HC Deb 11 June 1849 vol 105 cc1373-434

Order for Third Reading read.


then moved the third reading of the Parliamentary Oaths Bill.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill he now read the third time.


Sir, in rising to make the Motion of which I have given notice, that the Bill be read a third time this day three months, I bog to assure the House, that nothing but an urgent sense of duty would induce me to present myself on this the last stage of the proceeding, to the exhausted attention of hon. Members; but the important alterations the Bill has undergone in the Committee (if not at the instance, yet with the acquiescence of the noble Lord who introduced the measure), render it necessary on my part to explain the objections I feel as well to the amended form of oaths, as to the dangerous innovations comprehended in the principle of this Bill. Nor is this the less necessary from the unusual circumstance of the exclusion of strangers at that precise period when the construction of the form of oath to he substituted was the subject of earnest and animated discussion in a comparatively thin House. Nor can it be deemed of small importance to ascertain whether more than two hundred dissentients from a measure having the same object, and introduced by the noble Lord in the last Session of Parliament, are still animated with the same sentiments, and equally prepared to record their votes in opposition to this Bill. The main object, however, of the Bill, the admissibility of Jews into a Christian Legislature, is not suggested by the title or preamble, and not indeed referred to until you arrive at nearly the conclusion of the clauses that make up this short Bill. It is entitled a Bill regarding Parliamentary oaths only; to be taken by Members not professing the Roman Catholic religion; and my first objection is, that whilst you impose on the Roman Catholic Members of this House the most solemn engagements that they will not employ the powers they possess as Members of the Legislature to subvert the Establishment of our Church in Great Britain and Ireland; yet this Bill now proposes to dispense with these solemn engagements with regard to the Jew, and to leave wholly unrestrained the enemy of Christianity itself. It may be true, that the Jews are indifferent to the doctrine and discipline of the Church; but if admitted to seats in the Legislature, they will have the power of dealing with the temporalities—the property and endowments of that Church—to say nothing of that general and extensive interference that Parliament has assumed, more especially of late years, in all matters vitally affecting the Church of England. The subject-matter of legislation, is the alteration of the oaths hitherto taken by Members of Parliament. The occasion demands in effecting such alteration, that especial care should be taken to require from all advocates of a voluntary system, and the opponents of the Church of England in general—that they should stand equally pledged with the Roman Catholic not to endeavour to subvert the Church as by law established, comprehending not only her doctrine, discipline, and authority, hut the revenues and endowments of that Church. The real, therefore, though somewhat disguised, object of this Bill, is the admission of Jews into Parliament—without even the security afford-ed by the oath required of our Roman Catholic brethren, binding them not to employ their legislative powers against the Church of England. You propose then to communicate to the Jew wholly unfettered by any obligations of duty to Christianity (the basis of our constitution, in Church and State), a capacity to sit and vote in either House of Parliament—so often as the Jew shall find favour with the Sovereign to call him to the House of Lords—or shall persuade his Christian fellow-men to prefer him as their representative in the House of Commons. It is proposed, then. to put the oath to be required of a Jew on the same footing as the oath required of Protestants—whether Churchmen or Dis-senters, omitting in the case of the Jew the words" on the true faith of a Christian; "and we are to remain content with the affirmation of the Quaker and the Separatist. It may be said, the Church of England and the Church of Rome regard each other as rivals, or are in the nature of rival establishments; branches indeed of the universal Church. And the fear entertained of Rome may be held to be a fear of subversion by that Church, a fear that the Church of Rome may be established on the site, so to speak, or on the ruins of the ancient English Church. The fear entertained of Dissenters is a different fear—not of subversion with a view to a transfer of the revenues of the Church of England in favour of one or more sect of Dissenters, but a fear of spoliation—confiscation to alleged State purposes—in relief of burdens and taxes, or, as it may please them, in reduction of the national debt. But to return to the Jews, I will endeavour to show that it is a complete fallacy to argue that the Jews ought to be admitted to the Legislature on the plea that all natural-born subjects of the Crown are admissible to Parliament. I pray the House to recollect on what terms they existed in this country under our early kings—from the Conquest more especially to the 18th of Edward I., the period of their banishment. Alternately protected and pillaged by the Crown, their status or position could not be regarded in those times as being practically higher than that of villeins generally —in the most favourable circumstances, a few excepted individuals perhaps might even then be regarded in the light of merchant strangers; but still as strangers—sojourners in the land, having no abiding place beyond the purposes of trade, a temporary residence and dwelling—an interest therein fleeting and transitory—the condition of individuals and of their community ever shifting and migratory. I am confirmed and fortified in this view of the earlier condition of the Jews in this country by the authority of the learned commentator on the laws of England, Mr. Serjeant Stephen, and by the text retained in his commentaries, in the edition of his valuable work published in 1842, Volume Second, page 428:— There is a portion (it is there stated) of the natural-born subjects of this nation whose case is in some respects peculiar. The Jews born within this realm wore formerly subject to many hardships and degradations, and appear to have been scarcely considered in any other light than that of aliens. It will be necessary to trace their earlier history, to notice the vast improvements effected in their legal position since 1842, by the statutes passed in 1845 and 1846. And in tracing that history, and in noticing the advances they have made in their social position and legal privileges, we must never lose sight of the impediments their religion, their customs, their peculiar laws and observances; above all, in respect to intermarriages with Christians or others than Jews, necessarily present to their actual incorporation with any other nation or people of the earth. These are impediments that no time or circumstances can remove. They are obstacles the Legislature itself can never surmount. To advert at present to the important changes in their favour effected by very recent statutes, would be to anticipate the line of argument; nor can the full force of those changes be appreciated without reference to their former status under the laws those statutes have repealed. The authorities on which I rely are mostly to be found either in the text, or by reference in an interesting and valuable work, entitled. Anglia Judaica, or the History of the Jems in England; compiled by Dr. Tovey, LL.D., and Principal of New Inn Hall in Oxford. The edition to which I refer is of the year 1738. The history is professedly "collected—(and the contents fully bear out the allegation)—from all our historians printed and in manuscript, as also from the records in the Tower and other public repositories." It had been supposed that the Jews were first brought over by William the Conqueror, A.D. 1066; but the error is corrected by Spelman, from the notice that appears of them in the Laws of Edward the Confessor, which declare "Judœi et omnia sua Regis sunt," 1 Leg. Confess, c. 29, hence their ancient vassalage; but as early as the year A.D. 740, Christians were forbidden to be present at the Jewish feasts in England. In the time of William Rufus, though much their friend from interested and sordid motives, the only place of interment allotted them throughout the kingdom was a large spot of ground without the walls of the city of London, in the parish of St. Giles, Cripplegate, called the Jews' Garden; but in the 24th Henry II. a burial place was allowed them on the outside of every city where they dwelt. King Richard I. being greatly incensed by the burning of many evidences of money due to the Jews, which of right, as he alleged, belonged to him after they were dead, it was ordained that all effects belonging to the Jews should be registered. Justices of the Jews were appointed to attend their business exclusively at the Exchequer. The method of proving a deed was, by the testimony of both Christians and Jews, according to a charter of the second of King John. In trials between Christians and Jews the venire facias was sex probos et legales homines, et sex legales Judœos. The Jew creditor, in acknowledging the discharge of a debt, acknowledged the same coram justiciariis nostris ad custodiam Judœorum assignatis:The justices of the Jews were such persons as attended in a particular part of the Great Exchequer, called Scaccarium Judœorum, or Judaismi, on the revenue arising to the King from the Jews; in the same manner as the treasurer and barons at the Great Exchequer upon the general revenue of the kingdom. Two Jews were at one time such Justices, and there is extant the record of their appointment, 2nd Henry III., and instances are cited from Madox's History of the Exchequer to the like effect. Justices of the Jews were generally judges in all civil matters where a Jew was one party, and their jurisdiction was enforced by writ of supersedeas or prohibition, concluding in such terms as these. Secundum, legem et constitutionem Judaismi; and Lord Coke, in his Fourth Institute, takes notice of "Court of Justices of the Jews," page 254:— Notwithstanding the charter of privileges granted by King John to the Jews, he claimed an absolute property in them, and the right of discharging a debt due to the Jews as a debt due to himself."—Anglia Judaica. The Jews being the only tolerated usurers (the Statute of Merton, cap. v. so expounded by Lord Coke, 2nd Institute, p. 89), the statute Be Judaismo enacts that no Jew hereafter shall take usury. And it was time that the law should interfere "when they usually took fifty in the hundred." In the 55th of Henry III., an Act of Parliament passed, which not only restrained the Jews from purchasing any lands or tenements for the future, but actually vacated all purchases which they had made at any time before restoring them to their first Christian owners upon repayment of the consideration money without interest. Enacting that whatever purchases they made for the future should immediately become vested in the Crown —with reservations that they might retain such houses as they inhabited themselves, or let out to other Jews, and likewise repair or rebuild upon any ancient foundations they were already possessed of, &c., &c. Besides these restrictions, with others, it forbade them to sue by any original writ out of Chancery:— Nullus Judæus implacitet, vel placitare possit per brevia nostia originatia de Cancellariâ, sed tantium coram Justiciarns nostris ad costodiam Judiæorum assignatis per Brevia Judaismi consueta et hactenus usitata. King Edward regulated the Jews after his father's model: justices of the Jews were assigned, and the Jews themselves restrained to dwell in this or that particular town, according to ancient custom. In the third year of his reign, was passed the Statute of Judaism, and I beg to call particular attention to the terms of the following passage, seeing that the Act itself was repealed only on the 18th August 1846:— And the King also grants that they may practise merchandise, or live by their labour, and for those purposes freely converse with Christians. Excepting that upon any pretence whatevcr they shall not be levant or couchant amongst them, nor on account of their merchandise, be in scots, lots, or talliage, with the other inhabitants of those cities or boroughs where they remain, seeing they are talliable to the King as his own vassals, and not otherwise. A power is indeed given to purchase houses; but with regard to lands and services in respect to lands then existing, the statute proceeds:— Moreover the King grants that such as are unskilful in merchandise and can't labour, may take lands to farm for any term not exceeding ton years, provided no homage, fealty, or any such kind of service or advowson to Holy Church be belonging to them. Lord Coke, in Calvin's case, said, that an eternal enmity was necessarily assumed to exist between infidels and Christians, and that they were incapable of prosecuting a case in a court of justice—that they had no locus standi there. I rejoice that our treatment of the Jews has been greatly altered since those days; but I allude to Lord Coke's opinion with regard to the Jews, because in tracing their early history everything confirms the view that Lord Coke's sentiments were supported by the law in those days. The 3rd of Edward I. was a statute partly of prohibition and partly of protection to the Jews; but in no sense could it be reconciled with the idea of their possessing the ordinary rights and privileges of natural-born British subjects. They were expressly prohibited from holding land, except to farm for ten years, as we have seen: the statute forbade them to sue by any original writ out of Chancery: so long as they were permitted to dwell in this country, they were exclusively assigned to the custody of the justices of the Jews. In A.D. 1290, the recent statute. De Judaismo, being in full force, the whole of the Jews in England, to a number approaching 17,000, wore banished: and they retired from the country "under the protection of the King." After an interval of more than 300 years, they began to reappear in this country. They were silently readmitted in very small numbers under the Protectorate. They formally petitioned to be readmitted; and their case, the legality of their admission, was argued before Cromwell, but with no satisfactory result. It is indeed matter of history, if I may speak it without blame, that an Asiatic Jew, deputed by his brethren came into this country to ascertain whether the Lord Protector had any Jewish blood in his veins, and whether he might be truly regarded as the promised Messiah. The application of the Jews was first addressed to the Council of War on the death of King Charles the First, and they petitioned for a repeal of the law in force against them, which failing, after some deliberation amongst themselves, they agreed upon Rabbi Manasseh Ben Israel, a man of much repute and learning as their representative, and sent him over from Holland attended by several of the richest merchants. He drew up and presented a petition addressed To His Highness the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland," and entitled "The humble address of Manasseh Ben Israel, &c., in behalf of the Jewish nation, to grant us place in your country, that we may have our Synagogues and free exercise of our religion, &c. &c. as our brethren do in Italy, Germany, Poland, and many other places, &c." Then followed "A Declaration to the Commonwealth of England by Rabbi Manasseh Pen Israel, showing the motives of his coming into England. These documents are remarkable, as showing the distinctive character of their nation and religion—speaking of their universal dispersion to take place preparatory to their ultimate reunion—an event, which they seemed to apprehend, was at that time drawing nigh to its accomplishment. The Jews being suffered by Cromwell in very small numbers to creep into this country again, although their petition was not granted, and no law affecting them was repealed in their favour, were notwithstanding relieved by Charles II., from the payment of the alien duty outwards, which all other classes of aliens were required to pay. That relief, however, was objected to by all other British merchants throughout the country, and especially by the merchants and corporation of London; and King William, afterwards by an Order in Council, dated 14th of October, 1690, revoked their exemption, and by revoking it, and re-enforcing the duty, gave by this Order in Council the strongest declaration that his Government in those days of civil and religious liberty, considered the status of the Jews merely that of merchant strangers liable to the alien duty outwards^—a tax to which no natural-born British subject was liable. It is totally irreconcilable with the Christian constitution of this country to allow the Jew to legislate for it; but it had been argued on the opposite side (by the noble Lord the Member for London) on a former occasion, that only in a modified, not in an exact sense, was Christianity a part and parcel of the common law of the land. As if it was so only to the extent of affording a foundation for criminal proceedings in case of an injurious attack upon the established religion of the country. The case of a bequest of 1,200l. towards a charity for affording instruction in the Jewish law alone, and not in the doctrines of the New Testament, came before Lord Chancellor Hardwicke, who gave it as his opinion, that the bequest being intended to advance the Jewish law, was a contravention of Christianity, and gave judgment that the bequest fell under the jurisdiction of the Crown for its application to a charitable purpose, totally different from the object of the donor. Accordingly 1,000l. of the money was applied by the assent of the Crown to the purposes of the Foundling Hospital. All this clearly showed that the Jews were not in the disposition of their money in the advancement of the Jewish law and the Jewish religion; and as it regarded charitable bequests, having these objects considered in the same light as British subjects, making bequests in favour of the national faith of Christianity, part and parcel of the law of the land—but were to be regarded as aliens in religion at least, and their bequest, if not forfeited to the Crown, to be diverted by the Crown, when they were made in contravention of that religion, the basis and foundation of the laws of our Christian country. But the language of Lord Hardwick's judg- ment sustains my proposition to its full extent, whilst that judgment rests also on the concurrent dicta and decision of that great authority of the law, Sir Matthew Hale, and of Lord Raymond. So early indeed, as the time of Henry VI., it was laid down and established by the Chief Justice of the Common Pleas of that day, and has ever since been acknowledged, that "the Holy Scriptures was our common law on which all manner of laws were founded." However, with the permission of the House, I will read a short extract of this case of Do Costa and De Paz, decided by Lord Hardwicke in "Michaelmas term, in the 17th year of the reign of George II. His Lordship there says— But this is a bequest for the propagation of the Jewish religion, and though it is said that this is a part of our religion, yet the intent of this bequest must be taken to be in contradiction of the Christian religion, which is a part of the law of the land, which is so laid down by Lord Hale, and Lord Raymond: and it undoubtedly is so, for the constitution and policy of this nation is founded thereon. And this decision of Lord Chancellor Hardwicke would still be applicable to similar bequests, but for the change effected in the law by a very recent statute—the 9th and 10th Victoria, cap. 59, section 2, and to which it will be my duty to advert. In fact, of late years, we have not only acted liberally towards the Jews, but have gone to the extreme limits of the constitution in their behalf. I cannot but consider that to render them capable of holding municipal offices and judicial appointments in corporations, by enabling statutes, and the offices of sheriffs and magistrates under the Crown, by the aid of the Indemnity Bill, a very great stretch of Parliamentary authority; and if we go further, and admit them to Parliament, this will be the first British Legislature that has altered and accommodated the oaths to this object. Considering the oaths that we have imposed upon the Roman Catholics, it surely is not to be endured that the Jew should be invested with a capacity to innovate upon the Established Church, or to despoil it of its revenues. To accede to the prayer of the Jew, I feel to be utterly incompatible with their position as aliens to our constitution in Church and State; and with that security, which the State has a right to demand of all its subjects in behalf of an establishment which the Crown itself is bound to uphold and protect. By the 8th and 9th Victoria, c. 52, Jews are admissible to all offices in municipal corporations, on making the declaration therein set forth, in lieu of that enacted by the 9th of George IV. c. 17; but they are still called upon to engage not to injure or weaken the Established Protestant Church, though that engagement be no longer made "on the true faith of a Christian." By the 9th and 10th of Victoria, c. 59, the Jews are placed on an equal footing with Her Majesty's Protestant subjects dissenting from the Church of England, with respect to their schools, places for religious worship, education, and charitable purposes, and the property held therewith. And, therefore, it cannot be fairly said that the exclusion of the Jew from our Christian Legislature alone, is the remnant of the old persecuting spirit. I speak it without intending any offence, in repelling a charge made against the opponents of this measure; but I utterly deny, that I, with others, evince any sectarian animosity, or religious bigotry, in wishing to adhere to a Christian constitution, by excluding from the great councils of the nation those who regard the Divine Founder of our religion as an impostor, and believe, that to mix themselves by blood with its professors to be a profanation. I rather believe that in taking this course, I am only duly reverencing that religion we all profess; and although it may be very true that the number of Jews who would be admitted would be very few indeed, if they were allowed to enter; yet I believe we should be dealing a very grievous blow against the character and fame of this House and the other branch of the Legislature, and should be showing to the people of this country at large, whether you attempt to deny it or not, that we are indifferent to the most important subject of all that has ever come before us. We are often pressed with the argument that we have made various concessions to the Jews, and that in many particulars they are British subjects. It is urged that a Jew may be a juror, a high sheriff, or a magistrate; but the very fact of showing that these privileges were of recent origin, is a proof that until those concessions were made, there was not a status for the Jew as a British subject in this country. There was a time, when in the case of the trial of a Jew, the Jew could demand one half of the jury to be Jews; and, I ask, was he then recognised as a full British subject? There was a time also, when, in all questions of debt between a Christian and a Jew, the jury was composed one half of Christians, and the other of Jews, when a Christian witness was required, in addition to the witness of the Jewish persuasion, to establish or to release the debt; but these grievances, it will be said, have been since removed, together with the statute and ordinance of the 54th and 55th Henry III., and the statue or ordinance commonly called Statutum Judaismo. But it was deemed necessary to repeal these obsolete statutes, and to rest the legal rights of the Jew upon a better foundation than the received opinion of the day. I will not now allude to the attempt made by legislation to naturalise Jews in 1753, or to the repeal of the statute the following Session. I concede that by the 10th George I., the words "on the true faith of a Christian," were omitted from the oath of abjuration when taken by the Jews. I give full effect to the statute that encouraged a seven years' residence in our American colony, as a qualification to become a British subject in the case of a Jew; but, reviewing all these concessions, and without attempting their repeal, what grounds do they furnish to concede a seat to the enemy of Christianity in our Imperial Christian Legislature? Having drawn whatever information I could obtain from sources the most friendly and favourable to the Jews, and from authors the least disposed to place unnecessary burthens or restrictions on them: from those who have commiserated their condition in adversity, and attributed their undoubted crimes to the oppressions with which they were visited; it remains for me only to point out how irreconcilable their actual condition is, and ever has been, with a real incorporation with any other people or nation in the world. That it defies the power of Parliament itself—which is supposed to reconcile all things not naturally impossible—to fuse into one nation the discordant elements of a Jewish and a Christian community. A learned Prelate, Bishop Thirlwall, indeed, is reported to have argued thus— Take away the religious difference, and there would be no more reason for treating the Jews as aliens, than any of the other races which compose the elements of our mixed population. Does not the argument of the rev. Prelate beg the whole question?—Nor can I agree with the same rev. Prelate in thinking that— By giving your assent to this Bill you will be hastening the approach of the time when the veil shall be taken away from the eyes of the people for whose relief it is designed. To employ the eloquent language of the modern and accomplished author of the History of the JewsRefusing still to mingle their blood with any other race of mankind, they dwell in their distinct families and communities; and still maintain, though sometimes long and utterly unconnected with each other, the principle of national unity. Jews in the indelible features of the countenance, in mental character, in customs, usages and laws, in language and literature, above all in religion, in recollections of the past, and in the hopes of the future. Denizens everywhere, rarely citizens even in the countries in which they have been the longest and most firmly established, they appear to a certain degree strangers or sojourners; they dwell apart, though mingling with neighbours in many of the affairs of life. And again— For common purposes they adopt the language of the country they inhabit, hut the Hebrew remains the national tongue in which their holy books are read, and their religious services conducted: their perpetuity, their national immortality is at once the most curious problem to the political inquirer; to the religious man a subject of profound and awful admiration. We must look therefore to some other cause than the alleged principle of this Bill for its introduction, and the urgency with which it is advocated. The fact is, that the Jews, by their connexions, can command the money market all over the world; and the money market is the secret why it is sought to admit them into this House. It happened that the same constituency that was distinguished by being represented by the noble Lord opposite, had associated with him a gentleman of the Jewish persuasion; but I presume to tell the noble Lord, not to reckon upon the result of any future experiment of this sort—for a very sensible man has stated to me (I will not publicly mention his name, but he is a very respectable person, and I will, if necessary, mention his name in private), that he was one of those who strongly advocated the admissibility of the Jews, and had therefore voted for Mr. Rothschild; but, he added, "make him admissible, and I will never given him another vote." Is it from the idle notion of paying a compliment to a millionaire, who happened to be associated with the noble Lord at the head of the Government, or is it in consequence of his wealth and his influence, especially in the contracting of loans, and in the money market—that this measure was brought forward? Was it introduced from any other accident, than because he is the colleague of the noble Lord at the head of Her Majesty's Government, and a rich man well backed on the Stock Exchange? For out of 40,000 Jews—the entire number which it is said are in the country—two thirds are located in and near London; and he had the full benefit of all the aid those gentlemen could give him. Why, I would venture to ask, should we break through the fundamental principles of the British constitution to pave the way for the admission of the Jews into Parliament? I do not agree with my hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Roebuck), who shook his head, that the smallness of the object is a reason for not opposing the measure. The question in truth is this—will you break down the principles and prostrate the bulwark of the British constitution, to admit the colleague of the Prime Minister into this House? I do not mean to question the noble Lord's sincerity or consistency in bringing forward this proposition; but the stability of the country depends—under the Supreme Disposer of events—upon the maintenance of our institutions on an exclusively Christian foundation. In conclusion 1 beg to move as an Amendment "that the Bill be read a third time this day three months."


