HC Deb 05 May 1837 vol 38 cc602-52

On the first Order of the Day being moved,

Sir William Rae

rose to bring forward the Motion of which he had given notice in the shape of certain resolutions, relating to the endowment of churches in Scotland. He did not feel, that he was called upon to apologise in any great degree for thus interfering with the business of the Government by moving his resolutions on the first Order of the Day, because this was the first occasion during a long Parliamentary life that he had done so. But the circumstances of the case on the present occasion bore him out, and fully justified the course he had adopted. It was now two months since he first gave notice of his Motion, and no opportunity had been afforded him of bringing it forward sooner, or in any other shape. In the year 1835 he brought forward a Motion on the same subject and for a Committee to inquire into the whole merits of the case, but on that occasion the noble Lord opposite met his Motion by expressing the intention of the Government to issue a commission which the noble Lord said would better accomplish the object in view than a Committee could. To that representation of the noble Lord he had acceded, upon the express understanding that the Commission was to report from time to time, so that the different grounds of complaint might the more easily be considered and a remedy applied. Notwithstanding this condition the Commission had not made any Report for two years, as it was only in the beginning of February last that their first Report was laid before the House. He did expect that as the Report even at so late a period was before the House the Government would have considered it their duty to follow out the recommendations of the Report, and bring the subject under the consideration of the House. This the noble Lord was pledged to do if a case of destitution was made out, for the noble Lord had said, when the subject was last before the House, that in such a case it would be the duty of the Government to apply a remedy, No notice, however, bad been taken by the Government of the Report. He had asked the noble Lord if he intended to bring the subject forward, and the noble Lord's answer was, that the matter was under the consideration of the Government, but he could not pledge himself to propose any measure upon it at present. This answer was not at all satisfactory to him, and he was sure it would not be so to the people of Scotland. He felt under these circumstances, that it was his duty to bring the subject under the consideration of the House. If the Government had come forward in the matter as they were bound to do, the House would not have been troubled with the present discussion, and the public business would not have been interfered with. He did not think, at the same time, that it was too much to claim one night for the business of Scotland, as he was sure that hitherto the business of that part of the empire had not occupied two hours of the time since the commencement of the present Session. This was a subject on which the feelings of the people of Scotland were deeply interested, for it was a question more exciting from one end of that country to the other than any other question that affected their interests. It was not a party question, but one which was influenced by the most laudable and honourable principle and feeling. Let the House look at the meetings that had been held in Scotland on this subject, and they would see that there was as many Whigs attended those meetings as persons of the other side in politics. Of the first great meeting held on the subject, Lord Belhaven, Commissioner of the General Assembly, was chairman, and there was not one at which Gentlemen holding the opinions and adhering to the party of hon. Members opposite did not warmly support the claims of the Church of Scotland to additional endowments from the state. They advocated the cause of those who could not effectually plead for themselves—the poor. It was for the religious instruction of the poor that the people of Scotland had come forward in thousands as petitioners, and all that they asked from the House was the grant of an inconsiderable sum to enable the Church efficiently to supply that instruction. He would venture to say that no petitioners who had ever approached that House occupied a position so strong as that which was held by these Gentlemen. They founded their claims upon a right which was admitted, and which it was impossible to deny—the duty of the state to provide for the support of the established religion of the country. The petitioners said that the state was bound to provide for the people the means of spiritual instruction by an endowed Church, and the noble Lord in his address to the House on a former occasion relating to this subject, had not denied the truth of this principle. But the petitioners did not come forward merely to ask for the enforcement of that right; they offered to the Government a donation unexampled in amount, collected by their own private contributions. The last time he had had the honour of bringing forward this question in the House, he had said that a sum amounting to upwards of 66,000l. had been subscribed in Scotland to aid the object which he should endeavour to recommend to the attention of Government, and that sixty-four Churches were in progress of erection, the whole of which the subscribers were willing to make over to Government on condition that the state should supply them with the means of maintaining clergymen to occupy the pulpits of these fabrics. This was in 1835; and in 1836 he was happy to state twenty-six churches were added to these sixty-four, and the former subscription was augmented by more than 32,000l. a sum which was still being increased. The subscribers, in fact, offered to the Government upwards of 100 churches, and whatever might remain after being expended on them of a sum of 150,000l. They tendered this sum to the state to enable it to perform its duty, and he could not better explain the spirit which dictated the sacrifice than by using the words of the parties themselves who made it. "We," they said, "on the part of a willing people, lay 150,000l. on the altar of Christian charity, as their contribution during the three last years for the highest good of the families of our land, and we turn to our rulers, in the fond expectation that a willing Government will co-operate in this patriotic measure, and that by the contribution of the state in aid of private liberality their object will be attained. He regretted that there should be any hon. Members in the House who deemed the subject of so little importance—the wishes of a great part of the population, and the interests of an important division of the empire, so little worthy consideration, and he trusted that the House would bear with him a little longer. Before calling attention to the Report of the Commissioners, he wished to remark, that former Governments had not refrained from bringing forward this question from inattention to the wants of the Church of Scotland. He said this because he had been taunted on a former occasion by his right hon. Friend opposite (the Lord Advocate) with keeping back the question when he himself held office. Doubtless, he (Sir W. Rae) being an Episcopalian was a dissenter from the Church of Scotland, of which the learned Lord was a Member; but he would not allow any man to say, that during the time he had had the honour of holding the office of. Lord-Advocate he was not actuated by the warmest anxiety for the welfare of that Church, and the sincerest zeal to promote its interests. It appeared to him necessary to proceed gradually to supply the deficiencies under which that Church laboured, and he had taken without loss of time such steps as appeared to him best calculated to give it greater means of doing good, and of spreading the blessings of religion. The most urgent case was that of the large parishes in the highlands in which it was impracticable for the population to attend the parish Church, to meet which he had introduced in 1824, after he became Lord-Advocate, a Bill to provide Churches in those districts; 40,000l. were granted for this purpose, besides the necessary endowments to support the clergymen. If the learned Lord would look to that Bill he would find that he was not inattentive to the principle which actuated those who were urging this question on Government, for the price of seats was limited to 2s. 6d. a-year, and in no case was a higher rent exacted. This Bill was followed by a vote of 40,000l. for building churches in the towns of Scotland. A Bill was introduced to apply the sum to that purpose, which was only lost in consequence of an alteration made in it by the House of Lords. He thought, then, he was entitled to say that he had not entirely neglected the interests of the Church of Scotland. He should now, as shortly as possible advert to the contents of the Report. The resolutions which he proposed to submit to the House, embraced, in his opinion, all the material points of the question. The first resolution related merely to a matter of fact, stating that his Majesty had been pleased to issue a Commission to inquire into the means of religious instruction existing in Scotland, with power to report from time to time, in order that Parliament might apply such remedies to any defects which might be proved as the case seemed to require. It did appear to him at the time that the issuing of the Commission was an acknowledgement of the principle that if it should appear by its Reports that a case of destitution was made out, the Government of the country was bound to provide a remedy. The noble Lord, whom he did not now see in his place, had certainly then admitted that it was the duty of Government to maintain and aid the Established Church, and that the question he had to consider was only one of disputed facts—one party alleging that the means of the Church were inadequate to the wishes of the population, and their opponents denying it. It was at that time admitted to be the duty of Government to maintain the Established Church of Scotland, and if a grant should appear needful for the support of that Church, he (Sir W. Rae) concluded that such a grant would have been made as to supply whatever deficiency might be discovered to exist. Another resolution to which he would advert was that by which the commission was bound to report from time to time; now that part of the resolution did away with some objections which he and others had entertained to the commission, who were led to believe that the inquiry would be more speedily concluded than by means of a Committee, and that it would thus sooner be decided, if an endowment were to be granted or not. Amongst others his right hon. Friend near him had strongly urged, that not much good would be derived from a Committee. He was then of a different opinion, and he was now sure that if the Committee had been appointed it could have concluded its labours last year, and the House, instead of voting various sums for temporary assistance, might have had before it a complete statement of the deficiency and have at once applied a sufficient remedy. The noble Lord opposite had said, that the inconvenience of the considerable length of the labours of the commission would be obviated by their reports from time to time being laid before Parliament, and that as soon as Parliament and the Government were enabled to settle the nature of the defects, they would devise the remedy to be applied. His next resolution only stated "That the Commissioners so appointed made a first report on the matters referred to them as applicable to those parishes in the Presbytery of Edinburgh, where the want of the means of religious instruction was alleged to exist, which Report was laid before the House of Commons on the 7th of February, 1837;" from which only one thing could be concluded— that the Commissioners had taken abundance of time in making up their report. But the next resolution involved matter of greater importance, and he felt great satisfaction that he had not now as last year, to deal with facts that rested on his bare assertion; although, knowing the nature of his countrymen, he was then sure that they would not have subscribed 66,000l. for any unnecessary purprose. The third was, "That it appears froom this Report that the population in the city of Edinburgh and its suburbs amounts to 162,292 of whom after deducting persons belging to religious denominations other than the Established Church, there remains 91,021; and that the total number of sittings in churches belonging to the Establishment amounts to 36,001. It further appears from the Report, that the number of persons capable of attending religious worship who habitually absent themselves from such worship cannot be less than from 40,000 to 50,000." He would not go through the calculations; no one could deny those facts, and if they were denied, he was ready to show the evidence which established them. The question then arose—was there sufficient church accommodation in Edinburgh? Of course he need not say, that seats were not wanted for the whole number of 91,021, as some of those were children. It had been found in country parishes, that the number for whom it was necessary to provide accommodation was forty-four per cent, which calculation excluded all persons under twelve years of age; but he must take exception to young persons under the age of twelve being excluded from the calculations for necessary church accommodation; he thought that accommodation should be provided for all the population above seven years of age: surely every one must acknowledge, that children between the ages of seven and twelve were fit objects for religious instruction, and if so, it would be found, that sixty-six would be a fairer calculation than forty-four per cent. Upon that calculation of sixty-six per cent, it would be found, that at least 25,000 sittings were wanting to provide for the population of Edinburgh. After calling the attention of the House to the deficiency in the number of sittings, his next resolution adverted to the nature and extent of the religious instruction which, according to the Report, the people of Scotland received. It appeared from the Report, that 2,000 was the greatest number of persons that could be properly under the care of one