0. P. Q.'S ADDRESS TO THE DISSENTERS OF GREAT BRITAIN
And tl:e king; all replied, and said.' It is true. it is true ' Let ns gain over to us the priests of Christ, the min ist eri of religion, with Imams uealth and pow .—Porolts d'art Croyant, par M. WALL,. de la AIFNNAIS.
" Begin. be bold, and setdure to be wise!
It w Ito lle:"16 illiS sock front day to day.
Does on a riser's Lank expecting slay,
'181 thuc .huh. stream which stoppd hint should be tour, That runs, and as it runs, for ever in ill ruta on."—CowL-r.
" Unhappy 1h. who does this work adjourn,
And to to morrow wottlel the searelt delay : His lazy morrow will be like to.day."—Duvrorr.
" Whatsoever thy hand lituleth to do, do it with all thy might for there is no labo nor device, nor knowledge inn the grave whither thou art hastening."—DuLy Boma.
Paris, 14th Mug 1804. To THE PROTESTANT DISSENTERS OF GIZEAT BRITAIN AND IRELAs:Z„ GENTLEMEN—The cause of civil and religious Beaty cannot, in the prateut state of human sun •iety, remain stationary : it must advance or recede. If its advance be not deei.leil, regular, firm, and uninterrupted, it will nece—arily it- cede—and this rest& is philosophical, as well as founded on facts, history, amid modern and ancient experience. Those, therefore, who counsel you "co Wall.," not to press on the separation of the Church from the State, to accept a por- tion of the debt which is due to you, though your debtor be solvent and can pay you all, are either titriid and nervous men, who are incapable of compre- hending, much more of conducting the vast movements of human society ; or theyare unprincipled men, who, from unworthy, selfish, and dishonourable mo- tives, counsel you to sell your birthrights for a mess of pottage. Although necessarily much occupied by the great events which are transpir- ing on the Continent of Europe, the friends of freedom in France, Oennauy, Switzerland, Belgium, and Spain and Portugal, are watching with unfired anxiety and deep interest, your present most important proceNlings and deci- sions. Your resolutions, your petitions, your meetings, are translated, and the measures determined on at those assemblies discussed in several languages, on the bulks of the Seine, the Rhine, and the Garonne ; on the borders of the "lazy Scheldt," amidst the wild scenery of the Alps, in that Germauy to which true Prot( stantism and true dissent are so greatly indebted, and even amidst the abysses of the Pyrennees, and on the shores of the Guadalquiver. By means of that press which it is your duty more than ever to defend, those proceedings are no longer confined to the British dominions, but the sympathies of niillions of the human race are acquired for you by the mere published records of your high resolves and your independent and invaluable exertions. And in proportion to the interest which your contest excites, is our desire for its speedy as well as perfect success. More accustomed than yourselves to watch the movements of abaolute and despotic governments ,perceiving, from the experi .ace of each hour, that those who are not for us are all against us ; and fully con- vinced, by the most indisputable facts, that a conspiracy still exists everywhere
amongst the European Governments to extinguish the flame of liberty which has been kindled in France, in Germany, in Italy, in Poland, and in the whole of the South of Europe, as well as in Belgium, by resorting to military force,
measures against the press, alliances against constitutional monarchies and against the liberty of the public tribune, and by a foreign and domestic policy even more violent, subversive, and tyrannical, than that adopted by " THE Hoar A lama NCR ;" we come forward to conjure you to persevere,—not to be induced by threats, by entreaties, by clamour, by promises, or by half measures, to abandon your position ; but now, whilst it is day, and before the Powers of Europe shall have once more organized all their plans of oppression and sup- pression, to overthrow one of the most monstrous evils which bath hitherto afflicted humanity,—we mean the union of Church and State in the British dominions.
