[Rev. Charles Strong, D.D., in The Herald, Melbourne, Australia.]

An Anglican bishop, preaching lately in Melbourne, is reported as having said that already eyes were turning to the time when Anglicanism was going to vanish away, and the church of the living god would take its place; and there would be no more Presbyterianism or Anglicanism or sectarianism. He was not ashamed to say that he did not believe that a settlement made in the sixteenth century was to be a settlement of church affairs for all time. I do not know all that the good bishop meant. He may have been thinking only of a purified and expanded apostolic Anglican church as the church of the future. But, even so, is it not the growing ideal of religion that is driving the bishop to seek such expansion?

Anglicanism and Presbyterianism and all the churchisms are, as such, passing, not merely by reason of attacks or changes from without, but because of the fresh, expanding spirit within, that, like the plants in springtime, breaking through the imprisoning earth, appear through the ecclesiastical crust. It is a larger, more spiritual, and more loving ideal of religion and human destiny, a more worthy thought of the divine Being, and of what "salvation" means; a more truly Christian idea of Christianity, brotherhood, love, incarnation, faith, the church. It is this that is undermining all our ancient church forms, which are destined to disappear as the bud disappears when, nursed by rain and sunshine, it passes into the flower.

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June 21, 1913

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