HC Deb 09 July 1845 vol 82 cc227-77
Mr. Macaulay

rose to move the Second Reading of the Universities Scotland Bill. He said: I have been requested by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leith (Mr. Rutherfurd), to act as his substitute on this occasion. I very greatly regret that a substitute should be necessary. I regret that we have not him among us to take charge of this measure, which he introduced to a very thin House indeed, in one of the most forcible and luminous speeches it has ever been my lot to hear. The few hon. Members, however, who were then present, cannot fail to remember the powerful effect which the speech of my hon. and learned Friend, on applying for leave to bring in the Bill, produced. The Ministers who came down to oppose it relinquished their objections to it. They hesitated; they consulted together; and at last, under the irresistible influence of his eloquence, they consented that he should have leave to bring in the Bill. They subsequently appeared to regard the Bill with favour, and his hon. and learned Friend, with himself, was thus induced to expect that the opposition to it was over. We anticipated that this important and salutary measure would be suffered to become law. But we have been disappointed. It has been intimated to us that it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to resist the further progress of the measure; and under these circumstances I now rise to move the Second Reading of the Bill. Were this an ordinary occasion, I should, under such circumstances, despair of success; but when I consider the strength of our cause, and recollect the justice and necessity on which it is founded, I cannot think it possible that even the opposition of Her Majesty's Government could succeed against it. I should consider success not only possible, but certain, if I did not know how imperfectly most English Gentlemen are informed on subjects immediately connected with Scotland. It is on this account that, departing from the ordinary course, I think it necessary, even after the able and eloquent statement of my hon. and learned Friend in introducing the measure, to address the House, instead of simply moving the second reading of this Bill; and in doing so I shall beg the attention of the English Gentlemen present to the state of Scotland. I hope that they will think that on this occasion the Member for Edinburgh has some right to their indulgence. I have been sent to this House as the Representative of a great city, which was once the capital of an independent kingdom—once the seat of a Court and of a Parliament; and, though for the general good it descended from that eminence, it still continues the intellectual metropolis of a great and intelligent people. Their chief distinction of late years has been derived from their University, which was practically constituted on the pure principles of toleration now advocated by Her Majesty's Ministers. So constituted, it has flourished during several generations, a blessing to the Empire, and renowned, to the furthest ends of the world, as a great school of physical and moral science. This noble and beneficent institution is now threatened with a complete and ignominious alteration in its character by the shortsighted and criminal policy of Her Majesty's Government, and by the virulence of ecclesiastical faction, which is bent on persecution, without even the miserable excuse of fanaticism. Nor is it only Edinburgh that is threatened. In pleading for it, I plead for all the great academic institutions of Scotland. The fate of all depends on the discussion of this night; and, while pleading for them, I am confident that I shall be heard with favour by every one who loves learning and religious liberty. I shall now proceed, therefore, without further preface, to the consideration of the Bill before the House. I say, first, that this Bill is founded on a sound principle. I say, secondly, that even if the principle of this Bill were not one which could be defended as generally sound, still the principles of the Ministers should make them desirous of passing the Bill; and, thirdly, I say, that if the Bill ought to pass, it ought not to be delayed by the Government. I state, first, that the principle of this Bill is a sound principle; and whoever else may undertake to controvert that assertion, by Her Majesty's Ministers, at least, it cannot be controverted. From their mouth a declaration will not sound well, that literary and scientific instruction is inseparably connected with spiritual instruction. It will not do for them to rail against the principle of this Bill as establishing "a godless system of education;" or to talk with horror of the danger of young men listening to lectures delivered by an Arian professor of botany, or a Popish professor of chemistry. They have contended that those sciences can be taught without reference to a religious creed. They have, for a country in which a great proportion of those who require academical education are dissenters from the Established Church, advocated a system of academical education altogether separate from religious tests. In that case they have thrown open the professorships to every creed; and they have strenuously defended this principle against attacks from opposite quarters—against the attacks of zealous members of the Church of England, and of the prelates of the Church of Rome. A test was offered only the day before yesterday for their acceptance by the hon. Baronet the Member for North Devon (Sir T. Acland), a test singularly moderate, merely requiring the professors to declare their belief in the divine authority of the Old and New Testaments; and even this test the Ministers resisted as inconsistent with the principles of their measure. It was then argued that it was unnecessary to apply such a test to professors of secular science; that it was unworthy to insinuate that they would inculcate infidelity on their pupils; and all men must remember with what scorn the Ministers discarded the notion that science could not be taught except in conjunction with a religious creed. The right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government said that it was utterly impossible to suppose that the professors would stoop to conduct anything so degrading, and abuse the confidence reposed in them. We heard in other quarters the use of very different language; but that language made as little impression on Ministers as on me. We were told that secular knowledge, unsanctioned and unaccompanied by sound views of pure religion, was not merely useless, but was positively noxious—that it was not a blessing, but a curse. I respect most deeply some of those who used that language; but it appears to me that this proposition is one which, while you state it in merely general terms, may possibly have a pleasing sound to the ears of some persons, but which, when brought to a test by applying it to the real concerns of life, is so monstrous and ludicrous that refutation is out of the question. Is it seriously meant, that if the captain of an Indiaman should be a Socinian, it would be better that he should not know the science of navigation; and that if a druggist should be a Swedenborgian, it would be better that he did not know the difference between Epsom salts and oxalic acid? Is it seriously meant, that 100,000,000 of the Queen's subjects, being Mahomedans and Hindoos, and progressing towards our state of civilization, should be sunk below the aborigines of New South Wales, without an alphabet, and without the rudiments of arithmetic? Gentlemen who mean seriously that secular knowledge, unsanctioned by a pure system of religion, is a positive evil, must go that length; but I should think that no sane man would be found to do that. At least, I never could conceive how an error in geology or astronomy could be corrected by divinity, or how a man well acquainted with his Bible could be saved from scientific errors. On these grounds, I cordially supported the measure which Her Majesty's Government introduced with respect to the Irish Colleges. The principle of the Irish Colleges Bill, and the principle of the Bill the second reading of which I now move, are the same; and the House and the country have a right to know why those who bring in the Irish Colleges Bill call on us to throw out the present Bill. It is most true, that in Scotland there is no clamour against the English connexion. It is true, that in Scotland there is no demagogue who thinks to obtain popular favour by attempting to excite animosity against men of the English race; and it is true, that in Scotland there is no party who would venture to speak of the enemies of the State as possible to be, under any circumstances, the allies of Scotland. In every extremity the Scotch people will be found faithful to the common cause of the Empire; but it will not, I hope, be thought—I am sure that, at any rate, it will not be publicly avowed—that on this account a measure bestowed as a boon on another part of the Empire, ought to be withheld from Scotland. But if this is not the distinction, where are we to look for a distinction? In Scotland, as well as in Ireland, unhappily, the Established Church is the church of the minority of the population. It is perfectly true, that the proportion of Dissenters to the Established Church in Scotland is not so great as in Ireland; but we cannot say that on this occasion we are dealing with the whole of the population. The question concerns that class which requires academical education; and among that class in Scotland the proportion of Dissenters from the Established Church, it would not be very difficult to show, is as great as the proportion of Roman Catholics among a similar class in Ireland. If it is desirable that there should be no sectarian education in Ireland, it is no less desirable in Scotland. If it is desirable that Protestants and Catholics should study together at Cork, it is no less desirable that the sons of elders of the Established Church of Scotland, and the sons of those who are separated from that Church, should study together at Edinburgh. If it is not desirable to require from Irish professors a declaration that they believe in the divine authority of the Gospels, on what ground is it necessary to call on the Scotch professors to say that they assent to every clause in the Confession of Faith? I defy right hon. Gentlemen opposite, with all their ingenuity and eloquence, to find one argument or rhetorical topic bearin gagainst this Bill, which would not be as effectual against their own Irish Colleges Bill. I consider this Bill, then, as safe from attack, with respect to its principle, from Her Majesty's Ministers. But I go further; and I say that, even if I did not hold the principle of this Bill to be most sound and excellent, I could still show, in the peculiar case of Scotland, some irresistible reasons for adopting the Bill, and for inducing many who even voted against the Irish Colleges Bill, to vote in favour of the present Bill. In the first place, I would call attention to the peculiar character of academical institutions in Scot- land. The case of Scotland differs widely from the case of England and from the case of Ireland. The English Universities have a character of their own—an ancient, deeply marked character. It may be good, or may be bad; that question I will not now argue; but this we must acknowledge, that it is in perfect harmony with the system of tests. The Irish Colleges have no character. They have to receive their character from the Legislature, and we may impress on them what character we please. If we think it desirable to give them a character not in harmony with the system of tests, we may do so. But the Scotch Universities have a distinct character, as strongly marked as that of the English institutions, and altogether out of harmony with the system of tests. I entreat English Gentlemen not to suppose that the system of discipline or mode of instruction in them is like that in the English Universities, or that there are such authorities in them as the Provost of King's College is, or the Warden of New College. This is a distinct question from anything connected with the English Universities, and is to be decided on different grounds. We are not introducing a precedent for allowing Dissenters to be professors at Oxford and Cambridge. There is, in fact, no analogy whatever between the Universities of the two countries. What ought to be done with respect to the English Universities is a perfectly distinct question, and to be dealt with on perfectly distinct grounds. The object of the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford is, to bring up young men in connexion with a particular Church. At Cambridge, no person is suffered to graduate without declaring his adhesion to that Church. The rule at Oxford is even more strict; for on matriculation a declaration on oath must be made. The discipline, even outside the walls of the Colleges, is analogous to that pursued within. The students are lodged in the Colleges, and are obliged to attend to the strictest regulations with regard to their conduct, and to attend constantly in chapel and in hall. A person is appointed in each College to note the absence of the young men from divine service, another to watch their absence from hall, and another to keep account of those who return to the College at late hours; and University officers parade the streets by night, as a sort of University police, to seize upon any students they may find beyond the walls of their respective Colleges. In these Universities, there are punishments for any breach of decorum, and the authorities of the University have the power of control over the conduct of the pupils. The Scotch Universities are of a different nature. They do not pretend to inculcate one form of religious opinion more than another; a Jew might become a Master of Arts or a Doctor of Medicine as readily as a member of the Church of Scotland. No academical authority has a right to ask a young man attending the University whether he went to the Synagogue, or the Catholic chapel, to the Free Church or the Established Church. As to the moral conduct of the young men beyond the walls of the University, no influence could be exercised, and none of the heads of it could interfere with a student for conduct in the streets of Edinburgh. The proceedings in Edinburgh were similar to branches of scientific education in London. A young man might attend lectures at St. George's Hospital, or the lectures of Mr. Faraday in Albemarle Street, to learn chemistry, and of Mr. Carlyle on German literature, without any interference on the part of his instructors beyond the lecture room. Would it not be absurd to require a religious test from the lecturers to medical students at St. George's Hospital, at Surgeons' Hall, or in other places where science was taught? The relation between those parties being exactly analogous to the relation existing between the Scotch professors and Scotch students, on what principle can we defend the requiring of religious tests from the Scotch professors? If I held all the opinions of those Gentlemen who most dislike the Scotch system, I should say, after all, that in such a system religious tests would be out of place. Where you aim at bringing up young men as members of a particular Church, there is a reason for requiring from all who educate, a test to show that they belong to that Church; but where you do not propose to inculcate certain religious opinions, it is absurd to require that men should be Protestants before they give lectures on chemistry, or Trinitarians before they can take medical degrees. I therefore say, that the peculiar character of the Scotch Universities is, in my opinion, one strong reason to agree to this Bill. The peculiar engagements which exist between the English and Scottish nations also appear to me a strong reason for adopting the Bill. Some Gentlemen may think that I am venturing on dangerous ground. We have heard that the Treaty of Union and the Act of Security require us to prevent the passing of such a measure. I say that by those Acts I am not bound to throw this measure out; but that I am bound to adopt it, or some measure to the same effect; and this I undertake to prove by irresistible arguments. I shall resort to no paltry quibbling with the view of explaining away words. I utterly repudiate such an at tempt when made in reference to questions like this. If I thought that the public exigencies required us to break through the Treaty of Union, I would say so openly, and should never quibble at words. I mean to deal with the Treaty of Union as a solemn engagement. In what sense was that Treaty adopted by the contracting parties; and more especially, in what sense was it understood by that party which, if there is any doubt, ought to prevail, that party being the weaker party, and standing in need of a guarantee? It was declared by that Treaty that no person should be a teacher or office-bearer at the Universities who did not subscribe to the Confession of Faith; or, in other words, did not declare his adhesion to the Established Church. What Established Church was that? It was the Church established in 1707, when the Union was adopted. Is the Church of Scotland, at the present moment, on all points constituted as that Church was in 1707? I answer, certainly not. The British Legislature violated the Articles of the Union, and made a change in the constitution of the Church of Scotland. From that change has flowed almost all the dissent now existing in Scotland; and if you attempt to enforce the letter of the Articles of the Act of Union against the Dissenters, you are actually excluding from acting as officers of the Universities precisely those persons to whom the Act of Union meant to give the exclusive possession of the academic offices. This I undertake to prove. Every person who knows anything of the ecclesiastical history of Scotland must be aware that in the opinion of the great body of Scotch Presbyterians, the mode in which pastors are appointed is a matter of great importance. From the time of the Reformation the great body of Scotch Presbyterians held that in some form or other the people ought to have a share in the appointment of their ministers. They do not consider this as a thing indifferent; they consider it as a matter jure divino, for they think that according to the revealed word of God, no individuals are