Sunday, November 21, 2010

11Jun1874, Thoughts on The Archbishop's Bill

LONDON, Thursday, June 11th, 1874.
—The Archbishop's Bill for facilitating legal proceedings against supposed law-breaking clergy is passing thro' the House of Lords. Some of the Ritualist proceedings are nearly unbearable. The enforcement of Fasting Communion as a sort of 11th Commandment is one common practice. I mean it is made next to impossible for people to Communicate at mid-day; so that the mid-day Celebration (generally the musical and "High" one) is fast becoming a Service to "assist at" instead of a Communion to receive. Urging habitual confession on all, instead of recommending it in extreme cases to some, is another. Invocations to the B. Virgin and the Saints, imploring their prayers, is another; and along with this one cannot but be suspicious of side-altars which one sees now and then in ordinary-sized churches where they cannot be required for duplicate services. These things are distinct disloyalties to the Prayer Book; and therefore I think show more than anything else that distaste for our Church as Anglican which leads people to Rome. They fix their whole affections on Catholicity, and cease to be watchful against its medieval and modern corruptions, and drop altogether all interest in the English Church.

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