HC Deb 29 June 1840 vol 55 cc197-218

On the question that the House resolve itself into a Committee on the Ecclesiastical Duties and Revenues Bill,

Mr. Pusey

said, it was with diffidence he rose to move an amendment to the motion. He was bound to acknowledge the authority of the bill, recommended as it was by a commission appointed by one Government and continued by another. Nevertheless, the numerous representations that had been made against the measure were at least entitled to attention and respect. The chapters had almost unanimously protested against the bill, not from interested motives, for they had offered to give up a part of their revenues, but from objections they conscientiously entertained. They objected to the accumulation of the funds of the different chapters into one fund, and it should be remembered, that those chapters were in fact corporations, under the existing law, as much as any municipal corporation. Another objection was, that they conceived the dignities ought to be retained, even if the revenues were taken away. The practice of every profession showed the necessity for honorary distinction. It was also objected to the bill, that it contained nothing as to the duties of these chapters. Now, as ancient institutions, they ought either to be let alone altogether, or, if dealt with at all, substantial duties should be given to their new existence. The chapters had lately exerted themselves very much to meet the growing desire for Church instruction, and schools for the middle classes had been established at Lichfield and other places. He would urge upon the House at least the delay of a year in deference to what he would say was the almost unanimous desire of the clergy of England. The hon. Member concluded by moving, That an humble address be presented to her Majesty, representing that this House, before proceeding to pass any bill for the regulation of cathedral establishments, desires to receive further information as to the duties and general purposes, which are contemplated by the statutes of the respective foundations, and which the capitular clergy, in conformity therewith, may beneficially discharge; and humbly praying, that her Majesty will be graciously pleased to authorise and direct the visitors of the cathedral and collegiate churches respectively, and the bishops of the dioceses wherein they are situate, after consultation with the members of their several chapters, to lay before her Majesty such plans as may in their judgments be best calculated to render each of those churches, ' most conducive to the efficiency of the Established Church,' and to 'providing for the cure of souls.'

Lord John Russell

I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman has throught proper to make this proposition to the House, as it is one which might be expected to emanate from a Member less sincere upon the subject than the hon. Member himself. I cannot imagine that any other object is sought by the motion than delay, and there does not appear to me to be any reason assigned why the House should not proceed with this bill. The commission appointed to consider this subject was appointed by the advice of the right hon. Baronet opposite (Sir R. Peel) in 1835. That commission comprised the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of York, the Bishop of London, with other eminent prelates, together with persons holding the highest official dignity, all of them fully qualified for the task, to which they devoted much time and attention. The commissioners made their report on the 24th June, 1836, now little more than four years ago, which report was immediately laid upon the table of the House, and I brought in a bill founded upon that report. In the course of last year, some grave and some lively and facetious pamphlets were written upon the subject, and a committee of persons connected with the different cathedrals having sat during the last Session, it was the opinion of certain members of the church commission, that if that committee had more time for consideration, they would make some proposal in accordance with the opinion of the church commission. The church commission, in the mean time, went on perfecting the former opinions. The committee of chapters, after prolonged consideration, proposed a plan which did not meet with the concurrence of the chapters throughout the country. For instance, the chapter of Durham dissented from the plan. The committee of chapters then amended, changed, and altered their plan; and then, when altered, amended, and changed, it did not meet with the consent of the chapters, as it diminished the revenue of the chapters, and as it did not answer the purposes of general instruction according to the principles of the Church of England, which the commissioners recommended. The Dean of Ely stated a proposal they wished to make, and that in a form partly logical, partly mathematical, so as to bring the question fairly before the consideration of those who paid attention to it. Yet I do not think that these propositions have met with general assent, and I believe that those who object to the church commissioners' recommendation, that the chapters should be made to contribute to the religion, education, and instruction of the country, disapproved of the proposition made by the committee of chapters, who addressed to one of the commissioners a memorial, which has been laid before the House, I think, for two years—at least it is a year since the memorial has been laid upon the table of the House. There has been given ample opportunity to lay individuals, and to those belonging to the Church, as well as to the chapters themselves, to state their views upon the subject. Though the plan recommended by the church commissioners, supported as it is by eminent dignitaries of the highest rank in the Church of England, and by men of different parties who take a lead in political affairs—though the plan so recommended and so supported should be found to be wrong—yet there is no excuse for saying, that the House has not had the fullest information upon the subject. No circumstance has been omitted which could contribute to supply that information, and so ample has it been, that every person may feel satisfied that they need not look for any additional information. I trust, then, that the hon. Gentleman will not persevere in his motion. The hon. Gen- tleman has alluded to a difference of opinion entertained by some of the bishops upon this subject. In my opinion, we should not delay the measure on that account, for the object of my motion is to enable the bishops who have seats in the House of Lords to express their own opinions with respect to this bill. Every information having been given, and the matter having been fully investigated, I shall feel it my duty to oppose the motion of the hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Acland

