March 1, 1901 (9th Parliament, 1st Session)


Henry Robert Emmerson



The hon. gentleman may say ' Oh,' but that consideration is

relevant in a discussion of this kind, because, as I understand it, a dogma is an opinion or theory derived from the gospels, and formulated as a doctrine by the church ; or, it is an opinion or theoiy of men founded on the words of Christ. Without going into a discussion of dogma, or without considering at all the religious opinions that may be held, it must be apparent that we, as citizens of the empire, interested in the sovereign, interested in all that appertains to his kingly office, should be anxious to see that there is nothing- surrounding his high estate which could in any way transgress that liberty of conscience which is enjoyed by all those living in the British Empire. I for one am willing to subscribe to the proposition, that we as citizens of the empire should respectfully suggest and pray that there shall be eliminated from the coronation ceremony anything that could be considered as offensive to the religious convictions of any subject of His Majesty.
The hon. gentleman from West York (Mr. Wallace) referred to the fact that His Majesty, as King of England, was obliged to subscribe to the Westminster Confession of Faith, and also to the Thirty-nine Articles. While that may be so, it would seem to me that His Majesty does not do so as an individual, or as a King, but that he does it under the law as head of the church. If His Majesty subscribes to the Thirty-nine Articles, I hold that he does not in any sense subscribe to the Westminster Confession, for it stands to reason that he cannot subscribe to both, because for many reasons they are diametrically opposed to each other. Therefore, while the law recognizes him as head of the Established Church in Scotland, and also as head of the Established Church in England, yet the law does not require of him that he shall personally subscribe to any of the doctrines or dogmas contained either in the Thirty-nine Articles or in the Westminster Confession of Faith.

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