entitled to be ministers to congregations if their preaching does not tend to edify the congregations. I am sure that I do not exaggerate when I say that members of the Church of England do not attach more importance to their ecclesiastical government and ordination, than many Scotchmen who fear God and honour their Queen, attach to this right of a popular voice in the choice of their spiritual ministers. What was the state of the Church of Scotland as constituted in 1707? It was constituted in a manner satisfactory to the great part of the Presbyterian body. In 1690, the Act was passed for the regulation of the presbyteries, and giving to popular bodies a share in the election of the ministers, which then was considered an essential principle of the Church of that country. The Church of Scotland was so constituted when England entered into the solemn engagement with Scotland, by which the two countries were united, and in which it was declared that the then form of the Church should remain and continue unalterable. But five years after the Union there was a violation of this Article of the Union—a violation, the consequences of which I never think upon without regarding them as one of the most solemn warnings history presents to States, always to keep public faith strictly inviolate—and without a conviction, that in the end, though long periods, though whole generations may elapse, retribution for the injustice will come. In the year 1712, it is well known how the country was governed: the Whigs, who were the chief authors of the Union, who had carried on the war with Louis XIV., had been driven from power; they had fallen in consequence of the prosecution of Dr. Sacheverell, and the enmity of the Church of England. A Tory Ministry was in office—brought in and kept in by the Tory country gentlemen. The heads of that Ministry, but still more its followers, regarded the Presbyterians of Scotland with great dislike; that was a feeling which persons acquainted with the writings of Swift would know existed at that time. The general feeling was, that the English nation and the English Church had made a bad bargain, of which they were desirous to get rid, and which as far as they possibly could, without risking the general safety of the State, they ought to violate. During their short period of power they did offer numerous petty insults to the opinions, or, if you please, the prejudices of the Presbyterians; but the chief act on which they ventured was the introduction of a Bill abolishing the law of 1690, and giving back the power of filling up vacant benefices to lay patrons. Of the history of that Bill we have a little in Burnet, and we have something very significant in our own Journals. The measure was hurried on with the greatest speed, that it might be got through the House before intimation of it could reach Scotland; for those were not the days of railroads, when a speech made at two or three o'clock in the morning, is read the same day at Exeter and Newcastle. The significant entry on our Journals respecting it is this—there was an obstinate fight, and in the debate on the third reading, it was ordered that the Act of Union and the Act of Security should be read to the House. This is a pretty clear indication of what the feeling was on that occasion. But the Bill got up to the House of Lords; then came a petition from the General Assembly of Scotland against it. The first name attached to the petition was that of Carstairs, an eminent man, who had enjoyed the confidence of William III., and well known for the share he took in the establishment of the Church of Scotland after the Revolution. In that petition their Lordships were prayed not to violate the Act of Union; but party spirit ran high, and bore down all opposition; the Act of Union was violated; year after year the General Assembly protested against the violation, but in vain; and from the Act of 1712, undoubtedly flowed every secession and schism that has taken place in the Church of Scotland. It is true that the Act being upon the Statute Book was not a necessary reason that men should secede from the Church; but as often as it was put in execution, so often the Act of Union was violated again; as often as the subject was agitated by the operation of the Bill, so often these secessions took place. It is not my intention to detain the House with the minute history of these separations, but in consequence of the operation of the Act, the seceding Ministers formed the Associate Presbytery; and in 1752, the Relief Church was established. Even in our own time we have had similar instances; only two years ago we saw, not perhaps with unmixed approbation, but with strong sentiments of admiration, 470 ministers leaving their parishes and manses, throwing up their stipends, and committing themselves, their wives and children, to the care of Providence in this cause. Their congregations adhered to them firmly, followed them in crowds, and, surrounded by willing and delighted hearers, they preached in other churches, or, if none could be obtained, in tents and barns, or on those hills and moors to which in other times their ancestors fled, and worshipped God in despite of Lauderdale and Dundee. They were supported by their congregations, and the spirit in which every one contributed resembled that in which the widow of old threw her mite into the treasury at Jerusalem. Through whole districts, in whole counties, on the other hand, the ministers of the Establishment were preaching to empty walls. This was the fruit of the Act of 1712; from the Act of 1712, sprang the disputes which led to these distinct and repeated secessions. The repeal of that Act, and a return to the constitution of the Church of Scotland as it existed at the time of the Union, would have sufficed to heal the wound that had been inflicted. This is the true history of dissent in Scotland, and, knowing it, can any English statesman have the front to invoke the Treaty of Union and the Act of Security against those who hold those precise opinions which the Treaty of Union and the Act of Security were intended to protect, and who are Dissenters only because that Treaty and that Act have been violated? I implore the Gentlemen of England to think over the manner in which England has acted towards the Presbyterians of Scotland. First, by a solemn Treaty with the people of Scotland, you bound yourselves to maintain inviolate the constitution of their Church as it then existed; and five years afterwards you changed the constitution of that Church in a point which the people of Scotland regarded as essential; in consequence of which, secession after secession takes place, one great body of worshippers after another leaves the Church, till the Establishment is reduced to the Church of the minority; then begin your scruples about the Act of Security and the Treaty of Union; then you cannot depart from the letter of your contract; then if we ask for justice you turn away your faces, and say you must perform your engagements; then you appeal to Acts of Parliament, not to put the Church in the same situation she held in 1707, but to persecute those who adhere firmly in faith, doctrine, and discipline to the constitution of the Church of Scotland. These are the present conscientious scruples of Her Majesty's Government; but I must say that even its sugar scruples, though they made it the laughingstock of Europe and America, sink into insignificance when compared with these. Can they have a doubt of this sort? Can they have a doubt of the animus imponentis of the Bill of 1712, when they see the names of those who opposed it, the name of Carstairs and of Boston, the author of The Fourfold State? Suppose we could call them up from their graves, and explain to them the revolutions which have since their time taken place in the Church of Scotland, and then ask them "Which of these was your Church at the time of the Union, for the protection of which the Articles of the Union and the Act of Security were made?"—have you the slightest doubt of what their answer would be? They would say, "Our Church was not the Church you protect, but the Church you oppress; our Church was the Church of Chalmers and Sir David Brewster, not that of Brice and Muir." I am entitled to make a strong appeal to those Members of the House of Commons who are attached to the Church of England. If they think the Bill now proposed will not be in truth a violation of the Treaty of Union, but that it is, as far as it goes, a small reparation for the injustice committed on that Treaty, I ask, how can they vote for tests that exclude men of their own religious persuasion from the Universities of Scotland? We may differ as to the countenance we may give to what we view as error, but he incurs a grave responsibility who persecutes that which he believes to be truth. Yet that will be the position of the zealous member of the Church of England, who gives his vote to-night against the Bill on the Table, which affects Episcopalians as well as Presbyterian seceders. There is another argument which seems stronger still in this regard in favour of the Bill. You may say you are averse to removing these tests; but the question is not whether you will remove these tests, but whether you will impose them? The laws imposing these tests have fallen into disuse. We have heard that disuse made an argument by the right hon. Baronet the Home Secretary in favour of the Irish Colleges Bill; he said "the experiment has been tried—in Edinburgh, these tests have been disused for near a century." I implore the House to remember this; we are called on to establish Colleges in Ireland without tests, and yet we are asked to introduce a system of tests into the University of Edinburgh ten times as stringent as the test the hon. Baronet opposite (Sir T. Acland) proposed to introduce into the Bill for establishing Colleges in Ireland! Is it possible the House of Commons will bear out the Minister in such an attempt as this? These tests have long been dormant in Edinburgh; I do not exaggerate, when I say there are at least ten professors who have not subscribed the tests. Let the right hon. Baronet the First Lord of the Treasury, give the House some information on this point, for he has been himself Lord Rector of the University of Glasgow. And observe, Episcopalians are precisely the class of men whom these tests were meant to exclude; the tests were made rather against Prelacy than against Papists; at that time it was much more likely that a Papist should have been punished by the penal laws than made a professor. Every one knows that the right hon. Baronet the Secretary for the Home Department, and the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies, have also been Lord Rectors of the University of Glasgow; they know practically, that these tests are obsolete. Being to this extent obsolete, why are they now imposed? Having so long slept, the attempt is made to revive them, precisely because a schism has taken place, and there has been a vigorous demonstration of differences which you might have laid to sleep for ever. They were not enforced while the Church of the people was the Church of Scotland; but you begin to enforce them as soon as the majority of the people become Dissenters. You enforce them as they never were enforced before; and the very moment you do so you make the Universities sectarian bodies. The Presbytery certainly deserves credit for striking at high game; their attack is against Sir David Brewster. I hold in my hand the libel. The word is here used in its technical meaning; in the law language of Scotland, equivalent to "charge" or "declaration" in this case of Sir David Brewster, containing the proceedings taken with the view of ejecting him from his office as Principal of St. Andrew's College, his offence being neither more nor less than this—that he adheres in all points to the doctrine and discipline of the Church of Scotland as it existed at the time of the Union. Here we have an instrument put forward against him conceived in such a spirit that I must say with respect to the Presbytery, that it will have very little right on any future occasion to say anything about the arrogance and intolerance of the Vatican. The libel declares— That the Senatus and Faculty of the University of St. Andrew's ought to be required forthwith to redress the evil which you have brought upon the Church, by taking all steps competent to them for removing you from the office of Principal of the United College, and that the Senatus be required to report to the Presbytery, quam primum, what steps they have adopted to effect this, that you may be removed from your office, and visited with such other censure or punishment as the laws of the Church enjoin for the glory of God, the safety of the Church, and the prosperity of the University, and to deter others holding the same important office from committing the like offence in all time coming, but that others may hear and fear the danger and detriment of following divisive courses. And here is another question— For the glory of God, the safety of the Church, and the prosperity of the University! "The glory of God!" As far as that is concerned, I will here say nothing more than this—it is not the first time the glory of God has been made the pretext for the temerity and injustice of man. As to the safety of the Church—if, which God forbid! the Established Church of Scotland is possessed with the spirit of this Presbytery—if, having lost hundreds of able ministers, and hundreds of thousands of devout hearers, instead of endeavouring by meekness and diligence to regain those whom late events have estranged, she is ready to make war upon the seceders — if she is determined to furbish up for the purpose those old laws, the edge of which has long been rusted off, and which were originally meant, not for her defence, but for theirs—then are the days of the Church of Scotland numbered. With respect to the prosperity of the University, is there a corner of Europe where men will not laugh when they hear that the prosperity of the University of St. Andrew's can be promoted by expelling Sir D. Brewster from his professorship? The University of Edinburgh knows better how its prosperity is to be promoted; for I believe the Senatus Academicus of Edinburgh is almost unanimous in favour of this Bill. And, in fact, it is perfectly clear that fearful consequences lie before the Universities of Scotland, unless this, or some such measure, is carried speedily; if it is delayed, I believe there will be a new College founded and endowed with that munificence of which, in the Free Church, we have seen so many examples. From the day such a College arises, there is nothing before the Universities of Scotland but a gradual and, I fear, not a distant destruction. Even now it is notorious, such is the competition and emoluments of other pursuits of life, that it is difficult to procure eminent men to fill the chairs of the Universities. We can now choose from the whole of Scotland, from the whole world, men to fill the office of professors. Throw out this Bill, and you narrow this choice to half of Scotland or less; the diminution of students will lower the emoluments of the chair to less than half their present amount. What will be the consequences? Is it possible not to see that you will have a lower class of professors? With the inferior abilities of the professor, the students will decrease, the decline will be rapid and headlong; and it is clear that all will sink into utter decay, till the lectures are deserted, the halls empty, and a man not fit to be a village dominie will occupy the chair of a Dugald Stewart, an Adam Smith, a Reid, a Black, a Playfair, and a Jameson. How do Her Majesty's Ministers like such a prospect as this? The right hon. Baronet the Secretary for the Home Department has already, by his misfortune or his fault, secured no enviable place in the annals of Scotland: his name is inseparably associated with the disruption of the Scotch Church. Will he ruin the Scotch Universities? If the Government were consistent, even though it acted on an erroneous principle—though we might disapprove, it would be with some mixture of respect; but a Government that is guided by no principle whatever—a Government which on the gravest questions does not know its own mind for twenty-four hours together — a Government that goes from extreme to extreme, backwards and forwards, like "a reed shaken by the wind"—a Government that is against tests in Ireland, and for tests in Scotland—that is against tests at Limerick, and for them at Glasgow—against them in Cork, and for them in Edinburgh—that is against tests at Belfast, and for them at Aberdeen—that opposes tests on Monday, and advocates them on Wednesday, to oppose them on Thursday again,—it is impossible such a Government can command either respect or confidence. Is it strange that the most liberal measures of such a Government should fail to gain the applause of liberal men? Is it strange that it should lose the confidence of one-half the nation, without gaining that of the other half? But I speak not to the Government: I appeal to the House; I appeal to those who, on Monday evening, voted with the Government against the test proposed by the hon. Baronet the Member for North Devon (Sir T. Acland). I know party obligations are strong; but there is a mire so black and so deep that men should refuse to be dragged through it. It is only forty-eight hours since hon. Gentlemen came down to vote against a test requiring the professors in the Irish Colleges to be believers in the Gospel; and now the same hon. Gentlemen are expected to come down and vote that no man shall be permitted to be a professor in a College in Scotland who will not declare his adherence in all parts to the system of church government in Scotland. This is a matter of gross injustice to Scotland on the part of the Government; but its injustice to its own faithful followers surpasses it. The zealous members of the Church of England, I implore them to consider well before they make it penal to hold those doctrines they believe to be true; lastly, I call on every man, of every party, who loves knowledge and science and literature, who is a friend of peace, and respects the solemn obligations of public faith, to stand by us this day, in this last attempt to avert the destruction that threatens the Universities of Scotland. I move that the Bill be read a second time.