thought that there certainly was room for further inquiry; thirteen visitors of cathedrals had protested petitions against the bill, and though the Primate and the. Bishop of London had declared in its favour, yet there was reason to believe that two-thirds of the other Bishops were opposed to its provisions. If episcopal authority were quoted on the one side, laymen might on the other side shelter themselves under the authority of thirteen visitors of cathedrals. In addition to this, the two universities had protested against it, and it was well known that they were extremely cautious in taking a step of that nature; moreover, there were numerous petitions in every year since the subject had been introduced. No one who had paid the least attention to the subject could, for a moment, doubt that it was one which had never yet been fully or fairly brought under the consideration of Parliament. The noble Lord opposite had quoted the authority of the hon. Member for Tamworth, but the measure was in no degree his; the right hon. Gentleman had done nothing more than appoint a commission. It was not to be denied that the purpose of that commission was to increase provision for the cure of souls, but the fact that several of the chapters were the owners of impropriate tithes formed no reason why the funds for increasing that provision should be derived from them, for the Bishops received as great an amount of impropriate tithes as the chapter. He would not say, let the chapters be maintained as they are now, without any change; but, let them not be suppressed for the sake of obtaining the revenues they possessed. The chapters were bound to augment the livings that were connected with them, and were responsible for providing spiritual instruction for all persons who were within the limits of their spiritual authority; for were they unwilling to admit that respon- sibility, but were ready to contribute to a general fund for the purpose of supplying the spiritual wants of the people. It was well known that this country was mainly converted to Christianity by the establishment of bodies very much like the present chapters, in their constitution, as well as in their tenure of property and statuary declarations. He was willing too to admit that the chapters, in the first instance, were not founded for the promotion of learning by holding out prizes to young men, inducing them to give up the law and other professions to go into the Church, but for the education of the clergy. In the early times of Christianity in this country, the Abbey Church of Westminster was founded as a seminary of learning; while St. Paul's Church was founded more for the sake of preaching and divine service. It might be said, perhaps, that it was beneath the dignity of the canons of the chapters to undertake the duty of inspectors of normal schools, but he knew the contrary to be the case, and that persons of the highest talents were willing to devote themselves to that service. He knew, at least, one instance of a person, whose name, if he were permitted to mention it, would command their respect, who was most willing to serve his Church, and he might say his God, by devoting himself in what might be called the crisis of this great question, to the almost gratuitous service of the Church. It was well known, too, that Archbishop Cranmer had drawn up a plan for employing the cathedrals as seminaries of learning. The number of small endowments which were now rising up in the country had so much diminished the prospects of the Church, that although every thing like Bible clerkships and exhibitions were eagerly caught up at Oxford, yet many deserving young men were prevented from going into the Church, because their families found it necessary to contribute to their maintenance for a long time after they had entered the profession. He had heard, too, that since this bill had been laid before Parliament there had been a considerable change at the University of Cambridge, and that practically this bill, concurrently with the numerous appointments that had been created for barristers of five years standing, had much diminished the number of young men who went into the Church. If the difficulty could be got rid of, which arose from the eminent persons who formed part of the commission being in some measure pledged to the provisions of the measure, he had no doubt but that another measure might be devised which would conciliate all parties. He had no wish to maintain cathedral preferments as sinecures; he knew that as sinecures they had their advantages, and he cast no blame on those who now filled these situations for continuing the system, which they found in operation, and to the introduction of which they had not been parties. He did not advocate the continuance of these dignities as sinecures; such was not originally intended to be their character, and although he admitted that, when held as sinecures, they had produced many good effects, he could not recommend that they should continue to be so held, looking at the spirit of the times in which we lived. He thought that out of our cathedral establishments theological schools might be formed, from which great benefit would arise to the Church. At the time when the dioceses had been altered, it had been seriously taken into consideration, whether the number of Bishops ought not to be increased; that proposition was, however, rejected, and instead of having some small dioceses, and others of enormous extent, as was the case previously to the alteration, we had now twenty-four dioceses, so large that the strength of ordinary men was inadequate to discharge the episcopal functions, unless the Bishops became men of business, and devoted no time to their spiritual duties. Great advantage might, therefore, be derived by the Bishops from the assistance which the chapter would be able to afford them. He did not, however, mean to contend that the distribution of cathedral property must of necessity remain exactly as it stood at present, nor that the members of existing chapters were always to remain the same; but each case ought to be considered when any alienation of property took place. It should, in the first place, be considered what would be required to raise to an adequate amount the impropriate vicarages which had an absolute claim upon each chapter. The impropriations of deans and chapters alone, without taking into consideration separate endowments, would require an annual sum of not less than 60l. 3s. to raise those to the value of 300l. a-year. In many instances, after setting apart the requisite sum for this purpose, there would remain a very small surplus, quite inadequate for the purpose of relieving the spiritual destitution existing within the diocese itself. This would be the case in the dioceses of Exeter, Peterborough, Rochester, Worcester, York, London, and Winchester. In other instances, such as Bristol, Gloucester, Ely, Hereford, Lich-field, Norwich, and Lincoln, there would be no surplus whatever, the sums taken by the bill being insufficient to raise the impropriations of the cathedrals themselves to the moderate amount which he had stated. In every diocese except three, there was an amount of spiritual destitution which he could not help thinking had a prior claim on the funds of the chapters. Each case deserved to be looked into; but he did not think the best scheme which could be devised had been adopted in this bill. He believed it had been supposed by the commissioners that those who opposed this scheme objected to any general fund; such, however, was by no means the fact. The feeling, however, was, that a fund should be derived, having regard to the original institution as well as to the bonâ fide spiritual efficiency of the chapters. The bill had been postponed last year for the purpose of enabling the chapters to prepare with that view some equivalent plan consistent with their oaths and constitutions? but when they proposed one which in its ultimate pecuniary results would be precisely equivalent, and in a great degree conformable with the report of the commissioners, the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, only two days after those parties had thus abandoned the high vantage ground of standing by their oaths and property, came down to the House and declared, that the bill must go on as originally introduced. He wished to know, whether last Session it had been pre-determined to push this bill through at all hazards? He asked hon. Members, who were nurtured in the noble institutions of Oxford and Cambridge, upon what principle they could defend the maintenance of the endowments of those institutions, if they now cut down the cathedral chapters to the amount of those actually in residence, and able to perform the daily duties?

