The Finding, Hunting, & Running to Earth of the Ritualistic Fox
Published by the Otago Bible, Tract, and Book Society Dunedin 28, George Street, MCCCCLXXXI
The Finding, Bunting, and Running to Earth of the Ritualistic Fox
He is the most cunning rogue under the sun—this ritualistic fox. He is a disguised enemy of the good old Evangelical Church of England, and a firm ally of the Church of Rome. He says, "'pon my honour I have nothing to do with the Church of Rome," and the Church of Rome says, "'pon my honour I don't for a moment acknowledge him;" but sub rosa they embrace each other as true friends doing the same work—as the jackal to the lion, and the pilot-fish to the shark, so is the ritualistic fox to Rome.
This ritualistic fox appears in various shapes and guises. Sometimes he is seen to ape the garb of a Romish priest—then he will prepare you for the Romish mass, and so he speaks and writes of the "altar" and the "real presence," terms carefully excluded from the book of Common Prayer by our good and true old Reformers; now he will sing his prayers in melancholy monotone, and presently he will provide a skilled musician to play to the people as they kneel down to pray.
At first the good folks are somewhat taken alack, and are indignant at these proceedings of the ritualistic fox, but they soon get accustomed to it all, and, declaring they see no harm in it, sit down very nearly if not quite content, and fall asleep—and the fox, delighted, wags his ritualistic tail and says, "I have them."
Foxes are both impudent and cunning, and the ritualistic fox is no exception. With the utmost effrontery he will blandly disavow all complicity with the Roman fox, while all the time, under the term of "Catholic usage," he is adopting and disseminating his Roman brother's principles and practices, which are contrary to Scripture, were long since repudiated and laid aside by the reforming fathers, and are distinctly opposed to the teaching and practice of the true Church of England.
Now the fox comes smartly up and says, "I'll write books and send them broadcast among the people, and that will do the business." So he says to his Roman brother, "Now sit at my elbow and tell me what to write." Then a marvellous concoction comes out—all are pressed into the service—Roman Breviary, Roman Missal, Roman Rites and Ceremonies, Roman Bishops, Roman Saints, Sarum-use, York-use, Hereford-use; long-buried and forgotten musty records are disenterred, page 4 and all are laid under contribution and (with foxy cunning) mixed up with a misapplied fragment of Bible truth here and there that the bait may be more readily taken.
One or two of these traitorous productions were, it was rumoured, sent to Dunedin on trial—indeed some people were wicked enough to say that they were sent for—but the local ritualistic fox thought it better to let oral instruction pave the way and prepare the people for the full introduction of Rome. So these manuals are kept back a little, the fox biding his time—'cute fellow. He knows that if the hoodwinked people got a sight of these too soon his game would be spoiled; so again he complacently wags the ritualistic tail and says, "wait a wee, the net is closing on them; after a little more of my handling they will take it all in—they cannot escape."
Ah! silly people! can't you perceive the meaning and tendency of all this? Are you content to have the full-blown Romish mass, with its transubstantiation, thus stealthily fastened round your necks? If not, then separate yourselves from the unhealthy Rome-coquetting tendency wherever you see it.
In hundreds of Episcopal Churches in the home country men called Clergymen of the Church of England are, dishonestly and unblushingly, inculcating every Romish doctrine, and introducing every Romish practice.
The manuals previously alluded to are full of Romish teaching—of course, designedly so—and these, together with the instruction of men whose tastes and sympathies are Romewards, will gradually and imperceptibly lead yon on until you step from the true Protestant Church of England into the Anglical Church, and from the Anglican Church into the Church of Rome.
Friends, be on your guard lest the ritualistic fox fasten on you ere you are aware of it the old yoke of bondage which our forefathers were so little able to bear that they gave up their very lives in witnessing against it.
Depend upon it that Cranmer, Latimer, Ridley, Hooper, Rodgers, and a host of others did not die at the stake for a mere sentiment, but in defence of God's blessed truth as opposed to soul-destroying error.
Oh! then, think not lightly of the liberty then brought to you, sealed by the blood of martyrs. "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" and according to the truth of the Gospel; bring all you see and hear to the light of God's Word, and let not the wily ritualistic fox mesmerise you with his tricks till he has you fast in downright Romish bondage.
Printer by Mackay, Bracken and Co., Moray Place.