HC Deb 08 March 1843 vol 67 cc441-510

On the Order of the Day for resuming the adjourned debate,

Mr. C. Bruce

expressed his concurrence in the statement that this was no party question, the interests involved were of a higher and more enduring character; and he believed, that the object of the hon. Mover, and those who supported him, was to restore peace and harmony to the Church of Scotland. If he thought that the measure would have the effect anticipated, he would not allow the mere circumstance of his sitting on the Ministerial side of the House, to interfere with the attainment of an object so beneficial. It was because he was convinced, that to carry the motion, would rather aggravate than allay religious dissension, that he opposed it. The present state of affairs was making the Church of Scotland a great evil, instead of its being a blessing, as it had continued for 150 years. He complained that one important party had been left out of view in the discussion— he meant such of the clergy as held moderate and constitutional opinions, as to the extent of the spiritual rights of the Church of Scotland. Reference had been made to a speech he had made in 1834; he could not answer for the correctness of the report of that speech, but the question in its present shape had not then arisen. The claims of the Church now were not only for its spiritual jurisdiction, but that they alone should be the interpreters of what was within their jurisdiction. Dr. Candlish stated on the 4th of February last, that no mere non-intrusion or antipatronage measure would put the Church right, unless it secured to the Church a jurisdiction to determine for itself, and to regulate its own conduct in spiritual matters, and as to what fell within its own jurisdiction, leaving to the Court of Session to determine all civil matters. Now he contended, that any claim to spiritual power not conceded by the State could not be held good. The church had put forth its books of discipline, but they had not been recognised by the State; and when he looked at the claims there set forth, he did not wonder that they had not been recognised by a lay Parliament. The first book of discipline, however, had had one effect —it gave rise to the first covenant, which became so popular that the clergy, though frustrated in their intention, as set forth in the first book of discipline, had been obliged to adopt it as far as the State was concerned. All the claims of the Church were contained in the enactment of 1592, re-granted in 1690, both which acts might be called charters of the Church of Scotland. It was the duty of the civil magistrates, by law, to prevent schisms in the parishes, and the Court of Session only ordered the church courts to take the presentee, as the statute required, upon trial; if upon trial he should not have been found fitted, he was sure that neither the Church of Scotland nor any of the judges would have interfered. He was sorry to hear any Scotch lawyer, particularly the late Lord Advocate, hold up the law courts unjustly to reprobation. They sat there to administer justice. They did not go out of their way to bring causes, but when causes were brought before them, they were bound to decide. He thought that no Government would recommend, and no Parliament would ever sanction, the pretensions of the Church of Scotland, because if those claims were granted, they would establish a spiritual tyranny worse and more intolerable than that of the Church of Rome, from which they had been delivered. The demand which had been made was for the abolition of patronage. He knew it had been said, that it was not intended to abolish patronage by the veto law, but that it was intended to maintain patronage. But patronage was part of the compact between the Church and the State; and the proposal of the General Assembly went to impair the rights of patronage, to deal with the vested rights of patronage, and to a breach of that compact. He did not wish to set up the vested rights of the patrons as a bar to future improvement; if they showed that great benefits would be derived from the abolition of those rights; but those who sought improvement should show first, that the system which they wished to abolish was bad, and that the majority interested in it desired its abolition; and secondly, that the system they would establish would support the object they sought to attain. The parties had utterly failed to prove both conditions. Under the present law it was asserted, that there was nothing to prevent the intrusion of the most unpopular presentee; but he thought that the law did prevent this. The patron could only choose from one class of persons, the licentiates or probationers of the Church. The Presbytery might have been deceived in the character of the person they had admitted, the party might have become an improper man, but could a patron intrude such an improper person on the parish? No. The Presbytery was obliged to take the party on trial in matters of doctrine, morals, and learning; notice was given to the parish to which he was to be appointed, objections were invited, and if those objections were established to the satisfaction of the Presbytery they were bound to reject him. It was almost impossible that an improper person could be intruded into the Church of Scotland. But the law did lay upon the Presbytery a great and responsible duty, from which the Presbytery wished to shrink; they desired to hand it over to the parishioners, without any limit to the capriciousness with which it might be exercised. They proposed to give the power, not to the whole parishioners, but to a particular class—it was given only to such heads of families as were communicants. Now, the clergy alone had the power to admit to, or to exclude from the sacrament, and thus they had the power to increase or diminish the number of those who should exercise the veto. He did not say that this power would be abused, but it was too great a power to trust to the Church. As an instance of what might take place, he would mention that on the retirement of Mr. Mackintosh from Dagleish, his right hon. Friend below him (Sir James Graham) appointed a gentleman of high character. Out of a parish of 1,700 souls there were only ten communicants, and a majority consisting of six, a large proportion of whom could not write their names, vetoed that gentleman. Thus worthy and estimable men were rejected, and put to great anxiety by this most absurd enactment of the veto. But then it was said that the veto had worked well. To be sure, it had worked well at first, but what would be the result after a little while? The case of Dagleish was a pretty good example of what the result would be. He had, however, little satisfaction in dealing with the veto at all, and he, therefore, passed from it. It was said, that the people of Scotland were in favour of this change. He entirely differed from that view of the case. No one would deny that ninety-nine out of one hundred of the proprietors of land in Scotland were against the claims of the dominant party in the Church of Scotland. He might be told, perhaps, that a large number of these were Episcopalians. This might be; but still he knew, that a large portion were great supporters of the scheme of Church extension, and that no class had subscribed more; not only, therefore, would the carrying of this plan separate parties from the Church, but it would alienate the feeling of those who were separated before. He denied also that the majority of the middle classes in Scotland were favourable to the veto; he believed that they were generally averse to giving greater power to the clergy. He thought that the character of the periodical press showed this. The whole of the periodical of Scotland, with the exception of five or six newspapers, established by the dominant party in the Church of Scotland to advocate their views, were opposed to the veto. Was not that some proof of the feeling of the middle classes? The editors of the periodical press were as able and as intelligent a set of men as existed in connection with the press; he knew many of them, and he was sure that they would not advocate in the press a principle which in their breasts they disavowed, but he did not think that they would continue to write in such a sense and in such a direction as would lose their circulation. His conclusion, therefore, from this state of the press was, that the middle classes were against the veto. They were attached to the Church as established by the constitution, but not to the new-fangled Church which was now attempted to be established. The poorer classes had no feeling about patronage, except that they were in favour of such a restriction of patronage as would give them an efficient control over their ministers. A considerable number, no doubt, believed that the claims advocated by the Church would lead to a change of the law which would give them this power, and he was not surprised that they advocated it. But the main feeling was raised by the cry that the Church was in danger; and this had most probably raised a support. In one parish a minister told his congregation that one party advocated the cause of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and that the other party advocated the cause of Satan, and then called upon his parishioners to sign the petitions. Another clergyman had told his congregation only to conceive the danger of the King of the French being in correspondence with Queen Victoria, for the purpose of bringing back the Pope as the head of the religion of England. ["Name, name."] He would not mention the name, but he thought it his duty to write to the clergyman in question. The people were much alarmed at the report, and when they inquired what answer her Majesty had given, it was said that "it was kept secret." He thought that this was an attempt to disparage her Majesty and her Government. The clergyman, in reply to him, had denied many of the statements made against him, but he admitted that, in the course of his observations, he did mention that a report was current that so and so was the case, and that he had mentioned it to the people. That was the way in which the people were gulled. He held in his hand a letter from Mr. Forbes, a clergyman, who wrote of the state of agitation which now prevailed. He said, that perversion of the truth, gross exaggeration, slander, insinuations and daring bravado, if not actual sedition, had been brought to bear upon the people, by the aid of glowing eloquence employed in the name of religion. These means were chiefly employed amongst the lower classes of the people, and it was to the claims of men who thus conducted themselves that concession was required to be made. The reformation of the municipal corporations in Scotland had introduced new members into the General Assembly, and to the exertions of these persons he believed that all the unhappy controversy which had arisen was attributable. The Government had been reproached for not having introduced some measure to settle these disputes. They had had small encouragement to undertake such a measure; but he thought that they had shown the most anxious desire to procure some adjustment of the question. A bill was brought in by the Earl of Aberdeen, in another place, upon the subject, and since then the right hon. Baronet the Secretary for the Home Department had shown the greatest willingness to do everything short of conceding those vast claims which were made by the General Assembly; and last year he had even exhibited a disposition to go further than many hon. Members who supported her Majesty's Government. If the Church took rational and proper steps—if they rescinded the veto law, and put themselves in such a position that measures might be taken on their behalf, and abstained from resisting the law of the State, then, indeed, some good might be done; but it was unreasonable that those who were violating the law should require those whose duty it was to administer the law to take the first step towards an amelioration of their condition. He was confident that when the Government did settle the matter, they would avoid everything like penal enactments against those who had maintained the superiority of the Church in obedience to their own views; and he trusted that they would contrive to evidence their determination to maintain in spirit, and to extricate from their existing difficulties, those members of the Established Church, who, in compliance with their duty, had given the valuable example of obedience to the existing law; for they might depend on it that if they did not do so, they would not satisfy the majority of the people of Scotland.

