5 JUNE 1909, Page 15


[To TUB EDITOR OP TUN "SIMOTATOIX.") Sin,—When I was a missionary in Japan I once accompanied Bishop Biokersteth—it was about the year 1887—on a trip to the northern island Hokkaido, which was then under his jurisdiction, and when we arrived at the town of Sapporo a service was held for the Christians there, Japanese and foreign residents, and the Holy Communion was administered. The Bishop officiated and I assisted. There were fifty-four com- municants, and of these not more than ten were Episcopalians, the rest being Presbyterians, Methodists, Congregationalists, and Baptists. Bishop Biokersteth, who was a decided High Churchman, was quite aware of this fact, but he made no objection to their joining in the service, and himself adminis- tered the Sacrament to them with his own bands. The Bishop himself set this precedent, one which I heartily approved, and have always followed. Surely this is the spirit and intent of our Church of England,—viz., that if a man is a communicant in his own Church, he is welcome to join in the Holy Communion when he is present at one of our services.

With regard to the rubric about Confirmation, I have always understood that Archbishop Tait's view was that this, like the other rules of the Church of England, applies to her own membere only, not to members of other Churches. And I believe that Bishop Doane, one of the ablest and most experi- enced of the American Bishops, carries this principle—which is surely the right one—even further, and with regard to the question of Ordination, has publicly stated his opinion that although in our own Communion episcopal Ordination is required, this rule does not apply to other Churches. I hope your readers will have taken note that at the Lambeth Con- ference last year the word " Churches " was substituted for the invidious term " bodies " previously used. The heading of Section 7 of the Report of the Committee on Reunion is "Presbyterian and other Non-Episcopal Churches," a very significant and far-reaching alteration. There must be thousands of members of our Church who share your indignation at the treatment of the lady mentioned in your issue of the 22nd ult., and feel deeply humiliated that a clergyman of the Church of England could so have anted.— Late Bishop in Hokkaido. Elmasy Lovett Rectory.