And allow me to press upon you the fact, that this is not exclusively a British question ; that France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and the Peninsula, are all
deeply interested in its success or rejection ; and that, not only by the general
law of God, of justice, of charity, and of liberty, which should unite nations to nations and people to people, is your success and are your exertions dear and important to us; but in consequence of the alliances now forming at Vienna of the German and Northern Monarchs, to oppose the progress of liberal institu- tions and enlightening principles everywhere, the overthrow of the connexion between the Church and the State in Great lliitain, would tend much more than any other event could do, to destroy all their combinations, and fortify the fi lends of liberty on the Continent of Europe to meet boldly and without fear their cruel and vindictive assailants, in that contest which is now preparing. For you must not imagine a bits& moment, that there is any thing approaching to a settling-down in Europe. the treaties of 1814 and 1815 are all destroyed : even the Governments of Great Britain and France, though composed of men much too timid to brave the lightning and the storm, and too much occupied in
preparing a shelter and an asylum, instead of rousing the hosts to arms, are still not unaware of the extreme peculiarity of their positiom—of the fact, that all the Continental Powers of magnitude and influence, with not one exception, are contracting alliances against them, and that the course which is now pursuing by both Lord PALMERSTON and Prince TALLEYRAND is only one by which time may be gained, but by which none of the vast questions now at stake can or will be: resolved. Never forget that the FRENCH WILL HAVE ELECTIVE I. STITI"CIONS AND A POPULAR. GOVERNMENT! Never forget that BELGIUM cannot remain in her present isolated, proscribed, and untenable position ! Never forget that Pol./trio cannot, and will not remain a Russian province! Never forget that GERMANY will not sit down satisfied (and she has proved it in even the last month at Berlin, and Frankfort, and in Gallicia) with a censorship for the press, and constitutions and a tribune at the mercy of a German Diet ! Never forget that ITALY iS in a stated permanent conspiracy against her present anti-national and Austrian oppressors! Never forget that Turkey and the Otto- man empire must fall, and that Russia will not and cannot be permitted to seize her prey ! Never foiget that GREECE will have a Government, not im- posed on her by Russian and Bavarian interests, but a Government chosen by 'herself! Never forget that in SPAIN and PoILTUG monastic influence has to be destroyed, the reign of ignorance and priestcraft to be terminated, and free institutions to be proclaimed by a then (but not till then) free people ! And never fin get that the Hungarians, the Set vians, the Moldavians, the Wallachians, the Prussians, the inhabitants of Venetian Lombardy, the natives of Posen and Gallicia, and even the Prussians, have already cried with a loud voce for con- stitutional governmen. . awl fir li!-r-r!o!astitutions ! The influence of the priest is everywhere on tin decline, whilst the influence of Christianity is on the ad- vance. The Roman Citholie Church is dividing itself into a thousand separa- tions : some of her clergy call for the lit.'s of marl iage, others for the abolition of the Latin tongue in the services of that Chinch, and others for all separa- tion of the Roman religion from the State. In France and in Belgium, a mighty movement is going on in favour of that tutal separation. Fur, although State religions we have none ; although that vast system of robbery and wickedness has been destroyed ; yet still the clergy of all religions, whether Protestants, Catholics, or Jews, are paid certain sataries out of the taxes paid by the people —(such salaries being most moderate in amount, and paid alike to all)—hut still they are paid out of the taxes ; and this payment we protest against, this pay- ment we are labouring to prevent. Already we have French Protestant Dis- senters with ministers and with large congregations, who refuse to accept even the salaries allowed by law to be paid out of the Budget ; and, in like manner, we have Catholic clergymen who read the Catholic service in French, and who also refuse to receive from any but their own hearers and the members of their own churches any payment Lir their Christian labours. This stirring among the dry bones is most consolatory and most encouraging. But the effect of all this would be as nothing when compared with the results which would be pro. duced by the separat. of the Church from the State in Great Britain. And amongst other results which would by such a measure be secured, we should ob- serve, 1st, The increase of Christian professors and the progress of the Christian religion ; 2,d, A respect for the character of the Christian teacher, and a much snore lively confidence in the sincerity and truth of his ministrations ; 3d, A great desire on the part of those who had rejected Act of Parliament religions to exercise a faith which would bear the test of a rigorous investigation, and which would rely for support on the voluntary coma ibutions of the disciples ; 4th, The diffusion of education amongst the people, the pi iests having no longer an inte- rest in keeping them ignorant, in order to satisfy the demands of al:solute go- vernments, who, in return for the honours, wealth, and power conferred on the State Clergy, require that the people shall be kept down, anti Inc made submis- sive and stupid ; and lath, We should see the priests and ministers of religion emancipated, by the very principles of religion, from their own slavish preju- dices—since, being no longer dependent upon the Government for support, they would examine with freedom of mind the political and social as wall as moral and spiritual state and wants of society ; and thus, lith, Instead of haring a fil.e and spurious Christianity made a bugbear