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vinced that the integrity of the Church when, on the other, a number of men would be very much compromised. It banded themselves together resolutely to was very desirable that the attention of encounter suffering and even persecution the clergy and the country at large should rather than subscribe to religious doctrines be directed to this subject, and he felt to which they could not conscientiously satisfied that in no long space of time the assent. We were now, however, happily great body of the clergy and a consider- living at a totally different epoch. No able proportion of the Episcopal Bench one was now subjected to any privation or would acquiesce in some measure of this hardship on account of his religious faith ; kind for affording relief to tender con- while, at the same time, men were not sciences. No doubt, the young men who ready to give up their conscientious belief now offered themselves for ordination were for any advantages which they might obwell qualified for the office they sought; tain by joining a Church to which they did but it should be remembered that those not in their hearts adhere. But, if that who had scruples against subscription did were so, certain inconveniences must arise not offer themselves at all for ordination. from such a state of things. They had Hundreds he might say thousands of the testimony of his right rev. Friend (the young men, who would make highly com- Bishop of London) to the fact that there petent ministers of the Church, never pre- were many men sincerely attached to the sented themselves to the Bishop, because Established Church who suffered great disthey knew that they would sooner or latter tress of mind from being unable to reconbe compelled to take this subscription, cile their consciences fully to the declaraand it was an undoubted fact that a vast tious which his noble Friend proposed to number of them went over to the various modify. That of itself was a very, conDissenting denominations. He was not siderable evil. Having a national Church at all anxious to bring into the Church and wishing to support it, it was a misforof England the great body of Nonconfor- tune if many men, from the number or the mists. He knew the good that those bodies ambiguity of those declarations, should were doing in their respective spheres, and feel pained in their consciences. But he had no wish to disturb or interfere with there was another very important matter them in the good they were working out; to which his noble Friend who spoke last but he was very desirious to secure for (the Earl of Shaftesbury) had called attenthe service of the Church those hundreds tion. The Church was not threatened exof energetic, pious, and zealous young ternally. Nothing proved that more than men who were now deterred by the strin- the little progress made by those who gency of the present terms of subscription advocated the separation of the Church from presenting themselves for ordination. from the State. They were a small miHe trusted the noble Lord would not press nority; their views might, indeed, be the Bill at that time, but that further time maintained by men of talent and energy, would be given for the consideration of so but the great majority of the country was important a subject. opposed to them. But there was an internal and perhaps a growing danger, such as his noble Friend had pointed out, arising from the independence of mind and the spirit of inquiry to which he had referred. There were many young men of Christian piety, of Christian zeal, and of talents which, if devoted to the Church of England, might produce works of learning and earnest exhortation to the people, and which would strengthen the Church in the affections of the country. But these persons had certain scruples which prevented their joining the Established Church as clergymen, though they might still, perhaps, be ready to conform to her ordinances. It was, he thought, a great disadvantage, not to the Church alone, but to the Church and the State together, that the former should be deprived of the ser
EARL RUSSELL said, he could not allow this discussion to close without expressing to his noble Friend, who had had to encounter many objections, his belief that he had rendered a public service by calling the attention of their Lordships and of the country to this important subject, because the question was really one of growing and pressing importance. He might be mistaken in his view of the present times; but, as it appeared to him, these were times remarkable for individual learning, individual inquiry, and for individual and independent judgment. It was not so in the century when this test was created. That was a period when, on the one side, many men were banded together in order to obtain the emoluments and rewards of the Established Church, and The Earl of Shaftesbury
