Page images

eastern and western views, will be forty inches by twenty, five; two of the northern and southern thirty by twentyfive. They will be executed either in the line manner, or so coloured as to imitate finished drawings; and the prices, to be paid on delivery, (probably in 1824,) will be eight guineas for the first, and ten for the second.

We heartily wish Mr. Horner success in his undertaking, which (were it not that we always have the fear of a pun before our eyes,) we may truly characterize as most arduous. The good citizens of London, while gaping with fixed wonderment at the crow's nest which crowned their metropolitan Cathedral, little dreamed of the new Stylites who occupied its summit. Those who cannot raise their imagination to the difficulty and danger of the attempt, may obtain a more adequate conception of it by consulting the two plates given in the pamphlet. The second, presenting a section of the dome of St. Paul's, and a view of the surrounding streets, is most ingeniously contrived, by unfolding, to present a large surface, and, besides this, is most pleasingly executed.

ART. VI. Letters to the Earl of Liverpool on the State of

the Colonies. Letter I. By a Member of Parliament.

pp. 70. Underwoods. ART. VII. A Letter to Mr. S. C. Blyth, occasioned by the

recent Publication of the Narrative of his Conversion to the Romish Faith. By a Catholic Christian. pp. 283.

Montreal. Mower. 1822. “ It has been the misfortune of England," says the author of the former of the pamphlets, of which the titles stand at the head of this article," that she has uniformly mismanaged her colonies; it has been her reproach, that she has given less attention to their religious interests, than any of the Roman Catholic powers. She has already largely paid, and she is in danger of again paying, the forfeit of her want of political prudence, and religious principle.” The truth of this charge has long been felt by every man of sound political and religious views; and it has been suppressed principally because persons of this description are always laudably cautious in giving credit to complaints against government, which too ofter originate in a spirit of party, and are unwilling to appear,

even for a moment, on the side of those, whose habit it is on all occasions to arraign “ the powers that be.". For, strange as it will doubtless appear to many of our readers, the party who, in our Colonies, have to complain of neglect, and, in many instances, of positive discouragement shewn them by the Ministers of the Crown, are the loyal members of the Church of England, who look up to the mother country for protection and support, and dread nothing so much as a separation of interests; while they who have been indulged, and courted, and listened to, are precisely the description of persons whom in this country we should vulgarly term radicals-men who have no tie which attaches them either to the laws, the constitution, or the religion of Great Britain, and who would eagerly embrace any safe opportunity of asserting their perfect independence. The hollow and heartless policy which has dictated this line of conduct is easily construed. Of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and of all her members, the loyalty and the fidelity cannot be doubted; upon them we may, at all events, rely. The Roman Catholics and, dissenters, especially the Presbyterians, cannot be confided in ; we bave no hold upon them beyond their interest and their fears. Therefore we will give them all the encouragement, and bestow upon them all the favours in our power, in order to secure both parties !

How far the government of this country deserves censure for the adoption of this short-sighted and unworthy craft, it is not our purpose to inquire. We rather believe that, in the manner in which the public business of the empire bas hitherto been arranged, it has been little less than impossible that any of the responsible Ministers of the Crown should have devoted considerable time or attention to the affairs of the Colonies; and that the business of that department has been unavoidably consigned to the inferior secretaries in the offices. Be this as it may, it is high time that proper provision should be made for the transaction of all colonial busi. ness, and more especially for a confidential intercourse between those persons who have the conduct of ecclesiastical affairs. And we welcome, with no little gratification, the first symptom of awakened attention to so important a subject in the form of a short Letter to the Premier by a member of the legislature. The letter, which, we trust sincerely, professes to be only the first of a series, is written with considerable force, and contains some information which has not yet been laid before the public.

It appears to have been put together in haste, and ventures upon strictures the spirit of which is hardly consistent

with its general tone of respect towards the noble and highprincipled personage to whom it is addressed ; and it betrays, though pregnant with valuable matter, that deficiency of private intelligence and local knowledge which might naturally be expected in a writer living at such a distance from the scene of those transactions to which he alludes, and relying upon the statements of Colonial Gazettes. At page 44, for example, in speaking of the Church at Quebec, he introdaces the following curious paragraph.

“ The English Bishop is, indeed, I understand, very well provided for in point of income; and, I am told, he is sufficiently active in discharging the duties more immediately appertaining to his office : but respecting those matters which form the principal subject of this letter, he is passive in the extreme: whether from a love of peace, or a fear of missing promotion, it is not my business to inquire."

