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Commemorative review of the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational churches in British Columbia,… Davis, E. A. 1925

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A retrospect of the work and personalities of the
Churches in British Columbia, up  to  the
time of their union into the United
Church,    together    with    a
prophetic forecast for
the future.
REV.   E   A.   DAVIS,   B.A., B.D.
This book is dedicated to the memory of the
Rev. Thomas Crosby, D.D., beloved missionary
of the Methodist Church; The Rev. James
Robertson, D.D., the beloved superintendent of
Western Missions of the Presbyterian Church;
David Spencer, Esq., honored lay member of the
Methodist Church, and A. L. Fortune, Esq.,
honored elder of the Presbyterian Church, and
all the noble ministers and people who blazed
the trail in the early days and laid the foundations of the Methodist, Presbyterian and Con"
gregational Churches in British Columbia.
[VII] Rev. Thomas Crosby, D.D.-1840-1914
REV. THOMAS CROSBY devoted, practically
without interruption his whole active life to
mission work among the Indians of British Columbia.
His birthplace was at the town of Pickering in
Yorkshire, England. When a boy of sixteen his parents and family moved to Canada and settled near
the town of Woodstock, Ontario.
The spirit of service and devotion stirred strongly
in his young heart and in 1862 he left his home, then
a man of twenty-two, determined to serve in the
mission field. Being unable to arrange for a definite
appointment, he travelled to British Columbia via
Panama, the only route available, determined to
enter his chosen work through any opening that could
be found.
It was not long until he was teaching in a mission
school at Nanaimo, B. C. From this commencement
other work was started by him with the Indians in
and around Chilliwack. Here the Indians responded
to the Gospel appeal and many were converted in the
revivals which took place.
After some nine years of missionary work, of
preaching, teaching and ministering to the Indians,
and to the newly arrived settlers, Mr. Crosby was ordained as minister in the Methodist Church. In his
case continued service in Christian work was adjudged sufficient qualification in place of systematic
theological instruction.
A furlough was granted in 1873, and a return to
Ontario. Then followed a winter travelling through
Quebec and Ontario with Dr. E. R. Young, then mis-
[IX] sionary to the Indians in what is now the provinces
of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and addressing missionary meetings which greatly stimulated interest
in missions to the Indians of Canada.
Early in 1874 he married Emma Douse, who has
shared the trials, the isolation and dangers which
followed as well as the joys of the work. Together
they returned to the Pacific Coast and immediately
journeyed to Port Simpson. Here mission work had
been commenced by Rev. C. M. Tate.
The growth of this work amongst these Indians,
the building of the church, which holds one thousand
people, and which stands high up in the village and
is an outstanding landmark, together with the wonderful spirit of co-operation and uplift which was
developed in the Indians are each chapters in themselves. The Christianizing of the Indians of Port
Simpson had its effect on many other tribes that were
still pagan.
Through succeeding years the missionary travelled by canoe and trail, through storm and winter
carrying the message to Indian tribes scattered over
the north coast on Queen Charlotte Islands to the
west, and up the rivers and inlets to the interior settlements. Other missionaries came to the work, industrial and boarding schools were established. Great
assistance was given years later when, in 1889, Dr.
A. E. Boulton came as a medical missionary and then
commenced another phase of help to the Indians. A
mission ship, the "Glad Tidings" was built about this
time. This famous little craft was soon known as
a bringer of light to village and camp, and very much
extended the work.
In 1897 Mr. Crosby served as president of the
British Columbia Methodist Conference and moved
to Victoria. Later years were spent in and about
Chilliwack,  the  scene  of  earlier  work.    In   1907  he
[X] was superannuated. The following years of failing
health and enforced idleness were a sharp contrast
to the earlier years of courageous and unstinted effort.
In January, 1914, he passed to his reward, with
fifty years of active service behind him, and unfailing
faith and trust carrying" him on.  A Sketch of the Life and Work of the Great
Rev. James Robertson, D.D.
In the cemetery at Kildonan, Manitoba, above the grave
that holds hie dust, you may read on a block of granite
the  following inscription:—
Rev. James Robertson, d.d.
1839 — 1902
Pastor of Norwich — 1869-1874
First Pastor of Knox Church,  Winnipeg,  1874-1881
Superintendent of Western Missions
1881   - -   1902
"Endozvcd by God with extraordinary talents, entrusted by his Church with unique
powers, he used all for the good of his
country and the Glory of God. The story
of his work is the history of the Presbyterian Church of Western Canada, and
while Western Canada endures, that work
will abide."
"To his memory and the Glory of God this
stone is erected by a few of those who loved
him and  counted it a joy  to  labor  with
him in his great work."
On the opposite side of the stone is an inscription to
his heroic wife in these words:—
[XIII] "Also in memory of Mary Annie Cowing
Sept. 23, 1839 — Jan.  16, 1908
Beloved wife of the Rev. James Robertson, d.d.,
who denying heart its claims, with fidelity, patience and courage, for twenty years kept her
lonely watch over home and children, that his
work for Western Canada might be done. As
she shared his sacrifice, so she shares his glory."
No one on meeting James Robertson need be told that
he was of Scottish ancestry. He was born April 24th,
1839, at Dull, a village which once was the pride of the
dwellers of the Tay Valley. His parents were of the
humbler ranks, diligent, God-fearing, respectable, and
ambitious that their family should grow up in the ways
of righteousness, whose history adds another to "The
short and simple annals of the poor."
In 1855 the family came to Canada and settled in
East Oxford, Ontario. At the age of 18 he united with
the church and at the same date began school teaching
which he carried on for four years. By private study
he qualified for the University of Toronto where he
matriculated in 1863. Completing his course he proceeded to Princeton—attracted thither by the Hodges—
1866 where he remained for two years, taking his third
year at Union Seminary, New York. Mr. Robertson was
a dilligent student and made the most of his opportunities both in Arts and Theology and at the same time cultivated his missionary genius by work in Sabbath Schools,
down-town missions and needy places.
In 1869 he was ordained and inducted into the pastoral charge of Norwich; soon after he married Miss
Cowing who proved a true helpmeet during the strenuous years of married life. Here they remained five years
—a period of incessant but joyous labor among an appreciative and attached people.
[XIV] In 1873 he went to Winnipeg in answer to an appeal from Knox Church which was in search of a minister. He agreed to go for six months, but that period
was extended to the end of his life. He Was inducted
to Knox Church in 1874 and remained seven years. At
that time Manitoba was swarming with new comers and
while his chief work was with Knox Church he as convener of Home Missions for the Presbytery was continually visiting the settlers at many outposts. By the
year 1881 the Presbytery had added over a thousand
miles of territory extending to Edmonton; and beyond
this was the Province of British Columbia with its embryo cities and farming districts and further still the
Yukon Territory soon to be the scene of stirring events.
And so these reports were sent on to the Assembly of
1881 and the Rev. James Robertson was appointed Superintendent of Home Missions for the- West. Never
was a better appointment made by the Assembly. His
.qualifications for the task were singularly high. He knew
the west and he loved the West. Strong, mentally, spiritually, and physically, utterly unselfish and full of evangelical zeal, his one aim was to carry on the work to
which he had been set apart. He set out with the great
ideal of a Christian Canada from ocean to ocean, and for
this he labored abundantly and constantly. He endeavored to follow up the immigrants with the Gospel and
wherever possible to have a missionary to minister to
all the widely scattered groups in this great land. He soon
saw the need of churches and manses, and established the
church and manse Board with its funds for building
churches and manses. Not only in churches did he and
the missionary preach, but also in private homes, stables,
school houses, C.P.R. stations (after they were built),
unfinished stores, public halls and even in bar and billiard
For twenty years he carried on this work—making
excursions all over Canada and the Old Land for men
[XV] and money with which to carry on his work and in both
he was wonderfully successful. Full of enthusiasm, a
complete knowledge of the facts, a consuming desire
for the welfare of those who came to this new land, he
generally succeeded in arousing the church to a desire
to assist him in the promotion of his work. So that year
after year he reported 30, 40, 50, 70 new fields that had
been occupied by the church. And so on until the
whole land was in a degree worked for Christ and the
Church. For the first five years he estabilshed on an
average one preaching station a week and in his last
report to Assembly 1901 there had increased to 1,113.
In his first report (1892) there were 1153 communicants;
in his last there were 27,347. In the same time families
had increased from 971 to 17,038 with 8,721 single persons and contributions increased from $14,260 in 1875,
to $446,715.   Churches built—379 and manses—80.
During a strenuous life honors came to him. In 1888
Montreal College conferred on him the degree of Doctor-
of Divinity. For years a member of the Board of Education for Manitoba and also of Manitoba College. Was
first Moderator of the Synod of Manitoba and N. W. T.
and convened its Home Mission committee for years.
In 1895 the Church gave him its highest gift—Moderator
of the General Assembly.
In all his labors he never took time for rest. If he
was not travelling, he was writing letters or reports—
instructing a new missionary, presiding at some committee, attending a Presbytery, or doing one or other of a
myriad of duties which were daily pressing. Very little
time was spent at home. Only once in 18 years did he
spend Christmas with his family. His zeal in this
great work was a consuming fire which must be fed.
His friends began to see however that this could not
last forever. Some knew that a fatal malady had fastened on him, but he wrought until the end. And it
came suddenly and at home.    But he is still writing and
[XVI] in the midst of a letter he turns to his wife and with a
strange word on his lips says, "I am done out."
He sinks into slumber, the night has come and also the
morning. In this wonderful life we who are ministers
and workers in the Lord's vineyard may find some inspiration to guide and help us to interpret to the people
to whom we minister the life of Him who came to seek
and to save the lost.
[XVII]  The Late David Spencer, Founder of
David Spencer, Limited
Mr. David Spencer was born in one of the besi
spots in the British Islands, viz., in South Wales, and was
one of a large family of nine. He, like many other young
men of that famous Island Homeland, heard of British
Columbia and its boundless wealth. With characteristic decision and determination he set out via the Panama
overland route for Victoria.
It was about 1862, and on arrival, this young Walian
quickly balanced up the situation, at a time when there
was a halt in the gold rush, and many were in doubt as
to their next move. Any bright and alluring visions of
Cariboo Gold wealth that might have been in his mind,
vanished in the presence of some sure thing in hand, in
the way of real business. After some balancing and examination of ways and means, he decided to enter the
mercantile arena in a small and safe way.
To business he applied himself, and steadily enlarged
his stock, and the necessary accommodating space, until
the name of David Spencer stood out prominently for
commercial success.
From the first he selected the city of Victoria and
proved his faith in its future success to have been well
founded. Moreover he selected a certain block in the
city of his choice, and developed his princely business
on that very block, and in that city, where the labours of
a long, active and useful life were successfully carried
In the passing of the late David Spencer—a great and
good man went to his rest, in the homeland beyond the
river of earthly life and activity.
Thirty-six years ago, we met this honorable, Christian gentleman, this influential and loyal citizen, this mer-
[XIX] chant prince who worked his way up to great prosperity from a very humble beginning, this loving husband and wise father, and much respected companion
and helper of men in all walks of life.
During these years, a full generation in human existence, we frequently had the pleasure of his hospitality
and friendship in his lovely home in Victoria, where we
became acquainted with one of the largest and most attractive families we have met in a long and varied life
The late David Spencer was far more than a shrewd
careful, calculating, successful man. He was a real
homebuilder, the companion and chum of all the members
of his large and most excellent family, and at the same
time a citizen who had the confidence and respect of
all who knew him intimately.
He was not a politician, but he was for many years
consulted by the ablest politicians and staesmen on the
most complicated and difficult questions of governmental
As a Christian gentleman earnestly devoted to the
church of his choice, and to the best elements in all
churces, he was ever ready to assist by counsel, by a
strong sympathy and in a financial way to an extent
which at times was truly astonishing.
The writer recalls how, in conversation over thirty
years ago, he urged Mr. Spencer to establish a business
in Vancouver, the coming city of British Columbia.
This was at a time when most of the business in the
province was in the hands of Victorians; and when the
young Terminal city in the woods was considered as a
sort of speculative urban venture.
Mr. Spencer determined to keep the proposition in
mind, and to wait until he was sure that Vancouver
had come to stay, to grow, and to warrant such capital
investment as would meet the expanding needs of a
populous  mainland  centre.
[XX] During the trying financial period of many years ago,
before the late hard times extending, from 1911 to the
present, the writer knew that Mr. Spencer was one of
the mainstays financially of several Methodist churches
and other institutions in Victoria.
The banks carried the churches most patiently because
of a few names among the guarantors, and one of these
guarantors was Mr. Spencer, who was ever ready to
give financial and other help in the cause of his Master.
He was one of the many splendid Englishmen who
have come to this Canadian west, and performed herculean labours in the upbuilding of the province, and at
the same time adding the best, moral, religious, domestic
and social impetus and influences to the warp and woof
of our national fabric.
This noble Christian business man has left a wonderful legacy to his splendid family, who are wisely and
liberally playing the part of first rate men and women,
thus following in the footsteps of him who has gone on
before to await their arrival.
Mr. Spencer was always very active in church work,
and was a recognized local preacher for the Methodists
both in Wales and in British Columbia.
He attended the first quarterly board meeting in Victoria. The minutes of that meeting are held in the archives of the Spencer family to this day.
A great man, a merchant prince, a humble follower of
his Lord, a splendid citizen, a loyal Briton, a most excellent husband and father, was our very dear friend,
the late David Spencer.  The Late Alexander Leslie Fortune
On Monday, July 5th, 1915, there passed away at
Enderby, B.C., at the advanced age of 85, the first white
settler of the Northern Okanagan Valley, Alexander
Leslie Fortune. Full of years and beloved by everybody
who had been privileged to know him, his whole life
stands out as a beacon of light to those who love him.
His Christianity was ennobling, and of that simple loving
kind that embraced all creeds and races. Deeply religious, he lived his life under the influence of His Master
and Friend.
Glowing with Christian ardor and faith, placing all
things spiritual before affairs of the world, he spent the.
whole of his nearly fifty years of residence in the Okanagan Valley in the service of his God and to the good of
his fellowmen.
His upright life, his irreproachable conduct, his perfect truthfulness, his countless deeds of kindness and his
never failing sympathy with all suffering and sorrow
made its impress on the lives of untold numbers.
His home was truly ever "open and welcome". None
ever were denied. All were received with the utmost
hospitality, and many who in later life attained success
had cause to thank God that this wonderful Christian
man had been guided to and planted in the Okanagan.
He was indeed the friend of the missionaries who journeyed through there in bygone years.
To him always the path of duty and rectitude was the
only one to travel. One of his earliest activities in the
Master's service was the founding of Sunday Schools to
teach the Indians who came in hundreds from all
parts to learn from and see this great white man. Later,
as white settlers began to locate around him, he ministered to them until the establishment of the First Presby-
[XXIII]  Preface
In the preparation of this unique volume the compiling Editor and Publisher has been inspired by a most
laudable motive.
Recognizing that an event of tremendous moment to
the religious life of Canada is taking place in the consummation of Church Union, that it would mean as much
if not more to the future of British Columbia as to
any other part of the Dominion, the question arose—
Are the people generally seized with the significance of
this great happening, sufficient to challenge them to reap
from it the harvest of good now lying at their door?
If not, then in what way could this challenge be gotten
over to the largest number so as to conserve to the future
the richest inspiration from the past history of the
churches going into the Union?
Each church had contributed a vital element to the
character of the religious, social, and national structure
of British Columbia from pioneer days onward to the
present. Who did it and how was it accomplished? Why
not make a record, permanent and companionable, a record that one could take like a friend and have fellowship
with, receiving from its pages repeated inspiration to
do things; a record setting forth the History, Philosophy,
Polity, Personalities, Services, and the manifold Social
activities of each of the churches covering their half
century of heroic endeavor to build the Kingdom of
God in this province?
There is therefore set forth in the succeeding articles
a record and mental picture of the services, sacrifices
and accomplishments of each denomination, in which
pass in review the outstanding personalities, historic
sketches of the churches, their philosophy, polities, and
social experiences.    Additional interest has been intro-
[XXV] duced by publishing a number of articles on some of
the outstanding social problems both domestic and international which face the world today. Some of these
problems are of vital concern to the people of British
Columbia and have been interpreted by men of authority
and experience who live and work among us in B. C.
Matters of controversy have been omitted and it is
hoped that this volume will find a welcome place in the
home of every member of the United Church of Canada
in British Columbia and elsewhere.
Several photographs of personalities and churches
which it was desired to publish could not be located.
In conclusion the Publisher desires to record his great
indebtedness to all those who have endorsed the volume
and supplied the articles and other data. Especially is
he indebted to the following:—Dr. W. H. Smith, Dr. J.
A. Logan, Dr. J. H. White, Rev. C. M. Tate, Rev. J.
Goodfellow, Rev. A. E. Roberts and C. C. Knight, Esq.,
all of whom have by their interest, advice and never-
failing willingness to accede to any request, made the
completion of this book possible.
The publisher is also indebted to the Steffens-Col-
mer Studio for many photographs.
Joseph Lee.
[XXVI] Introduction
By Rev. E. A. Davis, b.a., b.d.
WILL the birth of the United Church of Canada
prove to be a landmark in the history of modern
Christendom? If it does, it will not be due, wholly, to the
merit of union, power and influence of union has been
the slogan that has won the people in this greatest ecclesiastical campaign of Canadian History.
From the view-point of union it is probably the greatest achievement of the kind in the history of Christianity. There have been many Church unions in the
past, particularly in Canada; but for the most part they
have been unions of Churches with common traditions,
doctrines and polities. In this case note the contrast—
Medieval Christianity, with its institutional obsession
and political pre-occupation, ignored the Gospel privilege of individual faith and free grace, producing in reaction the Protestant Reformation. The strong individual emphasis in the reformation movement, on the other
hand, reacted in a multitude of reproductions of sects
by a sort of crude method known in Biology as Fission.
Out of these, however, three great movements came into being and with dignity and power carried on the central principle of the Reformation: The Presbyterian
Church of Scotland; the Congregational Church born of
the Puritan movement; and the Methodist Church, born
of the great evangelical revivals of the Wesleys. Three
lands provide their background, Scotland, England and
America. Differing widely in traditions, doctrines and
polities, remote from the place and time of their origin,
these three churches have come together in one great
stream of life, in this new land of promise. This is a
unity of greater significance and hope than any other
that has been.
[XXVII] Nevertheless, the greatest merit in this movement is
not the union, but something that lies deeper and is more
vital to life than union. To be held or united to any
group or institution that fetters or forces one to think
or act conventionally rather than convictionally; that
forces one to think or act to please the group rather
than to express one's own highest ideals; is not a union
that gives strength or has merit. Freedom is greater
than union. In as much as the United Church of Canada
inspires and maintains the spirit of freedom in a union
born of common ideals, we believe its birth will prove
to be a landmark in the history of Christendom. Is it
not true that the great landmarks in the birth and growth
of Christianity in the world have all been signalized
by distinct declarations of freedom? Freedom of the
Spirit of God, Freedom of the Spirit of God to express
Himself in\ whom and in form as He will.
The founder of Christianity challenged the systems
of His day denouncing both Samaritan and Jewish as
faulty, if not impossible, and declaring that "the hour
cometh and now is when the true worshipper shall worship the Father in Spirit and in\ Truth; for the Father
seeketh such to worship Him." "God is a Spirit; and
they that worship Him must worship in Spirit and in
Truth." This was the first and greatest declaration of
the freedom of the Spirit in the religious history of
The Apostolic Church proceeded to enslave itself to
Jewish rites, a course in which, if it had continued,
would have resulted in extinction. The Apostle Paul
saved the Christian religion to the world by his heroic
heralding of the freedom of the Spirit. He declared
that in the Christian religion "there is neither Greek nor
Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scith-
ian bond nor free; but Christ is ALL IN ALL."
The Mediaeval Church enshrined their worship in
chains of privilege and price, until God Himself became
[XXVIII] a prisoner in the institution. The Protestant Reformation
was the third great declaration of the freedom of the
Spirit; the power of which swept over Europe. Soon
again that freedom was chained by doctrines and creeds.
The birth of the three Churches entering into thiis
modern union was heralded in each case by a great declaration of freedom; freedom of the Spirit of God to
Worship and be worshipped in Spirit and in Truth, irrespective of creeds or customs. Every movement in
Christendom that has meant the real progress of Christianity has been heralded by a new declaration of the
freedom of the Divine Spirit to express Himself in
His own way as He will. Deeper and more significant
than the slogans of economy; power in numbers; or
strength in union, is the real declaration of the freedom
of the Divine Spirit expressed in this great movement.
The confession of faith in the United Church of Canada
is sufficiently broad to relieve thoughtful men of the
necessity of awkward reservations, while subscribing to
it. It is in truth a declaration of the freedom of the
Spirit of God to express Himself in ideas and expressions of infinite variety. Given common ideals and ethical
standards, then freedom of expression will be both the
power and glory of this movement.
The succeeding chapters of this book will conserve
characteristics and achievements of which each unit
may be proud, but as each unit blends into one great
body, our pride must be, not in past peculiar characteristics, but in such liberty of thought, freedom of expression, generosity of judgment, as will make possible an
infinite variety of expression of the Spirit of Jesus
in winning the world to His Kingdom.
Rev. Thos. Crosby, D.D        VIII
Rev.  James Robertson, D.D         XII
David  Spencer,  Esq     XVIII
Alexander Leslie Fortune, Esq      XXII
Preface    i,      XXV
Introduction       XXVII
Historical   Sketch  of  the  Methodist  Church   in   British
Columbia, by Rev. J. H. White, D.D  1
Historical Sketch of the Presbyterian Church in British
Columbia, by Rev. J. A. Logan, D.D  9
Historical Sketch of the Congregational Church in British Columbia, by Rev. J. K. Unsworth, D.D  20
The Polity of the Methodist Church, by Rev. A. E. Roberts,   B.A.,   B.D  24
The Polity of the Presbyterian  Church,  by Rev.  A.  F.
Munro,  M.A.,  B.D  27
The Philosophy of Methodism, by Rev. E. A. Davis, B.A.,
B.D  38
The Philosophy of Presbyterianism, by Professor A. D.
MacRae, Ph. D  41
The Men of the "Mayflower," by Rev. J. B. Silcox, D.D. 49
Fifty Tears With the Methodist Church in British Columbia,  by Rev.  C.  M.  Tate  63
Home Missions, by Rev.  Geo. C. F. Pringle  72
Medical Missions, by H. C. Wrinch, M.D k 81
Coast Missions, by Rev. Geo. C. F. Pringle  86
The Methodist Waterways Mission, by Rev. W. H. Barra-
clough,   B.A  96
The  Church and  Its  Social Emphasis,  by Rev.   Gordon
X>ickie,  M.A.,   B.D  101
Religious  Education;   The   Young   People's   Problem,   by
Rev. E. R. MacLean, M.A, B.D  112
The A. O. T. S„ by H. W. Riggs, M.D., F.R.S.C.E  124
The Church and  the Liquor Question,  by  Rev.  W.  W.
Peck,  MA.,  L.L.B  130
The Business Man in the Church, by G. F.  Gibson, Esq. 154
The Church, League of Nations and World Peace, by Professor   Mack Eastman,   Ph.   D          159
The   Church   and   the   Oriental   Question,   by   Professor
Theodore   H.   Boggs,   Ph.   D  164
The Joint Union Committee for British Columbia  175
Message from the Moderaor  181
Message from Rev. S. D. Chown, D.D., L.L.D  185
Sketch of Rev. Knox Wright^ D.D  187
Sketch  of Rev.  E.   Robson,  D.D  189
Sketch of Rev. Jas. Turner  191
The United   ;Church of Canada in the Coming Days, by
Rev.  W.  H.   Smith,   Ph.  D.,   D.D  193
The Polity of the United Church of Canada, by Rev. B.
H.   Balderston,   B.A  209
Forward Looking,  by His Honor,  Judge  J. D.  Swanson,
B.A *  217
The United Church of Canada, A Spiritual Evaluation, by
Rev.  J.  R.  Robertson,  B.A,  B.D  221
Music in the Church,  by Ernest E.  Vinen,  Mus.  Bach.,
F.R.C.0  235
Methodist Colleges of British Columbia,  by  Rev.   J.   G.
Brown, M.A.,  B.D  243
[XXX] Page
History of Westminster Hall, by Rev. J. A. Logan, D.D	
Some Historic Presbyterian Churches in British Colum
bia, by Rev.   John  Goodfellow	
Some Methodist Churches of British Columbia	
First  Congregational  Church	
Bible Study in Our Schools, by J. Lockington, Esq....	