vices of men who might be among her brightest ornaments. These were considerations, then, worthy of their Lordships' attention, and worthy of the attention of the Church itself-although he quite agreed that it was not at all desirable that they should now come to a decision on that question. There was one point which lay at the bottom of the subject, in respect to which their Lordships had given opinions much differing from each other. Indeed, the noble Lord who proposed the rejection of this Bill (Viscount Dungannon) had himself expressed in the course of his speech two entirely discrepant views upon it; because he stated, first, that the measure would leave no standard whatever in the Church, but would give the clergy complete freedom and latitude of opinion, without any test to mark them off from any species of dissent; while he further on expressed quite a contradictory view in replying to an argument of his noble Friend. There was much force in what the right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of London) had said as to their not being able to see what would be the effect of the Bill upon the declaration made by the clergy at their ordination. That was a point which required grave consideration before any satisfactory decision could be come to on a matter of that kind; but if the grievances to which he had adverted existed, the question was one which must excite further discussion, not only among the clergy, but in the Universities and all the other places where men took an interest in the well-being of the Church. To that future discussion he thought the question ought for the present to be left, and he trusted that his noble Friend would not now press his Motion. The subject was one of growing importance, and it was desirable that the House should not be divided at once into two opposite parties upon it; but that, if the question were hereafter to be revived, it should come before them in a shape that might facilitate a settlement conducive to the advantage of the Church, and which should not afford an unseemly triumph to her
THE BISHOP OF OXFORD said, their Lordships were much indebted to the noble Earl who had just sat down for having brought this matter to the real point on which, whenever they should be called upon to decide such a question, they must deal with it. The noble Earl had observed that in the present state of men's minds there
was great readiness for each man to assert his own particular opinion, and for all to reject the authority of others. He pointed to the difficulties which such a state of things must necessarily cause for maintaining any Church which should be the Church of the nation, requiring its ministers to make any declaration of faith whatever. He begged their Lordships to look that matter in the face. The arguments of his noble Friend who introduced the Bill seemed to him entirely wide of his proposition, for this reason they went against all subscription, while his Bill went to that most minute, perplexing, insignificant, useless, and therefore mischievous relaxation of one particular subscription to which he was opposed. The noble Lord was quite wrong in his facts. He supposed that it was only every beneficed clergyman who had to take this test; but the 31st canon said "none licensed to read, preach, lecture, or catechize, shall be admitted to do so unless he first consent and subscribe to the three articles in the 36th canon,' which stated that the Book of Common Prayer contained in it nothing contrary to the word of God. By what possible ingenuity could it be said that a person called on to make the declaration that he assented to the whole Book of Common Prayer as containing nothing contrary to the word of God, was to get a great relief to his agitated conscience by saying he assented and consented to what he really meant? It came to this, that for the sake of including all who were willing to serve in a national establishment they should allow men to believe anything they liked, provided they consented to the noble Lord's formula. The noble Lord promised the effect of such a system would be harmony; but there was something better than harmony, and that was truth-truth objective in what we hold-truth subjective in what we believe as we teach it-and the whole tenour of what the noble Lord said was, that provided men were willing to use the appointed service, they might attach any meaning they liked to the words they subscribed. For his own part, he believed that no injury could be more deadly to the Church than that such a practice should gain currency, and that the people should believe this to be the meaning of the language used by the clergy. He believed the great power and prosperity of the Church was, under God's blessing, owing to this-that her ministers had laboured diligently, held the truth sternly, and
taught what they believed distinctly. The very strong sense of conscience to pronoble Earl (Earl Russell) had done great pound to their Lordships, gravely and service by bringing them face to face with deliberately, some conclusion which he the difficulties of the question. The ques- had come to after full inquiry, and was tion before them was this-Did they mean, determined, even at any risk, to let their in a day which, as he thought, the noble Lordships decide, he should not blame Earl had rightly described as one of unex- him for the course he had taken; but he ampled boldness, not to say audacity, of thought his noble Friend was only triindividual belief, to withdraw all declara- fling with a very great subject in laying tions on the part of those who were to be on the table two Bills, one so extravathe teachers of the people that they held gantly