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beloved brother in Christ." The reverend delegates seemed completely to ignore the fact that things were in a bad state, socially and spiritually, when one doesn't know whether another man is his father or his brother. The two solitary lights of the Reformed Episcopacy, Cummins and Cheney, acted with that suavity of noncommitalism concerning their titles which seemed clearly to say, "How happy could we be with either!" After a long discussion the matter was solved for a time in the usual easy-going style, so appropriate to a "free" church, viz., a "laying on" the table during the vote, upon which motion a contented delegate of Shaksperian tastes was heard to exclaim, sotto voce, "Lay on, Macduff!" et sequitur.
"Article 9 was the occasion of a grand fight, and the text upon which most, if not all, of the delegates proceeded to explain the reasons which induced them to Sever connection with the mother church. The original article read:
"No church decorations, ornaments, vestments, postures, or ceremonies calculated to teach, either directly or symbolically, that the Christian ministry possesses a sacerdotal character, or that the Lord's Supper is a sacrifice, shall ever be allowed in the worship of this Church, nor shall any communion table be constructed in the form of an altar.'
"The enumeration of all the particulars of what seemed abominations in the church services was first objected to. and a general negation moved in substitution. Bishop Cummins said:
"It is this very altar which has been a principal, if not the main cause, of driving me out of the Church, and it is ruining thousands and leading them to idolatry, the teachings thereof being a most fruitful source of error. Bishop
McIlvaine never would consecrate church in which the altar graced or disgraced the chancel, and yet now, immediately on his death, the very churches in which he worked have adopted the altar; I would rather be right on that point than on any other.'
Bishop Cheney contributed much to the merriment, by stating that Christ Church in Chicago, over which he presided, had always had an altar, though
We seriously think that in view of the great pressure of time and business which Bishop Cummins stated was afflicting the council, that the "Fathers" thereof might have saved themselves a great deal of time and thought in drawing up and discussing this last article. Not even "a plain table, supported on an open framework," would ever convey to any right-witted person the most delicate suspicion of their sacerdotalism, or of the presence of any altar of sacrifice, except that of good sense and honest doctrine in the "worship" of their church.
It must be clearly understood that all this discussion on the canons was but preliminary to the real business of the convention,—the revision of the prayer-book. Upon the basis of that prayer-book had Dr. Cummins repeatedly declared was the spiritual edifice of his church established. Its corner-stone was neither Jesus Christ nor the Bible, the whole Bible and nothing but the Bible, as is the most general pretence of the other Protestant churches, but the prayer-book of 1789, a very uncertain basis we think it may prove. No wonder
then that all other subjects were hurried over as of minor consideration to the revision of the prayerbook.
Before, however, proceeding to this great work, a reverend delegate rose to narrate what liberties the paternal ancestry of Cummins's child had taken in the same direction, among which he announced the gratifying fact that Queen Elizabeth, of virginal memory, had permitted the Anglican Church, the original founder of the family line, to strike out from the litany the petition, "From the tyranny of the Bishop of Rome and his detestable enormities, good Lord deliver us!" which to say the least was charitable.
"The proposed new prayer-book was distributed in revise proof-slips, and discussed seriatim. The discussion was very animated.
selves; but there was no objection to adding to their heritage these beautiful did not want to spoil the old book, so sentences on essential holidays. They that no Episcopalian could feel at home in their Church.
"The theological tinkering, however, proceeded vehemently.
made a brief but powerful speech, oppos"The Secretary, Herbert B. Turner, ing the mere handful present going in with paste and scissors to patch up a new and nondescript liturgy.
MEN ARE PRAYING FOR THIS MISTAKE.
"The danger imminent now is of repelling friends, giving aid and comfort to enemies, and rejecting recruits. Where no change is necessary, let none be made. by them. Festina lente should be their Stumbling-blocks should not be placed motto.
