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common-school education, can lay the foundation for permanent social peace and prosperity in that important section of the Province. In the work of conversion a good beginning has been made by the devoted missionaries of La Grande Ligne and Belle Reviere ; “but what are they among so many ?” “The harvest truly is great, and the laborers are few. And it has yet been found utterly impracticable to carry into effect any general system of common-school education. In the rural districts the obstacles in the way are even greater than they are in cities and towns. The Protestants will not allow a Jesuit to teach their children, nor will the Catholics suffer a Protestant to teach theirs. English children do not want a French teacher, nor do French children want an English one. Catholic teachers, being at the beck of the priests, insist upon introducing their religion more or less into the schools; and consequently Protestants refuse to be taxed for the support of such schools, while Catholics refuse to pay for the support of heretic teachers. In the present school law an attempt is made to exclude, to some extent at least, religion from common schools; but even this imperfect attempt is frowned upon, for the parish priest or his echo, the village notary, is generally the chief trustee. And often is the effort to carry into effect the present school law resisted with open violence! In several parishes in the vicinity of Quebec, and very recently in the neighborhood of Three Rivers, the public deace has been openly violated by the anti-school-law men. The truth is, that the great majority of French Canadians do not desire education of any kind, whilst the British settlers are often too sparse and widely scattered to maintain a teacher of their own denomination and language. It is almost impossible to form a correct estimate of the schools of Lower Canada from the materials now at hand. The report of the Chief Superintendent is only a very distant approximation to the actual state of things. From many parishes very imperfect reports are sent to him, and from many more he receives no report at all; and hence neither he nor any one else can at present tell the amount of deception that enters into the reports of some parishes, or the extent of the indifference or hostility to the school law which prevails in others. In 1832 there were nominally 51,965 scholars in the schools of Lower Canada, and three years after the number had risen to nearly 95,000. These, in nine cases out of ten, were attending to the merest rudiments of learning. Yet we think these were the palmy days of common schools in that section of the country; for in 1836 the legislative grant to common schools was
of French there are spoke 622,000,"t time. "habitants
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withdrawn, and the whole system vanished with alarming rapidity. Then, during the turbulent years which followed, up to 1841, little could be effected for education or anything else. Since the latter date common-school laws have been passed, and amended, and altered at nearly every session of Parliament, and still they have no system which gives full satisfaction to either Protestant or Catholic, English or French. Not more than one in ten of the adult male inhabitants of French origin can even read at the present time. The population of this section in 1830 was 512,000, of which 400,000 were of French origin, and spoke the French language. At the present time there are 776,000 inhabitants, of whom 600,000 are of French origin. This shows the slight gain of one seventyfifth in the proportion of British settlers during the last twenty years.
In passing to the Western section of Canada, still popularly known by the title of Upper Canada, we shall find a change in many respects for the better. This is a younger country, and is much more healthful and vigorous. An entirely different race of men have the predominance here; and though the local government was for many years as vicious as shameless rapacity and corruption could make it, yet the country continued to grow rapidly in wealth, intelligence, and population. There are few spots that can fairly rival the peninsula formed by Lake Simcoe, the Georgian Bay, Lakes Huron, Erie, and Ontario, in the mildness of its climate, and in the beauty and fertility of its soil. This tract, comprising about 20,000 square miles, is of rich alluvial soil, and “ well watered everywhere as the garden of the Lord.”
Upper Canada was settled chiefly from Great Britain and Ireland. Some went from the more eastern British provinces, and some “ United Empire Loyalists" went from this country at the commencement of the Revolution. In 1783 the whole territory did not contain over 10,000 inhabitants. In 1814 they had increased to 95,000, and six years after they numbered 145,000. When the site of the city of Toronto was surveyed by direction of Governor Simcoe, in 1793, with the exception of a small fort erected by the French for trading purposes, a little to the westward of the main part of the city as now built, the place contained but two Indian wigwams, on the edge of a boundless forest. The city now contains over 26,000 inhabitants, and the whole population of Upper Canada now exceeds 724,000.
