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IN REPLY TO
THE BISHOPS IN CONVOCATION, THE HOUSE
OF LORDS, AND ELSEWHERE,
Revision of the Book of Common Prayer.
REV. JAMES HILDYARD, B.D.,
RECTOR OF INGOLDSBY, LINCOLNSHIRE.
και γέγραφα, γέγραφα.
THE PRESENT TIME.
CASSELL PETTER & GALPIN: :
[ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)
BX 5145 .164 1879
“All establishments die of dignity. They are too proud to think themselves ill, and to take a little physic.”—Edinburgh Review.
“The question which the clergy have now to consider is, not whether they will accept any reformation, for that is now inevitable, but what kind of a reformation they will have.”—A. Alison.
“The time has now fully come for carrying out the Reformation of the Church. It is all very well to write books; but unless writing be followed up by action, the books are soon forgotten, and the time for action passes away, never perhaps to return.”—THE SAME.
TO THE SECOND VOLUME OP
“Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.”—Prov. xxii. 10. The Author feels conscious that a few more last words are due from him to the public before sending forth again these thoughts and utterances, some of them of twenty years' date, and by which he is prepared to stand-fall he cannot much lower than he already is, and in which position he has been for the last thirty years and upwards, in the profession which he adopted originally for its own sake nearly half a century ago.
If that amount of experience is not sufficient to open a man's eyes, nothing will; but he is prepared to maintain not only that his eyes are open--and have been so for a long time—but, what is more to the point, his tongue, too, is loosed, and he has learned and fears not to speak plain.
He defies, accordingly, any one-as he has all along done -to answer him honestly, or turn his position ;-which is simply this, that a New Reformation is needed in our Church, if we would have her hold her own against the many foes arrayed against her, the most formidable undoubtedly at this moment being those of her own household.
Why is it, he asks, that our Church is at this time, and has long notoriously been, as "a house divided against itself ?”—Why, but that the trumpet which should marshal all her troops in battle array against the common enemy, is found to give an uncertain sound, and the soldiers of Christ are consequently at fault, and unprepared for the battle. Instead of an united army, they more nearly represent the condition of the rabble rout in the camp of Midian, with every man's sword against his fellow, rejoicing chiefly when they can say or report some hard or spiteful thing one of another.
The object accordingly of the present re-publication, and notably of this SECOND VOLUME), is, to point out how this distraction in our own camp arises from an irreconcilable difference of opinion on certain controverted points in the Prayer-book, which all the practised casuistry of Divines, and all the hired sophistry of the Law, have been unable to harmonise or explain away.
What, then, is the natural and unavoidable conclusion, but that the origin of the evil must be removed ? The axe must be laid to the root of the tree of discord, before we can have any hope of permanent peace and quietness in the Church.
It is not seemly,—it is not right,—that this deadly cancer should be allowed to go on for ever, from year to year, fermenting and spreading its roots in the very vitals of the Church. No one can deny its existence; yet all seem to lack the courage necessary to attack the enemy in his stronghold“that jewel the Prayer-book”—that is to say, that halfREFORMED PRAYER-BOOK, which has retained the seeds and germs of a suppressed, not extinguished, Popery for upwards of three hundred years.
Is it laziness? is it selfishness? is it cowardice?-or, if not these, what is it the Author (now in his seventieth year) asks fearlessly—which causes this shrinking from an undoubted duty ? Each one in place of authority is seen to look vacantly on his neighbour, as if to say, Who is to