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Marginal note written (in 1816) in a copy of Wall's Work.

This and the two following pages are excellent. If I addressed the ministers recently seceded, I would first prove from Scripture and reason the justness of their doctrines concerning Baptism and conversion. 2. I would show, that even in respect of the Prayer book, Homilies, &c, of the Church of England, taken as a whole, their opponents were comparatively as ill off as themselves, if not worse. 3. That few mistakes or inconvenient phrases of the Baptismal Service did not impose on the conscience the necessity of resigning the pastoral office. 4. That even if they did, this would by no means justify schism from lay-membership: or else there could be no schism except from an immaculate and infallible Church. Now, as our Articles have declared that no Church is or ever was such, it would follow that there is no such sin as that of schism, that is, that St. Paul wrote falsely or idly. 5. That the escape through the channel of dissent is from the frying-pan to the fire; or, to use a less worn and vulgar simile, the escape of a leech from a glass-jar of water into the naked and open air. But never, never, would I in one breath allow my Church to be fallible, and in the next contend for her absolute freedom from all error: never confine inspiration and perfect truth to the Scriptures, and then scold for the perfect truth of each and every word in the Prayer book. Enough for me, if in my heart of hearts, free from all fear of man and all lust of preferment, I believe (as I do) the Church of England to be the most Apostolic Church; that its doctrines and ceremonies contain nothing dangerous to righteousness or salvation; and that the imperfections in its Liturgy are spots indeed, but spots on the sun, which impede neither its light nor its heat, so as to prevent the good seed from growing in a good soil and producing fruits of redemption.

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