United Church Announcements 	
Rev. Thomas Crosby, D.D 1	
Rev.  James Robertson,  D.D	
...     XII
David  Spencer,  Esq	
Alexander Leslie Fortune, Esq _>*	
Rev. A. M.  Sanford, M.A, D.D i	
B. C. Members, First General Council 	
Rev. Geo. C. Pidgeon, M.A., D.D	
Rev. S. D. Chown, D.D., L.L.D „	
Rev.  John Knox Wright,  D.D _.	
Rev.  Ebenezer Robson,  D.D	
Rev.  James Turner	
Rev. W. H. Smith, M.A., Ph.D., D.D i	
Rev. J. G. Brown, M.A., B.D	
Columbian College 	
Rev. J. A. Logan, D.D '*,	
Westminster Hall	
Rev. E. D. MacLaren, D.D. ..._	
Rev. Thos. Sommerville, D.D	
Rev. D.  MacRae,  Ph.D ,	
Rev.   John   Hall	
Rev. Robert Jamieson, B.A	
Rev.  Alexander  Dunn,  D.D	
Rev. George Murray, M.A	
Rev.   Wm.   Clyde	
Rev. George C F. Pringle	
Rev. E. R.  MacLean, M.A., B.D	
Rev.   J.   K.   Unsworth,   D.D	
Rev.  W. W.  Peck, M.A.,  L.L.B	
Rev. J. Richmond Craig, M.A	
Ernest E. Vinen, Mus. Bach., F.R.C.O	
Rev.  J.  S.  Henderson,  M.A.,   D.D	
Rev. A.  E.  Mitchell,  M.A,  D.D	
Rev. J. R. Robertson, B.A., B.D	
Rev. A. D.  Mackenzie, M.A, D.D	
Rev. E. McGougan, M.A., B.D ~	
Rev.   John   Goodfellow	
Rev. Gordon Dickie, M.A., B.D	
Rev.  A.  F.  Munro,  M.A.,  B.D	
G. F. Gibson,  Esq	
His Honor Judge J.  D.  Swanson,  B.A	
Rev.  John Campbell,  M.A.,  D.D	
Rev.  W.   J.   Sipprell,   B.A,   D.D	
Rev. J. P. Westman. 	
Rev.   E.   White	
Rev. Cornelius Bryant 	
Rev.   Ephraim  Evans.   .  j	
Rev. G. Browning	
Rev.  J. H. White,  D.D *. „	
Rev. H. E. Green	
[XXXI] Page
Rev. B. H.  Balderston, B.A  319
Rev. A. E. Roberts, B.A., B.D  319
Dr.   A.   E.  Bolton  325
Capt.   Wm.   Oliver !i  325
Rev.  C.  M.  Tate  328
Rev.  C. A.  Williams i  335
Rev.   S.   S.   Osterhout  335
Rev.  O. M.  Sanford  341
H.   C.  Wrinch,  M.D  341
Rev. E. A. Davis, B.A., B.D ...... 344
Rev.   G.   O.   Fallis,   B.D ..... 344
H. W. Riggs, M.D.,  F.R.C.S.E  355
Rev. J. B. Silcox, D.D  356
Rev.   J.   W.   Pedley  360
Rev. A. E. Cooke.    360
Sea Island    260
First  Church, Victoria —.. 264
St.   Andrews,   New  Westminster ,  272
The Manse,  New Westminster  273
St. Andrews, Langley Fort  276
First   Church,    Vancouver _.  278
St.   Andrews,   Vancouver  282
Mt. Pleasant, Vancouver .. 286
St.   Johns,   Vancouver  290
St. John's Hall, Vancouver tit 291
Chalmers Church, Vancouver  293
Kitsilano  Church, Vancouver  295
Knox   Church,   Kerrisdale  298
St. Andrews, Merritt  301
First Methodist Church in  B.  C ,  306
Metropolitan   Church,   Victoria -  308
Queen's Ave.  Meth.  Church,  N. West  313
Chilliwack   Methodist   Church ;_  317
Nelson Methodist Church  _*  321
Mission   Methodist   Church     323
Vernon   Methodist   Church  328
Ladner   Methodist   Church ij  323
Fort   Simpson  329
Chinese  Mission,   Vancouver ►— 330
Japanese Mission, Vancouver   331
First Methodist Church  in Vancouver  332
Wesley Church, Vancouver  333
Turner  Institute,   Vancouver  338
Mount  Pleasant  Methodist   Church  340
Robson  Memorial Church  342
Canadian  Memorial Hall j.  344
Sixth Ave.   Church  346
Mountain View  Methodist  Church  348
Grandview   Methodist   Church  349
Trinity Methodist Church  351
Kitsilano   Methodist   Church  352
Kerrisdale Methodist Church  353
First Congregational Church  357
[XXXII] Historical Sketch of the Methodist
Church in British Columbia
By Rev. J. H." White, D.D.
THE outstanding feature of this sketch will be its
brevity. Necessarily so. The peaks of the Rockies
viewed from a swift aeroplane in a flight of thirty minutes; the story of the missionary enterprise of a great
Church in a new province, during a period of sixty-seven
years, compressed into a few sentences. Incomplete and
fragmentary to the last degree, such a review is all that
space permits in this article.
For the convenience of the reader, and as an aid to
condensation, the story may be divided into four periods:
1. Pioneer days. From the earliest beginning to
1871, when the last of the original band of missionaries
returned to Ontario.  Also the year of Confederation.
2. From 1871 to 1887, when the British Columbia
Conference was organized.
3. From 1887 to 1900. A period of expansion and
4. The opening of a new century. From 1900 to
the present.
To begin with, Pioneer days.—The first known member of the Methodist Church in British Columbia was a
young English lad eighteen years of age, Cornelius Bryant, afterward an honored minister in B. C, who came
to Nanaimo in 1856. He made himself known to the
Rev. E. Cridge, then Superintendent of Education, and
who later became the much beloved Bishop Cridge of
the Reformed Episcopal Church in Victoria, and was
appointed to teach the school in the little mining camp
at Nanaimo. Here he remained for a number of years
[i] and impressed his personality upon many men and
women who afterwards became prominent in the life of
the new colony. But he held a wider view of opportunity
and obligation than to be satisfied with the mere routine
of school teaching. He soon organized a Band of Hope
among the children, and on February 15, 1857, when only
nineteen years of age, held the first religious service in
the new camp. The Church of England form of service
was used and the little meeting grew in numbers and
Meantime the discovery of gold on the Fraser River
led to a rush of adventurers from California, Oregon and
Washington during the spring and summer of 1858.
These were soon joined by thousands from Eastern Canada, the United States and from older lands. Among
them were many Methodists and the sons of Methodists.
The matter soon came to the attention of Rev. E. Wood,
D.D., Superintendent of Wesleyan Missions in Canada.
With far-seeing sagacity he became convinced of the
great resources and future prospects of the almost unknown colony of the Pacific Coast. At once he brought
the situation to the notice of the Mother Church in England, which endorsed his views and contributed the sum
of five hundred pounds to assist in equipping and sending out a party of at least three missionaries. As soon
as the facts became known through "Missionary Notices,"
a number of ministers volunteered for the new field. After careful consideration, Rev. Edward White of Smith-
ville and Rev. Ebenezer Robson, junior minister in Montreal Centre, were selected by the Missionary Committee
at its meeting in November. Rev. Ephriam Evans, D.D.,
of Kingston, was requested to undertake the duties of
Chairman of the new district and nominated Rev. Arthur
Browning, of Artemesia as the fourth member of the
party. When the small resources of the Church in Canada and the distance and unknown character of the new
land are taken into account, this was a missionary enteral prise of the first magnitude, and was so regarded both
in the old land and in the United States.
The missionaries elect were given a few weeks in
which to bid farewell to their friends and prepare for
their long journey. Revs. Robson and Browning were
ordained, and during the last days of December, 1858,
the whole party met in Toronto for final instructions. A
complimentary breakfast was tendered them in St. Lawrence Hall, where three hundred persons sat down. In
addition to prominent Methodists, brief addresses were
given by representatives of the Episcopalian, United
Presbyterian, Free and Baptist Churches. Bishop Stra-
chan was unable to be present, but sent a cordial "God
Speed." The party as finally made up consisted of Dr.
and Mrs. Evans, with two grown children, Edward and
Mrs. White, with two small children, Miss Emily Woodman, Mrs. White's sister, E. Robson and A. Browning,
the latter two to be followed later by the young ladies
who became their wives. The party left by train for
New York on December 31, 1858, where they were tendered a final welcome and farewell before taking ship for
the Pacific Coast via Panama. Arriving at San Francisco on Saturday, January 26, the missionaries spent
Sunday there, where they were cordially welcomed and
all took service during the day. Sailing by S.S. Pacific
on February 3, the party spent a day at Portland and
reached Victoria on Thursday, February 10, 1859, at
8 a.m., and shortly afterward landed from the ship's boats.
During the preceding autumn the crowds of gold
seekers going to Victoria had attracted the attention of
the authorities of the M. E. Church in Washington. In
September, Rev. J. F. Devore and Rev. Harris Rhodes
came over and went up the Fraser as far as Langley.
Returning to Victoria, they held several services, at one
of which Rev. J. J. Moore (colored) preached. Hearing
that missionaries from the Canadian Church were on the
way west, they returned to their homes.
[3] The missionaries found the Anglican and Roman
Catholic Churches already established in Victoria. They
were warmly welcomed, especially by the former, and at
once began their work. Permission was secured from
Governor Douglas to use an unfinished room in the
Court House, and here on Sunday, Feburary 13, Dr.
Evans preached in the morning and Mr. White in the
evening., Mr. Robson preached the same afternoon at
Craigflower. Within a few weeks, four missionary
charges had been surveyed. Dr. Evans remained at Victoria, the most important point in the new colony; Mr.
Browning went to Nanaimo, which included territory
from Comox to Cowichan and Salt Spring Island; Mr.
White was stationed at the new city of New Westminster,
which included the whole Lower Fraser; Mr. Robson
went to Hope and Yale and was in close touch with the
crowds of miners rushing in to the new "diggings." All
began without either member or Church property, in a
new and wild country almost entirely without roads and
with the most primitive means of communication, and in
the midst of a swirling crowd of adventurers from all
lands whose one thought was to reach the mines as soon
as possible. But among them were many Godly men, who
welcomed the establishment of the ordinances of religion
and nobly stood by the missionaries in their difficult and
arduous work.
The first Church building to be dedicated was a little
frame chapel in New Westminster standing in the midst
of a dense forest. Shortly afterward, the Pandora Street
Church, Victoria, was completed, followed a little later
by a Church at Nanaimo. Mr. Robson had spent his
first Christmas Day in the new land rafting lumber to
Hope, where he built a little shack for the accommodation of his young bride.
From the first, the Methodist missionaries considered
themselves debtors to all who needed the Gospel without
distinction of race or creed.   Soon after settling in New Westminster, Miss Woodman, afterward Mrs. Thos.
Cunningham, had a class for Chinese, and during his
first year in Hope, Mr. Robson started a school for Indian children. The destitution, physical and moral, of
the Indian people made a strong appeal to these Christlike men. In 1862, Thos. Crosby came to the coast and
as soon as his borrowed fare was repaid, started an Indian school at Nanaimo, and became one of the most
famous missionaries on the Coast. In 1868 a mission was
opened at Barkerville, Cariboo, with Rev. Thos Derrick
in charge. By 1871, when the last of the original pioneer
band, Rev. E. White, returned to Ontario owing to ill
health, the whole settled portion of the province had been
reached. After making allowance for all losses and removals, the young Church had gathered 288 members,
of whom more than fifty were Indians, and was firmly
established in all important centres.
2.—The period from 1871 to 1887 was a time of very
slow development until the projected building of the
C.P.R gave a new impetus to immigration and trade.
A number of revered names appear during this time—
William Pollard, A. E. Russ, Jos. Hall, C. M. Tate and
that beloved and devoted missionary, James Turner.
Space will not permit the mention of many others equally
well-known, but mention should be made of the return in
1880 of Rev. E. Robson, best-known of all the pioneers.
The large mission fields were gradually sub-divided.
In 1874 Burrard Inlet first appears on the list of stations, though service had been given for some time from
New Westminster. Nicola Mission was also established,
including territory from Barkerville to Keremeos, with
Jas. Turner in the saddle. A wonderful revival had taken
place among the Indians, and missionaries worked as
far north as Alaska with strong stations at Port Simpson
and other points. C. M. Tate, Thos. Crosby and A. E.
Green carried the Gospel to the remotest tribes by canoe
and later through the agency of the Mission steamer,
[5] Glad Tidings. Work had been extended among the
Chinese, and Mr. Robson had started a Methodist College in the basement of the Church at New Westminster.
It proved to have been "born out of due time," and only
survived a couple of years. In 1886, the first C.P.R. train
came through and the next year the name Vancouver
appears for the first time on the station list. The Church
was able to report four self-sustaining charges; twenty-
five missions, of which nine were Indian and one Chinese;
1,975 members, 1,260 being Indians; a Sunday School
force of 1,700; and $15,946.00 raised by the Church for
all purposes.
3.—The British Columbia Conference was organized
in 1877 by Rev. John A. Williams, d.dv General Superin-
dent, and has just held its thirty-ninth session. It started
with twenty-two ministers, of whom eight were stationed
in work among Indians. From this time to the end of
the century names appear so fast that it is impossible
even to mention them in such a review as this. The
limits of this paper only permit notice of the most important developments during these years.
Work was opened along the main line of the C.P.R.
and the Crow's Nest branch. By 1900 practically all
points from Revelstoke to Michel were opened and
Establishment of Columbian Methodist College in
1892.—This institution has been in continuous operation
since and has had a notable history. It did the first full
work in Arts in affiliation with Toronto University, five
students proceeding to their degree long before any other
college west of Winnipeg attempted it. Also full work
in Divinity leading to the degree of B.D. The Honor Roll
of the Great War contains the names of more than 150
students and ex-students, some of whom attained high
rank and many of whom made the last great sacrifice. It
is a very valuable asset to the United Church.
The opening of Medical Mission work in the north, Dr. Boulton being the pioneer in this important department, which now includes five hospitals and has done
invaluable service both among whites and Indians.
The opening of work in the Yukon by Revs. James
Turner and A. E. Hethdrington. A story of missionary
enterprise and heriosm unsurpassed in the annals of
the west.
The development of work among the Oriental people
by the coming of two remarkable men, Revs. John E.
Gardiner, b.a., and Goro Kaburagi, m.a. The work of
these men with many others furnishes a thrilling epic of
Christian zeal and consecration worthy of a volume in
Statistics, 1900: Ministers, 52; Probationers for Ministry, 12; Circuits and Missions, 92; Members, 5,496, of
whom 1,546 were Indians, 172 Japanese and 81 Chinese;
Sunday School force, 6,831; Y.P.S., 1,597; Money raised
for all purposes, $98,173.00.
4.—The period from 1900 to the present is within
the memory of very many still actively engaged in the
work of the Church and need not be treated in detail.
During the early years of the new century, development
was so rapid that the Missionary Society found it difficult
to cope with it, and many ministers suffered real hardship
which they cheerfully bore for the sake of the Great
Cause. The Yukon was at the top of its productiveness.
The railways were pushing new lines in all directions
through the Kootenays. There was rapid development of
the timber and mineral resources of the province.
Greater Vancouver made extraordinary growth, and other
towns and cities in somewhat lesser degree. The building
of the Grand Trunk Pacific with the springing up of
many towns from Prince Rupert to the Yellowhead, and
the erection of immense paper and other plants along the
coast was a feature. The Marine Mission work was
greatly extended. The efforts of the Churches to keep^
pace with this growth called for unusual enterprise and
[7] sacrifice. The peak was reached in 1912, after which the
tide began to ebb.
The trying years from 1914 onward are too recent
to dwell upon. The problems growing out of the
Great War with its heavy enlistment of our choicest
manhood, including many ministers, were made easier
by a growing spirit of co-operation with other Churches,
especially the Presbyterian. At present about 180 charges
in the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches are working
under some form of union or co-operation, thus greatly
reducing the pressure for both men and money. We
learned to work together and to love each other.
The years since the War are fresh in the minds of
all. It is not for me to write of the wonderful opportunity awaiting the Church of the Living God. Mine
has been the backward look. At least we may say with
the Founder of Methodism, "Hitherto hath the Lord
helped us."
Statistics, 1925: Ministers, active, 109; Superannuated or Supernumerary, 32; Probationers, 14; Total, 155.
Present total membership, 17,823. Total families ministered to, 12,370.
Finances: Missionary Society General Fund, $33,-
403.00; W.M.S., $19,420; Total for Missions, $52,823.00;
For Connexional Funds, $82,115.00; Regular Circuit
Purposes, $259,116; Total raised during year, $505,577.
Value   of   Church   Property,   Value   of
Churches  $1,422,013.00
Total value of all property, not including
that owned by Missionary Society     1,822,493.00
Total debt on property        127,279.00
Total insurance carried       794,775.00
[8] Historical Sketch of the Presbyterian
Church in British Columbia
By Rev. J. A. Logan, D.D.
THE Rev. John Goodfellow in his informing article
has given a sketch of the early Church and the early
workers in British Columbia, so that this article will begin with the Presbytery of Columbia.
The year 1875 will ever remain a memorable year in
the Presbyterian annals of Canada, for it marked the
union of the Presbyterian bodies then existing. In the
same year, and a few months later, in the far-off and
little-known City of Victoria, the first Presbytery—the
Presbytery of British Columbia in connection with the
established Church of Scotland—was formed. The Rev.
Simeon MacGregor was Moderator, and Rev. William
Clyde, Clerk. There were three ministers and one elder,
along with Rev. Robert Jamieson, a corresponding member from New Westminster. Their first act was the ordination of two licentiates—Alex Dunn and A. B. Nicholson—which brought their first Presbytery up to five
members. The ministers were at once introduced to
their several fields, being settled in the different centres
of the province from Nicola Valley to Victoria.
For about eleven years the work was carried on under
the jurisdiction of this Presbytery. It was gradually being felt that the Church work could be much better carried on from Toronto as a centre than from Edinburgh.
The congregations signified their willingness to unite with
the Canadian Church, so that in the year 1887 the work
in the whole province was administered from Toronto.
The first Presbytery had done its work well and all honor
is due the pioneer ministers and the Church of Scotland
for planting the blue banner in the farthest west land of
our Dominion.
[9] In March, 1886, the Rev. D. M. Gordon (Winnipeg),
by appointment of the General Assembly, visited British
Columbia with the view of conferring with the ministers
and missionaries then laboring in the province about
methods and plans for future work. Among other recommendations adopted at a meeting held in New Westminster was the creation by the next General Assembly
of the Presbytery of Columbia. This recommendation
having been adopted, the Presbytery was convened and
constituted in St. Andrew's Church, New Westinmster,
on August 3, 1886, with the following membership roll:
R. Jamieson, Moderator; D. Fraser; T. G. Thomson; D.
McRae, Clerk; J. Chisholm; D. J. Taylor, J. A. Jeffray;
Alex Dunn—all ministers—with Alex McDougall, Walter
Clark and Fitgerald McCleery, Elders. The Presbytery
of Columbia at the end of its first year reported to Assembly nine ministers on its roll, forty-five Churches and
Mission Stations, 245 communicants and $11,024.00
raised for all purposes. This was the day of small
things, but the seed then planted has grown into
a great tree whose branches extend to all parts of the
province and to the far-off Yukon. The fields on which
these pioneer brethren labored were all vast spaces, with
from three to half a dozen preaching points separated by
long distances. Some of these parishes are now the
boundaries of Presbyteries. The work was carried on
before the advent of the railway, the wagon road or the
automobile. There was only the long, lonely trail, the
horseback, on foot or canoe as means of transport. Take
the experiences of our missionary, Rev. John Chisholm,
as an example. This is what he writes in Dr. McKellar's
"Pioneer Ministers:" "In 1883 Dr. Cochrane went on an
overland trip through the north-west, reaching the Coast
via the North Thompson and Fraser Rivers. Principal
Grant and Sanford Fleming followed the same route
many years previous.
[10] "As a result of Dr. Cochrane's visit, the Home Missions Committee, of which he was Convenor, resolved on
adding the Province of British Columbia to the Home
Mission area of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Previous to this, the Canadian Church was represented in
the province by only one minister, the Rev. Robert Jamieson, at New Westminster, working under the Foreign
Mission Committee of the Canadian Church.
"In 1884 four ministers were sent out and among
them I was given a commission to explore the mainland
from Yale, on the Fraser, to the Rocky Mountains. I
had to go inland on the old Cariboo stage from Yale. In
the Nicola Valley there was a small wooden Church,
erected by the Church of Scotland, but for some time unoccupied. For two years I was the only missionary in
this unknown region. Whilst making Nicola Valley my
headquarters, and where I preached occasionally at seven
centres, I itinerated and explored every part of the interior. I conducted services in private homes, school
houses, court houses and along the Fraser River, from
Yale to Cariboo, in seven different centres; along the
Thompson River from Spence's Bridge to Kamloops, in
six centres; up the North Thompson and South Thompson Rivers from Kamloops to Shuswap in eight centres;
up the Spellumcheen Valley from Sicamous to Vernon, in
seven centres; along the Okanagan Valley from Vernon
to the International boundary, including Granite Creek,
in six centres; along the International boundary, east
through Grand Prairie and Kettle River Valley, in six
places; and east from Sicamous along the C.P.R. as far
as Golden, in ten centres or places. Thus Divine services
were conducted in fifty-seven places, ordinance of baptism administered and the Presbyterian families enumerated.
"When the C.P.R. was completed in 1886, I made my
headquarters at Kamloops. It must not be taken for
granted that I conducted Sunday services in all those
[ii] fifty-seven places. The most of them were conducted on
week evenings. I owned two or three horses, and invariably went from place to place on horseback. I frequently
slept outside and in Indian camps. When in Kamloops,
from 1887 to 1890 I usually had a student to do the
work in Kamloops, while I went off exploring and laying
foundations for Missions.
"In 1890, after six years strenuous and effective
work, I accepted a call from Scarboro, Ontario."
This is a sample of the work done by many of our
missionaries in the early days in which were laid the
foundations of the Presbyterian Church in British Columbia. Mr. Chisholm is still living and doing splendid
work still as Chaplain at the Port of Montreal, welcoming those who come to Canada, as he used to welcome
those who long ago came into the interior of this province. This district over which he travelled is now the territory covered by the Presbyteries of Kamloops, Kootenay and Cariboo.
Early in the year 1892, the Presbytery of Columbia
prepared an overture to the Assembly at Montreal, praying for its division into three Presbyteries and the erection of a Synod to be known as the Synod of British Columbia. When in due course the matter came before
the Assembly, it was remitted to a Committee of
which Dr. Robertson (the great Superintendent) was
Convenor. The report when presented favored the prayer
of the overture and recommended in addition that Calgary Presbytery be added to the Synod. The Presbytery
of Calgary at that time was of enormous proportions
territorially, a wide stretch extending from the North
Pole to the forty-ninth parallel. The report of the Committee was agreed to, and the Synod was formed forthwith. It was to consist of four Presbyteries, viz: Kamloops, Westminster, Vancouver Island and Calgary, outlining at the same time the boundaries of each Presbytery—Vancouver  Island  to  include  that  and  adjacent
[12] islands; the other two Presbyteries the rest of the province, and divided from each other by "a line drawn from
north to south and passing one mile east of the town
of Yale in the Province of British Columbia." When
the Synod was erected it had: Ministers, 24; Churches
and Stations supplied, 72; Families, 1,409; Single persons (other than families), 904; Communicants, 2,169;
Elders, 86; Sabbath School scholars, 2,236; Teachers and
Officers, 253; W. M. Societies, 3; Manses, 9; Churches,
Later on changes appear in Presbyteries. In 1894 thel
name Victoria is substituted for Vancouver Island. In
the sixth Synod (1897) Edmonton Presbytery appears
as an offshoot of Calgary, and in the ninth Synod (1900)
the Presbytery of Kamloops is divided, giving us the
Presbytery of Kootenay. In 1904 the name of the Synod
was changed to British Columbia and Alberta to conform
to the increasing influence of the Prairie province, and so
continued until 1907, when the Synod of Alberta was
formed. In the minutes of the fourteenth Synod (1905)
the young Presbytery of Edmonton is divided, giving us
Red Deer, and Calgary sheds off MacLeod Presbytery.
