Lost letter brought to the light...
If you found a letter in an old book, would you open it up and read it? Of course. Here is a portion of a letter I found from 1846. It's taken from a review of the book: The Life and Correspondence of Dr. Arnold.
At the close of our former remarks upon this work, we intimated that the most striking peculiarity in Arnold's views, - and certainly that which, more than anything else, made him the object of denunciation and attack: This was his uncompromising hostility to the Christian Church in its actual condition. Catholic or Protestant, to him it is in this respect all alike. He absolutely regarded the existing priesthood as the Antichrist.
Concerning Dr. Arnold we notice: His hatred of priestcraft is born of his belief that it was this which has destroyed the Church. Thus he says, in the journal last quoted, p.482, "The kingdom of God is the perfect development of the Church of God and when priestcraft destroyed the Church, the kingdom of God became an impossibility." And in a letter, p.310, he says, "Certainly there is no battle in which I so entirely sympathize as in this of the Christian Church against priestcraft - the Antichrist." In another letter, p.313, he writes: "The whole mischief of the great Anti-Christian apostasy has for its root the tenet of a priestly government transmitted by a mystical succession from the apostles."
In another letter, he picked up his quill, dipped it in ink, and wrote about the comprehensive vision of following Christ:
"But now, the true and grand idea of a Church, that is, a society for the purpose of making men like Christ, earth like heaven, the kingdoms of the world the kingdom of Christ, is all lost. Instead, men look upon it as an institution for religious instruction and religious worship thus robbing it of its life and universality, making it an affair of clergy, not of people; of preaching and ceremonies, not of living; of Sundays and synagogues instead of one of all days and all places, houses, streets, towns, and country."