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though there were some who doubted as to conceding the Catholic Claims , it was not from a refusal to assert the broadest principles ( as they thought ) of religious liberty , but from a conviction ( a mistaken one , of course , he considered it ) that the matter in difference with the Catholics was a political one .
Dr . Winter expressed the same feelings , as did Mr . Orme and Dr . Rees . The latter stated , that he had himself been the bearer to Lord Holland and Mr . Smith of petitions from the body of Ministers , praying the repeal of every penal statute restraining religious freedom , and he was quite sure they were still actuated by the same liberal feeling . The Dissenters conceived that the best mode of
bringing forward their claims was to petition against the statutes which oppressed them ; but they did it on the broad and general ground , leaving it to others to determine to what other bodies , besides their own , those principles would apply .
Mr . Yockney stated the strong conviction of himself and his brethren , that it was become their imperative duty to press forward , and to rest their claims for relief on the only true and broad principle of denying the magistrate ' s right to interfere with any man on the ground of religious profession . He was anxious
for proceeding , not so much from an expect ati cm of immediate success , as to understand their position . If those gentlemen who were so zealous in support of the Catholic cause , deserted the Dissenters , we should then know how to rate the professions of such pretended friends of religious liberty .
Mr . Steven concurred with all the other speakers , and was satisfied that they must go forward . Div Cox also was of the same opinion . Lord Holland expressed his gratification at meeting the Deputations , and at learning that they were determined to bring their grievances before Parliament
It was unnecessary to make professions of his opinions . His exertions were at any and every time at their service . It was for them to determine their time , and it was , he considered , the duty of every member of the Legislature to assist when called , at any moment , in redressing a grievance . He should only claim * discretion as to the mode of agitating the
question . Mr . Spking Rice very eloquently and energetically expressed hia gratification at the course now intended to be pursued by the Dissenters . For himself he had never advocated , and never would
Intelligence . — Corporation and Test' Acts . 379
instructions to consult as to the best mode of doing what it was determined should be done . At this period of the discussion Lord Holland and several Members of the House of Commons entered . There were present
Lord Holland Mr . John Smith Lord Nugent Hon . R . Smith Mr . Spring Rice Alderman Wood Lord John Russell Mr . Easthope Mr . Marshall Mr . Warburton . A letter was read from the Marquis of Lansdowne , expressing his best wishes and desires in the cause of Civil and
Religious Liberty . Mr . Favell rose to express his concurrence in opinion with Mr . Bowring , that they were not there to discuss over again what had already been unanimously determined upon . He added his
conviction , that it was expedient immediately to prosecute their claims , not so much in the expectation of immediate success , ( though this was a very fair one , ) as to bring the matter forward , to discuss it over and over again , and , he trusted , finally to prevail .
Mr . Wilks concurred entirely with Mr . Favell and Mr . Bowring as to the object of their meeting . He stated hiB perfect conviction , that it was absolutely impossible not to prosecute their claims at once . He had received letters from all Quarters urgently pressing them to go forward , and it was quite clear that , if they did not choose to press on , others would . They came there to communicate these feelings , and to request the co operation of their friends in Parliament .
Mr . Aspland , on the part of the body of Ministers , expressed their earnest desire and determination to prosecute their claims with vigour . When they reflected on the delay which had taken place , they felt shame and sorrow at what they considered as an absolute neglect of duty , and they wished not to lose a day or au hour in endeavouring to make up for lost time . He was glad of the opportunity
of disavowing , on their part , any concurrence in those petitions against the Catholics , which had brought unmerited obloquy upon them . That there was some difference of opinion among such a widely-spread bod y as the Dissenters , was very likely , and could not be denied ; but he apokc in the hearing of ihis brother ia ' imstsere , and was confident that it was their wish and desire to seek relief
&r themselves upon the assertion of the most extended principles of religious liberty . It should be recollected , too , that
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Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), May 2, 1827, page 379, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1796/page/67/