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The Ordinal

by Martin Parsons

Copyright C 1964 by Martin Parsons. This book is sold subject to the conditions that it shall not by way of trade be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise disposed of without the publisher's consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published. First printed 1964 Printed and bound in Great Britain for Hodder and Stoughton Limited, St. Paul's House, Warwick Lane, London, ££4. by C. Tinling and Co. Ltd., Liverpool, London and Prescot.
Note: Since 1964 the words of the Ordinal have been revised, but I believe that the points made here are still valuable. The book was written before the ordination of women, so the reader must understand 'he or she' and 'him or her' etc. The dedication to Rowena, whose mother, grandmother, great grandmother and great great grandmother were clergy wives, needs no alteration. - David Parsons




i Holy Orders
ii The Approach to the Service
iii The Context of the Service

Part Two


iv The Dignity of the Office
v Messengers, Watchmen, Stewards
vi Pastoral Evangelism
vii Personal Responsibility
viii Motives and Equipment

Part Three


ix Called by God and the Church
x Ministry of Word and Sacraments
xi The Deacon's Part
xii Strange Doctrines
xiii Prayer and Study
xiv The Clergyman and his Family
xv Christian Unity
xvi Canonical Obedience

Part Four


xvii Veni, Creator Spiritus
xviii The Laying on of Hands
xix The Final Prayers

Appendix: The Consecration of Bishops


To add to the number of books about the Christian ministry calls for some justification. Some excellent volumes have been written to help to teach the parson his job, others to explain the clergyman to his lay people. This present work is somewhat different. It is purely and simply a commentary on the Prayer Book services of Ordination. If it teaches anything about the life and work of a minister in the Church of God, that is because the services themselves contain that teaching. Every part of the Book of Common Prayer is thoroughly scriptural, but nowhere is this more evident than in the Ordinal. Here is set before us God's pattern for the ministry, as revealed in the New Testament and interpreted by the Reformers.
The situation which the Church faces has changed out of all recognition since 1550 but the basic principles laid down in the Ordinal remain unchanged. The parochial system is strained by the shortage of clergy and by new social forces. The laity are coming into their own and accepting new responsibilities. But it still remains true that the key to the evangelisation of this country is its clergy—even if their chief task now is to help in the training of the laity—and also that the biggest work is done at the level of the parish. We need our specialists in the ministry as in other departments of life. But nothing can ever eclipse in importance the work of the parish priest.
To say that I have wanted for some time to write this book is not the same as saying that I think I am well qualified to do so. But I have been enthralled by the ideals of the ministry put forward in the Ordinal, and I want to share my enthusiasm with as many people as possible.
The standard of the Ordinal is so high that no one could write as having attained to it: in my own case the writing of this book has been a revelation of the alarming extent of personal failure. Yet the Ordinal points the way, not only to demanding standards, but also to abounding stores of grace.
This whole series of Prayer Book Commentaries is intended for lay people. I want to help them to understand their clergy better and to back them up more fully. If any theological students should browse here, I hope they will not be too discouraged by some of the things I have written. I feel it is wise to count the cost thoroughly before entering the ministry. It is the finest life in the world for those whose heart is in it; for any others it must by sheer misery. If by chance any clergyman should turn over the pages, I can only ask his indulgence. I shall not blame him if he feels he could have done better himself. Particularly am I conscious that, never having served in a country parish—in which the majority of the clergy must serve—I present a very one-sided picture of the clergyman's task.
As a commentary this book has a certain lack of proportion. This is because of the wealth of material packed into the Bishop's address and the examination of the candidates. So many matters of urgency are raised in these two sections of the Ordinal that I felt it right to be somewhat expansive in commenting on them. There are many people to whom I am grateful, particularly a host of clergy who have taught me a great deal without ever knowing that they did so. I want to thank successive generations of students at the London College of Divinity whose discussions .in Pastoralia have stimulated me to fresh thinking on many points. I thank my colleagues in the parishes I have served, particularly John Moore and Stuart Snell, whose friendship has meant so much during the eighteen months in which I have known the luxury of having two assistants. I am grateful to the parochial Church Council of Emmanuel, Northwood, for agreeing so readily to my taking a month off, as a sabbatical leave, in order to write this book. And I cannot begin to express my thanks to my faithful secretary, Mrs. Holden, for her patience in typing the manuscript.
To any or all of these I might well dedicate what I have written. But I prefer to remember the debt which clergy owe to their womenfolk, and so I dedicate this book to my infant granddaughter, Rowena, whose mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grand-mother have all been "clergy wives".
Emmanuel Church,
Northwood, Middlesex

Except where otherwise stated. Old Testament quotations are from the Revised Standard Version, and New Testament quotations from the New English Bible.

The method followed in the commentary is to print the extracts from the ordination services in italics, and all other quotations in inverted commas. In certain cases italics are also used for emphasis, but not in any way that will lead to confusion.
Part One


Chapter I


When the people of England went to church on Whit Sunday 1549 they were prepared to find great changes in the service, and they certainly did. To begin with, everything was in English instead of Latin, and this was probably the difference which aroused most comment. But we can imagine some well informed and intelligent worshipper wanting to look more deeply into the changes. It was fine to have all the services in one book, and one book for the whole country, but was everything really included? There had previously been the Missal, the book which contained the Mass. Yes, the new Prayer Book had a service entitled "The Supper of the Lord and Holy Communion commonly called the Mass", and the Introits, Collects, Epistles and Gospels for Sundays and Holy Days. Then what about the Breviary, the book previously used by clergy and monks for their daily worship? That was provided for as well, though the number of services was reduced to two, called Matins and Evensong, and they were to be used by the whole congregation. Then, there had been the Manual, containing services for the great "occasions" of life, like Baptism, Marriage, and Burial. These also were included in the new Book of Common Prayer.

Our layman would not be alarmed at the omission of the Psalter. Books could not be made too bulky by the inclusion of everything, and a separate volume of the Psalms was no more strange to him than a separate hymn book is today. But there was one thing more: the book used by the Bishop for the services which he alone could take, called the Pontifical. The Confirmation service was there certainly, along with a Catechism for children to learn But where were the services of Ordination? Were they not to be a part of the new book?

The simple answer was that in 1549 the English Ordinal had not yet been drawn up. Early in the following year, by an Order in Council, six Bishops and six other learned divines were required to produce an Ordinal, and within a month it was ready for publication. There is, however, another reason for the absence of an Ordinal in 1549. Much of the Prayer Book is in use every Sunday, indeed every day. Even the "occasional" services are very frequent, for marriage and death are common to all. Ordination, on the other hand, may be thought to concern only a very small minority of members of the Church. For this reason the Ordinal is often regarded as not truly a part of the Book of Common Prayer, but rather a kind of appendix. A glance at the title page of the Prayer Book gives some support to this, for it reads: "The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church according to the Use of the Church of England, together with The Psalter or Psalms of David, pointed as they are to be sung or said in Churches; and the Form and Manner of Making, Ordaining and Consecrating of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons."

The Ordination services are specifically and separately mentioned, as if they were not an essential part of the Book of Common Prayer. Nevertheless they are, like the Thirty-nine Articles, invariably bound up with the Prayer Book, and for that reason alone have a right to a place in a series of Prayer Book Commentaries. But there is an even more important reason. Ordination is really very much the concern of the whole Church. Every layman should know what takes place in the Ordination service, and if possible attend one from time to time. He will find much to awaken his sense of responsibility as he learns of the solemn vows made by the clergy, and the commission by which they are entrusted with the work of the ministry.

This is no man-made arrangement for the good of the Church, but a divinely appointed institution through which God has chosen to work. A fuller understanding of the clergyman's life and work, as portrayed in the Ordinal, should help lay people to a deeper commitment to their own particular share in the Church's ministry.

So we come to consider the title page of the Ordinal itself: THE FORM AND MANNER OF MAKING, ORDAINING, AND CONSECRATION OF BISHOPS, PRIESTS, AND DEACONS, ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OP THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND. The three services which follow are described as the making OF DEACONS, ORDERING OF PRIESTS, and CONSECRATION of bishops. The title begins at the bottom of the scale in the words describing the action ("making") and ascends to the word "consecrating", and then reverses the order when referring to those to whom the action is done. We shall return to a discussion of each word at the appropriate place. Here let it be said that the three Orders are not alternatives to each other. When a Deacon is ordained Priest, he is still a Deacon as well as a Priest. And when a Priest is consecrated Bishop, he is not only still a Priest, but a Deacon too.

In the Ordinal there are certain words to be said and certain actions to be done, corresponding roughly to the terms form and manner. These are stated to be according to the order of the Church of England. There are other forms and manners in use in other Churches, but no comment is made upon them. As the Church of England draws closer to Christians of other denominations with a view to eventual reunion, we .may find enrichment through the contribution they bring to the concept of the ministry, and modify the "form and manner" as a result. For the moment we are concerned with the ministry as we have received it in our own Church.


The Preface begins with words which are as dogmatic and sweeping as any in the Prayer Book. It is evident unto all men diligently reading the holy Scripture and ancient Authors, that from the Apostles' time there have been these Orders of Ministers in Christ's Church: Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. At first sight this seems to brand all who hold a different view, which includes some of the best theologians of our day, as less than diligent in their reading of the Bible and the early Fathers! Indeed there are many within the Church of England itself who find it difficult to accept the statement as it stands, if it means that the threefold order of the ministry, as we have it today, is to be found in scripture. But there is a sense in which all must agree to the truth of what the Preface says, for in the New Testament we find each of the words used a number of times. We cannot, however, say that they mean just what we understand by Bishops, Priests and Deacons today, and we must look at the matter more closely.

Deacon is derived from the Greek word diakonos, meaning a servant or minister. With its related verb, "to minister ', and the noun "ministry", it is used in the New Testament of any form of service or ministry. For instance, the servants at the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee are called diakonoi. Nevertheless there are places where the word does seem to imply a special office in the Church, as when St. Paul greets "all those of God's people, incorporated in Christ Jesus, who live at Philippi, including their bishops and deacons" (Phil. 1: 1). In 1 Tim. 3:8-13 it would be difficult to read the word diakonos as meaning anything other than one occupying a definite position, not just as a general term for any kind of servant of God. The same applies to the reference to Phoebe "a fellow Christian who holds office in the congregation at Cenchrea" ""an. :-:: . Surely the Revised Standard Version is right in boldly describing her as "a deaconess".

The function of a Deacon in New Testament times was largely connected with administration. Although the word diakonos is not used in Acts 6:1-6, it is reasonable to see in the incident there recorded the origin of Deacons in the Christian Church. The apostles said: "It would be a grave mistake for us to neglect the word of God in order to wait at table." So the Church sought out seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, and presented them to the apostles, who prayed, and laid their hands on them. It might be argued that these men were "made Deacons" in order merely to fulfil the kind of duties undertaken by a modern church-warden or parochial treasurer. But subsequent history shows that, at least in the case of Stephen and Philip, they had a definite evangelistic ministry as well. The office of a Deacon developed, and is frequently mentioned by the earliest writers after New Testament times. Deacons did not necessarily go on to become Priests, but gradually they were given a part in the conduct of services. For many centuries now the Diaconate has been regarded as a kind of apprenticeship for the Priesthood and certainly no one would be ordained Priest who had not first been made a Deacon. This is an invaluable reminder that the basis of all true ministry is humble service. It may well be that in a reunited Church, learning from our brethren of the Free Churches, we shall find a place for a permanent Diaconate, consisting of men who will serve in administrative posts in the Church without necessarily going on to full Orders.

Priest is a word which needs even more careful defining than Deacon. The Greek word for priest is hiereus. It is used frequently in the New Testament of our Lord Jesus Christ. The chief function of a priest is to offer sacrifice, and this our Lord did when "he made there (by his one oblation of himself once offered a full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world". Christian believers are also called priests, as for example in Rev. 1: 6, "who made us a royal house, to serve as the priests of his God and Father". Not that we can offer any sacrifice for sins, for Christ has done that once and for all (Heb. 10:12). But we are "a holy priesthood. to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 2:5) These are the sacrifices of prayer, praise and worship which we present through our great High Priest. This is the offering of the whole Church, and it is worth noting that when the word is used of believers it is always either plural ("priests") or collective ("priesthood"), never singular.

The word hiereus is never used in the New Testament of a minister. He is, of course, a member of the priestly body, the Church, and when he leads the worship he is exercising a priestly function, offering spiritual sacrifices. But he is doing so as the representative of the whole body. He is not like the Old Testament priest who came as a mediator between the people and God: that function was perfectly fulfilled by our Lord. "For there is one God, and also one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 2:5). The minister is the appointed and commissioned leader of the holy priesthood. Why then is he called a Priest? Does it suggest that he possesses a priesthood different in kind from the priesthood of the whole Church? If not, is it a little misleading to use phrases like "priest and people" ? It might be, if we fail to realise one important fact: that the word Priest as used in the Prayer Book is etymologically a contraction of the word 'Presbyter. An interesting sidelight on this is the fact that in the Roman Catholic Church the house in which the Priest lives is commonly called "The Presbytery. Priest is "Presbyter writ small". It is, in the language of the Reformers who compiled our Prayer Book, not a translation of hiereus but of presbuteros, which is commonly rendered "elder". It would avoid a good deal of confusion if the Church could revert to the original word “presbyter”, as has been done in the Church of South India. The Prayer Book of the Scottish Episcopal Church does this.

To stress this is not to deny the priestly nature of the Church, nor the position of the minister as the leader within it. It is rather to establish the fact that the office of Priest, in the sense of Presbyter, is found in the New Testament. For instance, in the account of the Council of Jerusalem, elders are mentioned along with apostles four times (Acts 15:4, 6, 2y 16:4). St. Paul tells Titus to "institute elders in each town" (Tit. 1:5). There are a number of other references in the Acts and the Epistles, too many to quote, but we must give some attention to the account of St. Paul's farewell address to the elders of Ephesus (Acts 20:17-38). For here the same men who are called elders (presbuteroi) in verse 17 are called shepherds (episkopoi) in verse 28. Episkopos may be translated "overseer" or "bishop", and so we see that the distinction between presbyter and bishop is not yet clearly defined.

Bishop is an Anglo-Saxon word, being a corruption of the Latin episcopus. The idea behind it is that of oversight or shepherding. We have seen that in Acts 20 the terms "bishop" and "presbyter" were interchangeable. The same fact is noted in Titus i, where in verse 5 Titus is to institute "elders", and in verse 7 the qualifications of a "bishop" clearly refer to the same people. How then did it come about that Bishops came to be a higher Order in the Church? The New Testament throws no light on this problem, but early in the second century Ignatius, who was Bishop of Antioch, was writing as if the office of a Bishop were an essential part of the ministry. But while he used many arguments to advance the importance of the Bishop, he never went so far as to say that episcopacy was a divine institution.
This latter point is important. There are those who hold that the question of episcopacy is settled once and for all because Christ ordained it and the apostles, as the first Bishops, consecrated their successors, and so on down the centuries. But many are unconvinced by this argument because of the complete lack of reference in scripture and the very meagre evidence in the period immediately following. To them it seems more reasonable to believe that episcopacy developed — very rapidly — as a result of circumstance. In any society, even a divine society, someone must take the lead. So one Presbyter in each local church tended to become the leader, the one responsible for ordaining others, and for keeping in touch with the leaders of other local churches.
This pattern of the ministry became fixed and universally accepted before the end of the second century. Whatever theory we hold as to its origin, it is the historic form. We need not claim that episcopacy has always worked perfectly in practice. Nor need we disparage other forms of ministry which have dispensed with Bishops. As the Lambeth Conference Report (1958) said: "We fully recognise that there are other forms of ministry than episcopacy in which have been revealed the gracious activity of God in the life of the universal Church." Nevertheless we may humbly assert that episcopacy has from early times been the outward symbol of the historic continuity of the Church, making it one down the centuries and one across the world. Surely it has been "given to the Church of Divine Providence from primitive Christian times" (Lambeth Report).
If the threefold Order of Bishops, Priests and Deacons can be shown to be the most ancient and, in some form at least, appear in the apostolic age, it follows that they should be regarded with great respect. So the Preface continues : Which offices were evermore had in such reverend Estimation, that no man might presume to execute any of them, except he were first called, tried, examined, and known to have such qualities as are requisite for the same. In the services which follow there is emphasised the high dignity of the ministry, not in the sense that a clergyman commands respect from his people — this depends chiefly on what he is in himself — but in the sense that a man should tremble before committing himself to such a life, lest he prove unworthy. The ministry is not something which a man takes upon himself. St. Paul spoke for all true ministers when he wrote: "I thank him for judging me worthy of this trust and appointing me to his service" (1 Tim. 1: 12). The calling is twofold, the internal call from God to the individual, and the external call from the Church. The latter is what is chiefly in mind here, for the Preface goes on to speak of the candidate being tried and examined. Tried here means "tested".
It is not enough for a man to claim that God has called him to seek Ordination. Subjective experiences can be very misleading, and that is why the judgment of others must be brought in. In the end the calling, testing and examining of a candidate rests with the Bishop who is to ordain him. In the Church of England today he is advised by the Central Advisory Council for the Ministry (C.A.C.T.M.). This Council is responsible for the selection of the candidates, and, together with the Bishop of the diocese and the staffs of the theological colleges, keeps a fatherly eye on those who are chosen to go forward. By the time a man has finished his training for the ministry there should be no doubt whether he be known to have such qualities as are requisite for the same. There are however two additional safeguards. Every ordinand must furnish Letters Testimonial from three beneficed clergymen who have known him for three years and can vouch for his personal character and soundness in the Faith. And in his own parish church a document called Si Quis must be read, giving the people the opportunity to register any objection to his being ordained. The Preface continues: and also by publick Prayer, with Imposition of Hands, were approved and admitted thereunto by lawful Authority. Not only must the candidate be carefully selected and trained, he must also be properly admitted to Holy Orders. This means that he must be ordained by the laying on of the Bishop's hands at a service of public prayer. Everything necessary for a true Ordination is provided for in the services which follow. And therefore, to the intent that these Orders may be continued, and reverently used and esteemed, in the Church of England; no man shall be accounted or taken to be a lawful Bishop, Priest, or Deacon in the Church of England, or suffered to execute any of the said Functions, except he be called, tried, examined, and admitted thereunto, according to the Form hereafter following, or hath had formerly Episcopal Consecration, or Ordination.The exception mentioned in the last clause is important. A clergyman wishing to join our Church from another Church, even one which the Church of England regards as having erred in matters of Faith (see Article XIX), will not be re-ordained if he has already been ordained by a Bishop. Episcopal laying on of hands is a matter of Order, not of Faith, and we must distinguish between the two.
And none shall be admitted a Deacon, except he be Twenty-three years of age, unless he have a Faculty. And every man which is to be admitted a Priest shall be full Four-and-twenty years old. And every man which is to be ordained or consecrated Bishop shall be fully Thirty years of age.St. Paul said to Timothy: "Let no one slight you because you are young" (1 Tim. 4:12). A young clergyman can do an immense amount of good, particularly among young people. But St. Paul also said of a bishop: "He must not be a convert newly baptised" (1 Tim. 3:6), thus recognising the danger of immaturity in the ministry. There have been various minimum ages prescribed. In the fourth century Apostolic Constitutions the age for a Bishop was laid down as fifty, but for many hundreds of years now it has been thirty. The first English Ordinal gave twenty-one for a Deacon and twenty-five for a Priest. This was changed by the Canons of 1604 to the present ages, which still seem to suit our situation. Young candidates are usually required to take a university degree as well as to study for at least two years at a theological college, so it would be virtually impossible for anyone to be ready for the Diaconate under the age of twenty-three. A faculty for Ordination before the minimum age is rarely granted. The tendency is rather to ask very young candidates to spend some time gaining experience in some other calling, particularly since National Service came to an end.
While minimum ages are fixed, nothing is said about a maximum. An increasing number of candidates come forward after spending some years .in business. The experience they bring is good compensation for the smaller number of years they will spend in the ministry. Some have even sought Ordination after retirement from some other calling, and have done splendid service. Nevertheless the backbone of the Church's ministry must always be those who come to it comparatively young after a full and specialised training. There is no retirement from the ministry: the priesthood is a lifelong vocation. There is however the possibility of retirement from active parochial responsibility at the age of seventy. Some feel that this should be made compulsory. A clergyman can still do much work for God after he has laid down the burden of a parochial charge.
And the Bishop, knowing either by himself, or by sufficient testimony, any Person to be a man of virtuous conversation, and without crime; and, after examination and trial, finding him learned in the Latin Tongue, and sufficiently instructed in holy Scripture, may at the times appointed in the Canon, or else. on urgent occasion, upon some other Sunday or Holy-day, in the face of the Church, admit him a Deacon, in such manner and form as hereafter followeth.Here are some of the "requisite qualities" already referred to. The Bishop must be assured of a candidate's virtuous conversation. The meaning of conversation has now become restricted to "talking". It originally referred to the whole of a person's behaviour. Christian character comes absolutely first in the qualities required. So says St. Paul: "Deacons, likewise, must be men of high principle" (1 Tim. 3:8). To be learned in the Latin Tongue was in the sixteenth century the mark of a well-educated person, and was until quite recently compulsory for entrance to certain universities. This is no longer the case. and Latin is not now required of an ordinand. The spirit of the rule is kept by demanding a reasonable standard of education before admission to a theological college.
Knowledge of the Bible is a totally different matter, and candidates are normally expected to learn to read the New Testament in Greek, while some of the abler ones will also learn Hebrew for the better study of the Old Testament. None may be ordained who are not competent Bible students, for scripture is the ground of all their personal faith and public ministry. Other subjects are required of the theological student: Doctrine, Worship, Ethics, Church History, and so on. But the Bible itself is basic to all.
When the Bishop is satisfied as to the fitness of the candidates he arranges for their presentation at an Ordination. This is held at one of the times appointed in the Canon. These are the Ember Weeks, which were originally appointed as times of prayer in connection with the four seasons. As these four special periods of prayer were already in existence it was ordered in 1095, at the Council of Plocentia, that Ordinations should always be held at these times. Previously this had frequently been the case. Ordination is now the whole theme of the Ember Seasons, and the two beautiful collects for use at these times are found among the Prayers and Thanksgiving upon Several Occasions in the Prayer Book. [See L. E. H. Stephens-Hodge, The Collects, pp. 58, 59, for fuller details.] The Ember Days are the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after the First Sunday in Lent, after Whitsunday, after September 14th, and after December 13th. (The two last are the "Black Letter" Days of Holy Cross and St. Lucy.) Ordinations are held usually on the Sunday immediately following the Ember Days, or on a Sunday or Saint's Day round about that time, and have come to be known as the Lent, Trinity, Michaelmas and Advent Ordinations.
In most dioceses in England the Ordination of Deacons and Priests takes place at one combined service. This has a number of disadvantages, one being that it makes the service very long. An ideal arrangement would seem to be that the Deacons be ordained by the Suffragan or Assistant Bishop in a parish church, while the Priests are being ordained by the Diocesan Bishop in the cathedral. The candidates for the Priesthood would then come to their Ordination as something entirely new, not as having taken part in exactly the same service a year before.
In the commentary which follows we shall take the Ordering of Priests as the basis, calling attention at the appropriate points to the service for the Making of Deacons. The Consecration of Bishops receives separate, though brief, treatment, in an appendix.

Chapter II


When the day appointed by the Bishop is come, alter Morning Prayer is ended, there shall be a Sermon or Exhortation, declaring the Duty of such as come to be admitted Priests; how necessary that Order is in the Church of Christ, and also how the people ought to esteem them in their Office. When the day ... is come. Humanly speaking .it is the day appointed by the Bishop. But essentially it is an appointment with God, a day to which everything in the life of the candidate has been leading. He has completed his year as a Deacon, during ..which he has gained invaluable experience, known the joys of ministering to others, and learned something of the difficulties and disappointments too. Before he came to his Diaconate he spent years in study and preparation, on which he embarked at the call of God, ratified by the decision of the Church to recommend him for training. That call may owe its origin so a seed sown by a faithful pastor in a confirmation class, or a decision to follow Christ made in adolescence. It may indeed go back to the prayers of his parents and godparents. For him, and a great many people who have influenced him from his birth until now, a great moment has come. St. Paul could say that God "had set me apart from birth and called me through his grace" (Gal. i: 15). Truly this is the day appointed by God. Alter Morning Prayer is ended. The Ordination service is already a long one, and it is usual to omit Morning Prayer as part of the public service. But the candidate comes to the cathedral having spent time on his knees, alone with God. He is already in the atmosphere of worship, seeking with his whole being to lay himself in humble surrender before the Lord. For several days before he has been withdrawn, apart from all the cares of parochial life, quietly waiting on God and listening to his voice, as it comes through the ministry of the senior clergyman chosen to conduct the retreat, as well as through his own reading and meditation. He has listened, probably on the evening before, to the Bishop's "charge". So he comes, his spirit bathed in prayer, to his Ordination. There shall be a Sermon or Exhortation. In the first English Ordinal the service began with a set Exhortation, but in the 1662 Prayer Book a Sermon was introduced instead. The preacher is now usually the same as the conductor of the pre-ordination retreat. He is not left entirely free as to the subject of the sermon, for he is to declare the duty and office of Priests, the necessity of the order of Priesthood in the Church, and the duty of the people to esteem the clergy. In a short address he can do little more than encourage the candidates in some aspect of their calling, and urge the people, in words which are low familiar to us all, to "pray more for your clergy; pray for more clergy". In showing how necessary that Order is in the Church of Christ he may properly sound the challenge to young men present in the congregation to consider the claims of the ministry as a vocation. The opportunities of an ordination sermon are great, and it is good that a ministry in which preaching is to play an important part should begin with listening to an exposition of the Word of God.


