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The St. Clair case and the regulation of the obscene in pre-World War One Ontario Campbell, Lyndsay Mills 1998

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T H E ST. CLAIR CASE AND THE REGULATION OF T H E OBSCENE IN PRE-WORLD W A R O N E ONTARIO by Lyndsay Mills Campbell B.A., The University of British Columbia, 1990 M.A, The University of Toronto, 1991 LL.B., The University of British Columbia, 1995 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF LAWS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Faculty of Law) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA December 1998 © Lyndsay Mills Campbell, 1998 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) 11 Abstract In 1912 in Toronto the Congregationalist lay minister, Robert B . St. Clair was arrested and convicted of circulating obscene literature, after he published and distributed an explicit description o f a performance called The Darlings of Paris that played at a local burlesque house called the Star Theatre. St. Clair 's experiences and its aftermath provide a lens through which to view the problem that the regulation of obscenity posed for moral reformers in Toronto during this period. Adopting a broad understanding of the concept of regulation and paying close attention to the discourses evident in a variety o f primary sources, this thesis examines the St. Clair case against its religious, literary, social and legal backdrop. It discusses the origins o f Canadian obscenity law and contrasts the regulation o f the obscene in Canada during this period with the situation in England and the United States. This thesis shows that the ability of moral reformers in Toronto to regulate obscenity, and the Toronto stage in particular, was on the decline by 1913. Doubt was creeping into legal and extra-legal discourses that the words obscene, indecent and immoral had absolutely certain meanings, but there was still substantial certainty that art was morally uplifting. The sense that art could have immoral, indecent or pornographic aspects, and could therefore be difficult to distinguish from obscenity, had not yet entered Canada's, and particularly Ontario's, legal sensibility, but it was on its way. Ill Table of Contents Abstract ii Table of Contents iii Acknowledgments iv Chapter One: Introduction and Approach 1 Chapter Two: Protestantism in Toronto in the Early Twentieth Century 9 T h e C h u r c h e s and C a n a d i a n P h i l o s o p h y i n the Nineteenth Century 9 A n g l i c a n s 10 M e t h o d i s t s 16 Presbyterians 20 T h e Congregat ional C h u r c h o f C a n a d a and the Congregat ional U n i t e d B r e t h r e n 27 M i n o r Protestant G r o u p s 28 T h e D e c l i n e o f the M a j o r Protestant Churches i n the E a r l y Twent ie th Century 29 C o n c l u s i o n 37 Chapter Three: The Texture of a Culture 39 E d u c a t i o n 39 Literature, the Stage and C r i t i c i s m 41 T h e C l e r g y , the W o m e n ' s G r o u p s and Censorship 52 T h e P o l i c e and the Courts 60 T h e W o r k i n g Classes and the Performers on the B u r l e s q u e Stage 64 C o n c l u s i o n 67 Chapter Four: Obscenity and Law 70 T h e W i d e r Context : T h e o r i z i n g about Obsceni ty 71 C a n a d i a n O b s c e n i t y L a w by the 1910s 85 C o n c l u s i o n 106 Chapter Five: St. Clair 108 T h e events l eading up to St. C l a i r ' s arrest 108 S u m m e r 1912 116 St. C l a i r ' s T r i a l 119 T h e Af termath o f St. C l a i r ' s T r i a l 123 The N o r m a l S c h o o l Incident 128 L a w R e f o r m M o v e m e n t s 132 T h e Stair T r i a l 135 A f t e r the Stair T r i a l 138 St. C l a i r ' s A p p e a l 140 T h e Af termath 146 C o n c l u s i o n 148 Chapter Six: Conclusion 151 Appendix I: St. Clair's Bulletin 158 Lyndsay Campbell December 17, 1998 IV Acknowledgments I would like to thank a number of people and organizations in connection with this thesis. First, my thesis supervisor and second reader, Wes Pue and John McLaren. Their assistance, support and good-natured criticism have been invaluable, and I am grateful for the speed with which they have read drafts and returned comments to me. I am quite sure that there is no better pair o f readers anywhere in the world. I have benefited also from discussions with Craig Wilson and Bruce Ryder, who have shared their thoughts and observations about censorship in Canada before World War I, and I would like to thank Craig in particular for giving me not one but two drafts of his upcoming article on the censorship activities of the W C T U and N C W . D o n Lewis and Mark Phill ips have provided essential guidance on, respectively, church history and hermeneutic theory. Susan Lewthwaite at the archives of the L a w Society o f Upper Canada was very helpful, and I have borne in mind for several years Carolyn Strange's comments on an early foray into the St. Clair affair. I would also like to thank Mr. Justice Douglas Lambert for briefing me on the disciplinary and governing structures o f the Presbyterian Church. A n d I owe no end of gratitude to Steven Maynard, who responded to an email out of the blue and sent me a copy o f the mysterious lost document, St. Clair 's pamphlet. I thank as wel l the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for the doctoral fellowship that has funded this program, and the Osgoode Society and the U B C Faculty of L a w for funding a research trip to Toronto. Thank you also to Cullen Jennings, sounding board and partner in joys and tribulations, whose eyes have never failed to light up at my smallest findings. A n d I dedicate this thesis to my parents: to my mother, Pamela Curtis (Whillans) Campbell , for her endless encouragement and her ruminations on what her maternal feminist grandmother, A l ice Marion (Mil ls) Curtis, would have said about things; and to the memory o f my father, James Duncan Campbell, for chuckling warmly and pronouncing himself glad of it, when I told him I was going back to graduate school again. Chapter One: Introduction and Approach This thesis examines the development of obscenity law in Canada, and in particular Ontario, up to 1914. The law that regulates the field of obscenity works upon a complex human phenomenon: representations, verbal or non-verbal, written or spoken, with a wide range of purposes and concerns, that lie on a spectrum of artistic merit that is itself very often hotly contested, and that elicit intense, often completely irreconcilable opinions among large numbers of both reasonable and unreasonable people. This thesis examines how obscenity was understood in Toronto just before World War I, and it looks at what obscenity, thus conceived, and its regulation meant to Toronto society at that time. Today representations that tend to attract the label obscene generate several types of discourses: legal, moral, ethical, religious, literary, artistic. Lawyers may argue about the test for determining whether or not a particular representation is obscene. Literary and artistic scholars may study the aesthetic conventions of obscenity and pornography. Gays and lesbians may argue that the label obscene is often wrongly attached to homosexual erotica as a result o f unethical heterosexist biases and that gay and lesbian erotica can be an important medium for self-expression and self-fulfillment. Part o f the complexity o f dealing legally with obscenity is negotiating the different significations that a representation can have within different discourses. In Toronto in 1912, matters deemed obscene were addressed within legal, moral, ethical and religious discourses, but there was very little discussion o f them in terms of literature or art. It was taken for granted that obscenity and art had nothing much in common. This thesis examines the nature of the discussions o f obscenity at this time, why they were the way they were, and what they meant for law and for culture more generally. When I use the term obscenity, I am referring to those words or pictures or practices that attract, or attracted, the label obscene in the courtroom, in the police station or in the drawing-room. I do not often speak o f pornography in this thesis, but when I do, I mean sexually graphic verbal or visual material. The other words that frequently appear are "indecent" and " immoral . " The full meaning o f these terms is explored in chapter four. Generally speaking, immoral actions contravened prevalent ideals of chastity and marital sexual fidelity. Indecent representations tended to be suggestive, rather than explicit, depictions of activities that went on behind closed doors, between or within human bodies. The acts themselves were not necessarily immoral, but to depict them or suggest them in public was indecent, and i f the depiction was particularly explicit it might be obscene. Obscenity, though, was more than an extreme form of indecency: it broke discursive rules, flouted conventions, offended through its affront to the idea o f the normal. It was usually about sex or, less commonly, violence. M y aim with this thesis is not to produce a theory of whether or how obscenity should be regulated today. While I am concerned about the possible effects of pornography on society, this thesis is not an attempt to argue for or against regulation or unbounded free speech. N o r is it an attempt to carve out a middle ground between those two positions. This thesis is an attempt to articulate how obscenity was understood and regulated (in the widest sense) during a particular period o f Ontario history and what that understanding and regulation meant. A small but significant number o f reported and unreported obscenity cases were heard in urban Ontario during this period. One case, R. v. St. Clair,1 was notorious and generated a great deal of public discussion of obscenity and its regulation; St. Clair is the lens, ultimately, through which my views of obscenity during this period are tested, but its context could not be presented without attention to the earlier cases. This period is one in which, as many authors have noted, the English and American conceptions of obscenity were in a state o f flux, so that it seems not unreasonable to examine the Canadian record for points o f similarity and contrast. A s well , Ontario had several o f the first reported cases under the Criminal l.R. v. St. Clair (1913), 21 C.C.C. 350 at 372 (Ont. C.A.). 2 Code of 1892, 2 and then, as now, the decisions of the Ontario courts (and particularly the Ontario Court of Appeal) carried considerable weight in the criminal courts o f the other provinces o f Canada. A s a part of the English-speaking world, Ontario's experiences illuminate and refract light from developments elsewhere, in England and the United States. While I do consider briefly the reported cases on obscenity and indecency from other jurisdictions, my focus is on urban Ontario, particularly Toronto. It may be that quite different patterns o f regulation characterized, for example, the " w i l d " north (as Karen Dubinsky describes i t 3 ) , and I think the rural regions, and the north in particular during this period, should be considered separately first, on their own merits. 4 The major primary sources for my research on St. Clair and a few other cases from early twentieth-century Ontario are contemporary newspapers, many case files from the Archives of Ontario, some reported legal cases, and various materials in the United Church and Law Society of Upper Canada archives. M y approach to these materials is to pay careful attention to their language and to the circumstances of their production. Written records must be understood within the discourses around obscenity that prevailed when they were created. Discourse is most usefully understood as a sort o f frame of reference, made manifest in language and associated with particular institutions, that has a large part in constituting the subjectivities, identities, and relations o f persons. Discourses put in place a set o f l inked signs that structure what can be thought, known, experienced, said and done. Discourses often conflict with each other.5 B y focusing on discourse, I do not mean to exclude the importance o f human agency in human events. Rather, what can be conceived or done by a particular agent is shaped by the prevailing currents of thought and behaviour. 6 Foucault's remarks about the pervasiveness both of power in social relations and of resistance to power are also germane, as they operate through the combination of agency and discourse. 7 A multitude of voices and discourses within urban Ontario society at the turn of the century governed and were governed by prevalent ways o f speaking and thinking in law, art, literature, theology and philosophy. These voices made their mark on the realm of the obscene and its regulation. This thesis explores the interrelationship of regulatory processes and understandings of obscenity, indecency and immorality. Regulation, in this formulation, is about more than legislation, more than prosecution and conviction, more even than policing with all o f its sometimes tyrannical exercises o f discretion - regulation is about certain understandings of obscenity, conceived within certain discourses, seeking to prevail in ever-broader realms. 8 This conception of regulation makes it possible and necessary to consider not just statutes, court cases or overt acts of censorship by police but also the involvement o f non-state actors, like women's groups and churches, in deciding what people could read or watch. This conception o f regulation also encompasses the idea that it is not just explicit, legal standards that come into play in a field like obscenity but also informal, often unarticulated understandings of the right, the good and the appropriate; these notions are held and contested by state and non-state actors. 2. Criminal Code, S.C. 1892, c. 29. 3. Karen Dubinsky, Improper A chances: Rape and Heterosexual Conflict in Ontario, 1880-1929 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993). 4. A hint that the northern and rural areas of Ontario may have treated obscenity differently from the urban areas, or ignored it completely, comes from the annual reports of the Ontario Provincial Police, which indicate that they dealt with only about five cases involving obscene language or literature between 1909 and 1914, which is far fewer than urban police forces dealt with during the same period: Provincial Archives of Ontario, Annual Reports of the O.P.P., 1909-1926,RG23-9-0-l.l/B-12, 1.1,Box 1. 5. See Alan Hunt and Gary Wickham, Foucault andLaw: Towards a Sociology of Law as Governance (London: Pluto Press, 1994) at 7-8; and with respect to discourses on sex, see Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality: Volume I: An Introduction, trans. Robert Hurley (New York: Vintage Books, 1990; originally published as La Volenti de savoir, Paris: Editions Gallimard, 1976) at 33-35 [hereinafter History of Sexuality]. 6. Kirsten Johnson describes the importance of remembering agency in a discourse analysis in Undressing the Canadian State: The Politics of Pornography from Hicklin to Butler (Halifax: Fernwood Publishing, 1995) at 10-11. 7. Johnson, ibid. 3 More specifically - that is, at the level of the sentence, as it were, as opposed to at the level of the text as a whole - my general approach to my primary materials is to perform upon them a close, literary reading. I take as a starting point the understanding that language is, as Mariana Valverde calls it, "a kind of object among objects." 9 Fol lowing Robert Scholes, I would argue that discourses rely on the operation of "codes." Scholes calls his approach to texts "semiotics," the study of signs. H i s idea is that users of language, writers and readers, have "divided psyches traversed by codes." 1 0 The idea is that particular linguistic patterns, produced and shared by those who use a language, reflect and produce particular conceptions o f reality. Scholes is particularly interested in literary language, and in those characteristics of texts that give them their "literariness"; other disciplines, such as law, w i l l have their own codes. It is also clear that the same codes may cross from the texts of one discipline into the texts of another: witness Scholes's examination of the way that the clitoris is elided in the explicit descriptions of female anatomy not just in John Cleland's Fanny Hill or D . H . Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover but also in Freud's Three Essays on the History of Sexuality}1 Mariana Valverde's Age of Light Soap and Water is in many senses an exploration o f the way that expressions relating to cleanliness, whiteness and purity operated as codes for a particular moral and racial order in early twentieth-century Canada. Valverde makes it clear 1 9 that these codes operated across literary, legal, journalistic and other disciplines. I would only add that I understand codes to be very specific linguistic practices, expressions like "white slavery" or "social purity," while "discourse" refers to a looser assemblage both of these terms and o f the concepts to which they point. It may seem odd that I am focusing so much on language, where the field o f obscenity deals so frequently in images. The first reason is that I am predominantly interested in approaches to obscenity and arguments about it, rather than in the content o f the material itself. In many instances the material was ephemeral and can no longer be analyzed for its own sake. Another reason for talking about how obscenity was discussed, rather than about obscenity itself, is to avoid taking a certain narrative pose. Hunter, Saunders and Wil l iamson observe, fol lowing Foucault, that since the seventeenth century our culture has taken the rhetorical position that sexuality is the great secret o f our beings, that which is repressed and insufficiently discussed, whereas in fact we talk a great deal about sex through our fixation on repression. 1 3 M u c h writing about pornography contains copious excerpts from it, placing the writer in the position of heroic taboo-breaker. A s Hunter, Saunders and Will iamson say, "[t]he rhetoric of taboo-breaking that dictates copious quotation simultaneously deprives these books [certain analyses o f pornography] of the intellectual capacity to subordinate the excitatory power of pornography to the explanatory power of analysis ." 1 4 It is not my purpose to break taboos or to subordinate my analysis to the entertainment value provided by the texts I am examining (most o f them could hardly be called particularly excitatory). Occasionally, however, it may be necessary to attempt to decode "obscene" materials myself. Lynn Hunt's 8. For a description of the idea of regulation with which I am working, see Alan Hunt, "Law as a Constitutive Mode of Regulation" in A. Hunt, Explorations in Law and Society: Toward a Constitutive Theory of Law (New York: Routledge, 1993) 301. Hunt examines the varied ways in which social life is subjected to regulatory intervention, not just by govern-ment, as traditionally conceived, but also by quasi-state institutions, professional agencies and other bodies that exert a governing influence on human actions. Other literature with methodological similarities includes Hunt and Wickham, supra note 5; Philip Corrigan and Derek Sayer, The Great Arch: English State Formation as Cultural Revolution (Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell Ltd., 1985); Mariana Valverde, Sex, Power and Pleasure (Toronto: Women's Press, 1985); Mariana Valverde, "The Love of Finery, Fashion and the Fallen Woman in 19th-century Social Discourse" (1989) 32:2 Vict. Studies 169; and Richard Ericson, Policing the Risk Society (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997). 9. Mariana Valverde, The Age of Light, Soap and Water (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1991) at 10. 10. Robert Scholes, Semiotics and Interpretation (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982) at 15-16. 11. "Uncoding Mama: The Female Body as Text," ibid., 127. 12. Valverde, supra note 9. 13. Ian Hunter, David Saunders & Dugald Williamson, On Pornography: Literature, Sexuality and Obscenity Law (Houndsmills, England: MacMillan Press, 1993) at 28-29; History of Sexuality, supra note 5. 14. Hunter et al., ibid, at 4. 4 study o f the pornography o f the French Revolution provides a useful point o f access for determining the discursive "meaning" of such materials, 1 5 in that she makes evident the political uses o f pornography at that time. Her observations and conclusions are illuminated as wel l by M o n i c a Juneja's study of the gendered iconography (but not the pornography) o f the French R e v o l u t i o n . 1 6 These two studies, especially read together, suggest that sexually graphic imagery can be, and perhaps often is, a form for political criticism. If one is sensitive to the way current events were formulated discursively during a particular period, one may see the connections between the representations of sexuality and contemporary concerns. It may be possible to hypothesize about at least some of the discursive habits existing in later "obscene" visual works in Ontario from a close consideration of the connections between pornography and other visual realms in these other places and times. The work o f Hunt and Juneja, therefore, leads back to a semiotic approach to texts of all sorts. M y overall conception of how one approaches a historical text follows writing in the hermeneutic tradition, particularly that described by Hans-Georg Gadamer. 1 7 Ian Ward introduces Gadamer's pivotal work on philosophical hermeneutics: Gadamer specifically addressed the respective roles o f author, text and reader, and by con-structing his hermeneutic theory o f understanding granted each a mutually dependent role. More precisely, he suggested that the historicity of all texts meant the reader, himself subject to socio-historical 'prejudices' or 'fore-understandings', would read a text that was historical, and had been created by an author who was historically situated. This did not mean that authorial intent was possible provided the reader knew that the text was historically situated, but it did suggest that the text, as constructed by the historically situated author, was always a socio-historical product . 1 8 Without expecting to determine authorial intention, I agree that there are historically specific constraints on the interpretations that can responsibly be made o f any given text. Although Gadamer describes his endeavour as solely to identify and articulate the epistemological foundations o f the human sciences, and disavows any intention to prescribe a methodology for the human sciences, Gadamer has, in Truth and Method, also described the nature of historical understanding and particularly the process o f understanding texts. 1 9 A s Ward says, Gadamer explores the "problem" of historical self-consciousness, the recognition that we and historical texts are always historically situated, so that timeless interpretation is never possible A historian can never isolate a past event or old text and examine it from within its own historical context. The novelty o f Gadamer's approach is that rather than thinking of the historian as the subject and the text as the object, he imagines the two in conversation. The historian focuses on the text, and it is the text that 15. Lynn Hunt, ed. The Invention of Pornography: Obscenity and the Origins of Modernity, 1500-1800 (New York: Zone Books, 1993). 16. Monica Juneja, "Imaging the Revolution: Gender and Iconography in French Political Prints" (1996) 12 Studies in History 1. 17.1 find Gadamerian hermeneutics to be epistemologically more satisfactory than other philosophical positions one might take, particularly Derridean deconstruction. Basically, I believe that we can speak reasonably about the meaning of texts. I agree generally with Gary B. Madison, who takes the same position, in "Beyond Seriousness and Frivolity: A Gadamerian Response to Deconstruction" in Hugh J. Silverman, ed., Gadamer and Hermeneutics (New York: Rout-ledge, 1991) 119. 18. Ian Ward,Law and Literature: Possibilities and Perspectives (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1995) at 32-33. 19. Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth andMethod, 2d ed., J. Weinsheimer & D.G. Marshall, eds. & trans. (New York: Cross-road, 1991) at xxviii. For a condensed version of the argument, see Hans-Georg Gadamer, "The Problem of Historical Consciousness" in P. Rabinow & W.M. Sullivan, eds., Interpretive Social Science: A Second Look (Berkeley, CA: Uni-versity of California Press, 1987) 82 [hereinafter "Historical Consciousness"]. 20. "Historical Consciousness," ibid, at 89. 5 determines the historian's understanding. 2 1 The historian never gets into the mind o f the text's author. 2 2 Gadamer invokes the concept of the hermeneutic circle: when a historian reads a text, she begins with her own understanding o f the matters o f which the text speaks. This understanding proceeds from her "tradition," which is the context in which she lives, works and exists - in Gadamer's words, "the light wherein all that we carry with us from our past, everything transmitted to us, makes its appearance." A historian begins with her own understanding of the matters o f which the text speaks. A s she reads, she selects from among the text's possible meanings the one that seems best. What seems best w i l l be governed by her own opinions and other preconceived notions. She is not free, however, to get anything at all out of the text. Gadamer says that a reader w i l l always expect the text to inform her about something, something about the world or the author, something outside the text itself. A consciousness informed by the authentic hermeneutical attitude, Gadamer says, w i l l be receptive not only to familiar ideas but also to those that seem foreign. The historian w i l l become aware o f the points where her own knowledge or experience fails her, or where her opinions are different from the author's, and these points signal her to consider renovating her views. She then holds both new and old ideas together in her mind, entertaining them both. Even i f she eventually chooses one view over the other, she still retains the two in a dialectical relationship. Most critical is this attitude o f receptiveness to the text, which lets the text speak against the reader and challenge her preconceived notions - what Gadamer calls prejudices. 2 4 Gadamer uses the word "horizon" to describe a reader's historically and contextually situated consciousness. The reader w i l l be receptive to the origins and entirely foreign features of those things that come to her from outside her own horizons. 2 5 Through the process o f hermeneutic interpretation, her horizons expand. A n argument that is often made, in some form or other, with respect to hermeneutic views is that, i f every interpreter has somewhat different horizons, then there is no way of arriving at an interpretation of a text that is better than others. James F. Bohman takes on this argument in his essay " H o l i s m without Skepticism": he argues that such scepticism is founded on a fundamental error o f logic, which is in assuming that the tradition, or context, in which we all work and live provides conditions that limit our interpretations, whereas in fact they enable our interpretations. He remarks on a debate between James Clifford and Clifford Geertz with respect to ethnographic interpretation. Bohman writes: H o w does one, then, responsibly and accurately portray another form of life in the categories of one's own? A s correctly as possible, constantly revising and judging the adequacy of inter-pretation in light o f an openness to new and broader evidence, discovered in this case by free and open dialogue with other interpreters and with participants in that form of life. When faced with these constraints, ethnography should not, with Clifford, produce "multiple inter-pretations," but rather, with Geertz, produce better, epistemically and morally justified ones, the evidence for which is an increased space for dialogue and mutual c r i t i c i s m . 2 6 21. Ibid, at 125. 22. Ibid, at 127. Making this point perhaps more clearly, Gadamer begins Truth andMethod with an analysis of the phe-nomenon of understanding works of art. He observes, "[t]he mens auctoris is not admissible as a yardstick for the mean-ing of a work of art": supra note 19 at xxxi. He says as well, ibid, at 311: [i]t is quite mistaken to base the possibility of understanding a text on the postulate of a "con-geniality" that suppos-edly unites the creator and the interpreter of a work.... But the miracle of understanding consists in the fact that no like-mindedness is necessary to recognize what is really significant and fundamentally meaningful in tradition. We have the ability to open ourselves to the superior claim the text makes and to respond to what it has to tell us. Herme-neutics in the sphere of philology and the historical sciences is not "knowledge as domination" - i.e., an appropria-tion as taking possession; rather, it consists in subordinating ourselves to the text's claim to dominate our minds. 23. "Historical Consciousness," supra note 19 at 87, 136. 24. Ibid, at 132, 137. 