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till they could make good their position in this country; and Popery was increasing in Glasgow and its neighbourhood to an extent fully as great as it could be increasing in Belfast. Viewing the question relatively, they were bound to consider the case of those larger towns. He trusted the union of the two Churches was already cemented, and already based upon principles and elements far more enduring than the labours or the life of any man, however important these might be, and none held Mr Macnaughtan in higher estimation. In the north of Ireland there were men equal in talent to any in our own Church, and who, unquestionably, in point of talent, acceptability, and activity, could maintain the principles of the Presbyterian Church in all their parts. It was an important element in the case that, in point of fact, there were only eight vacancies in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. He (Mr Gibson) would be the last man to concuss any minister to remain with a particular congregation. It was right that a minister as well as a congregation should have his mind consulted and his freedom maintained; but he did not believe that they would be forcibly retaining Mr Macnaughtan, for he had said that he would cheerfully consider the decision of the Assembly as the mind of the Head of the Church, and abide by it. With these views, Mr Gibson begged to move that the translation do not take place.
Mr ARCHIBALD GARDNER, Paisley, seconded the amendment. Mr Macnaughtan had said that he thought he saw the finger of the Lord in this call; but he (Mr G.) had come to a different conclusion. Four or five parties had been calling Mr Macnaughtan, all pulling at him, and all pulling in a different direction, and that, in his (Mr G.'s) opinion, just indicated that he should remain where he was. (A laugh.) Mr Gardner proceeded to state that Mr Macnaughtan might be considered the leader of the Free Church in Paisley; his services had been very great, and if they were deprived of them, the Free Church would suffer severely in Paisley and the surrounding district.
Mr. NIXON of Montrose said, he had lately been in the North of Ireland, and felt deeply that if a minister of the Free Church could, in the providence of God, be able to see it to be his duty to accept the call to Belfast, it would be the duty of the Free Church of Scotland, if they understood the condition of Ireland, to send him. This was his conviction; and it had not been shaken by anything which he had heard advanced from the opposite side. There was an indispensable necessity for disseminating in Ireland the spirit of the Free Church and its principles; and there could be no doubt that the result would soon be found to be the working out of as great things in that land as had been done in this. It would be at the peril of the Free Church if they did not send men to Ireland. He would be glad to part with Dr Candlish himself as the apostle of Ireland; and felt that the Church would not be doing its duty if it did not take advantage of the door which was open before them.
Mr MONCREIFF of East Kilbride agreed with Dr Candlish, that after the solemn view taken by Mr Macnaughtan himself, and the conclusion to which he had arrived, the Assembly were very much shut up by his acceptance of the call. He did not say that the mind of the individual minister was to be decisive, but it certainly formed a very strong element in the matter, and ought to meet with their serious consideration.
Mr MONTEITH of Kingarth and Dr CANDLISH having said a few words on the subject, the discussion closed, and the question went to the vote, when there appeared for the motion of Mr Gibson, 150; for the motion of Dr Candlish, 69; giving a majority of 81 in favour of refusing the translation.
The Assembly adjourned about seven o'clock.
The Assembly met in the evening at eight o'clock, and having been constituted as usual with devotional exercises, the Assembly called for the
REPORT OF THE SUSTENTATION FUND COMMITTEE.
[This Report having been printed separately will be found in the Appendix].
The Assembly then took up a protest and appeal by Mr Alexander Hendrie and others, members of Kilbride Free Church, Island of Arran, against a judgment of the Presbytery of Kintyre, refusing to moderate in a call by the appellants to the Rev. A. Nicoll, minister at Coll.
After parties were heard, the Assembly dismissed the appeal, and affirmed the judgment of the Presbytery of Kintyre, refusing to moderate in a call in favour of Mr Nicoll of Coll; the Assembly further agreed to name a minister at a future diet, to proceed to Kilbride, and intimate this sentence to the congregation, and to confer with parties.
A certificate of Mr G. T. Chiene, being a bona fide acting elder, being produced, his name was ordered to be added to the roll.
The Assembly adjourned at half-past twelve o'clock.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 24. 1848.