Sir George Grey

would state to the House as briefly as possible, the grounds on which he proposed to support the motion of his right hon. Friend. That motion invited the House to the consideration of the petition addressed to it by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, stating the difficulties under which the church laboured; and he was sure that he spoke, not only his own sentiments, but those of the House, notwithstanding some few observations which had fallen from the hon. Member who last addressed it, when he said that, whether with regard to the character of the petitioners, or to the important interests to which their petition related, it deserved and would receive the most respectful attention from the House. The hon. Gentleman who had last spoken had attempted to lead away the House from the consideration of these important interests, and to distract its attention from them by adverting to some extravagant acts and speeches in some isolated cases which in the heat and din of controversy might have been committed and spoken in certain parishes in Scotland. If those statements on which the hon. Gentleman had relied were true, he should condemn them as much as the hon. Gentleman himself; but they were not now assembled for the purpose of crimination, or recrimination, but to consider seriously the perilous condition of the Church of Scotland; to avert, if possible, the fearful calamity which was apprehended; and he trusted that the House would feel that if the heat of controversy had desecrated the sacredness of the pulpit—had degraded the dignity of the judgment seat—it was the more imperative on them to leave no effort untried, to interpose their authority, to remove those difficulties which prevailed, and to restore the Church of Scotland to that position which it was most desirable on every account that it should hold. When he said that he was sure that this petition would receive every attention from the House, he did not think that hon. Gentlemen who differed from him as to the course to be taken were to be blamed. He admitted the full force of those objections which pressed on some Gentlemen — which weighed with some friends of his own, men of high authority and judgment, and from whom he could differ only with doubt and hesitation; he appreciated the full force of their objections to vote for the House going into committee on this subject, founded on a conviction that they should be unable to support the propositions which would be submitted to them in committee as the basis of a legislative measure. If he concurred with the Government in a feeling that a stand was to be taken on the law as they have stated it, and that it was impossible to contemplate any legislative remedy, he should think that it would be but a mockery of the petitioners, if out of mere respect to the Church of Scotland they went into committee under the pretence of considering the allegations contained in the petition. But agreeing in a great measure, though not altogether, with his right hon. Friend he felt that he was bound to vote in favour of the committee. He was not there to consider the probability of the measures which were to be advanced being rejected or adopted by the House; but if he was prepared to support the remedy which was proposed, he was bound, on that account, to enter into this committee, fully prepared to give practical effect to his vote by following it up by further measures. With regard to one, at least, of the points brought before the House by the petitioners, he was prepared to go the full length of acceding to their claim. There were two points on which they addressed the House; one wherein they set up a claim to exclusive jurisdiction in matters ecclesiastical; the other as to the sanction by legislative enactment of the principle of non-intrusion. He should take leave, in discussing them, to reverse the order in which they were brought forward, and he should begin with the latter point, because that was a point on which he confessed that he entertained no doubt as to the course which he should feel it his duty to pursue. He was prepared to say on this point, that and if his right hon. Friend should propose a resolution calling on the House to sanction the principle of non-intrusion, to such a resolution he should give his cordial support. It might appear somewhat presumptuous in him, who unconnected as he was with Scotland, might be supposed incapable of forming a correct judgment on the question, to express this opinion, but he had had some advantages, which other hon. Gentlemen representing English constituencies might not have possessed, and which might in some degree fit him for the consideration of this question. He had been a member of the committee of this House, appointed in 1834, upon the motion of Sir George Sinclair, to consider the law of patronage in the Church of Scotland. As a member of that committee he had given all the attention of which he was capable to the subject, and he had heard men, of the greatest eminence both at the bar and in the Church of Scotland, examined before it upon the question. In that committee Lord Moncrieff was examined; and reference had been made on the previous evening to the evidence which Lord Moncrieff had given. He gave his testimony fairly, fully, and candidly, and he was sure that if hon. Gentlemen had read the whole of his evidence, that learned individual would not have been charged with inconsistency, in giving that evidence, and then going to Edinburgh to propose that measure to the General Assembly, which, being seconded by Dr. Chalmers, was adopted, and was now known by the name of the Veto Act. Lord Moncrieff adverted to that measure in his evidence —he made no secret of it, and he stated that he supported it, that he approved of it, and that he was to bring it forward. Lord Moncrieff did not go the length of those Gentlemen who then advocated the total abolition of patronage, and the committee, in accordance with the feeling of the House of Commons, in the debate of 1833, when the subject was discussed, seemed to be of opinion, that no better terms of compromise could be agreed to than the course advocated by Lord Moncrieff. He remembered well the impression produced on his own mind at the time by the evidence he then heard. Questions were put with a view to show the danger to be apprehended from placing the power of the veto in the hands of the people, and he heard men who had for years been labouring among the people in remote parishes of Scotland, answering these questions by the expression of their firm conviction, from their intimate knowledge of the people, and of their attachment to their Church, that this danger was imaginary. And what was the state of the case now, after this act had had some trial? He believed, indeed, that the Veto Act had been the cause of those dissensions which now existed in the Church of Scotland, but not on account of the dangers which were apprehended in that committee—not on account of the impolicy of the act, but owing to the want of competent authority on the part of the Assembly to pass the act, a defect which might and ought to have been remedied by Parliament. He could only say, for his own part, that he regretted most sincerely that at an earlier period parliamentary sanction had not been given to the act, for if such had been the case, he believed that none of those events which had now arisen would ever have had existence. He would now refer to the practical working of the act. A return had been moved for not long since, by his right hon. Friend, of the number of parishes which had been settled under the Veto Act, and of the number of parishes in which this right of veto had been exercised. It appeared that, from the year 1834 to 1840, there were 275 parishes settled under the act, out of which in only twelve cases had the veto been resisted. But in eleven, at least, of these twelve cases he was entitled to say that the veto had not been improperly exercised. Two hon. Members who were anxious to make the strongest case against the practical working of the act, had yet been driven out of 275 parishes, to cite each the same case, admitting, by the most conclusive negative evidence, that there was no other instance on which they could lay the finger of complaint. What was this case? The hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme having recommended a gentleman to a living, a majority of the heads of families in communion with the Church being only seven in number exercised their right of veto, with a view to the appointment of Mr. Cooke, from Inverness, there being nothing to show that they had any other desire than to promote the interests of the parishioners. It was admitted that nothing could be stated against Mr. Cooke, neither did he doubt the qualifications of the candidate recommended by his hon. Friend; but assuming that the latter was a man who ought to have been at once accepted, were there no instances under the present law of patronage in which a man who had lived for years in a parish on the miserable stipend of a curate, and who, by his conduct, had gained the respect and affection of the whole of the parishioners was set aside from the living, against the wishes and entreaties of those amongst whom he had so long laboured, merely that the patron might have the opportunity of exercising his right in favour of some friend or relative. Would the hon. Gentleman be prepared to try the practice prevailing either in the English or Scotch Church by such a test? But it was said, that the same persons having once vetoed a most fitting and proper person, for the sake of Mr. Cooke, on the next presentation proceeded to exercise the same power with respect to another candidate recommended by the hon. Member for the county of Elgin. Now, what are the facts of this case? He believed that this parish contained 1,700 inhabitants, of whom from peculiar causes a small number only attended the parish church, and that the rest bad long attended the ministry of Mr. Cooke, and the communicants only expressed the ardent desires of the majority of the inhabitants when they entered the veto against the other gentlemen, presented that Mr. Cooke's valuable services—as they at least regarded them—should be preserved to them. If these were the facts of the case —and this, be it recollected, was the only instance that had been quoted of the bad working of the Veto Act—he had a right to maintain the opinion that the practical evils said to attend the operation of the act were imaginary, and that the fears that had prevailed had been proved to be unfounded. But he was told, that he was to be met by a practical difficulty in supporting a proposition for legislative sanction to the principles of the Veto Act. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for the Home Department said last night, that even if the House went into committee, and the majority chose to adopt the resolutions which his right hon. Friend intended to propose, the matter could not proceed, as he could not introduce a bill founded on them, because the previous assent of the Crown would be necessary; and the right hon. Gentleman added, that entertaining the opinions which he did on the subject, he could not take the responsibility on himself, as a Minister of the Crown, to advise its assent to the bill. He did not complain of the right hon. Gentleman for referring to the sanction of the Crown, and he believed that the right hon. Gentleman with the opinions he entertained was justified last year in the course which he took with regard to the bill of the hon. Member for Argyllshire, as the consent of the Crown ought not to be given by a Minister for the mere purpose of allowing a debate on a measure to which the Government are opposed. He was sure, however, that the right hon. Gentleman would consider that he (Sir G. Grey) was not acting inconsistently with this opinion in now supporting the motion of his right hon. Friend for a committee, and for voting for the resolutions which he would propose in it, should it be granted, and in continuing to vote for any measure founded on them till the time arrived for the objection to be taken respecting the consent, of the. Crown; for he, until then, had a perfect right, as a Member of that House, to vote in support of such proceedings as he believed would be likely to prove a remedy for the present evils. He should support such a resolution as his right hon. Friend would propose in committee, if he had an opportunity of doing so. If that course should be assented to, and the resolution adopted, be believed that his right hon. Friend would be entitled to move an address to the Crown to grant its consent to the introduction of a bill, and he was sure that the right hon. Gentleman opposite did not intend that they were precluded from such a course of proceeding, or from taking the opinion of the House in this way upon the principle of a measure to give effect to the Veto Act. He (Sir George Grey) thought, therefore, that he was justified in supporting his right hon. Friend in going into committee, having this clear and definite object before him with regard to the principle of non-intrusion. He wished now to say a few words with reference to the first point involved in the petition, namely, the freedom claimed by the Church of Scotland from coercion and interference in matters purely ecclesiastical. He confessed that on this point he did share the jealousy with which the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary regarded a claim of this nature. He agreed, that in the history of other times, and in past ages, and in connection with other churches, ecclesiastical courts had advanced maxims, and had endeavoured to act upon principles, which were totally incompatible with the existence of civil government, and he had no wish to give a new power or increase the jurisdiction of ecclesiastical courts in determining cases connected with the civil government of the country. He did not, however, think that the request made in the petition of the General Assembly was open to the objection which was raised by the right hon. Gentleman, or that what they asked for was so unreasonable as it had been represented to be, although he confessed he could not help seeing the great difficulty that would exist in framing the provisions of an act of Parliament, on this part of the case. Their request, as he understood it from their own statement, as well as from the exposition of their views given in that House by those to whom their case was entrusted, was for exclusive jurisdiction in matters purely ecclesiastical, and this was on all hands agreed to; but beyond this they asked not for an exclusive juris- diction in deciding what matters were civil and what spiritual, but only for a concurrent jurisdiction with the civil courts. All that the General Assembly now asked for, as he understood the matter, was that the civil courts should not have exclusive jurisdiction to determine what were ecclesiastical matters and what were not, but that the ecclesiastical courts might have the same power and jurisdiction. He confessed that the line of distinction between civil and ecclesiastical questions must often be necessarily narrow. He admitted that it was most difficult to make any clear and broad distinction between civil and ecclesiastical matters, so as to embody the subject in an act of Parliament. It could not be denied, that with respect to some acts, it would be most difficult to draw a line, and in some cases it would almost unavoidably happen that both courts would claim a jurisdiction. He thought that the way to maintain perfect harmony under such circumstances was by mutual forbearance, but especially by removing as far as possible occasions of conflict, and he believed that the first step that should be taken with the view of obtaining this object was the assenting to the Veto Act, and. thus taking away at once the great source of the existing dissensions. When however he was told that they had no power of obviating the difficulty of determining as to what were not, and what were ecclesiastical matters, he could not overlook the notorious fact, that at present many cases were determined before the civil courts, which they were told by all parties involved purely ecclesiastical matters. It was admitted that in questions purely ecclesiastical the Church alone should give judgment, but this was constantly set aside by the proceedings in the civil courts. His hon. Friend had mentioned last night that at the present moment there were seven parishes in Scotland, in which, by an interdict of the civil courts, the exercise of spiritual functions, the preaching of the word of God, and the administration of the sacraments was prohibited to clergymen, acting under the authority of the General Assembly, and that without any reference to the right to use the parish church, or to receive a stipend. Could there be a doubt that this was interfering with matters that were purely ecclesiastical? In the declaration which was pub- lished by the party dissenting from the majority, they expressed their regret at some of the decisions of the civil courts in questions of this kind, and he found that this opinion was participated in by the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme. Although, then, they could not, perhaps, in every case accurately define, for the purposes of legislation, what were civil and what were ecclesiastical matters, still he thought that they might advantageously go into committee to endeavour to provide a remedy for such cases, and to restrain the civil courts within those due limits which it was generally admitted they had overstepped. Having thus stated, as briefly as he could, the grounds on which he should vote for the motion, before he sat down he could not help adverting to the circumstances under which the matter was brought before the House for its decision. He cordially agreed in the expression of opinion on both sides as to the almost incalculable advantages which the Church of Scotland had conferred on the people of that country. Believing as he did that that Church had equally with, or if not more than any other, fulfilled the end of its establishment in conciliating the affections of the people, and instilling into their minds veneration for the laws of God and man, and looking at the long array of its ministers and elders waiting our decision, and assuring us, that if it should be adverse, they will be conscientiously obliged to separate from that Church, (and there are names among them which are a sufficient guarantee for their sincerity), and considering the blow which such a secession would inflict on the efficiency and stability of the Church, he could not help imploring the House not indeed to adopt a measure, or to sanction principles which, on mature consideration, they believed to be injurious to the real interests of the country, but at least to pause, and seriously to consider whether, even at that late period it might not be possible for Parliament to take some less fatal course than the rejection of these claims, and to derive some means for averting so fearful a calamity.

Mr. James S. Wortley

said that, knowing the intense interest that was taken in this subject in Scotland, he felt called upon to state the grounds upon which he refused to assent to the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman. If entertaining, as he did, a marked feeling of respect towards the clergy and the Church of Scotland could influence him in his vote, it must have the strongest possible influence in the present case, but he felt that by supporting the motion he should be giving his sanction to a principle of which he could not approve. The right hon. and learned Gentleman who had just sat down stated that he should vote for the motion on the principle that he could sanction the Veto Act, and, therefore, be would go into committee. He (Mr. Wortley) could understand this proceeding, but could not bring his mind to approve of the Veto Act, he could not follow the same course and give his sanction to the motion. But there was another reason, however, which influenced his mind. The General Assembly put forward a distinct prayer for the alteration of the rights of patronage now existing, and that, indeed, to be carried to such an extent as to be virtually the forfeiture of the right of patronage. If they went into committee for the consideration of this and other matters, they must, by the act of going into the committee itself, give a partial sanction to the demands made, or at least give a stimulus to the party, which was not without numbers and power in Scotland, for the total abolition of patronage in that country. For this and other reasons he could not assent to the motion; but he feared that some of those who felt obliged conscientiously to oppose the motion would be accused of being actuated by feelings of hostility to the Church of Scotland. This, he believed, would be the case with many who did not at once adopt the views of the right hon. Member for Perth, who was supposed to be identified with the extreme party. Before he proceeded farther, he hoped that he might be allowed to congratulate the Church of Scotland on the feeling which had prevailed throughout this debate, and the avoidance of all party feeling, with a solitary exception; for it was with extreme regret he heard the hon. Member for Renfrewshire introduce into the discussion matters purely personal and political, regarding the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme, in the letter which he read. He would not be induced by any such topics to follow the example of the hon. Gentleman. He admitted that no one was justified in making the assertion that the right hon. Member for Perth had used the language of intimidation with regard to the separation of a large body of the clergy from the Church of Scotland, but this had been done by other Members. He would ask whether any one could contemplate the result of such separation without alarm, and more especially after listening to the touching language of the right hon. the Secretary for the Home Department as to the effect of such a proceeding on all the relations of society, and in the great additional burthen that it must cast upon the country, by reducing so many families to poverty. He did not speak merely of the ruin of the Ministers, but, still more, of the unhappy widows and orphans, which they probably would leave behind them. He trusted that it might not be so, but he feared that the most unhappy consequences would follow the adoption of such a proceeding as was contemplated, when the Church of Scotland would be deprived of half of its most able ministers, and when throughout the country almost a religious civil war would be established. Such were the consequences that appeared before their eyes; it, therefore, became the House to consider well how it proceeded in this question. He believed that much misapprehension had prevailed as to the origin of these proceedings throughout the whole course of the debate. He had no doubt in saying that all the difficulties had arisen not so much from the judgment that had been given in the Auchterarder case, as from the dicta that had been laid down with respect to that case. If this inconvenience also could be shown to have arisen from the veto, and from the violence of language to which it had given rise, was it not possible that if this was corrected the other evils which had arisen would subside? Before 1834 the law was, that before a minister named by the patron could become the settled minister, he must have what is termed a call, but this was little more than a matter of ceremony, because, for upwards of half a century, the call of one or two persons in a parish was held to be amply sufficient. In 1834, which was a time of great political excitement, there were two parties contending in the General Assembly, and they combined to enact the Veto Act. One of these parties entertained opinions similar to those of the right hon. Gentleman who wished for the abolition of the law of patronage; the other party to which he alluded did not support an abolition of the law of patronage, but they supported the Veto Act, with the view of diverting attention from the question of pa- tronage, and of getting rid of the agitation of the subject altogether. How different now were the opinions of the chief of those who voted for the Veto Act from what they were at the time it passed Amongst others, Dr. Chalmers said that if he and those who acted with him could have foreseen the consequences of passing the Veto Act, it never would have been carried. If this was the opinion of Dr. Chalmers in 1839, and if he was desirous of inducing the heads of the church to abandon the veto, and to resort to something else, he trusted that the advice of the hon. Member for Leith would make the same impression in Scotland as it had in that House, and that they would see the wisdom of abandoning the law and retracing the steps which they had taken. He did not think that the Parliament should require this as a preliminary, but he trusted that the advice of the hon. and learned Member would have its proper weight with them. From the period of the Confession of Faith, in 1560, up to the present time, it had never been the law, in Scotland, that the mere arbitrary and unreasonable dissent of a congregation should operate to the exclusion of a presentee. The right of patronage had existed in Scotland, in the qualified form there prevalent, for upwards of two centuries; and was it possible to suppose that such a form of patronage was really injurious to the establishment there, or offensive to the consciences of its ministers, when for so many generations they had acquiesced in its continuance, and when the results and fruits of the system were allowed to have been so happy and beneficial. He considered that the law of Scotland had been truly embodied in the answer of the right hon. Baronet, and he would beg briefly to state to the House what he believed that law to be. He was of opinion that, on the presentation of a minister by a patron, it became the absolute duty of the presbytery, under the Act of Queen Anne, to take the presentee on trial; and afterwards to qualify him, if he should be found to be without reprehension, as it was called, as to manners, morals, literature, and doctrine; and if the objections which might be made against him by the congregation should be found to be grounded on causeless prejudice. It was equally clear that it was open to the congregation to make any objection they chose. He believed there was no class of objection which might not be laid before the pres- bytery, but on the presbytery rested the responsibility, the heavy responsibility of deciding upon the objections so made. And, it was contended, there entered into their business, not merely the ascertaining the qualification of the presentee as to his morals, manners, literature and doctrine, but also it was within their province to see to his fitness for the particular parish to which he had been nominated; to which was added, the metaphysical distinction of suitability and acceptability, for though a man might be "suitable," he might not be "acceptable." In his opinion, this latter objection, as to in acceptability, though not of itself sufficient to operate as a bar to the presentation, came decidedly within the consideration of the presbytery, whose duty it was to say whether the objection that the presentee was "unacceptable," as well as that he was "unsuitable," was grounded upon causeless prejudice. The presbytery, in his judgment, had a decided right to take this point also into their consideration, and to make it an element of of the decision to which they should come. He conceived that the dispute rested on very narrow grounds. He believed that the law of Scotland, as it had long existed and as it now stood, was an ample and perfect security against any improper use of the rights of patronage. He believed that the presbyteries, generally composed of sincere Christians, men anxious for the best interests of their church, and disinterested to a most remarkable degree, would exercise their duty conscientiously, and that by their careful application of the laws now existing in their behalf, there need be apprehended no danger whatever to the Church. In reference to the conflicting jurisdictions of civil and ecclesiastical tribunals, he would admit that it was difficult to say with exactitude what the sphere of each and all the courts was. As to the Church courts, no doubt, it was quite clear that their sphere was within the Church itself, for the regulation of its own body, of its own corporation—he did not use this word technically—but the functions of the civil courts extended in some cases and for some purposes throughout the state. In various regulations of the Church of Scotland itself, the interference of the civil courts with that Church was admitted to a certain extent; in some instances the Church had claimed the aid of the civil courts, calling in the arm of the civil law to enforce the authority of the Church; but this, he must add, was only in slight and unimportant cases. In the cases under the consideration of the House, it appeared to him that, certainly by some unhappy influence or other, the civil courts had turned aside from the path in which they should have kept themselves, and that in these interdicts and in these judgments which were so bitterly complained of, they had gone farther than the law of Scotland warranted. As yet, however, none of the more objectionable decisions had received the sanction of the House of Lords. There was so much confusion, or rather so much misunderstanding, so many difficulties between the laity and the clergy, in understanding what were the proper limits between the two jurisdictions in these particular cases, that it had become the necessary duty of the Legislature to make it plain to the subject what was really the law by which the respective courts were to guide their proceedings. An act of Parliament, based on just and reasonable principles, would meet with the ready and grateful acquiescence of the large body of the Church. If by any fatal influence—to put an extreme case—Parliament should be induced to pass an act, for instance, to regulate the mode of administering the Holy Sacrament in Scotland, where the mode of administering it was altogether different from that practised in the English Church, to compel the ministers of the Scottish Church to administer the Holy Sacrament in a manner opposed to their conscientious convictions; then, indeed, no one would blame them for refusing their assent to so cruel and unjust an enactment; and were they, under such circumstances, to do that which they now threatened to do, leave the ministry of the Church altogether, rather than, as members of the Church, act against, their conscience. But the feeling of the Church would necessarily be very different from this, were the Parliament to come forward, as he trusted it would still do, and give the Church the assurance that it had never been, and was not, the intention of the Parliament, as the highest authority, to invade, or sanction the invasion of the undoubted, the exclusive, the independent jurisdiction of the Church courts within their own province, or to force on the Church any regulations which were offensive to its conscience. It was at present but too true, that in Scotland a very general opinion prevailed, that there was going on a systematic encroachment, on the part of the civil courts, upon the ancient rights of the Church, and that if the congregations did not take a decided step, the independence of the Church would be destroyed for ever; nay, the very existence of the Church. To satisfy the minds of the people of Scotland, of those followers of ministers who now stood on the verge of a precipice, an act of Parliament was essentially necessary to declare what, in reality, was the state of the law. He trusted, therefore, that the Government would reconsider the matter. As to the motion before the House, he could not vote for it, though he did not know that he should vote against it; but he was at the same time deeply impressed with the conviction that something decisive should be done without delay. He believed that the state of feeling on the subject in Scotland was not at all overstated by the hon. Gentleman, who said that, since the Reformation, the country had not been in a more serious position;, in reference to its religious condition. It was not merely the social—it was not merely the private, the internal, the worldly condition of that people, that was in question; he fully believed that the spiritual condition of that kingdom was in great peril. It is admitted on all hands that the Church of Scotland, as it had now so long existed, had been of the very greatest benefit to that kingdom; and he trusted that even yet the strong hand of Government would be interposed to rescue the Scottish people from the peril by which they were now so imminently threatened. This was not a question for negotiation; there had been negotiation enough; what was wanted was a mediator—a mediator strong in its own sense of justice, in its consciousness of being able to form a just opinion on the question, and strong in the means to carry its final purposes into effect. They had a Government of this description now, and he trusted that Government would consent to act as this so much desired mediator. If they were to come forward now with a measure, founded not on the views of either extreme, but on just and sound principles, he believed that the large majority of the clergy and people of Scotland, on both sides of the question, would accept that measure with gratitude. If Government did not come forward with such a measure, he trusted there would yet be found among the representatives of Scotland, among the representatives of the nation, some one who would endeavour to rescue the Church of Scotland from the dangers which threatened her, by embodying in a resolution, or in a measure, some suggestions of a practical and just nature for settling this most momentous question.