ridiculous that it was thought by any amount of truth whatever? The ques- most people to be a practical joke, and tion came to this-Was there such a thing which he withdrew without daring to ask as truth? Was truth that which every for it a second reading; and the other, man thought, or was it that which the having minimized the alterations he proWord of God taught, and that which the posed, being now brought forward, he did Reformed Church of England held? If not dare to take a division on it. To thus there were such a thing as truth, then he stir the entire minds of the people and said it would be a most dangerous thing to Church of England, to call on their Lordteach a number of young men in training ships to alter the whole standing-place of for the ministry that provided they con- the ministry of that Church, and having sented to use certain formularies no one made his speech, and introduced those cared what sense they attached to them. fabulous numbers of men under the deep He was astonished at the exaggerated conflict of conscience, to set them free statements which had been made of hun- from all discomfort by such a declaration dreds and thousands of young men who as he had proposed, he did say was tribecame Dissenting ministers rather than fling. Nothing was more calculated to do remain in the Church, because some day harm than stirring such questions, unless or other they might have to make the with the resolute determination on condreadful declaration that they believed scientious grounds to go through with what they said. The men at the Uni- them to the very utmost, till they were versities did not fall off under the unac- brought to a final settlement. He becountable dread of this declaration. So lieved their Lordships were not prepared far from it, during the seventeen years he to give up the principle of subscription; had heen connected with the great Uni- and unless they were so prepared, they versity of Oxford, having had hundreds of could not entertain such a measure as conscientious young men coming to him this. What was wanted was that they perpetually for assistance in the resolution should have the guarantee which honest of their doubts, he could say he had never men would consider binding on them—not found one who, in the midst of his scruples, that they would not hereafter alter their serupled about this; and when, on a recent opinions-that was not the meaning of occasion, a number of the Prelates in town subscription-no man ever said he would met together for the purpose of consider- not alter his opinion on any point; but ing the noble Lord's proposal, he took the what he said was, he now held certain liberty of asking them whether, in their definite and intelligible views of the truth, varied experience, they ever found such a which he proposed to teach, that he took case. The answer of every Bishop was that his teacher's office on condition of teachhe knew of none. He ventured, therefore, ing them, and as an honest man, if he
to think that this was one of those chime-changed those views, he was prepared to lay down the office which he held on the condition of maintaining them. He re
rical creations of "men in buckram," who were always ready to be called on the stage to represent a mighty army by flitting to and fro across the vision, but who, if they could really be seen at once, would turn out to be a very paltry assortment of country actors. He would frankly confess that he could not agree in the compliments which had been paid to his noble Friend for introducing this subject. If his noble Friend had been driven by a The Bishop of Oxford
LORD EBURY briefly replied. gretted the speech which had just been addressed to their Lordships; for the right rev. Prelate had indulged in ridicule and sarcasm rather than in argument, and had misrepresented the nature and object of the present Bill. His only motive in introducing the measure was to promote Christian union and harmony, but after
THE BISHOP OF SALISBURY said, he believed it was not desirable to make any change, unless it was made for some really great object, and he did not think that such an object could be gained by the adoption of this measure. He felt persuaded that no real relief could be given to tender consciences by any other means than by the abolition of all subscriptions. VISCOUNT DUNGANNON said, that as the Bill was withdrawn, he should not, of course, press his Amendment.
what had passed he would not ask their intelligible. The question was, whether
Amendment and Original Motion (by leave of the House) withdrawn.
Then the said Bill, on Motion, was (by leave of the House) withdrawn.
House adjourned at Eight o'clock,
HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Tuesday, May 27, 1862.
KETURN MOVED FOR.
MR. WHALLEY said, he rose to move for a Return of the names, ages, and number of Students attending the College of Maynooth on the 31st day of August, 1844 (being the end of the academical year); the names and number who have entered each year from that time till the 31st day of August, 1861, with the age of each Student at entering; the names and number who have left college during that period who have not completed their course of education, with the date and cause of leaving, and the classes which they have respectively attended.
