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most favourable impulse to all concerned in L.3 as sacramental expenses. The preshythe progress of the good cause, in connexion tery agreed to express their high approbawith the Presbyterian interest in this dis- tion of the christian and liberal spirit of the trict, had been given. The presbytery re- congregation, and to grant the moderation, solved that the Synod's reference regarding and appointed Mr Ogilvie to moderate on a representative assembly slali le discussed the 25th May. The presbytery agreed to at best meetirg, which was appointed to petition the House of Commons against adbe held at Carlisle on the last Tuesday of ditioral en los ments to the purish schools, November.
and for the repeal of the law which gives a Glasgou'.-This presbytery met on the sectarian character to these institutions. A sccond Tursday of last monıb; Mr Taylor, dranglit of petition was read and agreed to, moderator, in the absence of Mr D Naugh- and ordered to be sent to the member for ton. A report was given in respecting the county for presentation. The presbyihe moderation in Regent Place, Glasgow, tery having met at Kirkcaldy, June 26, rebearing that MrEdmond of Denny loanhcad ceived and read minutes of joint deputation had been unanimously called. Read the of Kirkcaldy and Cupar presbyteries, wbieli call signed by 207, and the paper of adher- had visited the congregations of Colins. ence by 175 members, in all 382 members, burgh and Kileonquhar, with the view of and the paper of concurrence by 147 ordi- promoting a union between them. After nary licarers, when the moderator's coni- long deliberation, a committec was apduct in the call was approved of. Ccm- pointed to draw up a report on the subject, missioners from Regent Place having been to be submitted to the Synod's junction hcard, the call was sustained and concurred committee. A deputation was appointeil in by the presbytery; and Mr Taylor was to visit and inquire into the circuinstances appointed to accompany the commissioners, of the congregation of Largo. It was and lay the call and relative papers on the stated, on behalf of the Rev. A. Muir, table of the Falkirk presbytery at their Largo, that his health was far from being first meeting. The call to the Rev. John re-established, and that he found it necesPaterson from Blantyre congregation was sary to apply to the presbytery for further set aside, and a moderation in a call grant- aid. After deliberation, supply for two ed to the same congregation; and Dr Sabbaths was appointed to the pulpit, on Beattie appointed to preside on the occa- the condition that on tlic Sabbath intervension. A moderation in a call was also ing between the preshytery's appointments, granted to Old Kilpatrick East congrega- the church be vacant or sermon be provided tion; and Mr Lawric appointed to preside. at the expense of the congregation. Mr A committee was also appointed, consisting Ogilvie gave an account of his procedure in of Dr Beattie, Dr Struthers, Dr Taylor, the moderation at Anstruther, which was Mr Jeffrey, with Mossrs David Roberison approved of. : Commissioners from the coniand George Paterson, clders, to suggest a gregation laid the call on the table, whick, plan for carrying into effect the recommen- being rcad, was found to be addressed to dation of Synod in reference to the presby- Mr Wm. Meikle, probationer, and to lic terial visitation of congregations. It was signed by fifty-one members of the congréalso agreed, inasmuch as the Synod's com- gation, and twenty-seven ordinary hearers. mittee for uniting weak and struggling Tho preshytery sustained the calt
, allowed congregations in the same locality, hail ic- Mr Nicikle till next meeting to give his dc. commended £50 to the second congrega- cision respecting it, and appointed him subtion of Campbelton, that the presbytery, in jects of trial. A conversation baving taken terms of said recommendation, supply Camp- place respeeting the expediency of accombelton at the said rate in the mean time, modating the few members who resided in and instruct the treasurer accordingls; at the eastern bounds of the presbytery, by next meeting it was agreed to take up the holding an occasional meeting to the cast: matters remitted by thic Synod to presby- ward of Kirkcaldy, it was agreed to hold teries, and the clerk was appointed to send the next meeting at Leren. At Leren, a circular to sessions, requesting reports on July 4, Mr P. Greig, student, delivered a matters remitted to them from the Synod lecture, and was examined in Hebrew and at the meeting in December.
