Church Association Tracts
THE TEACHING OF THE RITUALISTS NOT THE
TEACHING OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
J. C. Ryle
The Ritualists have two devices which it is well to notice.
First, they represent themselves as Catholics, and say they are eager to revive the traditions and worship of the Primitive Church. This representation is contrary to the fact. The Church of England took that course at her Reformation; all that was pure, primitive, and Catholic, both in worship, faith, and order, she retained. She cast off only the fictions, idolatry, and error by which Roman Priest--craft and Italian ambition had disfigured the Apostolic faith.
But the Reformation and the works of our Reformed Church is denounced by Ritualists as mutilated, Antichristian, and a pestilent heresy, while, in fact, the Ritualists are merely reintroducing the ceremonies and dogmas which our fathers cast off as idolatrous and superstitious. When therefore they call themselves Catholics, they mean Romanists.
Their second device, when they meet their countrymen, is to disguise and cloak their opinions.
They appeal to that just sentiment which prevails, the desire to reclaim and instruct the masses. They represent themselves as devoted to this duty. Whereas, when you watch their acts and visit their churches, you find them doing the work of Roman priests, endeavouring by appeals to remorse, by demands for confession, by offers of absolution, by sacrifices of masses, by urging of prayers to Saints and the Virgin, by appeals to the senses, music, incense, shows and dresses, to allure to Church the frivolous, careless, and dissipated. The result of this is, what it is in all European countries where Rome prevails, to bring power, repute, and gifts to the priest; to leave unchanged the vices and appetites of the people.
Ritualism then is in its faith and forms Romanism; and, in order not to misrepresent it, we shall take its own organs to describe its practices, and learn its words and ways from its tracts, magazines, catechisms, manuals of devotion, and the newspapers, which the Ritualists publish.
1. They declare that the doctrine of Rome and England is the same,1 they attend the Roman mass,2 and recommend others to do the same3 and they pray for union with the corrupt Church of Rome.4
1 “The breach between us and Rome is not so wide as is commonly thought.”--Dr. Pusey's Eirenicon, p. 207.
“What I have said to the Gallican [i.e. Romish] Bishops, and what they have clearly understood, is this, ‘that I believe the Council of Trent, whatever its look may be, and our Articles, whatever their look may be, each could be so explained as to be reconcilable one with the other.’” Speech by Dr. Pusey, at Annual Meeting of the English Church Union, 1866. See E. C. U. Circular, for July, 1866, p. 197.
“None but those who have reduced ignorance to a system, now deny that the differences between the authoritative documents of Rome and England are Infinitesimal--that the priesthood is the same, the Liturgy virtually the same, and the doctrine the same.”--Church Times, June 18, 1869.
2 “We have attended mass in a hundred great cities of the continent, and found out that there is not of necessity an idol in every foreign Church; but that it is very possible to worship with a Roman priest, and not only to receive no harm, but some good.”--Rev. W. J. E. Bennett’s Essay on “Some Results of the Tractarian Movement of 1833,” in the Church and the World, p. 19. 1867.
3 “If the traveller should assist at Protestant worship, he is aiding and abetting that the doctrine, heresy, and schism from which he prays in the Litany to be delivered. If he does go to the Anglican chapel, he is nevertheless bound to be present at an early Mass in the Roman parish church.”--Church News, July 7, 1889
4 “It is the distinct duty of all who pray for the peace of Jerusalem to repudiate foreign Lutheranism, Calvinism, &c., and to do their utmost to show that the English Church of which they are members, is really one with the Church of Rome in faith, orders, and sacraments; whilst the Protestant bodies are branches cut off from the True Vine of which the Roman and Anglican and Eastern Communions are living boughs.”--Church News, July 7, 1869.
“We had been chosen by God to be the colonists of all newly discovered lands, and we stood, like Aaron, between the living and the dead--between the living Church and the dead and decaying forms of a corrupt Protestantism. We were bound to come forward with our message to both--to the living, that they be not high--minded, but fear; to the dead, that they arise and return to the pure bosom of their mother the Catholic Church.”--From Notice of Sermon by Rev. Dr. Littledale on the Anniversary of the A. P. U. C. in the Church Times, Sept. 10, 1869.
2. They revile Protestantism. They call it heresy,5 a pest,6 a cancer,7 a monstrous figment,8 and they vilify the Reformation and the Reformers9 in terms equally coarse;10 and yet they quietly remit in incumbencies and curacies within the Church of the Reformation.
