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was appealed to by the Reformers. But the Church existed before there was a Bible, and the faith had to be taught and handed on by word of mouth; as Timothy was instructed by St. Paul, the things that thou hast heard of me, among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.'
In process of time—a century at the least, if not two—the Church selected certain writings out of a mass of other documents, and formed of them the canon of Holy Scripture, thus setting her seal of authenticity upon them. Therefore, to speak of the Bible as our final court of appeal, as opposed to and overriding the authority of the Church, is about as reasonable as to quote the opinions of the Reformers themselves in opposition to the first four (Ecumenical Councils.
These are the main points in Lady Wimborne's attack upon the Ritualists, and I think I have succeeded in showing that it is she, and the party to which she belongs, whose views are out of harmony with the teaching of our Church as set forth in the Prayer-book and in the writings of the leading post-Reformation divines.
With that infinite capacity for self-deception which seems always to characterise the Protestant apologist, she appears unable to see that the Prayer-book, on which she relies, is, to quote the phrase of the late Dr. Parker, steeped in Popery' from beginning to endthat is, it bears witness to those distinctively Catholic doctrines which she fondly imagines were deleted at the Reformation.
That she has strangely misinterpreted the changes which were wrought at that period is evident. The Reformation left the Church 'purified, but weakened,' as one of our bishops has recently said. We gained much, but we also lost much.
Prayer for the faithful departed—that absolutely Scriptural and primitive custom of the Universal Church, to which every one of the Fathers bears witness—has become obscured, though not forbidden nor entirely lost. We still pray that God will not remember the offences of our forefathers, and that we, and all Thy whole Church, may obtain remission of our sins,' also that we and all those who are departed in the true faith of Thy holy
have our perfect consummation and bliss,' &c.; but the beautiful prayers for the soul of the departed, which were included in the Burial Office of the First Prayer-book, and which so exactly corresponded with the very earliest liturgies, were allowed to disappear, and have not yet been restored.
Again, the use of the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, which was also retained in the First Prayer-book, has been discontinued since.
Those who, like Lady Wimborne, base everything on the appeal to Scripture should be urgent in demanding the restoration of
this Sacrament, which has the direct and explicit sanction of Holy Writ.
These are but a few of the losses we sustained during the period of reformation which must be regained ere we can claim our full inheritance.
The moral and material benefits which this country and people are supposed to have derived from the Reformation are dwelt upon by Lady Wimborne with considerable pride. In her opinion, the foundations of our world-wide Empire were laid by men nurtured on the Reformed faith. Our naval heroes went forth, with their Bible in one pocket, and a book of military tactics in the other, to inaugurate an era of conquest, beginning with the destruction of the Armada,' &c. The value of books on military tactics to these 'naval heroes' is as problematical as the capacity of their pockets to accommodate the Bibles of that period. For my part, I should prefer to think that the era of conquest and empire, for which our race was being prepared hundreds of years before the Reformation, was due to altogether different causes, and received special impetus at this period from the discovery of the New World and the spirit of adventure which that discovery engendered.
In conclusion, I make bold to traverse Lady Wimborne's claim that she and 'the party of the Reformation are, in any degree whatever, the representatives and residuary legatees of the men who compiled our Book of Common Prayer.
It is the ‘Ritualistic clergy' who are the true descendants of the Catholic Reformers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
They, and they alone, are carrying out the true spirit of the Prayer-book, in obedience to its rubrics and traditions. They alone obey its rules of fasting, daily services, and the due and solemn celebration of the Holy Eucharist with the ceremonial enjo by the Ornaments Rubric.
It is to them we owe the marvellous change which has transformed the Church in the last half-century from a valley of dry bones into a living host. It is they who have banished for ever the mean and sordid interiors of our churches—the pews and plaster, the deserted and desecrated altars, the dust and bolted doors.
They, it is, who have restored the beautiful and stately ritual which the Reformers intended to preserve, but which the Puritans had robbed us of, so that we now are able to worship God in the beauty of holiness.
Their influence has penetrated into every nook and cranny of the Church, not in England only, but wherever the English Church has a foothold throughout the world.
Nor has it been confined to our communion alone. The Presbyterian Kirk of Scotland, and every Dissenting sect, borne on the tide of the Catholic revival, have been constrained to emulate the beauty of our sanctuaries, which once they defaced, and to model their services on our Liturgy, which their forefathers abhorred.
