennessee.
cluded what was given for work in Alaska.
As to the discrepancies in the number of ordained clergy in the mission field and the number of communicants in the native congregations, they are probably to be accounted for by the fact that, presumably, the compiler of the table used the 1904 report of the Board; the 1905 issue not being available at the time of compila
tion. The use of this 1904 report would History Is Made before It Can
also account for the failure to include Brazil and Cuba as fields for the Church's foreign work, as the transfer of those missions to the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society was consummated during the fiscal year 1905.
"Facts About Missions."
To the Editor of THE CHURCHMAN:
In your comment last week upon the "Statistics of the Protestant Missionary Societies of the World for 1905," appearing in the January number of the Missionary Review of the World, you have been misled by the special meaning given in that table to the words "home income." The amount so described, for this Church, $391,052, purports to be the amount of gifts for foreign missions only, from the congregations in this country. The figures you give as available to meet appropriations, $766,965, or if legacies applicable for the same purpose are added, $809,523, are correct; but they represent the amount given for the payment of appro
priations for both domestic and foreign missions.
The figures given in the Missionary Review table are correct so far as they go, but they do not tell the whole story of the Church's giving last year to foreign missions because they do not include gifts for special purposes. When these are added it appears that the amount of which there is record, given by the Church last year for foreign missions, is $569,180. This total is $160,000 larger than the best .previous record.
It would be entirely fair to add to this To the Editor of THE CHURCHMAN: $569,180 the following items:
JOHN W. WOOD, Corresponding Secretary of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society.
To the Editor of THE CHURCHMAN:
Can anyone inform me whether or not the marriage last month of Mrs. Thaw to Mr. Peet by a priest of the Church was in accordance with the canon? As I have seen no reference to this matter either in THE CHURCHMAN or The Living Church, I conIclude that it was regular, although it would not surprise me in the least to learn that it was in contravention of the rule.
It seems very strange to me that people who are apparently satisfied with a civil divorce should not be equally satisfied with a civil marriage. It is so incongruous to be married by the Church, divorced by the State, and then married again by the Church! I have not, however, despaired of seeing the Church yet take the high ground of prohibiting her priests from marrying a person who is divorced for any cause. Until this position is taken, rich divorcées can always find complaisant priests to perform the ceremony, in spite of "gentlemen's agreements" among the clergy of a diocese.
The net result of years of agitation in
general and diocesan conventions, the bitter debates and compromises, the committees and their reports, majority and
minority, would appear to be that a missionary society is needed for the propagation of the Gospel among the clergy. SIDNEY DOANE SHATTUCK.
Sir Oliver Lodge, on "Mind and Matter."
In connection with the letter of the Rev. James M. Owens (with which I am glad to associate myself most fully), I should like, if you will give me the opportunity, to draw attention to a recent utterance by Sir Oliver, not to be found in "Mind and Matter." Sir Oliver says: "It used to be thought that evolution was a self-managing process. But that was a mistake. It was a controlled and guided evolution, subject to intelligent management. That is to say, there was a mind back of it, and a design ahead of it. Natural selection and the survival of the fittest are not sufficient to account for things."
I regard conclusions and statements of this kind as quite as important and "epoch-making" (to adopt Mr. Owens's term) as Huxley's well-known statement of long ago as to Biogenesis, "That there can be no life except from life." Between
theology and geology, which are man's imperfect systems, there may be, and there is, conflict and contradiction, but between God's Word and God's work there can be no variance. Contradiction and conflict here are utterly impossible.
To the Editor of THE CHURCHMAN:
It seems to me that we are paying entirely too much attention to the new criticism of the Bible. After all, it is only the study of the literary development of a people, and that is only a very small part of the life of a people. It usually comes late in the life of any great nation like Rome or Israel. It presupposes centuries of development. History must be made before it can be written. The great make history; the less great write it, and the small criticise what is written.
Whether this literature belongs to the early years of their life or later, as is the case with most ancient peoples, is of small consequence.
All that we can ask of books is: Do they tell what they pretend to tell?
The books of the Bible pretend to tell the story of the people of the Ever-living God. They tell how that people originated, with what lofty conceptions their founder began, the failure to realize his ideals in actual life, the long conflict he and his descendants have waged with men of lower social conceptions, how many of them gave up the struggle, how the remnant held grimly on, how, in song and prophecy, the hope this founder entertained asserted itself until as a living voice it ceased in Malachi. Then it reappeared after centuries in St. John the Baptist, was realized in Jesus of Nazareth, and incorporated by His apostles as the essential life of their new kingdom.
Now the problem is not: What is the date of this or that book, or is each separate incident in that long story accurate
ly written; but, Have we in these books a
true story of the life of this wonderful and inspired people? Did they be
gin with a man, Adam, who conceived a
social state such as is revealed in Eden, a Kingdom of God free from sin, toil, pain and death? Did he try to realize it? Did he fail? Did the hope of its realization abide with him and his descendants? Were Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Isaiah, all the Judges, Kings and Prophets looking for that City of Peace, whose Builder and Maker is God?
Was that hope realized in the personal life of Jesus? Did it sustain the apostles in their great enterprise of evangelizing mankind? Is the Vision of St. John in the last chapters of his Apocalypse a City of Peace, free from sin, toil, pain and death, the realization of the social ideals of Adam?
This is what the Bible pretends to say. Is this story only a story, or is it substantially true to the fact of the life of the people of God?
After this literary criticism has said its last word, will this essential fact be touched? If the Bible had not been written, still is it not a fact that such a people as the people of Jehovah did exist with such an origin, history, hopes and destiny?
The literary man is always inclined to overestimate the book that tells the story of a people; the lover of his fellow-men cares more for the people described in the book. Whether the story is told well or ill is of small consequence, so long as it gives a correct idea of the people.