Saturday, May 31, 2014

Zionism in the Anglican Church

To many ears Christian Zionism has a clear and unmistaken association with dispensationalist eschatology (for the reader who may not be familiar, the Left Behind series type of theology). Whilst there have certainly been many proponents of Christian Zionism amongst the dispensationalist ranks, it should not be regarded as the sole property of that movement.

To begin briefly, Christian Zionism can have a fairly broad definition as simply Christian support for Zionism, or the notion that Jews should return to their ancestral lands. The belief is often tied to some eschatological expectancy. This comes from Paul's Letter to the Romans, wherein he states:
I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. (Romans 11:25-26)
The eschatological expectation is tied to the restoration of the Jews to Israel as the mark of the beginning of the salvation of the Jews. Whilst this eschatological expectation is often tied to the dispensationalism of John Nelson Darby, it is not necessarily so tied, for the expectation of the salvation of the Jews is an expectation that extends beyond dispensationalist circles.

The Puritans were the first to express the desire for the restoration of the land of Israel to the Jews. However, there has also been a long history of Christian Zionism in the Established Church of England and in other Anglican churches, with such names of J.C. Ryle and the Sixth Earl of Shaftesbury supporting the restoration of Israel to the Jews, the latter encouraged the establishment of a British consulate in Palestine in 1838. The British Government became involved in restoration in the 19th century, following a century of debate in England over the place of the Jews. The Jewish Naturalization Act of 1753 allowed the Jews to naturalize by petitioning Parliament and nearly a central later, the Jewish Relief Act of 1858 permitted Jews to sit in Parliament. In fact, one of the most prominent figures in the early Zionist movement was the Anglican chaplain, the Rev. William Hechler, who was a close friend and associate of Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism.

This describes some of the interaction of Jewish people as they were with the British Government, yet the need for evangelism and mission to the Jewish people was also acknowledged and promoted. Due to the work of Charles Simeon and William Wilberforce, the London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews (now known as the Church's Ministry Among Jewish People [CMJ]) was founded in 1809, which was one of the first global missionary societies and instrumental in establishing Christ Church in Jerusalem in 1849. The original aims of the London Jews' Society (CMJ) were:
1) Declaring the Messiahship of Jesus to the Jew first and also to the non Jew.
2) Endeavoring to teach the Church its Jewish roots.
3) Encouraging the physical restoration of the Jewish people to Eretz Israel - the Land of Israel.
4) Encouraging the Hebrew Christian/Messianic Jewish movement

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Most Dangerous Truth

One of the most dangerous, and radical, rediscoveries at the time of the Reformation is the truthful assertion that Christ is not present in the bread and wine at Communion. It strikes to the heart of pagan and superstitious religion, which thrives off of the marriage of sacramentalism and sacerdotalism. The first is the notion that receiving the sacraments is the means by which we are saved, rather than by grace alone through faith alone. The second is the notion that Christian ministers are sacrificing priests in the sense that the Old Testament priests were. All Christian believers know that we have one High Priest, Christ Himself, and that all baptized believers are priests by fact of their baptism. These twin forces of evil work together to undo the gracious work of the Gospel and the Crucifixion of Christ for our sins.

The nature of transubstantiation, or the belief that the bread and wine at Communion become the body and blood of Christ is completely against the Christian religion. It must be said that the true nature of Communion also excludes mystical language of "real presence" as well. The Church of England rejected both at the time of the Reformation. Yet, it is this notion that Christ is to be found in bread and wine that fuels the fire of anti-Biblical religion. This belief enforces the two erroneous doctrines mentioned above. It enforces the notion that people receive salvation by receiving the sacraments, instead of trusting in Christ's sacrifice as the once-for-all perfect sacrifice for sin. In this sense, it encourages a belief in works righteousness and a sense of "balancing the books" with God.

Thankfully, our Church has rightfully forsaken these forces of evil. Consider this strong rejection of transubstantiation, firstly, to be found in our Articles of Religion:
Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.
This deals specifically with the Roman doctrine of transubstantiation, which was the main issue at hand at the time of the Reformation. As strong as our Church condemns this doctrine, one can still find misguided clergymen teaching this heresy.

Our Church continues to offer a clear rejection of the teaching that Christ is to be found in bread and wine. Consider the rubric on kneeling, found after the service of Holy Communion:
For the Sacramental Bread and Wine remain still in their very natural substances, and therefore may not be adored; (for that were Idolatry, to be abhorred of all faithful Christians;) and the natural Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ are in Heaven, and not here; it being against the truth of Christ's natural Body to be at one time in more places than one.
This latter declaration addresses more clearly the issues of our own day, which is less so the doctrine of transubstantiation as such but the vague notion of "real presence". This is the old line that "Anglicans don't define how Christ is present, we just accept it as truth" nonsense. This lack of doctrinal precision comes with lack of knowledge of our own Church's teaching.

The Church of England clearly teaches that Christ is received in the Sacrament, which is important to point out. Those who hate our Church's teaching like to mischaracterize those who uphold its teaching. The Church does not deny Christ's presence in our hearts and in the Sacrament but does not affirm his presence in the elements of bread and wine. In the relevant Article on this subject, our Church begins by clearly affirming that those who worthily receive in faith do indeed receive Christ:
The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another, but rather it is a Sacrament of our Redemption by Christ's death: insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith, receive the same, the Bread which we break is a partaking of the Body of Christ; and likewise the Cup of Blessing is a partaking of the Blood of Christ.
After clearly affirming this truth, we can move on to add some clarity to the "real presence" mystery. As to the claim that our Church does not define the mode and manner of Christ's presence in the Sacrament, the next portion of the Article clearly disproves that fanciful notion:
The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper, is Faith.
This statement clearly affirms two biblical truths. First, the manner of Christ's presence in the Sacrament (note the use of the word "Supper" in the article, rather than the "elements") is "heavenly and spiritual" i.e. not physical. This moves the focus of the discussion from our digestive system (which is the logical trajectory of "real presence" language) to our souls and hearts. The second statement describes the means by which we receive and eat Christ in the Sacrament. In contrast to the Lutheran churches, our Article clearly affirms that we eat Christ by faith, not the mouth. This completely distances the reception of the body and blood of Christ from the elements. 

