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therefore, refuse to discharge my legal obligation to him? The result would be that I should put the tithe into my own pocket, and under the pretext of preserving my own conscientious scruples, I should reap the benefit in my pecuniary interests. But what is the difference in principle between the two ? None at all; but the tithe can be by law enforced against me, and the Church Rate cannot be practically enforced against the Dissenter. It is most important not only that this bill should be rejected by a considerable majority, but by so large and overwhelming a majority that it should be clearly hopeless to carry a bill for the unconditional and absolute repeal of Church Rates. Your Lordships will therefore hold out the best inducement to all parties to come to an understanding by rejecting this bill. I will venture to say to the Dissenters on the part of the Church, and I believe I may add on the part also of the Government, that we will meet them with the most conciliatory and friendly feeling, but that unless some prospect is held out to us that we shall be met by them in the same spirit, we must maintain the law as it stands."

It was against such statesmen as these that Mr. Bright, in the autumn of the same year, levelled all the shafts of democratic malignity ; but he took care to remember the Bishops as well. “There



is another kind of Peer,he exclaimed, “that creature of what shall I say?-of monstrous, nay, even of adulterous birth—the spiritual Peer.” At the same time he indicated the shortest and readiest means for dealing with "that creature of monstrous, nay, even of adulterous birth.” “I have not the smallest objection,” said he, "to the widest possible suffrage that the ingenuity of man can devise.”

Seeing that Mr. Bright assisted so materially at the inception of the Nonconformist; that he was one of the original promoters of the Complete Suffrage Union; that the Nonconformist started the Complete Suffrage movement; that it applauded the Chartist movement and the six points of the Charter; and that the Complete Suffrage and Chartist movements were regarded by it and the Eclectic Review as identical, and based upon the same fundamental principlesthe principles enunciated by the Nonconformist-the declaration of Mr. Bright at Birmingham, in 1858, in favour of the “widest possible suffrage that the ingenuity of man can devise," was but an iteration of his sentiments at the outset of public life. But how is it that such opinions are systematically hushed up and suppressed, when Mr. Bright rises to plead for what he terms moderate measures of reform in the House of Commons? Here, however, I close my narrative for the present. It remains only to take a brief survey of the ground passed over.

The proposition with which the Chapter started was-Dissent identified and in alliance with Democracy. That proposition, I venture to think, has been fully demonstrated. In the first place, the records of the Nonconformist newspaper established that proposition. In the second place, I have shown that the British Anti-State-Church Association was but the creature of the Nonconformist. Thirdly, I have adduced evidence which identifies the teaching of that Association with the teaching of the Nonconformist. From that evidence it follows, I maintain, that in its representative organisation, Dissent, in its very essence and nature, is not only revolutionary, but democratic and committed to democracy. Its principles and objects are perfect equality—the perfect equality of all religious denominations, and the perfect equality of every individual adult citizen, before the law. All the distinctive rights and privileges of the Established Church are to be extinguished, on the one hand; and on the other, the suffrage is to be granted as an inalienable birthright, as one of the natural rights of man, to every single person of adult age, not debarred by civil disabilities of his own creation. Are not such principles and objects, then, revolutionary? Are

they not, I will not say the manifestation, but the embodiment of democracy? By what chapter and verse of our history and laws can such principles and objects be made to appear either lawful or constitutional ? But whilst the perfect equality of all religions, before the law, and the subversion of the Established Church, or the separation of Church and State, to produce that equality, is the first principle and object of Dissent, it is by the policy of perfect equality in civil rights that those principles and objects are to be compassed. It is by an invasion upon the Act of 1832 that the mission of Dissent is to be fulfilled. It is the creed of Chartism that is to lead to a consummation of the Anti-State-Church confession. On this subject, I would again refer to the quotations from the proceedings of the British Anti-State-Church Association, in the years 1847, 1848, 1851, 1852, 1853, 1856, and 1857. As, then, it is by organic democratic innovations upon the constitution of Parliament in all its three component parts—the Sovereign, the Peers, and the Commons-that the objects of the Anti-State-Church party are to be realised, so will it be found that that party has been mixed up in all the democratic movements of the last thirty years. Mr. Miall and Mr. Bright were conspicuous among the authors and founders of the Nonconformist; and as the latter has avowed his agreement with the former on the State Church question, so he has confessed to entertaining no objection whatsoever to the widest possible extension of the franchise. Mr. Miall and Mr. Bright were also conspicuous among the authors and founders of the Complete Suffrage Union. That movement, again, was accessory to the Chartist movement, or rather it was the Nonconformist which supplied the same fundamental principles for both movements. What was it, except Dissent, which constituted the flower and strength of the National Reform Association? It was also dissenting levies which recruited the ranks of the ballot-mongers. And to all those democratic movements dissenting chapels, dissenting pulpits, dissenting ministers, lent their willing, their best services. To draw any distinctions, indeed, between those movements and that of the British Anti-State-Church Association, is to distinguish between results wholly similar and identical. The Complete Suffrage movement waz not one whit more democratic than the Anti-StateChurch movement. Their fields of action are different-one being directed against the civil, the other against the ecclesiastical, institutions—but both alike are directed against the British Constitution, and both alike subserve the cause of

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