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necessary if we are to have strong souls and not merely spiritual babes. Yet I am quite willing to admit that there are a fair number of people—more than there were-who need constant guidance, who like to depend on others, and, consequently, are helped and comforted by regular confession. Whether this be a good or bad sign, we need not now inquire : the fact remains; and these souls have a right to what they require. But, as a fact, some of the most popular 'directors' in the English Church are married priests : and indeed, Mrs. Jackson seems to destroy her own arguments. It is nauseous to think of a girl relating her sins to a possible husband.' But if the priest be married he is not a 'possible husband,' except in the case of his wife's death-which a penitent could hardly be suspected of contemplating as a possible contingency. If he is not married, he is a 'possible busband': unless Mrs. Jackson is prepared not only to recommend celibacy but to enforce it on the English clergy.
That the laity as a whole prefers a priesthood which has liberty to marry, is, I suppose, beyond doubt; and generally speaking they prefer a priest who is actually married, just as (with due respect to Mrs. Jackson) they prefer a married doctor. That they are right in this, I do not contend; and the insistence of most lay patrons on having a married man for the livings (often very poor ones) in their gift is, I think, an absurdity; but so it is.
' Mrs. Jackson, however, finds that the laity are 'indifferent to the Church,' and have a contempt for the 'parson’ mainly, it appears, because he is a married man. With regard to the 'indifference' to the Church, I should not mind comparing the interest in the Church felt and shown by the ordinary English layman with that felt and shown by the ordinary layman of France or Spain or Italy: nor do I think that we should suffer in comparison. But the clergy, it seems, are despised in this country, and as a proof of this fact Mrs. Jackson takes the ' faithful sketch of a certain type of fashionable clergyman given by Mr. Albert Chevalier,' which was received with 'shouts of applause.' I have seen this sketch and laughed as loudly as the others, but in doing so I was (naturally) not conscious of expressing contempt for the clergy. As to its being a 'faithful'sketch-I can only say that, even among the 'fashionable clergy' (not a very numerous band) I have never seen anyone resembling this person, but the caricature was not the less amusing on that account, and it would be rash to interpret the laughter of the audience as contempt for the 'cloth.' The stage has its own conventional clerical figures to which it sticks in sheer conservatism-just as in French comic papers the ordinary Englishman is still represented as having 'Dundreary' whiskers and projecting teeth. But this supposed contempt for the English clergy is inspired (thinks Mrs. Jackson) by the feeling of the laity that they have not given op enough' (when she adds
that 'because of all he has renounced full recompense is given to the priest
the power to remit sins, the power to confer the grace of God' she appears to hold that sacraments administered by a married clergy are invalid ; but perhaps one must not press this rhetoric too far). Not given up enough!' Does Mrs. Jackson think that the celibate priest has necessarily given up so very much? In many cases, I can assure her, he has a very good time of it.' The man who marries on very little may be a fool (he often is), but it means that he has to give up' most of the luxuries of life; that he has anxieties and distresses to which his celibate brother is a stranger; that he has to make sacrifices far greater than are required of the unmarried man--and these experiences, often bitter enough, have certain compensations too.
