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THE CLERGY RESERVES:

THEIR

HISTORY AND PRESENT POSITION,

SHOWING THE SYSTEMATIC ATTEMPTS THAT HAVE BEEN MADE TO

ESTABLISH IN CONNECTION WITH THE STATE, A

DOMINANT CHURCH IN CANADA.

WITH

A FULL ACCOUNT OF THE RECTORIES.

Also an Appendix

CONTAINING DR. ROLPH'S SPEECH ON THE CLERGY RESERVES, DELIVERED IN 1836.

BY CHARLES LINDSAY,

PRINTED AT THE

NORTH AMERICAN PRESS, YONGE STREET, TORONTO.

MDCCC LI.

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INTRODUCTION.

there would have existed no other means of sus

taining the Provincial Oligarchy than a constant A quarter of a century of patriotic effort to raze and hazardous exercise of the Imperial veto; a the foundations of a hierarchy of which the Cler- practice that would have induced a dangerous gy Reserves furnished the materials has failed of conflict between the Crown and the people. It full and complete success. The last decisive

was found more convenient to combat and thwart battle has yet to be fought. Before these lands the constitutional expressions of the popular will yielded a product available for the support of any through that branch of the Legislature of which religicus denomination, the voice of public opin- the fancied resemblance to the Imperial House of ion, expressed through its constitutional organ

the Lords invested it with a marked characteristic of representative branch of the Upper Canada Le- the British Constitution. The Legislative Coungislature, had already devoted them to secular ob

cil did not represent the Crown by whom its memjects of general utility. But the influence of the

bers' were nominally appointed; nor had it any
reigning Oligarchy was sufficient to set at defi- pretensions to represent a people with whose se-
ance that public opinion which no intimidation, lected representatives it was at perpetual hostility.
no political proscription, no bribery and no avail- It was at once the creature and the prop of the
able species of corruption could bring to its sup- Oligarchy by whom its members were nominated
port. The constitutional right of Parliament to de- for the confirmation of the Crown. To the cir-
vote the Clergy Reserves to secular purposes never cumstance of the machinery of state so construct-
admitted of a doubt. This right was expressly ed being an elaborate fraud, was owing the non-
given by the constitutional charter which gave secularization of the Clergy Reserves by the Par-
the Provincial Parliaments of Upper and Lower liament of Upper Canada a full quarter of a cen-
Canada an existence. It was this self-same tury ago. Parliament with the right, was cheated
legal instrument which at once authorized the of the power, which, with tantalizing mockery, it
making of the Reserves and vested in the two was invited to exercise.
branches of the Legislatures which it created the These peculiar obstructions to a successful
power to annul them. This

power
the Repre-

course of Legislative action on the Clergy Resentative branch of the Upper Canada Parliament serves, in accordance with the demands of the , frequently essayed to exercise; but its efforts were people, have ceased to exist. The Legislative rendered nugatory by the constant opposition of Council, whatever be its general merits, is now the nominees of the crown in the Legislative Coun- | required to harmonize in sentiment and action cil. The unfair construction of this branch of the with the elective Chamber, which possesses a Legislature, from which every popular element sovereign control over the actions and indeed the was rigidly excluded, was in some sort a necessity very existence of the Provincial Ministry. of the irresponsible system under which the affairs The last ten years' history of the question posof the Province were then administered; for it sesses a subordinate interest compared with that would never have been tolerated that the execu. of the twenty years preceeding. Not that the tive government should be in constant collision question itself has diminished in importance ; but with both houses of Parliament. In that case, of late years the action of the Provincial Parlia-

1824

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