25. Ibid, at 132. See also David E. Linge, "Editor's Introduction" in Hans-Georg Gadamer, Philosophical Hermeneutics, David E. Linge, ed. & trans. (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1976) xi at xii, xviii-xx. 6 Bohman, then, is optimistic that interpretations that are "better" than previous ones can be determined. This type of reasoning accords with reasoning commonly voiced by another school that partakes of the post-Gadamerian interpretive tradition, the law and literature movement. Where Gadamer sees no essential difference between the historian and the legal interpreter, except for a difference in their pol i t i cs , 2 7 writers in the law and literature movement such as James B o y d White compare legal interpretation with the literary version and find, again, that there is no essential difference White has examined the questions about indeterminable meanings and the trouble with determining authorial intention and has said of both that they are really the wrong questions. He acknowledges that not only legal but also literary texts never have single, unitary messages that are restatable in simple terms, being too complex, too rich for easy paraphrasing. Both literary and legal texts have "a shifting relation to the cultural context upon which much o f their meaning necessarily depends." However, White sees the uncertainties o f texts to be an essential part of them. L ike Gadamer, he compares the interaction between the text and the reader to a conversation, and he imagines each text as prefiguring what he calls an "ideal reader." Each actual reader is invited by the text to become the ideal reader, a process which shapes the readers into an interpretive community whose members have a "family resemblance." This community publicizes and disciplines the readings that legal interpreters give to texts. The law is not composed of discrete rules with clear and plain meanings but is a culture of argument, external to each individual; the law cannot be described or analyzed completely, but it is not impossible to say something intelligible about it. White views as misconceived the search for authorial intention in American constitutional jurisprudence (and elsewhere), not (simply) because authorial intention cannot be known but because meaning must always be determined by the reader o f the text, through reference to the reader's own cultural context. The views, which White and Gadamer share, that the text limits the interpretations possible and that the search for authorial intention is misconceived, seem valid and necessary. So does Bohman's insight that better interpretations may be found through careful consideration o f context. For literary critics and historians these assurances may be sufficient to ground disciplinary knowledge, but for those who perform functions in the legal system they still leave unanswered the key questions: who is the interpretive community that interprets the text and how do members of that community do i t ? 3 0 Although this thesis is about history, a discipline in which coming to better interpretations is probably an adequate goal, this thesis is also about judges and law-makers o f other descriptions, whose activities I analyze. In considering the problem of legal interpretation in the late twentieth-century, I mean to place in the foreground the idea that 26. James F. Bohman, "Holism without Skepticism: Contextualism and the Limits of Interpretation" in David R. Hiley, James F. Bohman and Richard Shusterman, eds., The Interpretive Turn: Philosophy, Science, Culture (Ithaca, NY: Cor-nell University Press, 1991) 129 at 151. 27. In Truth andMethod, supra note 19 at xxxii, Gadamer contrasts the "contemplative" nature of the historian's task to the "practical" task of the judge (who, in passing judgment, may have to consider aspects of legal politics that do not affect the historian), but he asserts that the legal understanding of a law is the same for both. David Couzens Hoy takes up this point and, in my view, correctly clarifies Gadamer's position by arguing that the judge still interprets these other concerns and does not merely apply personal, non-legal, non-textual interests to the situation, as some scholars have sug-gested: "Interpreting the Law: Hermeneutical and Poststructuralist Perspectives" (1985) 58 S. Cal. L. Rev. 135. See also Patrick Nerhot, who agrees on the similar positions of judges and historians, mLaw, Writing, Meaning: An Essay in Legal Hermeneutics, trans. Ian Fraser (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1992) at 24-29. For an example of how statutory interpretation might be viewed through a Gadamerian lens, see William N. Eskridge, Jr., "Gadamer/Statutory Interpretation" (1990) 90 Columbia L. Rev. 609 at 659-66. 28. James Boyd White, "Reading Law and Reading Literature: Law as Language" in Heracles' Bow: Essays on the Rhetoric andPoetics of the Law (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985) 77. For an overview of this movement, see Ian Ward, "Law and Literature" (1993) 4 Law & Critique 43; and Anne McGillivray, "Reserche Sublime: An Intro-duction to Law and Literature" in Adversaria: Literature and Law (1994) 27 Mosaic i. 29. White, ibid. 30. Different forms of this critique come from different people. David Kennedy, for example, accuses Gadamer and oth-ers in his school of paying no attention to power: "The Turn to Interpretation" in (1985) 57 S. Cal. L. Rev. 251. Gadamer and Jiirgen Habermas have debated whether Gadamer's theory is inherently too conservative to permit critique of the tra-dition from which the interpreter operates: see Hoy, supra note 27 at 153-64; Eskridge, supra note 27 at 630-32. 7 legal interpretation is, and always has been, hermeneutic and difficult, framed within a context by particular actors. Interpretation is done within interpretive communities framed by particular ethical impulses. These interpretive communities are relatively open, involving not just judges and lawyers but also a variety o f other state and non-state actors. M y goal is to read the texts with a sensitivity to what I can know about the institutional and discursive contexts in which each speaker or writer acts, and to be aware that these individuals had their own interpretive horizons, just as I have mine. I begin by describing, as far as reasonably possible, the cultural context of early twentieth-century Toronto. Because o f the involvement o f members o f the Protestant clergy in censorship and moral reform efforts during that period and particularly in the St. Clair case, I start with the histories of these churches and the intellectual preoccupations of their clergy. This chapter - the second - sets out, in effect, those more intellectual dimensions o f the culture that relate to the conceptualization and regulation o f obscenity. While the beliefs of theologians or philosophers do not tell the whole story of a culture, they do provide insights that can usefully be compared with those gleaned through the methodologies o f social historians. 3 1 I rely heavily on this latter type of work in chapter three, in which I describe the texture o f life in Ontario at the turn of the century. I consider the manifestations o f nationalism and focus on how it affected the literary and especially theatrical dimensions o f Ontario's culture and how these areas were regulated. Examining these aspects o f the culture helps to explain why the law around obscenity and censorship during this period in Ontario's history differed from that in the United States and Britain. In the fourth chapter I turn to the law of obscenity itself, examining the events in Ontario in the light of certain theoretical positions developed with regard to the United States and England in the late nineteenth century. The construction of gender in Ontario is an essential component o f the analysis in this chapter, as it is in chapter five as well . Chapter four moves from a discussion of broader trends into the specific cases, legislative changes and censorship practices between 1892 and 1911 that made up the backdrop to the St. Clair case. The fifth chapter brings together the many different currents that emerge from chapters two, three and four and demonstrates how they affected and were affected by the experiences o f Rev. Robert B. St. Clair. Chapter five is most reliant on primary texts, and in it my attention to discourse w i l l be most apparent. The earlier chapters ground that discourse not only in the intellectual currents o f the time but also in the material culture, which, like human agency, must not be forgotten in the study of discourse. 3 2 The sixth chapter draws conclusions about the nature of obscenity law in Ontario during this period and about the effect and regulation o f obscenity, indecency and immorality in that society. During the first decade of the nineteenth century, Ontario's taste in literature, and particularly in theatre, was becoming increasingly affected by the developments in literary realism that were taking place elsewhere in Europe and the United States. For a variety of reasons - social, economic, theological and otherwise - the self-appointed guardians o f the public morals felt their grip on the reins o f public taste to be slipping. They tried to broaden their base o f support and step up prosecutions, but their success was limited. Despite many commentators' habit o f stating otherwise, the immoral, the indecent and even the obscene were becoming less universally recognizable, in the face o f changing artistic sensibilities, journalistic and literary practices, gender roles and attitudes to discussions of sex. The range of topics that could not decently be referred to in public was getting smaller. The idea emerged that art could depict moral dilemmas without 31. Leslie Armour and Elizabeth Trott make this point in The Faces of Reason: An Essay on Philosophy and Culture in English Canada, 1850-1950 (Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1981) at 507-8. 32. The need to take care to do this is emphasized by Ian Small, in "The Economies of Taste: Literary Markets and Liter-ary Value in the Late Nineteenth Century" (1996) 39:1 Engl. Lit. in Transition 7 at 16: a true "economy of taste" requires us to attend to the relationship between how the market was understood in the late nineteenth century, and how it actually worked. Bearing in mind the caveats I raised earlier about the attraction of sweeping generalizations, I should nonetheless like to propose that one reason why this question has not been addressed relates to the dominance in cultural history of the concept of discourse and the way in which modern crit-ics have tended to reify discourse at the expense of explaining its social relations - that is, at the expense of attending to questions of authority and status, and therefore of identifying the relationship of discourse to social practice. 8 being immoral. This idea was one of the first harbingers of a later idea that obscenity was an inherent property o f texts that could be identified through a consideration of aesthetics divorced from morality. Ontario's law had not reached that point by the early 1910s, but, as a result o f changes in literary and theatrical taste, the first steps had been taken in that direction. In pre-World War I Ontario, literary taste, changes in theology and the urbanization of culture led to divisions among the middle and upper classes about the scope of the indecent and the immoral, and these divisions undermined the legal understanding of obscenity, as wel l as the legitimacy of censorship practices. The St. Clair affair and its aftermath demonstrate the complexity of the cultural accretions around obscenity, its threat to the legitimacy of moral reform movements and its increasingly uncertain essence. 9 Chapter Two: Protestantism in Toronto in the Early Twentieth Century O f central importance to the culture of moral reform at the beginning of the twentieth century and to censorship efforts in particular are the three major Protestant denominations o f the time: the Anglicans, the Methodists and the Presbyterians. The much smaller Congregational Church and its even smaller faction, the Congregational United Brethren, also require some description as Rev. R . B . St. Clair was associated with both. This chapter describes the background differences among these different bodies and their adherents and sets out the intellectual preoccupations of members o f those churches during that period. The clergy's preoccupations had directly and heavily influenced Ontario's political culture since shortly after its founding but were starting to become less influential in this realm. On issues that involved both morality and politics, the laity did not fully accept that the clergy ought always to have the last word. The gradual decline in the influence of the churches is a major subtext, in my view, to the shifts in Canadian obscenity law that occurred during this period. It is, therefore, with the churches that I start. The Churches and Canadian Philosophy in the Nineteenth Century The largest Protestant denominations in Toronto in the early twentieth century were the Methodists, Presbyterians and Anglicans. Presbyterians, Anglicans and Roman Catholics each made up about 20 per cent of the population and Methodists between 25 per cent and 30 per cent. The next largest single religious configuration was the Baptists, with just over five per cent. These broad numbers, however, give the impression of stasis, which was not the case at al l ; these groups were, and had been for a century, locked in rivalry for the souls of believers. B y 1911, the census revealed that 26.6 per cent of the Ontario population counted itself Methodist, a decline from 30.5 per cent in 1901 and 30.9 per cent in 1891. Presbyterianism had suffered a less dramatic decline, from 21.4 per cent in 1891 to 20.85 per cent in 1911. Anglicanism had gained slightly in strength, partly because of significant English immigration, from 18.3 per cent in 1891 to 19.4 per cent in 1911. The major gain, however, again mainly attributable to immigration, was made by Roman Catholicism, which had risen from 16.9 per cent in 1891 to 17.9 per cent in 1901 to 19.2 per cent in 1911. 1 To understand the meaning o f these numbers it helps to understand the Canadian history of these various movements. Wi l l iam Westfall describes the tremendous change, over the nineteenth century, in the picture of religious adherence in the area that became Canada. Initially the Protestant churches were small and almost 25 per cent o f the population did not reveal a religious affiliation or was uncommitted. B y 1881, however, only one per cent o f the population said it had no religious affiliation, and the Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians and Anglicans had grown tremendously to become the main players in the religious landscape, although a significant portion o f the population was also Catholic . 2 Describing the same growth phenomenon, Michael Gauvreau calls the period between about 1830 and 1930 in Canada the "evangelical century." "Evangel ical" can be a problematic term, but in this thesis it applies to those who emphasized the centrality to the Christian existence o f a personal relationship with Jesus, and it contrasts with those who emphasized the importance of more formalistic and ritualistic signs of rel igion. 3 1. This census data is from Neil Semple, The Lord's Dominion: The History of Canadian Methodism (Montreal: McGill-Queen's, 1996) at 181. 2. William Westfall, Two Worlds: The Protestant Culture of Nineteenth-Century Ontario (Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1989) at 10. 10 Anglicans In outlining the histories o f the Christian churches in what became Ontario during the nineteenth century, it seems appropriate to start with the Anglicans, because high church Anglicanism is the backdrop against which Methodism, in particular, formed itself theologically, and the fight against Angl ican political hegemony was long and hard. 4 While it is tempting to separate Anglicanism's political fortunes from its theological shifts and tensions, the two are so closely intertwined that it is necessary to speak o f both at once. A t the end o f the eighteenth century, settlers from Quebec, the Maritimes, England and the United States began moving into Upper Canada. M u c h of the population experienced a harsh existence in frontier conditions, although some gathered in the small urban centres, especially between Kingston and Toronto. These settlers were overwhelmingly dissenters - adherents o f Protestant denominations other than the Church o f England or the Church o f Scotland - but the Church of England was hopeful that with exposure to its teaching, these people might be converted. 5 The Angl ican Bishop John Strachan characterized the Church o f England and the Church o f Scotland as the churches of the moderate centre, between Roman Catholicism on one side and Methodism and the other sects on the other. 6 A s the century began, Anglicans claimed the privileges of establishment as the official, state-supported religion o f Upper Canada. The church ultimately lost the battle to cause the English-speaking populace o f the Canadas to accept the lightness o f this view. Intense sectarian debate was the main feature o f the political landscape of Upper Canada for approximately the first half o f the century, as Anglicans and Methodists in particular, and also Roman Catholics, Baptists, Presbyterians and adherents o f smaller sects, all competed for membership and the support of the imperial and colonial governments. 7 The brew was thickened by huge immigration. Between 1815 and 1855, almost one mil l ion people left Britain for North America, some then moving to the United States but most remaining in the area that became Canada. 8 The Anglican church in Canada and large branches of the Presbyterian, Baptist and Methodist churches all had strong links to Britain, and the immigrants who came carried with them their particular sensibilities toward the many different manifestations o f Protestant Christianity then colouring the religious landscape in Britain. Wi l l iam Westfall says that it has never been possible to answer absolutely whether or not the Church of England was, legally speaking, established in Upper Canada. 9 Certainly, however, it had valuable prerogatives and privileges, including "substantial control over education, sole possession of the lucrative military chaplaincy appointments, financial support for Anglican ministers, and occasional grants for the erection o f churches." 1 0 It was largely under the control of the state, but it lacked other privileges that it had in England, including the support of institutions like the ecclesiastical courts . 1 1 The theology of the Angl ican Church during the first half o f the nineteenth century affirmed the inevitability and appropriateness of establishment. With broad brushstrokes, Westfall identifies Methodism as the religion o f intense personal religious experience in Upper Canada and Angl icanism as the religion of 3. Michael Gauvreau, The Evangelical Century: College and Creed in English Canada from the Great Revival to the Great Depression (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1991). George A. Rawlyk, John Stackhouse and Mar-guerite Van Die identify four pillars of Canadian evangelicalism over the last two centuries: first, the central belief that God has provided a route to salvation through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus; second, a belief in the pre-emi-nent authority of the Bible; third, an understanding that personal transformation is required, involving the experience of a personal relationship with Jesus and a disciplined life of increasing holiness; and fourth, a sense of needing to evange-lize and introduce others to the gospel. In the nineteenth century the third element - the experience of conversion - was the key evangelical characteristic, while it was to some extent supplanted by biblicism around the beginning of the twen-tieth century. See George A. Rawlyk, "Introduction" in George A. Rawlyk, ed., Aspects of the Canadian Evangelical Experience (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1997) [hereinafter Rawlyk, Aspects], xiii at xiv; John G. Stackhouse, '"Who Whom?': Evangelicalism and Canadian Society" in Rawlyk, Aspects, ibid., 55 at 56; and Marguerite Van Die, '"A March of Victory and Triumph in Praise of "The Beauty of Holiness'": Laity and the Evangelical Impulse in Canadian Methodism, 1800-1884" in Rawlyk, Aspects, ibid., 73 at 76. 11 order. O f the orderly Anglican ideal, he says: The institutions o f the state in effect were incorporated into the rational order of nature so that both the state and the church were allied in a reciprocal enterprise to bring about a common goal - the fashioning of a world o f rational and happy human beings. Both religious and social institutions acted as a restraint upon the corrupting influence o f human nature, they both inculcated the same types o f values, and the result of their endeavours was mutually benefi-cial: the pious Christian would be a loyal subject, and the loyal subject would be a pious Christian.... A church establishment, the very key to the Anglican designs for Upper Canada, was the institutional expression o f the way this pattern o f interpretation integrated social val-ues and religious institutions. 1 2 In describing the actual Angl ican creed, Westfall quotes John Strachan, its most prominent advocate in the mid-nineteenth century, who concluded a sermon by identifying as his basic religious beliefs: '"the doctrine o f the atonement - the satisfaction made for sinners by the blood o f Christ - the corruption o f human nature - the insufficiency o f man, unassisted by divine grace - the efficacy o f the prayer o f faith, and the purifying, directing, sustaining, and sanctifying influence o f the Holy S p i r i t . ' " 1 3 Strachan would also have emphasized the importance o f not just faith but also good works and the sacraments o f the church, which acted as an intermediary between God and sinners. This measured Christianity, like that of many Presbyterians (especially those of the Church of Scotland), was the core o f the dominant school of mental and moral philosophy that took root in Protestant Canada in the middle of the nineteenth century. L i k e A . B . M c K i l l o p , writers Leslie Armour and Elizabeth Trott identify Scottish "Common Sense" philosophy as the major concern of those Protestant philosophers and theologians - especially Anglicans and Presbyterians - in non-Catholic institutions who were concerned with mental and moral philosophy. This preoccupation was not surprising since almost all o f these individuals had been trained at Scottish universities. 1 4 A . B . M c K i l l o p describes the structure o f Scottish Common Sense philosophy through a discussion of the Scottish philosopher Thomas Reid. M c K i l l o p emphasizes that Common Sense philosophy rested upon an assumption and a process. The assumption provided the epistemology o f the movement: Common Sense philosophers spoke o f particular faculties of 4. According to Richard Vaudry, the terms "high" and "low" come from the debates around the Revolution Settlement of 1688-89. High churchmen were those who fiercely defended establishment, and they dubbed those within the church who were less enthusiastic about it "low." This divide came to have theological connotations as well, high churchmen positioning themselves farther from Puritanism and closer to Roman Catholicism in their sympathy for the latter's rituals and formalism. High churchmen retained Roman Catholicism's episcopal structure of order and governance and claimed lineal descent from the apostles of Jesus. They also emphasized the necessity of good works for the achievement of sal-vation. They believed that low churchmen had been unduly influenced by the spirit of the age of Enlightenment and had softened their theology accordingly. In later years, high churchmen were also suspicious of evangelical movements within the Anglican church. They believed that the evangelical emphasis on justification by faith alone could undermine the necessity of good works and even lead to antinomianism, the assumption that once a person had achieved salvation, the person could no longer sin and could therefore carry on exactly as he or she pleased. High churchmen were also wary of the evangelical emphasis on a personal relationship with God, perceiving this to threaten the need for sacraments pro-vided by a clergy, whose bishops stood in apostolic succession to the church Jesus founded. High church Anglicans often scornfully labelled evangelicals "low church," but the two movements were not the same. See Richard W. Vaudry, "Evangelical Anglicans and the Atlantic World: Politics, Ideology, and the British North American Connection" in Raw-lyk, Aspects, ibid., 154 at 159-60. 5. S.D. Clark, Church andSect in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1948) at 91. 6. Westfall, supra note 2 at 21. Strachan himself was raised Presbyterian and converted to Anglicanism. He saw no fun-damental differences between the theology of his youth and that of his adulthood, and his decision to convert does not seem to have caused him much angst. When he moved to Upper Canada as a young man, he met and was greatly influ-enced by certain Church of England clergymen, including John Stuart of Kingston. Strachan was turned down for a posi-tion in the Presbyterian church in Upper Canada and subsequently presented himself to the Anglican Bishop Jacob Mountain. Strachan was ordained an Anglican deacon in 1803 and priest in 1804. See "Strachan, John" in Mary McD. Maude etal., eds., Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 9, 1861-1870 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1976). 12 the mind, which were assumed to have a physiological reality. The faculties were variously identified, but the most important was the moral faculty, which had to subordinate others, most importantly the intellectual. The moral faculty was an innate capacity to arrive at moral truth from the data of consciousness. The process side of Common Sense philosophy involved an introspective concentration of the data o f one's consciousness, so that one could discuss its attributes. 1 5 Philosophers differed in their commitments, but another component of early and mid-nineteenth century philosophy was natural theology. Natural theology relied on the methods of Baconian experimentation, which had a great deal in common with the processual dimension of Common Sense philosophy. According to Westfall, "[o]ne began with certain general principles from which one drew certain arguments or theories that could be applied to a number of specific issues. The original premise could then be evaluated in the light of this examination. Knowledge, then, was acquired as one moved from the general to the specific and then from the specific to the general ." 1 6 Carl Berger describes natural theology thus: The chief claim of natural theology was that there existed an overall design in nature, a rank and order in the chain of life, and a regularity in the operation of laws, all of which were evi-dence of a transcendent guiding intelligence. For theologians, these truths became abstract arguments for the existence o f God; for naturalists they offered a religious sanction for scien-tific investigation. Nature was worth studying because it was a product o f divine activity; since G o d created everything, the more intricate the patterns discovered, the more testimony there was to his wisdom and artistry. Thus natural science enlarged man's comprehension of God's works and intentions just as theology revealed the laws of salvation in scripture. Natu-ral theology gave to natural history a legitimacy and status in Victorian evangelical culture that went beyond practical u t i l i t y . 1 7 M c K i l l o p also describes the nature and role o f natural theology, and he emphasizes its points of contact and overlap with the teachings and political implications of the Scottish Common Sense school of philosophy. Common Sense philosophy dovetailed nicely with natural theology in making scientific inquiry subservient to the demands of Christian theology. 1 8 Both Common Sense philosophy and this particular, orderly Angl ican Christian theology supported a particular understanding of the state. Westfall 7. Brian J. Fraser, The Social Uplifters: Presbyterian Progressives and the Social Gospel in Canada, 1875-1915 (Water-loo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1988) at 53; and Leslie Armour & Elizabeth Trott, The Faces of Reason: An Essay on Philosophy and Culture in English Canada, 1850-1950 (Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1981) at 32. 8. David Bebbington, "Canadian Evangelicalism: A View from Britain" in Rawlyk, Aspects, supra note 4, 38 at 44. 9. Westfall, supra note 2 at 93-97, discusses the different aspects of establishment. 10. Semple, supra note 1 at 77. 11. Westfall, supra note 2 at 93-97. 12. William Westfall, "Order and Experience: Patterns of Religious Metaphor in Early Nineteenth Century Upper Can-ada" in Mark G. McGowan and David B. Marshall, Prophets, Priests and Prodigals: Readings in Canadian Religious History, 1608 to Present (Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1992) 93 at 100 [hereinafter "Order and Experience"]. 13. Westfall, supra note 2 at 22. 14. A.B. McKillop finds distinctive Common Sense thought in the work of such people as James Beaven, James Bovell, William Dawson, Daniel Wilson, James George and William Lyall. Even those who came to be critical of Common Sense, like John Clark Murray, still imbued their students with its tenets. See A.B. McKillop, A Disciplined Intelligence: Critical Inquiry and Canadian Thought in the Victorian Era (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1979) at 23-58. John A. Irving's overview of the growth of philosophy in central Canada in the second half of the nineteenth century makes the predominantly Scottish origins of these thinkers very apparent: "The Development of Philosophy in Central Canada from 1850 to 1900" (1950) 31 Can. Hist'l Rev. 252. 