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nutes, for the
ble, within the space of a few mi- any intention on the part of the Town.
of the election. Council to apply, in this case, for the On receiving this intelligence, they advice of their Ministers : That the immediately hastened to the Council Ministers, óbeing informed that it is, Chamber, and happening fortunately Town Council to proceed to the elec
notwithstanding, the design of the to meet with the Lord Provost, were
tion of a protessor of Mathematics on -informed by him, that the Town Wednesday the 13th current, feel it Council, having found it necessary to their duty to remonstrate against the assemble about other unexpected bu. measure of proceeding to such election siness, proposed at the same time to till their advice be regularly receivelect a professor, in order to prevent
ed, hereby protesting against the va
lidity of any election that may take the necessity of another meeting du
place in the present circumstances, in ring the week. The Ministers then
the face of this remonstrance : That proceeded to the Council Chamber, owing to the Ministers being at present and presented to the meeting the first denied the exercise of their legal prividraught of their paper, which, hown lege, they are not regularly and officialever, they were readily allowed after- ly informed respecting the candidates. wards to have copied under their own
for the vacant chair in the University; eye*. It was to the following purpose:
but trusting, as for this reason they
must, to common uncontradicted report, “ Unto the Right Honourable, the they have learned from it, and from Lord Provost, the Magistrates, and
many of the members of the TownCouncil of the City of Edinburgh, the Council individually, that one of these Representation of the Ministers of E
candidates is Mr John Leslie, author of dinburgh, assembled by citation from
“ An Experimental Inquiry into the Dr Davidson, acting as Senior Minis
“ Nature and Propagation of Heat ;" ter of the City, she weth, That by the and they do hereby more particularly charter of James the Sixth erecting the remonstrate and protest, in the most soe University of Edinburgh, it is expressly lemn manner, against his being elected provided, that the power of electing to the said vacant Professorship, beprofessors in the said university, as com- cause the said Mr Leslie has avouched mitted to the Town Council, shall be
to the world, and has endeavoured to exercised with the advice of their Minis.
support by argument, an opinion calcu. ters, (“cum avisamento tamen eorum lated to undermine the foundation of Ministrorum ;") and that, though this all religion, both natural and revealed : regulation has been, in recent cases, nie- That the Ministers, in bringing forward glected by the Town-Council, there this most serious charge, refer to a note has been a series of practice conforma- which Mr Leslie has subjoined to his ble to it, extending to instances as late foresaid " Inquiry," commencing with as the election of Professor Dalzell in these words : “ Mr Hume is the first, as and that of Dr Hunter in
“ far as I know, who has treated of the year 1780: That there being at pre- “ causation in a truly philosophic mansent a vacancy in the chair of the Pro.
His Essay on Necessary Connexfessor of Mathematics in the university, 6 ion seems a model of clear and accu. and the Ministers feeling it their duty rate reasoning But it was only to insist upon exercising the privilege " wanted to dispel the cloud of mystery with which they are thus invested by which had so long darkened that imthe Royal Charter, several of them in- “portant subject. The unsophistica dividually have intimated a desire and
“6 ed sentiments of mankind are in
pers intention to this effect to different mem- “ fect unison with the deductions of bers of the Town Council, and their
" logic, and imply nothing more sentiments upon this subject have, in
“ bottom, in the relation of cause and consequence, been communicated to
"b' effect, than a constant and invariable the meeting ordinarily denominated the
sequence." From which words it is Provost's Committee, but that no inti- evident, that Mr Leslie, having, along mation has hitherto been received of
with Mr Hume, devied all such neces. Exanination p. 65. sary connection between cause and ef.