The only other change was the erection of Cariboo Presbytery some eight years ago chiefly from the Presbytery
of Kamloops, and the Synod as now constituted has five
In all this work, the Rev. James Robertson, d.d., Superintendent of Home Missions for Manitoba and the
North West Territories, had a hand and always made his
great influence felt. He had been appointed to that position in 1881, and about 1893 made his first trip of
exploration to this province. Rev. C. W. Gordon, d.d.,
(Ralph Connor) in his biography of Dr. Robertson
writes: "Before the Assembly of the following year, the
Superintendent found time to make a memorable trip
down the Fraser Valley in British Columbia. Appointments had been made at various points throughout that
[13] district. Meantime the Fraser River, swollen by the June
rains and sun melting the snow at it sources, had burst its
bounds and rendered all the low-lying land impassable.
He must keep his engagements at all cost and at all
hazards, and keep them he does. And from a letter to
his wife a little later he says, 'The trip in British Columbia was, on the whole, rough, owing to the late
spring and the shocking state of the roads. . . . and I
have reason to be thankful. I walked till my feet gave
way, rode where I could, drove where it was practicable,
took canoe, rowboat, steamer and train. Had I a chance
to try a balloon I would have tested and tasted all the
methods of travel. . . . For the first time in almost twenty
years, I got drenched to the skin, and had the luxury of
sitting in the bottom of a canoe for hours (from Chilli wack to Fort Langley) whch was constantly shipping
enough of the tawny Fraser to sink it but for frequent
bailing. And when I tried to buy a suit of underclothing I
was denied the privilege (as the store at Fort Langley had
gone into liquidation) and so helped myself off the shelf
without leave. (But he left money on the shelf.) But so
far I have escaped arrest.' The same year Dr. Robertson
spoke before the Assembly and pleaded for the work in
British Columbia, 'Immigration is on the increase, opportunities are greater than ever, the needs of the country
are also greater.'"
In 1895 he was made Moderator of the Assembly.
In his retiring sermon on the following year, which was
an able exposition of the principles of missionary service, he gave a lucid and comprehensive review of mission work in the west for the past fifteen years. There
were not wanting signs that his iron constitution and
sinewy frame were at last beginning to feel the strain of
those fifteen years of toil and trials innumerable, and so
he was sent across the sea for a change and rest, they
said, but except on the Sabbath he was continually busy,
first in Scotland, then England, then Ireland and back in
[14] time to report to the next Assembly that he had received
money enough to support over forty missions. This, perhaps, at too great a cost.
His last great adventure was the Yukon. That began
in 1897. Dr. Gordon tells us that' "The mighty, magic
word there was Gold. From all the continents and islands
of the sea they came; at first in scores, then in hundreds,
then in thousands and ten thousands—the maddest rush
ever seen on this continent." All for Gold! Gold! "But
there was one man who had stood upon the Vancouver
wharves piled high with outfits and stoves—scanning the
crowds embarking—in whose heart there was no thought
of gold—but men. That was the great Superintendent
Robertson. Already over ten thousand men had gone
north to find their fortunes in the frozen placer beds of
the Klondyke, and with them had gone the rum seller, the
gambler, the courtesan, the pimp, the vile parasitic vermin from the city slums, but not a single missionary."
This condition must be met at once. Starting for the
east, he stopped off at Winnipeg, met a few men, talked
over the situation, selected a man for the task—Mr. R.
M. Dickey, a second-year student designated to his mission in a solemn service at St. Stephen's Church—and
in October was on his way to Skagway, stopping off at
Vancouver long enough to be ordained by the Presbytery
of Westminster. Following him to the different parts of
the Yukon were Dr. A. S. Grant, Mr. Russel, Dr. John
Pringle, Rev. George C. F. Pringle, J. A. McDonald, J.
A. Sinclair, J. T. McGookin, G. H. Findlay (now at
Dawson), J. J. Wright and others. This was the last
great effort of the Superintendent, and on January 4,
1902, he passed to his rest and reward at the early age of
63 worn out by the toils and travels of his twenty years'
experiences in the west.
"During its short history the Yukon has suffered
much at the hands of lawless and wicked men and
women, but it has been saved from much by the noble
[15] character of those who represented the Presbyterian
Church in that northland, and by the service they rendered to those to whom it was their privilege to minister."
At the close of Dr. Robertson's regime, Dr. J. C. Henderson, of Calgary, was appointed Superintendent of
Home Missions for the Synod of British Columbia and
Alberta, and continued to do active and efficient work until his death in 1910. He was succeeded by the Rev. Dr.
G. A. Wilson, of Mount Pleasant Church, who has continued until the present the arduous work of the Superintendent with marked ability. The territory covered by
Dr. Herdman was a few years ago divided and the Presbytery of Kootenay and part of Alberta was placed under
the superintendency of Dr. J. T. Ferguson, while the
balance of the Synod of British Columbia and the Yukon
remained with Dr. Wilson.
About the year 1902, Dr. MacLaren, of Vancouver,
who had for years been the Convenor of the Synod's
and New Westminster Presbytery's Home Missions Committee, was appointed General Secretary of the Assembly's Home Missions Committee, a position which he
held for nine years, and in that capacity shares the work
of the Superintendents all over the Church, from the
Yukon to Halifax, and visiting the old land in search of
men and money. It will be impossible, in the space allotted to Church History, to give details of the work
since 1892. The Church, like other institutions, has its
ups and downs, its successes and reverses; some years
reporting great prosperity and growth, in others a standstill, or perhaps a retrograde. So many things act and
react upon the Church that results of either kind must
be expected. The condition of business, strikes, crops,
immigration, etc., are all influences which play upon the
life and work of the Church.
One thing remains to the Synod of British Columbia, that while the self-supporting charges have largely
increased, it is still a Home Missions Synod.   At the
[16] present time, there are 111 aid receiving charges in the
Synod. The following statistics will show how far we
have travelled since  1892:
Number of Ministers  130
Sunday School Charges  42
Aid Receiving Charges  Ill
Preaching  Stations  389
Elders         655
Families     14,297
Single persons other than families  6,378
Sabbath School and Bible Class Members  20,132
Teachers and Officers  1,932
Communicants    18,408
Manses     98
Total raised  for  congregations  $383,712
Missions     83,811
Grand Total  479,494
Women's Missionary Societies  80
Women's Missionary Societies
Organized as a W.F.M.S. in 1876, as W.H.M.S. in
1903 and amalgamated as W.M.S. in 1914. The object
is to aid the Boards in Home and Foreign Mission Work.
Associated with it are a variety of societies doing kindred work and reporting for 1925 as follows:
No.  Bands Members    Givings
Mission Bands  66 1461    $1813.22
C. G. I. T  76 (groups)      744       234.32
Y. W. M. S  21  (aux.) 389     2020.00
The total number of auxiliaries is eighty; membership in
all departments is 5,524; with a total income for this
year of $19,042.14, of which $17,625.00 was forwarded
to Assembly Boards. In addition to those mentioned,
there are Home Helpers, Strangers' Department, Sup-
[17] ply Work. Social Service, Literature, etc., each doing a
splendid work in its own sphere.
The diamond jubilee of the Society was duly celebrated this year by auxiliaries and Presbyteries.
Under the Home Mission Committee is the work of
the Coast Missions, in which there are two boats, The
Skypilot and the Broadcaster, the former furnished by
the Westminster Presbyterian W.M.S. and the latter by
the Victoria Presbyterian W.M.S., and two missionaries,
Rev. G. C. F. Pringle and Rev. Chas. E. Mott. Mr.
Pringle's headquarters are at Vananda, from which
he fares forth on long trips up and down the coast. He
ministers to a congregation of over 2,000 people, to
reach whom he travelled last year 3,500 miles, visited
forty points, preached 101 times, baptized sixty-three
children and received seven new members. A feature of
his work is the circulating library—in 1920 there were
nine libraries, now there are forty-nine. The Cradle Roll
of his charge has 400 names. Mr. Mott's headquarters
are at Alberni, from which he travels long distances in
visiting the canneries, the fishermen and lonely settlers
in his scattered parish.
The Redemptive Home on Sussex Avenue, Vancouver,
is under superintendence of Miss M. Matheson, a woman
consecrated to the work of helping and saving those who
stray. During the past year the Home has housed thirty-
two inmates, who have come from eight different walks
of life. The Vancouver House at Vancouver is also
one of the efficient aids to the Home Mission work. This
is under the direction of the First Presbyterian Church,
of which Rev. J. Richmond Craig is Minister, and Rev.
R. Macfarlane, Assistant. These, with a small band of
workers, carry on a very large and varied work, reaching
out to the help of 3,134 individuals in many families, and
classes attended by 10,730 monthly, with an average attendance at Sunday service of 430.  The Church is look-
[18] ing forward to the time when they shall have an adequate
building in which to properly carry on the work.
Did space permit we might go into more detail regarding our Foreign Mission work, Religious Education and other branches of the Church's work, but it is
hoped that enough has been written, particularly the
statistics, to present an idea of the growth of the Church
and to stimulate enquiry as to the details of the work that
has been done during these past years.
[19] Historical Sketch of the Congregational
Church in British Columbia
By Rev. J. K. Unsworth, D.D.
CONGREGATIONALISM can not lay claim to the
same length of service for the Pacific Province as
her sisters of the United Church. Those doughty pioneers
of Methodism, Ebenezer Robson and Arthur Browning,
reached Victoria in 1859, John Hall and Alexander Wilson following in 1861 to lay the foundations of the Presbyterian Church in Victoria with Robert Jamieson hoisting the blue banner in New Westminster a year later.
It was in 1887 that the Rev. Hugh Pedley, then pastor
at Cobourg, Ontaria, and later to become the brilliant
preacher and much-loved minister of Winnipeg and
Montreal, and the leader of his denomination in the
Church Union movement, came to Vancouver to investigate the spiritual needs of the young city rising from
the ashes of the great fire.
His brother, Rev. J. W. Pedley, came the following
year and organized the First Congregational Church,
which met, after a few weeks in the Y.M.C.A., in Wilson Hall, Abbott Street, the present site of the Woodward stores. Mr. Pedley's gifts as a strong and racy
speaker, his camaraderie and administrative ability built
up a large congregation in the rapidly growing city. Under his leadership, a commodious Church was built on
the corner of Richards and Georgia Streets, where the
congregation worshipped for twenty-one years, until the
removal to the present well-equipped classic edifice on
Thurlow Street, the dedicatory services of which Mr.
Pedley was called from Ontario to conduct.
The ministers who succeeded him shared with the
congregation the vicissitudes of the nascent city, each
[20] of them making their distinctive contribution to its life.
First came Rev. H. C. Mason, of Brandon, Manitoba,
who left after three years of pastorate to become a leader
in Congregational circles in the State of Washington, being now in charge of the University Church, Seattle. Rev.
J. H. Bainton came from England, also for a three-year
term, resigning to take a Church in Colfax, Wash., and
later in Pittsburgh, Pa. His successor was the Rev.
John Simpson, whose resignation in 1910 was followed
by his death a year later.
During the five years of the ministry of Rev. Dr. J.
K. Unsworth, the Thurlow Street Church was built and
a mission established in South Kitsilano with the erection of the Kitsilano Church, later to become a Union
cause. The fine equipment of the new edifice was a great
aid in promoting young people's work and social service.
The ministry of Rev. A. E. Cooke, who came from the
Kitsilano cause to succeed Dr. Unsworth on his resignation to join the Presbyterian Church, lasted eight years
and was marked by a strong popular appeal and the
frank discussion of modern issues, which attracted large
congregations. A radio broadcasting outfit was installed
during the last year of his ministry.
The birth of the United Church pending. Rev. Dr.
J. B. Silcox, who has held many successful pastorates in
Canada and the United States, has been supplying the
First Church pulpit. The future of the congregation
would seem to lie in union with one or the other United
Church congregations in the West End.
As a result of some domestic difficulties in the First
Presbyterian Church, some members withdrew and formed Knox Congregational Church, which worshipped for
a number of years on Cordova Street under the pastorage
of Rev. Merton Smith, the Rev. Dr. McLennan also
giving a short ministry previous to his becoming the
minister of St. Andrew's, Nanaimo. This congregation
later moved to a new building and became the Grandview
[21] Congregational Church, of which Rev. W. P. Goard is
the present minister.
Congregationalism in Victoria was pioneered from
across the Juan de Fuca Straits when the Rev. Jonas
Busnell, of Port Angeles, in November, 1895, organized
a Church in the old Temperance Hall on Pandora Street
with a charter membership of thirty-five. He was succeeded by Rev. P. C. L. Harris, who was followed by
Rev. R. B. Blythe in 1901, under whom a neat little
Church was erected on Pandora Avenue. Mr. Blythe's
courage and faithfulness greatly encouraged the young
congregation, but ill health compelled his resignation
in 1903.
Rev. H. A. Carson came in 1904 direct from graduation at the Congregational College in Montreal for ten
years of notable service. Under him the congregation
reached self-support and the present commodious
structure with its fine auditorium and institutional
equipment was built, the building humming the week
through with many activities. Following Mr. Carson
were Rev. Charles Sykes, later of Calgary, for one
year, and Revs. Charles Croucher and W. D. Spence,
each for a three years term. The present pastor is Rev.
A. K. McMinn, b.a., graduate of the Federated Colleges
of Montreal, under whom the congregation is doing successful work, the membership standing now at 140.
The Congregational Home Missionary Society started
work in Nelson and Phoenix in the early days and built
Churches. After some years, however, during the low
fortunes of these mining centres, the Congregationalists
withdrew as a body. The main work of this denomination has been done on the Coast and in urban centres.
It has been marked by faithful service in the pulpit and
special ministry for young people. On account of the
transiency of British Columbian population, a large number have received spiritual help in connection with the
[22] Churches, only to pass on to other places and communions.
Before closing this most brief and matter-of-fact
sketch, a memorial word may be appropriate.
Rev. Dr. Walter Currie, after twenty-five years of
magnificent service in West Central Africa as missionary, evangelist, teacher and statesman, came to a little
fruit ranch in Royal Oak outside of Victoria. From
the fever-menaced West Coast of Africa he came to
find, if he might, a measure of recuperation for his worn-
out frame in this balmy sheltered spot on Vancouver
Island. He had dreamed to make his home a rest house
for others also such as himself. But his black brother
had cost him too much, and he tarried but a little while
before he passed to the Rest House in the Eternal, not
made with hands. His widow, Mrs. Amy Johnston Currie, drawn by the renewed call of her "black children,"
is now one of that splendid band of missionaries on all
continents who are at once the greatest responsibility and
the greatest asset of the United Church. Thus are we of
the three communions, now blending into one in British
Columbia, linked in spirit with Africa, farthest and least-
known of the Mission fields of the Church.
[23] The Polity of the Methodist Church
By Rev. A. E. Roberts, B.A.
THE polity of the Methodist Church in Canada was
based on the principles of true democracy and was
so organized that every member had a part in the election
of those who had oversight of the work.
Within the limits set by the Dominion Act of 1884
which settled the basis of Union of the various Methodist bodies then existing, the General Conference had
supreme power in the government of the Church. The
General Conference was composed of an equal number
of ministerial and lay delegates and met quadrennially.
The members elected by ballot without debate one or
more General Superintendents, and since the death of
the Rev. Dr. Carman, the office has been filled continuously by the Rev. S. D. Chown, d.d. The General Superintendent presided over all sessions of the Conference
and General Conference Committees, and held the office
for eight years and was eligible for re-election. The
duties of the General Superintendent were in no wise
stationary, his special work being to travel throughout
the connexion, giving the necessary attention to all interests and institutions coming under the control of the
General Conference.
The Secretary of the General Conference was elected
and held office for four years. The Rev. T. Albert Moore,
d.d., has held this appointment continuously since he was
first elected in 1906.
The Special Committee appointed by the General
Conference was composed of twelve ministers and twelve
laymen, whose responsibility was to watch over the interests of the Church during the quadrennium, appoint
[24] a successor to the office of General Superintendent in
case of death or disability (for the balance of the period)
and report on its work to the next General Conference.
Its Court of Appeal, composed of the General Superintendent, six ministers and six laymen, provided the
machinery to settle all appeals on questions of law, decisions of Committees and Annual Conferences.
The Transfer Committee was an important feature of
the Church Government and dealt with all matters appertaining to the transferring of ministers from one
Conference to another and to individual Churches at the
request of Official Boards.
The work of the Church was divided into Annual
Conferences, twelve being in Canada and Newfoundland,
with Mission Councils in Japan and China.
In conformity with the polity of the Methodist
Church, the President of the Annual Conference was a
minister, and the Conference was composed of all ministers within its jurisdiction and an equal number of lay
delegates. One day prior to the General Session, ministers and lay delegates held separate sessions and reports
of these gatherings were placed before the Annual Conference.
The Stationing Committee consisted of a President,
the Chairman of the Districts and one minister elected
by each district. The function of this committee was, as
its name implies, to station all ministers and probationers
within its bounds, and formulate districts.
The Districts were twofold in responsibilities and
held at least two meetings annually. One meeting received reports of the work in each field and prepared same
for deliverance to the Annual Conference; the other attended to the financial needs of the district and after
examination of the circumstances of said Missions, recommended the amount of grant to be allocated by the
Missionary Society for its support.  These meetings con-
[25] sisted of all ministers and probationers in active work
and a corresponding number of lay members.
In the official life of the local Church the minister is
the key man and under his leadership the Church carries on its aggressive work for God in the community it
serves. In late years the members of the Trustee and
Quarterly Official Boards have met together and managed the Church's affairs. The stewards have particular
oversight of the finances and prepare the budget, which
is submitted to the members of the Church for ratification
at the Annual Meeting of the congregation.
There can be no question that the Government of the
Methodist Church in Canada was well and truly founded on the principle of Government, "for the people, by
the people," and the foregoing brief review of the authorities and duties enjoyed by its constituents can but emphasize its absolute democracy, and establish the fact
that in becoming a member of the United Church of
Canada not a tittle of Methodist polity has been sacrificed.
[26] The Polity of the Presbyterian Church
and the Direction of Change
By Rev. A. F. Munro, M.A.
THE polity of a Church may seem a question of little
importance. We lay stress, rather on the spiritual and
moral life of those who comprise its membership. Provided that this be assured, we might be inclined to feel
that any kind of Church Government that works is good
For forms of government lets fools contest,
What e'er is best administered is best.
Whilst there is an element of truth in this attitude, it
is not the whole truth; efficiency is not the only test of
good government. The late Lord Morley laid down the
principle that it is better that a country should govern
itself badly than that it should be well-governed by an
alien people. A nation's political organization reflects
the spirit of its citizens, and in turn it reacts on their individual lives. The polity of a Church must, on the
same grounds, be congruous with that Church's interpretation of the meaning of the Christian life and will ultimately affect the type of Christianity developed within
its communion. Then there is the vital question as to
whether any particular form of ecclesiastical organization fairly embodies the New Testament conception of
the nature of a Church, and gives full scope to the Christian life.
In a Sacerdotal Church, the grace of God is conceived as being mediated through a hereditary priesthood,
and the form of polity adopted by that Church will be
based on the organization of a particular class through
[27] whom the blessings of salvation are made available for
others. An evangelical interpretation of Christianity will,
on the other hand, create for itself an ecclesiastical home
of another plan and structure.
The Presbyterian Church, in common with all Reformed Churches, accepts the principle expressed in the
battle cry of Luther, "Every man his own priest." It
denies that there is any class of Christian who stands in
a peculiar relation to God, and through whom alone
others can approach Him. All who hear the call of God
in Christ, and who obey that call, are members of His
Church and have a right to be received within its organization. All stand in the same relationship to God and to
one another. In a Church so conceived, there is no room
for a spiritual hierarchy and the basis of government
must of necessity be democratic.
It is a commonplace of history that democracy is enduring and effective only when it adopts the principle of
representative government. Now, representative government is the essential element in Presbyterian polity. This
is well-illustrated in the Session, the Court of the Church
which administers the spiritual affairs of a congregation.
In the last analysis, the power belongs to the members of
a congregation as a whole, but by the constitution of the
Church that power is committed, so far as the administration of spiritual affairs is concerned, to the Session.
The Session decides who shall be members of the Church
and generally directs its religious policy. The Elders,
who, with the Minister, compose the Session, are elected
by the vote of the total membership. Side by side with
the Session, the Deacon's Court or Board of Managers
takes care of financial questions.
The principle of government by representative bodies
is also applied to the higher courts. The Presbytery is
composed of all ministers in active service within its
bounds and at least one layman, elected from the session
of each congregation.   Some Presbyterian Churches pro-
[28] vide for two laymen from each congregation when the
membership exceeds a fixed number. The Synod is
composed of all the members of the Presbyteries within
the territory for which it functions. The Assembly, the
supreme court of the Church, is made up of representatives from each Presbytery. Thus the principle of
government by elected representatives is applied to the
whole structure of the Church
These courts have three functions—administrative,
judicial and legislative. The two former functions are
exercised by all courts, and there is full provision for appealing from a lower to a higher if any individual or
congregation feels that justice has not been done by the
lower court. The Assembly is the final court of appeal.
In it also resides the all important power of legislation
in any matter that affects the doctrine, organization or
work of the church as a whole. There are two important modifications of this power which have played a
very important part in the working of the Presbyterian
system. In the first place the Presbyteries may suggest
legislative changes to the Assembly or urge the desirability of some new enactment. A proposal so transmitted to the Assembly is called an overture. On the
other hand no proposal of the General Assembly can become the law of the Church until it has received the
consent of the majority of the Presbyteries. This principle was embodied in the Barrier Act passed by the
Church of Scotland in 1697 and has become an integral
part of the constitution of the United Church of Canada
and no changes in the constitution enacted by the General Council can become the law of the Church unless
they be sustained by a majority of the Presbyteries.
Presbyterian polity has stood the test of time and has
proved itself serviceable in every aspect of the work of
the church. It is a system where important decisions are
never taken by individuals, but where the responsibility
is shared by all who are appointed to bear it.   It ensures
[29] that decisions are arrived at by the process of debate
and discussion and implies that all must weigh and give
consideration to the judgment of others. It realized
the ideals of representative and democratic government
long before these were applied to the political life of the
nation. Centuries before the Scotsman of humble station won the right of making his voice heard in the
civil government of his country he found in the church
a sphere where he breathed the atmosphere and applied
the principles of democracy.
The most sketchy account of Presbyterian polity
would be defective that failed to refer to the emphasis
that Scottish Presbyterianism laid on the inherent right
of the Church to direct its own destiny and to legislate
for itself in all matters that affected its own life. This
principle was crystallized in the phrase, "The Headship
of Christ." It breathed the conviction that the Church
must be free to follow what it conceives to be the will
of Christ. It was given picturesque and forcible expression to in the historic conversation between Andrew
Melville and King James the Sixth. "Therefore Sire,"
said Melville, "as diverse times before I have told you,
so now again I must tell you, there are two Kings and
two Kingdoms in Scotland: there is Christ Jesus, the
King of the Church, whose subject King James the Sixth
is, and of whose Kingdom he is not a lord, nor a head,
but a member. Those whom Christ has called and commanded to watch over His Church and govern his spiritual Kingdom have sufficient power and authority from
Him to do this both jointly and severally." The State
was indeed a divine institution; so was the family. The
Church was in no less a degree a divine institution and
it existed that it might obey the will of Christ. It therefore had to demand of the State the right to live its
own life and order its own house. The question of the
relation of Church and State is alive today in Canada as
well as in  Scotland.    When the Presbyterian  Church
[30] in Canada, decided through its courts and by the procedure prescribed in its constitution for these courts to
enter into union with other churches, any effort to prevent that decision taking effect by an appeal to the power
of the State cannot but be considered as a denial of
the right of the Church to act for herself for which our
fathers fought so strenuously. In Scotland the question
appears to be nearing a happy solution. There we hope
soon to see one great Church into which have flowed
the main streams of Scottish Presbyterianism, a Church
which is at once established and free—free to change
her doctrine and polity and free to enter into union
with other churches.
It is in keeping with loyalty to the source of our
faith that a church should express its life in a constitution the main features of which are "discoverable in
Scripture." It is agreed today with fairly general unanimity that there are no hard and fast rules laid down
in the New Testament for church organization. We have
evidence of more than one type of church government.
The distinguished Presbyterian scholar, the late Principal Lindsay of Glasgow, wrote, "There are traces of
several primitive types of organization within the churches
of the Apostolic age. . . . The primitive Christian communities organized themselves independently in virtue
of the new moral and social life that was implanted
within them; but they did not disdain to take any hint
about organization which would be of service from the
pagan associations to which they had been accustomed."
