The Church of England and Dissenters.
• Truth ' has the following article :
I have just come across a truly remarkable correspondence between the Rev. J. Talbot Gardiner, a clergyman ot the Church of England, and the Rev. J. S. Haggett, a Congregational minister, both of Hungerford, anent a certain point of church discipline. It appears that a Mrs Rosier, of Hungerford, attended Mr Haggett's church, and that the Rev. Gardiner called to remonstrate with her upon the iniquity of such a proceeding. Whereupon Mr Haggett writes: My Tear Sir,—lt is reported in this town that during a visit made by jou to Mrs Rosier you were told by her that she attended on the previous Sunday evening my ministry at the Congregational Church. Thereon you answered that Mrs Rosier "might soo-vrr expect forgiveness for stealing a Lsnoteib.cn for attending a Dissenting chapel." My rraron for writing is to ask you to put me iu a position to contradict these reports.—Yours, etc , J. S. Haggeit. In answer to this, Mr Haggett received a letter, from which I take the following extracts : .... There is nothing to ooLtradic 1 . You surely must be well enough acquainted with church principles to know that we regard schhm —that is, the act of joining in or abetting in any wcy whatsoever any worship other than that of the Catholic Church cf Christ—as a moV; deadly sin. That is part of our religious belief as members of the Church ot England, The woman in question is a professing churchwoman, and as such ought to know that to go to a chapel i* to commit a distinct act of schism, cr, in other words, to commit a very grievous sin. Iho woman being a ohurahwoman, it became my duty as a priest of the CathoVc Church, responsible—as far as I could be—for her soul before God, under the mission of my bishop and vicar, to administer to her a most Bolemn rebuke for her wrong-doing. The arrogant impudence of the Rev. Gardiner, in describing all Dissenters as schismatics, and in assuming that the Church of England is the only Church of Christ, is worthy of attention; but there is more to follow. Mr Haggett again writes : Mrs Rosier states that you Baid she would be " more justified iu committing adultery or stealing a L 5 note." I mention this, as in my last letter I only referred to the ''stealing," Mrs Rosier was brought up in our school, and it is only of late years that she has left us, her family having he!d office with us for many years. May I trouble you for a line as to the addition I have made re adultery ? In answer Mr Gardiner writes : I had no knowledge ot Mrs Rosier's Dissenting antecedents. . . . What I said to Mrs Rosier was that an act of schism—such as a Dissenting meeting house—teas a mortal sin. Stealing is also a mortal sin. So is adultery. I did not institute any further comparison as to the relative heinousness of these sins.
The italics are my own, for I wish to call special attention to the fact that " a priest of the Catholic Church of England " has the audacity to assert that to enter a DissentiDg chapel is as sinful an act as to commit adultery or to steal, even if it is not more so ! The Rev. Gardiner is evidently OBe of those pious gentlemen who seek
To prove their doctrines orthodox By apostolic blows and knocks.
But what I want to know is the opinion of the reverend bigot's bishop and the rest of the Episcopal bench on this point. If they agree with him, so much the better for the Dissenters, and for the cause of disestablishment. If not, they should at once indicate to the Rev. [Gardiner that he must either keep such outrageous views to himself, or quit a body that he his fanaticism and lack of Christian charity.
Permanent link to this item
The Church of England and Dissenters., Evening Star, Issue 7916, 25 May 1889
The Church of England and Dissenters. Evening Star, Issue 7916, 25 May 1889
Using This Item
Allied Press Ltd is the copyright owner for the Evening Star. You can reproduce in-copyright material from this newspaper for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons New Zealand BY-NC-SA licence. This newspaper is not available for commercial use without the consent of Allied Press Ltd. For advice on reproduction of out-of-copyright material from this newspaper, please refer to the Copyright guide.