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MARTIN JOSEPH ROUTH, D.D.
PRESIDENT OF MAGDALEN COLLEGE,
WHO HAS BEEN RESERVED
TO REPORT TO A FORGETFUL GENERATION
WHAT WAS THE THEOLOGY OF THEIR FATHERS,
WITH A RESPECTFUL SENSE
OF HIS EMINENT SERVICES TO THE CHURCH,
AND WITH THE EARNEST PRAYER
THAT WHAT HE WITNESSES TO OTHERS
MAY BE HIS OWN SUPPORT AND PROTECTION
IN THE DAY OF ACCOUNT.
The following volume has grown out of Parochial Lectures delivered on week-days; and, had its limits admitted, would have embraced the Sacerdotal as well as the Prophetical office of the Church. Great portions of a correspondence which the writer commenced with a learned and zealous member of the Gallican Church are also incorporated in it.
To prevent misconception as to the meaning of the Title-page, he would observe, that by Popular Protestantism he only wishes to designate that generalized idea of religion, now in repute, which merges all differences of faith and principle between Protestants as minor matters, as if the larger denominations among us agreed with us in essentials, and differed only in the accidents of form, ritual, government, or usage. Viewed politically, Protestantism is at this day the rallying point of all that is loyal and high-minded in the nation ; but political con
siderations do not enter into the scope of his work.
He has endeavoured in all important points of doctrine to guide himself by our standard divines, and, had space admitted, would have selected passages from their writings in evidence of it. This is almost a duty on the part of every author, who professes, not to strike out new theories, but to build up and fortify what has been committed to
In the absence of such a collection of testimonies, he hopes it will not look like presumption to desire to make his own the following noble professions of the great Bramhall.
“No man can justly blame me for honouring my spiritual mother, the Church of England, in whose womb I was conceived, at whose breasts I was nourished, and in whose bosom I hope to die. Bees, by the instinct of nature, do love their hives, and birds their nests. But, God is my witness, that, according to my uttermost talent and poor understanding, I have endeavoured to set down the naked truth impartially, without either favour or prejudice, the two capital enemies of right judgment. The one of which, like a false mirror, doth represent things fairer and straighter than they are; the other like the tongue infected with choler makes the sweetest meats to taste bitter. My desire hath been to have Truth for my chiefest friend, and no enemy but error. If I have had any bias, it hath been desire of peace, which our