It was this gift of imagination, this pursuit of a great ideal, that was the secret of the power of the leaders of the Oxford Movement. "It was a movement," says Dr. Fairbairn, in his book on Anglo and Roman Catholicism ...[1] "for the recovery of the long-forgotten ideal of the Anglican Church, the belief that that Church was one of Apostolic descent, of continuous life, of supernatural endowment, of Divine authority. They studied how to make again significant and symbolic her homes and temples of worship,  how to deepen the mystery of her sacraments, how to make her live to the eye of imagination arrayed in all the grace of her Lord clothed in all the dignity of loveliness of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church."

"We must force on the public mind," wrote Dr. Newman, "I believe in one Catholic Apostolic Church, not two, three or four, not insular or national, founded and inspired by Apostles." And not less acutely Dr. Fairbairn remarks how the spirit of the elder Tractarians has developed; how their successors are less Anglican and more Catholic, and how the idea of the living Church has superseded that of a mere appeal to the Fathers. "Though Apostolic and Patristic voices are still heard with reverence, it is less as independent authorities and more as organs through which the Society has spoken."

It is for ideals such as these, culminating in a reunited Christendom, that we struggle and fight; and in fighting for them let every Member of the Union remember those words of one from whom I have already quoted, Mr. Green, the author of the history of the English people, "That the world moves along not only by the gigantic shoves of its hero workers, but by the aggregate tiny pushes of every honest worker whatsoever. All may give some tiny push or other, and feel they are doing something." "I see people," he adds, "striving after power, longing to be able to influence. I long to tell them in my whole life, amongst the thousands I have met, I have met one person, and one only, who has influenced me, and she was the quiet wife of an East-end parson, who would have laughed at the thought of influencing anyone."

Let us take this lesson to ourselves. Each in our own place we may do something to help on the cause, and if we can do nothing else we may at least try to live the lives of good consistent Catholics. May I presume upon my age and your indulgence and say in conclusion something which perhaps it is hardly within my province to say, but the importance of which I feel to be so great that I would ask your leave to say it: "The responsibility of not debasing Christian ideals, of not allowing Christian life to become a mere theory devoid of power, is a great responsibility laid upon us all. If we exhibit a conception of Christian life in which there is little or no supernatural relation to Christ, we are doing what in us lies to make the true understanding of Christ impossible." [2]

[1] A.M. Fairbairn, Catholicism, Roman and Anglican (1902)

[2] R.C. Moberly, Personality and the Atonement (1902)

Viscount Halifax Catholic Unity (1902)