Greek, to the satisfaction of the presbro Kirkcaldy. -At a meeting of this presby- tery. Mr Morris, after the usual cxaminatery at Edinburg!ı, 9th May, the clerk re- tions, was admitted to the study of divinits: ported that the Home Commision Board A report on the union of Colinsburgh and had agreed to aid the congregation of An- Kilconquhar congregations, prepared by the strnther. Con missioners appeared from committee formerly appointed, was read said congregation, and petitioned for a mo- and transmitted to the Synod's committce deration in a call, promising on behalf of the on the junction of weak congregations, with congregation to give the pastor whom they a recommendation that said committee might call L 100 per annum as stipend, and would give the subject their early atten
tion. Colinsburgh congregation appeared and the appointment of ministers to officiate to be suffering from its present vacant and delayed till next meeting of presbytery. uncertain condition. Two petitions were The former deputation were then appointed presented from Colinsburgh congregation, to visit Largo, in conjunction with the deone renewing the request for a moderation, putation from the Synod's Home Mission and another to the Home Mission Commit- Committee.--The presbytery mct again at tee for aid. These were, in the mean time, Leven, September 5. After long discus-allowed to lie on the table. The committee sion regarding the future presbytery sent, it appointed to meet with the congregation of was agreed to allow this matter to lie over Largo, reported that they had done so, and for future consideration, and to appoint had minutely inquired into the affairs of next meeting in Kirkcaldy; on which Mr that congregation, and addressed to the Johnston withdrew his protest and appeal. people suitable exhortations, and were of The presbytery then appointed supply for opinion that another deputation might, the pulpit of Largo, Mr Muir being unwith advantage, be appointed to risit Largo. able to preach from affliction. Mr Brown Resumed the consideration of the petition was appointed to preach, and Mr Ogilvie to from Largo, and, after long deliberation, re- ordain and give ihe charge, at the ordinasolved to transmit it to the Home Mission tion at Anstruther. Answers by the conCommittee. Rev. A. Muir being still un- gregation of Leven, to the queries of the well, members of presbytery were appointed Liquidation Board, were laid on the table, to supply his pulpit for two Sabbaths. Ap- read, and transmitted. The case of the pointed Mr Kerr of Pittenween, moderator congregation of Colinsburgh was recomof session of Colinsburgh, and Mr Douglas mended to the Home Mission Committee, of Kennoway, to dispense the Lord's Sup with a view of obtaining a little aid to per in Anstruther, on the fourth Sabbathin mect present exigencics. 17"}33.!!! bonito. For July. Read a letter from Mr Meikle, requesting another month to make up his
ORDINATION. mind respecting his call to Anstruther, to which request the presbytery'acceded. A · On the 28th June, Mr W. F. Swan was petition fiom the congregation of Leven for ordained pastor of the United Presbyterian aid in removing their debt, was received, Church, Comrie, Perthshire ; Messrs A. read, and transmitted to the Debt Liquidat- Rassel, Newburgh, Alexander Young, Logie ing Board. The clerk reported that the Almond, James Smith, Dunning, and John Home Mission Committee had granted the Lamb, Errol, officiated. congregation of Inverleven L.25 per annum, on condition of the congregation rais
OBITUARY. ing L.55 per annum, and continuing to work the Congregational Missionary Society, Rev. JAMES M'Geoch.—We copy from the with which arrangement the presbytery ex- Dumfries Courier the following tribute to pressed their cordial approbation. Agreed the memory of the late Mr M'Geoch, whose to certify Mr Patrick Greig to the Divinity death we announced in last Number of the Hall. Next meeting was appointed to be Magazine :“Our obituary of last week held in Leven, Mr R. Brown dissenting contained the name of an honoured and At Leven, August 1, on the reading of the useful member of society, whosè exit from minutes of last meeting, Mr Johnston, this scene justly warrants an honest tribute whose excuse for absence from last meeting to his memory. We allude to the late Rev. had been received, adhered to the dissent James M-Geoch of the United Presbyterian of Mr Brown, from the motion appointing Church, Moniave, who died here on Monthe present meeting to be held in Loven, day the 7th August, in the thirty-first year A long discussion was then entered into of his ministry. Possessing natural parts respecting the place of next ordinary meet- of a high order-quick in his perceptions, ing, when two motions were made and se- of a clear judgment, comprehensive in his conded; 'Ist, hold next ordinary meeting in views, and endowed with a memory at once Kirkcaldy; 2d, hold it in Leven-and the retentive, capacious, and ready-he had by latter carried by a majority of one--five assiduous culture prepared himself for a life voting for the one and six for the other. of unobtrusive but decided and long-conAgainst this motion the Rev. Wm. Harper, tinued usefulness. Keenly observant, given Wm. Cowan, and Mr. J. Aitken, dissented; to meditation, and fond of reading, he had and Rev. J. Johnston protested and ap- acquired 'a vast share of