First, the Archdeacon, or, in his absence, one appointed in his stead, shall present unto the Bishop {sitting in his chair near the holy Table) all them that shall receive the Order of Priesthood that day (each of them being decently habited). Someone must, on behalf of the Church present to the Bishop the candidates for Ordination. It is natural that this should be done by the Archdeacon, who has special responsibility for administration in his own area of the diocese. He speaks for all who have helped in the candidates' preparation and training when he says: Reverend Father in God. I present unto you these persons present, to be admitted to the Order of Priesthood. The Bishop is seated, to symbolise his authority. The candidates stand before him decently habited, i.e. in their clerical robes. The Bishop warns the Archdeacon of the need of care. It is as if he is trying to make it difficult for anyone to be ordained who is not truly ready. Take heed that the persons, whom ye present unto us, be apt and meet, for their learning and godly conversation, to exercise their Ministry duly, to the honour of God, and the edifying of his Church. Ordination is an irrevocable step. A man may enter any other profession or business, and if he finds he has made a mistake he can change. Not so with the ministry. We need not here enter into the sad business of Orders being revoked because of some grave moral offence— happily a very rare occurrence. It is possible, too, though also very rare, for a clergyman to resign his Orders; but even then he would not have to be re-ordained if he wanted to come back. Something happens to a man at Onlination which sets him apart for ever as God's minister. What care, then, must be taken! What solemnity lies in the Bishop's words to the Archdeacon. Take heed! Every person presented must be apt and meet. He must have an aptitude for the work. This need not be the same as great natural ability, which is the possession of very few. In the Authorised Version of i Tim. 3:3 we read that a Bishop should be "apt to teach". The New English Bible has "a good teacher". It is not always necessary for a good teacher to be brilliant. An intense longing to impart knowledge, and a love for the people with whom he is concerned, will make a man apt to teach. This is abundantly true also of the pastor. He must have the aptitude which is born of eagerness. He must also be meet, i.e. fitted, suited to the task. The two qualities specifically mentioned are learning and godly conversation. Without learning, especially the knowledge of the scriptures, he will not have a message to impart. And without a godly life, his words will be empty. As Thomas Fuller, the seventeenth century divine, quaintly put it. "It was said of one who preached very well and lived very ill, that when he was out of the pulpit it was pity he should ever go into it, and when he was in the pulpit it was a pity he should ever come out of it.” [Quoted in Five Pastorals, edited Thomas Wood, pp. 157, 158 (S.P.C.K.)]. When learning and godly living are united in the same people, we may hope that they will exercise their Ministry duly, to the honour of God, and the edifying of his Church. The order of words here is a timely reminder that in the life and work of a minister God's honour and glory come first, even before the building up of his Church. In actual fact they are two aspects of one and the same thing, for God is honoured through the edification of his Church, and the Church exists only to bring glory to God. Being satisfied that the candidates are apt and meet to exercise their ministry in this way, the Archdeacon replies: I have enquired of them, and also examined them, and think them so to be.


So far the words on which we have been commenting have been almost the same as those in the Making of Deacons. In the Bishop's words to the people which follow, the Deacon's service is content with a final Si Quis, while in the Ordering of Priests his address is slightly longer. Appealing to the congregation as Good people, he declares his intention. God willing, to proceed with the Ordination, having found that they are lawfully called and also persons meet for this Function and Ministry. But yet, if there be any of you. who knoweth any Impediment, or notable Crime, in any of them, for the which he ought not to be received into this holy Ministry, let him come forth in the Name of God. and shew what the Crime or Impediment is. The similarity to the words addressed to the people in the Marriage service is striking, though indeed not surprising. On both occasions people are on the point of taking a step from which there can be no going back. If there is any impediment known to a member of the congregation, let it be disclosed before it is too late. In another respect this final appeal to the people at an Ordination is like the similar appeal at a wedding, namely that there is virtually never any response. The reason is obvious. If there were any impediment or notable crime making a man unfit to take Holy Orders, it would have come to light long before this. There are men who give up during their training, not necessarily for any unworthy reason; there may be some who are requested to withdraw because they have nat,shpwn themselves to be suitable; but those who get as far as their Ordination day are not likely to be men against whom any impediment could be alleged. They are not, indeed, perfect Christians. They are very conscious of weakness and unworthiness. But friifa St. Paul, who knew himself unfit to be called an Apostle, they should be able to say: "However, by God's grace I am what I am."

In this final appeal to the people, together with the Si Quis read out in the parish church from which the candidate comes, the only voice which the laity have in the choice of men for the ministry? Have they only the power to say "No", and that only on grounds not likely to arise? This is not quite the case. For one thing, every Selection Centre to which possible candidates go has one layman serving on it. But if we go further back, is it not the vigorous spiritual life of a congregation which produces men for the ministry? Experience shows that, in those parishes where not all is allowed to depend on the parson, lay leadership will arise. From among the laymen who take responsibility in the Church some will emerge who may reveal an aptness and suitability for pastoral work. Such men, encouraged by their fellow-laymen (who are equally devoted Christians but more obviously called to lay offices in the Church), will come forward, and eventually be ordained. No one is quite sure of the origin of the story of a clergyman who heard people running down his brother clergy, and said: "I know the clergy are rather a poor lot, but you see we only have the laity to choose them from!" The truth is, not only that the future clergy are chosen from the laity, but that the lay people in the parishes have a great deal to do with the choosing. We may assume that no objection is raised to any of the candidates, though if it were, the Bishop shall surcease from Ordering that person, until such time as the party accused shall be found clear of that Crime. Proceeding with the service, the Bishop is to commend the candidate to the prayers of the congregation. This is a vital part of the Ordination. Silence is usually observed for a short space, and then the Litany is sung or said. It is the Church's most noble and comprehensive intercession ' -a which no fewer than thirty different groups of people its commended to God as objects of his mercy and comi3ssion."1 On this occasion the following petition is inserted [L E. H. Stephens-Hodge, The Collects, p. 43.] after the one for all Bishops, Priests, and Deacons: That it may please thee to bless these thy servants, now to be admitted to the Order of Deacons (or Priests) and to pour thy grace upon them; that they may duly execute their Office, to the edifying o! thy Church, and the glory of thy holy Name. The Litany in full takes about ten minutes when said, and considerably longer when sung. At an Ordination service there is much to be said for shortening it, either by omitting everything after the Lord's Prayer, or by using only those petitions most appropriate to the occasion. In the 1928 proposed Prayer Book the use of the Litany at Ordinations was made optional. It would seem a pity to drop it altogether. With or without the Litany, in whole or in part, the people are to pray. And their prayers at the Ordination are a reminder of the duty to pray continually for the ministry. Jesus prayed all night before he chose the Twelve. When he saw the people "like sheep without a shepherd, harassed and helpless, he said to his disciples. The crop is heavy, but labourers are scarce; you must therefore beg the owner to send labourers to harvest his crop' " (St. Matt. 9:36-38). This is the way to find the much-needed men for the ministry. And throughout the whole of their life-work they stand in need of the prayers of God's people. Every clergyman would re-echo the words of St. Paul: "And pray for me, that I may be granted the right words when I open my mouth, and may boldly and freely make known his hidden purpose, for which I am an ambassador" (Eph. 6: i9). This certainly is the most important part of all the many things the faithful laity are called upon to do.

Chapter III


Then shall be sung or said the Service for the Communion. Every Ordination, whether of Deacon or of Priest, takes place in the context of the Holy Communion. Ordination is not simply the concern of the Bishop, but of the whole Church. So it is when the Church, the Lord's People, is meeting in fellowship at the Lord's Table, that its ministers are ordained. Moreover, this fellowship is made possible only through the reconciling work of Christ. In the Communion we experience again the joy of being "brought near through the shedding of Christ's blood" (Eph. 2:13).
This is the heart of the Christian message, the gospel which the minister is commissioned to proclaim. "In Christ's name, we implore you, be reconciled to God!" (2 Cor. 5:20). That is the theme of Christ's ambassadors. Where then could they be better commissioned as preachers of redemption than in the context of the sacrament of redemption? Further, as in the Lord's Supper we feed on Christ in our hearts by faith", it is fitting that the newly ordained should confess their utter dependence on him for their strength. And the "sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving" which follows the Communion has an added significance as those who have just been admitted to Holy Orders join with the whole congregation in offering and presenting their souls and bodies "to be a reasonable, holy, and lively sacrifice".
The service follows the normal order of Holy Communion, the Ordination of Deacons taking place after Ae Epistle, and of the Priests after the Gospel. It will, however, be convenient to depart from the exact order and look now at the Collects, Epistles and Gospels of the two services together, so that we may deal later with both sets of vows together also.
The two Collects are very similar, except for a reference in the Deacon's service to the choosing of St. Stephen, with others, into the Order of Deacons. They also are allied to the second of the Ember Collects, which however is slightly shorter. They owe something to an old prayer in the Sarum Pontifical, but are virtually new compositions at the time of the Reformation. A number of scriptural ideas are combined. For instance, in the Collect in the Ordering of Priests we address Almighty God, giver of all good things. This reflects the thought of James i: 17, "All good giving and every perfect gift come from above, from the Father of the lights of heaven." That God, by the Holy Spirit, has appointed divers Orders of Ministers in the Church is the teaching of i Cor. 12.4, "There are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit", though the whole passage refers rather to differing spiritual gifts than to distinct orders. Eph. 4:12 refers to "the building up of the 'body of Christ' ", which shows how scriptural is the petition that they may faithfully serve to the edification of thy Church. This passage comes in the Epistle at the Ordering of Priests. For such a ministry God's servants need to be replenished—continually refilled—with the truth of his doctrine, and adorned—or endued—with innocency of life. And if innocency of life might seem to suggest too negative a view of goodness, a mere abstention from evil, the prayer goes on to speak of their service being both by word and go^d-example, surely a more positive conception. ';
In the service for the Making of Deacons there are alternative passages for the Epistle. The first is i Timothy 3:8-r'5. a passage in which the qualities of a Deacon are enumerated. The opening word, "Likewise", links the passage with the previous paragraph in which are set out the qualifications of a Bishop (which, as we have seen, is in the New Testament the same as a Presbyter). He is to be a man of high principle, sound in the Faith, scrutinised by the Church, married to a suitable wife, and good at managing his own family. The whole passage repays study in the New English Bible, particularly the last verse, which reads: "For deacons with a good record of service claim a high standing and the right to speak openly on matters of the Christian faith." The qualities of a Deacon, as well as those of a Bishop or Presbyter mentioned in the previous verses, will be discussed as they arise in later chapters.
The alternative passage for the Epistle is Acts 6:2-7, the appointing of the Seven. Bishop Lightfoot in his Essay on The Christian Ministry shows conclusively that this is indeed the origin of the Diaconate. We notice that the purpose of the new order was to care for the administrative side of the work, thus freeing the apostles for prayer and the ministry of the Word. For these tasks the Deacons were to be men "full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom".
Seven men were chosen by the Church, and were ordained by the apostles with prayer and the laying on of hands. This new departure was vindicated by a great increase in the number of converts in Jerusalem.
The Epistle at the Ordering of Priests is Ephesians 4:7-i3. We have here a picture of Christ's Ascension as being like the triumphal procession of a Roman general returning from a victory. He leads his captives in his train, and distributes the spoils of battle to the people. So our Lord, victorious over sin and death, gave gifts unto men. And the gifts were some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Evangelists, and some Pastors and Teachers. Christ's minisws are his gift to the Church. And they each, be they Bishops, Presbyters or Deacons, have some particular gift of the Holy Spirit for the exercising of their ministry. It is possible that a comma in the Prayer Book text (the Authorised Version) obscures the meaning. It would be better to read: "for the perfecting of the Saints for the work of the ministry". In other words, the work of the ordained ministry is to prepare "the saints", i.e. the whole body of Christian people, for their work of ministry. The New English Bible removes all ambiguity: "to equip God's people for work in his service". So clergy and laity together work for the building up of the body of Christ, and that final perfection which is found in him.


The Gospel in the Making of Deacons comes immediately after the laying on of hands, and is read by one of the new Deacons appointed by the Bishop. By custom the Bishop chooses the one who has the best academic record. In the first English Ordinal the Gospel was that of the Sunday or Saint's Day on which the Ordination was held. But in the 1662 Prayer Book, St. Luke 12:35-38 was substituted. It is part of our Lord's words to his disciples. As we have seen, the word diakonos is ordinarily used for a servant. Here the Christian minister is to be like a faithful servant, ever ready for his Master's coming. The reward of faithful service passes all comprehension. The Master himself will seat them at table and come forth and serve (literally deacon, "wait on") them. When all allowance has been made for the pictorial language, there remains the simple truth that the humble service of a deacon will not go unrewarded. But there is also the note of warning to be always "ready for action, with belts fastened and lamps alight" (verse 35, New English Bible)
In the service for the Ordering of Priests there are alternative Gospels. Matthew 9,36-38 gives our Lord's words to the disciples about the multitudes, to which reference was made at the end of our last chapter. The sight of the people moved him to pity. We are given the picture of the Christian minister as a shepherd, a pastor, to care for the harassed and helpless sheep. But another figure is also used. The people are like a heavy crop waiting to be harvested. The minister is a reaper, but there are too few of them. Hence the urgent need for the Church to pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth labourers into his harvest.
The alternative Gospel is St. John 10:1-16. It is about the good Shepherd, who must always be the model for every pastor. Christ knows his sheep and gave his life for them. Such love is in marked contrast to the hireling who cares nothing for the sheep. And the Shepherd cares for the "other sheep", and must bring them in, so that in the end there may be one flock and one Shepherd. So in Christ is seen the example of a ministry which is both pastoral and evangelistic. The Christian minister must bring people to Christ who is the door, that they may enter into the fold. And he must lead them to the green pastures for their spiritual nourishment. In doing so he will be sharing in the work of the good Shepherd who came "that men may have life, and may have it in all its fullness". We shall return later to the metaphor of the shepherd when we deal with the pastoral duties of a clergyman.
When the two services are combined, both Collects are used. The Epistle is Eph. 4:7-13. The Gospel is either St. Matthew 9:36-38 or St. Luke 12:35-38. The directions about this are found in the rubric at the end of the Ordering of Priests.
In the Ordering of Deacons the questions have already been put to them and the laying on of hands has taken place, before the reading of the Gospel. In the Ordering of Priests these things happen after the Gospel and before the Nicene Creed. But in the Ordering of Priests there are certain important additions: the Bishop's address to the candidates, the singing or saying of the Veni, Creator Spiritus (Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire), and the Prayer for Grace. We proceed now to the Bishop's address, and will take note of the questioning of those to be made beacons when we come to the vows of the candidates for the Priesthood. We note again that this solemn service of Ordination takes place in the context of the Holy Communion, and at the particular point when the scriptures are read. Thus are the candidates prepared to be admitted to the ministry of the Word and sacraments.

Chapter IV


The Bishop's address to the candidates was composed for the first Ordinal, and was only slightly modified in 1662. Its language is therefore somewhat archaic. But, inasmuch as it deals with eternal truths, it is thoroughly up-to-date. Indeed there could scarcely be found a statement to give as much information about the ordained ministry in so short a compass. The circumstances in which the clergy of today are called upon to work are totally different from those of four hundred years ago, and yet the principles are precisely the same because they are timeless. So the Bishop begins:
You have heard. Brethren, as well in your private examination, as in the exhortation which was now made to you (the sermon), and in the holy Lessons taken out of the Gospel, and the writings of the Apostles, of what dignity, and of how great importance this Office is. whereunto ye are called.
It is not always realised that the specialised training for the ministry is of comparatively recent origin. Most of the theological colleges have arisen within the last hundred years. Prior to that it was quite usual for a university graduate to be ordained after one or two interviews with the Bishop, and private examination by his chaplain. This might be all the preparation the candidate had to impress him with the dignity and great importance of the office of Priesthood. Nowadays the private examination has given place to a period of at least two years in a college devoted exclusively to preparing men for the sacred ministry. The academic course in theology is by no means the only, or even the most important, part of the training. The disciple of a regular devotional life, the experience in living together in community, with consequent adjustments in personal relationships, the constant ministry of the Word by college staff and visiting preachers, the frequent lectures on aspects of clerical life and work, and the opportunities of practical service in the churches of the neighbourhood, all serve to emphasise the importance of the life for which the candidate is preparing. The addresses at the preordination retreat and the sermon at the Ordination are but underlining what he already knows well. The office of a Priest is one of great dignity. The word comes from the Latin dignus, meaning "worthy". It is the office, not the man who bears it, that is worthy. When a man is first ordained he has to become accustomed to seeing his name written as "The Reverend". It means "the one who should be reverenced". But it is not a description of what the man is in himself. As Michael Ferrar put it: 'That title is not given for recognised superiority; rather it is a stimulus to win by our service the reverence of men. They will revere us when they see in us a wholesome example of humility."1 St. Paul could say "I magnify mine office" (Rom. 11:13, Authorised Version) while knowing himself to be "less than the least of all God's people" (Eph. 3:8).
Yet how easily can the dignity of the office be debased. When a man begins to "stand on his dignity" he is falling into the sin of pride. True dignity has nothing whatever to do with pomposity or putting on "airs and graces". We recognise this at once if we recall that the Lord Jesus was the most worthy, the most dignified, person that has ever walked the earth. Yet he was ever humble and approachable, the one to whom children loved to turn. The clergyman will carry his worthy office with true dignity as he leams to walk humbly before God and man. Vanity and arrogance lead to behaviour and manners which are undignified. There can be no place for them in one who knows the dignity of the office to which he is called.
1 Addresses and Papers of Michael Lloyd Ferrar, edited by the Archbishop of Dublin, p. 98 (S.P.C.K.). b*
It is also an office of great importance. This again is completely different from self-unportance. The importance of the work to which a clergyman is called will give him a sense of urgency in its fulfilment, and a desire to forget himself in his service of God and his fellow men. While every Christian is Christ's representative in the world, the clergyman is in a special sense an ambassador for Christ. The people who are alienated from Christianity, as alas so many are today, will receive their "image" of God from what they see in their clergy. Moreover, while all Christians should be witnesses by life and by word, a special responsibility rests upon the ordained minister. Through him the Church is to be built up, and the gospel preached. Though the place of tile laity is increasingly being appreciated, it remains true that the life of a parish depends more on the clergyman than on any other single factor. The spiritual temperature of a congregation cannot easily rise above that of its pastor, though no doubt the spiritual life of individuals in the congregation often does.
How important then is the office to which the minister is called. So much depends on him. And yet he has to leam that in the end it all depends on God. Not only must he rid himself of any notion of self-importance. He must leam to see that he, as a person, is not indispensable. He must not take himself too seriously. To do so is really only to indulge in a subtle form of clerical pride. Good advice was given to a group of candidates at an ordination retreat which one at least of those present has never forgotten, though it was more than thirty years ago. It was to the effect that weihould cultivate the habit of getting outside ourselves, taking" a long look at ourselves as we appear from outside, and then having a good laugh at the ridiculous picture we present! It will certainly prick the bubble of self-importance.


This office of such dignity and importance is something whereunto ye are called. Though there is the external call, which Charles Simeon described as "the ecclesiastic appointment by the Church to officiate", there must also be the internal call, "the entire surrender of the heart and soul to God to be for his glory and service". [Essay by Michael Hennell, Charles Simeon, 1759-1836, p. 148 (S.P.C.K., 1959)].
There is often much confusion, and much heart-searching, as to what constitutes a call to the ministry. The truth is that there are as many different ways of hearing the call as there are people to hear it. No two men receive their vocation in the same way. In St. Mark 3 :13 we read that Jesus "went up into the hill country and called the men he wanted; and they went out and joined him". The men he wanted. Ultimately the choice lies deep in the sovereign will of God. We cannot tell why he chooses this one and not that one. Every man truly called will recognise the truth of our Lord's words to the Twelve. "You did not choose me: I chose you" ( St. John 15: 16). It is this knowledge which holds a man steady when he is tempted to give up in despair because of his unworthiness and sense of failure.
The call of the Old Testament prophets has something to teach us about the variety of ways in which God's voice is heard. The earliest of the prophets was Amos, whose call .is related by himself in Amos 7:14, 15. He at once disclaims any connection with the prophets as a professional class. "I am no prophet, nor one of the sons of the prophets". He is not referring to the fact that his father was not a prophet, but that he did not himself belong to one of the "schools" known as "the sons of the prophets". He was a farmer whose work of tending mountain sheep and dressing sycamore trees kept him in the waste places of the wilderness. Here he held communion with God, and pondered the needs of his corrupt nation. It was as he followed the flock that the Lord took him and said, "Go, prophesy to my people Israel". It looked like a sudden and dramatic call, but it was surely the outcome of a long process of getting to know the mind of God while he was still following his occupation as a farmer. Isaiah's case was utterly different. He was a leading statesman whose friendship with King Uzziah dominated his outlook. Then Uzziah died, in circumstances which must have caused Isaiah much grief (2 Chron. 26:16-21). His human prop had been removed. It was no coincidence that at that precise point in his life he had a vision of God. Its immediate effect was to stir in him a deep sense of personal sin, and of involvement in the sin of the nation. Confession of sin was followed by an experience of forgiveness and cleansing, unmistakably the gift of God. And being thus brought near to the Lord, he was able to hear his voice saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" It was not a command to Isaiah to go. It has been described as an overhearing of God's soliloquy. But the effect on the young man who had seen God and himself in a new light, and been restored through forgiveness to a right relationship, was to call forth an immediate response: "Here I am! Send me." He became a glad volunteer. And God, who needed a messenger, said to this man whose life had just been cleansed, "Go" (Isa. 6:1-9).
Ezekiel was different again. He was a priest among the exiles in Babylon when "the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God" (Ezek. i: i). After the vision, which is described in highly symbolic language, he fell on his face and heard a voice. He was given an explicit commission to go to the people of Israel. The response of Ezekiel was anything but enthusiastic. "The Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and Is;v?e^t in bitterness in the heat of my spirit, the hand of the Lord being strong upon me" (Ezek. 3: i4). We get the impression that he would willingly have gone anywhere else if he could. But there was a divine constraint upon him and, against all his inclinations, he went.
These three examples will suffice to illustrate the point that God calls his messengers in a variety of ways. The call of Amos came gradually as a result of his growing knowledge of God. Isaiah volunteered to go for the Lord when his heart was overflowing with gratitude. Ezekiel had clear orders and obeyed them, though it went against the grain. Yet in spite of the great differences, there were certain things common to all. In every case a knowledge of God preceded the call to service. This is brought out also in our Lord's calling of the Twelve: "He appointed twelve as his companions, whom he would send out to proclaim the Gospel." Companionship with Christ came before active service for him. Again, all our three prophets were quite certain that it was God who was calling. Every man truly called to the Christian ministry will have a different story to tell of just how the conviction came that this was God's call, but they know it was. And further, the prophets obeyed with a sense of compulsion.
However hesitant an ordinand may be about his own suitability, he should be able to say that this is something which he must do. "I can do no other, so help me God" is the right attitude.
It is well that this question of an inward call should be faced at the very beginning, as is done in the first question put to the candidates for Deacon's Orders. [See later, p. 84.]
There is still a possibility that a man might "drift" into Ordination, and even the existence of C.A.C.T.M. Selection Boards, which of course make no claim to infallibility, may not be able to prevent it. Michael Ferrar in the book already quoted, illustrates such a possibility. "A lad has been destined for the ministry by those around him. He finds himself so destined and he acquiesces. He is naturally of a quiet disposition with no strong passions to lead him astray. He grows up a respectable young man, with no definite religious character, no woe is me if I preach not the Gospel. The clergyman's mode of life appears to suit him. He wishes to be useful. While giving up hopes of great wealth, he expects to gain, without much effort, a secure living. He visualises his moderate comforts and the quiet happiness of family life with the girl of whom he is fond. Can such sentiments be called an intention to serve God for the promoting of his glory? For those words to be true there must be a personal devotion of the self to God" (p. 119).
"No 'woe is me if I preach not the Gospel!'" Charles Simeon said the internal call will usually come "partly from a sense of obligation to him for his redeeming love, partly from a compassion for the ignorant and perishing multitudes around us, and partly from a desire to be an honoured instrument in the Redeemer's hands". [Sermon on the Excellence of the Liturgy, quoted by Michael Hoindl, Charles Simeon, p. 148.]
' While it is quite wrong for anyone—parent, pastor or friend— to usurp the place of the Holy Spirit in directing a man to offer for Ordination, it is nevertheless true that all may be instruments whom God uses to convey a sense of vocation. The church whose ministry is conspicuously centred in the redeeming love of Christ, with an evangelistic outreach into the parish and far beyond it, and a constant call to sacrificial service, backed by the example of lay leaders and clergy alike, is most likely to produce candidates for the ministry.
It is inevitable that some will offer who eventually are not accepted. This is not to say that they did wrong in offering. It may be a necessary part of God's discipline for them that they should show themselves willing to answer the call if it comes clearly. Sometimes God's word to a volunteer will be the same as was said to David when he wanted to build the temple: "You did well that it was in your heart" (i Kings 8:18). The purpose of the Church's machinery for selection and training is not merely to accept one and turn down Another, but to help all to find God's plan for their lives. The" shortage of men for the ministry must never blind us to the need for a divine vocation. A majority of Christian men will always be called to remain as laymen, including some who may pass through the stage of earnestly seeking God's will about offering for Ordination. But for those who are called to the Priesthood it is good that they should ponder much of what dignity, and of how great importance, this office is

Chapter V


And now again we exhort you. in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you have in remembrance into how high a Dignity and to how weighty an Office and Charge ye are called: that is to say. to be Messengers. Watchmen and Stewards of the Lord. the opening sentence of the Bishop's address, the subject of comment in the last chapter, began with the words:
You have heard. Brethren. It was a recalling to mind of the things which should already be well known. The second sentence, our subject in this chapter, begins with:
And now again we exhort you. Old truths need to be constantly repeated in order that they may stir the will to action. In exhorting the candidates to have in remembrance into how high a Dignity, and to how weighty an Office and Charge ye are called, the Bishop enumerates the several parts of the Office: Messengers, Watchmen, and Stewards of the Lord. Until 1662, Pastors occurred between Watchmen and Stewards. We may regret the omission of the word, but what it stands for is fully covered in the later reference to seeking for Christ's sheep.


