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yet Protestant; and to do this by means of Essays, Tales, Poems, Reviews, and by all the means which lighter literature affords. They believe that their endeavours have been successful. They are now about to make the same efforts on a larger scale, and with a higher class of compositions. It is on this ground that they ask the support of the public. It is with reference to these intentions that they humbly implore the divine blessing.
British CHURCHMAN OFfice,
Dec. 1, 1844.
It is a hackneyed quotation, but it is not the less true—not the less applicable to the present times
Dum stulti vitant vitia, in contraria currunt
which, for the sake of our lady readers, we may translate thus: “Fools, when wishing to avoid one class of errors, run into those of an opposite description." How many are the Liberals whom revolution has made absolutists—how many the friends of order whom despotism has rendered republicans.—And if this be true—as true it is—with reference to individuals, it is yet more fully so with reference to bodies of men. Public opinion, indeed, may be compared to a pendulum, the farther it swings in the one direction the farther it must swing the other. Idolatry makes Iconoclæsts, and Iconoclæsm makes idolaters. The fact is that there are various tendencies in the human mind which, if rightly regulated, keep the judgment in its right position, or at any rate steady it there; but if any of these tendencies are either overworked, or neglected, or crushed, the machine gets out of order, and a violent revulsion takes place in the opposite direction. What is it that makes a reflective Romanist turn infidel—or a reflective infidel turn Romanist? The perfect opposition existing between the Romish and infidel systems. Thought makes the one an infidel-faith makes the other a Romanist. The excess of submission makes the Romanist rebel—the excess of independence makes the infidel submit.
Such being the case, it is not wonderful that young men, and weak men, and ignorant men, should in their zeal against errors which are, or which are supposed to be, either predominant or imminent; that such,
Vol. I.No. I.
we say, should, in their zeal against such errors, go far to adopt the opposite errors. But it is extraordinary, and it is humiliating, to see men of acknowledged learning and piety act, or think, or even feel in such a manner. It looks too much like the predominance of the impulses το παθητικον μερος as old Aristotle calls it. In some cases, however, it partly originates in an opinion that of two we should choose the lesser evil,-a fatal dogma, unphilosophical, and, what is more, unchristian. To choose any error whatever, is to do evil that good may abound, whereas we are commanded to turn neither to the right hand nor to the left, but to hold fast the faith without wavering.
Feeling as we do that such an undeviating adherence to the faith once for all delivered to the saints—the faith for which the early martyrs bled—the Holy Catholic Faith—is the only hope of our Church at the present trying juncture; and feeling above, far above this, that it is her duty-we venture to warn, through these pages, those who ask the fatal question—ROME, OR GENEVA?-and to remind them of the only true answer to such an inquiry-NEITHER.
The present period is one of great commotion. The most careless observer must perceive that the Church of England is in a state of transition. Roused from her long sleep by the entreaties of her friends and the imprecations of her foes, she seems to be weighing the counsels of her children. May the God of truth grant her decision be in accordance with His will. Had she not relaxed in the performance of her duty, no such deliberation would be required; its necessity is a proof of past sin and present peril.
We shall not enter into any discussion of the causes of the great movement at present going on. We shall merely assert our sympathy with that excitement, both for itself and for its effects ; but let us be understood. We do not consider it to be the offspring of any man or body of men now living. That which we behold is merely the reach of a river, the wave of an incoming flood, a link in the chain of destiny. Certain men have, in this generation, played their part in directing and impelling the movement; but wheresoever the movement is to be sought, its first impulse, even humanly speaking, was not given by any now living. Nor, indeed, can it be correctly said to have originated with any individuals whatever. The pulse of our Church was almost still; it was quickened into life-how, when, or why, we shall not now inquire—and the principle of life once rekindled, is, we trust, blazing up into a burning and a shining light.
Yet whilst rejoicing in the life of our Church, and in the excitement which proves that life, we cannot close our eyes to the fact that there are two principles of destruction at work within her, which will, if not repressed, one or other, or both together, produce her death; for if either of these principles prevail, or if they succeed in dividing the Church between them, her fate is sealed. Apostacy or dissolution must ensue. The principles, or rather the tendencies, which we speak of are towards Rome and Geneva.
Others may rejoice; but to us it is cause of sorrow, of fear, and of