15. Armour & Trott, supra note 7 at 40-41; McKillop, ibid, at 26-27. 16. Westfall, supra note 2 at 35. 17. Carl Berger, Science, God, and Nature in Victorian Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1983) at 32. 18. McKillop, supra note 14 at 87-88. 13 describes a sermon of Angl ican Bishop John Strachan in this passage: In short, Christianity was a religion of salvation, offering the means to redeem people from sin, to reconcile G o d and humanity, and to draw heaven and earth together. To be saved a person had to proceed along a specific path. Strachan began with the fall when God punished A d a m and Eve for their disobedience and expelled them from a state of har-mony and innocence. A l l their descendants continued to suffer under the weight o f their orig-inal sin. The world had fallen from grace; people had become the creatures o f their instincts and passions. The first step towards redemption, therefore, was to restrain the "selfish pas-sions and appetites" and learn to abide by the rules that God had given to humanity. Both the character o f the world and divine revelation taught people that they could only attain true hap-piness by recognizing their own sinfulness, having faith in God, and l iv ing a life o f virtue and good works. Then as time moved forward, as more and more people came to understand the eternal benefits that such obedience would bring, society itself would slowly change and humanity would return to God. Then everyone would enjoy the freedom and order that had been lost when our ancestors' apostasy led them out o f E d e n . 1 9 Strachan advocated the need for religious establishment by emphasizing that redemption was a gradual process o f increasing virtue and self-control that required consistent, regular teaching from a well-educated clergyman, together with solid institutional support, including churches and schools. The financial resources of the state were required to sustain such a system. This alliance of church and state would benefit not just the church but also the state, as the church's advocacy o f loyalty, order and virtuous behaviour would render the populace good cit izens. 2 0 M c K i l l o p identifies the mid-nineteenth century as the peak o f the influence o f Common Sense philosophy, as it grew into philosophical orthodoxy by 1870. M c K i l l o p links Common Sense philosophy to the imperialist imperative and state building in British North America: it promised an integration of moral conviction and intellectual acumen that would provide a firm foundation for ethical, c ivi l ized public life as Canada became a nation. During those decades the Angl ican church fought its last unsuccessful battles about establishment. 2 1 Despite its coherent understanding of the relationship between individuals, the state, the natural world and the divine, Angl icanism had an insurmountable problem in its inability to attract or keep its members. First, before 1820, it was unable to attract an adequate number of British clergy to minister to the dispersed, dissenting or irreligious, frontier population. Huge areas were unsupplied with clergy. In the wake o f the depression that followed the Napoleonic War, more Anglican clergymen left for the colonies, but they tended to establish themselves in larger centres of population. The clergy that came after the 1820s tended to be socially respectable and well-educated, close observers of the practices of the church and not particularly evangelical - they tended to emphasize formalism and the centrality o f the sacraments. When these priests did attempt to preach to the rural population, they did not gain as much favour as might have been hoped, to some extent because of the difference in manners and training between the Church of England clergy and the backwoods farmers, especially those of American o r i g i n . 2 2 Insisting on full theological education for those they ordained and disdaining the Methodist connections, which adopted very rudimentary educational requirements, Anglicans, like Presbyterians, lost ground to the highly successful, itinerant, revivalist Methodist ministry . 2 3 A s well , secure in the rectitude of their claims to establishment, the Angl ican church resisted all efforts that 19. Westfall, supra note 2 at 22-23. 20. Westfall, ibid, at 23. 21. McKillop, supra note 14 at 52-53. 22. Clark, supra note 5 at 118-21. 23. Westfall, supra note 2 at 24; Clark, ibid, at 102-3. 14 might have tended to reduce its respectability - modifying its form of service, recruiting clergy from the lower ranks o f society, worshipping in buildings that had not been properly dedicated or permitting signs of emotion or sensation in church services. Anglicanism was the church of the colonial upper class and conducted itself such that it weakened its influence in the large rural population. A m o n g other things, the rural population was unimpressed by the church's involvement in the political life o f the co lony. 2 4 The most heated, controversial and significant debate in the first half o f the nineteenth century, which led to Anglicanism's eventual complete disestablishment, was over the "clergy reserves." Based on the Anglican church's interpretation of the constitutional words "Protestant clergy," the church claimed that it alone could draw support from an endowment based on the value o f one-seventh of the land granted in Upper Canada. Presbyterians had some success in arguing that they, as members o f the established Church of Scotland, were also included in that legal phrase, but funds were withheld from them by the Anglican oligarchy of Upper Canada 2 5 After decades of turmoil, a compromise solution involving all of the Christian churches in Upper Canada, including Roman Catholics, was worked out in the 1840s, but even that solution did not hold, and the clergy reserves were eventually secularized and given over to purposes Oft such as railways and public education in 1854. Another source o f much contention which eventually contributed to the completion of Anglicanism's disestablishment was the governance and funding of the universities, particularly the University of Toronto. In 1828 Anglicans established King 's College to be the core o f this institution, but after enormous pressure mounted against it, King 's was abolished and replaced by the non-denominational University College in 1849, which took its place among three other universities then existing in Canada West: the Methodists' Victoria College at Cobourg, the Presbyterians' Queen's University at Kingston (founded in 1842) and the Roman Catholics' Regiopolis, also at Kingston (incorporated in 1837). 2 7 B y 1853, the teaching that lay behind a University o f Toronto degree could come either from University College or from one of the federated religious colleges, including Trinity College, which the high church Anglicans had established to replace K i n g ' s . 2 8 Universities proliferated in mid-century, and by 1867, male youth in Ontario could choose from among seven chartered universities and "as many other post-secondary institutions, and with the exception of Hamilton, all the major centres of population had at least one institution offering education beyond high s c h o o l . " 2 9 In 1868, the government ceased funding any post-secondary educational institutions that remained under denominational c o n t r o l . 3 0 After these controversies and others, and after considerable financial uncertainty, the Anglican Church accepted that it would have to rely on the voluntary support of its congregations and that its old alliance with the state had come to an end. Westfall acknowledges that there may be some truth in the argument that the state was persuaded to end this relationship due to the influence of the growth of liberalism and reform, but he thinks it was more important that the state no longer thought it needed the church to maintain order or stability. He argues that, breaking with past custom, the state decided to put its faith in economic prosperity rather than religion and thus began to oppose itself to religion. A s wel l , with so many people adhering to creeds other than Anglicanism, the state may not have thought the alliance with Anglicanism had much to offer. In any case, by the late 1850s and after some skirmishes with various powers in England, the Angl ican Church had not only lost state funding but had also cast off the reins o f state 24. Clark, ibid, at 125-31. 25. Semple, supra note 1 at 78. 26. Westfall, supra note 2 at 106-7, 111. 27. J. Harold Putman, Egerton Ryerson and Education in Upper Canada (Toronto: William Briggs, 1912) at 100, 106; Robin Harris, "Ontario and its Universities" in Hugh Oliver et al., eds., The House that Ryerson Built: Essays in Educa-tion toMark Ontario's Bicentennial (Toronto: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, 1984) 145 at 147; and George Bryce, A Short History of the Canadian People, rev'd. ed. (Toronto: William Briggs, 1914) at 393. 28. See Putman, ibid, at 106-9; Harris, ibid, at 147-48. 29. Harris, ibid, at 148. 30. Harris, ibid. 15 control . 3 1 Between about 1830 and 1850, in the course o f disestablishment, tensions within the Angl ican church between the significant evangelical minority and the non-evangelical majority increased. The evangelical influence was strengthened through ties with the American, Irish and English branches of the Church and due to the influx o f the Irish and English poor. The ecclesiastical authority, however, supported by settlers o f upper class English origin, strenuously discouraged innovations in the administration of church services that threatened the traditional Angl ican r i tes . 3 3 Non-evangelical, high church Anglicans were taken with the ritualistic, Roman-leaning Oxford movement, or Tractarianism, 3 4 "perhaps the most important development in the Angl ican Church in the nineteenth century" The leaders of the church in the Diocese o f Toronto, especially Strachan, drew chiefly on particular, non-Roman, elements of this movement, especially its emphasis on the doctrine of apostolic succession, "because the assertion that the church enjoyed an unbroken link to the primitive church gave the colonial church what it was seeking - a sense o f itself that did not rely on the state and could justify the independent course the church was now pursuing." 3 6 Evangelicals, on the other hand, were highly suspicious of Tractarianism and saw it as verging dangerously close to Roman Catholicism. The conversion of some of the most prominent Tractarians - including John Henry Newman - to Roman Catholicism did nothing to allay their fears. Although evangelical Angl ican bishops, clergy and laity sometimes allied themselves with other denominations in missionary and philanthropic endeavours, mid-century high church Anglicans were always opposed to any cooperation with "dissent." 3 7 Toronto's evangelical Anglicans gathered momentum in the late 1860s and through the 1870s, as they established among other things the Evangelical Churchman and the Protestant Episcopal Divinity School, which became Wycliffe College and was federated with the University of Toronto in the 1880s. 3 8 Despite the tensions between generally high church and evangelical factions, the Angl ican church in Canada did not suffer the divisions that characterized Presbyterianism and Methodism. Already one communion, they began negotiations to form a national body in 1891, and the first General Synod met in 1893. This body could speak officially on social and economic issues and could represent the entire Anglican church in Canada. Its establishment enabled Anglicans to form committees to address the moral, social and economic issues that were by this time causing a great deal o f concern to other Protestant churches, particularly liquor consumption, sabbath observance and prostitution. 3 9 B y the end of the century, the church as a whole had become more conciliatory and started to favour joint action with other Protestant groups against Roman Catholicism and various social evils and in favour o f the development of Sunday Schools and the use of the Bible in public education. Wi l l iam Westfall speaks of a sense in 31. Westfall, supra note 2 at 106-15, 201 32. Clark, supra note 5 at 122-23. 33. Clark, ibid, at 122. 34. Tractarians are defined thus by Terrence Murphy & Gerald Stortz, eds., in Creed and Culture: The Place of English-Speaking Catholics in Canadian Society, 1750-1930 (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1993) [hereinafter Murphy, Creed] at xiv: Members of the Oxford Movement within the Church of England, including among others John Keble, John Henry Newman, and E.B. Pusey. From its inception in 1833, the movement worked for the recognition of the divine authority of the Church of England as a branch of the Catholic church, the upholding of the authority of bishops as the successors of the apostles, the independence of the church from government control, and the restoration of Anglo-Catholic traditions of worship and piety. Some of the Tractarians, notably Newman, were eventually con-verted to Roman Catholicism. 35. Westfall, supra note 2 at 120. 36. Westfall, ibid. 37. Vaudry, supra note 4 at 165. 38. William H. Katerberg, "Redefining Evangelicalism in the Canadian Anglican Church: Wycliffe College and the Evangelical Party, 1867-1995" in Rawlyk, Aspects, supra note 3, 171 at 173-75. 39. Edward Pulker, We Stand on Their Shoulders: The Growth of Social Concern in Canadian Anglicanism (Toronto: Anglican Book Centre, 1986) at 25. 16 Protestant culture that the secular world had to be imbued with the sacred Methodists Methodism began in England in the 1730s as a counter-reformatory movement in the Church of England. Founder John Wesley stressed the centrality of the direct experience of G o d in a Christian's life. A number of different English and American Methodist sects arrived in Ontario in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, through the efforts of a group o f modestly trained English and American itinerant preachers who rode out on highly successful circuits into the bush to take the gospel and Wesley's sermons mainly to the white inhabitants o f Ontario's hinterlands. Methodism in the early and mid-nineteenth century was essentially an evangelical revival movement. It sustained an optimistic view o f humanity's ability to attain conversion and salvation. N e i l Semple describes Methodism as bringing into an environment defined by formalistic Angl ican and orthodox C a l v i n i s t 4 1 ideologies its earnest religious commitment and its trust in personal control of one's spiritual life under divine guidance. Central to Methodism was the tradition of revivalism, which also had analogs in the practices o f most o f the other Christian churches during the nineteenth century. The word "revival ism" refers to two phenomena: first, a widespread spiritual awakening in society aimed at achieving a post-mil lennial 4 2 rule o f Christ in the world; and second, the specific techniques of mass evangelism, which provided spiritual shocks to kindle or rekindle intense religious belief in individuals . 4 3 Because primacy was not placed on formal education and because the personal experience of God was understood to come equally wel l to men and women, preachers included the unordained and even women, whom Wesley had accepted, after some doubts, despite Methodism's denial of the social equality of women and men. Women played a large role in nineteenth-century Methodist revivals . 4 4 Methodism's emphasis on the primacy of the individual's relationship with God caused it to applaud women who sought God and the church against the wishes o f their husbands or fathers. A common narrative in Methodist lore concerned the good woman whose piety eventually prevailed over her drunken, violent, unchurched husband and brought him to God, thus preparing him to fulfil his rightful function as head o f the Christian family. In this way, while teaching patriarchal gender roles, Methodism nonetheless commended women for taking responsibility for the salvation o f themselves and their households, even in defiance of husbands. This approach to gender roles was one harbinger of later developments that saw women participating more actively in public l i f e . 4 5 Methodism was an optimistic creed but a strict one. During the pioneer period in Ontario, Methodists 40. Westfall, supra note 2 at 123-24. 41. The Calvinist current in Protestantism tends, in this context, to be opposed to Arminianism. Both Calvinists and Arminians take the view that human salvation can come only by divine grace, through faith. These doctrines differ on the question of predestination, orthodox Calvinists believing that God has chosen an elect few for salvation but Armin-ians believing that divine grace is universally available and predestination only exists in the sense that God has fore-knowledge of human choices. Because grace is universally available, in the Arminian view, and all humans have free will, all are responsible for seeking salvation. Where Presbyterianism was generally Calvinist, Arminianism made its way into the theology of Anglicanism and Methodism. It has left its legacy in a range of Protestant theologies. 42. The expression "post-millennial" refers to an interpretation of the scriptural prophecy of the second coming of the Messiah in Revelations. The major Protestant denominations, including the Methodists, believed that only after the rule of God had been fully established on earth through the good acts of Christians would Christ return in the flesh. The dif-ferent aspects and manifestations of millennialism are numerous and complex. For more information, see Westfall, supra note 2 at 159-90. 43. Semple, supra note 1 at 127-28. 44. Semple, ibid, at 21, 144. 45. See Cecilia Morgan, Public Men and Virtuous Women: The Gendered Languages ofReligion and Politics in Upper Canada, 1791-1850 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996) at 114-15. 17 denounced dancing, drinking and popular amusements and were accused o f excessive self-righteousness. Sunday was to be observed strictly with religious activities and "quiet, reverential pursuits." On the other days o f the week, reading had to be wholesome, and all kinds of amusements were to be shunned, including the theatre, gambling, cricket, the race-track, brothels and the circus. Women were warned against fancy dress, jewelry and frivolous behaviour. 4 6 A lcohol was considered the greatest danger, however, being the root o f nearly all personal degeneration, vice and misery. During the early nineteenth-century, Methodists shifted from advocating moderation to decrying any consumption of alcohol at a l l . 4 7 Methodism addressed itself to the whole range of elements, spiritual and social, that composed Christianity. In its pronouncements about the whole range o f human activities, Methodism declared that there was no distinction between the sacred and the secular. The economy in Ontario matured into a settled agricultural and commercial one in the 1840s. The Methodists (joined by the Baptists, whose numbers were smaller 4 9 ) were the vanguard of opposition to the Church of England's claim to the clergy reserves, and when these were secularized in 1854, Methodists were pleased to see a significant portion of the proceeds directed toward the school system. The provision of public education was hugely important to Methodism; Egerton Ryerson, a Methodist of Scottish origins, spent much o f his life ensuring that schools were non-denominational (meaning broadly Protestant), good quality, centrally controlled, accessible to all and publicly funded. Over the second half o f the nineteenth century, a considerable amount of legislation was passed to bring about the transformation and modernization o f schools according to the vision propounded by Ryerson and other less prominent individuals. In 1871 school attendance became compulsory for boys and girls aged seven to twelve for four months a year, but the objectives o f the legislation were not met. What were previously known as common schools became public schools and were responsible for elementary education. Grammar schools became high schools, some - the collegiate institutes - with a focus on university preparation and some more generalized. 5 0 Teacher training academies, known as normal schools, opened. A s the universities began to open their doors to women, so did the collegiate institutes. The ages for which school attendance was compulsory increased in the closing decades o f the century, as did the calibre o f high school education. 5 1 Between the middle and the end of the nineteenth century, Methodism underwent a substantial transformation. Frontier revivalism was moderated by the 1860s. Although it had offered considerable attractions for many people, certain problems with it had become evident. Revival converts were unreliable and often quickly slid away from the church, often back to Anglicanism or Presbyterianism. 5 2 Revivals strengthened ecumenism and a shared evangelical Protestant vision.of Brit ish North America, of which the church was broadly in favour but which threatened to weaken its base o f support, just as it weakened the support of other mainstream denominations. This problem was compounded by the fact that many evangelists often had little formal education, adhered to no particular denomination and preached a theology tending away from conventional Methodist v i e w s . 5 3 With the population now settled, itinerancy became unpopular with both preachers and congregations. 46. Regarding moral regulation and the semiotics of fancy dress in nineteenth-century English and American literature, see Mariana Valverde, "The Love of Finery, Fashion and the Fallen Woman in 19th-century Social Discourse" (1989) 32:2 Vict. Studies 169. 47. Semple, supra note 1 at 56, 67-68. 48. Semple, ibid, at 8. 49. David T. Priestley, "Introduction: Strands of One Cord" in David T. Priestley, ed., Memory and Hope: Strands of Canadian Baptist History (Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1996) [hereinafter Priestley, Memory] 1 at 1. 50. Dormer Ellis, "The Schooling of Girls" in Oliver, supra note 27, 89 at 89; William Brehaut, "Trends in the History of Ontario Education" in Oliver, ibid., 1 at 10; Delmar McCormack Smyth, "The Gradual Emergence of Ontario's Commu-nity Colleges" in Oliver, ibid., 159 at 163-64; Putnam, supra note 27 at 225-26. 51. Putman, ibid at 230-31; Brehaut, ibid, at 10. 52. See Westfall, "Order and Experience," supra note 12 at 108. 53. Fraser, supra note 7 at 24; Semple, supra note 1 at 214-15,218, 391. 18 Methodist congregations, becoming more educated and respectable, grew impatient with frantic, disorganized harangues about "the so-called simple saving truths of religion" and came to require intelligent, reasoned responses to the challenges to faith posed by Darwinism and scepticism. The need for an educated, cultivated clergy was increasingly fe l t . 5 4 Enthusiasm for lay preachers also declined in the mid-nineteenth century, partly because o f the demand for better sermons and partly because of a fear that Methodism would lose adherents to other churches with professional c lergy. 5 5 A s the century progressed, the educational attainments of the Methodist clergy increased, from rudimentary education, to secondary training, to university matriculation. During their training periods, young clergy began to spend time in the departments o f theology at universities. 5 6 Methodists, like other denominations, wanted to train their young ministers in Canada and not rely on American colleges. Their suspicion o f republican political ideals and their sense that the United States harboured a coarser culture than their own are dimension of middle-class Ontario's bourgeois sensibility that remained important in later decades. Methodists were also afraid, with good reason, that their young men would not return after going south. 5 7 A s a result, the Wesleyan Upper Canada Academy at Cobourg became Victoria College in 1841, and Albert College, founded at Bellevi l le as a seminary by the American-leaning Episcopal Methodists, became an independent university in 1866. With the union of the two main branches of Methodism, the two institutions became Victoria University in 1884, which aimed to provide an advanced education that would deepen the soul as wel l as broaden the intellect. 5 8 A s the Methodist clergy became more educated, it became more preoccupied with the intellectual dilemmas o f the age, such as methods of biblical criticism and the challenges to faith posed by science. Though, as S.D. Clark says, the majority o f members of the congregations l ikely clung to the simple faith of their parents, the faith of the clergy became, in a word, modernized. The religious presses, reflecting this change and the competition from secular presses, shifted away from a purely religious message to literary, philosophical and political matters of interest to an educated readership. 5 9 Besides the perceived problem of inadequately educated preachers, another common concern about revivalism was that over-emotional behaviour undermined the "maturity and respectability o f institutionalized Methodism." The more reserved Wesleyan branch of Methodism had always disliked revivalism's emotional enthusiasm. 6 0 The "enthusiasm of the Methodists" was one of the threats perceived by Presbyterians "to the ordered evolution of democratic institutions within the Brit ish system favoured by the rising middle classes 6 1 In 1884, a series o f mergers o f the various Methodist connections culminated in one final union, which incorporated almost all Methodists and made Methodism the largest Protestant denomination in Canada. 6 2 The focus of the church moved from the frontier to the urban centres. Methodists built impressive gothic churches, including Toronto's spectacular Metropolitan Wesleyan "cathedral," specialized missions, hospitals, residential mission schools, secondary schools and colleges across the country. Mirroring the organizational culture o f the business world, the church consolidated and organized its internal 54. Semple, ibid, at 237,254. 55. Semple, ibid, at 237. 56. Semple, ibid, at 254-62. 57. See Bebbington, supra note 8 at 49. 58. Semple, supra note 1 at 243-44,251. Methodism had many branches but the two most important were the Wesleyans and the Episcopal Methodists. The Wesleyans looked to England for missionaries and support for their endeavours. They were less enthusiastic in their revivalism than were the Episcopal Methodists, a more aggressive manifestation of Meth-odism that looked to the eastern United States for support. See Semple, ibid, at 4-8 for a complete outline of the many branches of Canadian Methodism. 59. Clark, supra note 5 at 341-42. 60. Clark, ibid, at 213-14. 61. Fraser, supra note 7 at 55. 62. Semple, supra note 1 at 7. 19 organization and expanded its bureaucracy to include a number of boards and standing committees, which over time became highly specialized offices with their own personnel. B y the early twentieth century, the large Department o f Evangelism and Social Service had field secretaries and regional offices across the country. 6 3 B y the end of the century, Methodists came not from the lower ranks o f society but mainly from its middle and also from its the upper echelons. "[T]he Methodist church increasingly defined its goals and social values according to the attitudes of an upwardly mobile middle class and in particular by a small group of wealthy commercial and industrial leaders who hoped to create a nation in their own image and who were wi l l ing to spend their resources to see it achieved." 6 4 The clergy took a benign attitude toward wealth. They toned down the emphasis on the terrors o f hellfire and began to stress God's love and the benefits of right l iving. Professional evangelists such as Dwight L. Moody appealed to Methodists and gained much influence teaching a moderate, optimistic, evangelical creed. 6 5 Massive urban churches with large organs were built, as were more modest ones in smaller centres and prosperous rural areas. Services became refined and decorous, so that they would not jar the nerves o f cultivated people. Churches often reintroduced a more Anglican-like structured liturgy based on John Wesley's Sunday Service. Bach recitals and other concerts that were part of the community's cultural life took place in churches. Refined behaviour and dress came to be expected and to mark the members of the fe l lowship. 6 6 From earliest times, the institution that provided the best opportunity for the maintenance o f Methodist practices was the class meeting, which Semple describes as the "essential and distinguishing institution of M e t h o d i s m . " 6 7 This was originally a small, weekly group meeting, held under the leadership of a mature Christian leader, at which confession and self-examination occurred (and also fund-raising). The class meeting provided Methodism with a means of disciplining its members. Regular attendance at class meetings was compulsory, and during the early years, Methodism dismissed anyone who would not be bound by the fellowship o f the class meeting. However, as Methodism became institutionalized during the second half of the century, and as its membership grew more diverse, people became less and less interested in openly baring their faults to their social superiors and particularly inferiors. The class meeting became unable to maintain attendance, even with the disciplinary sanctions it had available to it, and it evolved into a larger, less demanding fellowship gathering. From 1854, when Egerton Ryerson launched his attack on its compulsory nature, until the 1870s, debate raged; the institution's relevance declined dramatically during this period, but the hierarchy had still not dropped the class meeting as a test of membership by 1925. 