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late as 1812, when it contained upwards of 70,000 inhabitants. In truth, the colony, during the wars occasioned by the French Revolution, seemed in a manner lost sight of by the public. . :.:
“From this period, the prospects of the Church in Canada steadily brightened. In 1819, the clergy in this diocese had increased to ten. In 1825, they had arisen to twenty-two-in 1827, to thirty-in 1833, to forty-nineand our numbers have now (1841) reached ninety.”
The last statistical return, made up to June 6, 1844, gives, we observe, 105 clergymen, including the bishop, chaplains, and 47 missionaries of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. The number of churches is 147, and the average attendance at all the churches and stations 32,249, out of a Church-of-England population of 106,567. The greatest number of communicants at one time (for 123 churches) is given at 5,993. Generally
“ Canada West” (we quote the Preface to No. 1.) “is divided into 324 townships, each of them averaging an area of 100 square miles—but in 80 of them only is any clergyman to be found (1843). The entire population of the province exceeds 500,000, and is rapidly increasing. Nearly 40,000 persons went out to settle there in the year 1842. Being for the most part poor agricultural labourers, they are in a great degree dependent upon their fellow-countrymen at home for the means of public worship, and of education for their children: and those who shall contribute to supply this want, may be the instruments, under a gracious Providence, of maintaining the cause of undefiled religion among a people destined to become the founders of a great and populous empire.”
While touching on the statistics of the diocese of Toronto, it may not be unseasonable to state that, as one of the missions of the Gospel Propagation Society, its cost to the Society, for 1844, was as follows: “ Bishop of Toronto
. . £ 300 0 0 49 Missionaries
4500 4 6 8 Catechists
254 10 0 10 Divinity Students
390 00 Purchase of land
571 7 10
£ 6016 2 4” From this sum about £600 should be deducted, paid out of the clergy-reserves, and from the funds of the Upper Canada Clergy Committee. The rest falls upon the Society. The clergy not thus provided for are, we presume, parochial incumbents, chaplains, and the bishop in part. It would seem, however, that the voluntary contributions of the diocese towards local and missionary objects are by no means inconsiderable.
“We are indeed few," writes the Bishop, "and our people are scattered over a wide surface, and, for the most part, struggling with the forest and a very hard climate, for a scanty subsistence : but they begin to give, even out of their poverty: and this spirit will, it is hoped, greatly increase.......Our Church Society is endeavouring to mature a plan which, if successfully carried out, will enable us to increase our travelling missions to twelve or fourteen. This is a noble effort. Such a number labouring in the destitute back settlements will be of infinite advantage in collecting our scattered people, and preserving them in the Church. We may not be able to employ this number at once, but I feel assured, with God's blessing, that, in a little time-say within two years-the plan will be in full operation."
No. 1., as the title indicates, is a Journal of the Bishop's Visitation of the western portion of his Diocese, in the autumn of 1842. It was commenced July the 19th, and completed October 3rd.
“ During my absence from Toronto," the Bishop states, “ I consecrated two churches and one burial-ground, confirmed 756 persons at 24 different stations, and travelled, including my journeys for the formation of district branches of the Church Society, upwards of 2500 miles."
Such is the summary. Detail we have given in a former notice, so far, at least, as was necessary to illustrate the tone of the journal, and the spirit in which the bishop's diocese is administered. There are however some interesting references to the native Indians, which we would gladly quote; but it strikes us that we may do this with more effect in a distinct notice of this branch of the Society's missions to the heathen, which we hope soon to give in connection with Mr. O'Meara’s “ Report of a Mission to the Ottahwahs and Ojibwas on Lake Huron.” The subject is a very interesting one, and deserves more attention than it has received. We shall therefore postpone this part of the Bishop's Journal, and content ourselves at present with a single brief extract, recalling the attention of our readers to the point of main interest and importance, as regards the diocese of Toronto-we mean the views of the Bishop touching the Church and Dissent.
