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supreme Promoter of invisible Realities, as one can say without irreverence. When the membership of a part of the Church that once gave and spent a few thousands on the Kingdom, now, in a few years, gives and spends millions, how should we regard the increase? With misgivings, lest Christians should plunge too heavily upon faith in the supernatural? With mistrust of those who under God succeeded in awakening conscience and inspiring faith, who "have their uses able to arouse enthu
siasm," but should be rigidly excluded from handling the funds, being "temperamentally unfitted" to judge how temporal offerings ought to be applied to spiritual purposes?
There was once a difference of opinion in the Church as to how the gift of a white jar of perfume ought to have been applied and administered. There were others besides the insincere critic who objected that the jar ought to have been turned into cash, and added to the principal item of the Church budget. There were murmurs of "extravagance" over the peculiarly symbolic, idealistic way in which the donation had been given, accepted and applied. For the gift, and its manner of giving, had been in the nature of a sacrifice, not an investment. It expressed what it was-a broken life and a broken heart offering itself to a Heart near its breaking, and a Life as good as poured out. The Lord had accepted the gift as the prophetic anointing of His Body, already devoted to its Burial.
The critics, sincere and insincere, were reckoning the gift in terms of pence, and comparing it to the meager sum in the Church treasury. They were practically setting it down on the loss side of the Church ledger-a kind of overhead charge.
It is recorded that our Lord pronounced this view a
mistake in Church finance. Our Lord said nothing about the motives that prompted the criticism, for some were doubtless sincere. His comment indicated that the greatest values cannot be estimated in terms of quantity, and that the administration of Church funds must never be permitted to lose sight of sacrificial quality in the givers and in the Receiver.
The critics implied, as many assume today about Church finance, that the correct policy is that which turns idealism loose when money is to be raised, and muzzles and leashes idealism when money is to be administered. The personal or ideal foundation of all Church pledges, their sacrificial essence, must as a practical necessity be remembered when money is needed. The danger of forgetting this is in the administration of the gifts. Hence all the more need of keeping the same idealism which raised the funds in control of the administration of them. Anything else is a breach of trust, and turns Church finance into a swindle. The idea of money to be raised by the hectic and administered by the hard-headed, is the crying dishonesty of the age we live in. People who believe that Christ's program is hectic should keep their hands off the Church's affairs. There is a kind of "hard-headedness" that is inherent in the historic Christian religion, and which pricks many a bubble of sentimental unreality. But Catholic hard-headedness is the servant, not the master, of the Unseen and the Eternal.
This is just as pertinent and just as true in national issues as in Church issues. After entering the Great War in a spirit not unlike that of the Crusaders we are now being told that we fought because we were "afraid not to fight." Inferior motives had a place in the war, there is no question. But when we look at the motive of all this "Real-Politik" propaganda one fact stands out very
clearly: We are being prompted to accept a doctrine, a philosophy of patriotism which will dull our ears to every cry of mercy or equity that reaches us from any other continent but America. We are being prepared to accept the rule of the hard-headed, the administration of the "realists" over the material fruits of victory. Idealism is to be the stool-pigeon; materialism is to bag and distribute the game. That is the philosophy with which the Image of God is being flouted and insulted in this year of grace. We may not be able to keep it out of the Nation's affairs, but we shall deserve no mercy from posterity, and we shall get none if we allow this thing, after the call and opportunity of our time, to stand where it ought not, in the very sanctuary of God's Church.
Restating the Faith
REV. FREDERICK SHERMAN ARNOLD.
N English Church-paper, the Challenge, published a leader last March which was reprinted in the Living Church of 7th May, 1921. The gist of the matter seems to be an appeal to Anglo-Catholics, or High Churchmen, to produce a restatement of their beliefs in terms and forms with current appeal. "Those who stand for Catholicism have been too ready to leave the task of restating the religious experience of Christians to professed Liberals or Modernists." The Living Church seems to endorse this appeal. There is need for restatement on Catholic lines.
Now comes the Rev. Dr. Stuart L. Tyson with a letter that seems almost mockingly to hurl back this appeal as a reproach.
(Living Church, 2nd July): "One would have supposed
that the stinging question involved in their present attitude would have lashed some into a reply." "Six weeks have passed by and still there is silence."
It sems that in all of six weeks, now lengthened in two dreary months, no American Anglo-Catholic has come forth with a complete restatement of doctrine, morals, exegesis, and history, together, I suppose, with economics and sociology. Surely the High Anglicans work very slowly. Even the "lash" produces no response.
Of course there have been writers like the authors of Lux Mundi and Foundations and Bishop Gore and Canons Illingworth and Moberley. But these were in England, not America. Perhaps their thought was even mid-Victorian. Dr. Tyson warns us to "manifest an appreciation, not of mid-Victorian, but of present day religious knowledge and thought."
In any case these writings are rather apologetic than dogmatical. We shall probably from time to time get more or less High Anglican Apologetic. Let us hope it may be more rather than less. How much there shall be thereof depends partly on how much sacrifice the Church is willing to make to cultivate scholarship. Scholarship presupposes some leisure. Leisure presupposes some money. Americans have not yet attained the conception. of paying anyone to be leisurely. We are not sure but that this is at the bottom of the whole problem.
Apologetic, however, does not seem to be demanded by the critics we have quoted, so much as dogmatic and ethic. They want a restatement. Dr. Tyson, even, rather rudely, inhibits us from using our own technical terms.
"Will he avoid as far as possible, for the sake of his weaker brethren, such terms or phrases as, e.g., 'the deposit," " etc.
Did Dr. Tyson never hear the line "He lisped in numbers
for the numbers came"? Why is he bound to make us uncomfortable? Clavis ad corda est lingua materna and our mother is the Church. We do not believe a restatement would be a restatement if it cut quite free from the past.
The greatness of the work to which we are urged is not perhaps realized by those who do not themselves keep the middle of the road. Dissolving views, bits of insight, suit current schools perhaps, but a restatement of Catholic faith is nothing less than a reconstruction of the scheme of the universe. It must begin with scepticism and end with historic Christianity. It must include the Sunday School and the Archangels, the ice-man and the burning abyss. It must give the confessor a rule-of-thumb and the metaphysician a world-system. It can only be hoped for when, as Meg Merrilies so justly remarked: "The hour is come and the man."
The Church, from time to time, has doubtless produced statements of the faith in terms of current thought. Yet not in all currents. One can hardly say that that materialistic school which was almost dominant at Rome in the first century, represented by a long chain of speculators who, in antiquity, most nearly approached the thought of modern science, ever called forth an echo from the Church. The Church seems to have passed by Leucippus, Democritus, Epicurus, Lucretius. Strange as it may seem to Dr. Tyson, the Church was never, even in her most liberal first two centuries, porcus de grege Epicuri. Not in the least.
St. Paul quotes Cleanthes (or Aristippus) in his sermon at Athens (Acts xvii:28). Nevertheless, it would be very hard to find any trace of Stoicism in Christian theology. II Peter iii:5 looks like a tacit acceptance of the then antiquated physics of Thales, though the passage is very uncertain and may merely refer to Genesis i:6. On the whole it is safe to say that the Church simply "passed by the