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3-040 (Raw)

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author,male,Perry (Bishop),un addressee,family
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Public Written
Official Correspondence
Clark, 1957
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3-040-raw.txt — 2 KB

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REV. AND DEAR SIRS - Although I fully agree to the principle enunciated in the first clause of the Petition which you left with me yesterday, and in the sentiments expressed in the latter part of the second, and in the third clause, yet I am obliged, after full consideration, to decline signing it.
My reasons are, first, that there are some of the sentiments, e.g., that expressed in the former part of the second clause, in which I do not concur; and, secondly, that, in the position which I occupy, I do not consider myself justified in petitioning the Legislature for the abolition of a grant, which many of my clerical brethren, as well as of the laity of my own branch of the church, regard as absolutely necessary for the maintenance of an efficient ministry.
I have felt the less difficulty in coming to this decision, because I have already expressed my opinions upon the subject of this grant in the Church of England Messenger for September. In accordance with these opinions, I am myself perfectly willing to encounter any difficulties which the immediate withdrawal of all assistance by the State towards the maintenance of public worship might occasion, in order that our Colony might be freed from the guilt of supporting a corrupt form of Christianity. [358] I think, however, that it would be more equitable to name a period, after which such assistance should cease, rather than withdraw it altogether at once.
As to any increase of the amount of the present grant, I would most earnestly deprecate it, as implying an approval of, and tending to perpetuate, a false and most pernicious principle; and as stereotyping, so far as the State can do, every existing religious error. 
The recent petition of the Roman Catholics must, I should think, make every Protestant Legislator sensible, that that Church feels itself dependent upon State support for its continued existence in this Colony, and that its Priests are aware of the impossibility of retaining their dominion over the consciences of an intelligent and independent people, such as the inhabitants of Victoria are likely to become. Great, therefore in my opinion, is the guilt of assisting to - prop up among us, this system of Satanic delusion. I am, Reverend and dear Sirs,
Your affectionate brother in the Lord,
C.-MELBOURNE. The Rev. J. Clow, and the Rev. A. M. Ramsay.