Mr. Goulburn

, after acknowledging the learning and ability displayed by his hon. Friend, said he could not vote for the proposed resolution, because he saw no advantage likely to result from delaying dis- cussion on the conflicting plans which had been broached. It would not be for the convenience of the country or the safety of the cathedral establishments themselves, if Parliament went on year after year suspending, by temporary bills, the discharge of the duties which cathedrals were bound to perform, and not placing them on that permanent footing, on which it was intended to maintain them. He did not come to the present discussion entirely prepared to concur in all the details of the present bill. He thought another arrangement might have been made, more advantageous for the object in view, and more calculated to command the public approval. He had concurred in the appointment of the Church commission, because he had long felt, that there existed an extensive spiritual constitution, which called for some effort on the part of the public and the Church to remedy; and he thought it became the Church in an exigency of this kind to review its establishment, for the purpose of seeing what assistance it could give towards this object, for then it might call with double force on the public afterwards to fulfil their part of the duty. The first step which the commission took was to consider the episcopal income; and they made alterations in the mode of its supply by releasing the cathedrals from the obligation of contributing towards it. The cathedrals being thus benefitted, the commission next inquired how far they might be made to afford a partial relief of the destitution which prevailed throughout the country. He agreed that the amount of money to be applied to parochial ministration should be the same as that proposed to be given by the commission; but with their proposal, some of the clauses of the bill were at variance, and would indeed effect a greater diminution of the income of the cathedrals. He, also, was of opinion, that there should be a general discretion allowed for the application of the funds in whatever quarter they might be required; and this he contended was no abandonment of the principle of cathedral appropriation. Indeed, since the diversion of cathedral income had been spoken of, he must observe that nothing had been more common than to nominate a bishop whose episcopal income was limited, to a prebend in a diocese with which he had no connexion. If they went back to history, and to the time when Queen Anne's Bounty was instituted, and applied to the augmentation of small livings, and considered the effect which that fund produced in the country, let any man contemplate what would have been the effect if 100,000l. a-year had been regularly and constantly applied to meet the evil they were called upon to deal with? If an effort had then been made, we should not now have to complain of the destitution they saw around them. He thought the bill would be found to involve difficulties, and that the reduction of cathedral establishments with a few exceptions, to an uniform number, to be in the greatest degree objectionable, and that it would lead to the most inconvenient results. He knew from the inquiries he had had occasion to make, that the difficulties would be extreme, and that they would involve the greatest inconveniences. He thought that with a reduction in the number of the cathedral establishments, they could not be sufficient to discharge the duty as it ought to be done, and this would raise against them a degree of popular feeling. For the reasons he had stated, although he concurred with many of the views of the hon. Gentleman who had preceded him, he must give his vote against the motion of his hon. Friend.