The idea of the Lord's servant as a messenger is used frequently in the Old Testament. 'Then Haggai, the messenger of the Lord, spoke to the people with the Lord's message" (Hag. 1:13). "For the life of a priest should guard knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts" (Mal. 2:7). The thought, though not the word, is expressed in the well known words. "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, 'Your God reigns' " (Isa. 52:7). In the New Testament there are several Greek words which carry the idea of "messenger". The commonest is angelos which is any kind of envoy, such as the messengers sent by John the Baptist to Jesus (St. Luke 7:24). It is used also of an angel, a messenger from God. In St. Mark i: 2, where the Authorised Version has, "Behold I send my messenger before thy face", the New English Bible translates, "Here is my herald whom I send on ahead of you". The usual Greek word for a herald is keryx. For instance, in i Timothy 2:7 we read "Of this (gospel) I was appointed herald and apostle (this is no lie, but the truth), to instruct the nations in the true faith". The Authorised Version has "a preacher and an apostle".
Apostolos is the third word for a messenger. It is so translated in 2 Cor. 8:23 (Authorised Version), "they are the messengers of the churches". The New English Bible has "they are delegates of our congregations".
The basic idea then of a messenger is one who is sent by another, usually of greater importance than himself, to pass on some piece of news. An example of this is the ambassador who delivers an ultimatum to the head of the government of the country in which he is serving. So St. Paul could say: "We come therefore as Christ's ambassadors". "As earthly kings are represented by their ambassadors", said Charles Simeon, "and speak by them in foreign courts, so the Lord Jesus Christ himself speaks by his ministers: they stand in his stead; they speak in his name; their word is not their own, but his; and must be received 'not as the word of man, but as it is in truth, the word of God' ". [Quoted by Michael Hennell, ut supra, p. 150.]
But an ambassador is not the only kind of messenger. There is the herald, the old-fashioned town-crier, the purveyor of news. Today we think in terms of the newspaper, the wireless, the television. They are all messengers, announcing to the world the things that have happened. So is the messenger of the Lord to proclaim what God has done for the salvation of his people. Nor should we forget the humbler kind of messenger who plays a vital part in daily life: the messenger boy in business, or even the little child in the home who leams to "take a message" for mother. Every aspect of the metaphor of a messenger helps to illuminate the office of a Christian minister.
The first essential is that he should have a message to deliver. "Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no tidings ready?" (2 Sam. 18:22 Authorised Version). The message to be given is nothing less than "the whole purpose of God" (Acts 20:27). That purpose is disclosed in the scriptures, and it is essential that the ordained messenger should know his Bible. Within the framework of the scriptures it is usual to distinguish the "teaching", which is instruction for those already within the Christian fold, and the "preaching", the good news to be heralded to those who are ignorant of it, or who have not yet responded to it. Whether or not the distinction should be pressed must be left for scholars to decide. [See J. R. W. Stott, The Preacher's Portrait, p. 33 (Tyndale Press).] The fact remains that in the practical work of the ministry it is impossible to draw a clear line of demarcation. It is a combination of "Woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel" with "I have not shunned to declare unto you the whole counsel of God" which makes a true messenger. Not only must the messenger have a message, he must also be obedient in delivering it. This means giving it in its entirety, without either subtracting from it or adding to it. And the Lord who sends his messenger also tells him to whom it is to be delivered. It is part of the obedience of the Christian minister to go wherever God sends him. There is no such thing as a true messenger of the Lord who stipulates that he will not go to certain places. There may be circumstances, such as health, which will make it impossible for him to work in certain climates. There may be spheres of work for which he is obviously more suited than for others. Such indications will help in the discovery of the place of God's choice, for he guides partly through circumstances. But there must be no choosing from selfish motives, no seeking for their own sake of the congenial sphere or the better worldly advantage. This question of being willing to go anywhere needs to be faced at the outset by all who would be God's messengers. One who had a singularly useful ministry described himself, without a trace of affectation, as "God's messenger boy". It was said of a clergyman who died comparatively young, having burned himself out in several difficult spheres in Africa and in London: "He was neither a social nor an ecclesiastical climber." Words spoken in an ordination sermon as long ago as 1930 are worth quoting in this connection: "You will gain a blessed peace, and increase your usefulness tenfold, if you resolve today that you will never seek preferment, and never choose the place where you will work. Trust your heavenly Father, who has called you to the priesthood to reveal his will to you as to where he wants you to work. 'Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?' is the heartfelt cry of the converted man." [W. J. B. Scott in St. Paul's Cathedral (Church Times. Oct. 10th. 1930].
One further point of importance about a messenger is that he has a limited responsibility. If he has faithfully delivered the message, he is not to blame if it is not believed or acted on. Faithfulness, rather than continual success, is what is asked of God's messenger. Nevertheless he should deliver the message in the expectation that there will be a response. He should preach in such a way as to demand a verdict. There is real danger in overstressing the undoubted truth that results are in God's hands, not in ours. A clergyman may get to the point of never expecting anything to happen, an attitude which is due to lack of faith rather than to humility. But in the last analysis, the messenger is to deliver the message "whether they hear or refuse to hear" (Ezek. 2:5). That he himself should be deeply concerned about the outcome of the message is also true, and for this reason other metaphors besides that of the messenger are needed to describe his work.


The word itself is used frequently in the Old Testament. The watchman would be stationed in a watch-tower, which might be either a building in the fields or vineyards, to guard from molestation by wild animals or robbers, or a citadel on the wall of a town from which to keep a lookout for hostile armies or bearers of news (2 Sam. 18:24-27). The watchman is the guardian of the safety of those committed to his care. In the Old Testament the word is also used figuratively. The prophet Habakkuk says: "I will take my stand to watch, and station myself on the tower, and look forth to see what (the Lord) will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint" (Hab. 2:1). Here we have the thought of the watchman climbing the tower in order to gain the distant view. In Isaiah 21:11 there is another metaphorical use of the word when a messenger comes to ask the prophet: "Watchman, what of the night?" He is expected to discern the signs of the times more readily because he is a man of God. The passages, however, which speak most clearly about the function of the watchman as guardian of those in his care, are in Ezekiel (3:16-21 and 33:1-9). These two passages are very similar, and contain some of the most solemn warnings in the Bible. The prophet is made a watchman for the house of Israel. If he failed to give warning of impending doom, so that a man might turn from his wickedness and live, that man's blood would be required at the watchman's hand. The destinies of men depend upon his faithfulness. The constant repetition, and the detailed application of the principle to various circumstances, make Ezekiel's warnings very searching reading. Are we Justified in taking the words of an Old Testament prophet and applying them to the Christian minister? Is the Ordinal right in using the metaphor of the watchman? There are New Testament passages which suggest that it is. One is Hebrews 13:17: "Obey your leaders and defer to them: for they are tireless in their concern for you, as men who must render an account. Let it be a happy tasK for them and not pain and grief, for that would bring you no advantage." Tireless in their concern for you! Here is the wakeful, watchful guardian of your souls. Indeed, not only the Authorised Version but the Revised Standard Version, and others, keep the word "watch". 'They are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account."
The watchman's duty was to warn. St. Paul is a great example here: "Him we proclaim, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man mature in Christ" (Col. i: 28, Revised Standard Version). In his farewell to the elders of Ephesus he said: "Remember how for three years, night and day, I never ceased to counsel each of you, and how I wept over you" (Acts 20:31). But the supreme watchman was our Lord himself. "When I was with them", he said in his high priestly prayer, "I protected by the power of thy name those whom thou has given me, and kept them safe. Not one of them is lost except the man who must be lost, for scripture has to be fulfilled" (St. John 17:12). In the last sentence we are introduced to the mystery of Judas: even ttoe divine watchman did nolfkeep him. Indeed, many of the warnings of Jesus to the muftitudes also fell on deaf ears. We come back to the word of Ezekiel: that if we have given the warning faithfully, even if it is rejected, we have delivered our souls.
We must not omit the thought of the watchman on Ac tower looking out to the far horizons. In that sense also the minister is to be a watchman. For he is to discem the signs of the times, to see more clearly than others God's purpose for the world, and so to be able to give the message with that urgency which is bom of relevance. In other words, to be a watchman requires a high degree, not only of pastoral oversight, but of prophetic insight. There must be an answer when the question comes: "Watchman, what of the night?"


All Christian people, not only the clergy, are messengers and watchmen, and the same is true of stewards. The clergy have a special responsibility, and in the case of stewards we have New Testament support for applying the word in a particular sense to ministers: "For as God's steward a bishop must be a man of unimpeachable character" (Tit. i :7). This does not give the ordained minister the exclusive right to the term, and in other passages the word can equally apply to all believers. Yet the presbyter, or elder, bears the heavier end of the responsibility. Stewardship in the context of the Christian life is just what the word suggests in its natural meaning. A steward in New Testament times was the manager, or superintendent, of a house or estate. In St. Luke 16:1-8, the story usually known as the parable of the unjust steward, the New English Bible calls him the "dishonest bailiff". The steward has authority over people, but it is an authority delegated from above. Nothing that he has is his own. He must always be ready to give an account of his stewardship. And yet he has a real degree of independence and room for initiative. He has a dual relationship to maintain, with those over him, and those under him. The present-day shop-steward is a good example. So the minister is set over others, but always under the Lord. Sometimes a clergyman will refer to his parishioners as "my people". They are indeed the people whom he has been called to serve, and the use of the expression is harmless enough. But he needs always to remember that they are really the Lord's people, not his. They are his only in the sense that the responsibility for ministering to them has been delegated to him. Their welfare is the task that God has assigned to him. It is true that the Bishop, as the chief pastor, has the ultimate authority under God. That is why, when a new incumbent is instituted to the cure of souls' as in a parish, the Bishop says: "Receive this cure, yours and mine." But in practice the stewardship of his parish is a burden which the incumbent himself must bear, remembering the solemn account which he must one day give before the judgment seat of Christ. This is not the only kind of stewardship which applies to the minister. In i Peter 4:10 we read: "Whatever gift each of you may have received, use it in service to one another, like good stewards dispensing the grace of God in its varied forms." The Church at large has come in recent years to a new understanding of the stewardship of money. This is to be welcomed, though not all will necessarily approve the methods sometimes used to bring home to people their obligations. It is good that what is called the "stewardship movement" has gone on to stress the stewardship of time and talents. There is nothing new in this. It is implicit in the elementary Christian truth that "you do not belong to yourselves; you were bought at a price" (i Cor. 6:19, 2o). At every Communion service we are to "offer and present unto thee, 0 Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy and lively sacrifice unto thee". The principle of stewardship has always been there.
What does need to be recognised is that the gifts which each has received from God vary enormously. It is as each uses his gift in service-la one another that all, like good stewards, are dispensing the "variegated" grace of God. This is abundantly true of the Christian ministry. John Newton, the saintly vicar of St. Mary Woolnoth, wrote: "In my imagination I sometimes fancy I could make a perfect minister. I take the eloquence of A, the [1 Care of souls = care of souls. Hence curate = parochial Jap man. not only curate-assistant.] knowledge of B, the zeal of C, and the pastoral meekness, tenderness and piety of D; then, putting them all together into one man, I say to myself. This would be a perfect minister'. Now there is One Who, if he chose it, could actually do this: but He never did. He has seen fit to do otherwise, and to divide these gifts to every man severally as He will." The knowledge that God has given to each minister some gifts to supply what is lacking in others is an added spur to faithfulness in stewardship.
But there is a third sense in which the minister is a steward. "We must be regarded as Christ's underlings and as stewards of the secrets of God. Well, then, stewards are expected to show themselves trustworthy" (i Cor. 4:1, 2). The reference is to the message given us to proclaim, the "mysteries", or things revealed by God. "The Christian preacher's message, therefore, is derived neither directly from the mouth of God, as if he were an apostle or prophet, nor from his own mind, like the false prophets, nor undigested from the minds and mouths of others, like the babbler, but from the once revealed and now recorded Word of God, of which he is a privileged steward."1 The trustworthiness of the steward of the Gospel consists in his passing on the message, without addition or subtraction, as he has received it from God. "First and foremost," wrote St. Paul, "I handed on to you the facts which had been imparted to me" (i Cor. 15:3).
A beautiful illustration of stewardship is found in the story of Abraham's servant seeking a wife for Isaac (Gen. 24). Without indulging in far-fetched allegorising, we can see in it a picture of the Christian steward in his service of the Church, the bride of Christ. The servant is not named, though it may well have been Eliezer (Gen. 15:2) who was entrusted with so great a task. His was a tremendous responsibility; but he went in humble dependence on God's guidance, and spoke continually, not of himself, but of "my master". "It is not ourselves that we
[' J. R. W. Stott, ut supra, p. 15. He has a whole chapter on
the preacher as a steward. proclaim; we proclaim Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants, for Jesus' sake" (2 Cor. 4;^).

Chapter VI


To teach and to premonish, to feed and provide for the Lord's family; to seek for Christ's sheep that are dispersed abroad, and for his children who are in the midst of this naughty world, that they may be saved through Christ for ever.
Those who are called to be messengers, watchmen and stewards of the Lord have a twofold responsibility: towards the people who are already within the Church, and towards those who are outside. The one represents a pastoral ministry, the other an evangelistic. It is, however, impossible in practice to draw a clear line of demarcation between the two. The Ordinal recognises this.
The words on which we now comment are not applicable only to the evangelist, or only to the pastor. They suggest a combination of both. We picture the evangelist as a fisherman, baiting his hook, trying to land his catch. The pastor is like a shepherd, crook in hand, guiding and encouraging the sheep. But, as the Bishop of Liverpool has put it, people are not won by hook or by crook, but by hook and by crook.
If this was true in sixteenth century England, so that it is recognised in the Bishop's address, it is even more true today. In this country we have of course the faithful, the nucleus of committed Christians. They are in a vital sense the Lord's family. In many places it appears to be a small family, but it needs pastoral care. At the other end there is a proportion of the population which repudiates Christianity altogether. Its doctrines and ethical standards are meaningless to them and they openly reject them. These people are not outside the scope of the Church's concern, but in the nature of the case the approach to them will be what is sometimes called pre-evangelism. But between these two there is a whole mass of people, probably the biggest part of the population, who are neither wholly committed nor openly opposed. They vary enormously. Some may be more or less regular attenders at services, for it is certainly not safe to equate conversion with church-going. More are occasional worshippers, enjoying the festival services at Christmas, Easter and Harvest. Others never attend an ordinary service of worship, but are pleased that the Church is there for such "occasions" as Baptism, Marriage and Burial. They have themselves been baptised, some even confirmed, and they want their children to be given religious instruction. They may criticise the Church as a whole, but they appreciate the ministrations of their own clergyman, and some turn to him in time of trouble. Among this very large body of people who are not opposed to the Church, but fluctuate between indifference and mild interest, the pastor-evangelist finds his greatest scope.


To teach and to premonish. The Church of England, with its emphasis on the Bible, is a teaching Church. It has been said that Christianity is caught, not taught; but this is a dangerous half-truth. Christian enthusiasm is infectious, but there must be a solid basis of knowledge of the facts of the faith if the enthusiasm is to last. Not that teaching is to be merely academic. To premonish means to forewarn. This brings a note of urgency into the teaching. It is doctrine applied to life. The teacher aims not only to instruct the mind, but to awake the conscience, and to gain the consent of the will for the truth imparted. The Church has laid down guiding principles as to what is to be taught. In the preface to the Confirmation service it is stated "that none hereafter shall be Confirmed, but such as can say the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the ten Commandments". The Creed is a summary of what a Christian believes. Here are the facts of our faith brought together in tabloid form. It was originally a baptismal confession, and it is right that children should leam it by heart. But the understanding of it is a gradual progression. The Christian minister finds that in the exposition of the great facts of our religion he has material enough for a lifetime of teaching and preaching. The Lord's Prayer is a summary of all Christian devotion. People need to be taught not only the gospel truths of what God has done, but also the way in which man must respond. The Ten Commandments are a summary of how a Christian behaves. They are the basis of Christian ethics. It takes a lifetime to leam, and to apply, the implications of these fundamental laws.
So the minister is to teach what God has done, his "saving acts" as they are called, how man must respond, and the kind of life which will result from that response. All this, summarised succinctly in the Creed, the Lord's Prayer and the Ten Commandments, is really the entire message of the Bible. As we shall see when dealing with the ordination vows, all instruction is to be such as "may be concluded and proved by the Scriptures". Far from limiting his scope or cramping his style, the minister who is a true teacher finds that here are opened up horizons far wider than he will ever be able to cover, though he live to be a hundred.
Teaching begins in earliest childhood in what Carlyle called "that greatest academy, a mother's knee". Here the pastor has delegated his teaching ministry to the only two who can do it at this age, the parents. He may be called upon to help with advice, Or to recommend books of first prayers and Bible stories. Later, while hoping that Ac teaching in the home will still continue, he entrusts Ac instruction of the children to lay people who act as Sunday school teachers, Bible class leaders, or helpers in a Children's Church. Again he will be able to help with advice, and perhaps to train the teachers or conduct a preparation class. In parishes where workers are few he may take a major part in the actual teaching, but it is an obvious advantage if he can spread the load by encouraging lay teachers. Many clergy also have the opportunity of giving religious instruction in day schools, or at least of showing interest in the work of those who are doing so.
The clergyman's biggest opportunity of teaching the Faith comes with the confirmation class. For a minimum of six months—some prefer to spread it over two years —he has a group of young people who have come to him for the express purpose of learning about the Christian Faith, in preparation for a vital step which should involve them in complete commitment to Christ. For the syllabus of instruction he need not look beyond the Catechism. How this can be the basis of a full course of instruction will be seen by reference to The Catechism by Canon Frank Colquhoun, in this same series of Prayer Book Commentaries. At the end of the classes the young people should have a sufficient knowledge of Christian truth, and the Christian way of life, to allow them to make an intelligent and well considered decision for Christ. That many do, and prove the reality of it by their subsequent faithfulness, is one of the richest rewards of a clergyman's life.
Confirmation is the beginning of something new: adult life in the Church. From the point of view of knowledge gained it is like an entrance exam into the Christian school of life. Those who regard it as the equivalent of a leaving examination have missed the point. Now must begin the serious business of studying more deeply the Faith that has been openly professed at confirmation. The pastor must consider what opportunities he will provide for teaching the adult members of the flock. In many parishes a weekday Bible study, in the form of a lecture by the clergyman, has been found profitable. It combines exegesis—explaining what the passage means—with exposition—bringing out the message and applying it to the present situation. Other parishes prefer the "cell" method, small groups meeting in private houses for study and discussion. This has the advantage of a more intimate fellowship, and it helps people to think and speak for themselves. But it needs to be in the hands of a leader who will not let the discussion wander too far from the topic of study. Valuable "helps" are available from a number of sources.
The teaching programme of a parish makes heavy demands upon a clergyman's time, for it involves much preparation, but it is abundantly worth while. It will produce a body of Christians who can obey the command: "Be always ready with your defence whenever you are called to account for the hope that is in you" (i Pet 3:15). But teaching by the parochial minister is not enough. He must encourage the people to teach themselves. Daily Bible reading is of utmost importance in the Christian life, and most clergy recommend a ready-made system of reading. The Scripture Union, with headquarters at S, Wigmore Street, London, W.I, and the Bible Reading Fellowship, 12 Buckingham Palace Gardens, London, S.W.I, are two which have a very large circulation, and provide notes on the daily portions in a series of booklets suited to different age groups. Some of the maturer Christians in a parish may be expected to engage in more advanced Bible study, with the help of commentaries recommended by the clergy. And all should be encouraged to read suitable books. Often a book is suggested for reading during Lent; but if in Lent, why not at other times? A bookstall and a lending library are useful adjuncts of parish life.


To feed and provide fortthe' Lord's family. Much of what has already been said about teaching may also be regarded as feeding the people. Spiritual life is nourished by the ministry of the Word of God. When Simon Peter was reinstated in the service of the Lord after the Resurrection, he was commanded to feed the sheep and lambs of Christ's flock. We may apply this particularly to the pulpit ministry Sunday by Sunday, which, although it comes under the general heading of teaching, is for many the principal source of their spiritual nourishment. The sermon is a vital point of worship. It is a corporate act, in which the whole congregation waits upon God for his Word. Much of the power of preaching depends on the prayerfulness and expectancy of the people. An understanding of this is part of the re-discovery of the place of the laity in the life of the Church.
It is however upon the preacher himself that the heaviest responsibility lies. He is to feed and provide for the Lord's family. This involves him in careful preparation by prayer and study. A preacher dare not stand before his hearers with a few thoughts hastily thrown together on the Saturday evening. He must have wrestled with the text of scripture, prayed over it, thought through it, read round it, and worked himself right into it, in order that he may deliver to the people what God has given to him. St. Paul has a word to say about "those who labour at preaching and teaching" (i Tim. 5:17). Woe to the man who finds he has a fatal facility for ready speech, and as a result ceases to labour in preparation for the pulpit.
Not all preachers are equally gifted by nature, but all may leam to become reasonably proficient. Two subjects taught in the theological college are worthy of far more time than can usually be given to them. They are homiletics and voice production, the arts of sermon construction and sermon delivery. They tend to be crowded out by the more academic subjects in which examinations have to be taken. Yet a man may be full of sound theology, but if he is not able to put a sermon together in a form which will "get across" to his hearers, his ministry will be crippled. And even the best constructed sermon is useless if it cannot be heard, or if some mannerism of voice or gesture distracts the listeners. Much may be learned during training, and the ruthless criticisms of fellow-students, not to mention the devastating faithfulness of the tape-recorder, can help to point the way to improvement.
The true preacher is learning all the time. When possible it is good to listen to experts, however discouraging the experience. The famous essayist and preacher, F. W. Boreham, near the beginning of his ministry, made it his business to hear every accomplished speaker he could—politician, lawyer, lecturer, or preacher—and study their methods. There are many books on preaching which should be studied with care. The Craft of the Sermon by the late Dr. W. E. Sangster is by a master of the art. So is Heralds of God by Dr. James S. Stewart, a book to inspire any disheartened preacher to try again.
There are signs of an awakened interest in the subject, as witnessed by the formation of the College of Preachers under the inspiration of the Archbishop of York and the direction of the Rev. D. W. Cleverley Ford, both of whom have written valuable books on preaching.* Some of the older classics on the subject are still to be treasured, such as those by Phillips Brooks and R. W. Dale. And any who like wisdom spiced with wit will find immense value in Spurgeon's lectures to his students.
What is required for the feeding of the Lord's family? In the first place, a balanced diet. All preachers must guard against the tendency to labour a few truths which are their special hobby horses. The whole wide range of Christian truth must, in course of time, be laid before the people. That is not to say that everything must be brought into one sermon! One of the faults of beginners is to try to say too much at one time. A second requirement for the nourishment of the people is to give them such food as they can assimilate. St. Paul speaks about milk for infants and solid food for grown-ups (i Cor. 3: i, 2). There are also some who are not infants, but can nevertheless only digest a fairly light diet. Much depends on the fare being put forward in palatable form. But above all it must be the pure food of the Word of God. Where this is ewen in the power of the Holy Spirit it will never have to [The Archbishop of York, Stewards of Grace: D. W. Cleverley Font Aa Expository 'Preacher's Notebook (Hodder).] be said that "the hungry sheep look up and are not fed"


To seek for Christ's sheep. In the parable of the lost sheep the shepherd left the ninety-nine in the open pasture and went after the missing one until he found it. No pastor can be satisfied while one of his flock is lost. As we look at the parishes of our land we are inclined to think that the proportion is the other way round, that there are ninety-nine sheep that are lost and only one in the shelter of the fold. The multitude is outside. But they are Christ's sheep. This is how he himself regarded them: "sheep without a shepherd" (St. Matt. 9:36). They are his by creation and his by redemption. A majority of them have been claimed for him in baptism. (Still some sixty per cent of the population are baptised in the Church of England.) Some belong to other Churches, and while we wait for the day when there will be complete unity, we regard them, not as rivals as was once unhappily the case, but as partners. And the rest, be they of some non-Christian religion, or pseudo-Christian heresy, or no religion at all, are all to be looked upon as Christ's sheep that are dispersed abroad.
The pastor is to seek for them. The Ordinal gives no detailed instructions as to how this is to be done. It involves a certain attitude to people rather than a particular method. Whether the clergyman is preaching in church, or conducting a funeral, or preparing a couple for marriage, or visiting the parents of a baby to be baptised, he is on the look-out for opportunities to "do the work of an evangelist" (2 Tim. 4: i,. Authorised Version). In parishes of a reasonable size it should be possible for the parson to get to know everyone. This is the ideal, but it is doubtful if any one man can know personally more than a thousand people. Today there are parishes with as many as 40,000 population, and 10,000 is quite a common figure. In many parishes of 5,000 or more a clergyman is single-handed. He is probably so fully occupied with the nurturing of the congregation, the care of the sick, and the cases of special need brought to his attention, in addition to keeping the whole parochial machinery going, that he has little time left for those who are completely outside.
It follows that, if the work of evangelism is to be done at all, it must be a joint undertaking of parson and people.
The clergyman's most important task is the inspiring and training of the laity for the work of spreading the gospel. It may be that this truth has been forced upon us by the growth in population and the shrinkage in the number of the clergy. But it is not merely a matter of expediency. It is the whole Church, not just its ordained ministers, that is called to evangelise. The winning of people for Christ, from the days of the Acts of the Apostles until now, has been as much the result of lay witness as of clerical ministry. The stewardship movement, with its insistence on laymen undertaking the visiting, has shown what can be done. Lay people have responded magnificently and, after training, have proved most effective. The same kind of thing needs to be extended, so that not only are people with church affiliations visited in connection with a stewwardship campaign, but through consecrated and trained lay witness the Church will take "the gospel to every man's door".1 There are parishes in which this is done regularly, and others where it has been effective .in connection with a parochial mission, a campaign to increase the circulation of the magazine, or some other special effort. The Church Army has made a speciality of this work, and is always ready with advice and valuable training material.2 i :
It is a great mistake, however, to think of organised parochial activity as the chief opportunity for lay witness- Every lay Christian touches his fellow-men in business and social contacts in a way the clergyman never can. It is there, by the quality of the life lived and by the 1 The motto of the Church Pastoral-Aid Society.
* The Church Army, 55, Bryanston Street, London, W.I.
word spoken as occasion arises, that the Church's finest work of evangelism takes place. It is a mistake to allow people to become so absorbed in parish activities that they have little time or thought for the more important business of witness on the frontiers. To change the metaphor, to save a man from drowning it is necessary to be alongside him in the water. This is where Christian lay people are, and it is partly up to the clergy to see that they are strong enough swimmers.
Clergy and people together seek for Christ's sheep that are dispersed abroad. The fact that they are "dispersed" indicates one important truth about all who are without Christ, They are not only lost to God, but lost to his flock, the Church. When the dispersed sheep have been found they are gathered together into one flock. The world lacks cohesion and unity. True community is to be found in the fellowship of forgiven sinners where each, knowing his own unworthiness, "should humbly reckon others better than yourselves" (Phil. 2:3). Evangelism seeks to bring people into this community. There is no such thing as a private and individual salvation which ignores the fellowship of the Church. We cannot have Christ without also having his people. And it is found in practice that the truly Christian community has an enormous evangelistic potentiality, as people who are lonely and belong nowhere see a fellowship which shares in common the joy of caring for those still outside.
From the midst of this naughty world, i.e. this world which without God is a thing of naught, a vain and empty thing. From this sort of world God's children are to be brought into the meaningful community of the Christian Church. We need not stumble at their being called God's children. In the truest and deepest sense the phrase "children of God" is reserved for those who have received Christ and are thereby bom "the offspring of God himself (St. John l: i2, 13). Nothing should be allowed to obscure the necessity of this new birth. But St. Paul'said to the men of Athens. "He is not far from each one of us, for in him we live and move, in him we exist; as some of your own poets have said, 'We are also his offspring'" (Acts 17:27, 28). All men are objects of the eternal fatherly love of God who created them, and in Christ redeemed them. That they may be saved through Christ for ever. In Christ they may be "made God's Children by adoption and grace" (Collect of Christmas Day). The pastor must never lose sight of the fact that every parishioner is a soul for whom Christ died. In him they may find reconciliation to God and an experience of salvation which will come to its perfect fruition only in eternity. This gives a sense of urgency to the work of pastoral evangelism, and leads the Bishop to press home certain points of personal responsibility.
We conclude this chapter with a prayer of Thomas Wilson (d. i7ss)> fifty eight years Bishop of Sodor and Man, used before an Institution:
0 great and good Shepherd, may this person whom I am going to send into thy service love thee so sincerely, that for thy sake he may have a tender concern for thy flock, that he may diligently feed and watch over them, that the enemy may not rob thee of any of those sheep which thou hast purchased with thy blood. They are thine, 0 save them for thy mercy's sake, and let none of them be lost or go astray through any fault of mine, or of those whom I send into thy service.'

