At least in Anglicanism, you will say, there is that note of Catholicity which in Mahometanism is not. Oh, my brethren, be not beguiled by words; will any thinking man say for a moment, whatever this objection be worth, that the Established Religion is superior to time and place? well, if not, why set about proving that it is? rather, does not its essence lie in its recognition by the State? is not its establishment its very form? what would it be, would it last ten years, if abandoned to itself? It is its establishment which erects it into a unity and individuality; can you contemplate it, though you stimulate your imagination to the task, as abstracted from its churches, palaces, colleges, parsonages, revenues, civil precedence, and national position? Strip it of this world, and you have performed a mortal operation upon it, for it has ceased to be. Take its bishops out of the legislature, tear its formularies from the Statute Book, open its universities to Dissenters, allow its clergy to become laymen again, legalise its private prayer-meetings, and what would be its definition? You know that, did not the State compel it to be one, it would split at once into three several bodies, each bearing within it the elements of further divisions. Even the small party of Non-jurors, a century and a half since, when released from the civil power, split into two. It has then no internal consistency, or individuality, or soul, to give it the capacity of propagation. Methodism represents some sort of an idea, Congregationalism an idea; the Established Religion has in it no idea beyond establishment. Its extension has been, for the most part, passive not active; it is carried forward into other places by State policy, and it moves because the State moves; it is an appendage, whether weapon or decoration, of the sovereign power; it is the religion, not even of a race, but of the ruling portion of a race. The Anglo-Saxon has done in this day what the Saracen did in a former. He does grudgingly for expedience, what the other did heartily from fanaticism. This is the chief difference between the two; the Saracen, in his commencement, converted the heretical East with the sword; but at least in India the extension of his faith was by immigration, as the Anglo-Saxon's may be now; he grew into other nations by commerce and colonisation; but, when he encountered the Catholic of the West, he made as little impression upon Spain, as the Protestant Anglo-Saxon makes on Ireland.
There is but one form of Christianity, my brethren, possessed of that real internal unity which is the primary condition of independence. Whether you look to Russia, England, or Germany, this note of divinity is wanting.