Imágenes de páginas

Often have even the sufferings of an animal impressed on his thoughts the evil of sin, or the silent monition of fields and groves raised his mind to brighter worlds, where

"Heaven's immortal spring shall yet arrive,

And man's majestic beauty bloom again, Bright through the year of love's triumphant reign."

When harassed by the disorders and inconsistencies of the moral world, often has he been soothed by the characters of Divine love impressed on so many of the scenes around him; and often, too, has he been awed into humilitybyequallyevident marks of vindictive justice; and this even before he began to perceive that Nature could only display, and notreconcile, these apparently conflicting attributes. Thus Nature, under the Divine blessing, became to him a lesser light, which ruled his anxious night of spiritual ignorauce, and ushered in the dawn of Divine illumination. And now, though rejoicing in the greater light, he is still open to the influence of these tributary rays, and feels gratefully disposed to be reminded of his Almighty Benefactor and Preserver, through the medium of his works. The close and affecting analogy which exists between the processes of nature and the process which has been carried on in his own soul, is another circumstance which serves still more to rivet his regard; since he can scarcely go abroad among her productions without being reminded of that delicate arrangement by which the spiritual blade has been fostered and the full ear developed.

The difference between these two characters is the result, neither of wilful neglect in the one, nor of meritorious effort in the other. It has arisen from the temper of their minds, the habits of their education, and in some measure,

from the peculiarities of their spiritual noviciate. Hence the devout admirer of nature should learn to

regard the indifference of his Christian brother, not merely with forbearance, but respect; and should keep in mind, that his own aptitude to improve the influence of natural objects is, as much as any other means of grace, the gift of God, and must therefore be considered as a talent for which a strict account will be required. He will feel how much less frequently his taste for the works of creation has been made the auxiliary of devotion than it might have been; how often the solemn appeals of animate or inanimate nature have been made in vain; how often, under the effects of a ruffled temper, or a perverse inclination, he has resisted those influences which were so well calculated to win him back to calm and profitable meditation. Thus, if ever he is disposed to indulge self-complaisance in the consciousness of a gift so flattering to human pride as that of mental susceptibility and taste, these reflections will temper his satisfaction, and make him feel how, even in trifles, the heart is prone to any destination rather than that which constitutes its truest privilege and best enjoyment.

On the other hand, let the op. posite character, who is disposed to treat as airy nothings the imaginative musings of his neighbour, and to pride himself upon the strength and sterling qualities of a mind that disdains them, remember that this difference of opinion may originate rather in the bluntness of his own perceptions than in the diseased or puerile state of his neighbour's understanding; and that no talent is to be despised which has the power of leading the mind to sacred meditations, or the heart to devout affections.

C. D.

To the Editor of the Christian Observer..

A CORRESPONDENT in your Number for last September has proposed the following query: Is it the duty

of religious persons to attend the service of God in their parish church, in cases where the minister is notoriously deficient in exhibiting the peculiar doctrines of the Gospel, and where, in truth, they go in expectation of nothing beyond merely moral discourses?

In addition to the excellent reply of Philiturgus, in your Number for November, I would remark, that if your querist live in London, he must know that many religious persons, and sound churchmen, do not regularly attend their parish church: nor does such regularity, I think, appear binding upon them; chiefly because their example is not so prominent as to be detrimental to the interests of religious order; nor can the churches contain all the parishioners.

If he reside in the country, he must be sensible that, when he ceases to attend his parish church, be must, in nine instances out of ten, frequent either a Dissenting Meeting house or remain at home. But it is presumed, that no religious churchman would do either, unless forcibly driven from his

church by the heterodoxy, rather than by the morality, of the minister's preaching.

Itching ears" and irregularity are sedulously to be avoided; but it also may be further observed, that no religious person seems bound to shew an approval of such merely moral and defective preaching, by uninterrupted attendance. He may conscientiously avail himself of the ministryof a neighbouring clergyman; but, I think, he ought, if opportunity serve, candidly to acquaint his minister with the cause of his occasional absence, and to state his continued preference for the established order of religion. At the same time, let him not forget that he may read eminent divines and devotional writers at home. He has Moses and the Prophets; he can hear Christ and his Apostles; and with these helps, if he be persevering in prayer for the blessed influences of the Holy Spirit, he will not retrograde very much, although he should not always have the privilege of hearing such preaching as he most approves.