The next article adds more fuel to the fire of sacramentalism and sacerdotalism by affirming that those who receive the Sacrament without faith or unworthily is that they do not receive Christ "in any wise":
The Wicked, and such as be void of a lively faith, although they do carnally and visibly press with their teeth (as Saint Augustine saith) the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ; yet in no wise are they partakers of Christ: but rather, to their condemnation, do eat and drink the sign or Sacrament of so great a thing. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

His Majesty's Declaration Prefixed to the Articles of Religion

His Majesty's Declaration to the Articles of Religion follows, with important portions highlighted. Following this a brief commentary on the same is to be found.

His Majesty's Declaration.

Being by God's ordinance, according to our just title, Defender of the Faith, and Supreme Governor of the Church, within these our dominions, we hold it most agreeable to this our kingly office, and our own religious zeal, to conserve and maintain the Church committed to our charge, in the unity of true religion, and in the bond of peace; and not to suffer unnecessary disputations, altercations, or questions to be raised, which may nourish faction both in the Church and Commonwealth. We have, therefore, upon mature deliberation, and with the advice of so many of our bishops as might conveniently be called together, thought fit to make this declaration following:

That the Articles of the Church of England (which have been allowed and authorized heretofore, and which our clergy generally have subscribed unto) do contain the true doctrine of the Church of England agreeable to God's word: which we do therefore ratify and confirm, requiring all our loving subjects to continue in the uniform profession thereof, and prohibiting the least difference from the said Articles; which to that end we command to be new printed, and this our declaration to be published therewith:

That we are Supreme Governor of the Church of England; and that if any difference arise about the external policy, concerning injunctions, canons or other constitutions whatsoever thereto belonging, the clergy in their convocation is to order and settle them, having first obtained leave under our broad seal so to do: and we approving their said ordinances and constitutions, providing that none be made contrary to the laws and customs of the land.

That out of our princely care that the churchmen may do the work which is proper unto them, the bishops and clergy, from time to time in convocation, upon their humble desire, shall have licence under our broad seal to deliberate of, and to do all such things as, being made plain by them, and assented unto by us, shall concern the settled continuance of the doctrine and discipline of the Church of England now established; from which we will not endure any varying or departing in the least degree.

That for the present, though some differences have been ill raised, yet we take comfort in this, that all clergymen within our realm have always most willingly subscribed to the Articles established, which is an argument to us, that they all agree in the true, usual literal meaning of the said Articles; and that even in those curious points, in which the present differences lie, men of all sorts take the Articles of the Church of England to be for them; which is an argument again, that none of them intend any desertion of the Articles established.

That therefore in these both curious and unhappy differences, which have for so many hundred years, in different times and places, exercised the Church of Christ, we will, that all further curious search be laid aside, and these disputes shut up in God's promises [a reference to Article 17], as they be generally set forth to us in the Holy Scriptures, and the general meaning of the Articles of the Church of England according to them. And that no man hereafter shall either print, or preach, to draw the Article aside any way, but shall submit to it in the plain and full meaning thereof: and shall not put his own sense or comment to be the meaning of the Article, but shall take it in the literal and grammatical sense.

That if any public reader in either our Universities, or any head or master of a College, or any other person respectively in either of them, shall affix any new sense to any Article, or shall publicly read, determine, or hold any public disputation, or suffer any such to be held either way, in either the Universities or Colleges respectively; or if any divine in the Universities shall preach or print any thing either way, other than is already established in convocation with our royal assent; he, or they the offenders, shall be liable to our displeasure, and the Church's censure in our commission ecclesiastical, as well as any other: and we will see there shall be due execution upon them.

His Majesty's Declaration to the Articles of Religion presents a number of challenges to those who wish to undermine the authority of the Articles of Religion as establishing the doctrine of the Church of England. The King's Declaration accomplishes a number of things in a small amount of space. First, it establishes the legal authority of the Articles as containing the true doctrine of the Church of England, as all clergy are required to subscribe to. Secondly, it establishes how the text of the Articles is to be interpreted. Thirdly, it establishes where there is flexibility in the Articles.

In establishing the legal authority of the Articles, one need only look to the first few paragraphs, wherein this authority is established. It is important to note that the Formularies are secondary sources of authority in Anglicanism, as the primacy of Scripture is asserted in the same place that the authority of the Articles is established. The nature of the Articles as containing the true doctrine of the Church of England requires universal profession in the same truth. After all, the Articles were established for the "avoiding of the diversities of opinions", meaning they are intended to limit the theological diversity of the Church of England.

The second thing that the King's Declaration does is to establish the correct way of interpreting the Articles, which is in the "true, usual literal meaning" of them. This contrasts to some of the more popular ways of interpreting the Articles today. The objective of both the liberal and Tractarian interpretations of the Articles is to avoid what they plainly and literally say. One could add that to more fully understand their plain meaning a bit of historical knowledge of their writing could be useful, although not necessary to understand them.

Thirdly, the Declaration spells out where diversity of opinion may be had. It must be remembered that the purpose of the Articles is to elaborate on the Church of England's teaching, as all confessions do. It is not meant to allow conflicting and contradictory teaching in one "tent". In the second to last paragraph of the Declaration, we see the one article which is allowed some breadth of interpretation in the Church, that is Article 17, on predestination. It is often claimed that the Articles are to be read in their "literal and grammatical" sense, particularly by Tractarians, thus meaning that if an interpretation of the Articles is possible by the nature of the grammar of the text, then it is a lawful interpretation, this, however, is not the case. The Articles are to be read in their "true, usual literal meaning". However, the 17th Article may be read in its "literal and grammatical sense" thus allowing some variety of opinion on this matter. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A Different Sort of Episcopalian

The name Episcopalian seems to conjure up a certain image in most minds nowadays, this is perhaps due to the prolonged effects of liberalism in the Protestant Episcopal Church and the damaging effects of recent schisms from this body. However, for the sake of brevity and avoidance of controversy, one can think of any American Anglican when seeing the word Episcopalian used in this essay.