6 8 Although Methodism sympathized with workers and tried hard not to alienate the labour movement, its commitment to an ordered conception of the state made it unsympathetic to attacks on the capitalist system. Hard, sober work was viewed as essential to happiness and spiritual health, and wealth obtained thereby was thought to reflect God's grace. Methodists came to see drunkenness and sloth as signs of spiritual depravity, and the miseries o f the poor came to be suspected to result from their own moral failings. Although Methodists did not abandon the poor, and wealth was to be spent in God's service, the poor became increasingly alienated not only from Methodism but also from other organized religions that were undergoing related changes. 6 9 Not only the urban poor were isolated by Methodism's renovated message. Some of the Methodist's church's most conservative members became isolated within the church 63. Semple, ibid at 208-9; Phyllis D. Airhart, "Condensation and Heart Religion: Canadian Methodists as Evangelicals, 1884-1925" in Rawlyk, Aspects, supra note 3, 90 at 93. 64. Semple, ibid, at 334. See also Van Die, supra note 3 at 79, 83-84, 87. 65. Clark, supra note 5 at 401-3; Semple, ibid, at 337-38. See also Kevin Kee, '"The Heavenly Railroad': An Introduc-tion to Crossley-Hunter Revivalism" in Rawlyk, Aspects, supra note 3, 320. 66. Semple, supra note 1 at 338. 67. Semple, ibid, at 19. 68. Semple, ibid, at 227-32. 69. Semple, ibid, at 339-40; Clark, supra note 5 at 393-95. 20 and, as part o f a movement that caused serious upheaval not only among Methodists but among the general Protestant community, broke off to form other bodies, increasingly taking over the language of revival as their o w n . 7 0 B y the end of the nineteenth century, then, Methodism was a confident, urbane, socially aware faith. It had led the revivalism of the nineteenth century and the opposition to the establishment of the Churches of England and Scotland. It had made significant contributions to public schooling in Ontario, had developed a centralized, bureaucratic structure and seemed wel l placed to continue to provide leadership on the social and moral front as the twentieth century began. Presbyterians The history o f Presbyterianism in Canada is complex. Its historiography is complicated by different writers' emphases on different aspects of a creed with many faces - popular and academic, evangelical and non-evangelical, intertwined with the state and politics or resolutely aloof from secular concerns. The story of nineteenth-century Presbyterianism has elements o f the Methodist story of transition from sect to church (in S.D. Clark's terms) and elements o f a progression of many churches toward one unified one. It is also a story of congregations resolutely maintaining their identities. The intellectual history o f nineteenth-century Canada is largely a history of Presbyterians and their institutions. A l l of these threads appear in what follows. Presbyterians i n frontier Upper Canada at the beginning of the nineteenth century came mainly from Scotland, Ireland and the United States. There were three major groups: Americans, adherents o f the Church of Scotland, and secessionists. These groups tended to agree on most points of doctrine but to disagree on points o f religious practice and on the proper relationship between church and state, most, including the Church o f Scotland (the largest segment), favouring state support through establishment but the secessionists holding strictly voluntarist pr inciples . 7 1 Unlike the situation with respect to Anglicans, because o f the Presbyterian stress on congregational autonomy, where two or three Presbyterian families settled together (as often happened, particularly among the clannish Scots), their attachments tended to be maintained, even without ministers. Where, however, people o f different creeds were thoroughly mixed together and no Presbyterian ministers were available, particularly on the edges of the frontier, Presbyterianism tended to lose adherents to Methodist revivalists. The missionaries of the Church o f Scotland in pioneer Canada rooted themselves in the upper strata of urban communities. The secessionist sects - who in Scotland had taken issue with the Church of Scotland's established status - did make some efforts to evangelize in rural areas, but because of their commitment to congregational structures and an educated ministry, they were never as successful as the Methodists. Scottish Presbyterianism tended to have high quality preachers where it had preachers at all , but its lack of evangelizing personnel meant that it often lost those adherents whose commitment to the church required continual nourishment. 7 4 Although some early nineteenth-century Scottish Presbyterians were evangelical, most preferred decorum and relied on the sacraments, good works and other ordinary means o f grace to bring people to God. During this period Scottish Presbyterians (evangelical and otherwise) disliked revivalist practices, including not only those of Methodists but also those of American Presbyterians. Evangelical Scottish Presbyterian clerics did not adopt revivalistic practices until after about 70. Semple, ibid, at 349,391. These were fundamentalist, holiness, premillennialist, dispensationalist and even spiritual-ist groups, including the Hornerites, the Salvation Army, the Free Methodists, the Holiness Movement of Canada, the Gospel Workers Church, the Church of the Nazarene and adventist and pentecostal churches. 71. Westfall, supra note 2 at 116-17. 72. Clark, supra note 5 at 135-36. 73. Fraser, supra note*-7 at 54; Clark, ibid, at 106-7. 74. Clark, ibid, at 139-40. 21 1837. 7 5 Between the late 1830s and early 1870s, both the Church o f Scotland and the Free Church adherents increasingly used these practices. 7 6 American Presbyterianism was like Methodism in that it used revivalist methods and employed similar techniques in recruiting preachers, although itinerancy was 77 not so much insisted upon. B y 1844 in Canada there were ten separate Presbyterian denominations. These had their roots in the developments in Scotland during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The established Church of Scotland, which (like the Church of England) accepted the principle of state funding and control, had been subjected to criticism and sectarian splits by those disaffected with the established powers and whose personal and religious needs were not being met by the established church. The Church of Scotland and its secessionist sects were also susceptible to inroads from eighteenth-century evangelical revivals. A t the beginning of the nineteenth century, changes in social and economic structures in Scotland created a commercial middle class, whose interests conflicted with the landed interests that supported the Church of Scotland. The central point of conflict was the right o f lay patrons to force particular ministers on their parishes. In 1843, Thomas Chalmers led the evangelical Free Church o f Scotland out o f the Church of Scotland in an episode known as the "Great Disruption." The Free Church did not abandon the principle that the state should provide it with financial support but it believed that the state should not be able to affect the theological direction of the c h u r c h . 7 8 In sympathy, a large group o f Canadian Presbyterians, the majority of whom had been evangelical anyway, also established Free Church congregations and presbyteries. After 1843, Free Church evangelicalism took root in Canada and the Maritimes and its adherents soon substantially outnumbered adherents of the " A u l d K i r k , " or Church o f Scotland. The Free Church was strongest in western areas o f Upper Canada, "where an expanding agricultural and commercial economy, together with the liberal political views fostered by the publishing empire o f Free Churchmen Peter and George Brown, created a favourable environment for denominational g r o w t h . " 7 9 Like the Scottish Free Church, however, the Canadian Free Church did not abandon the principle that the state and church should work together; "[i]ndeed its strong evangelicalism confirmed its belief that the state must support the moral reform of society." 8 0 B y 1840, the Church of Scotland had succeeded in its argument that it too was an established church and had begun drawing from the clergy reserves. A certain amount o f Presbyterian unity had flowed from this eventuality. When the Free Church broke off, it initially adopted the position that it was entitled to state funding but ought to be exempt from state control. However, it more or less abandoned its claim to state support by the 1850s because the state had demonstrated a complete lack o f enthusiasm for supporting religion generally and had given the proceeds of the clergy reserves to all Christian denominations, including Roman Catholics, before eventually secularizing them entirely in 1854. 8 1 In the wake of these events, the Church of Scotland accommodated itself to the exigencies of disestablishment, which it found less painful than did the Church o f England. The Free Church fairly quickly became the dominant Presbyterian force in Canada and the basis for the 1875 union of all the major Presbyterian groups. 8 3 Brian Fraser argues that this last unification occurred in a spirit of patriotism 75. Clark, ibid, at 136-37; Bebbington, supra note 8 at 47; Duff Crerar, '"Crackling Sounds from the Burning Bush': The Evangelical Impulse in Canadian Presbyterianism before 1875" in Rawlyk, Aspects, supra note 3, 123 at 127. 76. Crerar, ibid, at 128. 77. Clark, supra note 5 at 161-62. 78. Fraser, supra note 7 at 51-53; Westfall, supra note 2 at 117. 79. Fraser, ibid, at 54. 80. Westfall, supra note 2 at 117. 81. Westfall, ibid, at 116-18; Fraser, supra note 7 at 55. 82. Westfall, ibid, at 116. 83. Fraser, supra note 7 at 51, 55-56. 22 and religious enthusiasm felt largely by the Canadian Presbyterian commercial middle class, particularly those with Scottish affdiations or roots . 8 4 Once the Free Church had abandoned its hope o f state support in the 1850s, [w]hat remained o f the original Free Church stance ... was the insistence on God's universal sovereignty over both church and state. The Free Churches adopted an aggressive attitude in matters o f social policy, such as temperance, Sabbath observance, and anti-slavery, as well as an openness to co-operate with other groups in support of these movements for moral and social reform. Further, that belief gave impetus to the competitive drive against the challenges o f the papal aggression of the Roman Catholics, both French and Irish, and the enthusiasm of the Methodists, both of which were seen as threats to the ordered evolution of democratic institutions within the British system favoured by the rising middle classes. 8 5 The union o f 1875 ushered in a period o f increasing growth for the church. I turn now to developments in philosophy before and around the turn o f the century in Ontario. It is appropriate to discuss these developments in the context of an analysis of Presbyterianism because so many o f these individuals taught philosophy or theology in the Presbyterian colleges, the two in Ontario being K n o x (originally Free Church) and Queen's (originally Church of Scotland). Canada's early Protestant philosophers were all clergy, and most were educated at Scottish universities: indeed one writer observes that "[philosophical ly , Central Canada was a colony o f Scot land." 8 6 The developments in Methodist theology are also discussed in this part because it was subjected to similar forces and experienced related changes. Intellectual, social and political currents were mixed at the end of the nineteenth century. The population was becoming increasingly industrial and urban. Large churches had been and were being built in Toronto and other centres in accordance with the middle and upper classes' increasing sense of their own respectability, importance and ambitions. Public education had been entrenched and was reaching even the children of the poor. Teacher training had been standardized. The middle and upper classes could send their children to local universities. Tremendous scientific discoveries and technological advances were being made. The secular social sciences of sociology and political economics were coming o f age, and history and philosophy were separating themselves from theology. Industrialization was wel l under way, and economic liberalism held sway. Canada was a nation from sea to sea with a sense of its historical position and a great optimism about the future. Women were taking public roles. N o state religion had been entrenched and French language rights - o f use mostly to Roman Catholics - had been entrenched in the constitution. Catholics and Protestants, though still disagreeing on many things, agreed that Canada would be an English-speaking country, proud of both its independence and its favoured position within the British Empire. Revivalist practices were being muted as the churches consolidated and became solid, urban institutions. Tracing the development and manifestations of theology and philosophy during this period is difficult. The number o f competing views that have been put forward underlines the difficulty in weighing currents in intellectual history. What follows is a discussion o f some major currents that affected the actions and thought o f those in the vanguard o f the moral and social reform movements in Ontario around the turn of the century. 84. Fraser, ibid, at 50-51. 85. Fraser, ibid, at 55. 86. Irving, supra note 14 at 285; Armour & Trott, supra note 7 at 48. 87. Armour and Trott describe the optimistic flavour of philosophical pursuits of the period and of the sense that things were improving in most socio-cultural realms, supra note 7 at 407-8. 23 In The Evangelical Century, Michael Gauvreau argues that it is critical to remember that the Canadian intellectual tradition, forged between 1820 and 1840 and continuing until the 1930s, was not an Enlightenment tradition but an evangelical one, driven largely by Methodism and Presbyterianism. In the Canadian universities, philosophy began as a servant to theology and only gradually, over the course of about a century, divided from i t . 8 8 Gauvreau argues that the defining intellectual preoccupation of Methodist and Presbyterian clergymen-professors in mid- and late nineteenth-century Canada was with human history. Unl ike their colleagues in Britain and the United States, they were not, he says, particularly concerned with the natural sciences and the challenges they might pose to Christian doctrine. The central point was the status o f the Bible as the basis of the reason, understanding and faith necessary for Christian civilization. N o t only was the Bible the sole source o f religious truth but it was the history of God's intervention in human affairs. "It can be said without exaggeration that the equation of theology and history was the chief mode of expression among English Canadian evangelicals, the very determinant of their creed and their efforts to build a Christian c i v i l i z a t i o n . " 8 9 This belief in the confluence of history and theology reflected a post-millennialist eschatology: these churches read Revelations as meaning that Christ's second coming would follow the establishment, by devout humans, of the Kingdom of God on earth. They understood biblical passages to have foretold Canadian history and changes they anticipated in society in the future, and they were optimistic that Canada was leading the world toward the development o f the Kingdom. Theologians carefully addressed challenges posed to this way of understanding history and theology by secular or natural explanations o f the origins, change and decline of human societies. 9 0 Gauvreau argues that the last four decades of the nineteenth century saw the evangelical clergymen-professors in Presbyterian and Methodist institutions grappling with the challenges posed by a variety of developments in the intellectual world - particularly higher criticism and secondarily Darwinism - and adapting or neutralizing them so that they did not contradict the view that the Bible told the story of human history and foretold the future. The publication o f Darwin's Origin of Species in 1859 and the subsequent publication of The Descent of Man provoked heated discussion in intellectual Christian c irc les . 9 1 Those who believed in the literal truth of the Bible were shaken. A s wel l , as Armour and Trott argue, although it had been accepted by thoughtful religious believers for centuries that scientific investigation would reveal the hand of God in the design of the universe, central to this view was the understanding that humans had been devised for a particular purpose. Evolution showed, at best, that God had chosen an untenably sloppy means for arriving at the production of humans and at worst that humans were not the end-product of evolution - that humanity might be merely a phase in the passage to some more advanced form of life. Humans had not been created in the image of G o d , so their centrality to the universal design of things was not assured. In the same vein, evolution also undermined the supposition - essential to Common Sense philosophy - that human minds had been designed particularly to enable them to understand the universe and to attend to matters necessary for achieving their salvation, including devising a correct system of morality. Darwin's theories suggested that humans might simply be the product o f the exigencies o f evolution in particular environments. God might not care about humans at all , and human morality might have nothing to do with G o d . 9 2 A . B . M c K i l l o p , however, asserts that in Canada, The Origin of Species itself was not considered a major threat to orthodox religion but was seen as part o f a more generalized threat posed to eternal Christian truth by untrammeled intellectual inquiry . 9 3 Gauvreau implicitly agrees, arguing that because most Canadian theologians outside the Angl ican tradition were preoccupied with human, rather than natural, history, they took Darwin's theories at one remove: to them, there was no need for a precise, external, reasonable 88. Gauvreau, supra note 3 at 16,37; Armour & Trott, ibid, at 41, 44. 89. Gauvreau, ibid, at 58. 90. Gauvreau, ibid, at 59. 91. For some examples, see McKillop, supra note 14 at 126. 92. Armour & Trott, supra note 7 at 179-81. 93. McKillop, supra note 14 at 117. 24 justification for Christian faith anyway, as they were much more interested in the human world o f history. 9 4 Gauvreau argues that although clergymen-professors recognized the challenges posed by the doctrines o f evolution and natural selection, they adapted themselves to evolutionary theory without abandoning their belief in the divine rule o f the w o r l d . 9 5 This accommodation was achieved by attacking Darwin as unscientific because his theories were speculative and did not adhere to the tenets of Baconian science. I have discussed Common Sense philosophy above, in connection with Anglicans such as James Beaven and James B o v e l l o f H i g h Angl ican Trinity College, who required "precise, external, reasonable justification o f Christian t ruth . " 9 6 What must be added here is that, except for its methodology, Common Sense philosophy did not particularly interest Presbyterian or Methodist clergymen-professors, who were wary o f a line o f argument that suggested that Christian faith might be based in or substantiated by Q7 anything other than the direct personal experience of God. Methodists, including Ryerson, linked natural theology to the Angl ican establishment and its religion, which they perceived to be undemocratic, hierarchical, orderly and dependent on external evidences rather than personal experience. 9 8 Baconianism, however, was a mainstay of evangelical, non-Anglican t h i n k i n g . 9 9 Canadian Presbyterian and Methodist clergymen-professors were more concerned with evolution as a subset of the problem of the application o f historical criticism to the B i b l e . 1 0 0 In the period before the publication o f Darwin's theories, German idealism and historicism - which created great controversy and debate in the United States and Britain - had been unattractive to Canadian evangelical theologians. 1 0 1 The German universities had seemed the source of a rationalist infidelity that threatened liberty and m o r a l i t y . 1 0 2 After Darwin's views had been aired, however, the idea o f the existence o f evolutionary laws began to make its way into the social sphere, threatening to displace the notion that all of human history had been mapped out by G o d and set forth in the Bible. German idealism and historical criticism came to Canadian shores around the same time and were adapted such that they could meet the challenge to orthodoxy posed by the ideas o f social D a r w i n i s m . 1 0 3 This German idealism emerged from the thinking of Kant and was taken up by an expanded upon by Hegel. The influence o f German idealism first took root in anglo-American intellectual circles through the literary imagination of such individuals as Coleridge, Carlyle and E m e r s o n . 1 0 4 Idealism was taught at the University o f Glasgow by Edward Caird, who instilled its principles in its most important Canadian devotee, John Watson. Watson spent his long career at Queen's and influenced many others, both teachers and students. 1 0 5 One of the principles that emerged from idealism was that the universe was an organic whole, and all the objects o f observation - including historical observation - were merely partial manifestations o f a single, spiritual principle. Hence, says A . B . M c K i l l o p , quoting Watson on this spiritual principle, it "manifests itself fully only in the life of man, with his self-conscious intelligence. Hegel's doctrine thus seemed ... to be the philosophic rendering o f the essential principle o f Christian-ity, the union or identity of the human and divine." B y means of this Hegelian influence, reli-gion, for both Caird and Watson, became, in Watson's words, "the process by which man 94. Gauvreau, supra note 3 at 70, 74, 129. 95. Gauvreau, ibid, at 125-27. 96. Gauvreau, ibid, at 70. 97. Gauvreau, ibid, at 61. 98. Gauvreau, ibid, at 68. 99. Gauvreau, ibid, at 18, 38-45. 100. Gauvreau, ibid at 130. 101. Gauvreau, ibid, at 86-87. 102. McKillop, supra note 14 at 119-20. 103. Armour & Trott, supra note 7 at 13. 104. Fraser, supra note 7 at 3-4. 105. McKillop, supra note 14 at 171-72. 25 comprehends, and comprehends ever more clearly and more fully, the spiritual unity which combines all existence and manifests its power in that process, while the salvation of society and the influence o f great men he [Caird] ascribed to the free play o f reason in converting all that seems foreign to it into a means of its own r e a l i z a t i o n . " 1 0 6 This philosophy permitted humans to seek and even to know ultimate reality, and it seemed to remove the opposition between philosophy and science in its confidence that no truths could contradict each other. A l l thought would eventually lose itself in the divine. Idealism "cultivated a pious disposition in the minds of students without belittling intellectual inquiry. It showed the essential rationality of the universe and placed everything within the perspective of a new and modern interpretation of the Christian experience, even while defending the essentials of the f a i t h . " 1 0 7 Idealism encouraged students to push their intellectual limits, secure in the knowledge that such inquiry would always eventually deepen their faith as they came to a better understanding of the mind of God - this contrasted with the earlier sense in especially Canadian philosophical circles that the intellect had to be carefully disciplined by faith. Idealist thinking has been linked by writers like Brian Fraser and A . B . M c K i l l o p with the rise of the social gospel m o v e m e n t . 1 0 9 One of the currents within idealism that probably lent itself to this way of thinking was the conception of the universe as an organic whole, with the moral and ethical responsibility of each individual being to seek out and serve the greater good of society. John Watson argued that the true good of the individual was inseparable from the good of society as a whole. Society, in this formulation, tended to be considered to mean Canada, building site o f the Kingdom of God on earth and Canadians' missionary activities elsewhere in the world. The individual had no right to oppose society as a whole, embodied in the state, unless society was acting against its own best interests - opposition to the liquor trade, for instance, was necessary because the state's leaders had evidently perverted the state's laws by failing to prevent it. If one function of the state, considered as an organ of the whole body, had ceased to perform its functions adequately, it was the responsibility o f other organs, like the churches, to take over these funct ions . 1 1 0 The sense of the organic nature o f society dovetailed with the Methodist and Presbyterian idea that society had to be perfected by humans before the second coming could occur and gave a moral imperative to their vision. Idealism also apprehended no distinction between the secular and sacred realms and thus contributed to moral reformers' sense of the appropriateness of imposing religious tenets on society. Idealism was widely accepted; not so the higher criticism. The most bitter religious controversies around the turn of the century were over historical scholarship and attempts at biblical interpretation. 1 1 1 N e i l Semple describes this new "cri t ical" scientific and historical approach to the Bible as having two forms. " L o w e r " (or "textual") criticism involved careful study of the biblical texts themselves in pursuit of their correct meaning. Lower criticism had long been an accepted part of academic biblical scholarship. The idea was that language could not perfectly represent the mind of God, so that careful consideration and correction were appropriate, guided by faith. Higher criticism, on the other hand, treated the Bible like any other literary or historical work. The appraisal of authors, nature and the authority o f the biblical texts was to be done without reference to Christian doctrine or the final arbitration of faith. Scepticism and agnosticism acquired power and respectability. " B y suggesting that the Bible was full of allegory and legend, that it was designed to suit a primitive Hebrew society, or that the chronology and information in its books were faulty, higher and historical criticism appeared to many to illustrate a heretical breakdown of faith and a contempt for organized r e l i g i o n . " 1 1 2 106. McKillop, ibid, at 185. 107. McKillop, ibid, at 182. 108. McKillop, ibid, at 190-92. 109. Fraser, supra note 7 at 3-8, 17; McKillop, ibid, at 216-17. 110. McKillop, ibid, at 198-99; Fraser, ibid, at 39-40, 103. 111. Armour & Trott, supra note 7 at 328, and witness Albert Carman's anger at George Workman's scepticism about the reputability of the "dictation" theory of the Bible: ibid, at 326. 112. Semple, supra note 1 at 267-68. 26 Gauvreau observes that the general response o f evangelical professor clergymen to the higher criticism (which when applied to biblical history was called historical criticism) was to combine it with Baconian scientific methodology and the main tenets o f their creed. They devised a kind of reverent criticism, called "historical theology" which they blended with the tenets o f Christian idealism to accommodate the idea of evolution (translated into the concept o f progress) within a creation that still featured the immanent presence o f God. The result was the practices o f "biblical theology" (the Presbyterian term) and "inductive theology" (the Methodist term), which allowed clergy in both the pulpits and the universities to rely on the Bible as the pre-eminent source o f history, prophecy and Christian truth, while still coping with the insights of Darwinism and historical criticism. Gauvreau argues that biblical and inductive theology performed a reconciliation of views that kept the institutions o f the Canadian evangelical movement from splitting, as they did in the United States, into modernist, or liberal, and conservative, often fundamentalist, camps, based on their understandings of the nature of biblical t r u t h . 1 1 3 Another difference between the Canadian and American situations lay in theological liberals' attitudes to idealism. Brian Fraser cites W.R. Hutchinson's Modernist Impulse in American Protestantism for the proposition that the American social gospel actually privileged social salvation over individual salvation, whereas in Canada, i f pressed, most mainline Protestant clergy would have come down on the side o f individual salvation as p r i m a r y . 1 1 4 This difference was one reason why the schism between liberals and fundamentalists that took place in the churches o f the United States was not as significant in C a n a d a . 