(The Church and the Ministry in the Early Centuries,
pp. 115, 129). The Church must be loyal to the spirit
and ideals that shaped her early organization. She is
bound to study the earliest forms of church life with
reverence and to be directed by the general principles
that she finds expressed in the Church of the New
Testament. That does not mean that she professes to
find there a formal pattern of organization which is to
[31] be copied definitely and minutely. It does mean that
she must have serious regard to the nature of Christianity and endeavor to construct such a church polity as
shall provide for its adequate expression. In an address
on Presbyterianism delivered in Cambridge, England, in
1893, the late Principal Rainy said, "Presbyterianism
is a system of church organization and government believed by its adherents to be in its main features and tendencies agreeable to the indications of the Word of God."
This would probably be accepted as a fair expression of
the attitude of the great mass of Presbyterians on this
The unity of the Church has occupied a large place
in Presbyterian thinking on ecclesiastical questions. The
Solemn League and Covenant had the avowed aim of
gathering within the Presbyterian fold the whole Protestant Church of Great Britain. The conception of unity
realizes itself in the organization of individual congregations under Presbyteries, which are in turn united in
Synods and Assemblies. There is a more comprehensive unity which exists only as an ideal. Here we may
again quote the address of Principal Rainy already referred to: "Our theory recognizes the Ecumenical Assembly or Representative Council of Christendom as
qualified to express on fit occasions the collective mind
of the whole Church of Christ. That is set forth in
our earliest books, and though it must for the present
remain, as it has long remained, an idea only, it is
a worthy and inspiring one."
A few words should be given to the position of the
Minister in the Presbyterian system. Ministers are ordained: Elders are also ordained. Do they therefore
hold the same office? Are the ordained elders still laymen? This may seem a trivial point, and it is one on
which there have been somewhat cloudy opinions. Dr.
Charles Hodge is emphatic on the importance of the distinction.   He illustrates his meaning in this way.  When
[32] a man is made a member of the British nobility his name
is not merely added to the list of nobles but he is given
a particular title—as that of Duke or Earl. When a man
is ordained in the Presbyterian Church he is not merely
admitted to the class of ordained men but he. is given
the office either of ruling elder, in which case he remains
a layman, or he is given the office of a teaching elder,
when he becomes a minister. Both belong to the order
of ordained men, but they hold different offices, and
they perform different functions. The Minister only
may administer the Sacraments. He is always a member of Presbytery and is the perpetual Moderator of
his own Session which cannot meet unless he or some
one deputed by him is present to preside. Our system
"calls the pastor of a congregation a bishop, and never
gives that title to elders, as it declares his office to be the
first dignity in the church—confers on him the right to
ordain ruling elders and declares that he is amenable not
to the Session but to the Presbytery. It establishes parochial episcopacy, just as much as the Canons of the Church
of England establish prelacy or diocesan episcopacy.
This is Presbyterianism, the Presbyterianism of Geneva,
France, Holland, Scotland, and of our fathers in America." (Hodge Church Polity, page 275.)
To the average Presbyterian minister the Session,
above all other courts, probably holds the first place in
his affections. His elders have shared with him his professional worries and his professional hopes. The most
sacred associations of his ministry are bound up with
these men who have helped him in his pastoral work
and have borne with him the responsiblity of the welfare
of his congregation. The Session has proved itself so
useful and effective that it is probable that it will be generally adopted by those congregations of other denominations which are coming into the Union but have the privilege of maintaining their present congregational organization as the Presbyterian congregations have.   There are
[33] two changes in the constitution of the Session which may
not be very far distant. An elder under the present
system is elected for life—that is, until he resigns, or
leaves the congregation, or is removed by the judicial
act of the Session. None of these contingencies may
arise but he may after a long term of service cease to
represent the congregation in any real sense. There are
various means by which a congregation can get rid of
a minister; it is almost impossible to get rid of an elder
whose services are no longer desired. It might be arranged that when an elder is ordained and inducted to
office in a congregation his ordination might be considered as permanent, as it now is, but his tenure of
office in the Session to which he is elected might be limited to a fixed term—say five or ten years—when he
would be eligible for re-election. This would only be in
keeping with the system adopted by John Knox by
which new elders were elected annually. The reason
given for this system is interesting—'Lest of long continuance of such officers men presume upon the liberty
of the Kirk," and so that they may not be "so occupied
with affairs of the Kirk but that reasonably they may
attend upon their domestical business." (First Book of
Discipline, 1590.)
Another change that is certain is that women will be
made eligible for the eldership. This change has already been made by the Presbyterian Church in England and women have been ordained elders in at least
one well knowfr congregation.
This should not be a controversial article but the question inevitably arises, how far the constitution of the
United Church is at variance with the principles of Presbyterianism. In that searching criticism to which the
basis of union has been subjected two or three points
have been stressed as showing a radical departure from
the essentials of that system. For instance, it has been
said that a grave departure has been made when the
[34] ordination of ministers is taken from the Presbytery
and made a function of the Conference. "Conference"
has an unfamiliar sound to Presbyterian ears, but it
is really the equivalent of the Presbyterian Synod. The
only difference is a minor one in the method of electing some of the laymen. Not all lay members of Presbyteries must be members of Conference as in the Presbyterian Church of Canada, but the Presbyteries may elect
other laymen to the number of one half of the total from
outside their own membership. This should increase the
influence of the lay element in the Conference. In this as
in all courts of the United Church the lay members are
equal in number to the ministerial. The Conference therefore occupies the same place and is virtually constituted in
the same way as the Synod. And the Synod and Presbytery are courts of the same standing and character. "A
Synod is in fact a larger Presbytery." (Hodge Church
Polity, page 179.) This can not therefore be a change of
much significance.
It is held that the United Church completely jettisons Presbyterian principle in admitting to its church
courts men who are not ordained. All laymen who are
members of Presbyteries and Synods in the Presbyterian
Church must be elders. In the new Presbyteries about
to be formed congregations formerly Methodist or Congregational will elect laymen who are not ordained
elders since they do not have laymen who have been set
apart to the office of the eldership. But is this a serious matter? It cannot be conceived to be so in any
moral or religious sense for these congregations will inev-
tably elect the best men available—men who have shown
character, ability and zeal for the Kingdom of God. But
even in the more rigid and ecclesiastical sense does this
constitute a serious departure? If the basis of the
Church is democratic and her courts formed on the principle of representation it can hardly be so conceived.
Some laymen elected to the higher courts will be or-
[86] dained, others will not be ordained. It is hardly possible
to believe that the Kingdom of God could suffer through
such a change, unless there is left in our thinking some
of the leaven of the Popish doctrine of the communication of a mysterious influence, and the creation of an indelible impress of orders, through the act of ordination.
Has the Church the inherent right to make the
changes that have been made? Presbyterians have always assumed that the right belonged to the Church.
The questions raised in Scotland in the last quarter of
a century which seemed to challenge that right, compelled the Scottish churches to insert in their constitution their assertion of the right to make such changes,
and this claim has been embodied in the constitution of
the Church to be formed by the prospective union of the
two great Scottish Churches. But Presbyterians have
always made this claim for their Church, Hodge, the
Presbyterian authority already quoted, says: "We maintain that while there are certain general principles laid
down on this subject in the Word of God, Christ has
left His Church at liberty and given her the authority
to carry out these principles. This we have endeavored
to prove from the absence of a command binding the
Church to exact conformity to the example of the
Apostles, from the fact that the Apostles themselves did
not adopt any one unvaried plan of Church organization,
and from the undeniable fact that every Church on earth,
our own among the rest, has acted upon this principle
and introduced many things into her system of government for which no express Scriptural warrant can be
produced."   (Church Polity, page 279.)
Presbyterians going into the United Church have the
unflinching conviction that they are acting as their great
leaders of the past would have acted if they were faced
with the situation in Canada today. "What care I," said
Chalmers, "for the Free Church or any Church compared
to the good of the people of Scotland."   Our love of
[36] the church must be regulated and conditioned by a
higher loyalty — loyalty to the Kingdom of God and
to the Head and Founder of that Kingdom. We believe that the Christian good of the people of Canada
demands unity and that Christ has led us forward to its
consummation. As we obey this summons we feel that
we are the true heirs of the fathers who begat us. The Philosophy of Methodism
By Rev. E. A. Davis, B.A., B.D.
PAST and present Methodism, like other Evangelical
Churches, came into being for the purpose of giving
expression to a particular conception of religious truth
believed to be essential to man's highest welfare.
The function of philosophy, in general, is the reflective analysis of experience. Applied to a religious movement it is an attempt to disclose the real meaning of
both the thought and its expression in that movement,
in relation to other contemporary experiences and conditions. In no creative sense whatever did Methodism,
at its beginning, contribute to the body of Christian
or Biblical doctrines. On the other hand, such intense
emphasis was placed on certain phases of religious truth
and expression that it was commonly challenged as a new
thing. The fathers and founders of Methodism became alarmingly conscious of the appalling degeneracy
of their age morally, religiously and socially. By force
of circumstances they were compelled to discover the
truth that would make the most invincible challenge to
their degenerate age. No theoretic dogmas of faith
could be effective here. A society, high and low, immersed in the thrills of drunkenness, debauchery, greed
and passion, could only be challenged by the actual experience of corresponding thrills. Obviously eternal
punishment must have emphasis, but the supreme challenge was an experience positive, conscious, and thrilling, of the joy of Salvation and victory over Sin. The
love of God, redemption through the atoning blood of
Christ, repentance, faith, justification, consecration, san-
tification,   Christian  perfection,  all  these  doctrines  of
[38] evangelical Christianity were emphasized, but the supreme emphasis was on the conscious living experiences
of salvation from sin, not only a right and a privilege but a necessity. Methodist doctrine declared the
privilege of every man, on certain conditions, to experience the witness of God's Spirit with his own spirit,
determining to our satisfaction and certainty our positive relation to God. This note of certainty, with all the
thrills consequent on the change from the bondage of
sin to the liberty of the Sons of God, made its tremendous challenge to that passionate age.
Next to the emphasis on the experimental phase of
religion was the emphasis placed on witnessing. Giving
testimony before others of what God had done for my soul
may not have been exalted to the place of a doctrine of
the Church, yet it was stressed to the point of an indirect witness of my salvation.
It may be true that these forms of emphasis gave too
great subjectivity to the religious life of Methodism, nevertheless, Methodism did not fail in the expression of
ethical ideas in human relations. Like other religious
bodies, the Methodist Church has shifted its emphasis,
gradually, from doctrines and defined orders of experience and soul analysis to ethical ideals and standards
applied to the social order. Methodist people have been
to some degree the pioneers of nation-wide organized social and moral reform. It was after all a natural transition from the supreme emphasis of experimental religion with its positive witness of the Spirit, based on the
boundless love of God, to the practical expression of
that great love in the soul, for the salvation of others.
It found expression in the early history of the Church,
in evangelical campaigns, resulting in the conversion of
multitudes. It has found expression in these latter days
in a more comprehensive evangelism; an evangelism that
does not overlook the salvation of the soul, but seeks to
recognize that the soul cannot be dealt with apart from
[39] the body. Recognizing that the body is just as much a
temple of God's Spirit as the soul is a communicant of
that spirit, and they cannot be separated. An evangelism
that seeks again to follow Jesus of Nazareth in His great
mission of seeking to establish the Kingdom of God on
earth. A Kingdom or a social order in which character
shall be the supreme asset, love the supreme motive, and
the physical, mental and spiritual good of all the first concern of each.
Methodist theology at the beginning was an interpretation and adaptation of the teachings of Jesus and His
apostles to the crying needs of the people of that day.
Methodist theology, as the Methodist Church submerges
herself into the great United Church of Canada, is an honest attempt to interpret and adapt the same teaching of
Jesus and His apostles to the crying need of this modern
day and age. Our needs, though just as crying, have
radically changed; we venture to think our practical
theology has changed just as radically, in an attempt to
meet those needs.
[40] The Philosophy of Presbyterianism
Treating with the Doctrines of the Church and the
change of emphasis in modern times
By Professor A. O. MacRae
TO even outline in some fashion the Philosophy of
Presbyterianism in a brief article is difficult for
the writer and unsatisfying to the reader. Yet in these
days of the paragraph, when humanity has so much of
its pabulum, mental and material, in concentrated tabloid
form, there seems nothing else for it. Accordingly no
more will be attempted than a rapid survey of the salient
features, and these will be discussed without adherence
to strict logical sequence. The writer prefers to follow
the lead of association and suggestion.
Striking tributes have been paid to the place and
power of Calvinism by writers and thinkers of various
shades of opinion. Mark Pattison maintained that "in
the sixteenth century Calvinism saved Europe." The
American historian Zancroft said: "He that will not
honor the memory and respect the influence of Calvin
knows little of the history of American liberty," and
John Morley declared, "To omit Calvin from the forces
of western evolution is to read history with one eye
shut." Beside these remarks should be placed the vivid
statement of the profound historian, Von Ranke, "John
Calvin was the virtual founder of America."
It is not then too much to say that Calvinistic Christianity, the modern descendant of Augustinian Christianity, under various cognomens, has spread more widely
perhaps, than any other interpretation of Biblical dogma
and doctrine, saving only Roman Catholicism: and this:
notwithstanding it is most uncompromising in it demand for the supreme sovereignty of God, and the total
subservience of man in relation to Nature, the course of
[41] history and the scheme of Salvation. The will of God
became the sole efficient factor of movement and change
in the universe: all things and all events were foreordained and executed by the Almighty Who alone enjoyed
Free Will. Man and his career were but pawns: the
same irrevocable law and fore-ordination prevailed in
the course of man's life and history as in the connection
and continuity of Nature.
It is interesting to note that long before science or
philosophy even dreamt of seeking law and order in
history as it has been found in Nature, the theologian
had surmised it. In the realm of life and conduct, of
thought and behaviour, theology refused to see but the
fortuitous and accidental. For the theologian Calvin,
and the philosophers Leibnitz and Spinoga, the same
necessity governed man and his history, and nature, its
changes and movements. It is interesting to compare
the attitude of much of the scientific thought of to-day.
We witness many scientists in a| strenuous attempt to
reduce the whole course of man's existence, his ideals
and aspirations, his tragedies and tears, his literary productions and his artistic creations, as well as his whole
industrial progress to the fortuitous play of atoms, (of
stimulus and response) within a circumscribed area subject to the unchanging and unchangeable laws of an
externality called Nature, that in itself is, so far as these
scientists are concerned, the form for the expression of a
Force or Energy as unconscious and non-rational as the
Schopenhauerian Will, or Buddhistic Nirvana.
The Westminster Confession of Faith, the Anglo-
Saxon crystallization of John Calvin's Institutes and
the Creed of Presbyterians, emphasized this supreme
place of the Godward in man and his universe, and
was careful to guard against the possible accentuation of
the Manward, as set forth in the teachings of the Ar-
minians. In contrast to this school, the Presbyterian,
following his confession, believed God in Christ was all
[42] in all in the salvation of man: in his redemption, repentance, regeneration: in the fact as in the process. Justification by faith is an Act of God's free grace: sanctifi-
cation is a Work of God's free grace: the Act and the
Work are of and through the Grace of God* The faith
and the repentance are alike Divine graces, the gifts
of God. And so it is not hard to understand why Presbyterians sang with meaning:
"Not what these hands have done can save my guilty
"'Tis from the mercy of my God that all my hopes
Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy Cross
I cling"
Such lines are clear and definite: they indicate the particular note of the part played by the Atoning Death of
the Prophet, Priest and King for the Sin of Fallen Humanity. God in Christ reconciling the world unto himself was absolutely central in the Calvinism carried to
This was learned by the Covenanters: it governed
their view of God and the world: it interpreted the supreme values for them, and it was lived by them and
their descendants. Their pastors preached as if all depended on man and prayed as if all depended on God,
but in fact their prayers and preaching were governed by
the concept of the absolute Sovereignty of God and the
nothingness of man. It is this note of submission, of
entire submission to the Will of God with the full recognition of the Godward in all that related to man and
the universe, creation and salvation, that has barred the
way to any admission or acceptance of systems of Philosophy as evolved and elaborated by human reason. This
uncompromising interpretation of Calvinistic Theology
is the ground of the fierce onslaughts of rationalism.
The man who attacks Christianity, be he atheist, agnostic,
[43] sceptic or nothingarian, directs his distinctive criticism at
the theology of the Calvinistic cast. And the reason is
not far to seek. This Christian view of God and the
world rigidly refuses to stir from the fundamental position of God as supreme in salvation: of man as he
whose wisdom is foolishness before God, whose understanding is as nothing in the sight of the Most High.
Such a fundamental conception leaves no opening for
solutions of a purely human and intellectual order.
For Calvinistic thought there are axiomatic truths
from which there can be no departure: concerning which
there can be no compromise: the Absolute Sovereignty
of God as in all, through all, over all: as Ruler and
Judge: as the destiny that shapes man's creeds and
provides his salvation is the greatest of these axioms.
All other theologies have been colored by the manward
in their form and content. The agnostic philosophic
protagonist is acutely aware that such theologies can be
left, for of themselves they will dissolve into pure in-
tellectualism, or human systems of philosophy. Calvinism may be, indeed must be, a human interpretation
of religion, in that religion like any other content of
experience can be introduced or presented to each person in the first instance only through the medium of
his mentality: but as this interpretation of the ultimate
problems and final values, has its foundation in the assumption of the absolute supremacy of the Divine: and
equally in the plan of salvation from sin has as its
presupposition the Will of God and not at all the will
of man, it (that is, such an interpretation) cannot become a mere human philosophic speculation.
Perhaps enough has been said to make it clear what
Presbyterianism, as founded on Calvinism, meant for its
followers in those former days. This conception had
its correlate in the kind of character developed in the
older generations of Presbyterians. It meant that the
character  and  career  of  this  sect  was  very  marked.
[44] There was no dissociation of conduct from doctrine. A
Presbyterian of the time of John Knox allowed neither
sentiment nor imagination to interfere with rigid consistency. The fruits of his spirit, his integrity and sincerity,
were severely in line with his fundamental ideas of God's
Kingdom and righteousness.
Many changes may be noted, however, as time passed.
In the days in which this present generation lives, dogma
and doctrine have ceased to occupy the chief place. The
swing is away from dogma to doing, from philosophy
to pragmatism: from theory to practice: from the inwardness of the religious experience of the individual
to the outward and the sociological. Of the same nature is the tendency towards organization and institu-
tionalism, so much in evidence in the life of the Protestant Church in general at present.
In Presbyterianism, as in the history of religion, the
student can remark the same gradual, and apparently inevitable change. During the earlier period, Being is the
significant note: the individual soul is eager and anxious
about itself: about getting right with God, and working
out its own salvation through the grace of God. At a
later stage, it is in Doing rather than in Being that the
Presbyterian believer finds the purpose of his existence.
This oscillation is characteristic: the advance is either
on the lines of Being or Doing, not on a course where,
both can function or be functioned. The Covenanter,
and the Presbyterian of the Puritan period in England,
seeks assiduously the salvation that he hopes and prays
may become the possession of his immortal soul: he
strives to be pure and peaceable, just and true, of a
right spirit and all through grace. The modern Presbyterian would be a doer of the Word, an active worker
in the vineyard, a laborer worthy of his hire. The Being
has been emphasized in the beginning: the Doing in the
later time. Both alike belong to Presbyterianism. It
is when both are fully recognized and exercised, under
[45] Divine guidance and blessing, that the salvation is being
worked out in a manner that will redound to the nurture
and admonition, the beauty and strength of the human
Such changes in attitude and action are to be noted
in the increasing and absorbing interest in social and
moral reform. The ministry of the Word is in danger
of being made secondary to social service. The roots
are being displaced by the fruits. There is no denying
the large place philanthropy and amelioration should have
in the world of to-day: no doubt the accusation was truly
apropos: that Christianity and the Christian Church was
was too detached, too disregardful of the ills of the body
politic: too insensible to the wrongs wrought by the
social and economic evils of a complex civilization. Yet
the reader of the past history of Christendom may well
question whether the pendulum has swung too far: whether outward action has blinded man to the inward life
of union and communion with the Divine. "Come ye
apart and rest awhile" might well be thought of in these
days of feverish activity in reforming acute abuses. "They
also serve who only stand and wait" was written to remind man that he cannot afford to live on the spiritual
capital of his forefathers without renewing it for himself
and his generation.
When a man has been washed and fed and clothed:
when the conditions in which he lives and labors have
been bettered and exploitation has been diminished, he
is not therefore saved. We must not confuse outward
reforms, however widespread and beneficial, with cleansing from sin and purity of heart and intention. "His
name shall be called Jesus for He shall save His people
from their sins" was written in the very first chapter
of the first book of the Gospel proclaimed under the new
dispensation. The sudden rise and rapid development
of Service Clubs and Benevolent Orders and Secret Societies may constitute matter for congratulation: it may
[46] be a significant feature of present day civilization: the
Church may do well to aid and encourage such movements, but, as already remarked, these are all fruits
and not roots, and at its peril the Church loses itself
in such commendable efforts. If the Church forgets its
high place: if it fails to remember its prescriptive privileges, its authority as the sole representative and spokesman of God to man: if it leaves or neglects its peculiar
work, viz; to preach to a sinful world Jesus as Redeemer and Saviour, and His Gospel as the power of
God to salvation, the message of truth to make man free
from sin and death and give him glorious liberty: if the
Church in the midst of its many splendid social activities
forgets all this, it descends from the place it alone can
occupy and sinks to the level of competitive philanthropic agencies. And in no long time, outdone by such
competitors, it will find itself losing place and prestige.
There is no need to depreciate all the Church has done
and is doing: there is no intention to minimize the many
directions in which the Church has done good in removing crying evils, in securing good legislation, in
gaining attention for and protection of the many whose
grievances would otherwise go unnoticed or ignored.
It is simply purposed to call to men's minds the present day tendencies of Presbyterianism and Protestantism
in general. Dogmas and doctrines had a very definite
meaning and a very decided authority for former Presbyterianism. It is the fashion of the thought and activity
of to-day to leave it in abeyance. Past dogmas, because
they are the interpretations of a past time may pass into
history; the life of dogma is never ending. Development of dogma there must be, but this is something
other than- its displacement, its disintegration or much
less its death and disappearance. As the splendid Gaba-
tier has said: "What language is to thought, dogma
is to religious experience: and as words atrophy, alter
and even die, so may given dogmas: but as language
[47] goes on finding new power of expression to meet the
increasing purpose and the widening thoughts of men,
so must it be with dogma and doctrine.
If this is an age of doing, it must keep in mind the
necessity of faith, the higher knowledge: He that doeth
the Will shall know of the doctrine is the great guide of
the Supreme Master. If it called for outward action,
it no less demanded the background of knowledge of the
Divine Doctrine.
[48] The Men of the "Mayflower'
By Rev. J. B. Silcox, D.D.
1HAVE been asked to tell something of the genesis and
growth of Congregationalism and of the elements it
contributed to the religious and political life of this continent. The question is asked: What does Congregationalism bring to the United Church of Canada? Men ask
who are these people who go by the long name of Con-
gregationalists. From where did they come, when and
where did they originate, and for what do they stand?
In as brief space as possible I shall try to answer these
questions. I might take time to speak of what our people
have done in Canada, but I can answer these questions
better by speaking of the men of the Mayflower.
I may be pardoned if I draw attention to the fact that
the first Church of the Congregational order was organized in Upper Canada, as it was then called, by my grandfather, Rev. Joseph Silcox, who came from Wiltshire,
England. At a place called Frome, near St. Thomas,
Elgin County, he organized and built and for many years
was pastor of the first Congregational Church in the
Province of Ontario. In 1919 it was my rare privilege
and joy to preach the centennial sermon of the Church
my grandfather organized a hundred years before. It
has been a lighthouse of God in that community all these
many years. It was also my privilege to do in Manitoba
what my grandfather did in Ontario. I went to Winnipeg in 1881, and in 1882 we dedicated the first Congregational Church built in that province. I put in all some
twelve years of my life in that Church, known all over
the West as Central Church. My dear friend, Dr. Hugh
Pedley, who took such a part in helping forward the
[49] United Church of Canada, was pastor of Central Church
for twelve years. The Rev. J. L. Gordon, d.d., put ten
great years of preaching in Central Church. The Church
from the beginning and to this day has stood for the
everlasting realities of religion, and has been a civic as
well as religious force .over the whole Northwest. It has
stood all these years for the things the United Church
of Canada stands for. On my father's side I am lined
up with the Congregationalists of Old England. On my
mother's side I am linked with the Congregationalists of
New England. Half of my fifty years' ministry has been
in the United States. The people of Canada and the
people of the United States are one in faith, language,
and more and more will be one in extending the religion
of the Cross to all people that on earth do dwell. My
hope is that the United Church of Canada may blaze the
way for a United Church of the world.