A. B.


To the Editor of the Christian Observer. IN the course of the year 1820, and the spring of 1821, I made an extensive tour through Upper and Lower Canada and the United States of America, traversing the latter through Maine and Louisiana, through Alabama, and back again through the States of Mississippi and Tennessee.

Although I had no intention of remaining in the country, the subject of emigration had become so interesting before I left England, that it was natural that in a jour ney of nearly 8000 miles in the New World, about 1800 of which I per

formed on horseback, that subject should engage much of my attention.

I was by no means qualified, either by previous habits or information, to avail myself fully of the valuable opportunities of observavation which I enjoyed: but I made a few general remarks on the subject, in my correspondence with my brother; and having found on my arrival at home that he had preserved my letters, it has occurred to me, that, superficial as my knowledge was on many parts of the subject, I might possibly add something to the general stock of information on a question so pe

culiarly interesting at a time in which so many persons have been under the painful necessity of deciding on the eligibility of expatriating themselves, in order to find in the New World a freedom from those cares under which they were sinking in the Old.

If on perusing the letters I send you-which are copied, I believe, without any alteration except where there are personal allusions -it should be compatible with your plans to insert them in the Christian Observer, they are quite at your service.

At a future time I may perhaps trouble you with some remarks on the religion and morals of the United States, if I persuade myself they will be of any interest.

Although I most decidedly prefer my own country, I feel that very great injustice has been done to America by most of our travellers and journalists; and I was gratified to perceive, that the Christian Observer, in the true spirit which becomes its character, was the first to endeavour to establish a more correct as well as a more candid and liberal appreciation of that interesting and powerful, though in some respects rival, nation.


Philadelphia, Nov. 6, 1820. Neither am I able to write to you as fully as I could desire on the subject of emigration to the United States, upon which you say you should wish to hear what occurs to me. On this difficult and interesting topic, I will enter more particularly shortly; and, in the mean time, will send you the result of my observations on the inducements which Canada appeared to me to offer to English labourers and other persons of little or no property. Those observations were necessarily both rapid and superficial; and my information is proportionably scanty, although I endeavoured to seize every opportunity of obtaining intelligence.


The lands which the Government is at present distributing in Upper Canada lie parallel to the St. Lawrence and the Lakes, and constitute a range of townships in the rear of those already granted. They are said to be no where above ten or fifteen miles distant from the old settlements. Land officers are established in ten different districts, in order to save the emigrants the trouble of going up to York; but their power is restricted to grants of a hundred acres. When an emigrant has chosen the township in which he wishes to settle, and has complied with the necessary formalities, he receives, by lot, a location-ticket for a particular hundred acres, with a condition that he is not to dispose of them for three years. The title is not given till he has performed his settling duties; which are, to clear five acres in each hundred, and the half of the road in front. Now these certainly appear to be very easy conditions on which to obtain the fee simple of a hundred acres : and the proposal to emigrate must therefore be a tempting one to a starving labourer or mechanic.

The real inducements, however, are so much less than the apparent ones, that although many would wisely emigrate even with a full conviction of the difficulties they had to encounter, I believe that, at present, there is not one emigrant in five hundred who does. not feel bitterly disappointed on his arrival at Quebec. Instead of finding himself, as his confused ideas of geography had led him to expect, on the very borders of his little estate, he learns with astonishment that he is still five hundred miles from his transatlantic acres; and, if he has no money in his pocket, he may probably have to encounter, in reaching them, more severe distress than he ever felt at home. There is indeed much benevolent feeling towards emigrants both at Quebec and Montreal; and societies have D

been formed in each of these places, to afford them information and relief; but the inhabitants are beginning to complain that the requisitions for this purpose are becoming more burdensome than even the English poor-rates. The steamboat companies are also liberal (in deed almost every man of property feels a personal interest in the encouragement of emigration); but an emigrant must be unusually fortunate who reaches the Land Office in Upper Canada, without expending at least 57. after landing at Quebec. The emigrants who accompanied us in the steam-boat in which I ascended the St. Lawrence, were some of those lately sent out free of expense by ourGovernment; but there was one, a smart shoemaker, not of that number, who had been detained some weeks at Quebec earning money to carry him up the river.