Sir J. Graham

said: The bitter party and personal invective with which the right hon. Gentleman, as usual, has accompanied his arguments on a great question of public policy, shall not prevent me, on the present occasion, from taking a fair review of those arguments, and, to the best of my ability, sustaining the decision to which Her Majesty's Government has come in a matter so important to the Universities of Scotland. The right hon. Gentleman has truly said this is a question deeply affecting the interests of the Universities of Scotland in no ordinary degree; and he has said Her Majesty's Government is not entitled to the confidence of the House, because, with respect to the Scotch Universities, they advocate a policy which the right hon. Gentleman contends is diametrically opposite to that of the Bill lately introduced with regard to Ireland. I can only say, in reply, that Her Majesty's Ministers are actuated by no other desire than that of honestly discharging their public duty, and pursuing that course of policy which they hold to be best adapted to the varied circumstances of different parts of Her Majesty's dominions, regardless of all taunts that may be heaped on them; and they are also at all times prepared frankly to defend that which they believe to be right, and to be the best calculated for the public good. The right hon. Gentleman has also accused us of having exhibited a marked hesitation in coming to a decision on this subject. I would only remind the right hon. Gentleman, that when last year the subject was introduced by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Perth, and his views were supported with great ability by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Leith, who has introduced the present Bill, I stated fully the reasons which induced the Government to resist the proposition then made. And when, early in the present-Session, the subject was again brought before the House, I said that we were waiting a declaration of the sentiments entertained by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland upon it, and we wished to ascertain, as far as we could ascertain them, the feelings of the people of Scotland with respect to this Bill. I also stated, that on the second reading of the Bill, it would be our duty to take that course which, after having heard those opinions and having ascertained those feelings, we should deem to be the most consistent with our public duty. Sir, the result of our consideration, after having deliberated on the decision of the General Assembly, and, as far as we have been able to collect it, the opinion of the people of Scotland, is, that we are induced to adhere to our decision of last year, and to oppose the Motion now made by the right hon. Gentleman. Sir, in looking at this question, it is our duty to consider what are the engagements of the Crown and Legislature of this country with the people of Scotland; and, without reference to those rhetorical topics to which the right hon. Gentleman alluded, to look to the effect of such a change as this Bill seeks to introduce, with reference to what the public interest requires at our hands. The very circumstance to which the right hon. Gentleman has referred—the test proposed the other evening by my hon. Friend the Member for Devonshire, as applicable to professors in the proposed Irish Colleges, proves that if any test is to be maintained in the Scotch Universities, it is better to adhere to that test which rests on the basis of ancient Statutes, than to attempt modifications or alterations; for the right hon. Gentleman admits, that there could not easily be framed a milder test than that which was proposed by the hon. Baronet. Yet it met with many objections in this House, and a great majority of the House held it to be inconclusive. This failure of my hon. Friend proves that it is not expedient to attempt to alter or modify the test to be imposed, but that if retained it should be the existing test. Sir, the right hon. Gentleman has, in various parts of his speech, pointedly referred to the conduct of the Government with respect to the Irish Colleges, in connexion with this question of the imposition of tests. Now, I appeal to the justice and to the recent recollection of the House, whether, throughout the argument as to the admission or exclusion of tests from the Irish Colleges, I have not rested the course taken by Government on the special circumstances of the condition of Ireland? I appeal to the House whether I have not uniformly declared that the only ground upon which the absence of all religious tests in those Colleges could be maintained was, that there was carefully reserved to the Government the power of nominating and of dismissing the professors of those Colleges? And of this I am quite sure, that I should not be justified in maintaining the policy of the absence of tests in the Irish Colleges, unless the House had conceded that which I contended for; namely, the absolute necessity of vesting in the Crown the power of nominating, and also of removing at pleasure, the professors from whom tests were not required. Sir, the right hon. Gentleman attempted to maintain that there was a difference in the position of the Scotch and English Universities; he maintained that the Universities of Scotland were differently situated from those of Oxford and Cambridge, and from Trinity College, Dublin, with reference to the Church Establishment. There is no such distinction. The only difference consists in the fact, that the Established Church of Scotland draws its supplies of ministers exclusively from those seminaries of learning—the Scotch Universities. All persons destined for the ministry must have passed through certain classes in one or other of the Scotch Universities. Now, in Ireland every provision has been made by the liberality of Parliament for the education of the Catholic priesthood at the College of Maynooth, as at Trinity College and the University of Dublin ample provisions had, in like manner, been made for the priesthood of the Established Church. I may also remind the right hon. Gentleman that in this country, among many reasons that were urged in favour of preserving the integrity of Oxford and Cambridge as regards religious tests, was the necessity of maintaining that connexion with the Established Church which necessarily arises from the foundation and constitution of those seminaries of learning. Sir, on a former occasion I rested my opposition to this measure, among various reasons, much upon the solemn engagements entered into with Scotland by the British Legislature at the time of the Union. The right hon. Gentleman does not deny the validity of those engagements. On the contrary, he does admit the connexion between the Church of Scotland and the University at the time of passing the Act of Security; he says that the Act of Union was a measure to which the good faith of the British Parliament is pledged, and that if no material alteration had taken place in the condition of the Church of Scotland since that period, he is ready to admit that the engagements then entered into are still binding on the discretion of Parliament. I conceive that the right hon. Gentleman grounds his argument on the assumption that the Church of Scotland is altered since the period of the Union, and particularly by the Act of 1712, and from the events which occurred in the year 1842. I apprehend that the right hon. Gentleman is of opinion that what we are accustomed to call the Church of Scotland has, in fact, ceased to be the Established Church of that country, to which the Crown and the Legislature of England are bound. Now, I cannot conceive anything likely to be received with greater feelings of terror in Scotland than this statement, that on account of the disruption that has recently taken place in the Church, that Church is no longer the Church of Scotland to which the faith of the British Parliament is pledged. The argument the right hon. Gentleman has used with respect to the alteration made by the Act of 1712, with respect to patronage in the constitution of the Church, was fully considered in 1842, when I had the honour of introducing and defending a measure on that subject in this House. The very argument the right hon. Gentleman has put to-night was urged on that occasion. It was then urged that, consistently with the Act of Union and the Act of Security, the change then contemplated by the Government could not be supported and sustained. The House of Commons held that the change which was asked to be effected with regard to the right of patronage, was not inconsistent with the Act of Union or the Act of Security. And although the change made by the Act of 1712 was certainly considerable, yet from that period down to the present day, it has never yet been contended, on account of that change, that it is inconsistent with the duty of the Crown to maintain Presbyterian Church Government in Scotland as an engagement solemnly contracted at the Union, and under all circumstances to be observed. Sir, the right hon. Gentleman has referred to expressions which fell from me in the discussion on the Irish Colleges Bill, to the effect, that in one of the Scotch Universities the use of the test has been discontinued. I do admit that in the University of Edinburgh, in the last fifty or sixty years, the imposition of this test has been generally discontinued. But, at the same time, it is historically inaccurate to say that it has been abandoned, or that in later times it has been anything like discontinued. A large proportion of the professors of the University of Edinburgh have signed from time to time the Confession of Faith, or were liable when called on to do so. It was signed by Professor Leslie and by Mr. D. Stewart, and many other distinguished persons have signed it up to a recent period. In the other four Universities of Scotland, the professors have from time to time signed it, without exception, from the period of the Presbyterian settlement, in 1690, to the present moment. The right hon. Gentleman also referred to the Lord Rectors and other office-bearers of the University who have not been called on to subscribe. This is true both as regards Glasgow and the other Universities — Edinburgh not excepted. He added, that these tests were obviously and principally levelled against Episcopalians. It is with great diffidence that I presume to differ from the right hon. Gentleman on a point of history; but I believe that history sustains what I now say, that these tests were not originally framed principally against the Episcopalians. So far from the Episcopalians being regarded with any peculiar jealousy in Scotland, the House must remember that the Episcopalians in Scotland never had a fixed form of worship in the shape of a liturgy. They differed from the Presbyterians as to the question of church government, but not with respect to the liturgy, so much so, that after the Union one hundred and twelve Episcopalian ministers were by the law and the common consent of the two countries maintained in the full enjoyment of their cures. I hold in my hand a copy of the original subscription of the President of St. Andrew's College in the year 1698. The form of it clearly shows that it was not directed so much against the Episcopalians as against certain heterodox opinions to which both equally objected. The words are— I underscribe and cordially adhere to the Profession of Faith ratified by the Fifth Act of the Second Session, in opposition to the errors of Popery, Socinianism, and Arminianism, and I do promise to submit to the government of the Church as now settled by the law and by Act of Parliament, The right hon. Gentleman has referred to the case of Sir David Brewster, and has quoted some very strong expressions from the form of the pleadings instituted against that gentleman. That is a question of law, and it is also a question which is not yet decided, whether the test can be administered to the head of a College who has been already inducted; and in addition to this, Sir D. Brewster has twice already subscribed the Confession of Faith. Let me assume these tests to have been repealed. By the constitution of the Colleges the Principal exercises a general superintendence and control over all the lectures; it is his duty to see that no doctrines of an obnoxious tendency are inculcated in any lectures within the walls of the Colleges. From the very terms of the Statute the connexion between the Church of Scotland and the Universities appears to have been most intimate; and in the great majority of instances the Principals are themselves members of the Established Church. I repeat that it is the duty of the Principal to exercise general superintendence and control over the lectures. But if he himself should be a dissenter from the Established Church, these tests being repealed, you would have no security against his exercising all the influence which belongs to his office in a manner adverse to the Established Church. The present rule has obtained in Scotland for more than a century and a half; and this fact ought not to be forgotten when we are debating so great a change. During that period religious differences have been widely spread, and have been of a most angry character; but I appeal to those who know the history of the Scotch Universities whether it be not the fact that, while there have been angry religious controversies without the walls of the Universities, notwithstanding the existence of these tests, religious peace may be truly said to have prevailed, and angry religious discussions may be declared not to have found their way within the walls of those Universities? Suppose, in the present unhappy State of religious differences in Scotland, a very large body of Free Church professors should be admitted into the Scotch Universities. Is this a danger of an imaginary nature? It must be remembered that, so far from the professors being all nominated by the Crown, a very large number are left to the choice of popular bodies. In the University of Edinburgh the town council of Edinburgh nominate the larger number of professors. It