Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

time, he could not but disapprove most Dr Cook entirely coincided with the entirely of a sentiment he had express- right honourable gentleman, that the ed, namely, that the civil authority had motion ought legally to be first subbeen inattentive to the purity of the mitted to a Committee, as it was the National Church. This, he would uniform practice of the Church to let say, was a most unfounded surmise. no business come before them except The Crown had always shewn the high. through a Committee. est respect and indulgent kindness to Dr Nicoll opposed the motion, and the Church of Scotland. Was not proposed that the house do now adthis particularly exhibited in the ap- journ ; but this was decidedly resisted pointment to represent his Majesty in by Mr Moncrieff, who supported the that Assembly of a distinguished no. motion at great length. bleman of their own nation,

whose cha. The Lord Justice Clerk was conracter and conduct adorned the high vinced the question should be met station he held ? by increasing the manfully and openly, and he would deamount of the donation granted to the precate the idea that it should be imaChurch, to enable it to propagate gined the Assembly wished to evade abroad, particularly in India, its prin-, the motion. He did not see why the ciples and doctrines ? The reverend order should not be justly referred to gentlemen was the only one for a the two acts which it alludes to, namecentury back who thought it necessa- ly, that of Queen Anne and the 32d of ry to put himself forth as a champion Geo. III. The act of Queen Anne of the Church's rights and privileges; was not merely temporary, as an hoand he could not help thinking, that in nourable gentleman maintained, for he this he had assumed to himself a high had looked carefully into the Statute.

presumptuous character. (Loud book, and could not find it repealed. cries of Order! Order!') He would He deprecated an unfair construction put a stop to this in one moment; he which had been put upon the meaning meant just to say, that he had taken of the term,“ Sacred Majesty,” made upon him what no other had yet done; use of in the order, which an honourand in no other sense did he use the able gentleman seemed to think was word presumptuous. He would ob- meant to intimate that the Sovereign ject, in its present form, however, to was the head of the Church ; but this the subject coming under discussion title, he would affirm, had not a vesimmediately on the back of the mo- tige of connexion with such an idea. tion. The motion made by the reve- This term was applied to Queen rend gentleman contained certain de- Anne; and was any thing more common claratory propositions affecting the very than for the Assembly to address the constitution of the Church ; and it King by the title of “ his most Sawould be quite contrary to the esta. cred Majesty ?” There was no injunc. blished usage of the Church to har. tion in the order, he maintained, of bour such a motion, and in fact any any form of prayer, merely because motion, till it has gone through the pro- the words to be used were in inverted per constitutional tribunal, the Com

The Act of Queen Anne mittee of Overtures. He would there- dictated certain words to be used, but fore move, that the Assembly submit still allowed the clergy to make use of this motion previous to discussion, if it their own words, and this order had is to be discussed, to a Committee; and no other meaning than that of the in the meantime, that they do adjourn. Act to which it referred. There ne

and

commas.

ver, he was persuaded, was a time The first motion was supported by when less doubt could be entertain- Mr J. A. Murray, and the second by ed, that the King, or Government, Lord Hermand, Dr Lee, and Mr W. wished to encroach upon the rights of Cook. the Church of Scotland. Could they Mr Thomson rose, and begged to forget the gracious manner in which be allowed for a few moments to re. their deputation was lately received • ply to what had been said in opposiby the King—that they were admit- tion to his motion. He had been much ted to a closet audience of his Majes. obliged to a certain reverend doctor, ty, and that he expressed his resolu- (Dr Cook,) for reviving and refresh. tion always to support the constitu- ing his soul with a stream of constitu. tion of the Church of Scotland ? tional truths. The learned doctor obAnd were they in the face of this to jected strongly to his motion being declare, by assenting to such a motion, discussed or voted upon before it had that almost the first act of his Majes- been given over to a Committee of ty's reign was an act to encroach upon Overtures ; but what was his conduct the privileges of the Church? Although when the motion of the learned lord certain words of prayer in this order was proposed ? why, he thought fit was made use of, does that

go to say not to repeat his objection. (A laugh.) these must be used, and no other? He He must now say a word with regard would mention a case which would to the learned 'lord, (Lord-Justice illustrate the matter. It often hap- Clerk.) He found fault with the sen. pens, when a clergyman is requested timents of a certain pamphlet written to remember in his prayer a sick per- upon the subject now before the As. son, that a paper is handed up to him, sembly. He would only say this much, mentioning the name and case of the that he believed it would require all individual; but is the minister, on this the learning and logic of those who account, to pray for that individual had opposed him to-day to give a by using the very term written upon proper answer to the substance of that that paper ? Certainly not; he may small pamphlet. But the learned lord use any terms he pleases—and so in spoke as if they were identified with the case of this order. He could not the arguments of that publication ; help also remarking on the language he had nothing to do with its sentiwhich had been used, that there was ments; he must be allowed to think an intention somewhere of invading and act for himself, and be judged of the independence of the Church of by the sentiments he himself had es. Scotland. (Cries of No, no.) He cer. pressed. He could not but make a tainly so understood it. The learned remark upon an argument of the learnlord concluded by proposing a motion ed lord, with regard to the form of to the following effect:

