Page:Tracts for the Times Vol 2.djvu/15

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No. 47.]
[Price 1d.
(Ad Clerum.)


TRACTS FOR THE TIMES.




THE VISIBLE CHURCH.

LETTER IV.




My Dear——

I am sorry my delay has been so considerable in answering your remarks on my Letters on the Church. Indeed it has been ungrateful in me, for you have given me an attention unusual with the multitude of religious persons; who, instead of receiving the arguments of others in simplicity and candour, seem to have a certain number of types, or measures of professing Christians, set up in their minds, to one or other of which they consider every one they meet with belongs, and who, accordingly, directly they hear an opinion advanced, begin to consider whether the speaker be a No. 1, 2, or 3, and having rapidly determined this, treat his views with consideration or disregard, as it may be. I am far from saying our knowledge of a person's character and principles should not influence our judgment of his arguments; certainly it should have great weight. I consider the cry "measures not men," to be one of the many mistakes of the day. At the same time there is surely a contrary extreme, the fault of fancying we can easily look through men, and understand what each individual is; an arbitrary classing of the whole Christian family under but two or three countenances, and mistaking one man's doctrine for another's. You at least have not called me an Arminian, or a high Churchman, or a Borderer, or one of this or that school, and so dismissed me.

To pass from this subject. You tell me that in my zeal in advocating the doctrine of the Church Catholic and Apostolic, I