HC Deb 30 June 1840 vol 55 cc272-358
Sir R. Inglis

spoke as follows:*—Often as I have addressed the House, I do not recollect that I have ever, except on one occasion, implored, or even asked, their attention. I have been content with such a hearing as, in the ordinary course of debate, they have been pleased (unasked) to give. The single occasion upon which, hitherto, so far as I recollect, I have ever implored that attention, was when, two or three years ago, I endeavoured to bring before them the guilt and horrors of the foreign slave trade; and when, accordingly, I proposed an address to the Crown for the purpose of extirpating that curse and crime. I gratefully acknowledge that the patient hearing which I then sought was willingly conceded to me; I still more gratefully add, that the House adopted that address unanimously. Would to God, that the same result might attend my present appeal! The motion which I this day propose to the House, is one which has reference chiefly to the spiritual necessities, the fetters of vice and ignorance, in which our fellow-men are bound. The former motion had reference to those who were strangers to us, except, indeed, so far as we are all brethren, children of one common parent: the present motion has reference to those who are not only partakers of the same nature, but dwellers together in the same father-land, our fellow-subjects, and, in name at least, our fellow-Christians. My object now is to relieve not strangers, but our own countrymen; not to rescue strangers, whom other strangers are enslaving and persecuting; but to provide for the highest wants of our own people, to give to the perishing millions around us, in England itself, some of that light and some of that knowledge, which are as essential to their well-being on earth, as to their well-being after death. I have said, indeed, that they are Christians by name, for such is every one born in a Christian country; but, as I shall too well prove before I sit down, we live in the midst of an almost heathen population, a population whom our neglect, and the neglect of our forefathers, has, in a manner, compelled to be heathen. On their behalf, I implore the patient attention of the House. Under what circumstances does the subject come before the House? It is introduced to their notice by a body of petitions of a character which is pre-eminently entitled to consideration. The number of those petitions is 2,546; * From a corrected report. the number of signatures is 213,580: but it is not the number, either of the petitions or of the petitioners, to which I wish chiefly to direct the attention of the House. Another circumstance connected with them is more worthy of notice. They come from every quarter of the land, in all its length and breadth, and from all classes. They come from remote country villages, where the parties, from their own personal experience of the blessings of religious worship and pastoral superintendence, desire that their fellow-countrymen, to whom these blessings have been denied, may share the privileges of happier districts. Several such I have presented. I will take one as an example: it is from Huntley, in Gloucestershire. I wish the House to hear the words of these humble petitioners. They state, that they feel it to be a great blessing that they have the opportunity of meeting together at the church on the Sabbath day, to worship God, and to receive instruction in the way of duty and happiness; and that they are the more sensible of this, as their own church has been recently enlarged, so as to give sufficient room for all the parishioners:— Your petitioners, therefore, hearing that a great many parishes are in want of church-room, and that the inhabitants, if they were able to obtain the money, would either build new churches or enlarge the old ones, humbly entreat that your hon. House would be pleased to take the subject into your consideration, and to adopt such measures as may be sufficient to meet the wants of poor and unprovided parishes. They feel the value of the church to themselves, and they only pray that others, may have the same advantages. Again, some petitions come from small well-conducted masses in the manufacturing districts, where the extent of the population has not yet outgrown the means of the church; and where, in consequence, the people, by being taught to know their own privileges, have a just sense of the wants of others. I hold in my hand the letter of the clergyman of Calverley, near Bradford, in Yorkshire, on transmitting to me one of the petitions which I have already presented:— I am sorry," he says, "that it is so late, and that the paper is so soiled; but it is the genuine petition of working clothiers in a small village, who left their looms to sign it. Again, other petitions which have loaded the table of this House, during the present Session, on this subject, have been sent up from those great towns, where the Christian sees and feels, almost in despair, the spiritual destitution of his poorer brethren. Such is the petition presented by my noble Friend, the Member for North Lancashire (Lord Stanley), from the immense parish of Whalley. Such is that presented, by him from Manchester, the result of a great public meeting held there in the winter, and signed by more than ten thousand persons. Such is that presented by my noble Friend, the Member for Liverpool (Viscount Sandon), who has kindly undertaken to second the present motion, a petition, excellent and powerful in itself, and, like that of Manchester, the result of a great public meeting, I may refer, in the same manner, to those from Birmingham; and to those, also, from Sheffield and from Leeds, which I have myself presented. And here, let me add, that, in many of these large towns, immense sums have already been raised by voluntary effort, in furtherance of our present object; but those sums, however large, are utterly inadequate to meet the growing wants even of those very towns;—and it is now felt, that nothing but national means can grapple successfully with that which is a national evil.—Again, other petitions are sent forth from great bodies of the clergy, assembled in their ecclesiastical meetings. My hon. Friend, the Member for Wakefield (the hon. Wm. S. Lascelles), presented a very important one, from the archdeacon and clergy of the archdeaconry of Craven, a district comprehending 700,000 souls. I have myself presented those of other archdeaconries, of Sarum, Salop, Dorset, Stafford, Ely, Exeter, and of many other bodies of the Clergy, who have jointly taken into consideration these great wants of our country. The clergy of London, incorporated as the President and Fellows of Sion College, have felt it to be their duty, in like manner, to address this House, urging us to consider and relieve the spiritual destitution, not only of vast districts in other parts of the country, but of the very metropolis in which we are sitting. The venerable Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, at a public meeting, determined to appeal to this House for the same object, and honoured me by entrusting to me their petition. And, lastly, the House has heard the prayer of the two Universities: that presented some time ago, from Cambridge by my right hon. Friend near me (the right hon. H. Goulburn), and that which I reserved to the last, among the 894 petitions committed to my charge, the petition of the chancellor, master, and scholars of the University of Oxford, adopted unanimously in convocation. Let me add, that the petition of that University, addressed to the House last year, and adopted with the same unanimity, was the earliest expression of public opinion in favour of the great object which I now venture to submit to your notice. And what is the general character of the prayer of all these petitioners? The tone, indeed, is different, but the substance is the same. They pray not to be relieved from a burthen, like the larger number of those, who, on other subjects, appeal to us:—not to be continued in the enjoyment of a privilege, or of a secular advantage, lie other classes of petitioners:—not even for an abstract good, the attainment of which is to cost them nothing: like the petitioners who have addressed us on behalf of the Dorsetshire labourers, or of John Thorogood:—but the parties, to whose petitions I am now referring, pray for a good to be purchased, as all men know, by a pecuniary and personal sacrifice which each man must be prepared to share. In this respect the petitions on the present subject differ from all other petitions which I remember; excepting, always, those which covered the table three years ago in support of the system of church-rates, when the parties prayed for the continuance of that, which they knew, indeed, to be in one sense a burthen, but which, though a burthen, they felt to be at the same time a privilege. Those petitions were the most remarkable which, I believe, this House ever received. I make no exception in favour of those which implored us to abolish slavery in the colonies; because I am well aware that the vast majority of the parties who signed such petitions did not foresee that the emancipation of the slaves was to cost such a sum as twenty millions sterling; and that this sum was to be paid out of the taxes upon the people of England. Some, indeed, who foresaw the claim, distinctly denied its obligation. The character of the petitions now on the table is, therefore, all but unique. The fact of petitions being presented is, indeed, the pre-requisite, which the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Nottingham (Sir John C. Hobhouse), desired in 1824, as the condition of his vote, when the subject was last before the House. "Would the right hon. Gentleman say,'' (he referred to Mr. Vansittart, now Lord Bexley), "that the grant was required by any call on the part of the people of England for additional accommodation for the purposes of religious worship? There had been no such call. There had not been a single petition presented on the subject."* I claim the vote of the right hon. Baronet upon his own principles; as I shall hereafter show that I have a right to claim the votes of others, his colleagues, in virtue of other declarations which they have made. But I resume. What do the petitioners ask? In different forms, but with one end and aim, they ask for all the people increased means of religious worship and public instruction in the Established Church. On what grounds do they ask this? Summarily on these:—That the fabrics of the existing churches were adapted to the small population of a distant age. Without entering into any antiquarian disquisition, I may assume that the average date of the erection of the parish churches now in England is about the middle of the reign of Edward the Third, the middle of the fourteenth century; at which time, the population of this country was probably under four millions. That the population has out-grown the church-room. The population of England and Wales in 1700 was 5,475,000. It increased about a million in the first half of the last century; and it increased about two millions in the latter half. But from 1800 the very increase exceeds the whole population of the country as it existed in 1700. That increase has been more than six millions and a half; and there has been no adequate increase, there has scarcely been a measurable increase, in the means of public worship and instruction. It is obvious, therefore, at a glance, that accommodation sufficient for the wants of four millions must, taking numbers only into the account, though there are other important elements in the consideration, be wholly incommensurate with the wants of sixteen millions. That the evil of the existing disproportion between the numbers of the people and the means of the Church to receive them is increased by its being partial. The advance of the population has not been equable over England. In many rural districts it has not even yet outgrown the accommodation provided in the parish churches; but, in large towns, it has long fearfully predominated over all the means of pastoral care and instruction which the Church possessed. One third * Hansard, vol. xi. New Series, p. 334. of the population is td be found in those towns, the population of which exceeds ten thousand; the population of almost all such towns having doubled in the present century; and scarcely any provision, none at all in proportion, having been any where made to meet the highest wants of these our fellow-creatures, or to infuse any light or any knowledge into the dark swelling masses around. Even in the metropolis, under the eyes of Parliament, what has been the case for the last century and a half? In 1712, Burnet describes two hundred thousand persons then in London as destitute of any means of public worship or instruction. It formed the subject of Parliamentary inquiry in this House, in 1711: and the number then described in the journals is still greater:—"there will be about 342,000 (being two-thirds of the whole number of souls), for whom no churches are as yet provided." We know the result: fifty new churches were ordered; but I might almost state, that a generation passed away before even half the number were finished: the whole number were never begun. That the evil of this excess of the population above the means of the Church is increased, not only by its being partial in respect to localities, but by its being inflicted, chiefly, if not exclusively, on the poorer classes. It is an evil specially affecting the poor. It is not merely an evil felt in Northamptonshire or Dorsetshire, in Lancashire or in Cheshire; but wherever it is felt, it is felt by the poor, chiefly, or, I repeat it, almost exclusively. The rich, who can pay for their accommodation, may support proprietary chapels; but the poor, when excluded from their parish church, and deprived of those opportunities of public worship and religious instruction which the Church ought to be enabled to offer freely to all, can only look to those, whom the providence of God has entrusted with the means, and to whom, therefore he has committed the duty, of relieving such wants. I trust that they may not look in vain to this House. "It is a fearful experiment," say the Liverpool petitioners, "to try how large a portion of the people can be safely left without the pale of Christian institutions. And it is an act of the most grievous injustice, to resolve that such experiment shall be made at the cost of the poorer classes, who can do little to help themselves, and on whom penal measures, whenever necessary, are apt to fall with peculiar weight and seve- rity." As the University of Oxford, followed by other petitioners, state,—"it belongs to the very essence of a national church, that her spiritual ministrations should be co-extensive with the spiritual wants of the whole community; offered freely to all men, though not enforced upon any one:" that, notwithstanding this truth, "a large proportion of the people are altogether excluded, without their consent or fault, from her public worship, religious instruction, and pastoral superintendence. That this spiritual destitution, which is ever least regarded by those to whom it is most pernicious, has chiefly befallen districts the least capable, even if they felt the want, of supplying the remedy." The petition from the University of Oxford proceeds to state the social mischiefs hence arising;. and adds, that the result is a national evil; and that "it ill becomes a great and wealthy people to rest for the supply of a national want either upon private liberality, or upon the voluntary efforts of those poorer districts in which the want especially prevails." The nation ought to enable the Church which it calls national, to offer its ministrations to all. Its duty is its interest. Wherever spiritual destitution prevails, there prevail, not only private vice and demoralisation, but political excesses and public turbulence,—in South Wales, in Monmouthshire, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Wherever you find the absence of religious worship and instruction, there you find vice and evil; and wherever, on the contrary, you find a well-organised parish, with the legitimate influence of pastoral superintendence, there you will find, as a necessary consequence, the fruits of order, peace, and well-living. The petitions which proceed from districts near the scene of the late insurrection in South Wales, (I refer particularly, to some petitions from Monmouthshire and Herefordshire,) distinctly specify the absence of religious instruction as the great source of political disorder as well as of private misconduct. And here let me also observe, that it is from the scenes of the late insurrection that the petitions, which, with one exception, have been the most numerously signed against my present motion, have proceeded. It is a truth, never to be forgotten in the consideration of this subject, that those, who most need the instructions of religion, are themselves the least sensible of the want: and, in reference to this principle, it is worth remarking, that the numbers in the county of Monmouth, with its 100,000 souls, who have petitioned this Mouse against any national extension of the national Church, are greater, not only in proportion to the population, but absolutely, and, in fact, than in the four metropolitan counties, with their two millions and a half. When I talk of the numbers, who have signed what are called anti-church extension petitions, I ought to add, what, indeed, may be the boast of some who present them, that they include persons of all religions—I might, without uncharitableness, say, of all and of none. I have now stated, summarily, the number of the petitions in favour of my motion; the difference, and distinctness, of the places and classes, whence they proceed: the peculiarity of their prayer, in asking that, the grant of which is to impose a pecuniary burthen upon themselves:—the ground of their prayer, arising from the facts, that the population has outgrown the Church; that the want is greatest where the masses of the people are the densest and the poorest; and that in consequence the people are demoralised, and the foundations of the public peace are shaken; independently of the far higher interests involved in the care of the souls of immortal myriads. And what is the answer to those, who, on such grounds, petition this House to relieve the spiritual destitution of their fellow-countrymen? I will endeavour to collect it fairly,—partly from the counter-petitions already on the table, and partly from speeches delivered here, or elsewhere, in reference to this and to kindred subjects. We are told, then, that the State has no duty in the matter: that the nation has no conscience: that religion is an affair between God and the individual 5 and that the government of a country ought not to intermeddle with it: that, accordingly, the State of England has not hitherto acted upon this alleged duty;—[the amendment, which, in reference to the present motion, the hon. Member for Kilkenny (Mr. Hume) has entered on the paper, begs her Majesty to consider that the bulk of the property held by the Established Church consists of endowments made by various sovereigns and by "other individuals:"] that the State, as such, has not, with a few and late exceptions, built the existing churches: that the State did not endow them; that individuals had built them; and individuals had endowed them: and it should be left to individuals to do the same now: that the above being true, if all the people were of one mind, it becomes more palpably true, when it is known that a large proportion of the people (a petition, presented to-night by the hon. Member for Kilkenny, stated, that the larger portion of the people of England were not members of the Established Church;—another petition says, an overwhelming majority) are hostile to the Church. The ministers of the three denominations, I think, describe the Church as "a manifest minority;" and a petition, which I recollect to have been presented by the hon. Member for Lambeth (Mr. Hawes), in like manner, calls the Church "an unquestionable minority." They go on to state, that it is unjust to tax Dissenters, being not only Dissenters, but the majority of the people, for purposes which they do not require; and, far more unjust, to tax them for purposes, to which such "an overwhelming majority of the people are conscientiously opposed;"—that it not being the duty of any government, in any case, and it being unjust in the actual case of England, to build and endow churches at the public expense, it is unnecessary, also, in consequence, first, of the enormous wealth of the Established Church, "the most amply endowed Church on the face of the earth," says one petition;—"the richest in Christendom," says another; there-distribution of which wealth, or the better management of the sources of which, say many of the petitions, would supply all that could be needed; or, secondly (even if this were not so), in consequence of the "splendid achievements" of the voluntary principle, "in our own country, during the present age:" by which splendid achievements it has been shown, how much people will do for the spiritual good of themselves; how much people will do for the spiritual good of others; how certainly religious instruction will be provided by the wise and rich for the ignorant and poor. At all events, say the political economists, the supply will always keep pace with the demand: it is of no use to force the market: if churches are wanted (said the hon. Member for Kilkenny, on a former occasion), churches will be built. [Mr. Hume: "Hear, hear!"] He cheers his own doctrine, now. If churches are not wanted, they will not be filled. I have endeavoured to state, briefly, and fairly, the sum of all the objections which I have heard, or read, against the present motion. They are directed, as the House will observe, against the means which I desire to employ in order to relieve a great and admitted evil:—the existence of that evil none deny; and few regard its extent to have been exaggerated. The importance, therefore, of the object I may assume as recognised, even by those who are prepared, on the grounds already stated, to resist the attainment of that object by the means which I propose. What is the answer to their first objection, their objection on the principle, namely, that the State has no conscience, and, therefore, has no duty in the matter?—My answer is, that, whether the State have, or have not, a conscience [I will not pursue the subject as set forth in the remarkable and admirable book of my hon. Friend, the Member for Newark, Mr. W. E. Gladstone], each individual has a conscience. All power is given by God to be used to His glory; to the advancement of His church; to the welfare of His people; and, especially, to the good of the poor in Christ. Influence is power. In every position of life, each man is bound to use all his power and all his influence, to promote these objects. Let no one, then, shelter himself under the delusion, that, though this might be true in private life, and though he might admit it in his own case while sitting in his own room it ceased to be true when he was invested with power and influence as a legislator in this House. He carries his responsibility with him. He is bound every where to promote the glory of God, and the good of his fellow-creatures; and if to promote their temporal advantages, still more to care for their souls, and to provide for their spiritual destitution. I think, and trust, that few will rise up and deny the general proposition; and if all men who felt its truth, would act upon it, and would give their votes accordingly this night, the majority, which I might expect, would satisfy my warmest hopes; since, in truth, I hardly know where I could find the minority. This is my answer to the first objection which has been urged elsewhere against my motion, and which is to be repeated, I presume, here to-night. To the objection upon principle, succeeds the objection upon precedent: "the State of England has not hitherto discharged this alleged duty." My reply is, that it is too late to urge such an objection. The State of England has built churches for the people, and has endowed those churches: the State has done just enough to overturn this argument, but not enough to fulfil its own duties to God and the people. I have already quoted from the journals the resolution of this House in 1711; and have alluded to the Act founded thereon for erecting fifty new churches in the metropolis. However imperfectly the work was done, it recognised the principle that the nation was hound to provide for the people in a given district a church in proportion to their numbers; and to convey religious instruction to the nation through the means of the National Church. The same principle was recognised in certain Acts of King George the 1st. A long and sad neglect, the source of almost all our present evils, succeeded, extending through almost the whole reign even of King George the 3rd. At length, in the year 1809 (the first year of the administration of Mr. Perceval, a name which I can never mention without respect and gratitude), he recalled the attention of the country to their duty; and then commenced, and for eleven years continued, an annual grant of 100,000l. for the purpose of increasing the poorer livings of England, and thereby promoting the benefits of a resident pastoral superintendence of the people. Though, in the necessity, which I regret to feel, of trespassing largely upon the time of the House, in endeavouring to bring this great subject justly before them, I am unwilling to read many extracts to them, I yet think myself justified in referring to this transaction in the eloquent language of a living prelate:— It is within the memory of many of us, that, for eleven years, the annual sum of 100,000l. was granted by Parliament towards endowing and augmenting poor benefices in populous places; and had it not been for this grant, the Forest of Dean, as well as some other parts of our own diocese, instead of enjoying the pastoral ministrations of our Church for nearly twenty years, would have continued in a state little removed from heathenism. I must add, that this measure was first adopted at a time when the public burthens pressed with a far heavier weight upon the community than they do at present; when the nation was engaged in a fearful and perilous contest; when the most gigantic power known in modern history, was combined against our national independence, under a mighty conqueror, whose talents and ambition are hardly paralleled among the children of men. Yet, at that time, when the argument for economy was far more cogent than at present, and when party heats and animosities were as great as at any other period, I find, that this grant was decreed with the marked and unanimous approbation of all parties in the House of Commons. But I hasten on to other facts, which equally prove that I am not endeavouring to impose a new duty on the State of England; but merely re-urging an old and acknowledged, though imperfectly discharged obligation. In 1818, the late Lord Liverpool, roused to the consideration of the subject by the celebrated work of the rev. R. Yates, proposed the grant of a million in aid of the erection and endowment of churches and chapels in populous places. That grant passed in this House, without a division*, the hon. Member for Kilkenny, then as now, being present. The same Minister proposed, for similar purposes, a grant of 500,000l in the year 1824. That grant also, though not without discussion and divisions, passed both Houses of Parliament. Again, other aid was given in Scotland to relieve the spiritual destitution in its Highlands and Islands. Now, though all your exertions have utterly failed to overtake the march of population, though, after all, you have not provided for more than one in twenty, even of the increase in your numbers, since the commencement of those exertions, you have at least in them, and by them, recognised the principle, that it is the duty of the nation to provide for those who cannot otherwise obtain it, the blessing of the means of religious worship and public instruction. I turn to another objection—to the objection founded on the alleged fact, that those who dissent from the Church, are "the overwhelming majority of the people;" and that, therefore, it is most unjust to tax them in support of the religion of the minority. On the value of numbers as a test of truth, I will not enter; nor, at this moment, on the duty of a State, in respect to its own estimate of truth irrespective of numbers altogether. But, as the argument from the numbers of those who dissent from the Church is very prominent in their own petitions and in the speeches of their advocates, and forms what is sometimes called a reason and is always very like a threat, I will endeavour to prove to the House that this alleged fact is grossly misstated. I admit that the Dissenters are noisy enough, if that would prove their numbers; but, statistically, I deny the fact. It is very true, that there is no actual census of the kingdom according to * The only division was on a clause which Sir William Scott proposed to expunge from the bill, and which was expunged accordingly.—Hansard, vol. xxxviii. p. 426. religious denominations. It is equally true, that there is not even a return of their respective places of worship. I endeavoured last year and do not abandon the attempt to ascertain that point more accurately; but, at present, the number of Dissenters is, I admit, to be collected not by actual returns, either of the population as such, or even of their places of worship; but, inferentially only, from a deduction of various particulars. First, from the number of their chapels: the noble Lord opposite (Lord J. Russell) stated last year, on the 12th of February, 1839, that the number of their chapels in England and Wales was about 10,000. The hon. and learned Member for the city of Dublin (Mr. O'Connell) in a paper, which I hold in my hand bearing his signature, and sent, I presume, to every other Member as well as to me, states that the number of Roman Catholic and Dissenting chapels in England and Wales is 9,000. The only Parliamentary return, I believe, on this subject is one moved for in 1836, by my noble Friend, the Member for the city of Durham (Viscount Dungannon), then Mr. Arthur Trevor. The total number in that return, deducting London, is 26,260. But the House should recollect, that Mr. Arthur Trevor's return gives not merely chapels, but licensed rooms;—and not only those existing in use at its date, but those in respect to which a licence was ever granted; there being no return made to any office, shewing that any place so licensed as a place of worship was either continued or discontinued as such. In the diocese of Ely, the return includes all places licensed during the hundred years, from 1736 to 1836: in Warwickshire, and, I think, some other places, all from the Revolution of 1689 downwards. Then as to the proportion of those still used, the Leicester return, which gives 312 as the number licensed for Dissenting worship since 1812, states, that less than one-third are now so used: the Ely return states, that, in that diocese, not above one-fifteenth (of the number 349) are probably now used for the purposes for which they were registered. Secondly, I draw a conclusion as to the number of Dissenters in England and Wales, from the quality of the places, in respect to which licences for public worship have been asked and obtained; whether such places are, or are not, at this moment used as such. Several of the reports included in Mr. Arthur Trevor's return, state, that the larger number included as licensed are not distinct buildings, or meeting houses, but "rooms in private houses,"—"barns, stables, shops, or places of any other kind."—"A summer house in a garden belonging to the dwelling house of John Hunt, in St. John Sepulchre (now the Ebenezer Chapel)."—"John Golden, a room in his dwelling house in Pockthorpe, opposite the Jolly Sportsman." The Axbridge return, specifies "one dwelling house licensed 'Baptist Meeting;' and, also, licensed to sell beer, &c., by retail." I mention this not to cast ridicule on the individuals; but, for self-defence, to resist the inference which is drawn from the mere list of Dissenting places of worship, as shewing alike the activity and the numbers of their congregations, in opposition to the Church. I again deny their superior numbers; and the argument which they found upon it. Even where their places of worship are distinct buildings, exclusively appropriated as such, the numerical preponderance of Dissenters over the Church cannot be sustained by any argument founded on the size of such chapels or meeting houses. Even in London, they do not give more than an average of 500 sittings; or 631, according to a writer in the Congregational Magazine: and the aggregate number of sittings as claimed by the same authority for the metropolis and its environs, is only 257,658. But such an average would, I think, be greatly too high. In Maitland's able work on the Voluntary System, I find transcribed five advertisements of Dissenting chapels on sale; they are in the outskirts of London; and I find the average is only 300. In Lambeth, indeed, the Independents lay claim to 700; and the Baptists to 500 sittings in each chapel. But the general average must be taken from the surface of the whole country. In Lancashire, according to the returns of 1831, to which I shall presently advert more particularly, the average is 432. What, however, said Dr. Bowring, in a debate in this House, continued for some time, and in which many leading Members took a part, when there was no motive to extend the number of worshippers attached, to Dissenting chapels?—[It was on a clause in the Marriage Bill requiring twenty householders to certify, that they desired that their chapel might be registered as a place for the solemnisation of marriages.]—He resisted the clause, and divided the House, on the ground that "there are some hundreds of Dissent- ing places of worship which have been in existence for several generations, among the congregations of which it would not be possible to find twenty householders." The statement of the great number of the Dissenters in England is further disproved, or, at least, impugned—1. by the number of their contributors, and, 2. by the amount of their contributions, to objects purely benevolent; I mean, of course, to such as are not directly connected with the diffusion of worship or instruction. Take, for example, an infirmary or hospital. Take the number of contributors, Churchmen and Dissenters, to an infirmary:—

