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sity of doing so as we have done, or of throwing ourselves open to a charge of inconsistency at some future period. We could not certainly expect that our friends in Edinburgh, we could not expect that the learned Principal of the College, or Dr Buchanan, or Dr Fleming, or Professor M'Dougall, would come to us and ask us whether we consented to their plans. That, Sir, we could not expect. We could only expect that we should hear of it when the whole matter was laid before the Church. It is only an Aberdeen question, in so far as the theological institute, to which it principally refers, is situated at Aberdeen; but it is not, strictly speaking, by any means an Aberdeen question, this question of the extension of theological education. The first additional theological institution was no doubt established at Aberdeen; but there is, notwithstanding, a general, and not a local question involved in the point now at issue. There is this question, shall all theological education be concentrated in Edinburgh? Is the theological instruction of the Free Church to be enthroned exclusively in Edinburgh; or is the principle of its extension to other places to be admitted or reserved? (Hear, hear.) The learned Principal said a great deal on the subject of its being a perfectly open question.. He said that he laid no stress on the fact of the General Assembly in 1845 having given a deliverance on this subject. I must say that I cannot in this agree with him; for I look upon its having been just that same kind of expression of opinion by which every other institution of the Free Church was established. It is true that it had not passed through Presbyteries. That it is not a standing law of the Church is true; but it nevertheless stands on the same authority as the New College of Edinburgh itself (hear, and slight applause)-which stands on the authority of an act of Assembly; and consequently the New College of Edinburgh is built on nothing but a bare expression of the opinion of the Church, to which no particular weight is to be attached. (A laugh.) It rests upon an act of the General Assembly, and not upon a bare expression of opinion; and it rests upon an act which was not passed in the summary sort of way which the reverend Principal wished us to understand it; because, in the first place, that act was deliberated upon in Edinburgh. It went through a Committee, and it was, on the Report of the Committee, that the act was passed in 1845. I need not tell you what that act was, as you are all aware of it. It instituted a theological seminary at Aberdeen, where, by the bye, be it remarked, ever since the Disruption there was a separate teaching of theology. Dr Black was, in the first place, there, and after he left us, there was theological teaching by certain ministers. This solemn act of the Assembly to which I have referred, declared that our theological establishment was not sufficient; and that act, be it remembered, was brought in upon the report of a Committee. In what other way were the learned professors appointed but on the report of a Committee? (Hear.) Was not Professor M'Dougall appointed on the report of a Committee? If the one act was done hastily, inconsiderately, and without thought, so also was the other. Then, again, observe that at the Assembly held at Inverness this matter was again brought under consideration. I believe if we had been so pertinacious as we have been represented, we might, on that occasion, have insisted that it was a finished and concluded act, and that it ought not to be revised. But we showed none of that spirit; and at Inverness, in order to promote the peace of the Church, we consented that this matter should be again considered. Observe. that before this it had been twice considered; first it went through a Committee, and then it went through this House. It was considered again at Inverness, first in a conference, and then deliberately in the House; and it was at that very Assembly that my learned and distinguished friend, Dr Fleming, was appointed; and precisely in the same manner, without any consultation, but simply by an act of the Assembly. (Hear, and a laugh.) The Church saw the necessity at that time, when they had all the professorships completed except one, namely, that to which Mr Frazer was appointed, and who, be it remarked, was appointed in the same way as the others; they saw the necessity, I say, at that time, when they had incurred all the expenses connected with the institution of these professorships, of declaring in his act their intention of completing the theological faculty at Aberdeen. They ontemplated its completion at some future time. They made a temporary arrangement in regard to going to Edinburgh for one session, and the very making of this temporary provision implied that they looked upon our theological hall, not as a temporary thing, but as one of the permanent institutions of the Church. I think upon


that point I have said enough to satisfy the House that the establishment of this institution was no hasty or perfunctory act,-no matter gone about with precipitation; and not only so, but that it was done precisely in the same way and manner as everything else relating to theological instruction has been done in time past. Whether that may be the best way to do it is another question; and whether the mind of the Church at large should not be consulted in questions of this kind,questions involving the setting up of such establishments,-I will not take upon me to say; but this much I know, that there is some difference of opinion on this matter. (Hear), A good deal had been said upon the financial difficulties of the question. But when professorship was added to professorship, we heard nothing about the question of finance. We only heard of the necessity for having such and such a professorship. No fears were hinted as to where the means of supporting them would be found. And, Sir, these means have been found. (Hear.) It may be true that they have for the present fallen short of the expenditure; but I am convinced that