§ Order for the consideration of the Bill, as amended, read,466
§ Mr. COGAN
said, that in the absence of his hon. and learned Friend the Member for the county of Cork (Mr. Deasy) he had undertaken to move the Amendment of which that hon. Gentleman had given notice. The principle of that Amendment had been so ably explained in the House last Session by his hon. and learned Friend that it would be unnecessary for him to occupy their time at any length. The object of the Amendment was to provide one uniform oath which should be taken by all the Members of that House. If the present Bill had been merely intended to admit the Jews into that House, he would not have proposed such Amendment, but the measure opened up the whole question of Parliamentary oaths. Two courses were open to the noble Member for the City of London (Lord John Russell). He might have proposed a Bill with the object of simply admitting Jews; or he might have adopted the course which he pursued in 1854, and have proposed one uniform oath to be taken by all Members of that House; but the noble Lord had taken a third, and, as he (Mr. Cogan) conceived, a most objectionable course, and proposed to amend the Oaths of Abjuration and Supremacy; but while ha wished to omit offensive passages from the Protestant oath he would retain them in the Roman Catholic oath, thus placing Roman Catholic Members of that House in a position of invidious inferiority. Against that invidious inferiority he (Mr. Cogan) now appealed from the noble Lord to the practice of the House. The passage abjuring the doctrine that princes excommunicated by the Pope may be deposed and murdered by their subjects was to be omitted from the Protestant oath, but was to be retained in the Roman Catholic oath; and the passage declaring that the oath was taken according to the plain and ordinary meaning of the words was to be removed from the Protestant oath, while it was retained in the Catholic form; and he certainly thought this proposition afforded strong grounds for complaint. He would not enter into a tedious discussion as to whether any compact had been entered into on this subject in 1829, for that question had been debated at great length last year. The short and simple answer he would give to the allegation of a compact was, that in 1854, the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) was one of those who supported the adoption of a uniform oath for all Members of that House; that the noble Lord lately at the head 467 of the Government (Viscount Palmerston) stated on the same occasion that he deemed it most desirable that one form of oath should be taken by all the Members, considering it an evil that any distinction should be established; that the right hon. Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. Gladstone) had declared his opinion that the oath should be the same for all; and that the right hon. Member for Carlisle (Sir James Graham) was one of those who brought in the Bill of 1854, and was therefore committed to the same principle. As to the objection that the present was not the proper time for bringing this subject forward, he might refer to the authority of the hon. Member for East Surrey (Mr. Drummond), that if this opportunity for establishing an uniformity in the oaths were allowed to slip by the Roman Catholic Members a similar opportunity might not again occur. The Amendment he had to propose was slightly different from that on the paper. He proposed in the preamble, in line three, after the word "law," to insert the words, "and instead of the oath now taken by Roman Catholics, under the 9 & 10 Geo. IV., c. 7," and the same words at line ten, after the word "respectively." In the oath he proposed to leave out the words, no "foreign Prince, Prelate, State, or Potentate hath or ought to have any power, authority, or jurisdiction, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm." He also proposed to omit the entire of the last clause of the Oath of Supremacy. He preferred this mode of dealing with the oath to that adopted last year, of proposing to substitute the words "temporal or civil" for "ecclesiastical or spiritual." He was of opinion that the supremacy of the Crown did not rest upon the mere authority of an Act of Parliament, but rested upon the common law of the country, which was anterior to the Act of Parliament; and he believed the adoption of the Amendment would obviate the objection that the terms of the oath denied the exercise by the Pope of "ecclesiastical and spiritual" authority within this realm, while many persons who believed that such authority was exercised were unwilling to take the oath in its present form, although they were ready to declare that the Pope neither "hath nor ought to have" any "temporal or civil" power within the realm. The hon. and learned Member for Sheffield had last year said, very justly— 468If he (Mr. Roebuck) knew that the Pope exercised such dominion, and he was called upon to take an oath that he did not, was not he (Mr. Roebuck) swearing to a lie, knowing it to be a lie? He contended that it was the duty of the House to relieve its Members from lying in this manner."—[3 Hansard, cxlv. 1778.]It was well known that a noble Lord had refused for many years to take his seat in "another place" because he could not conscientiously subscribe to the present oath. For his own part, he was of opinion that the Pope had such authority de jure as well as de facto, and he appealed to the House, not only on the part of the Roman Catholic, but of Protestant Members, to relieve them from an oath which many of them considered most objectionable.
§ Amendment proposed in page 1, line 3, after the word "law," to insert the words, "and instead of the oath now taken by Roman Catholics, under the 10 Geo. IV., c. 7."
§ MR. WALPOLE
said, he hoped the House would not agree to this alteration, which was one entirely foreign from the purport of the Bill as proposed by the noble Lord. The oath administered to Roman Catholic Members was adopted after much deliberation. On subsequent occasions, when it was proposed to alter that oath, Sir Robert Peel uniformly opposed any alteration, on the ground that the oath, as it stood, was the result of a tacit compact between the two parties. Under these circumstances he trusted the House would not sanction any alteration in it; and he believed the noble Lord would find his Bill very materially damaged if he accepted such an Amendment as that now suggested.
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
I am not prepared to agree to the proposal of the hon. Member, but I cannot argue the question in the same way as the right hon. Gentleman, because I must fairly own that I should consider it a benefit if but one oath existed for Members of all persuasions. It is true, as was stated by the hon. Gentleman, that in 1854 I proposed this same alteration, and I found the consequence to be, that while I did not help the cause of the Roman Catholics, I very much injured the cause of the Jews. Many of those who voted for the admission of the Jews objected to the one Oath as proposed by Roman Catholics, and particularly to the leaving out those words with respect to spiritual or ecclesiastical jurisdiction; and accordingly that Bill was lost in this House 469 —an event which has not happened on any other occasion when I have had the honour to introduce a Bill for the relief of the Jews. I cannot say that I think hon. Members who desire to retain this part of the oath are not justified in doing so if they wish it, because it is the law that no foreign Prince or Potentate shall have any power, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within the realm. That is the sense of the Act I Elizabeth, passed for the purpose of repealing the Act of Mary, by which the Roman Catholic religion was restored in this country. I have before gone into the question of whether hon. Members con properly take this oath —whether they really can say that neither the Pope nor any other foreign Potentate has any power or jurisdiction within this realm. I am certainly of opinion that, as has been the case since the time when this oath was first imposed, Members of Parliament may very fairly and properly take it. The meaning of the oath is, that there is not by law any such authority and jurisdiction acknowledged in this country. That, indirectly, the Bishops of Rome may, by certain Acts of Parliament, have certain power here is quite true; but that power does not amount to the power contemplated by the oath; for we have just heard that Roman Catholic Members do take the oath "that no foreign Prince, Prelate, or Potentate hath, or ought to have, any ecclesiastical or spiritual authority within the realm." No doubt, too, when a foreign Prince—the Emperor of Russia, for instance—appoints an Ambassador to this country, and when that Ambassador has presented his credentials, he exorcises certain power and authority which are by law acknowledged. But this does not amount to the exercise of real jurisdiction in this country on the part of the Emperor of Russia. I should certainly be glad to see one oath applicable to all Members of Parliament; but, although that would give me great pleasure, I do not think in the present temper, either of the country or of Parliament, I should, by adopting this Amendment, at all help the cause of the Roman Catholics, while I should very much embarrass the cause I have taken up —namely, that of the Jews. We must always recollect that, although Roman Catholics advance those objections to the oath which they are called upon to take, they are admitted both to Parliament and to office, and that therefore they are in the 470 enjoyment of privileges from which the Jews are debarred. Upon principles of religious liberty, therefore, I think it not very reasonable on the part of Roman Catholics that, because they object to the oath which, on entering the House, they are called upon to take, they should attempt to shut the door in the face of the Jews. For the reasons I have stated I shall feel it my duty to object to the Amendment.
§ MR. COLLINS
said that, whatever other alterations might be effected, he hoped the House would, by passing this Amendment, declare that in their judgment every Member should enter Parliament by one and the same declaration. It appeared to him a most unseemly spectacle that men who were citizens of a common country, subjects of the same Sovereign, and professing a common creed, should, by taking different oaths at the table of the House, be substantially called on to declare that no common bond of unity subsisted between them. It had been stated that this was not the time to bring forward a measure to secure that unity. What, when the noble Lord was seeking to abrogate three of the oaths which were taken by members of this House, was it not the time to consider the fourth oath? If this were not the time, then it would not be until the days of our children's children that the question would be settled. Moreover, this was not the first time that the Oath of Supremacy had been altered. The old oath had been abrogated in the reign of William the Third, when this oath was framed with the undoubted object of excluding a certain class of our fellow-subjects from this House. In 1829, however, it was declared that the opinions entertained by those persons should no longer be any bar to admission to Parliament. In its legal sense the oath was perhaps true. In its popular sense, however, the Bishop of Rome certainly exercised indirect power in this country. Suppose, for example, a Romish priest came over to the Church of England, he was entitled to claim institution without being again ordained, so that in such a case the Pope had a power in this country which neither the Sovereign nor either branch of the Legislature possessed. He thought it very desirable that these differences should be reconciled. There were some who said the oath had a good effect, as it forced the Roman Catholic Members to come in by a back door; but why should they be 471 put upon a different footing from that on which the other Members of the House stood? The first paragraph of the Roman Catholic oath was a protest against the doctrine that princes could be dethroned or put to death by their subjects. They had lately had a great deal of discussion upon the subject of assassination, and had denied that it found favour in England; but the inference from this oath was, that at least one section of the community approved of it. He had, however, read in English history that the last of our monarchs who had been murdered by his subjects was King Charles I., and he certainly was not aware that that event had been specially attributed to members of the Roman Catholic persuasion. He was, indeed, of opinion that Roman Catholics, in being compelled to make the declaration which the paragraph in question involved, were placed in a position somewhat parallel to that which Scotchmen would occupy supposing they were called upon to make some such declaration as that they should not use bad language, or steal the books of the House, while Englishmen and Irishmen were exempted from making any statement of that character. He should like to know what the representatives of Scotland would say under those circumstances? One of the next paragraphs in the oath taken by Roman Catholics bound them not to attempt to disturb the settlement of property in Ireland; that referred to the settlement of 1660, and even the most violent advocate of tenant right would not seek to disturb that. The most material paragraph was that which bound them to do nothing which would tend to injure the Church Establishment. Now, a measure for the total abolition of church rates — a measure affecting that Church Establishment—had been supported by Members of all religious denominations in that House, and he, for one, objected to the hands of any particular class in Parliament being tied in the consideration of that or similar questions. Moreover, many persons thought that the oath would not bear that interpretation, and it was therefore useless in this respect. He had therefore hoped the noble Lord the Member for the City of London, who was so fond of putting the coping-stone to all measures of religious liberty, would have relieved the Roman Catholics from the necessity of taking an oath different from that which was required in the case of other hon. Members, but in that hope, he regretted 472 to say, he was disappointed. He trusted, however, the noble Lord, the Member for Tiverton, who, he had no doubt, was anxious to sweep away the last rag of intolerance, would upon that occasion support the Amendment before the House.
§ MR. MILNER GIBSON
said, he had some short time ago been one of those who ventured to submit to the notice of Parliament a measure, the object of which was to repeal the Oath of Abjuration, and thereby to remove those obstacles which precluded members of the Jewish persuasion from taking their seats in that House. He had also proposed the repeal in question for the purpose of relieving Protestants from the necessity of making a declaration which he believed to be superfluous and absurd. Upon that occasion he had been invited to introduce a change into the Roman Catholic oath, but although his own opinion had at first been strongly in favour of taking that course, still he bad upon consideration declined to do so in consequence of the apprehension which he entertained that it would interfere with the success of the measure which he had in hand. He entirely concurred with the hon. Gentleman who had that evening proposed the Amendment that every Member of that House ought upon his admission to it be called upon to take the same form of oath, and holding those sentiments he should deem it to be his duty to vote with the hon. Member if he should press his Motion to a division. He must, however, add the expression of his belief that if the hon. Gentleman were to do so he would be pursuing a most unfortunate course so far as the success of the Bill under discussion was concerned. The fact was it might endanger the whole measure. He would, therefore, put to the hon. Gentleman whether it would not be good policy not to attempt to do too much at present, and to refrain until some more favourable opportunity from endeavouring to place that coping stone to the measure of the noble Lord the Member for London to which the hon. Gentleman who had just spoken had adverted. He would ask whether, after all, the Roman Catholic was not in a better position in reference to swearing than the Protestant Member of that House? He for one would prefer taking the Roman Catholic oath to subscribing to the three Oaths of Abjuration, Supremacy, and Allegiance which he was now required to take. The Roman Catholics had at all events been relieved from one very great absurdity 473 —the necessity of abjuring non-existent persons, while he was obliged to go to the table of the House, and, invoking the Deity, solemnly to abjure the descendants of James II., while he was perfectly aware that no descendants of that monarch survived. That certainly had been omitted from the Roman Catholic oath, and to that extent he thought the Roman Catholic had an advantage over the Protestant Christian; but let them not attempt to make the Bill now before them carry too much. It would be difficult enough to emancipate the Jews. Let them, then, for the present, postpone the consideration of the Roman Catholic oath, which he (Mr. M. Gibson) admitted did contain great absurdities. Let them confine themselves to simply passing the measure as it stood. He hoped the hon. Member for Kildare would content himself with having made a considerate and reasonable protest against the Roman Catholic oath, and not put the House to the necessity of dividing.
§ MR. PALK
said, that although the Bill had passed through Committee, he conceived it was within the province of any hon. Member to challenge as well the principle and the details of the measure. But every argument in favour of the emancipation of the Jews had been so often stated, and so ably answered on that —the Ministerial—side of the House, that it was almost superfluous to detain the House on those points. Indeed, he should not have addressed the House at all, were it not for the very peculiar position which the Bill now occupied, and the very peculiar reason which had been given by its noble proposer why it should pass into a law. The noble Lord had just told the House that he was particularly anxious to see one form of oath established for every Member of Parliament, and as a proof of his wish that that should be the case he had brought in a measure which would institute one oath for the Protestant, another for the Nonconformist, another for the Jew, and another for the Roman Catholic. But was it necessary that this question should be raised at all? Or, if raised, had the question progressed in any way whatever to induce them to imagine that the time of the House would be well spent in its discussion? First, was it really a fact that the Jew was excluded from a seat in the House of Commons? He had heard I it stated by more than one hon. Member of some experience and authority in that House, that it was in the power and pro- 474 vince of the House itself to declare Baron Rothschild duly elected, and by their own Resolution to free him from the difficulties presented by that portion of the oath which prevented him from taking his seat in the House. If that were the case, then he maintained that there was a vast constitutional question involved which was of much greater importance than the mere admission of Baron Rothschild to a seat in Parliament. He (Mr. Palk) thought that this House was bound to maintain all those lights and liberties which had grown up in ages long gone by, and which the great and the good had left to them for their inheritance. In "another place," so recently as to be within the recollection of all he then addressed, noble Lords took upon themselves to refuse to admit a Peer who had been created merely for life by the Crown to a participation in their privileges; and, moreover, they proved their perfect right to do so. So also, if this House had the right to admit those whom it considered to be duly elected, why did it fear to exercise that right? The noble Lord said that very possibly the House had the right, but that it was inexpedient to use it as, if it were exercised, it would immediately bring the House into collision with another branch of the Legislature. Well, but would they not be incurring the same risk by the vote which they wore called upon to give that night? Last year the question was brought forward by the noble Viscount the then Premier, the leader of a strong party, and the head of a powerful Government. That noble Lord introduced it with all the accessories of power which his position gave him, and passed it by a large majority; and if the other branch of the Legislature could have been overawed by a declaration of the opinion on the part of this House, it would have been overawed by the position which the noble Lord then assumed. But what was the position of the noble Lord who now brought the measure before the House? Was he the leader of a large and powerful party? Was he the First Minister of the State? Was it likely that the other branch of the Legislature would yield to a private Member of this House that which they had refused to the great leader of a great party, and the head of the Government? What was to be the end of this measure? Were they to go on debating this question time after time, and year after year? Would not the result of the course now adopted be the same this year as the last? Was the 475 noble Lord really in earnest in passing this measure? If he were really in earnest, where was the proof that would induce them to believe him? The Bill he had brought in this year was very much the same Bill that he had been in the habit of bringing in every year. There was no alteration in it—no amendment—except, indeed, that the noble Lord had succeeded this year in offending his Roman Catholic allies. Was it not a mere waste of time to be going on discussing this matter year after year, without any result? Was it not better that they should proceed at once to decide the question whether the House had or had not the power, by its own vote, to seat Baron Rothschild? And if they decided that they had the power, was it not better that the House should seat the Baron without further reference to the other House, while they retained the words "on the true faith of a Christian"? He did not think it was likely that any vote of this House would overawe the House of Lords, any more than it had done on former occasions; and if it did not, he asked the noble Lord whether he was prepared to take that course which he had invariably evaded taking up all the years that it had been debated, and show that he was really earnest in the cause of which he had made so much political capital by proposing to seat Baron Rothschild by a vote of that House without any reference to the House of Lords?
§ MR. J. D. FITZGERALD
said, he rose to recal the House to the question that was immediately before it—the question whether this Bill ought not to be so amended as that it should be made applicable to the oath taken by Roman Catholics as well as to that taken by other Members of the House. He had listened with some curiosity to the statement of the views of the Government upon this question, which he confessed he thought the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State had treated almost with contempt. He had said a few words in a low tone of voice, not attempting to discuss the question, but telling us that there was something in the nature of a compact at the time of the passing of the Roman Catholic Emancipation Act which prevented the discussion of this question now. That argument had been frequently answered, but if he had thought the question of compact was to have been again pressed upon the House, he would have come prepared with those extracts from the debates on the Roman Catholic Eman- 476 cipation Act which had more than once been pressed upon the attention of the House, and which established beyond a doubt that, whether there was settlement or security, neither Sir Robert Peel nor any one else ever thought of Compact. He would, therefore, pass from that question and come to the argument of the noble Lord the Member for the City of London, who had rested his objection to the Amendment on the ground that there was a settlement. But first he would deal with another argument of the noble Lord, that the course proposed to be taken would injure the cause of the Jews, and would peril the passing of this Bill. If he thought that objection was well grounded, he would certainly advise his hon. Friend to abandon his Amendment, and seek first to carry the present Bill, and then call upon the Liberal party to rally round him and endeavour to place the Roman Catholics in that position with regard to oaths which they ought to occupy. But he did not believe the effect of this Amendment would be to damage the Bill or to prevent it from passing into a law. He was a supporter of the Emancipation of the Jews. He was ready then, and he would be ready at any future period, to put an end to this last relic of intolerance; but, if without injuring the Jew, he could remove a grievance of which the Roman Catholics justly complained, he felt bound to do so. The noble Lord said there was a settlement of this question in 1829. [Lord J. RUSSELL: NO; in the first year of Queen Elizabeth.] But surely the noble Lord did not mean to say that Roman Catholics ought never to be in a position to alter the oath, however offensive that oath might be felt to be. He must remind the House that when Roman Catholic Emancipation was before the House it had to deal with a state of public feeling which was aroused at the time to a state of great apprehension. It was believed then that the admission of the Roman Catholics would be destructive to the constitution of the country; and that there could not be securities enough taken to prevent them from doing mischief. But might he not now, after a period of nearly thirty years had elapsed, refer with confidence to the conduct of the Roman Catholic Members of that House as dissipating those unfounded misapprehensions? Above all, he would appeal to the noble Lord the Member for the City of London. The noble Lord had originated or taken a great part in carrying all the great Liberal mea- 477 sures of the last thirty years; and he would ask the noble Lord, during the whole of that time did he not always look for support to the Roman Catholics? Whether it was on the question of free trade, or on the advancement of civil and religious liberty—in no case had he ever found his standard deserted by a single Roman Catholic Member, except when, on one occasion, a gentleman, who was no longer a Member of this House, Mr. Moore, the late Member for Mayo, voted against the admission of Jews to Parliament. Was there, then, anything to prevent them seeking and obtaining a modification such as would render the Roman Catholic oath loss distasteful to them? Were they to be told that every year Roman Catholics must come up to the table and swear this—I do declare that it is not an article of my faith, and that I do renounce, reject, and abjure the opinion that Princes excommunicated or deprived by the Pope may be deposed or murdered by their own subjects, or by any person whatsoever?Was there any one here who would say that that was the doctrine of the Roman Catholics? Was there a Roman Catholic who believed that the Pope either had now or ever had power or authority to sanction the crime of murder, or to depose any Sovereign either in this or in any other realm? And if not, why should they retain that declaration? Why should a Roman Catholic Gentleman be brought to the table to have his feelings excited and himself insulted by being called upon publicly to disavow that which in his heart he condemned? It might be said that if he did not believe the doctrine, the disavowal of it did him no injury. But was it not an insult to place him in such a position? There were other portions of the oath which he felt to be objectionable; but he would not further occupy the time of the House. His intention was to support the measure, and, if he could, carry the measure for the emancipation of the Jews. But if, in addition to that, he could, by means of the Amendment of his hon. Friend the Member for Kildare, at the same time relieve his Roman Catholic brethren from what he felt to be an insult, he felt bound to support it.
