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TO THE RIGHT HON. LORD JOHN RUSSELL, FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY. My LORD,—Since the 13th of last September, when, with the courtesy demanded by your high position, and with the liberty of a loyal Englishman, 1 took upon myself to address you on the rumoured intention of the Cabinet to propose the endowment of the Irish Roman Catholic priesthood, and offered my earnest advice to you to dissipate the fears which that rumour had created in the mind of every enlightened Protestant, unlooked- for events have transpired both in this land and on the Conti- nent of Europe. I need not detain you with even a summary of those events. They are fresh in the world's recollection. The agitation caused by them has not yet subsided. The storm still sweeps, and the ocean heaves. The sky has not yet cleared nor is there any immediate promise of a calm day. It were unwise any longer to conceal the fact that an impression has taken hold of the minds of multitudes—not the lovers of change only but among men of strong Conservative tendencies also—not Dissenters only, but Churchmen also—that the time is at hand for accomplishing a final divorce between the State and the Church. The conviction is not that superinduced evils must be remedied, or that inequalities must be removed by fitful legis- lation, but the Union must be looked at with a steady purpose to ascertain its real character, and its true working. This is THE QUESTION, my Lord. I intimated to your lordship that in the event of the proposi- tion to endow Irish Romanism being submitted to the House of Commons, the overthrow of the Ministry was certain. I now beg to say, that as diplomatic relations with the Pope are at an end, and as Church questions have assumed that magnitude which actually calls for the hand of a master to grapple with them, a splendid opportunity of signalising yourself as thejin- lightened friend of political and ecclesiastical liberty, is fully and fairly presented to you. Enlightened principles require but to be carried out to secure the co-operation of the wise and good throughout Her Majesty's dominions. My lord, let the question be, not the pacification of the Irish by State endow- ment, that will fail; not the preservation of the English Church inJreland by such a measure, that will fail; not the re-adjust- ment of ecclesiastical imposts in England, to equalise their dis- proportions and meet a temporary demand, that will also fail; but the Union-the origin, character, bearings, tendencies, in- fluence, and consequences of the Union. Such a question would be the signal for, the whole people of this country, always ex- cepting those who live by the corruptions of things as they are, rallying around you, and bearing you to the mightiest tri- ulnph of centuries. The people of England are sighing for freedom. Hundreds of the clergy are groaning in their fetters. In their heart of hearts they envy the liberty of Dissenters. They wish to breathe a freer air. Help them, my Lord Bid them go free. They cannot do as they would witness Mr. Shore. They are sometimes punished for the utterance of their own sacred convictions witness Mr. Gorham. I need not mention those annoyances, which, as First Minister of the Crown, you have had to encounter from ecclesiastical affairs on both sides of the Channel. Such annoyances will increase and thicken, until by a bold examination of the principle of the Union, you gather around you the people who abolished the Test and Corporation Acts, effected Catholic and Negro Eman- cipation, carried the Reform Bill, Municipal Corporation Re- form, and the abolition of the Corn Laws. The Bishop of Cashel has said that he should prefer the putting away of all Establishments, to the endowing of two or three religions." In a letter addressed to the Bishop of Chester, in 1845, Merle D'Aubigne uttered these humiliating words ;—" The Church of Rome has a government of its own each Dissenting Church the same the Anglican Church alone has none. The govern- ment of the Church is a political government, a mixed govern- I ment, composed of her friends and her enemies. What a pri- vilege! Truly she would have everything to gain in ceasing to be the National Church." And now, my estimable and noble- minded relative-of whom but for the idea conveyed under this last term, I should speak freely—Baptist Noel, has, in obedi- ence to the authority of an enlightened conscience, left the Es- tablishment of which he was so many years an exemplary minister, and given to the world his reasons for taking this step. And such reasons You know them, my Lord. Every one that can obtain the book knows them. There may be an at- tempt to answer them. They will never be set aside, as long as Christianity is a power distinct from that wielded by the civil magistrate. He has proved that the Union is condemned by the constitution of the State, by the parental relation, by history, by the Mosaic Law, by the prophesies of the Old Tes- tament, and by the character of the New Testament. He has entered into the very heart of the system, and by a skilful pro- cess of anatomy has laid bare to the world's gaze the unholy thing. No wonder that he says, "The Union of the Church with the State is doomed. Condemned by reason and religion, by Scripture and experience, how can it be allowed to injure the nation much longer ?" The BIBLEWIS emancipated at the, Reformation let the CHURCH be emfflftipated now and be it your honour to be the first English Premier that luid the foun- dation of the second Reformation. Your decision, my Lord, to take up and sift this momentous question, with a settled determination to go wherever truth may lead you,-a question involving political liberty, religious freedom, social concord, free education, missionary operations, and evangelic Christianity, would be hailed by every lover of his country, of truth, peace, and Christianity, as the bright dawning of a day whose genial light should speedily. spread over the tribes of men, diffusing freedom and gladness in its course and whilst the names of your predecessors in office are famous, some for military and naval conquests, for skill in the. crisis of national difficulty, and for the rare tact of accomplished leadership some for the abolition of cruel and oppressive laws, the amelioration of the penal code, and the extension of civil liberty and some for diminishing material burdens, lessening taxation, and unfettering commerce your name would shine above theirs a star of purer lustre, as the emancipator of mind, the reverencer of the rights of human conscience, and the liberator of a large portion of the Church, in the land of your fathers, from the unholy bondage of alliance with the secular power. You are noble and great; here are nobility and great- ness incomparably superior to all others. Such, with unfeign- ed deference, I think is the mission to which events call you; and such certainly is the soul-stirring reward, which would crown its faithful discharge. I have the honour to remain, my Lord, Your Lordship's most obedient Servant, THOMAS THOMPSON. Poundsford Park, Taunton, Jan, 24, 1819.