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in favor of minority representation, and concluded by introducing the following canon, which was supported by the Bishop, and accepted after a warm, but temperate discussion : 'In all elections by ballot each voter shall be entitled to as many votes as there are persons to be elected, which votes may be cast all for one name, or may be divided among any number not exceeding the whole number to be voted for,* and any ticket having such excess shall be rejected.
“There shall be a nomination to the Convention, at least three hours previous to any election by ballot, of all persons for whom it is proposed to vote, and no vote shall be counted for any name not so nominated.""
This was directly put in force in the election of the Standing Committee of the diocese, consisting of four clerical and four lay-members. Tellers having been appointed, and the ballots received, it was found, respecting the vote of the clergy for their order, that 37 votes had been cast (only about one-third of the voters having come in at the time appointed for the election), and that the minority candidate had 37 votes, while the highest of the majority candidates had only 28. But here, for some who had not grasped the main points of the transaction, came a puzzle. It was found that the lowest of five voted for (while only four could be elected) had 19 votes; and as the tellers, not understanding that, in this mode of election, pluralities turn the scale, had reported 19 necessary to a choice, it seemed that five were equally entitled to be declared chosen. But as soon as attention was called to the plurality feature of the mode of electing, all were satisfied, and the lowest, i. e., the 19 vote name, was dropped.
Then, another result of the new rule was observed, viz., that while the majority in the Convention is about 4, to 1 in the minority, the minority candidate had 9 more votes than the highest of the others. Be it observed too, that 9 voters in the minority would give 36 votes, while the 28 voting against them, giving 112 votes to 4 candidates, could give but an average of 28. It appeared from the report, that several of their votes were scattered, as the 4 candidates ranged from 28 down to 19.
* This is obscure. The meaning is, that a voter can have only as many votes as there are officers to be elected. So many he can give to one, or distributo among four of those who have been nom d, where on four are to be elected-the candidates might be a dozen.
It is also worthy of note that while pluralities determine the result, if the majority have so scattered their votes as to give no one more than 2 or 3, their part of the ticket would have been perfectly secure, unless, indeed, two of their candidates had the same number of votes; in which case they would, we suppose, have been obliged to change some of their ballots. So a minority candidate might be elected by a very few votes against large numbers, i. e., if they should happen to be much scattered.
As an illustration of results in this mode of voting, let us suppose 4 officers to be elected by 8 voters. Let the majority be 6, the minority 2. If both parties concentrate their votes, as they naturally would, the ballot will stand thus:-let A be the minority candidate, be of course gets 8 votes. The others may stand thus:
B. C. D.
8 8 8 for each of the majority. It might be 7, 8, 9, by sufficient care in distributing the votes, and other results are attainable; but the chances would be in favor of the one first stated.
The opposition to this measure in the Convention, was partly under the misapprehension that any minority, however small, must elect one at least of a proposed ticket. This had been inadvertently asserted by one or more of those favoring the canon, and not, for some time, contradicted. But it is easily made to appear that very small minorities can elect no one, unless, indeed, the majority should scatter votes in a reckless way; and this is not, in any ordinary circumstances, to be feared.
But, it is suggested, a large minority may elect the half of a ticket : say 4 to be elected, and the parties as 65 to 45. Then as the 45 have 180 votes, they can give 30 to each of two candidates; while the majority could give only 863 to each of three. But the margin of danger here is small; for let there be 42 to 68, and the minority can elect only one; as clearly they ought to have power to do. Such possible dangers are not much to be regarded.
This method of election, whenever it is practicable, is clearly right; and the common method, where there is not some special reason for it, is as clearly wrong-socially, if not morally, wrong. In the case of the recent election of judges in New York, there is not the slightest reason to doubt that the minority hold a great share of the wealth, and have much of the intelligence of the mass of voters. What a wrong, where a bench of judges is to be elected, whose decisions will be of no less importance to the minority than to the majority, that the larger number merely should have all the power in their own hands--the people and interests wholly unrepresented, being more than of several of our smaller States put together.
On the true plan every one votes for those who can represent him. The smaller number may elect only one in five, or one in ten, or one in twenty-they are nevertheless represented, and can always be heard when decisions, or enactinents involving their interests are proposed. This is a most beautiful result; and the world in all its parts, where voting is allowed, inust at length see and feel it. The inventors of this method may be set down for as much immortality as this world can give.