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
explained, that he had never said the question of the Roman Catholic oath had been settled in 1829, and therefore it could not now be reconsidered. In his opinion, the subject 478 might fairly he considered if brought forward as a separate question. What he had alluded to was the settlement of the right to the Imperial Crown of these realms at the commencement of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and he said that it might be a fair remark to make that the oath should he in conformity with that settlement.
§ MR. HORSMAN
said, it was difficult for those Liberal Members who had been in favour of admitting Roman Catholic Members to the House not to sympathise with what had fallen from the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. FitzGerald); but he contended that the Protestant Members were placed in a difficult position as well as the Roman Catholics, by the forms of the oaths they were called on to take. They were at present called upon to subscribe three oaths, by the first of which they swore allegiance to the Queen, and to protect her person; by the second they swore allegiance to the line of the Protestant succession; and by the third they abjured the rights of foreign potentates. Now, with respect to this third oath, the point had been raised, and raised in a manner which he thought the Protestant Members would do well to consider how far it was necessary or desirable for thorn to abjure the spiritual jurisdiction of the Pope. Let it be observed that they swore that no foreign Prince, Potentate, or Prelate, had any spiritual jurisdiction in this country. Now, could they really swear to those words, in their plain common-sense moaning, that no foreign Prelate exercised any spiritual jurisdiction in Ireland? Why, who was the greatest living authority with regard to the power of the Pope in this country? Undoubtedly it was the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Spooner). He had studied the subject with an amount of zeal and research which, if a vacancy were to occur in the presidency of Maynooth College to-morrow, and if the vacancy were to be filled up by competitive examination, would enable the hon. Gentleman to outstrip the whole college of the Propaganda. Well, he came down to that House year after year with a Motion, which he enforced with much evidence and authority, that the spiritual power of the Pope in Ireland was so great that it endangered the authority of the Crown. The authority upon which his hon. Friend chiefly relied, was the statement of some leading Members of the 479 Roman Catholic Church, who, on being examined before the Royal Commission, said that they not only had always acknowledged the spiritual authority of the Pope, but that they always intended to do so. Well, his hon. Friend not only made this Motion, but he carried a largo portion of the House into the lobby with him in support of it; and yet when a dissolution took place, and the hon. Gentleman was re-elected, he came to the table and swore —much, he (Mr. Horsman) should think to the astonishment of the Roman Catholic Members—that the Pope had no spiritual jurisdiction whatever; and then he went back to his seat and renewed his Motion, that the power of the Pope was so great and so dangerous as to call for the interference of this House. Of course they all knew the ground on which the hon. Gentleman defended this apparent inconsistency. His defence was, that the Pope had no power which would be recognised in a court of law)—[Loud cries of hear! hear!] That might come well enough from the mouths of some hon. Gentlemen; but the hon. Gentleman was in the habit of lecturing Roman Catholic Members, because they did not, according to him, adhere to the ipsissima verba of the oath, but inserted words of their own. That, he thought, was just what the hon. Gentleman did in this case. But now let them look at the new oath that was proposed. They were to be called upon to say, that the Pope had no power, directly or indirectly; and they wore reminded that those words were in the oath for maintaining the supremacy of the Crown in the days of Queen Elizabeth. But the facts were very different in the days of Queen Elizabeth to what they were now. At that time the oath might be taken consistently with morality and truth, because at that time the Pope really had no power. Was it not notorious to them all that now the Pope appointed bishops in Ireland and governed that Church? Was he not appealed to on all questions of discipline? And even acts of Imperial policy had been opposed and thwarted by the mandates of the Pope, publicly and ostentatiously proclaimed? Then, though it might in a certain sense be true that the Pope exercised no direct power, could they say that he exercised none indirectly? He confessed it appeared to him that it would be difficult for any hon. Member, without a large amount of mental reservation, to swear that. [Lord J. RUSSELL: 480 I propose to omit these words,] Still that did not affect the objections he had urged against the other parts of the oath. It was no answer to him to be told that many good and pious men had from time immemorial taken these oaths. It was notorious, that till within the last few years, oaths had been multiplied with so much levity, that persons on their admission to office came to regard them as possessed of scarcely any more religious meaning than the payment of the fees. But a great change had come over the country; many things which before were held to be trivial, were now looked upon as sacred; and in particular an oath, which used to he looked upon as little more than an idle form, was now elevated into a solemnity in which the heart and the conscience were both called to bear a part. He had, therefore, great doubt about the enactment of this form of oath, which was at variance with admitted facts; for it appeared to him that if they did so, they would be lending themselves in the eyes of the whole nation, to the sanction of a lax morality. But in the case of the Roman Catholics the case was still harder. They were called upon to subscribe an oath, which, as used for a test, was needless and offensive, and which was imposed at the time by the stronger upon the weaker party. At the same time he felt the force of the argument of the noble Lord, that these two questions ought not to be mixed up together; that if they did so, instead of aiding one they would be injuring both, and therefore he would recommend that the question should be raised on a future occasion.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
I very much concur in what has fallen from my noble Friend the Member for the city of London. Undoubtedly it would be desirable that only one oath should be taken by all hon. Members, if such an oath could be framed which would be sufficient for the purpose; and, although I do not agree with my right hon. Friend who has just sat down, that there is anything in the Roman Catholic oath which is untruthful, or which at least cannot be conscientiously taken, I agree with him in thinking it must be very repugnant to the feelings of Roman Catholics to disavow doctrines which, at this day, no man entertains. But, although I agree in thinking it would be very desirable if some alteration were made, I cannot help thinking we had better dispose of the matter in hand with- 481 out complicating it with another matter which is not the specific object of the Bill. There is no doubt that the passing of a Bill, to enable Jews to sit in Parliament, is a matter which will encounter great difficulty. Our experience shows that that is so; but I do not think the best way of surmounting one difficulty is to create unnecessarily another. It is clear to me, if we are to attempt the two things at once by agreeing to this Amendment, without at all improving the position of the Catholics, we should add to the difficulty with which the Bill, as it now stands, has already to contend. I therefore earnestly concur in the recommendation that the hon. Gentleman who made this Motion should be content with the protest he has made against the part of the Roman Catholic oath which he thinks objectionable, and should not embarrass the immediate object of the measure by the discussion of any other matter.
§ MR. WIGRAM
said, he rose to protest against this Amendment being considered merely as a question of time. The present condition of the oaths taken by Members of Parliament was this—that the Protestant was required to abjure the temporal and spiritual power of the Pope, while the Roman Catholic, under the Emancipation Act, was allowed to substitute an oath abjuring the temporal power only. But if the alteration now proposed were carried out, the effect would be that the Roman Catholic would avoid declaring what he was now required to declare, that the Pope had no temporal power. He thought, therefore, that the matter was one of the greatest importance; and, if the present Amendment were carried, it would meet with the disapprobation of the whole country. Why, only three or four years ago a whole Session was occupied in the discussion of this very principle, whether the Pope could exercise temporal power in these realms, which he had attempted to do by the nomination of bishops with territorial titles. That discussion took place at the instance of the noble Lord the Member for London himself. As to the latter argument of the right hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Horsman), it admitted of a very easy answer. In the first place, the noble Lord the Member for London had given notice that he intended to move the omission of the words "directly or indirectly." With regard to the spiritual jurisdiction of the Pope, he must say, for one, that he never could take that 482 part of the oath, if it were to he interpreted so as to pledge himself to the belief that the Pope actually exercised no jurisdiction in this realm. The answer to that objection always was, that lawfully he had no power. That was the sense in which he had always taken the oath, and in which be believed it bad always been accepted. But he would not have the slightest objection to insert the words "lawfully" or "by law" in that part of the oath; for he believed, without meaning any offence to Roman Catholics, that every interference of the Pope, or of any other Potentate, with either the temporal or spiritual jurisdiction of this country, was opposed to the constitution of the country, and he hoped that principle would long be maintained by the public feeling of the country.
§ MR. STEUART
was understood to say, that if the words "lawfully" or "by law" were added to the oath, he would agree, He thought, however, that another word, the word "right," might be suggested; and, if he were allowed by the forms of the House, he would propose the insertion of the words, "hath no right to claim or exercise any power, &c." For his own part, however, he did not make any reservation when he took the oath. He did not regard the language of the oath as an assertion of fact, but as an expression of opinion.
said, he did not complain of the noble Lord the Member for the city of London, as he was not surprised that the noble Lord felt disinclined to embarrass the question by the introduction of a fresh difficulty. But he objected to the Bill on the ground that the position of other Members of the House was changed. The effect of this Bill would be to re-enact the former Protestant oath, which he, as a Protestant, had great objection to take, while the Roman Catholic would be placed in a more invidious position than he was before. He would, therefore, vote for the Amendment of his hon. Friend, while, at the same time, he wished to state that he had no wish to endanger the cause of the Jews.
§ MR. HASSARD
should feel it his duty to protest against the Bill altogether, unless it were passed with the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Kildare (Mr. Cogan). At the same time, he could not but complain of the oath now required to be taken by Protestants, while the ecclesiastical power of the Pope was to be seen every day in Ireland, so that it was of no use to deny it. That power was recognised 483 even in Acts of Parliament, as it was no uncommon thing for an Act of Parliament to provide that Roman Catholic bishops — who, as everybody knew, were appointed by the Pope—should be trustees of charities.
§ MR. COGAN
explained that he had been misunderstood by the noble Lord the Member for the city of London. The noble Lord had said that it would be ungracious on the part of the Roman Catholics, after they had themselves been admitted into the House, to slam the door in the face of the Jews. He (Mr. Cogan) had not used a single expression which could induce the House to believe that, if this Amendment was rejected, he should oppose the further progress of the Bill. He did not intend to convey any such impression, and probably the error had arisen from the indistinctness with which he spoke.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The House divided: Ayes 66; Noes 345: Majority 279.
§ Mr. STEUART
then moved to insert in page 2, line 8, after the word "Potentate," the word "rightfully." The Amendment would therefore run thus,—"No foreign Prince, State, or Potentate hath rightfully, or ought to have, any power or jurisdiction in these realms."
§ Amendment proposed, in page 2, line 8, after the word "Potentate," to insert the word "rightfully."
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'rightfully' be there inserted."
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
said, that he thought that the word "lawfully" might be intelligible, because it would refer to the state of the law here; but "rightfully" was a vague word, which every one might construe according to his own ideas.
§ MR. GLADSTONE
said, he always listened with great respect and attention to whatever fell from the noble Lord, and especially on a Bill of this description. He understood him to say—indeed it was admitted almost on all hands—that it was desirable something should be done with regard to these words. At any rate, that was admitted by his hon. and learned Friend the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Wigram) who strenuously held by what he conceived to be the substance of this 484 part of the oath. The question, then, would be, which of the words was the best in the opinion of the House—the word "rightfully," as proposed by Mr. Steuart, or the word "lawfully," which his hon. and learned Friend the Member for the University of Cambridge intended to propose. His noble Friend (Lord J. Russell) seemed to prefer the word "lawfully," because it meant that the Pope "hath not, or ought to have," any jurisdiction by law within these realms. Now, he (Mr. Gladstone) did not believe that the noble Lord's construction of the oath would hold. He might be wrong, but this was a question partly of history and partly of the private impressions of individuals. He would, how-, ever, recall to the recollection of the House, that the object of the Oath of Abjuration, when originally introduced in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, was to exclude the Roman Catholics, and it was retained at the Revolution in 1688 for the same purpose, and for that purpose alone. But there might be Roman Catholics who were conscientiously of opinion that the Pope "neither hath or ought to have," any legal or coercive jurisdiction whatever in this realm. Take, for instance, one large body of Roman Catholics. The whole Roman Catholics of the United States, as a body, they were constantly told, objected as strongly and jealously as they did to the possession of legal power or jurisdiction by the Pope. Such, he thought, was also the language held by the late Mr. O'Connell. If he recollected rightly, the language of Mr. O'Connell in that House was also to the effect, that the union of Church and State was a very great evil, and that spiritual power ought not to be backed by legal or temporal authority. But if his noble Friend's construction of the oath were correct, there was nothing in the world to have prevented Mr. O'Connell taking the Oath of Supremacy at that date; there was nothing in the oath touching the conscience of a Roman Catholic, if he were of opinion that legal jurisdiction ought not to be given to the Pope, and that he ought only to have spiritual authority. [An HON. MEMBER: What do you understand by the word "rightfully"?] He understood it to mean properly or justly; but what he wished the House to bear in mind was this—that if there were these difficulties in the construction of an oath which were held to be of great constitutional importance, that of itself was a clear proof that the matter required the attention of the 485 House; for it was not a subject which ought to be left to A, B, and C to construe for themselves. There ought to be a legislative construction put upon an oath which purported to aim at a great constitutional object, and which different gentlemen construed in different modes for themselves. There was another matter which, although it affected the interest of a very small body of persons, he confessed appeared to him to require the early attention of Parliament. He alluded to the case of the Moravians, than whom he believed no body of religionists in this country enjoyed more universal respect from all classes of the community. It was the misfortune of the Moravians that they were governed by a foreign jurisdiction. There was what was termed a "consistor;" which held its meetings at Hernhut, in Germany, and exercised a supreme and ultimate authority over all proceedings of the Moravian body; so that supposing a Moravian minister was dismissed by the immediate authority of the congregation to which he belonged in England, that sentence was remitted to the consistory at Hernhut, and if they wore of opinion that the minister ought to be restored he was restored by the laws of the community, and he held his place in defiance of his congregation. Recently a case regarding this oath as it affected Moravians, had been drawn up and submitted to an eminent civilian, Dr. Twiss, for his opinion, and, speaking from memory, he believed the opinion of that learned gentleman was that no Moravian could properly or correctly take the Oath of Supremacy, and that, as it stood, it operated as a bar to the possession, by a Moravian, of any office in the taking of which that oath was a condition. They were certainly in a great difficulty— because the hon. Member who proposed the word "rightfully" gave it one meaning, while his noble Friend (Lord J. Russell) gave to the word "lawfully," which he seemed disposed to accept, another meaning. He (Mr. Gladstone) confessed he greatly preferred the meaning which he supposed was to be attached to the word "rightfully," as proposed by the mover of the Amendment; but he did strongly feel that it was hardly consistent with the respect in which they held the very nature of an oath, and the fair claims of individuals, to allow the matter to rest without bringing it to some authoritative solution. It was not a matter for private discussion or opinion, but one upon which the views of Parliament ought to be clearly and unmis- 486 takably expressed. For his own part, he hoped the House would be disposed to accept the Amendment of his hon. Friend.
§ MR. ROEBUCK
said, he quite agreed with the right hon. Member for Oxford University (Mr. Gladstone) that this was not a question to be settled by private opinion, but one upon which there ought to be some legal and authoritative decision. How was it proposed, however, to solve the difficulty? Why, by using a word of the widest and most ambiguous interpretation—"rightfully." What was the meaning of that word? If the words "legally"—"by the law of the land" wore adopted, everybody could understand them. He would assert that, by the law of the land at the present moment, the Pope of Rome had spiritual jurisdiction in this country. By the second clause of an Act of the 7th and 8th of Victoria, passed in 1844, entitled, "An Act for the more effectual Application of Charitable Donations and Bequests in Ireland," certain Commissioners were appointed for the administration of charitable trusts; and who were they? On referring to their first Report he found that, at a meeting of the Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Trusts, held on the 9th of January, 1845, there were present his Grace the Lord Archbishop of Dublin, his Grace the Lord Archbishop W. Croly, and his Grace the Lord Archbishop Daniel Murray. Now, how did the two last become Lord Archbishops? By the authority of the Pope of Rome. Who would tell him, then, that the Pope of Rome had not spiritual jurisdiction in this country? How could spiritual jurisdiction be more directly allowed than by the appointment of a Lord Archbishop, under the authority of an Act of Parliament? He thought the best way of dealing with the question would be to leave out these words altogether. The right hon. Gentleman said that the point was one of great importance. The words, it was said, were originally employed to exclude Roman Catholics, but Roman Catholics were no longer excluded! To whom, then, did the oath apply? To Protestants. Now, he would ask whether any men taking this oath were likely to become better, or more fit to perform their duties as Members of Parliament? The oath pressed upon conscience. Indeed it was untrue, and could only be taken by a gloss. He (Mr. Roebuck) had taken the oath by a gloss, as he intended to take it. Such phrases were like nettles in a man's path; 487 he trampled them under foot, and they should not stand in his (Mr. Roebuck's) way. The statement was untrue, and ought not to be retained in the oath. He called upon the House, then, to get rid of these words, and the difficulty would be removed. If it were declared that by the law of the land the Pope had no power or jurisdiction, spiritual or ecclesiastical, within this realm, that would be understood—it would mean that the Pope had no power which he could enforce by law; but if it were said that the Pope possessed no such power "rightfully," an appeal to moral and religious belief was involved. In his (Mr. Roebuck's) moral belief the Pope had a right to jurisdiction in this country. The fact of a man being a Roman Catholic did not deprive him of the right of being a Member of Parliament or a Commissioner under a Charitable Bequests Act, and he (Mr. Roebuck) maintained that the Pope had, and rightfully, a spiritual jurisdiction in this realm. If, however, it were said that the Pope had a jurisdiction which he could enforce by law, he (Mr. Roebuck) would deny the assertion, and he thought that, instead of inserting the word "rightfully" in the Bill, the words "by law" should be substituted.
§ SIR RICHARD BETHELL
observed, that there was great misconception in this matter, and it mainly arose from not referring to the original statute by which the oath was introduced; and the House would there find the words "spiritual and ecclesiastical" not used in the same import. The word "spiritual" referred entirely to jurisdiction—to the authority to be exercised in courts of justice. Previously to the Reformation all temporal and civil authority was exercised in the name of the Sovereign, but spiritual and ecclesiastical authority was exercised in the name of the Pope. In the 1st of Elizabeth, however, a statute was passed, entitled, "An Act to restore to the Crown the ancient Jurisdiction over the State Ecclesiastical and Spiritual, and Abolishing all Foreign Powers repugnant to the same;" and if the House would permit him to read the old oath, which was altered at the time of the Reformation, he thought they would see that there was no ground for difficulty or misapprehension. It was declared that from and after the passing of that statute all jurisdiction in the realm should be considered to be derived from the old fountain of jurisdiction, namely, the Sovereign, and all that was intended by the supremacy of 488 the Crown was that no power or jurisdiction should be exercised by any tribunal or court of justice which was not derived from the Sovereign, and ultimately controlled by the Sovereign. The oath was in these terms:—I, A B, do utterly testify and declare in my conscience, that the Queen's Highness is the only supreme governor of this realm, and of all other Her Highness's dominions and countries, as well in all spiritual or ecclesiastical things or causes as temporal.There was the division of the two subjects —a distinction between temporal causes and spiritual and ecclesiastical causes, and in both the authority of the Crown was declared pre-eminent. The oath then proceeded—And that no foreign Prince, Person, Prelate, State, or Potentate, hath, or ought to have, any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence, or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm; and therefore I do utterly renounce and forsake all foreign jurisdictions, powers, superiorities, and authorities, and do promise that henceforth I shall bear faith and true allegiance to the Queen's Highness, her heirs and lawful successors, and to my power shall assist and defend all jurisdictions, pre-eminences, privileges, and authorities, granted or belonging to the Queen's Highness, her heirs and successors, or united and annexed to the Imperial Crown of this realm.All that was sworn to, therefore, by those who took the Oath of Supremacy, was simply that whatever jurisdiction or authority was exercised in the country was considered to be derived wholly and exclusively from the Crown, and the word "spiritual" was not to be construed with reference to any power over men's consciences, but merely with reference to the jurisdiction of courts ecclesiastical and spiritual. He had been surprised to hear the observations of his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Sheffield (Mr. Roebuck), because whatever powers were possessed by the Commissioners to whom he alluded were conferred by the authority of an Act of Parliament, and therefore the case formed no exception to the general rule. He (Sir R. Bethell) conceived, therefore, that there could be no difficulty with regard to this oath, which affirmed that all jurisdiction and authority in spiritual or ecclesiastical as well as in temporal causes was derived from the Crown; and he thought it would be a mere superfluity to introduce either the word "lawfully" or "rightfully," as the language of the oath was already sufficiently explicit.