Chapter VII


Have always therefore printed in your remembrance, how great is the treasure committed to your charge. For they are the sheep of Christ, which he bought with his death, and for whom he shed his blood
1 Quoted in Michael Lloyd Ferrar, ut supra, p. 129.
at the time of Ordination a young man is moved to great resolves. He has the highest ideals for his ministry and the care he will take with each individual. But the resolution to be faithful must be often repeated. He cannot go through life trusting in the emotional uplift of a great moment. He needs to have the solemn facts of the case always printed in his remembrance. He must recall to mind again and again how great is the treasure committed to his charge. Picture the scene in a museum in which is a delicate piece of china of elaborate design, superb in every detail, the product of a craftsmanship which no longer exists, and known to be the only one of its kind in all the world. It is unique and irreplaceable. Normally it reposes in safety in a glass-fronted case. But on this occasion it has to be removed to another building. What infinite precautions are taken against even the remotest possibility of mishap! And if this is the case with an earthly "treasure", how much greater should be the concern for the safety of human souls, every one of whom is a unique personality made by God for his own eternal purpose.
Yet it is not alone the uniqueness of each individual which gives to human personality its value. They are the sheep of Christ, which he bought with his death, and for whom he shed his blood. That is the measure of the value that God puts on a human soul. "The Son of God, who loved me and sacrificed himself for me" (Gal. 2: 2o). "He it is who sacrificed himself for us, to set us free from all wickedness and to make us a pure people marked out for his own, eager to do good" (Tit. 2:14). The blood of Christ was shed for all, not only that they might be delivered from their sins, but that they might belong to him and live for his glory. It is potentially true of all men: "You do not belong to yourselves; you were bought at a price" (i Cor. 6:19, 2o). But a unique treasure, bought at infinite cost, is not the only figure of speech to be used for the Church.
The Church and Congregation whom you must serve, is His Spouse and His Body. "Husbands, love your wives," said St. Paul, "as Christ also loved the church and gave himself up for it, to consecrate it, cleansing it by water and word, so that he might present the church to himself all glorious, with no stain or wrinkle or anything of the sort, but holy and without blemish" (Eph. 5:2^-27). The love of a husband for his wife is a pale reflection of the love of Christ for his Church. It is his bride, the object of his self-giving love. His desire for the Church is its perfection in holiness. This spouse of Christ the minister must serve, sharing the Bridegroom's concern for the bride.
St. Paul goes on: "In the same way men also are bound to love their wives, as they love their own bodies. In loving a wife a man loves himself. For no one ever hates his own body: on the contrary he provides and cares for it, and that is how Christ treats the Church, because it is his body, of which we are living parts" (Eph. ^: 28-30). The metaphor of the body is frequently used for the Church, especially to illustrate the variety of functions within the unity of the whole (e.g. i Cor. i2:12-26). But here in the Ordinal, as in Ephesians, it is used to show the one-ness of Christ with his Church. It is not only his spouse, but his very body. Therefore any harm done to the Church is harm done to Christ himself. And if it shall happen the same Church, or any member thereof, to take any hurt or hindrance by reason of your negligence, ye know the greatness of the fault, and also the horrible punishment that will ensue. In such solemn terms the Bishop sets forth the responsibility of being a pastor of Christ's flock. It is enough to make any man turn back. Tender consciences can sometimes be over-sensitive when reading such words. Not every defection on the part of a parishioner is due to the clergyman's negligence. Nor is every instance of alleged neglect so culpable as may at first appear. There are always people who will take every opportunity of finding fault with the clergy, without knowing the full facts of the case. The minister must leam to say: "My judge is the Lord" (i Cor. 4:4). Said an elderly clergyman to one just starting his first incumbency: "The biggest burden of a large parish is the knowledge of all the things that are left undone". But if, on humbly searching his heart before God, a clergyman is convicted of negligence, he must confess the greatness of the fault. And in common with all Christians, lay as well as clerical, he knows the rightness of daily acknowledging that "we have left undone those things which we ought to have done".
What is the horrible punishment that will ensue? William Perkins, fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge, in the sixteenth century, in his Treatise of the Duties and Dignities of the Ministry wrote: "Thus must he be diligent in season and out of season; for the least negligence in his duty or omitting the least opportunity of doing good will, when God visits his conscience, be a burden and vexation to him.'" This is punishment indeed. We cannot ignore the warning that "the fire will test the worth of each man's work. If a man's building stands, he will be rewarded; if it burns, he will have to bear the loss" (i Cor. 3:13, i4).
And in the same epistle St. Paul spoke of his "fear that after preaching to others I should find myself rejected" (i Cor. 9:27).


Wherefore consider with yourselves the end of your Ministry towards the children of God. towards the Spouse and Body of Christ; and see that you never cease your labour, your care and diligence, until you have done all that Ueth in you, according to your bounden duty, to bring all such as are, or shall be committed to your charge, unto that agreement in the faith and knowledge of God, and to that ripeness and perfectness of age in Christ, that there be no place left among you, either for error in religion, or for viciousness in life.
The end of your ministry, i.e. the purpose of it, the goal
' Quoted in Five Pastorals, edited by Thomas Wood, p. -15 (S.P.C.K.).
to which it is moving, is nothing less than that every sinner should be converted and every saint be wholly sanctified. Until that has happened the "end" is not in sight. It is sometimes said of a man who is entering the ministry that he is going into "full-time service". It is a misleading phrase, for every Christian is really in full-time service for God. But in view of the task presented here, no one could deny that the ordained ministry is a full-time, indeed a never-ending job.
To this end he is told: See that you never cease your labour, your care and diligence. These are words denoting supreme effort. About a hundred years ago there was published a volume of pastoralia called The Model Parish by the Rev. F. R. Wynne, who later exercised a wonderful ministry at St. Matthias, Dublin, and subsequently became Bishop of Killaloe. He devotes a whole chapter to what he calls "Laboriousness". He points out that while hard work must be a leading characteristic of a minister's life, there is no calling in which it is easier for a man to get slack if he is not watchful. This is probably less true today than it was then, for the Church as a whole has come to expect a high standard of work from its clergy. But Mr. Wynne points out that the characteristic of "laboriousness" must mark the quality as well as the quantity of ministerial work.
It is the great variety of a clergyman's labour which makes it possible for him to work long hours. And a conscientious clergyman does work long hours. It is difficult to write of this without appearing to ask for sympathy for the clergy, who certainly do not desire it. But lay people should know that Sunday is .by no means always the parson's "busy day", as they sometimes suggest, and that on weekdays there is very little time between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. that he is not on the job. "The job" includes prayer, study, preparation, visiting, letters, administration, services, meetings, clubs, classes, callers, interviews, committees, magazine editing, to name only some of the activities. It is all very exhilarating, for it is the most worth while work in the world, but there is no disguising the fact that it is "laborious".
There are several dangers arising out of the busy-ness of a clergyman's day. One is that the multitude of things to be done should crowd out the time for devotion. To this subject we shall return. Here we merely note the wisdom of the aphorism: "Beware of the barrenness of a busy life."* [Often quoted, if not originated, by Bishop J. Taylor Smith.]
Another danger is that he have too little time for his family and for the ordinary things of life, such as reading the newspaper. It should be possible at least to make meal times a definite break from work. The biggest danger of all is to health. No man can work seven days a week without paying the penalty, and parishioners should be taught to respect the weekly day off. On the subject of health Charles Simeon showed great wisdom. Michael Hennell writes: "He urged his friends to be sensible about their health. 'Don't let Satan make you overwork—and then put you out of action for a long period.' To his old friend. Bishop Daniel Wilson of Calcutta, he wrote congratulating him in this respect: 'It requires more deeply-rooted zeal for God to keep within our strength for his sake, than to exceed it. Look at all the young ministers: they run themselves out of breath in a year or two and in many instances never recover it. Is this wise?' A year after this letter was written Simeon died at the age of seventy-seven; Bishop Wilson lived to be eighty. Both died in harness after years of effective ministry. Perhaps they have a word to say to the parish priest today who prides himself on never taking a day off and becomes an easy prey to mental break-down."2 2 Charles Simeon, pp. 153 f (S.P.C.K.).
With these cautions duly noted, we return to the fact that the Ordinal enjoins labour, care and diligence for all who would serve in the sacred ministry. No man will presume to take this office upon him who is not prepared to give his utmost in hard work and diligence in every part of the ministerial life. While no clergyman can do all that will be expected of him by some of the laity, nor all that he himself would like to be able to do, he can, in the nature of things, do all that God means him to do. If he uses his God-given faculties to make himself efficient, and if he learns to be systematic and keep a right sense of priorities, it is surprising what can be accomplished. Priorities vary from man to man: this is part of the "variegated" grace of God. Each will find by experience the right way for himself. But for all, the warning of Jeremiah to Moab is relevant: "Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord with slackness" (Jer. 48: lo).


This diligence is to continue until you have done all that lieth in you. Every human agent has limitations, and God asks only for what each is able to give. It often happens that in the effort to do all that lies in us we discover reserves of ability which we did not suspect. The minister will find himself walking a narrow path between recognising his limitations on the one hand and not shrinking from the call to adventure on the other. It is natural to err on the side of perfectionism, but the realisation that no man can do more than his best is necessary to save him from despair. Wrote Mr. Wynne: "Our Lord knows the instrument with which he has to work. I am persuaded that much pain would be spared to devoted but not highly- gifted spirits, did they but consider well that temperament, and brain-power, and health, and opportunity are gifts of our Father in heaven, and that He never demands that the rough mason should carve the temple pillars, or that the hammer should dof'thework of the chisel. He never asks service for which He does not provide power. In the niche where He has placed each man, there He expects that he will stand and do his best."
"When you have carried out all your orders, you should say. 'We are servants and desire no credit; we have only done oar duty" " (St. Luke 17:10). There is no merit in doing -£ tinst lieth in you; it is simply according to your bounden duty. Whether it is possible to do more than one's duty is an academic question for the student of ethics. The Christian minister is inclined to reply in the familiar words of the Authorised Version, "We are unprofitable servants".
The solemn duty of the minister is to labour to bring all such as are or shall be committed to your charge to the fullness of Christian faith and character. At his Ordination as Deacon he is appointed to a spiritual charge, called a 'Title", normally as curate-assistant in a parish. When he comes to be ordained Priest he will have in his mind those among whom his work lies. They are his special care. But he will not stay in his first curacy for many years. Therefore the Ordinal speaks for those who are or shall be committed to your charge. Ordination is the beginning of a life-long ministry. The future is known only to God, but he has a plan for every life. Wherever the service of the coming years takes him—to work in the Church overseas, or in a home parish, or to some specialised task in hospital, or prison, or the forces—he will have souls committed to his charge.
They are to be brought to agreement in the faith and knowledge of God. Personal commitment, in trust and surrender, leads to knowing God. There is a world of difference between knowing about God and really knowing him. Without this knowledge there is no real life. "This is eternal life: to know thee who art truly God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent" (St. John 17:3). There is no greater privilege in the world than that of introducing another to Jesus Christ. But the knowledge of God which thus begins must continually grow. "Grow in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 3 :18). So the pastor must see to it that those who have come to know the Saviour are led on until they come to ripeness and perfectness of age in Christ. This is what St. Paul sees as the outcome of the varied ministry which is Christ's gift to his Church: "So shall we all at last attain to the unity inherent in our faith and our knowledge of the Son of God—to mature manhood, measured by nothing less than the full stature of Christ" (Eph. 4:13).
The "end" is not yet in sight, nor ever will be in this mortal life. But the ideal is always there: that there be no place left among you, either for error in religion, or for viciousness of life. We note the vital connection between these two things. False doctrine makes for wrong living. Righteousness of life issues from true teaching in religion. Happy the clergyman who can look back on a ministry in a number of places and can say of some, though perhaps not of all, among whom he has worked:
"I was delighted when friends came and told me how true you have been; indeed you are true in your whole life. Nothing gives me greater joy than to hear that my child- ren are living by the truth" (3 John 3, 4).

Chapter VIII


Forasmuch then as your Office is both of so great excellency, and of so great difficulty, ye see with how great care and study ye ought to apply yourselves, as well that ye may shew yourselves dutiful and thankful unto the Lord, who hath placed you in so high a Dignity; as also to beware, that neither you yourselves offend, nor be occasion that others offend. both the excellency and the difficulty of the ministry have been brought out in the first two paragraphs of the Bishop's address. In view of tfrese two facts the candidates are urged to apply themselves feth carefully and studiously to the work. In St. Paul's words: "Make these matters your business and your absorbing interest, so that your progress may be plain to see. Persevere in them, keeping close watch on yourself and your teaching" (i Tim. 4:15, 16). Application to every aspect of ministerial Me is essential for a number of reasons.
1. The motive of duty. That ye may shew yourselves dutiful. Duty may not be the highest of motives. It will not carry a clergyman through the whole of his ministry with the buoyancy and optimism which is characteristic of the Acts of the Apostles. But it is a motive, and when all else fails duty will keep a clergyman at his studies, his visiting, or whatever else may for the moment seem to be drudgery. There is an analogy here with marriage. It is to be hoped that it is not the mere fact of having taken a vow which keeps most marriages going. But if there is for a season a waning of the joys of marriage, the couple will be held together because duty demands fidelity to the vows made. As in marriage, so in the ministry, faithfulness through times of dullness is usually rewarded by a return of inspiration.
2. The motive of thankfulness. Thankful unto the Lord. "I thank him who has made me equal to the task, Christ Jesus our Lord; I thank him for judging me worthy of this trust and appointing me to his service" (i Tim. i: 12). To be called to the sacred ministry is the highest honour that God can bestow on a man. Humble gratitude is the only worthy response. Yet how easily can misguided friends suggest to an ordinand—if his own "old Adam" has not put the thought into his mind already—that he is doing something rather splendid in offering his services. Or a hard working parish priest allows himself to treasure the thought that he has indeed deserved the thanks of the Church for what he has done. In fact, any sacrifices of a material nature which are made when entering the ministry are as nothing when compared with the privilege of being called to such a life. The motive of gratitude should be a continual spur to higher levels of devotion and service.
3. That neither you yourselves offend. When a man becomes a parson he remains as human as he was before. It is possible that some of the temptations which he met as a layman will no longer trouble him—possible, but by no means certain. What is certain is that there are others which he will now have to meet. Said Richard Baxter:
"And the rather, also, take heed to yourselves, because the tempter will make his first and sharpest onset upon you. If you will be the leaders against him, he will spare you no further than God restraineth him. He beareth you the greatest malice that are engaged to do him the greatest mischief.'" The warning "My son, if thou come to serve the Lord, prepare thy heart for temptation" is specially applicable to the minister. Clerical scandals are happily rare, though when they occur they hit the headlines and do much harm. But not only in such grave matters must the clergyman be above reproach. In the keeping of appointments, the answering of letters, the payment of bills, the common courtesies of life, he must maintain his integrity.
4. Nor be occasion that others offend. A clergyman lives a very public life. Any inconsistency of conduct will be quickly noted, and perhaps magnified. He must be the more careful lest he cause anyone to stumble. A bad example will be quickly followed. A careless word will do untold harm. A wrong relationship will drive someone away from the Church. Said Michael Ferrar: "It is difficult to overstate the injury to religion which has flowed from the spring of clerical pride. The combination of public office and personal arrogance has been frequent. So much so that the extreme forms of human pride are habitually associated with prelates and pontiffs. There are such sinister expressions as 'proud prelates', 'to pontificate', and 'vicaritis'."2 It all goes to show that original sin is as strong after ordination as before.

the Holy Spirit

Howbeit, ye cannot have a mind and will thereto yourselves; for that will and ability is given of God alone: therefore you ought, and have need, to pray earnestly for his Holy Spirit. 1 The Reformed Pastor. Abridged in Five Pastorals, Thomas Wood. p. 204 (S.P.C.K.). 1 Michael Lloyd Ferrar, ut supra, p. 98. The standard that has been set so far in the Bishop's address is high indeed. It is nothing less than that the minister should "possess the mind of Christ" (i Cor. 2:16). How is such a thing possible? Man not only knows it to be beyond his reach, but too often finds he has not even the will, the desire, to attain to it. So the candidate for Priesthood hears the inexorable words: Ye cannot . . . yourselves. He has already learned this in the first stages of his Christian life. "For it is by his grace you are saved, through trusting him, it is not your own doing. It is God's gift, not a reward for work done. There .is nothing for anyone to boast of" (Eph. 2:8, 9). Now he must learn it afresh for the work of the ministry. Both the will and the ability, i.e. the power to fulfil the ministry, are given by God. "It is God who works in you, inspiring both the will and the deed, for his chosen purpose" (Phil. 2 :13). Just as in the Catechism he was taught that he was not able to serve God without his special grace, which he must learn at all times to call for by diligent prayer, so now he is told by the Bishop that he must pray earnestly for God's Holy Spirit. The reference is not primarily to what will happen in the Ordination service itself, but to the need to pray continually for the enduement of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit was given once and for ever to the Church on the first Whit Sunday. There can never be "another Pentecost" in the historical sense. The Holy Spirit is the agent of the new birth, when we are baptised by the Spirit into the Body of Christ. This new birth, which is linked with baptism as the sacrament of regeneration, becomes a conscious possession through faith. Those who come to confirmation are presumed to be regenerate "by Water and the Holy Ghost." Yet it is for such that the Bishop prays: "Strengthen them, we beseech thee, 0 Lord, with the Holy Ghost." Again at Ordination there is the distinct command: "Receive the Holy Ghost for the Office and Work of a Priest." That is a once-and-for-all endowment. But every gift of the Holy Spirit needs to be stirred up. "That is why I now remind you to stir into flame the gift of God which is within you through the laying on of my hands" (i Tim. i :6). Whether we regard this stirring as making more room for the Holy Spirit to work his will in us or as a new gift of the Holy Spirit, is not a matter of very great importance. In either case the blessing comes in answer to earnest prayer.


And seeing that you cannot by any other means compass the doing of so weighty a work, pertaining to the salvation of man, but with doctrine and exhortation taken out of the Holy Scriptures, and with a life agreeable to the same; consider how studious ye ought to be in reading and learning the Scriptures, and in framing the manners both of yourselves, and of them that specially pertain unto you, according to the rule of the same Scriptures; and for this self-same cause, how ye ought to forsake and set aside (as much as you may) all worldly cares and studies. The Bible is the source of all teaching and preaching. It is unlike any other book in that, though its contents might be thoroughly mastered, it is still a book for constant study. God has ever more light to break forth from his Word. So the study of the Bible is to be the life-long occupation of every ordained minister. Knowledge gained in the lecture room is merely the laying of a foundation for a building which will never be completed in a single lifetime. It is essential, then, that time be given to study. Reading and learning the Scriptures is what the Ordinal calls it. In his book To My Younger Brethren. Handley C. G. Moule, then Principaf trf Ridley Hall, Cambridge, and later to become Bishop of Durham, said: "Above all, I would entreat you to be a Bible student at whatever cost of other religious reading." (The italics are his.) And be urges that such study should not be only for the sake of finding a message to pass on. "Forget sometimes, in the name of Jesus Christ, the pulpit, the mission-room, the Bible-class, and open the Bible as simply as if you were on Crusoe's island and were destined to live and die alone with God." No one would suggest that the minister should read only the Bible. John Wesley described himself as a man of one Book, but he read very widely in other books as well. Handley Moule himself was one of the greatest scholars of his day, and there was nothing narrow about his intellectual life. But what every true pastor sees, and what the Ordinal itself requires, is that the Bible shall be the centre of gravity in all study. To the study of the scriptures all other books, even books about the Bible, must take second place. There is a terrible .ignorance of the Bible in the nation at large—a nation which was once called "a people of one Book, and that Book the Bible"—and the way of recovery is certainly not through a clergy who share that ignorance. For this object the minister ought to set aside (as much as you may) all worldly cares and studies. We have good hope that you have well weighed and pondered these things with yourselves long before this time; and that you have clearly determined, by God's grace, to give yourselves wholly to this Office, whereunto it hath pleased God to call you; so that, as much as lieth in you, you will apply yourselves wholly to this one thing, and draw all your cares and studies this way; and that you will continually pray to God the Father, by the Mediation of our only Saviour Jesus Christ, for the heavenly assistance of the Holy Ghost; that, by daily reading and weighing of the Scriptures, ye may wax riper and stronger in your Ministry. The Bishop's address is drawing to a close, not without a reminder once again of the call of God, the need for diligence in prayer, and the urgency of daily study of the scriptures. Draw all your cares and studies this way. This command is the positive side of the negative obligation to set aside all worldly cares and studies. It has a close bearing on the clergyman's habits as a student. Provided he gives pride of place to the text of Holy Scripture itself, he has a wide range of study open to him. He will certainly need to consult the best commentaries on the Bible, remembering that "best" is not always synonymous with "latest"! He may read works of theology, and whatever helps to apply the Bible to everyday life. He may read to keep in touch with present-day affairs and trends of thought, or to deepen his understanding of people and life: current affairs, history, biography. Nor need he despise such reading as may help to keep the mind alert and open; or for that matter reading for relaxation. None of these can be called "worldly studies". It has been said that the worst theologian is the one who reads only theology. But at all costs the Bible must come first. It is by daily reading and weighing of the Scriptures that the clergyman is to wax riper and stronger in his ministry.


The forsaking of worldly cares and studies and drawing all your cares and studies this way does not apply only to "study" in the narrower sense of the word. Carefully and studiously the clergyman is to give himself wholly to the matters in hand. They are to be his absorbing interest. The ministry calls not only for initial consecration, but for continued concentration. There is much discussion at present about the possibility of "part-time" ministries, in which an ordained man would continue to earn his living in some other vocation, and serve in a parish in his spare time. This has great possibilities, and the Church must be ready to follow where the Holy Spirit leads. It is already a well-established practice in the Diocese of Hong Kong. But the Lambeth" Conference of 1958, in recommending the provision of a supplementary ministry -in cases where conditions make it desirable", was careful to add: "Such provision is not to be regarded as a substitute for the full-time ministry of the Church, but as an addition to it"1 1 Roohinon it. is in recognition of the principle of a full-time ministry that a clergyman is not allowed to engage in any other "gainful employment". His ministerial duties will occupy his whole time. The only exceptions to the rule are that he is allowed to farm his own glebe and to teach. Even the latter is now ruled out by the Education Act, except in the case of independent schools.' But the Ordinal has in view not so much the forbidding of other employment, but the encouraging of a whole-hearted devotion to the "one thing". In some lesser sense the parson, as he views his parishioners, must echo the words of our Lord himself: "For their sake I now consecrate myself" (St. John 17:19). And that ye may so endeavour yourselves, from time to time, to sanctify the lives of you and yours, and to fashion them after the Rule and Doctrine of Christ, that ye may be wholesome and godly examples and patterns for the people to follow. Consecration of heart and life to God's service in the ministry may in one sense be regarded as a decisive step, though this is not to say that it need be the result of a sudden decision. In another sense it is a continual process, a daily surrender to the will of God, seeking afresh the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit. But the Ordinal introduces a third aspect: that ye may so endeavour yourselves, from time to time, to sanctify ... It suggests that there should be periodical times of withdrawal, when the clergyman goes apart to seek a closer walk with God. This is the purpose of the retreat which is invariably attended, on the eve of Ordination, by candidates for both the Diaconate and Priesthood. But there should be such special times arranged at intervals throughout the whole of a minister's life. In this, as in so much else in our freedom-loving Church of England, the initiative is left to the individual clergyman. The Bishop does not direct, though he may make suggestions. There are many possibilities: a retreat, a ' See F. R. Barry, Asking the Right Questions, p. 92 (Hodder and Stoughton). quiet day, a convention, a refresher course, a conference, a clergy recess at Lee Abbey or some other spiritual power-house. Or it may be found more profitable to go away entirely alone, to read and meditate and pray. Lay people should be educated to expect their clergy to withdraw from time to time: to realise that this is as important for the welfare of the parish as is any other part of the programme. The clergyman himself needs to be thoroughly convinced of its importance, so that he will not have a conscience about what may appear as "taking time off", or imagine that it should count as part of his holiday. In Bishop Bickersteth's fine words: The brief hours are not lost in which ye learn More of your Master and his rest in heaven. To emphasise the need for these special times of withdrawal is not to belittle the importance of the daily times of communion with God. It is through this that the life becomes fashioned according to the Rule and Doctrine of Christ. And all that is said about the need for personal holiness applies to the lives of you and yours. Most of the clergy are married, and the influence of wife and children, and of the family life in the clerical household, is enormous. St. Paul said: "If a man does not know how to control his own family, how can he look after a congregation of God's people?" (i Tim. 3:5). But where there is a truly Christian home life they will be wholesome and godly examples and patterns for the people to follow.


