HC Deb 25 May 1843 vol 69 cc855-916
Mr. William D. Christie

I rise to move for leave to bring in the Bill, of which I have given notice, " to abolish certain oaths and subscriptions in the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and to extend education in the Universities to persons who are not members of the Church of England;" and if I do not take up the time of the House by apologies for putting myself forward in a question which has so many important bearings, and affects such old and powerful interests, I trust I shall not therefore be supposed insensible to the importance of the task which I have undertaken, and the performance of which, self-imposed though it has been, I now approach with unaffected diffidence. This, I trust, it will be permitted to say, that I have thought, from the time which has been suffered to elapse since this question was last agitated, that those who might be looked to in this House to move for the redress of any religious grievance have probably been deterred from this particular question by the many technical details and difficulties which embarrass it, and I have thought also that my own comparatively recent residence in one of the Universities might so far give me an advantage for dealing with the technicalities of this question. Be this, however, as it may, I may at least hope that the freshness of my recollection of one University, and of my feelings towards her, will secure me from adopting any tone towards the Universities that might prejudice my purpose, or any argument * From a correct report. tending to depreciate the advantages, to a participation in which I ask to admit Dissenters from the Established Church; and I am indeed anxious to assure the House that I approach this question in no spirit of irreverence towards those ancient and venerable institutions, which were the cradles of learning in this country, and have borne so great a part in feeding the intellects and forming the characters of the great men who have been among us, and which, though time may have rendered many changes necessary, and self government introduced corruptions, yet I do believe—little though I know my testimony can be worth, yet standing here for the purpose that I do, I shall at least be absolved from the presumption that would attach to me were I gratuitously to offer it—which I yet do believe to possess the elements of fitness to impart a liberal and manly education, superior to those of any Universities which Scotland, or America, or France, or even Germany can boast of. And yet it is no injury, as I conceive, which I purpose to inflict, but rather a benefit to confer, on the Universities, whose usefulness will be extended, from whose escutcheons a deep stain of injustice will be wiped out, and whose hold on the national respect and affection, will be strengthened by granting—this boon I will not call it— this rightful claim of the numerous members of our political community, whose consciences will not permit them to adopt the articles and the formularies of the Church that is established. I am met at the very threshold of this question by the denial of the right of Parliament to interfere. Now let us understand what the Universities are. They are corporations of a public character—civil lay corporations as the law knows them—holding charters under the authority of an Act of Parliament (13 Eliz. c. 29), which describes their objects as " the maintenance of good and godly literature and the virtuous education of youth,"—possessing in virtue of these charters the powers and privileges necessary for carrying out their objects—and invested by the State, in consideration of their high character and usefulness, with other privileges, such as the return by each of them of two Members to this House of Parliament. They have the powers necessary for the free fulfilment of their functions, and with the exercise of these powers the State would not do right in interfering, except when they are exceeded, or are used to alter indirectly, but essentially, the character of the corporations, or to do anything which has an injurious bearing on the public interests of the State. But while they have these powers, they exist, it must be remembered, for a public purpose, and in a relation to the State, which renders it necessary that they should be amenable to the control of the supreme legislative authority. The Legislature would not allow the Universities to maintain, as a condition for receiving the benefits which they dispense, a religion different from that which is established by the State. So I contend that it ought not to allow the Universities to establish or maintain restrictions, which confine their benefits only to a portion of those for whom they are justly available, and which are at variance with those principles of religious liberty which so eminently conduce to the well-being of the State. So much for the Universities. In peculiar connection with them exist a set of other corporations, of a different character, I mean the Colleges, which are originally private corporations—created by royal charter in order to give effect to the charitable intentions of individual founders, and governed by rules given by the founders with the sanction of the Crown; with which rules the State will not interfere, unless their observance becomes in a public point of view injurious. But these colleges, though originally, as I have said, private corporations, are now become, by the nature of the connection now subsisting between them and the Universities, as public as the Universities themselves. They were originally founded solely for the pecuniary benefit of the persons designated in the respective instruments of foundation, and in order to give those persons the power to partake in the education of the universities, within the confines of which, for this purpose, the colleges were placed. But in course of time, and by a series of steps, which it is not my purpose to detain the House by tracing, but which have been traced very minutely and clearly for both the universities—as regards the University of Oxford by Sir William Hamilton, in some well known articles in the Edinburgh Review, and as regards the University of Cambridge by Dr. Peacock, the Dean of Ely, in his most useful work on the Statutes of the University of Cambridge—the colleges have become, or I may say have made them selves to all intents and purposes the universities. Now, as is known to every one no one can obtain admission to either university except through the medium of a college; and the heads of colleges are virtually the governing bodies in both universities. Under these circumstances, I contend that the colleges have merged their original private character in the public character of the universities; and that legislative interference, if it be necessary, with the colleges would stand upon the same footing as legislative interference with the universities. But, Sir, I may slate at once, that it is not my intention to propose to interfere compulsorily with the colleges. I find the colleges existing as important bodies in this country—powerful and respected—having rich endowments and great capabilities of usefulness —their members showing great activity in the performance of the duties which they find set before them, and animated I believe in almost all cases by the most conscientious zeal. Under these circumstances I do not think it desirable to scan too closely questions of original or acquired character and of the strict right of Parliament to interfere, but to leave the colleges, so long as there is even a hope of their rendering legislative interference unnecessary, to their own free action. And I am willing to hope and believe that legislative interference with the colleges will not be necessary for the attainment of my purpose. I hope it may be attained by legislative interference with the universities alone; and the right of the Legislature to interfere with the universities—the power, I presume is not disputed—the right to interfere, where such interference is just and expedient, I hold to be on every ground indisputable. Having thus disposed of this preliminary objection, I proceed to state the nature and extent of the grievances which I ask the House to remedy. In the University of Oxford which I will take first, no person can matriculate without first subscribing the thirty nine articles, and taking the oaths of allegiance and supremacy. These are the tests on admission. The same tests are again imposed on taking the bachelor of arts' degree, with the additional one of subscription to the three articles of the thirty-sixth canon of 1603. All these tests are imposed for all other degrees, with the exception of degrees in music. In the University of Cambridge the practice is very different, and much less exclusive. There is no test of religious faith whatever for matriculation; so that a person who is not a member of the Church of England, if he can obtain admission to a college, and has no objection to conform to its chapel rules, or can obtain exemption from them, can enter at the University of Cambridge and reside there until the time arrives for taking a degree. In order to take the bachelor of arts' degree, it is necessary to take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, and to subscribe a declaration that the candidate for the degree is a bonâ fide member of the Church of England. The same tests are imposed for the degrees of bachelor of civil law and bachelor of medicine: and for all other degrees, except those in music, there is the additional test of subscription to the three articles of the thirty-sixth canon of 1603. Thus it will be seen that no one can obtain a degree in either of the universities who is not a member of the Church of England., Now certain privileges have been attached to the degrees, given by the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, by different public bodies in this country, in character similar to the universities. The inns of court, which prescribe the rules of admission to practise in her Majesty's courts at Westminster, give to a master of arts of Oxford or Cambridge the privilege of being called to the bar two years earlier than any one else. A degree of doctor of laws of Oxford or Cambridge is an indispensable condition of admission to practise in the Ecclesiastical and Admiralty Courts of Doctors Commons: and from these courts, therefore, all persons who are not members of the Church of England are at present entirely excluded. The Royal College of Physicians makes the degree of doctor of medicine a condition of admission to its fellowships: and the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge are the only universities in England whose degrees can procure from the College of Physicians permission to practise in London or within seven miles of it. These are the privileges in the legal and medical professions attached to degrees conferred by the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. But after all these privileges seem to me to be of little importance in comparison with the degradation which is sustained by dissenters from the established faith, through these religious tests of fitness to receive educa- tion! The privileges assigned to degrees in Oxford and Cambridge by the various bodies which I have mentioned have been assigned with the object,—and with certain limitations, I think, a most proper object—of securing the liberal education of members of the learned professions. Why, then, I ask, are dissenters from the established faith to be excluded from this liberal education which is so highly prized? The universities also return each of them two Members to this House, who are to be considered as the representatives of the learning and the higher civilization of the nation: and it does appear to me even a greater grievance than any of those which I have yet enumerated, that all dissenters from the established faith, contributing in so great a degree to the wealth of the country, and furnishing so many names associated with the literary and scientific glory of the country, should be entirely excluded from a share in this representation. I do not seek, Sir, to go into the history of the religious tests which obtain in the universities: their history seeming to me to be irrelevant to the consideration of their expediency. Some of them were established on a recommendation from the Crown, the authorized visitor of the universities, some of them without any such recommendation: some of them have been imposed by an act of the governing bodies in the universities, others have not received this sanction. Others again have been imposed by act of Parliament. The oaths of allegiance and supremacy, which in both universities are required to be taken before every degree, were imposed by the Act of Uniformity. I may observe, by the way, for the information of those who so loudly proclaim the freedom of the colleges from parliamentary control, that the same act of Uniformity deals compulsorily with the colleges, regulating the form of worship in college-chapels, and prescribing a declaration of conformity to the liturgy of the Church of England from every fellow, tutor, and chaplain of a college. If it be so then, that the legislature, in former times, when principles of religious intolerance universally prevailed, imposed religious tests for admission to degrees, I am surely entitled, now that such principles are universally condemned, to ask the same power which established the tests to repeal them; and if it be also, that the Legislature, at a time when danger to the State was appre- headed from a Roman Catholic, interfered even to exclude him from colleges, the greater number of which in both universities Roman Catholics have founded and endowed, I am surely entitled, confining myself for a moment to but one of the many religious sects for which I plead, to ask the Legislature to restore the Roman Catholics of this country to a participation in benefits, which the universities are in a great measure enabled to dispense through the pious munificence of ancient holders of their own faith. I will now briefly sketch the plan to which I am about to ask the assent of the House. I propose first of ail to abolish all the religious tests imposed in both universities, whether at matriculation or previous to degrees; except in cases of degrees in divinity, though this exception is unnecessary, as no one can take a degree in divinity, without first being a clergyman of the Church of England. In making this proposal, I cannot help calling to my aid the authority of the Bishop of London against requiring from laymen subscription to the thirty-nine articles. In a debate in the House of Lords on the 26th of May, 1840, on the presentation of a petition by the Archbishop of Dublin from sixty members of the Church of England, many of whom were clergymen, for an alteration in the thirty-nine articles, the Bishop of London observed that, Subscription is not required from all the members of the Church, but only from the ministers of the Church. And as certainly subscription to the articles is required of every member of the University of Oxford, this observation of the right rev. Prelate's must rather be taken as his opinion of what ought to be, than as a statement of what is. I will ask the House to listen also to the opinion of another Prelate, whose name will, I am sure, command the respect of both sides of the House, the present Bishop of Salisbury, on requiring subscription to the articles from laymen. In a pamphlet published by him in 1835, on the question of admitting Dissenters to the universities, in which the principle of such admission is defended, but in which so many practical difficulties, so far as the University of Oxford is concerned, are enumerated, that, the fair account of the pamphlet (and I wish to give no other) is that the admis- * Hansard, Vol. liv. P. 560, (Third Series.) sion of Dissenters is rather wished for than actually advocated, I find the following passage:— I consider indeed an objection to attach to the subscription to the articles, either at matriculation or at our degrees, quite independent of all consideration of the amount of knowledge, or exact accordance of opinion of the persons called upon to subscribe. In the first place, as subscription to the articles is made the solemn test of the opinions of those who are admitted into holy orders, the attaching the same obligation to other less sacred circumstances, tends to lessen the serious sense in which it is viewed at ordination. But besides this, the subscription to the articles is an obligation which our Church in no case imposes upon its lay members. Laymen are admitted to the highest acts of Church-member ship—to participation in the sacraments— without being required to sign the articles at all. Assent to the creed and the catechism is all that is necessary in order to confirmation. Confirmation is the due preparation for the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Though our Church requires a declaration of full assent to all its articles from those who are admitted to the sacred functions of the ministry, it does not seem to have intended to institute so rigid a scrutiny into the opinions of its lay members. All it requires of them is, that they be willing to use its liturgy and join in its communion. And it seems on this ground not reasonable to impose on laymen, as a test of fitness for our degrees, a more scrupulous and definite conformity of opinion than our Church requires, in order to admission to its most sacred rites. The religious tests for degrees in the University of Cambridge being got rid of, I believe there is nothing whatever in the examinations of that university to offer any obstacle to a Dissenter. But in the University of Oxford the examination For the bachelor of arts' degree includes an examination in the rudiments of religion; and the same statute which regulates this examination requires that the tutors in the colleges should instruct the undergraduates in the thirty-nine articles, by way of preparation for their theological examination. I propose to alter this university statute, so as to make the theological examination a separate one; and I shall provide for the exemption of Dissenters from the theological examination, and the collegiate theological instruction, on application made to the Vice-Chan- * A Review of the State of the Question respecting the Admission of Dissenters to the Universities, by the Rev E. Denison, M A, 1835,p 51 cellor, with a statement of a religious objection, by the parent or guardian of an undergraduate if he is under age, or if of age by the undergraduate himself. The only other proposal which 1 shall make is for the repeal of so much of the Act of Uniformity as renders the use of the morning and evening services of the Prayer-book compulsory every clay in the college chapel. It will still be left to the option of the colleges to retain the use of these services if they think proper. But they will be enabled to adopt shorter forms of worship, which may be of a more comprehensive character, and so facilitate the admission of some Protestant Dissenters without necessitating exemptions from chapel: and this proposal is recommended by other considerations, which I will state, not in my own words, but in those of one of the highest living academical authorities, Dr. Peacock, the Dean of Ely.