Report of Business Committee-Report of Committee on Public Accounts-Reports of Sub-Committee on College Buildings and Bursaries - College Report-Speeches of Dr Cunningham, Mr Tulloch, and Mr Duncan-Deputation from English Presbyterian Church-Speeches of Mr J. F. Macfarlan, Mr Miller, and Dr. P. M'Farlan-Dr Chalmer's Observations cn Bursaries-Address to her Majesty-Speech of Dr P. M'Farlan-Consideration of College Report resumed Speeches of Dr Brown, Mr Thomson, Dr J. Buchanan, Dr P. M'Farlan, Dr Candlish, Sheriff Monteith Mr Gray, Mr Gibson, and Dr Cunningham.
The Assembly met to-day at twelve o'clock, and after the usual devotional exercises, the minutes of previous diet were read and approved of.
Mr CARMENT said he had a small matter which he wished to submit to a Committee of the House, and, with the permission of the House, he would name the members with whom he wished to confer.
It was agreed to comply with the request of Mr Carment, but that the matter should not be minuted.
The Assembly re-appointed the Committee on the Conversion of the Jews, Mr Moody Stuart, Convener.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE.
The CLERK of Assembly gave in the following Report from the Business Committee:-On Thursday Forenoon, 1st, Interim Report anent the Constitution of Schools: 2d, Overture anent the Testimony of the Church; 3d, Colonial Committee's Report; 4th, Overture anent Prevailing Errors, and the spread of Infidelity; 5th, Report from the Committee on Popery, and overture thereanent; 6th, Report of the Publications Committee. On Thursday Evening, 1st, Overtures anent bona fide Certificates of Representative Elders; 2d, Overture anent Translation of Ministers; 3d, Overture anent Admission of Ministers from other Churches; 4th, Report of Foreign Missions Committee, and Overtures thereanent; 5th, Report of Sabbath Observance Committee, and Overtures on Sabbath Observance. On Friday forenoon,-Private Conference of Assembly from ten to twelve, in order to consider Report of Select Committee on Sustentation Fund, and Overtures on that subject. Thereafter, to take up in public meeting,-1st, Report of Select Committee on Sustentation Fund, and Overtures on the same subject: 2d, Report of Committee on Sites: 3d, Overtures anent Universities and Parochial Schools. On Friday evening, 1st, Report of Home Mission and Church Extension Committee: 2d, Report of Gaelic Committee: 3d, Overtures anent Evangelization of the Masses. On Saturday, 1st, Report of Fort-Augustus Commission: 2d, Report of Committee on Presbyterial Visitations: 3d, Report of Committee on Psalmody: 4th, Report of Accommodation Committee: 5th, Report of Committee on the Erection of an Assembly Hall: 6th, Report of Committee on Slavery, with Petitions thereanent: 7th, Report of Committee on Synod Records: 8th, Report of Committee on Classing Returns to Overtures: 9th, Report of Manse Committee: 10th, Appeal by Mr Anderson of Aberdeen, and cases undisposed of.
On the motion of Dr P. M'FARLAN, it was agreed that the debate in reference to the College Committee Report should be adjourned at four o'clock, in order that they might receive the deputation from the Presbyterian Church in England.
REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC ACCOUNTS.
Mr BRIDGES said, he should best consult the wishes of the Assembly, by simply laying on the table, as a point of form, the Report of the Committee on the Public Accounts of the Church. He understood the printed Reports would be distributed in the course of the day, and he would leave them to speak entirely for themselves. The Report concluded with stating, "That while we submit the Report to you in order that there may be a full opportunity to the members for subjecting it to scrutiny, we do not ask the approval of the Report till a more advanced period of the Session, when we will respectfully move to that effect.”
REPORTS ON COLLEGE BUILDINGS AND BURSARIES.
Mr SHERIFF MONTEITH Submitted a Report from the Sub-Committee on the Building Fund.
PROFESSOR MACDOUGAL submitted the Report on Bursaries.*
After reading the Report he added, that he was happy to be able to announce that they had the prospect of some munificent donations being made, or legacies being left to them. (Hear, hear.) He could hardly conceive a more patriotic object for which to apply money, than the systematic, deliberate, and well-considered raising of the standard of ministerial attainments. (Hear, hear.) He begged leave, with this Report, to lay on the table of the Assembly a few copies of the examination papers for the last session. With the very greatest confidence he invited the attention of the Assembly to those examination papers. Very great care had been bestowed upon them. The results of experience had not been thrown away; and the Committee were already in an improved position for judging of the attainments of candidates for scholarships. It was very easy to draw up examination papers, which served more to shew the manifest irrational attainments of the examiner, and to puzzle the student, than to form a sound or valuable standard whereby to judge of his attainments. He might without the least hesitation, challenge the attention of the Church to our examination papers. They were drawn out on a common-sense principle, and he would be most willing to receive suggestions for their further improvement. He had announced that the term of a good number of their scholarships had expired. They were originally contributed for four years, and these four years would have terminated at the end of the approaching session. It would not be easy to estimate the obligations under which the Free Church was to those individuals who had so generously come forward with large sums, not only for aiding young men looking forward to the ministry, but for aiding them in a manner which did not trench on their independence. But it became necessary for the Church now to face the circumstances that were about to expire. He trusted, however, Mr Hog would be induced still further to continue his services, and to shew a new movement for renewing, and even extending, the very munificent and valuable means for improving the literature of the Church. (Applause.)