And now, that the present Congregation of Chirst here assembled may also ''understand your mind and will in these things, and that this your promise may the more move you to do your duties, ye shall answer plainly to these things, which we, in the Name of God, and of his Church, shall demand of you touching the same. The candidates are about to be examined publicly as to rheir calling, faith, and intention to do their duty. The answers to the questions put by the Bishop have all the force of vows made at a most solemn moment in their lives. This public examination is for a twofold purpose. First, it gives the congregation the opportunity to share more fully in the service. They are the witnesses of the vows that are taken. The congregation at an Ordination service ought to be a very large one indeed. Not only the relatives and friends of the candidates, but as many as possible from the parishes in which they will serve, and many others who care for the future of the Church, ought to be present. Through what they witness they will have a renewed sense of the awe-full responsibility which rests upon a minister, and therefore of their own essential part in prayer, encouragement and co-operation. And it may well be that a call to the ministry may be sounded in some young heart by his being present at an Ordination. There is a second reason for the public examination. No doubt all the questions have been faced and answered by the candidates in private. No doubt the Bishop is also convinced of their sincerity. But the fact of having made definite promises, and that in public, before the Congregation of Christ, will always be an added incentive to faithfulness; it will the more move you to do your duties. Therefore they must answer plainly to the questions which will be put by the Bishop, not in his own name, but in the Name of God, and of his Church. To these questions we now proceed. We may note in passing that originally the Oath of Allegiance to the Sovereign and the Declaration of Assent to the Thirty-nine Articles and the Prayer Book were taken at this point, but are now taken before the service.

Chapter IX


The first question put to the candidate for Priesthood is: Do you think in your heart, that you be truly called, according to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the order of this Church of England, to the Order and Ministry of Priesthood? in this one question are combined the two sides of the call, the internal and the external, the inward voice of the Spirit and the outward voice of the Church. In the Making of Deacons there are two separate questions, the first most definitely referring to the inward call; the other, which clearly intends to stress the outward call, being very similar to the question put in the Ordination of Priests. The addition in the latter of the word in your heart do suggest that the inward call is included. There is, however, another reason for there being only one question in the Ordering of Priests. When a man is made Deacon it is almost invariably in order that he shall eventually be ordained Priest. He enters upon his diaconate as a halfway stage, but he would not present himself to be made Deacon unless he had felt the inward call to the full ministry as a Presbyter. In a sense the first question to the candidates for Deacon's Orderg covers the matter of their call to the ministry as a whole. It,reads as follows: Do you trust that you are inwardly moved by the Holy Ghost to take upon you this Office and Ministration, to serve God for the promoting of his glory, and the edifying of his people? This aspect of the call has been already dealt with.'See pp. 41-5 Suffice it to say that unless there is an inward conviction that this step is being taken at God's behest, it were better to withdraw even at the eleventh hour. But such a question should have been settled long before the Ordination takes place, and the last minute hesitation, sometimes felt by a sensitive conscience on account of a deep, and wholly right, sense of unworthiness, is not to be regarded as a serious doubt. The pre-ordination retreat should give ample opportunity for facing and resolving any inner conflicts which may arise, and the opportunity of talking things over with the conductor should be grasped with both hands. Let there be complete honesty, and God will give his assurance of the rightness or otherwise of going forward. There is great happiness in knowing that one is called by God. The second question to the candidates for Diaconate is: Do you think that you are truly called, according to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the due Order of this Realm, to the Ministry of the Church? The will of our Lord Jesus Christ is not only expressed through the inward moving of the Holy Ghost, but also through the external authority of the Church. The Church of England, through its appointed machinery, has declared these men to be duly called to the ministry, and they are asked now to acquiesce in that calling. They are called to the ministry of Christ's Church, but the particular branch of the visible Church to which they are called is the Church of England. We pray for the day when there will be visible unity, when all ministers will be ministers of the Church of all Christian people. That day may be long delayed, and how it will come about we do not know. We should pray that it may be with no sacrifice of the scriptural grounds of the faith. But until such a day comes ministers will continue to be ordained into the Church of England.


The cause of ultimate unity is not served by belittling the distinctive contribution of our own Church. Said a Free Church minister to a group of Anglican clergymen some years ago: "It is not just cussedness that keeps me a Nonconformist"—a sentiment which was received with warm approval. In spite of the enormous area of agreement, there are differences. They will, in God's own way and time, be resolved. But in the meantime it behoves members of the Church of England to be loyal to their own particular insights. Those who are ordained in this Church should be convinced of the rightness of its doctrine and ethos. To seek ordination in the Church of England because it seems to have the biggest opportunity for evangelism, while at the same time half apologising for some of its teaching, is nothing short of dishonest. What shall we say, then, of the Church of England into whose ministry these men are being called? i. It is the historic Church of the country. The Church of England is identically the same body as was here in the earliest days of Christianity in Britain. Its Bishops are linked by an unbroken line of succession with those far-off times. Many of its cathedrals and parish churches have a history which goes back centuries before the Reformation. In the sixteenth century it underwent a profound change, but it remained the same Church, purified and cleansed. As the historic Church of the land it has a unique relationship with the State. This is not the place to enter into a discussion of the pros and cons of Establishment. It is possible that some modification in the relationship of Church and State will come. But it needs to be remembered that Establishment is historically a favour bestowed on the nation by the Church, rather than vice versa. The Church of England is not a sect existing only for its own members. It is tHe> Church of the nation. This is symbolised by the fact, among many others, that the Sovereign must always be a member of the Church of England, and is crowned in Westminster Abbey by the Archbishop of Canterbury. In practical terms it means that every citizen of this country can seek the help of his parish priest if he so desires. Everyone lives in some parish, and is a parishioner. The Church of England is certainly in a unique position of influence. It is not like the Roman Church which dominates the State wherever it is possible. It is not like the Lutheran Church in, for instance, Denmark, which is a department of the State. It is not like the English Free Churches, whose tradition is to stand outside the State entirely, and influence it from without. It has a position all its own.' 2. It is a Church both Catholic and Protestant. By "catholic" we mean that it is universal in the sense that it is one in all the world; and also that it holds "the faith which God entrusted to his people once and for all" (Jude 3). That faith is founded on the scriptures. It is summarised in the Creeds which, as Article VIII says, "ought thoroughly to be received and believed: for they may be proved by most certain warrants of holy Scripture." The Church of England holds this faith in sincerity and truth, believing it to be the faith of the primitive Church. In addition it has maintained from the beginning the primitive form of ministry, the threefold Orders of Bishops, Presbyters and Deacons. And, of course, it has never ceased to use the two great sacraments of the gospel, baptism and the Lord's Supper, as part of .its Bible-based faith. So Bible, Creeds, sacraments, and the historic ministry mark the Church of England as a truly Catholic Church. It is also a Protestant Church. In the sixteenth century the Church of England "protested", or proclaimed, its position. It repudiated the claims of the Bishop of Rome to be the supreme pontiff, and declared its own independence. It was not as sudden a step as might be supposed, for relations between England and Rome had long been unsettled. It also repudiated those doctrines which, through the course of centuries, had crept in as erroneous additions to the primitive faith. This also was not a sudden change, though the short reign of Edward VI saw the whole matter brought to a crisis. But over many years the process had been going on through the rediscovery of [For a very readable account, see Cyril Garbett, Church and State in England (Hodder and Stoughton).] the Bible. The determination of the Reformers to test everything by scripture meant that far-reaching changes were inevitable. From the Reformation the Church of England, while maintaining its identity as the same Church which was here from the beginning, has had affinity with those Churches which came into being at that time. There is nothing incompatible in the two terms. Catholic and Protestant, being applied to the same Church. Protestants may claim to be more truly Catholic than some others who bear the name, for they test every doctrine by the standard of first century Christianity. The Church of England certainly respects the traditions of the Church which have grown up over the centuries, provided they are not "contrary to God's Word written" (Article XX). To take one example, the Collects of the Prayer Book are largely taken from pre-Reformation service books, but some were altered to bring them into line with Bible doctrine, and some had to be completely rewritten. The Church of England also respects the right of private judgment. It encourages all its people, not only its clergy, to read the Bible and think for themselves. But this does not include the right to propound views contrary to scripture as interpreted by the majority of Christian scholars in all ages. Human reason has its place, and all are free to use it. Tradition has its place, and none should dare to set it lightly aside. But both reason and tradition alike are subject to the authority of holy scripture. 3. It is a Church which maintains balance. It is traditional to laugh at the Anglican via media, the middle way between the extremes, as if it were the classical example of compromise. But'Surely the via media can be regarded as the only way to maintain a true balance. In many ways this is what the Church of England is able to do- In its adherence to the Church's Year it ensures that no part of the faith shall be omitted. In its liturgical worship it gives due weight to penitence and praise, to listening to the Word and making profession of belief, to intercession and thanksgiving. It holds the balance between Word and sacrament, which are indeed two parts of one proclamation of the gospel. Its congregational services, with frequent response by the people, are but one of many ways in which the balance is held between clergy and laity. The minister ordained in the Church of England finds that he is expected to be an "all-round" man. He is, as a rule, like the general practitioner rather than the specialist. Pastor and evangelist, student and teacher, man under authority and yet enjoying much freedom, he has to leam to see all things in proportion. History has furnished many examples of such pastorates, though in the very nature of the case their names are often unknown. Someone has described it thus: "The well-balanced life, happy in 'the trivial round, the common task', in the daily office of prayer and praise, in the sacred circle of fast and festival, in the faithful cure of souls, not least the cure of one's own soul, is in all ages the most powerful witness of the reality of faith in Christ." 4. It is a missionary Church. This of course is true of every Church worthy of the name. Bishop Lesslie Newbigin has written: "It is impossible to reconcile with the New Testament the view which seems to be more or less accepted among the majority of Churchmen, that while missionary work is an admirable thing to do, within reasonable limits, it is not something without which the Church simply falls to the ground. We must say bluntly that where the Church ceases to be a mission, then she ceases to have any right to the titles by which she is adorned in the New Testament." [Lesslie Newbigin, The Household of God, p. 143 (S.C.M. Press).} Certainly a Church cannot claim the title "Apostolic" unless it is fulfilling the apostolic mission and is continually outward looking. The Church of England has a mission to the people of our own land, and there are signs of an awakening sense of responsibility. A big part of the clergyman's work is to rouse the faithful to witness. The Church's mission, however, does not finish at the boundaries of the parish. The limit is "away to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8). The Church of England, even after the Reformation, was slow to realise its obligations. The story of its gradual awakening has been told by Canon McLeod Campbell in Christian History in the Making.1 Published by the Press and Publications Board of the :3rin-± Assembly, 1946. Today there is almost universal acceptance, at least in theory, of the fact of world mission, and the Anglican Communion extends to every quarter of the globe. It is the family of Churches which owe their origin to the outreach of the Church of England, either in following its own emigrants, or in definite missionary activity. All these Churches are in communion with each other, and to belong to one is to belong to the whole family. So to be ordained in the Church of England is not necessarily to remain always in this country. Among the younger Anglican Churches of Africa and the East there is a crying need for help from the older Churches of the West. Great as is the need for more clergy in England, the call to work overseas is even more urgent, and we should be continually sending our best, both in man-power and money. The man who accepts Ordination in the Church of England knows that he is committed to a fellowship of service which is world-wide. Greatly as we value membership in the world-wide Anglican Communion, we must never glory in it as an end in itself. Anglicans are only a fraction of the total number of those who profess the Name of Christ.2 : Sc~ Douglas Webster, Local Church and World Missions, ro ^-t-i: ^S-C-M. Press). The day must come when the whole Anglican Communion disappears to make way for the coming Great Church. Some cherished traditions, and certainly many prejudices, will have to go. The clergy WiSe Church of England, zad of its sister Churches, will be better equipped for "fjt day as they loyally accept the order of the Church ' which they have been ordained. The answers given by the candidates to these questions take up the words actually used by the Bishop. He has asked: "Do you trust that you are inwardly moved . . . ? and the answer comes: I trust so. Similarly Do you think? receives the reply I think so or / think it. There is not intended to be any suggestion of doubt. "I think so" is the equivalent of, "That is exactly what I do think".

Chapter X


In the Ordering of Priests:
Are you persuaded that the holy Scripture contains sufficiently all Doctrine required of necessity for eternal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ and are you determined, out of the said Scripture to instruct the people committed to your charge, and to teach nothing, as required of necessity to eternal salvation, but that which may be concluded and proved of the Scripture?
First of all we see that the object of a minister's work is nothing less than the eternal salvation of those committed to his charge. It is possible, alas, to be satisfied with lesser achievements: with caring for their temporal welfare, or merely influencing them towards a better life. Eternal salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ. 'There is no salvation in any one else at all, for there is no other name under heaven granted to men, by which we may receive salvation" (Acts 4:12). In order to put their trust in Christ people must know who he is, and what he has done for man's salvation. This is found in the scriptures, which contain all that is needed. The first part of the question refers to the candidate's own conviction that this is so. The question is extremely important. If we once allow that holy scripture is inadequate, we find ourselves in the realm of "fond things vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God" (Article XXII). The Church has had sufficient experience of the corruption of doctrine through ignorance of the Bible to warrant its insisting that all who would be ministers of Christ should confess their belief in the sufficiency of scripture. The question put to candidates for Deacon's Orders is quite simply: Do you unfeignedly believe all the Canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testament?
The second part of the question to those about to be ordained Priest concerns their determination to preach what they profess to believe, i.e. that the scripture contains all that is necessary to salvation. It has been suggested that a loophole is left for the teaching of "pious opinions" not specifically found in scripture, provided they are not taught as being necessary to eternal salvation. This is merely playing with words. It may be asked whether the minister has time to be occupied with any doctrine which is not for the eternal welfare of his flock.
St. Paul makes short work of those who do not teach the faith as it has been revealed: "If anyone is teaching otherwise, and will not give his mind to wholesome precepts— I mean those of our Lord Jesus Christ—and to good religious teaching, I call him a pompous ignoramus" (i Tim. 6:3). Let only that be taught which may be concluded and proved by the scripture. The word concluded shows that what is taught is to be directly derived from the Bible, and not simply that the Bible may be quoted in order to "prove" the truth of teaching taken from other sources. The often quoted saying, "The Church to teach and the Bible to prove", is misleading. The Church has aothing true to teach except what it learns from the Bible. And there have been times when the Church has taught, and the Bible has contradicted and condemned its teaching.

To this solemn question as to the candidate's belief in the sufficiency of the Bible and his determination to teach xrortfingly, he is required to answer: 7 am so persuaded, —f bare so determined by God's grace.


Will you then give your faithful diligence always so to minister the Doctrine and Sacraments, and the Discipline of Christ, as the Lord hath commanded, and as this Church and Realm hath received the same, according to the Commandments of God: so that you may teach the people committed to your Cure and Charge with all diligence to keep and observe the same?
We note the repetition of the word diligence. The pastor is to be diligent in his ministry in order that the people may be diligent in the things of God. Faithful diligence in ministering the Doctrine of Christ consists not only in being true to the Bible, but also in making the most of every opportunity to teach truth, whether in public or in private. But coupled with the Doctrine are the Sacraments of Christ, about which nothing has so far been said in the Ordinal. This is not to suggest that they are unimportant. Ordination is to the ministry of both the Word and the sacraments. Before the Reformation the sacraments had been so magnified that the Word was virtually excluded entirely. In restoring the balance it was natural that the Reformers should put great emphasis on the Word, but it was not to the exclusion of the sacraments. Indeed that could not be, for it is in obedience to the Word of the Lord that the sacraments are administered. It is clear that by Sacraments the Ordinal means the two gospel ordinances instituted by Christ, baptism and the Lord's Supper. This is the teaching of the Catechism and of Article XXV, which states that "those five commonly called Sacraments . . . have not like nature of sacraments with Baptism and the Lord's Supper". How then is the minister to give faithful diligence in administering the sacraments?


There has been a revolution in thought of recent years as to what diligence in administering Holy Baptism involved. Time was when it meant no more than carefully seeking out any parishioners who had not been baptised, and bringing them to the sacrament. Almost every baby born was baptised, and often the service was taken without any concern for the spiritual preparedness of those most affected. This was quite wrong. Baptism is not a social occasion and a convenient ceremony for the naming of a child. It is the Christian sacrament of most solemn initiation into Christ and his Church. All agree that everything possible should be done to impress the people with its importance. There are a number of ways in which this is attempted.
The rubric at the beginning of the Baptism service makes it clear that the best time for this sacrament to be administered is at Morning or Evening Prayer, "when the most number of people come together". This has the double effect of giving the congregation a prayerful interest in the child that is baptised, and also of reminding all present of their own baptism. Of recent years there has been a great revival of this desirable practice. In a small parish, where the number of babies to be baptised may not exceed half-a-dozen in the year, there is no reason why it should not always be done. But in a large parish there are difficulties. A baptism in Morning or Evening Prayer is bound to make the service longer than usual, even if the sermon is kept short. It does mean an interruption in the normal pattern of worship, and while a congregation will appreciate it from time to time, they should not be expected to welcome it too frequently. The alternative is to fix the dates at which public baptism will be administered at, say, bi-monthly intervals, and baptise a large number of babies (in sOffie^arishes it would be a very large number) at the one service. This also has its practical difficulties. But even if baptism at Morning or Evening Prayer is not an invariable rule, it should be encouraged whenever possible. A modification of the idea is to hold it occasionally at a children's service.
The problem of large numbers is not felt in those parishes which adopt a rigorist attitude to baptism. This means that unless the parents of the child are themselves confirmed, and communicants in good standing— some also take this to include the payment of church dues—baptism will be refused. It is a point of view which can be respected as a serious attempt to tighten up the discipline of the Church, even though the majority cannot feel conscientiously able to share it. It can be said without fear of contradiction that it is not a view which has ever been held in the Church of England in the past.
As a historical fact, any child of baptised parents has been admitted to the privilege of baptism. Many would say that it is the child, and not the parents, who should receive the first consideration.
To deny that the rigorist attitude is the right answer is not to say that we can be entirely happy about the administration of baptism in England today. It should be regarded as a major pastoral opportunity. If due notice is insisted on, a visit can be paid to the parents, the service explained, and some literature given. There are a number of useful pamphlets, and, for those prepared to read a small book. Your Child's Baptism1[ By Canon Frank Colquhoun (Hodder and Stoughton).] is to be recommended.
Some parishes manage a baptism preparation class, at which parents, and as many godparents as possible, are expected to attend. Everything should be done to ensure that godparents understand the solemn nature of the promises they are to make. The follow-up is as important as the preparation, and should include the keeping of a cradle-roll. By this means a child receives a birthday card each year until the fourth birthday, and then is handed on to the superintendent of the kindergarten Sunday school. It may well be that long before that time the child will be a regular attender at the creche while the parents are at worship.
The conduct of the actual baptism service is of extreme importance. Slovenliness and jocularity are both equally out of place. The clergyman holds in his arms, not simply the beloved child of adoring parents, but a unique gift of God, to be dedicated to him and given the outward and visible sign of that inward and spiritual grace by which he may be "saved through Christ for ever". By his whole bearing, as well as in the address he will give, he must show how infinitely precious this child is to God and to his Church. The language of the baptism service is not always easy, and revision of it is sure to come. But in the meantime everything possible must be done to make it meaningful. As one said who had attended a baptism in Morning Prayer: "It is impossible to take part in such a service without renewing one's own dedication to Christ."
Normally Baptism is administered by a Priest, or by a Deacon in the absence of the Priest. Congregations should be taught, however, that in emergency, when no clergyman is available, a layman or laywoman may baptise. Such emergencies usually occur in hospital, and nursing sisters, as well as hospital chaplains, may be called at short notice to baptise. Most parochial clergy will, at some time or other, have the experience of baptising a sick child privately in the home, and later, if the child lives, of receiving him publicly into the Church.
A small but increasing number of adolescents or adults presenting themselves for confirmation have not been baptised in infancy. After due instruction they are baptised, with the form of service for "such as are of riper years".


This is the other sacrament of the gospel, in ministering which the candidate for the Priesthood is required to promise faithful diligence. In the earliest days of the Church the disciples "met constantly to hear the apostles teach, to share the common life, to break bread, and to pray" (Acts 2:42). Nothing would have surprised those first Christians more than the change which took place in the Lard's Supper over the centuries. In the mediaeval Church the Mass was a service in which the people virtually took no part, and Communion was received only once 2 year. It was clearly the intention of the Reformers to encourage more frequent Communion, though their direction "that every Parishioner shall communicate at least three times a year, of which Easter is to be one" shows that they were not able to proceed as fast as they might have wished. Thanks to a number of contributory causes there must be very few parish churches in which there is not now a celebration of Holy Communion at least once every Sunday, though the amalgamation of several country parishes under one incumbent may make it impossible in some cases.
What does faithful diligence in ministering Holy Communion require? Not only, surely, the provision of a large number of services. It is important that adequate provision should be made, and that due regard should be given to the needs of the people. This will affect the fixing of the time of day. There is nothing sacrosanct about the hour of 8 a.m. It will suit some, but others find it impossible. The main object should be to find times that will be convenient to all who wish to come to the Lord's Table.
This will vary from parish to parish. An evening Communion, which is the best attended of all in one neighbourhood, may be quite unsuitable to the habits of the people in another. Each parish decides its own pattern, but a special plea might be made for a mid-morning Communion on a week-day for the sake of the busy housewives and the elderly and infirm.
More important than the provision of an adequate number of services is the encouragement of the corporate aspect of the sacrament. One may sympathise with those who like "a nice quiet service" as an aid to personal devotion, but this is certainly not the primary purpose of the Holy Communion. At the Lord's Table, the Lord's people have fellowship with the Lord, and in him with one another. While spiritual fellowship is not dependent on all being physically present together, it should be the pastor's aim to bring the people together as one body to the Lord's Table, if not every Sunday, at least from time to time. Without holding any brief for the body of Christians known as the Brethren, we can admire the consistency with which they have adhered to the principle that the Lord's people meet each Lord's Day for the Breaking of Bread. The "Parish Communion" or "Family Communion" — the name is unimportant — is a step in the direction of the New Testament pattern of worship.
There will always be some who cannot get to the main Communion service and who will need to be provided for in other ways. And there are those who cannot get out at all. It is the privilege of the clergyman to celebrate Holy Communion with the sick or aged in their own homes. While some abbreviation is necessary, it is usually found that, except in the case of the very ill, as normal a service as possible is what is appreciated.
Faithful diligence in administering Holy Communion must include adequate instruction and encouragement of the communicants. Such teaching as is given in confirmation classes is only like learning the alphabet. There is so much more to learn. One opportunity for teaching is offered by the sermon at Holy Communion, which is enjoined in the rubric. The effect of the ministry of both Word and sacrament in the one service is to help to a deeper understanding of both. There should also be, from time to time, sermons about the Lord's Supper preached at Morning and Evening Prayer, so that those who are as vet irregular communicants may be instructed.
As with baptism, so with Holy Communion, much depends on the manner in which the service is conducted.
In no place is there more need of the Pauline injunction --Let all be done decently and in order" (i Cor. 14:40). Reverence is the overruling consideration. This involves such matters as audibility, an unhurried dignity of speech and action, and an ordered simplicity. It is much to be desired that the Prayer Book should be followed precisely so that the people may not be confused.


Together with doctrine and sacraments, the clergyman is to minister the Discipline of Christ. This may apply to those cases in which he is called upon to rebuke, and if necessary excommunicate, wrong-doers, as ordered in the opening rubrics of the Holy Communion service. But discipline has a wider reference. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church defines it as: "The totality of ecclesiastical laws and customs regulating the religious and moral life of the Church." Discipline and "disciple" come from the same root. The object of discipline is to make disciples of Christ. So what the candidate is here asked to promise is that he will do all in his power to help people in their following of our Lord. He is to be more than a monitor, watching for the wrong-doer who needs to be disciplined. He is to be the "guide, philosopher and friend" of the people, ever holding them to the highest standards of Christian behaviour.
The opportunities which a parochial clergyman has for this are boundless. He will be called upon to advise on personal relationships, the choice of a career, private devotions, the spending of Sunday, the use of leisure, the stewardship of possessions, business morality, and a host of other matters. Counselling of this kind absorbs time and energy, but it is essential if people are to be deepened in their discipleship. There will be occasions when the minister will find that he is out of his depth, and it is good that he should be able to send anyone with special problems to an expert. There are some clergy who are specialists in moral theology, and others who have made a detailed study of pastoral psychology. But the expert might equally well be a Christian layman, such as a social worker, a marriage guidance counsellor, or a doctor. It is the clergyman's duty to see that the people get all the help they can for practical Christian living. In this, no less than in ministering doctrine and sacraments, he must give faithful diligence. To the question whether he will do so the candidate replies: I will so do, by the help of the Lord.

Chapter XI


While the candidate for Priest's Orders is called to promise faithfulness in the ways discussed in the last chapter, the man who is to be made Deacon has to make other promises. He has already professed his faith in the scriptures. The question follows:
Will you diligently read the same unto the people assembled in the Church where you shall be appointed to serve?
Before the Reformation there were, in addition to the "major" orders of Bishop, Priest and Deacon, certain "minor" orders, one of which was Lector, or Reader. He found no place in the Church of England after the Reformation, and the distinctive function of the Reader was given to the Deacon. The question just put is not intended to suggest that only a Deacon may read the scriptures in church. Obviously the Priest does so as well —and in any case he has not ceased to be a Deacon because he has advanced to the higher order. Within the last hundred years there has been a revival of the office of Reader, usually termed Lay Reader. He has authority, not only to read lessons, but to take Morning and Evening Prayer and to preach, and with special permission to administer the chalice at Holy Communion.
The custom has also grown up that lay members of the congregation sometimes read lessons in church. The rubric simply states: "Then shall be read . . ." without specifying that it shall be read by the minister. There would seem, therefore, to be no objection to lay people being asked to read lessons. It is usually done with the object of err-ss '.aymen an active part in the service. This is not a TcaSv sound reason, for they already have a very big part indeed. Another motive may be to give the clergyman a rest by taking a part of the service off his shoulders. It is not, however, normally beyond the powers of any man in the active ministry to conduct the entire service and preach. And if, as is so often the case, he is preaching from one of the lessons, he may prefer to undertake the labour—if such it be—of reading it himself. But in these days, when some clergy have to take many services on Sunday, lay help in reading the lessons may well be essential. The most valid reason for asking a layman to read is that he is able to read better than the clergyman. This may well be the case, but it is not always so.
No pains should be spared to secure that the scriptures are really well read in church. This may have been even more urgent in the days when a large part of the congregation could not read at all, and relied on what they heard on Sundays for their knowledge of the Word of God. But it is vastly important still. In the context of public worship the Bible will sometimes "come alive" in an unique way. "Happy is the man who reads, and happy those who listen to the words of this prophecy and heed what is written in it" (Rev. 1:3). "Until I arrive devote your attention to the public reading of the scriptures, to exhortation, and to teaching" (i Tim. 4:13). Not all clergymen start with equally good voices, but training, experience, and ruthless if kindly criticism, can do wonders. A testimonial that every reader should covet is that given in the Book of Nehemiah. "And they read from the book, from the law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading" (Neh. 8:8).


