§ Order of the Day read.
THE EARL OF WINCHILSEA
moved to resolve—That the Religious Wants of the great body of the Labouring Classes employed in our Manufacturing Districts (from the extensive Deficiency of Church Accommodation, of resident Clergy to administer to their Spiritual Necessities, and of Schools to afford them a sound Scriptural Education) demand the earliest Attention of Parliament,"—He would not detain their Lordships by entering into details at any length. The necessity which existed for making provision for the religious wants of the people, and the establishment of schools for their sound scriptural education, was so generally admitted, that he might almost content himself with laying the Resolution affirming it upon their Lordships' table, without adding a single observation of his own to enforce or recommend it; for if any man, either in or out of that House, holding the position of a legislator, admitted their existence and denied his responsibility to lend a helping hand for their removal, any arguments which he could advance would be quite useless, for he was convinced that by such a man even a voice from Heaven denouncing such a dereliction of duty to our country and to God would pass unheeded and disregarded. It was a notorious fact that the people of England anxiously desired an extension of religious knowledge; and he felt it to be an imperative duty on the part of the Legislature of this Christian country no longer to delay looking into the subject of the spiritual wants of the great body of the people. The repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, he begged to remind their Lordships, was effected by members of the Protestant Church, and they ought not now to be told they were not to have a particular system of religious education, 150 because the whole of the nation did not entertain their peculiar doctrines. They had a scriptural Church connected with the State of the country, and during the thirty years that he had had the honour of sitting in that House, he had frequently endeavoured to draw the attention of their Lordships to this great and important subject; for he held it to be among the first of their duties to give to the people of this country every necessary means of religious instruction, alike as regarded Church accommodation, a resident clergy to administer to their spiritual wants, and schools to afford them a sound scriptural education. He knew it was said to be impossible, in the present state of society, for the Government to establish schools confined to the teaching of the peculiar doctrines of the Established Church; but, for his part, he was of opinion that schools might be established where at least the teaching of the Holy Bible should be one of the fundamental rules; and he was convinced that the great body of Protestant Dissenters, especially the Wesleyans, would readily come forward and give their support to such a scheme as that. On a recent occasion this great Christian country was engaged in a solemn act of public humiliation and prayer, and, although they could only judge from outward appearance of the feelings which influenced the human heart, the manner in which that day was observed, not only in the metropolis, but through the length and breadth of the land, must have afforded deep gratification to every Christian well-wisher of the country. It appeared by the last Census returns that during the first half of the present century upwards of 10,000,000. had been added to our population; and within the last ten years no less than 2,700,000. It appeared, also, that there were upwards of 2,000,000 of people who, if disposed to attend places of worship, would be altogether without church accommodation, and it was, therefore, necessary that increased means of spiritual instruction should be provided. But he was not one of those who considered that the mere building of churches was the first step towards the religious instruction of the people. He believed that the establishment of sound scriptural schools and a resident missionary clergy would prove the most efficient means of reaching the mass of those who, through the neglect of their duty by the Legislature, had been allowed to grow up around us in a state of 151 perfect infidelity and absolute heathenism; and that, then, if new churches were built, they would be crowded by earnest and devout worshippers. Let their Lordships reflect for a moment upon the present circumstances of the country, and the national judgments which had visited the land. Let them reflect upon the late awful famine, which had carried off so many hundreds and thousands of their countrymen; that fearful pestilence which even now continued to hover on our shores; and the great war upon which we had just entered, and the result of which no man living could foresee, or tell how it might affect the greatness and the prosperity of the empire. They could not contemplate these national judgments without, as Christian and responsible beings, asking themselves if, as a nation, we had given any cause for such a visitation, and yet fail to perceive and honestly to declare that we had shamefully neglected the first duty of the country. He charged it on no particular Government—he charged it on the Legislature. They had all been guilty of neglecting their duty towards God, and if on the day of national humiliation and prayer, which had lately been observed throughout the land in such a manner as must have excited heartfelt gratification in the breast of every well-wisher of his country, they had closely examined the sins of the nation, he believed that they must have confessed that the most prominent of those sins had been the great neglect of which they had been guilty in failing to meet the spiritual wants of the poorer classes, over whom, in the providence of God, they had been placed. He could not believe that the noble Earl at the head of Her Majesty's Government would refuse his sanction to the Resolution he had now to propose. He knew well the pressure of the war, and how much the time of the Government was occupied in taking measures to mitigate the evils which it necessarily brought upon the country. He did not, therefore, ask their Lordships to agree to any specific measure upon the subject, but simply to acknowledge the existence of this pressing evil, and to declare that when the proper opportunity arrived, they would take it into their consideration, and endeavour to apply a remedy. The noble Earl concluded by moving the Resolution.
