6 JUNE 1840, Page 8


The conintencoment, on Wee.nos,iay seanight, of the debate in the General Assembly on Lord Aberdeen's Bill, we, mentioned in last Spectake; but we wanted roout fur the rcsolations which Dr. Chal- mers moved, as follows- " The t.Mneral Assembly lacing taken under their consideration the report of the Committee of the lot General Assembly en the sulject of Non-Intrusion ; while they deeply lenient the existing collision between the Civil and Eccle- siastical Guiana, and earnestly desire to afford every facility for bringing it, with the least possible delay, to a termination in harmony with the -funda- mental principles and practical affairs of this Church, resolve- " 1. That they will continue to assert and maintain the exclusive jurisdic- tion of this Churel: in mull spiritual matters ; and in particular, while they re- cognize the Cod powers as supreme in all questions tonching the temporali- ties of the EstabliAunent, they cannot regard that supremacy ss investing the Civil Power with any control over the Church Courts in determining the qualifications and conditioos they may require in conferring the ininis-terial office, and coustituting the pastoral relation, nor in detracting in any respect from the full authority of the Church over her own office-bearers.

" 2. The General Assembly further resolve, that they will continue to assert and maintain the great and fundamental principle of Nat-Intrusion; while nt the same time they are willing, as they have hitherto been, to consider any modification which may be proposed in regard to the provisions and regulations for carrying the principle into effect, so as to bring the law of the Church into conformity with any law regarding temporalities which shall be in accordance with that fundamental principle.

"3, The General Assembly having considered the bill entitled ' An Act to remove doubts respecting the admission of ministers into benefices in that part of the United Kingdom called Scotland,' recently introduced into the Douse of Lords, resolve, That while it makes no adequate provision either for securing the exclusive jurisdiction of the Church in matters spiritual, or for enabling the Church to carry into effect the principle of Non-Intrusion, according to any specific law, the bill does not even leave the Church Courts at liberty in the' exercise of their judicial functions, and, on their own responsibility, to give effect to their own solemn convictions of duty, in refusing to intrude presen- tees on reclaiming congregations; nor does it protect them from civil coercion and control when in any particular case they shall do so; end therefore, inns- much as this bill is inconsistent with the principles of the Church, and threat- ens, if passed into a law in its present form, to produce effects which may be fatal to the Church as a National Establishment, the General Assembly resolve that they cannot acquiesce in this bill, unless it be so altered as to be in con- formity with the principles which have now been expressed ; and that it is the duty of this Church to use every effort to prevent its obtaining the sanction of the Legislature. "4. The General Assembly approve generally of the proceedings of the Committee appointed by last General Assembly in regard to the measures pro- posed or entertained by them for the settlement of the present question ; and appoint a Committee, with instructions to watch over the progress of any bill relative to this subject, and with power to the Committee, if they see cause, to bring before the Legislature in any competent way, the draft of such a measure as may appear to them best suited for the purpose in view—Dr. Gordon to be Convener."

Dr. Chalmers supported his motion in a characteristic speech ; from which we make a few extracts— It was clear that the State conferred no power on the Church, and could take none away from it ; it merely said to what extent it would confer its tem- poralities; and the view lie held was, that the best thing the State could do in respect to the benefit which would flow to the country, would be to confer the temporalities on the Church, in the exercise of all its judicial and legislative powers. The State could not take away the legislative power ; it could only take away the temporalities. It was therefore altogether a fundamental error, in reference to the relative position of Church mid State, to say that they had rebelled against the State because they had given themselves up to time exercise of their own powers. The whole amount of that rebellion was, that thereby they had forfeited the temporalities. He did not deny that the sacrifice of the temporalities of the Church was an important consideration, and that it pos- sessed a great influence in the settlement of the question. Could any man in his senses deny that the temporalities which gave to the Church three-fourths of its efficiency in disseminating Christianity should be lightly abandoned ? Nol He should like, for this reason, that the power the Church wished should be adopted in any act of Parliament. The act now before the House of Lords would even in that state be acceptable. But the Church would not, even to save the temporalities, forfeit her legislative privileges, and the benefit she would derive from the excellent principle of Non-Intrusion.