It appertaineth to the Office of a Deacon, in the Church where he shall be appointed to serve, to assist the Priest in Divine Service.
Several months before the time of the Ordination the candidate will have accepted a "title" to serve in a parish under an incumbent. While he will go there to assist the Priest, not only in divine service but in many other ways, he will go also to continue his training, to leam his job. So far his preparation has been largely book work, though most theological colleges include some practical experience of pastoral methods. But now he is to have opportunity of learning at first hand. He becomes an apprentice. One of the most important decisions of his life, perhaps the most important since his determination to seek Ordination, is the choice of his first curacy. The decision is made more difficult by the great shortage of ordinands. Sixty years ago it was almost an open question whether a man would be offered a title at all. Today it is: "Which of the many offers shall I accept?"
It goes without saying that the choice will only be made after earnest prayer for guidance. No worldly considerations will be taken into account—financial advantage, pleasantness of neighbourhood, supposed "importance" of parish, or personal predilection for work of a certain kind. The two main points to be borne in mind are the work which the curate will be able to do for God in the parish, and the training he will receive for his life's work. Taking the long view, the latter is by far the more important. This training will depend partly on the lay people and the scope offered in the parish, but far more on the incumbent. Any incumbent who has a Deacon to serve with him knows that he has a great and far-reaching opportunity and responsibility. The personal relationship between a vicar and a curate :s a matter of utmost importance. Hence an incumbent should only offer a title to a man with whom he feels he could work in close harmony. They should share the same aims and ideals of the ministry, and in matters of churchmanship should be of one accord. They need not, however, have the same gifts. A young man who has the 3taidngs of an evangelist may gain much by serving with as older man who is a teacher, or vice versa. It is not uncwte for a curate to be impatient because of the set views of his vicar, or for an incumbent to be irked by the continual desire of the curate to try out something new. But if there is a personal relationship of Christian love, as between an older and younger brother in the Lord, each will benefit. At all costs they have got to be loyal to each other, and a curate should certainly not consider going to work with a vicar to whom he cannot give ungrudging loyalty. He should seek a man whose Christian character and pastoral methods he wholeheartedly respects.
A vicar is right to expect unswerving loyalty from his colleague. This is not quite the same as demanding a blind and unquestioning obedience to his orders. A curate should be encouraged to ask questions and to make suggestions, indeed sometimes to express disagreement, provided it is all in a spirit of true fellowship. But the vicar must in the end direct what work is to be done, however much detail he may leave to the initiative of the younger man. Where this is not observed, the curate may develop a number of his own pet schemes, which may well fall to the ground when he leaves the parish. Team work is essential, and where the vicar sets the example of a hard day's work on six days a week, the curate is likely to follow.
Certain things a curate may expect from his vicar, and it is perhaps right that they discuss these before agreeing to work together. He is learning his job, and therefore should expect to be shown clearly how to do each part: taking the services, the occasional offices, and so on. He should expect criticism of his work: how else will he learn to improve? But a wise incumbent will give praise where it is deserved, and pass on any word of appreciation which he has heard of the curate's work. He should expect clear directions, with plenty of notice for anything which needs preparation. He should expect to have time for study, and to be given experience in every branch of parochial life that is open to him. Above all he should expect to find in his vicar an elder brother to whom he can turn for advice of any sort, and with whom he will pray regularly. If they are genuine friends, the curate will learn without having to be "taught", and the vicar will watch over the progress of the curate without being officious.


. . . and specially when he ministereth the holy Communion, and to help him in the distribution thereof, and to read holy Scriptures and Homilies in the Church; and to instruct the youth in the Catechism; in the absence of the Priest to baptise infants, and to preach, if he be admitted thereto by the Bishop.
Only a fully ordained Presbyter may "minister"' the Holy Communion. The Deacon is to assist him, which he may do by reading the Epistle or Gospel, or both (as formerly done by the lector); by "serving" him with the bread and wine (previously done by another of the minor orders, the acolyte); and by helping in the distribution of the sacrament, which is interpreted as administering the chalice. The latter may also be done by a Lay Reader in case of necessity, provided episcopal permission has been given. This shows that no principle of Church order is infringed by a layman administering the chalice, and there are those who would like to see the practice extended, not simply as a matter of expediency when there is not a second clergyman to "assist the Priest", but as a means of emphasising the layman's part in the celebration. It is a small point, and practical convenience is likely to remain the guiding princple.
The Deacon is also to read holy Scripture and Homilies in the Church. In a service which is four hundred years old it is inevitable not only ..that some of the language will appear old-fashioned, bifiLalso that on some points it will be completely out of date. The reference to reading the Homilies is a case in point. The first Book of Homilies was issued in 15-47—a collection of printed ser'-
The word "celebrate" springs to mind as the more usual word. Bat it is not quite accurate. It is the whole congregation that -celebrates" the Lord's Supper. The Presbyter ministers at riac cddKation. mons for the use of those of the clergy whose lack of learning made preaching difficult. Their language and length alone would make them impossible for use today, though for scriptural soundness of doctrine and straight speaking they are worthy of study. A glance at the titles of the twelve Homilies in the first book shows the robust character of these writings: i. A fruitful Exhortation to the Reading of Holy Scripture; 2. Of the Misery of all Mankind; 3. Of the Salvation of all Mankind; 4. Of the true and lively Faith; 5. Of Good Works; 6. Of Christian Love and Charity; 7. Against Swearing and Perjury; 8. Of the Declining from God. 9. An Exhortation against the Fear of Death; 10. An Exhortation to Obedience; n. Against Whoredom and Adultery; 12. Against Strife and Contention. A second book followed in 1571, the titles of which are contained in Article XXXV. Even though a Deacon is not now expected to read the Homilies, he should at least take note of the standard of faithfulness which they set for his teaching.


The Homilies are no longer used, but the same is not true of the Catechism. Some of its language is archaic, and a revised version, covering rather more ground, has already been issued for use during a trial period. But basically even the present Catechism is a sound manual of instruction for the young. And this instruction is part of the duty of a Deacon. It is obviously not his exclusive privilege. When he becomes a Priest he will not cease to instruct the youth. And very few parishes could get on without supplementing the teaching work of the clergy with voluntary lay help.
In modern parochial life, to instruct the youth in the Catechism means to teach the Christian faith in any and every way possible to as many young people as can be drawn in to hear. This work, under the general oversight of the incumbent, tends to fall to the assistant curate as the younger man. Of course in thousands of parishes where the incumbent is single-handed he must instruct the young, with whatever lay help he can get, even when he himself is nearing the age of retirement. But where there is a young curate, it is sheer folly on the part of an elderly vicar not to entrust a large share of the work among children and young people to him. An energetic curate will find himself not only teaching them, but joining with them in all manner of activities, spending his Saturday afternoons on the football pitch or the tennis court, camping with them in the summer, making himself always available to them as their friend and counsellor.
Experience shows that the best work is done among young people where a clear aim is kept in view. This should be nothing less than winning them to a definite decision and whole-hearted commitment to Jesus Christ. Every programme should keep this end in view: otherwise youth work may degenerate into an imitation of the kind of entertainment which is found, probably more efficiently done, elsewhere. Young people will respond to a challenge to adventurous discipleship, where they will be left untouched by a timid introduction of a tepid religion which bears little resemblance to the faith of Christ crucified. Definite teaching, boldly given and demanding a verdict, is but a modern way of expressing the phrase "to instruct the youth in the Catechism".


In the absence of the Priest to baptise infants, and to preach, if he be admitted thereto by the Bishop.
In the absence of the Priest clearly means "when the Priest, for some unavoidable reason, is not able to be present". We have seen that in an emergency a baptism may be administered even by a layman. But such a solemn service of Christian initiation should normally be taken by one who has the fullest authority — the Presbyter. There was a time when baptism was regarded as of so little importance that its administration was almost always left to the assistant curate, be he Priest or Deacon. It helps to —^A the solemnity of the sacrament if the service is taken, -.0!: only invariably by a Priest, but also frequently by the incumbent.
Do the words and to preach also apply only in the absence of the Priest? If that were so it would be a pity, for it would mean that the Deacon would preach only on those occasions when the one most qualified to help with advice and criticism was not present. In any case the words here, and at the delivery of the New Testament after the laying on of hands, imply that not all Deacons need be expected :o preach, but only those who are licensed by the Bishop to do so. But inasmuch as all Priests are commissioned to preach, and the Deacon may normally expect to be ordained Priest after a year, it is the custom to admit all Deacons likewise to a preaching ministry. It is, however, a great mistake to ask a Deacon to preach too often. Twice a month should be a maximum if he is to prepare adequately and—in the old sense of the word—"painfully". He should learn wisdom from the words of William Perkins: "Thou art a Minister of the Word: Mind thy business."1 1 Five Pastorals, p. 20.
And furthermore, it is his Office, where provision is so made, to search for the sick, poor, and impotent people of the Parish, to intimate their estates, names, and places where they dwell, unto the Curate, that by his exhortation they may be relieved with the alms of the Parishioners, or others.
This part of the work of a Deacon is particularly reminiscent of the Seven who were appointed to assist the Apostles by "serving tables". In the Welfare State the dispensing of temporal relief is no longer the prerogative of the Church, though it is a mistake to think that there are no cases of hardship calling for Christian charity. But if gifts of money are not now so urgently needed, the service of sympathy and understanding is perhaps even more necessary than ever. There are the sick in body and mind, the aged, the lonely, all standing in need of the ministry of Christian love. If they do not need the alms of the Parishioners, perhaps they need the personal interest of the parishioners.
A great work is open here to Christian lay people. It will still be to the clergy that cases of need are most often made known, but they can enlist the help of the members of the congregation in supplying that need. One way is by encouraging church people to be active in one or other of the excellent voluntary organisations for welfare work. Service done for the love of God will be a truer form of philanthropy than any other, and will give opportunities for ministry to the soul as well as to the body. And in every parish there are those whose needs are really spiritual but who do not seek for help. They too must be "searched for". Here again the lay people can help. A system of street-wardens, lay people in each road of the parish, who report the arrival of newcomers and cases of sickness or other troubles, can be an enormous help to the clergy.
The Deacon is given a special responsibility in all this, though, as we have seen, when he becomes a Priest he still remains a Deacon as well. It is through this "deacon-work" that some of the most effective pastoral care is given. The assistant curate. Deacon or Priest, must expect to bear a heavy share of the "searching". Unlike his senior brother, he has not the whole administration of the parish on his hands. The bigger responsibilities are not yet his. He should revel in every opportunity of making contact with all sorts and conditions of men.
The work of a newly ordained Deacon is very exciting. When he returns for his Ordination as Priest, after a year in the parish, he may find that some of the excitement has disappeared. He has met with failure and disappointment as well as with success. His more sombre mood is all to the good. The first flush of success, perhaps of popularity, has its dangers. In The Guardian—the Church paper now no longer in existence—there appeared in August 1951 a series of Letters to Young Curates, addressed by "Old Dad" to his son Cuthbert. We may close this chapter on the Deacon with the following extract. "Fight, fight, fight, all your life that pleasurable conceit which wells up within you at the touch of popular approval. Keep your eyes fixed on Christ. Mrs. Overflow has just told you how much her two children, members of your Youth Club, appreciate your work. In fact all the members like you. How pleased everyone is that you are 'so good with young people'. My boy, look through Mrs. Overflow to the Lord Jesus standing behind her, and always ask, "What, Lord, is your opinion of me?' I can assure you of the answer. He has given it so many times to your old father. It is, "Not much'. 'Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart'."

Chapter XII


Will you be ready, with all faithful diligence, to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrines contrary to God's word; and to use both publick and private monitions and exhortations, as well to the sick as to the whole, within your Cures, as need shall require, and occasion shall be given?
There is nothing new in the emergence of strange and heretical doctrines. St. Paul had to warn the Galatians of "persons who unsettle your minds by trying to distort the gospel of Christ" (Gal. i: 7). In the Second Epistle of John we read: "Many deceivers have gone out into the world, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh" (verse 7). Very early after the close of the apostolic age the Church was engaged in combating the errors of the Gnostics and of Marcion, and the pages of the history of the first four centuries are strewn with heresies of one kind and another, both within and without the Church. The Church of England in the sixteenth century was not a stranger to false teachers, as the Articles, and this question in the Ordinal, testify. Today we are confronted with a formidable array of pseudo-Christian cults which are extremely active with their subversive propaganda. It is necessary for the clergyman to know something about them in order to warn the people and to provide them with an answer.1
[Horton Davies, The Christian Deviations (S.C.M. Press) provides a good summary of the principal modern cults. ]
It is not only the definitely anti-Christian organisations, like Jehovah's Witnesses, Christadelphians, Christian Scientists and a host of others, that constitute a menace to orthodoxy. There is within the Church itself, even among keen Christian people, a good deal of loose thinking on doctrinal matters, and there must be many who, with no intention of being unorthodox, nevertheless hold doctrines contrary to God's Word. The answer to this problem is for the pastor to teach faithfully and consistently the truth as it is in Jesus Christ. It may be necessary from time to time to expose error, to preach definitely about the false teachings of some heretical sect, showing the Christian answer from the Bible. In doing this the preacher lays himself open to the charge of being uncharitable. It is, however, a strange notion of charity which allows people to go on believing what is untrue, particularly if it is in matters which affect their eternal salvation. At the risk of being thought narrow-minded, the preacher must be prepared "to join the struggle in defence of the faith, the faith which God entrusted to his people once and for all" (Jude 3).
In the end, the best safeguard against heresy of any kind is steady Bible teaching. Canon Guy H. King, a singularly able expository preacher, never tired of saying that, in addition to the Word of God being a lamp, and food, and the other things mentioned in Psalm 119, it was also a disinfectant ! Let a congregation be continually under such a ministry and the danger of heresy will be minimised. Nevertheless in pastoral work the minister is bound to come across those who are members of some heretical body. Much as he dislikes their doctrine, he cannot forget but they are souls for whom Christ died, and to whom he owes the gospel of which he is a steward.


The clergyman is to use both publick and private monitions and exhortations. In its context this refers to the driving away of heresy, but as it goes on to say as well to the sick as the whole, it must have some reference also to personal work in general. A pastor does not visit the sick only to drive away strange and erroneous doctrines! His warnings and encouragements will be directed towards strengthening the faith of the sick person in the Lord Jesus Christ, and bringing such ministry of comfort and cheer as he may see is most suited. Sick visiting is an important part of pastoral work. The Prayer Book provides a service for this, but it is not often used in its entirety. It is a useful guide, in that it shows that the object of the visit is not to pay a mere social call, but to bring spiritual help. This does not exclude general conversation, but a visit should not normally end without a reading of scripture and a prayer. The prayer may well be extempore, bringing in the particular needs of the patient and those connected with him. But people who have been lifelong churchgoers also like to have some of the familiar prayers from the Prayer Book.
Ministry to the dying needs special care. Many such, even if the fact is being kept from them, have a shrewd idea that the end is near. They need the assurance of God's love, and of the salvation which Christ died to gain, in order that they may put their whole trust and confidence in him. Even those who are very weak, or apparently unconscious, can sometimes grasp the meaning of some word of scripture spoken close to the ear. The words of a familiar hymn, such as "Rock of Ages", or "Just as I am", may help to bring a dying person to repose his soul on Christ. Ministry of this kind may be blessed not only to the sick, but to the relatives as well. And when death comes to a home the clergyman will be there to bring the consolation of the gospel to stricken hearts.
A clergyman needs to know exactly what he believes about the theological aspect of sickness and healing. The Prayer Book service for the Visitation of the Sick seems to suggest that illness is always a chastening from the Lord, a view which few would now admit. At the other extreme there is a kind of teaching which suggests that illness is always contrary even to God's permissive will, and that, if there is only sufficient faith on the part of the sufferer and those praying for him, healing will always be granted. Somewhere between the two extremes lies the truth. Sickness is not from God, though he permits it to attack even his greatest saints. Prayer brings healing, but generally through the skill of the physician or surgeon. And God sometimes says "No" to our prayers for healing, or rather answers them in another way, as in the case of St. Paul's thorn in the flesh (2 Cor. 12:7-9). An increasing number of doctors are glad to co-operate with the clergy in the treatment of the sick, so that the patient may not only be cured in body, but be made "whole". Some patients will never be physically restored until their mind and spirit are healed as well.
There is a ministry to the whole as well as to the sick. The expression clearly means, in the context of the question here put, those who are not physically ill. In point of fact not all who are strong in body are really "whole" people at all. For unless Christ has given them the new life they are still spiritually dead. So pastoral work, whether through visiting, or interviews, or casual contacts, is concerned with leading people to Christ that they may be "made whole". Personal evangelism is indeed work for the layman as well as the pastor, but an example in it must be set by the minister, who has many God-given opportunities in the course of his work. AB s to be as need shall require, and occasion shall sue fives- The quality of discernment is much needed inpastoral work. Without it a complete conversation may be allowed to go through and only at the end, perhaps not even then, a deep personal need be revealed which requires the minister's counsel. Without asking impertinent questions, the pastor has to learn to discern, to discover, even to uncover to the person himself, the spiritual need. But he must beware of regarding everyone he meets as a clinical case, someone to whom he is to "do good". His monitions and exhortations are as need shall require. And also as occasion shall be given. The cause of evangelism is not well served by those who, with more zeal than sense, are for ever "dragging religion" into the conversation. We may take it that, when the need requires, a suitable occasion will be given.
"The greatest service that one man can do another" is how Archbishop Temple comments on the words of St. John i :42—"He brought him to Jesus."1
' Readings in St. John's Gospel (Macmillan) p. 29.
That was the service Andrew did for his brother Simon. Andrew was not one of the better known apostles. He had to be identified in the narrative as "Simon Peter's brother". But he had the zeal to go and look for Simon. "The first thing he did was to find his brother Simon." He spoke to him with the conviction of absolute certainty: "We have found the Messiah." He knew that what he believed was true, for he had spent several hours in company with Jesus. As far as we know, Andrew was not a great preacher like Simon Peter, whose sermon on the day of Pentecost reached thousands. But his personal work was superb. He brought his brother. He brought the lad with the loaves and fishes (St. John 6:8,9). He brought the Greeks (St. John 12:22). It is not given to all the clergy to be great preachers. But, to quote Temple again, "Who shall say that Peter himself did more for his Lord than Andrew who brought Peter to Him?'"2 Ibid., p. 28.

Chapter XIII


Will you be diligent in Prayers, and in reading of the holy Scriptures, and in such studies as help to the knowledge of the same, laying aside the study of the world and of the flesh?
In The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church there is a short entry under pastoralia. It reads: "The branch of theology concerned with the principles regulating the life and conduct of the parish priest. Among the subjects which it normally includes are: (i) the methods of public worship and administration of the Sacraments; (2) preaching and sermon construction; (3) the care of the sick and dying; (4) the study of moral theology. All exponents of the subject are agreed that the personal training of the pastor himself in prayer and devotion to his calling are the precondition of all success."1 - Our italics.
Said Michael Ferrar:
"From the nature of the case no instance can be found of a truly successful clergyman who was not a man of prayer."2 ' Michael Lloyd Ferrar, ut supra, p. in
The Rev. F. R. Wynne in The Model Parish wrote a hundred years ago: "Through every day of the minister's life the most essential part of his work is his heart-work with his Saviour." Every man's ministry differs from every other's in an infinite variety of ways. But those who have been true ministers of Christ meet together in one thing: they were all men of prayer.
One of the clergyman's principal duties is the conduct of worship, the reading of the Prayer Book services. We can never be too thankful for the rich treasures of devotion found in the Book of Common Prayer. Charles Simeon 3QCC said: "The finest sight this side of Heaven would be -^ai of a whole congregation really praying the Liturgy," i~i4 he confessed himself to have been often nearer heaven Tt'ruie reading Morning Prayer in Holy Trinity, Cambridge, --iian at any other time. Simeon was able to enter with ?^ch meaning into the prayers of the Church, and to tarry others with him, because he was in himself a man ::" prayer. Yet a devotional spirit alone is not sufficient. ^erhaps even more than in preaching, the clergyman's :ice, diction and manner can make or mar the reading ?f the prayers. It is a matter to which much attention ="iould be given during training. Far too often complaints 2-e heard of inaudibility, or gabbling, or monotony, or the parsonic" voice.
!f the rubrics are followed. Morning and Evening Prayer wiill be said daily in the Church. It is intended to be a service at which lay people attend, for the Curate "shall cause a bell to be tolled thereunto a convenient time before he begin, that the people may come to hear God's Word, and to pray with him." Even where this is done, it is unusual on weekdays for a large congregation to assemble, and the clergyman may be left to say the service alone. The Prayer Book envisages a congregation, and the situation in the sixteenth century made daily attendance very desirable. Few were conversant with the scriprures, and private prayer was not much taught. Today regular habits of prayer and Bible reading are encouraged, and there is far more provision for united devotion in the parish programme. This is not to say that a daily joining in the offices of Morning and Evening Prayer by members of the laity would not be a distinct advantage.
For the clergyman himself the rule is different. "All Priests and Deacons are to say daily the Morning and Evening Prayer either privately or openly, not being let by sickness, or some other urgent cause." This is to ensure that the minister does not neglect prayer both morning and evening. Some would say that, in the absence of a congregation, the spirit of the rubric is kept by the clergyman having his own private Bible reading and prayer.
But there is much to be said on the other side. By using the Prayer Book service, even privately, he will read a large portion of the Bible, meditate deeply on the Psalms, and formulate his prayers in orderly fashion. Moreover, he will be reading and praying with thousands of others who are using the same service. Of course, if the idea is allowed to grow up that the daily offices, said by the Priest alone in the church, are worship offered by him instead of the worship of the people themselves, that can only create a wrong impression. No man can pray instead of another, though he can, and does, pray for others.
In all prayer there is the danger of formalism, no more and no less in liturgical prayer than in any other form. There is no reason why the saying of Morning and Evening Prayer, privately at home, or in the congregation at the church, should not be an intensely live act of worship. If, on the other hand, it degenerates into something that simply has to be "got through", it becomes a mockery. When a vicar has one or more colleagues there is no question that the right thing is to say the services in church. It is a great inspiration thus to meditate and pray together. To start the day in this way at a reasonably early hour, and to pause in the early evening of a busy working day, brings refreshment to them and glory to God.
The clergyman will also have his own private prayers, even when the psalms and lessons of the daily services are the basis of his meditation. He will devise his own system of intercession, both for the parish and for the wider interests of the Kingdom of God. He will persevere in the habit of continually lifting up his heart to God during the day. Prayer is so vital in the ministry that it needs to be given the absolute priority over everything else. 'To prayer and to the ministry of the Word," in that order, was the practice of the Apostles (Acts 6:4).


Continual emphasis has been laid in the Ordination service on the Bible, and the need to study it. Little wonder that reading of the holy scriptures is made the subject of a vow. We have noted also that there are many other related subjects which need to be studied. Without continual study a clergyman cannot do his work. and this too is something he promises to do. To some men the keeping of this vow comes easily. To such F. R. Wynne said severely: "Tear yourself away sternly from your beloved volumes when the appointed hour strikes, and sally forth to that dealing with souls, for which book learning is only a preparation." But he goes on in words full of wisdom:
'If on the other hand study is a weariness to you; if you would rather be stirring from place to place, walking, talking, and teaching, than sitting quietly over your Greek Testament, then you are just the person for whom diligent study is most needful. You are in danger of becoming superficial and wordy; you are in danger of dwelling exclusively on hackneyed texts, and pet doctrines, instead of rightly dividing the word of truth—instead of coming to the depths and reality of things. You must discipline yourself to stick more to your study, and to labour more for your God in mind-work."
It is to be feared that those who find it difficult to fulfil this vow are in the majority. This is an age of rush, and many are impatient of anything which appears to curtail the active side of ministerial life. Moreover a minister can be deceived into thinking that people expect him to be always "busy". He may even develop a "conscience" about the hours spent in reading. It is then that he needs the reminder that at the most solemn moment of his life, when he was ordained to the sacred ministry of the Church, he made a vow that he would be diligent in study. Just how he is to fulfil the vow will vary from man to man. Some set aside one complete day each week for nothing but study — not of course to be confused with the weekly "day off".
Traditionally the morning of each working day should be set aside for reading, but there are many interruptions in the form of visitors and telephone calls, funerals or other services, not to mention correspondence and administration. The fight for time to study is always on; the war must be waged—and won, by whatever means are available.
It is a great help to the parson if the lay people can be taught to understand the importance of his study hours. Do they sometimes expect the wrong things of their minister? Says Dr. Sangster: "It is best to let the people know quite frankly, when first coming among them, that, in their interests, you must guard your morning hours for study. Let it be clear that, at any time of day or night, you are ready in emergency, but, saving matters of the gravest concern, you would be glad to be left undisturbed by door-bell or telephone before lunch. It is in their service that you are engaged. With God and with your books, you are closeted in preparation for the holy day. The nourishment that you will have for them on Sunday depends on their forbearance in the week." " W E Sangster, The Approach to Preaching, p. 35 (Epworth Press) Not indeed that Dr. Sangster is advocating that study should be specifically with the following Sunday's sermons in view. Such a hand-to-mouth existence is to be deprecated.
The Archbishop of York has more than once dropped the hint to the laity that they should encourage their clergy to read by an occasional gift of a book token. If stipends are too small to allow the purchase of books this is indeed a good suggestion. The public library is a help, but many books are of the type which are needed for reference on future occasions and should therefore be bought. Books become friends to which the minister can turn to recall a point needed for a particular purpose. But when all has been said about the importance of reading, let it be remembered that the vow speaks primarily of the reading of the Bible itself. For this, and such studies as help to the knowledge of the same, the minister is to lay aside worldly or purely selfish pursuits.