— The Act of Uniformity prescribes the use of the morning and evening prayers of the Church, without addition or diminution, in our college chapels, and its injunctions are almost universally obeyed. But it may be seriously doubted, whether the use of shorter forms of prayer, except on Sundays and festivals, such as have been sanctioned by the Bishop of London at the East India College, Haileybury, and in King's College, London, so as to make those services approximate in their character to family worship, might not be advantageous to the cause of religion and good order. It is quite true that the public worship of the Church is nowhere more decorously or more solemnly performed than in our college chapels; but those persons who have been most intimately concerned with the superintendance of young men at the university will be best able to appreciate the painful measures which are not unfrequently necessary to secure regularity of attendance. There is little doubt but that the substitution of a shorter service would remedy many evils of a very embarrassing nature. We are quite aware that the subject which we have ventured to touch upon is one of great delicacy and difficulty, and that the change which we have recommended may be more safely adopted than discussed. But the question is one of great practical importance, both as regards the maintenance of discipline and the development in the minds and habits of students of feelings of respect and reverence for religion, and for the beautiful and comprehensive public services of our Church; we feel satisfied that the proposed change would be found to be favourable to both."* *Observations on the Statutes of the University of Cambridge. By George Peacock, D. D., V. P.R.S., and Dean of Ely, p. 126, (Note.) I may mention that this provision of the Act of Uniformity applies only to the colleges in existence when it was passed: and that in Downing College, Cambridge, a recent foundation, a shorter form of daily worship is in use. It will be thus seen, Sir, that I do not in any way propose to deal compulsorily with the colleges. I hope and believe, that when the universities no longer impose religious tests as conditions for their degrees, colleges will be found ready to exempt Dissenters from attendance on chapels and religious lectures. In the University of Cambridge such exemptions have been already frequent. In my time, there were Roman Catholics in Christ's College who were exempted from chapel. There have been Roman Catholics in Magdalen College, similarly exempted; and in my time there was a Jew in that College also exempted from chapel, though he afterwards migrated to Trinity College, and was there obliged to attend chapel. In Trinity Hall a Mahommedan resided for some time, and was not required to attend chapel. In both universities it is well known, that there are some among the smaller colleges —several in Cambridge, fewer in Oxford, owing to the regulation which there requires undergraduates to reside within their colleges, and which thus necessarily limits the numbers—to which it is a matter of very great importance to increase the number of their pupils, and which, sometimes, I am sorry to say, show their anxiety to do this by taking undergraduates who have been obliged to leave other colleges for not conforming to their discipline, or by a general laxity of rules, and particularly rules with regard to chapel. There is one feature of several of the smaller colleges in Cambridge which I cannot refrain from mentioning. They allow fellow commoners, who are young men of wealth or rank, wearing laced gowns and paying more dearly for everything, to attend chapel less often than other undergraduates. I have in my hand a copy of the rules of one college, which I will not name, as it is unnecessary, and I have no wish to give unnecessary offence in any quarter, embodying this distinction, and actually hung up in the college ante-chapel:— Every undergraduate, being a pensioner and sizar, shall not be absent from chapel more than three mornings and two evenings in the same week. Every fellow-commoner being an under graduate shall be present at chapel four evenings in a week, and Sunday shall be one of them. So that a fellow-commoner goes only four times when every other undergraduate is obliged to go nine times a week to chapel. I may mention that this is a college having a very fair reputation in the university, and by no means one of the smallest colleges. I think it will be generally agreed, that a remission of rules, thus conceded to wealth and rank, would be much more creditably granted to meet the conscientious objections of Dissenters, and in furtherance of the wish of the Legislature and of the principles of religious liberty. I hope the first effect of the passing of my bill would be to lead the smaller colleges and halls in both universities to seek an increase of their numbers by opening their doors to Dissenters. I do not see what there is, even in Oxford, to prevent a college or hall, happening to have liberal authorities, from at once granting Dissenters the required exemptions. I think I can mention such a hall, in which I believe the discipline is very strict, and which possesses very able tutors, I refer to St. Mary Hall, of which Dr. Hampden is Principal, and of which the Vice-Principal, Mr. Hayward Cox, is also a person of the most liberal views: and I should expect St. Mary Hall at once to exempt Dissenters from attendance at chapels and from college theological lectures, when there is no longer a university statute requiring its tutors to instruct all the undergraduates in the thirty-nine articles. I hope and believe, Sir, that colleges will be found in both universities, ready to meet the Legislature fairly, and thus rendering it unnecessary to exert our right to interfere compulsorily with the colleges for this purpose. I may expect to hear, that if religionists of every description are admitted into the colleges, the necessary consequence must be a substitution of a system of education from which religion is excluded, for the present religious Church of England system, and that the members of the Church of England in this country, whose interests are to be considered as well as those of Dissenters, will thus be deprived of the means which they now possess of securing for their sons an education based upon the principles of their own and the Established Church. I will not deal with this objection on any broader ground than by sug- gesting, that if the admission of Dissenters to the colleges is to be effected by granting them special exemptions from religious lectures and examinations, and from attendance on chapels (and in this way their admission may be effected, and in this way I look to effecting it), the religious lectures and worship will remain intact for those whose consciences will allow them to attend, and the members of the Church of England will continue to enjoy the religious advantages, which they prize, of the College system of education. I think it will not be said by the authors or supporters of the Factories' Education Bill that a system of education, in which religious instruction according to the principles of the Church of England is secured for members of the Church of England, but in which all Dissenters are exempted from attendance on this instruction, and Roman Catholics, and though they have not yet been mentioned in the Factories' Bill, I hope I may add Jews, are exempted from attendance on a very short and simple morning and evening worship of which yet their consciences would not approve, is an irreligious system of education. I must say that whatever arguments may be urged in favour of a system of elementary education, which may combine the attendance of poor children of parents of every religious denomination, a very much stronger case may be made out in favour of a combined system of education in the Universities, where the age of the pupils constitutes a strong presumption that the greater part and the fundamental part of their religious education has been already completed, and where their position in life constitutes a strong presumption also, that whatever special religious instruction may be proper, will be provided by their wealthy parents for those who cannot avail themselves of the Church-of-England instruction of the Colleges. I hope it will not, be said, though I know it has been said before, that the mere association in the colleges of young men of different religious creeds will lead to indifference to religion —to discussions on religion, and thereby to scepticism, indifference and infidelity. It must be a poor faith that is scared by this danger. But has this been found to be the consequence in Trinity College, Dublin, to which Protestant Dissenters have been always admitted, and Roman Catholics ever since the year 1793? I am informed that in King's College, in London, which was founded, as we all know, under the immediate auspices of the Church of England, and on the most exclusive principles of religious instruction, and of which the hon. Baronet, the Member for the University of Oxford (Sir R. H. Inglis) and the right hon. Gentleman, the President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Gladstone) are members of the council, that Dissenters, and Roman Catholics, and Jews are admitted without difficulty, not being required to attend the morning and afternoon prayers, or the lectures on religion, if they do not matriculate. Of course in a college where students do not reside within its walls, but all over London, matriculation can only be a form; and I believe the only practical advantage of matriculation in King's College to be that the matriculated student pays a few pounds less in fees to professors. 1 hope the religious and Church of England character of King's College has not undergone deterioration in consequence of this admission of Dissenters and Jews, to associate with Churchmen and Christians. I might appeal also to the example of the University of Cambridge. To the example of the University of Oxford I cannot appeal. But I can appeal to Oxford, if it be necessary, for a most striking example of the uselessness and mischievousness of all these declarations of faith and subscriptions to articles. Why, Sir, at this very moment, in that university, fenced in as she is on all sides by subscriptions to the Thirty-nine Articles, there, where, if there be any virtue in these subscriptions, we ought to find a very chosen temple of orthodoxy, there is a band of men daily on the increase, members of the University, clergymen, fellows of Colleges, doctors of divinity, unceasingly engaged in propagating, with brilliant ability, doctrines which are believed by the great bulk of the lay and clerical members of the Protestant Church of England to be fraught with the utmost danger to the reformed faith of this country,—men whose doctrines have been denounced by a majority of the bench of bishops, and whose most remarkable series of publications was virtually suppressed by episcopal authority,—men who have subscribed the articles at matriculation, at taking their bachelor of arts' degrees, at taking their master of arts' degrees, on entering the Church, on taking their de- grees in divinity, but any one of whom, if the right hon. Baronet opposite, in the distribution of the ecclesiastical patronage which he administers, were to elevate to a see, or even to appoint on a vacancy to succeed the heretical Dr. Hampden as Regius Professor of Divinity in Oxford, there would most assuredly be a cry, from one end of the kingdom to the other, as compared with which the Hampden cry, raised by these Newmanites themselves, would probably be remembered as a whisper. And now, Sir, being ignorant of the course which will be pursued by the Government with regard to the motion with which I shall conclude, I cannot but derive hope of their support, at least to the extent of granting me leave to bring in this bill, from the recollection of the part taken upon this question on a former occasion by a leading member of the Government, the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies (Lord Stanley). It will be remembered that, in the year 1834, a petition was presented to this House by the present Lord Monteagle, signed by upwards of sixty resident Masters of Arts at the University of Cambridge, praying for the admission of Dissenters to the Universities. The presentation of that petition led to a debate, in which I find that the noble Lord took a part, departing, as he said, from his usual practice of not speaking on petitions, but induced to depart from it by the great importance of the subject, and his anxiety, Both as a Member of his Majesty's Government, and also as a Member most anxious to consult and support what I deem the real and true interests of the Established Church, and of the religion of the country, shortly to express my entire, unequivocal, and unhesitating concurrence in the prayer of this petition."* The noble Lord applied himself principally to answering the arguments of the right hon. Gentleman who now sits next him, the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Goulburn). That right hon. Gentleman had said, that a Dissenter might receive his education at Cambridge, and that after all the education was (he important matter, and not the degree, and it could hardly be called a grievance that the Dissenter was unable to add to his name the letters denoting a degree. What said the noble Lord? Now, if this were all, I should say it was * Hansard, Vol. xxii, p. 633, third series. a real substantial grievance, and if this be not all, then I say the whole course of the hon. Gentleman's argument is overthrown; for if under this system, there is a restriction without any substantial reason, why should that restriction be continued as a degradation upon any class of the people of this country? And again, That is a practical grievance, and if it be not a grievance, it is certainly a practical degradation. I am most anxious to afford the Established Church every protection and support which can and ought to be given to it, consistent with justice to all classes of the subjects of this kingdom; but of this I am confident that it will not be best maintained by keeping up a system of injustice and exclusion; and if I may be allowed to express an opinion on the subject, I will frankly say, that, in my mind, the main cause of the spread of dissent has been, amongst the lower classes, the insufficiency of the education and religious instruction, with respect to the tenets of the Established Church, and amongst the higher classes, by that, strict line of exclusion, which those who are desirous to protect the Church have drawn around it. I am satisfied that if you intend to attach particularly the higher classes of the dissenters to the Established Church, you can take no more effectual course to gain that object, than giving them full participation in the same civil privileges, and admitting them to the fullest, freest, and most unreserved intercourse with the members of the Church of England, in our general and national institutions. This question of exclusion is not confined to the University of Cambridge, but I am sorry to say carried to a much greater extent in the University of Oxford. As a conscientious member of the Church of England, I cannot but lament that such regulations are enforced in that institution, as render it necessary that young men of sixteen or seventeen years of age should be called upon at their entrance to subscribe to articles which they never read,— which nine out of ten, I will answer for it, have never read,—and upon which, if the tenth should entertain any conscientious scruples, he is instantly over-ruled, if not satisfied by the obligation to subscribe them in order to obtain admission. I do say, that such a system is the most injurious to the interests of the university. I would go further with regard to the system of discipline at Oxford and Cambridge, and unhesitatingly express my entire dissent from the regulation of a compulsory attendance of the students day after day, morning and evening, in the chapels and the different colleges. When we look at the way in which this regulation is complied with, and see young men rushing forward in the morning to see if the gates of the chapel are opened, and in the evening returning from divine service to their wine, I say such a system is better calculated to deaden all feel- ings of religion, than the admission of all Dissenters, be they ever so numerous, to the honours of the university. This was on the 25th of March. A bill was afterwards brought into the House by the hon. Member for feudal (Mr. G. W. Wood); and this bill came to a second reading on the 20th of June. In the meanwhile, the noble Lord had differed from his Colleagues on the question of legislative interference to effect a new appropriation of part of the revenues of the Irish Church, and had ceased to be a member of the Government. He took part again in this discussion on Mr. Wood's bill, stating that circumstances had recently occurred which led him to feel apprehensive for the security of the Established Church, and which, while he adhered to the principle of the prayer of the Cambridge petition, made him very anxious to state the conditions on which be should vote for the second reading of Mr. Wood's bill. He would require securities against the relinquishment of religion as a part of college education, and against the admission of Dissenters to a share in the government of the colleges, and the professorships of the universities. And here again the noble Lord said, after having spoken of the more liberal practice of the University of Cambridge, I know that at Oxford the practice is different: and being a member of that university, I confuse that I should be most glad if I could see its practice, as regards the admission of students, made more conformable to that of Cambridge. At Oxford, it is necessary that every student on entering should subscribe the thirty-nine articles. That is a practice which I cannot but condemn. I cannot bring myself to concur in the ingenious glosses which some hon. Gentlemen have put upon that compulsory subscription to the thirty-nine articles. I cannot put upon it the gloss that it is a mere matter of form, that no real adhesion to the articles is implied until the party shall have been instructed in their meaning; in fact, that the subscription signifies only that the student is willing to receive an education at the university. The gloss thus denounced by the noble Lord proceeded, I may mention, from on less an authority than the Bishop of Exeter. My bill, Sir, satisfies the conditions then required by the noble Lord, The principle of my bill is that which, after his secession from the Government in 1834, he supported by his speech and by his vote. The proposal which I have sketched to the House, will give to the Dissenters no part in the government of the colleges and in the professorial instruction of the universities. But I am aware that circumstances which, in three months, led the noble Lord to conceive so much timidity about a proposal which in the first instance he had so eagerly embraced, may in nine years, during which he has formed and cemented his connexion with the party opposite, have worked an entire change in his opinions upon this subject. The noble Lord will of course be indifferent alike to my approval of his sentiments of former days, and my dissent from any opinions which he may at this moment entertain; but as I have quoted thus largely from him, certainly not with any unfair intention, but in the sincere hope, that his former views may at least incline him to be more favourable to my proposal than, perhaps, most Members on the opposite side, I trust he will not receive with scorn, what I am about to say, in no spirit of presumption, but to prevent the possibility of my silence being supposed to imply the contrary, that whatever course the noble Lord may take to night, whether the modified course that he took on the second occasion to which 1 have alluded, or a course totally at variance with his former one, 1 have not intended, and should only be ashamed of myself if J were to express a doubt that that course will be taken honestly, and in all sincerity. I submit then this motion to the House, ignorant of the course which her Majesty's Government may pursue, but venturing to ask for it—earnestly, though humbly, to ask for it—that fair and attentive consideration which is due to a measure professing to relieve Dissenters from the established religion from restrictions and disabilities unnecessary for securing to the nation a continuance of the advantages, whatever they may be, of an established church; and which restrictions and disabilities, it will, therefore, behove those who oppose the motion to prove to be indispensable to the maintenance of the Established Church, or, if they cannot prove that, to admit to be