Page:Tracts for the Times Vol 1.djvu/41

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A

SHORT ADDRESS TO HIS BRETHREN

ON THE

NATURE AND CONSTITUTION

OF

THE CHURCH OF CHRIST;

AND OF

THE BRANCH OF IT ESTABLISHED IN ENGLAND.

BY A LAYMAN.



I believe one Catholic and Apostolic Church: Nic. Creed.



There are many persons who have the happiness of being members of that pure and Apostolical branch of Christ's holy Church, which, as it is established in this our country, we call "the Church of England;" persons who attend with regularity and devotion to her services, and have participated in the benefits of her Sacraments; who may yet have no very clear idea either of the nature of that body which we call "the Church" in general, or of the peculiar circumstances and events which have led to the present position and constitution of that portion of it to which we belong.

To such persons it may not be unacceptable if we present them in these pages with a short account of "the Church;" of that institution which, previous to His return to the regions of His heavenly glory, our Lord bequeathed to the world, to be cherished and enjoyed as a precious legacy, until His coming again; of that body which He framed for the reception of the first gifts of His Almighty Spirit, and for the transmission of those precious gifts, from age to age, to the end of time. Such an account will naturally lead to a brief statement of the manner in which it has pleased Providence to bless us, in this our own island, with a branch of