20 JUNE 1840, Page 13


"lie just gaed out like the snuff of a canalle."—Nortom mf Milnicood's heath, as described by his House/wiper.

Loin) MELBOURNE told the Peers on Tuesday last—" I for one have made an unalterable resolution, which is ... never again to say I will do something until I have settled what it is I shall do." The resolution is most laudable ; pity that his Lordship did not make it sooner. had he refrained from promising to do something, when such a speedy termination was put to Sir Romer Pnin:s Premiership in 1835—as the whole tenons of Lord MELBOURNE'S official career shows that he did not know what he was to do—sonic honest men might have saved themselves the trouble they took to bring hint back into office.

Lord M ELBOURNE'S luck throughout his public career has been remarkable. A recently-tamed Radical used to make sad mockery of' his Lordship's " wishing-cap." His old luck does not desert him; for just at the moment that the Strathbogie ministers begin to knock importunately at the door of Parliament, the published Correspondence of Lord ABERDEEN with the Kirk agitators affords strong reason to believe that Non-Intrusion is in &drools.

It needs no prophetic inspiration to enable a man to foresee that the majority in the General Assembly is breaking up. " In strict ecclesiastical propriety," says Dr. CHALMERS writing to Lord ABERDEEN on the 27th January 1840, "the Strathbogie ministers, instead of being suspended, should have been deposed ; and I fear will be deposed by next Assembly, in consequence of their disobe- dience, if not anticipated by a final settlement of' the question." There has been no " final settlement of the question "—the Strath- bogie brethren remain " contumacious "—yet the Assembly has Pot deposed them. It has of " new" suspended them, and autho- rized the Commission of Assembly "to repone the said ministers to the office of the ministry, or any one or more of them, on their expressing their regret for the course which they have pursued ;" thus holding open the door, by which, it is clear from the prayer of their petition to Pon] iament, "the said ministers " have shown no inclination to enter. The Assembly has not dared to depose the contumacious brethren : the " Wild " party in the Kirk is afraid to put its threat in execution.

The truth is, that the majority in the Assembly feels it will in all likelihood be the minority next year. There is division in its ranks. It is clear from the Correspondence of Dr. CHALMERS and Messrs. CANDLISH and Dux sot. with Lord ABERDEEN, which has been re- cently published,* that there is wide discrepancy between the views of the first-mentioned gentleman and his two colleagues. Messrs. CANDLISH and Dexx,or wrote thus to Lord ABERDEEN on the 28th of February last- " The objections of the Committee to the proposition in your Lordship's letter, as it is at present framed, are, as our Lordship will thus perceive, in- * It lies before us as a pamphlet, published by the Messrs. BLArawoom superable. And it is further matter of deep regret to the Committee to ob- serve another position taken by your Lordship, very much calculated to ob- struct any arrangement of this important question."

Lord AnsainnEs explained; and on the 4th of February Mr. Dix LOS' guardedly assured 1nm- " Your Lordship's proposition, thus explained, will receive from the Commit- tee an attentive and favourable consideration."

At an interview which Mr. Duxsor had with Lord ABERDEEN some time in February, and in a letter to him, dated the 21st of April, that gentleman informed his Lordship-

" That the Committee had given to your proposition the most attentive and an anxiously favourable consideration ; but that the longer they considered it the more limmiihible did Me objections to it appear to them."• On the 25th of April, Mr. Dusa.oc again wrote to Lord ABER-. PEEN- " My purpose was not to dispute that your Lordship had had reason to beEeve that mite Committee were originally disposed to receive with favour the iniitociur bust in isutso foutteiri draolve, hgtislaatt

t u sderation, it appeared to the Committee liable to the strongest objections, although unquestionably one or two members continue to view it as favourably as ever."

While the Secretaries of the Assembly's Non-Intrusion Commit- tee were thus holding a consistent language towards Lord ABER- DEEN, Dr. CIL% f.m Ens had opened a negotiation with that nobleman on his own account : how ills he differed from his colleagues, may he inferred from the following passage in his letter to Lord ABER- DEEN, dated the 10th of March- " There was one occasion (some weeks ago) on which I thought it possible that the negotiation on their (the Committee's) part nitli your Lordship might l.ave resenlud a sem blance of' bad faitla. Your Lordship had been made to understand from myself, that thongh I would rather the Legislature bad re- esseised 0111 power to deal any way with the question, so as still to continue Is itla ns the rights and temporalities of an Establishment, when we either made particular decisions or general laws on the subject of Non-Intrusion, yet that for one, should acquiesce if your Lordship could he brought up no further than thus to ackrow ledge our judicial power, amid to make us in the exercise

thereof free from the control and interference of the Civil Court. This, I gave you reason to understand, was my mind; mid I thought the Committee had given you reason to understand it was their mind also. I therefore felt uneasy when I perceived a tendency to rise in their demand, and more especially as it seemed their disposition to lose sight of the less measure, as an alternative which they were prepared to fall back upon if they could not get a larger."

The letters of Messrs. DUNLOP and Casamisu show that Dr. CHALMERS deceived himself when he thought he had brought over the Committee to his views; but they at the same time show the ex- istence of a minority—" one or two members"—who agreed with Dr. CHALMERS. There would appear to have been some of the Non-Intrusionists who differed to a certain extent from both of these patties: at least Lord ABERDEEN says, in reply to Dr. ClIAL■ METIS'S declaration of war against his bill- Mi. Hamilton, ulthough not entirely satisfied with the bill, assured me be- fore. he left London, that he thought it such as under the circumstances the Assembly ought to accept."