"Mr. Leacock was for radical changes, and declaration of liberty, which they could not get in the Protestant Episcopal Church. He wanted a new service, so beautiful as to attract people from all
other churches. He would rather have a heart service with one hundred in com
"The Latimer sentences were read for
"Colonel Ayerigg, as a layman, said munion, than a bald compromise to suit time should not be wasted. He was opposed to unnecessary change. Doctrinal wrong and ritualism alone should be their targets.
"Rev. Mr. Wilson made a motionwhich, after a brisk debate, he withdrew -to adopt special services for special days. As on the day before, he took a very prominent part in the proceedings, and might, in parliamentary phrase, be styled the leader of the opposition; while Rev. Marshall B. Smith was leader on
the government benches. The one fought,
tooth and nail, for the work as he had left it; the other discovered each joint in the armor, and launched the insinuating shaft in the crevices.
There was a fight over substituting the word may' for 'shall' in the rubrics, and Rev. Mr. McCormick said 'let,' as in 'Let there be light,' was mandatory.
"Mr. Wilson moved the adoption of the Latimer service for holidays, to enrich the service.
"Bishop Cheney warmly supported this; and, speaking of a meeting at Chicago just before he left, said the feeling then was that the Sunday services should be similar to those of their old churchthat the occasional services for special days might be revised They wished to extract no root of bitterness, not estrange the brethren of old days by a ritual wholly foreign to them and them
Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Good Friday, Easter, Ascension, Whitsunday, and Innocents' Day, and passed.
"A fight on the absolution' followed; another on the word 'amen,' and whether
it should be roman or italic.
"The council adjourned after prayer.”
In view of the great horror of ritualism which pervaded the council, it seems to us that the delegates
were rather blind not to see that
they were jumping "out of the frying-pan into the fire," since, by their intense desire to eliminate any doctrines or phrases which smacked of high churchism, they were paying more attention to the formal than the spiritual simplicity of their prayers, and the discordant struggle over the "amen" strongly impresses us with the idea that the delegates had been listening to some "Romish " masses by the old musical composers.
And now comes, next in order, an evening session of the council, remarkable not so much for the extreme "nasty niceness" of the
elegant divines, as the almost the council was receiving hospital
blasphemous extremes to which their assumed fastidiousness which was but a cover for their impudence-was permitted to run; for, not content with the wholesale transformation of the ordinary pages of their prayer-book-written by men of their own kindthey discovered that the Apostles, who were nothing but rude fishermen, unaccustomed to the refinements of elegant society, had, in compiling the creed, made use of a word most insufferable to ears polite, and to minds too elevated to ever lend credit of so shocking a doctrine as that of future punishment. So the passage containing the words, "He descended into hell," was recommended as fitly to be changed into "He descended into the place of departed spirits;" but, terrible to relate, while the wordy battle of expediency was waging hottest, a new alarm was sounded from an unforeseen quarter, a lynx-eyed delegate having discovered that the innovation contained a latent leaven of popery. Might not that region of departed spirits be construed to mean PURGATORY? Perish the thought! A compromise was, we learn from the minutes, at length effected, though as to how that compromise affected the venerable creed of the Apostles we must plead nul tiel record; but query if any change was adopted, was the altered prayer any longer the Apostles' Creed?
The historian of the convention gives us, at this stage of the proceedings, a little respite, much needed, indeed, after the desperate work of this famous "evening session," and he improves the opportunity by detailing for us the terrible difficulties and complications engendered by the secession from the Low Church proper to Dr. Cummins's communion of the venerable and Rev. Mr. Sabine, under the roof of whose new church
The Herald reporter recounts most feelingly the interview with which he was favored with the seceding apostle, as well as the ef forts of his former congregation of the Church of the Atonement to prevent any large accessions from their ranks to the seceder's banner. As we read the touching and terrible story, we could not help heaving a sigh, and exclaiming, "How history repeats itself in this new Raid on the Sabines!"