When the emigrant arrives at the Land Office of the district where he proposes to settle, determined perhaps in his choice by the hope that his lot will place him in the vicinity of an old acquaintance, he may probably have to wait some weeks before the next distribution takes place; during which he must be supporting himself at an expense increased by his ignorance of the manners of the country. He then learns, perhaps for the first time, that there are certain fees to be paid at the different offices through which his papers must pass. I have a list of these before me, in which they are stated to be,

[blocks in formation]

veral of the principal merchants at Montreal, who did not dispute it; one of them observing only that he believed there had been cases in which grants of 50 acres were made without fees *. It is much to be regretted that where land is said to be gratuitously bestowed, any fees should be deemed necessary; as the bron, when accompanied with this demand, is calculated to produce discontent rather than gratitude, especially where the emigrant finds that his fees amount to one half the sum at which he could select and buy the same quantity of land, without the delay attending the grant, and unshackled with any conditions or clearing dues. The surveyors receive their compensation in land, and generally secure the most valuable portions. When I was in Canada, they would sell their best lots at one dollar per acre; while 137. 10s., the fees on a hundred acres, amount to more than half a dollar per acre. I never met with any one person among all those with whom I conversed on the subject, who did not agree that, if a settler had but a very little money it would be much more to his advantage to buy land, than to receive it from government.

Supposing the emigrant to be able to pay his fees, he may still have the misfortune to find that his allotment (for he can only choose his township, not his estate,) is not worth cultivating. In this case he has to pay two respectable persons for surveying and certifying it to be irreclaimable; and he is then permitted to take his chance in the next distribution. Generally speaking, I believe he may expect to find himself in his own forest from three to six weeks after his arrival at the Land Office in Upper Canada.

Even then his situation is most dreary, especially if he has no neighbour within a reasonable distance, and has to purchase and

I believe grants of 50 acres are generally, or always, to be obtained with out fees.

carry his provisions from a remote settlement. But if he has no money to procure food; if he has a wife and family to provide for, without the forlorn hope of parish assistance; if he is a weaver or a spinner, accustomed to warm rooms, and to employments little calculated to impart either the mental or physical qualifications essential to his very support; if he is, in fact, of a class to which a large proportion of the poor emigrants from Great Britain belong, I can hardly conceive any thing more distressing than his sensations, when, arriving on his new estate, with an axe in his hand and all his worldly goods in his wallet, he finds himself in the midst of a thick forest, whose lofty trees are to be displaced by a labour almost Herculean, before he can erect the most humble shelter, or cultivate the smallest patch. And if at such a time he has further to anticipate the rigours of a long Canadian winter, his situation must be deplorable in the extreme.

Under such circumstances, which I should imagine are the ordinary circumstances of the poorest emigrants to Canada, I can conceive of no resource, nor could I hear of any, except that of hiring them selves to some older settler, in the hope of saving a trifle in order to be able, in the course of time, to pay for clearing an acre or two of their forest farm, or to buy provisions while they attempt a task for which they are little qualified. Sometimes a few will join, and one half hire themselves out to obtain provisions for the other half while felling the trees. If they surmount the difficulties of the first year, they may expect at its termination to be in possession of an adequate supply of food for their families; and with the prospect, if they are industrious, of being independent and progressively prosperous during the remainder of their lives.

Those, however, who have money enough to provide for their immediate wants, and to pay the expense

of clearing a moderate proportion of their land, (possessing 100l. to 200l. or 500l. for instance,) may, in a single year, be very comfortably settled in a decent log-house with out-buildings, and with every prospect of a liberal supply of all the substantial comforts of a farm. Every year would add largely to their abundance, and to their facilities for improving and extending their estate; but they would accumulate money but slowly, unless they had, as they probably would have, an occasional foreign market for their grain besides the West Indies. They may also derive some little profit from pot and pearl ashes, which Mr. G- of Montreal told me he received on consignment from Ohio; a distance of 800 miles, by way of Lake Erie and Ontario. The situation of the Upper Canadians is further said to be favourable to the culture of hemp, notwithstanding the failure hitherto of the most promising experiments.

Grain, however, will be their staple commodity; and although the large body of settlers who arrive annually may afford a temporary market, they will soon produce far more than they consume, and under ordinary circumstances will depress the prices very nearly to a level with the cost of production. Indeed I heard the farmers of Lower Canada complaining that their markets were glutted with the produce of the Upper Province.

For several years the average price of wheat in Upper Canada has been about five shillings for sixty pounds; but on the American shores of the Lake we found it at twenty-five to thirty-three cents; and although its introduction into Upper Canada is either prohibited or shackled with heavy duties, it of course will find its way into the province whenever the price there is materially higher than at home. In the Lower Province, when our ports are open, they consume American grain, and export their own; as it is necessary their ship

« AnteriorContinuar »