Now all this betrays a total ignorance of the private correspondence of the Colonial Department for the last thirty years. We happen to know that the venerable Prelate who has, during that period, presided over the Canadian Church, has been unwearied in his representations, on the very subject of this Letter, to every successive administration, and to every society or person in this kingdom who could have in. fluence in the affairs of the Colonies. We believe that he has more than once run the risk of offending the Secretary of State by the boldness of his remonstrances, and the urgency of his expostulations in behalf of his Church ; and little indeed can he know of that truly apostolical character, who could insinuate that either “ the fear of missing promotion," or the hope of obtaining it, bas ever for a moment guided his conduct. Not to know him is the misfortune of our author-the groundless insinuation might bave been spared. The state of the Canadas, and especially the ecelesiastical polity of that important Colony, form the exclusive subject of the first and only Letter which has yet appeared ; and we are more than ever confirmed in our opinion that Canada is in great danger of being completely revolutionized in consequence of the measures adopted by our government, and particularly of their total dereliction of the principles upon which the Church of England was establisbed in that country by the wisdom of the greatest statesman of modern times.

Mr. Pitt, advised undoubtedly by a right reverend friend to whom the Church is so much indebted, became early in life convinced that the only secure foundation for the maintenance of legitimate authority in the State is the formation and establishment of a Protestant Episcopal Church-Protestant, because the Roman Catholics can never be wellaffected to any but a Ronian Catholic Crown-Episcopal, because every other form of Protestantism tends directly to democracy, and ultimately to independence. With these, and it is boped with much higher motives, did that illustrious minister found the Established Church at Quebec, and confide its infancy to a Bishop who singularly united in his own person the various and almost incompatible qualifications for so difficult a station : an Herculean robustness of body; courtly manners ; primitive disinterestedness; great learning and powerful eloquence; ardent zeal; and sound orthodoxy. The Canadian Church, established upon such grounds, and confided to such bands, rose rapidly into power, and drew into its pale thousands of those loose and unsystematic believers who, till then, scarce knew the value of a regular ministry, or the distinction between a Church and a sect. The Bishop built churches, ordained ministers, preached in person at the New Settlements, and carried into effect, in a surprizingly short space of time, the enlarged and pious views of the Sovereign and of the Premier.

During this golden age of the Canadas, the ancient French inhabitants were perfectly contented under the paternal government of Great Britain. They enjoyed a perfect toleration of their religion, and an immunity from taxation, together with as mueh personal liberty as is compatible with social order; and they had acquired no notions of the abstract rights of man, nor any desires after political importance. They were peaceful, respectful, honest, hospitable, and generous; and no peasantry could offer a more engaging appearance to the traveller.

But unhappily Mr. Pitt, who was an ardent admirer of the British Constitution, had given the Canadians a constitution formed upon the same model. The Governor and Executive Council, the Legislative Council, and the provinciał House of Assembly, were a mimic representation of the King in Council, the Lords, and Commons; and this machinery, wholly unadapted to the character and to the wants of the people, after lying for some time dormant, began to work with a vehemence that soon defied the controul of the military men who went out as temporary governors, and awakened, in the simple bosoms of Canadian habitans, the evil spirit of insubordination. The Romish Bishop, a quiet and humbleminded man, with whom the Protestant Bishop had lived upon terms of the most friendly intercourse, died, and


he was sacceeded by a person who possesses all the profound design, the knowledge of intrigue, and the boundless ambition which have ever distinguished the order of Jesuits, By bim the rising spirit of political discontent was combined with a jealousy of the established religion, and a violent abhorrence of Protestantism; the priests, over whom he possesses absolute power, by assuming a right of removing them from their livings at pleasure, were inoculated with a rage for proselytism; and a distinction of the most invidious nature, between the Canadian and English parties, eat like a canker into the heart of society, and corrupted even the distant settlers amid their half-cleared farms and log-tenements.

“ The freedom of the constitution was held up to them as something precious, beyond all that they had ever hoped for, or conceived. The dignity, the value of the elective franchise, was magnified to excess; and the new-born vanity of farmers, shopkeepers, and mechanics, and the more mischievous ambition of advocates, attornies, and notaries, spurred them forward, as candidates, for a seat in the assembly, and soon filled the benches of that house with representatives, the majority of whom were perfectly ignorant of the business that brought them there, and the minority possessed just knowledge enough to turn the ignorance of their brethren to the purposes of their own ambition. The consequences have been such as might well have been foreseen. 'Halfeducated, low-minded, intriguing, and factious demagogues, have forced

upon the minds of their simple and uninstructed countrymen, a distrust of the government, a fixed persuasion that it is the constant object of its principal officers to infringe upon their rights and liberties, and an increasing aversion from every thing that is English.” Letter I. p. 7.

Such was the state of public feeling in the Canadas, when unfortunately Sir George Prevost was sent out as governor. The military conduct of that officer bas been sufficiently exposed in another Journal*: his domestic management of the Colony was no less censurable. Finding that the Canadian party gave him most trouble, his object was to obtain a temporary popularity for his own administration, and a peaceable residence for himself, by every possible species and degree of weak concession, which he dignified with the name of conciliation. The Catholic Bishop, being at the head of the party, was honoured with a seat in the Legislative Council, received a pension of 15001. per annum, which he still enjoys, and was, either overtly or tacitly, confirmed in all the

* Quarterly Review.

« PreviousContinue »