§ THE EARL OF ABERDEEN
My Lords, I should be very sorry to appear to say anything at variance with the spirit of the Resolution which the noble Earl has pro- 152 posed; to much that he has said I willingly assent, for it is difficult to exaggerate the amount of spiritual destitution which prevails in some parts of the country, particularly in the manufacturing towns. My Lords, I know the zeal and sincerity of the noble Earl in his endeavour to meet those evils, and, agreeing as I do with many of the sentiments he has expressed, I willingly assent to the Motion he has made. But I would submit to the noble Earl that, when he moves this Resolution, it must be surely with some particular view; it cannot be that a mere barren declaration could satisfy any object, but it must be with a view that Parliament should act in consonance with the Resolution. My Lords, I cannot say that I think it is at all probable that Parliament would be induced to meet the deficiency of the church accommodation of which he has complained by grants made for that purpose; at least I should be very unwilling to propose to Parliament any such grant. Agreeing with him, as I do, in the great amount of spiritual destitution and the extent of the want of church accommodation, I still think we have great reason to congratulate ourselves upon the efforts which have been made of late years to supply that want. I think that during the latter part of the first half of this century individuals have done so much to provide means for extending church accommodation as to show much more may yet be done without coming to the Government for assistance for such a purpose. I will for a few moments call your Lordships' attention to what has been done since the commencement of the present century in order to show you the rapid progress which, through great energy and activity on the part of members of the Church of England, has been made in supplying the means for remedying the evil complained of by the noble Earl. In the commencement of this century, from the year 1801 to the year 1811, the number of churches built in England and Wales was 55; in the next ten years that number bad increased by 97; between 1821 and 1831, the number built was 276; between 1831 and 1841, that number increased to 667; and during the ten years preceding the last Census, the number of churches built in England and Wales amounted to 1,197. Now, we find that the greatest increase—that which took place within the last twenty years—has been effected without Government aid, and solely by the energy, and piety, and 153 zeal of members of the Church; and even the building of this large number of churches does not represent the whole of the good effected, for church accommodation was increased to a far greater extent by the restoration, enlargement, and improvement of the churches which took place during the same period—the list I have read being only a record of the churches built. Now, the fact of these churches being built by private exertions—the private and local exertions of individuals—contrasts strongly with what was done at the time Government aid was afforded towards the building of churches on the proposition of my noble Friend on the cross-bench (the Earl of Shaftesbury). The churches built by the Commissioners under those circumstances were, generally speaking, most improvidently built. They were built at a most irrational expense, and the funds were most injudiciously appropriated for the purpose. During the first thirty years of the century, 500 churches were built, at a cost of 3,000,000l. sterling, 1,152,000l. being provided out of the public funds and the remainder from private benefactions. During the following twenty years there were no public grants for any fresh undertakings, and yet, within that period, 5,500,000l. was spent, and 2,029 churches were built; so that, during the few years since the cessation of public grants, the efficiency of the remedy for the evil complained of by the noble Earl has increased immeasurably, and I must say that a spirit does exist at this moment, with the view of supplying the wants of the labouring classes in respect to religious instruction to a degree that never, in my memory, has existed before. That spirit is still on the increase, and I have no doubt that by the private exertions which will be made we shall meet the evil which exists far more effectually than by Government grants. I quite agree with the noble Earl that this is a great and necessary duty, but noble efforts have been made by individuals in the cause; and in proof of them let me mention to your Lordships the exertions made by the most rev. Prelate who presides over the clerical affairs of the metropolis, who has built more than 200 churches during his ministry, and also to the metropolitan, the success of whose exertions has been not much less. The noble Earl has stated that he thought the building of churches should not be the first object; but I believe that a church has never yet been 154 built without speedily drawing within its walls a congregation, and, therefore, I think the first and most advantageous act in the way of supplying the deficiency complained of is the building of churches. In addition to the want of church accommodation the noble Earl has also appealed to the State in behalf of a sound scriptural education. What the noble Earl means by a sound scriptural education is, I suppose, an education in accordance with the doctrines of the Church of England. I agree with him in desiring to see a sound system of education introduced; but before we can hope to see such an education as this, we must come to some agreement with those who have claims also upon the State and the Government for the relief of their wants. We can no longer with truth say that the religion of the Church of England is the religion of the people. I do not mean to assert that it may not enjoy a numerical majority; but, notwithstanding, the amount of dissent and the number of the various sects and denominations is such as to entitle them to very great consideration. Those persons are good citizens and loyal subjects, and I say it is the duty of the State to care for their education equally with that of the members of the Church of England. My Lords, the difficulty of establishing any united system of education