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NATIONAL EDUCATION--PETITION OF THE GENERAL SY

NOD OF ULSTER AGAINST THE PROPOSED SYSTEM DEFENCE OF LORD ACHESON.

[We have received the following letter from an esteemed friend-and

although we have not changed our mind upon the subject, we yet deem it an act both of courtesy and justice, to give publicity to the letter of our correspondent. We have availed ourselves of his kind permission to abridge, but we have endeavoured faithfully to preserve the spirit and point of kis observations.]

TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX PRESBYTERIAN. SIR,

In the leading article of your last number, there are some reflections against Lord Acheson, which it would be an act of injustice, as well to the Synod of Ulster as to his lordship, to allow to pass without notice. I think it due to Lord Acheson to state, that although I have 'conversed with a very considerable number of Presbyterians, clergy, and laity, respecting the propriety of these reflections, there was not one who did not consider them as utterly without foundation.

In the first place, then, it should be knoirn, that Lord Acheson, immediately on his being informed, that the petition of the Synod was intrusted to him for presentation, made every exertion, by personally applying to several Ministers of the Synod of Ulster, to obtain the most accurate and minute information respecting their various objections to the proposed plan of education; and having done so, he repaired to his place in Par·liament sooner than he had designed, for the single purpose of embracing the earliest opportunity of laying the petition before the House of Com

mons.

The article goes on to say, "We know not his lordship, but he seems to us to possess, in great perfection, that useful statesmanlike quality of blowing hot and cold with the same mouth." In reply to this insinuation, I beg to observe, that though Lord Acheson did not say as much in favour of the object of the petition as I and the other petitioners could have wished, he yet supported strongly those parts of the petition which he believed to be just, whilst he withheld it, conscientiously from those parts, of which he could not perceive the reasonableness. Surely more than this petitioners could not require.

The writer proceeds“We are not cognizant of parliamentary etiquette; but we think his lordship treated the Synod of Ulster rather unkindly. We believe that it is a kind of parliamentary law, that members should present any respectful petitions intrusted to them, yet we believe it is not uncommon, where they do not concur with a petition, to tell the petitioner their objection. His Lordship did not do so." In reply to this, I beg to inform the writer, that Lord Acheson did, in several instances, tell the petitioners his objections to some sentiments ex. pressed in the petition, and that several Ministers of the Synod have his letters to that effect.

The writer goes on to say "But he,” Lord Acheson, “contrived, as we understood him from the report, to pour out upon the Synod a quantity of oblique and most uņdeserved abuse.", From this opinion I must record my decided dissent. In my humble judgment, the speech_was, in the highest degree, complimentary to the Synod of Ulster; and I am very much mistaken if it has not been viewed in the same light by most of my brethren.

The writer concludes by observing—“We are told that his lordship is friendly to the Preshyterians of Ulster; if so, we heartily wish bim a better way of showing it." Now I know not in what manner Lord Ache*son could more efficiently have demonstrated his friendship. His lordWher, m his parew weeks 'become member of the House of Commons

there, he made a number of observations highly com. plimentary to the Presbyterians of Ireland, and that, too, at a time when there was scarcely a toíce besides his own to utter a sentence in their favour. It can be testified by all the Preshyterian clergymen in the neighbourhood of his lordship's Irish residence, that they have never applied in vain either to himself or his family, either for pecuniary aid towards building houses of worship, or for any other favour it was in their power to þestou. I cap farther state, that to his lordship’s exertions the Synod of Ulster are mainly indebted for the purposed endowment of their newly erected congregations. ..These circumstances will, I trust, be sufficient evidence of the wisdom of the Synod in intrusting their petition to his lordship, of the efficient manner in which it was supported, and of his lordship's friendship to the Presbyterian body.

