§ Sir Andrew Agnew
moved, that the Bill for the better Observance of the Sabbath be read a second time.
§ Sir Oswald Mosley
, in seconding the motion of the hon. Baronet, thought that it would be highly impertinent for him to offer any lengthened remarks in favour of this Bill, after the numerous petitions which had just been presented, and it would be equally impertinent in any one who should also assert, that the Bill had not excited the attention of the kingdom, when it might be said that no subject had come under their cognizance for years which had excited so much attention, or on which so many petitions had been presented, except the Slavery Abolition and the Reform Bill. In seconding the Motion of the hon. Baronet, he did so in the confident hope, that the House would treat the hon. Baronet with more respect than they had done the preceding year. He thought the hon. Baronet's intentions had been widely misunderstood in that House, and as much misinterpreted out of doors; for it seemed as if, looking at the marginal notes, hon. Members had seen the word "penalty" only, and had accordingly named the Bill a Bill of Pains and Penalties. Let him ask, how could the provisions of any law be enforced without penalties; but to avoid entering on the discussion of these matters now, he would only say, that the Bill might be very greatly altered and amended in the Committee; and he should pass to the consideration of the principles on which the Bill was founded. In a Christian country, such as this was, the due observance of the Sabbath was a primary subject of consideration. He might be told, that there already existed legislative enactments for enforcing that observance; but he, as a Magistrate of many years' 315 standing, could say truly, that he had found the existing laws totally inefficient for that purpose, and therefore he came to the conclusion that some others were necessary. He saw hon. Members' eyes turned up,—and, among the others, the hon. member for Montgomeryshire. Now, let him ask that hon. Member, whether he had not observed more desecration of the Sabbath in his county since the Beer Bill had passed, than he ever witnessed before? And now let hon. Members look at this Bill. It professed to secure to all classes that rest on the Sabbath, from which they were now precluded, owing to the established customs and usages of society at large. Did it deprive the poor of any of their recreations?—No. Why, truly, if travelling a few miles in and out of town on a Sabbath was a deprivation, then the Bill prevented that; for this was a desecration of the Sabbath. But the Bill would not prevent any one from travelling to church or chapel on a Sunday. He should like to know what the LORD'S Day was instituted for, if it were not for the worship of GOD? And all the Bill sought for was, to give to those classes who were now denied it the privilege of worshipping GOD; and the petitions of the journeymen bakers, and of the hackney-coach and stage-coach drivers, proved, that such was the nature of the measure. The Bill interfered with no man—["It does."]—with no man's conscience. It took away from no man the liberty of attending whatever place of worship his peculiar creed induced him to frequent; and all it sought to effect was, to prevent men from bindering others from attending their places of worship. For instance, there was a clause which prohibited travelling on the LORD'S Day. Now did that interfere with any man's conscience? Any man might travel as far as his chapel and no further. But would it be said, that the Bill was so objectionable that any hon. Member could oppose it altogether? If it were so, let him only point to the preamble of the Bill, and declare, that if the House assented to the principle therein asserted, it would do wrong; if it were not so, then let the Bill be suffered to go into Committee, where there would be plenty of time to alter and amend it. Many bills had been so altered in the Committee, that the hon. Member who first framed them did not recognise his own work; and the same might main be 316 the case. If the House persisted in throwing this Bill out on the second reading, it would be in defiance of the petitions, and an insult to the feelings and wishes of the people; it would be equivalent to saying that the House would not legislate on the subject at all, even after they had been asked to do so by the kingdom at large. Under these circumstances, he suggested the propriety of suffering the Bill to go into Committee; if they did not, they might look for double the number of petitions on the subject in ensuing sessions; and they might also expect the matter to be forced upon them in a manner which would be anything but agreeable to themselves. He begged to second the motion of the hon. Baronet.
§ Mr. Edward Lytton Bulwer
said, he rose with great respect for the hon. Baronet's motives, and with the most cordial hatred for his theories of legislation, to move, that the Bill be read a second time that day six months. He agreed with the last speaker, that the hon. Baronet's Bill had been grossly misrepresented by those who asserted it would create too austere a veneration for the LORD'S Day; on the contrary, it would tend to bring the LORD'S Day into general disregard. He feared the hon. Baronet was a wolf in sheep's clothing—a philosopher in disguise, who aimed at endangering religion itself by showing to what gloomy and tyrannical purposes the name of religion might be applied. In the outset of the Bill, the hon. Baronet stated, that the laws on the Sabbath had become practically insufficient. When did any laws become impracticable? Why, when they were not suited to the spirit of the people. If the laws on the Sabbath were a dead letter, it was because they were already too severe. When on other branches of legislation—such, for instance, as the criminal code—the law lost its vigour, how did they restore it? Did they make it more severe? No! they made it more gentle. But the hon. Baronet, in his wisdom, would revive a law by making it more opposed to the genius of the times, and, by rendering it doubly severe, he would render it doubly inefficient. The hon. Baronet said, in his first clause, that the comforts and conscientious scruples of one class were not to be sacrificed to the supposed comfort and advantage of another. Yet all the rest of the Bill was ingeniously framed to contradict the assertion with 317 which he commenced. For, by-and-by, the hon. Baronet asserted, that no part of the gloomy blessings of his Bill extended to menial servants in the employment of their masters. Here, then, according to the hon. Baronet's creed, was an exclusive class especially marked out for perdition. The comfort of no class was to be sacrificed to the supposed advantage of another; yet here the more numerous class (the servants) was sacrificed to the less numerous class (the masters). Again, who were to apprehend the naughty persons attending a news-room, or sauntering into a tea-garden? The policemen, he supposed. What I Here, then, was another class marked out for perdition. Why were the comforts, the conscientious scruples, of the policemen to be sacrificed to the supposed comfort and advantage of the hon. Baronet, or those zealous and sanctified persons he so ably represented, whoCompound for sins they are inclined to,By damning those they have no mind to?Unhappy servants! Unfortunate policemen! Why were their souls less dear to the hon. Baronet than the souls of the journeymen bakers, and the souls of the journeymen fishmongers? The hon. Member who seconded the Bill, said it would outrage the consciences of none. What! was there not, too, a large body of Christians in the country, as fervent, as orthodox as the hon. Baronet himself, who most conscientiously differed with the hon. Baronet in his interpretation of the Sabbath—who considered it most unscriptural to confound the Jewish Sabbath with the Christian Sunday, who considered it even wicked to take from the Christian Sunday its festive and cheerful character? Why was the comfort—why were the conscientious scruples of these men to be sacrificed to the supposed advantage of those who agreed with the hon. Baronet? Did not these exceptions—did not his own exemptions, teach that hon. Gentleman, that he had embarked, rudderless and pilotless, in a sea of blunders—that, in an artificial state of society, some must work, that others might rest—that nature herself allowed no universal rest? Universal rest was universal stagnation. Did the Bill not teach him, that even the puritanical net the hon. Baronet would cast on the waters let out of its clumsy meshes the very species of fish he was most desirous to catch? Apply the hon. Baronet's principle generally, and the maddest phi- 318 losopher never devised a principle half so revolutionary. Not sacrifice something of the comfort of one class to the supposed advantage of another! Why, all society rested upon exactly the opposite principle. Society was a bundle of mutual sacrifices; else why did the ploughman work—why did the soldier fight? Why did the hon. Baronet himself give up the silken comforts of ease, and consent to be badgered in that House? Was it not a sacrifice of comfort in some, for the supposed advantage of others? Having, then, excepted from the operation of his Bill, servants and policemen, and, very properly, medical men, and, very strangely, the milkwomen—for milk being a liquid peculiarly holy and Sabbatical, those venerable ladies were allowed to sell their wares twice a day, he supposed upon some TE Deum principle—the hon. Baronet next exempted from the snares of his Bill another very numerous class—namely, the rich. The inequality with which all such Bills must work had been so well exposed by many Members, but especially by the member for Bath, that he should not dwell more on that point, except in reference to what the hon. Baronet probably considered as the fairest part of his Bill. No doubt, when he shut up the news-room for the poor, and the club-room for the rich, he imagined he was acting most impartially; yet mark the difference: shut up the club-room for the rich man, and he could enjoy himself at home; but shut up the news-room for the poor man, and he had no such resource: he could not afford to entertain friends—to give dinners; you condemned him to a sullen hearth, which he probably enlivened by venting his ungrateful spleen at the hon. Baronet's Bill on his unfortunate wife and children. Take, again, what no doubt the hon. Baronet thought the least objectionable part of his Bill—namely, the prevention of selling and publishing newspapers on a Sunday. A newspaper was often the only channel through which the poor man obtained a knowledge of what was politically wrong and right. On how many points (take the Trades' Unions for one), it was necessary for a poor man to know the nice shades of distinction between what was legal and what was illegal—how necessary for his own liberty, perhaps his own life—how necessary for the preservation of the property of his neighbour! And yet here the hon. Baronet would take 319 away from the poor man that only channel of information or morality itself, on the only day he had leisure to read it. On a Sunday, the hon. Baronet stopped all public conveyances—coaches were literally not to be found on the stand. Suppose a poor man received intelligence on a Saturday night, that his daughter in the country was ill—in want of pecuniary assistance—of medical aid—could he reach her? No! The coach was in the coach-house—the horses in the stables—if he stir a broad, he could be seized—whatever horse he might borrow would be impounded: and this in the name of religion. Well, but the coaches were to stop on a Sunday, or rather Saturday night; you put up at an inn; unless you sleep at that inn, you could get nothing to eat all day, for the Bill says, that no innkeepers or coffee house-keepers shall give victuals to anybody, or a glass of beer, or a glass of wine, unless the appetite be lawfully begotten by having slept at the inn the night before; so that if your inn be bad—if your food be wretched—if the prices be extortionate—if your room admits all the rains and winds of Heaven—you can't stir elsewhere—there you are, and there you must be, at the mercy of your host—behind you is discomfort, but before you is starvation. Driven from land, would you take refuge on the sea? Alas! even there, the torpedo touch of the hon. Baronet's Bill has arrested your progress. The Bill says, that no barge, vessel, smack, boat, or other vessel shall leave its port, or commence its voyage on the Lord's Day. In many of the Northern ports, a vessel could only sail by some particular breeze; so that if there had been a dead calm for a fortnight, and up starts