is argued that either the Church of Scotland is composed of a minority of the people, or its numerical strength is so diminished that it is verging on the minority. I should be disposed to demur to that statement. But, if it be accurate, it should be recollected that popular bodies, partaking of the popular feeling, will naturally select persons bearing the image of their own opinions on particular points; and if in a short time a number of vacancies should occur, the probability is, that a very large proportion of the persons nominated by the town council would be persons bitterly hostile to the Established Church of Scotland. Not only is the connexion between the Established Church and these Universities as intimate and as perpetual as an Act of Parliament can make it, but a pledge was given by the British Parliament that they would never take any course which would derogate from the security which had been offered. I ask whether, consistently with that pledge, it be possible to assent to the motion of the right hon. Gentleman, whether, considering the inevitable influence of popular feeling on those who nominate a large proportion of the professors in Scotland, the House will agree that no security shall be taken that the persons so nominated are friends to the Establishment? Now, let us see what is the weight of authority opposed to this change. In the first place, I will refer to the Report of the Commission appointed to inquire into the state of the Scotch Universities in 1826. That Commission, composed of persons of the greatest distinction in Scotland, without reference, in the selection of its members, to party preferences or party views, not only reports most decidedly that tests should continue to be administered with the rigour observed up to that time, but it commented on some neglect with regard to the administering of tests, and pronounced an opinion that tests should be enforced invariably on the nomination of professors. I will now come to a more recent period—I will refer to the decision adopted by the General Assembly in reference to this question within the last six weeks, when the question we are now discussing was brought under its special notice. That assembly is a body composed partly of clergy and partly of laity. The laity may fairly be regarded as the representatives of the general feelings of the members of the Church of Scotland throughout the whole of that country. The elders of various parishes have seats in that assembly; and not only is this the case with regard to the elders of the country parishes, but delegates are sent from the Royal burghs to the General Assembly, who partake of the popular feeling of large constituencies, and, with the single reservation of the elders sitting in General Assembly being members of the Established Church, the choice is open, without reference to grade or distinction. The question being whether the measure now propounded should be supported or not, on a division there were 246 against the proposed change, while only 11 voted in favour of it. It is also to be remarked that there have been no popular meetings on the subject. If I mistake not, indeed, meetings were convened both in Edinburgh and in Glasgow to consider this very proposition. I have every reason to believe that at the meeting in Edinburgh not 100 persons were present; and I am told that in Glasgow, the city next in importance to Edinburgh, and where all subjects, either of a political or religious character, upon which the popular mind is at all excited, are usually considered in large assemblies, no feeling whatever in favour of the proposed change has been manifested. Then, again, with regard to the authority of those who are most entitled to respect among the Dissenters from the Established Church—I allude to those, who have recently gone forth on account of the right of presentation; I allude particularly to Dr. Cunningham, Dr. Chalmers, and Dr. Candlish—I have every reason to believe that, so far from those gentlemen advocating the abolition of the tests, they are among the strongest advocates of them, and have declared decidedly that they would prefer the maintenance of the existing law to the entire abolition of religious tests in Scotland. With respect to the practice of Dissenters generally, when they found a College of their own for the education of ministers in their own religious opinions, they always take ample precautions that all the teachers in that College shall be, in matters of religion, of the same creed as they themselves profess; and, if a Free Church College were to be founded to-morrow, I feel certain that the founders of that College would take ample security that all the professors, whether theological or secular, should conform to the particular opinions which they themselves entertained. The right hon. Gentleman relied on the strong opinion expressed by many of the professors, by the majority of the professors I admit, in the various Universities, in favour of the proposed change. Now, I should be sorry to speak with anything like disrespect of the opinion of those professors; but I must say, that a narrow view of self-interest is not one which we can recognise as the ground of the decision which Parliament ought to adopt. On the very ground taken by the right hon. Gentleman, it must be with us matter of earnest desire to maintain in their integrity the Scotch Universities, without any diminution in their efficiency, or in the number of the youth who flock to them for instruction. I have already stated my conviction, that if the Free Church were establishing a College of its own, it would take ample security, by means of a stringent religious test, for the exclusive character of the teaching in that College. I have reason also to believe that if this Bill should pass and become law, the Established Church of Scotland would not think itself justified in allowing its youth to be educated for the ministry of the Church in the absence of such tests in the existing Universities. My belief is, I deplore it as much as any hon. Member of this House can do—my belief is this, that the time has arrived when sectarian education in Scotland is inevitable; but I further believe, that if the Free Church of Scotland shall establish a College with a stringent test, and if the Church of Scotland shall establish a College of its own for the education of its ministry, by leaving the ancient Universities without any security with regard to the religious teaching afforded in them, you will be taking a course which is certain, if it do not lead to their downfall, at least to deprive them of a considerable number of students. I am of opinion also that in a matter of this kind the habits and feelings of the people of Scotland should be consulted; I do not believe that it is consonant with their feelings or wishes that all security with reference to the religious education afforded in the Universities should be abandoned; I have come to precisely the opposite conclusion. No practical evil of which I am aware has resulted from the moderate use of these particular tests. There has been no lack of able men in the Universities. It must be remembered, too, that no test whatever is administered to the students. The utmost latitude is given for the peculiar belief of the different students, while ample security is taken with regard to the religious teaching of the professors. These Colleges have risen in reputation throughout the long period during which these tests have been enforced; the ablest men have gone forth from them, and students in great numbers have received instruction. There was a large influx of students up to a very recent period, and the Colleges were in a most flourishing condition; and, although the shock given to these institutions by the serious secession which took place about two years ago has been considerable, yet I am bound to state, that the condition of the Universities at present is not one of decay, it is not a condition which would lead us to infer that they have ceased to flourish. I have stated to the House what I believe would be the effect of abolishing the existing tests. Unhappily, those who have left the Church very recently have avowed their hitter hostility to it, and their desire that it should be overthrown. I have stated the reasons why, in a short time, if these tests should be withdrawn, the enemies of the Church will have, if not a preponderating strength in the governing body of the Universities, at any rate such a degree of influence and power as would enable them to carry out their hostile purposes in the University to a considerable extent. Hitherto sectarian teaching has been avoided; but I very much doubt whether this would be the case if the proposed change were effected; I rather think that the change would lead to sectarian teaching and to the prevalence of religious discord. There is another point which should not be omitted in considering this question. In the long series of years which have elapsed since the connexion between the Church of Scotland and the Universities was formed, a large amount of property has been left by private individuals to these various Colleges. Bequests have been made on the faith that the connexion between the Established Church and the Colleges will be maintained. If you dissolve that connexion—if the governing body, which has the power of administering the bequests made, and of exercising the trust reposed, shall become a body dissenting from the Church—it will inevitably happen that property which was intended for members of the Church will be alienated. On the whole, I am decidedly of opinion that, whether we look to law, whether we look to compact, whether we look to prescription, or whether we look to the practical effect, and to the good resulting from the maintenance of the present system, which was ratified by the Union, and has been so long established, it is expedient, with reference to the circumstances and interests of Scotland, to maintain the existing tests. I have considered the matter very carefully, and whatever obloquy may be cast upon me by the right hon. Gentleman, whose custom it is to impute to his adversaries the lowest and most unworthy motives, my conviction is, I repeat, that it is my bounden duty, in existing circumstances, to vote for maintaining the present tests. I think the doctrine propounded by the right hon. Gentleman, that the Established Church of Scotland, as it existed at the time of the Union, was so shaken by the Act of 1712, and by the Act which was passed two years ago, that it is no longer to be regarded as the Established Church of that country, is an exceedingly dangerous one; yet upon that doctrine this measure mainly rests, and the adoption of the measure would be the adoption of the doctrine by the British Legislature. If I had hesitated before, the speech of the right hon. Gentleman would have confirmed my apprehensions with reference to the measure under consideration. On the grounds which I have stated, I certainly feel it my duty to move that the Bill be read a second time this day three months.

Mr. James S. Wortley

regretted that no Gentlemen on the opposite side of the House rose to reply to the speech of the right hon. Baronet. It might seem strange, that after the triumphant answer of his right hon. Friend [cheers]—if hon. Gentlemen allowed him to finish the sentence, they would see there was no cause for that cheer—to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, he rose to address the House in opposition to the measure now proposed; but he did not scruple to affirm that he rested his opposition, at least in part, to the measure, on the peculiar circumstances of the time at which it was brought forward. When they heard the Church of Scotland denounced in that House as a religious faction, it was not difficult to foresee that the effect of the success of this Bill would be, to excite still further public feeling in Scotland. His first impression was in favour of conceding what was asked in this measure; but upon inquiry into the state of feeling in Scotland, he conceived himself justified in resisting the Bill. Such was the state of feeling in Scotland, that this measure would be regarded as a triumph by one party over another. This would, therefore, be a most unhappy moment for its adoption. But that was not his only reason for opposing the Bill. For his part, he was for limiting the application of tests as much as possible; but they were not, in this instance, imposing new tests. These tests existed before the Union with Scotland; and they had never been used for the purpose of religious persecution. The utmost latitude, it was admitted, had been given, notwithstanding their existence; and the present attempt to abolish them was prompted by the enemies of the Church of Scotland. There was no question, that if they repealed these tests, a struggle would follow to wrest the Universities from the Church. He agreed with the majority of that House, that they must have a Church connected with the State, and if so, they should have a University connected with the Church. The present question, in fact, was, whether they would give the Free Church a triumph over the Church of Scotland. The members of the Free Church, of whom he wished to speak with every respect, were pledged to use their utmost efforts to destroy the Church; and the carrying of this measure would be received by them as a triumph over it. The question was by no means, whether all classes in Scotland should have education, for it was admitted they had it under the present system; but the question was, whether they would transfer an establishment, founded and endowed by private individuals, to persons who were the advocates of the voluntary system, and consequently the enemies of all religious establishments. The right hon. Gentleman said that, if this Bill were not carried, a new College would be established by the Free Church; but he did not think that the carrying of this measure would prevent the establishment of that College, nor was he disposed to desire that the establishment of that College should be prevented.