Lord Aberdeen's Bill struck at the very root of the Establishment— The bill left matters in such a way that things ecclesiastical were left at the disposal of the secular power. That was a question of life or death, because it affected the Church's liberties. It mattered not what the sacrifices might be which they might be called on to make in order to maintain them ; but they were bound to insist, without one flaw or exception, for exclusive jurisdiction in the things which appertained to God. Now, the settlement of ministers certainly came under that class ; and therethre they were determined to have exclusive jurisdiction in respect to that important duty.

He related an anecdote to illustrate the incapacity of the English Parliament to deal with matters appertaining to the Church of Scot- land : the English legislators, be said, were " all Cocknies together "-

When he resided in Glasgow, an English lady came on a visit, who, for aught he knew, had never been beyond the confines of Piccadilly—she asked such odd questions. Having enjoyed a draught of butter-milk, one fine morn- ing, he was exceedingly ainueel when, on several cows passing, the lady inno- cently asked, ' Pray, Mr. Cleihners, which of these cows is it that gives that fine butter-milk ?' (Peals qt. laughter.) So it tins with Englishmen in re- ference to the Church of tseotImul. They had as little conception of a state of transition from pr2seotation to inuuction, as the English Indy had of the milk passing through more than one stage from the udder mail it became 'butter.

He declined being named on the Committee either as Convener or as an ordinary member-

" The truth is," he said, " that in confeeeenee of the harassing warfare to which 1 have been exposed, 1 have for more than twelve months imule up any mind to resign every office 1 hold from the Assembly, in the meeting of 1840. During the hist few months, this resolution has been strengthened every day by the infinite number of calls, and conflicts, and casualties, to which I have been subjected in my twofold capacity of Convener of the Committees on Church-Extension and Non-Intrusion. But to crown and C011$111111 note all, in addition to my unavoidable fatigues, I have, within these few days, met with a bitter crushing disappointment, which has for the present blasted my fondest hopes for the good Emil pence of the Church, in my correspondence with Par- hament-men. Heaven forbid that i should ever cease for one moment to la- bour, even to the lnst hour of my life, for the safety and prosperity of the Church of Scotland ; but as to being a Convener or member of any Committee, I must certainly decline. If, et any time, however, 1 can lift my feeble testi- mony in behalf of the spiritual independence of the Church or the spiritual privileges of the people, I shall never be wanting."

Sir George Glerk delivered a very dull speech in defence of Lord Aberdeen's Bill ; and Dr. Macleod a telling though brief one on the sante side. The majority, said the Doctor, declared, in plain English and plain Gaelic, they would have nothing but the Veto. In his humble opinion, Lord Aberdeen's Bill would secure Non-Intrusion better than the Veto— He would ask sonic of the Rehab ?Jam around him, if they wished the British Legislature to put the Church Courts mu rive law, and to make an act to prevent the Civil Courts from taking into account any bine the Church might do ? Is it possible to suppose that the Legislature would Hive an net of this kind ? It would in the highest degree be objectionable, as' it might be made a tyrannical measure. Suppose, for instance, that he was presented to the Island of Egg, and that the people had a 'strong antipathy to flue clan Macleod—lie put the case seriously—if he was presented to that island, and the people objected to him solely and simply because of his name, would he not be entitled to appeal against such tyrannical conduct ? But he would put another case, which would perhaps come much nearer to the point : suppose that he had the offer of a church in Edinburgh—(Lanyhter)—gentlemen might laugh, but who knows but he may get such an offer now although the majority of the congregation might have no objection to him, some professors Majority Fi

Before the resumption of the adjourned debate on Thursday, the Strathbogie case came under discussion. The parties in the case— the seven suspended ministers—and the parishioners of Marnoch- having been cited, and appeared by their agents before the Assembly, Mr. Dunlop moved-

" That the General Assembly, in respect of the proceedings of these parties, in violating the orders (lithe Commission and General Assembly, by proceeding to the settlement of Mr. Edwanis, find that they are censurable : and in regard to the other matters which have been bromeht up, find that they are liable to be proceeded against by the laws of the Church; but, before determining further upon that subject, they appoint a Committee of time House to deal with those men, and to report to a subsequent dirt of the Assembly."

