HC Deb 15 April 1853 vol 125 cc1217-87

Order for Third Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third Time."


said, he would now move, pursuant to notice, that the Bill be read a third time that day six months. He felt so strong an objection to the measure that be could not permit it to pass without entering his strongest protest against it. It had been already four times before that House, under the specious pretext of a new homage to religious toleration; and four times it had been before it in vain. That it had not gained in public estimation was sufficiently shown by the number of petitions for and against the Bill, as well as by the result of the successive divisions that took place upon the subject. Notwithstanding the measure had been repeatedly proposed with the full influence of the Government, the majorities had constantly diminished, and the minorities had constantly increased. Twenty years since he (Mr C. Bruce) gave his first vote in that House against the measure, when it was brought forward under the auspices of the late Sir Robert Grant. The number of those in favour of it on that occasion amounted to 55 votes; on the next occasion, the year following, they amounted to only 32. There was a majority of 91 in a House of 123 Members. In that small minority, however, there were some distinguished names among them—that of the late Sir Robert Peel, and of the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, whose opinions, whatever they might now be, were then in accordance with those of his constituents. To those names, and others whom he could mention, must now be added that of the noble Lord the Member for Dumfriesshire, lately appointed Comptroller of the Household (Lord Drumlanrig). It was to be regretted, for the sake of the uninformed multitude, that the change in the noble Lord's opinions upon this question was so nearly coincident with his acceptance of office. He (Mr. C. Bruce) said "for the sake of the uninformed multitude," because they who were Members of the House knew that such considerations had no weight in affecting the opinions of noble Lords or hon. Members. Having very recently had an opportunity of meeting his constituents, he (Mr. C. Bruce) could not doubt that the noble Lord took the opportunity of explaining to them from the hustings, before his election, the change which had come over the spirit of his dream with regard to this measure; and as his return was unopposed, he had probably adduced reasons to satisfy them of the propriety of his altered course. He concluded that the noble Lord had not limited himself upon the hustings, as he had in the House, to a bare announcement of the change, without assigning a single reason to justify it. Talking, however, of these changed opinions, he had listened, not without surprise, the other night to the happy hardihood of his right hon. Friend the Secretary at War, who had endeavoured to found on that circumstance an argument in favour of the Bill, by saying that all the talents had come over to his side of the question. With more than his usual airiness of tone and assumption of superiority over those who were stupid enough to differ with him, his right hon. Friend came forward as the eulogist and advocate—an eloquent advocate he always is—of such changed opinions. For a mo- ment, under the fascination of his eloquence, he (Mr. C. Bruce) almost fancied that the only thing to be ashamed of was adherence to principles and opinions, however conscientiously adopted, or zealously acted on. Consistency had become a vice, inconsistency a virtue—the very Deity to be worshipped by public men. Nought was everything, and everything was nought— except, indeed, the great principle announced by a noble Earl in another place as that on which the present Government was formed—the principle of distinction, without difference, admirably exemplified in the measure before the House, which may recognise a distinction, but acknowledges no difference, between Judaism and Christianity as a qualification or requisite in the formation of a Christian Parliament. Listening, however, to the eloquence of his right hon. Friend, he (Mr. C. Bruce) thought he might find a reason for his championship of this worship of the new divinity; for the very place in which he sat, and the very persons by whom he was surrounded, proved that he had either abandoned or placed in abeyance all his former principles and opinions. On one side of him was the noble Member for London adhering—who could doubt it—with unchanged affection to all the cherished traditions of undiluted Whiggery—one of which, and the most favourite of them, was, that only the Whig party were capable of conducting or worthy to be entrusted with the Government of this country. On the other side was the right hon. Baronet the First Commissioner of Works (Sir W. Molesworth), who gloried, as he stated in his speech of a former night on the Canada Clergy Reserves question, in his unchanged and uncompromising Radicalism, and who, as that able and carefully-prepared speech sufficiently proved, was in favour of religious equality, or, in other words, the separation of the Church from the State. Those, however, who held that the principles and character of the noble Earl at the head of the Government offered security to existing institutions in Church and State, must have felt that confidence shaken in no small degree by such a speech proceeding from a Cabinet Minister. The House, however, was now called on to admit to power, and to scats in this House, those who would necessarily vote against those institutions. Nor, having referred to that debate, could he refrain from alluding to the conduct of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and to the part which he had taken in regard to it, from which the friends of our religious institutions could draw little confidence. He did not wish to dwell upon the miserable exhibition made by that right hon. Gentleman when he withdrew the 3rd Clause of the Canada Clergy Reserves Bill; and yet it was desirable to make some remaks on the subject in connexion with the measure before the House. The right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer, moved, no doubt, by certain compunctious visitings of conscience respecting the violation of pledges and the repudiation of solemn contracts, pointed out to his Colleagues the effect of that clause, and had it withdrawn; but no sooner was his success known in the ranks of his supporters, than the "free lances" of his corps mutinied, and the noble Lord the Member for London (Lord J. Russell) had to come down to the House armed with a verbal opinion—not a written one—that, even these law officers were not bold enough to give—of the law officers of the Crown, and state that the withdrawal of the clause was of no importance; in other words, that the solemn contract in question amounted to nothing, and accordingly the "free corps" returned to their duty. [Cries of "Question!"] He contended he was speaking to the question. But did the Chancellor of the Exchequer give notice of a Bill to vindicate the principle he had contended for in withdrawing the clause, to vindicate the character of the parties to that contract, one of whom was the Duke of Wellington? and he (Mr. C. Bruce) would say, that if the Duke of Wellington was alive, the Government would not have dared to act as they had done in the matter. The Chancellor of the Exchequer did no such thing; he sat and made no sign—a spectacle to pity, he took no step in the matter. [Cries of "Question!"] It was the question, for the country could have no confidence after that in the present Government, so far as the preservation of the religious institutions of the country was concerned; and under these circumstances the House should be careful not to aid those who desired to subvert these institutions by passing the present Bill. A greater man, however, than either of the Decemviri who presided over the present Government—than either the noble Earl at the head of the Government, or the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell), who was generally acknowledged to fill the office of viceroy over them, had expressed his opinion on the principles which should regulate the conduct of statesmen in the formation of their Governments. He would remind Government and the House of the words of that great and good man, Washington, who said— I shall not, whilst I have the honour of administering the Government, bring any man into an office of consequence, knowingly, whose public tenets are adverse to the measures which the Government are pursuing, for this, in my opinion, is a sort of political suicide. These were the words of Washington, as quoted by M. Guizot. They were quoted with admiration by one, himself a statesman, well qualified to appreciate their wisdom and their policy. But did the Government sanction this rule of conduct with regard to the Administration with which they were connected? What confidence could the House have in the past character and opinions of the noble Lord opposite, and what support to religion could they expect from him, when they noticed the conduct he had pursued in the formation of his Government—a Government composed of persons holding, on all important subjects, the most opposite opinions? Acting with such a Government, the Secretary at War had no right to taunt them with adherence to their opinions, though he might find in such taunts some consolation when contemplating his own change. He was at a loss to learn where confidence was to be placed in the conduct or professions of public men who acted in this way. But his right hon. Friend did not confine himself to taunts. He brought against the opponents of this Bill a charge, which he (Mr. C. Bruce) entirely repudiated. The charge was, that their opposition was actuated by feelings of the most cruel intolerance, the darkest bigotry—that the power, and not the will, was wanting to them to inflict on the Jews all the persesecutions of the Middle Ages. For himself and his hon. Friends, he (Mr. C. Bruce) utterly repudiated such a charge. He could conscientiously say that he entertained no feeling of hostility or dislike to the Jews. Quite the reverse; not their long misfortunes alone enlisted in their behalf all his sympathies, but as the elder sister of existing nations—as the real aristocracy, the true nobility, of the world, he entertained for them a sentiment of respect; and, as the still peculiar people of God, he cherished for them a feeling of veneration. He did not wish to press unne- cessarily on the time of the House by going minutely into the details of the question. It might be summed up in a single sentence, which, though that sentence had been much criticised, had not been sufficiently impeached to shake its force—it was that the Bill was "a measure to unchristianise the House of Parliament;" it was a measure to sweep away the national recognition of our God and Father the Lord Jesus Christ—it was a reckless proceeding pregnant with danger to the best interests of the Kingdom. The Jews were still His peculiar people; and though tossed and afflicted by the tempest of Divine wrath, they were reserved for blessing and for glory. It had been said we must not constitute ourselves the ministers of Divine wrath; but neither must we presume to think that by the efforts of our careless legislation we could accelerate the period of their restoration to the Divine favour. He believed that He who had afflicted would console and comfort, and that the restoration of the Jews, in God's good time, would be as miraculous as their continued separate national existence, and their long dispersion. It was not by majorities of twenty-five one year, and fifty-two another year, that the people of England would be induced to change their opinion on the question. Men might "rush in where angels fear to tread;" but for himself and those who acted with him, not in a spirit of intolerance—not in a spirit of bigotry—not in the spirit of mediâval persecution, but in a spirit of deep humility, they shrunk from being associated in the intrusion. When it was proposed to admit Jews to that House, they really ought to remember what were the duties and functions of that House. One of the main duties of that House was the inculcation of true religion—it was part and parcel of the constitution to encourage and promote true religion as the best means of preserving peace, and securing the good order of society. Government had given notice of a measure for national education. The noble Lord who introduced the measure said he did not intend to exclude the teaching of religion in the schools, and that he considered it was the duty of the State to open new channels for the diffusion of the Sacred Word. If by their plan of national education Government recognised that solemn truth, he asked them would they call in the Jews to assist them in carrying it out? What Government considered sacred truth, the Jews considered falsehood; and as from the inculcation of falsehood nothing good could flow, the Jews must consider it their duty to counteract it. That House arrogated to themselves the right of legislating for the good of the Established Church—would they call in the Jews to give help for that purpose? It had been represented that since the passing of the Test and Corporation Act, and the Roman Catholic Relief Act, he was precluded from using any argument connected with the Established Church, for the Jews were not more inimical to the Established Church than were Protestant Dissenters generally. He believed this to be a calumny on the Protestant Dissenters. He did not believe they wished or desired to injure the Established Church—for they enjoyed all the advantages arising from that form of religion, which was the main prop of the Reformed religion throughout the world. So, therefore, he was not afraid of any united effort, on the part of Protestant Dissenters, to injure the Established Church. The Dissenters derived great benefit from the Established Church, and the Established Church from the Dissenters. Let us, therefore, consider them rather as friends than as enemies, whom we ought to put down. With regard to the Roman Catholics, generally speaking, Roman Catholic Members were influenced by a due respect for their oath, and, therefore, they would do nothing to injure the Established Church. There might certainly be exceptions, such as hinted at by the hon. Member for West Surrey (Mr. Drummond), when Jesuits in disguise took the oath in a different sense to the plain meaning of the words, and put a wide interpretation on the oath—an interpretation which no man can justify; but with regard to the great body of Roman Catholic Members, he believed their interpretation of the oath was based on considerations of integrity, truth, and honour. He was, therefore, not afraid of injury to the Established Church from any of those sources. But if we were to be afraid because we had admitted Roman Catholics, he did not see why, if we had proceeded in a wrong direction on one occasion, we should still continue on other occasions to proceed in a wrong direction. If they were wrong in repealing the Test and Corporation Acts, and the Roman Catholic disabilities, "for God's sake," he said, "do not go further—stop where you are." It was said to be a fact which no one would deny, that the words of the oath relating to the faith of a Christian, were not introduced by the framers with the view of excluding the Jews from Parliament. But the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) himself admitted that at the time the oath was framed, no one contemplated the contingency of Jews sitting in Parliament. No one, he was sure, would deny, had such a contingency been contemplated, that an Act would have been passed to prevent so great a scandal; and if the oath had had an effect not contemplated by those who framed it, it was only another proof how the constitution had grown up, and produced providential results, which were not the less valuable because not intended, and were not to be less carefully and jealously maintained. It was true there was no express law to exclude the Jews. Neither was there a law against parricide at Athens, simply because the crime was considered to be of so heinous, so deep a dye, that no one considered it could possibly occur. Our ancestors did not contemplate anything so monstrous as that Jews should be chosen by a Christian constituency to represent them in Parliament, and therefore they passed no law to exclude them. The noble Lord, speaking of the importance of religion, said a man's religion ought to be mixed up with his every act, and to influence the whole tenor of his life. No one could doubt the entire and deep conviction of the noble Lord on that point; but our ancestors went further—they considered if it was important as regarded the private career of individuals, it was even more important in the case of individuals who had public duties assigned to them. If they believed that national prosperity alone flowed from the Supreme Disposer of events, they must be of opinion that national religion was even more important than private religion. It was impossible to limit the question to its private aspect; it must be regarded in its national character. The Scriptures, the only rule of truth, left him in no doubt how to act. They abounded in exhortations to peoples, to nations, to rulers, and kings, to turn to the Lord—"to kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and so they perish;" and why or how these exhortations to them, if not in their aggregate national capacity—in their character of the governors of nations? He should have thought that the whole history of the Jewish people would have peculiarly forced itself on the recollection of the House, speaking conclusively on this point, and that the melancholy light cast over the dark ocean of revolving centuries from enduring calamity would have served as a beacon to warn men of the direct government of God, not merely with regard to the actions and responsibilities of individuals, but with regard to the conduct and destinies of nations. He freely admitted that the Jews discharged all their social duties properly. He was disposed to concede all social rights as individuals; but he could see no analogy in the argument that therefore he ought to admit them to legislate. It was said that in the House of Commons resided the sovereign power, tempered by the House of Lords and the Crown; and yet it was proposed to advance Jews to this sovereign power. It was true that both the power of the House of Lords and the Crown bad been overwhelmed iu some cases by the force of public opinion. Neither large majorities nor opinion out of doors would probably enter into the consideration of this question. But when they considered that power was really vested in this House, surely it should make them very jealous and very careful when they came to deal with a measure which affected its constitution. They should take care not to bring into contempt their own representative institutions; they should take care not to make Christian men doubt whether they were fit and competent for the government of the Christian State. He should certainly resist the further progress of the Bill. The noble Lord opposite invited them to pass the Bill, and to sweep away the last vestige of religious intolerance, by doing which we should have a millennium of peace and contentment. This was all very attractive, but it was deficient in the element of truth, which was not very usual with the statements of the noble Lord. Were there no exclusions in this Bill and other Bills; were there no exceptions in favour of certain high offices? Would the House be surprised if the hon. Member for Meath (Mr. Lucas), taking the noble Lord's hint, should bring in a Bill to remove that restriction which declares that the wearer of the British Crown shall hold the Protestant faith? He attached no importance to the expectations of the noble Lord. If this concession was granted, it would merely be the forerunner of the demand for greater concessions and greater sacrifices. On these and other grounds he should move that the Bill be read that day six months.