In Wiltshire, the Churchmen are 16 to 1 Dissenter.
In Gloucester 30 to 1 543 to 18.
In Durham, above 15 to 1 161 to 11.
In Exeter, above 12 to 1 645 to 51.
In Bedford 15 to 1
In Leeds [I see the hon. Member for Leeds (Mr. Baines) opposite; he will correct me, if I mis-state the fact; the proportion is more in favour of the Dissenters there than in the other places which I have quoted]—in Leeds, the Churchmen do not outnumber the Dissenters, as contributors to the infirmary, in a greater proportion than as being rather more than three-fourths of the whole. Again, take the amount of contributions, as well as the number of contributors. Why, in the cathedral of Salisbury alone, more was raised for the County Infirmary in one day than in all the Dissenting chapels throughout the county. "The funds being deficient, a collection was made on the Fast-day throughout the county, in most of the churches, after the morning service only; and in the Dissenting chapels generally, after the morning and evening service. The result was:
£. s. d.
"Collected at the cathedral 79 19 8
Different churches 1124 6 6
Dissenting chapels 73 18 11"
I say, either the Dissenters have exaggerated their numbers, or their benevolence is not in proportion to their numbers. [An hon. Member: "But the Dissenters are poorer."] Be it so. The distinction which I have just pointed out may be called an aristocratic an invidious test of their numbers; the numbers being the sole point at issue. But I think that I have an answer to the hon. Gentleman who has made the observation: I can give him a less objectionable test of the number of those who dissent from the Church. In all England, according to returns, which the House granted on my motion two years ago, the whole number of marriages solemnised—though that is not the word to be applied to any unions contracted without the least reference to God, or his word—[Mr. Hawes. "Oh, oh!"]—Does the hon. Member for Lambeth mean that a marriage contracted before a registrar has any the least reference to God, or his word? Is it not purposely, avowedly, and by privilege, a purely civil contract, like any bargain and sale? And such marriages are some of those included in the returns, which I was about to quote, of marriages—the whole number performed and celebrated without the services of the Church, was 4088; whereas, in London alone, within the Bills of Mortality, the number solemnised according to the rites of the Church, in exactly the same period of time, was 6032. And now I defy you to resist my conclusion; either the Dissenters exaggerate their numbers now, or they exaggerated their grievances, when, three or four years ago, they prevailed on this House, in deference to the scruples of conscience which they urged, to recognise as valid a marriage without the sanctions of religion; and for the first time in the history of England, except only in the days of the Great Rebellion, to separate from the chief tie of human society any reference to the blessing of Almighty God. I have, however, another and more direct proof that the Dissenters do not form the majority, or anything like the majority, of the people of England and Wales, however great their noise and activity may be, in proportion to their numbers. Some years ago, the hon. and learned Member for the city of Dublin (Mr. O'Connell) moved for certain returns, connected with the religious statistics of the country. Each denomination of dissent was returned by its own minister; and the priests of the Church of Rome returned the numbers of their flocks. Unhappily, all these returns perished in the fire of 1834. Happily, however, one of them had been already printed. It is the return for Lancashire. Why it was selected for printing I cannot, of course, state: possibly, it was thought to be the most favourable for the object, in reference to which all were moved for. I am content with it. I must observe, that above one-eleventh of the county of Lancaster made no return. Now, out of a population at that time stated to consist of 1,052,859, what was the amount claimed by the Church of Rome—recollect in Lancashire—and by all sects dissenting from the Church of England, conjointly? The number returned was only 255,411; add to this the same proportion, out of the parishes making no return, which is found in the others; add, accordingly, 26,478; and you obtain a total claimed as belonging to others, and not to the Church, a total of 281,889; nothing like a third, though exceeding a fourth, in this county, in which pre-eminently, if anywhere in England, it might have been supposed that those who differed from the Church of England might have claimed and formed the majority. Now, I appeal to the hon. Gentlemen opposite, if you admit that the remainder not claimed by you belong to the Church, this shows the manifest minority of those who do not belong to the Church; and therefore, destroys your own argument from your alleged majority of numbers. If, on the other hand, you reply, that they do not belong to the Church, inasmuch as they have no religion at all, you prove my case and justify my motion, more conclusively than by any other argument, inasmuch as you prove the urgent and overwhelming want of the means of increased religious instruction and worship. You cannot escape from this dilemma. Either the Church of the State comprehends the overwhelming majority of the people, and, in that case, by every rule of Government, the State must act on its own sense of duty without reference to the opposition of a minority: or all your own voluntary efforts, and all the authorised instructions of the Church, have alike proved lamentably and hopelessly inadequate to meet the wants of the people; and frightful masses of ignorance and irreligion have been left, which no means hitherto applied have been sufficient to enlighten. You cannot escape from the alternative, One more observation on this subject:—There is an authority which you highly value on political economy. Will you take his opinion as to the number of Dissenters in England and Wales? Mr. M'Culloch says, that the number, including Roman Catholics, is 2,700,000, or, at most, 3,000,000; or, deducting Roman Catholics, whom he reckons at 500,000, he gives 2,500,000 as the aggregate of Protestant Dissenters. I have pursued this subject of numbers perhaps too far but I know how much, on this and on other questions, an appeal to numbers is a favourite and too powerful an argument; and I felt it to be my duty to deny the fact, and to show to the House that I did not lightly deny it. I trust, indeed, that I have sufficiently shown, that, whatever be the present fate of my motion, the claim of the Dissenters of England to decide the question, because they are the overwhelming majority of the people, and the Church an unquestionable minority, will not, in this House at least, be again urged. What is a government, if the will of a minority be allowed to oppose itself successfully to the will of the majority; and to the actual law, embodying that will? The tastes, the wants, and even the conscience, of an individual I know the force of that word "conscience," and will revert to it), are not to be the measure of his obedience to a municipal law. As to tastes and wants, how many in every country pay for roads, bridges, (and gaols too, happily,) which they never use? How many pay for policemen for whom they never send. A man, indignant at the demand of a police-tax, as I find the story in a note to my friend Dr. Dealtry's Charge, exclaimed, "I never sent for a policeman in my life." "Neither did I," was the reply; "but yet I pay willingly, because it prevents the necessity of my sending for one." How much was paid by the people of England for the Caledonian Canal? How much has been paid by all the home subjects of the Crown for the Rideau Canal? Do I blame the expenditure on either head? No: I refer to them only to show that the doctrine,—that no man is to pay for that which he does not distinctly and individually require,—is destructive of all government. I advert for a moment to another expense—in some degree connected with religion, and, consequently, with conscience,—which the demands of the Dissenters,, chiefly, brought upon the country, but which, as involving mere expense, none of us have ever resisted; I mean, the whim, if it were not worse, of registering births, and, thereby, so far as it went, tending to supersede the sense of the obligation of baptism, by superseding the necessity of its registry. What is the cost of this new system of the Registration of Births? and how much of that cost is Churchmen's money? We objected to the principle; but, being defeated, we submit to the payment. A more stirring subject remains: I refer to the great question of National Education. A large body of the people of England opposed the Government measure last year on the subject. This House was divided upon it; one of the largest minorities ever known, consisting of 300 members, on conscientious grounds, opposed the grant. Those who felt with them, and who formed the majority in the other House of Parliament, induced that House to address the Queen upon the subject. Public bodies petitioned the Crown. But in this House the Ministers had a majority of 2. Did they recognise the rights of conscience in the minority? Did they respect their scruples? Did they not say in substance." You have nothing to do with taxes but to pay them, and with laws but to obey them?" I am, therefore, entitled on every ground to state, that the essential functions of a government is destroyed, if it do not enforce its own will upon all its subjects. The supreme power of a state may be in the hands of one, or in the hands of many; but, wherever it is lodged, it must have this right. If it were to yield to a large minority, it must, on the same principle, yield to a smaller; it must yield to ten, or to two individuals, if their conscience were to be admitted as the measure of their obedience. But is conscience to be allowed to be a plea for every thing?—Are Quakers, in England, permitted to escape payment of war-taxes? Is there any hon. Gentleman opposite who will tell me, that conscience is an excuse for every thing? Is there not something above conscience? is conscience always enlightened? Has not God enabled us to try our conscience by His word and truth? Did not those, who thought that they were doing God service, commit nevertheless, what every one of us admits to be, a great crime? And always when we plead conscience, let us be quite sure, that our conscience is in our hearts, and not in our pockets. A reference, has been made to what I said on a former occasion on the question of conscience. I then said, and I now repeat, that I will never voluntarily give sixpence for teaching as the word of God, that which I believe not to be the word of God. To that principle I adhere: but though I will give nothing, I will pay every thing which the law of my own country requires me to pay. I stated before, and I state now, that every supreme authority has the right to establish any form of public worship which it thinks proper. I stated before that I conceded the same right to the Sultan at Constantinople, which I claim for the supreme power of England. I hold the Sultan to be at perfect liberty to impose a tax upon all the property in his empire for the maintenance of Islam, and of the mosques of Islam; and if I had land in Turkey, my course would be clear,—namely, to pay the tax, or to leave the country. If, indeed, the imposition were personal; if the act required were personal; if a heathen emperor required me to sacrifice to Jupiter, I know what my duty would be; though I know, also, that God only could give me grace and strength to discharge it; but in the present case, in the case of a tax to build churches in England, no man is taxed as a Dissenter or a Roman Catholic, but as a subject; and in proportion to his wealth, and not in reference to his creed. The tax is laid not upon persons, but upon property; not upon Dissenters as such, but upon an acre, or on a house, which, by whomsoever cultivated, or occupied, would always pay exactly the same sum. As a general principle, observe, too, that the law of England does not presume dissent; the constitution of England does not presume dissent; the writ of summons does not presume dissent: on the contrary, the Parliament is summoned, in consent and sympathy, to consult for the good of the realm and of the Church, de arduis negotiis Regni et Ecclesiœ; and, at this moment, the great body of this House, fire hundred members still, are members of the Church of England. I have already stated my belief, and my reasons for the belief, that the great body also of the people of England, whom we represent, are themselves members of the Church. Then, as to the objection which is urged against my present motion, from the argument—"that the wealth of the Church is enormous, and might supply all the need of all the people," I reply, that the wealth of the Church, as actually levied to-day, is not enormous. What the wealth of the Church might have been, if all had remained with it, it is not easy to say. I remember that Warner, in his Western Counties, states, that the aggregate income of the estates of the Abbey of Glastonbury, if kept together to his day, at the end of the last century, would then have been about 500,000l. per annum. But two-thirds of the ecclesiastical revenues of England were transferred to the Crown or to lay subjects at the Reformation; and the remainder furnishes a scanty income to many; and if it were equally divided among all, would scarcely furnish a decent provision for any, At this time, the income of 3,528 livings of England is under 150l., and some vicarages are under 5l. per annum.* The average of all the livings of England is only 242l.; while even the hon. Member opposite (Mr. Hume) admitted, when we were discussing, a few years ago, the case of the Irish clergy, with a view to a better provision for them, that the income of none ought to be less than 300l. The aggregate income of all the prelacy of England, if all were thrown into the funds of the parochial clergy, would not add a sum of 16l. per annum to each of the livings in England. The whole amount of all ecclesiastical property in England and Wales, divided among the fifteen or sixteen thousand priests of the Church, is not 3,500,000l. per annum. It is very true, that this aggregate is very unequally divided. I, for one, do not object to the inequality. On principle, I see reason to prefer it: but those who object to it must recollect, that the advowsons of one-third of all the livings of England are in lay hands; and that the richest livings in England, Doddington, for instance (an estate bill in reference to which parish is now passing through this House), and Winwick, are, as advowsons, quite as much the property of laymen as their manors or broad lands. Other livings, large and small, are daily bought and sold in the market; an abuse, if you please; and I cordially admit it; but an abuse sanctioned by the law for three centuries, and not to be corrected at the expense of private property, without giving compensation to the holders. If, without giving compensation to the holder of the advowson of a large living so purchased in the market, you take a certain proportion from the income of that large living, in order to give it to a small living, which, like the other, has been openly purchased in the market, you violate the security upon which any man holds any property: if, on the other hand, you give, as you are bound to give, a just compensation, the nation is paying, and is therefore taxed, as much as it would be paying and would be taxed, in order to secure that increase in the number of churches, ministers, and parochial districts, which it is the object of my motion to supply. What I have last submitted to the House is, in part, an answer to the objection—"distribute better the wealth of the Church, and you meet the * Glover's Queen Anne's Bounty. He mentions one vicarage of 2l. 13s. 4d.—p. 50. spiritual destitution of which you complain:" but the objection refers, also, to a new and distinct management of the sources of that wealth;—"by a different management more might be raised—enough for all spiritual purposes might be raised, without taxing the people of England." It is impossible on this occasion to enter fully into the question of Church-leases, the object here pointed at. It is enough to say, that, admitting the assumption that much more might be raised in the shape of rent from a given property by changing its tenure, as has been proposed in the matter of Church-leases, such change implies not merely taking away from landlords as legal holders of property their management of such property (this in the case actually before you, you would not much mind), but also, taking away from tenants their beneficial interest in such tenures, which, I believe, some of you would much mind. After all, the Church, meaning, thereby, as you mean, ecelesiastical bodies, aggregate or sole, has, as distinct from other Christians, no duty and no interest in Church-extension. Do you tax the generals for barracks, or the judges for gaols? Tax the clergy as you tax others, in aid, but do not tax them exclusively, and as a class. Yet we have been told, even by a bishop,—"wait, before you apply to Parliament for assistance in this matter—wait, till it is seen what the Church will do." In the first place, the Church is not a body of ecclesiastics, but of all faithful men. In the next place, what is the duty of Durham to provide the means of Church-extension in Monmouthshire? The principle, at the very utmost, must be limited to the claim which poverty has upon property, and to the correlative duty which property owes to poverty; and will, therefore, go no farther than to require Durham, for instance, to provide for Durham, and to authorise you to re-distribute the ecclesiastical income of the chapter of Durham over the parishes whence it arises. Church-reform is the object of the bill, to which I am now alluding; Church extension is the object of my motion. They are not only not necessarily connected, but there is no connexion at all in principle; and, as to the practical effect of Church-reform, I have already stated, that the annihilation of the whole prelacy of England would only add 16l. per annum, to each living. The purport of the bill before the House, the Ecclesiastical Duties and Revenues Bill, is the augmentation of small livings already existing; Church-extension has reference to new fabrics, new endowments, new parochial districts. But it is said, that any such National grant, and, consequently, any such taxation, is unnecessary, in consequence of "the glorious triumphs," "the splendid achievements," of the voluntary principle. Now, in the first place, I do not deny the value of the voluntary principle, or its efficiency in the infancy of the Church. I admit, that in the first and earliest age it furnished the support of the Christian Church, though it never furnished the support of God's earlier Church under the elder dispensation. Every one knows, that, under the Jewish economy, though there were free-will offerings, there were also, in regular succession, not only tithes, but other payments, in money, and in kind. And though, in the first day of the Church, when apostles received the gifts of the people, and could, at the same moment, discern their thoughts and hearts, and could, accordingly, discriminate between a Barnabas, who having land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at their feet, and an Ananias who, professing to do the same, kept back part of the price of his possession, the Church might well rely on support so given, and so received; yet, when this power ceased, and when men were left to the ordinary operation of human motives and human control, and when men were settled in Christian communities,—fixed oblations, and, at no distant time, tithes and yearly dues became the stated and regular support of the Church. Unless, then, you can return to the days of the apostles, with their power, also, the analogy is futile, as proving that the voluntary principle is all-sufficient. I admit, however, that, in this and in every age, it ought to be invoked in aid. But I contend that, in no age, and in no country, since the days of the Apostles, has it ever been tried, as in itself, all-sufficient for the support and maintenance of religion, except in the single instance of the United States of America. You can produce no other instance from the first age to the Reformation, and none from the Reformation to this day. Now, how has this principle worked in the United States? Has it, in the first place, provided a minister for every Church? I take the word Church as I find it in their own returns, meaning not always, I believe, a fabric, but a congregation. Now, by those returns, there are, within the Confederation, 15,000 churches; there are, of all denominations, 10,800 ministers, leaving unprovided for, 4,200 churches. How are these churches situated? over an area of 636,000 square miles. And when you are considering the adequacy of this supply, recollect that the area to be covered by it is about twelve times the area of England; and, then, judge, whether the voluntary principle has been safely entrusted with the spiritual charge of such a continent? I might ask, how are the ministers paid; and, above all, how are the people taught? I mean, excepting in the case of the old Eastern states, where, in many cases, endowments made before the revolution are retained, and where an old established parochial system is traced, so far as the episcopal framework subsists. But, on the general view of the larger part of the states, I will compress all which I desire to say, as conveying the effect and working of the whole system, in the words of a late traveller, the rev. Samuel J. Mills. Never will the impression be erased from my heart, that has been made by beholding those scenes of wide-spreading desolation—The whole country, from Lake Erie to the Gulph of Mexico, is as the valley of the shadow of death. Darkness rests upon it. Only here and there a few rays of gospel light pierce through the awful gloom. This vast country contains more than a million of inhabitants. Their number is every year increased by a mighty flood of emigration. Soon they will be as the sands on the sea shore for multitude. Yet there are at present little more than 100 Presbyterian or Congregational ministers in it. Were these ministers equally distributed throughout the country, there would be only one to every 10,000 people. But now there are districts of country containing from twenty to fifty thousand inhabitants entirely destitute. And how shall they hear without a preacher? I am justified, then, I think, in asserting that the voluntary principle, in the only instance, America, in which it has been tried nationally, has signally and fatally failed. It has failed in England also,—both among dissenters and churchmen. Among dissenters it has failed, whether we look to the supply of ministers, to the provision for such ministers, or even to the erection of chapels. Abundant evidence on all these points may be found in Maitland's important work on the Voluntary System. I will only add two observations on the subject:—first, many of the meeting-houses of dissent are notoriously built on speculation, and, systematically, on debt secondly, they may be built any where, and without any restriction, civil or religious, without the control of any priest, bishop, or magistrate. We know how different is the law, and how different is the fact, in reference to the multiplication of the edifices of church worship. Again, a dissenting chapel, if it fail as such, may at once be converted to any other use. Yet, with all these facilities, how inadequate, by their own admission, has been the supply of divine worship under the voluntary system, to the dark places of this land! I admit, as freely, that the voluntary principle has failed in England among churchmen, not less than among dissenters; while again I say, I would always invoke it in aid, though it is utterly