3 SEPTEMBER 1898, Page 3

The very interesting and fall correspondence in the Times on

the subject of the Acts of Uniformity is making it abundantly clear that the Archbishop of Canterbury was perfectly right when he declared that extra and new services are not unlawful merely because they contain words and phrases that are not in the Bible or Prayer-book, bat only when they are inconsistent with and opposed to the spirit of the Bible and the Prayer-book. Lord Stanmore, writing in last Saturday's Times, points out that if the literal view of the words of the Act of 1872 is taken, and no service not in the Prayer-book is legal, the service used since the Reformation at the consecration of churches, the prayers used when a Bishop is enthroned and a Dean installed, the Accession Ser- vice, and even the Coronation Service, are all illegal. Con- fronted with this absurdity, the Archbishop of Canterbury has decided as we believe any Judge of large and open mind would have decided. He has, in effect, said : Parliament clearly did not intend to make it illegal to crown the Sovereign in Westminster Abbey in accordance with immemorial usage. To hold that would be nonsense. I must therefore assume that all Parliament meant to do was to forbid anything not in conformity with the Scriptures and the Prayer-book. I am confirmed in this view by the fact that during a quarter of a century the Aet has never been put in force in its literal sense.' In a word, the Archbishop's view is consistent with reason and usage, and so likely to be better law than that of Sir William Harcourt.