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Title: The Christian Recorder Vol. 1, Issue 2 (1819-April)

Date of first publication: 1819

Author: Various

Date first posted: January 23 2013

Date last updated: January 23 2013

Faded Page eBook #20130122

This eBook was produced by: L. Harrison, Marcia Brooks & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net




[Pg 43]



Vol. I.           APRIL, 1819.           No. 2.



It was reserved for Christianity to suggest and put in practice the sublime work of educating a whole people—To commence with the child's first dawnings of reason, and continue giving it instruction till it reached the grave.—Accordingly, the Christian Church has, in every country where it has been established, shewn a becoming solicitude for the education of youth, and been at great pains in directing their minds to a knowledge of the leading and important doctrines of the holy Scriptures. Nor is the praise of this conduct confined to one, but is equally due to all denominations—the views of some might be more liberal and extensive than others; but, in as far as regarded religious instruction, all were agreed.

It is not easy to appreciate the vast advantages resulting from such knowledge, even when confined to its simple effect of enlarging the understanding and elevating the sentiments; but they may be in some degree estimated by contrasting persons who have been religiously brought up, with those who have not.—You will find, in countries professing the Christian faith, religion and education going hand in hand, and in whatever districts you discover ignorance of the Gospel, or indifference to its precepts and doctrines prevailing, an equal neglect in teaching the rising generation will be commonly found. It is only Christians that consider it one of the first of their duties to bring [Pg 44] up their children in the fear and nurture of the Lord; it is a solemn task, which they undertake with extreme diffidence, and feel deeply conscious of the vast responsibility which they incur, if negligent or indifferent. But he who regards not religion, has no such motives; he may wish to see his children educated, that they may make a figure in life, but he has no heartfelt anxiety on the subject; all his views are worldly, and he does not make it a matter of conscience. His children, therefore, never receive the best foundation of knowledge; they may excel in the common branches of literature, but the sublime conceptions of religion never soften their hearts and improve their reason. It were easy to shew, that any other than a religious education, leads to pride, selfishness, and conceit; and, instead of reforming the heart, promotes our ability of doing evil—circumstances may intervene, in particular cases, to prevent this, but such is the direct tendency of instruction separated from religious principles.

An education pursued on Christian views, by habituating youth to proper government and discipline, from their earliest infancy, qualifies them to enter life with advantage. If they attend a public school so conducted, their manners are formed in a society of considerable extent, and under many salutary restraints and regulations; they are brought into a field similar to that in which they will afterwards act when they become members of a larger society. The behaviour of every individual is placed under the vigilant review of a great number of his equals, and motives and restraints are here employed, similar to those which are found so powerful and beneficial in directing the conduct of mankind.

In this country, the great excellence of such an education, flowing naturally from a regular establishment of Christianity, or a numerous Clergy, whether paid by the State, or supported by the people, has not been experienced, on account of the slow progress of the Church, and the very few Clergymen residing in the Colony; but, though this has been a sore hindrance, more has been done than, under the melancholy situation of the inhabitants in point of spiritual things, could have been expected.

Early in 1789, the late Hon. Richard Cartwright, one of the greatest benefactors of the Province, and an ornament [Pg 45] to human nature, addressed a memorial to Lord Dorchester, the Commander in Chief, through Mr. Collins, Deputy Surveyor General, suggesting the means of providing for the future establishment of a decent Seminary of education, for Kingston and the surrounding Settlement, by appropriating some of the Islands in the neighbourhood, for this purpose. The memorial states, that a future not a present advantage was expected from such an appropriation; but, as the Settlements were now formed and getting compact, the education of youth became an object of such importance, as to merit the particular attention of His Majesty's Government.

Lord Dorchester, who seems to have been, at all times, anxious for the good of the Colony, was not tardy in noticing this representation, and called the attention of the Magistrates and respectable inhabitants, to the great importance of effecting a competent establishment of Clergymen and School-masters in the Settlement of Mecklenburgh, now the Midland District. As a preliminary step, he urges the expediency of cultivating the Glebes, and erecting houses for the accommodation of the Schools and Teachers; but soon after this, and before his Lordship had time to take any further measures towards the religious and moral instruction of the people, to which he seemed very much inclined, the 31st of the King was enacted, dividing the Province of Quebec into Lower and Upper Canada.

On the arrival of General Simcoe, the Lieutenant Governor of the new Province, there was too much to do for some years, in extending the Settlements, exploring the country, and organizing the different departments necessary for conducting the affairs of Government, to think of educating the people; but, on reducing these things to some regularity and order, the Lieutenant Governor turned his attention to religion and education, and anxiously revolved in his comprehensive mind, the most effectual steps for diffusing useful instruction among the settlers.

Nor was the Government at home, ever anxious to promote the prosperity of this Province, inattentive to the education of the people; for, in a letter of his Grace the Duke of Portland to General Simcoe, in 1796, he calls the attention of the Lieutenant Governor to the establishment of Schools. The General, a man of science and literature, and a great friend to religion, was most anxiously employed in discovering the means of complying with His Majesty's [Pg 46] commands, when the matter was taken up by the Provincial Legislature, in the Session of 1797. This body presented a memorial to General Simcoe, most humbly imploring His Majesty that he would be graciously pleased to direct His Government of this Province to appropriate a certain portion of the waste lands of the Crown, as a fund for the establishment and support of a respectable Grammar-school in each District thereof, and also, a College or University, for the instruction of youth in the different branches of liberal knowledge.

A prompt notice was taken of this representation; for, in November, 1797, his Grace the Duke of Portland, then one of the principal Secretaries of State, mentions His Majesty's readiness to show His parental regard for the welfare of His subjects, in the furtherance of so important an object as the instruction of youth, and to assist and encourage the exertions of His Province, in promoting sound learning, and a religious education. "His Grace informs the Legislature, that His Majesty has condescended to express His gracious intention to comply with the wishes of the Legislature of Upper Canada, by the establishment of free Grammar-schools in those Districts in which they are called for, and, in due process of time, other Seminaries, of a larger and more comprehensive nature, for the promotion of religious and moral learning." In order to carry the Royal intentions most beneficially into effect, a detailed report of the best method of promoting the general education of the youth of the Province, was called for from the Members of the Executive Council, the Judges of the King's Bench, and Law Officers of the Crown.

These gentlemen drew up a most able and elaborate report on this interesting subject, summing up the whole in ten important resolutions, among which, they represent the propriety of erecting four Grammar-schools, at an expence of £3000 each, and an annual sum of £180 for the salaries of the Master, Under-master, and repairs; and likewise, a University to be established on a most liberal footing at York, the seat of Government, as soon as the circumstances of the Province require it; for all which, a large appropriation of the waste lands of the Crown was humbly recommended.

Owing to the small value of land when this appropriation was made, and the trifling sum paid for the Township of Norwich, it was found that the money required [Pg 47] would far exceed what could be expected from the sale of the whole reservation. The measure was necessarily postponed, and the gratuitous gifts of land by the Government, still continuing to be made, nothing has been yet done, for no person, who is able and industrious, can fail of making a good subsistence on his grant, and therefore, is unwilling to lease or purchase. But now, matters begin to assume a different appearance; for the general prosperity of the Colony has much encreased, and the reservations having been made long ago, the growing Settlements are getting in their rear; consequently, they begin from the conveniency of their situation, to become desirable. We have, therefore, every reason to believe, that with a little attention, they may be made productive, and be able in a short time, to support such a respectable Seminary as the Province seems to require.

In 1799, the Hon. Richard Cartwright, and the Hon. Robert Hamilton, having large families of young children, and having been promised by General Simcoe, that on procuring a person well qualified to teach in Kingston, a salary should be allowed for that purpose, sent to Scotland for a gentleman of that description. Doctor Hamilton, the Minister of Gladsmuir, near Haddington, was intrusted with this business, who applied to his friend Doctor Trotter, of St. Andrews, to procure him such a person as he wanted, mentioning the great encouragement likely to be given, and the extensive field which a new country like Upper-Canada, opened to enterprizing young men. There is reason to believe, that the situation was first offered by Doctor Trotter to Doctor Chalmers, now so justly celebrated, such was the conception then had of its importance, and on his declining, it was offered to his friend Mr. Strachan, then a student at St. Andrews. On this latter gentleman's arrival at Kingston, he discovered that no salary from Government was to be looked for.

This grievous disappointment would have induced him to return to his native land, as he had come out expressly for the purpose of superintending an Academy, under the special patronage of Government, and not a private School; but the kindness and liberality of Mr. Cartwright prevented him from taking this step, and he remained in that gentleman's family nearly four years.

In 1803, Mr. Strachan received Holy Orders, and removed to Cornwall; to which place he likewise transferred his [Pg 48] School, being the only Seminary at that time in the Province, where the Classics and Mathematics were regularly taught. This School attaining some celebrity, young men came to it from all parts of both Provinces, and nothing was wanting to complete such a system of Education, as the exigencies of the country then required, except a small Philosophical Apparatus to illustrate Lectures on Physical Science. This appendage was very soon obtained, for the Legislature in 1805 voted £400 to purchase the more necessary instruments; and the Lieutenant Governor on their arrival, placed them in the hands of Mr. Strachan, by whom Lectures on Natural Philosophy, have since that period been delivered to his Scholars, whenever a class could be assembled sufficiently advanced to render it beneficial.

On Mr. Strachan's removal to Cornwall, the Hon. Robert Hamilton, anxious to keep his children near him, sent to Scotland for a Tutor, that they might finish their education at home. His friends were fortunate in procuring Mr. James Mitchell to undertake this office, a gentleman of ability and learning, who continued with Mr. Hamilton, till he had completed the young gentlemen's education, when he succeeded to the District School of London, where he still resides.

About the same period, or perhaps a little sooner, an excellent Mathematical School was opened at Niagara, by Richard Cockrell, Esqr. who is said to be well versed in Mathematical Science. This gentleman still remains in the Province, but has withdrawn himself from the education of youth.