§ MR. BERESFORD HOPE
said, that if anything could show the undesirableness of the course which had been recently 489 taken by the House, it was the spectacle they had just witnessed of hon. Gentlemen learned in the law—Gentlemen whose knowledge of it was shown by the silk gowns which they were—thus flatly contradicting each other upon the meaning of the oath in question. If anything ought to be plain and patent, it should be the declaration required to be made by Members on entering the House, and yet he found those learned authorities giving totally different interpretations of those few lines which had been repeated thousands and thousands of times at the table. He thought nothing would more plainly indicate the immorality and undesirability of retaining such an oath, an oath wholly unsuited to present times and feelings. The morality of oaths and the dignity of the House would be alike consulted by sweeping away the ambiguous terms to be found in the oath on the table. If the Jews were to be emancipated, and he thought they ought to be emancipated, yet let it be done as an element of the general question of religious liberty, and in a way which should once for all settle that question in a manner satisfactory to reasonable and moderate men, and not in a fragmentary way, which must soon produce fresh struggles. He had hoard the timid suggestion made that the adoption of one single oath might imperil the cause of Jewish emancipation. But had the Amendment which had been just rejected been, instead, adopted by a majority, how long would that cause have been postponed! Before long the whole question must have been raised and the matter settled on a sure basis. The best course would have been to have carried the Amendment which bad just been rejected; but as the second best course, some word of explanation ought to be inserted. When he saw the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield (Mr. Roebuck) rise, he hoped he meant to propose the word which he had heard him litter in an audible whisper across the House, "legally." "Legally" would be a better word than either "rightfully" or "lawfully." "Rightfully" might be paired with "wrongfully," and "lawfully" with "unlawfully"—while no injurious colour would be attached to the word "legally."
§ MR. WHITESIDE
said he fully concurred with the hon. and learned Gentlemen (Sir R. Bethell) in thinking that the words of the oath were perfectly intelligible and should remain as they were. They 490 furnished a sufficient illustration of the principle which they asserted, that no foreign Power had jurisdiction, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm. He would give an example. A Roman Catholic miller in the north of Ireland once brought an action against a priest for having slandered him in his church and damaged him in his business by forbidding others to deal with him. The priest defended himself on the ground that he had no malice against the miller, hut had merely asserted the authority exercised by him in virtue of his ecclesiastical commission, and that he had done no more than he had a right to do. This, however, was held to be no defence, inasmuch as the Pope held no jurisdiction in this country by which he could give power to the priest; and the miller recovered damages. The Act as it stood was, therefore, a protection to those who might be injured by the assertion of an authority which really had no existence. No one was bound to deny that a man claimed unlawful authority. What was necessary to be denied was that a foreign potentate had any authority. He really had none; and they might all say, with a safe conscience, that he ought to have none.
§ MR. WIGRAM
said, he believed that no doubt could exist as to the true meaning of the words in the oath.
§ MR. STEUART
said, that as the general feeling of the House seemed to be opposed to his Amendment, he would not press it to a division.
§ Amendment by leave withdrawn.
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
moved the omission of the words "directly or indirectly "from page 2, line 10, of the Bill.
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
rose to move the omission of the fifth clause, under which Jews would be entitled to sit in the House. The hon. Gentleman said—I can assure the House that I am fully sensible of my own inability worthily to discharge upon this occasion, a duty which would have devolved on the present Lord Chancellor, had he continued to he a member of this branch of the Legislature, I am painfully aware that the House will now feel the loss of his close reasoning and warm eloquence; but I am also persuaded that this Amendment, by whomsoever it may be brought forward, is entitled to the most respectful attention. I must 491 beg to observe, that it is from no over-confidence in my own powers, and from no belief on my part that I am either a better Christian or a better man than other Members of the House, that I take this part; but I entertain a strong conviction upon this grave subject, and am profoundly persuaded that it is not only highly impolitic, but that it is absolutely wrong that this country, which for a thousand years has been governed through the intervention of a Christian Parliament; which has recognised as the basis of its law the great doctrines of Christianity; which has secured to itself Christian legislation by securing to itself a Christian Legislature, and which has under that system enjoyed God's manifold and prolonged blessings, should cast away the recognition of God as we know Him, as he has declared himself through our blessed Mediator, in his attribute of the governor of nations and of the universe, and to this result, as is fully admitted by its leading advocates, tends the clause, which I oppose. I have undertaken this task, not because I feel myself good enough for its adequate performance, but because I am not bad enough for its neglect. When I remember the men with whom I have been associated in this great cause, but who are no longer Members of this House — such men as the late Sir R. Inglis, the late Mr. Goulburn, the late Mr. Law, Mr. Stafford, the Vice-Chancellor Stuart, the Lord Justice Turner, Lord Stanhope, Lord Shaftesbury, the Duke of Marlborough, the present Lord Chancellor for Ireland, the present Lord Chancellor for England — I cannot regard with any other feeling than one of deep contempt, the imputation which is sometimes thrown out against the opponents of the proposal now under the consideration of the House, that they are actuated in the course they are pursuing by a spirit of narrow sectarian bigotry and persecuting intolerance. I would appeal to any one who posseses the slightest acquaintance with the public con-duct of the distinguished men whom I have named, far more to those who enjoyed the advantage of being known to them in private life, whether the mere mention of such an array of learning, of experience, of Christian feeling, and of active benevolence, is not sufficient to refute so contemptible an accusation. Let it be remembered, too, that this Bill, though professedly general, is really introduced 492 for the purpose of obtaining a seat for Baron Lionel Nathan de Rothschild, a person who already enjoys the manifold advantages of an influential position in this country, and it must at once be seen that we have here no policy of violent persecution to reverse. The contest in this case lies ostensibly between three par-ties. We have, in the first place, a wealthy Jew, who by means of a large foreign influence has obtained a great command over the constituency of the City of London; we have next a number of persons who are carried so far by their love of civil and religious liberty, as they call it, that they are ready to discard from the constitution of the legislature that religion which forms the very basis of all our freedom; and we have, in the third place, that earnest and most estimable portion of the people of this country who have for the last eleven years opposed, and to this day, as is proved by their petitions, conscientiously oppose this measure. I wish to guard myself against the supposition that in opposing this clause as it now stands, I desire to do more than to provide that no Jew should be a member of the legislature. If the House should consent to strike out the clause I should not oppose the introduction of some other provision which would continue to the Jews the power they now possess of filling in this country purely ministerial offices. This Bill differs from any measure which has been introduced for the same object since 1851, in that it would expressly place the profession of Judaism on a par with the profession of Christianity as a qualification for admission into this House. I know that some hon. Friends of mine consider this an advantage—I cannot share their opinion. I do not think that any benefit can be gained by binding the Jew to his religion on the occasion of his entrance within these walls. I do not believe that a Jew is likely to be a better man or a better Member of this House because he is a strict adherent of the Talmud. The effect of this clause would be to bind the Jewish member to a religion the tenets of which I think I can show are of an immoral tendency, are anti-national, and anti-social. It is said by the advocates of this change, that the Jew accepts the Old Testament, and that he ought easily to amalgamate with the Christian, who only differs from him by accepting in addition to the Old Testament the inspired writings of 493 the Evangelists and Apostles. This is a complete mistake. The Jewish religion, it is true, purports to be based on the Old Testament, but it is in reality embodied in the Talmud, and the Talmud is a compilation of those traditions which our Divine Redeemer declared, when he was on earth, had rendered the law of the Old Testament of none effect. It is a compilation of traditions which, to use a phrase adopted by the Prussian Parliament, are "the invention of men who had not the fear of God before their eyes." The Talmud is an embodiment of those traditions which so blinded the Jews, that, under their influence, they condemned their own true king, our blessed Redeemer, to the cross. We are now asked, to bind the Jews to those wretched doctrines which for centuries have kept them a separate people from the rest of mankind, as a qualification for admission to this House. There are but few people who seem thoroughly to understand what Judaism is, and what effect it produces on the mind and condition of its votaries. The question was put the other day in the following form:—" Is there anything in the mental character of the Jew which ought to exclude him from the House of Commons? We can understand that religious differences may be used as a ground of exclusion in the case of people whose religious belief unfits them for the society of their fellow men, and we should on that account wish to see Mormons excluded from seats in Parliament; but how can a Christian extend to the Jew that principle? A Jew does not believe all that a Christian believes, but all that he believes is believed by the Christian, and there is nothing, therefore, in his faith which ought to subject him to civil disabilities." I readily admit that the view of the subject for which the inquirer evidently contends is fairly put in that passage. But I cannot forget that, according to Saint Paul, the Jews are struck with a mental blindness, which, after their rejection of their own true King, incapacitates them from understanding the prophecies of the Old Testament itself. I cannot, as a Christian, reject such evidence; I cannot conceal from myself the present truth of Saint Paul's declaration. For I concur in the opinion of Paley, that the condition of the Jews at this day is a standing miracle; we have the highest ancient as well as modern authority for the assertion, that by the operations of their religion on their minds the Jews are kept a 494 separate and an anti-social race. The noble Lord the Member for London has made himself the special champion of this Jewish cause, and has thereby excited the regret of many of his own best friends. The noble Lord does not, I am sure, consider the present Earl Grey a hostile observer of his public career. I doubt whether the Earl Grey concurs with the noble Lord in his views upon this question; but the noble Earl published the other day a most able work on Parliamentary reform — a work which every Member of this House would do well to study, and which shows that its author has not wasted the time which has elapsed since he was in office; and in that book while writing of the effect of large constituencies on the character of statesmen, Lord Grey declares his belief that the representation of the City of London has been, a disadvantage to the noble Lord; and he compares that disadvantage with the advantage which Sir R. Peel enjoyed as the representative of Tamworth, which has a much smaller constituency. I believe that many friends of the noble Lord consider that his connection with the City of London has been and is a misfortune both to himself and to his country, by binding him to unnatural pertinacity in this matter of the Jews. The noble Lord, in addressing his constituents last year, admitted that his efforts to enable Jews to sit in Parliament, and thus to destroy its Christian character, had not been attended with the success which had crowned his previous labours in the cause of civil and religious liberty. The expression he used was remarkable: he said that his labours in this matter of the Jews, had not been attended with equal favour. Nor am I surprised, for upon the Jewish question he is opposed to the strong conscientious convictions of the most intelligent portion of his fellow countrymen. I have already said that the Jewish religion exercises a powerful effect over the mental condition of the Jewish people; and I shall bring forward some proofs of the truth of that statement. In the year 1848 the question of the position of the Jews was debated in the city of Hamburgh, where a much more accurate knowledge of the real tenets of the Jewish religion prevails than in this country. On the 9th February of that year the Syndicus Shroder brought forward a Motion in the Senate of Hamburgh, for granting to the Jews civil and electoral rights; but that proposal, after a 495 long debate, was negatived by twenty-one votes against six. A document, in which the religious, moral, and political objections against the emancipation of the Jews were clearly set forth, was then printed by order of the Senate, and was incorporated with the public records of that city; and the following are some extracts from that remarkable paper:—In passing through all the epochs of the history of Europe, marked by the rise, propagation, and development of Christianity, we look in vain for some favourable results as regards the Jews, accruing from the various changes in the formation of society, and the progress of the sciences and civilisation. In the course of events, we see the Jews in various opposite characters and positions; we see them as Roman citizens, Roman slaves, agents of Christian princes, bankers, hawkers, rabbins, preachers, and spies; but in each and every capacity they have remained, and are still the same people, who have not at heart the teachings of experience, nor the grand and sublime interests by which public welfare is promoted. They have, directly and indirectly, brought about agitations and revolutions, and have again in their turn felt the shaft of revolution directed against themselves. They have been driven from countries, and again returned thither. They have become martyrs for their religion, and again converts from it. They have plundered their neighbours, and again been plundered by them. They have, in some individual instances, shown themselves liberal and charitable, while in most cases they have caused the ruin and misery of their fellow-creatures by the most cunning and wicked devices; but, throughout the many centuries they have lived amongst Gentiles and Christians, contempt and repugnance followed thorn in all ages and in all countries. The cause of this phenomenon lies in the character of Judaism itself, which affords to its votaries no point of centralisation based on morality. Religion ought not only to be elevated above all legislation, but to serve as a basis for laws. But it is different with Judaism. The most simple and general rules of humanity are made to turn upon laws both obscure and equivocal, and this is plainly reflected in the moral actions of the Jews, in which the character of isolation and private motives are predominant.I brought on a former occasion under the notice of the House a work called The Old Paths, by Dr. M'Caul, a learned and estimable clergyman, who has for many years been engaged in zealous and charitable labours for the conversion of the Jews. In that book I find the following passage, showing the real nature of Judaism. I must beg the Committee to bear in mind, that when Jewish writers or writers on Judaism use the expression "the Oral Law" they mean the traditions of the Pharisees and of the Rabbins, which are embodied in the Talmud:—That Jadaism is identical with the religion of the oral law was proved in the first number, by an appeal to the highest possible authority—the Prayer Book of the Synagogue, which is not only 496 formed in obedience to the directions of the oral law, but declares expressly that the Talmud is of Divine authority. So long, therefore, as that Prayer Book is the ritual of the Synagogue, the worshippers there must be considered as Talmudists— believers in all the absurdities, and advocates of all the intolerance of that mass of tradition. That this is no misrepresentation and no unfounded conclusion of cur own appears from the latest book published in this country by a member of the Jewish persuasion. Joshua Van Oven, Esq., has, in his Introduction to the Principles of the Jewish Faith, a chapter, headed Judaism, which begins thus:—'The Jewish religion, or Judaism, is founded solely on the law of Moses, so called from it having been brought down by him from Mount Sinai. With the particulars of these laws he had been inspired by the Almighty during the forty days he remained on the mount after receiving the Ten Commandments; these he afterwards embodied in the sacred volume known and accepted as the written law, and called the Pentateuch, or the Five Books of Moses, contained in the volume we term the Bible. We also from the same source receive, as sacred and authentic, a large number of traditions not committed to writing, but transmitted by word of mouth down to later times, without which many enactments in the Holy Bible could not have been understood and acted upon; those, termed traditional and oral laws, were collected and formed, into a volume called the Mishna, by Rabbi Jehudah Hakodesh, A.M. 4150. In addition to this, we are guided by the explications of the later schools of pious and learned rabbis, constituting what is now known by the name of the Talmud or Gemara,'Dr. M'Caul gives the following account of the morality inculcated in the Talmud:—The oral law loosens the moral obligations. It teaches men how to evade the Divine commandments, as was shown in Nos. 11, 14, and 15, It allows dispensation from oaths, as proved in Nos. 56 and 57. It allows men to retain what they know does not belong to them, if it only belongs to a Gentile (p. 18), or to an unlearned Jew, as appears from No. 59. It sanctions the murder of the unlearned. It is a persecuting and intolerant system. It gives every rabbi the power of excommunicating the Jews (No. 31); and it commands the conversion of all the Gentile nations by the sword (No. 6). It forbids the exercise of the commonest feelings of humanity to those whom it calls idolaters. It will not permit a drowning idolater to be helped, nor a perishing idolater to be rescued, nor an idolatrous woman in travail to be delivered.That passage may appear to afford too severe a view of the immoral and anti-social nature of the Talmudic religion, but the statements which it contains are confirmed by the elder Disraeli, in his work entitled The Genius of Judaism, a work from which I have derived as much if not more instruction in reference to this question than from any other I have ever read, and which breathes throughout a love for the Jewish nation. In that book the learned author describes the tyrannical and deadening effect of Judaism upon the minds of its votaries:— 497Such was the triumph of. those 'whited sepulchres,' the Pharisees, enemies of reform and of Christ, they built a labyrinth from whose dark intricacies there was no issue; they hammered out a network of iron from ago to age, from whence no captive could extricate himself. As their religion decayed, and their superstitions multiplied, the human passions had a wider stage opened whereon to perform their part. The pride of domination kindled in the breasts of the 'dictators ' who held the fate of an enslaved people in their hands. Pale with vigils, but paramount in power, the rabbins sat exalted in their chairs, while their disciples were 'rolled in the dust of their feet,' as they pompously described the sovereignty of their divinity schools. There, at least, the prostration of the body could not be as great as that of the understanding.I was not satisfied while inquiring into this subject when I procured the document which I quoted from Hamburg, without endeavouring to ascertain upon what facts the immoral and anti-social nature of Judaism was asserted. I was furnished with such evidence, and I will cite one modern case out of many, illustrative of the pernicious tendency of the Jewish religion; I refer to the proceedings at a trial which took place at Kowno, a Polish town in the government of Wilna, more than two-thirds of the inhabitants of which are Jews, as reported in the States Gazette published at Riga, March 19, 1846. It appears that the premises of a Jew merchant of the name of Fabian, son of a rabbi, had been forcibly entered by the police, and that they found there five large packages containing seventy-five pieces of fine cloth, which were contraband. But another Jew, a carrier, came forward and perjured himself by stating that he had brought the cloth for another Jew, and on his account from a place within the frontier. The crime of perjury was subsequently discovered. What was this perjured Jew's defence? The excuse was this, that he had been instructed by the rabbi that he had the power to dispense with the oath of a Jew before a Christian Court, if by so doing the perjury was for the benefit of the Jews, and that this Rabbi had absolved him. This rabbi was himself called before the court, and after much prevarication; admitted that those were the doctrines of the Jewish religion, and that he had dispensed with the oath of this Jew. Now these, I contend, are anti-social doctrines and that a religion which countenances them should not be admitted as a qualification for admission to this House. I now come to the second point of my subject. I have stated that this religion 498 is anti-national, and in this view of the matter I am aided by the Jews themselves, for I hold in my hand a most able pamphlet, circulated within the last year, and written by a Jew. It is a work entitled Jewish Emancipation, in which the writer states that many of the Jews consider that they fulfil the Word of God and their own destiny by remaining a separate people; that they altogether deprecate the attempt to introduce Baron Rothschild, or any other Jew, into the Parliament of this country; that he makes this attempt without their sanction; and he begs it to be understood that if the House sanctions the proposal for the admission of Jews into Parliament, they do it not at his instance, or at the instance of a large part of the Jewish community. The writer, David John Anderson, in his pamphlet says,—What do the people of Israel require when they clamour for Jewish emancipation? They already possess it in freedom to speak and act, to enjoy the rights, liberties, and immunities of the land in which they live, in being capable of holding any office in the executive, though not in the legislative government of the country, because Jews are essentially, and will ever remain strangers among the nations with whom they are sojourning. This is the vital principle of Jewish nationality. The indissoluble link that for centuries upon centuries has bound them together, the bond of brotherhood that has left them still Jews, preserving in almost its original form that religion, grand in its simplicity, and even now bearing the stamp of cloud-covered Sinai. Believe me, it is a mistaken notion to imagine a Jew is exalted by a seat in the British Parliament; let him take any office he pleases in the executive government, he is but administering laws already made, but as soon as he forgets the true