said, he had now the honour of laying before their Lordships a very important petition, of the presentation of which he had given notice, and which he did not think he could any longer postpone. The subject of it was well deserving the attention of the House. The petition was from a most respectable body of our fellow-citizens, members of the united Church of England and Ireland, settled in, or temporarily resident in, Scotland. Some of their Lordships understood the question much better than he could pretend to do; but the bulk must necessarily be as ignorant of the subject as he was himself until the petition was put into his hands. He hoped, therefore, they would favour him with their attention whilst he made a short preliminary statement. It appeared to him that he should do his duty most satisfactorily to their Lordships, as well as to the petitioners, and therefore most satisfactorily to his own mind, if, instead of reading the petition, which was largely but not diffusely written, and which was admirably drawn up and ably argued, he should state the merits of the case, and so give the substance of the petition as he went along. In so doing he did not profess to state his own opinion, either in favour of the petitioners and their contention, or in opposition to them. Until he was enlightened upon what might be said upon the opposite side, he could not be said to entertain any positive opinion; he might think they were right, "as at present advised;" but it was no departure from this safe rule which he prescribed to himself, if, in mentioning what had taken place, what had been said, and what had been done, he should find any persons had been conducting themselves rashly—if he should find any persons had been behaving in an uncharitable manner, or in an unchristian manner, or in an illegal manner, it would be no departure from the caution he had imposed upon himself, and which he had announced to their Lordships, if he frankly expressed his opinion upon their conduct, rash, or uncharitable, or unlawful, confirmed as that opinion was by the highest judicial authority in the land. He had stated who the petitioners were. They were members of the United Church of England and Ireland, resident permanently* This debate is reprinted from a special report published by Hatchard.783 or temporarily in Scotland. He did not say of the Episcopal Church of Scotland, for there was no such thing. There existed no such church. The petitioners were members of the Church of England, living in Scotland, and worshipping in Scotland according to the ritual of the English Church, believing, or at least professing to believe—for he had no right to go further—in the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England, and using exclusively the Liturgy of the Church of England. They used the Liturgy as sanctioned by our Acts of Uniformity, which Liturgy alone any bishop, any priest, any deacon in England could by law use. Not one iota had any bishop, any priest, or any deacon the right to change. But another church was established in Scotland. In that country the petitioners were dissenters; they were separatists there. They had no Established Church there. They were members of the Established Church here, expatriated permanently or temporarily in Scotland. In Scotland, however, they were dissenters and sectaries to all intents and purposes, and nothing but dissenters and separatists. But there was another class in Scotland who were nothing more than dissenters and sectaries, at least just as much as the petitioners were, but who, as he found by the statements laid before him, had at different times taken notions into their heads that they had less of the sectarian and dissenting character about them than the petitioners. He should show their Lordships how false that notion was, and upon what a delusion it was founded. All he had now to do was, to take the two different bodies, and describe their differences as he found them, in order to make his own purpose intelligible. In these respects, however, they did not differ from one another, that they were both sectaries—that both professed the episcopalian form of government—that both were in Scotland—and that neither had the slightest pretence in that country to be considered as established, or as a church. He had told their Lordships, as was the truth, that the first of these bodies, the petitioners, subscribed and held the Thirty-nine Articles, without any qualification; and that, without any alteration in any one iota whatever, they adopted the Liturgy of the Church of England. Not so the other body. They used a Liturgy materially different from that of the Church of England, in the use of which altered Liturgy the petitioners, and those who agreed with 784 them, could not join. They could not use it, nor concur in it, nor approve of it; first, because it was not the Liturgy of the Church to which they belonged; and, secondly, because it contained matter which they could not conscientiously adhere to, or agree in, or tolerate. To tolerate it in practice, God forbid they should refuse; but not as a dogma and as a belief. They preferred to abide by our own admirable Liturgy, but rejected the other. He should afterwards state to their Lordships one or two samples of the matters wherein the difference consisted, and then they would be enabled to see why the petitioners could not coincide in the Liturgy of what was called the Scotch Episcopal Church—a name they had chosen to take upon themselves, but which the Court of Session had deliberately and without hesitation rejected. They are, if they please to call themselves so, an Episcopalian Church in Scotland. The Episcopalian Church of Scotland they are not, and cannot be, for there is no such thing; and a church they only can be in the same sense in which the Baptists or Unitarians in England may call themselves a Baptist or Unitarian Church. The history of these two different bodies was as materially different as their Liturgies. The Scotch Episcopalians had no orders whatever from any bishop, either in England or Ireland, and they could not give any orders. Having no orders themselves, they could give none in that church, though they gave them in their own church, as they called it. The ministers of the other, that was the petitioners' church, using our Liturgy and subscribing our Articles, were all of them ordained by bishops or archbishops of the United Church of England and Ireland. There was also this most material difference in the history of the two. The House was aware, historically, that episcopacy, which never took any deep root in Scotland, being utterly alien to the feelings of the people, was, after ineffectual attempts to force it upon them in the 16th, and subsequently in the 17th, century, finally rooted out by the great and glorious event which took place both in England and Scotland in 1688, the Revolution. At that time, by that event, episcopacy was utterly put down in Scotland, and presbytery established in its room. From the year 1688 to 1712, or thereabouts, the petitioners' church was subjected to great discomfort and even to persecution. Their meetings were interrupted, their chapels were disturbed, their 785 performance of service was interfered with, and it was difficult for their ministers to continue the discharge of their functions, and for the members of the communion to receive the offices of religion. Accordingly, about the year 1712, a statute—the 10th of Queen Anne, cap. 7—was passed to put an end to these interruptions and persecutions. This statute established for them the full and entire right of celebrating the services of the Church of England according to the Liturgy of that Church: the ministers qualifying themselves in other respects by taking the oaths of abjuration, supremacy, and allegiance. It was not quite correct to say, as this petition does, that the use of the Liturgy was required as a condition of their receiving the protection of the statute, because the Act authorised them, without let or hindrance, to perform the services of the Church, and to use the Church of England Liturgy "if they shall think fit." They had by the Act the right of protection from persecution,' and authority to use the Liturgy; but they were not required by the Act to use the Liturgy. If they did not use it, it was upon their own objection. Upon this subject they had a perfect right to act as they chose. So matters went on until the middle of the 18th century. Then occurred the rebellion of 1745. Up to that moment all Episcopalians in Scotland enjoyed all the protection given by the statute of Anne; but a difference had arisen between the two bodies, which he prayed their Lordships to bear in mind. The petitioners adopted the Thirty-nine Articles and the Liturgy; they prayed for the King and the Royal Family in the usual way, and they took the oaths of allegiance, abjuration, and supremacy. But not so the other body. They would take no such oaths: and hence they acquired the name of the nonjuring clergy. They said, "We are good and loyal subjects, but we will not swear; we are Protestants, and repudiate the authority of the Pope, but with the oaths of abjuration and supremacy we will have nothing to do, for we take no such oaths." So they went on until 1745, when, immediately after the rebellion, the 19th Geo. II. was passed. The nonjuring clergy had sown sedition broadcast over the land. The Legislature and the Government would submit to it no longer, and a stringent statute was made, of which he would not trouble the House with the details. The principle of it, however, was as follows: No more than five persons of 786 the Episcopalian body should presume to assemble together to worship in any meeting-house, or private chapel, under severe penalties, unless they would take the oaths and pray for the Royal Family as other loyal subjects did; but if they still continued nonjurors, they were deprived of the right of assembling together to a greater number than five, under the penalty, if clergymen, of imprisonment for the first offence, and transportation for life for the second offence; and if laymen, to other penalties of less severity. This Act proceeds upon a preamble, charging the nonjurors with having been accessories to the late wicked rebellion. Such was the opinion recorded of them by this statute; such was the opinion of them held by King, Lords, and Commons, in the reign of George the Second; and that opinion remained unchanged so long as they refused to take the oaths of abjuration and supremacy, and so long as they refused to pray for the Royal Family, which they continued to do for nearly fifty years afterwards. In the year 1792 another Act was passed, which set forth that the persons in question had become more trustworthy subjects, and that their loyalty was more to be depended upon; but this Act only freed them from pains and penalties for assembling to a greater number than five, on the express conditions, first, that they should sign and take the oaths of supremacy and abjuration; secondly, that they should pray for the Royal Family; and, thirdly, that they should subscribe to the Thirty-nine Articles, and the docquet usually annexed to those articles—a docquet which many persons in these days signed jesuitically, making an affirmation openly with the hands, but protesting against it secretly in their hearts. If they did not sign, if they did not pray for the Royal Family, if they did not take the oaths, then they were to continue subject to pains and penalties, though less severe than formerly. Any priest, deacon, or bishop, (as they called themselves, but they were really not bishops at all,) so refusing, was liable to be punished by fine for the first offence, and to suspension for the second offence from his office for three years. Laymen were less gently dealt with; for, by attending such illegal ministrations, they rendered themselves liable to imprisonment for any period not exceeding two years. Thus they were still kept under strict watch by this Act, although, no doubt, it was a relaxation of the previous severity of the law. But what said the nonjuring clergy to this 787 Act? Why, it turned out, that though willing to get the toleration, they were unwilling to pay the price; they liked the benefit, but disliked the conditions with which it was accompanied. They, therefore, hesitated about taking the oaths. They continued fencing with the Act and its requirements for twelve years, down to about 1804, when, at length, they intimated that they were perfectly willing to do what the law demanded they should do. But they accompanied that intimation, that report, of their willingness, with a private understanding and reservation among themselves, which he did not hesitate to say was disgraceful to their character, not only as Christians but as honest men. They said privately among themselves, but not to Parliament and the country, that they subscribed to the Thirty-nine Articles, in conformity to the construction put upon them in a book then just published, and which they much patronised, called, A Layman s Account of his Faith and Practice as a Member of the Episcopal Church in Scotland. Published with the approbation of the Bishops of that Church. Now, this hook made considerable variations from the ordinary and accepted tenor and meaning of those articles. So matters, however, went on, until the year 1840, when his most rev. Friend, the late pious, learned and amiable Archbishop of Canterbury (Dr. Howley) brought a Bill into that House to extend certain privileges to the clergymen of the sectarians—for nothing more than sectarians they were—calling themselves "Members of the Scotch Episcopal Church." This Bill passed. It gave power to any English bishop to license any clergyman of the Scotch Episcopal Church to preach in his diocese for two days or Sundays, and no more; whereas, by the Act of Anne, no such minister could officiate in England or Ireland unless duly registered as a person whose orders had been given by some of the bishops of the united Church of England and Ireland. In fact, the Act of 1840 recognised, in no way whatever, the orders given by Scotch bishops; but it only so far sanctioned them as to permit any of the Scotch Episcopal clergy to officiate for two days and no longer in any diocese in England or Ireland, with the consent of the diocesan.
The BISHOP of EXETER
said, the statute of Anne made no recognition of any particular orders. It simply said, "ordained by a Protestant bishop;" but after the rebellion, the law was rendered more strict, and a register was required.