But I must tell the story of The Men of the "Mayflower," for they were Congregationalists, and what they
did will show what the men and women of this faith
have stood for in the years that have gone. Few historical events are more worthy of commemoration than the
landing of the Mayflower on Plymouth Rock, December 20, 1620. Tell ye your children of it and let them
tell their children, and their children another generation.
Every tribute of esteem we pay to genuine worth is a
contribution to the progress of humanity. Poor and mean
are the people who have no graves to keep green, no
sacred shrines to visit, no inspiring memories to revere.
There is a passage in the Apocryphal Book of Ecclesias-
ticus which says: "Let us now praise famous men, and
our fathers who begat us. Such as did bear rule in their
kingdom, and were renowned for their power, giving
counsel by their understading. These were men of
mercy whose righteous deeds were not forgotten. People
will declare their wisdom, and the congregations telleth
out their praise."   The Men of the Mayflower and the
[50] women as well as the men, were of that type and are
worthy of everlasting remembrance.
We are not unfamiliar with the heroic exploits of
ships on the sea. Greek mythology tells of the ship that
carried the choicest sons of Greece to the quest and
conquest of the Golden Fleece. We read in history that
at the battle of Actium there was a ship which scattered
and shattered the forces of Cleopatra and made Caesar
Augustus master of the world. We will never forget
to honor the little caravels that carried Columbus over
uncharted seas to this goodly land. No eulogy can do
justice to the ship that Drake commanded when he broke
the power of the Invincible Armada and transferred the
supremacy of the seas from Papal Spain to Protestant
England, where, thank God, it remains until this day.
Other ships there are which carried great causes to
glorious victory, but no ship of ancient or modern days is
more worthy of remembrance and renown than this little
ship, the Mayflower, which left the shores of England
on September the sixth, 1620, with a passenger list of
101 souls, all English men and women, who were forced
to leave England because of their religious principles.
"They little thought how pure a light,
With years should gather round that day;
How love should keep their memory bright,
How wide a realm their sons should sway."
They intended to go to Virginia, but drifting out of
their course, they landed at a place they named Plymouth,
because the last port of dear Old England which they
left was named Plymouth. Their landing at Plymouth
has been celebrated by an English poetess in a poem that
has become classic.
"The breaking waves dashed high
On a stern and rock-bound coast,
And the woods against a stormy sky,
Their giant branches tossed.
[51] And the heavy night hung dark,
The hills and waters o'er,
When a band of exiles moored their bark,
On the wild New England shore.
Amid the storm they sang,
And the stars heard and the sea,
And the sounding aisles of the dim wood rang,
With the anthem of the free.
What sought they thus afar?
Bright jewels from the mine?
The wealth of seas, the spoils of war?
They sought a faith's pure shrine.
Ay call it holy ground,
The soil where first they trod;
They have left unstained what first they found,
Freedom to worship God."
One thing to remember concerning this shipload of
adventurers is that it was a Congregational Church, and
was composed of English men and women. They left
Old England as a Congregational Church, and as a
Congregational Church they began their life in, what
later on, was known as New England. This was the
first Congregational Church in America. If we study
the genesis and growth and principles of this little colony
we will know what pure and undefiled Congregationalism
is, and what it has contributed to the religious and
political life of this continent. The study of this people
is the study of a chapter in the history of liberty. It is
the study of a campaign for faith and freedom which
began away back in the days of Magna Charta. The
movement was political as well as religious. It was
political because it was religious, for as Macaulay says:
"The Puritan espoused the cause of civil liberty because
[62] it was the cause of religion." A right conception of
God leads to a right conception of man. Theocracy and
democracy are closely allied. The inscription that
Mazzini wrote on the banner of those who Were laboring
for the emanicpation and unification of Italy was God
and the People. The eternal watchword of all movements to supplant might by right and make liberty
regnant over tyranny, must be "God and the People."
The movement represented by the Men of the "Mayflower," or The Pilgrim Fathers, as they are often called,
was inspired by a great faith in God and a corresponding
faith in the people. The movement was intensely
theocratic and therefore intensely democratic. Every
man shall give account of himself to God, and therefore
every man must be free to think of God and worship
God as his enlightened conscience direct. This movement evolved a Church which held that all its members
were on an equality of privilege before God. It evolved
a Church without a Bishop and a State without a king.
Whether we are in sympathy with these principles or not,
we do well to study the movement that was inspired by
these principles.
To see this people as a separate organization we
must go to Scrooby, a little village about one hundred
miles north of London, Where in 1602 they formed themselves into a Church of "The Lord's Free People." They
were called Separatists, Nonconformists, Congregationalists. As the Church in Scrooby grew it became a target
for persecution. They claimed the right to worship God
according to the dictates of their own conscience,
enlightened by the Divine Spirit. Their belief was in
harmony with the Nicene or Apostle's creed, but they
objected to the imposition of a creed as a condition of
membership. As a rule their Churches had no written
creed. They did not hold that uniformity of belief was
necessary. They welcomed into fellowship all who gave
evidence  of  having  experienced  the  saving  grace  of
[53] Christ in their own souls, and whose daily life and walk
was consistent with the will of God, as His will was
revealed in the gospel. They believed in the Church,
and accepted baptism and the Lord's Supper as symbols.
The first great principle of their faith was the sovereignty
of God. To them the will of God was supreme over all
persons and nations and races. The sovereignty they
believed in was the sovereignty of a wise, reasonable and
loving God who would have all men saved, and who
took a personal interest in individual souls. The Pilgrim
faith taught that every human soul was of priceless
worth in the sight of God, and had access to God through
prayer. The Church, as they regarded it, was a congregation of souls united together by reason of their common
relation to Jesus Christ. They were united in Church
fellowship not by subscription to a creed, but by personal
allegiance to Jesus Christ as their divine Saviour and
The covenant of "The First Church of Christ in
Plymouth," the Church which began in Scrooby, England, moved to Leyden, Holland, and crossed the sea to
Massachusetts, will indicate what in their judgment constituted a Christian Church. The covenant reads as
"In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—and in
obedience to his holy will and divine ordinances, we being by the most wise and good providence of God
brought together in this place and desirous to unite ourselves into one congregation or church, under the Lord
Jesus Christ our head, that it may be in such sort as
becometh all those whom he hath redeemed and sanctified to himself, we do hereby solemnly and religiously
(as in His most holy precence) avouch the Lord Jehovah
the only true God, to be our God, and the God of ours;
and do promise to bind ourselves to walk in all our ways
according to the rule of the Gospel, and in all sincere
conformity to his holy ordinances, and in mutual love to,
[54] and watchfulness over one another, depending wholly and
only upon the Lord our God to enable us by his grace
This covenant emphasizes the belief that the church
is a society of men and women who have experienced
in their own souls the saving grace of Christ. Each
one was dear to God and redeemed by Christ is of inestimable worth to the Divine Redeemer. The intrinsic
worth of each human soul was a cardinal principle of
the religion of this people. They held that the Church
was independent of the State, and that no act of Parliament or decree of king had a right to interfere with the
individual human soul. Every man shall give account of
himself to God, and therefore every man must be free
to worship God as the enlightening Spirit guides him.
Men redeemed by Christ must be free men. The song
they sang was indeed "the anthem of the free." They
built the church, they built the school, they built the
college. Their love of God and their love of freedom
went hand in hand, and the leaven of their faith has been
and is yet a power for righteousness over the entire land
of their adoption. The good seed they sowed has brought
forth good fruit, and will do so more and more as the
years go by.
It may be well at this point to draw attention to
another important document drawn up by this Pilgrim
band and signed in the Mayflower, for it indicates their
ideas of political or civil life. This "Mayflower Compact"
is the germ of that greater political document, the Constitution of the United States. This Compact was signed
by forty-one adult males of the company in the cabin
of the Mayflower, on November 21, 1620. The date
appearing in the Compact, November 11th, is old style
The Compact reads as follows:
"In the name of God, amen. We, whose names are
underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign
[55] Lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain,
France, and Ireland; Defender of the Faith, etc.
"Having undertaken for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian Faith, and honor of our
King and country, a voyage to plant the first Colony
in the northern part of Virginia; do by these presents
solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God and one
of another, covenant and combine ourselves together,
into a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and
preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and
by virtue hereof, to enact, constitute, and frame such
just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and
offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet
and convenient, for the general good of the Colony, unto
which we promise all due submission and obedience.
"In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed
our names. Cape Cod, the 11th of November, in the
year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James, of
England, France and Ireland, the eighteenth; and of
Scotland,  the fifty-fourth,  Anno  Domini,   1620."
It is interesting to note that the three greatest documents of political liberty, The Magna Charta, The Compact in the Mayflower, and The Declaration of Independence, were drawn up and signed by English-speaking
people. There is no parallel to that in history. It is
well to remember that the men and women of the Mayflower were English men and women. They loved England intensely. It was love of England, and English institutions that led them to leave Holland, where they
had lived for twelve years and come to America where
they might build up a commonwealth founded on English laws and crowned with English institutions. In the
Compact they drew up and signed in the cabin of the
Mayflower, they declared themselves the good and loyal
subjects of the King and organized themselves as an
integral part of the British Empire. They remained the
true and loyal subjects of England from 1620 to 1776,
[56] a period of over one.hundred and fifty six years. They
never thought of breaking from England until the foolishness of her German king was such that in self-respect
they had to declare their independence. Ninety-two per
cent of the people of New England at the time of the
declaration of independence were of English descent. It
was English people that pulled down the Union Jack
and put up one of their own making. It was because the
people of 1776 were devoted to liberty, and as Burke
said "to liberty according to English ideas and English
principles," that they refused to submit to the despotic
decrees of the king and declared their independence. The
people who stood for religious liberty also stood for political liberty.
The Puritan who stayed in Old England and stood
for civil and religious liberty deserve grateful recognition. Brewster and Bradford came to America, but
Pym and Hampden stayed in the Homeland. John Alden
came to New England but John Milton stayed in old
England. Miles Standish the soldier fought the battles
of liberty this side the sea, and Oliver Cromwell the soldier stayed on the other side of the sea to fight the battles of liberty. We need to see that the men who stayed
in England battling for civil and religious liberty were
men of the same faith and type of character as those
who made New England. The historian Green recognizes the service rendered the cause of liberty by the
Puritan who stayed in England when he says, "The whole
history of English progress since the reformation, has
been, on the moral and spiritual side, the history of Puritanism." The American historian, John Fiske, said, "If
ever there were men who laid down their lives in the
cause of all mankind it was those grim old ironsides of
Cromwell, whose watchwords were texts of Holy Writ,
whose battle cries were hymns of praise." The Puritan
spirit did not exhaust itself with the original Puritans.
As Green points out the Puritan spirit was revived in
[57] the revival of Wesley in the eighteenth century.
To understand the men of the Mayflower, we must
go back and study the history of England for five hundred years, the days of Magna Charta as a starting point.
We must study the work John Wycliffe did in translating the Bible into the language of the people, and sending out over the England of that day a band of men to
instruct the people in the knowledge of the gospel. Wycliffe saw that political freedom could not be secured by
material weapons. De Tocqueville saw the same truth
when he said "Bible Christianity is the companion of liberty, the cradle of its infancy and the divine source of
its claims." The supremacy of the people under the sovereignty of God is the way of all progress in human government and reform. The more men believe in the Divine Fatherhood, the more will they believe in the human
brotherhood. The Pilgrims of the Mayflower organized
a Church which held that all its members stood on an
equality of privilege before God, and it developed a State
which held that government should be by the people and
for the people. The reign of the common people is the
one divine intent to which the whole world of nations
will one day move. The democracy they believed in
was the democracy of Jesus who taught that "One is
your Master and all ye are brethern." Guizot said that
democracy crossed into Europe in the little boat that
carried Paul from Jerusalem to Rome. There is no question that democracy came over from England in the little
ship that carried the Pilgrim Fathers across the Atlantic to the bleak shores of Plymouth Rock region. The
American Republic sprang from an acorn that was ripened on the English Oak. New England is the child
of Old England. The mother ought to be proud of her
daughter and the daughter should never forget her mother.   Blest be the tie that binds.
The church at Scrooby to which reference has been
made was the beginning of Congregationalism in Eng-
[58] land. In 1608 this people were the target of persecution. King James said he would harry them out of the
kingdom. The members of this Scrooby church trekked
across the country by stealth to Boston where they took
ship to Holland, and finally made their way to the City
of Leyden. Their pastor John Robinson was a wise and
Godly man. After twelve years in Leyden they felt if
they remained there, their children would mingle and
marry with the people of Holland, speak their language
and be merged into their nationality. They therefore
resolved to go where they could still be English in their
language and laws. They elected to go to America. The
blood of England is in our veins they said, and as Englishmen we will wander and settle and build. The entire colony did not then leave Leyden. The ship Speedwell
brought them to the port of Plymouth in the south of
England, and on the 6th of September, in the ship
Mayflower they left the land they loved, and on the 20th
of December landed at a place in Massachusetts which
they named Plymouth. In the years between 1620 and
1630, some thirty thousand people of the Puritan faith
left England for New England. These men and women
were among the best of English life. As a whole they were
deeply and genuinely religious. They were the friends of
learning. Many of the early Pilgrims were graduates of
Cambridge and Oxford Universities. Old England gave
her choicest sons and daughters to found New England.
These people took the Bible as the word of God and
translated it into character and conduct. They believed
that the will of God was the supreme law for the nation,
as well as the individual. They never divorced politics
from religion or religion from politics.
If any one questions the importance of the movement represented by the men of the Mayflower, then
listen for a moment to the testimony of those who have
studied the men and the movement, and have shown
the high place this event has in human history.    Car-
[59] lyle, as we might naturally expect, held these heroes of
faith in high esteem. "Look now" he says, "at that little
fact of the sailing of the Mayflower. Were we of large
sense, as the Greeks were, we had found a poem here, one
of nature's great poems, such as she writes in broad
facts over great continents, for it was properly the beginning of America." James Russell Lowell spoke words
of truth and soberness when he said "Next to the fugitives which Moses led out of Egypt, the little shipload
of outcasts who landed at Plymouth in 1620 are destined to influence the future of the world." We realize
the force of that statement today more than when it was
first uttered. Gladstone said "The men of the Mayflower
carried with them "all that was democratic in the politics of England and all that was Protestant in her religion." W. T. Stead said, "These are men worth celebrating, these most practical, most religious men, who put
their highest ideals most absolutely into life." Sir James
Bryce said "It was their loyalty to truth and duty that
moved them to quit their English homes. Faith and
Duty wedded to Courage, the solid basis on which the
greatness of a nation can rest. "Daniel Webster in
his day paid these people a just and eloquent tribute
"We have hardly begun to realize the vast importance, on human society and on the history and happiness of the world, of the voyage of that little vessel
which brought the love of civil and religious liberty
hither, and the Bible, the Word of God, for the instruction of the future generations of men."
The Congregationalists of the United States are outnumbered by many churches in membership, but are
unsurpassed by any in extending education and educational institutions over the land. Yale and Harvard
were built by these people in early days, and from Boston to San Francisco, in every State they have erected
[60] and equipped such colleges as Amherst, Dartmouth, Williams, on to Whitman and Pomona.
It is quite common in these days for people to minimize and ridicule reform movements by calling them
Puritanic. If you are ever disposed to speak slightingly
or sneeringly of the Puritan recall the fact that historians give them the highest place in the calender of
fame. Macaulay the historian, knew these Puritan people well, and said, "They were the most remarkable body
of men, perhaps, the world has ever produced." Men
in these modern days speak of these Puritan folks as
being bigoted and narrow-minded, but I submit this,
can you call men bigoted and narrow-minded who stood
for what these men stood for. Like men of rock they
stood for free thought and free speech, for a free school
and a free press, for a free church and a free state. If
this is the work of bigots, may the Lord multiply the
number in our midst. These men loved the church and
built the school-house. Marriage was sacred and the
home was holy. They were honest in the market as they
were devout in the church. They were true to men as
they were reverent toward God. They believed that right
made might and that nothing could be politically right
which was morally wrong. Their state craft was the
rule of Christ.
For our own sake and for the sake of Canada we need
to emulate and cultivate the high virtues that shine out
in the lives of these worthy people. They were nation
builders. We too in this dear Canada of ours are nation builders. We need to study the past movements of
good men and women, and learn what things will make
and keep our nation strong and free. Our study of the
men of the Mayflower should hearten us for the task
before us. The United Church of Canada is our Mayflower, and may God give us grace to do our part in
this our day as wisely and courageously as did these our
fellow-kinsmen in their day and generation. "New occasions teach new duties,
Time makes ancient good uncouth;
We must upward still and onward,
Who would keep abreast of truth.
Lo!   Before us gleam our camp fires,
We ourselves must Pilgrims be,
Launch our Mayflower and steer boldly
Through the desperate winter's sea."
[62] Fifty Years with the Methodist Church
in British Columbia
By Rev. C. M. Tate.
COLONIAL days of Methodism are so far in the
past they seem like a dim memory, and but for the
records that have been kept we would scarcely know
what to write about. True there were scenes of daring
and adventure that so impressed our minds we never
can forget them, but for the sake of accuracy we must
refer to the records from time to time.
We thought our journey from Liverpool, England,
in the year 1870, was rather a rough experience, but it
must have been a picnic when compared with the journey
of the pioneer missionaries in the year 1859—from Toronto to New York by train, then from New York to
Aspinwal, Central America, by steamer, tfyen across
the Isthmus of Panama by rail, from which point another steamer carried them to San Francisco, thence by
still another steamer to Victoria, the Colonial Capital of
British Columbia. As it was, we thought the first part
of our journey was fine—from Liverpool to New York
on board the magnificent Cunard steamship China, which
rushed us across the Atlantic in nine days. Then a
short delay in the Metropolis of the United States until
our overland train could be made up, which was to be
our home for the next fifteen days, across the great
American continent, via the Central and Union Pacific
railroad, recently completed. The eastern part of the
journey was all that could be desired, but when we struck
the prairies, and the desert, where the travel was slow,
derailment frequent, and neither dining cars, nor refreshment  rooms,  we were often  at our wits  end to
[68] satisfy nature's cravings. When we reached San Francisco we found that one month had been expended, and
the monthly boat to Victoria had left a few days previous, so we were compelled to wait for the July boat,
which was billed to leave on the first, but the "Glorious
Fourth" was only three days off, so we did not sail till
the fifth aboard the Pelican, which landed us at Victoria
on the twelfth, just two months to a day from the Port
of Liverpool.
Our destination was Nanaimo, but as the old "Emma"
ran only once a week, on Tuesdays, we were compelled
to remain in Victoria over Sunday, and, true to our upbringing, we sought out the First Presbyterian Church,
which was nearest to the U.P. (United Presbyterian) in
which we had been spiritually nurtured, in the little town
of Blyth, Northumberland, England.
The first I saw of Methodism was at Maple Bay,
Vancouver Island, where an old-fashioned camp meeting was just breaking up, and the Hudson's Bay steamer
Enterprise was leaving the bay, with its load of joyous
worshippers, bound for their homes in Victoria, New
Westminster (then called Queensborough) and Chilli-
wack, whilst we picked up the Nanaimo contingent.
Finding no Presbyterian Church at Nanaimo I connected myself with the Methodist society, and attended
the class which was led by the late William Raybold. Mr.
S. Gough is on the only remaining class-mate of those
early days. The Rev. Edward White was pastor at that
time, and was succeeded by the Rev. Thomas Derrick.
The Rev. Thomas Crosby was in charge of the Indian
Mission, which had been organized by the Rev. Eben^
ezer Robson. It was my privilege to become associated
with Mr. Crosby in the Fall of 1870, and the following
year was regularly appointed as lay missionary by Dr.
Morley Punshon, President of the Toronto Conference,
to which the British Columbia District was connected.
In 1871 the pioneer missionaries had all returned to
[64] the East, the Rev. E. White being the last to leave, but
the foundations of Methodism had been well and truly
laid, and after years of strenuous toil they well deserved
a rest. The following five stations, with numerous out-
stations were then in operation: Victoria, with appointments at North and South Saanich, and, also a mission
to the Indians, held in a vacated saloon, on the corner
of Fisguard and Government streets, which was the
spiritual birthplace of the Port Simpson Mission, from
which the natives carried the gospel away into Alaska,
to the headwaters of the Skeena River, and to many
of the tribes along the coast. Indians from Queen Charlotte Islands, Kitamaat, Bella Bella, and other points were
also converted in the Victoria Mission, and returning to
their homes carried the Evangel of Salvation to their
pagan tribes.
Nanaimo had out-stations at Chemainus, Salt Spring
Island, Maple Bay and Cowichan, besides the flourishing
Indian Mission, where Amos Kookshun was the first Indian convert under the auspices of the Methodist Church
in B. C. Here also the sainted David Salloselton was
converted at the age of fifteen, and immediately went,
from tribe to tribe, preaching the gospel to those of his
own language. The out-stations were largely supplied by
local preachers.
New Westminster is given credit for the first Church
building in the colony. It was called the Mary Street
Methodist Church, fronting on a street by that name,
now known as Sixth Street. From this centre regular
preaching was maintained at Ladner, North Arm,
(Eburne) Burrard Inlet, in the school house at Hastings
sawmilf, and in the cook house at Moodyville, Chilli-
wack, Langley and Maple Ridge. In 1871 Chilliwack
was separated from the Westminster circuit, and the Rev.
G. C. Clarkson was placed in charge. In 1874 Burrard Inlet became a separate charge, and the Rev. James Turner
was stationed at that point, Granville, which was then
[65] known by the more popular name of Gastown. Gassy
Jack was the nickname of the saloon-keeper from which
Granville received its name. A lot was purchased from
the Government for the sum of two hundred dollars, on
which Mr. Turner built his parsonage. The following
year an Indian church was built on the same lot, for
the use of the Indians who were working at the Hastings sawmill. This was the first church of any kind
to be built on the site of Vancouver city. The lot was
lapped by the waters of the Inlet, and the street it
fronted was rightly named "Water Street." The disastrous fire which destroyed the first Vancouver took
both church and parsonage. A large hall was afterward
erected on the lot, which served for church purposes until water front property was needed for business, when
the Homer Street Church was built (now Labor Temple). When residential Vancouver moved to the West-
end the present Wesley Church was erected, and may
well feel proud of being the mother of some thirty
Churches throughout the city and district.
Cariboo was the fourth Methodist station in the colony, and was well manned by the Rev. Thomas Derrick,
who was a familiar figure among all the mining camps.
Too great an estimate cannot be placed upon the good
that was accomplished by this devoted servant of Gcd,
and the restraining influence of his consistent life will
never be known.
The fifth and last Mission under the Methodist
Church, when I arrived in the colony, was that to the
Indian tribes, with the Rev. Thomas Crosby in charge.
His work lay between Vancouver Island and Yale on
the Fraser River, but his home was at Nanaimo, where
I had the privilege of spending six months with him in
his little mission house on the Indian reserve, until he
removed to Chilliwack, from which centre he paid periodical visits to the coast.
The most convenient mode of travel was by Indian
[66] canoe, one steamer a week between Nanaime and Victoria, and absolutely no steam communications between
Nanaimo and the Mainland. A missionary trip to Victoria meant sleeping on the beach three or four nights,
and holding religious services in the Indian camps
throughout the day. To shorten the water journey the
canoe was left at the North Saanich Indian Village, and
we tramped the twenty miles into Victoria. A trip to
Burrard Inlet or New Westminster meant risking a
storm on the Gulf of Georgia in a dugout cedar canoe.
On one occasion we made the crossing in a dense smoke,
when the woods on both sides of the gulf were on fire.
The red glare of the sun was our only guide until we
reached the sand heads at the mouth of the Fraser River,
when the men in the lightship gave us some food, then
directed us to the land which was still some three miles
distant. When we attempted to land on the delta a regiment of soldiers with fixed bayonets (mosquitoes) drove
us back to our canoe, when we anchored to a snag
in the middle of the river, and spent the time in misery till
morning light appeared when we buckled to the paddles
and reached Queensborough (New Westminster) in the
afternoon. The journey was by no means tedious, for
every moment of the time was occupied with some activity. We are often amused in the present day to hear
the travelling public speaking of the tedious trip between Victoria and Vancouver, on a palatial C. P. R.
steamer, leaving Victoria after dinner and reaching Vancouver in time for supper, when compared with the biweekly trip of the H. B. Co.'s steamer Enterprise between Victoria and New Westminster, fifty years ago.
