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until the cases of their country brethren generally were met and disposed of. In accordance with this understanding, the Committee propose to defer all such cases for two or three years longer; and if the arrangement to be proposed at the conclusion of this Report is approved of, it will be seen that it will provide against even the town ministers, though postponed, being altogether excluded from sharing in this Fund.
“ Following the same plan as in previous years, the Committee håve, on the Reports of the several Presbyteries, admitted cases to the third year's Fund. These have been admitted early in the year, in order that they might be able to proceed with and complete their manses this year. The amount of the grant in each case remains for future consideration, and the payment of the grants cannot of course be made until the autumn, when the third year's instalment of the Fund will be realized.
“ Before concluding, the Committee must for a moment advert to the future administration of the Fund. In the original plan and prospectus of the Fund, in which £150,000 was proposed as the sum necessary fully to accomplish the end in view, a grant of £200 to each manse was assumed as the average allowance. This, of course, implied that while the poorer congregations should receive more, the more able congregations should be satisfied with less than the average grant. Hitherto the Committee have felt little or no difficulty in regard to the rate of grant in the class of cases that have been admitted to the first and second year's distribution, being those of outed ministers and others, where manses were most urgently required, and the congregation stood most in need of assistance. In such cases, the Committee felt that they were only acting in accordance with the spirit and purpose of the Fund, in dealing with them in the most liberal manner that their rules admitted of; and accordingly, in the majority of cases the grants have been £200, and in eight cases extra grants have been made to ministers in the Highlands and Islands.
“But in proceeding to make arrangements for the third year's distribution, when a somewhat different class of cases comes before them, the Committee do not at this stage feel that they wonld be warranted in proceeding at the same rate as heretofore; while, at the same time, they wish to avoid making such a reduction in the grant as may not ultiinately be found to be necessary. On the one hand, looking at the number of charges in the Free Churclı, even leaving out of view the city and large town charges, it is manifest that the grants would require to be very considerably reduced in order to make a fair and equitable division among the whole number. On the other hand, judging from returns which the Committee have recently received, it is not clear that so large a number of applications will be made as to require any considerable reduction of the future grants.
* Placed in this dilemma, and desirous neither to exhaust the Fund prematurely, nor to make any serious reduction of present grants, it has occurred to the Committee to propose, for the consideration of the Assembly, an arrangement which may obviate the difficulty, viz.--that they should make grants as heretofore,--of course, exercising their full discretion as to restricting and modifying them according to circumstances, but that only three-fourths of the grants shall be immediately payable; the remaining one-fourth being deferred until the whole Fund shall have been realised, and being also contingent, in regard to full or partial payment, upon the state of the Fund, and the claims upon it at that period. They would make an exception to this rule in behalf of cases falling clearly under the description of the first and second year's cases, but they would adhere to it in all others, so that none should be unduly preferred.
“As already stated, it does not appear that so many grants will be claimed as will ultimately render necessary any great reduction of the grants; but the Committee do not feel themselves warranted to act upon this plan of deferring the full payment of them, without submitting it for the decision of the General Assembly, in order that they may pronounce such a deliverance thereon as may guide the Committee in their future operations."
Mr Paul said,- It was very satisfactory to have to report that so many manses had been erected, and that there was the prospect, he would almost say the certain prospect, of every country minister in the Free Church being speedily in the possession
It was a source of the deepest regret to the Committee, and he was sure it would also be regretted by the Assembly, that their great champion in this cause, Mr Gutlırie, had not been able to accompany them this day. (Hear, hear.) It bad pleased God by affliction to lay him aside for the present; and there was every reason to believe that the state of his health was in some measure to be attributed to the very severe labours which he underwent during the year that he travelled over the country for the purpose of urging the claims of the Manse Fund upon the liberality of the people of the Free Church. He (Mr Paul) trusted that God, in his providence, would soon restore him to his wonted health and strength, and that he might be spared a long and useful life, and enjoy the pleasure and satisfaction of being under the roof of every one of those manses, towards the erection of which he had contributed so much. (Hear, hear.)