inadequate to supply exclusively a national want. For instance, in this very metropolis, in London, in the richest city of the world, its diocesan, whose zeal and whose energy are above all the praise which I could offer, and whom I am permitted to call my friend, appealed four or five years ago, to the wealthy and the great around him, and told them, that, looking to the spiritual destitution of their neighbours, inhabitants of the same city with themselves, 379 new churches at least were required to give the means of public worship and instruction in the establishment, to those who had a right to expect them, by whomsoever to be furnished. But looking also in some degree to the means of worship elsewhere given, though in no degree approaching, even numerically, to an adequate supply—on the contrary, falling in every way short of it, and despairing, certainly, of succeeding to the full extent of his own wishes, which would only have been limited by the wants of his people,—the Bishop of London, our diocesan here, asked for the means of building and scantily endowing no more than fifty churches; he asked for 250,000l. In this centre of riches, did he obtain this? He obtained scarcely more than half; till an individual arose, whom also I feel it an honour to call my friend, Mr. William Cotton, who, with energy equal to the occasion, instituted a subscription to relieve the spiritual destitution of one great and neglected locality in the metropolis, Bethnal Green. He asked for 70,000l. to build and endow ten new churches in that parish. Thank God, he has already obtained 45,000l.; and these churches, added to those raised by the bishop's fund, will probably extend the whole number to forty. But even this, the utmost success which can be anticipated, proves only the utter inadequacy of the vo- luntary system, under the most favourable circumstances, to supply the wants of a nation. I mention with pleasure other instances of active voluntary exertion in the endeavour to provide free means of worship for the poor. I will begin with a remarkable case of self-denying labour and sacrifice, on the part of a clergyman in a distant part of the country, whom, individually, I do not know; but a memorial from whom to Earl Grey I hold in my hand. I refer to the rev. Hammond Roberson, of Yorkshire. He states,— The income of your Memorialist, as a clergyman, for fifteen years, during which he was regularly employed in the Church, had not averaged forty pounds a year. He had neither patrimony nor prospects. He had a taste for education, and devoted himself thereto; but not so as to forget the sacred obligations of his ordination. The neglected state of Liversedge greatly affected his feelings. In 1802 he purchased five acres and a quarter of land as a probable site for a church and appendages. In 1812, being left without any family engagements, he began to build a church upon what he considered the best possible security—an act of the British Parliament. In 1816 a church was consecrated in Liversedge; and, so far as your Memorialist knows, became part and parcel of the National Church Establishment in these realms; with a hundred free sittings for the poor of the township, an acre of ground well fenced in for a cemetery, a right to the inhabitants to marry, baptize, bury, and register; and to have the doctrines, services, and sacraments of Christ, 'as the Lord hath commanded and as this church and realm hath received the same,' as fully, regularly, and duly administered, as in any parish church in the realm,—and under the same jurisdiction; with four acres of land for the use of the incumbent. Perhaps there is no other instance of a Church built by the voluntary efforts of a single clergyman who drew no higher income from the ecclesiastical revenue of the country than 40l. per annum. But in other classes, also, there are honourable instances of those who have felt it to be their duty to bestow a portion of their wealth in promoting the means of church-worship amongst their dependents. I find in the late Mr. Yates's memorable work the following reference to the Earl of Lonsdale:— An instance of this truly patriotic and benevolent regard to the best interests of the State and of humanity has fallen under my own knowledge, in the example afforded by your Lordship's noble and estimable friend, to whose liberality the counties of Cumberland and Westmoreland have recently been so much indebted; and who, by rebuilding and repairing decayed churches and village chapels upon several parts of his estates, has judiciously and charitably evinced his own respect to the Christian duties, by enabling others to perform them also: and by liberal grants of lands and tithes for endowments, and money for building and repairing parsonage houses, has most humanely and wisely inculcated the important truth, that, as resident parish priests are the most efficient means of extending the civilizing and consolatory principles of Christianity, so the most efficient means of securing a residence beneficial to the parishioners, is to provide for the comforts and respectable maintenance of the minister, This conduct is not found on one side only. I might well refer to the hon. Member for Middlesex (Mr. Byng), whom I do not now see in his place opposite. I might, also, refer to the late Duke of Bedford, who, feeling that he inherited large estates derived from ecclesiastics, held himself in an especial manner bound to make provision for the enlargement of the means of worship in the Establishment to the dwellers on those estates. But I pass on from individuals, whose unconnected exertions may well have failed, when the labours of societies have been utterly unsuccessful. I have shown how, in the diocese of London, the bishop and his committee have failed in calling forth the voluntary principle to an adequate extent. I could easily show how, in like manner, the voluntary principle, invoked, as it has been, by the Church, in the diocese of Chester, by a prelate of the greatest piety and zeal, following up the labours of the present Bishop of London in that diocese, has also failed. The same result is to be found in the diocese of York. Yet there are not wanting diocesan and local societies in the last named diocese—Bradford, for instance,—Salisbury—Durham, with a branch society at Berwick—Lancashire and Cheshire,—by the aid of which much has been done. in Manchester, large sums have been raised; in Birmingham, 24,000l., with a prospect of increasing it to 40,000l.; yet still, all fail in overtaking the demands of a growing population, for whom the nation has neglected to provide the first great element of social life,—religious instruction. There is one fatal peculiarity in the voluntary principle: it fails exactly where the want is the most urgent. The poor in the poorest places are always the chief sufferers, as I have already stated to the House, in quoting the Liverpool petition. Look at the great manufacturing districts in the North; look at the great mining districts in South Wales; look at the densely-peopled towns every where. Who are those excluded from the means of religious worship? Not the rich, not the educated; but the poor and the ignorant; the poor in proportion to their poverty. How many of the poorest in London are at this moment left unprovided by the voluntary system?—At the lowest estimate 600,000 souls. How many in Liverpool?—80,000. How many, even with a smaller population, in Sheffield?—80,000. [Dissent from Mr. Baines.] Does the hon. Member deny the fact? I can only state, that I have received the statement from authority which I believe to be conclusive. The same authority assures me, that, till the Parliamentary churches were erected in Sheffield, there were not more than 150 free sittings, as they are called, for the poor in the whole parish of Sheffield.[Dissent again, from the same hon. Member.] This is a point upon which, personally, I can know nothing; but it is confirmed by the terms of a petition signed by nearly four thousand persons,—clergy, bankers, merchants, and other inhabitants of that parish,—and which I have myself had the honour of presenting to the House. I am aware that I shall be told (for I have heard of some calculations on the other side of the House upon this subject) that the population of England is so much, and there is room in so many places of religious worship for such a proportion, and, therefore, that there is no great spiritual destitution, taking the whole country together. But, in the first place, what relief is it to a want existing in some densely-peopled manufacturing district, to be told that some church on the mountains of Westmoreland is only half filled: or, to bring the case nearer home, what satisfaction is it to a person—one of the hundreds of thousands, around these very walls, who have no means of spiritual instruction, to be told, that there are empty pews in several churches in the city part of the metropolis? And this leads me to another view of the subject, in which, indeed, it has not hitherto been regarded; but in which, as it appears to me, its importance is seen in the strongest light. And I wish, specially, to call the attention of the noble Lord opposite (Lord J. Russell) to it. My noble Friend, I assure him, will find it not unworthy of his notice. The strength, then, of my position is this, that neither by the organisation of the Church, nor by the voluntary efforts of Dissenters, nor by both, in all their energy, can the extent of the evil of the spiritual destitution of the nation, in its larger and more helpless classes, be adequately met and relieved; and, therefore, it is, that I call upon the nation,—I call upon the noble Lord who, in this House, represents the Government, and directs the resources of the nation,—to provide national means for relieving a national want and redressing a national evil. I have already noticed, that all the statistics which the House has as yet seen or heard, in reference to the deficiency of church accommodation, and to the consequent duty of church extension, have gone no farther than to show, that in a given district of a given population, there is in so many churches, room for so many people. But a vital element in the consideration has been omitted. We have never been told, what are the proportions between rich and poor even in that small number so admitted. We have never been told what proportion of the sittings are appropriated to the rich, and what are free to the poor. We have no such return throughout England; but, through the kindness of a right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Ripon), in communicating to me the results of his inquiries in his own important diocese, and through the kindness of another individual (Mr. Jowett) much and usefully employed on this subject, and who has analysed those results, I am enabled to submit to the House some facts which, to myself at least, were equally new and startling. I hold in my hand the returns from the two archdeaconries of Richmond and Craven; in which the parishes are divided into classes, according to the proportion of free sittings, in comparison with the population, found in each: (—as, for instance, in Craven, twenty-six parishes or districts, with free seats above 200, and not exceeding 300:—) I will not trouble the House with the details. It is sufficient for me to give the last item in the return from each archdeaconry. In Richmond, then, there are thirteen parishes or districts, containing 13,499 souls, with not one free sitting. In the archdeaconry of Craven, there are thirty-five parishes, or districts, containing an aggregate of 181,405 souls, with not one free sitting. I may take the opportunity of adding, that there are forty other parishes or districts in this archdeaconry, with a population amounting to 117,302, in which the average number of free sit- tings in the churches does not exceed 100, and, in by far the greater part, does not exceed fifty: not to notice, that there are several large townships (for instance, in the parishes of Halifax and Bradford) with no church accommodation whatever, and which have not been taken into the above calculation. After this, can we say, that the nation has done its duty? Can we say, that, as Christians, we have done our duty? Can we say, that the distinctive character of Christianity—"to the poor the Gospel is preached"—is exhibited in our land? The Gospel is not preached to the poor; I say it without reference to churchmen or to Dissenters. It ought to be a matter of deep regret to us all, and not of mutual crimination and recrimination. We ought to see in it only a motive of new exertion, and a full justification of an appeal to the nation, td relieve a national want, which all the zeal and all the energy, alike of churchmen or of Dissenters, have failed to supply. Let it always be borne in mind, that, if the poor have not religious instruction freely imparted to them, they have little prospect of obtaining any. They have not leisure to supply for themselves, out of books, that knowledge which the Church ought to provide for them, independently of the want of public worship, and independently of other considerations. If, therefore, the poor are not taught in the Church, they can scarcely ever be taught elsewhere. Let it not be supposed, as has sometimes been alleged, that the Dissenters have taken special and exclusive care of the poor: on the contrary, in a very curious series of papers on the moral and ecclesiastical statistics of London in the Congregational Magazine, in an article having particular reference to the borough of the Tower Hamlets, containing a population of 355,816 souls,—after stating that the combined efforts of the whole Christian community have still left destitute of any means of attending public worship no less than 79,679 persons in this district, who from age and circumstances would be capable of attending it,—the writer goes on to observe, Now it has been the boast of the Wesleyan methodists" (whom, I, by the bye, desire not to include as Dissenters) "that they are the missionaries of the poor; yet, to borrow his phrase" (referring to another writer) "in this most congenial soil they have only sixteen places of worship, while the Independents and Baptists have sixty-five. But, if the localities of the Independent chapels are marked, their largest and most effective places are not in Bethnal-green, Spitalfields, and the Docks, but in the more respectable parts of the borough, proving that their strength lies among those who form the strength of the community,—the middle classes. Here is not a matter of inference, but of assertion and boast, that the Independent Dissenters have not selected the poorer districts for their ministration. I make it no matter of blame to them; because I believe that it is essentially impossible that under the voluntary system it should be otherwise. I notice the fact, only to prove that the Independents do not at least claim the merit of having, by their own voluntary system, endeavoured to discharge the duty, which, as I hold, the nation owes to its poor. In fact, all the exertions of all classes of Dissenters,—all the exertions even of Whitfield, and Wesley, and of the Methodists who have followed them,—all the organisation of the Wesleyan system itself,—have completely failed to carry any light of any kind to hundreds of thousands of our fellow-creatures, even in their own country. If this be so, what would have been our condition without those exertions? How much, above all, does England owe to the Methodists? I may, perhaps, on this subject be permitted to quote the words of one who has exercised a large influence in this country, Alexander Knox, in whose politics I did not always agree, but of the elevation of whose piety I speak with reverence, and whose testimony on this point, as he was a high churchman, has an additional value:— What, I ask myself, would this country be, if Methodistic piety were now extinguished thoughout its middle and working classes;—if that sense of God, that feeling of inward piety, which raises the soul of humble poverty to a happiness of which mere moral philosophy cannot even catch the idea, were to be swept off and annihilated? Alas! what a precious treasure of heartfelt comfort, of fireside contentment, of steady decent industry, of social virtue, of public order and safety, would go along with it! Let me add, too, on my own part, that I have great reason to believe that the Wesleyan body are very favourable to the object of this motion. One of the earliest petitions which I presented was signed by three Wesleyan ministers in the place where it originated; and at the late anniversary meeting of the body, I have been told that the expressions of regard to the Church of England, and of interest in its extension, were frequent and unequivocal. I also feel bound to add, that I should do injustice to the Dissenters as a body, if I considered that they were identified in principles and in feeling with some of the petitions which particular congregations have been induced to present to this House. On the contrary, their considerate silence is conclusive. Why, if all approved the opposition of the ministers of the three denominations, why does it happen, that out of the 408 Dissenting congregations in the metropolis, only 38 have petitioned this House against the object which I now submit to you? and, therefore, I am entitled to maintain, that whatever may be the conduct of the political Dissenters, the feeling and the principle of many among the Dissenters will be the feeling and the principle of their own Matthew Henry, and of their own Doddridge, in reference to the Church Establishment of England. I do not, therefore, anticipate any extensive or organised opposition to my motion from the great body of the Dissenters. Be this as it may, of this I am sure, that if the object of that motion be good, it can be attained by no effort of the voluntary principle, or by any thing short of an act of the nation. Yet, in stating this conviction, I repeat, that the voluntary principle ought ever to be invoked in aid to meet national grants wherever the concurrence is possible, according to the principle upon which chapels are built in places where the Queen has consuls, partly by a grant of public money, and partly by a corresponding subscription on the part of those more immediately and locally interested in the benefit. But in the poorer districts, where the need is greatest, this concurrence is obviously impossible. Yet there are districts where the population is not rich, but where a very slight assistance will enable them to do great things for themselves. I refer particularly to the plan of the Rev. John Livesey, of Sheffield, for Mechanics' Churches. I can only allude to it, having already trespassed so long on the time of the House, and having yet to ask much more of their indulgence. All legislation ought, I think, to be based on the principle that we have no natural inclination for religion or for instruction. There is no natural hunger or thirst for the bread and water of life. Mankind are under no influence by nature to go to Church: and, therefore, the doctrine of the demand regulating the supply, however true in respect to the wants of the external man, is utterly inapplicable to his spiritual necessities. Reason and experience confirm the truth, that our need is greatest where our sense of it is the least; and, therefore, according to the memorable sentiment of Chalmers, we must not wait till men go to the Church or to the school; the Church and the school must go to them. There are, indeed, some remarkable, but rare exceptions; I find such in the zeal which in Upper Canada and Nova Scotia has been shown by parties walking fifteen, twenty, or thirty miles to attend public worship; but, as a general proposition, the truth is unhappily clear, that we must not rely on any tendency in an uneducated man to seek instruction, or if brought up without the means of worship to know or feel their value. What is the fact in respect to the myriads of men uneducated and uninstructed in religion thoughout the country? Is not their number frightful? Is not their social condition a source of evil to us all? Look at Monmouthshire and South Wales. In Merthyr Tydvil it is computed there are 20,000 Chartists. There are but one church and one chapel, capable of holding no more than 2,600. Above 23,000 are unprovided for by the church, In Llanelly is Bryn Mawr, five miles from the church, with a population of 5000, in a close village, without church or clergyman. Again, there are Bedwelty, Mynddyswyn, Trevethyn, including Pont-y-pool, with a population, in 1801, of 3,635, and at present of above 30,000; the church accommodation not being sufficient for more than between 3,000 and 4,000, a proportion of not more than one in ten. "These," as Mr. Horsfall said, in an excellent speech at Liverpool, "These were the parishes in which the Chartists who attacked Newport, in November, 1839, chiefly resided." The evil has been powerfully stated by the Bishop of Llandaff, both in his late charge, and in his place elsewhere. But great as the evil is in Wales, and politically great as it has been in its immediate and direct consequences, the evil is not less great in the West-riding of Yorkshire, and in the other manufacturing districts. The petition from Whalley, to which I have already referred, as presented by my noble Friend, the Member for North Lancashire (Lord Stanley), while it states the great and blessed exertions which had been made in that parish, a parish of 98,433 inhabitants, in building nine new churches there since 1831, states also that eight others are imperatively wanted. However extensive may be the need in other places, I doubt whether, after all, it be greater any where than in a radius of three or four miles from the place in which we are now sitting. I might specially quote the case of the parishes of St. Margaret and St. John the Evangelist. All that the Church Commissioners have said of the general want applies with preeminent force to our own neighbourhood. I quote their second Report, pp. 6, 7:— The most prominent, however, of those defects which cripple the energies of the Established Church and circumscribe its usefulness, is the want of churches and ministers in the large towns and populous districts of the kingdom. The growth of the population has been so rapid as to outrun the means possessed by the Establishment of meeting its spiritual wants; and the result has been, that a vast proportion of the people are left destitute of the opportunities of public worship and Christian instruction, even when every allowance is made for the exertions of those religious bodies, which are not in connexion with the Established Church. It is not necessary, in this Report, to enter into all the details, by which the truth of this assertion might be proved. It will be sufficient to state the following facts, as examples. Looking to those parishes only which contain each a population exceeding 10,000, we find that in London and its suburbs, including the parishes on either bank of the Thames, there are four parishes or districts, each having a population exceeding 20,000, and containing an aggregate of 166,000 persons, with church room for 8,200 (not quite one-twentieth of the whole), and only eleven clergymen. There are twenty-one others, the aggregate population of which is 739,000, while the church room is for 66,155 (not one-tenth of the whole), and only 45 clergymen. There are nine others, with an aggregate population of 232,000, and church room for 27,327 (not one-eighth of the whole), and only nineteen clergymen. The entire population of these thirty-four parishes amounts to 1,137,000, while there is church room for only 101,682. Supposing that church room is required for one-third, there ought to be sittings for 379,000 persons. There is, therefore, a deficiency of 277,318 sittings; or, if we allow 25,000 for the number of sittings in proprietary chapels, the deficiency will be 252,318. Allowing one church for a population of 3,000, there would be required in these (thirty-four) parishes 379 churches; whereas there