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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 We are inclined to doubt whether the miraculous gift of healing was not in fact withdrawn when the need of that method of Divine utterance had ceased.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
reformation times. Therefore he is loyal to the Church, settled, as he conceives it, by reformation standards only.
The Broad Churchman takes much of the Low Churchman's ground, but reserves to himself the right to fit his belief to what he considers the requirements of the scientific and social developments of the present age. He wishes in his heart to be perfectly loyal and, so far as his prayer book is concerned, he yields to its rubrics and directions as literally as possible. Where they do not agree with his modernistic views he conscientiously endeavors to read into the spirit of the prayer book that which he considers a less antiquated and more rational belief.
The Catholic Churchman's loyalty is quite different from either of the views just mentioned. His loyalty is to God and the Church; not to a body of post-reformation settlement, nor yet merely to one portion of the Church, for it is the whole Catholic Church throughout the world that constitutes the "Body of Christ." Though this Body in its various parts or local Communions is one and the same as to essentials, yet the Catholic loyalty is first to the whole, and secondly, and only secondly, never first, to that local portion of the Church into which he has been providentially called, and in which he is entitled to hold and practice the Faith in its entirety.
As the Catholic Faith is a perfect arch, it is evident that to take away even one stone would be to mar the whole structure. God is the author of order, not of confusion, and so the Catholic knows well that every truth which God has at any time, in any land or under any circumstances given to his Body, the Church, belongs by right of inheritance to every member of the Church, be he called by the name of Protestant Episcopal, Holy Orthodox, or Roman Catholic. In the light of this vision reformations and their settlements, their standards and other characteristics fade into insignificance.
The Catholic Churchman does not bother his brain about such things. He looks beyond mere happenings and turns to that faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. In the diversities and quarrels of the reformation period, or indeed,
of any other age, he has of course an historical interest, but there it ends with him. The Catholic faith undiluted is his goal, and to the full conception of that he is ever pressing on, content to sit at the feet of his loving mother, the Church, in order that he may learn the "whole counsel of God." While indeed his loyalty to the entire body of Christ comes first, yet it by no means implies that his faithfulness to that local portion, into which his lot has been cast, is impaired in the least by being second. As a matter of fact it is because of the first loyalty, and only because of it, that the second is possible. Were it not for the first, the second would degenerate into a condition of mere sectarianism, and it is not too much to say that even the most protestant churchman will agree that there is enough of the latter spirit abroad.
It is sometimes hinted that Catholic Churchmen are always in a state of mental suspense, awaiting decisions of General Conventions or pronouncements of individual bishops with dire forebodings. This is not true of churchmen who look to the body as a whole rather than to any of its members or parts. The Church is catholic in its very essence and no General Convention can alter its very being. It is what it is by virtue of its divine organization, and with its fundamentals the Catholic churchman rests satisfied. This does not mean, however, that he is willing to fold his hands and lapse into a condition of simple passivity; far from it. He considers it his duty to perform his share in the endeavor to eliminate from his local portion of Catholic Christendom all that might lead to a misconception of the true position of the Church. One point may be mentioned, his desire for proper nomenclature. Though this be his desire and that for which, among other matters, he will continue to strive and pray, yet he would never wish it to come about as a mere party measure or a matter of simple majority in the Council of the Church. He would not wish to force it upon his Low Church or Broad Church brother. He would not wish it at the expense of a schism, or in fact at all until the Church's children, one and all, come to realize that it is right and proper that the Church should bear no uncertain or per
plexing title upon its banner. In this respect one can easily see the difference between his view of loyalty and devotion, and that of some of his Low Church brethren who have more than once in unqualified terms bid him begone from the fold, as a disloyal member of the same and a disturber of its peace. Not for a moment would the true churchman assume this attitude towards his protestant minded brethren.
That the time will come when the American Church will discard the cumbersome and misleading title by which she is now known in law, and place herself before the world under the title which she has never lost the right to assume, is beyond doubt. The most ardent of the writers of "The Prayer Book Papers "must know in his heart that the most strenuous efforts at blocking legislation favorable to the change have at best a temporary result. The tide has turned too strongly towards the Catholic position of the American Church to attempt to stem it by human devices.
The Catholic Churchman's loyalty, if put to the test, will be found of fibre so strong that he can patiently say to himself, "O tarry thou the Lord's leisure." He knows that in God's good time the American Church will declare herself in her title as well as in her standards as an integral portion of the One Catholic and Apostolic Church. Meanwhile Catholic Churchmen will abide side by side with their Low Church and Broad Church brethren in true charity, and will with them pray for the peace of Jerusalem. W. A. Buchanan.
Problems" at Saint Hilary's.
HEN a dream comes true the dreamer wants to tell everybody about it. When the young parson actually finds the parish of his dreams he wants to invite all his old classmates and show them the flesh and blood reality of what in his seminary days existed only in the haze of tobacco smoke and in our endless discussions as to how the church ought to be managed.