The third day's session of the council was startled into activity by the Rev. J. D. Wilson, who of fered a motion that the rubric preceding the prayer for those in civil authority should be altered by expunging therefrom the words, "Grant them in health and prosperity long to live." He thought this was appropriate, perhaps, under a monarchical government, but not in a government like ours, where our rulers do not continue in office during life, and where he probably intended to insinuate that it was not always desirable that they should, in view of which fact we think that the suggestion was one of the very few evidences of wisdom displayed in the convention, that is, supposing there was any efficacy in the prayers of reformed Episcopalians. Unfortunately, however, either that body at large did not think that such merits really accompanied their petitions, or else it maliciously determined to inflict, as far as laid in its power, a life-long prolongation of "ring rule" upon its fellow-citizens. Hon. Stuart L. Woodford thought Congress needed praying for at all times. Another saw no harm in praying for ex-members of Congress and retired officials; he probably had an eye on the grace of repentance; but a third delegate, whose name we unluckily have not before us, had serious doubts about the propriety of praying at all for
salary-grabbers, back-pay stealers, and governmental subsidizers. His voice was drowned down, however, by other members of the convention, who evidently was looking to a state church arrangement, in the shape of a so-called charitable appropriation, although they did suggestively resolve to put the prayer for Congress "within brackets." Next followed a revision of the rubric for the administration of the "Holy Communion." The question of what that communion really and intrinsically was, seems to have been gotten over with the diplomatic nonchalance of cunning old Queen Bess, who, when pressed to give a decision on that point, replied in the well-known distich:
"Christ was the word that spake it,
An animated discussion as to whether those outside the church
pale were to be admitted to the Lord's table is herewith given in detail, as the refusal of the Episcopal Church to permit such a practice was the professed reason for the secession therefrom of Bishop Cummins.
"The rubric Here the minister shall " invite communicants of other churches
to partake with him and his people at the Lord's table,' was the subject of a very protracted discussion on a motion by Rev. Mr. McGuire to insert after the word churches,' the words 'in communion with this church.' At least ten amendatory motions were made before the subject was disposed of, some desiring to insert the word 'evangelical,' others the words, other Christian churches;' still another the words, all persons living in the exercise of faith and repentance are invited to partake,' &c. The Chairman finally invited Ex-Lieut. Gov. Woodford to preside, as the parliamentary business was becoming very complex. In the debate a majority of those who spoke on the subject were in favor of making the invitation as broad and as open as possible to all Christians, whether communicants or excommunicants, the case of Bishop Cheney being cited by one of them as being that of an
excommunicant. After more than an hour and a half of debate the notice and invitation were amended and adopted in the following form: Immediately after the sermon the minister shall give the following or a similar invitation: Our fellow-Christians of other branches of Divine Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in Christ's Church, and all who love our sincerity, are affectionately invited to the Lord's Table.' Some modifications were made in the charge of self-examination to communicants, and then came quite a discussion on the form of the paragraph accompanying the giving of the bread and wine. Rev. Mr. Sabine moved to amend by inserting the words, Take, eat, this is my body' (Matthew xxvi chapter, 26th verse). It was adopted after considerable debate, and then a motion was carried to reconsider the vote, which was taken rather sharply. The council then adjourned until 8 o'clock
"On reassembling, the paragraphs were amended by substituting the following:
"The body of our Lord Jesus Christ was given for thee. Take and eat this bread, in remembrance that Christ died for thee; feed on him in thy heart by faith with thanksgiving.
was shed for thee.
"The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ Drink this wine in remembrance thereof, and be thankful.' "A motion was subsequently carried so to modify the exhortation to the communion as to eliminate therefrom the implication of condemnation against those who partake thereof unworthily."
A very able suggestion. Whoever heard of anybody partaking of baker's bread and a glass of sherry or madeira unworthily?