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

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


said, that the hon. Gentleman who had just addressed the House had certainly read an admirable lecture to the Government of the country with respect to the formation of Governments generally—into which subject, however, he declined to follow him—but a little further on in his speech the hon. Member had asserted that a nation's greatness arose from God alone, and hence he drew the conclusion that the House ought to reject the present Bill, otherwise, as a nation, we should be punished for our sins. The hon. Member had, in passing, alluded to the history of the Jews; but, unfortunately, he had omitted to give the House any proofs of how that history supported his position. He (Mr. Kirk) had read over the history of the Jewish nation with some care, and the conclusion which he had drawn from it was exactly the contrary of that of the hon. Member. It was now a period of 3,774 years since it pleased God to choose that people as a peculiar race, and in selecting Abraham as their great progenitor he used these remarkable words, "I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed." The first remarkable proof of the fulfilment of this promise was shown in the case of the Jews in Egypt; for we were told that while the Egyptians were kind to the Jews they were blessed beyond example, but that immediately they began to oppress them the Egytians were almost destroyed, and at length the King of Egypt and the flower of his army were drowned in the Red Sea. Another example was found in the fate of the Assyrians, who carried away "the ten tribes"—that remarkable nation having been subsequently so completely destroyed, that almost nothing remained to indicate their existence but those remarkable relics which we now saw in the British Museum. Next came the Empire of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar was raised up to punish the Jewish people. He carried them away captive to Babylon. But Babylon herself, because of her cruel treatment of the Jews, was punished and destroyed, and nothing now remained of that great Empire but similar relics dug from the buried capital. The Persians were the only nation which continued in unvarying kindness to the Jews; and of all the ancient nations, Persia alone remained to the present day. It was perfectly true that Egypt, which had held the peculiar people of God in bondage, remained till the present day, but she was in that state to which the Jewish prophet said she would be reduced; she was now "among the basest of kingdoms, a servant of servants being her ruler." Next came the Roman Empire. Rome, like Babylon, Egypt, and other countries, was commissioned by God to punish the Jews. Titus was made an instrument in the hands of God to punish the Jews for the violation of His laws. The Roman Empire was at that time in the zenith of her power. In the course of a few centuries afterwards the Roman Emperors began to persecute this remarkable people, and accused them of the most diabolical crimes. The result was, that the Roman Empire, from that time, began to decline. It ultimately fell, and became but a matter of history. He believed that the day was not far distant when the Jews would be gathered back to their own land, and he hoped that England would, by the adoption of the Bill, be the first to aid the Jews in their career. The Jews, no doubt, were a degraded race. The worst vices of the worst portion of that race were falsely said to be the vices of the whole race. It must be borne in mind that every race, circumstanced as was the Jewish, became, in the course of time, as bad as was that race. Every degraded people resisted force, violence, and oppression, by fraud and cunning; in fact, nothing else was left to them. But let hon. Members consider what the Jews were in the days of their freedom. What other people had produced a lawgiver like Moses, a ruler like Joseph, a philosopher like Soloman, a poet like David, or a statesman like Daniel, who, from being originally a captive slave, became the prime minister of five successive monarchs? It had been said that the admission of Jews into the Legislature would unchristianise it. Now, was it not a fact that the Psalms of David—the Jewish shepherd boy, poet, warrior, and ruler—formed a portion of the daily service of the Church of England? These psalms were written by a Jew for the service of the Jewish temple, and he believed it was the boast of the Church of England that her version of them was nearer to the original Hebrew than that of any other Church. Now, if the argument about unchristianising the Legislature by the admission of Jews were good, had not he a fair right to conclude that the use of the Jewish psalms must unchristianise the Church of England? He believed that the Jews would finally be restored to their own country. The same high authority Moses—Which had predicted their dispersion, had predicted their return. The words were, "The Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and bring thee unto the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and He will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers." Every one of the prophets pointed to a restoration of the Jews to their own land. Ezekiel said; "I will take you from amongst the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and bring you unto your own land." Amos, Isaiah, and Jeremiah, uttered similar prophecies. There was one particular passage in Isaiah, relating to the restoration of the Jews, to which he more especially begged the attention of the House. It occurred in the 62nd chapter of Isaiah, and was as follows: "Thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name." He (Mr. Kirk) believed that that new name would be "Christian." Leaving the Jewish authorities, he would remind the House that St. Paul, arguing on this very subject, said, "to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever, Amen;" thus grafting the purest Christianity on this very argument, and summing up all in these words, "If the casting away of the Jews be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be but life from the dead?" St. Paul had also declared of the Jews, that "unto them were committed the oracles of God." The care which they manifested in the custody and transcript of these oracles was well known, as they not only counted the words but even the letters of the sacred writings. He (Mr. Kirk) believed that the restoration of the Jews would take place at no distant day. He presumed not to prophesy, nor to interpret prophecy; but there were certain features in the present times which seemed to him to indicate a speedy accomplishment of the prophecy in favour of the Jews. In the last times, it was said that people should run to and fro, and that knowledge should be increased. Now, probably the present century had realised more in that respect than one reading that prophecy would have anticipated. He would only glance at the steamboats and electric telegraph, but would remind the House, that almost throughout the whole world, now-a-days, people were enabled to "run to and-fro" by means of railways. The Jewish people resident in this country seemed to be most anxious to have representatives of their own race in the House of Commons. Might not that desire be an indication of the coming fulfilment of the prophecy as to their restoration? Might it not be in the designs of Providence that the leaders of the Jews in this country should obtain seats in our House of Parliament, in order that they might become thoroughly acquainted with our mode of legislation, and subsequently legislate for the Jews in their own country after the English model? This House being, as it were, a sort of normal school for their instruction, would not the admission of Jews to our Legislature induce the Jews, when restored to their own land, to become the firmest friends of Great Britain? And the friendship of such a people, when restored, and in possession not simply of Palestine, as they had it in the days of David, and Solomon, but of all that was originally promised to them, of the whole of the land extending from the Euphrates to the Nile, and from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, would be of no little advantage to the people of these realms. That land which would come into the possession of the Jews would be the most fertile and the most desirable in the world. It would form part of the highway from Great Britain to Indian and Australian Colonies. The Jews, in possession of their own land, would undoubtedly become one of the most important nations upon the earth. That was prophesied of them. Upon every ground, therefore, both of justice and of public policy, he called upon the House to vote in favour of the third reading of the Bill.


said, he had presented some petitions from the north of Ireland on this subject, and he was desirous of saying a few words in support of the prayer of them. He had often heard the question discussed, but had never yet taken part in any of those discussions. His views were not prejudiced with reference to the Jews, for he looked upon them with interest and with wonder. He regarded the Jew as a living miracle, and he agreed in the opinion which had been expressed by that distinguished man (Mr. Erskine), that if every book and record of Christianity were effaced from the earth, still the truth of Christianity would be proved by the condition of the Jews existing in the land. He must also disclaim the least prejudice against the Gentleman who naturally aspired to the high distinction of a seat in that House. If the principles of the constitution entitled that Gentleman to a seat within those walls, in his (Mr. Whiteside's) opinion they ought at once to grant his claim; but if the principles of the constitution, established for generations, were opposed to that claim, however much he might regret the conclusion, he must maintain that they ought not to violate those principles by admitting him. He respected the feeling of those who advocated the admission of the Jews, if it sprung from a regard for the principle of toleration; but, in the present instance, he thought the principle was misapplied, because it was for those who advocated that principle to make out that the admission of Jews was consistent, not with the words of the oath—for he regarded that as a trifling part of the argument—but with the deeply-settled principle of the law and constitution under which we lived. The present was no abstract question. He declined to argue it on abstract grounds. He declined to say what it might be right for the people of France to do under their constitution—if they had any constitution—or to be bound by their precedents and conduct. It was his duty to discuss the question with reference to the constitution of England, and the system under which he lived. The right hon. Secretary at War had, a few nights since, argued the case with great ability in favour of the admission of the Jews to Parliament, and the right hon. Gentleman contended that this was the case of an individual who had been excluded accidentally by certain words in the Oath, the principles of the constitution being in his favour. Now, if that right hon. Gentleman could prove what he asserted, he (Mr. Whiteside) would instantly vote for the admission of the Jews; but he had the high authority of the noble Lord the Member for the City of London (Lord J. Russell), who had some time ago stated what he understood to be the extent of the principle on which he (Mr. Whiteside) rested his argument—namely, that Christianity was part and parcel of the law of England. The noble Lord's words were— It is said that Christianity is part and parcel of the law of the land. I have always understood the meaning of that statement to be, as I have heard it interpreted by several learned persons, that any writings reviling and blaspheming the Christian religion, the Scriptures being part of the law of the land, are illegal, and that those who so revile and blaspheme may be punished; but I never understood it to mean anything beyond that. Now he would frankly admit that if the noble Lord could establish that proposition, he would be disposed to vote with him. He (Mr. Whiteside) maintained that in every part of the system of the law and constitution of England, Christianity was to be found. He treated the oath merely as the exposition of a deep and settled principle of the law, for they would be excluding Baron Rothschild upon a quibble if there were not stronger ground to rest his exclusion upon than that. Some few years since it was his (Mr. Whiteside's) lot to have to investigate and argue a very curious and interesting question—namely, whether by the common law of England the contract of marriage was a religious contract, and required a religious ceremony to make it perfect, or whether it was merely a civil engagement. This did not rest upon any Statute, but merely upon principle, because there was no general Marriage Act in Ireland. The question involved, first, the ascertaining of the principle of the Christian Church, from the earliest times; and, secondly, ascertaining whether the common law of England incorporated the principles of Christianity. Lord Stowell, a great authority, having been of opinion that marriage was merely a civil contract, the question came before the House of Lords. It had been determined in Ireland that Christianity was part of the common law of the country; that the law of the Christian Church from the earliest times made marriage a religious engagement; and that consequently by the law of this country, as contradistinguished from the civil and canon law, marriage must be so regarded. He (Mr. Whiteside) had before him the elaborate judgment of Chief Justice Tindal, in which he asserted the early doctrine of the law of this country. He said, giving the unanimous opinion of the Judges of England— At all times, by the common law of England it was essential to the constitution of a full and complete marriage that there must be some religious solemnity; that both modes of obligation should exist together, the civil and the religious. Besides the civil contract, that is, the contract per verba de prœsenti, which has always remained the same, there has at all times been also a religious ceremony, which has not always remained the same, but has varied from time to time according to the variation of the laws of the Church, with respect to which ceremony it is to be observed that whatever at any time has been held by the law of the Church to be a sufficient religious ceremony of marriage, the same has at all times satisfied the common law of England in that respect. In the progress of the argument in that case the instance of the Jews was put to the Judges, and it was said, "If there must be a Christian ceremony, how are the Jews married? "The only answer given was, that the common law of England was not made for Jews, and knew them not; that at best it but connived at them; that there was no principle in that law that was not bottomed on Christianity. A question arose in a case, "Lindo v. Belisario," whether a ward in Chancery, a Jewess, who had been carried off by tho defendant, was married; and Lord Stowell, before whom the question came, said he could only deal with these persons as with persons belonging to a foreign nation, and by the aid of questions which he put to learned rabbis here and abroad, he found out what the customs and principles of the foreign nation were, and so determined upon the validity of the marriage, with reference to their laws, and not with reference to the law of this country, the law Christian. Of the law of this country, Christianity was the foundation; and the policy of the State and the constitution of the country rested upon Christianity, and the proofs were so numerous that he was at a loss to make a selection. In Fortes-cue's treatise, De Laudibus Legum Angliœ, a book of the time of Henry VI., and a book of which Sir William Jones said that every word of it had the preciousness of gold, it was laid down that our laws rested upon Christianity. The book was a dialogue between the young prince and the Chancellor; and when the prince urged that there was a passage in the New Testament that he thought not in accordance with the law of the land, Fortescue answered that the law and the Scriptures were in perfect conformity, that they must be identical, and that wherever a law contradicted and contravened the doctrine of Holy Writ, that law could not be the law of England. He described how the Judges passed their time:— The Judges, when they have taken their refreshments, spend the rest of the day in the study of the laws and reading of the Holy Scriptures. Their time is spent free from care and worldly avocations, nor was it ever found that any of them had been corrupted with gifts or bribes, and it has been observed, as an especial dispensation of Providence, that they have been happy in leaving behind them immediate descendants in a right line. 'Thus is the man blessed that serveth the Lord;' which is written of the righteous, 'Their seed shall endure for ever.' There was at this day, in the other House, a lineal descendant of Lyttleton, who wrote in the time of Edward IV. We had no forms, no principles, the title of no term, no holiday, that was not bottomed on Christianity. In the reign of Edward I. it was found that there were too many days of the Christian church in which men were not permitted to be sworn upon the Evangelists, and there was an Act passed to remedy the evil. Lord Coke, commenting upon the Statute, said, that in the common law there were dies juridici and dies non juridici, and he mentioned, as of the latter kind— The Lord's dayes throughout the whole year, so called because the Lord and Saviour of the world did arise again on that day; and this was the ancient law of England, and extended not only to legal proceedings, but contracts, and it is truly said, Reges qui serviunt Christum, faciunt leges pro Christo." What was Easter term named from? By the ancient common law of England a man could not alien such lands as he had by descent without the consent of his heir (perhaps not a bad law); but there was an exception in favour of Christianity, for the owner might give a fourth to God—to such persons as were consecrated to the service of God—and they who held such land (in frankalmoigne), were bound to make prayers for the souls of the grantors, and for the souls of their heirs who were dead, and for the prosperity of their heirs who were alive. When the Reformation came this was still regarded; the law maintained the principles of the Church known to the law, and the service thenceforward was to be performed according to the principles of the Church of the Reformation, which was then the Church of the land. One could understand a Radical, who said our whole system was wrong, and ought to be changed; but the admission of the Jews to Parliament was quite incompatible with the maintenance of our system and our laws. Not merely was Christianity preferred; every other system was excluded. A Jew left money to teach Judaism; it was urged that his was a part of our religion; but it was held that the intent of the bequest must be taken to be in contradiction to the Christian religion, which was a part of the law of the land; and he observed that the Toleration Act put the re- ligion of Dissenters under certain regulations, and those religions were rendered legal, but that that was not the case of the Jewish religion, which was not taken notice of by any law, but was barely connived at by the Legislature. This opinion had also been expressed by Lord Hale; and in the case of the Bedford charity, where, although no words in the statutes excluded the Jews, they were declared by the Courts to be ineligible, because they were not Christians. Suppose to-morrow morning Baron Rothschild wrote and published that Christ was an impostor, the New Testament a fiction, and Christianity a lie; what was to be done with him? The Attorney General must indict him for blasphemy. Now, Baron Rothschild was demanding admission to that House to do at the table of that House, by his conduct, that which was equivalent to asserting what has been mentioned. ["No, no!"] No doubt it would be bad taste in him to use such words, but in coming to the table and refusing to be sworn as a Christian—honestly and manfully refusing it—he would deny the truth of Christianity, and proclaim it a fiction; and the law of the country pronounced that, if done openly and publicly, to be blasphemy. It was sometimes said we were a race of feeble bigots. Well, Lord Coke was somewhat bigoted, but he understood the common law tolerably well. Was Hale a bigot? [An Hon. MEMBER: Yes.] Would that we had a few more then! It was difficult to say whether he understood law or divinity best. It was the fashion now to compliment despotism; Cromwell—whom the men of mind of the present day took every opportunity of extolling—took Hale to be his Judge. There was an indictment against a person for saying that religion was a cheat, and for speaking of our Saviour in contumelious terms; and Sir Matthew Hale held that to reproach the Christian religion was to speak in subversion of the law. The man was sentenced to the pillory and a fine. The different Christian sects had a right to argue with one another from Scripture; but to deny or speak against the Christian religion was an offence against the fundamental laws of the realm. Lord Erskine eloquently stated the principles of the law upon this subject in conducting the prosecution of Williams, the publisher of Paine's Age of Reason; and there was prefixed to the trial an opinion of the late Sir John Bayley as to the relation of Christianity and the State; he held that they were identical, and that the law rested on Christianity. Lord Kenyon laid it down that he who impugned the Christian religion was guilty of a crime. It was blasphemy to say that the Author of it was an impostor. To say that, would, by the law, conduct a person to the dock. But was a man to be placed upon the bench to try a person for saying and writing what he himself conscientiously believed and said? It would be remembered that there was the modern case of "Eaton" in the State Trials, for blasphemous libel, asserting that Scripture was a fable, and denying Christ's resurrection, divinity, and miracles. Lord Ellenborough said, when it was urged that Paine's Age of Reason was not prosecuted in America, "that their conduct was not to influence us"—it was not our principle—"and that to deny the truth of the book which was the foundation of our faith had never been permitted." The same principle was asserted in Carlyle's case. In the case of "Waddington," which was an information against the defendant for a blasphemous libel, the effect of the libel was to impugn the authenticity of the Scriptures, and to assert that Jesus Christ was an impostor. Lord Tenterden told the jury that, if they believed the evidence, the publication was a libel. These were the words in which the law was laid down the other day:— It is not necessary for me to say whether it be libellous to argue from the Scriptures against the Divinity of Christ—that is not what the defendant professes to do; he argues against the Divinity of Christ by denying the truth of the Scriptures. A work containing such arguments, published maliciously"—[An Hon. MEMBER: Hear, hear!]—is by the common law a libel, and the Legislature has never altered this law, nor can it ever do so while"—what?—"while the Christian religion is considered to be the basis of that law. The Christian religion, therefore, was the basis of the law. An hon. Member caught at the word "maliciously." The law was not so absurd as to let a man knock one down, and say he did not do it maliciously. The intention was inferred from the act; and whether a man assailed the monarchy, or whether a man assailed the sovereignty of Heaven, malice would be inferred from the libel he printed, He wanted to hear it proved how the present measure could be passed consistently with that principle which operated in our Courts of common law and of criminal law, in our ancient laws of tenure and of marriage? Did not Christianity pervade every part of our sys- tem? What did an indictment against a man who had taken the life of a fellow-creature say? That he had done the deed, "not having the fear of God before his eyes." The last words addressed to the condemned criminal by a Judge—and there was no difference in this respect between the Roman Catholic and the Protestant Judge—told him to look for hope to the Divine Power of our religion where mercy was denied in this life. It must be admitted that Baron Rothschild was frank, consistent, and without a particle of hypocrisy. He claimed to come to the table denying Christianity. If he were a barrister—learned and accomplished as he was—he might, if this measure had been carried, have reached the bench. A Christian Judge told the criminal to look for mercy to the Divine Power of our religion. What was to prevent Baron Rothschild from saying, if he should have reached the bench—"I warn you, misguided man, whatever else be your hope, not to look to the false Prophet of Nazareth." If Baron Rothschild ascended the bench, he would every day be contradicting the law which he was bound to administer. The supporters of the Bill were endeavouring to make out what no man had been able to prove. What was the legal history of the Jew? Dr. Haggard had collected the particulars in an appendix to the case of "Lindo v. Belisario." Those very gentlemen who were of the family of Rothschild were of a foreign country. They took pride in pointing out in Frankfort the house of Rothschild. William the Norman first brought the Jews in any number to this country. Then in the time of Edward I. they left the country. It was a mistake to say they were banished. Our forefathers did not like the usury of the Jews, and the Jews of that day practised usury; and the Statute which was passed under the title De Judaismo, was not against the existence of the Jews in this country, but against usury. Coke said— This law struck at the root of this pestilent weed, for hereby usury itself was forbidden, and thereupon the cruel Jews, thirsting after wicked gain, to the number of 15,060, departed out of this realm into foreign parts, where they might use their Jewish trade of usury, and from that time that nation never returned again to this realm. They applied to Edward I. for a warrant to protect them and their property, and he granted it, and a most curious document it was. It was said the Jews did not return till the days of Cromwell. The petition from Hamburgh was given in the book to which he referred. It was not the case that the Jews returned in the time of Cromwell; they did not return till the reign of Charles II. It was contended that the principles of the constitution were in favour of the Jews. There was an old law forbidding a Christian from marrying a Jew. He admitted that those laws were intolerant; but he referred to them to show, that it was impossible to argue, because there were no formal words of an oath levelled at the Jews, that a Jew could sit in Parliament. What was the rest of their short history? In 1752 it had been attempted to pass a Bill to naturalise the Jews in a mass. That Bill was carried, but was next year repealed, not in accordance with the desire of the Ministers of that day, but because the people of England were dissatisfied. That was the last occasion on which the Jews were heard of in English history—which ran back a thousand years—till a very recent period. He was surprised to hear people say that it was not in accordance with the constitution that the Jews were excluded, but by the words of the oath. The Bill proved the truth of all he said. Supposing Baron Rothschild were to become a successor of his Colleague the noble Lord the Member for the City of London (Lord J. Russell), and to become Prime Minister of England, what would Section 6 do? It would indict him if he offered advice to the Queen of England with respect to appointments in the Church of England. The position of the First Minister of the Crown was therefore incompatible with the profession of Judaism. By Section 4, Jews were excluded from sitting in all ecclesiastical courts of the realm. Why? He was speaking, not of the canon law, but of the King's ecclesiastical law, which was as old as any portion of the law. Jews were excluded from ecclesiastical courts because it was absurd to have a Jew sitting in those courts as a Judge. The very necessity for the exclusion proved the case against the Bill. By Section 3, further exclusions from office were declared. All those offices were incompatible with the profession of Judaism, and all those exclusions proved that the law of the country, the practice and the principles of the constitution, were all against the profession of Judaism. The fact that Jews discharged certain duties, obeying the law, did not furnish an argument that they ought to be permitted to make laws for the Christian Church. The kings of England were called defenders of the faith—that was, of the Christian faith; and the Legislature of the country was affected by a like principle. Baron Rothschild was under an inability to sit in that House, because the constitution was against Judaism. If a descendant of the old Scottish Covenanters, who were inveterate rebels, were to refuse the oath of allegiance because his conscience objected, were the House to remove the disability under which he was placed by abolishing the oath of allegiance? They would say that the oath was intended for loyal men; and if that person were not prepared to take it he might walk about his business. So, if Baron Rothschild were not a Christian, but blindly shut his eyes to the truth, he (Mr. Whiteside) could not consent to relieve Baron Rothschild at the expense of sacrificing the fundamental principles of the constitution. An American writer and speaker some time since had occasion to comment on the conduct of the people of this country in carrying the question of slave emancipation. It was curious to see to what he ascribed that emancipation. He was not affected by our local prejudices; but, looking to the effects which resulted from the working of the constitution, assuming that constitution to rest on Christianity, that eminent writer and speaker (whose severe remarks on his own country he should forbear from reading) used the following language:— When I look at West Indian emancipation, what strikes me most forcibly and most joyfully is the spirit in which it had its origin. What broke the slaves' chain? Did a foreign invader summon them to his standard, and reward them with freedom for their help in conquering their masters; or did they owe liberty to their own exasperated valour—to courage maddened by despair—to massacre and unsparing revenge? No; West Indian emancipation was the fruit of Christian principle acting on the mind and heart of a great people. The liberator of these slaves was Jesus Christ; that love which rebuked disease and death, and set their victims free, broke the heavier chain of slavery. The conflict against slavery began in England about fifty years ago. It began with Christians. It was in its birth a Christian enterprise. Its power was in the consciences and generous sympathy of men who bad been trained in the school of Christ. The same great speaker and writer said this Legislature acted on Christian principles, and the people who chose it were Christians. If this country were great, if its people were happy, that greatness and that happiness were, more than to any other cause, to be ascribed to the fact that Christianity had been upheld, and that it had been the animating principle in all our public affairs, at least in the sight of the world, for centuries past. He spoke not of the conqueror's false renown; but under the influence of Christianity the savage had been reclaimed, the slave had been set free. He would not alter that system which could produce such great results. On the contrary, he said, from the bottom of his heart, "May it be perpetual!"


