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worship have been condemned as conventicles. This has been done by a race of men who, entrenching themselves behind the Liturgy of the Established Church, and exalting themselves by its formularies, have called each other priests, and have assumed to themselves the sole right of being the religious teachers and leaders of the nation. We believe this unseemly and unchristian conduct is opposed to the opinions, feelings, and wishes, of at least one half of the laity of the National Church. Surely the day has arrived when a religious body, subscribing, with few exceptions, the Articles, and using the Liturgy of the Church of England, should give, at least, the opportunity to the laity of that Church of disclaiming this unbearable intolerance of some of the clergy, by declaring concerning “all that in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours,” that “one is our Master, even Christ, and that all we are brethren.” We will do our best to give them that opportunity.
We are glad to receive the support of some of the clergy themselves. One clergyman in the country, devotedly attached to his Church, writes us: “I can defend all in the Prayer-book. But I think a Free Church may be an asylum for many who cannot, and who may be a sort of light brigade, and its moral influence react well on ourselves.” Another clergyman, in London, equally devoted to his Church, has shown his good-will by furnishing us with an article which appears in our present number.
We are also free from the huge incumbrance and deadly influence of the Ecclesiastical Courts. This means that we are free to go into any parish in the kingdom, open a church, use the English Liturgy, and preach the Gospel of the Grace of God—the Gospel which the Saviour and his apostles preached—the Gospel for which the Reformers wrote and preached, and prayed and bled and blazed. This we wish to do especially in those parishes where a priest is corrupting his congregation by Roman doctrine.
We shall thus do more than, all the tardy pastorals of the Bishops, or threats of future law proceedings, or distant legislation, to show these weak, superstitious, erring, or jesuitical clergy, that they cannot play their tricks with impunity ; that if they explain away the Articles, import the Roman Ritual, evade or defy their Bishops, and teach "flat Popery” in the Protestant Church, that they must do all this henceforth at the risk of losing their congregations. We will do our best to increase that risk.
The virulence with which our movement has been attacked already proves the realness and effectiveness of our organization.
We throw ourselves, head and heart and hand, into the fight for the defence of the Protestant Reformation, and we are prepared to show the reason why.
prevent misapprehension we give the quotations more fully : " You ask of what Church we profess ourselves. We desire to be esteemed as the members of Christ's Catholic and A postolic Church, and essentially one with the Church of England, of which we regard ourselves as living members. And though, as the Church of England is now governed, we are driven to a mode of ordaining ministers, and maintaining societies, not amenable to what we think abused Episcopal jurisdiction, yet our own mode of government and regulating our congregations will probably be allowed essentially Episcopal - with us a few preside. The doctrines we subscribe (for we require subscription, and, what is better, they are always truly preached by us) are those of the Church of England in the literal and grammatical sense ; nor is the Liturgy of the Church of Eng. land performed more devoutly in any Church, nor the Scriptures better read for the edify. ing of the people, as those who attend our London congregations can witness.
We have, by a liberal subscription, purchased the College house and premises (at Cheshunt] which are truly noble, and admirably adapted for the purpose. We have raised, by an annual subscription fund, which we hope to increase, a stipend for an able president, and to support from ten to fifteen or twenty students. From this Seminary we are supplied as far as it goes, but our calls are more than such an establishment can provide for."-DR. HAWEIS, RECTOR OF ALDWINCKLE, DEVISEE OF THE COUNTESS OF HUNTINGDON, AND MINISTERIAL TRUSTEE.
1. The said Religious Community or Connexion herein-before mentioned, and intended by these presents to be established, defined, and identified, shall be designated “the Free Church of England,” and hereinafter called " the Church," the governing body of which shall be an Assembly hereinafter called the " Convocation."