prayer enjoined, and which he had “ That whereas the independence brought forward in a very grave

and of the Church of Scotland, in all mat- formal manner, but which, on this ac. ters of faith, worship, and discipline, count, appeared the more ludicrous. is fully established by law, the Gene- “ Suppose," says the learned lord, “ a ral Assembly finds it unnecessary and case where a clergyman is requested inexpedient to adopt any declaration to remember in prayer a sick person, with regard to the late or any former and a paper is handed up to him to order in council, relative to prayers that effect, the clergyman will never for his Majesty and the Royal Fa- think it necessary to use in his prayer mily.

the exact words written on that pa.

per ;" from which we are to conclude, received no personal favour, and yet clergymen need not, in praying for the he was as much attached to his Sove. Royal Family, make use of the ipsis- reign as any one.

He was of no posima verba of the Order of Council. litical party ; belonged to no political (A laugh.) But did it never strike the club, nor ever attended a party dinmind of the learned lord, that Janet ner ; and yet he felt grateful and at. Meiklejohn, who happens to be sick, tached to his Sovereign for the blesshas a great deal less authority to dic. ings and privileges which he enjoyed tate a prayer for the clergyman than under his government. He had been the Privy Council are said to have in rather unfairly dealt with, he thought, prescribing prayers for the Church? by the learned gentleman the Solicitor(Loud laughter.) And yet this com- General. That gentleman observed, parison is brought forward by the indeed, that he (Mr Thomson) had learned lord with wonderful gravity, conducted himself with propriety; but as a very capital illustration. (Much he certainly must remark that the oblaughter.) He would say a word about servations of that learned gentleman the inverted commas which troubled had not a tendency to make him pergentlemen so much. (A laugh.) The severe in that propriety. (A laugh.) learned lord would not grant that they He said he was a presumptuous man, constituted a form of

prayer

for the because he set himself up as the chamChurch. But I will suppose that he pion of the rights and privileges of writes a letter to his steward, and gives the Church ; but he would ever glory him therein a direction in inverted in being the champion of the Church, commas; should the steward content and in defending, against every attack, himself with obeying the direction in its rights and privileges. substance, but not literally, would not

The Solicitor-General here rose, the learned lord find fault with him and denied that he called the reverend for inattention to his pointed and di- gentleman a presumptuous man ; he rect instructions ? “ Did I not,” he only said, he assumed to himself a prewould

say, “ exactly express, and cir- sumptuous character. He doubted cumscribe my order, by putting it in not but that his language was fresh in inverted commas ?” He hoped this the memory of the House. would serve as to remember in prayer.

Mr Thomson said, he was just proA great deal had been urged as to ceeding to shew that it was fresh in the proofs of attachment expressed to

But as to that charge the Church of Scotland ; that they of presumption, which it seems was had got this thing and that thing, and attached to his character, and not to a thousand other good things,-(a himself, (much laughter,) he thought laugh,)—and that the deputation was if there was any in the case, it lay so graciously received ; and some of with the learned gentleman, who gave the individuals, too, who composed it, a direct and unqualified negative to his receiving no doubt many personal fa- assertions immediately after hearing yours. But he was just as ready to them. He concluded by saying, that acknowledge the benefits received by it was nothing but his warm and inthe Church from the Crown as the violable attachment to the rights and most strenuous on the other side, and honours of the Church that urged had expressed the saine in his motion; him to make his stand against enfrom which, he believed, after all their croachment; and that he could lay his noise about it, their sentiments upon hand on his heart and say, he sincerethat point were borrowed. He had ly thought that this Order of Council

his memory

53

.

[ocr errors]

was a manifest encroachment on these structor is well known to be edited by rights ; and he hoped the breath of Mr Thomson, the mover of the resoauthority would never wither a leaf lutions relative to the above Order of of that plant which our forefathers Council, and considered one of the watered with their blood, and the shel- ablest of the Scottish clergy. ter of which, by kind Providence, we Dr Bryce of Calcutta said, that in now enjoy.

directing the attention of the House The Assembly then divided- to this subject, he thought it necessary

to state, that it had not been rashis For the first motion

or inconsiderately taken by him. The For the second .