said, that in his arguments the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Whiteside) had travelled into the common law, and traced its history down to the present day. He had given his own statement of the rights and position of persons who entered into controversies respecting the Christian religion, with regard to which he (Mr. Serjeant Murphy) was bound to say that, however much he might agree with the hon. and learned Gentleman's law, he must totally dissent from the gloss he had put upon it. The hon. and learned Gentleman had quoted the noble Lord the Member for the City of London. He (Mr. Serjeant Murphy) agreed with the noble Lord that the highest authorities in the law had approved this interpretation of its meaning, that while Christianity was engrafted on the constitution, you should not by reviling, scoffing, or blasphemy, call it in question; but that you should not, because Christianity was engrafted on the constitution, oppress a religion reasonably opposed to it on fair, earnest, sincere, and conscientious grounds. Two questions arose—what was Christianity, and what was the common law of England? Was the common law of England a thing of yesterday's growth? Was it utterly inflexible and unchangeable—a rigid and iron rule that never changed and never altered to suit the exigencies of the time and the changes of opinion? On the contrary, it adapted itself to new circumstances, and was what wise judicial interpretations, as well as statutory declarations, made it. For instance, the old form of the common law required that oaths should be taken on the Gospels. In course of time, we became possessed of India; new subjects came among us—Mahomedans, Parsees, and Brahmins. Lord Hardwicke, one of the great interpreters of the common law of England, laid it down that the common law was wide enough to accommodate itself to circumstances without any statutory interference, and that it was not inconsistent with the common law that a Hindoo should swear according to the form binding on him. The hon. and learned Gentleman, therefore, mistook the meaning of the phrase, that Christianity was part and parcel of the common law, if he believed Christianity to be the all-pervading system which was the be-all and end-all of the constitution, and without conforming to which no one would be admitted within its pale. The hon. and learned Gentleman alluded to Fortescue, the tutor of Henry VI., who wrote De Laudibus Legum Angliœ. Lord Coke had given two remarkable instances of the interpretation given to that dogma—that Christianity was part and parcel of the common law. Lollardites and Wickliffites were indicted as heretics; and some of them were burnt at the stake, under the common law, because it was held that Christianity was part and parcel of the law of the land. What did the dogma mean? It implied that blasphemous, obscene, or scoffing libels were to be punished. If Baron Rothschild, in his synagogue with his rabbis, or any Jewish professor, should speak of Christianity without insulting the Christian religion, or published a work acknowledging, our Redeemer to be a just and wise man, yet, looking to the Old and New Testaments, declared that he did not fulfil the idea of the Messiah, would the Attorney General prosecute that man for an offence against the common law of England? The hon. Gentleman said, you must not put a Jew on the bench because he might tell a prisoner whom he condemned to death that he was not to appeal to our Redeemer: the reply was, the Judge is not on the bench to give his own opinions—he is there to interpret the law; and if any Judge on the bench should be guilty of such audacity and impropriety, there is a remedy in Parliament, and a means, by an address to the Crown, to get rid of any one guilty of such an enormity. For himself, from the period of Roman Catholic Emancipation, he had seen no tenable reason for the exclusion of the Jews from Parliament. Indeed, he always considered that the nearer parties came to the religion of the State, when they differed from it, the more dangerous was their admission to Parliament; he looked upon cognate religions, which did not agree, as upon family relations, who, if they did not agree, entertained for each other the more bitter animosity just on account of their relationship. The late Attorney General (Sir F. Thesiger), when he spoke on a former occasion, said that the Jews looked forward to another country as their home, and therefore should not be allowed to legislate for this. We, as Christians, were the last who should urge such an argument; for, avowedly, their return to their home was to be coeval and contemporaneous with the coming of the Messiah, and, according to our faith, that Messiah had already come. The hon. and learned Gentleman (Sir F. Thesiger) had employed another, and to some degree a puerile, argument. He said that if the Jews were admitted to Parliament, they must keep their Sabbath and their holidays, and could not observe their duties to the House consistently with their duties to their religion. He could not help being amused at this argument, for it might as well have been said that they could not vote on the Navy Estimates because a portion of those estimates were a matter of food which they were not permitted by their law to use. The hon. and learned Gentleman did not seem to think there were Members enough on Saturday, independent of six or seven Jews, to carry on the business of the House. That, he imagined, would not be deemed a very strong objection. It had been urged over and over again that a Judge might be called on to deliver an opinion on a matter of blasphemy which insulted that Christianity of which he was not a professor. The same thing might have happened within the last three years. Roman Catholics might sit as Judges in England, and the House would recollect that in the Queen's Bench there was the Gorham controversy, a question of much refinement and nicety with regard to baptismal regeneration. He did not profess to have understood that question, but might assume that the Catholic doctrine with regard to it differs from the Protestant. Did any one mean to tell him that any Roman Catholic Judge, whatever his own opinions, would have been incompetent to decide what were the doctrines of the Church of England? On the contrary, his being of a different Church would have been the very reason why he would have been better able to form a judgment as to what were the doctrines of the Church of England. It was said that the convictions of a Jewish Judge trying a case of blasphemy would run counter to the law; but a Judge was bound to act, not as the expounder of his own views, but of the law as it stood; and if he failed to do so, he could be removed by an address from the House of Commons to the Crown. It had been said that the Judges were bound to read the Scriptures at their leisure moments. If that were so, it was unfortunate that some of the wisest of them had not read them to more purpose, for in that case Sir Matthew Hale would not have signalised his career by burning a poor old woman. The hon. Member for Elgin (Mr. C. Bruce) had addressed to the House a speech which seemed to have been prepared for the debate on the Clergy Reserves Bill. While listening to the hon. Member, he was reminded of an anecdote related of a namesake—it might be an ancestor—of the hon. Member. When Robert Bruce was lying in concealment, he observed a spider attempting to weave its web. For a long time the insect was baffled by opposing circumstances, but it persevered, and at length triumphed over its difficulties. Robert Bruce drew a lesson from this; he also persevered and succeeded. The hero's namesake (the hon. Member for Elgin), had this night persevered also, but success was denied him. He went through the operation of weaving the thread of his discourse very assiduously, but it was broken again and again by the Clergy Reserves question, of which he found it impossible to steer clear. He had also thought fit to attack the noble Lord the Member for Dumfriesshire for his vote on this occasion. As a Scotch-Member, however, the noble Lord had less reason to be anxious on the subject, as it was notorious that no Jews could pick up a living in Scotland. The instruction of the people there was too much for them.


said, it was not from any antipathy to the Jew that he objected to his admission into Parliament. He did not object to the incorporation of another race amongst us, because we were a mixed race ourselves. He objected to the admission into the Legislature of the Jew solely on account of his creed. The noble Lord (Lord John Russell) who had introduced the measure, had spoken of the Jews as being few in number. He (Mr. Child) admitted that that was no argument for their exclusion; but he had yet to learn that the insignificance of any argument was the best criterion of its truth, and that because the Jews were few in number, therefore they ought to be admitted to take their seats in Parliament. The noble Lord's argument that, as the Jews were so few in number, their admission could not detract from the Christianity of the Legislature, was not, in his (Mr. Child's) view of the question, an argument for their admission: to his mind, it appeared much more like an apology. The noble Lord contended that a majority of that House would still continue to be Christian, notwithstanding the admission of a few Jews. But if this Bill should pass into a law, that would be merely an accidental state of things, and it was unbecoming the Legislature to act on such a principle. The noble Lord did not deny that it was desirable for the House to continue Christian in its character. Then why did he seek to destroy that attribute which he confessed to be so valuable? If this Bill should pass, and Members be no longer required to take the oath, then the House would cease ipso facto to be Christian. The noble Lord lamented the diversity of sects, and any one would naturally conclude that he would endeavour to mitigate the evil. But how did he propose to promote unity? By the introduction of another discordant element. How did he propose to change diversity into agreement? By the addition of another sect, which held the belief of every other to be false and blasphemous. The noble Lord talked of the necessity of maintaining intact the temple of civil and religious liberty, and yet he called on the Honse to do that which would destroy the keystone of the building. He willingly acknowledged the industry and energy which distinguished many of that remarkable people, the Jews, and admitted that their foreign origin ought to be no bar to their admission to the privileges of a mixed race, such as the English were. The noble Lord almost seemed to scorn the utility of oaths, and asked of what use was the oath which admitted such men as Wilkes, Bolingbroke, and others of a similar character? He (Mr. Child) admitted that the oath was not able to keep out such men. Neither would bolts nor bars prevent the committal of burglary. But because they would not prevent the committal of burglary, would the noble Lord introduce an Act declaring burglary a lawful avocation, and that the use of bolts and bars was a useless and needless precaution? The secret unbeliever and the concealed Deist might find admittance into Parliament. They could only look to outward conformity, for the law did not deal with secret views, but only such as affected the well-being of society. Because it was impossible to prevent falsehood, would the noble Lord abolish the punishment for perjury? It had been said that if the Bill should be rejected, it would be an insult to the constituency which had elected a Jewish representative. Now, he did not see any force in that argument. Various disqualifications were recognised, and during the present Session many Gentlemen had been declared unduly elected for certain disqualifications. But were the constituencies who sent these Gentlemen to Parliament insulted by the decisions of the Committees? No such thing. It could not be an insult to a constituency not to admit a man to Parliament, when that constituency, with its eyes open, chose to elect one who was disqualified. It appeared to him, on the contrary, that the constituency was rather attempting to violate the constitution by attempting to force the law. If this Bill should pass into a law, there was nothing to prevent the control of that House being placed in Hebrew hands; and when parties were nicely balanced, what was to hinder these Gentlemen from exercising an important and dangerous influence on all that the country held sacred? This might be one way of completing what the noble Lord called the edifice of civil and religious liberty. These certainly were captivating terms. But what was really meant by the expression? Was it intended that the Hindoo, the Mussulman, the Pagan—that each false worship, that each degrading superstition found in the confines of our vast Empire, was to have its exponent in that assembly? Was that the desire of the noble Lord? If so, let it be proclaimed, that the House might duly appreciate such a triumph of civil and religious liberty. If Christianity was to be sacrificed, let it be done honestly, and not by a sidewind—let it be done by bold and comprehensive measures, and not by pursuing a circuitous course. This was a grave and constitutional question, involving an alteration which would abrogate the Christian character of Parliament. As the law now stood, the profession of Christianity was imperatively required of every Member of that House; but by the alteration proposed; the noble Lord admitted that the belief of Christianity by a Member of Parliament was nearly superfluous, and implied that one creed was as good as another, and that no creed was as good as the best. The noble Lord professed to promote "religious liberty" by ignoring all religion. Like a great conqueror, he would "create a solitude and call it peace." It was said that the Jew was persecuted, and those who opposed this measure were described as bigots. Now what was the evidence of this persecution? Was not the law as open to the Jew as to the Christian? Was not his property equally secure, and his person alike protected? Did he not enjoy the privilege of the franchise? Was it persecution that a Jew could not hold a seat in that assembly when he paid the common taxes of the realm? If so, then the clergy, women, minors, and every person unqualified, was equally persecuted. Was it bigotry to maintain Christian principles for a Christian people? Was it bigotry to maintain the Coronation oath, the Protestant succession, the Christian Church? Was it persecution to maintain with Blackstone that Christianity is part of the common law of England? Was it bigotry to maintain this country as a Christian one, and not give up our Christian character, and call ourselves a mere trading and commercial community? If this Bill should pass, it would be idle to retain on the coin of the realm the style of "Defender of the Faith," as one of the attributes of the Sovereign, when we did not possess even a Christian Parliament. He protested against the passing of a measure which would allow the representatives of the people to cast off the outward and visible sign of Christianity, and repudiate the Christian character of the country.


