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the use of really valuable religious literature. We may fairly apply his words to the volume before us, "How much more profitable would be our Lent if we could determine to read one it need be only one standard book of Christian faith or practice, between Ash Wednesday and Easter Day. There are few things which deepen our own personal religion more than to follow carefully the unfolding, by the hand of a master, of any subject which bears upon the joys and difficulties of the Christian life, or the teaching of the Church ".
W. H. B.
The Call of Lent to Penitence, Discipline, and Christ. By H. C. G. Moule, D. D., Bishop of Durham, New York: Edwin S. Gorham. 80 cents net.
A work from the hands of Bishop Moule, with the sponsorship of the S. P. C. K. enters the world of devotional literature under happy auspices and bespeaks its own value. The present work consists of short readings or meditations for each week day in Lent, suitable for use in Church or at home. The subjects selected are- Sin, Discipline, and The Cross, with a final chapter on The Power of His Resurrection "; in the treatment of each subject the author displays a wonderful power of analysis, and that deep personal experience of godly fear, lowly penitence, and watchful discipline which has characterized the best school of Evangelical Churchmanship. The author's mind is plainly conscious of the World War and the recent National Mission of the Church of England which have given a new significance and value to the religious observance of Lent with its tender and glorious climax in the Passion and Easter. The book is full of choice sayings, but some passages are of singular beauty, as, when in the first chapter (p. 13), the author, as it were, summarizes the theme of his book by telling us that Lent in harmony with its sterner suggestions is intended also to be a name of beauty and light. "Lent means Spring. And Spring is, to be sure, the time of winds keen and strong, of showering clouds, and ever and again of snow and the sting of frost. But also it is the time of the bird's blessed voices in the budding trees, and of the shining out of the black earth of the beloved flowers under the reviving sun. Not otherwise Lent is indeed the season of renewed severities . . . but it has also to do with the vernal growths of the peace and joy of faith, and with the fair beauties of the life of love, and with the song of victory over all temptation in the vital brightness of the slain and living Christ of God."
Lent is past, but not so our need of recalling its purposes. Devout spiritual meditations such as these will always be seasonable both for the
clergy and for laymen, and surely never more appropriate than in the present times of distress of nations and perplexity.
W. H. B.
Further Pages of My Life. By the Right Reverend W. Boyd Carpenter, K.C.V.O., D.D., D.C.L., formerly Bishop of Ripon. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
By way of supplement to his former book," Some Pages of My Life,” the distinguished author has given us this volume of somewhat fragmentary and entirely unconventional reflections mingled with intimate reminiscences of the joys and sorrows of his private life, written without any other thought than of recording frankly and honestly things as they were, or as they appeared to the writer. The early chapters are mostly personal, but the chapter headed" Clerical Peccadilloes" relates some experiences of the author as a bishop (here we find the trite remark that, like the body, the diocese is unaware of its organs except when there is local disturbance, and then the head knows that there is trouble) and very human in its mingled pathos and humor is the study given us from real life of several strange cases of clerical delinquency. Some chapters will be appreciated better by those who are conversant with English ways, and the notices of F. W. Robertson and John Henry Shorthouse by those with whom they were, if not contemporary, at least recent memories.
Few are so well qualified as Bishop Boyd Carpenter to give personal recollections of the late King Edward, or to describe the really great qualities manifested by this monarch in his short but glorious reign, but chief of all in interest is the chapter which gives us some insight into the better side of the character of the man who figures so largely at the present time of war and calamity, the Emperor William, all of which is well worth reading and considering, “And this is the pity of it all " the author concludes," he might have been so great. He might have left to history the record of a reign which had done good to the world, and at the same time conferred glory and prosperity on his own country; but now for all time he will be known as the man who was chiefly responsible for the wickedest war ever waged, for the awful carnage, for the world-wide sorrow, and for the sad alienation of hearts which it has brought in its train. For one fact stands out clear and certain to all who read the official correspondence: a word from the Emperor in those critical July and August days of 1914 would have made war impossible, and that word was not spoken."
W. H. B.
The False Decretals. By E. H. Davenport, B.A., Lothian Prizeman, 1914. Oxford: B. H. Blackwell. New York Agents: Longmans, Green & Co. MCMXVI. $1.50 net.
