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tate a prayer
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 atMeiklejohn, 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
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 his memory. 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 vours. 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 same in his motion; him to make his stand against en from 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
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 rashly For the first motion
53 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 consison'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 him 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 himself 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, that 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 he the Church.-Of those who will sit should endeavour to preserve that re
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 " silly 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 been that there is no injustice and no mis- proud to have ranked among the “ silchief of which they are not capable.” Îy 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 num
ber 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 pubers. 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 JudiAssembly became defunct, he could catory of the Church in the estima. not 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 ef. Moderator ; it could not have meant fect, the Procurator is farther in. the Moderator of the present Assem- structed to apply for advice and di. bly, 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 in 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
said expressions are not only highly bly had passed, called it the most come exceptionable and indecorous, but most fused, inconsistent, and absurd thing injurious and disrespectful to the last he had ever seen in his life, a rudis General Assembly; and this Assembly indigestaque moles; but nobody ever think it their duty to express their thought of calling him to account for marked disapprobation of language so such expressions. And why all this improperly applied to the decisions of indulgence to Dr Inglis and the Lord the Supreme Judicatory of the Church. President ? why, he believed, because But the General Assembly having duly it never was deemed consistent with considered, and deliberated on the mat. the duty or the dignity of the Assem. ter set forth in the overture, and ha. bly to issue declarations on such ocving thus solemnly declared their high casions. But now he could see andisapprobation of the above passages other reason for it. These gentlemen in the said publication, do not find it were not“ Christian Instructors." (A expedient to make this overture the laugh.) There were manuscript inground of any further procedure, and stances. One of these had been al. therefore dismiss the same."
luded to by his learned friend, (Mr This motion was seconded by Dr Moncrieff ;) he begged leave to al. Lockhart.
lude to it still more particularly. It Dr Cook, Mr Gibson, and Mr came in the form of an overture from Moncrieff, seconded the motion of Mr the Presbytery of Dumbarton, of Brown; Mr Wightman, Mr Mac- which Dr Macfarlane, who had spoken farlane, and Principal Taylor, that of so keenly on this occasion, was a memDr Nicoll.
ber. (A laugh.) And what did it say Mr Thomson said, he remembered of the decision of the preceding Asinstances of viva voce calumnies against sembly? Why, it said these thingsthe Assembly as reprehensible as this “ And whereas, in 1814, the General one, which were passed by without Assembly of that year passed an act any notice. He remembered, on a respecting union of benefices without certain occasion, in the Synod of Lo- any regard to this rule, whereby, in thian and Tweeddale, when a reve- the judgment of this Presbytery, the rend doctor (we understood him to barrier act was infringed, the consti
. mean Dr Inglis) had spoken of an Act tution of the Church grossly violated, of the Assembly, the Act of 1814, and their rights and privileges tram. respecting pluralities, in languageevery pled on in the most contemptuous and whit as calumniating. He would use arbitrary manner.” (Cheering and the term, as it seemed to be the order laughter.) Here was calumny with a of the day, (a laugh,), and yet no re- vengeance - uttered by one of our gard was paid to it-it came from so Presbyteries—deliberately laid upon respectable a quarter. (Laughter.) their table—and what did they do? The reverend doctor had said, that Did they call the Presbytery to the the Act of Assembly was inconsistent bar and rebuke them for this outrage ? with common sense, and contained a No, no.
No, no. And why? Just, it seemed, violation of truth. (Laughter.) But because the overture from the Presby. then this was said by a person, who, tery of Dumbarton was not the Chris. it would now seem, could do no wrong. tian Instructor. (Loud laughter.) And (A laugh.) In that very House, the now he (Mr Thomson) would give Lord President had, in speaking of them instances of printed calumnies
, some act which the preceding Assem- for he would still use that precious
word. He had read the other day a rend doctor, who introduced this unnumber of a periodical work, called, happy and ill-fated overture, had not or, according to Dr Bryce's jocular consulted a single individual about it ; phraseology, miscalled the Christian but this was the very thing he (Mr Repository, a statement bearing, in Thomson) complained of; because, if express terms, “ that want princi- he had consulted any one upon it, they ple had long characterised our admini. would have said to him, assuredly, stration of ecclesiastical affairs.” Here “Oh, by no means, do not bring it was food for the gentlemen on the in.” (A laugh.) From what had been other side, if they were so anxious to said by every gentleman who had spohunt out grounds of accusation and ken on the other side, every one of alarm. But no ; they would not touch them would have given him the same adthis work, just because it was not the vice; though, by the way, he could not Instructor !-(A laugh.) In another help observing, it was rather a strange part of the same number of the Repo- and unaccountable thing, that these sitory, he had found a review of a very gentlemen, with all their declared pamphlet, by Dr Irvine of Dunkeld; aversion to the measure, had gone to and there the conductors of the work, the Committee of Overtures, and most after accusing the reverend author of strenuously supported and voted for much bad grammar-(A laugh)-and the motion to transmit it. (Laughter.) of as much Billingsgate-(A laugh)- Particularly, if he had applied to a of neither of which things, they
were certain learned doctor, he would have all well aware, the doctor was at all ca- said to him very earnestly,“Take care, pable-(A laugh)-poured out a great do not bring it in on any account, other. deal of severe animadversion on the wise we shall bring an old house on Church of Scotland ; and he was sor. our head, for I myself some time ago ry to observe, that the reverend doc- wrote something of the same kind; and tor had given them some grounds for I know there are some very shrewd felsuch remarks ; for he had admitted lows in the Assembly-(Loud laugh. in his pamphlet, that not a few of his ter)—who would not be long of noHighland brethren were “idle dogs” ticing it.” A pamphlet, published a and" slow bellies"-(Excessive laugh- while ago, speaking of the decision of ter)—and yet it did not appear that the the Assembly in Mr Leslie's case, has brethren thus calumniated had entered these words_ But when a certain any complaint to the Assembly. Nay, party in the state has influence to dethe reverend doctor himself, who had termine the decision of an Assembly furnished the calumny, and given the vote, men of the moderate interest do Repository a handle against the Church, not deem it dishonourable to be found came forward this day, and manfully in the minority.” (Cheering.) And seconded the motion of the reverend yet this was not an anonymous publi. Principal, for a severe censure on the cation, but written by John Inglis, Christian Instructor. (Cheering and Doctor of Divinity, and one of the laughter.) He could give them a hun- ministers of Edinburgh! He would dred instances of the same kind, which put it to the candour, honour, and they might read for themselves. For consistency of the House, whether all in this Assembly were given to they could act with such partialireading, he presumed, more or less. ty. It seems many had not read this (A laugh.) But he would refer only publication which they condemned. to one more. It appears the reve- He wished they had read it, for they
VOL. XIII, PART II.