They did something to meet the wishes of the publicans, Dis~drs whose discontent had contributed largely to Gladstones defeat, by amending some of the provisions of Bruces licensing bill; they supported and succeeded in passing a measure, brought in by the primate, to restrain some of the irregularities which the Ritualists were introducing into public worship; and they were compelled by the violent insistence of Plimsoll to pass an act to protect the lives of merchant seamen.
He did not perceive how much of reason the "ritualists" had on their side: that they were fighting for practices which, they contended, were covered by the letter of the rubric; and that, where rubrics were notoriously disregarded on all hands, it was not fair to proceed against one class of delinquent only.
Ritualists now keep unconfirmed children in church during the entire rite, through ignorance of ancient usage, in order that they may learn to adore the consecrated elements.
The revival of pre-Reformation ritual by many of the High Church clergy led to the designation "ritualist" being applied to them in a somewhat contemptuous sense; and "High Churchman" and "Ritualist" have often been wrongly treated as convertible terms. Actually many High Churchmen are not Ritualists, though they tend to become so.
Purchas), and since the "Ritualists" refused to bow to this decision, parliament intervened with the Public Worship Regulation Act of 1874, which set up a disciplinary machinery for enforcing the law, and at the same time reconstituted the Court of Arches.