said, this subject had been so frequently discussed that it was scarcely possible to adduce any new arguments; but he certainly must somewhat except the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen (Mr. Whiteside), for undoubtedly the hon. and learned Gentleman, with his accustomed energy and eloquence, had made some observations which, if they did not contain much law, certainly did possess some novelty, and he found himself called upon to endeavour to answer them. The hon. and learned Gentleman said he relied upon the position that Christianity was part of the law of the land, because it enters into all the ordinary relations of life, and began his argument by a statement of the law of marriage, adducing it as a religious contract, and denying its validity as a civil contract. Now such an argument as this, and many others of a similar nature, might be drawn with great ease from that portion of our history when the Roman Catholic was the only predominant establishment in the country, when the Church and the State were altogether one, and incapable of being separated from each other, and when, therefore, the law of the Church was the law of the State. In truth, all the arguments of the hon. and learned Gentleman had reference to Roman Catholic times, when the Church was predominant; and he might have stated that there was a writ de heretico inquirendo, which effectually excluded a great number of innocent persons, besides Jews, from the enjoyment of their rights and liberties. One of the principal arguments put forward was, that Christianity is part of the law of the country. It was so in the same sense that the duties of religion should be part of a man's duty and conscientious obligations. The hon. and learned Gentleman referred to a decision of Lord Hardwicke, to the effect that the propagation of the Jewish profession was illegal; but he omitted to state that that decision never received any confirmation, and that the Legislature interfered to prevent the repetition of any such decision. The hon. and learned Gentleman referred in a very extraordinary manner to the character in which Baron Rothschild came to the table and refused to be sworn on the New Testament, desiring to be allowed to take the oath on the Old Testament; and he remarked that, in point of fact, it amounted to a denial of the truth of Christianity, and constituted an act of blasphemy. But did the hon. and learned Gentleman forget that it was the daily habit of courts of justice to administer the oath on the Old Testament in the most sacred affairs of life and death? The hon. and learned Gentleman, also, alluded to the observance of Easter and Whitsuntide, and other festivals of a similar character, as a proof of Christianity being part of the constitution of the country. He might as well have contended that the use of the word Wednesday, which was derived from the god Woden, was a proof of the country being heathen. The opponents of the measure were bound to show some rule which, consistently with religion and policy and law, ought to exclude the Jew. The hon. and learned Gentleman spoke of the common law of England. The foundation of the common law, the great maxim embodied in their Statutes at the time when the liberties of England came to be asserted, was embraced in the declaration that "the laws of England are the birthright of the people." But the laws of England were only the expression of the right of all the natural-born subjects of the realm to the enjoyment of all the rights and liberties that could attach to a free-born subject. Then the inquiry came to be—was the Jew a natural-born subject? and was the Jew entitled, as natural-born subjects were, to all those rights and privileges? If the Jew was in the position of a natural-born subject, then they were bound to show that, in consistency with religion and policy, the law ought to exclude the Jew; because, from the time when the Roman Catholic religion ceased to have the power, and from the time when the principle of toleration came to be recognised, religion had been no disqualification with any individual who was a natural-born subject, exclusion being vindicated only on the ground of policy. The hon. and learned Gentleman was very well aware that the Roman Catholics and Dissenters were excluded from power, not on the ground of their religion, but the former on account of their supposed allegiance to a foreign Power, and the Dissenters on the ground that the Church and the State were identified, and could not be severed. Those were purely political principles of exclusion, and not religious. But with regard to the Jew, what foreign Power claimed his allegiance? and what principles did he hold that were inconsistent with the exercise of civil and political rights and obedience to the law of the country? The common law of England was pronounced to be the perfection of reason, and he wished that, on all occasions, it were found identical with that character; but it might be taken, in reference to this question, that whatever could be decided upon consistent with the enjoyment by natural-born subjects of the realm of the fullest amount of civil and political privileges, would be perfectly consonant with the common law of England. The hon. and learned Gentleman told the House that be entirely gave up insisting on the particular form of the oath of abjuration, as the ground of exclusion of the Jews. If the hon. and learned Gentleman gave up that, he gave up the whole argument, because if he had read through the records of the late decisions in the Court of Exchequer, he would have found that the only ground for his exclusion was the accidental circumstance of certain words having been introduced into the form of adjuration of an oath for a totally different object, but which words having this accidental effect were laid hold of to shut out the Jew. If, therefore, the Jew was to be excluded, let it be done directly and openly, and not by a side wind and miserable quibble, which honourable men would be ashamed to make use of against their fellow-subjects in the ordinary transactions of life. The onus lay upon those who wished to keep out the Jews to find a just ground for their exclusion; for the question stood in this extraordinary position, that they had already admitted the Jew to all other civil offices and privileges—they had invested him with political influence by giving him the elective franchise; and those who denied his right to enter that House were bound to show on what principle they could consistently stop short, and refuse him the full amount of his political rights. They all knew the famous declaration, "that it was a grievous oppression upon every natural-born Englishman (and therefore upon the Jew) to be incapacitated from serving his prince and his country." If they adopted the present measure that night, their act would have the grace of a concession made, not from external restraint, but simply from a sense of right and justice, and as being in some measure a reparation for a long series of oppressions to which the Jews had been most unjustly and undeservedly subjected. He must now approach, with delicacy and care, the religious bearings of this question, because great stress had been laid upon this branch of the argument by hon. Gentlemen opposite. It had always appeared to him a most extraordinary circumstance that there should exist in the mind of any Christian a feeling, he would not say of animosity, but of prejudice and dislike to the Jews. One hon. Gentleman had stated that he felt the admission of a Jew would be inconsistent with his Christian profession; and that, therefore, he voted for his exclusion, in the name and for the sake of Christianity. Let them consider how great a weight of obligation they laid upon themselves by adopting that principle. He was sorry to hear Christianity invoked to justify such a severe act of oppression and injustice. On that principle they were bound to show the precept or the example of the Christian religion to which they appealed. Where, then, was there one word in the New Testament which forbade the most intimate union of the Christian with the Jew, or that sanctioned the Christian in excluding the Jew from the most entire participation in his civil rights or privileges? Where was the example of the great Founder, or the earliest disciples, of Christianity, for thus excluding or oppressing the Jew? A great Apostle designated the Jews the elder brothers of Christians in the faith; reminded them that branches had been broken off that Christians might be grafted in; that God had not cast away his people; and that if blindness had happened to the Jews, it bad been for our gain. The most sublime wish of the Apostle was that he might himself even be accursed of God, that his kinsmen after the flesh might be reconciled. If the Jews had committed a crime which made the earth shudder, and the sun to veil its light, for whose benefit was it? For ours, unquestionably. There was no nation upon earth to which we were so much indebted, not only for our religion but even our morality, as to the Jews; and it was from their sacred records that our infant minds drew their earliest lessons. Instead of degrading and oppressing the Jews, they ought to endeavour to fulfil that great duty thrown on them, inculcated by Scripture itself, and by the example of the Apostles, than whom they could not pretend to be better Christians. Were they warranted at this time, in the name of Christianity, in oppressing or entertaining a prejudice against the Jews, from which its first teachers would have recoiled with horror? Let them, then, carefully guard against cherishing any such unworthy prejudice, remembering how the sacred name of Christianity had in former times been made the cloak for rapacity and cruelty towards this long-oppressed people. Rather might they more consistently be called upon, in the name and for the sake of that very Christianity to which they appealed to justify this exclusion, to assent to this Bill. The Jew born in this country, and discharging all the obligations of a citizen, had an unquestionable right to the same privileges as ourselves; and no one seriously professed to apprehend any danger to the stability of our institutions from a body like the Jews. Let the House remember that this measure was in strict accordance with our constitution, and was not only in harmony with the spirit and precepts of the New Testament, but the Old Testament also showed how the nations which received Jews into their counsels were blessed in consequence of so receiving them; and whilst it declared that the Jews, as a nation, were to be scattered, it also con- tained the denunciation of the Almighty, "The people that oppress them I will judge."


said, that although it had been his fortune on previous occasions to express his opinion upon this question, he could not refrain from again making a few observations with regard to it. He considered the subject a most important one, as it affected the character of that House in the opinion of the country, and as regarded the exercise of its highest functions. If he could view the exclusion of the Jews from Parliament as an act of oppression against which the denunciations of both the Old and New Testament—to which the hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor General had referred—were directed, he would be the last man in the world to oppose this measure. He believed that the denunciations in question did not relate to the exclusion of the Jews from political power, but rather to the subjection of them to various oppressive restrictions of a personal nature with regard to their property and other matters of a like character. The hon. and learned Gentleman had told the House that the heathen nations who took the Jews into their counsels, derived the greatest benefits from doing so, because the Jews were animated by a higher spirit than the heathens; but the analogy had not been put fairly, because the hon. and learned Gentleman ought to have shown that the Jews, when they were a nation, admitted heathens into their counsels, and derived great advantages from their wisdom and powers of eloquence, before he could urge it as an argument in favour of this Bill. That House was not precisely the place for entering into a religious discussion; but he must say he differed materially from the hon. and learned Gentleman's reading of the New Testament. The example and precepts of the Apostles and early propagators of the Gospel required them to make every sacrifice to bring the Jews to the knowledge of the truth; but he defied the hon. and learned Gentleman to show that the duty of placing them in the seat of legislation and government was anywhere inculcated in the Scriptures. The scriptural injunctions given to all placed in authority, not only to consider the temporal wants and necessities of those over whom they ruled, but to provide for their spiritual and religious welfare, precluded any such inference as that of the hon. and learned Gentleman. The hon. and learned Gentleman said it was the right of every free-born Englishman to enjoy every privilege which the State could confer so long as he paid obedience to the Crown, and fulfilled the obligations imposed upon him as a citizen; but if that was the view of the hon. and learned Gentleman, this Bill did not accomplish his object, because the Bill proposed to leave certain exclusions still standing against the Jew; and it could not be said that from want either of obedience to the law or want of capacity a Jew ought to be excluded from holding the office of advising the Crown. So that the Bill itself, by retaining this exclusion, actually violated the very principle upon which the hon. and learned Gentleman mainly based his support of it. But the hon. and learned Gentleman argued that those who had admitted the Jews to various civil offices by law, were bound to go to the full length which this Bill invited them. To that doctrine he entirely demurred, because it would form a perfect bar to any moderate reform, or the granting of any indulgence to any particular class of the community: if they were to assent to that principle, it would be conceding beforehand the right to a future demand for the removal of the restrictions which this Bill itself proposed to retain with regard to the offices to which he had referred. Nor was that all. In 1851 the noble Lord the Member for London (Lord J. Russell) brought forward a similar Bill to the present, but without any exceptions at all analogous to those which existed in his Bill now before the House. And, therefore, when the noble Lord pledged himself in 1851 that the Jews ought to be admitted to every office in the State without exception, he (Mr. Goulburn) thought this an additional reason why the House should not make the concession now asked from it, which could only be considered as a ground for calling the House to go still further, and wipe away all restrictions whatsoever. The immediate object of this Bill was to admit Baron Rothschild to that House; and he must say that, for the attainment of a very small object, they were asked to make a very large sacrifice. He did not undervalue the weight and influence which Baron Rothschild derived from his wealth, and his position; but he was not prepared, for the sake of such an accession to the Members of the House, to depart from those principles with which he believed were bound up the prosperity and stability of this Empire. But if they were to look upon this as the first step towards introducing into the Legislature of a Christian country various classes of persons either holding no belief at all, or holding a belief antagonistic to their common Christianity, then he said the House would endanger its character and diminish its own weight with the country, and destroy the main foundation upon which all their legislation ought to rest. He believed it to be necessary that the person who aspired to be a legislator in a Christian country, should himself hold or profess the Christian faith. The chances were that a man endued with Christian belief would act, in civil affairs, on principles of a higher character and a more elevated nature than a man without such a belief. But they were not confined in that House to civil affairs only—they dealt with religious matters also; and they were therefore called upon not to entrust power to others who could have no sympathy with them on those matters. It had been the glory of this country from the earliest period, that every political act had been conjoined with a religious service; and they were called upon not merely to profess themselves Christians, but to accompany every political act with a religious service, according to the Christian forms. When they assembled in that House they united in common prayer for the success of their deliberations. Whenever any calamity afflicted the country, they, as a Legislature, went in a body to implore the assistance of Providence; they acknowledged their offences, and prayed that the calamity might be averted. And in the hour of triumph or victory, they offered up their joint and common thanksgivings for the benefits received. But how were they to act if they admitted amongst them persons who not only disbelieved the faith which they professed, but who were utterly unable to join in those services which were connected with their political acts? The hon. Member for Middlesex (Mr. B. Osborne) once told them that it was a solemn farce to see persons taking the oath of abjuration; but what would he say when he saw Jews kneeling down with Christians to pray in the name of the Saviour whom the one adored, but whom the other despised. Such a sight as that would be no longer a solemn farce, but hypocrisy and profanation; and, believing that a national profession of Christianity was essential to a nation's prosperity, he could not be a party to the present measure. He was favourable to giving to the Jew every possible advantage. He would agree in en- deavouring to enlighten the Jew's mind so so as to cause him to receive the truths of Christianity. But he believed it would have a most dangerous and prejudicial effect on the religion of the country to agree to this measure, and that the opinion which the country must entertain of the principle that actuated that House was calculated to work an amount of mischief which would not be compensated by any beneficial effect from admitting the Jews into the Legislature.


said, that at so late an hour he would not address the House at any length upon a subject which had been so often and so well debated, but that he could not bring himself to give a silent vote, leaving unanswered some of the arguments advanced by speakers on the other side. The Scriptural arguments that had been brought forward in support of the measure, had been most ably met and convincingly refuted by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Goulburn) who had preceded him. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor General for England, and the hon. Gentleman the Member for Newry (Mr. Kirk), had quoted passages from St. Paul, which they contended were in favour of the admission of Jews; but those Gentlemen had overlooked or forgotten the context, to which he would now refer them. In the 11th chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, from which they had quoted, and in which St. Paul describes himself as of "the seed of Abraham," and as "the Apostle of the Gentiles," whom he emphatically warned against participating in the unbelief of the Jews: these he designates as the "natural branches" which "God spared not," but which "were broken off because of their unbelief." It was therefore unsafe for hon. Gentlemen to quote garbled passages without giving the context entire. The arguments so profusely drawn from the Old Testament by both the speakers he alluded to, would induce one to imagine they had forgotten we were not now living under the Jewish law, but under the Christian dispensation. The hon. and learned Solicitor General had alleged that the laws of England were the birthright of every Briton, and that Jews who were British-born subjects, were entitled to all the privileges of these laws; and he (Mr. Moore) said that the Jews were now entitled to the benefit of these laws; but they were not content with that, and sought to have the laws of England changed to suit their own purposes. To that requirement the opponents of the measure replied, with the Barons of old, Nolumus leges Angliœ mutari. The hon. and learned Solicitor General had not dealt fairly with the arguments of his (Mr. Moore's) hon. and learned Friend the Member for Enniskillen (Mr. Whiteside), who had by numerous authorities of ancient and modern date, clearly established that Christianity was part and parcel of the common law of England; and he (Mr. Moore) controverted the proposition assumed by the hon. and learned Solicitor General, and the hon. and learned Member for Cork (Mr. Serjt. Murphy), that it was only so in the restricted sense which exposed to legal punishment the man who libelled or blasphemed the Christian religion. He (Mr. Moore) denied such a position, and no authority was or could be quoted to sustain it. If we looked into remote times, we found such maxims as these—"Christianity is part of the law of England;" that "nothing is consonant to the law of England which is contrary to the law Divine;" and, Summa est ratio quœ pro religione facit. These legal apothegms, of indefinite antiquity and obligation in this realm, in the words of a high constitutional authority (Woodeson's Vinerian Lectures)deriving their force from universal and immemorial reception, have, perhaps, a more venerable authority than any written edicts, as the rivers which adorn and fertilize a country convey a more august appearance, when we neither discern their spring, nor trace the exact limits of their source. Again, the forms of convening Parliament itself all recognise the Christian character of the Legislature. The warrant from the Crown, and the writ of summons, recite that the Queen, for urgent causes concerning the commonwealth of the realm and "the Church of England," ordains a Parliament to be holden, &c. Could it be contemplated by the common law that the Sovereign of the realm, the "defender of the faith," could call upon a man to legislate for the Church of England, the faith of which he repudiated, and the truth of which he denied? Christianity then, he continued, was not only part of the common law of England, but it was the basis and foundation of that law; they found it pervading all their great ceremonies, and the procedure of the country: it was the essence of the constitution, and inseparably interwoven with it. Exclusion from political privileges, which the Jews never possessed, could not be truly designated as oppression, or justly described as persecution; it was idle to call it so. He protested, therefore, against this measure, because, in a religious light, it was indefensible, and, in a political point of view it was perilous and uncalled for; because it was unconstitutional, and because it compromised the character of the British Parliament, which, the moment the Jews were admitted to a seat within its walls, ceased to be what it had heretofore been, and what he trusted it ever would be—an exclusively Christian Legislature.