destiny of Judaism, which in itself is internationality, and amalgamates himself with that people from whom, by the laws of his faith, he is bound to hold himself aloof, he meets but the merited contempt of all right-minded Israelites, and the cold toleration of those who deny the truth of his religion.Well, Sir, Mr. Anderson goes on to protest against the attempts made by his coreligionists to amalgamate themselves with the Legislature of this country. And he further goes on to say that in their very prayers they give evidence that their hopes are not connected with this country, but "that they look from year to year" (such is their speciality of expression) to their restoration to the land of their fathers. Mr. David Anderson writes of the prayer which the Jews pronounce year by year at the feast of the Passover as follows:—The following is translated from the Hebrew service for the two first nights of Passover. It 499 admirably illustrates the point in question, as well as the proverbial hospitality of the Jews one to another:—Lo! this is the bread of affliction which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt; let all those who are hungry enter and eat thereof, and all who are necessitous come and celebrate the Passover. At present we celebrate it here; next year we hope to celebrate it in the land of Israel. This year we are servants here, but next year we hope to be freemen in the land of Israel.'How then, Sir, is it that, when over and over again the fact has been cited in this House that the Jews are aliens—not aliens by the accident of birth, but aliens by the nature of their religion and social economy —what is the reason that this fact has been boldly contradicted? I bring you the evidence of a Jew of high character, who tells you that though you may induce a Jew to sit among you in the Legislature of England, if he be a Jew by religion— and by this Bill you will stamp him doubly so—he must in reality be an alien at heart. I would not state such a fact as this lightly, or without corroboration, but it does not rest on the dictum of the writer of the work I have quoted, who, although a learned and an able man, is not invested with authority by his people; but I hold here a sermon—[Cries of "Oh, oh!" and a laugh], Hon. Members may be pleased to treat this matter lightly, but it was a grave and an important question they were entering on, and one calculated, if not properly legislated on, to violate the deepest and most devotional feelings of the people of this country, and I beg hon. Members to remember that I am only doing my duty when I lay before them reliable information. In further confirmation of what I wish to elucidate, I will read an extract from a sermon on the Jewish faith, delivered in the Great Synagogue, Duke's Place, Sabbath 24, Shevat 6608 (Jan. 29, 1848), by the Rev. N. Adler, Phil. Doc, chief rabbi of the united congregations of the British empire, published by Effingham Wilson, Royal Exchange. After emphatically asserting the authority of the oral law, the learned rabbi thus addressed his congregation:—And there is not only a futurity for the individual, but also for the people at largo. The same God who bore us on eagles' wings above all impediments, and destined us to be (here follows Hebrew text) a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, a pattern and standard for mankind; the same God, who in consequence of our sins has fulfilled every word of his threat, scattered us among the nations, and left us few in number; the same God who sifted the house of Israel in a sieve; the same God will surely fulfil the other 500 part of his revelation, that he will have compassion on us, return and gather us from all the nations, and will bring us into the land which our forefathers possessed.I think that I have now proved conclusively that the doctrines of their religion, as accepted by the Jews, constitute them aliens in this country, as well as aliens elsewhere; I hope hon. Members will excuse me for having adduced this evidence in support of my assertion that the Jewish religion is anti-national. It happened that during the revolution in 1848, in Austria, sundry Jews were among the rebels. God knows that, if they were struggling for freedom, they have my cordial wish for their success; but when placed upon their trial, these Jews declared that their religion freed them from all oaths of allegiance, since they were not either Austrians or Hungarians, but Jews, whose country was Palestine. We have been told that the first Jesuits were Jews; we have it so in Coningsby—[a laugh]. That is indeed a work of fiction. But when I assert that Jews had been officers of the Inquisition in Spain, I assert it on the authority of the rabbi of the synagogue in Birmingham. And I assert, on the authority of the elder D'Israeli, that a close affinity exists between the doctrine, the manner of reasoning, the right of absolution, the dictatorial power claimed, and the universal power aimed at, alike by the rabbis and the Jesuits. He terms such fautors of the Pope as the Jesuits the mere mimics of the rabbins. He says that the Jesuits derived their system, derived their anti-social doctrines, derived their subversive tendency, from the rabbins. Not that the Jews have not at different times been persecuted by the Roman Catholics—I will not exclude that fact; but they sometimes have a common object, and at all times there is a great similarity of feeling and conventionality between the Jesuits and the Jews. We have seen it, and we see it now, in the perpetual attacks that are made on the Christian constitution, on the Protestant Christian constitution of this country. What is the proposal in the clause? That you should enthrone Judaism—the oldest and the most inveterate opponent of Christianity— in the British Parliament, which has hitherto been exclusively Christian by its constitution. And by whom is this organic change supported? I have been ten years watching this question in this House, and let me ask when and on what occasion have 501 you seen a Roman Catholic Member stand up for the maintenance of the Christian character of Parliament? I have mixed with Roman Catholics in private, I have urged them on the ground of our common Christianity to resist such proposals as the present, and I have met with every courteous kind of response, and I have hoped that they would have joined me, as a Protestant Christian, in upholding the profession of our common Christianity—but what has it come to? When they returned to the House they shook their heads as they passed me, and voted for the destruction of the Christian character of Parliament. There was one Roman Catholic Member, however, the late Mr. Raphael, Member for St. Albans, who acted otherwise; he was by descent a Jew, but had become a Roman Catholic; and I remember in 1849 the virulence with which he was assailed by Mr. Keogh, because he dared to say in this House that he had not become a Christian to vote against the maintenance of Christianity, as a qualification for admission to this House. I had several conversations with that gentleman, and he told me he had suffered much persecution from the Jews when he left them. He stated that his own people had repudiated him; but that he grieved to find that his new instructors, the Roman Catholic priests, were inclined to persecute him because he would not vote away the Christian character of the English Parliament. Now, Sir, I say these facts point to the conclusion that those who wish to break down the Constitution of this our Protestant State—that Constitution which is the palladium of our prosperity and freedom, and of the freedom of Europe against the assaults of despotism, now excited by Rome under the dictation of the Jesuits— I say, Sir, that our great assailants see in this proposal to seat Judaism in Parliament, a means to accomplish the end of the bitterest enemies of England. Fast est ab hoste doceri. It is right that those who believe, as I believe, that the freedom of England grew out of the Reformation of her religion—that her independence is sustained by the purity of her Christianity, and will fall with the national abandonment of its dictates—should oppose this measure. Sir, this is no chimerical danger. I know there are many hon. Gentlemen who value the connection that subsists between Church and State. Have they not observed that those who would break down the connection—that those who would separate the Slate from all re- 502 cognition of Christianity, and from all obligations derived from its connection—are most anxious to introduce the Jews into Parliament? Another fallacy often relied on is that the admission of Jews to Parliament will induce them to accept the Christian faith. I have cited the opinions of Jews who declare their own religion against the proposal before the House. I now state the opinion of one who was a Jew by religion, and who is now labouring most sedulously to bring his people to Christianity. In a pamphlet, entitled, "A Protest on the Jews' Disabilities Bill, by a Believing Jew," the author writes:—We must not conceal the fact that among the multifarious enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ, foremost in rank and most determined in purpose, stands the Jew. His inveterate enmity to the Cross is as old as Christianity, and wide as the world.The Jew is the declared enemy of Christ. A formal declaration of war against Jesus of Nazareth characterises the Judaism of eighteen hundred years' standing. It is part and parcel of the Jewish creed to regard Jesus as an impostor, and to hold Him accursed.It is a curious fact that Dr. Owen, Cromwell's Chaplain, and Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, when consulted by the Protector, as to the admission of Jews, not into the British Parliament, but merely to reside in England, discovered in the Judaic documents, which he consulted, a distinct and emphatic curse against Christ. Dr. Owen informed Cromwell of this fact, and I believe it had considerable weight with that great but faulty man, in deciding him to reject the application of the Jews for permission to reside and trade in this country. The Protest of a Believing Jew continues:—The Jew despises the Christian dogma. His views and feelings regarding Christianity may be summed up in two words—supremo contempt.I would hope that the men who are disposed to favour this unhappy measure sin through ignorance. Indeed, such appears to be the case. An. utter want of acquaintance of the real state of my nation is discernible in all the shallow arguments for emancipation. It is covertly insinuated by the promoters of the Bill that this step might bring the Jews over to Christianity. I pity the men who can so deceive themselves. Let me assure such persons that this is a gross deception. I can confidently assert that the very reverse is to be apprehended. The inconsistency of our Christian legislature will disgust the Jew; it will provoke his ridicule, and compel him to despise the cowards who, whilst calling themselves Christians, dare not name the name of Christ in presence of the more conscientious Jew.But when I see that this newly-begotten friendship threatens to prove more injurious to Israel than former enmity—when I see that it is attempted to emancipate the Jew temporally, at 503 his cost spiritually—when the hand, stretched forth to strike off the chain from his body fastens it about his soul—I marvel, and ask my liberal Christian brother, ' Is this thy kindness to thy friend?Eighteen hundred years' exile marks the great sin of my nation—the sin of rejecting Christ. And shall Great Britain be foremost in defying the living God, by saying to the Jew, 'Our differences are not worth talking about: it is true you Jews blaspheme Jesus Christ, and consider us Christians idolaters; but you and we can legislate together without discovering to each other our respective dogmas.'Kindness, forsooth! I confess that I would rather see a revival of the Crusades than this hollow friendship, which casts such fearful stumbling blocks in the way of the Jew from coming to Christ. The Crusader hunted the Jew's body—the new system persecutes his soul; the old system made my people bigots—the new will, I fear, make them infidels.Men and brethren, we have a duty to perform to this peculiar nation, yet, 'beloved for their fathers' sake,' and we owe a paramount duty to the Saviour of man; and now by a hearty protest against this unhappy Bill, let us show real love to the Jew and supreme love to Jesus Christ.Now, this was the opinion of a converted Jew. I have hoard the question put, what will be the effect on the forms of the House of the introduction of the Jews? It has been said, "Oh, we shall retain our prayers, it will make no difference; one or two Jews will be Members of the House, but it will make no difference;" but he wished to show the House how this alleged no difference might be magnified and aggravated. It happened that in 1851 the Corporation of Amsterdam admitted two Jews to be members of the assembly. Previously to that time the proceedings of the assembly began with prayer; and I have a letter from Amsterdam, ascertained to be authentic, in which it is shown that very soon after the introduction of these two Jewish members among the thirty-seven other colleagues, the practice of opening their deliberations with prayer through our blessed Redeemer and in his name was unfortunately abandoned. Now, I do not think that many Members would be inclined to maintain that it is desirable, in view of the feelings entertained towards this House by the country, that we should abandon that admirable form of prayers which our chaplain reads daily. The Jewish Intelligencer of January, 1852, gives a narrative of the case of the admission of two Jews into the Corporation of Amsterdam, and the name of Christ was soon excluded from the prayers of the Corporation. A committee was appointed to draw up a new form of prayers, and, to the no small astonishment, not only of 504 the respectable members of the Corporation, but of the true Christians of the country, the name of Jesus Christ was left out. Some members made an urgent remonstrance, but they were out-voted. It may be said that this is a very trifling instance, but I will show you that it is the beginning of the infidel system of Holland. I will show you how this vicious principle spread. This happened in 1852, and I have here a letter from the Protestant Alliance, dated October, 1857, the authenticity of which I have also ascertained, and I am at liberty to say that the Rev. M. H. Vine, the clerical secretary, went himself to Holland, and this is his account of the state of things there, showing the cause of the decline of freedom in Europe;—The secretary has visited Brussels, Cologne, Hamburgh, Berlin, Hanover, Amsterdam, and Rotterdam. Judging from what appears at most of these places, the state and prospects of Protestantism on the Continent must be regarded as very unsatisfactory. At Cologne the efforts of the King of Prussia to obtain a site for the erection of a Protestant church have long been successfully resisted. In the kingdom of Hanover religious intolerance and persecution prevail to a considerable extent. In Holland a law has just been enacted by which the Bible is banished from the Government schools in order to please the Roman Catholics, and the name of Jesus is excluded from all prayers used by the children, in order to satisfy the Jews.Now, you may say the town of Amsterdam is a very unimportant place, and that Holland is a very small country; but I show you, by the example I have cited, how in a neighbouring and a Protestant country this principle of infidelity has spread, and how just are the apprehensions of the public—of thinking men—of those who are not led away by party cries or political necessities, when they approach this House year after year, instructing us to resist this measure, and praying this House to reject this vicious proposal, as it did in 1854—who seek, if possible, to convince the noble Lord the Member for the City of London that, by adhering to this measure, he is himself playing the part of a persecutor in thus ignoring and violating the best feelings of his unoffending countrymen. This same proposition was made to the Parliament of Prussia in 1850; for in that year certain Jews had presented a petition to the Prussian Parliament, in which they had set forth their grievances, and demanded admission to the civic dignities and municipal functions of the State. In answer to that petition, the Prussian Parliament resolved, 505 on the 17th of June last, by a majority of 67 against 33, that the citizen Jews in Prussia be admitted to the municipal posts of the realm, provided that such of the Jewish candidates on whom the election falls take an oath of abjuration in the following words:—I, M.N., hereby declare on my solemn oath, and without any mental reservation whatever, that I do not believe in my conscience that the dogmas and doctrines contained in the Talmud and other Jewish books of received authority which allow unfair dealings and actions towards a Christian and Christian community, be of Divine authority and origin; and, on the contrary, I do herewith condemn all such doctrines by which the public and private safety of the Christian society may be endangered as wicked inventions of men who had not the fear of God in their heart. So help me God.This is taken from the Prussian States Gazette, published at Berlin. Now many people hope that the Jews are changing or relaxing their undue submission to the Rabbins, their unhappy adhesion to the delusive traditions, which form their religion. Did any Jew come forward and accept that renunciation? Not one. Universally they adhered to their traditions, which I have characterized as anti-social, anti-national, and immoral. The Jews rejected this test, and they remained excluded from the Prussian Parliament. I feel that, in dealing with this subject, I am struggling for a great principle, and that it is my duty to justify myself. It may be thought that I have investigated this matter in a spirit of unnecessary severity, or that I am contending with unnecessary zeal. I rely for my justification on the authority of the Evangelist—an authority which all must respect. He wrote:—Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the spirit of God. Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God; and every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God; and this is that spirit of Antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come, and even now already is it in the world.I cannot except the measure now proposed from that condemnation. I cannot think that this measure is consistent with the Christian profession of this House, or of the country at large. It is a proposal to exalt the religion which condemned the Author of our faith and salvation to the death of a malefactor; by placing Judaism on a par with Christianity as a qualification for this House. I cannot in my conscience think that this measure is consistent with the 506 prayers offered by this House, or with its Christian profession and attributes, which I believe it to be the duty both of the nation at large and of individuals to maintain. I cannot hope that, as the consequence of the passing of this measure, the future of this country will continue to glide on with the prosperity that has characterized the past. I believe that those who claim such a measure as this in the name of liberty sin against the very source and fountain of freedom, that fountain of freedom being the Christian religion. Of that blessed faith and pure morality Judaism is the earliest, the oldest antagonist and reviler. You cannot reconcile these opposite creeds. If you are Christians, you must believe those who have told you in the Gospel that the Jews while under the law were under bondage, and that they still remain so. If man would be free, he must be free as God will have him free, he must be free in Christ, he must be free by accepting the law which God implants in the heart of each for his own guidance. If we would preserve our national freedom, we must still maintain the principle, avowal, and obligation, that our statutes shall be based on Christianity, that law which alone fits man for the enjoyment of such freedom, as I hope will ever characterise the legislature, the laws, and the constitution of this country.
§ Amendment proposed to leave out cl. 5.
said, however hopeless it might appear to expect the conversion of the hon. Member for Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate), still, after the remarkable conversions upon this question which had been witnessed lately, he did not quite despair of seeing the hon. Gentleman an adherent to the cause of liberality and true Christianity. In support of his hopes, he might instance the right hon. Baronet the Member for Droitwich (Sir J. Pakington), who had recently been converted on that subject, and several other Members of the Treasury bench had also changed their views upon this question. The hon. Gentleman might condemn these changes as showing the progress of error; but he (Mr. Gilpin) considered them as illustrations of the progress of truth. If, too, he was not misinformed, this Bill, should it reach "another place," would find some so called low church bishops, whose appointment conferred something like an odour of sanctity upon the late Administration, who would be prepared to support it. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire did not 507 truly represent the religious opinion of the people of England, nor did he fairly illustrate the Christian religion by the statements he had made. The disability under which conscientious Jews at present laboured was simply a penalty for their conscientiousness and sincerity. When the hon. Member alluded to Jews who had been convicted of great crimes against morality and religion, it was strange that he did not perceive that it was because Jews of the present day were conscientious that they were excluded from Parliament; for, if adopting the elastic definition sometimes given of the word "Christian," they were to take the oath with the words "on the true faith of a Christian," they would be admitted, and the hon. Member would have no power to prevent their admission. A Jew need not be a Christian; but if he said that he was one, the forms of the House would be complied with, and the scruples of the hon. Member for Warwickshire would be satisfied. If the hon. Gentleman had lived 1,800 years back, he would have admitted the unrepentant thief, and have excluded the good Samaritan. He (Mr. Gilpin) had learnt a different lesson—"to judge men by their fruits,"—and if he found liberality, generosity, readiness to relieve the oppressed and to aid the cause of freedom, he said that could not be an evil tree which bore such good fruits. He had been for eight or nine years connected with the Common Council of the City of London, and in that capacity had been in official communication with aldermen and magistrates of the Jewish faith. One of that persuasion had recently been elected chief magistrate by the almost unanimous voice of the citizens of London, and although, as that fact proved, these gentlemen had considerable influence in the corporation, he had never found any danger result therefrom to the Christian character of that body or any attempt made to subvert it. If the hon. Gentleman's arguments were worth anything they would exclude the Jew from the judgment seat, nay, even from the witness-box. He hoped that these repeated discussions would bring the House to a consideration of the real efficacy or inefficacy of all these oaths. He believed the time would very shortly come when the history of all these debates on the form of oaths would be read with a smile. In truth, there was no form of oath which could bind an honourable man more strongly than a simple declaration, and the form of oath which could 508 bind a dishonourable man was not yet devised nor could it be devised. The hon. Member had referred to the length of time which this country had enjoyed God's blessing, but the Jews also might refer to a period, certainly not shorter during which they had as a nation enjoyed that blessing. The hon. Gentleman had prophesied too, that if this measure were passed that blessing would depart from us; but the prophecy was old and stale. Not a single onward step in the path of civil and religious freedom had ever been brought forward without calling forth similar lugubrious prophecies from its opponents. Year by year, however, the country had gone on, and those prophecies remained unfulfilled. There was no higher law than that which enjoined us to do unto others as we would that others should do unto us, and to grant equal liberty to men of all religious professions, as long as their conduct as citizens was irreproachable, was in complete accordance with that teaching.
