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Before the council; or, Social life in Victoria Turner, George H. 1891

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Social Life in Victoria
S   1891 Entered according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year 1891,
by George H. Turner, in the Department of Agriculture.   BEFORE THE COUNCIL;
THE thoughts which find expression in the
ollowing pages were brought to the front
by the reading of the following article,
taken from the Weekly Columbian, published in
New Westminster City in the Province of British
Columbia, on the 24th of December, 1890.
The Capital City is agitated at present by a
movement, inaugurated by some of the most aggressive pastors, for purging the Augean stables
of the city's social evil. An association called
the Temperance and Moral Reform Association
has been formed, and at the last meeting of the
Victoria City Council a large delegation from
this organization waited upon the Council and
were given a hearing. The leaders in the movement are Revs. Messrs. P. McF. McLeod and D.
Fraser, of the First and Second Presbyterian
Churches, and Rev. Coverdale Watson, of the
Pandora Street Methodist Church,     Revs. Mc- Leod and Watson were the spokesmen at the
meeting with the Council. They laid a rather
damaging accusation against the moral condition
of the Capital City, and a somewhat stormy discussion ensued, Mayor Grant rather resenting
the idea of the clergy airing the city's dirty linen,
while some of the aldermen admitted that things
were pretty bad, and demanded remedying.
Both reverend gentlemen had their addresses
prepared and read them to the Council, " so that
any words they uttered might not be misunderstood or misapplied." Rev. Mr. McLeod introduced the question, as follows:
Mr. Mayor and Gentlemen—We appear before
you as a deputation from the Temperance and
Moral Reform Council in no censorious spirit,
and with no ulterior ends in view. We have no
intentions of making charges against you, or of
attempting to instruct you in your duties. Our
purpose is simply to call your attention to an
evil in the city which has groWn of late to alarming proportions, and which some of us have very
good reason to know is doing incalculable harm
to our youth of both sexes. We take it for
granted that we are all agreed that the law of
England is right in refusing to recognize or legalize prostitution, and, therefore, it is unnecessary
to meet the arguments of those who would intro- "^1
duce among us the continental system. * * *
We wish to call your special attention to the
position some of these houses occupy in close
proximity to our churches. * * * We further call your attention to the spreading of these
houses over the residential parts of the city, and
to the boldness with which the prostitutes conduct themselves on the streets and in places of
public entertainment, as indications that the
time has come when repressive measures are becoming absolutely necessary for the protection
of the respectable portion of the community.
Rev. Mr. Watson followed with a statement
of principles.    He said:
We are here to ask that this social vice be
proceeded against by vigorous measures of repression, and accordingly beg to submit the following postulates' and statements as to the convictions that have led us to seek to lay before
you this matter, whose delicacy is only equalled
by its great and solemn importance and its most
serious public concern, viz:
1. We cannot doubt but that this great and
nameless crime is primarily and almost wholly
the crime of man.
2. We would have all doctrine and sentiment
upon the subject brought to the test of the actual
and practical, and accordingly would submit the following to the uncorrupted fountain and instincts of the human conscience ;
(1.) Whence are these poor victims of
male lust recruited ? Are they not somebody's
precious girls, daughters and sisters, whose confiding hearts and susceptible natures have been
led on toward the abyss, under the most sacred
promises, and often after long and artful persuasion by men of fiendish motives, to be heartlessly abandoned in their discrowned womanhood
and bereft of virtue to take refuge in a fife of
infamy, when reputation, self-respect and hope,
were gone, whilst the destroyer went free, and
" one soul suffered for the guilt of two."
(2.) Who, we ask, with an instinct of humanity, can plead for the continuance of this horrible
holocaust ? Who of us stands prepared to give
his own fair daughter or sister to this lecherous
debauchery ? If not our own, can we connive at
the sacrifice of those of others ? If we cannot
plead for it, if we cannot support it, if we are
not willing to make sacrifices for it, we must seek
its suppression, or sodden in the guilt of in-
differentism; we shall merit the execration of
posterity, and our chief accusers at the final summing up of thmgs, will be the poor fallen ones,
for whom scant tenderness is felt at the bar of
a too partial and thoughtless public opinion. -i-
3. We claim that promiscuous indulgence between the sexes and illicit intercourse, so far from
mitigating any evil, tends, on the other hand, to
inflame passion, debauches and bestializes its victims, saps the foundations of self-respect, and
corrupts beyond any other vice, the very fountains of life and virtue.
4. We propose that the law of purity shall be
as sternly applied to man as to woman, in utter
abhorrence of the inhuman doctrine that says:
I Damn the woman and let the man go free."
5. That vice is never a necessity, since if it
were, it would cease to be vice.
6. That the.only lawful treatment of this, as
of every other vice, is repression.
7. The social conscience must be kept up to
the point, where it is felt to be an actual restraint upon.the passions of men, and this must
be done by righteous laws enacted and faithfully
8. We assume that every brothel is a nuisance,
and, as such, liable to indictment. That, moreover, the illicit sale of liquor is carried on in most,
if not in all, of these places.
9. The ends desired can only be accomplished
by a combination of three elements: (1) A just
law, (2) municipal vigilance, and (3) private institutional beneficence. — 8 —■
10. Our appeal is all the more reasonable from
the fact that already private beneficence has
provided at least two homes for the express purpose of taking these poor women out of harm's
way, and preparing them for resuming a life of
Considerable public interest was manifested hi
the discussion, the Council chamber being filled
with citizens, and according to the Colonist, Rev.
Mr. McLeod was repeatedly hissed when answering the charge of Mayor Grant, that the ministers had defamed the city. At the conclusion of
the interview, a motion was passed to the effect
that the suggestions of the Temperance and Moral
Reform Association be received by the Council,
and be strongly recommended to the incoming
Does it not seem remarkable that the older
city, and one whose population is supposed to be
v  7 X      JL A A
more than double that of any other of the cities
of the Province, whose churches may be numbered by the dozen, where liberty of speech is
freely accorded to every man without regard for
faith or class, where even the heathen Chinee is
permitted to worship his idols and do his utmost
to elevate a moral standard and reform from the
error of their ways to the freedom and beauty of
J paganism his white brethren, should be such a
cesspool of corruption that church and brothel
stand side by side, and the palatial residence of
the rich, church-going aristocrat, and the gilded
saloon of the rumseller and the harlot, clustered
together as though the one sustained the other.
To what end is our civilization tending, and
what is the future in store for the world ?
We have no reason to assume that the people
of Victoria are either better or worse than other
people in the Province, but rather that they are
only a little further advanced. The ulcers have
grown riper there, and like virulent running sores,
refuse to be hidden by the courtplasters of pride.
But bad as they are, they are not so bad as
they will be. It is not the nature of a poisonous
sore to heal itself, and we but imitate the folly
of the ostrich, which hides its head in the sand,
while its body is exposed to the hunter, when we
cover up a disease. The cause must be removed;
it is idle to hide the consequences.
I find in another paragraph in the same paper,
quoted from no less eminent authority than General Booth, that there are three million people in
England who are worse off than the cab horses
of the streets of London. That twenty thousand
men in London daily seek for a chance to earn a /
crust of bread. — 10 —
So you see that Victoria is not nearly so bad
as she will be, for it is doubtful if more than five
or six hundred able-bodied, vigorous men, willing
to earn an honest flving, daily seek in vain for
employment in the City of Victoria.
I remember looking over the Y. M. C. A. register in that city not very long ago, and among
other things-1 noticed the words, " Will someone
give me a day's work for God's sake." The writing was in a clear legible hand, indicating that
the unfortunate who wrote it was a man of experience and education. The exceeding pathos
of the words made me sad, for I knew well their
meaning, for I had myself once been one among a
thousand such men, who tramped the streets of
a great city on this coast looking in vain for
I have known young women in the city of
Victoria, Christian girls, pure and honorable,
thrown upon their own resources for a livelihood
seek from house to house for employment, only
to be refused time after time—by members of
their own and other so-called Christian churches,
who did not hesitate to tell them that they would
prefer to employ a pagan Chinaman to manage
the affairs of their household and care for their
little children.
I   have   seen the deacon of a f
asiiionable — ii —
church stand for a moment on the street corner,
and then quietly slide into a gin mill, and afterwards filled with the spirit pray for nearly twenty
minutes loud and long enougK to move heaven
and earth, for the conversion and reform of the
" From the beginning of creation God made
them male and female."
It is as natural for a healthy vigorous man to
desire companionship and intercourse with
women as it is natural for him to want a good
square meal when he is hungry, and as most men
are averse to eating out of a common trough like
a lot of hogs, so it is natural that they should
have their preferences in regard to companionship of the opposite sex; but it is also true that
as most men will consent to eat from a trough
before they would starve, so will they violate
their more delicate sense of decency .and yield to
the force of circumstances which deprive them of
the privilege of natural selection.
