페이지 이미지
PDF

own rites, amongst her own members; but as she did not assume to be an infallible church, he did not see why she should look with any jealousy on the doctrines of those who were of a different communion. He therefore saw no objection to the present bill, and on these grounds he would give it his support. The Bishop of Chester would trouble the house with a very few * observations. There could be no question as to the importance of this subject to the unitarians. If they were sincere in their belief (as he had no doubt they were) against the doctrine of the Trinity, and if they really considered that by submitting to the ceremony of marriage in the church of England, they were brought to worship the Trinity, he certainly thought them entitled to relief. While the noble marquis opposite defended the sincerity of the unitarians, he had thought proper to cast an unmerited imputation on the body of the English clergy. (“No," from Lord Lansdown.) He certainly understood his lordship to . to them. : The Marquis of Lansdonin said, he had not made any such allusion. The Bishop of Chester was ready to admit the sincerity of the unitarians, but they were spurred on to their present complaint by the sneers of a sect who called themselves freethinking christians. Here his lordship read an extract from the Freethinking Christian's Magazine, in which the writer animadverted upon the marriages of the unitarians by ministers of the established church. As, however, there was no very great grievance imposed upon the consciences of

the unitarians, he thought that, after having submitted so long, they might submit for one year longer to the privation of what he considered a right. He agreed with the right rev. prelate (the Bishop of Lichfield) that the present measure would afford not only relief to the unitarians, but also to the clergy of the church of England; and he would therefore put the former on the same footing with the quakers, and all the other dissenters, before the passing of the marriage act. He was not for imposing the doctrine or the discipline of the church of England upon those who could not conscientiously entertain them; but the unitarians were not prepared at present to give the necessary securities against clandestineness, and, consequently, he was impelled to oppose this bill. He had no objection to give the unitarians the same privilege which was enjoyed by jews and quakers, but nothing further; at the same time, that he would provide effectual barriers against clandestine marriages. o Redesdale opposed the ill. Lord Calthorpe supported the bill, on the ground that it was a measure of relief to the church rather than to the unitarians. He also contended, that it was unfair to place the unitarians on the same footing as any other dissenters, because, to other dissenters who did not, like the unitarians, deny the doctrine of the Trinity, the marriage ceremony was no hardship, but it was to unitarians a very great one. He would not attempt to impugn the legal argument of the noble and learned lord on the woolsack, but the present

sent law, admitting it to be correctly stated by the noble and learned lord, afforded, in his mind, a strong reason for passing the bill. The church could not better promote her true interests than by conforming herself to the increasing knowledge and genius of the age. Nothing could be more injurious to her than to place her in opposition to liberal ideas. The church was able to rely on her own strength, and might, without fear, appeal to the augmented learning and assiduity of her clergy, to the increased number of her churches, and to the two great universities, which year after year sent forth distinguished champions to uphold her rank and maintain her security. In conclusion he supported the measure, because he believed that it would add to the dignity and character of the church of England. After a few words from the Marquis of Lansdonn, in which his lordship denied that the sect of freethinking christians had had any part in bringing forward the present bill, the house divided. The numbers appeared—for the second reading — content, 32; proxies, 20–52; not content, 31; proxies, 25–56; majority against the bill, 4. The second reading of the county courts bill was postponed to Thursday next.—Adjourned at eight o'clock. House of Commons, June 3.− Mr. Brougham, in moving for leave to withdraw the London college bill, which stood for a second reading on Monday, and substituting in its stead a notice, that he would on Tuesday present a petition for leave to bring in a private bill for the foundation of

a London college on a comprehensive plan of education, begged to explain the reasons which influenced him in taking this course of proceeding. The alterations from a public to a private bill had become necessary, owing to some regulations of the house which affected such matters, and the alteration would have also the recommendation of diminishing the necessity of discussion upon the bill. The greatest misapprehensions had gone forth respecting the measure, and it was incumbent upon him to explain both what it was not and what it really was. In the first place, the terms of the bill were to incorporate a company, with power to sue and be sued as a corporate body, and not to be a joint stock concern in any other quality than as having the power to hold lands and issue shares, and make such executive arrangements as the case required. The bill was not intended to convey any individual power of withdrawing from the responsibility incurred by their personal undertaking, so as to come within the exceptions taken to other associations. With respect to the measure itself, the promoters of it had no intention of applying for any exclusive privileges, of creating fellowships, conferring degrees, or seeking those honours which for a very long time had been considered as the exclusive privilege of the two great universities. The plain object was, indeed, this — that as there were notoriously hundreds of thousands of persons in London who were deprived by a variety of causes of giving their children the benefit of the collegiate education, as at present established, both by dis

tance

[ocr errors]

tance from the spot as well as expense, it was expedient to provide the means of their acquiring such education for their families, in the only way in which it could be made available for their habits and situation of life. There were some who disliked sending their children from home to a college, others who had not the means of sending their children to a distance for purposes of education. Indeed, the present expense of a university education was a great objection to numbers — it could not be had at Oxford or Cambridge for less (and that was a very low average) than 200l. a year, accompanied, too, with all the collateral expenses of such a system, which often involved worse than mere pecuniary consequences in their train. He spoke from the very highest authority when he declared that the expense and dissipation consequent upon it at the two great universities was so great, that if not checked it would produce the greatest evils to society. To such a pitch had this system of expense been carried, that at this moment the greatest pains were taking to check it at the universities. He understood, too, that other great improvements were in progress at the two universities, and that a better system of education was in o at both. The object of

is bill was, in fact, to enable the people of this great metropolis to bring home to their own doors a good college system of education, so as to include those who did not like (whatever were their means) to send their children to a distance, and also those whose restricted means did not enable them to encounter the expense. He wished

