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that of cutting the moorings which fasten it to the state , and making it support itself . All would respect the zeal , which was evidently disinterested . None would murmur at the wealth which was accumulated by the liberality of its own members *
The ignorant , the ^ worldly , and the sceptical , would be far more accessible to a religion , which not only came without taxation , but , having possessed it , had voluntarily renounced taxation . Laymen of the establishment , here is a noble work for you to do ! You may deserve well of religion and your country to all coming ages . You may even yet correct the errors of your prelates and of your clergy . The opportunity is precious . It may never occur again . Time presses . The days of revision , reformation , and perhaps of retribution , are at hand .
The path of Dissenters is very plain . The immediate renunciation of whatever pittance of the public money may reach them is their imperative duty . The five-pound almsgiving in England , and the half-salary grant of Ireland , should be alike and totally relinquished . The three denominations in this country can easily raise a charitable fund for poor preachers . The Irish Presbyterians can have no need of government aid for their
ministers , as they ought not to tolerate the right ( however long it may slumber ) of interference with their choice . The principles of the Cork Declaration ought to be everywhere adopted , and openly professed . And they soon will be . The editor _ of this periodical already feels some of the gratification which he anticipated when , about nine months since , he ventured thus to address his Irish brethren : ' Proud shall I be in that day , which *
to judge from the feelings expressed to me by some of you , I trust will come , when you , the Unitarians of Ireland , shall declare as one man , that you will , throughout your congregations and churches , tax yourselves to the utmost that is required for the support of the ministers of your choice , and not accept any portion , however small , of the public money for that purpose . It is not for dissenters to furnish what may be some day made a pretext and a precedent for augmenting the intolerable burden of
ecclesiastical taxation , by adding to it the support of the Catholic priesthood . Little room , indeed , is there for addition ; be your hands clear , and your voices free , to aid the righteous , and soon resistless , call of an impoverished people for relief from the rapacity of a nominally Protestant hierarchy * . ' Although we are not arrived at this point , yet happily the spirit which has been roused extends beyond the boundaries of the Unitarian commutiion . So much the better . We rejoice to see good men and true , of all denominations , doing their duty by their country . Nor can we conclude without adding some
* Address to the Unitarians of Ireland , prefixed to ' The Practical Importance of the Unitarian Controversy , a Sermon delivered in Strand-atr « t > t Chapel , JDukunj April 3 , 1831 . before Ihe Irwh Unitarian ' Chmimi Sowty , by W . J . * W
Religion without Taxation . 129
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Feb. 2, 1832, page 123, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1806/page/51/