BLTC Press Titles

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The Characters of Theophrastus


Mortal Coils

Aldous Huxley

Vanity Fair

William Thackery

Darby O'Gill and the Little People

Hermenie Templeton Kavanagh

A Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, of Some Circumstances Connected with the Present Crisis in the English Church

by E. B. Pusey


'The following is not an ideal picture of what is calculated to influence; it is a statement of what I know to have influenced persons, and to ho felt. I do not then suggest temptations, hut state what exist. Temptations are to be remedied, not by denying their existence, but by a more vivid consciousness of duty.

wrongly to regard as hers exclusively; with holy truths and practices, which in our recent carelessness are too often disregarded or neglected, or even spoken against amongst ourselves; with unity on truths, whereon we are distracted, (although, alas! upon doctrines and practices also which are not true nor holy ;) with discipline, which we should find useful for ourselves, and which has been neglected among us; with fuller devotions'1, works of practical wisdom or of purified and kindled love'; a ritual, which (though withdrawn mostly from the laity,) still in itself at some holy seasons sets before the eyes more prominently than our own, our Saviour in His Life and Death for His Church, or which utters more distinctly some truths, which the sins of the Church caused to be more veiled among ourselves: or she points to a Communion of Saints, in which we profess our belief, but of which little is heard among us, now that even the prayer for the Church Militant for the most part, practically forms no part of our weekly service; she has, in her Monastic institutions, a refuge from the weariness and vanities of the world and a means of higher perfection to individuals, which many sigh after, and which might be revived in a primitive form, but which as yet we have not; in her small Communion in this country, she is not

•> "There is so much of excellence and heauty in the services of the Breviary, that were it skilfully set before the Protestant by Roman controversialists as the book of devotions received in their communion, it would undoubtedly raise a prejudice in their favour, if he were ignorant of the circumstances of the case, and but ordinarily candid and unprejudiced. To meet this danger is one principal object of the following pages." Tract 75. init.

'The use of French Roman Catholic books, in which the un-Catholic portion is very subordinate, has been one very frequent way of enlisting the sympathies of members of our Church, especially females.

pressed on all sides by the spiritual wants of her children as we are, which hinder perhaps from noble enterprise in God's senice, some who might otherwise have essayed it, still she does erect among us edifices to His glory, with which, notwithstanding the ample means at the command of our people, we have but a little, here and there, in this day to compare. Above all, she comes to us with her prayers; and some of her members by remembering us at the Altar, and night and day in the Holy Week, have drawn men's hearts unto them and won our sympathy and gratitude, in any lawful way wherein we may manifest it.

In all this, it is cause of thankfulness to see that there is nothing which ought to shake the stedfastness of a wellbalanced and humble mind. Our duty is "heartily to thank our Heavenly Father for the state of salvation into which He brought us," when by Baptism He made us at once members of His Son and our Church, became Himself our Father, and gave us our Church for our Mother. Our plain duty is, " wherein we have been called, there to abide with Him;" it is not for us to imagine, (as is people's continued temptation in every line and part of life,) that we should have easier duties and greater privileges, under circumstances in which God has not placed us; it is, to be thankful and live up to our own, and pray that through our neglect or misuse they turn not to our condemnation. Were it even true that the Roman Communion did possess greater advantages than our own, this would be no practical question to us individually. It may be that one end which Almighty God has in exhibiting the Roman Church in this form among us, is to dispose us as a Church to more kindly feelings towards her, and to have a less overweening opinion of ourselves than we have mostly been wont to cherish. But individually it cannot change our duties. Our duties are positive and unconditional; they lie towards our Mother, the English Church, because God has assigned us our lot in her, and are irrespective of any thing without her. The duties and blessings of " the first commandment with promise" are in obedience to our Parent as such. Our duties are to her, because through her we were reborn, within her have we been trained, catechized, instructed, guarded, guided, called, recalled; in her words and in her Courts we have worshipped from childhood until now; in her we have had all our " means of grace," in her we have whatever be our " hopes of glory;'' at her breasts our Heavenly Father "nourished and brought us up °," as " children," and to forsake her would be to " rebel against" Him; through her He fed us, when young, with milk, in her He feeds us now with Angels' food, the Bread of Heaven; in her He has given us what out of her we could not have had;—I need but allude to One precious Gift, whose value none can estimate, bestowed on us alone in the whole Western Church, and which I cannot understand how any Communicant who loves his Lord, could of his own act forego. One would not speak of persons in those Churches which refuse the Cup to their members; sore as the loss is, God can make up to His own, any losses which they sustain where He has placed them; but for one who has had that privilege bestowed upon him, voluntarily to forsake the Communion wherein God has given it him, it does seem such a wilful rejection of the gift of his Saviour's Blood, as, in any who knew what that Gift is, one should dread to think of. And even besides this sad forfeiture, for any one, who, placed within a Church, has experienced God's guidance

■ Isai. i.

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