clergyman, while, in fact as many as 2,780 were found to be under the care of one clergyman—a number whose spiritual wants it was quite impossible any clergyman could attend to. Was it not a dismal and melancholy consideration that, in a population of 162,000, not fewer than from 40,000 to 50,000 habitually absented themselves from public worship? The fourth resolution stated, "That the said Report sets forth as the result of the whole evidence, that from whatever cause it proceeds, whether connected with their extent or nature, the opportunities of public religious worship, and the means of religious instruction and pastoral superintendence, at present existing and in operation, are not adequate to the removal of the evils complained of." In the Report of the Commissioners great pains had been taken to explain, that the people of Scotland were in general of a religious inclination; how was it, then, that in the capital so large a number absented themselves from religious instruction? It was a consolatory reflection, that those churches which had been endowed by the subscription raised in Scotland had been all filled, and by persons who were all respectably dressed. He was sure, that if the grant now sought were given, decency of dress and general morality of conduct would soon appear in the class for whose benefit it would be made. It had also been advanced, that the people stayed away because they required some relaxation. He felt persuaded that it was not so, but that the poor of Scotland took pleasure in public worship. The fact was, that money was borrowed to erect the church, and to repay that debt they were obliged to rent the pews as high as possible. The poor of Scotland would not accept a seat in the church for nothing; but if this grant were made by which they would be enabled to have a sitting at a lower rate than at present, they would take it and pay for it. In the unendowed churches the clergy were also dependent on the pew-rents, and as their hearers were bound to provide for the wants of their pastors, the pews were let at so high a rate that the poor could not afford to pay for them. The consequence of that entire dependence of the clergy was, that they sought rather for hearers among the rich than among the poor; and if the Dissenters had not come forward he believed that Scotland would now have been overrun with infidelity. But the debt with which the Churches already built were loaded was the chief point, and that was not a point to which the Commissioners had directed their inquiries. The Commissioners had said, that they did not wish to press any questions relating to the pecuniary affairs of the churches. Many Dissenting places were built on speculation to draw off the attendants of the Established Churches, and that statement was borne out by the returns, which showed that as many as 11,000 sit- tings in Edinburgh alone were unoccupied, which was only caused by the desire of extending a sect by building a large church, and thus burthening the congregations with a heavy debt. But whether they considered churches, chapels of ease, or Dissenting chapels, it was all the same; it could be shown in each case to be impossible to lower the pew-rents so as to admit the poor. He would advert to the evidence of Dr. Chalmers, who said, that two things were necessary for the religious instruction of the poor and the working classes —first, to remove a barrier (if 10s. 6d. were fixed on as the charge for a sitting, that would be a barrier); and, secondly, that some impulse should be applied to the population, for the removal of the barrier was only negative, and though it would prevent their going backwards would not urge them forwards, and they must not expect any progression unless an impulse were also provided. When the Commissioners asked Dr. Chalmers, what force he would apply, he replied, that the first thing necessary was to bring Christian charity and fellowship home to the poor. Let the ministers visit the homes of the poor in the week, and the poor would return those week-day calls by attendance at the church on the Sabbath. Let missionaries be first sent to collect congregations, the excellence of which plan had been proved to demonstration in a variety of instances in Edinburgh, and still more in Glasgow, where those missionaries had made a congregation first, whom they had addressed in barns and houses, instead of first building an expensive church and then seeking to repay themselves by a high pew-rent. The practical result for which he contended was not to be attained by the voluntary principle. That had been proved by what had actually taken place, both in Edinburgh and in Glasgow. This could not be effected by the voluntary principle. It could not be relied upon. That principle had been put to the trial, both in and out of the Established Church of Scotland—it had been tried in chapels of ease, and it had failed. The combined efforts of the Dissenters had not succeeded in giving it complete success, for even in Edinburgh alone there were 50,000 who had no opportunity of receiving religious instruction. Were matters to remain in this state? Was there any Gentleman on the opposite side of the House who would venture to say, that they ought to remain so? How were these 50,000 to be reclaimed from the deplorable state in which they must be as regarded religious instruction? It was from this class, and from the purlieus of the city of Edinburgh, that the calendars were filled with criminals. Of what consideration was the paltry sum of 10,000l. or 12,000l. a-year, to be expended in the endowment of churches, compared to the advantage of reclaiming so many from their evil ways and their present degraded condition? It was to this circumstance—the want of adequate church accommodation—that he imputed the great advance which crime had made within the last thirty years. In the year 1815 the expenditure under the head of prosecution of crime was only 6,000l., while in 1838 it was 36,000l., and in the present year would be 34,000l. What cause could be assigned for this great increase but a gradual decline in the moral and religious habits of the people, arising from a want of sufficient church accommodation? He had stated what the remedy was which the people of Scotland proposed to apply to the state of things he had described. The inhabitants of that country were ready to come forward, and at their own expense to provide all the churches that might be necessary. They were willing to leave the patronage of those churches to the disposal of the Government, and all they asked for was, that the Government should give a small endowment, in order that cheap seats might be furnished to the poor. He had heard it rumoured, that his motion was to be resisted, on the plea that further reports were required. For What purpose, let him ask? The evidence was complete, as far as regarded Edinburgh; and whatever might be found to be the condition of other parts of Scotland, the wants of the metropolis ought, at any rate, to be supplied. He had also heard it stated, that necessity of inquiring respecting Scotch teinds would be urged as a reason for objecting to the motion. He was told that the Commissioners were not ready to report on that subject. Why were they not ready? The Commission had been in existence since 1835, and a great part of the returns respecting Scotch teinds were at the command of the Government, and with respect to the other returns any information respecting them might be obtained in the course of a week. But what object could the Government have in view by instituting an inquiry respecting the teinds held by private proprietors in Scotland? Was the Government prepared to bring forward a tithe measure for Scotland? If they entertained any such intention, it was only right that the landed proprietors of Scotland should be aware of the fact. At the time of the Reformation the Crown seized a great part of the tithes, and conveyed them over to private individuals, who had held them ever since under titles which were irresistible. In 1617 an Act passed the Scotch Parliament to put an end to all doubts respecting the right of those individuals to the teinds; and that Act declared, that their right should be unchangeable now and for ever. It was under such a title that the property was held subject to the payment of a stipend to one clergyman in the parish where the property was situated; and by an Act passed in 1707, no second clergyman could be appointed to the parish Without the consent of three-fourths of the heritors. Now he should like clearly to understand whether the Government intended to take those tithes, and accumulate them into one large fund for the purpose of applying them to the endowment of new livings? He had no hesitation in saying, that such a proceeding would be contrary to law. He trusted that no such pretexts as he had mentioned would be resorted to for the purpose of getting rid of his motion. The noble Lord could not be aware of the strong feeling which prevailed in Scotland on this subject; and if the motion he proposed was postponed, the people of that country, recollecting that six long years had now elapsed since 1830, when the Church made an urgent demand for a grant of money, Would regard the proceeding as a sort of juggle practised to delude them. During the Administration of the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, an allusion was made to this subject in the King's speech, and that allusion spread like an electric spark through Scotland, and gave universal satisfaction. How had the present Government followed up that allusion? When they came into office did they show any symptoms of a willingness to act in the matter? The truth was, that he was the first to bring the subject under the consideration of the House, and to propose the appointment of a Committee. The Committee was refused, and a Commission appointed, with the distinct understanding, that the Commissioners should be directed to report from time to time. It was, however, rather a singular circumstance, that that direction was not given to the Commissioners, for all that they were told was, that they were at liberty to report from time to time. The consequence had been, that although the Commission was appointed in 1835, the first Report was not presented until the commencement of the present year. The House would recollect, that at the period of the appointment of the Commission he had complained of the manner in which it was constituted. He now, however, did not regret the way in which the Commission had been composed, for he found those whom he considered his adversaries on this question, could not avoid making out a case, showing the want of spiritual instruction in Scotland. He warned the noble Lord opposite, that if any pretext was seized on for postponing his motion, the people of Scotland would consider, and justly consider, that the Government were not dealing fairly with the question, and that they were pretending to do what they were either unwilling or afraid to do. He should regret such a result more perhaps than the noble Lord who perhaps thought that he made the motion for a party purpose would give him credit for. But he would assure the noble Lord, that the Government could take no step more serviceable to his (Sir W. Rae's) party, than that which he was now deprecating. The people of Scotland were excited with regard to the present question to a degree of which the noble Lord could have no just idea, and if the present motion should be passed by as unworthy of notice on the part of the Government, the noble Lord might depend, that the people of Scotland would look upon the conduct of the Government as an insult directed against themselves. The hon. and learned Gentleman concluded by proposing the following resolutions by way of amendment upon the Order of the Day. 1. That an address having been presented to the King by the House of Commons, humbly praying "That his Majesty would be graciously pleased to appoint a Commission to inquire into the opportunities of religious worship, and means of religious instruction, and pastoral superintendence, afforded to the people of Scotland, and how far these are of avail for the religious and moral improvement of the poor, and of the working classes, and with this view to obtain information respecting their stated attendance in places of public worship, and their actual connexion with any religious denomination, to inquire what funds are now or may hereafter be available for the purpose of the Established Church of Scotland, and to report from time to time, in order that such remedies may be applied to any existing evils, as Parliament may think fit, His Majesty was pleased on the 20th day of July, 1835, to issue such Commission. 2. That the Commissioners so appointed made a first report on the matters referred to them as applicable to those parishes in the presbytery of Edinburgh, where the want of the means of religious instruction was alleged to exist, which report was laid before the House of Commons on the seventh of February, 1837. 3. That it appears from this Report that the population in the city of Edinburgh and its suburbs amounts to 162,292, of whom, after deducting persons belonging to religious denominations other than the Established Church, there remain 91,021; and that the total number of sittings in the churches belonging to that establishment amounts to 36,001. It further appears from the Report that the number of persons capable of attending religious worship, who habitually absent themselves from such worship, 'cannot be less than from 40,000 to 50,000.' 4. That the said report sets forth 'as the result of the whole evidence, that from what ever cause it proceeds, whether connected with their extent or nature, the opportunities of public religious worship, and the means of religious instruction and pastoral superintendence at present existing and in operation, are not adequate to the removal of the evils complained of.' 5. That it is the opinion of this House that the said Report should be taken into immediate consideration, with the view of remedying the evils acknowledged to exist within the districts to which it refers, by extending the means of religious instruction and pastoral superintendence furnished by the Established Church of Scotland, and rendering them available to all classes of the community.