information, and pealed to the Synod. Mr W. Meikle was was characterised by a measure of sagacity called, and the call to Anstruther put into which is rare. His natural disposition and his hand, which he accepted. He then de- moral feelings were in fine harmony with livered his various trials formerly prescrib- his well-balanced intellect. Of a large ed, which were sustained, and the ordina- heart, full of affection and benevolence, he tion fixed for Wednesday, 27th September, delighted in seeing and in making others happy. He was eminently a lover of peace was merely circumstantial from what was and of good men, and at the same time dis- essential to his subject, and by a few mastinguished for faithfulness to his peculiar terly strokes set before his hearers a vivid religious profession. He was truly a good portraiture of his own mind. As a pastor, man and full of faith. Few characters have he cared with affectionate earnestress for so strikingly displayed the wisdom of the the whole flock, but especially for the aged serpent in union with the harmlessness of and infirm, for the poor and the dying. Nor the dove. That he was a diligent student did he restrict his pastoral care to his own of the word of God, his discourses from congregation, but was ever ready to counthe pulpit plainly declared. For nothing sel, to comfort, and to pray with the afflictwas he more distinguished as a preacher ed of all denominations. And he did not than for apposite citation of Scripture, withhold the hand of charity when he saw whether for the sake of proof or illustra- that pecuniary aid was needed. Considertion, whether for instruction or warning, ing his means, his benefactions were indeed for exhortation or encouragement. If not large; but they were exercised so much signalized by the frequent exhibition of in the spirit of christian beneficence, that striking remark, or expanded illustration, it was not till after his decease they became or impassioned eloquence, his own clear generally known, and by means of those conceptions of divine truth were expressed who were the recipients of his bounty. in the most lucid order, and in a style at Such men are blessings to society while once clear, elegant, aud classical. With they live, and, in their excellent example, much discrimination, he separated what leave to survivors a precious inheritance.
THE PROPOSED NEW MARRIAGE LAW FOR
bill, intituled “An act for registering births, deaths, and marriages in Scotland," it is
provided that the officiating clergyman shall AMONG other measures crowded out at the be required, under a penalty of forty shilclose of the session of Parliament just con- lings, to send to the registrar by post, cluded, is one of some importance to minis- notice of every marriage he solemnizes
, ters in Scotland, as affecting their liabilities and that such notice shall be sent within in the discharge of a particular function of ten days after the solemnization. The their office, and to the people at large, as bills contain numerous minuter provisions, bearing on public convenience and public carrying out these principles. morality. We refer to two bills which That marriage by registration simply, have passed the House of Lords, and have after proclamation of banns, and under been under discussion in the Commons, the other restrictions proposed, ought to be altering in some particulars the law of mar- made valid in law without the interposition riage in Scotland. The first, intituled “ An of a religious functionary, will not be disact to amend the law of Scotland, affect- puted by any who hold that the subjects of ing the constitution of marriage,” would the realm are not responsible to the magisprovide that marriage shall be contracted trate for their religious opinions or obseronly in one of two ways; (1) By solemni
With the friends of a voluntary zation in presence of a clergyman, corres- christianity, it will be a more questionable ponding with the form pursued under the point, whether the civil law ought to recogexisting law in contracting a regulur mar- nise any other form of contracting marriage riage; or (2) By registration in a public than one, in which it is treated as a civil record, after due notice given and pro- contract. To simplify the transaction as claimed. A clergyman, by which term is far as concerns the civil law, it seems to us meant the minister or pastor of any religious to be clearly advisable that Parliament society, shall not, if this law pass, be per- should adopt one uniform plan, like that of mitted to solemnize marriage, unless one registration, altogether independent of the at least of the contracting parties have re- religious ceremony. The idea of making sided for fourteen days in the parish in marriage a religious matter, calling for ecwhich the ceremony is performed; or shall clesiastical interference in order to its valihave been for fourteen days a member of dity, is a relic of the popish system. In the the church in which the minister perform-“ Directory for the Public Worship of God." ing it officiates; or, until such minister be agreed upon by the Westminster assembly, duly certified that notice of the intended it is set forth that “marriage is no sacramarriage has been given to the registrar ment, nor peculiar to the church of God, seven clear days before hand. In a second but common to mankind, and of public
POPERY AND THE PREMIER.
