5 JUNE 1909, Page 17

[TO THE EDITOR OP TUB "Srsora . rom" SIR,—It would help to

define the issues, and lead materially towards a settlement of this question, if Dr. Field would give us his authority for believing that the Church of England from the time of the Reformation has been in any sense bound either legally or morally by Archbishop Peckham's "Constitu- tions." And it would also be useful to have clear proof from Holy Scripture and the Church of England formularies of the belief that "the priesthood'of the laity is as definitely conferred in Confirmation as the priesthood of the clergy at Ordina- tion," and that there is "something sacramental in both." What is this" priesthood of the laity" which is said to be "con- ferred in Confirmation," and is therefore presumably non- existent before that time P What other priesthood is associated in the New Testament with Christianity than the priesthood common to all believers, lay and clerical, from the very moment that they enter upon the Christian life P Dr. Field will readily recall the words of Article XXV. about Confirma- tion, that it is not to be counted for a Sacrament of the Gospel, and lie will also remember that the only reference in the Confirmation Service itself to the act of laying on of hands is the statement in the Bishop's prayer which interprets it as "to certify them by this sign of Thy favour and gracious goodness towards them." If, therefore, we keep strictly to the Anglican definition of a Sacrament, what is the " some- thing sacramental " whether in Confirmation or Ordination ?