Sir A. L. Hay

considered, that on every principle of sound policy, as well as of justice, the House should agree to the motion of his right hon. Friend. The inquiry must, at all events, suggest some means of averting the threatened calamities. If it were only the secession of the great body of the clergy of Scotland that were to be apprehended—much as he respected them—deeply as he appreciated the benefits they had conferred on the people of Scotland—-were their secession to be the only consequence of the step which they were now meditating, he should, perhaps, think more lightly of this question, and advocate it with less zeal than now animated him; but when 1 they knew that the great portion of the population of that country, whether right or wrong, were determined to follow their ministers, and to secede from the Church of their fathers, the matter then appeared to him to assume a character which put forth imperative claims for full examination. He did not say that the ministers of the Church were right; he only said that the country was not in a good condition. There had been considerable agitation, and with some effect It was said that the people cared less for the subject than formerly, but this was not the case. He lived in the midst of the agitation, and he could say that it was not decreasing, but that the people were becoming more determined to secede than ever, if their claims were refused. He agreed, cordially and entirely, in the views of non-intrusion which were announced by the right hon. Member for Devonport (Sir G. Grey.) He was not now a non-intrusionist for the first time. He had been a non-intrusionist, with some qualifications, since 1827. He then thought, and he still thought, that the people should have a voice in the election of their pastor; and that the system of Calls should be made efficient. The Government said it would not take any part in this dispute, because it could not see its way because the parties did not agree; but whenever such disputes did arise, how was it possible for the people to agree? He called on the Government and the House to legislate; he called on them also to make haste, or, by their negligence, more mischief would be done in Scotland than ages would suffice to repair.

Mr. A. B. Cochrane

said, that however much hon. Members on either side of this question might differ as to one point, there was still one other point on which they all appeared to agree, viz.—the necessity for legislation upon the subject. They all too, appeared to agree as to its great importance; and it was, indeed, a sad picture to witness that body, which was the child of the law, set itself up against the law—to see that body, which was the creature of the State, place itself in hostility to it. If the question, as submitted to the House, depended on the memorial which had been transmitted to all its Members, he thought no Gentleman could have any difficulty in forming an opinion upon it. Every man must have been struck, on the one hand, with the usurpation of that party calling itself the Church-party in Scotland, and, on the other hand, with the lucid perspicuity of the reply to that memorial by the right hon. Gentleman, the Secretary of State. He trusted it was not presumptuous on his (Mr. Cochrane's) part to state, that it was his opinion that that paper was as comprehensive a document as could possibly have been issued upon the subject, and that it completely met the question. There was, however, one point to which he was anxious to refer. The first consideration was as to what was the present state of patronage in Scotland; and no party, he would maintain, could possibly require a more popular form of church government than that which now prevailed in that country. It consisted of the kirk-sessions, and of presbyteries, composed of elders of the Church, the election of which elders the congregations had the option of opposing. And here it was a point worthy of notice, that it was necessary at the same time that the grounds of any objection to their election should be stated. Now a Presbytery was composed of a number of different parishes; and every patron in Scotland must, in presenting a person to any parish, present one who had undergone examination, and the Presbytery must say whether, having undergone such examination, he was qualified or not. Now, that Presbytery being composed of elders of the Church, he would maintain that it was impossible to have a more popular form of imposing a minister over a parish. Now, what were the claims of the Church? This system to which he had referred having lasted for several years, it so happened at last that when the reform agitation commenced in England, the agitation of this dispute in the Church of Scotland commenced in that country. Dr. Chalmers said in 1833 that he was willing that the people should have the right of objecting to a presentee, on stating the grounds on which such objections were made. But, in 1834, the Church party went further, and said, that they claimed the right to object to a presentee without the necessity of stating any grounds at all. And here was the chief point at issue. In 1833 what was the opinion of Dr. Chalmers as to the feeling of the country upon this subject? He said at that time, "patronage was never acted upon so well as it is now." He said, "it might have been inexpedient to have passed the Veto Act, but having done so, we must keep to it." Now, suppose a case of translation of a minister from one living to another, what ground of silent objection could be alleged against him to preclude his admission into such parish? He was unwilling to trouble the House by going into acts of Parliament, but he would ask the right hon. Gentleman whether there was any act since 1567 which supported the claims now put forth by the Scotch Church party. There was no act which vested in the people the right of objecting, and the only authority for such a proposition was the first book of discipline. Now the doctrine there laid down had never been sanctioned by any authority or vote of Parliament, and yet the right hon. Gentleman referred to the act of 1592 as the charter of Scotland, although it was provided by that act, That if qualified ministers, presented, either by her Majesty or the lay patrons, were not admitted, the lay patrons should have a right to claim the whole fruits of the benefice. This, then, was the charter of the Scotch Church, and if so, it clearly was not an authority to show that the right of objecting against a qualified minister so presented had ever been vested in the people themselves. He was struck by the remark of the right hon. Gentleman, that at the period of the Revolution it was intended that Presbytery should be re-established; but was the House not aware, that though King William was willing to have episcopacy in Scotland, the settlement alluded to by the right hon. Gentlemen was the act of a minority. In the Articles of Union no reference was made to the question of lay patronage, and this Mr. Hallam clearly showed. Now, with respect to the subjects of jurisdiction and patronage, the hon. Members opposite would place these matters in the hands of the Assembly; but the question was, were they to give the Assembly a jurisdiction which would place them above the civil courts, above the State, and enable them to establish their own system of patronage. He thought this was a concession which could not be made, and they never had separated religious from political government. No religious convulsion had ever taken place without involving political considerations, and this was demonstrated in a letter to Louis Quinze, in reference to the progress of republicanism in France, and in which it was said, that— All the different kinds of liberty are connected. The philosophers and Protestants tend towards republicanism as well as the Jansenists, the Protestants strike at the root, while the others lop the branches, and their efforts, without being connected, will one day lay the tree low. He did not consider Voltaire a great authority upon religious subjects, but how did he describe the political effects of Scotch Presbyterianism? He said— At an unfortunate moment Presbyterianism established in Scotland a kind of republic, the coldness and savageness of which is even more intolerable than that of the climate. And he continued— The Dutch put on the yoke of dissent when they threw off that of Spain and Geneva became republican when she became Calvinist. In Scotland religious and political discussions had been particularly united; and in proof of this, what was the language of Mr. Burke, in his speech upon American taxation? In that speech Mr. Burke said— The people were Protestants, and of that kind which is the most adverse to all implicit submission of mind and opinion. The dissenting interests have sprung up in direct opposition to all the ordinary powers of the world. All Protestantism, even the most cold and formal, is a kind of dissent; but this is the dissidence of dissent, the Protestantism of the Protestant religion. Upon what, he would then ask, were the pretensions of the Church party founded? Upon acts of Parliament? Assuredly not; for no one act since 1567 could be cited in support of their claims. Upon the antiquity of their court? Why, the Court of Session was instituted in 1425; that of the General Assembly not until 1560. Nor upon common law; for the House of Lords here stepped in, and had given judgment against them, although these ambitious churchmen had now the effrontery to declare, that they never appealed to that high tribunal, but merely appeared before it, in order that they themselves might explain and declare the law. If their own law, founded upon error or injustice, could avail, without any higher authority, why had they so frequently appealed to the sanction of Parliament? And if any peculiar degree of sanctity attached to the acts of the General Assembly, did they not, at the period of the secession in 1733, distinctly uphold the act of 1712. He knew not upon what the pretensions of the Church party were founded; but he did know to what they tended. The argument of the popular veto—the cry of non-intrusion— was raised merely to face the garment of their tyranny with some fine colour. He said it openly, the object of the Church was to take the whole power into their own hands; the ambitious views, concealed under the mask of benevolence, were fully explained from a passage in the first book of Discipline:— Altogether it is to be avoided that any man be violently intruded upon the congregation, but violent intrusion we call not when the Council of the Church, in the fear of God, offereth unto them a sufficient man to instruct them. The past made him tremble for the future, and he had an intimate conviction, founded upon the testimony of all history, that fixed and certain results are never to be attained by an uncertain and unstable policy; and that partial concessions always lead to partial settlements. In conclusion, he would not be misunderstood as reflecting in the least degree upon the abstract doctrines of the Scotch Church. Whatever might have been their origin, however nurtured by revolution, still in their infancy and origin they were well suited to impose upon enthusiastic imaginations. It was a graceful and beautiful doctrine which taught men to regard the whole earth as one Church, and bade them gather together in no edifice raised with hands, but in the secluded valley and on the mountain heather. Yet he was but a shallow politician, who thought the human heart was altogether independent of human agencies, and thus legislated upon abstract theories, unmindful of all the passions, prejudices, and interests, which were ever existing in active life. Wherever there was a field for power there would always be ambition. It might assume different characters, but he could only say, that if they were to be over-ridden by ecclesiastical domination, he should prefer it accompanied by the splendour and pomp of the Roman hierarchy, he for one would prefer the arrogance of the Church of Rome to the hypocrisy of the Kirk of Scotland. It mattered little to him what shape ecclesiastical domination assumed, and he must say, that if they encouraged the present attempt to place the Ecclesiastical Court of Scotland above the Civil Courts—above the House of Lords—they would be erecting the Assembly of Scotland into a despotism of the worst kind. Ecclesiastical power tolerated no rival, and was unfavourable to liberty. It had deposed kings, and now claimed the right of placing ministers to secure its own supremacy. He hoped, however, that the present attempt would fail, and that the Government would adopt some measure which would have the effect of combining the good feelings of both parties, if such a thing were now practicable. Nothing, he was satisfied, could be worse than the present state of uncertainty, and if the concessions asked for were made, his belief was, that they would inflict a most serious injury on the Church itself, whilst those who might secede from it would place themselves in a contemptible position.

