« AnteriorContinuar »
of Scotlan], and forms an integral part of thus instruct the Presbytery, the deits constitution, embodied in its standards fenders in the Auchterarder case, to and declared in various Acts of Assembly, persist in that refusal, which has been the General Assembly resolve that this solemnly adjudged to be illegal, and principle cannot be abandoned, and that a violation of the statutes. They dino presentee shall be forced up in any parish rect and enjoin the Presbytery to dis. contrary to the will of the congregation.”
obey the luw. Will the framer of that This, it must be admitted, is ingenis resolution, will any member of Assemous enough; but it is not manly or bly who supported it, venture to say, straightforward -- it is unworthy of that such is not, or was not intended the Church of Scotland. The first to be, the meaning of the clause which and paramount duty of the General we have quoted : Will any advocate Assembly, in the circumstances, was to of the Church's recent measures tell instruct ihe Presbytery of Auchterar- us, that if the Presbytery of Auchter. der as to their future course in the arder were now proceeding to the setmatter of Mr Young's settlement. The tlement of Mr Young, in obedience to Court of Session and the House of the civil law, they would not be held Lords had found that, in refusing to by the General Assembly directly to take that gentleman on trial, the Pres- have violated the instructions delivered bytery had broken the law-the Gen- to them in that resolution ? eral Asseinbly do not instruct them The Church having been compelled, to retrace their steps and obey the law. for conscience sake as is alleged, to But neither, on the other liand, have assume this attitude of defiance, and they the manliness or the courage in for a time so far to abandon her duty direct terms to enjoin them to set the as to set the evil example of disobedi. law at defiance. They instruct them, ence, it might have been expected, at in the first paragraph above quoted, to least, that her leading members and " offer no farther resistance to the her most prominent supporters would claims of Mr Young or the patron to have been ready to join with us in dethe emoluments of the benefice;" but ploring the necessity which led to so this does not meet the exigency of the painful and so mischievous a result; case--this does not dispose of the diffi. and, above all, that they would not culty raised by the judgment of the have hesitated to admit the true charCourt of Session. What that Court acter of their own conduct and condenounced as illegal, and contrary to
dition as a Church. But with a glaring the provisions of statute, was not * re. inconsistency, which nothing can exsistance to the claims of Mr Young or plain or justify, at the very moment the patron to the emoluments of the that they are thus declaring war in the benefice,” but refusal to take trial of parish of Auchterarder, and reading the qualifications of Mr Young. Had this lesson of rebellion to the Presbythe resolution, therefore, stopped with tery, their language to the Legislature the first paragraph, the Presbytery of and the country is moderate and bland Auchterarder might have been puzzled and peaceful, and, alas, most deceitful! to know how the General Assembly They say that they are ready “ever wished or expected them to act. But to give and inculcate implicit obedi. then they go on to say, that they cannot ence to the decisions of Civil Courts;i? * abandon the principle of non-intrusion, and one writer, who seems to have and resolve “ that no presentee shall been instructed to speak the sentiments be forced upon any parish contrary to of the dominant party in the Church, the will of the congregation." This gravely maintains that the Church language, as addressed to the Presby- hast" deferentially suspended all protery of Auchterarder, is perfectly in- ceedings that might conflict with the telligible. No intrusion, they say, shall actings of the Civil Court," and comtake place, and of course the Presbytery plains of the charge of disobedience understand that they are not to violate brought against the Church as “wanthis general resolution in the case of ton and absurd.”I Is it possible, then, Mr Young The General Assembly that the Church designedly speaks to
Dr Chalmers's Resolution. t" The Present Position of the Church of Scotland Explained and Vindicated.” By a Lay Member of the Church. P. 14.