Sir G. Grey

felt that some apology was due to the House for his addressing it upon a subject more immediately connected with a part of the country with which he could claim no personal connexion. He should have felt reluctance to rise on the present occasion, after the able, the convincing, the unanswered, and unanswerable speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Edinburgh (Mr. Macaulay), on moving the second reading of the Bill, had not a Gentleman opposite risen as the defender of the course which the Government had taken with reference to this Bill. Having been one of the few Members present when the hon. and learned Member for Leith (Mr. Rutherfurd) moved for and obtained leave to introduce this Bill, and having witnessed with satisfaction the course which the Government then took with respect to it, he felt called upon, as an English Member of the House, to express his regret at the course which the right hon. Baronet (Sir James Graham) felt himself compelled now to take, in opposing the further progress of the Bill. It must have been evident to every one who listened to the right hon. Gentleman, that he spoke against his own convictions, that he reasoned against his own better judgment, that he was speaking, in fact, under a secret compulsion, which imposed upon him an arduous task — a task, which though ably performed, he had performed reluctantly, whilst his whole manner showed that he was not giving utterance to his real sentiments. Pressed as the Government were by the right hon. Member for Edinburgh, with the most crushing arguments by which he illustrated their inconsistency in the course which they now adopted, as compared with that which they had taken when leave was given to introduce the Bill, and their still more marked inconsistency in the course which they were now taking, in urging the reimposition of those tests in Scotland, as compared with that which, to their credit, they had adopted with regard to the Irish Colleges Bill, and to which they declared themselves prepared to adhere; the right hon. Gentleman got up, and took credit to the Government for their very inconsistency, and stated that they were not to be bound in their future course by any regard to what had been done on former occasions; and that the policy of the Government was an ever-varying policy—a policy varying according to the circumstances in which they found themselves called upon to act. The policy of any Government must, to a certain extent, vary according to circumstances; but the right hon. Gentleman seemed to have forgotten that there was such a thing as principle even in the variations of policy, which should keep them within the limits of consistency; and that their policy should, in all its changes, be free from that discord and inconsistency which exposed the Government to such severe reproofs as were justly administered by his right hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh. He heard with deep regret, from the right hon. Baronet, the avowal, the truth of which must have been forced upon the Government, since the former debate upon this Bill, that sectarian collegiate education in Scotland was now inevitable. The hon. and learned Gentleman opposite (Mr. J. S. Wortley) asked what grievance was complained of? There were no better terms in which he (Sir George Grey) could describe that grievance than as a sectarian collegiate education for Scotland. As to the argument on which the Government rested the alteration of their policy, what circumstances had occurred, subsequently to the former debate, which induced them to come to the conviction that the hope which they then entertained had been destroyed? How long was it since the Lord Advocate was examined, and gave his evidence before the Commission of Inquiry into the Criminal Law of Scotland? In answer to the following question:— Are there any penal enactments in Scotland, as represented by Mr. Hume in his Commentaries, affecting persons differing from the national religion, except Papists?" his reply was,'There are restrictions. We have now pending in the House of Commons, a Bill, brought in to relieve from disabilities, in regard to professorships in the Universities.' At page 41, the Report of the Commission stated that— In Scotland there appear to be no religious tests as a qualification for holding offices or places of trust, except for the admission of the office-bearers, professors, and teachers, in the Universities, and for parochial schoolmasters; in the latter of which cases, tests have always been imposed, though in some of the Universities they have been, to a great extent, in abeyance. As this subject is at present under the consideration of Parliament, we do not consider it proper to offer any opinion upon it. They expressly abstained from recommending the continuance of tests, which came under the class of penal enactments, because a Bill upon the subject was pending in Parliament, the Lord Advocate not having then intimated his opinion that the Bill was to be opposed. The hon. Member for Perthshire (Mr. Home Drummond) was a Member of that Commission; and he distinctly stated, that his authority, as a Member of that Commission, was not to be quoted in favour of the continuance of these tests; and advised Her Majesty's Ministers to be very cautious before they opposed the passage of this Bill. The right hon. Baronet attempted to show that the continuance of the tests had only been partial. Nobody denied that. The right hon. Gentleman was unable to adduce a single instance in which a professor was prevented from accepting a professorship, or any in which a professor was removed from his professorship, for not taking the tests. A case occurred to him (Sir George Grey), in which a known Episcopalian, within two years after taking his degree, became Greek professor at the University of Glasgow, and who remained an Episcopalian during the continuance of his professorship, and continued an Episcopalian until he died. He now alluded to Sir Daniel Sanford. [Sir J. Graham: He did take the test.] He had no reason to suppose he did, but if an English Episcopalian could take the test, what reason was there that a Member of the Free Church could not—if an Episcopalian were admitted, under such circumstances, to a professorship—why should not a Free Churchman be admitted also? So far as he could gather, the whole argument if argument it could be admitted to be, for maintaining these tests, was founded upon the danger which was apprehended from Free Churchmen and members of the Established Church meeting as professors in the same University. If the passage of this Bill were prevented, he did not see how the calamity of a sectarian collegiate education was to be averted; and he hoped the House would interpose, by suffering the Bill to pass, to avert such a calamity. The result of a sectarian education would be to multiply and perpetuate those differences, which he earnestly hoped would be speedily allayed and diminished, by bringing members of the Free Church and of the Church as established by law within the same University, and there training the youth of different persuasions together. The right hon. Gentleman said that during a century and a half these tests had been, to a cer- tain extent, in operation. But let him remind the right hon. Gentleman, that during that time, comparatively speaking, religious peace had been known in Scotland. During that century and a half, religious differences had not occupied the prominent place in men's minds which they formerly occupied. But what would be the case now? Every man would look to his neighbour with suspicion; and he feared that the differences which he deprecated, would grow and multiply as before. Such would be the effect of obstructing this Bill. The hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. S. Wortley) said, that the General Assembly had this year discontinued the attempt recently made against Sir David Brewster. But would this attempt not be repeated, or might it not be repeated? The Assembly of this year had discontinued the proceedings; but that of next year might encourage similar attempts, and give them their sanction and countenance. It was to prevent the possibility of the recurrence of such attempts that he supported the present Bill. To the Bill he gave his cordial assent, and he could not help thinking that the House should interpose between the opinion expressed by the Government, that a sectarian collegiate education was inevitable for Scotland, and their decision that no attempt was to be made to avert such a result. He deeply regetted the course which the Government had determined upon pursuing; for, as the natural result of that course, he saw springing up a rival University to the Universities already existing—a rivalry which, he feared, would go far to reopen all the sources of religious difference and animosity, and to perpetuate the schism which had already unhappily taken place. He earnestly trusted, that before it was too late the Government would reconsider their decision.

Sir R. Inglis

said, his right hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh would acquit him of any intention to speak of him with any disrespect, if he said that of his speech — brilliant and beautiful as were many of its passages—there was only one argument which seemed to him (Sir R. Inglis) to be a piece of ordnance that had made any impression on the bulwark he had attacked. It was this — that whereas there was a compact entered into in 1707 by the Act of Union, there was at present no person entitled to claim the benefit of that compact. It was true, said his right hon. Friend, that if any persons remained in the same condition in 1845 as they were in 1707, he would admit their claim, as the Church of Scotland and the Universities connected with it, to have the protection of those tests which it was the object of this Bill to remove; but that the Church of Scotland, since 1842, had ceased to be that Church contemplated by the Act of 1690. That argument struck him (Sir R. Inglis) at the time; but, on reconsideration, it seemed to him to prove too much, as it proved the utter extinction of any Church to which the faith of the nation was pledged. It could not be said, that it could be sought in the Free Church; and, if not, what alternative was there but to recognise the corporate body of the Church of Scotland, the petition from whom, through their authorized Assembly, was then lying on the Table? The question was not whether they should impose tests, but whether they should remove those which had existed for the last 150 years. It was clear, by reference not merely to the decrees of the General Assembly, but to Acts of Parliament, that from the period of the Reformation, the intention was, that the institution of the Church should be connected with academical education, and that they, and they only, should have rule and authority in the Colleges of Scotland who were in communion with the Church of Scotland. It was not quite fair in the right hon. Member for Edinburgh to taunt his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department with inconsistency, because he did not recognise religion as the essential basis of education in the Irish Colleges Bill. His right hon. Friend had expressly declared that Ireland was an exceptional case—that the course he felt bound to adopt differed from his general conviction, and from that which, under other and happier circumstances, he should have been ready to apply to Ireland itself. The question was altogether different when applied to Scotland, where, he believed, the large body of the people were still attached to the national Established Church, whose ministers for the last forty years had laboured most assiduously in the discharge of their spiritual functions. He was also ready to bear his testimony to the piety, salf-devotion, and great sacrifices made by the ministers of the Free Church; although he could not think they were justified by a difference, not in doctrine or discipline, but in church government, in breaking up the peace of Scotland by their secession. He should vote against the Bill.

Mr. Pringle

hoped the House would reject this Bill, which, he believed, if passed, would be most injurious, if not wholly ruinous, to the Universities and the interests of education in Scotland. These tests had existed in the Universities of Scotland from a period coeval almost with the foundation of the Universities themselves. Episcopalians themselves, such as Sir Daniel Sandford, had not objected to take them, and there was no reason why members of the Free Church should refuse subscription. Only those would be excluded by their operation who refused to pledge themselves that they would not use their powers or privileges to the prejudice or subversion of the Church of Scotland. The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland had petitioned the Legislature in the strongest terms against the Bill. The Free Church, and many other religious denominations in Scotland, had established educational institutions for the instruction of persons of their own communion; and, if this Bill were adopted, the Established Church of Scotland would be the only ecclesiastical establishment in that country which would be denied the privilege of possessing academical institutions for the education of its members. He called upon hon. Gentlemen to reflect what would be the result of adopting this measure. At present the patronage connected with the University of Edinburgh was vested in the Town Council, which had the power of appointing the professors, subject to the control of the Act of Parliament imposing the existing tests; but, if those tests were abolished, every election would probably give rise to a contest between the two parties in the Church, in which the students of the University would necessarily be involved. He also entertained strong objections to this measure on the ground that it would materially affect the whole system of education in Scotland. The system of national education in that country had been mainly, if not solely, originated by the Established Church; and the result showed how faithfully that Establishment had, in this respect, discharged its duties; but the adoption of the Bill now before the House would, in his opinion, be most injurious to the extension of education in Scotland. On these grounds, he hoped the House would not assent to the second reading of the Bill.