“ We remark, far and wide,” his Lordship observes, "the prevalence of religious division, and its attendant is too frequently, in this diocese, a feeling of hostility to the Church of England, Both are to be lamented and deplored: the one is almost the necessary consequence of the other. The very rights of an Institution which claims to be apostolic and divine, and the assertion of whose principles is met, in general, by no better argument than invective, is sure to create jealousy and animosity in the minds of those who are conscious of having no foundation themselves to build upon, and who, when pressed for reasons, are compelled to acknowledgments which imply, in fact, that there is no such thing as a visible Church at all. And the very maintenance of such an Institution, is always a rebuke as well as a restraint upon the rampant spirit of division; while this spiritual citadel stands there in its strength, the advocates of religious disunion are forced to manifest more exertion in their proceedings : for to that citadel, experience assures us, not a few of the sober-minded are in the habit daily of resorting, who have become tired and distressed by the discord and animosity of rival sects and parties. But we must be just in our estimate of the causes of this religious dissension, and the unprovoked hostility which is so frequently manifested towards the Church of England. The people at large have not been made acquainted with her tenets, and have not had a fair opportunity of observing the working of her principles : we must not wonder, then, if misconceptions should have prevailed, and that these have been deepened and extended
through the selfish practices of agitators. Religious instruction, according to the doctrine and discipline of the national Church, was not made to keep pace with the settlement and population of the country: no clergymen were appointed to the several townships, as they became peopled, therefore the inhabitants of these townships necessarily grew up in ignorance of the Church. And if the teachers of various forms of doctrine occupied the ground to which the lawful ministers of the Church should have been appointed, it is not likely that such ignorance should be allowed to remain a passive feeling. The moment that ground was conceived to be trespassed upon by the lawful minister, it would become a matter of expediency and interest to paint the Church in the blackest colours, and, by the most unscrupulous misrepresentations, where honest argument failed -as it ever must fail--to alienate from her every heart, and render her, if possible, an object of suspicion and dislike.
“Such results cannot be wondered at: and when we fairly review their causes, it becomes us to be guarded in our condemnation of those who have admitted the prejudice, and indulged in the animosity against the Church. Of her friends, and especially of her ministers, it is clearly the duty to endeavour to disabuse them of such prejudice; and the experience of the last few years brings the complete assurance that we have only to develope the principles and pourtray the excellences of the Church, to convert the assailant into an advocate-the persecutor into a friend."-(Journal, pp. 37–39.)
Omitting comment upon these remarks, (as we have already noticed the point), we would simply observe in regard to the diocese generally, that we heartily concur in the statement of the Society's report for last year, that “all who desire to see the borders of Christ's kingdom extended through the instrumentality of the Reformed Church of England, will look with especial interest to this great diocese (the diocese of Toronto). Upper Canada is a country of vast extent; (100,000 square miles), blessed by Providence with a rich soil and many natural advantages. It is that colony in which the British population is most rapidly increasing, and which seems destined, ere long, to become a powerful and populous state. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance, with a view not merely to the present settlers, but to all future generations, that the foundation of their social system should be laid in the faith and fear of God-in the religious education of the young, and the full and frequent ministration of the word and sacraments to all.” When we consider indeed how probable it is that the principles impressed upon the minds of the first colonists in a new country will be transmitted to successive generations, and how rapidly population increases in a young settlement, these remarks must commend themselves at once as in the highest degree reasonable and weighty. “The total population of the North American colonies, at the time when the Church established its first mission on the shores of New England, in 1702, is computed to have been 250,000; at the Declaration of Independence, it was about 3,000,000; it amounts now to 17,000,000 : and should the same ratio of increase continue (of