is so great that I begin to fear it must be considered as insuperable. But, my Lords, although the system adopted may not have worked so satisfactorily as could have been wished, I must remind your Lordships that the State has not altogether neglected measures for the education of all classes and all denominations. Just look at the progress made under this head since the revised system of grants voted by Parliament and distributed by the Committee of Privy Council. I do not know, but I am afraid this is not the most satisfactory mode of dealing with this subject; but, under the circumstances, I believe it to be the only practicable one, and I trust that the manner in which the Privy Council have discharged their duty to the country has given general satisfaction. This system of Parliamentary grants for the purpose of education commenced in the year 1839, when the sum of 50,000l. was voted for the purpose. I will not weary your Lordships by going through the whole of the years, and the gradual augmentation of the grants, but in the last year, 1853, those grants amounted to 260,000l. 155 I do not say that that is a large sum for such a purpose; on the contrary, if no better system can be devised, I am disposed to think it wise to extend and greatly increase, for such a purpose, that sum, large as it is. But I hope we shall shortly have a better system. There is a Bill before the other House of Parliament for the purpose of establishing a general system of united education in Scotland. Whether that will succeed or not I am unable to say; but it was introduced at least under very favourable auspices, and I must say if it does not succeed I shall be inclined to despair altogether of ever seeing, either in that country or this, a system of united education. We therefore, must do the best we can to supply the wants which have been described, by such a mode as I have pointed out; and I do think that a judicious increase and the judicious application of grants by the Committee of Privy Council offers practically the best mode of meeting the educational wants of the classes to which my noble Friend has alluded. Having said that, I cannot see the advantage of laying on the table a Resolution like that moved by the noble Earl, without any practical result expected or intended to be derived from it. I think there is nothing to be gained by such a proceeding; and it is quite unusual, in a Parliamentary sense, to lay on the table a declaration of that sort from which no particular measure is to ensue. Having said that I sympathise entirely with the feelings of the noble Earl on this subject, I should be very sorry, indeed, to meet such a Resolution with a direct negative; but, under the circumstances, I hope your Lordships will permit me to move the previous question.
My Lords, I quite agree in many of the remarks which have fallen from the noble Earl at the head of the Government; and as a friend to the Church of England I would be one of the first to protest against asking aid from the State. We have done a great deal, both in the building of churches and the erecting of church schools, but, notwithstanding all that has been done, we must remember that there is a great want which we have not yet met, and that cannot be met by the means which have hitherto been employed. It is a patent fact that in all our great towns in many of the manufacturing districts there are masses of the population who are virtually not only excluded from the Church, but are untouched either by 156 the Church or by dissent, and who are nearly in a state of heathenism. Although! I do not ask Government for any aid towards reclaiming these people, I think a great deal might be done by the appointment of a Commission to inquire into the best mode of meeting the difficulty. Many of the working men in the country consider that it is the duty of the Church to move in this matter. Now there does not appear to be any apathy on the part of individuals to move in the matter. Many solitary efforts have been made from time to time for remedying this admitted grievance, but they have all fallen short of the exigency of the case; and I believe that what is really wanted is some means of acting together to meet the awful deficiency of religious instruction among us. I hope that a Commission will be appointed by the Government, or else that the most rev. Metropolitan will call together some of his right reverend brethren, some of the most influential of the laity, and some of the parochial clergy, to discuss the best mode of supplying the melancholy want of spiritual provision and church accommodation disclosed by the Census returns. I believe that the most effectual method of combating the irreligion which prevails amongst the masses would be to send out a missionary staff of the clergy. We shall never succeed unless we are prepared to treat the people as if they were in a state of heathenism. I believe that the working men of this country are favourably inclined towards the Church of England; and I can state one curious fact in corroboration of that impression. Some time ago, when I was conversing with a very clever working man, I asked him what religious body had the greatest power over his fellow-workmen. He replied, that some years ago he should have said the Wesleyans; but, since they had had a split amongst them, he believed that the Church of England stood next on the list; but that, if we wished well to the Church of England, we ought to do all in our power to procure more clergymen, for it was clear to all that she was more deficient in clergymen in proportion to her people than any other religious body. I therefore am of opinion that the first thing to be done is to employ large bodies of clergy for real missionary work. We should require funds to support them, and more extended means for educating them than the Universities now present. In this respect the Roman Catholics in Ire- 157 land teach us a useful lesson; for the way in which they provide for their priesthood is by selecting the cleverest boy in the village school and sending him to college for instruction for the ministry. Next to the employment of a large missionary staff of clergy would be the establishment of an organised body of the laity, voluntarily working under the clergy in their respective districts. I