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Y0RAI, welcomE


[By OUR OWN REPORTER. J The annual two days' Conference for the of Chester was opened in Birkenh-ead Town Hall on Thursday morning. The Lord Bishop of the Diocese presided over a large attendance of clergy and lay representatives, while from the gallery surrounding the spacious room of the lown Hall a considerable number of ladies followed the proceedings with marked interest^ Wimn, Canon Gore and the Rev. C. Hylton Stewart wrote expressing their inability to be present ow- iag to '»-h«»^ welcomE The Mayor of Birkenhead (Mr. A. E. Gnoe) cor- i-ii3 kind welcome, and for the many arrangements that had been made in the interests of the Con- ference proceedings. They echoed the hope that, by the blessing of God, their deliberation# would be really fruitful and useful. (Applause.) THE BISHOP'S ADDRESS. The Lord Bishop, who had his customary hearty reception, opened his address enoe to the centenary of the Bible which he said, Churchmen could not but keep a warm place in their hearts. Turning at once to the education problem, to which he greater part of his address, he said, at theheartof the problem should, of course, stand the child To the children and to their welfare our highest reverence was due and yet, in the din and smoke of controversy, their central, supreme interests *nd claims were too often obscured and forgotten. The diverse claims, rights interests which met on the floor of the school and were zealous to have their share, and sometimes more than their share, in training the young life, and equipping it, body, mind, character, and spirit, for the duties and destinies that lay before it, were chiefly. the fol- lowing: The State, now keenly alive to the para- mount importance of its future citizens being thoroughly and suitably educated. Then the re- ligious bodies, and prominent among them, the National Church, which was awake and hard at work while the State was still asleep. Certain re- ligious bodies represented what Dr. Martmeau termed The Denominational Conscience," and he (Dr. Martineau) expressed his weighty opinion that there could be no sound solution of the educa- tion problem till the just claims of both the de- nominational and undenominational conscience had been frankly and equitably recognised. The denominational oonsoience had conspicuously shewn its faith and its sincerity by its works. It had spent many millions of money on the educa- tion of the children of the people. It had placed a huge property in school buildings at the disposal of the State, to the great relief of the burdened ratepayer; and it could not be expected to do all this except on reasonable terms. Then came the taxpayer and the ratepayer, whose voice in edu- cation must obviously be dominant. But the tax- payer and the ratepayer themselves had con- sciences, and the consciences of Churchmen, Roman Catholics, Jews, and certain Noncon- formists of the older school, were neither less numerous nor less worthy of consideration than the allied consciences of undenominational and secu- larist ratepayers and taxpayers. Again, the teachers very reasonably claimed a hearing. Trust deeds could not be lightly over-ridden. Last, but by no means least, parents could claim, and should be encouraged to claim, a potent voice with re- spect to the education, and especially the moral and religious education, of their own children. "Here, then," continued his Lordship, "we have in outline the problem; or, rather, the thorniest part of the problem, with which Parliament had to deal. These eager interests, these righteous and irrepressible principles, had to be recognised, and, if possible, harmonised. To every- body in all respects was plainly beyond the wit and' power even of Parliament; but THE ACT OF 1902, was an honest, oourageous, and broad-minded en- deavour to place the elementary and secondary education of England and Wales upon a sound, equitable, elastic, and expansive basis, and the spirit in which the large majority of education authorities have settled down to their new and onerous duties is full of promise, and it may be confidently asserted that the opinion of those who are best qualified to speak upon matters of educa- tion has been and is decisively in favour of the system established by the Act. Of course I do not speak as though perfection or finality had been reached. There may well be room for re- adjustment and modification at various points. But the first thing is to let the working of the Act have a really fair chance. Experience will, in due time, correct mistaken tendencies, and shew where amendment is really needed. For example, & few of the local education authorities seem to be at present in what may be termed the polyprag- matical or meddlesome stage. In the natural ebullience of their youthful zeal there is nothing they are not eager to touch, and what they touoh. they do not always adorn. But this immature mood will soon pass away. Experience is already shewing that the weightier matters, the essentials. the main lines of administration and control, will fully tax the time and energies of the education authorities, and details will be more and more delegated to subordinate committees, and to those tried