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my first visit or my second after receiving his letter, and fearful that the Cabinet should come to some unpleasant resolution, I went to the Treasury on Friday. There I saw Sir G. Cooper. I possessed him of the danger of a partial, and the inevitable mischief of the total rejection of the bill. I reminded him of the understood compact between parties, upon which the whole scheme of the toleration originating in the English bill was formed, - of the fair part which the Whigs had acted in a business which, though first started by them, was supposed equally acceptable to all sides, and the risk of which they took upon themselves, when others declined it. To this I added such matter as I thought most fit to engage government, as government, - not to sport with a singular opportunity which offered for the union of every description of men amongst us in support of the common interest of the whole; and I ended by desiring to see Lord North upon the subject. Sir Grey Cooper showed a very right sense of the matter, and in a few minutes after our conversation I went down from the Treasury chambers to Lord North's house. I had a great deal of discourse with him. He told me that his ideas of toleration were large, but that, large as they were, they did not comprehend a promiscuous establishment, even in matters merely civil; that he thought the established religion ought to be the religion of the state; that, in this idea, he was not for the repeal of the sacramental test; that, indeed, he knew the Dissenters in general did not greatly scruple it; but that very want of scruple showed less zeal against the Establishment; and, after all, there could no provision be made by human laws against those who made light of the tests which were formed to discriminate opinions. On all this he spoke with a good deal of temper. He did not, indeed, seem to think the test itself, which was rightly considered by Dissenters as in a manner dispensed with by an annual act of Parliament, and which in Ireland was of a late origin, and of much less extent than here, a matter of much moment. The thing which seemed to affect him most was the offence that would be taken at the repeal by the leaders among the Church clergy here, on one hand, and, on the other, the steps which would be taken for its repeal in England in the next session, in consequence of the repeal in Ireland. I assured him, with great truth, that we had no idea among the Whigs of moving the repeal of the test. I confessed very freely, for my own part, that, if it were brought in, I should certainly vote for it; but that I should neither use, nor did I think applicable, any arguments drawn from the analogy of what was done in other parts of the British dominions. We did not argue from analogy, even in this island and United Kingdom. Presbytery was established in Scotland. It became no reason either for its religious or civil establishment here. In New England the Independent Congregational Churches had an established legal maintenance ; whilst that country continued part of the British empire, no argument in favor of Independency was adduced from the practice of New England. Government itself lately thought fit to establish the Roman Catholic religion in Canada; but they would not suffer an argument of analogy to be used for its establishment anywhere else. These things were governed, as all things of that nature are governed, not by general maxims, but their own local and peculiar circumstances. Finding, however, that, though he was very cool and patient, I made no great way in the business of the Dissenters, I turned myself to try whether, falling in with his maxims, some modification might not be found, the hint of which I received from your letter relative to the Irish Militia Bill, and the point I labored was so to alter the clause as to repeal the test quoad military and revenue offices: for these being only subservient parts in the economy and execution, rather than the administration of affairs, the politic, civil, and judicial parts would still continue in the hands of the conformists to religious establishments. Without giving any hopes, he, however, said that this distinction deserved to be considered. After this, I strongly pressed the mischief of rejecting the whole bill: that a notion went abroad, that government was not at this moment very well pleased with the Dissenters, as not very well affected to the monarchy; that, in general, I conceived this to be a mistake, – but if it were not, the rejection of a bill in favor of others, because something in favor of them was inserted, instead of humbling and mortifying, would infinitely exalt them: for, if the legislature had no means of favoring those whom they meant to favor, as long as the Dissenters could find means to get themselves included, this would make them, instead of their only being subject to restraint themselves, the arbitrators of the fate of others, and that not so much by their own strength (which could not be prevented in its operation) as by the coöperation of those whom they opposed. In the conclusion, I recommended, that, if they wished well to the measure which was the main object of the bill, they must explicitly make it their own, and stake themselves upon it; that hitherto all their difficulties had arisen from their indecision and their wrong measures; and to make Lord North sensible of the necessity of giv. ing a firm support to some part of the bill, and to add weighty authority to my reasons, I read him your letter of the 10th of July. It seemed, in some measure, to answer the purpose which I intended. I pressed the necessity of the management of the affair, both as to conduct and as to gaining of men; and I renewed my former advice, that the Lord Lieutenant should be instructed to consult and cooperate with you in the whole affair. All this was, apparently, very fairly taken.

In the evening of that day I saw the Lord Chancellor. With him, too, I had much discourse. You know that he is intelligent, sagacious, systematic, and determined. At first he seemed of opinion that the relief contained in the bill was so inadequate to the mass of oppression it was intended to remove, that it would be better to let it stand over, until a more perfect and better digested plan could be settled. This seemed to possess him very strongly. In order to combat this notion, and to show that the bill, all things considered, was a very great acquisition, and that it was rather a preliminary than an obstruction to relief, I ventured to show him your letter. It had its effect. He declared himself roundly against giving anything to a confederacy, real or apparent, to distress government; that, if anything was done for Catholics or Dissenters, it should be done on its own separate merits, and not by way of bargain and compromise; that they should be each of them obliged to government, not each to the other; that this would be a perpetual nursery of faction. In a word, he seemed so determined on not uniting these plans, that all I could say, and I said everything I could think of, was to no purpose. But when I insisted on the disgrace to government which must arise from their rejecting a proposition recommended by themselves, because their opposers had made a mixture, separable too by themselves, I was better heard. On the whole, I found him well disposed.

As soon as I had returned to the country, this af. fair lay so much on my mind, and the absolute necessity of government's making a serious business of it, agreeably to the seriousness they professed, and the object required, that I wrote to Sir G. Cooper, to remind him of the principles upon which we went in our conversation, and to press the plan which was suggested for carrying them into execution. He wrote to me on the 20th, and assured me, that Lord North had given all due attention and respect to what you said to him on Friday, and will pay the same respect to the sentiments conveyed in your letter: everything you say or write on the subject undoubtedly demands it." Whether this was mere civility, or showed anything effectual in their intentions, time and the success of this measure will show. It is wholly with them; and if it should fail, you are a witness that nothing on our part has been wanting to free so large a part of our fellow-subjects and fellow-citizens from slavery, and to free government from the weakness and danger of ruling them by force. As to my own particular part, the desire of doing this has betrayed me into a step which I cannot perfectly reconcile to myself. You are to judge how far, on the circumstances, it may be excused. I think it had a good effect. You may be assured that I made this

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