Lord John Russell

said, that the right hon. Gentleman had brought forward this motion to obstruct and delay the supplies to be granted to his Majesty, and this was the second time that the same course had been taken within the last few nights by hon. Gentlemen opposite. They would not wait to make their motions on the regular days devoted to that purpose, but they brought them forward to the impediment of the business of the Government. The right hon. Gentleman said, that the reason why he did this was, that he had no opportunity of bringing forward his motion on the regular notice days, because there was such a small attendance of Members on these days that he would not be able to bring his motion to a satisfactory conclusion. The right hon. Baronet, however, at the same time stated this subject had created greater excitement in Scotland than almost anything that occurred recently. If this were the case, and even it should happen that neither Irish nor English Members attended the discussion, the right hon. Gentleman would be perfectly sure of the presence of the Members for Scotland. But he recollected what was evidently the motive for bringing forward the other motion to which he had adverted—he meant the resolution relative to the affairs of Spain, which was proposed by a right hon. Gentleman opposite. The motive that produced that resolution no doubt was the feeling that was just then produced on the public mind by the reverses sustained by the British legion in Spain. If that feeling had been allowed to subside and pass away, the bringing forward the motion would not have promoted the object in view. He had no doubt that the present motion had just been brought forward because the Assembly of the Church of Scotland was about to meet; and although that assembly would not engage in such bloody battles as those fought in the fields of Navarre, still no doubt theological contests would take place which might be turned to a particular purpose, by bringing forward such a motion as that before the House. No doubt this battle would be made a great triumph to the right hon. Gentleman who brought forward this motion, having for its object the proposing a grant of money for the Church of Scotland, for it would be said if the motion was not granted, that the present government were enemies to the Church of Scotland. The right hon. Gentleman might say to this assembly, "The Government would not agree to any motion, and alleged that they wished for further information on the subject, and induced the House of Commons to go with them; therefore you must become adhered to the Tory or Conservative party, for they will grant you a sum of money for the Church of Scotland." He did not think that it was fitting or right that the Government business should be delayed and obstructed by such motions as that of the right hon. Gentleman, and brought forward under such circumstances as he had mentioned. What was the object of the right hon. Gentleman, in bringing forward the question at this particular time, for he told the House that for the last six years he had brought the matter forward; this, be it recollected, was since the period the right hon. Gentleman went first out of office? The right hon. Gentleman also said, that the evil had been rapidly growing and increasing during the thirty years previous, and therefore the deficiency complained of had been experienced for the last thirty-six years. But he begged the House to remember that the right hon. Gentleman was, previously to the last six years, connected with the Government of the country which induced that House to vote away millions upon millions, ay, and hundreds of millions upon hundreds of millions in order to support unnecessary and expensive wars, for he believed that not less than 140,000,000l. were expended in a single year during the last war. But, the right hon. Gentleman did not think fit to ask for even a small sum for that which must be admitted on all hands to be a paramount object; it never occurred to the right hon. Gentleman during those years of lavish expenditure, that such wants as he had described should be attended to. But what had been the course which the right hon. Gentleman pursued during the last two years? The subject was alluded to in the King's speech at the commencement of 1835, and on the change of Government a Commission was appointed, which was directed to inquire into the whole subject of the Church of Scotland. The Commissioners entered into the inquiry which was of a very laborious and unusual nature; and although they were directed to report from time to time, they did not present any report to the Crown until the beginning of the present year. The report contained the evidence connected with the town of Edinburgh; but he had heard within the last few days that the Commissioners had made inquiries respecting the town of Glasgow, and they had also made various inquiries respecting teinds, and he hoped within a short time to place another report on the table of the House. Therefore, he said, it was better to wait until they had the other reports before them before any further steps were taken on the subject. The right hon. Gentleman said that 10,000l. would be sufficient for the object in view. He, however, had not taken any steps to show on what information he had formed his calculation, and he did not state how much of this sum would be required by the town of Edinburgh alone. With respect to the resolutions of the right hon. Gentleman, he must observe that they did not give a fair interpretation of the facts, and this was particularly the case with respect to the third resolution. The Report on the table did not point out any specific evil, nor did it recommend the adoption of any particular remedy. The right hon. Gentleman referred to the opinion of Dr. Chalmers on the subject of church accommodation. He would read an opinion of that rev. Gentleman, on the same subject from the same page of the evidence:—"Do you think that the evil of Church destitution could be remedied entirely, or in part, by the multiplication of missionaries to a great extent?—This forms a very good initial operation, and I would much rather that it was never dispensed with. If we were to run up a number of churches, at this moment, we would be exposed to the mortifying view of empty benches. The first point should be a parochial missionary to cultivate the district; the process should begin there, but not end there. After he had done the work to a certain extent, and filled his station, he should be translated into a higher status; and the circumstance of becoming an ordained minister, and able to dispense ordinances, would give him a tenfold greater ascendancy over his district." From this opinion of Dr. Chalmers it was quite clear that he did not think that the mere fact of building a church or opening a chapel was sufficient to secure a congregation. He concurred in the opinion of Dr. Chalmers, that it would be desirable that with respect to those parishes in which there was a want of religious instruction it was almost indispensable, that in the first instance, they should resort to the labours of the missionaries. Dr. Chalmers maintained, that after the missionaries had been engaged for a certain period, they should become regular ministers of the Church, whereas the Dissenters contended, on the other hand, that missionaries should continue in that office, and that Dissenters should be appointed as well as ministers of the Church, and that they should be remunerated by voluntary contributions. He had been informed, that when the labours of the Commissioners had commenced, the number of missionaries had been increased, and several persons influenced by their own zeal, and others supported by the contributions of religious persons, were then exerting themselves to spread religion throughout the country. With respect to the Crown teinds and the bishop's teinds, which had been alluded to by the right hon. Gentleman, he would only observe that it was a question which he had referred to the consideration of the Commissioners. It was to be considered what means were or might become available to supply that want of religious instruction in Scotland which had been so eloquently described: the right hon. Baronet had appeared, throughout his speech, particularly careful to guard the landed proprietors of Scotland against any call being made on them to contribute more than was strictly due from them under former laws. The right hon. Baronet should consider that not Scotland only, but England, too, was interested in the promotion of the means of religious instruction. When the right hon. Gentleman was in office two years ago, he had very properly annexed a prebend of Westminster to the rectory of the parish in which the house stood; and it was made part of the arrangement that the parish should contain two places of worship, besides the parish church. It became necessary that an Act of Parliament should be passed for the purpose, but the pressure of public business had been such that hitherto be had not been able to carry this object into effect. All these subjects ought to be taken in their course: and it was most objectionable that hon. Gentlemen should delay the progress of public business for the sake of increasing excitement in Scotland or any place else. These subjects should be considered in due course, one after another, in order that a full consideration of each might produce some mature and regular proposition, instead of delusive resolutions such as these. He could assure the House, that when this subject had been maturely investigated, he should come forward with a distinct proposition, if neces- sary, or, at any rate, fully state the views of Government on the question.

Sir G. Clerk

regretted the speech which the noble Lord had just made. The noble Lord charged his right hon. Friend with bringing forward this motion for the purpose of obstructing public business. Now, what was the fact? His right hon. Friend had given notice two months ago of his determination to bring this question forward, if the Government did not anticipate him. When he gave that notice he had not been able to find an opportunity of bringing it forward. Two Gentlemen, supporters of the noble Lord, had given notice that on a certain evening they would bring forward their motion touching the Septennial Act. The noble Lord requested them to postpone it to another day; he offered them another day; and what day? Friday, the 5th of May. His right hon. Friend, however, then interposed, and adverting to the notice he had given, expressed his determination not to give way. What day was then selected? next Monday, which was also a supply day; but on which he did not think the noble Lord would repeat the objection he had that night made to his right hon. Friend. There never was a question agitated in Scotland which was so little of a party one as this which the noble Lord appeared to think it was. [Lord J. Russell: I alluded to the time.] He should come to the question of time shortly; but so far from its being a party question, there was a great desire that many of the Whig party should come forward and second these resolutions, and to them a preference had been given. As to time; had not sufficient time elapsed since the issuing of the Commission in 1885? The Commission had been sitting two years; it had cost 17,000l.; and it had merely produced this report on Edinburgh. If it continued to proceed with equal slowness, there was but little prospect of relief for those evils which the noble Lord admitted to exist. The noble Lord seemed to insinuate that nothing had been done by former Governments. This question had not escaped the attention of fanner Governments. It was very well to talk of the expense of the war, and the outlay Of 140,000,000l. in one year. Whatever the noble Lord might think of that war, the country had felt the deepest interest in the fortunate issue of it, and, while contributing to the expenses of waging it, had been unable to expend much for domestic purposes. But soon after the peace, the matter had been attended to. A million had been first, and then 500,000l. applied to this very purpose in England; 100,000l. had been voted, and then 50,000l. for Scotland; some alterations were made in the Scotch Bills elsewhere, and they were not passed; but one measure did pass, that for building churches in the highlands and western isles of Scotland. It did pass, and forty churches were built. Did the noble Lord think so lightly of the Establishment as to refuse a grant for extending its means of accommodation, on the ground that Dissenters had sittings unoccupied, or had built new churches? Why, most of the new churches built in Edinburgh were intended for the use of Roman Catholics; and surely the noble Lord could not mean that the Presbyterians of the establishment were not to have accommodation in the churches of the establishment, because they might go and hear mass in Catholic chapels. The noble Lord had said, that he could quote passages in the report against what had been advanced by his right hon. Friend; but the Report was full of controversial evidence, and the Commissioners had undertaken to give a fair extract from the testimony of both sides. It might sound well to speak against the landed proprietors, but they, more than any other class, bore the burthens of the establishment; and if there were no petitions against Church-rates from Scotland, it was because the landed proprietors defrayed the charges of building and repairing churches and parsonages. He objected to the calculations of the noble Lord; it was not for forty per cent, of the population, but for fifty per cent, of it, that accommodation was required; and in Glasgow, the report on which had been concluded twelve months ago, the amount was sixty per cent. He could not comprehend why that report had been held back. But in Edinburgh it appeared that out of 91,000 persons, there was not accommodation for more than 36,000; so that there were from 40,000 to 50,000 persons who did not habitually attend a place of worship? What was the comment of the Dissenters on this? Why, they admitted that there were from 25,000 to 30,000 persons who never attended. Where there was then such an amount of practical heathenism, ought any Christian Government refuse to interfere? The noble Lord had admitted, by ordering the Commissioners to report, from time to time, that the Government ought at once to interfere, when the evil in any particular place was ascertained. The rate at which seats were let was so high, the dislike to free or cheap sittings, which were generally in obscure corners, was such, that the churches were inaccessible to the poor. The Dissenters knew this well, and distributed their free or cheap seats throughout the church. Now, what was the case with regard to the seats? Out of 14,000, as it appeared in p. 308 of the Report, there were only 2,600 which were let at so low a rate as 5s. This, however, was a great deal too much for a labouring man earning from 10s. to 12s. a-week. Were the sum even to be 2s., that would exceed the powers of a poor man wishing to provide seats for his family. So that instead of there being accommodation for forty-four per cent., it might be safely said there was not enough for twenty-two per cent. The noble Lord had quoted a sentence of Dr. Chalmers, not perceiving that Dr. Chalmers was carrying out a former answer; and was insisting that the mere building of churches would not be enough; but that missionaries were necessary. The noble Lord seemed not to know, however, that these missionaries were not all churchmen, but that many were laymen, The members of the church of Scotland had built many churches during the last fifteen years, and what they wanted was, to have such a sum allowed as would enable them to procure stipend's for the maintenance of the clergymen without charging the poor too high far their seats. The right hon. Gentleman opposite (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) had made it a part of his plan to raise funds from the rent of pews; but he acknowledged that it was the duty of the Government to find seats for the poor. This was the demand of Scotland: it asked, that its clergy should be endowed, in order that its poor might be provided with accommodation in the churches. The noble Lord had said, that a special remedy for these evils was recommended by the Commission. He thought that the House and the country had great reason to complain of this. For what was the Commission appointed? He feared that the report, proving the existence of these evils, bad been reluctantly wrong from the members of that Commission, and that to that Cause was to be attributed the excessive lateness of the period at which the report had been presented, and the confusion which appeared in the drawing up of that report. There was a series of details given; the Commissioners did not add them up; there were rib totals, and the Commissioners themselves said, that the details did not afford the means of coming to any satisfactory conclusions, and they had not come forward to propose any remedy for the evils which they acknowledged to exist. He called on the Government, theft, to provide the remedy. The people of Scotland did not ask to have churches built on speculation, and as no profit would be received by those who contributed to the erection of the fabric, it could hardly be supposed that the Scottish people would be so ready to part with their money as to build churches where they were not absolutely required. He thought that it ought to be made a condition precedent to a grant from the Government that the seat rents should be fixed at the lowest possible sum. That would be more agreeable to the people of Scotland than to provide an increased number of free sittings. They had a great objection to free sittings. One of their great objects in going to church was to be able to go to the same seat; and he was also proud to say, that a strong national feeling of personal independence, which had contributed, perhaps, more than any other cause to keep Scotland without Poor-laws, had a great share in producing this feeling. He repeated, that there was a great unwillingness on the part of the people of Scotland to receive any assistance that was purely gratuitous, and that even in the education of their children they preferred to have the stipend fixed at a low sum; so that, by making a pecuniary exertion, they might be enabled to pay something out of their own pockets for that purpose. The noble Lord had said, that there were other inquiries going on which were not yet terminated. There was an inquiry going on into the unappropriated tithes in parishes. But let the House consider where these were. The greatest part of these parishes were in the city of Edinburgh itself, and the clergy of the city were not paid out of tithes, but by a house-tax levied for that purpose. The noble Lord might easily have got all the information he required on this sub- ject from the King's office in Edinburgh. He ventured to say, that 50l. for copying clerks would have been quite sufficient, but the noble Lord refused a grant of 50l. for such a return, and a Commission would be sitting another year at Edinburgh at an expense of 7,000l., for the purpose of acquiring information which might be obtained in a week at a cost of 50l. And this was what his Majesty's Government called economy. Now, with regard to the church property, which he admitted was available for the purpose of giving increased church accommodation, he contended that it was of no consequence whatever to the House whether the amount of that property was sufficient for that purpose or not. If that amount proved to be large, the people of Scotland would have a right to demand the accommodation. That property having passed into the hands of the Commissioners of land revenue, it now formed part of the consolidated fund, and therefore the country ought to provide for the remedy. If, on the other hand, there was no such fund, then he asserted that it was the bounden duty of the Government, this great destitution having been proved, to provide the remedy. Then, with regard to the inquiry respecting bishop's teinds, and other church lands which were now the property of the Crown, he considered that it formed a still stronger argument for the present motion. He knew that a return on the subject existed in the Treasury, and he believed that 7,000l. or 8,000l. of these bishop's rents was still unappropriated. If, then, as his Majesty's Government contended, when there was a surplus of church property, it ought to be applied to public purposes, surely when there was a deficiency of church property, by a similarity of reasoning, it ought to be supplied out of the public funds. There were also other church funds derived from lands let out on lease, which were under the control of the Commissioners of Land Revenue, and it was their bounden duty, whenever an opportunity offered, to take care that the interests of the Crown were attended to, and not to renew the leases except upon equitable terms. He maintained, however, that they were not to wait till these returns were produced. There were from 25,000 to 30,000 persons in the city of Edinburgh alone who wished for a seat in church, but could not obtain that accom- modation, and he called, therefore, on the House, not indeed descending from the high ground of the obligation to provide for the immortal welfare of so many souls, but on the ground of policy also; and he called on the noble Lord, as he wished the peace of the country to be preserved, to make such a grant as was necessary, and he was sure that the money granted would be saved ten times over in the course of a few years, by reclaiming these persons from ignorance, and teaching them habits of industry and providence. Dr. Chalmers had observed that the dwellings of those persons who were of a religious turn, though with no greater means than their neighbours, had always an appearance of greater comfort and neatness than those of their neighbours who were not so religiously disposed. The increased habits of industry that would follow upon increased church accommodation would, he contended, amply repay the State for any pecuniary grant. The noble Lord would also save in the amount of the estimates of the expenses of public prosecutions which the learned Lord Advocate would have to lay on the table of the House, which expenses had increased so much during the last few years; and he would also find a reduction in crime, which he was sorry to say had increased twenty-fold, and then the Under-Secretary for the Home Department would not be obliged to introduce a Bill for building those large penitentiaries for the confinement of persons in Scotland. He did hope, however, that the House would consider this question upon much higher grounds, and that they would agree with him in thinking that it was the bounden duty of the Government to provide the means of religious instruction for all classes of the people.