are, in fact, only 69, or, if proprietary chapels be added, about 100, leaving a deficiency of 279, while there are only 139 clergymen in a population exceeding 1,000,000. Similar results were given with respect to the dioceses of Chester, York, and Litchfield and Coventry. In the diocese of Chester, there are thirty-eight parishes or districts in Lancashire, each with a population exceeding 10,000, containing an aggregate of 816,000 souls, with church room for 97,700, or about one-eighth; the proportions varying in the different parishes from one-sixth to one twenty-third. In the diocese of York, there are twenty parishes or districts, each with a population exceeding 10,000, and with an aggregate of 402,000, while the church accommodation is for 48,000, the proportions varying from one-sixth to one-thirtieth. In the diocese of Lichfield and Coventry, there are sixteen parishes or districts, each having a population above 10,000, the aggregate being 235,000, with church room for about 29,000, the proportions varying from one-sixth to one-fourteenth. Now, who are these commissioners? Who are those who have addressed such representations to the Crown of England, respecting the spiritual necessities of the people of England? They are not bishops only, or chiefly; but the present prime Minister, the present Lord Chancellor, the present Lord President of the Council, the present leader of the Government in this House of Parliament. And do they say that any altered distribution or improved management of the ecclesiastical income of the country can remedy the evil? On the contrary, they state unequivocally— The resources, which the Established Church possesses, and which can properly be made available to that purpose, in whatever way they may be husbanded or distributed, are evidently quite inadequate to the exigency of the case; and all that we can hope to do is gradually to diminish the intensity of the evil. The evil, then, is admitted: the existing resources of the ecclesiastical body, even if they ought primarily to be applied to remedy it, are also admitted to be inadequate to the duty. What then remains? Ought not the Government here to have interposed? Ought not the Prime Minister, after having signed such a representation to his sovereign, to have appealed to the nation, in order to enable him to relieve such a want so urged? On the 5th August last year, he referred, indeed, to this motion, of which I had, even then, given notice. Whether he referred to it with the seriousness which became alike his own position and the importance of the subject I will not stop to inquire; but, alluding to different objects of national expenditure, he said that the country must, perhaps, be prepared to make a large grant for relief of the spiritual necessities of the people. In such a proposal, I contend, that the noble Lord, to whom I refer, would be more than justified. It is the right of the na- tion to make such a grant; it is the duty of the nation to make it. I am equally sure that it is the interest of the nation to make it; for, as in individuals, so in nations, interest and duty are convertible terms:—whatever it is a man's duty to do and what it is a nation's duty to do, it is the interest of that man and of that nation to do. There are two governments in the world which are perpetually quoted by some hon. Gentlemen opposite, sometines as models, but never as warnings. One, is the United States of America. Whether the latter owe their favour to the fact of their being the largest specimen of democracy, I will not presume to say. I have already shown that, so far at least as relates to the success of the voluntary system, in that republic, the example of the United States offers no encouragement. The other country is France: whether it owes its favour to its having been the ancient enemy of England, or to its having been a republic forty or fifty years ago, or to its being under "a liberal government now," I will not offer an opinion. I admit, indeed, that it has not been so much referred to lately, as ten years ago. But let me remind the House, that, in respect to the subject of the present motion, the government of France discharges annually and systematically a duty, which, thus far at least, our own Government have for many years as systematically neglected. I request the attention of the House, and particularly that of my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. F. T. Baring), to the conduct of the government of France, in relation to the spiritual wants of the people. The right hon. Gentleman, who brought forward his own budget with so much credit to himself, has probably paid some attention to that of the French Minister of Finance. Is he aware, (if he be aware, the people of this country, I suspect, speaking generally, are not aware,) that a very large sum is, in France, annually imposed as a tax, in an actual and regular system of taxation, upon all the people, for the support of religious worship?—I hold in my hand the French budget for 1841. It provides, by formal taxation, a sum of 1,057,000 francs for the bishops of France. It provides, in like manner, a sum of 28,525,000 francs (about 1,122,000l.) for the chapters and parochial clergy.* Is the parochial sys- * I am indebted to the most distinguished foreigner now in England (30th June, 1840,) tem of England maintained, to the extent of a single shilling, by taxation? I go on: the French budget contains a sum of 2,400,000 francs (about 96,000l.), for the building of churches and parsonage houses: an annual sum (be it observed) raised by taxation upon the people. The government of France feel their duty. What has been the result? Since 1837 inclusive, 525 new churches have been built and endowed in that country; and in this very budget for 1841, there is a vote for 150 new churches in France. [Mr. Ward: but are not all religions supported in France?] The hon. Member for Sheffield asks me, whether all religions are not equally supported in France? That might be: but that fact would not alter the case: it would, indeed, strengthen it: because it would prove, that, as in France all men are taxed to support all religions, there is no man whose conscience is not violated by his being compelled to pay for the support of several forms of faith, all of which, with the exception of his own, he must disapprove. The items, however, which I have already quoted, are all for the support of the Church of Rome, which though no longer a state religion in France, is practically still, in numbers and influence, predominant. It is true, however, that a sum of 890,000 francs goes to the Protestants; and a sum of 96,000 francs goes to the Jews. But the smallness of these sums does not affect the principle: the payment of them might be as great a wound to the conscience of a Roman Catholic, as the payment of the larger sums might be to the Protestant and the Jew. My position is, that, in your favourite France, I can show you, that a liberal government systematically taxes the people for the maintenance of worship, which, by the very instances last quoted, I have proved to be abhorrent to the faith and convictions of others. The particular appropriation in for the substance of the following note:—The ecclesiastical parishes of France are not exactly analogous to those of England: they follow the judiciary divisions of the country, it being provided, that, for each district comprehended within the jurisdiction of a justice of the peace, there should be at least one parish. There are at present, in France, cures, 514 of the first, class; 2,786 of the second class, each with a curé. There are 27,300 succursales, (or districts within parishes,—chapelries, as in Halifax, &c.):—but there are not ministers, (Desservans) to more than 25,500 of these: there are therefore 1,800 districts without ministers. France it is no part of my duty to uphold. I contend, only, first, that, in France, all men are, at this day, taxed for the support of religions, to which some of them must be opposed; and I contend, secondly, that, in England, no man is, at this day, taxed at all for the support of the Established Church; no part of the ecclesiastical income of England arises from taxation; and the only tax, or at least the largest tax, which the people of England pay for any religious teaching (they pay a portion towards dissent), is the tax to pay the grant to the Roman Catholic college of Maynooth. As to the payments to the Church in the shape of tithes or rant charges, these are no more taxes on the people, than the rents which hon. Gentlemen on either side of the House receive from their tenants. On the general subject of contributions by the people to public purposes, I will only say, without entering into the metaphysics either of government, or of property, that, practically, all property is held subject to the will of the supreme power in any nation. It is, therefore, the right of the nation, to make provision, out of the national resources, for the national wants. It is the right of the Sultan at Constantinople; it is the right of the King of the French, and the French Chambers; it is the right of the Queen, Lords, and Commons, of England. It is, further, I contend, the duty of the nation, having an Established National Church, to make provision out of the national resources for the increase of that national Church, in proportion to the increase of the people forming that nation. The very meaning of an Established Church being, that it is the recognised and authorised instructress of the people, you mock the people, if you say, that you establish a Church to teach them, and then repel and exclude three fourths of them, without any fault of their own, from the sound of that teaching. I ask There are altogether 28,800 cures and ministers. But as, whether there be or be not a minister at the moment to each succursale, a succursale cannot be created, i, e. a commune cannot be erected into a succersale, until a church be built therein, it follows that the number of churches must be equal to the number of cures, and of succursales, together, irrespective of the number of ministers: that is the case: and, consequently, there are 30,000 churches in France. Whether, or not, there be a parsonage house, i. e. presbytère, the commune always provide a dwelling for their priest, either by giving him a house, or by giving him money to procure one. support for that Church, I ask it because I believe it to be the truth. You ought to grant it because you have recognised it as such; because you have established it as such. From the sovereign on the throne downwards, you have so recognised and established it. The constitution acknowledges it as such. Others may call it "the Law Church,"—"the Parliamentary Church,"—(odd terms of reproach from the mouth of those who describe themselves as good subjects) I stop only to say, that its claims to support are certainly not lessened by the nation having already adopted it. Adopted and established it is; and it is no longer an open question, as the amendment of which the hon. Member opposite (Mr. Hume) has given notice, implies, whether we shall, or shall not, have an Established Church. He argues in that amendment, that an Established Church might have been a fitting thing in those dark ages when all men agreed, or, at least, when all were bound by statutes to go to one form of worship; but that such statutes having been repealed, it was time to withdraw from the Church the pre-eminence which it now enjoys; and to take away its present supports, instead of adding to them. But I beg to state to the hon. Member not merely that such pre-eminence is the right of the Church by the existing laws of England; but that it has higher and inherent claims to our support. The Church is no voluntary association, enunciating hap-hazard opinions. It is a divinely constituted depository of Divine truth. In the Church of England the constitution has enshrined the truth. I ask support for the Church: I ask it not in reference to the numbers of those who so regard it; though, as its claims are denied because they are those of a minority, I have felt it to be my duty to prove that its claims are upheld by the vast majority of the people of England. I have referred, however, to numbers, not because I regard them as an element of value in my view of the case, but because the argument founded upon numbers is often popularly brought forward against us; and is, as I believe, as untenable in fact, as it is untenable in principle. In my view of the case, therefore, I repeat that I disregard numbers. Again I say, I ask support for the Church, because it is the truth, and because you have established it as such. Truth is one; error is multiform. If I am asked, how, with these views, I could ever support the grant to Maynooth, or the Regium Donum; and how I can ever ask any man to support any thing which he, on his part also, does not regard as truth? my answer is, first, that I never supported those grants, except as legacies left by the Parliament of Ireland; and that when that principle was disavowed by this House, by the nonpayment of similar legacies to Protestant institutions, I have felt myself at liberty to exercise the same discretion in voting against a grant to a Roman Catholic institution. But I am asked, will I not allow a Dissenter equally to oppose a vote for a grant to the Church of England? My answer is, of course, that every man, in his legislative character, must act on these subjects, as on all others, according to his own free but responsible conscience. But in his character of subject, every man, in or out of this House, must pay the taxes imposed by the supreme power of the State, whatever may be their appropriation; and though I will not voluntarily give any thing individually, from myself, to diffuse error, and will, in this House, oppose any measure which has that tendency, I hold myself bound to pay any tax which the House of Commons, in the legitimate exercise of its Parliamentary powers, may think fit to impose for the benefit of the people. I hold Dissenters, in like manner, bound to pay their share of any taxation which this House, acting in the same manner for the benefit of the whole nation, may see fit to impose for the support of the Established Church. There are high and there are low views of the question now before the House. The lowest view which can be taken of the duty of supporting and extending the Church, is, that religion is the cheapest and most effective police. I will not disregard even this consideration. I contend, then, that it is not only the right of the supreme power of the State to require from all its subjects this support of the Church; that it is not only its duty to require that support as support of the truth; but that, even in the lowest sense, it is likewise the interest of the nation. It is the interest of the nation to take care that the people be well instructed in their duty to God; and therein well affected in the discharge of their duty towards men. The Church is the most effectual restraint upon crime; and a well-administered parochial superintendence is the most complete and efficient police of any country. I need hardly remind any gentleman, that the dying testimony of criminals continually refers to Sabbath-breaking and neglect of church" as the commencement of their course of evil—the first step in guilt of more than half their numbers. The observation of Collins, of Glasgow, is remarkable:— The truth is, the people will cost us [something], whether we will, or not. If we do not build them churches, we must build them gaols and bridewells. If we will not suffer to be taxed for their religious instruction, we must suffer to be taxed for the punishment and repression of their crimes. From this the Dissenters can no more escape than Churchmen. The House will hardly believe the amount which England has paid since the commencement of the present century in building and repairing gaols. In six counties, the aggregate expense has been more than a million and a half; in all England, from 1800 to 1830, it exceeds 3,320,000l. I do not suppose, or mean to insinuate, that an increase of church accommodation in the interval would have superseded the necessity of all this expenditure; but I do mean to say, that exactly in proportion to the degree of active and pious pastoral superintendence, is, humanly speaking, the certainty of the diminution of the amount of crime, and consequently of the expense of punishment. There are some very important facts on this subject, which I find in the same work of Collins, which I have already quoted: will the House indulge me by listening to them? By an examination of our statistics, and of the survey of the parochial agents, we find that in the Goosedubs, Bridegate, Old and New Wynds, Salt-market, Old and New Vennals, Havannah, Dempster-street, and the poor districts of Gorbals and Calton, the people only possess church accommodation in the proportion of 2¼, 2⅝, 5, 8, or 11 in the 100. And, from positive and personal inquiry, we can state, on the authority of the captain of the police and the magistrates on the one hand, and of the governor and chaplain of Bridewell on the other, that nearly all the criminals, who are tried by the one or are immured in the other, come from those very places we have just enumerated, where the people are so destitute of church accommodation; while, from those quarters of the city where the people possess church accommodation in the proportion of fifty, sixty, seventy, or eighty in the hundred, the police-officer has no criminals, and Bridewell has no inmates. These experimental facts clearly indicate the relative power and influence of the fear of God and the fear of man—the instruction of the Church and the coercion of Bridewell—in securing the peace and order of society. As an illustration of the same principle, I have the authority of an eminent judge (Baron Gurney) for stating that When he was going the Norfolk circuit in 1832, a magistrate of Suffolk said to him, in the course of a conversation respecting the prisoners for trial, that he could go over the map of the county, and show that there was hardly a prisoner in the calendar, who did not come from a parish without a resident clergyman and resident squire. No education is, of course, a preventive of crime; but I may add, that of fifty-two educated persons, who, at a given period, were found in Newgate, six only were educated by the Church, eighteen by Dissenters: considering the excess of actual numbers belonging to the Church, the small proportion of those whom the Church had educated being found in Newgate, is some presumption (I put it no higher), that there is generally a more fundamental inculcation of right principle, in such training. But the extension of the Church is not merely a measure of police, preventing crime; but a measure (I am looking, for the moment, to secular objects only) promoting good: the Church is the most effectual agent in the distribution of temporal blessings; and becomes, in every district, the centre of benevolent action. The House will allow me to prove this by some examples within this metropolis. The church of St. Peter's, Mile End, Stepney, was consecrated on the 16th of August, 1838, for a congregation of about 1400 persons, in a population of about 6000. Five-sixths of the pay seats are already let; and the attendance in the free seats is generally good. (I quote from a return made to the bishop of the diocese.) The incumbent, the Rev. Thomas Jackson, states, that three-fourths of the congregation never, before the erection of this edifice, went to church with any regularity of habit; and there was no previous pastoral superintendence, and no societies for Christian (I mean, religious) objects:—And now to the results which have followed the planting a church and a minister in this district. There have been formed an association auxiliary to the Society for promoting Christian knowledge; another, to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, by which the promoters expect to raise 80l. for the parent society; a Lord's-Day-Observance Society; a District-visiting Society, by which every house in the district is to be visited; a lying-in charity; two large schools for 500 children; the average attendance in which is, boys 306,—girls 153; a Sunday school attended by 572 children. There have been raised in this district, in public charities, for these and other objects, 1167l.; besides about 150l. contributed by the children for their own education. There has been likewise formed, a Lending Library, with about 570 volumes. Before the erection of the church, there were one Wesleyan and one Dissenting chapel; but the institutions, to which 1 have referred, have all been the consequence of the foundation of the district church. The Rev. Thomas Jackson, who has supplied these particulars, adds,— The poor in my neighbourhood are respectful, I had almost said, affectionate. They only want the ministrations of more clergymen. My preaching and presence necessarily create a demand among them for more pastoral instruction. I well remember my excellent friend, the Rev. John Venn, now in Hereford, telling me, that his pastoral visits, when he had a cure of souls in one of the worst parts of London, though received at first with surprise, were received with gratitude and affection which he never saw exceeded any where. Again, what has been done by the two Wilsons, in the parish of Islington? I have the honour of referring to both of them as my friends. When the Rev. Daniel Wilson, now bishop of Calcutta, was first appointed vicar of Islington, there were one church and one chapel of ease, in that parish. This was thirteen years ago. His son is now vicar. During the incumbency of the two, seven new churches have been built at an expense of 50,000l., of which a large part was raised by voluntary subscription in the parish; the rest was from the Parliamentary grant and the Society for Churches. The immediate effect has been, twelve new schools for 2,000 children. A district of 3,000 or 4,000 souls has been assigned to each new church. The whole of the poor population, about 16,000, is regularly reached by voluntary agents under the direction of the parochial clergy; about 6,000 visits being paid monthly. And as to public charities; the sums raised in the parish, for religious and benevolent objects, amount to between 5000l. and 6000l. per annum. One more illustration of the merely secular change produced by the organisation of the Church, I will give in the words of one widely known and justly esteemed in this metropolis, the Rev. Thomas Dale. I quote from his speech at the great meeting held last year in London to promote the object of Church Extension. He is speaking of the temporal benefits which followed the erection of a new church. He says— In the neighbourhood of this new church, a gentleman, who discharged the duties of a Christian visitor, and had under his superintendence about thirteen families before the erection of the new church, found, out of the thirteen, three only who were in the habit of attending the public worship of God. Within less than twelve months after the opening of the new church, the proportion was exactly reversed; and at this very moment, out of the thirteen, there are only three who do not attend on the public services of the Church. Though the amount of temporal relief distributed among these thirteen families is now not one-fourth of what it formerly was, yet the visitor is more cheerfully and cordially received than ever he was before. I believe that I may state, as one result of the erection of the churches hitherto built by Parliamentary aid, that a school has almost invariably followed a church, I lower, however, the principle, on which I ask for the support of the House to the motion, which I now bring before you, if I rest on these results. It is the interest of the nation to support the Church, not only as preventing evil, not only as promoting good in secular and temporal things, but as promoting good in the highest and spiritual sense. If a whole nation were taught of God how blessed would they be!—how blessed would their rulers be!