Page:Tracts for the Times Vol 2.djvu/9

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In completing the second volume of a publication, to which the circumstances of the day have given rise, it may be right to allude to a change which has taken place in them since the date of its commencement. At that time, in consequence of long security, the attention of members of our Church had been but partially engaged in ascertaining the grounds of their adherence to it; but the imminent peril to which all that is dear to them has since been exposed, has naturally turned their thoughts that way, and obliged them to defend it on one or other of the principles which are usually put forward in its behalf. Discussions have thus been renewed in various quarters, on points which had long remained undisturbed; and, though numbers continue undecided in opinion, or take up a temporary position in some one of the hundred middle points which may be assumed between the two main theories in which the question issues, and others, again, have deliberately entrenched themselves in the modern or ultra-protestant alternative, yet, on the whole, there has been much hearty and intelligent adoption, and much respectful study, of those more primitive views maintained by our great Divines, As the altered state of public information and opinion has a necessary bearing on the efforts of those who desire to excite attention to the subject, (in which number the writers of these Tracts are to be included,) it will not be inappropriate briefly to state in this place, what it is conceived is the present position of the great body of Churchmen with reference to it.

While we have cause to be thankful for the sounder and