In 1807, a law was enacted, establishing a School in every District, in which the Classics and Practical Mathematics were expected to be taught. The Lieut. Governor is empowered to appoint Trustees for each School, who have authority to nominate a fit and discreet person Teacher therof, with a salary of £100 Cy. per annum. The nomination of the Trustees requires the sanction of the Governor, to render it valid; but they have full power to remove the Teacher for any misdemeanor or impropriety of conduct. They have likewise full power and authority to make such rules and regulations for the good government and management of the Schools, with respect to both Teacher and Scholars, as in their discretion shall seem meet. The law was at first limited to four years; but in the Session of 1808, it was rendered perpetual.

[Pg 49] On the passing of this law, there was some difference of opinion. Many were desirous of establishing common Schools throughout the Province; and others were for the establishment of a University. Had the Revenue of the Province admitted, or had the lands appropriated for the purposes of education, become sufficiently productive, all parties might have been gratified; because, the University as well as common Schools, might have been established, when the District Schools were put in operation: but as the sum in the power of the Legislature to grant, would have been of no use divided among all the Townships, scarcely five pounds each, and as the low state of education throughout the Province, rendered a University totally useless, for it could have had no Students, District Schools were the only alternative. Had circumstances been otherwise, and a choice in the power of the Legislature, the situation of the Province would have suggested at that time, District in preference to common Schools or a University. They were calculated to give such an education as qualified young men for the different professions, and to become excellent nurseries for the University, when it could be established.

These advantages have been reaped, and the Legislature fully justified in its conduct. No University has been yet founded, but many of the young gentlemen taught at the different District Schools, are now eminent in their professions, and would do credit by their talents and integrity to Seminaries of greater name.

On the passing of this law, Schools were established in each District, that at Kingston under the direction of Mr. Whitelaw, was exceedingly prosperous, and still proceeds with increasing reputation under his successor. The School at Cornwall, deprived of all the pupils from the westward, who were properly retained at their own District Schools, kept up and even increased its numbers from Lower Canada. At present, the District Schools are as flourishing as any public institutions can be expected; some complaints have indeed been made, but they are of a partial nature, and do not militate against the principle of the law. In one or two Districts, it must be confessed, that all the good which might have been anticipated, has not been produced, and these supply the complainants with their arguments against the Bill; but the fault arose from the jealousy which at that time pervaded the House of Assembly. The Members [Pg 50] demanded that what was given to one District, should be given to all, whether necessary or not. This appeared unreasonable to the promoters of the District School Bill, who were desirous of confining themselves to the four Schools, recommended in the report of the Committee of the Members of the Executive Council, the Judges and Crown Officers already noticed, viz: Cornwall, Kingston, Niagara and Sandwich, to which York, now grown into importance, was added. The other Districts were to be indulged with the same privilege, whenever the Magistrates in Quarter Sessions declared, that a sufficient number of Scholars might be obtained to make the School beneficial; but to this the majority would not assent, and accordingly the bill included all the Districts without distinction. Should well founded complaints still exist, the fault must be in those appointed to put the law in force. The Trustees have full power to dismiss the Teacher, if negligent and careless of his duty; and if a School of this advanced description be as yet unnecessary, they may postpone the appointment of another Teacher, till the great increase of population render it useful. Though the Legislature acted wisely in establishing District Schools, as being most beneficial to the public, yet that body never lost sight of the propriety of extending the benefits of instruction to the lower orders throughout the Province. Finding the Revenue greatly increased in 1816, a law was passed, (containing many excellent provisions) for establishing and supporting common Schools, in every Village or Township in the Province.

This bill was very much hurt by the insertion of a clause, that there should be a School in every Town, Village or Place, where twenty Scholars could be collected. These loose words admit of a latitude of interpretation which could not have been intended, and multiply Schools to an extent which it would require three times the Provincial Revenue to support. If we suppose the Province to contain 120,000 souls, and one-sixth of these, children going to School, or 20,000: this number at the rate of £25 per annum or 100 dollars, for every School of 20 Scholars, would amount to £25,000 per year. This evil may be cured by giving one School to each Township, and no more, provided there be at least forty inhabitants freemen. Are the Townships large, then let the Schools itinerate.—This arrangement will save half the present appropriation, and render [Pg 51] three thousand a year more productive of good, than the six thousand has hitherto been.

In 1815, a law was passed, incorporating a Society in the Midland District, to be named the School Society of that portion of the Province, principally for the purpose of establishing a School on the principles of Bell and Lancaster. The Society has built a good School house, and taken much pains to bring their object to perfection, but owing to causes, over which the members had no controul, the School though useful, has failed in producing all the good that might have been expected.

A modification of the whole system of education, embracing the common and District Schools, and a College at York, the seat of Government, was introduced by his Honor the Chief Justice, into the Legislative Council, in 1817. In this scheme, there was a judicious gradation. A way was opened for the most promising boys to rise from the common to the District Schools, and from these to the College; by which, the means of obtaining a liberal education was offered to the youth of the whole Province, and such assistance given to a few distinguished young men, as would enable them to proceed without becoming a burden to their friends. This project failed in the House of Assembly, from an unwillingness to disturb the common School Bill, which had been only one year in operation; but as this law expires next year, some alterations may be expected to take place on reviving it, which may render it more liberal and efficient, and, at the same time, be accompanied with a very considerable diminution of expence.

In aid of what the wisdom of the Legislature may continue to bestow upon the education of youth, something may soon be looked for from the reservation of the waste lands of the Crown.

It is, indeed, rumoured, that a University is going to be immediately established, depending upon these lands for its support and future extension. The character of the present Lieutenant Governor, who has nothing more anxiously at heart than the promotion of religion and education throughout the Province, gives currency to this rumour.

The plan said to be in agitation is, to establish, as soon is practicable, a College at the seat of Government, to consist, from the first, of a Principal or President, and three Professors; these gentlemen to give two or three [Pg 52] Courses of Lectures, if necessary, to different Classes, during the season, from some of which Courses they will be relieved, as soon as the funds admit the establishment of additional Professors. Two Scholarships are to be attached to each District, by which, at the end of every two years, the best scholar at the District School has an opportunity of obtaining a Scholarship at College, which will maintain him four years; the number of Scholarships attached to each District, to be increased till they amount to four; or even more, if the revenues of the University allow it. In this manner would the door to a liberal education be opened to the poorer inhabitants, and we might live to see the children of the farmer and mechanic filling the highest offices in the Colony, to which they had arisen by their superior talents, fostered by the benevolent institutions of their Country.

The liberal professions now require such an establishment. The Bar employs a very considerable number of practitioners, many of whom, have not had the necessary opportunities for preparing themselves for that important profession. The Church likewise, requires a long course of study, which cannot, without much difficulty be obtained.

The necessity of sending young men out of the Province to finish their education, ought to be removed; for the specimens that have been tried, have disappointed the just expectations of their friends. Few can support the great expence of sending their children to Great Britain, and parental anxiety reluctantly trusts them at such a distance from its care, observation, and control. If they are sent to the United States, there is much reason to fear that they will return with sentiments unfriendly to our different establishments, as the whole system of education, even to primary school-books, in that country is pervaded with pernicious politics, breathing hatred to our parent State.

There is no subject more important to the true prosperity of the Province, than the careful education of its youth; for it is only by a well instructed population, that we can expect to preserve our excellent Constitution, and our connexion with the British empire, or give that respectability to the country, which arises from an intelligent Magistracy, and from public situations, filled with men of ability and information.

The more difficult steps have been already taken, and [Pg 53] the inhabitants, getting alive to the great advantage of educating their children, have, in most places, seconded the exertions of the Legislature, with a laudable zeal. What has been already done, is highly creditable to the country, and though much yet remains to be effected, there are no serious impediments in the way, which a little time and attention will not easily remove; the most important improvement in contemplation, the founding of a University at the seat of Government, may very soon take place, and will be of incalculable benefit to the Province.

The present state of education consists of eight District Schools, at which, upwards of 220 boys are now taught the higher branches of education, the Classics, Mathematics, &c. The common Schools, in which upwards of 3500 children are instructed, besides a great number of Schools of a similar description, to which the bounty of Government cannot be extended. Sunday Schools are likewise getting numerous, and religious instruction appears to be more sought after than formerly. In this respect also the common Schools will soon produce a very beneficial alteration, as may be seen from the rules to teachers, published by the Boards of Education for Niagara, and the Home District, and which we subjoin as a proper conclusion to this article.


1. The Master to commence the labours of the day by a short Prayer.

2. School to commence each day at nine o'clock of the forenoon, and five hours at least to be taught during the day, except on Saturday.

3. Diligence and emulation to be cherished and encouraged by rewards judiciously distributed, to consist of little pictures and books, according to the age of the scholar.

4. Cleanliness and good order to be indispensable, corporal punishment seldom necessary, except for bad habits learned at home, lying, disobedience, obstinacy, and perverseness, these sometimes require chastisement; but gentleness even in these cases would do better with most children.

5. All other offences in children, arising chiefly from liveliness and inattention, are better corrected by shame; such as gaudy caps, placing the culprits by themselves, not [Pg 54] admitting any to play with them for a day or days, detaining them after school hours, or during a play afternoon, and by ridicule.

6. The master must keep a regular catalogue of his scholars, and mark every day they are absent.

7. The forenoon of Wednesday and of Saturday, to be set apart for religious instruction; to render it agreeable, the school should be furnished with at least ten copies of Barrow's questions on the New Testament, and the Teacher to have one copy of the key to these questions for his own use; the Teacher should likewise have a copy of Murray's Power of Religion on the mind, Watkin's Scripture Biography, and Blair's class book, the Saturday lessons of which are well calculated to impress religious feeling.

These books are confined to no religious denomination, and do not prevent the Master from teaching such Catechism as the parents of the children may adopt.

8. Every day to close with reading publicly a few verses from the New Testament, proceeding regularly through the gospels.