Mr. Hope Johnstone,

who was most imperfectly heard throughout his address, was understood to say, that, as a Member of the Commission, he thought that every exertion had been made to prepare the Report as early as possible. There was a great variety of objects of inquiry; they had to circulate questions through all the parishes in Scotland, which were upwards of 1,000, and wait for the answers; and he must say, that no men could have devoted themselves more assiduously to the objects of the Commission than those gentlemen did. Some of the parishes were in Orkney, and Shetland, and the Hebrides, and were perfectly inaccessible, except daring the summer months. With regard to the charge brought against them of not pointing out a specific remedy for the evils which they had reported to exist, he thought that it was better to make a statement of facts, than to recommend a remedy which, constituted as the Commission was, would only come from a section of the board, and would therefore have the appearance of an ex-parte statement. With regard to the question immediately before the House, he should despise himself, looking at it as he did as one of the highest and most sacred import, if he could regard it as a party measure; and therefore he assured the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) that if he did not find himself compelled by a sense of duty to vote for these resolutions, he would at once say so. There was no less a number than 40,000 persons, and in his conscience he believed that the number was much greater, who, in the city of Edinburgh, habitually absented themselves from public worship, and of these there were about 14,000 persons who professed not to belong to any Christian sect. It was quite clear that such a state of things as this could not be suffered to exist, unless some strong reasons compelled it. At present it arose partly from an actual want of seat room, and partly from the high rate of seat rents. But it appeared that there was another reason. It was the reluctance of the people to sit in free seats. Dr. Chalmers remarked, that the people of Scotland did not like to be pilloried for poverty, any more than for crime, and they would not place themselves as paupers among the congregation. He considered that every inducement ought to be held out to the ministers to make a more frequent practice of household visitation than they did. We ought not to permit persons to grow up in the state of utter ignorance in which these people were, leading lives of the grossest profligacy, of which it was shocking to hear, without one cheering hope to sustain their sinking spirits. Increased church accommodation was required, and he could not see that anything precluded the Government from taking that course, and he hoped he should have a distinct assurance that they would apply that remedy to those evils. As to the manner in which that remedy was to be applied, he did not gay that any particular plan was best. The subject was intricate, and required much consideration, which, indeed, he thought it ought to receive. He supported those resolutions, because they had the merit of leaving open the question as to the means and funds out of which aid was to be derived. He thought it was the duty of the Government, as it certainly was good policy, to come forward with some measure to remedy the evils complained of, and to extend wider the means of religious instruction of the people of Scotland.

Lord John Russell

begged to offer a few words in explanation, as he was afraid he had been supposed to bring any charge against the Commissioners. He certainly had not meant to bring any charge against the Commissioners, and had only said, that they had suggested no definite remedy for the evils which they had stated to exist. Not having suggested a remedy, it was the more necessary for the Government to use the utmost care in the formation of a plan, and he was afraid he could not at present go further than to say, that it was a case demanding the utmost consideration. He did not deny the existence of the evil, but in respect to the remedy to be applied, a great difference of opinion might exist. It was not clear from the Report, whether the evil arose from want of church accommodation, or from want of instruction; and the Government wished to take all these circumstances into their consideration before they brought forward their measure.

Mr. Gillon

thought that the right hon. Gentleman from whom the resolutions had emanated might have postponed the question, and spared the House its discussion at the present time at least. They were called upon to decide with respect to matters upon which a report had not yet been made. If doubt existed upon the mind of any individual as to the propriety of the step adopted by his Majesty's Government two years ago, when they appointed a Commission upon this subject—if any one had upon this point entertained a doubt before, that doubt must now be certainly removed. He begged to say, in opposition to the statements that had been made upon the other side of the House, that, looking to the Report made by the Commissioners, it would be found that the complaints the hon. Gentlemen opposite had made had broken down, and, so far as they went to apply to church-accommodation, it was manifest that they had no ground for demanding a grant for building additional churches. It was his duty to refer to one or two statements made by hon. Gentlemen opposite. Before he did that, however, he wished to refer to the constitution of the Commission, to which this very important inquiry was confided. It would be recollected that in the year 1834, and in the beginning of 1835, petitions in great numbers were presented to Parliament, making demands for a grant for church accommodation. In consequence of these petitions, counter statements were made, which emanated principally from Dissenters in Scotland. He should be ashamed of himself, whatever obloquy such a course might expose him to, if he did not defend, as he felt it to be his duty, that valuable, meritorious, and influential class of men. Now, when a Commission such as that which had been appointed was about to be nominated, it was naturally to be expected that it would be composed of persons of both persuasions. The constitution of the Commission would justly have been objected to, if it had been composed entirely of Dissenters. How was the Commission composed? There were twelve Commissioners, and he did not know how many assistant Commissioners, and of all these there was only one individual connected with that respectable body to whom he had before referred. Two years ago he had protested against the appointment of a Commission so composed. His hon. Friend near him would bear him out in recollecting the objection that he had at that time made against the constitution of a Commission composed entirely of churchmen with but one exception. In this opinion he was joined with several ethers. He could not but look with some degree of jealousy on a Commission the members of which were naturally biassed to one set of opinions. But let them, then, took to what took place on the appointment of the Commission. Because that Commission was not composed of men who had made up their minds upon one point—because those persons were not all prejudiced in one particular way, the Church-extensionists assailed his Majesty's Government in the most extravagant language; and more political virulence was exhibited by them than was at alt consistent with that decorum and gravity which was to be expected upon a Church question. This course was pur- sued by the Church-extensionists—it was they and not the Dissenters who raised an objection to the Commissioners. Then, with regard to the statements made on the other side respecting Edinburgh, he did not know what was the opinion entertained by his Majesty's Government; but, in his judgment, there was no ground for the demand made for additional church accommodation. The gross population of the united district of Edinburgh was 162,193 persons. The church accommodation for such a number, according to the legal rules laid down in their courts of law, and which the right hon. Baronet had attempted to show was too small, was 72,132 seats. In the churches connected with the parishes there were 36,001 seats, and the Dissenters provided 42,705 seats, making in all 78,706 seats, thus showing an excess of 6,574 seats beyond the demand contemplated by the courts of the country for the whole population of Edinburgh. Now, the right hon. Baronet said that this was not sufficient. From his statement a person would suppose that the churches were overcrowded, when the fact was, that at the very time this demand for additional churches was made, there were not less than 21,154 seats, both of the Established Church and the Dissenting congregations, unoccupied. Another way of calculating the matter was this, the Church-extensionists claimed the whole of the population in 1834 as belonging to the establishment. As then the seats in the Church Establishment were not sufficient for the population, an apparent deficiency was created. He knew that in one of the boroughs with which he was acquainted, the Committee of the General Assembly stated, that there was a deficiency of 4,200 seats, whereas, when they had taken into calculation the accommodation provided by the Dissenters, there was not a deficiency of above 1,000 seats. It was stated in the Report that there was a deficiency, not of 6,000, but of 4,348 seats; but, by looking to pages 4 and 23 of the Report, it would be found that those deficiencies had been completely supplied. Since then, four additional churches had been built, providing seats that more than supplied the deficiency. What was Ms reply to the statements on the other side? He found that in the churches connected with the establishment there were absolutely 3,617 seats, at 5s. per seat, unoccupied; 248 seats, at 2s. per seat, unac- cupied; 786 unoccupied, rating from 2s. to 3s. per seat. There were 3,301 seats that cost less than. 5s. each unoccupied. When this case could be made, how came it to be stated that there was a great deficiency of Church accommodation? The right hon. Baronet had very truly stated that there was a great aversion on the part of the Scotch people to receive anything gratuitously; and then the right hon. Baronet did not himself propose to give to the poor seats gratis. There were now 3,301 seats that could be acquired for a less sum than 5s. a-year, and 1,000 seats that could be acquired for a less sum than 3s. He did not see how the right hon. Baronet proposed to give seats cheaper than this; he did not see how he was, in this respect, to remedy the case of destitution he had laid before the House. But it was said by the Church extensionists that this was the great benefit they would derive from a grant—that it would enable them to complete the parochial system. He begged of hon. Members to attend to this. It was proposed to divide the country into small districts, and to put into each of them a Church with a minister, and to confine the people to the ministration of that particular minister. They were to alter the parochial system. That was the course which they proposed to pursue, and the Report showed how inapplicable was such a system to the country. A striking instance of it occurred within his own knowledge. He was in-farmed by a popular preacher in Edinburgh, that during a residence of six years in a particular parish, out of every parishioner in it, there were only two families, consisting of seven individuals, who regularly attended his Church. What an enormous expense would be incurred in having the parochial system established, A statement bad been made, in the Report, to the effect, that there were between 40,000 and 50,000 persons in. Edinburgh who were not in the habit of attending places of religious worship. How the Commissioners arrived at that conclusion was not made out. The proper number of attendances was 72,132; the seats that were let, free, and allocated were 56,504, They were to deduct the free seats that were not occupied, those that were not let, and yet might he filled by those who were in the habit of attending the churches, and the residuum would be 15,628 not in the habit of attending places of religious worship. This, unfortunately, was an appalling picture; it was not so bad, however, as it had been painted; but still the number of non-attendances on religious worship was such as every well-wisher to the good of society must deplore. But then they came to the means proposed to remedy the evil. What was the most efficient as suggested by the promoter of the resolutions? He had already shown that there were seats enough in the churches in Edinburgh. Oh! but then they must have new churches! Why? He could not understand it, unless it were conjectured that there was some virtue in the walls, from which strange benefits were to be derived. They were told they ought to have additional churches, and forty ministers officiating in the churches; hut then as the new churches were filled, the seats in the other churches would become deserted. And it was thus that they were to go on! Then, by what means were they to provide religious instruction for the 15,000 or 16,000 who, as he had shown, were not in the habit of attending places of religious worship? In the 31st page of the Report, the most satisfactory proof was given of the beneficial labours of the ministry of the missionaries. More of these missionaries belonged to the Dissenters than to the Established Church, and he was afraid that if they endowed ministers and built churches for them, they would be, instead of increasing their zeal, doing that which was materially calculated to diminish it. What was proposed by the Church-extensionists if the money that they asked for was granted to them? They would with that money endow the existing chapels—they would take from wealthy individuals that burthen which, from the most praiseworthy motives, they imposed upon themselves, and which they now willingly bore. This was the way in which that money would be applied which was now said by the light hon. Baronet to be intended for the benefit of the poorer classes. The very first use that would be made of it would be to relieve persons in the higher and middle classes. But he begged hon. Members to reflect how far the grant might be extended? The other day, when his Majesty's Ministers proposed the question of Church-rates, they were told that, notwithstanding the wealth of the dignitaries of that church, there was not a smaller number than two millions of the population of England destitute of religious instruction. This, too, occurred notwithstanding the overgrown revenues of the dignitaries of that church. Where were the funds to be procured for this object? If all the grants that were asked were conceded, a sum amounting to not less than 20,000,000l. would be required to meet such demands. He should not regret, if the funds could be spared, to devote them to such an object—none could be more praiseworthy; but then he did object that the Dissenters in England and Scotland, of whom he begged to assert, that it was to their exertions the poor owed that religious instruction which they now enjoyed, considering, too, all the benefits of morality which they had conferred, and and that they, by their own resources, had built churches and sustained their own ministers—he did, on their part, object to their being compelled to bear any portion of the burthen which was now sought to be placed upon the country. He thought that the right hon. Gentleman might have waited until the Report had been concluded. He might have waited until the Commissioners had reported what ecclesiastical funds could be made applicable to the demands of the Church on this point. He did not consider it extraordinary that it was declared that the inquiry would be useless. He believed there were many Tory landlords who would be sorry to find the unappropriated teinds called for. This might account for the extravagant zeal now manifested. For his own part, he must say, that he considered the present motion originated more for the purpose of serving a political purpose than to be the emanation of religious zeal. The right hon. Baronet had told them that strong feelings had been excited in connexion with this subject. It was quite true, that from the moment the Church-extensionists had commenced their labours, sectarian feelings and religious animosities had been excited—from that period to the present, the most pernicious efforts had been made to arouse bad feelings amongst the population, and it was with great regret that he had seen lately ministers of the Kirk degrade their office to political purposes, and use their pulpits as an arena for sectarian animosities and partisan enmities. It was painful even to have to recite such facts; but he was convinced, that as long as such demands as they had before them that night were made, so long would such unhappy scenes continue. He wished, by the statement he had made, to counteract the effect of the resolutions that were proposed by the right hon. Baronet. He wished, too, to put upon record that of which he was convinced in his own mind, that on that Report no ground was laid for calling for their adoption. As the forms of the House did not permit him to adopt this course, he would content himself with giving the proposition his most decided opposition.

