L. If you only wish to keep to the Liturgy, not to change, what did you mean the other day by those ominous words in which you suggested the need of a second Reformation? {36}

C. Because I think the Church has in a measure forgotten its own principles, as declared in the sixteenth century; nay, under stranger circumstances, as far as I know, than have attended any of the errors and corruptions of the Papists. Grievous as are their declensions from primitive usage, I never heard in any case of their practice directly contradicting their services;—whereas we go on lamenting once a year the absence of discipline in our Church, yet do not even dream of taking any one step towards its restoration. Again, we confess in the Articles that excommunication is a solemn duty of the Church under certain circumstances, and that the excommunicated person must be openly reconciled by penance, before he is acknowledged by the faithful as a brother; yet excommunication, I am told, is now a civil process, which takes place as a matter of course, at a certain stage of certain law proceedings. Here a reformation is needed.

L. Only of discipline, not of doctrine.

C. Again, when the Church, with an unprecedented confidence, bound herself hand and foot, and made herself over to the civil power, in order to escape the Pope, she did not expect that infidels (as it has lately been hinted) would be suffered to have the absolute disposal of the crown patronage.

L. This, again, might be considered matter of discipline. Our Reformation in the sixteenth century was one in matters of faith; and therefore we do not need a second Reformation in the same sense in which we needed it first.

C. In what points would you say the Church's faith was reformed in the sixteenth century?

L. Take the then received belief in purgatory and pardons, which alone was a sufficient corruption to call for a reformation.

C. I conceive the presumption of the Popish doctrine {37} on these points to lie in adding to the means of salvation set forth in Scripture. ALMIGHTY GOD has said that His SON'S merits shall wash away all sin, and that they shall be conveyed to believers through the two Sacraments; whereas, the Church of Rome has added other ways of gaining heaven.

L. Granted. The belief in purgatory and pardons disparages the sufficiency, first of CHRIST'S merits; next of His appointed sacraments. [Note 6]

C. And by "received" belief, I suppose you mean that it was the popular belief, which clergy and laity acted on, not that it was necessarily contained in any particular doctrinal formulary.

L. Proceed.

C. Do you not suppose that there are multitudes both among clergy and laity at the present day, who disparage, not indeed CHRIST'S merits, but the Sacraments He has appointed? and if so, is not their error so far the same in kind as that of the Romish Church—the preferring Abana and Pharpar to the waters of Jordan? Take the Sacrament of Baptism. Have not some denominations of schismatics invented a rite of dedication instead of Baptism? and do not Churchmen find themselves under the temptation of countenancing this Papist-like presumption?—Again, there is a well-known sect, which denies both Baptism and the LORD'S Supper. A Churchman must believe its members to be altogether external to the fold of CHRIST. Whatever benevolent works they may be able to show, still, if we receive the Church's doctrine concerning the means "generally necessary to salvation," {38} we must consider such persons to be mere heathens, except in knowledge. Now would there not be an outcry raised, as if I were uncharitable, did I refuse the rites of burial to such an one?

L. This outcry would not proceed from the better informed, or from the rulers of the Church.

C. Happily, we are not as yet so far corrupted. Our Prelates are still sound, and know the difference between what is modern and what is ancient. Yet is not the mode of viewing the subject I refer to, a growing one? and how does it differ from the presumption of the Papists? In both cases, the power of CHRIST'S sacraments is denied; in the one case by the unbelief of restlessness and fear, in the other by the unbelief of profaneness.

L. Well, supposing I grant that the Church of this day is in a measure faulty in faith and discipline; more or less, of course, according to the diocese and neighbourhood. Now, in the next place, what do you mean by your Reformation?

C. I would do what our reformers in the sixteenth century did: they did not touch the existing documents of doctrine — there was no occasion—they kept the creeds as they were; but they added protests against the corruptions of faith, worship, and discipline, which had grown up round them. I would have the Church do the same thing now, if I could: she should not change the Articles, she should add to them: add protests against the erastianism and latitudinarianism which have incrusted them. I would have her append to the Catechism a section on the power of the Church.

L. You have not mentioned any corruptions at present in worship; do you consider that there are such, as well as errors of faith and discipline?

C. Our Liturgy keeps us right in the main, yet there are what may be considered such, though for the most  part occasional. To board over the altar of a Church, place an orchestra there of playhouse singers, and take money at the doors, seems to me as great an outrage, as to sprinkle the forehead with holy water, and to carry lighted tapers in a procession.

L. Do not speak so harshly of what has often been done piously. George the Third was a patron of concerts in one of our Cathedrals.

C. Far be it from my mind to dare to arraign the actions of that religious king! The same deed is of a different nature at different times and under different circumstances. Music in a Church may as reverentially subserve the feelings of devotion as pictures or architecture; but it may not.

L. You could not prevent such a desecration by adding a fortieth article to the thirty-nine.

C. Not directly: yet though there is no article directly condemning religious processions, they have nevertheless been discontinued. In like manner, were an article framed (to speak by way of illustration) declaratory of the sanctity of places set apart to the worship of GOD and the reception of the saints that sleep, doubtless Churchmen would be saved from many profane feelings and practices of the day, which they give into unawares, such as the holding vestries in Churches, the flocking to preachers rather than to sacraments (as if the servant were above the Master, who is LORD over His own house), the luxurious and fashionable fitting up of town Churches, the proposal to allow schismatics to hold their meetings in them, the off-hand project of pulling them down for the convenience of streets and roads, and the wanton preference (for it frequently is wanton) of unconsecrated places, whether for preaching to the poor, or for administering sacred rites to the rich.

L. It is visionary to talk of such a reformation: the people would not endure it. 

C. It is; but I am not advocating it, I am but raising a protest. I say this ought to be, "because of the angels,"  but I do not hope to persuade others to think as I do.