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HIGH CHURCH AND LOW CHURCH :
THE PRESENT TENDENCIES OF PARTIES
IN THE CHURCH,
EXHIBITED IN THE HISTORY OF
BY A CLERGYMAN.
“ Look here upon this picture, and on this." - SAAKSPEARE.
LONGMAN, BROWN, GREEN, & LONGMANS,
IMPROBABLE, yet true, is what can be asserted of few of the works which appear in the form of fiction. Some of the incidents in the following history may carry such an air of improbability about them, as to require from the Editor the assurance that they are founded upon fact, and substantially true. Indeed, , incredible as some of the events of Frank Faithful's career, as here described, may be deemed, there are other circumstances, for reasons of a private nature, not here recorded, which would, if related, appear still more extraordinary. Instead of exceeding, our narrative falls far short of the full truth. But it would be to enter too inquisitively into particulars, and to expose too openly to the gaze of the world the character and status of a living individual, did we relate in full all the strange changes of condition through which he passed before he arrived at his present position. We have been obliged to content ourselves with a slight sketch of his early life; and only to seize hold of a few of the most tangible points of his history, just for the purpose of giving a sort of proper personality 66 a local habitation and a name" - to the subject of our narrative.
We make this prefatory statement, because it has been suggested to us by a friend, that, without this assurance, some of the things here recorded as facts, not only respecting " Faithful,” but also respecting others, might be judged too improbable to be worthy of credit, while their whole practical value, if not their chief interest, depends upon their being authentic. Such a letter, for instance, as that given in the second chapter, as written by a woman in very humble life, might be deemed altogether an invention, were it not certified that it was an actual transaction. The original is in the hands of the Editor. And this letter is published, because it may serve to prove that there is much more of intelligence and of religious knowledge in the minds of some of the cottagers in our country villages, where they have had faithful pastors, than many persons are aware; and that when that word which, as the Psalmist says, "giveth understanding to the simple," has entered into their hearts, they are capable of expressing their thoughts much better than those who pride themselves upon their superior education, and supposed consequent superior intelligence, are always willing to admit.
With respect to the other characters introduced, and the discussions described in this work, it may be advisable that we should state that, though fictitious in form, and some of them changed as to times, persons, and scenes, to suit the convenience of a continued and connected narration, they, in the main, represent actions which have actually occurred within the last most eventful twelve years.
Whence the writer derived all his information it boots not any one to know. Suffice it to say, that he has endeavoured to act upon the principle –
Nothing extenuate, nor set down aught in malice.”
Whatever he has related, he has related entirely without prejudice, believing that the statements herein contained constitute, on the whole, a true and fair representation of the characters, principles, and present tendencies of the parties described. And, finally, the reader may be assured that nothing could have induced us to put such a work as the following before the public but a sincere conviction that facts like those here recorded ought not to be left to rest in silence, when, by the blessing of God, they may be made to speak a salutary lesson, both of warning and of direction, to many a person who may have to guide his vessel between the same Scylla and Charybdis where the little bark of our hero was in imminent danger of making shipwreck.