—what a change would there be even in the affairs of this world!—and how surely, in proportion to the diffusion of Christian principles, is the measure of the result attained! But how far more blessed would such a people be, in reference to that eternal world, to which we are all hastening! I cannot pursue this subject: I will only ask any one, opposite, or around me, to consider the actual state of ignorance and of sin, in which hundreds of thousands, whom we have never taught, are compelled to live;—and, then, add one other question,—how many of those myriads, thus left without the means of Christian instruction and Christian worship, die every day? These are the men, who fill your gaols: many of these are the men, who are witnesses in your courts of justice; yet, on their testimony, depend the life and the property of others,—perhaps the property and life of yourselves,—when you put into their hands a book, of the contents of which they know nothing, and call upon them to swear by the help of God, whose worship and whose word you have, alike, kept from them: Can we hope for the blessing of God on such a state of things, in a country which we call Christian? With such considerations before me, I unhesitatingly assert, in reference to the spiritual destitution of our country, and all its consequences, that it is the duty of all men to make efforts, voluntarily, as individuals, and to concur cheerfully in the efforts which may he made by the nation, to relieve and remove that destitution. But, while this is the common duty of all, it is the special duty of those who derive their wealth from the labours of those very classes in which the destitution and all its results are almost exclusively found. There is a beautiful passage in a work by my friend Mr. Henry Wilberforce*, which well expresses my feelings and my views:— There are hundreds among us, who have made fortunes as manufacturers. How does the case stand with them? They have set up a factory, it may be, in some sequestered spot, where a village has immediately arisen. The population has increased from year to year; the capital of the manufacturer has increased with it; his works have been extended; new labourers have arrived; and, in the evening of his days, he retires with a handsome property, honourably gained; and it is his joy that he owes nothing to any man. But is this indeed the case? He has paid his labourers for their time, and their strength; but how has he remunerated them for their souls? He invited them from their country villages, from their homes, and the church of their fathers; he allured their children from school to his factory; and what has he given them instead? Has he not too often left them in a situation of peculiar danger and temptation; without a church, without a pastor, without a school? Can he acquit himself of having grown rich upon the ruin of immortal souls? I do not accuse all the great manufacturers or miners of England of having neglected this solemn duty which they owe to the producers of their wealth. There are exceptions not only in the case of individuals, but, which is rarer, in the case even of public bodies. I refer with pleasure to the conduct of the Rhymney Iron Company, in the bill which they brought into this House, last year, for the purpose of enabling them to build a church for the people whom their works had brought together on a desolate mountain. I refer with pleasure, also, to the bill, which passed an important stage yesterday in this House, the Weaver Churches Bill, founded * "Parochial System," by the rev. H. W. Wilberforce. on the same principle, and tending to the same end. I will only add, that we very imperfectly discharge our duties to those who are placed beneath us in society, if we are satisfied with paying them their daily wages, when we have placed them in situations of temptation, or have systematically left them and their children without the means of instruction and public worship. I have shown the inadequacy of voluntary efforts, taken singly, to relieve the spiritual wants of the nation; much more to keep up the supply to the level of the need, in the augmented and augmenting population of England. I might urge, too, the unfairness of transferring a national obligation from the nation to the purses of the benevolent and the pious. The benevolent and the pious are not the only persons whose interests are bound up with the morality of the people, It is the duty of the Government, therefore, to supply the deficiency. The Government of 1818 recognised this duty, and proposed the million grant. The Parliament of 1818 acknowledged the duty; and passed the grant, unanimously; the hon. Member opposite (Mr. Hume) being, nevertheless, in his place. The Government of this day ought to have proposed a grant. Almost every individual Member of the Cabinet is committed to the principle of a grant. What, in 1824, said the right hon. Baronet, now the President of the India Board? I quote the words of Mr. Hob-house on the 9th of April, 1824*: If the fact really was that any deficiency existed in the country in the means of obtaining accommodation far religious worship, he was sure that it was impossible that any hon. Gentleman could be found, who would not assist his Majesty's Government to the utmost of his power in devising a method of supplying that deficiency. What, on the same occasion, said his now colleague, the noble Lord the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Lord Palmerston)?† It was his wish that the Established Church should be the predominant one in this country—if they denied to the people the means of attending divine worship according to the practice of the Established Church, how could they expect that the members of the Establishment would continue to increase? The noble Lord, the Member for Northumberland (Lord Howick), not now in- * See Hansard, vol. xi. New Series, p. 330. † See Hansard, vol. xi. New Series, p. 359. deed, a member of the Cabinet, said, in my hearing, on the 3rd of March, 1837, when I took down his words:— I profess, in the very strongest language which I can use, my resistance to the voluntary principle. My noble Friend, the Secretary of State for the Colonies (Lord J. Russell), in a memorable speech, at the commencement of the present Session, on the case of John Thorogood, said, in the name of the nation:— The principle, on which alone they could maintain the Established Church, was that it was for the common good; and that was a principle which entitled them to ask for that burthen to be laid on all. He did not think that those who had to maintain the doctrines of the Church from the pulpits of the Establishment of this country ought to be left to the contributions of the people for their support. But he stated my whole case more fully, more philosophically, and more eloquently in his speech on moving the augmentation of the army, on the 2nd of August, 1839. I must be permitted to strengthen my appeal to the House by quoting his words:— We have, particularly in the manufacturing districts, very large masses of people, who have grown up in a state of society, which it is both lamentable and appaling to contemplate. They have not grown up amidst the usual concomitants of an ordinary state of society, under the hand of early instruction; with places of worship to attend; with their opinions of property moulded by seeing it devoted to social and charitable objects; and with a fair and gradual subordination of ranks. But it is in many cases a society necessarily composed of the working classes, with a few persons who employ their labour, but with whom they have little other connection; and, unhappily, neither receiving in schools nor in places of worship, that religious and moral instruction, which is necessary to knit together the inhabitants and classes of a great country. My noble Friend has not receded from these principles. Last night the House heard the noble Lord refer (in words which I took down at the moment) to the— Great population grown up, to which the Church of England has not the means of bringing her organized instruction. With equal truth and force, he stated— In so far as you increase the means of religious instruction throughout the country, (which, hitherto, voluntary efforts have not succeeded in meeting), you strengthen the bonds of all social relations, you strengthen the attachment of the people to their Sovereign and the attachment of fellow-subjects to each other. I have proved by these references that the leading Members of the present Government in this House are pledged to the principle which I advocate—the principle of extending the ministrations of the Church in proportion to the needs of the people. I call upon the House to affirm the same principle. I am aware that I shall be met, even if successful, by a very considerable minority; but I know that a large majority of the Members in this House, after all the changes which have taken place, are still members of the Established Church, I know that a large majority of the people of England are attached to the Church; I know that their attachment is deepening and widening; I know that the Church possesses a just and justly-increasing influence in this country; and, with my full and solemn conviction of the importance of the measure which propose, in reference to every interest of the country, I feel assured of ultimate success. But I ask the House at present only to affirm the principle that it is the duty of a nation calling itself Christian, to make provision for the Christian instruction of the people. Admit this principle by your vote to-night; leave to the Government the application of that principle; whether by building churches; by endowing churches, (and here let me add my own strong opinion, that, unless endowed, churches are of comparatively little value,) and if in endowing churches, whether, as one mode of endowment, by buying up and annexing impropriations; by increasing the number of services in churches;* by new and special arrangements, in respect to pews, and the principle of pewing, in the new churches, by aiding missionary ministers; by all, or any of these modes; by any fixed, or any varying proportion of aid, to be given by the nation, compared to the fund to be provided by the locality; all these I leave to the Government. I would only suggest such provisions and cautions as these; that the statutes of mortmain ought to be repealed; they were enacted on the ground that private liberality was doing too much for the Church; and that it was necessary to restrain it. [My hon. Friend the * Christ Church in Liverpool has a third service, for the poor exclusively, I doubt that principle. Member for Newark, has already made this suggestion: no one can say that the excess is now on that side]. That Government ought to provide a site for a church wherever, on Crown land, a mass of 500 houses shall be built: that by some general provision, (such a clause, for instance, as now secures in every inclosure bill an open space for the poor) a church shall be built, whenever, on other land than the land of the Crown, a similar mass of houses shall be built; look at the new towns rising up at the railway stations, without any apparent thought, or care, for any means of religious worship and instruction to the masses there attracted:—let me add, that, if no houses were built at the moment, a church would often attract them; let me add, also, that a grant of land for a church seldom, if ever, costs any thing; the erection of the church increasing the value of the adjacent land. I have not time to suggest more than two other cautions;—one, that in no case, ought pew-rents to provide for the income of the minister; the other, that if the present parochial divisions of the country, (which, in the manufacturing districts, are generally enormous in area, and, in the great towns overwhelmingly populous) cannot be altered, a district at least ought to be assigned to every new church, With the right (to repeat the words of the venerable incumbent of Liversedge, whose memorial I have already quoted) to have the doctrines, services, and sacraments of Christ as fully, regularly, and duly administered, as in any parish church in the realm. I do not ask the House to affirm any one of these details, I ask their support to the principle: leaving to the Government, not merely the application of the principle, but the pecuniary amount to be employed in carrying forth that principle. Let the Government, with their means of knowledge, and on their own responsibility, bring down a message from the Crown, or introduce a bill calling upon us, specifically, to discharge our personal and national responsibility. Who, then, are the opponents of a grant? The Papist and the Dissenter, in unholy alliance with the Infidel and the Socialist; the Papist who, to this day, tolerates no other worship than his own in some of the chief states of the Continent, and the Dissenter whose war-cry is religious liberty. Unlike the Romanist of a former age, who, referring to the fifty churches of Queen Anne's reign, says, (in no irony, as to the object, whatever he may have thought of the architecture,) Bid temples worthier of their God ascend: Unlike the Dissenter of a former age, who, looking at the village churches scattered over England, exclaimed, These temples of our God How beautiful they stand! The glories of our native plains, The bulwarks of our land. I could quote many instances of Dissenters in the last century, who regarded the Church with very different feelings from some of their successors in the present day. I might refer specially to Matthew Henry, and to Doddridge, for proofs of the general respect which they showed to the Church. Matthew Henry's defence of Church-rates I have quoted on another occasion. At this moment, indeed, as I have already observed, there are large bodies of Dissenters, who adhere to the feelings and principles of Henry and of Doddridge, and who abstain from this war against the Church: and many of whose efforts to supply our lack of service I regard with respect. But the political Dissenters are now like their predecessors two centuries ago: and now, again, there are united in unhallowed confederacy against us, all those who hate the Church as the barrier of orthodoxy, and all those who hate it as the barrier of the monarchy. They alike dread the efficiency of the Church: they alike know that the influence of the Church of England upon the people of England is deepening and widening: and they will take every measure to prevent that Church being extended, either by her own energies or by the aid of the wisdom and power of Parliament. Yield to them, and refuse the grant—you consign millions to involuntary ignorance, to forced atheism: you cannot deny that such is at this moment the fact, the awful state of hundreds of thousands; you cannot deny, that such will be still more the fact, every year of your delay. For this state of things, some are, some must be, responsible. There can be no great national mis-doing, or national neglect, without some responsible being, on whom it will be charged. Looking even at this world, see what is the consequence of ignorance and atheism, combined with physical force: will not vice and turbulence be the consequences? can you yourselves be exempt from the effects of that vice and of that turbulence? In no country in the world is there such wealth in such immediate juxta-position with such poverty. In no country, therefore, is it so important for the rulers and the rich, even on selfish principles, to elevate poverty by piety; to disarm physical force by religion; to take care that those who are below them, are taught their duty to God and to man, and not merely reading and writing, which, without better teaching, will only make man a more accomplished instrument of evil. Does any one deny this? Does any one say that a knowledge of arithmetic will teach a boy not to covet; that a knowledge of the arts of design will indispose a man to forgery? I was reading this day one of the reports of the chaplain of Clerken-well prison. His experience confirms the proposition, that education, meaning, as it too often means, merely intellectual cultivation, will produce no moral benefit, and, therefore, no social benefit. He states, that some of the most remarkable criminals who had been committed to his prison, were persons who had all received this intellectual training, Sullivan and Jordan, Greenacre, and the Cato-street conspirators, &c. But even a religious education is not enough. It is not enough to instil Christian principles into the boy, and then, at the age of sixteen, at the most critical period of his life, when his passions are the strongest, to throw him off from the restraints of the school, without giving him the restraints of the church; and to leave him in this great metropolis in a forced and necessary exclusion from public worship, and religious instruction. He, and all such, have a right to call upon their country for protection in these their highest interests. And it is your own interest and your social safety to grant it. I have heard elsewhere, and I shall perhaps hear to-night, as an unanswerable argument against my motion, that the nation cannot afford to make the grant which I require; that the grants in 1818, and 1824, were in seasons of great financial prosperity; that I ought to wait till such return; and not select a year when the revenue is decreasing, and the public expenditure is already necessarily increased. My reply is brief:—An individual ought to reduce his expenses to the level of his income; a nation ought to raise its income to the level of its duties. If, as I contend, the measure which I propose, be the discharge of a national obligation, the nation ought to find in itself the means of meeting it. And how easily might those means be found? What has been the amount of war-taxes remitted to the people in the last twenty-five years, during which, by God's providence, we have been blest with peace? My object will require a small proportion only of the wealth which has been so returned to the people. [Mr. O'Connell: The phrase is wrong,—"returned to the people."] But will any one deny that vast sums have been left in the pockets of the people, which, if the war-taxes, aye, and other taxes not of that class, had not been repealed, would have been paid by the people, and which not having been paid, have left them in a condition to make, (without sacrifice, at least with little sacrifice at the moment, and with none, looking at the whole case) such a grant as the exigency of the spiritual destitution of the country requires? Why, the war duty on malt alone, if continued to this day, would have drawn 38,580,000l. from the people; and the property-tax, which was repealed in 1816, would, if continued to 1840, have taken from the people the enormous sum of 350,827,752l. Affirm, then, the principle that it is your duty to make the grant. You do your part in endeavouring to rescue millions of souls, the souls of your fellow-countrymen; and at what price? Think of what is spent by the country in the slow poison of spirits; think what was the amount of your subsidies to foreign powers, in one year, the last year of the last war; think what you granted cheerfully to redeem the bodies of the slaves in your colonies. Is it our duty, as individuals, to do good to the souls of others? Does that cease to be our duty when we enter these walls? Can it be matter of indifference before God,—what we do as having power and responsibility in this House? He has long blessed us; He has long spared us. The civil and social blessings of England are unexampled: our wealth exceeds that of any other people: our duties are in proportion to our means. We see the state of almost heathen ignorance, in which, notwithstanding our own light and knowledge, we suffer myriads of our own people to live and to die. If having received this warning, we neglect it,—if we suffer these myriads so to live and so to die, a heavy responsibility is upon us. "It must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man, by whom the offence cometh. It were better for that man that a mill-stone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones." We do offend these little ones, if, having the means of enlightening them, we leave them to stumble on in darkness. In the words of Dr. Johnson, I say, If obedience to the will of God be necessary to happiness, and knowledge of His will be necessary to obedience, I know not, how he, that withholds this knowledge, or delays it, can be said to love his neighbour as himself, he that voluntarily continues in ignorance is guilty of all the crimes which ignorance produces; as to him that should extinguish the tapers of a lighthouse, might justly be imputed the calamities of shipwreck. Christianity is the highest perfection of humanity; and as no man is good but as he wishes the good of others, no man can be good in the highest degree, who wishes not to others the largest measures of the greatest good. To omit for a year or for a day, the most efficacious method of advancing Christianity, in compliance with any purposes that terminate on this side of the grave, is a crime of which I know not that the world has yet had an example except in the practice of the planters of America, a race of mortals whom, I suppose, no other man wishes to resemble."* I most cordially thank the House for their long patience with me; and I now move the resolution of which I gave notice: the hon. Baronet then moved, that, on Wednesday, the 17th of July, this House will resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House, to consider of the following Address to her Majesty, that is to say, That an humble Address be presented to her Majesty, praying that her Majesty will be graciously pleased to take into consideration the deficiency which exists in the number of places of worship belonging to the Established Church when compared with the increased and increasing population of the country, the inadequate provision therein for the accommodation of the poorer classes in large towns, and the insufficient endowment thereof in other places, as such facts have been severally set forth in the Reports of the late Ecclesiastical Commissioners; to assure her Majesty, that this House is deeply impressed with a just sense of the many blessings which this country, by the favour of Divine Providence, has long enjoyed, and with the conviction, that the religious and moral habits of the people are the most sure and firm foundation of national prosperity; to state to her majesty the opinion of this House, that no altered distribution of the revenues of the Established Church could remove the existing and augmenting evil, arising from the notorious fact, that an addition of more than six million souls has been made to the population of England and Wales since * Johnson's Letter to Drummond, Boswell's Johnson, by Croker, vol. ii. p. 27. the commencement of the present century, and that the rate of this increase is rapidly progressive; that the grants made by the wisdom of Parliament, on the recommendation of the Crown, in 1818 and 1824, have been inadequate to supply the national wants; and that, though private and local liberality has been largely manifested in aid of particular districts, the greatest wants exist where there are the least means to meet and relieve them; to assure her Majesty that this House, feeling that God has intrusted to this nation unexampled resources, is satisfied, that it is the duty of the Government to employ an adequate portion of the wealth of the nation to relieve the spiritual destitution of large masses of the people, by whose labour that wealth has been enlarged; and humbly to represent to her Majesty, that this House will cheerfully make good such measures as her Majesty may be pleased to recommend, in order to provide for her people in England and Wales further and full means of religious worship and instruction in the Established Church, On the motion being read, no one offered to address the Mouse, and there were loud cries of "Divide,"—the gallery was cleared for a division, but none took place.

