Page:Tracts for the Times Vol 1.djvu/22

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world. But it is our duty to live among books, especially to live by one book, and a very old one; and therein we are enjoined to "keep that good thing which is committed unto us," to "neglect not our gifts." And when men talk, as they sometimes do, as if in opposing them we were standing on technical difficulties instead of welcoming great and extensive benefits which wculd be the result of their measures, I would ask them, (letting alone the question of their beneficial nature, which is a question,) whether this is not being wise above that is written, whether it is not doing evil that good may come. We cannot know the effects which will follow certain alterations; but we can decide that the means by which it is proposed to attain them are unprecedented and disrespectful to the Church. And when men say, "the day is past for stickling about ecclesiastical rights," let them see to it, whether they do not use substantially the same arguments to maintain their position, as those who say, "The day is past for being a Christian."

Lastly, is it not plain that by showing a bold front and defending the rights of the Church, we are taking the only course, which can make us respected? Yielding will not persuade our enemies to desist from their efforts to destroy us root and branch. We cannot hope by giving something to keep the rest. Of this surely we have had of late years sufficient experience. But by resisting strenuously, and contemplating and providing against the worst, we may actually prevent the very evils we fear. To prepare for persecution may be the way to avert it.

These Tracts may be had at Turrill's, No. 250, Regent Street, London.