Mr. C. Buller

said, when he recollected the proud eminence on which the hon. Gentleman who had just spoken stood in the eyes of the country on account of the singular sacrifice he had made of interest to conscience in the course of the present Session, he was prepared to expect somewhat more clear principles of morality from his lips. He could scarcely conceive a test more grating to the conscientious feelings and the honest pride of an honourable man, than that which the hon. Gentleman would keep up, and for having taken which, for the purpose of obtaining a professorship, the member of another church than the Presbyterian Church of Scotland was now defended. The right hon. Gentleman and the hon. Member for Selkirkshire contended that this test did not operate as an exclusion; but what, he asked, could tend more to keep out the members of another church from those professorships, than to extort from them a declaration that they practised the worship of a Church to which they did not belong? A man might, perhaps, as in the case of Sir D. Sandford, feel himself justified, by the usages of society, and the lax tone of morals around him, in making the required declaration, though he was a member of a different church; but this only showed the perfect farce of the profession. But he could scarcely understand such an argument as coming from an hon. Member who had most consistently, certainly, supported the proposition for separate religious instruction being provided in the Irish Colleges for the Protestant apart from the Roman Catholic pupils—

Mr. Pringle

The difference between the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Church is a difference of essentials; while that between the Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, is not a difference of essentials.

Mr. C. Buller

contended that such a distinction did not justify the test, which was one that ought not to continue; and seeing the principle on which the Government had acted with regard to Ireland, he could not understand how they could support it. The right hon. Baronet (Sir James Graham) rested his argument in favour of the application of a different principle to Scotland from that the Government had applied in the case of Ireland, upon the different circumstances of the two countries. Now, although he was by no means disposed to complain of the Government for having at length altered their policy with regard to Ireland, and adopted a course of which he entirely approved, he could not but agree with all that had been stated by his right hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh (Mr. Macaulay). He could perfectly understand a change of opinions leading to a change of measures, and conscientious conviction, though long in coming, leading to the adoption of sounder views. But he thought they had a right to expect to see the same sincerity evinced by the Government in the maintenance of the new views, as had been exhibited in support of the old ones, and not that the change should be merely that instead of acting upon the principles by which they had formerly been influenced, they had now, having discovered that those principles were erroneous, determined henceforth to act on no principle at all. The right hon. Baronet had said that the utter absence of all religious tests, either from students or professors, in the Irish Colleges Bill, as proposed by the Government, arose from the peculiar circumstances of Ireland; but the right hon. Baronet had not told them what those peculiar circumstances were; for every circumstance which the right hon. Baronet stated as justifying the application of that principle in regard to Ireland, would equally justify the application of the same principle to Scotland. What were the peculiar circumstances of Ireland? The right hon. Baronet had stated that the people of Ireland were in a state of religious difference, and that hostility and animosity on that ground prevailed; and he added, that the evil now was, that the existing educational institutions of the country were in the hands of one religious denomination only; and if you established any religious test as applying to the new Colleges, you would create so many sectarian institutions for education, wherein those religious distinctions and differences which were so mischievous in after life, would be inculcated in the minds of the students, and that the object of a wise statesman in such a state of things was to bring parties of different religions to receive a common education together with the view of implanting in their minds feelings of good will and friendliness to each other. But, was the state of things which the right hon. Ba- ronet so described peculiar to Ireland? Thanks to the policy of the present Government, it was not! What was the state of Scotland at this time? The Government had done all they could to bring Scotland into the same state in regard to religious differences as Ireland was. The great mischief in Ireland was, that you had there an Established Church richly endowed, invested with exclusive privileges and honours, which was not the Church of the great majority of the people. In Scotland, up to five years ago, the Established Church of Scotland was the Church of the great majority of the people—but who would now venture to say that that Church represented the religion of the barest possible majority? The argument against the application of religious tests, then, was as applicable to Scotland as to Ireland. Was it not as important that they should not keep up sectarian education in Scotland as in Ireland? He was astonished to hear the right hon. Baronet, in speaking of a country not hitherto torn by sectarianism, declare in his place in Parliament that Scotland was, he feared, in that state in which all education must henceforth be—sectarian. It had been said the object of the opponents of this Bill was not to establish any new test, but merely to keep up old tests. For 150 years the great majority of the people of Scotland had professed one religion; the application of a religious test, therefore, was comparatively unimportant. It did not, under such circumstances, keep out any one who desired to be a member of the Universities; the test fell into desuetude. The right hon. Baronet said that the test still existed at the University of Edinburgh, and that those who chose to take it might. He had never before heard of an optional test. If, however, it was to be maintained on the condition that those who wished might take it, and those who objected should not be compelled, he would have no objection. But let that be understood at St. Andrew's as well as at Edinburgh; and do not, in future, allow such a man as Sir David Brewster to be excluded from his professorship for the glory of God and the safety of the Church. It was said also that, practically, the tests have done no harm. He could not admit, that they had done no harm, The right hon. Baronet had referred to the professorships of moral and natural philosophy, and the possibility, if the tests were abolished, of those who filled those chairs instilling improper religious opinions into the minds of their pupils; but what security had they that that might not occur now? Three or four years ago a serious schism took place in the Church of Scotland, and a large portion of both clergy and laity seceded. Those who were of one religion before became divided, and religious differences previously unknown in Scotland prevailed. And now it was that that party, who, by the aid of the law, had obtained the supremacy over the others, came forward to insist on the application of those tests which had previously remained a dead letter, for the purpose of keeping their opponents out of office. This, then, was practically and virtually a new test. They were threatened that if one party resorted to tests, the other would take refuge in sectarian education. In his speech upon the 1st of May, the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary seemed perfectly sensible of the mischief likely to result to Scotland, should a College be established by the Free Church party. Now, however, the right hon. Gentleman seemed to have come to the conclusion that the establishment of such an institution was a necessity which he must submit to; and the evil which he was trying to guard against in one part of Her Majesty's dominions, he was deliberately inflicting on another. On the occasion to which he had alluded, the right hon. Baronet mentioned with great respect an authority which he treated with as much contempt now. He then remarked that a great majority of the professors in every University in Scotland had petitioned for the abolition of these tests. He now seemed to say that these professors were interested parties in the well-being of the College, and, that, therefore, their opinions were not to be adopted, their wishes not attended to. He did not think that if these gentlemen expressed an opinion favourable to the abolition of these tests, that that opinion should be sneered at on the ground of the pecuniary interest they had in the attendance upon their lectures. He had observed, with great regret, the course which Government had taken upon this occasion. Indeed, their whole conduct towards the Church of Scotland, ever since the disruption, seemed that of men who had taken sides with one party, and were determined to support it at all hazards. The abolition of these tests would be a highly conciliatory measure as regarded the Free Church party. The assembly of that Church had petitioned in favour of their being done away with. The present was a great opportunity for conciliating that Church, and if they ever did hope to heal the schism which had taken place, now was the time to operate upon men's minds. But if they went on in a course of intolerance towards the seceding party, they would only exasperate the differences which had arisen, and render that schism which they all deplored as permanent as it was extensive.

The Lord Advocate

said, that the Bill which was now moved to be read a second time, proposed to abolish tests in the Universities of Scotland—except with respect to certain chairs and theological professorships. It was not proposed by this Bill to establish any other tests in the room of those established by law. This Bill simply proposed to repeal those tests, or, in other words, to repeal the Act of Security. Now, it would be remembered, that there were at present no Colleges or Universities in Scotland for the education of the clergy, except those with respect to which it was proposed to repeal those tests. At the date of the Union it was made a particular condition of the Union that those Universities should be maintained in their existing state, and that those tests now sought to be abolished should be preserved. This was part of the Treaty of Union, and was afterwards introduced in the Act of Union. A proposal was now made to interfere with that arrangement, and to repeal those tests, and not, instead of them, to substitute any other tests. It was not even proposed to modify those tests, but absolutely to repeal them. He was not aware that any body of Dissenters or Presbyterians had expressed a wish that those tests should be repealed. The resolutions which had been passed by the Assembly of the Free Church did not go so far as that. He had said that the maintenance of these tests was one of the conditions of the Union; and he would ask them to consider, when they sought the abolition of those tests and the violation of the Union, whether they had caused any practical evil? He had heard of no practical evil arising from them, and of no complaint of their operations, except from the University of St. Andrew's. Those tests were uniformly observed, except in the University of Edinburgh; and the rea- son they were not more strictly observed was, that members of other Universities, who had previously taken the test in their own Universities, were frequently, on account of its superior emoluments, transferred to professorships in the University of Edinburgh. But it was said that within the last two years a state of things had arisen in Scotland which rendered it necessary to interfere with the present Establishment of Scotland; to break in upon the security of the Church of Scotland, which had existed ever since the Reformation. Now, what was that state of matters? Two years ago a large secession had taken place from the Church, so that those who dissented from the Establishment were proportionably more numerous than they were before: was that a sufficient reason for abolishing all tests whatever? Was it the opinion even of those men who had left the Church that no tests ought to exist—that there ought to be no security as to the religious character of the teachers of youth? He would read to the House the opinions of some eminent divines of that body, from which they would see that they were willing that the tests should be so altered or modified as to admit to the Universities all classes of Presbyterians—that was to say, that they should admit the body to which they belonged. But was it supposed that they were willing to see all tests swept away, and that no securities should be taken for the religious character of the professors in Universities? Far from it. In the resolutions which the General Assembly of the Free Church passed preparatory to the petition which had been presented to the House, they state— That they are opposed to the present tests as now interpreted; but that they support the present Bill in so far as it removed those sectarian tests, and prepared the way for the Universities being placed on a truly national basis. It was plain, therefore, that they were not in favour of the abolition of all tests, but they wished them to be so regulated as to admit their own members. To the same effect he found one of their most eminent divines, who was the very soul and spirit of the great secession that had taken place—Dr. Candlish — deprecated the utter abolition of all tests, and added, that he would rather see the present tests continued, than that there should be no security at all. They even professed a de- termination to establish tests in their own College, where they had already established not only a theological chair, but a logic and a moral philosophical class, and were providing teachers of Latin and Greek. Was it to be supposed that these men would stop short in their scheme, because the tests were abolished in the existing Universities? The thing was altogether out of the question. Or did they suppose that they would retain the members of the Established Church? Why, they entertained, to say the least, the same objections with Dr. Candlish, and they also would establish a University of their own. So the result of this measure would be that they would please neither the one Church nor the other — they would ruin the Universities, and they would please neither party. It would please no party except those—he could understand their motives — who were in the course of establishing a rival University, and who might wish to strengthen it by destroying the usefulness of the existing Universities. But he conceived that that was a motive which would not receive much countenance in the House. He submitted, therefore, that no case whatever had been made out for the passing of this Bill.

Mr. P. M. Stewart

was anxious to ask the Government to adopt the suggestion which had more than once been pressed upon them to-night, to reconsider their intentions with regard to this Bill, which they had already done, not once but three times, and at last to come to the resolution of supporting the Bill. The Government would not be astonished at his making this request, for, if he was not misinformed, they had already changed their minds upon the subject three times since the introduction of the Bill. They came down to the House, he understood, determined to oppose the introduction of the Bill; but the statement made on that occasion by the hon. Member for Leith was of so convincing and startling a character, that it was perceptible to all in the House that another resolution was come to in the course of that admirable speech, and the Bill was allowed to be introduced. The right hon. Baronet the Home Secretary then declared his resolution to be guided by the opinion of the people of Scotland. Now what was the opinion of the people of Scotland? It did not consist of the isolated opinion of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. That never was held to be the opinion of the people of Scotland, even in the best days of the Assembly. But it was said that the tests were optional whether the professors should take them or not. If the tests were of so loose a character as that, he thought the sooner they were repealed the better. He therefore asked the Government again to change their minds, and to pass this Bill. They were bound to do something to alleviate the evils which they had caused. He believed that what they did was done in ignorance; but that was an additional reason why they should pass this Bill, which would be accepted as a healing measure by the great body of the members of the Free Church, notwithstanding all that had been said by the learned Lord opposite, and which would inflict no injury whatever upon the Established Church; and he implored them, therefore, to return to their former opinion, and to pass this Bill.

