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them, the conviction fastened on most | bytery astricted, and bound to take the clear-headed and impartial men was, that presentee on trials, which was precisely the law of the question was a heap of con- what had been already done. The first tradictions. Most unquestionably, close part of the trials by the constitution of the inspection of the decisions and speeches Church of Scotland is preaching "trial of the judges reveals abundance of blunders. sermons" before the people. The preThe most eminent Non-Intrusionists justly sentee was rejected because he had failed complain that the civil courts have con- in his trials. Yet the absolute wisdom of founded the difference between constitu- the law lords found the Presbytery bound tional and what may be termed administrato do what they had done. Mark another tive law. The one, say they, assigns the odious feature of this decision-the ease functions and limits of the respective with which men, appointed to administer courts: the other lays down the rules or the laws, usurp the function of making methods by which they are to determine laws. Because the act of Queen Anne on the proper subjects which have been said the Presbytery were bound and astrict. respectively allocated to them. Now our ed to receive and admit the presentee, after Court of Session, and of course the House taking him on trials, three or four lords, of Lords, when acting as its appellant on their mere wills, took it upon themcourt, were limited to things civil-our selves to say, for the first time, what had Church Courts were recognised as distinct never been said during the hundred and and unfettered in things ecclesiastical. If thirty years since the passing of the act any question included both, their conflicting substantially, that the Church Courts were decisions were followed by civil and eccle- bound to ordain the presentee. siastical effects, which were incongruous, judge-made law with a vengeance. no doubt, but did not come into collision, the most powerful minister this country as when the rejected presentee, or his pa- has ever seen, a man who held between his tron, got the stipend, and the Church Courts finger and his thumb the fortunes of a hunfilled up the vacancy by a stipendless mindred law lords, brought in with due form a ister of their own. Now how say they bill to compel clergymen to confer spiritu does the matter stand? Our constitutional offices at the bidding of civil judges, he al rights were secured at the Revolution would have failed in the attempt amidst the settlement. Twenty years after this an derision of all sincere men in Europe. But act passed on the subject of patronage. A three or four law lords effect the purpose hundred and thirty years farther on the themselves of a morning-without warning, discovery is made of what no one suspected without opposition, without rendering a before (neither lawyers nor ecclesiastics), reason, by a little skill in the management that in this act there lay what was only of legal quiddities-men on whose minds brought out for the first time by the House the study of the law has exercised all the of Lords-a direct infringement of our narrowing and debasing influences by prior constitution. Was it not then the which it converts immortal spirits into duty of the Legislature to remedy their quibbling machines-establish a principle own blunder-their own law! And is not new to the law, and monstrous in the view their refusal to do so a direct breach of na- of common sense, and by doing so inflict, tional faith? Such are the just complaints blindly, the heaviest blow given in this day of the Non-Intrusionists when required, in to all the institutions of the country, disspiritual affairs, to disobey the Lord Jesus rupt the most useful and honored of Christ in obedience to the Lord Chancellor Established Churches, and throw upon Lyndhurst. No wonder, though the inter-revolutionary courses and convictions a dicts of the civil courts were torn in pieces, million of Scotchmen, whose religious poand the fragments trampled under foot, sition previously made them the natural amidst the applause of large assemblies. guardians of order and the constitution. No wonder, though the Whig Lord-Advocate Rutherford, and the Tory Lord-Advocate Rae, thought it prudent to inflict no punishment on those who treated interdicts of the civil courts, respecting preaching and sacraments, with the most contumelious scorn.
As a specimen of the blunders of the law lords, we may mention the decision in the Auchterarder case. They found the Pres
In proportion to the worthlessness of the thing for which they claim obedience is the loudness of their cry-" obey the law." In the House of Lords, on this question, a claptrap sure of cheers was any allusion to obedience to the law.