2. The basis of the Religious Doctrine and Tenets to be professed and subscribed by the Members of the Free Church of England is the Bible. They accept as in accordance with the Bible, the Thirty-nine Articles and Rubric of the United Church of England and Ireland, being free to employ whatever they may deem valuable, and to refuse what appears to them objectionable, in the services of such Church, and treating the Fifteen Articles of the said Connexion, set forth in the schedule to the said recited Deed Poll, as included in the said Thirty-nine Articles, provided that the President or Bishop of the Convocation, hereinafter mentioned, may, with the consent of such Convocation, direct that the said Articles and Rubric shall, where the person subscribing the same shall so require, be understood and subscribed, as if each of the several words and passages as are comprised in brackets or parentheses in the Copy so subscribed had been actually omitted. Such Copy so to be signed as aforesaid, shall be duly approved and certified by the Convocation.
26. The form of Subscription for the Ministers and other Office-bearers of the Free Church of England, until and unless altered by the Convocation in manner aforesaid, shall be as follows (that is to say): " I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary to Salvation; and I do sincerely engage to conform to the Doctrines and Worship of the Free Church of England.”—DEED POLL OF THE FREE CHURCH OF ENGLAND, DULY ENROLLED IN HER MAJESTY'S HIGH COURT OF CHANCERY, 1863.
THE RISE AND RAPID SPREAD OF RITUALISM.
The rise and rapid spread of Ritualism in this country is one of the most remarkable events of modern times, and, more than any other question, has stirred society to its depths. The amount of attention it has received, both from the pulpit and the press, proves the deep feeling it has evoked. There is but one reason of this—the Protestantism of the country has been shocked and scandalised; not that the thing itself is either new or novel in its principles or teaching-it is the old error of
a thousand years and more; but it has reached its maturity among us so suddenly and unexpectedly, that society was entirely unprepared for the revelation, and taken by surprise. Originating, in the first instance, in a sincere attempt, probably, to induce a more ardent faith, and to satisfy the yearnings of the heart after a more realizing belief and a higher spirituality, but mistaking the nature and the sources of that spiritual life, sought it in ceremony and sacramental grace, rather than in a more elevated spirit of prayer and a deeper tone of piety—sought it in the Church, and not in the Saviour. An error so fundamental and fatal to all spiritual religion in the soul soon found its embodiment in the “ Tracts for the Times,” which from the beginning were perceived by spiritual men to be a revival of the teaching which the Reformation had put down. Gradually assuming a bolder and bolder tone, until at length culminating in Tract 90 of the series, all England was startled, and their publication hastily suppressed; but they had done their work. The poison had spread and taken root in the land, and a school of theology had sprung up in the Church, whose teaching approximated more and more to the doctrines and practices of the Church of Rome, until the system has reached its meridian, and received its full development in the recent so-called Ritualistic movement which has astonished men by its boldness no less than by its principles and practices.
The Ritualism of the "Anglican" party in the Church is therefore but the culmination of a system which has been at work in this country for the last quarter of a century and more, pursued with an energy and an earnestness worthy of a better cause, and rewarded by an adhesion to its principles of many of the first men of our day, including some of the greatest names in science and art, in literature and religion. It is at this moment exciting an amount of interest and attention hitherto unprecedented in its history, simply because its tactics have been discovered, and its now undisguised objects have become known and frankly acknowledged. The Ritualists themselves now confess, as if in self-defence, that the object of their movement is to bring back this country to the faith and dominion of Rome. This open and honest declaration has had the effect of thoroughly arousing the public, and already evoked such a spirit and protest as is likely to work the mightiest results. We are on the eve of a tremendous conflict, and the battle of the Reformation will have to be fought over again. But what has astonished the country most is, that such an effort should have been attempted, and still more, that it should have met with favour from the enlightened people of this age—the age of Bibles, and Missions, and Sabbath-schools; that the puerilities of the Medieval ages, the extreme ceremonials and usages of an apostate Church, should receive any countenance from a Protestant population in Protestant England in this nineteenth century. But just as the blade is the first unfolding of the corn in the ear, and requires but time to perfect its development, so the doctrines advocated in the “Tracts for the Times,” thirty years ago, required but time fully to develop the system. Baptismal regeneration and apostolical succession must ever inevitably ripen into a full-blown Romanism. What we now see is but the natural and consequent result of Tractarian teaching and literature, necessarily involving baptismal regeneration, auricular confession, priestly absolution, the sacrifice of the mass, and all the abominations of the Great Apostacy.
