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participated, was daintily served with cake and what not, fine napery and silver ; but on passing along the corridor, past many closely-shut doors, a slight view of the refectory was obtained, and there the cups and platters were such as would be procured for a tea in Seven Dials—thick, clumsy, and coarse! And a visit into one of the community rooms (employed for church embroidery) showed such gaunt coldness, very different from the glowing fire and cosy comfort of the Mother's Room; while the younger sisters or novices had a scared look on their faces, as they sat round the room or at the table according to their work; for it was an elder sister who displayed the embroidery. Curiously also, at the annual bazaar, these same sisters and novices were nowhere to be seen, except when they filed in and out of chapel. All wants and entertainment of guests devolved on the elder ones! And it was observed that many of thes younger ones were very pretty women. The grounds were large, and just across the road was the clergy house, containing some three or four celibate priests !
The following is given so that the lady superior's superior comforts may not rest on the author's verdict alone. Says M. GOODMAN :
“In contrast to this almost destitute and untended death-bed, we may think of one occupying comfortable apartments, into which none must penetrate unbidden, and sitting down every day to a luxurious table ; who was expensively dressed, had a French waiting.maid, a travelling carriage, etc. Grandeur and luxury for the Lady Abbess is an important part of the conventual system.”—Experiences of an English Sister of Mercy, p. 18.
With regard to the spread of conventualism in the English Church, it is, as the following shows, vain to appeal to the Bishops, and, therefore, some other means must be urgently taken to root it out, or, at any rate, reduce it to prescribed limits and place it under supervision.
Southwell D.C., 1889.-Resolved: “That it is desirable to meet the needs of our rapidly-growing population by forming Clergy Brotherhoods in aid of, and in consensual union with, the parochial clergy.”
Norwich D.C., 1889.-Resolved : “That this Conference recommends the adoption and extension of the principle of community of life in the mission work of the Church at home and abroad."
Canterbury Convocation, Lower House, 1889.- Resolved : “That, in the opinion of this House, the time has come when the Church can
with advantage avail herself of the voluntary self-devotion of Brotherhoods, both clerical and lay,” etc.
Exeter D. C., 1890.-Resolved : “ That this Conference approves of the establishment of Brotherhoods as a means of reaching the masses of the people who are beyond the present organisations of the Church.”
Oxford D.C.-Resolved : “That this Conference feels that the masses of population accumulating in our urban centres can only be met satisfactorily by the organisation of communities of men living lives of dedication and prayer and missionary effort in the midst of them.”
Winchester D. C., 1890.-Resolved : “ That it is desirable to establish communities of both clergy and laity for the purpose of mission work in the diocese, and that such Brotherhoods should work in strict subordination to the Bishop of each diocese in which they are established, and only on the invitation and under the sanction of the parochial clergy.'
St. Alban's D. C., 1891.-Resolved : “To strengthen her work, the Church
may with advantage, among other agencies, avail herself of the voluntary self-devotion of Brotherhoods, clerical and lay, the members of which are willing to labour in the service of the Church under the sanction and control of diocesan bishops.
York D. C., 1891.-Resolved : “That it is desirable in many parishes to supplement the existing parochial system by the help of Brotherhoods, etc.
Canterbury Convocation, Lower House, 1890.-Resolved : (2.) “ That a wide elasticity is desirable as to the rules and system of such Brotherhoods as may be formed in the several dioceses. (3.) miembers of such Brotherhoods should be allowed to bind themselves by dispensable bonds of celibacy, poverty, and obedience.” (4.) “That such Brotherhoods should work in strict subordination to the authority of the bishop of each diocese in which they are established, and only on the invitation and under the sanction of the parochial clergy.”
Canterbury Convocation, Upper House, 1890. - Resolved : “That this House, recognising the value of Sisterhoods and of deaconesses, and the importance of their work, considers that the Church ought definitely to extend to them her care and guidante.” (2.) “ That those who enter a Sisterhood shall be permitted, after an adequate term of probation, and being not less than thirty years of age,* to undertake life-long engagements to the work of the Community, provided such engagements be liable to release by competent authority. (3.) “That the form of such engagements should be a promise made at the time of admission before the bishop or his commissary, from which, if the bishop think fit, upon cause shewn, he might subsequently release the sister.” (4.)
