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United Church of England and Ireland
CONSIDERED IN A LETTER TO A FRIEND.
JAMES R. HOPE, B.C.L.
SCHOLAR OF MERTON, CHANCELLOR OF THE DIOCESE OF SALISBURY.
SECOND EDITION REVISED,
11, KING WILLIAM STREET, STRAND.
6, Stone Buildings, Lincoln's Inn.
Dec. 20, 1841.
MY DEAR Sir,
Up to a recent period there were many considerations which withheld me from engaging in any public discussion of the questions involved in the erection of the Bishopric at Jerusalem. Since then, however, circumstances * have come to my knowledge which have swept away these scruples like a dream, and have left me free, as I conceive, to pursue whatever course the emergency of the occasion, and the greatness of the interests which are at stake, may require. I propose, therefore, to suggest to you, and, through you, to other members of the Church, some arguments respecting this measure, which may tend to the ascertainment of its precise character, and may enable individuals to determine what course they shall pursue in respect of it. None, indeed, can be more sensible than myself of the intricacy, extent, and importance of the principles which the measure involves; nor do I suppose myself to be in anywise capable of introducing order into this chaos, or of dealing with the question as a whole, and proposing dogmatic conclusions respecting it. This would probably engage a conclave of Divines and Canonists for many months; and deeply is it to be regretted that the judgment of such a body was not originally taken upon it, and that judgment submitted to those who, collectively, have the government of the Church. But as no solemn con
* [Amongst the circumstances here alluded to, the publication of the documents presently cited had a prominent place. These were the first authoritative statements which gave a definite character to the measure.]
sideration has been had of Bishop Alexander's mission, and as it is not the act of the Church, yet tends to implicate all her members—is not established by general consent, and yet involves private responsibility,—it seems open to every one, in whatever station, to discuss it, in order that every one may consider how far he is bound to accept or reject it.
To bring the matter at once under that point of view in which I think it is most important to consider it, I must draw your particular attention to a publication which you will find in German and English in the Appendix (No. I.), and in which all Christendom has been informed, that, in considering the best means of establishing the German Evangelical Church as “a member of the Universal Church of Christ” at Jerusalem, it had seemed that “ an union with “ England, whose Church by origin and doctrine is most “ intimately akin to the German Evangelical Church,” was the best means which could be adopted. That, upon inquiry how far Great Britain might be disposed to do justice to “the “ independence and national honour of the German Evange“ lical Church, and to treat this affair in full harmony with “ Prussia, upon the firm basis that Evangelical Christianity “ should present itself, under the protection of England and “ Prussia, to the Turkish Government, as an unity," and thus participate in all legal advantages which might be procured in that quarter-it had been found that “not only the Go“ vernment of Great Britain showed a decided readiness to “ approach the question upon the grounds proposed, but also " the heads of the English Church entered with warm inte“ rest into the proposition. And that, by means of a cordial “ co-operation directed by this spirit, (which is more fully “ described in the previous part of the proclamation), a dis“ tinct Bishopric has now been established in Jerusalem, in “ which all Evangelical Christians may find a common sup“port and point of union in the face of the Turkish Govern“ment, and in a place where they otherwise needed an “ entrance into the unity of a church. Therewith, however, “ German Protestants in particular vindicate the inde" pendence of their Church in reference to their peculiar • Confession and Liturgy." Half of the endowment of the