There is nothing in the history of the law to give countenance to this construction. The section, as originally framed and passed, authorized a trust "to receive the rents and profits of lands, and apply them to the education and support, or either of them, of any person," etc. By this provision, the trust was restricted to certain definite uses, education and support, but without limitation as to persons. A few months' reflection satisfied the revisers that a trust thus limited would not answer the exigencies of families or society, and on the 20th of April following, they recommended the substitution of "use," for "education and support, or either of them." They remark in their report, that the word "use" includes "education and support," and that "it will also include other purposes which ought to be provided for." The revisers sought to generalize what was before specific. The construction in question reverses this order, and gives to general terms a special and restricted application.
A third reason assigned is, that a trust created in the language of this section, or by equivalent words, would vest a discretion in the trustee as to the application of the trust fund; and hence it is inferred, that such discretion is in all cases essential. One obvious answer to this position is, that it was not the object of the Legislature to prescribe a formula to be followed in the creation of a trust, but to designate in general terms the purposes for which they might be created. 3 R. S. 582. These general terms were intended to include within them an indefinite number of particular and special trusts, adapted to exigencies of families, or the wants of individuals. If these terms are transferred from the statute to a trust deed, or a devise, they must necessarily give, as to all these particulars, a discretion to the trustee. For, in such cases the trust would confer upon the trustee all the power which the law conferred upon the author of the trust. But it by no means follows that the lawmakers intended that in all cases he should possess such discretion, under penalty of avoiding the trust. If the statute should authorize a married woman to execute a power of attorney, to convey her interest in real estate, it might be as plausibly contended, that she could not designate the vendee, the terms of the sale, or the amount of the consideration, because a power in the words of the statute, or in equivalent terms, would give a discretion to the attorney in all these particulars. By adopting the language of this subdivision, the trustee, for example, must apply all the rents and profits to the use of the cestui que use. But Judge Bronson, in Hawley v. James, remarks, it can make no difference whether the trust extends to all the rents and profits, or is confined to a specified sum of money. The donor may settle for himself the amount to be applied.
But there is an obvious difference in the legal effect of an instrument requiring the trustee to apply the rents and profits of the lands conveyed, and one directing "a specific sum of money" to be applied out of those rents and profits, and yet both are within the statute, by the concession of the advocates of the construction in question. So the trust authorized by the same section of the statute, to sell lands for the benefit of creditors, if created in the language of the statute, would oblige the trustee to sell for cash, and to distribute the fund, when received, pro rata among all the creditors of the assignor. But the latter may, notwithstanding, direct that the proceeds be applied in discharge of a single debt, or a class of debts, in preference to others of the same character. The trusts, although different in terms and in their legal consequence, are both valid, and, for the same reason, they are each of them within the general purpose sanctioned by the Legislature.
Another, and to my mind conclusive, answer to this proposition is, that under a trust created in the language of the statute, the discretion of the trustee (if it exist at all) is wholly unlimited as to the mode in which the trust fund is to be applied to the use of the cestui que trust. He may expend it for the education, or support, or to gratify the taste, or caprice, of the beneficiary. The doctrine is, that the discretion implied from the terms of the statute, is essential to the validity of the trust. If so, the donor can no more restrict that discretion than he can annihilate it. But it is conceded that he may direct a specific sum of money, less than the whole rents and profits, to be applied. This is a limitation of power. Again the revisers say that "Use includes education and support;" of course, if the statute is what they intended it should be, a trust to apply a specific sum for the education of any person designated, would be valid. But this is confining the trustee to a single use, instead of leaving to him, in the language of this section, the whole class of possible benefits, from which he might select one, or all, at his discretion.
Again, if a discretion is an essential element of a legal trust, I see no way to escape the conclusion that the trustee must administer to the necessities of the cestui que trust, from day to day, and hour to hour. To avoid this absurdity, which was pointed out by the chancellor, it was distinctly admitted upon the argument, that the trustee was at liberty to pay over to the beneficiary, from time to time, sums of money "to be applied by him to his own use." This concession is a virtual surrender of the whole controversy. For if the discretion of the trustee is indispensable, in the application of the fund, he cannot delegate it to another, and certainly not to the beneficiary. In a word, the payment of a sum of money to the cestui que trust, is an application to his use, or it is not; if the former, it is authorized by the statute, and may be directed in the trust; if not, the trustee cannot make such payment in his own discretion or otherwise, without a violation of duty.