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like manner, let the one message of Christianity follow the laws of growth; consolidated indeed by years, expanded, elucidated, but incorrupt for ever, and inviolate, and full and perfect in the entireness of its parts, of its members, (as it were,) and its senses, but with no alteration, no loss of its characteristic marks, no variety in its definition.
For instance : our ancestors sowed of old in this corn-field of the Church the seeds of true faith as of wheat. It were very wrong and unseemly that we their children should choose, instead of the genuine crop, the intrusive deceit of the tares. Rather, it is right and fitting that the first and the last should not differ from each other, but that the seed being wheat, the crop should be wheat also ... God forbid that, in that Spiritual garden, the shoots of cinnamon and balsam should suddenly bear nettles or aconite. Whatever, then, divine husbandry and ancient faith have sown in our Church, must be cultivated and cherished by the diligence of posterity; must flourish and grow to ripeness ; must advance and be perfected. It is pious to make accurate, to refine, to polish those primitive doctrines of heavenly. philosophy; it is impious to change them for others. Let them be made intelligible, luminous, distinct; but they ought ever to retain their completeness, their entireness, their characteristic nature.
For, should this license of impious deceit once be allowed, I shudder to think of the risk, which will follow, of the excision and destruction of religion. If but one portion of the Catholic doctrine be renounced, another, and then another, and then again others will be renounced also, as if by right and custom. Moreover if the separate parts be repudiated, what is to hinder the whole being at length repudiated equally ? On the other hand, if new and old, foreign and native, profane and sacred, are once mingled together in any degree, this evil must necessarily extend to the whole, till nothing is left in the Church inviolate, nothing undefiled, the shrine of holy truth becoming the impure dwelling of impious and base errors. But, may God's pity avert this curse from the hearts of His people ; rather be it the recompense of the wicked !
[Alas! since the Church divided and spoke different things, what part of it is there which is not, in some respects, justly open to the description contained in these last words! How miserably contrasted are we with the One Holy Apostolic Church of old, which “serving with one consent,” spoke "a pure language." And now that Rome has added, and we have omitted, in the catalogue of sacred doctrines, what is left to us but to turn our eyes sorrowfully and reverently to those ancient times, and with Bishop Ken, make it our profession to live and “ die in the faith of the Catholic Church before the division of the East and West ?"]
These Tracts are continued in Numbers, and sold at the price of 2d. for each sheet, or 7s. for 50 copies.
LONDON: PRINTED FOR J. G. F. & J. RIVINGTON,
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The following Works, all in single volumes, or pamphlets, and recently published, will be found more or less to uphold or elucidate the general doctrines inculcated in these Tracts.
Bp. Taylor on Repentance, by Hale.—Rivingtons.
Vincentii Lirinensis Commonitorium, with translation. — Parker, Oxford.
Pusey on Cathedrals and Clerical Education.-Roake and Varty.
Bp. Beveridge's Sermons on the Ministry and Ordinances.-Parker, Oxford.
Bp. Jolly on the Eucharist.
Larger Works which may be profitably studied.
TRACTS FOR THE TIMES.
MEMBERS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD.
VOL. II.—Part II.
“ If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?”
& J. H. PARKER, OXFORD.