On the whole I am disposed to think that when the English Church permitted her clergy at the Reformation to marry openly, she did not, as Mrs. Jackson thinks, commit an 'error.' I say to marry 'openly ’; for there never was a time when the English clergy were not, to a large extent, married men; though their wives were called by unpleasant names, such as Queen Elizabeth
crudely' employed. I will not allude to the grave objections to compulsory clerical celibacy, which Mrs. Jackson brushes away on one side, but which experience has tended to justify. For abandoning the policy formed at the Reformation, Mrs. Jackson must advance stronger arguments than any found in her paperof these indeed some are hardly to be taken seriously. When she says 'He must obey the solemn command of his Master, “ So likewise whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple,' she must go on to give us some reasons for believing the words to be a command to the clergy only; but if they are, they obviously demand a good deal more than celibacy : the unmarried priest, as a rule, certainly does not forsake 'all that he hath.' But indeed Mrs. Jackson largely abandons her own cause when she admits that the Anglican Church 'makes for righteousness ’in a way that the Roman Church does not. When we compare the moral and religious condition of this country with those which have for centuries enjoyed the ministrations of a celibate priesthood, we feel that, as a fact, we do not lose by the comparison ; on the contrary we gain. The English clergy, as a body, have plenty of faults and shortcomings, and some of them may be partly due to the fact that the clergy for the most part live as married men not at a distance but side by side with the laity–in the world ; but it has yet to be shown that compulsory celibacy would be the better way; and I for one cannot doubt the wisdom of the English Church in giving to the clergy that liberty, of which we may admit they are in some cases too eager to avail themselves, but the denial of which would be a yet greater evil.
H. R. GAMBLE.
• THE CHURCH AND CELIBACY
Ox page 167 of the January number of this Review Mrs. Huth Jackson claims that the celibate priest, because of all that he has renounced,' receives from God 'the power to remit sins, the power to confer the grace of God, the actual God Incarnate called into being by his hands. Quite apart from the remarkable crudity of this last expression, the whole assertion is flatly heretical, for it establishes a direct connexion between the efficacy of a sacrament and the personal character of its ministrant which Aquinas and orthodox Romanism would condemn as unbesitatingly as Anglicanism. However, as other parts of her article seem quite inconsistent with the plain meaning of this sentence, it is possible that she herself would hardly expect us to take the words seriously; and, in any case, it will be simpler to abandon the jungles of sacramental theory for what should be the plainer paths of history. For in most of these questions the experience of history is the real arbiter; in other words, ‘By their fruits ye shall know them.' Many of us who have worked among the poor could quote instances of care for sick or fallen humanity which would directly reverse the moral drawn by Mrs. Jackson. When, again, she asks, ' Do people prefer a married doctor?' I should reply, 'Doctors have complained to me twenty times that people do.' But there is little profit in bandying affirmations from individual experience; and it is fortunate that Mrs. Jackson once or twice appeals to history, upon which ground it is easier to meet her.
No one,' she writes, who has studied the history of the Reformation in England can have failed to realise how the marriage of the clergy slowly crept in, fostered by men who wished to kill the spiritual life of the Church and to make of it an instrument for the use of the State. There is here just one grain of truth which is worth separating from the bushel of partisan chaff. It is true that clerical marriage was unpopular in the early sixteenth century, but only as many other conditions of the Apostolic Church were then unpopular. The same Devonshire rebels who, under Edward the Sixth, shouted for a return to clerical celibacy shouted also for a return to the inveterate medieval abuse of receiving Holy Communion only once a year!
Moreover, all but a few exceptional men in those days imagined this celibacy to be an apostolic institution, just as they imagined the forged Donation of Constantine and the False Decretals to be genuine expressions of early law. And, lastly, papal policy had for centuries lent colour to the infamous doctrine (sometimes roundly asserted by orthodox theologians) that a priest sinned less in keeping a concubine than in marrying a wife. Even the great Sir Thomas More permits himself expressions which seem to imply this'; and meaner folk expressed the same idea in their meaner fashion. A Visitation Injunction of 1552 shows that midwives sometimes refused to attend upon the wives of the clergy at childbirth ’; and one of Cranmer's judges cast in his teeth that his children were bondmen to the see of Canterbury.' There was much excuse for this in those comparatively bookless days; but it is difficult to excuse Mrs. Jackson, who apparently does not realise that even the Popes never definitely forbade priestly marriages until the end of the fourth century. St. Paul not only claimed, at least in theory, the right of leading about a wife, but also specifies among the qualifications for bishop, priest or deacon that these should be the husband of one wife.' Nearly three hundred years later the zealous Athanasius speaks quite naturally of married bishops ; while we know that his contemporary, St. Gregory of Nazianzum, was the son of a married priest. The canons of the Great Council of Nicaea, though they forbade the clergy to house women who were not their wives (mulieres subintroductas), had nothing to say against marriage; we have it on good authority that the question was indeed mooted, but that the enforcement of celibacy was negatived at the instance of St. Paphnutius, himself a monk. Only in A.D. 385, when ancient Christianity had already run as long a course as modern Protestantism has at the present day-only then did Pope Siricius at last decree the celibacy of bishops, priests, and deacons. His decree could not touch the Eastern Church, where to the present day the parish clergy are usually married in early life to daughters of clergymen, only bishops and monks being bound to the celibate life. In the Western Church, meanwhile, there was a constant struggle to enforce the decrees of Siricius and his successors. More than six centuries after 385, public marriages of priests were still common in all countries. The Archbishopric of Rouen was held from 942 to 1054 by three successive prelates, of whom two were openly married and the third was notoriously no celibate. Lanfranc, after the Conquest, found so many married priests in
