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HERBERT. The doctrines and discipline of our own Church are, as I conceive, the true via media ; the Anglican Church is the same-identically the same—with the Church founded by the Apostles; but in many of our modern opinions and practices we have drifted away from the truth, and require to be brought back again. For instance, the Romanists, we know, used fasting and reverenced saints' days excessively, and on false principles. The reformers of our Church, acting according to Catholic antiquity, did not abolish, but regulated these practices; but the generality of people of the present day never use them at all; and if any one were to fast or keep holyday on the days set down in our English calendar, he would be accused of having a tendency to Popery; whereas, in point of fact, he would be conforming strictly to the undoubted directions of the Protestant Church. It is much the same with regard to Church authority, of which we have been speaking. The Romanists carried this principle to excess. They enslaved the consciences of men, and superseded the word of God. Protestants of the present day have run into the contrary extreme, and assert an unlimited right of private
judgment. The consequence of which is, that they are fast tending towards rationalism and schism. Nothing can keep the Church together but a return to the sound Anglican doctrine-namely, of paying the Church that rational deference which she claims, and which Scripture confers upon her—receiving her as our guide in faith and practice, subject only to the standard of God's word. If you reject all Church authority, it is absolutely impossible to preserve unity : sects and schisms must continually multiply. If on the other hand you give the Church unlimited authority, unrestrained by appeal to Scripture, you return to the slavery and errors of Romanism. There is no way of escaping from the dilemma, except by receiving the authority of the Church, subject only to an appeal to the plain letter of Scripture. This you may call arguing in a circle, if you please; but it appears to me a plain and practical mode of proceeding, very analogous to that which we adopt in all the common affairs of life. We do not give up the use of our judgment, but we use authority as a chief assistance in forming it.
THE ONE CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH.
“ Sing to the Lord—it is not shed in vain,
The blood of martyrs ! from its freshening rain High springs the Church, like some fount-shadowing palm; The nations crowd beneath its branching shade."
Milman. “ One and the same through all advancing time.”
The kindness of Mr. Herbert's manner quite won upon the heart of Arthur Ridley; while the instructiveness of his conversation, and the clearness with which he unravelled the thread of controversial argument, at once riveted the attention, and convinced the understanding, of his young friend. There was in Mr. Herbert a sober enthusiasm—a mixture of deep thought with youthful ardour, which attested his firm conviction of the truths which he maintained; while his practical piety—the piety of one who had served God from his youth-was a living voucher of the excellence of his principles. A friendship soon sprang up between them, such as is seldom formed except at school or college; and eventually ripened into an attachment which exercised a powerful influence over their future lives.
While they remained at Oxford, the two friends were much together. Ridley was busy in reading for his degree, and Herbert pursuing with ardour his theological studies. After their morning's study, they usually rode or walked together; sometimes strolling along the banks of the silver Isis, sometimes to the classic ground of Cumnor and Godstow. Often, too, would they pass their evenings in each other's society: for Ridley felt the benefit of a friend whose confirmed piety called forth the dormant sparks of his own; and Herbert, besides the charitable wish to aid a Christian brother in his difficulties, was glad of the relaxation which such companionship afforded.
They talked freely together on high and holy subjects; yet not as mere theological speculations, or as things imaginary and theoretical ; but as desiring to learn what God would have
them believe and do, and anxious to apply his revelation to the duties of their daily life.
Ridley disclosed to his friend, without reserve, the conflicting feelings which agitated his breast. He confessed to him his forgetfulness of God, and the great difficulty which he found in renewing that confidence which he remembered once to have felt. He confessed to him also his doctrinal doubts. He had read much, he had searched the Scriptures, and he had prayed, and had felt comforted, --but not satisfied : his earnest desire was to find rest for his troubled spirit, and a sure confidence on which to rely.
“I wish,” said Herbert, “ that others of your standing felt the same desire for the confirmation of their faith. For surely it is the bounden duty of every rational being, who is competent to form an opinion, to decide what is the will of his Maker, and to act upon it. Instead of which, the too general practice of persons in the present day is to doubt and cavil till the end of life'; and, what is stranger still, to feel a sort of stupid acquiescence in this state of doubt, and call it philosophy. A few superficial difficulties occur, and these modern philosophers are too indolent even to endeavour to remove them. They set