126 pamphlet in question came under his

notice in October last, since when he Majority against Mr Thom- had given it his most serious coosison's motion

73 deration ; and he could not conceive

any subject of greater importance that On the 29th of May, the Assembly could come under the deliberation of took into consideration the overture that House. He was not sure that of Dr Bryce of Calcutta, respecting any apology was required from his certain calumnious passages that had for bringing it forward. If he could appeared in a number of a periodical satisfy the House that the language of work, entitled “ The Christian In- the paragraph that had been read was structor."

most calumnious, (and no member of The following are the strictures that House could possibly read over which were the subject of the over- the passage in question without being ture:“ If we were not speaking of convinced of its calumnious nature,) the venerable Assembly, we should he should then have justified himsel certainly denounce such a measure as in having brought forward the subiniquitous, cruel, and tyrannical in the ject. He had, too, an interest conextreme. As to the drivellers who nected with the situation he held in supported it by their votes, we think their Church. It had appeared, tbat them vastly silly, and not a little ma. because he was far away at the period lignant ; but as to those who con- when the offence was committed, some ceived and proposed it, we have not persons had thought it impossible he words to express the terror that we could be affected by it ; but those should feel if they were invested with persons were egregiously mistaken. that power in the state which they He entertained a high respect for the have most unaccountably acquired in character of that Assembly, and be the Church. Of those who will sit should endeavour to preserve that rein the capacity of judges, and, after spect for it. The members of that spending a day in prayer to the God House had deliberated for hours, and of righteousness for light and direc- delivered their opinions ; yet they are tion, deliberately and coolly condemn to be held out to the world as “siils any man, or body of men, who have and malignant drivellers." He was not not been permitted to appear in their a member at the time, but if he had own behalf-we will venture to say been a member, he should have bera that there is no injustice and no mis- proud to have ranked among the “ suchief of which they are not capable.” Iy and malignant drivellers," as they

It may increase the interest of our were called. He thought it was not southern readers in this discussion important whether a majority was to mention, that the Christian In- great or little ; whatever was the oumber of a majority on a vote in that whatever militates against their useHouse, it represented the whole ; for fulness was surely deserving the interit might perhaps be said that this ca- ference of that Court. And granting lumny was only against a few mem- they had no power themselves to pu. bers. If he had been in the minority nish such an offence, there may be still on that occasion, he should have felt a means of protection available to that that the calumny had extended to him Assembly. even then. It had been said that the Dr Nicoll now rose and moved, language of the overture was frivolous, “That, whereas the language brought and he had consented that it should under the review of the Assembly by be withdrawn ; but the Committee this overture, and contained in No. would not consent to its being with. CXI. of the above publication, (the drawn ; and it now came before them, Christian Instructor,) is, in the opias had been justly observed by a mem- nion of this Assembly, highly calumber of the Committee, “ with all its nious, calculated to injure the characimperfections on its head.” Some ob- ter of many ministers and elders of jections had also been urged against this Church, who were members of the competency of that Court to re- the last General Assembly, and to cognise the charge. If the former vilify and degrade the Supreme JudiAssemblybecame defunct, he could catory of the Church in the estimanot conceive a greater absurdity than tion of the country. The Assembly a letter being addressed to a defunct therefore remit the matter to the Moderator of a defunct General As. Procurator, who is hereby instructed sembly; unless it was the circumstance and enjoined to take such steps as of a reverend gentleman having made may appear to him to be competent so much stir about a dead letter, which and expedient for correcting the prehad in consequence occupied the at- sent, and preventing the repetition of tention of that House for so many similar offences; and, if any difficulty hours. That letter was addressed to the shall occur in carrying this into efModerator ; it could not have meant fect, the Procurator is farther inthe Moderator of the present Assem- structed to apply for advice and dibly, for the first step the General As- rection to any of the stated meetings sembly always took on commencing of the Commission ; and the Assembly its session was to elect a Moderator. hereby authorize the Commission to But granting that the General Assem- receive any report made by the Probly was defunct from the close of its curator, to give directions, and finally session, was it generous or manly in a to decide this matter as they shall public writer thus to attack a defence. see cause." less body? He recollected a good old Dr Irvine seconded the motion. adage-De mortuis nil nisi bonum ; Mr Brown of Langton, in a speech but this was now reversed, and we had of some length, opposed Dr Nicoll's

- De mortuis nil nisi malum. But if motion, and concluded by proposing such was really the case with respect the following, as containing the sense to the last General Assembly, and its of the Assembly :-" The General respectability could be so injured, it Assembly, having considered the overafforded the strongest reason for the ture, and the particular expressions present Assembly taking it under its quoted therein from the Christian Inprotecting wing. When it was con- structor, as requiring the animadversidered how necessary the clergy are, sion of the Assembly, find, that the

« AnteriorContinua »