The Genealogist - UK census, BMDs and more online

The REV. DR. LANDELS recently read a paper on the "Evils of Ritualism", in which he said, the seedpod of Ritualism in this country was in the Prayer Book of the Church of England.  Hence the difficulty of Evangelical members of that church dealing with the Ritualism now rampant.  They could not touch a Ritualistic parson, they could not touch a Ritualistic practice, because Ritualism in the germ entered into nearly all the services of the Church, and the extreme ritualists were only systematic and consistent.

No man could read that Prayer Book with an unbiased mind, without perceiving that the essence of ritualism was to be found everywhere in it, from the beginning to the end.

In the ordination service, it was as if the Holy Ghost trickled down the bishop's fingers.  Did not the candidate, however inexperienced, however silly, and however worthless, although his after-life showed no sign whatever of his being possessed of the Holy Ghost, rise up from his knees after ordination possessed of a power at the very thought of which mortal man might tremble.

A mechanical act was supposed to produce a purely spiritual result.  One man was empowered by a bishop to go between another man and God.  He asserted fearlessly that the man who could pass with good faith through the ordination service, could not consistently be shocked at the loftiest pretensions of the most arrogant members of the order to which he belonged.

And the other offices of the Church were in harmony with this.  The shadow of ritualism met a man at the communion table;  it entered his death chamber, and was eager to retain its hold of him to the last, it followed him to his grave and muttered the blasphemies over his remains.  It was no wonder that Ritualism had become so rampant as it had.

It was no wonder that Evangelical Churchmen had to look on deploringly.  It had been fostered by the Prayer Book, and what was now seen was but the natural results of what was found there.  Supported by the Prayer Book, protected by the highest ecclesiastical courts, the Ritualists had pushed their principles to such an extent that, with the exception of the Papal supremacy, there was no material difference discernible between them and the Church of Rome.

Was this to be tolerated ?  It was bad enough to have a State Church, but to have a State Church employing its revenue to teach these most injurious wretched God-destroying superstitions was simply intolerable.

If Ritualists propagated their silly notions at their expense, they would give them a fair *eld and no favour, and meet them with the weapon of God's truth;  but they would not be consenting to national funds being employed for such purposes, become partakers of their evil deeds.

They wished no persecution, no legal restrictions.  They conceded to the Ritualists all the freedom they claimed for themselves, but no special privileges derived from the State.  If their Evangelical friends wished to co-operate with them in the work they might do so, but only on one condition - the separation of Church and State.

With the exception of the Society of Friends, the hands of other denominations were not clear in this matter.

They were compromised and weakened by their practice of infant sprinkling.

They were so far Ritualists in practice, that their arguments might be met by the retort, "Physicial, heal thyself".
==================================