The sublime conceptions which prayer introduces into the mind, cannot fail of producing the most salutary effects. The children are taught that God, though invisible, is ever near, and present with them; that he sees them every moment, is ready to attend to their calls, to relieve their wants, and protect them from danger: he is represented as more than their earthly father, evincing still greater tenderness and affection for them, and not only their Father, but the Father of their parents, who are likewise under his special keeping; for all are his children. Religion is brought home to their souls in the most forcible and engaging manner; they feel that the truths which it conveys, are of immediate interest to them; that God is indeed the hearer of prayer, and that the requests offered to him, in the name of his Son, and according to his Holy Will, will certainly obtain a most gracious and abundant answer. The mention of our blessed Saviour, reminds them of their vast obligations to him for what he hath said [Pg 55] and done and suffered for their sakes; their feelings are strongly excited by his death and sufferings, his triumph over death and the grave, and his ascension up into heaven. The love and affection manifested by this blessed Person for all mankind, assimilates itself so completely with the dispositions of the supplicants, that they approach him in their hearts, with the most sincere affection; they discover, from experience, that religion is not cold and heartless, but animating and engaging; they rejoice in communicating with their blessed Saviour, whom they now feel a pleasure in loving, and in whose life they are most deeply concerned.

Nor are the advantages greater to the younger than to the older part of such an amiable household; the former experience, more and more, the delight of giving themselves to prayer; they know that every true Christian is a man of prayer. This is the middle between the devotions of the closet and public worship, concentrating the wishes and feelings more than the latter, and giving us a new interest in the welfare of those, to whom we are, from blood and knowledge, more intimately attached. We are encouraged in the performance of this most animating duty, by the precious words of Christ, "I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth, touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven."

In family prayer, we can be more particular than public worship admits, for the members are more closely united, their wants are more nearly the same; they can join with more fervency in requesting God to supply them, if for their good; their sins are sometimes in common, and therefore, they unite more earnestly in begging their remission, upon the condition of sincere repentance; they are suffering under family afflictions, in which all participate, and therefore, join in supplicating a speedy deliverance; they are returning thanks for family mercies which they have experienced. These and many other things may be mentioned in family prayer, with much edification, that cannot enter into public prayer, because it must always be general. The very circumstance of assembling every day to worship God, cannot fail of producing good effects upon every member of the household; religion appears as it ought, not an occasional, but a daily obligation.

The advantages of Family Worship not only spring from [Pg 56] what is felt at the time, and experienced from the order, regularity and increasing goodness of the different branches of the Family, and the brightening of their future prospects, but from the instruction it affords to others, by contrasting a praying Family with one that does not. The great difference, were it more attended to, would induce thousands who now neglect Family Worship, carefully to practise it.

In order to insure the advantages, which Family Worship is so well calculated to produce, care should be taken by the Father of the household, or the person employed to conduct it, that it may be pleasant and agreeable, and not dull and tedious; it should be short and perspicuous; there should be nothing offensive in the manner, and the time should, as much as possible, be so chosen as to render it easy for every person to attend.

Great care should be taken to be uniform and consistent; therefore, the devotions of the family ought not to be omitted, because visitors may be in the house.

Above all, example must illustrate the sincerity of the prayers made, or they will lose much of their effect. Many persons, who pretend to be the friends of Religion, consider Family Worship unnecessary, and sometimes disadvantageous; alledging, that it frequently induces the different members to omit praying for themselves, a duty no less incumbent. But such an objection can have little weight, for all who willingly join in social Worship, will not omit private devotion; and those who are unwilling to join in Family Prayer, never think of praying in secret. Some again consider Religion, as sufficiently taught in Church, and therefore, it is not necessary to teach it at home; but neither is this objection valid: little can be done at Church, in comparison of what may be effected at home.—A sound form of words may indeed be given, general principles of belief furnished, but those familiar and engaging illustrations, which can bring home to the imaginations and hearts of children, the precious truths of the Gospel cannot be given, but in the family. It is, therefore, at the fireside, that the Parents can best shew their Children the beauty of Holiness; and engage their affections in favour of that blessed Religion, which our Saviour has taught, and for the completion of which, he suffered.—Driven from this ground, Parents frequently urge press of business, as an hinderance to Family Worship; yet, they find time to eat and sleep, to see company, to comply with the invitations of their [Pg 57] friends, to attend public meetings, &c. When our hearts are well ordered, communion with God will be our first object, and his glory our chief desire; and we shall easily find time for Family Devotion. A few minutes may be redeemed from the most busy life for this important duty, and there is reason to think, that the regularity which its practice would introduce into the distribution of our time, would enable us to do much more business than before; and let it ever be remembered, that no blessing can be expected upon that business, however urgent, which shuts God out of the Family.

Some excuse themselves from the practice of worshipping God in their Families, by their inability to pray; they are ashamed to open their lips before their household in prayer. Do such persons forget the beautiful prayers of the Liturgy, and the many forms of prayer published by pious men?—Are they ignorant, that such forms have been used by the best Christians in every age; which they frequently composed for their own use, and that of their friends? It is the internal state of the mind that is to be regarded, the fervent sincerity with which the petitions are offered up, and with this spirit, the words may be of advantage to prevent any distraction of thought in selecting them. Christians have differed since the reformation, as to set forms; but there can be no difference in recommending their use, to those who have not the ability of praying aloud without them.

Many other hindrances or objections might be mentioned, but I would rather suggest some further encouragement to this duty, for which I must bespeak a place in a future number, unless some person more able take up the subject, than

Your humble Servant          
N. N.


No. 2.

Man in a state of Innocence.

We are anxious to know the history of our family and kindred; we make a minute enquiry into every circumstance concerning them. The most trifling incidents assume [Pg 58] importance; and relations of their lives and characters, which appear tedious to others, have an agreeable interest for us. But if we have such a curiosity about the history of our particular tribe or family, it ought to be stronger, when searching into the primeval state of our first parents, from whom all of us are descended.

It is more than curiosity to know something of their condition; it is essential to our religious progress to be as intimately acquainted as possible with that Family, whose branches cover the earth; but it is a knowledge to be learned solely from Revelation. He, only, who made us, can tell how we were made, and our primitive measure of enjoyment. That man enjoyed a state, higher and happier than the present, was a tradition fondly cherished in the heathen world, before the coming of Christ. The golden age is described by the Poets, in the most fascinating language, as an age of love, innocence and peace; when crimes and labour were unknown, and the Earth brought forth her fruits spontaneously. This tradition, though surrounded with clouds and darkness, had its origin from the Scriptures; for it describes many things agreeable to the account given us by Moses, who tells us, that Man as well as the other Creatures, was formed very good, it is therefore evident that he was not created in his present corrupted state, but in one more exalted and happy. Indeed, this much appears demonstrable from the nature and character of the Supreme Being; a degraded creature could not be the production of goodness, holiness and purity. Agreeable to this, are the words made use of by the Supreme Being at man's creation: "And God said, let us make man in our own image after our likeness."—King Solomon informs us, that God made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions. The Apostle St. Paul is still more explicit, for he says, that man was created after the image and likeness of him that created him, in knowledge, righteousness and true holiness; and King David declares, that man was made a little lower than the Angels, crowned with glory and honor, and invested with dominion over the inferior creatures.

Some confining themselves to the words, "Let us make man in our own image after our likeness," have thought, that they referred to the structure of man's body. That it was to be endowed with something of that lustre and beauty, which shone in the countenance of Moses; but such an opinion seems to be without foundation in Scripture. [Pg 59] Some again have supposed, that the words, "image and likeness of God," merely implied, that man was created in exact conformity to the model previously existing in the Divine mind; but neither does this agree with the explanation of the Apostle.

Others have understood by the words, image and likeness of God, the power and dominion given to man over the other animals. But these words neither refer to the formation of his body, nor to any thing external. They are used in a spiritual sense, and point out the superiority of man's moral nature, that he was created after the image of God, in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, particulars which deserve our serious consideration.

The first part of the divine Image, consisted in knowledge; "Ye have put on the new man," says St. Paul to the Colossians, "which is renewed in knowledge, after the Image of Him that created him." Of the knowledge which Adam possessed, we have sufficient evidence in his ability to give appropriate names to all the animals; because this implies an acquaintance with their different natures, and the power and dominion conferred upon him, pre-supposes a knowledge of their qualities. Hence he must have possessed an amazing quickness of perception, and a mind clear and vigorous.

It is, indeed, difficult for us to form an adequate conception of the superiority of Adam's knowledge to that of his descendants; for, being perfectly innocent, his mind was unclouded, and he perceived every thing necessary for him to know, as it were by intuition. Hence the knowledge of our first Parents must have been as ample and correct as their nature and circumstances would admit; but if they enjoyed so much knowledge in natural things, we have every reason to suppose that they were equally well acquainted with their duty to God.

They knew and conversed freely with their Creator; they understood the nature and extent of his holy laws, and did not require them to be written in books, or in tables of stone; their moral and intellectual faculties must have therefore been more perfect and more upright than ever belonged to any of their posterity, or to themselves, after their transgression; well then might the great knowledge which they possessed, constitute one part of the image of God, with which they were adorned.

The second part of resemblance to God, in which man [Pg 60] was created, consisted, according to the Apostle, in righteousness and true holiness.

The Scriptures describe God, in the sublime language of one glorious in holiness, and of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. Holiness, includes the moral excellence and rectitude of his nature, his justice, goodness, and mercy. It is that perfection which preserves the order and harmony of the Universe, and produces all possible happiness among its inhabitants; and for this reason, the blessed in heaven celebrate it in songs of praise, as the brightest effulgence of the Divine perfections; Holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts, heaven and earth are full of thy Glory.

In a creature, Holiness consists in obedience to God, and a perfect consecration of all his powers, to a diligent imitation of the Divine perfections. "Now, this Holiness," says the late Mr. Savile in his excellent discourses, "Adam possessed as soon as he was created, and while he continued in the Garden of Innocence.

"He knew most intimately the Divine Law; what he admired, he chose; and evinced his choice by the most spotless and ardent obedience. No wrong bias, no corrupt principle disturbed for a moment the harmony of his soul. His affections and passions all pure and spiritual, were ceaseless Ministers to the Lord.