Although this question has been discussed almost every Session since I have had a seat in Parliament, I have never ventured to trouble the House with any observations upon it, and hoping, as I do most unfeignedly, that this may be the very last occasion on which it may be necessary to discuss it, I will ask the attention of the House for a very few moments while I state the opinions which I entertain upon it. I was once asked by an hon. Member on that (the Opposition) side of the House why I had not spoken upon the Jew Bill, and I gave him a candid answer. I told him that I had never heard anything in the shape of a fact or argument from the opponents of this measure, which, like facts and arguments on a great many questions which come before us, could be fairly grappled with, and which a man could undertake to lay hold of in the hope of answering it. I told him further, that it appeared to me that the opponents of this measure were actuated, I believed very honestly, by what was rather a sentiment than anything else; and that Gentleman, to whom I have alluded, not by any means one of the least distinguished amongst you, admitted that I was perfectly right, and that it was more a sentiment than anything else, and a sentiment is, of course, difficult to argue against. This sentiment has gradually sunk down into a phrase, and we understand now that what is meant by that phrase is that we, on this side, are about to unchristianise the House of Commons. Now I have endeavoured, in the course of these discussions, to trace whence this notion or feeling of unchristianising springs, and I think I can trace it backwards through the changes of the law, by which successive parties and sects, and sections of the people of this country have, during the last 160 years, been admitted to full participation in the rights of citizenship. The very same feeling, though it was called something else, was in operation when you excluded the Roman Catholics from Parliament. The very same feeling under a somewhat different title was in operation when the Unitarians were subjected to oppressive Statutes; and it was the very same spirit, however much you may attempt to disguise it, under which, previous to the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, the Dissenters of this country were excluded from municipal and other offices. It always seems to me to come from that appetite for supremacy which springs from the fact that we have had in this country a powerful and dominant Church connected chiefly with a powerful ruling class, and that step by step the people of this country, one section after another, have wrested from that Church, and from that class, the rights of citizenship which we have claimed, and which we now enjoy. Now what can be more marvellous than that any sane man should propose that doctrinal differences in religion should be made the test of citizenship and political rights? Doctrinal differences in religion, in all human probability, will last for many generations to come, and may possibly last so long as man shall inhabit this globe; but if you permit these differences to be the tests of citizenship, what is it but to admit into your system this fatal conclusion, that social and political differences in all nations can never be eradicated, but must be eternal? The hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford (Sir R. H. Inglis) may be taken for probably as honest and consistent a representative of the opponents of this Bill as can possibly be found in this House. I should like to ask whether there be any difference between the hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford and Baron Rothschild in any matter which can affect citizenship, or the duties of citizens, or in anything whatsoever of which the laws of this country can justly take cognisance as relating to the actions of the subjects of the Crown. I have watched the hon. Baronet for many years with great admiration—not with admiration for the principles which he holds, but with admiration for the manner in which he always maintains them. If all men who hold what I regard as sound principles in this House were to take the hon. Baronet for their model, sound principles would march on much faster than they de. Take, for instance, what may be called the morality of politics, and you will find that the hon. Baronet draws nearly all his opinions from the very same source that Baron Rothschild draws his. We have discussed in this House the question of capital punishment. I find the hon. Baronet, with his accustomed bland dignity, quoting against me with perfect confidence, the 9th chapter of the book of Genesis; and I have a strong suspicion that he takes his notions of the priesthood from the times of the book of Exodus. I think I have a distinct recollection that when the question of marriage with a deceased wife's sister was under discussion, the hon. Baronet referred the House with perfect confidence to the book of Leviticus. The hon. Baronet, too, I think, will not dispute that his law of tithes comes from the very same book. If it be a question of oaths, although it has been said by the highest authority, "Ye have heard that it hath been said in old times, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thy vows," the "swear not at all" is disregarded, and the practice of the hon. Baronet—a practice approved by his Church, and approved, I presume, by a majority of this House—is precisely that which existed in the time of the Old Testament Scriptures. If the hon. Baronet does not defend the practice of war, yet I know writers who profess the same faith as the hon. Baronet, who have defended the practice of war, because they say it was, if not inculcated, at least permitted, in the Old Testament. I cannot see, if the hon. Baronet takes his public morality from these writings, and if Baron Rothschild takes his from the same works, and if the question of citizenship be not a matter of doctrinal religion, but of the due performance of our duties to each other and to the State—I cannot see why the hon. Baronet should, for thirty or forty years, have sat in this House, and Baron Rothschild, elected by the first constituency of the Kingdom, be shut out. It would be as reasonable for a man to quarrel with his own shadow, as for the hon. Baronet to quarrel with Baron Rothschild on these grounds. But what a ridiculous position the House is placed in. You have had not only Baron Rothschild, but another member of his persuasion at that bar, and, assuming he was a Christian, you allowed him to begin to take the oath upon the Old Testament. You made no objection to him until he came to the words "on the true faith of a Christian." If the oath had been taken with the words "on the faith of a Christian," as you interpret them, on the Old Testament, it could not possi- bly be a legal oath. If it was necessary for a man who took an oath in a court of law to be a Christian, no Judge would allow an oath to be taken on the Old Testament; but would require it to be taken on the New Testament, because the book must be the symbol of the faith by which he affirmed. Well, you passed a Resolution that the seat for the City of London was full, and you put yourselves out of court with regard to the issuing of a new writ. If a man was an alien, and had been elected by a constituency, I presume that it would be competent for the House to appoint a Committee to examine into the petition charging him with being an alien, and upon the Report of the Committee that he was such, he would be excluded from the House, and a new writ would issue. But here you have no means of appointing a Committee for the purpose of interrogating Baron Rothschild as to whether he is a Jew or a Christian. He took one oath, and part of another. This House declared that the seat was full, and that a new writ for the City of London could not be issued; and then this House excluded the Member who was elected from his seat. These facts lead me to the consideration of a second question of as great importance as the original question which we are now discussing. This question has been discussed and decided upon within a very recent period in a great many divisions in this House, not less, I believe, than fourteen times. Whether it was before or after dinner—whatever the circumstances under which we were assembled—there was always a very large majority in favour of this Bill, from twenty-six, at the lowest, to more than one hundred at the highest. I want to ask hon. Gentlemen opposite whether they think, after the House of Commons in two, if not three Parliaments, within very recent years, has decided fourteen times in favour of the candidate elected by the City of London; that it is constitutional, after these incessant and oft-repeated expressions of opinion on the part of the constituencies of this country, that this question should longer remain unsettled? I am told there is an awful power in another place. I don't mean Lords Temporal so much as Lords Spiritual. I have no great opinion of bishops in any case. But of all subjects, this is about the very last on which I should like to take the opinion of the Bishops of the Church of England. High titles, vast revenues, great power, conferred upon Christian ministers, are as without warrant to my mind, in Scripture as in reason. I don't expect that they should be able to give an unbiassed, impartial judgment on a question like this. I understand that the noble Lord at the head of the Government—coming from the north may possibly account for it—is alarmed at the power of the bishops. I would not suggest how it is to be overcome; but probably there are means by which the Government can procure the passing of this Bill through the other House of Parliament. Now, that appears to be a question of some importance. Though hon. Gentlemen opposite have insisted on discussing this question, night after night, every Session, for years past, if this is to be the last night let us have the subject thoroughly probed. The House of Commons have decided in favour of this Bill. Does any hon. Gentlemen deny it? If the House of Commons represents the country, the country is in favour of this Bill. There is another estate of this realm, the most dignified of all, represented in this House by the Gentlemen who sit on that (the Ministerial) bench; that estate of the realm unites cordially with the House of Commons and with the people in this Bill. Fourteen times has this measure been carried by large majorities; repeatedly has it been sent to the other House, and each time has it been rejected, and on some occasions rejected in a manner which seemed to indicate contempt. Now, I ask the noble Lord the Member for the City of London if there be any remedy in the constitution for this state of things? The noble Lord had the opportunity of admitting the Jews by a Resolution of this House—he had a precedent of the most conclusive kind in the case of Mr. Pease—and although the law officers were not clear upon the law on that occasion, still the House of Commons, having once established a precedent of that nature, any person wishing to sustain the power of this House, and of one great branch of the Legislature, would have done wisely to have maintained the precedent, and to have relied on it in this case. The noble Lord preferred what he thought a more constitutional course, and he asked that House to pass Bills for the purpose. Year after year this House has passed this measure; and I ask the noble Lord whether he thinks we are to go on year after year bombarding the Lords with this Jew Bill, with no other result than that it should be sent down again? If the British constitution affords no remedy for this state of things, it is not worth all the boasting which the noble Lord and others have heaped upon it. There are two remedies for this evil—the one is the creation of new Peers—["Hear, hear!"] Don't for a moment imagine that I should recommend it. I think the remedy might be worse than the disease; but that is one of the remedies, as I understand it, which the constitution offers to the Crown in cases of this nature, provided the case be of sufficient magnitude. We know that that has been threatened in our day, and threatened with some success. Now, there is another remedy. Some Gentlemen say, "How can you expect the House of Lords to pass this Bill, when there is no ferment in the country?" I thought noblemen in that assembly were in an atmosphere so serene, that though disturbed occasionally by the contentions of prelates and the disputations of rival lawyers, but for that I should judge it to be a place on the earth "where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest." But we are told there is no ferment in the country. I have seen ferments in this country, and many others have. I do not much admire them. I would rather see the Houses of Legislature, whether the one or the other, taking these questions up in a broad, philosophic, generous spirit, and discussing and settling them in that spirit, than that they should wait until there was a ferment in the country approaching to confusion, and then surrender upon terms that shall be humiliating to them, that which, if given up in time, might have earned for them the gratitude and the applause of their countrymen. It is assumed, and properly and wisely, that you will get no ferment up about the Jew Bill. I have no objection to admit that the Jews, being not great in numbers, and not free from suffering, consequent upon that prejudice so prevalent on the benches opposite, you will have no ferment in the country before which they will quail. ["Oh, oh!"] Aye, but they will quail soon enough when there is a ferment. ["Oh, oh!"] Well, if that is doubted, I refer you to the history of the last twenty-five years in proof of what I say; but I want no ferment. I want argument and sound principles of legislation to prevail within the Houses of Parliament, and not the fear of anything that may take place outside. But now comes the case of the noble Lord who leads the Government in this House. The noble Lord has worked at this Bill for many years; he has induced this House to abdicate the power which it possessed, by precedent, of admitting the Jews to this House by a Resolution of this House. He has recommended the constitutional course—a good course if it will succeed—but I think he is bound to take all the measures which are open to his Government for the purpose of ensuring the success of this Bill; and I claim it as one of those who have voted with him, I believe, on every occasion, and clone all that I can for the purpose of securing the success of this measure. Now, if the Government would make up their minds that unless this Bill passes during this Session they would treat a defeat in the House of Lords precisely as they would treat an important defeat in this House; then, at any rate, no person could say hereafter that the noble Lord and his Colleagues did not make every effort they could be called on to make for the purpose of passing this Bill. I cannot say whether there is any other remedy than the creation of Peers, and agitation out of doors; but let it be a resolution on the part of Government that this Bill should pass—that they will make it a matter on which their existence, as a Government, should be staked—and if it should not be passed, upon those persons be the responsibility of forming a Government who shall prevent this measure of justice to the Jewish population of this country. I should have been glad if the noble Lord, with the great influence which he exercises in this House, had endeavoured to prevail on the House to abolish the whole system of oaths at the bar, and to have substituted some declaration which every honest man in this House could take in an honest and conscientious spirit. These oaths are of no use—we know they are of no use; you have us to affirm to something that does not exist—and every man who takes an oath at the table, which I am happy to say I have never done, knows he is performing a farce which is ludicrous. ["Oh, oh!"] Why, the fact is, that you are called on to affirm that you will not do something which it is impossible for you to do. Let us, then, get rid of this question, which has been discussed and decided year after year; and, above all, let us see that the Commons House of England is open to the commons of England, and that every man, be his creed what it may, if elected by a constituency of his countrymen, may sit in this House, and vote on all matters which affect the legislation of this great Kingdom.


