THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND AND REUNION
..[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]
-appreciate the careful and. courteous reply which Mr. -Pollard makes to my criticisms. But while he does not seriously challenge them, he makes the astonishing assertion that- there is only difference on "certain minor points" between the Eastern Church and the Anglican, while between the -official teaching" of the latter and the Free Churches there is "a line of deep cleavage." As a matter of fact the ease .is exactly the reverse. For there never has been any "line of :deep cleavage" between the "official teaching" of the Church of England and the Free Churches. On certain relatively "-minor and unimportant points !' of discipline and ceremony there has been antagonism, but even Richard Baxter, the author of a rival '- Scriptural-" Liturgy, declared in.. .1661 .that he "took no exception to the doctrines of the Prayer Book." We have clear proof that there was practic- ally. complete accord in doctrine with "the official teaching of the Church of England," since when the Toleration Act of 1689 was passed every Nonconformist Minister was required to accept the doctrinal Articles of the Church of England, and these surely are par excellence its official teaching" ! Moreover, this. test was not regarded at the time as in any way a disability by the Dissenters.
, On the other hand the attempt which was made in 1717 for Union between. the Non-jurors and the Eastern Church proved abortive simply. because that Church insisted on the Non-jurors submitting "with sincerity and- obedience and without any scruple or dispute" to doctrines, categorically condemned by the Anglican -Articles, such as the Invocation of Saints, Transubstantiation, worshipping by pictures, and the equal authority of Conciliar decrees with Scripture (see C. of E. Articles XXI, XXII and XXVIII).
• Again, while the Church of England asserts in her -Ordinal a- historic succession of. Orders. from the Apostles' time," I shall be interested to learn where in her "official teaching" she affirms her belief in the "Apostolic Succession" in its exclusive • " Tractarian " interpretation implied by Mr. pollard.—I rim, Sir, &c., 33..C.elf,et: -T.- College, -Clifton. --C. SYDNEY -CARTER.-