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nor did I see, as I have since seen, that the confessor's words are not his own, but that he is under the control of one who regulates them in a way of which the priest himself is generally unconscious.
“The scene of the confession itself I could not venture to recall. It was months before I could let my thoughts return to it; and even now” (some twenty years afterwards) “I cannot dwell upon it without the shrinking with which, in after-life, men recall a severe surgical operation, although they may also feel—as I feel—deep thankfulness for its results."
The Church Times, the organ of the sect, describes the Reformation as “a hideous blunder," and the reformers as-—"Cowardly traitors, like Cranmer; coarse, illiterate, persecuting bullies, like Latimer; hardened and shameless liars, like Bale; profligate unbelievers, like Poynet; repacious plunderers, like Barlow; sour dullards, like Hooper; grovelling fawners, like Scory.”
The Bishop of London in a recent charge justly observed :-“I fear it cannot be denied that a few are engaged in a conspiracy to bring back our Church to the state in which it was before the Reformation. Certain persons have taken upon themselves so to alter the whole external appearance of the celebration of the Lord's Supper as to make it scarcely distinguishable from the Roman mass, and they endeavour on all occasions to introduce into the other services some change of vestment or ornament quite alien to the established English usage of 300 years."
No wonder that Archbishop Manning observes“A large number of the clergy of the Established Church have taken out of the hands of the Catholic clergy the labour of contending about the doctrines of transubstantiation and invocation of saints. The Catholics have been left to the much more happy and peaceful task of reaping the fields."
The same prelate states in a recent work :land is the fortress of heresy. If we can strike down heresy in England, it will be struck down throughout the world, and the world will be at the feet of the Pope.”
Alas! he is very much spared the work of striking down. The fortress is betrayed. Its pledged defenders, placed in it to defend it, have betrayed it into the hands of the Pope. What will be the immediate issue it is hard to predict. It looks as if the “cities of the nations," that is, the Established Churches, were about to fall, as predicted under the seventh vial, and Christianity to reside in the bosoms and speak by the tongues of the faithful, and it may be the proscribed and persecuted few.
The treachery and betrayal of truth and trust by the ministers of religion is reacting on statesmen and politicians, who seem hastening in all directions to do what they have long denounced, and to denounce what they have long and eloquently advocated. The croakings of this “unclean spirit” have penetrated cabinet, congress, and parliament; great obligations are cast to the winds ; sacred national obligations are
surrendered or treated as obsolete prejudices, antiquated intolerance, unfit to endure the progress of intellectual thought and the researches of modern philosophy. The ploughshare of Rationalism breaks up, and the seedsmen of Ritualism sow, as Jesuits have always done, the seeds of evil, error, and apostasy ; and judgment is begun at the house of God. What shall be the end of those that obey not the truth?
The following picture of the teaching of the Bishop of Salisbury in a letter addressed to that bishop by Lord Sidney Godolphin Osborne, furnishes a sad but true account of the action of this unclean spirit.
“My dear Lord,-I have before me a report in the Wiltshire Mirror of portions of your charge, now in the course of delivery in the diocess. It is not asserted that the reporter has given with perfect accuracy the words used. I feel, however, I have a right to assume that in the more important features of what is given the opinions set forth are those you publicly and solemnly expressed. I have read them with the greatest sorrow, but with no surprise, as they are in perfect consistency with what your lordship stated in your letter to myself. You state, “That the time is come, at any rate in this diocess, when men should be outspoken.' I agree with you, and therefore feel compelled to plainly state the feeling I entertain of the position in which your charge has placed me, an old incumbent of the diocess, by this deliberate expression of your deliberate opinion on certain points
essential to the faith of a Protestant clergyman. The charge of a bishop, I am aware, in no way binds the consciences of his clergy, it has no legal authority to do so; it is nothing more than the expression of the personal opinion of one high in office; it is, however, nothing less than the voice of one placed in a certain legalauthority over those addressed. In ordinary times, under ordinary circumstances, I should then have been content to have read with sorrow what I should have yet felt I personally had no special call to notice; to my grief I might have added indignation, but I should have been silent. Having taken the part I have lately done in public controversy, and been for so doing visited by your lordship with a newspaper rebuke, couched in language I still think most unjustifiable, but for many reasons did not care to reflect
I feel I am bound at once to state, that just as I questioned the correctness of the opinions you expressed in that letter, so do I now utterly repudiate, as the doctrines of the Church to which I was ordained, those you have now declared to be the doctrines of that Church. I deny that the clergy through their ordination receive any supernatural powers, are invested with any prerogative purely Divine, either in regard to any action on the elements of the Lord's Supper, or in giving or withholding absolution from sin. I admit we have authority by our ordination to declare to the congregation that, when penitent, their sins are remitted, just as we have the same authority to make any one declaration which
concerns the statement to them of any one simple truth of the gospel. I most solemnly assert my disbelief that any rational interpretation of any one portion of the New Testament would justify me in teaching my people, that by any operation at my hands the bread and wine can become the channel of an ineffable mystery, in the sense—that inwardly it becomes that which my Saviour took from the blessed Virgin, which he offered on the cross as a sacrifice,' to assert that, because the Godhead, for a special purpose, then and there to be once and for all accomplished, took the material form, in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, when He was on earth, there is no unfitness in believing—that the bread and wine, the material elements of The Supper,' receive His spirit, in a way analogous if not identical, appears to my poor judgment to propound a doctrine as degrading to the Deity as it is altogether unfounded on His revealed word. No casuistry, no mystic cloud of words and mere human speculations, can make me see in such an assertion anything but that doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church which our Church has so clearly repudiated. I can allow to others the freedom of opinion I claim for myself. With the fullest conviction you, my lord, have only uttered that of which you are convinced, I yet feel that were I by silence to seem to accept such teaching, as my own guide in the instruction of my people, I should betray every principle of that faith in which alone I could preach