« ZurückWeiter »
“We often read the Scripture without comprehending its full meaning ; however, let us not be discouraged. The light, in God's good time, will break out, and disperse the darkness; and we shall see the mysteries of the Gospel.”
“With them (the Puritans) nothing is more familiar than to plead in their causes the Law of God, the Word of the Lord; who notwithstanding, when they come to allege what word and what law they mean, their common ordinary practice is to quote byspeeches, and to urge them as if they were written in most exact form of law. What is to add to the Law of God if this be not ?"
“It will be found at last, that unity, and the peace of the Church, will conduce more to the saving of souls, than the most specious sects, varnished with the most pious, specious pretences.”
WITH AN ESSAY ON PURITANISM AND
THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND
FORMERLY PROFESSOR OF POETRY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
AND FELLOW OF ORIEL COLLEGE
MACMILLAN AND CO.
THE ESSAY following the treatise on St. Paul and Protestantism, was meant to clear away offence or misunderstanding which had arisen out of that treatise. There still remain one or two points on which a word of explanation may be useful, and to them this preface is addressed.
The general objection, that the scheme of doctrine criticised by me is common to both Puritanism and the Church of England, and does not characterise the one more essentially than the other, has been removed, I hope, by the concluding essay. But it is said that there is, at any rate, a large party in the Church of England,—the so-called Evangelical party,—which holds just the scheme of doctrine I have called Puritan; that this large party, at least, if not the whole Church of England, is as much
a stronghold of the distinctive Puritan tenets as the Nonconformists are ; and that to tax the Nonconformists with these tenets, and to say nothing about the Evangelical clergy holding them too, is injurious and unfair.
The Evangelical party in the Church of England we must always, certainly, have a disposition to treat with forbearance, inasmuch as this party has so strongly loved what is indeed the most loveable of things,-religion. They have also avoided that unblessed mixture of politics and religion by which both politics and religion are spoilt. This, however, would not alone have prevented our making them jointly answerable with the Puritans for that body of opinions which calls itself Scriptural Protestantism, but which is, in truth, a perversion of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans. But there is this difference between the Evangelical party in the Church of England and the Puritans outside her ;-the Evangelicals have not added to the first error of holding this unsound body of opinions, the second error of separating for them. They have thus, as we have already noticed, escaped the mixing of politics and religion, which arises directly and naturally out of this separating for opinions. But they have also done that which we most blame Nonconformity for not doing ;—they have left themselves in the way of development. Practically they have admitted that the