§ MR. DRUMMOND
said, that he agreed with the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, in thinking that this matter must be gone into more deeply than had hitherto been thought necessary, and perhaps before he sat down he might startle many hon. Gentlemen by the suggestion which he should offer for its settlement. Before proceeding further, however, he wished to say that he had heard with exceeding disgust the repeated insinuations which had been made against the noble Lord the Member for London (Lord J. Russell) with respect to his conduct in bringing forward this measure. The accusation that the noble Lord expected to gain political capital by bringing this question forward was undeserved and insulting. With regard to the Bill itself every person present, he had no doubt, felt a strong repugnance to this whole class of questions; but never-thelesss, in the present condition of public opinion, they were forced upon Parliament. This question was purely a religious one: it had nothing whatever to do with politics. It was introduced in Committee in accordance with the rule of the House on matters relating to religion; the terms used were "Christian" and "Jew," and these did not mean geographical distinctions, but distinctions of religion. So far as the political part of the question was concerned, the opponents of the measure had not a leg to stand on. Unless the opposition was founded on religious grounds, they really could have no valid objections to the measure. In considering these re- 509 ligious objections, it must not be forgotten that there was in this country an union of Church and State. Hon. Gentlemen who did not share in these objections had a very summary way of disposing of them, entirely satisfactory to themselves. Each man called his neighbour bigot; very intelligent gentlemen in the Lower House described the House of Lords as a set of bigots, but the bigots of all bigots were said to be the Bishops. But let the Liberal Gentlemen who talked in this way step up into the House of Peers, and see what they would do if they were Peers. ["Hear, hear."] The hon. Gentleman who cheered, if he were a Bishop—and his appointment would, perhaps, be as good as many which had been made lately—would no doubt hold exactly the same opinions on this point as the other Bishops. Let him observe what it was that the Bishops, and every other Member of the Legislature who was a member of the Church of England were bound to. No doubt it was an argumentum ad hominem, and addressed to the members of the Church of England, but it would not be denied on that ground. In the liturgy of the Church of England there was a form of catechism to enable parents to instruct their children in the doctrines of Christianity. In that catechism there occurred this passage:—My good child, know this, that thou art not able to do these things of thyself, nor to walk in the commandments of God, and to serve Him, without His special grace.The child was hero told expressly that without the Holy Spirit it was impossible for him to do that which he was taught it was his duty to do. The same thing was repeated in the Church Service the whole year round. In the collect for Christmas Day the Church prayed,—That we may be daily renewed by thy Holy Spirit.On the fifth Sunday after Easter,—That by Thy Holy Inspiration we may think those things that be good, and by Thy merciful guiding may perform the same.And on the Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity,—O God, forasmuch as without Thee we are not able to please Thee, mercifully grant that Thy Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts.And yet gentlemen of the Church of England, who prayed thus at church, came down to the House of Commons, and argued that the Holy Spirit was of no use whatever. He would not ask whether 510 there was any religion in this, but was there any honesty in it? Matters could not go on in this way. Here was a case where the Church of England stood directly in the way of a change which was thought—and he did not deny it—to be politically right. If ever there was an instance of incompatibilité des mæurs, justifying a separation, this was it. The first thing which the noble Lord the Member for London ought to do was, to go into the new Court of Divorce, and get a dissolution of the marriage of Church and State. He did not sec how it was possible to get out of the difficulty in any other way. It was no fault of the present generation— the thing had been going on for years, and at last we had arrived at a state of affairs which was most discreditable. The evil must be got rid of somehow or other, and he saw no other way of getting rid of it than by separating Church from State.
§ MR. BYNG
said, the hon. Gentleman the Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate), with a consistency which was honourable to him, had on this as on all other occasions on which he had addressed the House on the question of the admission of Jews to Parliament, rested his objections to their admission on religious grounds. He would assure the hon. Gentleman that he (Mr. Byng) did not even yield to him in his respect and veneration for the Christian religion; but he had read that religion in another way, and he believed that toleration and a spirit of charity formed its very essence and life-blood. This subject, however, had been discussed so repeatedly in Parliament that he was almost ashamed to approach it, since all the arguments bearing upon it had long become threadbare: but he might be permitted briefly to glance at the question in its legal, political, and religious aspects. Looking first, then, to its legal bearing, he could not help thinking that, in looking over all the oaths from the reign of Queen Elizabeth down to the end of that of George III., it was never intended by the Legislature that Jews should be excluded from Parliament. He believed those oaths aimed at a very different object; and he was confirmed in that view by the judgment delivered by the late Baron Alderson in 1852 in the case of "Miller v. Salomons." It would be in the recollection of the House, that on that occasion that distinguished Judge, differing from Baron Martin, ruled that Mr. Alderman Salomons had not complied with all the forms 511 requisite to enable him to take his seat, but he added:—I do most seriously regret that I am obliged, as a mere expounder of the law, to come to this conclusion, for I do not believe that the case of the Jews was at all thought of by the Legislature when they framed these provisions. I think that it would be more worthy of this country to exclude the Jews from these privileges (if they are to be excluded at all) by some direct enactment, and not merely by the casual operation of a clause intended apparently in its object and origin to apply to a very different class of the subjects of England.All that he (Mr. Byng) had read on the subject of these oaths, confirmed him in the impression that they were never intended to exclude the Jews from Parliament; and if it should appear by the decision of the other House that they were to be excluded, he thought it would be much better that some hon. Member should come down to the House and ask leave to introduce a Bill for the express purpose of excluding them. Then, with regard to the political aspect of the question; the hon. Gentleman the Member for West Surrey (Mr. Drummond) said, it was not a political question at all. If it was not a political question what became of the great subject of civil and religious liberty with which it was so intimately connected? There certainly had been no agitation out of doors on the subject, but he (Mr. Byng) held that the claim of the Jews rested on far higher ground—namely, its own intrinsic justice, without reference to their comparatively small numbers in relation to the rest of the community. As to the religious view of the question, he would ask what was the meaning of an oath? According to the definition of Dr. Johnson it was, "an affirmation, negation, or promise, corroborated by the attestation of the Divine Being." The Jew had no objection to take an oath, and if a Jew were elected to sit in that House he would come to the table and say he agreed with every part of the oath—that the Queen was the lawful Sovereign of this realm, that he would assist in maintaining her undoubted right to the Throne, and protect her to the utmost of his power against all traitorous conspiracies, but that he could not consent to use the words "on the true faith of a Christian," inasmuch as they would not be binding on his conscience. Therefore, though the House would practically admit an infidel or an atheist, they would exclude the Jew, notwithstanding he said, on presenting himself at the table, that he was ready to agree to every word in the oath except the words "on the true faith of a 512 Christian," and thus they kept him out of the House because he was too conscientious to subscribe to words which he did not consider to be binding. They would admit a Gibbon or Voltaire, but they would not admit a conscientious Jew. This question of the admission of the Jews to Parliament had been more or less before Parliament and the public mind for some years, and he sincerely hoped that this would be the last occasion on which the House would have to listen to a debate on the subject. He was certain of the fate of the measure in. that House, where repeated majorities had from time to time affirmed the principle that the Jews were entitled to be admitted to every privilege to which any other free citizen or subject in this country might aspire; but he confessed he viewed with much doubt the prospects of success in "another place." He hoped, however, that that august assembly would remember the words which were once spoken by a wise King and a great statesman—" We can never be of opinion that violence is suited to the maintenance of true religion. Moderation and charity are the qualities which that religion enjoins, which neighbouring Churches expect from you, and which we heartily recommend to your notice." He hoped that the other House of Parliament would agree to admit the Jews in a legitimate way. There was another mode, which he should regret to see proposed, but from adopting which he would not shrink if necessary; but he hoped not to be forced to that alternative. He trusted that even at the eleventh hour the other branch of the Legislature would unite in doing away with what had been eloquently described by the noble Lord the Member for Tiverton as the last rag and shred of intolerance. He should for these reasons support the clause.
§ LORD ROBERT CECIL
said, he should not have risen, but he wished to offer his views upon the subject, because he had not heard any hon. Gentleman on that side of the House give exactly the reason why he was anxious to vote against the Bill. He did not concur with his hon. Friend below him (Mr. Newdegate) in thinking they had any ground to exclude the Jew because his sympathies were alien to the nation. There was no doubt that the Jew looked forward to restoration to his native land at some period, but that period was a very distant one. It was no ground a priori for thinking that such a prospect would affect his loyalty as a British subject, and, what was very much more to the purpose, there were 513 no facts in history which led them to believe his loyalty was affected by it. With reference to the Jesuits, to whom his hon. Friend had compared the Jews, there were certainly in past times ample grounds for impugning the loyalty of that order; but there was no record in history of a Jew in one country having conspired with a Jew in another country to overturn the Government under which either was living. He did not, therefore, object to the Jew on the ground that he was an alien; but he did take the objection, which had been alluded to by the hon. Member for West Surrey, (Mr. Drummond) of the complicated relations which Church and State bore to each other. The admission of the Jew was claimed upon the ground of religious liberty. It was said by the advocates for their admission, that no person ought to be excluded from any office or emolument because of his religious opinions. Of course, that was confined to offices which were in their nature purely secular. They would not wish a Jew to be a bishop. Then came a point on which the supporters and the opponents of the measure, as a body, diverged from each other. The noble Lord the Member for Tiverton had more than once said that this was eminently a secular assembly, that it had to deal with only secular subjects, and that secular qualifications alone should be regarded in those who sought admission to its walls. That was a question of fact which a short inspection of the votes would suffice to settle. Every Member of the House must be conscious that the questions which excited most interest were questions of a religions nature. He was present during a very brilliant and perhaps not very successful attack on the existing Government by the hon. Member for Dovor, (Mr. B. Osborne) and he asked the Government to declare their policy on several questions which he went through in detail: were all those questions purely political? Not so, unless they called such questions as church rates and the endowment of Maynooth purely political questions. A very exciting dissolution took place last year, upon a subject undoubtedly of secular policy; but it was a matter of notoriety that the noble Lord obtained an enormous majority at the general election, principally because he was supposed to entertain opinions favourable to a certain religious party. He might go on indefinitely pointing out a number of religious questions which were constantly entertained by the House. The greatest excitement which with- 514 in his short experience of Parliament, he remembered to have prevailed was when an hon. Member brought forward a Motion for opening the British Museum and other public buildings on Sunday; and a distinguished Liberal newspaper once complained that out of 50 divisions before Easter 26 were upon secular and 24 upon religious subjects. With those facts before them, it was absolutely impossible to lay down the proposition that the House of Commons was an assembly merely for the transaction of secular business. If they wished this really to be the case, let them do what the hon. Member for West Surrey recommended if they thought it expedient—namely, separate the Church from the State; let them abrogate all interference in religious matters; let the present nominators to clerical appointments be no longer the nominators; let them no longer discuss questions of marriage, or interfere in enforcing the setting apart one day of the week as a day of rest throughout the land; and they might then claim to be what they were not now—an assembly merely for the transaction of secular business. He supposed that it followed as a matter of course that religious business entered into their consideration, and it would therefore be absurd to admit a person who by his very profession, and in proportion to the sincerity of that profession, was pledged to take a view hostile to their whole body and to all their institutions. An hon. Gentleman had laid considerable stress on the fact that by the present form of oath, they excluded the sincere Jew and admitted the insincere Jew. But it was only the sincere Jew that he was afraid of. It was the sincere Jew who was pledged to legislate against Christianity. The insincere Jew would only legislate according to his interest, and in order to make political capital, like any other Member. But the sincere Jew was a peculiar animal. Peculiar views animated him for the subversion of all, in a religious sense, which they were there to uphold. That was the main reason why he opposed the Bill. He thought there had been a good deal of misconstruction and undeserved ridicule cast upon the argument that if they passed the Bill they would de-Christianize the House. It was said that the House would be no more and no less Christian when Baron Rothschild had taken his seat than it was before. Literally speaking that was perfectly true, but there were two species of results—the actual legal result, and the impression produced upon 515 the country. By the former result he admitted there would be no change in the character of the House. But the other result was quite as important, and he said that if they passed such a measure they would produce an impression in the opinion of the country derogatory of their value of Christianity. They would give to the people the impression, whether rightly or wrongly, that they set a great value on respectability as they required a property qualification of £300 a, year, but no value on Christianity. The effect of that apparent indifference would be two-fold. The large majority, who were not particularly earnest in matters of religion, would care less about Christianity, and the minority, who were earnest in religion, would care less about Parliament, than they did at present. He regarded those as very great and serious evils. They had seen the effects of the disparagement of Christianity on the other side of the Channel sufficiently to make it a warning to them, and the disparagement of the House in the opinion of the country was one of the greatest calamities which could befall this nation.
§ MR. KNATCHBULL-HUGESSEN
said, he was anxious to take the first opportunity to clear himself of an imputation of misstating facts which had been thrown upon him by the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Duncombe). On the occasion of the last debate the hon. Member for Finsbury made an attack upon the noble Lord the Member for the city of London as to the manner in which he had conducted himself with regard to this question, and he took the liberty of remarking that the hon. Member's own opinion had sometimes been mistaken, because the hon. Member had come down to this House and moved for a Committee of inquiry upon the ground that Baron Rothschild, having accepted a loan-contract with the Government, had vacated his seat. He was certainly wrong in his recollection, and he felt, therefore, that he owed an apology to the hon. Member, but he trusted the House would give him credit for not having unjustifiably made an erroneous statement. It appeared that on June 25, 1855, the hon. Member for Finsbury asked the then Attorney-General (Sir A. Cockburn) whether Baron Rothschild's seat was not vacated by his loan contract, and, not obtaining a satisfactory answer, he came down the next day and moved a new writ. The Attorney General then moved the appointment of a Committee, and the hon. Mem- 516 ber for Finsbury consented to the Committee, although in a speech of some length he expressed a strong conviction that Baron Rothschild had vacated his seat and that the Committee must recommend that a new writ should be moved for. In the main-point he was correct, and he hoped he had cleared himself from seeming to make anything like a false statement. He would add a few words on what was likely to be the effect of the adoption of this measure on the Christianity of the country. Although he would not yield to any one in the House in his attachment to the Christian religion, he felt more perhaps on religious than on political grounds the necessity for passing the measure proposed for their adoption. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire, with all that moving solemnity which had such an effect upon the House, said that they wore going to unchristianise the country. He did not object to that opinion being entertained, but he did object to the hon. Member's wishing to deprive those who were not Christians of their duo influence. He remembered the Attorney-General for Ireland (Mr. Whiteside) making a speech in which he made an appeal to the House to reject the claims of the Jews in the names of the blessed apostles, prophets, and martyrs of Christianity; but it struck him (Mr. Hugessen) that those martyrs would have been greatly astonished if it had been foretold to them that the religion of the poor, the meek, and the persecuted of mankind would ever, in future ages, be exhibited before man's eyes as a religion which required for its protection that men should be deprived of their political rights.
§ MR. KNATCHBULL-HUGESSEN
regretted if he had given offence to the hon. Member for North Warwickshire. What he was about to say was, that to allege that the Christian religion required, any such restrictions as those to which he had alluded was to utter a libel upon it. These humiliating restrictions were opposed to the principles and spirit of their common Christianity, and it was worthless if it required such support. He believed 517 it was supported by a power in comparison with which the power of princes or of Parliaments was as nothing. And when the hon. Gentleman taunted them with the course which they were taking on this question, it only showed that it was very possible for a man to come forward, and, on the strength of the profession of the Christian faith, to deny that charity which had been pronounced on the authority of the apostle as the greatest of the Christian virtues.
MR. T. BUNCOMBE
said, the question before the House on Wednesday was one of religious liberty, and not of a Government contract. On that occasion he had found fault with the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) for his roundabout way of dealing with the question. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Knatchbull-Hugessen) then rose and said he was surprised at his (Mr. Duncombe's) inconsistency — an expression which would lead the House to imagine that he had been guilty of inconsistency. The hon. Member said it was only two years since, in the year 1855, that he (Mr. Duncombe) stated that the Baron Rothschild was ineligible to sit in Parliament on account of his contract for the public loan. There seemed to be a confusion of ideas in the mind of the hon. Gentleman between the religious question and the Government contract. He did not seem to understand that a man might be pronounced ineligible on account of entering into a contract, and yet how it could be maintained that the same man was eligible for a seat in that House that was not ineligible on account of his religious opinions. That was what he argued; and the hon. Gentleman might be willing to be informed that a number of his (Mr. Duncombe's) constituents professed the same religion as Baron Rothschild, many of whom came to him at that time and asked if it were true that they were about to lose Baron Rothschild from Parliament in consequence of his connection with the loan. He (Mr. Duncombe) looked into the question, and told them he found it looked suspicious under the Contractors' Act. They then begged him to put the question in the House. He did put the question to the Attorney General, whether Baron Rothschild had vacated his seat; and added that, if it were so, he (Mr. Buncombe) would move for a new writ, but that he should avoid doing anything injurious to Baron Rothschild. In reply to his interrogation, whether Baron Rothschild's seat would be vacated by his 518 having contracted for the loan, the Attorney General (the present Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas) said that the question was one for the House to answer, and not for the Attorney General; but that if the question should come before the House in a practical shape, it would be his duty, considering the office which he filled, to state his opinion; and he added, that if his hon. Friend—alluding to himself— wished for his opinion on the subject, he knew there was a certain mode in which it could be obtained. He (Mr. Duncombe) was then told that the proper way to raise the question was by moving for a new writ, and therefore to bring the question to an issue. He gave notice that he should move for a new writ on the following day, merely as a matter of form, and he did move accordingly. A Committee was then moved for by the Attorney General, and the Government nominated the members, some of them being members of the Opposition. Baron Rothschild appeared before that Committee by counsel; and the members were bound to judge from the evidence which came before them, whether he had forfeited his seat or not. It certainly appeared to the Committee, from that evidence, that Baron Rothschild did not come within the meaning of the Act of Parliament, and he (Mr. Duncombe) therefore voted accordingly; and he maintained now, as he maintained the other day, that his vote was directly the reverse of that which the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Knatchbull-Hugessen) represented it to be.
said, that as it was not possible to settle the whole question of the oaths, he should have very much preferred if the clause, which the hon. Member for Warwickshire proposed to strike out, had constituted the whole of the Bill. He certainly would have been better satisfied if the noble Lord had simply provided that, when a Jew came to take the oaths at the table, he might be allowed to omit the words "upon the true faith of a Christian," and be permitted to take that oath in the way most binding on his conscience, as he was in the habit of doing in every Court of Justice in the realm. He knew it had been decided in the most solemn way and by the highest legal authorities that these words were of the substance of the oath, but it seemed to him to be an opinion of a purely legal nature, and one which ought not to have much weight with the House. He must protest against the doctrine that men were to be considered 519 immoral because they professed a particular religion; and therefore he repudiated the charge of immorality which had that night been brought against the Jews. Indeed that sort of constructive immorality had been alleged against many sects at different times. There never was a question which was so genuine a test of the professions in favour of religious liberty, of which so much was hoard in the present day, as the present, because it applied to a small and feeble section of the community, not to a powerful body like the Roman Catholics. He, therefore, felt humiliated at the refusal which had been given year after year to this measure in "another place," but trusted that it would not he repeated on the present occasion. Indeed he felt sanguine that it would not, and that the Bill would be sent up by such a majority, including many converts to the cause among hon. Gentlemen on the benches opposite, that it would also find new converts in "another place," and ultimately become law. He thought, however, that the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) acted wisely and consistently in not holding out a threat to the other House of Parliament. If the other House of Parliament rejected this Bill, then it would be for them to consider what was due to the dignity and rights of the House of Commons in deciding on the admission of its own Members.