unjust. Sir, it is not by the number or value of the privileges attached to these degrees that I would claim to have the importance of this motion to be measured—it is not even by the advantages, great as I hold them to be, of the education which the universities would be enabled to afford to those who are now restricted to smaller sectarian seminaries, or to that metropolitan college which has of late years been founded on the noble principle of giving education alike to the holders of all religious creeds, but which, much as it has done, and much as it may do, can never give or compensate for the advantage of residence within college walls in the academic seclusions of Oxford or of Cambridge,—neither is it, Sir, by the circumstance of the distinction degrading to Dissenters involved in this denial of university degrees, which distinction, even though it were itself the smallest, would yet in principle be as important as the greatest, and, in the pointed words of the noble Lord, (Lord Stanley) even though there be no practical grievance here, there is a practical degradation;—these, Sir, are, after all, each and all of them, small considerations, in comparison with the great and extensive benefits — benefits which will operate among every class, and in every corner of the country, of mingling together in our chief seats of learning and education good and conscientious men of every creed; so that they, who by their rank or wealth or learning are enabled afterwards to influence public opinion, and help to shape the mind of their age, taking, perhaps, a direct part in legislation, or even otherwise exerting a not less powerful, because unseen, influence upon its course, shall have learnt early to see the good that may dwell in those whose religious forms and doctrines are different from their own; and the wealthy and powerful and instructed among our Dissenters will cherish goodwill towards the Church, and Churchmen hold tolerant and generous feelings towards Dissenters, all having dwelt and held converse together in the years of their youth, and at a time when the mind receives its character, and the feelings are warmest, and the friendships which are formed are afterwards least given to fade, and within those walls towards which affection and gratitude are wont to linger to the latest, shall have practised towards each other the lessons of Christian charity and religious toleration. There is, at this moment, Sir, a measure depending in this House, which has furnished a most striking and lamentable illustration of the jealousies and angry feelings ever ready to be awakened between Churchmen and Dissenters, and of their powerfulness to obstruct, and it may be to foil, the Legislature in its desire to give knowledge to a portion of the ignorant millions among the poorer classes of this country, The right hon. Baronet opposite (Sir James Graham) has spoken of the reception which his measure has met with, and drawing a picture of the theological animosities which have encountered it, and which still, notwithstanding his concessions, menace its defeat, has described this land as so teeming with the elements of religious bitterness and strife, that the septic might point to it in derision as a Christian land in which there is an almost universal violation of Christian precepts, and where, in place of obedience to the divine injunction that we should love one another, religion itself is the never-failing source and means of mutual hatred. At, a time, then, when this evil of theological animosity is at its height, and has arrested your attention by the magnitude of the mischief which it threatens, I ask you to go with me and seek its cure at the fountain head. From the two ancient universities of the land, go forth, year after year those who are hereafter to be the magistrates of the country, its legislators, its schoolmasters, above all, its priests who in every town and every hamlet shall conciliate by their virtue and tolerance, or by their bigotry inflame, dissent; and if you would, indeed create an influence which shall soften religious asperities throughout the nation, descending and trickling down from the highest even to the lowest order of our society, let there henceforth mingle and seek learning together Churchman and Dissenter, Protestant and Catholic, Christian and Jew, in those venerable halls which, whether for good or for evil, form the minds and moral dispositions of those who are England's best and chiefest hope among her youthful sons. I have now only to thank the House for the great indulgence which it has shewn me, and to move for leave to bring in a bill— To abolish certain oaths and subscriptions now imposed in the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and to provide for the extension of education in the universities to persons who are not members of the Church of England.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, that although he differed entirely from the views taken by the hon. Gentleman on the subject of the present motion, yet he followed him with peculiar pleasure. He recognised with the highest gratification the abilities which the hon. Gentlemen had dispalyed in bringing forward his motion, and the moderation with which he had supported it. He was proud to acknowledge the hon. Gentleman, a Member of the University, to which he himself belonged, and to point at him as an instance of the advantages which the education, as it existed at that university, afforded —advantages which the hon. Gentleman at the outset of his speech was himself so ready to admit. The hon. Gentleman had asked them to look at the universities of other countries; at the universities of America, France, and Germany, and had justly claimed for the universities of his own country a superiority over them all. But to what cause did the hon. Gentleman attribute that superiority? In the universities of the countries which he referred to there existed, as the hon. Gentleman was well aware, that admixture and perfect equality of religious persuasions, and consequently, that absence of religious control which the hon. Gentleman was anxious to make the rule in the universities of England; and it was not too much to infer, that if, with men of equal learning to direct their studies, the foreign universities did not afford an education corresponding to that of the universities of this country the admitted superiority of the education received at the universities of England might be in some measure attributed to the religious discipline which they maintained, and to that religious teaching without which no satisfactory system of education could exist. The hon. Gentleman could not have forgotten the discussion which occupied the House ten years ago; but he seemed to have forgotten that the circumstances were now different from those under which the House was then induced to assent to the bill brought in by the hon. Member for Kendal. The arguments then insisted on by the right hon. Gentleman (now Lord Monteagle) who held the office which he (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) had the honour of holding, was, that there was then no university open to Dissenters, where they might obtain these academical honours, the want of which they thought a great grievance. This was the ground of complaint, and the chief argument in support of the bill. Since then that argument had been removed. Parliament had come to the aid of funds provided by private individuals, and the University of London had been established, with the power of conferring degrees in art and medicine, and of admitting Dissenters to those advantages from which their exclusion had formerly been considered a grievance. Formerly the complaint was, that Dissenters who studied for the bar studied under great disadvantages in consequence of their exclusion from the universities; but no such grievance could now be alleged, for at one at least of the inns of court, as he had been informed, the degrees of the London University were now accepted, and held to be as valid as those of the sister universities. There was indeed the College of Physicians, but the hon. Gentleman must surely be aware, that a considerable relaxation had taken place in the rules of that college since 1834, and at the present moment a farther relaxation of those rules was under discussion. But the University of London had the power of conferring degrees in medicine, the want of which in 1834, was insisted on by the Dissenters as a peculiar grievance. The advantages of college education at present, as they ever have been at Cambridge, were open to Dissenters. Of this the hon. Member for Leeds was an illustrious instance, who, having not only honourably distinguished himself, while at Cambridge, but at the same time secured the good will and respect of all his contemporaries, had since attained high and deserved eminence in public life. The extent to which the hon. Member (Mr. Christie) was prepared to change the practice of the universities, was nominally extremely limited. He would exempt Dissenters from attendance at the college chapel, he would exempt them from attendance at lectures bearing reference to theology. But if a college were allowed to exempt any one from such attendance who merely alleged a difference of religious belief, the consequence might be, that lads just sent from school, impatient of restraint, and not very willing, perhaps, to attend any lectures from which they could obtain exemption, would have it inculcated upon them by their Dissenting friends, that by stating a difference of religion, they might at once be relieved from this irksome attendance. He thought it would be unwise legislation to offer in this way a direct premium to those who being idle or desolate, felt an unwillingness to i conform to the discipline of the university. To open in this way a door for the evasion of two great rules of college discipline, might, he thought, be productive of enormous evil. The hon. Gentleman proposed to retain the rules that at present existed against allowing Dissenters to share in the endowments of the universities. He would give a Dissenter the power of obtaining the degree of bachelor of arts, but would exclude him from a fellowship; but when the Dissenter saw those who had been struggling with him in the race becoming fellows while he was still excluded from all such offices of emolument, did the hon. Gentleman doubt, that the Dissenter so disqualified, would not soon complain of the injustice done him in attempting to put him off with a barren honour, and debarring him from the advantages enjoyed by those who had struggled with him for the attainment of that honour. The hon. Gentleman would repeal so much of the Act of Uniformity as related to the performance of the Church service in the college chapels. He could only say, that he considered a college chapel in the light of a church, and he did not see on what ground the distinction could be rested. The hon. Member indeed observed, that at some colleges there were already exemptions from " chapels" in favour of men of rank; and he asked why these exemptions should not be extended to Dissenters. The hon. Member was perhaps not aware that, first, these privileges did not exist in the larger colleges, which included the great bulk of the students; and secondly, that they had their origin at a time when it was desired to attract the influx of men of rank to the universities. Certainly, he (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) did not conceive that the existence of such an exemption was of any benefit to those who possessed it, and he would be much more disposed to abolish than to extend to another class. He was not aware, however, that the practice had been retained by any of the colleges. In the larger ones, he believed it had been abolished, and, at all events, he knew that in the college with which the hon. Gentleman and himself were connected, no such distinction was admitted. All classes of students were equally required to attend chapel. If these distinctions after they had been generally abolished, continued to be retained in any of the smaller colleges, so far was he from thinking that the circumstance should be admitted as a precedent, that he thought it, on the contrary, an. additional reason why the usual discipline should be more strictly enforced. The hon. Member would have the whole Church service retained in the college chapels on Sundays, but on week days he would introduce some formal prayer its which all sects might concur. On Sundays, however, be would have all classes of students at liberty to absent themselves. He did not believe, that the Dissenters would themselves approve of such a distinction. He (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) knew, that they had with himself an equal veneration for the observance of the Sabbath, for the dedication of it to public worship, and to religious improvement, and he was confident that they would reject a system, the effect of which would be to exclude them from the college place of worship on the Sunday, and to leave their sons on that particular day without any religious instruction, beyond what a young man might provide for himself. He thought the system at present existing was much better; and that it was more to be wished, that Dissenters, retaining their opinions on points of doctrine, but able with a safe conscience, to attend the Church of England service, for with the majority of Dissenters it was a service which they did not dislike, and to which they were willing to conform—should go through the university, conforming themselves to that part of its discipline, than that they should attempt, by framing a set of prayers that should be suited to every religious denomination, Pagan, Jew, or heretic, to run the risk of turning away the mind of a Dissenter altogether from religious instruction. Such a course as was proposed by the hon. Member, was not in accordance with the statutes of the universities, and with the wills of the pious men by whose bequests the universities received the means of usefulness. It was the intention of the pious men who founded the different colleges, that there should be provided in them the means of a good moral education, and that literary and scientific education should be combined with instruction in the established religion of the country. [Cheers.] The noble Lords cheer meant that they were instituted in Popish times. He might take the liberty of saying with respect to this point that the noble Lord was not very correctly informed as to the greater part of the endowments which the University of Cambridge possessed, the greater part of these were given about the time of the Reformation, and confirmed by Queen Elizabeth. But suppose the case had been otherwise, the noble Lord surely did not fall into the vulgar error, that because the Roman Catholic religion had been reformed, and because we professed the religion so reformed, that we therefore had abandoned the Christian faith, which had been before inculcated, or that when a person had left his property for instruction in that which was at the time the religion of the state, there was any violation of that principle in it continuing applicable to the religion of the state, when from that religion had been removed the abuses by which it had become disfigured. If this was the noble Lord's position, he might give him the answer which he had seen in some book to a question put by a Roman Catholic to a Protestant, " Where was your religion before the time of the Reformation?" To which the reply was, " Where was your face before it was last washed." The universities were instituted for inculcating moral and religious education; those who founded them knew full well that you might imbue the mind with various learning, and instruct it iu every branch of knowledge, and yet leave its training imperfect. They took cure, in instructing the mind, to soften and improve the heart, and to make provision as their statutes set forth, ad gloriam Dei— that was their first object. Now this they did, not. because those who were there brought up) were to be the instructors of the people in the doctrines of the Established Church, but because they deemed it essential to the welfare of the state that religion should be taught as a part of the education of the people. If religion were to be taught, some particular form of religion must be taught. You might, if the religion of the Church of England were deemed offensive, adopt the Presbyterian or any other which might for the moment, be more popular; and he would say that, much as he valued the institutions of the Church of England—much as he thought her services were superior to those of any other church, he would prefer that some other form should be adopted, rather than men should be sent to the universities to be educated, without that knowledge of the Christian faith, which was essential to their individual happiness and public usefulness. He said, therefore, that, teaching the religion of the state, unless you required, on the part of those who went there conformity to that religion, implying a necessity of instructing themselves in the doctine on which it was founded, you would not fulfil either the purpose for which the universities were erected, or confer the desired benefits on the individuals who were educated in them. For the reasons which he had thus shortly stated, he did not think it advisable to place over institutions which were bound to teach the religion of the state—as persons who were to direct and govern their proceedings—those who dissented altogether from that faith. The hon. Gentleman talked of a degree of the university as if it were a matter of honour; he told the hon. Gentleman it was an effective instrument for good or evil, according to the hands in which it was placed. The masters of arts formed the senate, the governing body of the university. They passed regulations for the maintenance of discipline, and the arrangement of studies, and determined the nature of the instruction to be given; and it was owing mainly to their exertions in later times that we had survived that dead period of our history, when religion appeared almost forgotten, and when the universities seemed to have fallen off in the study of theology. It was in consequence of the exertions of those who had attained degrees that religious instruction had risen to the point it had now attained, and every real student who had gone through the usual course was qualified to give a reason for the hope that was in him. He saw no essential benefit which was to be attained by carrying out the views of the hon. Gentleman opposite, especially when Dissenters might obtain what the hon. Gentleman considered the barren honour, the title of a degree, with equal ease, at a university of their own. But they would be debarred by the hon. Gentleman's bill from the enjoyment of those endowments which the university offered to them; they were necessarily debarred, although he had not the least doubt that if the House were to yield to his arguments, and grant them the honour of those degrees, and with them the possession of substantial power in the university, you would either have the governing body constantly agitated by attempts to overthrow the different regulations which stood in the way of the attainment, by a Dissenter, of the advantages of those endowments, or you would have such difficulty in laying down a course of religious instruction which would be universally palatable, that you would effectedly defeat the objects for which university studies were intended. In that belief he should resist the motion of the hon. Gentleman. He felt unwilling, on this as on any other occasion, to do anything that might be either painful or disagreeable to those from whom he differed in religious opinion; but when he placed, on the one hand, the feelings of private persons, however respectable, and on the other the interest of those bodies to which we owed the character of the men who formed our Legislature and directed our councils, he could not permit himself to be diverted from the protection of those far higher interests by the prospect of affording gratification to individuals.

