11 FEBRUARY 1905, Page 15


THE "SPECTATOR."] Srn,—Your correspondent " A. E. T.," in last week's issue, betrays an astonishing degree of ignorance about the views of others for one who sets out to correct a paper so well informed on questions of doctrine as the Spectator. He says :—" I believe they all [the Protestant sects] agree in not believing them [the Sacraments] to be the means of conveying the grace they represent, while the Church of England teaches clearly the Catholic doctrine that the Sacraments are not only signs but channels of grace, or in the words of the Catechism, ' a means whereby we receive the same.' " Now this which "A. E. T." apparently regards as the exclusive teaching of the Church of England among Protestant sects is exactly and precisely the teaching of reformed theology in general. And it is teaching which is quite as jealously guarded in the Presbyterian Church as it is in the Church of England. Abundant proof of this might easily be given, but I content myself with referring "A. E. T." to Calvin's Institutes, the Westminster Confession of Faith, and the Shorter Catechism. I am not very familiar with the doctrinal standards of the Baptist, Methodist, and Congregational Churches, but it would be very interesting to see if "A. E. T." can produce from any of them a statement of Sacramental doctrine which would justify the assertion he so unhesitatingly makes of

them alL—I am, Sir, &c., A. N. B.