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assured, that if He permit his authorized teachers to be removed, and the ministrations of the pure and Apostolic Church of England to be disregarded, or to cease in Upper Canada, it will be a token that judgment is coming upon us to the utmost.
May the Spirit of Grace and supplication be poured upon the Church; may the prayer ascend from every heart, that no such calamity may befal our beloved and highly-favoured country!
I cannot refrain from thus publicly expressing my grateful sense of your Grace's unceasing kindness, and patient and prompt attention to the repeated representations of our wants and necessities, which, in the discharge of a duty, imposed upon me by the Church in Upper Canada, I have thought it expedient to lay before your Grace.
With sentiments of profound respect, and unfeigned gratitude,
I have the honour to be,
My Lord Archbishop,
Your Grace's most humble and faithful servants
28, York-street, Montague-square.
London, March 31, 1838.
The compiler of the following pages, begs utterly to disclaim any party or political motives, in bringing before the public the history, state, and wants of the Church in Upper Canada. He is satisfied, that such an attempt could not fail to injure the cause he is most anxious to advance, and would also be in direct opposition to the wishes and instructions of the Clergy, by whom he has been deputed to make that cause known. It is not the writer's intention, or wish, to impugn the measures of the present or past Governments, as originating in any design to oppress, or to deprive the Church of rights, secured to her, as well by the principles of the monarchy, as by the letter and spirit of the Constitutional act of the Province; although it cannot be denied, that the policy, of late years pursued, will not fail to have that effect. The writer indulges the hope, that the interest of the public, generally, will be awakened to the subject of our claims; and that the publication of the official documents connected with the history of our Church, in Upper Canada, may tend, in some measure, to assist those Members of Parliament whose attention has not been drawn to the question, in forming their judgment, upon which the welfare, temporal and eternal, of present and future generations, must greatly depend.
The plan which the writer has adopted in the · prosecution of his design, appears, after mature deliberation, to be the best calculated to engage attention, and to impart information. The Acts of Parliament, Instructions, &c., will be interwoven with the History of the Church, in the First Part; the proceedings of the Deputation, and the Correspondence with Her Majesty's Government, will constitute the SECOND; and the State and Wants of the Church, will be briefly exhibited in the Third.
HISTORY OF THE CHURCH.
The history of the Church, in Upper Canada, presents very little difficulty in its relation : there are many, yet living, who may remember the period when the Church in the Upper Province received a distinct existence from, although it was allowed to remain under the same Episcopate as, the Church in the Lower Province. Prior to the year 1791, the two Provinces were united, and formed one government. It will be necessary, therefore, to advert briefly to the state of the Church before the erection of the Provinces into separate governments.
The conquest of the Province of Quebec was completed in the year 1759. In the treaty which preceded the surrender, the French commander, a member of the Church of Rome, manifested a very earnest zeal for the maintenance, to that Church, of all the privileges granted to it by the French King. He succeeded in his efforts, perhaps beyond his own expectations, certainly beyond the wishes of the Protestant population of the Northern States of America, who solemnly expressed, (in “States” assembled,) their regret that such concessions should have been made to a conquered people. The rights, privileges, lands, or seigneuries held by the Romish Church previous to the conquest, were primarily secured by the articles of capitulation, and eventually confirmed by a solemn act of the British Parliament, in 1774, (14 Geo. III., c. 83.) By this act it must be admitted, that, in Lower Canada at least, the Church of Rome is recognised as the Established Church; or, if not the, certainly an Established Church. And thus at a period when we might have hoped better things, we behold the first inroad made upon that distinctive Protestantism which pervades our entire constitution, and which, indeed, is the very foundation-stone of our monarchy. It does not appear that this departure from the principles of our constitution attracted any particular attention in the Mother Country, although, as already hinted, the measure was resented and deeply reprobated by the Colonies of North America, who had, themselves, greatly contributed towards the success of our enterprises against the French. The effects of this first concession to the Church of Rome, which, as in her error, so in her enmity to the Protestant faith, boasts of being “semper eadem,” have been too plainly manifested to escape the attention of the reflecting portion of our people. The Established Church of England was not, however, entirely neglected in this legislative measure of concession to Romanism, for it is expressly provided therein, that
- It should be lawful for his Majesty, his heirs or successors, to make such provision out of the rest of the said accustomed dues and rights, for the encouragement of the Protestant religion, and for the maintenance and support of a Protestant Clergy, within the said Province, as should, from time to time, be thought necessary and expedient.”
The Clergy of our Church were thus placed in the prospective hope of participating in “ the rest of dues and rights” which remained, after a most bountiful provision for the Romish Church had been conceded. It is not, perhaps, generally known, that these “dues, and rights, and lands,” thus secured to the Church of Rome, are productive of a vast revenue. Not a curé, or parochial priest in Lower Canada, (and every parish has its Priest,) has a smaller income than £200; the generality average £300 per annum. It would be difficult to determine the amount of revenue enjoyed by the Monastic Establishments of the province: and yet, such is the liberal policy of Protestant Britain, that, as though these possessions were not sufficient, a Bishop* of the Church of Rome is actually in the receipt of £1,000 per annum from the Imperial treasury. The Clergy of the Church of England, in Lower Canada, are supported, almost exclusively,
Vide Parliamentary Proceedings, in The Times, of March 10, 1838. The Bishop of Exeter inquired of the noble baron, the Secretary for the Colonies, whether it was true that a Roman Catholic Bishop, in (Lower) Canada, received £1,000 a-year from the Government, in 1832, and that he having died in 1833, his successor had continued to receive the same allowance ? Lord Glenelg said the only answer he had to give to the Right Rev. Prelate's question was, an answer in the affirmative,