Mr. T. M. Gibson

said the right hon. Gentleman had commenced his speech by paying a well-deserved compliment to his hon. Friend for the ability with which he had brought this subject forward. The right hon. Gentleman had also paid a compliment to the acuteness of his hon. Friend and the weight of his arguments, by not having replied to them. He must say, with all respect, that he did not think the right hon. Gentleman had given any sufficient answer to his hon. Friend's reasoning. His hon. Friend claimed, on behalf of dissenters, the privilege of admission to degrees in the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge; and the right hon. Gentleman said they had already the opportunity of taking degrees in the University of London. His hon. Friend's argument was, that bringing persons of different creeds and persuasions together in the same seminaries tended to put down sectarianism, and knit men together in one universal spirit of Christian brotherhood, while by forcing a necessity of educating all Dissenters in one university, and all the churchmen in another, you perpetuate sectarianism and all the evils which his hon. Friend had brought forward this measure with a view to obviate. He must observe, however, that there was considerable force in the arguments of the right hon. Gentleman with respect to the question of emoluments. He would say that Dissenters had a rightful and just claim to share in the emoluments as well as in the honours of universities. Were there not lay professorships and fellowships unconnected with divinity and theology? Were there not appointments which were conferred on men eminent for scientific attainments or the depth of classical learning? And in these days, when we had fully recognised the spirit of religious liberty, and admitted members of all religious persuasions into that House, to make laws for this country, and to hold places of honour and profit in all departments of the state, what reason was there in saying that men who dissented from the established church in matters of religion should not be competent, if they had the scientific capacity, to fill appointments and professorships which had no connection with theology? He was prepared to advocate for the dissenters their right to claim by law the most full equality with members of the Church of England, and to participate in all those lay fellowships and endowments which members of the Church of England could hold. He said, that in the eye of the law the universities were lay incorporations, not spiritual incorporations; they were viewed by the constitution as lay incorporations, intended for the purpose of preparing men for all the learned professions, and not exclusively for the profession of the Church. The right hon. Gentleman said Dissenters could take degrees at the University of London, but they could not enjoy those endowments and emoluments which existed in the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, on which they were conferred, for the benefit of the whole country. There was now beyond the reach of the non-conformists something like an amount of 80,000l. or 90,000l. a-year, intended for the reward of scientific ability, and in which they had a right to participate; whereas the London University had only 1,000l. a-year to dispose of. The right hon. Gentleman seemed to think it an error to assert, that the universities were not for the purpose of teaching religion to the youth of the country. He was prepared to maintain that proposition. The right hon. Gentleman could not show any authority in the statutes, that the universities were for the especial purpose of training up persons in the established religion. Neither those of Edward 6th, nor those of Elizabeth contained any provision for the teaching of religion, as regarded the order of study; there were regulations for attendance at the chapel, but not for teaching theology as a part of the studies. They, expressly, said, that previous to the degree of Bachelor of Arts the study of theology was not to begin. And what was the existing practice of the universities? Did they teach religion? Did they mean to say, that attendance at chapel, which every student stayed away from if he possibly could, was religious instruction? Was it not well known—most hon. members having passed through a university course that the compulsory attendance at chapel, morning and evening, had rather a tendency to alienate the mind and feelings from religion, and that it was viewed by the scholars of the universities as merely a part of the discipline of the college? If a student were absent at late hours, or had been guilty of intoxication, he was compelled to go to chapel more than the usual number of times, so that attendance at divine worship under such circumstances, was likely to be looked upon as something irksome, disagreeable, and in the nature of a punishment. Compulsory attendance at a chapel could not, therefore, be considered in the light of religious instruction; and he was of the opinion so ably expressed by many of the leading divines of the country, that, as a part of the discipline of the college, it might very well be dispensed with. The present Bishop of St. David's—an authority who could not be mentioned in that House without carrying great weight—stated it as his conviction that the compulsory attendance at chapel might be dispensed with to the improvement of the religion and morality of the students. He had not the right rev. Prelate's pamphlet with him, but he remembered well, when the petition was presented to the House of Lords by Earl Grey, and to that House by the present Lord Monteagle, that Dr. Thirlwall, now Bishop of St. David's, wrote a pamphlet in which the opinion was expressed that it would be for the religious advantage of the students of the University of Cambridge if compulsory attendance at chapel were to be dispensed with. The right rev. Prelate viewed it as tending rather to desecrate religion than in any way to add to the force of religious sanctions. With regard to lectures, could it be said that that was religious instruction? He would not speak of Oxford, with which he was not personally conversant, but to tell him that there was any bonâ fide religious instruction in the university of Cambridge was absurd. It was the first time he had ever heard of any. Was there any examination whatever in religious subjects on going up for degrees? The examination was exclusively confined to mathematical and general learning. There was no examination in divinity for honours, and the only persons required to attend divinity lectures were those who were going into the church. He had never attended a divinity lecture at Cambridge, nor was he aware that he had ever been required to do so. There were lectures and examinations, it was true, which turned on points of grammatical criticism, but which, though they might test the student's knowledge of the niceties of language, would not add to or ascertain his knowledge of the doctrines of religion. He did not think he was at all exaggerating when he said, that at the present time theology formed but a very small portion of the studies of the university. In making use of these words he believed he was employing the language of the present Bishop of St. David's. How, therefore, could those who opposed this motion urge that, because those seminaries taught the very smallest portion of religion, a very great portion of our fellow-subjects were to be excluded from the benefits of a university education? Besides would they be prevented from teaching religion if Dissenters came to the university and received the secular education which they desired? Would they have less power to instruct the children of members of the Church of England in the mysteries of that church because Dissenters were residing in the university, studying mathematics and astronomy? He conceived that the universities were intended for the purpose of preparing men for all professions, and that whether a man were going into the church, the law, the army, or the navy, or to aspire to a seat in that House, he ought to have access to the education which was provided in them, without religious restrictions. Considering that one-half of those who received their educations at Cambridge were not intended for the church, it behoved the House to consider whether it was not prudent, with a view to the safety of the universities and of all our other institutions, to act in a spirit in full harmony with the present laws of the country, and admit Dissenters of all creeds to the full possession of all civil privileges. That was the principle laid down when the Test Act was repealed, when the right hon. Baronet emancipated the Roman Catholics from their disabilities, and which he now called on the House to carry out to the full extent without shrinking, in the belief that by so doing they would bind the whole nation together in full affection to our institutions, and put down all that discontent and disorder which were so much complained of, by the simple expedient of doing justice to their fellow-citizens.

