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vanced. I earnestly pray that the Holy Spirit may incline your heart to receive the truth in the love of it.
If I have at any time employed expressions calculated to wound your feelings, I pray you to forgive me. I intended it for good. I would, if possible, avoid giving you pain ; for in sparing your feelings I spare my own. But truth must not be sacrificed. It is not charity to countenance fatal delusion. None but a Cain—a misanthrope, with scowling brow, and sneering lip, and scoffing tongue—whose views and hopes centre in the present world—can deem religion a matter of trifling importance. On the religious state of our minds here, depends our everlasting destiny. This is a matter between God and the soul, with which no man can authoritatively meddle. But God has appointed means for the salvation of souls. He sends forth the messengers of his love, and they are commanded to declare the truth, whether men will hear, or whether they will forbear; and urgently to press every argument and motive by which the heart can be brought to yield itself to its Maker. “ Now, then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you, in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.” 0, my dear Friend, abandon those false hopes that have bewildered you so long, and fly for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before you in the Gospel. Heed not the obstacles in your path. The claims of God and truth are paramount to every consideration. Shrink not from the severance of earthly ties. Christ is able to deliver you out of all your difficulties, and to recompense you a hundred fold. "For what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul ?" Heed not the voice of calumny, nor the rage of the adversary. God will be your “sun and shield : he will give you grace and glory,” and ere long, he will make even your enemies to be at peace with you. Listen to his invitation : “ Wherefore, come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and I will receive you. And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
Note A, Page 116.
THE Book of Common Prayer being a human compilation, is, of course, not infallible, and may require emendation. To err is human; and to correct error when discovered, is the highest proof of wisdom. This becomes the more necessary in those formularies wbich are enforced on the conscience as terms of communion.
The most strenuous advocates, however, of the ancient forms of the Anglican Church, not only admit, but contend, that the absolution is not judicial but declarative, having no force whatever apart from the faith and repentance of the sinner, pre-requisites which would ensure pardon if there were not a Priest in existence. Consequently, instead of agreeing with the Council of Trent, they are subject to its curse. For in the fourth Canon, De Peni. tentia, it is decreed that, “ Sf any shall say that the sacramental absolution of the Priest is not a judicial act, but a mere service of declaring and pronouncing that sins are forgiven to him that confesses, let him be accursed.” Thus, according to the Council, the power of loosing and binding " is not a mere ministry, either of announcing the Gospel, or of declaring that sins are forgiven, but completely a judicial act, by which, by the Priest himself as by a judge,