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of union with the oligarchy of the bureau. The emigrants of the established churches were very often men of wealth ; and, on the average, they ranked, at all events, beyond any other class in this respect. With the officials, they were generally strong enough to make their profession fashionable, though not popular.
In the lower provinces, this fiction of established churches went little further than the creation of a bishopric and the elevation of the bishop to the Council, as a quasi Lord Spiritual, on the English plan. There was a grant from the Home government in aid of the church of England, and an apology for a grant to that of Scotland. And, by virtue of the highchurch composition of the Bureaucratic Councils, there was no small share of influence and patronage exercised in favor of “the church” as a temporal-endowment-loving corporation. But here the matter rested. Of late years, the grants in aid of the richest sect of the colonies have been cut down; and, under the popular influence which has effected this object, they must soon cease entirely. The same influence has dealt and is dealing heavy blows on the church ascendency in their Councils. In fact, with the exception of Newfoundland, where the great numerical preponderance of the Catholic body has had its influence on the controversy, it may be said to be now nearly over.
In the Canadas, the case is far otherwise. Besides the influences above described, and common to all the colonies, the Constitutional Act of 1791 inflicted on these colonies a provincial endowment for a future establishment. The Catholic church was found established and liberally endowed at the conquest ; and, by the first solemn acts of the conquerors, it was for ever guarantied in its endowments, and, with a few reservations of minor importance, in its other rights and claims. Among the latter was a claim of tithe, — not the tenth part of the produce of the country, however, but only a twenty-sixth part of the grain crops of the Catholic parishes. This the British government guarantied ; with the reservation, that it should not be exigible by the Romanish church on the lands of any Protestant. To counterbalance, probably, these advantages, it was enacted, in 1791, that an eighth* of all lands thereafter alienated by the Crown, should
* The act says, "equal in value to the seventh of the land so GRANTED," in other words, to an eighth of the whole land, including the reserve. In
be set off from time to time “for the support and maintenance of a Protestant clergy.” Of what sect this - Protestant Clergy” was to be, did not appear ; though from the power, which another part of the act gives to the Crown, of erecting, by a certain procedure, “rectories of the Church of England” in the colonies, and endowing them out of these reserves, it has been insisted upon by the adherents of that church, that no other sect could have been had in view in the act at all. The Provincial legislatures were prohibited by it from making any laws touching these “clergy reserves,” or the uses they should be put to, without the virtual permission of the Imperial Parliament in each case ; all such acts requiring to be laid before both Houses, previous to the royal assent being given them. It is quite beyond our power here to go into the tedious history of this fertile source of discord in the unlucky colonies that have been cursed with it. In Lower Canada, though a crying evil, it has been less a source of religious animosity than in Upper ; for the reasons, that the entire amount of the reserves there is less, their value smaller in proportion, the number of Protestants to dispute about them not one fifth of the inhabitants of the colony, and other all-engrossing matters of dispute of which we shall speak presently) forcing them to stand as much as possible together, against a common antagonist. But, in Upper Canada, the mischiefs that have flowed from it are almost endless. The violence of the controversy between the different sects of Protestants, led the Crown, many years since, to take no measures that should give interpretation to the doubtful pliraseology of the act, till the local legislature should have passed a bill for that purpose ; after which it (the Crown) would use its influence with the Imperial Parliament, to procure its acquiescence in the terms of such bill. Year after year, accordingly, this question has been debated in Upper Canada, in Parliament and out of Parliament, perplexing all other party quarrels, and embittering them by the most abundant infusion of the gall of sectarian animosity. Bargains, almost without number, have been proposed be
common parlance, this has been called a seventh. In practice, also, the terms of the act have been set aside, and the seventh set off. In Lower Canada, by a happy piece of official juggling, exposed in one of the special reports, appended to Lord Durham's general Report, more than one fifth of the land, actually granted, has been, in many cases, set off, and as much as one fifth in all others.
tween rival sects, to give them the power to seize and share the tempting spoil. Tricks more numerous still, have still ever been detected in time to defeat each proposed coalition and make the breach between the parties wider. The great body of the stancher liberals have long insisted on the devotion of these reserves to the advancement of general education, without distinction of religious creed; but many liberally disposed men, of almost every sect, have looked coolly on this project, and favored some scheme or other of religious distribution. To fill the cup to the brim, one of the last acts of Sir John Colborne, before his recall in 1835, was the endowment of fifty-seven rectories of the English church out of these reserves. The legality of the act was long questioned ; but, after a long course of self-contradiction, the Home government seems at length to have acquiesced in it. Not so, however, the opponents of the church in Upper Canada. By them (and on this branch of the question all, save the members of the sect, are in violent opposition) there has been manifested but one feeling in regard to it, that of undisguised and increasing dissatisfaction. The present House of Assembly was chosen under circumstances of peculiar excitement, which threw this question into shade ; and it has not, therefore, at all represented this public feeling. Its last act, — an act passed in a manner so indecent as to betray, in every step, the intrigue to which it is to be traced, — has been to re-invest the reserves in the Crown ; the partisans of the dominant church hoping thereby to gain from the Crown better terms than they could have got from the people. But the intrigue, however it may prosper for the hour, promises little for the future. The province is on the eve of a general election, and the reserve question is now again a prominent one. A new House of Assembly is tolerably sure to protest, and that strongly, against these dealings of its predecessor.
