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that might seem likely to remove them. But in spite of those divisions, and notwithstanding its want of independent action, the Church of England enjoys the best of all privileges, the means of extensive usefulness. During the last 30 years she has founded 1000 new parishes at home. She has established 20 new episcopal sees in our colonies abroad. She is supporting schools, not indeed without assistance, for which we are most grateful; but still, as the principal instrument in every village of the land, she is exerting herself, and successfully exerting herself, to supply the spiritual wants of her increasing population. That she might do more if all her sons were united together in the same mind and in the same judgment, I am not prepared to deny. But I do not believe that the assembling of Convocation would be the means of promoting such union, and therefore I cannot agree with the noble Lord in desiring the assembling of Convocation." (" Hear, hear.")
Lord Lyttelton expressed his desire for the revival of Convocation, as promising, by further discussion and explanation, to smooth the way to peace; at all events he thought peace was purchased at a great cost with the sacrifice of life and freedom. He explained that he meant by Convocation "a representative body, including the laity as well as clergy." The Archbishop of Dublin, who next spoke, referred to his views as expressed long ago in print. He thought the government of the Church by the clergy exclusively would not be tolerated in these days. The Duke of Argyll remarked that great misapprehension prevailed as to the nature of the old English Convo
cation, which was a purely clerical body, convened not to regulate ecclesiastical affairs, but to assent to taxes on the clergy. The difficulty of forming a new tribunal arose from the want of any traditionary model on which it might be formed. Earl Nelson believed that the greatest danger now impending was that the Government should neglect this question.
The Marquis of Lansdowne declared that no sufficient grounds had been stated to induce him to consent to the introduction of so novel and important an element into the constitution of the State. He was not prepared to say, whatever his apprehensions of the innovation might be, that if he saw any prospect by the introduction of such an element, however new, of obtaining that unity and peace in the Church which must be the object not only of every member of the Church of England, but of every good subject in this realm, he should not be prepared to embrace it or any measure that could effect so desirable an end; but when he remembered what had been the result of ecclesiastical bodies meeting in Convocation, he confessed he entertained no such confidence as would induce him to be a party to the scheme proposed, or to prolong the existence of such a body without being able to govern its proceedings, or to say into what ways of controversy it might be directed. When it was said that these were matters for the Crown to control, he would ask if the exercise of that control would contribute to the peace of the Church or to the restoration of her tranquillity. (" Hear, hear.") No one could look to the controversy that had so unhappily occupied us without seeing the possibility of a great difference of opinion, of passion, and of agitation arising in this assembly. But it was said when those differences arose that the Crown might step in and induce them to forego and regulate the controversy. Was it to be supposed that in such a temper of the meeting and in the very heat of discussion that the Crown was at once to interfere to allay the controversy and to put an end to the discussion which agitated men's opinions and consciences, when history proved that such attempts had signally failed? He had been surprised to hear the noble Lord who introduced this motion allude to the Council of Trent. In that case great assiduity, talent, time, and industry had been employed in a series of transactions which we had the satisfaction of having had recorded by one of the greatest writers of controversial history. And what had been the result? It was but a series of ineffectual efforts to obtain that peace and concord in the Church which was so desirable, but which, after the lapse of many years, left the Church in Europe in a state of fatal discord and inquietude. He could not entertain any such hope as that Convocation would lead to different results. If, indeed, he saw any better means of eliciting the opinion of the members of the Church on these matters, he should be glad to embrace it, and to bring it to bear on the better government of the Church; but till he saw that power distinctly pointed out he could not, for one, nor, he believed, could Her Majesty's Government make themselves a party to try an experiment so important, so new, and so perilous. (" Hear, hear.")
The Bishop of London declared his opinion to be, that unless some representative body, combining the representation of all classes in the Church, should be permitted to assemble and deliberate, the time was not far distant when the Government and heads of dioceses would be placed in a position of great embarrassment.
The Bishop of Oxford entered into a discussion of the question in its religious aspects, but not without a reference to political results. He was desirous of going back to that which was established when the Apostles said that they met together to consult for the welfare of the Church, and that because they did s0 consult they spoke such words as seemed good to the Holy Ghost for the general good. That which he desired to see granted to the Church of England was no priestly domination, no episcopal tyranny. There was no remedy for the evils that had crept in by reason of the recent divisions in the Church, and no power for that necessary self-expansion, if the Church of England did her duty, unless power for her own internal regulation were given to her—a power which should bring together her discordant elements, and blend them in one harmonious operation. It was not and never had been the condition of the Church of Christ to have perfect unity of opinion. It could not be. He believed that the constitution of men's minds made it impossible. Some must incline to Calvinism and others to Arminianism. The office of the Church of Christ was not to extinguish all those differences of opinion; but it was, nevertheless, possible that Christians should exist together in harmonious co-operation, according as it had been arranged by the Divine Founder of the Christian religion. If, however, the Legislature would handle the living body which was dwelling amongst them as some mere instrument of human device—if they would attempt by their external legislation to make it speak a language which it had not derived from its Author, and to do acts which it could not justify by His precepts—
then, where they promised peace they would find death; where they promised success they would find failure; and they would finally be left as incompetent as ever any unchristian nation had been to deal with the corruptions and unnumbered evils of a Church which, as a body politic, they had to administer.
