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Passing over everything else as comparatively unimportant, we come now to the disruption itself, and the circumstances which attended it. At their sittings in May 1842, the General Assembly framed, for the consideration of Government, a "Claim, Declaration and Protest," on the subject of the Church's collisions with the Civil Courts. No notice having been taken by Government of this Document, the Assembly's Commission, at their Meeting in November of the same year, transmitted a Memorial to Sir Robert Peel, recapitulating their grievances, and intimating" that it must be obvious to Her Majesty's Government, as it is to the Memorialists, that, if redress be not afforded, the inevitable result must be a disruption of the present Established Church of Scotland." An answer was received from Sir James Graham, in January 1843, declining to give the redress asked. This letter was, a week after its receipt, replied to in a Minute of the General Assembly's Commission, marked by great temper, dignity, and talent, in which the alternative is presented, "Whether to force on a disruption of the established Church of Scctland, with all its attendant evils; or to restore the Church to the state in which she was between 1834 and 1838, when the Veto Act had not been declared illegal, the power to admit quoad sacra ministers had not been challenged, and the jurisdiction of the Civil Courts, which has since been so largely exercised, had not been claimed." The Government however adhered to their former answer; and, upon an Appeal to Parliament in March 1843, the Church's claims to be restored to the above position were rejected, although supported by a majority of Scotch Members.

This decision of the Legislature was admitted on all hands to be conclusive. In the November previous, at a convocation in Edinburgh of upwards of 400 Ministers, summoned on purpose from all parts of the country, it had been resolved that, should Parliament reject the Church's claims, they would generally resign their benefices. It only remained for the resolutionists now to redeem their Pledge.

And they did redeem it. The General Assembly met in Edinburgh, on the 17th of May last. Professor Welsh, the Moderator, or Preses, of the previous Assembly, delivered (as is usual) an opening discourse, selecting for his subject these very suitable words: "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." The Assembly then met as a Court; but Professor Welsh immediately rose and read a Protest, signed by himself and by those Members (lay and clerical) who concurred with him, recounting the acts of alleged invasion by the Civil Courts on the Church's privileges, protesting that the Established Church was no longer a free church, and withdrawing from it. When

the reading of the Protest was finished, the Moderator and the other Members subscribing it left the Meeting, adjourned to another Hall, and there constituted themselves into a free Assembly, in conjunction with other Ministers and lay officebearers who adhered to their views. Their deliberations lasted for ten days, and were marked by great zeal and unanimity. They elected Dr. Chalmers as their Moderator. They signed a Deed of Demission renouncing, in legal form, the Establishment and its emoluments. They resolved to carry on all the Educational and Missionary Schemes of the Church, as if nothing had happened. They made arrangements for, in due time, establishing a College, founding a library, creating Churches and Schools, and supporting Ministers and Missionaries. And they agreed to place themselves on a friendly footing with all denominations of Dissenters holding the same doctrines as themselves. With regard to their numbers (now 460), Lord Aberdeen remarked, in the House of Lords, on the 13th June: "I have not yet obtained information as to the precise extent to which the secession has taken place; but I believe that about 240 Parish Ministers have left the Church, being somewhat more than one fourth of the whole number. I think, also, that about 200 unendowed, but ordained ministers, have also seceded, making altogether about 440 or 450, including both parochial and unendowed but ordained Clergymen, forming somewhat more than one third of the whole number in the Church." Along with these Ministers a still larger proportion of unordained Ministers, Students, and lay office-bearers appear to have seceded. And almost the whole of the Jewish and Foreign Missionaries are expected to join them. The number of the people who have seceded, it is more difficult to estimate. In the Cities and large towns a majority will probably be found of the secession party. In Country Parishes the number seceding will not be so great. The best indication, however, of the party's populative strength is the fact, that 700 associations have been formed throughout Scotland to support the Free Church, and that £230,000 is the sum supposed to have been already subscribed to its funds, £70,000 of which is annual. It may be added, as still further illustrative of the state of public feeling in and out of Scotland, that_Deputations from England, Ireland, and Prussia, attended the Free Church Assembly, to express their admiration of their proceedings; and that the Dissenters of Scotland have readily given the Seceders the use of their Churches till others are built, altering the hours of divine service so as to secure their accommodation.

Notwithstanding all this support and sympathy, however, it may be that the Seceding Clergy are open to the posthumous counsel,*"Be not Schismatics, Be not Martyrs by mistake." But this cannot be said of the people, who constitute the pillars of the secession. They inquired little about the opinions of Beza or of Calvin, and as little about the standards of other Churches. They could not understand the intricacies of multiplied legal discussions. But they did appreciate the seceding party's attempt to give them, in the appointment of their Minister, a voice or will, unfettered on the one hand by the Patron, and uncontrolled, on the other hand, by the Presbytery. Of course the people expected it to be assumed that their will, when exercised, would be a reasonable not a capricious willreasonable, however, to their own satisfaction, not to the satisfaction of Church Courts. And they thought it a strange jealousy in the Legislature, after having so recently invested them with such extensive political privileges (for the honest exercise of which they are no way responsible, except to the great bar of public opinion), now to refuse to trust them with any power whatever (direct and irresponsible) in regard to the appointment of their Ministers. These sentiments, on the part of a large section of the people, serve to explain the hearty support which they are giving to the seceding party.