and indispensable friends of elementary edu- cation, the school managers. But, excellent as is the attitude of local education authorities and of the country in general, there are, unfortunately, certain quarters in which opposition to the Act has taken an extravagantly aggressive and even anar- chial form." The Bishop here quoted the Arch- bishop of Canterbury's letter to Lord Ashcombe, and said the Archbishop was anxious to deal fairly and considerately with opponents; but egregious misrepresentations could not be left uncorrected, and when the Church of England was being avowedly assailed under cover of the Education Acts, it was surely high time to organise defen- sive measures. Another weapon that was being I used against the Act was "PASSIVE RESISTANCE." After quoting Mr. Justice Wills and Lord Lindley on the illegality of the tactics, his Lordship said "The most glaring anarchical policy was that adopted by some of the Welsh County Councils, who had oonspired together to levy—two counties were actually levying—rates under powers given bv the Education Act, and were then, in defiance of that very Act, refusing to give to non-provided schools and share of the rates. The Board of Education, by postponing the appointed day, had checked in their recalcitrant career those of the Welsh Councils who, though they had resolved to follow the anarchical example of Carmarther- jshire and Montgomeryshire, had not yet secured the powers they meant to misuse. The severest censure of this policy came from the chairman of the Education Committee of Carmarthenshire, 10 himself a Congregational minister, who charac- terised the course recommended by Mr. Lloyd George and his confederates as 'unjust, unchris- tian, immoral, and cowardly.' No responsible and self-respecting Government, of whatever political colour, could possibly allow such things to ride rough-shod over the law of the land. Was the policy of the Welsh County Councils likely to make or keep Wales 'a nation of honest men?' In a recent letter correspondence of Church schools in the diocese, he wrote:—'It must be our endeavour to make the distinctively religious part of the school curriculum as suitable, sound, attrac- tive, nutritious, and fruitful as it can be made. With this object our whole system of diocesan in- spection, including the syllabus of religious in- struction. and the special case of pupil teaohers, is being carefully- considered.' The Bishop, in passing, paid a high tribute to the work of the late Mr. Fairclough, by whose death, he said, the dio- cese had lost an admirable chief inspector. The late Mr. Fairclough felt with. him (the speaker) that the time was ripe for a painstaking revision of their methods. His successor, the Rev. J. M. New, brought to the diocesan inspectorship varied and well-digested experience, and a spirit closely akin to the spirit which made Mr. Fairclough so welcome and so helpful in their schools. It would be the steady and open-minded' aim of Mr. New and his assistants to make inspection more and more a visit of sympathy, encouragement, and friendly consultation. "Before leaving the subject of re- ligious education," continued his Lordship, "let me lay most earnest stress upon three points. First, whatever truth there may, or may not, have been in the past in the statement frequently I made, that too many of the clergy take no real interest in their schools, seldom visit, seldom teach in them, let there be absolutely no ground for such a statement in the future. The door of PRICELESS OPPORTUNITY, of bounden duty, is,still wide open to the clergy. If it is ever to be shut let the calamity be due to no fault, no neglect, no indiscretion of ours. Secondly, let the interest of the clergy and of Churchmen generally in education, be as broad! as is the nature. as are the interests, of the children wHo have to be educated. There is nothing that affects their welfare which has not a claim upon our sympathy and co-operation. 'Secular' educa- tion must for us have a profoundly religious char- acter and value, for it is the training of faculties given by God for the tasks which God has allotted. Thirdly, let us be chivalrously, tenderly con- siderate towards the consciences of those who differ from us. As we are steadfast in maintain- ing the rights of conscience on our own side, so let us be spontaneous in recognising and provid- ing for the conscientious feeling of others. Where the Church school is the only accessible school we should be particularly considerate, put- ting ourselves in the place of the parents and child- ren who are not of our persuasion. I hope, be- fore long, to issue some practical suggestions un- der this head which may be useful to managers. This brings me to 'The Common Fund,' which including the Aid Grant) has already reaohed the very encouraging amount of NEARLY 210,000. This is the result of only a few weeks' work, and systematic canvassing has hardly be I am heartily grateful to the liberal contributors who responded so promptly to the appeal, 'and I must also thank those who. in the different rural dean- i eries, are spreading information, dissipating Mis- conceptions, exorcising the narrow and short- sighted spirit of parochialism, and bringing schools into