Sir R. H. Inglis

said, the hon. Gentleman who had made this motion had not asked for the admission of Dissenters to universities as a boon, but as a right; and the hon. Member who had just sat down, had also used similar language. Now, even if it had been asked as a boon, he should have been prepared to decline giving it; but called for as a right, he was doubly prepared to resist it. Both hon. Members also used such language as led to the expectation that not merely did they claim for the Dissenters admission to the education of the universities; but that next year they might be expected to claim admission to the endowments also. He was however, prepared as much to resist the former claim as the latter. On what authority did the hon. Gentleman claim as a right the admission of non-conformists to the education of the universities? Was it intended to rest their claim on the assumption of their being the representatives of those who founded these endowments, or established this education? or did he found it on the abstract right of the Legislature to extend to all the subjects of the realm, any advantage that at present might be enjoyed by some? If the first ground were the ground taken, he (Sir It. Inglis) denied altogether the assumption on which it was founded. He agreed with his right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that it was a popular error to claim for the Roman Catholics of this country the endowments of the larger portion of the institutions existing in either university. It was true, that the greater number of the colleges in the University of Oxford were s founded before the Reformation; twelve colleges and five halls were so founded, making in all seventeen, before the Reformation. Only seven were founded after the Reformation. Bu t not one of those earlier colleges and halls in Oxford, and he believed he might say the same of Cambridge, was founded by an individual holding the opinions now held by the Church of Rome holding the doctrines of the Council of Trent. Chronologically, it was impossible that the founders could have held those opinions. But taking fellowships and scholarships together, and comparing the numbers founded before and since the Reformation, the number since the Reformation exceeds the number before the Reformation. And when they came to look at that other branch of the subject, which the Dissenters, judging by the speech of the Member for Manchester, seemed to consider at least as important as the spiritual part—namely, the property, then it would be found, that three-fourths of the property and endowments had arisen from sources accruing since the Reformation. As to three-fourths, then, at least, of these endowments the claim of the Roman Catholics fell to the ground. But was it attempted to be contended that a single one of those endowments had been founded by a Dissenter as a Dissenter? But to look at the other branch of the question: was it contended, failing the establishment of the right by succession, that the Legislature would require that any share of those endowments, or of the educational duties connected with them, should be given to any one but to those who now enjoyed them? He did not mean to deny that the Legislature could pass such an act as the hon. Member desired; but supposing that the Parchment Act were obtained, there was no reason that that Parchment Act should be operative in respect to endowments or to education in colleges or universities so long as courts of law existed, to which appeals might be made founded on charters. So far as he could understand the object of the hon. Mover, it was to repeal so much of the Act of Uniformity, as renders it obligatory on colleges to celebrate public prayer in chapel according to the forms of the Church of England; and it was desired, also, to exempt certain individuals who might state that they did not conform to the necessity of attending any prayers at all, or any lectures on theology. Much had been said of the grievance of compelling young men to attend public worship in churches and chapels. What had fallen on the subject from the hon. Mover himself, he might meet by an admission of his own, for he had quoted from a pamphlet of Dr. Peacock, the Dean of Ely, in which that gentleman stated, that the service of the Church of England was no where conducted with greater propriety than in the chapels of the universities. But would the hon. Member be prepared to deny, that if he established his case as regarded the attendance of youth at college on public worship, he would be open to an allegation of an analogous grievance in the attendance on family prayer? What was the college but a larger family, where the governors performed the functions which were then first relinquished by the patents of the students? That being the ease, and the college being charged with, the education of the pupil, the hon. Member would not deny that by far the more important part of that education, was that which related to the immortal part of man. Then, in this point of view, the proposal of the hon. Member, that the students should be released from the duty of attending public worship altogether, was one in which he hoped the House would never concur. Nothing could be mote inconsistent than the arguments on which these claims of admission to universities were founded. He remembered, that when the subject was formerly discussed, the three denominations claimed for Protestants the right of admission, saying nothing of any other faith. And the hon. Member for Weymouth hoped that the plan adopted in future might be such as to admit all Protestants without offence to their consciences. But what became of the Jew? What became of the Mahometan?—who seemed to be such a particular favorite with the hon. Member. There was a minor point to which he must also address a few remarks, though he felt almost ashamed to talk of pounds, shillings, and pence, in connection with such a subject. The hon. Member for Manchester had talked of some 80,000l. or 90,000l. a year, available, as he said, for laymen, and of which the Dissenters, he hoped, might come in for a share. But the property available for such purposes was, with rare exceptions, limited to the use of those who were either in holy orders or who were candidates for such orders. There were only three lay studentships in Christ Church, six lay fellowships in Magdalen College, and a few in All Souls, but in the greater number of colleges no man could be a fellow except he were in priest's or deacon's orders, or a candidate for such. And with respect to the emoluments of the three studentships in Christ Church, and the six fellowships in Magdalen, they would form but a very small proportion of the amount of 80,000l. or 90,00l., which glittered as a golden prize in the eyes of the Dissenters, whom the hon. Gentleman now took under his protection. The next observation to which he would call the attention of the House was the denial of the hon. Gentleman that religion was taught in the universities. Certainly the hon. Gentleman limited his observations more immediately to that university of which he was a member; but he could state, that he had great reason to believe, that even in respect to that university, without denying what the hon. Gentleman stated as hit own experience, as to religion forming no part of education in his time, that a considerable change had taken place in the interval, since the hon. Gentleman was at the university. But with respect to the other university, he could state most deliberately and distinctly, not only that religious instruction formed an essential element in the education there; but that it formed the first and fundamental requirement of education. Nor could any young man, however high his attainments might be in classics or mathematics, obtain his degree unless he were competent to answer questions connected with his Christian profession: it was not enough that he had signed the thirty-nine articles before his admission or matriculation: but before he could be examined upon any one subject of secular knowledge, he underwent a preliminary examination in the principles and doctrines of his faith; and he (Sir R. Inglis) knew two cases of young men, afterwards very eminently distinguished in life, who took what (in Oxford) were the highest honours, but who had failed in the first instance, and were refused their degree, on the ground of their not reaching that standard of religious information which the usage of the university required at that time, and, if possible, more strongly required now. They were thrown back for their degree for six months: in the interval they acquired that knowledge which was essential to their degree; and each received the highest honours which the university could give. He thought that the hon. and learned Member for Bath seemed by his gesture to consider that six months' application to the subject of religion was not enough. He admitted that not only six months, but even a whole life was not enough; and that such knowledge would be most limited and imperfect; but he said that according to the standard of all education, to young men of twenty or twenty-one an application of six months was amply sufficient to give that knowledge—head knowledge, if they pleased so to call it; but, after all, what could a public body convey to any recipient except head knowledge? It was the gift of a very different power to touch the heart; but it was the function of a fellow human being to take care that all those who were committed to him should be in a condition to know all the essential principles and general doctrines of the communion and church of which he claimed to be a member. That, he contended, was done, systematically, he knew in the University of Oxford, and he believed it was the same at Cambridge; of that university with which he was more immediately connected he had more certain information, and he would contend that it was not correct on the part of the hon. Gentleman to depreciate as he did the system of education connected with religion in that university. He was aware that the hon. Gentleman said he did not speak from his own knowledge; but he contended that whatever might have been the case in former periods, there was now in the University of Oxford such a system as he had spoken of; and no education was considered complete or general which did not comprise a knowledge of religion, without which, he believed education itself would be useless. In the peroration of the hon. and learned Gentleman's speech, and in a large portion of the speech of the hon. Gentleman who last addressed the House, there was much said about the spirit of conciliation with which they should meet the claim of Dissenters; that claim being, first of all urged as their right. Waving, however, for a moment their claim of right the hon. Member talked of the benefits— the divine benefits—of conciliation, and of those arising from young men of different religious principles being blended together. But what was the spirit which the Dissenters were at that moment evincing against the religion and education of the Church of England? Was that a spirit which the House could be consistently called upon to foster? He should object to it under any circumstances; but it was a mockery to call upon them at that moment to admit Dissenters into places of education exclusively applied to the Church of England, when they found that from one end of the kingdom to the other they were arrayed and marshalled against the Church; and, so far from being inclined to harmonize with her institutions, or any part of her teaching, they opposed her with an unanimity and virulence seldom before combined; and yet, being so combined, they had chosen this as a peculiarly fitting time for this proposition. Even as a boon he should have been opposed to the concession under such circumstances; but still more when it was claimed as a right. If it were a right, then he admitted that their conduct did not forfeit it; but he called upon those who claimed it as a right to shew the grounds upon which they rested their claim. He thought almost the first illus- tration of the hon. and learned Member was alone sufficient to defeat the argument which he founded upon it; for he stated that the universities were incorporated by the act of Queen Elizabeth, which recited that such incorporation was grounded upon the necessity of maintaining a system of godly learning and virtuous living. Godly learning itself implied religious teaching, and religious teaching according to the hon. Gentleman's own statement, could not be administered to those on whose behalf he pleaded. By the hon. Gentle man's own argument, therefore, if the universities were incorporated for the sake of promoting godly learning, he was asking the House, by this proposition, not merely to repeal an act of Parliament, but to set aside the very object for which that act was passed. And if he (Sir R. H. Inglis) admitted that which he was not prepared to admit, that even a large proportion of the two universities were connected with those from whom three centuries ago the great body of the people of England separated, he should go back to the charters and say, that the larger proportion of those foundations, he believed he could say all, certainly almost all, were foundations in honorem Dei. They were practical institutions for the effectual promotion of sound religion, and, as his right hon. Friend said, the first statute in almost all such institutions was that which required the worship of Almighty God. If then they admitted to the universities men liberated, if they would from the burthens of a religious education, they were setting aside the objects for which those institutions were founded. The hon. and learned Gentleman quoted a college founded in the University of Cambridge, in which the precedent which he desired to see followed under the act of Parliament which he now sought to obtain had been already set. He referred to Downing College. But he would ask the hon. Gentleman whether it had not become matter of history, he might almost say of memory, considering how recently that foundation was effected, that Downing College itself, which had deviated in the same way as a family might do from the usage of the Church of England in family prayer, by abbreviating the liturgical service there, was not a college originally appropriated to members of the Church of England; and whether, whatever alteration might have been made in that college with respect to prayer, it was not clear at least that it was intended to apply to those who were members of the Church of England? The hon. Member referred to him and the President of the Board of Trade as members of the Council of King's College, and then he said education was communicated without the necessity of subscription, and without even the necessity of attending public worship according to the Church of England. But the hon. and learned Member himself must be aware though he was not one of those who would depreciate King's College, that as to general education it stood in a relation totally different from that which the universities of the land at present and for countries had occupied. It was not a place, with a few exceptions at least, in which young men were brought together in anything like domestic relations; they did not live together, although he believed some dined together, and that fifteen or sixteen resided there. But those who resided there were required to do what young men at the universities of the land were required to do at that moment, viz., to attend public worship at the chapel, and receive lectures in religion. The hon. Gentleman referred also, though not on his own authority, to the conduct of the young men at chapel in public prayers, and he seemed to consider—for that was the only value of the statement, if it had any value at all—that the existing system was so bad that no alteration for accommodating Dissenters could render it worse. He was perfectly certain of this, that in his own time the administration of the communion was not only not enforced, but not even permitted. He stated deliberately that it was not only not enforced, but not permitted, under the apprehension that it might not be received in a proper manner. But at this moment it is perfectly voluntary; and large numbers of young men, as he happened personally to know, from having been present on several such occasions, received it with the same devotion as they would have done if administered in their own parish churches. But in this age of improvement, of which he believed there was no man in this metropolis who was not sensible, could it be supposed that improvement had not found its way into the universities? He believed, looking to the popular literature forty years ago, that such representatives of the clerical character as we found then habitually, were now absolutely unknown and were amongst the rarest specimens of human nature. Within the last forty years a greater change had taken place in the religious character of the people of England in the higher classes, those who had had religious advantages, than he believed ever occurred before in any period of our ecclesiastical history. He did not mean to say it was without alloy, but upon the whole the religious state of England, in the higher and middle classes, had advanced in the last fifty or sixty years to a degree which could scarcely be believed, and he thought that was mainly owing to the predominance given to subjects of religion in education. But that they were now called upon to disturb— that they were now called upon to destroy —because any man, with a knowledge of human nature, would agree with his right hon. Friend, that when, in education, young persons were their own masters, and they were left to their own discretion whether they should or should not receive religious instruction, the too great moral probability was, that such religious instruction they would decline to receive. They destroyed, therefore the efficacy of all religious instruction, if they permitted a discretionary power to the recipients whether they would or not place themselves in a position to receive it. But such would be the effect if, upon scruples of conscience, they gave to Dissenters admitted into the universities the right to absent themselves from public worship and religious education. That which they gave to the Dissenter, from a scruple of conscience, would goon become matter of right upon the part of those who could not urge the same ground of exemption. The hon. and learned Gentleman made a distinction between the universities and the separate colleges. This bill would not secure his object with respect to the universities, because he would only make it optional upon those who were, after all, to have it in their power to retain the present system. But if they were to make it compulsory in the case of particular colleges, it appeared to him that some interference would be as necessary as in the case of the universities; and then, he said, it was a violation of the rights and privileges, and he might almost say of the existence, of corporations which at that moment existed in full legal independence; it would be an interference uncalled for—a violation of all the privileges originally conferred upon them, and one which the hon. and learned Member would in vain sanction by any precedent, except the arbitrary precedents familiar to them all, of King James the 2nd., who required that a certain nonconformist should be admitted to a degree, and that another should be admitted to an endowment. In both those cases the principles of the universities were equally violated; and though he would not deny that it was competent to Parliament to pass this particular act yet he would deny that the act, if passed, would confer anything more than a permissive power upon the institutions themselves, whether they would or would not concede the privileges which the hon. and learned Gentleman sought to obtain. But had the hon. and learned Gentleman shown the slightest ground for hoping that if he left it permissive only he would gain anything by it? Unless he did something more than he now asked for, he would leave the Dissenters practically in much the same condition as they were in at present, and he would ask the hon. Gentleman whether under those circumstances he would call upon that House to risk the disturbances which his right hon. Friend had so ably brought under their notice? How much they formerly heard of the grievances of the Dissenters, inasmuch as they were not merely excluded from the old institutions, but from the power of establishing any new one. Whatever was the value of that grievance formerly, it was now erased from the catalogue of the Dissenters, for that had been redressed by the establishment of the University of London; and though that university had been more largely endowed by the state than the universities of Oxford or Cambridge, yet they had heard no complaint on the part of those two in respect to the amount so contributed. Upon all these grounds, as stated by himself and by his right hon. Friend, he cordially concurred in the opposition his right hon. Friend had given to the introduction of the bill proposed by the hon. and learned Member for Weymouth.

Sir Winston Barron

said, that the arguments of the Roman Catholics having endowed these colleges for Roman Catholic purposes had not been grappled with by those who opposed the introduction of this bill. It was a serious injustice to the Roman Catholics to tell them they were not to participate in the advantages of the education as afforded by the universities, although the emoluments given by them had been taken away. It was an injustice to the Roman Catholics of former times, and yet those who opposed this bill sought to perpetuate it upon the Roman Catholics of the present day. The con- sequence was that a feeling of bitterness and animosity was engendered against the institutions of the state; and Roman Catholics were compelled to send their sons to foreign countries in order to complete their education. But, putting altogether aside this argument, unanswerable as it was, he would ask hon. Gentlemen who opposed this motion what injury had been done to religion or to the Protestantism of the Irish Church from the admission of Roman Catholics to the University of Dublin? In no part of the British dominions could Protestant clergymen be found better informed, more zealous, or who per formed their duties in a manner more creditable to themselves, than those who were educated at the University of Dublin; yet Roman Catholics not only received their education there but some of the academical honours were open to them. On entering the University of Dublin the student was only required to state what his religion was—whether a Protestant of the Church of England, a Dissenter, or a Roman Catholic—and the only difference was, that the two latter were not required to attend Divinity lectures or the chapels of the University. [The Chancellor of the Exchequer.— They do not reside in the University.] — Certainly residence was not required. Some Roman Catholics, however, did reside in the University of Dublin, and what single inconvenience, disorder, or irregularity had ever resulted or could result from the circumstance? Here was an example of what they were asked to do in operation within the united kingdom, under their very eyes, and yet they refused Roman Catholics, although the sons of the first peers in the realm, to enter the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. The anomaly was startling, the contradiction was most monstrous and absurd, that the Irish university, founded for Protestant purposes, admitted Roman Catholics, not only to the benefits of education, but to the honours of the university, without discredit or injury to religion, while the two universities in England, founded principally by Roman Catholics, denied Roman Catholics the opportunity of participating in the benefits of a common education with their Protestant fellow-subjects. He did not wish to use any harsh or unseemly language in a debate which had been conducted throughout with temper and good feeling; but it was impossible to conceal that a deep sense of grievance must result from an exclusion so discreditable, and at the same time without meaning or object. But the absurdity did not end here: Roman Catholics must not study, forsooth, at the universities in common with Protestants, yet they might have seats in that House, and make laws for the country; they might advise the Queen; they might even hold the office of Prime Minister of England, and yet they were not admitted to a participation in the benefits of education. Catholics did not wish to govern the universities, they simply desired to be allowed to send the children there, instead of being compelled to send them abroad. He knew of two cases, one that of a peer of the other House, and the other that of a Roman Catholic gentleman, both of whom had been obliged to send their sons to a foreign university, but both, as they had told him, most unwillingly. Those young men would come back to their native country as strangers, and by such a system bitterness and bad feeling were engendered. What had other universities done? It would be worth while to inquire whether in this country we were better informed, more enlightened, and more religious than the people of other countries, who conducted their education upon different principles. Without citing the universities of France, the Roman Catholic college in Switzerland, or those in Bavaria, all which Catholic universities, and there were thirteen of them, admitted students without religious test; he would go to Holland, a Protestant state, and without derogation to the people of this country; he might say there was no more amiable, enlightened, or religious people, than the Dutch. In the three universities of Leyden, Groningen, and Utrecht, there was not the slightest impediment to Papist or Protestant, and no injury had resulted to the cause of religion in that country in consequence. Then he turned to Prussia. No man had been a higher Protestant than the late King of that country, or bad gone greater lengths to make the people of that prosperous country become of one religion. Yet in Prussia were instituted both Roman Catholic and Protestant professors of divinity in every university. Every person of every religion was admitted, without a religious test, and religious instruction was provided for each student, according to the religion he belonged to; somewhat after the principle which the right hon. Gentleman opposite had introduced into his Factory Bill. It was a just principle, but the carrying it out was another question. He was only talking of the principle. The right hon. Baronet had not by any means carried the principle out like the King of Prussia. It was not sought by the present motion to interfere with the instruction of the Members of the Church of England as at present constituted in the University. The hon. Member for the University of Cambridge had said, that if it were left to the youth of the country to say whether they would or not receive religious instruction, it would be opening a door to a great abuse. He believed so too. But it was a very different thing to allow a young man, on entering the University, to declare whether he did or did not belong to the Church of England. If he entered himself as a Member of the Church of England, he would do precisely as the Members of the Church of England did now; but if he were a dissenter he would be allowed to act on his own religious scruples, and adopt such religious principles as he pleased. If this bill should be carried, the Church of England would lose nothing, while a great deal would be gained in allaying religious animosities, and assuaging feelings of bitterness that now prevailed. But if, on the contrary, the bill should be rejected, they would add another large source of discontent to the dissenters of this country, and a large body of Catholics in Ireland. For it should be borne in mind, that although the great mass of the people might not feel this as a grievance, yet much discontent would exist among the higher classes, whom it ought to be the policy of the Government, and of the Members of the Church of England, to conciliate. After the noble Lord opposite had succeeded in introducing a united system of education in Ireland for the lower classes, which had not wholly succeeded, he hoped the noble Lord would not withhold his aid in support of instituting a united system of instruction among the higher classes, which was sure to succeed. If the bill of his hon. Friend should be carried, it would bind to the Government a large body of the aristocracy, wealth, and rank of the country.