§ MR. WALPOLE
Before the debate comes to a conclusion, I have to request the indulgence of the House while I state very shortly the reasons which induce me still to adhere to my former opinions on this important question, and also why I cannot become one of the converts anticipated by the hon. Gentleman opposite. I agree with the hon. Member for Surrey (Mr. Drummond) that subjects of this description are brought more frequently under the notice of Parliament than formerly was the case, and that when they do come they are very painful for us to discuss. I can assure the House that I feel it, not only extremely painful, but extremely wearisome to travel over ground so often trodden before, and the only excuse I have to offer for venturing to gay a few words is that I am anxious to state as precisely as I can the reasons which induce me to adhere to the opinions I have formerly expressed on this subject. I have said it is extremely painful to discuss a question like this, for to my mind nothing can occasion greater regret than to appear, even for a moment, as an antagonist or opponent of 520 the most remarkable people in the world— a people with whom we are associated and linked by past history, by prophetic promises, and by all the ties which bind us together in those eternal relations that must ever subsist between God and man. With such feelings I am sure the House will give me credit for saying that it is with no ordinary pain I appear as the opponent of such a people; and I must add that I cannot join in condemning them on the ground of their social or immoral conduct. On the contrary, if I wore called on to give an opinion with reference to that people, I should say that their obedience to the laws of every land in which they are located— the peculiar care they take of their own poor, so remarkable that in the history of this country there is but one instance of a Jew receiving parochial relief—their industrial habits — their extensive benevolence, and their large charities, not confined, as I know from personal observation, to their own people, but extended to those from whom they differ, and that, too, with a most liberal hand, these are considerations that would strongly induce me, if this question were now to be determined as one of feeling and not of principle, to give the present measure my willing support. There are two other points which I wish to exclude from the consideration of this question, in order that I may address myself to the sole ground on which I, for one, oppose the admission of the Jews to seats in Parliament, and I do this with the more readiness because if I am wrong the noble Lord the Member for London, since he has not as yet addressed us to-night, will be able to refute any errors in the argument to which I shall give utterance. I wish not only to exclude all reference to the personal characters of the Jews from this discussion, but to repudiate the notion which has been frequently adverted to, namely, that we are trying to keep them out of Parliament merely because there are certain accidental words in the oath which is required to be taken at our table. My belief is, that the exclusion of the Jew is not owing to those words, but that he is excluded in consequence of an inability inherent in himself which prevents him from amalgamating with the habits and institutions of a Christian country. At the time these words were inserted in the Oath, there were no Jews in the land, consequently they could not be inserted for the purpose of excluding them; but remem- 521 ber that the very insertion of them takes for granted that none but Christians were meant to be admitted. To my mind the argument drawn from the insertion of these words is therefore stronger than it would be if they were found in an Act of Parliament, because it shows that the Jew is not excluded by any positive enactment, but that his exclusion arises from that which was always taken for an indisputable fact — namely, that he could not by possibility take his seat in a Christian legislature. Another point to which I shall allude is one which, though not mentioned to-night, has been urged with considerable force by the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield (Mr. Roebuck) and other hon. Gentlemen, and it is one by which not a few hon. Members have been very strongly influenced, I mean the argument that there is nothing in the declaration of the oath which, in point of fact, can make people Christians. The hon. and learned Member for Sheffield has also said that there is no use in this declaration, because it did not prevent men like Gibbon or Bolingbroke from taking their seats. Now, what I wish the House to bear in mind is that we insert this declaration, not to make people Christians, but to get that profession of the Christian faith which the Legislature thinks it is right every man ought to profess before he can be permitted to legislate in this country. The words may be unnecessary and useless in so far as they do not exclude an infidel from Parliament, but allow me to say that there are many things which are useless and unnecessary in that sense which are not useless and are not unnecessary when applied to purposes over which they have an influence. For example, everybody will admit that the best laws cannot eradicate crime, or the best manners extirpate vice; but would any one say that you are to have no laws and no good manners because you cannot accomplish all that you wish? If they do stop the grosser manifestations of crime and vice, if they do check the influence which vice and crime may have over the people, if they do prevent the spread of the one or the other, then I say that both the laws and the manners which are so established in the country are, instead of being useless, of very great value. So it is with these declarations. They are the homage which you are bound to pay to Christianity at the table of the House; and that homage being paid, they amount to this, that they deter the bad and encourage the 522 good, and down to this moment they have warned both of the only principles upon which they are entitled to legislate here. There is another topic which I wish to exclude from this discussion; it is one which was adverted to by the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. C. Fortescue). Towards the conclusion of his speech he called attention to the fact that when the Roman Catholics were admitted to Parliament there were in the country large numbers of that persuasion, and that it was in consequence of their numbers that emancipation, as it is called, was conceded; and he thus drew from that argument the inference, "What you grant to the many will you refuse to the few, because they are few?" ["Hear, hear," from the Opposition benches.] I see from that cheer that you think that argument is of great- weight. Now, to my mind, it makes no difference whether the Jews are few or whether they are many, if you will only prove to me that the thing is just. If you do not prove that, then I say that the question of numbers is an element which ought not to be left out of consideration. According to every wise principle of legislation, you must have regard to the voices of the many, — you must satisfy the many, even if you displease the few. And if in this case you are, as I believe you are, satisfying the many out of doors, although you are dissatisfying the few, I say that their being numerically small is, upon grounds of expediency, a reason which would weigh against the admission of the Jews instead of in its favour. Now, Sir, having separated these points from the discussion, the noble Lord will allow me to address myself to the question more at large. The noble Lord has often challenged us to grapple with him upon the question of right—for that is how he puts it—the question of the right which every person has to be admitted to all the privileges which this country can offer. If I were to be asked to state the matter fairly on both sides I should put it thus. I should say that the promoters and supporters of this Bill argue that as a matter of right every person is prima facie entitled to claim the privilege, if elected, of sitting in Parliament. That that being his right and his privilege if he is elected, no religious opinions ought to exclude him. That, on the contrary, if these opinions are to exclude him, it is a species of intolerance and persecution; and that to apply the case to Baron Rothschild it is a positive wrong to 523 the constituency which has elected him, and to Baron Rothschild who has been so elected, that the one is now deprived of its representative and the other of his seat. I think I have stated the arguments in favour of the measure, as fairly as I could. Now, let me state the argument on the other side. That argument, I think, amounts to this, that in all these matters there is no such thing as a positive right; that legislation, and the right and power of legislation, or rather the privilege of legislation, is a trust and responsibility imposed upon those who are clothed with that power; that this trust and responsibility being so imposed upon them, it is in the power of any country to lay down beforehand such qualifications as it may deem necessary for the proper discharge of this trust; that this is so in every country upon the face of the earth; that in our own country we have many such qualifications—we have age, we have sex, we have property, we have profession, we have religion. You exclude all the young because they are inexperienced; you exclude all women in order that they may attend to their domestic duties; you exclude those who do not possess a certain fortune because it is supposed that they are not independent; you exclude the clergy because you wish to confine them to their pastoral duties, and to remove them from secular affairs; you exclude aliens, even though you have naturalised them, for two reasons which are given in the statute of Anne, partly because they owe allegiance to another, and partly because—although I have not read, the statute for six or eight years I believe these are its words,—partly because their notions of law, of liberty, and of religion are different from your own. Well, then, these persons being excluded, you add to them all those who are not Christians,—and why? Because all the laws of your country are founded upon Christianity; because in altering those laws or in framing new ones every one who has a; voice in legislation ought to be actuated by the Christian religion. Now, Sir, I have stated the argument as fairly as I could on both sides and what docs it come to? It evidently turns upon this point, and this point only, is there or is there not in the Jew that right to be admitted to Parliament which the noble Lord and those who support him claim? If there be such a right I think the noble Lord will agree with me that it must be either a right in the constituency which returns him or in the person 524 returned, or it must partake of both those characters. First, I ask, is the right in the constituency which returns the Jew? I have always understood that according to our constitution, and I believe according to all others, rights of this kind are and must be measured by their correlative duties. What, then, according to the present state of the law, are the duties of the constituency? You complain of the city of London being deprived of its Member. What are the duties of the city of London? To elect those whom the law declares to be eligible. If the electors of the city of London or of any other place elect a person whom the law declares to be ineligible, then, if they lose their representative, the fault is with them, and not with us; they have no one to blame but themselves. This must be obvious to any one who considers that if they had returned a clergyman, a minor, a bankrupt, or an alien, he could not have taken his seat in this House. Would the city of London be wronged by the inability of such a person to take his seat? No. What you would say, and you would say truly, would be, "Until we alter the law it must be obeyed and attended to. General laws are laid down for the general good, and no particular place can supersede them at its pleasure." Then I arrive at this conclusion, from which I think I shall not he displaced, that the absolute right contended for is not in the constituency. Next comes the question, is there such a right in the person returned? Now, upon what does that right turn? I believe that the noble Lord will tell me that it turns upon this, that it is contrary to the principles of civil and religious liberty that the Jew should not be entitled to take his seat. What is civil liberty? The noble Lord has given a definition of it in his own book, a book which, I will say in parenthesis, I have read often and often. I read it before I left Eton, and have, I believe, derived a great deal of constitutional knowledge from it. Civil liberty, according to the noble Lord, if I rightly recollect the definition in his book, is the liberty of doing everything which is not prohibited by the laws of the land, comprehending in that definition the fullest enjoyment of person and property. Now, if that be civil liberty, and I do not think you can improve the definition, will the noble Lord allow me to ask, is Baron Rothschild deprived of that civil liberty? Has he not the fullest enjoyment of his person and his property? You cannot, therefore, put this demand on the ground of civil li- 525 berty. I want to get rid of mere words and phrases. I want to get at the thing itself, and then to see whether the principle upon which Baron Rothschild is excluded is or is not just. If you cannot establish the right on the ground of civil liberty, has it any foundation in religious liberty? Religious liberty I take to be this,— the fullest and freest power of exercising your religious opinions according to the rites and in the way which is most agreeable to your own conscience, provided that the observance of those rites does not interfere with the consciences of others, or endanger the public peace. I know that the noble Lord will tell me that I have given too narrow a definition of religious liberty. I do not think I have; I believe that is the real definition. Probably the noble Lord will go to a great authority in "another place," an authority whom I revere almost more than any other man living—I mean Lord Lyndhurst—and he will tell me that according to him religious liberty is something more extensive than this—and that it means the right to enjoy all the privileges of the country unless there is some paramount cause to the contrary. [" Hear, hear!"] You cheer that, but you must remember that Lord Lyndhurst is a great logician as well as a great constitutional lawyer, and he inserted these words unless there is some paramount cause to the contrary, because any other definition would fall short of the mark. Now, seeing that you are and have been a Christian Legislature, living under a Christian Queen, I want to know—to use the words of Lord Lyndhurst—whether that is not a paramount cause. And if it be a paramount cause, how can you say that the law should be admitted? Looking, therefore, at the question from either point of view—discussing it either upon grounds of civil liberty, or upon grounds of religious liberty taken in its most extensive sense, I challenge the noble Lord to enter the lists against a very inferior antagonist, and I do not think he will unhorse me in attempting to show that Baron Rothschild has a right to take his seat within the walls of this House. The only question, then, which can remain has reference to the expediency of the measure proposed by the noble Lord. That will depend on a very few considerations. You may say, on the one hand, that it is expedient to gratify a most respectable class of men, who are faithful to their Queen, and obedient to the law; but I ask you, on the other, are you not bound to consider and set against that, the alarm 526 and shock you will give to the religious feelings of a large portion of the people? Putting the question in a different light you may say, with some degree of truth, that it is expedient to respect the scruples of the Jew and not compel him to make a profession of Christianity; but again, I ask you, is it not also expedient to respect the religious scruples of your fellow Christians? Will they not think, if you alter the law by the exclusion of the words, "On the true faith of a Christian," that you are making Christianity retreat before you in order to satisfy an objection entertained by those who may without disrespect be called the greatest opponents which Christianity can have? You may say that it is expedient to draw a distinction between public and private life; but is it not also expedient, I ask in return, that you, admitting the principle as a general rule— admitting that in all your conduct as private citizens you ought to uphold hut one standard, and that a Christian one—when you come into public assemblies, when your conduct and actions are to influence not merely yourselves and your own limited domestic circle, but the more extended circle comprising in its compass those three kingdoms, should still abide by the same principle, and still uphold the same standard? Having endeavoured to condense my argument into as small a compass as possible, I shall only in conclusion express the hope that this is the last time I may over have the pain—for to me it is a pain—of speaking upon the subject. [Cheers from the Opposition.] These cheers respond to a sentiment uttered by me in one sense and taken by you in another. I believe myself that it will be a fatal step for you to admit the Jews. My reasons for that belief are before you; but I may be allowed to add, that if you do admit the Jew, you should not admit him in the way proposed by the hon. Member for Finsbury. You should not break through the walls of the constitution, but you should open the gates and allow him to enter. I am against that admission, but as long as I have the honour of a scat in this House I will say boldly that much as I am opposed to the Jews upon principle, not upon feeling, much as I desire to prevent their admission within these walls, nothing on earth can ever induce me to consent to one House of Parliament setting itself above the other, and proceeding by Resolution to do that which requires the sanction of the united Legislature. The chews which came from the other side of 527 the House have led me to make that observation. I had said that I hoped I should not have the pain of speaking upon this subject again, but, as I trust I shall not be called upon to do so, I may be permitted to make one further remark, which will better illustrate my meaning than any argument I could use. When first the noble Lord the Member for London brought forward a Bill of this kind, I had been in Parliament only about eight months. I took some part in the discussion, and after it was over I was requested to see a Jew of very great eminence, a man of considerable ability, and one for whom I entertained much respect. I said, of course, that I had no objection to see him. I did see him, and he pointed out for one hour the reasons which he thought ought to influence me in changing the opinion I had formed. Those reasons were urged as ably as any I have heard advanced in this House; but there were two points to which all his arguments tended. One was a desire to convince me, that his ancestors were not in the Holy Land when the crucifixion took place; and the other was a greater desire to persuade me, that if he were in my position he would not do towards me what I was doing towards him. As to the first point, of course I said, as anybody would have said, that I was perfectly willing to believe his statement, knowing as I did that the Jews were scattered over the earth at the time of the crucifixion. With regard to the second, what I said to him was, "I am very glad you have made that remark, for it will enable me to point out to you in the clearest, plainest, and most distinct manner the reasons which operate on my mind, in advocating your exclusion from a Christian Parliament. Let us put ourselves back 3,000 years." I think you will see the illustration is applicable. "Let us go back 3,000 years, and suppose we are both living in Palestine. It is the time of the Judges. You are a descendant of Abraham, a believer in the true Jehovah. I am a heathen, and not a believer in the true Jehovah. If I were chosen to be one of your Judges, would you admit me?" His answer was, as the answer of any honest Jew would be, "No." Now, that is the best illustration I could give of the reasons which influence my mind in not admitting Jews to a Christian assembly; when those Jews who are true to their faith would not, and as I think should not admit me to theirs. These, Sir, are the arguments which induce me to 528 vote against the present measure, and I think the noble Lord the Member for London will find it difficult to displace me from my position, particularly when he remembers that the principle, upon which I stand, has been maintained from time immemorial in England. From time immemorial Christianity has always been an essential part of our institutions, our Monarchs have bound themselves by their Coronation Oath to maintain the true profession of the gospel, the Judges of the land have declared Christianity to be part and parcel of our law in the sense, as Lord Hardwicke expressed it, that "the constitution and the government of the country depended thereupon;" and, let me add, Parliament has recognized the same principle by requiring its proceedings to be commenced with prayer in the name of Him after whom we are called. Therefore, however much I may think of the Jews personally, however much I may respect the antiquity of their race, however much I may regard their historical associations and their prophetic promises—however firmly I may think and believe that those associations and those promises belong to us as well as to them — however sincerely I may esteem their moral qualities, their patient endurance, and their extensive charities, still when you ask me whether I am prepared to change the whole principle and policy of our constitution, there is but one answer which I can make, and that answer is, that as the Jews would adhere to their own nationality, so I would have this House and this country adhere to theirs; and I make that declaration, not hastily, not rashly, not unadvisedly, but in the very words of that oath which you wish to alter, "heartily, willingly, and truly, upon the true faith of a Christian."
§ MR. MAGUIRE
As the first Catholic Member who has risen to speak on the Amendment and the clause now before the House, I beg to claim its indulgence while I say a few words with respect to the question at issue. The Catholic Members, so far from being opposed to the emancipation of the Jews, are amongst the most ardent supporters of that just and necessary measure; and I can assert, without hesitation, that the noble Lord the Member for the city of London, in his attempt to carry that measure has the hearty sympathies of the vast majority of the Irish people. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Walpole) who has just sat down indulged in a very boastful assertion—namely, that the noble Lord the Member for London would find it very 529 difficult to upset the position which he had taken. The right hon. Gentleman, while admitting that Lord Lyndhurst was a good logician, has shown himself to he nothing more than an ingenious special pleader; and he would find when the noble Lord rose to answer him, that, to use a popular form of expression, that he had not left himself a leg to stand on. One of the strong points made by the right hon. Gentleman was his denial of the right of the citizens of London to return Baron Rothschild. Now I must say that was a perfectly untenable proposition. There is no express law whatever to prevent the citizens of London, or any other constituency, from electing a Jew; nor is there any law which forbids a Jew to take his seat in this House. A Jew may he elected by a constituency, a Jew may enter this House and approach that table, and a Jew may sit in this place provided he would consent to take an oath repugnant to his conscience. The case was quite different with an alien or a minor; for upon the fact of a candidate being an alien or a minor being made known to the returning officer, he would not sanction his return; and if returned, his election would be null and void. But is there a returning officer in the United Kingdom who would refuse to return the election of a Jew? I therefore deny the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman that the citizens of London had no right to return Baron Rothschild as their representative; and I venture to say the Attorney General for Ireland, who sits by his side, would not endorse his opinion on that point with the weight of his authority. The right hon. Gentleman told the House of a conversation which he had with a Jew, whom he asked to go back 3,000 years. Now, the right hon. Gentleman had some right, perhaps, to make that proposition to the Jew, for he has himself gone back at least 500 years—to the time when the rank spirit of intolerance pervaded all classes in this country—when the Jew was persecuted and despised—and when, if he did not give up his money to some pious Christian of that day, he was obliged to surrender his teeth. Yes, however mild and plausible the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, it was really in the same spirit as the violent and unchristian speech of the mover of the Amendment; it breathed the spirit of the persecution of 500 years since. You cannot, it is true, pull out the teeth of the Jews, nor torture them, nor submit them to stripes, nor put them in prison; but what you can do you do—you seek to 530 deprive them of those civil rights and privileges to which by their citizenship they are entitled. The right hon. Gentleman alluded to the prayers offered up in this House. I have always listened to those prayers with the utmost reverence; for though they are not Catholic prayers, they are based on the common Christianity which I revere. Yes, but do these prayers inculcate intolerance, exclusiveness, or punishment for conscience sake? Nothing of the kind—they breathe the spirit of harmony, concord, and good feeling amongst all classes of men, for the promotion of the peace and happiness of the community. The right hon. Gentleman says that the form of taking a Christian oath in this assembly is something like a homage paid to Christianity. It is so, I suppose, upon the same principle that hypocrisy is the homage which vice pays to virtue. An infidel may come to that table and take the Christian oath though he does not believe in God or Christianity, or in a future state of reward or punishment; but the conscientious Jew, who believes in God and in an after state, is not to be allowed to take an oath which would be binding upon him; and this is done on the pretence of upholding the Christianity of the country! I cannot agree with the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate) that all the Christianity is at his side of the House, and that all the irreligion is on this; on the contrary, I am led to believe, by his speech, that he docs not rightly comprehend the true spirit of the Christianity which he professes. The right hon. Gentleman the Homo Secretary talked of the Christian mind of this country being shocked by this measure. But what is the Christian mind of this country? Was not the same Christian mind shocked by the admission of Catholics to Parliament and by the admission of Dissenters to the enjoyment of social and civil rights? The Protestant mind of this country, which is always so ready to be alarmed at what is right or just, raises to my mind the idea of a fussy old lady listening to a white cravated gentleman in Exeter Hall, and who imagines that the Queen, the constitution, and the country are about being destroyed because she is not allowed the right of persecuting everybody who does not agree with her. The right hon. Gentleman, in the ablest manner, made out a case why, on civil grounds, the Jew was entitled to equal privileges with the rest of his fellow-citizens. He was willing to allow that the Jew was a model, not certainly of a Chris- 531 tian, but a man. He represented him to be industrious, obedient to the laws, kind, humane, and charitable — not charitable according to the charity of the Member for North Warwickshire, but charitable in that comprehensive spirit which knows no difference between the Gentile and the Jew. The right hon. Gentleman admitted the Jew to be the very opposite of that which the mover of the Amendment described him; and yet the right hon. Gentleman will consent to grant to him the privileges to which his faithful discharge of the various duties of citizenship entitles him. To my mind, the spirit of our religion does not sanction the persecution of any man for conscience sake. If I understand rightly the great obligation of the Christian faith, it is that we love God for his own sake, and our neighbours as ourself. Now, who is our neighbour? Hon. Gentlemen may remember that when some pharisaical lawyer of Jerusalem—and we have pharisaical lawyers, too, in this House, who find it very convenient to climb by the ladder of religious profession to the highest positions of the land—when the pharisaical lawyer of Jerusalem asked, "Who is my neighbour," he was answered by that immortal parable, which has been the guide of Christians since that day—the beautiful parable of the Good Samaritan. The proud Levite, the Member for North Warwickshire of the day, was he who passed the wounded traveller as he lay by the road side; while it was the Samaritan who stopped on his journey, poured balm and oil into his wounds, took him to his inn, and comforted him, This example ought to teach us to know no difference between Gentile and Jew. Every argument once urged against the Jew was one time urged against the Catholic; and in the case of the Catholic, every awful prophesy of ruin and destruction has been falsified by the fact. Just as you were told that if the Catholics were once admitted, this House would become a Popish assembly, to the overthrow of every time-honoured interest and institution of Protestantism; so we are now assured that if we admit Baron Rothschild and Alderman Salomons, we should unchristianize this assembly. But on this point I think we may set our minds at rest; and, for my part, I certainly have no fear—for so long as North Warwickshire returns its present representatives, with their fifty-horse power of Christianity, which I call intolerance, so long would I back it and them alone to be more than equal to all the 532 power of all the Judaism of the country put together. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire has made one of his awful prophecies this night—that the blessing of God would desert this House if it admitted the Jews. Now, I do believe that the blessing of God does rest upon this assembly, because it proceeds with its great work in a Christian spirit, and because, year after year, it is undoing one link after another of the intolerance and tyranny of the past. But if this House is to retrograde, as the hon. Member would have it, and if it is now to act in the spirit not of 3,000 years ago, but even 500 years ago, that blessing which we call down upon our deliberations, would really depart from this assembly. I have one word to say as to the Catholic Members, and their relation to this Bill. It is not the fault of Catholic Members if at any time they seem to stand between the Jews and their rights; but it is the fault of those who mix up other questions with the simple one of emancipating the Jews. The Catholic Members always wished that the noble Lord would bring in a simple Jew Bill; but this course not having been adopted, and other matters having been, as in the present instance, mixed up in it, Catholics felt it their duty to enter their protest against the continued imposition on them of an oath which, to say the least, is hurtful to their pride. Did they not take this course, it might be said to them at a future time, when the Catholic oath became the subject of consideration— "Why did not you make a stir in the matter when the question of the Protestant Oath and the Jewish Oath was before the House?" It is unjust to Catholics to say that they are not friendly to the Jews; for there is not a Catholic Member who does not cordially go with the noble Lord in his present attempt, and who is not ready to go further with that noble Lord if this last appeal to the justice of Parliament is not successful. And, for my part, I cannot say that the noble Lord has exhibited any want of sincerity in this question; on the contrary, he is entitled to the thanks of this House and the country for the perseverance and energy which he has exhibited—and the advanced position in which the Bill is placed at this early period of the Session is another proof of that sincerity, and that energy. I assert, Sir, the Jews are justly entitled to their freedom on every rational ground. There are amongst them very many who, as citizens, are models of intelligence, industry, 533 and charity. And, if it is said, as it has been said, that there are degraded Jews, I answer it is because the spirit of ancient persecution is still upon them—it is because the consciousness of their past slavery still abides in their breasts; for you invariably find that a people who are degraded by the laws under which they live feel degraded in their own esteem. The Catholic of the present day is a very different being from the Catholic of the time before the passing of the Emancipation Act. The feeling of rancour and bitterness which then filled his heart, as he chafed against his bondage, and hated those who oppressed him, has given way to a feeling of Christian charity, and fraternal sympathy with all classes, because the Catholic now feels himself to be on a footing of complete and perfect equality with his Protestant fellow-countrymen. Raise the Jew to this level of equality, and you will find the cloud of degradation removed from his brow, the mean expression of slavery removed from his features; for he will then look full in the face of his fellow-countrymen, as their equal in position, because their equal in liberty. Sir, I give my cordial assent to the clause of the noble Lord, and my as cordial dissent to the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman.