cannot refrain from mentioning the case of a friend of mine, the incumbent of Yarmouth, who proceeds on this principle. He divided his large parish into eight districts; these districts are placed under bodies of the laity, and visited by them; they all meet at the beginning of the week, and give a report of their proceedings to the minister, and a regular missionary work is carried on, and with most wonderful success. Next to voluntary b organisation of the laity comes increased church accommodation. I do not say always increase the number of churches, because I think when we have to act against such a mass of irreligion as that by which we are surrounded, we ought in the first place to make better use of the churches already in existence. I believe much might be done in our cathedral towns by periodical preachings in the cathedrals, if a sufficient staff of clergy could be provided, and if periodical services could be performed in the naves of those cathedrals, I am sure the people would flock to them. But what is the case at present with respect to the churches in our towns? Most of them are used merely for morning, afternoon, and evening service. In many of the churches services might take place at hours more suitable to the working man than the hours at present fixed. This system is acted upon in the Roman Catholic places of worship. In some of the churches abroad the service of the Church of England is performed at one hour, some other Protestant service at another hour, and at another comes the Roman Catholic service. I have mentioned the points which appear to me to be the most important. I believe there are means by which the Church of England might provide a remedy for the evils complained of, and I am anxiously expecting the Report of the Cathedral Commissioners; and when we have seen what they propose and what the Ecclesiastical Commissioners can do, I have no doubt that a part of any fund that may be required can be raised by voluntary contribution. For the want of some practical 158 plan we go on talking year after year and doing nothing; but I believe that by issuing a Commission, or by the adoption of the suggestion which I have thrown out to the Metropolitan, we should be able to devise some efficient remedy for the evils by which we are surrounded.
THE BISHOP OF OXFORD
said, he hoped that the noble Earl who proposed the Resolution would acquiesce in the suggestion made by the noble Earl at the head of the Government, to dispose of it by the previous question, not because he differed from the noble Earl in the estimate of the great lack of spiritual provision for the people, nor because he differed from him in his estimate of the great importance to us, as a nation, of providing for the religious wants of the people; but because he was convinced that such a Resolution did really point the minds of men in the wrong direction for that relief which was required. He was convinced that in the present state of the population of the country the Church of England could not with propriety or advantage ask for grants from the public funds for the strengthening, encouragement, and development of religious education. Although he lamented the fact of a large portion of the population having separated from the Church, there was still, thank God, the great majority of the population professing the religion of the Church of England. Even in the Census returns lately given the majority was of this kind—that whereas on the particular Sunday named there attended the Churches of England 2,300,000, the largest attendance of the next largest religious denomination—and that a promiscuous one—was only 515,000. Now, although he said that those Census returns were singularly inaccurate in this respect, it was sufficient to show that the members of the Church of England were greatly in the majority. Indeed, he should be thankful if he were allowed to test the accuracy of those returns, not by the general results in the office of the Registrar General, but by the details of those returns sent from the several districts from which the general returns were tabulated. He had himself found many singular inaccuracies in respect to those parts of the country with which he was more particularly acquainted. But even making every allowance for those inaccuracies, he thanked God that the Church of England was the Church of the overwhelming majority of the people of this country. This fact, however, he did 159 not think would justify her in appealing to Parliament for the means of extending her power by grants of money, and he should deprecate, even if the Government were disposed to assent to such a proposal, the reception of such grants. What the Church of England wanted was increased liberty to adapt themselves to the present necessities of the people. He believed that they could only ask for a continuance of that liberty which they enjoyed by showing that they were deserving of it. He believed that they could only get increased grants by a diminution of their present liberty, and that the result of such aids would be to stir up that inimical feeling towards the Church which was now happily slumbering, and that they would check that flow of voluntary help which had ever been liberally exercised in that Church, and to which the noble Earl called attention by the aid of such a striking array of figures. When they had expended 3,000,000l. by the aid of the Government upon building churches they could only raise 1,900,000l. of that sum by voluntary assistance. They, however, were enabled to raise 5,000,000l. within a very much shorter period, when they had only their own voluntary efforts to depend upon. Although he thought that the Resolution of the noble Earl was influenced by the best intentions, yet its adoption by the House would be calculated to lessen the labours of the clergy, and to diminish their influence in the land. He should be sorry to see the expectations of those who desired to promote the greater efficiency of the Church disappointed, but he hoped that they would turn their attention to those internal exertions which ha thought would suffice, with God's blessing, to overcome the difficulty, rather than resort to what he believed was a dangerous and palsying source of revenue, namely, a public grant from the public money of this land.