membership on the terms laid down in the scheme. The progress made thus far has been most satisfactory, and there is every reason, to hope that the fund will become a financial and moral citadel to the associated schools." Referring to a notice of motion on the agenda paper, relat- ing to the adaptation of the book of Common Prayer to present conditions of present life and thought he said this was, of course, a "burning" proposal, full of delicacy and difficulty; but could they, ought they to, shirk it? Was there not a good and growing cause for such an enquiry as was suggested? When they remembered the length of time that had elapsed since the Prayer Book took its present shape, must they not admit the reasonableness of such a proposal as that which would lucidly and in the best spirit of moderation and eonsiderateness be brought before them? If the Church, through, for example, the representa- tive council, which had been set on foot. could reach harmonious conclusions, they need! not despair of Parliament. But a divided Church must, of course, expect to encounter an impos- sible Parliament. LETTER FROM DR. SALMON. He had been honoured with a letter from Dr. Salmon, the illustrious Provost of Trinity College, Dublin, which explained how the Church of Ire- land was guided through the perils of Prayer-book revision in the dark and tempestuous days of dis- establishment and disendowment. The letter read I resisted shoottng the rapids as long as I oould; but, when I found the current altogether too strong for me, I turned my boat round, and tried to help to steer it down as safely as we could, and we have got to the bottom without any serious damage. Moderate reform is often the most con- servative policy, but it is not so easy to keep it moderate. When the movement for revising our formularies became irresistible, each critic picking out the least defensible parts; and motions were made at our Synod for alterations on this point and that, I shocked many of my eonserva- tive friends by taking the line, Not bit by bit re- form; let us boldly face the whole thing, and then we shall know where we are." This policy suc- ceeded. The whole question was threshed out people learned a good deal more about the Prayer- book than they nad known before; and the result was that so little change was made, that it would require some attention for a hearer to find out we were not using the English Prayer-book. And, though so little was done. I don't think anyone now wants a new revision." If Irish Churchmen in hot blood and with exasperated spiritscould reason- ably and conservatively solve their problem of re- vision, should not. English Churchmen, a less per- fervid race, and working under oooler conditions, be able to discuss the question ef adaptation with- out biting and devouring one another very raven- ously? (Applause.) DIVISION OF UIOCESES. The next business on the agenda was a resolu- tion with reference to the division of the diocesee of Rochester and Worcester. The Bishop moved—"That this conference ex- presses warm sympathy with the efforts which are being made for the sub-division of the dioceses of Rochester and Worcester, by constituting dioceses I 01 Southwark and Birmingham. The Confer- ence would base its message of sympathy on the results of the division of this diooese by the erec- tion of the diocese of Liverpool in 1880. Not only did the Church life manifest itself at once with remarkable vigour in the new diocese of Liver- pool, concentrating its vast energies to supply the overwhelming necessities of that vast population, but, furthermore, it then became possible for the first time to attend adequately to the require- ments of the remaining diocese within the county of Chester. Considering the importance of the great city of Birmingham and of the masses of people crowded together in South London, this Conference is of opinion that the oreation of the new dioceses is among the most urgent necessities of the Churoh in this day." (Applause.) Colonel Lasoelles seconded, and the resolution was carried unanimously. Considerable time was afterwards taken up by the consideration of the rules for the constitution wW conduct of future conferences. BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER. SHOULD IT BE REVISED? SHORTENED SERVICES ADVOCATED. THE ATHANASIAN CREED CRITICISED. The Rev. W. L. Paige Cox had given notice of the following resolution: -"That in the opinion of this Conference it is desirable that the question of the better adaptation of the Book of Common Prayer to the use of the Church under present con- ditions of life and thought should receive early consideration; and this Conference respectfully requests the Lord Bishop to forward copies of this resolution to their Graces the Archbishops of Canterbury and York." Upon this a letter was received from Canon Gore, who wrote that he had been eagerly looking forward to hear what might be said on the Prayer- book. It was a happy thought to consult the Provost of Trinity, Dublin, and he was sure the Provost was wise in hinting that they should not haggle over this or that minute particular, but that they should look at things largely. Many days would come and go before actual revision was possible, and these days