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to be regarded by the Liberals and Radicals as the natural order of things.

The second reason for Gladstone's hold on the rank and file of the Liberal Party in the House of Commons was, I think, his towering intellectual eminence; his gradual but certain progress to a liberalism much in advance of the liberalism of Melbourne, Palmerston, and Russell; his mastery of parliamentary usages, traditions, and business; his increasing reputation for statesmanship; his sincerity, and, perhaps more than all, the loftiness of his ideals in personal, social, and political life.

Looking now at Gladstone and his great political career from the standpoint of an English Nonconformist I feel that no student of parliamentary history of the nineteenth century will deny that Gladstone, as a leader of the Liberal Party, at times sorely tried the Free Churchmen who formed the majority of the Liberal and Radical parties in the constituencies. His type of churchmanship was not one that could evoke much sympathy from the Free Churchmen who at election after election, from 1832 to 1885, went to the polls to support Whig and Radical candidates. The Whig Party, between the revolution of 1688 and the end of the long Tory régime in 1829, had had the consistent support of the Nonconformists. In matters which affected religious freedom and religious equality the Nonconformists had more to expect from the Whigs than from the Tories. They got little from the Whigs until the test and corporation acts were repealed in 1828; but that Nonconformist sympathies were on the right side in the eighteenth century is shown by the opposition of the Tories to Lord John Russell's successful movement for the repeal of the test act which culminated in 1828.

In the days of the unreformed House of Commons, when there were not more than 150,000 electors in England and Wales, it is difficult to estimate what was the value of the Nonconformist support to the Whig Party. But whatever it was worth it went to the Whigs; and it went increasingly to the Whigs from 1832 to 1867; in many constituencies until as late as 1885. Nonconformists in the struggle for religious equality had nothing to hope from the Tories; and it goes without saying that Free Churchmen who were then and are still struggling for religious equality, were disposed to support the party which had carried the reform act of 1832, and three years later had swept away the corrupt municipalities which for two centuries had buttressed the corrupt system of parliamentary representation.

Keen appreciation of these reforms of the thirties, and an expectation of more help in the struggle for religious equality tied the Nonconformists-Congregationalists, Baptists, Quakers, and Unitarians to the Whig party from 1832 to 1866, when Gladstone succeeded Russell as the leader of the Whigs and Liberals. It is

scarcely too much to say that without this support and without the aid of the Liberal daily press, which at this time was largely if not exclusively controlled by Free Churchmen, Gladstone could not have been premier in 1868 or again in 1881.

Free Churchmen were conscious of what their support meant for the Liberal Party at election times, and it was this consciousness that made Gladstone's halting support of measures for the repeal of university tests, introduced after 1868, and his attitude on the education. question in 1870 the more trying to the Free Church electorate. The greatest trial of Free Church loyalty to Gladstone came in 1870. Then the education question could have been settled and an end made to the interweaving of the Established Church and popular education which had been in progress since 1833. But Gladstone's devotion to his church outrivaled his liberalism. A splendid opportunity was lost; and the elementary education question is to-day one of the most contentious questions in English politics. Forster paid a heavy penalty for his part in this failure of liberalism in 1870. It led to his being thrust aside as leader of the Liberal Party when Gladstone temporarily withdrew in 1875 from the lead of the opposition in the House of Commons after the defeat of his party at the general election of 1874.

Gladstone's attitude toward the question of religious equality was the greatest strain he put on the loyalty of the rank and file of the Liberal party in the House of Commons and in the constituencies until he committed himself to Home Rule in 1886. For a time there was some sagging in the loyalty of Free Churchmen. But the recovery began in 1875. It was fully complete by the general election of 1880; and it may be said that no Liberal leader in the nineteenth century enjoyed a more loyal or continuous support from Free Churchmen than Gladstone. Gladstone, in spite of his imperfect sympathy with the cause of religious equality, appealed to Free Churchmen much more than Grey, Melbourne, Palmerston, or even Russell had done. His liberalism as it developed was more robust than the liberalism of any other Whig leader of the nineteenth century. His private life made an appeal to Free Churchmen. His eloquence put him far above his contemporaries in both parties, and in all that goes to statesmanship in a country with representative institutions, Peel alone can be compared with Gladstone.

Conditions which are disappearing helped Gladstone to surmount the disadvantages which arose from his aloofness from the rank and file of his party in the House of Commons and from his lack of full sympathy with the liberalism of which religious equality is an essential element. His great qualities and above all his sincerity and his idealism drew men of liberal convictions to him, in spite of those

characteristics which Mr. Lucy describes, and those of which Free Churchmen were wont to complain between 1870 and 1880. But the conditions that favored Gladstone-the veneration in which leaders of the governing classes were popularly regarded, and the eagerness of Free Churchmen to think the best of the Liberal leaderare not continuing; and if any conclusion can be drawn from political tendencies and developments in England since the new century began, it is that no Liberal leader in the future will be able to hold aloof from the rank and file of his party as Gladstone did, or to continue to offer only compromises which settle nothing in matters in which the issue of religious freedom and religious equality is concerned.

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