Lord John Russell

said: I agree with my right hon. Friend who introduced the motion, and with every other Gentleman who has spoken on it, as to the great importance and great difficulties of the subject, and I should have hardly thought it necessary to declare the pain and sorrow I feel at knowing that a great number of intelligent members of the Church of Scotland, thinking their rights to be infringed, come to this House, and ask it to agree to the terms they propose, declaring, if these terms be not acceded to, that they must cease to be members of the Church, thereby occasioning a most serious calamity. I should hardly have thought it necessary to express on this occasion my concern and sorrow, were it not for the strong terms and phrases which fell from the hon. Member who spoke last—for what I consider a great calamity likely to be entailed on the empire, and particularly on the northern part of the island. I look with sorrow on those men belonging to the General Assembly who have presented a petition to the House, complaining that they have rights which they are not allowed to exercise, and duties which they are not allowed to perform. I feel the more for them because I perceive that they passed the Veto Act, as was stated by my right hon. and learned Friend the late Lord Advocate of Scotland, by the advice of a learned person connected with the law, by his station, of no party, and connected by his family with the Church, Lord Moncrieff, so that they did not doubt they were acting for the best. At the time, too, when they passed the Veto Act they received the approbation, not solemnly given, but declared in Parliament, of the noble and learned Lord who then held the great seal of England. They had every reason, therefore, to suppose that the Government then in existence approved of their conduct; and the short administration of the right hon. Gentleman, which took place in 1834–5, did nothing which made them believe that there was anything contrary to law in what they had done. Beyond that, they gave the strongest proof of the sincerity of their belief in the declaration which they made to Parliament of their opinion of those terms prescribed by the courts of law, declaring that if it were decided that those terms should be adhered to as the basis of the connection between the State and the Church of Scotland, that they should be unable to remain members of that Church consistently with their principles. They told the Government that they must give up the profession to which they are devoted; they must give up the profits of their profession; they must give up the residences that are dear to their hearts they must give up all their connection with the State. And here I cannot help comparing their conduct; after what has been said by the hon. Member—I cannot help comparing their conduct with that of some others who have laboured to reconcile their conscientious convictions with their Continuance in connection with the Established Church; and who have preferred twisting the articles of religion 'in accordance with their own views, when they found that the opinions laid down are not those which they conscientiously embrace, to determining at once to forsake the Established Church, with which they no longer agree. I have thought it necessary to say thus much after the denunciations lately made, in order to express my concurrence in that general and almost universal feeling of sorrow which prevails on this subject. I will now state my opinion on the question before the House respecting the Church of Scotland, and respecting the General Assembly. 1 certainly could have wished, with respect to the main question at issue, that either my right hon. Friend who brought the subject before the House, or my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leith, had been able to clear the course for us, and showed us how we are to proceed; but on that point they have not stated anything satisfactory. My right hon. Friend, and my right hon. and learned Friend, dwelt very much on the claims of the Church of Scotland to exercise an independent jurisdiction—a jurisdiction independent of all other jurisdictions—in all ecclesiastical and spiritual matters. They had separated this question of jurisdiction from the Veto Act and from the other question of non-intrusion. I cannot treat any question coming before the House as a question of an abstract nature. I cannot deal with abstractions, with regard to the ecclesiastical and spiritual independence of the Church. I cannot see what advantage would follow from any resolution which my right hon. Friend might propose, merely asserting some abstract principle, with respect to the spiritual jurisdiction of the Church of Scotland, or how such a resolution is to have a practical effect, either with regard to the Church or the State. I do not consider that we are here to deal with or decide upon abstractions. I can only look at this question in the way in which it has arisen, at the causes which have produced it, and at the practical object of any resolution which can be proposed. Taking that view, I must agree with the right hon. Baronet, the Secretary of State, that this question of spiritual and ecclesiastical jurisdiction seems to have been brought into contest of late years, chiefly on account of the Veto Act passed in 1834. I must look at the question in connection with that act, and the consequences which have followed from the passing of that act by the General Assembly. But, with respect to the question abstractedly considered, the General As- sembly state in their claims various acts of Parliament (alleged to have been confirmed in the Act of Union) wherein it is stated that the Church is to have the sole and entire jurisdiction with regard to ecclesiastical and spiritual matters. Now, I can only understand those acts as applying such matters as long as the acts connected with them are confined to spiritual concerns. The fact to which J allude, is an impeachment which took place nearly a century and a half ago. If there be anything more particularly within spiritual and ecclesiastical jurisdiction, unquestionably it is in the preaching of the Gospel by the ministers of the Church. Dr. Sacheverel preached two sermons, one at Derby, and the other in the City of London, which he asserted to be founded on the Gospel. So far as those sermons related to matters of religious doctrine, there was nothing which the House of Commons, or any civil tribunal, could take any notice of; but they did contain also political matters, and made certain statements with regard to the right of resistance and of passive obedience, which were thought inconsistent and incompatible with the Constitution of this country. Therefore the great leaders of party in this House at that time denounced those sermons, an impeachment was voted by the House of Commons, and after hearing able arguments in the case, Dr. Sacheverel was convicted and punished by the judgment of the House of Lords. I refer to this case to show that however you may make abstract statements, and lay down rules that certain things are only to be done by ecclesiastical authority, and shall come only within ecclesiastical jurisdiction, yet you cannot say, that persons exercising such jurisdiction shall ever be allowed to trench on matters cognizable by the civil courts, because those matters happen to be connected with ecclesiastical concerns. To come more immediately to the point before us, which concerns the admission of ministers to benefices in Scotland, so far as that admission is regulated by ancient statutes, and so far as it is an ecclesiastical procedure, it would not be proper that any court of law should interfere with the functions of the spiritual courts. But it appears, that in 1834 the Church affixed certain conditions to the admission of ministers, with regard to the assent or non-assent of the congregation to be committed to their charge. Now, these conditions were, at all events, admitted to be some- thing new. It has been admitted by my right hon. Friend, that from 1782 to 1834 nothing of the kind existed in the Church of Scotland; neither did anything of the sort exist from 1736 to 1782. From 1712 to 1736 the admission was governed by an act of Parliament, which said that patrons should have a certain right of presentation, and that persons presented should be admitted according to the rules of the Church. From 1690 to 1712, ministers were appointed by the elders and heritors, and the Presbyteries might take notice and might decide on any reasons offered by the congregation for refusing the minister presented. Considering these various statements, it must be admitted, that from the period of the Revolution (from 1690 to 1712) no law at all similar to this Veto Act existed in Scotland. An hon. Gentleman who has spoken this evening, and others, have admitted that no such rule BS that of deciding by the will of the people, without reasons, was ever effectually in force. Certainly I have never seen the reverse of that proposition successfully maintained. In all the declarations of the Assembly, and all the pleas put forth on behalf of the Church of Scotland, I cannot find that anything similar to the Veto Act ever existed at any time in the Church of Scotland. Now, if we are to admit that the Church in 1834 could lay down certain conditions which, because they related to the admission of ministers, should, thereby, be valid and effectual, we must come to the further conclusion, that the Church might impose other conditions of a similar kind—such as placing the election of the patron in the hands of the congregation, or, in fact, have reestablished the act of 1690, giving the election to certain parties, with a controlling power to the congregation. No man who asserts that the act of 1834 was within the competence of the Church, and that such regulation is binding on the clergy and country, can deny the inference that the Church might adopt any method of making the will of the congregation paramount in the nomination of ministers. What is the consequence? The consequence is, that the act of 1712, an act of the British Parliament is, if the Veto Act be allowed, totally and entirely set aside. The right of presentation may be virtually taken away, and the act of Parliament which gave it to patrons may be made a dead letter. I do not know how my right hon. Friend is to deal with this difficulty, or how, admitting the right of the Church to impose conditions, he can shrink from these extreme consequences. It appears to me to be a constant error and fallacy to assume, that because the Church had power in matters purely ecclesiastical, therefore, with respect to all things having any connection with, or relation to such matters, the Church may step in and convert them into spiritual affairs, over which it is to have exclusive jurisdiction. I cannot assent to claims laid down in such broad terms, or even with the limitations placed to them by ray right hon. and learned Friend, the Member for Leith (Mr. Rutherford). My right hon. and learned Friend said, it was not true that the Church had any supreme power. He said it was not true that the Church claimed the power of declaring any matters to be ecclesiastical which it chose to consider so; that all which it claimed was to have its jurisdiction valid so far as spiritual matters were concerned. But I cannot conceive that the connection of Church and State can be carried on on such terms. In ordinary times, when the current runs smoothly, there may be no difficulty, or perilous consequence. But when a case like that of the parish of Auchterarder arises what is the consequence? We have one minister admitted by the Assembly, and allowed to preach God's Word, and to administer the sacraments, and another minister presented by the patron, and holding the glebe and the stipends. The former is the spiritual, the latter is the civil minister of the parish. Such a connection of Church and State cannot be one of union and co-operation, but of discord and hostility. It must perpetuate what every one on each side of the House has deplored, differences amongst families, disturbances in parishes, social misery, spiritual calamities, the disruption of the most sacred relations, and all that mischief which every Member who has spoken has deeply regretted. Can there be a worse state of things, than to have one set of Ministers representing the Church, and exercising spiritual functions, and depending, I suppose, on the contributions of their flocks, and another set acknowledged by the State, but destitute of influence with the people, receiving the stipends appointed by law, doing nothing, and for their uselessness held up to public odium? Therefore, instead of finding any comfort in the solution of these difficulties, proposed by my right hon. Friend, I still feel it necessary to beg of Parliament to put an end to a state of things so calamitous, that in one way or other, whatever the way may be, they will prevent such calamities as I have spoken of. My right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leith made one admission which I was glad to hear from him, because I think it tends to a temperate consideration of this question. He admitted that, according to his opinion, after the decision of the House of Lords in the Auchterarder case, the General Assembly was not justified in maintaining the Veto law. That is a most important admission, because most of the present embarrassments have arisen from its perseverance in maintaining that law. When Lord Aberdeen did me the honour to speak to me with respect to the bill which he proposed, I told him I thought nothing could have greater authority than a decision of the House of Lords. I thought that discussions in Parliament, where different political parties would take adverse sides, would not have so much weight as the opinion of the learned persons who would give judgment in the House of Lords. 1 thought such a judgment would have great influence in Scotland; but I need not say I have been completely disappointed in that anticipation. Since that judgment the case of the Strathbogie ministers has occurred. Those ministers came to London, and saw various persons; amongst others, I had the honour of seeing them; and they stated the difficulties in which they were placed. It does appear to me, that in that case, those persons were hardly used, and that the General Assembly did not sufficiently consider the painful nature of their position. They were men who had entered the Church long before the Veto Act of 1834, was thought of, when patronage was the general law of Scotland, and when, although the Call was considered part of the established theory of the Church, popular consent was not necessary for admission, Those men endeavoured to obey the act of the Assembly of 1834. They did in fact obey it. In consequence they received a legal judgment upon the case. They state in their petition that the Court of Session prohibited them (in May, 1839) from acting in obedience to the Assembly's act; that they were called upon by the Lord Ordinary to withhold their statutory duty; that they conceived they were bound to obey this decree, conscientiously believing that all ministers of religion were bound to Conform to obligations imposed by statute, and to obey the directions of the superior courts on matters which the House of Lords decided to be within the cognizance of those courts. In December, 1839, the General Assembly proceeded to suspend those ministers from their office, expressly on the ground of their intending to obey the law—suspended them for contumacy against the authority of the Church —and after the petitioners complained to the Assembly, they were ultimately deposed. Upon this ensued what was complained of on the other side as something of an excess of jurisdiction in the civil courts, proceeding to interdict a minister by the process of the civil court, sent by the General Assembly in the parishes of the suspended ministers from performing the functions of his office. What a condition of unhappiness and dissension! But I must say, that when the Assembly found the House of Lords, the supreme civil tribunal, had decided with respect to the Auchterarder case, their conduct was not justified —their duty was to have withdrawn the Veto Act; and then, whatever remedy they sought, whatever they wished to be done to give effect to what they considered the principles of the Church of Scotland, they should have sought that remedy like other subjects of this realm, by petition and the use of argument alone. They should not have attempted to enforce their own decrees against what was declared to be the law of the land. They should have conformed as other subjects do to that law. They would, I think, have been in a far better situation, and have had a far better case with reference to that part of the question which relates to non-intrusion, if when they found that the principles of ancient statutes had fallen into desuetude, and that some means were necessary to give to the congregations the power that properly belonged to them, they had come regularly before Parliament and asked them to apply a remedy. I know, for my part, that being then in the Government, and very anxious to determine what should be done, I found that both by the persons in office and out of office to whom I spoke, that the first observation made by them was, Let the Church of Scotland place itself right before the country. Let the ministers of that church, if they wish for an alteration in the law, consider the matter sought to be changed, and the manner to seek for it; but let them not attempt, by their own force, to carry into effect that which is against the law; while, at the same time, they ask of Parliament to change the law. Was it not, and is it not, a reasonable objection? That it is reasonable, I can no longer doubt, when the hon. and learned Member for Leith—the first and foremost, and the most able of those who have undertaken the defence of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and their claims, admits that the Assembly was wrong in their proceedings. With respect to the question of the veto on non-intrusion, looking to the various acts of the church of Scotland, it does seem to me that there is no certain ground for assuming that the mere will of the congregation — that is, an unreasoning and unreasonable objection on the part of a congregation —was at any time to be allowed to operate as a positive veto in the Church of Scotland. I do not think that it has been established that such ever was the case. After listening attentively to the whole of the arguments that have been offered, I do not find that such ever was the case. But, although it may not have been the case, yet it is to be considered as a question in itself—as a question of expediency—as a question concerning the welfare of the people of Scotland — and as a question concerning the integrity of the church—it is for Parliament to see what it can do in this respect. For my part, I see many objections to granting the power to the full extent that it is claimed. It appears to me, I own, that when the first application was made for the Veto Act to be enacted by Parliament, that if we were to take that on the terms on which it was simply passed by the general assembly, it would have the effect, if there were some favourite candidate who had got an interest in the parish—then every other candidate, however well suited he might be for the parish, or whatever his qualifications, would be refused, and the patron would be obliged to present the favourite candidate, or the presentation must fall by the jus devolutum into the hands of the Presbytery. It then appeared to me the case, on the other band, that the bill proposed by Lord Aberdeen would not have been a good settlement of the question; for it appeared to me, that that bill gave too much power to the church. It gave the power not to a majority, but to any person in the congregation to make objection, and for any reason, however frivolous, to call upon the Presbytery to interfere, and the Presbytery were enabled to give validity to that proceeding. It appeared to me, that if ever there was an opportunity, which I confess 1 am most anxious to see, for the settling of this question, I should be most desirous to see it settled; but, as I said, not only when in office, but also last year, when the present Government was in office, that if even it was settled, that the power must be given to the congregation of making an objection, that the Presbytery should judge of that objection, that the objection should be a real one, and that it should be one against the usefulness of the minister. I think a power to make a valid objection should be given, and a minister not placed if it were valid. This has been stated to be the old practice, but now, as to the objection of the congregation, it may be made not to refer to his morality or his character, it may not be proposed to him or his doctrines, or to any circumstance which might make the minister unsuited to the parish. If a minister be presented to a parish, where the people speak nothing but Erse, and he know nothing of Erse, that would be a valid cause of objection, or if it be an extensive and hilly parish—if it extended over many miles, and a minister be proposed, however well calculated to edify them by his doctrines, but by ill health disabled from journeying more than a mile and a half from his house, that also would be a good objection, An hon. Gentleman who spoke to night, and to the greater part of whose speech I listened with great pleasure, the hon. Member for Bute (Mr. J. S. Wortley) observed, that, beside the question of suitableness, there was also the question of acceptableness. That is a question, which may be considered with certain bounds. I should be afraid that, if this point were comprised within your law, it will give power to caprice, to wilful objections, to causeless prejudices, or, to what is still more likely, to operate in favour of some person who has been canvassing the parish, and who might turn out after the experience of half a year to be such 'that the parishioners themselves had committed a fault in preferring him, and that the person proposed by the patron would have been a more useful, a more able, and a more edifying minister of the parish. With the opinions, then, that I have stated, I look to that which is likely to fee proposed by my right hon. Friend. So far as I understand his intentions, he would propose a resolution, or resolutions. declaring the ecclesiastical and spiritual powers of the church, with regard to ecclesiastical and spiritual matters, he would likewise propose some resolutions, I suppose, to be the foundation of a future law, whereby the will of a congregation would be made to decide upon the placing of a minister. These propositions I do not think could be the ground of a happy settlement of this question. I do not think that a mere concession to what is proposed by the assembly, after the unhappy collisions that have taken place on this subject, would give satisfaction in Scotland. There is a large party who must be considered, who differ from the interpretations that we have heard contended for as to the constitution of the Church of Scotland, who would feel deeply dissatisfied with such a settlement. It is to be recollected, that on the part of the Church, there has been a very vexatious interference with many parishes in Scotland. 1 cannot conceive anything more distressing to a minister of the Church, who has obeyed the law, as he understood it, when he entered upon his change perhaps thirty years ago, to find himself from obeying the law suspended by the Church. It is a fact, that several ministers, pious, and excellent, and unimpeachable men, because they did not agree with the majority of the assembly, have had other ministers sent to their parishes, taking away from them the means of their efficiency amongst the people, dividing into parties those who hitherto had been unanimous and making the Church, of which they were the peaceful and admitted pastors, the scene of contention and discord, The only settlement can see of this question cannot be effected, by giving an entire and complete triumph to those who have acted in opposition to the law; at the same time I agree with the hon. Member for the county of Bute in hoping, that although the proposition of my right hon. Friend may not meet with the concurrence of this House, that the Government of the country do not despair of being able to propose some legislative measure on this subject. I must say, that even looking to what has been decided by the courts of session; looking to the differences that prevail amongst the judges in Scotland, —looking to the differences that prevail amongst the ablest members of the Church of Scotland, that this is a fitting case for legislative interference. At any rate it is worth while to make an effort to prevent a great calamity, the accomplishment of which I am sure all would deplore, were it to ensue from the non-settlement of the question on some satisfactory basis. I do not care whether the number stated by those who are most in favour of the petition of the General Assembly are accurately stated as the number of those who would leave the church; but of this I am convinced, that there are many of the ablest, best, and most pious ministers of the church, who, if you should shut the door to reconcilement completely, would think it their conscientious duty to leave the church. I have said many able and pious ministers, There are two of them whom I have heard in the pulpit, though I am neither a Scotchman nor a member of the Scotch Church—I mean Dr. Chalmers and Dr. Candlish —men in their separate ways as well fitted to expound the word of God, to enforce the obligations of morality, and to lead the people in the ways of the gospel as any men belonging to any church in any part of the world. There are others most distinguished for talent, others who have furnished an example for the piety and purity of life to the parishioners amongst whom they reside. I do hope that the time is not past—that it will not be past after this vote has been given—to render it impossible to adopt some measure which may yet, in a great degree, preserve the unity of the church, I own too, that so strongly was I impressed with this feeling, that I suggested to some of my friends, to whom I was speaking a few days ago, that perhaps it might be right to propose, as an amendment to the motion of my right hon. Friend, that an humble address should be presented to the Crown, suggesting that some endeavour, even at this time, should be made to avert the destruction of the Church of Scotland. I may add that, on reflection, I did not think it would be right in me to take that course. I know not what difficulties the Government may have found in its way. This I am aware of, that when I was in office I found very great difficulties, and there never was a time which I could consider favourable to propose a settlement to Parliament, of this question, that could be satisfactory. I cannot say, therefore, now that others are in power, what their information on the subject may be, and therefore I would not take it upon me to do that which might embarrass them in their course, by proposing anything, even though I conceived it to be founded on just principles. They, I conceived, might have such difficulties in their way, there might be such reasons operating on the mind of the Government, that though they might agree with me in the general sentiment on this subject, vet they might feel, by my interference, their course made more impracticable and difficult than it was before. I mention now, however, the intention entertained by me, because it manifests the feelings with which I approached this subject. I really think, that of the various questions that have come before us for many years, this is one in which the evils are most pressing, and the remedies for these evils most difficult. Let me say, however, that for my part I do not despair, and I trust that when the right hon. Baronet the First Lord of the Treasury does to-night address the House on this subject, that whatever arguments he may use, in opposition to my right hon. Friend—I do trust that nothing will fall from him to prevent the House, or a great part of this House, from entertaining the hope that the calamity which we all fear, may be averted, and that a church, which is, and which has been, so eminent—which has performed its duty so well to the people of Scotland—and of which the talent and the morality of the people of Scotland are the best and the most enduring proof—will be preserved, as heretofore it has been preserved, for the use, and as an example in times to come.