if you let the necessity be made apparent,—if you urge the claims of theological instruction as pressingly, and by the same means, as the Church Extension cause was promoted, if you take it up as one of the great Schemes of the Church,-funds will be found. (Applause.) I do not see why, in times past, there should have been so much confidence about finding means for additional chairs, and that there should now be such a change of feeling. It has been said that the two questions of the extension of theological instruction and of the curriculum must go together. I think, unquestionably, that these two questions may be separated; and that without either disadvantage or difficulty, The question whether extension, per se, is a desirable thing or not, might certainly be debated, without mixing it up with the question whether, by having two, three, or four colleges, you are more likely to produce more extensive good than by having only one. That could be debated also, apart altogether from the question of the curriculum, and then the question of the curriculum might be debated separate and apart from this. Having arrived at the conclusion that it is desirable to have more theological establishments than one, and that, I maintain, is the conclusion which this Church has arrived at, and deliberately arrived at,—then it may come to be a question to what extent the conclusion can be immediately carried out, The great point that has been maintained by the learned and distinguished friends on the other side of the question is this, that if you have a high curriculum, it is impossible that there can be an extension of theological education. I must take leave to maintain the converse of their proposition. It appears to me that it is impossible for you to maintain a high curriculum, if, in the first place, the students are in such circumstances as that they cannot avail themselves of that curriculum. Then, again, I hold that it is impossible to maintain a high curriculum in its entirety, if you have an insufficient number of students to meet the exigencies of the Church, so that you must relax it. They know full well that you cannot carry it out. In the next place, if you have a bare sufficiency of students to meet the exigencies of the Church, there will be this further result, there will be no choice for congregations; and students will know that, as soon as they are licensed, they will find employment; and, by this means, a great stimulus to activity will be removed,—the ministerial status lowered, and the Church brought down. Therefore, if you limit the number of students a high curriculum cannot be maintained. We have been told that there is more than a sufficiency of students. If it be so, why is it, I ask, that there are so many congregations without ministers ? why are there so many vacancies? and why is it impossible to find probationers ? Why is it, that it is month after month before the vacant pulpits can be supplied? and why is it that so many preaching stations are unoccupied? What becomes of the Colonies, and what becomes of England and Ireland, where so many ministers are absolutely required, but can not be obtained? It may be true that we have a certain number of preachers, many of whom came out at the Disruption. In regard to these, however, it must be stated without in the slightest degree meaning any disrespect to them, that they are not suitable to all the congregations that are vacant; and accordingly what do we find? Do we find congregations looking for probationers? Their eyes are not turned towards them, but towards the ordained ministers of our churches, to the men whose qualifications have been tested, and who have attained a high status. (Hear.) And what is the result? Heart-burn

ings, jealousies, and differences, the breaking-up of congregations, and all manner of evils; besides the occupation of the time of this House by the consideration of conflicting calls. And if there be a sufficiency of students, as has been asserted, why is it that we are told that means must be taken for providing a fresh supply for the Church? Unquestionably these two statements do not appear to me to be consistent with each other. If there is a requisite number, why call for more? (Hear.) Let us look to experience. The system of having a great central theological institute in Edinburgh has now been tried for five years. If it has worked well, should we not have found the Church every day more and more convinced of the excellent results arising from it, and more and more in favour of having only one theological institution in Edinburgh? Is this the case? Then we were told that this was the principle on which the Free Church started. It may have been the principle of Dr Welsh, but it never was acquiesced in by the Free Church at large, and it never was acquiesced in by us at Aberdeen. We from the first wanted a professor of theology; and, as one had come out at the Disruption, we insisted that he should become a member of the theological faculty. And let me inform you ModeFator, that Dr Chalmers, that distinguished man, whose name can never be mentioned in this House without feelings of the highest veneration, maintained this principle, that while we should have a great central institution, fully equipped, there should also be theological institutions established elsewhere. That was his principle; and highly as we reverence the authority of Dr Welsh, I am sure that we hold In equal, if not higher, reverence, the authority of Dr Chalmers. Therefore, whatever may be the views now entertained by certain members of the New College, this shows that there was not a concurrence among them on that subject, and far less a concurrence in the Church. But what is more, after the experience of four years, have the people of Aberdeen been satisfied that this is the best method of providing theological instruction? or are the people of Glasgow and St Andrew's satisfied that the present is the best way of providing this instruction? There is this farther fact, also, to be noticed, namely, that while on a former occasion there was only a certain number of