Dr P. M‘Farlan said,-I am sure the Report just read must have given general, if not universal satisfaction to all the members of the General Assembly. The object which the Committee has in view is most interesting and important, especially when those cases of hardship are contemplated which were occasioned by the Disruption, and which have been so eloquently and feelingly described by our excellent friend Mr Guthrie. I am sure it must be satisfactory to all, that so many of those cases have been met by the operations of the Committee, and that their ministers are now in the possession of comfortable and commodious houses. I think we are under very great obligations to my friend Mr Paul, the Convener of this Committee, for the labour and pains he has taken in this matter; and I am persuaded that the General Assembly will at once concur in the proposal which I have to make,—that the thanks of the Assembly be recorded to the Convener and the Committee. (Hear, hear.) In making this proposal, I would only advert to that part of the Report which relates to the prospective operations of the Committee, in regard to the distribution of the Fund. "I am very desirous that no payments should be made under £200. The original proposal, as chalked out by Mr Guthrie and others, was, that each minister should receive that sum in aid of building a manse; and I am confident, from conversations which I have had with many of the contributors to the Fund, that rather than the sum granted should be below £200, they would cheerfully add another year's subscription to the Manse Fund. That an additional year's subscription would be universal we could not expect, but in order that accommodation should be provided for all, it would be desirable, I think, that some such measure were adopted. At the same time, this is not the time to speak of this proposal, and I merely throw it out with a view to the future operations of the Committee; one thing occurred to my friend, in connection with this business, and that is, that we ought not to satisfy ourselves with merely returning thanks, as we have already done, to Mr Guthrie. (Hear, hear.) Mr Paul has stated, and I cannot doubt that it is the case, that Mr Guthrie's health has suffered from the exertions which he made in this cause, and I tbink there should be some more substantial expression of the gratitude of the Church given to Mr Guthrie, than the mere expression of thanks recorded from time to time. (Hear, hear.) I am very much disposed to think that a portion of the fund at the disposal of the Committee might, with great propriety, be applied to the purpose of giving to Mr Guthrie some such substantial testimonial as that to which I have referred. (Hear, hear.) Mr Paul can inform the House, that there are £14,000 or £15,000 in bank not yet disposed of, and I cannot see how the interest upon the Fund, which amounts to somewhere about L.1200, could be better disposed of than by purchasing a house for Mr Guthrie and his family. (Hear, hear, hear.) I do not intend to move formally that this should be done ; but would suggest, if it be the mind of the House, that the Committee should be understood to have it in their power thus to dispose of the L.1200 interest. (Hear, hear) Dr M.Farlan concluded by moving that the Report be approved of, and that the thanks of the General Assembly be given to the Committee and its excellent Convener,
Dr R. BUCHANAN seconded the motion. He said, -I am sure that Report cannot fail to be regarded as one of the most interesting features in the business of this house. It seems but yesterday when our illustrious departed father, Dr Chalmers, standing by the side of this table, tlırew out the noble and generous idea which originated the movement to provide a manse for each of the ministers of the Free Church of Scotland; and, at the same time, with his wonted sagacity pointed to
the instrument most peculiarly qualified for carrying forward the movement to a speedy and a successful conclusion. Already, by the blessing of God, the treasury of the Finance Fund has realised very nearly £50,000; and there has been erected very nearly 300 manses ; that is to say, almost one-half of the ministers of the Free Church of Scotland are already provided with a comfortable and commodious house. We had the genius of a great artist employed in depicting the leaving of the manse ; and I think it would not be unworthy the genius of that artist, or of some other, ere long, to furnish the counterpart of that great picture in a more joyful scene,-the scene of the returning to the manse. (Hear, hear.) With regard to the financial part of the Report, I agree with Mr Paul, that, if the local collectors faithfully attend and act up to the suggestions of the Committee, there will not be a pound, or even a shilling, awanting at the close of the five years. No doubt, during the currency of these five years there will be blanks created in the list of contributors, by deaths or unforeseen disasters, in particular cases; but I believe, if the local agency take a due share of interest in this important Fund, there will be no difficulty in supplying the blanks so created, and that at the end of the five years it will be found that every farthing of the £116,000 subscribed will be actually realised. (Hear, hear.) In regard to the suggestion contained at the close of the Report, I must say that it appears to me to be most reasonable and wise. It is impossible for the Committee, or for this house, to tell what may be the precise amount of the demand which will be made upon this Fund. It is not simply an arithimetical question as to the number of manses that may be needed. The Church is extending; and although there are kind Christian friends who have withdrawn their claim upon the Fund, by providing out of their own large-hearted liberality what is needful for the accommodation of their minister, there is a measure of uncertainty as to the future demands which may come against the Fund. Altogether, therefore, it is right and reasonable that the Committee should keep within the limits of the amount originally proposed to be granted, so that there may not be a risk, at the close of their proceedings, of a considerable number of ministers remaining unprovided with dwellings, and the treasury of the Fund be altogether exhausted. It accords with the well-known prudence and sagacity of the Convener of the Committee, that such a suggestion should have been made. And here, I must say, that I don't concur in the idea thrown out by my much-respected father, Dr M‘Farlan, that the grants out of this Fund slould be uniform, that it should be in every instance the precise amount of £200.
