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especially about those on which the contest turns between Romanism and ourselves. Here neither Rome nor England can in the same sense appeal to Catholic testimony; and, this being the case, a member of the one or the other Church might fairly have the antecedent scruple rise in his mind, why his own communion should have the whole truth, why on the contrary the rival communion should not have a share of it, and the truth itself lie midway between them. This is the question of a philosophical mind, and the Church of Rome meets it with a theory, perfectly satisfactory, provided only it be established as a fact, viz. the theory of infallibility. The actual promise made, as they contend, to St. Peter's chair as the centre of unity, would undoubtedly account for truth being wholly in the Roman Communion, not in the English, and solve the antecedent perplexity in question. But the English Church, taking no such high ground as this, certainly is open to the force, such as it is, of the objection, or (as it was just now expressed) on the prima facie view of the case is unlikely to have embraced the whole counsel of GOD, because she does not assume infallibility; and consequently no surprise or distress should be felt by her dutiful sons, should that turn out to be the fact, which her own principles, rightly understood, would lead them to anticipate. At the same time it must carefully be remembered, that this admission involves no doubt or scepticism as regards the more sacred subjects of theology, of which the Creed is the summary; these having been witnessed from the first by the whole Church-being witnessed too at this moment, in spite of later corruptions, both by the Latin and Greek Communions.

A consideration has been suggested in the last paragraph, on which much might be said on a fitting occasion; it is (what may be called) a great Canon of the Gospel, that Purity of faith depends on the Sacramentum Unitatis. Unity in the whole body of the Church, as it is the divinely blessed symbol and pledge of the true faith, so also it is the obvious means (even humanly speaking) of securing it. The Sacramentum was first infringed during the quarrels of the Greeks and Latins; it was shattered in that great schism of the sixteenth century which issued in some parts of Europe in the Reformation, in others in the Tridentine Decrees, our own Church keeping the nearest of any to the complete truth. Since that era at least, Truth has not dwelt simply and securely in any visible Tabernacle. This view of the subject will illustrate for us the last words of Bishop Ken, as contained in his will:-"As for my religion, I die in the Holy Catholic and Apostolic faith, professed by the whole Church before the disunion of East and West; more particularly I die in the communion of the Church of England, as it stands dis

tinguished from all Papal and Puritan innovations, and as it adheres to the doctrine of the Cross."

3. Another antecedent ground for anticipating wants and imperfections in the English Church lies in the circumstances under which the reformation of its doctrine and worship was effected. It is now universally admitted as an axiom in ecclesiastical and political matters, that sudden and violent changes must be injurious; and though our own revolution of opinion and practice was happily slower and more carefully considered than those of our neighbours, yet it was too much influenced by secular interests, sudden external events, and the will of individuals, to carry with it any vouchers for the perfection and entireness of the religious system thence emerging. The proceedings for instance of 1536, remind us at once of the dangers to which the Church was exposed, and of its providential deliverance from the worst part of them: the articles then framed being, according to Burnet, "in several places corrected and tempered by the King's" (Henry's) "own hand." Again, the precise structure of our present Liturgy, so primitive and beautiful in its matter, is confessedly owing to the successive and counteracting influences exerted on it, among others, by Bucer and Queen Elizabeth. The Church did not make the circumstances under which it found itself, and therefore is free from the responsibility of imperfections to which these gave rise. These imperfections followed in two ways. First, the hurry and confusion of the times led, as has been said, to a settlement of religion incomplete and defective: secondly, the people, not duly apprehending even what was soundly propounded as being new to them, and unable to digest healthy food after long desuetude, gave a false meaning to it, went into opposite extremes, and fashioned into unseemly habits and practices those principles which in themselves conveyed a wholesome and edifying doctrine. These considerations cannot fairly be taken in disparagement of the celebrated men who were the instruments of Providence in the work, and who doubtless felt far more keenly than is here expressed the perplexities of their situation: but they will serve perhaps to reconcile our minds to our circumstances in these latter ages of the Church, and will cherish in us a sobriety of mind, salutary in itself, and calculated more than any thing else to arm us against the arguments of Rome, and turn us in affection and sympathy towards the afflicted Church, which has been the "Mother of our new-birth." They will but lead us to confess that she is in a measure in that position which we fully ascribe to her Latin sister,* in captivity; and

* At Rome she wears it, as of old,

Upon the accursed hill;

they will make us understand and duly use the prayers of our wisest doctors and rulers, such as Bishop Andrews, that God would please to "look down upon His holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, in her captivity; to visit her once more with His salvation, and to bring her out to serve Him in the beauty of holiness."

4. A further antecedent reason for anticipating practical imperfections in the Anglican system, (and to those mainly allusion is here made,) arises from the circumstance that our Articles, so far as distinct from the ancient creeds, are scarcely more than protests against specific existing errors of the 16th century, and neither are nor profess to be a system of doctrine. It is not unnatural, however, that they should have practically superseded that previous Catholic teaching altogether, which they were but modifying in parts, and, though but corrections, should be mistaken for the system corrected.