Sir R. Peel

said: I promise the Gentlemen who are anxious for a division, that I will detain them but for a short period. The ground on which I shall resist this Motion I shall state very briefly. I have never concealed from myself the difficulties which the Government would have to encounter in proposing this new plan of academical education in Ireland. I foresaw that an attempt to form new institutions for the purpose of giving academical education in a country so circumstanced in respect to population and religious opinion, must evidently subject the Government to the charges which have, in my opinion, most unjustly been brought against them in the course of this discussion. It has been said, that the principles which we adopted in Ireland, in the formation of these new academical institutions, necessarily compelled us to apply those principles to other parts of the Empire, and that we were acting inconsistently, and in violation of our principles, if we declined so to apply those principles. Sir, what are the circumstances under which those new institutions in Ireland are proposed to be founded? We wish to provide, at the expense of the State, a good secular education. We do not propose to introduce a system of theological education. We do not propose to educate persons intended for the ministry of the Church. We do not propose to disconnect religion from a secular education; but we do propose, on account of the peculiar circumstances of the population, providing a secular education at the charge of the State; and we call on individuals to make provision for the religious education which the young men in these Colleges are to receive. We find existing in Ireland, and in other parts of the kingdom, institutions of great antiquity intended for the education of persons to serve in the ministry. In England we find the two Universities, and in this metropolis we find King's College, an institution in immediate connexion with the Establishment. In Ireland we find Trinity College, Dublin, in existence; we find Maynooth, for the education of the Roman Catholic priesthood; and in the north of Ireland we find the College of Belfast, at which many of the Presbyterian ministers receive their education. It is quite true, that we propose, with respect to this secular education, after very mature deliberation, not to impose as a condition, on the appointment of the professors, the taking of any particular tests. Then we are told, that we are chargeable with inconsistency, and with the violation of principle, because we do not follow the same course with respect to the existing institutions in Ireland, Scotland, and England, which are intended for the education of the ministers of the Church. Do we propose to affect Trinity College, Dublin? We avow that we do not. You charge us with violation of principle, because we don't open Dublin College to the Roman Catholics. We said from the first that we did not intend to interfere with existing institutions. We deny that the principles on which we founded the new Colleges in Ireland, are justly applicable either to Dublin or to the Universities of this country. We desired to institute new Colleges without provoking opposition to them, by encouraging an apprehension that the same principles must be applied to existing institutions. We defended the new establishments solely by reference to the present state of Ireland; for we were aware, that nothing could have induced some gentlemen to have supported them, unless we said that the principle was not the best that might be acted on. The peculiarity of the case, and the circumstances of the population of Ireland, were the only grounds on which we defended our measure. What security have we taken in lieu of the application of tests? We contend that as tests are not to be applied, we should have some security, and we therefore propose to give the Crown, at the commencement, the absolute power of appointment, and the absolute power of removal. What do we find in Scotland? We find there, that there are certain academical institutions which are immediately connected with the Church of that country. We find, that in those institutions, the ministers of the Church generally receive their education. We find, that this very Bill admits, that the academical institutions of Scotland are in connexion with the Church; for it is expressly stated by it that nothing in it shall extend to the chairs of divinity, theology, or church history; or any offices, the holders of which are ex officio connected with the Church. What else do we find with respect to those Universities in Scotland? We find an engagement entered into at the time of the Union, that the professors of those Universities shall subscribe a certain declaration implying their adherence to and conformity with the doctrines of the Church. Can there be any doubt as to the meaning of the conditions of the Act of Union? It is required, that before the admission of a professor, he shall acknowledge and subscribe to "the Confession of Faith" as the confession of his faith; and that he shall practise and conform to the worship and usage of the Church, and shall submit to the government and discipline thereof, and shall not endeavour to prejudice or subvert the same. The right hon. Gentleman fully admits the binding force of that engagement. He says that it is a solemn compact, and that he will not attempt to quibble it away. And what is his reasoning? He says, that in the reign of Queen Anne, in 1711, an Act of Parliament was passed, which was a violation of the Act of Union, and an encroachment on the privileges of the Church—that is to say, he contends, because 130 years since there was a violation of that compact, that we are at liberty now to disregard it altogether. And to what extent does that argument of the right hon. Gentleman go? It goes to a denial of an Established Church in Scotland altogether. It asserts that there has been none since 1711. The right hon. Gentleman says, that he will not quibble away the Act of Union. Shall we say, then, that we are at liberty to set aside the Act of Union, because 130 years since an Act of Parliament was passed of which you complain? Shall we allege that in consequence of the passing of that Act there is no Established Church in Scotland? Then the right hon. Gentleman says, that the doctrines of the Free Church are more in conformity with the docirines of the Church at the time of the Act of Union than at present. Before the secession of the Free Church party from the Established Church of Scotland, they held no such doctrine as that held by the right hon. Gentleman. They drew a clear distinction between the Act of 1710 or 1711, and the claim which they preferred, to be exempted from the jurisdiction of the civil tribunals; and before that disruption of the Church they complained of my right hon. Friend for having classed the Act of Anne, which restored to the patrons the right of patronage, with the claim which they preferred for exemption from the civil tribunals. They said, expressly, that the repeal of the Act of Anne was desirable; but yet that it was distinct from their claim to exemption from civil jurisdiction. They said, that though one were refused, the Church might, nevertheless, continue to carry on its government in connexion with the State; but the refusal of the other would render it impossible. Distinct claims like these might, the Special Commission ventured to think, have obtained a reply, in which they would not have been mixed up one with another. Therefore, the Members of the Free Church denied that the Act of Anne was a violation of the compact entered into by the Act of Union. Then, if we were to say to the Church of Scotland, that we are at liberty to set aside the Act of Union, is it not clear that no long interval may elapse, if we acquiesce in this Bill, when it will be said to us, "You have established those institutions in Ireland; you have no tests there; but you have done more—you have disregarded the claims of the Scotch Universities; you have abolished the tests which you found there immediately connected with the Church; now we ask you why you refuse to extend that double principle?—why do you not abolish also the tests in the English Universities?" Now, I own that I do contemplate the separation of the youth of Scotland from their Church with peculiar anxiety and apprehension; and is it not possible, if the Church of Scotland loses that security to which she thinks she is entitled under the Act of Union, that you may remove from her the whole of her divinity students? Your own Bill provides that the theological chairs shall still be subject to the test. I apprehend that even that modification of your Bill will possibly lead to the institution by the Free Church of academies intended for ecclesiastical education. The hon. Gentleman who spoke last, taunts us with some inconsistency in having voted for this Bill being introduced, and in now opposing it on the second reading. Sir, we were assured that this Bill would meet with general concurrence on the part of the people of Scotland; and I am not prepared to say that if the general voice of the people of Scotland had been in favour of it—I am not at all prepared to say, that in that case, Parliament would not have been perfectly right in agreeing to it; but, I must say, that when the Union of the two countries was perfected, the engagements then entered into are not lightly to be set aside, contrary to the wishes and the expression of the public opinion of the people of Scotland. What demonstration have we had on the part of the Church of Scotland in favour of this Bill? Instead of such a demonstration, it was by a majority of 240 to 11 on the part of the constituted authorities of the Church that they stated their belief that these securities were granted to them by the Act of Union, and that they applied to Parliament for the maintenance of them. Were there petitions from Scotland in favour of the repeal of these tests? Was there any demonstration from Scotland? [Mr. Hume: Yes.] I don't deny that there may have been some one or two petitions; but does the hon. Gentleman mean to contend that the opinion of the people of Scotland, as it can be inferred from the demonstrations in Scotland, is to be taken as being in favour of this Bill? [Mr. Hume; Yes.] To what extent have petitions been presented? [Mr. Hume: None against; and all for it. Is the recorded opinion of the Church of Scotland itself to be regarded as nothing? [Mr. Hume Not more than the recorded opinion of the Roman Catholic prelates against the Irish Colleges Bill.] I said in that case, as I say here, that where there is a compact and an Act of Union, we ought not, without the gravest considerations, to set aside the provisions of such a compact. I don't mean to plead them against the voice of the people of Scotland. I don't mean to say, if the opinion of the Presbyterians were decidedly in favour of this Act, that we should rigidly adhere to a measure which was opposed to the sense and wishes of the people; but I repeat, with respect to this compact, as I said with respect to that of the Irish Act of Union, which guarantees the continuance of the Established Church, that these are matters not to be slightly regarded—that they are matters entitled to the most serious consideration, if you wish the faith and the honour of Parliament to be respected. And, with regard to Ireland, we did think that the advantages to be derived from those new academical institutions, coupled with the desire to conciliate the good will of the people of that country towards them, fully warranted their establishment. We have felt that a great prejudice would arise against these new institutions, if it were thought that the principle must necessarily be applied to other institutions of great antiquity, intended for other purposes, and guaranteed by positive contract; and upon that ground we have deemed it perfectly consistent with the principles we have maintained in respect to those new institutions, not to insist upon the condition of a test, and yet in respect to other institutions connected with the Established Church, founded for theological education, intended for the instruction of the ministers of religion, to apply a different rule; and while we impose no test on the professors in the new institutions, not to alter the system which requires, in the case of the ancient institutions that the professors and instructors of youth should take those tests which the law and usage of the country impose upon them. It is my intention to oppose the measure.