If one were to ask on the streets, What is the Episcopal Church? Most would probably shrug their shoulders and admit to ignorance of the question. This reflects our own traditions ineffectiveness at preaching the Gospel of our Lord Jesus to the masses, however, besides this point; some may answer with a different sort of response. The most common response one might receive is that the Episcopal Church is some sort of “half-way house” between Catholicism and Protestantism. One might encounter the phrase “Catholic-lite” from some respondents and perhaps from the well-informed participant via media. This reflects the overwhelming effects of a certain great apostasy that occurred in Anglicanism in the 19th century, a complete and whole rejection of our Church’s plain teachings. The rejection of our Church’s teachings by the Anglo-Catholic party of the 19th century has finally colored the perception of our Protestant Episcopal Church (and other Anglican churches) to the point that our own confession is not acknowledged or even known amongst our fellow Protestant Christians.

At this point, I would wish to point out that there is another sort of Episcopalian (or Anglican) out there. This Episcopalian takes seriously his Church’s profession of faith (as found on page 867 of the 1979 service book). This sort of Episcopalian takes seriously the Episcopal Church’s commitment to maintain the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Church of England in the United States (pages 9-11 of the same book). By this public declaration, the Protestant Episcopal Church promised to uphold these standards and only on this declaration did the Church of England recognize the nascent body in the aftermath of the American Revolution. This sort of Episcopalian, then, affirms the teaching of his Church and tries to conform his worship to that teaching. Over the course of the years, as the Church has gradually rejected her own doctrine, her worship has reflected less and less her doctrine.

What is the Church’s confession and what is the teaching that it upholds? The Church’s confession, the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, commits the Protestant Episcopal Church (and other Anglican churches) to biblical religion, often known as Protestantism, nowadays. This firmly teaches that salvation is had by grace alone through faith alone in Christ’s one atoning sacrifice for sin. It holds that the Bible is the only infallible rule of faith. It is Reformed, and regarded as Reformed by both scholars and other Reformed churches, in that it teaches the doctrines of grace and rejects Roman and Zwinglian teaching on the sacraments.

Some may then say, well this is all well and good but it’s not really all that Anglican. Many accuse the sincere Episcopalian of this sort of not being genuinely Episcopalian or Anglican because of his sincerely held beliefs. The one who denies this sort of Episcopalian at the table has a faulty view of his own Church and needs to take a closer look at his own history. The nature of our Church’s confession can be debated until kingdom come but one cannot deny the fact that a significant portion of Episcopalians in the past and Anglicans currently world-wide do not subscribe to a wishy-washy, Catholic-lite sort of mentality. Moreover, a majority of Anglicans have never prayed to the dead or said a rosary, much less could they tell you what the proper liturgical color is, but they do know their Bibles. To deny that these sorts are not Anglican is to deny what Anglicanism is.

One need only mention the Calvinist consensus of the Church of England from the beginning of Elizabeth I’s reign (1558) to the English Civil War in the 1640s to establish the legitimacy of Calvinistic belief in Anglicanism. The “Calvinistic consensus” is recognized by scholars of religion and historians alike as reflecting the near uniformity of belief of the Anglican Church in the Calvinistic tradition, based, of course, upon the official teachings of the Church of England as found in her formularies. However, the foundation for Calvinistic belief in the Anglican tradition is much more firm than just this theological consensus. Calvinistic ministers such as George Whitefield, John Newton, William Grimshaw, William Romaine, and prominent laymen such as William Wilberforce in the Church of England began the Evangelical Revival of the 18th century. In the Colonies (and later Protestant Episcopal Church), Calvinistic ministers, such as Uzal Ogden, Devereux Jarrat, James Milnor, and Joseph Pilmore, and laymen such as Francis Scott Key, carried on the tradition of Evangelicalism on this side of the Atlantic. Whilst the confessional tradition in the Episcopal Church was slow to develop, it eventually did flourish in the 19th century, until the apostasy of the Church beginning in 1833. A number of bishops, such as William Meade, Philander Chase, Richard Moore, Alexander Griswold, Charles Pettit McIlvaine, Manton Eastburn, Benjamin Bosworth Smith, and Leonidas Polk, carried the name of “Evangelical” and fought to preserve the Church in her doctrine throughout the 19th century.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Presbyterianism and the Reformed Church

We hear the phrase “Presbyterian and Reformed” often enough that we may assume that most people realize, as is implicit in this style of coupling, that the two words stand for two distinct things. To those from outside of the world of British Protestantism the situation might seem rather different than it does to those of us who are Protestant Episcopalians, they seem to take for granted that the chair reserved for the British Church at the table of Reformed Protestantism belongs to Presbyterians. The chair in question, however, is really not theirs to give, and the mistake they have yet to realize, and the reason they don’t see us still sitting at the head of the table, is because they themselves are now sitting at the wrong one.

History testifies to the truth that the Presbyterian tradition is not an independent Reformed tradition, but rather represents a non-conforming tradition within the Protestant Episcopalianism from which it sprung. At the close of the initial 16th century reformation the whole of the British Isles was Episcopalian, there being bishops in the Churches of England, Scotland, and Ireland. It was not until the beginning of what historians call “The Long Eighteenth Century”, a period well beyond the Protestant Reformation, that the episcopate was finally disestablished in one of the three Kingdoms.

Presbyterianism arising as it does by a partial departure of the earlier Protestantism established within Great Britain and Ireland during the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, in some respects it represents an apostasy from the Confessionally Reformed faith, while in other respects it represents a continuation of it.

A great article from the Protestant Association, check out the original article here.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Evangelical Episcopal Writings: A Brief View of the Nature of Holy Communion (Manton Eastburn)

Manton Eastburn was bishop of Massachusetts from 1843 until 1872. 

IN the 28th verse of the XIth Chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians, is found the following admonition. "Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup." St. Paul, as you perceive, here recommends the duty of strict self-investigation, previously to the reception of the Lord's Supper. But it is very evident, that, if the institution itself had not been of binding obligation, the blessed apostle would not have troubled himself with enjoining preparation for its observance. He proceeds on the assumption, that this sacrament was of divine appointment; and then insists upon such a state of heart in the Corinthians, as might constitute them worthy partakers of its symbols. "Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup." Upon this ordinance, prescribed for the use of his followers by the great "Author and Finisher of our faith," I propose to make some observations in the following pages. And in so doing, I shall, first of all, set forth the true nature and character of the Holy Communion; and, secondly, shall advert to some prevalent errors, in regard to this important subject. In both which portions of the topic before us, may God be present with his blessing!

