« PreviousContinue »
WHOSE MIND HAD LONG BEEN HARASSED
BY MANY OBJECTIONS AGAINST
THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND:
BY THE REV. A. S. THELWALL, M. A.
OF TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.
"The dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned
PUBLISHED BY R. B. SEELEY AND W. BURNSIDE:
FLEET STREET, LONDON.
THE following Letters were written under circumstances of peculiar interest, which the writer would briefly record. About a year ago, by a remarkable chain of events, which the world would ascribe to chance, but in which the Christian cannot fail to recognise the hand of Him, "whose never-failing Providence ordereth all things both in heaven and earth," he was led to renew an acquaintance, which had been interrupted for seventeen years, with one of the play-fellows of his childhood. An event of this kind must always be deeply interesting and affecting ;-especially when a great and wonderful change has taken place in the minds of both parties; and the Truths of genuine Christianity, which had before been utterly neglected and despised, have been in the interval so cordially embraced by both, as to lay the sure foundation of an everlasting friendship. But in this instance the renewal of acquaintance proved of singular importance, as well as interest. The writer of these Letters soon found that his old
friend, though fully established in the knowledge and love of the great and fundamental principles of the Gospel, was at that particular period much harassed and perplexed by conflicting opinions, respecting the Church and Dissent; and greatly needed such information and counsel, as could only be given by a decided Member of the Church of England. Mrs. had been brought up a Socinian, and remained a total stranger to all the important truths of the Gospel, till her removal to a Country Village, in which there was no place of worship but the Parish Church; and in that Church there was nothing to awaken and enlighten her mind, except that provision which the Church of England has so wisely made, independent of anything which can be affected by the personal character and qualifications of the Minister. The Clergyman resided at a distance of several miles, and only visited his Parish on the Sunday, to perform the Morning Service; and, even then, his Sermons were by no means calculated to convey any clear notions of Christian Doctrine. In short it is to be hoped that there are but few neighbourhoods, in which an earnest and candid enquirer would meet with so little assistance in the search after Truth. There was indeed but too much reason to complain that, situated as she was, she saw only the worst side of the Church of England. Yet here, where it presented to an intelligent mind its most