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imagine that particular Churches may have erred in the additions or suppressions which they have made, and yet may not have so far erred as to forfeit the character of Churches, since they still retain the essential marks. One Church may have erred in one way, and one in another. One may be deficient in discipline, another in doctrine, another may be over-abundant in these respects; and yet, if these Churches retain the essentials, and convey grace to their members, they will continue to be the true Churches of the countries in which God has placed them; and it shall not be possible for any to withdraw themselves from them without incurring the guilt of schism. As the human body may be curtailed of several of its members, or swollen to a monstrous size without being deprived of life, so may a Church be maimed or corrupted and yet continue a living Church. And as a parent claims the reverence and submission of his children, even though deficient in some of his parental duties, so may a Church claim the adherence of her sons, though her practice might, in some respects, be amended.
There is, of course, a limit to this principle, and an important and difficult question presents itself, to what extent a Church may be corrupted or mutilated; and still be to us the appointed channel of grace, and claim our obedience on pain of the guilt of schism; and, on the other hand, at what point it becomes our duty to withdraw from communion, or subject ourselves to forcible excommunication.
In the following pages I propose to confine my view to the Church of which the Providence of God has made us members. My object shall be to shew, first, that the Church of England has the essentials of a Christian Church, both as regards its legitimate descent from the Apostles, and also its retention of all essential marks, whether of doctrine or discipline; and, therefore, that it claims our obedience as being undoubtedly the true Church in this land. Secondly, to point out the peculiarities of the English Church; and to shew how it differs from other Churches; whether those differences are the natural and unavoidable result of her circumstances, and proper to be maintained; or whether they are such as may be advantageously remodelled, and reduced more into conformity with the original type of the Church Primitive
and Apostolic; lastly, whether they corrupt departures from her own true and acknowledged principles.
SHEWING THE IDENTITY OF THE ENGLISH CHURCH FROM
THE BEGINNING.POPULAR OBJECTIONS TO THE APOSTOLI
CAL SUCCESSION ANSWERED.
In order to give consistency and clearness to the argument proposed, it will be necessary to advert occasionally to topics which have been recently so much discussed that few can be ignorant of them. Such topics will need to be spoken of only in a summary manner.
Of this nature is the fact of the identity of the English Church from the beginning down to the present time.
We have undoubted historical evidence of the existence of a pure branch of the Church universal, governed by Bishops, and possessing all the marks of a true Church from the earliest
times. If not founded by one of the Apostles, still no doubt was ever entertained that the Bishops of the ancient British Church derived their orders from them in a regular manner. At the time of the Saxon invasion, the British Church was much oppressed ; but when the Saxons themselves had been converted by the mission of St. Augustine, the two Churches, that is to say, the ancient British and the Saxon gradually coalesced' into one, and whether we trace the succession of our ministry through St. Augustine, who received his orders from the Gallican Church, or through the ancient British line, the fact of their being duly ordained and descended from the Apostles, and so from Christ himself is undeniable. And so the Church of England has continued down to the present
The Welch Church was united with the English in the reign of Henry I. Before that time there were Welch Archbishops of St. David's. Bishop Tremorin who officiated for Bishop Athelstan at Hereford for thirteen years, from A. D. 1042 to 1055, was one of the British succession, from those who opposed Augustine at the synod of Augustine's oak. Their succession was never superseded; consequently the two successions have been blended together from the time when the Welch Church acknowledged the archiepiscopal rights of the see of Canterbury over Wales, in the time of Bishop Bernard of St David's, A. D. 1120.