[4] What, then, is the nature of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper? This is the first inquiry to which I am to direct your attention.

One principal aspect in which the Holy Communion stands before us, is that of a commemorative institution. It was enjoined, for the purpose of calling to mind, through all the generations of the Christian church, the Redeemer's dying love. As often, therefore, as the Saviour's followers meet at his table, they thereby bring up before them, as a subject of grateful recollection, his groans and tears; his "agony and bloody sweat;" his bodily frame bruised for the transgressions of the world, and his precious blood gratuitously poured out for its redemption. That one prominent object of the sacrament under consideration is to call Christ to remembrance, is evident from the very words of its Founder. "This do," said he, "in remembrance of me." And to the same effect speaks St. Paul, in the chapter to which reference has already been made. "As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come." And that our Church views the subject in the same light, is as clear as possible. In the first of the two Exhortations, used for bidding persons to this festal celebration, believers are invited to receive the sacrament, "in remembrance of Christ's meritorious Cross and Passion." And the second Exhortation thus speaks; "It is your duty to receive the Communion in remembrance of the sacrifice of his death, as he himself hath commanded." Let me refer you also to the Exhortation read at the time of the celebration. It is there said that Christ "hath instituted and ordained holy Mysteries, as pledges of his love, and for a continual remembrance of his death, to our great and endless comfort." And then, besides these places of the Communion Service, turn to the Prayer of Consecration. This says, that Christ "did institute, and in his holy gospel command us to [4/5] continue, a perpetual memory of that his precious death and sacrifice until his coming again." It also says, "We do celebrate and make here, the memorial thy Son hath commanded us to make; having in remembrance his blessed passion and precious death." It likewise puts into the mouths of the communicants a petition, that they, receiving the symbols "in remembrance of Christ's Death and Passion, may be partakers of his most blessed Body and Blood." And, in conclusion of these citations from our authorized formularies, let me call your attention to the following question and answer in the Catechism. "Question. Why was the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper ordained? Answer. For the continual remembrance of the sacrifice of the death of Christ, and of the benefits which we receive thereby." Upon this point, therefore, it is needless any further to enlarge. Holy Scripture, and our own Church, teach with consentient voice, that, whenever the sacrament of the Holy Communion is administered, it is for the purpose of commemorating the unutterable love of Christ, as manifested in that one "full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction," which he offered, on the cross of Calvary, "for the sins of the whole world."

Another principal point of view in which this holy Sacrament is presented to us, is that of a means of spiritual nourishment.

It is the privilege of the Christian believer, that, by the gracious providence of God, he is put in possession of certain channels of strength and comfort, by a due resort to which he may experience continual refreshment. One of these prescribed channels is the ordinance which we are now contemplating. And it is very evident that Scripture views it in such an aspect. What does St. Paul say? "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The [5/6] bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" And what are the words of the Author of the institution? "My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed." These passages very plainly show, that, whenever the faithful recipient "presses with his teeth" the symbols of bread and wine, he, at the same time, is spiritually fed with that body and blood of the Redeemer, of which these elements are the signs and emblems. He receives consolation: his faith is confirmed: he finds peace in a nearer view of the promises of God through Christ: in fine,—there is a twofold nutriment received at one and the same time; of his bodily frame by what he eats and drinks, and of his soul by that which these outward things set forth and represent. And that we are fully warranted in the idea, that the Lord's Supper is a means of grace, as well as a commemoration of the unspeakable love of Christ, will be seen by a reference once more to the standards of our scriptural Church. We are told, in one of the Exhortations in the Communion Service, that it is our duty to thank God, "for that he hath given his Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, not only to die for us, but also to be our spiritual food and sustenance in that holy Sacrament." In another of these Exhortations, those who come to the Lord's Table are described as "feeding on the banquet of that most heavenly food." So, likewise, when the minister delivers the bread to the assembled communicants, the words which he uses, as you all remember, are these; "Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on him in thy heart by faith, with thanksgiving." But most fully bearing upon this point, is the language of that same lucid and inimitable Catechism, to which I have already referred. "What are the benefits," it is there asked, "whereof we are partakers thereby?" And the reply is as follows; "The strengthening and refreshing of our souls by the [6/7] body and blood of Christ, as our bodies are by the bread and wine." From this combined testimony, then, of the word of God, and of our Book of Common Prayer, we are brought to the knowledge of that joyful truth, that, in the sacramental feast, the pilgrim through time to eternity is supplied with provision by the way. Overcome with the sense of sins, he is there encouraged with the view of His sufficiency who has blotted them away. Weak in his confidence in Christ, his reliance is there confirmed. Needing comfort and peace, he there finds the rest which he is seeking. "He that eateth my flesh," says the blessed Jesus, "and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him."
There is still another conspicuous aspect, in which this Sacrament stands in our view; namely, that of a special occasion of the presence of Christ.