Sir Robert Peel

would be sorry to allow this subject to come to a conclusion without some Member unconnected with Scotland taking part in the discussion. He should be particularly sorry if it should be inferred from such a circumstance that there was not as warm an interest felt for the welfare of Scotland, and for the spiritual concerns of its people, as for any part of the United Kingdom, among the Members of that House who were not connected by birth with that country. In the few observations which he meant to make on this subject he would confine himself to considerations of a public nature, and would not attempt to follow the example of the noble Lord opposite. Supposing that in former administrations large sums of money had been voted for the purpose of carrying on a war which the noble Lord might think unnecessary, but which the people of this country thought essential for the maintenance of the honour of the country, and for the protection of their vital interests—supposing the fact to be true, he would not say that they were therefore discharged from the necessity of attending to the spiritual wants of the country. The noble Lord told the House that 140,000,000l. had been expended in one year, he believed it was in 1815; and, he believed, also that it was necessary, to support the mighty contest that was brought to its final termination by the glorious battle of Waterloo. It seemed to him that the House of Commons had expressed its decided concurrence in the policy of maintaining that war; and unless he was much mistaken, when the matter was brought to a vote the noble Lord did not dissent from the address then agreed to. He thought that the noble Lord might find also amongst his bosom Colleagues many of the most distinguished and cordial supporters of that policy. It now seemed that the noble Lord was inclined to blame that war, which terminated, as he had already said, with the ever glorious battle of Waterloo. But the matter for present consideration was, whether there was conclusive proof in the evidence on the table that the state of religious instruction in Scotland called for the interference of that House? The noble Lord objected, he said, to a partial consideration of this question. He apprehended that when the Commission was appointed the noble Lord himself recommended that they should make periodical reports for the purpose of taking them into separate consideration. They had now before them the Report on the state of Edinburgh, and there was no reason why they should not apply themselves to the consideration, not of the general principle on which hereafter they might extend aid for religious purposes, but that they might take into consideration the state of the metropolis, and that they should, if they approved of the principle of such a grant, make one which would be sufficient for remedying the crying evils that existed there. The reason so large a portion of the population as 50,000 were in the habit of neglecting divine worship was given in the Report. The reason, or rather the principal reason, was stated to be this, and all parties concurred in "thinking so, namely, the disposition of the people themselves. This partly arose from their extreme poverty, and partly from the circumstance that their attention had never been called to the subject of religion, and they were totally ignorant of the duties it imposed. Many of them, according to Dr. Lee, did not know the first truths of religion, a large portion of them was sunk in habitual debauchery and vice, and were insensible to all the feelings of religion and morality. This being the state of forty or fifty thousand persons, he asked the House whether or not they thought that the advantage of applying, to a limited extent, some legislative remedy to these evils did not far counterbalance any speculative objections that could be made to it. There were some documents published at Glasgow which he considered to be of the utmost importance. They stated this very striking fact, with respect to the proportion that existed between the commission of crime and the habit of attending divine worship. He begged the attention of the House to the simple statement of this most material fact. The right hon. Baronet referred to the document to show that in several parishes in Glasgow the number of the people who possessed church accommodation was in the proportion of two, four, five, and eight in the hundred, and upon further inquiry it was stated, upon the authority of police magistrates, and of the governor and chaplain of the bridewell, that nearly all the criminals who were tried or immured within the gaol came from these places. Where, on the contrary, the number which possesed church accommodation was in the proportion of fifty, sixty, seventy, or eighty to the whole population, the police had no duties to perform, and the bridewell received no inmates. If, therefore, he considered this question in a purely economical point of view, he thought that by giving the means of religious instruction and attendance at divine worship, a saving might be effected in the expense of maintaining the peace, which would far outweigh any advance that they might be called upon to make. The hon. Member for Falkirk asked what limits there were to be to this interference. Now, he thought they might establish very wise limits; he thought that his hon. Friend proposed wise limits. The principle might be applied in the first instance to Edinburgh, and afterwards they might carry the principle to its full extent throughout the whole of Scotland. The principle he would propose was this, that if the people themselves provided edifices, if by their own voluntary subscription they provided churches, then the State was to be at the expense of the endowment. They would thus establish limits, and narrow limits, to the extent to which they could be called upon for Parliamentary aid, and they would have this conclusive evidence of its necessity, that before they granted Parliamentary aid there must be a voluntary subscription on the part of those who had the best means of acquiring local information, and who were most chiefly interested in the local welfare of the place. He would not say, that it should be necessarily limited to this extent, because he could conceive cases of moral destitution in places where there were no rich proprietors who could afford to subscribe a sufficient sum for the erection of a church, and in these some further assistance would be required. But if they established the principle that Parliamentary aid should only be granted as a permanent endowment where the chapels were raised by voluntary subscription, he did not believe that the sum they would be called upon to advance would be more than 20,000l., a-year. When he compared the inestimable advantages that would arise from the greater spread of religious instruction in a moral point of view, and even in a pecuniary point of view, from the advance of this Sum, he could not hesitate as to the course that he felt called upon to adopt. Some thirty or forty years ago Scotland exhibited a most beautiful example. The people were better educated, they had a juster sense of religion, there was less actual crime and more of religion, speaking generally, than was to be found in any other part of the United Kingdom. He was afraid it could not be denied, that the character of Scotland had not maintained itself in this respect. It had increased in wealth, and in many of the elements of prosperity, but its people had not preserved that character of which they formerly exhibited so distinguished an example. He apprehended that the simple truth was, that the population had outgrown the means of instruction. Whilst the country was increasing in prosperity, and obtaining all the luxuries of life, the Legislature had neglected to provide increased moral and religious instruction. A great influx of population had taken place into the towns, and in the towns they found at present the greatest instances of religious destitution, and the fewest means in proportion to the population of attending religious worship. He apprehended that the cause was easily to be ascertained. In towns, the shame of neglecting divine worship did not operate to the same extent as in the country. The landed proprietor, occupying a permanent position in his parish, had the chief interest in maintaining the moral character of the population; but these motives did not operate on the vast manufacturer who resided in a large town, and who had not the same motive for attending to the religious education of the working classes such as existed in country parishes. He thought that the Legislature ought to provide Some means by which religious instruction should be provided for these persons. An objection had been made to legislative interference, which appeared to him to have no force. It was stated, that there must be always in the great towns a large population, who, in spite of every care, could not be brought to attend divine worship. Now this he conceived was the strongest argument that could be used in favour of legislative interference, inasmuch as it was their duty, where there were such persons, to attempt to reclaim them. It was these very classes. so deprived of moral and religious instruction, that brought discredit on the coun- try, and endangered the peace of society. He admitted, that the mere building of churches would be of no avail. He admitted that the providing free seats, and those too, of a respectable character, would do but little to remedy that irreligion which habitually existed; but Dr. Chalmers had not limited his plan to the mere extension of churches, he said, that at the time they extended church accommodation they must remove the barriers which prevented the people from availing themselves of the ministration of the gospel — they must add an impelling motive to induce these persons to attend divine worship. He therefore did not propose merely church extension, not merely endowments for those churches that had been already built, but they must circumscribe the exertions of the parochial ministers, they must give them a responsibility for the moral condition of the people under their charge, they must not compel them to confine their attention to their congregational flock, but they must give them a direct interest in the improvement of those who were attached to the church, and not only remove all barriers, but supply an impelling motive to their exertions. It appeared upon all sides that no such existed in Edinburgh. They need not commit themselves to the principle with respect to Glasgow, or any other place respecting which they had no evidence; but if they had a population of 50,000 persons in the metropolis who habitually neglected divine worship, and who had no means of religious instruction, was there any reason why they should not at once proceed to the consideration of that question, and supply those wants? If the principle were established, he should be glad of it. He would establish it to this extent, that where be found among the landed proprietors of Scotland so deep a conviction that evil had arisen from the want of church accommodation, that they were ready from their own means to raise a large sum of money for the construction of edifices, then he would say, let the State step in and provide endowments for these churches. The effect of this principle, carried to its full extent, would not cost the country much, but it would give a stimulus to subscriptions amongst all the inhabitants of Scotland. When the people were unable to raise a sufficient subscription, he contended that it was not only incumbent on the State, but its bounden duty, to provide endowments and also to construct edifices for public worship. On these grounds he believed that the principle limited to that extent was advantageous. He believed that its benefits would far outweigh the speculative objections that might be made to it—that it Was the interest of the Dissenters as well as of members of the establishment—indeed, of all—that a moral and religious population should exist in Scotland—that it was their interest to see the ancient name of Scotland again conspicuous— and that that country should take the lead she was used to take among the nations of Europe. He should not only most cordially bear his share of the contributions which he should be called upon to make, not only should he not feel it a violation of conscience, but he should think it consistent with the soundest policy, consistent with the truest economy, and consistent with everything calculated to promote the honour, the peace, and the welfare of the country.