said, he hoped that the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) would not follow the advice of the hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Bright). But whether the noble Lord should follow that advice or not, he thought it would ill become the House of Commons to pass over entirely in silence the strange constitutional doctrines which they had just heard. According to the opinion of the hon. Member, if a measure were brought forward which did not suit the taste of certain persons, the House of Lords was, in effect, to be got rid of. Two modes had been proposed for that purpose, and in order to secure the passing of this measure:—the one was, the creation of a large number of Peers, who might overrule and override the conscientious convictions of that assembly; and the other was, to make the House of Commons, through its own Resolutions, supreme in this matter, whatever might be the opinion, or whatever the decision, which the House of Lords might come to. But he would remind the hon. Gentleman that once, and only once, in the whole of our history was there a precedent for this; that is to say, when the House of Commons declared itself to be indissoluble, and then it passed two Resolutions—the one declaring that the bench of Bishops was useless, and the other, that the Monarchy was unnecessary. That was the precedent which the hon. Member recommended them to follow. There was one point, and only one, on which he agreed with the hon. Member, and that was, that if Gentlemen would take his hon. Friend the Member for the University of Oxford (Sir R. H. Inglis) for their model, sound principles, if they did not march quicker than they did, would at any rate be maintained longer than they are. The hon. Member began his speech by telling them that he could never catch hold of a single fact with which he could grapple so as to enter the lists fairly in a controversy with the opponents of this Bill. Now he (Mr. Walpole) did not know whether the hon. Member was present in his place during the early part of the discussion this evening; but that discussion reduced the measure to two questions: the one a matter of fact, the other a matter of theory and speculation. The matter of fact was this—whether this country was not, and had not been, a Christian nation, in such a sense and to such an extent that nobody except a Christian was ever allowed either to rule over it, or to legislate for it. He challenged the hon. Member to grapple with that fact. Assuming that fact to be true, as he thought had been proved by his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Enniskillen (Mr. Whiteside), then arose the other question—whether, as a matter of theory and speculation, they should make any change in the constitution like the one now proposed? These were really the two points in issue between them; and as the hon. Member for Manchester wished the question to be thoroughly grappled with for the last time, and he (Mr. Walpole) hoped sincerely it was the last time, he might, perhaps, be pardoned for a few moments, whilst he endeavoured to address himself to those two questions, upon which their decision must now depend. For the sake of clearing the ground, he was willing to concede to his hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor General, that religious liberty must be the principle upon which the affairs of this country should be conducted. But he denied altogether, when he looked at this question, that religions liberty was involved in it, since the admission sought for the Jews into Parliament did not affect the rights of private conscience, but, as it had been proved over and over again, it related to qualifications for an office of trust. Even, however, if the question of religious liberty were more or less involved in this debate, still, he should say, they would be bound to consider whether, under that plausible plea, they ought to sacrifice the higher obligations which he (Mr. Walpole) believed to be incident to religious truth. There was another concession which he was willing to make. His hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor General had told them that he suspected the opponents of the Bill were animated by prejudice, by animosity, against that extraordinary people, the Jews. Now, so little was he (Mr. Walpole) animated by any such feeling, that he thought there was much in their history and condition which naturally prepossessed him most strongly in their favour. But it was that history and that condition from which he drew the strongest arguments against this Bill; for it was from that history and that condition that he and every one could not fail to learn this important political axiom, that nations, like individuals, als, had their religious responsibilities; and these were responsibilities which must be discharged not only in our individual but in our national character. He adverted to that point more particularly, because he believed that here in fact it was the main point of difference between the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) and those who opposed him. The noble Lord had always admitted—indeed nobody could admit it more consistently with his own high character than the noble Lord-that religion should influence us in all the relations and conditions of life. Well, that, in his opinion, was admitting the whole of his (Mr. Walpole's) case; for he could not understand how the noble Lord and his supporters could shrink from acknowledging what was only the consequence of that admission, that nations, which were merely the aggregate of individuals, must necessarily be bound to recognise that principle and to act upon it. [Mr. CARDWELL expressed his dissent.] The right hon. President of the Board of Trade shook his head at that. He (Mr. Walpole) challenged him, however, to produce from the history of the nations of the world any different result than that which be had drawn. Every nation that he was aware of, whether ancient or modern, our own especially, had acted on that principle. From time immemorial this country was, and always had been, a Christian country, governed by the authority of a Christian king, with legislators and rulers recognising that they acted under Christian principles, not from any fanciful theory, still less from intolerance or persecution—but in order that their laws might be made to harmonise with the habits and institutions of a Christian people. Here, then, he took up his stand, and he defied the noble Lord to displace him from it, unless he could prove one or the other of these two propositions: either he must show that he (Mr. Walpole) was altogether wrong in this theory of the constitution, or else he must establish that there was some good reason for modifying and altering it. Then he asked, with his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Enniskillen, was he wrong in that theory? He begged their attention to this. They would find that Christianity pervaded every branch of our institutions. The monarch on the throne was obliged to swear at the time of the coronation that he or she would maintain the true profession of the Gospel. Our oldest maxims held that the Scriptures were the common law, for upon them all other laws were founded. Our ablest Judges, notwithstanding the comments passed upon them by the hon. and learned Member for Cork (Mr. Serjeant Murphy), backed as they were by the Solicitor General, had contended that Christianity was part and parcel of the law, not in a sense in which they adduced it, but in the sense applied to it by Lord Hardwicke—that the Government and the Constitution of the country hung thereupon. These were the words of Lord Hardwicke, and Sir Matthew Hale, and Lord Raymond concurred in that opinion. Did they want another proof? Let them look at their own forms and mode of proceeding in that House. They always commenced in prayer to Him whom they one and all at present acknowledged. With all these facts relating to their institutions, he defied them to dissociate Christianity from them. They could no more separate the one from the other, than they could remove the foundation from the superstructure of the building, and expect it to stand as firm as ever: Christianity, therefore, pervaded our institutions from one end of them to the other. No doubt this argument had been attempted to be met by anticipation by the hon. and learned Solicitor General when he called the words "upon the true faith of a Christian," not what they had been usually termed in that House, an "accident" which excluded the Jew, but a "quibble" that excluded the Jew—thereby implying that nothing else excluded him; and the hon. and learned Solicitor General also deliberately told the House that a natural-born Jew in this country would, independent of these words, have a right, and would be eligible to, a seat in Parliament. But was that so? These words did certainly exclude the Jew; but until recently it could not be said that they did so accidentally; for, until recently, that is to say, until the passing of a Statute in the present reign, the only form of oath known to the common law was that which was taken on the New Testament. He repeated this on the authority of Lord Coke and Sir Matthew Hale: and he could show his hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor General that the negative he put upon his (Mr. Walpole's) assertion by shaking his head was not borne out by these authorities. There was no time when this form of oath was ever altered, but when, from necessity and the nature of the case, the witness being a person who was not a Christian, it became essential to deviate from the oath, as Lord Hardwicke did, in order to take the testimony of some one who was not a Christian. With that exception—namely, a case arising from necessity—there was no instance, he repeated again, in which the form of oath was ever departed from; and Lord Coke said it was so obligatory in its character, that the Crown itself could not dispense with it, and that it could not be altered except by Act of Parliament. For the purposes of justice, therefore, and for those purposes only, the Christian form of oath might be dispensed with; but in all other cases it must have been administered. If that were so, it showed conclusively that the Jew was not excluded from Parliament by any positive law or by statutory enactment, but by an inherent inability existing in himself, because he could not connect himself with the institutions of a Christian nation. He (Mr. Walpole) freely granted, then, that those words, which were now an accident, did exclude the Jew from sitting in Parliament; but the inference he drew from it was stronger in his (Mr. Walpole's) favour, than if he were excluded by a statutory bar; for if he had been excluded by a statutory bar, then they must see that, except for that bar, there was no disqualification; but since there was a bar independent of those words, they must look on the words but as a recognition of the principle—the principle of Christianity pervading our institutions—for which he was contending; and the recognition of that principle was to his mind all the more strong because it was tacitly taken for granted, instead of being enunciated in a distinct proposition. If that proposition were not true—if there were ever any doubt upon it, when would it have occurred? Surely at the time when the Jews were permitted to return to this country. Now, observe for a moment the facts and dates with reference to the subject. The petition for the return of the Jews to this country was presented to Oliver Cromwell in December, 1656. Prynne wrote his pamphlet against their reintroduction in the spring of 1657. The petition and advice were discussed in that year. And in that petition and advice, certain regulations or ordinances were made for the government of this country, among which were these. It was declared, and that for the first time— that the true Protestant Christian religion, as it is contained in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, and no other, be held forth and asserted as the public profession of these nations. It then prohibited any one who should deny the Scriptures to be the Word of God from sitting in Parliament; and it further required this oath to be taken by every Member of the Privy Council and by every Member of Parliament:— I, A. B., do in the presence and by the name of God Almighty, promise and swear, that, to the utmost of my power and my place I will uphold and maintain the true reformed Protestant Christian religion, as it is contained in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, and encourage the profession and professors of the same. Here then was the recognition of Christianity distinctly required at the time of the return of the Jews to the country; and it was, therefore, manifest that on their return they came with the conviction and under the knowledge that neither they nor their children could ever be Privy Councillors or Members of Parliament. When, therefore, this question was argued on the ground of justice, and, indeed, as a matter of right, he (Mr. Walpole) asked, whether they could say that they had any more claim as a matter of right to change our laws than a stranger who had been received from motives of hospitality into any one's house, could claim as of right to change the nature and character of the household? Now he thought he had grappled with the matter of fact, and in doing so had shown that, as a matter of fact, this was a Christian nation in the sense that it had always Christian governors and Christian lawgivers. That, however, was quite distinct from the question whether there was any good reason for altering the law. What then, he said, were the arguments urged for making the change? It had often been asked what harm could happen to the Legislature by the admission of a few Jews? Suppose he (Mr. Walpole) replied with another question, and said, what good will it do?—one argument was as good as the other. But, in point of fact, there was this harm which would happen from doing away with the distinctive character of that House, namely, that they could not, with reference to their legislation, appeal to the principles of a common Christianity, as they now could, so as to gain an unqualified and universal assent to them in any of their legislation. Nor was this all; for the Legislature of this country was not solely concerned about matters of civil government. It had also to deal with matters relating to ecclesiastical affairs. Nay, more, since Convocation had fallen more or less—though certainly less this year than formerly—into a dor- mant state in England, and since in Ireland they had no Convocation at all, Parliament, in fact, had become not only an ecclesiastical institution, but the only ecclesiastical institution now existing, with reference to the management of the ecclesiastical affairs of the country. If, therefore, the Jews were admitted into Parliament, they would have to deal, not only with affairs of State, but with affairs of the Church, and this not merely with respect to its temporalities, but also with respect to other matters of a purely ecclesiastical character. Now, in that respect an anomaly no doubt already existed which many persons anxiously wished to get rid of. But how was it to be got rid of? His (Mr. Walpole's) conviction was—and it was a conviction in which he believed the noble Lord the Member for the City of London shared—that the revival of Convocation for that purpose would be detrimental to the Church rather than advantageous to its interests. Increase that anomaly by admitting the Jews to legislate in Parliament, and he would ask the noble Lord whether he would then be able to resist the argument for the revival of Convocation so strongly and successfully as he could do now? Would he not thereby be substantially strengthening the hands of those who were calling for Convocation by admitting the possibility of their legislation assuming an unchristian character? There was another argument, which had been very forcibly put forward in the course of the discussion on this measure by the hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Bright). That hon. Gentleman declared that they who opposed the progress of that measure, were actually depriving the different constituencies of the services of their representatives. It certainly struck him (Mr. Walpole) that the constituents of London had no right to argue with them in such a way. If that argument were once admitted, the House of Commons would be affixing its approbation to doctrines of the most revolutionary character. The citizens of London had no rights but those which were measured by their correlative duties, and their duty was to elect those whom the law and the constitution declared to be eligible. Should they elect an ineligible person, the fault was with them and not with that House, if they lost their representative. Moreover, as had been put by his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Stamford (Sir F. Thesiger) the other night, if they once admitted the exception claimed, why was not a similar exception allowed in other cases—in the case of an alien, of a pauper, or of a clergyman? [Sir J. SHELLEY: Hear, hear!] Why, did the hon. Baronet mean to affirm that if such persons were elected, they would have a right to take their seats? He was afraid that the constitutional doctrines of the metropolitan Members were not a bit more sound than those of the hon. Member for Manchester. Adopt the view of these Gentlemen, and, though Parliament might pass laws of the utmost advantage for the general good and for the benefit of the whole community, it would be in the option of any constituency to depart from those laws and to elect any person whom they preferred, although the Legislature had determined the contrary. Such a proposition could not be listened to for a single moment. An argument had been used by the hon. and learned Member for Cork (Mr. Serjeant Murphy), which seemed to be rather a favourite one. He told the House that as they had admitted Roman Catholics, they ought, à fortiori, to admit the Jews; and for this very singular reason, that when people differed very little in matters of religion, their intercourse was much more perilous in its consequences than when they differed a great deal. It seemed to him that that argument hardly did justice to the members of his own religious persuasion. The case of the Jews and the case of the Roman Catholics was in no respect similar. The Roman Catholic was never excluded upon religious grounds; he was excluded upon political grounds, he was excluded only because it was believed—rightly or otherwise he (Mr. Walpole) would not then stop to inquire—because it was believed that he owed a double allegiance, and recognised the supremacy of a foreign Power. But was that the case with the Jew? No; the Jew was excluded upon religious disqualifications inherent in himself and not in the law. Observe, again, how different was the position of the Roman Catholic. The Roman Catholics were united to us by innumerable ties. Had they not proceeded from a common stock with ourselves? Both Protestants and Roman Catholics had sprung from the same soil; both were associated by English habits; both were identified with English interests. Looking backward to a common ancestry, looking forward to a common inheritance, the same rule of life guided their conduct, the same hope still urged them onwards, and the same faith, notwithstanding their differences, united them together under a common head as the Christian members of a common body. But what claims of that character had the Jew upon them? He dwelt, indeed, with them, but he was not one of them. All his sympathies, all his associations, were connected with the various people of his own race wherever they were found, and if their interests ever conflicted with ours, he was bound, as an honest man, to side with them, and not with us. The Jew had, in fact, nothing in common with us—nothing at least which was permanent and certain. If he struck his tents to-morrow, no vestige of him would remain behind. They could not, therefore, assimilate the case of the Roman Catholics to the case of the Jews, and found an argument from the admission of the one to the admission of the other. He desired not to exhaust the patience of the House, but there was another topic which he did not wish to leave entirely unnoticed. The noble Lord the Member for the City of London had made two observations—one in his first speech, and the other in his last—which it seemed to him (Mr. Walpole) ought rather to be accounted plausibilities than sound arguments; but as at that time, those plausibilities, such as they were, seemed to make some impression upon the House, they required to be referred to. The noble Lord said that the Bill which they were now about to read a third time "was the crowning act which completed the edifice of religious liberty." Now those were fine-sounding words; but let them be analysed. What did the noble Lord mean by completing the edifice of religious liberty? Did he mean, as seemed to be suggested by the hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Bright) a little while ago, that every one was equally at liberty to walk into that edifice, and, being there, was to be placed upon an equal footing with everybody else? Why, if he did not mean that, he would not otherwise be completing the edifice of religious liberty. But if he meant that, what was the interpretation which he put upon his own Bill? He admitted the Jew forsooth, but then he only admitted him to some of the privileges which he himself possessed. The real truth was, that the argument was a fallacy—and the fallacy consisted in this—it assumed that the power of legislation was a matter of right belonging to all, and not, as he was pre- pared to contend, an affair of trust which required certain qualifications for its discharge. In fact, the whole question limited itself to this—was it a matter of right, or was it a matter of trust? But if it was a matter of right, how would the argument of the hon. and learned Member for Stamford (Sir F. Thesiger) be met—namely, that there was a great variety of qualifications upon the right, and consequently that it was not open to all? Why, was there not the qualification of age, sex, profession, property—of country and of religion? Did they not exclude minors because of their supposed immaturity of intellect? Were not women excluded because it was considered that they ought rather to be employed about domestic matters? Paupers were excluded because it was imagined that they did not hold a sufficiently independent position. Again, clergymen were excluded because it was wished that they should devote themselves to religious and not to secular functions. And lastly, did they not exclude aliens because, in the first place, they owned a foreign allegiance, and because, in the second place—to use the words of the Act of Parliament—their notions of law, liberty, and religion were, or might be, different from those of Englishmen. Well, he would ask if it was not intolerance to impose these exceptions upon the different constituencies of the country, how could it be proclaimed to be intolerance to refuse the election of a person whose religious sentiments were entirely antagonistic to that religion on behalf of which he would be called upon to legislate. To refuse such a claim might be unwise—it might be inexpedient—but intolerant it never could be called. And when the House came to look into this question of qualification, they would find that the office of a legislator was not a matter of right, but only an office of trust. Why, even in the very commonest affairs of life, hon. Gentlemen would never admit any person to the management of their private affairs, or to the guardianship of their children, unless their principles were coincident and concurred with their own. And what was the House of Commons but trustees of the people's rights, and guardians of the national interests? They were trustees for the whole community; and the whole community was entitled to say, as it had done, that that constitutional edifice of religious liberty which had always existed in this country, should not be turned into a Pantheon, wherein those who were call- ed upon to officiate should be drawn from the ranks of their most determined and irreconcilable foes. He had gone at considerable length into the discussion of this subject—at greater length, indeed, than he had intended, because an hon. Member had told the House they had better argue it fully now, for it would be the last time they would have an opportunity of doing so. Well, then, he asked them to consider, when they looked at this Bill, which was not forced upon them, by any paramount necessity—which it was not pretended was recommended to them by any urgent reason of political expediency—he asked them with every confidence, had ever a measure been propounded to Parliament, whereby the advantages to be gained were so miserably disproportionate to the sacrifices they were called upon to make? What were those advantages, and what were those sacrifices? They were partly personal, and partly national. The personal advantages were, that they would certainly give to a few individuals the gratification of sitting in that House with them; but let them remember that, numerically, those persons were so few that, if they divided the whole population by their total numbers, they would not be entitled to a single representative. But what was the personal sacrifice which they were making? Why, they were inflicting a wound upon thousands, nay, tens of thousands of their Christian fellow-countrymen, who now placed confidence in that House, because they believed it to be a Christian Legislature, but who would not have the same confidence in their acts when they ceased to be so. What were the national advantages and national sacrifices? On the one hand, the national advantage was this—and here he put the argument in the fairest way for the hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Bright) and those who thought with him—that, leaving religion at one side as a matter for the private conscience of individuals, they were establishing a theory which regarded the Government of a country as a spiritless, soulless machine, which was entirely subservient to our temporal wants and temporal necessities. On the other hand, the national sacrifice was the sacrifice of a principle, which regarded the State in a Christian country like this as partaking somewhat of a divine character—as acting under divine obligations—as comprehending in its ranks all the objects of humanity, and as necessarily including among those objects the spiritual nature, the moral responsibility, the eternal destinies of man. If they were right, the Bill they had proposed did not go as far as it ought to do, for it ought to lay down the proposition broadly, which the hon. Member for Manchester had announced, that every person, whatever his creed, had a right, as a matter of right, to be elected to the Christian Legislature. But if they (the Opposition) were correct, the Bill went much too far, because it undermined the very foundations on which the constitution of our country had been raised—because it denied that the nation, as a nation, was bound to profess a national faith—and because it destroyed that distinctive character of a common Christianity which he concurred with the right hon. Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Goulburn) in believing had contributed as much to our temporal prosperity as he was sure it had to our moral elevation.