Anion; other circumstances tending to increase the alienation produced by these differences of opinion in ecclesiastical politics, was the discrepancy of the partisan feelings of two sections of the Non-Intrusionists in matters of civil politics. Messrs. DUNLOP, EARLE, Moss's:Fru, the MONCRIEr party, and Lord Advocate Ry- THENFORD, Nchlled to receive their demands at the hands of the Whigs : Doctors Cissismnits, Goanos, Mein, &c. would have felt their victory imperfect if achieved by other than Conservative in- strumentality. The first-mentioned section attempted to bring the influence of Government in alliance with the Non-Intrusion agita- tion to bear against the Conservative candidate at the Perthshire election. Previous to that notable election manceuvre, Dr. CHAT... MERS wrote to Lord ABERDEEN- " I am guile aware of the worthless policy of the Whigs, which is to outdo in popularity the measure of the Conservatives, whatever that may be. How I should rejoice if the Conservatives, on the other hand, would in their turn contrive and so wrest the measure from their grasp ; thereby gaining for their cause in all time coming the affections of the Church and people of Scotland!"

The Doctor lost not a moment in disclaiming for himself and brethren all participation in Mr. DissLoc's movements in Perth- shire. Ile spoke of the Whigs by the endearing designation, "the pe8ts «Jul ili:durbers qf the commonwealth, who are now in power ;" a passage which forms a contrast to the, exceeding smoothness of the reit of the correspondence as grateful as vinegar (in salad- dressing) does to oil. And he declared his own views and wishes after this fashion- " Let me conk s, to cony Lordship the chief anxiety which I now feel on this subiect. It is lest in Parliament, the friends of Government do the same thing which they seem to he now doing in miniature at the election of Perthsbire,—that is, go beyond their opponents in the popularity of their measure, and with HO other view than to make their own harvest of the conse- quent division ; thus sacrificing the patriotic object of a settlement to the party object of their own politics. In these critical circumstances, it is ob- viously of lirst-rate importance that the Conservatives should be aware how far they uuuiiut go with wisdom and safety. I feel persuaded, that, as a hotly, they will make no compromise of principle; and it is therefore all the more de- sirable that this principle should be in ready coalescence with the full extent to which the element of popular will might be carried in the election of minis- ters, lit a word, I shoulti like if they could, consistently with their own views of right and duty, not only be upside with the Whigs, but if they could SO far outrun them as to make the measure their own."

The non-political members of the Non-Intrusion Committee had sufficient influence to prevent that body becoming a mere cat's-paw either of Whigs or Tories. Dr. CHALMERS exclaiins indignantly- " I grieve to think that the Committee, while it consented to a very tame disclaimer of all participation in Mr. Dunlop's movement, should not have acquiesced in my indignant disavowal of our having any political views." [The prevMus quotations show in what sense the Doctor understands "the absence of political views."] It is clear from these side-wind revelations, that the seeds of disunion are rapidly germinating in the Non-Intrusion majority in the General Assembly. Incompatible opinions regarding civil and ecclesiastical politics, prompting different courses of action, have

generated a considerable amount of irritation. Dr. Myra has low* 0

ceased to take a part in their proceedings : Dr. Gonnox is retiring; and Dr. CHALMERS has announced his determination to relinquish the onerous task with which he spontaneously burdened himself, exactly in the same manner that he retired limn the management of his scheme for conducting the Pauper Economy of Glas- gow, which be persuaded the General Session of that city to adopt. To this divided, flagging, and disheartened majority, is opposed the compact minority of 120, who have recorded their pro- test that the decision of the General Assembly in the case of the Strathbogie clergy is ultra rires of that court. The advantage an united minority—which has only to frustrate in order to triumph— possesses over a disunited majority, are too well known to require elucidation. In the present instance, moreover' the majority is beginning to fear that the power possessed by the Law Courts over the pockets of litigants may be exercised to their detriment. The 'timidity of the majority, evinced in their postponement of the threatened deposition of the recusant ministers of Strathbogie, is at once the result of the incipient breaking up of the party and will accelerate its dissolution. In so fitr as it is possible from the past and present to infer the future, every thing indicates that the ma- jority in the next General Assembly will set aside the suspension of the Strathbogie ministers, and shelve the Non-Intrusion question. Once shelved, this question can never be resuscitated. It was from the beginning a sham, in the reality of which a number of the advocates of popular election and of patronage agreed to affect a belief, in order to have a pretext for working together. Hollow and unsubstantial, it will cease to exist as soon as it ceases to be talked about.

What will be the next move of the clerically-minded, the ama- teur ecclesiastics, Fox ntunig, Iturnmirottn, DUNLOP, et hoe omne genus, in Scotland, it is vain to conjecture. Some think they will conjure with the spell-words " abolition of patronage :" they might as well try "Charlie is my darling." In Scotland the dynasty of the STUARTS and the dynasty of Kirk-Sessions are alike things of the past. Yet GEORGE the Fourth, when in Edinburgh, was

surrounded by tartan kilts : perhaps when his niece visits Scotland, the favourite costume of the fancy-ball may be the Geneva gown and bands. The taste of such a mask may appear questionable to our Southern readers ; but we think they will admit that the Scots have a right to amuse themselves—sadly, if such be their humour. At all events, we trust that " Non-intrusion" has been beard of nearly for the last time South of the Tweed.