The great and pressing want under which the human spirit labors, after it has come to the knowledge of its sins, is the desire that the blessed Redeemer may be revealed to it, in the fulness of his power and love. To meet this craving, God has ordained, in his wisdom, particular helps and instruments. Every believer knows, for example, that the Saviour is peculiarly manifested during seasons of sorrow; and under circumstances of worldly disappointment; and at times of great danger. It is on such occasions that the Lord Jesus Christ, comparatively hidden from us in prosperous days, appears distinctly before us: proclaiming himself, with inexpressible comfort, as the Being who has satisfied for our iniquities; who has taken the sting from death; and who, by the efficacy of his blood, has "opened the kingdom of heaven, to all believers." Every servant of God knows also, that the Redeemer shows himself, with unwonted clearness, during the moments of prayer. And the same blessing has been experienced, times without number, during the public ministrations of the sanctuary. And, among [7/8] these external means, whereby our Lord and Master makes himself especially felt and seen, as the Forgiver of iniquity, transgression, and sin, what believer can doubt that the sacrament of the Lord's Supper holds a distinguished place? How many into whose hands these pages come must have proved this, on divers occasions, by personal experience! There is something in the very sight of the emblems, placed upon the Lord's Table, which brings the Saviour, in all his sufficiency and love, home to our hearts. As our eyes fall upon that bread and that wine, in which are represented the body and the blood of the crucified Lamb of God, our spirits rise as if on wings. We appear almost to see that perfect Mediator, removing the load of our guilt; and almost to hear his voice, proclaiming in our ears, as he did once in the days of his flesh, "Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." Now, this being the fact in regard to the blessed sacrament of the Communion, let us be duly thankful for so marvelous a benefit. Let us rejoice, that, at frequent intervals, the Lord Jesus Christ is graciously revealed to our vision, as we approach the table of his appointment. Whenever we assemble to keep this glorious feast, the Founder of it is in the midst of us; and, for our consolation in this valley of tears and of sin, "is evidently set forth, crucified among us."

After this view of the nature of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, we shall be prepared to look, with greater discrimination, at some of those erroneous conceptions of its character, which are prevalent in the world around us. This is that second branch of the subject, to which I promised to invite your attention.

And 1. If the representations that have now been made be correct, then that is a very inadequate notion of this ordinance, which reduces it to a mere [8/9] sign of fellowship between the members of the Christian society.

The idea to which I refer, and which was maintained with pertinacity, in opposition to Luther, by some of the continental Reformers, is simply this. The body of the Church is composed of a large company of members. Now, in organized associations among the children of this world, men find it productive of harmony and mutual good-will to meet together at some fixed season; and, at the festive board, to recognize in each other companions, brethren, and friends. Of the same kind, it is pretended, is the sacramental feast. It is a token and a bond of union, between the numerous persons who compose the family of God. And as such, it deserves to be kept up, from generation to generation, by the professed followers of Christ. Now, that the Holy Communion does answer this purpose, none can pretend to deny. Those who meet at this holy Table are brought together, in a most interesting manner, as disciples of one Master, and as travellers to the same eternal destiny. And the world certainly presents no spectacle to us more impressive, than that which the sacramental celebration holds forth: where the rich and the poor; the learned and the unlettered; the master and the servant; the prince and the peasant; are blended together as beings, who, notwithstanding all the adventitious distinctions of this life, are partakers of the same riches of redeeming blood, and heirs of the same immortality. But to confine this blessed institution to such an intention, were surely to forget the language of that inspired Volume, from which the warrant for its observance is drawn. At this heavenly banquet, we come to commemorate His love, who saved with an everlasting salvation them that were lost. We come to receive, amidst the doubts, the discouragements, and the spiritual darkness of our journey, the supports of divine consolation. [9/10] We come to experience the blessed Master's presence: manifested to us in forms, in which he doth not manifest himself to the world; and with a beauty in which he is seldom presented to us, on other times and occasions. Need I urge, then, how low and defective is that conception of sacramental privileges, to which I have just called your attention? And in thus falling short of the scriptural mark, it has received the unequivocal condemnation of our Church; who, in her Twenty-Eighth Article, thus speaks: "The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another; but rather it is a Sacrament of our redemption by Christ's death: insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the bread which we break is a partaking of the body of Christ; and likewise the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ."

Again. According to what has already been advanced, those persons must be deemed defective in their views of this Sacrament, who, while they are willing to admit, that, besides being a sign of union, it is also a prescribed commemoration of Christ's death, yet limit it to such a meaning.

It is, truly, an institution in which we bring to mind our Master's sorrows; and, with grateful hearts, dwell upon the remembrance, that He who dwelt in the glory which he had with the Father before the world began, for our sakes divested himself of this splendor—had not where to lay his head—"became obedient unto death"—and endured the sharpness of those pangs, which the wrath of God sent like the iron into his soul. All this the festival of the Lord's Supper is:—but it is something more. It is an established medium of strength and comfort: it builds up the renewed inner man, as with sustaining nutriment: and it is by this very blessing which it carries with it, when received with a true penitent heart, and lively faith, that we, the [10/11] ambassadors of Christ, are emboldened to urge it with such unwearied importunity upon the adoption of all Christian men. We can say to the professed servants of God, who abstain from this heavenly banquet,—Approach to the Lord's Table, as ye value your own peace, and as ye desire your continual growth in grace. Here may the wayfaring man find the choicest food, to revive his fainting powers. Here he may, ever and anon, pause to draw water, from those "fresh springs" of salvation which are bubbling forth, at frequent intervals, along all the line of his journey. Come hither; for "except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." Let us beware, then, how we attribute less to this divine and blessed ordinance, than is pronounced of it in the word of inspiration. And, amidst the loose and conceited notions of this latitudinarian age, it is an edifying exercise to turn to the standards of our wise and sober Church; who, while she treads under foot the perilous delusion, that the simple administration of this sacrament is necessarily attended with spiritual efficacy, yet as clearly maintains, that, where it is taken with the right dispositions, it is "a certain sure witness, and effectual sign of grace, and God's good will towards us, by the which he doth work invisibly in us." Allow me to awaken you to the due sense of your privileges, as the possessors of this most precious institution in the Church of Christ. Allow me to speak to you in the unparalleled language of one of our old Homilies:—"Here may the faithful feel wrought the tranquillity of conscience, the increase of faith, the strengthening of hope, the large spreading abroad of brotherly kindness, with many other sundry graces of God. The taste whereof they cannot attain unto, who be drowned in the deep dirty lake of blindness and ignorance. From the which, O beloved, wash yourselves with the living waters of God's Word, whence you may perceive [11/12] and know both the spiritual food of this costly Supper, and the happy trustings and effects that the same doth bring with it."

Thirdly. By bearing in mind the view which I have presented of the character of the Holy Communion, you will perceive plainly the erroneous nature of that conception of it, by which it is supposed to be a means of spiritual blessing to an unawakened and worldly heart.

