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as at present prevailing in England. But this is a mistake. They do not subscribe to the Canons of 1603, or to any of them. . . . The Canons of 1603, then, have no bearing upon a Colonial Bishop. He does not contract anything with regard to them. *
III. Nor does the oath of the Queen's Sovereignty, taken at Consecration, which is of a very general character,—which has no special reference to ecclesiastical affairs,—which is taken by the Laity as well as the Clergy, by those filling various secular offices under the Crown,-help much in the matter. It cannot be construed as binding those who take it in any special way to the Doctrine and Discipline of the Church of England. ...
IV. The Bishop's only contract with the Church at his Consecration is
"To teach or maintain nothing, as required of necessity of eternal salvation, but that which he shail be persuaded may be concluded and proved by the Holy Scriptures,'—.
'Faithfully to exercise himself in the same Holy Scriptures, and call upon God in prayer for the true understanding of the same,'
*To be ready to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrine, contrary to God's Word, and, both privately and openly, to call upon and encourage others to do the same,' —
"To correct and punish such as be unquiet, disobedient, and criminous within his Diocese, according to such authority as he has by God's Word, and as shall be committed to him by tbe Ordinance of this Realm,'
“To be faithful in ordaining, sending, or laying hands upon others.'
V. These are the pledges which he gives to the Church, and he crowns all by the oath of dve or canonical obedience, by which he binds himself to such submission as the Canons (of the United Church of England and Ireland, which are all the Canons we have to do with,] require him to yield to his Metropolitan.
Now there is nothing in all this which expressly binds a Bishop of the Colonial Church to the Doctrine and Discipline of the Church of England. There seems to be nothing in the pledges which he gives to prevent him, if he be so minded,
* Most of the Canons of 1603, as is well known, are become a mere dead-letter, and are violated systematically in England. Yet in a loose way they are still supposed to be binding—at least, in foro conscientiæ-on the Clergy of the Church of England. To that extent, while I hold the Letters Patent, I consider myself, and the Bishop of Capetown also, to be 'morally and, perhaps, legally,' bound. And whenever Her Majesty shall be advised that I have so far transgressed the letter and spirit of these Canons, as to deserve to have my Patent cancelled, -as it seems to me Bishop Gray is doing, as regards the 2nd, 36th, and 37th Canons, by the course which he has taken, and still threatens to take, in defiance of the Royal Authority,-) shall cheerfully submit to such a judgment as constitutionally right and just.
from discarding the Liturgy, the Articles, the Creeds, from his Diocese. . . . It may be said, indeed, that a pledge to do this is implied in the act of Consecration,in the acceptance of the office of a Bishop at the hands of Bishops of the Church of England. Morally, I think this is so. But the consecration of Bishops for America, for heathen lands, and for congregations at Jerusalem, by the same service, might be pleaded as a reason for not construing the contract too strictly. And the various circumstances of countries, climates, peoples, would be urged as furnishing grounds for sanctioning alterations, deemed almost necessary, in the worship and formularies of the Church.— Charge to the Clergy of Capetown, Jan, 17, 1865, p.18–24.
And the Bishop asks—What, then, is to bind us together in one?' His answer is, a series of graduated Synods'!
It is through means of graduated Synods,- Diocesan, Provincial, National, each in their due order and subordination, the lower submitting to the higher, and all deferring to those General Synods, whose authority has been recognised by the Mother Church in her Book of Homilies and by the State in its Acts of Parliement (1 Eliz. cap. 1),—that unity can alone be maintained amongst the several branches of our Church throughout the world. . . . It is the wish of Convocation, that all Bishops from the Empire, with representatives from the other orders of the Church, if it be thought fit, shall constituie ihe National Synod, whose authority shall be inferior only to that of General Councils, and whose decisions shall bind both the Provincial and Diocesan Synods!'