The laws of nature are the laws of God, and
as well might the pastors of Victoria try to
stay the flow of the ocean as it sweeps back and
forth through the Straits of Fuca in obedience to
the law that governs the- tides, as to stop by force
the natural working of human nature; at least
the effort, if not so utterly futile, would be only 1
— 12 -
more disastrous, and so far from cleansing
society, .wouLl make it more corrupt and bestial.
Behold thou art called a Christian, and mak-
est thy boast of righteousness, and art confident
that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light
of them which art in darkness; an instructor of
the foolish; a teacher of counsellors. Thou, therefore, who teachest another, teachest thou not thyself. Thou that preachest a man should not
steal; dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man
should not commit adultery; dost thou commit
adultery ? Thou that abhorest idols; dost thou
commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast
of righteousness, through unrighteousness dis-
honorest thou God?
The righteous are they that do the right to
everyone, but injustice never can be right beneath the sun.
I venture to say that there is not a prostitute
in the City of Victoria, who at some time or other
was not capable, under proper conditions, of becoming an honorable woman, and perhaps the
mother of a family, and who even hoped to be
such. That there is not a libertine, vile and de-
testible, lost to the higher and nobler instincts of
manhood, who would >not joyfully, had he not
been robbed of his birthright, have taken to his
home some one of the opposite sex whom he could — 13 —
love before all others, and who would have made
him a better and more honorable man. There is
no reason why they might not all have been good
citizens and true lights in society, or may even"
yet become such. It is not for us to condemn
them, for God created them and they are His.
But for the present they are what they are—
the outcasts of society, fast becoming the body of
society itself. They are men and women becoming heartless, vindictive and determined. They
know their position, and instead of dying, under
the withering stare of the self-righteous, they
defy and despise them. They take their money,
and get as close to them as they can.
No wonder the more fortunate people of Victoria are horrified at the prospect, and at least in
fancy, can already see their own precious girls,
their daughters and sisters, being hustled toward
the house of infamy, the goal of civilization, but
when they think to check such tendencies by force,
they find themselves helpless as children who
would divert the pathway of a storm.
Something higher than human enactments—
something more potent than individual selfishness, must be the barrier that will stay the advancing tide, and spare even a remnant of Christianity to the world.
It is said that the population of the earth is —   14:   —
1,449,000,000, out of which Christianity, in all its
forms, claims 450.000,000, or less than one-third,
while the lime throwers and fighting priests and
corruptionists of Castle Comer and every other
place, are included in the number.
The church is cowardly and servile. They
dare not follow the footsteps of Christ, and shrink
from contact with the world of reality, while
they delude themselves, and lead men astray in
dreams, while they go down to hell together.
Whatever we may believe of God, or hope for
in the future, this much we do know, that we are
here now; and that our duty is with the present;
and the rule of Christ, " Do unto others as ypu
would that they should do to you," should be our
rule of life.
We should be just before we are charitable.
We should follow the plain teaching of Christ
ourselves, before we coerce others to do so.
Read the sixth chapter of Luke, and let us
hear from the preacher in Victoria or elsewhere
who dares to follow in the way that
Christ himself therein preached and practised.
I am no friend of vice and licentiousness, but I
am a friend of humanity, and I do not believe
there is so much difference in human nature, as
inherent in individuals, as clothing and education
would sometimes indicate.
E While travelling on the C. P. R. a few days
ago, I heard it contended by an employee of the
railroad company, that laboring men in British
Columbia, who were fortunate enough to get employment at all, could not average over twenty
dollars per month and board. I felt disposed to
differ from the gentleman at the time, but found
many to support his view of the situation, and
have since concluded that it is only too true.
How long would the reverend divines of Vic-
toria continue to occupy their fashionable pulpits*
for twenty dollars per month, and which of them
who is single would undertake to marry and support a family on that amount; more especially if
that pitiful allowance was uncertain.
Referring to the columns of that cyclopedia
of useful knowledge, The Columbian, we find by
the editorial on the Chinese entitled "An Un- .
pleasant Prospect," that our scale of comfort and
civilization among all classes of industry is menaced by competition with a scale lower still.
Quoting the language of a San Francisco merchant it says, " We can no more compete with the
the Chinese than we can overcome death and
fate"—and he might have added, no more can we
successfully compete with each other. Competition is destructive, and its tendency is to
greater and greater privation and economy on — 16 — .
the part of the masses. " The house divided
against itself will fall." Why is it that our
learned preachers of every denomination are so
ready to moralize and grow eloquent over the
sins of the people while they refuse or neglect to
investigate the great questions of political
economy which account for and suggest a remedy
for those things ? I fear that too many of them
are but whited sepulchers, they contain only
dead men's bones, and the living spirit of Christ
is not in them.
Christ has said to himself " If I be lifted up
I will draw all men unto me," but is it realized,
has Christ been truly lifted up, have men been
drawn to emulate the example of him, who long
ago suffered a felon's death on Calvary to set
forth to the world the perfection of love ? Not
so, for our so called Christianity is a libel on
Christ, a slander upon the just one. By their
works shall ye know them.
From the cradle to the grave the child is
trained, thorough home, and school, and church,
and business life by every manner of worldly
example to lie, and cheat, and destroy. From
his earliest experience it is a struggle to hokl his
own and appropriate something of someone else.
It has been well said that the surest indication
of a downward tendency in our  civilization that 17 —
menaces to-day is not a failure in the supply of
food, but a failure in the crop of men. No
wonder that Lord Wolseley declares that the
Chinese will yet by force of numbers overrun
'the world when he compares our little band with
their countless millions.
The children should be the wards of the
people, and no child for mere accident of birth
should be starved and pinched by want and prostituted by vice.
Christ said, " Suffer little children to come
unto me, and forbid* them not, for of such is the
kingdom of heaven." He did not say bring me
that delicate germ of huma,nity, clothed in
"ermine and fine linen, but away with the child
of the prostitute, the ' gutter snipe, and the
shivering waif of poverty. No ! but his invitation was general " little children," and as he
clasped them in love to his heart he truly realized that upon the coming to him of the little
ones would depend the salvation of the. world.
Men are disposed to reason, but children are
ready to learn. If the children a,re taught the
story of Christ, his lessons of equality, and the
love of country, we may look for a generation
wherein love and fellowship will be more than a
name, wherein co-operation will be possible and
union will indeed  be strength.    Every   woman
Md — 18 —
who gives birth to a child should be esteemed a
benefactor of her race and country, for has she
not added another soul to labor for the good of
others, has she not increased the number of
those who may labor to advance the cause of
Christ and spread abroad the Glad Tidings.
It is said that every man who comes into the
country, without regard to his wealth, is worth
at least three thousand dollars to the country.
If such be true, then under a national co-operative union, which would comprise every branch
of capital and industry, the value of the individual would be tenfold increased, and our
country would grow strong, and population would
multiply, and wealth would overflow, and a
single case of poverty would be unknown. Men
would have time to think, they would have time
to cultivate the joys of home, and the marvellous force of human intellect set free would be
directed in a way that would speedily redeem
the world to a condition that would outshine in
glory and peace and comfort the fairest dreams
of Eden.
Look around us to-day and behold the vast
wealth of natural resources that lie undeveloped
in the country, the private property of capitalists who will neither use nor permit others to
use, hundreds of thousands of acres of the finest _ 19 —
agricultural land under the sun, capable of supporting a population a thousand times that of
British Columbia at the present time, held at
such prices as prohibit development or enslave
the producers, or by our sapient government
absolutely witheld from settlement, valuable
mines locked up, and boundless areas of timber
land worth many millions of dollars, literally
stolen from the people and . given to strangers,
manyof whom are non-residents and aliens.
By what divine authority is this monstrous
outrage perpetrated against the people. There
is none. It is a base and absurd imposition.
But our christian ministry can see no wrong in
this. They are too busy building fine churches,
fighting among themselves, and crowding from
their pathway some unfortunate brother or
sister whom they fear may chance to touch
their spotless robes.
"The land shall not be sold forever; for the
land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners
with me, said the Lord." Still every title that
is issued by the crown conveys to the granter
his heirs, and assigns forever the lands described
No man has any exclusive right to the earth
from which the bodies of his fellows are derived
and sustained, and to which they must return.
i&2 'II
— 20 —
Were natural opportunities made available for
production, and labor set free by immense cooperation and union, the grand hopes of the
redemption of the world would be quickly realized. Then the words of Christ would be easy
to understand, and the wondrous story of the
birth and life and death and resurrection of our
Lord would be more than of fabulous significance
in the minds of men.
The righteous shall inherit the earth, said he,
To whom Heaven and Earth shall bend the knee.
