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be their's. A scanty pittance is doled out to them, from a full treasury, in the very name of which their claims are expressed ; for the word " Tiends,”
tithes," does itself indicate something that belongs to the Church something to which she has a right. And yet that scanty pittance from that full treasury, belonging to the Church, is made more scanty still, by the niggardly and pitiful clipping away of any small help that it might receive from the striking of different rates and giving it the benefit of a highest rate. The parties benefiting by this mode of acting, should bear in mind, that they bought or inherited their lands, with the knowledge that the tiends were a burden upon them, for which an adequate allowance had been made, in the amount of the original purchase-inoney, and that so much of the tithe upon their property, as the statute says should be given to the clergy, is no more their's than the taxes which they pay to the civil government. Under all these circumstances: that there is a large fund in existence, which should be available to the clergy, in providing a becoming maintenance for them; that they receive so much less from it than they should receive; that that little too, is made still much less than it should be, by the operation of a single fiar's rate; and that their powers of helping themselves are so much crippled, that they are entirely in the hands of others ;---they do feel that confining them to a single rate of fiars is imposing on them a greater grievance than others are subject to, whose interests are, in any way, affected by the striking of the fiars.
But these evils are not chargeable against the Act itself, while it limits the power of the clergy to the extent that has now been pointed out, it compensates them for that limitation, in a great measure, by the allowance of a highest rate, to be authorized by the Sheriffs of their respective counties. The clause to this effect has been already quoted, and is as follows: - Where there shall have been, or shall be different rates of annual fiar prices struck, in virtue of authority from the Sheriff, the conversion shall be made according to the highest annual fiar prices, struck in virtue of that authority," or of the “ Steward" of any“ stewartry," having such power. Here the responsibility rests with the Sheriff of the county, or where the district of the country goes under another name, with the “ Steward” of
He has power to authorise a highest rate, not only where different rates were accustomed to be struck at the time of the act coming into operation, but also where there " shall be” different rates struck thereafter. The authority and the futurity of the clause are so intimately connected with the functions of the Sheriff or Steward, that they leave no doubt to be entertained, as to the power of that judge to ordain different rates to be struck within his jurisdiction. He is not positively required by the Act, to make such a change. It rests with himself to determine whether he shall do so or not. But, considering the restrictions already mentioned, the compensatory design and character of the Act, and the various circumstances which cause low averages, more or less in every corn-growing county, the inference seems but reasonable, that every Sheriff of such a county, or Steward of such a stewartry, would be fully warranted, and should even feel it to be a matter of duty, to order a highest rate to be struck annually within his jurisdiction.
The force of such considerations as these has, accordingly, had its effects already, either fully or partially, in a great proportion of the counties of Scotland. Three rates of fiar prices have been struck, and the clergy have reaped the benefit of them in the counties of Edinburgh, Haddington, Lanark, and Peebles, there being, in the first of these, three rates for barley, two for wheat, and two for oats ; in the second, three for all these kinds of grain ; in the third, three also for them all, with the addition of
that “ stewartry."
three likewise for bear; and in the fourth, three for wheat, barley, oats, and oatmeal. Two rates have been struck for different kinds, in these counties, viz., in Ross, and Cromarty for wheat and oats; in Banff for bear and oats; in Aberdeen for bear and oats ; in Perth for wheat, barley, and oats ; in Kinross, for barley, bear, and oats; in Clackmannan, for barley and oats ; in Stirling, for barley two, and for oats three rates ; in Berwick, for barley and oats, two; and in Renfrew, for wheat, barley, bear, oats, and oatmeal, two. Two rates have have also been struck for oats alone, in the following counties, viz.-in Sutherland, Caithness, Inverness, Kincardine, Forfar, Selkirk, Dumfries, Kirkcudbright, and Wigton. In the remaining counties, it seems, from the sa ne source of information whence these statistical facts have been derived, that there is still but one rate of fiar prices struck. From what has been stated, however, the power and the exercise of the power, of Sheriffs, are manifest, in the great number of instances adduced, in which, in some counties, they have struck three rates of fiar prices, for all the kinds of grain or victual, from which the clergy draw their stipends, and in others two rates, for only soine of these kinds, while in a third list of counties, they have struck two rates, one for oats, from which the clergy draw nothing, as a fiar's price. Nearly a fourth of the counties are in this last class, and nearly a third of them are still restricted to a single rate, for all kinds of grain. But why is the power of the Sherifls so partially, so irregularly, and so sparingly put forth in this way? Why has it been exerted to give three rates where the stipends are the largest, and where the best qualities of grain are produced, and two where other advantages abound, while in other counties, less favoured in many respects, it has only confined itself to the striking of one rate, or of two rates in oats alone, from which the clergy can derive no benefit? The difference of expense of living will not fairly meet these questions; for in the counties where three rates are struck, there are many parishes in which living is as little expensive as in any of those where only one rate is struck. The difference of soil, climate, and quality of produce, in the several districts of the counties, where two, or three rates are struck, is also insufficient to meet them; for there is not one county in Scotland, that has not such varieties, in these respects, as would freely entitle it to the benefit of this plea. In equity, in consistency, in the spirit and design of the statute, if three rates be given to four counties, and two to nine counties, for kinds of produce in which the clergy have an interest, and two also in nine counties, for oats, which yield the clergy no direct advantage, these unaccount, able diversities in the exercise of the authority of Sheritis should cease, and one uniform practice should prevail throughout all the counties, in striking the same number of rates in all, so as to allow all the clergy to receive the highest rate provided for them by the Act. As this would be nothing novel, as it has been already done in so many counties, and as it has been done in part in so many more, the principle has been already recognized and acted upon, and all that is required is, that it be carried out and applied equally, fully, and consistently in all cases. No intelligible cause exists, for its being so capriciously applied. Every reason that is good for its complete application in one county, calls for its complete application in all counties. In those counties especially, in which there are diferent rates for oats, from which the clergy receive no stipend, and only for wheat, barley, bear, and oatmeal, from which they do receive stipend, the inconsistency and capriciousness of the practice is the most striking. Whatever there may be in these counties, to call for the marking of such i difference in oats, must apply also to other grains, and surely, above all
, to oatmeal made from these oats. In short, the absurdities which present
themselves at every point, are so great and so many, that they can only be got rid of, by carrying out the Act to the full extent of all its provisions.