Leaving Victoria at 7 a. m., and after calling at every
little settlement en route, reaching New Westminster
at uncertain times between 5 and 10 p. m. To reach
Gastown the following day meant a nine-mile ride over
a corduroy road, on a springless stage, to a point opposite Moodyville, where the steam launch Senator was
[67] in waiting, when after crossing and re-crossing the Inlet,
and making several calls, you were eventually landed at
Hastings sawmill, between which, and your destination,
a single plank was laid to keep you out of the mire. This
occupied the better part of another day, and if there were
a bed to be obtained, you were ready for it.
Our destination was Chilliwack, to attend the annual
camp meeting, so after storing our canoe at New Westminster, we boarded the river steamer Onward at seven
the following morning, and were landed on the camp
ground at four in the afternoon. Here we found settlers and Indians from different parts of British Columbia,
with bedding and food, prepared to spend a week in the
worship of God. Such was Methodism in the early seventies. We are astounded in this Conference year, 1925,
to find 182 stations on our minutes, with an equal number of ministers, some of whom are at work in the
foreign fields. We trust that this year of union will
bring a revival of every station, and a fresh baptism of
the Holy Spirit to every minister.
In 1874 it was my privilege to organize the Indian
mission at Fort Simpson, the chief trading post of the
Hudson's Bay Company, near the Southern border of
Alaska, where I found some 800 Indians just emerging from paganism of the most diabolical nature. The
work was really commenced at Victoria, when several
of the tribe were converted to God, and returning to their
northern home in their large war canoes, begged most
earnestly that I should accompany them. I told them
to go and commence the work, and if the Missionary
Board so ordered, I would be with them soon. I landed
from an Indian canoe in front of the fort, on the fourth
of April, 1874, and within three months had established
regular Sunday, and week night services, had organized
two day schools—the children's school in the morning,
and the adults in the afternoon—with a total enrollment
of about 300.    A large building had been erected for
[68] school and church purposes. Visits were made to the
Skeena and Naas Rivers, and all the territory between,
including the Church of England mission at Metlakatlah,
which was then in its palmy days, under the leadership of
the late Wm. Duncan.
The Rev. Thomas Crosby arriving in July, I was relieved to take charge of the Indian tribes mission, which
included all the tribes between Victoria and Comox on
the east coast of Vancouver Island, and, on the main
land between Burrard Inlet and Yale, including several
settlements of both whites and Indians in the State of
Washington. My home was at Chilliwack, where I lived
with the late A. C. Wells, and his sister, the late Mrs.
Jane Evans. From this point I travelled by steamer and
canoe on horseback, and on foot, over what would now
be called impossible roads, and camping wherever night
found me. A little summary of the churches under my
care at that time may not be without interest:—Victoria,
Nanaimo, Burrard Inlet( Gas Town) New Westminster,
Sumas Lake, Lynden, Everson—the latter two in Washington. Squihala, Skowkale and Kultes Lake—all in Chilliwack Valley. Popcum Squatets, Okahmen, Katz Landing and Yale, beside many other appointments where we
had no Church buildings.
1880 found me back in the north, organizing the mission at Bella Bella, which included outstations at Rivers
Inlet, Bella Coola, China Hat, and Goose Island. The
travel on this extensive mission, which was altogether
by Indian canoe, often took me from home from two to
four weeks. The travel was somewhat lonely, for with
the exception of an occasional Indian fishing camp there
were no settlers in the country. Our camp was generally
in the open; even in the Indian villages, for various reasons, we preferred the open air.
In 1883 I was deputed by the British Columbia District to represent the province at the great Union meeting
held in the city of Peterboro, Ontario, when the whole
[69] of Methodism throughout the Dominion of Canada, became one, entitled "The Methodist Church." This step
was never regretted, and the Good Lord showed his approval by a mighty revival which netted increase of
some 20,000 new members, the very first year.
The next notable event was the organization of the
British Columbia Methodist Conference, in the year 1887.
We had hitherto been attached to the Toronto Conference as a mission district. The organizer was the late
Dr. John A. Williams; the first President Rev. E. Robson; and the Rev. Joseph Hall, secretary. There were
four Districts in the Conference—Victoria, Westminster,
Kamloops and Port Simpson. In the Victoria District
Wesley Church (now Metropolitan) had for its pastor
the Rev. J. E. Starr, Saanich; Rev. J. W. Dowler, Maple
Bay, Rev. J. P. Bowell; Nanaimo, Rev. Joseph Hall.
Westminster District: New Westminster, Rev. J. H.
White; Vancouver, Rev. E. Robson; Delta, Rev. W. B.
Seccombe; Maple Ridge, Rev. R. B. Hemlaw; Langley,
Rev. J. W. Patterson; Sumas and Chilliwack, Rev. T. W.
Hall; Indian tribes, Rev. C. M. Tate.
Kamloops District: Kamloops, Rev. James Turner;
Clinton, Rev. J. A. Wood; Nicola Valley, Rev. Geo.
Port Simpson District: Port Simpson, Rev. Thomas
Crosby; Naas River, Rev. A. E. Green; Bella-Bella, Rev.
James Calvert; Port Essington, Rev. D. Jennings; Queen
Charlotte Islands, Rev. G. F. Hopkins; Upper Skeena,
Rev. W. H. Pierce.
Many of the members of the first conference are with
us no longer, but their record is indelibly stamped on
the various parts of the province where they have labored.
In 1888 the Coqualeetza Industrial School, for the
education and training of the Indian youth under the
auspices of the Methodist Church, was built at Sardis,
in the Chilliwack Valley. We had- taken a few children
into our home the previous year, when the W.M.S. came
[70] to our aid and erected what we thought was a commodious building with accommodation for forty children and
a staff of three teachers. This did good work for three
years, when the building was destroyed by fire. In two
years, the new Colqualeetza was opened. It is built of
red brick, with accommodation for 100 pupils and a
staff of ten teachers. After thirty years of efficient service, this in turn became too small, and, as the building
was somewhat shaky, the Dominion Government decided
to replace it with a new structure, which was completed
and opened in 1924. This building is of pressed yellow
brick on a concrete foundation, and the capacity is
doubled.  The Rev. G. H. Raley is the present Principal.
There are three fully equipped hospitals in British
Columbia under the auspices of the Methodist Church—
at Port Simpson, Bella Bella and Hazelton, with summer
hospitals at Essington and Rivers Inlet. The health of
the Indians warrant the upkeep of those institutions. In
the early days the missionaries muddled along with a
few medicines, but many a case was lost that might have
been saved by a medical practitioner.
It is a matter of great satisfaction to the writer,
that after fifty-five years in the province, so much
has been accomplished. Space is not available for a more
extended survey, but it is to be hoped that in this year
of union with the Presbyterian and Congregational
Churches, when the Methodist Church becomes a thing
of the past, the records of men and their achievements
will be preserved in the archives of the greater Church.
[71] Home Missions
By George C. F. Pringle
ALL Christian men and women are missionaries. I
make no exceptions. In so far as they are not
missionaries to that extent they are not Christians. I
have the very best authority for that statement. The
Man of Nazareth settled it for me when He said: "In-
as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these,
ye have done it unto Me." In that soul-searching word-
picture, into which every person comes, those whose
lives had been a prolonged refusal to help others were
repudiated by the Master. Christ will not recognize
as genuine a claim to personal righteousness which stops
with a profession of love to God. Such righteousness
may lay claim to a thousand good qualities, but it is not
Christian. It is a dangerous "fake." Christ calls it
an "accursed" thing.
"What has this to do with Home Missions?" you
say. My answer is that the acceptance and practice of
the truth of the parable of the Good Samaritan by the
whole Church is the root and trunk from which spring
the limbs and branches commonly called Home Missions,
Foreign Missions, and Self-Supporting Congregations.
Home Missions is just a great limb of the one Tree of
Life which God hath planted. The same sap and life
of loving service must run through root, and trunk,
and limbs and branches. Then shall "the leaves of the
Tree be for the healing of the people."
This fundamental, vital truth of the unity and interdependence of all Christians and every sort of Christian service being accepted as an axiom, let me write, without danger of being misunderstood, of what is commonly known as Home Missions.    I am not going to
[72] give statistics. You can get historical facts and other
data elsewhere in this publication. All I desire to convey to you is something of the spirit and outlook of
a home missionary, and a vision, however imperfect, of
the value and the glory of the work.
Before writing down half-a-dozen of the hundred
thoughts that crowd for expression it is only fair to
you that I should briefly present my credentials. I write
with a background of nearly 30 years of almost continuous service on the home mission field, ranging from
street-preaching in Edinburgh to bar-room services in
Klondyke roadhouses. In 1896 I preached my first "student-missionary" sermon in a little schoolhouse in southeastern Minnesota down in the Mississippi valley. The
year 1899 saw me on my way to the Yukon to spend
nearly eleven years on the outlying Klondyke creeks.
Then followed five years in an "augmented" congregation
suburban to Vancouver, four years "overseas," and nearly five years as Presbyterian missionary among the up-
coast logging camps and settlements. In these years I
spent only sixteen months in charge of a self-supporting
congregation, St. Andrews, Vernon.
Roughly speaking, the department of Home Missions
includes all our lines of service in Canada other than Self-
supporting congregations, Colleges, and missions to the
Chinese and East Indians living in Canada. And what
a multiplicity of activities are included in that department! Just a word about "augmented" congregations.
These are mission fields that are nearly "grown-up."
They are on the verge of graduating into self-support.
It is, of course, a matter of honor that every missionary
shall endeavor to bring his mission on towards a larger
contribution and near self-support. The needs of the
Home Mission fields in a young and sparsely settled
province are always greater than the funds of the church
can supply, and it is right that every district should endeavor as soon as possible not only to bear its owfr
[73] burden but to have something to give to the weaker
missions. And so these augmented congregations while
still classified as missions are practically outside the
sphere of this article.
When we speak of Social Service we are getting right
into the heart of Home Missions. You Vancouver man,
if you are a good citizen, must have been worried when
you have watched the growth of what are virtually slum
conditions in your city. You have districts that are
now inhabited by hundreds of unchurched families, many
of them of alien race and traditions. The Church
is not only worrying about it but she is doing something. First Church, one of our principal downtown
churches, has been turned into a social service centre
with a staff of men and women who are specialists in
that work. They simply do everything and anything
that a Christian can do to palliate or cure these bad conditions which you rightly bemoan. To merely tabulate
the many varieties of service which the Vancouver Social
Settlement renders to these thousands of downtown residents would fill a book. I honestly believe that if Christ
were on earth in visible form and in Vancouver you
would find Him most of the time at work among these
poor folk in what we hardly dare to call our slums.
It would be like Him to go among these humble people
whose lives are so drab with weariness, sorrow, sickness of body and mind, despair, and sin. He would
lift their burdens, wipe their tears, heal their diseases,
and give them, out of His heart, love and forgiveness
and hope. All honor to these workers "workers with
Christ," serving in lowly places and in common ways. I
can imagine no service more acceptable to God. If the
Church did nothing more than this she has earned her
right to be called the hand-maid of Christ, the Good Samaritan along the high-ways and by-ways of the nation.
Let us now go farther afield. Nine hundred miles
north of Vancouver a little frame hospital was built
[74] twenty seven years ago in the tent-town of Atlin at
the headwaters of the Yukon. It was in the days of the
the Klondike stampede, when those tens of thousands
of gold seekers came from the four corners of the
earth following the lure of fortune. Some of them
found gold near Otter Lake and thousands of these
pilgrims stayed to try their luck along its creeks.
These were far from home, from kindred or friends,
hundreds took sick and many died for lack of shelter,
medicine, or nursing. There was no hospital and conditions were cruel. My brother, Rev. Dr. John Pringle,
a missionary sent out by Dr. James Robertson, built this
little hospital with local aid. In response to his appeal
the church in the east sent in two pioneer nurses, Miss
Mitchell and Miss Bone. Then the "Atlin Nurses' Com
mittee" was organized in Toronto to finance salaries and
supplies. The welcome the little hospital got from these
stampeders and the comfort and blessing it brought to
them taught the church, or at least the women of the
Church, the lesson of the need of frontier hospitals.
The "Atlin Nurses' Committee" developed rapidly into
the Women's Home Missionary Society with its auxiliary societies in almost every congregation in Canada and
thousands of members. This society later united with
the Women's Foreign Missionary Society to form the
Women's Missionary Society. They have established a
score of hospitals in frontier places and in innumerable
other ways have served our nation and our Church.
Now may I speak of our home mission fields apart
from Social Service and Hospitals. If you stand on
the cliffs of Point Grey and look west you can see,
between Vancouver Island and the mainland, the haze of
Lasqueti Island. It lies, from where you stand, about
forty miles out in the Gulf of Georgia. It is nine miles
long, five miles wide and has nearly 130 white people
on it. Four years ago I visited the island and called
on all the settlers in their homes.   The island had been
[75] settled more or less for over twenty years, yet I was
the first minister of any sort that had ever been in
their homes in that time. Mine was the second preaching that had been held on the island, the first was a
service some fancy religionist had attempted to hold
for the workers in a cannery that was then running
at False Bay. It was a failure, that sermon was, because the preacher told them all they were going straight
to hell. Those who attended came away feeling embittered against such teaching, supposedly Christian. In
the last four years I have visited Lasqueti about four
times a year, preaching at three points on it each time.
At these fifty services the attendance never fell below
ninety per cent and sometimes everybody was there,
not excepting the little babies. Yes, there was once I
had a very small percentage in attendance for there was
a storm at sea and they didn't think I would come. The
people are isolated from other communities, no steamboat calls, there are no two shacks within sight of each
other on the island, they are few in numbers and lonely,
poor in money although they are anything but paupers.
They are indeed "the salt of the earth," blazing trails,
clearing land, breaking ground for future generations.
You will find in their hearts a hunger for friendship,
good cheer, and the simple kindly message of Jesus.
They are not ignorant, or "lost souls," or unregenerate
heathen, but just "folks" like you and me. They are not
"shut-ins" but rather might be called "shut-outs," shut
out from much of the true, beautiful and good, that
you can find at hand easily in your cities and towns. Of
course they are cosmopolitan especially in regard to
creed and church. Last summer a voluntary subscription was taken up by them for our mission. The lists
were taken around by a Christian Scientist, a member
of the Reformed Church of Zwingli, and a Salvation
Army man. The first name on the list was a Mormon.
He belongs to the Reformed Church of Jesus Christ of
[76] Latter Day Saints. Everybody on the island, over the
age of ten years gave a contribution. The children had
a list of their own.
I have referred to Lasqueti Island at some length
so that you might have a fairly clear picture of a typical
home mission field, for that island settlement is only an
illustration of what you find in frontier parts throughout
British Columbia. Dr. MacKinnon, our missionary in
the Cariboo, preached in a community last summer where
girls and boys of thirteen and fourteen heard the story
of Christ for the first time in their lives.
Along the mainland shores and its myriad adjacent
islands from Vancouver to the Alaskan boundary there
are hundreds of just such lonely families, in scores of
tiny settlements, with many logging camps. Behind them
is the vast, almost impenetrable wilderness of the Coast
Range, where wander only cougar, wolf, bear and other
wild animals of the mountains. In front lies the ocean,
and around them on all sides of their little clearings
gather the gloom and menace of our great forests. Doesn't
your heart go out to them? Often they are almost entirely dependent on the rare visits of a missionary, Methodist, Anglican or Presbyterian, for help to a wider outlook on life, a word of hope and cheer, or the message of
the love of God. Inland it is much the same. Back
among the hills, valleys and plateaus of our vast hinterland from Dawson to the forty-ninth parallel, one finds
the same loneliness and longing, a sort of inarticulate
home-sickness, a hungering for more of the "wine and
milk" of life. They need something more than talk of
timber, fur, mines and crops. It is the job of the missionary to supply that need. He must bring them first
just common, kindly friendship, then good deeds, comforting words and then His message in which commercial
standards and material values are ignored, and the things
which are invisible and eternal are disclosed to them.
How can a home missionary "make good" in the face
[77] of such demands? The first essential, the "acid" test of
his fitness, is the spirit he exhibits in his daily life. His
"walk and conversation" must be right. Nothing else
will compensate for failure in that respect. And the home
missionary cannot possibly escape the test. In our city
Churches, the everyday life of our ministers is practically
unknown to his congregation. Not so with the missionary. Every move he makes is seen by the settlement, his
conversations are repeated, his personal habits are known
and discussed. No camouflage is possible. He must be a
continual illustration of Christianity in action. It is a
severe test, but the reward is very great when one has
won the confidence and esteem of these pioneers. Being
assured that he practices what he preaches, then let him
preach. People will put up with almost any kind of poor
preaching from a man who has won their hearts, but
they should not have to. A careful life can surely be
supplemented by careful preaching. Our Church has had
some harsh lessons to prove to her that the frontier is
no place for her misfits, bunglers or hypocrites. The life
must be right and the preaching must have the heart of
the matter in it. Warm and earnest words giving intelligent reasons for faith, reasons that the ordinary man can
see and accept; somthing he can swallow without "shutting his eyes." Not the mumbling of incantations and
pious phrases, not the self-righteous shouting of dogmas
that often is filled with the name of Christ and empty of
His spirit of Infinite Love.
These constitute the home missionary's test and task.
If he meets them in reasonable measure he reaps a hundred-fold harvest, not only in the personal love and
friendship of the people, but that nobler reward found in
bringing men, women and little children to be lovers of
Christ. Further, can anyone measure the power of the influence of such a missionary upon the peace, prosperity,
righteousness and future of our province? Home missionaries have it in their hands to be the architects who
[78] plan the future of these isolated communities. Isolated
and unimportant little districts today, tomorrow prosperous settlements, towns and cities in which the character of the community, its outlook, ideals and standards
of conduct are often simply a reflex of the life and teaching of a wise and well-liked missionary. 'Tis noble work.
God give us the right men for it, men with strong minds,
great hearts, true faith and ready hands. "Then, the wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them and
the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose."
In closing, may I write that it is great cause for rejoicing to me that the three noble Churches which are
closest akin in doctrine, tradition and methods are forgetting the old divisions and antiquated battle cries. Refusing to perpetuate old qurarels and prejudices, they are
uniting under a new name, a name in which brotherhood
is the dominant thought, service the ideal and Christ
alone is supreme.
Thank God that the twin scandal of two or three
sectarian missionaries crowded into a Mission field that
cannot support one, while other fields not so promising
are left untouched, will be a thing of the past.
A new, warm impulse of enterprise and brotherhood
is already throbbing through our Missions. We have got
rid of some of the grave-clothes of the past. All that is
vital we take with us, and we shall climb to higher
ground, purer air and farther visions than we could ever
attain by means of the old sectarian spirit. We have
learned that Christianity is on a thoroughfare, not at
a terminus; that we must be loyal primarily, not to the
institutions of the past, but to the spirit of those institutions, and that spirit is surely a spirit of progress. We
are learning to worry less about the opinion our ancestors
may have of us and more about the judgment our grandchildren will pronounce upon us. The monumental
achievements of our Christian ancestors will not be "tie
[79] posts" any longer, but mile posts—monuments reminding
us of progress in the past and inspiring us to move on as
they did from their past to higher and holier visions of
God, to a broader Christian brotherhood and a finer and
more effective Christian service.
[80] Medical Missions
By Dr. H. C. Wrinch, M.D.
THE medical missionary work under the Methodist
Church has been carried on at points so remote from
each other, and under conditions so diverse, both as
to people served and to local surroundings, that one
actively identified with any one phase of this work
must of necessity feel himself entirely incompetent to
deal with the local conditions of any field other than
his own. Hence this brief discussion can only be general in its scope and viewpoint.
In a general sense the justification of Medical Mission work has been that it is a most effective means for
overcoming natural prejudice against the foreign teacher,
and as a means also for opening the hearts of the people
to receive the ethical and spiritual teachings of the
Church, after the more material service has given tangible evidence of the good will of the "foreigner" towards
the people.
From this aspect the natural inference would be, that
so soon as the Church should become an established
factor in a community, and her mission recognized, then
the need for the purely medical part of the Mission
should automatically cease.
But this is true only in particular cases. It applies
perfectly in communities in which medical service
through ordinary channels is available, and is within the
reach of any who require it. In such circumstances,
it is a fair assumption that the Church does well to
withdraw her competition from regularly organized
medical  service.
But there are other circumstances (and it would appear that these are more usual)  where even after the
[81] Church has been accorded a cordial welcome as a most
valuable factor in the community, for her to at once
withdraw her Missionary Medical service, would be a
move, not only unfortunate for the people, but disastrous to the best interests of the Church herself.
Turning to our Mission fields: In the light of the
foregoing, it may be easily understood why the Methodist Church, when she started her Mission work in Japan, should include a doctor in the personnel of the first
contingent of Missionaries. It is equally understandable
why, within a very few years, it was found unnecessary
to continue medical work in that particular field through
mission channels. Indeed so rapid has been the development of the Japanese people, that not only the purely
medical, but much also of the regular missionary pastoral
and educational work is being taken over and efficiently
carried on, by the native people themselves.
It may be taken for granted that similar changes will
occur wherever the people of any country or race have
the capacity for acquiring such scientific education as
will enable them to perform this service for themselves
and their people; and when at the same time their social and industrial conditions render it possible for the
rank and file of their people to avail themselves of such
In the Medical Mission work being carried on within
our own borders, a somewhat similar result to that which
has already occurred in Japan may be expected as the
ultimate outcome. It will be brought about in a different manner, and be probably slower in its accomplishment and less spectacular in character.
Medical Mission work in Canada has been conducted
for two distinct classes of our very heterogeneous population; viz (1) to aborigines of the country, and (2)
to needy foreigners who have been brought in to aid us
in subduing and developing our vast areas of potential
wealth-producing lands, forests, and mineral bearing hills.
[82] Of the first it may be said that Medical Missions
to our Indians have fulfilled the double function of
supplying a need for physical relief as great as in any
of the most remote of the so-called heathen nations.
They have at the same time been eminently successful
in establishing a sympathetic relation between the
churches and the people they have sought to win.
The Indian work is now in a transition period. This
is to be attributed to two causes, working simultaneously
but from entirely different points of origin. The people
themselves are becoming modernized and in many cases
quite ready to discriminate as to what medical service
they will engage. At the same time industrial development has been, and is continuing to extend its borders and
is invading territory, much of which, less than twenty-
five years ago, was in its primitive state, and occupied
solely by the Indians. Coincident with the industrial invasion has been the accompanying services, to which
our people have been accustomed. Amongst these are
the hospitals of modern type and equipment, and the
doctors, engaged sometimes in association, with the hospitals, and sometimes in distinctly private practice.
Thus in many points now there are to be found mission hospitals and doctors interpersed among similar
sendees, instituted and carried on by and under methods
in general use in our established communities.
Provision is thus made available to Indians, together
with all other classes living in these very much mixed
communities. There is not even left to the medical mission in such environment the appeal of poverty of the
Indian, for provision is made through our government
channels for at least a considerable proportion of the
cost of such service to them.
Thus it will soon be that only in the more remote
points will Medical Missions to Indians require to be
considered an absolute claim upon the resources of the
[88] The other Medical Missions in Canada; those to
immigrant foreigners will even more readily permit of
absorption into the general medical and hospital service
of our communities. The justification for them even in
their inception would seem to be their value in materially aiding in emancipating such people from age-long
indifference, in some cases antagonism, to social, moral
and religious betterment.
With the accomplishment of this, which in most
cases should be a matter of a very few years, it would
appear that the Churches could very reasonably expect
the local communities to assume responsiblity for these
medical services.
A different picture, and different prospect, is presented by our Medical Missions to the densely populated
countries of the type represented by India and China,
where human beings exist in almost countless thousands,
in ignorant superstition, and dire poverty. To such
people Medical missions have been in every aspect a Godsend of the purest type. They have served the people
in a manner to them absolutely miraculous, and have
won from the people in abundant measure, their deepest gratitude and their loyal acceptance, of the principles
of Christianity, to which they have quickly recognized
they owe everything of disinterested good and warm
human sympathy that has ever come into their lives.
The numbers of people to be reached are so great
that our Missions, Medical, Evangelical and Educational,
are even yet working comparatively only on the fringe of
the population. It will be long before it will be possible
even to visualize the service becoming adequate—much
less to think of its purpose as being in any sense accomplished.
Furthermore the possibilities industrially for these
to become financially able to meet the cost of modern
medical service are yet more remote.    It would appear
[84]  Coast Missions
By Rev. George C. F. Pringle
Welcome Pass, along the Mainland and inlets up-
coast in salt water as far as you think it wise to go."