5 A writer in The Church and the World (Ed. 1866, p. 237) says, “Our place is appointed among us Protestants, and in a communion deeply tainted in its practical system by Protestant heresy., but our duty is the expulsion of the evil, and not flight from it.”
“They (the ministers) carry on a school, and are indefatigable in visiting the poor, and in infusing into the veins of an ignorant and unsuspicious populace the poison of Protestant heresy.”
6 “Pest of Protestantism.”--Church News, May 5th, 1869.
7 But we should much prefer seeing attention centred on theological matters and questions of discipline, and extirpating that ulcerous cancer of Protestantism, which must be fatal, sooner or later, to any Church that does not use moral steel and fire upon it.”--Church Times, Sept. 3, 1869.
8 “By way of protest against the monstrous figment of Protestantism.”--Ibid.
“We are bound to correct one of the speakers [at the Islington Clerical Meeting] who remarked that the Tractarian School, whatever its good points may be, loses sight of the distinctive doctrines of the Reformation. We do not lose sight of them at all. We are busy in hunting them down, and have no intention of foregoing the chase till we have extirpated them. That is plain speaking enough, we trust.”--Church Times, Jan. 28th, 1870.
9 “Anathema to the Principle of Protestantism.”--Palmer’s Letter to Golightly.
10 Dr. Littledale, in his Lecture on Innovations, calls the Reformers a set of miscreants, all utterly unredeemed villains.
3. They propose to abandon, and labour for the abolition of, the xxxix Articles of Religion,11 which “contain the true doctrine of the Church of England agreeable to God’s Word.”
11 “First of all come the xxxix Articles, those Protestant Articles, tacked on to Catholic Liturgy, those forty--stripes--save--one, as some have called them, laid on the back of the Anglican priesthood--How are they to be got over?”--Essay by Rev. L. Blenkinsopp on “Reunion of the Church,” in the Church and the World, 1866, p. 202.
See proposal of Dr. Pusey that the Universities should abandon subscription to the xxxix Articles as the practical qualification for orthodox Church of England Protestant teaching, in Letter to the President of the Wesleyan conference, 1868.
“It will soon become the duty of Churchmen to labour actively for the abolition of the Articles, which have long ago done their work and are really of extremely little use now, discrediting us (as they do) in the eyes of foreign Catholics.”--Church News, July 29, 1868.
“We have never seen the use of retaining the Thirty--nine Articles at all.”--Church Times, March 12th, 1869.
“The abolition of the Thirty--nine Articles, the adoption of
Edward VI. First Communion Office…would win for the Disestablished Church the
respect of Christendom.”--Church Times, Sep. 3rd. 1869.
4. They hold with the Church of Rome that there are seven Sacraments,12 whereas our xxvth Article declares that there are two Sacraments ordained of Christ in the Gospel--Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
12 See Article on “The Seven Sacraments,” in Tracts for the Day, edited by Rev. O. Shipley.
In the Prayer Book for the Young, or complete Guide to Public and Private Devotion for youthful members of the English Church, “Confirmation,” “Confession,” “Visitation of the Sick,” “Holy Orders” and “Matrimony” are enumerated among the Sacraments, p. 10.
Rev. Orby Shipley states in his “Sermons on Sin,” that
“there are seven Sacraments and personal extensions of the incarnation of
God”--“Baptism,” “Confirmation,” “Eucharist,” “Marriage,” “Orders,” “Extreme
Unction,” “Penance.” And he adds, “The seventh and last sacramental extension of
the Incarnation of our God, I need not tell you, my brethren, in theological
language, is termed the “Sacrament of Penance.”--pp. 43 to 50.
5. They pray to the Virgin Mary and elevate her to a throne in heaven;13 and our Church declares such adoration to be superstitious and idolatrous.
13 “Blessed Mary, Mother of God, ever Virgin, pray for us.”--Litany of the Blessed Virgin, in Invocation of Saints and Angels, by Rev. O. Shipley p. 66.
“Hail Queen of heaven; hail Mistress of the Angels, hail root, hail gate, wherefrom the light of the world is sprung! Rejoice, O Glorious Virgin, pre--eminently fair, and very lovely, hail! Mayst thou pray Christ for us.”--Monastic Breviary, used at Rev. J. L. Lyne’s Monastery at Laleham Covent at London, &c. p. 80.
See The Femall Glory, edited by Rev. Orby Shipley, M.A.., 1869.
