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the just tribute of the wise and the good to that Monarch under whose sway so mighty an undertaking shall be accomplished. Of a truth, sceptres are most chiefly to be envied for that they bestow the power of thus conquering and ruling thus. It was the boast of Augustus--it formed part of the glare in which the perfidies of his earlier years were lost—that he found Rome of brick, and left it of marble; a praise not unworthy a great Prince, and to which the present reign has its claims also. But how much nobler will be our Sovereign's boast, when he shall have it to say, that he found law dear, and left it cheap; found it a sealed book-left it a living letter; found it the patrimony of the rich-left it the inheritance of the poor; found it the two-edged sword of craft and oppression -left it the staff of honesty and the shield of innocence! To me, much reflecting on these things, it has always seemed a worthier honour to be the instrument of making you bestir yourselves in this high matter, than to enjoy all that office can bestow-office, of which the patronage would be an irksome incumbrance, the emoluments superfluous to one content with the rest of his industrious fellow-citizens, that his own hands minister to his wants; and as for the power supposed to follow it-I have lived near half a century, and I have learned that
power and place may be severed. But one power I do prize: that of being the advocate of my countrymen here, and their fellow labourer elsewhere, in those things which concern the best interests of mankind. That power I know full well, no government can give-no change
EXTRACTS FROM A SPEECH
HOUSE OF COMMONS,
SUPPORT OF THE REPEAL
TEST AND CORPORATION ACTS,
FEBRUARY 26th, 1828.
The Honourable Baronet* says, “I do not like “ to talk so slightingly of—I do not like to dis
parage—the wisdom of our ancestors.” Far be it from me, Sir, to disparage the praise thus bestowed by the Honourable Baronet on “ the wisdom of our ancestors.” The phrase, however, I consider to have been one of the most fruitful sources of mischief to the country ; but I must inform the Honourable Baronet, that that phrase had been disparaged long before the existence of the Test and Corporation Acts -not by ridicule, but by sound argument-not
• Sir Robert H, Inglis.
by the sneers of the senseless, but by the soundest wisdom, the greatest knowledge, the highest intellect, that England ever produced. I commend the phrase to the mitigated censure of the Honourable Baronet. For it was a Lord High Chancellor of England-a person of the name of Bacon, or some such name- a name, perhaps, which has no respect in the eyes
of the Honourable Baronet—who first stamped the seal of disparagement on the phrase which the Honourable Baronet brings forward this evening “ to fright the House from its propriety.” He it was, Sir, who first reprobated the eternallyrecurring praises of the “wisdom of our ancestors.” He it was, who laughed at the phrase
experience of past ages. 6. In truth,” said he, “ if not a contradiction in terms, it is the gros“ sest abuse of language: for it proceeds upon “ this basis, that the world was older and wiser “ when it was younger, than it now is, when
every youth knows more than the grey hairs “ of former times."
We have been told, Sir, that the imposing the Sacrament as a test has been long in existence; and we have often been asked,
« What does it signify?” This question has been repeated, Sir, this evening; and it has been
answered - unanswerably answered by my Honourable Friend below me,* and by the Honourable Gentleman who spoke so ably in the early part of the evening.T“ What does it signify?” Why, Sir, I say it signifies every thing. First and foremost it signifies a great deal to the Church itself : and here I speak as a Churchman-as a member of the Christian Church established in England-founded on the doctrines of the Scripture, patronised by the State, and confirmed by statute, as well as by common law.
I would ask every man--particularly every serious man, who has made religion an object of his contemplation, and who values it a rush, whether there could, by possibility, be devised a greater impropriety—a more polluting, more degrading, indecency and impiety, than to make the Sacrament a custom of the Constitution, and the test of office—it is the most holy rite of our religion--of the purest religion upon earth-of a religion which, above all others, that all time had seen dawn upon man, was most abhorrent of secular ties--most alien from fleshly purposes of a pecularly mild character; and which, from its beginning, though other religions allowed mankind to share with other Gods, had forbad contamination with such Gods, and fleshly lusts, and the worship of
• Mr. Fergusson. + Mr. Wilbraham.