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BY THE ARCHBISHOPS AND BISHOPS
Of both Provinces, and the whole Clergy, in the Convocation holden at London, in the Year 1562, for the avoiding of Diversities of Opinions, and for the establishing of Consent touching true Religion.
IN PERILOUS TIMES ;
THE THIRTY-NINE ARTICLES OF THE
CHURCH OF ENGLAND
EXPLAINED AND COMMENTED UPON.
BY THE REV. THOMAS PIGOT, A. M.
INCUMBENT OF ST. HELENS, LANCASHIRE.
PUBLISHED BY R. B. SEELEY AND W. BURNSIDE:
AND SOLD BY L. AND J. SEELEY,
MY DEAR PARISHIONERS,
It has been well observed, that the responsibility of the Clergy is increased by the circumstances of the times. Looking at the dangers which threaten
our Zion," unusual exertion is now required from those, whose sacred character ought to procure for them a very great influence over the community : for since the time of the Reformation, the enemies of our Church were at no period more on the alert than at the present moment, and with a bitterness unexampled. Thank God there is very little of this spirit here; but if you will take notice of the proceedings of the London Ecclesiastical knowledge Society,' and the Congregational Union Society,' both most actively employed against us, you
will not think I have made use of too strong an expression.
The following is a precious specimen of the rancour of some of our enemies.
• The clergy as a body (say they) are, in despite of their gowns, and bands, and oaths, a swarm of detected blasted infidels.' See also Cobbett's Legacy to Parsons, a work full of rancorous hostility against the Church, full also of the grossest misrepresentations ; but he is now gone to his account, may he find mercy at the Great Day, when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed.
Shall we allow spirits like these to interfere with the adjustment of the affairs of the Hierarchy ? Let them first endeavour to eradicate the evils which grow rank among themselves -- they will have enough to do.
'O say, shall the Temple our forefathers built,
Which the storms of long ages have battered in vain, Abandon'd by us from supineness or guilt,
O say, shall it fall by the rash or profane ? No; perish the impious hand, that would take
One shred from its altar, one stone from its towers ; The pure blood of martyrs hath flow'd for its sake, And its fall (if it fall) shall be redden'd by ours.'
Lord Francis Egerton.
The most spiritual members of all denominations were united together in holy and happy fellowship for the prosecution of objects fitted to advance the regeneration of mankind. Who put an end to this harmony, it may be asked ?