How often I have paused at that wonderful text,
And left it at last with a mind perplexed, •
For how, in a world like this where might is law,
Can the righteous get a foothold on earth at all 1
But at last I believe that to men is given
To reveal the mystery, a light from heaven;
For we see in the times of to-day,
A wonderful movement on the way.
"Give a rogue rope and he will hang himself,"
So it is with injustice and ill-gotten wealth.
As we hoard our treasures, and our spoils increase,
Our cai*es will multiply until they banish peace.
For conscience makes cowards of men, we know,
And the heart ever shrinks from an unseen foe.
The voice .of justice is loud and clear,
And strikes a chord in every ear.
How can a man have unless to him it is given,
And how can he sell the treasures of heaven — 21 —
A loving father has given to you and to me
The earth and the air and the boundless sea.
The blessings of earth should be as free as the air
To comfort God's creatures and banish despair,
For God never gave to his creature man
The right to buy or to sell the land.
- From out of the soil our bodies have come,
And return to the dust when our race is run.
To whom God has given a deed of the soil,'
He has given as well with their fruits of. toil.
All creatures of earth, both man and beast,
Whatever may journey from west to east.
God has not given, and no man may show
Such a title deed to this earth below,
For the poor have been robbed, their trust betrayed
Slaves to their brothers, the landless are made.
No wonden if men when they open their eyes,
And see the injustice wrought under the skies,
Feeling that theirs is the guilt and the shame,
Should wipe out with the sword the iniquitious stain.
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,"
And so in this instance it will prove, I am sure •
Let the land be restored to the public domain,
And all have the right to till it the same,
As they did in the patriarchal days of old,
Ere for a mess of pottage a birthright sold ;
For the question of right can have no place at all
When it means the monopoly of this terrestial ball.
Often man's bosom the viper has nursed
Until its poisoned fangs his life has cursed,. — 22 —
As slavery's delusion of the olden days,
When lit by the light of freedom's rays,
Faded with the lives of the bravest and best,
Who perished in blood ere the struggle was blessed.
That such a revolution as the restoration of lands,
Can be wrought in peace as justice demands,
Is hard to believe, but this much is known,
We will reap but the whirlwind our forefathers
have sown.
Then join in the ranks, it is justice decree,
That the use of the earth to all should be free,
Let no man think that the gifts of God
Does not include the free use of the fertile sod.
When men do right they will righteous be,
The earth, their inheritance, will then be free.
But a curse shall hover beneath the sun
Until this work of justice is fully done.
Great men have labored and given their lives
To spend on earth's altars, love's sacrifice.
Having seen in the distance the coming cloud
Their cries of warning have been long and loud.
The  " Prophet of San Francisco,"  as some have
That valliant hero and fair freedom's child,
Who by voice and pen has never ceased to call
The attention of his brothers to the rights of all,
When they have broken the chains the past has forged,
They will prove themselves worthy of Henry George.
God bless the man, may his heart of love
Share with the faithful in heaven above, I
May his eyes yet kindle to see the day
When much of earth's sorrow has passed away,
For Christ in his spirit is abroad to-day.
Such men uplift him to guide us on the way,
Though gazing upward they feel the darkness gather,
They still reflect the ray to some benighted brother
Who, stumbling forward, may touch their garments
And looking upward catch the gleam of heaven's light.
As with the child, so with the sick and the
. aged. Every provision at the command of an
enlightened people should be made for their
comfort and welfare. The sick should be healed
in the name of Christ, the Great Physician,
while the last days should be made days of
peace and plenty to the aged veter ns, who have
so long and faithfully served in the Master's
vineyard, that their last sun might not fade from
our view in clouds and darkness, but rather sink
peacefully, only to glorify some other sky.
What a sin that after-a life of toil the man and
woman who have produced enough in the world
to feed and clothe themselves for twenty lives,
should be forced Over the Hills to the Poor
House. Justice and not sacrifice is what we
should endeavor to accord to them, and who
cannot see the wisdom of exercising justice and
mercy   in a   case   like this.    Two things  are — 24 —
known. We have all been young, and we shall
all die of disease or age. What then we grant
to others we shall receive in like measure, and
be the humble instruments in the Master's hands
of doing good.
The infant that first breathes the air to-day,
Will rule the world when our locks are gray,
If we would rear the child in the way he should go,
The love of his country first teach him to know,
By nursing and feeding, and clothing likewise,
We may fit for the future a soul that can rise,
For how can greed and selfishness, the lessons given,
Fit a man for the world, much less for heaven.
The young and the aged, the sick and the frail,
Ever send up to heaven their mournful wail,
For starving and dying, their weakness  oppressed,
Unknown to the grave sink the purest and best,
Oh! merciful grave, to shelter at last
The form of God's creatures by men outcast.
But be sure, the sad deed and the horrible shame
Will- brand men with a curse, as it branded Cam,
For 'tis our brothers and sisters, our kindred that sink,
Beyond the darkness and horror of hell's fatal brink.
No wonder that bitter agony his bosom swept,
As thinking of the future our Saviour wept,
That men's hardness of heart, and blindness, too,
Should ignore all works that our Master could do,
To warn them of danger, and raise them above
By deeds of mercy and words of love. - ckrist clecci::g uttlc cs  — 25 —
The Lord God, which gathereth the outcasts
of Israel, saith, " Yet will I gather others unto
Him beside those that are gathered unto him."
I His watchmen are blind, they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs sleeping, lying down,
loving to slumber; yea, they are greedy dogs
which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand, they all look to
their own way, every one for his gain from his
I My people have been lost sheep; their
shepherds have caused them to go astray ; they
have turned them away on the mountains; they
have gone from mountain to hill; they have
forgotten their resting place; all that found
them have devoured them; and their adversaries
said, We offend not, because they have sinned
against the Lord."
Are not those words, in all their bitterness
and reproach, applicable to-day to the shepherds
of Victoria. Are there no duties which they
owe as the ministers of Christ to the harlots and
the unclean. Do they not also owe an equally
urgent duty to those who struggle on in the path
they deem of duty to their God, surrounded by
every temptation of Satan, beset by mighty odds,
downtrodden and oppressed by social institutions
so unchristianlike in their character, so fiend- — 26 —
ishly destructive of life and purity, so contrary
to every principle of justice and humanity, that
had the ministers of Christ to the people been true
to their Master and faithful to their trust such
stumbling blocks to human progress would long
since have been rolled from the way. You rail
against the libertine and despise the deflowered
virgin, but have not the preachers ravished the
bride of Christ, have they not by their pride and
negligence laid open and uncovered to reproach
the churches that should be of Christ.
Why should the preachers, the professed followers of the lowly Nazarene, be the exponents
of pride and arrogance and inequality. Are not
the loving promises of Christ as true to the
vilest prostitute that walks the streets of Victoria as to the blatant pulpit pounder, who, by
sounding words and elocutionary gymnastics,
entertains the dear immaculates of the capital
city. "For such are false apostles, deceitful
workers, transforming themselves into the
apostles of Christ, and no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be
transformed as the ministers of righteousness."
If they were true ministers of Christ would they
not rather delight to have the whores and their
following come within the range of their voice,
J — 27 —
I Christ came not to save the righteous, but to
bring sinners to repentance." Away with the so
called Christianity that means nothing but vanity,
that does not relieve the poor, that falters and
fails in the path of justice.
What a pitiful spectacle is upheld to the
world when the Christian ministry wrap their
robes about them and appeal to civil authority
to do by force what they themselves, if true to
their profession, would accomplish by the spirit
of Christ and with much more satisfactory
results, for the authorities can only move the
objectionable parties, whereas contact with
Christian love and example would change them
into good citizens and co-laborers. Many of the
best soldiers of the cross havs been won from
the ranks of Satan.
But after all, when we consider the vast
deluge that is daily carrying thousands to vice
instead of virtue, and how few are saved while
thousands and thousands more go down to despair, need we marvel that preachers, who are
men, and must live as well as others, and sometimes support families, being the hired servants
of a wealth-accumulating religious corporation,
should become wearied of the strife and conclude
to get their salaries in the easiest way possible,
even though it be to shift their obligations on to — 28 —
the civil council, who perhaps make no profession
of religious faith.
But we may well wonder that men educated
and refined, schooled in every phase of human
nature, should be so blind and craven as to sell
their own birthright and be silent witnesses while a
great social evil is degrading and brutalizing
their brothers also.
It is a great pity about their precious daughters and their darling sisters if they be placed in
clanger of misfortune, through the evil example
of the dissolute debauchees of vice, but they
would merit no more sympathy and perhaps not
so much as countless thousands of .well meaning
girls, once as pure as they, who were not led
astray by their own vicious propensities, lured
on by the gaudy (and to a pure person) disgusting example of vice, but forced toward destruction by continued poverty and hardship until
familiar with the face of sin and long estranged
through no fault of theirs from Christian influence, that which they once abhorred becomes
attractive and their fate is sealed. The next
thing we may expect to hear from the fashionable preachers of Victoria will be a petition to
the Council to set apart some portion of the less
aristocratic part of the city for apartments for
servant girls and others who labor honestly for 1
— 29 —
a living. Many even now prefer not to eat at
the same table with persons however respectable
who are guilty of the unpardonable sin of working for their bread.