, in seconding the Amendment, said, that though this new Bill, instead of being called "The Jews' Bill," came to them under the more refined appellation of "The Parliamentary Oaths Bill," the object of both measures was the same—namely, the introduction of Jews to Parliament—homage being thus paid to Mammon. He had always been a staunch supporter of Her Majesty's Government, and whether he received their smiles or their frowns they would always find him in their hour of need; but having opposed this Bill silently hitherto, he felt that it now behoved him to say a few words. He had heard nothing new in favour of this Bill, except what had fallen from the hon. Member for Leominster, whose first speech had not only justified, but even exceeded, the expectations of the House and the public. Great as was his admiration for that hon. Gentleman's talents, he must confess that he had not been proselyted. His main objection was unremoved; and as other hon. Gentlemen had repeated their line of argument, he would briefly repeat his own. This was a Christian country, having a Christian Monarch, a Christian constitution, and a Christian House of Commons. Although hon. Members might differ on minor points, they all hoped to be saved by and through the merits of one Lord and Saviour; and this one Lord and Saviour the Jews called a blasphemer and an impostor, pronouncing upon themselves that dreadful anathema, "His blood be upon us and upon our children." If the Jews only went as far as the Turks, the case would be different: he might then he induced to modify his opposition. Many hon. Members might not be aware, but it had been stated to himself by expositors of the Koran, that the Turks believed that our Saviour was born of the Virgin Mary, and that he was a great Prophet, inferior only to their Mahomet. The Bill would, he feared, pass that House; but then he hoped the brave Peers of England would reject it, and that, too, by so large a majority that no similar measure would ever afterwards be proposed. In the Turkish language there was this proverb, "As the mountain will not come down to us, we must go to the mountain." Now, the Jews, reversing the order of things, wanted the mountain to come to them; they wanted to have an oath framed which would satisfy their Judaical scruples. If this Bill were passed, and he were ever again returned to that House, he would, on taking the oath, repeat loud enough to be heard on all sides the words, "The true faith of a Christian." If a former measure were, in the words of the hon. Baronet the Member for the university of Oxford, "a godless Bill," á fortiori, this was a Christless Bill, introduced to gratify the vanity and ambition of some half-dozen people. He would give the Jews a piece of advice: it was, that they should remove the veil from their eyes, believe in the sacred mysteries of our holy revealed Christian religion, and embrace its sublime and heavenly maxims; then they might approach the table of the House boldly, and, on "the true faith of a Christian," take their seats, without being indebted to any one. After adverting to the fact that, as a Roman Catholic, he had been recently admitted to a seat in that House, and expressing his gratitude for that admission, the hon. Member concluded by stating that he felt bound to oppose the Bill vi et armis.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words, "upon this day three months."


was sure that the hon. Member for St. Albans, who had just addressed the House, had acted in a manner for which the Jewish population of the country must feel deeply indebted to him. He had made the extremely honest pro- posal that they should cease to be Jews, and should become Christians, and then he would have no objection that they should take their seats in that House. Suppose such a proposition had been made in those days when the members of that religion to which he (Mr. Keogh) as well as the hon. Member for St. Albans belonged, were precluded from entering that House, what would the hon. Gentleman have thought of it? How would the hon. Gentleman, when he sought admission into that House, like to have been met with this proposition—" You have nothing to complain of—you are an unreasonable class of human beings, for what have you to do but abandon every feeling of conscience, come down and forswear yourselves at the bar of the House, and then you will be admitted within the pale of the constitution." He deeply regretted to find voting against this measure a member of the Roman Catholic body, who for centuries had felt the iron enter into their own souls, and the chain of the oppressor, and had been constant appellants for justice. He regretted that a member of a long persecuted body, having at length found his way into that House, should be amongst the first to shut the door against others who sought admission. He (Mr. Keogh) would take up the oath taken by Romau Catholics, and he would ask the hon. Gentleman the Member for St. Albans, where did he find in that oath the words, "true faith of a Christian," which he promises to repeat aloud when next he takes the oath? To meet the wishes of the hon. Member for St. Albans, the Catholic oath should also be changed in that respect. It was said that the same arguments had been used over and over again against this measure; and the same observation with the same intention had been made when members of his (Mr. Keogh's) religion were seeking admission into that House; but in his hearing they had not been oftener repeated than they were satisfactorily refuted. What were the arguments against the admission of the Jews into the House? To his mind two general propositions had been urged against their admission: first, that they are aliens in this country; and, next, that their admission would unchristianise the Legislature. Now, suppose a Jew belonging to this country were to go to another country, and that a war having broken out between that other country and this, the Jew was taken in the ranks of the enemy, would they recognise the principle of divided allegiance in his case to such an ex- tent as not to inflict summary punishment upon that Jew? With regard to the second ground of opposition to the Bill, that it would tend to unchristianise the Legislature, he considered that the great principle of Christianity was toleration to all mankind. He thought by removing all grounds of exclusion the Legislature would act much more in accordance with that divine principle, than by following the advice of the hon. Member for St. Albans to reject this Bill, more especially when it had been declared by the mouth of an apostle, "that brotherly love is the fulfilling of the law."


