Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/127
��sects, it is essentially the Church of religious liberty. Whether in one direction or another, it is continually possessed by the ambition, not of excluding, but of including, all shades of relig- ious thought, all sorts and conditions of men; and, standing out like a lighthouse over a stormy ocean, it marks the entrance to a port where the millions and the masses of those who are wearied at times with the woes of the world, and troubled often by the trials of existence, may search for and may find that peace which passeth all understanding. I can not, and will not, allow myself to believe that the English people, who are not only naturally religious, but also emi- nently practical, will ever consent, for the petty purpose of gratifying sectarian animosity, or for the wretched object of pandering to infidel proclivities — will ever consent to deprive them- selves of so abundant a fountain of aid and con- solation, or acquiesce in the demolition of an institution which elevates the life of the nation, and consecrates the acts of the State.
Last, but not least — no, rather first — in the scheme of Tory politics come the Commons of England, with their marvelous history ; their an- cient descent, combining the blood of many na- tions; their unequaled liberties, and, I believe, their splendid future. The social progress of the Commons by means of legislative reform un- der the lines and carried on under the protection of the institutions whose utility I have endeav- ored to describe to you— that must be the policy