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In 1829, when a popular cry was raised against the members of the Church of Rome, and carried, as usual, to an excess; and they were spoken of as hardly deserving the name of Christian, and men seemed inclined to consider the Socinians, who blaspheme the Lord of Glory, as more worthy of Christian brotherhood than the Romans who worship Him, there seemed to be an opportunity to do good, and to serve the cause of truth and charity by shewing that however new, unwarranted, unsound, and dangerous many of the Roman tenets are, they are not such, provided they who hold them would keep them to themselves, as to annul their Christian character, nor to deprive them of their claim, as Christians, to communion at our hands, should they be willing to seek it. An attempt to do this was given to the world in a little volume, entitled “ A Christian Peace-offer
A Christian Peace-offering, &c. Lond. Rivingtons, 1829.
ing,” which met with the reception which was to be anticipated. It was ill regarded by the Romans, and procured for the writer from the members of his own Church many a cold look and colder suspicion, not unaccompanied in some instances with open vituperation, as though he were a Papist in disguise. And, indeed, I must confess that in my anxiety to see justice done to our opponents, I did them more than justice, and pressed, to the borders of extenuation, my endeavour to procure a fair consideration of their opinions. I do not, however, regret having made the attempt. For the sake of doing them justice, when less than justice seemed likely to be awarded them, I did not shrink from incurring suspicion, ill-will, and reproach. I am therefore the more at liberty, now that their position is altered, and a different danger is to be apprehended in respect of them, to take the course which that new danger, and their altered position, combine to point out as necessary.