said, that the hon. and learned Member who had just sat down, being a Roman Catholic, had rebuked the hon. Member for St. Albans, because, being also a Roman Catholic, he would preserve the Christian character of that House. He (Mr. Newdegate) confessed that it appeared to him to be rather anomalous that Roman Catholics—who belonged to the most exclusive of all Christian sects—should appear as the advocates of the most ultra liberalism in matters of religious opinion in that House. Was it that they were so exclusive in their Christianity as to despise Christianity in every form except that of their own exclusive Church? Were they liberal elsewhere? How was it that these ultra liberals were themselves opposed to the foundation of constitutional liberty at Rome, the very centre, as it were, of their religion? How did it happen that those who considered constitutional liberty incompatible with religion at Rome—so exclusive would they have the dominion of their form of Christianity at its centre—appeared in that House as the advocates of a lax morality? He had risen, however, principally for the purpose of recalling to the recollection of the noble Lord the Member for London the words which he had used on the occasion of the introduction of this Bill. The noble Lord, on that occasion, had said that— On this subject he must again maintain that they had no right to exclude from that House any subjects of this realm who should be elected, except on the ground that some of their doctrines and opinions were such as to render them unfit to be Members of the House, or incompetent to discharge its duties. Now at that time it occurred to his (Mr. Newdegate's) mind, that a learned Rabbi had lately been giving lectures at Birmingham, on the history and religion of the Jews. That lecturer (Dr. Raphall) after giving an account of all the early history of the Jews, proceeded to give also an account of the modern dogmas of the Jewish faith—of their dogmas which are based upon those traditions which we have the highest of all authorities for believing make the law of God of none effect. Dr. Raphall spoke of them thus:— But, with regard to the Talmud, if any man pretended to say it was a work of perfection, and contained nothing but what was perfectly good, believe him not. If any pretended to say that the Talmud was a work of utter reprobation, that it contained nothing but what was reprehensive, believe him not. If any man pretended to say that the doctrines which the Talmud inculcated—the doctrines which are received and acted upon, and have been received and acted upon for centuries by the house of Israel—are unsocial or immoral, tell him plainly it is not true; and if he should point out to some out of the way opinion, some unsocial expression, turn upon him and ask, him, 'Is this opinion received and recognised by the synagogue? Does it form part of the laws which the Jews obey, or is it merely recorded in the minutes as something that was said, as something that was done?' Now, it struck him (Mr. Newdegate) that that was a very careful reservation; and it led him to inquire what those doctrines were. It was not until lately that he had gained some insight into their real nature. It appeared that the religion of the Jews was not a mere religion of faith, but that it also contained within it a civil code, which, with the religion itself, Jews were equally bound to obey. It was a well known fact that no Jew ever appealed against a Jew to any of our tribunals. He would proceed, then, to trouble the House with a few passages extracted from the celebrated work Entdecktes Judenthum (unmasked Judaism), by Dr. Eisenmenger, Professor of the Oriental Languages and Literature at the university of Heidelberg:— 1. The Jews are by law required to exact usury from the uncircumcised, or non-Jews, with whom they may happen to have money dealings; to do them all possible injury, and to lend them no helping hand in cases of need and emergency. This law of doing mischief to the non-Jew is as positive and binding to the non-Jew as that of abstaining from doing that to the Jew.—Maimondes, 'Sepher Hamizwoth' (Book of the Positive Laws), fol. 74 col. 4. Ibid. 'Yad Hazakah' (Powerful Hand), sect. Judges, chap. v. 2. A non-Jew is not held as a competent witness in matters of any dispute or monetary transactions in a Jewish court.—' Choshen Mishpot' (Grand Code of Civil Law), fol. 40, sec. 19. 3. The Jew is prohibited, by pain of excommunication, from bearing witness in a court of justice against a brother Jew who is sued by a non-Jew for the restoration of property or repayment of money lent.—' Shulchan Aaruch Choshen Mishpot' (Epitome of the Grand Code of Civil Law) sec. 25. Maimonides, Yad Hazakah,' part iv., chap. 26, sect. 1; ' Choshen Mishpot' (Grand Code of the Civil Law), No. 28, sect. 3. 4. The marriage of a non-Jew is considered null and void, and no crime of adultery is therefore committed with the wife of the same.—' Tractat (Talmud) Sanhedrim (Senate),' fol. S2, col. 2. Rabbi Solomon Yarchi on Levit. xx. 10. Maimonides, 'Yad Hazakah' (sec. War and Kings), chap. 2.' Now, it might be said, these are the very anti-social and immoral dogmas of the Jewish creed, to which Dr. Raphall referred. True, they are dogmas of the Jewish religion, it might be said, hut are only accepted by the Jew, as interpreted and applied to ordinary life by the authority of the synagogue; or, it might be said, they are obsolete. But he (Mr. Newdegate) now came to two points of doctrine and practice to which such allegations could not apply. The first of these two was in accordance with Dr. Raphall's declaration as to the authority of the Rabbins, that is, of the synagogue of which they are the teachers; and the second was proved by the continued and present practice of the synagogue itself:— 5. There is a positive dogma laid down that more attention is to be paid by the Jews to the words of the rabbins, than to even those of the law (Moses), and that he who slights the former is not considered a Jew, and is sure to go to hell.—Tractat ' Baveh Meziah' (Law about Things Lost and Found, fol. 33, col. 1), Massechteh Sophrinoth (sec. Books and Authors, chap. 15, fol. 13): Tractat ' Eruvin' (Laws about the Eves of Festivals), fol. 21, col. 2; Tractat 'Haguayah' (Festivals), fol. 10, col. 1. 6. On the eve of the grand fast festival, or atonement day, the congregation is solemnly absolved by the high priest and the elders, by a solemn prayer before the altar in the synagogue, from all vows, oaths, promises, &c., contracted by any member in the course of the year.—Vide the Jewish Prayer Book, service for that grand fast day; that prayer is called Kai Nudrei (All Vows, &c.)" That prayer was repeated every year on the eve of that festival—that prayer is accepted and enforced by the Sanhedrim—that prayer is binding upon and applicable to the whole of the Jewish synagogue, and he would ask whether he had not pointed out a good reason for the opinion that, holding such tenets, the Jew was not fit to join in the legislation of a Christian land? He trusted the House would remember that he was not referring to anything antiquated; it was the constant practice, year by year, of this nation, to receive absolution from all the obligations imposed by oaths and promises contracted within that period. A nation like the Jews, bound to obey the elders, it might be easy to govern by the perpetual absolute authority of Jewish rulers, oven when absolved from specific and personal obligations by oath; but it was a serious matter to introduce into the government of this country, and that House, which, in the present laxity of its forms, trusted so much to the good faith of its subjects and of its Members, the professors of a religion which not only maintained the power of absolution, but extended to the whole congregation, year after year, a full absolution from all oaths and obligations. He stated this in answer to the observations of the noble Lord, and to show that there was nothing imaginary in the idea that there were tenets and practices of the Jewish religion which rendered its professors incapable of the due discharge of the duties of a legislator in a Christian country, and especially in a country like this, where we allowed the widest latitude of opinion in everything except the obligation and the meaning of an oath, and where everything depended on the good faith of each citizen as to the discharge of his duty to his country, and to his fellow citizens. He had heard it said that it was not proposed to introduce the infidel, but merely those who were bound by the first part of the law by which we ourselves were bound, although they repudiated the second, and, through Christ, salvific part. But he must ask, would it not be wiser to admit the infidel at once, rather than the professors of a religion who had not in common with us the tie of morality founded upon the Gospel, and the doctrines therein set forth, but who claimed the power of absolving themselves from the obligations of any oath to which they might have submitted? The Roman Catholic religion was the most exclusive religion that he knew; and he was greatly surprised to find that so many Members in the House of that persuasion should support the introduction of those who denied the blessed Founder of the Christian religion. He trusted that this arose from no sympathy with the power of dispensation vested in the Synagogue—a power which the Roman Catholics claimed for themselves. Whether this were so or not, he thought the Roman Catholic Members would not commend their cause to the country by supporting the introduction into Parliament of a sect whose religion they condemn, and in which there is nothing in common save this power of absolution. It appeared to him that the course taken by this House on this subject was very significant. It was but the other day that the House sanctioned the second reading of a Bill which imposed a new property qualification, and by which any Member who was insolvent, whether permanently so or not, should be at once ex-eluded. This bound the property qualification tighter upon the Members to an unknown amount. When it became a question of religious belief, as affecting the qualification of candidates for admission into this House—when it became a question of morality—when it became a question relating to the character of the House—when it became a question affecting the respect entertained for the House by the people of this country—there was a great talk of liberality; but, on the question of debtor and creditor, no enactment could be too stringent for these liberal Gentlemen. In his opinion, the construction of the House was favourable enough to the moneyed interest. Had the usury laws not been repealed? Had not the noble Lord, not long ago, sanctioned 8 per cent at the Bank as the minimum of interest? They did not need the assistance of Jewish colleagues to render the money qualification for Members more stringent, to assist the noble Lord in the encouragement of usury, or to import the principles of the Stock Exchange wholesale into Parliament. He could not deprecate any thing more strongly than that that qualification should be drawn tighter and tighter which excluded the poor, while the doors of Parliament were cast open to every infidel, no matter how offensively he might repudiate our religion. The perseverance of the noble Lord with this Bill seemed to him almost unnatural. The opinion of the other branch of the Legislature had been most plainly spoken last Session, and if that ought to have any weight, why did not the noble Lord yield to it? If the Upper House were a part of the constitution, the duty of which was to revise the decrees of the Lower House, the position of the noble Lord surely bound him to respect the voice of the House of Lords. At any rate it would have been more decent had he issued a writ and tested the opinions of the city of London before he again introduced this measure, after the emphatic decision of the House of Lords against it. He (Mr. Newdegate) was glad to say that the conduct of the House of Lords had met with a response throughout the realm. There was no clamour on the subject, but a deep feeling of approval pervaded the country. No act of their Lordships for years had so much raised them in the general estimation. He rejoiced that this debate was not to be suppressed, as those with reference to this subject on the two previous occasions had been. In one instance the debate was broken upon and interrupted; and in the second instance, when the House came to that stage of the Committee at which the noble Lord introduced his last alteration of his own oath, an hon. Member had thought fit to exclude the reporters, and the public were yet in total ignorance of the nature of the Bill; and the hon. and learned Member for the University of Cambridge had merely performed a strict duty by taking care the public should know what was proposed, and should see the extent to which the noble Lord's original proposal had been altered since the question had been submitted to the House. The noble Lord originally introduced into his oath terms which were the terms of the constitution, by which Members were called upon to repudiate the authority of any foreign prince, prelate, or potentate, in this realm, and the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of any foreign prelate. But the noble Lord had thought fit to remove that portion of the present and of his proposed oath; and why? because the noble Lord declares it had merely been introduced to remove doubts with respect to the supremacy of the Crown in matters ecclesiastical. Those words were declared by Lord Eldon to be explanatory, and introduced for the purpose of removing and clearing up doubts? If there were doubts when those words were introduced, what had happened since to remove those doubts? Last Session the Duke of Wellington, in the other House of Parliament, proposed the addition of words to that very effect in the Diplomatic Relations with Rome Bill, because doubts had been conjured up by parties who wish to invade the supremacy of the Crown. The proposition of the noble Duke was sanctioned by Lord Lansdowne, and it was carried by the Ministry in that House; and yet the noble Lord now came down and told the House that the doubts he then admitted were now removed. He (Mr. Newdegate) could not conceive what extraordinary circumstances had happened in the interval to render this declaration then so necessary now so useless. He lamented that the noble Lord had adopted this course. The noble Lord appeared to him determined to limit the oath to the fewest possible words. That might be desirable; but last Session the noble Lord admitted here that there were doubts by supporting a declaratory enactment on this very point; but lately, after a very brief interval, those doubts appeared to have been removed, and the declaratory part of the oath was abandoned; but the noble Lord had never condescended to explain what occurred to remove these doubts. He (Mr. Newdegate) considered it an imperative duty solemnly to protest against this measure. It was a measure of miscalled liberality. It was a prostitution of the term in its true sense to call it liberality, for he believed that the Protestant religion was the foundation of all true liberality, indeed of all true liberty. He did not believe in the success of the constitutional forms of government established in Continental countries where the Roman Catholic religion, in its ultra-montane stringency, existed. Our Protestant faith was our only security for our liberties; and let the House mark how those liberties had grown up. First, the people of this country reformed their religion, and having done that gradually, by degrees, with only one lamentable interruption, our political liberties have been accommodated to our religion, and have grown out of it. It was because he respected the liberties of our country—it was because he prized the toleration of our religion—and because he wished to perpetuate them for ages, that he prayed the House to retain its Christian character, from which the country could never depart with safety. He trusted that they would never depart from the maxim of Blackstone, namely, that Christianity is part and parcel of the constitution. He would ask whether it was consistent with common sense that our laws could be Christian unless they were framed by Christian legislators, and in a Christian spirit. It was in vain to tell him that every assembly is Christian in which a majority are Christians. He saw many assemblies in which the majority were Christians, not acting in a Christian manner; and therefore he prized the Christian character of that House, because if it acted otherwise than as a Christian assembly it would forfeit its position in the eyes of the country, and be liable to the reproach of having departed from a fundamental principle of its constitution. He should vote for the Amendment, because if they passed the measure, he felt it would be acting at variance with the first principle of the constitution, and betraying the confidence of the people of this country.


