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the highest and the lowest; and, though it is not for an humble individual like me to judge of that benign Being, I doubt not that he received all those men into his grace. And shall we, as individuals, pass judgment on those whom, as individuals, our Maker does not condemn? I say, then, that the way to get rid of this question, is to give all the individuals of the country an interest in it, to ensure them a full share of happiness, and so we shall interest them in promoting the prosperity of the country. Under these impressions, I will not detain you any longer. But it is impossible that I should conclude my speech, which comes, I assure you, from my heart, without alluding to this subject-for I see around me several Noble Lords and Gentlemen of importance, who have not had the good fortune to arrive at a situation similar to yours, but which I trust they will reach, and that we shall proceed on the principles we have now begun." [His Royal Highness was loudly applauded during the course of his speech, and the cheering which followed its conclusion was immense.]
When Lord Holland's health had been proposed by the Royal Chairman, and the cheering had subsided, his Lordship said—
"He felt himself utterly inadequate to express his sense of the grateful feeling manifested by the Meeting at the mention of his name, and more particularly for the manner in which the Illustrious Chairman had associated it with the great event they had met to commemorate. He felt this the more especially, in reference to the compliments that had been paid him as the author of that tone and temper which seemed to be the harbingers of the completion of the religious freedom of the country. He would not attempt to return thanks for the kindness the Meeting had shown him; but he trusted they would not, therefore, attribute to him that he was insensible to the exertions making by the friends of religious liberty. So far from it, it was his opinion, that as to the malignant, wicked, and impolitic nature of the laws that remained unaltered, no doubt could exist; and it was his conviction, that advantage and benefit had resulted to the country, not only to the Protestant Dissenters, but to persons of all denominations, from the discussion of this question. The public feeling in its favour had increased, and was increasing ever since the repeal had taken place. The expectations of very great and good men in former times, were now, he believed, fairly about to be completed. He did not think he was using a hyperbole, when he said, that the repeal of the Corporation and Test Acts was little less than the restoration of the Constitution of England to its rightful owners. They were its rightful owners, for the real owners of the Constitution of the land were the people. The repeal of these Corporation and Test Acts had destroyed the monopoly that existed; but there were frightful and dreadful exceptions to this rule. But he called on the Meeting to consider, that either by the ancient Constitution, or the common law of the land, every man who contributed to the expenses of the State, and who was born within his Majesty's dominions, was fully entitled to the same equal enjoyment of civil rights as others. By the statute law, passed during the reign of Charles II. and continued during the last 150 years, it appeared that, in theory-he would not say in direct practice, but in theory and principle, the rights of one class of persons depended entirely on the forbearance of another class. That monopoly was gone. He knew would be said that the restrictions did not practically exist, because out of their great grace and favour, they had frequently admitted others to participate with them in the benefits. It had been said, that this was the same as having the right. But [continued the Noble Lord] I say, and you will agree with me, that those who fancy that the enjoy ment of political liberty and of political power, for they are synonimous, by sufferance and by right is the same thing, have grossly misunderstood
this question; and that those who enter into the enjoyment of political liberty by permission hardly deserve the use of it. He understood that the Constitution of England was the birthright of all Englishmen. There might be exceptions; but if there were, the burthen of proof was thrown on the shoulders of those who made them. He was aware that a large class was still excepted in this country. It gave him the greatest possible satisfaction to hear these sentiments expressed by the illustrious Prince in the Chair, which had been echoed and re-echoed by the room. He had rejoiced when he heard these sentiments so supported; but he was not surprised when he considered that, in the first place, they were the natural consequence of the principles they professed. He had been often told that the great body of Protestant Dissenters were not friendly to the particular measure to which he alluded; but he had always considered that statement as a calumny. In private and in public, in all societies and in all meetings, he had constantly maintained the contrary. He had always stated that the great body of the Protestant Dissenters rested their complaints, on a principle so bound up with all the principles of political and religious liberty, that it was utterly impossible, whatever might be their difference of tenets on theological points, that there should not be a time, when the necessity of applying that principle to the whole community would not be less agreeable to it than to the Dissenters themselves. In this opinion, I have been most gloriously confirmed. I knew it was a foul calumny; and when I look to the right and to the left, I must tell you, that what I say now I do in justice to the Roman Catholics of England. I thought it my duty to tell them, that as they had heard that some of the most respectable members of the community of Dissenters were adverse to their claims, in my opinion it was not true. I did not believe they could claim rights for themselves which they would withhold from any others. It is due, besides, to the Roman Catholics to state, that the most eminent persons among them were favourable to these measures; and that that excellent person the Duke of Norfolk stated expressly, that whatever the repeal of the Test Act might effect, he begged for himself and the Roman Catholics, it might be understood that they wished that Parliament might act on the principles of justice. Let justice be done, said the Noble Duke, whatever the consequences may be. In my conscience, I believe that if the Duke of Norfolk was convinced that the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts would indirectly have injured his own cause, if he had been called upon, as he ought to have been, to give his vote in Parliament on the subject, it would have been in favour of it. This being the case, it was certainly not more than I expected from the overflowing sympathy of your minds, that you should hail those arguments which have been enforced by the Illustrious Prince in the Chair. Our Illustrious Chairman has also alluded to the fact, of this being the Anniversary of the Victory of Waterloo. This is a subject on which I do not wish here any further to comment, than to remark, that 'Peace has her triumphs, and not less than war;'
and when I consider the course followed on other occasions by the Noble Duke at the head of the Government, I should rejoice if he would lend his aid to complete the triumph of religious liberty. I cannot help saying, that with his aid or without it, I think it must succeed. I trust in the justice of the case, that will be successful, from its analogy to those cases which have succeeded. Considering the increased and increasing progress of the times, the voice of the people must have some effect on the Legislature and on the Ministers of the Crown. Let us at least show that we do not abandon our principles on this glorious day, when, by adhering to them, we have so great reason to expect that we can extend them not only to all bodies, but to all individuals who call for relief. When I consider how many great persons of genius, now departed, have
given their authority to this principle and when I also think how many living authorities we have-and when I consider how enlightened the body of Protestant Dissenters is, and the enlightened character of the times, I cannot help hoping that
'Persuasion yet may do the work of fear.'
