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has been formed through the incidence of war and believes that it will not involve sacrifices of principle for the Presbyterian Church to accept Episcopacy of a constitutional form with the advantages they have from their democratic Presbyterian system. At present the small Episcopal Church in Scotland is engaged in many conferences on the subject of unity, and progress is being quietly made. The Bishop of London said that the conferences in London
House with members of the Wesleyan Church are proving successful. He remarked that even English Churchmen are ignorant of the Presbyterian element in our Church, for on the occasion of the ordination of priests the hands of the Presbyters are laid with his as Bishop on the heads of candidates. In Belfast the Moderator preached in the Cathedral-in London he lectured in the Cathedral crypt. The Bishop of Down evidently does not agree with the dictum of the Bishop of London that interchange of pulpits should be the symbol of the completion of union, not a step towards union.
The interim report of the sub-committee of the Committee on Faith and Order, has attracted much attention. It shows a distinct willingness on the part of leading non-Episcopalians to acknowledge Episcopacy of a constitutional type without adopting any theory on the subject. How far can Episcopacy be accepted by men who do not believe it to be the esse of the Church in the same sense that it is accepted by those who declare it to be the esse and say that all who are in the Church of England are bound to act as if they believed it to be the esse? So many strange things happen nowadays that it is impossible to know where anyone stands. I know a prominent Churchman, occupying a very high official position, who lately pronounced in public against interchange of pulpits and a few days later told a man who went to him for advice that he
is in favor of interchange! The war is causing men under the influence of strong emotions to be inconsistent and everything depends on the permanence or otherwise of the thought they express. It certainly looks as if we are about to see an ecclesiastical upheaval in the most unexpected quarters and if it means that we are all learning to think more Christianly of others, a great advance has been made.
The report on evangelization prepared by a special committee that was appointed after the national Mission, has been issued. Like a great many other official documents it is a powerful indictment of clericalism and maintains that the clergy do not understand the people and this misunderstanding is the cause of the alienation of large masses from the Church. It admits that a great number of our people have turned from Church work to movements that show much more brotherhood and a keener sense of duty to others than is displayed in Church circles. It proposes to set up a gigantic organization to provide for evangelization of the people and for rousing the indifferent. The central point of the report is the need of arousing the clergy to a deeper realization of the facts of our modern life and the duty of presenting fundamental Christianity to the masses. Until the clergy have an enlarged vision we cannot expect this and I for one do not know how we can provide them with this indispensable equipment for their sacred work. We have had retreats and all sorts of experiments and they have apparently failed. It seems to me that the time has come for something more than reports We require to know what the Gospel message is and we have been so much concerned with the mint, anise and cummin of ecclesiasticism that we have forgotten that the primary message of the Gospel is salvation from sin through living personal faith in a living Saviour. When once this note is sounded from the pul
pit by men who believe it and are alive to the thoughts of their contemporaries, we shall see the beginning of a revival.
I recently attended a discussion on the language of the Prayer Book. A prominent theologian said he could not understand the objections to it in view of the fact that "The Pilgrim's Progress" is the most popular religious book read by the working classes. One of the leading legal luminaries of the day agreed and a nobody said that he believed the language of the Prayer Book is no more obscure than the leading articles in the most widely circulated journals. He added that even the ablest and most lucid of lawyers find it necessary in addressing juries to repeat their arguments in different words so that they may appeal to all types of minds and then the common sense of the body sets to work and gets at facts and the meaning of language. No conceivable form of words can make the identical appeal to all types of minds and the odd man who misunderstands is apt to have an exaggerated importance. It is not so much the obscurity of the language of our Prayer Book as the defective elocution of the clergy that is responsible for misunderstanding and the few phrases that convey a strange meaning to twentieth century minds can easily be explained or amended without great structural changes.
One of the most cheering signs of a renewed interest in the power of God in the affairs of men is the spontaneous arrangements made by business men in all parts of the country for great united prayer meetings. Sometimes these are held in the open air, sometimes in great central halls, but in several places the feeling has been so widespread that there have been meetings simultaneously conducted in every available building. In one town all business was stopped between 9 and 10:30 a. m., so that all might attend, and the result far exceeded anticipation. There is a latent religious feeling among the people which needs
development and the real problem is to discover the best means of evoking this and making it a permanent factor in their lives. We are a very reticent folk and object strongly to parading our deepest thoughts but we are also a responsive folk who desire to follow what is right. Just now there is a wave of earnestness called forth by the events that are taking place in France and a recognition of the importance of moral and religious values. We have become more alive to the real underlying motives that have led us to take up arms and the grounds upon which your people have joined us. All this is a tremendous asset in our attempt to reach the souls of the community and the opportunity is being recognized by our more thoughtful leaders.