said, that it was not his intention to have addressed the House, and he would not have done so had it not been for the remarkable statement made by the hon. Member who had just resumed his seat. Until he heard the quotations of the hon. Member from those documents which he had searched, in order to ascertain the laws by which the Jewish body were guided, he (Mr. Crowder) confessed he was utterly ignorant of the fact that the Jews held themselves absolved from the performance of any obligations into which they might have entered. And he was the more astonished that this doctrine should have been broached by an hon. Member who opposed the omission from the Parliamentary oath of the words "upon the true faith of a Christian," because he believed those words to be efficacious in excluding the Jews from Parliament. Was it to be believed that a body of persons whose conscientious scruples had prevented them from entering that House, because they would not take the prescribed oath, in which was language that they were unable to utter, being contrary to their conscience—was it to be believed that the Jews, as a body, or any honest, conscientious, or upright Jew, so doing, would hold themselves absolved from the obligation of an oath? It was the first time he had ever heard that doctrine; and it certainly appeared to him so inconsistent with the conduct of men who had abstained from taking an oath by which they might have held their seats in that House, that he could not believe they recognised it. The ground upon which he (Mr. Crowder) should give his vote in favour of this measure was, that in his opinion it was most unjust, and inconsistent with the general principles of the constitution, that any man, or set of men, should be excluded from the enjoyment of civil rights and political privileges on account of peculiar religious opinions. It was upon that ground that he should give his vote in favour of the Bill, because it appeared to him that, unless those religious opinions were such that those who entertained them were induced, in conformity with those opinions, to act in a manner inconsistent with the well-being of the State, it was contrary to the principles of the British constitution that they should be either proscribed or excluded from any right or privilege enjoyed by any other British subject. The hon. and learned Member for the University of Cambridge seemed to have rested almost the whole of his argument upon the ground of the Jews having been formerly considered in the nature of aliens, and that it was not until a comparatively recent time that they had ceased to be persecuted. But was that, he would ask, any rational ground why, at the present time, if the Jews entertained no religious opinions which rendered them incompetent to discharge all the social duties which devolved upon other British subjects, they should be prevented from the enjoyment of the full rights which belonged to them as British subjects? Was the fact of their having been hunted, tortured, and persecuted in former ages, any ground for refusing now to give them tardy justice? And yet, if the principle of the hon. Member opposite were agreed to, they would continue the same spirit of persecution which had prevailed in former times. There were really but two arguments which he had heard used against this Bill—one, that the Jews had been considered in the light of aliens; the other, that by introducing them into Parliament they would unchristianise the Legislature. With regard to the first ground of objection, that had been effectually disposed of by the hon. and learned Member for Athlone, who had asked in what manner a British Jew would be treated if found in the ranks of an enemy fighting against this country. If, in such a case, he would be treated as a British subject, and punished accordingly, he ought not to be excluded from the full enjoyment of all the rights and privileges belonging to British subjects. With respect to the second objection, that the admission of Jews would unchristianise the Legislature, he confessed that he was unable to understand that objection. If by it were meant merely that the Legislature, which, before the introduction of Jews, was Christian, would be, after their admission, not Christian, because of the Jews being admitted, there really was not, in his opinion, anything in the objection. It was no argument to say, that because there would be some Jews in the House, they would unchristanise the the Legislature. It had not been even attempted to be shown in what manner the Jews would legislate differently from the present Legislature. Would they attempt to overthrow the religion of the country? There was probably no class of men who were less given to proselytising than the Jews, and they certainly would not interfere injuriously with respect to the existing religion. Indeed he had never heard of any such attempts; and neither had he ever heard of Christians who had adopted the Jewish faith. Again, it was said that if that Bill were passed, a Jewish Member might vote on Church questions. But why should not a Jewish Member vote on those questions if he should think proper to do so? All the Members of that House did not profess the doctrines of the Established Church; nor were they all oven Protestants; and a Jew would be as competent to give an impartial vote on church questions as any other Member who dissented from the Church. He would go further, and express his belief in the statement of the Bishop of St. David's, that a Jew would be likely to display less hostility to the Church than a Christian Dissenter. That right rev. Prelate had used the following language in the course of the last Session:— I must say, that if any question affecting the interests of the Church is to be discussed in the other House of Parliament, I, for one, should greatly prefer that it should be submitted to the decision of a Jew rather than a Dissenter. On a common principle of human nature, I conceive that a Dissenter must be subject to a much stronger bias on such a question, and must be much more hostilely disposed towards the Church of England than a Jew can possibly be. He (Mr. Crowder) agreed with the right rev. Prelate; he believed that in all matters of church government a Jew would feel much less interested than a Dissenter, unless, therefore, it could be shown that the Jew would legislate differently or more injuriously than the existing Legislature, there could not be any weight attached to an objection of this nature. He had never known of a Jew acting improperly in the discharge of his duty as a juryman. As alderman of a municipal corporation the Jew became a species of legislator, for he legislated for the corporation; and he was not aware that it had ever been objected to a Jew that he was not as good an alderman for the administration of the law as a Christian. Then, again, although he was prevented sitting as a Member of that House, he could be elected, and could act as an elector himself. He had yet to learn that Jews, in the situation of jurymen, aldermen, or voters, did not discharge those respective duties as honourably and correctly as Christians. Formerly others, besides Jews, were for a long time excluded from sitting in Parlia- ment; but the restrictions had been gradually relaxed, and it did not appear that any harm had arisen. If they regarded the principle of the measure, he thought by the Bill of 1829, for emancipating the Roman Catholics, it had been admitted by the Legislature that there should be no further exclusion from office or that House solely on the ground of religious faith. It appeared to him that the same arguments which were urged against the Jews on the present occasion had been adduced against the admission of the Catholics in 1829 and in previous years. They were now told that a candidate should not only be qualified by the possession of 300l. a year, but it was an essential part of the qualification that he should be a Christian. Previous to the Bill of 1829, they were told that a Member of that House must be a Protestant, as an essential part of his qualification. An hon. Gentleman opposite said, if they admitted a Jew, they excluded a Christian; by the same rule, if they admitted a Catholic, they excluded a Protestant. In conclusion, he would only add that he should give his cordial support to the Bill.


said, it appeared to him that hon. Gentlemen showed they knew nothing of the habits of the Jews by the arguments they had used in favour of the Bill. If a Jew came to the table of that House to take the oaths, and took it on the faith of a Christian, he would be held up to contempt before other hon. Members. They had been told that the circumstance of admitting' Jews to the franchise was a strong argument for the measure; but this was answered by the Bill itself; for it only proposed to do away with a portion of the oath for Members of Parliament, and it did not allow them accession to higher offices. It had been said that the Jews were only excluded accidentally: this might be a very fair argument for special pleading, but there was no reasonable ground for such an assumption. They had been told a great deal about Christian charity and toleration; but he conceived there was a duty he owed to God before that which he owed to his neighbour. He believed, by passing this Bill, they were doing an act by which they dishonoured God and our Saviour; he, therefore, should oppose its further progress.


was in favour of the Bill, not, however, from the desire to work out the conversion of the Jews, which appeared to be the feeling which inspired the hon. Member for St. Albans. His own feeling was, that the Jews had been excluded from Parliament more from accidental circumstances than from any other cause. For his own part, he did not regard the oath taken by Members as containing any profession of faith. If an Englishman took an oath in China with a saucer on his head, it could not be contended that by that act he pledged himself to the faith of Confucius. It was idle to pretend that the admission of the Jew would unchristianise that assembly. There were in this empire no less than 40,000 Jews; and was there any one who would be so rash as to assert that their residence in this country deprived the land of its Christian character? If the Jews were admitted into that House tomorrow. Parliament would be still Christian, in the same sense that the country which it professed to represent was Christian. There was a time when the Roman Catholic was stigmatised in that House as an idolatrous Papist and an anti-Christian, and on the pretext of that false representation he had been for years excluded from Parliament. The spirit of the times, however, had imperatively required his admission; and so, too, did it now demand the admission of the Jew, notwithstanding that an effort was made to exclude him on the plea that he was a non-Christian. The Catholic had been denounced as an idolater, and it was argued that his admission would be fatal to the Christian character of the House; but surely there was no rational man who was prepared now to contend that the course of legislation in that House, since the admission of the Catholic in 1829, had been less Christian in its character or less philanthropic in its operation than it had been before that epoch. Much misapprehension prevailed as to the rules and maxims which guided and controlled the moral conduct of the Jew. The fact was, that very many of the rules and maxims which governed the actions of the Israelites, were precisely identical with those which governed the actions of the Christian, for they were derived from the same source, the Old Testament. It was most unaccountable how any man of sense, who had devoted any attention to the course of legislation in that House for the last twenty years, could now hesitate to grant to the Jew the last right which was yet wanted to place him in the full enjoyment of the privileges of free citizenship. The Pagans did not hesitate to recognise the right of the Jew to Roman citizenship; and would Christian legislators, in this enlightened age, be less tolerant and less high-minded than the worshippers of Jupiter? It had been urged, that the great desire and aim of the Jews was to return to Palestine; and that, therefore, they were not influenced as subjects of this realm by those ties which ought to bind them to the land of their birth and adoption. But he thought the conduct of Jews in this country did not justify that assumption, for they were daily acquiring every description of property likely to induce them to remain in the kingdom. It had been said, that the Jews expected a full restoration; but surely the prevalence amongst them of such an opinion formed no reason why they should be excluded from the Legislature. There were many Christians who believed that the second coming of Christ was not now very far distant; and, doubtless, there were many believers in the Millenium in this country; hut that formed no objection to such persons sitting in Parliament. To him it appeared that the claims of the Jews were irresistible. If it could be shown that the admission of the Jew would not lower the Christian character of that assembly, surely it would not be on any head contended that the Legislature would be justified in withholding from him that right, to which, on social and political considerations, he was indisputably as much entitled as the member of any other creed in the community. Questions involving the interest of the Church, and matters of ecclesiastical discipline, were of rare occurrence in that House. Their numerical proportion to other questions, on which the capacity of the Jew legislator could not be questioned, was exceedingly insignificant. No one would dispute the capacity of the Jew to deliberate on questions of finance—on questions relating to the improvement of the moral and physical condition of the people—on questions of foreign policy, or colonial management. On questions of that character, the Jew, notwithstanding his peculiar religious tenets, was as well qualified to deliberate as any other subject of the realm; and there was no reason whatever for apprehending that when, at rare intervals, questions of church discipline might arise, he would, if admitted into Parliament, pursue a course less decorous, less manly, or less independent, than that pursued by any other Member of that House. If the Jew were incompetent to legislate on questions connected with church discipline, in what light would they regard the deliberations and legislative efforts of that denomination of Christians called Quakers? The hon. Member for Manchester was not disqualified to consider the military estimates in that House, and yet it was one of the religious tenets of the hon. Gentleman that war was sinful and unlawful. He attached no credit whatever to the assertion which had been so recklessly made, that the whole spirit and tendency of the national mind in this kingdom were hostile to this measure. That the great majority of the English people were favourable to the principle of the Bill, was sufficiently attested by the number of their Parliamentary representatives who had already recorded their votes in its favour. But whatever might be the case with respect to the English people, he could take upon him to assert, without fear of being confuted, that the Irish people were most friendly to the measure. Notwithstanding their present prostrate condition, the Irish people felt a deep interest in the maintenance of the great doctrines which were reflected in this Bill; and they looked forward with unaffected anxiety to the gradual growth and progressive development of those principles of civil and religious liberty for which they had themselves, in bygone years, endured merciless persecution; for which they had fought; for which they had bled, and for which they had so long struggled against all the vicissitudes of adverse fortune. They would hail with heartfelt joy the consummation of a measure which would confer on the English Jew the privilege of entering that House; and their gratification would be the greater from the reflection that in the day of their tribulation they had no more munificent benefactor than the very gentleman who now sought admission within its walls. That noble effort of voluntary charity which eventuated in the institution of the British Association, was promoted, and, indeed, originated, by the man who now stood at the portals of that House, which, by an accident, he was precluded from entering; and having alluded to the subject, he would here take occasion to observe, that that most estimable gentleman, not content with instituting that association, and enriching it most munificently, had, in a spirit of unostentatious benevolence, made it his business to search out, in the remotest and most unexplored recesses of Ireland, objects on whom to confer the most valuable evidences of his sympathy and commiseration. He thought it was greatly to be deplored that they should be deprived, in their deliberations, of the wise and humane counsels of such men; and he should, therefore, have great pleasure in voting in favour of the third reading.


said, if his vote were to be regulated by the respect in which he held many gentlemen belonging to the Jewish nation—if it were to be regulated by the deep sense which he entertained of the liberality and even munificence of such men as the hon. Gentleman alluded to, or Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmidt, and Sir Moses Montefiore—if he gave his vote according to the high estimation in which those gentlemen were generally held, he must necessarily support the measure of the noble Lord at the head of the Government. If this vote were to be regulated by the interest which he felt, and which every Bible reader must feel, not only in the past history but in the future prospect of the Jews—if that were to guide his vote, he should certainly support the Bill; but such, he thought, were not the principles which ought to guide that House. He could not concur with the hon. Member for Carlow in the opinion that the religious questions which arose in that House were insignificant as compared with questions of a different character. [Mr. SADLEIR explained. He had not said so. He had said they were numerically insignificant.] They might be so; but their importance immeasurably transcended that of all other questions. By the coronation oath the Sovereign was bound to maintain not only the Christian religion, but the Protestant faith, as laid down by the doctrines of the Established Church. The same duty devolved on the Legislature; and was he to be told that a man who was so circumstanced as to find it impossible to vote conscientiously in favour of Christianity and Protestantism, ought to be admitted into that House, simply because he might be qualified to legislate well on a question of finance or colonial government? The hon. Member for Carlow had begged the question when he said the Jew ought to be admitted, if it could be done without lowering the Christian character of that House. It was precisely at that point they were at issue. He (Mr. Spooner) most emphatically denied that the Jew could be admitted without such a result. The hon. and learned Member for Liskeard had tauntingly asked what was meant by saying the House would be unchristianised? Surely, if there was anything in this world which would derogate from the Christian character of that assembly, it must he the admission to its membership of a man who, if he be an honest and conscientious Jew, must regard Christianity as a fable, and our Lord and Master as an impostor. If Jews be conscientious and single-hearted, they must act on Jewish principles, and not on Christian principles; and admitting men into that House who were inexorably coerced by a conscientious conviction not to act on Christian principles, was doing that which he would call "unchristianising the House." He did not think it was at all true that the feeling of the national mind was favourable to the present measure. The fact of a measure being adopted by that House, did not invariably imply that it was approved by public opinion. No less than 1,300,000 persons petitioned that House against any addition to the Maynooth grant, and yet the Bill authorising an addition had become the law of the land. Petitions on the subject had been so completely disregarded in that House, that he had been told by the people who signed them that they would never waste their parchment and their time by petitioning the House again. He warned them against believing that the country was indifferent on this question; there was a sullen feeling abroad, because they despaired of success; but the people did not feel the less strongly because they were silent. It did not follow as of logical consequence that because the Roman Catholics and Dissenters had been admitted, Jews ought not to he excluded. There was the greatest possible difference between the two cases. True, they had admitted Roman Catholics and Dissenters, but up to the present time they had invariably required at least an open profession of Christianity from every Member, no matter to what class of religionists he might belong, before he was allowed to take his seat. But they now proposed to abolish that profession, and virtually to declare that Christianity was no longer to be the groundwork of the principles on which Members of that House was called upon to take their seats. In the year 1829 he was favourable to the Roman Catholic Relief Bill, and chiefly on this ground—that Mr. Canning called the attention of the House to this, that inasmuch as an oath excluded the Roman Catholics from Parliament, so an oath would regulate their conduct when admitted to seats in the Legislature; he, though not in Parliament, supported out of doors the measure of 1829, believing in the promises then given; but he regretted to observe that those promises had not been kept; and now, looking at the consequences of the measure, he did not hesitate to say that the result had not answered his expectations. The course that had been pursued with reference to this Bill, was a most unprecedented one. The Minister came down, and without prelude or ceremony proceeded to release the Members from the oath of supremacy. He knew that there were persons who were decidedly for maintaining the oath of supremacy, yet felt that they could not conscientiously take that oath which called upon them to assert that no foreign prince, &c, had any supremacy in this country, because they thought that by former Acts of Parliament such supremacy had been recognised; but he thought it too much that, in order to dissipate unfounded doubts in the minds of some Members of the other House of Parliament, the whole nation should be released from the oath of supremacy. He believed himself that no foreign prince had any power in this country. Such a power might he assumed; but to "have" it, meant that it could be enforced by some process of law, and the Pope could not by any legal proceedings enforce his authority over Roman Catholics in this country. He contended that no foreign prince or power had any spiritual or ecclesiastical supremacy in this country; and he, for one, could not give his consent to the abolition of the oath to that effect, which he considered one of the safeguards of the Throne and constitution. He would ask the noble Lord why he had given up the oath in Committee? No one appeared to he aware that the oath in the Bill was merely an oath of allegiance, and that the oath of supremacy was abolished. He believed it was not known in the country that the noble Lord had withdrawn the oath of supremacy, because it was done at a period when, by a very ill-advised Motion, the usual organs of information to the public were excluded from the House. He contended there was nothing in the Bill which prevented, a Roman Catholic from taking the Protestant oath at the table. The loss of his seat attached to the Roman Catholic so acting, but no evidence could be given that a man was a Roman Catholic. Attending a Roman Catholic chapel, from curiosity, was not a profession of the Roman Catholic religion. He cautioned them to remember that it might be expedient to continue the oath of supremacy, for there might be those who would wish to establish in this country an ecclesiastical dominion to overthrow the spiritual supremacy of the Sovereign. It struck him when he read the Bill, that the question was left in a very doubtful manner. There was nothing, as he before said, to prevent a Roman Catholic taking the Protestant oath, and there were no means of knowing what his profession was. Any Member coming to the table might take whichever oath he pleased, and a Roman Catholic might take the Protestant oath or not, just as he wished. He had great respect for Roman Catholics individually, but, at the same time, he knew that they were bound to oppose and extinguish Protestantism by any means in their power. He would ask, were there not persons in that House already who ought not to be relieved from this test? He believed there were some who thought that the Sovereign ought not to be supreme in Church matters. There might be a readiness in other quarters also to challenge the spiritual supremacy of the Sovereign. At present the oath taken by Protestants was so framed that Roman Catholics could not take it, and therefore they took the Roman Catholic oath, which was an act of profession that the party taking it was a Roman Catholic. Ought they to suffer any person to come into that House under the cloak and character of a Protestant, when he was a Roman Catholic? And yet he feared this would be the case if the oath of supremacy were abolished. What was proposed would remove the control which the present Roman Catholic oath imposed on Catholics, and so remove the only barrier interposed between them and their assaults upon the Established Church. It had been said once by a noble Lord that the Roman Catholics never would rest satisfied until they had extinguished Protestantism, and established the Roman Catholic religion. He hoped the noble Lord at the head of Her Majesty's Government would bestow some consideration upon the point which he had raised respecting the possibility of a Roman Catholic taking the Protestant oath. He trusted he would put the matter out of doubt, and take care that one of the great safeguards of the Act of 1829 should not he taken away. He would ask, if they took the Protestant oath, would they not then be set free from the obligation intended to be imposed on them by the Act of 1829, and exposed to the full influence of their religious feelings as Roman Catholics? With these views, then, he was opposed to the measure of the noble "Lord, and he still hoped that both the House and Her Majesty's Ministers would pause before they removed one of the greatest safeguards which protected our constitutional freedom. In his opinion freedom was never safe under Roman Catholic dominion. He implored the House to look at the state of the Continent, plunged as it was in the horrors of war, while we were blessed with peace and happiness. He attributed the tranquillity of this country, in a great extent, to its Protestant institutions, and he hoped that the Legislature would not, in an ill-advised moment, be induced to abandon those safeguards through which, by the mercy of Providence, we had been spared the infliction of those disasters which had fallen upon Continental countries. Holding these sentiments, and believing that if this Bill were passed, the consequences would be fraught with peril, he would be compelled to give it a firm and unflinching opposition.