this capricious breeze on a Sunday, all eyes are intent—all hands ready. Stop! the heavy anchor of the hon. Member's Bill is fixed to the vessel—the breeze dies away—commerce suffers—trade is injured—business is torpid; the mighty wheels of the greatest commercial country in the world are locked; the property—the subsistence of thousands is endangered, because the hon. Baronet, in his great benevolence had brought in a Bill, that one class of society should not be engaged on Sunday for the supposed advantage of another. And now, what authority from Scripture or from the Church, had the hon. Baronet for that harlequinade with which he would convert the Christian's Sunday into the Judaic Sab- 320 bath? Not from the Scriptures, in which St. Paul plainly says to the Colossians, "Let no man judge you in meat, or drink, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath-days, which are a shadow of things to come. The body is of Christ." Not in the Fathers, for Tertullian declares it unlawful to fast on a Sunday, and describes the Christians of his time as indulging themselves that day in mirth and festivity. And the reason why this day was thus cheerfully spent, and why it was ordained, another of the Fathers (Justin, who wrote 150 years after Christ) expressly declared, that, so far from having any connection with the Jewish Sabbath, the Christians met on a Sunday, because it was the first day in which God made the world; and also on this day, Christ rose from the dead. And the moment we thus discovered the origin of the Lord's Day, the moment we separated it from the Sabbath of the Jews, and perceived that it was dedicated to the joyous recollection of the creation of the world, and the resurrection of the dead, it was easy to see why it was kept, not as a fast, but a festival, and hallowed not by sadness, but by joy. So what said the early ecclesiastical decrees? In 357, one Council anathematized those who passed the Sunday in bodily mortification and fasting. In 364, the Council of Laodicea condemned the practice of abstaining from secular employments on Sunday, as Judaizing. In the Edict of Constantine, which first established the festival of the Sabbath by law, it was never held out as enjoined by Scripture, but as being merely of civil expediency; and all persons engaged in agriculture were invited to continue their affairs on that day. Clear proofs these, that the early Christians never confounded the first day of the week with that Judaic Sabbath which they deemed abrogated with the rest of the Jewish dispensation. If the hon. Baronet could not support his doctrine by the Scriptures or by the Fathers, could the hon. Baronet support it by the early doctrines of our own Church? On the contrary, the Act of the pious Edward 6th (1547) says, that if men from any scrupulosity or grudge of conscience, superstitiously abstain from working on the holidays, they will grievously displease God; so, in 1552, it was declared that any husbandman, labourer, &c. may work any kind of work at his free-will and pleasure. He thought these latter authorities 321 went too far—he thought, in their anxiety not to confound the Christian Sunday with the Jewish Sabbath, they had encroached on the blessed principle of a day of rest. But yet he would rather rely on even their authority than on that on which the hon. Baronet relied. What was that authority? Why, 1200 years after the institution of Christianity, there was a certain Dr. Bound, who wrote in the year 1594—he proclaimed the Judaic Sabbath—the Puritans supported the notion—our own divines continued to oppose it; and it was soon made a cry of party as well as of religion. The hon. Baronet must pardon him, then, for taking the interpretation of the Sabbath rather from the Scriptures, the Fathers, the early Christians, and the early Reformers, than for placing implicit belief in the theology of Dr. Bound, and the unerring wisdom of the Habakkuks and Ezekiels—the Faint-nots and the Spare-nots—from whose rational and sober fountains of faith the hon. Baronet drew the principles on which he asked the legislators of England to act in the nineteenth century! But even supposing, that the hon. Baronet's doctrines were right, what proof had he, that the Sabbath was not well observed, or that the regard for that day had decreased? Far from any proof to that effect, what said his own Committee? First, that the Lord's day was better kept now than at any previous period; second, that its infringement among the lower class was from a want of a better example among the rich; for which the House could not legislate, and did not legislate, by the Bill under discussion. What said the policeman, the Committee had examined? Why, that "there were less excesses on a Sunday than any other day." All experience proved, then, that the country was progressing in moral and religious, as well as intellectual improvement. He respected the petitions before them; but he was sure, that there were few who signed them, who, if they knew all the clauses of the Bill, would not recoil from its frantic fanaticism, or would agree, at the recommendation of Pharisaical hypocrisy, to exchange the cheerful holiday of the Christian faith, for a worse than Judaic Sabbath.
§ Mr. Potter
When the hon. Baronet moved for leave to bring in a Bill for the better Observance of the Sabbath, it was evident to me, that he intended to renew his Bill of last Session; under that impres- 322 sion, I opposed its introduction, from a conviction that it was totally at variance with the feelings of the community. The result has shown, that I was correct, for the Bill which the hon. Baronet has brought in is, with a slight alteration, the same as his former one; and although that measure was rejected at the second reading by a majority of only six, almost every gentleman who supported the second reading said, that, in Committee, the Bill must undergo considerable alteration. The Bill now before the House is, to my mind, so objectionable, that I feel convinced, no alterations which can be made will render it acceptable to the House and the country. I object to the very preamble; there is, in my opinion, an irreverent use of the name of the Deity, and a presumptuous supposition of what is his will towards man. If this Bill becomes the law of the land (which I trust it never will), and its provisions are carried into full effect, the consequences will be, that the greatest inconvenience and suffering will follow; the comforts and enjoyments of the inhabitants of large towns in particular will be interfered with and abridged, the supply of food for this great city will be endangered; and, what is worse, it will have a tendency to make men hypocritical; the pharisaical observance of the Sabbath was emphatically reproved by the great Founder of the Christian Religion, when he declared, that "the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." The penal enactments of this Bill affect chiefly the middling and labouring classes; the rich man, who has servants, carriages, horses, and pleasure boats, can use them if he pleases on the Sabbath; he can go to Richmond, Hampton Court, Windsor, Box-Hill, or any of the places near this great town; but the man who does not possess those luxuries, and wishes, on the only day he can leave his business, to visit, during the spring and summer months, the beautiful scenery of the places I have mentioned, is absolutely prevented from so doing, for he would not be able to hire a horse, carriage, or boat, or even to use a stage coach. The humbler citizen does not go so far from home on Sundays, but if he wishes to repair to Greenwich, Hampstead, or any of the villages near London, he needs a conveyance, and for sixpence he may be gratified; but, by the 9th, 10th, and 12th clauses of this Bill, he will be 323 prevented, and must walk through crowded streets, and dusty roads, to obtain a little fresh air, and will thus be prevented from beholding the beauteous green face of the earth, the lofty and majestic trees, and the shining hills and valleys, the bare contemplation of which is enough to direct his thoughts to the gracious and bountiful Creator, and this, too, on the only day he can be absent from work. In large towns, and this great city in particular, numbers of young men are employed during the week-days in warehouses, shops, factories, and workshops, many of which are in the dense and ill-ventilated part of the town, and many of them are obliged to attend until late on Saturday evening; many females are, during the week, closely confined in sewing; domestic servants can only get out on the Sunday; but if this Bill receives the sanction of Parliament, how severely will persons so situated suffer! I know the hardships and privations young men endure, who, during the week, are closely confined; for, when a young man, I was for some years engaged in a shop, and afterwards in a warehouse, in the towns of Birmingham and Manchester; my companions and I, from Monday morning until Saturday night, seldom or never had opportunity, or liberty, to take a walk, and at this distance of time well do I remember the delight we felt at the return of Sunday, when we made little excursions on horseback, or in gigs, to the neighbouring villages, there rambling through Shenstone's walks, Hagley Park, in the green lanes, or by the side of some brook, and this, too, was very frequently compatible with the observance of the Sabbath; for we often attended a country church; but had this Bill been in force, how greatly would our innocent enjoyments have been curtailed! I have referred to a period of near forty years ago; thousands of young people need similar relaxation; and I will be no party to interfere with, or take away, their necessary recreation, which I feel convinced would be the case if this Bill passes. The affluent can, in the afternoon of Sunday, meet at the social table, and partake of excellent food; but the labourer, who frequently is absent from his family on the week-days, or leaves his home early, with his dinner in his pocket, surely ought to have a hot and comfortable dinner on the Sunday; but by this Bill the public bakehouse is to be closed; his wife has no 324 convenience to cook; the husband is thus prevented sitting down with his family to a hot dinner; he becomes discontented, which often leads him into vicious and drinking company. Baking on the Sunday morning, for the benefit of the poor man, is prohibited, but, in the exception clause, bakers are allowed on Sunday afternoons "to set and superintend the sponge," as it is called, which requires considerable time and attention. First, the flour must be sifted, then setting the ferment, and afterwards mixing the flour and water, which is called setting the sponge; after which the dough must be made, which, altogether, occupies nearly the whole of Sunday afternoon; and why has this been permitted? Why, that the rich and luxurious may have new bread on Monday morning; so that the poor man must have a cold, uncomfortable dinner, that the Sabbath may be kept; but it may be broken for the purpose of pandering to the appetites of the lovers of new bread. This is another instance of the operation of the hon. Baronet's Bill, which, as I before stated, affects principally the middle and working classes. I feel convinced, that the public bakehouse cannot be closed on Sunday morning without seriously affecting the comforts of great numbers of the working class. I have made many inquiries, not only in London, but at Manchester, during the recess. In those parts of large towns inhabited by the humbler classes, few bakers cook less than fifty or sixty dinners; many a much greater number. I know bakers who, in spring and autumn, cook on Sundays 100 dishes, each of which furnishes an excellent dinner for a family; the charge in London is generally 2d.