no importance to the fact, if the balance of advantage were a trifle on one side or other; much less would I think of writing to you in an uncourteous or uncharitable tone about it. The extract from Wiseman which you kindly sent me, I easily understand. He, Jesuit like, wishes to damage High Churchmen, because he knows that ours is the only strong ground against Rome;  just as in the days of Queen Elizabeth, Jesuits preached Calvinism as Evangelical Ministers and Dissenters, on purpose to divide and destroy Churchmen and their principles. Dr. Wiseman never abuses Low Churchmen. But may I request, that as I have not time for letters on such small points, you rather would, (if you desire it,) call on me any morning you please, and in a Christian and gentle spirit, converse on any important topic which you may desire to discuss.
“I am, faithfully yours,
(Signed) “WILLIAM. J. IRONS.
“To Arthur Ellis, Esq., R.N.”
In the foregoing Correspondence between Dr. Irons and myself it will be seen, that I addressed him under the conviction that he was one with the “Tractarian” party, and that his statement about “six of one and half-a-dozen of the other,” was offered as a kind of defence of his friends.
In the answers of Dr. Irons to my communications, it is quite evident, that he never thought of denying his identity with the “Tractarian” party; the tenor of his letters is not to shew that he is not a Tractarian “in any sense,” but to defend “Tractarianism” from the charge of being the primary cause of the many secessions to Rome from amongst his clerical brethren.
Compare the letters of the Rev. Doctor with his more recent statement of not being a Tractarian “in any sense,” and there can be no doubt as to what must be the verdict.
There are, however, some points in both the letters of Dr. Irons to which I would allude more fully, and comment upon more at length.
The Rev. Doctor states that he is anxious to get a list of the “ascertainable and presentable names of the Converts.”
If such a list would have given so formidable an array of Evangelical Churchmen and Dissenters, I can hardly suppose but Dr. Irons (giving him all credit for not wishing to cast stones at others), would have procured it, from the desire to shew me and other of his parishioners, that the real cause of these perversions was in the “unsound religious education received amongst the ‘Low Church People and Dissenters,’” and that “Tractarian” teaching and principles had nothing to do in the matter.
When Dr. Irons can make good his position by an “ascertainable and presentable list,” or by any other evidence equally convincing, I feel assured, that many who are now under the conviction that “Tractarianism” is the Broad Road to Rome, will acknowledge their error, and confess that they have done the “Tractarian” party much injustice.
In the second letter of Dr. Irons I would especially draw attention to what he says in reference to the praise so lavishly bestowed upon the “Tractarian” party by Cardinal Wiseman.
The question, be it remembered, is not as to the honesty of the motives which led the Cardinal to bestow such eulogiums on his Oxford friends.
It is a much more simple question and much more easy of satisfactory proof.
Is the Cardinal’s opinion of “Tractarians” warranted by facts?