THE BISHOP OF ST. DAVIDS
said, ho thought that the adoption of the Resolution would place the important question they were considering upon a totally false and delusive foundation. The noble Earl who proposed this Resolution had, with his usual earnestness, adverted to several calamities and afflictive visitations which had recently befallen this country. The noble Earl had ventured to do that from which he (the right rev. Prelate) would shrink—namely, to assign a cause for those calamities, one which was necessarily hidden from the human mind, and buried 160 in the depths of the Divine councils. Now, he would only observe that, in these remarks the noble Earl had fallen into an enormous anachronism, extending to an interval of about 300 years. The noble Earl attributed those calamities to the neglect of the Government which had failed to provide, by grants out of the public Treasury, the means of supplying a remedy for the spiritual destitution under which the people were labouring. The noble Earl had confounded a present effect with a remote cause. If there bad been any guilt in this matter, it certainly was not chargeable on any Government in our day, but had its origin in those religious dissensions which broke out about 300 years ago, and had continued down to this day. These dissensions were the palpable cause which precluded the nation and the Government from meeting the evil which they all deplored. He thought, therefore, that when the noble Earl treated the evils which had come upon us as a punishment for a national sin, he should have recollected that this sin was committed three centuries ago, and that it was not in our power at once to remedy the evil. If there was the slightest prospect that the Resolution, if passed, would have the effect of healing those religious dissensions, and of restoring us to that unity of feeling which was broken 300 years ago, then he would most cheerfully consent to it. But inasmuch as we were labouring under evils arising from causes so remote, he thought that the language which had fallen from the noble Earl was much to be deplored, as it could only have the effect of diverting the attention of the country and of Parliament from the remedies by which the evils complained of could be mitigated or removed.
THE EARL OF CLANCARTY
My Lords, having listened with attention to this discussion, I wish, with your Lordships' permission, to say a few words before it closes. The noble Earl at the head of Her Majesty's Government, in objecting to the Resolution of my noble Friend, adverted to the fact, certainly a very gratifying one, that of late years a large and increasing number of churches had been built by the munificence of individuals, and that the yearly increase of church accommodation had been greater from that source than formerly, when the State gave aid to the building of churches; but both the noble Earl and the right rev. Prelate, who spoke last but one, appear to me to attach far too much importance to these church 161 buildings, as a means of supplying the spiritual wants of the country. Church accommodation is, no doubt, very important and much needed; but much more important is that religious training of the population which induces them to resort to places of worship. I therefore deeply regret the manner in which the noble Earl noticed that part of the Resolution and of my noble Friend's speech which referred to the want of adequate provision for the scriptural education of the poor. The noble Earl could not distinguish scriptural from sectarian instruction, and, therefore, could promise nothing. He did not consider that the Established religion was the religion of the masses of the people; perhaps it was not; but the people of England, whether members of the Established Church or Dissenters, were a people professing Christianity, and should, therefore, not be left in that state of heathen ignorance which had been this evening admitted and lamented on both sides of the House. After the manner in which the Government has for so many years disregarded the petitions that have been presented from Ireland for the sanction, aid, and encouragement of scriptural education for the poor of that country, I ought, perhaps, not to be surprised that the noble Earl should receive so unfavourably the representation made by my noble Friend in behalf of the neglected masses of the manufacturing population of England. The noble Earl has so repeatedly affirmed that the godless system of education under the Irish National Board was the greatest blessing ever conferred upon Ireland, that he is only acting in consistency with that opinion in withholding from, or rather in not extending to, the working classes, whose ignorant condition he admits, the means of Scriptural instruction which my noble Friend calls upon the State to provide. But I would warn the noble Earl that such spiritual destitution, such heathen ignorance as has been described as existing among a large section of the population, not only reflects disgrace upon a Protestant Government, but is fraught with danger to the stability of the State. Does any noble Lord think that the restraints of mere temporal power, mildly, as I rejoice to say, that power is exercised in this free country, are alone sufficient for