« PreviousContinue »
We should be ungrateful to close another volume without a thankful acknowledgment of the success with which our year's labour has been
recompensed. The kindness of many friends, the somewhat increased - circulation of our magazine, and, above all, the share of influence which
we have been allowed to exercise on some of the most important and difficult controversies of the day, call for this acknowledgment.
It is not difficult to perceive that, whatever may be the prospects of other countries, we at home are embarking upon a new career. Old
ideas are wearing out, new ones are thrust forward in their stead; and y this is true, both of the good and bad indifferently. Intellectual rest
lessness, impatience of all established forms of thought and longaccepted creeds, is the strongly marked feature of the age. Substantially, it is the old battle with the ancient foe; but the assailants have adopted new methods, and fight with weapons hitherto untried. The revolution which is going forward in our naval and military warfare has its counterpart in the warfare of morals and theology.
Tractarianism, the most formidable enemy which the Reformation has had to contend with for three centuries, is fast dying out. It gains no new triumphs. It does not even retain the conquests it has made.
We do not mean to imply that its decay is yet visible upon the surface; ror that it has ceased to demand vigilant attention. Now and then a
clerical convert still goes over to the church of Rome ; now and then a parish is still irritated by the introduction of some Romish ceremony. But those who leave us are no longer men of weight or learning; and their secession is, except to themselves, a matter of little consequence. While the introduction of Romish ceremonies and teachings in our parishes meets with no encouragement, except perhaps from a few idly sentimental enthusiasts. There is but one diocese—the diocese of Oxford--from which we hear a contrary report. We do not believe that the danger has been at all exaggerated; we do not speak of it as though it