said, the right rev. Prelate was perfectly correct. The Act of Anne did say, "by a Protestant bishop;" but as the Scotch bishops were no bishops at all, of course their orders were not recognised by the Church of England and Ireland. The Statute of Geo. II. required that persons in orders should be registered: true. But what orders? Why, those granted by English or Irish bishops alone, clearly showing that the law, at least, did not reckon the Scotch bishops as anything very episcopal. He would now come to the matter of the present controversy. It consisted chiefly in this. There was no doubt that the Scotch sectaries, against whom the petitioners complained, who called themselves the Scotch Episcopal Church—which they were not, for they were no church at all—and who only desired, when toleration was asked for them, to be put upon an equal footing with other Dissenters like themselves, in Scotland, no sooner obtained that toleration than they showed what they wanted. They had evidently become desirous to discountenance and put down other bodies, although at first all they wanted was to be made equal to these other bodies. They thereupon proceeded at once to extremities with the other Episcopalians—the petitioners: they stigmatised them as schismatics, and they warned all mankind of the Christian faith to take care how they entered into communion with them, as they formed no part of the mystical body of Christ. In fact, a sentence of excommunication was passed upon the petitioners as nearly as possible by this newly-tolerated sect; and they actually proceeded to enforce it, for he found that in one case, which had been made the subject of legal proceedings, they used language, of which one of the Scotch Judges in the Court of Session, said, "There is, in this sentence" (of synodical denunciation by the Primus, as he calls himself—Dr. Skinner called himself the Primus of that body which was no church at all) "an excess of language quite unpardonable." But the self-styled Primus required his presbyters to publish and declare it from the altar, and to denounce a gentleman for his just and conscientious objections to their garbled liturgy, denounce him in language designated by the highest legal authority as "unpardonable." And when one of them refused, and very properly refused, as he might have been indicted for libel, Dr. Skinner wrote to him a letter of reproof, in which occurred the following gentle and choice phrase, "Your 789 mulish obstinacy in so simple a matter." This "simple matter" being no less than a sentence of excommunication against a clergyman of the Church of England, who, having subscribed the articles of her faith with no Jesuitical reservation, with no secret or hidden interpretation, but in an open, honest, manly, straightforward manner, declined to alter his tenets. Had this Presbyter been less mulish, he might have deserved to be compared with another animal of the mule's kindred; for he would have committed a most imprudent act. "Your mulish obstinacy," continued the Primus, as he called himself, "in so simple a matter is extremely silly and vexatious." And then he added, in reference to the appeal made to him by the Presbyter, "If you be not completely stultified, you must perceive how utterly impossible it is for me to listen to any such absurdity." Absurdity! did anyone ever hear of such prudent conduct being called an absurdity? Why, he who claimed this authority was no bishop, and his church was no church! They were sectaries, and only sectaries; they were Dissenters and only Dissenters. Why, in 1809, a case was presented to the Court of Session by one of the heads of this sect, in which he called himself the bishop of a diocese. The summons spoke in particular of "the bishop and diocese of Edinburgh," and "the Episcopal Church of Scotland." But the Court of Session refused to recognise any such titles or any such dioceses.* They might, if they chose, parcel Scotland out into four quarters, and arrange them as districts for the furtherance of their own religious discipline, but that would give them no legal territorial jurisdiction. The Court of Session very properly said, "We recognise no Episcopal Church of Scotland; we know of no dioceses in Scotland; we have heard of dioceses in England, but in Scotland there is no such thing. You are Dissenters and Sectaries; you may call your ministers bishops or whatever else you choose, we care not; but dioceses we cannot allow you to have." He did not wish to enter into any argument upon the theological part of the question. Not only was he averse to the introduction of such arguments into the House, but he confessed himself incapable of taking part in such controversies. At the same time he should not be doing his duty to the cause he had undertaken, if he did not attempt* Case of Bishop Abernethy Drummond v. James Farquhar, July 6th, 1809.790 to show, to the satisfaction of their Lordships, that there was such a difference between the two liturgies as justified the petitioners in refusing—and constantly and steadily refusing—to use that which the other body sought to impose upon them. This other body did not allow any person to become a dean, priest, or bishop, as they were called, unless they signed the canon which gives "primary authority" to this liturgy—part of which he would presently read to the House. First, he ought to have mentioned that these Episcopalians made canons of their own. They had a sort of convocation, into which no laymen were admitted, in which they made new canons or altered old ones according to their own good pleasure, and he might add, not unfrequently. In the liturgy thus promulgated by the canons, the Communion Office varied most materially from that of the Church of England. He would read one sentence to show the discrepancy between them. In the prayer called the Invocation occurred these words:—Bless and sanctify with thy word and Holy Spirit these thy creatures of bread and wine, that they may become the body and blood of thy most dearly beloved Son.Not "become to us by faith for our sanctification," but "that they may become"—that was absolutely—" the body and blood of thy most dearly beloved Son." Well, this Episcopalian sect might be quite right, and the petitioners might be quite wrong, for being but a bad theologian at best, he did not wish to enter into that question at all; but he must say, that to those who had a conscientious objection to any departure from the English Church in this particular, it was a good reason why they should not join a communion which used such a liturgy, for if this did not amount to transubstantiation, it was a very, very near approach to it—almost the nearest he had ever seen beyond the Romish pale. They might be, as he had said, quite right, and he and others quite wrong; but all must admit there was a difference between them quite sufficient to give a perfect right to those who joined with the petitioners to say, "We prefer the communion of the Church of England to this variety of episcopacy "—a perfect right, because this was no more a church than any of the other bodies of sectaries in Scotland. He came now to the last subject of complaint urged in this petition. It was a practical grievance. When a 791 parson ordained in England or Ireland, went back to England, after having been a resident in Scotland, if be belonged to the body of Dissenters which used the erroneous liturgy—that was to say, the liturgy which differed from that of the Church of England—the legitimate descendants of the nonjuring clergy, of those who had been stigmatized with sedition and rebellion, and punished accordingly in 1745—the legitimate descendants of those who, declaring themselves loyal subjects, hesitated from 1792 to 1804, twelve years, before they would take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, and who eventually subscribed to the Thirty-nine Articles with a secret reservation—if such a parson brought a certificate from a Scotch bishop—who was no bishop at all—be was received by the bishops of this country and at once licensed to officiate, and if presented to a living, he was immediately inducted. Some bishops, however, had one rule and some another. Some would not grant a license to officiate in their dioceses, and would not induct, unless the clergyman brought with him a certificate from a Scotch bishop. Therefore, if they had belonged, in Scotland, to the communion of the petitioners, and had refused the garbled and altered liturgy, clergymen could not, in those dioceses, obtain a license to officiate, and could not be inducted. This was what the petitioners complained of. Some bishops would, and some would not, license. The rule of the latter was felt to be a great hardship, inasmuch as it prevented the petitioners, who could place themselves under no other clergymen, from obtaining ministers from England, unless they were prepared to give up the idea of returning to England at any future time. He should now conclude as he had begun, by admitting that the statement he had make was necessarily ex parte; but if any satisfactory reply or explanation could be given to it, he should willingly receive and give full weight to it. His mind was made up on neither side. He bad given a statement of the case as it had been presented to him, and the petitioners might, as he had repeatedly said, be quite wrong, and the other sectaries might be quite right. All be had sought to do was to perform the task he had conceived it his duty to undertake in a clear and intelligible manner, though he feared he had not been so brief as he might have wished. He could not, however, conclude without stating that he grieved to 792 find two respectable bodies—for he knew they were both respectable—of Dissenters in the sister kingdom, who had so much in common, at variance upon points so interesting and so important to conscientious minds. He must also say, that he wholly disapproved of that asperity of language which had received, justly, the censure of the Court of Session. Far be it from him to ask the House to declare which of the disputants was right, and which wrong. That never ought to be, as it was not, the office of Parliament. He grieved to find that our excellent Church in Scotland should have this quarrel among her sons. It would be much better for both bodies to come to an understanding, and be so united as to have no differences in doctrinal opinion or creed. He could not, however, say his expectations were very sanguine of such a happy consummation ever taking-place. His fears in this respect did not arise from a belief that insurmountable differences of opinion existed between them. On the contrary, the light thrown upon the history of churches and of creeds, in the records left by authors of past times, the light obtained from careful study of the bygone deliberations of Parliament, the light shed by the researches and disquisitions of modern authors—and among the most able and the most recent was his noble Friend upon the cross benches (the Duke of Argyll) who had given to the world a learned, able, and interesting work upon the subject, though not on points immediately connected with this case—disposed him to think that nearness to identity of opinion upon such subjects was not the most essential element of peace and concord. He was disposed to believe, that, far from the zeal of conflicting sects—far from the asperities of contending theologians, being proportioned to the distance of their several points of belief from one another—rather, as though these moral forces obeyed a law of nature like that of gravitation, which operated in an inverse proportion of distance—the fiercest and bitterest strife would too often be found where the space between the rival tenets was the smallest. He hoped this would not now be the case. He trusted this schism would soon be healed. No man more loved or revered our Anglican Church than he did. From all the experience he ever had, judicially, and as a student—from all he had ever read or known of other churches and of Dissenters—be believed the Church of England was, of all 793 communions, the one which combined, at once, the most exalted talent, piety, and learning, with the greatest amount of toleration—a praise which even Dissenters allowed; and he could not help feeling, in regard to this venerable Establishment the most profound respect, the most sincere admiration, and the warmest affection. The noble and learned Lord concluded by reading the prayer of the petition, as follows:—May it, thorefore, please your Lordships to provide that all clergymen of the Church of England or Ireland, on being appointed to English chapels in Scotland, may be inducted to the charge of their congregations, simply as such, either by His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, or by the respective bishops from whom they received ordination, whether in England or Ireland:Or may it please your Lordships to sanction and recommend periodical visitations of English congregations in Scotland by certain bishops of the Church of England and Ireland—not as legally exercising any territorial jurisdiction in Scotland, but as ecclesiastically exercising their episcopal functions in the congregations which strand in need of their assistance, especially in the ordination of ministers and the rite of confirmation:Or may it please your Lordships to adopt any other course of proceeding which to your Lordships may appear most expedient, for the purpose of placing your petitioners on such a footing in tills country as to give them all the advantages of the discipline of their own Church.
The BISHOP of SALISBURY
greatly regretted that they had not on this occasion the advantage of the presence of that right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of London), at whoso request the noble and learned Lord had been good enough on a former evening to postpone the presentation of this petition. Had that right rev. Prelate been present, he would have been able to address their Lordships with his usual clear and convincing eloquence, and with that authority to which his experience alike and his great abilities entitled him, and to which he (the Bishop of Salisbury) was aware that he had himself no claim. But his right rev. Friend being unavoidably prevented from being present, owing to important business in his own diocese, had requested him to state, on his behalf, his dissent from the prayer of the petition before the House; and in doing this, though it would be his wish to confine his observations within the smallest possible compass, he trusted to be able to adduce some reasons why their Lordships should not acquiesce in the view of the subject which had been taken by the noble and learned Lord, or grant the request which he had 794 preferred on the part of the petitioners. He begged, however, in the first place, to assure the noble and learned Lord, that he concurred most heartily in the observations with which he had closed his address, as to the great importance in the discussion of all subjects—and especially in the discussion of those of a sacred nature—of laying aside all feelings of bitterness and acrimony. He agreed, also, with the noble and learned Lord in deploring the differences which unhappily existed on this subject among the members of the Episcopal Church in Scotland, though he believed that those differences did not prevail by any means to the extent the House might have been led to suppose from the speech of the noble and learned Lord. Neither did he dissent, in any material respect, from the recapitulation, which their Lordships had heard, of the Episcopal Church in Scotland. It was true that that Church did not enjoy any of those advantages of outward condition which were in this country attached to the Church as established by law. It was neither endowed with wealth, nor dignified with the honours of worldly state. It was, undoubtedly, a dissenting body, and had no fixed status by law. It was now only tolerated; and till protection was extended to it by the statute to which the noble and learned Lord had referred, it was the subject of a proscription and persecution to which no other religious community was in that country exposed. But while he thus gave his assent to much that had been said as matter of history by the noble and learned Lord, he was not prepared to acquiesce in the inference he drew from this, or to admit that, because the Episcopal Church in Scotland was not endowed or established, it was, therefore, no church at all.
The BISHOP of SALISBURY
Again and again the noble and learned Lord had said it was no church, that its bishops, were no bishops, and that as a church it had no existence at all. According to such a rule, the church of Christ did not exist at all before it was endowed and established by Constantine. According to this, that church which they had been accustomed to trace back to the days of the presence on earth of the Redeemer of mankind did not exist in the world before the fourth century. It was surely hardly necessary to disprove such a proposition as this. The church of Christ existed in the world from the days of the Apostles, when it was per- 795 secuted and reviled everywhere, long before it was established anywhere by law. It existed when confined to the upper chamber at Jerusalem; and by the power of the Spirit of the Lord had spread abroad and established itself in the hearts of men, and had overcome the world without the aid of those external supports in which the noble and learned Lord appeared to consider its very existence to consist. Why, according to this argument, the church in the present day could have no existence at all in those countries in which it was not endowed and established by law. It could not, for instance, have any existence at all in the united States of America, where, nevertheless, we were happy to see a church which we acknowledged, and which was intimately connected with our own Church, existing, and flourishing, and widely spread, although altogether independent of any support from the civil power. He could not conceal his surprise at the statement of the noble and learned Lord in this respect. It was also true that from the reign of George the Second down to 1792, the Episcopal Church in Scotland was under the proscription of the law; but that proscription did not arise from anything in the religious tenets or ecclesiastical character of that Church, but from the political opinions which were generally prevalent among its members; and because it was unwilling to give to the civil government those pledges of its loyalty to the established order of things which were required as the condition of protection to be extended by the State. Harsh as were the laws under which the Episcopal Church in Scotland lay during the greater part of the eighteenth century, it was impossible to deny that there was much in the prevailing sentiments of that body during that time to account for, if not to justify, them. But before the close of that century these reasons ceased: and from the time that the members of that Church professed the same allegiance with the rest of their fellow-subjects, those restrictions had been removed, and that protection had been fully and freely extended to them which the law conferred upon all other religious bodies. The noble and learned Lord had corrected one misstatement in the petition, namely, that the 10th of Queen Anne prescribed the use of the Liturgy of the Church of England as a condition of the toleration extended to the members of the Episcopal communion in Scotland; but as this was one of the points 796 on which the petitioners appeared very much to rely, he would take the liberty of again directing their Lordships' attention to it, and of quoting the words of the statute itself in order to show that there was not a shadow of ground for any such assertion; but that the Act in question left the members of the Episcopal Church in Scotland free to use either the Liturgy of the Church of England, or such other form of worship as they