The appointment of Dr. A. C. Headlam to the Regius Professorship of Divinity at Oxford is one of the most hopeful events of recent days. Dr. Headlam is one of our most independent thinkers and a man who is never afraid of facing facts. He has done more than any man of our time to destroy the narrow theory of Apostolic Succession and no one can deny him the title of "Good Churchman." He has written a work on Miracles that is at once modern and loyal to the traditional view of the Church, and his commentary on Romans in which he had Dr. Sanday as joint editor-is the standard book on the Epistle. Lately he has published a thought stimulating program on the Reform of Our Finances, and his editorship of the Church Quarterly Review has thrown new life into and has won greater influence for that journal. He undertakes his new duties at a time when he will have to meet novel conditions, and his experience in King's College, London, will serve him in good stead. All who know the place Oxford holds in English Church life rejoice to see in the most important theological position a man whose knowledge is equalled by
his statesmanship and whose organizing power has been proved and tested by his work in overcoming difficulties. He
will-if God spares him-be the founder of a great school of constructive theology.
IRISH CHURCH LIFE
Special to The Chronicle-Our Dublin Correspondent
Events again compel me to devote this letter to political questions, with which the thoughts of Irish Churchmen are preoccupied. The conscription question has completely overshadowed the issue of the Irish Convention's Report, but interest in that document has revived somewhat since the government announced its intention to introduce immediate legislation upon it. In any case the report takes the first place in the chronological sequence of events. earlier letters I noted the fear widely entertained among Churchmen that disagreement in the convention would lead to faction in the Church. That fear has not been realized so far at least as the action of the Church's representatives in the convention were concerned. These representatives were three in number, two official, one unofficial-the Primate, the Archbishop of Dublin and Dr. Mahaffey, the last of whom attended by virtue of his office as Provost of Trinity College. Dublin. Of these Dr. Bernard, Archbishop of Dublin, was one of the signatures of the Majority Report-the scheme which contemplated a Parliament for the whole of Ireland with an executive responsible to it, and with full. powers over all internal legislation, administration and direct taxation. Dr. Bernard was also one of the delegates who made their position in respect of the Majority Report clear in a note, in which they recorded their conviction that the Legislative Union provides the best system of government for Ireland, but "having entered the convention on an appeal from H. M. Government, based on high considerations of Allied and Imperial interests which it is impos
sible to disregard, we have endeavored to assist the convention in devising a constitution which would meet the aspirations for self-government within the Empire long held by a great majority of the Irish people.”
The signatures who included Dr. Bernard voted for this Constitution-commonly known as the "Middleton Compromise"-subject to certain conditions, of which the most important was "that the whole of Ireland participate in any Irish Parliament." The Ulster Unionist delegates dissented from the Majority Report, and there was much curiosi.y among Churchmen as to the attitude of Dr. Crozier, the Primate, who, though he was known to have played a conciliatory part in the convention, had earlier identified himself with the Ulster Unionist position. The report of the proceedings showed that neither he nor Dr. Mahaffey voted with the majority. They issued a separate note in which they stated that they had more than once put forward a Federal scheme based on the Swiss or Canadian precedent, which might ensure a united Ireland with provincial autocracy for Ulster or any other province that desired it. Their note went on to sum up compactly the position as it was felt by the convention; they said they had not found it possible to vote for the conclusion reached by the majority because "it involves, in our opinion, either of two alternatives :—(1) the coercion of Ulster, which is unthinkable: (2) the partition of Ireland, which would be disastrous." The statement of the Primate and Dr. Mahaffey, in fact. comprises the continuing dilemma which the Government has still to reconcile in
its legislation, which has not been introduced at the time of writing.
Interest during the past month, however, has centered rather upon the question of conscription. Your readers will be aware of the attitude adopted by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy in this country in placing themselves at the head of the organized movement of resistance to the enforcement of the new Military Service Act in Ireland. I may set against it the following appeal issued in the middle of April by the two Archbishops of the Church of Ireland: "In the present critical state of the battle for the world's freedom, we feel constrained to give expression to our belief that, although thousands. of young Irishmen from the Church of Ireland have, with splendid enthusiasm, offered their services, and many have fallen in the defence of the Empire, there are still many whom our voice may reach who might voluntarily fill the gaps left in our Irish regiments. We shall rejoice to hear of such voluntary service. We have felt ever since conscription was applied to England and Scotland that Ireland had much right to complain in that her sons were omitted from the call, which we believe would have been readily obeyed two years ago. Whether the present is a fitting time or not we cannot profess to judge. But, should the Government apply the Act to Ireland, as seems to be contemplated, we must earnestly hope that it will be cheerfully accepted by our fellow-countrymen as imperatively demanded in the awful crisis through which Ireland and the rest of the Empire alike are passing. We trust that clergy and people will not fail to pray with special urgency that God will bless our arms and save our country in this grave hour of national danger. With all the emphasis that we can command we desire to urge the duty of public and private intercession."
