16 JULY 1859, Page 9


Sin.—In last Saturday's Spectator, you express your belief " that Ministers have the political game in their own hands, if they will go straightforward, use the influence which they possess, and give a just satisfaction to those earnest Liberals who are for Radical Reform,—reform to the root,—inde- pendently of mere extension of the franchise." This remark is made a-propos of the debate on Mr. Dillwyn's motion, and, taken in connexion with the general tone of the paragraph in which it occurs, would lead one to infer that, like the Koneonformist, you " go in " for religious equality. Now, if that is what you mean by Radical Reform, I can as- sure you that there is not much to be gained by taking up so advanced a po- sition. Time was when "earnest Liberals" were all in favour of assimi- lating our ecclesiastical institutions to those of the United States • but that feeling exists no longer. The working of Voluntaryism in America has not been so very fruitful in promoting practical Christianity as to warrant our following in the same track. I am told that Mr. Cobden's opinions upon that question are not quite so decided as they were a few years ago. From what he saw and heard of the mode in which " religious equality " is abused by the Jesuits of New York, he must have come to the same conclusion as a majority of our most ardent Liberals are rapidly coming, that to bring re- ligion completely under the influence of the competitive principle would not either make religion or politics more pure than they now are.