Mi. Horsman

said, as my name is appended to that Report I feel it my duty, although with some personal inconvenience, to be present on this occasion; but I had still hoped that I need not have been called on to address the House, least of all did I hope to be called in consequence of any more of those attacks which the hon. Member for Edinburghshire has so long been in the habit of making on the Commissioners. I had hoped he would have followed the same course he did last time the subject was before the House, for he then admitted that the Commissioners were ably and impartially discharging their duties, although on their appointment he had accused them of gross incapacity and great political bias. But he has thought proper now to fall foul of their report, and say that it is mystified, confused, and unwillingly wrung from the Commissioners. Now, having listened attentively to all that fell from him, I must say, that all the mystification and confusion we have had an example of this evening was in his own speech. I wish I could add, that it also was unwillingly wrung from him; but that certainly has not been the case; that speech was Intended to produce much effect, and had certainly cost much preparation, for with all my willingness to give full credit to his ability in that line, I do not think he could have given vent to such a long train of ignorance and inconsistencies without a very great deal of preparation indeed. That report watt made by the Commissioners after an inquiry instituted under every difficulty—under difficulties arising partly from the conduct of the Members for Bute and Edinburgh, who excited much feeling against them, and also from the opposition of the church, who for their reasons were dissatisfied with the constitution of the Commission, as well as from the hostility of the dissenters, who had also their reasons for disaffection. But what has been the result? That inquiry has been completed—the Report has been published for weeks—the church find no fault—the Dissenters show little dissatisfaction, and in this House it has passed without a single criticism, except the Member for Edinburgh's vague declaration that it is mystified and confused. I shall not vote for the resolutions of the Member for Bute, and for this among other reasons, that I feel them to be brought forward solely from party views. They are nominally for the interests of the church; they are in reality to promote the cause of Conservatism in Scotland. I object to this attempt to convert the scotish church into a political engine—to degrade it, as the churches of England and Ireland have been degraded, into an instrument of party Warfare. It is certainly competent for Gentlemen to bring forward this question in any way they like; but if they are pleased to be so lavish of their censures on the Government for its omissions, at least it would be more decent in them to begin by a penitent acknowledgment of their own. When they left office in 1830 their party had had an extraordinary lease of power; and with such majorities as they possessed they could have carried any measure for the strengthening of the church; yet up to that time the church had been treated with an indifference bordering on contempt. Not only was no one act of grace ever accorded it to show that the Government had its existence in remembrance, but its wants were unfeelingly disregarded and its interests heedlessly overlooked. But the very magnitude of the evil brought with it one cure, and one by no means favourable to the establishment. The people, for whom the hon. Baronets did not think it worth while to make provision (for they had no votes in those days, and they were not prophets enough to foresee that the church-in-dan- ger cry might one day be as useful to them in that country as it had ever proved in this)—that people, who could get no provision from the Government, set about to seek for it elsewhere; they had wished to learn, but the Government would give them no teachers, they had asked for worship but the Government would afford them no room; they resolved to furnish it for themselves; they were a pious and energetic race; they were poor—the poorest of the people; but they were not deterred by that; the labourer brought a portion of his daily earnings, and the widow contributed her mite, and conventicles arose, and more ministers were ordained, and the gospel became once more accessible to all, and the efforts of the Dissenters were blessed in their effects, for an intelligent people they preserved from ignorance, and a religious people they rescued from infidelity. The state of matters may be judged of by one fact: the very first parish the Commissioners had inquired into had a population of 80,000. When the right hon. Baronet left office it had only one parish church. Now many churches of other denominations had sprung up in it—nineteen. The whole population of Edinburgh is 162,000, of this less than a half belonged to the establishment. Thus, therefore, the House and the public will see, that whatever may be the demerits of others, at least the services of our opponents to the church have not been much to boast of; and if a comparison between the two parties is to be entered on, at least they are foolish to provoke it. The present Government, from the faults of its now assailants, are in this unfortunate position, that they have neither the opportunity to do all the good their predecessors might have done, nor can they hope to remedy all the mischiefs that their predecessors have brought about. On the present condition and character of the Scotch Church establishment I have recently had great opportunities of forming an opinion, and perhaps from personal observation I might venture to put myself in competition even with so high an authority as the right hon. Gentleman. I do not, then, hesitate to say, that the Church of Scotland is by far the most perfect establishment that we possess or know of. It presents none of those anomalies by which our churches in England and Ireland are disgraced; it has no wealth arising from the wants of a suf- fering and slaughtered peasantry to support the doctrines of a majority of the nation and the priesthood of an alien faith. It has no rich prizes by which to spur the piety of its prelates— no desirable translations by which to ensure their independence—and it presents you with none of the features of an overgrown establishment with a long catalogue of irregularities and abuses, and a retinue of deans, and pluralists, and prebends. No; the Church of Scotland happily, is cumbered by none of those monstrosities, and therefore the Church of Scotland has been an useful and a popular Church—popular from its simple and unpretending character, and useful from the character of its ministry. Its clergy instead of being scions of aristocracy, and too often an example of indolence and immorality to their flock, are invariably taken from the people, and with incomes varying from 150l. to 300l. a-year, never below the former, and very rarely exceeding the latter sum, they maintain a life of respectability and usefulness, and present to you the picture of the most exemplary, the most laborious, and the most efficient ministry under any establishment you possess. Such was their character previous to their being admitted to political privileges under the Reform Bill. Whether that character is to continue, our opponents are now making a matter of experiment. Previous to 1832 the "Church-in-danger" cry had never been heard in Scotland. But on the passing of the Reform Bill a change came over the dream of the hon. Members for Edingburgh and Bute. The church that had hitherto been disregarded as a means of instruction for the people was now capable of being made a mighty engine of power for the advancement of a party. The practised eye of those experienced Gentlemen saw the advantage to be derived from a good move. Accordingly in that long-lived and prosperous administration which the right hon. Baronet formed, the church was put up to auction, and the first bid for its favours was made by a paragraph in the King's Speech. That speech has been called a series of claptraps; but the greatest claptrap it contained was that about the Scotch Church. It was, however, a skilful move and answered a double purpose. It contained a very safe promise, because the Tory tenure of office was certain to be too short to allow it to be performed; but in the second place it furnished a capital handle of agitation against their successors. Is it not in accordance with a pledge given at a public dinner that the right hon. Baronet brings forward this motion tonight? In reply to a speech then delivered by a clergyman, the right hon. Baronet the Member for Bute got up—complimented the eloquence of the speaker—praised the speech—drew a pathetic picture of the wants of the Church and the enmity of the Government—showed that he who had, when in office, seen one million at one time voted to the English Church, and 500,000l. at another, without getting one sixpence for the Church of Scotland, was ready to become a martyr, and pledged himself to bring the matter before Parliament and obtain justice for Scotland. The right hon. Member has redeemed his pledge. The Member for Selkirk was also there—he also gave a pledge—he has not yet redeemed it—but he also made a speech, almost as eloquent as the one he is going to make tonight, and showed that if the Church of Scotland was to be once more watered with the blood of martyrs, the Members for Bute and Edinburgh should not engross all the honour, for if they died for their religion, the Member for Selkirk was prepared to die for it too. But this was not all—the Peel banquet took place soon after, and it was well known and diligently published that there also the Church of Scotland would be brought prominently forward, and the clergy were everywhere invited to attend. Forty-five of them did attend,, and they exhibited a political gathering of the Scotch Church such as had never been seen before. But if the presence of those Gentlemen at that dinner, headed as they were by the moderator of the General Assembly, and all sorts of dignitaries and principals, was injudicious, the sentiments that were uttered by them were still more so. Sir, the best lovers of the Church of Scotland viewed with sorrow and alarm the exhibition that was made by a portion of their clergy on that occasion—they knew that the Tory papers, which blazoned with those names and speeches triumphantly and vauntingly as they did, aimed a heavier blow at their Church establishment than could have been inflicted by a whole army of Dissenters. The right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth approves of clergymen being politicians. He told us lately in this House that when they ceased to be politicians they would soon become drones and hypocrites. Now, the people of Scotland think differently; and they tell the right hon. Baronet that if he had looked to Scotland, or been as well acquainted with it as he pretended, he would have seen a Church in which, since the Reformation, there have been no politicians; and yet there have been fewer drones and hypocrites than in any Church in existence. I can tell the right hon. Gentleman from my own experience that a political divine is seldom a religious one; that the man who courts notoriety out of the sphere of his duties, is seldom the one whose labours are the most profitable within it The thunderer at a political gathering on a week day is not the one whose sermon is most attentively listened to on the Sabbath. I say that I now do, by the encouragement I have received in communications from churchmen of all parties, the greater majority of them, however, of politics opposed to the Government, condemn the conduct of the right hon. Gentleman in bringing on this question now. They are all apprehensive of the effects of the headlong blindness with which some of their body have rushed into the toils of a party whose blandishments are only lavished to mislead, and who were quite indifferent for the souls of the people till it became necessary to propitiate their votes. They know that nothing can be so injurious to the Church as the right hon. Baronet's political protection. The great majority of the people are at present in favour of that Church, but to that same majority the political creed of the right hon. Gentleman and his Friends is particularly distasteful, and nothing could injure the interests of the church so much as making it identical with his. But now, then, that they think, as I do, that his political patronage is insulting, they want it not, they want not the officious patronage of any party; they feel that the clergy have higher duties to perform than to devote their lives to so hopeless a task as replacing the Members for Bute and Edinburgh on the Treasury bench. They spurn, therefore, the alliance that is offered them, or, rather, the political subserviency, and they beheld with horror and dismay the attempt that was made at Glasgow to tack their church as an appendage to the political skirts of the right hon. Member for Tamworth. They know that if such attempts should unhappily be successful—if their ministers, instead of being religious teachers, become political aspirants—if they once prostitute themselves as the tools of selfish politicians, and allow their church to be degraded into the stalking-horse of party ambition, then indeed will it be in danger: with its purity impaired, its usefulness extinguished, and its ministers degraded, detested, and despised, it will fall, as it will deserve to fall, the victim of its own misconduct.