Mr. Gally Knight

proceeded to address the House as follows:—Sir, I waited, for a moment, in the full expectation that the hon. Member for Kilkenny would have risen, according to the usual manner of proceeding, to move the amendment of which he has given notice. From his not having done so, I can only conclude that he has abandoned the intention, convinced by the irresistible arguments of my hon. Friend, the Member for the University of Oxford. I cannot help congratulating the hon. Baronet, whom I am now more proud than ever to call my friend, upon the ability and the truly Christian spirit with which he has pleaded the sacred cause he has taken in hand—in a manner which must have pleased the greater part of his hearers, and can have offended none—in a manner which cannot fail to advance the object he has so much at heart. For my own part, Sir, I shall not trouble the House with many words, but having, on former occasions, demanded sacrifices of the Church, I should be sorry to let it be supposed that I do not, at the same lime, consider the Church entitled to assistance; I thought it right she should set the example—I thought it right she should do what she could out of her own means; but I was always aware that all she could do would be infinitely less than the present occasion requires. Sir, it is unnecessary for me to go into further proof of the existence, and the extent of the spiritual destitution in various parts of this country. My hon. Friend has sufficiently established that point; indeed, it is admitted by the Dissenters themselves. But if hon. Gentlemen had seen, as I have done, the applications which have been made to a society to which I belong, the Assistant Curates' Society—if they had seen the cases of want of spiritual assistance, which are sent up in such numbers—the claims to attention which we are obliged to admit, yet to which we have not the means of responding, they would no longer entertain a doubt on this subject. I will only take the liberty of adding, with regard to this part of the subject, the evidence which is afforded by that part of this country with which I am more immediately connected. Let it be remembered, that, according to the most moderate calculation, the number of Church sittings should, in every place, amount to not less than half the number of the population; and, with this rule in our recollection, let me state what are the circumstances of the great manufacturing town of Nottingham. The population of Nottingham and its suburbs amounts to upwards of 74,577 souls—so that there ought to be church sittings for 37,288 persons. But the sittings only amount to 9,950. The provision for the clergy is on the same inadequate scale. The manufacturing villages in the neighbourhood are in a nearly similar condition. In the large town of Mansfield, of which the population exceeds 10,000, there is but one church, which does not contain half the requisite number of sittings. Such is the condition of the manufacturing part of the country which I have the honour to represent, and the condition of other manufacturing parts of this country, is, I fear, by no means more satisfactory. In proof of this I will mention that when, on a recent occasion, I expressed my regret, that the master manufacturers, in our large manufacturing towns, had not been more generally careful to provide their workmen with the opportunities of worship, I was honoured with a notice in the journals of most of those towns, but not one of these journals denied the deficiency. On the contrary, they all admitted the fact, and only alleged in excuse, that the landed proprietors did no more for their labourers; which, I am happy to say, is not exactly the case. One or two of these apologists for the present state of things exclaimed "well, if we don't give our operatives schools and churches, don't we give them Mechanics' Institutes?"—as if Mechanics' Institutes were a full and satisfactory equivalent. But what are the principal arguments which are commonly brought against the proposition of my hon. Friend? I think they reduce themselves to three:—First, the state of the revenue; second, the injustice of calling upon Dissenters to contribute anything; third, the more than abundant wealth of the Established Church. Sir, I am aware that the revenue is not in a flourishing state, and, therefore, the present is said to be an inconvenient season for introducing this subject. But I really don't know that any season can be called inconvenient for pleading the cause of religion. I cannot anticipate that any future season will be more convenient. If we are to wait till there is a surplus, it is as much as deciding never to entertain the subject at all; and, Sir, when I recollect the wealth which comes forth whenever there is the prospect of gain—the thousands and tens of thousands that are expended upon any rail-road, any wild speculation, any Mexican mine, are we to be told that the nation which is able to heap such treasures on the shrine of Mammon, is too poor to contribute anything to Church Extension? Sir, if the nation were willing to incur a heavy burthen to redeem the bodies of a portion of their brethren from temporal slavery, will it shrink from a much lighter sacrifice to redeem the souls of thousands of their own countrymen from endless perdition?—But how stands the case with the dissenters?—Sir, I cannot express how much I am afflicted by the exhibition of violence and hostility which has been made, on the present occasion, by those who talk so much about Christian charity and brotherly love. Is it brotherly love that they shew in the petitions which they have sent to this House? Is it that good-will which they reproach us for not shewing to them? They admit the destitution, but they refuse us the only means by which it can be relieved. How can they have the hearts to petition that thousands of those whom they call brothers, should remain in ignorance and sin? But it is not only the refusal of this aid which they desire. There is scarcely one of these petitions that does not equally declare that "religion should be left to the voluntary principle;" that "there will be no peace in this country till the alliance between Church and State is dissolved;" that "they behold with mingled concern and alarm the efforts made to augment the number of Ecclesiastical buildings connected with the Establishment." It is clear, therefore, that the subversion of the Establishment is what they really have in view; and they ask you to withhold this aid, because they hope that, without it, the Church of England will go to the ground. But, Sir, I must be permitted to say, that according to the Constitution of these realms, every man who inhabits England, inhabits it subject to the condition of the maintenance of the National Church. This is the title by which the Sovereign holds the sceptre of this kingdom. This is the great object for which our forefathers laboured so much, which it is the duty of those who administer the government of this country to have ever in view; and if I should be told that the case is changed, now that we have admitted all denominations into this House, I must be permitted to say that we admitted them upon the express condition, with the clear understanding, in the full confidence that they would not only not assail the Constitution either in Church or State, but on the contrary join with us in supporting the institutions of the country. If they deny this obligation, as I do not believe they will, I should be tempted to go into the statistics of the question—to remind them of their numbers; whether in this House, or out of this House. In this House, out of 658 Members, 600 profess, at least, to be Members of the Church of England. Out of this House, out of fifteen millions, the present population of England and Wales, there are only three million Dissenters, including Wesleyans and Catholics. Is it reasonable that such a minority should for ever disregard the wants, and frustrate the wishes, of such a majority? Let it be remembered, Sir, that this is a purely English question. It must not be embarrassed with speculations as to what would be right to do in Scotland, in Ireland, or the Colonies.—The question before us relates to England alone. The Dissenters, therefore, in estimating their numbers, must not take the eight millions of Irish Catholics into their calculation. In England, I repeat it, they scarcely amount to three millions; nor are their numbers likely to increase—because, as the torpor of the eighteenth century augmented dissent, so will the zeal of the present day diminish its amount.—But, leave the Church, say the petitioners, to the voluntary principle. Sir, I am far from meaning to reject the voluntary principle. I acknowledge its power; I desire its assistance. But what I say is, that the voluntary principle is not sufficient of itself. The insufficiency, as my hon. Friend has shewn, is proved by the example of the United States themselves—where, not taking the evidence of the English travellers, but referring to the published testimony of native writers, we find that, whatever may be the case in some of the more opulent towns, the rural districts, the scattered population, the remoter settlements, are left in a condition of which it is painful to think. But we have a sufficient proof of the insufficiency of the voluntary principle in our own country. We have it in the present destitution. If the voluntary principle could be trusted, that destitution would never have existed. The existence of that destitution is a proof that we want something more. I am only astonished that the voluntary principle has done so little. I should have thought that, as the population increased, the people would have provided themselves with the opportunities of worship. It was so in former times, when the working classes were in a much less prosperous state. In former times churches rose as last as they were warned, because men, in those days, believed that, by contributing to such works, they secured to themselves a blessed immortality. But, it we are Christians, we must still believe that our souls can only be saved by hearing the Word of God. There is as much reason for building churches as ever, mid there will be no means of keeping pace with the rapidly increasing population, if the people will do nothing for themselves; yet how seldom do we see spontaneous exertions! I only wish that the voluntary principle were stronger than it is. Were I even to admit, that the care of the rural districts might be safely left to the landed proprietors—and I do think that it is the duty of affluent proprietors to take upon themselves the chief part of the expense of maintaining churches in the parishes with which they are connected, yet are there many parishes in which there are no affluent proprietors—and you cannot call upon the landed proprietors to relieve that great field of spiritual destitution—the manufacturing towns. I now come to the argument of the boundless wealth of the Church. At one time the wealth of the Church was great—and at that time, the Church was never slow to do her part. Let it be remembered that it is to the clergy that we are indebted for all our cathedrals—those magnificent temples which are the pride and ornament of this land; but the greater part of the wealth of the Church has been taken away, and now, the whole income of the Church, if equally distributed, would only afford a stipend of 250l. a year to each of its ministers. Is this an over paid institution? Is this excessive wealth? Some persons may think it would be better, though I cannot agree with them, if the income were more equally distributed—but this is not the present question—neither would it be so easy to accomplish—because 5,878 of the advowsons are private property, and, therefore, safe from invasion—neither would a different distribution of the income create a surplus, applicable to the present occasion. Sir, there are two great objects which it is equally desirable to attain—the multiplication of churches and the multiplication of resident clergy. To the promotion of these objects, the Church is about to contribute, through the operation of a bill which was now before the House. I support that bill. It was always my opinion that the Church should set the example, and I should not have said a word to-night, had that bill not been in progress; but the greater part of the 120,000l. a-year, which will be obtained by the operation of the Chapter and Revenue Bill, will be absorbed in the augmentation of poor livings. I had certainly thought that a fund for building churches might have been obtained by a revision of tenths; but the House rejected that proposition. I still think that a fund, to a certain extent, might be raised by giving increased value to the leasehold property of the Church, and I only regret that the noble Lord, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, does not appear to be disposed to carry that measure into effect; but all these resources together would not be equal to the present emergency. But it seems that the Church has received Parliamentary grants already, and there- fore, we are told, she must have no more. Sir, it appears to me that this argument makes for us, and not against us—it only shows in what manner Parliament has been accustomed to act. It affords a precedent—a precedent which I hope will be followed on the present occasion. Sir, I think I have shown that neither the voluntary principle, nor the resources of the Church, nor both together, are equal to the present emergency—nor would the Dissenters be able to fill up the gap, if Parliament should decide to do nothing; nor, if they could fill up the gap, should I feel satisfied with that result, for without meaning to say anything uncharitable or disrespectful, I must say that I see so much to regret in the multiplicity of sects by which this country, more than any other in Europe, is overrun. I see so much heart burning, and strife, and dissension, arising from that source, that putting all other considerations out of the question, were it only for the sake of peace and kindly feeling, I should deeply regret to witness a great increase of that of which the tendency is to sow amongst us the seeds of discord. Sir, however occasioned, there is at this moment, an amount of spiritual destitution in various parts of the country, which cannot be relieved by ordinary means. Will the State be doing its duly if, under these circumstances, it refuses to step in? If it suffers thousands, and tens of thousands, to remain in darkness; demoralized, because without spiritual instruction; living in sin, and dying without hope? Would the wrong, if it be a wrong, done to Dissenters, by calling upon them to contribute, be nearly so great as the wrong which would be inflicted on the destitute, were we to leave them without assistance? Sir, if we are not influenced by pious considerations, or motives of benevolence, we might at least be moved by a regard for our own security. Recent lamentable events have proved the connection which exists between irreligion and insubordination. Chartism and Socialism have made fearful advances amongst the multitudes which have been suffered to remain in a heathenish state. If we neglect our duty, we expose ourselves to a fearful retribution. If we will not teach the people virtue, we must expect to suffer by their crimes. We have two duties to perform—by present help to assist in providing for the exigencies of the moment, and by the adoption of proper measure to prevent the recurrence of such a state of things in future. We must recollect with how fearful a velocity the already dense population of the country increases year by year—it is our duty to have regard to future generations as well as the present. By one means or other we must provide, in a permanent manner, for the moral and spiritual instruction of the people. I repeat it, Sir, I by no means say, that the State is bound to take the whole expense upon itself. I say that the Church should contributes part—I invoke the aid of the voluntary principle—I look to local and individual exertions. All I say is, that the State is bound to assist. Nor would I call upon the State to advance a large sum at once, I think the better way would be to vote a certain sum for a certain number of years, chiefly to be applied in meeting local exertions, or expended on such as have not the means of assisting themselves. But the recurrence of the present evils will not be avoided unless a permanent church building fund is provided out of one source or the other, and unless the Church Building Acts shall be further amended, or rather altogether repealed, the whole eleven of them, and a new intelligible act passed in their stead, which shall make it just as easy and just as cheap to build a chapel of ease as a meeting house. Dissent in this country has spread to its present extent chiefly on account of the difficulties which were thrown in the way of building a church, whilst none of those difficulties are in the way of building a meeting house. In this respect the Church of England should at least be placed on a level with her opponents. I also entirely concur in the opinion expressed by my right hon. Friend, that the laws of mortmain should be relaxed. The time is past when public inconvenience was likely to ensue from the bequests which those laws interdict. The relaxation of those laws would now lead to nothing but good, and would be a great means of providing a moderate endowment for such new churches as may hereafter arise. But I am trespassing too long on the time of the House; I will, therefore, only repeat that I implore this House to have compassion on our destitute brethren, and not to declare that thousands and tens of thousands shall remain without the light of the Gospel.

[Again there was a call for a division, and a reluctance to enter into the debate,]

Mr. Villiers Stuart

said he had expected that some one on that (the Ministerial side of the House) would have stated his views in opposition to the hon. Baronet's motion. He had listened with great attention to the hon. Baronet's speech, and certainly if no answer were attempted to that speech he should feel it his duty to vote for the motion with which it had concluded. He considered he had an important duty to perform. He belonged to the established religion, and should be anxious to see it prosper; but, at the same time, he did not forget that he sat in that House the representative of a constituency, the majority of which were of another persuasion, and if in the part he then took he was displeasing his constituents, he should have no hesitation in resigning the seat in which their confidence had placed him.

Viscount Dungannon

said it certainly appeared very singular to him that upon so momentous a subject the House should not be favoured with any opinion from any Member of the Government. He thought it was the duty of the noble Lord, who was called the leader of the House—a duty which he owed both to the House and the country—to state his views upon this question, which was one of no common kind. He had been rejoiced to witness the tone of the hon. Gentleman who had just addressed the House. The determination to which that hon. Gentleman had come, showed that, however men might differ on political matters, there were to be found amongst them some—he trusted the number would not prove few—who could unite to promote the means of religion in the country. But while adherents of the Government were thus coming forward, was it possible that the Members of the Government could allow this question to be hurried to a division without uttering one syllable upon it? Was it because the noble Lord had calculated his numbers, and was sure of a triumph? Or was it because he knew that he should be defeated, and therefore did not care to strive against the stream? Or did the noble Lord not think it worth his while to show any sympathy for the Established Church of the land? He was not prepared to see this question so suddenly and hastily brought to a termination, and he must say that he thought the course which had been attempted was highly indecent and thoroughly undeserving a British and a professedly religious House of Commons.

Mr. Ward

said, the complaints which had been made from the other side of the House might be retorted with more than equal force. Up to within the last ten minutes not twenty Members were found upon the opposite benches; and while the hon. Member who had spoken since the hon. Baronet, had dwelt upon the silence on the Ministerial side of the House, and upon the absence of some of the Members of the Government, he had taken care not to notice that neither the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, nor the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Cumberland, nor the noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire, had listened for a single instant to the speech of the hon. Baronet. The motion had been considerably varied from the original notice, as he understood it. It was not that honest, straightforward motion which the House had a right to expect. When an individual came forward to read a lecture to the House, to the Government, and to the country, upon certain duties, he ought at least to act up to his own principles. The hon. Baronet ought not only to make out a case of destitution, but he should propose the remedy, and show where were the resources which would enable the House to grapple with the difficulty. But the hon. Baronet had drawn a most fearful picture of the spiritual destitution of the population, and, as he believed had greatly exaggerated that picture; and then he said he would leave the matter in the hands of the Government. The hon. Baronet contented himself with laying down his proposition, but made not the slightest attempt to apply it. The hon. Baronet would not say what should be done, nor would he give the Government the slightest hint as to how they ought to proceed in the matter. Now he contended, that while they were thus called upon to look at the spiritual destitution of the country, they must not forget the poverty and distress, which were still greater. That boundless wealth on which the hon. Baronet had descanted, had long ceased to exist, he feared; but, if riches were still so plentiful in this country, it was desirable that they should be applied to relieve the vast amount of physical misery which existed. But why did not the hon. Baronet state where the means were, and how they were to be got at? He had not even had the honesty to name the sum he wanted. Some of his friends had men- tioned it for him, and had stated, that 8,000,000l. sterling was to form the capital, and that the sum of 400,000l. a year was to be the aunual contribution to the wants of the Church. He thought the hon. Baronet could not, consistently with his principles, and as an honest man, content himself with asking less. He admitted, that part of the case which the hon. Baronet had endeavoured to make out was founded in fact. He admitted, that there was a grievous want of religious instruction in some parts of the country. But there were funds and endowments in the possession of the Church already, with which to provide for the spiritual wants of her members. And it must be recollected, that the community was a divided community in every part of the country; that religious differences extended their ramifications, not only throughout every county, but into every town. Yet the hon. Baronet called upon the House to tax those who were administering religious instruction to the members of their own community at their own expense, for the special emolument of but one sect out of the many sects. The hon. Baronet would blame him for calling the Church of England a sect. What was it but a sect established by act of Parliament, and not by any means comprehending the majority of the population? For, although the hon. Baronet had said there were only 3,000,000 Dissenters, while he confessed that he had statistical data upon which he founded that statement, yet he should recollect that there were 8,000,000 Catholics in England and Ireland, and 3,000,000 Presbyterians in Scotland. Would he tax the Catholics of Ireland, and Presbyterians of Scotland, for that portion of the people of England which belonged to the Established Church of England. For three or four years the question had been debated in that House whether they should relieve the people of Ireland from what the noble Lord, the Member for Northumberland, called "too much Church." The House was now called upon to reverse that question, and to tax the people of the kingdom generally, for the purpose by which only a small portion would be benefitted. The hon. Baronet had drawn comparisons, and said, that the Dissenters were not so wealthy, as well as not so numerous, as the members of the Church. Yet he would call upon them to pay for others. He had. spoken of Glasgow as a place where ignorance and dissipation abounded; and then, as a remedy for that state of things, he would tax the Presbyterian inhabitants of Glasgow, for the benefit of the English Church. Such was the practical effect of the grant which the hon. Baronet sought to obtain. They had no overt act of hostilities to allege against the Dissenters, no new symptoms of dislike to the establishment, but still the motion made it very difficult to say what were to be the bounds of the attacks which were to be made on Dissenters on the part of the Church. The hon. Baronet would not probably be prevented, were his motion agreed to, and steps taken for carrying it into effect, from coming forward another year, and declaring the failure of all he had done for the amelioration of the spiritual condition of the people, and that he saw no resource remaining, but the resumption of the Church lands, and the re-investment of the Church in that property which had been so long detained from her. He (Mr. Ward) must confess that his opinion of the hon. Baronet's honesty was somewhat shaken that evening in consequence of his finding that the hon. Baronet refrained from stating openly what was his plan. The fact was, he (Mr. Ward) believed, that a sort of compromise had been come to on the subject. There had undoubtedly been a great deal of negotiation, and in consequence the hon. Baronet had I consented to put his motion into such a shape, that no hon. Member should be obliged to have to say that he had agreed to a vote of a definite sum, of 40,000l. for instance, to be taken from the general; funds of the country, and that all who voted for the motion might be at liberty to vote against the next stage of the matter, but that there should be a general address to the Crown, which it should be left to her Majesty's Ministers to work out. He really believed, that something of this kind had taken place. But, however, that might be, the hon. Baronet had not, in other respects, pursued the straightforward course which he had expected from the hon. Baronet. The hon. Baronet had not stated the French system of religious education fairly, as the hon. Baronet must allow. The French minister of Public Instruction was authorised to issue a certain amount of money from the public funds to any minister of a congregation who could state that a certain number of persons were in the habit of attending upon his ministrations. Now, if the hon. Baronet said, that he would do this, and make a donation from the public funds indiscriminately, and equally to all sects of Christians, he for one should think such a proposition was deserving of the serious consideration of the House; but the hon. Baronet had no right to quote the example of France on this occasion, without stating correctly what France did. Then the hon. Baronet said, that the Dissenters had not opposed this grant. He believed, however, that the feeling among Dissenters was very strong against it; and if that feeling were less strong now than it had been some time back, the hon. Baronet might attribute the change to the circumstance of his having been left alone in his glory in that House on a late occasion, deserted by all his friends at his utmost need. For himself, he could say, that he had not seen one petition on the subject, and he had presented many, in which the working classes did not very feelingly express their conviction, that, harassed as they were with distress of a character deeper perhaps than any that they had ever known, this was not a time to call upon them, on whom fell the chief burthen of paying the indirect taxation of the country, to pay for the extension of the machinery of a church which was already in possession of resources to the amount of 5,000,000l. annually. But the hon. Baronet said, that we ought to agree to the grant because we were well able to afford it, that much taxation had been remitted since the war, and that it was our duty no less to pay for what was of such unspeakable importance than for the support of a war. Did the hon. Baronet suppose, that the people of this country would be imposed on by such arguments as these, and that the efforts which this country contrived to make in the war, when its existence was at stake, should be continued and made permanent, and that, too, for the purpose of adding to the revenue of an establishment which already was amply provided for from other sources? He (Mr. Ward) must say, he regretted that this motion had been made. In his opinion, it would do more to engender strife and ill-feeling than anything that could have been done, and he could not help thinking also, that it was most unfortunate, in this view, that the motion had originated with the hon. Member for the University of Oxford, for Oxford stood in a peculiar and unfortunate position with reference to the dissenting body, education there being conducted on principles which excluded from the university a very large portion of the population of the country. The hon. Baronet called upon her Majesty's Ministers to carry into effect the principle of his motion, but he (Mr. Ward) felt persuaded, that the Government would not take upon them the responsibility with which the hon. Baronet wished to saddle them, they would leave it to the hon. Baronet to work it out. The hon. Baronet and those who supported him could not shrink from that, they must carry it out, and defend their conduct before their constituents. The hon. Members for Oxford and Nottingham had both used the words "this grant." Would they tell the House what it was they meant? Was it 10,000l., or was it 20,000l.? If they acted from eagerness to benefit the establishment by this motion, he thought they acted most imprudently. But what was the grant they meant? He did not think that a speech of three hours ought to have concluded in so vague a motion. The House ought to know the amount of the grant proposed, in order that they might know what they would have to do hereafter, in order to go through with the plan, if they took the first step which the hon. Baronet was anxious to induce them to take that evening.

