21 JUNE 1873, Page 3

On Tuesday, the question of abolishing patronage in the Established

Church of Scotland was brought up in both Houses. Lord Airlie argued that patronage had been the cause of every secession in the Church of Scotland, pointed out that it had no anoney value, and showed the House that the Aberdeen Act, passed as a compromise, had only produced a vast mass of liti- gation. He was half inclined to believe that if patronage were given up, the three Churches might reunite, and Scotland show the spectacle of a free Church in a free State. Lord Rosebery held the same opinion, while Lord Napier of Ettrick thought that patronage sowed the seeds of a distrust which would speedily result in another secession ; and even the Duke of Richmond, personally a friend of patronage, had come to the conclusion that it was injurious in Scotland. The Duke of Argyll was of the same opinion—indeed, he has surrendered his -own patronage—but wished Scotland to wait a little yet, and see if her whole ecclesiastical system could not be set right. This idea prevailed, no Peer putting in the plea that a perfect ecclesiastical system for Scotland would break the hearts of her people. They would have nothing left to dispute about and litigate about, and would break off into endless sects merely to be comfortable. A Scotchman is quite capable, if he cannot get a due supply of controversy any other way, of carrying his Church under his own hat, and solemnly excommunicating every- body else. The relic of the Covenanters almost did that, and the story of the last couple is significant :—" So you and Davie make up your whole Church,"—" It is sae, but I'm no just that sure o' Davie."