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are ready to respond to this formula do not, as a matter of fact, acknowledge our Lord as "Divine" in the sense of the Catholic Church. The Nicene doctrine of the Trinity is not held by Congregationalists, and one often hears in such circles such a phrase as "I recognize in Jesus the divinity that is in all men." (2) Some of those who are now seeking to unify all who acknowledge our Lord as "Divine," quite in the Catholic sense, yet make no secret of the fact that the exclusion of Unitarians is only an ad interim exclusion. In one of the volumes before us* we find these words from a Presbyterian divine of the modernist type, Dr. Henry Sloane Coffin:

"With regard to our non-Evangelical brethren, while we admire their genuine Christianity, at the present time it does not seem to be a feasible thing to bind them into a practical unity with ourselves without sacrificing larger sections of the Evengelical Christians today, so that for the time being, no doubt, we shall have to go on without them."

Here it is made very plain what the sentimental appeal for Unity is coming to. We ought to be large-minded enough, Dr. Coffin holds, to admit Unitarians into the fellowship of the one Church. "We admire," he says, "their genuine Christianity." All high-minded and sweetnatured people, apparently, are to be regarded as "genuine Christians." Certainly there is an important group of men of deep religious earnestness who are calling loudly for a union of all men who have religious earnestness quite irrespective of their religious beliefs. They say that they want all the forces that our Lord values and blesses to come together and work as one great united force. That sounds well. Let us see how it will work. Doubtless, our Lord, who loves all men, and lightens every man coming

*The Problem of Christian Unity, p. 101.

into the world, does then love and value many Jews, His near kinsmen according to the flesh, and many Buddhists, and many high-minded infidels. Logically, this argument about "love" and "value" and "blessing" requires that the united Church of the future should open its arms lovingly to non-Christians of the nobler types. Oh! yes! There really is a "Class A."


Our object in setting out these two classes of thinkers is not at all to argue which of them is right. It is simply to make clear the difficulties of the present situation. Class A and Class B with their different convictions will have very different duties. For instance, it may be set down that all the forces which work for good in the world should as much as possible unite. That is really a truism. Then members of Class A, having no conscientious scruples to hold them back from complete union in religious work with all men who have an earnest religious purpose, should try to bring about a union of all men who care for religion without any distinction of creed or method. Or if they belong personally to the ranks of Evangelical Protestantism and find that the largest possible work of simplification now open to them is that of endeavoring for a sort of loosely Evangelical Pan-Protestantism, then they ought to endeavor to bring about that result. It is their plain duty. It is a pressing duty. But Class A must not be so dull-witted as to press upon the members of Class B that this same liberality of union is their duty likewise. Plainly it is not. Members of Class B have scruples of conscience which forbid them to enter into complete union with any professed followers of our Lord who do not accept from our Lord certain messages and orders which He is understood to have sent them. They cannot enter into such a union. For them it would be a sin.

This is an unhappy division certainly, whichever party

is right about the issue. But the division is a great fact,
and must not be ignored. While we are trying-we ought
all to be trying-to bring the men and women who are
eager to work for God in the world into a better unity of
cooperation, and even into a unity of organization for
worship and service, it is manifestly our first duty to
bring all these workers to love one another, with the same
love with which God loves us all. Next it is our plain duty
to try to understand one another. If we grow in loving
and understanding one another, it is certain that we shall
more and more respect one another. Certainly, also, each
party must learn that it cannot force its conscience upon
the other party. Neither party may say to the other
party, "We must have unity, and therefore you must give
up your position and come over to ours." Love and under-
standing and mutual respect, and clear recognition of bar-
riers of conscience over which we can as yet see no way to
pass-these are our present needs. From the recognition
of the needs comes a test and measure of the value of such
books as we have now to pass in review.


"Utterances on Church Unity" fall into three great types. They may be hortatory, urging the need of a united Church, and showing the fatal weakness of a Kingdom divided against itself. They may be controversial, trying to show how unreasonable some of the conditions of unity are on which some consciences insist, or, on the other hand, how deeply necessary those same conditions are. They may be constructive, facing the present facts of differing and even warring convictions, and trying to show some steps which may really be taken now, without any violation of any present conscience, to make some conditions better than they are. As an introduction to the examination of particular volumes, it may be worth while to

say something about the strength and weakness of these three types of utterance.

1) The hortatory utterance is strong in this, that it calls on men to want something which our Lord Himself wants, to enter into sympathy with His mind and heart. The writer of these lines owes it to men whom he will have to criticize more or less severely to say that while he had supposed himself to be an enthusiast in this cause for fifty years, and to have a passion like Bishop Brent's* for Unity, yet he is conscious that the appeals which he has been reading in the volumes now under review have touched his heart and conscience, as they have never been touched before. That is something that needs doing. The appeals of men whose hearts are on fire with this vision are really helping to do it.

But we may not shut our eyes to the elements of weakness to which the hortatory utterance is liable. There is first the danger that in dealing with those of us who have to be conscientious objectors to reunion schemes they will stir up bitterness instead of increasing love. When a man sees no reason why all good people should not get together in one Church, and does see a tremendous need of it, it is very hard for him to be patient with the people who stand out for things that seem to him of no value, or even to do such people simple justice. But a greater danger of the hortatory utterance is the danger of a shallow optimism. The appeal cries out that a "divided Church can never conquer the world," and goes on to the conclusion that we must have a united Church. Then it offers in fact, some kind of Pan-Protestantism as an object for which any sacrifice would be worth while. But if all our divisions were reduced to three, a great Protestant Communion, the

"If there is any one thing for which I have a passion, it is for the unity of the Church in accordance with the mind of Christ." (Bp. Brent in Approaches Towards Church Unity, p. 109.)

Roman and the Eastern Orthodox, we should still come far short of the "United Church" of the great vision, and should not, we think, be visibly nearer to converting the world. That tremendous witness of one Church of God would still not be forthcoming. The appeal which we need must acknowledge that we are standing before a Red Sea of difficulty, which nothing less than a miracle can divide. Then it can rightly urge men to pray for the miracle, and importune God for it till it comes. The appeal that meets these demands is rare.

(2) The controversial utterance has value as far as it is held to a frank and kindly statement of a minimum of necessary beliefs or a minimum of required order which a particular group of Christians feel bound to insist on as necessary to meet what these Christians understand to be our Lord's requirements for His Church. Great advantage comes to our Roman brethren from the fact that their position in this business is thoroughly understood. Nobody is angry with them about it. Nobody expects them to change it. It is one of the great fixed facts of the world's life. We Anglican Catholics need to gain for ourselves a like advantage, and moreover we owe it to our Protestant brethren to make our position unmistakably clear. The fact that the Anglican Communion at this moment includes a large membership called "divisive," and another large membership which has not such scruples, is to our Protestant friends confusing. Many of them cherish a hope that the great Anglican Communion will with the advance of education learn wisdom enough to get off the fence, and come down on the Protestant side. That will not be. To save waste of time, disappointment, irritation among our Protestant neighbors it is needful to make them understand this great fact: the Anglican Communion does not require men to accept all our Catholic principles-it does require all men to accept some of them;

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