were given to them that they might ascertain by friendly discussion what it was that they collectively needed or de- sired. Nothing would be done until there was a "mind of the Church," and a mind of the Church must be arrived at deliberately. But some things they did know. They knew that the arrangement of their services might be improved. They knew they would be better for a larger measure of liberty in some directions, and they knew, too, that in proportion as the Prayer-book was being more intelligently used, there was a growing rest- lessness where the expression of the mind of the Church admirably suited to the 16th and 17th cen- turies, was not equally adapted to the 20th. How could it be? And worst of all, they knew that the penalty for sloth and inertness might be the alienation of their worshippers. Happily in the new Church body they would hear the voice of the Ic whole body-lay and clerical—a voice so repre- sentative that it would never be possible to regard the decision arrived at as anything else than what the Church recommended for the Church. (Ap- plause.) Mr. Paige Cox, in bringing forward his resolu- tion, altered it so as to read that the question of the adaptation of the Book of Common Prayer should receive early consideration by the proposed National Church Council, when formed. He said he would content himself by saying at the outset that they all loved the Prayer-book as they loved no book but the Bible, and although it was in parts old-fashioned they loved it all the more for the hallowed memories that clung to it. More- over, they were proud to know that the Prayer- book was one of the glories of English literature, and he was sure they all very earnestly desired that, whatever was done to it in the future, its literary excellencies should remain unimpaired. Nevertheless, the Prayer-book had practically re- mained untouched for a period of at least 240 years, during which period momentous changes of various kinds had .taken place. It was a scien- tifio law that adaptation to changing circumstances was a condition of healthy life. No doubt we were able by a devout exercise of the imagination, which, of course, was an important ingredient in true worship, to make the Prayer-book, as it is, very much what they wanted it to be—in other words, to give the fulness of modern reference to forms of prayer and praise that were compiled words, to give the fulness of modern reference to forms of prayer and praise that were compiled long ago. Nevertheless, the Church, as the Church of this nation, had serious problems as well as great possibilities and opportunities before it, and it was surely important that she should face the future with all her equipments as perfect as she could make them, and it was eminently de- sirable that our Prayer-book should be brought up to date in every good and proper sense. He had no doubt that many of us had been thinking upon this subject for a long time, but it seemed to be very far off from the range of practical politics. It was, however, coming nearer to that range, because, as they knew, the National Church Council was actually in process of formation, and there was no subject that it could more profitably take up at the very outset. (Hear, hear.) Of course, it was premature to conjecture yet what powers this Council might have to give effect to I its deliberations. Nevertheless, it was quite cer- tain that no revision of the Prayer-book could take place until some such representative body had pronounced upon it, but meanwhile it was desirable the subject should be well ventilated in the Church at large. Evidently there would have to be a very great deal of interchange of opinion before the Church had made up its mind what needed to be altered in the Prayer-book and how it should be altered. There were several things to be kept in view in approaching this task. For example, the constitution of the country had been modified during the last 240 years. There had been a large increase in the power of the people, a large development of the duties of citizenship, and surely our State prayers should be modified accordingly. Our State prayers at present were almost exclusively associated with the person of the King. "You pray too often for the Sover- eign," said the late Prince Consort. "Mark me," he added, "I don't say that you can pray too much for the Sovereign, but you pray too often." If we took the morning prayer and the Holy Com- munion together, which was a very common thing, we mentioned the King no fewer than four times. Surely it would be sufficient to have one prayer for the State referring to the King, and all in authority under him, at any one gathering of a congregation. (Applause.) Then it had to be re- membered that our nation had of late years be- come an empire. (Hear, hear.) We had been brought into rapid communication with the most, distant parts of the world, and there had been a large development of missionary enterprise. (Ap- plause.) The thoughts of men had thus been widened, and surely our public prayers should keep pace with them. (Hear, hear.) Then again, we were busier and more rapid than our fathers were—we could not listen to the long sermons that delighted them. (Laughter and applause.) We did our