To understand the Catholic Church and its life and order is to see it as the utterance of the Gospel of God; to understand the Gospel of God is to share with all the saints in the building up of the one Body of Christ. Hence these two aspects of Anglicanism cannot really be separated. It possesses a full Catholicity, only if it is faithful to the Gospel of God; and it is fully Evangelical in so far as it upholds the Church order wherein an important aspect of the Gospel is set forth. To belittle the witness of the Reformers and the English church’s debt to the Reformers is to miss something of the meaning of the Church of God; to belittle Church order and to regard it as indifferent is to fail in Evangelical insight since Church order is of the Gospel. Hence “Catholicism” and “Evangelicalism” are not two separate things which the church of England must hold together by a great feat of compromise. Rightly understood, they are both facts which lie behind the church of England and, as the New Testament shows, they are one fact. A church’s witness to the one Church of the ages is a part of its witness to the Gospel of God.
Thus the Gospel may be seriously obscured by a piety which emphasizes Christ’s presence in the Eucharist and dwells too little upon his presence in the baptized; or by a use of the Creeds as scholastic definitions, which ignores their close relation to the Eucharist and to the scriptures; or by a reverence for Scripture, which ignores the ministry and the Creeds as organs of the society wherein the Scripture grew. But in each of these cases (and they are typical of many other perversions) deliverance comes not by discarding the gift of God which has been misused but by recovering its true relation to the other gifts. The remedy for a misuse of Creeds is to see that Creeds are a signp-post to Scripture and accordingly to turn to Scripture; but Scripture will be misused unless the Episcopate points us to the continuous life of the one Body in which Scripture emerged. And the Episcopate will be perverted unless it knows itself as nothing in isolation and as significant only as an organ of the one Body, which, by the healthy relation of all its parts, sets forth the Gospel…‘He gave some to be apostles, some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.’ Divine action does not cease; if He gave the Canon of Scripture, He gave also the sacraments, the ministry, the Creeds. But all these avail for His purpose only when, “fitly framed and knit together through that which every joint supplieth,” they are used unto the building up of the Body of Christ.