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religion is the least mechanical of all world-forces, and therefore cannot be reduced to a mechanical concept. Its intuitions are spiritual. Our intellectual functions may furnish confirmations to them; their inception belongs to another sphere.

So little reason is there in the trite contention that the divisions of Christendom evidence the instability of the foundations of its belief. All colours agree in the dark ; with light comes differentiation. When therefore we deplore our 'unhappy divisions' we do well to pause and reflect, not that divisions are necessarily unhappy' but that the Church has yet to learn her true attitude towards them, and to appreciate the disciplinary value of them. But it is in the popular interaction of parties that justice and mercy are alike forgotten. It would probably be impossible to find two persons who, as far as they are capable of independent thought at all, are in absolute accord on all questions that might be opened. It is not merely conceivable, but is matter of not infrequent observation, that the same Churchman may hold on three given matters of belief High, Low, and Broad views severally. Indeed, if parties are taken to connote opinions, there should be as many parties as opinions. This being manifestly absurd, it follows that these do not truly represent opinions.

It may be urged in extenuation, if not in actual defence, of Church parties, that these exist in the State, and the government of the country is carried on with a fair degree of success by means of their reciprocal antagonism. That it is thus carried on by means of, and not in spite of, this antagonism, may be regarded as an open question. But, granting that the question is closed in favour of their presence, we are free to ask whether the cases are, in any correct sense, parallel. It does not appear to us difficult to shew that they are not.

In the State the parties are, with more or less impartiality of succession, successively in power. The competing parties are never represented in the personnel of the Cabinet. Across the floor of the House the protagonists and their followers contend, the very raison d'étre of the party out of power being to rend the successive policies of the ministry; their very name, the 'Opposition,' suggesting that dissent can only be abandoned at the expense of party loyalty. With what propriety can the comparison be instituted between the relationship of parties in the State and that of parties in the Church? What possibility would there be of preserving any practical continuity of Church life and activity if each party had its spell of power, and, during the term of each, the others were to pass into ' opposition, and this attitude find its only justification in dissenting from all that was done by the one for the time in power'? Evil and unlovely as our ecclesiastical partisanships are, the spirit of harmony would claim them, by contrast with the discord which would ensue. But this clashing of opposing opinions is confined to the Parliamentary arena. The Cabinet is composed of the members of but one party. The rare occasions of coalitions scarcely modify this statement. The real government, then, of the country is carried on by a united party ; hence the strength that belongs to cohesion is put into the work of the governmental department. The moment this cohesion is disturbed is the moment for stepping out of office, the ministry being no longer effective as a political machine.

For all the highest and purest aims and purposes in life, the Church stands as the greatest effective agency amongst us. As God's witness on the earth to the Divine designs for the moral betterment and the spiritual uplifting of society, it is invested with a transcendent commission. No other agency touches its overwhelming responsibilities, its boundless potentialities. Every endowment and power of all its members has been granted with direct reference to the fruitful prosecution of its legitimate tasks, all of which have for their direct object the rendering a redeemed earth more worthy of its Owner in the heavens. Its ordained ministers are called to yield their entire lives from the day of their ordination to the pastorate of souls. Tables are not to be served by them; and it should not be overlooked that by ' tables' in its original context is meant the adjustment of class differences and general philanthropy. And in their movement through the world its members are required to reflect the beauty and sweetness of the moral lineaments of its unseen Head. From such high tasks we find the Church's energies deflected, to be dissipated in controversies of immeasurably less import than Christ's feud with the sin and preventable misery of His poor world. His members make a conscience of erecting some rubrical interpretation into a test of Churchmanship, and in their councils and synods discuss with wearying prolixity vestiarian questions to which the Lambeth Opinion has denied doctrinal significance. The question may well claim our best hearing : When will the Church of England, by some vigorous and even unceremonious treatment of difficulties such as these, free herself for her real mission of forwarding the regeneration of society ?