But we must not suppose that the Christian
ministers are all so stupid, lazy and corrupt as
would sometimes appear. There are, no doubt,
many among them who earnestly desire for the
elevation of the masses, and who would willingly
make great personal sacrifices to that end, but
the grinding slavery of their institutions make
them mere machines which must be wound off
like a hand organ when the time comes for them
to be heard from. Their souls are not their own;
they dare not give free expression to their
religious views if they should differ from the
dogmas of their church. The reason is plain; it
is the same which compels a workman on one of
our great railroads to toil night and day, Sunday
and every other day, for a mere living. It is
that feeling that whatever else may happen they
must live themselves and support their families
if they can, and then besides all that is the very
popular delusion which has been schooled into
them perhaps from earliest infancy, that if they
only suffer on in patience, however stupid and
brutal, their immortal souls will sometime
rejoice in the bliss  of heaven,  as though wilful 30 -
stupidity was an excuse in the sight of God for
obligations unperformed; as I have seen old
sailors acting on the same principle—get beastly
drunk in hope of avoiding a little hard work.
In many instances the preachers themselves
have been deceived, and it is doubtful if any of
them can give a good reason for many of the
views they teach and the hopes they profess to
What a pitiable sight the churches present to
the world. First of all arrayed against each
other, and finally combining against the transgressors, to save whom by the loving spirit of
Christ is their boasted mission. Where are the
works which of old proclaimed the disciples of
the Nazarene ? Some preachers tell us that the
Church has advanced a scale above that sort of
thing. We are told that miracles of healing and
relief from the power of sin are things of the
past, and not to be practiced by those who
believe to-day. But at the same time the world
is not keeping pace with the church in that
respect, for human nature remains the same as
ever, and human suffering is intensified both in
individuals in and out of the church, and -when,
as has occasionally happened, some one, perhaps
more courageous and honest than the rest of
them, dares to proclaim to the world that Christ — 31 —
is still ready and willing to save the weak and
perishing, the pastors combine and issue a manifesto declaring against him, as in the case of the
Oakland pastors against Downie.
" None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth
for truth ; they trust in vanity and speak lies.
They conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity."
They seem to forget that whatever may be true
or false in regard to life beyond the grave,
there can be no mistake about the fact that we
are here now, and our duties abide with us.
Surely it is vain to shift the responsibilities of
this life on to eternity, hoping by reason of a
good store of credit laid up in Heaven to avoid
the duties of earth. The promises of God are
much easier to understand, and the duties He
requires of us in this life than those which pertain to a life to come.
If instead of preaching all the time about
something they can't eat, the preachers' would
come down from their self exalted position as
oracles of heaven and talk a little common sense
to the people, and endeavor to solve the problem
for the rest of humanity of making a living in this
world, they would soon accomplish more good for
the cause of Christ and the redemption of the race
than by a thousand years of eloquence and meaningless talk about eternity and immortality. — 32 —
As I passed a place of worship this evening
I heard a very excellent man, a preacher of the
Gospel, say, speaking of the sorrows of life,
1 There are also the sorrows of the world, which,
if God does not send he at least permits, such as
that which is occasioned by a man of liberal
tastes trying to make a small income meet a
large expenditure.". I thought, my friend, you
struck the nail on the head that time. How
true it is God does permit it for a time, but we
may be sure the sorrow is not nearly so great as
it will be if we continue to violate His sacred
laws. God is not mocked, and He will justify
Himself in men though it be through the gates
of death.
Has He ever been niggardly in his providence
for man ? Not so; but men have time and time
again wantonly squandered his gifts, neither
using them themselves nor permitting others to
do so. Excepting a limited number, men are
forbidden by law to fish from the rivers of this
province, simply to keep up the market price of
fish, in other words to make fish clear to the consumer, while at the same time the waters swarm
with every variety of salmon, which swim for
hundreds of miles up the rivers, and finally die
by thousands and drift ashore to rot in the sun
and  corrupt   the   water and   breed pestilence - 33 —
along the banks; and this is only an instance.
It is so with nearly every branch of supply.
Great lumber mills on the coast, representing
many thousands of dollars, are shut down and
hundreds of men turned out of employment to
keep up the price of lumber. Coal mines are
closed and ships are tied up to the docks to keep
up the price of coal, and men Willing to work
are evicted from their homes.
Men live in log hovels because they cannot
afford to buy lumber to build better homes.
The children of the unfortunate shiver from cold
and exposure because they cannot afford to purchase clothing and fuel, and the poor the world
over famish and starve, or are driven to vice
and crime for want of food. One man, by reason
of the monopoly of natural opportunities which
he neither helped to create nor develop, can
dictate to thousands of hard working British
subjects with as much despotic authority as is
exercised in his position by the autocrat of
Another, by means of a law which enables
him to exercise a vote for every unsold lot in a
town site, may stand between five hundred or a
thousand men and incorporation, and is able to
sell water, light and lumber at his own terms.
The man Who buys a town lot and builds a
I f
— 34 —
house on it is fined for building his house and
even for buying the lot, inasmuch as he will
have' to pay taxes on an assessed valuation of
twenty times or more what the original holder is
assessed. Such is the encouragement given to
industry and the check to speculation in natural
opportunities. Do we wonder that so many
valuable farms and townlots are to be seen unoccupied and unimproved throughout the Province, but we may wonder that intelligent men
who are supposed to have the welfare of humanity at heart can look upon such a state of affairs
With indifference, while they themselves shrink
with loathing from public contact with its
natural fruits—prostitutes, and libert nes, and
tramps. What pleasant fruits indeed our
boasted Christian civilization is bearing in British
Do the preachers of Victoria ever read the
Bible ? If they do they had better read the
fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah, and if they do not
it will be a good place to begin if they want to
get an idea of what is pleasing to the God they
profess to worship.
' Saith the Lord—" Is not this the fast that I
have chosen ? to loose the bands of wickedness,
to undo the heavy burdens and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke. Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and
that thou bring the poor that are cast out or
afflicted to thy house. When thou seest the
naked that thou cover him, and that thou hide
not thyself from thy own flesh ? Then shall thy
light break forth as the morning, and thy health
shall spring forth speedily, and thy righteousness shall go before thee, and the glory of the
Lord shall be thy reward. Then shalt thou call
and the Lord shall answer. Thou shalt cry and
he shall say " Here I am." If thou take away
from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting
forth of the finger and speaking vanity, and if
thou draw out thy soul to the hungry and satisfy
the afflicted soul, then shall thy light rise in
obscurity and thy darkness be as the noon day."
The preachers are looked upon as a light to
the people, but too often that light is darkness
because they fail to reflect the Light of Christ.
Well may the people exclaim " We wait for
light, but behold obscurity for brightness, but
we walk in darkness," and so long as they fail to
look to the source of light themselves they will
continue to grope as if they had no eyes, and
stumble at noon day, as in the night; while they
follow crooked paths wherein there is no peace.
The kingdom of God is with men, and if they be
true to themselves and to the Captain of their I
— 36 —
salvation the day may not be far distant when
poverty and grinding want shall be unknown,
and the glory of righteousness, the harvest of
peace, shall burst in fullness upon the world.
Let us all then lay aside our vain strife
against each other, and uniting the efforts of
preacher and prostitute, saint and sinner, under
the banner of Christ, each do his best to undo
the evil that is done, and upon a solid rock of
love and fellowship rear a structure of righteousness, that may claim to lay hold on the blessed
promises of God.
Yes, the sinner and the prostitute may help
to work out their own salvation, and be the
means in God's hands of helping to redeem
many of the preachers too.
Quoting from the columns of the Vancouver
Daily Telegram, a despatch, dated January 2nd,
says—" The severe weather is attended in London by an unusual amount of destitution, the
number of persons seeking refuge nightly in
casual wards being greater than for several
winters past. Coal is reaching such prices in
Glasgow that the poorer quarters of the city
are suffering for want of it. Dealers who have
considerable stocks are, in some instances, holding back for higher prices, and appalling cases
of destitution and suffering are reported.    The
1U — 9? —
authorities find themselves overwhelmed with
applications for relief, which, owing to the scarcity of fuel on account of the railway strike,
they have been unable to adequately deal with.
The condition of female employment in the
metropolis is attracting much needed attention.
Many women engaged in the match-box trade
are employed from seven in the morning until
ten or eleven at night, and on Fridays they often
work all night, providing their own paste, string
and fuel for drying their boxes, and all this for
from five shillings and" sixpence to seven shillings a week. They not only work, but they
almost starve, and said Mrs. Labouchere: ' To
starve is bad enough, but to work and starve is
hideously wrong.'"