might prefer, without in any degree forfeiting by such diversity the protection extended to them. The words of that statute were as follows:—It shall be free and lawful for all those of the Episcopal communion to exercise their own form of worship, performed after their own manner by pastors ordained by Protestant bishops, and to use the Liturgy of the Church of England if they shall think fit.Such were the terms of the statute, and by these terms they were free to use or to refuse, as they thought fit, the Liturgy of the Church of England. And in speaking on this subject he would further remark, that while it was very natural for us to most value the Liturgy to the use of which we had been accustomed from our earliest youth, and while there was in all well-constituted minds a becoming prejudice in favour of forms associated in our memory with many holy and endearing recollections, he was sure the noble and learned Lord was far too well versed in the history of the Church to give any sanction to the idea that an identity of liturgical forms was in any way a necessary condition of church communion. Their Lordships were well aware that even in the same church there used to be in former times scope for a much greater diversity in this respect than existed now under the more stringent regulations of modern legislation. In our own country, before the Reformation, a member of the Church removing from the northern parts of the island to the southern, would have been thereby necessarily obliged to the adoption of some differences of liturgical form, as in the former the observances of the Church of York generally prevailed, whereas the southern dioceses generally adopted the use of Sarum, the liturgical formularies of which Church had obtained great celebrity and wide-extended prevalence, owing to the care with which they had been arranged and ordered by Osmond, his great predecessor in that seat which he had now the honour, however unworthily, to fill. It was, however, true, that differences of liturgical forms might 797 express essential differences on vital doctrines of the faith and if this were the case, an obstacle to communion would then undoubtedly exist. He felt that the observations of the noble and learned Lord, as to the unsuitableness of that place for the discussion of this portion of the subject, were very just: and he would rather be guided by the judgment of the noble and learned Lord in this respect, than tempted by his example to enter upon a discussion in detail upon topics upon which, from the sacredness of their character, it was painful to speak in an assembly of that kind. He would, therefore, content himself with saying, that men of the highest character in our own church, men second to none in Protestant zeal and purity of faith, had, on a most careful and diligent investigation, even given the preference to the Scottish Liturgy over our own. He would content himself with declaring his own belief that the Scotch Liturgy expressed no doctrine discordant from the doctrines set forth in the articles of our own Church. And on this subject, on which many misrepresentations were now made, and very erroneous ideas were afloat, it would, he thought, be satisfactory to their Lordships to hear what was the deliberate opinion of one of those clergymen who were mainly concerned in that movement of which this petition was the result. He had in his hand an extract from a letter addressed by one of those gentlemen to the late Bishop Russell, which, with the permission of their Lordships, he would take the liberty of reading to the House. In that letter the reverend gentleman said—The canons I have now examined. I took the precaution of reading them before I examined any controversial writings bearing on the subject. The result was acquired without the slightest difficulty. I must frankly say, that inasmuch as they relate only to discipline and not to matters of faith, and inasmuch as they cannot compel me to adopt in my own church the communion office, a clause which I decidedly hold to be objectionable, as likely to disturb weak minds, I shall have no hesitation in affixing my signature, and I will endeavour, when opportunity offers, to assist in suppressing the outcry that has been so unadvisedly raised. In my own judgment I think the objectionable clause in the communion office is explained by other portions of the service, even as certain strong phrases in the English office are in like manner qualified.These were the sentiments on this subject of one of the chief promoters of the present agitation, and with them he thought he might dismiss this portion of the case. 798 And with reference to the question of the expediency of such interference as was called for by the petitioners, he thought it desirable that their Lordships should know, and bear in mind, that the petition did not in truth represent the feelings of the clergy and laity of the body said to be aggrieved, in the degree that might be imagined from the speech of the noble and learned Lord. The facts were, he believed, correctly stated in a paper which had been placed in his hands. This paper said—The Episcopal Church in Scotland consists of about one hundred and eight congregations, under the ministry of seven Bishops, and somewhat more than a hundred Incumbents. Of those Incumbents, thirty-three are of English or Irish ordering. They removed to Scotland, it is believed, in all cases, with a cordial adherence to the doctrine and discipline of the United Church of England and Ireland, certainly with the knowledge and sanction of the Bishops under whom they were previously serving, and with a belief that they were moving from one branch of the Catholic Church to another, differing only in this, that the one is established, the other merely tolerated.They were, indeed, aware that in some Scottish congregations a Communion Office was used differing from that in the English Prayer Book. But as they saw nothing in the Scottish Office contrary to the truth of Scripture; as they knew that it had received the explicit approbation of some of the most distinguished theologians in the English Church; and, finally, as they knew that its use could not, consistently with the practice, be enforced in any congregations preferring to use the English office, they did not consider this diversity of office as constituting any impediment to their union with the Scottish Episcopal Church, and their dutiful submission to the Scottish Bishops.About seven years ago, a clergyman in Edinburgh renounced the authority of the Bishop of that district, and his connexion with the Episcopal Church; and he has since been joined by two clergymen previously in connexion with the Scottish Episcopal Church, and by three clergymen from England. There appear to be two other English clergymen officiating in Scotland unconnected with the Scottish Episcopal Church, but also unconnected with the six clergymen just mentioned, and opposed to the application for Episcopal superintendence from England.Under these circumstances, it seems that the clergy of English Orders in Scotland would be placed in a very painful position were any English or Irish Bishop to appear among them, assuming and exorcising Episcopal functions. They would be forced to consider whether the church in which they had been educated and ordained were not in this matter violating one of the fundamental laws of the Universal Church. And it is worthy of consideration, that the same question might agitate the minds of many faithful members of the United Church of England and Ireland residing in those parts of the empire, who hold that Episcopal government in matters purely spiritual has a foundation of right, which no human law can either give or take away. While, then, six clergymen and six congregations might be relieved by 799 the ministrations of a prelate from England or Ireland, it is to be considered that such ministrations would deeply aggrieve a much larger body of clergymen, and a much greater number of congregations now living in peaceful submission to their several diocesans; and that, by all the Scottish bishops, and all the indigenous Episcopal clergy, such ministrations would of course be considered as possessing no ecclesiastical authority whatsoever.Finally, it may be well to remember that the relative position of the Church of England, and the colonies of the empire, can supply no guide or analogy for her ecclesiastical relations with Scotland. Scotland never was a colony of England. Scotland possesses an Episcopal Church recognised by Act of Parliament as in communion with the Church of England; and the constitution has so carefully secured her National Establishment as to make it very doubtful whether any jurisdiction in Scotland could by law be now conferred upon any bishop, without a violation of the Treaty of Union.He trusted, then, that their Lordships would do nothing whereby the Episcopal Church in Scotland might he wrongfully attacked or injured—a church not the less worthy of respect, because it was not established by law. And on the subject of the introduction of English bishops, he wished to bring to their Lordships' recollection the words of a prelate deservedly held in the highest estimation—a prelate who was one of the brightest ornaments of the episcopal bench. Bishop Horsley, in the debate upon the passing of the Act for the relief of the Scottish Episcopalians, in replying to the Chancellor of that day, Lord Thurlow, said—My Lords, with respect to the interests of episcopacy in Scotland, my opinion is unfortunately the very reverse of that of the learned Lord. The credit of episcopacy will never be advanced by the scheme of supplying the episcopalian congregations in Scotland with pastors of our ordination; and for this reason, that it would be an imperfect, crippled episcopacy that would be thus upheld in Scotland. When a clergyman ordained by one of us settles as a pastor of a congregation in Scotland, he is out of the reach of our authority. We have no authority there: we can have no authority there: the Legislature can give us no authority there. The attempt to introduce anything of an authorised political episcopacy in Scotland would be a direct infringement of the Union.And while the noble and learned Lord stated that evening, and stated erroneously, that there were no such persons as bishops in Scotland (although he spoke correctly when he said there were no bishops endowed and established by law), he might have gone further, and might have added, that not only was it the ease that there were not now in Scotland any bishops such as those to whom alone he was willing to 800 attribute that character, but that according to the constitution of the realm there could be none such; for that the Act of Union prevented any bishops from being established by law in that country, and therefore that to grant the prayer of the petition would be directly to infringe this fundamental Act of the Union of the two kingdoms.
The BISHOP of SALISBURY
said, that he had observed that the noble and learned Lord had been somewhat unwilling very distinctly to state what was the prayer of the petition of which he was the advocate. The reference he had made to it had appeared to be drawn from him somewhat reluctantly: and when he was obliged to read the words, he could not help admitting that the main point for which they asked was very objectionable. And now he seemed to wished to put upon the petition a construction different from that which the words of it must necessarily convey. He would, therefore, state more distinctly to their Lordships the precise words in which that prayer was conveyed. The words of the petition were that "all clergymen might he inducted either by the Archbishop of Canterbury, or by the respective bishops from whom they received ordination;" or that the House would "sanction and recommend periodical visitations of the English congregations in Scotland by certain bishops of the Church of England and Ireland—[Lord BROUGHAM: Read on]—not as legally exercising any territorial jurisdiction in Scotland, but as ecclesiastically exercising their episcopal functions in the congregations which stand in need of their assistance." Now any authority which could be given through the instrumentality of their Lordships' House, either for the institution of clergy by English bishops into cures in Scotland, or for the visitation by such bishops of congregations and clergy in that country, could only be by legislative enactment, authorising and confirming by law the exercise in that country of episcopal jurisdiction; and this, he must contend, and he was certain that the noble and learned Lord could not deny, would be a plain and direct infringement of the Act of Union; and in reference to this portion of the subject, he could not but say that, while he was sensible that far higher considerations were involved in this question than those 801 arising from the enactments of human law, it was nevertheless the case, that as being himself the minister of a Church endowed and established by the law of the land, he felt it to be his bounden duty to desire to deal very carefully and respectfully with the rights and privileges of those who in this respect stood upon the same foundation as the Church to which he belonged. Other considerations, however, there were, which came home to his feelings more strongly than these. On other grounds he had no hesitation in expressing the sympathy he felt for a church in the situation of the Episcopal Church in Scotland. It did not forfeit its title to our respect, because it was not endowed or established by law. He felt sympathy with it as being a church holding in purity all the fundamental verities of the Christian faith. He felt sympathy with it as being a church which had maintained through almost unexampled difficulties the true form and constitution of apostolic polity. He did not indeed assert that in it no errors or blemishes in doctrine or discipline could be found. It was not reasonable to ask for this; for infallibility and immunity from error was a claim which he would not put forth either on behalf of that church or of his own. He loved and honoured the Church to which he belonged, and of which he was a minister, and he valued the liturgy which it was his privilege to use. He prized it as much as any, and perhaps more than some, who now came forward to claim credit for its exclusive use. But if everything which might be alleged against the Church of England were to be dragged before their Lordships with the same perverse ingenuity with which defects had been sought in the sister Episcopal Church in Scotland, he was far from sure that a case might not be stated to their Lordships which would place the Church of England in a light not less invidious than that in which it had been the endeavour of some persons of late to hold up the Episcopal Church in Scotland to reprobation and contempt. But he at least would not scruple to say that he deemed the Church in Scotland to be entitled to the affection and respect of the members of the Church in this country. He, for one, would be no party to an unjust and ungenerous attack upon its rightful privileges, or its character as a pure branch of the Catholic Church. And whatever might be the aberrations of judgment or feeling in individual minds, he thought he 802 might venture to assert that it was not on grounds like those which had that night been stated in their Lordships' House, that the great body of his right reverend brethren—that the great body of the clergy and laity of the Church of England—or their Lordships' House, would place themselves in an attitude of hostility towards a church which had, by a solemn Act of the Legislature, been recognised, as in communion with themselves.
After a few words from the EARL of SUFFOLK, who complained of a debate upon the presentation of a petition.
The ARCHBISHOP of CANTERBURY
addressed the House as follows:—My Lords, the last words of my right reverend Friend, in the excellent speech which he has just delivered, will afford the best opportunity of offering to your Lordships the few observations which I think it necessary to make on a subject which I regret should have been brought before your Lordships at all. For it is necessary that I should enter my protest against one proposal of the petitioners, which would place them under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury. My Lords, we all think more of our successors than of ourselves; and I will not allow my successor in the see to find Scotland added to his province, in addition to the duties which are already prepared for him. My Lords, I agree with my right reverend Friend in the sympathy which he has expressed for the Episcopal Church in Scotland, as a church with which we are in communion; and I regret that they who are united in their attachment to the same Episcopal government should not be united in the same body. But I also feel a sympathy with those clergymen of our Church who, on removing into Scotland, are invited to subscribe to a different set of canons from those which they subscribed at their ordination. I feel a sympathy with those, who, having once declared their consent to the Liturgy of the United Church of England and Ireland, are unwilling to conform to a Liturgy different from that, in at least one, as it appears to me, important particular. I also feel a sympathy with those members of our Church who, residing in Scotland, are naturally desirous of enjoying the ministration of clergy whose sentiments are identified with their own. Having these views, my Lords, I shall remove one grievance complained of by the petitioners as far as concerns myself; and if any clergy circumstanced like themselves should be pre- 803 sented to a benefice in my diocese, I shall not scruple to receive him, without waiting for a mandamus, if he brings a sufficient testimonial of conduct and orthodoxy.
The BISHOP of WORCESTER
fully concurred in the prayer of the petition. He could not conceive that it was the intention of the Legislature, when by the Act of 1792 they granted toleration to the Episcopal Church in Scotland, to place members of the Church of England residing in Scotland in a worse position than they were before the passing of that Act. They then had a distinct status, acknowledged by several Acts of Parliament, and were frequently visited by English bishops, who performed episcopal offices among them. Why, then, should they be placed in a worse position because additional privileges were granted to another branch of the Episcopal Church? Knowing the important business which was expected to come before the House that evening, he would not detain them further, except to say that he fully agreed in the sentiments of the most rev. Prelate who had just addressed the House, and should be happy to admit into his diocese any clergyman who had been officiating in Scotland, and who brought with him the usual testimonials of conduct and doctrine, although such testimonials might not have been countersigned by a Scotch bishop. He had further to add, that he had been requested by a right rev. Prelate, the Bishop of Norwich, who had just left the House, to express his full concurrence in all the sentiments which he had ventured to express.
was gratified to hear what had fallen from the two excellent Prelates who had just spoken. The grievance was, that the practice of the English bishops was not alike, and that clergymen in the predicament of the petitioners were driven from one diocese to another. No clergyman could be inducted to a benefice in one diocese by the bishop of another. If, for instance, a clergyman had a living presented to him in the diocese of Exeter, the Archbishop of Canterbury could not induct him. He must go to the bishop of the diocese in which the living was situate; and that bishop might think it his duty not to induct him. This was a practical grievance. He trusted, however, that the public declaration of the most rev. Prelate would go far towards removing the grievance.