Mark what the thing is for which claims to obedience are set up. After their decisions have compelled five hundred clergymen to leave the Establishment, and when,
according to Lord Aberdeen, one hundred | tary principles of the Whigs, and inimical, and fifty more have almost resolved to fol- if not fatal to the interests of his party. low, a bill is passed in the House of Lords Why did he not in the debate on Mr. Fox to declare what the law of the matter is. Maule's motion express the contempt he Most of the Scotch judges authorize Lord felt for the letter of Sir James Graham? Aberdeen to say they deem his bill a very Why did he not speak on that occasion in exact statement of what the law is at pre- accordance with his own better judgment, sent. On this up start three of the four and the advice of the ablest of his friends? English judges whose decree expelled the Why did he thus produce a contradiction Free Kirkmen, and say, "If this bill is ex- between that speech and the sentiments of act, if the Scotch judges are right on the his letter to the Scotch electors of London? Scotch law, we were quite wrong in our In his letter to the Scotch electors in the recent decision." It is not surprising that city of London, Lord John declared he the law lords felt the sting of the disgrace would willingly give his concurrence to with which this act covers them. Rumor "a bill properly guarded, and which should says, that so conscious were the Cabinet of secure, on the one hand, the opinion of a the shame with which Lord Aberdeen's deliberate majority of male communicants, Scotch Kirk Bill clothes the law lords, that and which shall, on the other, provide not he induced them to support it only by a for the mere assent, but the conscientious threat of resignation, and consenting to examination of the rejection by the Church call his bill at the same time declaratory Courts." All that either the principles or and enacting, that is, a statement that the the party interests of the leader of the law precisely is that, certain, which it pre- Whigs required, Lord John Russell avowed cisely is not. in this letter. He declared himself in favor The conduct of the chiefs of political of the two principles involved in the quesparties respecting this question has been as tion, and essential to a satisfactory settlelittle to their credit as the quibbles, blun- ment of it. He saw with the eye of a ders, and usurpations of the lawyers have statesman that the people of the Church, been honorable to them. The principles if it were to retain their affections, must of Whiggism led Lord John Russell to take, have a power in the appointment of their in his letter to the Scotch electors in the clergymen, and therefore he was willing to city of London, a position in accordance secure the deliberate opinion of a majority with the interests of his party. In that of the male communicants. Not deluded letter he declared himself in favor of the by declamations about the ecclesiastical ecclesiastical rights of the people. When power lording it over the civil, Lord John the letter of Sir James Graham, in answer Russell saw that all the power the Church to the moderator of the General Assembly, Courts really wanted was the power of appeared, the statesmanship, which forms conscientiously fulfilling the rejection of a part of his nature, enabled him to regard the communicants. It is greatly to be rewith due scorn a document in which a min- gretted that any asseverations, however ister quibbles when he ought to deal with confident, should have led Lord John Rusfacts, is polemical when he ought to be sell, even for an instant, to depart from the political, and tries, by obtaining victory in wise, consistent, and statesmanlike posithe use of dialectical foils, to get over the tions of this letter. We heard the Scotch difficulties which arise in a stern crisis of liberals, on whose statements he temporarinational affairs. Lord John Russell is too ly relied, declare, one week before the 18th able and too real a man to look with com- of May, that the number of clergymen givplacency on a Home Secretary who chop- ing up their endowments would not exceed ped logic when he ought to have warded six-a mistake almost of units for hundreds. off a great national calamity. He could In 1840 we declared our conviction that not applaud a man, nor praise a Cabinet, the bill of the Earl of Aberdeen, though who fiddled before a burning Church. But then apparently withdrawn forever, only unluckily the averments of one or two lay couchant, waiting the advent of a Tory Scotch Liberal members, whose opinions Parliament and a Tory Administration. are entitled to deference on the subject of "The first hour of a Tory ascendency in whiskey-punch and nothing else, induced the Legislature," we said, "will quicken it Lord John to believe for a few days that the Convocationists were not sincere in their resolution to leave the Establishment. Under this belief he made a speech unworthy of him, in opposition to the heredi
into life." It is one of the few bills which ministers have professed themselves resolved to carry through the Commons this session. Aught more despicable than the conduct of ministers in their legislation
for the Kirk has not occurred of late years. | Tennent, to carry his election, had held out Lord Aberdeen promised to Dr. Chalmers the fairest and falsest promises to the a bill which would legalize non-intrusion, Presbyterians of Belfast. The Rev. Dr. and enable the Presbytery to reject a pre- Cooke, a man who encases the soul of a sentee on the most frivolous objection or Jesuit, and an Inquisitor in the mean pracdislike of the people. His own instance tices of a bigoted Protestant Presbyterian was, though the dislike might be grounded and Tory partisan-this vain-glorious demon nothing more reasonable than an aver-agogue, who has justly fallen into general sion to red hair. Instead of such a bill, the contempt, assured the public that he had one he brought in did not allow the Church reason to believe that the Government would Courts to reject the presentee on the dis- introduce a sstisfactory measure. So genelike of the people, however well-founded, rally were delusions spread abroad at this unless for reasons likely to be satisfactory time, that it was rumored that Lord Justo the civil courts. By fulsome flatteries he tice Hope had assured Dr. Candlish he endeavored to cajole Dr. Chalmers into an would consent to a settlement even on the acquiescence in his breach of promise, and basis of the call of the people. The indulknowing that that great man, from his ex-gent fancy of partisanship, which covers perience in the negotiation, was forced to exclaim, "The morality of politicians is the morality of horse-jockeys," he took the initiative in fault-finding, and accused, in his place in the House of Lords, his reverend correspondents as unscrupulous and dishonest.