In the tone and temper with which the question is now discussed, there is much of the spirit of real conciliation, not to Ireland only, but to the whole empire, and, I may say, to mankind at large.'
After some other very interesting toasts and speeches had been given, the Duke of Sussex proposed
"The Protestant Dissenting Ministers, the worthy successors of the ever-memorable 2,000 who sacrificed interest to conscience.
On this toast having been received with much enthusiasm, the Rev. Mr. Aspland said
"He rose, at the request of the Committee, to thank the Meeting for the honour they had done to the toast just drank; and, though the Dissenting Ministers were but an humble body, nevertheless they might be allowed to feel some small share of pride in the triumph of those great principles to which their fathers had been devoted; and though they could not boast of their undaunted conduct as it had been displayed in former times, yet at least they might lay claim to the same love of freedom. But when he praised them, he begged that it might not be considered that he was doing so as a sectarian: he could not do so; for he remembered, when those of the Church of England at the time of the Reformation had sacrificed every thing in the same way; and they were still looking with admiration to the Ministers of the Catholic religion, who, in a time when charity and justice were trampled under foot, had made the same sacrifice for conscience' sake. When, therefore, he spoke of the merits of the 2,000 Dissenters, he was willing to admit an equal claim to merit on the part of 2,000 of the Established Church, and on the part of another 2,000 of the Roman Catholic religion; and these 6,000 might together claim everlasting honour. It had been well said by a bishop who had in former days supported the cause of religious liberty, I am not afraid of men of scrupulous sentiments, but of men who believe in every thing, subscribe to every thing, and vote for every thing; and he thought it but right that it should be remembered, that the Dissenters had been most active in placing the present august family on the throne; and therefore no Member of that illustrious House would feel surprised, if, in spite of the restrictions under which the Dissenters had been labouring, they should still support the same principles, [hear, hear! from the Duke of Sussex], even though a Member of that Family might by chance forget the principles that had placed it on the throne! [loud cheers.] He also begged to be allowed to express his happinessnot for his own sake, but for that of his children and his children's children-that he was able to look upon the repeal of the Sacramental Test as a pledge to the country, that other Tests would be shortly conceded by Government, and also by those Corporations-those learned Corporations, which had hitherto exercised so great a power, and owing to which, he thought that their mother country had dealt with her dissenting children somewhat hardly, giving them, hitherto, nothing but the crumbs to feed upon: he trusted, however, that shortly her maternal bosom would be opened to all, and that she would receive them into her cordial embraces, so that hereafter the Dissenters might hope to have a fair portion of the children's bread."