Must women not live ? Is it a part of our
religious code, that countless thousands of human
beings, claiming fatherhood with the same merciful God as our Christian pastors, who draw large
salaries and live in comfortable homes and entertain the elect, should be enslaved, starved, and
brutalized, their very prayers to God answered
in awful mockery by the piteous, wailing, heartrending cries of their starving children. Think
you, that such wrongs shall go unavenged ?
Think you, righteous ones, who by reason of
favorable fortune or sublime rascality possess
I — 38 —
the earth and deprive those people the use of
natural opportunities: How would you enjoy
living on twenty-two cents per day and furnish
your own material to work with, probably reducing your net receipts to ten or fifteen cents,
out of which you must live and support a family ? How would you, should sickness overtake
you, enjojr the prospect of having your wives
and mothers, your precious daughters and dear
sisters, reduced to such a strait ? How long do
you think that either life or virtue would exist
under such conditions, even in them whom you
delight to consider, in your vanity, as pure and
innocent as the angels of heaven. Were they
not bom naked into the world as other children,
will they not leave it to dissolve in dust and corruption just as the children of others, however
rich or poor, however refined or degraded.
A sinner enters one of our popular churches,
if he is a well-dressed sinner he is politely conducted to a front seat. The kind-hearted well-
dressed lady who occupies the seat near him,
very kindly shares her hymn book with him;
if he drops a five in the plate he becomes a
saint; if he is a fine singer and polished in his
manner, the preachers and their "wives, and
mothers and precious daughters, and darling
sisters   hasten   to form his acquaintance and — 39 —
Welcome him as a godsend to their sweet
society. And the dear sinner will find them
delightful company too.
A sinner enters one of our fashionable
churches, she is a poor sinner and her crime
is' poverty, her clothes are thin and although
clean are long out of style. She also finds a
seat, but her reception is cold and formal. She
looks around her, and the air of comfort and
independence displayed by her neighbours only
makes her poor heart feel more forlorn.
She feels that in some way she is separated
from them, that her poverty has placed her in
a different sphere, and as she listens to the eloquent words of the preacher, she feels that
whatever they may mean to others, they have
no application in this world to her life and she
wishes the struggle was over, leaves the church
door, as" perhaps she has left it a thousand times
before, with no other consolation than this, that
she is one day nearer home, one day nearer her
final resting-place where there will be neither
rich or poor, cold or hunger, sorrow or sadness.
Alas ! What an idle dream, what a sad and fatal
mirage. It may be true, that away beyond the
desert of this life, there is a land where love and
peace and shelter may be-found, but what folly,
what cruel mockery, to cast its reflection upon
i — 40 —
the horizon while the fainting traveller, robbed
of that which her Maker in kind providence
intended for her use, famished and dying, falls
by the way.
We talk about Chinese on the Pacific coast
and the degrading effects of competition with
them, but on the Atlantic coast they have a
different race of Chinamen, " Italian women,
living in filth and vermin inconceivable," mak-
ing ladies' tea gowns, except the button-holes,
for one dollar and fifty cents per dozen. And
in competition with them again, we find what ?
Charitable institutions for the refuge of the poor
and the reform of the wicked, as though the
" Good Shepherds," as they call themselves, Wish
to place their business on a permanent basis, by
manufacturing prostitutes and thieves and vagrants, that they may have the "Glory in Heaven "
of picking them up from the streets and by giving
them a few nights shelter, reform them some
more until next time. What infernal fiends we
might well consider them, only that we know
that many of them are well-meaning honest
men, who are led on to those very things by
what they deem to be the path of duty.
It is one of the mysteries hard to solve but
that sometime will be understood, how men who
mean well can be so blindly led. -41 -
* I believe it must be because they fail to take
the true Light of the World for their guide and
teacher. They do not stop to consider the consequences before they plunge. headlong into an
enterprise, which, to their shortsighted vision,
seems to afford a possible remedy for the cruel
wrongs of humanity.
To compete means to strive against each
other, and as long as the principle of competition
continues either by great combinations of work-
ingmen or gigantic trusts, it will widen the
battlefield, and make the merciless laughter of
the innocents more cruel and terrible, until
eventually the righteous principle of ' combination will triumph in a grand co-operative union,
which will comprise every branch of capital and
industry, and men shall unite beneath the banner of the Great Teacher in one common brotherhood. First in individuals must this spirit be
born, eventually in nations, until finally nation
shall unite to nation, and the whole world shall
be reconciled under the banner of Christ.
How cruel it is, how worthy of the prince of
.darkness, that men who would do well should be
so beguiled by the evil of the times, that their
very works of love should be converted into
instruments of destruction.
For do not the so-called good shepherds of
i 42
New York and other cities by taking girls from
the  streets, by  their   labor   in   reformatories,
merely add another factor of competition against
the already starving but in some instances hon
orable women.
Men and women pride themselves upon their
virtue, who have plenty to eat and plenty to
wear, and are not greatly troubled about the
future. But surely the woman who prompted
by the slow torture of starvation on the one
hand, and the comparative comfort and ease of
vicious example on the other, still leads ah
honest life, is more to be honored. PART   II.
There are many so-called Christian denominations in the world, and to tell wherein they
differ would require a volume much larger than
the Bible from which they spring, and I do not
think that any good result would be accomplished, but we may in a few words tell wherein they
agree, and in thus upholding a common standard,
hope to unite men and reconcile them on one
great central truth.
However the Christian ministers and their
followers may differ in regard to a future life
or the interpretation of the law of God, and its
application to this life, they are all ready to
acknowledge that Christ is the Light of the
World. No matter how bitterly they may
wrangle about baptism and the Lord's Supper,
whether they let the men and women sit together or make them take opposite sides of the
building, whether they kneel or stand or lie
down to offer prayer, whether they say grace
three times a day or never say it at all, whether
they meet for public worship in a building worth
a hundred thousand dollars or beneath a roof not
worth one hundred cents, they are all ready to
consent that the law which Jesus of Nazareth
i — 44 —
declared to be the greatest and the best, the one
on which hangs all the law and the prophets,
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all
thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all
thy mind," and another like unto it, " Thou shalt
love thy neighbor as thyself," is the law we
. all should keep, and recognizing this point of
union in their faith they proceed to get as far
away from it as they can, by upholding institutions which lead us in paths as divergent as the
rays of the sun, which take us away from this
central point where peace and warmth and light
and love are enthroned, away out into the cold
dark depths of space, where we can find no
resting place, no comfort from our fellows, and
even our central sun glows dimly like a distant
star. They praise the light and hasten as far
from it as possible. Saith Christ, " Ye will not
come unto me that ye might have life."
You can scarcely pick up a newspaper of any
note without finding among its despatches or
local items, woeful tales df outrage, suicide, or
starvation, or an account of some great syndicate,
backed by millions of capital, buying up the
flour mills, the cotton or woollen factories, the
sugar refineries, the railroads, and acquiring
title to vast tracts of fertile lands. Nearly
every great industry in the country is controlled — 45 —
by trusts, who can at any time, and do even now,
place the price of everything necessary to sustain life beyond the reach of the poor. Even
many of the newspapers, the guardians of the
people's liberties, are manipulated by real estate
boomers, and made to serve the interests of land
grabbers and other monopolists.
The price of labor decreases, the cost of
living increases.
Your farmers sell their oats in the fall for
one cent per pound, while many of the consumers in this province pay as high as ten
cents per pound for meal, and that close to the
Many thousands of men lie in wait for the
producers to live from their labors, while nearly
as many more are drawn from the ranks of productive industry to maintain standing armies in
times of peace.
Irish potatoes are shipped in the name of
charity to feed the starving Irish farmers and
laborers, while idle, vicious and non-resident
landlords through an army of agents, backed by
the power of the so-called Christian people of
England, are turning starving, naked, and dying
people, old and young, sick and unfortunate,
from the shelter of their miserable hovels out
into the cold pitiless winter blast, while their n
— 46 —
scanty crops are taken from them to feed some
idle libertine in the salons of Paris or elsewhere.
Every avenue of escape is shut off from them,
they cannot walk, they cannot fly from the
country, they can only starve and die.
But you think those horrors do not concern
you, they are beyond your limits, but I tell you
that here in your boasted British Columbia,
which, in your murderous lust for money, you
permit to be advertised throughout the world as
a refuge for the emigrant, this same thing exists,
or is being rapidly brought about. Throughout
this country many of the producers live in mud
hovels, in miserable shacks, and holes in the
ground, and in canvass tents, while I have met
men on the streets of your cities starving for food,
willing to work but finding none to employ.
It is the boast of our church people that they
worship in magnificent temples worth many
thousands of dollars, thinking not that the
wealth they display, is like gems, aye great
drops of blood drawn from the very hearts of
God's own poor. One breath of the life that it
offered upon its altar is worth more than the
whole completed structure.