said, he would, like the hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Bright), take that opportunity of speaking his mind clearly on this question. He hoped the House would listen to him with as much attention as they had accorded to that hon. Member, for though he did not possess the same powers of speech, he was anxious to make a few remarks before the debate was brought to a close. He had been reading that afternoon a volume that was just published—the Memoirs of Tom Moore—edited by Lord John Russell. In that book there was an account given by Tom Moore of his meeting in France with two politicians, one of whom told the other that he was quite surprised at the absurdity of a minority in going on opposing a measure which they could not succeed in resisting; and to this Tom Moore very wisely adds, "Just as if the country would forget the force of the opposition." That was very much their case; he knew perfectly well that in that House they were in a minority, but yet a sense of public duty induced them to consider the interests now at stake, which were of great importance, and the question, in fact, involved considerations inimical to public opinion. Though there might be a majority against them in that House, it was no reason, no matter what the hon. Member for Manchester said to the contrary, why they should not represent the sentiments of the majority of their countrymen. It was on that account, and not because he believed that he could now be able to counteract the decision which un- fortunately was about to be taken in that House, that he was desirous of once again protesting, with all the energy of conscientious conviction, against the abrogation of this law for the purpose of admitting the Jews to Parliament. He was ready to admit that all the inclinations of his own mind naturally induced him to take a liberal view of political subjects, and this was one which must certainly be taken in that category; but at the same time in this discussion he was quite ready to undergo accusations of bigotry and intolerance, however unmerited and unjust those accusations might be, rather than yield to any other considerations than those which now honestly actuated him. The noble Lord the Member for the City of London (Lord John Russell) said he had exhausted the subject—that he could bring forward no more arguments in support of the question—that he was quite surprised at the opposition this measure had met with from some hon. Members of that House; and he even went so far as to impute to them sinister motives in their opposition. He agreed with the noble Lord that he had exhausted all his arguments; but how different was the case with them. He believed their arguments were based upon a better foundation than the noble Lord's—for, after all, what were his arguments when weighed in the balance against that public opinion which they represented? The noble Lord the Member for the City of London, and the right hon. Gentlemen the Members for Carlisle (Sir James Graham) and Southwark (Sir W. Molesworth), talked a great deal about bribery, intimidation, and corruption; but by endeavouring to pass this measure they were evading that expression of public opinion which they need not attempt to control, as it had already shown on repeated occasions that it would not yield by any means a ready response to their appeals, no matter the artifices employed. They would not be able to persuade them (the Opposition) to insult the religious sympathies of Englishmen, even though they entertained the hope of thus rescuing the noble Lord from the political consequences on some future occasion of being unable to fulfil his pledges. He admitted that this question of the Jew Bill had assumed an increased importance since the debate on the Canada Clergy Reserves Bill, for on that occasion he had heard a Member of the Cabinet, whose courage he admired, get up in his place and say, he gloried in the title of a Radical. He thought that was a very bold avowal; it was an avowal that might be expected to come from Southwark, or from the neighbourhood of Hammersmith, in the county of Middlesex; but he thought it was a bold avowal from the Member of a Government that was presided over by Lord Aberdeen. By this means the country was led to believe that Lord Aberdeen, who for twenty years of his life had pertinaciously resisted the liberal foreign policy of the noble Lord the Member for Tiverton (Viscount. Palmerston), was now in his declining years assuming the title of a Radical. But that was not all. The right hon. Baronet (Sir W. Molesworth) had stigmatised a dignitary of their Church as the pest of his diocese; and he appealed to the House and to the country if that was proper language for a Member of the Government to hold, when questions involving religious considerations, like the Jew Bill and the Canada Clergy Reserves Bill, were in agitation? He thought the responsibility for that language did not rest with the right hon. Baronet the Member for Southwark, but rather with the noble Lord the Member for the City of London, the champion of this coalesced Administration. He (Sir R. Peel) remembered having read that in the year 1835 the noble Lord tauntingly inquired of one to whom any Member of the House would be more at liberty to refer than he (Sir R. Peel) was, if he accepted the responsibility of the acts and language of his party; and what was the reply? The noble Lord was told by the indidual to whom he then appealed that he did accept that responsibility, and was proud of the charge which that responsibility conveyed. Let the noble Lord now take the responsibility of this language upon himself, and look to what it was. He really did not know whether this language of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Southwark was accepted by the noble Lord the Member for the City of London. It shadowed forth, perhaps, some future measure of Church discipline, which probably they were going to have about the year 1857, when they would have the new Reform Bill. Perhaps, as the Scottish Church repudiated bishops, of which they were reminded by the hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Bright), the noble Lord might introduce something that would amalgamate the different interests of the present Government; but this he (Sir R. Peel) knew, that they had seen quite sufficient to warn all honest Churchmen, and all honest Liberals, to be cautious how they supported an Administration which, while it took every opportunity of sneering and scoffing at the material wants of the people of this country, also took the opportunity, in the House of Commons, of stigmatising the recognised authorities of the Church of England. It was said that he and those who opposed this Bill were wanting in charity. Why did not their opponents evince some portion of that same spirit of charity? Why did they impute motives which he and his friends utterly rejected and denied? He believed he should be also speaking the sentiments of hon. Members around him when he said, for his own part, that, as a friend of civil and religious liberty, he would give protection to the exercise of every religious creed; he did not wish to retain one single barrier against any man upon the score of his religion. Holding such sentiments, he despised and rejected the taunt of intolerance because he would debar Jews from a seat in that House: he entirely rejected and despised the taunt of bigotry because he would debar those who denied Christianity from exercising the functions of legislators in a Christian Parliament. But what, then, were they told? Why, they were told by a Member of the Government that they went down to that House with the cry of liberty upon their lips, but with restriction in their hearts. There was a charge for you. Now, he should have thought that not all the bigotry of faction could or would have imputed to the consciences of hon. Gentlemen conduct which implied such a reckless disregard of principle and such disreputable motives; but he was sure that hon. Gentleman would make every allowance for the warmth of these expressions when they knew that they came forth from the lips of the audacious and eccentric Member for Middlesex (Mr. R. Osborne). That hon. Gentleman well knew that on many points he almost reciprocated sentiments with him. Ho used to have the pleasure of his personal acquaintance, and therefore he (Sir R. Peel) was surprised that he had imputed such motives to him; but he abided still by them, though the hon. Gentleman, in his comfortable berth at the Admiralty, seemed to have laid them aside till a more convenient season. The hon. Gentleman said that he (Sir R. Peel) had liberty upon his lips, but restrictions in his heart. Why, the very same week that he last voted against the Jew Bill, he supported the Government measure, the Canada Clergy Reserves Bill. He was, he confessed, entirely convinced on that subject by the eloquent and able language of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He voted for the measure because he believed it to be correct. That showed he had not liberty upon his lips alone. Why, he had voted with 108 Members for reserving the 3rd Clause in that Bill, and he had actually received for it the unanimous thanks of a religious freedom society in the north of England. [A laugh.] Yes, he had actually received—it was a positive fact—the unanimous thanks of a religious society in the north of England because he had voted for the 3rd Clause of that Bill, which contained, as they said, the true germ of religious freedom. Certainly, then, he had not restriction in his heart. He had voted, too, for many things that in his opinion would meet the material wants of the people. He therefore rejected the insinuation of the hon. Member. But as he had chosen to speak so plainly, he (Sir R. Peel) must also state what he knew. The hon. Member said that he only stated half the case—that he kept something back. It was true he had; but he would take this opportunity of stating what he really did know. He knew, then, that if it had not been for the individual exertions of Mr. Rothschild in the county, Middlesex might not have been represented by the Secretary to the Admiralty. Therefore, when the hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Admiralty came down to the House and stigmatised the conscientious motives of others, it might be well for him just to look at home. At all events, of this he (Sir R. Peel) was quite sure, that the course of time would clearly prove that he was far less likely to be acted upon by external political causes, to use a moderate phrase, than the hon. Member for Middlesex. He would now turn to other matters. If the House would allow him, he would ask the question whether there was anything passing in any other country upon subjects like this which might tend to enlighten our own views? It so happened that at this moment there were two countries in Europe, one where restrictions were being enforced against the Jews, and another where complete emancipation had been effected. If he might be allowed, he would take one first, and then the other. Intelligence had just been received that the Emperor of Russia had published a ukase prohibiting Jews from representing Chris- tian trading and commercial houses in that country; and he did not think the conduct of the Emperor Nicholas was much to be blamed. But suppose it was; let the House just look at home awhile. Here we saw the most extensive trading and commercial community in the world confiding a portion of its political rights to a wealthy citizen of the Jewish race, a kind of Goliath of Gath. He knew perfectly well that the City of London might return for its representative, constitutionally speaking, whomsoever it pleased. Hon. Members, perhaps, might recollect that in the time of George II. and George III. the borough of Sudbury was commonly advertised for sale to the highest bidder. What the Marquess of Broadacres did there, was there any reason why the Wiseacres of Portsoken should not do in the City? Still, they would never be able to persuade him that the trade, commerce, and influence of the City of London were, or could be, judiciously entrusted to this Mr. de Rothschild. He doubted very much if they would be able to persuade the people of England that the influence of the representatives of the City of London, which had so long been the stronghold of freedom and liberty, ought to be entrusted to an Austrian Consul General—to the wealthy representative of a moneyed family, which had certainly done more than any other family in the world to gag and stifle liberty. He was one of those who thought that the City of London ought to be represented either by some great political character, or by some of the merchant princes of the empire. As far as regarded great political character, he did not think the City could have made a more judicious selection than the noble Lord opposite, for he stood high in the opinion of his fellow-countrymen as an enlightened statesman; but he did not hesitate to say that the selection of Mr. de Rothschild as the representative of the commercial influence of the City of London was, to his mind, the greatest possible slur upon the character and respectability of the City. [Cries of "Oh, oh!"] He said, "to his mind," and he repeated it. [A laugh.] Yes, to his mind it was a great slur upon the character and respectability of the trade and commerce of the City of London to have made such a selection. He would now take the other case to which he had referred, where complete emancipation had been voted to the Jews. It had happened that in the states of the Prince of Mein- ingen the representatives had voted complete emancipation to the Jews; and what had been the effect? Why, that the sovereign prince had been inundated with petitions from his subjects, those petitions begging him to resist what their representatives had passed. He did not know whether the House would care for what took place there; but what, he would ask, was the case with the petitions in this country? He found that there had been 35,000 signatures attached to the petitions against the measure presented to that House since the second reading of this Bill. Those petitions, he contended, were entitled to great respect; but how many were the petitions on the other side? Very few indeed. But in considering the merits of the case, he would just take one petition in favour of the Jews, and one against; he would take the petition from the Corporation of the City of London for, and that from the University of Oxford against; he would take that for, which—as the Times newspaper, that recognised organ of public opinion, said—came from "the scandal and the nuisance of the metropolis;" and the other against, from the most learned and enlightened community in the empire. Really, as regarded the Corporation of the City of London, they ought to pay a little more attention to their own reformation before they ventured to petition Parliament upon subjects they hardly understood. If they did, they would certainly do themselves much greater good. At all events, if they would only endeavour to be what they were not, a representation of the trade and commerce of the City, they would be acting far more advantageously for themselves than they were at present. It was high time for that House to look to the reform of the Corporation; for he found that last Friday a petition was actually presented to that effect; and where did hon. Members suppose it came from? Why, from Billingsgate. Yes, actually a petition was presented from Billingsgate praying for the reform of the Corporation of the City of London! Now, when Billingsgate was compelled to petition against the Corporation, it really was high time that House should begin to think of attending to it. As to the petition from the University of Oxford, he was very much grieved to find that the actual vote of that distinguished body would be null in that House; not, however, that its voice would be null, because on one side there was the time-honoured, consistent, and admirable persistency of the hon. Baronet opposite (Sir R. Inglis); and on the other the powerful eloquence of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The University, he thought, was in rather a dangerous condition, because her two representatives could by no means agree; still it must be left in the hands of the consistent perseverance of the hon. Baronet, and of the complicated phraseology of the right hon. Gentleman. [Cries of "Question!"] It was the question, for he was endeavouring to show to the House the relative value and importance of the petitions for and against this measure, by referring on one side to that from the University of Oxford, and on the other side to that from the Corporation of the City of London itself petitioned against by even Billingsgate. He perfectly agreed with the hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Bright) when he said, that if the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) would only endeavour to do that which was just, and pay more attention to the material wants of the people, he might secure more independent support than he had hitherto found; and if instead of occupying the attention of Parliament about matters which public opinion out of doors condemned, he would only endeavour to do something in accordance with the expectations which his promises had led them to anticipate. But he (Sir Robert Peel) lamented to see the noble Lord in his present position. True, you see whole ranks of ex-Cabinet Ministers piled up behind him, and a great deal of talent overwhelming him on all sides; but he should far rather prefer seeing the noble Lord at the head of the liberal party in this country, instead of filling a kind of vacuum, and being at once the advocate of "antiquated Toryism" and "glorious Radicalism." The noble Lord, however, had stated his political views upon the subject of the Jews, but he had omitted to state his views upon the religious part of the question. He (Sir R. Peel) could not forget —and he wished the noble Lord to remember—that the usages, the religious dogmas, and the religious institutions of the Jews, were still the same; that the same denial of the fundamental principle of Christianity which eighteen hundred years ago marked the conduct of their forefathers, still guided and animated their descendants. He wished the noble Lord to bear in mind that they were not elevated by the hopes or guided by the principles which Christianity inculcated; but, upon the contrary, that they hated those principles which tended to perpetuate the authority of the word of God's truth. In fact, they are the same in principle now as when they exclaimed, "We have a law, and by that law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God." That was the principle on which he based his opposition to this measure; and as long as Ire had power to speak, and facility to express himself—{laughter]—well, then, as long as he had power to speak—he would not say the facility to express himself—he would not hesitate to condemn this measure as derogatory to the Christian character of their institutions, and degrading and inimical to our national sentiments. He had listened with the utmost attention to the various observations that had been made, and particularly to the speeches of the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) on this subject; but he had been unable to produce a change of conviction on his mind. He saw that in a paper of that morning he was charged with being unworthy of the great name he bore from the course he was conscientiously now prepared to follow; but he was sure that, in giving expression to the legitimate sentiments of his heart, he should never justly lay himself open to such an accusation. At all events this he could say—and he hoped the House would excuse him while he said it—that he found it personally disagreeable to himself to be opposed to those few Members whose political sentiments it might be expected that he should reciprocate, and the recollection of whose political antecedents he could say with truth that he revered. But he thought it was far more independent to abide by his own political convictions, rather than be guided by the opinions of any hon. Gentleman, however much those opinions might be entitled to his respect. The hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Bright) had alluded to what might occur in another House. (He Sir R. Peel) might say at once that his hopes were not in that House—his hopes were centred in that "other place;" and whatever the hon. Member for Manchester might say, he knew that in those hopes the real excellence of the British constitution lay, because of the reciprocal and mutual check which either House of the Legislature was capable of exercising over the decisions of the other. They might, however, be unable, either here or in the other House to establish their opinions; but at all events, whatever might be the result, they would have the satisfaction of feeling that they at least had urged their opinions with all befitting zeal—that they had been to the end faithful to their convictions; and he had no hesitation in stating his belief that if this Bill should pass both branches of the Legislature, and if, through the recommendation of the Government, the Crown should give its sanction to it, by that sanction the Government would do that which would tend materially to shake the confidence and loyalty which had hitherto been felt for the authority of the Crown as defender of the faith.


said, he did not mean to enter at that time of night into the merits of a question which had already been fully and, till within the last few minutes, ably and properly discussed. But he had a right, after the speech of the hon. Baronet who had just sat down, to appeal to the House—to appeal to himself, when he was capable of understanding an appeal—to ask whether it was fit—whether it was Parliamentary—whether it was consistent with the usages of that House—whether it was decent—that any Member of that House should apply to a Member of the House who was absent, from no fault of his own, those terms which it had pleased the hon. Baronet to apply to the hon. Member for the City of London, the Baron de Rothschild? He knew not what might be the significance of the terms which the hon. Baronet used when he said that there was no family who had contributed so much as the family of Rothschild to gag the liberties of Europe; but he would tell the hon. Baronet that he had no right whatever to state that his election had cast a slur upon the electors of the City of London. He defied the hon. Baronet to point out any act, whether public or private, in the life of any member of that family, which was universally respected throughout Europe, that would justify him in the use of these terms. Let him (Mr. Fitzroy) say that, whatever might be the opinion of the hon. Baronet with respect to the hon. Member for the City of London, the greatest proofs of the integrity, honour, and justice with which the hon. Member performed all the duties of the various positions of life which he filled, were the reiterated marks of confidence conferred upon him by so important a constituency as that of London; and he believed the hon. Member for London might be well content that the imputations of the hon. Baronet should be put against the flat- tering and distinguished marks of confidence shown towards him by his fellow-countrymen.


rose amid cries of "Divide!" I hope, Sir, that, after the debate which has taken place, I shall at least be allowed to say a few words. With respect to the hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) who spoke last but one—although no doubt he had a perfect right to express his conscientious convictions on this question, to which side soever those convictions may lead him—yet I hope he will reflect that it was hardly generous to give a vote excluding Baron Rothschild from sitting in this House, and at the same time to make a personal attack upon him. When Baron Rothschild sits in this House—as I trust and believe he soon will—then let the hon. Baronet direct any reproaches and attacks he may have to make against him; and I will venture to say that the character of Baron Rothschild will not suffer from the infliction. But there are two speeches which have been delivered to-night—the one by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Midhurst (Mr. Walpole), and the other by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Manchester (Mr. Bright)—which I can hardly fail to notice consistently with my duty to the present question. The right hon. Gentleman has argued with very great ability against the passing of this Bill; but in adverting to the principles which he has laid down, I think that those principles can hardly be much longer maintained by Parliament. The right hon. Gentleman says that the Jew cannot become connected with institutions of a Christian character. In another part of his speech the right hon. Gentleman said, "Let them strike their tents and depart, for they do not belong to this country."


What I said was, if they struck their tents and departed, no vestige of them would remain in this country.


