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The ‘good Churchman’

by
20 February 2015

February 19th, 1915

THE Dean of St Paul's [Dr Inge] appears to be of one mind with "A Liberal Churchman", on whose deliverance we have commented in two recent issues. "The modern 'good Churchman'," he remarks in the Church Family Newspaper, "is seldom learned; he knows even less of the Fathers than of his Bible; his chief reading is a partisan weekly newspaper and some Socialist periodical." The "good Churchman" must get what comfort he can from the Dean's implied concession that he is sometimes learned, even though it may be only seldom. But what sense are we to make of the following sentence: "He is a 'little Church of Englander'; he no longer believes in a National Church, and is more than willing that those who do not agree with him should join what he calls 'some Protestant body'"? The "good Churchman" cannot justly be blamed on either of these counts, for those who do not agree with him have, on their own motion and in no way at his instance, joined certain Protestant bodies in opposition to the National Church to which the good Churchman loyally adheres. But the last thing that he can justly be called is "a little Church of Englander", for to him the Church of England is a couple of Catholic provinces within a great communion that embraces this and other National Churches. To the self-excluded and "pious variers from Church" the Dean's "good Churchman" may seem to be, as he says, "a little Church of Englander", but "things are not always what they seem." His outlook is a very wide one indeed, and, as a matter of fact, the Dean finds fault with him for this very width, inasmuch as he inclines more than the Dean approves in the direction of "Latin" sympathy.


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