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its goods were at peace;' but now that it hath ained a name and hath been made a praise in the arth,—now that its exertions are mighty, and its efforts strikingly owned of God and specially blessed, behold the cry of the children of Edom is revived, and passeth from mouth to mouth, raze it, raze it, even to the foundation thereof!",

Whilst, however, we are confident of this very thing, that both the perils of our revered Establishment, and of the Church universal, shall eventually terminate in the enhancement of personal godliness with many, and in the advancement of the Redeemer's Kingdom at large ; though, we trust, as to our Church, the gracious word hath gone forth, “ destroy it not for a blessing is in it;" yet are we privileged meanwhile to wrestle with God, and pray, that, 'for the elect's sake, the present days of trial may be shortened.' But whilst we tremble for the ark of God, and pant for the peace and prosperity of Zion,-how important is it that the Church itself, throughout its various members, should unite in one common compact, and,-in reverence we appropriate the sacred language,

PREFACE.

That the present is a time of peculiar peril and trial, not only to the United Church of England and Ireland, by law established, but also to the Church of Christ as a body, must be manifest to all who, unbiassed by prejudice, and uninfluenced by personal considerations, are free to take a candid survey of the state of the world. For when the secret enemies of religion, combined with avowed infidels and opposers of the Truth, are permitted to triumph-speaking great words against the most High, and seeking to wear out the saints of the most High, and thinking to change times and laws'--the holy Church uni. versal must necessarily feel that “this day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and blasphemy;"' Doubtless the Lord will eventually resolve the dark thunder clouds which threaten us, into a more serene and genial sky; but not, perhaps, till we have both been awed with the elemental

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convulsions, and made to shrink beneath the drenching showers, or to suffer under the rattling hail. Doubtless the Great Head of the Church will eventually make bare his arm for his people's safety ; but not, perhaps, till they have been purified by the process of persecution, or sifted, “ like as corn is sifted in a sieve." institution so much honoured of God as the Established Church of the realm,-however deeply it may be called to suffer-will not, we firmly believe, be permitted finally to perish;-yea though it were even consumed as to its name and temporal distinctions, yet, like the fabled phenix, should there arise a new and more vigorous offspring out of the ashes of the parent. That there are causes for objection, and that there is abundant room for improvement, in this venerable and distinguished institution, it would be vain to deny; but were defects a warranty for annihilation, who or what on earth could exist? Herein, however, is a consideration which claims the attention of the reflecting and pious of the land, -that whilst the Church, in years past, was inert and almost dead as to spiritual energy, then

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