Dr M'FARLAN explained that he merely meant that there should be no variation below the £200.
Dr BUCHANAN–Well, I understand my reverend father did not mean that there should be no variation on the one side ; he only objects to there being any variation upon the other. Now, I am afraid that if we were to prevent any variation downwards, we would also require to prevent any variation upwards; and the effect of the adoption of any such proposal as that no grant should be made under £100, would necessarily prevent the making of any grant above £100. Now, I cannot but think that this would not be consistent with a large and enlightened view of the duty of this house in regard to the interests of the Church. Every one must be aware, that there are congregations far less able to raise the remainder of the sum necessary for completing the manse than others; and I think it is but right and proper that the Committee should be left with reasonable discretion in this matter, permitting them sometimes to make the grant a little less than £200, so as to enable them in other cases to give a little more than £200. (Henr, hear.) The Committee, I think, are in no danger of being likely to abuse this privilege. I cannot conclude, in seconding the motion of my esteemed father, Dr M‘Farlan, without saying a word in reference to the suggestion which he threw out at the close of his address. I am sure the sentiments of deep regret and sorrow that were expressed by Mr Paul, in reference to the absence of Mr Guthrie, and especially to the cause of that absence, are sentiments which all of us must deeply feel. (Hear, hear.) No one who was in any way cognizant of the labours of Mr Guthrie, --who witnessed the energy with which he threw his whole heart and soul into that inovement, who had occasion to observe the extraordinary amount, not merely of mental energy, but of bodily energy and strength, given to that cause --(lieat, hear)-none who was acquainted with these circumstances, can fail to trace no small measure of the weakness which he now suffers to his labours on that great occasion. But even if he had been enabled to complete that great work without any bodily suffering at all, I should have felt that it was a fitting expression for this Church to make of the sense it entertains of his devotedness to their great work,--a fitting expression on the part of the Church to do something of the kind which Dr M‘Farlan has proposed. There might have been some delicacy in proposing to set apart any portion of the Fund proper to any object, however important and interesting ; but the interest is not, properly speaking, a portion of the Fund,- the interest has not been contributed by any of those who swelled the funds of the Scheme; and as a contributor to the Fund, I express the feeling which, I am sure, is shared in by the contributors to that Fund generally, that the interest accruing from the revenue of the Scheme could not be applied in any way more gratifying to the contributors than by testifying their love and affection, as well as their sense of obligation, to our beloved brother, who, under God, was the great instrument of achieving this important undertaking. Let us remember that it was the Church that called Mr Guthrie to that undertaking,-it was in answer to a call of the Church that he undertook those weighty exertions which brought him into the state of bodily sufferings under which he now labours; and, when we consider all these circumstances, I feel that we would be wanting to a right sense of our own duty, were we not in some such way as this to testify the ohligations which we feel --(hear, hear)--and I cannot but regard the circumstance, that in the management of this Fund there should have accrued such an amount of interest as will enable the Church to discharge this debt without taking one penny from the Fund. I cannot but regard this as a most interesting providential circumstance. Of course, the Committee have observed the most becoming delicacy in not taking up this matter at all,-in not introducing it into the Report. It is fitter that it should come forth from the spontaneous feeling of the House ; and I am sure it needs only to be suggested, in order to find a ready response in every bosom ; and confident am I, that whatever this Assembly may do in the matter, will be re-echoed all over by the friends of the Free Church.
Mr Monteith of Ascog said, -As to the token, there cannot exist two opinions ; but in bestowing that token, it appears to me that we ought to study what will be the feelings of Mr Guthrie himself. It strikes me that it would be much more agreeable to Mr Guthrie if the expression of this feeling came not out of the Manse Fund. (Hear, hear.) As to the idea of the interest not belonging to the Fund, I cannot agree with that. Were each minister to give, say one pound, and take upon himself, in his congregation, to raise an additional pound, then we would have the £1200 at once, which might be put into the bank, at Mr Guthrie's account, to do with it whatever he thought proper. I am sure there is not a minister in the Free Church but would be able to come forward with his £2, and the object is gained.
MrGlass of Musselburgh said,-It was pretty wellunderstood that there had been two private meetings of ministers in reference to this matter; and, with the leave of the Assembly, he would read the minute agreed to at the last of these meetings, to show the opinion of the members that were present.