Could anything be more hopeless ? We have only to imagine the colonial bishops dragged from all the ends of the earth—nay, clergy and laity also, as representatives of the other Orders of the Church, not, however, as having any right to be summoned, but only “if it be thought fit,'—from New Zealand, South Africa, West Australia, Victoria — making wearisome journeys and voyages of many months, at a ruinous expense, leaving their families, and their work, behind them,-in order to meet in London some English and Irish Bishops, and after long discussions arrive at conclusions, from which many of them will wholly dissent, and which great numbers of their Flocks may equally refuse to recognise, unless compelled by the fear of the greater excommunication'! Suppose, for instance, such a
question as that of · Endless Punishment, or the . Infallibility of the Bible,' discussed in such a ‘National Synod,' and decided as the Bishop of Capetown, and probably many others of the Bishops of the present day, might desire. Would such a decision bind the Bishops of Rupert's Land or Labuan, who could not be present from the Red River or Borneo in time to take part in the discussion ? Would it bind those who could not afford to be present—who could not incur the expense of money or of time—who could not abandon more pressing duties? And what of our Flocks? Is it not plain that any Bishop, or any Body, who could seriously sanction and set forth such a proposition, has totally mistaken the temper of Englishmen, and the spirit of the age we live in ? The time is surely gone by for indulging even the dream of a measure like this being ever attempted with any hope of success. And a Metropolitan may become securely a heretic or schismatic to any extent, without fear of interruption to his plans, if the only remedy for his offence lies, as Sir R. PHILLIMORE lately suggested before the Privy Council on behalf of the Bishop of Capetown, in an appeal to a "General Council!'
But the case would be very little mended if an attempt were made to carry out a Provincial Council—at least, in South Africa. Imagine one or two Clergy of Natal, and a few enterprising planters or busy merchants, embarking for a stormy voyage of 700 or 800 miles to attend a ‘Synod’ at Capetown
-leaving their plantations to be mismanaged, their stores in the hands of their clerks, their wives and families and servants to take care of themselves: and for what purpose ?-to meet an overwhelming number of the Laity and Clergy of Capetown or Grahamstown, who, having no such difficulties to encounter, no such risks to run, would be sure to be present in their places, —the Clergy, at all events,—be the weather fair or foul. Who does not see that the Laity and Clergy of Natal could not possibly be expected to attend under such circumstances ? or that, if any did, they would not include the influential laymen, the men of mark in the community, but inferior substitutes, who would not in any way represent the whole body of the laity, or secure any weight to their decisions ? There is no Imperial Chest to pay expenses in these days: and assuredly the colonists themselves would be very little likely to contribute funds for such perfectly unprofitable purposes.
But, if anything more were needed in these days to show us the utter futility of all attempts to suppress free thought and free utterance in the Church of England by penalties and legal enactments, it has been supplied abundantly by the recent charge of the Ven. Archdeacon (SINCLAIR) of Middlesex, in which he has reduced the whole process of ecclesiastical prosecutions for heresy ad absurdum. For the Archdeacon's argument very plainly shows that while a simple-minded, honest, enthusiast, who will not retract or explain away his words, may be caught in the legal meshes, because he has unfortunately used some expression which directly contradicts an article or formulary, yet another clergyman, who has expressed himself more cautiously, so as to avoid such collision, may teach downright irreligion and atheism, if he will, and snap his fingers in defiance at all the Ecclesiastical Courts of the Realm. Arohdeacon SINCLAIR, in fact, has only made more plain—what, indeed, was well known before-that the principles of English legislation do not allow of laws being framed so as to satisfy the demands of bigotry and superstition. It will always be possible for any clergyman to go in and out between the posts of the enclosure, and find free pasture for himself and for his flock,
provided only that he does not run his head just exactly against one of the posts themselves,-unless, indeed, it has become sufficiently decayed already, to fall almost by its own weight. Surely, the only effectual method of performing the vow, which as Bishops we have made at consecration, viz.*To be ready to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrine, contrary to God's Word,' is by preaching the truth,—enforcing it by reasonable argument, and confirming it by a holy life, and, above all, by the exercise of Christian candour and charity towards those who differ'speaking the truth in love,'—'in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves,' — by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.'
• What, then, is to bind us together in one ?'
Perhaps, we may fall back at last upon the Divine Method of securing unity. We may begin to put our trust in God, the Living God, the God of Truth, instead of in 'graduated Synods, diocesan, provincial, national," "coercive jurisdiction, and temporal or spiritual penalties. To that Power our Lord appealed by prayer, and not to the miserable arm of flesh :
Holy FATHER, keep through Thine own Name those whom Thou hast given me, that they may be one as we!'
Perhaps, we may not only profess to believe in God,' when we say the Creed, but really believe in Him-believe that He Himself is present in the world which He has made—is present in human hearts and in human history, as present now as He was in the days of old, when Prophets and Apostles and the Son of Man Himself declared ‘His glad tidings of great joy which should be for all people. We may believe that He is really by His Spirit educating the human race in the fuller, clearer knowledge of Himself, revealing to them His Name, teaching them