Mr. Gladstone

would state at the outset, that he, for one, gave the noble Lord credit for having approached this subject with an earnest desire to arrive at a satisfactory settlement of this question, and a sincere wish for the welfare of the Church. He entertained the same opinion with respect to the noble Lords and hon. Gentlemen on his side of the House, with whom he had the misfortune in some degree to differ. For the individuals comprising the commission, he felt the highest respect, but when he was pressed with the authority of the commissioners, he asked by what authority their recommendations were supported? If he was told, that as a churchman, he ought to defer to them, he assented, but in a question of this kind he thought he was bound to look to the Bishops of the Church. He believed, that he was correct in stating, that the Primate of England and the Bishop of London were the two individuals most responsible for the provisions of this bill. There were five Bishops in the commission, but of them it was pretty well understood that three (either with reference to the abstract prin- ciple of the recommendations or to some other point) were not disposed to consent to the recommendations; and, as to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London, their recommendations had been somewhat diminished by circumstances. He should like to know whether the opinions expressed in those recommendations had or had not been maintained by them all their lives, or whether they had been suddenly adopted, It had been stated in print, and in a publication of considerable celebrity, that the Primate of England, up to the moment of the discussion of the question in the ecclesiastical commission, had been opposed to such a project, and with respect to the Bishop of London, they were not left to inference of any kind, for the Bishop of London, in a charge delivered within a few months before the ecclesiastical commission, expressed himself in a manner fatal to the very principle of the bill, and in the spirit of the hon. Member for Berks. The Bishop of London said, he did not think a measure of this kind expedient in itself, or that it could be carried into effect with safety to the Church, except by an inquiry into the circumstances of any diocese and the wants of the inhabitants, and that a mode of supplying their wants could be devised, "without breaking up the ancient frame-work of our polity." So far, then, as the authority they were called upon to look up to—the heads of the Church—that authority was not with, but against the measure. It was understood that a greater number of Bishops were against the measure; that nineteen out of twenty-six, that is all except seven, had expressed their disapprobation of the bill. Whatever might be the value of their authority with some, with him they had a great weight, and were sufficient to justify him against the charge of acting with disrespect to authority. Now, one word with respect to tithes. The noble Lord had said, that if the motion had not come from the hon. Member for Berks, he should have treated it as an evasion of the question. With respect to tithes, he was most desirous to avoid a general discussion of that subject in the House, for they were not a body well adapted to enter into the details of ecclesiastical questions. The great majority were disposed to settle the question amicably, but they had not the information necessary to settle it properly. He must say, that a bill recommended by such high names, ought to receive the attention of the House; but there had been no loss of time attributable to the hon. Member for Berks; his address had been proposed as soon as possible; but did the noble Lord think that a question which involved twelve millions of money, if it should go up to the House of Lords, would become a law in the present Session? The real object in bringing on the discussion of this question, was, that the public mind might be disabused on the subject of cathedral establishments which had been instituted with a view to a higher form than the debased and degraded form to which improper patronage had reduced them. He had not any exception to make to the composition of the ecclesiastical commission. He objected to the bill because it gave a shock to property; secondly, because it would not remedy the abuses of cathedrals; and thirdly, because it would frustrate the very object for which it was introduced. Men had been allowed to bequeath their property for these purposes, and their bequests ought not to be interfered with on the mere pretence of general improvement. He thought they had no right to violate the wills of founders of cathedrals. He believed that the object of the noble Lord might be carried into effect consistently with the wills of founders of cathedrals, and it was contrary to all reason, and to the rule of law respecting bequests to violate the wills of founders when we could gain the object by respecting them. He was aware of the inconveniences attending an individual who proposed a counter measure against a measure recommended by such high authority; but, in fact, no appeal had been made to the parties who were entitled to be heard. The three gentlemen in Suffolk-street, were gentlemen of observation and of acuteness, and were disposed to do the best they could; but they were limited and confined to the object of extracting a certain amount of pecuniary contribution. But they would not be put in a way to arrive at a just result without an appeal to these, the bishops and visiters, who were entitled to be heard, and to propose plans for the improvement of these great establishments. The words in which the founders of cathedrals have defined the purposes which they had in view were so large, that there was hardly any religious object which might not be included in them. The charter of Henry 8th to Durham Cathedral, mentioned amongst the objects of the institution, the maintenance of discipline and good habits in youth, and that pious works of every kind might glow abundantly for guide fur the glory of Almighty God and the general welfare of mankind. What object of benefit to the church in the neighbourhood might not be fairly included in such terms? Admitting that there had been abuses in cathedrals, the bill would not remedy them. It might, perhaps, limit their extent, but it contained no general provision for effecting its professed object. It would not put an end to the abuses which were acknowledged to exist, but it would carry them into another class of society. It might no longer be worth the while of rich men to job in ill-paid sinecures as it was when the sinecures were well-paid; but so long as sinecures were to be obtained, there must be jobbing. Now the remedy which he proposed was to fix the duties of the capitular bodies, and to take security for their performance. It should be recollected that the chapter took a part in the election of the bishop, and although the part taken was only a formal one, it was important that the chapter should not be reduced to a state of inefficiency, because an occasion might arise when it would become the duty of the chapter to interpose its voice and prevent any gross abuse of the power of the Crown. The chapter were also the council of the bishop, and from all history it was perfectly clear that cathedral chapters were intended to act in that capacity. The only argument against this part of the case was that put forward by the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, when he said that since the death of Bishop Burnet, about 120 years ago, no such thing had ever happened as a chapter acting as the council of the bishop Admitting that, however, to be the fact, yet, if the constitution of the church recognized their exercise of those functions, were we to be bound by, he would not call it the practice of the Church, but the abeyance into which its functions had fallen, instead of restoring such of its institutions as had fallen into decay? In matters, civil and military, England had done much during the last century, but he was sure that any man, looking back to the last hundred years in order to ascertain what ought to be the practice of the Church of England would choose a period the most infelicitous that could be selected. That century, which had given way to one which he hoped would be the beginning of a very different era, had been distinguished by a declension in doctrine, in discipline, and in practice. Now, formerly the chapter assisted the bishop, as his council, in conferring ordination, and also in giving effect to a sentence of deprivation; and they were bound by the canons of the Church to aid him in the exercise of those important functions. He was quite sure that the isolated position of the bishops worked most unfavourably for the Church and the people, and that it still formed one of the main causes which kept the Anglican Church separate from their Protestant brethren from whom it was so unfortunately divided. It might in this particular take a lesson from those who had long known how to guide their Church policy. The Church of Rome in England, as he had been informed, though a poor church, and a voluntary church, was about to reorganise those institutions which it was the object of this bill to reform by cutting down. The influence of the bishops of the Church of England was too small, because their power was too large, and that power was alien to the spirit of the present time, as well as to the practice of the primitive church. He thought, therefore, that it might be worth while to consider whether it would not be important to restore to the chapters those functions which they had formerly exercised as council to the bishop. One objection to this was, that the members of the chapters were neither inclined, nor adequate to discharge those duties. But that was no answer to his argument, for the present members of chapters, if disinclined or inadequate to the discharge of those duties, must have been appointed by a vicious exercise of patronage, which was not to be looked for in future. Again, there was one general object of capitular institutions, which he was sure that no man in this country would estimate lightly, although he might consider it secondary to the object