to inculcate the doctrines id pa ,Ive obedience, non -resistance, and divine right of Kings to govein men, we should enjoy the benefits of that true Chi istianity which, whil,t it encourages peace and Jove, also promulgates a true and enlightened system of moral equality. The separation of the Church from the State in Great Britain would be the treaty of alliance of the people against the treaty of alliance of despotism and tyranny ;— it would encourage those who are labouring in sonic parts of this vast Conti- nent almost single handed ;—it would discourage those who hope, from the wavering and timid policy of the Whigs and of the French Government, that they shall succeed in the task they have undertaken, of suppressing all institu- tional governments in Europe, and of carrying us back again to former periods when people were sold as sheep, and nations were handed over as goats or as oxen ;—it would encourage the hopes of those who, observing the vast move- ments now going on in the world, ale doing what they can to turn them to the moral as well as physical amelioration of the present lot of humanity ;—and it would discom age those who still believe it possible to oppose a barrier to the march of the schoolmaster, to the liberty of the press, to the discussion at the public tribune, and to the general feeling that "old things should pass away, and that all things should become new." I have endeavoured to show you a few of the vast results which would arise to other nations, and to other people in Europe, from the SUCCCNS of your present Libouls to procure the separation of Church from State. But this is not the sole object or even the principal motive of my letter. I write to press upon ye the imperious duty of activity, of immediate exertion, of "no delay," of refusing to listen to those who counsel you to wait, and who tell you, in the language of the . Morning Chronicle, that a political crisis "will" arrive. That political crisis has arrived ! Russia feels it, Austria acknowledges it, Prussia is prepar-
ing to meet It. The petty Princes of the German Confederation have assembhal
to provide for it, and have ordered 450,000 men to form the standing artily of that portion of the Continent, whilst nearly an equal number constitutes. the military forces of France. Lord PALMERSTON, notwithstanding all his tnniclity, and Prince TALLEYRAND, notwithstanding all his heartlessness, are obliged to contract alliances with Spain and with Portugal, in order to defend themselves, and even Whig policy and Whig moderation, against the known, the avowed aggressive policy of the North. The day has conic when the French and British Governments require all the union, and all the energy, and all the support of these respective people ; and it is now, therefore, that in exchange for your confidence and your support you must demand the separation of the Church from the State. And besides this, the day is not very far distant when the foreign relations of Great Britain, when her foreign prospects, her foreign alliances, and the condition of those allies, will occupy much of the at- tention of the people as well as of the Government of that country ; and there- fore now, " whilst there is time, even whilst it is called to-day," now it is your duty to press upon the Government and the Parliament, the necessity for a separation of the Church from the State. At a later period, you will be met by the cry of, "Do not, at a moment like the present, weaken our influence abroad by appearing disunited at home;" and that appeal must then not be disregarded. But at this moment of our history we have a period of "interregnum." V ast events are preparing. All thrones and all governments are tottering; and now, even now, is the time to demand the separation of the Church from the State. Suffer me now to call your attention to the facts of the last few years in the history of France and of the Continent, as denionstrative of the danger which will result from delay. I have said that the cause of civil and religious liberty, in the present state of human society, cannot remain stationary. And this is a fact. Look at France ! What is her position now, when compared to what it was after the Revolution in September and October 1830 ?—Most deplorable. The Carlists and Jesuits, who then hid their beads, and asked simply for par- don and grace, now calculate on sending fifty Deputies to represent them at the approaching general elections! The Jesuits and priests, who then ( I iurean in 1830) were as submissive and tractable as were the Tory Peers in England when the Birmingham patriots met before the passing of the Reform Bill, and when Lord GREY resigned the post of Prinie Minister, now openly peach against the Revolution of July—openly refuse to pray for the King of the French in their churches ; openly refuse to pay him any mark of respect or de- ference—and publicly proclaim their convictions and desires in favour of Ile NRY the Fifth and a third Restoration. And why is all this ?— Because the Guam n- ment of Loris PHILIP has refused to march onwards with the cause of liberty and the people , and therefore the cause has receded. But why do I refer to foreign illustrations? Look at home ! Look at the discussions in the thrust. of Lords ! Look at the late election in Scotland ! Look at the rejection In huge majorities—much large' than last year—of the question of pensions and aim- cures, as proposed by DANIEL WHITTLE HARVEY; and at the success every- where of the Conservative party amongst the organs and supporters of the Whigs. These sic facts : and why is all this?—Because Lord GREY is afraid of the 'people, afraid of liberty, afraid of going on ; and therefore the eausc which he ought have for ever placed beyond the teach of injury or retrogres- sion, has indubitably receded. If the House of Commons should be dissolved to-day, there would be an increase of fifty Conservative Members. And why ? —Because, if the came of civil and religious liberty does not advance, it must retrograde; for it cannot reniain stationary.
