The Age of George III

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A Dissenters' Protest against the Test and Corporation Acts

[Evangelical Magazine (1828), vi.21-2]

Taken from Norman Gash, The Age of Peel (London, Edward Arnold, 1973), with the kind permission of Professor Gash. Copyright of this document, of course, remains with him.

The General Body of Ministers of the Three Denominations was a body which had existed since 1727 to represent the Presbyterians, Congregationalists (formerly known as Independents), and Baptists in their dealings with the government of the day. The United Committee of Dissenters set up in 1827 to conduct the parliamentary campaign for the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts had requested them to prepare fresh petitions for the 1828 session. The Rev. John Rippon was a well known Baptist divine, pastor at Carter Lane and New Park St., London (1773-1836), and a former editor of the Baptist Annual Register.

At an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Protestant Dissenting Ministers of the Three Denominations, held at the Library, Redcross Street, on Tuesday, November the 13, 1827, The Rev. John Rippon, D.D. in the Chair,

It was unanimously Resolved,

  1. That this Body esteem it to be a Christian duty to renew the Declaration of the injustice, impolicy, and profane tendency, of the Corporation and Test Acts; their injustice, in excluding Protestant Dissenters from civil and political advantages, accessible to other classes of his Majesty's subjects, not more loyal, or more zealous or active in the support of the constitution of the country than themselves; their impolicy, in creating divisions amongst Britons, and in depriving the King and country of the services of a large part of the people of these realms; and their profane tendency, in as much as they prostitute a supreme and holy ordinance of our religion to worldly and uncharitable purposes.
  2. That they do again petition both Houses of Parliament, in the approaching Session, for the Repeal of so much of the aforesaid Acts as relates to the Sacramental Test.

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