20 APRIL 1889, Page 3

Archdeacon Farrar writes an enthusiastic letter to the Christian World

which he says is not meant to be "polemical;" but unless it is meant to prepossess public opinion against the Bishop of Lincoln, we cannot compliment the Archdeacon on his tact in choosing opportunities. His subject is the worth- lessness of ritual and sacramentalism to feed our moral and spiritual life, and the tone of it may be gathered from the peroration :—" No! nations are saved by righteousness and by manliness, and by self-denial, and by the preaching of simple Christ to simple men, not by mitres and candles and chasubles, and such gewgaws, filched from Aaron's wardrobe or the Flamens' vestry." Moreover, there is a very strong invective against those who attach importance to the Eucharist itself. We observe, nevertheless, that the Archdeacon does not seem to apply fairly his own test of true religion,—namely, the purity of life to which it leads. We suppose that few would deny that the Bishop of Lincoln and the late Mr. Mackonochie, and a very great majority of the Ritualist clergy at the present time, have been remarkable for righteousness of life, and have believed that sacramentaliam has greatly helped them in the effort to lead a noble and self-denying life. Why, then, does the Archdeacon level this bitter attack on a party who, tried by his own test, are among the salt of the earth ? Perhaps he only means to say that, good as they are, they would be a vast deal better if they held the theology of Archdeacon Farrar,— a pious opinion, doubtless, in the Archdeacon, but one which it may be permitted even to those who cower before the diffuse rhetoric of the Archdeacon, to doubt.