6. They pray to saints and invoke their intercession.14 Our Church terms such prayers “repugnant to the Word of God.” (Art. xxii.) St. Paul says there is “one Mediator between God and man.”--1 Tim. ii. 5.
14 “O holy Michael, Prince of the Heavenly
Host pray for us.” “O Raphael, pray for us”--Invocation of Saints and Angels edited by Rev.
O. Shipley pp. 45, 46.
“Of our patron saint. Most Holy Confessor of the Lord ( ) mayst thou intercede to Christ for us.”--Little Office book. p. 17.
“I pray that Blessed Mary, ever a Virgin, Blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John Baptist, the holy apostles Peter and Paul, our Blessed Father Benedict, all the Saints (and you, my brothers) may pray for me to the Lord our God.--Monastic Breviary, used at Rev. J. L. Lyne’s Monastery at Laleham, &c., p. 7
7. They set up images of the Virgin and of the saints; and
introduce into their churches the Romish pictures of ‘the Twelve Stations of the
Cross’ and publish forms of prayer to be said at each Station,15
as in the Roman Catholic Church; whereas our Church warns us that images “if
they be publicly suffered in churches will lead to idolatry.” (Art. xxxv, and
Homily against Peril of Idolatry)
15 See Decorations in Ritualistic Churches--St. Michael’s and All Angels, Shoreditch, and others.
See the ‘Way of the Cross’ in the Treasury of Devotion, pp. 191 to 200.
8. They pervert the Communion Table into an Altar, the Communion into a Mass, and the Clergyman into a sacrificing Priest, who elevates material elements incorporating the Deity, and direct these to be adored by the worshipper with genuflection and prostration;16 whereas our Church declares that the Mass “overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament” (Art. xxviii), and that such worship is “idolatry, to be abhorred of all faithful Christians.” (Communion Service.)
16 “This prayer we say (to use the word common to us all) in the Mass which we now offer in many places daily on our altars.”--Rev. W. J. E. Bennett’s Essay. “Some Results of the Tractarian Movement of 1833” in the Church and the World. p. 19. 1867.
“Grant that the Sacrifice, which I a miserable sinner have offered before Thy Divine Majesty may be acceptable unto Thee, and through thy mercy maybe a propitiation for me, and all for whom I have offered It.”--Priest’s Prayer Book, p. 13.
Evidence before the Royal Ritual Commission. Question 2608.--Do you consider yourself a Sacrificing Priest? Answer by Rev. W. J. E. Bennett.--“Yes.”
“THE PRIEST AT THE ALTAR IS VIRTUALLY CHRIST HIMSELF.”--Catechism of Theology, p. 58
“Q.--Is not the Holy Eucharist also a Sacrifice?--A.--Yes”--Catechism, p. 35. Oxford. 1863.
“May the Lord receive this Sacrifice, etc.”--Little Prayer Book, p. 18.
“Now kneel upright, your hands clasped upon your breast; follow the Priest in silent awe, for Jesus thy God is very nigh thee, he is about to descend upon the altar, surrounded by the Fire of the Holy Ghost, and attended by the angels. At the Consecration and Elevation prostrate yourself to the dust and say, ‘Hail Body of my God hail Body of my Redeemer--I adore--I adore--I adore thee.”-- Manual of Devotions and Directions Members of the Church of England, intended especially the Young.
9. They enjoin the reservation of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, whereas our xxxviiith Article says:--“The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was not by Christ’s ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.
“Celebration in private rooms should be avoided as much as
possible. For this purpose it is well to have the Blessed Sacrament reserved in
the church (where this may be done), but especially in collegiate and monastic
chapels, where it should always be reserved. The priest should, on due notice
being given, carry it from thence in the pyx (in both kinds of course), to the
sick man’s house.…. The priest carries the blessed Sacrament in a monstrance (as
described in appendix for reservation in both kinds), or he will convey it in
the chalice, the Holy Body being placed previously therein by him, soaked in a
few drops of the precious Blood, the chalice being covered with a white veil,
and burse, with a corporal folded inside.”--The Ritual of the Anglican Clergy,
10. They pray for the souls of the Dead, and they declare their belief in Purgatory, and in the power of the priest to relieve from its penalties;17 whereas our Church declares purgatory to be “a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded on no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God.” (Art. xxii.)