The motion was then agreed to.
Admission Of Jews To Parliament—A Bill for this object is again introduced by Lord John Russell early in the Session—Sir Robert Inglis repeats his Protest against the Measure—On the Second Beading being proposed, Mr. Newdegate moves that it be postponed to that day Six Months—He is supported by Mr. Goulburn, Mr. Wigram, Sir Robert Inglis, and Colonel Sibthorp—Lord John Russell, Mr. Roebuck, the Solicitor General, and Mr. J. A. Smith speak in favour of the Bill—A Division takes place, and the Bill is read a second time by a Majority of '25—The Third Reading passes without a Division— In the House of Lords the Second Reading is moved on the 17th of July by Lord Chancellor Truro—His Speech—Earl Nelson opposes the Bill, and moves its rejection in the usual form—The Bishop of Norwich, the Earl of Carlisle, and the Duke of Argyll support the Measure—It is opposed in an argumentative Speech by the Earl of Shaftesbury, followed by the Earl of Winchilsea and Lord Abitiger— On a Division the Bill is lost by 144 to 108—Mr. Alderman Salomons, a Member of the Jewish Community, lately elected M.P. for Greenwich, determines to take his Seat—He repeats the Oath of Abjuration at the Table of the House of Commons, but omits the concluding Words "on the true faith of a Christian "—Being directed by the Speaker to withdraw, he at first takes his Seat in the House, but afterwards retires below the Bar—A discussion commences, but is postponed to a future day—On the 2\st Mr. Salomons again enters the House, and takes his Seat on the Ministerial side of the House—A stormy discussion ensues, and three Divisions take ■place, on two of which Mr. Salomons himself votes—Mr. Bethell delivers an opinion in favour of Mr. Salomons' competency to sit upon taking the Oath as he had done—Sir F. Thesiger maintains the contrary opinion—Mr. Salomons is called upon, and addresses the House in a short Speech —The House having affirmed by 231 against 81 the Motion that Mr. Salomons should withdraw, he refuses to do so unless compelled—The Sergeant at Arms is then directed to remove him, and he retires—The next day Lord John Russell moves a Resolution denying the right of Mr. Salomons to sit until he has taken the usual Oath—The question is debated at considerable length during two evenings, but after several Amendments and Divisions the original Motion is finally carried by 123 to 63—Remaining Business Of The Session— Bills for regulation of Capitular and Episcopal Estates, for improved Administration of the Woods and Forests, and for the Removal of Smithfield Market—Law Reform—Registration Of Deeds—Patent Laws— Criminal Law Amendment Bill—Creation Of New Judicial Offices In The Court Of Chancery —Lord John RusselTs First VOL.XCIII. [M]
and Second Plans—Opinions of Legal Members of the House— Outline of the Measure as passed—Close of the Session—Occupation of their New Chamber by the House of Commons—The Prorogation of Parliament on the 8th of August—Address of the Speaker and Her Majesty's Speech—Remarks on the Session—Its small legislative results—Effect of the Papal Aggression on the progress of Parliamentary business. Conclusion.
THE Sessions of 1851 witnessed another attempt, but attended with the same unsuccessful result as in former years, to remove the disability of members of the Jewish persuasion to sit in the Legislature. At an early period after the meeting of Parliament, Lord John Russell moved for a Committee of the whole House on the mode of administering the oath of abjuration to Jews. On his motion the resolution of the House, passed on the Oath of August, 1850, was read as follows:—
"That this House will, at the earliest opportunity in the next session of Parliament, take into its serious consideration the form of the oath of abjuration, with a view to relieve Her Majesty's subjects professing the Jewish religion."
The noble Lord said but few words in support of his motion, declining to enter at that stage into the well-known arguments often urged by him on the subject. Sir Robert Inglis renewed his former objections to the measure —that Christianity is part of the constitution and law of England, and that Jews are consequently debarred from legislating for the community. He was supported by Mr. Plumptre and Mr. Newdegate; the original motion being advocated by Mr. Wegg Prosser and Mr. M. Gibson. The House went into Committee, and passed a formal resolution: and Lord
John Russell had leave to bring in his Bill founded upon it. The second reading of this measure being moved on the 1st of May, Mr. Newdegate moved the postponement of that stage for six months. He supported his motion by a speech embodying the oftenurged objections to the admission of Jews to Parliament, which he strengthened by reference to the experience of France and the example of Prussia. He said that since the admission of Jews into the Parliament of France, the church of that country had gradually been alienated from the State; the character and constitution of that church, which were eminently national, had been gradually superseded by ultramontane principles, and the clergy were gradually leaning more and more towards Rome. The Cabinet of Prussia had refused to consent to the admission of Jews into Parliament unless they renounced the anti-social and anti-national doctrines of the Talmud, and the Jews had cast back the offer made under that condition.
Lord John Russell stated that he thought the preponderance of argument was against the opinion, supported by the high authority of the late Mr. Charles Wynn, that a Jewish member can take the oath as Baron Rothschild had taken it, omitting the words "on the true faith of a Christian." Deference to the House of Lords was an additional reason with him