Dr. Cook moved an amendment- " That the General Assembly, having considered the case of the seven ministers of the Presbytery of Strathbogie, suspended from the office of the

ministry by the Commission in December last, which sentence was to remain in force, under the circumstances in which it was pronounced, till it was re- moved by the General Assembly,—are of opinion, that as the said sentence was pronounced solely because the seven ministers conscientiously yielded obe- dience to the instructions of the Supreme Civil Courts, in a case which was stated by those courts to he a civil matter, the Assembly, under the peculiar circumstances and yet unresolved difficulties of that case, do not consider the parties mu that account answerable ; and the Assembly do therefore remove the suspension, and restore the said miuieters to the full exercise of all their ministerial functions."

The division on this question was—

For Mr. Dunlop's motion 211 For Dr. Cook's amendment 129

Majority 82

One hundred and twenty members of the Assembly have signed a protest against the decision on the Strathbogie case.

On Friday, a report was presented from the Education Committee, recommending the acceptance of the money ofThred by Government for the education of the people, on the terms proposed by Government. Principal Dewar moved a resolution expressing concurrence with the report.

Dr. Macleod -moved as an amendment, a series of resolutions, de- claring— " That the Church cannot consent, although she readily admits the right of the queen in Council to appoint, from time to time, special visitations of our educational institutions, to forego her own claim to be regarded in the eye of our lumpy constitution in Church and State as the only legal and permit-. nent guardian of the interests of education."

A debate followed, and a division--

In firmly of accepting the grant 137

Against it 103

"Majority for the Government grant._ :12

On Saturday, Dr. Chalmers formally resigned the office of Convener of the Committee ; and the Moderator addressed him as follows on ac- cepting the resignation-

" My venerable and very dear friend, with the cordial and enthusiastic con- currence of this House, 1 beg to express their admiration of your ardent and unusual exertions on behalf of Church-extension, and beg of you to receive their warmest and most heartfelt acknowledgments for your invaluable ser- vices. 1 cannot but regard you as the brightest ornament of our church, and in modern tittles as the greatest benelitetor of our church and country. AIM!. linty God watch over and preserve you."

On Monday, another discussion took place on the Strathbogie case. Dr. Macfarlane rend the report of the Committee appointed to "deal with the seven ministers." It appeared that the ministers would not submit to the Assembly : and Dr. Macfarlane moved a resolution, that the sentence of suspension be continued till the meeting of the Com- mission in August next, and if then they continued contumacious, they should be served with a " libel of contumacy." Dr. Cook proposed an amendment, that the suspension should be removed, and a Committee appointed to aid the seven mieisters molder the difficulties of their situ- ation. Dr. Simpson moved an amendment on 1)r. Cook's amendment-

" The General Assembly appoint a Committee to deal with the ministers of Strathbogie ; and taking into con

Dr. Simpson's amendment was negatived, by 99 to 32 ; Dr. Cook's, by Ititi to 102 ; and Dr. Macfimrlane's resolution was carried.

On the same day, on the motion of Mr. Dunlop, the Veto was re- enacted without a division.

The minutes of the Assembly were then read by the Clerk, and the Moderator delivered the usual valedictory address. The Commis- sioner also addressed them ; after which the Assembly was dissolved at a quarter to four o'clock on Tuesday morning,.

and teachers of elocution might object, and say that he had a Highland accent ; and suppose that there were ninny well-bred young English ladies belonging to the congregation, who should also say that his Highland accent was offensive ; the first objection would be considered a tyrannical, and the other a legal objection. He believed that many Members of the House of Commons would at once agree to give the Veto to the people—and more than the Veto—but would never consent to give the Veto to the Presbytery.

Dr. Cook moved this amendment on the resolution-

" That the General Assembly, having, heard the report of the Committee appointed by the last Assembly to communicate with the Government in rela- tion to the unhappy collision which hail taken place between the ecclesiastical and civil powers, are of opinion that the Act on Calls, commonly denominated the Veto Act, shall, under existing circumstances, be set aside ; and having considered the draft of a bill by flue Earl of Aberdeen, entitled, 84c. approve of the general tenor and spirit of that bill, as consistent with the law of the Churrh, and calculated to give effect to that law; and therefore appoint a Committee to watch over the progress of that bill, and give to the noble mover such suggestions as may in their opinion tend to promote the important objects contemplated by it." After an adjournment to Thursday forenoon, the debate was pro- tracted till nearly two o'clock on Friday motoring; when a division took place, and there appeared— For Dr. Chalmers' resolution For Dr. Cook's amendment

221 131