Sir, the title of this Bill refutes the allegations of the hon. Member for Warwickshire. It is "a Bill to alter the Oaths to be taken by Members of the two Houses of Parliament, not professing the Roman Catholic Religion." The sixth section of the Bill especially provides that nothing in the Act contained shall be applicable to Roman Catholics. It runs thus:— That nothing in this Act contained shall extend or be applicable to any Peer or Member of the House of Commons, professing the Roman Catholic religion, or be held to alter or affect the provisions of an Act passed in the tenth year of King George the Fourth, intituled ' An Act for the Relief of His Majesty's Roman Catholic Subjects,' requiring the oath thereby appointed and set forth to be taken and subscribed by a Peer, or Member of the House of Commons, professing the Roman Catholic religion, as a qualification for sitting and voting in either House of Parliament, or the penalties, forfeitures, and disabilities to which any person professing the Roman Catholic religion sitting or voting in either House of Parliament without taking and subscribing such oath is by such Act made subject. If a Roman Catholic came to the table of the House and took the oath prescribed for Protestants, it would be a virtual recantation of his religion, because he would take an oath which a Roman Catholic was forbidden from taking, and by taking the Pro- testant oath, he at once conformed to the Protestant faith. He found by this Act that the oath to be taken by all other classes of Her Majesty's subjects was simple and plain. It was most usefully disencumbered of a great deal of superfluous phraseology and useless acerbation. The Roman Catholic oath remains uninterpreted and untouched. I am sorry that the field for angry controversy and calumnious imputation remains unclosed. At the same time, I cannot fail to feel that a liberal construction or modification of that oath would enhance the difficulties that beset this measure, and interfere with the permanent object of this Bill, which, as a Roman Catholic, I have much at heart. I am, thank God, unlike the hon. Member for St. Albans. In that pure and disinterested borough, I am glad to learn from the hon. Member, that Mammon is not an object of adoration. With that class of my fellow-citizens and fellow-subjects who are subject to the disabilities by which I was once myself affected, I deeply sympathise; I have not forgotten the pressure of those galling shackles which I have ceased to bear. I consider an exclusion from this House a great grievance, and I shall be pardoned for adding, that in that opinion several of the most prominent among the antagonists of this measure, who are indebted to Parliament for their signal successes in public and official life, ought to coincide. The exclusion of the Jew is grounded on an allegation of its necessity; but we should beware of the plea which in Seville and at Geneva was disastrously familiar. So far from this assumed necessity being proved, the very contrary is established. With our present denials, our past concessions are inconsistent. The Jew sheriff, by whom a jury may be empannelled to try the first Christian commoner in England for his reputation or his life, cannot sit in the House of Commons. A Jew may hold the high and authoritative office of Recorder of the city of London. The hon. and learned representative of the University of Cambridge is invested with that municipal dignity, and however eminent his position in this House, I cannot help thinking that the Member of Parliament is merged in the Recorder. A Jew can vote for the worst Christian, and a Christian cannot vote for the best Jew. The anomalies do not stop here. You exclude the least formidable of all Dissenters, who cares as little as Gallic for your ecclesiastical institutions, and who is equally indifferent to the deepest-dyed Catholicism and to Protestantism of the most variegated kind; while you admit the Catholic, whose Church you overthrew, and the Presbyterian, by whom your Church was overthrown. We are told that the Christian character of this House would be affected by this measure, as if the Christian character of the House did not depend on the Christian character of the English people. As well might you tell us that England was not a Christian country, because Jews have not been expelled from England, as they were driven from the countries in which avowed infidelity, flagitious immorality, and merciless intolerance were combined. Will the hon. Member for Warwickshire contend that the Congress of the United States, in which Jews are admitted, is less Christian than the Congress of Mexico, where Jews are excluded? There were four Jews in the late Constituent Assembly of France—M. Cremieux, M. Goudchaux, M. Fould, and M. Serpent. Did an irreligious sentiment ever escape their lips, or did they expostulate against the celebration of those august ceremonies of Catholicism, which happily indicate a restoration of that faith, of which, in the opinion of all its statesmen, France stands so much in need? Will any man maintain that if a Jew were admitted into this House, he would abuse his trust, and insult the religious feelings of those by whom he was surrounded, or those that sent him here? So much for the alleged necessity for the exclusion of the Jew. I will not notice the sanctimonious sophistications of the men by whom we are informed that we should make ourselves the auxiliaries of Omnipotence, and lend our aid to the Almighty in the fulfilment of the prophecies, by shutting the Rothschilds and the Goldsmidts and the Montefiores out of the House of Commons. Their assertion deserves almost as little regard who tell us that into a genuine Englishman you cannot turn a Jew; enough to say that the Jews are good citizens and good subjects—loyal to their Sovereign, and attached to their country, lovers of order and obedient to the laws—and that many of them are eminent for their virtues, and distinguished by their almost boundless charity—that upon misery in every form, whether it be Jew or whether it be Christian, they look with an eye of indiscriminately munificent commiseration. By the inhabitants of this great metropolis, who have the best and nearest cognisance of their conduct, they are enthusiastically sustained. Not only has the City, properly so called, returned a Rothschild to Parliament, but by the representatives of the multitudinous metropolitan constituencies, this Bill is zealously supported. It will not be said that 2,000,000 of Englishmen are indifferent to the interests of Christianity, In no city on the face of the earth is Christianity more prized and reverenced; from the summit of that majestic temple, dedicated by England to the name of that famous Jew who so essentially contributed to disseminate the religion of charity through the world—over the vast expanse of wealth and of greatness, of grandeur and of power, in which so many of the glories of Imperial England are assembled—the cross appropriately ascends. It is the memorial of a great sin, but it is the symbol of a measureless mercy—it is the type of a religion, with which penalties for the sake of its propagation are incompatible. The cause of Christianity and the cause of toleration are identified; they are highly and holily the same. The victory of the one is the triumph of the other; and as for the achievement of that victory, and the consummation of that triumph, I fervently pray, so in that achievement and in that consummation I most trustfully confide.


