« PreviousContinue »
year 1745, there had never had been such a combustion (hear, hear !)—raised in that country, as had arisen when Ministers signified their intention of meddling with its banks. Nothing could exceed the firmness with which the Scotch memhers had supported the new system, until they found it approaching their own doors: but then, had the House been at tacking all the rights of Scotland in one single measure, the cry of alarm-the call to resistance-could not have been greater. The effect of the first demon stration was magical-such as he (Mr Tierney) had no powers of eloquence equal to describe. Why was it that we had no inquiry in England-that we had been so sure as to be able to run before the law, not lag behind it? The plain truth was, that the tried prudence the approved integrity-of our Scottish neigh bours in impeachment of which prudence or punctuality, far be it from him (Mr Tierney) to say one syllable that these great qualities shed such a degree of sanctity over all their arrangements, that the least of them could not be med. dled with without deep inquiry; while in England, without any inquiry at all, but by the mere strong arm of the law, and almost by the strong arm without it, we put a change into instant operation, which, the fact could not be denied, had been felt from one extremity of the kingdom to the other; for there could be no question that the first part of the late measures had been hastily brought about. Scotland was not now what she formerly was-Hear, hear.) When she was poor, it might be proper to connive at it, because every assistance was of great importance; but now this was not the case; he knew of no country which had made such advances in wealth and general prosperity (and he said it with much satisfaction, for the prosperity of Scotland was a part of the prosperity of England)
but then, he hoped that the Scotch gentlemen would allow, that what brought danger to England was a matter of some importance to English gentlemen. Scotland, in fact, was in no respect what Scotland was thirty years ago. The system of the Scotch Banks was different from that of the English; but it was one part of Lord Liverpool's scheme to assi milate them as much as possible. Was Scotland alone to set up for an exclusive system? Was a gentleman in Scotland, with £.20,000 a-year, to enjoy the advantage of a cash-credit, while another system was to prevail in England, which would not permit it. He could not but augur, when the report came to be perused, the temper of the country in favour of a gold currency, might change to one in favour of paper. Why, he asked, were not the English bankers examined as well as the Scotch ?-for it could only be by such means that the merits or demerits of both systems of banking could be fairly ascertained. He had no motion with which to trouble the House, and he begged to say, that he had every respect and regard, personally, for the Noble Earl (Liverpool), but he wished he had possessed better nerves, and had indulged in less flash—( Hear, hear, hear ! )
Mr Secretary Peel complained of this very irregular mode of proceeding, the report not yet being printed, and conse quently, not in the hands of Members. Mr Abercromby observed, that the solidity of the Scotch Banks, in consequence of the great number of partners in them, was a reason why, above all others, they ought to be put under restraint as to the issue of their notes.
After some remarks from Mr Ellice, Mr Guerney, and Mr Grant, the report was received.
31.-Parliament was prorogued this day till 14th July, pro forma. It was dissolved on the succeeding day.
Arbroath 10.Trade has almost deserted our town. Some weighty failures, in the end of last week and beginning of this, have spread dismay among all classes. A great quantity of labourers, in consequence, are out of employment.
Dundee. Our commercial horizon, gloomy and dark already, has become more so by the effect of some ditional failures, which are threatening to be too common; when they will end, Heaven knows; but at, present there is
no appearance of a termination to them. It is somewhat curious, that while weaving is in so depressed a state here, and still getting inore so, wages should be improving in Forfar.
12. The question between the King's Printers and the Bible Society, as to the right of printing or importing from England copies of the Sacred Scriptures, Psalm-Books, Confession of Faith, Catechisms, larger and shorter, and Books of Common-Prayer, was decided, this day, by the First Division of the Court
of Session. The Lord President, Lords Hermand, Craigie, and 'Balgray, were unanimously of opinion, that the right of the King to print the Scriptures, and consequently the power of delegating that right, belonged to him as the civil magistrate--the natural guardian of the religion of the State. Lord Gillies, had some doubts as to the privileges of the King to print the Bible as an exclusive right in Scotland. The interdict for merly granted is therefore continued, except in so far as regards Books of Common-Prayer, which the counsel for the King's printers passed from.