The DUKE of ARGYLL
said, no one 804 could feel more strongly than himself the difficulty and inconvenience of discussing subjects of this nature in such an assembly as their Lordships' House. Touching, on the one hand, upon questions which their Lordships might be called to decide in their judicial capacity; and, on the other, upon questions of religious principle, concerning which he feared no great unanimity of opinion could be expected in the House; it was very difficult to pursue a middle course, and to keep to those great general principles which could alone be satisfactorily appealed to in such a case. Nevertheless, their Lordships would remember that, as one branch of the Legislature, it was their undoubted right, and it had frequently been their duty, to legislate upon the ecclesiastical government of the English Church. They could not, therefore, be surprised if English clergymen, ministers of the Established Church living in Scotland, and suffering, as they conceived, under a great grievance, addressed to their Lordships such petitions as that presented by the noble and learned Lord. The particular grievance of which these petitioners complained, had been somewhat overlooked and underrated by the right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Salisbury), who spoke on behalf of the Bishop of London. That grievance he conceived to be this, that when English clergymen officiating in Scotland, may, from any cause, have incurred the displeasure of the bishops of the Scotch Episcopal body, difficulties were cast in their way on their return to England by those prelates of the English Church who sympathised in opinion with the Scottish bishops. He earnestly hoped, however, that this grievance would now be remedied by the excellent and truly Christian speech of the most reverend Prelate (the Archbishop of Canterbury), and that the example which he, in his exalted station, had set, would be followed by all the right rev. Prelates round him. If such a course were followed, the grievance of which the petitioners complained, or which at least they dreaded, would be done away at once and for ever. If English clergymen, officiating in Scotland, who refused to connect themselves with the Scotch Episcopal body, found there was no real barrier, raised in consequence by the diocesans of their own Church against their return to England, he did not think the petitioners would be disposed to ask their Lordships to sanction any territorial interference by the bishops of the Church of 805 England upon Scotch ground. But that it was a real grievance which had driven the petitioners to approach that House, he would satisfactorily prove to their Lordships by a short statement of certain facts which had recently taken place. A clergyman of the English Church (the Rev. Sir W. Dunbar) who, he believed,' had been ordained by the Bishop of London,* had, for some time, been officiating in Scotland as the minister of one of the congregations of English Episcopalians, not in connexion with the Scottish Episcopal Church. He and his congregation evinced a disposition to join the latter, the bishops of which, anxious for the union of the Episcopalians in one body, made overtures to that effect. They agreed to unite upon certain conditions which were put upon paper, and one of these was, that Sir W. Dunbar and his congregation should be entitled to use exclusively the Liturgy of the Church of England. He (the Duke of Argyll) would not enter into the question whether these conditions had been infringed or not, since this might come before their Lordships in another shape; but whatever might be the merits of this case, the Rev. Sir W. Dunbar and his congregation conceived that the conditions of union had been infringed by certain acts on the part of the bishop under whom they had conditionally placed themselves, and thereupon, as they had an unquestionable right to do, he and his congregation separated themselves from the communion of the Episcopal Church in Scotland. Now, what was the course pursued? The Bishop of Aberdeen, who called himself the Primus of Scotland, Dr. Skinner, then published, not only in his own "diocese "or district, but all over the Christian world, the document referred to by the noble and learned Lord (Lord Brougham), a document which had been condemned by the highest judicial authority in Scotland, as containing language that was "unpardonable." This letter of excommunication, for such it was, would come before their Lordships in their judicial capacity. Sir W. Dunbar appealed to the Court of Session, as he conceived that the publication of this paper was in the nature of a libel. The Court of Session had not actually found that it was a libel, but they found that the document was one which ought to go before a jury for its decision. Bishop Skinner then appealed*Sir W. Dunbar was ordained by the late Bishop of Bath and Wells, in 1832.806 against this judgment to their Lordships' House, and their Lordships would have to decide whether the question should be referred for damages to a jury or not. An excommunication in one sense, indeed. Bishop Skinner had a perfect right to issue: he had a right to declare that the connexion of Sir W. Dunbar with his own body had ceased. But this was not the character of the document which he issued. It was one, published over the united kingdom, intimated to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and sent even to the united States of America, purporting to deprive Sir W. Dunbar of the name and office of a minister in the Christian Church. Such a proceeding was justly held to be unwarrantable; and if supported by the prelates of the English Church, would be a great and intolerable grievance. He (the Duke of Argyll) was not one of those who were desirous of seeing the episcopal jurisdiction of the English bishops established in Scotland, as was prayed by the petitioners. On the contrary, he thought it would be unnecessary and inexpedient; but the petition contained an alternative, namely, that their Lordships "should adopt any other course of proceeding which might appear most expedient for the purpose of placing the petitioners on such a footing as to give them all the advantages of the discipline of their own Church." It was not for him to suggest the measures to be adopted for this purpose; but he trusted that the excellent example of the most reverend Prelate at the head of the Church would be sufficient for the purpose. The right rev. Prelate who had spoken on behalf of the Bishop of London (the Bishop of Salisbury) had denied the allegation of the noble and learned Lord, that the Scottish bishops were not bishops because they were not established; and he contended they were, notwithstanding, true bishops of the Christian church. He (the Duke of Argyll) acknowledged them to be so. He did not maintain that a church not established by law, was therefore not entitled to the character of a church; neither did he hold that a church not established was, therefore, not entitled to exercise spiritual jurisdiction: on the contrary, he maintained that every body of Christians had the right of spiritual jurisdiction over its own members, so far as that jurisdiction was exercised by their own consent; but he most emphatically denied the right of any body to excommunicate a clergyman who did not belong 807 to its communion. And that really was the question raised by the petitioners. The right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Salisbury) had also argued that differences in the liturgical services of two churches was no necessary bar to their communion. There also he (the Duke of Argyll) had the happiness to agree with the right rev. Prelate. He could well conceive churches differing greatly in many points, yet holding nearest communion with each other. It might be perfectly true also, as the right rev. Prelate had asserted, that many excellent and able members of the Church of England had seen no objection to that communion office which had been quoted by the noble and learned Lord (Lord Brougham). But it remained equally true that many other men, equally able and equally excellent, had been of a different opinion. This was a point on which every man was entitled to act on his own views; and it was not only the right, but he (the Duke of Argyll) conceived it to be the duty of the right rev. Prelates of the Church of England to protect every member of their own Church, who conscientiously clung even to the very minutest words of her established liturgy, and refused to adopt or even to use another. If he were to speak on behalf of the body to which he belonged, the established branch of the Presbyterian Church, or of that to which his noble Friend the noble Marquess near him belonged (the Marquess of Breadalbane), the Free Church, be should say that they took no interest whatever in this dispute. It was to them a matter of perfect indifference whether the prayer of this petition was attended to, or disregarded, by the right rev. Prelates. They would hardly care if the Legislature should give, or attempt to give, a territorial jurisdiction in Scotland to the right rev. prelates of the Church of England. No such jurisdiction could be given by any law, except as over those who might choose voluntarily to submit to it. The days were now passed when the excommunication of any bishop, or of any presbytery, could have any effect whatever, apart from the solidity of the grounds on which sentences might proceed. Those were not the days when a Roman Catholic Peer of England (Lord Beaumont) could declare that the thunders of the Vatican itself were henceforth as harmless as the thunders of the stage—those were not the days when the world could feel any very great alarm from the thunders of such powers as Bishop Skinner 808 of Aberdeen. It was not, therefore, on behalf of Presbyterians that he took any part in this debate. But if he could conceive one blow heavier than another—one discouragement greater than another to the cause of Episcopacy in Scotland, or elsewhere, that "heavy blow and great discouragement" would be found in this—that bishops should be seen acting under the influence of so strong an esprit de corps as to support each other in the claim of an exclusive territorial jurisdiction, without reference to differences of religious faith—that was to say, without regard to the interests of truth—and in manifest, open contempt of the indisputable rights of the ministers and members of their own communion.
The BISHOP of EXETER
said, he felt greatly obliged to the noble Duke, who, while he professed to be utterly indifferent in the question, as affecting a Church to which he did not belong, nevertheless thought proper to give some little advice to the right rev. bench, as to the best mode of maintaining Episcopacy in Scotland. In all frankness, however, he must tell that noble Duke that, on such a matter, he was one of the last persons whose advice he should be inclined to seek or follow. In saying this, he was quite ready to give the noble Duke credit for the ability and kindness which he had testified on this occasion; but as for advice, that could usefully be given only by one who had sympathy and communion with those whom he advised. The noble Duke had said that the time was gone by when bishops might hope to influence the world by the terrors of an excommunication issued for no just cause. He (the Bishop of Exeter) was quite content that those times should have gone by for ever—he hoped that the time would never return when an excommunication without just cause should have any effect or influence. He would go further; he would express now what he had before expressed in that House, and had also expressed publicly to his clergy, his earnest wish that excommunications of the Church of England, even for a just cause, had no temporal effect whatever. He was averse to everything of that kind, and would rejoice to support any measure, from whatever quarter it might proceed, which would rescue the sentence of excommunicatiom from the contumely under which it now laboured, of being an instrument of consigning persons to a gaol. But in saying this, did he 809 mean to underrate the importance of excommunication? Far from it. The noble Duke might think little of such a sentence, oven when inflicted for a just cause; but he would assure him that this was very far from being the way in which it was regarded by Churchmen. By them, by members of the Church of England, he could assure the noble Duke, if he did not already know it, excommunication proceeding upon right grounds was regarded as a far heavier punishment than any which temporal law could inflict. If any of the clergy who have joined in this petition have been excommunicated justly, and on right grounds, he earnestly hoped it would please God to bring them to repentance, and thus save them from the awful consequences of their sinful perverseness. He would gladly have abstained from offering these remarks, but they had been extorted from him by what had been said by the noble Duke.
They had heard something of "the question before the House;" but he must say that this was a very inaccurate mode of speaking. There was no question before the House, and it was ludicrous to speak of any such question. The petitioners themselves had disclaimed all present intention of raising a question; for in a paper which had, he believed, been distributed among their Lordships on that day, a copy of which he had himself received, they honestly avowed that, although in the petition they prayed for the induction of clergymen to charges in Scotland by English bishops, they did this only for the purpose of raising a discussion. As such only was their purpose, he could not but congratulate them on the success of their movement; they had raised a discussion; and thus they were the most successful of all the parties who heaped petitions on their Lordships' table; and he heartily wished that the petitions which had been presented to that House from hundreds and thousands of their countrymen during the last week, on a question which those petitioners felt to be of vital moment to them, had been equally successful. If they had, there would be at this moment much more of contentment and tranquillity in the country than he feared existed.
The petitioners had called themselves by a title to which, he must take leave to say, they had no right whatever. They called themselves members of the Church of England residing in Scotland. This 810 was altogether a misnomer; there are no "members of the Church of England residing in Scotland;" there could not be any. He did not mean to say that there might not be members of the Church of England passing into Scotland for temporary purposes, who continued members of that Church, even while they were in Scotland; but if they were settled in Scotland, whether natives of that country, or natives of England or Ireland, who had fixed their domicile in Scotland, and were permanently residing therein, he could not recognise such persons as members of the Church of England. He said this openly, in the presence of an unusually large number of his right reverend brethren, whom he rejoiced to see in their place on this occasion, and he earnestly entreated their attention to what he was then saying. He did not anticipate that any one of them would differ from him on the principle which he set forth; but if any one, or more than one, did differ from him, he hoped they would declare that difference, and prove him to be wrong, if they indeed held him to be so; that they would not, from any false delicacy towards an erring brother, forbear from expressing their condemnation of his doctrine if it were unsound. He declared, then, that residing out of the limits of the Church of England there were no members of that particular church. The Church of England is a local church; a branch, indeed, of the holy Catholic Church, and therefore all its members are in communion with the members of every other branch of the Catholic Church, and fellow-members with them of the Catholic Church. But beyond its limits the Church of England, as such, has no authority, no existence whatever. If members of that Church pass beyond its borders into the country of another particular Church, the Church of Scotland, for instance, as in this case, they are bound by their duty as Catholic Christians to conform to the rules of the Church within whose limits they find themselves. They are bound to this obedience, even if they are merely passing travellers; much more if they are permanently resident, whether born in the country, or denizens therein. In this case, all true members of the Catholic Church are, and must hold themselves to be, members of that particular branch in whose country they are. These petitioners, therefore, were not what they called themselves, "members of the Church of England residing in Scotland;" 811 but if they were members of the Catholic Church—and God forbid that they should not be so regarded!—they were members, not of the Church of England, but of the Church of Scotland. They were not entitled, on the one hand, to claim exemption from any of the laws which were of general application in that Church, nor could they, on the other hand, under the denomination of members of the Church of England—a denomination which did not, and could not, belong to them in Scotland—be entitled, beyond the limits of the Church of England, to any privileges they may have possessed in England. He emphatically repeated, that when in another land they found any branch of the Apostolic Church planted there by God's providence, they were bound to conform to its discipline, and to communicate with it in its offices. They were not bound to communicate with it, if it were schismatical, or if its terms of communion were such that they could not communicate with it, as was the case of most of the Continental churches, without sin. This was the only consideration which excused from the duty of communicating with the Church within whose limits they might be. But he confidently held, that no member of the Church of England, going into Scotland, has a right to keep aloof from the Church of Scotland, in religious offices, whatever preference he may feel to the offices of the Church of England. For the Church of Scotland, as every one who looked to its articles (which were in truth identical with our own), or to its polity and its discipline, must admit, is a branch of the holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. As such it has a right to devise forms and ceremonies for itself. That right is expressly affirmed for it by our own Church: insomuch that if one of his own clergy were openly to publish that any Church—whether the Church of England or the Church of Scotland—has not such right, he should feel it his duty to proceed against him for such denial. [Laughter.] Yes; he repeated the declaration; if any one of his clergy should publicly and deliberately affirm that a particular Church (the Church of Scotland, for instance) hath not, as such, authority to ordain, change, and abolish ceremonies or rites of the Church—or if he should in like manner maintain that any person willingly, purposely, and openly break its rites and ceremonies—such clergyman would thereby maintain what is directly 812 contrary to the Articles of our own Church, and he should, in the honest discharge of his duty as a Bishop, proceed against the offender accordingly.
