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among its members, is but a body without a soul, a mere external form of organization without warmth or vitality.
The National Church established in this kingdom the author unfeignedly believes possesses powerful claims on the respect and affections of the people; and it has certainly most important duties to perform towards them in return. These two points ought never to be separated, for THE CLAIMS AND THE DUTIES OF A CHURCH ARE CORRELATIVE; as with individuals, so with public bodies, where much is given, much will be required; and thus every argument by which an advocate for our own or any other form of ecclesiastical polity, defends his peculiar system, ought also to be to him an argument for endeavouring, to the best of his ability, to maķe that system practically beneficial, as respects the spiritual objects which it professes to have in view.
In pursuing the plan just laid down, it is proposed to devote a chapter to each branch of the discussion; with the intention of shewing in the first, “ The necessity of a Church Establishment in a Christian country, for the preservation of Christianity among the people of all ranks and denominations ;” and in the second, “The means of exciting and maintaining amongst its members a spirit of devotion, together with zeal
for the honour, stability, and influence of the Established Church."
For reasons which will be stated in the first chapter, the author passes by all questions of discipline and administration, in the general view which he is about to take of the importance of a national church establishment. There is, therefore, a very important link, which it will be necessary for the reader to supply, in order to connect the first and second chapters together:--that link is, the lawfulness and excellence of the Established Church of England. On this subject so much has been written and proved, that it seemed needless to enter upon the question on the present occasion. After endeavouring, therefore, in the first chapter, to shew the abstract lawfulness and high importance of a national establishment, the author will turn at once to the members of his own communion, in order to consider what are the best means of increasing devotion and church principles within its pale. The intermediate argument is too wide in its details for the limits of the present Essay, as well as irrelevant to its general purpose. It deserves, however, to be seriously considered, at least in all its principal branches, by every person who feels interested in religious topics; and, if the author may judge by his own experience, the more
maturely the subject is contemplated, the less weighty will appear most of the objections currently urged against our National Establishment; while many arguments in its favour which did not particularly strike the mind at first, will, be found upon further consideration to merit the utmost attention.
To the blessing of Him, without whom "nothing is strong, nothing is holy,” these pages are committed, with an earnest desire, and humble prayer, that all who profess attachment to the Established Church, may adorn the Gospel of their Saviour, and recommend by the soundness of their doctrines, and the piety of their lives, that branch of Christ's visible kingdom of which they call themselves friends and members; and that those who separate from our communion may 'witness in their brethren of the Establishment such an eleyated and exemplary pattern of every
grace and virtue, as may lead them, seeing their good works, to glorify their Father which is in heaven, and induce them conscientiously and affectionately to 'exclaim, “ We will go with you, for God is with you."
THE NECESSITY OF A CHURCH ESTABLISHMENT
IN A CHRISTIAN COUNTRY, FOR THE PRE-
PEOPLE OF ALL RANKS AND DENOMINA
advocating the cause of our Established Church, the apologist must adapt his arguments to the varying objections of its impugners. Some object to the principle, others to the details; some to its doctrines, others to its discipline; while in very many minds, in the present day, there is an important previous question, which requires to be settled before any discussion can be hopefully held on the subject-namely, whether in any country a National Church Establishment is necessary, or even allowable.
Many an advocate for the Church of England has found himself disappointed in the small effect which some of the best written treatises on the question-treatises which carried conscientious conviction to his own mind-have
produced on Dissenters to whom he has recommended their perusal.
In such cases, the failure may have originated in the want of common ground on which to argue the question. Most of the treatises written within a century and a half after the Reformation, proceed upon principles not recognized by a large class of Dissenters in the present day, and which are often but faintly held even by many professed Churchmen. There is thus a' want of axioms and postulates common to the author and the reader, to guide the inquiry. There was indeed a time, when, if the particular objections to a given church could be fairly met and answered, a seceder was generally constrained to acknowledge himself satisfied. But of late years this aspect of things has considerably changed. Many modern objectors to the Church of England, after perusing some elaborate treatise on the question, are ready to reply," I will grant you, if so you please, that the writer has shewn that several, perhaps most, or even all, the subordinate arguments alleged against your church are unfounded; but it is not for secondary points like these that we contend: we do not inquire whether your Establishment be the best or the worst; we do not ask what are its faults or what its virtues; but we demand, Why have any Establishment at all? The church