—in the country 1d. or 1½d. The whole process is over by one o'clock, and the journeymen, unless detained in "setting and superintending the sponge," are at liberty during the remainder of the day. I have said, that the provisions of the Bill now before the House chiefly affect the middle and working classes of society; but there is another part of the community who, if this Bill passes, will suffer—I mean a number, and a considerable number too, of the Members of this House. Many of us come up to attend to our duties, and do not bring any horses or carriages. Sunday is in general the only day we have time to get out of London to enjoy a little change and fresh 325 air; those who are so situated wish to hire horses and carriages; but by this Bill they will be prevented. A very short reference to the duties we are called upon to perform, and the time required, must, I think, convince the most rigid moralist that we are entitled to some little relaxation at the end of the week. I will just refer to last week (and I have known heavier weeks). The House sat fifty-four hours, being nearly an average of eleven hours per day. It was three o'clock before the House adjourned on Saturday morning. There were forty Committees on private Bills and thirty-five on public Bills, which occupied the time and attention of nearly all the Members. Saturday is in general a kind of clearing up day, and he must be hard-hearted who refuses to allow us a little recreation on Sunday. I am a very humble Member of this House, and take but little part in the public discussions; on Committees I endeavour to attend, and I can safely say, that if precluded making excursions on Sundays, I should be entirely unfit for business; and how much more is recreation required for those hon. Members who take a prominent part in the business of the House! The 14th Clause authorises Magistrates, Constables, and other persons, "to seize, with or without warrant, cattle or other animals, travelling on the Lord's Day, and to impound or otherwise detain them, until the Wednesday next ensuing," unless penalties, which are heavy, are sooner paid. I wonder what the noble Lord would say, if some of his fine fat oxen that were coming up for the London market were seized and impounded for four days? What a condition the poor animals would be in when they came out of the hands of the constable! I call upon the noble Lord and the landlords now present, particularly the owners of grazing land, to protect their tenants from the cruelty and injustice of this Bill. Is it possible, that it should be proposed to torment a poor dumb animal for the alleged purpose of promoting the service of God? The 19th Clause applies to the recovery and application of penalties. It is here provided, that the case shall be heard, whether the party accused be present or absent; and if a conviction take place, and the penalty or penalties with costs are not paid, distress and sale of goods and chattels shall take place; and the offender is to be committed to prison, 326 until it is ascertained that his goods and chattels are sufficient to pay the penalty and costs; if not, the offender shall be committed to the common gaol or House of Correction, so that a poor family may and will, if this Bill pass, be driven house-less into the streets, because the father may have obeyed the orders of his master, or been overtaken in liquor. Why has the hon. Baronet confined his legislation to the middling and working part of the community? I can guess at least—because they are the most defenceless. Last year the hon. Baronet put a notice on the votes for an Address to his Majesty to close Hyde Park on Sunday, why did he give that up? Because if he had persevered, we should have had, not the "Revolt of the Harem," not the "Revolt of the Workhouse," but the revolt of all the beauty and fashion of London; and where is the soldier, where is the police officer who could withstand the battery which would have been brought against the gates of the park. Why confine himself to Hyde Park? Why not close St. James's and the Green Park, for the keepers must be in attendance, and consequently break the Sabbath? I fear I am wearying the House, but I have little more to say. I again repeat my conviction, that the clauses of the Bill appear to me framed to catch and punish the middle and labouring classes, but allow the rich and powerful to escape. Instead of protecting, as the Bill purports to do, the part of the community least able to protect themselves, it imposes on them the most galling and cruel restrictions. The glaring injustice of the measure would render the law a mere dead letter on the Statute-book. No police force, however large, could carry it into effect, because it is repulsive to the feelings of humanity; and I will add, according to my firm conviction, contrary to the feelings of a vast majority of the people.
said, that, in rising to oppose this Bill, he did it in the most anxious desire to support any measure which might ever be presented to this House, the effect of which should be to promote the real interests of religion, without violating the just liberties of society, and especially of the poorer and more humble classes of it. He opposed it, also, in a sincere and most confident conviction, that, if this Bill were to be lost, the whole of this most important and moss interesting subject would be 327 referred to a Select Committee, to prepare a rational and truly religious measure, which might give a further protection to any classes of his Majesty's subjects, in respect of the observance of the Lord's-day, and which might not be in total opposition and hostility to the rights of the people. He assured his hon. friends opposite, that he was actuated by none but the most conscientious feeling, when he declared that he regarded this Bill as utterly incurable. It seemed to him to be a hopeless task to go into a Committee on such a collection of absurd and extravagant clauses. The second clause annihilated the valuable and excellent exception in the Statute 29th Charles 2nd, c. 7., which enabled the poor to have their Sunday dinners dressed from home. This clause, therefore, would either put an end to the only meal the poorer classes could ever enjoy in the bosom of their families, or it would impose upon them the necessity of much more labour to be performed at their own houses. The fifth clause imposed an additional penalty for drunkenness on the Sunday. Could there be conceived a more preposterous provision than this? The only rational mode of preventing intemperance on the Sunday was to prevent it on all the days of the week, and by the means of education and improved moral habits. Really, if the subject were not too serious, this clause would excite ridicule. It was known to be a familiar habit with persons who were most religious, to go for a short time to a news-room to read the papers on a Sunday. This might take place after the services of the church were concluded. It might be done by a person who, in addition to attendance on public worship, might have had prayers read in his own house both in the morning and evening, and who might have spent a considerable portion of the rest of the day in religious study; and yet this innocent act was subject to a penalty. It was a well-known practice in the southern counties of England, after evening church, to play at cricket; and this amusement was not only unattended by any immorality or excess, but it prevented the poor people having recourse to the public-house; and yet this recreation would be regarded by some person in authority as a pastime of public indecorum, within the seventh clause, and thus become exposed to punishment. Was this the way to serve the cause of true religion? He thought it would have a very different result. The hon. Baronet had 328 been accused of pressing hard upon the poor, and of sparing the rich. He thought he had been equally severe to both. If he had in some instances pressed heavily upon the poor, he had made most ample atonemeat in his 10th clause; for by that clause a gentleman of fortune, who travelled with four horses, would be liable, at the third and every subsequent stage of his journey on the Sunday, to the moderate penalty of 40l. Every hon. Member of that House must recollect, that, during the yast winter, many hundred sail of vessels were locked up at Portsmouth, by contrary winds, for nearly two months. He would suppose a favourable wind to have risen on a Saturday night. Would it be endured, that, after all the losses occasioned to the owners by this delay, every one of these vessels should be subject to a penalty of 100l. for availing themselves of the change of wind? These were the principal of these monstrous provisions; and he could never assent to the Bill which contained them. As the hon. Baronet had unquestionably founded this measure upon the basis of the fourth commandment, it became necessary to revert to the very prevalent misconception which confounded the Jewish Sabbath with the Christian festival of the Lord's Day. He begged to be understood as speaking of that, and every other commandment of the decalogue, with the most profound and religious veneration. Either the positive injunction to the Jews was in force at this moment, or it was not. If it was, why did the hon. Baronet disregard it? Why did he reject altogether the observance of the seventh day, in spite of the divine command?—Why were they guilty of so unwarrantable a presumption?—Why did the hon. Baronet permit any fire to be lighted in his house on that day?—Why did he expose himself to the punishment of death, inflicted on the man who presumed to pick up sticks on that day. If it were not in force, why was it appealed to as a law for us? He regarded the decalogue as introduced into the liturgy, not because it was a law to us, but on account of the high veneration so justly due to the admirable and beautiful moral precepts it inculcated; and which were, indeed, of the most universal obligation upon all mankind. Nothing could more decisively prove the distinction between the Jewish Sabbath and the Lord's Day than this,—that the first Christians who kept the Lord's Day, from the time of the Resurrection, being most of them Jews, kept also the Mosaic 329 Sabbath, and adhered to the whole of the Levitical law, while to the Gentiles they said, "Let no man judge you in meat or in drink, or in respect of a holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath Day." The Divine Founder of Christianity himself superseded the strict law of the Sabbath by his own authority, in commanding the cripple to take up his bed and walk—an act of work, and a clear violation of the old law and not necessary to the mere act of healing and charity,—and in defending the conduct of his disciples in plucking ears of corn on the forbidden day. Could there, then, be any reasonable doubt, that the Lord's Day was a festival founded entirely on the practice of the earliest Christian Church in commemoration and proof of that event, which was the corner-stone of our religion? It was, indeed, so far connected with the Jewish Sabbath, inasmuch as it embraced two principles in common with it;—the first allotting a day of rest to industry; the second, the setting apart a day for the performance of divine worship, without which no religion could be ever maintained. The good feelings of mankind, and the honest conscience of every individual, assisted by any law that was rational, and calculated to meet the wishes and wants of society, must determine the precise degree of relaxation, or even amusement, that was consistent with the performance of religious duties and the worship of God. Any such law he should be most anxious to support; any other, he should feel it his duty to oppose.
§ Mr. Hall
said, if he had found any of the clauses practicable, he would have given his consent to the second reading of the Bill; but he found them very much the reverse: it appeared to him that the effect of the Bill, if carried, would be to injure to a very great extent the internal trade, as well as injure the health of the country. As regarded the moral effect of the Bill, he quite agreed with those who thought that if the working classes of the people were deprived of the means of recruiting themselves by taking their pleasure abroad, they would of necessity be driven to pass their time in the public-houses. Then, with respect to the commercial operation of the measure, there was one point in particular to which he wished to call the attention of the House. In many manufactories, for example in iron-foundries, unless the furnaces were constantly kept up, the progress of the works was entirely stopped. The conse- 330 quence of neglecting such works for twenty-four hours would, in many cases, be a loss amounting to 500l. or 1,000l. But could they foresee all the consequences of such a system? Might it not lead even to our becoming, as regarded some articles, an importing instead of an exporting country. The Bill professed not to interfere with any works of piety, charity, or necessity. This, in his opinion, made it requisite that another Bill should be brought in, to specify every trade and manufacture that came under the operation of the Bill now before the House; and also to describe what works were to be excluded from the operation of the Bill. If this question were not decided by Parliament, by whom was it to be decided? Was it to be left to the Magistrates? If so, he would retire from the commission of the peace; for in his opinion, Magistrates had enough to occupy their attention already; and the performance of any such duty could not fail to bring down on them considerable odium.
