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called their religious convictions," by the desperate tenacity with which they clung to the loaves and fishes, and the readiness with which they turned their coats, rather than turn out, at the Restoration. “Disestablishment” was no part of their programme then. And as they had begun, so they went on. Dissenters before, they were Dissenters still; honest possibly then, dishonest certainly now; and with the barest show of reluctant outward conformity, their teaching remained the same; the same too their motto, A Minimum of Work and Maximum of Pay”—always the motto of Drones, that do nothing but “buzz and take it easy."
These great “Principles of the Rebellion,” viz., Lawless Selfwill, Self-conceited Ignorance, Calvinistic Assurance, and Nonconforming Idleness, widely diffused and “religiously” transmitted to successive generations of like-minded men through the Dark Age of the 18th century, have so far superseded the “Principles of the Reformation," that a (Church ?) “ Association ” having been formed by their “
aggrieved" advocates to protect their vested interests, even Bishops and Judicial Committees have deemed it " expedient and politic” to legislate in their favour; while “lewd fellows of the baser sort" and sympathetic feeling, have been found in abundance to do their bidding, and “Ratten” any congregation that dares to innovate so impertinently as to take 1549 instead of 1649, as its standard of Faith and Practice. (Ps. lxxiv. 5–9.)
Moreover, this Rebellion leaven has so soured the National palate, that it cannot relish the Catholic food of Prayer Book teaching, but either denies its existence altogether, or else rejects it as “Popery"; not perceiving the ludicrous stupidity of thus stigmatizing the work of men like Cranmer and others, who were actually burned by Papists for having renounced Popery as a “fond thing vainly invented.”
Such then being the general ignorance and confusion of mind as to what are, and what are not, sound and reliable “Church Principles,” we are taking the only safe course when we close our ears to the vain janglings of the self-styled “Religious World,” go back from the time of Cromwell to that of Edward VI., and insist, that in all points of dispute, whether of Doctrine or Ceremonial, the Church shall be judged, not by the misconceiving ignorance or prejudice of self-appointed censors, but by the “true, usual, literal meaning” of her own authorised Formularies, which alone can be trusted to convey an exact statement of her teaching. For the “Principles of the Reformation” are not by any means all the crude fancies of individual Reformers, whose opinions at that period of flux and change fluctuated from day to day. Still less are they the same as the “ Principles of the Rebellion with which they are commonly confounded by persons who take their theology, like their politics, from the daily newspaper. But they are contained in the Prayer Book, which is the deliberate work, not of one or two divines of peculiar ideas, but of the “whole Sacred Synod of Convocation,” guided in their deliberations, as they themselves unhesitatingly affirmed, by the Holy Ghost.
To assist in diffusing a right comprehension of these Prayer Book Principles, so that the rising generation may be better armed against gainsayers, and better able to realize the value of their privileges as members of the Anglo-Catholic Church, as well as the sin and folly of deserting her Communion for the “false doctrine, heresy, and schism,” of either Rome on the one hand, or Dissent on the other ;-this is one special object and purpose of these “ Lecture Notes;” which are now respectfully commended to the attention of Students, Catechists, and Lecturers, in Schools, Colleges, and Parish Churches throughout the country.
TABLE OF CONTENTS: PART I.
Partly States, &c. ; Corrupt following, &c.
Evil Ministers : Five Church Checks against.
Adult v. Infant Baptism.