HIGH COURT OF JUSTICICARY.— 15. This day, the court met for the first time after the Circuits, when the whole of their Lordships were present. Three prisoners, in certified cases from Circuit Courts, were placed at the bar, viz. Duncan Clark, accused of the murder of his illegitimate child, certified from Perth, and James Reid and Margaret Sherriffs, for housebreaking and theft, certified from Aberdeen,
The objection to the relevancy of the indictment in the case of Clark was argued by Mr Smythe, on the ground that he found that part of the indictment served on the prisoner at the bar-particularly that part descriptive of the locus delicti-was written on an erasure; and on comparing this with the document on the Porteous Roll, of which it should have been a literal copy, the part alluded to was totally different. The Learned Gentleman at some length contended for the sufficiency of the objection, but, after a few observations from Mr Alison, their Lordships repelled it. The diet was deserted pro loco et tempore, and the prisoner was recommitted.
The objection in the case of Reid and Sherriffs was stated by Mr Cosmo Innes ; it was founded on the inventory of stolen property accompanying the criminal letters not having been signed by the clerk of Court, but by the Advocate-Depute. After hearing Mr Alison and the Solicitor-General against the objection, and Mr Menzies in reply, the Court ordered a Report of what had been the practice to be given in, and in the mean time, the diet to be continued against the prisoners.
The Court then adjourned.
Public Meeting.-17.This day, a highly respectable meeting of the inhabitants was held in the Assembly Rooms, George Street, agreeable to a notice from the Magistrates, for the purpose of subscribing for the relief of the present dis tress under which the manufacturers in various parts of the country are suffering. Among those present we observed Lord
Forbes, the Lord President, the Lord Justice Clerk, Baron Clerk Rattray, Lords Pitmilly, Alloway, and Medwyn, the Solicitor-General, Sir William Forbes, Sir John Hay, Sir John Hope, &c.
The Lord Provost was called to the Chair, and addressed the meeting at considerable length. The Solicitor-General proposed the resolutions, which were seconded by Lord Forbes, and unanimously agreed to.
Mr Solicitor-General read two letters, one from Arbroath, and the other from Paisley. The former stated that there were 2243 out of employment at present, and in the course of three weeks, 1835 would be discharged. In Paisley, it was understood that there were 2000 families out of work, which might amount to 8000 persons.
Subscription papers were handed round the room, and upwards of £.1500 subscribed. The Lord Provost announced that the Earl of Moray had sent him a note, authorising his name to be put down for 4.100.—(Applause)
The meeting then broke up.
17.-General Assembly.This evening, according to ancient custom, the Lord Provost and Magistrates waited upon the Right Honourable James Lord Forbes, his Majesty's High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, at the Royal Hotel, and presented his Grace with the keys of the City.
On the following day his Grace proceeded, under an escort of the 7th Hussars, to the Merchants' Hall, where he arrived at half-past eleven, and held his levee, which was numerously attended.
At twelve o'clock his Grace walked in procession to the High Church, supported by the Marquis of Tweedale and the Earl of Moray, and accompanied by a great number of noblemen and gentlemen, forming the most splendid cortege that has been seen for some years.
The Reverend Dr Cook of Laurencekirk, the Moderator, preached an eloquent and impressive sermon from Romans iv. 25. After divine service, the Moderator and members of Assembly proceeded to the Aisle, where the Lord High Commissioner took his seat on the throne, and the Assembly having been constituted,
The Moderator stated, that the Assembly had now, according to custom, to appoint a successor to him in the chair which he then filled, and to which honour he proposed that Dr Thomas Taylor, minister of Tibbermuir, be elected.
This motion having been seconded by Principal Nicoll, was unanimously agreed to; whereupon Dr Taylor was called in, and his election intimated to him,
Dr Taylor having taken the chair, his Majesty's commission was then read, and ordered to be recorded, as was always the Royal letter.