fect, as implies an operating prinoiple in trates, as they tendered the favour of the cause, has, of course, laid a founda. Almighty God, and the salvation of tion for rejecting all the argument that their own immortal souls, not to e. is derived from the works of God, to
lect Mr Leslie *. A member of prove either his being or attributes : That it is generally understood, that by Council then asked, if they had not the wisdom of our fathers, and in con
received an explanatory letter from sequence of an ecclesiastical interposi- that gentleman ? to which they retion, the original author of this doctrine plied, that they had, but that it did was rejected on account of it, and the
not in any wise alter their opinion. dangerous opinions connected with it, The Magistrates then asked them to when he offered himself as a candidate
sit down and listen to the certificates for a chair in this University ; and that the aspect of the present times does not
and letters then reading on the subseum to render it more safe than it for- ject, which they had no doubt would merly was,'to entrust any who are obviate their objections t. But the with reason suspected of inndel princi. Ministers replied “ that their instrucpies, with the important charge of the tions limited their power to the give education of youth: That in the event of
ing in the Mr Leslie being elected to the said va.
representation and protest, cant Chair, notwithstanding this ripie
so that they were not permitted to sentation and protest of the Ministers,
enter into any argument, or take any they hereby reserve to themselves full further measures on the subject t." power of questioning the validity of such The clergy having withdrawn, the an election, and of employing whatever Council, atter hearing the letters and means inay to them be found
impetent certificates read, proceeded unanifor preventing Vir Leslie's induction mously to elect Mr Leslie Professor into the office of Professor ; with full
of Mathematice. power, in the event of his induction, to prosecute for his ejection from said of. The Ministers, finding that this fice in any competent court, civil or ec
measure had failed of its
effect, held clesiastical: That though the Ministers another meeting on the 22d of March, think it their duty to take this step, when they determined to follow out they have no design or wish to usurp, or their object, and appointed a Com. in any degree encroach on the right of mittee to take the advice of counsel ; patronage, which, in this case, belongs to the Magistrates and Council, and are
and in particular, should they see still willing to receive and attend to a.
cause, to apply for a sist against Mr ny explanation of Mr Leslie's princi. Leslie's induction. At this meeting ples that may in this case be offered ; several of those clergy, who had joinThat the Ministers conclude with cra. ed in the former proceedings in this ving, that the Lord Provost, Magis business, declared their resolution of trates, and Council, will be pleased to having no farther concern in it. By order the whole of this representation and protest to be entered upon their re
this means a complete separation was cord, and to authorise and appoint their effected between the two parties, inclerk to furnish Dr Grieve, for behoof to which church courts usually dia of the Ministers, with a regular extract
vide themselves; which go com. of the same. Signed in name and by monly by the name of the Mode. appointment of the above-mentioned
rate, and the Popular, parties. Of meeting of the Ministers of Edinburgh; these, the former voted for, the lat. by (Signed) HENRY Grieve, Preses."
Sh. St. 41.
ter against, prosecuting the measures
against Mr Leslie ; to the extreme. Two of the clergymen accompa
surprise nied this paper with long speeches, in which they recapitulated all their * Sit H. Moncrieff, Report p. 47. objections, and besought the Magise + Postscript, p. 31. | Dr Grieve, p. 54.
Gurprize of the public, who, from course appears to have taken place ideas previously formed relative to between Dr Baird and Mr Leslie; ; each, would have been led to expect
the latter having, at the Principal's the direct reverse of such an arrange. request, twice called upon him, and ment.
expressed his readiness to answer any In pursuance of the instructions queries which might be given in they had received, the Committee writing ; but not being gratified in applied to the Lord Ordinary for this wish, he declined replying in a sist against Mr Leslie's induction. any other manner. (Report p. 31.) On the 27th of March, the follow- In the election of Mr Leslie, which ing sentence was given by Lord Ar- took place on the 12th of March, an madale ;
error in point of form had been com
mitted, Dr Ferguson, in conjunction “ The Lord Ordinary having consi- with whom Mr Playfair had held the dered this bill, and heard the agents office of Professor of Mathematics, for the parties : In respect that the mi. nisters of Edinburgh, although they by not having resigned at the same the charter founded on may be entitled time. This resignation was to advise with the Magistrates of Edin. made, and on the 29th of March, Dr burgh in the presentation of Professors Ferguson and Mr Leslie were ap.. in the College, have not by said charter pointed joint Professors, and, on the any right of negative or interdict upon following day, were inducted as such. the Magistrates power of presentation, and that it is not alleged in this bill, that
At the meeting of the Senatus the Ministers have in any case exercised Academicus upon this occasion, an a right of negative or interdict against affair was discussed, which had cauthe Magistrates, refuses to grant any sed, for some time, a good deal of interdict in this case: But appoints the agitation. A few days before the bill to be answered as to the discussion election of Mr Leslie on the 12th of of any question between the parties as
March, the Presbytery had written to their respective rights or interests." Sh. Statement Page 46.