Chapter XIV


Will you be diligent to frame and fashion your own selves, and your families, according to the Doctrine of Christ: and to make both yourselves and them. as much as in you lieth, wholesome examples and patterns to the flock of Christ?
In the list of qualifications for a presbyter-bishop St. Paul mentions "faithful to his one wife" (i Tim 3:2). And of deacons he says: "Their wives, equally, must be women of high principle" (i Tim. 3:11). In both cases he mentioned the importance of managing their children and household. That the pastors of Christ's flock should be married men with families is regarded as nothing strange. While St. Paul remained unmarried, and was sure he was better equipped to serve God as a result, St. Peter was a married man. The idea of compulsory clerical celibacy was gradually introduced into the Church as a result of mistaken views of marriage which regarded the unmarried as capable of a higher degree of sanctity. Since the Reformation all clergy of the Church of England are free to marry and the majority do so. There will always be some who forego marriage in order to give themselves to some particular kind of life and service which is more suited to a single man.
Without doubt the majority of parishes prefer to have a married man as their incumbent. When a P.C.C. makes recommendations to the patron as to the particular kind of paragon that they would like for their new vicar (they may not mention any names, and probably could not, for there does not exist a clergyman who would come up to their standard!), they nearly always ask for a married man whose wife will be active in the parish. Sometimes what they are hoping for is a wife who will be the "unpaid curate". This is entirely unfair, for the chief duty of a clergyman's wife, as of any other wife, is to be a good wife and mother, to make of the parsonage a model of a Christian home. She will take her part in church activities, perhaps as leader in some, but not at the expense of caring for the family.
Parishioners usually feel happiest with a married clergyman, though there have been some outstanding examples of bachelor clergy. For young men entering the ministry the whole subject bristles with problems. It used to be thought quite wrong for a clergyman to consider marriage before he had been for several years in Priest's Orders. The social pattern in our country has now so greatly changed that people are getting married much younger, and the clergy tend to follow the general trend. Bishops and principals of theological colleges are constantly having to face the question of when a young man should be allowed to get married. Most are agreed that marriage and Ordination should not take place too near to each other, as both involve major adjustments to life, but there are exceptions even to this rule. The alternatives are either marriage a year before Ordination, or postponement to a year after. Economic considerations may be decisive against the first.
All this is assuming that the young man has already found the one he believes to be his future partner, and that she is of the same mind! To an extent unknown even thirty years ago this is now the case. It is well therefore for any young man contemplating the ordained ministry to get this subject in its prbper'-perspective. The words of Handley Moule, written as long ago as 1891, are very much to the point today:
Let the true man, who is at present free in respect of marriage-engagements, resolve that in the whole quesaoc of seeking or not seeking a wife he will consider fesc. raidst. and last his Master's work, his Master's ministry. Better a thousand times be the most solitary of human beings than choose with your eyes open a married life in which you will not find positive help (not merely no positive hindrance) in your work for the Lord Jesus Christ. Beware of the temptation to seek the mere pretty face, or the mere fortune large or small, or mere accomplishments, or indeed anything short of the truly converted believing heart and dedicated will. The clergyman and his wife are sacredly bound to live their united life wholly for Christ. They are to help one another on in Him, to stimulate one another in work for others in Him, to give each other always mutual aid towards a constant growth in faith, hope, love; towards an ever better use of means, and time, and tongue, and everything. If their Lord gives them children to train for Him these children are to see their parents so living, not only individually but together, as to glorify and commend the gospel to them from the very first. And the wider family of the parish, sure to be observant, is to see the same sight in measure. Happy the married pastor whose home and its life respond to such a description. Alas for the man whose passions, blindness, hurry, self-will, or whatever else it is, has betrayed him into a condition of things which cannot be so described.'
1 To My Younger Brethren, pp. 112-3 (Hodder and Stoughton).
This somewhat long quotation is justified on account of the importance of the matter it raises. A clergyman's usefulness can be greatly enhanced, or almost completely ruined, by his wife. The best advice to a young clergyman seeking the right one is that given by Dr. S. D. Gordon: "Pray; but keep your eyes reverently open!" Experience shows that a curate who is married to a wife who is one hundred per cent with him in Christian devotion can do an immense amount of good. He will not suffer from that loneliness which is so common when men first leave the fellowship of their college. He will have a partner with whom he can share the burdens in prayer and consultation. He will have a home—preferably an "open" house—to which young people will come and see an example of Christian home life. And incidentally he will be delivered from the unwanted attentions of some of the girls of the flock, which are sometimes an embarrassment to an unmarried man.
The bringing up of children is no easier for the clergyman than for the lay Christian. There is indeed a danger that, in giving time to his parish morning, noon and night he may give too little attention to his own family. Children of a clerical household do not automatically grow up as good Christians. Prayer and example are the two biggest factors. A forced religion, or unnatural piety, will only repel. But if children grow up in the atmosphere of love and joyful Christian service they will respond. On the other hand they are quick to recognise the slightest insincerity.


Married or unmarried, the clergyman is to be a wholesome example and pattern to the flock. From i Timothy 3:1-7 we learn that this means he must be "above reproach", a man, that is, of exemplary character, of "blameless reputation" (J. B. Phillips). He must be "sober", that is, "a man of watchful, calm, unimpassioned mind". He must be "temperate", suggesting a self-restrained and disciplined life. "Courteous" speaks for itself, though Moffat's translation as "unruffled" is suggestive. Discourtesy is so often the result of getting ruffled. "Hospitable" talks of the open home, the genuine welcome. Christianity is a sociable religion, and the pastor must lead the way in sociability. "A good teacher", as we have already noticed, refers to his keenness to impart knowledge.
The list continues: "He must not be given to drink."
Is such a caution really necessary? It must be realised that the clergyman is as human as everyone else. He can know loneliness, disappointment, worry, depression, in f-BC? al! Th" things which have been known to "drive a man to drink". Every minister must decide with his own conscience whether he will be a teetotaller or not. And in taking the decision he will consider what is likely to be the effect of his example on others. Some fear that they will lose influence if they stand out as different from the men with whom they mix, but on the whole the man of the world has more respect for courageously held convictions than for compromise. There are other habits too, resides drinking, which can be harmfully indulged to excess, and a clergyman needs to make up his mind clearly on such a matter as smoking.
He is not to be a "brawler", i.e. not violent. Pugnacity is it unenviable quality in a minister. Strong convictions say be tenaciously held without giving way to outbursts of temper. On the contrary he is to be "of a forbearing disposition, avoiding quarrels". This is by no means inconsistent with the Christian warrior, who must "fight the good fight of faith".
"And no lover of money." No man enters the ministry with the idea of becoming rich. Many start with scarcely a thought of ways and means, with a self-abandonment and faith in God's power to provide which might almost appear to the worldly-wise to be light-heartedness. But pressure of events makes it essential sooner or later to give some consideration to the business of living. More particularly for the married man, family commitments are a sacred responsibility. It is a scriptural principle that "the labourer is worthy of his hire" (St. Luke 10:7 Authorised Version), and that "those who preach the gospel should earn their living by the gospel" (i Cor. 9:14). Commenting on the fact that the Levites in the Old Testament were provided for by the people, Thomas Fuller pointedly asked: "Do the ministers of the gospel deserve worse wages for bringing better tidings?"[ Five Pastorals, p. 165.]
While the minister, like all other men, needs the wherewithal to live, he should be an example to the flock in all matters concerning money. The worship of mammon is the commonest of sins today, and the clergyman must lead the way in avoiding it. In very many cases the straitened circumstances of the clerical household make it not difficult to obey the words of the psalmist: "If riches increase, set not your heart on them" (Psa. 62: lo).
But poverty as well as riches can be a snare, and make for preoccupation with money. If there is constant anxiety about making ends meet, a man's ministry is crippled. And sometimes there is a temptation to seek "fresh fields and pastures new" for no better reason than financial advantage.
To be an example in money matters, the clergyman must certainly be careful to live within his means, however difficult this may be. Debt is not merely dishonourable, it is stealing. If a sudden catastrophe should leave a clergyman facing the possibility of debt he should at once take counsel with those who are "over him in the Lord", and never try to "muddle through", hoping for something to turn up. But in the normal course of events a debt should be unthinkable, and every economy exercised to avoid it. Needless to say, the clergyman must also be meticulously careful in his handling of church monies.

It is better if all treasurerships are in the hands of reliable lay people, though there are parishes where, for lack of lay help, much falls on the incumbent. Where this is so he needs to be thoroughly businesslike.
In the matter of Christian giving the clergyman should be out in front of his people. It is sometimes said that a minister is expected to subscribe to every good cause, and that this is one of the things that makes living more expensive for him. This is a wrong attitude towards giving.
Every minister, like every layman, is a steward of his possessions, and should set aside a proportion of his income for God's work. If that proportion is a minimum of one-tenth—and it seems unreasonable that the Old Testament tithe should give way to anything less under the New Covenant—he will have a private "fund" from which to disburse all his gifts. Without question, care in money matters is greatly helped by putting the sacred ncadi first. The remaining nine-tenths is made to go further. The simple explanation is that God is no man's debtor.
\\'hen all has been said about the need for a clergyman to be "no lover of money" and to practice the strictest vigilance in his financial affairs, there remains also a word far the laity. Of recent years much has been done to raise the level of clerical stipends, and to pay the kind of expenses—postage, telephone, etc.—which no business man would be expected to meet out of his own pocket. But there is still a great deal of ignorance, and people should have certain facts explained to them: for instance, that although the Church of England is established, the clergy are not paid by the State; that the Church Commissioners are not an inexhaustible gold mine; and that the greater part of clerical stipends comes from the generosity of our forefathers. Some parishes shoulder their responsibilities rewards their clergy magnificently, but there are others which appear to lack understanding in this matter. The clergy do not as a rule make their own needs known, but if they did it might well be (with suitable verbal changes) in the words of Agur: "Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, ‘Who is the Lord?' or lest I be poor, and steal, and profane the name of my God" (Prov. 30:8, 9).

Chapter XV


Will you maintain and set forwards, as much as lieth in you, quietness, peace and love, among all Christian people, and especially among them that are or shall be committed to your charge?
it is impossible for a clergyman of the Church of England to minister in his parish and ignore the existence of Christians of other allegiances. This, however, was not what was primarily in mind when the question about quietness, peace and love first appeared in the Ordinal. The situation has completely changed since then. The great Free Churches of our country have arisen and must be reckoned with. The day is long gone by when a candidate for Holy Orders, asked a question about his attitude to Nonconformists in his parish, could answer .in the words of Balak: "Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all!" Such "splendid isolation" is a thing of the past. It is part of the duty of the minister to set forwards . . . quietness, peace and love, among all Christian people. Progress has been made in conversations with the Methodists at the highest level, and the 1963 Report has put forward concrete suggestions. It is impossible to comment at the time of writing on a situation which may change rapidly. It may be said, however, that an atmosphere of expectancy has been created which makes closer relations at the parish level an urgent necessity. The ordinary parochial clergyman may be able to do little to influence the wider cause of unity, but he can do much to encourage it in the local situation. In many areas a ministers' fraternal is held periodically, at which the ministers of every denomination meet together for practical discussion, theological study and devotional encouragement.
The cross-fertilisation of ideas which results from such meetings is immensely helpful. Old suspicions are broken down and a great measure of agreement is reached.
It is to be feared that there is often more enthusiasm for unity among the clergy than among the laity. It may be that laymen tend to ignore differences, to say that we are all one anyway, so why bother about united action? It is the minister's part to try to bring the people together for common prayer and activity, and to discuss differences with a view to eventual complete unity. Many of the differences are not theological at all, but are the result of temperament or upbringing. Co-existence in a local Council of Churches, with positive action on a united basis in v many spheres as possible, should lead to desire for eventual union. The quietness and peace which are so essential ???infer to active love between brethren in Christ, not to mutual toleration while all go their own separate ways.
It has to be said that differences occur, not only between denominations, but within the fellowship of the Church of England itself. That there are deep divisions in theological ??nmmion it would be idle to deny. To the layman the differences often appear chiefly as outward matters of ceremonial, but underlying these are questions of doctrine. It would be wrong to forbid debate on disputed points on the ground of a false view of charity. It is through frank discussion of convictions firmly held that truth is established. Some who hold very strongly to one point of view are inclined to hold aloof from others, thereby losing all opportunity of making their influence felt. On the whole there is today a much better spirit of friendliness between representatives of the differing views within the Church, a greater willingness for free discussion, and—most important of all—a greater determination to "speak the truth in love" (Eph. 4:15).


The vow to maintain quietness, peace, and love among all Christian people is of very wide application, but it is particularly concerned with those that are or shall be committed to your charge. While this can mean all who live in the parish, it has special application to those whose allegiance is to the Church of England. Unity in a congregation is something to pray and strive for. It is essential to the very nature of the Church. "Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity" (Psa. 133:1) Our Lord's prayer "that they may be one" (St. John 17:11) is a prayer for harmony in a local congregation just as much as for the reunion of Christendom. Such unity is a reflection of the unity of the Father and the Son. It comes through the revelation of the glory of God to each believer. "The glory which thou gavest me I have given to them, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and thou in me, may they be perfectly one" (St. John 17:22, 23). And the effect of true unity on those still outside is seen in the words which immediately follow: "Then the world will learn that thou didst send me, that thou didst love them as thou didst me" (St. John 17:23). There is however, a kind of unity which can be purchased at too high a cost. "Peace at any price" is far too shallow to be a genuine harmony. Many times the minister, by his faithfulness and refusal to compromise, will create a condition of conflict. Jesus said: "You must not think that I have come to bring peace on the earth: I have not come to bring peace, but a sword" (St. Matt. 10:34).
Even families will be divided by their attitude to our Lord. And the minister who is trying to uphold the standard of Christ may expect criticism. If all men speak well of him he may wonder if he is being true to his calling. Sometimes a firm line must be taken on a point of spiritual principle. The alternative of trying to please everybody is bound to fail. There are times when a clergyman must make up his mind what he believes to be right and, though it be a most unpopular decision, do it regardless of the consequences. Apparent unity based on weak compromise is worse than useless. But even here there is a needed caution that the clergyman must be quite certain that he is not acting from mere obstinacy.
There is another kind of unity which is more apparent than real: when a congregation is satisfied with little more than sociability. It is possible for a parish to be run more or less as a club for like-minded people. All the "workers" get on well together and in the general rush and bustle of activity there is complete harmony. But there is nothing shared at a deeper level. It is not the unity of the Spirit. Usually such sociability has no evangelistic drive behind it. It is not outward-looking. There s a kind of parish also in which the worshippers do not really know each other except as people in the pew on Sundays. They do not show any signs of tension, simply because they never meet. They are, as one vicar is said to nave complained, united only in the sense of being "frozen together".
In order to set forward true "love of the brethren", a minister must ensure that the members of the congregaoon meet and know each other. A person who has knelt at the Lord's Table with his fellow-worshipper, and has joined with him in saying "Our Father", cannot opt out or the obligation to treat each one as "my brother". Though the responsibility rests with the lay people to be friendly, the clergyman can do something by appeal and example.
It is difficult to do much unless there are weekday activities at which people can meet each other, and what has been said of the dangers of mere sociability is by no means a condemnation of the social side of parish life. A parish fellowship can have a tremendous value, provided its memtiers are for ever on the look-out for opportunities of giving friendship, not merely receiving it.
Yet social activities alone do not promote true fellowship. It is when people are brought together in prayer and worship, study and service, that they find unity at a deeper level. It is important that common service should play a big part. Nothing is gained by the exclusive group which is an end in itself, a "holy huddle" as it has been called. But if the committed group goes out in service to others they will find the companionship of fellow Christians to be a blessed by-product of their united endeavours.
The Church exists primarily for the benefit of non-members. The love which the minister is to foster in his flock is the love of Christ himself, which .is always an out-going love. Quietness and peace are the inner harmony of those who are united to do battle for Christ.
Sometimes the very keenness of church members, the strength with which convictions are held, the anxiety to set on with the work of the Lord, may be the cause of possible friction. But who would not rather have a group of people on a P.C.C. who will debate freely, even heatedly, than a party of yes-men with no big ideas or strong convictions, no deep concern for the Kingdom of God? In God's purpose "plans are established by counsel" (Prov. 20: i8). To the minister is entrusted the thrilling task of welding the congregation into a team whose varied gifts will contribute to the life of the whole. The harmony is that of a well oiled machine in which every part is functioning properly. This, the minister knows, is only possible in the power of the Holy Spirit. So to this, as to the other questions, he responds: / will so do, the Lord being my helper.

Chapter XVI


Will you reverently obey your Ordinary, and other chief Ministers, unto whom is committed the charge and government over you; following with a glad mind and will their godly admonitions, and submitting yourselves to their godly judgments?
A similar question occurs in the Making of Deacons. A minister is a man under authority: he is to obey his Ordinary. This means the one who has immediate, as opposed to deputed, jurisdiction. In a normal parish the incumbent has the authority only as it is deputed to him by the Bishop. The Bishop of the diocese is therefore the Ordinary. He has the ultimate word in the parish. The assistant curate, for instance, is really the Bishop's curate, entrusted by him to the care of the incumbent. The other chief Ministers are those to whom the diocesan Bishop delegates some of his duties of oversight, that is to say the Suffragan Bishop, the Archdeacon, and to a lesser extent the Rural Dean.
The promise to obey the Bishop makes the relationship —Eod more austere than in fact it is. A Bishop is as much bound by the fonnularies of the Church of England as is the youngest Deacon, and may not order anything that is contrary to them. Nor will he wish to "direct" the clergy to their own work (provided they are doing their duty), but rather to encourage them, and to advise them when asked. The Bishop administers the law of the Church, and it is often a help to an incumbent to be able to inform parishioners that in taking a certain line he is acting on the authority of the Bishop. If a serious case of clerical misdemeanour should arise, the Bishop has the responsibility of applying discipline.
Generally speaking the relationship of the Bishop to his clergy is one of pastor, guide and friend. The late Bishop IcQ of Chichester wrote: "Do not hesitate to look upon him as your friend, or to go to him in cases of difficulty; I do not mean for trifling affairs ... He is the father of the family, not an inaccessible potentate, and believe me, he welcomes personal relations, and personal dealings."1
' Quoted by C. R. Forder, The Parish Priest at Work, p. 257 S-P.C.K.).
This may not always have been the case in the past, but the change that has taken place is for the better, and certainly is nearer to the New Testament pattern of a pastor.
It is the godly advice of his superiors that the clergyman is to follow. The Ordinal presumes that this is what will he given. A clergyman's conscience is safeguarded in that the oath of canonical obedience which he takes at Ordination, and on institution to a parish, stipulates that the obedience is "in all things lawful and honest".
An ordination candidate is recommended by C.A.C.T.M. on behalf of the Bishop of the diocese through which he applies—normally his home diocese. He thus becomes a candidate sponsored by that diocese, and the Bishop, usually through one of the diocesan staff appointed by him for the purpose, keeps in touch with him. This link does not mean that the candidate must necessarily be ordained in that particular diocese, but it is a matter of courtesy that he should inform the Bishop if he wishes to accept a title in some other diocese. The Bishop must also be consulted before an engagement of marriage is announced, and of course before a marriage takes place. Some feel that more power should be given to the Bishop to direct ordinands to their first curacy. But direction of this kind is contrary to the ethos of the Church of England, and in any case the Bishop can hardly know the candidate personally in the same way as, for example, the principal of his theological college. Advice and suggestion may certainly come from the Bishop, but it is wise that the man himself should have the final decision to make. Obviously he will give due weight to the fact that the answer to his prayer for guidance may well come through the Bishop's recommendation.'
This was written six months before the publication of the Paul Report. I see no reason to alter what I have said here. M.P.
When a curate decides to leave his first parish, whether it be to go overseas, or to a second curacy, or to a living, he should inform his Bishop. A Bishop does not normally release a man from his curacy under three years, and certainly not under two, except in very unusual circumstances. A Bishop may have some say in the living to which a man is appointed, as a number of parishes are in his own gift. However, if a clergyman is offered a benefice by a Bishop, whether he be his own Diocesan or any other, he is at liberty to refuse the offer if he feels it is not the right parish for him. This is not an act of disobedience; an offer is not a command. It is for the good of the Church as a whole that only a proportion of the livings in each diocese are in the gift of the Bishop.
Private patrons and bodies of trustees, when seeking the right man to fill a vacancy ,'awlisss inclined to look within the diocese, and so cross-fertilisation takes place. The Bishop can, however, refuse to institute a man nominated to him by the patron if he has strong grounds for regarding him as unsuitable. An example of this would be if the patron had nominated someone of completely different churchmanship from that requested by the P.C.C. in their representations. It is believed that such refusal does not often happen, because patrons take every care to consider the wishes of the parishioners.
In practice, therefore, the promise of canonical obedience does not involve a great deal of interference in the liberty of the clergy to work in their own way, as long as they are within the fairly wide limits set by the formularies of the Church. It would be a pity if revised Canon Law should increase too greatly the number of instances which require the Bishop's permission. The incumbent should be trusted to make decisions on most pastoral matters, but it is good that he has the Bishop to appeal to in cases where he needs help. And at all times he should be able to approach his Bishop for personal or pastoral advice.


Almighty God, who hath given you this will to do all these things; Grant also unto you strength and power to perform the same; that he may accomplish his work vhich he hath begun in you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The solemn examination of the candidates is over. They have given their consent to every point. They have professed their faith in their own call, and in the sufficiency of holy scripture. They have promised to be faithful, to resist wrong teaching, to pray and to study, to live consistantly, to further Christian unity, and to obey those set over them in the Lord. It is a formidable list of promises.
The Bishop is directed to stand up for the prayer of blessmg which follows. It is not a prayer addressed to God in the second person, but an invocation, in form similar to the Absolution in the Holy Communion services, or the Aaronic Blessing of Numbers 6.
A similar blessing was in the Sarum Pontifical of pre-reformation times. It first recognises that it is God who has given the will to do all these things. This is in accord with scripture: "For it is God who works in you, inspiring both the will and the deed, for his own chosen purpose" (Phil. 2:13). Then it invokes divine strength for the fulfilment of the vows. In every Prayer Book service where vows are taken—Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, Ordination—there is recognition that without God's power there will be no hope of keeping them. Finally the purpose of the invocation is that he may accomplish his work which he hath begun in you. The work which he has begun is the work of grace—choosing, calling, justifying, sanctifying. It is his work from beginning to end. And according to his promise—so infinitely trustworthy, by contrast with man's best vows—"the One who started the good work in you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. i: 6). The concluding words through Jesus Christ our Lord were substituted in 1662 for the earlier "until the time he shall come at the latter day to judge the quick and dead".

Chapter XVII


After this, the Congregation shall be desired, secretly in their prayers, to make their humble supplications to God for all these things; for the which Prayers there shall be silence kept for a space.
The congregation has already been asked to pray, at the time that the Litany is sung or said. Meanwhile the Bishop's address has been a reminder of the kind of ministry to which these candidates have been called, and the ordination vows have been taken. The people are again asked, in view of the great solemnity and seriousness of what is being undertaken, to pray for all these things. Their humble supplications to God are that these men may be faithful to the vows they have made, that they may be the kind of clergy that God wants them to be, as portrayed in the New Testament and the Ordinal. We may pause to ask whether this is in fact the kind of clergyman that lay people invariably do want. Would they sometimes prefer a standard a little less exacting? One of the saddest passages in the Old Testament reads: "The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; and my people love to have it so (Jer. 5:31). The prayers of the people at this point, asking God for all these things, commit them to uphold their clergy in seeking always to be "the best for God".
It is a fact that the laity do not always understand the high demands of the ministerial life. Dr. Sangster is very forthright about this, saying: "Don't covet the distinction of being clubbable. I know that runs counter to the advice which many laymen give to young ministers, counter, also, to the ambition you may have in your heart. It is nice to be known in the neighbourhood as 'matey' and 'a good sort' . . . But you will buy that distinction dearly . . . You are a man of God in the community. Separate! Not by your own choosing but by God's choice. That does not mean that you will be aloof, and least of all, superior. God forbid! You are the servant of all. But the community should not know you, first, as a good fellow', and then almost remember with surprise that you are a minister of God. But, first, a minister of :Silence is to be kept for a space while the congregation prays. This is the one and only place in the Prayer Book where silence is enjoined, though there is no obvious reason why it should not be observed in other services. On the whole the Church of England is not very good at the use of silence. Even a minute for silent prayer seems to many to be a break in the service, and they wonder when it is going to continue "properly". This is quite a wrong attitude. We need not all become Quakers in order to earn from them the immense value of being quiet before God. If our church people were better taught how to use a silence of fully five minutes at this point in the service could be instinct with the power of God. It is a fairly safe guess that at most Ordinations the "space" is to be measured in seconds rather than minutes.
The silence is broken by the Bishop beginning the Veni, Creator Spiritus, directed to be sung or said antiphonally, but actually often sung by the choir and congregation throughout. It has the distinction of being the only Christian hymn in rhyming verse to be included in the Prayer Book, the Te Deum and Quicunque Vult (which is really a hymn) being translated in a different style. The Latin orginal of Veni Creator dates from the ninth century. The author is unknown, but it has commonly been attributed to Rabanus Maurus, theologian, abbot, and Archbishop of Mainz. It was used as a Whitsuntide hymn, but quite soon was included in Ordination services. The English translation in the first Ordinal was the one which is given as an alternative (and longer) version in the present service. It is not known by whom this was translated. In the 1662 Prayer Book the language was somewhat modernised, and it was placed as an alternative to Bishop Cosin's translation, which is the one commonly used today. It is sung to a variety of tunes, both ancient and modern, though most commonly to the Sarum Plainsong Melody. Those who have heard it sung in the Church of Ireland to the Palestrina tune may wonder if any other could be an improvement on that.
This invocation of the Holy Spirit is a most scriptural and heart-warming prayer. The celestial fire is reminiscent of the words of St. Paul: "That is why I now remind you to stir into flame the gift of God which is within you through the laying on of my hands" (2 Tim. 1:6). The anointing, or unction, is referred to in i John 2:20 (Authorised Version, and see also New English Bible footnote). The sevenfold gifts of the Spirit are those enumerated in the prayer before the laying on of hands in the Confirmation service, and taken mainly from Isaiah 11:2. Seven is the perfect number and "the seven spirits before his throne" (Rev. i: 4) is a symbolic way of speaking of the perfection of the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. '
The Spirit is also "ointment for your eyes so that you may see" (Rev. 3: i8), the cure for the dullness of our blinded sight. Above all the Holy Spirit is to lead us to our Lord
Jesus Christ, that through Him we may know the Father, 1
and join in the endless song to the praise of the Holy Trinity. r \ .