more sins than charity, imagined that from a Cabinet the dominant minds on Scotch affairs of which were Graham and Aberdeen, the fierce foes of the Evangelical party, a measure of concession would come for the healing of the sore evils of the suffering Church. Shrewd observers said, In the first session of the present Parlia- that while the Church could not bring an ment the efforts of the Tory ministers overpowering pressure to bear on the party were devoted to the suppression of dis- interests of the Tories, it was folly to excussion. Four times was discussion shirk-pect, from men of aristocratic principles ed. Kirkmen in their senses hoped for no and passions, concessions to ecclesiastical other advantages than discussion from the democracy. Men, they said, whose lives bill of the Duke of Argyll and Mr. Campbell may have exhibited many derelictions from of Monzie. Discussion was the only good their principles, seldom display any derethe Kirkmen expected, and Peel refused it. lictions from their passions, and the CabiDiscussion was the only harm their ene- net was composed of men animated by mies had to dread, and Graham screened hatred of Evangelism, and possessed by a them from it. As the meeting of the double hatred to what we may call EvanGeneral Assembly approached, and the gelical democracy, Still the Conservative Government was decidedly opposed to the Non-Intrusionists hoped against hope, that very smallest measure of concession with their Conservative chiefs would break their which the Church could put up, a declara- words, belie their actions, forswear their tion of the Assembly against the Govern- principles, and act against their passions, ment was dreaded and staved off as adroitly without the pressure of any greater political as possible. Graham came down to the necessity than the prevention of the separaHouse breathing attachment to the Church tion of a portion of the Evangelical clergy of Scotland, and begged for only six weeks from the Establishment. of delay to enable the Government to prepare a final and satisfactory feat of statesmanship. The Cabinet knew the meeting of Assembly would then be over. Vague professions of friendship of the warmest kind were uttered. Mr. Campbell, the friend of the Veto, left the Church confidently in such good hands, and Conservative Non-Intrusionists nodded their heads, and said Peel was now enlightened, and they had reason to hope all would be well. The last Assembly in which the Evangelical party joined in the deliberations, was opened with great pomp and many gilt coaches. Many hopes hung on the sage head of Sir Robert Peel. Mr. Emerson
During the Assembly of 1842 delusion ruled the hour. To sanguine minds gleams of hope seemed breaking through the dark and gathering embarrassments of the Kirk. On the upper edge of the black and threatening cloud opposed to them, there seemed, to adapt to our purpose a beautiful image from the gifted Hugh Miller, to be gleaming sunlit hues of purple and gold, destined to disperse it all into comfortable sunshine. Conciliation,
"Like morning fair Came forth, with pilgrim steps, in amice gray, of thunder, chased the clouds and laid the winds Who with her radiant finger still'd the roar And grisly spectres which the Fiend had raised To tempt the Church of God with terrors dire."