"Love stood before his altar, and offering her grateful incense, kept up the hallowed flame.—Fear, with Angel reverence, bowed before the Sanctuary; where as yet, no interposing veil had hid the presence of Divinity.—Hope lifted up her hands and eyes to heaven, and showed by the intenseness of her countenance, where and what she expected to be.—Joy told her raptures in glad hosannahs of praise, and sought on earth to join in those songs, which Seraphs sing in the celestial mansions; whilst Memory unfolded the records of eternal love, and with extacy, reviewed the glorious past: And Conscience, yet unsullied, stood by, witnessed the sacred service, and gave her approbation as the voice of God. Such was man in the day when God created him; knowledge and holiness, the image of God, all that is great, and all that is excellent, conspired to adorn and exalt his soul.

"Now, from this pre-eminent knowledge and holiness, there necessarily resulted another part of the Divine image: Consummate Happiness. Such is the constitution of things, that happiness is inseparable from knowledge and holiness: [Pg 61] God is infinitely wise and holy, and he is therefore infinitely happy. Angels too, are far more wise and holy than men; and as they are more wise and holy, they are proportionably more happy: how transcendently happy then must our first Parents have been before the fall. The earth had not yet suffered the curse; sin had not yet entered, and spread its rueful ravages; pain and sickness were strangers to the body; inquietude, fear and remorse, were strangers to the soul.—The soul, conscious of innocence, and admitted to the fullest communion with its Maker, felt the joy, and reflected the serenity of heaven.—O happy, happy pair! a cloudless mind, a clear conscience, your continual feast; health, the charmer, your companion; every Angel your friend; God himself your Father, and Paradise your home. And, but for sin, this high felicity would never have had an end. What man then was, he was destined, while obedient, always to be; or if there was to be any change, it was to be a change only from glory to glory. This corruptible would never have seen corruption, nor this mortal been subjected to mortality.

"Such is the image, in which our first Parents were originally made. It consisted in knowledge and holiness, and happiness. And all this, had not sin entered the world, would have been to us, an eternal and eternally increasing inheritance."


No. 2.


I am sufficiently humbled to become your first correspondent. Some years ago, I retired from the army, and settled on a farm. For several months, the novelty of every thing around me was amusing, and I laboured with vigour. But not having been accustomed to daily toil, and the novelty passing away, I became listless and sighed for the Army, and the comforts of the Mess.

Indulging in such thoughts, I became more and more uneasy. I neglected even to look after my servants; and seeing things going to destruction, my temper soured, and I became disagreeable at home. My poor wife, friendless in a strange land, was left for days together with three children, [Pg 62] destitute of common necessaries, weeping in silence; for, she never reproached me, while I was frequenting Taverns, associating with low company, and falling fast into contempt. But, it has pleased God to recall me to a proper sense of my wickedness, and I am a reformed man.

Returning one evening from the Tavern, I stumbled upon a pamphlet, which had been dropped on the road; and on reaching home, found it to be an exhortation against Drunkenness. Though little disposed to read serious books, I chose rather to peruse it than look at my wife's falling tears, which pricked me to the heart. As I proceeded, I felt much affected; and in the hope of being useful to others, I take the liberty of sending some of the passages that appeared to me the most striking.

The Author remarks: "That among all the terms of insult and reproach, which people at variance cast upon each other, that of a drunkard is the most disgraceful.—The enemies of the Gospel could find no stigma equal to this, no method of manifesting their hatred against the Apostles so strongly, as by calling them drunkards. Others said mocking, 'These men are full of new wine.' The drunkard is considered in his three-fold capacity: 1st. a rational being; 2d. a member of society; 3d. the heir of immortality.

"Under the first it is said, that when a man has lost the use of his reason, we deplore his misfortune, as the greatest that can befall him; sickness, loss of limbs, even death itself are considered nothing in comparison of this. His dearest friends, his very wife and children who love him with the most tender affection, and would most willingly lay down their lives for his safety, now pray most earnestly that he may be relieved from the terrible calamity, with which he is afflicted. Yet, the drunkard prefers madness to health, and deprives himself, with his own hand, of reason, the great mark of his divine original.

"Even those who have the good fortune to retain the use of their mental faculties, soon find their bodies debilitated, and unfit for their usual occupations. Their blood grows thick, their joints stiff, their sinews flaccid, their nerves lose their tone, their countenance becomes bloated, their limbs are seized with a continual tremor, and convulsions generally close the scene."

Again he says, "Drunkards are fertile in excuses, and continue to use the most absurd, after they are sensible of [Pg 63] their degraded situation. A gentleman who had filled a respectable place in society, with honor to himself and credit to his friends, suddenly became a drunkard: his body grew weak and swoln; his faculties impaired, and he was scarcely the ruins of what he had been.

"One of his friends, anxious for his amendment, endeavored to convince him of the wickedness of his conduct. He heard the exhortation to the end, and coolly answered, 'It is true I drink; but I neither rob nor steal.' Thus, because he had not broken the whole decalogue, he thought himself comparatively pure.

"Some excuse themselves from their love of company, mirth and conversation; as if men were most capable of enjoying these pleasures, when they can neither speak, hear nor understand."

When he comes to the consideration of the drunkard, as a member of society, he observes, "That the appetites of eating and drinking are common to man, with the other animals; and that nature does all she can, to guard us against the degrading sin of drunkenness. She conceals the spirit in vegetables necessary for their preservation, with the greatest care, and mixes it with other juices in such a manner as can do no injury, if taken as she prepares it; but man takes pains to separate the spirit by fire, he contrives new methods for catching it pure, and for expelling that part of the liquid which is less potent.

"Nature makes yet another effort to preserve us after the fatal draught is prepared; it is disagreeable to the taste, and it is not until after many trials have been made, that it becomes palatable: nay, more study and pains are taken to bring this about, than would be necessary for acquiring some useful arts, or necessary accomplishments,—more pains than would be requisite to impress our duty on our hearts, and to examine the proofs on which our eternal hopes are founded. And for what is all this labor undertaken?—To hurry us down the precipice of destruction, marked with the sign of the beast, as the children of disobedience.

"Matters are still worse when the drunkard is the father of a family. What an example for his children! No lessons of Religion, no encouragements to duty, or admonitions to amendment, flow from his lips.—He is seldom able to speak; and when recollection returns, shame and conscious guilt shut his mouth. The children, without instruction, [Pg 64] are thrown helpless on the world; and having no principles to help them, sink at once.

"But, to place this matter in a more striking point of view, let us contrast the conduct of a pious master of a family with that of a drunkard, for one evening only.

"The religious man is never so happy as in the midst of his family; he looks forward through the day to the evening, and delights in its approach. All rejoice to see him return; he calls his children together; he enquires how the day has been spent; he praises the good, and reproves the careless; he makes them all feel the comfort of behaving well; he listens to their little tales, interesting, because told by those he loves; all is confidence and mutual endearment. The hour of sleep approaches, he reminds them of their duty to God, and our blessed Redeemer, and requests them to join him in rendering thanks to their Father in heaven, their Friend and Protector, to bless him for sending Jesus Christ into the world, to entreat his pardon for their sins, and that they may be granted the spirit of true repentance; to supplicate the continuance of the Divine protection through the darkness of the night, that God may be a wall of fire around them, make their sleep sweet and refreshing, and send them a joyful wakening. Thus all proceeds in love, harmony, and peace.

"Turn to the family of the drunkard, behold his wife and children anxiously waiting his return, growing pale at every step, lest it be his, and yet terrified at his delay. He comes at last; no prayers, no thanksgivings; but, on the contrary, horrid oaths and imprecations. He beats his innocent children, frightens them with brutal threats, and invokes the powers of darkness and not of light. All is horror and confusion. The helpless babes are drowned in tears; the tender mother bewails her unhappy fate; while the monster, if his senses are not altogether fled, is secretly tormented with remorse, and raises this diabolical confusion, that he may escape a moment from himself.

"Finding my communication longer than I intended, I give only one passage more, from the last division, after noticing that a hardened drunkard cannot be saved, but will undoubtedly be placed on the left hand, in the terrible day of the Lord; he says, "While waiting the dreadful sentence, and bewailing his wickedness, his misery will be greatly increased by seeing his children in the same [Pg 65] condemnation, and they will reproach him for bringing upon them this ever-to-be-lamented calamity. Had you, they will say, given us a good example, had you taught us the principles of Christianity, we might have been this day separated to the right hand of the Lamb, and found an inheritance among the children of God; but you brought us up the children of Satan, your example contradicted every thing good and holy; you kept us ignorant of God and our Saviour, and now this heavy anguish has overtaken us."

What terrible feelings must the parent have, on hearing these accusations? God forbid that ever any of us should be thus accused; and that we may not, let us fly from sensual indulgence, and be temperate and holy, to the saving of our souls.


A Sermon delivered in St. Andrew's Church, Quebec, by the Rev'd. Alex'r. Spark, D. D. on the 7th of March, 1819, the day of his Death; and also a Funeral Sermon, preached on that occasion, on the 14th March, 1819.

These Sermons, appear under circumstances of uncommon solemnity. The amiable preacher of the first, was numbered with the dead, in less than three hours after its delivery. It may, therefore, be considered his dying words, his last exhortation to his congregation; and will be read by Christians with a melancholy interest, and especially by the inhabitants of Quebec, who justly considered Doctor Spark one of the brightest ornaments of their city.

The second Sermon is a tribute of respect, to the memory of his departed friend, by the Rev'd. Daniel Wilkie; and is equally creditable to his head and heart.

The appearance of a Minister's last address to his people from the pulpit, followed by his funeral Sermon, at a distance of not more than one week, is an awful event; and forcibly demonstrates the uncertainty of human life.

Indeed, the removal of faithful Ministers by death, is a great affliction to the Church; and frequently appears to be one of those mysteries of Providence, which is not [Pg 66] given to man on this side the grave, fully to comprehend. God raises up spiritual teachers according to his will, and employs them in the accomplishment of his designs, and in the advancement of Christ's kingdom; he has, therefore, an undoubted right to dismiss them, when he pleases, from their services on earth, to their place in heaven.—But, this is sometimes done, when to our short calculations, the Church can ill spare them; and when we look forward to many years of usefulness, and anticipate many advantages from their public instructions, their private conversations, and their pious examples. But the ways of God are not as our ways, supported for a time as the champions of the truth; they are taken from this world of contention and sorrow,—their stars are removed, and those whom they leave behind are called upon, by their faith, to dwell in the beams of the Son of God, which shine forever.