So far as he had perused the petition—which was of a most unreadable length—he could not see what grounds the petitioners had for coming before their Lordships. Scotland, so far as its Church was concerned, was to that House, under the Act of Union, as much a foreign country as any of the most remote. Their Lordships had just as much to do with the discipline and doctrines of a church at Constantinople. It was clear that they had no right at all to legislate about the doctrines and usages of the Church of Scotland.
The BISHOP of EXETER
Notwithstanding the correction of the noble and learned Lord, I shall call it what I please. I feel bound with my right rev. brethren, to acknowledge it as a Church in communion with our own. The noble and learned Lord had remarked, somewhat unfairly, he thought, on the difference of the conduct of the Bishops of the Church of England and the Bishops of Scotland, in respect to the Revolution, and to the political sentiments consequent on that event. The Church of England had taken a prominent part in forwarding the Revolution, and the transfer of the crown, on the abdication of James IL, to King William and Queen Mary. The Church of England was bound by its highest duty to cast off allegiance to James, because, in addition to the various oppressions which he had heaped upon it, he had sought, in the character of its supreme governor, to force upon it the adoption of doctrines which it deemed heretical, and which were directly contrary to those which it was under the most sacred obligations to maintain. Having thus cast off allegiance to James, it did not recognise the claims of his descendants. But the case of the Church of Scotland was wholly different. It continued to maintain the duty of allegiance to King James II.
The BISHOP of EXETER
would not go into the question about the people. He was speaking of the Church: and what he said was, that James II. never tyrannised over the Church of Scotland, or harassed 813 it with oppressions. On the contrary, it was perfectly notorious that he had striven, often most injudiciously, often most unjustly, often in ways which were contrary to the wishes of the Church itself, to maintain and to advance what he thought the interests of that Church. It happened that, at the time when the Revolution took place, there was in London a deputation of Scotch bishops, sent with some address to King James. When James left the kingdom, William authorised a direct offer to he made to these bishops, that if they and the rest of the bishops of Scotland would give in their adhesion to his Government, he would maintain their Church in all its existing rights and privileges. Those bishops, and their colleagues, felt that they and their Church had suffered no wrong from James, and therefore that they had no right to abandon their sworn allegiance to him. Under such circumstances, they adhered, at whatever sacrifice of their Church's interests, to the cause of their exiled Sovereign. He (the Bishop of Exeter) honoured them for this their loyalty to the King, and faithfulness to their oaths.
He would not enter into the history of the rebellions of 1715 and 1745, in which he freely admitted that many of the members of the Scottish Church were actively engaged; and many—almost all, it may be—of its clergy were ardent partisans. By their conscientious principles they were bound to be so; and most honourably, at whatever hazard, they acted on those principles. He revered their memory for thus acting. But the noble and learned Lord had remarked with some severity on the pertinacious resistance of the clergy and others of that Church to the just claims of the House of Brunswick, even after the claims of the House of Stuart had been buried in the grave of the last descendant of James 11. Now what was the fact? Instead of the reluctance and hesitation of which the noble and learned Lord had spoken, no sooner did they hear that Cardinal York (King Henry the Ninth, as they thought themselves bound to consider him) was no more, than, of their own accord, the clergy of Scotland unanimously resolved, in their synod, that they might, and therefore ought to, pray by name for the reigning Prince and his Royal Family—and the bishops formally communicated their resolution to the Secretary of State, and requested him to lay it at the foot of the Throne. This was done, and King George 814 III. justly recognised in the faithfulness of these men to their ancient principles a pledge of their devoted loyalty to himself, now that those principles were on the side of their duty to him. True, some years elapsed—by reason of difficulties, raised chiefly by the then Chancellor, Lord Thurlow before they were admitted to all the privileges which the other bodies in Scotland, not members of the Presbyterian Kirk, enjoyed. They were at length placed in the position of a tolerated Church; and more than this, they never asked. But even of this, even of the position and the rights of a tolerated Church, the present petition sought, in the most important particulars, to deprive them. That Church would be no longer dealt with, as even a tolerated Church, if their Lordships, whilst they allowed all civil and political privileges to be preserved to its members, should yet, at the bidding of these petitioners, legislate for it as a Church.
They had heard much of the difference between the Scotch and the English Liturgies. But were their Lordships aware, that at no period whatever, since the Reformation, would the Scotch Church accept the English Liturgy? Even in 1637, when Charles I. was anxious to prevail on that Church to form a settled book of public divine worship, and when its bishops were quite disposed to comply with this wish, they declined to accept the English book exactly as it stood. They told Archbishop Laud, who pressed that book upon them, that their doing so would be regarded in Scotland with much jealousy, as an abandonment of the independence of their Church. They further said, we think highly of your English Liturgy, but there are deficiencies in it, as it at present stands, which we will supply. They therefore formed the Communion Office mainly on the first book of King Edward VI., while the Church of England continued to use the office as altered in Edward's second book. Such was the origin of the Scottish Liturgy, as contradistinguished from the English. He did not mean to say that no alteration had since been made, but such was the origin of the Scottish Liturgy; and he might remind their Lordships that many of the greatest of English divines—he would name Bishop Stilling-fleet, Archbishop Sharp, Bishop Bull, Bishop Wilson, Dr. Waterland, Bishop Home, Bishop Horsley—preferred the Scottish Liturgy, or at least the Communion 815 Office in the first book of King Edward, on which it was founded.
The noble and learned Lord had somewhat invidiously alluded to the title of Primus borne by Bishop Skinner, and had said he had almost called himself Primate. The title of Primus had been held in the Scottish Church from the earliest ages. There never had been a Primate of the Scottish Church.
The BISHOP of EXETER
cared not for the Revolution, and he cared nothing for the contradiction of the noble and learned Lord, though he might be move formidable than the Revolution. The title of the principal bishop of the Scottish Church had been Primus and not Primate, from the earliest times. With regard to the orthodoxy of the present Scottish Communion Office, which was drawn up in 1765, he would quote the opinion of Bishop Hors-ley. Bishop Horsley, more than forty years ago, wrote the following letter on this subject to the Rev. John Skinner, afterwards Bishop Skinner:—London, June 7, 1806.My dear Sir—With respect to the comparative merit of the two offices for England and Scotland, I have no scruple in declaring to you what some years since I declared to Bishop Abernethy Drummond—that I think the Scottish office more conformable to the primitive models, and, in my judgment, more edifying than that which we now use; insomuch that, were I at liberty to follow my own private judgment, I would myself use the Scottish office in preference. The alterations which were made in the Communion Service as it stood in the first book of Edward VI., to humour the Calvinists, were, in my opinion, much for the worse; nevertheless, I think our present office very good, our form of consecration of the elements is sufficient; I mean that the elements are consecrated by it, and made the body and blood of Christ, in the sense in which our Lord himself said that the bread and wine were his body and blood.—I am, my dear Sir, your affectionate and faithful servant, "S. ST. ASAPH.Having this authority, the testimony of Bishop Horsley to the orthodoxy of the Scottish Office, he (the Bishop of Exeter) was content to hear the petitioners, and even the noble and learned Lord, talk of that Office as favouring transubstantiation. In the petition, an assertion was made to which the noble and learned Lord had referred most energetically. It was there said that the clergy of the Scottish Episcopal Church subscribed the Thirty-nine Articles with a mental reservation; and in proof of this the petitioners quoted from Skinner's Annals, Appendix, page 547, an 816 address of Bishop Jolly to Convocation; but they stopped short in their quotation at the very point at which the passage they were quoting entered into an explanation which negatived the charge made against the Church. Bishop Jolly said—In adopting, therefore, the Articles of the United Church of England and Ireland, as the Articles of our Church, we must be candidly understood as taking them in unison with that book, and not thinking any expressions with regard to the Lord's Supper in the least inimical to our practice at the alar in the use of the Scottish Communion Office.There ended the quotation; but Bishop Jolly went on to say—In which we are supported by the first reformed Liturgy of England, not to look at all the ancient Liturgies, which prevailed long before the corruptions of popery had a being. Some of the greatest divines of the Church of England, Poinet, Andrews, Laud, Heylin, Mede, Taylor, Bull, Johnson, and many others, have asserted and maintained the doctrine which, in that office (the first reformed Liturgy of England) is reduced to practice. Yet these divines did all subscribe the Thirty-nine Articles, and must therefore have understood them consistently with their belief of the commemorative sacrifice of the holy Eucharist, using the present Liturgy of the Church of England as comprehending it. Our subscribing them in Scotland cannot then be justly interpreted as an inconsistency with it, since our belief is diametrically opposed to the corrupt sacrifice of the mass, which, with all the other errors and corruptions of Rome, none more heartily renounce and detest than we in Scotland do, with safety always to those truly Catholic primitive doctrines and practices whereof these errors and novelties are the corruption.What, too, would their Lordships think, when he told them that the American Episcopal Church, which had sprung up since the Declaration of Independence, had adopted for its guide the first Book of Common Prayer of Edward VI., as the Scottish Church had, and that the Liturgy of both was in most respects almost identical? In answer to what had been said respecting the Church of Scotland making canons, he must insist upon its right to do so—a right which essentially belonged to it as a Church. It was true, the Church of Scotland could not enforce its canons by any temporal penalties, but it could enforce them by spiritual penalties; and indeed it was bound so to enforce them, even if those penalties went so far as excommunication. He would not, however, enter into this question, which was about to come before their Lordships, in the form of an appeal. The principle for which he contended had nothing to do with the law of man. It rested entirely upon the laws which go- 817 verned the Church of Christ, whether the law of the land did, or did not, recognise the right of the bishops of Scotland to make canons, and the right of those bishops to enforce the canons so made; the law of Christ recognised that right, and he trusted the bishops would continue to exercise it, whatever might be the temporal consequences.