Within the last few days I have read with much advantage a private letter, written by an English dignitary of the Church of England, to a Tory nobleman who was at Paris. I do not profess to give the words, but the substance is air follows.
" It will not do for us to overthrow the \Slags at the present time. We must first let them light the battle with the Dissenters. ou them the odium must remain of re- fusing the Dissenters' claims, and not on the Tories. We can alterw ants follow in their steps; but must not take the lead. I f the Whigs joined the Dissenters. our cause would be hopeless. and the separation of Church from State might be carried in a month. We must then encourage the Whigs to fight the battle of the Church against the Dissenters ; and afterwards we may See What eau be done to overthrow them."
This is the confession of a dignitary of the Church, of a Dean, of a well- known and very able Dean, viz. " That if the Whigs joined the Dissenters, the Church might be separated from die State in a month." The Whigs hope hy conceding to the Church "hair " that they shall obtain its support hereafter. They are wofully mistaken ; but that is no reason why the Dissenters amid delay their demand.
Before I terminate my letter, suffer me briefly to point out to you the retro- grade movement of the cause of liberty in other countries than France and Great Britain since 1830, in consequence of the timid and nervous conduct of those who undertook to control and direct the Revolution of July.
Look at HOLLAND! The old King WILLIAM defies England and France; and though years have elapsed since a treaty was agreed between those two powers, recognizing the independence of Belgium, yet, up to this hour, Belgium is unknown, and a map of Evrope cannot point out her boundaries. Look at 1.1s.xurusi! In 1830, the Orangeists and Legitimists hung down their heads in despair, fled, remained passive, and considered their cause as lost ; but in 1884, there are Orangeists in each Chamber ; and at Gand, Brussels, Ant- werp, and Liege, they are in a state of perpetual conspiracy against Leoroao and his Government. And whv is this ?—Because, for fear of offending Prus- sia and Austria, Russia and Ilidland, the Whigs and Juste Alilieu of France and England have not dared to finish the question. Look at GERMANY! In 1830 anal 1831, all Germany was up; but now a Congress has been sitting for weeks and months in the capital of Austria, to which the representatives of Franee and of England have never even been invited, nay more from which they have been excluded ; though the Ambassadors are destroying the treaties of Vienna. Three years ago, the German Princes only spoke of concessions, but now 450,000 troops are to keep all in order ! Look at POLAND! In 1830 and 1831, we heard of " the clemency of the Emperor," of the " loyal intentions of Niciromts," of his resolution " to grant all that bad been secured to Poland by the treaties of 1814 and 1815 ;" and when some of us said that Poland would be made a Russian province and deprived of all her national institutions, we were accused of libelling the Czar, and aggravating unnecessarily a state of oppression and wo. And yet what has occurred through the procrastinating, timid policy of the Whigs? Why Poland has no Senate, no Diet, no senators, no national army, no national colours, no natio:n.1 language, no national governors or magistrates, and is become a mere Russian military province.
I could niultiply my examples, but the foregoing will suffice. I entreat, then, the Protestant Dissenters of Great Britain and Ireland to press on their claims; to demand, and that incessantly, the separation of the Church from the State ; to compel the Whigs to abdicate, or else to support the cause of civil and religious freedom ; and never to forget that, " now is the accepted time, and now for their cause is the day of salva • ." I am, Gentlemen, your friend and servant,
0. P. Q.