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CHURCH RATES. The following Petition on behalf of the Religious Society of Friends, for the abolition of those rates called Church-Hates, Was lately presented to the House of Commons. To the Commons of Great Britiari and Ireland in Parliament assembled, "The Petition of the undersigned, members of the Religious Society of Friends respectfully siioweth,— "That the Society of Friends has uniformly objected, on conscientious grounds, to the payment of the rates called Church-rates. Their objection has been apart from political motive or consideration: it has been founded on what they assuredly believe- to be the doctrine of our Lord and Savour -ifcsus Christ,— doctrine which, when rightly understood and conscientiously acted upon, forms the ground-work of the happiness of man, and the welfare of States. It is, in the conviction of your Petitioners, contrary to the law of righteousness and t-uth, that any portiun of the com- munity should lJecornpellecl to contribute to the support of a system of religious belief and prac-tice which they regard as at variance with the doctrine of the New Testament, and especi- ally that such claims, as is the case of your Petitioners, should be exacted with a serious and oppressive loss of property. "Without enumerating all the objections to the appropri- Z, ation of the rate in question, your Petitioners would especially mention the assumed consecration of buildings used for Divine worship, and of ground set apart for the interment of the dead the providing of special vestments for the minister the supplying of bread and wine for what is called a sacra- ment and the upholding of a fabric wherein certain doctrines are taught, and usuages are upheld, from which they reli- giously dissellt, "It is against these, and other similar appropiiations, your Petitioners entertain a strong conscientious objection and therefore, whilst cherishing a warm attachment to the consti- tution of the Government under which they live, and desiring peaceably to obey the laws of the land where they do not violate the law of God) they would earnestly entreat Parlia- ment to relieve them by the entire and immediate abolition of the rates called Church-rates. "Signed by us, members of a meeting appointed to repre- sent the Religious Society of Friends in Great Britain. (Signed by 49 friends.) London, the 19th of the 4th mo., 18oU. [Tho Edict of 157S, exempted French protestant: from all payments to the Catholic worship—andnow, in 1850, Dissenters may reasonably claim to be relieved from furccd payments to the Establishment.]






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