of relieving spiritual destitution, and that object was the maintenance of theological learning. He must say, that, if the acquisition of theological learning was at any time important, it was particularly so at the present period; partly because of the medium position which the church held between the Church of Rome and the Dissenters, and partly on account of the character of the studies of the time, which, although embracing a wider range than formerly, were much more superficial. But, further, it was the specific design, the still narrower object of these institutions, to advance knowledge and learning, not only by affording a retreat for learned men, but by actual tuition. At the time of the Reformation, one great argument used for the suppression of the monasteries was, that they had become unfit for the diffusion of knowledge, and, therefore, it was necessary to apply their revenues to the advancement of learning in some other way. There was abundant evidence to show, that it was the design of the church that these capitular bodies should be seminaries of instruction. The whole of this subject had been treated by Dr. Pusey, in a work written before this question was agitated, in a manner which must carry conviction to the mind of any Member who would give an hour to its perusal. The designs of Cranmer, however, were disappointed, for he had projected, that in every cathedral, provision should be made for readers in divinity, and Greek, and Hebrew, and that the bishop should thus have a college of clergymen under his eye, who would be promoted according to their deserts. These establishments would promote theological learning, and subserve the purposes of general education. Now, if there was one want felt by the church more than another, it was the want of that zeal, piety, and talent which was to be found among the lower class of the population. If we had, as he hoped we soon should have, training schools belonging to our cathedral establishments, and these again connected with our national schools and village schools, this want would be fully supplied. It would be a matter of reward to be taken out of a village school, and sent to a training school connected with a cathedral, and if the statutes regarding cathedrals were carried into effect, young persons might be sent from these training schools to the university, where an exhibition would be found for them, and then, returning from the university to the cathedral, they would receive a clerical education, and might be sent out to labour in the vineyard of the church. He called, then, upon those who complained that the church was at present too aristocratic to assist in this attempt to bring the poorer classes of the population into the ministry, and thus to enable the church to strike its roots deeper and deeper into the hearts and affections of the people. Now, as to the remedy proposed by the bill, he was ready to contend that there was a way in which the maintenance of cathedral establishments would give more effectual aid to parochial institutions than they would if the bill were carried out. The ancient doctrine, he believed, was, that the cathedral was the parish church of the whole diocese, and it was considered that a man attended his parish church if he attended divine service in the cathedral. That doctrine then would go to the extent of justifying the Legislature in imposing upon the cathedrals, not merely the care of providing for destitute districts, but the general charge and responsibility of the whole diocese where they possessed patronage and appropriations. A living organ seemed to be wanted in every diocese to watch over the spiritual condition of the population, and to take cognizance of its wants. Not that the whole burthen should be thrown upon the cathedrals; but there would be a great advantage in having an organized body to make known the wants of the population to the State, and if the State refused to do its duty, to private individual And he solemnly believed, that by maintaining the cathedrals, more would be done to maintain an ecclesiastical spirit in the land, and to excite the members of the Church at large to support it, than by any other means whatever independent of the State. The Church of England had wanted for several hundred years a code of ecclesiastical laws; but the code of King Edward 6th, which had never received a final sanction, did distinctly contemplate the duty of the members of cathedral bodies to be to teach, to preach, and to relieve the churches. The original idea was an institution of chapters for the assistance of the Bishops; and connecting that idea with the will of the founders, in its spirit as well as in its letter, he was most firmly persuaded that it would not be difficult for those in possession of the requisite knowledge and information, to form a measure which should at once preserve those institutions in their spirit and effect for the purposes of learning, and of assisting the Bishops, and of strengthening their hands in the government of their dioceses, and, at the same time, of enabling them to obtain a larger amount of contributions for parochial worship than could possibly be obtained under the noble Lord's bill. The founders of these institutions had a great deal more wisdom than some persons were disposed to give them credit for. They did not contemplate immutable institutions; on the contrary, they distinctly provided for making such alterations in their statutes as might be deemed necessary. But, then, if alterations were made they should be made in the spirit of the founders. It was contrary to sound principle, and dangerous in practice, to interfere with sacred bequests, where the purposes of those bequests had not been proved to be mischievous or useless. But he contended, further, that the most proper and useful course was, to act in accordance with the original design of the foundations, to charge them upon the diocesan responsibility, and not to divide their benefits with the kingdom at large. Some hon. Gentlemen would say, "Will you neglect Chester and the West Riding of York? How cruel it is to pass these by, and to direct all your attention to cases of slight destitution compared with them." That was a very plausible argument. But, on looking into the circumstances of each case, it would be found, that no diocese had more resources in this way than were required for its own wants. This had been proved to be the case in respect to Durham, and if of Durham, à fortiori of every other diocese. Suppose a parish in Chester contained 20,000 people, and one in Durham 2,000, and both were admitted to be in a state of great destitution. Suppose the cathedral of Durham yielded about 200l., and the question was, to which the money should be applied, he would not hesitate to say, that it ought to be applied to the parish in Durham of 2,000 rather than to the parish of Chester of 20,000. He would explain that by a reference to the authority of Dr. Chalmers, a man whose opinion upon territorial Church establishments was of great value, and who when four years ago a scheme for building churches was set on foot in London, recommended, that, attempts should not be made to cover extensive districts with slight means, but that little divisions should be made, and that these should be first effectually and sufficiently provided for. Thus men's consciences would be operated upon, they would see the necessity there was for greater exertion to meet the amount of spiritual destitution around them. By the other course the consciences of men would be lulled to sleep, for they would be inclined to think that the provision was greater than it really was, and equal to the destitution, because a few churches were scattered over a great deal of ground. There were indications of a disposition to set about this great work in reality. Efforts were made in various parts of the country to relieve the spiritual destitution which prevailed, and the chapters themselves had established collegiate and scholastic institutions to promote religious instruction amongst the people. These exertions might have been much more vigorous and extensive had it not been for this bill, the effect of which was, to suspend ecclesiastical movements and improvements. The petition which he had that night presented to the House from the dean and chapter of Chichester, prayed that even if part of the revenues were sacrificed, still all the stalls, residentiary or non-residentiary, and all the existing dignitaries, might be retained, though without emolument or revenue, so that the duties of those offices might be discharged for the benefit and advantage of the Church. He joined in praying the noble Lord, if he proceeded with his bill, to retain those dignitaries. But from whom did that petition come? From persons who were often spoken of as men who sought nothing else than emoluments and revenues. That petition was signed by the archdeacon and sixty-three clergymen of the archdeaconry of Chichester. Already in that diocese means were taken to render the Church still more efficient, and the supply of religious instruction more abundant. Rural deans had been appointed, and an organisation was going on which would be frustrated if this bill were passed in its present shape. He did not deprecate this bill so much on account of the mischief it would do as on account of the positive good it would intercept. From the architectural beauty and magnificent splendour of the cathedrals might be inferred some idea of the noble spirit of generosity which animated the founders of those institutions, while the chapters were maintained, while even the fabric was preserved, there was some proof that we were not disposed to sacrifice everything to a spirit of false economy. Would it be worthy of a great and wealthy nation like this to destroy those foundations for the purpose of relieving that destitution which it could easily supply from its own resources? The present generation were called upon to carry into effect the designs of those wise and good men who founded these institutions, and it would be a sad thing for the country, as well as for the character of the present generation, if they could not secure the fulfilment of their benevolent and pious wishes.