The BISHOP of CASHEL
said, he must ask permission to say a few words on this question. He promised to take up but little of their Lordships' time. The question was one between the members of the United Church of England and Ireland residing in Scotland, and the members of the Episcopal Church in Scotland. He would shortly mention how he came to be mixed up in the matter. In the year 1845 he received a letter from Dr. Low, the Bishop of Moray, in the Episcopal Church, asking him whether he sympathised with those who had separated from that communion? His reply was, that as his opinion had been asked, he felt called upon to say candidly that he did sympathise with those who separated for the truth's sake; and that he was of opinion that the members of the Church of England in Scotland were not bound to maintain communion with the Episcopal Church in Scotland, if that Church were in error, any more than they were bound to maintain communion with the Episcopal Church in Rome, or the Episcopal Church in France. The members of the Church of England in Scotland did not submit to the jurisdiction of, and hold communion with, the bishops of that country, upon the plain and intelligible ground that they conceived there were errors in the doctrines as exhibited in the Liturgy of their Church. He could not hold with the position laid down by the right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Exeter), that members of the Church of England, if they crossed the border, were bound to put themselves in communion with, and submit themselves to, the authority of those who assumed to themselves the title of bishops of that country, without taking into account either the source from which they derived that authority, or the truth or falsehood of the doctrines which they taught. This was a position which he was not prepared to hear from a Bishop of the Reformed Church of England. If we admit the principle of total submission to Episcopacy as such, we could not justify our Reformation. We should be forced, in consistency, to acknowledge the autho- 818 rity of the bishops of the Roman Church, whose orderly episcopacy we have never questioned, but from whom we have separated on the ground that they have substituted error for truth. We should be as much bound to be Romanists, once we passed into Prance or Italy, as to join the Episcopal Church in Scotland when once we passed the Tweed. The right rev. Prelate had spoken of the two Common Prayer Books of Edward the Sixth, as if he held them to be alike in doctrine and authority. They were, however, materially different in some most important particulars. The first Book of Common Prayer of Edward the Sixth was unquestionably a wonderful production, considering the circumstances of the age in which it was compiled, and that our reformers had only then begun to open their eyes to the errors of popery. It was not surprising, then, that at such a period some remnants of popery should be found in this Prayer Book. The right rev. Prelate very well knew that in the first Book of Common Prayer, published in 1549, the name given to the Communion Service was "the Mass," and that it also spoke uniformly of "the altar," and "the sacrifice." In short, the language of the Communion Service in this first book was in harmony and unison with these doctrines of a sacrifice and an altar, which are rejected in our Church. There was no blame, however, to be attached to the compilers of this book, because, on studying the subject, they obtained more light; and in 1552 the Reformers brought forward another Prayer Book, less in conformity with the doctrines taught by the Church of Rome, and more in accordance with the doctrines of Protestantism. Bishop Horsley, he knew, had written in praise of the first Prayer Book; but persons who had investigated the subject might disagree from the conclusions of that learned Prelate; and if they thought the second Prayer Book contained sounder doctrine, there was no reason why they should be compelled to use the first, of which they disapproved, instead of the second, of which they approved, and which was deliberately substituted by our Reformers—Cranmer and the others. He would take the liberty of reminding their Lordships, that the bishops of the Episcopal Church in Scotland cannot avail themselves of the approbation given by Bishop Horsley or others to the Prayer Book of 1549; for they were not content with such a retrograde movement 819 in the direction towards Rome as would be involved in going back to that service, but have altered its language so as to make it favour the Romish doctrine of transubstantiation more than any formulary that has been adopted in any reformed church, using those words:—Bless and sanctify with thy word and Holy Spirit these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine, that they may become the body and blood of thy most dearly beloved Son.The 21st canon of the Scotch Episcopal Church has made the Scotch Communion Office to be of primary authority; but they have lately altered that canon much for the worse. In the beginning of the present century, the canon ran thus:—No alteration or interpolation whatever shall take place, nor shall any change from the one to the other be admitted, unless it be agreeable to the minister and his congregation, and approved of by the bishop.But in the last edition of the canons, they have left out the former part of the sentence, and retained only "unless approved of by the bishop." By which change in the canon, a Church of England congregation, if they put themselves under the jurisdiction of a Scottish bishop, have no security that they shall not be deprived of the holy communion, or forced to receive it according to a form which appears to them to savour of the doctrine of transubstantiation. But what the petitioners sought was this—that the members of the Church of England in Scotland should have the communion service celebrated according to the form of the Church of England, to which they belonged; and that a clergyman celebrating the sacrament of the Lord's Supper in that form, should be liable to no censure for it in Scotland; and when he left Scotland, should be liable to no censure from the bishops of the English Church because he had adhered to the Liturgy and Articles of the United Church of England and Ireland. The noble Duke (the Duke of Argyll) had referred to the excommunication of Sir William Dunbar, of whom it is necessary to state, that he, from a spirit of peace, agreed to join the Scottish Episcopal Church; but he did it upon certain terms, one of which was, that he was to use the English Liturgy, and that alone. Subsequently to this, there was an ordination, at which Sir William Dunbar preached; the communion was administered according to the Scottish office, and Sir William withdrew without having partaken of it; 820 he was reproved by the bishop, and told that the next time he acted so his conduct would be made the subject of ecclesiastical censure and procedure. This, and other circumstances of the same kind, forced him to dissolve his connexion with the Scottish Episcopal Church, on account of which the bishop issued the sentence of excommunication. On an action being brought into the Scotch courts, one of the Judges said—I cannot certainly hold, that there is no difference between the Scotch and English communion offices; and while I do not wish to enter into this theological question, I cannot, at the same time, overlook the circumstance, that a large part of the episcopal world think that the Communion Service of the Scotch Episcopal Church teaches the doctrine of transubstantiation. Now, as the service of the Church of England, for which this congregation stipulated expressly, excludes that, I cannot, therefore, hold a matter of this kind to be unimportant.Another Judge said—It is said, among other things, that the pursuer has committed a violation of his ordination vows. To me he seems rather to have been a martyr to his ordination vows. These were taken to an English bishop, and included an engagement to uphold and adhere to the Liturgy of that Church; and it is manifest, that the separation which is here stigmatised as sinful and schismatical, was prompted mainly by a desire to adhere to the Liturgy.In order to support the prayer of the petitioners, it is only necessary to show that there exists a material difference between them and the tenets of the Episcopal Church in Scotland, without going here into a theological discussion as to which is right and which is wrong. It is enough to establish the essential difference. It is strong evidence to this point to give the opinion of the Judges who considered the case; but the existence of this difference has been strongly stated in a sermon preached before the bishop and clergy of the diocese of Aberdeen in synod assembled, by the Rev. P. Cheyne, minister of St. John's, Aberdeen. After having spoken with disapprobation of the two communion services being allowed to be used in the Episcopal Churches, Mr. Cheyne thus proceeds:—Many new congregations have been established of late years: in how many of them is the 'communion office' of the Church used according to the 21st canon? That canon secures the use of the English office to all congregations 'where it had been previously in use '—previously, that is, to the union referred to. But that permission extended to no congregation formed subsequently; they are subject to the general rule, and ought to have the eucharist administered by the 'authorised 821 service.' No new congregation has a right to choose which service shall be adopted: the contrary has, indeed, been asserted and acted upon; but it is quite inconsistent with the terms of the canon. The only imaginable exception are congregations of native English or Irish, who, according to the practice of the Church, may be permitted the use of their own rites. The Church has been involved in inextricable embarrassments by the vacillating course adopted in this matter. Not the least of these embarrassments is the admission of inconsistent doctrines on this, the most awful of all subjects. Yet is it not so? Are not inconsistent doctrines taught and tolerated among us? No doctrines can be conceived more inconsistent than that which inculcates belief in the real presence of Christ in the eucharist, and that which rejects it as popery, and teaches us that He is no more present there than He is anywhere else where two or three are gathered together for prayer. Or, again, what can be more inconsistent than the doctrine of the sacrifice, and the direct denial of it? or the belief of its propitiatory nature, and the unqualified condemnation of it? Yet these 'discordant utterances' are heard on every side; and though one set of these doctrines is plainly and confessedly anticatholic, it takes refuge under the indefinite and halting testimony of the English Liturgy, and there finds it; and is not this to speak with 'stammering lips?'He (the Bishop of Cashel) could not express his sentiments as to the duty that binds a man when he is called upon to bear testimony to what he considers to be truth, better than in the words of the letter he wrote in 1845. He would read the following extract:—I find, I think, in our Church two things, for which I love her.—Scriptural Truth and Scriptural Order. I love her for both; but when I shall find these two separated, and I shall be obliged to choose whether I will hold to the truth and give up the order, or hold to the order and give up the truth—I shall feel myself bound to hold to the truth.If my own Episcopal Church should turn away from the truth—should declare the doctrine of her communion service to be uncatholic, and should introduce a service that speaks more like transubstantiation than ever was spoken by any church but the Church of Rome, I should feel myself bound to protest against her heresy, and to separate from her communion, though that separation should involve the undesirable absence of Episcopal superintendence and control. How much more must I sympathise with Church of England men in Scotland, who upon the same ground separate themselves from a Church which has no hereditary claim to their submission—which is not the Church of their fathers, and had not been the cradle of their youth! If asked my opinion, I must say, 'Come out from her and be separate.'But dismissing the ground of the Episcopal Church in Scotland having departed from the truth maintained in the Church of England, upon the principles of the highest Churchmen, which give the highest authority to Episcopacy, the Episcopal 822 Church in Scotland cannot claim the submission of true and obedient members of the Church of England. They are not the successors of the ancient Episcopal Church of Scotland: that came to an end, A. D. 1603. It was revived through consecration by bishops of the Church of England: that again failed; and the Scottish Episcopal Church now derives its succession from, and traces its pedigree through, the nonjuring bishops after the Revolution? If, then, an obedient member of the Church of England acknowledges the authority, and submits to the jurisdiction of the present line of bishops of England, he cannot acknowledge the authority of the nonjuring bishops who were separated from the Church, nor of those consecrated by them; yet such are the Scottish bishops. Neither a love for truth, nor a respect for legitimate Episcopal order, will allow a true intelligent member of the Church of England to join himself and submit himself to the jurisdiction of the Scotch Episcopal Church—differing in its formularies and irregular in its succession. The thing that appeared to him unaccountable and unjustifiable was, that a man should solemnly swear that he would conform to the Liturgy of the Church of England, and after such a solemn engagement should join a Church that declares to be of "primary authority "a communion service that so materially and evidently differs from that to which he has bound himself to conform. Again he would say, that to get rid of all this reasoning by putting forward the paramount right of authority in the Episcopal office, irrespective of truth or order, is to set up a principle which would upset the Reformation, and force a man to be a Romanist when he passed into France or Italy, as well as make him a member of the Scotch Episcopal Church as soon as he passed the Tweed.
The EARL of MINTO
said, that like the noble Duke (the Duke of Argyll) he was totally indifferent, with regard to the two parties who were brought before their Lordships by this petition. They were both dissenting bodies from the Established Kirk of Scotland. He rose, therefore, for the purpose of saying, that whatever steps their Lordships might think proper to take, he trusted that at least nothing might be done to recognise any status whatever in the Episcopal Church in Scotland. The right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Exeter) had persisted in calling the Episcopal Church in Scotland "the Church 823 of Scotland," and he had even said, he did not care for the Act of Parliament, he should continue to call it by that name. He (the Earl of Minto) asserted, that it was not the Episcopal Church of Scotland. There stood his assertion against that of the right rev. Prelate, and he was willing to leave the House to judge between them. But he had something better than a more assertion. He had the Act of Union, which would turn the balance in his favour. He protested against the idea that there existed an Episcopal Church in Scotland on any other footing than that of a sect. He did not, however, mean to deny, but that some grievances which it would be well to remove might have arisen to the petitioners out of the position of the Episcopal Church in Scotland, under what romains of those statutes which had been directed against it at a time when politics and religion were more nearly connected than is, happily, the case in our day. These statutes he should be glad to see wholly repealed, and all Episcopalians in Scotland then placed on the same footing with every other class of Dissenters in that country.
The BISHOP of EXETER
wished to say a few words in explanation, after what they had just heard from the noble Earl.
In the first place, he had not said, as the noble Earl had represented him to have said, that the Revolution was effected by the bishops and clergy of England. He had only said, that they, or the greater part of them, had been in favour of the Revolution, while the bishops and clergy in Scotland had with good reason been opposed to it.
Again, he had not uttered one word against the status given by the law of the land to the Kirk of Scotland as the Established Kirk; and he had disclaimed all wish to interfere with that status. He had dealt with the matter, as it came before them, on theological grounds— on those grounds, he must, as a bishop, regard the Episcopal Church as the Church of Scotland; and so regarding it, he should have been unfaithful to his own principles, if he had been afraid of calling it by that name.
The DUKE of BUCCLEUCH
rose to address a few words to the House, more particularly in consequence of some observations which had fallen from the right rev. Prelate who had last addressed the House (the Bishop of Cashel), and because he was in the position of one brought up and educated a member 824 of the Church of England, of which he was still a member; and at the same time when in Scotland he considered himself to be in full communion with the Episcopal Church of Scotland. As far as his knowledge went, the Scotch Episcopalians did not claim the status of the Kirk of Scotland, but of the Episcopal Church in Scotland. They were satisfied with being in the full exercise of that form of worship of which their consciences approved; and it would be an unwarrantable interference on the part of the House to attempt to regulate its ecclesiastical government. Whatever might be said, as had been intimated by a noble Lord, as to its not being a Church, he maintained that it was a Church in every respect, possessing within itself all the component parts which constitute an Episcopal Church. The Scotch Episcopal Communion was recognised by the State in proclamations upon particular occasions, and other ways; it was recognised by, and was in full communion with, the Church of England. He entirely repudiated the idea that their Liturgy implied participation in the errors of the Church of Rome. It was, however, a mistake to suppose that that part of it to which allusion had more particularly been made, the Communion Office, was imperative upon any congregation. Its use was optional. They might adopt either one or the other, either that of the Church of England or that of the Episcopalian Church: and in some cases, where there was a difference of opinion in a congregation, the two were used alternately. He did not believe there was any connexion between the doctrines of the Scotch Episcopal Church and the errors of the Church of Rome. If he had, he would not have in any way become a member of that communion. But when he saw men, and eminent members of the English universities, and of unblemished reputation, of high acquirements and distinguished learning, of soundest views on theological subjects, accept the cure of souls, and become bishops in that Church, and when he saw them as ardent supporters of the doctrine and discipline of the Church of England as any right rev. Prelate upon the bench opposite, he could not bring himself to believe that there was anything in the Liturgy or doctrine of the Church to justify the supposition of a Romish tendency, which had been attributed to it by the right rev. Prelate. He regretted to find that the petitioners complained of any grievances. He was unable to see how 825 the House could in any way interfere, without involving an alteration or infringement of the Articles and Act of Union, which he felt confident would not he quietly acquiesced in by this portion of the kingdom, or be tamely submitted to by the other.
said, it seemed to be lost sight of and forgotten that the Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church would not grant to clergymen officiating in episcopalian congregations not in communion with them, those testimonials which some English bishops required before they would induct clergymen coming from Scotland into a benefice in England. The Scottish bishops required clergymen to subscribe their entire belief in and approval of the Liturgy of the Episcopalian Church, which many of them could not conscientiously.
