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WELL, Robert, I can't persuade myself that you are right, though it must seem very presumptuous in a mere school-boy to differ from his elder brother, who has kept a term at college.'

Never mind my age, or college-dignities, dear Frank, but be content to yield to authority far higher than I can pretend to exercise over your judgment.' Is it the authority of the Bible?'


Why, yes; that, at least, is the source from whence the doctrine is derived, though it comes to us through the appointed channel-our teachers, spiritual pastors and masters, who found it there, and deliver it to us.'

I am willing to submit myself to them, Robert, in the same way as the Bereans submitted to the Apostle Paul: you know they listened to his in

structions, and searched the Scriptures daily for confirmation of his words.'

Pardon me, Frank, but it strikes me that the Bereans there spoken of were men, not children.'

'Here comes mamma, with Fanny and Thomas ; now let us tell her the whole business from the beginning, and we may be sure she'll show us plainly what is the real truth of it, according to the Bible.' Agreed, Frank. Mamma teaches us with authority, as well she may; but she brings Scripture forward to prove everything; and I have no doubt she will confirm what I have been telling you.'


Mrs. Willis can scarcely take her seat at the table before several books are laid upon it by Robert, while Frank places beside them a well-worn Bible. What subject are my dear boys discussing this morning?' asks their smiling mother.


A very important one, Mamma. You know it is an article of our creed that we believe in the Holy Catholic Church, and as we ought to understand what it is we profess to believe in, I asked Robert about it: he says



Stop, my dear: would it not be well for Robert himself to state his own case? I should then be better able to judge of his meaning than if it were repeated by another.'


Then, Mamma,' says Robert, I will give you as clearly as I can my view of the matter; taking

care to assure you that it is no speculation of my own, but gathered from the writings of learned and pious divines, to whom we are bound to look up. In the first place, our Lord Jesus Christ said to his apostles, "Lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world," which shews, does it not, that even to the end of the world there should be a body of people holding the faith, and teaching the doctrine of those apostles?'

• Certainly.'

'So that there never can have been a time from that day to this, nor ever will be to the world's end, without such a company of believers, whom we call the church, and with whom Christ abides.'

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Very true.'


Then, Mamma, I open here the book of Homilies, and in one on Peril of Idolatry, you see what is written, "The whole world, as it were, continued drowned in idolatry for eight hundred years and more." If so, where was the church all this while?'

Mrs. Willis, preparing to reply, is stopped by Frank, Please, Mamma, to wait a little, till you hear how Robert answers his own question.'

I shall not answer it in my own words though, but in those of a learned and devout writer: he says, "The meaning is, that some persons in every class were guilty of idolatry, which is very certain, but not that the whole church, literally speaking,

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fell into idolatry; for if so, it must have entirely failed, which would be contrary to the belief of the Church of England. For the Homilies themselves affirm that the Holy Ghost was always to abide with the Church." See, here, in the homily for Whitsunday it is said plainly :'


Here Robert paused; his Mother bade him go on, but he seemed perplexed, and Frank observed, 'We were talking, Mamma, of some of the cruelties practiced by what Robert calls the church" against heretics, that is, people who held to their Bibles, and worshipped God according to his own word. I spoke my mind as to the sort of spirit those persecutors must be of; and my brother checked me, saying we must be careful how we judged "the church" because, as the Lord Jesus had promised to be with it to the end of the world, and as there was for many ages no other church but that which slew the martyrs, we might rather suppose that they were wrong, than that "the church" had sinned by condemning the people of God.'

Mrs. Willis looked serious and somewhat anxious, and Robert said, 'My notion, Mamma, is this: there always has been a Catholic church for us to believe in; it has always been known by that name, at least since the Apostles' creed was framed; and it is the real church, or we should not be right to believe in it as such. If it be the real church, Christ

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