Mr. Campbell

stated that he should be sorry that anything that fell from him could be calculated to disturb the harmony of the debate,' but on referring to the speech of the hon. Member for Bridport, he could not but say that it was unworthy of notice. As to what the hon. Member said of the church which he praised so much in its origin, it was to be regretted that a child of so much promise in the beginning, should have grown up to be an arrogant and contemptible hypocrite as the hon. Member said. He must refer to what had fallen from the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme.—During his short sitting in Parliament he had observed that nothing was so valuable to members, but, nothing so difficult to maintain, as consistency. The hon. Member last night made it a charge against the church that they should claim to have the will of the congregation set up as a barrier against a presentee, and in his pamphlet, entitled "Hints on the Church Question" the hon. Member had put forth similar sentiments. Now, what said the hon. Member at the election for Kilmarnock last year? Why, he said there he would gladly support the Duke of Argyle's bill, which was based on the principle of dissent, and dissent alone, when free from factious motives. The hon. Member, speaking at Kilmarnock, and referring to a charge made against him of being favourable to patronage, added, And what did this monstrous anomaly, (alluding to an epithet applied to his conduct), and what did this monstrous anomaly do? Why, he supported Sir G. Sinclair's motion for the abolition of patronage, even at a time when the people of Scotland did not wish it. He had only quoted the hon. Member's own description of himself, and he must say he had fully earned his title, to be called a most monstrous anomaly. When his boast to the electors of Kilmarnock was contrasted with his speech of last night, he was, indeed, a monstrous anomaly, and his anomalous conduct was of such a character, that he would not, he might rest assured, be able from this day forth to cast off the imputation. He left the hon. Member to his own principles if he could find them. He would now apply himself to the grave question before the House. He thought that no hon. Member who had spoken had answered the arguments of the hon. Member for Leith. They had heard much with respect to the meaning of spiritual independence, and hon. Members seemed very much puzzled to arrive at the true meaning of the term. But let them look at the views entertained last century upon the subject, by the legal authorities who had pronounced upon it, and it would not be be difficult for hon. Members to find out where spiritual stopped and civil began. The judges of the last century had settled this matter when they laid it down that the civil courts could adjudicate the right to the stipend, but could not order admission to the spiritual office. Lord Moncrieff too, had decided, that the placing of a presentee in a church, by the civil powers, was an infringement upon the spiritual independence of the church, inasmuch as the necessary ceremony of induction—equivalent to ordination in the episcopal church, was of a spiritual nature. It had been said repeatedly during the debate, that non-intrusion was a novel principle in the constitution of the church of Scotland. And that the heads of families had no right to object before the Veto Act. Now, the Second Book of Discipline laid it down as An essential principle of the church that no minister shall be intruded on any congregation either by prince or any other person contrary to the will of the people. To show, too, that the principle was not a mere dead letter, he would lay before the House the mode by which it was given effect to from the time of the Act of Settlement passed at the period of the Revolution. An hon. Member had stated that the heads of families were never acknowledged as having a voice in the selection of a minister until the time of the veto. He begged to state that the principle was acknowledged by the act of 1690, and had been in use ever since. The form of the "Call," ran in the names of the "heritors, elders, and heads of families in the parish." But what was the opinion of an Episcopalian upon the point; of an Episcopalian Bishop of the time of Charles H., when Episcopacy was dominant in Scotland? What he was about to state would show how deeply, rooted was the non-intrusion feeling in the Scotch heart. Bishop Leighton in a letter to the parishioners of Stretton, said, that he being informed that he had the right of presentation to the parish, had selected an individual for the situation whom he believed to be every way qualified to fill it; but, he was so far from obtruding himself on the parishioners, and he the Bishop was, so far from obtruding him, that, unless they assented to his appointment, they might rest secure from having any more trouble about him. Could any one now deny that the non-intrusion principle had been long an essential principle of the church? He would next refer to some expressions of the noble Lord who had preceded him, which seemed rather to require explanation than call for contradiction. The noble Lord laboured under a misapprehension with respect to the conduct of the General Assembly in proceeding against the Strathbogie ministers. With respect to this matter the old story-had been rung in their ears about the Strathbogie ministers having been deposed for obeying the law of the land. Now, they were deposed, because they insisted on obeying the law in anticipation, when their own superior courts had told them that they must stand still, until they were actually compelled to proceed. Were not hon. Members aware of the solemn vow of of ordination which bound Ministers to conform to the orders of their spiritual superiors? Some hon. Members, who had spoken, expressed themselves content with Lord Aberdeen's bill, others held it to be quite insufficient; but he would say, as a friend to the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government—as a friend to the Scotch Church, and the country, that the ambiguous, doubtful, indirect course of legislation which had been of late recommended would never settle the question. They stood by a principle, which they contended to be inherent in the church—a principle as old as the church, and one by which it would stand or fall. He would implore the right hon. Baronet near him to endeavour to settle the question. A serious responsibility rested upon any Government which had the power of settling the question, but neglected to put that power in operation. The Scotch Church, and the friends of the Scotch Church, did not insist upon dictating what should be the law, nor did they persist in saying that they would disobey the law. They asked the Government to declare what should be the law. They told Government that it had a right to say on what conditions the Scotch Clergymen should receive their stipends and other temporalities. They never denied that; but they did deny that the civil courts had any right to decide upon what would be the resolution of the Legislature. The friends of the Church of Scotland could not sin against God by disobeying the law of the land; but at the same time they could not sin against God by disobeying his own law. It had been said last night that the pretensions of the church were utterly unreasonable—that they ought to be extinguished. He did not think them quite so absurd; and they could not now—they never could—extinguish the principle of civil and religious liberty in Scotland. He would conclude with remarking that the people of Scotland, notwithstanding the evils in which they were likely to be shortly plunged, had at least this consolation, that Scotland was to be honoured as an instrument in the hands of the Almighty of bearing witness to the truth, and of experiencing martyrdom for its sake. It was not for the first time that such had been the case, and he would implore the Ministers to obviate the evils which were so fast approaching, by a full and satisfactory settlement of the claims of the Church of Scotland.

The Solicitor-general

said, that he entirely concurred in the view which had been taken of this important question by the noble Lord the Member for the city of London. His object in rising was to make some observations with reference to the remarks of several hon. Members, and especially, with respect to the statements which had been made last night by the right hon. Member for Perth. He could not consider the resolution proposed by the right hon. Gentleman, without some reference to the circumstances and the transactions which had led to the present unfortunate and unhappy state of things in Scotland. It was impossible to regard abstractedly the principle which had been put forward by the right hon. Gentleman, and by his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leith. He could not consider this question, how far it was politic to pass a declaratory or legislative law as to the jurisdiction of the spiritual and civil courts of Scotland, without referring to the circumstances which had rendered necessary an appeal for the interference of the House. What, then, were these circumstances? He asked the indulgence of the House while he gave a brief outline of the transactions which had led to the present state of things; and he hoped that, in any observations he might make, it would not for a moment be supposed that he intended to utter one disrespectful word with regard either to the church or to the ministers of Scotland. He entirely agreed with the observations of an hon. Friend of his on the opposite side as to the learning, the piety, and the usefulness of the ministers of the Church of Scotland; and he had most sincerely hoped, that the ruling party in the Assembly of that church would have listened to and acted upon the advice or the opinion of so sincere a friend to their interests as his hon. Friend the Member for Leith. If they had followed the advice of that hon. Gentleman, the present state of things in the Church of Scotland would never have existed,—they would not have witnessed this contest between the church and the courts of civil jurisdiction,—they would not have heard of those claims and pretensions which had been put forth on the part of the ruling party in the church, and which in his humble judgment the House could not sanction, without abandoning the supremacy of the law and of the Acts of the Imperial Parliament over all individuals and bodies, ecclesiastical and civil. It was his thorough conviction, that the House could not adopt the resolution of the right hon. Gentleman without sanctioning such a principle; and it was, therefore, his intention to vote against that resolution. The right hon. Gentleman had stated, that in proposing this resolution, he had no intention of offering any distinct measure to the House, but that he submitted it for the purpose of obtaining the sanction of the House to the claims set forth in the petition of the Commission of the General Assembly. He would now proceed to inquire what were the circumstances which had led to the present unhappy disputes; and in so doing, he did not intend to follow the hon. Gentlemen who had spoken during the debate into the history of the non-intrusion question. Whatever might have been the weight of the authorities which had been referred to by the hon. Gentlemen, there was enough upon the Statute Books—there was enough in Acts of Parliament—to show that the Church of Scotland, in the course she had pursued, had been attempting to act in defiance of the law. He would remind the House of the Acts of Parliament on the subject. The Act of 1592, which had been referred to by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Perth, and which established Presbyterianism in Scotland, acknowledged the principle of patronage; and there was a distinct provision in that act, when the collation of the minister was given to the presbytery to this effect:— Provided that the said presbytery be bound and astricted to receive and admit whatsoever qualified minister may be presented by his Majesty or by his patron. This continued to be the law until the adoption of the Act of 1690, which for a time abolished the right of patronage. The Act of 1690 vested the presentation to the benefices in the elders and heritors, who were to propose a minister to the congregation, and the congregation were to accept or reject him. That act also provided that the heritors and elders should pay a certain sum of money to the lay patrons of the parishes. His hon. Friend the Member for Renfrewshire (Mr. P. M. Stewart,) who had said that English Members were not likely to be well acquainted with this subject—must permit him to say, that his hon. Friend was entirely mistaken in supposing that, after the passing of the statute of Queen Anne, the patrons not only had the patronage restored to them, but that they also retained the money which they had received for its surrender. The hon. Member was completely mistaken; for the statute of Queen Anne, of 1712, which in distinct terms repealed the Act of 1690, and enacted positively and expressly that the right of patronage should be restored to the lay patrons, excepted all those benefices which had been sold to the heritors. He believed that, in fact, only three parishes in Scotland availed themselves in this respect of the Act of 1690, up to the period at which the Act of 1712 was passed. The Act of 1712 then, being the law, was it necessary or proper, he would ask, that they should inquire into the history of this Act of Parliament? Was it right for any body of men in this country to say— We will look into the motives which led to the adoption of this act, and then we will say whether or not we will obey it? Was it proper for them to say— This act was passed by a Tory Government—it was passed by Lord Bolingbroke— and therefore we will not obey it? The hon. Member for Renfrewshire had put the question in this way— Is Scotland to be governed by the Act of Union, or by the statute of Queen Anne? And the hon. Gentleman then said, that the statute of Anne was passed by a Tory Government; that its object was to injure the Presbyterian Church; that it had operated mischievously to the interests of the church, and that, therefore, the church ought not to obey it. He was not acquainted with the history of that act, and he did not think the House was likely to obtain any very accurate information as to the motives which led to its adoption; but, as the right hon. Baronet the Secretary of State for the Home Department had justly said, if that act were really passed by a Tory Government in hostility to the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, it was very extraordinary that, during the long reign of succeeding Whig Administrations, when the Presbyterian party must have possessed great influence in Parliament and in the country, this act was allowed to continue in existence. His right hon. Friend had stated, that no attempts had been made to repeal that act; but that statement was contradicted by another hon. Member. If, however, any attempts were made to effect the repeal of the act they were unsuccessful, for the statute of Queen Anne had remained the law from 1712 to the present time. In 1834 the Veto Act was passed; and that measure was ad- mitted on all hands to be inconsistent with the law; for it prevented the patrons from exercising the power vested in them by the statute of Anne. The Veto Act provided that, although a patron presented a person properly qualified, a majority of the heads of families might prevent the presentee from coming into the benefice. What had been the consequence? A patron presented to a living; the heads of families, under the Veto Act, dissented; the Presbytery refused to admit; an action was brought in the Court of Session to try the question, and the Court of Session decided, upon the statute of Anne, in favour of the patron; an appeal was then made to the House of Lords, and they also gave judgment in favour of the patron. The House of Lords decided that the statute of 1712 was the law, that it was to be obeyed, and that the Veto Act was inconsistent with it. He would put it to the House, what ought the Church of Scotland—what ought the General Assembly to have done upon that decision? He might appeal to the high authority of the hon. Member for Leith, who said that in his judgment they ought to have repealed the Veto Act. The church ought to have paid allegiance to the decree of the House of Lords; and he could not understand how any body of men, be they never so respectable, could set themselves in opposition to the law declared by the highest appellate tribunal of the country. But, instead of repealing the Veto Act, the church went on, and another action was brought against the same Presbytery for refusing to obey a decree of the House of Lords. The Court of Session gave judgment against the Presbytery, and the question was again brought before the House of Lords for decision, who also gave judgment against them. After that came the Strathbogie case, to which the noble Lord had referred. Now, what was that Strathbogie case? He should endeavour to state it clearly, and the noble Lord would pardon him, if he added a little to the noble Lord's statement of it. The presbytery of Strathbogie were originally prepared to act on the Veto Act of 1834. That was before the House of Lords had come to a decision on the matter; but when the House of Lords decided that the Veto Act was illegal, the presbytery of Strathbogie preferred to obey the decree of the House of Lords. What then did the General Assembly? So far from following the course which his right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leith (Mr. Ruther- ford) said they ought to have followed— so far from repealing their act, they suspended the presbytery of Strathbogie for obeying the decree of the House of Lords. The hon. Member for Argyleshire had said that evening that the fact was not so; but he contended that such was literally the fact; for the first suspension of the presbytery was for obeying the decree of the House of Lords. But that was not all. The Ministers of the Strathbogie presbytery said, "The effect of this suspension is to injure us in our civil rights;" they, therefore, said, "We will appeal to the civil courts;" and they did appeal to the Court of Session for redress. What did the General Assembly do upon that? The General Assembly dispossessed the ministers; they passed sentence of deprivation upon them. For what? Because they had appealed to a civil tribunal; and his right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leith had explained this conduct by reference to the proceedings of the House of Commons in matters of privilege, and said that because the House of Commons would not allow their servants to appear and plead in the courts of law here in matters of privilege, so the General Assembly had the right to punish their ministers for appealing to the civil courts in Scotland. Now, he would not go into the question of the privileges of the House of Commons; but, he would ask, was there any any analogy between the privileges of the House of Commons, and the right set up by the General Assembly? The privileges of the House of Commons were un defined; that was one reason why the House of Commons said we must be judges of our own privileges. Those privileges were not unalterable; they varied from time to time; the privileges which they did not want centuries ago, might now have become necessary to the due discharge of their functions as the representatives of the people. That was one reason why the House of Commons had the right of being judges of their own privileges. But the rights of the church courts in Scotland depended wholly on statutes; they surely therefore could not vary from time to time; they must be as immutable as the statute law on which they rested, and consequently there could be no analogy between them and the privileges of the House of Commons, to which it had been attempted to compare them. He confessed, therefore, that he could not understand the analogy J which his right hon. and learned Friend had attempted to apply to the course which the General Assembly took on that occasion. What then, was the House called upon to do? What the right hon. Gentlemanded was, that they should give their sanction to the course taken by the General Assembly. But the General Assembly had refused to repeal the Veto Act, and having done that, they had taken these steps since. The Strathbogie ministers, considering themselves injured in their civil rights, had appealed to the civil courts. The civil courts had issued interdicts in consequence. Now he believed that he was justified in saying, that there had been no interdict issued by the civil courts which had not arisen out of these Strathbogie cases. The whole arose out of the decree of the House of Lords. There were no other interdicts; and they were all based on the principle, that the ministers must not refuse obedience to the decree of the highest court in the realm. What then was the House of Commons called upon to do? If he understood the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. F. Maule) he said, "I ask you to define the jurisdiction—to put. an end to these contests between the two courts of civil and ecclesiastical jurisdiction." But let him ask the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. F. Maule,) whether he considered it possible for any legislature to define the limits between civil and ecclesiastical rights? He did not think it was possible. He would refer to the paper which accompanied these petitions, and he found there, at page 13, that they put forward this claim of right, that they Protest that all and whatsoever acts of the Parliament of Great Britain made without the consent of this church and nation, in alteration of, or derogation to, the aforesaid government, discipline, rights, and privileges of this Church, and also all and whatsoever sentences of courts in contravention of the same government, discipline, rights and privileges are and shall be in themselves void and null, and of no legal force or effect. What was this, but to set aside all authority but their own. No doubt the General Assembly had acted on this position, and had considered the decree of the House of Lords absolutely void; but could the House of Commons act on that principle, and agree with the right hon. Gentleman in sanctioning the proceedings which had arisen out of it? Surely not. But then it was said, that this was not stated in answer to the letter of the right hon. Baronet (Sir J. Graham). If, however, he turned to page 24 of the same paper, where there was an answer to the right hon. Baronet, he found a reference to that page (the 13th), and a re-assertion, not in terms, but a re-assertion of what was there laid down:— The object of the claim of right (it was said) was to seek protection from the encroachments of the civil courts on the spiritual jurisdiction of the Church, particularly with reference to the power of defending her congregations from the intrusion of presentees in opposition to their will; and this, while it was perfectly consistent with the continued co-existence of patronage, was represented as absolutely essential, to enable the Church to carry on the government of Christ's House in accordance with what we believed to be his laws; and it was clearly indicated, that a refusal to give the protection and redress desired, would compel the Church to an abandonment of the benefits and privileges of the establishment. But, however this might be, he owned he could not bring himself to consider that the law of Scotland was as stated by his right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leith. What was the claim of the Church of Scotland, the claim as modified by the various hon. Members who had spoken in the debate, not as laid down in the papers on the table? It was this: the Church said— We have an exclusive jurisdiction in matters spiritual;"— So far he went along with them; but then they said, We are the exclusive judges of what are ecclesiastical matters; we do not deny that there is a concurrent jurisdiction in the courts of law; we allow them the right of determining what are civil matters; but we claim exclusive authority in all ecclesiastical matters. And was it supposed that courts so constituted could act harmoniously together? He could not believe that such was the law of Scotland; he could not conceive how courts with such a species of concurrent jurisdiction could go on together, each being independent of the other, and both without appeal to any higher tribunal. An hon. Friend of his had spoken of the conflict of laws, and said that it was a term familiar to English lawyers. Now, it was true that lawyers in this country were accustomed to the use of that phrase, but what they understood by it was, the conflict of the laws of different States and countries. It was new to him to hear of the conflicts of courts of the same State administering the same law; and he could not think that this was the law of Scotland. On his own authority, he should not have ventured to state an opinion on the matter; but he had the highest authority in Scotland to support him, and he believed, therefore, that he was justified in saying, that such was not the law of that country, and that there was a controlling power, which had the right to supersede, if need were, the decisions of the courts there. The papers on the Table stated that no analogy prevailed in Scotland with the law in England, and no inference could be drawn from one to the other; because the king was the head of the Church of England, while the Church of Scotland acknowledged no temporal head; and therefore, they thought that because the king is the head of the Church here, the temporal courts exercise the jurisdiction of controlling any excess into which the ecclesiastical courts may fall. But he would ask the right hon. Member for Devonport (Sir G. Grey) how could the temporal courts have exercised for so long the power of restraining the ecclesiastical courts when they exceeded their authority, with the desire that had always existed in those courts to extend that authority, if there had not been some controlling power vested somewhere? The fact was, that it was not only since the King had been made the head of the Church here, that this power had been exercised by the temporal courts, for before the Reformation, when the Pope was the head of the Church, the ecclesiastical courts were, nevertheless, subject to be controlled by prohibitions from the temporal courts. Be it remarked, too, that if the civil courts in Scotland decided that they had no power to issue an interdict, there was an appeal to the House of Lords, and he owned that he could not doubt, but that if the appeal were made to the House of Lords they would decide according to law and to the justice of the case before them. The complaint, as he understood it, was, that the questions at issue did not come within the jurisdiction of the civil courts. Why, in that case, if the complaint were well grounded, and if the civil courts issued their interdicts, the proper course would be to try before a competent tribunal whether or not they were warranted in doing so, and not to assume the question that the interdicts were issued unwarrantably. The question with regard to interdicts applied peculiarly to the Auchterarder case, and he must say, that he could not find in them more than the circumstances of the case authorized. If there were more than that —if more was done than was necessary or authorised, why then the proper course would be by an appeal. The observations of the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Leith, had no reference to the intrusion question, as the right hon. Gentleman's object appeared to be to induce the Legislature to define the boundaries between the civil and ecclesiastical jurisdiction. To this he would answer, first, see what the House of Lords would do in the case of an appeal; and, in the next place, if he were told that it was difficult to say what was the spiritual and what the civil jurisdiction, and how were the boundaries to be defined, he would answer that he did not see how that House could by any decision settle the question. If the civil courts complained, that they were deprived of a jurisdiction which properly belonged to them, and not to the Ecclesiastical Courts, and if, on the other hand, the Ecclesiastical Courts contended that the matter in dispute came properly within their cognizance, and that the civil courts in issuing their decrees trenched upon the prerogative of the former, and exceeded their jurisdiction, the question was one which ought to go before the House of Lords. The whole question involved in the present discussion arose out of the Auchterarder case. It was the result of the decree of the House of Lords in that case, and the refusal of the majority of the assembly of the Church of Scotland to concur in that decree. This was the cause of the present contention, and he could not see in what way the motion of the right hon. Member for Perth was calculated to restore the harmony which had been thus interrupted. There was another great and very important question involved in the motion of the right hon. Gentleman, which, as he understood it, went to the extent of asking the House to abolish patronage altogether. This furnished another reason why he could not support the motion of the right hon. Gentleman. The question, as he could collect it, was, that in Scotland the people claimed an inherent right in the parishioners to see that no clergyman to whom they had an objection should be intruded upon them. Taking it thus, he, for his part, did not despair of devising some mode by which the difference could be settled, without detriment to the rights of the patrons, and so as at the same time to give satisfaction to the friends of the Church. The right hon. Gentleman, however, took a different view. According to his proposition, the statute of Anne was not to be considered as binding in its effects, and that patronage ought to be altogether abolished. This was another reason why he (the Solicitor-general) could not sanction the claims now made by the Church of Scotland, and he most sincerely wished that the future conduct of that Church should be regulated and guided by the advice so honourable, so disinterested, and so valuable as that given by his right hon. Friend, the Member for Leith. With this hope he should conclude his observations by stating his intention of voting against the motion of the right hon. Member for Perth.