which there seems no reason to doubt), it will, in one more century, be between two and three hundred millions ; who will all, more or less, bear the impression which has been stamped upon them by their fathers, the founders of the several colonies.” Such is Mr. Hawkins's statement in the Preface to his Historical Notices of the Missions of the Church of England in the North American colonies, previous to the Independence of the United States. He adds most justly :-“Whatever be cast into the soil of a new country, be it good seed or tares, will take root, and spring up with an abundant harvest : and this is a truth which no country was ever so bound to understand and act upon as England: our colonies in every part of the world are fast growing into great nations : and upon ourselves—the Church and realm of England--it depends to mould their institutions, and fix their principles." Devoutly do we wish that the remark may be applied in all its force to the colony under notice, and to the diocese of Toronto in particular, The province of Upper Canada, in 1812, contained but a population of 70,000. It now exceeds 500,000, double the entire population of the North American colonies in 1702, “ and is rapidly increasing. Nearly 40,000 persons went out to settle there in the year 1842." There were but five clergymen in Upper Canada, so recently as 1812. It now numbers not fewer than 105-has been erected into a separate diocese—has its Church newspaper, its Church Society, its college and professors, and is strong enough, it seems, to furnish " a due supply of persons fitly qualified,” as the Report states, “ to serve in the ministry of the settled parishes,” and can now send out its " missionaries among the scattered population of the forest." What elements of increase! What a prospect for the future! How much must depend upon the fit qualification of this now indigenous ministry, and the character of the seed sown by them in the new soil now breaking up in all directions, and promising an abundant harvest! Whether (to adopt the language of the Society's Report) “ we may look to the result with confidence," " as far as the zealous exertions” of the labourers now employed can operate, is a question of pressing interest; and glad should we be to entertain the sanguine view so warmly expressed by the home-directors—or rather we would say, patrons, of this important mission. But we cannot think, with them, that “ of the bishop himself it is needless to speak.” We may not dissent from the tribute to “ his unceasing labours and journeyings,” or to “ the zealous exertions of the devoted labourers” associated with him, of whom the bishop says, “I do not believe it possible, that a more laborious body of clergy than mine is anywhere to be found.” We readily admit that the dio
cese of Toronto exhibits decisive evidence of untiring zeal and devoted energy: there is clearly brought into operation in that most important sphere an influence of no ordinary character for the extension and establishment of the Church's ordinances, upon the principles so firmly held by the bishop and his coadjutor, the principal of Cobourg College and editor of the Church newspaper. But whether these principles are in strict accordance with those of our apostolical Church and the Scriptures of truth, is another question; and one, we conceive, which demands the most serious inquiry on the part of those who are contributing to their support the large annual sum of about £6000. We cannot think that a Society which regards as irresponsible, and supports thus bountifully, what is fast becoming an " indigenous colonial Church, will have, or ought to have, the entire confidence of the Church at home. The present aspect of the diocese of Toronto, as controlled by its governing authorities, appears to us in several respects far from satisfactory, and such as loudly calls for the intervention of the administrators of our public funds, and the responsible guardians of the Church's integrity.' But we must content ourselves at present with this general remark, passing on to the other ecclesiastical division of the Canadas—the diocese of Quebec. “ The province of Canada,” the preface to No. II. informs us,
was first formed into a diocese in the year 1793, under the episcopal superintendence of Dr. Jacob Mountain, the father of the present excellent prelate. In 1826, the Hon. Charles Stewart, the devoted missionary to St. Armand, succeeded to
Since the above was written, we have met with the following communication from the Bishop of Toronto (Jan. 19, 1846,) which it seems but just to add.
“But," says the Bishop, “ while I saw much reason to call forth our thanksgivings to Almighty God, in passing through the province, from beholding the vigorous progress of the Church, wherever she found an opening; the congregations that were forming in all directions; and churches, of a simple and cheap structure, that were rising in every district: there is another aspect which the diocese presents, of a far different character, and in which it exhibits, I must in sorrow confess, a melancholy picture.
"In this view, the map of the diocese of Toronto, notwithstanding what has been done, presents an appalling degree of spiritual destitution. To the district of Ottawa, comprising nine townships, or more than a thousand square miles, I have not yet been able to send a single resident clergyman. In the Wellington and Victoria districts, each containing twelve townships,-in all, nearly 3000 square miles,--we have only two clergymen. In other directions, large portions of the country remain entirely without Gospel privileges, and have never seen the face of a single clergyman. Some again are visited occasionally by a travelling missionary, or the nearest resident clergyman : but such visits are from necessity very rare and at long intervals. . We daily meet with settlers who tell us, in deep sorrow, that they have never heard divine service since they came to the country: or if it chance that a travelling missionary makes his appearance, he is a stranger whom they may never see again, and whom they cannot send for in the hour of misfortune or of death. In fine, nothing happens for months, nay, for years, in many of our townships, to remind the inhabitants of the existence of a God.”
Owing to the constant increase of immigration and extension of settlements, more than one hundred additional clergy are wanted to relieve even a portion of our spiritual destitution.”