Mr. Milnes

said, the question under discussion did not admit of excitement—it was one which ought to be debated in a cool and deliberate manner, and it was for the House in that spirit to decide whether or not the hon. Baronet had not laid before the House a perfectly practical measure. It was impossible for the hon. Baronet to have asked for a money vote, as such a proceeding would have been irregular. The only course open, then, was the one which had been taken. With reference to the allusion to the voluntary system, he was of opinion there were evils in the social system which the voluntary system was totally incompetent to grapple with. The voluntary system did not meet the exigencies of the case. The great defect of the voluntary system was, that when the social system went on from bad to worse, the voluntary took no notice of the occurrence. To meet the existing evil, the proposition of the hon. Baronet (Sir R. Inglis) had been made. The friends of the measure wanted the matter to be looked fairly in the face—they wanted the proposition to be investigated, if fair, to be adopted, if not, to be put into possession of a better proposal. It was rather unfair on the part of the hon. Member for Sheffield to suppose, that the whole object of the measure was to procure certain churches to be built in certain districts. Without placing too much reliance on the efficacy of preaching, he could not help considering, that of all contrivances suggested by human ingenuity, with the view of grappling with moral evil, nothing was ever so effectual as the suggestion of a resident minister. It was not merely new churches and endowments that were required, but what they asked for was, to place in those districts where misery and evil existed, a resident minister to teach the community the simplest elements of humanity, to educate infancy, and to make the population feel they were not those despairing outcasts they considered themselves. The nation had engaged in wars for their honour and security, and war had recently been proclaimed, but of all wars, the war to be waged by the present measure was the most important and striking, for it was a war against evil which was lying at the bottom of society, whose surface showed nothing of the mischief, but which mischief might burst forth when least expected, and when least to be encountered with effect. Allusion had been made to the French system, but that system did not go towards curing the evil, it only went to pay certain recognised creeds, but it did not go the length of carrying out the voluntary principle as stated by the hon. Member for Sheffield. In answer to the proposal of the voluntary system, he would only allege the utter impossibility of carrying it out. Admitting, then, that the evil of church destitution existed, he called upon the House to see if any better system than the one laid before it could be supplied—namely, the plan of entrusting the sum to be raised to the hands of the Established Church. With respect to the alleged difficulty with the Irish people, there was an easy way to obviate it. The way was to make the tax a local tax. He was reluctant to lay any extra burden upon Ireland. The question was, how was the remedy to be applied—were they to give it to the English Church? He affirmed, that the Church deserved the trust—the Church had nobly done her duty—for during the last twenty years the Church of England had exhibited more moral energy than at almost any previous period. It was through the instrumentality of the English clergy, through the learning and Christian spirit they had displayed, that much of the exacerbation of feeling between the Church of England and the Roman Catholic church had been allayed. Under those circumstances he felt justified in asking the House to give the required proof of confidence in the Church of England. He asked it on another ground. The Church of England had proved herself one of the strongest barriers against infidelity and fanaticism, and all those who did not desire to see the country wrecked on those two shoals, ought to support the measure of the light hon. Baronet. They had seen how much unbridled feeling could effect in England and among the English people. History told them that fanaticism had stood boldly up to the bayonets of soldiers, while the Chartists, with only their charter to urge them on, had been dispersed at the very first fire of the soldiery. Though he asked the boon for the Church, yet it was more on account of the State, for the injury of one would prove the ruin of the other. He would only detain the House with one other remark. He asked the House not to consider this a party question, or to deal with it in a party spirit. He should give his earnest support to the measure of his hon. Friend.

Mr. Baines

said, he did not rise to oppose church extension, but he wished the House to know what was the nature of the alleged destitution; and, also to know what was the appropriate remedy which hon. Members opposite might with justice propose. The hon. Baronet appeared to found his case upon the reports of the church commissioners. He thought there was some reason to complain of that foundation, at the same time that the report which he then held in his hand contained a very accurate condensation of the main facts upon which the question depended. It had been stated in that report that the quantity of church accommodation in the and its suburbs, including the thirty-four metropolis, so far from being sufficient for the whole population, was not sufficient for one-tenth of the people. He should examine that statement presently. In the mean time he would remind the House that the hon. Baronet, the Member for the University of Oxford, had read the following extract from the Second Report of the Church Commissioners:— The most prominent, however (say the Commissioners), of the defects which cripple the energies of the Established Church, and circumscribe its usefulness, is the want of churches and ministers in the large and populous districts of the kingdom. The growth of the population has been so rapid, as to outrun the means possessed by the Establishment, of meeting its spiritual wants, and the result has been, that a vast proportion of the people are left destitute of the opportunities of public worship and Christian instruction, even when every allowance is made for the exertions of those religious bodies which are not in connection with the Established Church. It is not necessary in this report to enter into all the details by which the truth of this assertion might be proved. Looking to those parishes only which contain each a population of 10,000, we find that in London and its suburbs, including the parishes on either bank of the Thames, there are— Thirty-four parishes with a population of 1,137,000, while there is church-room only for 101,682; or, if we allow 25,000 for the number of sittings in proprietary chapels, the amount will be but 126,682. In the diocese of Chester there are thirty-eight parishes, or districts in Lancashire, each with a population exceeding 10,000, containing an aggregate of 816,000 souls, with church-room for 97,700, or about one-eighth, the proportion varying in the different parishes from one-sixth to one twenty-third. In the diocese of York there are twenty parishes, or districts, each with a population exceeding 10,000, and with an aggregate of 402,000; while the church accommodation is for 48,000, the proportion varying from one-sixth to one-thirtieth. In the diocese of Lichfield and Coventry there are sixteen parishes or districts, each having a population of above 10,000, the aggregate being 235,000; with church-room for about 29,000, the proportion varying from one-sixth to one-fourteenth. Now he begged to remind the House that, the report of the commissioners exhibited only one side of the picture, and that it would not be safe for Parliament, whose duty it was to legislate not for a single community but for the nation, to act on that partial view. The true state of the subject was this:—London and its suburbs, including the thirty-four metropolitan parishes mentioned by the commissioners with their population of 1,137,000, contained 194 churches and episcopal chapels which afford accommodation to 126,682 persons. They also contained 265 chapels, not of the Establishment, which, according to the rev. Baptist Noel, himself a great church extensionist, who had stated the fact in his letter to Lord Melbourne, would accommodate an equal number of hearers, so that in reality, there was in London double the quantity of accommodation for religious worship to that stated by the Church Commissioners, namely:—

Church accommodation for 126,682
Chapel accommodation for 126,682
But even this was not a fair statement of the facts of the case. A more recent, comprehensive, and accurate statement which he held in his hand, derived from a religious publication of great industry of research, (the Congregational Magazine, for 1838), comprehending the cities of London and Middlesex, and the boroughs of Marylebone, Finsbury, the Tower Hamlets, Southwark, and Lambeth, with a population of 1,434,868, exhibited the following results:—
255 Churches, accommodation 259,958
372 Chapels, accommodation 214,003
Being equal to about one-third of the population, instead of one-tenth. Taken in the separate division the results stood thus:—
DISTRICT. Population. Churches, &c., of Establishment. Non-conformist Chapels.
No. Sittings. No. Sittings.
City of London 122,700 75 47,624 47 31,814
City of Westminst. 202,460 37 39,668 38 21,119
Marylebone 240,294 34 43,703 42 25,542
Finsbury 224,839 36 39,382 57 35,945
Tower Hamlets 365,836 38 43,299 106 55,050
Southwark 134,117 14 17,675 40 20,590
Lambeth 154,613 21 28,715 42 23,493
1,434,868 255 259,958 372 214,003
He was sure that the hon. Baronet was not aware that this was the state of the religious accommodation in London when he made his speech. He (Mr. Baines) had similar statements to make for some of the dioceses in which it was said the deficiency of church-accommodation was the most conspicuous. And first as to the diocese of Chester.
Of the thirty-eight districts of Lancashire, in that diocese, with a population of 816,000
There was church-room for 97,700
Chapel-accommodation 97,700
Making together, accommodation for 195,400
In the county of Lancaster there were sixty-eight parishes, containing 320 churches and episcopal chapels, and 530 chapels not of the Establishment.
In the diocese of Chester, the number of episcopal churches and chapels was 29
Other places of worship 46
The estimate of average attendance was as follows:—
In the churches of the Establishment 45,000
Dissenting congregations 38,000
Roman Catholics (communicants) 12,000
The population was 168,175
So that there was accommodation for nearly three-fiths of the people. This return corresponded with that made by the town-clerk of Liverpool, and was independent of Sunday-school scholars.
Of the establishment 6,000
Dissenters, Methodists, and Catholics 13,000
Also in the Diocese of Chester, there was a population of 272,761.
29 churches and chapels of the Establishment for 33,000
71 chapels not of the Establishment for 43,700
Sunday schools in the borough of Manchester.
25 schools of the Established Church 10,287
61 schools not of the Established Church 22,909
He would next proceed to the diocese of York, of which the returns were as follows:
Churches 9 13,325
Independent chapels 6 6,030
Catholic 2 1,630
Wesleyan Methodist 7 11,160
Methodists not Wesleyan 9 4,980
Miscellaneous 5 2,696
as appeared from the statistical returns made in the year 1839. Population, 82,121.
Church and chapel accommodation from the returns made by the clerks of the Poor-law union in 1838:—
Churches. Accommodation.
In Sheffield 8 11,170
Attercliffe and Brightside 1 2,000
Handsworth 1 600
10 13,770
Dissenting Places.
In Sheffield 18 3,520
Attercliffe and Brightside 8 16,095
Handsworth 4 1,080
30 34,465
Population, 71,720
Churches 5
Dissenting Places 23
The five churches estimated to contain 5,800
And the Dissenting chapels 12,000
Population, 55,680
Exclusive of 6,726 Sunday-school scholars, of whom 1,678 belonged to the Established Church, and 5,048 to the dissenters.

He would next quote a return from Birmingham.

In the diocese of Lichfield and Coventry.
17 churches and chapels of the Establishment, with accommodation for 23,600 persons.
64 chapels, not of the Establishment, with accommodation for 31,100 do.
The population of Birmingham, according to the census of 1831, amounted to 146,986, and it had since increased considerably.
There were 15 Sunday-schools of the Establishment, giving instruction to 4,565 scholars.
41 Sunday-schools, not of the Establishment, giving instruction to 12,101 do.
The returns made to the Poor-law commissioners in 1838 from the clerks of 246 unions, showed that five-tenths, instead of one-tenth of the public, were supplied with accommodation for religious worship. They were as follows:—
4,200 churches and chapels of the Establishment in 246 unions.
4,900 dissenting places, probably including licensed rooms.
Accommodation in these churches, & c 1,730,000
Ditto in dissenting and other chapels, not of the Establishment 1,530,000
These unions comprehended a population of from 5,000,000 to 6,000,000 inhabitants, and the returns proved that there was religious accommodation for more than half the population in them. The hon. Baronet, the Member for Oxford, asserted, that there ought to be religious accommodation for all the population. This extent of accommodation could not be required. There were a great number of aged persons, and a great number of persons still under the charge of their nurses, who could not avail themselves of church-accommodation, even if it were provided; and he was afraid that there was a still greater number of persons who would not go either to church or chapel, supposing that a church or chapel were at their very doors. To provide church-accommodation, then, for all the population, would, under such circumstances, be a great waste of public money. The returns, which he would next quote, were derived from a variety of sources, and showed the number of dissenting chapels of each denomination, as well as the amount of money expended by the dissenters, including the Methodists, for the erection of their places of religious worship, and the annual expense they incurred for the instruction of the people in their moral and religious duties. There were in England and Wales—
Congregationalists or Independents 2,060
Baptists 1,460
Presbyterians 62
Total of the three denominations 3,582
Wesleyan and other Methodists 3,720
Calvinist Methodists 130
Welsh Methodists 640
Exclusive of 500 Catholic chapels, 453 home missionary stations, and a great number of rooms licensed for preaching.

The cost of the erection of these places might be estimated at 1000l. each upon an average.

8,000 chapels, at 1000l. each £8,000,000
Support of 8000 ministers, at 150l. a-year each 1,200,000
Expenses of upholding worship, charitable donations, missionary contributions, theological academies, &c., 100l. each congregation 800,000
Annual Expense £2,000,000
All this cost was incurred voluntarily by the Dissenters of different denominations for the religious instruction of the people, without asking or desiring any contributions, either from the revenues of the State or the revenues of the Church in aid of these endeavours, and having done, and being still engaged in doing, so much of their own free will, it was not proper to call upon them for other payments, compelling them, in violation of the rights of conscience, to contribute towards the support of the extension of a Church, to the doctrines or discipline of which they had conscientious objections. He had no wish to contrast the effects of the religious and moral instruction given by the Dissenters with that imparted by the Established Church, but he might be allowed to say that such was its effects, that Dissenters were seldom to be found in prisons or in workhouses, from the former of which they were kept by a sense of moral and religious duty, early impressed upon their minds, and from the latter by those lessons of temperance and prudence, which, being inculcated in their youth, accompanied them through life, and kept them above abject want in old age. The Established Church possessed immense wealth, and had therefore no necessity to call upon others, not in their connexion, for compulsory payments for the erection of new churches. The ecclesiastical commissioners, in their report of 1835, had stated the annual revenues of the Church for ecclesiastical purposes to amount to a clear sum of 3,400,000l., but the returns of the tithe commissioners would show, when completed, that they amounted to upwards of 5,000,000l. a year, which sum taken at 20 years' purchase, proved the property of the Church as payable to her ministers, to amount to 100,000,000l. sterling, and adding 20,000,000l;. for the value of the edifices of the Church and the parsonage houses, the whole amount would exceed 120,000,000l. As to the amount of churches proposed to be built by the church extensionists, Sir Robert Inglis had not ventured to speak out on this head, but Mr. Baptist Noel, with more frankness, had said in his letter to the Prime Minister on this subject, that 2,000 new churches would be wanted, and he had estimated the cost at 3,000l. each, showing that 6,000,000l. would be required. But he (Mr. Baines) estimated the expense of building the churches, endowing and upholding them at, at least, 5,000l. each, making a cost of 10,000,000l. sterling, and he asked how this sum, or any thing approaching to such an amount, was to be derived from an empty exchequer. The supply that was really wanted he considered might, without any demand upon the public purse, be obtained from the first fruits and tenths of the clergy under an improved administration of those funds—from church leases properly improved—from the voluntary contributions of the members of the Established Church—and from proper encouragement being given to persons disposed to erect proprietary churches. The hon. Baronet had reminded the House of the wealth of Churchmen; and if the Dissenters, who were so low in estate, that the hon. Bart, had said, that they contributed to the various infirmaries in some places only in the proportion of one in twenty, in others one in ten; whilst in Leeds he was complimentary enough to admit the proportion was one in four. If the poor Dissenters built places of worship for themselves, why could not the rich churchmen? The more the hon. Baronet exalted the wealth of the members of the Church of England, the less occasion was there for it to ask or to compel contributions from Roman Catholic Ireland, Presbyterian Scotland, or from the Dissenters of England. The hon. Member for Pontefract had said, that he would excuse Ireland from the payment of this tax; he hoped, that in his munificence, the hon. Member would bring both England and Scotland under the same excuse. It had been said that the Dissenters, though poor, were impertinent. Now, if they were so, it was because the Churchmen had no scruple about putting their hands into their pockets whenever they pleased. The hon. Member for Oxford had made a great flourish of trumpets respecting the petitions, which he had presented on this subject: "they were such petitions as had never before been presented to the House of Commons." Now there were upwards of 10,000 parishes in England, and printed circulars, containing forms of petitions, had been sent to each of them. He was, therefore, surprised that the returns made to those circulars had not shown a greater number of petitions. Looking at those petitions from a different point of view from that in which the hon. Baronet had contemplated them, he must say that not one of these petitions had received the sanction of a public meeting; they were all what was usually called hole and corner petitions, and he must be excused if he said of them, that a more paltry set of petitions he had never before seen presented to Parliament. He was aware that additional churches might be considered necessary in some parts of the kingdom, but if the first fruits and tenths of the clergy had been applied according to the recommendations of his hon. Friend, the Member for Nottinghamshire, from the time of Queen Anne up to the present day, there would not have been a district in the country, that would not have had plenty of churches, nor a clergyman without an ample income. In his opinion the misapplication of that fund was the cause of all the present difficulties of the Church. But though the embarrassments of the Establishment were considerable, he thought that it was not without the means of relief within itself. The noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire, had indeed offered a very admirable solution of its difficulties, and the mode of escaping from them. For, in addressing his constituents at the last general election, the noble Lord said, As to the wealth of the Church, it is appropriated to any other purpose than that of promoting its best interests. The noble Lord proceeded to say, that He thought that pluralities should be reformed, and that the wealth of the Church ought to be appropriated to raise the income of the poor clergy, instead of being devoted to purposes comparatively useless." (He added,) He shared this opinion in common with those of every class in society. And he gave the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) credit for sharing the opinion with him for he said, And one of the first steps taken by Sir Robert Peel's administration was to issue a commission for the purpose of ascertaining whether by deducting from the wealth of the larger livings, and adding to the poorer, the Church might not be placed in the position of being much more available for the instruction of the poorer classes of society than it was at present. Now, that was exactly the object at which the hon. Baronet, the Member for the University of Oxford, ought to aim; and as the noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire, had so well indicated how it might be achieved, he did not conceive it necessary to say one word more with respect to it. There was another source of wealth which he had long thought might be applied to the relief of the Church, and to the extinction of Church-rates, and though the latter hope had failed, he was still of opinion that it might be made available to meet the destitution of the Church. He alluded to Church leases. He knew not to what more legitimate ob- ject that portion of the property of the Church could be applied than to remedy the deficiency in its means of affording spiritual instruction to its Members. The hon. Baronet had spoken of the voluntary principle as bad by itself, but good when rendered subsidiary to the Establishment. He considered it good in all respects, and, to show to what an extent it was capable of being carried even in the hands of the members of the Established Church, he referred to the fact that in Leeds a new church was now in the course of building at a cost of 20,000l., every shilling of which was raised by voluntary contributions. Another church had also been very recently commenced in the same town upon the same principle. In short, the sum contributed for the purposes of Church extension in the town of Leeds, within the last few years was not less than 40,000l. This he thought afforded one abundant proof of the potency of the voluntary principle, and held out an example worthy of general imitation. He agreed with the hon. Member for Sheffield, that it was not the interest of the Established Church to make such a demand as that put forward by the hon. Baronet, the Member for the University of Oxford. It was calculated to alienate the Members of the Establishment, to sow the seeds of discord between them and the Dissenters, and to be productive of the most injurious consequences not only to the Church itself, but to religion in general. He trusted, that the voluntary efforts of churchmen, such as that which he had instanced at Leeds, and which redounded to their honour, would become universal wherever the necessities of the Establishment demanded them, and whilst the members of the Church were so exerting themselves to supply the deficiencies of instruction in their own particular tenets, he hoped the Dissenters would make corresponding efforts to maintain an adequate amount of instruction in theirs. He believed too, that the want of church accommodation had been a good deal exaggerated. Therefore, before the House assented to a proposition of this nature, he thought it would be bound first to inquire into the actual extent of the alleged destitution; and secondly, into the means which the Church might have within its own reach of supplying it. If he had succeeded in showing that the Dissenters contributed a liberal share towards the religious instruction of the people—if he had succeeded in showing that there was a disposition on the part of the country, when properly applied to, to make up any deficiency that might exist in that respect, with regard to the Church, he thought he might very fairly throw himself on the candour of the House to say, that at least that night they were not to have a vote of money, or even to give a pledge that public money should be voted for the purposes specified in the hon. Baronet's motion. If the hon. Baronet chose to modify his proposition, to say, "Let us inquire into the revenues of the Church, and satisfy ourselves of the extent of destitution," there would be but little objection to it; but he maintained, that the House was not now in a position to come to such a vote as that which was proposed to them. For these reasons he should give to the motion of the hon. Baronet his decided opposition.