The mistake to which I allude is simply this. Some individual or other is in a state of uneasiness and anxiety, in regard to the eternal welfare of his kindred or his friends. They are living in a thoughtless and impenitent career; and are without God in the world. Under the notion that the sacrament of the Lord's Supper is a channel of grace, without any respect to the inward condition of him who receives it, this well-intentioned relative or companion exhorts them to resort to the Holy Table; intimating to them, that, although they are now dead to spiritual things, this step will be the means of communicating to them a new and heavenly life. Now, a more delusive imagination than this never arose within a human mind. The very nature of a sacrament is, that it is a covenant between God and the creature; promising certain blessings on His part, and requiring certain conditions on the other. In the case of the penitent and believing heart, these conditions are fulfilled. The renewed man approaches the communion table, under a deep sense of his own sins, and of the wonders of redeeming love; and he, being thus quickened and alive, by the power of the Holy Ghost, receives nourishment to his life from this feast of sacred remembrance. Having been born again, he is capable of being fed with food; and, being fed, he grows in the graces and consolations of his high calling. But, on the other hand, allow me to ask,—what terms or requirements have been fulfilled, or can be fulfilled, [12/13] by one who, previously to the reception of the Lord's Supper, has never been made alive to God through the operation of a genuine repentance, and a true faith? Such a man is, spiritually speaking, dead. There is, therefore, no ground, upon which any of the blessings appertaining to this sacrament can be communicated to him from above. He wants the necessary preparation of heart. And, wanting this, no comforting and strengthening virtues can go forth from the symbols of bread and wine, to carry him on "unto perfection." Let not any imagine, then, that, where no life has already commenced, the Holy Communion will produce that life. To believe such an effect in the ordinance, is superstitiously to hold what Scripture has nowhere promised. "The grace which we have by the Holy Eucharist," says the immortal Hooker, "doth not begin but continue life." And common sense is sufficient to expose the absurdity of the notion against which I am contending. You may comfort and nourish a living body, by dispensing to it meat and drink: but who would expect, by giving bread to a corpse, to make that inanimate clod start into motion? To the believing soul, the Lord's Supper is a source of increase, and of strength, and of consolation. But to a cold, indifferent, and earthly spirit, it is utterly "unprofitable, and vain."

But further. Since, as we have seen, the sacramental feast, according to Scripture, and the Church to which we belong, is a commemoration of the sacrifice of Christ, then it is an error to consider the Holy Communion as being itself a sacrifice.

When our blessed Lord and Master breathed out his precious life upon the cross, he thereby completed a full and sufficient satisfaction for the sins of the whole world. He then offered himself once for all. He made a perfect redemption for us, no more to be renewed forever. When, therefore, we meet together around the table of our Lord, what is [13/14] it that we do? We come to this feast, for the purpose of gratefully remembering that wondrous expiation. The cares, and riches, and pleasures of this world, had perhaps cast it into comparative oblivion: but, at this privileged banquet, we summon it once more before the eye of the mind; we go back to the overwhelming spectacle of that cross and passion; we enshrine the event, so to speak, in the innermost sanctuary of our recollections. Now, any application of the term sacrifice to the sacrament under consideration, disturbs this beautiful order of things. It is to confound two objects which are totally distinct; the ransom which Jesus paid, with the act which celebrates that ransom. How interesting, in truth, is the precise position which this ordinance holds, when viewed in that simple and clear light in which the Bible, and the Prayer-Book, present it to our attention! In the fulness of time, Christ makes an offering for transgression. Now, before this oblation, the instituted rites of the Levitical dispensation look forward to Calvary in prediction: after it, the sacrament of the Lord's Supper looks back to Calvary in retrospection. This, then, is that scriptural interpretation of its meaning, which I would hold up prominently and distinctly. The Holy Communion is a stated observance, with the intent of bringing before us the remembrance of the once crucified Mediator. The symbols placed upon the Table are the emblems that remind us of this crucifixion. As such, a portion of the bread and wine are set apart by the minister of Christ. But, as for any sacrifice being performed in this transaction, I cannot do better than cite again the authority of the great Hooker. "Sacrifice," says he, "is now no part of the Church ministry."

And now, last of all: In distinction from that view which has been presented to you, of the Redeemer's presence at this sacramental feast, need I say to you, that it is a gross error to represent the [14/15] body of Christ as being corporally present in the elements?

It is a fact universally known, that even the great mind of the Saxon Reformer was unable to divest itself of this notion; and that, after having broken loose, on so many momentous questions, from the trammels of his early education, he consumed years in laboring to prove, that, although the bread and wine were not transformed into Christ's body and blood, yet with this food and drink the corporeal frame of the Saviour was mingled. Instead of wondering at this singular incongruity in his character, let us rather wonder that he achieved so much; and let us bless and praise God's holy name, for that light which broke in upon the world through the instrumentality of this his chosen servant. And let us, in the clear mirror of Scripture, and of our own reformed Church, read the admonition to avoid every approach to a delusion so pernicious, and so false. That the body of the ascended Son of God should be, at the same time, in heaven and on earth, is physically impossible. That it should dwell in the consecrated elements, is contrary to the evidence of our senses. That this should be the case, moreover, is inconsistent with the very nature of a sacrament. For what is a sacrament? The youngest catechumen could tell you, that it has two parts; the sign, and the thing signified. Now, in the Communion, the sign is the bread and wine; the thing signified, the Lord's body and blood. But if, according to the dogma referred to, the sign becomes the thing which it signifies, where is the sign,—and, by necessary consequence, where is the sacrament? Reader, Christ is indeed present with us, in this glorious feast. But how is he present? By making himself felt, as an all-sufficient Redeemer: by coming near to our hearts, as we taste and see the symbols of his sacrificial death: by feeding us spiritually; in the confirmation of our trust, in the [15/16] increase of our love, and in the enlargement of our hopes, as by faith we behold him wounded, that we might escape, and dying, that we might live. This is the only real presence. "The words that I speak unto you," says Christ, "they are spirit, and they are life." And in correspondence with this is the declaration of our own Church: —"The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner."