The Rev. Dr. Spark received the rudiments of his classical education at the Grammar-school of Montrose, long celebrated for the ability of its Teachers, one of whom, Mr. Christie, under whose care he studied, distinguished himself as the Author of several School-books, of acknowledged merit. Taught by so able an instructor, Mr. Spark removed from Montrose to King's College, Aberdeen, well prepared to enter upon his academical studies.

After continuing one session learning the Greek language, he became the pupil of Dr. M'Leod for three years, the Professors of King's College being in the habit, at that time, of continuing with the same class from the beginning of the second year to the period of leaving the University. Doctor M'Leod, though not possessed of much erudition, was a gentleman of great worth, and superior natural talents, whose pupils are found in every quarter of the world, cherishing in their bosoms a sweet remembrance of their kind and generous master. Between him and Doctor Spark, there was a warm friendship and frequent correspondence, till the death of the good Professor, at the advanced age of 86.

After completing his studies at King's College, Doctor Spark became private tutor to the children of Mr. Gordon, of Halhead, in whose family he resided for several years, to the great satisfaction of his employer, who saw him depart with much regret. Long after his removal to Quebec, the writer has heard Lady Harriet Gordon, the mother of his pupils, a gentlewoman of eccentric character, but of [Pg 67] great penetration and ability, speak of Mr. Spark, with much kindness, and express her warmest wishes for his happiness.

While residing in this respectable family, he was able to give regular attendance at the Divinity Hall of Aberdeen, at that time the most celebrated School of Theology in Scotland.

In this branch of instruction, both Universities unite, though distinct in every thing else, and their respective Professors of Divinity meet alternately, so as to give all the students the benefit of attending their prelections.

It is impossible to speak of the great eminence of this Theological School while Mr. Spark attended, without mentioning the gentlemen who raised it to celebrity.

Doctor Campbell, so well known in the literary and religious world, as a scholar and divine, belonged to Marischall College. This gentleman possessed the most acute reasoning powers, as appears from his excellent book on the Philosophy of Rhetoric, the most original and argumentative treatise on the subject in the English language; but what gained him still greater reputation, and endeared him to the Christian world, was his successful opposition to Mr. Hume, in his essay on Miracles, in which he triumphantly refutes the boasted argument of that subtle metaphysician. He was no less remarkable for purity of taste than accuracy of reasoning; to profound study, he united the highest intellectual attainments, and "happy were they," says a respectable journalist, "who had the benefit of attending so accomplished a Professor of Divinity." Mr. Spark seems to have imbibed much of that candid, liberal, and amiable spirit, which distinguished his teacher Dr. Campbell, who was remarkably gifted with that charity, which is the essence of Christianity, and which, above all things, he was anxious to inculcate upon his disciples.

The subject of this imperfect Memoir was no less fortunate in Doctor Gerrard, the Professor of Divinity of King's College, a colleague worthy of Dr. Campbell, and whose works, if less chaste in style and amiable in manner, discover great philosophical penetration, and extensive erudition.

Though differing in their dispositions, these eminent men entertained for each other the most cordial esteem, lived in [Pg 68] the greatest harmony, communicated their plans of study, and perused one another's works with attention before they were committed to the press. The great benefits enjoyed by Mr. Spark under instructors so able, were not lost—naturally of a studious habit, he delighted in meditation, and in following the course which these excellent men wished him to pursue.

"Mr. Spark came to Quebec in 1780, and returned in 1783, for the purpose of receiving Ordination in the Kirk of Scotland, which was conferred upon him by the Presbytery of Ellon, within the bounds of which he had lived when a student in Divinity. In 1784, he returned to Quebec, and officiated in the Scotch Church, in the place of the Rev. Mr. Henry, then in an infirm state of health. On the death of the latter, he succeeded to the very moderate emoluments of that Church, and continued during the remainder of his life, to discharge, with most exemplary diligence and fidelity, the important duties of Minister of the Gospel."

"In 1804, he obtained the Degree of Doctor in Divinity, from the College at which he had studied, and in 1805 was married to the amiable person who is now left to deplore his loss."

"He died on Sunday the seventh instant, in circumstances awfully impressive. After delivering the first of the following discourses, than which, nothing can be more truly characteristic of a solemn farewel. He attended a funeral; returning to the Church, and being arrived within an hundred yards of it, he was seized with an apoplectic fit, and expired without a groan."

"The shock occasioned by his death was universally felt in this city and neighbourhood, and even in many remote parts of the Province. Scarcely have we yet recovered from the deep distress into which we have been thrown. On the following Thursday his remains were followed to the house appointed for all living, by an unexampled assemblage of persons of all ranks and ages."

Mr. Wilkie bespeaks the candour of his readers in judging of his attempt to portray the character of this excellent person, as it was hastily written, under very unfavourable circumstances, and almost immediately sent to the press. After such an appeal, criticism may be silent; but the friends of Dr. Spark must regret that a nicer discrimination was not observed, in describing his character, and a more [Pg 69] particular notice taken of his private life, his peculiar temper, dispositions, and habits.

The present sermon rather glances at than illustrates or enforces the doctrines and exhortations which naturally flow from the text, "Be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises," Heb. c. 6, v. 12. and hastens to delineate the character of the deceased.

The Preacher modestly observes:

"In the account which I may be expected to give of our late and much regretted Pastor, I can say little that is new to any of you; but it is easy for us all to remember much, and it may not be unprofitable for us to proceed for once in our recollections in the same strain." This is a very neat manner of introducing his subject.

He then states, that Doctor Spark had the benefit of a regular University education, had received orders in the established Church of Scotland, and had discharged the duties of a Minister, laboriously and faithfully for thirty years.

In speaking of his knowledge, Mr. Wilkie remarks, that it was not confined to that of a professional nature, in which he was very conversant, but extended to other subjects. It would have been gratifying to have mentioned those branches of Science, in which he delighted, particularly Botany and Mathematics, in which, Doctor Spark was known to excel.

The virtues of his private life, the Preacher refers to two principles, from which they appeared to flow, a native humanity of heart, and unaffected piety. In pursuing this division, many excellent observations are made, but of too general a nature, and therefore applicable to thousands as well as the person to whom they are especially ascribed.

In speaking of Dr. Spark's public instructions, Mr. Wilkie is more successful, and notices many important topics, which he was in the practice of pressing on the attention of his hearers; but in his answer to the question, Whence arises this dread of sudden death? we cannot altogether concur. It may arise, as he says, in many instances, from a secret suspicion, that all is not right within, and because we still harbour some darling passion which we wish to indulge a little longer, but of which we are desirous of repenting in our last moments. That persons of this description [Pg 70] should feel great horror at death, is not to be wondered at; for their state of mind is little qualified for so awful a change, but the most upright and pious men in all ages have prayed to be delivered from sudden death, to have some hours of recollection, some moments of preparation before they are separated from those they love, and appear in the presence of that God who is of purer eyes than to see iniquity; and this, not because they are more guilty than others, but because of their greater humility and deeper sense of the malignity of sin.

Were we, who likewise knew and esteemed Doctor Spark, to attempt to delineate his character, we should begin by pointing out modesty and diffidence, as the most prominent parts. He delighted in privacy and retirement, not that seclusion from society which separates us from its charities and duties, but that separation from the frivolities and bustle of useless affairs, which consume so much of our precious time. He loved to be master of a portion of his time, in order to commune with his own heart; and to this he owed much of that composure and sedateness for which he was distinguished, and by which he was enabled to weigh things accurately, and to decide with judgment. Though reserved at first to strangers, he gradually opened on better acquaintance, and to those who were soliciting his assistance or advice, he was always benevolent and kind. To his friends, he was ever the same, frank, candid and sincere; and not like many, all raptures to-day, and to-morrow distant, cold and repulsive.

The next prominent part of his character, was contentment. The situation of Doctor Spark removed some of the temptations to inconsistency of conduct, and growing dissatisfaction. In worldly matters, he had little to hope or to fear. Professional advancement was not to be looked for. Minister of a respectable society at Quebec, there was no congregation of the same denomination in either Province, able to afford him equal indulgence or emolument: having, therefore, no prospect of rising higher, he rested in quietness and content. It is the desire of bettering our situation, as it is called, or rising in the world, that produces most of the evils which afflict society, rivalship, envyings, contentions, &c. From all these, Doctor Spark was entirely free, and this easiness in his circumstances and certain continuance in the same station, enabled him [Pg 71] to give an excellent and steady example of contentment and resignation to his people.

The third prominent part of Doctor Spark's character, was candour and sincerity.—The Apostle's rule, as Mr. Wilkie justly remarks, "Speak evil of no man," was by him most strictly observed; he had subdued his passions, and was a stranger to malice; he never censured the absent; disliked back-biting, and frequently on hearing it, expressed his decided disapprobation, either by changing the conversation or some expression which, though delicate, was severely felt. Thinking charitably of all men, he was the protector of their characters; and as far as truth would permit, or charity believe, he was ready to extenuate their faults. Interpreting the conduct of those around him by the most generous principles, he never allowed any difference on matters of religion, if truly conscientious, to disturb his habits of friendship and good neighbourhood. A Christian's life, is a hidden life, for none can read his thoughts; and his only aim is to possess a conscience, void of offence towards God, and towards man. This was the case with Doctor Spark, occupied with the duties of his profession, he mixed little with the world, but confined himself in a great degree to the society of a few friends. He was aware of the vast importance of preaching the Gospel, and the great danger resulting from carelessness and neglect. Indeed, no Minister can withdraw his thoughts from the great responsibility of his station. His people are daily departing; what will they be able to say of their Religious Instructor, when they come before the judgment seat of Christ?