" That the statutes of the Community should be sanctioned by the bishop under his hand, and not be changed without his approval signified in like
(5.) “ That no statutes should contain any provision which would interfere with the freedom of any individual Sister, to dispose of her property as she thinks fit.t That no branch house of a Sisterhood
should be established, or any branch work undertaken in any diocese without the written consent of the bishop of such diocese." (7.) “That no work external to the Community should be undertaken by the sisters in any parish without the written consent of the incumbent of such parish, subject, if that be refused, to an appeal to the bishop.”
House of Laymen, 1890.-Resolved: “That this House is of opinion that the sanction of the Church should be given to such Communities or Brotherhoods, whether lay or clerical, as shall undertake to labour for the salvation of souls and the service of the Church : provided always (a) That their rules be approved by the bishop of the diocese, and (6) That they work in strict subordination to the bishop of the diocese, and on the invitation and under the sanction of the incumbent of the parish ; (c) That the members of such Communities or Brotherhoods should be allowed to bind themselves by vows of celibacy, poverty, and chedience, the bishop of the diocese having the power at any time to release any member from such vows."- Official Year Book of the Church of England, pp. 400 and 401.
It is well known that the monastery or convent is the cradle of perversion and power—the last, above all, because of holy obedience. Self, self, self, is the alpha and omega of a nun's life. When one begins fussing and fuming whether one knelt quite right at the altar, and a hundred and one infinitesimal little peccadilloes, which God must be a very insignificant God to make so much of, and having nothing to do for others, self will gradually grow into the Pharisaical “ Lord, I am better than the rest !” It is questioned whether, if the House of Laymen had perused so many of the works furnished by the British Museum as the writer has examined in the preparation of this work, and studied minutely and carefully monastic history, and weighed well its evils against its good, they would have passed their resolution. Let us hope that the many publications issued on the subject within reach of everyone's pocket will rouse John Bull indignantly to assert his right of freedom to resist the encroachments of ecclesiastical despotism, whether Romanist, or Jesuitical in the garb of Ritualism, and to determine from henceforth that the trumpet call of liberty shall sound, and that at the blast thereof the locks and bolts of convents shall fly open, and the walls shall fall under the mighty cry of “Justice for oppressed and suffering womanhood," and she shall be for evermore free from priestcraft, to fulfil the highest of all human destinies, that of wedded wife and beloved mother. For
They say man rules the universe,
That subject shore and main
Of his majestic reign ;
Man from his throne has hurled,
Is the hand that rules the world.
“In deep mysterious conclave
With philosophic minds
His bootless task man finds ;
To heaven's four winds are hurled,
Is the hand that rules the world.
“ Amid the reel of gore and steel
Behold the hero stand,
Clenched in his dying hand :
Mail rent and standard furled
Is the hand that rules the world.
“Great statesmen sway the nations,
Kings mould a people's fate,
These giants regulate.
In that wee blanket curled,
Is the hand that rules the world.
“ 'Tis ours to bring back Eden,
To vanquish hate and crime,
On the rosy path of Time.
The flag of God unfurled,
Woman, by SALADIN, p. 420, vol. 2.
* By all that is sacred to womanhood, shall we yield up our dominion to become the dupes of celibacy and the priesthood ? “For ever-Never ! Never -For ever!!”
Ritualistic Converses culled from their own Works,
and General Résumé.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”—2 Cor. x. 4, 6. So in this spirit we, having shown the disobedience of even the Ritualist to the commands and instruction of Christ, do quote their own works against them. With regard to Confession we can adduce
“Nothing save the Blood of Jesus can cleanse a soul from sin. Selfpunishment, or an act of self-revenge, advised by another * does not purify your soul ” !-Hints to Penitents, p. 168. “It is an old rule, and a golden one, that however you may face and fight some temptations, temptations to impurity must not be thought over, talked over, argued with, dwelt upon, but avoided and fled from at once. Ibid., p. 199. “When immodest words are uttered under a disguise, with affectation and subtlety, they are infinitely more poisonous ; if some fool should address you with indecorous words, show him that your ears are offended, either by turning yourself immediately away, or by such other mark of resentment as your discretion may direct.” Devout Life, P: 164 “ Withdraw your heart, and gently bring away your will into its abode of peace and quietness; keep your soul PURELY FOR GOD, Whom you will ever find in your inmost parts and in the depth of your heart because of the uprightness of your intention.”Spiritual Combat, p. 277. “ No one can so earnestly desire to be forgiven, as God desires to forgive ; and no prodigal son ever longed to return to his father as God longs for His backsliding children to return to Him. . . The sinner can scarce frame his lips to utter a sincere cry
* P. 95