Lord J. Russell

I am sure it can hardly be necessary to argue further upon this question; but I do request the House, now that they are able to extricate themselves from it, not to be involved in the humiliating dilemma in which Her Majesty's Government would place them. Hitherto it has been supposed that these matters of education, of religious establishment, of religious tests, were matters of principle, one way or the other. Men who took the view that they were necessary for the maintenance of religion, and useful for the benefit of the State, like the hon. Member for Oxford University (Sir R. Inglis), steadily upheld them; other men, who conceived that they were a snare for scrupulous consciences, and a cobweb broken through at once by those who had no faith and no scruple about these things, as constantly denounced them as worse than useless, and prayed for their abolition. Either course may be taken; either course may be defended by argument. My hon. Friend the Member for the University of Oxford can well defend his opinion; my right hon. Friend who sits near me (Mr. Macaulay) is fully capable of defending the opinion which we hold. But, now we have a Government which holds neither to one principle nor the other, which tells us one day that there is no need of religious tests—that if you wish to provide for the good of Ireland you should have none—that they have been found utterly useless — and which goes out of its way to persuade the House to reject them; and comes down on the next day, saying, that such tests are absolutely necessary for the maintenance of religion in Scotland, and that otherwise to act would be (in the language of the Lord Advocate) to act upon latitudinarian principles. Now, I do put it to the House, let them assert one principle or the other. Let them assert, as I hope they will, the principle which they have stated with regard to the Irish Colleges; but, at all events, do not let them involve themselves in the reproach that they are utterly indifferent to the matter, whether there shall be religious tests or no; that it suits the convenience of the Ministry one day to denounce them and expose their futility, and it suits their convenience the next day to uphold them for the sake of certain interests, and that this House is ready servilely to agree with them, and set at nought that character which it has formerly sustained. There is an old story of two knights meeting upon different sides of a shield, and one saw the side which was black, and the other the side which was white; the one knight maintained that the shield was white, and the other that it was black; and they fought a desperate battle, and were ready to peril their lives for the sake of the maintenance of their opinions. One can believe that each trusting to his own eyesight acted honestly and faithfully. But to tell one of the knights to come round to the black side and say that the shield was entirely black, and then go to the white side and say it was entirely white [a laugh], and to claim credit after that for acting upon a conscientious view, is really what no fiction has ever supposed, and what, until this night, no one ever imagined would be realized in the conduct of an Administration in this country. I will declare my own opinion fairly to the House with regard to religious tests applied to secular offices of all kinds, professorships as well as others; I believe, that while they entangle scrupulous persons, because of some (perhaps no very important) difference of opinion which prevents them taking the test, they are no guard against infidelity and irreligion. And I would point at once to three examples—Lord Bolingbroke, who was Secretary of State, Mr. Hume, who held office abroad, and Mr. Gibbon, who held office in this country; each at a time when the sacramental test was imposed, and when persons were obliged in that solemn ordinance to avow their belief in the doctrines of the Church of England. Did it prevent any one of those men from being a holder of office in the State, and being a good Tory supporter of the doctrine of Church and State? Not the least in the world; they were eminent statesmen as well as authors, every one of them; and yet my hon. Friend the Member for Oxford University would rely upon such a test. But take the actual instance on the other side. My hon. Friend has said truly that here is no question of the fundamental doctrines of religion, that there is not even a question of church government, generally speaking; but there is a difference on one point of church government; and the hon. Gentleman who has so distinguished himself this Session by the vote he gave contrary to his interest (Mr. Pringle), and who ought after that testimony to his character to be listened to by the House, has said, that the difference between Roman Catholics and Protestants is a difference in essentials; but that that between many Protestant denominations is a difference in non-essentials. I ask, what is the difference upon which you found this test? What are the men you wish to keep out by the reimposition of it—for it is a reimposition? You exclude men who do not differ upon doctrine, or even upon the general question of Presbyterian church government as held by Presbyterians in all times, but who differ upon one point of church government, which is in dispute, and for that one point you would keep up a test to exclude them from being pro- fessors of natural philosophy and mathematics. Is not that an application of a test which prevents men holding very nearly the same opinions from coming together? If there is any man of eminence as a mathematician, would you prevent his being professor of mathematics in the University of Glasgow, because he did not hold with the present General Assembly of the Church of Scotland upon the question of Church patronage? I am of opinion that there can be no difficulty in men among whom there are such differences as this attending the same instructors, and being guided by their lessons, to the advantage of all. It has occurred to me, in consequence of late discussions, to recollect that when I was at Edinburgh, attending the University there, I heard the last lectures that were given by an eminent man—Professor Dugald Stewart; we attended the lessons of that great professor, being of different persuasions as we were, and when he retired from the chair, we, his pupils, formed a Committee to draw up an Address, and express our sense of his high merits, and regret at his retirement; there was on that Committee a Presbyterian, there were members of the Church of England, but it so happened that the persons to whom we confided the task of drawing up the Address which was adopted was a Roman Catholic—the present Lord Fingall. I mention it as a proof that men who differ may meet and derive instruction from the same eminent men without any compromise of their religious faith. Then, if that is the case, what is there which should prevent you from acceding to the abolition of these tests? You say, there is an opinion in Scotland against it; and what is the proof given by the two right hon. Gentlemen who have spoken? Why, they tell us that in the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, a vast majority, I think, of 240 to 11, put a negative upon the proposition. No doubt it did. The members of the General Assembly are the clergy of the class who are interested; they are the excluding body. Why, suppose you asked the Primate of Ireland to call the clergy of the Established Church of Ireland together at Armagh, and put to them the question whether Maynooth should be endowed, or even the new Colleges erected? Why, in regard to Maynooth, I very much doubt whether there would be that minority of 11; I doubt whether even five or six of them would vote in favour of that or any measure considered detrimental in any way to the Established Church, and admitting others to the privileges of which hitherto they have had exclusive enjoyment. As to any proof of the opinion of the people of Scotland, that must be given by those whom they send to represent them in this House, to tell it to us by their votes; and it is not for you, the Ministers of the Crown, to overbear that opinion, and to tell us that we must not pass this law, because it is adverse to opinions which you have ascertained by consulting the General Assembly. But, then, it is against the Act of Union. Why, have we not altered that in various instances? In bringing forward the Roman Catholic Relief Bill, the present First Lord of the Treasury stated, that by the Act of Union with Scotland, both the electors and the elected (for Parliament) were bound to make declarations against the Roman Catholic faith, and that in taking away all those disabilities, it was not fit to leave that which was imposed by that Act of Union. In that instance, I believe, he did not very much consult the wishes and opinions of the people of Scotland. He acted, however, according to all true policy and wisdom. What is to prevent us in this case from establishing a good rule, and doing that for the benefit of the people of Scotland which I really believe will be approved by them? But, after all, without arguing this question any further, I am disposed to ask the House to come to the establishment of some principle or other upon these questions. My hon. Friend the Member for Oxford University says, that the Government have a general policy, and that they have made an exception to it in the case of the Irish Colleges. My hon. Friend may be right; but the greater part of those on this side of the House, when they heard the right hon. Gentleman opposite, thought that the argument was upon general grounds, and that it was a very convincing proof that the non-admission of religious tests would be a benefit. It would be very shallow to say that it is useful to have no religious tests as a general question; but that it is useful to have them with regard to establishments already made. I do not conceive that such a distinction could be very long maintained. But let us adopt one principle or the other. The country really wants it. I believe they will be disposed to adopt sound principles on this question if you lead them aright. If, on the contrary, you are determined to maintain these tests rigidly, why they will very likely follow what I consider a prejudiced view of the subject. But, in either case, the country would have a fixed opinion, and a fixed system of policy. What would be most injurious would be, that the opinions of the country should be altogether shaken; that there should be no resting-place on which we could plant our foot; that all belief on principles to be asserted and acted on by this House should be altogether lost; that there should be no trust whatever in any such principles. Depend upon it, if you adopt that vacillating and changing course, the people of England may be at first bewildered; but when they come to their senses, they will condemn your conduct and the conduct of the Government which led you into so disgraceful a dilemma. I, therefore, end as I began, by imploring the House of Commons not to suffer this stain upon its own character; to leave the responsibility of this shifting course, this playing and trifling with great principles, to rest upon the Government of the day; let the House of Commons remain intact by such stain, and not touched by such dishonour.

The House divided on the Question that the word "now" stand part of the Question:—Ayes 108; Noes 116: Majority 8.

List of the AYES.
Aglionby, H. A. Curteis, H. B.
Baillie, H. J. Dalmeny, Lord
Baine, W. Dalrymple, Capt.
Bannerman, A. Denison, J. E.
Baring, rt. hn. F. T. Dennistoun, J.
Barnard, E. G. D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C. T.
Bellew, R. M. Duncan, Visct.
Berkeley, hon. Capt. Duncan, G.
Bernal, R. Duncombe, T.
Blake, M. J. Dundas, Adm.
Borthwick, P. Dundas, F.
Bouverie, hon. E. P. Dundas, D.
Bright, J. Ebrington, Visct.
Brotherton, J. Ellice, rt. hon. E.
Browne, hon. W. Ellice, E.
Buller, C. Escott, B.
Buller, C. Esmonde, Sir T.
Chapman, B. Etwall, R.
Christie, W. D. Ferguson, Sir R. A.
Clay, Sir W. Forster, M.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Gibson, T. M.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Gill, T.
Craig, W. G. Grey, rt. hn. Sir G.
Crawford, W. S. Grosvenor, Lord R.
Hallyburton, Lord J. F. Pulsford, R.
Hastie, A. Rawdon, Col.
Hawes, B. Redington, T. N.
Hindley, C. Ross, D. R.
Horsman, E. Russell, Lord J.
Howard, hon. H. Scott, R.
Howick, Visct. Seymour, Lord
Hume, J. Sheil, rt. hn. R. L.
Humphery, Ald. Shelburne, Earl of
Jervis, J. Smith, rt. hn. R. V. C.
Labouchere, rt. hon. H. Smythe, hon. G.
Langston, J. H. Somerville, Sir W. M.
Lemon, Sir C. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Loch, J. Stewart, P. M.
Macaulay, rt. hon. T. B. Stuart, Lord J.
McTaggart, Sir J. Tancred, H. W.
Mangles, R. D. Towneley, J.
Marjoribanks, S. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Marshall, W. Villiers, hon. C.
Mitcalfe, H. Vivian, J. H.
Mitchell, T. A. Wakley, T.
Morris, D. Wall, C. B.
Morison, Gen. Warburton, H.
Morrison, J. Ward, H. G.
O'Brien, J. Watson, W. H.
O'Connell, M. J. Wawn, J. T.
Ogle, S. C. H. Williams, W.
Ord, W. Yorke, H. R.
Oswald, J.
Pechell, Capt. TELLERS.
Philips, G. R. Hill, Lord M.
Plumridge, Capt. Tufnell, H.
List of the NOES.
A'Court, Capt. Douglas, Sir H.
Acton, Col. Douglas, Sir C. E.
Alford, Visct. Duckworth, Sir J. T. B.
Arkwright, G. Emlyn, Visct.
Ashley, Lord Estcourt, T. G. B.
Austen, Col. Farnham, E. B.
Bailey, J. Fitzroy, hon. H.
Baillie, Col. Flower, Sir J.
Baird, W. Forman, T. S.
Barkly, H. Fox, S. L.
Baring, rt. hon. W. B. Fremantle, rt. hn. Sir T.
Bentinck, Lord G. Fuller, A. E.
Bernard, Visct. Gaskell, J. M.
Blackburne, J. I. Gladstone, Capt.
Bowles, Adm. Gordon, hon. Capt.
Brisco, M. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Broadley, H. Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.
Bruce, Lord E. Granby, Marq. of
Bruges, W. H. L. Greenall, P.
Buck, L. W. Greene, T.
Buckley, E. Grimston, Visct.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Grogan, E.
Campbell, Sir H. Halford, Sir H.
Cardwell, E. Hamilton, C. J. B.
Carew, W. H. P. Hamilton, G. A.
Clerk, rt. hon. Sir G. Hamilton, W. J.
Clive, hon. R. H. Hamilton, Lord C.
Cockburn, rt. hon. Sir G. Hampden, R.
Corry, right hon. H. Harcourt, G. G.
Damer, hon. Col. Harris, hon. Capt.
Darby, G. Henley, J. W.
Denison, E. B. Herbert, rt. hn. S.
Hogg, J. W. Patten, J. W.
Holmes, hn. W. A'C. Peel, rt. hn. Sir R.
Hope, Sir J. Pringle, A.
Hope, hon. C. Rashleigh, W.
Hope, G. W. Repton, G. W. J.
Hughes, W. B. Rolleston, Col.
Hussey, T. Sanderson, R.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Seymour, Sir H. B.
Jermyn, Earl Shaw, rt. hon. F.
Jocelyn, Visct. Smith, rt. hn. T. B. C.
Johnstone, Sir J. Somerset, Lord G.
Knightley, Sir C. Spooner, R.
Lennox, Lord A. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Lincoln, Earl of Taylor, E.
Lockhart, W. Tennent, J. E.
Lowther, hon. Col. Trench, Sir F. W.
Lygon, hon. Gen. Trollope, Sir J.
Mackenzie, T. Trotter, J.
Mackenzie, W. F. Vivian, J. E.
M'Neill, D. Waddington, H. S.
Meynell, Capt. Wellesley, Lord C.
Mildmay, H. St. J. Wortley, hon. J. S.
Neville, R. Wortley, hon. J. S.
Newdegate, C. N. Wynn, rt. hn. C. W. W.
Nicholl, rt. hon. J.
Northland, Visct. TELLERS.
Packe, C. W. Young, J.
Palmer, G. Baring, H.

Main question as amended put, and agreed to. Second reading of the Bill put off for three months.