These reasonings prepare us to acquiesce in much of plausible objection being admissible against our Church, even in the judgment of those who love and defend it. When, however, we proceed to examine what its defects really are, we shall find them to differ from those of Rome in this all-important respect, which indeed has already been in part hinted, that they are but omissions. Rome maintains positive errors, and that under the sanction of an anathema; but nothing can be pointed out in the English Church which is not true, as far as it goes, and even when it opposes Rome, with a truly Apostolical toleration, it utters no ban or condemnation against her adherents. On the other hand, the omissions, snch as they are, or rather obscurities of Anglican doctrine, may be supplied for the most part by each of us for himself, and thus do not interfere with the perfect development of the Christian temper in the hearts of individuals, which is the charge fairly adducible against Romanism. Such for instance is the phraseology used in speaking of the Holy Eucharist, which though protected safe through a dangerous time by the cautious Ridley, yet in one or two places was at best in intention defaced by the interpolations of Bucer, through an anxiety in some quarters to unite all the reformed Churches under episcopal government against Rome. And such is the omission of any direct safeguard in the Articles, against disbelief of the doctrine of the Apostolical Succession.

By Monarchs clad in gems and gold,
She goes a mourner still, &c. &c.

Speak gently of our sister's fall.
Who knows but gentle love

May win her, at our patient call,

The surer way to prove.-Christian Year.

* Devotions. Liturgy of Jerusalem.

And again, for specimens of the perverse reception by the nation, as above alluded to, of what was piously intended, reference may be made to the popular sense put upon the eleventh article, which, though clearly and soundly explained in the Homily on Justification or Salvation, has been erroneously taken to countenance the wildest Antinomian doctrine, and is now so associated in the minds of many with this wrong interpretation, as to render almost hopeless the recovery of the true meaning.

And such again is the mischievous error, in which the Church in her formal documents certainly has no share, that we are but one among many Protestant bodies, and that the differences between Protestants are of little consequence; whereas the English Church, as such, is not Protestant, only politically, that is, externally, or so far as it has been made an establishment, and subjected to national and foreign influences. It claims to be merely Reformed, not Protestant, and it repudiates any fellowship with the mixed multitude which crowd together, whether at home or abroad, under a mere political banner. That this is no novel doctrine, is plain from the emphatic omission of the word Protestant in all our Services, even in that for the fifth of November, as remodelled in the reign of King William; and again, from the protest of the Lower House of Convocation at that date, on this very subject, which would have had no force, except as proceeding upon recognized usages. The circumstance here alluded to was as follows. In 1689 the Upper House of Convocation agreed on an address to King William, to thank him "for the grace and goodness expressed in his message, and the zeal shown in it for the Protestant Religion in general, and the Church of England in particular." To this phrase the Lower House objected, as importing, as Birch in his Life of Tillotson says, "their owning common union with the foreign Protestants." A conference between the two Houses ensued, when the Bishops supported their wording of the address, on the ground that the Protestant Religion was the known denomination of the common doctrine of such parts of the West as had separated from Rome. The Lower House proposed, with other alterations of the passage, the words "Protestant Churches," for "Protestant Religion," being unwilling to acknowledge religion as separate from the Church. The Upper House in turn amended thus,"the interest of the Protestant Religion in this and all other Protestant Churches;" but the Lower House, still jealous of any diminution of the English Church by this comparison with foreign Protestants, persisted in their opposition, and gained at length that the address, after thanking the King for his zeal for the Church of England, should proceed to anticipate, that thereby "the interest of the Protestant Religion in" [not "this and" but] "all other Protestant Churches would be better secured." Birch

adds, "the King well understood why this address omitted the thanks which the Bishops had recommended, for.... the zeal which he had shown for the Protestant Religion; and why there was no expression of tenderness to the Dissenters, and but a cool regard to the Protestant Churches."

Another great practical error of members of our Church, has been their mode of defending its doctrines; and this has arisen, not from any direction of the Church itself, but, as it would appear, from mistaking, as already mentioned, the specific protests contained in its Articles for that Catholic system, which is the rightful inheritance of it as well as other branches of the Church. We have indeed too often fought the Romanists on wrong grounds, and given up to them the high principles maintained by the early Church. We have indirectly opposed the major premise of our opponents' argument, when we should have denied the fact expressed in the minor. For instance: they have maintained that Transubstantiation was an Apostolical doctrine, as having been ever taught every where in the Church. We, instead of denying this fact as regards Transubstantiation, have acted as if it mattered very little whether it were true or not, (whereas the principle is most true and valuable,) and have proceeded to oppose Transubstantiation on supposed grounds of reason. Again, we have argued for the sole Canonicity of the Bible to the exclusion of tradition, not on the ground that the Fathers so held it, (which would be an irrefragable argument,) but on some supposed internal witness of Scripture to the fact, or some abstract and antecedent reasons against the Canonicity of unwritten teaching. Once more, we have argued the unscripturalness of image worship as its only condemnation; a mode of argument, which one would be very far indeed from pronouncing untenable, but which opens the door to a multitude of refined distinctions and pleas; whereas the way lay clear before us to appeal to history, to appeal to the usage of the early Church Catholic, to review the circumstances of the introduction of image worship, the Iconoclast controversy, the Council of Frankfort, and the late reception of the corruption in the West.

So much then, on the objections which may be urged against the English Church, which relate either to mere omissions not positive errors, or again to faults in the practical working of the system, and are in these respects dissimilar from those which lie against the Church of Rome, and which relate to clear and direct perversions and corruptions of divine truth. Should it, however, be asked, whence our knowledge of the truth should be derived, since there is so much of meagreness and mistake in our more popular expounders of it, it may be replied, first, that the writings of the Fathers contain abundant directions how to ascertain it; next, that their directions are distinctly propounded and

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