It would have afforded much edification to Ministers and Christians in general, to have been informed, how a person of Doctor Spark's excellent judgment discharged the more familiar duties of his Pastoral office. We have seen, that he was a model of contentment, temperance and moderation; these are the very virtues, which it was incumbent on him to enforce in his frequent visits.—It is proper for all Clergymen, and is particularly enjoined by the Church of Scotland, to wait occasionally upon their Parishioners in their own houses, to speak to them of their spiritual concerns. At such times, the Clergyman points out to the heads of families, their particular duties; recalls to their serious notice family miseries, trials and sins: and entering into their situation, feelings and habits, he is enabled to remove [Pg 72] prejudices, to rectify misconceptions, resolve doubts and quiet scruples.—He repels excuses for neglect of duty, proves the danger of entertaining them, presses his arguments home to their particular cases, with an earnestness that cannot be done with half the effect in public discourses, which are necessarily general. At this visitation, the Minister probes their hearts, awakens the guilty, encourages the timid, confirms the doubting, and establishes the believer.

It would have been equally pleasing, to have known his manner of catechising the children, and gradually preparing them for the public profession of their faith; for having a meek and gentle manner, he must have been particularly successful.

His activity in promoting charitable institutions, and the education of the poor, together with his attention to the wants of the sick, the helpless and aged, might have afforded matter of great edification, but the space allowed for this article is scarcely sufficient to admit of our noticing his last sermon preached within a few hours of his death.

Mr. Wilkie tells us, "that the sermon is printed without alteration from Dr. Spark's own copy; and, therefore, besides other claims of a higher interest, must be considered as exhibiting uncommon proofs of correctness and precision, in his ordinary style of composition."

This observation would prevent any severity of remark, were the discourse really indifferent, for not having been prepared for the press, many passages may remain, which the writer would have omitted; and many things might have been added to render it more perfect. The sermon is a chaste practical appeal to his hearers, on the propriety and excellence of living at peace with one another; and although we cannot attribute the same praise, which the partiality of the Editor to his amiable friend, leads him to bestow, we are disposed to consider it the production of a faithful preacher of the Gospel, who was assiduous in preparing for his Sunday's duty; and we will venture to say, that very few sermons published under such circumstances, would be found more polished in the style, or more pertinent in illustration. The Reverend Preacher selects the words addressed by Joseph to his brethren,—"See that ye fall not out by the way,"—Gen. c. 45, v. 24. The Patriarch fearing, that his brethren would accuse one another as they [Pg 73] journeyed home, for their former cruelty to him, admonishes them not to fall out by the way.

No Christian ought to molest or provoke his neighbour, but on the contrary, it is his duty to allay heats, reconcile differences, and bring people to a right understanding, who have been at variance. Those who are desirous of quarrelling with us, must be won over with kindness; we shall, in most cases be able, by so doing, to disarm their rage; but if this cannot be effected, we shall have the comfort of having done our duty, and thrown the guilt upon their side. To Christians, the admonition is addressed with great propriety; for they have so many points of union, one Lord, one baptism, one faith; that dissentions are in the highest degree criminal. God is the God of peace, and our Lord is the Prince of peace, and the Holy Ghost is ever bringing forth the fruits of gentleness, long suffering, and peace.

We cannot close our remarks on this interesting publication, without recommending it to the serious attention of our readers, and while they feel, on perceiving the imperfect notice of Dr. Spark's life, which it contains, and his last words, that the memory of the just is precious, let them pray that the Great Head of the Church may, in his good Providence, raise up many such faithful labourers, and that the people who have been deprived of his services, may retain not only the form, but the essence of his doctrine, following him, as he followed Christ, till they join him in the kingdom of Heaven.



Titus assaulted the city with his warlike machines in the beginning of June, in a short time the Romans entered the first enclosure; the wall of the second enclosure was breached five days after the first. Nevertheless, the Jews defended themselves with the obstinacy of superstition; and Titus thought proper to surround the city by a wall, which should prevent both going in and coming out.

His officers thought this impossible to be executed, but the soldiers animated by their General, whom they loved, [Pg 74] completed the whole circumvallation in three days; to their own astonishment, no less than that of the beseiged, as the extent was nearly forty stadia, or five miles.

At length, the tower of Antonia was taken, and all Jerusalem except the temple. John who commanded here, still persuaded himself and his partizans, that God would never suffer his holy house to become the prey of heathens, and therefore he treated with contempt repeated offers of mercy. July 17, the daily sacrifice ceased. From this time to the taking of the temple, there was little else than burnings of the various parts of the sacred structure; some by the besieged, others by the besiegers. Titus burnt the Temple gates, plated with silver, on August 8th, and on the 10th, the whole edifice was taken and consumed by fire, the same day and month in which it had been formerly consumed by Nebuchadnezzar.

We have omitted the detail of those distresses which this city experienced from famine, from internal massacres, from zeal at once furious and false, from the effects of superstition employed to raise unfounded hopes of succour, and deluding all who suffered hope to exist. Even on the day of total destruction, six thousand persons were persuaded by a false prophet, that they should obtain deliverance; and these perished miserably in the massacre which followed, wherein clemency was neither extended to sex nor age.

There still remained the Upper City or Zion, on which stood the Royal Palace and three towers, those of Hippicos, Phasael, and Mariamne. Zion was assaulted from August 20th to September 7th, when the machines played so furiously on the place that the besieged were struck with a panic, and attempted to escape through the wall of circumvallation. Being there repulsed, they hid themselves in the drains, sewers and vaults of the place. The Romans entered September 8th, and notwithstanding the endeavours of Titus to the contrary, they massacred all they found. Some, however, were spared, but only to adorn the triumph of the conqueror, and be employed as slaves. The two grand rebels were also found. John submitted in a short time through hunger, and was condemned to perpetual imprisonment. Simon held out till October, and after having been led in triumph, was dragged through the streets of Rome with a rope about his neck, severely scourged, and then executed.

[Pg 75] Such was the termination of the Jewish state and polity; whoever can read the account, especially as given by Josephus, without perceiving what clear views of it our Lord and his Apostles had, and by what clear predictions they warned their obdurate countrymen, has little exercised his mind in contemplating the history of providence, while those who have been accustomed to read the Gospels with attention, will discover many references to these events, many deprecations of these calamities, which may at once encourage their faith in, and their reverence for that sacred volume which contains them.


No. 2.

"Abel brought of the Firstlings of his Flock."— Genesis c. 4. v. 4.

The universality of sacrificial rites will naturally produce an inquiry into the source from which such a custom, so inexplicable upon any principles of mere natural reason, could have been derived. And here we are involuntarily led to the first institution of this ordinance, which is so particularly recorded in Scripture. When it pleased God to reveal his gracious purpose of redeeming lost mankind by the blood of the Messiah, it would doubtless be highly expedient to institute some visible sign, some external representation, by which, the mysterious sacrifice of Mount Calvary might be prophetically exhibited to all the posterity of Adam. With this view, a pure and immaculate victim, the firstling of the flock, was carefully selected; and after its blood had been shed, was solemnly appointed to blaze upon the Altar of Jehovah. When the first typical sacrifice was offered up, fire miraculously descended from heaven, and consumed it; and when this primitive ordinance was renewed under the Levitical Priesthood, two circumstances are particularly worthy of observation; "that the victim should be a firstling—and that the oblation should be made by the instrumentality of fire."—It is remarkable, that both these primitive customs have been faithfully preserved in the Heathen world. The Canaanites caused their firstborn to pass through the fire, with a view of appeasing the anger of their false Deities, and one of the kings of Moab [Pg 76] is said to have offered up his eldest son, as a burnt-offering, when in danger from the superior prowess of the Edomites, 2 Kings, 3, 27. Nor was the belief that the Gods were rendered propitious by this particular mode of sacrifice, confined to the nations which were more immediately contiguous to the territories of Israel. We learn from Homer, that a whole hecatomb of firstling lambs, was no uncommon offering among his countrymen, Iliad 4, v. 202. And the ancient Goths having "laid it down as a principle, that the effusion of the blood of animals appeased the anger of the Gods, and that their justice turned aside upon the victims, their strokes which were destined for men," soon proceeded to greater lengths and adopted the horrid practice of devoting human victims. In honor of the mystic number three, a number deemed particularly dear to heaven, every ninth month witnessed the groans and struggles of nine unfortunate victims. The fatal blow being struck, the lifeless bodies were consumed in the sacred fire, which was kept perpetually burning; while the blood, in singular conformity with the Levitical ordinance, was sprinkled partly upon the surrounding multitude, partly upon the trees of the hallowed grove, and partly upon the images of their idols. Even the remote inhabitants of America have retained similar customs, and for similar reasons. It is somewhere observed by Acosta, that in cases of sickness, it is usual for a Peruvian to sacrifice his son to Verachoca, beseeching him to spare his life, and to be satisfied with the blood of his child.—Faber's Horæ Mosaicæ.


The Christians, being blessed with an Emperor of their own religion, were of opinion, that the Divine Providence had, in a signal manner, appeared, in raising up and protecting Constantine, and in destroying the enemies of the Church. There is usually much rashness and presumption in pronouncing that the calamities of sinners are particular judgments of God; yet, if from sacred and profane, from ancient and modern Historians, a collection were made of all the cruel persecuting tyrants, who delighted in tormenting their fellow-creatures, and who died [Pg 77] not the common death of all men, nor were visited after the visitation of all men, but whose plagues were horrible and strange; even a Sceptic would be moved at the evidence, and would be apt to suspect that the hand of God was in it. But the case of the persecuting Emperors and Princes, is still more particular, if we consider first the matter of fact, and secondly, the prophecies concerning it.

Herod the Great was the first persecutor of Christianity, as he attempted to destroy Christ in his infancy, and for that wicked end slew the male children of Bethlehem. The miseries which befel this inhuman tyrant and his family, are recorded by Josephus, and his calamitous death, and long and grievous sufferings before it, by a burning fever, a voracious appetite, a difficulty of breathing, swellings in his limbs, loathsome ulcers within and without, breeding lice and worms, violent torments and convulsions, so that he endeavoured to kill himself, but was restrained by his friends. The Jews thought these evils to be divine judgments upon him for his wickedness.

