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what mankind wants it wants because it is mankind; and to leave off claiming from the universe conformity to human ideals and methods.

The sense of this (however vague) has been furthered by occasional fortunate conditions of civilisation, and it is, most probably, constitutional in certain happily balanced natures. It is what gives the high serenity to men of the stamp of Plato and Goethe and Browning ; they can touch everything, discuss everything, understand the reason of everything, yet remain with preferences unaltered. Perhaps we may all some day attain, by employing equally our tendencies to doubt and our tendencies to believe, to such a fearless, yet modest, recognition of what is, and also of what we wish it to be.

VERNON LEE

THE DEVELOPMENT OF RITUALISM.

HA

AVING read in a recent number of the CONTEMPORARY &

criticism of the latest developments of “Ritualism” in the Anglican communion by a clergyman of that body, it occurred to me that it might not be amiss to treat the same subject from the point of view of a late convert to Catholicism-one who has been the better part of his life in the Church of England, who was brought up in the “ High and Dry” school, in the midst of a total disregard of what are now considered the common decencies of worship, and who gradually reached the extremest section, not, indeed, of ceremonialism, but of faith, and who for fifteen years served in the Anglican ministry. Sach a man has peculiar qualifications for estimating the value of a movement of which he so long formed part and which he now can view as an outsider.

The present writer has a considerable admiration for many, both of clergy and people, in the Anglican Church, a large number of whom, it must be admitted, live lives of high self-sacrifice and devotion, so far as they have realised Catholic ideals; and he therefore wishes it to be understood that he has no desire in what he says to attack individuals or to attach any blame except to the system. It was dissatisfaction with the state of things here described that led him to inquire seriously into the claims of what he now knows to be the one true Church.

The Oxford movement aroused the minds of the clergy and some of the laity to the bad state of things in their communion. The result has been that ever since then the clergy of the younger generation affected by it have been endeavouring to restore the church fabric, the idea of worship, and respect for the sacraments and for sacred things and places, which successive religious rerolutions, issuing in

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spiritual ignorance and indifference accompanied by Protestant fanaticism, had well nigh effaced and extinguished. So far their endeavour was & laudable one, and could not but claim the sympathy of Catholics. But as the movement, at least since the death of Dr. Pusey, has been without any recognised leader or man of eminence to whom the rest might look as a guide; since, at least in its more decided manifestations, it was discouraged by the bishops, it has remained to this day of the same acephalous character, it has been a revolution of the rank and file.

The movement thus having been an individual and not a corporate one from the first, this characteristic has been developed more strongly as time went on,

The result at the present time is that while some sort of loose bond exists among the whole body of High Church clergy in a belief in their “Orders” and in the efficacy of the “ Sacraments” they administer, their opinions as to the nature of those powers with which they believe themselves to be entrusted, their conception of the Church, their ideas about “the faith,” their aims and aspirations, are of great variety, ranging from a restoration of the complete creed (minus the Pope) of the pre-Reformation Church to the most moderate High Churchmanship, only distinguished from Evangelicalism by a certain attenuated belief in Baptismal Regeneration and Apostolic Succession and vague ideas about a Real Presence in the Communion.

All these men of various shades of thought believe, if they are in earnest, that their particular view is that “Faith of our Fathers” which they profess to revere. Few of them (for there are comparatively few students among the present race of Ritualistic clergy) have worked out their theory of the Church and Faith from personal perusal of the Fathers. They are content to take for granted in a vague and general way that their view of the faith is that which was held by the Primitive Church in the purest ages of Christianity.

With such diversity of aim and laxity of bonds amongst the “High Church " section of the Anglican clergy, with such lack of mutual understanding amongst the builders, is it surprising if the structure they have raised is of a patchwork nature, if the Church they profess to be restoring from its ruins combines a variety of styles and conflicting tastes which make the disinterested spectator think rather of the Tower of Babel than of the Church of God ? This effect is of course more apparent in the outward ceremonial in which their different opinions are embodied than in the pulpit teaching ; not that the latter is less dissonant, but because, as Horace Bays: Segnius irritant animos demissa per aures, quam quæ sunt oculis subjecta fidelibus.” The great distinction between the various shades of Moderate High Churchmen and “extreme” men is the position they assign to the “ Eucharist." The former are content with the old-fashioned position of Matins as the chief service of the day. Different sections of them, according as they are more or less ritualistically inclined, “glorify" this service by coloured stoles, by processions, and by elaborate music.