§ Mr. Roebuck
thought it his duty at once to declare, that he was against any legislation on the matter at all. That might be considered a bold declaration, and would probably subject him to the severe censure of a portion of the House. He, however, did not hesitate to make the avowal; and he did so, because be conscientiously believed, that the Bill was nothing more nor less than a branch of persecution. Entertaining that feeling, he should be unworthy of a seat in the House if he did not at once announce his inveterate hostility to any measure on the subject. He would suppose, that the House, and not a party of religious devotees, were to draw the line. When would they say, that they had gone far enough? How would they determine that religion went so far and no further? They must conclude, that the line would be drawn by the dominant party. Suppose this House took on itself to say every man should, every day, attend five sacraments. Why, if they passed the Bill, should they not say, that every individual should attend daily some house of prayer; and why not also say, that they should then take the sacrament of the Lord's Supper? Their consciences, truth, good feeling, and justice, told them that between God and man, man was not fit to legislate. How was an individual justified in saying to his fellow-man, "Your 331 conscience is unworthy; mine is the only fitting one. I am a pattern and a shining light; look on me. As a spectacle of goodness look on me, and follow my example." Would this House say so? If not, it could not insist on any one of the religious observances required by the Bill. Talk of discretion; why this was a most preposterous, tyrannical, and pharisaical measure, involving a Judaical observance of the Sabbath, which he contended was not Christian. There were Prelates in the Church of England, as high as any, who had written on the subject, and they laid it down that such observances were not Christian. The Archbishop of Dublin, who was a most distinguished authority, distinctly stated, in a pamphlet he had written on the subject, that they were not Christian. The hon. Baronet might be ambitious of becoming the founder of a new system of Christianity, but he would recommend the hon. Baronet to leave every man to his own system, and the hon. Baronet would be at full liberty to confine himself to his. Suppose he (Mr. Roebuck) chose to say that his children should not be taught to observe the Sabbath as a Jewish rite, would the hon. Baronet be justified in taking his children from him, and say, that he was unworthy of teaching them? And if he would not prevent children being so taught, would he prevent adults from acting on the principles of their early instruction? It was impossible to make a rule for such matters, and at the same time to avoid running counter to the kindly feelings of our nature. What did hon. Gentlemen endeavour to effect? Anything like that feeling in the heart—that true religion of the spirit—that bowing down of the man before his God in devout adoration—which alone was desirable? Did the hon. Baronet fancy he could make man look on the Lord of life as a beneficent, mild, and good being, one loving goodness of heart and mercy of spirit, by an Act of Parliament? Would they not rather picture him as a gloomy and terrible God—as one delighting in the mortification of the spirit? The hon. Baronet cried "No," "No" on his tongue—"Yes" in his Bill—"Yes" in his heart. What was the meaning of this? Why was there not, in the first line after the preamble of the Bill a provision for the putting down of all the pleasures and pastimes of the rich? Why did not these apostles of the present 332 day commence with the pleasures of the rich? For this reason: with the pleasures of the rich they sympathised, but with the pleasures of the poor they did not sympathise at all. They could not know what the poor man felt. How could they, who daily passed their lives in quiet and content, know the feeling of the poor man who worked daily and hourly to fight off the fiend of want? How could they know the emotions of that man on the seventh day, the day of recreation and rest? He would ask, what would such a man be likely to say when the seventh day came, and he found he was driven to submit to the pharisaical observances of that Bill, which he could not in his conscience approve—of that Bill which would not allow him to go out at all, unless he could walk. Suppose he had a spare shilling, and were willing to expend it in putting himself in a stage to reach the suburbs of London. The hon. Baronet meeting him, might be supposed to say, "Don't you know that there is a clause in the Bill which forbids your taking this recreation." The poor man would reply, "I am weak, I am toilworn, I can't walk, and I want free air, I want to fill my lungs; they have not been filled the whole week, and I am faint in consequence." Would the hon. Baronet thereupon reiterate the clause of his Bill, and tell the man that he could not go out in the stage-coach? Suppose, on the other hand, that the hon. Baronet had encountered a noble Lord who had got the gout. The hon. Baronet would address him, saying, "My Lord, you can't go out in the stage-coach." His Lordship would rejoin, "I do not wish to do so; I have my carriage at the door, and I mean to go out in that." The hon. Baronet would then make the noble Lord a bow, and tell him that in his carriage he was doubtless at liberty to take his pleasure. Now, did a Bill that would operate thus, exhibit merciful consideration for the poor, or an equal operation on all classes? The preamble of the Bill stated, that the "holy keeping of the Lord's Day is a principal part of the true service of God." Did the hon. Baronet mean to say, that the ceremony was the principal part? If so, what became of his faith, hope, and charity? Why were not these thrown into the scale; or, were they excluded because they were inconsistent with the Jewish observances which the Bill provided? He did not hesitate to say, that the whole of religion, by such a 333 Bill as that, would be reduced to mere ceremony; that, in short, there would not be a kindly feeling, or a religious feeling remaining. No doubt the hon. Baronet was a sincere friend of humanity; but did he never consider the condition and temper—it being for that which he was in fact legislating—of the human mind? If he allowed not the man who worked six days out of the week, to recreate out of doors on the Sunday, he would drive him to the public-house on that day, and make him a drunkard. He could see that the hon. Baronet knew nothing of human nature; that he knew nothing of the people amongst whom he lived. It was by observances of the Sabbath—by the putting on of that outward species of religion which he had described, that the people had been driven to those beer-shops to which the hon. Baronet was so particularly opposed. They were left open to the people, because there were no other means of recreation left. Complaints of the beer-shops were constantly made; but what had filled them? Nothing so much as the people being prevented from playing at cricket and indulging in other such harmless exercises. He knew well enough what would be the probable consequence to him of prohibiting games on the Sunday; but he would nevertheless declare, that he was a sincere believer in the statement made by the hon. member for Lincoln. These recreations, so far from being irreligious, fitted men the more for the performance of their moral and religious duties—making them, in fact, better men and better Christians than they would otherwise have been. He was determined to get through his case—to work this Bill thus brought into the House. He was most glad, that the hon. member for Lincoln had given them a chance of throwing it out at once. He gave the hon. Baronet credit for meaning well, however mistaken he must think the hon. Baronet. Let them not forget, however, that it had been said, "Hell was paved with good intentions." Could the hon. Baronet be aware, that one of the effects of his Bill would be, that in this commercial country, all communications would be stopped for one day in each week. What had been said on this subject by a Committee appointed in North America? And be it not forgotten, that the North Americans were the most religious people on the earth. Let them take 334 the case of a mail travelling on the Sunday, and that there was a very large territory, in which were millions of persons connected by commercial intercourse. If they stopped this vehicle one day in the week, they separated one-seventh of the whole community one from the other. The North Americans believed that to be a serious evil. He would suppose another case; that of an individual starting on Friday night, and reaching Edinburgh on the Sunday. The Bill would stop him there; he could proceed no farther. Nor would he find an inn that would be at liberty to receive him; he must sleep on the top of the coach. Or if he arrived the day before, while he was detained, would not the horses have to be fed and cleaned, and attended to in other ways? In short, would labour be stopped? What was the advantage to be gained, by making a set of idlers, from one end of the kingdom to the other? That was not all. There would be an increase, in the first place, of the expenses of travelling; and secondly, he wished to know how the minds of the people would become more fitted for the observance of the Lord' Day by the stopping of the stages? how could that improve the religion or morality of the people? Not content with the stage-coaches, the Bill would affect all species of cattle—all species of goods—all species of vessels. The House ought not to lose sight of the fact, that large quantities of animal food were now conveyed on the Sunday to the metropolis; the Bill, then, would necessarily increase the price of provisions to the poor, yet, no doubt, that never entered into the contemplation of the hon. Baronet. Such, at all events, was the conclusion he must come to, knowing, as he did, the humane character which the hon. Baronet deservedly bore. The hon. Baronet would obtain the very beau ideal of his Jewish Sunday, if he could insure that no class laboured on that day; but even the hon. Baronet felt, that some persons must be employed. Where, then, were they to draw the line? Should they look for it in the indefinite clauses of the Bill? It was provided, that the Bill was not to apply to works of piety, charity, or necessity. To begin: how were they to draw the line of piety? How was he to draw his line of a work of necessity? Or how was the hon. Baronet himself to draw his line of a work of charity? He might 335 have a most serious occasion to travel; and the matter might be one of such a nature that he could not disclose the nature of it without inflicting on himself great pain. If he met the hon. Baronet he would compel him to give up his secret, and he must suffer the penalty of the Bill for travelling. Was not this an unfair, most obnoxious interference? Under the proposed measure men would become liable to penalties who had infringed no moral obligation. To his mind the greatest objection to the Bill was, that it set up the standard of self. By the opinion of one individual who arrogated to himself that he was right, were other individuals to be judged. There appeared throughout this Bill a spirit of dictation which made him its inveterate opponent. At every stage of its progess, he would endeavour to defeat it, and would divide the House on every clause. If it went into a Committee, he would meet it with a proposal to put down every gentleman's private carriage. He would include in his Motion another proposal, to bring under the provisions of the Bill every servant going out of doors on business for his master. If the House determined to read the Bill a second time, he would try the courage of the House with this Amendment; and the House would not be acting consistently with its then declared principles, if his Amendment were rejected. He repeated, that he would try the strength and courage of the House. He thought he saw some shrinking on the part of those around him, though he knew that, in feeling, they went entirely along with him.