We should have mentioned, en passant, that, pending all these controversies, the current proceeds of the reserves come into the hands of an ecclesiastical commission, and that the church of Scotland receives a meagre pittance in either province, and the richer church the large remainder. The reserves are now in process of sale, and the moneys paid for them are invested as the principal of a church fund. This disposition by no means tends to make the bulk of the com
VOL. XLIX. — No. 105. 52
munity less impatient under the long-continued agitation of the subject.
To turn to another topic. The precedents and modes of thinking of the old world did not stop short in their effects at this attempted union of Church and State. The same ignorance of the state and tendency of things in a new country, which alone could have led the framers of the colonial system of British America into the blunders we have been considering, betrayed them into many others of the same kind. A new country, for example, requires to have a constant stream of population poured in upon it from without, to develope its resources to any thing like their full extent ; and, for this purpose, its unsettled land must be kept in the market on such terms and in such a manner as shall present the utmost possible inducement to the settler to purchase and improve it. It is difficult to conceive a stronger exemplification of the unfitness of men merely conversant with the laws and usages of an old country, for the task of directing a grand operation of this kind, than is furnished in the history of the land-granting department in these colonies. In this country, under the colonial régime, things were often bad enough in this respect ; but it seems as though the politicians of Europe had been learning backwards during all that time, if the sins of omission and commission since chargeable upon them are to be taken in evidence. It is impossible here to give any adequate idea of the disclosures of the Durham Report, and its supplementary documents. They all speak the same language, however, as that which we have been applying to the case in its other aspects. A few great mistakes on the part of the Home government in the first place; and then a long series of local frauds and malversations, so many, varied, and audacious, as to excite surprise, not less at the boldness of the Bureaucratic party's devices to postpone their fellow-colonists' interests, and the orders of their nominal masters of the colonial office, to their own fancied advantage, than at the easy ignorance on such matters which must have prevailed in Downing Street, for such things to be possible. We will give an example or two in illustration.
One of the most glaring instances, perhaps, of mistake on the part of the Home government, is furnished in the early history of Prince Edward's Island. Nearly the whole of this most fertile island (1,400,000 acres) was in this case alienated in a single day, in favor of a few individuals, resident in England ; who, in general, expressed no design whatever of settling personally on their grants. There were conditions annexed to the grant, binding the grantees to establish a certain number of settlers on the island within a fixed time, as well as to pay a certain quitrent. Neither condition was fulfilled ; and no serious attempt was made to enforce their fulfilment. The consequences to the colony, from its first establishment to this day, have been most serious.
Another of these errors, and one far more extensive in the mischiefs it has produced, is that which inflicted on the Canadas the clergy reserve system, which we have already sketched in one of its aspects. Aside from its effects in embittering civil and religious strife in these colonies, this system has led to results in the land department, so mischievous, that, were it even possible to keep out of view all its other consequences already spoken of, it would still merit to be classed among the most potent inventions the wit of man could have devised for retarding the advancement of a colony. For every grant of land, said the Constitutional Act, made by the Crown, by sale or otherwise, a reserve shall be set off "equal in value to one seventh of the land so granted.” The first idea obviously was, that all this land should be for ever held by the Crown for the church, or by the church for itself; and that its improvement and cultivation should take place, as in the old world, through the agency of tenants at will or under lease. As any man, however, who knew any thing of an unsettled country could have foreseen, these expected tenants were not found to be forthcoming.. Some tracts of the reserves were leased, but only for a song ; and their holders did so little to improve them, that the prospect to the clergy for the second lease, was little better than for the first. But by far the greater part remained in its state of wilderness, producing not even so much as a nominal rent to the expectant clergy. Of late years, a system of sale and investment has been in operation, under an act of the Imperial Parliament ; but the process has been slow, and in many other respects open to objection. During all this period, in all parts of the two provinces, (except only the old French Canadian districts of Lower Canada,) these unreclaimed reserves have thus been kept back from settlement, interposed everywhere between the improved lands of the injured settlers.