§ MR. ROEBUCK
said, he bogged pardon of the House for intruding himself at that late hour, but there were one or two observations he wished to make before a division took place. In the first place, he had to congratulate the House upon the marked distinction between the opinions of the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary and those of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire. The latter based his opposition to this Bill upon a certain view of the religious character of the Jew; while the former gave us a description of the Jew of a totally different nature. The right hon. Gentleman said he knew the Jews as a body to be good citizens, good fathers, and good men, and were he to consult his own feelings, he would admit them at once. Therein he had shown himself very different from the hon. Member for North Warwickshire, who had painted them as false, faithless, unsocial, and unfit for society. He did not exaggerate the language of the hon. Member. Accepting the representation of their character given by the right hon. Gentleman, what were the reasons he had adduced for excluding thorn? The right hon. Gentleman did him the honour to quote a former argument of his, which was founded on the 534 utter inefficiency of oaths intended to exclude men from that House. The only men whom they excluded were conscientious men. Men who cared not for the oaths, men to whom oaths were as nothing in the way of barriers, they could not exclude. This was proved by the case of two most celebrated men—Gibbon and Bolingbroke—both of whom sat as Members of Parliament, and could not be excluded. What was the right hon. Gentleman's answer to this? "True," he said, "you cannot exclude the man who has no religion; but you can exclude the man who has a religion, and obeys it." But for what object was an oath administered at that table? It was to bring men into that House who were fit to legislate for the country. Then who was the more fit, the man who had no religion, and cared not for his oath, or the man who had a religion, and obeyed it? So much for the efficacy of the oath. Clearing the ground of certain obstructions which stood in his way, the right hon. Gentleman then proceeded to what he termed the real ground of his opposition to the Bill, and asked on what ground of "right" the Jew could claim to be admitted? He quite agreed with the right hon. Gentleman that the word "right" ought not to be used on such occasions, and he challenged him to put his finger on any language of his bearing a contrary sense. He had never asserted that the Jew had any right but that which was conferred by law; he knew of no right but that which was the creature of law; and the moment the law took it away, a man had no right. "But," said the right hon. Gentleman, "though the Jew is a good man, a good father, and a good citizen, I wish to exclude him." And why? "Because he does not believe as I believe." [Mr. WALPOLE: As the country believes.] But did the Quaker believe as the country believed? Did the Roman Catholic or the Presbyterian believe as the country believed? They could not for a moment say there was any universal belief in this country. They all believed something alike. Well, did not the Jew believe a great deal that they believed? and did not they believe a great deal that the Jew believed? There was, indeed, a point at which they diverged from him; but so, also, there was a point at which they diverged from the Quaker, from the Roman Catholic, and from the Presbyterian. The question, then, was entirely one of expediency—not of religion. The question was, whether by admitting the 535 Jew they would do anything to injure the legislation of this country? He was prepared to maintain that they would not. The right hon. Gentleman had talked of "the Christian character" of the House, but what did that mean? No law and no oath that they could possibly frame would insure that the men who entered that House should be Christians. All that they could accomplish was, to make them call themselves Christians. How, then, could they prevent any mischief to their legislation by shutting out the Jew, when they could not shut out the man who was neither Jew nor Christian? The whole principle of exclusion was based on the strange mistake which men made when they said, "We are the depositaries of the truth." It might be thought that any human being, who knew how difficult it was to attain unto the truth, would have learnt humility and diffidence, and would; shrink from dogmatizing, and from declaring, "I am the sole depositary of the truth." Surely, as their experience of life increased, they must all feel that it might be they had been in error all along, and their neighbours in the right; and that while they could easily judge whether a man was a good citizen, and possessed all the qualities required in a legislator, it was, on the other hand, quite beyond them to say whether or not he had attained unto the truth. He would therefore warn the right hon. Gentleman not to take this assumption as his guide; and so he must say as to the argument drawn from the morality of the Jews. Who were the men whom they excluded? They were a people from whom we had derived that Decalogue which was taught in all Christian religions; and all our great principles of morality were at this very time made to rest upon the Old Testament as well as the New. Should we turn round, then, upon the Jews, and tell them they, who at one time were the sole depositaries of all truth, were now unfit to be our associates in making laws? He laid it down as a general rule, that every man who had obtained the suffrage of a constituency was! entitled to be a Member of that House, unless some good reason could be shown to the contrary. The right hon. Gentleman had said, that they excluded infants because of their insufficient knowledge. They also excluded women, one hardly knew why, though he fancied he could see a reason; and aliens were excluded because they were aliens; but the Jew was excluded because he was not a Christian. 536 Yes, but he wanted to know what ground that was. Did they really believe that if two or three, or any other probable number of Jews, entered that House, there would be anything done by that assembly on that account which they as Christian men would object to, and done moreover in consequence of their entry? No. "But," said the right hon. Gentleman, "when a man being a Jew, presents himself to the electors of this country, he knows that by law he is excluded." Now, were he a Jew himself they should not exclude him. He had often said to Jews, "Why don't you take this course:—Go up to that table, go over the oath, say the last words ' upon the true faith of a Christian,' and state, ' These words have no effect upon me, hut as your law compels me to take them, I do take them.' [" Oh," and a laugh.] There were some sublimated gentlemen on the opposite side who seemed to object to such a mode of proceeding, He (Mr. Roebuck) would like to know how many Gentlemen had taken their seats in that House who had not been Christians; and if the Jew was candid enough to declare "I am a Jew, but I am ready to repeat the words of your oath," did he do anything that he ought to be ashamed of? Ought not the shame rather to rest with those who had compelled him to do so? He did not hide any thing from them; he said openly, I am a Jew. Some ten or twelve years ago he (Mr. Roebuck) had advised the adoption of such a course, and he believed, if that advice had been acted upon, little more would have been hoard on the subject. Parliament would then have been compelled to alter the law and do justice to the Jews. He was convinced that the right hon. Gentleman was right in his opinion that the present occasion was the last on which they would have a discussion of this nature. Day by day he (Mr. Roebuck) had seen the great principles of religious toleration gaining ground. They had swept on, like the tide, in an unchecked course, and from the moment when he first took part in politics to the present time the stream had not turned. He trusted soon to see this last rag of religious intolerance torn away from the British constitution, and that we should at length be—as we ought to be—a truly tolerant people.
SIR RICHARD BBTHBLL
Unquestionably I have never heard a speech to which I have listened with greater pleasure than the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for the Home De- 537 partment; and I congratulate the House upon it. His candour and frankness rose superior to all official reserve. He told us that which we hail with the greatest pleasure. His words were eminently bona verba; they were prophetic of what we have long desired, when he said that we shall now see the termination of a most unprofitable discussion upon this subject. The right hon. Gentleman spoke with the game feeling which prompted the noble Earl at the head of the Government, when in the month of April 1830—if I am correctly informed—he gave his vote for a measure similar to that now before the House, and with the same spirit which influences many of the most distinguished Members of the opposite bench. He told us that this would be the last time we should come to a determination upon this painful discussion. I hail that declaration with satisfaction, for I am convinced that those hon. Members who surrounded him will not falsify his prediction. I regarded the right hon. Gentleman's speech with pleasure on another ground, because there was an elaborate recapitulation of the arguments used against this measure, which though the best the subject was capable of affording, yet requires very little time and very little care to answer. My right hon. Friend states that be gives up entirely the argument against the Jews as founded upon the language of the oath itself, because he admits, with that candour which always characterises him, that the Jew was not within the purview of the statute nor in the contemplation of the Legislature when the oath in question was devised. Well, if that be so, so far as the oath is concerned, the Jew is excluded from his birthright from a fraudulent use of the words of the statute. I do not mince the matter at all, and I beg that my expressions may be noted. He that perverts the law to a purpose not intended by the law, commits a fraud against the law, and a greater amount of moral iniquity in the application of the law cannot be imagined than to take a statute or a clause intended for a particular purpose, and apply it in the face of all conviction and of the real animus of the Legislature to an object for which, admittedly, it was never meant by those with whom the law originated, and which they would at once have repudiated had they regarded such application possible. I have the authority of the Judges for saying that the oath, as framed, was never originally intended to be applied to the ex- 538 clusion of the Jews. Upon what then docs the right hon. Gentleman rest his arguments. I will take the words of the right hon. Gentleman himself, in order that the House may fully understand. The right hon. Gentleman said that the exclusion of the Jews was not the con sequence of the oath, but the result of an inherent inability on the part of the Jew to amalgamate himself with the institutions of the country. To amalgamate himself with the institutions of the country! I ask the right hon. Gentleman if there is a single office or position of social employment or duty to which the Jew is not admissible? What then does he mean by the inability of the Jew to amalgamate himself with the institutions of the country? The right hon. Gentleman has paid an eloquent and deserved tribute to the great social and moral qualities of that people. He might have gone further, and remarked upon the manner in which they discharged the municipal and civil offices of the state, for which they had been as much distinguished as for moral and social virtues. The right hon. Gentleman went on to discuss the principles of civil and religious liberty. He had forgotten, however, to mention one particular kind of civil liberty—that is, political liberty. It is idle to talk of civil and religious liberty, if you deny the individual his right to participate in the political institutions of the country. The right of enjoying political as well as civil and religious liberty is, I contend, the birthright of the Jews. I do not agree with the hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Roebuck)in denying that the Jew possesses this right to political liberty, in as much as the law is the only foundation of right. I consider that this is simply a question of right to which the law should be made conformable. I call upon any man to put his finger upon a law or a principle that deprives the Jew of this right, except this miserable fag-cud of an oath which has been perverted to a use for which it was never intended. If the right hon. Gentleman is disposed to rely upon this new-fangled doctrine—namely, the inability of the Jew to amalgamate himself with the institutions of the country, let him do that which is now contended for, and impose an oath which is in conformity with truth and reason, and the intention of the Legislature. I will make him a present of every other ground of exclusion which he may find in any part of our law. The right hon. Gentleman committed another serious error. He spoke of the Jew 539 not being excluded from civil and religious liberty, but he also spoke of the right of the Legislature to impose conditions and restrictions, for the purpose of upholding the common character of our institutions. That right I admit, but I also tell him that such restrictions must be imposed upon all parties alike. The genius of our Constitution is that of justice and equality; let him, then, impose such conditions as will affect Protestants and all other classes alike, but let him not make an exception to the principles of our Constitution by imposing a disqualification upon the Jews alone. We can understand that principle of our legislation which imposes a disqualification upon clergymen entering this House. A Jew is, ipso facto, eligible to enter the House if elected by a constituency; but if you say that he cannot take his seat and discharge his functions as the representative of such a constituency by the accidental circumstance of certain words being contained in the oath, you will be led to an anomaly which shows that there must be something erroneous in such an application of the general argument. Repeated applications having been made for the removal of this anomaly during the last ten years, and the courts of justice, although satisfied it never was intended that the statutes should be applied as it had been applied, being unable to emancipate themselves from such an interpretation of the law, I give this pledge to the House, and I hope and trust I shall find numerous persons in it who will support me in its maintenance if this Bill be again rejected—I will take the course which, in a Committee in August last, was about to be taken by a distinguished Member of this House. I allude to no less an individual than the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Droitwich, now the First Lord of the Admiralty, who in that Committee proposed an Amendment, though, from unfortunate circumstances, that Amendment was not put to the Committee; but he gave this notice, namely, to move the following Resolution—That in the opinion of this Committee the words of section 8th of 5th and 6th of William IV., chap. 62, include the House of Commons as one of the bodies thereby empowered 'to make orders authorizing and directing the substitution of a declaration in lieu of any oath now required to be taken.' But the Committee apprehend that considerable difficulty and embarrassment might possibly arise from any order made by the House of Commons for substituting a declaration in lieu of the Oath of Abjuration now required to be taken by Members, and they 540 are, therefore, not prepared to recommend to the House of Commons to act under the powers given by the said Statute unless it should ultimately appear to be the only constitutional course by which some great public object could be effected,Having read these words, I now submit to the right hon. Baronet who holds so distinguished a place in the Councils of his Sovereign, whether he feels satisfied that the great public object which we have now in view, and which has been brought before the House from time to time during the last ten or twelve years can be accomplished by the constitutional course which we have hitherto been following. I repeat I will give the House the opportunity of adopting the alternative suggested by the right hon. Baronet unless the noble Lord the Member for London, who is unquestionably the leader in this matter, adopt it as his own. But if the noble Lord should decline to take that course I shall certainly adopt the language of the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Admiralty, and move a Resolution declaring that this course is not only empowered but is now justified and called upon to make this order, because it is the only constitutional House by which this great public—this great, just, and highly incumbent—measure on our part can be accomplished.
§ MR. WIGRAM
said, that the proposition of the right hon. Baronet in the Committee of last year did not bear the meaning which the hon. and learned Gentleman attempted to put upon it. The first question then considered was, whether the House of Commons was eligible to consider the question as far as it regarded its own constitution. The right hon. Baronet the First Lord of the Admiralty was of opinion that it was so, and concurred in the Resolution then read. Another question the hon. and learned Gentleman said was raised—namely, whether it was competent for the House of Commons in conformity with the Act of Parliament, to omit the words, "on the true faith of a Christian?" Now, that question never came directly or otherwise before the consideration of the Committee, and his right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty never intended to solve it in the manner mentioned by the hon. and learned Gentleman. In reply to the challenge of the hon. and learned Gentleman, who had defied any lawyer to controvert his position, that they were wresting the language of the Act from its proper intention, and in short were committing a fraud upon the 541 statute by availing themselves of its provisions to exclude the Jews; he was desirous of making a few observations. First, he would assert that a more fallacious argument was never urged than the oft-repeated and stale argument that the words were not intended to exclude the Jews, It was quite true that the words "on the true faith of a Christian" were introduced into the Act of James I. with no intention of excluding the Jews, because no Jews were then settled in this country. But that was not the question. After the Revolution the words wore introduced in I Will. III.; again in an Act of George I., again in an Act of George II., and, lastly, in the Act 6 Geo. III. The fair question, therefore, was not with what view the words were introduced into the Act of James I., but with what view they were retained in the subsequent statutes and especially in the Act of George III. Now, they were retained in that Act with the full knowledge that their operation would exclude the Jew. On several occasions the question had been raised as to the effect of those words, and on more than one occasion Parliament had exempted Jews from the operation of those words in particular cases. The question again came before Parliament in 1763, in what was known as the Jew Bill, and Parliament then retained the words designedly, and with the full knowledge that their operation would exclude the Jews. Nothing, therefore, could he more fallacious than to say that the Jews were excluded from sitting in Parliament by accident. His right hon. Colleague had so ably argued the other questions raised by the Bill, that he would not trouble the House by going over them.