The BISHOP of OXFORD
said, that he should not have risen to address their Lordships, had it not been for the remarks which the House had just heard from his right rev. Friend near him, because he thought it most important not to allow such a speech as that right rev. Prelate had delivered to go forth to the public—as undoubtedly it would go forth—without addressing a few remarks to the House on the scope and tendency of that speech. The matter before the House involved a very serious subject, and many and great reasons existed why there should be given an answer to the speech of the right rev. Prelate, and why that answer should receive all the attention to which it was fairly entitled. If any speech could produce such a result, he believed that the observations which the House had just heard from his right rev. Friend would take away the beneficial and healing effects which had been brought about by the part which a most rev. Prelate had taken in this matter, the whole tone and tenour of whose observations on the subject had been marked by a spirit well worthy of imitation. It had been stated that the Episcopal Church of Scotland, which was known to be in full communion with the Church of England, had suddenly found itself placed in circumstances of difficulty and embarrassment; but he hoped that a little further discussion would contribute to remove this difficulty, of which he saw no other possible solution. It must be full in the recollection of their Lordships, that proposition after proposition had been made and abandoned, and that, after all, no full solution of the 826 difficulty had been accomplished. On the one hand, they were told that the Episcopal Church of Scotland was in full communion with the Church of England; and on the other, his right rev. Friend assured them that the communion service of that Church was more Popish, more ultra-Romish, than any office of their Liturgy. To that he should oppose the opinion expressed by the most rev. Prelate (the late Archbishop of Canterbury, as we understood), who distinctly affirmed that the Episcopal Church in Scotland was in full communion with the Church of England. With the leave of the House, he now proposed to call their attention to a short extract from the writings of Bishop Horsley, which he thought would very materially strengthen the view that he took of this part of the subject—a passage marked by the great vigour and strong sense which usually distinguished the works of that eminent Prelate. It was in these words:—My Lords, an appointment to an Episcopal congregation in Scotland is no more a title to me or to any bishop of the English bench than an appointment to a church in Mesopotamia. Clergymen of English or Irish ordination exercising their functions in Scotland without uniting with the Scottish bishops are, in my judgment, doing nothing better than keeping alive a schism.He should next call the attention of their Lordships to the following opinion which Lord Stowell had expressed upon this point:—All that friendly and kind communication with our episcopal brethren in Scotland can give, they may always command from the English bishops. But authority or jurisdiction in Peru is not more out of their thoughts than in Scotland.As full proof that the most rev. Prelate to whose name he had already referred, the late Archbishop of Canterbury, clearly held the opinions which he imputed to him, he should trouble their Lordships with the following extract from one of his letters, dated the 19th of August, 1845:—The Episcopal Church in Scotland is in communion with the United Church of England and Ireland, through the medium of her bishops, as, without referring further back, will appear from a recent Act of the Legislature, the 3rd and 4th Victoria, c. 33.In the same letter he also found the following passage:—Of congregations in Scotland not acknowledging the spiritual jurisdiction of the bishop in whose diocese the chapels are situate, yet calling themselves Episcopalian, we know nothing. In order to prove their right to this designation, they should be able to show what bishop in England has authority, by law or by custom, to regulate 827 their worship, and to direct or control their ministers in respect of discipline or doctrine.Was it, then, he would ask, a light matter that a right rev. Prelate should stand up amongst their Lordships, and tell them that the Episcopal Church in Scotland was Romish—that it was sinful to be in communion with that Church—and that it was the duty of every right thinking Christian to "come out from amongst them and be separate?" Such assertions should not 'be lightly made, such advice should not be lightly given, and such subjects should not be lightly dealt with. Fortunately, however, such arguments as had been used by his right rev. Friend might be completely shattered by the writings of the eminent authorities to which he had referred their Lordships. Further, he would say, that if they allowed their minds to be carried away by what they had heard from his right rev. Friend, they would infer that the retention in the Scotch Liturgy of the; prayer which proved the Protestantism of that Church, was the best possible evidence of their Romanism. It was well known that the Roman Catholics held that the consecration prayer in their communion service effected a mysterious change in the substance of the elements, and left the quality unaltered. The prayer, which had reference to an alteration in the quality, was one which the Roman Catholics altogether rejected, while the Episcopal Church in Scotland rejected that which had a Popish tendency. The one had an oriental, the other a Latin origin. The one had reference to substance, the other to quality. Nothing appeared to him more unaccountable than that his right rev. Friend should: maintain that the Episcopal Church of Scotland was to be deemed ultra-Romish, because they continued to use a prayer that was beyond all controversy based on Protestantism. He would just quote this question and answer from the catechism of the Church in Scotland:—Are the bread and wine not changed (by consecration)?—Yes, in their qualities, but not in their substance.Now, it was well known that the Roman Catholics held that the change took place in the substance, and not in the quality; yet, because the Church in Scotland held doctrines diametrically opposite to the Church of Rome, they were said to be ultra-Romish. It was not in that way, that brotherly love and concord were to be promoted; and what could be more dangerous, then, than to have it go forth un- 828 contradicted, that the tendencies of that Church were Romish. Apart, however, from the arguments which the House had heard from his right rev. Friend, there was a passage in Sir W. Drummond's own pamphlet which disclosed a fact of no trifling importance, and which was set forth in these words:—I wish likewise expressly to state, that the Scotch communion office was not the cause of my leaving the Scotch Episcopal Church. That I have distinctly made known in my ReasonsBesides such admissions as these, the House possessed for their guidance the full concurrence in opinion of all the great lights of the English Church to prove that the Episcopal Church in Scotland was in full communion with the Church of England. Doubtless their Lordships well knew that those who lived in civil society must surrender some portion of their natural liberty, in order to enjoy the advantages of the social state; and so it was in Christian churches. Men might in some respects wish to do otherwise than seemed best to their brethren. It might be more agreeable to them to do as they liked; but would that warrant them in separating from the religious body with which they ought to be connected? His right rev. Friend had not untied the knot; he had cut it when he said that we were in the same position with regard to Scotland as that in which we stood towards France. To suppose so, was a grievous mistake; for we were not in communion with any French church. He begged them, if they began to legislate upon this subject, to do so with their eyes open; for they might be assured of this, that nothing could be more calculated to raise up religious strife than any attempt to begin a course of legislation upon that subject: for the people of the Established Church of Scotland were adverse to Romanism; 1st, because the Pope was a Roman Catholic; 2ndly, because they believed the papal power to be the scarlet lady; and, 3rdly, because he was a bishop. What then could be more impolitic and unwise than this interference with the Episcopal Church of Scotland? It appeared to him most clear that they had but one basis of legislation—that they could not proceed in the teeth of the Act of Union—that they could not proceed in spite of the feelings of the great mass of the people. One advantage, however, might arise out of the present discussion—he hoped they would see from it the utter hopelessness of any attempt to legis- 829 late in the direction that had been indicated to them—that they would feel that; they were "brethren, and should see that they did not fall out among themselves." It appeared to him that they had no locus standi which would entitle them to interfere with the religious rites and religious observances of the people of Scotland.
The BISHOP of WORCESTER
rose, I and stated that, having been called upon by his right reverend Brother to explain, he would detain the House a few minutes while he stated that he never dreamt of interfering with the established Presbyterian religion of Scotland; but he could not agree with the right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Exeter), that the Church of England was locally confined to England and Ireland. We acknowledged its existence in Jerusalem by appointing a bishop of the Church of England in Jerusalem, and a portion of it might exist in Scotland, though not in communion with the Episcopal Church there, which did not admit our Liturgy.
§ The EARL of HARROWBY
agreed with the rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Oxford), that there was some difficulty in granting the prayer of the petitioners, in finding for them a proper locus standi before the House; but he could not call it an impossibility. It was, he imagined, as much open to Parliament, if it should seem fit and expedient, to give to the Archbishop of Canterbury, or to some one of the English bishops, a qualified jurisdiction over clergymen of the Church of England and Ireland officiating in Scotland, as over such clergymen when officiating either in our colonies, as we still did in some cases, where bishops of our own Church were not established, or in foreign countries, where English chaplains were placed under some degree of subordination to the Bishop of London. If it was said the Act of Union stood in the way, he could not look at that as any real obstacle to such a qualified jurisdiction, any more than our want of political right to interfere with such matters in foreign countries prevented us from doing what was requisite in such cases for the regulation of our own worship, without pretending to give or to interfere with civil rights. But he was not going to advocate interference by legislation as expedient. He thought there were many reasons why it was much better not to attempt it. He only wished on that point to protest against its being held to be impossible to give to English bishops a jurisdic- 830 tion beyond their English dioceses, and even within the limits of Scotch dioceses, which the law of this country had never recognised. He (Lord Harrowby) did believe that this case was one for which the better remedy was to be looked for in the kind expression of sympathy which had been given utterance to by the most rev. Prelate (the Archbishop of Canterbury), and by his declaration, that, for his part, if he were properly assured of the character and attainments of any clergyman of the Church of England, who had been officiating to congregations in Scotland, he should not feel himself called upon to require any certificate, any bene decessit, from the bishop of the Scottish Church, within whose assumed jurisdiction he had been serving. This, together with a similar declaration from several other prelates of the English Church, was, he believed, the best and most practical remedy for the real evil of which the petitioners complained. For what was the grievance—and a real grievance it was—that a clergyman of the Church of England, invited to officiate to members of his own Church in Scotland, and sanctioned and encouraged in so doing by acts of the Legislature, and by the former proceedings of the bishops of his own Church, having taken upon himself at his ordination a vow and solemn engagement to use no other Liturgy but that of the Church of England, found himself, when in Scotland, involved in all sorts of difficulties and discouragements, if he did not at least occasionally use another Liturgy, that of the Church in Scotland, of which, though the rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Oxford) had certainly very satisfactorily cleared it of the imputation of sanctioning Romish doctrines, yet he could not but confess that it differed very materially from that of the Church of England, and contained some expressions, which at least would startle one accustomed to the English form—that, moreover, when the English clergyman, finding himself so situated, desired to return to England, and to resume his duties in the Church in England, he found himself marked, as it were, with the finger of reprobation by at least many members of the right rev. bench, and indeed refused induction to a living or admission to a curacy within their dioceses, unless he returned with a certificate from the bishop of the Scottish Church within whose supposed or assumed jurisdiction he had laboured, which certificate such bishop would only grant on subscription to a canon 831 which declared that the Scottish form of communion—one differing materially from that of his own Church—was of primary authority. This was the grievance to the clergyman; and that to the laity professing in Scotland the doctrines of the Church of England, was, that such reprobation and such obstructions on the part of English bishops made it difficult for them to procure the services of clergymen of the Church of England, who were unwilling thus to expose themselves to the risk of being laid under the ban of their own superiors. Now this was a very real grievance, and one, which, however difficult or inexpedient it might be to attempt to remedy it by legislation, did not seem to be unworthy of their Lordships' attention, he-cause it arose out of the acts, not simply of an unrecognised body, such as that of the Scottish bishops, who, in the eye of the law, whatever they might be in our regard as Episcopalians, were no more than members of a dissenting sect, but out of the acts of the bishops of the English Church, who gave, as it were, a legal force to the acts of this unrecognised body, so that they became the means of depriving English clergymen of their civil rights, and creating a civil disability. But for this sanction given by the English bishops, this quasi-legal effect by them to the punishment inflicted by the Scottish bishops on English clergymen whose only fault, if it was one, was too great an attachment to their own communion, too scrupulous an adherence to the vow of allegiance which they had made to the usages of their own Church, there certainly would have been little ground for calling their Lordships' attention to the subject. As Episcopalians, they might have regretted that bishops had, by the assumption of their acts, and the arrogance of their language, by the exercise of an authority and the use of language which had not been justified in that House, and which he (Lord Harrow-by) was confident not one of the Prelates on their Lordships' bench would have thought himself entitled in a similar case to employ in England, brought discredit on Episcopacy in the midst of a Presbyterian population, and repelled those from coming within the mild and peaceful domain of the Episcopacy, who were wearied or offended by the discussions which appeared to threaten the dissolution of the Established Presbyterian Church. As Episcopalians, we might have lamented to see such discredit thrown upon that form of church 832 government which we preferred; but the case would hardly have been one which could well have been brought before their Lordships, as affecting the rights of a portion of Her Majesty's subjects, which, as the matter now stood, it undoubtedly did. The grievance, moreover, was the more felt, because the course pursued was in a great degree a new one. The scruple was a new one. During the whole of the last century, bishops of the English Church had not only felt no such respect for the jurisdiction of the Scottish bishops as to make their certificate an essential qualification for an English clergyman, who had been officiating within it; but they, themselves, from time to time, exercised acts of jurisdiction within those very territorial limits. Bishop Gibson and Archbishop Seeker both, if he remembered aright, ordained to chapels within the so-called diocese of Aberdeen; and a bishop of the Irish Church had made a tour of confirmation. The scruple, therefore, was new. It was true, that at that time those bishops were more under the persecution of the law than they were at present; but their creed was the same—they had not changed in doctrine. They were as much bishops during all that period as they were now, and therefore this scruple of interfering with the jurisdiction of another bishop, which seemed now to be so paramount to every other consideration, were the appearance of harshness and inconsistency, which gave increased bitterness to the feeling. He (Lord Harrowby) rejoiced that an opportunity had been given by the presentation of the petition for an expression of opinion upon the subject. He had great hopes that the expressed opinions of the most rev. Prelate and of several other Prelates, would practically provide, at least in a great degree, a remedy for a real grievance which, although he believed it was not impracticable, yet there were many reasons why it was inexpedient, as it was difficult, to reach by direct legislative interference.
§ The EARL of POWIS
said, during the period in which their Lordships had been engaged in discussing the question whether a member of the Church of England could conscientiously become a minister, or join in the services of the Episcopal Church of Scotland, they might, if not have disposed of the Navigation Bill in Committee, at all events considered it somewhat fully. The whole of this discussion had arisen from the fact of a gentleman who had been a 833 minister of the Church of England having afterwards become a minister of the Episcopal Church in Scotland. The question raised by the petition was, not whether an English clergyman might not perform the services of the Church, whether he was temporarily or permanently resident in Scotland; but whether he was justified in joining the Episcopal Church, and when he had fallen out with a bishop of that communion, he was to come complaining to their Lordships, and invoke the aid of Parliament in the contest provoked by himself, by choosing to belong to that communion. Bishop Skinner had excommunicated Sir William Dunbar. But this was a case which certainly ought not to have been brought before their Lordships in this manner; and he must be permitted to say, that the petition presented by the noble and learned Lord seemed calculated to prejudice an appeal between these gentlemen, which would shortly come before the House in its judicial capacity. The petition was nothing more than a fishing petition. Its object was simply to prejudice the case of Bishop Skinner. He did not think, however, there was any fear of that from what he knew of their Lordships. He would not interfere with the merits of the question of status. All he wished was, that their Lordships should give to the Episcopal Church in Scotland what they were entitled to receive, a fair hearing; and he trusted that the interests of those who had appealed to that House on this subject would not be affected by anything which had been said during this debate.