concurred with those hon. Gentlemen who contended, that in introducing any such measure they ought rather to begin with the rich than with the poor. There were many other observations, however, made by the hon. and learned member for Bath (Mr. Roebuck) from which he entirely dissented. He approved of the suggestion of the hon. and learned Member to prevent travelling with carriages on a Sunday. When he looked to the Bill now before the House, it would be most disingenuous on his part if he hesitated to declare that he could not vote for the second reading. He regretted this, for there were portions of the Bill of which he entirely approved. He was quite ready to support any Bill on the subject that he considered would afford a reasonable prospect of being beneficial. 336 He had presented several petitions from his constituents this morning in favour of the Observance of the Sabbath; but he could not for a moment believe, that those petitions were intended to be in favour of the measure, the merits of which the House was now debating. He considered the measure of the hon. Baronet to have occasioned a degree of attention to be paid to the subject throughout the country that it had not obtained before. The discussions had, no doubt, done much good, and he hoped that more serious and substantial advantages would yet be derived from them.
said, that the hon. and learned member for Bath had treated this measure as a measure of persecution, and said, he was determined to work the Bill. He also asked, "How far will you go? Will you compel persons to attend five sacraments in a day?" He (Mr. Halcomb) answered, no. Neither in this measure, nor in any other, did the supporters of the Bill, nor would they, attempt to enforce the exercise of religious duties, He challenged the hon. and learned Gentleman to point out any portion of this Bill that did enforce religious observances in the sense in which the hon. and learned Gentleman spoke. The whole principle of the Bill was to prevent, not to compel—to prevent acts of irreverence and indecorum on the Lord's Day; and so far he hoped it would receive the sanction of that House. The hon. and learned Gentleman also adverted, in that tone of sarcasm which was much at his command, to the language of the preamble of the Bill, which declared, that the object of the measure was, "The holy keeping of the Lord's Day as a principal part of the true service of God." The hon. and learned Gentleman asked, "What, then, is a ceremony a principal part of the true service of the Deity?" He would join issue with the hon. and learned Gentleman. He contended, that the keeping and observing decently of the Lord's Day was more than a mere ceremony. If it was not, indeed, then would the sarcasm of the hon. and learned Gentleman be well applied. This Bill would not have the effect of making people answerable to Parliament for the non-performance of their religious duties; in this manner they would continue, as heretofore, liable only to that ecclesiastical body to whom they ought to be amenable. The line of argument 337 adopted by the hon. member for Shaftesbury (Mr. Poulter) had, he confessed, surprised him. Was it not a component part of the Christian's duty to cease from labour on the Sabbath? The wisest of men had regarded this as an institution, than which it was impossible to devise one more conducive to the happiness of human beings. The Sabbath under the Mosaic Law had been adverted to. They all knew of the case of the individual piling up sticks on the Sabbath Day, which the celebrated writer treated not as a precedent or an example to be followed in legislation, but more as the immediate act of Moses, to impress with a mark of the severest censure a sense of the impropriety of executing on the Sabbath Day so unnecessary a work. The laws for the observance of the Sabbath were to be found in the ancient Statutes. In the preamble of a Bill brought in, in 1623, 1st of Charles 1 cap. 1st, the preservation of the Sabbath from desecration by bull-baiting and bear-bating was made the ground-work. He quoted this Act to rescue the hon. Baronet from the sarcasm and obloquy of any hon. Members who might choose to exercise their wit upon the subject. Those who taunted the hon. Baronet must forgive him for mistrusting their liberality, nor did he think such taunts would suggest themselves to any well-regulated minds. He did not contend, that it was the duty of the State to enforce any particular ceremony on the Sabbath-day; on the contrary, he held such to be a violation of private conscience; but he certainly did think the State bound to protect that day from any undue violation which profaned its sacredness, or outraged the feelings of conscientious persons by its public desecration. This was the general rule he would lay down, but always admitting exceptions in works of necessity or charity. The principle was recognized by the Act commonly called the Lord's Day Act, passed in the reign of Charles 2nd, 1676, compelling abstinence from ordinary callings, except in cases of charity or necessity. By this Act all buying and selling were prohibited; amongst the exceptions was the purchase of a necessary supply of food to a certain extent. He did not advocate that portion of the hon. Baronet's Bill which extended to travelling and locomotion, as it would afford room for the objection that it was directed against 338 the enjoyments of the poor, whilst it administered to the pleasures of the rich; and to except only necessary travelling would make it of too inquisitorial a character. He would not have the people of this great metropolis shut out from necessary recreation by boats or vehicles to carry them to places where they could with pure air refresh themselves, after being several days subject to the heats of pent-up streets and sweltering alleys. He had lived too much in the town not to know the advantages of such necessary recreation, and to feel the sublimity of the line—God made the country, and Man the town.The poor man's carriage, the omnibus, was as necessary to him as the sulky or the chariot was to the rich man. Although the Lord's Day Act did not prohibit travelling, it afforded no redress to travellers who were robbed whilst journeying on the Sabbath. The law as it stood was sufficient for the protection of the Sabbath Day, if the penalties were heavy enough to enforce the observance, but they were not. If it were found necessary to put the laws into effective operation, it could be done by increasing the penalties. It certainly was the duty of the House to protect from a compulsory violation of the Sabbath persons in the employment of others who were less observant of it, and the petitions which had been presented from the bakers and newsmen ought to be attended to. They should permit this Bill to go to a second reading, and refer the details either to a Committee up-stairs, or a Committee of the whole House, where it could be matured and rendered practicable.
§ Lord Morpeth
would not waste the time of the House in subtle argument or useless declamation; but in his opinion the proposed measure trenched too much on the proper domain of conscience. He agreed with the hon. Gentleman who last addressed them on the impropriety of interfering with the out-of-door amusements of the people which were not inconsistent with decorum. He would not legislate against the game of cricket; "He'd" stop no chariot, and board no barge." If they interfered with public conveniences, they would necessarily render the operation of the Bill partial and unjust, as well as inflict a serious moral and physical injury on large masses of the population. He differed from the hon. and learned member 339 for Bath, who deprecated all interference, so far as to be of opinion, that it was proper in the Legislature to interpose in order to prevent any interruption or violation of the Sabbath day, or masters from compelling the labour of the lower orders, despite of their religious scruples or desire of rest from labour. Until some better plan than the hon. Baronet's was proposed (and he did not think there would be much difficulty in proposing a better) he would consent to a Committee; but at the same time this consent should not be considered on his part as an intention entirely to adopt, or indeed to adopt in any great degree, the provisions of the Bill. His object was, as far as it could be done without injury, to free the poorer classes from compulsory labour on the Sabbath.
§ Mr. Wilks
was for sending the Bill to a Committee, for the purpose of framing a measure which might afford protection on the Sabbath to the poorer classes, but which would not at the same time abridge their rational pleasures. Enjoyment they should be permitted to partake, without violating the one day set apart for the observance of religion. He should support the second reading, notwithstanding all the positiveness of assertion on theological points (unfit for discussion in that House), in which some hon. Members had indulged. They had shown that in these as in other matters a little learning was a dangerous thing. It was strange! that they should have forgotten that, from the Creation a weekly day of rest and grateful adoration was enjoyed—that in patriarchal times, when the hoary sage was the chieftain and the priest, such a day witnessed the abstinence from journeying—the social sacrifice and domestic rest—and was enjoined in the Decalogue for permanent observance; it formed not a mere part of the Mosaical and ritual economy, but obtained the eternal sanction, and its violation ranked with the most injurious crimes. Ill had they read the sacred Canon, who had not there found frequent exhortations to public worship, and those devout associations which the so setting apart of one day in the week could alone effect; as well as the most interesting examples of the benefits which such dedication of their time supplied. The Lord's Day was, in the earliest ages, scrupulously, but cheerfully observed, That observance was amongst the distinctive lineaments of the Christian 340 character. From the letter of Pliny to Trajan, at the close of the first century, the fact was well known. That letter stated that on the first day of the week, before the rising of the sun, the primitive believers assembled to sing in honour of their Saviour; and that the very slaves, at the hazard of their lives, abstained on that day from labour, and dedicated the hours to devotion and pious intercourse. He hoped to hear no man attempt to misrepresent and pervert, as judaical and pharisaic, that reverence for the Christian holiday, which the most honoured and eminent in every age had gloried to display! But the Bill had been unkindly held up to abhorrence as an aristocratical device, intended to act oppressively against the poor, but to leave the rich untouched. The reverse was true. By whom had it been sought? By whom was it desired? Let it be re-collected that, on no question except on anti-slavery, since the Reform of Parliament, had petitions so numerous been presented to this House from the poor, the middling, the industrious, and the reflecting classes of society, as on this subject, and in favour of this Bill, now treated here with contempt and scorn, as founded in pharisaical pride. Those petitions had been signed by Churchmen and Dissenters—by persons varying in doctrinal opinions and in modes of worship—but all complaining of the defective state of the law, and imploring enactments by which the open violations of the Lord's Day might be restrained, and all persons might be set free from occupation—to consecrate or appropriate that day as inclination should inspire. The hon. Baronet merited praise for the motives by which he had been influenced, though he wished he had regarded more the suggestions of those whose practical knowledge of this country, and of the situation of the labouring classes, might have enabled him to avert from the Bill some of the objections by which it was now likely to be overwhelmed. Still, this was the Bill, for which very many thousands had specifically petitioned, and which, having been for two Sessions before the House, must be generally and accurately known. The House might at least read it a second time, and in a Committee, endeavour to purify it from the dross, and shew a determination to protect the lower classes, enabling 341 them to improve in intellectual, moral, and religious happiness.