Lord J. Russell

I must ask for the indulgence of the House for a few moments. The hon. Member who made the motion which we are now discussing, having made but a few remarks, I will merely allude to that part of them which bears on the amount of information which has been laid before the House. As so many eloquent speeches have been made, and as the hon. Member for Somersetshire and the hon. Member for Newark have unfolded plans which had not been before explained, I trust that the House will allow me to trouble them with a few observations. Both those hon. Gentlemen have expressed the same objection to my plan, and that was, that it would be an interference with the rights of property, and a diversion of that property from the purposes for which it was originally intended. The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down would permit of the appropriation of cathedral funds according to a plan of his own. Let it be remembered that, with respect to the original intentions of the founders, the doctrines they intended to promote are not our doctrines. We must therefore construe their intentions in the large sense of a desire to promote generally the religious instruction and education of the people. If, therefore, we are to deviate from the original intention which the hon. Gentleman himself admits, let that deviation be with due reference to the changed circumstances in which we are placed, and let us apply these funds, as nearly as we can, in the enlarged spirit of the founders, to provide for the necessities which this change has created. Having disposed of this, which would be an objection, in limine, to any deviation, I now come to the consideration of the plan which the hon. Gentlemen opposite wish to substitute for that of the present bill; and I must say that I do not think it an improvement on the one before the House, and which has the high sanction of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primate of England, and think that by adopting the plan of the hon. Gentleman we should be forfeiting a real and substantial benefit for a visionary and doubtful good. The hon. Gentleman who spoke last dwelt on the original constitution of the chapters. Doubtless, on their first foundation, they acted as a council to the Bishops, and that missionaries were sent out from them 1o convert the inhabitants of the neighbouring country to Christianity; but, as soon as they had succeeded in this—as soon as a parochial clergy, endowed by the feudal lords of former days, was established—from that moment these functions ceased. This was the natural course of events, and it would be a weakness merely for the sake of the antiquity of the foundation to endeavour to revive an institution which would be wholly inapplicable to existing circumstances. The hon. Gentleman quoted Lord Bacon to prove, that the chapters acted as a council to the Bishops, but the quotation which he made proved, that the custom had long before fallen into desuetude, for Lord Bacon speaks of it, not as an existing custom, but as one that it might be well to revive. And, were we to attempt to revive such a custom, I am persuaded it would lead to great inconvenience. It is well known that most Bishops now take a decided view of affairs for themselves, and to tie them down to take the counsel of persons, many of whom might not have been appointed by themselves, and in whose judgment they might not have much confidence, would lead to great practical inconvenience. Again, the hon. Gentleman says that these chapters might be made schools of theology; but to establish in every separate cathedral town a school of theology would, I fear, lead to theological and polemical disputes and dissensions highly injurious to the religious interests of the country at large. We have lately seen what polemical discussions have arisen out of our present schools, and we know that a Bishop a few years since refused to ordain a clergyman until he had answered eighty-seven questions; and if he had replied in the way to which he would have been expected to reply in a neighbouring diocese, the bishop would have refused to ordain him. The suggestions of both hon. Gentlemen were innovations; they did not accuse this bill of destroying anything that already existed. The only question before the House, therefore is, as all parties declare some innovation to be necessary, which of the two plans will be most effectual in promoting the object which all have in view? The hon. Gentleman laid some stress on the authority of Archbishop Cranmer; but as the plans of that eminent person, notwithstanding the high influence of his great name and character, had failed, I put it to the hon. Gentleman whether it be not probable that there was something in their very nature which ensured failure. I doubt whether there is sufficient energy in the constitution of the chapters to accomplish any such objects. 1 now come to the question of that spiritual destitution which both the hon. Gentlemen have adverted to. Now, the constitution of these chapters is various; some of them amount to ten, some twelve, some eight, some six, some four. There is nothing, therefore, in their constitution which points out any particular number as necessary to the service of the cathedral. Such being the circumstances of the old cathedrals, what are the new circumstances in which we are placed? That, by the increase of commerce and manufacture, large towns filled with a dense population, have grown up, to which the Church of England has not sufficiently applied its own organised institutions. That being the real fact, and the Church having means not applied to any very useful purpose, the question is, shall we not take advantage of these funds and apply them to the religious instruction of these masses of population, who, notwithstanding the voluntary exertions of the Church of England and the Dissenters, are still in a state of lamentable spiritual destitution? Now, the hon. Gentleman's proposition was, that the clergy should be sent out from the cathedrals to these large towns. But why should this be the case? What was wanted in such a town as Birmingham, a far more important town now than Lichfield and Worcester, was, a body of parochial clergy, whose time should be fully occupied with their ministration there. Why were such men to be linked with the chapter of either cathedral town? Neither did the chapters in general consider it their duty to attend to the general wants of the diocese, and, indeed, their proposal was, that these funds should be applied in the first place to the augmentation of livings in their own gift, before bestowing any of them in aid of the spiritual wants of those large populous places. If, therefore, the disposal of these funds were to be left to the chapters, the principal deficiency would be wholly un-provided for. Why either should the cathedral of Chester have to provide for Liverpool and Manchester, or that of Peterborough for the town of Leicester? However important these cathedral towns might have been formerly, other towns had grown up to greater importance; and when the hon. Gentleman spoke of the wisdom of those who founded these cathedrals, he forgot that the most material thing on which they exhibited their wisdom was in fixing upon those places in which at that time their exertions would be most available. Instead, therefore, of imagining that we are following our ancestors by endeavouring to keep up some curious piece of antiquity, we shall more effectually follow it by imitating their practical wisdom, and by providing for the pressing wants of the present day, instead of losing the substance in seizing at the shadow. There are two circumstances which I wish to mention before going into Committee. First, in relation to Wales; the peculiarities of the Church in that country are such that I have been induced to exclude from this bill all the clauses relating to Wales, and make them the subject of a separate bill; and next, with relation to a subject which has been mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Goulburn), I have made a representation to her Majesty, who has graciously expressed her intention of founding, from the funds of Ely, the two professorships which had been so much desired. The hon. Gentleman is mistaken in saying that this plan has only the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London. It was carefully attended to and examined by the whole board; and, in my opinion, they have taken a wise course in the proposed application of their revenue to the spiritual wants of the large masses. By so doing they will achieve another great object. By promoting religious education and instruction they will strengthen the bond of all social relations—they will strengthen the attachment of the subject to the Sovereign—and strengthen the attachment of fellow-subjects to each other. By so doing, I believe, you will subserve a great political purpose—not the purpose of any party—but that of maintaining the harmony of the constitution, and enabling the people of this realm to look at political subjects with correct views and calm religious tempers, the greatest security we can obtain or desire. I therefore do think that you cannot do better than devote those funds to the furtherance of religious education according to the plan developed in this bill.