Well, that is nearly the sense. [Cries of "No, no!"] The right hon. Gentleman said, "Let them strike their tents and depart, and no vestige of them will remain." One would suppose from this that these persons were entire strangers to this land; that they had struck no root in the soil, and that they were not connected with the institutions of the country; but the fact is that they now hold many important offices in the country. Jews can hold the offices of magistrates, and of sheriffs, and can be members of municipal corporations, and in that way they are closely connected with the institutions of the country. As to striking their tents, I believe that if the right hon. Gentleman would ask his right hon. Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli), he would find that they have not fixed mere tents upon the ground in this country, but tolerably solid buildings. The argument as to the Christianity of the country has been repeated to-night. Well, I ask, is this or is it not a Christian country? If you tell me it is a Christian country, I say that if the Jews are admitted to Parliament, it will still be a Christian Parliament. If you tell me it is not a Christian country, because it is a country consisting of Christians and Jews, I say then let the Parliament be like the country; let the Parliament represent the country; let it be composed of Christians generally, with some addition of Jews, and then it will represent the country. I do not see how it can be maintained that this is a Christian country when it comprises Jews, and yet that the Parliament would not be a Christian Parliament if Jews were admitted into it. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Walpole) has also said that Parliament has the right to impose qualifications and conditions with regard to those who sit in this House. No doubt Parliament has the right to impose such conditions, but they ought to be reasonable conditions. It is a reasonable condition that a man should be of a certain age, that he should not be a pauper, and that he should not be an alien. It was not a reasonable condition that Cheshire or Wales should not be represented; and such unreasonable conditions were abrogated by Parliament. Now, within which category do you place the restrictions relating to Jews? I say it is an unreasonable condition, because there is no reason whatever why a Jew should not perform the functions of a Member of Parliament. If he belongs to the country, and performs all the duties of a citizen, I say that he has a primâ facie right to exercise such functions; and you cannot pretend that because persons not twenty-one years of age and paupers are excluded, it is reasonable the Jew should be excluded. I have said—and the right hon. Gentleman refers to it as deciding the whole question—that men should be influenced by religious dispositions in all the business of life, but not in the business of legislation. Now here I contrast your system with that which I propose to establish. The present system, as we know very well, requires that a few words shall be appended to one of the oaths which do not declare, but simply, that the person who takes the oath is a Christian. We know that that system has admitted into this House, and placed at the head of a Conservative Administration, a man who was one of the most able writers who ever tried by sneer and irony to depreciate the books of the Old Testament. We know, also, that the same system placed in this House, and gave office in a Conservative Administration to, a man who, by his sneers and irony, depreciated the books of the New Testament. These are the fruits, I may say the natural fruits, your system has produced, and which are all you can expect to produce. Now, with regard to men who are Jews, it is to be recollected that the books which they acknowledge to be of divine origin, are books which we ourselves acknowledge as being books of the same description. It must be remembered, also, that those precepts which we read in the New Testament, from the highest of all authorities, are precepts many of which are deduced from the books of the Old Testament, and therefore I cannot see that there is any reason why a Jew sitting in this House, although having religious convictions differing from ours, should not have religious convictions that would guide his political and moral conduct in such a way as would render him a far better Member of this House, and far more regardful of his duties in this House, than those to whom I have alluded, and that your system has admitted. I have argued this question so often at different times, that I will only say further upon it, that those who oppose the admission of the Jews to Parliament seem to me to have great want of faith in the power and efficacy of Christianity. They seem to me to think that it requires the props and buttresses of old Statutes to enable Christianity to maintain its due weight in the country. Now, I do not participate in that want of faith. Depend upon it you will find Christianity will be no loser by the admission of Jews into Parliament; and the precepts of Christianity would be more strictly obeyed by such admission. The hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Bright) has addressed to me certain questions with respect to the mode in which this measure should be carried, and he seems to expect that I should adopt certain measures which he thinks ought to be adopted for the purpose of carrying this proposal through the other House of Parliament. Now, Sir, it is no part of my view, as a means of carrying this question, to diminish or to degrade the constitutional authority of the other House of Parliament. My belief is, that, as many other questions of the same nature as that now under discussion have been carried by the influence of the people at large, or by the influence of this House as representing the people, so this question will be carried, and that before any long time has elapsed. I think, also, that it would be very unadvisable to attempt, by a vote of this House, to set aside that which I believe to be the true meaning of the law. When that question came on for consideration, I consulted many persons, including some members of the legal profession, and some politicians and statesmen, all of whom had voted for the admission of Jews to Parliament, and although certainly some of those persons, of considerable authority, said that by a vote of this House Jews might be admitted, yet by far the greater number were of opinion that we could not, consistently with the law, come to a Resolution to that effect. Now, that is my own opinion, and, much as I think it would be to the advantage of the great cause of civil and religious liberty, and glad as I should be to see the Jews admitted to Parliament, I cannot be a party to a Resolution which I think would be contrary to the laws of the land. These, therefore, are my reasons for not adopting two of the modes which have been suggested by the hon. Gentleman. The hon. Member has, however, further suggested that the Ministry should declare that they will stand or fall by this question. Now, I venture to think that every Ministry should judge for itself what are the principles upon which it will stake its fate. With regard to this question, I will repeat here what I have always said in the City of London—If you can find a general prevailing sense in the country that this measure ought to be carried, and if the country will send a great majority of representatives who are in favour of a Bill for admitting Jews into the House of Commons, depend upon it you will not long have any great resistance in the House of Lords. I believe that the House of Lords will, upon a question of this kind, listen to the voice of the country clearly pronounced. Although we have, for a long time, had a majority in this House in favour of this question, I cannot say that we have anything more to urge upon the House of Lords at present than has been urged be- fore. We have not to say—the hon. Gentleman has forced me to the confession—that there is an overwhelming feeling in the country in favour of the measure. What we have to affirm is, that there have been repeated majorities of this House in favour of the admission of Jews to Parliament; that the adoption of such a measure would be quite in conformity with the Acts which have been adopted removing restrictions upon Protestant Dissenters and on Roman Catholics; that it would be in conformity with the general policy of the country; and that there appears to be something illiberal in saying to the Jews, "We were forced to admit the Roman Catholics; their strength was too great for us to resist. We were forced to admit the Protestant Dissenters, because their political influence was such that we could not any longer place restrictions upon them; but the Jews are a small and insignificant body. There is, the right hon. Member for Midhurst (Mr. Walpole) said, no political necessity for admitting them into this House, and therefore what signify reasons and arguments as to what is due to the Jews? Being a small and insignificant body, we can safely do to them what we should not dare to the Roman Catholics and Protestant Dissenters." I think Parliament could not very long stand upon that ground, and I therefore expect that the Jews will be admitted by a vote of the other House of Parliament. I have symptoms, even in the present year, of conversions upon this question. I saw with great pleasure that in the last vote which took place, a noble Lord, the son of a late Prime Minister, added the weight not only of his distinguished name but of his high talents in favour of this question. I augur from that circumstance that the question is making progress. I find others who were formerly opposed to it willing now to vote for it. And I cannot but consider that when this question shall be carried, it will be, as I have said before, a completion of that system of religious liberty for which already so much has been done.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 288; Noes 230: Majority 58.

List of the AYES.
Adair, H. E. Anson, hon. General
Aglionby, H. A. Anson, Visct.
Alcock, T. Atherton, W.
Anderson, Sir J. Bailey, C.
Baines, rt. hon. M. T. Evans, Sir De L.
Ball, E. Evans, W.
Ball, J. Ewart, W.
Baring, H. B. Fagan, W.
Baring, rt. hon. Sir F. Feilden, M. J.
Baring, T. Fergus, J.
Baring hon. F. Ferguson, Col.
Barnes, T. Ferguson, Sir R.
Beaumont, W. B. Ferguson, J.
Bell, J. Fitzgerald, J. D.
Berkeley, Adm. Fitzgerald, Sir J. F.
Berkeley, hon. C. F. Fitzroy, hon. H.
Bethell, R. Fitzwilliam, hon. G. W
Biggs, W. Forster, M.
Bland, L. H. Forster, C.
Bonham-Carter, J. Fortescue, C.
Bouverie, hon. E. P. Fox, R. M.
Bowyer, G. Fox, W. J.
Brady, J. Freestun, Col.
Bright, J. French, F.
Brocklehurst, J. Gardner, R.
Brockman, E. D. Gaskell, J. M.
Brotherton, J. Geach, C.
Brown, W. Gibson, rt. hon. T. M.
Browne, V. A. Gladstone, rt. hon. W. E.
Bruce, H. A. Glyn, G. C.
Bulkeley, Sir R. B. Goodman, Sir G.
Burke, Sir T. J. Gower, hon. F. L.
Butler, C. S. Grace, O. D. J.
Byng, hon. G. H. C. Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.
Cardwell, rt. hon. E. Greene, J.
Caulfeild, Col. J. M. Gregson, S.
Cavendish, hon. C. C. Grenfell, C. W.
Cavendish, hon. G. Greville, Col. F.
Cayley, E. S. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Challis, Ald. Grosvenor, Lord R.
Chambers, M. Hadfield, G.
Chambers, T. Hall, Sir B.
Charteris, hon. F. Hanmer, Sir J.
Cheetham, J. Harcourt, G. G.
Clay, Sir, W. Hastie, A.
Clifford, H. M. Hastie, A.
Clinton, Lord R. Headlam, T. E.
Cobden, R. Heard, J. I.
Cockburn, Sir A. J. E. Heathcoat, J.
Coffin, W. Henchy, D. O.
Corbally. M. E. Herbert, H. A.
Cowan, C. Herbert, rt. hon. S.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Heyworth, L.
Craufurd, E. H. J. Higgins, G. G. O.
Crook, J. Hindley, C.
Crossley, F. Hogg, Sir J. W.
Crowder, R. B. Howard, hon. C. W. G.
Cubitt, Ald. Howard, Lord E.
Currie, R. Hudson, G.
Dalrymple, Visct. Hume, J.
Dashwood, Sir G. H. Hutchins, E. J.
Davie, Sir H. R. F. Hutt, W.
Denison, J. E. Ingham, R.
Disraeli, rt. hon. B. Jermyn, Earl
Divett, E. Johnstone, Sir J.
Drumlanrig, Visct. Keating, R.
Duff, G. S. Keating, H. S.
Duff, J. Kennedy, T.
Duffy, C. G. Kershaw, J.
Duke, Sir J. King, hon. P. J. L.
Duncan, G. Kinnaird, hon. A. F.
Duncombe, T. Kirk, W.
Dundas, F. Labouchere, rt. hon. H.
Dunlop, A. M. Laing, S.
Ellice, rt. hon. E. Langston, J. H.
Ellice, E. Langton, H. G.
Elliot, hon. J. E. Laslett, W.
Lawless, hon. C. Ricardo, J. L.
Lawley, hon. F. C. Ricardo, O.
Lemon, Sir C. Rich, H.
Locke, J. Robartes, T. J. A.
Loveden, P. Russell, Lord J.
Lowe, R. Russell, F. C. H.
Lucas, F. Russell, F. W.
Luce, T. Sadleir, J.
M'Cann, J. Sandars, G.
MacGregor, J. Sawle, C. B. G.
M'Mahon, P. Scobell, Capt.
M'Taggart, Sir J. Scully, F.
Maguire, J. F. Scully, V.
Mangles, R. D. Seymour, H. G.
Marshall, W. Seymour, W. D.
Martin, J. Shafto, R. D.
Massey, W. N. Shee, W.
Matheson, A. Shelburne, Earl of
Matheson, Sir J. Shelley, Sir J. V.
Maule, hon. Col. Smith, J. A.
Meagher, T. Smith, J. B.
Miall, E. Smith, M. T.
Milligan, R. Smith, rt. hon. R. V.
Mills, T. Smyth, R. G.
Milner, W. M. E. Stafford, Marq. of
Milnes, R. M. Stanley, Lord
Michell, W. Stanley, hon. W. O.
Mitchell, T. A. Stapleton, J.
Moffatt, G. Strickland, Sir G.
Molesworth,rt.hn.SirW. Strutt, rt. hon. E.
Monck, Visct. Stuart, Lord D.
Moncreiff, J. Sutton, J. H. M.
Monsell, W. Swift, R.
Moreton, Lord Talbot, C. R. M.
Morris, D. Tancred, H. W.
Mostyn, hon. E. M. L. Thicknesse, R. A.
Mulgrave, Earl of Thompson, G.
Mure, Col. Thornely, T.
Murphy, F. S. Towneley, C.
Murrough, J. P. Townshend, Capt.
Norreys, Lord Traill, G.
Norreys, Sir D. J. Tufnell, rt. hon. H.
O'Brien, C. Tynte, Col. C. J. K.
O'Brien, P. Vane, Lord H.
O'Brien, Sir T. Vernon, G. E. H.
O'Flaherty, A. Villiers, rt. hon. C. P.
Oliveira, B. Vivian, J. H.
Osborne, R. Vivian, H. H.
Otway, A. J. Wall, C. B.
Owen, Sir J. Walmsley, Sir J.
Paget, Lord A. Walter, J.
Paget, Lord G. Wells, W.
Palmerston, Visct. Whalley, G. H.
Pechell, Sir G. B. Whitbread, S.
Peel, F. Wickham, H. W.
Pellatt, A. Wilkinson, W. A.
Peto, S. M. Willcox, B. M.
Phillimore, J. G. Williams, W.
Phillimore, R. J. Wilson, J.
Phinn, T. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Pigott, F. Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.
Pilkington, J. Wortley, rt. hon. J. S.
Pinney, W. Wrightson, W. B.
Pollard-Urquhart, W. Wyvill, M.
Ponsonby, hon. A. G. J Young, rt. hon. Sir J.
Potter, R.
Power, N. TELLERS.
Price, Sir R. Hayter, W. G.
Price, W. P. Berkeley, C. G.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Alexander, J.
Adderley, C. B. Annesley, Earl of
Arbuthnott, hon. Gen. Follett, B. S.
Archdall, Capt. M. Forbes, W.
Arkwright, G. Forester, rt. hon. Col.
Bagge, W. Franklyn, G. W.
Bailey, Sir J. Fraser, Sir W. A.
Baillie, H. J. Frewen, C. H.
Baird, J. Fuller, A. E.
Baldock, E. H. Gallwey, Sir W. P.
Bankes, rt. hon. G. Galway, Visct.
Barrington, Visct. George, J.
Barrow, W. H. Gladstone, Capt.
Bateson, T. Goddard, A. L.
Beckett, W. Gooch, Sir E. S.
Bennet, P. Goulburn, Rt. hon. H.
Bentinck, Lord H. Graham, Lord M. W.
Bentinck, G. P. Granby, Marq. of
Beresford, rt. hon. W. Grogan, E.
Bernard, Visct. Guernsey, Lord
Blair, Col. Gwyn, H.
Blandford, Marq. of Hale, R. B.
Boldero, Col. Hall, Col.
Booker, T. W. Halsey, T. P.
Booth, Sir R. G. Hamilton, G. A.
Bramston, T. W. Hanbury, hon. C. S. B.
Brisco, M. Harcourt, Col.
Buck, L. W. Hawkins, W. W.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Heneage, G. H. W.
Burghley, Lord Henley, rt. hon. J. W.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Hildyard, R. C.
Burroughes, H. N. Hill, Lord A. E.
Butt, G. M. Hotham, Lord
Butt, I. Hughes, W. B.
Cabbell, B. B. Hume, W. F.
Cairns, H. M. Inglis, Sir R. H.
Campbell, Sir A. I. Ireton, S.
Carnac, Sir J. R. Johnstone, J.
Chandos, Marq. of Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.
Chelsea, Visct. Jones, Capt.
Child, S. Jones, D.
Christopher,rt.hon.R.A. Kendall, N.
Clinton, Lord C. P. Ker, D. S.
Clive, hon. R. H. King, J. K.
Clive, R. Knatchbull, W. F.
Cobbett, J. M. Knight, F. W.
Cobbold, J. C. Knightley, R.
Cocks, T. S. Knox, Col.
Codrington, Sir W. Knox, hon. W. S.
Colvile, C. R. Lacon, Sir E.
Compton, H. C. Langton, W. G.
Conolly, T. Legh, G. C.
Corry, rt. hon. H. L. Lennox, Lord A. F.
Cotton, hon. W. H. S. Lennox, Lord H. G.
Davies, D. A. S. Leslie, C. P.
Davison, R. Lindsay, hon. Col.
Dering, Sir E. Lockhart, A. E.
Drummond, H. Lockhart, W.
Duckworth, Sir J. T. B. Lopes, Sir R.
Duncombe, hon. A. Lovaine, Lord
Duncombe, hon. O. Lowther, hon. Col.
Dundas, G. Lowther, Capt.
Du Pre, C. G. Macartney, G.
East, Sir J. B. Mackenzie, W. F.
Egerton, Sir P. MacGregor, J.
Egerton, W. T. Maddock, Sir H.
Egerton, E. C. Malins, R.
Emley, Visct. Mandeville, Visct.
Emlyn, Visct. Manners, Lord G.
Evelyn, W. J. Manners, Lord J.
Farnham, E. B. March, Earl of
Farrer, J. Mare, C. J.
Fellowes, E. Masterman, J.
Filmer, Sir E. Maunsell, T. P.
Floyer, J. Maxwell, hon. J. P.
Meux, Sir H. Smith, W. M.
Miles, W. Spooner, R.
Montgomery, H. L. Stafford, A.
Montgomery, Sir G. Stanhope, J. B.
Moody, C. A. Stephenson, R.
Moore, R. S. Stuart, H.
Morgan, O. Tailor, Col.
Mullings, J. R. Thesiger, Sir F.
Mundy, W. Tollemache, J.
Naas, Lord Trollope, rt. hon. Sir J.
Napier, rt. hon. J. Tudway, R. C.
Neeld, J. Turner, C.
Neeld, J. Tyler, Sir G.
Newark, Visct. Tyrrell, Sir J. T.
Noel, hon. G. J. Vance, J.
North, Col. Vane, Lord A.
Oakes, J. H. P. Vansittart, G. H.
Ossulston, Lord Verner, Sir W.
Packe, C. W. Villiers, hon. F.
Packenham, E. Vivian, J. E.
Pakington, rt. hon. Sir J. Vyse, Capt. H.
Palmer, R. Waddington, H. S.
Parker, R. T. Walcott, Adm.
Patten, J. W. Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.
Peel, Sir R. Welby, Sir G. E.
Peel, Col. Wellesley, Lord C.
Pennant, hon. Col. West, F. R.
Percy, hon. J. W. Whiteside, J.
Phillips, J. H. Whitmore, H.
Portal, M. Wigram, L. T.
Prime, R. Williams, T. P.
Pritchard, J. Wodehouse, E.
Pugh, D. Worcester, Marq. of
Repton, G. W. J. Wyndham, Gen.
Robertson, P. F. Wyndham, W.
Rolt, P. Wynn, H. W. W.
Rushout, Capt. Wynne, W. W. N.
Scott, hon. F. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Seaham, Visct.
Seymer, H. K. TELLERS.
Sibthorp, Col. Bruce, C. C.
Smijth, Sir W. Newdegate, C. N.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read 3°, and passed.

The House adjourned at a quarter after One o'clock till Monday next.