a letter to the Senatus Academicus,
reminding them of the obligation The same day, a meeting of Pres- they lay under, by different acts of bytery was held, when a report of all Parliament, to subscribe the confesthe proceedings being read, Drsion of faith, and expressing their Grieve moved, that the discussion hope, that these acts shall now be should be delayed till the oth of complied with. The University, in April next, and that notice should their answer, readily acknowledge be given to Mr Leslie of that meet- the obligation in question, and their ing, with the view of affording him, readiness to comply with it, but, at if so disposed, an opportunity of the same time, plainly intimate their making further explanation. Sir Hen- disapprobation of this measure of ry Moncrieff, on the contrary, mov. the Presbytery, and their suspicion ed the entire dismissal of the busi- of its having been prompted by illi
Dr Grieve's motion carried beral and sinister motives. On this by a majority of two. Sir Henry letter being read in the Presbytery, complains that his brethren on the it is said to have been treated with other side gave no notice of their the greatest contempt, as improper, application, that very day, for a disrespectful to the Presbytery, sucla sist, and of its unfavourable issue ; a thing as they could never allow to and that it was the evening till he appear on their minutes, but would and his colleagues, to their great keep in retentis as a literary curiosisurprize, learned these particulars. ty. At this meeting, therefore, of
During this interval, some inter- the University, Dr Gregory moved,
that as these things had been said moved, that the presbytery do reserve publicly, and were become the sub- to themselves the power, in that event,
to withhold this reference to the synod; ject of common conversation, the
do therefore appoint a committee, who University, in justice to their own.
may receive any communication upon character, should publish the corres
this subject that Mr Leslie may offer, pondence; which was unanimously and report the same to the meeting of agreed to *. The letters, in conse- presbytery on the last Wednesday of quence, appeared in the Scots Maga- this month ; and that the presbytery do zine for April 1805.
appoint a copy of this resolution, toOn the 10th of April, a meeting gether with the names of the committee of Presbytery was held according to
so appointed, to be transmitted by their
clerk to Mr Leslie." P. 16. adjournment, but was attended only
This motion was carried unani. by the party inimical to Mr Leslie. The others, having already declared mously; and Dr Grieve, Dr Inglis, their sentiments, and knowing there Dr Dickson, and Mr Ritchie, were was a majority against them, thought appointed as a committee for the
At next it unnecessary to attend. Enquiry purpose therein stated. was made whether any member of meeting, held on the 24th of April, Presbytery had received any com
it appeared that none of the communication from Mr Leslie, or whe
mittee had received any communi
cation from Mr Leslie ; in consether
any person present was empow. ered to appear for him ; all which quence of which the same committee was answered in the negative. The
was appointed to state the reasons
Reasons following letter was then received of reference to the synod. and read :
of dissent from the decision of the
27th March, were also given in by " Edinburgh, joth April 1805. « Reverend Sir,
tbe opposite party, and a committee “ I have the honour to acquaint you,
appointed to answer them. that I duly received the communica
Mr Leslie's letter being published tion of the reverend presbytery of Edin- about this time in the newspapers, a burgh, transmitted by their clerk. I paper soon after appeared, by authoam, reverend sir, your most obedient rity of the Ministers who opposed servant.
