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so glad the Bogies did not get you. I his head a hundred and sixty I do hope poor papa will get away, springtimes, if one. Hexie died so that those bad men will not before any of our great grandfind him."
mothers were born. Many a ChristHexie's prayer was answered. mas smoke has curled from the tall Sir Humphrey escaped. Before chimneys of the old manor-house, sunrise the next morning he was but the armed figure still keeps far out in the English Channel. In guard beside the secret panel, and a few weeks there came a letter the folds of the heavy tapestry from France, stating that he was hang just as they did when brave safe.
Rafe Tresham played the hero, It all happened long ago. Little and saved his father's life on that Rafe lies in his grave, and the Christmas night, more than two daisies have sprinkled the sod above hundred years ago.
BY THE REV. S. MEAD, M.A., LL.B. FELLOW-BELIEVERS in the Lord Jesus Christ,--I speak to you this evening on the subject of Ritualism. I do not discourse on the subject of Ritualism because it so largely concerns and is so intimately connected with another denomination, but because its advance or retrogression is of great moment to the future religious welfare of the colony at large. Although denominations have their distinctive names, separate organisations, and varying beliefs, we are not so separated from each other as to be disjoined from the one body which constitutes the Church of the Saviour. It is of small consequence by what denominational names we are known among men so long as we are Christ's true disciples and followers. Whether we may be connected with the Church of England, with the Church of Wesley, with the Church of Rome, with the Church of the Congregationalists, with the Church of the Presbyterians, or with the Church of the Baptists, the point of vital importance is that we hold a living membership in the Church of the Saviour. All true believers in Christ in these several Churches are our fellow Church members, whether or not they assent thereto. We have, therefore, a personal interest in all true Christians found in the Church of England and in all Churches; so all true believers in that and other Churches have a personal interest in as. Moreover, the truth of God as revealed in Jesus Christ is common property. We rejoice in the triumphs of that truth wherever manifest; we grieve where the beauty of that truth is despoiled. Then, also, we do well to learn from others—to learn by their successes and their failures. These considerations are, I think, sufficient to justify and
* An Address delivered at the Annual Meeting of the South Australian Baptist Association, on Tuesday, September 23rd.
explain my selection of the subject of Ritualism as the topic for the present address.
The Ritualism of which I speak may be defined as the attachment of excessive importance to external religious rites, and in regarding them as the necessary and procurative means of imparting the gifts of salvation.
We must not confound ritual with Ritualism, nor suppose that Ritualism in and of itself as mere externalism is necessarily evil. The worship of God as enjoined through Moses was largely ritualistic. All the rites then ordained by Jehovah bore their distinctive significance. Those rites were simple in form and character; some of them were fitted to impress the beholder with a sense of awe. They were symbolic ; they were designed to convey instruction. They were, however, for the initial stage of religious life. With the ascension of Christ, as a law they ceased to have force, and, according the intention of their Divine Originator, they passed away for ever.
We must also bear in mind that all Churches (excepting that of the Quakers or Friends) practise certain rites in worship. I do not mean simply the two rites of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, but the rites of public prayer, of public singing, of preaching. We all, therefore, practice ritual in the sense that we observe well-defined rites. Some may be ritualistic in the farther sense of regarding one or more of the rites commonly observed among us as being necessarily a procurative medium of some gift of salvation. By whomsoever this is done, there is the essence of Ritualism in whatever Church it be practised. It is important therefore to distinguish between simple ritual and Ritualism.