Dr CandLish said, that he was not aware that any such proposal had been made either publicly or privately. He saw the force of the difficulty mentioned by some of those who had spoken on the subject; and was of opinion, after the conversation which had taken place, that it would be better to reserve consideration of the whole matter. He doubted very much if it would be at all gratifying to the feelings of their highly-respected brother to have the discussion any further extended in the house.
Dr P. M'Farlan said, he had stated most distinctly that the suggestion which he had made in reference to Mr Guthrie was not to be considered as any part of the motion which he had submitted, approving of the Report. If the thing was done at all, it did not matter to him in what way it was done, provided it should be the testimony of the Free Church. (Hear, hear) He thought they should add to the motion an expression of sympathy with Mr Guthrie in bis illness, and our earnest desire that he might soon be restored to health and usefulness. (Applause.)
Mr Dow of Roberton said there was a number of outed ministers who had no chance of participatiag in the Fund; in proof of which he read a letter from a minister alleged to be in this position. The writer of this letter stated, in effect,
that he had received a note from the Manse Committee threatening to withdraw the sum that had been allotted for the building of a manse, unless its erection should be immediately proceeded with. Now, as it was necessary to raise between £200 and £300 besides the grant, it was found impossible to do so at such a time, and among such a poor people as this congregation consisted of. Mr Dow said, he bad brought this case before the Assembly, as it was one of a class of cases involving great hardship, and in regard to which it was necessary that something should be done.
Mr R. Paul said, he supposed that to be one of those cases in which some delay had occurred in the erection of a manse, and that it had been considered necessary to give a stimulus to the people to provide their share of the expence. (Hear.) If, therefore, the letter read by Mr Dow was laid before the Committee, he (Mr Paul) had no doubt that they would take it up at their next meeting, and give the individual who had written it a good and perfectly satisfactory reason for what they had done. He could assure Mr Dow and the Assembly, that every kindness, delicacy, and attention had been, and would be, used by the Committee in regard to every case brought before them. (Applause.)
The followiug was the deliverance of the Assembly on the subject :-" The Assembly approve of the Report, and record their thanks to the Committee, especially to Mr Paul, the Convener, and Mr Meldrum, their Vice-Convener, for the zeal and ability which they have shown in the prosecution of the business of this Scheme. The Assembly farther express their sympathy with their brother Mr Guthrie, the successful promoter of this Scheme, in the affliction wherewith it has pleased God to visit him, and their earnest prayer that he may be speedily restored to the enjoyment of health, and to the discharge of his pastoral duties among his attached flock. The Assembly re-appoint the Manse Committee: Mr Paul, Convener, and Mr Meldrum, Vice-Convener; and they add the name of Mr William Cowan to the Committee."
CASE OF MR ANDERSON OF OLD ABERDEEN. This was a protest and appeal against a judgment of the Free Presbytery of Aberdeen, in the case of the Rev. Alexander Anderson, minister of Old Aberdeen. Mr Anderson appeared for himself, and Mr Murray, Mr Simpson, and Dr Brown, for the Presbytery.
Mr ANDERSON stated, that some months ago he had given in to the Presbytery of Aberdeen a letter, requesting of them to accept of his demission of his pastoral charge, and intimating, that while he felt shut up to this course by some public considerations, it was besides forced upon him by certain reasons, which he at that time did not offer, and which the Presbytery did not ask him to state. In accepting, however, of his demission, the Presbytery saw it to be their duty distinctly to intimate, that they held it to be his duty to make them first of all the depositary of these reasons, should they prove to be connected with any difference of judgment from themselves on questions in reference to which the Church has been accustomed to enforce uniformity of belief and practice. Subsequently, his mind was bronght into such a state, that he could not conscientiously remain silent. He certainly had little disposition to come forward publicly in this matter; but still he remembered the obligation, to be ready to give a reason for the hope and belief that were in him, and he accordingly addressed a letter to the Presbytery of Aberdeen, which contained the following statements :
" I beg leave now to communicate to the Presbytery, that I have maturely adopted convictions, with regard to the principles on which sealing ordinances are to be administered under the gospel, which incapacitate me for discharging the functious understood to belong to a minister of the Free Church.
" In ordinary circumstances, I should have regarded it as my duty and privilege to urge my views publicly upon the attention of the Church, and to insist on the unlawfulness of withdrawing from me any recognition or support which I now enjoy in the communion of my brethren, on account of adherence to the will of Christ, as I have been enabled to understand it, concerning the spirituality of his visible Church and kingdom. While conscious that I am unalterably united to my brethren in the belief of the precious fundamental doctrines of God's Word, recorded in the Confession of Faith, I am assured that they are equally ready with myself to advance in