17 “What seems to be agreed upon is:--That, meantime, the souls of those persons are benefited by the prayers and Offerings of the Church, and by Alms given in their behalf; that those who have not died beyond the pale of salvation receive mitigation of their sufferings and ultimate release; and that, possibly, those who are lost also gain a mitigation of their sufferings, which mitigation may last through Eternity.”--Article on Purgatory in Tracts for the Day edited by Rev. O. Shipley, p. 29.
“We beseech thee, O Lord God Almighty, for the souls of
the faithful departed”--Altar Manual, edited by a Committee of Clergy,
The souls of the departed thus abiding in their place of rest may be the subjects of prayer to those who are still alive upon the earth,” because “the souls that are departed are not in their perfection.’--Church’s Broken Unity, by Rev. W. J. E. Bennett, p. 122.
“Accept this Sacrifice, which, to the honour of thy Name, we
have offered for the faithful, both living and departed, and for all is our sins
and offences.”--Altar Meal. p.36.
“The state of the departed souls, whether in pain or pleasure, is not yet final. The truth is that they are in custody, easy or harsh, awaiting “Trial.”
“The best and holiest men (and much more the average believers) leave this world bearing the stains of earthly sins and error, which must be cleansed somewhere before they can be fitted for heaven.”--Prayer for the Dead, by Rev. Dr. Littledale, p. 2.
See Dr. Pusey’s Address, headed, “The prayers for departed Companions of the Society of the Love of Jesus.”--p. 127, 8.
Also notices at the doors of Ritualistic Churches, “Of your
Charity pray for--,” and then follow the names of persons sick and dead.
11. They omit the Prayers for the Queen, the Royal Family and Parliament,18 and are agitating for a separation of Church and Sate.19
18 In Ritualistic Churches the State Prayers are generally omitted.
“ There does not seem to be any great reason for retaining the prayer for the Queen, bearing in mind the very full and emphatic terms in which her Majesty is mentioned in the Canon. Most people, we suspect, would be exceedingly glad if this prayer, as well as the Comfortable Words and the Addresses were dropped.”-- Church Times, Jan. 20, 1866.
19 “I referred to an extreme faction in the Church of very modern date that does not conceal its ambition to destroy the connection between Church and State.”--Letter from the late Premier to Rev. A. Baker, dated 9th April, 1863.
See Rev. W. J. E. Bennett’s Sermon at Bristol, on May 2, 1869 advocating the separation of Church and State, and speaking of their connection as an adulterous love between the kingdom of the world and the kingdom of God. --Ch. Times, May 7, 1869.
12. They also introduce the Romish practices of Extreme Unction,---Incensing persons and things,--- Substituting wafers for bread at the Communion Service,’--Using Holy Water,--Consecrating and censing Palm branches on Palm Sunday, --Consecrating ashes, and rubbing them on persons’ foreheads on Ash Wednesday,--Censing candles and sprinkling them with Holy Water on Candlemas day.
See Essay on “ Unction of the Sick “ in Tracts for the day edited by Rev. O. Shipley, where the writer speaks of “the Sacrament of Unction” p. 342, and adds (p. 359) “The principal effect then of Unction is the removal of the relics of Sin; its consequential effect, the remission of the guilt of any Sin it may find in the soul.”
“The recognized consecration of chrism and holy oil for various rites cannot be much longer postponed. It will certainly come in somehow”--Dr. Littlerdale's Letter to the Archbishop on “Catholic Revision.” p. 28.
Liturgy of Church of Sarumdedicated by permission to Bp. of Salisbury.
13. They advocate the Procession and Veneration of Relics.
See instructions for Procession and Veneration of Relics in Oratory Worship.
“It is well, when the relics are to be exposed, to erect a resting--place for them just within the chancel, or in some place calculated to facilitate the veneration of the faithful,” p. 32.
Then follow details of the service, and it concludes by saying, “After the Te Deum the officient and his ministers should proceed to the chancel gates, and there hold the inner relic--case to be kissed by the faithful, wiping the glass after each osculation with a piece of cotton wool”.--p. 34.
14. They encourage and enjoin habitual auricular confession to a priest, and seek to restore Judicial Absolution by a Priest, and the Romish Sacrament of Penance;20 whereas our Church says, “to maintain their auricular confession withal they greatly deceive themselves and do shamefully deceive others.” “It is most evident and plain that this auricular confession hath not the warrant of God's word.”--Second part of homily on Repentance.