Mr. Shaw

said, that as the hon. Baronet had made such pointed reference to him and the University he had the honour to represent, the House would allow him to make a few observations on the subject, and to state the reasons why, without wishing to abridge any of the privileges allowed by that distinguished university, he should feel it is duty to vote against the motion of the hon. Member for Weymouth. There was no exact analogy between the universities of Oxford and Cambridge and that of Dublin in the matter then under consideration. In the former, and particularly in the university of Oxford, each college was in the nature of a large domestic establishment, where one system of religious observances and instruction must necessarily prevail; whereas, in Dublin, the University was one college of a much more extensive character. In the English universities residence was essential; and the term was kept by residence. In the Irish—the great majority of students did not reside, and the term was kept by answering at an examination. The proportion of those who resided within the walls, to those who resided without, was but a fifth—that is, there were about 300 resident students, and about 1,200 non-resident. Each system had its peculiar advantages, and he highly prized those which belonged to the Dublin University. But then each must be taken according to its own circumstances. In the Irish university, the large majority of under-graduates were under the care and religious instruction of their own parents or guardians, but at Oxford all were obliged to reside within the college walls, and the heads of colleges and tutors stood to each young man in loco parentis, and were charged with their entire instruction, both religious and secular. It would not be practicable in such a case to have different places of worship, or teachers of different forms of religion within the walls of the same college. Then, with all the advantages which he admitted were derived by the Roman Catholics and Dissenters of Ireland from being allowed the privilege of taking degrees in the Dublin University, there was practically experienced there the drawback and difficulty to which his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer had alluded in the way of argument against the present proposition, namely, that being admitted so far, they could go no farther, and those who up to the honours of graduates could compete in honourable rivalry with their contemporaries, were then necessarily excluded from the scholarships, and fellowships, and higher offices of the university. Discontent was already expressed on that account in the Dublin University, and applications made to open those distinctions to all classes, which was obviously impossible, as the foundation of the institution was essentially Church of England, and all members upon the foundation must indispensably belong to her communion. He had been astonished to hear again that, night the objection urged, and an argument founded upon it, that the attendances at chapel and other religious observances enforced at the universities, were apt to degenerate into form, and might therefore be well dispensed with. Why, what was that but to say, that as there was infirmity inherent in our nature, and all human institutions were liable to abuse, that therefore we must forego every form of religion. It was a higher power alone that could touch the heart and change the mind; but was that a reason why we should not instruct the head, and teach the forms, and use the best means that an overruling Providence vouchsafed us—of directing education to its highest purposes—for education, without being based on true religion, was undeserving of the name, no matter what was the rank of life to which it was applied; and if religion was never to be taught, or the outward forms of a distinctive creed to be observed, until the vital effects were apparent to the world—then, indeed, might the minister of every congregation, the head of every household, or the mother of every family, however small, abandon in despondency and despair the effort to discharge their first duty to those committed to their charge. He trusted the venerable universities of the land would be the last to set such an example, and therefore he would oppose any measure which had for its object to constrain them to relax that religious discipline which formed their best characteristic.

Lord Stanley

was induced to offer himself to the notice of the House, by having been pointedly alluded to both by the hon. Gentleman who introduced the motion, and also by the hon. Baronet, the Member for Waterford. The subject, he must admit, was of extreme importance, and he acknowledged the civility with which the hon. Gentleman had referred to the opinions he expressed in 1834. Although he should be compelled to give his vote in op- position to the motion of the hon. Gentleman, he could assure the hon. Gentleman that he had seen no reason to alter or modify the opinions he entertained in 1834, nor any cause to depart from any of those which had been cited by the hon. Gentleman. He must confess, that while he concurred in much that been said by the hon. Gentleman, the Member for Waterford, he did not participate in many of the apprehensions expressed by his hon. Friends, the Members for the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford. He was of opinion, that alterations might be introduced into the system pursued at the universities without any danger arising from them. He still entertained the opinions he expressed in 1834, that very serious objections might be raised upon religious grounds against the system which prevailed in the University of Oxford, requiring young men to subscribe to the Thirty-nine Articles. He was afraid many young men were led to sign them for the purpose of matriculation, without having sufficiently considered them. He thought with regard to young men of the Church of England, that that was a most unnecessary, and if unnecessary, it was an objectionable ceremony to be observed on the introduction of students, and in his opinion, a greater latitude might be given, without departing from the principles of the Established Church. The universities of Oxford and Cambridge were, by their constitution, connected closely with the established religion of the State, and with that he desired to see them maintain a firm and close connection; but he did not see why any apprehension should be entertained of danger, either to that connection or to the religious opinions of the young men belonging to the Church of England, if Protestant Dissenters or Roman Catholics were admitted to share the university education at Cambridge and Oxford, as they were admitted to other universities in this kingdom. He did not, however, agree with the hon. Member for Waterford, that the existing system did altogether preclude Roman Catholics from being educated at Cambridge. If he was not mistaken, Sir John Burke was educated at that university. [Sir W. Barron: " Within the last three years the whole system had been changed."] He was not aware of that. He knew that many Gentlemen had been educated there who were not members of the Church of England. Besides Sir John Burke, he believed his noble Friend, the Member for Arundel (Lord Surrey), was educated at the University of Cambridge. The hon. Gentleman who introduced this motion had quoted two speeches made by him in 1834. The first was on the presentation of a petition very numerously signed by the heads of the colleges of Cambridge, and the second on the second reading of a bill introduced by the hon. Member for Kendal, for removing impediments in the way of Dissenters of obtaining a university education, and university degrees. In 1834, numerous petitions were presented by Dissenters, and supported by a large body of Churchmen, complaining that, according to the existing system in this country, there were no means whereby Dissenters could obtain a liberal university education, or the degree of master of arts, which, with regard to several learned professions, gave advantages in point of time in the prosecution of his subsequent career in those professions. This was set forth as a great grievance, and it excited great attention at the time. Although the bill of the hon. Member for Kendal (which was founded upon those petitions) fell to the ground, yet the petitions were not without their results. The practical grievance was admitted, and, to a certain extent, was remedied in the following year, 1835, by the institution of the London University, which enabled Dissenters to obtain a liberal and classical education with the members of the Church of England, and also to attain those professional advantages which arose from the possession of academical degrees. What had been the effect of this? Although great excitement prevailed in 1834 upon this subject, yet, from the establishment of the London University to the present day, there had been no excitement at all. There had been no practical grievances felt by the Dissenters, and no petitions signed by large numbers had been presented by them, complaining of any professional injuries. It was true the hon. Gentleman had to-night presented a petition, but it was from a solitary individual, not complaining of any personal grievance, but stating in a general way his opinion as to the expediency of pursuing the course which the hon. Mover of this motion proposed to adopt. If this bill were allowed to be introduced, it might have a tendency to revive and embitter the former feelings of jealousy and animosity about education, which, since the year 1834, had sunk into oblivion. There had been no demand for a redress of the grievances which the hon. Member made the foundation of his motion. The hon. Gentleman had not stated, that he was authorised by any numerous body of Dissenters to introduce this bill. The hon. Gentleman was followed by the hon. Member for Manchester, who Said, that if this bill should be introduced, the hon. Member would have gained the first step in raising the question upon which the Dissenters had fixed their united efforts to obtain, in point of expediency, justice and honour. It was, in fact, a measure having a tendency to renew a cry for the redress of grievances, which, to a certain extent, had been remedied. Further, the bill would not answer the hon. Gentleman's own purpose. What did he propose to do? He proposed three things. First, to do away with the oaths which stood in the way of any person obtaining a degree in the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge; secondly, to repeal so much of the Act of Uniformity, as required the prayers and Liturgy of the Church of England to be read in all the chapels of the colleges of the university; and thirdly, to alter the statute of examination. Now he remembered, that when the hon. Member for Kendal introduced his bill in 1834, that, hon. Gentleman said, that while he wished to obtain for Dissenters the advantages of examination and degrees of the universities, and all the classical honours belonging to a university education, yet he desired altogether to deprive Dissenters of forming any part of the governing power, or of having anything to do with the discipline of the colleges. It was on that ground, that he supported the bill of the hon. Member for Kendal He would admit Dissenters to every benefit of education that was closely connected with the Church of England, yet, although they might claim certain exemptions from attending to certain parts of the discipline of the universities, they were not, by obtaining the degree of master of arts, to be admitted to any part of the management of the universities, or to obtain any power by which they could exercise influence in weakening the connection between the universities and the established religion of the State. If the hon. Gentleman followed the measure of the hon. Member for Kendal, that hon. Member could tell him that he (Mr. Christie) would not satisfy the Dissenters. At present, there was no discontent, existing; but the hon. Gentleman having introduced an imperfect measure, it would, if carried, be necessary for him to go further, and introduce another, which would be most objectionable. Although the hon. Gentleman did not propose to apply an actual remedy to the grievances alleged by the Dissenters, yet he did by this bill practically sever the connection between the establishment and the universities, inasmuch as he proposed to do away with that uniformity which required the liturgy and service of the Church to be performed in every chapel of the universities. If the object of the hon. Gentleman was to relieve the consciences of Dissenters, it must be obtained by means of the authorities of the universities, for although he proposed to do away with the positive enactment requiring uniformity, still he left it permissive on the part of the authorities of the college to require attendance at divine service according to the form of the Church of England. While he separated in principle the universities from the Established Church, he did not at the same time confer upon the Dissenters the boon he wished to confer, because the governing body of every college would still have the power to maintain an adherence to the discipline of the college, and the performance of the liturgy of the Church of England, and would have the power to require an observance of these things on the part of every member of the university. He somewhat differed from his hon. Friend the Member for the University of Oxford, and rather agreed with the hon. Member for Weymouth upon the subject of compulsory attendance at public worship. He believed, that a very great alteration had taken place since be was at the university, which he was sorry to say was now twenty-three years ago. Within those twenty-three years, a vast improvement had taken place in the religious and moral feelings of the students, and also in the influence possessed over the members of the general body, high and low, by the tutors of the university. But he did not trace that change to the system of compulsory attendance at the chapels. He did think it was most desirable that every day should commence, and close with prayer according to the form of the Church of England, of that it was most desirable also that service should be performed not only every Sunday, but every day, according to the Church of England; but he thought compulsory attendance so many days in the week, independently of the Sunday, by young men, tended to decrease the feeling of sanctity in their minds, and religious education was thereby deprived of much of its power. His hon. Friend, the Member for the University of Oxford, and who was a member of the same college with himself, had said, that in his time the sacrament was not allowed to be administered in his college (Christ Church), whereas, at the present moment, it was administered, and vast numbers of young men attended it, and his hon. Friend added, that those young men attended from a sense of religion, without any compulsion at all—their attendance was altogether voluntary. If that had been the effect produced with regard to the attendance of the sacrament, he thought the same effect would arise from the power of religious feeling in regard to attendance at chapel both on week days and Sundays, even although compulsory attendance should be removed; but still more did he think that would be the effect if the attendance at chapel should cease to be, as in his time it was inflicted as a punishment for acts of insubordination. It was the practice when a student was offended, to say of him that he was confined to " hall and chapel"—that was to say that he had every morning and every evening to attend divine service, not for the purpose of worshipping his Maker, but as an act of discipline, and in way of punishment, for having been guilty of some act of insubordination. In his opinion, the discipline and instruction of the universities ought to be closely connected with the Established Church of this country, and that every encouragement should be given by advice, example, and precept to the Members of the Established Church, to attend the celebration of divine service according to the rites of the Church of England; but he confessed, he did not himself feel any apprehension with regard to the interests of the Established Church, or the interests of the universities, if retaining the entire management of the universities in the hands of members of the Established Church, and giving to them altogether the control and superintendence of the discipline of the colleges, there were admitted, as there were admitted in the universities of Durham, of Dublin, and of London, persons of different religious de nominations who might be willing to accept temporal instruction—mathematical and classical — according to the course pursued in those universities; and that some exemption might be made in their favour by exempting them from compulsory attendance upon that form of religious worship which they conscientiously dissented from. He believed the effect of this would be to soften down the animosities existing between Members of different religious persuasions; and that it would give both Churchman and Dissenter a more favourable opinion of each other. He considered this was a matter highly worthy of consideration by the universities. More than that, he would venture to state his opinion individually, and with great deference to the opinions of higher authorities, who, he knew, altogether differed from him, that in this year of our Lord, 1843, there did not exist those grievances, or that absolute necessity which could demand or call for interference on the part of Parliament, which existed in 1834. The Dissenters had now at least the means of obtaining that classical and mathematical instruction and scientific education in an university which had Been founded since the period when their grievances were brought before the Legislature in 1834. They had now the means of obtaining the degree of master of arts, and of enjoying all the privileges which the possession of those degrees conferred. He therefore did think the hon. Gentleman was not acting judiciously in reintroducing a subject which had created no popular excitement from 1834 up to this period. He was afraid, that the introduction of the bill, little as there might be in it absolutely injurious, would be a sure way to create dissatisfaction on the part of the Dissenters, and that because it did not concede more. It was, in his opinion, calculated to excite animosities, which the hon. Gentleman himself must admit it was most desirable should be kept down. Believing, therefore, that there existed no practical grievance at the present moment, believing that it was inexpedient to revive a discussion of the question, and believing at the same time that the only practical grievance alleged by the hon. Gentleman in support of the bill, had in a great measure been removed, and that the alteration required by the bill was one which, at all events, ought properly to be left, so far as it could be, to the experience and sense of the universities themselves, he, for his part, was very unwilling that Parliament should interfere with such a question. It was upon these grounds—while very little differing, if at all differing now from the theoretical opin- ions, he himself expressed in 1834—that he should feel it his duty, under the altered circumstances of the case— for he was sure the hon. Gentleman was too candid to impute it to the altered position which he now held, from that which he held in 1834 —solely, then, under the altered circumstances of the case, as regarded the condition of the Dissenters themselves, the public opinion, and the public institutions of the country, he should feel it his duty to vote against the present motion.