was not surprised that the right hon. Gentleman who had just addressed the House, from which he had been himself some time excluded, should sympathise with those who, under differ-ent circumstances, were placed in a similar situation. But the right hon. Gentleman would give him leave to say, that he presumed the noble Lord who introduced this Bill was anxious to give him the benefit of a continued sympathy, as he had carefully omitted from his Bill the elevation of the excluded class to an official position in the country. He retained the obstruction which prevented the admission of Jews to office; and, therefore, when he gave the right hon. Gentleman the opportunity of rejoicing at their admission into Parliament, he left him the greater blessing of sympathising with their afflictions in their exclusion from office. He (Mr. Goulburn) was prepared to resist this measure as one which altered the character of Parliament, and, therefore, affected the hold which Parliament had on the affections of the country. That was the great objection which he felt to the Bill before the House. But he knew that other object- tions might be raised to the circumstances under which this Bill had been brought forward, and to the manner in which the noble Lord intended to effect the object which he had in view. For what were the circumstances under which they were called upon to legislate in this matter? There was no general call from the country for the admission of Jews to Parliament. But a single constituency, powerful from its position in the metropolis, and powerful also from its wealth, had thought fit, in defiance of the existing principles of the constitution, and the practice of the Legislature, to send as a representative to the House a person who was unfit to execute those duties which as a representative he was bound to perform; and they then called upon the House to violate, by a retrospective measure, those principles which had hitherto guided the formation of that assembly. If it were the duty of Parliament to take care that in no case it should relax the authority of the law, or induce the belief that by frequent and multitudinous applications it could be induced to relax that authority, that House was bound to refuse its sanction to a measure which was attempted to be forced upon it by the mere power of numbers and by wealth. If, then, there were no other reasons for refusing to assent to the Bill, these would be ample. But there next came the consideration of the manner in which it had been introduced. He did not pretend to say, that his hon. Friend the Member for Warwickshire was perfectly accurate in his assertion of the legal objections to the measure. He was not lawyer enough to attempt to add any weight by his opinion to the objections of his hon. Friend. But he should say, that there was great weight in his hon. Friend's arguments, and that they had not been shaken, nor his objections removed, by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dungarvon. The Bill said, that the Roman Catholic should still take the oaths required by the Roman Catholic Relief Bill; but there was no compulsory provision, either in the first or sixth clause, by which Roman Catholics could be compelled to take the more stringent oath enacted for them, in preference to the one about to be provided for Protestants. They knew that a Protestant Member of the House had preferred taking the Roman Catholic oath to the Protestant one; but, under the great change about to be effected by this Bill, they did not know that that oath would not be entirely abrogated. It abrogated, so far as regarded the Protestant Members, the oath of supremacy. And what was the object of that oath? It was to prevent the admission, by any class of Her Majesty's subjects, of the right of any foreign Power, Prince, or Potentate, to exercise any ecclesiastical supremacy within these realms. The Roman Catholic oath distinctly denied the right of any foreign Power to exercise any temporal or civil jurisdiction, thereby admitting the exercise of eeclesiastical authority in the case of Roman Catholics. But now they were called upon to do away with the oath of supremacy for the sake of admitting Jews, and, consequently, to do the very thing which they refused to do for the Roman Catholics or the Dissenters. That which they had refused to do for those who professed Christianity only in a different form from themselves, they were about to do for those who, unlike the Roman Catholics or Dissenters, were opposed, not only to the Established Church, but were at enmity with the Christian religion itself. He wished next to make some observations upon an argument used by the hon. Member for Liskeard, who said that it was the right of every honest British subject to have a seat in Parliament. If the hon. Gentleman meant to say, that that was the law at present, he (Mr. Goulburn) should beg leave to differ with him entirely. There wore many honest British subjects, who had no qualification to entitle them to sit in that House. There were many who exercised professions, and others who held offices, which disentitled them—which excluded them from Parliament. That was, therefore, not a conclusive argument in favour of the admission of Jews to Parliament. If the House of Commons were confined purely to the discussion of the civil affairs of the country; if they never interfered with religious matters, or if Government were quite separated from religious concerns, he could understand the propriety of admitting Members into Parliament who entertained views entirely hostile to the Christian religion; but whilst the House asserted a right to deal, not only with the temporalities of the Church, but with the essential interests of Christianity, he could not assent to the admission of such persons. He had heard the hon. Member for Oldham say, that he, though a Dissenter, would not be debarred from interfering with the temporalities of the Established Church, and the sentiment was received with general approbation from those who usually acted with the hon. Gentleman. One hon. Gentleman, indeed, had quoted the opinion of the Bishop of St. David's in favour of the Bill. But he (Mr. Goulburn) would quote from another Prelate, the Archbishop of Dublin (Dr. Whately), than whom there was no more strenuous supporter of the admission of Jews to Parliament. That most reverend Prelate had published a corrected report of a speech which he had delivered some years ago in the House of Lords, and in that speech he said that it was asserted that persons who vilified the Great Author of the Christian religion ought not to be admitted to a share in the councils of the country. And on that point arose a question to which it was very hard to reply. For whoever was admitted to a seat in the Legislature was admitted to a share in the government, not of the State only, but of the Church; and that not merely in the case of its temporalities, but of its purely ecclesiastical affairs. If, therefore, it were asked of him what right Jews had to legislate for a Christian Church, he knew not what answer could be given. That was the opinion of Dr. Whately. But it had been insinuated, rather than asserted, in that House, that the belief of the Jews being founded upon a portion of the sacred Scriptures, it was not so very different from the Christian belief as some people asserted or imagined. He had even heard one hon. and learned Gentleman in that House say—and it was with great surprise he listened to the assertion—that he considered the Jew to be only an imperfect Christian. He (Mr. Goulburn) knew not who amongst that assembly could claim the title of a perfect Christian. Would to God that any of them could! They were all, at best, hut imperfect Christians; and if they viewed the Jews only as imperfect Christians also, what was there to prevent the hon. and learned Member from attending the synagogue, or Jews from holding office in the Christian Church? But could any man who knew the two professions of belief, assert that the difference between the Christian and the Jew was slight, whilst the Christian viewed as an object of adoration One whom the Jew looked upon as an object of abhorrence—that there was little difference between believing in a Saviour already come, and looking for one as yet unborn—between trusting in the mercies of him as God, who was considered by those others as an impostor? It was most dangerous to assert such a principle. It had been said by the supporters of the Bill, that there was no intention when the words "on the true faith of a Christian" were first introduced into the oath, to exclude the Jews thereby. The hon. and learned Recorder of the city of London had exposed that fallacy. There certainly was no such intention entertained at the time, for the Jews were then in such a situation that they were not recognised at all. But if they were to tell him (Mr. Goulburn) that it was not afterwards intended to exclude them by continuing those words, he should say that the assertion was contrary to the manifest intention of the Legislature, and to the whole practice of the constitution. In the reign of James the First, the oath was directed to be taken upon the holy evangelists. The 1st William and Mary introduced a new oath, and the words "upon the true faith of a Christian" were certainly omitted from it. But then it provided that the now oath should be taken like the old, upon the holy evangelists; and subsequently the words were reintroduced. By the 10th Geo. I., when it was thought advisable to admit Jews to certain offices in the colonies, it was provided, that the latter words of the oath of abjuration, "which prevented Jews from taking the oath," should be omitted in the instances mentioned, thereby showing that whatever might have been the intention of the original oath, the words were accepted by Parliament as excluding the Jews. But the question, after all, was, whether the principle of the constitution was not that Jews should be excluded from the Legislature; and that such was the principle of the constitution was evident from the general practice from the earliest period. It had been the practice from the earliest time to bind up every action of the Legislature with a religious ceremony. When the Queen was called to the Throne, the Members of both Houses attended in Westminster Abbey, and the services of the Church were performed. The very daily business of the House commenced with prayer, showing that it was the intention of the constitution that the Legislature should be Christian. Was not the object evidently to unite all the Members in a common prayer—in a prayer in which all Christians could unite, so as to obtain that blessing from united prayer which might not be granted to individual and divided supplication. This was a distinct indication of what was the intent of the constitution—that the common prayers should be offered up by all through one Mediator. Now, could the Jew join in that prayer? Could he, who disbelieved in the Author of the Christian faith, join in Christian worship? Suppose a Jew to be elected to the Chair, could there be anything more painful than for the chaplain to be offering up prayers in which the Speaker could not conscientiously join? And supposing the other House of Parliament to be thrown open for the admission of Israelites, what an humiliating sight would it be to see a Jewish rabbi sit side by side with a bishop of the Established Church discussing ecclesiastical affairs? It had, indeed, been argued, that they were bound by their duty of charity, as Christians, to extend to the Jews the same privileges as they themselves enjoyed. He admitted that every man, whether Pagan, Jew, or Christian, was equally entitled to their good offices—to receive at their hands relief in his necessities, and instruction in that which he had not previously had the means of learning. But charity did not extend to such a case as the present. Charity had not ceased, but self-protection necessarily came into consideration. He had charity for the man who intended to rob him; but he would not, therefore, give him the power and the opportunity of doing so. He had charity for the Jew, who differed from him in religious belief; but he did not see why he should give him the power of injuring the religion which he (Mr. Goulburn) professed. But then they were told that they were bound to extend the privilege now proposed, because the Jews were particular objects of the Almighty's favour, and would hereafter be restored to Palestine. He looked forward with pleasurable anticipations to the period when the Jew would become a Believer in the Saviour; but he could not in the intermediate time overlook their errors, nor could he peril the institutions of the country by admitting them to seats in the Legislature before that happy consummation arrived. He believed that the passing of this Act would cripple the power of the Legislature for doing general good; it would increase the feeling of distrust in the minds of many who looked with apprehension upon the interference of Parliament with religious matters. It was said that it met with universal concurrence out of doors. Those who said so, little knew what was going on amongst the most use- ful and religious people in the country—amongst people who did not appear upon the hustings at elections, nor at public meetings, but who silently and quietly went amongst the lower classes of the population, promoting amongst them respect for the laws and love of religion. To those people the passing of this Bill would be a severe blow and a heavy discouragement. It would not relax their exertions or disturb their loyalty, but it would enable those amongst whom they went to cast a reproach upon them, and to tell them that the Legislature upon which they relied so strongly was no longer a Christian one. Those people would not consider the number of Jews in Parliament; they would merely observe that access was freely given to them; and the effect would necessarily be to weaken the power of those religious persons to whom he referred, of doing good amongst the masses of the population. It was impossible to conceal from themselves that ever since the passing of the Roman Catholic Relief Bill and the Reform Bill there had been growing up in the country a continually increasing distrust in the fitness of Parliament to deal with ecclesiastical affairs, and a desire in the minds of many of the most respectable and influential classes to see a separation between the powers conducting the affairs of the Church and the State. The learned Archbishop, to whom he had before alluded, had expressed his opinion that Jews ought not to be allowed to legislate in matters purely ecclesiastical; others likewise leaned to the opinion that the power of legislating for the Church should be withdrawn from them if they were admitted to seats in the Legislature. He (Mr. Goulburn) should be extremely sorry to see the power withdrawn from any Member of Parliament, or that the struggles between the antagonistic doctrines of Jews and Christians should strengthen the opinion in the country that a separation between Church and State ought to be effected. He should consider few evils greater at the present time than that the Church should be insulated in her position. He strongly felt the importance of not separating the ecclesiastical from the civil authority of Parliament in either branch of the Legislature; and had an additional reason, in view of the civil and religious tranquillity of the country, for opposing a measure that would have that effect, and which, moreover, would have a tendency to destroy the real influence of Parliament over a large and extensive religious body in the country, and to disable the Legislature from fulfilling some of its most important duties.


hoped the House would be kind enough to excuse him if he entered into the discussion of this question on the third reading of the Bill before the House. The example had been set him by Gentlemen on the opposite side of the House; and, in consequence of that example, he would also enter into this discussion now. However, if this had been a measure of what was called a democratic character, such as a question brought in by the hon. Member for Montrose, respecting the alteration of the constitution of that House, and had been negatived once, and its supporters were again twice, or even thrice, to bring it before the House for discussion, he thought they would very soon have been met by hon. Gentlemen opposite saying—" Why, we have discussed this matter already—it has already occupied the attention of Parliament once this Session—why should you want us to discuss it over again, when this House has already deliberately considered and rejected it? "Such an argument as that would have been very forcibly used if the question had been such an one as he had just supposed. But though the House had, he believed, already discussed this question three times, hon. Gentlemen opposite were not satisfied, but dug up their old arguments, and attempted to galvanise them with new life, with the view, he imagined, of influencing the decision of the other House of Parliament. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge had spoken of the fate of this Bill in the other House, which he had been pleased to describe as composed of persons more likely to listen to arguments drawn from religious considerations, and as an assembly in which questions of theology and religious belief could be more authoritatively stated than they could be in this House, giving them altogether to understand that the House of Lords could better judge of what was fitted for the religious government of this country than could the representatives of the people. He (Mr. Roebuck) had every possible respect for the other House of Parliament, but could not concur in thinking it composed of a class whose religious character or ability was superior to that of any other section of the community. In his experience it was not in that class that he found the peculiar devotion which distinguished and characterised the people of this country; and if he were to seek for these virtues, it would be amongst that modest middle class which had given its distinctive character to England, and in all things good and great made her stand before the world in the position she now occupied. But the observations that he also should offer, would be made with the view of influencing the future fate of this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman had also made another remark, which he (Mr. Roebuck) could not overlook. He had appealed from the decision of this House to the decision of the people out of doors, and had said that this House was not the body which should be referred to on questions like the present. Now, in the course of the debate a few nights ago on the constitution of this House, one of the great arguments of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Home Department had been, that this House distinctly and accurately represented the feelings of the country. Well, he (Mr. Roebuck) would accept this argument for one thing as well as for another, and hold that if the House represented the feelings of the country with regard to the constitution of this House, then it also represented the feelings of the country on a question of this kind. It had been declared by large majorities of this House that this Bill should pass, and he would assume that it was the liberal feeling of the people of England that this Bill ought to become law. But, further, his (Mr. Roebuck's) memory somehow or other travelled back to a few years ago, when the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University Cambridge was sitting on that (the Opposition) side of the House, but on the right had of the Speaker—in 1828, when the right hon. Gentleman did argue exactly as he had argued that night with respect to the Catholics; and if they struck out of the speech he had just delivered the word "Jew," and put in its place the word "Catholic," and substituted for the word "Christian," the word "Protestant," they would have exactly the whole of the right hon. Gentleman's argument repeated and reinsisted upon; and if the same event were now to happen that happened in the year 1828, they would have precisely the same result. The right hon. Gentleman would then find an admirable reason next year for giving up all his terror and alarm, and would suddenly discover that there was no ground for supposing that this House would be un-Christianised by the admission of a few Jews. He (Mr. Roebuck) was unfortunately old enough to recollect what the right hon. Gentleman had said in 1828, and what he had done in 1829; and when the right hon. Gentleman told them that there was danger to the Church of England from admitting a few Jews to this House, must he not recollect how the right hon. Gentleman had formerly proclaimed danger to the united Protestant Church of England and Ireland when vast numbers of Roman Catholics were admitted to the Legislature? If the right hon. Gentleman had stuck to his text, and nailed his colours to the mast, resolved to fight under them as long as he existed, then he (Mr. Roebuck) would never have addressed this argument to him, because he might have declared, "Aye, but I was never a consenting party to the admission of the Catholics." That, however, had not been the right hon. Gentleman's conduct; for he saw reason in 1829—not, indeed, to admit some three or four Jews into this House, but to throw open its doors to possibly something more than 100 Roman Catholics to join in their deliberations. And was not the right hon. Gentleman answered by his own argument? He had distinctly stated that by the Catholic Emancipation Act and the Reform Bill, and by the admission of large numbers of Dissenters into Parliament, the character of this House had greatly changed with regard to the Church of England, and that danger had thereby arisen to the connexion of the Church with the State. But the right hon. Gentleman himself was one of the consenting parties to some of those measures; and why had he not stood out against his leader, then at his right hand, but now in opposition to him. He did not wish to speak offensively by using a soldierlike phrase, hut why did not the right hon. Gentleman oppose his commander then—as he did now? But he had said that the House was now about to be un-Christianised. In 1828 he said it was about to be un-Protestantised; and he (Mr. Roebuck) was anxious to know what was meant by the term "the House was to be un-Christianised?" Why, they were about to admit certain gentlemen amongst them who openly professed the Jewish religion. Were they sure they had none in that House who did not profess the Christian religion at the present time. Had that never occurred to them? Surely the right hon. Gentleman was sufficiently well read to know that once, aye, and twice, in the history of England, those sat in that House who openly abjured belief in the whole doctrines of Christianity. [Mr. GOULBURN dissented.] The right hon. Gentleman, he could perceive, shook his head at this, and pointed to the table, meaning, he (Mr. Roebuck) supposed, to refer to the oath—that cobweb by which they caught the honest man, but which was totally impotent against the person who did not care what or how many oaths they imposed upon him. Did they think that the admission of half-a-dozen infidels (he would use the word at once), in spite of themselves, would un-Christianise the House? Or did they flatter themselves that its un-Christianisation would be prevented by their swallowing an oath about which they cared nothing? But the right hon. Gentleman said, the Bill was dangerous in another way, because they were about to admit Catholics who took this short oath. But what was to happen then? He had been obliged, he had said, to introduce, as a species of safeguard to the Church, in order to conciliate opposition and to soften down the bigotry of his countrymen, a clause in the oath taken by the Catholics; and on the repeal of the Test Act the Dissenters had to bind themselves not to injure the Established Church. The same Catholic oath, nearly, had been administered down to this day; and what was the result? Why, he thought, one Catholic had been pricked in his conscience about the oath—scarcely more than one. He (Mr. Roebuck) had seen Catholics most properly legislating, voting, speaking, and doing all they possibly could, as Members of Parliament, to alter the revenues of the Established Church. Had Catholics and Dissenters legislated on the Church of England just the same as if there had been no such clause? And where then was the use of an idle oath, by which only one conscience was pricked—an oath that, like a flimsy web, could not catch the strong flies, but sometimes entangled the wings of a weak one. The hon. Gentleman opposite, the Member for Warwickshire, with the reckless bigotry that distinguished the class to which he belonged, had dipped—that was the literary phrase—had dipped into the Talmud and the Jewish Prayer Book, and produced extracts to show that the Jewish Rabbis gave dispensations to their follow- ers from all oaths interfering with their religion. Now, for whom and why were they now legislating? Why, because there were gentlemen of the Jewish persuasion who had so nice a sense of what an oath was, that they refused to come into that House on any pretext whatsoever, or in any manner whatsoever, that would impeach their honour, their morality, or their religion. They were actually now legislating for tender consciences; and yet the hon. Gentleman came down to the House with that species of hardihood and cruel bigotry of intention that distinguished the class of gentlemen to which he belonged, and took it upon him to stigmatise a class of his fellow-subjects—aye, or fellow-men —with an utter absence of all honour or honesty, as to profess a religion that relieved them from the strongest ties which men had agreed to make between one another, and to which they attributed the strongest sanction that the fears of mankind could manufacture. Yes, the hon. Gentleman had come down there, and thought fit to impute to them an utter disregard of the most sacred ties and obligations, from some garbled extracts taken from a book that he had looked into for the first time when he made the extracts—extracts which he (Mr. Roebuck) was certain, from the way in which the hon. Gentleman read them, he did not understand, because all he gathered from them was an imputation against the honour and honesty of the persons of whom he was speaking. Of the nature of the extracts themselves—of what they led to—and how they bore upon the religion of the Jews—the hon. Gentleman was as ignorant now as he had been six months ago; and six months ago he had not seen the book. Yet the hon. Gentleman had had the courage—that was not the right word by-the-by—the courage to say of men quite as honourable as himself in every relation of life, that they were utterly regardless of an oath. But what was the value of his argument. He had said, the Jews received from their leaders and Rabbis annually, at stated times, a dispensation relieving them from the obligation of an oath. Did the hon. Member derive this aspersion from the Old Testament, the great book of authority with the Jew? [Mr. NEWDEGATE: From the Jewish Prayer-book.] No, he found it in the Jewish Prayer-books. Why, he (Mr, Roebuck) could bring writers of every class of Christians, giving exceedingly strange and rather twisting reasons, too, full of obliquity, and by no means straightforward or honest, to relieve men from many grave and sacred obligations. But should be feel himself justified on that account in saying that Christians had an utter disregard of Christian duty? The celebrated Pascal, with regard to the Provincial Letters, did not think of attacking the whole of the Christian commentators, because certain Jesuitical writers twisted, to suit their purpose, the grave obligations of religion. No, Pascal was too ingenuous for that: he attacked the writer of the book individually, and not all Christians whatsoever. And he (Mr. Roebuek) was bound to believe that they who said the Bible was the great hook of their law, had as strong a sanction to an oath as any that the Christian took, and that the hon. Member for Warwickshire had no more right to impute carelessness to them in taking an oath, than he (Mr. Roebuck) had to cast the same aspersion on the hon. Gentleman himself; and let him tell the hon. Gentleman that it was no slight offence to charge any man on insufficient evidence with an utter disregard of solemn obligations. He maintained that it was unjust and unfair towards those people, who were not there to defend themselves, for the hon. Gentleman to come down there and blast the character of a whole sect by an imputation entirely groundless, for it was not supported by their belief. They were as sincere, as honest in the belief of their religion, as upright in all their dealings as any Christian man, or sot of men; and therefore he had a right to suppose that in all the transactions of life they were guided by the sanctions that affected ourselves, and that among those sanctions that of an oath was one to which they attached particular obligations. Therefore it was totally unjust to refuse a right of this kind to any class of Her Majesty's subjects on grounds of this character. They were fully qualified in point either of instruction or of money; they believed and adhered to the faith in which they were born, the same as we did ourselves; in all the ordinary transactions of life they were perfectly honourable and honest; and, therefore, the onus rested with the other side to show why one of the great privileges of freemen, which he had shown belonged to them á priori, could fairly be taken away from the Jews. True it had been said that they were sometimes aliens; but the grandfather of the Solicitor General himself had been an alien; and yet that was not considered a reason why the Solicitor General should be excluded. Therefore, a better argument than that the grandfather of a Jew was an alien, must be found to justify his exclusion from that House. But the right hon. Gentleman said that the oath on the holy evangelists was imposed when they were not aliens, and, therefore, that the oath was designedly made. But there were two Gentlemen of the Quaker persuasion in that House who did not take the oath on the holy evangelists. He recollected that when Mr. Pease came to the table of that House he refused to swear. What did the House do? They altered the form, and Mr. Pease did not take the oath upon the holy evangelists, but made a solemn declaration. That disposed of the argument with respect to the holy evangelists. Why no Gentleman would say that there was any Act of Parliament to admit Quakers into that House; but what the Act did say was that, under certain circumstances, an affirmative might be taken instead of an oath from Quakers. And, moreover, an Act had lately passed enabling all parties in courts of justice to take oaths in that manner which should be considered binding upon them. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Montgomeryshire, in the debate on the admission of Quakers to that House, referred to an Act of Parliament enabling the affirmation of Quakers to be taken in courts of justice and other places, and said that there could be no doubt that the two Houses of Parliament had superior rights and privileges which could not be limited by implication. He asked them whether it was not a fact that the House of Lords, sitting in its judicial character, would not examine a Quaker upon his affirmation, and upon that examination decide upon the expediency or inexpediency of a measure? Upon that reasoning Quakers were admitted to that House, and he (Mr. Roebuck) now asked whether or not the House of Lords, sitting in their judicial capacity, would not take the evidence of a Jew in a way that was considered binding upon him? And if so, he contended that if the House of Commons could change the form of oath with respect to the Quakers, it had the same power to change it with respect to the Jews. The hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford had declared that Unitarians were not Christians, and yet there were Unitarians in that House; and an Unitarian might, perchance, occupy the Speaker's chair. The right hon. Gentleman had endeavoured to terrify the House by saying that a Jew might become the Speaker of the House of Commons. But it should not be forgotten that a Jew, not long since, had officiated as sheriff—that a Jew was at this moment an alderman of the city of London, and that it was not impossible he might become a Lord Mayor. By the fact of his being Lord Mayor he would become a Privy Councillor. [Mr. LAW: NO, no.] At all events, on the demise of the Crown he would appear at the first meeting of the Privy Council. He denied that any mischief could accrue from the election of a Jew to Parliament, the choice of whom was the deliberate act of his fellow-countrymen. Was not the choice of the people a sufficient guarantee that the selection was a sound one? If the people sent unworthy representatives, they must take the consequences. No law which could be passed would prevent the people from making such a choice as they deemed expedient. But he had sufficient faith in his countrymen to believe that they would not make an unworthy choice. The story which the hon. and learned Recorder for London told of a man who said that he voted for Baron Rothschild because Jews were excluded from Parliament, and that he would not vote for him if they were admissible to the Legislature, proved that the man in question voted from principle, and not, as the hon. and learned Gentleman more than insinuated, from a spirit of subserviency to a wealthy man. Baron Rothschild was recommended to that man by your pernicious law. He voted not for Baron Rothschild the millionaire, but for Baron Rothschild the representative of the great principle of religious freedom. The right hon. Gentleman had said that this Bill had been forced upon Parliament by the contumaciousness of the people of London. But he could not call the exercise of a free choice contumacy. He thought that the manner in which this debate had been conducted was worthy of the people of England. All that the people had in view was the principle which the Bill contained. It was not the question of the election of Baron Rothschild or anybody else; it was the great question of religious principle at the bottom of the Bill which the people cared about. It was on account of that principle that he, and he believed people out of doors, supported, the Bill, that the people were excited upon it. [Mr. PLUMPTRE: No, no!] The hon. Member for East Kent seemed to think there could be no excitement but on the bigoted side. Reference had been made to the petitions on this subject. But were there not people who felt strongly upon the question, and who did not petition? He remembered the time when petitions crowded the table of the House; but the people had ceased to adopt that mode of redress. He felt firmly convinced that no one who advocated this measure would have reason to regret what he had done before any of the large constituencies. He knew more than one large constituency from personal observation, and he knew that large constituencies thought only of maintaining the great principle of religious liberty, regardless whether the question affected a large or a small number. It was because he perceived a great living principle in the Bill that he gave it his support; and he trusted when the Bill should have reached its last stage that the noble persons of whom mention had been made would pay that deference to the freely and constitutionally expressed opinion of the Christian people of England which they had paid before, and that they would not refuse to give their sanction to the expressed will of the people, namely, to have this great principle of religious freedom passed into a law.