MR. MONSELL said, he begged leave to object to the latter part of the Motion. Mr. WHALLEY said, he had not anticipated that the right hon. Gentleman would have made any objection to the Return being granted, and was about to enter further into the question, when
MR. SPEAKER informed the hon. Gentleman that it was not open to him to give any further explanations then.
MR. WHALLEY said, he had desired to make an explanation in order to make the question which he was about to ask
the Lord Lieutenant had filled up the appointment with the assent of the persons immediately interested, including the Bishop.
the law that had prevailed from 1852 to that time. But he ought to take notice that after he had put his Motion on the paper the hon. Member for Stoke-uponTrent (Mr. Ricardo), who was unfortunately not present, gave notice of a Motion, not for a Commission, but a Committee of that House, to consider, not the SIR HUGH CAIRNS said, he rose to working of the Patent Law, but the policy move for an Address to the Crown, pray- of the law itself. For that reason he ing for the appointment of a Commission wished to state briefly the advantages he to inquire into the working of the Law thought a Commission would have over a relating to Patents for Inventions. The Committee of the House of Commons. It difference of the views taken of the Patent was obvious that a Committee of the House Laws, when regarded from the side of pa- must be confined as to its composition to tentees, or from that of manufacturers and those who had the honour of seats in it. the public generally, was very great, but There might be, and there were, a number in either view the state of those laws was of Members of the House very competent important. At that moment, on the best to investigate a question of the kind, some calculations that could be made, there were of whom it would be desirable to have in about 14,000 patents in existence. Every any body that might enter into the inquiry; one of these patents represented an out- but it was clear that a Commission would lay of a considerable amount of money and act at any period of the year, and probably time. The property these patents repre- at a time when the pressure of public busisented, therefore, could not be otherwise ness would be much less than at that mothan very large. In addition to that, ment; in that respect a Commission would looking at the question from the point of have an advantage over a Committee of view taken by the manufacturers and the the House. The Motion proposed by the country, it should be remembered that hon. Member for Stoke-upon-Trent reevery patent granted, or that might be ferred to the policy of the Patent Laws; granted, was in substance a curtailment, the Motion he himself proposed to submit to a certain extent, of the wide domain was somewhat different. He proposed to which might otherwise be occupied by the ask for an address for the appointment of manufacturers generally; and it could not a Commission to inquire, not into the policy, but be the interest of the manufacturers but into the working of those laws. The to see that there was no such curtail-reason he would explain in a few words. He did not mean to say that the policy of the Patent Laws, which he understood to mean the policy of having any patents for inventions at all, was not a very arguable question and one worthy of consideration. It seemed to him that a good deal might be said on both sides of the question, both in favour of maintaining the system of giving patents for inventions and in favour of the contrary position. That was a question, however, which, if it were raised at all, was a fair one for discussion in the House of Commons. It did not require an elaborate investigation by a Commission. If any one wished to raise that question, there were ample materials for the discussion. At the same time, he did not wish to abstain from stating his own opinion with regard to the policy of having patents for inventions. Some persons held that there was a sort of abstract right by which any one who had arrived at an invention should have a property in that invention secured to him as a matter of right.
PATENTS FOR INVENTIONS.
ment, or that their proper province should
be invaded without some consideration and proper safeguards. He could not help thinking that the present was a convenient, opportune time for considering the question. It was rather more than ten years since, during the preparations for the Exhibition of 1851, that there was a considerable agitation in the country in reference to the state of the Patent Law then existing. Some persons who took an interest in the promotion of the Exhibition of 1851 also took a great and lively interest in the state of the Patent Law. After consideration before Committees of that and the other House of Parliament, an Act was passed in 1852, which had since regulated the grants of patents for inventions in this country. Another Exhibition of Arts and Manufactures as great, or at all events more extensive than the first, was then in existence; and it had so happened there had sprung up in the country a loud demand for a reconsideration of Sir Robert Peel