Lord John Russell

differed so little from the noble Lord, that he could not refrain from expressing his surprise that they should not be found voting together in favour of the motion. The single ground of the objection of the noble Lord to the introduction of the bill was, that, since 1834, another university had been established, at which degrees by those who were not members of the Church of England might be obtained. If it were wrong that Dissenters should enjoy the opportunity of taking degrees, that opinion must stand on its own merits; if it were right that they should be allowed to take degrees, it was no sufficient answer to say that there was one university from which they were not excluded. No doubt that was a mitigation of the grievance; but if it were a grievance, as the necessity for mitigation seemed to admit, why ought it not to be removed entirely? The Chancellor of the Exchequer and the hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford, had argued this question entirely on the principle of the proposition contained in the motion; but it seemed to him that, in a country like this, so divided in religious opinions, persons of all persuasions ought to be admitted, as far as possible, to the benefits to be derived from the universities, unless the principles of the Established Church entirely precluded such a course. Offices immediately connected with the Church certainly could be held by Dissenters; and although there might be difficulties in the way of an arrangement, he was inclined to approve of the principle laid down by the noble Lord, that the general rule ought to be instruction according to the doctrines of the Church, but that those who differed from the doctrines ought to be able to obtain the instruction there given, and the honours there bestowed. If there were no paramount objection to that, it was obvious that the benefits of education would be extended to those who did not now enjoy them. If 50 or 100 Roman Catholics would send their sons to Oxford or Cam bridge, that 50 or 100 ought not to be deprived of the advantage, unless some sufficient reason could be produced. The onus lay upon those who advocated exclusion; it was incumbent upon them to show a strong ground for their position, and it did not seem to him that any such ground had been shown. It was admitted that the principle of exclusion was at the present moment enforced in three different ways; at Oxford it began at the beginning, and extended through the whole course of instruction; that university was confined to members of the Established Church, and Roman Catholics and Dissenters could not enter its walls. At Cambridge the rule was different; Roman Catholics and Dissenters might go through the course of instruction; they might even reside within the colleges, but they could not enjoy its honours. In the University of Dublin a third system prevailed. Roman Catholics and Dissenters might not only receive instruction, but partake of the honours of the institution; but they could not become provosts, fellows, or even scholars, although they possessed the civil right of voting for Members of Parliament. When, therefore, this principle of exclusion was contended for, it ought to be borne in mind that in three of our universities it was enforced in three different ways. It ought to be contended by its advocates, that one of these ways was right; they could not all three be right; one must be better than the other; and if so, the others which were worse ought to be made to conform to that which was better. Many of the arguments of the hon. Baronet (Sir R. Inglis) were derived from a knowledge of the university he represented, and did not apply elsewhere; for instance, he had said that Oxford was a sort of social and domestic institution, and therefore that it could not admit students of different religious persuasions. That might be so, but if it were, the observation did not apply to Cambridge. A noble Friend of his (Lord Fitzallan) was formerly resident in one of the Colleges of Cambridge, and if it would be a destruction of the social and domestic character of that university to admit a Roman Catholic, it was very clear that it had been destroyed at Cambridge. Again, as to the University of Dublin, it had been said that such a latitude of admission would occasion discontent; yet such had not been the case in Dublin, and so well satisfied was the right hon. Member for that university, that he did not wish for any alteration of the system. The right hon. Gentleman had confessed that Roman Catholics, in particular, ought to be admitted, and ought to be allowed to compete for honours. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had argued the question of history, and had said, that looking at the foundations of these colleges, and at the wills of the founders, it was unfit to admit Protestant Dissenters. [The Chancellor of the Exchequer: I referred to the endowments of the colleges."] The majority of the endowments were made in Roman Catholic times, and the wills of the founders was that instruction should be given according to the Roman Catholic doctrines of the mass and other ceremonials. He agreed with the right hon. Gentleman, that it was perfectly competent to the Legislature to alter the mode of instruction; but his illustration was certainly not a very happy one when he spoke of a person who asked another, " Where was your religion before the reign of Henry the 8th?" The answer had been given by putting another question—" Where was your face before it was washed?" That might be a good reply for a member of the Established Church, but it Mould not be sufficient for the Dissenter, who would say—" I have washed my face a little cleaner than you washed yours." He would naturally think that it was no good ground for excluding him, that he had removed spots which the churchman had allowed to remain. Exclusion could only rest upon two grounds. 1, The will of the founders, which, of course, must be abandoned. 2. The existing state of the law. If a stand were made upon the law, the answer was that that law ought to be made conformable to the general benefit of the people at large. Looking back to the times of the Reformation, it was seen that when Mary succeeded to the Throne, she placed new heads in the different colleges; on the other hand, when Elizabeth ascended the Throne, she removed the heads of colleges her sister had established there. No test was applied at Cambridge until the time of James 1st; and Mary and Elizabeth, as the heads of the State, thought they had the power to make rules and to displace authorities, according to their views of the public interest. They certainly had that right, but it did not follow that such a right had descended to our day. Next, the advocates for exclusion appealed, as he thought most mistakenly, to their general knowledge of mankind. They said, "If you make it a rule that those who belong to the Church shall attend the service of the Church, and receive instruction from professors of divinity, you will find that those who wish to escape an irksome and tedious duty, will proclaim some small point of dissent in order to accomplish their object." This remark was not founded upon knowledge, but upon perfect ignorance of human nature. He could not believe that a father, who belonged to the Church of England, and who sent his son to the University of Oxford or Cambridge, would have so brought up that son that he would proclaim himself a Dissenter, merely because he wished to avoid the trouble of attending certain lectures; a father must, indeed, have been negligent of his son's education, if that son could so conduct himself. If young men were members of the Church, they would attend the lectures and the service of the Church; if they were Roman Catholics or Dissenters, they would fearlessly proclaim their dissent, but would no less attend to the instructions and doctrines of their own religion. If he merely regarded his reputation with the world, no young man whose family was known to belong to the Church, would venture, at Oxford or Cambridge, to proclaim himself a Dissenter, even if he were disposed to adopt such tenets. The objections of the Members for both the universities rested a great deal too much upon the supposition, which he believed to be entirely unfounded, that persons were to be made religious by certain tests and formularies which might be imposed, but which were not necessarily part of the general course of instruction. What fell from the noble Lord fully confirmed him in the belief that good religious instruction in the doctrines of the Church was much better promoted without any compulsion of the kind; and that if young men attended the communion because they wished to partake it, there was much better security for a religious education, and for the durability of religious impressions, than by making them subscribe the thirty-nine articles at the time of matriculation. He could refer to examples in the last century, to show how little declarations of support to the Church were really connected with religious character. He need only mention the three names of Bolingbroke, Gibbon, and Hume. Boling- broke was the leader of the high Church party in the House of Commons; Gibbon held office under an administration by which high Church principles were professed; and Hume was a great advocate for the kirk of Scotland, and attended the opening of the General Assembly with great regularity. To these three names he might oppose three others—those of Watts, Doddridge, and Lardner—men who were really actuated by the strongest sense of religion. Such men could not have been members of the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge, and could not have taken any degrees there; yet the last and least of these, Dr. Lardner, had written a most learned and elaborate work upon gospel history, and had no university degree until he was presented with one by Scotland. Was he not warranted, then, in saying, that true religion would be more promoted by making instruction according to the doctrines of the Church of England the general rule of university education, while, at the same time, Dissenters were permitted to pursue the same course of study, absenting themselves only from such service as was inconsistent with their opinions? This would be a great benefit to those who conscientiously dissented, while it would not at all tend to occasion a disregard of the doctrines of the Church. And why should it? Divided as the community in this country was into members of the Church, Protestant; Dissenters, and Roman Catholics, men of different persuasions were seen acting in after-life in perfect harmony, and they were often united by near relationship; sometimes they were engaged together in the same undertaking, and the difference of faith made no difference in affection. If this were true of men of twenty-five, thirty, or forty years old, why should it not be true of young men of seventeen, eighteen, and nineteen years old? The noble Lord had observed that this question had not excited much interest—that no petitions had been presented. The case of the Dissenters was unfortunate. If they had come forward in great numbers, if petitions had been voted at public meetings, they would have been turned back with the reproach, that they wished to assail the Church, and agitated because they were hostile to its interests. If they were quiet, they were accused of indifference; and if they agitated, it was asserted that they intended violence., He knew what would be the end of this question; neither this boon, nor any other would be granted; he was sorry for it, but he would, never the less, give his vote cordially in favour of the motion.

Mr. Wyse

said, that in the University of Dublin, during the time he was in residence there, there were forty or fifty Roman Catholic members of the university, but so far as he was aware no quarrel took place between them and any of their Protestant fellow-students on theological subjects. He believed that their intercourse tended to remove the prejudices which existed both in the minds of Catholics and Protestants; and he must say, that some of the most valuable friendships he had formed, had been among his Protestant fellow-students at the university. With regard to the doctrine of the non-interference of the State, he could say, that in 1792 the Irish legislature interfered with the charter of Trinity College, Dublin, for the admission of Catholics, and persons of that persuasion were now legally entitled to become professors. He would admit, that one of the objects of the universities was the extension of religion; but another object was, to extend secular information to the fullest extent to which it could be rendered useful. Why should the restrictive system be so stedfastly adhered to with respect to these? Surely there was greater danger (if any was at all to be apprehended) in admission to the Legislature than in ad mission to the universities. He did not think that the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies had furnished sufficient reasons for the change in his opinion, which it appeared had taken place since 1835. With respect to Trinity College, Dublin, though concessions had been made in 1798, he did not consider them by any means sufficient. A people who had grown from 1,000,000 to 8,000,000 should not only be allowed to share in the education, but also to permitted to participate in the emoluments. He was satisfied that, however it might be delayed, the principle of the motion must eventually prove successful, and the universities of this country, taught by the practice of those of other nations, would at last discover that to support their character they must extend their liberality.

Mr. Williams Wynn

considered, that if the simple question of admission to the universities was the only difficulty which they had to meet, it was one which would be easy of removal; but where was the assur- ance that they would not be called on to go further? The principle on which this demand was urged would extend to include the governing power, the honours, the emoluments, and the instruction of youth? But, besides this, he had a preliminary objection. He did not object to permitting the universities to adopt those alterations of their own accord, but he was opposed to any proposition which would go to the extent of compelling them by the interference of Parliament. He did not mean to deny the power of Parliament to interfere, but it was a power which he should always wish to see them slow to exercise. It was impossible for that House to go fully into the details upon which it would be necessary to enter when making such alterations. He thought the Convocation and senate of the universities were the proper tribunals before which such details should properly come. On these grounds, he was opposed to the motion, as he considered that nothing but a very strong case would warrant the interference of the Legislature. He should like to see the system changed so far as to admit persons not belonging to the Church of England to enter, perhaps, even to proceed to the degree of bachelor; but be could not wish this alteration to be made without the assent and the concurrence of the universities themselves.

Mr. Redington

was one of those who were compelled to undergo the degradation of being refused to graduate because he professed the ancient faith of those by whom the establishments were founded. He belonged to a college founded by the Countess of Richmond (Christ's) in which, though the privilege to graduate was nominally granted, it was so hedged round with provisions that it was virtually of no use. He considered the proposition then before the House a moderate and a fair one, though the right hon. Gentleman who last addressed the House could not see any injustice in the present instance. The right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer argued that the evil complained of was not so great now as it was ten years ago, because the London University was established in the interim. Did the right hon. Gentleman deem so lightly of his own college? He did not mean to disparage the London University, but did the right hon. Gentleman mean to speak so lightly of his own college, as to compare the London University with Cambridge? The right hon. Gentleman boasted of the men edu- cated at his college, whose high acquirements and intellectual superiority shed lustre upon the institutions at which their attainments had been acquired. Why, that was an argument in favour of the measure now proposed. If such were the results of education at these universities, why deprive the Roman Catholics, why deprive the Dissenters of such advantages? Why were not the intentions of the original founders of these institutions carried out to their full extent? Those who advocated the present measure did not seek any advantages to which they were not fully entitled. As regarded the Roman Catholics, they did not look for any privileges vested in the colleges founded subsequently to the Reformation, nor did they ask for anything to which they were not by the fullest right entitled; but he considered that it was an exceeding hardship to exclude them from the privileges pertaining to those foundations which were endowed for the purpose of having masses offered up for the souls of the founders.