What does 1 great church signify if Christ
be not in it, if His spirit of love and fellowship
and sympathy for the poor and suffering be not
s — 47 —
there. Its foundation is the bleeding hearts of
men, its walls are the travail of the slave, its
roof is the pall that covers a corpse, its pulpitis
the place of the deceiver, its tall spire is the sign
of hypocrisy, the finger that heralds the curse
of God.
The closer we can get to our central sun,
"The love of God," the closer we get to each
other. The secret of eternal life is " eternal
love," not love for self, for he that loveth his
own life shall lose it, but that divine compassion
which beholds the sufferings of others, which
would redeem mankind, friend and foe, even as
Christ on Calvary died to save a race still in rebellion against him. The love that God demands .
is not giving of alms, but the doing of justice.
Hate, greed, and cruelty, lying, stealing, and
destroying are the outgrowth of injustice, were
justice done to all, that all mankind from the
cradle to the grave might have equal access to
the bounty of Providence, love would flow like a
neverfailing spring through the hearts of men.
Instead of the forces of nature being locked up
or converted into agencies of destruction, they
would be set free to bless mankind, and powers
now unknown would be revealed to aid the
world in its march of progress.
Many men have lost faith in God and turned — 48 —
away from Christianity, because they have felt
the coldness and injustice of its advocates.
The devil himself would be a church member
as a matter of policy, and many of them are as
a matter of fact. We send missionaries to convert the heathen, and where we remedy one evil
we introduce a thousand more, famine, prostitution and death follow in the train of your boasted Christianity.
The Duke of Argyle in his "Unities of
Nature," says, — " Man is the only discordant
anomaly in the universe," and proceeds to
make them more discordant still by appropriating as much of the earth's surface as
he can.
We are told that there are about five hundred
and fifty million people in India and China in
need of the Gospel, but it is as probably true
that there are thirteen hundred million in the
world as badly off, for although the Word is
abroad among them, they cannot avail themselves of its blessings, and in many instances,
the very men who hold out the Bible with one
hand keep men from its truths with the other.
For God has declared through His prophets
since the world began. The land shall not be
sold forever, I for the land is the Lord's, and ye
are but strangers and sojourners upon it," Lev. — 49 —
25, 23. " Moreover the profit of the earth is for
all," Eel. 5, 9. " The earth is the Lord's and the
fullness thereof," Ps! 24, 1. "Men call the lands
after their own names," nevertheless said the
patriarch David, " they are like the beasts that
perish," Ps. 49, 11. " What doth it profit a man
if he gain the whole world and lose his own
soul ?" Mark 8, 32. " For when he dieth he shall
carry nothing away, his glory shall not descend
after him," Ps. 49, 17. "He shall go to the
generations of his fathers, they shall never see
light, man that is in honor and understandeth
not is like the beasts that perish," Ps. 49, 19
and 20.
There is no justification in the Scriptures
for private property in land. There is no
good reason why the land, the earth, from
which our bodies are derived and to which they
must return, should be the private property of
speculators. It is not necessary to cite individual cases, where private ownership of land
has proven detrimental to the best interests of
society. You have only to open your eyes and
look around you, evidences of this public sin are
visible from every point.
Vacant lots and vacant lands, vast areas of
timber lands held in reserve for the use and
benefit of a few individuals.    The lakes and — 60-
streams of the country recorded, while millions
of acres of land are rendered useless for want
of water.
Some of the government officials, who draw
salaries for protecting the interests of the people,
have large estates and control from five to
twenty thousand acres of land, many estates
may be found in the province, held by individuals, that would support hundreds of families.
If you see a piece of vacant land and ascertain
who has control of it, you will find that it
belongs to some man doing business in our
cities, or to some non-resident living in England
or the United States. I once visited the provincial land office in the City of Victoria, and
made enquiries of the gentleman who presides
over that department of the government for
vacant land, the only satisfaction I received was
to be assured that there was none. I pointed to
that portion of the map which represents that
part of the world which extends from Fraser
River on the south to the north pole, and asked
him, if he thought there was any land to be had
in there. Well, several men had taken up cattle
ranges in there lately, and he thought they had
it all; and so it is, from the Hon. Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to the lowest
official in the land department, provincial or dominion. Although some of them may be
honest men, and neither landgrabbers themselves nor in league with them, they either
cannot or will not give a man any information
in regard to vacant land, suitable for settlement,
and look with as much suspicion and disrespect
upon a farmer or laboring man, who desires to
locate government land, as if he wore the
branded suit and shackles of the penitentiary,
and wanted to borrow their pocket-book. With
a view to pleasing the land speculators, our
legislators have promised to encourage emigration into such a man-trap. God help the man,
who, with limited means and depending on
taking up land to farm in this country, comes
here with a family to support. He will have
reason to think that he has struck a combination to relieve him of his surplus cash, but he
will find no one to tell him where he can get a
piece of land from the government, of which to
make a home.
If he gets land at all, it will be far from
roads and every advantage of civilization, where
he must be alone for years, and if by chance, he
is someday reached by a railroad, the company
will want his crops for hauling them out. His
family will be deprived of schooling, and grow
up in ignorance, while, at  the same time, he r
- 52 —
will    be
He w
to leave the
main lines of
i the
to fi
ad plenty
vacant land; but he will also find that it is
private property, withheld from productive use
by speculators, who do not care to use it themselves, but propose to grow rich and enjoy the
good things of the earth, at the expense of the
If the Church of Christ would be true to
their Lord, they could quickly, by the mighty
influence they could exert in the world, change
this state of affairs and bring about a better
public feeling, one which would not tolerate
such a usurpation of the rights of the people;
but they prefer to buy and speculate in land
Is trade stimulated by permitting a few men
to hold in idleness, for speculative purposes, the
land of the country which could well afford a
living for thousands of families ? Is the cause of
Christ advanced by encouraging people to come
to this country, and then denying them the
opportunity to make an honest living ?
In the path of human progress to-day stands
this giant evil of private property in land, and
of all the evils, it is the vilest and the worst, it reaches all from the king on his throne to the
starving poor in their awful poverty, it degrades
the whole nation, it weakens the race by poisoning its fountain head, and leaves humanity a
ready prey to minor evils by first robbing them
of their independence. Until the people awake
to a sense of the fact, and assert their right to
their own, our advancement will be like that of
the frog in the well, to jump up two feet and
fall back three. How long will it take- us to
climb to the highest hope of human attainment ?
So long as private property in land continues,
successful co-operation will be impossible, and
every new discovery and every fresh application
of the forces of nature to the supplying of human
wants, will but enslave men with more hopeless
We are told that when the Republic of
Athens was at the height of its political freedom, there were 20,000 freemen and 400,000
slaves. That at Sparta there were 36,000 free
citizens and 364,000 slaves. When Jesus of
Nazareth was born, there were 650,000 slaves
in Rome, and the principle of equality which
He taught, and which is the life and soul of His
naci no exi*
nee m
le world
workingman  in   every country under heaven
was a slave, and as a matter of fact, not only /
— 54 —
the working man but many thousands, who
cannot get a chance to work, are still slaves
to-day in every part of the world, even where
the influence of Christ has in some measure
manifested itself.
Men boast of liberty, and at the same time,
through brutal-selfish motives, uphold institutions, which, so long as they exist, make liberty
impossible. They profess Christ in word and
deny him in practise.
A system of slavery is incompatible with
freedom. Society cannot consist of men part
slaves and part free, we must be either slaves
or freemen, but we cannot be both. Wherein
do we differ in practice from the heathen.
Thucydides, the great ancient historian, de-
clared that man's mission was to subjugate
his fellow men to prevent them from subjugating him.
Are not the teachings of this heathen philosopher practised among us to-day, rather than
the teaching of Christ, who bade us love our
enemies. Socrates, declared by some to be the
noblest of the Greeks, is said to have thanked
the gods every day that he was a man and not a
beast, a male and not a female, a Greek and
not a barbarian. Do not men think those same
thoughts to-day, do they not give thanks like the Pharisee, that they are not as other men.
Does not the man from his earliest childhood,
rejoice that he was not born a girl, still, we are
told that Mary was the mother of Christ, thus
conferring upon woman, in the Christian world,
the highest honor and the most exalted place.
In every great city in the Christian world,
the weak are oppressed, the poor are despised,
and the sick, the aged, and the unfortunate are
cast out to die, as if they, who profess Christ,
rather followed in the footsteps of the heathen
Talk about advancement in Christian civilization, when women and children walk barefooted,
and in unseemly rags, the frozen streets of our
northern cities. When women who bear the
image of the mother of our Lord, freeze to death
in the streets of London, beneath the very shadow
of a church, that cost the people of England
millions of pounds. Aristotle and Plato both
advised the destruction of infants and counselled
physicians to let sick workingmen die, while the
Emperor Trajan compelled ten thousand slaves
to kill each other for his amusement. Have we
not to-day men who even advocate the destruction of infants, and the horrors of war, thinking
to destroy life to make room for more. Christ
came not to destroy life but to save it.