him, with the view of doing away (Signed)
any impressions unfavourable to them, Dr Grieve now made the follow. selves, which the letter might have ing motion,
produced on the public mind. Here “ That the presbytery do refer the they insist, that though Mr Leslie whole of this affair to the synod of Lo- has denied his intention of drawing thian and Tweedale, to meet in Edin- from the doctrine in his note, any in. burgh on the first Tuesday of May next, ferences hostile to religion, yet he in order to their adopting such measures in the case as to them may seem wise
still adhered to that doctrine : that and competent. But, in consideration in so doing he expressed his assent that the presbytery, are willing to cease
to the whole doctrine of Mr Hume's their proceeding, so far as concerns Mr essay on Necessary. Connexion, and Leslie individually, in the event of his consenting to withdraw the offensive had spoken, indeed, of the gross mis.
went even a little beyond it. He part of his publication, either by can. celling the leaves of the book which con
application which Mr Hume had tain the note referred to, or by any o.
made of his premises. ther means equally effectual,
But if by Mr Hume's premises, we be agreeable to himself; it is farther
are to understand the whole doctrine of * Postscript p. 13-18.
the essay on necessary connexion, which Mr Leslic has adopted as his own, the
application of that doctrine to the ex- our Christian faith, and our Church tent in which it has now been stated, establishment for its support. does not remain a matterof choice to any
Page 118. man who admits the doctrine itself;
They then state their claim of if the principle be admitted, the conclu
avisamentum, which, they observe, sion is irresistible. Mr Leslie indeed
will naturally fall to be discussed in says, that the misapplication of Mr Hume's premises has already been well pointed out by Dr Reid. But every But they would account themselves man, who has read Dr Reid's essays, deficient in the dutythey owe the Church must know that his object in replying if they did not also take the proper steps to Mr Hume, is to resist the premises for bringing the whole of this interestthemselves, and the very doctrine ing case, if it shall be found necessary,
which Mr Leslie has approved and sup- under the consideration of the General ported as contained in the essay on ne- Assembly. In the mean time, they are cessary connexion. Sh. St. Page 113, disposed, if they shall err, to take their They concluded,
chance of erring on the side of lenity
and forbearance, rather than on that of It is but candid to admit, that his re.
severity and rigour; and upon this ligious professions are sincere, and to principle they have resolved, that if suppose that, at the time of his writing Mr Leslie shall consent to withdraw the Note objected to, he was not duly either by cancelling the leaves of the
what is offensive in his publication, aware of the dangerous import of the language he has employed : But, if book which contain the note referred to, the doctrine of an author cannot be vin
or by any other means equally effectual,
that dicated from such a charge as has been,
may be more agreeable to himself, in this instance, laid, the stronger that they will, in that event, cease their prohis sense of religion is, the stronger ob
ceeding as far as concerns him individu. ligation should he feel himself under to
ally, and content themselves with fol., withdraw, and discontinue to publish lowing out the necessary measures awhat is subversive of religion ; and gainst the Town Council, for establishmore than this, in the case of Mr Les ing their right of avisamentum in future lie, has never been expected or desired.
Page 120. Page 115.
They were conscious that their
own motives had been misrepresentAbout the same time a paper was
ed, as influenced by a regard for the circulated, which is termed by Mr interest of their brother Mr MacStewart, “ A Memorial clandestine.
knight. But only one or two of ly sent to various Members of the them had ever solicited an individual ensuing General Assembly, but in his favour ; and, besides, were they which, the Ministers assert, was on
actuated by any view, rither to Mr ly a confidential letter circulated
their private friends.” Here, terest, the measures they were takamong
Macknight's or their own future inafter a view of Mr Leslie's doctrine ing would be the most effectual for similar to that is the former paper, defeating their own purpose. They they add,
conclude with hoping Looking to the publication of this That the laity connected with the doctrine in connexion with the circum- Church, will not, in this instance, restances of the times, when there appears fuse, to' a question more immediately an infidel party arraying itself, with in- religious, that candid and attentive concreasing confidence, against the religionsideration which the clergy have so ofof the country, they cannot but consider ten [given] to the views of their lay the appointment of Mr Leslie to be a brethren, in cases which more im. Professor and a teacher of youth, as a mediately involved the civil interests measure of very unfriendly aspect to of the country. And it is not doubted