The Royal Chairman, after various other toasts, then proposed the health of "Mr. Brougham, and Education without Subscription
to Articles of Faith." Mr. Brougham, when the reiterated cheering had subsided, said,
"I beg the company, and your Royal Highness, to accept my best thanks, and most hearty congratulations my best thanks for so kindly coupling my name with education, unfettered with subscription to any particular faith-and which is to me a matter of most peculiar gratification; for no one can be a more warm or zealous friend than I am to education, entirely unconnected with any religious tenets whatsoever. Let them be called tests, or oaths, or declarations, or subscriptions; in short, call them by what name you will, I know that they are as abhorrent to common sense as to justice-and equally so to all sound policy or principle; I know that they are traps for men's consciences-that they are baits for men's virtue-and that they will not testify men's principles, but merely fall as a burthen of injustice on the good and the honest, making mockery of the most sacred of things. If there were any that wished their children to enter seminaries where a subscription to a certain faith was necessary, in God's name, let such seminaries exist. I am not against such a proposition; but all I ask in return is, that they will leave us alone to throw our doors open to those who entertain a contrary opinion, and who would have their children educated without being called upon to subscribe any test of faith. But I will not detain you any longer by talking of that which has been well termed the origin of this great triumph; if it is more or less owing to the improvement in knowledge in the people of this country-and I think that no one can doubt that such is the case-I have a right to say, that I feel additional pleasure at having my name coupled with the sentiment of education. The real question is, not whether we all entertain exactly the same sentiments on religious subjects, but whether we are not all bound to support, by co-operation, the common end that we have in view; and whether we should not be encouraged to continue working in that cause which neither the delay of craftiness can damp, nor open resistance subdue. It is, then, to that union, forbearance, and determination, that we, in a great measure, owe our present triumph: and I have no doubt that a continuation of those feelings will produce us many more triumphs of the same sort. It was by this same means that the African slave-trade was checked twenty years ago, and it is to the same means that we must look (under the goodness of Providence) for the final extirpation of West India slavery. In fine, it is to the same means, that (as it has been well expressed) the enlarged and enlarging advance in religious liberty is owing, as well as the concession of civil rights to all classes of our fellow subjects. And I cannot help expecting that this will not be the last occasion on which I shall meet you within these walls, for the purpose of commemorating a triumph yet greater and more valuable than yours, because it will be a triumph final and complete. I cannot doubt that the time is not very far distant when we shall meet here to celebrate that great triumph which has so frequently been alluded to this evening, and which, I am quite sure, will be hailed with a zeal and enthusiasm that will prove how much value we set upon it; more especially, as leading to the ultimate abrogation of all tests of all classes, by whatever name they may be called-to whatever part of the empire they may belong, and by whatever rites they may worship the Deity [loud applause]. When at length that time shall arrive, no doubt it will be hailed with delight by you, as it will be by rapture with me, looking at what has emanated from a Noble Lord (Holland), whom I cannot but view as the representative of us Foxites. This triumph of to-day is the restoration of the rights of the Constitution to a great part of the community, which has long been excluded from them; for to-day we may found our first approach to that consummation, which I trust our rulers will not
interfere to prevent; but which, if it must be effected without their means, will, I hope, experience sufficient support from our own means; that we may receive their aid, I am sure we shall all most cordially desire; but if we cannot obtain it, why then let us do it in spite of them -let us do it in spite of those who believe any thing, vote for every thing, and subscribe to every thing.' 1 trust, however, as they have not lately opposed us with their former vigour, they will not again do so; and this, at least, I know, that the more firm we show ourselves, the less will they oppose us, till at length, in one way or another, we shall find ourselves able to celebrate the Restoration of the Constitution, which is the birthright of the people; not merely to any particular class of persons, however large, however important, or however respectable that class may be-but to the whole united people of England, Scotland, and Ireland."-[Enthusiastic cheering.]
ON Thursday, May 29, was held at Rawtonstall, Lancashire, the Annual Meeting of the Methodist Unitarians of the district. Mr. Stewart of Todmorden preached in the morning, from Hebrews vi. 12. At the conclusion of the service, nearly 100 of the friends and members dined together. In the afternoon, about 300 persons assembled in the Chapel, to transact the business of the Association; Mr. Wilkinson of Rochdale in the chair. Mr. John Ashworth of Newchurch, Rossendale, stated, that the congregation in that place was in a more flourishing condition than it had at any time been since its formation. The Sunday schools were also prospering. Mr. Taylor reported the state of the Methodist Unitarian Society in Rochdale, to be much as formerly, steadily increasing. Next arose a venerable man, upwards of seventy years of age, to report for the village in which the Association was held. Mr. Ingham some years since had been a decided Antinomian, but on further examination, had, even at his advanced age, changed his views for those of Unitarian Christianity. It was truly delightful to witness the fervency with which he spoke of the doctrines of piety and righteousness, which he now cherishes and professes. The congregation, he stated, was not numerous, but zealously alive to the general interests of Christian truth; and, particularly, to the success of the Sunday school, established in connection with the Society. Mr. John Robinson gave a pleasing account of the Padiham congregation. This Society was never in so prosperous a state as at preThe Sunday school had succeeded beyond their warmest anticipations. Not only the young, but many adults flocked to it for instruction; and the only regret the congregation felt, was, that, for want of books, they could not answer the demands made upon them for religious information. At Downham, Rimington, and Burnley, there is also a great desire to inquire after religious truth. Could a missionary be stationed in this district, there can be no question that greatly beneficial results would ensue. The remark of Mr. Robinson, that the Sunday-school stood in need of pecuniary assistance, gave occasion to the gratifying display of the truly Christian feeling, which exists between the different societies of the district. The friends at Rawtonstall, though