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Members of the Established Church,
THE YEAR 1842.
We remarked in our Preface last year, that whereas in former times we had devoted many pages to Church Reform and Church Defence, a prominent feature of our present volume behoved to be Church Extension. Not that the Reforms in the external arrangements of our Church are perfect; but they are so considerable, so much greater than could have been anticipated, and they relate to so many of the matters which chiefly demanded amendment, that without losing sight of the duty of continually applying correction to whatever needs it, the wisdom seems obvious of making good use of what we so merci. fully and largely enjoy, rather than of keeping the Church in a state of turmoil by restless alterations; especially till we have bad fuller experience of the effects of some which perhaps were not as judicious as well-intended.
Then, as regards Church Defence, though the Anglican communion has still many adversaries, it stands in a station of public acceptance and popularity very different to that which it occupied some ten years ago. Whether it be that its external reforms, or, far more, its internal improvements, have silenced objectors and won for it affectionate regards, certain it is that much of the noisy clamour which assailed it is silenced, and that Dissenters confess they cannot make head against it, for that the people seem “infatuated ” in their attachment to it. It was once accused of being idle and time-serving ; it is now vituperated for being over-zealous, meddling, and guilty of proselytism ; a proof that its energies have been extensively aroused, and that those who sneered at it when indolent, are alarmed at it when active. It has followed the excellent advice tendered to its members by the Bishop of Chester in 1835; and with the good effects which he predicted. “Our Church,” said his Lordship, “ placed as it were on high, set up as a light to lighten every man that cometh into the world, must fulfil the purpose for which it was set up, or it will be no longer valued, defended, or maintained. Men will not prize a Church, as they might admire a statue, for the beauty of its features or the symmetry of its form : the mouth must speak the words of edification, and the limbs move as their uses are required. Our Church, our ministry, will be loved and valued in proportion as it is practically effective."
Thus relieved in a considerable degree from external warfare --at