Major Cumming Bruce

begged to congratulate the House and the hon. Member who had just addressed them on his restoration to health. Indeed, he was happy to see the hon. Member in the perfect enjoyment of that health, the loss of which they had so much reason to deplore when it compelled him to be absent from his duties on an Election Committee. He rejoiced to find, both from the length and eloquence of the address which the House had just heard, that the health of the hon. Member was not so seriously affected as his friends had apprehended. The hon. Member for Cockermouth had commenced his speech by an attack on his hon. Friend the Member for Edinburghshire, and lectured him on the unpopularity of prepared speeches. The hon. Member seemed to think, that to consider the subject in respect to which a notice had been given, was a course which ought not to be pursued. However, he would not attempt to say that the hon. Member himself was entirely free from the imputation which he had endeavoured to cast upon his hon. Friend. He was sure, that no one who heard him would gainsay that the hon. Member, after the address which he had delivered, was not liable to such an imputation. He would not waste the time of the House by attempting to follow the hon. Member throughout his speech, for he had touched on every subject but the subject at issue. But he could not allow to pass, unnoticed, the imputations that he had cast upon an individual of whom the country had every reason to be proud—the illustrious Dr. Chalmers. He could not allow any imputation affecting that illustrious and distinguished individual to pass unnoticed; and he felt bound to say, that the statements which the hon. Member had made, must have been from a total misunderstanding and misrepresentation made to him. There was a gentleman at present in London who was present at the meeting in respect to which it had been stated, that Dr. Chalmers had objected to Lord Moncrief. So far from Dr. Chalmers having had any connexion with this transaction, he was all the time ill in bed. Now, he would say, let the House judge from this statement of all else that had been advanced by the hon. Gentleman. He would say, ex uno disce omnes. What dependence could be placed on the accuracy of statements which might have been forced on the credulity of the hon. Member, when he, had been led into such a mistake with reference to this fact? The hon. Member had accused hon. Members at his side of the House, with making the Church of Scotland a party question. He did not think it necessary to repel that accusation. But did the speech of the hon. Member show a total freedom from party spirit—a complete and perfect avoidance of party asperity? He would leave those who had heard the hon. Member, to form their own conclusions. The hon. Member's speech showed, that on a question which ought to be sacred from political excitement, he was unable to keep himself free from the intermixture of party and political opinions. The newspapers, unfortunately, had not been in the habit of paying much attention to what occurred respecting subjects connected with Scotland in the debates of that House. He regretted, that he could not compare the spirit of the speech of the hon. Member with that of the hon. Member for Dumfries, which he (Major C. Bruce) had listened to with great pleasure and great instruction, and with a considerable modification of his previous opinions on the subject. However, there was one part of that hon. Gentleman's speech which he could not go along with—where he said, that the zeal of the Dissenters for religious institutions, was greater than that of the members of the Established Church. In answer to that, he would only say, that the voluntary subscriptions of the members of the Established Church for the promotion of religious instruction in Scotland, amounted to 150,000l. and he thought that was sufficient to show the zeal of the members of the Established Church. The hon. Member opposite, had made it a charge against the clergy of the Church of Scotland, that forty-five of their members had attended at a public banquet at Glasgow—at the Peel banquet. But when the hon. Member took upon himself to state, that the clergy of Scotland took no part in politics until the franchise was forced upon them, he would please to remember that the clergy of Scotland were indebted to those who sat at the same side of the House with the hon. Member for Cocker-mouth, for having the franchise forced upon them against their will. He had opposed the extension of that franchise to the clergy at the time when the Scotch Reform Bill was before the House, and several of the clergy had thanked him for having so done. But this franchise having been conferred upon the clergy, how were they to act? When the Legislature had forced civil duties upon the clergy of the Church of Scotland, would it have become them to shrink from discharging those duties? He knew they would discharge those duties conscientiously, whether they voted for Whig, Radical, or Conservative. But would any one say, that these were grounds on which hon. and conscientious men were to be judged? The hon. Member had so mystified his speech, that he was sure even the hon. Member for Middlesex was not able to make up his mind, how he should vote upon this motion. Some few years ago, the right hon. Member for Bute had moved for a Select Committee to inquire into the entire subject. That motion had been met with an amendment by the Secretary for the Home Department, to the effect of issuing a commission to inquire into the entire subject. His hon. Friend, who thought at the time it would be advantageous to his purpose to have the Government with him, assented to the proposition of the Home Secretary, and consented to withdraw his motion. He was the only Member at the time who had refused his assent to that amendment. He expressed his decided reluctance to agree to it. His right hon. Friend the Member for Tamworth, who rose after him, took a different view of the subject; and on account of the advanced period of the Session (it was then July) spoke in favour of the amendment. He, on that account, was willing to yield to an authority which he had always felt disposed to respect, and withdrew his opposition. The motion for the issuing of a commission was, consequently, unanimously carried. The reason why he felt disposed to place no confidence in a commission was, because he distrusted the intentions and disposition of the Government with respect to the Church of Scotland. It was that feeling, that had induced him to dissent from that proposal. As he had then, however, availed himself of the opportunity of stating the reasons for his distrust, he would not now trouble the House by repeating them; but he would say this much, that his objections were principally founded upon a speech delivered by the Lord Advo- cate of Scotland, in which that learned Lord expressed sentiments so inimical to the Church of Scotland, and the principles on which it was founded, that he (Major C. Bruce) found himself compelled to distrust any Government in which the enunciator of such sentiments and opinions, so far as Scotland was concerned, bore so important a part and exercised so important an influence? Now, why was that commission issued? The Secretary for the Home Department was aware of the sensation which that speech had created, even amongst the Members from Scotland who were the supporters of the Government; and it appeared to him, that his concession at the time was more intended to allay the tempest, than from any sincere desire towards the Church of Scotland. It was a disposition suddenly to calm the troubled waters, and to leave other circumstances to be disposed of at a future time. It reminded him of a similar disposition, though perhaps a more effectual one, to assuage the troubled waters—Hos ego!—sed motos prœstat componere fluctus. On the occasion to which he referred, the noble Lord said, in reply to opinions that had been expressed, that "the labours of the commission might prove interminable unless they were rendered precise and determinate; that it might have been urged as an objection that the Commissioners might protract their labours to an indefinite period, but that their labour would be lessened from time to time by making report to the House (as we understood the hon. Member); and that when, after sufficient inquiry, they had decided on the remedy that ought to be applied, the House and the Government would immediately proceed to act upon it." Now, he would ask the House, had not the objection to this commission been borne out by the result. He would ask the noble Lord, had any of these objections been obviated by the course to which he had pledged the Government? The noble Lord, on the occasion referred to, expressed his regard for the Church of Scotland; but he always had accustomed himself to place more confidence in action, however small or limited, than in professions, however large or high-sounding. The Church of Scotland asked for bread, and the noble Lord gave it a stone. They asked for a grant, and the noble Lord gave them what?—a commission. The Church of Scotland, however, did not sue in forma pauperis. She asked a grant to enable her to extend necessary religious instruc- tion. Well, a commission was granted, and, after two years' labour, what had the Commissioners accomplished? They had produced a report, which, in some respects, was perfectly unintelligible. When the noble Lord was asked the meaning of the report, he said that he did not understand its language. He supposed it was in an unknown tongue. He did not know what satisfaction to the people of Scotland could arise out of the proceedings of this com- mission. He supposed, that the results of this commission would be felt in Scotland about the same time that the good results of the appropriation principle would be understood in Ireland. By the way, he would take that occasion to ask the noble Lord what had become of the appropriation clause, about which so much had been said and contended last year? Had it vanished into thin air? Was the House to see no more of it? Did the noble Lord intend to advert to any better substitute which might be suggested by the noble Secretary for Ireland, or by the hon. Member for Kilkenny. He could warn the noble Lord, that the course he was pursuing would produce no satisfaction in Scotland. The Church of Scotland was aware, that it had nothing to hope from the Government of the noble Lord. He would ask the noble Lord, whether he thought the course he was pursuing, likely to increase or confirm the apprehensions entertained by the friends of the Established Church. The people of Scotland had no expectations from the present Government. He entreated the noble Lord to pause in his course, and not to be insensible to what was passing around him. A great re-action had already taken place in Scotland, of which the noble Lord must be aware. The right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth, had received at the hands of the youth of Scotland, the highest compliment which it was in their power to bestow. A distinguished and eminent noble and learned Lord had also received a high compliment and a gratifying honour from the University of Aberdeen. They had another instance of reaction in the rejection of the Ministerial candidate for Ross-shire. The noble Lord ought not to close his eyes to the re-action that was going on. The noble Lord might increase commissions, he might add job to job, but he never could persuade the moral, religious, and conscientious people of Scotland to violate their consciences. When he looked at the course pursued, with re- spect to the Established Churches of these countries, he could not see any reason to expect that the people of Scotland could view, with confidence, any act of the present Government towards their Church. If the noble Lord considered these assertions unjust, he would have an opportunity of vindicating himself. The noble Lord incurred a fearful responsibility by delay, for he had a far higher than man's frail tribunal to account to. He would, therefore, entreat the noble Lord, in the spirit of a true and exalted courage, not to shrink from the duty he had to perform, but to do it fearlessly. The hon. Member concluded, by apologising to the House, and expressing his determination to support the resolutions.

Mr. Cutlar

Fergusson rose only in consequence of the opinions which the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Buteshire, had referred to as having been delivered by him on a former occasion. He would not now depart from those opinions, and he would not give the vote he intended to give that night, if he thought it had any tendency to check the extension of the principles, or in any way against the interests, of the Established Church of Scotland; more particularly as he considered that establishment entitled to ask for relief at the hands of the Legislature. On the present occasion, however, he could not concur in the resolutions of the right hon. Baronet, as he had already agreed to an inquiry which was not yet terminated, and he could not consent to act on a partial investigation. It was particularly to be considered that there was one part of the inquiry that had not yet been touched upon—he referred to those funds which the Church of Scotland itself possessed. It was to be observed, that the money was not to be drawn from churchmen of Scotland, but from the Dissenters of England, of Ireland, and of Scotland; and he thought the grant could not properly be made until the Church of Scotland had shown that it had exhausted its own means —it must show a case of absolute necessity, and this it had not yet shown. Another view in which he regarded the matter was this, that the case should apply to the whole of Scotland, for how did they know that in relieving Edinburgh they should have enough to supply the proportionate wants of the other parts of Scotland; the Highlands for instance, they had a right to know the amount of funds that could be applied to the relief of the Scotch Church. He did not think that any great delay would take place if they waited until the whole subject was before them. The Commissioners had worked day and night, and there had been no delay on their parts in completing the inquiry, nor was there any on the part of Government. He must say, that until he knew what the wants of the people of Scotland really were, he was not prepared to deal with the subject, though he should be most ready to meet it when the whole case was before the House; and he did not think that it would be long, as the inquiry was then far advanced, before the Commissioners made a general report. In that opinion, and thinking that nothing but disappointment could ensue from pushing the House to a decision before the facts were before it, he should vote against the resolutions of the right hon. Baronet.

Mr. Hume

had listened with great plea-to the speech which the hon. Member for Cockermouth had delivered, to the great satisfaction of the House. Whether the hon. Member for Inverness was to be classed with the drones or the hypocrites he could not say. ["Order," "Chair."]

The Speaker

said, that the hon. Member for Middlesex owed the House an explanation of the words he had used.

Mr. Hume

was not aware that he had said any thing contrary to the rules of the House. When he saw hon. Members in that House, or in any other assembly, claiming for themselves alone any regard to religion, and pronouncing his Majesty's Ministers to be insensible to it, and denouncing him and them, and all who agreed with them, he must say, that such persons arrogated to themselves a purity of character they did not deserve. He must judge of them by their acts, as well as by their words, and when he looked at the sway they had formerly exercised in that House, he conceived them to be the last persons who should complain of the destitution of the Scotch Church, when they might so easily have given it whatever assistance that House could afford. The present motion was, in fact, only a party effort to annoy his Majesty's Ministers, and to stop the progress of reform. He was surprised at the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, who always objected to proceed in any matter until full inquiry had been made concerning it. He agreed with the right hon. Member for Tamworth, that a moral change had taken place in the condition of the people of Scotland, which he attributed to the altered character of the clergy, who did not, as formerly, attend to their clerical duties, and the education of their neighbourhood had declined in proportion. It appeared to him, that instead of calling for endowments, they ought rather to propose some remedy which would apply to all, and nothing but a good system of education would restore them to the station they had formerly held, when they were, as the right hon. Baronet had said, an example to the rest of Europe. He had heard with great regret the speech of the right hon. Gentleman who had preceded him, who had said that he was willing to add to the endowments of the church. He would entreat the House not to lend itself to such a proceeding as a demand for funds' without making out a previous case of necessity.