1 Supp. of Poor Souls, ff. xviii. sq.
A fairly obvious reference to the outrageous decree of St. Leo IX. (1050) enjoining that the guilty partners of priests should be reduced to slavery for the profit of the Church. (Lea, ii. 222.)
England that he did not dare to separate them from their wives. Anselm, in 1102, was bolder; but even so distinguished a churchman as Henry of Huntington doubted at the time whether this was not 'a perilous thing ; lest the clergy, in striving after a purity too great for human strength, should fall into horrible impurity, to the utter dishonour of the Christian name.' St. Bonaventura, a century and a half after him, shows that those misgivings were abundantly justified. In his tracts in defence of the friars against the parish clergy he describes the morals of these latter, and their hideous abuse of the confessional, in terms which no modern Protestant could make his own without incurring the suspicion of bigotry. The Papal Penitentiary, Alvarez Pelayo, writing about fifty years later, exclaims : ‘Would that they (the clergy] had never vowed continence !-especially in Spain and Southern Italy, in which provinces the sons of the laity are scarcely more numerous than those of the clergy.'. In the next century the great Oxford Chancellor Gascoigne complained how the contemporary Bishop of St. Dayids made a regular income by licensing sacerdotal concubines.5 And Sir Thomas More, while sadly making a similar admission as to Wales, does not venture to join issues plainly with Tyndale, who had asserted that Ireland was in much the same state. But in the Middle Ages, as I have said, celibacy passed commonly for an apostolical institution; and great saints like Bonaventura, who knew better, still thought of it mainly as a rule enforced by Pope after Pope, and seriously questioned only by men whose temerity drove them into theological outlawry. They caught, therefore, at any shadow of an argument in its favour; and one of St. Bonaventura's most emphatic pleas will perhaps surprise Mrs. Jackson as much as the more painful details to which I have already referred. He pleads :
If our present Bishops and Archbishops had children, they would steal an! plunder all the Church's goods, so that little or nothing would remain for the poor. For, considering that even now they heap together (money] and enrich their kinsfolk even to degrees of almost incalculable remoteness, what would they do if they had legitimate children? Let each man consider how great the peril would be!? Such were the nightmares which hypnotised even the greatest minds, and kept them under the worse nightmare of persistent clerical corruption ! Here, as in so many other directions, it was the rising tide of social liberty which found the true outlet from this vicious circle. As early as the fourteenth century the city
• De Planctu Ecclesiæ, ed. 1517, f. 131a; cf. f. 1026.
5 Lib. Verit. ed. Rogers, p. 36. Gascoigne tells us that the Bishop himself computed this income at about 4,0001. per annum of modern money.
6 Eng. Works, ed. 1557, p. 231; cf. p. 619.
'In IV. Senti. dist. 37, art. 1, q. 3. These words were quoted as conclusive so lately as 1505, by the distinguished Parisian theologian Geoffroi Boussard.