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puties in January of that year. But an offshoot from that organisation, the Ecclesiastical Knowledge Society, was doubtless the pioneer in the Anti-State-Church movement, though it is not till May, 1832, that we find any public profession of the kind. But although both Associations, both the Parent Society of the Deputies, and its branch, the Ecclesiastical Knowledge Society, openly professed Anti-State Church theories in the early part of the year 1832, it is somewhat curious that their organs in the press, the Eclectic Review and the Patriot newspaper, at first discountenanced the new crusade. It was not till the autumn of 1833 that the Eclectic admitted of the probability of the question of an Established Church being debated in Parliament, nor till 1834 that it discussed the subject in its own pages. And no sooner was the separation of Church and State shadowed forth in the dim and distant future by the Deputies, than the Patriot newspaper at once blotted out the adumbration.

The secret of that suppression does not lie very deep. The Reform Bill had not yet passed. For no sooner was it safe, than the Patriot proclaims “the time to be come for telling orthodox Dissenters that they must endeavour to obtain a larger share in the representation of their country, and that the Reform Bill, in very many places, would give them

by far the larger part of the constituency.” In the same month of June, may also be discovered a wonderful change in the Patriot's ideas relative to the Established Church, for it declares " that the conscientious opposition to Establishments, AS SUCH, is becoming each day the great plea of Dissent.” Soon after, the same paper informed its readers that “Ecclesiastical Reform will not tarry long, now that Political Reform has been carried.” It was not, however, against the Establishment, as a whole, that it first directed the prejudices of Dissenters, but against Church Rates, assuring them that “ Church Rates stood purely in the light of any other tax, and might be put on or taken off with as much ease as a tax on soap or candles," and urging them “to make some energetic efforts to shake off that infamous burden.” Such language as this was never used previous to the passing of the Reform Bill, and later events confirm the belief that political Reform, even in 1832, was only the means, and what was termed ecclesiastical reform, namely, the separation of Church and State, was really the end in view in the movements of certain political Dissenters. With the meeting of the first Reformed Parliament, in 1833, those designs became more manifest.

But the better to understand what follows, I


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must premise that the Liberal majority in that par. liament, comprised in it no less than four great and distinct sections—(1) the Constitutional Whigs and Ministerialists, headed by Earl Grey, Lord Melbourne, Lord Althorp, and Lord John Russell ; (2) the Radical, or Democratic, section to which belonged Mr. Hume, Mr. Grote, Mr. Ward, Mr. Roebuck, Mr. C. Buller, &c.; (3) the Protestant Dissenters, lead first by Mr. Wilks, then by Mr. Baines, and including also Mr. Pease, Mr. C. Hindley, Mr. Brotherton, and certain Scotch members ; (4) the Irish National, or Repeal, and Roman Catholic party, over which domineered the twin geniuses of Daniel O'Connell and Mr. Sheil. The Conservative Opposition, under Sir. R. Peel, numbered little more than 150 members, the four Liberal sections together counting at least 450 members. With respect to the Whigs, deeming the Act of 1832 a final and permanent settlement, their policy was simply to "rest and be thankful.” The Radicals, on the other hand, regarding the Reform Bill of 1832 merely as an instalment, pushed forward to the ballot, a large extension of the franchise, electoral districts, and triennial parliaments. As to the Dissenters, their grand object was to overthrow the Church, and mistaking probably their own strength and the disposition of Ministers, they at

first meditated destruction wholesale. With the Irish Repealers and Romanists the one great grievance, next to the Union, was the Established Church of Ireland. These three sections, therefore, it is no injustice to describe as revolutionary and democratic, alike in their principles, objects, and policy. As regards the Opposition, its mission consisted in resisting the three last sections, severally and collectively, and in conserving our ancient institutions, so wantonly assailed by the democratic forces, and so feebly defended by the Whigs. It is the mutual relations of these political parties and their different combinations that I would now trace out; an inquiry which cannot fail to guide Churchmen and Constitutionalists to a right appreciation of their position and its responsibilities. More particularly, I shall endeavour to follow, in chronological order, that thread of events which, from 1832, brought the two democratic principles of Radicalism and Dissent, including Irish Romanism, into closer and closer ties, until, in 1844, they were connected, when Dissent and Democracy became identified and united, under the auspices of the British AntiState-Church Association.

The questions, therefore, to be discussed, are essentially what are called constitutional questions. From 1833, two species of warfare have been waged incessantly against the British constitution, the one civil, the other ecclesiastical. As Radicalism from the first championed the cause of the ballot, a large extension of the suffrage, electoral districts, and triennial parliaments, so the English and Scotch Dis. senters, and Irish Repealers and Romanists, assailed the United Church, and especially that branch of it established in Ireland. The primary objects, then, of the three democratic factions were different, but whichever object shall be first accomplished, the judgment of every student of constitutionalist history will pronounce that it cannot be the only one, but must shortly be followed by the acquisition of all the others. This conviction it was, in all probability, which, before the year 1840, tended to unite the three democratic sections in parliament, and which, in the year 1844, established a Dissenting organisation conjointly upon the basis of Radicalism and the separation of Church and State.

Beginning, then, with the opening session of the first Reformed Parliament, the first motion to be remarked was that of Mr. Faithful, who, in April, proposed to the House of Commons a resolution to the effect—“ That the Church of England, as by law established, is not recommended by practical utility; that its revenues have always been sub

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