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merely for experiment sake."

The question for their repeal has often been agitated within the walls of Parliament, but always with the same success. Mr. Peel stated that many of our ministers and statesmen, from Sir Robert Walpole to Mr. Fox, have been favourable to their repeal; yet a bill for that purpose has never been carried. And now, I would ask my Lord, before I proceed, will it be presumed that the King can dispense with the solemn engagement of the Coronation Oath, and give the Royal Assent to the repeal of these Laws? With the terms of that Oath you are well acquainted, which not only constrain the Sovereign to "maintain the Protestant Religion as established by law," but to "preserve to the Clergy of this realm all such rights and privileges as by law do or shall appertain to them." The reasonable inference from the concluding part of the Oath appears to be this; the exclusion of Dissenters and Roman Catholics from offices of trust and power in the state, is one of the rights which by law appertains to the Clergy of this realm, for the defence of their order. Even the partial repeal of the Test system would have

the tendency to admit the Dissenters into these offices. Therefore the Royal Assent to the repeal would be a contravention of the solemn compact between the Sovereign and his church.* Sir W. Blackstone describes the present Laws in very strong terms; he designates them the "two bulwarks of the Church of England." I believe that this was contradicted in the late discussion in the House; but I shall take the liberty to state his opinion in his own words. "In order the better to secure the Established Church against perils from non-conformists of all denominations, Infidels, Jews, Turks, Heretics, Papists, and Sectaries, there are two bulwarks erected called the Corporation and Test Acts." In another part of his works they are denominated the security "both of our civil and religious liberties." Such is the opinion of

*But by the Act of Union between England and Scotland, the engagement is even more precise. It is this :"To preserve inviolably the settlements of the Church of England, its doctrines, worship, discipline and government, as by law established." The same is repeated in the Act of Union between England and Ireland. It may well be remarked, that the repeal or alteration of one statute, involves the permanency and disturbs the unity of the whole system.

that most eminent expounder of British Law on the efficacy and importance of the Test system.

These laws are with the utmost propriety styled the Bulwarks of the Church, since their obvious tendency is to protect the Church from her enemies, and to exclude the sectaries from those offices of trust and ascendency in which, if they are consistent to their principles, they will, at the sacrifice of the Establishment, promote the partizans of their own creed, and favour the proselytes to their own persuasion.

Having pleaded your "inefficiency to advocate this great cause," viz. the Dissenting Interest against the Church Establishment, you proceed to aver, that "you are opposed to religious Tests of any kind." This assertion you subsequently contradict; for you state in another part of your speech, "that you would have the Oath of Allegiance taken by officers qualifying for the excise." And is this, my Lord, the only relic of defence you would permit the Church to retain in her favour? This the only pledge of the loyalty and fidelity of its members? The remnant of those laws which the labours and precaution of our ancestors devised

for the security of the Church? The Oath of Allegiance to be administered to excisemen! You next observe, my Lord, "that to the struggles of the Puritans we owed our religious liberties." You might more correctly have stated, that to the struggles of the Puritans are we indebted for the enactment of those laws which you so highly reprobate. To prevent the reflux of that spirit of revolution and anarchy in which this country was involved in the reign of the Stuarts, these laws were devised. "When the sectaries in the time of Charles I. had for want of this law overturned the Church of England, as soon as the government was restored, and replaced on its old foundation, the legislature thought fit to make a Test Law to prevent a repetition of the like disasters."* As Mr. Canning eloquently observed, "Refer to history, and see what it teaches on this subject: who are those who brought the monarch to the block? Who stripped Episcopacy of its mitre, and of all its spiritual authority and temporal possessions?" The Dissenters of former days. The

* Warburton's Alliance, p. 245.

Corporation Act was framed by those who were fully alive to the dangers which had resulted from the predominancy of Dissenters in Corporations; while the Test Act, which was passed twelve years afterwards, though immediately directed against the Papists, was enacted with a view of "quieting the minds of His Majesty's faithful subjects" against any future attempt of the recusant Papist or Dissenter to overthrow the Throne and the Altar. You proceed "to point out the impolicy of establishing a religious test to prove the loyalty and constitutional attachment of individuals." The Test was not

devised solely as a proof of loyalty to the throne, but with the view of ascertaining whether those who qualified for office, were seriously well affected to the Protestant Church as established by law. Our ancestors, my Lord, had from experience, a clearer view of this subject than many of the politicians of the present day, and they could not see any impolicy in exacting a Test from those who wished to obtain office, of their good intentions towards the Established Church of this country. The impolicy of neglecting such a Test, I shall endeavour shortly

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