It is this full-fledged Romanism in our Protestant Church, with the open and acknowledged design of revolutionizing the faith of this realm, that has so startled and astonished the public. It is difficult whether to be surprised most at its audacity or temerity-whether to pity or to censure—to smile or to weep. No doubt there are among the party numbers of earnest, sincere men and women, taken in the snare of the devil and fallen into his condemnation, and deluded to believe a lie; for such we should feel the deepest commiseration, and offer our most earnest prayers. But the movement itself is and has been from the first controlled by professed Jesuits, whose one aim has been, and still is, to bring this country again under the grinding tyranny of a degrading superstition. And for this struggle we must be prepared.
We have the strongest confidence, indeed, in the common-sense of Englishmen; but we cannot forget that some of the most zealous adherents of the movement possess in no small degree that rare but essential requisite ; nor obliterate the fact that such a movement should, in this so-called enlightened age, find so many zealous supporters among the most learned and aristocratic classes in this country. We can have but little faith, therefore, in the common-sense or intellect of
The movement must be met with other weapons than commonsense or even intellect. Man's intellect is a fallen intellect, and commonsense is, after all, perverted sense. Who more intellectual than the Devil, and yet who more fiendish ? The heart of man is capable of any folly or absurdity, and is especially attracted by the beautiful in art and the sensuous and showy in religion. A religion that presents the visible and the ornamental to your gaze, giving form to your faith and grandeur to your worship, is sure to be popular. The movement must be met by a well-organized and energetic effort adapted to the necessities of the times. Any attempt to counteract its mischievous influence must be intelligent and appropriate. We believe, however, the great bulk of the people of this country need but be informed as to the real nature and objects of Ritualism to condemn and abjure it. It will be our aim in these pages, with God's help, to cast in our mite, and by every means in our power to oppose the onward progress of Rome in this land, by an unsparing exposure of error, and by the maintenance of the faith once delivered to the saints. The Bible, I say the Bible only, is the religion of Protestants," and we mean not only that it shall be our motto, but also our watchword, our banner, our pole-star, our strength, our hope, our confidence. Rome and Ritualism hate the Bible. Their system centres in the Church; ours in the Word of God. They depend on an arm of flesh ; we on the power of God. We shall use no other weapons in our conflict with Rome than the truth of God; and we shall do battle in love to men, but with fire and sword to the system. Romanism and Protestantism are fairly in the field. Every man to his post; and England expects every man to do his duty.
HERE, OR ELSEWHERE?
BY A LONDON CLERGYMAN.
Convinced of the truth that “when bad men combine, good men should unite," the writer esteems it a privilege and a duty to express his sympathy with the promoters of the FREE CHURCH OF ENGLAND MagaZINE, in their earnest efforts to uphold, in these “perilous times, the pure faith of our Protestant forefathers. Union is strength. Just in proportion as the vital bond of brotherhood between those who within the Establishment represent Evangelical truth, and those who in minor matters only differ from them, while in all essentials they agree, is practically recognised, will “ the faith once delivered to the saints” be effectively maintained. Infidelity and Jesuit-Popery are the special forms of error which, in these “last days," threaten to rend the visible Church. The intelligent student of the Word notes in the leaders of these pernicious systems the “evil men and seducers” of whom the Spirit, eighteen centuries since, foretold that they should " wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Tim. iii. 13.) The sacred duty, therefore, of those who "understand” the times (Dan. xii. 10), is faithfully to "put the brethren in remembrance of these things as good ministers (or servants) of Jesus Christ,” and to warn them of the certain tendency of those false doctrines and practices. In conducting that duty, consistent care must be observed to draw a line of distinction between principles and the men who represent them. No regard for the individual, however, must be allowed to influence the testimony borne against the deadly errors he propagates. Through not recognizing this important rule, there are not wanting some who, captivated by one of the works of the acknowledged leader of the Tractarian party—“Pusey on Daniel's Prophecy”—are disposed to think and speak lightly of his efforts to bring