The Conference cannot be blind to the conviction that they have to face much modern prejudice. On the one hand there is still rife in the Church of England the Puritan spirit, which condemns in one and the same category things essentially Roman, and things which are really primitive, but which have been retained by Rome. On the other hand, there undoubtedly exists an occasional reaction from this Puritan spirit, which has produced a prejudice in favour of things--whether primitive or not--simply because they are Roman. The Conference have felt that to yield either to one or the other prejudice was not the right way of dealing with the Prayer-Book.
They have also been brought face to face with what are called "Legal decisions" on some questions of Ritual. Apart from the fact that the courts have given directly opposite decisions on the same question, and have given reasons in one case inconsistent with the reasons given for their decision in another; apart also from the fact that these are chiefly decisions of secular courts in purely spiritual matters; the Conference have been precluded from entertaining them, as guides or as helps, in consequence of the courts having generally acted upon principles of interpretation entirely different from those which the Conference had adopted.
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