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HE former series
of - Tales of the Village” contained such extracts from my parochial journals as seemed best calculated to give a popular view of the contrast in opinions and
modes of thought between Churchmen and Romanists. In the present series, the same plan has been pursued with respect to Church principles as opposed to Dissent.
My endeavour in these little books has
been to shew generally, that in choosing the middle way between papal errors and sectarian novelties, the Church of England has kept the track which is nearest to that in which the Apostles walked,—that she is close in doctrine and discipline to the apostolic model,—that while we protest against Rome, we remain Catholic, and while we protest against Geneva, we are Reformed ;-that our hand is against all error, and all error against
Of course, a volume like this is not the place to which those who desire to be fully and adequately instructed in Church principles, would refer for a full statement of the questions at issue between the Church and her opponents. A man has no more chance of becoming a theologian through the medium of what is called “ light reading,” than of becoming an historian by conning abstracts, and learning catechisms of history.
My object will be answered, if the following narrative should induce those who read it to inform themselves thoroughly, and gain clear and definite notions on points with which, in the present times, all of us should, if possible, become acquainted.
I trust that all has been written in accordance with the Church's teaching, and in the spirit of Christian charity; and that I have acted throughout upon Bishop Jeremy Taylor's advice, when he says, “ Remember that discretion is the mistress of all graces, and humility the greatest of all miracles. Without this, all graces perish to a man's self; and without that, all graces are useless to others.” 1
With these observations I leave my little volume to the reader's kind consideration, only entreating him to bear in mind that he
! Bishop Taylor's Advice to his Clergy. (He is apparently quoting Bede, Hist. iii. s. 5.)