interest in every commonwealth." In op- of marriage. It is to be remembered, howposition to this doctrine of their confession ever, that in solemnizing marriage (in other of faith, there are presbyteries of the Esta- words, in constituting a legal marriage blished Church who treat marriage as strict- by a religious solemnity), the minister acts ly an ecclesiastical matter, and are oppos- so far as a civil officer, forming an imporing the new bill on the ground of its recog- tant civil relation ; and it is not unreanising the validity of marriage contracted sonable that he should be required to acby simple registration, and without the count to the constituted authority for the authority of a church. This opposition we act he performs in this character. If he hold to be of the very essence of popery, object to the reporting, as we can conceive and clearly at war with the doctrine of the a scrupulous conscience to do, he has the Westminster divines. Let the church make remedy at hand. Let him refrain from what rules it will in regard to its own mem- performing the ceremony which the law bers, yet it has no right to rule in reference requires to be reported by him who perto the members of the commonwealth at forms it. He is not bound to marry parties large. According to its own standard, if it in- who present themselves for this purpose; sist on a religious ceremony as necessary to he is only bound to report all cases, whatconstitute legal marriage, it must hold that soever they be, in which it pleases him to every man who proposes to marry, is, by that exercise the function which the legislature proposal, a member of the church ; or else has chosen to vest in ministers of the it must declare that no man shall propose, gospel. or be at liberty, to marry till he become a While we have no doubt that time will member of the church. The interference suggest many improvements in the proof the Established Church presbyteries posed measures should they pass into law, with the proposed legislation in the matter, we regard them as forming so decided an is one of the latest mutterings of a system advance on the present system, that we which we had presumed the year 1843 had should hail their enactment with no comrebuked into silence; and yet we fear that, mon satisfaction. from their long intercourse with government men, their voice will be attended to with far more respect than their influence in the country deserves. Let the Parliament, “ Save me from my friends," may the say we, mind its own business; settling what advocates of religious liberty now truly should constitute marriage in the eye say. We have learned to watch our known of the civil law, and as involving civil enemies. An indignant nation rises in its rights. If churches or religious com- strength when the avowed adversaries of munities need something more than the freedom are proposing evil against it ; but civil law needs in such a case (and we when the evil is proposed by those whom are far from saying that the church of the people have been accustomed to regard Christ should not have higher standard as the hereditary friends of freedom, it is than the law of the land in forming so im- long before they can rouse themselves from portant a relation,) still, this is the church's their dream of security; and even if half own business, with which it has no right convinced, they sit calmly by, as if they to trouble the civil legislature. Let the feared they were under some hallucination, state have its own uniform plan (and this, till the sad truth is forced upon them by unless we hold marriage to be unlawful facts which no imagination can mitigate or when the contracting parties are not Chris- resist. At this moment we have Lord tians and members of the Christian church, John Russell, openly declaring his willingmust be independent of a religious cere- ness, as first minister of the Crown, and as mony); but, if the church demand something acting for the interest of the British momore, let this be regarded by the legal narch, to sell his power unto “the beast," judge as something extrajudicial, into which -to give the nation's money in exchange he has no right to inquire. In short, re- for the influence which popish priestcraft gistration, as defined in the proposed acts can render him for quieting the disaffection of parliament, should be exclusively recog- of Ireland ; and his movements have excitnised as evidence of marriage.
