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that the Church of Christ has been ever an Episcopal Church; and that a separation from its communion has been, what it always will be, the fruitful source of heresy* and uncharitableness, and consequently one of the greatest misfortunes that has ever happened to the Christian world; it is impossible to look with indifference upon that growing prevalence of sectarianism, which marks the character of the present day.

Our author would be considered to be a professed friend to our happy establishment. No one can feel more disposed to see him in that light than myself. At the same time, I trust, it will not be regarded as any intentional impeachment, either of his integrity or judgment, to remind him, that railing against the Clergy of the establishment has been that preparatory step to subversion, which has been twice adopted with success by the subjects of Great-Britain. It may be unnecessary to add, that the Revolution of the last century in this kingdom, and that lately effected in our colonies, are the instances which I have in view.

It is not positively said, (because I would not hastily pronounce sentence against the good sense of this nation) but he must be a very unprofitable spectator of what is going forward around him who does not see reason to fear, that a conspiracy against our establishment is now in a state of rapid growth in this country.

"Inde schismata et hæreses oborta sunt et oriuntur, dum episcopus, qui unus est, et ecclesiæ præest superbâ quorumnam præsumptione, contemnitur: et homo dignatione Dei honoratus, indignus hominibus judicatur." CYPRIAN. Epist. 69.

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But surely these are eventful times, in which no wise man will be forward in hazarding experiments. Allowing that reformation is wanting, (a subject upon which, alas! there can be but one opinion) it is still a matter of essential consideration, in what manner that reformation is to be effected. The disease of which we complain, so far at least as the clergy are concerned, is partial; such as, we trust, the vigour of a sound constitution will prevent from becoming desperate. But an ill-judged method of cure ofttimes brings death to a patient, not otherwise in danger.

If, upon the ground of the present supposed insufficiency of the clergy, (a fact which their enemies know themselves to be incapable of proving) communion with our Church be no longer considered a matter of Christian obligation; and it be judged adviseable, for the more effectual advancement of the Christian cause, to follow what may be deemed the sound of the Gospel, wherever heard, or by whomsoever delivered; we do not hesitate to say, that in such a case the remedy will, in the end, prove worse than the disease; and that those wellmeaning persons, who are perhaps most sanguine in its application, will eventually find that they have been only instruments in the hands of designing men, for the accomplishment of purposes, which, could they foresee them, they might be among the last to promote. "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”*

* Psalm xi. 3.




THE Consideration of writing to my brethren the Clergy, on a subject with which every minister of the Church is, from his profession, supposed to be acquainted, has more than once stopped my pen. But circumstances and situation may qualify one minister to speak more fully upon some particular subject than another, without his laying claim to any general superiority in professional knowledge. It having been the will of Divine Providence to

fix my residence in a place which has given me continued opportunities of lamenting the effects produced by a separation from the communion of the Christian Church, it is to be expected, that my thoughts should occasionally have been employed upon this subject. Such of my brethren as are placed in similar situations, may perhaps be obliged

me for bringing into one collected point of view the result of my reflections upon it.

And though the office assumed by me upon this occasion is not more honourable than that of the Gibeonites, who were but hewers of wood and

drawers of water for the service of the tabernacle, yet if, by collecting good and sound materials, I shall prove the instrument of conveying useful information upon a subject now as little understood as it is generally neglected, I shall hope that the merit of the design will be suffered to atone for the imperfection of its execution. I




To those who are advanced, and consequently (it may be supposed) well informed in their profession, these papers are not addressed; for to them nothing new can be said upon this subject; nothing, that perhaps might not be better said by themselves. But to those of my brethren who are not in the same state of advancement; who are unpossessed of the leisure or advantages necessary to the proper study of their profession, it may be a conve nience to have information, which has been derived from various quarters, placed before them in some regular and connected form. Without wishing to forestall their judgment, I feel myself justified in saying upon this occasion, that if I have been deceived in the subject before me, I have been deceived with what I considered to be the best means of information in my hand, and the sincerest intention in my mind of promoting the Christian cause. Should the ground upon which I have trodden upon this occasion be deemed unsound, it appears to me, that there must be an end to all authority on subjects of this nature.

From the general tendency of the human mind to extremes, the blind credulity of one age often leads to unbounded scepticism in another. But the implicit faith of the monk, who, as the story

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