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THE COMPREHENSIVE CHURCH.

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“O GOD, THE CREATOR AND PRESERVER OF ALL MANKIND, MORE ESPECIALLY WE PRAY FOR THY HOLY CHURCH UNIVERSAL; THAT IT MAY BE 60 GUIDED AND GOVERNED BY THY GOOD SPIRIT, THAT

ALL WHO

PROFESS AND CALL THEMSELVES CIIRISTIANS MAY BE

LED INTO THE WAY OF TRUTH, AND HOLD THE FAITII IN UNITY OF SPIRIT, IN THE BOND OF PEACE, AND IN RIGHTEOUSNESS OF LIFE. AND THIS WE BEG FOR JESUS CHRIST'S SAKE.

AMEN."

Book of Common Prayer. Daily Morning and Evening Collect.

THE

COMPREHENSIVE CHURCH;

OR,

CHRISTIAN UNITY AND ECCLESIASTICAL UNION

IN THE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH.

BY THE

RT. REV. THOMAS H. VAIL, D.D., LL.D.

“There is one Body." Ephesians 4: 4.
“Sola igitur catholica ecclesia est, quæ verum cultum retinet. Hic est fons veritatis,
hoc domicilium fidei, hoc templum Dei. Neminem sibi oportet pertinaci con-
certatione blandiri; agitur enim de vita et salute. Sed tamen, singuli quiqua
coetus se potissimum Christianos, et suam esse catholicam ecclesiam putant."

Lactantius. Irst. Liv., L. iv. ad fin.

NEW YORK:
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY,
549 & 551 BROADWAY.

1879.

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ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1878, by

D. APPLETON & COMPANY,
In tbc Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

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Much has been said and published, of late years, on the subject of Christian Union—not enough to accomplish it, but enough to show that the minds of Christians are open to the inconveniences and dangers of sectarian divisions, and that their hearts are longing for some closer and happier communion than is allowed by the present divided state of the Christian Church. The many proofs presented daily, that Christians desire to be united, are encouraging to our hopes; while, at the same time, there is discouragement in the fact that the public mind seems to have settled down despondingly under the impression that no feasible plan can be proposed for the accomplishment of its desire.

The writer thinks that a capital mistake has been committed in the course of inquiry which has been generally pursued on this subject. He thinks that, instead of endeavoring to strike out an entirely new system of ecclesiastical unity, the proper and only feasible course is to select, for the purpose of uniting within it,

* To the first edition, published in 1841.

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