# Ibid. p. 42.
the Legislature and the country in lan- can reasonably be asked or can safely guage different from, and inconsistent consent to confer new boons, and to with, that in which she addresses her make new grants in favour of the own inferior judicatories ? Or is this Church, while such heavy suspicions resolution of set purpose couched in lie against her loyalty, and good faith, terms so equivocal as readily to bear and obedience. a double meaning? We most sincerely Add to this, that the agitation of hope that the leaders of the Church any such question as the present is have not so far forgotten their own calculated to withdraw the attention dignity-nay, abandoned the princi- of the clergy from the performance ples of common honesty. We cannot of their pastoral duties, and to engenfor one moment, even in argument, der animosities and disunion in the assume the possibility of such conduct Church. There is here surely abunor such motives. The Church must darice of present immediate evil reelect one of two courses : If she sin- sulting from the course which the last cerely desire to yield obedience to the General Assembly have resolved to law, let her instruct the Presbytery of pursue. Auchterarder to proceed with the set- But what is there to account for tlement of Mr Young. Till this be such zeal, or to justify such sacrifices ? done_cheerfully, unqualifiediy, and Previous to the passing of the Veto because the law requires it—the sup- Act in the General Assembly of 1834, porters of the Church's recent pro- there were many discussions in the ceedings must smother their indigna. Church Courts as to the expediency tion, when they are denounced as re- of that measure, independent altobellious and disobedient subjects. gether of its legality ; but to the
On general grounds, whatever tends Church Courts these discussions were to interrupt the harmony and good entirely, or almost entirely, confined. understanding which ought to subsist Now, however, it is high time that between Church and State, or to lessen the attention of all men who are or destroy their cordial co-operation friendly to the Church, and especially in promoting the cause of peace and of those who may be called to legisorder and religion, is in itself a na- late on this subject, should be closely, tional calamity. At the present mo- anxiously, and impartially directed to ment too, the scheme of Church Ex- the enquiry, whether such a modificatension, in support of which the mem- tion of the law of patronage as the bers of the Church of Scotland have Veto Act was intended to accomplish, displayed such noble energy, confess- would be a practical benefit to the edly depends for its ultimate and full Church and people of Scotland. success on the pecuniary assistance of The discussion of every question of the Government. In a manner and policy is materially facilitated by on grounds which must render the ascertaining in the first place the preapplication irresistible, the Church cise nature and limits of the matter in demands endowments for those new dispute, and by a clear short stateplaces of worship which the liberality, ment, in unequivocal terms, of the of her own sons has enabled her to question to be solved; for, as Mr erect. But no man in his senses can Locke remarks, there is no such doubt that the course pursued in re- way to give defence to absurd docgard to the Veto Act, is a material trines, as to guard them round with bar to the advancement of the claim legions of obscure, doubtful, undefor additional endowments. Many fined words." men, and these not the least influen- We understand, then, that there is tial portion of the community, look no proposal now on the part of the on that course with something more Church to abolish patronage. The than disapproval. Parliament must parliamentary enquiry on this subject pause, and inquire into the truth of in the year 1834, afforded an opportuthe charge of rebellion and disobe- nity to many of the most distinguished dience brought against the Church by and best qualified members of the a large and most respectable minority* Church of Scotland to put on record of her own members. No Government their valuable opinions, and the result
* The number of members of Assembly who voted for Dr Cook's motion was 155, in a house consisting of 359 members,
seems to be, that a very great majority important element in the union of of all classes in Scotland are convin. Church and State, a most powerful ced that a measure for the abolition “connecting link” in the maintenance of patronage is neither expedient nor of that union. It is not surprising desirable. In 1834, Lord Moncreiff that the General Assembly should, reinformed the Committee of the House peatedly since that time, bave nega. of Commons, that “ beyond all doubt tived by very large majorities proposia large proportion, at least more than tions for the abolition of patronage; one-half of the whole clergy in Scotland, on the last occasion by a majority of must be supposed to be adverse to the 166 to 96.8 For all practical purmotion for repealing the law of pa. poses, therefore, this question may be tronage.". Again, in speaking of the fairly considered as settled ; and in the people of Scotland generally, he present controversy the Church must says,
be held not to contemplate in any event I think that there has been great ac
the total repeal of the patronage law. tivity used, and strong measures used ;
On the other hand, there is no quesmeasures, some of which I own have ex
tion raised as to the right of a concited my great surprise, and my very great gregation to state objections to the regret, fur exciting the people to come life, literature, and orthodoxy of a forward in this matter; and that great presentee, or the right of the Presbyexertions have been made to procure teries to dispose of these objections, those petitions, and to obtain the signa- and if they be well founded to give tures of persons who have little under effect to them by refusing to induct. standing on the subject, who have never Under the existing law, the congregacontemplated the difficulties, who are tion are afforded two separate oppormoved almost entirely by what I have tunities in the course of every settlealready mentioned as the still remaining ment of advancing such objections ; strong prejudices and hereditary feeling, the first, at the moderation in the call; rather than any thing else, against the law
and the second, immediately before of patronage.