It is no new reflexion that each of the Church's ‘Schools' appeals to some factors in human character and satisfies some trend of human thought. They may be regarded as rather complementary than divergent. There are constitutionally interrogative natures to whom the right of private judgement will always with peculiar force appeal. There are quietist natures who discover no intellectual revolt when called to accept the principle of authority. There are, again, those who, while it would be an injustice to call them mere religious aesthetes, are strangely susceptible to beauty of form and of sound. On the other hand, some are robustly independent of all symbolism, and are only distracted by accessories which lift others heavenward and bring to them the boon of devotional detachment. All this is but the latter-day fulfilment of the Apostle's assertion that diversities of operations and differences of administrations are to be looked for. But the narrow, acrid, partisan spirit will not have it so; and so mistakes the teraphim under the bedclothes for the live David who meanwhile escapes to the free uplands, where God and the freed soul dwell together in the quiet tabernacle He there pitches for His child, in which he is hidden away from the strife of tongues.

VOL. LXVIII.-NO. CXXXV.

H

The divisions of our day find their parallel in the days of the Apostles; and it is instructive to study an Apostle's attitude towards existing Church rivalries. The little hardly-bestead Church planted in vicious Corinth was eaten to its core by sectarianisin. Each chief teacher had his attached following. 'I am of Paul, I of Apollos, I of Cephas, I of Christ.' The Saviour Himself was degraded to the headship of a sect. It might be fanciful to see in the three human leaders here named Apostolic representatives of the Church'Schools of our day. Firmer ground is trodden when St. Peter is taken as standing for the conservative element in the primitive Church, St. Paul the liberal, while Apollos, trained in Alexandria, reflected the philosophical tendencies of his age. St. Paul's methods, when touching this state of things in the sundered Corinthian Church, may seasonably be contrasted with those of our modern partisans. He does not minister to the sectarian spirit. He does not warn against the peril of following the rival teachers, through whose adherents his own authority is questioned and his own credentials traduced. He refuses to recognize any rivalry in their attitude. Himself he co-ordinates with them : 'What then is Apollos, and what is Paul ? Ministers through whom ye believed ; and each as the Lord gave to him.' Nay, in his large-souled desire to give Apollos all that is due to him he declares that what he had planted Apollos has watered ; so that both 'are one.' The Faith is greater than its exponents and propagators, and its truths fuller than the partial settings forth of any one amongst them. The ' measure of man's mind' is the measure of the value of their expositions. The Heart of the Eternal,' which is most wonderfully kind,' is the measure of the perfection of that Faith.

It is pertinent now to ask, Is there any point at which without compromise of personal conviction, without the surrender of a single article of the historic creeds of Christendom, members of all schools of thought within the Church's pale may not only meet but even theologically coalesce ? We would fain conceive that there is. That point appears to us to be found where the great truth of the Personality

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of the Founder of the Faith meets us, in the light of which all other truths are to be interpreted. The Church's task is to interpret the Incarnation. Into living membership with its Divine Head its members by means of the initiatory rite are incorporated and thus become regenerate, and He who has in Baptism been their regenerator becomes in the Sacrament of His Body and Blood their sustenance. The How can these things be?' of the curious Nicodemus Christ answers not concerning either Sacrament. Not intellectual analysis, but spiritual synthesis is the supreme question. Christ is Christianity.

Commenting in his masterly discrimination upon the differing characteristics of St. Paul and St. Peter, the late Dr. Bigg may be quoted in this place.

* You will see two streams or tendencies of the religious life flowing from the same source, but not always side by side. Sometimes they exist more or less harmonised in the same community. Sometimes they have sprung violently apart and formed different communities. There are no very adequate names for them ... but they are names of parties, battle cries. What we want is to put away all strife and contentiousness, and get down to the underlying principle, and this we shall find not in any sharp form of words but in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, who makes both one. . . . He sits above the floods of opinion : He sees the little brooks and the broad streams : He knows that they are all fed by the same rain : that they all water the earth and make it fruitful. From Him come all the four rivers, but we dwell on the banks of Gihon or Hiddekel, and think that only in our own land gold is to be found. We need to travel up to the great Fountain-head. There we shall learn how all our partial opinions find their completion, and so their harmony, in the Perfect Man.'!

Here, then, is our point of contact with each other. In proportion as we approach it shall we approach each other. But, on the other hand, what may be called our incurable propensity to define--- How can these things be?'-has all down the ages created our divisions. The common heritage of truth enfolded in such terms as 'regeneration,'

i Unity in Diversity, p. 24.

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