maintaining the harmony and order of society, and for enforcing respect for legitimate authority and obedience to the laws, those laws especially which guard and 162 regulate the rights of property, without the aid and sanction of the Divine law, without the conviction upon the mind of the population, that those laws are founded upon the law of God? Let it be considered for a moment, what would be the condition of this country upon the possible visitation of a famine, or of the vast population of the manufacturing districts being thrown out of employment, and wrought upon by want to combine in insurrection against the constituted authorities of the land. What reason is there to suppose that, with such a population, unrestrained by the precepts of the Divine law, England would not witness scenes of bloodshed and outrage similar to those which ushered in the French Revolution of 1793, when Paris was in the hands of an infidel mob? Christianity was then disowned, and men affected to worship the goddess of Reason. The events of that period should be regarded by every Christian Government as a warning against the possible consequences of neglecting the religious interests of the people. Be assured that, to uphold the fabric of society, especially in a free country, the restraints of religion are not less essential than those of the municipal law. Hence, I conceive it is that we have in this country the union of Church and State. The one sanctions and supports the other. The Church claims the sanction and support of the State, as the witness and exponent of the truth in this country; and as the State, on the other hand, claims the sanction of the Divine law for the enforcement of its ordinances, it is its duty to support the Church in its mission of disseminating the knowledge of the Word of God throughout the length and breadth of the land. The Church is not to be dealt with as an establishment for the rich, or for only a section of the people. If, as the noble Earl remarks, the religion of the Church of England is no longer the religion of the people of England, why is it but because the Church has been wanting in ministerial efficiency, because the causes of the spiritual destitution complained of are precisely those which are set forth in the Resolution? If the Church possesses within itself the means of expansion, it is the duty of the Government to turn those means to account. If its resources are insufficient, then the State should provide whatever may be necessary for extending its ministrations, and teaching to all who are willing to accept of them, but espe- 163 cially to those masses of the manufacturing population whose spiritual destitution has been admitted and deplored. As regards the Motion before the House, I hope my noble Friend will withdraw it, for the adoption of his Resolution could not be attended with any practical benefit. The discussion of it I hoped might have drawn the serious attention of the Government to the existence of a very serious evil, which requires an effectual remedy; but I regret to find that the noble Earl, while he admits the evil, does not hold out any prospect of steps being taken for its removal.
THE EARL OF WINCHILSEA,
in reply, said, that no individual, however great his talents, was perfectly competent to undertake a measure of this extent and importance; but he held it to be the duty of the Government of a Christian country like this to make proper provision for the religious wants of the people. He did not ask the Government to provide a system of education that would be purely of an exclusive character, but all he desired was, a sound religious and scriptural education, based upon the reading of the Bible, without note or comment. With respect to the observations which had fallen from a right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of St. Davids) with regard to great national calamities, he might say that, though individual sins might go unpunished in this world, national sins never would, He had long felt that it was the duty of the Legislature of a Christian country like this to come forward and contribute some portion of the enormous wealth with which the Almighty had blessed it, in the relief of the religious wants of the poorer classes of its population. No country in the world was so rich and mighty; we were the greatest and most powerful nation that bad ever existed, with more moral influence than had ever been possessed by any other people; and he felt most deeply that we should be made awfully responsible for the proper use of the talents and blessings placed in our hands. Having relieved himself from any personal responsibility in the matter, he would withdraw the Resolution in compliance with the wish of their Lordships; but, at the same time, he begged most firmly to record his opinion, that, if the. present state of things was to continue and increase in this country, the day would speedily arrive when the condition of the manufacturing population—under no restraint of religion, and with the passions 164 of their fallen nature the only rule and guide of their conduct—would bring down a just retribution and punishment upon the high and mighty of the land.
§ Motion, by leave of the House, withdrawn.
§ House adjourned till To-morrow.