to have established on the spot a college for teaching the sciences, literature, and the arts; and the student's expenditure would at the outset be only three guineas for each of those branches, and one guinea admission, making the whole expense of his education cost ten guineas a year only, instead of 180l. or 200l. a year, as at Oxford. In these branches it was not intended that the professors should have sinecures, for their general salaries were not to exceed from 80l. to 100l. a year, except in the particular case of the oriental professorship, and perhaps one other; and they were to depend mainly upon the successful progress of the business of the school, according to a suitable arrangement which would be provided for the purpose. They were not to have houses, nor were they to be allowed to take boarders. One great result of this new college would be, the formation, on cheap terms, of a good medical school. All experience had shown that this could only be had in the vicinity of a large hospital; and where could that be so well provided as in a great metropolis’ They might have it perhaps in Liverpool, Bristol, or Manchester, but in London only could sufficient means be found of rendering it more generally useful. It was, therefore, desirable that the site of the new college should be within twenty minutes' walk of one of their great hospitals. This would afford a peculiar advantage to naval and military professional students, and also to the great societies of mechanics which were so widely and usefully spreading throughout the country, more particularly those of the metropolis.

The

The present was, therefore, the time for taking advantage of the general desire for education, and affording the facilities for which a college in the metropolis was calculated. In the formation of this establishment it was intended to take the utmost care to make its benefits as comprehensive as possible; there was to be no religious test which could affect any class of churchmen or dissenters, nor was there to be any theological lectures or course of education of that kind, it being considered that the two great universities, and the seminaries for the religious education of dissenters, were better adapted for such a purpose. In fact, this was to be the only branch of education not included in the new plan. It was proposed that the government of the college should be vested in a governor, or chairman, or some such officer, and nineteen other directors, with other proper officers, to whom the management of discipline was to be intrusted. He hoped this explanation would remove the many mistakes which were felt respecting the object of the bill, for which he meant to present a petition for leave to bring in on Tuesday, as a private bill, and not a public one, as he had at first intended. Mr. M. A. Taylor defended the system of education which was established at the university of Oxford, with which he had been for more than forty years acquainted, and insisted that they had made the utmost strides to improve it, according to the growing lights of the times. Mr. Brougham said, he had exressly stated that fact. All he d disparaged the present system

for was in the strides to expense and dissipation which had attend

ed it. Mr. M. A. Taylor said, that he was in the occasional habit of going to Oxford, and he knew that the discipline of the young men there was unexampled, and could not be exceeded. Indeed, every thing was done which discipline, science, and literature could accomplish. Habits of reading and study, formerly unknown, were established in the colleges. Noblemen and gentlemen of rank now commonly took real degrees of M. A.; whereas, formerly, persons of their rank never thought of taking any but honorary degrees. A great many foolish notions had got abroad about the idleness and dissipation of the universities. Whatever might be the vulgar impression, idleness did not prevail there. If the house would compare the number of scholars entered, with the number of degrees obtained, it would be discovered that there. could be very few who did not obtain those honours. As to the bill, he felt sure that all the liberal views of his honourable and learned friend must fail. Without the discipline of a higher authority, and the constant examinations which took place at the universities, it would be in vain to expect much progress from the students. Mr. Brougham again denied having imputed any fault to the discipline or science of the universities, for their improvements in which, on the contrary, he had very much praised them. What he had urged upon the vicious consequences of expense among the students, he had derived from the highest authorities in the universities.

versities. This institution was not intended in any way to rival those establishments. He rather expected, that by rendering the thirst for scientific knowledge, as it were, epidemic, among a totally different class, that more property would be sent to the universities in consequence. Such was not his expectation only, but also that of the heads of those institutions with whom he had communicated, and of the fellows and past fellows of colleges, who constituted four out of five of the committee. The order was discharged, and the notice stood for Tuesday. The order of the day for the third reading of the quarantine laws bill was read. Mr. C. Grant rose to correct a very strange misapprehension which had gone forth, as if it had been the design of the committee of the framers of this bill, and of the bill itself, to do away entirely with the precautionary system of the quarantine laws. Those who so thought and argued could have read neither the bill nor the report upon which it was founded. The right hon. gentleman went on to show from the report and the bearing of the evidence, that it never had been the design of government to relax the senatory principle of the quarantine laws, but, on the contrary, to strengthen it by taking away the inoperative capital penalties, and substituting others which were likely to secure the efficiency of the laws. It had been recommended in the committee, whose investigations had been so frequently made the subject of discussion in that house, that goods from the plague countries should perform quarantine of 21 days after being landed at the

lazaretto. The conclusion at which the whole of the evidence taken before the committee seemed to point, was the same as the recommendation of the most experienced practitioners—namely, the propriety of reducing the number of days under the existing law devoted to quarantine. It would seem, therefore, upon the whole, and even according to the opinions of those who were most apprehensive of contagion, that this important principle was established— namely, that in respect to ships arriving in the ports of this kingdom from countries infected with the plague, the number of quarantine days might properly be reduced. In regard to clean bills of health, it was not necessary to detain the house on that subject. He thought it would be sufficient that vessels arriving with clean bills should be visited by proper officers, who would report to the privy council; and upon favourable answers, which would be received by return of post, such vessels might be admitted. In all arrangements of the kind the object of government would be, that the modifications to be adopted should not exceed the modifications recommended by the medical practitioners. The king in council was already even, under the existing system, vested with large discretionary powers in regard to the quarantine laws. The privy council might declare the trade with other countries, besides those already included, to be subject to the regulations of quarantine; and it might by its order remove that liability from the trades at present subject to it. There was one other object which it was necessary to mention as one that had

been

« 이전계속 »