Presbyteries that thought it worth while to make any return at all, I believe that two-thirds of the Presbyteries of the Church have made returns this year; and that a majority of these Presbyteries, after having had five years' experience of the present system, together with the advantage of a discussion in this House on the subject, have come to the conviction that there is not sufficient means of providing theological instruction throughout the Free Church. This speaks volumes on the subject. We have been told, notwithstanding, that there is a very strong public opinion against us on this point. Surely, if there was this concurrence of public opinion against us, the Presbyteries which made these returns, after having the matter for nearly two years before them, must have been strangely ignorant of the state of public opinion. Scattered up and down the country,-not merely in Aberdeen, but east, west, north, and south,-you have a concurrence from these Presbyteries that the present is not the most eligible way to provide theological instruction. I repeat that these Presbyteries must have been strangely ignorant and unintelligent; perhaps they were among the excepted some who were not perfectly intelligent on this subject. (Hear, and a laugh.) They must have been men of strange minds indeed; they must have been men strangely ignorant and strangely wanting in intellectual capacity, if, after having sat with elders from all quarters, and with elders who mix with the people scattered up and down throughout Scotland, they came to the conclusion that the matter in question was a thing most desirable to be done; and yet now to find, after the subject has been brought before the Assembly, that they were acting directly in the teeth of the public opinion of the Free Church. I must take leave to say, that the hypothetical statement of an individual, however high he may stand, or however much he may be respected, cannot be set against the recorded sentiments of the Free Church. (Hear, and applause.) How do we arrive at any conclusion as to what is the mind of the Church on other questions, but by sending them down to Presbyteries, and these Presbyteries are held to express not only their own opinions, but to express the opinions of the laity, and thus bring fully out the mind of the Church. Why should a different rule be applied here? Why should not the same rule guide us in this case as guides us in every other? We say, then, that it is the declared opinion of

this Church that there should be an extension of theological education. It has frequently been said that when we came out as the Free Church of Scotland, we came out as the heirs of the principles of our forefathers, and with the firm determination to act on these principles. This being the case, I ask whether concentration or diffusion was the principle of our forefathers? I may be told, in reply, that we are not to be guided by old rules and antiquated customs. To this I have only to answer, that I have heard much of the wisdom of our forefathers, when that wisdom was wanted to back us in the views which we ourselves took; but there is not that respect paid to the practical wisdom of their views when new-fangled notions are to be brought forward for our acceptance. It is a well-established fact that our forefathers were not indifferent to the teaching of theology. They established four professorships at St Andrew's, three or four at Aberdeen, two or three at Glasgow, and three at Edinburgh, connected with the theological faculty; and therefore it is perfectly evident that they were quite alive to the importance of subdivision, and to the necessity of assigning different departments to different men. I cannot come to any other conclusion except this, that these principles were assented to because they were acted on with success. I do not think that the teaching of theology was so entirely a farce as it has been represented, else whence could so many learned and pious ministers of the Church of Scotland in former times have come; and whence could the present ministers of the Free Church have come? Considering that the Church, in former times, with all her deficiencies and backslidings, and with all the blightening influences which fell upon her, was capable of furnishing men to teach theology in her halls and colleges, whose names still continue to adorn her theological literature, I am convinced that the Free Church will never fail to furnish an array of men of equal talent when the necessity for it arises. (Hear.) It is very true that genius does not arise every day,that such men as a Chalmers may appear only once in a century, to stamp their name upon the age in which they live-but I do not despair that thirteen, fourteen, or fifteen men shall be found, when needed, with all the learning, ability, and energy, and with all the piety, suggestive power, and earnest enthusiasm, that are necessary to impress the great doctrines of religion upon the youth who shall attend our theological establishment. (Loud applause.) Nor do I conceive that the impulse given by the Disruption should be so small as that the Church should now think of folding her hands to sleep. I would think it a foul reproach to imagine such a thing. (Hear.) I maintain that the principle of the Church has always been that of diffusion. Wherever there were large masses of educated men, there she established divinity halls. Is the principle now to be adopted that such divinity halls are no longer to be established for our young men who are coming forward to the ministry? Without them how are your students to be found? Do you expect to get men of independent fortune to become ministers of the Free Church, men who, entirely through their own resources, are able to educate themselves for the Free Church ministry? If you do, I do not understand the reasons which have been pressed on us so forcibly by Dr Buchanan, which went to show that unless you provided a suitable income,-an income which shall be such as to render a man independent and comfortable in the station he is to occupy, you cannot obtain ministers for the