fully agreed with the hon. and learned Gentleman who had just sat down that the question ought not to be decided on personal grounds. He thought, however, that the hon. and learned Gentleman had proved too much; for if his argument was good for anything, it went to show that oaths ought to be totally abolished, and pecuniary qualification also, if it was to rest merely on the opinion of a large constituency who were fit to be Members of that House. The real question before them was, whether Christianity was the basis of the constitution? and if it were so, he would ask where was the man who would deny the fairness of excluding from the House persons opposed to that principle of religion? The Bill of the present Session was different to that of last year; and though the noble Lord at the head of the Government had omitted the oath of supremacy with regard to the Catholics, he had retained in the oath, "on the true faith of a Christian:" now, if the noble Lord did not think it necessary that Christianity should be the basis on which parties were admitted to that House, why were those words retained? Supposing a Deist were to be returned to that House, was he to be excluded while the Jew was admitted? He maintained that Christianity was the basis on which the British constitution was founded; and that they were, therefore, bound to exclude from the councils of the State all parties not believing in the Gospel of Christ. It was not because he had personal objections to any man or body of men that he maintained these opinions, but because he conceived he was bound by his religion to support the principle he had just laid down. He had knelt by the side of Roman Catholics and prayed with them; but then they joined in prayer to a common Saviour, and it was only men that did so that he considered ought to be admitted to that House; and if he stood alone, he would raise his voice in opposition to this Bill on that ground. He had heard the noble Lord who introduced the Bill use an argument in its support which he thought unworthy of him. He said that if the Jews were powerful, the House would not venture to oppose their Bill, but that it was owing to the want of power on the part of the Jews that it could be opposed with safety. He denied that such was the reason for the opposition to the Bill. It was because it was considered that this was the last badge of the Christianity of the House—it was because he considered that a faith which had stood for more than 1,800 years was put on its trial before a small sect—and because he thought it essential to preserve that faith in its purity and integrity, that he would give his humble vote against the Bill.


said, that the hon. and learned Member who had just sat down, had protested against this measure as being one by which they were about to part with the last badge of Christianity; but he (Mr. Wood), on the contrary, hailed the measure with the hope that he was for the last time entering his protest against the last badge of an unchristian and persecuting spirit. He would enter upon the subject by saying, that it was as a Christian, no less than as a politician, he gave his decided support to the measure before the House. Hon. Gentlemen opposite delighted in these oaths and declarations, and would probably be pleased to hear the facts he was about to mention. By the Act that repealed the Test and Corporation Acts, every person holding office under the Crown was obliged to make a declaration that he would not use that office to subvert the Church as by law established. He (Mr. Wood) confessed that he had been heartily ashamed to find the extraordinary care of the Court of Queen's Bench in looking after the interests of the Church according to that Act, and the number of declarations that there were made in consequence of it. The holders of the various offices he was about to name had taken the declaration that by virtue of those offices, or the influence conferred by them, they would not seek to subvert the Established Church. He had taken the roll as it was made up at the accession of His late Majesty King William IV. There were admirals, bishops, and others, who very properly, perhaps, declared that they did not intend to use the influence conferred by their offices to subvert the Established Church; but mingled with them he found the following officers—the master of the King's band, the conductor of the same, the King's principal porter, the housekeeper at Hampton-court Palace, then the state pages, then the King's gentlemen porters, and the trumpeter of the household; and then the watermen, the barge-master, the King's swan-keeper, the Topassier to the household—he did not know what the office was, but that was the way it was spelled—and last, not least, his Majesty's rat-killer, who had to make this declaration—" 1 will not use my office of His Majesty's rat-killer to subvert the Established Church as by law established." The roll would not have stopped there but for the discretion of the officer who had the management of this matter. The King's chimney-sweep presented himself; but as the officer thought the matter was going too far, the chimneysweeper did not appear on the roll. It was disgraceful to continue such a practice; let fit men be appointed, and no declaration will be necessary; and if an unfit man made a thousand declarations he would not be the better for it. If they looked to the Church of England, and saw what had been done since the Test Act was repealed, as compared with what was done before—1,500 churches having been built within the last 15 years, more than 50 times the number built in the 50 years preceding—he thought it would be found that it was not on declarations or such miserable legislation, the Church of England need depend. The best thing they could do was to take the earliest and rapidest steps to get rid of this last remnant of the system.


said, in reference to the remarks of the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield and others, that it did appear to him to be a very questionable way for any man to show his love for the great Author of our religion, by endeavouring to introduce parties into that House who said that he was a deceiver and an impostor. The hon. and learned Member for Sheffield, too, had used the strong expression, that there was excitement prevalent among the people of this country, in favour of this Bill. He (Mr. Plumptre) begged, however, to say, in contradiction of that statement, that the people were not excited at all upon the subject; and that the hon. and learned Member had given them no proof of anything of the sort. It was true, that a portion of the citizens of London had returned a gentleman of the Jewish persuasion, as one of their representatives; but, if that circumstance was to be held forth as a proof that the people of this country were in favour of this measure, he must deny it altogether, and maintain, that the desire of the people for this Bill, was not shown by their petitions to that House. He asserted, without fear of contradiction, that the most reflecting and sober-minded of the people of this country, were exceedingly opposed to this measure, and considered that it would be an injury to Christianity, if Jews were admitted to Parliament, and, that those who proposed and passed such measures as these, were undertaking a very deep and serious responsibility.