Mr. O'Connell

could not allow this question to go to a division without protesting against the speech of the hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford. It was a speech that had two faults—it was skulking on the one hand, and a-dacious on the other. Skulking, because the hon. Baronet had not the boldness to tell the House fairly how much he wanted. On the other hand, he thought it a bold proposition for any one of the persuasions of this country—he would not say ''sect," for the hon. Baronet said, that that term, as applied to the Established Church, was disrespectful—it was a bold proposition, he thought, that any one of the religious persuasions of this country should come out upon the rest of the community, and insist upon having an undefined sum of the public money for their own especial benefit. Such a proposition was the bolder coming from a Churchman, seeing that the whole of the nation, at the time of the Reformation was abundantly churched. The law changed, and gave the temporalities of the previously existing Church to the present Establishment. At that time they were told upon good authority that the number of churches in the kingdom was so great as to be scarcely credible. The present Establishment having let most of them go to ruin, now came forward and complained of their own default. It might be as the hon. Baronet had stated, that the population had increased since; but the value of tithes had also increased, and more land was brought into cultivation. So that if the population had increased, the wealth of the Church had increased in an equal ratio. Having enjoyed all the tithes and all the rental of lands belonging to the Church since the Reformation, if at the present moment there were a dearth of spiritual instruction in the land, whose fault was it? Must it not be the fault of the Established Church? Yet the Establishment had now the assurance to come upon all the other persuasions in the country to make good the deficiency occasioned by its own neglect in mal-administration. Only on Monday last, he saw a meeting advertised to be held at the Egyptian-hall in the Mansion-house, at which it subsequently appeared many noble Lords and right rev. bishops signed a requisition—for what? for subscribing money for foreign missions. Surely if the destitution of the Church were as great as was represented, the charity of these excellent individuals ought to commence at home. Surely the spiritual destitution at home should be removed before a crusade were made to correct the spiritual destitution in foreign countries. The Dissenters paid their own clergy, and built their own churches—other persuasions did the same, and neither complained nor came to Parliament for pecuniary aid. In Ireland the Roman Catholics supported a perfect hierarchy. Let it be remembered that up to the time of the Reformation, all churches were built upon the voluntary principle. Certain portions of the fabric, it was true, were repaired at the public expense, but prior to that period no law existed under which a tax could be imposed upon any body for building churches. It was so in Ireland to the present day—a regular hierarchy was supported there, consisting of twenty-seven bishops, including four archbishops, deacons, archdeacons, vicars-general, rectors and curates, besides a number of registrars. Upwards of 170,000l. had been expended in Dublin alone, within the last ten or twelve years in Roman Catholic ecclesiastical buildings. Why did he refer to this? To enable him to turn round upon the Established Church, which was so much richer, and to say, "If you want more churches why don't you subscribe amongst yourselves, and by that independent mode obtain the means of building them?" Above all things, what right had the Established Church to put its hands into the pockets of those who did not believe in its doctrines, and who looked upon its means of supporting itself as abundantly sufficient? The Established Church had 5,000,000l. a year. The hon. Baronet had spoken of the support given by the State to the church in France. Why, the whole of the budget for defraying the expenses of the church in that country amounted only to 1,400,000l., out of which the clergy of all persuasions were paid, including those of the Jewish faith—all repairs also of all the churches—all hospitals attached to the churches, and many other expenses connected with religion and charity. This was for a population of 40,000,000; but in England, where the population in connection with the Church did not exceed 8,000,000 or 9,000,000, the means of the Establishment to afford adequate instruction were reckoned too small at 5,000,000l. a year. What connexion was there between religion and money? He had never been taught to associate them; but the hon. Baronet seemed to be of opinion that the one could not exist without the other. On a former occasion the hon. Baronet said, that he would not voluntarily give a penny towards the support of a religion in the truth of which he did not believe. He (Mr. O'Connell) would now remind the hon. Baronet of the virtue of "doing by others as we would be done by." He thought, that this was a most uncalled for demand on the part of the Established Church. It was the richest Church in the world, and he protested against the principle of its calling upon the members of other persuasions to pay the expenses of furnishing it with additional ecclesiastic edifices as being inconsistent with every notion of justice, and utterly unnecessary if there were any religious zeal among its adherents. He trusted that a state of things was approaching when the voluntary principle would become universal. At present he held the connexion between Church and State to be injurious to both, giving undue influence to the one, and corrupting the vital principle of the other. He sincerely trusted that the House would reject the motion.

Lord Teignmouth

, as the only one of the sixteen representatives of the metropolitan districts who was likely to support the motion, hoped to be heard for a few moments. He could say, that in Marylebone, where there were 153,000 inhabitants, there was only church room for 20,793, and in the dissenting chapels for 12,070: that was one-sixth of the population. In Pancras, there were 145,000 inhabitants—there was church room for 18,000, and in dissenting chapels for 11,526. In Paddington, there were 20,000 inhabitants—church room for 3,000, and in dissenting chapels for 600. In Bethnal-green there were 70,000 inhabitants, and there was only church room for 5,000, and room in dissenting chapels for 2,000. As to the voluntary system, he maintained, in opposition to the hon. Member for Dublin, that it was notorious that it had failed. The unendowed churches and chapels were heavily in debt. Dissenting chapels, they were often run up on speculation, and as often failed as succeeded. As to Roman Catholics, it was said by Mr. Trevyllion, that they built chapels which might afterwards be turned into reading rooms. They were, after a great parade, left to the care of one priest and a few old women.

Mr. Oswald

would say, as to the Glasgow dissenting churches being in debt, that was to be attributed to their not being able to pay the arrears for which they were responsible and were willing to discharge.

Lord John Russell

intended to say a few words before he gave his vote. He understood the whole question to be, whether it were advisable, in that House, to go into a Committee of the whole House on a future day, for the purpose of addressing the Crown and declaring their readiness to grant money—to make a considerable grant, he supposed, after the statement that the hon. Baronet had made in proposing his motion—for the purpose of supplying the deficiency said to exist in the means of the Church of England. The question, then, to be considered was, whether the mode proposed by the hon. Baronet to remedy the deficiency was a good mode, or whether there was not some other mode by which they should seek, in the first place, to supply the deficiency. With respect to the first, it could hardly be doubted, after what had been said in the country, and after what had been stated in that House to-night, that considering, in the first place, the necessities of the State, which required an additional burthen being placed on the people—that an increase of the public burthens, for the purpose of adding to the means of the Church, would excite very considerable dissatisfaction. He did not think that, considering this burthen, an additional one should be imposed upon those of different religious opinions—upon those who in England itself dissented from the Church, and who in Scotland and in Ireland were found differing in a still greater degree from the Church of England—he did not think but this was a circumstance which would make it felt as a grievance to have an additional burthen imposed upon them for such a purpose. The hon. Member for Nottinghamshire seemed to think that it was a reason for this motion that many of its opponents expressed themselves in a tone of great bitterness to the Church. Now, so far was he favourable for consisidering this as a reason favourable to the motion, that because there were many who were opposed to the Church, expressed themselves hostilely to the Church, and who now not having grounds for attacking the Church would thus be able to work upon a people discontented from other causes, and having taxes to bear, would be able to bring still more strongly feelings of irritation against the Church than they otherwise could possibly excite. As the matter stood at present, although there were parties who were exceedingly hostile to the Church, and though they might be numerous, yet he did not think, on the whole, that this was a period at which the Church was in danger, or that it stood ill in the opinion of the people. If that, then, was the position of the Church at present, they ought to be very careful not to introduce a new burthen on the people, and thus cause hostility which did not now exist. The next consideration then was this—was there such an absolute necessity that, supposing all the statements which had been made on this subject were entirely accurate, and which had not been yet sufficiently inquired into; because, although the statements of the Church commissioners showed accurately the means of the Church, yet they did not, as it was not within their province, show with the same accuracy the religious instruction of the people; but, supposing that they took for granted and without further inquiry, all these statements; yet then came the question, were there not other means to which they must look to supply the deficiency? In the first place, there was the proposition of the Church Commissioners, which they had been considering the previous night and which, if adopted, would produce 130,000l., as an augmentation of small livings, and for supplying religious instruction. The hon. Member for Leeds had referred to the subject of Church leases. He had the permission of the highest authority in the Church—that of the Archbishop of Canterbury to say—that it would assent to a measure on the subject; but he did not say, that such a measure could be brought forward in the present Session. The views of her Majesty's Government had been directed to the better management and disposal of church leases. The opinion of the Government in bringing in a measure on the subject was, that there should be an appropriation of the surplus to the church-rates; but a majority of that House had not supported such a plan. The whole of the sum derived from this source might, however, be applied to the religious instruction of the people. He might be sanguine as to the amount to be derived from such a source; but he did believe, from the calculations that had been made, and which he did not think could be proved to be erroneous, that both those who held church livings would derive great advantages from the proposed change, and that a sum not less in the end than 200,000l. would be derived from the measure to be proposed on this subject. Then there was another mode to which the hon. Member for Nottinghamshire had referred. He had proposed, that the clergy having incomes above a certain amount should contribute to increase the supply of spiritual instruction, and by this means 60,000l. a year could be collected. He should himself be very reluctant to propose a measure of this sort, if he believed that it was contrary to the general opinion of the clergy, and if he believed particularly that it was contrary to the general opinion of the humbler classes of the clergy, who would most be benefited by the result of such a measure. But then if there was to be a grant to supply the deficiency, he would rather obtain the means of making it in this way than increase the burdens of the people. He had never heard any reason against taxing the higher incomes of the richer clergymen, so strong, as to induce him never to propose a plan of the kind, rather than proceed for such an object to the general taxation of those who dissented from the Church. The revenue of the clergy, on the average, was not very great, but then in, no country in Europe was there such ample endowment for them in the higher stations in the Church as in England. If then they were to resort to a general taxation, of the country, and not adopt this plan, when they compared the general income of the clergy here with the income of the clergy in other countries, it would become a topic, and an inflammatory topic, against the clergy, which might be used, perhaps, with very powerful effect. There were means for increasing the revenues of the Church, applicable to the spiritual instruction of the people within itself, which ought to be made available before they adopted such a scheme as that proposed by the hon. Baronet. There were two other things called in aid—there was the suggestion of several Bishops for donations and subscriptions for the building of churches. The subscriptions, he believed, in this metropolis, were sufficient for some forty or fifty churches; and there were means for endowing these churches. He did not consider that the voluntary system of modern times was inconsistent with the ancient mode of supplying the revenues of the Church. It was a mode which was adapted to present circumstances, and it was also the mode of the present day, to promote the success of other religions as well as the success of the Church. But in former times, when property was entirely confined to a few hands, when there was immense property belonging to the few, and the rest of the community was in wretched vassalry, then these great persons contributed out of their great means to the support of the Church. Now, however, there was a different state of society, and every person contributed sums, little in amount, but by which considerable funds were raised, and thus there had been an increase of a number of churches, and an augmentation in the amount of religious instruction. He thought, therefore, looking at all these different sources of revenue, that the Church would stand better, and would have a better prospect of providing adequate spiritual instruction, if instead of pressing unduly on the means of others, and appearing to withholdits own wealth from the purposes of the general instruction of the people, it adopted some of the plans which had been under consideration. At all events, it was necessary to ascertain more correctly what the circumstances of the different districts and towns of the country were. He did not think the hon. Member for Leeds had represented adequately the wants of the metropolis, nor did he (Lord J. Russell) think the circumstance of there being several churches close to one another in the city, any answer to the complaints which had been made with respect to a distant parish like St. Pancras. It did require details and a practical inquiry into the wants that were felt on this subject, before any conclusion could be correctly come to. He did not think they were in that state at present; and without proceeding to that inquiry, they never could tell what sums could be raised out of the revenues of the Church, or how they were to be applied. The real motion was, whether they would consent to a very large grant of public money, and whether they would address the Crown for that purpose, and to that motion, for the reasons he had stated, he was not able to give his assent.

The House divided:—Ayes 149; Noes 168: Majority 17.

List of the AYES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Dungannon, Viscount
Acland, T. D. East, J. B.
Alford, Viscount Eastnor, Viscount
Archdall, M. Eaton, R. J.
Ashley, Lord Egerton, Sir P.
Bagot, hon. W. Egerton, W. T.
Bailey, J., jun. Ellis, J.
Baring, hon. W. B. Estcourt, T.
Barrington, Viscount Farnham, E. B.
Bell, M. Fleming, J.
Blackburne, I. Foley, E. T.
Botfield, B. Follett, Sir W.
Bramston, T. W. Forester, hon. G.
Bruce, C. L. C. Fox, S. L.
Buck, L. W. Freshfield, J. W.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Gladstone, W. E.
Burroughes, H. N. Glynne, Sir S. R.
Calcraft, J. H. Goddard, A.
Chapman, A. Goring, H. D.
Cholmondeley, hn. H. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Christopher, R. A. Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.
Clerk, Sir G. Granby, Marquess of
Clive, hon. R. H. Grant, Sir A. C.
Codrington, C. W. Greene, T.
Colquhoun, J. C. Grimston, hon. E. H.
Compton, H. C. Grimston, Viscount
Conolly, E. Harcourt, G. S.
Corry, hon. H. Hepburn, Sir T. B.
Courtenay, P. Herbert, hon. S.
Cresswell, C. Hodgson, F.
Dalrymple, Sir A. Holmes, hon. W. A'C.
Darby, G. Hope, hon. C.
D'Israeli, B. Hope, G. W.
Dottin, A. R. Hotham, Lord
Dugdale, W. S. Houston, G.
Hughes, W. B. Pigot, R.
Hurt, F. Polhill, F.
Ingestrie, Viscount Pollen, Sir J. W.
Jackson, Sergeant Pringle, A.
James, Sir W. C. Pusey, P.
Jermyn, Earl Rae, rt. hon. Sir W.
Jones, Captain Reid, Sir J. R.
Kemble, H. Richards, R.
Kelburne, Lord Round, C. G.
Knatchbull, right hon. Sir E. Round, J.
Rushbrooke, Colonel
Lefroy, rt. hon. T. Rushout, G.
Lennox, Lord A. Sandon, Viscount
Lincoln, Earl of Scarlett, hon. J. Y.
Litton, E. Shaw, rt. hon. F.
Lockhart, A. M. Sheppard, T.
Long, W. Shirley, E. J.
Lowther, hon. Col. Sibthorp, Colonel
Lowther, J. H. Smith, A.
Lygon, hon. General Smyth, Sir G. H.
Mackenzie, T. Stanley, E.
Mackenzie, W. F. Stanley, Lord
Mackinnon, W. A. Sturt, H. C.
Mahon, Viscount Teignmouth, Lord
Manners, Lord C. S. Thesiger, F.
Martin, T. B. Thornhill, G.
Marton, G. Vere, Sir C B.
Maunsell, T. P. Vernon, G. H.
Miles, P. W. S. Villiers, Lord
Milnes, R. M. Vivian, J. E.
Mordaunt, Sir J. Waddington, H. S.
Morgan, C. M. R. Welby, G. E.
Neeld, J Williams, R.
O'Neill, hon. J. B. R. Wodehouse, E.
Palmer, G. Wood, Colonel T.
Palmer, R. Wynn, rt. hon. C. W.
Parker, M. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Parker, R. T. Young, J.
Parker, T. A. W. TELLERS.
Patten, J. W. Inglis, Sir R. H.
Peel, rt. hon. Sir R. Knight, G.
List of the NOES.
Abercromby, hn. G. R. Clements, Viscount
Aglionby, H. A. Clive, E. B.
Anson, hon. Colonel Collier, J.
Baring, rt. hon F. T Craig, W G.
Barnard, E. G. Crompton, Sir S.
Bewes, T. Currie, R.
Blacket, C. Dalmeny, Lord
Blake, W. J. Dashwood, G. H.
Bodkin, J. J. Denison, W. J.
Bowes, J. D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C
Brabazon, Sir W. Divett, E.
Bridgman, H. Duke, Sir J.
Briscoe, J. I. Duncombe, T.
Brocklehurst, J, Dundas, Sir R.
Brodie, W. B. Dundas, D.
Brotherton, J. Easthope, J.
Browne, R. D. Elliot, hon. J. E.
Buller, C Ellice, E.
Busfield, W. Etwall, R.
Byng, G. Evans, W.
Byng, rt. hon. G. S. Ewart, W.
Campbell, Sir J. Fielden, J.
Childers, J. W. Ferguson, Sir R. A.
Clay, W. Finch, F.
Fleetwood, Sir P. H. Ponsonby, C. F. A. C.
Gillon, W. D. Ponsonby, hon. J.
Gordon, R. Protheroe, E.
Greenaway, C. Rawdon, Colonel
Greg, R. H. Redington, T. N.
Grey, rt. hn. Sir G. Roche, E. B.
Grosvenor, Lord R. Roche, W.
Guest, Sir J. Rumbold, C. E.
Hastie, A. Rundle, J.
Hawes, B. Russell, Lord J.
Hawkins, J. H. Rutherfurd, rt. hn. A.
Hayter, W. G. Salwey, Colonel
Heathcoat, J. Scholefield, J.
Hector, C. J. Scrope, G. P.
Heneage, E. Seymour, Lord
Hill, Lord A. M. C. Sheil, right hon. R. L.
Hindley, C. Shelburne, Earl of
Hobhouse, T. B. Slaney, R. A.
Hodges, T. L. Smith, J. A.
Hollond, R. Smith, B.
Horsman, E. Smith, G. R.
Hoskins, K. Smith, R. V.
Howard, hn. E. G. G. Somers, J. P.
Howard, P. H. Stanley, M.
Hume, J. Stanley, hon. W. O.
Hutt, W. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Hutton, R. Staunton, Sir G. T.
James, W. Steuart, R.
Jervis, S. Stuart, W. V.
Lahouchere, rt. hn. H. Stock, Dr.
Lambton, H. Strangways, hon. J.
Langdale, hon. C. Strickland, Sir G.
Langton, W. G. Strutt, E.
Leader, J. T. Style, Sir C.
Lennox, Lord G. Talbot, G. R. M.
Lister, E. C. Talfourd, Sergeant
Loch, J. Tancred, H. W.
Macaulay, rt. hn. T. B. Thornely, T.
Maher, J. Tollemache, F. J.
Marshall, W. Tufnell, H.
Marsland, H. Turner, W.
Maule, hon. F. Vigors, N. A.
Melgund, Viscount Villier, hon. C. P.
Mildmay, P. St. J. Vivian, J. H.
Morpeth, Viscount Wakley, T.
Morris, D Wallace, R.
Muskett, G. A. Warburton, H.
O'Brien, C. Ward, H. G.
O'Brien, W. S. White, A.
O'Connell, D. White, H.
O'Connell, J. Williams, W.
O'Connell, M. Wilshere, W.
O'Connell, M. J. Wood, B.
Ord, W. Wood, C.
Oswald, J. Wood, G. W.
Paget, Lord A. Worsley, Lord
Parker, J. Wyse, T.
Pattison, J. Yates, J. A.
Pechell, Captain
Pendarves, E. W. W TELLERS.
Philips, G. R. Baines, E.
Pigot, D. R. Stanley, hon. E. J.
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