It does not come within my purpose to-night to enter into an historical examination of Ritualism as it now obtains in the Church of England. You are well aware that whatever may have been the degree in which Ritualism prevailed in that Church two or three centuries ago, its modern development dates back only some forty years. It was little imagined by the friends of Evangelicalism then that in the space of forty years it would have attained the proportions we now witness. The real foundation for all this Ritualism is to be found in the Book of Common Prayer. Thus, for example, in the service of baptism, according to the Prayer-book, the priest, after baptism has been administered to the child, is instructed to say—" Seeing now, dearly beloved brethren, that this child is regenerate and grafred into the body of Christ's Church, let us give thanks to Almighty God for these benefits.” Sabsequently, in a prayer addressed to God, these words are uttered—“We yield Thee hearty thanks, most merciful Father, that it bath pleased Thee to regenerate this infant with Thy Holy Spirit, to receive him for Thine own child by adoption, and to incorporate him into Thy Holy Church.” Here we have one of the strongest roots of ritualistic development. To the exposition of this point, however, I shall have occasion to recur presently. The causes of this rapid development I shall not inquire into, but deal with the fact itself. It is difficult to estimate the proportionate numerical strength of the Evangelical section of the Church of England as compared with the Ritualistic section, but we fear the former is in a decided minority. Both in this colony and wherever the worship of the Church of England is established this appears to be the startling fact.
I need scarcely remark that the Roman Catholic Church is full of Ritualism. Its whole system is penetrated through and through with the very essence of Ritualism. It is Ritualism which has made the Roman Church what it is. This is the secret of its success and of its failure. Let the Roman Catholic Church lose its Ritualism, and what a grand fature might be in store for that community! Strike out but that one idea completely from that system, and you would revolutionise the whole Church. The idea is the notion that the administration of & rite is procurative of salvation. That single idea is the keynote of the Catholic faith. Pull that away, and the whole edifice tumbles down. The Romanizing of the Episcopal Church proceeds in the direct ratio that this one idea penetrates, pervades, and dominates the Episcopalian system. You think that Pope Leo XIII. is the ruler of the Roman Catholic world. He is only the agent of this all-dominant idea. It is not the infallibility of the Pope that is the great mischiefworking evil in that Church; but the real Pope, the invisible, intangible Pope of the Roman world is this one idea of the administration of a rite being necessarily the mediating cause of salvation. Let but this same idea govern the action and beliefs of the Episcopal Church, or of any other Church, and thereby that Church is effectually Romanized though it may eschew the name or may reckon itself even Evangelical. This idea has in the course of centuries become so thoroughly part and parcel of the Roman Church that we have come to be almost despairing of the reformation of that Church through the pure light of the Gospel of Christ.
We shall now endeavour to trace this one idea as it finds a place in the doctrines and ordinances of ritualistic Churches. It is noteworthy how great stress is laid by those Churches on the ordinances, that is, on what are designated the sacraments. These sacraments, both in the Roman and Episcopalian Churches, hold a first place. This arises from the circumstance that it is easier to attach the salvation-procuring idea to an action called a sacrament than to a doctrine. This also helps to explain the punctilious care with which the sacramental acts are required to be carried out. It is of much consequence to Ritualism, for the promotion of its success, that every possible reverence should be shown to the sacramental action. So far as possible it must be set in a divine place and on a divine pedestal.
In the prosecution of our search for the idea of salvation procured by an external medium, let us first take the institution of the Church as an outward and visible organization. You know that the word Church means, in the New Testament, the assembly of believers who in any place, town or country, having received in faith Christ as their Saviour, stand out from the world as a distinct society, and whose sapreme aim it is wholly to serve and follow Christ. Hence the believers at Antioch constituted the Church of Christ there; the believers at Ephesus constituted the Church there; the believers at Philippi constituted the Church there. Of course these Churches formed parts of the complete Church of God, and so constituted a unit; bat they retained their individual completeness, and each was complete in itself. Ritualism, in contending for the one Church, denies that there are individual and complete organizations. As well might it be denied that there are separate families and classes among men because the whole race of men constitute and may be spoken of as a unit. So far has this tenet been carried, that the Roman Catholic denies the Church of England the right to be called a