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to every thing else, leaves them not at liberty either to withdraw any important portion of what has been already made public, or to suppress what remains. And what will be alleged for perseverance now, will be found perhaps in a good measure to justify the original publication; taken, as it must be, in aid and in enforcement of the considerations offered in the Preface to the first volume.
And first, if there be any persons, as undoubtedly there are not a few, who think, more or less explicitly, that the mere circumstance of a book's raising an outcry constitutes a strong objection to it, they are requested to put themselves for a single moment so far in the position of the Editors, as to imagine the case of the Author's views being mainly and substantially true; and then to consider how such outcry could have been avoided. For if it be found that uneasiness, discontent, clamour, nay, if you will, permanent unpopularity, are the necessary results of a certain statement, supposing it to be true, then the actual prevalence of such feelings, however undesirable in itself, is no objection to the truth of the statement, but rather an argument in its favour, as far as it goes.
Suppose, for example, that the common opinions of the Protestant world concerning the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist were indeed verging as near to a profane Rationalism, as these Remains in several passages assume, would not the charge of superstition, mysticism, and popery be echoed all around against both Author and Editors, much in the same way as it has been heard for the last few months ?
Suppose it again true, that there is some secret but real and fatal connexion between the aforesaid faithless Rationalism, and those views regarding the great doctrines of Christianity and their application to individual Christians, which have of late arrogated to themselves exclusively the name of vital religion, is it not certain that the disregard (for it is rather that than actual opposition) which those views constantly meet with at the hand of this author, would unite against him the champions of those apparently opposite schemes, just in the manner in which we see them actually united ?
If it should so be that there is a large portion of Churchmen, whom the circumstances of these or of former times have led to form an exaggerated opinion of the necessity and sacredness of the alliance of Church and State : to sacrifice more or less of the very being of the Church, in order, as they think, to secure its well-being :-could it fail to happen that such as these would be alarmed and disgusted at the fearless uncompromising tone, in which the inviolability of the Church is here asserted, and the past and present tyranny of the State, in every part of Christendom, denounced ?
Lastly, should there be any considerable number of decent religionists in the land, who would themselves make no scruple of professing that hatred of “asceticism” is a main ingredient in their notion of Christianity, it were little trouble to point out the pages in this work, at which they are likeliest to be startled and disgusted; and yet it might be true all the while, that the writer's views are Scriptural and Catholic, and those which they have glided into, discountenanced by the Bible and the Church.
So far then as the unfavourable criticism, with which these Remains have been visited, may be set to the account of any or all of the four classes now mentioned, it was of course to be expected, nor is any particular deference due to it; and the bitterer and louder it is, and the longer it lasts, the more reason may it perhaps give to a considerate person for suspecting that the words which provoked it were not altogether unseasonable. But there seems to be a
fear entertained, among persons worthy of all respect, of no less an evil than encouragement given to irreverence and lightness on sacred subjects, partly by certain opinions of the Author, which would lead Englishmen (it is feared) to disparagement of their Church as it is ; partly by something in his tone and manner of writing, which many find startling, and can hardly reconcile to themselves. To these persons, and these feelings, a more particular explanation seems due; and such will therefore be now attempted, though in no sanguine expectation of satisfying them to any extent, yet not altogether without hope, that in some instances they may be led to suspect their own misgivings, as arising from impulse and habit, rather than from sound and true views of sacred things.
The best way perhaps will be to commence by calmly recalling a few plain facts. It is no long time ago, and yet the career of events has been so rapid, that it seems far removed from us; but let us endeavour to realize for a moment the posture of mind in which sincere Churchmen found themselves, in 1832 and 1833, when the constitution of the country had been changed by threats of violence, and the cry of Church Reform was being raised with a view to a similar process, and no person knew how much strength it might gather, or by what unscrupulous means it might be enforced. The Liturgy in particular seemed to be an object of attack; and the authority of Bishops was so slighted both in and out of parliament, as to make men apprehend that in no long time the whole functions of the Church would be usurped by the State. At that crisis the writer of these Remains felt in common with not a few others, but with a vividness and keenness of perception almost peculiarly his own, that a call was given, and a time come, for asserting in their simplicity the principles of the only primitive and true Church—those essential rights
and duties which seemed in danger of being surrendered, in mere ignorance, to preserve certain external trappings. He surrendered himself to this feeling without reserve: he spoke, and wrote, and acted from it continually : he devoted to it what remained of life and health : and it seems to have been this more than any thing else, excepting perhaps an unaffected mistrust concerning the sincerity and depth of his own repentance, which caused the sort of anxiety to recover, many times traceable in his correspondence. To use the words which Walton has reported of Hooker, “ he could have wished to live longer, to do the Church more service.”
This being so, it cannot but be interesting and useful, now that Providence has brought us a stage or two further on in the warfare which he was among the foremost to commence, to have the means of consulting such a record as the present volumes supply, of the wishes, counsels, and anticipations of a mind so rare as his, concerning the conduct and probable course of the struggle. Those who have been sharers or approving witnesses of the several gatherings (so to call them) which the events of the last six years have occasioned, tending more or less to the revival of old Church principles, will here find many a sentiment which animated them half unconsciously at the time, not only expressed in a way to sink into men's hearts, but brought out in its full bearings and pursued to its legitimate consequences : it was wild inarticulate music before, but now we have the words and the meaning. And conversely, events have been continually happening, which have tended in a remarkable manner to illustrate the Author's remarks and confirm his prognostications : so that already many things, which sounded paradoxical and over bold when he first uttered them, may be ventured on with hope of a reasonable degree of acceptance. His sagacity,
it begins to be found, did but anticipate the lessons of our experience. If he loved to dwell on the noble act of Convocation in censuring Hoadly, and to forebode the rising of the sun which set so brightly; the great majority of the University of Oxford has since judged a like warning, however painful on personal grounds, yet most necessary in regard of certain opinions not very unlike Hoadly's. If he speaks what some would call bitterly concerning any party in the State, on account of an hostility to the Church, whether conscious or instinctive, which he thought he discerned in them; it seems now to be generally acknowledged that the subsequent proceedings of that party have been such as to justify a Churchman's aversion. If he had what were then esteemed exaggerated feelings about Parliamentary Suppression of Bishoprics; we have since seen the sense of the Church so strongly expressed on that subject, as to force from the Legislature the restoration of a See which had been actually extinguished, as far as any act of theirs could extinguish it. If he deprecated the current notions about the necessity of clerical endowments, good connexions, and the like, as the most effectual bar to all projects for true Church Extension ; is not the Church in our Colonies even now applying for Bishops without endowment? and are not new Churches being every where consecrated at home with only bare nominal endowment ? If he had learned of other times to regard each Bishopric as a divinely instituted monarchy, and therefore to condemn all intrusion on Episcopal authority, by parliaments or otherwise, as not only disorderly but profane; are not the Clergy of England even now, in the case of the Church Discipline Bill, asserting that same principle against the authority which personally they would most revere ? If he had brought himself habitually to contemplate the separation of Church and State as not necessarily a fatal alter