1 1 5 With the clergy not tending so much toward division along these lines, the laity too probably felt less call to choose sides in Canada than in the United States. They must not all have been oblivious to the American situation, but they probably felt that their own, more conciliatory theological culture was superior. Gauvreau emphasizes the great confidence of leaders like George Monro Grant and Nathanael Burwash, as the nineteenth century ended, that they had met the onslaught of Darwinism and the higher criticism and were entering the twentieth century secure in their faith and mission. Gauvreau understands the social gospel movement to have arisen from the optimistic, evangelical, post-millennialist views of people like Grant and Burwash, views that were based in their understanding o f biblical history and prophecy. Gauvreau disputes the view, which other authors have propounded, that between 1890 and 1905 the social gospel was an unstable mixture o f "philosophical idealism, evolutionary naturalism, higher criticism, and sentimental humanism" that grew out o f an evangelicalism whose theology had been badly weakened by higher criticism, Darwinian evolution and inexorable secularizat ion. 1 1 6 Gauvreau argues that the optimistic belief that the past could be interpreted and the future foretold through the Bible sustained the interest in social reform that people like Grant and Burwash held as the twentieth century b e g a n . 1 1 7 Another spur for the optimism of the social gospel movement, which Brian Fraser stresses, was the popular, optimistic evangelical revivalism of D w i g h t L . Moody. In 1873, Moody was a basically unknown Chicago evangelist. B y the time he died in 1899, he had become one o f the most influential evangelists of his age and had toured the United States, Canada and Britain - and was particularly wel l received in 113. Gauvreau, supra note 3 at 138-42, 153-54, 180. 114. Fraser, supra note 7 at 43. 115. Undoubtedly the reasons for the differences between Canada and the United States on this issue are as deep as the differences between the cultures in all of their aspects. Urbanization came earlier to the eastern United States than it did to Canada, creating a different social context for philosophical changes. The United States had recently been divided over slavery and had experienced civil war. Canadian evangelical society was smaller than its American counterpart. British religious impulses were stronger in Canada. Canada has been described as being characterized by a Tory spirit, by contrast to the individualist, egalitarian and often violent founding mythology of the United States. For an analysis of some of these differences, see Mark A. Noll, "Canadian Evangelicalism: A View from the United States" in Rawlyk, Aspects, supra note 3, 3. 116. Gauvreau, supra note 3 at 183. 117. Gauvreau, ibid, at 184-85. 27 Scotland - preaching forgiveness, the love of God and the practical morality o f the Christian faith. Through Henry Drummond, Moody's optimism was blended with Darwin's theory of evolution in the positing of "an ascent o f humanity based on the evolutionary principle of self-sacrificing love rather than a descent of humanity from lesser species through a random process o f the survival o f the f i t test ." 1 1 9 In essence, then, at the turn o f the century, for a significant group of Presbyterian clergymen-philosophers (and also Methodists) the mood was one o f optimism. The challenges of Darwinism and the higher criticism had been met. M o s t Presbyterians and Methodists were convinced that their creed had a firm grasp on biblical truth that would stay the course in the twentieth century. Some were inspired by the imperatives o f Moody 's optimistic evangelicalism, and some felt the idealist urge to push outward the sphere o f human knowledge and endeavour in order to seek the perfection o f society contemplated in the Bible. This mixture o f intellectual currents not only fuelled the social gospel and moral reform movements but also exhibited patterns o f thinking about human culture that extended beyond religion: I pick up this thread in chapter three. I turn next to a brief description o f certain smaller groups in the religious landscape of turn-of-the-century Ontario. The remainder o f this chapter then describes how those same intellectual currents that gave the social gospel and moral reform movements their strength also provided some of the seeds o f the decline o f the influence of the Protestant clergy in the early twentieth century. The Congregational Church of Canada and the Congregational United Brethren New England Congregationalism made an appearance in N o v a Scotia in the mid-eighteenth century but lost out to the evangelical "Great Awakening" later that century . 1 2 0 It subsequently had little impact on Canada, existing mainly in isolated parts of the country. S.D. Clark links eighteenth-century N e w England Congregationalism to village organization, describing as "interlocked" the elders of the church and the proprietors o f the town. Status in the community was associated with status in the church, and acts contravening the welfare or teachings of the church attracted civic sanctions. Congregationalism lacked both evangelical force and effective missionary organizations in frontier Ontario. Influenced at different times by both Calvinism and Arminianism, Congregationalism stressed that the congregation was the fundamental church, and that within it the H o l y Spirit had to be able to move. Ministers were appointed by individual congregations. Because of these beliefs, Congregationalism was suspicious of organized creeds administered by church hierarchies. Frontier Ontario lacked congregations, so Congregationalism languished. During the nineteenth century it lost many o f its adherents to Presbyterianism and M e t h o d i s m . 1 2 2 By around the end of the nineteenth century, American congregationalists often dispensed with the practice of installing permanent ministers and instead engaged - and ordained - individuals for fixed terms of one or two years. Canadian practices were greatly influenced by the much stronger American connection. The Canadian Congregational churches lost to the United States many o f those trained at the Congregational college in Montreal, and received from the United States and Britain many preachers whose theology was uninformed at best. During this period, the Congregational Union of Canada became increasingly concerned that its ministers have appropriate doctrinal and ecclesiastical views and adequate literary attainments. 1 2 3 These efforts followed the 1901 and 1911 censuses, which showed the Congregational churches in Canada to be in decline, with only 34,054 members in 1911. 118. Fraser, supra note 7 at 12-17. 119. Fraser, ibid, at 13. 120. See Clark, supra note 5 at 3-44. 121. Clark, jfcirf. at 13-14. 122. Clark, ibid, at 142-43; "Congregationalism,"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge Univer-sity Press, 1910). 28 In 1906, the Congregational Union was joined by twenty-four congregations of the small sect called the United Brethren i n C h r i s t . 1 2 4 The United Brethren were a German-speaking offshoot o f Methodism, which "had begun organized work in Canada during the 1830s among the German-speaking population in what is now southwestern Ontario and the Ottawa v a l l e y . " 1 2 5 They were one of only four Methodist connections 1 Oft not to be joined in 1884. Their American counterparts were negotiating union with the Congregational church in the United States in the early twentieth century , 1 2 7 so it was logical that they seek union with the Canadian branch o f this church. B y the beginning of the twentieth-century, then, and despite the addition o f the United Brethren congregations, Congregationalism was a church in decline. Congregationalists shared with Methodists and Presbyterians a sense o f the state's obligation to be imbued with religious principles, an institutional history o f taking charge o f the morals of the public, and an awareness of the need for a Canadian-educated clergy. Minor Protestant Groups The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries also saw an enormous number of smaller religious groups taking root in Canada. The Mennonites had become a visible place in Canada's religious geography with the migration of a large group o f Dutch-German Mennonites from Russia starting in 1874. These followed a group o f Swiss-German Mennonites who had arrived after 1786 from the United States . 1 2 8 A s wel l , there were the Lutherans, who had long been a small presence on the Ontario religious front. There were also a number of Holiness sects, including the Salvation Army, a British sect that made its first Canadian appearance in 1 8 8 3 . 1 2 9 These sects were founded as an alternative to the increasing worldliness of Methodism in particular. The military-styled, enthusiastic Salvation A r m y adopted free-form street preaching and had great success among the dispossessed working poor in the urban s l u m s . 1 3 0 The Methodist church had become alarmed about the noisy, physical demonstrations o f faith o f some of these •t o 1 people and had taken steps to prevent disorderly performances within their church. These smaller movements drew their adherents from all mainline Protestant sects. Unlike the Holiness sects and most other Protestant movements, many other, generally evangelical sects 123. In a note in the United Church archives files entitled "Congregational Growth and Decline in Canada," C.E. Silcox describes the exodus from Canada of graduates from the Congregational College of Canada in Montreal. He identifies as a major reason the sheer strength of the movement in the United States. He says as well: A good deal of the trouble in Canadian Congregationalism however, was undoubtedly due to a habit of the leading churches of calling men from the Motherland or from the United States of questionable training. The history of Bond Street in Toronto has been notorious, but for many years Toronto Northern had as its pastor a graduate of the Moody School in Chicago. A good many half-baked people arrived in Canada from the United Kingdom without any particular recommendations, but somehow or other worked their way into the Congregational ministry in Can-ada. In certain instances these men made a very distinct contribution but others were sheer theological and ecclesi-astical bounders and under these circumstances Greshom's [sic] Law seems to operate, "Poor currency driving out a good mintage". The native born Canadians retreated before the immigrants! This note was in the United Church Archives file on the 7th annual meeting of Congregational Union of Canada, June 4-9, 1913. Those minutes evidence considerable concern about the educational attainments of ministers who will be mem-bers of the Congregational Union and outline new requirements. It should not be thought, however, that Congregational-ism had a history of uneducated preaching - these events were peculiarly Canadian. Harvard and Yale universities were both founded as Congregational institutions, and Congregationalism had a rich intellectual heritage. 124. Semple, supra note 1 at 431, 435, 444; Clark, supra note 5 at 142-43. Following their American parents, the remaining United Brethren congregations joined with the Evangelical Association in 1946, and the Ontario and Quebec branches of this joined body merged with the United Church of Canada in 1968. 125. Semple, ibid, at 444. Before 1911, the records of the church in Port Elgin to which R.B. St. Clair said he had been called were in German. 126. Semple, ibid, at 7, 390. The others were the British Methodist Episcopal Church (an offshoot of the African Meth-odist Episcopal Church), the Evangelical Association (German-speaking, like the United Brethren) and the Canadian branch of the American Free Methodist Church. 29 had formed and been active in Ontario from the early nineteenth century, and many had a pre-millennialist eschatology, "that i s , " as Westfall says, "they believed that the second advent would precede the millennium and that it would begin as Christ returned to the earth in physical f o r m . " 1 3 2 Unl ike those espousing a post-millennialist eschatology, as the Methodists did, adherents of these sects saw no reason to attempt to improve the world in view of its imminent destruction, and only i f individual members were chosen could they be saved. Westfall observes that these sects tended to emerge from the tensions and changes in more established creeds . 1 3 3 They were the latest developments in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century English and American patterns of revivalism and progress producing apocalyptic sects that prophesied the imminent end of the world - Bebbington enumerates a long list of sects with peculiar beliefs, including one started by the particularly odd, prolific prophet, Joanna Southcott, who claimed authority through direct divine reve lat ion. 1 3 4 Adherents o f the holiness, pentecostal and other small Protestant movements were generally regarded as irrational, embarrassing fanatics by mainstream C h r i s t i a n s . 1 3 5 These movements tended to reject the liberal tendencies o f the mainline churches and to stress strict biblical literalism and an immediate experience o f God. The Decline of the Major Protestant Churches in the Early Twentieth Century The major Protestant denominations threw themselves into social and moral reform work in the late nineteenth century with the temperance movement and the pursuit of Lord's Day legislation, and their momentum and range of interests expanded in the early twentieth century. A s I have noted, some of their motivation probably came from the idealist belief that human society was perfectible and that saving people meant saving society. This idea was combined with a confidence that the Bible foretold the coming kingdom of G o d on earth, which they anticipated building in Canada. Optimism reigned. The scripturally founded impulse to spread the Word was strong. The churches were eager to share biblical teachings about proper behaviour and dangers to the s o u l . 1 3 6 Another likely source for their confidence was the institutional history of disciplinary structures in both churches: the Methodists had the fairly egalitarian class m e e t i n g s 1 3 7 and the Presbyterians the more hierarchical K i r k Sess ions 1 3 8 (the Anglicans had no comparable bodies, church courts not being established in Canada). These were very different kinds of bodies, but they both took jurisdiction over the moral and spiritual health and behaviour o f their congregations. In both cases, as the churches' congregations became wealthier and larger and their communities more heterogeneous, the reach of these disciplinary structures grew shorter. 1 3 9 Probably the churches' willingness to threaten their members with expulsion faltered as their representation in the population declined. With their reduced direct influence over the lives o f their members, the clergy felt justified in imposing their views about temperance and other social issues on society at large: they 127. Semple, ibid, at 425. 128. Bruce L. Guenther, "Living with the Virus: The Enigma of Evangelicalism among Mennonites in Canada" in Raw-lyk, Aspects, supra note 3,223 at 223. 129. Clark, supra note 5 at 368. 130. Clark, ibid. at418-22. See also Mariana Valverde, The Age of Light, Soap and Water (Toronto: McClelland & Stew-art, 1991) at 65-67. 131. Marilyn Fardig Whiteley, "Sailing for the Shore: The Canadian Holiness Tradition" in Rawlyk, Aspects, supra note 3, 257 at 261-62. 132. Westfall, supra note 2 at 181. Regarding post-millennialism, see supra note 42. 133. Westfall, ibid, at 166-68. 134. Bebbington, supra note 8 at 50. See also Semple, supra note 1 at 146 and Gauvreau, supra note 3 at 23-24. 135. Rawlyk, supra note 3 at xxii. 136. The editor of the Presbyterian described the attitude that one could ignore corrupting plays if one never attended the theatre oneself as "selfish and unchristian": "What Can Be Done with the Theatre?" (13 October 1910) Presbyterian 387. 137. See page 19 etseq. 30 perceived a need to reform society in order to provide for the salvation o f the individual. These churches were united in many o f their concerns. They perceived Canadian cities to be in decay, especially Toronto. B y the end of the nineteenth century, Toronto's downtown had been transformed by commercial expansion and residential crowding, as the working class, particularly immigrants, lived among the factories where they generally worked. A l l o f the major denominations were concerned about the situation in the city, none moreso than the reformers in the Presbyterian church. Warnings that the church was abandoning the poor through the movement of its members moving northward away from the slums came from Presbyterian reformers like James A . Macdonald, editor o f the Toronto Globe and formerly of the Presbyterian Westminster, and John G. Shearer, formerly o f the Dominion Lord's Day All iance and latterly o f the M o r a l and Social Reform Council o f Canada. Their arguments, however, fell on deaf ears in their congregations. 1 4 0 Presbyterian reformers were ambivalent to the claims of organized labour. They saw themselves as ideal, impartial, middle-class arbiters in labour disputes. They were concerned that great extremes o f wealth and poverty could destabilize society, but they thought that organized labour had a place in a Christian nation only i f it worked through established institutions and i f a spirit of mutual understanding and self-sacrifice characterized all parties. Presbyterians tended to think that work, though it might be unpleasant and hard to bear, contributed to character growth and was part o f the divine order: if, therefore, the workers agitating within the labour movement wanted greater opportunity for social and moral progress, Presbyterians could be in favour, but i f they simply wanted more leisure time or more money, they would be opposed. Presbyterians disliked socialism's selfishness, materialism and atheism and thought it violated the principles o f community and harmony that ought to govern social relationships. Aside from the struggle for the Lord's Day Act, obtained in 1906, the Presbyterian church was never able to form successful alliances with organized labour, and the working classes were not attracted to its teachings. 1 4 1 Using military imagery and moral persuasion through scientific study and education, Presbyterian progressives promoted urban reform, featuring improved city planning and replacing vicious pastimes with morally improving o n e s . 1 4 2 The Presbyterian Board of M o r a l and Social Reform spent much time and money uncovering laxity in Canadian police forces' investigation and prosecution, especially with respect to prostitution and the liquor t ra f f i c . 1 4 3 Methodists were engaged in ventures similar to and often the same as those o f Presbyterians. Both of these denominations and the Anglicans promoted their views through their substantial publishing interests. With 138. The Kirk Sessions were and continue to be a body composed of the elders of a Presbyterian congregation, who deal with the functioning of the church. Duff Crerar, supra note 75, 123 at 131-34, suggests that the elders of these Presbyte-rian churches exercised, within those Ontario Scottish and Irish settlements he examines, authority over a wide range of not just spiritual or moral but also more conventionally civil or criminal offences. Crerar mentions not only sexual offences, dancing and drinking but also business fraud, absenteeism, Sabbath-breaking, shoplifting, duelling, wife-beat-ing, exposure of newborns, manslaughter and attempted murder. These disciplinary practices tapered off in most Church of Scotland parishes after the 1850s, in Free Churches in the 1860s and overall after Presbyterian Union in 1875. These disciplinary structures became inactive just as the concern about the decline in parish religion peaked in the face of wide-spread revivalism in Upper Canada. Crerar sees as possible links between these two phenomena the increasing enthusi-asms of evangelical zealots, the increasing status of women in the church and the marginalization of strict, conservative elders. I owe thanks to Mr. Justice Douglas Lambert for information about these bodies and for referring me to the Pres-byterian Book of Forms. 139. With respect to the numerical decline of the mainline Protestant churches, see above, page 9 et seq. S.D. Clark explicitly links the emergence of the temperance movement with the decline in the power of the class meeting over Methodists: Clark, supra note 5 at 266. About the tailing off of kirk-session discipline, see Crerar, ibid. 140. Fraser, supra note 7 at 66, 79-84, 91-94. 141. Fraser, ibid, at 40-41, 132-36. 142. Fraser, ibid, at 82. 143. Fraser, ibid, at 144. 31 the growth o f Angl ican evangelicalism between 1900 and 1914, evangelicals, who already ran the Evangelical Churchman, purchased the Canadian Churchman in 1912. 1 4 4 The Presbyterians published The Presbyterian and The Westminster, which could monitor a wide range o f secular and religious affairs. James A . Macdonald edited the Toronto Globe, whose purpose he understood to be to defend the fundamentals o f Christianity, to discuss fearlessly the moral issues o f the day and to make sure the church stayed wel l informed on current issues so that it could provide leadership. 1 4 5 In justifying his decision to leave The Westminster for the secular and Liberal Toronto Globe in 1903, Macdonald identified his chief interests as opposing political corruption and maintaining the Globe as an ethically sound newspaper, not merely a party o r g a n . 1 4 6 During his tenure at the Globe, Macdonald crusaded against political corruption in favour o f moral purity and social virtue, and he periodically became involved in libel suits as a result of material he published. Similarly, Methodists, who had become prosperous, well-regarded members of society, founded a publishing house and expanded their publishing empire far beyond their traditional flagship newspaper The Christian Guardian1** Methodists too were very concerned about the city. Suspicious of immigrants and the urban poor who relied on the income of wives and children, Methodists associated vice and crime with poverty . 1 4 9 The number o f people l iv ing in "the Ward," Toronto's immigrant ghetto, had increased from about 4000 in 1902 to over 14,000 in 1912. Seeking both to improve the l iving conditions of these people and to increase their own numbers, Methodists opened their first Italian mission in Toronto in 1905 adjacent to the W a r d . 1 5 0 Their efforts to convert Italian Roman Catholics, particularly men, who were considered less attached to their faith, met with the alarm of the city's English-speaking Roman Catholic population. Just as Presbyterians were concerned about activities they considered vicious and tending to lead to social instability, so were Methodists. Cities had been depicted as dens o f vice for a very long time, and people, particularly youth, were being drawn to them in ever greater numbers. For Methodists, the urban migration created two problems: first, rural membership and therefore financial support for the church was declining, and second, the city was considered "inherently immoral, foreign, and corrupting" by many Methodists, who saw rural and small-town society as the upright, moral and spiritual heart o f the nation. Although many rural domestic missions received only sporadic visits by clergy, the Methodist Board of Home Missions took on the task o f improving rural life to make it more attractive to young people, promoting libraries, medical facilities, farm training, electrification, and religious and secular activities (even proposals that the church provide dancing and card-playing were made). Adolescents required these institutions to dissuade them from migrating to cities, to tame their awakening sexual capacities, and to discipline them during their lengthening period of education-related dependence. Young men were considered more dangerous to society and to themselves than were young women, because the latter had superior moral sense and were more closely guarded within the home. Girls and young women had to be practical, tidy and economical as they prepared to run a household; boys had to tame their sexual passions, develop respect for women and become "Christian soldiers," "brave, self-reliant and honourable" representatives o f ' "muscular Christianity,' with its assumptions that the true Christian was not weak or insipid, but rather bold, viri le, physically fit, and assertive." Methodists' attitudes to cities and to the development o f the young were linked together. 1 5 1 144. Katerberg, supra note 38 at 176. 145. Fraser, supra note 7 at 66, 109-10. 146. Fraser, ibid, at 112. 147. Fraser, ibid, at 112-14. 148. Semple, supra note 1 at 395. 149. Semple, ibid, at 341. 150. Semple, ibid, at 303. 151. Semple, ibid, at 188, 287-88, 375-76, 381-82. See also Airhart, supra note 63 at 100 and Valverde, supra note 130 at 129-54. The ideal of muscular Christianity also had considerable currency in the United States: E . Anthony Rotundo, American Manhood: Transformations in Masculinity from the Revolution to the Modern Era (New York: BasicBooks, 1993) at 224.1 explore this topic at greater length in the chapters that follow. 32 The range of entertainments considered appropriate by Methodists, though somewhat broader than in the mid-nineteenth century, was still much smaller than the range of entertainments available to the urban population. Fol lowing in their predecessors' footsteps, early twentieth-century Methodists attacked "dancing, card-playing, attending the music hall or light theatre, horse-racing and reading novels," which they associated with "immodest or fashionable dress, gambling, smoking, unsupervised late night activities, or evi l companions." These were thought to be popular among the growing sector o f urban, blue-collar workers, whose morality and activities were of greatest c o n c e r n . 1 5 2 In the light of the social gospel movement's post-millennial eschatology and organic conception of society, such activities were understood not merely as personal sins but as sins against society and a disgrace to the nation. The church began to ally itself with other Protestant denominations to censor and prevent various amusements and to fight for legislation to prevent or regulate suspect act iv i t ies . 1 5 3 One of Methodism's important contributions to the "fight for a clean stage" was Rev. John C o b u r n . 1 5 4 A s I have noted, despite the concern for the disadvantaged evidenced by Methodist home missions, including those in Toronto, Methodism lost some of its attractiveness to the urban poor during this period. A s a result o f the church's increasingly benign attitude toward the acquisition of wealth (provided it was spent in proper ways) and o f its increasing marketing o f itself toward the cultivated, wealthier classes, the static underclass of industrial society came at times to be uncomfortable within it. Sermons on the sins of poverty, instead o f the earlier evangelical piety, provided little comfort, and neither did the church's optimistic message about the progress and perfectibility of society. A large part o f Methodism's moral reform activities - and this was the case with all o f the Protestant denominations and also the Roman Catholic church - was performed by women. Latent ambiguities characterized Methodists' attitudes to the proper role o f women. Women's most appropriate vocations were marriage and full-time motherhood. The family was understood by Methodists to be the cornerstone of society, ' " a sanctuary for purity and power in the work of God in the e a r t h . ' " 1 5 5 However, women had historically had an active role in the work of the church, even becoming respected lay preachers. Especially among middle-class urban dwellers, wives, freed by labour-saving inventions and low wages for servants, had more time to involve themselves in church, charity and reform work. Women did a great deal of work in, among other things, the temperance movement, but the Methodist church took an ambivalent attitude toward them. Phyll is Airhart remarks, One wonders how W C T U representatives at the meeting o f the Quebec Branch o f the Domin-ion All iance felt upon hearing S.D. Chown's address. " M a n y developments are helping to roll our old chariot along," he remarked. "The zeal of our godly women always full of enthusiasm has been chastened by disappointment and corrected by experience so that it is now being applied with a wisdom, a certainty and force that it did not possess a few years ago. Their impetuosity has been curbed," he a d d e d . 1 5 6 Women, who were generally denied voting privileges and representation on the church's courts, were not greatly involved in the institution-building efforts of Methodists at the end of the nineteenth century. 1 5 7 Women's organizations within the church functioned so well that there was a concern that the church might become too feminized. Although the Methodist church made a concerted effort to attract men (whom it feared "were reducing their commitment to Christian work as they participated more fully in the economic, political, and social life of the community and the country") to the organizational activities o f the church, 152. Airhart, ibid, at 94. 153. Semple, supra note 1 at 355-56. 154. See John Coburn, / Kept My Powder Dry (Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1950) at 112-27. 155. Semple, supra note 1 at 341. 156! Airhart, supra note 63 at 95-96. 