ordination ; I and no one disputes “ In this state of things, I find it not only difficult, I must say impossible, for
the competency of Presbyteries to me to infer that the feeling of all, or of judge and determine in this matter, or any thing like all, the intelligent people of
the power of the General Assembly Scotland is against the law of patronage.
to make such rules and regulations as I very strongly suspect that if the city of will give the greatest practical effect Edinburgh, and many other of the large
to the privilege of objection, provided places within the country, if the counties that no attempt be made to extend the even, and even the Royal burghs were people's right beyond its proper subpolied, it would be found that there is a ject matter, viz. the qualifications of large mass of the population that are de- the presentee properly and technically cidedly hostile to the measure, and that so called. the population of the highest intelligence, The whole controversy then turns in particular in Scotland, are very much on the propriety and expediency of against it.”
giving to a congregation a right to If such were the state of feeling in reject a presentee without assigning 1834, it is not surprising that hostility any reasons, a power of exercising an to the existence of patronage in the absolute veto on the patron's choice, Church should have become more and to which the Presbytery are bound to more uncommon, when, in the report give effect, without enquiry as to the already referred to, we find such reasonableness of the grounds of obmen as Lord Moncreiff and Mr Bell jection. It matters little to the arguon the one hand, and Dr Cook and ment whether the people's will be exMr Whigham on the other-men dia. pressed in the form of a consent or a metrically opposed in their general dissent. The question relates to the
views of Church polity-concur in nature and extent of the power which - holding that patronage forms a most should be conferred on the people ; and
† Ibid. p. 197-3.
* Report on Church Patronage, p. 196, In. 1346.
we understand the principle main- Having so far cleared the way totained by the majority of the Church wards a full understanding of the to be, that no presentee ought to be question truly at issue, we proceed to settled in any parish where the people enquire into the merits of the principle say in simple terms, “ we do not like of non-intrusion as thus explained and him," or we will not have him," defined, and to examine the arguments without any explanation whatever. chiefly relied on by its supporters.
We have been the more anxious to In the Act of 1834, « The General arrive at a very clear understanding Assembly declare, that it is a fundaof the question at issue, because there mental law of this Church, (i. e. of are obvious symptoms of a wish on the Church of Scotland,) that no the part of the Church to avoid the pastor shall be intruded on any conreal difficulty of the subject. For gregation contrary to the will of the example, the pamphleteer already people.” This is at once the inducquoted has the following passage:- tive cause and the justification of the “ Upon this motion" (Dr Chalmers's) enactment which follows.
The prin" I only further observe at present, ciple of non-intrusion therefore is dethat while it distinctly pledged the fended, not only on the general ground Assembly to adhere to the fundamental of its expediency or necessity, but also law of the Church against the intru- by reason of its antiquity and its funsion of ministers, it did not pledge the damental character. We are told that house to adhere to the particular mode it is « coeval with the existence of of giving effect to that fundamental the Christian Church,” † and that the law by the Veto of the majority of the Veto Act is therefore no innovation, heads of families, but left it open to but the revival of an old law. This the Church hereafter to modify or is perhaps not the most important alter that branch of the law as might branch of the subject; but we are unyet seem to be advisable." Again, willing to omit the consideration of an
argument so confidently advanced by trol of the Presbytery” where op- the supporters of the General Assemposition is stirred up against a presen- bly's enactment. tee upon groundless prejudices, or We directly and utterly deny that from motives positively unworthy." there ever existed in the Church of P. 45. Nay, he says, “ the very first Scotland, or in any Established Church duty of the Presbytery in such circum- whatever, such a fundamental law as stances would necessarily be to sup- is now sought to be enforced. Neither port the hands of the patron, and to during the centuries which have elapput down the unworthy and scanda, sed since the Reformation, nor at any lous opposition."-Pp. 47, 48. Now earlier period, have the people in the we repeat our admission, that the pre- Church of Scotland possessed or excise form in which the people's abso. ercised a right of negativing the lute right is exercised does not affect choice of the patron, without stating the question of principle, nor would it special grounds of objection for the alter the course of our argument, if, in consideration of the Presbytery-a place of the male heads of families right of having the
bare expression of within the parish, the Church had their will given effect to as against seen fit to commit the right of Veto to the presentee, without explanation and the females under fourteen years of without enquiry. The people, it is age. But the moment that our op- true, have always borne some part in ponents begin to speak or to write of the ceremony of induction, their prethe “ control" or the “judgment” of sence and concurrence being thought the Presbytery in this matter, they conducive to the decency and solemnecessarily and at once abandon their nity of the occasion, and their right to broad principle, that the people's dis- state and prove objections to the life like, expressed in a negative monosyl- and doctrine of the proposed new paslable, shall exclude that being unac- tor, necessarily implying that their ceptable, no matter from what cause, presence was recognised and desired. shall constitute a disqualification. The rule of the Canon Law is “ Ple.