Mr. Roebuck

looked at this question as a legislator for the whole kingdom. He did not know why there should be any distinctions between the different universities, nor why any university should be possessed of exclusive civil rights. When a man entered Oxford he was obliged to swear to the thirty-nine articles. [Sir R. Inglis: " Not swear, but sign."] He was glad that the hon. Baronet the Member for Oxford had made that distinction; it put him in mind of those reservations and distinctions which were like those of the Jesuitical part of the Church of Rome. When he had the signature of a man, declaring his belief in these articles he did not want to add to that signature the sanctity of an oath. The young man was obliged to declare his belief in what he did not understand. That was the first distinction in the university for instructing young men in the ingenious arts, He was obliged to subscribe to articles, not one-hundredth part of which could he understand. [Sir R. Inglis: " Why not? "] Why not? Because there was scarcely one man, even in that assembly, who could understand them [No, no]. If they did, perhaps, they would explain them. They would oblige him if they would explain this—£The hon. and learned Gentleman took up the thirty-nine articles and began to read one, but was met with loud cries of " Oh, oh," I and laid down the book.] He would not go through this, as it might be thought an insult to the House thus to treat a serious question; but they must recollect, that they asked a boy between sixteen and twenty to subscribe them. Who brought on this discussion? Not the hon. Member for Weymouth, but those who made the law. On those who made the distinction the onus lay. The articles on grace, pre destination, transubstantiation,—did the House think, that a boy of sixteen could understand what had occupied the serious attention of all the scholiasts and commentators? A young man was called upon to subscribe those articles at the commencement of a university education, with which, as the hon. Member for Oxford said, religion ought to be inseparably connected, and they commenced by making the young man a doctor instead of a learner. They began this education by calling for a declaration as to a future state of a most recondite and mysterious character. He asked why the State should impose on those entering the University of Oxford a declaration of this sort? Did the State require the young man to believe what he signed? " No," said the hon. Member for Oxford, " he need not understand or believe." Well, the young man proceeded with his education; his mind was not open to the reception of all the truth contained in the articles; he found himself not inferior in morality or in learning. He might be a good citizen and a pious person, but he could not subscribe to all the difficulties of the thirty-nine articles. The State then stepped in and said, " You are not one of us." The Church said, " You have a perfect right of private judgment, but if you do not believe with us, you must suffer in your private concerns." And this was the distinction between the two churches. The Catholic Church said, " you will be damned if you do not believe as we do." And the English Church said, " you can't be saved if you don't believe with us." He asked, then, why the Church of England should have that predominance granted by Parliament? for they had it not by endowments—those endowments were the creatures of an Act of Parliament, as he asserted they ought to be. The Parliament had determined to change the Catholic to the Protestant faith, and he asked the House to go one step further, and to relieve these endowments from all religious distinctions, and to make them useful for the general education of all, without any peculiar religious distinctions. As in the case of parish schools, there should be no peculiar religions doctrine mixed up with the university education, and of what benefit had the system been? By whom had the discoveries been made by which nature was subdued to man's use? Were they owing to the peculiar religious teaching of the University of Oxford? No. It had not softened the mind, regulated the intellect, or strengthened the powers of the intellect. He would ask the hon. Member to put his finger upon any individual who had advanced science by the peculiar religious doctrines taught at Oxford? He found Dissenters as pious, as learned, as generous, as humane, and as good in all the relations of life as any one educated at Oxford. How then could it be said that the peculiar religious teaching there had any effect in producing good men? It had been said that there was no grievance complained of upon this occasion. He would tell them why there was none. Whenever a man in this country became rich be immediately complied with the fashion by sending his son to Oxford or to Cambridge. In England fashion was more powerful than religion. But was that any reason why the Legislature should bow to the same fashion? As far as the education at Oxford went, it narrowed the intellect, and it created feelings of asperity, and it was only the business of life afterwards which wore off the edges thus created in those universities; nor could he learn the way in which it produced any humanising influences. It might be said, they were necessary to sustain the Established Church; but would the hon. Member for Oxford lay it down as a doctrine, that the exclusiveness of the universities of this country was maintained by Parliament for the purpose of maintaining the exclusive domination of the Church? If it were so, he would for that reason, more certainly oppose them. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxford had told them of men leaving the university unfit to enjoy the civil honours to be conferred, and returning six months afterwards perfectly fit. Did the hon. Member believe that a heartfelt change could be made in six-months, or that a full knowledge could be obtained on such difficult subjects in so short a time? Did he not believe that a person learned in Greek and Latin lore might be a Christian in every good sense without this knowledge? He might be a good man and a scholar, learned above his fellows, but he might want the peculiar knowledge to enable him to receive the distinguished honours of the state. He presumed that this peculiar learning was contained in the thirty-nine articles, which it would take not merely six months, but a whole life to understand. The hon. Member shook his head. Did he pretend to say that a man learnt much more than he previously knew in that six months? Did be learn more so as to make him a better man? Did the hon. Member really suppose that a Churchman was a better man than a Dissenter? [Hear, hear]. That was just what he wanted. Was there any other man on that bench that dared to say so? Oh, he saw an hon. Baronet bow with apparent humility; but was that common modesty on his part? Was it not like another description of men that they read of? Were they not like those who said we are not like other men, but we pray and fast three times a-week? This, then, was the honest doctrine of hon. Gentlemen opposite. What was this but saying that we are of the porcelain clay of creation, and the rest of the world were but potter's clay, to be turned and worked by the wheel, and dealt with in every rough and rude way? It appeared, however, that there was only one other Member of that House besides the hon. Baronet the Member for the university of Oxford, who dared to say that the members of the Church of England were more pious, virtuous, and learned than other men; and that Dissenters, or any other persons, merely by six months' theological study in the university, would become so much better than the rest of the community. Was not this ridiculous and absurd in the extreme? He saw his hon. Friend the Member for Pomfret opposite, who seemed to dissent from this opinion. Now he should like to have a Puseyite as well as an orthodox Church view of this subject, so that the House might be enabled to determine whether the articles of the Church were read right or wrong. It would appear from the observations of the hon. Member for Oxford that all the previous education in Christian learning at the university was useless, and, although a young man might be versed in classical and mathematical lore, yet all was useless, unless with his six months' teaching with respect to the articles of the Church. He had thought that every young man was sufficiently well learned in the fundamental doctrines of Christianity before he entered the university, at any rate it was well known that in the Dissenting colleges a boy, before he was seventeen, became well versed in Christian doctrine. It appeared, however, that during the short period that he had alluded to, the parties were not only to be instructed in Christian doctrine, but were also to obtain faith; but the result was, that they professed to believe, because it was for their interest to believe, and as far as the universities were concerned, they were teachers of hypocrisy as much as anything else.

Viscount Sandon

thought that the hon. and learned Member for Bath had completely misunderstood, and had, therefore, altogether misrepresented the speech of his hon. Friend the Member for the university of Oxford. His hon. Friend had said— " That men in the university to which he belonged were refused their degrees because they were not adequately acquainted with Christian knowledge." It should be recollected by the hon. and learned Gentleman that a young man passing for his degree required more knowledge than a mere school-boy, and that something more than merely being able to read the Greek Testament was requisite. What was required was, that before passing for a degree, a man should possess more than the common range of scholastic knowledge, namely, that he should also be versed in the principles and doctrines of Christianity, and six months were ample to acquire that knowledge. He believed that there had been an unintentional perversion of facts on the part of the hon. and learned Gentleman, but the perversion must be obvious to any one at all acquainted with the subject.

Mr. H. R. Yorke

said, amidst loud cries of " question," that he did not intend to detain the House more than one minute; but if he was interrupted, he should move the adjournment. The important question before the House was, whether or not it would consent to abolish the oaths on entrance to the universities. He thought that in his own person he could afford a practical illustration of the absurdity of these oaths. He had gone to Christ College, Cambridge. [" Question."] He wished to state specific facts, and had no wish to take any importance to himself [" Question."]. Well, when he went to Christ College, he entered himself as a pensioner, which in the other university was called a commoner. He found that it was necessary for him to go seven times a week to Church. It did not suit his mind very much to do so, and he was very happy to find the means of getting rid of the inconvenience. He had the means of purchasing immunity, and he did so by making himself a gentleman pensioner; and after that he had only to go to Church twice a week. He wanted to know what necessity there could be for any oaths, when a difference of 30l., 40l., or 50l. expense would make a change in the religious observances in the university, in the relative proportion of seven to two?

The House divided—Ayes 105; Noes 175: Majority 70.

List of the AYES.
Aldam, W. Hall, Sir B.
Archbold, It. Hanmer, Sir J.
Arundel and Surrey, Hastie, A.
Earl of Hatton, Capt. V,
Barclay, D. Hay,Sir A. L.
Baring, rt. hn. F. T. Hayes, Sir E.
Barnard, E. G. Heathcoat, J.
Barron, Sir H. W. Heneage, E.
Berkeley, hon. C. Hill, Lord M.
Bernal, R. Howard,hn. C. W.G.
Bernal, Capt. Howard, hon. II.
Blake, Sir V. Hutt, W.
Blewett, R. J. Lemon, Sir C.
Bowring, Dr. Maher, V.
Brocklehurst, J. Majoribanks, S.
Brotherton, J. Marsland, H.
Browne, hon. W. Mitcalfe, H.
Bulkeley,Sir R. B. W. Mitchell,T. A,
Buller, E. Morris, D.
Busfeild, W. Muntz, G. F.
Chapman, B. Norreys, Sir D. J.
Childers, J. W. O'Brien, J.
Cobden, R. O'Brien, W. S.
Colborne,hn. W.N.R. O'Connell, M. J.
Craig, W. G. Ord, W.
Crawford, W. S. Oswald, J.
Currie, R. Palmerston, Visct,
Curteis, H. B. Parker, J.
Dalmeny, Lord Pechell, Capt.
Dalrymple, Capt. Philips, M.
Dawson, hon. T. V. Plumridge, Capt.
Duncan, Visct. Pulsford, H.
Duncan, G. Redington, T. N.
Duncombe, T. Rice, E. R.
Ebrington, Visct. Roebuck, J. A.
Ellice, E. Ross, D. It.
Ellis, W. Russell, Lord J.
Ewart, W. Scholefield, J.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Seymour, Lord
Fitzroy, Lord C. Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.
Fitzwilliam,hn. G. W. Smith, B.
Granger, T. C. Smith, J. A.
Smith, rt. hon. R. V. Wall, C. B.
Staunton, Sir G. T. Wawn, J. T.
Stuart, Lord J. Wemyss, Capt.
Strickland, Sir G. Wood, B.
Strutt, E. Wood, G. W.
Talbot, C. R. M. Worsley, Lord
Thorneley, T. Wrightson, W. B.
Trelawny, J. S. Wyse, T.
Tuffnell, H. Yorke, H. R.
Turner, E.
Villiers, hon. C. TELLERS.
Vivian, J. H. Christie, W. D.
Vivian, hon. Capt. Gibson, T. M.
List of the NOES.
Ackers, J. Dugdale, W. S.
Acton, Col. Duncombe, hon. A.
Adare, Visct. Duncombe. hon. O.
Adderley, C. B. East, J. B.
Allix, J. P. Eaton, R. J.
Antrobus, E: Egerton, W. T.
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Eliot, Lord
Archdall, Capt. M. Escott, B.
Arkwright, G. Estcourt, T. G. B.
Bailey, J. Fellowes, E.
Bailey, J. jun. Ferrand, W. B.
Bankes, G. Filmer, Sir E.
Baring, H. B. Flower, Sir J.
Bateson, R. Follett, Sir W. W.
Bell, M. Ffolliott, J.
Bentinck, Lord G. Forbes, W.
Bernard, Vict. Fuller, A, E.
Boldero, H. G. Gaskell, J. Milnes
Bramston, T. W. Gladstone,rt.hn.W.E.
Broadley, H. Gladstone, Capt.
Brooke, Sir A. B. Glynne, Sir S. R.
Bruce, Lord E. Gordon, hon. Capt.
Bruce, C. L. C. Gore, M.
Buckley, E. Goring, C.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Bunbury, T. Graham, rt. hon.Sir J.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Greenall, P.
Burroughes, H, N. Greene, T.
Cardwell, E. Gregory, W. H.
Chelsea, Visct. Grogan, E.
Chetwode, Sir J. Hale, R. B.
Christopher, R. A. Halford, H.
Clayton, R. R. Hamilton, J. H.
Clerk, Sir G. Hamilton, G. A.
Clive, Visct. Hardinge,rt.hon.SirH.
Clive, hon. R. H. Heneage, G. H. W.
Colvile, C. R. Henley, J. W.
Compton, H. C. Henniker, Lord
Copeland, Mr. Ald. Herbert, hon. S.
Corry, rt. hon. H. Hervey, Lord A.
Courtenay, Lord Hillsborough, Earl of
Cresswell, B. Hodgson, R.
Cripps, W. Hope, hon. C
Damer, hon. Col. Hope, A.
Darby, G. Hope, G. W.
Denison, E. B. Hornby, J.
Dick, Q. Hughes, W. B.
Dickinson, F. H. Hussey, T.
Douglas, Sir H. James, Sir W. C.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Jermyn, Earl
Dowdeswell, W. Johnstone, Sir J.
Drummond, H. H. Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.
Jones, Capt. Repton, G. W. J.
Kelly, F. Rolleston, Col.
Kemble, H. Rose, rt. hon. Sir G.
Kirk, P. Round, C. G.
Knatchbull, rt.hn.SirE. Round, J.
Law, hon. C. E, Rous, hon. Capt.
Lawson, A. Russell, C.
Lefroy, A. Russell, J. D. W.
Lincoln, Earl of Sandon, Visct.
Lindsay, H. H. Scarlett, hon. R. C.
Lockhart, W. Shaw, rt. hon. F.
Lowther, J. H. Sheppard, T.
Mackenzie, W. F. Shirley, E. J.
Mahon, Visct. Sibthorp, Col.
Mainwaring, T. Smith, rt. hon. T.B.C.
Manners, Lord C. S. Smyth, Sir H.
Manners, Lord J. Sotheron, T. H. S.
Marsham, Visct. Spry, Sir S. T.
Martin, C. W. Stanley, Lord
Meynell, Capt. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Miles, W. Thornhill, G.
Milnes, R. M. Tollemache, J.
Mordaunt, Sir J. Tomline, G.
Morgan, O. Trollope, Sir J.
Mundy, E. M. Trotter, J.
Neeld, J. Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Nicholl rt. hon. J. Vesey, hon. T.
Norreys, Lord Waddington, H. S.
O'Brien, A. S. Wellesley, Lord C.
Patten, J. W. Whitmore, T. C.
Peel, rt. hon. Sir R. Wood, Col. T.
Peel, J. Wortley, hon. J. S.
Pigot, Sir R. Wynn.rt. hn.C.W.W.
Polhill, F. Young, J.
Pollock, Sir F. TELLERS.
Pringle, A. Fremantle, Sir T.
Reid, Sir J. R. Inglis, Sir R. H.