§ Mr. Gisborne
said, that he should have liked to have spoken immediately after the hon. member for Dover, because he would thereby have been saved much in regard to what he had to say upon this measure. The hon. member for Staffordshire said, that this Bill did not go to interfere with the amusements of the poor or working classes;—but how did the Bill begin? Why, by shutting up the noble river Thames on the Sabbath—by prohibiting every boat, barge, or steam-boat from plying—and preventing every one from taking advantage of that beautiful scenery which the river presented. This was the first provision to be enforced, and one, the effect of which must strike every one who would take the trouble to look at the clause which related to the hiring of vessels, &c. The bill of last year prohibited persons from beginning a journey on Sunday; but the present Bill went, not only to prevent persons from starting on the Sunday,—it did more; it actually stopped those conveyances which might be in motion on the Sabbath. Now, he knew that there was a fast day-coach which ran from Manchester to London, called the Day Coach. This coach reached town generally about half-past eleven at night; and suppose the coach to be delayed by a fall of snow, or by the bad state of the roads, it would be stopped very likely somewhere about Finchley, if the journey thus impeded occurred on a Saturday night. For his own part, he should oppose the Bill, because he thought its practical working would be highly injurious. It enabled any Justice of the Peace, &c., to seize cattle travelling on a Sabbath. The justice also had the power to detain the cattle till the Wednesday following, unless the party should pay a fine of 5l. If the amount were not paid on Wednesday, the overseer was himself punishable, or, in default of the overseer, any other officer was subject to the penalty of 2l. And what remedy had the party injured? Why, the information was to be conveyed from an informer (no matter who he might be) to the parish officer. The parish officer had only to say, "Oh, it was A or B gave me the information, but I don't know where he is. When he saw such a Bill as this brought forward, he really could not but think it an incurable 342 one. Then it was proposed to stop parties from travelling on the Sunday, unless upon some work of piety, &c. Now, suppose the case of any hon. Gentleman driving into Regent-street on a Sunday, and requiring horses. He must go to Mr. Newman's, and he would be immediately accosted by him or his ostler in this way. "Before you have your horses, are you travelling upon a work of piety or not?" Then let any hon. Gentleman say how many clauses he was prepared to support? Had the hon. Gentleman thrown over the locomotive clauses? The hon. Gentleman had shown a great regard to the Act 2nd George 3rd, and had carefully preserved it probably because it was a kind of twin brother to his own. The hon. Baronet's Bill prohibited persons frequenting any debating society, or public lecture, or address, on any subject—of course including religious subjects. Now, the Act the hon. Baronet wished to preserve, after reciting, that debates had been held on the evening of the Lord's Day, concerning divers texts of Scripture, by unlearned persons incompetent to explain them, enacted that any house, or room, used for public debating on any subject on any part of Sunday, to which persons shall be admitted by payment of money, shall be deemed a disorderly house, and the keeper of it be liable to forfeit 200l. for every day it shall be open, to such person as shall sue for it, besides being punishable as the keeper of a disorderly house. All that the hon. Baronet was solicitous to preserve; and the other provisions, by which the chairman of any such meeting shall forfeit 100l., and any door-keepers or servants shall forfeit 50l., must, no doubt, be equally pleasing to him. But not only was he anxious to preserve this Act; he took it as a model for his own legislation. For, in a subsequent clause of his Bill, any person advertising, or causing to be advertised, any such meeting, as well as the printer and publisher, shall respectively forfeit 50l. for every such offence to any person who will sue for the same. These were only a few of the incongruities of the measure? He was quite sure, however, that the majority, of the House were against every clause of the Bill, even if they allowed it to go to a second reading. The Bill was really incurable. And he should give his vote against it.
said, as it appeared to him, the great question was, whether the Bill then under consideration was curable or incurable. He thought the measure was one which was curable, and he would suggest how it might be cured. It had been charged against the Bill, that no Gentleman could be found to support any one of its clauses, but he would support one clause contained in the measure, namely, the exemption clause, as it was termed. That clause related to the exemption of hotel keepers, &c. This reminded him of an amnesty which was granted by a certain despotic Monarch. This absurd state document after having recited the terms of the amnesty, provided that every person who had been hostile to the reigning power previous to the promulgation of this Act, should be exempted from the operation of the amnesty. Acting on this principle, he would support this exemption clause of the Bill, and exempt from the operation of the Bill all other persons included in the previous clauses. He conceived, that this Bill was a confiscatory measure, and that a vast portion of property would be destroyed if it were allowed to be carried. He hoped in such a case, however, that the fishmongers and fruiterers would be exempted from the operation of the Bill. Many of his constituents were engaged in these trades; and he understood that, with regard to fruit especially, no less than one-fourth of that which was consumed in the metropolis was sold regularly between Saturday and Monday. He hoped, indeed, that this Bill would be thrown out, and some other measure introduced of a different character, because he would submit, that the law was already extremely severe in many respects.
§ Mr. Mark Phillips
said, that to his knowledge, this Bill, if carried into a law, would be productive of great injury to the manufacturing districts, and especially to the iron trade. It would occasion a loss of wages to the men to the extent, according to the opinions of the best-informed persons on the subject, of not less than twenty-five per cent. The effect produced by it of keeping commodities from the market was very serious. Even now the consequence of the detention of fish would frequently occasion a variation in the fish-market of from fifty to seventy-five per cent, in the course of three or four hours, and, of course, a 344 variation to that extent of the fishmongers' profits. There was not a Member in the House who could not fix upon some one clause of this Bill as productive of great injury to the trade, or to the poorer inhabitants, of the borough or county with which he was connected. Great quantities of cattle continually came into the ports on the western coast of England, from Ireland, and if any of them should happen to arrive on Sunday, they must hereafter be kept on board, greatly to the sufferings of the animals. In fact to these beasts this would be an act of cruelty worthy to be punished under Mr. Martin's Act. He should protest strongly against the passing of the measure, more especially as it appeared to him to be a most unjust and impolitic interference with the regular supply of the necessaries of life.
§ Mr. Williams Wynn
thought, that the House could not advantageously discuss this question theologically, as some of the greatest divines and most eminent men of all ages had entertained different opinions upon the observance of the Christian Sabbath. Upon that question, in our own times, Paley and Horsley had taken different sides; and it could not in his opinion, be settled by that House. He would take the question simply as it stood at present. What new provisions then did the Bill enact? What were the great features of the Bill? The prohibition of travelling on Sunday, the prohibition of the sale of food, or refreshment, on Sunday,—were the two chief provisions of the Bill. Had either of these provisions been defended by any one Member who had expressed his determination of supporting the second reading? He had not heard one Gentleman advance a single argument in defence of these enactments; but they had concurred in reprobating them. Certain exceptions were made with respect to travelling; as, for instance, in the case of charity, piety, and necessity. With one or all of these objects in view, a man would be suffered to travel on Sunday. But how was the object of the traveller to be ascertained? For that difficulty the Bill contained no provision; and if a traveller appeared on the road on Sunday, he would have to argue and explain to each inn-keeper and turnpike-keeper whether the purpose of his journey was one of piety, charity, or necessity. With respect to trading, he had heard no argu- 345 ment advanced in defence of the total prohibition of the sale of particular articles of a perishable nature on Sunday. In all other Acts of Parliament relating to the sale of articles on Sunday, fish had been specially excepted. No exception of that kind was made in the present Bill, and therefore, as had been observed by the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, the supply of that article must be deteriorated, to the inconvenience of the public, and to the injury of the industrious and hardworking men by whom the market was supplied. Again, the sale of every kind of refreshment was to be positively prohibited. Were they really to enact, that those who, after a week's confinement in London, walked a short distance into the country on Sunday, were not to be allowed to procure any refreshment whatever? The hon. Baronet, the member for Staffordshire, who seconded the motion, asked whether we did not wish to diminish the evil of drunkenness, especially on the Sunday? Undoubtedly drunkenness was an evil at all times, and a much greater evil on Sunday. But to correct that evil, it was not necessary to pass this measure. To increase the penalty upon drunkenness generally, might be a fit subject for legislation; but, because one man drank too much, all the rest of the country was to be debarred from drinking at all, it was like saying no man shall touch water, because another gets drowned. He was not willing to allow the Bill to go into Committee, to see whether it could be rendered unobjectionable. In the present stage of the Bill, that was an unfair mode of proceeding. On the motion for leave to bring in the Bill, it might have been urged as a reason to induce the House to allow the measure to he laid before it, that if the principle were approved of, a suitable Bill would be introduced; but, after the Bill had been printed, and after its provisions had been found to be such as could not, with any sense of propriety, be suffered to pass into a law, such an argument for the committal of the Bill had no force, and the only mode of proceeding was to reject it upon the second reading, and make room for the introduction of a better Bill in its stead. The answer to Pope's habitual exclamation—"Heaven mend me!" was, "Mend you, master, why it would be much easier to make a new one!" And 346 a similar reply might very properly be made to those who, admitting the deformity of the present Bill, called upon the House to go into Committee to amend it. Seeing that the leading features of the Bill were either impracticable or detrimental to the public interests, the House had better get rid of it at once, and leave the field clear for the introduction of a better-considered measure.
§ Sir Ronald Ferguson
said, it appeared to him wonderful, that any Member of a free House of Commons could have ventured to introduce this Bill, and that any hon. Member should have taken its part. He agreed with the hon. member for Derby, that this Bill could not be amended, and that it was "incurable;" and he was sure that the House would not allow it to go into a Committee, as they had already in fact, pronounced judgment upon it. He entreated the House to throw out the Bill, and he regretted, that it had ever been allowed to be read a first time. He would beg leave to allude to a letter which he had received from Scotland on this subject; and with reference to the Scotch Bill he would observe that its provisions were befitting the dark and barbarous ages only. As, however, that measure was not before the House, he did not think it would be right to state any thing further upon it; but he would take the opportunity of saying, that he trusted the fate of this Bill would be such as would not induce the hon. Baronet to bring the Scotch measure forward. He would, however, read to the House the letter which he had received from one of the oldest clergymen in Scotland, who was well known to the hon. member for Cupar. This letter was not intended to be read to the House, but, in justice to the Scotch clergy, he could not forbear communicating its contents. The letter was dated from Cupar, and stated the opinion of the Presbytery of Cupar to be hostile to the measure, and the writer hoped, that the good sense of the House of Commons would save them from this crude legislation, which was, as far as regarded that part of the country, uncalled for. The writer further expressed the hope, that if he (Sir Ronald Ferguson) took any share in the debate, he would not approve of the measure. This, then, was the opinion of a Scotch clergyman!—this was the opinion of the Presbytery of Cupar! For his own part he should term this—a Bill 347 to abridge the common luxuries and comforts of the poor and labouring classes in England.