20 Mr. Dodsworth, writing to Dr. Pusey, eighteen years ago, says :--” Both by precept and .example you have been amongst the most earnest to maintain Catholic principles. By your constant and common practice of administering the Sacrament of Penance; by encouraging ever--where, if not enjoining, auricular confession, and giving special priestly absolution, &c.
Mr. Maskell, addressing Dr. Pusey about the same time, wrote, “He (Mr. Dodsworth) knew that you have done more than encourage Confession in very many cases; that you have warned people of the danger of deferring it, have insisted on it as the only remedy, have pointed out the inevitable dangers of the neglect of it, and have promised the highest blessings in the observance, until you had brought penitents in fear and trembling upon their knees before you.”
Dr. Pusey, in a Letter to the Times Nov. 29th, 1866, says: “During the twenty--eight years in which I have received Confession, I never had once to refuse absolution.”
In the “Ordinance of Confession” the Rev. W. Gresley, MA., Prebendary of Lichfield, has given very minute directions both to penitent and confessor. He also says that the priest when he hears confessions, should wear his robes of office and then at p. 96 he speaks thus about absolution:--
“The giving Absolution is not a matter of course, but is dependent on the judgment of the priest. He has power to retain as well as remit sins--to give absolution or refuse it.” Awful thought!
“Listen carefully to all the Priest says to you, be sure to remember the penance he gives you, and receive the Absolution thankfully.”--Little Prayer Book, p. 83.
“The essential form of Absolution is not to be put forth after the manner of a prayer, but as by authority, being a judicial act.”--The Priest in Absolution, p. 50.
“Confession is one of the lesser Sacraments, instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ by means of which those sins which we commit after Baptism are forgiven,” &c.-- Prayer Book for the Young, p. 71.
15. They are restoring Monasteries and Convents.
The Rev. J. T. Lyne (Father Ignatius) has established a Monastery at Laleham, a Convent of Sisters of St. Benedict in London; and there are convents of Benedictines in London, Newcastle, and Norwich, and a Priory of Benedictine nuns at Feltham.
“The Rev. R. M. Benson, MA., Incumbent of St. John the Evangelist, Oxford, and a prominent member of the High Church party (Ritualistic?) in that city, has been holding a ‘Retreat’ at his Monastery in Marston--street, Oxford, which has been attended by a large number of clergymen from all parts of the United Kingdom. During its corrtinuance the brethren, as they are called, give themselves up to fasting and prayer, maintaining the strictest silence and reserve. The Services in the chapel attached to the Monastery are incessant, the members of the Brotherhood appearing to spend the whole of their time between prayers in the chapel and meditations in their cells. The whole of the brethren are clothed in long black cassocks, confined at the waist by a cord, and wear large black felt hats.”-- Morning Advertiser, Oct. 1869,
See account of service at what is called the Feltham Nunnery, quoted is the Guardian, September 9th, 1868 in which it is stated that--
“The Priest commenced with the Communion Service of the Church of England, the young lady who was to receive the veil was dressed as a bride. The novice’s habit, scapular, girdle, and sandals, wimple and cloak, were solemnly blessed, her long black hair was all cut off, her white dress changed for a Benedictine frock, the white veil solemnly blessed and incensed, and then placed over her head, and she took the three vows for one year. The nuns are entirely enclosed, never go out, only see visitors at a grating in the Convent parlour, and then their faces are covered, and they obey the strict Benedictine rule.”
In the same account it is stated that in a previous week a nun took the black veil in the house with ceremonies still more striking and solemn.
16. They recommend the celibacy of Priests.
“All Catholics who seriously desire the spiritual well--being of our Church ought earnestly to long to see some such discipline as that which prevails in the Holy Eastern Church established among ourselves--to have some stringent law or Canon enacted making the reception of at least Priest's Orders a bar to subsequent marriage on pain of perpetual irregularity.”--Church News Oct. 13th, 1869.
The Rev. W. Humphrey in an essay, “The Three Vows” in The Church and the World, enjoins the necessity of the three vows of Chastity, Obedience, and Poverty, and says, “Perpetual continence is requisite in order to the perfection of Religion.”--p. 517.
“We are perfectly convinced that until the celibate life for men, and especially for priests, is very widely recognized and practised among us, we shall be lacking in an important feature necessary to the perfection of a Christian Church.”--Church News, April 7th, 1869.
