CHURCHMEN are being urged — and some have weakly consented — to take part in the celebrations of the Mayflower centenary on the ground that they constitute a compliment to America. Since the whole business is being frankly exploited in the interests of Protestant Dissent, there is no particular reason why Churchmen should lend themselves to glorify the proceedings, as the Bishop of Exeter, assisted by General Booth and the Chief Rabbi, proposes to do at Plymouth on Friday, September 3. The Plymouth programme, indeed, most clearly reveals the nature of the movement. On Monday, September 6, there will be an international conference on Protestantism, with a luncheon, under the auspices of the English-Speaking Union, at which Lord Reading will preside. Later on there will be a national tribute to the Pilgrim Fathers, followed by a Free Church demonstration in the Guildhall, and other meetings in different parts of the country, arranged by such bodies as the Congregational Union, will follow. The Pilgrim Fathers left England for the sole reason that they repudiated the doctrine and the discipline of the Church which they had not succeeded in refashioning to their fancy; and if Jews feel able to join in the eulogy of the Pilgrim Fathers, who certainly derived their inspiration more largely from the Old Testament than from the New, there is no reason why Churchmen should honour those who faced the unknown perils of the Atlantic and the New World for the express purpose of severing themselves from the Churchmen of their own land and time.
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