Church, and pronounces that Church schismatical, heretical, and dissenting, while on the other hand, the latter Church protests against the orthodoxy of the Roman Church. There have been indeed sundry evidences of a little coquetting going on in recent years between these two Churches, and it may not be chimerical to dream that some day they may celebrate a marriage under the one name-Catholic. Meantime, both these Churches insist that there is some magical virtue in being within the ring-fence of their respective organizations, so that to be within the fold of either secures salvation, and to be without the fold of either means being destitute of salvation. But I wish to give chapter and verse for my assertions. I intend to this end to refer repeatedly to a small explanatory Catechism published in London in 1876, and edited by the Rev. F. A. Gace, M.A. Having spoken of the free Christian Churches, declaring them to be heretics, the question is asked—" Is their worship a laudable service ? Answer—No; because they worship God according to their own evil and corrupt imaginations, and not according to His revealed will, and therefore their worship is idolatrous. Q. 87. Is dissent a great sin ?-A. Yes; it is in direct opposition to our duty towards God. Q. 90. Are we then to do them no good service when they are in distress and in need of our assistance ?-4. Yes; we are to do them all the good in our power, provided we do not defraud them who are of the household of faith. Q. 92. But do we not find among them many good men ?-A. Many doubtless are unexceptionable characters in a moral point of view, but they are not holy men; and herein indeed we may learn a lesson from them; for if they apparently attain such perfection, what ought we to be in all manner of godly conversation, who possess all the means of grace ? Q. 98. Is it wicked, then, to enter a meeting-house at all?— A. Most assuredly; because it is a house where God is worshipped otherwise than He has commanded. Besides this, we run the risk of being led away by wicked enticing words. Q. 99. But is such language as this consistent with charity ?-A. Quite 60; for when there is danger of the true worshippers of God falling into error we cannot speak too strongly of their perilous state. At the same time it is our duty to declare in express terms to those who are without, that they are living separate from Christ's body, and consequently out of the pale of salvation, so far at least as God has thought fit to reveal."
Clearly, therefore, acccording to this teaching, identification with the Episcopalian Church secures salvation. There is some supposed mystic virtue in mere external union with this visible Church which is entirely lost in the absence of that connection.
With such notions as these taught and proclaimed, it becomes the urgent duty of the followers of the Lord Jesus, by deed and word, to set forth before men the New Testament idea of a Church as an assembly of those who, through a personal faith in the Son of God, have become the recipients of His grace and salvation.
Sometime ago the head of the Episcopalian Church of this colony gave in his annual address an oracular utterance on the subject of “ Apostolical Succession.” This dogma is an essential pillar of the Episcopalian system. It is amazing to ordinary minds how intelligent people who think for themselves can be convinced by such illogical reasoning as is adduced in order to make good this tenet. Mr. Gace's explanatory Catechism aserts that the Church of England is governed by three orders of clergy-bishops, priests, and deacons—who can trace back their line in an unbroken chain to the days of the Apostles; and she is therefore in possession of what is called the apostolic succession, without which the Church cannot have existence. The Rev. S. Green is reported to have said at St. Paul's Church, Port Adelaide, on August 24th last, that if the Church of England is not in the apostolic succession she is the greatest sham on God's earth. She has neither bishops, priests, nor deacons ; her children are not baptized, nor are her members confirmed as they think they have been." What do Dr. Short and the Rev. S. Green regard as apostolic succession ? Mr. Green answers that they have an unbroken series of links which unites the clergy of the present day with the Apostles. He adds that the succession of the present Archbishop of Canterbury could be traced up to the Apostles' times, and that without one link being missing. No one has proved this yet. Were it capable of proof, the line of connection must run through the Roman Catholic Church. The point, however, I am desirous of emphasizing is that the whole theory is based on the wrong idea. The kingdom of Christ is not established upon a physical but on a spiritual basis. The kingdom of Christ is not in externalisms, but is of the soul and spirit. If a thousand bishops laid their hands on the head of a man, that would not convey one particle of the Holy Spirit's power. The fact is, there are no literal successors of the Apostles. Not even in the age next to that of the Apostles were there any men who claimed to be Apostles. There is no evidence that after the death of the Apostles any persons were endowed with either the gift of inspiration or the power to work miracles. It was only in subsequent centuries, when ecçlesiasticism in its hierarchical pretentiousness began to assert