Sunday, June 07, 2009

29Nov1866, Gov. Eyre, Ritualists, One Church

CHATSWORTH, November 29th, 1866.
—The papers go on fighting over Gov. Eyre, whom one party is going to try for murder, which I can't think right, as he was a high-minded man, wishing to act for the best, and carried away by the panic around him ; and the other party getting up a Defence Fund, and defending him thro' thick and thin, which is a shame and disgrace to English people, who would not bear the wholesale vengeance if it had been upon whites, but cannot see the harm of unlimited killing and flogging when negroes are in question. The Ritualism controversy is hot ; many of the extreme school openly professing disloyalty to our Prayer Book, and disavowing the name of Protestant altogether. Now it is odious, I think, to let "Protestant" be our chief name, or to sink in it the noble name which carries with it all the glory of Christ's one Church—"catholic"—and plume ourselves upon a mere negative which we share with every sect of Christianity, or non-Christianity ; but it is wrong and miserable to disavow it altogether, and with it the whole principle of the Reformation. But the Ritualists are consistent, for many have ceased to protest against any Roman error, unless it be Papal Supremacy. Still, tho' this is bad and dangerous indeed, I do hope that nothing violent will be done : it is a great stir and enthusiasm ; much in it is great and true, full of love to Christ, work for the poor, and yearning for union ; and I can't but hope that what is wrong will counteract itself, and the good remain and abide.

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