157. Semple, supra note 1 at 341; Airhart, ibid. 33 laymen's organizations never functioned as well as women's organizations. The Methodist church took an ambivalent attitude to the possibilities social change offered women. Through its own institutions, it expanded their opportunities for higher education. Methodists supported calls for improved working conditions for women in factories, offices and stores. Maintaining that the proper vocation for women was marriage and that married women should stay at home and raise their children, Methodists nonetheless advocated women's suffrage and encouraged women to enter politics, but the Methodist church did not want women in its own political structure. 1 5 9 In describing Methodist attitudes to the role o f women during this period, Semple identifies three views: the first saw women as blessed ministers in their proper sphere, which was the home and nowhere else; the second, radical view, saw women moving toward total emancipation and equality with men; and the third, most popular view, was that some spheres o f activity were equally suited to men and women and that in those spheres women should have equal opportunit ies . 1 6 0 The Methodist perspective on the place of women in Canadian society had important implications for the construction of gender, as I describe further in the chapters that follow. In We Stand on Their Shoulders, Edward Pulker describes the impulses in Canadian Anglicanism that favoured action on moral and social reform issues. Pulker addresses himself to modifying the common observation, which he accepts as generally valid, that the conservative, individualistic Angl ican church was the least enthusiastic of all the Protestant churches in addressing itself to the drive for social and moral reform that characterized the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth. O f course, some Anglicans, like Samuel Blake, one o f the Blakes practising at the f irm that has become Blakes, Cassels & Gray don, were evangelical and active in a variety of moral reform causes like prohibition and the Young Men's Christian A s s o c i a t i o n . 1 6 1 But generally Anglicans tended not to be avid social critics or reformers. Anglicans were extremely wel l represented in upper crust Toronto society (as were Presbyterians, only some of whom were enthusiastic supporters of moral reform causes). C. Ian K y e r notes the prevalence of Anglicans in Toronto business and especially legal circles at the turn o f the century. He observes, There can be no more dramatic proof of the dramatic role of Anglicans in the law than to walk through St James Cathedral and read the many plaques commemorating the leaders of Tor-onto's legal community or to stroll through St James Cemetery, where one finds the remains of many, many "name partners" in the large Toronto firms, such as the Blakes, the Osiers, and the B e a t t y s . 1 6 2 Pulker observes that unlike English Anglicans, Canadian Anglicans did not show even hints o f becoming interested in economic inequities until almost 1900, being focused instead on temperance and prohibition. However, even where they focused on these topics, they were at odds with Presbyterians, Methodists and Baptists. These groups were, by the end o f the nineteenth century, united in their belief that the only solution to the liquor problem was prohibition; Anglicans favoured temperance. They understood problems to arise only from immoderate consumption of alcohol and they disapproved of the fanaticism of prohibitionists, foreseeing that it would bring about a counter-reaction. When Anglicans in the first decade of the twentieth century addressed themselves to the reformist platforms that drew the attention of the other Protestant churches, they focused on moral issues. On social and economic issues, unlike Methodists, most 158. Semple, ibid, at 345. 159. Semple, ibid, at 414. 160. Semple, ibid, at 343. 161. TD. Regher, "Elite Relationships, Partnership Arrangements, and Nepotism at Blakes, a Toronto Law Firm, 1858-1942" in Carol Wilton, ed., Essays in the History of Canadian Law, vol. 7, Inside the Law: Canadian Law Firms in His-torical Perspective (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996) 207 at 219-20. 162. C. Ian Kyer, "The Transformation of an Establishment Firm: From Beatty Blackstock to Faskens, 1902-1915" in Wilton, ibid., 161 at 169. 34 Anglicans tended to be satisfied with the status quo and not to see any need for action on issues like labour r e f o r m . 1 6 3 In the early twentieth century, the major Protestant denominations considered church union. A m o n g the Presbyterians, Congregationalists and Methodists, who eventually formed the United Church o f Canada in 1925, their differences had come to seem much less important than their similarities. They had similar social and moral concerns and similar attitudes to the relationship between the churches and the state. Most advocates o f the social gospel thought the state should be run on religious principles, since only the state was capable o f making the changes that were necessary to improve working and l iv ing conditions, reduce crime and immorality and bring about social justice. They accepted the organic conception of the political body and the view that they and the state should step in to prevent the evils they saw in families, on the streets and in society as a whole. Furthermore, they believed in the desirability o f worldwide ecumenism -the unification o f Christianity - and considered it Canada's destiny to lead the effort toward i t . 1 6 4 Brian Fraser also identifies a sense that in the spirit o f the doctrine of evolution, a mixed church would be stronger, would produce a nobler form of Christianity and would be better able to assimilate the heterogeneity o f Canada - all shared in a desire to assimilate native peoples and new immigrants, especially in western C a n a d a . 1 6 5 A Basis o f U n i o n document was hammered out in 1907. The Anglicans and Baptists had declined to participate, so Congregationalists, Presbyterians and Methodists went forward together. When Congregationalists, in particular, objected to requiring their ministry to swear allegiance to particular creeds, that requirement was quietly dropped in the revised Basis o f U n i o n proposed in 1908. The three churches agreed about most doctrinal matters, and incompatibilities were papered over; there was general agreement that doctrine was less important than other matters . 1 6 6 The Congregationalists and Methodists obtained agreement for union within their churches fairly e a s i l y . 1 6 7 Presbyterianism, however, split, and the divide got deeper with time. Between 1909 and 1912, several votes were taken in the General Assembly, and church members, elders and adherents were separately polled. Although support tended to run in the range of 70 per cent in favour and 30 per cent opposed, opposition to union grew increasingly vociferous. Some objected to the abandonment of formal creeds and doctrines, and some objected to the emphasis on the social gospel. Strong congregations in Montreal and Toronto were reluctant to be subsumed into a greater whole, especially i f they could be rid of the need to support weaker congregations elsewhere, and some congregations in the Maritimes feared losing their uniqueness. Scottish ethnic pride, perceptions of social status, and personality conflicts played a role in the opposition. Some congregations thought their historic uniqueness had been sabotaged. Other activists tried to undo the amalgamation o f 1875. Fraser says that the laity targeted for mobilization by Presbyterian reformers like John Shearer and James Macdonald were among the most resistant and indifferent to union. Opposition remained at about 30 per cent until 1925, when only a large majority o f Presbyterian congregations entered into u n i o n . 1 6 8 While the impetus to church union may have flown partly from the strength o f the optimistic, ecumenical spirit o f the time, there were also demographic reasons for the movement. A s I noted at the beginning of this chapter, between 1891 and 1911, the Methodists and Presbyterians saw their numbers falling. Congregationalism had started small and was shrinking. Talk o f union strengthened after 1901, when the 163. Pulker, supra note 39 at 11-14, 25-33. 164. Semple, supra note 1 at 416,424. 165. Fraser, supra note 7 at 131. For a good discussion of the importance of the western context and other factors in the drive for church union, see Mary Vipond, "Canadian National Consciousness and the Formation of the United Church of Canada" in McGowan and Marshall, supra note 12, 167. 166. Semple, supra note 1 at 421-22. 167. Semple, ibid, at 421,431-32. 168. Semple, ibid, at 432-34; Fraser, supra note 7 at 132. 35 census showed large Roman Catholic advances, especially in eastern and northern Ontario. That church benefited from the influx o f Catholic immigrants from eastern Europe. Although by this time, the extreme tensions that had characterized relations between Protestants and Roman Catholics in the nineteenth century had waned to a certain extent, these groups continued to regard one another warily, and they battled for believers in Western Canada and in the inner city ghettos where immigrants found work and accommodation. 1 6 9 To aid immigrants and to keep them in the church, Roman Catholics set up a variety of moral and social reform organizations paralleling those o f the Protestant churches. Roman Catholicism was not the only source of pressure on the major Protestant churches at the beginning of the century. The period between 1900 and 1910 was one of enormous social change. Women were acquiring the vote. Leisure time developed, as did popular commercial amusements to absorb it. Factories multiplied, and people migrated in large numbers into urban areas. Universities and colleges with denominational affiliations fended off efforts by more conservative factions within them to restrict their intellectual p u r s u i t s . 1 7 1 This period probably marked the beginning of religion as a consumer choice. There is also evidence that significant numbers of churchgoers became disenchanted with the type of religious experience they were being offered: harangues about the need for social salvation of one kind or another, with less emphasis on personal religious experiences. Some Protestants turned to evangelical splinter denominations. 1 7 2 The heat generated by the Presbyterian debates around church union hints at a cantankerous backlash against the social gospel movement. Brian Fraser gives a sense o f what was likely happening in the Presbyterian pews. Describing Presbyterian reformers in the early years of the twentieth century as having a "garrison mentality," Fraser indicates that Shearer's Board o f Social Service and Evangelism was very much in debt by 1915 as a result o f lay indifference to its optimistic, expensive campaigns . 1 7 3 He describes the Presbyterian progressives as naive and ends his text with these words: Writing to C.W. Gordon to acknowledge the receipt o f a Christmas copy oi Corporal Cam-eron, Laurier pronounced a fitting epigram for Presbyterian progressivism. "Your books," he wrote, "are particularly attractive to me because they w i l l preserve a special phase of our national history, and customs which are rapidly passing a w a y . " 1 7 4 Fraser emphasizes that the efforts to mobilize the church of the six Presbyterian "progressives" on whom he focuses were met with limited success in the church and much indifference in society at l a r g e . 1 7 5 Many writers have attempted to explain the decline of the major Protestant churches in the first decades of this century. In The Social Passion, Richard Al len advances the "secularization thesis" - the theory that the 169. Recent issues keeping tensions afoot included fallout over the Ne Temere decree issued by Pope Pius X in 1908, which contended that marriages involving Catholics had to be performed according to the rites of the Roman Catholic church and which seemed to deny the validity of civil and Protestant marriages. See J.R. Miller, "Anti-Catholicism in Canada: From the British Conquest to the Great War" in Murphy, Creed, supra note 34,25 at 41; and Margaret Prang, N. W. Rowell: Ontario Nationalist (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1975) at 93-94. As well, tensions were simmer-ing about the usage of French in schools, a crisis that caused peculiar alliances and divisions amongst English-speaking Protestants and Catholics, among others: see Prang, ibid, at 145-57; and Mark McGowan, "Toronto's English-Speaking Catholics, Immigration, and the Making of a Canadian Catholic Identity, 1900-30" in Murphy, Creed, ibid., 204 at 205, 212-13. 170. Murray Nicolson, "The Growth of Roman Catholic Institutions in the Archdiocese of Toronto, 1841-90" in Mur-phy, Creed, ibid., 152 at 162-63; Brian Clarke, "The Parish and the Hearth: Women's Confraternities and the Devotional Revolution among the Irish Catholics of Toronto, 1850-85" in Murphy, Creed, ibid., 185. 171. John S. Moir, "Frank, Scientific Discussion" in McGowan and Marshall, supra note 12,266 at 273, 277. 172. Semple, supra note 1 at 424-25; Miller, supra note 169 at 41. 173. Fraser, supra note 7 at 17, 156, 165-68. 174. Fraser, ibid, at 177-78. 175. Fraser, ibid, at x. Fraser's six "progressives" are John G. Shearer, James A. Macdonald, C.W. Gordon (novelist Ralph Connor), George Campbell Pidgeon, Robert A. Falconer and T.B. Kilpatrick. 36 churches' influence declined because society was simply becoming more materialistic and pleasure-oriented, and that the moral and social reformers' effort to imbue the secular with the sacred simply increased society's sense of the importance o f the secular . 1 7 6 Ramsay Cook makes a similar argument in The Regenerators, and he observes that doubts about religious faith became a noticeable preoccupation of the newspapers even in the last decades of the nineteenth century. Cook argues as wel l that the clergy's appeal to the authority o f the emerging social sciences ultimately undercut their own authority . 1 7 7 N . Keith Clifford also evidently has sympathy with this v i e w . 1 7 8 Phyll is Airhart adds the observation that as the range of careers that afforded an opportunity for a kind of Christian ministry expanded, individuals heard the call to ministry less o f t e n 1 7 9 ; the sense of the uniqueness o f the ministry may have declined and with it some of the ministry's prestige. David B. Marshall describes secularization as a multi-faceted process, beginning in the middle of the nineteenth century, with sociological, economic and theological components. Nancy Christie and Michael Gauvreau take issue with the view that the churches' influence declined as they adopted social scientific knowledge and adapted its approaches to their goals. The authors argue that in fact these strategies sustained the churches' influence in Canada considerably longer than in the United States. A s James W. Opp observes, however, Christie and Gauvreau push their thesis somewhat too far in their efforts to see the influence o f the sacred on the secular . 1 8 1 L i k e other church historians who have written about this period, they ultimately make it clear that the churches' direct influence over politics, civic life and social welfare declined in the first two decades of the twentieth century. Other writers have looked mainly to failings in the churches' theology to account for the decline. That something happened to the significantly different belief structures o f the Presbyterians and Methodists is clear in the absence o f sustained theological debate in the church union negotiations - evidently, as Semple observes, because the negotiators wanted to avoid c o n f l i c t . 1 8 2 M c K i l l o p sees the lack o f debate about theology around the church union debates as resulting not just from the potential for conflict but from i d e a l i s m . 1 8 3 Semple asserts as wel l that the churches simply were less interested in theology, as they focused on their ecumenical social and moral crusades. Michael Gauvreau objects to the secularization thesis on the grounds that it commits the logical error of starting from our position at the end of the twentieth century and looking backward for our origins, rather than paying adequate heed to what those who lived through the early part o f the century were thinking and doing. Gauvreau finds that the secularization thesis fails to account for the timing of a feeling of gloom that spread over the Presbyterian and Methodist churches between 1905 and 1914 . 1 8 5 He argues that the intellectual movement that ultimately crippled the churches was the rise in "relativism" (all values being understood to be culturally and historically specific): In the ten years before World War I, clergymen-professors and preachers felt the corrosive 176. Richard Allen, The Social Passion: Religion and Social Reform in Canada 1914-28 (Toronto: University of Tor-onto Press, 1971) at 356. 177. Ramsay Cook, The Regenerators: Social Criticism in Late Victorian English Canada (Toronto: University of Tor-onto Press, 1985) at 46-64, 228-32. 178. N. Keith Clifford, "His Dominion: a Vision in Crisis" (1973) 2 Studies in Religion 315 at 323-24. 179. Airhart, supra note 63 at 101. 180. David B. Marshall, Secularizing the Faith: Canadian Protestant Clergy and the Crisis of Belief 1850-1940 (Tor-onto: University of Toronto Press, 1992). 181. Nancy Christie and Michael Gauvreau, A Full-Orbed Christianity: The Protestant Churches and Social Welfare in Canada, 1900-1940 (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1996) at 75-130; James W. Opp, "Revivals and Reli-gion: Recent Work on the History of Protestantism in Canada" (1997) 32:2 J. Can. St. 183. 182. Semple, supra note 1 at 421-22. 183. McKillop, supra note 14 at 227-28. 184. Semple, supra note 1 at 424. 185. Gauvreau, supra note 3 at 219-20. 37 force o f currents o f thought that had been at work in Europe and Amer ica since the 1890s. Usually lumped together under the term "relativism," these new developments in history, phi-losophy, psychology, and the social sciences rejected the search for moral, metaphysical, sci-entific, or doctrinal absolutes, preferring to view human experience and the universe as uncertain and open-ended, not governed by fixed, unchanging laws. U n l i k e Darwinism and the higher criticism, the "relativist revolution" struck at the central pillar of evangelical thought, the belief that historical study, whether it be o f the Bible or o f human societies, pro-vided some assurance of certainty or predictability in understanding and influencing the behaviour of individuals and communit ies . 1 8 6 Gauvreau does not argue that these developments were apprehended by all clergymen-professors, but he does argue that they radically destabilized the teaching occurring in theological colleges, so that the individuals who were grappling with the new developments and continuing to seek certain truth were for the first time focused for their scholarly audiences not on congregations but on the international community o f Bible scholars. They were unable to explain themselves or otherwise to find common ground with the clergy in the pulpits, who had to find something stable to preach to their congregations week after week, congregations experiencing the many attractions of consumerism. Although congregations remained evangelical, the validity o f evangelicalism as an academic tradition came to be called into question by the academic c l e r g y . 1 8 7 College teaching increasingly accentuated the moral rather than historical value o f biblical narratives. Without the backing of the church colleges, the Methodist and Presbyterian clergy in the pulpits increasingly displayed uncertainty about the ability of inductive or historical theology to safeguard the supreme authority of the Bible. Their queries were met with silence by 1 RR the church colleges. When they preached the moral value o f biblical narratives, they alienated their congregations. Gauvreau's argument that it was the pressure of relativistic doctrines that finally brought the demise of the moderate evangelical apologetic suggests that the momentum of such secular thinking (combined with silence from the pulpit) reduced the laity's confidence in the churches. Indeed, Gauvreau acknowledges that by the 1890s many secular thinkers rejected the intellectual claims of the Christian tradition, preferring evolutionary thinking, as wel l as the relativistic dimensions of the new historical thought . 1 8 9 Conclusion The picture that develops, then, is o f an academic church infrastructure caught up in philosophical debates that were difficult, i f not impossible, to resolve, and unable to assist clergy in the pulpits when the latter looked for eternal biblical truths with which to guide their flocks. Instead, the flocks were chided about the hazards o f popular amusements, the perils of alcohol and prostitution, the depraved habits of the poor and the need for the reform of society. Members o f congregations who looked for a personal, emotional relationship with G o d may have difficulty believing this was still the main focus o f the Methodist or Presbyterian churches. Those who doubted the solidity of Christian doctrine (perhaps by catching wind, through literature or otherwise, o f the very movements that were plaguing the religious academics) would find no help from their ministers. The poor were alienated by the benign attitude toward wealth and the distaste of poverty that Methodism and Presbyterianism came to have; the middle class and rich were alienated by the constant exhortations to reform the poor. This history o f the Protestant churches outlines as wel l some other currents that shed light on the changes 186. Gauvreau, ibid, at 221. 187. Gauvreau, ibid, at 222,234-35. 188. Gauvreau, ibid, at 235,247. 189. Gauvreau, ibid, at 133-34, 181. 38 in the regulation of obscenity in Canada at the beginning of this century. Some very important strands in theology and religious culture were: (1) the strong belief that the secular and sacred realms could not appropriately be separated; (2) the belief in the appropriateness of clergy acting as moral guides for all aspects o f the community's behaviour; (3) the increasing acceptance of women in some aspects of public life; and (4) the distaste among intellectuals around the turn of the century for an important branch of fashionable European - especially German - philosophy, which was nonetheless making its presence known. Other currents that also made themselves felt are the development o f higher education and the public school system; the felt need for an educated clergy, particularly one educated in Canada or Britain rather than the United States; and the casting off o f a sense that the intellect had to be tightly controlled by faith in favour o f a confidence that untrammeled intellectual inquiry would instead increase faith. Most significantly, however, and ominously for the Methodist and Presbyterian churches, this history shows as wel l that by about 1905, even as they reached the apex of their influence on social and moral reform issues, the confidence of the clergy in the ability o f Protestant Christianity to weather al l challenges was waning, and congregations were becoming dissatisfied. A s w i l l be shown, these changes in religious culture and theology affected obscenity law by undercutting the legitimacy of the clergy's claims to act as moral censors and by influencing the conception of the decent. These changes played out particularly in the behaviour o f the clerical and lay forces involved in the St. Clair case. 39 Chapter Three: The Texture of a Culture Having outlined the backgrounds of the different Protestant churches and identified some of the intellectual currents within those churches as the twentieth century opened, I now attempt to set out those material and intellectual aspects o f the culture that shaped the conception of obscenity and the identification and regulation of materials perceived as obscene. This chapter begins with an overview of the expanding opportunities for education in late nineteenth-century Ontario, an expansion that contributed to the way moral reform efforts were conceived and executed. I emphasize that literary studies were an essential component o f all branches of education throughout this period. The result was a highly literate population and a vibrant print and theatrical culture. However, tastes in theatrical performances and reading material varied among those with higher educations, the clergy and the working classes. The popularity o f burlesque stage performances and melodramatic novels and theatre, instead of more modern forms like realism and problem plays, had a strong effect on the patterns o f censorship that prevailed. Also beginning to affect the concept of obscenity were changes in the nature o f literary criticism and the standards forjudging literary and theatrical productions (popular and otherwise). This chapter ends by describing the censorship forces in Ontario during the period and those who felt the effects of this censorship. A complex picture o f interlocking forces emerges, whose effects w i l l become apparent in chapters four and five. Education Founding educational institutions and rendering education widely available were important goals of many individuals in the nineteenth century, including the Scottish Methodist Egerton Ryerson. B y the mid-nineteenth century in Ontario, literary attainments, elocution and the theatre were wel l established as important both to individuals and to the culture as a whole. A s A n n Saddlemyer remarks, "[a]s Ontario achieved ' H i g h Victorian' seriousness, training in the arts became an even more essential asset to wel l-born young ladies and gentlemen." 1 Education was to provide the "refined manners and respectable religion, proper speech and, finally, the ability to read and write proper Engl i sh" that were the marks of respectability that those promoting public education hoped to provide to all children, not just the "wel l -born." 2 A m o n g the Methodists, mid-nineteenth-century education for both boys and girls included a heavy dose of English and modern languages. N e i l Semple observes: The courses at all the Methodist institutions tended tb fall into three basic categories, although students were not constrained by these boundaries. A t the most select academic level, Greek, Latin, and occasionally Hebrew were augmented by natural history, natural science, natural and mental philosophy, and Christian evidences to prepare students for university or the min-istry. These subjects were usually supplemented by logic, rhetoric, geography, modern lan-guages, and English grammar to develop confident, articulate men and women. A second group of subjects was designed for those interested in commercial or other practical occupa-tions. These included mathematics, chemistry, botany, astronomy, surveying, navigation, bookkeeping, and telegraphy. Finally, there were the "ornamental" or "accomplishments" subjects including vocal and instrumental music, drawing and painting, and in some instances, calisthenics and riding. When combined with English grammar and modern lan-guages, they furnished what many considered the proper education for Canadian women. 3 1. Ann Saddlemyer, "Introduction" in Ann Saddlemyer, ed., Early Stages: Theatre in Ontario 1800-1914 (Toronto: Uni-versity of Toronto Press, 1990), 3 at 13 [hereinafter Early Stages]. 2. Alison Prentice, The School Promoters: Education and Social Class in Mid-Nineteenth Century Upper Canada (Tor-onto: McClelland & Stewart, 1977) at 68. 3. Neil Semple, The Lord's Dominion: The History of Canadian Methodism (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1996) at 245-46. 40 The collective sense o f the importance o f languages and literary attainments continued through the nineteenth century and into the twentieth. 4 A s the nineteenth century progressed, the public school system became established, regularized and publicly funded. B y the turn o f the century, public education in Ontario was divided into two school systems, "separate" (Roman Catholic) and "publ ic" (broadly Protestant). The latter had public (elementary) schools and high schools, with those providing university preparation called collegiate institutions. Attendance was mandatory for children between eight and fourteen. Teacher training was provided by normal schools. 5 Co-educational secondary schooling became increasingly common during the early part o f the twentieth century, but many people continued to consider the practice promiscuous. 6 Education was available not just to young people but to adults who worked during the day. The Mechanics' Institutes, which provided adult education in the arts (including general literacy), sciences and technology during the nineteenth century, were converted in 1895 into public libraries. 7 The function of the Mechanics' Institutes was taken over to a large extent by technical and industrial schools such as the privately funded and organized Toronto Technical School, which opened in 1891 and was eventually absorbed by the Toronto Board of Education. 8 Organizations like the Y M C A , Y W C A , the Roman Catholic Church and the Methodist Epworth League provided education, entertainment and moral improvement to young adults, including university students.9 A l l of these organizations emphasized written and oral literacy and religious and literary attainments. A s described earl ier , 1 0 universities multiplied in Ontario during the nineteenth century. A n appreciation of literary and artistic culture was a fundamental component of the university curriculum - for example, the liberal arts, including the classics and English language and literature, figured prominently in the curriculum of the Methodist Victoria College in its earliest days . 