ment. When the Noble and Learned Lord expressed so much apprehension of every thing like change, he should recollect that the Unitarians prayed only in substance that the law might be restored to she state in which it stood before Lord Hardwicke’s Act, and in which it now stood in Scotland and Ireland. The Noble and Learned Lord had, indeed, said, “Why don't you bring another sort of Bill? Why don't you put these Dissenters exactly on the footing of the Jews and

Quakers ?" Had he done $0, he could easily chalk -out (though of course not -60 eloquently) the sort of speech” the Noble Lord would meet it with. But it was sufficient to say,

“ If you admit the principle honestly and fairly, and don't like this Bill, do you bring in another ; if ours will not suit you, let us have one that will, but at present we are satisfied with

our own." He repeated, that this Bill was calculated to give relief not only to the Unitarians, but to the Clergy of the Established Church themselves, as it would relieve them from the odious and painful duty of compelling a reluctant Dissenter to go through the solemn mockery of re

peating forms, for which he, in his conscience, en

tertained no respect, but which it was not less the inclination than the duty of the Established Clergy to

The Earl of LIVERPOOL said, he was sure no one who had watched his political life but would believe, that in a sincere attachment to the Church of England, he yielded to no man; but, after having heard all that had been said by his Noble and Learned Friend on the Woolsack, and all that had been urged by some Right Reverend Prelates, he could not perceive one scintilla of a ground for maintaining that this Bill could be injurious to the interests of the Established Church. This Bill, as a measure of relief to the Unitarians, went no further than to place that class of Dissenters on the same footing on which they stood antecedently to Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act; for before that Act it was competent to all classes of Dissenters to contract matrimony according to their

forms. His. Noble and Learned Friend had pressed strongly upon them, that the principle of this Bill would extend the same relief to all other classes of Dissenters. He (Lord L.) might observe, in conformity to what had been already stated by the Most




Reverend Prelate (the Arch- Lansdowne) brought in a bishop of Canterbury,) that Bill, in the last Session, to the case of the Unitarians

extend relief generally to was materially different Dissenters, he (Lord Lifrom that of many other clas- verpool) voted for the seses of Dissenters. He would cond reading of that Bill, here say a few words as to stating, however, at the some observations which same time, that it was had been made with respect tremely doubtful whether to conscientious scruples. so general a Bill could be He agreed with the Noble adopted in a shape which Baron opposite, (Lord Hol

he could ultimately approve. land, that they ought to The more he reflected on estimate conscientious scru- this subject, the ples not by their own opi- strongly he was convinced nions, but by the opinions

that it would be extremely of those who entertained difficult, if not impossible, such scruples. The con- to apply the principle of scientious scruple, with re- this Bill generally to all spect to the benediction, classes of Dissenters. If, was, in his opinion, a just however, proper securities and well-founded scruple. / against clandestine marHe came to this conclusion, riages were preserved, he by putting the question to must confess that he saw himself and feeling that he no objection in principle to could never consent to re- conceding to Dissenters the ceive a benedicton in the right of being married acname of Jupiter or Mahom- cording to their own reliet, or of any religion which gious forms, provided both he did not acknowledge; parties Disseaters. he could not but acquiesce

Here he should draw his in the justice of the scru- distinction ; for he thought ples entertained by the it was not only the right Unitarians, however he but the duty of the Church might condemn or disap- of England to take care prove of the doctrines of

that its

members should be that sect. If the question married according to the were put to him whether he

established forms. This Bill would apply the principle

did not introduce any new of this Bill to other classes principle, it merely recogof Dissenters, he would nized the principle which repeat the opinion which he was already admitted in had given on a former oc- the case of Jews and Quakcasion. When the Noble

It had been said that Marquis opposite (Lord' very serious doubts might



be raised as to the legal si

sequence of those marrituation of these parties, ages, This was enough to and the effect of the repeal satisfy him; if doubts arose, of the Act of William and it would be but justice to Mary. As far as he had ex- the parties interested that perience he would not deny those doubts should be clearthat doubts might be raised ed by an Act of the Leon any subject, and, cer

gislature; but unless such tainly, as to matters of doubts appeared in some law, he felt himself in

tangible shape, he should competent to decide. All

assume that the recognized he would observe, was, praetice of the country was that that Act was intro- the law of the land. As to duced to relieve Unitari- the Unitarians, he must ans from their difficulties

repeat that he thought them as to toleration, and to fairly and conscientiously place them on the same entitled to the relief; that footing as other Dissenters; their scruples were on the in short, to give them sub- face of them fair and just. stantial protection and re- But the Noble and Learnlief. That was quite suf- ed Lord said if the Unificient for him. If technical

tarians were to be placed doubts and difficulties arose on the same footing as Jews on the construction of the