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1:1:{We sincerely respect the motives of the writer of the foregoing strictures and if he, or any other, can convince us that we have taken an erroneous vieto of Lord Acheson's sentiments, we are ready to recânt and apologize, We have, however, again read over the debate and our rëmarks; and though we have, perhaps, expressed ourselves strongly, because we felt strongly, yet our opinion in our last remains unaltered, That our readers may judge whether we had not some reason to complain, we call their attention to the following facts:-1, If his lordship wished to be informed concerning the objections of the Synod, he had them in the petition: if þe wished for more information, we respectfully submit, the Moderator and Clerk, who'signed the petition, were persons who should dot have been overlooked. This we call “neglect of parliamentary etiquette:” 2. We complain that neither of the persons signing the petition were ever informed of his lordship’s objections to any of its allegations.And yet his lordship absolutely argued against it in the House of Commons, and this we call “hot and cold." 3. We complain, because, after having stated the conscientious opposition of the Synod against the antiPresbyterian supremacy about to be set up, his lordship was pleased to add_After all, the great objections in the petition were these,--that extracts selected by the Board were to be made use of as 'a' school-book, to the exclusion of the Scriptures; whole and unmutilated; by which means Protestapts would be deprived of the free use of the Bible. Now one word concerning these extracts. He would ask, whence this sudden horvior of extracts And here he trusted he might be allowed to say a few words, with regard to the assertion, that the Protestants were to be deprived of the Bible. He must protest, and did it conscientiously, against the insinuations pay more, the positive assertions which had been made in Ireland, that the object, he repeated it, the object of Government hard treeni to deprive Protestants of the Bible. He disputed with no man

his right to oppose any measure to which he had conscientious objections, and he acquitted the Presbyterians of all desire, in their opposition to this plan, to embarrass the Governinent, and was willing to believe that many others were actuated in their opposition by religious motives ; but why had motives been imputed to the present Government? Why had they not been imputed to those who were the original framers of this plan of education, from whose report his Right Hon. Friend's letter had been taken in many respects verbatim? He imputed no motives-he only slated facts. The present Government was a Whig Government--the then Government was of an opposite character in its politics. There was no Reform question pending in those days there was no object in inflaming the minds of men against Government. He regretted this line had been followed. What its objects might be he pretended not to say, but this he knew, that, whether intentionally or not, a feeling of suspicion, of unfounded suspicion, arising from those unfounded insinuations, had been excited in the minds of the people of Ireland, which might induce them to look with an evil eye on the future measures of Government. Far better would it have been for the country if the opponents of the measure had come forward, had stated fairly and openly their objections, and had expressed their willingness to join in devising some other plan which might have been satisfactory to all parties. Far better, he said, would it have been for the country, far more creditable to themselves,-far more suitable to those professions of religion, by which alone they declared themselves to have been actuated.”

The speech from which we have taken these extracts was, as we believe, reported by his lordship himself; and, after all explanations, we do positively consider it “oblique abuse." We admit we may misunderstand, but we deny that we misrepresent.-Edit.)

BALLYCARRY--ASSAULT ON THE REV. J. STUART

MAGISTERIAL INVESTIGATION.

'TAE Rev. John Stuart was ordained at Ballycarry, upon Tuesday, the 3d inst., and during the night of the same day a shot was fired at his lodgings, and seven panes broken in the window of his sitting-room. When this attack was reported by Mr. Stuart, ingenuity and special pleading, with liberalism and charity, immediately commenced either to deny the truth of the statement altogether, or to roll suspicion upon Mr... Stuart himself, or the connexions of the family with whom he resides." That the spirit of partizanship should suggest this foul attempt is not surprising, but that a magistrate, enjoined to the impartial administration of justice, should publish, with all the authority of his name and office, an ex parte statement, and, a prejudgment of the case, without evidence upon oath, would appear to us a thing impossible, if we did not know that the thing had been done. The following are extracts from the letter of the magistrate alluded to. “It could not be done by a shot from a gun, pistol, or any weapon of the kind. There was not the slightest mark, even in the window-shutter, or any other part of the wood." This magisterial declaration produced its effect for its little hour; and Mr. Stuart, a character the most guileless and upright, was pilloried before the public as a condemned alarmist. Nay, his assertions, when he produced the shot gathered inside the window-his assertions that some shot had been actually imbedded in the wood-work--were denied, pronounced impossible, and himself, by consequence, guilty of, at least, two deliberate falsehoods. These were charges affecting the moral character of a Minister, of which, we think, that a magistrate should have paused before he subscribed them with his name. No matter we pass it by—and leave the author to his own cool reflections; and we trust to his sense of honour to repair, at leisure, an injury committed in haste.