We have already remarked that Upper Canada was set apart as a separate Province, with its own Legislature, by the act of 1791. The constitution or scheme of government was precisely the same as that of Lower Canada. The whole corps of rulers was soon collected and equipped for office; and certainly a more selfish and stubborn class of men were seldom placed in power than a great portion of those who had the chief control in the affairs of Upper Canada for almost forty years. Nearly every question of politics or of education became mysteriously complicated and involved, through their peculiar management, with the subject of religion. The persevering and unscrupulous efforts made by " the Church” party to establish a dominant State Church have made more is rebels" and infidels in Canada than all other causes put together. We cannot fully sympathize in this country with the English Dissenters, or with those in the British colonies who hold the same principles. We often blame their ministers and prominent members for meddling so much with politics. But when Christian men find that their hard earnings are taken to support a lordly system, one of whose almost inevitable tendencies is to infringe upon the dearest rights of conscience, and to oppress their poorer brethren,—to multiply formalists and infidels, and cast its baleful shadow over their whole religious, educational, and political interests, they may surely be excused if they adopt their only constitutional means of protesting against this evil under which they groan, being burdened." We see not why a Christian layinan or minister should not discharge his duties in his political relations as well as in any other. It is true, politics are very absorbing, and may draw off the attention of men from yet more important concerns. But against this danger they should set a double guard. It may perhaps be regarded as the misfortune of men to be situated as our dissenting brethren in England and in some of the British colonies are ; but we are greatly mistaken if American Christians would be more careful of interfering in politics, were the like evils existing, or about to be introduced, among them. · State Churchism has been the difficulty of Upper, as French Catholicism has been that of Lower Canada. The old Legislative Council was designed to be a fac-simile of the House of Lords, and of course the dignitaries of the Episcopal Church in Canada took their seats in the upper house of the Legislature. This was taking it for granted that this denomination was or would be the established, dominant one; and seven eighths of the people entered their earnest and repeated protest against this idea. But for many years they did so in vain.
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deenshire in Scotland, emigrated to Canada about forty-five years ago. He was richly endowed with all the peculiarities of the Scottish race, cool, clear-headed, and cautious; but with far more than the ordinary share of selfishness. He was like most of his countrymen a Presbyterian by profession, and he was a minister by education. But being rather a “caul. drif” and dull preacher, he found little encouragement at that time to pursue his vocation as a minister in connection with his own denomination. He therefore opened a select school, first, if we rightly remember, in the village of Cornwall, U. C., and soon joined the Episcopal Church. Among his pupils were many of the sons of the leading men in the country, and several of these have since risen to the highest distinction in the colony. This teacher, though destitute of any just claims to extensive or accurate scholarship, was possessed of boundless ambition, indomitable perseverance, and keen political sagacity. As his pupils rose to distinction and influence, they remembered their old teacher, and in due time he was promoted to be Archdeacon of York, with a seat in the Legislative Council. Here he soon made his influence felt, and became the virtual dictator of Upper Canada for nearly twenty years. This gentleman is now the Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Canada West; but he long since was compelled to vacate his seat in the Legislative Council, and to confine himself to his own appropriate functions as a Bishop. During the heyday of his power, however, he and his supporters sowed the seeds of that harvest of trouble, which the inhabitants of that section of country have been so long reaping. In the long period of their ascendency they manifested a perfect contempt for the wishes and interests of the people, except for those of that class who were or would become Episcopalians. The Legislative Council, with the Church dignitary at its head, became a kind of “Church Society," and often framed measures with reference to the interests and welfare of the Episcopal Church. The wild lands of the Province were granted with a reckless profusion to a few individuals friendly to the ruling powers. The Crown Reserves, one seventh of all the granted lands in the country, mysteriously melted away out of the hands of the Government, and they could show nothing as value received. Public works were often undertaken, at great expense to the Government, not because of their public utility solely, but because they would raise the value of some favorite's estate. Yet who could call the officials to an account for their conduct? They had the ear of the
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Colonial Office in England, and would that Office entertain complaints against its own trusted servants ?
Then nearly all the offices and emoluments of Government were confined to the same sect in religion or politics. A man could seldom be appointed even as a Justice of the Peace, unless he avowed himself a Tory or a Churchman. Next, the Clergy Reserves, another seventh of all the granted lands in the colony, were claimed exclusively for the Episcopal Church, at that time one of the smallest sects in the Province. Baptists, Congregationalists, and Methodists could not, as religious bodies, hold so much land as would make a graveyard, or be a building lot for a church. Ministers of the above denominations could not for some time join their own people in marriage. In 1798, 500,000 acres of land were set apart for the purpose of endowing four grammar schools and a University for the whole Province. As soon as these lands became of any value, steps were immediately taken to pervert the whole to sectarian purposes. In the order of nature and common sense, the grammar schools should have been started first; but Dr. Strachan, finding that these could not be so easily or permanently perverted, succeeded in having them set aside sine die, and he turned the attention of his friends and all his own energies towards having a grand provincial University set agoing. At length, in 1826, he procured the appointment of himself as agent, to visit England for the purpose of securing a royal charter for the proposed University. He went in the name of the Upper Canadian Government, and spent eighteen months in England before his false representations of the religious state of Canada—we speak advisedly—could effect his purpose. He at length returned to the Upper Province, with a charter as exclusive as that of the University of Oxford! According to this, every Professor or officer in the University must sign the Thirty-nine Articles; and all this when nine out of ten of the inhabitants of Canada were totally opposed to his religious views and policy. It was no wonder that the whole country was exasperated when the provisions of the charter became known. Not only were these provisions most unrighteous, but the means by which they were obtained were yet more so. And yet, for this strangely patriotic service, the Dr. received from the Government of the day, in cash and lands, $19,404 !! Besides, this University, thus established, cost the country more than $400,000 before the first student's name was enrolled on its books, and before there was more than a single wing of a college edifice. L