His Grace the Commissioner then addressed the Assembly, in course of which he aptly alluded to the successful efforts of the committee of last Assembly on the subject of education in the Highlands and Islands, towards which object he now presented his Majesty's warrant for £.2000.
The Moderator replied to his Grace's address.
A letter from Dr Macknight, subclerk of the Assembly, was produced and read, intimating that the state of his health put it out of his power to appear at this Assembly, and throwing himself upon the indulgence of the House, that they might appoint a person to supply his place in the present Assembly. A keen discus sion then arose, whether a clerk should be appointed pro tempore, or whether the appointment should be permanent. The House divided on the subject, when there appeared in favour of the first proposition 66 of the second 134. Majority for making the appointment per. manent, 68.
Dr Nicoll then moved that Dr Lee be appointed sub-clerk conjointly with Dr Macknight, which was seconded by the Solicitor-General, and unanimously agreed
19. The Assembly met. The draft of the answer to his Majesty's letter was read and approved of, and the Moderator authorised to sign it in name of the Assembly; and his Grace was requested to transmit the same to his Majesty.
Some extracts from the records of the proceedings of the Trustees of the Widows' Fund were read, from which it appeared, that the collector of that fund is in future to receive £.200 per annum of salary, his clerk £.100, and the clerk to the trustee a similar sum. Principal Nicoll, after paying a compliment to the diligence and zeal of Sir Henry Moncreiff, who had not, he said, been in any way instrumental in procuring the necessary increase of salary, moved that the conduct of the Trustees be approved of.
The report of the Committee for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts was given in and read, from which it appeared, that the Directors of the East India Company have given all the pledge that could be expected of them, or is usually given in such cases. Dr Inglis received the thanks of the Assembly for his exertions in this cause; and it was subsequently agreed that the General Assembly shall appoint a committee, to
be selected from all the Presbyteries of the Church, to hold its meetings in Edin. burgh, for the direction and management of all the concerns of the proposed es. tablishment.
20.-Dr Baird produced and read the report of the committee on the means of increasing education in Scotland, than which a more important report had never been communicated to the Assembly. The Reverend Principal first alluded to the voluminous documents referred to in the report; the first of which consisted of the four large folio volumes then on the table of the Assembly. In these four volumes were embodied the hand-writing of every minister of the Church of Scotland, and they contained returns in regard to the state of education in every parish in Scotland. Another volume which he presented contained the substance of all these returns in a tabular form; in it there were not less than 56 columns, and 47,000 separate entries. Having also given in the minate-book, letter-book, &c. of the committee, the reverend Principal proceeded to read the report, from which it appeared that returns had been made from every parish in Scotland, comprising a population of 2,903,850; that collections had been made in 420 parishes, averaging £1111w6d. each, making a total of £486363d., besides donations amount. ing to £.44812s. 6d., and £.78 of ennual subscriptions. From these, together with interest, and several sums intimated, but not yet paid, they might reckon on a fund of £.5800. The first school had been established at Ullapool, in the parish of Lochbroom, a parish 58 miles in length by 38 în breadth, and the whole number of stations where the committee at the present date had agreed to establish schools, amounted to 42. There were other applications for schools before the committee, but these, as they had been more recently presented, had not yet been sufficiently considered by the committee. The report concluded with congratulating the Assembly on its success.
Dr Nicoll warmly complimented the zeal and diligence of the committee, but particularly of its convener, Principal Baird, who took the opportunity of ealogizing the conduct of his colleagues.
The Assembly proceeded to the consideration of the overtures on small livings of the Church; and, after some discussion, a committee was appointed, with instructions to report to a subse quent meeting of this Assembly.
The Assembly next took up the reference from the Synod of Angus and Mearns, relative to the profanation of the
Sabbath. It particularly complained of the conduct of the fishermen, in exercis. ing their calling on the Sabbath, at all hours.