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Leaving now that party, let us return to those who remained in the Establishment. Their deliberations occupied about the same time as the Seceders', and were conducted with almost equal unanimity, though with less zeal. After the seceding party had left, a letter from the Queen was read to those remaining, recommending unity in the Church, and obedience to the law; and promising to uphold you in the full enjoyment of every privilege which you can justly claim." The remaining party returned an answer, echoing the letter. In the spirit of this answer they then proceeded, with scarcely any discussion, to set the Church right with the Civil Courts and the Legislature by repealing the Veto Act-restoring the Strathbogie Ministers to their office and giving effect to the Court of Session's decision, as to the quoad sacra Ministers in the Stewarton Case. These steps at once wiped off the whole litigations. They then petitioned Government for an endowment and status to the quoad sacra Churches-and also for such a recognition of the people's rights, as would allow them (not to veto ministers without reasons, but) to state any objections to a minister founded on just reasons, leaving the Church Courts Sir William Hamilton's very able but bitter Pamphlet, published after the disruption.

to judge of the reasons and to give effect to them or not, as they saw cause. Having brought these subjects before Government, and pledged themselves to continue the Missionary and Educational Schemes of the Old Church, and to be more zealous than ever they were before in the discharge of their parochial duties, this Assembly separated.

The proceedings of both parties were consistent. The Seceders went out, because they could not acquiesce in the declared law of the land, and could not shape their ecclesiastical enactments and proceedings in unison with it. The other party remained in, because they were prepared to make the laws of the Church harmonise with the judgments of the Civil Courts, trusting to Parliament to remove any stringency in the latter. The acts of both parties are before the public. Their future views and conduct will be narrowly watched, and time will bring out their leading and distinguishing features. Let us hope that they will exercise mutual forbearance; and that the interests of civil and religious liberty will ultimately be promoted by what has taken place. The Seceders should pause before announcing, as a body, that they will not hold communion with those whom they have left. They have not made the announcement yet. It was only a suggestion of one of their influential members. Let it not be adopted. On the other hand, the remnant party should have avoided passing such an act, as they recently passed, cutting off not only their Seceding brethren, but all dissenters, from ministerial communion. Let both parties lay aside these indications of intolerance. They can do no good. They can serve no useful purpose. They may do much harm.

It only remains for us to mention that, since the Assemblies terminated, a bill has been brought into Parliament by Lord Aberdeen, entituled, "An Act to remove doubts respecting the admission of Ministers to Benefices in that part of the United Kingdom called Scotland." We do not mean to discuss the provisions of this bill. It is not exciting much attention among the people of Scotland. They are thoroughly tired of the subject. But it has already received the sanction of onehalf of the remanent ministers and elders; and will probably be acceptable also to the other half, with the exception of a few who were not prepared for the following legislative repudiation of the Veto Act, with which we may close our remarks upon the Scottish Church Question: "And be it further enacted, that it shall not be lawful for any Presbytery or other Ecclesiastical Court, to reject any presentee upon the ground of any mere dissent or dislike expressed by any part of the Congregation of the Parish to which he is presented."

THE INQUIRER NEWSPAPER.

In a notice of the INQUIRER, contained in our last number, we committed some injustice; but as the error was involuntary, and ample redress still in our power, we are not sorry that the necessity of explanation should give the force of a duty to our inclination to return to the subject.

Our

We had heard much complaint, and, from our own observation, we thought not without cause, that in the early numbers many Articles, especially of intelligence, had been deprived of much of their interest by misprinting, and we took occasion to point out the indispensable necessity of a careful correction of the press. The fact was, that at the time we were writing, the necessity for our remark had ceased to exist. impression belonged to a state of things that had been altogether changed and amended,—and the later numbers of the Paper had been, and continue to be, printed with equal accuracy and beauty of execution. Some one has remarked, that settlers in the American forests become so lastingly inoculated with the idea of the necessity of cutting down timber,—that when the state of things totally changes, and trees, far and wide, have disappeared so fast that enough are not left for shade, ventilation, and moisture, still the impression that timber is a foe to be conquered remains so strong, that the axe continues to be unmercifully plied long after the face of circumstances has undergone a total alteration. Under some such continuity of impression, in the face of new facts, we committed the error which we now confess,-and it would sincerely grieve us to learn that it had inflicted either pain or injury.

Since our last number, the existence of the INQUIRER Newspaper was endangered from the want of a sufficient number of Subscribers, for their own benefit, of sixpence a week, in all England, Ireland, and Scotland; and the Editor, with remarkable directness and frankness, stated the facts to his Public, and avowed that the next number should be its last, if those whom it aimed to represent were willing to see it die. In patronage, as in charity, a condition of extreme want will call into activity aid and sympathy which, the desire and forethought to prevent your ever approaching that condition of extreme want, has not been able to create. If you are starving and dying, men will rush to you with food and cordials, who never had a thought that it might be well to anticipate altogether the pains of starvation. We trust that the INQUIRER will not be discouraged by the circumstance of its requiring, at the outset, irregular and precarious support, but persevere in its laborious efforts to deserve success, in strong confidence that true merit, kept sufficiently long before the public, will at last command it. We repeat our humble testimony to its faithfulness and ability; to its Catholic spirit and unsectarian zeal for Truth; to the closeness and quickness of its watch over the interests of religious liberty; and to its industry and painstaking. We shall be disappointed if a paper possessing these qualities shall long require any less satisfactory support than the natural returns arising from its own reputation and deserts. Meanwhile an effort must be made, by those who expect good service from it, to give it an opportunity of forming, and making known, this character and reputation. We attach no public weight to our recommendation, but if this News

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