The righteousness of this rule, for religious bodies, was very strongly urged in this New Jersey Convention, by Judge Savage of Rahway. He referred to the election in New York, where notwithstanding the corruption so commonly charged upon political parties a sense of rectitude prevailed. IIis appeal was: “If even the political world is so far moving in the direction of right, is it possible that you, as members of the Church of Christ, will refuse such a concession to your very brethren in that church?” Such, for substance, was his appeal, and it was felt, we venture to say, by every opponent of the proposed canon.
But we hear of another objection. In this same Convention it has been for some time the practice of the majority to allow the minority one member on the clerical part of the Standing Committee. Now it is said that the minority having the right, by combining thoroughly, to elect one, party spirit will thereby be exacerbated, the majority will lose its opportunity of showing generosity, and the minority have no longer an occasion for gratitude for the favor received. All which may be thus parabolically set forth. There is a strong man who having a weak one in his power, is accustomed to deprive him of various rights; but also, as a mere matter of grace, to allow him certain others; for which the weak man is partially grateful. But ever and anon, the parties fall into disputes, and never fully realize the conceivable blessing of generous giving and grateful receiving. The too often oppressed man is very apt to think of his rights, and wish that he could maintain them without the gracious permission of another. Would not these men be upon better terms, probably at least, if the right, instead of possible favor from the stronger, were the basis of their intercourse with each other.
We do not assert that in the case of this Convention, the rights of the minority have not been respected: our concern is with the general principles of the case.
A few words more respecting the advantages of this scheme. We have already referred to the desirableness of having respectable minorities heard through their own representatives. In a Standing Committee, a Court, or a Legislature, how important that any respectable minority of those represented, should have their interests presented and defended by men of their own choice! The voting, in such delegated bodies may be against the smaller number, but not till their canse is fully argued ; and then the final action may be modified to favor their rights, in a measure at least. Again, we may observe the ease of filling up lists of those to be elected, when the first ballot fails. The minority having elected their candidates, it will be an easy task to determine the additional members of the majority part of the ticket. Two or three votes differently cast may do it. How this can be effected we need not specify.
Art. X.-NOTICES OF RECENT PUBLICATIONS.
A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles. By
Paton J. Gloag, D. D., Minister of Blantyre. 2 vols., 8vo, pp. 439 and 456. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark. New York : Scribner, Welford & Co.
It may perhaps be said that no book of the New Testament makes such large and varied demands upon a commentator as the “ Acts of the Apostles.” . It presents indeed few difficult or obscure constructions, but while the work of translation is easy, ample scope is afforded for the skill and learning of the interpreter. Its theme is the founding, early training, and the expansion of the Christian Church, which it traces from Jerusalem the capital of Judea, to Rome the metropolis of the world. It covers the whole period of transition from the old dispensation to the new, and details those providential measures by which the infant company of believers attained its independent organization, was gradually released from the shackles of the past, was brought to a consciousness of its true character and mission, and was fairly embarked upon its new career, equipped for its work and secure of its destiny. The proper interpretation of this book necessarily involves an intelligent appreciation of the vast movement here described, and a correct apprehension of the bearing of each successive act or incident upon the ultimate result.
And then the peculiar position of this book as a link uniting the past with the future, renders its adjustment with the preceding and following portions of divine revelation, a task of unusual delicacy and importance. There are special difficulties,-chronological, historical, and exegetical,—which grow out of the frequent allusions to or citations from the Old Testament. It is in form a sequel to the gospel written by the same author, who thus intimates the close connection between what is here narrated and the personal ministry of Christ. And it stands in almost perpetual relation with the epistles, upon whose occasion and design it sheds much welcome light, while receiving from them incidental corroboration of many of its statements, and important aid for the more exact understanding of others.
Again, one of the most striking features of the Acts, in which it contrasts remarkably with the other New Testament writings, is its numerous points of contact with general history and what we know from uninspired sources. While the gospels are limited to the narrow territory of Palestine, the Acts traverse not only Syria but Asia Minor and Greece, finally conducting us to Italy and Rome. The mention of cities and provinces, of their governors, and of facts and usages, affords opportunity for abundant illustration from multiplied sources, from Greek and Roman writers, from ancient monuments and coins and works of art, and from the investigations of modern travellers. Recent research has col.