But there is one special absurdity, where this is not done, yet to be noticed. The Court of Session, as a court of Tiends, wishing to give the clergy the full benefit of the Act in their decreets of augmentation, and modification, decided the stipends augmented and modified shall be paid “ according to the highest fiar prices of the county, annually." Wow, how is it possible that this can be done, if there be only one rate of fiar prices struck ? Every school boy knows that there are three degrees of comparison,-highi, higher, highest--and that he can never reach the highest, if he only doggedly stands still at the lowest of the three! But a county thus situated, is in a worse position than that of absurdity; it is in an attitude of opposition to the highest judicial authority in the kingdom. That authority says, give the clergy the highest. The county, or rather the Sheriff
' says, naythey shall only have the medium between the highest and the lowest. The superior and the inferior Judicatories are thus in direct opposition to each other, and the inferior renders null and void all the superior's decision, as to the extent of the benefit, about which they differ. But is it becoming that a statute of Great Britain, and a judgment of the Supreme Court of Scotland applying that statute should be resisted, and rendered inoperative, by any inferior judicatory of the land; and that a respectable, and useful body of men who are put undor so many restrictions, and who have only the compensatory provisions of that statute and judgment to look to for any improvement in their condition, should thereby be prevented from reaping the benefit to which these provisions give them a right to ?
But the clergy are not the only interested parties that would be benefited by different rates of fiar prices. There are many transactions settled by a reference to the fiars in every county; and the striking of different rates, would not only interfere with these transactions, but would greatly simplify and facilitate them. All contracts entered into by landlords, tenants and others, dependant on the fiars, in counties, having at the time of forming these contracts, only one rate, but afterwards different rates, would still fall to be regulated by the average of the new averages, or the medium rate of the different rates struck under the changed mode; and the highest rate would give to the clergy their legal right, without affecting unfavourably the legal right of any other party whatever. In all new contracts again, by the fiar prices, the contracting parties would have the advantage of selecting as their regulating principle, the particular rate most suitable in the district or locality where such contracts might be formed. This would be a great convenience, in transactions between landlords and tenants, outgoing and incoming tenants, and others, who at present, where there is but one rate struck, are obliged to encumber their bargains, with conditions involving something more, or something less than the exact rate, to suit the place where they occur.
From all these cousiderations, the right of the clergy, to the fiars of the whole
of each year, and to the highest fiar prices of that crop, seems to be founded in law, in equity, and in consistency; and having such a right, there is no valid reason why they should not use every becoming means in their power to realize it. The dilliculty of prevailing on the competent authorities to grant different rates, and a prolongation of time for striking them, is no doubt great and discouraging; but it is not insuperable. Greater difficulties are daily giving way in other departments of life, before the vigorous and persevering efforts of combination and resolution; and there is nothing here more than there to set these agents at defance. A charge of selfishness, and a certain amount of odium and abuse, from those unfriendly to the clergy, is also to be expected; but who that bas buckled on his armour to contend with the world “ lying in wickedness," and bears in his breast the spirit of a fearless asserter, and defender of what is right, will care for all that? There can be nothing wrong in asking their own, and honestly endeavouring thereby to“ provide for their own households," nothing of which they should be ashamed-nothing from which they should shrink. They ask nothing from the poor labourer, from the care-worn mechanic, froin the helpless dependent on the bounty of others. They only ask froin the rich of the land, a part of what belongs to themselves by law and equity, in the spirit of peace, reason, and justice; and in a constitutional and courteous way they appeal to the Sheriffs of Scotland, a body of men, learned, just, and honourable, to whose judgment they respectfully bow. In all this there is nothing for which any man should blush. The clergy therefore should be united, firm and persevering in this matter, till they accomplish their purpose,—“Let them have a long pull, and a strong pull, and a pull altogether.”