Mr. Andrew Johnston

felt both surprised and grieved at the speech of the hon. Member for Cockermouth, for it was anything but calculated to give pleasure to the Scottish Members. Entirely unconnected as he was with the right hon. Baronet who brought forward these resolutions, he could freely and fairly say, that in his opinion the Church of Scotland was deeply indebted to him. And when it was considered that that right hon. Member had for ten years been the first law officer of the Crown in Scotland, he was also of opinion, that to no hands could the case of the Church of that country be more safely or more properly intrusted. He did not think the Church of Scotland fairly treated on this occasion. When the Committee of the General Assembly made certain proposals to the noble Lord—that they would build a large number of churches if he would endow them—he thought it argued no great zeal in the cause of religion, for the Government to decline the offer. The noble Lord on a former occasion had said, that it would be the duty of the Commissioners to report on the paramount cases of necessity first; the noble Lord was now satisfied. They had reported the case of Edinburgh, and showed that in that city there were 20,000 persons destitute of the means of religious instruction. What more did he want? But it was aid the case was incomplete. All the right hon. Baronet's resolutions asked was, that it should be taken into consideration. Was that too much? If the noble Lord acceded to that reasonable request all would be made plain and clear in a few days. The hon. Member for Cocker-mouth had charged the clergy of the Church of Scotland with a political bias. Now he was not there to defend them— they did not need his defence. He would let their own characters speak for them, and point merely to what they had done for the people of Scotland as the best refutation of that charge. He hoped that the House would adopt the resolutions.

Mr. Dunlop

said, that Scotland owed a large debt of gratitude to his Majesty's Ministers for their conduct on the question at issue. The Dissenters of that country felt the greatest reluctance to give any grant to the Church of Scotland, and the result of the resolution of the right hon. Baronet would be the production of bad feeling between the Dissenters and the members of the Church of Scotland. If, however, the whole case of the Church were fully stated, and the destitution complained of satisfactorily proved, he did not believe that the Dissenters would offer any opposition to whatever amount of grant might be deemed necessary to relieve it. But while the whole claim put forward was for the capital of the country alone, he thought his Majesty's Ministers would be very ill-advised indeed to admit it. He could understand why hon. Members opposite wished to cause a rupture between the Dissenters and the Church of Scotland; it was to further their own political purposes. The only question at issue, in point of fact, was, whether the people of Scotland should be called on to contribute to the necessities of the Church before all its wants were made apparent. He should oppose the resolutions.

Mr. Walter Campbell

expressed his grief that the question should be made a party one at all, or treated in any way as a political question. No man felt more warmly for the interests of the Church of Scotland than he did; but he could not, notwithstanding, support the resolutions of the right hon. Baronet. It was true enough, that there was a population of 55,000 destitute souls in Edinburgh, without the means of religious instruction; but the same destitution existed elsewhere as well as in Edinburgh. In his (Mr. Campbell's) county there were two parishes, measuring sixty miles long by eighteen broad, and yet they had only one church and one clergyman between them. Under these circumstances, he was of opinion, that the whole state of the country, rather than that of an isolated portion of it, should be taken into the calculation before any relief were administered. He hoped the right hon. Baronet would withdraw his motion, and not press it to a division; because, if he did, he would do more injury to the Established Church in Scotland than all the efforts of her enemies could accomplish. He (Mr. Campbell) should not support the resolutions of the right hon. Baronet; but if the whole case of Scotland were made out, and all the funds of the Kirk were proved to be exhausted, he should then have no hesitation to vote anything necessary.

The House divided on the original motion to read the first Order of the Day:—Ayes 217; Noes 176:—Majority 41.

List of the AYES.
Adam, Sir C. Byng, G.
Aglionby, H. A Byng, G. S.
Ainsworth, P. Callaghan, D.
Angerstein, J. Campbell, Sir J.
Anson, Colonel Campbell, W. F.
Anson, Sir G. Cavendish, hon. C.
Bagshaw, J. Cavendish, hon. G. H.
Bainbridge, E. T. Chalmers, P.
Baines, E. Chapman, M. L.
Bannerman, A. Chetwynd, Captain
Barclay, D. Chichester, J. P. B.
Baring, F. T. Clay, W.
Barnard, E. G. Clements, Viscount
Barron, H. Clive, E. B.
Barry, G. S. Collier, J.
Belfast, Earl of Collins, W.
Bellew, R. M. Crawford, W. S,
Bentinck, Lord W; Crawley, S
Berkeley, hon. F. Curteis, H. B.
Bernal, R. Dalmeny, Lord
Bewes, T. Denison, J.
Biddulph, R. Denistoun, A.
Blake, M. J. D'Eyncourt, C. T.
Blunt, Sir C. Dillwyn, L. W.
Bodkin, J. Donkin, Sir R.
Bowring, Dr. Dundas, hon. J. C.
Brady, D. C. Dundas, hon. T.
Bridgman, H. Dundas, J. D.
Brocklehurst, J. Dunlop, J.
Brotherton, J. Elphinstone, H.
Browne, R. D. Evans, G.
Buller, C. Ewart, W.
Buller, E. Fielden, J.
Bulwer, H. L. Fenton, J.
Bulwer, E. L. Fergus, J.
Burdon, W. Ferguson, R.
Burton, H. Fergusson, R. C.
Butler, hon. P. Fitzroy, Lord C.
Fitzsimon, C. Oliphant, L.
Fleetwood, P. H. Ord, W. H.
Folkes, Sir W. Palmerston, Viscount
Fort, J. Parker, J.
Gillon, W. D. Parnell, Sir H.
Gordon, R, Parrott, J.
Goring, H. D. Parry, Sir L. P.
Grattan, J. Pattison, J.
Grattan, H. Pease, J.
Grey, Sir G., bart. Pechell, Captain R.
Grote, G. Pendarves, E. W.
Guest, J. Philips, M.
Hastie, A. Pinney, W.
Hawes, B. Ponsouby, J.
Hawkins, J. H. Power, J.
Hay, Sir A. L., bart Poyntz, W. S.
Heathcoat, J. Price, Sir R.
Hector, C. J. Pryme, G.
Heneage, B. Pryse, P.
Hindley, C. Ramsbottom, J.
Hobhouse, Sir J. C. Rice, tight hon. T. S.
Hodges, T. L. Rippon, C.
Holland, E. Robinson, G. R.
Hoskins, K. Roche, D
Howard, P. H. Rolfe, Sir R. M.
Howick, Viscount Rooper, J. B.
Hume, J. Rundle, J.
Hutt, W. Russell, Lord J.
Jephson, C. D. O. Russell, Lord C.
Jervis, J. Ruthven, E.
King, Edward B. Scott, J. W.
Labouchere, H. Seymour, Lord
Lee, J. L. Smith, J. A.
Lefevre, C. S. Smith, R. V.
Lemon, Sir C. Stanley, W. O.
Lennox, Lord G. Stewart, P. M.
Lennox, Lord A. Stuart, Lord J.
Leveson, Lord Stuart, V.
Loch, J. Strutt, E.
Lushington, Dr. Surrey, Earl of
Lushington, C. Talbot, C. R. M.
Lynch, A. H. Talbot J. H.
Macleod, R. Talfourd, Serjeant
Macnamara, Major Tancred, W. H.
Mactaggart, J. Thomson, C. P.
Maher, J. Thompson, P. B.
Mangles, J. Thompson, Colonel
Marshall, W. Thornley, T.
Marsland, H. Tooke, W.
Martin, T. Townley, R. G.
Maule, hon. F. Trelawney, Sir W. L.
Milton, Viscount Tulk, C. A.
Morpeth, Viscount Turner, W.
Morrison, J. Villiers, C. P.
Mullins, F. W. Vivian, J. H.
Murray, J. A. Wakley, T.
Musgrave, Sir R., bt. Walker, R.
Nagle, Sir R. Wallace, R.
North, P. Warburton, H.
O'Brien, C Ward, H. G.
O'Brien, W. S. Wemyss, Captain
O'Connell, D. Westenra, hon. H. R.
O'Connell, J. Whalley, Sir S.
O'Connell, M. J. White, S.
O'Connell, M. Wigney, I. N.
O'Conor, Don Wibraham, G.
O'Ferrall, R. M. Wilks, J.
Williams, W. Wyse, T.
Williamson, Sir H. Young, G. F.
Wood, Ald. TELLERS.
Worsley, Lord Steuart, R.
Woulfe, Sergeant Stanley, E. J.
List of the NOES.
Agnew, Sir A. Forbes, W.
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Forster, C. S.
Ashley, Viscount Fox, Lieut Colonel
Bagot, hon. W. Fremantle, Sir T. W.
Bailey, J. Gaskell, James Milnes
Balfour, T. Geary, Sir W.
Barclay, C. Gladstone, T.
Baring, F. Gladstone, W. E.
Baring, W. B. Glynne, Sir S. R.
Baring, T. Goodricke, Sir F.
Bateson, Sir R. Gordon, hon. W.
Beckett, Sir J. Goulburn, H.
Bell, M. Goulburn, Sergeant
Bentinck, Lord G. Graham, Sir J,
Blackburne, J. I. Grant, hon. Colonel
Blackstone, W. S. Grimston, Viscount
Boldero, Capt. H. G. Grimston, hon. E. H.
Bolling, W. Halford, H.
Bonham, R. F, Hamilton, G. A.
Borthwick, P. Hamilton, Lord C.
Bramston, T. W. Hanmer, H.
Bruen, Colonel Hanmer, Sir J.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Harcourt, G. S.
Campbell, Sir H. Hardinge, Sir H.
Canning, rt. hn. Sir S. Hardy, J.
Castlereagh, Viscount Hawkes, T.
Chandos, Marquess Herries, rt. hon. J. C.
Chaplin, Colonel Hillsborough, Earl of
Chichester, A. Hogg, J. W.
Chisholm, A. Hope, hon. J.
Clive, Viscount Hotham, Lord
Codrington, C. W. Houston, G.
Cole, A. H. Ingham, R.
Cole, Viscount Inglis, Sir R. H.
Compton, H. C. Irton, S.
Conolly, E. M. Jackson, Sergeant
Copeland, W. T. Jermyn, Earl
Corbett, T. Johnstone, J. J. H.
Corry, H. Johnston, A.
Crewe, Sir G. Jones, T.
Dalbiac, Sir C. Kirk, P.
Darlington, Earl of Knight, H. G.
Dick, Q. Knightley, Sir C.
Dowdeswell, W. Law, hon. C. E.
Duffield, T. Lefroy, A.
Dunbar, G. Lefroy, T.
Duncombe, hon. A. Lincoln, Earl of
East, J. B. Longfield, R.
Eastnor, Viscount Lowther, Col. H. C.
Eaton, R. J. Lucas, E.
Egerton, Sir P. Lygon, hon. General
Elley, Sir J. Mackenzie, T.
Elwes, J. Maclean, D.
Fector, J. M. Mahon, Viscount
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Manners, Lord C.
Ferguson, G. Maunsel T. P.
Finch, G. Maxwell, H
Fitzroy, H. Miles, W.
Foley, E.T. Miller, W. H.
Follett, Sir W. Morlaunt, Sir J., bt.
Neeld, J. Shirley, E. J.
O'Neil, Gen. Sinclair, Sir G.
Ossulston, Lord Smith, A.
Packe, C. W. Smith, T. A.
Palmer, G. Somerset, Lord G.
Patten, J. W. Stanley, E.
Peel, right hon. Sir R. Stanley, Lord
Peel, Colonel, J. Stewart, J.
Peel, W. Y. Sturt, H. C.
Pemberton, T. Thomas, Col.
Perceval, Colonel Thompson, Ald.
Pigot, R. Trevor, hon. A.
Plumptre, J. P. Twiss, H.
Polhill, F. Vere, Sir C. B.
Pollen, Sir J., bart. Verner, Colonel
Pollock, Sir F. Vesey, hon. T.
Praed, W. M. Walpole, Lord
Price, S. G. Walter, J.
Pringle, A. Welby, G. E.
Rae, Sir W. bart. West, J. B.
Reid, Sir J. R. Whitmore, T. C.
Richards, J. Williams, T. P.
Richards, R. Wodehouse, E.
Rickford, W. Wortley, J. S.
Ross, C. Young, J.
Rushbrooke, Col. Young, Sir W.
Ryle, J.
Sandon, Viscount TELLERS.
Shaw, F. Bruce, C.
Sheppard, T. Clerk, Sir G.
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