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'members who do not appear in the Synod contumacious, and reserves their punishment, which might be either sequestration or suspension, to himself; he directs the Lower House to choose their Prolocutor, and approves of him when he is chosen; he gives leave of absence to those who are unable to continue their attendance; he explains to the Houses the causes for which they have met, and lays the business before them; he approves of and confirms the business which has been got through, and at the close of each day by signing a paper known as "the Schedule," and sending it to the Prolocutor, he continues the sessions of the Lower House to another day. This he does as Archbishop; but the President of the Convocation is, not always the Archbishop, but in the event of his absence, some other Bishop holds the office of President, and possesses the privileges and discharges the duties of it, with the exception of the putting a veto on any conclusions to which the Houses may arrive, and this privilege, the Archbishop reserves to himself and exercises himself, unless he be legally suspended. If the See of Canterbury be vacant, or the Archbishop legally incapable of action, then the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury, as guardians of the spiritualities issue a commission to some Bishop of the province to act as President. The Archbishop's allowed and constitutional authority in the Convocation is therefore very great; and yet attempts have been made to extend it still further, and particularly in regard to that exertion of it by which the sessions of Convocation are continued. I will enter a little into this.

At the close of each day's session, a document called the schedule, which by and by I will describe at greater length, is signed by the Archbishop and sent down to the Lower House, and by it the time and place is fixed

for the next meeting of the Synod, and all the business before the Clergy is continued in the state in which it then is until they come together again. This schedule is read and signed in the Upper House, and then transmitted to the Prolocutor of the Lower House. If it contains the word "immediately," the Lower House is continued or prorogued immediately, but if not they continue their session until their debates are ended. This schedule is sent on occasions of two different kinds. One is when the Queen prorogues Convocation by her royal writ, and when the Parliament is prorogued at the same time ;-for although the Queen I believe possesses the power of dismissing the Convocation before the Parliament, which is called "exoneration," as she has also a power of summoning them as the Ecclesiastical Council when Parliament is not sitting, yet it has been scarcely ever exerted;—and in this case the Archbishop has not any choice, but is obliged to obey; and the other occasion is while Parliament and the Convocation are both constitutionally sitting, and the Convocation requires only the presence of the President to proceed with its deliberations. On this latter occasion it was for a long time the custom for the President to take the opinion of the Upper House upon the time to which the Convocation should be prorogued, and the fixing the day on which the next session was to take place. When the Upper House had decided upon these points the schedule containing them was sent to the Lower House. This paper ran in the name of the Archbishop or President only; but the entry in the Acts of the Upper House generally specified that the Archbishop, "with the consent of his brothers, continued and prorogued the present sacred Synod or Convocation;" at least these were the expressions for the first day or two, and afterwards the entries com

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monly ran—“ the Archbishop, &c. continued, &c.," for the convenience of brevity, and to avoid a constant repetition of the same phrase. At other times the sessions were purely formal, and as no one was present but the president with the express intention of continuing, the consent of the suffragans of course was not referred to. But on the whole the general custom seems to have been, that when the prorogation was merely the act of the President, the consent of the comprovincial Bishops was asked and obtained, and entered in the Acts; and that when the Convocation was prorogued in obedience to the Royal writ, as it was not needed so it was never referred to. The dispute then on what is called the Consensus Fratrum question is simply this,-Does the President, who is not necessarily the Archbishop, continue the sessions of Convocation by his own sole and irresponsible authority, only occasionally and as a mere matter of courtesy requesting the consent of his fellow Bishops; or is the continuation the act of the whole Upper House, which would be utterly invalid without their consent, and does the Archbishop therefore accordingly send down the schedule as the expression of the resolution to which the majority of the Bishops have come, with regard to their next meeting? There is very much connected with this question which we must not attempt to decide by our feelings alone.

Two distinct and opposite views of the constitution of Convocation are involved in its solution.-One that the Archbishop is in Convocation exactly what the Queen is or rather used to be in Parliament, with full power to assemble and to dissolve it, to approve or to reject its measures at her sole will and pleasure; that the Archbishop, the Upper House, and the Lower House, are "the three Estates of Convocation," and that the Archbishop as a separate and thoroughly independent source of power possesses an arbitrary pre-eminence over the other

two, who were only his advisers in Council; and that he accepted and confirmed the grants and subsidies which were made to the Crown, and did all other synodical acts and among them this of proroguing the Convocation by his own inherent metropolitical authority. The contrary view would be, that the Archbishop indeed summoned the Convocation to meet, not of his own mere will and prerogative, but because it was one of the duties of his office prescribed by the most ancient Canons of the Church; that when they were met he had the presidency as a matter of honour, but that as President he was the mouthpiece of the Synod and his person invested with the authority of the Synod, that he gave leave of absence and punished those who were contumacious by the power of the Synod and not by his own; that he was the Prolocutor of the Upper House, and as such recorded its decisions, especially in the matter of the schedule which he signed and transmitted ministerially as the representative of the Bishops to the Prolocutor as the representative of the Inferior Clergy; that he was bound by the Canons which the Convocation passed; that he was himself subject to the Convocation, and might for any delinquencies of his own be summoned before the Synod and be even deposed by it; and that therefore the Synod could not be dissolved or prorogued without its own assent expressed by its own vote.

Which of these views is the correct one, and whether the Convocation of our Church may not in one aspect bear out one, and in another another, I do not pretend to decide: I would only suggest that whatever authority the Upper House possesses in other questions ought in accordance with right analogy, to extend also to the im⚫portant question of prorogations;-at this time most important.

W. F.

135

THE MOUNTAINS OF SCRIPTURE.

GRAND indeed are the everlasting hills: their snows the types of the purity, their strong foundations imaging the power, their shapes and forms changeless ever, symbols of the eternity; the clouds that wrap their mountain tops, like the incense of the high priest's censer; the peaks rose-red with the bright day-spring or the fires of night-fall, glassing the love of Him, Who spake the word and they were made. Down from their untrod heights flow the fertilizing streams, on whose springs the light of heaven is shed direct. The lamb nestles in their crannies and deep-niched valleys; the eagle alone soars between them and the burning skies. The oldest and mightiest river was an infant cradled in their hollows. The very almoners of mercy, they gather the dews to pour them down to bless the parched plains below. They have out-watched for ages the long-lived oak. The ocean has its tides and changes its ancient landmarks. But they are the immortals of nature. They are coevals with Time itself. They shall be dissolved only with the melting of all creation in its agony.

We would now look on the mountains of Holy Writ; blessed stories are about them, and full of solemn thought and memories.

From the vast plain of Armenia, threaded by the Araxes, isolated and alone, soars in two peaks, cleft like a mitre, the tremendous ARARAT far above the regions of eternal snow; 1,500 feet higher than the monarch of European mountains, by 4,792 feet loftier than the volcanic crest of Teneriffe. The seaman of the Caspian sea steers by its towering form, leagues afar: appearing like some vast ship sailing amid the clear blue skies, when

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