17. They deny the sole authority of God’s Word. For its supremacy, they substitute the traditions of the dark ages, introduced by an ambitious priesthood, to enrich and aggrandize their order.21 With a clear note, our Church rebukes those views, declaring that “Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation” (Art. vi.); and that “while each Church has the right and the power to decree ceremonies”--(Art. xx.)--“it is not lawful for the Church to ordain anything that is contrary to God’s Word written;” and “whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as in article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.” (Art. vi.)
21 “If all the Bibles in the world could be gathered together tomorrow into one place and cast into the sea, I see nothing to hinder the Christian mission spreading in the world, in the same way as it spread between tine years 33 and 80 A.D.. (or whatever date may be assigned for the completion of the New Testament Canon). Neither, to take a practical case, which involves no such extravagant hypothesis, do I think that a Christian Priest, sent to a heathen land to win converts to the Faith, has any need to take a Bible with him, or any call to use it with the heathen previous to their baptism, or in any sense to treat it as a necessary element in the work of conviction.”--Kiss of Peace. Sequel 59.
“In the sense in which it is commonly understood at this day, Scripture, it is plain, is not, on Anglical principles, the Rule of Faith.”--Tracts for the Times, No. 90, p. 11, republished with Preface by Dr. Pusey, 1865.
“I most firmly believe, O my God, whatever thy Holy Catholic Church believes and teaches.”--Little Prayer Book, pp. 13, 14.
“There are a great many persons who are under the impression that the Bible is intended to teach us our religion. Let me say most distinctly and definitely that this is a thorough mistake.”--An Open Bible. Lecture by Rev. J. E. Vaux, p. 18.
“If we would decide between conflicting opinions on fundamental doctrines, we must appeal to the Universal Church. Her voice will tell us ‘What is Truth.’”--Ib. p. 17.
The Church is not the Church of the Rome, but the Bible is the Book of the Church.”--Ibid. p. 15.
18. Even on the Primacy of the Pope, which by acts of Parliament and by the Order of our Reformed Church was rejected, these men are now approaching Popery with their entreaties. They set up Associations to promote reunion with Rome: they desecrate public worship by prayers for it; they hail the Papal Council; they declare the identity of our Articles with the Papal Creed; and the language, in which some of their leaders have lately expressed themselves, leaves no doubt as to their design. In St. Alban’s, Holborn, Dr. Littledale, accompanied by three other Priests, asked all present to pray.
“That Pentecostal fires might descend upon that great Council which was about to assemble under the chief Bishop of the Church, so that some of the scandals of the last 300 years might be removed.”
One of their organs expressed plainly the sentiments of the party:
The cry of the earnest and devout in our Communion to the successor of St. Peter is ‘Come over and help us.’ Will he stop his ears and beat back the hands stretched towards him, or will he advance half way and fall on our neck and kiss us? We are quite content to allow that we have been, as a Church, separate, degraded by the State to keep swine, and famished on the husks it has cast to us, but we do not forget that we are sons.”--Church News, Sept. 15, 1869.
We cannot wonder that in a Roman Catholic newspaper, a letter from an Ecclesiastic of high position is given, which states:--
“It is notably impossible for the Holy Father and the Council to ignore the reunion with the Holy See expressed by so many pious Anglicans.” From information “received from Catholics in England, from Archbishop Manning downwards,”-- “the present spirit of the more advanced Anglicans is all that could be desired.”-- Weekly Register, Sept. 4.
Therefore, it is no exaggeration to describe the Ritualistic party as Romanists, who have reached already with bold advance the worst errors and idolatries of the Church of Rome.
The conspiracy now is organized, its practice open, its purpose avowed. To unprotenstantize our Church and to overthrow our reformed faith is their deliberate and unconcealed design. Nor is the evil or the danger small; in some cases the laity have been corrupted by their teaching and have imbibed Romish errors, but the great majority of our laity are shocked and startled to find such heresies suffered within our Church, and they ask, with wonder and impatience, why is nothing done? what are the heads of our Church doing?
One conclusion is, that the faithful members of our Protestant Church must look for a remedy under God, not to others but to themselves.
Union is as necessary as Action. If the faithful members of our Church are, through God's blessing, permitted to resist the two great dangers of Ritualistic and Romish superstition on the one hand, and Unbelief on the other, they must learn to think, to deliberate and act together, but above all to be earnest in prayer. This course was pursued by the members of the early Church; and ended by God’s blessing in harmonious agreement. This should be our course. That which we must look for, which alone will serve us, is the cordial union of Clergy and Laity, and their united prayer to Him who ordereth all things according to his good pleasure.
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