The Veni Creator ended, the Bishop proceeds with the preordination prayer. It begins with a recitation of the saving acts of God, as in the Prayer of Consecration in the Holy Communion. This recitation comes in a series of subordinate clauses following the address to Almighty God and heavenly Father, who . . . God's saving acts have their origin in his infinite Jove and goodness towards us. The whole plan of redemption, the restoration of all things in Christ, springs from the love of God. "God loved the world so much . . ." (St. John 3:16). Out of this love he gave to us his only and most dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ to be our Redeemer, and the Author of everlasting life. His birth, his life, his teaching, his healing, are all part of the gospel of his love, but that gospel is summed up in his death. "Christ died for our sins" (i Cor. 15:3) is the heart of the gospel. But it does not end there. The inevitable outcome of the victory of the cross was the Resurrection and Ascension and Heavenly Session. So the recital continues: who, after he had made perfect our redemption by his death, and was ascended into heaven . . . The next event in the life of Christ after the Ascension, that is commemorated in the Creed, is the Second Advent. Between the Ascension and the Advent Christ "took his seat at the right hand of God, where he waits henceforth until his enemies are made his footstool" (Heb. 10:13).
This waiting time, between the coming of the Kingdom through God's saving acts in Christ and its consummation at the Second Coming, is the whole age of the Church. In this age he has sent abroad into the world his Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Doctors (i.e. teachers), and pastors; by whose labour and ministry he gathered together a great flock in all parts of the world, to set forth the eternal praise of thy holy Name. Words like these put the ministry in its proper setting in the whole story of the purpose of God. Ministers are Christ's Ascension 2:fts for the choosing out from among all nations of "a people to bear his name" (Acts 15:14). The purpose of dus great flock is nothing less than the setting forth of the eternal praise of God. It is his will that "through the dmrch, the wisdom of God in all its varied forms might be made known to the rulers and authorities in the realms of heaven" (Eph. 3:10). The Church, then, and within it the ministry, is a part of the saving activity of God.
Two things call for most hearty thanks and praise and worship. The first is the whole glorious plan of salvation, these so great benefits of thy eternal goodness. The second is that thou hast vouchsafed to call these thy servants here present to the same Office and Ministry appointed for the salvation of mankind. This, as we have seen, is a matter for humble gratitude in the one to be ordained.1 See p. 73.
It is also a subject for praise and thanksgiving by the whole Church. That God should have chosen men—these particular men—for such a glorious purpose is matter for deep thankfulness. Then follows the petition that all Christian people may continue to shew themselves thankful, and daily increase and go forwards in the knowledge and faith of thee and of thy Son, by the Holy Spirit. The way of showing gratitude for the gospel and its ministers is by accepting their preaching and teaching so that we daily grow in grace. The result is to be that God's holy Name may be tor ever glorified and his blessed kingdom enlarged; and this both by the ministry of those here to be ordained, and also by those among whom they will minister. 0 bless the shepherd; bless the sheep;
That guide and guided both be one,
One in the faithful watch they keep,
Until this hurrying life be done."
* Bishop J. Armstrong.

Chapter XVIII


We come now to the central act in the service of Ordination, the imposition of hands. It is an ancient symbol of blessing, mentioned as early as the story of the blessing of Joseph's two sons by Isaac (Gen. 48). In the New Testament it was used by our Lord and his disciples in healing, and before he ascended he "blessed them with uplifted hands" (St. Luke 24: 50). Laying on of hands after baptism was the outward sign which accompanied the receiving of the Holy Spirit, and is the scriptural basis of confirmation (e.g. Acts 8:14-17). Ordination also was, from the beginning, accompanied by imposition of hands, as is clear in the injunction: "Do not be over-hasty in laying on hands in ordination" (i Tim. 5:22). Sometimes it was a separation to some particular work, as when Barnabas and Saul were sent out on their missionary labours: "Then, after further fasting and prayer, they laid their hands on them and let them go" (Acts 13 .3). But even if the laying on of hands was sometimes used for giving a special commissioning, it is quite certain that it was the rule at every Ordination. "Do not neglect the spiritual endowment you possess, which was given you, under the guidance of prophecy, through the laying on of the hands of the elders as a body" i Tim. 4:14).
This last passage shows that all the elders, not just a single leader among them, laid hands on the person to be ordained. As we have seen, the New Testament does not distinguish between Presbyter and Bishop. The office of Bishop as a separate Order was one which developed early through sheer necessity. From very early times it was rhe Bishop who ordained. But in the Ordering of Priests he is not alone in laying on hands. The Bishop with the Priests present shall lay their hands severally upon the head of every one that receiveth the Order of Priesthood.
Wrote Dr. W. H. Griffith Thomas: 'Those who have witnessed an Ordination Service will not soon forget the solemn sight of the Bishop and Presbyters surrounding the candidates for the Priesthood. '- The Catholic Faith, p. 292 (Church Book Room Press).
1 The Receivers humbly kneeling upon their knees. No other posture would be possible than that which denotes humble submission to the Lord.
Then the Bishop says:
Receive the Holy Ghost for the office and Work of a Priest in the Church of God, now committed to thee by the Imposition of our hands. Whose sins thou dost forgive, they are forgiven; and whose sins thou dost retain they are retained. And be thou a faithful Dispenser of the Word of God, and of his holy Sacraments; in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
The first half of this formula is taken from our Lord's words in St. John 20:22, 23. Archbishop William Temple in his Readings in St. John's Gospel makes much of the fact that there is no definite article, and renders the words:
Receive holy spirit (or breath). "What is bestowed," he says, "is not the Divine Person Himself but the power and energy of which He is the source."1
The New English Bible, however, inserts the article: "Receive the Holy Spirit." For the disciples assembled on the first Easter Sunday evening it was a prophetic foretaste of the day of Pentecost. There is no certainty that there were not others besides members of the Twelve present to receive this foretaste, and we know that the assembly on the day of Pentecost numbered a hundred and twenty, and included women. The Holy Spirit was given to each and to all, to the whole Church.
There are however special gifts of the Holy Spirit (i Cor. 12:4-11). And in the Ordinal the words of our Lord are applied individually to those who are being appointed to a particular function in the Church. There is no suggestion that they have not known the power of the Holy Spirit before: without that they would not be Christians at all. But what is new is the power of the Holy Spirit for the Office and Work of a Priest. They have not held this office before and therefore could not know—nor had any need to know—this particular gift of the Spirit. This was made clearer in the *1662,, Service by the inclusion of the words for the Office and Work of a Priest in the Church of God. In the earlier Ordinal the quotation from St. John 20 had appeared without this interpolation.
Not only the words "Receive the Holy Spirit", but also the following, "If you forgive any man's sins, they stand forgiven: if you pronounce them unforgiven, unforgiven they remain", were spoken as a commission to the whole Church, not merely to the apostles. As Archbishop Temple says: "Every Christian has a responsibility for drawing others to Christ, and for declaring, if occasion so require, the forgiveness which the divine love offers to all who come in penitence.'" These words of our Lord give "a living and abiding power to declare the fact and the conditions of forgiveness . . . The commission must be regarded properly as the commission of the Christian Society, and not as that of the Christian ministry."* * The Catholic Faith, p. 293.
Used here in the Ordinal, "they are a special and personal application to the one individual of the general and universal commission given by our Lord to the whole Church to preach the Gospel, and to declare God's message of remission or forgiveness. The Presbyter is thus God's Prophet, possessing Divine commission to proclaim the Gospel, and also to announce to men the solemn alternative if God's message is rejected.'"2 B. F. Westcott, Commentary on St. John, p. 295. ' Ibid., p. 388.
In using the words of our Lord in this context, the Church stresses what is the most vital part of the work of the ministry. It is to bring people to the knowledge of the forgiveness of sins. Ministers are to be, like St. Paul, "Christ's ambassadors. It is as if God were appealing to you through us: in Christ's name, we implore you, be reconciled to God!" (2 Cor. 5:20). The way in which this ministry of reconciliation is to be effected is not stated in detail. But the next sentence lays down principles. Beginning as it does with the word "and", it is clearly connected with what has gone before. And be thou a faithful Dispenser of the Word of God. and of his Holy Sacraments. Through the preaching and teaching of the scriptures, and through the administration of baptism and the Lord's Supper, the Priest is constantly to declare that "God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, no longer holding men's misdeeds against them, and that he has entrusted us with the message of reconciliation" (2 Cor. 5:19). He does this in every "Gospel" sermon. He does it when he pronounces the Absolution. He does it when some burdened soul "opens his grief" to him, and "by the ministry of God's holy Word" he imparts to him "the benefit of absolution, together with spiritual counsel and advice, to the quieting of his conscience."1
First Exhortation in the Order of Holy Communion.
All is done in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. The Bishop lays his hands on the candidates and speaks the words, but it .is God Himself who truly ordains. John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury in the days of Elizabeth I, wrote: "The Bishop, by speaking these words, doth not take upon him to give the Holy Spirit, no more than he doth remit sins, when he pronounceth the remission of sins; but by speaking these words of Christ... he doth show the principal duty of a minister, and assureth him of the assistance of God's Holy Spirit, if he labour in the same accordingly."3 Quoted in The Tutorial Prayer Book, p. 526.
Moreover, while the Ordination takes place in the Church of England, it is to the office and work of a Priest in the Church of God. Future service cannot be limited to any one country, nor, as and when the Holy Spirit may draw together the sundered parts of the body, to any one existing branch of the visible Church in its present divided state.


Then the Bishop shall deliver to every one of them kneeling the Bible into his hand.
What is called "the tradition of the instruments", that is the handing to those being ordained of the instruments associated with their office, is an ancient custom at Ordinations. To the Priest there was delivered the communion vessels, with the bread. The Reformation was a movement inspired by the rediscovery of the Bible. Accordingly in the first Ordinal (1550) the rubric was introduced:
The Bishop shall deliver to every one of them the Bible :a Ac one hand, and the chalice or cup with the bread, in the other hand." But two years later, in the Second Prayer Book of Edward VI, the Bible alone was given, and this remains the practice still. The charge given, however, remained as it was in 1550, i.e. to preach the Word and to administer the sacraments. The effect of the change is to give great prominence to the Bible, which of course is a marked characteristic of Anglicanism. The charge in The present service reads:
Take thou Authority to preach the Word of God, and to minister the holy Sacraments in the Congregation where thou shalt be lawfully appointed thereunto.
The word lawfully was inserted in the 1662 service, a witness perhaps to the confusion which had prevailed during Commonwealth times. Ordination does not give a man the right to minister anywhere he chooses. He must be lawfully appointed, which normally means that he must hold the Bishop's licence. He can of course be invited to preach as a visitor in another church, although strictly speaking if he is to take the duty for several Sundays (as in the case of a holiday exchange) it should be with the knowledge and consent of the Bishop. The wisdom of this is seen when, as has occasionally happened, a "bogus" clergyman turns up and is accepted at his face value. In a recent case of this kind the man had taken several weddings, which raised legal as well as ecclesiastical questions.
A Priest is ordained in the diocese in which he is to serve, unless the Bishop finds it impossible to hold an Ordination, in which case he issues a licence to the Bishop of another diocese to act for him. This licence is known as Letters Dimissory. Ordination in one diocese, however, does not bind a man to remain always in that diocese. He may be lawfully appointed to a post in any part of the Anglican Communion at home or overseas. There may be some slight difficulties to be overcome when one who was ordained overseas wishes to serve in England. He must make the Declaration of Assent to the Articles and Prayer Book, and take the Oath of Allegiance to the Queen, as well as having the written permission of the Archbishop of the English Province. These matters are regulated by the Colonial Clergy Act of 1874.


There is a marked difference between the Making of Deacons and the Ordering of Priests. The Bishop (alone) lays his hands severally upon the head of every one of them, humbly kneeling before him. These last four words were added in 1662. The words used at the laying on of hands are:
Take thou Authority to execute the Office of a Deacon in the Church of God committed unto thee: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
This formula, since it is accompanied by the imposition of hands, must be taken as conferring more than the outward authority of the Church. Not that the grace given at Ordination is ever to be regarded as "mechanically" bestowed, apart from any inward response of faith and obedience. As with confirmation, and indeed with the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, a response on the part of the recipient is assumed. It is God who bestows grace, and that to the humble, believing and expectant heart. Nevertheless the outward sign of laying on of hands is necessary. In the post-confirmation prayer the Bishop speaks of "thy servants, upon whom (after the example of the holy Apostles) we have now laid our hands, to certify them (by this sign) of thy favour and gracious goodness towards them". The Irish Prayer Book has altered the word "certify" to "asstft^", which is an improvement.
In confirmation the laying on of hands is the assurance of all God's power available for the new life. It is exactly the same in Ordination. When the Bishop lays his hands on the head of one to be made Deacon, he is not merely bestowing on him the Church's authority to minister. He is giving him, by a divinely appointed sign, the assurance, the "certificate" of the power to execute his ministry.
That power is the Holy Spirit. The words "Receive the Holy Ghost" are reserved for the occasion when he will be raised to the higher Order, the fuller ministry of the Presbyterate. But the gift of the Holy Spirit is aoae one less real for the work of the Diaconate. The wivsonikfm witness to it is the laying on of hands. The reality of ie is known as the Deacon walks humbly with God day by day, depending for everything upon a power which is not his own. We have seen already what the duties of a Deacon are, namely those associated with all kinds of humble service. We remember that even after a Deacon has been ordained Priest—or for that matter should he one day be consecrated a Bishop—he remains always a Deacon as well. The authority, and the power, are given to him to "wait at table", to say with his Lord: "Yet here am I among you like a servant" (St. Luke 22: 2J\.
Then shall the Bishop deliver to every one of them the New Testament.
In pre-Reformation times, when the Priest at his Ordination was delivered the communion vessels and bread, the "tradition of the instruments" for the Deacon was the handing of the Gospel Book. Reading the Gospel at the Mass was one of his functions. At the Reformation, the delivering of the New Testament was considered a suitable symbol for the Deacon, as the giving of the Bible is for the Priest. Although there is no rubrical authority for it, the custom is to give to the Deacons a copy of the New Testament in Greek, a reminder that the Church expects its ministers to be learned as well as godly. The words accompanying the giving of the New Testament are:
Take thou Authority to read the Gospel in the Church of God, and to preach the same, if thou be thereto licensed by the Bishop himself.
The points raised by this charge have already been discussed in Chapter n. The Deacon's Part.

Chapter XIX
When this is done, the Nicene Creed shall be sung or said the laying on of hands has been completed. The newly ordained Priests and Deacons have been presented with Bible and Testament and have received their authority to fulfil their ministry in the Church of God. The Communion service proceeds from the point where it was broken off, and the Nicene Creed is sung. "The Nicene Creed is more than a theological statement. It is a battle hymn, calculated to rouse the Christian soldier to strenuous warfare for Christ and his Church . . . Here is the army of the Lord professing its allegiance to the King."*The Holy Communion, a companion volume to this work by the same Author, p. 53.
It seems to have added significance on this occasion.
And the Bishop shall after that go on in the Service of the Communion, which all they that receive Orders shall take together, and remain in the same place where Hands were laid upon them, until such time as they have received the Communion. Ordination has brought a change in the status of these men, but they remain the same in their need of the gospel promise given in Word and Sacrament. So, together with all the members of the congregation, they confess their sins and hear the "Gospel Comfort", lift up their hearts and join with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, in humble adoration; and come, trusting in God's manifold and great mercies, to celebrate the great salvation wrought by Christ and to partake of its benefits again. The size of the congregation may make it impracticable for all actually to receive Communion, but at least the relatives and close friends of the newly ordained will have this privilege. And so, with the offering and presenting of "ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and lively sacrifice", and the joyful yet solemn grandeur of the Gloria in Excelsis, the service draws to its close.
There are some final prayers. First, for those who have been made Deacons, there is a Collect which owes much to the pre-Reformation Sarum Pontifical, and is reminiscent of one in the Pontifical of Egbert, Archbishop of York in the eighth century. It begins by recalling that it is of God's great goodness that he has accepted these his servants into the office of Deacons. It then asks that he will make them modest, humble, and constant in their Ministration, with a ready will to observe all spiritual Discipline. It is precisely this attitude of teachableness which fits a man for future usefulness. As they are faithful in the humble duties of a Deacon they will have always the testimony of a good conscience, and continue ever stable and strong in their Christian life. Stability and strength of character are qualities to be highly prized in a young minister. The goal is that by worthily fulfilling their calling in this inferior Office they will be qualified for the higher duties and greater responsibilities of the Priesthood.
For those ordained Priests there is a prayer which, in asking God for his heavenly blessing upon them, stresses the twofold need of consistent living and faithful ministry.
The order, of life first and ministry second, is certainly true both to scripture and experience. "Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock" (Acts 20:28). The prayer asks that tftey may be clothed with righteousness, a conscious echo of the words of Psalm 132:9, "Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness". It is not to be interpreted only of the righteousness of Christ which is "imparted" to the believer, but also of "the garments that suit God's chosen people, his own, his beloved: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience" (Col. 3:12). For their ministry we pray that thy Word spoken by their mouths may have such success, that it may never be spoken in vain. This is a final reminder of the remarkable emphasis placed throughout the Ordinal on the ministry of the Word. There is the promise in Isaiah SS'-11'- "But that is about God's Word spoken by his own mouth. What can we say of his Word spoken by their mouths, the mouths of his ministers? Only that it must be their care to see that what they speak in his Name should be always according to his written Word. Only then can there be any hope that it may never be spoken in vain, or that the testimony given to Samuel may be true of all ministers : "The Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground" (i Sam. 3:19).
This beautiful prayer ends with a petition for the people.
Grant also. that we may have grace to hear and receive what they shall deliver out of thy most holy Word, or agreeable to the same, as the means of our salvation.
Here indeed is a recognition of the dependence of the people on the ministry of their parson. The welcome rediscovery of the place of the laity in the Church's witness does not alter that. It is the minister who teaches the faithful the way of salvation, and they must have grace to hear and receive it, provided always that it is agreeable to the scriptures. But the object is not simply that the faithful may be saved. It is that in all our words and deeds we may seek thy glory, and the increase of thy kingdom.
They are to be "saved to serve".
The services for both Deacons, and Priests end with the same Collect immediately before the Blessing:
Prevent us. 0 Lord, in all our doings with thy most gracious favour, and further us with thy continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in thee. we may glorify thy holy Name, and finally by thy mercy obtain everlasting life. through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
This prayer is used at other times, and is found among the "Table Prayers" at the end of the Holy Communion service.' But its use in the Ordination service goes back to the sixth or seventh century. Its petitions are eminently suitable for the newly-ordained ministers and for the congregation. God is asked to go before (prevent) us and continue with us; so that our works may be begun, continued, and ended in him. Ordination in particular is a beginning. Well begun is good indeed; but "it is not the beginning, but the continuing of the same, until it be thoroughly finished, which yieldeth the true glory". 2 Sir Francis Drake's prayer.
* For lay people also an Ordination may be a new beginning in understanding of the work of the ministry, with a new determination to stand by their clergy as they fulfil their essential part in the Apostolate of the whole Church.
As the familiar words of the Blessing die away. Bishop, Priests, and Deacons, and all the congregation of the faithful, go forth into the world to live, each according to his vocation, for Christ and his Church. No better prayer could be said before leaving than the second Collect of Good Friday:
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church is governed and sanctified; Receive our supplications and prayers, which we offer before thee for all estates of men in thy holy Church, that every member of the same, in his vocation and ministry, may truly and godly serve thee; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
* See L. E. H. Stephens-Hodge, The Collects, p. 181 (Prayer Book Commentaries).



in a commentary of this kind, designed to help the laity to understand, by reference to the Church's own formularies, something of what goes to the making of a minister, it is not necessary to deal at length with the form of ORDAINING OR CONSECRATING OF AN ARCHBISHOP OR bishop, which follows the general pattern of the Ordering of Priests. It is, as before, in the context of the service of Holy Communion. The Bishop-elect is presented, prayed for and examined as is the case in the previous service. And Consecration is by the laying on of hands with prayer.
We shall be content to refer to the things which differ from Ordination to the Priesthood, and add only very little by way of devotional comment.
The title of the service has since 1662 had the added words which is always to be performed on some Sunday or Holy Day. Recognising that exceptional circumstances could make it urgent for a Consecration to take place on some other day, the 1928 Proposed Prayer Book changed this to which, if it is convenient, is to he ... Episcopal Consecration normally takes place on a Holy Day which falls on a weekday rather than on a Sunday, for the good reason that the largest number of clergy can then attend. The Consecrating Bishops must be at least three in number, and the Archbishop of the Province is always one of them, although in fact a deputy can be appointed. By rubric, two Bishops are required- for the reading of the Epistle and Gospel, and to present the Bishop-elect. These could be the same two, but a total of three is merely a atninial figure, and normally there are many more. By insisting on at least three the Church intends to ensure that every Consecration is valid.
f'-cbe. the first English Ordinal certain ceremonies were Snapped, saidi as anointing with oil of head and hands, and delivering of the ring and mitre. From 1552 the delivery of the pastoral staff was also omitted, and. as in the Ordering of Priests, the Bible is the sole "instrument" given.


The Collect is an adaptation of that of St. Peter's Day. which was new in 1549. It was placed here in 1662; previously the Collect of the particular Sunday or Holy Day had been used.
The Epistle is i Timothy 3:1-6, containing the qualifications of the "presbyter-bishop" already noted in Chapter 14. An alternative. Acts 2o: 17-35. was added in 1662. It is the story of St. Paul's farewell to the elders of the Church at Ephesus.
The Gospel is St. John 21:15-17, giving the account at Simon Peter's threefold confession of love for Christ, and his threefold commission to feed the flock. There are two other passages, either of which may be used as an alternative : St. John 2o: 19-23, the commission to the Church which is the basis of the formula of words used at the Ordering of Priests; and St. Matthew 28:18-20, the commission to teach all nations. These two passages were introduced in 1662 to take the place of an earlier alternative, the passage about the Good Shepherd in St. John 10:1-16-


The sermon is preached in the normal place in the Holy Communion service, after the Nicene Creed. Then the two Bishops chosen for the purpose present to the Archbishop the elected Bishop. He is in fact "elected" by the Cathedral Chapter, but they have no option but to vote for the one name sent to them by the Crown. Failure to do so would contravene the Statutes of Praemunire- It is, however, unsuitable to pass comment on the present system of Crown appointments when a Commission on the subject is now sitting. It is at least worth noting that those Churches of the Anglican Communion which are not bound to the State in the same way as the Church of England is have not necessarily found a way of appointing Bishops which produces any better results.
The Bishop-elect is vested with his Rochet. This is a long garment of white linen or other material, with sleeves gathered at the wrists. This instruction was introduced in 1662. The presenting Bishops are to say:
Most Reverend Father in God, we present unto you this godly and well-learned man to be ordained and consecrated Bishop.
The Queen's Mandate for the Consecration is then read, and the oath of due obedience to the Archbishop taken.
Every diocesan Bishop is a Suffragan to the Metropolitan, i.e. the Archbishop of the Province. If the Consecration is directly to an Archbishopric—an unusual occurrence—the oath is omitted.


Then the Archbishop shall move the Congregation present to pray.
The examples of our Lord and of the Apostles are cited as the basis of this earnest call to prayer. There follows the Litany as in the Ordering of Deacons, with the substitution of the suffrage: That it may please thee to bless this our Brother elected, and to send thy grace upon him, that he may duly execute the Office whereunto he is called, to the edifying of thy Church, and to the honour, praise and glory of thy Name.
There follows the prayer for the Bishop, similar to the Collect in the Ordering of Priests and the second Ember Collect. The special reference to the work of a Bishop is in the words well-governing of the Church.


The Archbishop refers to both scripture and the ancient Canons. These are the Canons of the great Councils of the Church in the fourth and fifth centuries. It is contrary to the Church's principles to ordain or consecrate a Bishop without the utmost care and testing. Hence the questions which follow.


1. The inward and outward call. No less than the Deacon and the Priest, a Bishop needs to be duly called by the Church, and to believe that this is truly God's will for him.
2. The sufficiency of Holy Scripture. With the single addition of the words or maintain, the question is the same as in the Ordering of Priests. This strengthens the words somewhat. A Bishop must not "assert as troth" anything which is contrary to scripture.
3. The study of Scripture. In contrast to the question to those being ordained Priest, this question reverses the order of Acts 6:4. Prayer is directly connected with a true understanding of the Bible. The purpose is for teaching and exhortation with wholesome doctrine, and to withstand and convince the gainsayers. See Titus i: 9. The Bishop has a special responsibility to guard the Faith of the Church.
4. Banishing false teaching. The first part of the question is exactly as in the Ordering of Priests. In the second part, the Bishop is to exert his influence on his clergy to do what they have promised to do in this direction.
5. Holiness of life. The first half of the question is taken directly from Titus 2:12. By such a life the Bishop will be an example to all, and will confound the enemies of the truth. History has provided not a few examples of Bishops who were first and foremost saints, and whose influence has been correspondingly great.
6. Maintaining unity. In addition to maintaining quietness, love, and peace (like every Priest), the Bishop is to use his special authority, including discipline and punishment.
7. Ordaining. This must be the most important and responsible part of a Bishop's work, on which so much of the future ministry of the Church depends.
8. Kindness to the needy. The Bishop, in himself and through the encouragement of others, is to be the model for the Church's work for those in need of any kind.
The Archbishop invokes God's help upon the Bishop-elect for the performance of these vows, in words very similar to those used in the Ordering of Priests. The slight addition in the case of Bishops brings in the note of the judgment to which all God's servants must one day submit themselves.


The Bishop-elect puts on the rest of his Episcopal robes, the Veni Creator is sung or said, and the Prayer for Grace as in the Ordering of Priests is offered. The opening of these two prayers is very similar. When we come to the petition there is marked difference. Prayer is made that the Bishop may always be ready to spread abroad the gospel of reconciliation, and to use his newly given authority for salvation and help, rather than for destruction and hurt. This reminds us that "it was not to judge the world that God sent his Son into the world, but that through him the world might be saved" (St. John 3:17).
He is to be a wise and faithful servant, caring for the family of God, that he may at length receive his reward.
All the Bishops present join with the Archbishop in the laying on of hands. The first sentence, with the single change of the word Priest to Bishop, is identical with the Ordering of Priests. The invocation of the Trinity follows immediately, and then a reminder of the need to stir up the gift that is given (2 Tim. 1:6)^ and of the kind of spiritual gift it is (2 Tim. i .7).
At the delivery of the Bible, the Archbishop gives a kind of charge to the new Bishop: to read, preach, teach, meditate; to be diligent in these things; and to take heed first to himself, and then to his ministry (see Acts 20:28).
At this point in the first Ordinal the Bishop was given his pastoral staff. The remainder of the words deal with the office of a Shepherd.


The Communion service continues, and after the Gloria in excelsis is inserted a special prayer. It asks that the Bishop may be not only earnest in his work, but a living example in his life, and may one day receive the crown of righteousness. The prayer. Prevent us, O Lord, follows as in the Ordering of Priests, and then the Blessing.


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