1 1 From 1868 on the government funded only institutions not under denominational c o n t r o l . 1 2 B y 1867, Ontario's male youth had access to seven chartered universities and a similar number o f other post-secondary institutions; most major centres of population had at least one o f these institutions. 1 3 B y the turn of the century, the first wave o f Ontario's universities had been founded. 1 4 From 1880s on, they educated women as wel l as m e n . 1 5 Professional training was also becoming regularized and institutionalized. The social sciences became established in Canada, backed by the Protestant churches which thought they would help improve society. 4. Saddlemyer, supra note 1 at 13-16. The origins of a sense of the importance of universal education at any or all levels and the role of literary studies in it is a complex study. Leslie Armour and Elizabeth Trott, in The Faces of Reason: An Essay on Philosophy and Culture in English Canada, 1850-1950 (Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1981) at 41 link the carefully reasoned Scots Presbyterian pattern of sermons to the emphasis placed on the importance of uni-versal education by Scots like Ryerson - since one had to reason one's way to salvation, training in reasoning was essen-tial. Franklin E. Court, in Institutionalizing English Literature: The Culture and Politics ofLiterary Study, 1750-1900 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992), describes Adam Smith's view that literature was necessary to education as the force that would provide the ethics that would counteract the absence of social responsibility entailed in an individu-alistic, capitalist society. Smith's views went underground, both in Scotland under the influence of the belletristic Hugh Blair and in England under pressure from advocates of philology, and reemerged in a different form in the high colonial mid-nineteenth century as part of the project to create a sense of English national identity reaching back into time. 5. Delmar McCormack Smyth, "The Gradual Emergence of Ontario's Community Colleges" in Hugh Oliver et al., eds., The House that Ryerson Built: Essays in Education to Mark Ontario's Bicentennial (Toronto: Ontario Institute for Stud-ies in Education, 1984), 159 at 163-64; William Brehaut, "Trends in the History of Ontario Education" in Oliver et al., ibid., 7 at 10; Murray Nicolson, "The Growth of Roman Catholic Institutions in the Archdiocese of Toronto, 1841-90" in Terrence Murphy & Gerald Stortz, eds., Creed and Culture: The Place of English-Speaking Catholics in Canadian Soci-ety, 1750-1930 (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1993) 152 at 164-65. 6. Dormer Ellis, "The Schooling of Girls" in Oliver et al., ibid., 89 at 91. 7. Smyth, supra note 5 at 160, 162. 8. Smyth, ibid, at 164-65. 9. Semple, supra note 3 at 271,386; Mariana Valverde, The Age of Light, Soap and Water (Toronto: McClelland & Stew-art, 1991) at 63-65; Nicolson, supra note 5 at 165. 10. See page 14. 41 Nancy Christie and Michael Gauvreau describe how the Protestant churches advocated training in economics, modern industrial problems and Christian "sociology" - social work aiming at inculcating Christian practices into the lives of the poor. Filtered out o f these fields were the unholy American tendencies toward determinism and behaviourism. Canada was somewhat behind the United States in seeing its social science departments become populated by people whose chief faith was in technocratic expertise; in Canada in the 1910s the social sciences were developing as disciplines, and the churches still firmly believed that what they taught was consistent with Christianity. Part o f the reason the social sciences were so attractive to the churches was that it was felt that their logic and credibility would appeal to men, which would prevent the church from becoming feminized. 1 6 Congruent with the growth of faith in science, the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth saw as wel l the institutionalization in universities of training in the professions, such as medicine, engineering and veterinary medicine. A university education did not become the norm for lawyers, however, in any common-law province in Canada until the 1920s, and Ontario's legal training did not come to coincide with this "evolving national standard" until after World War I I . 1 8 B y 1909, when Dalhousie University funded and controlled legal education in N o v a Scotia and when university law schools were rapidly taking hold in the United States, Ontario's legal training was a professional course run by the L a w Society o f Upper Canada . 1 9 This course supplemented a long period o f apprenticeship. Many Ontario lawyers did attend university anyway, acquiring a general education by way o f arts courses, but this process was neither necessary nor normal. Most lawyers would have acquired whatever literary attainments they possessed through their primary and secondary education and through their own reading. For all segments o f the population, therefore, literacy and literary attainments were becoming more available and widespread. Literature, the Stage and Criticism Before about 1880 there was little home-grown literature or theatre in Ontario. Theatrical performances tended to be produced by circuits emanating from the United States. There were undoubtedly various opinions on the theatre, with many educated lay people admiring good performances of Shakespeare and so forth when they came through. Religious people, however, were often deeply wary of the effect o f the theatre on the human soul, and as I have described in chapter two, their opinions were very important. Some o f their criticisms echoed much older vilifications o f the stage as a teacher o f immorality, such as 11. Semple, supra note 3 at 247-50; A.B. McKillop, A Disciplined Intelligence: Critical Inquiry and Canadian Thought in the Victorian Era (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1979) at 17-18. Other subjects that were intended to be included in education even for those not headed for the ministry, law, politics or business were mathematics, natural science (natural philosophy, chemistry, physiology, geology and astronomy), the outlines of mental and moral philoso-phy, evidences of Christianity, geography and general history: McKillop, ibid. 12. Robin Harris, "Ontario and its Universities" in Oliver et al., supra note 5, 145 at 148. 13. Harris, ibid, at 148. 14. These include University of Toronto and many of its federated colleges, Queen's University, the University of Wind-sor (founded as such in 1962 but previously Assumption College, founded in 1857), McMaster University, theUniver-sity of Western Ontario, the University of Ottawa and the University of Guelph. See Harris, ibid, at 147-48. 15. Harris, ibid, at 145. 16. On the promotion of the social sciences by the Presbyterians and Methodists, see Nancy Christie and Michael Gauvreau, A Full-Orbed Christianity: The Protestant Churches and Social Welfare in Canada, 1900-1940 (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1996) at 75-130; Semple, supra note 3 at 392-93; and Brian J. Fraser, The Social Uplifters: Presbyterian Progressives and the Social Gospel in Canada, 1875-1915 (Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier Uni-versity Press, 1988) at 90. Christie and Gauvreau observe that the "masculine" social sciences were drawn into social and moral reform efforts that were, on the whole, driven by "maternal feminists," who were generally middle-class and farming women: ibid, at 130. As noted above, page 36, Ramsay Cook sees the movement into the social sciences as ulti-mately contributing to the marginalization of the clergy in modern Canadian society, as they undercut their own author-ity by appealing to the authority of the social sciences, whose bases were not in Christian doctrine: The Regenerators: Social Criticism in Late Victorian English Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1985) at 228-32. 42 Jeremy Coll ier 's 1698 attack on the English stage, a response to the almost ribald comedies of the Restoration: The business o f plays is to recommend virtue, and discountenance vice; to show the uncer-tainty o f human greatness, the sudden turns o f fate, and the unhappy conclusions of violence and injustice: 'tis to expose the singularities of pride and fancy, to make folly and falsehood contemptible, and to bring everything that is i l l under infamy and neglect. 2 0 Robertson Davies argues that much o f the distrust and dislike of nineteenth-century theatre expressed by religious people was about more than the theatre's potential to provoke frivolity and immorality: There was a substantial body of opinion that was utterly opposed to the theatre in any form, for complex reasons that are not simply to be explained as puritanism. The hatred of pretence, of assuming a personality not one's own, of bodying forth actions that had no precise correla-tive in "real-life" is a complex study .... The theatre was suspect, as a home of what was not wholly serious. 2 1 The theatre was understood to endanger the souls not only o f those whom it might teach vices but also of every performer and, by extension, the audiences, who colluded in this falseness and whose own behaviour might in a sense also be considered false - when an actor asks a question, for example, the audience sits in rapt silence rather than responding, as it would i f the situation were real. Those marketing theatre (especially popular theatre, such as vaudeville) in nineteenth-century Ontario therefore had to elude not just the prejudice against on-stage immorality, but also this ingrained (but not universally felt) distrust of all kinds o f theatrical representation. Melodrama, the genre of theatrical writing that had the greatest currency in the nineteenth-century, and not just in Ontario, was the antidote to these prejudices. Melodrama was not just a genre but a "spirit that influenced the way in which the nineteenth century looked at life and desired to see life presented in art . " 2 2 Melodrama "concentrates on individual suffering, individual redemption, and the belief in an ultimate righting o f individual wrongs best described by poetic justice. Melodrama is more 'moral ' in the popular sense of the word than either comedy or tragedy." 2 3 Observing that the writing o f George El iot falls into this category, Davies adds that melodrama "can provide both the comic and the tragic aspects of life, side by side, in terms that reflect the ordinary life of ordinary morta ls . " 2 4 A s Davies points out, the emphasis on individual redemption, on the righting of wrongs in the lives o f ordinary people, accorded with the revivalistic, evangelical spirit o f religion in nineteenth-century Ontario and provided a defence to the argument that the theatre imperilled the s o u l . 2 5 Related but not always identical concerns had been expressed about the novel as it emerged in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in England. It depicted something untrue; it was not wholly serious; it was widely accessible; it seemed to be for and about w o m e n . 2 6 Victorian novelists wrote against this 17. Victoria College acquired faculties of law and medicine in 1854 and 1862, respectively, and it opened facilities dedi-cated to the sciences in 1878. Ontario had three independent professional schools by 1867: the Ontario Veterinary Col-lege at Toronto and two medical schools organized by local doctors in Toronto and Kingston. The medical schools were affiliated with the University of Toronto and Queen's and subsequently merged with them. In 1884 the Royal College of Dental Surgeons (founded in 1875) and the Ontario College of Pharmacy (founded in 1882) became affiliates of the Uni-versity of Toronto, which also acquired a small law faculty. The provincial government established the School of Practi-cal Science at Toronto in 1873 (it later became the faculty of applied sciences at the University of Toronto) and the Ontario College of Agriculture at Guelph in 1874. The establishment of the School of Practical Science in Toronto was staunchly opposed by William R. Meredith, Member of the Ontario Legislature for London, and later Chief Justice of Ontario and Chancellor of the University of Toronto. He argued in 1877 that it was absurd and unjust to expect young men to travel from London to Toronto to be educated and that a more appropriate avenue was evening classes for work-ing men in London and elsewhere. The newly established Kingston School of Mines began receiving public funding in 1893; in 1912 it became the faculty of applied sciences at Queen's University, which in turn divested itself of its ties to the Presbyterian church and so also became entitled to public grants. See Semple, supra note 3 at 250-51; Harris, supra note 12 at 147-50; Smyth, supra note 5 at 163. 43 suspicion for popular audiences; much of the work of writers like Thackeray, Dickens, Trollope and George El iot relies on melodramatic plots with moral messages. The novel almost certainly did not, however, form part of the literary component o f a classical education in Ontar io . 2 7 The portion o f an education that focused on written texts included poetry, some drama (such as Shakespeare's 2 8 Mil ton's and Jonson's) and some prose. The prose, including the elegant non-fictional prose o f the late eighteenth-century, tended to be " improving" and didactic. The English writer John Ruskin, "[pjerhaps the most extreme example o f a Victorian writer with a sense o f mission," was popular among the well-educated in dealing with the many political and philosophical challenges posed by their age. History and English literature had not yet separated into separate disciplines in Canada, and history, written mainly by interested, literary-minded amateurs, was viewed as an especially instructive branch of literature. 3 0 B y 1914, Ontario had 2.7 mil l ion people, and over half the population was u r b a n . 3 1 The process of urbanization had occurred over approximately the previous forty years and had mainly resulted from migration from rural to urban areas, rather than immigrat ion. 3 2 Between 1880 and 1900, Ontario's print culture expanded tremendously. Susanna Moodie , not an unbiased observer of course, stated rather optimistically in 1871: Canada can boast of many good and even distinguished authors, and the love o f books and booklore is daily increasing. Institutes and literary associations for the encouragement o f learning are now to be found in all the cities and large towns in the Dominion. We are no longer dependent upon the States for the reproduction of the works o f celebrated authors; our own publishers, both in Toronto and Montreal, are furnishing our handsome bookstores with volumes that r ival , in cheapness and typographical excellence, the best issues from the large printing establishments in America. We have no lack o f native talent or books, or o f intelligent readers to appreciate them. Our print shops are full o f the well-educated designs o f native artists. A n d the grand scenery o f our lakes and forests, transferred to canvas, adorns the homes of our wealthy ci t izens. 3 3 18. W. Wesley Pue, Law School: The Story ofLegal Education in British Columbia (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Faculty of Law, 1995) at xxvii. In the decade or so before Confederation, students could enter legal studies in Ontario at the age of 16. For example, in 1858, Britton Bath Osier, intent on becoming a lawyer, faced a choice of spend-ing five years as an articled clerk in a lawyer's office and writing a series of Law Society of Upper Canada exams, or get-ting a university degree and also spending three years as an articled clerk. If he had taken the former option, he would also have read on his own and periodically attended lectures at Osgoode Hall. Osier elected to do his clerkship while attending university and thus reduced to three years the time it took him to be called to the bar. He studied on his own to pass the law society entrance exams before starting his articles, exams which seem to have been in French, algebra, geometry, Latin and "Blackstone." He subsequently wrote law society exams every year. Curtis Cole remarks that this program was not as rigorous as it seemed, because the university did not actually require him to do anything except pay fees. This loophole was closed in 1860. There were separate examinations for barristers and solicitors, but most lawyers wrote both. See C. Ian Kyer, "The Transformation of an Establishment Firm: From Beatty Blackstock to Faskens, 1902-1915" in Carol Wilton, ed., Essays in the History of Canadian Law, vol. 1, Inside the Law: Canadian Law Firms in His-torical Perspective (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996) 161 at 165; Curtis Cole, Osier, Hoskin & Harcourt: Portrait of a Partnership (Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, 1995) at 13-15. Somewhat later, the extent to which legal training was a professional, rather than an academic, endeavour is evident in the Canadian Law List of 1890, which lists the professors, honourary lecturers and other instructors in the University of Toronto faculty of law: two were judges, and almost all the rest were Queen's Counsels, which indicates that teaching was by no means the centre of their professional lives. The list includes several whose names still figure prominently in large Canadian law firms - Edward and S.H. Blake, D'Alton McCarthy and Britton Bath Osier - and several who subse-quently became judges - W.R. Meredith, Charles Moss and J.J. Maclaren. Only three have academic degrees listed after their names, and only two of the three degrees are in law. Similarly the law society's law school had a principal, two lec-turers and two examiners. By 1900, it had four lecturers and four examiners: R. Hardy, ed., The Canadian Law List 1890 (Toronto: Imried Graham, 1890); H. Cartwright, ed., The Canadian Law List 1900 (Toronto: Canadian Legal Publishing Company, 1900). 44 Turn-of-the-century Ontario presented a wide range of attractions to those who appreciated the arts, literature and the theatre. A nationalistic surge saw the production of novels, poetry, short stories and major studies in Canadian history. Popular periodicals like Saturday Night and Maclean's, serious literary magazines like The Week34 and new academic journals like Queen's Quarterly and The University of Toronto Quarterly were among the many serials serving a growing reading public. Serials were becoming increasingly specialized to suit particular portions o f the reading population. 3 5 The Royal Canadian Academy, Ontario College of A r t and Ontario Arts Student League fostered a rising artistic community, and the forerunners to the Group o f Seven were starting to make their marks. L o c a l dramatic, artistic, literary and university societies mul t ip l ied . 3 6 City-dwellers no longer readily able to take advantage of "the unplanned leisures o f the countryside" looked to the theatre for entertainment. 3 7 Theatres multiplied in urban Ontario. Around the turn of the century, the major theatres on the Toronto scene included the aging Grand Theatre, the Royal Alexandra, the Princess (these last two had close links with major American and British touring companies), Shea's Victoria Music H a l l (a vaudevi l le 3 8 houses) and two burlesque houses, the Gayety and the Star. Massey H a l l contributed to the dramatic scene as well , but it was more o f a music hall than a theatre. Moving-picture shows had also started to appear. 3 9 A certain amount o f the drama that played in these theatres was home-grown, but to a much greater extent, its roots were in Britain or, more importantly, New York. J . M . S . Careless notes that "resident stock companies, where they had existed, had been considerably supplanted by big touring professional enterprises that operated out o f American metropolitan centres or imported travelling Brit ish companies. They played the N e w York successes, or London ones largely endorsed in N e w York, along with the older British-American standard fare." 4 0 The influence of American and Brit ish tastes and markets on Canadian writers was not small either. After 1890, the North American market for fiction expanded rapidly and the amount o f Canadian fiction produced increased substantially, as did the number of Canadians earning a substantial portion o f their livings from w r i t i n g . 4 1 Most o f these writers had been born in Canada. Whi le they grew up in an age concerned with the need to create a body o f literature for the new nation, these writers tended to be more concerned with the details of the experience o f growing up in small towns in the Maritimes or Ontario, how it felt and what people did and said. These writers had grown up in a rich print environment, 19. Pue, ibid, at 33-34. 20. Jeremy Collier, "A Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage, Together with the Sense of Antiquity upon this Argument" in G.H. Nettleton et al., eds., British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1969) 389 at 389. 21. Robertson Davies, "The Nineteenth-Century Repertoire" in Early Stages, supra note 1, 90 at 92. 22. Davies, ibid, at 93. 23. Davies, ibid. 24. Davies, ibid, at 93-94. 25. Robert Hughes has argued, in The Culture of Complaint: The Fraying ofAmerica (New York: Warner Books, 1993) at 172-77, that the end of the nineteenth century saw a similar but more secularized approach to painting in the United States. He identifies, as a reaction to the Puritan suspicion of all types of art and adornment, a tendency in mid-nine-teenth-century American discussions of art to stress, "indeed wildly exaggerate" (ibid, at 176) the moral force of visual art. He identifies a popular sense that art can be therapeutic as developing by the 1880s in the United States, a sense that he says never developed to anywhere near the same extent in Europe: ibid, at 178,180, 183. 26. "The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century: 1660-1798" in M.H. Abrams, ed., Norton Anthology of English Liter-ature, 5th ed., vol. 1 (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1986) 1766 at 1784. See also Patrick Brantlinger, "The Case of the Poisonous Book: Mass Literacy as Threat in Nineteenth-Century British Fiction" (1994) 20:2 Victorian Rev. 117; and Walter Kendrick, The Secret Museum: Pornography in Modern Culture (New York: Viking, 1987) at 84, 92. 27. Gordon Roper, "New Forces: New Fictions 1880-1920" in Carl F. Klinck et al., eds., Literary History of Canada: Canadian Literature in English, 2d ed., vol. 1 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1976) 274 at 281 [hereinafter Liter-ary History of Canada]. 28. See e.g. McKillop, supra note 11 at 129-30. 29. "The Victorian Age: 1832-1901" in M.H. Abrams, ed., Norton Anthology of English Literature, 5th ed., vol. 2 (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1986) 917 at 933 [hereinafter Norton 2]. 45 populated by serious Victorian fiction (published both in serial and book form), "high romance, historical romance, tales o f everyday life, local colour stories, domestic sentimental fiction, boys' adventure books, girls' stories, pious moral tales, stories o f detection, crime, Indians, and the West and Northwest. What was not sentimental was apt to be sensational, and often fiction was both sentimental and sensational." 4 2 M u c h of this literature came from Britain, but a great deal more came from the United States. 4 3 Gordon Roper remarks on the high number o f Canadian writers after 1880 who had a university education, observing that as students they would have become even more aware o f the power of the word, even though the classical educations they obtained did not generally include such "sub-literary things as romances and novels ." 4 4 Young writers published particularly in the proliferating popular literary serials in the United States and Britain. In those places it was a writer's market, while in Canada the market for books and magazines was still s m a l l . 4 5 The popular Canadian writers of this period were more widely read by contemporary audiences than writers of any other period in Canadian history before or s ince . 4 6 These writers, an important minority of whom were women, absorbed the view of late nineteenth-century British and American authors that it was necessary either to entertain or to instruct readers. If the latter goal was chosen, it was still necessary to be interesting. This fiction tends to have a "high moral tone ... which was usually intended to teach and inspire as well as to entertain; a large dollop of justice offset a sprinkling o f scandal and adventure." 4 7 Intended more to communicate with the reader than to express the soul o f the author, it is decorous and observes the decencies o f the dinner table or the fireside. Stylistically, it is characterized by strong, fast-paced plots, idealized characters, exotic settings that reinforced the power o f the action and clear, moral conclusions that evinced an emotional response: it was melodrama - "sentimental or sensational, or a fusion of b o t h . " 4 9 M u c h historical fiction and many historical romances were written during this p e r i o d . 5 0 The work was concerned with individuals, rather than institutions, and unlike realist literature that was developing elsewhere in the world, it posed no challenges to political ideals or gender n o r m s . 5 1 Characters dreamed of emotional, not economic or social success, and they usually ultimately attained their ends. Few characters 30. Carl Berger, The Writing of Canadian History: Aspects of English-Canadian Historical Writing since 1900, 2d ed. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1986). The process by which history and English literature came to be considered one subject may be understood to be part of the larger story of the creation of the discipline of English literature, which is in turn understood by some authors to be part of the story of the creation of Englishness. Court, supra note 4, tracks the beginnings of the discipline of English literature back several centuries but looks particularly to Adam Smith in the mid-eighteenth century, who, in a utilitarian way, saw literature as a way to inculcate in the emerging, liberal, individual-istic middle class the ethics that would be required if civilization were not to collapse. Court goes on to describe the influence of Scottish belletristic and English philological practices on the repute of English literature as a serious disci-pline. The influence of the belletristic Hugh Blair was particularly important in setting English literature on the path it has since taken, even though his methods tailed off in popularity for some time after him. University College in the Uni-versity of London opened its doors in 1828 intent on inculcating through literature a set of ethics appropriate to the growing, liberal, capitalist, individualistic middle class. Nevertheless, the discipline took more than a century to estab-lish a foothold as an essential part of an English university education for men. Court's study shows that the formation of English literature as an independent discipline was affected by many forces - religious, philosophical, geo-political - and had a great deal to do with founding an English national identity. As the nineteenth century passed, "[literature came to be taken as a symbolic index to history" (ibid, at 87) and constructing English history, with literature, ethnology, Burkean politics and evangelical Christianity as keys, was a major part of constructing an English national identity. Through this constellation of discursive practices, literature came to be understood, by 1870, as a source of improving, Christian wisdom that would ennoble both individual and nation. See also Alastair Fowler, "Leavis of the North: The Role of Hugh Blair in the Foundation of English Literary Studies" Times Literary Supplement (14 August 1998) 3. Gauri Viswanathan examines the purposive use of English literary study in the colonizing of India in Masks of Conquest: Lit-erary Study andBritish Rule in India (NewYork: Columbia University Press, 1989). The formative processes will not have been the same in Canada as in England, due in part to a greater sense of the democracy of the wilderness, where hard work creates a meritocracy, a pattern of thinking that emerges in Susanna Moodie's Roughing it in the Bush, or, Forest Life in Canada (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1923) at 502-3. In any case by 1880 history and literature together (or more specifically the consciousness of an absence of home-grown literature) seem to have functioned simi-larly in forging the sense that Canada had a national identity and required a literature to depict and solidify it. Indeed, Margery Fee has seen the preoccupation with developing a literature reflecting the nation's essential character as the most significant literary convention of English Canadian criticism between 1890 and 1950: English-Canadian Literary Criticism, 1890-1950: Defining and Establishing a National Literature (Ph.D. Thesis, University of Toronto, 1981). 46 expressed alienation from the world. It has been argued that it was the real or imagined need to publish in Britain or the United States that tended to discourage Canadian writers from addressing in subtle ways serious themes o f national significance, such as relations between native peoples and those o f European CO descent or the tensions between English and French or between Americans and Canadians in Canada. For whatever reason, melodrama governed Canadian writing. A s is still the case, the popular fiction of the time did not generally appeal to the highly educated, who considered it at best mere entertainment and at worst debasing to the public m o r a l s . 