§ The EARL of GALLOWAY
trusted he should be permitted to offer one or two observations on the part of the petitioners, and most emphatically to disclaim the unworthy motives for approaching their Lordships' House which had been attributed to them by the noble Earl who had just spoken. He (the Earl of Galloway), on the contrary, believed their motives to be pure and just, and that they felt very sensibly that they had a grievance; and he needed not to remind their Lordships that in this country we were led to believe there was no wrong without a remedy, or, if none existed, one must be found. He, too, conscientiously believed that in this case there was a practical grievance, for which a remedy might be found without any unprecedented exercise of the powers of Parliament, notwithstanding what had fallen from some of the right rev. Prelates. The law as it stood was quite clear. 834 It had been shown by the statute of the 10th of Anne, and he thought it had been admitted on all hands in the course of the debate, that it was not the intention of the Parliament of that day to protect the Episcopalians in Scotland in the exercise of their faith, and in worshipping according to their conscience, and especially in the use of the Liturgy of the Church of England if they thought proper. But it had also been admitted that at a subsequent period, during troublous times and for political purposes, the Legislature deposed from their status the members of the Scottish Episcopal Church, depriving them of the benefit of the Act of Anne, and that it was not until the comparatively late period of 1792 that they were tolerated. Toleration, however, was then extended to them; and he now asked their Lordships if it was reasonable, when, under an Act of toleration, the status they formerly held was revived, that they should now claim, and be permitted to exercise, a species of tyrannical jurisdiction or dominion over members of the other body—members of the Church of England in Scotland—who had never lost the status given to them by Parliament in the before-mentioned Act of Anne? Under such circumstances Parliament would not be going beyond its jurisdiction to grant relief. For he confessed he had no sympathy whatever with some of the views of the right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Exeter) who had spoken on this subject, and who, in the course of his speech, had given expression to opinions which would sound strange in the ears of all the friends of civil and religious liberty in that House. The argument and restrictions of the right rev. Prelate would go far to unchurch every denomination of Christians except the Episcopalians. But it should be remembered that pious and learned men had for ages differed as to the precise form and character of Episcopacy in its origin in the primitive Church. For while the opinion of some, which the Church of England thought right, had vested Episcopal authority in the bishop, chosen from among, and elevated above the Presbyters, the opinion of others had vested it in the body of Presbyters, or Presbytery, as was the case with the Established Church of Scotland. And with respect to churchman-ship, he (the Earl of Galloway) thought when discussing such matters, and bearing in mind what he had heard in the course of the debate, there was a very important distinction to be observed, and which ought 835 not to be lost sight of; that there was, in fact, the outward and visible or professing Church—and the invisible or spiritual, or real Church of Christ, the former comprehending within it, however differing, all bodies of Christians, and among them the Church of England, and the members of the Church of England in Scotland, the Established and endowed Church of Scotland, the Free Church of Scotland, the Scottish Episcopal Church, and, according to his views, also the Church of Rome, the latter comprehending from among these those only who were born again of the Spirit, not known surely among men, but known to God. And these views he believed to accord, more nearly than those of the right rev. Prelate to whom he had alluded, with the views generally entertained among the more liberal-minded of the true members of the Reformed Church of England.
But while much had been said that night about the persecution and hardships to which the ministers of the Church of England in Scotland had been exposed, comparatively little had been said of the hardships of the laity, of the increased difficulty entailed by the present state of matters in the English congregations in Scotland to get suitable ministers, which went indirectly to defeat the protection which the Legislature professed to extend to these bodies. Nor was it to be wondered at that English clergymen, without further encouragement, should hesitate to expose themselves to the evils complained of by the petitioners. There was, then, a practical grievance felt by members of the Church of England resident in Scotland, which he believed might be alleviated without arousing the jealousies with which they had been just threatened. He felt it in his own position; and he spoke from his heart when he said, it was felt as a grievance most deeply. He had not affixed his name to the petition, but he was in the predicament of the petitioners; and he would ask—in reference to what had fallen from the right rev. Prelate—whether it was right that he, having been horn, baptised, brought up, and confirmed in England, and in the Church of England, but having subsequently, by the accident of his birth, inherited property in another part of the kingdom, which enjoined on him the duty of residing in Scotland—that he and his family should thereby forfeit the privileges pertaining to his own Church? Being thus personally interested, it might not be considered irrelevant that he should 836 mention that he had a chapel adjoining his residence in Scotland, where divine service was conducted according to the forms of the Church of England, and where many of his Presbyterian neighbours, who were free from prejudice, had often assembled with them for the worship of God and to hear the Gospel. He (the Earl of Galloway) had ever cultivated and exemplified feelings of the highest respect for the Established Church of Scotland, and nothing would induce him to take part in any measure which he thought calculated to injure that venerable establishment. But he could not conceive that the Church of Scotland, strong in its own priveleges, would entertain the jealousy, which had been supposed, of due protection to the members of the Church of England, residing within her borders, but not interfering with her polity. He did not disguise from himself that there were difficulties in the case, though they did not appear to him insurmountable when properly considered; and he thought that without injury to the right rev. Bishops, either in England or in Scotland, and without doing violence to the Act of Union, there might be an extension by the powers of Parliament (the Church and State being united and agreeing) of the English Episcopacy, not territorially, but spiritually, over members of the Church of England adhering to her communion, but residing in Scotland. At any rate, he rejoiced at the discussion of the question that evening, which, however unwelcome to some parties, he thought must do good; and he hoped that a practical remedy of a definite description would be found for the inconveniences and grievances of which the petitioners complained; feeling at the same time the strong assurance that, whatever the result in other respects, the sympathy which had been expressed in several quarters, and especially from the most rev. Prelate (the Archbishop of Canterbury) who would do what was within his power to mitigate those inconveniences, would have a very beneficial influence.
replied: In rising at this hour, said the noble and learned Lord, and upon this kind of question, I think I may ask your Lordships whether you have not had enough of it? And I may venture to answer that question, both for you and for myself, in the affirmative. Nevertheless, though this question does not affect a very great body of our countrymen, it affects ten most respectable congregations—respectable both from their character, their 837 property, and their station in society. I must, however, begin by that which, perhaps, is the reason why I have risen to address your Lordships in reply at all—by taking notice of what has fallen from my noble Friend behind me (the Earl of Powis). I must give the most indignant denial to all that he has said respecting my conduct in the present debate, as in the slightest degree interfering with, or tending by possibility to interfere with, my judicial character in this House. I never heard, until he stated it, the fact of there being a cause in dependence before us. I, of course, never see the appeal list, except by accident from time to time: and even if I did see it, the names of the parties would be all I should see, and they would give me no information whatever with respect to the nature of the appeal. I, therefore, knew nothing whatever of there being any such cause under appeal before your Lordships; but even if I had known it, I appeal to every one of your Lordships present whether any one word that I said could tend in the slightest degree to commit me to any opinion whatever, upon any side of any question; for I gave no opinion. I purposely abstained from giving any opinion upon the question before you; much less could I give any opinion upon that which was not before you. I stand, therefore, as entirely uncommitted as if I had not presented this petition, or taken any part in this debate.
And, now, I must say a word with regard to my right rev. Friend upon the bench opposite (the Bishop of Oxford). He produced a catechism for the purpose of showing that there was no tendency towards transubstantiation in the doctrine of the Episcopal. Church in Scotland. My Lords, you may prove anything by catechisms. The catechism quoted by my right rev. Friend, is not a document authorised by any synod, or by any assembly, even of this Scotch Church—mere sect of Dissenters. It is the private catechism of one bishop; and every bishop may have his own, which may differ from that of every other. I myself have seen, since my right rev. Friend addressed you, another catechism, of nearly the same date, in which anything rather than Protestantism is laid down, and which certainly does tend very considerably towards Romanism—I should say even towards superstition. Instead of taking the bread in the hand, between the finger and the thumb, the communicant is 838 desired to lay his two hands across each other in the form of a cross, and to place the element upon one of them; and he is told at the same time, that this represents the King upon the cross. I mention this, without giving any opinion further than I have done, but for the purpose of showing how utterly futile any argument must be that is drawn from these catechisms. And, now, with regard to the principal argument of the right rev. Prelate—namely, that the Church in Scotland is a kind of extension of the Church of England, because it is in communion with the Church of England. I do not think that communion can be said to be very full which consists of the relation between the two churches that the Act of Parliament shows. I begged the right rev. Prelate to tell me what he meant by the "full communion," and he referred me to an Act of Parliament, saying he was afraid of being taken in—afraid of falling into a trap. My Lords, he is a priest and I am a layman, and if there is any party likely to fall into a trap, it is rather the layman than the priest. He talked as if he were the fowl, and we were the fox. I rather choose to reverse the denominations. But, now, what does the Act of Parliament, to which the right rev. Prelate refers me, show about communion? Why, absolutely exactly nothing—neither more nor less. But it shows this—that what he calls "full communion," is not very "full;" for all that the most rev. Prelate did, who passed the Bill through Parliament, was to give the Scotch clergy, ordained by the Episcopal Church in Scotland, the right to officiate in England two Sundays, and no more. I really cannot call this a very "full" communion between the two churches. But suppose it was otherwise. It is admitted now, upon all hands, that that Church in Scotland is no establishment, but is merely a dissenting body—a body of sectaries. Then, what becomes of the whole argument of the right rev. Prelate—namely, that the petitioners, and they who worship with them, are schismatics—are dissenters from some church—nay, I have heard them most absurdly called seceders from some church? My Lords, there can be no seceders from a dissenting body. The body that secedes, as it is called, is just as much the body as those who remain. There can be no schism in leaving a dissenting body. A schism from a church I can understand, but not a schism from a sect. Schism is separating from a church—from 839 some established body; and it is utterly ridiculous, and an abuse of terms, to denominate the differences of these petitioners from another dissenting body schism. Their schism consists in adhering to the pure and beautiful Liturgy of the Church of England—in refusing to sanction a communion service which essentially differs from that Liturgy—in refusing to subscribe the Thirty-nine Articles with a mental reservation which refers to a separate work (Layman s Account of his Faith and Practice). Theirs is a schism which will not allow of their departing from the Book of Common Prayer, to the "exclusive use" of which their clergymen are bound on oath. I am aware that my right rev. Friend interprets this oath as being binding only in this country. But, where, then, is the value of the oath? According to his view, clergymen are at liberty to use whatever liturgies they may choose in foreign countries—the missal itself when in Rome, or any fantastical composition which any one may think proper to invent and manufacture, however full of heresies and superstitious abominations. The argument by which he would escape from this oath is too metaphysical for me. I think it should be obeyed in its obvious and literal sense; and the parties who violate it by using another Liturgy than that of the Church of England are they who are justly chargeable with schism.
Another right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Salisbury) gravely objected to my refusing to call the other body a church. I will not dispute about a term. If you choose to call it an episcopal church, be it so; but it is a dissenting church. You may as well talk of the Presbyterian "church" in England, where Episcopacy is established, or of the Baptist "church," or of the Unitarian "church," or of the Muggletonian "church," or of any other church. They are what we call "heresy and schism" here. In Scotland the schismatics and heretics are this Episcopal Church in Scotland, and the petitioners themselves. They are all schismatics and heretics with regard to the established church, for the only established church in Scotland is the Presbyterian Church.
As to my other right rev. Friend (the Bishop of Exeter) who says he is resolved to persist in his error, and call the body of Episcopal Dissenters in Scotland the Episcopalian Church of Scotland, I can but remind him that Lord Eldon never would 840 suffer such an error to be committed, and uniformly interrupted whoever spoke of the Catholic Church of Ireland, requiring that it should be termed the Romish Church in Ireland.
My Lords, I cannot help rejoicing that I have brought forward this petition, and that the conversation, however inconvenient it may have proved to some, and however tiresome to others, has taken place, for what has been the consequence? Why, we have the avowal of the right rev. Irish Prelate (the Bishop of Cashel) that he takes part with the petitioners. We have the like avowal of my other right rev. Friend (the Bishop of Worcester) speaking also for another Friend, unfortunately absent (the Bishop of Norwich); and, above all, we have the most admirable, candid, and satisfactory statement of the most rev. Primate (the Archbishop of Canterbury), who says, as those whom I have mentioned also do, that they will have no objection whatever to recognise and receive clergymen who have officiated for the body of the petitioners, although they may come to them without any testimonial whatever from that other body of Dissenters, the Episcopal Church in Scotland. My Lords, this is no speculative question. It is no imaginary grievance. The grievance and the hardship are real and practical. My noble Friend behind me (the Earl of Galloway) has most distinctly, forcibly, and accurately stated the grievance. It is this. A gentleman receives orders in England. He goes to Scotland for two or three years; he officiates in one of the congregations there of the body to which the petitioners belong. He refuses, he conscientiously refuses, to join what is called the Episcopal Church in Scotland, because he cannot adopt its adulterated Liturgy, after having sworn to use our own pure form of prayer. He comes back to England and is presented to a charge in the diocese of a bishop, who refuses to receive him, unless he brings-testimony from some Scotch bishop. He cannot be licensed to that charge; he is injured in his temporal, as well as in his spiritual, concerns, by this exclusion. And why is he injured? Because he refuses to enter into communication, or to communicate with, or to join the worship of, a body whose Liturgy he entirely and conscientiously disapproves. I have myself seen very lately one of the persons who has so suffered; and when I said to him, "As they do not require you to use 841 their Liturgy, why cannot you join with them, so as to get the testimonial?" His answer was at once a decisive one. "I cannot," he said. "It is not merely the using of their Liturgy that I object to, though that Liturgy must be used by every one that would be made either dean or bishop among them, but I positively object to sign their canons, which canons testify distinctly the approval of all their Liturgy, including the communion service; now I cannot conscientiously approve of, or join in, or sign my name to any approbation of a communion service which, in my conscientious opinion, tends most distinctly towards Romanism. That is contrary to my principles and my convictions." This then, my Lords, is a plain and a great practical grievance. I shall trouble your Lordships no further. I have done my duty in bringing forward this question. Great benefit has resulted to the petitioners, and to those who are connected with them, from this discussion; and therefore I feel much satisfaction in having been made the means of bringing it before your Lordships. I earnestly hope that now there will be peace between these contrary sects. Nothing would give me greater satisfaction than to hear of their pacification. I trust that other Prelates will follow the example of the most rev. Primate (the Archbishop of Canterbury) by promising to remove the grievance of which the petitioners complain; and as to the "excommunications," the law courts will protect them from any injury of that kind.
§ Petition received, and ordered to lie upon the table.
§ House adjourned to Thursday next.