said: Before this House goes to a division upon this last occasion upon which they will have to divide on this Bill, I wish to take notice of some of the arguments that have been used in this debate. In the first place, I should notice that which does not concern the admission of the Jews, but was used as an argument by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge, that if this Bill passed, Roman Catholics would take advantage of that part of it which allowed another oath to which they had no objection to be taken, and would not take the oath prescribed by law for Roman Catholics. I cannot believe that such would be the case. In the first place, you have, according to this Bill, all the penalties entailed on those who, professing the Roman Catholic religion, should omit to take the oath prescribed for those who are Roman Catholics, and your penalties will subject them to the loss of their seats, and, in the next place, to large pecuniary penalties, for every vote they give in this House. But, suppose there is any difficulty in enforcing those penalties, it is impossible for me to believe, that any person, professing the Roman Catholic religion, knowing that in the Act of Parliament there was an oath, which all those who professed the Roman Catholic religion were bound to take, would resort to the subterfuge of taking another oath, and not the oath intended by the Legislature for them, concealing their character as Roman Catholics, and endeavouring to pass off for that which they were not. I say, that if men would be guilty of such equivocation, what security would you have, in the present oath, that they had no intention to subvert the Church? So that, your security, as to those who are professed Roman Catholics, remains, I conceive, exactly the same as that which you have now. But the chief of the arguments addressed to the House against this Bill, refer to the clause of it by which Jews are to be admitted, and, as those arguments, however ably urged, have very little in them different from those urged on former occasions, I certainly do not think it necessary to detain the House upon that part of the subject. The hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin says, that the value of this declaration is not that which is passing in every man's mind, not the individual obligation which rests upon every man, but the general obligation with respect to his conduct in this House. Now, it appears to me, that unless you have the first obligation, which the hon. and learned Gentlemen says this oath is not intended to secure, you have not, in fact, any security for the Christianity of the House of Commons. The hon. and learned Gentleman admits, that the oath cannot secure that individual responsibility, and yet if you cannot secure that—[Mr. NAPIER: I said, it does not secure personal religion.] So I understood the hon. and learned Gentleman to say—that the oath does not secure the personal religion of the person who takes it. But if this does not secure it, and we know perfectly well that, although, as the hon. and learned Gentleman says, the oath was intended to exclude Deists, yet the author of a work of great fame, advocating those principles, was for a long time a Member of this House, is not the personal religion of all the Members of this House a much better security for the Christian conduct of the whole House, than any obligation you can impose by oath upon external conduct? Well, then, if you have not obtained, by this oath, any security for the personal religion of Members of this House, what is the security you obtain with regard to their external conduct? The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge has argued to-night, that unless you have some security of this kind, there is danger that Members of this House, not belonging to a Christian community, and yet being called upon to legislate for the ecclesiastical as well as civil concerns of these kingdoms, may disregard their duties in that respect. But that is a danger which you have incurred long ago. With respect to the maintenance of the Church,—with respect to debates relating to the doctrines of the Church, you have allowed a far greater number of Members to legislate who do not belong to the Church, and many of whom are hostile to it, than you could possibly admit by the admission of Jews. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the university of Dublin says, that I argued for the admission of Jews, because they were not a powerful body; and, therefore, might be admitted. That is not exactly a correct representation of what I said. What I said was this—the majority of this House are told that a certain number of persons who wished to come into this House were knocking at the door; they have very considerable influence, and say it would be very injurious to you if you do not admit them; and you admit them at once. Then there is another set of persons knocking at the door still more loudly—they say they are coming in by force of arms, and will break open the doors. You say open them at once—let them come in. Upon the third occasion you are told, "Here is a small number of persous—^very few—they come on the same grounds as the other two bodies have been admitted upon. They say they are perfectly qualified as civil members of this community, and nothing but their religious differences prevent them from coming into this House." The only answer is, that this is a small number, and therefore it is perfectly safe to refuse them admission. I say, there is no magnanimity, no justice, in this. One hon. Gentleman appealed to me on the ground that many persons of great respectability, and no doubt very conscientious, thought it would be injurious to Christianity if Jews were admitted to this House. I am very sorry to differ from persons of such character, whose sincerity I respect, but I take a totally opposite view. My opinion is, that it is because we are a Christian House of Parliament, and feel the obligations of Christians, that we ought to do away with all religious disabilities. I hold that religious disqualifications of every kind are, above all things, opposed to the spirit of the constitution; and upon this ground I ask this House to agree to the Bill now before us. I cannot, of course, answer for the fate the Bill may have in the other House of Parliament; but it is true, as was stated by the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield, that there are many persons, and certainly many of my constituents, who do feel a very deep interest in this subject. They feel a deep interest in it, not as being in any way connected with Jews, not as being particularly desirous that Jews should be admitted into Parliament, but because they do feel it is a question of religious liberty, and that the character of the country is concerned in making that religious liberty full and complete. It is upon these grounds that I ask the House to agree to this Bill, and I trust it will be in this sense that it ought to become an Act of Parliament.

Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."

The House divided:—Ayes 272; Noes 206: Majority 66.

List of the AYES.
Abdy, T. N. Boyle, hon. Col.
Adair, H. E. Brand, T.
Adair, R. A. S. Bright, J.
Alcock, T. Broeklehurst, J.
Anderson, A. Brotherton, J.
Armstrong, Sir A. Brown, W.
Armstrong, R. B. Browne, R. D.
Arundel and Surrey, Earl of Bulkeley, SirR. B.W.
Bunbury, E. H.
Bagshaw, J. Burke, Sir T. J.
Baines, M. T. Buxton, Sir E. N.
Baring, rt. hon. Sir F.T. Callaghan, D.
Baring, hon. F. Cardwell, E.
Barnard, E. G. Carter, J. B.
Bass, M. T. Caulfleld, J. M.
Bellow, R. M. Cavendish, hon. C. C.
Berkeley, hon. Capt. Cavendish, hon. G. H.
Berkeley, C. L. G. Cayley, E. S.
Bernai, R. Cholmeley, Sir M.
Birch, Sir T. B. Clay, J.
Blackall, S. W. Clements, hon. C. S.
Blake, M. J. Clerk, rt. hon. Sir G.
Blewitt, R. J. Cobdcn, R.
Bouverie, hon. E. P. Cockburn, A. J. E.
Coke, hon. E. K. Hindley, C.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Hobhouse, rt. hon. Sir J.
Collins, W. Hobhouse, T. B.
Cowan, C. Hodges, T. L.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Hodges, T. T.
Craig, W. G. Hogg, Sir J. W.
Crowdor, R. B. Hollond, R.
Cubitt, W. Horsman, E.
Currie, R. Howard, Lord E.
Dalrymple, Capt. Howard, hon. C. W. G.
Dashwood, G. H. Howard, hon. E. G. G.
Davie, Sir H. E. F. llowai-d. Sir R.
Dawson, hon. T. V. Hume, J.
Denison, W. J. Humphery, Ald.
Devereux, J. T. Hutt, W.
D'Eyncourt, rt.hn. CT. Jackson, W.
Disraeli, B. Jermyn, Earl
Divett, E. Jervis, Sir J.
Duff, G. S. Johnstone, Sir J.
Duncan, Visct. Keogh, W.
Duncan, G. Keppel, hon. G. T.
Dundas, Adm. Ker, R.
Dundas, SirD. Kershaw, J.
Ebrington, Visct. Kildare, Marq. of
Ellice, E. King, hon. P. J. L.
Ellis, J. Labouchero, rt. hon. H.
Enfield, Visct. Langsten, J. H.
Evans, W. Lascelles, hon. W. S.
Fagan, W. Lawless, hon. C.
Fagan, J. Lemon, Sir C.
Fergus, J. Lewis, G. C.
Ferguson, Col. Lincoln, Earl of
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Loch, J.
Fitzroy, hon. H. Locke, J.
Fitzwilliam, hon. G. W. Lushington, C.
Foley, J. H. H. M'Cullagh, W. T.
Fordyce, A. D. M'Gregor, J.
Forster, M. Meagher, T.
Fortescue, C. Maitland, T.
Fortescue, hon. J. W. Mangles, R. D.
Fox, R. M. Marshall, W.
Fox, W. J. Martin, S.
Freestun, Col. Mathcson, A.
French, F. Matheson, J.
Gaskell, J. M. Mathcson, Col.
Gibson, rt. hon. T. M. Maule, rt. hon. F.
Gladstone, rt. hn.W. E. Melgund, Visct.
Glyn, G. C. Milner, W. M. E.
Grace, O. D. J. Mitchell, T. A.
Graham, rt. hon. Sir J. Molesworth, Sir W.
Granger, T. C. Monsell, W.
Grattan, H. Morison, Sir W.
Greene, J. Morris, D.
Grenfell, C. P. Mostyn, hon. E. M. L.
Grcnfell, C. W. Mowatt, F.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Mulgrave, Earl of
Grey, R. W. Nicholl, rt. hon. J.
Grosvcnor, Lord R. Norreys, Lord
Hallyburton, Lord J. F. Norreys, Sir D. J.
Harcourt, G. G. Nugent, Lord
Hardcastle, J. A. Nugent, Sir P.
Hastie, A. O'Connell, J.
Hastie, A. O'Connell, M.
Hawcs, B. O'Connell, M. J.
Hay, Lord J. O'Connor, F.
Haytcr, rt. hon. W. G. O'Flaherty, A.
Headlam, T. E. Ogle, S. C. H.
Heathcoat, J. Ord, W.
Heneage, E. Osborne, R.
Henry, A. Oswald, A.
Herbert, H. A. Owen, Sir J.
lleywood, J. Paget, Lord A.
Heyworth, L. Paget, Lord G.
Palmerston, Visct. Smith, J. B.
Parker, J. Somers, J. P.
Pearson, C. Somerville, rt. hn.Sir W.
Pcchell, Capt. Spearman, H. J.
Peel, rt. hon. Sir R. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Peel, F. Stanton, W. H.
Perfect, R. Strickland, Sir G.
Peto, S. M. Stuart, LordD.
Philips, Sir G. R. Sutton, J. H, M.
Pigott, F. Talbot, O. R. M.
Pilkington, J. Talfourd, Serj.
Pinney, W. Tancred, H. W.
Price, Sir R. Tennent, R. J.
Pryse, P. Thicknesse, R. A.
Pusey, P. Thompson, Col.
Reynolds, J. Thompson, G.
Ricardo, J. L. Thornely, T.
Ricardo, O. Tollemache, hon. F. J.
Rice, E. R. Townshend, Capt.
Rich, H. Trelawny, J. S.
Rehartes, T. J. A. Tynte, Col.C. J. K.
Roebuck, J. A. Vane, Lord H.
Romilly, Sir J. Verney, Sir H.
Russell, Lord J. Villiers, hon. C.
Russell, hon. E. S. Vivian, J. H.
Russell, F. C. H. Wall, C. B.
Rutherfurd, A. Watkins, Col. L.
Sadleir, J. Wawn, J. T.
Salwey, Col. Westhead, J. P.
Sandars, J. WiUcox, B. M.
Scholefield, W. Williams, J.
Scrope, G, P. Willyams, H.
Scully, F. Williamson, Sir H.
Seymour, Sir H. Wilson, J.
Shafto, R. p. Wood, rt. hon. Sir G.
Shell, rt. hon. R. L. Wood, W. P.
Sheridan, R. B. Wrightson, W. B.
Slaney, R. A. Wyvill, M.
Smith, rt. hon. R. V. TELLERS.
Smith, J. A. Tufnell, H.
Smith, M. T. Hill, Lord M.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Bromley, R.
Adderloy, C. B. Brooke, Lord
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Brooke, Sir A. B.
Archdali, Capt. M. Bruce, C. L. C.
Arkwright, G. Buck, L. W.
Ashley, Lord Buller, Sir J. Y.
Bagge, W. Bunbury, W. M.
Eagot, hon. W. Burghley, Lord
Bailey, J. Burrell, Sir C. M.
Bailey, J. Jun. Burroughes, H. N.
Baillie, H. J. Campbell, hon. W. F.
Baldock, E. H. Garew, W. H. P.
Bankes, G. Chandos, Marq. of
Barrington, Visct. Chichester, Lord J. L.
Bateson, T. Christopher, R. A.
Bennet, P. Christy, S.
Bentinck, Loi-d H. Clive, H. B. H.
Beresford, W. Clive, hon. R. H.
Bernard, Visct. Cobbold, J. C.
Blackstone, W. S. Cocks, T. S.
Blakemore, R. Codrington, Sir W.
Blandford, Marq. of Cole, hon. H. A.
Boldero, H. G. Coles, H. B.
Bowles, Adm. Colvile, C. R.
Brackley, Visct. Compton, H. C.
Bramston, T. W. Conolly, T.
Bremridge, R. Corry, rt. hon. H. L.
Brisco, M. Cotton, hon. W. H. S.
Broadley, H. Davies, D. A. S.
Deedes, W. Lowther, H.
Dick, Q. Lygon, hon. Gen.
Dod, J. W. Mackenzie, W. F.
Drummond, H. Macnagbten, Sir E.
Duckworth, Sir J. T.B. Mahon, Visct.
Duncombe, hon. A. Manners, Lord C. S.
Duncombe, hon. O. Manners, Lord G.
Duncuft, J. March, Earl of
Dundas, G. Masterman, J.
Du Pre, C. G. Maunsell, T. P.
East, Sir J. B. Maxwell, hon. J. P.
Egerton, Sir P. Meux, Sir H.
Egerton, W. T. Miles, P. W. S.
Estcourt, J. B. B. Miles, W.
Farnham, E. B. Moody, C. A.
Farrer, J. Moore, G. H.
Fellowes, E. Morgan, O.
Filmer, Sir E. Mullings, J. R.
Floyer, J. Mundy, W.
Forester, hon. G. C. W. Napier, J.
Fox, S. W. L. Neeld, J.
Frewen, C. H. Neeld, J.
Fuller, A. E. Newdegate, C. N.
Galway, Visct. Noel, hon. G. J.
Goddard, A. L. Ossulston, Lord
Godson, R. Packe, C. W.
Gooch, E. S. Pakington, Sir J.
Gordon, Adm. Palmer, R.
Gore, W. O. Peel, Col.
Goring, C. Pennent, hon. Col.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Plowden, W. H. C.
Granby, Marq. of Plumptre, J. P.
Greene, T. Portai, M.
Grogan, E. Prime, R.
Grosvenor, Earl Reid, Col.
Guernsey, Lord Repton, G. W. J.
Gwyn, H. Richards, R.
Haie, R. B. Rushout, Capt.
Halford, Sir H. St. George, C.
Hall, Col. Sandars, J.
Halsey, T. P. Scott, hon. F.
Hamilton, G. A. Sibtborp, Col.
Hamilton, J. H. Simeon, J.
Harris, hon. Capt. Smyth, J. G.
Heald, J. Smollett, A.
Heneage, G. H. W. Somerset, Capt.
Henley, J. W. Spooner, R.
Heryey, Lord A. Stafford, A.
Hildyard, R. C. Stanley, E.
Hildyard, T. B. T. Stanley, hon. E. H.
Hill, Lord E. Stephenson, R.
Hodgson, W. N. Stuart, H.
Hood, Sir A. Stuart, J.
Hope, A. Sturt, H. G.
Hornby, J. Taylor, T. E.
Hotham, Lord Thesiger, Sir F.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Tbornbill, G.
Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H. Tollemacbe, J.
Jones, Capt. Trollope, Sir J.
Kerrison, Sir E. Turner, G. J.
Knight, F. W. Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Knightley, Sir C. Verner, Sir W.
Knox, Col. Vesey, hon. T.
Lacy, H. C. Villiers, Visct.
Legh, G. C. Villiers, hon. F. W. C.
Lennox, Lord H. G. Vyse, R. H. R. H.
Lewisham, Visct. Waddington, H. S.
Lindsay, hon. Col. Walpole, S. H.
Lockhart, A. E. Walsh, Sir J. B.
Lockhart, W. Welby, G. E.
Long, W. Wellesley, Lord C.
Lopes, Sir R. "Whitmore, T. C.
Lowther, hon. Col. Williams, T. P.
Willoughby, Sir H. Worcester, Marq. of
Raphael, A. Law, C. E.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read 3o, and passed.

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