"Rev. Mr. Smith moved that the following be added to the communion order as a rubric to precede the final note: 'In conducting this service, except when kneeling, the minister shall face the people, and at no time shall his back be turned to the people.'
"Bishop Cheney opposed the proposed rubric, holding that starting out on its new course, he did not think it worth while for this church to pay attention to so slight an outward matter of ceremonial as this. The Reformed Church had begun the battle on stronger issues than those of mere ritualism. It had struck at the errors of sacramentarianism. The rubric was adopted by a vote of 17 to 15. The communion order was then adopted as a whole."
From this we would infer that the bishop thought the minister's posture to be pretty much like the position of the church itself, "backwards or forwards it's ever the same" piece of immaterial humbuggery.
A lively debate on the question, as to whether the communion table of the Lord should be styled "the table of the Father," or that of the Son, resulted in decreeing that it should be known as the table of the Saviour, which was a clear distinction without a clear difference; the disputants had manifestly forgotten the words of Christ, "I and the Father are one, who seeth the Father seeth me." However, as neither the Father nor the Son had anything to do with the table in question, we must simply say, in commenting on this point of discussion, cui bono?
The next business taken under consideration was the revision of the order
for the administration of baptism to in
"Rev Mr. Smith gave an explanation of the changes and omissions made in the order as reported from the committee, and the reasons which governed the committee in regard to such alterations. "Rev. Mr. Powers then moved that the service as reported be adopted. Among the most marked omissions are the introductory questions to the persons presenting the infant for baptism, as to whether this child has ever before been
baptiz d,' &c., and the declaration at the close of the baptism, Now, therefore, is this child regenerate,' &c. In regard to the first it was deemed superfluous to ask if the child had already been baptized, as the fact of its presentation for baptism was prima facie reason to suppose that it had not been previously baptized. In regard to the regeneration of the child, Mr. Smith said the committee thought it would be better to wait until the child was grown up before determining as to the completeness of its regeneration.
"Rev. Mr. McGuire moved the insertion of a rubric requiring that the persons presenting the child for baptism be also communicants. Quite a discussion
ensued on the subject, it being maintained by the supporters of the motion that none but one regenerated through the VOL. VII.-7
spirit of Christ could make the vows and assume the obligations required of those who present the child as sponsors. On the other hand, it was claimed that the
refusal to baptize children presented by unregenerate parents would be an assumption by the Reformed Church of the doctrine of visiting the sins of the
parents upon the children.
"Rev. Mr. Smith offered a compromise amendment, to the effect that if the parents be not communicants, the children shall be presented by at least one person who is a communicant of this or some other evangelical church. This amendment was adopted.
"Mr. Turner, secretary of the council, moved that the rubric relating to the manual act of baptism be so amended as to leave it optional with the sponsors should be made on the forehead of the whether the manual sign of the cross child. For himself, he would almost go to the extent of endeavoring to induce a minister to violate the rubric so that this sign, under which we conquer, should be placed on the head of his child.
"Rev. Mr. Smith opposed it strenuously, denouncing it as a heathen abomination, a form of superstitious exorcism of evil, savoring of popery and the dark ages. He had no objection to a structural cross on a building as an emblem of Christianity, but with this proposed form of its reintroduction he could make no compromise, even as an alternative
"Rev. Mr. Power and Mr Turner
spoke in support of the motion, the latter stating that he was contending for that which was very dear to him-the sign of the Christian faith, the sign by which he lived, and in which he hoped to die."
Passing by the principal points of this dispute on baptism as sufficiently ludicrous to raise a broad laugh for themselves, we will simply add that we feel confident that if his Satanic Majesty had had a voice in this debate he would have heartily approved of the caution of the delegates in waiting till a child had grown up, and a good deal longer, to see if he himself had been "cast out" of it by baptism unaccompanied with the sign of the cross. "Keep on waiting, gentlemen!" he would have said, "keep on waiting; he of you who dies first will know soonest."
The matter was left to the choice of the person baptizing,