This was th® bare description the Home Mission Committee gave me in Vancouver four and a half years ago
of the territory that had been allotted to our Church by
agreement with the two other Churches who are active
on this field. Then they turned me loose on this Pacific
Coast Mission of ours with an ancient gasoline launch
called Mina W. and an engineer of doubtful skill one
bleak December morning in 1920.
Perhaps the Committee didn't know much more about
the proposition than they told me, but if they knew little,
I knew less. However, that first 400-mile exploring tour
during three months of winter, with its short, dark days,
its storms of wind and blinding snow, travelling amid
confusing fogs, tumultous eddying tidal rapids, and dangerous reefs, filled in that meagre description with a
wealth of memorable detail and plenty of vivid coloring.
I've tried to buck a sou-easter in Malaspina Straits with
a "hesitating engine" and a damaged shaft, the waves
going clear over us every time. I've tried to find my
way into Secret Cove in pitch dark, without a light to
be seen, and with a storm rising. I have had to walk
a loose boom of floating logs at night, with snow on
them in ordinary shoes. These and many other such experiences have given me a knowledge of the coast that
no book or second-hand description could afford.
I cannot recall a more terrifying hour in all my life
than that I spent in the big timber the evening of Satur-
[86] day, January 29th, 1921, at Lang Bay Settlement. Six
of us from the shingle-bolt camp were walking the mile
through the woods to Smith's store, where I was to have
service, when the worst gale in the history of the coast
tore down on us in howling fury. There was no place
of shelter from the great branches and limbs that whizzed
past us in the darkness, and the giant trees that fell
crashing down in all directions around us. I longed for
a good deep dug-out, but there was nothing for it but
to go on hoping our luck would hold. The noise of the
storm was so great that to make ourselves heard we had
to shout into one another's ears. We had several narrow
escapes before we emerged into Smith's clearing and
entered the house behind the store. There we were comparatively safe, though the wind rocked the house and
roared around it, whistling through the cracks between
the boards in its unfinished walls. I decided to have my
service anyway and we gathered in the dining-room,
which was unfortunately on the windward side of the
house. I have never in all my travels had the things
happen around me that happened that night I stood near
the window with the table and lamp in front of me, and
announced a hymn. We were nicely started when the
window blew in! I caught it on my back, but the lamp
was extinguished and the table blown over. It took fifteen minutes to get the window nailed back and everything in order again. I got along to the sermon and was
somewhere in "secondly" when a wild blast commenced
to tear the paper off the top of the wall opposite me,
against which the people were sitting. It was building
paper loosely tacked on in strips from ceiling to floor.
Another gust and down it all came, completely covering up my congregation. After they had crawled out it
took half an hour before we got that paper tacked up
again. Then we closed with the hymn, "For those in
peril on the sea." Millions of feet of standing timber
was blown down that night at Lang Bay.
[87] "These people of mine" are very much like other
people, but the conditions under which they live deprive
them of many advantages. To me the efforts of these
homesteaders to hew for themselves a home in the colossal jungle of a British Columbia forest seem little short
of heroic. The physical strain is enormous and continuous. It takes a lifetime to get a poor score of acres
cleared, and in all those years these pioneers are far
away from the companionship of all but a few other
people, and lack many of the common helps, comforts and
pleasures of life. Their families are reared usually without doctor or nurse within reach in any emergency.
This leads me to speak of the Lasqueti settlement.
Lasqueti Island is about nine miles long and five miles
wide, and is covered with forest. One hundred and
forty white people, including fifty children, live there.
They are mostly homesteaders and are good folks. I
doubt if you could find on the island any two shacks
within sight of each other, hence their lives are lonely
enough in all conscience. There are no roads deserving
the name, only bush trails. Well, about a year and a
half ago I anchored our old mission boat, "The Mina
W." in Tucker Bay and went ashore visiting. For nearly
a week I tramped around getting acquainted and "ringing
the church bell." The meeting was held in an old unused
building on Sunday afternoon. I had a capacity house
and a most attentive and appreciative audience. They
had come from the "uttermost parts" of the island by
trail and boat. Six babies lay asleep on shawls on the
floor to my left during the service. Everyone else was
wide awake. It was really a welcome novelty, "a treat,"
to these good people to have "preaching." I had no
need of eloquence to hold their attention, but their evident eagerness to follow my thoughts brought from me
the best I had. I spoke for more than an hour. The
meeting lasted two hours. I do not know how much
longer they stayed after benediction, for I was the first
[88] to leave the place. It was "a great occasion" for them.
They told me that mine was the second religious gathering that had ever been held on the island, and that I was
the first minister of any kind that had ever been in their
homes. This island lies out in the Pacific only .fifty miles
from Vancouver city. I tried to get a deaconess-nurse
for them but there were no funds.
On one occasion last year the father of one of the
two Mormon families brought his three little tots two
miles to meeting at night over a poor trail in a wheelbarrow. He had a strap over his shoulders from the
handles. His wife walked ahead with the lantern, and
the other three children, who were able to walk the distance, brought up the rear. Half-a-dozen coal-oil lanterns were all the lights we had in the school for our
service. The wheelbarrow was the only "car" parked
outside the Church. The meeting lasted from seven
to eleven. There was plenty of hymn-singing as well as
praying and preaching. Finally I had to beg off and
stop, nearly exhausted physically and mentally. There
are very few other social affairs in the district and the
service was a sort of treat. They made it last as long
as they could by the simple expedient of asking me
to give them more whenever I stopped at what I intended
as my conclusion.
I have in mind Mr. and Mrs. Thompson with their
six little children. This family lives seventy-five miles
farther up the coast on the upper Rendezvous Island.
The island is perhaps a mile long and half a mile wide.
For ten years Mrs. Thompson hadn't been once off the
island. A "neighbour" woman would come in an open
boat from fifteen miles away to help her when her babies
were born. When first I called I found that the children
had had no schooling, and the eldest was fifteen years.
They have a little school now composed of four Thompsons and four other children who row six and eight
miles to and from school.
[89] Off-hand I could name two score other families in
my district whose appeal is much the same as the instances I have given. All these settlements suggested the
same line of Christian service, service which would relieve the serious isolation and monotony of the lives of
the parents, and would help their little children to get
a taste of the wholesome things, "the true, the beautiful,
the good," with which the world is filled.
My own visits must needs be months apart, for I
have about 300 miles of coastline to patrol and over
forty-five points of call. How could I supplement my
visits and enlarge my ministry of good cheer? "Books,"
was my first thought. And I have found good books,
wholesome literature, my greatest ally in this ministry.
Four years of effort have enabled me to place within easy
reach of many of these lonely folk a first-class free lending library of about 100 cloth-bound books, secondhand,
but in excellent condition. I have now fifty of these libraries, containing an aggregate of 5,000 books. When
a community has read a library pretty thoroughly, it is
moved out and another one moved in. And in each of
fourteen backwoods one-roomed schools I have placed
a library of 75 books, suitable for boys and girls, in
charge of the teacher.
A'gain I thought of the children. I remembered how
much I liked my Sunday School papers when a boy.
Could I bring the same pleasure and benefit to these little
folks? Sunday Schools in these outlying districts are
extremely difficult to establish and maintain unless the
missionary can be present. I could not hope to meet the
need by conventional methods. There were only six
small Sunday Schools running more or less regularly.
This left the great majority without the joy of a story-
paper of their very own, and in their most impressionable
years developing a character unmoulded by the bene-
ficient influences of those fine tales in which Christ and
His message are proclaimed or implied.   At this writing
[90] about 500 children up-coast are getting Sunday School
papers, suited to their age and sex, sent to them direct
every week or fortnight. This is managed by friends in
Vancouver who gather surplus and returned papers from
city Sunday Schools.
Nor are the babies and little tots forgotten. Mrs. T. A.
Borroughs of Vananda attends to their needs. She has
now a Cradle Roll (an unorthodox one) of 350 children under five years, mixed Catholic, Protestant, and
Confucian, baptized and unbaptized, to each of whom
she sends a little letter and pretty card on its birthday. When the fifth birthday comes the girlies get
a yard of dainty hair-ribbon, a book of Bible stories, and
a longer letter. The boys get the same except that a
box of colored crayons replaces the ribbon. It is remarkable how a birthday card or bit of ribbon can change
the attitude of the whole family from one of carelessness or unfriendliness towards the minister into one
of hearty welcome.
The foregoing paragraphs refer in particular to the
thousand or so more or less permanent residents such as
farmers, fishermen, trappers and prospectors. The men
in the logging camps form, in many respects, a different
constituency. Especially is this true of the larger camps.
It is difficult to establish regular "machinery" to serve
them. The personal factor counts for so much, and then
the men move so continuously, into the city and out, and
from one camp to another. The personnel of some
camps will change almost completely in six months.
There are probably 2000 men engaged in logging in
my district.
In serving the camps I seek first of all to get on a
friendly footing with the men before I arrange for my
meeting. Wandering around the bunkhouses or in the
woods where they are working, having a word or two
of greeting, I usually manage to interest some of the
men in me in a not unfriendly way.    Then when I
[91] have my meeting in cook-house or bunk-house, I will
not be without an audience to whom I can give a straight
clear message for Christ. In the camps, too, I distribute
the ordinary magazines and other literature of general
interest, for while the men are not without money, they
move about from place to place so much that they lack
a permanent address, nor can they carry a lot of magazines with them for usually they have to "pack" their
stuff on their own backs some of the distance from the
boat to the camp. So they seldom subscribe for magazines, or take a supply with them. Besides periodicals
I have given about 2000 "discards" to the loggers. These
are books which are not in good enough condition for
our regular libraries but are in other respects first-class
Also I have a plentiful supply of Christian propaganda pamphlets. I am unable to use the old-style
"tract" with any appreciable effect here. The series I
use most successfully are those published by the Social
Problems Committee of the United Free Church of Scotland. They have been prepared by Christian scholars
who speak with authority. The language of today is
used, the viewpoint of the modern man is recognized,
and the Christian solution of present-day problems is
shown in a brief, attractive, and "gripping" line of
argument. It is the best literature I know of to penetrate, with the clear ray of Christ's Love and Truth, the
fog of restless or sometimes bitter thought that just now
seems to hang about the average British Columbia logging
camp. This restlessness is in my opinion a good sign.
It is better than indifference, even though many of
the things they read are one-sided, destructive and sometimes atheistic. Working men are reading and thinking today as never before. They are unusually sensitive to injustice in social conditions and want to know,
without any sanctified talk, if Christianity has any real
remedy to offer.    We must meet the half-truth embit-
[92] tered literature with  an  antidote  of   fair-minded  outspoken Christian pamphlets.
In the camps I have never got any other than the
most considerate treatment. If I didn't make good it
was my own fault. In February of this year I spent
ten days among the four camps of a certain company,
where 200 men are working, eight miles back in the
woods from Rock Bay, a little harbor on Vancouver
Island some 150 miles out from Vancouver. While
I was in the woods I left my boat in charge of the engineer who had to take it across the straits every afternoon
to get shelter. Each day a north wind would start up
after mid-day and blow "great guns" until early morning. At the Beach, Operating, and "D" camps I got
a kind welcome from superintendent, foremen, and men.
I went on in a day or two to camp "H." By this time
the weather had grown very cold and frozen the lake
solid where they were "yarding," and along whose shore
the twenty bunkhouses floated on rafts. We had our
meeting in the cookhouse on Sunday evening, and afterwards the foreman wouldn't hear me sleeping anywhere
but in his bed, while he hunted up a much less comfortable bunk somewhere else. This "boss" is an Irish
Roman Catholic. At camp "B" the weather moderated
and a dense snowstorm came on. The snow piled up to
three feet before it cleared. This meant that I had to
stay in that camp for a few days whether I wanted to
or not. They made me very comfortable. Of course
no work could be done, so the men were not disposed to
find very much fault with an old preacher who had
helped them to pass the time away. The first evening I gave them a sermon in the cookhouse, the next I
told stories of the Klondike for two hours. The following two days I roamed around among the bunk-
houses "chewing the rag" with the fellows, answering
or trying to answer a thousand questions on a hundred
different subjects mostly centering around sociology, eco-
[93] nomics, religion, and world-affairs. I listened to much
good talk, opinions and descriptions, educative and interesting to me, for many of the men had travelled
in far lands. There were those, too, who were well
read and thought deeply. Of course we had some arguments. In some of these I held my own, in some I came
off second best. On the fifth day the logging train was
able to get in with a snowplough, and I got a ride the
twelve miles down through. the mountain valleys to
the beach. This visit is fairly typical. I have never received anything other than a decent reception from the
Before closing this outline of our Mission I wish to
put on record my deep appreciation of the generous
and hearty way my brethren in the ministry on the coast
have forwarded my plans, especially the members of the
Home Mission Committees. The churches responded
nobly to my request for donations of books to start my
libraries. Of subsidiary organizations in the Church
none has given me such generous and effective aid as
the W. M. S. With all my heart I say "God bless
Outside our own Church organizations may I mention
these other unpaid workers whose untiring and willing
assistance has made possible the successful development
of some of my plans. Their work is done most wisely
and faithfully. Clubs of Kiwanians, Lions, Rotarians,
and Electrons, gathered me a splendid lot of books.
Books have come from as far east as Montreal. Even
friends in Edinburgh have remembered our Mission with
gifts of new books and money to buy books. To all who
have helped in any way I offer my personal gratitude
and convey to them the sincere thanks of the people
I serve.
No description of our Mission would be complete
wthout a word or two about our new boat, "The Sky
Pilot."    We are selling the former boat,  "Mina W."
[94] which was uncomfortable to live on and rather unfit in
other ways to face up to the bad weather conditions
met with on some of our trips. The new boat is a very
fine craft. The hull, which is planked with teak wood,
is 40 feet long over all, by 9j4 feet beam. The house
is admirably fitted up inside so that the missionary can
be quite comfortable no matter how many days he may
have to spend on board, or what the weather is.
The expense of upkeep, barring accident, will be considerably less than that required for the second-hand
boats and engines the Mission has been accustomed to
use. I make my home and mission headquarters at a
little settlement called Vananda on Texada Island, 75
miles out from Vancouver. There is good shelter at this
point in Marble Bay to keep my boat when I am at
My plan, in large, is first of all to acquaint myself
with the real needs of my people, and then, to the limits
of my power, seek to supply those needs. These, of
course, include the usual ministrations of preaching, administering the sacraments, and visiting. In addition
to this I stand ready to help in any other way no
matter how unconventional or trivial. Anything I can
do or say, in the name of Christ, to brighten the lives,
smooth the road, guide the thoughts, or ease the burdens
of these people, those things I must strive to do or
prove false to my Master.
[96] Methodist Waterways Mission
By Rev. W. H. Barraclough, B.A.
LOOKING at a map of our British Columbia coast
one is struck by the very maze of passages—sounds,
inlets, arms, beaches, channels and canals—which magnify our stretch of coast line from Victoria on the Strait
of Juan de Fuca in the south to Port Simpson at the
entrance to Portland Inlet in the north.
What vast possibilities and what great problems this
intricate coast line suggests. How utterly lost a landsman
would become in its twists and turns and endless windings. What a glorious panorama does its ever-changing
viewpoint present to the eye of the artist. What mysteries
are wrapped up in its rock-bound shores. What a wealth
of timber in plain view, of mineral out of sight and of
agriculture these valleys and their mountain sides hold.
Fifty years ago this coast from Seymour Narrows to
the north was inhabited by scattered tribes of savages,
among whom might be found an occasional adventurous
trader and one lonely missionary in the person of Wm.
Duncan at Metlakatlah.
About this time, the Rev. Thomas Crosby, having
spent twelve years among the Aborigines of this province
living along the shores of the Gulf of Georgia and the
Fraser River, made his first journey to the north and
established at Fort Simpson our first Mission among the
Indian tribes of the Northwest Coast—Tsimpseans, Nish-
gahs, Hydahs and Tlingits.
For ten years he labored on that great field, travelling
from place to place in open canoe, as he had done before
in the south; only with this difference, that in the north the risks were greater and the many dangers of braving
changing currents and treacherous tide rips and facing
the biting Northeast winter winds, which drove down
the channels with the speed of a hurrican, might well
have deterred a less dauntless spirit.
In open canoe, with his Christian Tsimpseans, he
visited village after village along the Naas and the
Skeena, up Douglas, Gardner and Burke Channels to
Kitamaat, Kitlope, Bella Bella and Bella Coola, and
across the wide stretch of open sea to Skidegate, Clue
and Gold Harbor on Queen Charlotte Islands. Into
Alaska as well they pressed their missionary endeavor and
laid the foundation at Fort Wrangell of the splendid
work carried on later by the Presbyterian Church in that
Returning to Eastern Canada on furlough in 1882,
the story of these missionary journeys, fraught with so
much danger, though blessed with such gracious results,
aroused the whole Church and suggested the building of
a missionary steamboat which would enable the work to
be carried on with renewed energy but with greater
The appeal was made to the children of the Sunday
Schools, who gladly responded and poured in their offerings, which with large amounts generously donated by
friends of the cause, both in British Columbia and the
East, made possible the building of our first Mission boat,
the Glad Tidings.
For nearly twenty years this little schooner-rigged
steamboat plied up and down the coast, in and out of the
various inlets and round about the treacherous western
shores of Vancouver Island, conveying the missionary to
isolated villages and carrying various missionary supplies—lumber for the buidling of Churches, schools and
hospitals, furnishings, literature and first aid to the sick—
and later  enabling the Chairman of  Simpson District
[97] to give adequate supervision to the work of that great
district, whose area was as large as that of some of our
Eight years or more of that time the Glad Tidings
Was piloted by Capt. Wm. Oliver, who had been providentially raised up, as was "Uganada's White Man of
Work," to first build the boat and then to take charge of
her through the years of her most successful service. Life
on the Glad Tidings was by no means a holiday with Wm.
Oliver "at the wheel" and Thomas Crosby as sky-pilot,
for these energetic, enthusiastic and consecrated servants
of the King of Kings "worked overtime" themselves and
made everyone else on board at least "work their passage"
in order to accomplish that for which they believed the
little ship was designed. "Porridge and prayers" only
varied by "prayers and porridge" became the synonym
for the rigorous routine aboard the "Come-to-Jesus
Steamboat"—the name by which she was known among
the Indians of the West Coast.
The Missionary Society at the time was unable to
make an adequate grant for her running expenses, and
her managers were forced to do such work with the boat
as would enable them to supplement the very meagre
About 1903 the Glad Tidings was wrecked in Shu-
shodie Bay, near the head of Vancouver Island, and some
years elapsed before she was replaced.
In the meantime, the increasing needs of the Northwest were becoming known. Lumber camps and mining
camps were multiplying to a wonderful degree, and small
settlements were being commenced and developed at
many favorable points on the Island of the Gulf, at the
head of Vancouver Island and along the Upper Coast, as
well as upon Queen Charlotte Islands, out in the Pacific
opposite Port Simpson and the new Grand Trunk Pacific
terminus of Prince Rupert.   From Vancouver to Sey-
[98] mour Narrows, the English Church, as well as the Presbyterians, had well equipped Loggers' Missions, but nothing was being done north of the Narrows.
The answer to the question "What can we do" was
given by Wm. Oliver, who presented for the use of the
Methodist Church and as a thank offering to the "God
of all Grace," by whose infinite mercy he was saved from
sinking into a drunkard's grave, "one of the completest
little boats of its kind" ever built.
The Udall, as she was named, was built, as was the
Glad Tidings before her, by Wm. Oliver himself on the
banks of the Fraser River near New Westminster, and
commenced her maiden trip to the north the 10th of
December, 1908. The limits of her mission were Seymour Narrows on the south and Portland Canal on the
north, with varying trips to Queen Charlotte Islands and
the West Coast of Vancouver Island.
The Udall (the name meant "the dearest thing I
possess" and was chosen by Capt. Oliver) was wrecked
after six months work by striking an uncharted rock,
and Capt. Oliver and Mr. Webber, the missionary, barely
escaped with their lives.
The policy of the Church then became the building of
a large boat, and the Thomas Crosby, fifty-six feet long
with twelve-foot beam, was erected. She was equipped
with a forty horse-power gasoline engine and took a
crew of seven to man her. Capt. Oliver was in charge,
and the boat began her work under favorable auspices.
But the war came, and it was found too expensive for the
Church to run, and she was commandeered and eventually
sold to the government and used for fishery patrol work.
The money received from the sale of the boat has
been put into launches at different parts of the coast
and at the present time there are:
Cape Mudge, Rev. G. B. Ridland,
Edward White
[99] Alert Bay, Rev. J. C. Colwell,
Wm. Oliver
Graham, Moresby and Queen Charlotte Islands
(Headquarters at Sandspit)
Rev. R. C. Scott and Capt. Wm. Oliver
Thomas Crosby
[100] The Church and its Social Emphasis
By Rev. Gordon Dickie, M.A.
A PLACE has been reserved in this "Commemorative Review" for the Social Development of the
Churches and rightly so, for religion has always played
a great part in social life. The nature of this social
life is such that if progress is to continue there will
be a constant demand for the service and sacrifice
of individuals. As the complexity of social life increases
this consecration should increase also, in fact if we
are to become increasingly social in the best sense we
must at the same time be increasingly religious.
Probably the west is not the place where you would
naturally look for a strong sense either of social or spiritual values. Still if we accept the definition of religion
as "Man's attitude toward the universe regarded as a
social and ethical force" there must be some response
either open or concealed even in this Western province.
The dream of a "pleasure economy" in which there would
be no need of the help which religion can give has been
rudely shattered even in the most materialistic spheres
and no human can deny that faith and devotion are as
essential for life as ever.
It is with this thought in view that we consider the
interpretation of the Church and social life. It is a
two sided story and sometimes the ideal is in the foreground, but just as often it is the real. Here as elsewhere it is just "the common problem" of which the
poet speaks when he says:
"The common problem, your's mine, everyone's,
Is not to fancy what were fair in life
[101] Provided it could be, but, finding first
What may be, then find how to make it fair
Up to our means."
To begin with we note that the adventurous element
in the life of this Province was a very important social
consideration. The men who laid the foundations of
things in our midst had to confront their world with
hope, courage and faith. British Columbia, more than
Scotland, is a land of mountain and flood, and it was certainly no place for weaklings. Life to be successful had to
be lived in the spirit of loyalty to the ideals of the group.
There could be no place here for pessimism, degeneracy or despair. Hence optimism and loyalty soon came to
have a strong social value in the life of the pioneer community and have wonderfully colored it to this day.
The following extract from the diary of the Rev. R.
Jamieson, one of the pioneers in the Presbyterian Church,
will illustrate the spirit of that time. "The duty of the
pioneers was to s'ieze and hold the strategic points—to
follow the miner, the lumberman and railway builder
to his camp in forest or mountain. British Columbia was
ultima thule in those days. New Westminster was a month
from Toronto and the conditions of life in this country
called forth the greatest resourcefulness and steadfastness. The lessons of history are not a matter of mere
dates. The pioneer now rests from his labors but his
work lives. How often he was tempted to lay down
his work and quit the field and who shall say how much
it means to the Churches advance in British Columbia
that he did not yield to the temptation but chose the
harder part, namely to labor and wait." Mr. Jamieson
himself in addition to his own services in New Westmin-
ter established congregations at North Arm, Langley
and Maple Ridge, travelling up and down the Fraser
by canoe in all weather and often enduring a tremendous
amount of exposure.   All this was typical of the intrepid
[102] spirit and indomitable courage of the early pioneers in
this Province whose chief purpose was to spread the
There is another factor in the case which deserves
mention, and that is the compact nature of settlement.
British Columbia does not naturally lend itself to a
dispersed social life as do the Prairies. The mountains
prevent that; hence, we find the pioneers of this province grouped largely around the harbors and along the
fertile rim valleys—the exceptions perhaps being the mining districts, where the lure of riches concealed in the
mountains drew men from the ordinary paths of settlement. Thus colonization on the Pacific slope began in
much the same way as on the Atlantic. The pioneers
established themselves in compact fashion along the coast
and rim basins with the mountains as a background.
And perhaps this has more to do with a successful
social life than we imagine. It will be remembered that
while the British Colonists concentrated on the Atlantic
coast, the French settlers following the lure of an imperial idea sailed up the St. Lawrence and down the
Mississippi until finally they were dispossessed by the
more firmly rooted Britishers who clung tenaciously
to the Eastern coast. Then latterly the British under
the same line of Empire crossed the plains and spread
themselves over the country, while the French Canadians establishing themselves at last within their own
borders, and consolidated their position, are rapidly dispossessing the Britisher today wherever the racial borders meet.