ed surprisingly little commotion. His LordWe dislike the compulsory enactment in ship has been employing a portion of the the contemplated measures, as far as re- recess of parliament in paying a visit to the gards Dissenting ministers. It seems a Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland; and, though it hardship that ministers of the gospel, ir- has not come out distinctly what was the responsible to the civil power in respect to nature of his errand (if it were an object other religious duties, should be compelled discreditable to a prime minister, we could to report to a legal authority in regard to not expect him to divulgeit), it is significant the religious exercises in which they may enough of the amount of confidence reposa engage connected with the solemnization ed in him by the public, that the cause of his Irish visit is connected, in the public the priests could take an active part favourmind, with his grand remedial measure for able to the Government, but unfavourable Ireland, the imposition of a new and ad- to the people, in what a painful and appalditional ecclesiastical establishment. While ling dilemma would they not find themothers are offering their conjectures as to selves? The people, wliose confidence what made the British Premier cross the they have forfeited, and from whose minds Channel at such a crisis, we may venture the idea of supporting them has fallen into ours, and it is this :--that the rumours of oblivion, are unwilling to resume the Voluncertain Romish bishops being criminally tary system again ; and the Gorernment, implicated in the late rebellion ; of the upon the other hand, threatens them to Lord-Lieutenant's desire to deal out justice withdraw their support from them, unless with an even hand to high and low, laic they become their instruments in carrying and ecclesiastic; and of the Premier's wish out their iniquitous designs, in enslaving to make an exception in favour of the right the people. Cruel and painful position of reverend rebels, -are probably true ; and a Catholic priest--an ohject of hatred to: that the adjustment of the difference be- his flock upon the one hand, and a tool in tween Earl Clarendon and Lord John Rus- the hands of an iniquitous Government sell, colleagues in office, and we fear in expe- upon the other ! diency, required a personal interview. Why “ Again, I maintain that such a system is the country so little roused when such ru- would be placing religion and the Catholic mours are rife? Is it that men hardly yet be hierarchy of the country at the mercy of the lieve ıhat a Whig premier would aim such Government, and exposing them to the a stroke as the endowment of popery must sarcasms of the bigoted and scorpion Stan. inflict upon religious liberty? Let not ley, and the foolish and nonsensical taunts their charity deceive them. Sydney Smith of the doting and unprincipled Brougham. said of his lordship, that his courage was fit. “ In the first placc, what guarantee has for any thing; and that he would have under- any one that this Government endowmenu taken, had it been offered him, the com- will last always ? . Is it not-nowian axiom,'. mand of the Channel Fleet during the mutiny that the English Government is never of the Nore. Let nobody imagine, then, that generous but when the interests of the nawith Lord John Russell it is mere gasco- tion are involved, and likely to be pronading to speak of the voice of the empire moted ? The present degraded and forlorn being "no bar" to his endowing the Romish condition of the French ecclesiastics should priesthood in Ireland. For our part, we never be absent from the mind of the good do really believe that he has courage enough and virtuous part of this country: ' People to make the attempt, and that, unless an ex: may be assured that the sole and only inpression of opinion emphatic enough to tention of the Government in all this proimpress the House of Commons at large be ceeding is, to snap the golden link that offered speedily, such an endowment will unites the priests to the affections of the become a matter of law ere the next ses. people-to paralyse the influence by the sion of parliament have far advanced. exercise of which they are the masters and
We have more to hope on this question arbiters of the destiuies of the landi from the policy of the priests, than from the “But, I may be told that it is throwing protestantism of the Premier. A Roman a slur' upon the character of the party to l Catholic priest of Cloyne, in a letter to the say that English gold would induce them Cork E.caminer, has laid bare at once the to abandon the interests of the people. deep scheming of the Government, and the There is no man in Ireland who entertains perils to which Romanism is exposed in the a higher opinion of the integrity and unprojected endowment. Having said that swerving firmness of the clerical character the system woukl make " our holy religion in this country than I do. I am convinced the slave and hand.naid of the Governinent,”, that no country ever produced better and he goes on to prove it,-
truer priests. But, while this is the fact, Suppose that every Catholic curate re- and too patent to be denied, it is yet, alas ! ceived L200, and every parish priest a pen- but too true that we all carry about with us : sion of £500 from the English Government, the weakness and corruption of hunan 0 and that this system continued in operation ture, and that in the most sanctilied anul 1 for twenty or thirty years, so that the idea best organized societies, there has been of the Voluntary system would fall into found a minion, a traitor, or a slave; and complete desuetude, what would be the con- that a single act of a recreant hireling of sequence? At the expiration of this term, this kind, united to the malice of a few suppose that the feeling -as it certainly wicked and designing men, would do an would-of diffidence and distrust of the incalculable amount of injury to the best people in the priests would have received and holiest cause. strength and maturity, and that an impor- “It appears to me to be a matter placed tant political crisis presented itself in which beyond all dispate, that men's ininds would.