Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

PREFACE.

In fearful times like the present, when under the semblance of liberal principles, inroads are perhaps insidiously meditated into the sacred pale of the Church, it is the religious obligation of every, even the humblest of her ministers, to “stand between the porch and the altar;" not only in the solemn exercise of prayer to God, to avert the danger from the people; but in the more active service of exposing the misrepresentations of those who “ call good evil, and evil good :" not only in the discharge of the ministerial duties at home, but in the equally important defence of the flock from the dangers abroad.

Such, in a peculiar manner, may be considered the plausible insinuations which are ungenerously thrown out upon all suitable occasions, against the Protestant Church, for the furtherance of political purposes. These calumnies seldom assuming a tangible shape, so as to admit of refutation, go out into the world, wearing the form of truth; and from the popularity of their authors, deceive credulous and unsuspecting minds, which seldom take the pains to enquire whether they be the result of prejudice or principle : whether the moral and religious characters of men, who make assertions derogatory to the established religion of the realm, entitle those assertions, so gråve and serious, to implicit credit and consideration : or in

deed, whether the Assertors themselves, as friends to the Constitution in Church and State, be influenced by a pure and impartial spirit of truth : or as enemies, be secretly purposing to undermine by degrees the foundation of our sacred and venerable Church, in order the more effectually to compass the downfall of the State, by the fatal expedient of dissolving their vital union.

When the British Senate has become the theatre of eloquent, but unmanly and illiberal reflection upon the unrivalled Liturgy of a Church, which is justly esteemed, by all good men, to be the strongest bulwark, and brightest ornament of the Crown; there are signs in the times, which claim the humblest abilities as well as the most splendid talents of the Clergy, in one united effort, to watch over, and protect the Protestant Religion established by Law: the Englishman's birthright; the people's happiness; and the nation's safeguard !

These considerations have induced an humble individual to contribute his mite towards so important an object; and if he shall have shielded one stone only of the goodly fabric from unhallowed touch, he will be truly happy to have been an instrument in the hand of Providence in doing good.

During the last Session of Parliament, in vindicating what are called the “ rights of the Catholics,” animadversions were made upon the inconsistency of the Protestant Church of England, in retaining in her Liturgy the Athanasian Creed ; representing it to be as palpable an instance of exclusive hierarchy, as any that can be objected to the Roman Catholic religion.

« VorigeDoorgaan »