The delusions of hope prevented the As- no product. Ignorant of the great moral sembly from declaring against the Govern- elements at work, he knew not how to conment. Graham the zealot against Chalmers trol them. Unacquainted with the characin the senates of Glasgow College, the re- teristics of the Scottish people, he did not announcer of the principles of Aberdeen's believe in the existence of the high princirepudiated bill, the patron who in no case ple and heoric self-sacrifice of which the consulted the wishes of the parishioners in clergymen of the Evangelical party were a settlement, the Home Secretary who sent capable. When listening to his speech on the police to Culsalmond, and the soldiers Mr. Fox Maule's motion,-calm, artificial, to Glass, succeeded, aided by the down- shallow, imposing and plausible as it wasright gullibility of a few Conservative Non- it was evident that his intellect had never Intrusionists, with fair words, vague pro-apprehended, nor his sympathies realized, mises, and gilt coaches, in staving off the the moral powers in fiery action on the stern rebuke which his misdeeds had most question. His speech would have been richly merited; and while shaking in the immensely more statesmanlike had he, bevery face of the General Assembly itself, fore going down to the House, tied a knot the repudiated Aberdeen bill, managed to on his handkerchief, to remind him now stifle the denunciations and remonstrances and then of the existence of such a thing of that venerable and insulted body. In as conscience. Parliament discussion was shirked by the technical objection that Mr. Campbell had not received the consent of the Crown for the introduction of his bill. Paltry as the formality was, it succeeded until too late in preventing the distressed cry of one of the noblest institutes of the land from being heard by the Parliament and the people of England. Sir George Sinclair, and Mr. Colquhoun of Killermont, intrigued with Conservative Non-Intrusionists to betray the Church into a departure from her principles. Forty clergymen were jockeyed into an expression of approbation of a settlement on the basis of a liberum arbitrium, which meant a free power to obey the Lords of Session. While the friendly professions of the Peel ministry were loudest their deadly intrigues were rifest. Mr. Colquhoun was the fit instrument of these tricks. He is a man who seems to believe in nothing but dexterity. One of the most inconsistent of politicians, he is not content with being a weathercock, but insists every time he turns in delivering a homily to the congregation below, to assure them he has not changed-which is quite true, for his principle is obedience to the wind. Sir Robert Peel appears characteristically in these affairs, in both the higher and the the very presence of Duty and of God. feebler points of his character. He declared It must never be forgotten for a moment the settlement of the question to be a that the cause of this act was the preva thing worthy of the ambition of a great lence among legislators and statesmen of statesman. He aspired to win fame by the doctrine called Erastianism, the princigrappling with difficulties. But what per-ple of which is, that the relations of the fection is to genius, fame is to mediocrity clergy to the state imply no greater inde-a phantom ever to be pursued and never pendence of control than those of soldiers to be attained. His aspirations might have and sailors. This principle is far stronger been worth something had a bold nature or than Voluntaryism or Jacobinism for puta fertile genius backed them. But his ting churches into danger. When Archsterile nature produced nothing. However bishop Whateley and Bishop Denison deoften he may have tried to conceive, he had clare their conviction of the absolute ne
When the deputation of Non-Intrusionists had listened to the debate in the House of Commons they became eager to return to Edinburgh to carry on their preparations for the disruption. On the 18th of May the Moderator, Dr. Welsh, read their protest, and quietly and silently the men, who alone inherit the spirit of John Knox, took their hats and left the church of their fathers. There was a large crowd in the street outside the church in which the Assembly met. When Dr. Welsh, Dr. Chalmers, and the body of the clergy appeared outside the door, some of the spectators were about to cheer, but the cry passed round, Hush! hush! The crowd took off their hats. As the procession walked arm-in-arm down the street towards the Canon mills, there was abundance of cheering and waving of hats and handkerchiefs from windows, balconies, and roofs. It was a stirring spectacle. Southwards, high on the rock of the castle, the spire of the New Assembly Hall was seen. Eager faces lined the street. Northwards appeared the flashing waters of the Firth and the brown hills of Fife. Those, however, who saw most of the glories of the scene felt-what could not be expressed by cheers or uncovered heads
they could not be escaped, but for the sake of a principle which blends the beauty of Christian holiness with the highest interests of human civilization.
