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as Jesus required in the Temptation and Agony-Peter in the prison, -Paul in the wave-tost ship-Joseph, the husband of Mary, in his distress of mind.



June 30, 1848.


-I return you many thanks for your reply to my letter, which I hardly expected to receive. Mr's kind and considerate conduct is what might have been justly expected from him. God grant that his friendly advice may enable you to see your way out of those perplexities in which, at this period of your christian career, I did not certainly expect you would have been involved. I would caution you, however, against judging in every instance of a cause by some of its defenders. Should you find any of the clergy, to whom you may hereafter have occasion to apply for a solution of your difficulties, unable to assist you to the extent you could desire, you should remember that the Head of the Church has distributed to his servants severally as He pleases, and that prophets, apostles, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, have their respective duties assigned them in His Church.

Your last communication has both pleased and distressed me. It pleased me, by the willingness which it expressed to do nothing in this all-important matter hastily, and further, to use every lawful and proper means in your power, as a member of the Reformed Catholic Church; while it distressed me, as it indicated the continuance of doubts on so important a subject, which it is lamentable to think that any one brought up in the Reformed Church, as you have been, and of which you have been so long a faithful, zealous, and consistent member, should entertain. Though I cannot conceal my apprehensions that you are treading on dangerous ground, I am satisfied to find that you have resolved not to be led, when you had a right properly to lead, and that you do not intend to permit yourself to be biassed by those with whom you are most nearly and dearly connected.

That the oft-refuted errors of the Romish Church should still have attractions at so late a period of the history of the christian

dispensation, is sad and discouraging. Truly these oft-refuted errors may be said to resemble the fabulous many-headed Hydra, which never could be effectually annihilated, or restrained from raising itself to injure its opponents. It is certainly laborious and discouraging to be obliged to recur to the often-stated and proved corruptions of Rome; and after all that has been written on the subject, it would be both superfluous and presumptuous in me to attempt to do what so many learned and holy divines may not have succeeded in effecting, or to convince you of the well-established claims (because established in primitive truth) of the Reformed Catholic Church. From the numberless works that could be mentioned, I would recommend you to procure Bishop Burnet's Exposition of the Thirty-nine Articles,' and if you have leisure to peruse it, also Bishop Beveridge's Exposition of the said Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England, which are to my mind most complete, convincing, and satisfactory. Under their proper heads you will find a clear and succinct refutation of Romish errors and perversions of pure and primitive Christianity. Palmer's History of the Church of Christ (or an abridgement of that work by its author) contains much that is valuable on the same subject. In a recent work, on the Reciprocal Obligations of the Church and the Civil Power,' the chapter on the Origin and Nature of the Church has some remarks which may assist your examination, though that work was not written expressly to refute Romish corruptions. A little work by Vincentius (a writer of the 5th century), translated by an Oxford friend of mine, will give you some information respecting the faith of the Church previous to the disruption of the Eastern and Western Branches, and some centuries before the rise of Popery, properly so called.

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Bishop Burnet's Abridged History of the Reformation in England, in one volume, will very materially assist your studies, and prove the absolute necessity of a Reformation of the Church, as also point out the grounds or principles of such a Reformation of Religion in England.

And here I may further be permitted to remark, what you are not probably aware of, that no Romish writer or divine has authority to refer, on ecclesiastical subjects, to any of the ancient fathers of the Greek or Latin Branches of the Church, excepting to such portions of their writings which have been sanctioned as genuine and orthodox by the Index Expurgato

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rius, a directory compiled by Papal authority, and by which all passages in the fathers that are hostile to Romish claims, usurpations, and errors, are expunged, in order to suit Romish views. This is a well known and most important circumstance to be taken into consideration; and it will perhaps explain the apparent agreement of the opinions of the fathers (if such should exist) with Dr Milner's and Dr Wiseman's statements on the several subjects to which you have referred. Read the quotations from the fathers in Bishop Burnet's and Bishop Beveridge's Exposition of the Thirty-nine Articles, which you will find to be very different, and in their general tenor satisfactory. Passages also divorced from their context have been very frequently pressed into their service by Romish divines. Let me refer you also, by the way, to a very admirable work, entitled Russell's Judgment of the Anglican Church,' which contains nearly all the views of the most eminent English divines. Archbishop Laud's Conference with Fisher the Jesuit, in James I.'s reign, is invaluable, especially as giving the opinion of that great divine and martyr, who has never been supposed to be favourable to Puritanism.