EXTENSION OF THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION.
Mr GRAY, as Convener of the Committee for classing returns to overtures, reported in regard to the returns on the extension of the means of Theological education: that eight Presbyteries wholly disapproved of an Aberdeen Hall, viz, Auchterarder, Greenock, Irvine, Linlithgow, Lockerby, Selkirk, Edinburgh, Orkney; that two Presbyteries disapproved of a Hall there at present, viz. Kelso and Lauder, and Kirkaldy; that three Presbyteries disapproved of completing the Aberdeen Hall at present, viz. Cupar, Deer, Meigle; that sixteen Presbyteries approved of an Aberdeen Hall, viz. Aberdeen, Aberlour, Abertarff, Alford, Ayr, Ellon, Garioch, Glasgow, Haddington and Dunbar, Stirling, Strathbogie, Turriff, Dunoon, Inverary, Kintyre, St Andrew's, and Fordoun; that fourteen Presbyteries thought it desirable, and that it should be completed as soon as the Church can afford the
These Reports will be found in the Appendix.
expense, viz., Arbroath, Dumbarton, Dunblane, Dundee, Dunfermline, Elgin, Fordyce, Forfar, Paisley, Perth, Stirling, Tongue, Shetland, Hamilton; that two Presbyteries thought it desirable, but the time was not yet come, viz. Lanark, Biggar and Peebles; that one Presbytery, viz. Brechin, seemed not to have made up its mind; and twenty-five Presbyteries had sent no return. The Committee had also found, on referring to a digest of returns on the same subject last year, that the Presbyteries of the Church, appeared to be, on the whole, considerably more favourable to the extension of the means of theological education than formerly.
Dr CUNNINGHAM, who was received with applause, then said,-I have resolved, after a good deal of difficulty and hesitation, to throw myself on the indulgence of the House, in introducing the discussion of the important topics brought before us by these Reports and Overtures. I am very unwilling to do anything that might have the appearance of presumption or of unnecessary interference; but I cannot, of course, but feel something like delicacy in seeming to take a prominent part in the discussion of such topics as these. I think, however, all things considered, that it is right and proper that I should embrace the opportunity of bringing some part of the subjects embodied in the reports and overtures fully before the House. And I venture to think also, that the House will not consider it very unreasonable that I should have some desire of having an opportunity of reviewing some of the points brought forward in this discussion at the conclusion of the debate, if there is to be a debate. (Hear, hear.) Of course it may reasonably be expected, that if these important topics are to be fully taken up, many of the subjects embodied in the Report of the College Committee will be discussed, and many statements made that will probably be commented upon; and it is not very unreasonable that I should seek some opportunity of reviewing at the conclusion what may be said on these important topics, in regard to which, of course, I may be supposed to entertain a deep and peculiar interest. The House will evidently see that in the Report of the College Committee, and in the Reports which have since been read, there are a great variety of important matters, that must of necessity engage more or less fully the attention of the House. The report of the College Committee which has been read did not enter at large into the two subjects, the extension of theological education, or the constitution proposed for the New College; but merely stated very briefly what they had done in that matter, in obedience to the instructions of last General Assembly, in preparing certain statements, and in transmitting them to the Presbyteries in whose hands they have since been. The result of this procedure is now before the House. The Report was, to a large extent, occupied by the scheme proposed for a theological curriculum,for an efficient curriculum for a theological education. That is a subject which I am sure the Church feels to be one of great importance and no little urgency. I confess, for my own part, I feel disposed to cherish something like annoyance and dissatisfaction, that, practically, and in the circumstances in which we are placed, the consideration of the extension of theological education will, I fear, prevent this General Assembly from giving to the subject of the curriculum the measure of time and attention which its importance demands. Of course, every one will feel that, to a large extent, the subject of the extension of theological education, or the establishment of a greater number of divinity halls than the one now existing, is that on which the largest amount of keen feeling and lively interest exists in the mind of the Church. And this is a subject which, both from the existence of strong feelings in reference to it, and also from its own nature, must necessarily affect very largely any discussion that may take place in this House at present on the subject of theological education. The Church will be anxious to decide, as soon as they can, the practical question, whether or not they can extend theological education, by sanctioning just now the erection of a larger number of divinity halls. And while we cannot but feel this, we cannot but see, on the ground of these considerations, that the subject of the extension of theological education will naturally and properly occupy an important place in the discussion of the subject on which we are now entering,-those of us who are opposed to any measure for the extension of theological education in the way of erecting additional divinity halls, feel likewise that it is of great importance that the subject of the proposed curriculum should be fully in the mind of the Church, -that they should be making up their minds as to what would be a good and right