ECCLESIASTICAL INTELLIGENCE. Lady Yester's Church.—A very numerous factory to his own mind for the step which meeting of the congregation of this Church he has taken, and would therefore deprecate was held on Monday evening, the 26th Feb- any step that would throw obstacles in tbe ruary last, to consider the measures to be way of his translation, but anxious to conadopted in consequence of the contemplated tinue in the enjoyment of his ministrations, resignation of that important charge by their and considering the numerous and heavy respected pastor Mr. Caird. Mr. D. J. duties of his present charge, they respectfully Thomson was called to the chair, and read offer to contribute annually a snm adequate the communication from Mr. Caird to the to pay an efficient assistant to be appointed Kirk Session, intimating his presentation to by Mr. Caird, and to act entirely under his the Church and parish of Errol, and at the direction, cither in pulpit ministrations or same time his reluctant, but after mature otherwise, while they would cheerfully condeliberation, his decided resolution to ac- cur in application to the presbytery to obcept the same, the heavy and numerons tain his relief from the duties of his charge, duties of his present charge leaving him no for such time as would enable him to recruit alternative but to exchange them while his his strength, and that a committee be appointhealth was yet unbroken, for the less onerous ed to confer with Mr. Caird on the matter as duties of a rural parish. The chairman, early as possible. These resolutions were after alluding to the painful nature of the proposed to the meeting, seriatim, and unacase, and the great loss they would sustain nimously adopted, and the names of a very in the removal of their beloved pastor, read large body of the congregation appended to a series of resolutions, the substance of which them. We understand that the deputation was, that the meeting express their deep had an interview with Mr. Caird on Tuesday sorrow at the proposed separation from their evening, when the resolutions adopted at the pastor; and while they have ample evidenee meeting were laid before the Rev. Gentleman, of the efficiency, zeal, and success of his val- and supported by the members of the comuable labours, both in connection with the mittee. Mr. Caird explained the reasons Church, and in the organization of many which had led him to adopt the resolntion benevolent schemes for the amelioration of he had intimated to the Kirk Session, which the condition of their less fortunate fellow- he stated he had done with the greatest recreatures in the parish, they cannot but ad- luctance, but as to his mind they remained mit the onerous nature of his numerous in all their original force, and as his views duties-that while by his zealous and suc- on the subject were unchanged, he announced cessful labours, and by his private worth, he his determination to adhere to his resolution, has raised himself to a proininent position, to leave his present charge. This intimation his translation would, irrespective of the loss has excited very general regret amongst the to Lady Yester's congregation, be also a congregation of Lady Yester's Church, not grierous blow to the Church-that they are only from the value which they attach to the confident that Mr. Caird has grounds satis- pulpit ministrations of the Rev. Gentleinka,
but from the zeal and philanthropy which Dalkeith. This is considered a very favour-
Mr. John Mein Austin, parish school-
The Presbytery of Greenock met on Wed- On the 15th ult., the presbytery of Ayr nesday, Rev. Dr. Macculloch, wloderator, the met at Patna for the ordination of Mr. Rev. Mr. Dixon and Messrs. Dunn and Thomas Macfadyen. Mr. Corson, GirHolmes, commissioners from Paisley, to prose- van, presiding on the occasion.
The chapel cute the translation of the Rev. Mr. Kirk of was filled with a large audience, and on the Port Glasgow, to the middle parish of Paisley, services being concluded, Mr. Macfadyen was laid on the table extract minutes of a meet- greeted warmly at the door of the Church ing of that presbytery, reasons of translation, by the people; on sabbath following, the Rev. audi a call very numerously signed. Mr. John Blair, minister of Straiton, introduced Kirk having signified his acceptance to it, Mr. Macfadyen, who preached in the afterthe Presbytery appointed Mr. Hutchison to preach at Port Glasgow on Sabbath first, and to On Thursday, the 22nd ult., the Rev. cite the congregation to appear for their in- James Stewart, late of Largs, was ordained terest at next meeting, to be held on Thurs. to the pastoral charge of the Church and das, 8th March. The presbytery then ad- congregation of St. Mary's, Dumfries, under journed.
the most favourable auspices, the Rev. John We understand that the Rer. Dr. Simp- Hope of Dunscore presided on the occasion. son, minister of the parish of Kirknewton, is A presentation has been issued to the to be
proposed as Moderator in the ensuing Church and parish of Forgue, by the patron, General Assembly of the Church of Scot- Mr. Morrison of Bognie, in favour of Mr. land.
John Abel, presently chaplain of King's ColMr. Robert M'Nair, A.M., son of Dr. lege, Old Aberdeen. li Nair of the Abbey Church, Paisley, has
Died.- At Glasserton manse, Wigtonshire, just been appointed assistant to the Rev. on the 27th February, the Rev. Samuel Vurman M'Leod, pastor of the Church of Clanahan.
To Rydal Mount from Windermere's long lake,