One thing more I must add ere I finally conclude, viz., that important as is the voice of the Church, it is, and necessarily must be, inferior to the revealed word of God, and is not a judge, but only a witness and expounder of the truth of divine revelation. The overstrained views of the Church's claims entertained by the Romish

* See Dr Hook's Dictionary, article 'Indexes (Prohibitory and Expurgatory).' The books generally bearing the titles of Prohibitory and Expurgatory Indexes are catalogues of authors and works either condemned in toto, or censured and corrected chiefly by expunction issued by the Church of Modern Rome, and published by authority of her ruling members and societies so empowered,

'The Prohibitory Index specifies and prohibits entire authors or works, whether of known or of unknown authors. This book has been frequently published, with successive enlargements to the present time, under the express sanction of the reigning Pontiff. It may be considered as a kind of periodical publication of the Papacy.

'The other class of Indexes, the Expurgatory, contains a particular examination of the works occurring in it, and specifies the passages condemned to be expunged or altered. Such a work, in proportion to the number of works embraced by it, must be, and in the case of the Spanish indexes of this kind is, voluminous. For a general history of those indexes, the reader is referred to Mendham's Literary Policy of the Church of Rome.'-Dr Hook's Church Dictionary, p. 314.

Communion, has exalted her, in the estimation of her members, above the word of God, and been one of the reasons why the sacred volume has been reduced practically to the condition of a sealed book, and made, like the Indian Shasters, to deliver statements in unison only with the views of those to whose care (for widely other purposes) it had been confided by its Divine Author.

On this all-important subject, the virtual suppression of the word of God, be not deceived; be not, I pray you, seduced from your reverence of the Book of Life by any overstrained notions respecting the Church, which, in exalting herself (as Rome undoubtedly has done) over that sacred deposit, has betrayed her high and unspeakably important trust. A writer from the Romish capital lately observes, that a copy of the Holy Scriptures could not be purchased by himself in any place in that chief seat of the Christian faith! When the Bible is postponed to the Church, men will virtually become either Romanists or Freethinkers; in the case of many who have fallen away from the Reformed Catholic Church, first the one and afterwards the other. May God bless, and guide, and protect you; and believe me always very faithfully yours,


July 27, 1848.

MY DEAR -I have this morning received your note relative to the subject which unhappily engages your attention. Let me in the first place express my regret that my letters to you have been made the subject of comment among others, as they were only intended for your private perusal. Had I designed them for general inspection, I would probably have shaped my observations in a different form, but this matter is one of slight consideration.

2. In the next place, I must adhere to the statement I have already expre sed, that the Index Expurgatorius does, in virtue of the supposed Infallible power of the Romish Pontiff, deliver authoritatively an opinion respecting the genuineness and orthodoxy of different portions of the works of the Fathers, which, while such measure may be quite in agreement with Romish claims to Infallibility, has justly no force with the Anglican Church.

3. For in the third place, I would again remind you of what I have in a former letter observed, that our notions of the claims of the Church of Christ do not involve any claims of authoritative teaching

on the part of the Church regarding matters of fact, or doctrines of Christianity which are expressly delivered in the Sacred Volumeor on matters of belief or practice respecting which the sacred canon is silent; much less does the Anglican Church bow implicitly to detached or occasional undesigned or hyperbolical expressions of some of the Fathers, which either had no design to materialize (as the Romish Church has done) spiritual objects of belief-or were only the private opinions of fallible men—or were unadvised or inadvertent expressions at variance with the general tenor of their writings.

4. But, in the fourth place, I must distinctly decline to maintain the cause of the Anglo-Catholic Church against every trivial objection that may be lightly advanced against her, especially after all that has been written in defence of her secession from the corruptions of the Romish communion. That secession could ill be defended, were it founded only on some doubtful writings or readings of several of the Fathers, even were their writings singly or in the mass to regulate authoritatively the belief and practice of the whole christian Church. As I have formerly reminded you, our Church esteems the Fathers responsible for facts subject to their own cognizance, and in many instances as credible witnesses for the christian faith, but except in matters where the universal consent of the whole Church, before the division of East and West, has been obtained (which cannot now from this division and long-prevalent discussion be secured), the individual opinions of the early Fathers possessed only a quantum voleat authority; and many of them were not so much distinguished for acute Biblical criticism, as for simplicity of manners and exemplary holiness of life.

5. But, in the fifth place, I must once more as distinctly remind you, that the whole of the points at issue between the Romish communion and ourselves, have been over and over discussed by Anglican divines (as Dr and others have informed you), at the Reformation, and subsequent to that period, in the fullest, clearest, most learned and critical manner, that any given subject of discussion can be treated. I have myself given you a short list of the most easily procured and most succinctly written of their works, and have further lent you two works of Bishop Burnet on the Thirty-nine Articles, and his abridged History of the English Reformation. To these two last mentioned works (and if you seek further information, afterwards to the others) I again earnestly refer

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