Some of them again, though they do not teach "non-communicating attendance," will have an occasional “ choral celebration" with some of the “ points," * and will even go so far as to have a communion service on the day of a funeral, so long as it is distinctly understood to be in no way connected with prayers for the dead.

It is a mistake to suppose that even the extreme section of Ritualists are united. At the base of that section and at the top of the “Moderato High” come those who, while not attempting to dethrone Matins from its traditional place in the Church of England, yet hold decidedly " advanced” views about the Eucharist. Their views would be represented externally by "white linen vestments." + These hure the advantage that an outsider would hardly notice the difference between them and an ordinary surplice, and are therefore much used by those who wish to observe “the ornaments rubric” (though some contend that this does not fulfil it) without the congregation becoming aware and objecting to them.

Those who use four or five out of the "six points,” including u coloured vestments," were once considered "extreme," and, indeed, still are so considered by the mass of the “Moderate High ” section, which is the large majority in the Church of England. But the apex of the pyramid of ecclesiastical opinion will not allow that such are in its ranks. The sixth point-"incense "—formerly considered the ne plus ultra of “Catholic ritual,” will hardly now admit them to that charmed circle, that elevated Olympus, where only a few favoured souls at present enjoy the empyrean of extreme High Churchmanship.

At the present time, as a young Ritualistic clergyman said to the writer a short time back, “If any one comes to us now and says, 'I have got the six points,' we say, 'What are they? We don't know what you mean.' And how can the latest development but look down on the "six-pointer," when the former has life-size images of the saints with lights burning before them, images or pictures of the Sacred Heart, the reserved sacrament, benediction, rosaries, and confessional boxes; when he says the Prayer-book part of the Communion Office so low that it cannot be heard, and the Latin canon so loud that it can be heard; when he makes it his boast that he has everything, in fact, that “the Romans” have. A young corate in one of these very advanced churches has lately been represented as standing in his church in an attitude of serene satisfaction and smag self-gratulation as, with hands crossed over his breast and head slightly on one side, like a saint on a pedestal, he surveys the scene of his efforts, and, smiling softly to himself, murmurs, “ Have we got everything ? I think we have."

What are known as “the six points" among Anglicans are- -(1) the Eastward Position (in celebrating) ; (2) the Mixed Chalice ; (3) Altar Lights; (4) Eucharistic Vestments ; (5) Wafer Bread ; (6) Incense.

tie., Vestments of the shape of chasubles, but made of linen not silk,

But enough of these distinctions. It would be wearisome and unprofitable to enumerate all the gradations even among “ High Churchmen." The bulk of the Anglican communion remains practically unaffected by these vagaries. It is comparatively rare, indeed, in the country to find a church where even“ vestments and lights are used. Men of these opinions mostly gravitate to London or some of the larger towns.

It is a curious fact that, while the few “extreme" churches are becoming more extreme in taking up all the latest devotions of the Catholic Church, and thus necessarily giving them & much greater prominence than they possess in that august body, the “ moderate" men, on the other hand, who still form the bulk of the Anglican clergy, move forward very slowly, if at all.

To what this state of things may point in the near or distant future it is impossible to predict with certainty, but it is safe to say that it is not a healthy sign in the organisation in which it occurs. Indeed the state of opinion in the Church of England at the present moment may be likened to a double pyramid, one upright, the other inverted, joined at the base. The thickest part represents the Moderate High Church party, which slopes upward through various modified views until it reaches the extreme apex, where are the few dozen clergy who, as already seen, out-Roman “ the Romans” themselves. On the reverse side the slope begins in the opposite direction from Moderate High to High Evangelical, Low Evangelical, and so through the different degrees of comparison to Broad, a small apex representing those whose “views” broaden ont into infidelity and can hardly by courtesy be called Christian.

The above is, of course, a mere outline of the state of parties with their many sections and subsections in the Anglican Church. But they so overlap and are to such an extent intermingled and confused that it is impossible to do more than indicate them in a general way, though it would be easy to show that in the whole gamut of belief and ceremonial ranging from almost open infidelity up to the extremest “Romanism” there is hardly a link wanting.

An institution of this kind is the very embodiment of the idea of a

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