theological curriculum, adapted to all the wants and necessities of the present day; that is to say, what is a right course of theological education, through which they might think it desirable that the great body of candidates for the ministry in the Free Church of Scotland should pass. We cannot consent to discuss the question of the extension of theological education, or the establishment of one or two more divinity halls, without the Church at the same time having distinctly and fully before them the question,-what is a right and adequate theological education, and what is a right and proper curriculum for securing, so far as an external organization can, that such a full and adequate theological education shall be enjoyed by the great body of our candidates for the ministry. (Hear, hear.) In these circumstances, it seems an inevitable necessity, that the two subjects, the formation of the curriculum and the extension of the theological education, should be discussed together. That is a matter of necessity which I do not see can be altogether prevented. I think there is no doubt but they must be substantially discussed together; and it will be for the General Assembly to determine, according as the progress of the discussion may afford them materials for doing so, in what way it would be best for them to take up those subjects, and for pronouncing their more formal deliverances concerning them,-in what way the motions bearing more immediately on those particular topics should be disposed of and arranged. In the mean time, it seems almost indispensable that the two subjects be partially disposed of together. (Hear, hear.) I do not think it would be easy to find any material objections to the main substance of the proposed curriculum set forth in the Report of the Committee, except what is derived from its real or alleged bearing on the subject of extension; while at the same time it is very manifest, that the question of extending theological education, is to be determined by a much larger number and variety of interesting and important considerations. Now of course, I cannot presume to occupy the attention of the Assembly for a very long time. At the same time, I fear I must enter pretty fully upon the consideration of the topics before us as to the formation of the curriculum, and the extension of theological education. I shall endeavour to do so briefly, and confine myself very much to the dry bones of the subject. I will just give a brief summary of the leading topics that really must be taken into account, and must be discussed, in the settlement of this question, endeavouring, as far as possible, to abstain, in the first instance, from the discussion of those points which are of less material importance, and which may be apt to give rise to a larger amount of keen and lively feeling on the part of those who take different views. I think it desirable to remind the House what is the right principle on which this question ought to be determined. It ought to be determined by evidence bearing directly and immediately on this question, and no other: What is the right mode of providing an adequate and efficient theological education for the candidates for the ministry of the Free Church of Scotland? That is the only question on which the subject should be settled. I am afraid that there is a considerable tendency in the minds of some brethren to introduce into the discussion of the question a number of collateral and adventitious considerations,—such as the bearing of one arrangement more than another on the general interests of the Free Church in a particular locality, or on the advantage to be derived from young men being engaged in private teaching in certain circumstances; and such, for example, as the alleged power of theological students on literary students, in turning their attention to the ministry, and a number of topics of this sort. Now, I think it desirable to remind the House that these are merely collateral and adventitious considerations, which do not bear on the intrinsic merits of the question. It may be necessary for the Church--they may be required by the necessities of their situation-in adjusting this matter, to give some influence to these collateral and adventitious considerations. We may be unable to help that, but we should avoid it as much as possible; and, in so far as we are compelled to it, we should be distinctly aware that we are deviating from the right adjustment of the question itself on its own intrinsic merits, and that we are making a sacrifice of the interests of adequate and efficient theological education to the very inferior and collateral objects forced upon us by the difficulties of our external position. I attach the more importance to this general consideration, because I fear the fact is altogether unquestionable, that hitherto in Scotlandt heological education has been to a large extent sacrificed and subordi