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
In asking the attention of the House for a short time at the close of this long debate I am very glad that there are some parts of the arguments urged on the other side to which I need not advert. The argument of the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Wigram) with respect to the origin of the Act has been repeatedly discussed in this House. I maintain the opinion which was expressed by Baron Alderson in the judgment he gave upon this subject, but I think it quite unnecessary to go into that part of the question. I am happy likewise to be relieved from the necessity of taking any notice of the speech of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire, or of going into the painful questions which he raised, the charges of perjury which he advanced, the 542 discussions respecting the Talmud, and those imputations on the moral character of the Jews which have been scattered to the winds by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Walpole). That right hon. Gentleman has fairly said with respect to the Jews that their character as a body, the high station which many of them hold, rendered it desirable, if there were not other reasons which induced him to oppose it, that those of them who may be elected should have seats in this House. The right hon. Gentleman has discussed the question respecting the admission of the Jews in a very fair manner, and I agree with a great part of what he stated. He says that the City of London has no right to elect a person disqualified by law from sitting, and that such person has no right to be admitted to this House while the law exists. Now, it is not true that the personal disqualification of Baron Rothschild deprives a constituency of the right to elect him; but I can quite admit that Baron Rothschild, unless the law permits him, has no right to come here and claim his seat. I think, however, that the City of London has a right to say, "Unless you show some fair reason for the exclusion of the Jews, you ought to take the person whom we have elected, and who has our confidence, and throw open the doors of this House to him." The right hon. Gentleman says that in certain cases we may make rules by which persons elected to this House shall not be admitted. I quite agree with that, but I say they must be reasonable rules, they must he equal rules, and such as will stand examination. So far, indeed, I differ from the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield (Mr. Roebuck) that I think it is the right of a British subject, unless you can show positive and absolute grounds for his exclusion, to be admitted to any privilege to which other classes of his fellow-subjects are entitled. The right hon. Gentleman says that certain persons are excluded from this House; and he instanced persons under the age of twenty-one years, and women, and others. Now, with regard to the first of these exclusions, every one will admit that there must be a certain age at which a limit must be drawn, for it cannot be expected that a boy of ten or twelve years of age is qualified to take a seat in this House. The right hon. Gentleman agrees also that women ought not to Bit here, and has given a reason for their exclusion—whether it is the only reason I do not pretend to say, but upon general 543 grounds it is to be expected that the functions of this assembly should be discharged by men alone. When the right hon. Gentleman comes to the other ground of exclusion— namely, the want of a certain amount of property—I doubt whether that is a fair ground of exclusion. It is not the question we have to discuss to-night, but it is one of those grounds of exclusion which are not equal. A boy fifteen or sixteen years old may at least hope that in time he may become a Member of this House, while a poor man may feel that he is excluded by an arbitrary law. When the right hon. Gentleman, however, says that the Jews are rightly excluded from this House, and that that exclusion ought to be maintained, then I assert that the exclusion is an unequal exclusion. The Jew has property like his Christian neighbour; he carries on his business in a respectable manner, and he, equally with the Christian, pays all taxes which are imposed upon him by law; and he may justly ask, "Why am I, who discharge all the duties of a citizen, excluded from the enjoyment of a seat in Parliament simply on account of my religious belief?" Now, Sir, to that question the speech of the right hon. Gentleman affords a most unsatisfactory answer. The right hon. Gentleman had more to say in reply to that interrogatory than that all our laws are founded upon Christianity. Now, Sir, I find that in dealing with other subjects Christianity does not appear to be so common a bond of union. I think that the noble Lord the Member for Stamford, in speaking upon the subject of Education as founded upon the Now Testament as well as the Old, told us that Christianity had so many shades, that there was the High Church party, there were the Roman Catholics, and there were grades going down almost to Deism, and that under these circumstances Christianity as a mark of distinction was almost an unmeaning phrase. Why, Sir, I remember when it used to be said that all our laws were founded upon Protestantism. Lord Eldon used to argue that point with great ingenuity. He used to say, that before the Revolution of 1688, dissensions and disturbances were rife; but that after that event, when the laws of the country were founded upon Protestantism a new era commenced, and he used to go on to say that you cannot admit Roman Catholics into Parliament without disturbing the harmonious action of the existing laws and of the constitution. Now that was an ex- 544 cellent argument at the time, but its fallacy has since been clearly shown, and the present argument against the admission of Jews to Parliament is founded on a basis precisely similar. Why, how does the argument stand? It was simply this—we are in the right and you are in the wrong, therefore you must be excluded. But observe the difference in the present day. You say to the Roman Catholics, "You are wrong, but you are strong, so we will admit you into Parliament," while to the Jew you say, "You are wrong, but you are also weak, so we will exclude you." That really is the reason why this exclusion of the Jews from Parliament is kept up. It is said, and has been said over and over again, that there is no practical inconvenience in excluding Jews from Parliament, as their whole number only amounts to about 40,000, and that therefore we may safely exclude them from Parliament. Now, I say that to exclude the Jew arises from the same spirit of religious intolerance which at one time uphold the exclusion of the Roman Catholic. It is the last remnant of religious intolerance, and I should wish it to be eradicated as a wrong basis of public policy, and as not tending to better our laws, or to provide better for our social and moral condition. In discussing this question, two considerations of quite a different character have been confounded together, namely, articles of faith and religious truth. Now with regard to the question of articles of faith, you may insist on them in an assembly of Roman Catholics, or the Established Church, in a society of Congregationists Baptists or other denominations; for, no doubt, in order to form an ecclesiastical community, you must require that the members of it agree to certain particular articles of faith; but when you come to a political assembly, what you want is not a particular agreement as to any articles of faith, but a basis of religious principle. Now such a basis as that is not to be obtained by oaths or tests, but by the general feeling of the community at large. As my hon. and learned Friend has stated, and stated truly, Gibbon or Bolingbroke would, without hesitation, have taken any religious test; but in the case of the Jews you have a basis of religious principle upon which you may safely rely, and which is calculated to inspire us with the opinion that they would form as good Members of Parliament as those whom you now admit. Why, your own morality is based upon books believed 545 in by the Jews, supplemented by those divine revelations of Christianity. If it could be said that these are people who steal, who commit murder, who bear false witness against their neighbours, then I could understand its being said these are persons unfit to be admitted to legislative powers, and therefore we must exclude them. But the contrary is the case, for the Jews have religious principles, and I maintain that as far as articles of faith go, there would be infinitely less chance of their raising discussions upon religious tenets, than there is of many doing so who belong to those different religious sects which have representatives in this House. An hon. Gentleman stated on a previous occasion as a reason for not admitting Jews into this House that we are in the habit of discussing many religious questions here, such as questions relating to church rate, and Maynooth, and the Church Establishment. Now, that is perfectly true; but those questions are not questions between Christians and Jews, but they are questions between one section of Christians and another section; and I do not think that you would find the Jews at all disposed to interfere with your ecclesiastical establishments. He is not by his nature and his religion a man that looks either to proselytism or to the destruction of the establishments of the country where he resides; but he is, on the contrary, a faithful subject of that country. Why, there was lately an instance in Jamaica, where Jews are admitted to the Council, in which, without the slightest opposition on the part of the Jews, money was voted for the Established Church and for other Christian establishments, and I do not think that any fear of admitting Jews to Parliament need be entertained upon any such ground as that. There was one expression which fell from the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for the Home Department which I, like my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Aylesbury (Sir R. Bethell) was glad to hear. I was glad to hear him say, that he hoped that this was the last time that he should have to address the House upon this subject. I, Sir, trust also that it is the last time. I have seen of late years symptoms which lead me to hope that such may be the case. I noticed similar symptoms before the admission of Roman Catholics to this House; and when I observe men high in position in this House coming down and declaring their conversion to the opinion of those with whom they have hither- 546 to disagreed upon this subject, it leads me to augur well for the future. I remember that in the last debate upon this subject, the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Admiralty made a most able speech in favour of the admission of Jews to Parliament, and I believe now that, although we have not the advantage of having the Members of the present Government in this House unanimous upon the subject, as was the case with the late Government— [Cries of "No! "]—well, unanimous at least in this House—still that three Members of the present Government will tonight vote in favour of the admission of Jews, and I think it very possible that we are approaching a favourable termination of the question. I think that the right hon. Gentleman was entirely wrong in supposing that this is a question which is not eared about by the country generally. I believe that, on the contrary, the general feeling of the country is that the time has arrived when Jews ought to be admitted to this House, and even if that be not the case we should be setting a good example by passing a law of this nature. We all know under what disabilities the Dissenters and Roman Catholics at one time laboured. If you look back to former times you will find that there have been persecutions of the most violent character, that persons have been put to death on account of their religious opinions, but that is now discountenanced by persons of all religious denominations. At a later period Dissenters were prohibited from preaching in the market towns. Later than that, Roman Catholics were prohibited from being Members of Parliament, and from enjoying offices to which they were fairly entitled. Well, Sir, those disabilities have been gradually removed, and I trust that the hour is approaching when an end will be put to all distinction between persons holding different religious faiths as regards the exercise of all civil and political functions. My opinion is, that to do away with such distinctions, so far from being contrary to the spirit of Christianity, would be to bring us nearer to the development of the great objects of the Christian dispensation. The spirit of Christianity was intended to be a law of kindness to bind men together in one brotherhood, and not to separate them—not to make one party persecutors and the other victims, but to unite the whole community by feelings of charity and Christian love.
§ MR. WALPOLE
said, he would take 547 occasion to state, that in expressing a hope that he should never again be called upon to deal with the question under discussion, he by no means intended to imply that he had any hesitation as to the course which he ought to pursue in its regard. He had simply desired to give utterance to a hope that he should be spared the disagreeable task of debating a question, in reference to which no new argument could be adduced, and which he had always regarded as involving considerations of a painful character.
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
observed that he would only say, that if ever the subject came on again for discussion, he trusted he should have as able and candid a foe as the right hon. Gentleman had shown himself to be.
§ Question put, "That Clause 5 stand part of the Bill."
§ The House divided:—Ayes 297; Noes 144: Majority 153.
|List of the AYES.|
|Agnew, Sir A.||Cayloy, E. S.|
|Alcock, T.||Cholmeley, Sir J. M.|
|Antrobus, E.||Clay, J.|
|Ayrton, A. S.||Clifford, C. C.|
|Bagwell, J.||Clinton, Lord R.|
|Baines, rt. hon. M. T.||Clive, G.|
|Ball, E.||Codrington, Gen.|
|Baring, A. H.||Cogan, W. H. F.|
|Baring, rt. hn. Sir F. T.||Colebrooke, Sir T. E.|
|Baring, T.||Collier, R. P.|
|Baring, T. G.||Coningham, W.|
|Barnard, T.||Conyngham, Lord F.|
|Baxter, W. E.||Cowper, rt. hon. W. F.|
|Beale, S.||Coote, Sir C. H.|
|Beaumont, W. B.||Cotterell, Sir H. G.|
|Berkeley, hon. H. F.||Cowan, C.|
|Bethell, Sir R.||Cox, W.|
|Biggs, J.||Craufurd, E. H. J.|
|Black, A.||Crawford, R. W.|
|Bonham-Carter, J.||Crook, J.|
|Botfield, B.||Crossley, F.|
|Bouverie, rt. hon. E. P.||Cubitt, Mr. Ald.|
|Bouverie, hon. P. P.||Dalglish, R.|
|Brady, J.||Davey, R.|
|Brand, hon. H.||Davie, Sir H. R. F.|
|Briscoe, J. I.||Dent, J. D.|
|Brocklehurst, J.||De Vere, S. E.|
|Browne, Lord J. T.||Dillwyn, L. L.|
|Bruce, H. A.||Disraeli, rt. hon. B.|
|Buckley, Gen.||Divett, E.|
|Buller, J.W.||Dodson, J. G.|
|Bury, Visct.||Duff, Major L. D. G.|
|Butler, C. S.||Dunbar, Sir W.|
|Butt, I.||Duncan, Visct.|
|Buxton, C.||Duncombe, T.|
|Buxton, Sir E. N.||Dundas, F.|
|Byng, hon. G.||Dunkellin, Lord|
|Caird, J.||Dunlop, A. M.|
|Calcutt, F. M.||Ebrington, Viscount|
|Campbell, R. J. R.||Elcho, Lord|
|Cardwell, rt. hon. E.||Ellice, E.|
|Cavendish, hon. W.||Elliot, hon. J. E.|
|Elphinstone, Sir J.||Kinglake, A. W.|
|Esmonde, J.||Kinglake, J. A.|
|Evans, T. W.||Kingscote, R. N. F.|
|Ewart, W.||Kinnaird, hon. A. F.|
|Ewart, J. C.||Kirk, W.|
|Ewing, H. E. C.||Knatchbull-Hugessen, E|
|Fenwick, H.||Labouchere, rt. hon. H.|
|Fergus, J.||Langston, J. H.|
|Ferguson, Col.||Langton, H.G.|
|Ferguson, Sir R.||Laurie, J.|
|Finlay, A. S.||Lennox, Lord H. G.|
|FitzGerald, rt. hon. J. D.||Levinge, Sir R.|
|Fitzwilliam, hon. C. W.||Lewis, rt. hon. Sir G. O.|
|Foley, J. H.||Liddell, hon. H. G.|
|Foley, H. J. W.||Locke, J.|
|Foljambe, F. J. S.||Lowe, rt. hon. R.|
|Forster, C.||Luce, T.|
|Foster, W. O.||Macarthy, A.|
|Fortescue, hon. F. D.||Mackinnon, W. A.|
|Fortescue, C. S.||Maguire, J. F.|
|Fox, W. J.||Mangles, R. D.|
|Freestun, Col.||Mangles, C. E.|
|Garnett, W. J.||Marjoribanks, D. C.|
|Gaskell, J. M.||Marsh, M. H.|
|Gavin, Major||Marshall, W.|
|Gibson, rt. hon. T. M.||Martin, C. W.|
|Gifford, Earl of||Martin, P. W.|
|Gilpin, C.||Martin, J.|
|Glyn, G.C.||Massey, W. N.|
|Glyn, G. G.||Matheson, A.|
|Goderich, Visct.||Matheson, Sir J.|
|Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.||Melgund, Visct|
|Greene, J.||Mellor, J.|
|Grenfell, C. P.||Mills, T.|
|Grenfell, C. W.||Milnes, R. M.|
|Gray, Capt.||Mitchell, T. A.|
|Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.||Moffatt, G.|
|Grey, R. W.||Monsell, rt. hon. W.|
|Griffith, C. D.||Morris, D.|
|Gurdon, B.||Napier, Sir C.|
|Gurney, J. H.||Nicoll, D.|
|Gurney, S.||Norreys, Sir D. J.|
|Hall, rt. hon. Sir B.||Norris, J. T.|
|Hamilton, Capt.||North, F.|
|Hanbury, R.||O'Brien, P.|
|Handley, J.||O'Connell, Capt. D.|
|Hankey, T.||O'Donaghoe, The|
|Hanmer, Sir J.||Ogilvy, Sir J.|
|Hardcastle, J. A.||Osborne, R.|
|Harris, J. D.||Paget, C.|
|Hatchell, J.||Paget, Lord A.|
|Hay, Lord J.||Paget, Lord C.|
|Headlam, T. E.||Pakington, rt. hn. Sir J.|
|Heneage, G. F.||Palmerston, Visct.|
|Henniker, Lord||Pease, H.|
|Herbert, rt. hon. S.||Pechell, Sir G. B.|
|Hodgson, K. D.||Perry, Sir T. E.|
|Holland, E.||Philips, R. N.|
|Hope, A. J. B. B.||Pilkington, J.|
|Horsman, rt. hon. E.||Pinney, Col.|
|Howard, hon. C. W. G.||Portman, hon. W. H. B.|
|Hudson, G.||Price, W. P.|
|Hutt, W.||Pryse, E. L.|
|Ingham, R.||Proby, hon. G. L.|
|Ingram, H.||Pugh, D.|
|Jermyn, Earl||Puller, C. W.|
|Jervoise, Sir J. C.||Ramsden, Sir J. W.|
|Johnstone, Sir J.||Ramsay, Sir A.|
|Keating, Sir H. S.||Rawlinson, Sir H. C.|
|Kelly, Sir F.||Raynham, Visct.|
|Ker, R.||Ricardo, O.|
|Kershaw, J.||Rich, H.|
|King, hon. P. J. L.||Ridley, G.|
|Robartes, T. J. A.||Trelawny, Sir J. S.|
|Roebuck. J. A.||Trueman, C.|
|Roupell, W.||Turner, J. A.|
|Russell, Lord J.||Tynte, Col. K.|
|Russell, H.||Vane, Lord H.|
|Russell, A.||Verney, Sir H.|
|Salisbury, E. G.||Villiers, rt. hon. C. P.|
|Schneider, H. W.||Vivian, H. H.|
|Scholefield, W.||Waldron, L.|
|Scrope, G. P.||Weguelin, T. M.|
|Seymour, H. D.||Western, S.|
|Shafto, R. D.||Westhead, J. P. B.|
|Shelley, Sir J. V.||Whatman, J.|
|Sheridan, H. B.||Whitbread, S.|
|Smith, J. B.||White, J.|
|Smith, M. T.||Wickham, H. W.|
|Smith, rt. hon. R. V.||Willcox, B. M'G.|
|Smith, A.||Williams, M.|
|Smith, Sir F.||Williams, W.|
|Smyth, Col.||Williams, Sir W. F.|
|Somerville, rt. hn. Sir W.||Willyams, E. W. B.|
|Stapleton, J.||Wilson, J.|
|Steel, J.||Winnington, Sir T. E.|
|Stuart, Lord J.||Wise, J. A.|
|Stuart, Col.||Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.|
|Sullivan, M.||Wood, W.|
|Sykes, Col. W. H.||Woods, H.|
|Talbot, C. R. M.||Worsley, Lord|
|Tancred, H. W.||Wrightson, W. B.|
|Thompson, Gen.||Wyld, J.|
|Thornely, T.||Young, A. W.|
|Thornhill, W. P.|
|Tollemache, hon. F. J.||Hayter, Sir W. G.|
|Townsend, J.||Smith, J. A.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Adams, W. H.||Du Cane, C.|
|Adderley, rt. hon. C. B.||Buncombe, hon. A.|
|Annesley, hon. H.||Duncombe, hon. Col.|
|Archdall, Capt. M.||Dundas, G.|
|Baillie, H. J.||Du Pre, C. G.|
|Barrow, W. H.||East, Sir J. B.|
|Bathurst, A. A.||Edwards, H.|
|Beach, W. W. B.||Egerton, Sir P. G.|
|Bonnet, P.||Egerton, W. T.|
|Bentinck, G. W. P.||Egerton, E. C.|
|Beresford, rt. hon. W.||Ellis, hon. L. A.|
|Blackburn, P.||Elmley, Visct.|
|Boldero, Col.||Estcourt, rt. hon. T. H.|
|Bramley-Moore, J.||Farnham, E. B.|
|Bramston, T. W.||Farquhar Sir M.|
|Bridges, Sir B. W.||Fellowes, E.|
|Burghley, Lord||Forde, Col.|
|Cairns, Sir H. M'C.||Forester, rt. hon. Col.|
|Carden, Sir R. W.||Fraser, Sir W. A.|
|Cartwright, H.||Gard, R. S.|
|Child, S.||Goddard, A. L.|
|Churchill, Lord A. S.||Grogan, E.|
|Clark, J. J.||Hamilton, G. A.|
|Clive, hon. R. W.||Hamilton, J. H.|
|Close, M. C.||Hardy, G.|
|Cobbett, J. M.||Hayes, Sir E.|
|Cobbold, J. C.||Henley, rt. hon. J. W.|
|Codrington, Sir W.||Hill, Lord E.|
|Cole, hon. H. A.||Hill, hon. R. C.|
|Collins, T.||Hodgson, W. N.|
|Conolly, T.||Holford, R. S.|
|Corry, rt. hon. H. L.||Hotham, Lord|
|Curzon, Visct.||Hume, W. W. F.|
|Dobbs, W. C.||Ingestre, Viscount|
|Drummond, H.||Inglis, J.|
|Johnstone, hon. H. B.||Robertson, P. F.|
|Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.||Rolt, J.|
|Jolliffe, H. H.||Rust, J.|
|King, J. K.||Sandon, Visct.|
|Knatchbull, W. F.||Sclater-Booth, G.|
|Knight, F. W.||Scott, hon. F.|
|Knightley, R.||Shirley, E. P.|
|Knox, Col.||Somerset, Col.|
|Langton, W. G.||Spooner, R.|
|Legh, G. C.||Stanhope, J. B.|
|Lincoln, Earl of||Stephenson, R.|
|Lockhart, A. E.||Steuart, A.|
|Long, W.||Stewart, Sir M. R. S.|
|Lopes, Sir M.||Sturt, H. G.|
|Lovaine, Lord||Sturt, N.|
|Lygon, hon. F.||Taylor, Col.|
|Mackie, J.||Taylor, S. W.|
|M'Clintock, J.||Tempest, Lord A. V.|
|Mainwaring, T.||Tollemache, J.|
|Manners, Lord J.||Trefusis, hon. C. H. R.|
|Maxwell, hon. Col.||Vance, J.|
|Miller, T. J.||Vansittart, G. H.|
|Miller, S. B.||Vansittart, W.|
|Montgomery, Sir G.||Verner, Sir W.|
|Moody, C. A.||Waddington, H. S.|
|Mowbray, J. R.||Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.|
|Naas, Lord||Walsh, Sir J.|
|Neeld, J.||Welby, W. E.|
|Nisbet, R. P.||Whiteside, rt. hon. J.|
|Noel, hon. G. J.||Williams, Col.|
|North, Col.||Woodd, B. T.|
|Ossulston, Lord||Wyndham, Gen.|
|Packe, C. W.||Wynn, Col.|
|Pakenham, Col.||Wynne, W. W. E.|
|Palk, L.||Yorke, hon. E. T.|
|Peel, rt. hon. Gen.||TELLERS.|
|Pevensey, Visct.||Newdegate, C. N.|
|Repton, G. W. J.||Wigram, L. T.|
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
said, that the object of the 6th clause was to enable a Jew to be appointed to any municipal office or office in the gift of the Crown, by omitting from the declaration required to be taken previous to entering upon the same the words, "on the true faith of a Christian," as was clone by an Act of Parliament passed in the 9th year of George IV. with respect to the office of Sheriff of London and Middlesex.
§ Question, "That Clause 6 stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.
§ Bill to be read 3° on Monday, April 12.