and Quakers, then

put them Act, when the case arose. on the same footing as Jews they ought, as a matter of

and Quakers in every right, to be removed, but,

spect, and let them not be in the mean time, be stood married in any degree on the general acknowledg- through

the instrumentality ed understanding of the of the Church of England. intention of the law. In -This, he apprehended, the same way as to mar- was entirely a question for riages of Jews and Quak- the Committee to decide ers, they were told there

whether it would be proper were doubts and difficulties that the Unitarians should as to their legality, but keep their own registers there could be no doubt, or not. The inclination of that ever since the passing his mind, on civil grounds, of Lord Hardwicke's Mar- was the other

way ;

he riage Act, marriages be- thought that their marriages tween Jews and Quakers ought to be registered in had been recognized by the the Established Churches ; practice of the country, and that opinion was foundand property to an immense ed, not upon a religious, amount had passed in con- but a civil ground; because


such a regulation would the Bill going into a Commost effectually prevent clan- mittee. destine marriages. What- The Bishop of CHESTER, ever might be the merits or in reference to an observadefects of the Bill, he could tion which had fallen from not understand how it could a Noble Lord opposite, in any way operate injuri- denied that equivocation ously to the Church of could be justly imputed to England. He concurred the Church of England. with the Noble. Baron op- He regretted that such an posite (Lord Holland) on observation should have falthis point, and he was the len from a Noble Lord who more ready to express


usually stood forward as concurrence, because he

the champion of liberal differed from the Noble

opinions. Elevated as the Baron most essentially and rank, and illustrious as the fundamentally on many im- descent of the Noble Lord portant questions connected might be, he (the Bishop with the security of the of Chester) would disclaim Church of England. He the imputation which had agreed also with the Noble

been cast on the Church of Baron, that it was not the

England ; it was as unjustly wisest policy to stretch applied to the Church of every little measure of con

England as it would have cession into a question of

been to any Noble Lord alarming magnitude, or of opposite. The Reverend danger in the Church, and Prelate then adverted to that such a course as this the allusion made by Lord was ill calculated to secure Holland to the opinions of the safety of the Church in his father. Whatever they cases where danger really might be, he neither was existed. Believing, as he bound by them, nor claimed did, that this measure was any merit from them ; founded on principles of Et

genus, et proavos, et sound policy, and was in

quæ non fecimus ipsi, no degree apposed to the Vix ea nostra voco. laws and constitution of Lord Holland explainthe country, and that it ed, and repeated his surwas calculated to afford

prise in seeing the Reverend relief to a class of Dis- Prelate in his present posisenters who were entitled tion. As to the Prelate to relief on the score of fair, alluded to, (Law, bishop of conscientious scruples, he Carlisle,) he could only reshould certainly vote for peat, that no one who knew 55;

his worth would believe ed equivocation on others. that he would ever have The House proceeded to been found at the head of divide on the Amendment. such an opposition.

Contents, present, The Marquis of LANS- Proxies, 50-105. NonDOWNE, in explanation, ob- Contents, present, 41; served, that he had not Proxies, 25-66. Majority imputed equivocation to the in favour of the AmendChurch of England; he

ment, 39. had only said, that the The Bill was, therefore, Church of England impos- | lost.

Irish Dissenters' Marriage Act, 11th and 12th Geo. III.

The Secretary of the dered to be brought in by Unitarian Association is Mr. James Stewart, (Kelindebted for the following lymoon,) Right Honourapaper (which he has com- ble Mr. Burgh, Mr. Garmunicated to us for publi- diner, Mr. Grattan and cation to the Marquis of Mr. Montgomery. Lansdowne, for whose kind 11th March. The heads and zealous exertions we of Bill were brought in and cannot be too grateful. It sent to the Lord-Lieutecontains a minute of the nant. (Lord Carlisle.) proceedings on the Irish 220 April. The Bill was Dissenters' Marriage Act, brought in and read a first referred to in the above time. debate, and was extracted The Bill passed the Comfrom the Journals of the mons without a division, House, under the Noble

At this time Marquis's directions.

Lord Lefford was ChanThis Bill is not a mere

cellor. Irish precedent. But having Lord Avonmore, Attorpassed bəfore the alteration

ney-General. of the Irish Constitution, Lord Carleton, Solicitorit was certified, under the

General. Great Seal of England, at

Paterson, C. J. of K. B. some time between the 11th Lord Anally, C. J. of C. of March and the 22d of April. It must, therefore, House of Lords. Bill have had the sanction of brought up by Mr. Stewart, Lord Thurlow's authority and others, read first time. as Chancellor.

25th April. Read second House of Commons. The time. Lord Lefford, Chanheads of the Bill were or- cellor," present. -Petitions


« ElőzőTovább »