Mr. Campbell

spoke as follows in explanation:—Sir, as I understand that a part of my speech has been misunderstood by the hon. Member for Bridport, I am happy to explain what I did say. The hon. Member for Bridport, in his speech this evening, said, "that the Church of Scotland was a child and creature of the State, he admired the beauty of some of its doctrines, but he preferred the arrogance of the Church of Rome to the hypocrisy of the Kirk, and then finished his speech by calling it contemptible;" and I said, all I have to say in regard to the hon. Member's remarks upon the Church of Scotland is, that I am Sure the House will agree with me in lamenting that a child of such "beauty" and promise should have grown up into so "arrogant" and "contemptible" a "creature."

Sir R. Peel:

The general opinions I entertain on this most important subject have been so fully explained by my right hon. Friend and my learned Friend, and, I must say, by the noble Lord the Member for the City of London also, that it will not be necessary for me to trespass at any length on the patience of the House. At the same time, I could not permit a discussion of so much importance to close, and give a silent vote on it. In the course of the debate, warnings, in the most friendly spirit I admit, have been given her Majesty's Government not to underrate the real character of the crisis which is approaching, or to credit reports that the danger apprehended is of little importance. I rise to address the House under no such impression, I believe the Crisis to be most important. I believe the danger to the church and to the true interests of religion to be extremely great. I conceive nothing more unsatisfactory than the present state of the public feeling in Scotland on this subject. With respect to the effect on the church in diminishing the efficiency of that great instrument of good, and disturbing the social comforts and peace of the people no one can he more impressed with the evils of the present state of things than I am. Looking at the points admitted by the late Lord Advocate of Scotland, I feel that a concurrence in the present motion would have a tendency to unsettle the authorities and the constitution. If decrees are issued from the courts of law, and if these decrees are to prove of no effect, it is evident that the operation of the law becomes paralysed. This is a state of things not provided for by the law. If a church established by the law and founded upon statutes becomes at variance with the law and interrupts its operation, what must be the result? Such a State of things could never be contemplated by the law, which always recognizes in itself a power to carry its decrees into effect. Sir, I feel the fullest sense of the importance of this subject, and the magnitude of the evils which threaten from it. Nobody can feel more strongly that the cause of morality and religion has been zealously promoted by the Church of Scotland. I have been personally brought into contact with it in the administration of public affairs. The right hon. Gentleman said that the power with which I was entrusted was exercised satisfactorily. At the time I exercised that power, I had an opportunity of observing the worth of the ministers of that church, and the importance and value of the establishment, and the impressions then made, has not been effaced by anything which has occurred in the interval. A great principle, however, is involved in the proposition before the House. The right hon. Gentleman does not ask us to go into a committee for the purpose of proposing a bill for the settlement of the question. If that had been the right hon. Gentleman's object, the Government might, as far as they could consistently with the preservation of the rights of the Crown respecting patronage, have been disposed to aid him. When I say consistently with the rights of the Crown respecting patronage, 1 mean this, that if the right hon. Gentleman had proposed any measure affecting patronage which the ministers of the Crown felt it their duty to object to, in my opinion we should not have been justified in giving the consent of the Crown to the introduction of such a measure, merely for the purpose of enabling the right hon. Gentleman to have it discussed. The Ministers of the Crown, in giving the consent of the Crown to the introduction of a measure, imply their approbation of its principle, and Ministers ought not to give a mere constructive consent, with the intention of afterwards opposing the measure, merely for the purpose of permitting it to be discussed. I apprehend that the right hon. Gentleman's object in submitting this motion is to submit to the consideration of the House the claims of the Church of Scotland. That was the construction put upon the motion by my hon. Friend the Member for Morayshire, and in that construction the right hon. Gentleman entirely acquiesced. My hon. Friend told the House that unless they were prepared to assent to the principle of the claims put forward by the Church of Scotland, they ought not to accede to the motion for a committee. The right hon. Gentleman assented to the proposition thus advanced by my hon. Friend. I tell the House that to go into a committee for the purpose of making some proposal either at variance with the claims of the Church of Scotland, or falling infinitely short of them, would be practising a delusion, and would not relieve us from any of our embarrassments. The right hon. Gentleman moved for the printing of certain papers, and presented the petition from the commission of the General Assembly, and he founded his motion upon those documents. That I understood to be the case from the right hon. Gentleman himself, from the late Lord Advocate, and from the hon. Member for Renfrewshire, all of whom adopted the opinions of the Church, and declared that the motion was brought forward in conformity with them. I am not wrong in putting that construction on the motion. I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman is above the paltry course which is sometimes pursued in a case of great difficulty and admitted embarrassment, of proposing to go into a committee for the purpose of consideration, in the vain hope that the committee may be able to devise some means of extricating us from the difficulties of our position. [Mr. F. Maule: Hear.] The right hon. Gentleman says, that he is above having recourse to that expedient. The House of Commons, therefore, leaves the admission of the right hon. Gentleman to me. He tells me, now that 1 am speaking—and no one, therefore, can be deceived—that he does not intend to be a party to what I have justly called a paltry course of proceeding, and will call upon the House to go into committee merely in compliment to the Church of Scotland. The question before us tonight is simply this—is the claim put forward by the Church of Scotland such a claim in principle as the House of Commons ought to recognise? It is on that ground, and on that only, that 1 refuse my assent to the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman. I refuse my assent to the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman, not because I would refuse to legislate if I saw an immediate and satisfactory solution of our difficulties. I reserve to myself the entire power of legislating on the principles that I think consistent with the constitution, and on the principles of English jurisprudence, and the right hon. Gentleman must not infer, because I refuse my assent to the appointment of a committee, on the grounds proposed by him, that therefore I mean to imply a refusal to legislate at all upon the subject. The question the House has to determine is, whether it can give its assent to the principle for which the Church of Scotland contends. I, for my part, cannot do so. I find in the papers before us two proposals made by the Church of Scotland. One is for the abolition of patronage; the other is for the definition of ecclesiastical and spiritual power and authority to be given to the Church in ecclesiastical matters; to determine the construction of statutes, and in cases of doubt, as to whether the matter in dispute be ecclesiastical or civil; to determine, according to the expression of the right hon. mover, within its own sphere, whether it have authority to decide or not. I see that the claim, in respect to patronage, according to the explanation of the Church, rests on different grounds from the claim for authority to decide in spiritual cases. In their answer to the letter of my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of the Home Department, the Church states that the abolition of patronage is not an essential condition to the continuance of the Church's connection with the State. At the same time, however, the Church urges the abolition of patronage on very strong grounds, not only of policy, but of right. It is stated to be opposed to the discipline of the Church of Scotland, as set forward in the earliest statutes; that it was abolished by the Scotch Parliament in 1649, and 1690, and was restored by the act of the British Legislature in 1712, and that such restoration was opposed to, and was a breach of, the regulations of the Act of Settlement, the Act of Conformity, and the Act of Security. I wish to speak of the Church of Scotland with the greatest deference and respect; and if in examining any of the positions which the Church has taken up, I should speak with the freedom which is necessary in conducting my argument, I hope it will not be considered inconsistent with the feelings by which I declare myself to be actuated towards the Church. I must say, that if I have ever seen any prospect of a satisfactory settlement of this most difficult and embarrassing question, such a glimmering of hope has arisen out of the spirit and temper which have pervaded this discussion. I think the Church of Scotland must be convinced, that there is no disposition on the part of the House of Commons to deprive it of any privilege which is essentially necessary to its efficacy as an establishment. It must be evident that we are not influenced by temper. There has been no reference to angry expressions which may have been used in the course of this long-continued contest. There has been an oblivion of all party feeling; an abstinence from all exasperation. Whatever may be the issue of this motion, the discussion has been conducted on both sides of the House in the temper and spirit befitting the nature of the subject, and its great importance. I am sorry to be compelled to dissent altogether from the position taken by the Church of Scotland, with respect to the abolition of patronage. Respecting the abolition of patronage there is a question of right and a question of policy. First, on the question of right, the Church asserts that "patronage in the appointment of Ministers is opposed to the discipline of the Church of Scotland, as set forth in her earliest constitutional standards." Now, there is no foundation for that assertion. The statutes passed in early times for establishing the Church of Scotland did not recognise as essential to the existence of the Church the abolition of patronage. Patronage was co-existent with the Presbyterian establishment from a very early period. What says Lord Moncrieff—a man who from his hereditary connection with the Church of Scotland, is entitled to the highest deference on a question of this nature? Lord Moncrieff, who was the author of the Veto Act in the General Assembly, said, One thing is certain, that patronage has existed consistently with the constitution of the Presbytery in the Church of Scotland for the long period of which we have been speaking, and consistently with the constitution of the Church in any other respect. That was the opinion of Lord Moncrieff with respect to patronage. I need not refer to statutes. The statute passed in 1567, which was acquiesced in by the Church, expressly recognised the preservation of patronage "in the hands of the just and ancient faith." The Church may say, that it does not attach much weight to statutes after its public declaration on that subject; but I will defer to the public declaration of the Church—a declaration made previous to the first statute of 1567. The views of the Church," (says Lord Meadowbank) "were fully developed in the answer of the General Assembly to a message from the Queen in the year 1565, read by the Lord Justice-Clerk; but to which, as the foundation of the statute of 1567, I beg again to direct the attention of your Lordships:— ' Our mind is not that her Majesty, or any other patron, should be deprived of their just patronages, but we mean, when so ever her Majesty, or any other patron, do present any person into a benefice, that the person presented should be tried and examined by the judgment of learned men of the Church, such as are the present superintendants, and as the presentation unto the benefice appertains unto the patrons, so the collation by law and reason belongs unto the Church; and the Church should not be defrauded of the collation no more than the patrons of their presentation; for otherwise, if it be lawful to the patrons to present whom they pleased, without trial or examination, what can abide in the Church of God but mere ignorance?' That is the opinion of the Church in 1565 with respect to it. They state that they do not wish to interfere with the rights of patronage, but they pray for the right of examination and collation as belonging to the Church. The General Assembly next states that patronage was abolished in 1649 and in 1690. It was not abolished in 1649 or 1690, for in the one case the patronage was given to the Kick Session, and in the other instance it was conferred upon the heritors and elders of the parish. The right of a congregation to elect a minister was never admitted by the Church of Scotland, either by statute or by any recognised act of the Church. With respect to its being an infringement of the Act of Security or of the Act of Union, it is hardly necessary to discuss that point; but, if insisted upon by the Church, repeal the act of Anne, and if the claim was then made valid, they would be obliged to act upon it. I have as yet heard nobody insist in the course of this debate upon the abolition of the act of Anne as being inconsistent with the privileges of the Church. Now, with respect to the policy of abolishing the law of patronage, I cannot acquiesce in it upon that ground. Lord Moncrieff thought the actual abolition of the law of patronage would involve a serious detriment to the Church of Scotland—that learned Person was decidedly opposed to its abolition, and he discussed the various authorities who might be called upon to exercise right of presentation if patronage was abolished. Lord Moncrieff took the case of the Kirk Session, and pointed out circumstances so objectionable, that it would be impossible to transfer the right to them. He discussed the point as to the transfer of the right to the heritors and elders of the parish, and he after consideration thought them unable to exercise the right; and, next, he discussed the more important proposal, namely, that this right should be transferred to the people, and he urged the strongest objections against making the choice of a minister depend upon popular election. I never could assent to the proposal that the communicants, or heads of families, or any description of people should have the absolute right, by a majority, of electing the ministers of the Church. There is no analogy between the election to civil offices and the election to the performance of spiritual functions vested in a minister of the Church. It is perfectly proper, that with respect to civil rights, and where the person chosen is to be the protector and guardian of civil interests, the people should enjoy the irresponsible power of electing whom they pleased; but the analogy does not apply to the choice of a minister. The duty of a minister is to teach, to admonish, and frequently to perform unpopular functions, and to establish that relation between a minister and his flock which would be established if you make him dependent upon the popular voice, would be to degrade the office of the minister, and to deprive him of all chance of being useful in his sacred calling. Therefore, upon the double ground of there being no denial of the right to appeal, and with the gravest doubts as to the policy of abolishing patronage and making the appointments of ministers depend upon popular election, I cannot assent to the proposition of the Church, that patronage is a grievance, and that it is the duty of Parliament to remove that grievance by the repeal of the statute of Anne. To the other proposals of the Church, namely, that the Church should have the power of placing its own construction on the statutes of the realm, and that Parliament should define the bounds of civil and ecclesiastical jurisdiction, that claim I am not disposed to grant. I hold it to be impossible to define beforehand the bounds of ecclesiastical and civil jurisdiction. There is no such definite demarcation between them as makes it possible to draw the line. If it were attempted it would dissatisfy both the Church and the civil courts. How impossible would it be to say where the line should end—how much must be left to the varying accidents of futurity; and hence, having failed to draw the line, the same questions must arise. We all admit, that to the Church belongs the exclusive jurisdiction in ecclesiastical matters. I admit it, and I admit that in all quiet times questions of dispute will not arise. They have however, arisen, unfortunately arisen, in consequence of the perseverance of the Church, after