This is a careful re-examination of the famous "forged " or " pseudoIsidorean Decretals which came to have a connection, albeit an undesigned connection probably, with the building up of the claim of the Bishop of Rome to supremacy. Now that the authenticity of the documents has been discredited beyond hope of reversal the task of treating the Decretals in an unbiased and non-controversial way is not a difficult one. They present interesting problems for the historian to solve, if he Mr. Davenport attempts to present solutions of several related questions. He gathers together the evidence to elucidate "the environment, the substance and the influence of the Pseudo-Isidore's work " and he ventures a judgment on the place in history of the PseudoIsidorean Decretals." The contention of the majority of historians of every school is upheld, that the Pseudo-Isidorean forgeries were all published with the same intent" the protection and advancement of the Frankish priesthood." What is not emphasized is that by playing off the patriarchal authority of the Roman Bishop against the authority of other Metropolitans the position of the former became necessarily unique in the West, thus giving an impulse to the idea of uniqueness in other ways. An "impression" was allowed to be fostered. The writer estimates the work of the compiler not so much "a forgery written with deceit " as a legend written with a moral." He thinks that in that age" history, written ostensibly to edify, was little short of legend." Very likely, but that is just the kind of writing that today often passes muster as "history and with just the same bad results. The student of documents will find Mr. Davenport's study one of the best on this subject. A. W. J.
Does Christ Still Heal. By Henry B. Wilson, B.D., Director of the Society of the Nazarene. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., $1.00 net.
The Society of the Nazarene is an organization which aims to bring about a restoration of the ministry of healing as practised in the Apostolic church, and the book before us contains a fuller explication by its Director of his previous book entitled "The Revival of the Gift of Healing" which has received sympathetic and favorable notice and reached a second edition. The attention of thoughtful Christian people is called to a subject of far more importance than many realise, which has been forced to the foreground in these days by the enormous growth
of organizations which make bodily healing practically the centre of their religion, and we are compelled to find an answer to the question whether the Church is fulfilling her duty in carrying out the high commission given by our Lord.
The author gives us a careful examination of the Christian view of sickness, and a presentation of the permanency of the divine commission to heal. In substance he inquires whether pain and suffering are sent us by God for our good, or whether are they the work of the Devil, and therefore to be fought and conquered. Moreover did Christ's commission to his disciples to "heal the sick "terminate with the death of the apostles, or is it still in active existence, and available for us when called upon? These are the vital questions with which the author deals basing his arguments on the words and deeds of Christ as recorded in the Gospels.
Probably all will agree as to the need of revision of our Prayer Book in the way of enrichment and of greater flexibility, but we think that the author's severe criticism of our present prayers for the sick and of the Visitation Office is mistaken. Nor can we follow him in his rather contemptuous rejection of sickness as a chastisement, and the remedial value of pain. In short the existence and purpose of pain and suffering has always appeared to us so mysterious as to afford a problem practically insoluble in our present state of knowledge. We are inclined to doubt whether the miraculous gift of healing was not in fact withdrawn when the need of that method of Divine utterance had ceased. May not the power have been transmitted to reappear in the form of medical and surgical skill not less wonderful and susceptible of religious sanctions?
This, of course, begs the whole question, and we are driven to conclude that the proof of the author's thesis must be found, if at all, in actual practice.
It is not lack of faith but love for the truth which prompts us still to ask"How does Christ in the present day exercise his power of healing," and we think that experience rather than argument will supply the
W. H. B.
The American Church
A Magazine of comment, criticism and review dealing
T surely can be asserted with safety, that notwithstanding the
grave differences of opinion in regard to questions of both doctrine and practice, in our own Communion, and the controversies evolved therefrom-notwithstanding all this - yet it is the desire of churchmen of all schools of thought (with but rare exception), to be absolutely loyal. Low, Broad and Catholic-all of them wish to stand for loyalty. There is fortunately, then, this common ground upon which all honest churchmen can unite a desire to be loyal. It is good to have a starting point, so let us take it upon the basis of loyalty. The question then resolves itself into an inquiry as to exactly what that is to which we desire to be loyal. Here we may place ourselves for the moment in an outside position and seek to find the solution of the question as it bears upon each school of thought.
The Low Churchman is loyal to his Church as a body made over anew, as it were, at the time of the Reformation. At this period, he believes, there was such a clearing away of errors and superstition that, while indeed the apostolic succession of bishops may have been kept intact, yet on the whole the purified post-reformation body is not identical with the Church of pre