I have room but for a word or two, in conclusion of this important subject. Are there any readers of these pages, who feel in themselves the broken and the contrite heart: who are convinced that the name of Christ is a strong tower: whose cry, with him of old, to their adorable Master, is this,—"Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief?" For you, then, the sacramental Supper waits, as for those who should speedily approach its banquet. It is a commemoration of the Lamb who was smitten for you: go, then, to call his love to remembrance. It is a feast to nourish, to console, to sanctify your hearts: resort to it, therefore, that you may find peace, and rest, and quietness; and that you may grow to "the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." It is an ordinance where the Saviour is present: fly, then, to it, as to a scene, where you may behold your blessed Surety, in all the fulness of his might, and in all the radiance of his love. All things are ready. "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters! yea, come, buy wine and milk, without money, and without price!"

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Evangelical Episcopal Church, 1785-1900

It might be of some surprise to any person familiar with the current Anglican meltdown in the United States that the Protestant Episcopal Church used to have a sizable number of clergy and laity who actually subscribed to the doctrines of the Reformation. Moreover, there was a sizable Evangelical movement within the Episcopal Church which promoted Bible study, testimonies, personal evangelism, and conversion. In the early part of the 19th century a good number of priests and bishops joined with other Protestant Christians to prohibit the drinking of alcoholic beverages, going to the theater, dancing, gambling, amongst other practices readily common among enlightened Episcopalians of today. Consider the following recommendations of the Committee of Five Bishops on Ritualism:
The Committee report the following as the matters upon which they respectfully recommend legislation:
The recommend that certain acts in the administration of the Holy Communion, and on other occasions of public worship, hereinafter enumerated, be prohibited by canon; to wit:
(1) The use of Incense
(2) Placing or retaining a Crucifix in any part of the Church
(3) Carrying a Cross in procession in the Church
(4) The use of Lights on or about the Holy Table, except when necessary
(5) The Elevation of the Elements in the Holy Communion in such manner as to expose them to the view of the people as objects toward which adoration is to be made, in or after the prayer of Consecration, or in the act of administering them, or in conveying them to or from the communicants
(6.) The mixing of water with the wine as part of the service, or in presence of the congregation.
(7.) The washing of the Priest's hands, or the ablution of the vessels, in the presence of the congregation.
(8.) Bowings, crossings, genuflections, prostrations, reverences, bowing down upon or kissing the Holy Table, and kneeling, except as allowed, provided for, or directed, by rubric or canon; it being provided that reverence at the mention of the name of the Lord Jesus is not intended to be disallowed; and it being further provided that private personal devotion, before or after official ministration, is not to be understood to include or justify any of the acts prohibited.
(9.) The celebration or receiving of the Holy Communion by any Bishop or Priest when no person receives with him.
(10.) Employing or permitting any person or persons not in Holy Orders to assist the Minister in any part of the Order for the administration of the Holy Communion. [1]
How many of these practices are nearly universal in Protestant Episcopal churches nowadays? I'd say nearly all of them are accepted without question. Consider this declaration made by the bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 1871 in response to the baptismal regeneration controversy (whereby a large number of the Episcopal constituency wanted to change words in the baptismal liturgy to make the service fit more closely with the theology of the Articles):
The Bishops, in council, with an extraordinary unanimity, have, during the present Convention, set forth a declaration touching our Offices for the Baptism of Infants, in the following words: 
"We, the subscribers, Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, being asked, in order to the quieting of the consciences of sundry members of the said Church, to declare, our conviction as to the meaning of the word ' regenera'e,' in the Offices for the Ministration of Baptism of Infants, do declare, that, in our opinion, the word ' regenerate is not there so used as to determine that a moral change in the subject of Baptism is wrought in the Sacrament." 
This declaration was made, in the loving hope and confidence that many consciences might thus forever be freed from false impressions, which have been prevalent, concerning the teaching of the Church as respects spiritual religion and personal piety. We exhort you, brethren, to be ever mindful of the tender love of our Master, Christ, for the little children, and to think highly of the privileges to which those are admitted, whom, through the agency of His Church, He still takes into His arms and blesses. We entreat you to regard them as His own children by adoption [5/6] and grace--as heirs of GOD--to be, brought up in the nurture and admonition of the LORD. Let them not suppose that the faith, and the prayers, and the obedience, of little children, are lightly regarded by the Father of Mercies. But remember, also, that Baptism does not supersede the necessity of repentance, of justifying faith in Christ, growth in grace, and in that "holiness without which no man shall see the LORD." We exhort all the members of this Church, fully to recognize, and deeply to feel, therefore, the weight of responsibility which the Baptismal Covenant lays upon them and their children. It is still true, that, if the Baptism of Infants be not recognized as requiring such godly training as may secure, by the Divine blessing, the submission of their whole nature, body, soul, and spirit, to the renewing and sanctifying influences of the Holy Ghost, then the mind of Christ, and the purpose of the Church, for the child, are not fulfilled. If, refraining henceforth, from discussions of words, in the acceptation of which there seems to be far less of real disagreement than has been imagined, we might, now, give ourselves, with one heart, to the rearing of our children in the fear of GOD, and to securing the great work of their salvation. Then we shall have succeeded in rendering our formularies so practical, and so fruitful in godliness, as to elevate the whole sentiment of the Church to a lofty spirituality, not likely to be disturbed, by agitations, to which, perhaps, we have subjected ourselves by manifold inconsistencies between our professions and our practices, in the relations we bear to GOD in covenant. [2]
Of course these sorts of proclamations depends on Episcopalians actually having concerns about biblical theology and not just a mild concern for sounding interested in social justice.

What happened to this group? Why do we know next to nothing about the Evangelical Episcopalians (unless we embark on scholarly research…)? The answers to these questions are mostly historical conjecture but some observations can be made. It is somewhat unorthodox to present the conclusion before the body of a text but I intend to do so right now. In the decades following the Civil War and the close of the 19th century, the Evangelical party began to divide amongst itself, due to a number of issues, some theological and some political. A number of Evangelicals became convinced that "Evangelical" and "Episcopalian" were incompatible. These left the PEC, under Bishop Cummins, and formed the Reformed Episcopal Church in 1873. Around this same time a number of the leaders of the Episcopal Church passed on, such as Charles Pettit McIlvaine (1799-1873), Manton Eastburn (1801-1872), Benjamin Bosworth Smith (1884), etc. These giants held to the traditional Protestantism of Anglicanism but failed to pass on the doctrine of the Church to the following generation. The next generation latched on to the spirit of Evangelicalism but not the teaching. In this sense, they preserved the notions of experience and liberality (see Butler's book) but did not uphold the teachings that made these experiences viable. For example, Phillips Brooks is an example of this second generation that liberalized. The form of Evangelical religion remained in the Episcopal Church until the advent of the 1979 Prayer Book, that being a generally anti-Ritualistic ceremonial, with Morning Prayer as the principal service, however, the problem was that by 1900 the theological rationale for this form was lacking and led to the current state of affairs.