After some discussion, it was agreed to print the statute anent the violation of the Sabbath separately, and circulate it throughout the Church, with a general recommendation to enforce the law relative to the profanation of the Sabbath.
22. The Procurator for the Church proceeded to make his report on the state of the funds of the Church, from which it appeared, that the debts due when he last made report, amounted to £1350. By the subscriptions of Ministers, it was reduced to £.123116.6d. By the votes of the House, however, of last year, the Church was pledged for an additional debt of £.620. The contribution of the lay members last year amounted to £.450, but, notwithstanding that large sum, the Church was either indebted, or pledged for £,1467.
The Assembly then called for the overture from the Synod of Dumfries, anent clandestine marriages.
Reverend Mr D. Wright appeared in support of the overture. The evil, he said, had long been permitted to exist within the bounds of the Synod of Dumfries. He did not wish it to be under stood that they had come to the Assembly without trying what could be effected by regulations; but no regulations nor co operations on the part of the Presbytery could be effective, unless the conduct and practice of the Magistrates were also regulated. The conduct of these func. tionaries, he trusted, he would be able to show were quite contrary to the statute-. law of the land. To put an end to such evils, so destructive to the virtue, happiness, and well-being of society, must be the wish of all who valued the interests of piety and morality; and to do so, no new laws were necessary, but only to put in force those already in existence. He concluded by moving, that a committee be appointed to consider of the best means of putting down the evil complained of, and to report. After several members of Assembly had delivered their opinions, a committee was appointed to report.
The Asssembly next proceeded to consider the petition and appeal of the Rev. Malcolm McLeod, minister of Snizort, against the sentence of the Presbytery of Skye, suspending the Rev. Roderick M'Leod, minister of Bracadale, for contumacy.
The minutes of Presbytery were read, detailing the various proceedings which had taken place, from which it appeared,
that the Presbytery got from Mr M'Leod a statement that there were 47 children, under three years of age, unbaptized in the parish, and that for the two years and a half that he had been incumbent, he had only baptised seven. The Presbytery then resolved on a Presbyterial visitation, when the elders and heads of families were called before them. At a forenoon meeting of Presbytery, four per sons having children to be baptized were examined-three of whom were found entitled to have the ordinance adminis. tered, and one unfit. Two of whom had their children instantly baptized, but one man's (R. Shaw) child, Mr M'Leod positively refused to baptize, because Shaw had been impertinent, and also because he was not a regular attender of the ordinances of religion. In this refusal the Presbytery acquiesced for the time.
At the Presbyterial examination, Mr M'Leod still refused to baptize Shaw's child, in consequence of which refusal, the Presbytery suspended Mr M'Leod until he should agree to baptize the child; but the Moderator was au thorised, should Mr M'Leod comply, to call a pro re nata meeting, and remove this sentence of suspension. Against this sentence Mr M'Leod of Snizort dissented, and appealed.
After parties had been heard, and several Members of Court had delivered their opinions, Dr Nicoll, on the ground that, if subordination was not adhered to, every Minister might set up an independent congregation of his own, moved, in effect, that the sentence appealed from should be affirmed.
Dr M'Gill considered it rash to judge of the conduct of a Minister who had refused to baptize a child, without weighing well all the motives on which his refusal might be grounded. He moved that the sentence of the Presbytery of Skye should be reversed.
The vote being now loudly called for, the House divided, when there appeared, for Principal Nicoll's-motion, 108-for Dr M'Gill's, 73—majority, 35.
23. The Assembly met at 11 o'clock, but it being understood that the question on the union of offices was to come on, the gallery appropriated to strangers was filled soon after 9 o'clock, and, by the time of meeting, the House was crowded in every part. There were a number of ladies on each side of the throne, and in the gallery.