thinking more quickly than people used to do, even if more superficially; we were certainly more critical; we were more impatient of what was obscure and conventional and tedious, and therefore it seemed desirable that our forms of devotion should be somewhat condensed, and should be relieved of repetition. It might be that it was quite possible to go too far in this direc- tion, and yet we had it on the highest authority that there was no especial virtue in .long prayers as such. or in vain repetition. Surely the practical question was how to adapt our services, as regarded their length and their arrangement, to the power of the sustained attention of an ordinary devout worshipper, and that was a question of very grave, practical importance, because when the attention had been excessively strained it ceased to follow the words, and then began formalism, a thing which, according to our Lord's warning, was, above all things, to be deprecated in divine wor- ship. (Applause.) He made bold to say that we had TOO MANY PSALMS on Sundays—(hear, hear, applause, and "No, no") —and some of these Psalms were not suited to modern worship. (Hear, hear.) The Church of England stood alone in Christendom in requiring that the Psalms should be read through once a month indiscriminately, in the order in which they oamo in the Bible. The old Jewish custom in the Second Temple was to use selections of Psalms, and that was the only custom which could be called primitive, strictly speaking. Now we found that our American fellow-Churchpeople had reverted to the primitive practice; they had added to the selection of Psalms for fasts and festivals, and had also supplied additional selections for or- dinary Sundays, and that was an example which, he submitted, we might do well to follow. (Ap- plause ) Passing to the question of the Athan- asian Creed, he was sure he would carry all thoughtful and well-instructed Churchpeople with him when he said that that Creed was of great value for the defence of the faith—(applause)—with all its definitions, memorialists. errors, which had arisen in the past, which might rise again, and which tended to pervert or to impoverish the divine nature, but there was also a great and growing feeling that the so-oalled damnatory clauses of the Creed, if they expressed a truth, as he believed unquestionably they did, expressed it in an unfortunate manner, because without due qualification, and they seemed to breathe a spirit which was that of a law rather than of the Gospel. He need not remind the Conference that the Creed at first was used only as a help to teaching, but it did not seem to have been intended as a form of confession to be put in the mouth of an entire congregation. He thought he was right in saying again that the Church of England stood alone in requiring that this Creed should be read on cer- tain occasions at her public services. It seemed to be the opinion of some that it was desirable that this rule should be maintained in the interests of orthodoxy; it was the strong opinion of others that the rule itself was. if anythting, rather in- jurious to orthodoxy, and tended to create a breach against the faith whioh was guarded by those clauses. He did not think it would be maintained that they in the Church of England, in consequence of their uss of that Creed, had a monopoly of orthodoxy, as compared with the Greek Church. or the Church of Rome. or the Church of Ireland, or the Church of America. There was surely no particular lack of fidelity to the Catholic faith, or sound Ohurchmanship, in our American fellow-Churchmen, and yet they had entirely abolished the Creed from their Prayer-book. A better plan for us to adopt, in th& judgment of a good many, would be to remove the Creed from its present place, and put it at the end of the Prayer-book with the 39 articles, and thus refer it, in accordance with original use, for reference in teaching for purposes of instruction, but not for recitation. Turning to THE COMMUNION, he would mention one point connected with the rule which required that the words of administra- tion should be said to every Communicant. The Americans, again, had deleted the phrase to "everyone" from that rule. allowing a certain dis- cretion to the priest, and he proposed that we should use that. We had in our churches hun- dreds of thousands of Communicants at our great festivals. There ought to be hundreds, at any rate, of Communicants in some of our churches almost every Sunday—(applause)—but he believed that this rubric, as it stood, was a hindrance to them. There were certain persons, as all his clerioal brethren knew, who, in spite of how we might exhort them to the contrary, only came to the Communion at the great festivals, and thus the service was so long and so tedious, through the operation of this rule, that they got into the way of regarding it as a rather trying, if solemn, duty to go to Communion at all. The result was that they communicated very seldom. Whatever reasonable objection there might be to making this rule more elastic, he could not imagine how it could weigh against the obvious gain of making those chief services of the church less tedious, and therefore more edifying, and so encouraging the primitive practice