On the consequences of this event we have already expressed our views elsewhere so fully that nothing is left for us but to quote them:
cessity for the adoption of some more effi- ejected the Non-Conformists. They are cient means for the maintenance of doctrine therefore more purely and nobly martyrs and discipline in the Church of England, for their principles. The suffering endurthey are told that an army or navy legisla- ed by clergymen in the picturesque cities, ture were just as reasonable a thing as a the heather hills, the quiet glens, the stormchurch legislature, a remark which to be circled islands of Scotland, was not a thing true requires fighting and believing to be from which they could not escape without the same thing. The party forming the the forfeiture of common honesty and manmajority of the Church of Scotland were hood, but a principle high and holy, identiseparated from the state by this doctrine-cal with Christianity and civilization, receivthe subserviency of spiritual persons in ed the voluntary homage of their sufferings spiritual affairs to civil powers and civil and privations. If pastors are exchanging penalties. It has been remarked, with manses for huts, if mothers are looking at truth, that the different effects of the vol- their children and wondering about their untary controversy on the Church of Eng- future bread, if families are leaving what land and the Church of Scotland show the they thought the homes of their lives, if difference of the latent genius of these fathers and mothers have to take farewell churches. At first, as both were establish- of the graves of their children, if young ed, they defended the principle of Estab-probationers have to resign for ever their lishments together, but events developed visions of domestic happiness and moral their different spiritual idiosyncrasies. The usefulness-these sufferings have been enEnglish Church develops her tendencies countered not because they could not be towards Rome; the Scotch Church her avoided-these sacrifices of interest and leanings towards Protestant Dissent. But feeling to duty have been borne not because the principle for which the Evangelical Kirkmen have suffered is dear to all Churchmen, whether their leanings be towards Rome or towards Dissent, and to all Dissenters and all men in earnest respecting spiritual affairs of every sect, creed, and moral theory. Comparisons may be made between the virtue displayed by the Free Kirkmen on the 18th of May, 1843, "There is a striking contrast between the and that displayed by the Non-Conformists weakness of the Liberal party in Parliament and on the 24th of August, 1662. The Non- the gigantic power of the principles of democraConformists could not act together so well cy in the country. A middle class organization, as their modern rivals. The victims of the and a thing unheard of before, a distinct workRestoration saw positive persecution before ing class organization (numbering one thousand them, but they had no status in the Churched endeavoring to wrest from the aristocracy prisoners for its principles), are actively employfrom which they were ejected-they had their legislative power. A League is agitating no spiritual rank in the Establishment. everywhere to deprive the aristocracy of their They were required by a particular day to provision monopolies, and their principles have leave the Establishment or to subscribe an avowed hold on the minds of the ministers their names to acknowledgments of error placed in power by the aristocracy. Healthy and professions of belief glaringly false-liament itself the aristocratic corruption of the moral feelings are frowning down even in Parto deny the validity of their own ordina- constituencies. In the English Church a body tion, and conform to ceremonies which of clergymen have rapidly become the majority, they deemed dangerous and wicked. The who, having lofty and holy ideals of great presecular and political authorities required lates, like those who fought the battles of civilithem to do all this solemnly and formally zation in the middle ages, are resolved to diminon a particular day. It demands less vir-ish the temporal, to raise the spiritual peers. All the moral life in Britain at this hour is anti-aristue of a man to refuse to write himself a tocratic. Every mind of genius now ruling the liar, than to suffer for a high, all-important, convictions of the age, is either on principle or and abstract spiritual principle. This lat- by tendencies reducing the power of lords. ter has been done by the Kirkmen. They There is not a faith really felt and carried out at who were the majority and the ornaments this day, but diminishes the aristocratic power. not merely of the Establishment but of the Historical philosophy, as understood by all its Church to which they belonged, although ocean-tides of civilization in these signs. The students, shows the strong influences of the high and holy principles were assailed in lord whose ancestor had life and death on his their persons, were not subject to any such lips, has little suspended on his now-a-days, exviolent and vulgar coercion as that whichcept perchance the vanity of tuft-hunters. Yet