Overtures against the union of profes sorships, or other offices, with parochial charges, were read from the Synod of Fife, the Presbyteries of Glasgow, Kirk. cudbright, Irvine, Paisley, Dunblane,
Fordyce, Turriff, Tain, Tongue, and For. far; the Synod of Sutherland and Caithness; the Presbyteries of Dornoch and Ross: the Synod of Perth and Stirling; and the Presbytery of Stirling.
Mr Marshall of Glasgow then proceed. ed to state his reasons why he consider. ed that the holding of pluralities was de trimental to the interests of religion and education, and concluded a speech of considerable length and ability, by moving,
"That the General Assembly, having considered the overtures relative to the union of the office of a parochial minis ter with that of Principal or Professor in any of the Universities of Scotland, and being deeply convinced that such unions are injurious to the interests of religion, education, and learning, and contrary to the spirit of our ecclesiastical constitution, resolve, That a committee be appointed to prepare an overture to be transmitted to the Presbyteries of this Church, for preventing such unions of these offices in future, in all cases not already provided for by the act of Assembly 1817, and to report to this Assembly; and farther, in respect that some of the theological pro fessorships are not at present sufficiently provided for, the General Assembly resolve to appoint a committee to take all such cases into consideration, with in structions to make all necessary inquiries, and to adopt all measures that may be deemed expedient, with the view of ob taining some means or security for the adequate endowment of these offices, and to report to next Assembly."
Mr Douglas Cheape, advocate, spoke against the overtures.
Principal Nicoll proposed that the following motion be adopted :-"That the General Assembly, having maturely de liberated on the subject of these overtures, judge it inexpedient to transmit any overture upon the subject to the several Presbyteries of this Church,"
Dr Cook assumed it as a fact, about which no man acquainted with the his tory of the Church can have any doubt, that our Scottish Reformers did not contemplate, under their ecclesiastical polity, the union of benefices with offices in Universities. Yet they acted with respect to this in a different manner from what they did as to other unions. They passed laws against the union of benefices with cure of souls, against non-residence, and against the junction of offices properly secular, with parochial charges, but they passed no law against the union of benefices with situations in Universities. So far, indeed, from this, they often indirectly and directly sanctioned such union. I perfectly agree, continued he, with those who
think, that, under proper arrangement, it is desirable that the union of offices and benefices should be abolished; not that I think that the ordinary duties of both may not be thoroughly performed, but because we should thus bring back the Church to its original state, because the duties of one situation are quite sufficient for the talents and active powers of the great part of mankind, because the office of a minister or professor has a full claim upon the individual who holds it for the full exercise of his intellectual powers, and because, were adequate emoluments attached to it, greater encouragement would be given to literature and theology than exists under the present system. I am for appointing a committee of inquiry. We shall thus know on what ground we stand, and so legislate as to prevent the danger of evil. This mode of proceeding should, I think, be acceptable to all, both to the supporters and opposers of pluralities. The Reverend Doctor concluded with the following motion:
"The General Assembly having considered the overtures on the table, find, that it is not expedient, under existing circumstances, to transmit to Presbyteries an overture for abolishing the union of offices in Universities with parochial charges, where the law of residence is not violated; but appoint a Committee to inquire and ascertain whether adequate endowments for theological professorships could be obtained, and what effect the universal abolition of pluralities would produce on the connexion between the Church and the Universities of Scotland."
The Lord President could not refrain from expressing his most unqualified astonishment, that the Clergy of any Estab lished Church, and especially of the Church of Scotland, should endeavour, utterly and for ever to disqualify themselves from holding the office of Professors in the Universities of Scotland. For his own part, he would wish to behold, not only the theological and philosophical chairs, but every chair in the University filled by Ministers of the Gospel; and so impressed was he with a sense of the importance of the proper education and instruction of youth, that he would rejoice, if possible, to see those of law and medicine filled by such men, He would vote for the motion of the Learned Doctor (Cook), if that was the general sense of the House; but he would rather vote for the motion of the reverend Principal (Dr Nicoll) that they should dismiss this overture.(Hear, hear, and applause.)
Dr M'Gill combated at considerable length the doctrine that the union of offi