the decision of the House of Lords, in supporting what is called the Veto Act of 1834, and still more by the violent and tyrannical act by which the Church deposed those ministers, who, having taken the oath of allegiance, considered it to be their duty to obey the laws of the country, and proceeded with great forbearance to yield obedience to the supreme civil tribunal of the land. Upon those ministers there had been no imputation cast. They objected to Mr.Edwards, the presentee, and it was not until the House of Lords had decided that the Veto Act was an illegal assumption of authority, that these men determined to obey the law as laid down by the supreme tribunal. I have read the judgment of Lord Cottenham. There is, I believe, no imputation upon that judgment, either on account of intemperance of language or the extent of the principle adverse to the Church; and after reading that judgment, I must say, that if any authority in this country is at liberty to say, that the decisions of the House of Lords are not to be obeyed, and that the principle laid down is not to be obeyed, then there is an end to the connexion between Church and State, and if it be carried to the full extent, there will be no security for the civil power itself. Having taken the oath of allegiance—having yielded obedience to the Church, then when the act of the Church is declared to be an illegal assumption of authority, these deposed ministers had yielded obedience to the law of the land, as pronounced by the highest tribunal, and thus became liable to be visited with the severest penalties. They are pronounced contumacious by the Ecclesiastical Court— they lose their station in the State—they are deprived of their civil rights, and thus, in return for their allegiance to the Crown, the Crown can give no protection to its subjects. Look at the situation in which these men so deposed by the Church have been placed. They are men educated for the ministry —their whole prospects in life depend upon their continuance in the position in which their talents and virtues have placed them. The Church court determines, that in consequence of their deference to the law they shall be deprived of the right of officiating, and other ministers are sent into their respective parishes. I believe the Church prevents them administering baptism; and, under all these circumstances, have they a right to the stipend? The civil court has the right to leave the stipend to them, the Ecclesiastical Court has the right to prescribe the duty to be performed. Under the one authority the late minister may remain in the Manse, and enjoy all those advantages, and under the other authority another minister comes in and performs all the spiritual functions; but is it clear he can maintain his right to the stipend? This is not a mere claim to the stipend; his office is one with which the most important duties are connected, and if he is not allowed to perform those duties, what, I ask again, is to become of the stipend But that is not the only question, nor the most important. It is the degradation of character to which these men are subjected that most affects me, and for what offence is this penalty to be inflicted upon them? Merely for having yielded to the laws of their country that obedience which it was their duty to yield to them. This is not now a mere speculative position. At this very hour the Veto Act is maintained in full force, and the men who obey the decision of the House of Lords render themselves, by so doing, liable to the severest persecution. Contemplate the case of a man in such a situation, with the popular feeling running against him, and in doubt whether he ought to obey the courts of law or the General Assembly of the Church, and I do maintain, that even in the times that preceded the Reformation, the Church of Rome never laid claim to a greater power than that involved in the claims now set up. I draw a complete distinction between the Veto Act as passed by the Assembly of the Church before and after the judgment of the House of Lords. I should be the last to question it, because, in 1835, I, being then the minister, proposed a vote for church extension in Scotland, notwithstanding the passing of the Veto Act. I viewed the passing of that bill with no undue prejudice. I saw that great exertions were making by the Church to supply the spiritual wants of the people of Scotland—the necessity was very great, and the ministers of the Church zealously applied themselves to provide increased means of spiritual instruction for the increased population of the country. I have always admired the character of the Scottish clergy; they are not merely learned men, but the extent to which they combine great theological acquirements with the most active and assiduous discharge of parochial duties—the manner in which they visit the poor, and perform all the ministrations of their sacred office, impressed me with the greatest respect for them individually, and as an establishment. I did not hesitate, therefore, in 1835, notwithstanding the passing of the Veto Act, in conjunction with the Government of that day, to recommend to Parliament a grant of public money for the extension of the Church in Scotland. But the moment the House of Lords, after great deliberation, determined that the Veto Act was illegal, the question, in my opinion, assumed an entirely new character, and not only did I think that the Church, by the repeal of that act, would have made a becoming concession, but I was of opinion. that, by taking that step, they would enable Parliament to take the measures that would be most consistent with the rights of the Church and the civil liberties of the people. The opinion of the right hon. and learned Gentleman, the late Lord Advocate, was stated fully on this subject; but I beg you to remember that when you are discussing this claim of right on the part of the Church, it is not a mere speculative assertion of abstract right; but at this moment the Veto Act J is in force, and the ministers who observe the law are suffering the penalties of their obedience. Therefore, I apprehend that it is the best friends of the Church who must most of all lament this decision. I think there is in this House a very unanimous feeling—I must except the hon. Member for Renfrewshire—but there is a very general impression that the best course the Church could have adopted would have been to suffer the House of Lords to determine the question, and to defer to their decision. I cannot think that the Church was justified in referring to the dicta of other churches; the question is, what was the judgment of the authorised tribunal, the sentence of the court appointed by the public to entertain and decide questions of that nature? In that judgment, I must think that there was nothing inconsistent with the rights of the Church; it was merely to this effect, that the civil rights of a subject of the Crown had been prejudiced by the act, that the court had a right to take cognizance of his complaint, and that in a matter where a right was at stake, they had the power of redressing a grievance sustained by a subject of the realm. I cannot, therefore, admit the justice of the claim urged by the Church, or the policy of attempting to define civil and ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Read the earlier statutes, when Catholicism was the established religion of the State, before the Reformation. Look at the statute of Westminster, and the long series of acts passed from the reign of William the Conqueror to that of Henry the 8th, and you will find these conflicts between the civil and ecclesiastical authority arising in this country. They have arisen in every country on the face of the earth; and it has been found utterly impossible for the legislative authority to define beforehand what is the line of demarcation between civil and ecclesiastical authority. The Church asks permission, if I understand the matter rightly, in cases of spiritual authority, first, to put its construction on the statute, and then to determine within its own sphere whether the matter be ecclesiastical or civil. What was the expression of the right hon. Gentleman opposite? They claim independent and exclusive jurisdiction within their own sphere. Why, Sir, we are all ready to admit the rights of the Church to this; but, if their sphere be doubtful; if the boundaries be uncertain; who shall determine the sphere—who shall ascertain those boundaries? There is no difficulty as to the purely ecclesiastical question. I will venture to say, if the civil tribunals attempted to control the Church in a matter purely spiritual, there would at once be an intervention on the part of Parliament to control the tribunals. There cannot be a question as to that; but a doubt arises where the boundaries are imperfectly defined. With whom, then, shall rest the decision? Can there be a doubt that it must rest with the tribunal appointed by the Legislature to decide the question— the court of law? The right hon. Gentleman says there may be co-ordinate jurisdictions. I think the noble Lord has shown what would be the consequence of co-ordinate courts enforcing their decrees with respect to the institution of ministers. The civil court might give the stipend, while the ecclesiastical courts refused to grant the power of administering the sacraments; and he has clearly shown that it would amount to a severance of Church and State, and end in something approaching to anarchy. Such a system could not exist. There is a complete distinction between a Church that is voluntary and independent and one that is established by the State. Take the case of the Roman Catholics, or any of the Protestant Dissenters in this country, who J are not connected with the State by way J of establishments; their rights, so far as voluntary jurisdiction is concerned, is quite supreme, and we do not attempt to interfere with it. Those who choose to submit to it, in consequence of their connection with any such denomination, have a perfect right to do so; but if a church chooses to have the advantage of an establishment, and to hold those privileges which the law confers—that church, whether it be the Church of Rome, or the Church of England, or the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, must conform to the law. It is a perfect anomaly and absurdity that a church should have all the privileges of an establishment—I do not speak merely of the stipends, but of all the privileges which a connection with the Slate bestows, and yet claim an exemption from those obligations which, wherever there is an establishment—must exist on its side with reference to the supreme tribunals of the country. No doubt can exist with respect to the state of the law, in the case of a dispute arising between a church established by the law and some other party or body; it is impossible to suppose that the termination of that dispute should be transferred to any other authority than the chief tribunal of the country in which it should arise, subject to an appeal to the House of Lords. I shall say no more on this subject; I have attempted to show why I cannot acquiesce in the demands of the Church, either that the spiritual and civil jurisdiction should be defined beforehand, or that in case of a conflict arising, the determination of the dispute by the construction put on the statute should rest with the Church. The noble Lord appealed to me; there are many reasons for refusing to assent to the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman. He has a right to make this proposal; the Church has a right to make an appeal and ascertain whether the House of Commons is inclined to acquiesce in its own construction of its powers. I cannot acquiesce in that construction. I consider that a great principle is involved in this discussion. If I thought that peace could be maintained—if I thought that the rights of the subject could be maintained by acquiescence in the demands of the Church —such is my sense of the pressing evils I see, that I should be tempted to make the experiment; but my firm belief is that these claims, if admitted on the part of the Church of Scotland, cannot be limited to their present extent, or confined to that Church. Principles are involved in the question which, if relinquished by the House of Commons on the present occasion, they must be prepared to carry further. I must, therefore, refuse my assent to the motion of the light hon. Gentleman. The noble Lord says, he hopes I will make no declaration, on the present occasion, which shall preclude the Government from attempting to make an amicable and satisfactory adjustment of this most difficult question by legislation, when a proper opportunity shall arise. I shall most certainly avoid any such declaration. I trust I have discussed the question with temper, and I shall avoid making any statement, or giving any pledge which may tie up the hands of the Government, and prevent them from availing themselves of any opportunity of settling this question when the opportunity shall present itself. My firm belief is that, consistently with Presbyterianism, consistently with the ancient claims of the Church, consistently with the just rights of the Church, a settlement may be effected—I do not say, consistently with the present claims of the Church, I do not know whether the present temper and feelings of men's mind in Scotland is favourable to the attempt—but of this I am sure, that, looking at the original statutes— looking at the original claims of the Church, I greatly doubt whether there is any room for doubt as to the meaning of the law; and if there should be, if a declaratory act should be required, in my opinion it might be passed by Parliament, and the rights and discipline of the Church may be most strictly maintained. I wish to confine myself, on the present occasion, to the discussion of the resolutions. I know there is nothing so unwise as a premature exposition of the measures of legislation which may be thought necessary. My right hon. Friend has declared the principles on which the Government are ready to attempt legislation on this subject. I will not be betrayed by the right hon. Gentleman into any further explanation on this subject. The noble Lord has stated, that in his opinion it would not be consistent with the original claims of the Church, or with sound policy, to give to the parishioners, or to any portion of the people, the right to urge merely unfounded and capricious objections to the settlement of ministers. At the same time, with regard to what power might be given to the parishioners to state the various grounds of objections which might fairly be urged concerning the unfitness of a particular minister to be settled in a particular parish, I should be acting contrary to my present intention were I to enter into the minute examination of a question of so much interest. My object is merely to declare that, by refusing to enter into this committee, I refuse on the express ground that 1 see no prospect of being able to acquiesce in the views of the right hon. Gentleman, or the measures he might propose. But I do not, therefore, mean to imply that the Government would refuse to legislate in this matter, if they observed a prospect of a satisfactory settlement. I wish most earnestly that the Veto Act and all the impediments arising out of it were removed; but at the same time I do not think it would conduce to an amicable settlement to absolutely insist upon their removal. I think it better to say, that if an opportunity should arise, her Majesty's Government would avail themselves of it, for the purpose of endeavouring to effect an adjustment. I hope that no Members of this House will vote for entering into this committee merely for the purpose of relieving themselves from personal responsibilty. I trust they will consider the issue put by the right hon. Gentleman, which issue is, whether the claims of the Church of Scotland shall be acquiesced in or not, and that he has made a motion founded on those claims. My belief is that there is abroad in this country, in Scotland, and in many other countries—and I rejoice to observe it—after a long series of religious indifference, a full conviction of the evils that have arisen from a neglect of religious duties, and that there is a spiritalive founded upon that conviction. But I earnestly hope that there will not be combined with that spirit a desire to establish a spiritual supremacy above the civil tribunals of this country, but that on the contrary, every effort will be made to reconcile an increased religious activity, an increased attention to religious duties, with due deference to the established law of the land. But, of this, Sir, I am confident, that if the House of Commons is prepared to depart, either in Scotland or in England, from the principles upon which the Reformation was founded—principles which are essential to the maintenance of the civil liberties of this country—whether or know the claim he preferred on the part of the Church of Rome or of the Presbyterian Church—nothing but evil could arise from the establishment of an ecclesiastical domination in defiance of law; although those who advocated such a system might allege divine authority for their mission, and might close their assumption and their claim of extraordinary power with a conscientious religious zeal—a religious zeal which could not, however, be tolerated, if it went to the arrogation of a power to be relieved from civil authority—such an assumption, and such a claim, I say, could not be acceded to without the utmost ultimate danger, both to the religious liberties and civil rights of the people of this country.

