Notes: The Church at the Crossroads

The Light (Pakistan), 1st September 1922 Issue (Vol. 1, No. 18, pp. 1–2)

The second report of the Prayer Book Revision Committee of the National Assembly has just been published and is curious reading.

Mr Athelstan Riley holds in his Minority Report,

“that the Church of England is in a state of unparalleled confusion, and disruption is almost inevitable. The present chaotic condition of the Church is, in his view, sufficient ground for postponing revision.”

The report discusses questions of ritual, vestments, and things pertaining to Mass, the reconstruction of the Canon, the Sacraments, Baptism and Confirmation. Is not the Committee’s report indicative of the existence of externalism, an undue attention to outward matters, historical details and ceremonial, and a want of ability to see the real reason of the want of success and their failure to satisfy the spiritual needs of the people, exactly as Jesus condemned the Scribes and Pharisees, in Matthew:

“Ye make clean the outside of the cup and the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess” (Matthew, 23:25).

This is an indisputable reference to outward show and inward lack of the real truth of things.