of frequent Communion. (Applause.) He asked the members of the Con- ference to remark that none of the changes he had recommended had been in the nature of doctrinal changes; such changes, it seemed to him, hardly fell within the scope of their resolutions. Men's circumstances and modes of thought might change, but our Church principles—the Scriptural, primi- tive, truly Catholic principles of our purified branch of the Catholic Churoh—did not change, and he was quite sure that upon the whole there would be a desire not to tamper with the doctrinal utterances in the Prayer-book. (Hear, hear.) They had been drawn from various sources, they most wonderfully co-ordinated different sides or parts of the truth, and they were the safeguard of the Churoh's comprehensiveness. (Hear, hear.) When he introduced this subject recently he was asked why he made no allusion to the burning question of the ordinance rule. His answer was then as now, that it hardly seemed germane to the resolution, and, moreover, a discussion on that subject might easily swamp a discussion on other subjects. (Laughter.) He was sure they would all wish to see that matter settled. There was no doubt that the ordinance rubric ought to be re- written in such terms that he who ran might read it. But nevertheless a discussion on that subject might very well be prepared for by a discussion of the adaptation of the Prayer-book to changes that had taken place during the last 240 years, and the discussion that would be instituted that afternoon was likely to prepare them for dealing with the other question in the right spirit and temper. A very great and difficult work lay before them in making their Prayer-book in every particular what they should like it, but there were most useful lessons they would learn in carrying out the work —lessons of open-mindedness. of enlightened toler- anoo. of patient wisdom, and of good sense. The discipline of the work would, he believed, be in- valuable for the whole Church, and if they only entered upon it, as no doubt they would, with earnest prayer throughout for the guidance and help of the Holy Spirit, it was certain that the work would in various ways tend to the glory of God. (Loud applause.) A VARIETY OF OPINIONS. Mr. T. W. Sidebotham seconded the resolution. There was, he said, nothing in the Prayer Book which proved' such a stumbling block to some Church people as the Athanasian Creed. In many churches it was recited on every occasion when the Rubric commanded that it should be re- cited. In other churches it was not recited from one year's end to the other. Many Churchmen would not go to church on what was called Athanasian Creed Sunday, while it was very much against Nonconformists, for it practically con- signed to perdition all those who did not see eye to eye with them. There was no doubt the sen- tences to which exception was taken might be de- leted. Was it wise to retain this creed as a part of the ordinary Church service? He did not think it was wise The Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed contained all they wanted for Church ser- vices. (Applause.) The Communion service, too, might be shortened. It was the long sermons and services that kept people away from both church and chapel. It was not a case of prejudice against religion at all. (Applause.) An instructive discussion followed. The Rev. L. Smith (Macclesfield) contended that the present modern service—the Litany and Holy Communion—was as it stood obviously too long. Mr. T. C. Horsfall thought they should give far more thought to the impression produced by words in the Prayer Book upon the mind's of per- sons of imperfect education, but which to persona of higher education were harmless, and very often helpful. The Rev. F. S. Guy Warman pointed to the fact that many who went through the marriage service were unable to repeat the words contained in that service, as they did not properly under- stand them. The Rev. J. H. Thorpe (Stalybridge) urged that the clergy should take less trouble to preach eloquent sermons, and more trouble to explain the Prayer Book to their people. The habits of the people of England had greatly changed since the last revision of the Hook of Uommon Prayer. In those earlier days people attended principally the morning service on Sundays. This was now reversed in the mornings their congregations were thin almost to vanishing point, -while the congrega- tioDS at the evening service were at any rate more encouraging. A large number of people as a con- sequence never heard the Ten Commandments read in church. He thought that facilities should be provided for the reading of the Commandments on Sunday evenings. (Hear, hear.) The Rev. F. Milnes Griffiths (from India) con- tended for a shorter service. He complained that there was nothing in the public prayers of the English Prayer Book about the missions in India. For instance he never heard Bishop Cotton's prayer in England. The Bishop said he had recommended the use of that prayer. Bishop Cotton, it would be remem- bered, was a Cheshire man. The Rev. P. A. Miller (Tilstone Foarnall) pointed out that the Athanasian Creed was not a Creed but a Psalm, which required a most liberal theological education to follow. He suggested