What was the picture like before this? I intend to provide a broad overview of the picture before the turn of the 20th century.

Markedly different, actually. The story of Evangelicalism in the Colonial Church is one of rejection. The common worldview of the Colonial Church was the Restoration moralism, coupled with the rationalism of the age. George Whitefield's tours of the American Colonies showed that most of the Anglican clergy were not receptive to his message or methods (although some did receive him, the general response was negative). A personal theory of mine is that the negative reaction from the Anglican clergy towards George Whitefield (and other evangelists) is one of the reasons why evangelicalism in the US has not gravitated towards the "established" church, as it has in the United Kingdom (granted, other factors played a role in that development). Although the majority of Anglican clergy rejected the robust Protestantism of Whitefield, many did not. For example, Devereux Jarrat, rector of Bath parish in Dinwiddie County, was one such presbyter who embraced Whitefield's evangelicalism and became one of the early leaders of the Evangelical movement in the Colonial Church and early PEC. He was converted by evangelical Presbyterians but remained attached to the Church of England throughout his life. Similarly to McIlvaine in the 19th century, Jarrat decided to remain in the Church of England and promote Evangelical religion therein. Jarrat died in 1801, seeing much of his work in the 1770's destroyed by the American Revolution. However, others were ready to pick up the torch. For example, Joseph Pilmore, a Methodist missionary to the Colonies later returned to be ordained in the PEC in 1785, rector of various churches in Pennsylvania, Pilmore carried on the Evangelical witness until his death in 1825.

At this point the transition from the Colonies to Episcopal Church occurs. One of the struggles of the early PEC was the consecration of bishops. The first consecrated was Samuel Seabury, a High Churchman. Other early bishops were William White and Samuel Provoost, both rationalists. The early bishops of the Church were pessimistic about its future and had to deal with very difficult decisions of how to continue as Anglicans in the new Republic. The second generation of Episcopal bishops, however, was a far more energetic and visionary group than the original bishops. In 1811, John Henry Hobart, the High Church bishop of New York was consecrated, who grew the Church in New York State through his personal ministry. Additionally, Alexander Viets Griswold, an Evangelical, was consecrated bishop of the Eastern Diocese (New England) and grew the Church there. Richard Channing Moore, another Evangelical, was consecrated the second bishop of Virginia in the same year.  This second generation of bishops provided the needed leadership for the Episcopal Church to grow and develop as its own entity. The next generation of bishops consecrated also includes a number of prominent Evangelical leaders. William Meade was consecrated third bishop of Virginia in 1829, who would later be a leader in the fight against Tractarianism. Benjamin Bosworth Smith was consecrated as the first bishop of Kentucky in 1832. The greatest leader of the Evangelical party, Charles Pettit McIlvaine, was consecrated as second bishop of Ohio in 1832 (and would lead the party until his death in 1873). Other notable Evangelical bishops include, Leonidas Polk (1838) and Manton Eastburn (1842), who would also help lead the campaign against Tractarianism.

The story of the Evangelical party is one of tremendous success, followed by disunity and collapse. Throughout the 19th century, largely by the leadership of McIlvaine, the Evangelical party established itself as an Episcopal movement, grew in numbers, and left its legacy. It established two theological colleges: Virginia Theological Seminary and Kenyon College. It established several of its own societies such as the Protestant Episcopal Society for the Promotion of Evangelical Knowledge and participated in other inter-denomination societies such as the Evangelical Alliance and the American Bible Society. They also published a number of books, tracts, sermons, and other literature, as well as operating various newspapers to promote their viewpoint.

The distinctiveness of Evangelical Episcopalians lay in their maintaining of the theology of the Anglican formularies and the worship of the Church, whilst adapting to the culture of the time. Central to their vision was the conversion experience or the mature decision to follow Jesus Christ. The sinfulness of man was central to the Evangelical worldview as it is in classical Protestantism. The Evangelical Episcopalians were predestinarian in outlook, yet managed not to get tied down in the Calvinist-Arminian debates, espousing a form of single predestination. The practice of Evangelical religion came through the liturgy of the Church, which they maintained was thoroughly Protestant and Reformed and which promoted Evangelical religion. The Evangelicals insisted that liturgical form was meaningless without a converted heart. In addition to the public liturgy of the Church, the Evangelicals used prayer meetings, preaching, Bible classes, and revivals as means of promoting "true religion" or the conversion of souls. The prayer meeting was the most notable mark of an Evangelical parish, marked by a simplified liturgy, lectures and sermons, hymn-singing, Scripture reading, and extemporaneous prayer, it was also the thing that caused the most strife between Evangelicals and High Churchmen. They also adapted the revival to the Episcopal liturgy by incorporated revivalistic services to the liturgy of the Book of Common Prayer. Evangelical Episcopalians approached confirmation from a classical Protestant point of view, whilst injecting it with evangelical fervor. They regarded the confirmation rite as the time for adults to show their conversion and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior. Evangelical Episcopalians were in close contact with other Protestants and tended to follow the trends of those churches. For instance, during the 19th century premillennialism became a common belief among American Protestants, especially the dispensationalist variety. This was also popular among Evangelical Episcopalians.

Overall, the Evangelical Episcopalians provided a means of being both an Anglican and an Evangelical in the Protestant Episcopal Church. They took the theology of the Church seriously and tried to infuse its forms with heart religion. One can argue about their successes and failures but it is more important to acknowledge their existence and to allow for that tradition to continue to flourish in the Church today.