Great has been the reward of these men. Not in dignities and high places (the rich gifts of the Church have not been bestowed on the Puseys, the Mackonochies, the Lowders, or the Dollings), but in an abundant measure of that blessing which their Master promised to all such as were reviled and persecuted, and against whom all manner of evil should be falsely said, for His sake.
And in that promise they have rejoiced and been exceeding glad.
CHILDREN'S CHRISTMAS AMUSEMENTS
The large majority of English children of all classes and all ages are to my mind the most charming companions in the world. From no point of view can the little folk of any other country with which I am acquainted bear comparison with them. They are more picturesque and better dressed even than their French contemporaries, whose costumiers never, it appears to me, take the trouble to devise an individual dress for their young customers, but merely cut grownup models in half. Their perceptions are quicker and their sympathies wider than those of German children, who are too much and at too early an age absorbed in the routine of school-work and examinations. Personally I like the children of Finland next to the little folk of our own country. The effect of the mixed boys' and girls' schools of Finland is an admirable one; the influence of that most charming story-teller, the late Herr Topelius, was as wide as it was excellent; and the mixture of Swedish, Finnish, and Scots blood has produced a delightful result. But such generalities are uninteresting. I merely wish to say that I sympathise warmly with people who plan entertainments for English nurseries, and that I criticise their proceedings rather unwillingly, feeling some considerable alarm lest nursery guardians should answer my future invitations by quotations from my own writings.
Yet after every Christmas holidays complaints grow more numerous and more bewildered, from parents who have been inundated with invitations for their children, and from schoolmasters and schoolmistresses whose stern task it is to tranquillise the wildly excited morsels of humanity who come back to them after a round of gaieties which would do credit to the popularity, and tax the nerves, of a new American duchess. These children.-mites of six and seven, schoolboys of ten and eleven who are never well out of Westgate or Broadstairs, girls in their teens who are already being teased by a heritage of nerves—tell me proudly at the end of a month's Christmas holidays that they have been to ten or a dozen theatres, into the country occasionally for two days' shooting or hunting and a dance, to half a dozen fancy dress balls in London, and to as many more children's parties of various kinds in houses which have become for the evening a temporary combination of the Alhambra and the Carlton Restaurant. Some years ago the Children's Fancy Dress Ball at the Mansion House, with its first-class orchestra, its conjurer, Punch-and-Judy show, and costly supper, was unique in the world among child entertainments ; to-day, if your nursery acquaintance is a moderately large one, you will probably be invited to half a dozen replicas of it, with cotillon presents or a Christmas-tree full of gifts thrown in. And, in confirming their children's stories, the parents will add nervously that they have mortally offended another balf-score of acquaintances by refusing invitations with no better excuse than that the children must have a day's rest. The same excess can be seen to-day in the matter of presents. A friend of mine who was sending her children to tea with me asked that they might not have any presents, as the nursery was already so full of toys that, in spite of regular clearances for the benefit of the hospitals, there was hardly room to play with them. A five-year-old friend of mine had sixty-three presents one Christmas Day, and was with difficulty persuaded to finish unpacking them; and another young lady, showing me round her nursery, pointed to a cupboard ten feet high as the place where she kept certain favourites among her old toys. New toys and old, by the way, were alike unheeded while she might indulge in her own private amusement of turning on taps all over the house; and the only time I ever found her engaged with her cupboard was during a gloomy afternoon which followed the discovery of a new and fascinating-looking tap in the cellar, and the subsequent presentation of her small person in the drawing-room, dripping with beer, and murmuring anxiously: 'I do fink vere's a new tap downstairs what wants a jug under it.'
This excess in amusement pleases nobody. Host and hostess cannot give any pleasure to tired, fractious little guests at a party if they spend 1,0001. in trying. In truth the effort too often ends in the fashion of a little scene which was once enacted at a children's fête at the Botanical Gardens, when the hostess was trying to organise a game of Zoological Gardens':
•What animal will you be, Kitty?'
you like to be a tiger and roar ?' 'N-n-no. "Well, what do you want to be ?' 'I want to be sick.' Parents and nurses pay a fearful price for this excess. The children themselves, however, are often inclined to be reasonable.