He left a numerous family of children and grand children, though he had put some to death, which in the space of about an hundred years, was extinct.

Herod Antepas who beheaded John the Baptist, and treated Christ contemptuously when he was brought before him, was defeated by Aretas, an Arabian king, and afterwards had his dominions taken from him, and was sent into banishment, along with his infamous wife Herodias, by the Emperor Caius.

Pontius Pilate, who condemned Christ to death, was not long afterwards deposed and banished, and died by his own hands, "Nor ought it to be passed over," says Eusebius, "that Pilate himself, who condemned our Saviour to death, fell into so great calamities in the reign of Caius, that he became his own executioner: the divine vengeance overtaking him not long after his crime."

The High Priest Caiaphas was deposed by Vitellius, three years after the death of Christ, which gave no offence to the Jews, who loved him not. Thus this wicked man who condemned Christ for fear of disobliging the Romans, was ignominiously turned out of his office by the Roman Governor.—Jorten's Remarks.

[Pg 78]


A remarkable preservation of the lives of two Moravian Missionaries on the Coast of Labrador.

(Concluded from page 35.)

The wakefulness of the missionaries proved the deliverance of the whole party from sudden destruction. About 2 o'clock in the morning, brother Liebisch perceived some salt water to drop from the roof of the snow-house upon his lips. Though rather alarmed on tasting the salt, which could not proceed from a common spray, he kept quiet, till the same dropping being more frequently repeated, just as he was about to give the alarm, on a sudden a tremendous surf broke close to the house, discharging a quantity of water into it; a second soon followed, and carried away the slab of snow placed as a door before the entrance. The missionaries immediately called aloud to the sleeping Esquimaux, to rise and quit the place. They jumped up in an instant; one of them with a large knife cut a passage through the side of the house, and each seizing some part of the baggage, it was thrown out upon a higher part of the beach, brother Turner assisting the Esquimaux. Brother Liebisch, and the woman and child, fled to a neighbouring eminence. The latter were wrapt up by the Esquimaux in a large skin, and the former took shelter behind a rock, for it was impossible to stand against the wind, snow and sleet. Scarcely had the company retreated to the eminence, when an enormous wave carried away the whole house, but nothing of consequence was lost.

They now found themselves a second time delivered from the most imminent danger of death; but the remaining part of the night, before the Esquimaux could seek and find another more safe place for a snow house, were hours of great trial to mind and body, and filled every one with painful reflections. Before the day dawned, the Esquimaux cut a hole into a large drift of snow, to screen the woman and child, and the two missionaries. Brother Liebisch, however, could not bear the closeness of the air, and was obliged to sit down at the entrance, where the Esquimaux covered him with skins, to keep him warm, as the pain in his throat was very great.

As soon as it was light, they built another snow house, and miserable as such an accommodation is at all times, they were glad and thankful to creep into it. It was about eight feet square, and six or seven feet high. They now congratulated each other on their deliverance, but found themselves in very bad plight.

The missionaries had taken but a small stock of provisions with them, merely sufficient for the short journey to Okkak. Joel, his wife and child, and Kassigiak the sorcerer, had nothing at all. They were therefore obliged to divide the small stock into daily portions, especially as there appeared no hopes of soon quitting this place, and reaching any dwellings. Only two ways were left for this purpose, either to attempt the land passage across the wild and unfrequented mountain Kiglapeit, or to wait for a new ice track over the sea, which it might require much time to form. They, therefore, resolved to serve out no more than a biscuit and a half per man per day. But as this would not by any means satisfy an Esquimaux's stomach, the missionaries offered to give one of their dogs to be killed for them, on condition, that in case distress obliged them to resort again to that expedient, the next dog killed should be one of the Esquimaux's team. They replied, that they should be glad of it, if they had a kettle to boil the flesh in; but as that was not the case, they must even suffer hunger, for they could not, even now eat dog's flesh in its raw state. The missionaries now remained in the snow house, and every day endeavoured to boil as much water over their lamp, as might serve them for two dishes of coffee a-piece. Through mercy they were preserved in good health, and brother Liebisch quite unexpectedly recovered on the first day of his sore throat. The Esquimaux also kept up their spirits, and even the rough heathen Kassigiak declared, that it was proper to be thankful that they were still alive; adding, that if they had remained a very little longer upon the ice yesterday, all their bones would have been broken to pieces in a short time. He had, however, his heels frozen, and suffered considerable pain. In the evening the missionaries sung a hymn with the Esquimaux, and continued to do it every morning and evening. The Lord was present with them, and comforted their hearts by his peace.

Towards noon of the 13th, the weather cleared up, and the sea was seen, as far as the eye could reach, quite freed from ice. Mark and Joel went up the hills to reconnoitre, and returned with the disagreeable news, that not a morsel of ice was to be seen, even from thence, in any direction, [Pg 79] and that it had even been forced away from the coast at Nuasornak. They were therefore of opinion, that we could do nothing but force our way across the mountain Kiglapeit.

To-day Kassigiak complained much of hunger, probably to obtain from the missionaries a larger portion than the common allowance. They represented to him, that they had no more for themselves, and reproved him for his impatience. Whenever the victuals were distributed, he always swallowed his portion very greedily, and put out his hand for what he saw the missionaries had left, but was easily kept from any further attempt by serious reproof. The Esquimaux eat to-day an old sack made of fish skin, which proved indeed a dry and miserable dish. While they were at this singular meal, they kept repeating, in a low humming tone, "You was a sack but a little while ago, and now you are food for us." Towards evening some flakes of ice were discovered driving towards the coast, and on the 14th, in the morning, the sea was covered with them. But the wind was again very strong, and the Esquimaux could not quit the snow house, which made them very low-spirited and melancholy. Kassigiak suggested, that it would be well "to attempt to make good weather," by which he meant to practise his art as a sorcerer, to make the weather good. The missionaries opposed it, and told him, that his heathenish practises were of no use, but that the weather would become favourable as soon as it should please God. Kassigiak then asked, "Whether Jesus could make good weather." He was told, that to Jesus was given all power in heaven and earth; upon which he demanded that he should be applied to. Another time he said, "I shall tell my countrymen at Seglek enough about you, how well you bear this misfortune." The missionaries replied, "Tell them, that in the midst of this affliction we placed our only hope and trust in Jesus Christ our Saviour, who loves all mankind, and has shed his blood to redeem them from eternal misery."

To-day the Esquimaux began to eat an old filthy and worn-out skin, which had served them for a matress.

On the 15th, the weather continued extremely boisterous, and the Esquimaux appeared every now and then to sink under disappointment. But they possess one good quality, namely, a power of going to sleep when they please, and, if need be, they will sleep for days and nights together.

In the evening the sky became clear, and their hope revived. Mark and Joel went out to reconnoitre, and brought word that the ice had acquired a considerable degree of solidity, and might soon be fit for use. The poor dogs had meanwhile fasted four days; but now in the prospect of a speedy release, the missionaries allowed to each a few morsels of food. The temperature of the air having been rather mild, it occasioned a new source of distress, for by the warm exhalations of the inhabitants, the roof of the snow house got to be in a melting state, which occasioned a continual dropping, and by degrees made every thing soaking wet. The missionaries report, that they considered this the greatest hardship they had to endure, for they had not a dry thread about them, nor a dry place to lie down in.

On the 16th, early, the sky cleared, but the fine particles of snow were driven about like clouds. Joel and Kassigiak resolved to prepare their journey to Okkak, by the way of Nuasornak, and set out, with the wind and snow full in their faces. Mark could not resolve to proceed farther north, because, in his opinion, the violence of the wind had driven the ice off the coast at Tikkerarsuk, so as to render it impossible to land; but he thought he might proceed to the south with safety, and get round Kiglapeit. The missionaries endeavoured to persuade him to follow the above company to Okkak, but it was in vain; and they did not feel at liberty to insist upon it, not being sufficiently acquainted with the circumstances. Their present distress dictated the necessity of venturing something to reach the habitations of men; and yet they were rather afraid of passing over the newly frozen sea under Kiglapeit, and could not immediately determine what to do. Brother Turner, therefore, went again with Mark to examine the ice, and both seemed satisfied that it would hold. They, therefore, came at last to a resolution to return to Nain, and commit themselves to the protection of Providence.

On the 17th, the wind had considerably increased, with heavy showers of snow and sleet, but they set off at half past ten o'clock in the forenoon. Mark ran all the way round Kiglapeit, before the sledge, to find a good tract, and about one o'clock, through God's mercy, they were out of danger, and reached the bay. Here they found a good tract upon smooth ice, made a meal of the remnant of their provisions, and got some warm coffee. Thus refreshed, they resolved to proceed without stopping till they reached Nain, where they arrived at twelve o'clock at night. The brethren at Nain rejoiced exceeding to see them return, for by several hints of the Esquimaux who first met them going out to sea, and who then, in their own obscure way, had endeavoured to warn them of the danger of the ground-swell, but had not been attended to, their fellow missionaries, and especially their wives, had been much terrified. One of these Esquimaux, whose wife had made some article of dress for brother Liebisch, whom they called Samuel, addressed her in the following manner:—"I should be glad of the [Pg 80] payment for my wife's work," "Wait a little," answered sister Liebisch, "and when my husband returns, he will settle with you, for I am unacquainted with the bargain made between you." "Samuel and William," replied the Esquimaux, "will not return any more to Nain." "How, not return! what makes you say so?" After some pause, the Esquimaux replied in a low tone, "Samuel and William are no more! all their bones are broken, and in the stomachs of the sharks." Terrified at this alarming account, sister Liebisch called in the rest of the family, and the Esquimaux was examined as to his meaning; but his answers were little less obscure. He seemed so certain of the destruction of the missionaries, that he was with difficulty prevailed on to wait some time for their return. He could not believe that they could have escaped the effects of so furious a tempest, considering the course they were taking.

It may easily be conceived, with what gratitude to God the whole family at Nain bid them welcome. During the storm they had considered with some dread, what might be the fate of their brethren, though at Nain its violence was not felt as much as on a coast unprotected by any islands. Added to this, the hints of the Esquimaux had considerably increased their apprehensions for their safety, and their fears began to get the better of their hopes. All, therefore, joined most fervently in praise and thanksgiving to God, for this signal deliverance.