Sir T. D. Acland

thought the noble Lord had misconceived the object of his hon. Friend. The cathedral revenues were incompetent to provide for the spiritual destitution existing amongst the dense mass of the population, whereas they might be competent to supply the deficiency amongst that population more immediately connected with the cathedrals; but it would not do more, let the Church do all it could. He was glad that the Church should set the example, but, that having been done, let the country supply the deficiency. The difference between those on his side of the House and the noble Lord was only as to the mode of doing what was required. The means which the noble Lord adopted, however, would alter the character of the ecclesiastical institutions of the country, and tend to lower those establishments in the eyes of those for whose direction they were especially constituted.

Mr. G. Palmer

thought it would be impossible to carry this bill into effect without literally seizing upon the whole of the property of the Church, and, if this was consented to, it was impossible to say how soon they might be called upon to give up their own properties.

The House divided on the original motion—Ayes 117; Noes 48: Majority 69.

List of the AYES.
Adam, Admiral Burroughes, H. N.
Aglionby, H. A. Busfeild, W.
Archbold, R. Cavendish, hon. G. H.
Bailey, J. Clay, W.
Bailey, J. jun. Clements, Viscount
Baines, E. Collier, J.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C. T.
Baring, hon. W. B. Douglas, Sir C. E.
Barnard, E. G. Dundas, C. W. D.
Basset, J. Dundas, Sir R.
Bernal, R. Dundas, D.
Bewes, T. Elliot, hon. J. E.
Blackett, C. Evans, W.
Blake, W. J. Fielden, J.
Bowes, J. Finch, F.
Bridgeman, H. Fort, J.
Brocldehurst, J. Gaskell, J. Milnes
Brotherton, J. Gordon, R.
Buller, C. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Greene, T. Patten, J. W.
Greenaway, C. Pechell, Captain
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Pendarves, E. W. W.
Harcourt, G. C. Philips, G. R.
Harland, W. C. Pigot, D. R.
Hawkins, J. H. Protheroe, E.
Heathcoat, J. Rawdon, Col. J. D.
Hector, C. J. Rundle, J.
Hindley, C. Russell, Lord J.
Hobhouse, rt. hn. Sir J. Rutherfurd, rt. hon. A.
Hobhouse, T. B. Seale, Sir J. H.
Hodges, T. L. Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.
Hodgson, R. Slaney, R. A.
Hollond, R. Smith, B.
Hoskins, K. Smith, R. V.
Howard, hn. E. G. G. Stanley, E.
Hughes, W. B. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Hurt, F. Stock, Dr.
Hutt, W. Talbot, C. R. M.
James, W. Tancred, H. W.
Kemble, H. Thompson, Mr. Ald.
Knatchbull, right hon. Sir E. Thornely, T.
Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Knight, H. G. Tufnell, H.
Labouchere, rt. hn. H. Turner, W.
Lambton, H. Verner, Colonel
Lemon, Sir C. Verney, Sir H.
Lister, E.C. Vigors, N. A.
Macaulay, rt. hn. T. B. Wakley, T.
Marshall, W. White, A.
Marsland, T. Wilbraham, G.
Maule, hon. F. Williams, W.
Melgund, Viscount Wilshere, W.
Morpeth, Viscount Winnington, Sir T. E.
Morris, D. Wood, G. W.
Morrison, J. Wood, Colonel T.
Muntz, G. F. Wood, B.
Murray, A. Worsley, Lord
Muskett, G. A.
O'Brien, C. TELLERS.
O'Brien, W. S. Stanley, E. J.
Palmerston, Viscount Parker, J.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Glynne, Sir S. R.
Bell, M. Hope, G. W.
Bruges, W. H. L Inglis, Sir R. H.
Buck, L. W. Liddell, hon. H. T.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Long, W.
Burrell, Sir C. Lowther, J. H.
Colquhoun, J. C. Lygon, hon. General
Compton, H. C. Mackenzie, T.
Courtenay, P. Mackenzie, W. F.
Dalrymple, Sir A. Maunsell, T. P.
Darby, G. Milnes, R. M.
Dottin, A. R. Mordaunt, Sir J.
Duffield, T. Palmer, R.
Dungannon, Viscount Palmer, G.
East, J. B. Rae, rt. hon. Sir W.
Egerton, W. T. Richards, R.
Eliot, Lord Rushbrooke, Colonel
Estcourt, T. Sheppard, T.
Feilden, W. Shirley, E. J.
Fellowes, E. Sibthorp, Colonel
Follett, Sir W. Smith, A.
Freshfield, J. W. Sotheron, T. E.
Gladstone, W. E. Teignmouth, Lord
Tyrell, Sir J. T. Pusey, P.
Williams, W. Acland, Sir T. D.

House in Committee.

On the 4th clause being put,

Mr. Liddell

proposed that five canonries should be allowed to the cathedral of Durham instead of four, for the purpose of providing for the archdeaconry of Northumberland, which had no provision.

Mr. Lambton

said the great object was to apply as much of those funds as possible to the spiritual instruction of the people. He trusted the noble Lord below him (Lord John Russell) would not agree to the proposition of the hon. Member opposite.

Viscount Dungannon

was in favour of the amendment of the hon. Member.

The Committee divided on the original question—Ayes 83; Noes 40: Majority 3.