§ Lord Sandon
regretted, as a friend to the alleged object of the measure, that the hon. Baronet should have introduced a bill, every clause of which had already been rejected by the House. The course pursued by the hon. Baronet was highly injudicious, and had exposed the whole subject to a great deal of ridicule and levity, which ought not fairly to be cast upon it. No gentleman should venture to legislate upon sacred subjects without much caution and consideration. He certainly did believe the labouring people required some protection. The tyranny of wealth over labour in this country was so great as to require some protection for labour against its extravagant demands. So far as preventing labour on the Sabbath-day was concerned, he was ready to legislate, but no further; and he most anxiously entreated the hon. Baronet to withdraw his Bill.
Sir Matthew White Ridley
declared it was not his wish to treat the Bill of the hon. Baronet with levity, but to deal with the subject on a broad principle. He thought that a measure of this sort must be prejudicial to the true interests of religion. Hon. Gentlemen would see, that the practical working of the Bill must be to affect the lower classes, and to leave the rich unmolested. It did not trench upon the recreations of the higher classes, but it did on those of the poor. He should ground his opposition to the second reading of the Bill upon the conviction, that any interference by the Legislature on this particular subject must be injurious to the true interests of religion. They saw that in France, in the German States, in Prussia, and other parts of the continent, the Sunday, after the performance of religious duties, was made a day of relaxation and innocent amusement. In Hanover also, after church service, Sunday was made a day of amusement and harmless festivity; and even the Opera was open on that day. He would refer to those more acquainted with the south of England, and ask whether the indulgence in the game of cricket on a Sunday evening was productive of injury to public morals, or whether the people were less religious on that account? So far from this being the case, he would venture to say, that the indulgence in such 348 harmless amusements, after the hours of church service, was calculated to keep men from indulging in drinking at public-houses, and other vices. He objected to all unnecessary legislation on this subject, and upon this principle he would give his decided opposition to this Bill.
§ Mr. Ronayne
concurred most fully in what had fallen from the hon. Baronet who had just sat down. In no country was the Sabbath more religiously observed than in England. He was opposed to that wild spirit of hyper-legislation which appeared to be abroad, particularly with reference to the amusement and recreation of the more useful classes of society on the Lord's-day; but he particularly objected to the Bill now before the House. He was rather surprised, that the House should have been inclined to treat the subject with so much gravity, instead of meeting the Bill with that ridicule which it deserved. He felt inclined to treat it in that way, and would, therefore, say, with the poet—Raise not your scythes, suppressors of our vice!Reforming saints, too delicately nice!By whose decrees, our sinful souls to save,No Sunday tankards foam; no barbers shave;But pots undrawn, and beards unmown, displayYour holy reverence of the Sabbath-day.
§ Lord Granville Somerset
suggested to the hon. Baronet to withdraw his Bill for the present. By adopting this course, he would by no means withdraw his pretensions to the support of the House on the introduction of a Bill of a more moderate and limited description. He, for one, felt bound to oppose the second reading of this Bill, although he would have willingly supported, and so he was sure would the majority of the House, any bonâ fide measure for the better observance of the Sabbath.
§ Mr. Plumptre
said, he was not in the habit of obtruding his opinions at any length upon the House, but he wished to say a few words upon this Bill. They had been told, that gentlemen would feel very odd and dissatisfied if they found the Thames shut up against them, or were to be debarred the use of pot-houses and stage-coaches on the Lord's-day. Now, they would find amongst the petitioners in favour of this measure many lightermen and others connected with the river, and also many post-masters and post-boys, who were anxious to make the Sabbath a day of rest and of religious observance. He 349 regretted to hear the manner in which the hon. Member had talked of the soles of journeymen fishmongers and the souls of journeymen bakers as being of equal value. This certainly was not speaking in the language of him who said, that one soul was of more value than the whole world beside. He would ask, were they prepared to rob their fellow-creatures of their religion? ["Question."] He would ask them how they would meet such a charge on the great and last day? He did not mean to say, that he was ready to give his support to every clause of the Bill as it stood, but he would vote for its going into a Committee where the objectionable parts, if any, might be removed. He hoped the House would, at least, agree with him in the propriety of going so far.
§ Mr. O'Dwyer
opposed the Bill in toto. Many of the crimes included in this Bill, such as drunkenness, gambling, swearing, cock-fighting, bull-baiting, &c., on the Lord's-day, were already provided against by law. He would fearlessly assert, that the country would not endure such a Bill as this, even though Parliament should be found sufficiently intolerant to pass it. He did not mean to impute blame to the hon. Baronet who introduced the Bill; on the contrary, he believed the hon. Baronet to be actuated by pure and sincere, though mistaken, feelings. He was determined to oppose all such Bills, because, so long as no law, either moral or religious, was violated, the Legislature had no right to interfere with the relaxations and amusements of the people.
§ Mr. Grote
was anxious, that the question should not go to a division without his entering his protest against the Motion. The Bill, if carried into a law, would be nothing more or less than a sentence of imprisonment upon the working classes of society upon the Sabbath. Nothing could justify the introduction of a measure of even much less severity than the present Bill. He saw no mark of a want of observance of the Sabbath amongst the people, nor was there any irregularity on that day beyond what was always to be found, and must always be expected, in a large metropolis. Religion, to be effective, must be spontaneous and sincere. It was useless to attempt driving the people into it. He would give his decided opposition to the Bill.
§ Mr. Goulburn
would follow the example of the hon. Member who had just spoken, 350 and state, as briefly as possible, the reasons that would guide his vote upon the present measure. He was one of those who could not but regret the course which the hon. Baronet who introduced the Bill to the House, had deemed it proper to pursue. He did not by any means wish to be understood as arraigning the motives of the hon. Baronet, which he believed to be of the purest kind. Neither was he at all insensible to the great importance of the subject itself. He must, at the same time, express his regret and surprise, that the hon. Baronet should, after the decided declaration of the House in the last Session on the subject, have introduced a Bill of a precisely similar nature to that which was then rejected. Surely the hon. Baronet could scarcely expect of the House a favourable reception for such a Bill. It was undoubtedly the duty of the Legislature to provide by every proper means for the due observance of the Sabbath; but he did not think, that the best mode of promoting that observance, was by introducing a measure that had been rejected in the last Session of Parliament, and by subjecting it to a second rejection, send forth a most unfavourable impression, not only of the measure itself, but also of those who might most conscientiously decide upon it—and induce a belief out of doors, that there was no disposition in that House to enforce a due observance of the Lord's-day. If the hon. Baronet had introduced a measure to give full effect to the existing laws, to enforce a proper observance of the Sabbath, no one would more cordially concur in such a measure than he would. He should prefer enforcing the laws that now existed to multiplying Acts of Legislation on the subject. He did not think, that much good could ensue from the present measure; but if he should be called upon by the hon. Baronet to express an opinion upon it by his vote, he should rather give that vote in favour of the second reading, than risk the consequences, and, he feared, the bad effects, of its rejection a second time. While he said this, he wished to be distinctly understood as disposed to alter the whole character of the Bill in the Committee, so as to give a proper effect to the laws as they now stood, so that they might interfere in a salutary manner with the scandalous and indecorous violations of the Sabbath that were now unfortunately but too apparent, 351 and were highly prejudicial to the moray of the people. If the hon. Baronet should divide the House upon the question, he (Mr. Goulburn) should certainly vote with him, because he considered it a national duty to uphold the due observance of the Sabbath; but further than this, he would not wish to carry the enactments, as he had no disposition to interfere with the necessary and innocent recreations of the people, so long as a proper decorum was observed, as every good man must wish, on the Lord's-day.
§ Mr. Sinclair
earnestly and respectfully entreated his hon. friend to withdraw this Bill; the fate of which he had long foreseen, though he himself, out of respect for the principles, was prepared to support the second reading; and he was the more desirous to urge this request, because the division would afford to this country a very unfair index of the feelings of the House on this important subject, and would place many gentlemen in a false position; first, because it would be supposed (and most erroneously) that all who voted against this measure, were averse to every kind or degree of legislation as to Sabbath Observance; and next, because others, who supported the Bill, might be, with equal injustice, considered as inclined to adopt all its provisions. He (Mr. Sinclair) was bound to say, that he considered many of the clauses exceptionable, inconsistent, and impracticable. He would cheerfully concur with his hon. friend (to whose worth and exertions no man was more inclined to do the fullest justice) in putting an end to Sunday trading, and in thus placing all shopkeepers on an equal footing, by enforcing that prohibition to trade which they themselves were generally desirous to see established under adequate penalties. But when they came to the particular enactments, his hon. friend and he would very soon part company. He had often told his hon. friend, that by attempting too much, he would accomplish nothing—his advice had uniformly been in private, what he now ventured publicly to repeat, quando id non possis quod velis, id saltem velis quod possis. His hon. friend had not sufficiently distinguished between what a man of strict religious principle might prescribe to himself as a duty, and what he had a right to impose as a burthen upon others, whose views were less elevated, or less decided: what was a privi- 352 lege and blessing to the one, would be privation and bondage to the other. He should quote a single sentence from Archbishop Usher, in which he most cordially concurred: "If I had all men's consciences in my keeping, I could, in disputable cases, give laws unto them as well as unto myself; but it is one thing what I can do, and another thing what all other men must do." With every desire to give to the working classes that protection which they so urgently claimed, and to which they were so justly entitled, he did not think the present provisions of this Bill were wisely adapted for that laudable object; and if it were persevered in, and discussed in Committee, there were many of its enactments which he should wish to see greatly modified, or altogether omitted.