Ever since the beginning of the human race — 56 —
or at least so far as we can trace its history, the
strong have always subdued the weak, the rich
have oppressed the poor, and the cunning have
cheated the simple.
It was left for Christ to uplift the standard
of love, the true principle of equality before God,
and to teach men the beauty of brotherhood.
We have many grand associations in the world,
that teach the same thing, but they are compelled to acknowledge their weakness and their
failure to accomplish their desire. With all due
respect to the institutions of men, grand in their
growth and glorious in their achievements, we
are bound to admit that in their failure to reach
the masses, who mdst need assistance, the poor,
the sick, and the aged, they prove their own
weakness. To become a member of such organizations, a man must prove to the society
that his membership would be to it a safe, or
at least, a desirable financial risk. He must be
blessed with considerable resources of his own,
before he can hope to maintain his standing in
the brotherhood.
They are conservative brotherhoods, and
their advantages are derived mostly by men
who could do very well without them, while,
by their co-operation, they make it even harder
for the great mass of the young, the poor, the sick, and the aged to live at all, for denied their
protection, they are compelled ununited to compete with strong men, uniting in powerful organizations. Those organizations are natural,
they are founded on the law of self-preservation,
which is a law common to all creatures, but the
law of Christ—"Thou shalt love thy neighbor
as thyself "—is more comprehensive, it is as far
in advance of the brutal law of self, as the
heavens are above the earth.
The law of Christ would embrace the world,
it would expand our horizon, it would fold
within its beneficent influence, eveiy creature
of God. No matter how sick or poor, young
or aged, or incapable, they should never suffer
with cold and hunger, they should never perish
for want of the kind attentions of friends.
The more I read of the story of Christ, the
more firmly I am convinced, that the spirit that
moved Him was indeed divine. When He saw
the multitude " He was moved with compassion
on them, because they fainted, and were scattered
abroad, as sheep having no shepherd." It was
not fashionable in Christ's time for the learned
and the rich, to express sympathy for the unfortunate. It was considered a matter of honor
among Roman gentlemen to despise and reject
the poor. -88-
Until Christ came it was considered a contemptible thing to be a working man. All of
liberty that the man who labors for his bread
enjoys to-day he owes to the influence of Jesus
of Nazareth. Man never yet trusted in Him to
keep His commandments but He has proven
true, and though heaven and earth may pass
away His words shall not pass away. If we
would but trust Him fully we would find in Him
the perfection of liberty, universal equality and
love and justice. To trust Christ does not mean
as many who profess to be His disciples would
teach you to join some church society and make
a public profession of faith, but it means the
daily living in accord with the law " Thou shalt
love thy neighbor as thyself."
It does not mean the monopoly of natural
opportunities, it does not mean stone walls
around the beautiful and pure to keep the vulgar
gaze from beholding the grace and love of God.
It' does not mean a brotherhood among men who
do not need help to the exclusion of those who
do, but it means universal co-operation. There
are but two factors in production, Land and
Industry, and those two factors belong as the
gift of God to the whole people, and not to any
individual or company of men who may choose
to appropriate them. — 59 —
If two men were cast ashore on an island
where everything necessary to sustain life and
furnish comfort to the body could be found or
acquired by labor; if one of the men was strong
and vigorous, having the full use of all his faculties unimpaired, while the other, by reason of the
accident which placed him on the island, or by
some misfortune which befell him later on, was
sick and weak and unable to help himself or
keep from perishing from exposure to the elements, or lack of food, would you not consider his
comrade a veritable brute if he would not exert
himself to gather food for both; if he would not
with his strong hands erect a shelter to protect
his brother from the storm as well as himself; if
he would not nurse him like a brother, and ^clothe
him if he was  naked, though he must share
with   him   his   own  scanty raiment.     Would
he not be unworthy of life and the blessings
of   health and  strength   if,   when the  waves
of the sea cast his fellow-creature upon   the
shore  weak and bruised and ready to perish,
he would leave him to die in the storm.   If
under any circumstances his fellow exile should
die,  would he not be lacking in the higher
qualities of  human nature if   he   would   not
cover his body -from the reach of  beasts of
prey, and place, perhaps, some memorial above I
— 60 —
his grave to let the future know that a man
had perished there.
I do not believe that in all the wide world today there is a man, not mentally deranged, who
would not, under the circumstances I have endeavored to picture in your minds, do all that
was in his power to lift up his brother man and
minister to his wants. But this is no idle picture,
for ever since men multiplied on the earth, mankind has been ushered into the world like waifs
from the sea of time, Providence has mercifully
implanted in every creature under the sun, a
certain amount of parental affection Every
beast of the earth, every fowl of the air and
every fish of the sea has this same gift. It
seems to be a sympathy born df the pains of
birth. The mother suffers with the child and it
seems to take her a long time to realize that her
offspring is not still a part of her own body.
But the time will come when the natural
mother will forsake her child, when it must shift
for itself, when it may even suffer pain and death
without arousing in her any evidence of sympathy or interest beyond idle curiosity, and men
are like the beasts in this respect, for they feel
only for their own, while the children of others
may suffer all the pains of hell without their
making an effort to relieve.   Not so with Christ, -— 61 —
for He took upon Himself the sufferings of the
world,  His  great heart of  love  went out to
** O
all the children of men, and so it must be with
all His disciples.
Heathenism admired itself, sympathized with
itself, loved itself only, and worshipped gods of
its own creation. But Christianity worships the
eternal God, it admires and loves the Saviour
and obeys the commandment " Love thy neighbour as thyself." To fulfil that law and to bring
about universal co-operation and union through
the nationalization of land and industry, is the
"grand work of love and duty which presents
itself to such as would follow Christ to-day, to
every man who would take part in the redemption of his race and the true advancement of
civilization. Who would lift up Christ let him
declare himself a citizen of the whole world.
I would say this to the Christian ministers.
Many a time have you appealed to others to stand
up for Christ; if you were sincere,if you have ever
felt the spirit of His love,will you now, in the name
of Him you profess to adore, make this solemn
resolve in your heart before God, that henceforth
and forever you will labor for the rights of the
weak and the oppressed. Christ came not to
save the righteous, but to bring sinners to repentance.   They that are whole need not a physician but they that are sick. They that are weak and
ready to perish need the strong arm of God's
people. They that are mighty can paddle their
own canoe.
Christ said of himself " The spirit of the Lord
is upon Me because he hath anointed Me to
preach the Gospel to the poor, He hath sent Me
to heal the brokenhearted to preach deliverance
to the captives and recovering of sight to the
blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to
preach the acceptable year of the Lord." And
said Jesus," This day is this scripture fulfilled in
your ears."
To this day the world looks to you, the weak
and the faltering would lean upon 3 ou. Will
you be strong for truth and lead them in triumph
through the storm, or will you be blinded by the
deceitfulness of riches, and leave them to faint
and die by the wayside, while you yourselves
turn away from your guiding star and follow the
pathway that leads to destruction.
To you my friends and brothers who struggle
against the tide, who feel the pressure of cruel
injustice, I would speak a word of encouragement. Be brave, let not your hearts fail within
you, but know your rights and dare to assert
them. One is your captain, even Christ, and in
His name you shall conquer.   Let not the enemy 63
steal your banner and betray your .cause as they
have done in the past, and may still endeavour
to do, but be men and women, strong in your
sense of justice and your knowledge of the right,
forgettinc* your own troubles and your own
" weakness, be strong in Christ to help others;
know that there are weaker ones than you,
there are many whose sorrows are greater than
yours, and in lending a hand to secure iustice to
them, to you yourselves shall be revealed the
glorious light of liberty.
This struggle is not to save you and yours
only, but the destiny of a world shall tremble in
the balance.
Never before were such mighty forces marshalled to crush humanity; the very friends of
Christ have been blinded and led astray by the
love of money and the pride that begets destruction. Let them take their money. None of
them can redeem his brother or give to God a
ransom for him, but let Socialists rather in the
name of Christ and for the sake of humanity,
lay hold upon the gifts of God. If we can
throughout this continent of America accomplish
the nationalization of land and industry, we can
well afford to let them take the money and go to
Europe with it if they like. With free access to
land and labor organized for production, we can — 64 —
get along very pleasantly indeed without private
capital or capitalists. What good are they to
society ? They neither toil nor spin. Can we
conceive of any use under heaven that a man is
who will not work. He is like a drone in a beehive, and he ought to be made to take his money
and live by himself until he discovers how useless
he is and how dependent upon industry.