List of the AYES.
Adam, Admiral Labouchere, rt. hn. H.
Aglionby, H. A. Lemon, Sir C.
Archbold, R. Lister, E. C.
Baines, E. Macaulay, rt. hn. T. B.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Marshall, W.
Baring, hon. W. B. Maule, hon. F.
Basset, J. Melgund, Viscount
Berkeley, hon. C. Morpeth, Viscount
Blake, W. J. Morris, D.
Bowes, J. Muskett, G. A.
Bridgeman, H. Norreys, Sir D. J.
Brotherton, J. O'Brien, C.
Buller, C. O'Brien, W. S.
Busfeild, W. Parker, J.
Cavendish, hon. G. H. Pechell, Captain
Clay, W. Pendarves, E. W. W.
Clements, Viscount Philips, G. R.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Pigot, D. R.
D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C. T. Rawdon, Col. J. D.
Dundas, Sir R. Redington, T. N.
Dundas, D. Rundle, J.
Evans, W. Russell, Lord J.
Fort, J. Rutherfurd, rt. hn. A.
Gordon, R. Seale, Sir J. H.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.
Greene, T. Smith, R. V.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Stanley, hon. E. J.
Harland, W. C. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Heathcoat, J. Stock, Dr.
Hindley, C. Talbot, C. R. M.
Hobhouse, T. B. Teignmouth, Lord
Hodges, T. L. Thornely, T.
Hoskins, K. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Howard, hn. E. G. G. Turner, W.
Hughes, W. B. Verney, Sir H.
James, W. Vigors, N. A.
Jervis, J. Vivian, J. H.
Knatchbull, right hon. Sir E. Wakley, T.
White, A.
Knight, H. G. Williams, W.
Wilshere, W.
Wood, G. W. TELLERS.
Wood, B. Lambton H.
Worsley, Lord Tuffnell, H.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Glynne, Sir S. R.
Acland, T. D. Herbert, bon, S.
Bell, M. Hodgson, R.
Blackburne, I. Holmes, W.
Blackett, C. Hope, hon. C.
Blackstone, W. S. Hurt, F.
Bruce, C. L. C. Inglis, Sir R. H.
Bruges, W. H. L. Jackson, Mr. Sergeant
Buck, L. W. Lincoln, Earl of
Buller, Sir J. Y. Lowther, J. H.
Burrell, Sir C. Mackenzie, W. F.
Compton, H. C. Mordaunt, Sir J.
Courtenay, P. Palmer, R.
Darby, G. Rushbrooke, Colonel
Duffield, T. Shaw, rt. hon. F.
East, J. B. Shirley, E. J.
Eaton, R. J. Sibthorp, Colonel
Egerton, W. T. Sotheron, T. E.
Eliot Lord,
Estcourt, T. TELLERS.
Follett, Sir W. Liddell, hon. H. T.
Freshfield, J. W. Dungannon, Viscount

Clause agreed to.

On Clause five,

Lord J. Russell

stated that he intended to introduce a separate clause respecting Winchester, as it was his desire to annex an archdeaconry of Surrey to a stall at Winchester.

Viscount Dungannon

then moved as an amendment, that six canonries should be given to Canterbury instead of four, as provided by the clause.

The Committee divided on the original question—Ayes 75; Noes 27: Majority 48.

On the 6th Clause

Sir W. Follett moved that Exeter be omitted from the bill.

Sir C. Lemon

trusted that his noble Friend would accede to the suggestion of the hon. and learned Member for Exeter.

The Committee divided on the question that the clause stand part of the bill—Ayes 57; Noes 34: Majority 23.

List of the AYES.
Adam, Admiral Clements, Viscount
Aglionby, H. A. Dundas, Sir R.
Baines, E. Dundas, D.
Baring, right hon. F. Evans, W.
Berkeley, hon. C. Finch, F.
Bowes, J. Gordon, R.
Brotherton, J. Greene, T.
Busfeild, W. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Cavendish, hon. G. H. Harland, W. C.
Clay, W. Hobhouse, T. B.
Hodges, T. L. Rundle, J.
Hoskins, K. Russell, Lord J.
Howard, hn. E. G.G. Smith, R. V.
Hutt, W. Stansfield, W. R.
James, W. Stock, Dr.
Jervis, J. Talbot, C. R. M.
Knight, H. G. Thornely, T.
Labouchere, rt. hon. H. Tuffnell, H.
Lambton, H. Vigors, N. A.
Lister, E. C. Vivian, J. H.
Macaulay, rt. hn. T. B. Wakley, T.
Marshall, W. Warburton, H.
Maule, hon. F. Williams, W.
Morpeth, Viscount Wilshere, W.
Morris, D. Wood, G. W.
Muskett, G. A. Wood, B.
O'Brien, C. Worsley, Lord
Parker, J. TELLERS.
Pechell, Captain Stanley, E. J.
Redington, T. N. Verney, Sir H.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Hope, G. W.
Basset, J. Hughes, W. B.
Bruce, C. L. C. Hurt, F.
Bruges, W. H. Inglis, Sir R. H.
Buck, L. W. Jackson, Mr. Sergeant
Buller, Sir J. Y. Lemon, Sir C.
Compton, H. C. Liddell, hon. H. T.
Courtenay, P. Lincoln, Earl of
Darby, G. Mackenzie, W. F.
Dungannon, Viscount Palmer, R.
East, J. B. Pendarves, E. W. W.
Egerton, W. T. Rushbrooke, Colonel
Eliot, Lord Sibthorp, Colonel
Estcourt, T. Sotheron, T. E.
Freshfield, J. W. Teignmouth, Lord
Glynn, Sir S. R.
Goulburn, rt. hn. H. TELLERS.
Herbert, hon. S. Acland, Sir T. D.
Hodgson, R. Follett, Sir W.

House resumed.—Committee to sit again.