19 MAY 1923, Page 13

[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] Sta,—To me as a

humble -follower of the old Anglo-gatholic tradition, that of Andrewes, Ken and Keble, the letter of "An Anglo-Catholic Journalist" is nothing less than deplorable. No good cause can be helped by levity and bitterness, of the attribution of bad faith or ignorance to those who do not agree with us. This ought to be obvious, but equally deplor- able is the reckless talk about a secession. Enthusiastic partisans are not good judges of probabilities. Those who only attend gatherings of their own way of thinking are apt to judge that the whole world is with them.

As an incumbent who has had experience of more than one part of England and has always tried to discern the signs of the times, and is in touch with his University, I have come to the conclusion that the prospects of a secession are very small, and of its success insignificant. Your correspondent states that in his opinion we should lose 70 per cent. of the " effective clergy " and 50 per cent. of the " pious laity," by which I suppose he means those of his own way of thinking.

Recalling the sad fortunes of the Nonjurors' secession, with the Primate at their head, and a bishop like Ken among them, the prospect is not hopeful. If out of the 20,000 odd clergy 500 seceded to start a schism—and there is no bishop of a home see one can think of leading them—it would be a liberal estimate. And I do not think either the Catholic school, or our Church as a whole, would be the weaker for their departure.—I am, Sir, &c., M.A., Oxox.