§ Mr. Andrew Johnston
observed, there was scarcely ever before brought under the consideration of that House a question of greater importance than the present; and he hoped, that the House, in coming to a division, would at once say, aye or no upon the Bill, in order that the country at large might judge of the opinions of their Representatives, as to the due observance of the Sabbath. ["Oh, oh!"] The House should bear in mind, that the question for the second reading of the Bill of last Session was only lost by a majority of six. It should be remembered, too, that a less stringent measure had been introduced the same Session; and though it had undergone much cutting and clipping to meet the wishes of hon. Members, still it met with a similar fate. He considered the hon. Baronet perfectly justified in bringing in this Bill. Let it go into a Committee. He was much disappointed at finding that none of the Representatives of this great metropolis had come forward in support of this Bill. ["Question."] As the House had heard those opposed to the Bill enter into its details, it was, he thought, but fair that they should give those who wished to support it an opportunity of expressing their opinion. He called upon the House to pay some attention to the petitions which had been presented to the House in favour of this measure, the clauses of which had been so grossly ridiculed by the hon. member for Derbyshire. He would maintain, that there was not one of the provisions of this Bill which was not calculated to provide for the wants and wishes of the great mass 353 of the King's subjects. He was much mistaken—he was mistaken—if this question was not a growing question. If it gained nothing, it gained this, which nobody could deny, that much moral benefit was derived to the community by its discussion. He entreated the House to let the Bill go into Committee, and not to trifle with the wishes of the numerous petitioners in its favour by its rejection.
§ Mr. Gisborne
, in explanation, denied having turned the Bill into ridicule, or having treated it with contempt. If some of the clauses of the Bill led to ridiculous conclusions, it was no fault of his.
believed, many of the supporters of this Bill were not aware of the extent of its operation. Its provisions extended to Ireland and to Scotland too. To be sure, there was to be another Bill for Scotland alone; so that Scotland, by a piece of happy dexterity on the part of the hon. Baronet, was to have the benefit of a double legislation. It was an expression common in his profession, that there never was an Act of Parliament through which a coach and six might not be driven. But here was an Act of Parliament that would let the coach and six go free—that would clear the way for it on the Lord's-day; but woe to the unfortunate wight who required a cab on that day. He protested against this Bill. Its principle was odious—its principle was atrocious. It was altogether a denial of the great principle of Christianity, by giving a preference to the rich over the poor. If the hon. Baronet wanted to legislate, why did he not begin by compelling the wealthy classes of society to a due observance of the Sabbath? Why did not he set out with telling them, that they must not have a groom to curry their horses, or a cook to dress their turtle on that day? Why did he not take steps to prevent the holding of Cabinet Councils, and the giving of Cabinet dinners on the Sunday? Why did he not propose, that the Regent's-park and Hyde-park should be shut up—that there should be no rides in Rotten-row, or drives in the circle on the Sunday? Let the hon. Baronet, if he must legislate on the subject, begin at the right end, and he would deserve support. Oh! but no, the private equipage must be respected. And yet a man might have a very handsome carriage, but still require job-horses. But woe to the man who let, and the man who hired, job-horses. Both must suffer. But, 354 to be serious, no man could have too much religion for himself, and he had a right to the strictest observance of the Sabbath, which he might deem proper; but no man could be too cautious in obtruding his religious belief upon others. Who was it, that in the high mightiness of his sanctity could take upon him to force that sanctity upon another? Let them look at some of the effects of this Bill. There must be informations; there must be investigations before the Magistrates; then would come the oaths, the secret malice, the inward curse; in short, one morning's inquiry at Bow-street would cause more sin and demoralization than the whole of the proceedings which the Bill pretended to prevent. It was curious to observe, how some of the supporters of this Bill treated it. They seemed to be acting under a fear of their constituents, or some other secret apprehension. One said, "I admit that the Bill, as a whole, is bad, but yet, if pressed, I must vote for it;" and then came another, who said, "I object to some of the clauses, yet, if driven to it, I must support it; but pray do not press me; pray do not drive me into such a predicament. Again others thought it right to go into the Committee, where the Bill would be amended; it would be changed, and yet be the same Bill. It must, in that case, resemble the musket of a countryman of his, which was still the same musket, although the owner had, at different times, found it necessary to change first the lock, and then the stock, and then the barrel. Away, he would say, with this coercive piety—this legislative goodness—this Act of Parliament holiness! When such were brought under the consideration of the House, they deserved to be met with argument on the one hand, and ridicule and contempt on the other. Under these pretences it was, that they were called upon to abridge the amusements of the people. A Frenchman, about to suffer by the guillotine, at the period of the Revolution, was heard to exclaim, "Oh! liberty, what crimes are committed in thy name." And any one who witnessed the efforts made to shackle the people with this Bill, and measures such as this, might with equal justice exclaim, "Oh! religion, what folly, what absurdity, what injustice, are committed in thy name. "He considered, that the majority of the several Members who had supported the Bill really did not know the object for 355 which they were contending. Why should the puny aid of men be applied to the aid of the Almighty? Why should this question be locked up in an isolated manner? Why not let this question be fairly discussed? And he hoped, that this Bill would be indignantly rejected. If he had any malignity to the Protestant Church, he might be inclined to support this Motion, but, as an honest man, he could not support it.
§ Sir Daniel Sandford
must enter his most decided protest against not only the details, but the preamble of this Bill, which, he asserted, would be detrimental rather than serviceable to the interests of religion. It was not necessary, that he should enter into any explanation of the reasons which induced him to oppose the further progress of this measure; but he could assure the House, that in the vote he meant to give, he was actuated by as sincere a love of Christianity as any man in the country. He came down, however, not so much to oppose the present Motion as to move the rejection of the Scotch Bill; and if the House should decide upon allowing that measure to go into Committee, he begged to say, that he was fully determined to contend the ground, inch by inch, with its supporters.
§ Mr. Shaw
had but a single observation to make. The hon. and learned member for Dublin put the opposition to the measure upon a ground which could not be passed over without remark. The hon. and learned Member deprecated any legislative interference on such a subject; but although he did not approve of the present Bill, he must, notwithstanding what had fallen from the hon. and learned member for Dublin, contend, that it was the bounden duty of a Christian Legislature to adopt means for ensuring a proper observance of the Lord's-day. Beyond this, he did not think they should go. Sunday trading, and the profanation of the Sabbath, ought to be put down; but still, as the hon. and learned Gentleman had put forth a doctrine to which he (Mr. Shaw) could not subscribe, he should, if they went to a division, give his vote for the second reading of this Bill, knowing, as he did, that there was a demand, a want, and a sincere desire throughout the country for some efficacious law for enforcing a decent observance of the Lord's-day.
§ Sir Andrew Agnew
said, in reply, that 356 he should not have presumed to bring forward the present Bill, if he had not had reason to believe, that it would have found considerable support in that House.
§ The House divided—Ayes 125; Noes 161: Majority 36.
|List of the AYES.|
|Baines, E.||Hope, Sir A.|
|Bateson, Sir R.||Hughes, Hughes|
|Bell, M.||Ingham, R.|
|Bethell, R.||Jermyn, Earl|
|Blackstone, W. S.||Jones, Capt.|
|Bolling, W.||King, Bolton|
|Boss, Capt.||Langston, J. H.|
|Briscoe, J. I.||Lefevre, C. S.|
|Brocklehurst, J.||Lefroy, A.|
|Bruce, Cumming||Lefroy, T.|
|Buxton, T. F.||Lennox, Lord A.|
|Calcrait, J. H.||Lister, E. C.|
|Callander, J. H.||Lopes, Sir R.|
|Cavendish, Lord||Mandeville, Visc.|
|Chapman, A.||Marsland, T.|
|Chaytor, Sir W.||Maryatt, J.|
|Childers, J. W.||Martin, J.|
|Conolly, Col.||Maxwell, J. W.|
|Cotes, J.||Maxwell, H.|
|Cutlets, Capt.||Miles, W.|
|Dalrymple, Sir J. H.||Moreton, Hon. A.|
|Dare, R. W. H.||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Dugdale, D. S.||Mosley, Sir O.|
|Duncombe, Hon. W.||Palmer, R.|
|Dundas, Capt.||Patten, J. W.|
|Dunlop, Capt.||Parker, J.|
|Eastnor, Viscount||Parrott, J.|
|Egerton, W. T.||Perceval, Col.|
|Estcourt, T. G. A.||Petre, Hon. E. R.|
|Etwall, R.||Phillips, C. M.|
|Evans, W.||Philpotts, J.|
|Ewing, J.||Plumptre, J. P.|
|Fenton, J.||Pryme, G.|
|Fergusson, R. C.||Rae, Rt. Hon. Sir W.|
|Finch, G.||Rice, Rt. Hon. T. S.|
|Fleetwood, P. H.||Rickford, W.|
|Foley, J. H. H.||Rider, T.|
|Folkes, Sir W. B.||Rotch, B.|
|Forster, C. S.||Ryle, J.|
|Fremantle, Sir T.||Sanderson, R.|
|Gaskell, J. M.||Sandon, Viscount|
|Gladstone, W. E.||Sanford E. A.|
|Glynne, Sir S. R.||Scott, Sir E. D.|
|Goring, H. D.||Seale, Col.|
|Goulburn, Rt. Hon. H.||Shaw, F.|
|Grant, Rt. Hon. R.||Sheppard, T.|
|Greene, T.||Simeon, Sir R. G.|
|Grey, Sir G.||Sinclair, G.|
|Halcomb, J.||Staunton, Sir G.|
|Halford, H.||Stewart, Sir M. S.|
|Handley, W. F.||Stewart, E.|
|Hanmer, Sir J.||Thompson, Ald.|
|Hardy, J.||Tollemache, Hon. A. G.|
|Harland, W. C.||Tooke, W.|
|Hawes, B.||Trowbridge, Sir T.|
|Hay, Sir J.||Verner, Col.|
|Hill, Sir R.||Verney, Sir H.|
|Hodgson, J.||Vernon, Hon. G.|
|Vivian, J. H.||PAIRED-OFF.|
|Waterpark, Lord||Chandos, Marq. of|
|Welby, G. E.||Dare, R. W. H.|
|Whitmore, T. C.||Grosvenor, Lord R.|
|Wilks, J.||Handley, H.|
|Wilmot, Sir E.||Hope, H. T.|
|Wilbraham, G.||Maddocks, J.|
|Williams, G.||Maxwell, J.|
|Young, G. F.||Pease, J.|
|Young, J.||Todd, R.|
|Sir A. Agnew||Tynte, C. J. K.|