I usually keep posts related to Liturgical matters confined to the River Thames Beach Party (RTBP) blog. However, since the following essay is basically a continuation of ‘Cummins’s Lost Evangelicals’, I felt it worthwhile to link the post here. This essay examines a third-point of relief wanted by mid-19th century Evangelicals, namely, amending the Baptismal Office for Children by either omitting or explaining the controverted term “regenerate”. Indeed, this is an old demand, and one considered nugatory by successive reviewers of the Prayer Book on the Anglican-side. Even for the 1689 Commission (which sought comprehension with moderate Dissent) this was true, and from that same sensibility the 1785 American Book was also based. Anyway, here is the post at the RTBP blog.
Bp. George D. Cummins
The Rev. George D. Cummins (former assisting-bishop of Kentucky for the Protestant Episcopal Church [from 1866-73], then, first Bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church in New York [until his death in 1876]) gives something of a retrospect of the Book of Common Prayer respecting the ‘germs of Romanism’ or sacerdotalism therein. In the midst of this letter, Cummins interestingly reflects upon those conditions that might have kept the Evangelical clergy in the Episcopal Church, at least prior to his own departure.
Bishop Alfred Lee
In an exchange of open letters regarding Bp. Cummin’s 1871 resignation from the Protestant Episcopal Church, Alfred Lee (then Presiding Bishop of PECUSA) admits the comprehensive nature of the American liturgy. Given Lee’s own “high church” credentials, this tacit endorsement is akin to the proverbial ‘horse’s mouth’, essentially agreeing with Dr. Smith that the American book owes a genius from the 1689 proposed revision. Lee’s apparent agreement with Smith lets the 1785 preface speak as a kind of commentary to the present-day American preface. The ecumenical goals of the 1689 revision has previously been written about here. Lee takes the case with Cummin’s that the American book is already inclusive of historical Dissent.
Background: In 1688 the growing crisis caused by James II, a Roman Catholic sovereign over the church of England, came to a head. James II, alongside his catholic clients, were using Indulgences granted to religious Dissent to divide Churchmen from their Presbyterian and Independent counterparts. Meanwhile, James was busy advancing the Papal Interest. However, seven Anglican bishops, galvanized by the political networks of London clergy, refused to read the King’s Declaration (an unusual request on the Crown. Normally, reading of injunctions were left to the lower clergy not Bishops). Instead, the Seven took opportunity to petition James II, explaining their intention to protect England’s constitution while uniting Protestant Dissent to the established Church. Of course, the Bishops were arrested, but their speedy trial ended with their declared innocence and subsequent release into jubilant crowds. The Petition became a high water mark for national Protestantism, resolved to halt the Romanist party and the Arbitrary Power of James II.
Elizabeth, the Occidental Star
Happily, the Most Reverend Peter Robinson, UECNA archbishop, recently wrote a piece titled Northerness, regarding the affinity of high church Lutheranism to Anglo-catholic worship. Robinson’s essay touches upon a subject I hope central to Anglican Rose, and this is the possibility and emergence of a “Northern Catholicism”. Northern Catholicism is interchangeable with a concilar Protestantism in dialogue with the Augsburg Confession, so an inquiry into high church Lutheranism is surely welcomed.
James VI and Mary, Queen of Scots
Tudor and Stuart Catholicism is often shoved from center-stage by the cacaphony of Puritan agitation. As a result, the sixteenth and seventeenth century Religious Settlement is frequently portrayed as a compromise with Puritan minds, having scant theological or moral basis. Missed is the Crown’s timely intervention against religious fanaticism, particularly how royal family and marital ties shaped church conservatism. Personal affections for “catholic” cousins, uncles, and spouses among the nobility tempered church policy. The writings of James VI to his eldest son, Henry, effuse with this sentiment, “as a witness to my Son, both of the honest integrity of my heart, and of my fatherly affection and natural care” (McIlwain, p.5); generally privileging family, natural succession, and continuation of custom against factional advantage and religious radicalism. Basilikon Doron therefore anticipates a conservative element whereupon later Stuarts, such as Charles I and James II, would indulge secular or loyalist Roman catholics (1). Continue reading
Normally I try to stay on topic, or follow some sort of theme, but last week Anglican Rose received a very nice plug from Fr. Anthony Chadwick who’s a chaplain in the Traditional Anglican Communion serving Normandy, France. Our Pax Dei page was used at Chadwick’s blog, As the Sun in its Orb (SarumUse), to bounce around questions regarding a ‘northern catholic’ identity. Chadwick broaches this subject by asking, “What is classical Anglicanism?”