that it should be used on Trinity Sunday alone. The Rev. Stapleton Cotton said on one occasion when he was in America he received great comfort and help from the service for the visitation of the sick, as it was in the American Prayer Book. He thought it would be a great pity if in curtailing the service they omitted the Lord's prayer. (Hear, hear.) Had they not in the prayer for all sorts and conditions of men a prayer for missionaries ? The Rev. T. H. May (Heswall) pointed out that they did not yet know what the composition of the National Church Council would be, and he would not vote for the submission of a question of this vital importance to a body which had not yet earned the confidence of the English Churoh. He suggested that they might submit the reform of certain sentences in the Athanasia.n Creed to those who had the authority. He should d'epreoate its being merely said on one Sunday in the year, or its being simply put at the end of the Prayer- book. Mr. Leadley Brown said so far as he could a&- certain the main reason why this ohange was wanted was to shorten the service, but if the ser- vice was shortened in the various directions which had been proposed, he wanted- to know how much of the service would be left. (Laughter.) He should be very. sorry to see the use of the Athana- sian Creed in our churches stopped. He thought it was a most important creed, and one which helped both clergy and laity. They were enter- ing upon rather a dangerous course, and would it not be better to leave the Prayer-book as they had it, and not be in too muoh huriy to throw it into a hotch-potch, and hook out what little bits they oould manage to save? (Hear, hear.) The Rev. J. G. Elstob (secretary to the con- ference) suggested an appendix with forms for children's services, flower services, etc. The Rev. O. E. Rice said that all the clergy when ordained undertook solidly to use the Book of Common Prayer, neither more nor less. The terms of his amendment, if accepted, would be these-that they should defer the consideration of this question for twelve months, and make a solemn resolution there to go back to their parishes and use the poor, dear, abused, old Prayer-book for another twelve months. (Laughter and applause.) The Rev. A. G. Childs seconded. A STUMBLING BLOCK. The Bishop, in summing it up, said ho did not think they need be at all afraid, even if the reso- lution were passed, of the Prayer-book being too radically or two readily revised. It was quite plain that even if the Church of England were to delegate the revision of the Prayer-book to the Chester Diocesan Conference they would end by a very conservative treatment of it. With regard to some of the points that had been raised, the first two in which he had a very keen and earnest interest were points which he had already dealt with to the best of his ability. In 1896 he had dealt in a visitation charge with the question of the Athanasian Creed, and he said with the most profound conviction of earnestMM that every year as it went by convinced him that the Athanasian Creed in its present form was an absolute stumbling block in the way of faith. (Applause.) The Lord Bishop quoted the opinions of various eminent authorities on the question of the Athanasian Creed, including Bishop Jacobson, who at York in 1872 said:—"If I may carry my criticism a little further I am not unwilling to part with what are called the admonitory, the caution- ary, or less correctly damnatory clauses." He was certain that it would be a grievous mistake on the part of the Church if they did not fairly and frankly face this question. (Applause.) With regard to the sentences of administration, what he (the Bishop) had said in the Upper House of the Convocation of York was practically very much what Mr. Mills Griffiths said was done in Bombay Cathedral, with the approvals the Bishop:—" I,should myself strongly hold to the retaining of both parts of the words of administration as we now have them, but I do not see at.aD,,why,. on occasions when the communicants are very numerous indeed and the clergy very few, the whole address should not be read, and then those simple and very primitive words should be used to eacn communicant." He did not think it would be a mistake if suitably brief words were used in the administering to each communicant. He was sure that on great festivals the clergy were very sorely tempted to take the law into their own hands, and was that a really satisfactory state of things? (" No.") The whole question was one not to be so easily solved, and he intended to do all that in him lay to press the two points he had mentioned. (Applause.) He believed that if the time ever did come to bring our Prayer-book under the process of either adaptation or revision, that the result would be exactly what Dr. Salmon stated: we would find that the result was highly conservative, and very far indeed from reflecting all those difficult criticisms which we were likely to make, but which, when we came to look them in the face, were less inclined to carry through. (Applause.) The amendment was defeated by an overwhelm- ing majority, and the resolution passed. The Conference then adjourned.




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