Free Church. (Hear, hear.) That is the gist of the reasoning which the respected Convener of the Sustentation Fund addressed to us, and, Ï think, most justly. It is plain, therefore, that you do not expect men of independent circumstances to go into the Church. It is perhaps unpleasant, but the truth must be told. Look to the Church of Scotland, having at all times a much better endowment for its ministers than you will ever be able to get by the Sustentation Fund, and tell me, generally speaking, who were its students? Were they generally persons of independent fortune, or persons having the means to educate themselves for the ministry? Certainly not; and if the Church of Scotland could not do this, you cannot expect to do it. (Hear.) You must therefore look to the cireumstances of the class of men from whom your students will be drawn. I may be told, moreover, that parents will educate their sons for the Church from religious motives being brought to bear on their consciences. I grant that this, to a small extent, may be done; but rest assured, that when the whole community is so leavened with religious principle as that this result will follow, it will be utterly


unnecessary to talk of questions of finance. (Hear, and applause.) There will then be found, not only pastors, but the means of setting up theological institutions fully equipped to luxury, if I may so speak,-enabling you even to adopt the Gottingen principle of having seventy-two professors in one university. But I have no great faith that we shall accomplish this result; and my friends on the other side do not seem to have such great faith themselves. (A laugh.) They have, however, faith enough to believe that they may get a few hundreds a year for bursaries. I do not approve of establishing a great many bursaries, because I am of opinion that a plan of that kind, instead of raising the standard of scholarship, will only tend to degrade it. (Hear.) Certain I am, that young men would rather support themselves by independent exertion, and that they would far rather give their services to the Church, if, in the instruction of youth, they were enabled to make as much as would defray the expense of their own training for the ministry. (Hear, and applause.) If, then, you must have students, they will be of that class that must support themselves; and they can only support themselves by teaching. But where can that be found? If you congregate them all in Edinburgh, it is impossible that they can all find teaching there. You therefore prevent a large number from availing themselves of the benefit of theological instruction by having only one institution; or if they do avail themselves of it, they place themselves in great difficulty. As they cannot depend upon their own exertions, they must depend upon their friends lending them money to carry on their studies; and hence they begin their career ha rassed by debt, which is not a very desirable thing. (Hear, and applause.) Then, on the other hand, are you prepared to surrender the whole educated youth of the Free Church into the hands of teachers entirely opposed to those principles which you consider essential to the Free Church's existence. Are you prepared to abandon those schools where your young men are to be trained before entering into the divinity hall? Are you prepared to remove all the influence which arises from the theological students in setting before them the principles of the Free Church, and in urging them to enter into the work of the ministry. Are you prepared entirely to abandon this field to the men directly opposed to you? and thus to dry up the sources whence your ministers must be drawn? Are you to deprive yourselves of that place in the public esteem which you ought to hold, and of that stimulus which you will give to their minds by exhibiting the theological faculty in full operation? (Hear.) I do not mean to detain the Assembly much longer. Unquestionably, I have given to a certain extent my approbation to the curriculum. I think that the division of the subject, so far as submitted to us, is very judicious, and such as must have emanated from an able mind; but whether from that of Dr Chalmers or Dr Cunningham, I cannot say. It is but fair to say that it bears an impress that might be expected from men of their talents. But while I admit this, I do not admit that there is an advantage so great to be derived from having this curriculum instantly put in force in every place, as to overbalance all the disadvantages which I have set before you. If your congregations are to fail for want of pastors,-if your students are to be kept back for want of means,—I should hold that the advantages of a good theoretical curriculum will be rather too dearly bought. If you have not men to take advantage of it the Church will sink every day, and you will shrivel into a sect instead of the National Church. Therefore, though in theory such a curriculum is good, and may be practicable to a certain extent here, yet I cannot make an inflexible adherence to this curriculum a matter so essential as that you shall not extend your theological education in order to carry it out. By all means let us do what we can to have the curriculum raised; and I am happy to say that, in the University to which I belong, there is a movement in progress for commencing the classes with some knowledge of Greek, so that there shall be a course of teaching not so entirely elementary as at present; and as it is now twenty years since, in my examination before the University Commissioners, I suggested the subdivision of the theological classes, I think I cannot be charged with any desire to keep the curriculum low. As there are about 120 bursaries open to competition at King's College, and from seventy to eighty in Marischal College, a large number of that class of students from which our ministers are obtained will be drawn from Aberdeen. I think it, consequently, not only of importance that provision should be made there for theological education, but such a provision as shall be competent:

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