5 4 Evangelical newspapers and pulpits were the least enthusiastic about this fiction: A fiction was a lie, inspired by the Father of Lies, unless, of course, it was a "parable" or "allegory" to inculcate moral views. Popular fiction was denounced because it made vice attractive, and made violence seem natural. It spread irreligious, free-thinking, or undemo-cratic (or democratic) sentiments in seductive form. Many lay members of the fundamentalist flock were equally suspicious of fiction. Some would open a new book to the title-page, and i f the title included the word "romance" or "novel ," would read no further; i f the title claimed the book to be a "tale of real l i fe" or of "everyday l i fe" they might venture on. Some parents prohibited the reading of all fiction to their children; some permitted the reading only of what came from church-sponsored presses and libraries. Some permitted it only on weekdays. When the Toronto Public Library opened in 1882, the guardians of public morality and the public purse tried to prevent fiction from being placed on the shelves. They argued that fiction led readers into sloth; it gave them irresponsible notions about life; it sapped the moral fibre. Or they argued that since it was mere entertainment, public money should not be squandered on providing it free for library readers. 5 5 These views notwithstanding, fiction proliferated, even in public libraries. Canadian poetry during this period shows the influence of an emerging Canadian nationalism and, unlike the fiction, has a distinctive Canadian character. 5 6 It is, however, heavily influenced by English Romantic and Victorian poetry in its spirit, form, diction, and subject-matter, so that it emphasizes life and landscape, spirituality and patriotism. The poetry is not all optimistic: nature is often depicted as having a spiritual dimension, which is frequently indifferent or hostile to human needs; but this poetry tends to avoid 31. J.M.S. Careless, "The Cultural Setting: Ontario Society to 1914" in Early Stages, supra note 1, 18 at 43. 32. Careless, ibid, at 39, 43. 33. Moodie, supra note 30 at 13-14. 34. For a discussion of the role and attitudes of The Week, see Claude T. Bissell, "Literary Taste in Central Canada" (1950) 31 Can. Hist'l Rev. 237. 35. See Wynne Francis, "Literary Magazines in English" in William Toye, ed., The Oxford Companion to Canadian Lit-erature (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1983) 455 at 456-57 [hereinafter Oxford Companion to Canadian Litera-ture]. 36. Careless, supra note 31 at 47. 37. Careless, ibid, at 39. 38. Vaudeville featured variety minstrel shows, plus song-and-dance men, balladeers, patter comedians, acrobats, jug-glers and animal acts: Careless, ibid, at 48. 39. Careless, ibid, at 48-49. 40. Careless, ibid, at 48. 41. Roper, supra note 27 at 275-77. 42. Roper, ibid, at 277-78. 43. Roper, ibid, at 280. 44. Roper, ibid, at 281. Although in England familiarity with the classics may have been in the process of being super-seded by familiarity with science and English literature as the main distinguishing marks of an educated mind, Canada was probably not there yet: see Kendrick, supra note 26 at 46,48. 45. Roper, ibid, at 282-85. 46. Cal Smiley, "Novels in English 1900 to 1920" in Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature, supra note 35, 569 at 569. 47 explorations of human existential dilemmas or the gritty, unpleasant realities o f life. Stylistically, the poetry tends to be conservative in form and meter and, again, heavily reliant on its English forebears. 5 7 These tendencies in the poetry written by Canadians reflects the nature o f the taste in English and American poetry held by contemporary readers. 5 8 On stage, most drama was presented by touring American enterprises that played N e w York or London hits and older Anglo-American standard fare. These companies tended not to be experimental, and local managers relied on them, rather than risking shows by unheralded Canadian playwrights or new forms of drama. 5 9 The sense that theatre endangered the soul through its representation of "falseness" had faded by the end of the century, but the sense that a proper play, in the melodramatic vein, could provide moral improvement to the masses was still highly prevalent and responded to the long-standing criticism that the stage provoked immoral i ty . 6 0 One form of drama that did not gain great popularity in Canada was the "problem play," a new form of drama that was appearing on British and American stages. Done best by Shaw and Ibsen, these plays used the emerging techniques of realistic theatre to depict the conflict of social institutions with human fee l ing. 6 1 Forays into these forms of drama attracted audiences, particularly among the highly educated classes, but were harshly criticized by those committed to upholding the morals of the nat ion . 6 2 W i t h many theatre productions, like novels, emanating from the United States, that country was frequently associated with infamy, and cries went out to "guard our national frontiers." 6 3 Overall, the inhibitions o f public morality restrained ventures into the new theatrical and literary conventions of realism on the main commercial stages. Linked to these new forms o f drama was realism, an equally unpopular and maligned movement in literature that made little impact on Canadian writing between 1880 and 1914: Between 1880 and 1920 few Canadian writers revealed in their work any awareness of the various kinds o f 'new fiction' which appeared in Great Britain and in the United States as these years rolled by, from writers as diverse as James, Conrad, Crane, Norris , Dreiser, Wells, Forster, Ford, Mackenzie, Lawrence, Joyce, Andersson, Virginia Woolf, and W i l l a Cather. Often experimental in form, the 'new fiction' frequently explored the darker side of human experience. Usually it was written to express the writer's private vision, not to please the tastes o f the common reader. Canadian writers, however, like most of their Brit ish and Amer-ican contemporaries, lived and worked on another floor in the house o f fiction... [T]hey 47. Mary Jane Edwards, "Novels in English: Beginnings to 1900" in Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature, supra note 35, 565 at 567. Contemporary narratives about white slavery also had this melodramatic quality, and Carolyn Strange observes that some of these narratives even appeared on the stage of the Grand Theatre: Toronto s Girl Problem (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1995) at 62. For a description of these white slavery narratives, see Strange, ibid. at 99-10; Valverde, supra note 9 at 95-98; and John McLaren, "White Slavers: The Reform of Canada's Prostitution Laws and Patterns of Enforcement, 1900-1920" (1987) 8 Crim. J. Hist. 53 at 66-67 [hereinafter "White Slavers"]. 48. Roper, supra note 27 at 290-91. 49. Roper, ibid, at 287-88; Smiley, supra note 46 at 569. 50. "Fiction in English" in Noah Story, ed., The Oxford Companion to Canadian History and Literature (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1967), 252 at 254-55. 51. Elaine Showalter, at 76-104, describes the growth in England of the romance novel (about a quest into some dark unknown territory) and the boys' adventure story as part of a reaction to the death of George Eliot, the queen of fiction, in 1880. Male writers sought to stake out economic territory for themselves after her tremendous success, but they also sought "to remake the high Victorian novel in masculine terms," "to reclaim the kingdom of the English novel for male writers, male readers, and men's stories" (ibid, at 78-79). Canadian literary culture came of age as the resolutely mascu-line romance came into the ascendant in England, eclipsing the feminine realism of Eliot, and Canadian were probably not intensely aware of the English tensions around these two forms. 52. Gordon Roper, S. Ross Beharriell and Rupert Schieder, "Writers of Fiction 1880-1920" in Literary History of Can-ada, ibid., 327 at 352-53. 53. Edwards, supra note 47 at 567-68. 54. Roper, supra note 27 at 285. Note that in 1913, the National Council of Women's Committee on Objectionable Printed Matter favoured encouraging people '"to read less fiction and to substitute books of a more educational charac-ter'": Valverde, supra note 9 at 63. 48 wrote in the varieties of fiction read by the great middle band in the spectrum of the reading public. Panoramas o f their values, their forms, their characters, and their fictional techniques would show similar community. What did distinguish their work, as a body, was the remark-able extent to which they used their own native grounds as material in their stories. 6 4 Realism had developed considerable readership in France and was making headway in Britain and the United States, but most well-educated Canadian readers disliked it, objecting that it degraded human experience and endangered youthful readers; they preferred uplifting melodrama, i f they tolerated novels at al l , or history. 6 5 Recall Michael Gauvreau's identification of human history as the defining intellectual preoccupation of the p e r i o d 6 6 : subjects o f study that we would now identify as history, geography or English literature were all components o f the nationalistic project of the time. This project showed how the past had given birth to the present and it set the stage for the future. While it tended to focus on political and economic progress, two of its abiding preoccupations - always linked - were to explain the absence of a worthy national literature in the past and to detect the signs o f flowering in the present. 6 7 A call went out for the creation o f a Canadian literature that could be what Franklin E. Court calls "a symbolic index to history." 6 8 Indeed, Margery Fee has found the preoccupation with developing a literature to express the soul of the nation to be the predominant convention o f English Canadian literary criticism between 1890 and 1950. 6 9 (Writers, however, realized that it was easier to call for it than to write it and that there was not much market for it outside Canada. 7 0 ) Historical writing had shades o f the epic in its plot and of the romantic in its tone. Understanding it as literary was thus not unreasonable. Another movement that never made much headway in Canada was the "art for art's sake," "decadent" or "aesthetic" movement, personified by Oscar Wilde, which denied that art should lead a person toward moral thought and behaviour and thus "assaulted the assumptions about the nature and function of art held by ordinary middle-class readers, deliberately, provocatively." This movement widened the gap in England and in Europe between artists and writers, on one side, and the ordinary public on the other, fostering the image o f the alienated artist. 7 1 This movement was probably even less attractive to the Canadian public than it was to English and American audiences. A corollary to the unpopularity o f the art for art's sake movement is that the problematizing of masculinity and femininity that occurred in this work seems to have been rejected by Canadian audiences, as it was in England and the United States. Oscar Wilde, in his person, embodied the idea that masculinity is constructed; his homosexuality underlined the homosexual subtext o f the homosocial culture of boys' schools and men's clubs in which upper-class English men lived. Similarly a character such as Vivie 55. Roper, ibid, at 286. The strength of the denominational presses such as the Methodist Book and Publishing House (later the Ryerson Press) probably helped stave off the arrival of realist work on Canadian shores. 56. Tom Vincent, "Poetry in English to 1900" in Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature, supra note 35, 652 at 656. 57. Susan Gingell, "Poetry in English 1900 to 1950" in Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature, ibid., 656 at 656. 58. Claude T. Bissell, "Literary Taste in Central Canada" (1950) 31 Can. Hist'l Rev. 237 at 247-48. 59. Careless, supra note 31 at 48. 60. The most common attitude even in the church presses was that proper, clean theatrical performances would have benign effect on public morals (neutral or even elevating), but bad shows would corrupt. See e.g. "Censorship of The-atres" Presbyterian (15 October 1908) 412; "A Wave of Indecency" Presbyterian (22 April 1909) 484; "The Theatre" Presbyterian (6 October 1910) 355; and "What Can Be Done with the Theatre?"Presbyterian (13 October 1910) 387 [hereinafter "What Can Be Done"]. One article that explicitly proclaimed the "immortal popularity" of Uncle Tom s Cabin and "the scores of domestic plays and melodramas in which vice is held up to execration and virtue glorified" is "Moralities on the Stage" Toronto Daily Star (4 May 1910) 8. See also "Influence of the Stage in Forming Impulses" Toronto World (30 October 1909) 8 and "Reforming the Playhouse" Toronto Daily Star (1 February 1904) 3. 61. See Henry F. Salerno, "The Problem Play: Some Aesthetic Considerations" (1968) 11 English Literature in Transi-tion 195. 62. See e.g. "No Help to Morals of City," Evening Telegram, 27 November 1912) 20, reporting on the condemnation of a local play of this type by Rev. John Coburn at a meeting of the Toronto Social Studies Club. The play involved adul-tery. He called the whole play degrading, even though there was not an indecent word or act in it. 63. "The Theatre," supra note 60. 49 Warren, in George Bernard Shaw's Mrs. Warren's Profession challenged the notion that women could be fulfilled only through marriage and motherhood. England and the United States were experiencing the challenges to gender norms involved in these constructs and felt deeply threatened by Wilde's and Shaw's writings. Ontario's rejection o f this movement was quieter. Possibly this was because there was less general anxiety about gender norms in Ontario, but l ikely the theatrical circuits simply did not mount such shows in conservative Ontario, so that the threat they posed was mainly a rumour from elsewhere. Between 1880 and 1910, then, a large market developed in Canada for fiction and drama. Better educated and probably older members o f society, consistent with their schooling, considered most novels to be at best mere entertainment and a waste o f time; these people preferred literary tales o f history that educated as they entertained and foretold a glorious future for Canada . 7 2 The historical fiction o f Sir Walter Scott and others was very popular. 7 3 Theatre of all descriptions was disdained. The better educated had little use for any fiction, particularly problem plays or realist fiction that depicted difficult moral dilemmas or sordid conditions o f l i f e . 7 4 The majority o f the reading public, however, liked the fiction that proliferated in books and magazines around the turn o f the century, and the multiplying urban theatres drew large audiences from the middle and working classes. The most popular genre for fiction and drama (as opposed to variety and burlesque shows, which were also very popular) was melodrama, with its clear plots, characters and moral resolutions. While realism did not appeal to the majority of the reading and theatre-going public, authors like Conrad, James, Woolf, Joyce, Crane, Dreiser, Wilde, Shaw and Ibsen were attracting attention and objection elsewhere in the English-speaking world, and they were beginning to enter Canada, to be enjoyed by a small segment o f the population and to have an impact on the developing discipline o f English literature and the nature of literary criticism. One significant literary periodical o f the late nineteenth century (1883 to 1896) was The Week, published in Toronto. Claude T. Bissell asserts that on the whole, "the Week is a better source for material illustrative of cultivated literary taste than most o f the Canadian periodicals that have appeared since it ceased publ icat ion." 7 5 The Week presented a synthesis o f the academic and literary realms that has since broken down. It published contributions from various Canadian writers like Charles G.D. Roberts, W i l l i a m Dawson LeSueur and Sara Jeannette Duncan, but it gave more space to writers in the United States and England. French literature received the next largest amount o f attention. Bissell speaks o f a split between those who liked "the traditional novel of complicated plot stiffened by abundant passages o f generalized description and of wholesome morality" and those who preferred "the novel that scorned the machinery o f plot, strove for a calm objectivity, substituted close analysis o f character and motives for elaborate background descriptions, and aimed to trouble the mind rather than strengthen the moral fibre."76 The practitioners of this latter class were the American realists and the French naturalists. 64. Gordon Roper, Rupert Schieder and S. Ross Beharriell, "The Kinds of Fiction 1880-1920" in Literary History of Canada, supra note 27,298 at 326. See also Kendrick, supra note 26 at 177. In The Closing of the American Mind(New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987) at 204-5, Allan Bloom describes realist literature this way: The artists whom Nietzsche saw around him, those whose gifts were the greatest, attested to this loss [of the ability to inspire through myth]. They were what he called decadents, not because they lacked talent or their art was not impressive, but because their works were laments of artistic impotence, characterizations of an ugly world that the poets believe they cannot influence. Immediately after the French Revolution there had been a stupendous artistic effervescence, and poets thought they could again be the legislators of mankind. The vocation provided for the art-ists in the new philosophy hearkened to them, and a new classic age was born. Idealism and romanticism appeared to have carved out a place for the sublime in the order of things. But within a generation or two the mood had noticeably soured, and artists began to represent the romantic visions as a groundless hoax. Men like Baudelaire and Flaubert turned away from the public and made the moralism and enthusiasm of their immediate predecessors look foolish. Adulteries without love, sins without punishment or redemption became the more authentic themes of art. The world had been disenchanted. Baudelaire presented sinning man as in the Christian vision, but without hope of God's salvation, piercing pious fraudulence, hypocrite lecteur. 65. Roper, supra note 27 at 285; S. Craig Wilson, "'Our Common Enemy': Censorship Campaigns of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and the National Council of Women, 1890-1912" (1998) C.J.W.L. (forthcoming). See also "A Wave of Indecency," supra note 60. 66. See page 23 et seq. 50 The former were courteously accepted; the latter were impossible to support. Brian Doyle identifies the period between 1880 and 1920 as the period when English literature as a credible academic discipline for men came to exist in England. 7 Canada underwent a related process, as university departments took shape and literature and history began to take their current shape as separate disc ip l ine . 7 8 In this, Canada was perhaps a decade or two behind the United States. 7 9 Influenced by Darwinism and German philosophy, history developed a scientific slant and tone, with an emphasis on "documentation, detachment, specialization, and a scientific frame o f m i n d . " 8 0 The separation of history from literature left literature to develop new methodologies of its own. What those methodologies were, however, shifted. The older way o f evaluating writing was to assess the moral uprightness of its author through an examination of some o f the qualities of her or his writing. A n exemplar o f this type o f criticism is Augustine Birre l l , on the defensive in England by 1894. In a collection of essays on a number o f writers, Birrel l castigates and dismisses Jonathan Swift, focusing on the man, his manners, his relationships and his doings. Birrel l does not analyze the artistic merit of Swift's texts but instead stresses their moral impact, their indecency. 8 1 The moral and aesthetic components of a text are inseparable. In his criticism Birrel l examines the character of the writers and what they say, rather than how they say it. He dislikes just about everything written after 1800 and accuses contemporary authors of demanding admiration for their realist seriousness, even as they produce texts that supply not the slightest bit of joy to the reader - one suspects he has Thomas Hardy in m i n d . 8 2 This type o f criticism espouses a different writing ethic: to instruct and entertain decorously, through an illustration of life as it may best (or ideally) be lived, rather than to explore and faithfully represent hardship. Canadian literary criticism of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries has a similar idealism and didacticism. The European and American realist and "naturalist" (darker than realist) movements in literature were debated by writers in Canada, but the preponderance of literary opinion favoured "idealism." "Literature was not a personal expression o f a particularly sensitive individual who could unmask his own and society's soul, but a social force that would entertain while instructing, leading, and i n s p i r i n g . " 8 3 The majority o f critics were certain that literature should offer a moral lesson. George Herbert Berts, in a 1912 book intended to provide teachers with an introduction to psychology, found in literature an avenue to teach students "what to look for in life and experience" and a description of "l ife in the 67. Berger, supra note 30 at 2-3. The linkage of history and literature in a nationalistic project was still evident in Carl Wittke's A History of Canada (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1935). It is clear from Wittke's writing that when he speaks of literature he includes history. His lengthy paragraph itemizing the recent work of historians in Canada begins "[pjractically all of the noteworthy literary productions of English Canadians date from the time of the Confederation": ibid, at 289. Wittke observes a "desire for a literature and an art which should give emotional expression to Canada's rise to nationhood"; but evidently he does not find a great deal to celebrate just yet: ibid, at 291. He remarks that Canadians are just starting to achieve distinction in the fine arts but that "[t]he theatre in Canada, from legitimate drama through musical comedy, burlesque, and moving pictures, is really an appendage of the theatrical activities of the United States and of Great Britain": ibid, at 290. The writers Wittke admires are all representatives of a style of English writing that became less popular as modernist writing made its appearance in Canada: T.C. Haliburton (who "stands out as almost the only exceptional genius Canada has produced"), Stephen Leacock, Rev. Charles W. Gordon, Norman Duncan, Ernest Thompson Seton, Margaret Saunders (for "Beautiful Joe, one of the most popular children's books ever written"), Charles G.D. Roberts, Archibald Lampman, Bliss Carman, William Henry Drummond, D C . Scott, Marjorie Pickthall, E.J. Pratt and Wilson Macdonald: ibid, at 288-89. 68. See supra note 30. 69. Fee, supra note 30. 70. Roper, supra note 27 at 286-87. 71. "The Twentieth Century" in Norton 2, supra note 29, 1727 at 1727-28. The editors of the Canadian Churchman clearly had no truck with this doctrine: see "Immoral Literature" Canadian Churchman (14 January 1909) 19 at 20. Oscar Wilde rejected many ideas dear to the hearts of those concerned with the moral well-being of the populace. For example, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, he critiqued the idea that literature could poison the mind: see Brantlinger, supra note 26 at 129-30. 72. Roper, supra note 27 at 281. 73. Wilson, supra note 65. 51 ideal." He warned that literature and the stage had to be imbibed judiciously, so that students would not come to view their own lives as humdrum or develop nervous strain from over-excitement. These concerns echo similar ones from a century or more before about the effects of novels on girls and young women. Similarly, A r n o l d Bennett said in his 1905 tract on how to acquire literary taste, The aim of literary study is not to amuse the hours o f leisure; it is to awake oneself, it is to [enliven] the intensity of one's capacity for pleasure, for sympathy, and for comprehension. It is not to affect one hour, but twenty-four hours. It is to change utterly one's relations with the w o r l d . 8 6 Bennett advised his readers to avoid modern writing and stick to the classics, since only time would tell i f the moderns were worth reading. He advocated studying carefully the life of the writer, to get a sense of the individual trying to speak through the book; this awareness would sensitize the reader to the emotion being conveyed through the text. Around the mid-1910s, though, under the influence o f realist and other modernist writing and in tandem with the development o f English as a discipline, a different approach to and understanding of literature developed. This approach eschewed considering the text as the mouthpiece of an author, whose psychological make-up had to be unearthed and admired or condemned. It also stopped making judgments about the moral message o f the texts and focused instead on how effectively they said what they said. The origins o f this criticism likely lie in a number o f places, including the international recognition then being given to modern authors, the relativism of contemporary German philosophy, the "art for art's sake" movement and the elevation o f English literature itself in the academy. One text that exemplifies the transition to this new kind of criticism sought "to find modern illustrations of some o f the great truths to which the [Methodist] Church stands committed." The author, Trevor H . Davies, finds these truths in such texts as Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter, which "does not preach Christ as Redeemer ... [but] has tremendous power to make us feel our need of H i m . " Davies thus combines the didacticism of earlier generations o f critics with the close readings of texts advocated by later cr i t i cs . 8 7 In a related vein, when J.D. Logan and Donald D. French speak o f poets in their introduction to the literary history of Canada, their language combines an emphasis on poetic artistry with the idealistic language of earlier writing on literature. 8 8 The older dismay at modernist writing is completely gone in W . A . Deacon's 1926 irreverent collection of essays on literature, which describes Thomas Hardy as one of the greatest of the moderns. 8 9 Deacon has no doubt that one's taste improves through reading, but he has no sense that taste has anything to do with morality. He does not speak o f the temperaments or characters o f particular authors. He is positively 74. Roper, at 290, says: The realists were strongly opposed by a large, diverse, and influential force of writers, reviewers, and readers who denounced the view of life presented by the realists as narrow, mean, pessimistic, and degrading. They argued that the realists looked down, not up, that they showed the animal in man rather than the angel. They feared that How-ells and James were opening their optimistic, genteel, middle-class, provincial Anglo-Saxon world to a flood of French realism by Balzac, Flaubert, the de Goncourt brothers, De Maupassant, and Zola, with all its "cynicism," "decadence," and "nasty emphasis" upon sex. An unsystematic sampling of the reviews and articles on fiction in Canadian periodicals during these years suggests that the bulk of Canadian opinion was on the side of the conser-vatives. Canadian writers like Gilbert Parker and the Protestant ministers who wrote fiction championed romanti-cism and "idealism," as they understood "idealism." See also "A Wave of Indecency," supra note 60, and "The Fight Against Impurity" Toronto Globe (14 April 1909) 6. 75. Bissell, supra note 58 at 242. 76. Bissell, ibid, at 246. 77. Brian Doyle, English andEnglishness (London: Routledge, 1989) at 2,20-21. See also Court, supra note 4 at 159-60. 52 impish in his disdain for censorship, and he has a delightful chapter called " M a k i n g the Bible Safe for Democracy" about recent American rewritings o f the Bible (by fundamentalists who in the same breath insisted on Bible 's perfection) that eliminated favourable references to wine and other questionable material . 9 0 Deacon calls literature "self-expression or nothing ." 9 1 Conspicuously absent from his examination is his predecessors' obsession with the place o f Canadian writing in history; Deacon is concerned about the quality of the writing itself. In his examination o f book reviewing, he attributes the low quality he perceives in the periodicals around him to the fact that "there has been comparatively little written about reviewing as an art . " 9 2 [T]he review which does not deliver a verdict has failed in its chief function. The reader, guided by a very true instinct, does not want a bloodless description of what is in the book. He want to know what the reviewer "thinks" about it. A n d here we strike the core o f the whole matter. H o w is the reviewer to know what to think? H o w is he to judge between good literature and bad? W h i c h throws us back on the more fun-damental query - "What is art?" It is the question "what is art" that lies at the heart of the major censorship wars o f the English-speaking