No. 1.
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

"Go thou, and do likewise."

As this Society is the earliest of the kind, and as it may be called the mother of all others of a like nature, which have adopted many of its regulations and principles, we shall commence our intended series with an account of this extensive institution.

"This Society consists partly of subscribing, and partly of corresponding Members. [1] The former contribute such annual sums respectively, as each thinks proper, towards supporting the expences of the Institution. The latter are such persons in Great Britain and Ireland, and other parts of the world, as are recommended or invited to correspond with the Society, for the purpose of acquainting it, from time to time, with the state of religion in their neighbourhood; of suggesting such methods of doing good as occur to them; of distributing Bibles, Prayer-books, or any other books and tracts recommended by the Society, and of remitting such occasional benefactions, as they themselves are pleased to contribute, or are enabled to collect from well-disposed Christians."

"The object of the Society is expressed in its name. It is the promoting of Christian Knowledge generally throughout the world."

"Early in the year 1699, [2] a few individuals, of elevated station and eminent piety, both among the Clergy and Laity, began to meet together in a voluntary Society; and as such, with unanimity and zeal, and with numbers gradually increasing, they exerted themselves to advance the knowledge of true religion, by such methods as appeared to them most conducive to that end. About the middle of the year 1701, at their instance, a Charter was obtained from his Majesty King William III by which many of the then subscribing and corresponding Members, with several other persons of distinction in Church and State, were incorporated, by the name of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts for the better carrying on of that branch of the Society's designs, which related to the colonies beyond the seas, belonging to the kingdom of England."

"But the Charter of that Corporation being limited to Foreign Parts, the Members of our voluntary Society still continued, in that capacity, to prosecute their benevolent designs at home; and the Incorporated Society, confining itself principally to its British Plantations in America, the proceedings of this Institution were early intended to India, and gradually into other parts of the world. Ours, therefore, is a Society distinct from that Corporation, and [Pg 81] is known by the name of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge."

"In prosecution of this great undertaking,

"1. The Education of youth in the principles of the Christian Religion, and in habits of useful industry, has ever been an object of the Society's especial regard and concern. Its resources therefore have never failed to be liberally communicated for the benefit of Charity and Sunday Schools. And so great was its success, even at a very early period of its history, in procuring the erection and establishment of Charity-Schools, that within little more than ten years after the commencement of its proceedings, nearly five thousand children were taught in and about the cities of London and Westminster, most of them being also clothed, many boarded, apprenticed, &c. This good example, set in the metropolis was rapidly followed in all parts of the kingdom; and from the Summary View printed by the Society in the year 1741, it appears, that, besides those established in Scotland and Ireland, upwards of sixteen hundred Charity Schools had then been established in England and Wales only, in which about forty thousand poor children were regularly receiving the blessings of Christian education. And that these institutions might better answer the true purposes for which they were erected, the Society have not been wanting to recommend, in their correspondence with such of their Members as have been concerned in the support and management of the same, that, together with religious and useful instruction, care should be taken to inure the children to industry and labour, that so they may become good Christians and loyal subjects, and be willing and fit to be employed in husbandry, navigation, or any other occupation. With these views the Society printed and dispersed many editions of an account of the Methods used in erecting Charity-Schools, together with such Rules for their good order and government as had been approved of by the Archbishops and Bishops, who directed the same to be observed within their respective dioceses."

"While the design of Charity-Schools was yet new, the Society promoted their erection, not only by its advice and correspondence, but also in many cases by pecuniary supplies; by contributing towards the expences of building, to the salaries of masters, and by other methods of a similar nature. But subsequently these objects, for the most part, were gradually left to the individual exertions of the Members of the Society, and to other pious and public spirited persons, in their respective districts; and the Society itself was hereby better enabled greatly to extend its operations in one particular branch of this very important department. For of all the Schools above enumerated, and of the very many others of a like description, which, from time to time, have since been instituted, by far the greatest portion have been from their foundation constantly supplied through this Society, in whole, or in part, with the Books used therein; and with those copies of the Holy Scriptures, Books of Common Prayer, and devotional or practical Treatises, which, in many cases, are bestowed upon the young persons of each sex, at their discharge from these Schools, for their protection and guidance amid the dangers of a sinful world."

"About the year 1784, the Society saw the applications to its Repository for supplies of the above description, rapidly and extensively increase, by the introduction of Sunday-Schools. And, not doubting that Divine Providence would continue to raise up to them pious benefactors, to enable them to meet all the demands which should be occasioned by such a cause, they listened to these increased applications, not with feelings of apprehension for their own stability, but with those of unmixed satisfaction, and with thankfulness to the Giver of every good and perfect gift. The years which are gone by have amply realized their expectations in regard to this very salutary department of Christian education, both as respects themselves and the public at large."

(To be continued.)


To His Excellency Sir Peregrine Maitland, Knight Commander of the Most Honorable Military Order of the Bath, Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Upper Canada, &c. &c. &c.

We the Ministers and Elders of the Presbytery of the Canadas, assembled in Brockville, Elizabethtown, on Wednesday 13th day of Jan'y. 1815, beg permission to approach your Excellency, to express our duty to your Excellency as the representative of our beloved Sovereign, and to assure you of our firm attachment to the constitution and laws of the Province, as well as our confidence in your Excellency's administration.

We participate with your Excellency in the present prosperous state of the Province, as also, in the prospect of the increasing population, from a source that will not fail we hope, of adding strength and loyalty to the country. And in our extending commerce, [Pg 82] that will not fail we trust of increasing the wealth of the Province.

We bless the Holy Name of God, the gracious Governor of the World, that the sword of war has been sheathed in peace, and that a dispensation apparently so overwhelming for an infant country, has at least in many instances eventually benefited the country, in as much as it has added renown to the British name: consolidated our union, brought the Province into public view, and secured we hope, the approbation of our Prince. While we rejoice at being delivered from evils so alarming, as those which threatened us during the late war. We ardently wish that such signal interpositions of Divine Providence will increase our gratitude to the Divine Being; as well as the attachment of our fellow subjects to our excellent laws, and secure a cordial obedience to our civil rulers as the Ministers of God. We beg leave to assure your Excellency, that so far as belongs to our stations and characters, we shall not fail both to teach, the duties which we owe to the administrators of the Government, and practice them ourselves.

Our constant prayer at the Throne of Grace, is that the solicitude which your Excellency has hitherto manifested for the welfare of the Province, may always continue, and be effectually crowned with success by the divine blessing. And that your Excellency will ever be actuated by those grand and enlightened principles, that are at once the glory and stability of the British throne.—That your administration of British Laws in this Province, may be marked by those liberal measures in civil and religious concerns, that will not only make an indelible impression on the minds of His Majesty's loyal subjects; but that shall distinguish the page of the history of the Province, as its brightest epoch.

As it is not the extent of territory, that renders a country prosperous; but the number of its subjects, their industrious habits, their correct morals, their superior comforts, and their intellectual eminence. The voice of history attests, that these important objects have been promoted in proportion, as pure religion has prevailed. It is under the impression of sentiments of this nature, that we have witnessed with much satisfaction the encouragements afforded by the Provincial Parliament, for the support and erection of Public Schools. And we look forward with pleasing anticipations to the period, when under the auspicious aid of your Excellency, a College shall spring from these seminaries of learning, and our youth in the bosom of the Province, be qualified for all the offices of civil and ecclesiastical life.

We are particularly solicitous to express to your Excellency, that as Ministers of the peaceful, and beneficent religion of the Holy Redeemer, that our association is free from all political plans and intrigues: that its sole object, and our only motive is the promotion of the peace, and happiness of all classes of the community, and that by the rational means of extending the true knowledge, and sincere practice of Christianity, for the diffusion and advancement of which, we have consecrated our lives.

We cannot omit this opportunity of reminding your Excellency, that among His Majesty's subjects, the Presbyterians were the earliest, and have always been among the most faithful adherents to the illustrious Family now on the British Throne. We are deeply sensible of the many blessings which our fathers and ourselves have enjoyed under the Princes of the House of Brunswick, and we fervently pray, that the future glories of the British Government, and that the Reign of the Descendants of our gracious Sovereign and Prince, may be signalized by the uninterrupted enjoyment of rational liberty, pure religion and universal happiness.

We shall not trespass further on the patience of your Excellency, but shall ever offer up our most fervent prayers to the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, that He may be graciously pleased to bless and direct your Excellency, by His unerring wisdom, always incline your heart to his glory, encompass your sacred person with His favour as with a shield, and make your Administration of the Province of Upper Canada, a lasting and universal blessing,

Signed in our name, and by our appointment,

ROB't. M'DOWELL, Moderator.  
Wm. SMART, Clerk of Presbytery.


To which His Excellency was pleased to make the following reply:


I am much gratified by your Address on behalf of so respectable a portion of the people.

Be assured it is my fervent wish and prayer, that the pernicious disunion which, has partially vexed this Country, may be utterly forgotten, and that by the united efforts of us all, under the blessing of the beneficent Author of our Faith, tranquility, happiness and piety, may be established throughout the Province upon a lasting foundation.

Be assured, I feel confident, that for the production of such desirable results, you gentlemen, will prove neither the least ardent nor the least efficient labourers.


[1] "The Society has about ten thousand five hundred subscribers and donors, each of whose subscriptions and benefactions have extended from one pound one shilling, to nine thousand nine hundred and forty six pounds, four shillings, and eleven pence sterling, and in one instance, the Society received a legacy (from Lord Vryhouven) of seventy-five thousand three hundred and thirty-one pounds, four shillings, and two pence sterling."

[2] "The first Meeting took place March 8, 1608-9, at which were present the Right Hon. Lord Guildford, Sir Humphry Mackworth, Mr. Justice Hook, Dr. Bray, and Colonel Colchester."

Transcriber's Note

[The end of The Christian Recorder Vol. 1, Issue 2 (1819-April) by Various]