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in defence of our common religion, well aware that none have a more hallowed respect for the ministers of the sanctuary, and for the offices to which they are exclusively appointed, than such lay auxiliaries.
It is, nevertheless, undoubtedly true, that the Clergy of the Church of England have ever shown themselves to be their own and the Bible's best apologists. Their writings, from the earliest dawn of the Reformation to the present day, exhibit such stores of Divinity as may safely challenge comparison with the proudest achievements of literature in every other department; and no prudent layman, in his zeal to defend the Church, will think of throwing himself into their ranks unless clad in the panoply which they have provided for him. Their watchmen may not have been at all times equally upon the alert- but their present earnestness is duly estimated, and and warm, it may be, but uncharitable hearts, assume to themselves exclusively the mien and pretensions of righteousness; and who endanger the safety of the Church, by creating divisions between the members of the same body, merely because they do not all confine themselves to preaching perpetually upon the same text; as if the Saviour of the world were not an example of Godly life, and a preacher of righteousness, as well as a sacrifice for sin.
As this, however, is a subject upon which it will be found that I have entered, elsewhere, pretty fully, I will not dwell further upon it here; but content myself with expressing my humble hope that the Bishops of our Church, not unworthy of the Apostolic stock from which their high and holy lineage can be traced, may persevere, successfully, in their exertions to soften the asperity of feelings which in
subordinate zeal, or defective charity, may have engendered—and that all who admitted into the ministry of the Church, may study more and more, after the pattern of their Divine Master, “to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. Thus will they be best enabled to defy the shafts of Sectarianism the hand, and of Philosophy, falsely so called, on the other.
And now, as to what I have written, if my heart deceive me not, my object has been the advancement of true religion, and therein the benefit of my fellow creatures ; and so far am I from thinking highly of that share of it which properly belongs to myself, that I am content to consider all its worth as resting upon the wisdom and learning of those great and good men from whose writings I have drawn so largely.
they have the satisfaction of finding that in proportion as they have been “up and stirring,” the Protestant strength of the empire has been preparing to rally around them. The intrinsic excellence of a Church, built upon the foundation of the holy Apostles, and of which Christ Himself is the corner stone, is getting to be better known; and many who have hitherto regarded her, in a religious point of view, with unbecoming lukewarmness, are
are yet sensible that in the union of Church and State, the safety of the British empire mainly consists. The parties most clamorous against her have never yet agreed wherein she is deficient; and far less would they agree, if they were able to effect her destruction, what to set up in her stead. Still it has never been the arrogant boast of the Church of England that she is infallible—she only claims the merit of sincerity--and it has been well observed that
own genuine and dutiful children, know best wherein she is faulty, and do most lament her not being in circumstances, of late years, to come up to her
excellent rules of reformation, and her having lost any ground of which she was at any time possessed, by her over lenity, and who bestow most pains to put her in her own right road again, against the torrent of opposition which they meet with from all sorts of enemies from within and from without ; but most certain it is, that she cannot be so easily undone by her open, professed, and avowed enemies, as by her own Clergy
own Clergy and People, or such as pretend to be of her communion.”*
But they are not genuine and dutiful children, whether ministering at her altars or ministered unto, who, with weak heads,
* Preface to the “ Doctrine of a Middle State between Death and the Resurrection,” by the Honourable Archibald Campbell.