Whether men have immortal souls or not,
money certainly has none. Why should it be
allowed to figure as a partner in the distribution
of the proceeds of labor. There is no reason why
this silent irresponsible apparition, this soulless
nonentity, like an Irish landlord, through non-producing agents should be permitted to step between
the laboring man and the reward of his toil. There
are but two factors in production — Land and
Labor, both are the gift of God. Your strength
and ability to work are as much a gift to you
as the land to work with, as anyone who
has been deprived of those blessings can readily
testify; and both should be applied not to
destroy your brother, but to promote the welfare of the whole family of man. But this
cannot be done so long as private property in
land continues, or men compete with each other.
To perpetuate the institution of private
property in land, is to realize the old fable of the — 65 —
Woman who killed the goose that layed the golden
eggs, while to continue and encourage a system
of competition that ever tends to place the heel
of the strong upon the neck of the weak, is to
o      x *
establish outrageous revolting cruelty. It means
not ten thousand slaves arrayed against each
other to strive like wild beasts to destroy each
others lives for the amusement and gratification
of the vanity of one man, but it means a vast
army of many millions, fighting among themselves,
armed with every weapon of cruel and desperate
warfare. Brother contending with brother,
father against son. It means a .slaughter of
innocents that spares neither age or sex or condition, a holocaust of death, the vortex of hell.
It is from this terrible .calamity already
turned loose upon the world, that is sweeping
down upon us with all the force and momentum
of a mighty avalanche, that all true Socialists
would rescue humanity. No human arm can
stay this march of death, but in the name of
Christ, with the cooperation of such as would
follow Him, we may overcome all to the glory of
We would levy a war, and we trust a bloodless war, not against men, but against institutions
which have usurped the rights of men. We
would strike the shackles from our brothers. — 66 —
We would raise up the fallen and make it possible for them to stay up.
We invoke the aid and co-operation of all
true followers of Christ, because our cause is
righteous. We would urge the down-trodden
and oppressed to join their efforts to ours, for our
success is their salvation.
What^i sad sight in a world like this, where
brave hearts struggle against misfortune, where
the wail of despair echoes on our ears as many a
brave swimmer sinks beneath the waves, that
the life-boat of Christ should be stranded on the
shore, that instead of saving the drowning its
strong-armed rowers should be in league with
the destroyer to starve the -tillers of the soil and
crowd the blind the weak and the mistaken out
of the world.
To men who trust in riches, who spend their
time and their talents which God has given them
in laying up treasures on earth, I would say this
on the authority of God's own word, that no
matter to what church society you belong to, no
matter what profession of faith you make,
whether you shout your prayer and praise in the
congregation, or your place be never found, or
your voice be never heard ia places of worship,
that the time will speodily come when the earth,
the mother of all living creatures, shall fdld you — 67 —
again to her bosom, when your eyes shall close
and your hearts shall cease to beat, and all that
you labored for in this life shall become loathsome to those who loved you and you shall be
turned away to corruption.
You think you are laying up provision for
your families, and so you are, but you are digging the graves of your children. Yqutare storing up sorrow and pain and degradation for your
own and for future generations. How long do
you think this state of affairs will continue ?
How long do you think that men born with the
blood of a conquering race in' their veins, men
who have ever tasted the sweets of liberty, who
have ever read in the light of reason the story of
Jesus of Nazareth, and in His name dare to
worship God, will, when once their eyes are
opened, consent to be robbed of their birthright.
You are trifling with a Sampson, you may betray
Him in His hour of weakness, you may shear
Him of His strength, you may put out His eyes
and consign Him to slavery, but His locks shall
grow, and in the name of the Covenant of God
His strength will come again, and in a time that
you think not of, when goaded by blindness and
despair, fired by the memory of the past, you
think to sport with Him, He will suddenly destroy you though He perish in the deed. — 68 —
Saith the Psalmist, " They that trust in their
wealth and boast themselves in the multitude of
their riches, none of them can by any means
redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for
him." How vain- is your riches after all, for you
are only rich in comparison, and your proudest
boast of riches is like a fiend rejoicing over the
misfortune of 'another; for were justice done to
all and society run on economic principles, the
poorest man in the world willing to work and do
right, might easily enjoy all the comforts of life.
Instead of the young and the aged being hustled
out of the world, instead of the poor the weak
and the unfortunate being driven to the wall or
forced to sin, the incentive to wrong would be,
in a great measure removed, and men could nnite
in the effort to elevate humanity to a higher and
nobler plain of civilization.
Every man, woman and child who is born
into the world is made ample provision for by
the Creator, and far more than enough for all is
spread within the reach of men; but men who
claim kinship with the divine, who disdain to
be ranked with beasts, crowd and jostle each
other, and by force and fraud lay claim to more
than they can use themselves, while like incarnate fiends they, with even less feeling than the
beast for its kind, see their fellows starve and die. 69
A duty awaits every man and woman, whatever their condition, however rich or poor.     All
history teaches us that so far as men have united
on the principle of love, so far have they made
true advancement, and upon that principle have
they found a firm foundation.    It is the " Rock
of Ages."    It is the law which our Creator, who
knew us better than we can know ourselves,
gave us for our guiding star,—" That ye love one
another."    No man or woman ever yet advanced
a pure thought or raised a worthy standard but
with the multitudes who flock around it are
found many who will scoff at purity, who are
such grovelling slaves as to despise liberty, who
love the darkness and would see the " Sun of
Righteousness" go down for ever, that they might
in peaceful seclusion enjoy their ill-gotten gains.
I Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,"
is the law of liberty.    They who strive against
each other are perhaps more to be pitied than
blamed.     They have been trained in a hard
school, not calculated to develop their better
natures.    But to such as would lift up Christ in
the world, a great opportunity is offered.    Christ   ">
was a Socialist.   The eternal God established the
earth   on   socialistic   principles.      The   world,
through ignorance and selfishness has violated
his law, and until men return with all their heart
\ -70-
-and soul and strength to the great command,
which like the sun, outshines all other lights,
and when once its powerful rays glorify the
horizon all lesser lights fade and disappear, they
will be scattered abroad, and each will seek his
own course and in the feeble borrowed light of
his own struggling conscience will cross and re-
cross his'^frother's path, throwing only a dark
shadow upon his" life; but when the " Light of
the World " shall be recognized, men may march
shoulder to shoulder, their feet shall keep time
and their hearts shall beat to the inspiring
measures of the " Song of Life."
In every city, town and village throughout
this grand continent of America, which God
manifestly designed to be one great nation, every
man and woman, young or old, should endeavour
to solve this question. You have read the Scriptures many times. Read them again, for great
secrets are hidden within its pages.    The secrets
J.     C
of life and peace ai*e there.
Monarchy is idolatry. Read the eighth chapter of the first book of Samuel, where the people
clamored for a King that they might be like the
heathen nations. Did not God declare that they
rejected not the Judges but Him ? Did He not
by the voice of Samuel warn the people of what
that King should do
| - -71-
" This will be the manner of the King that
shall reign over you : He will take your sons and
appoint them for himself for his chariots and to
be his horsemen, and some shall run before his
chariots. And he will appoint captains over
thousands, and captains over fifties and will set
them to earMs ground, and to reap hisJaauVvest,
and to make his instruments of war amPinstru-
ments of his chariots. And he will take 'your
daughters to be confectioners and to be cooks
and to be bakers. And he will take your fields
and your vineyards and your oliveyards, even
the best of them and give them to his servants.
And he will take the tenth of your seed and of
your vineyard and give to his officers and to his
. servants. And he will take your /menservants
and your maidservants and your goodliest young
men and your asses, and put them to his work.
He will take the tenth of your sheep and you
shall be his servants. And ye shall cry out in
that day because of your King which ye shall
have chosen you, and the Lord will not hear you
in that day. Nevertheless the people refused to
hear the voice of Samuel, and they said, ' Nay,
i but we will have a King over us.'"
Has not that prophecy been literally fulfilled.
Still men struggle on and refuse to see the
truth;  they hate liberty in every one but them-
J selves, and their very envy makes them slaves,
To-day in the city of Vancouver two men who
profess to be teachers of Christ are having a
time of it about attending theatres and other
places of amusement such as our civilization
affords. One preacher wants to go and advises
others to go if they like, while ahp.ther thinks it
naughty, and would neither go himself or let
anyone else.
How much better it would be if such able
men would unite their forces to scatter the sunshine of hie abroad, that, to those, whose melancholy liy/es seem always to be under a cloud,
might come some warmth of love and joy of
fellowship.    Surely there is a time to be merry.
We have all much to learn and if we would
raise the fallen, we must stoop ourselves, and we
may afterwards both stand erect.
To deny ourselves does not mean that we
should deprive ourselves of the innocent pleasures of life, but rather that we should find our
highest joy in ministering to the joy of others.
G. H. Turner.  


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