3 OCTOBER 1947, Page 16

Snt,—" A Country Minister " is surely illogical. He appears

to wish to be at once both outside and within the Established Church ; to be entirely independent of it, and yet to share its privileges ; to remain out of com- munion with it, and at the same time to be treated as though he were in full communion with it. " A Country Minister " cannot have it both ways. Till quite recently I had been a F.Z.S. for close upon forty years. For certain reasons I resigned ; ergo I am no longer entitled to—and I most certainly do not expect—the privileges of Fellowship.

May I put it thus? If there are no fundamental differences between the Church of England and the Free Churches, why do not the latter return to the fold of their Mother Church which they (or their forbears) deserted? If, on the other hand, there is a wide and deep gulf between us, why blind our eyes to the fact by a policy of " Let's pretend"? United services, exchange of pulpits and inter-communion merely serve as a meretricious and rather dishonest veneer to conceal existing differences. True and lasting union can come into being only when we are entirely at one doctrinally. Above all, to communicate together at the Lord's Table should be the crowning touch to hallow that glad day in the distant future when we really are one in the faith. After all, the Church of England, no less than the Free Churches and the Church of Rome, has its rules and principles. As that great bishop, Dr. Mandell Creighton, was fond of saying, " The Church of England may be tolerant, but it