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sacred flame of pure religion ; but the recovery of the primitive traditions, and the extensive reorganization of Christian doctrine in line with the simple teachings of Jesus must be the achievement of the twentieth and succeeding centuries. It is now high time to cut loose from sickly supernaturalism and lay all stress on the two great wholesome doctrines of Jesus—the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man."
7. A word of apology may be added for the inclusion of so many citations, especially in the latter pages of the volume.
This has been done for a double reason :—the desire to present every essential aspect of the new interpretations of Christianity, and also to bring forward as many " witnesses" to these new interpretations as the reasonable limits of the volume would admit of. "Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord." If " in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established," how much more profound the conviction when "we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses "—comprising so large a proportion of the most scholarly, devout, and pure-hearted men and women of all the ages; but of this introductory age of the twentieth century in particular.
8. As Virgil sang, and John the Baptist cried, and Jesus the Messiah prayed, and Paul the Apostle preached, and John the Revelator prophesied in the first century, so at the approach of the twentieth century should all Poets sing, and all Reformers cry, and all Messiahs pray, and all Apostles preach, and all Revelators prophesy:
"The new era of Cumcean Song is now arrived, The great Series of Ages begins anew."
"The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His path straight."
"That they also may be One in us; I in them and Thou in me, that they may be made perfect in One."
"The times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent."
"The former things are passed away: and he that sat upon the throne said, Behold I make all things new."
9. With these prefatory notes carefully read and well understood, the elaborations of them in the following pages will be readily comprehended—however much they may be criticised or condemned.
If the sharp words which may be found in this volume, like the sharp teeth of the mouse in the fable, shall be able to gnaw even one of the strings of that vast net-work of Superstition which, for sixteen centuries, has been binding down the lion-strength of primitive Christianity, the author will be amply rewarded for his toil.
THE PASTORAL LETTER OF 1894.
Among various recent tendencies to revert from the "glorious liberty of the children of God " to the "yokes of bondage" imposed by systems and sects, is that signified by the widely known and much debated " Pastoral Letter of 1894."
Till then it was unheard of and undreamed of that the "Broad" school, or the " High " school, or any other school in the Protestant Episcopal Church of America should be subject to the direction of the Bishops as to honest interpretations of the New Testament, much less of the creeds and traditions of Historic Christianity. The Author entered this communion and ministry as a pronounced Broad Churchman. As such he was welcomed, confirmed, received, ordained, and nominated to his first Rectorship by the cordial and always gracious Bishop of New York. He came sincerely believing that the Episcopal Church, more than any other of the various " orthodox" Churches, was open to new light; and as such, offered the best common ground for that reconstruction of old Dogmas and reuniting of all who called themselves Christians into one truly Catholic Communion which was, as it still is, his chief prayer and hope. With this prayer and in this hope he has quietly labored in the Episcopal Ministry, with rarely a week or a Sunday of rest, during all these years till now. His first keen disappointment came with the issue of the Pastoral Letter of 1894. This seemed to be an open condemnation of all Broad Churchmen. Though pronounced by one of the Bishops, the Bishop of New York, as having " undoubtedly no conciliar authority " and "little more value than is expressed in the more or less close consensus of opinion of some half-dozen individuals" (Letter to the New York Tribune, February 15, 1895), it was reaffirmed by the House of Bishops at their last General Convention; and, in spite of the non-concurrence of the House of Deputies, has increasingly been accepted as the law of Dogmatic Interpretation to which all clergy of the Protestant Episcopal Church are bound to conform. Constant and unmistakable evidences of this reaction toward Dogmatism very painfully came to the Author's notice; and he was driven to the conviction that the hitherto progressive Protestant Episcopal Church had turned its face steadfastly backward.
For one he could not consent to go backward with it; neither could he, by keeping silence, even seem to stand with it in what appeared to be spiritual as well as intellectual reversion and degeneration.
Therefore, as an open protest against this and all similar "tendencies to revert and degenerate," and also as a hoped-for contribution (however slight) to the renascence or revival of New Testament and Apostolic Christianity, this volume was conceived and has been completed.
(i) An Example for All Official Bodies of the Church Catholic.
On page 254 was noticed a recent example, nobly illustrative of what the Bishop of New York, as quoted on one of the opening pages, earnestly commends and calls for—the courage of one's convictions.
At the date of this writing appears in all the public journals, with general approval, the reponsive official action of the Corporation (referred to on page 254), practically withdrawing its censures, and granting entire liberty of thought and speech. The following extracts from the Resolutions may well be presented as a " text " for all official bodies of the Church Catholic:
"It was not in our minds to prescribe the path in which you should tread, or to restrain your freedom of opinion or reasonable liberty of utterance. In this liberal and catholic institution all members shall enjoy full, free, absolute, and uninterrupted liberty of conscience, which includes freedom of thought and expression."
(2) The Lambeth Conference of 1897.
That which follows is from the Encyclical Letter just issued by the Lambeth Conference of 1897, composed of the bishops of the whole Anglican Communion:
"That faith is already in serious danger which refuses to face questions that may be raised on the authority or the genuineness of any part of the Scriptures" (or of the Traditions, Formularies, or Creeds) '' that have come down to us. . . . A faith which is always, or often, attended by a secret fear that we dare not inquire, lest inquiry should lead us to results inconsistent with what we believe, is already infected with a disease which may soon destroy it."