In a subsequent sermon, the Archbishop of Dublin discouraged the tend
ency which had arisen to make the conscription issue a religious issue as between Protestants and Roman Catholics. It would be absurd to deny that the attitude of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy, by the assertion of its ascendancy and the exhibition of its power, has not given pause to many Churchmen of a moderate way of thinking who before it had tended gradually to question the validity. of the assumption that "Home Rule is Rome Rule." Dr. Bernard, however, was clearly anxious that the conscription issue should not be permitted to contribute more than it needed to the revival of sectarian bitterness, which in recent years has happily tended to diminish in Ireland. Referring to the attitude of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy, the Archbishop contented himself with saying: "I do not comment in this place on the aims or the wisdom of those who thus openly disavow allegiance to the King and the Empire." He went on to insist that "we of the Irish Church must live side by side with those who do not agree with us, with many whose principles are abhorrent to us; but the duty of mutual respect remains. 'Honor all men' is a precept very much to be taken to heart in a country like ours divided by political and religious controversies."
Division of opinion on the conscription question, in fact, has not been strictly on religious lines. Most Irish Churchmen are in favor of conscription in principle, but many doubt the justice and more the expediency of the Government's proposal in existing circumstances. What has attracted most attention in the appeal issued by the Archbishop of our Church is their significant refusal to express an opinion on the wisdom of the Government's intention to apply conscription to Ireland at the present time. Both the Archbishops know their Ireland thoroughly well: both are anxious that this country should play the largest possible part "in the battle for the world's freedom."
Consequently great great significance is everywhere attached to their deliberate refusal to endorse the wisdom of the Government's proposal to apply conscription to Ireland in existing circumstances. In these circumstances it was at first supposed that they would take no action in a matter of an unofficial movement which has developed for a Protestant protest against conscription-itself a further proof that the division of opinion on the question does not run on religious lines. This Protestant protest, which has been circulated throughout the country, is not, as in the case of the Roman Catholics, a pledge of resistance, but merely a protest, in the following terms: "We, the undersigned, wish to join our Roman Catholic fellowcountrymen in protesting in the strongest possible manner against the application of conscription to Ireland. We believe that to force any people to act contrary to their will and conscience is a violation of the law of God, and cannot but be productive of the gravest moral, religious and material consequences." The Archbishop of Dublin, however, has now made it clear that, despite the fact that the Primate and himself offer no opinion on the application of conscription to Ireland at the present time, Church people cannot, in his view, sign the Protestant protest without disloyalty to their Archbishops. His point is that the protest "implies that defiance of the law may in the near future become a
duty," and that signature of it is therefore inconsistent with his counsel to his own people to obey the law cheerfully if and when conscription is applied. But, since the protest is no more than a protest against a law not yet in operation, it is contended that it does not carry the implication which the Archbishop reads into it. In any case, the Protestant protest has been and is being widely signed among Irish Church people.
The outlook for the peace and honor of our country at the time of writing is dark enough. But if the situation has only created bitterness in many and apprehension in more, it has sent some to seek help outside human aid. In the anxiety and strain of the present crisis it is gratifying to record that week by week in the Lady Chapel of St. Patrick's Cathedral men and women of all creeds and politics are still meeting regularly for united silent prayer. I may quote from the latest leaflet issued under authority of the Dean to guide meditation and prayer at these meetings: "Let us pray that each of us may be a messenger of God bringing help and comfort to the troubled in this time of affliction; that the Church may ever be God's messenger proclaiming the truth without fear or favor; and that God may raise up some statesman as His messenger to lead the Irish and the English nations out of the wilderness of hatred into the promised land of peace founded on justice."
CANADIAN CHURCH LIFE
We have had the great privilege and honor during the last month of receiving Mr. Elihu Root and the Earl of Reading in Toronto. They received Honorary Degrees from the University of Toronto, and during their brief stay both of them made speeches of intense interest which were deeply appreciated, referring, in particular, to the new bonds
of union caused by the war between the two great democracies of the British Empire and the United States. Mr. Root was a law student in Toronto over forty years ago, while Lord Reading, as a representative Englishman, was also particularly welcome here. Their visit will be of immense service to the cause for which we are now fighting.