he speaks of " calling in
* The Present Position, &c., p.
bis non est eligere, sed electioni con- describes the general practice in sentire." But this consent, so far from terms almost exactly descriptive of being essential to induction, was a our own system, which allows the mere formal part of the proceedings; people to state special objections :and wherever it was unreasonably « Præterea nec ipsi parochiani, quibus withheld, the officers of the Church præsentandus præficiendus, prorsus were instructed to proceed notwith excluduntur, sed itidem voto negativo standing, and by admonition, and, if gaudent, salvo jure præsentandi soli need were, by Church censures, to patrono debito. Audiendi itaque sunt, compel the consent of the people---as. et hunc in finem ; antequam præsensiduâ admonitione compellere ut omnes tetur candidatus Episcopo, sistendus iis in unum consentiant. To the same est in cathedrâ sacrâ ad concionem purpose is the instruction of the Pon
Box duas Tixno habendam ; alibi etiam, eâ tiff Stephanus to the Arehbishop of habitâ et finitâ, superintendens, qui Ravenna:4" Veruntamen in hoc tuam eidem interesse jubetur, sententiam plurimum oportet adhiberi solicitudi. parochianorum de candidati morinem, ut convocato clero et populo talis bus et vitâ exquirit, et quæ forsan in ibi eligatur per Dei misericordiam cui eo reprobata ipsique objecta fuerint, sacri non obvient canones. Sacerdo. consistorio refert."'S In the next sec. tum quippe est electio, et fidelis populi tion, he tells us what effect the Conconsensus adhibendus est; quia docen- sistory give to such objections. “ Opedus est populus, non sequendus."† The ratur vero hoc votum negativum, ut text of the canon law is thus clearly probatâ inhabilitate aliisque defectibus contradictory of the existence of any candidato objectis demonstratis, reright of control in the people; and so pellatur, et patrono injungatur ut magis these texts have been understood by all idoneum præsentet." | The same aus the commentators, and by the later thor, in another and a later work, (as canonists. Thus Zoesius, after men. quoted by Lord Corehouse in the tioning the presence of the people as Auchterarder case,) repeats the same a usual part of the ceremony of elec. doctrine in terms equally express; and tion and induction, adds :-“ Verum we make no apology for the length or hoc non ita accipiendum, quasi popu- the number of our quotations, because lus suffragia daret, sed quod vel popu- the presumption arising from the ablus aliquem postnlaret aut desideraret, sence in all Protestant churches, other quem postea clerus pro populi voto than our own, of any provision for eligeret, non tamen necessario : vel giving effect to the unexplained dissent quod postea consentiret in electum per of the people in settlements, appears clerum populus, ut gratior esset.” So to be conclusive against the alleged that the people were at liberty to ex- antiquity of the principle of the Veto press either their wish for the election of Act. In his Jus Parochiale, Boeha particular person, or their approval of
“ Equidem in omni jure the person elected; but neither their patronatus non quidam excluditur condesire nor their opinion had any legal sensus populi, sed ita ut patrono votum or necessary effect on the election. decisivum in electione tribuatur, populo
But it is not in the canon law alone negativum ut possint dissentire ; non that we find authority for the opinion tamen aliter quam si justas dissensus which we have so distinctly expressed ; causas allegare queant." T for the Protestant churches generally It would be an easy matter to mul. have received the doctrine of the tiply authorities on such a point, but we people's assent to precisely the same refrain, the rather because we appreeffect, and in the same spirit. Boeh- hend that our opponents in the argumer, in a work which is of great ment will hardly venture on this field authority in all Protestant churches, of enquiry. They will, we think, hardly
* 1 Dec. Dis. 63, cap. 11. † Ibid. cap. 12.
& Zoesius in Decret. lib. I. tit, iv. $ 24. See also Lancellotti, Inst. Jur. Can. lib. 1. tit. xviii. S 1, et seq. § Boehmer, Jus. Eccles. Protestantium, lib. III. tit. xxxviii. $ 77.
1 $ 78. | Boehmer Jus Parochiale, III, 1. 18. as quoted by Lord Corehouse: Robertson's Report, vol. ii. p. 222.