Upon Saturday, the 21st, the case came to be investigated before E. J. Agnew, R. W. Johnston, and T. Casement, Esqrs., Magistrates, who after the examination and cross-examination of ten witnesses, published the following official decision :

“ We are of opinion, that on the night of the 3d inst. a shot was fired into the sitting-room of the Rev. J. Stuart, near Ballycarry, but, from the circumstances which appear in evidence, that the person who fired said shot could not have contemplated Mr. Stuart's death as the corisequence. Had he been in the room at the time, he would not have been injured. We, however, feel that the act was a most malicious and unlaw/ul one, and hope the offender may yot be brought to punishment.

Obituary.

JOHN DILL, Esq. M. D., (Son to the Rev. Richard Dill, Know

head,) who died in London upon Saturday, the 8th inst., in the 30th year of his age.

We are constrained, by many mingled feelings, to dedicate a few lines to the memory of Dr: Dill. An excellent school education, improved by a full University course of literature, philosophy, theology, and medicine, had rendered him an accomplished scholar:- intercourse with the best society had made him an accomplished man. The clearest head and the warmest heart were bis disting shing characteristics. He commanded confidence, he won affection, wherever he came. He went to London an unfriended stranger, he attained to lucrative and honorable employment, and was advancing on the fair road to the very summit of his profession. Yet study, business, society, and success left him what they found him-a Christian. Philosophy never shook him from the simple faith of the Gospel : the world never seduced him from communion with his God. The seed of truth sown by a father's hand in the heart of the boy, had ripened in the principles of the man ; and the fruit is gathered in a brighter world, where the blight of death can never smite again.

As an illustration of the confidence which his abilities and integrity commanded, it may here be mentioned, that, at the last meeting of the General Synod of Ulster, it was unanimously resolved to entreat him to become their parliamentary agent, an office in whick, had he been spared, we believe he would have faithfully protected and materially advanced the interests of Presbyterianism. It must have delighted his grey-headed and venerable father, and his youthful and talented brother, to hear from the Rev. Messrs. R. Stewart, J. Brown, Jun. Cooke, and Jamison, their united testimony to his eminent worth. God alone can comfort that father and his family now; and he will comfort them. We have mingled our sorrows with theirs : we will also partake of their joys—the joy of the promises the joy of the hope--the anticipation of the meeting, when we shall part no

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One of the characteristic features of the Presbyterian Church is the office of ruling Elders. By this it is distinguished equally from the despotism of prelacy, and the democracy of independency. And in this order of men, duly appointed and faithfully engaged, lies partly the great power and superiority of Presbyterianism. Like every other blessing, however, it may be perverted into a

That it has often been so perverted, cannot be denied. Neither are we ready to maintain that the opinions and practices which commonly prevail, respecting the eldership, are such as we could desire to witness. We fear the ordinary apprehensions of the churches in these times, respecting it, are far below the scriptural standard; and, with a view to bring attention more to the subject, we will in future give some prominence to it in our pages. At present we will submit to our readers a brief sketch of the authority, duties, and qualifications of ruling Elders.

I.—The authority for the office of Elders is derived directly from the Scriptures. This will clearly be seen from the examination of a few passages. “They ordained Elders in every church.”-Acts xiv. 23. “Ordain Elders in every city.”--Tit. i. 5. We remark on these passages, that they suppose a plurality of Elders in every church, There is no reason, however, to suppose that there was more than one Pastor in each church. In the Revelations, the address to the church is through the angel or Pastor. One person was set apart wholly to the work of the ministry, and him the church maintained; but they would have been unable to support more Pastors than one. When, therefore, we read of Elders in every church, we understand the phrase not of a plurality of Pastors, but of the Pastor and the lay-Elders associated with him in the government of the church. Another passage, in which the

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