Mr. Fox Maule,

in rising to reply, said that, considering the position in which he stood, and the responsibility that had devolved upon him of replying to the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government, and to those right hon. and hon. Members who had spoken against the motion, he had offered to the House, he trusted he should be allowed a few moments, and that he should not be interrupted by hon. Members who were in the habit of crying "Divide, divide.'' In allusion to what had been said by the right hon. Baronet, that he trusted he (Mr. Fox Maule), would absolve hon. Members from voting for the committee upon narrow grounds, he had simply to say, in reply, that, in bringing this motion before the House, he sought not to bind any man to a particular vote. He did not presume to dictate to Members of that House the course they ought to adopt. He brought the question before the House from a deep sense of its great importance. He had brought forward the question in order that the claims of the church of Scotland, which had been misunderstood, or rather, perhaps, little understood, in that House, should be fully and fairly discussed. It appeared clearly upon the case what the claims of that body were. He left every Member of the House to judge for himself, and all he wished was to ascertain the decided opinion of the House, as to the nature and principles of the claims themselves. He had heard with deep regret the determination expressed by her Majesty's Government with respect to those claims—he said their determination, because he knew that theirs was the power to lead that House to any conclusion they might think was for the benefit of the country. He regretted to think that no dawn of hope was to rise upon the minds of the Church and of the people, that those claims which they considered essential to their co-existence with the State as an establishment would be recognised by the House of Commons. The first claim they had made had been generally alluded to in terms of respect, but expressions had some- times been used which he would rather not have heard. The Church did not ask the House to give them any jurisdiction which they did not maintain they possessed under the statutes of their country. They maintained that that jurisdiction was so granted to them within their own sphere, and he again used that term advisedly, meaning that within their own church courts they should determine independently, and for themselves, what were the limits of the civil and the religious boundaries of a question. They claimed the right to say, uncontrolled by any other court, how far a matter went in a spiritual view, and where the civil jurisdiction, as decided by other courts, commenced. The hon. and learned Solicitor-general had said, it would be a monstrous thing that there should be a collision between the ecclesiastical and civil courts; and the right hon. Baronet had said, that the allowance of the claims must terminate in a separation between Church and State; but if the hon. and learned Gentleman had consulted the precedents and decisions in the Scotch Church, referring only to the papers that had been laid upon the Table, he would find that cases of the kind to which he had alluded had actually happened. In 1735, in the Auchtermuchty case, the court found that the right to stipend was a civil right, and that the court had power to determine the legality of admission into the ministry, whether the person admitted had a right to stipend or not. That was the decision as it stood upon the records, and without taking upon himself to say whether that decision were right or wrong, that was the statute law of the country. If that were the statute law, and he maintained that it was, what the Church of Scotland said was this,— Let not the statute law be frittered away by a court which has only co-ordinate jurisdiction with ourselves. If Parliament chose to take away the power of the Church, let Parliament do so if it pleased; but he maintained and insisted that it would be an infraction of the constitution of Scotland if Parliament allowed the Court of Session to assume the powers of Parliament, and to over-ride the decision of other courts which were wholly and entirely independent of it. This was not a solitary instance; he might quote a great many others, all to the same effect, which proved that the judges of old days differed very materially from those of the present time. He agreed with the Solicitor-general as to the interpretation to be put upon the words of the act of 1592; but he maintained that those words were only applicable under circumstances totally different from those which existed in the present case. He came to that conclusion from the words of a subsequent act, which provided that if the patron's nominee were wrongfully rejected, the fruits of the living should remain in the patron's own hands. He contended, therefore, that the church was justified in the claim which it now preferred. When differences of this nature arose, it was the duty of Parliament to step in and settle them. It was not prudent in the Legislature to allow such a schism as was now going on between the ecclesiastical and civil courts of Scotland to proceed without its interference. With respect to the question of patronage, it was quite true that the church courts would prefer the abolition of patronage altogether as the best means of promoting the religious feeling of the people of Scotland. They insisted, and he (Mr. F. Maule) thought rightly, that the principle of non intrusion was an inherent right of their church. They insisted that no pastor should be intruded on a parish contrary to the will of the parishioners. It was to carry this principle of non-intrusion that they passed the Veto law, which they were now so strongly condemned for retaining upon their statute-book. But, although it still remained upon their statute-book, it had in fact, since the decision of the House of Lords, become a mere dead letter. The Strathbogie case was the only one that had occurred under the Veto Act since the decision of the House of Lords. Great stress had been laid upon that case, and great efforts had been made to enlist the sympathies of the House for the sufferings of the ministers of the Strathbogie presbytery. He (Mr. Maule) lamented what those Gentleman had undergone; but at the same time, be could not but think that they had brought their troubles upon their own heads, and that their sufferings were not wholly undeserved, seeing that they resulted entirely from their disobedience to the superior church courts, whose decisions they were bound to obey. It was owing to their obstinacy in appealing from the ecclesiastical to the civil courts, upon a matter purely spiritual, that all these difficulties had arisen. Therefore, much as he lamented their sufferings as men, he could not excuse them as ministers for having so far forgotten their solemn ordination vow of obedience to the superior church courts. The right hon. Gentleman opposite had stated one somewhat remarkable fact. He said that it was impossible to admit such principles as were contended for in the claim of the General Assembly, because, if they were granted to the Church of Scotland they could not fail to be carried further or in other words as he interpreted that expression, that a fear of what might be claimed on this side of the Tweed prevented the right hon. Gentleman doing justice to those on the other. If that were so, he must say that that fear would rather tend to raise the feeling of irritation that at present existed in Scotland, than do anything to allay it. He feared that the decision to which the House would come would not be one which would give satisfaction to those whose petition he had invited the House to consider. He had invited them to consider that petition not as an abstract speculation of some individual, who in his closet, had thought on the subject, but as a petition coming from the great majority of the ministers of the Church of Scotland, and in which they were supported by a vast majority of the people of that Church. They were supported by a vast number who looked upon it as their last appeal to the justice of the House of Commons. They had heard from her Majesty's Ministers that they were determined to stand exclusively upon the law as laid down at present by the civil courts, and upon the rights of patronage as laid down by the act of Queen Anne. He had a right to assume first, from the speech of the right hon. Gentleman (Sir R. Peel), and secondly, he had to assume from the distinct declaration of the right hon. Baronet the Secretary of State for the Home Department, that if it were thought or intended to legislate so as to interfere with the rights of the Crown, or with the vested right of the patron, they would feel it their imperative duty to refuse the assent of the Crown to any such measure. These were the opinions of the right hon. Gentleman, and they were the opinions of the Government to which they belonged. They were also the opinions of the most influential Members on his own side of the House; and taking them altogether, he might truly regard them as the opinions of the British House of Commons. He was therefore sorry to conclude that the answer which these petitioners would receive was an answer unsuccessful, as far as all their wants were concerned, and one which frustrated the last hope they entertained of a settlement of this question. Whilst, therefore, the House professed the greatest sorrow and the deepest regret for the separation of a vast body of the ministers and people from the Church of Scotland, and yet refused to hold out a helping hand in the hour of danger, he feared that the decision of this night would not only close the door against all further application, but that it would convince the Church of Scotland, at least those who adhered to the opinions of the majority of that Church, of the fruitlessness of waiting any longer in the hope of remedy which had been delayed from year to year, and from day to day, until that Church, which had been long standing on the very brink of the precipice, must now fall to the ground.

The House divided — Ayes 76 Noes 211: Majority 135.

List of the AYES.
Aglionby, H. A. Gore, hon. R.
Archbold, H. Grey, rt. hn. Sir G.
Bannerman, A. Hallyburton, Lord
Barclay, D. Hastie, A.
Barnard, E. G. Hatton, Capt. V.
Bateson, R. Hay, Sir A. L.
Berkeley, hon. H. F. Hill, Lord M.
Blake, M. J. Hindley, C.
Blake, Sir V. Howard, hon. C.
Bowring, Dr. Hume, J.
Boyd, J. Johnston, A.
Brodie, W. B. Macaulay, rt. hn. T. B.
Brotherton, J. M'Taggart, Sir J.
Buller, C, Mangles, R. D.
Busfeild, W. Marjoribanks, S.
Campbell, A. Martin, J.
Castlereagh, Visct. Morris, D.
Cobden, R. Morrison, General
Cowper, hon. W. F. Morrison, J.
Craig, W. G. Murray, A.
Crawford, W. S. O'Brien, W. S.
Dalmeny, Lord Pechell, Capt.
Dalrymple, Capt, Plumptre, J. P.
Dawson, hon. T. V. Ricardo, J. L.
Dickinson, F, H. Rice, E. R.
Duff, J. Ross, D. R.
Duke, Sir J. Russell, Lord E.
Duncan, G. Stewart, Lord J.
Duncombe, T. Strickland, Sir G.
Dundas, Adm. Traill, G.
Easthope, Sir J. Tufnell, H.
Ellice, E. Villiers, hon. C.
Ellis, W. Vivian, J. H.
Esmonde, Sir T. Wallace, R.
Evans, W. Williams, W.
Ewart, W. Wood, G. W.
Ferguson, Col.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. TELLERS.
Fitzroy, Lord C. Maule, hon. F.
Gibson, T. M. Stewart, P. M.
List of the NOES.
Acland, T. D. Emlyn, Visct.
Acton, Col. Escott, B.
Adare, Visct. Estcourt, T. G. B.
Adderley, C. B. Fellowes, E.
Ainsworth, P. Ferrand, W. B.
Allix, J. P. Fitzmaurice, hon. W.
Antrobus, E. Fitzroy, Capt.
Astell, W. Fitzroy, hon. H.
Attwood, M. Flower, Sir J.
Barneby, J. Follett, Sir W, W.
Barrington, Visct. Forster, M.
Baskerville, T. B. M. Fox, S. L.
Bell, M. Fuller, A. E.
Bentinck, Lord G. Gaskell, J. Milnes
Beresford, Major Gill, T.
Bernard, Visct. Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.
Boldero, hon. G. Gladstone, Capt.
Borthwick, P. Glynne, Sir S. R.
Botfield, B. Gordon, hon. Capt.
Bradshaw, J. Gore, M.
Bramston, T. W. Gore, W. O.
Broadley, H. Goulburn, rt. hn. H.
Broadwood, H. Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.
Brocklehurst, J. Greenall, P.
Browne, hon. W. Grimston, Visct.
Brownrigg, J. S. Halford, H.
Bruce, Lord E. Hall, Sir B.
Bruce, C. L. C. Hamilton, W. J.
Buck, L. W. Hamilton, Lord C.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Hardinge, rt. hn. Sir H.
Bunbury, T. Heathcote, Sir W.
Campbell, Sir H. Henley, J. W..
Chelsea, Visct. Henniker, Lord
Childers, J. W. Hepburn, Sir T. B.
Christopher, R. A. Herbert, hon. S.
Chute, W. L. W. Hervey, Lord A.
Clayton, R. R. Hinde, J. H.
Clerk, Sir G. Hodgson, R.
Clive, hon. R. H. Hope, hon. C.
Cochrane, A. Hope, G. W.
Colborne, hn. W.N.R. Hornby, J.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Horsman, E.
Colquhoun, J. C. Howard, Lord
Colvile, C. R. Hussey, T.
Corry, rt. hn. H. Hutt, W.
Cresswell, B. Ingestre, Visct.
Cripps, W. Inglis, Sir R. H.
Damer, hon. Col. Irton, S.
Davies, D. A. S. Jermyn, Earl
Denison, E. B. Johnstone, Sir J.
Dennistoun, J. Johnstone, H.
Divett, E. Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.
Dodd, G. Kemble, H.
Douglas, Sir H. Knatchbull, rt. hn. Sir E.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Knight, H. G.
Douglas, J. D. S. Labouchere, rt. hn. H.
Douro, Marquis of Langston, J. H.
Dowdeswell, W. Lascelles, hon. W. S.
Duffield, T. Lawson, A.
Duncombe, hon. A. Lemon, Sir C.
Duncombe, hon. O. Lennox, Lord A.
East, J. B. Liddell, hon. H. T.
Egerton, W. T. Lincoln, Earl of
Eliot, Lord Lockhart, W.
Elphinstone, H. Lowther, J. H.
Mackenzie, W. F. Ryder, hon. G. D.
Maclean, D. Sanderson, R.
M'Geachy, F. A. Sandon, Visct.
Mahon, Visct. Scarlett, hon. R. C.
Mainwaring, T. Scholefield, J.
March, Earl of Seymour, Sir H. B.
Marsham, Visct. Shirley, E. J.
Master, T. W. C. Shirley, E. P.
Meynell, Capt. Somerset, Lord G.
Mitcalfe, H. Sotherton, T. H. S.
Mitchell, T. A. Spry, Sir S. T.
Mordaunt, Sir J, Stanley, Lorp
Morgan, O. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Morgan, C. Stewart, J.
Mundy, E. Stuart, W. V.
Neeld, J. Strutt, E.
Newry, Visct. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Nicholl, rt. hon. J. Taylor, J. A.
Norreys, Lord Tennent, J. E.
Norreys, Sir D. J. Thompson, Aid.
Northland, Visct. Trench, Sir F. W.
Oswald, J. Trevor, hon. G. R.
Paget, Lord A. Trollope, Sir J.
Pakington, J. S. Trotter, J.
Palmer, R. Turnor, C.
Palmerston, Visct. Vane, Lord H.
Patten, J. W. Vivian, J. E.
Peel, rt. hon. Sir R. Waddington, H. S.
Peel, J. Walker, R.
Praed, W. T. Wall, C. B.
Pringle, A. Walsh, Sir J. B.
Pulsord, R. Walter, J.
Pusey, P. Wellesley, Lord C.
Repton, G. W. J. Wilshere, W.
Richards, R. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Rose, rt. hn. Sir G. Wood, Col.
Round, C. G. Wortley, hon. J. S.
Rous, hon. Capt. Wortley, hon. J. S.
Rushbrooke, Col. Young, J.
Russell, Lord J. TELLERS.
Russell, C. Fremantle, Sir T.
Russell, J. D.W. Baring, H.

The House adjourned at two o'clock.