The lesson seems to be that it pays to consolidate
socially and this we have been forced to do in British
Columbia. Church life, except in scattered districts, has
been well organized from the beginning. Social life
has been kept well in hand, and there has been very
little time or money lost in following trails which afterward had to be abandoned.    Settlement as it developed
[103] in these certain well defined lines seemed to be inevitable and will probably continue thus for many days to
Then not only was the settlement compact in space,
but in time as well. The pioneering stage in this province, so late in developing, was quickly passed. Villages and towns grew up in short order and culture developed overnight. Thus in almost every community you
will see instances of the primitive and the modern side
by side. This has been a great advantage so far as material comfort is concerned but it creates an important
social difficulty. It means that the task of adapting the
community to the rapidly developing culture is all the
more exacting. In many cases this development cannot
help being artificial and consequently there is a lack of
solidity which only the passage of years can rectify. This
is in evidence in many of our buildings both municipal
and ecclesiastical where the architect was evidently endeavouring to meet a need rather than embody an ideal
in his structure.
Moreover in our Church life there is a reflection of the
same tendency in a notable absence of tradition. We
are certainly not ecclesiastically minded on this side of
the Rockies. Possibly this in itself has been a means of
grace in these later days, as the impact of the Church
Union struggle has not been so keenly felt in our midst
as in the older provinces where tradition has a firmer
hold upon the minds of the people. Hence if we conserve the things which are really worth while we may
not fare so badly by being new comers in the race.
Still another social difficulty is the "Oriental Question" or as it is commonly expressed "The Yellow Peril."
It began as an economic problem. Today it is both
economic and social. It is not only our problem but
that of all the nations bordering on the Pacific basin.
Even more recently than with us, it has become the
problem  of   Mexico  and  Latin American  States.    A
[104] recent editorial from the Mexican newspaper "El Universal" has a familiar ring about it. To quote—"The
Chinese immigrant invasion has assumed appalling proportions. Notwithstanding the restrictions placed upon
it, obviously inadequate and poorly enforced, the yellow
population is growing rapidly. Chinese have acquired
a monopoly of the retail, restaurant, and hotel trade,
and, thanks to their low standard of living, are competing unfairly with our labor." Owing to social prejudice the Churches have only been able to touch this problem as it were from the outside. Oriental work is still
conducted under the direction of the foreign mission
boards of our churches, in contrast with work amongst
other foreigners in our Dominion, which is conducted under the Home Mission Boards of the churches. Whatever the solution of this problem is to be, two points
should be kept steadily before us. One is that a social
mixture of the races is an impossibility from a moral
point of view. The second is that whatever settlement is
proposed should be fair to the yellow as well as the
white race. As for the rest time and an even temper
should work out a solution.
The Churches of British Columbia in common with
other churches have had to face the problem of the
Church in social life. Possibly at the present time there
is a recoil against what is called in popular parlance "social service." Dean Inge, who has been lecturing recently
in some American Universities has this to say: "The
Gospel was good news, not good advice. It is a gospel
of personal redemption and not a social reform. The
Labor movement can provide its own hired advocates,
but the business of the clergy is to preach the gospel
and tell the truth.'* And that teaching finds response in
many minds today. For in many places there seems to
be an uncertainty regarding the respective merits of Service Clubs and Churches. Some regard personal redemption as the only means of attack in the Kingdom of God,
[105] while others regard social work as the indispensable preliminary to a new order of things.
Probably there never has been a day when Service
Clubs and Churches could work so effectively together
as today. Society has become such a complex affair
it requires expert handling. Social legislation is usually technical, and social reform, particularly in its initial
stages often provokes bitter controversy. This is a
sphere where Service Clubs can render and are rendering an excellent contribution to social life and the
Churches do well to accept and re-inforce their contribution.
It is becoming more and more apparent in this modern age that you cannot divorce Salvation and Service.
Religion has both a subjective and objective side and the
"According will like heart and mind
Must make one music as before but vaster,"
This thought was very aptly expressed by the late General Booth on his last visit to Canada. A man who was
introduced to him said, "General, I have every confidence in your work, but little use for your Gospel," to
which Booth replied, "My work is my Gospel."
Probably British Columbia has had less prejudice to
overcome in this regard than the older provinces of
the Dominion. Social legislation has been more popularly received in the West than in the East. Tradition
is not so burdensome, and certainly the West is not so
ecclesiastical. Perhaps there is a certain American strain
in our make-up. It is said that the American people are
willing to try anything once, and we too have a reputation as experimentalists. In any case this fact has
been in large measure responsible for our progress, so
that in British Columbia today, you will find, in embryo at any rate, the seeds of all progressive social legislation.
[106]    . If there is one criticism which might be made of
this social attitude, it is, that we are too ready to emphasize the force which for the moment seems dominant. Our view lacks a true perspective. Too often
the impression goes abroad that the only really appreciable forces in social life are the geographic and economic.
Spiritual forces are no longer in the front rank of attention and life becomes possessive rather than inspirational. Shailer Matthews in the "Noble Lectures" says:
"When one comes to compare our present situation with
that of the dim past we see the operation of many forces
but only one tendency, and that is spiritual. The tendency to draw away from the economic to the personal,
which is operative in the net result of forces making history as a wholej cannot be neglected by an historian with
any regard for scientific completeness." In other words,
there is no work really worth while which has not been
inspired by vision. Back of every institution there is
a concept and the concept is the thing for which the institution exists. When structure interferes with concept there is no choice in the matter, the former must
give way, for concept is the living thing—the very heart
and root of society. "Where there is no vision, the people perish."
And now a word regarding the future. From the
moral point of view shall we be optimists or pessimists?
Doubtless the temptations of today are not the temptations of yesterday yet it does not follow that Society has
conquered all the adversaries in its way. In fact, there
are many who believe it is more difficult to be honest
and pure in social life today than formerly. And certainly the facts in the case are rather disquieting. If
Diogenes were abroad with his lantern now he might
still be as much puzzled to find an honest man as ever.
During the past few weeks the British Home Office
has issued its Annual Report on Criminal Statistics, for
the year.    Apparently  crime runs  in  parallel  courses
[107] on both sides of the Atlantic, so that this report may be
regarded as a fair criterion for this country. It states,
"There has been a great increase in crimes of dishonesty, of which breaking into shops and warehouses is a
typical and frequent example. Frauds and commercial
dishonesty have also flourished due perhaps to the long-
continued debasing effects of the war upon conduct
and character."
This decline of honesty applies not only to social
but national affairs. At the close of the Franco-Prussian War, the French people were asked to pay an indemnity of five billions of francs to the victors, and
two years was set as the limit of payment. In eighteen
months this entire sum was paid and Bismarck repented
that he had not stipulated for a higher sum. Contrast
this with the conditions which obtain today and you will
see the discrepancy; Germany owes France, France owes
Great Britain and the U. S. A. and so on through the
whole gamut of nations. But despite the fact that fully
six years have elapsed since the conclusion of the War
and all sorts of pressure have been applied to these
nations, not only do the debts still stand but the interest
has been allowed to accumulate, and according to general suspicion without any thought of payment. Does
this not suggest that the whole social fabric is undermined with dishonesty? Neither man's word nor his
bond can be relied upon as an absolute guarantee and in
the small as well as the larger affairs of life, we are
being weighed in the balance and found wanting.
Somewhat more hopeful however is the outlodk regarding sobriety, for while it must be confessed we
are rather unprogressive in this province, yet so far
as social sentiment is concerned we share in the general
forward temperance movement on this continent. Not
long since an active and efficient temperance worker in
England, who labors for increasing restrictions upon,
rather than complete prohibition of  the liquor  traffic,
[108] has declared that until the United States could demonstrate prohibition to be a success England would have
none of it. This provokes "Colliers Weekly" to give
some figures. It estimates that if all the liquor exported from England were smuggled into the United
States, which of course is far from the fact, it would
not amount to ten million gallons a year. Add to this
import a domestic production of nine millions more and
you have a total of nineteen millions, as compared with
the pre-prohibition consumption of one .hundred and fifty
millions gallons. This reduction marks a partial measure of the success of prohibition and it is a safe guess
that during the past year the consumption has been
smaller than ever.
"Is prohibition a failure?" asks the editor of a
leading American daily paper. "Ask yourself, how
many saloons do you pass on your way to your place
of business daily? If you are chief of a manufacturing concern how much allowance do you have to make
now on Monday for men recovering from the Saturday
night spree? To what extent is liquor forced on your
attention in the ugly way it was five years ago? For a
convincing answer ask the wives and mothers of the
nation—not those of the rich or the lawless classes but
of the average men. They know how great has been the
peace, how bright the hope, how happy the fulfillment
of this new era in their social history."
Need we be surprised then that the American nation are determined to carry forward this policy? Unfortunately our own province has contributed toward
this spirit of determination by its own unprogressive
measures, but education will undoubtedly have its effect
upon the coming generations. Strong drink will yet be
recognized as an economic burden and a policy more in
keeping with the advancing social order will be the result.
There  is  another  social  temptation  to   which  the
[109] Church seems particularly susceptible today and that is
controversy. It has done much to undermine the stability
of the community. Of course this does not mean that
controversy has no place in the modern social order.
There are some who would even go so far as to say
that "progress is the outcome of controversy." Sometimes too it acts as a safety valve, particularly to Anglo
Saxon people, who have the habit of blowing off steam
before they get down to work. And there is also this
to be said that very often it is the method by which we
arrive at truth.
But there is a controversy, which is as blighting and
barren as the east wind, and we have seen much of it in
these days. It has not only disrupted the Church community but has engendered pride of soul, which persists in
courageously defending all that it has and condemning all
that it has not. The shrewd men of old had a proverb
to the effect that, "You rarely find dew after a windy
night," and looking over the field on the dawn of a new
day we feel inclined to say that this judgment is now
abundantly fulfilled. The dew of the spirit seems woefully lacking in our midst today.
The problem of reconstruction in this country is not
an English, Scotch, Irish or French one, but Canadian.
It cannot be solved by groups of people working at cross
purposes but with a Canadian back ground and social
co-ordination. If the question be asked, "What is the
matter with Canada today?" The answer will probably
be found to lie in a lack of social cohesion more than
anything else. We are scattered units rather than a cooperative community with a common purpose and common service before us.
And if this be true politically it is no less true religiously. The vision of unity tarries because we have
not fulfilled the required conditions. For though there
may be some difference of opinion regarding the methods
employed for this purpose there can be no doubt about
[110]  Religious Education.
The Young People's Problem
By Rev. E. R. MacLean, M.A., B.D.
IF one looks back over the history of Christianity it
is customary to designate certain centuries by reference to certain religious emphasis of the period. For
instance, we speak of the Apostolic century, the century
of the Reformation and the century of the Wesleyan
Revival. If one were to characterize the nineteenth
century it might be as the century of the Missionary
Revival for not only were many of the world's greatest
mission fields opened but many of the world's great
missionary organizations launched at a time in close
proximity to the Napoleonic Wars. Under the influence
of Robert Carey the Baptist Missionary Society was
organized in 1792. The London Missionary Society
began in 1795 and in 1804 we find the beginnings of the
British and Foreign Bible Society. In Great Britain
and, the United States, alone, between 1792 and 1892
there were formed at least 59 missionary organizations
of prominence. These facts enable us to see with what
justice the 19th century can lay claim to be known
as the century of Christian Missions.
Such a consideration naturally leads us to ask ourselves in what terms we can characterize the century
in which we now live. It is dangerous to prophesy in
one's own country. It is equally dangerous to prophesy
for one's own time—if for no other reason than that one
may in his lifetime be confronted with facts denying
his prophecy! But it would seem that there are facts
not wanting that whatever other distinctive interest this
century may have, at least one of its interests will be in
[112] the life of children, boys, girls and young people and
in their religious education.
Of such an interest this article itself is an evidence.
In what "commemorative review" of previous church
unions was there an article dealing with the younger
• folks? In how many magazines of the 19th century
did one even find the term "Religious Education?" It
is so new thaf many good folks are asking what it means
and still more—not quite so frank—use it without having asked' But so sudden has been its rise to popularity
that many an institution not to the manner born fain
would wear it as a mantle of dignity to hide the nakedness of its skeleton-like program.
The Significance of the Movement
If one were simply to catalogue the changes brought
about in this phase of Christian work in the last twenty-
five years the list would be of respectable length. A
graded and progressive curriculum, improved Sunday
School publications, the development of expressional
work, the recognition of the ministry of worship, the increase of the agencies, the widening of the scope, the
doubling (in many cases) of the class sessions, and (perhaps the most helpful of all) the recognition on the part
of the denominations as such of their responsibility for
the promotion of this work—all of these constitute a
worthy record of achievement.
But these are after all perhaps only symptoms of
something deeper, a change of emphasis, a shifting of
viewpoint which might be summarized under three heads,
which for the sake of clarity, but with the risk of exaggeration we shall express as contrasts.
First of all the interest of the present Religious Educational Movement is in life rather than in doctrine.
Let no one think that these two can be divorced. It
does matter what a man believes, although what a man
does believe may sometimes be  learned  more  clearly
[113] in other ways than by listening to the words he repeats following the declaration "I believe—." But just
as our fathers emphasize "If a man thinketh in his
heart so is he," we today emphasize "If a man will do
My will he shall know of the doctrine." They reasoned
that we think first and do afterwards. We have come
to see that what we do determines much of our thinking. They said: "We learn to do. We say: "We learn
by doing." Since the pendulum has swung the other
way for emphasis we can shortly afford to see the truth
in both sides and by synthesis attain the larger vision.
This emphasis on Christian living is in some respects
at least a return to a very early form of Christianity.
The Didache, one of the early documents of the Christian Church, dating from somewhere between 100 and
120 A.D. and used for the instruction of young converts, is much less theological and more indicative of
Christianity as a "way of life," than many more modern documents of the Christian Church used for the
same purpose. But the Christian faith was intellectual
ized and during the middle ages made to fit the molds of
a rigid philosophy. This process survived the Reformation and as a result we have had our Protestant catechisms intended to give the youth a grounding in doctrine.
The modern movement of religious education maintains that this catechetical and theological approach to
religion fails to reach the real child. A child may
repeat without a slip all the articles of the Apostles
Creed without being saved from a slip of character. A
child may know the order of the epistles in the New Testament without becoming what Paul calls an Epistle of
Christ written with the Spirit of the Living God. In
other words, creeds are not character and religion is not
orthodoxy but life. To forget this is to attempt in
the words of a Vancouver friend "to experience theology."    The contention of recent religious education is
[114] that such education should begin with religion itself
rather than with the interpretation and explanation of
religion though the latter should follow.
Strangely enough many good folks have been suspicious of "religious education" simply on account of
the term. They maintain, quite correctly, that the intellectual side is not sufficient. They plead for an appeal
to the heart as well as an approach to the mind.
In all this we agree. The trouble arises from the fact
that they identify education with instruction and the
building up of a structure of beliefs and fail to see that
education is much wider and more inclusive and seeks to
deduce, not merely the intellectual, but the "spiritual"
possibilities, and seeks to be judged as to its efficiency
by its results in actual Christian living.
It is worth while noting that in this emphasis on the
character of life a certain more or less popular demand is
being met. Religious education which once was the interest only of the educationalist and the clergyman has
recently become the interest of a much wider group.
An illustration of this is to be found in the statement
issued by the six British Premiers met in conference
shortly after the close of the war. They wrote: "The
spirit of goodwill among men rests on spiritual forces;
the hope of a brotherhood of humanity reposes on the
deeper spiritual fact of the "Fatherhood of God." In
the recognition of the fact of that Fatherhood and of
the Divine purpose for the world which are central to
the message of Christianity, we shall discover the ultimate
foundation for the reconstruction of an ordered and harmonious life for all men. That recognition cannot be
imposed by government. It can only come as an act
of free consent on the part of individual men everywhere." It is to be noted that their interest is in "an ordered and harmonious life for all men." That is the
goal and to that goal all else is but a means.
In October 1919 there was held in the city of Winni-
[116] peg a "National Conference on Character Education
in relation to Canadian Citizenship." The eloquent words
of Sir James Aikins in welcoming the conference express at once the aim of the gathering and illustrate
further the modern interest in and emphasis upon the
character and ethical results of education. He said: "The
test of all theories of educational reform is, do they
produce individual worth; do they induce the children
to 'sit self governed in the fiery prime of youth, obedient at the feet of law;' do they make the citizen self
reliant, enterprising, equal to his own emergency, and
of undoubted integrity, a sincere worshipper of God
and a lover of his fellow-man? In these two last lie
the source and inspiration of personal excellence and
the solvent of social troubles. One of the problems for
your consideration is, what education and training is best
adapted to produce that excellence, that moral character, that individual worth, for these are the secret
of human happiness and of social peace and progress."
Here again as we see the interest is in the resulting
life. It was Dwight L. Moody who when asked why
he believed the Bible was inspired gave as a reason
"It inspires me." Today there is something of the
same tendency to apply pragmatic sanctions both to
theology and education by making our acceptance of
either depend partially at least on the answer we get to
the question: What are the results in Christian living ?
And this leads us to the second emphasis noticeable—
that the interest of religious education is directed to the
future rather than to the past. Under the influence of
the scholastic system of the Middle Ages it was commonly
accepted that there was a body of truth well defined
and known and that it was the function of education
to pass that on to each new generation. There was
little or no attempt to make fresh investigations with a
view to enlarging or correcting the knowledge already
possessed.    Manifestly, such a viewpoint was directed
[116] to the past rather than to the future, and in it there was
little chance for progress. Education consisted largely
in an attempt to pass something on, and to supply information to the youth of the day. There was little or no
thought that the new generation should be better than
their fathers. This viewpoint has been by no means confined to the Middle Ages. It still pervades the educational atmosphere of the popular mind. But there is a
growing conviction that our children should not merely
know what their fathers have known and do what their
fathers have done but should know more and do better
and are capable of so doing, and while we through education seek to give them the benefit of our experience we
expect them to advance beyond where we ourselves stand.
Thus we make room and hope for progress—a progress
which Christians interpret as a progress to a Kingdom of
Such a Kingdom too is not merely one to which entry
shall be granted as a reward for a certain faith or life
on the part of the individual but rather one to be achieved
one in the building of which God himself has given
us a part as His junior partners, one in which our relations with our fellowmen shall all be governed by the
fact we shall belong to one family of which God is the
Father and one our Elder Brother even Christ. Thus
it is with a new meaning we sing:—
"A better day is coming,
A morning promised long,
When girded right, with holy might
Will overthrow the wrong;
When God the Lord will listen
To every plaintive sigh,
And stretch his hand o'er every land.
With justice by and by."
The third characteristic of Religious Education at
present is its interest in the child rather than in an in-
[117] stitution. There was a day (and is yet in some lands)
when children were not thought of as of any particular
value in themselves. They were of value because one
day they would be men and women and as such would
perpetuate a name, or fight our battles or provide cheap
labour. In other words children were valued in exactly
the same way in which a farmer values a colt—simply
because some day it would be a horse able to do his
work and help maintain his farm. Even the church
itself probably took up the educational task as a means
of propagating itself by means of an educated priesthood.
In short the primary interest has been in an institution
rather than in the child.
The influence of this in our Sunday schools is illustrated by the fact that a Sunday School worker recently
wrote that religious education was for the glory of God
and to teach the Bible. The pupil is a mere pawn! If
we save a child for Christian life and service no doubt
it will be to the glory of God and as a means to an end
we shall teach the Bible, but if we follow the teachings
of our Lord we will put the child in the midst and not
the Bible; we will think not of the growth of our
school so much as the growth of grace in their hearts,
not so much of the amount of money raised as of the
spirit of sacrificing service developed.
The Agencies of Religious Education
It is interesting that the newer emphasis on the child
rather than the institution has been accompanied by the
recognition of a large number of institutions as agencies through which we may work.
The one to which we have been accustomed to look
most has been the Sunday School. The very names we
have used both denominationally and interdenomination-
ally such as Sunday School Board and Sunday School
Association bear testimony to the central place we have
[118] given this agency, and much has been done in the past
few years to make it increasingly effective.
Most of the denominations now have Boards or Committees charged with the responsibility of the promotion
of Sunday School work and much has been accomplished.
Better programs have been prepared and in Canada at
least a serious co-operative effort has been made to catch
the imagination as well as meet the need of the older
boy and girl. About two years ago at an international
gathering of leaders in this work a special commission
reporting on boys' programs gave special attention to our
Canadian Standard Efficiency Training program as probably the best program yet devised, while still more recently we have had the pleasure of repaying some of
the debt we owe Sunday School workers in the United
States by giving some leadership to the State of Washington as they adopted our Canadian Girls in Training
program as the official program for that territory. In
the development and support of co-operative programs the
Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational Churches
have taken an active part and their national leaders
have made a contribution to the field of Sunday School
work that has been recognized far beyond the borders of
our own Dominion in a way of which the Canadian
Churches are only faintly aware.
In addition to the Sunday School there is the Public
School. It is true that beyond the repetition of the
Lord's Prayer in some of our schools there is neither
religious instruction nor religious exercises of any description in the public schools of this province. But in
spite of that we must not fail to recognize the very real
contribution that is being made by our schools towards
the character of our boys and girls. Order, obedience,
punctuality, regularity, courtesy, co-operation and subjection of self to law are all part of the unpublished
curriculum of our schools. If the flowering of all religion is in conduct one may justly say with the youthful
[119] Jacob when exalted by his divine wisdom:   "Surely God
is in this place though I knew it not."
But those who see most clearly the contribution the
schools are now making to the character building influences being brought to bear on youth, are those who
look forward to a day when vastly more shall be accomplished by this agency. They believe that the home and
the Church are primarily responsible for the religious
instruction of the child and the parent has a right to
ask that time shall be set apart for the religious instruction of his child during the hours commonly devoted to
educational purposes. The concrete proposals for British Columbia are three-fold:
1. That a list of Biblical passages be selected by a
committee representing the Department of Education and
the churches and that the school act be so amended as to
request these being read, followed by the repeating of
the Lord's Prayer at the opening or closing of the school
day, attendance at these exercises not to be compulsory.
2. That the School Act be so amended as to permit
of one public school period per week being allotted for
the Biblical instruction of children whose parents so
desire, such instruction to be given by accredited Bible
teachers, independent of the school teaching staff, and
of the ordinary educational funds.
3. As the Bible is one of the greatest literary
achievements of all time, and of all books has left the
greatest impress upon our language, that the Bible or
parts of it be included in the list of optional books in
the High School Course in literature, the teaching to
be given independently of educational funds, by trained
Bible teachers, whose qualifications shall be approved by
the Department of Education.
Thus it will be observed that there is no attempt to
make it the duty of the public school teacher to teach
religion, but rather is there the attempt to recognize
the public school and the Church as educational agencies
[120] each performing its own function but co-operating for
the common good.
The second plan mentioned above is already in use
in probably twenty places in Canada and in approximately one thousand in the United States. In Oak Park,
Illinois, a city of about 50,000, a supervisor and a paid
staff of six teachers give their full time to work of this
kind. This year 2500 pupils are enrolled and annual
budget is $18,500. The urgent need in British Columbia
at the present time is a campaign of education to awaken
public opinion to the possibilities of this form of religious education.
There has been a fresh recognition of the home as
an agency of religious education but as yet little is being done to train young people in the art of home making
or to help parents in the training of their children. Herbert Spencer in his volume on education says: "If by
some strange chance not a vestige of us descended to the
remote future save a pile of our school books or some
college examination papers we may imagine how puzzled
some investigator of the period would be on finding in
them no indication that the learners were likely to be
parents. ' This must have been the curriculum for their
schools' we may fancy him concluding—'I find no reference whatever to the bringing up of children. They
'could not have been so absurd as to omit all training
for the gravest responsibilities. Evidently then, this was
the school course of one of their monasteries.'"
It is true Spencer was writing of general education
and not of religious education. But may not much the
same charge be laid at our own door ? We recognize the
importance of the Sunday School and therefore the
need of trained teachers in it. We claim to see the
even greater importance of the home. Surely we should
recognize the still greater need for training on the
part of those who teach in it, those who are not appointed
by1 any official board but appointed to their holy call-
[121] ing by God himself. And yet how much of it is being
done? In how many churches is there any serious effort to help young parents in the art of home making and
child training according to Christian ideals? To the
writer's knowledge only one congregation in British Columbia has made a beginning. Here surely is a field
of service awaiting cultivation.
The Challenge of an Unreached Field
While much has been accomplished there still remains much to be done. Enrolled in the Protestant Sunday Schools of Canada there are 968,134 pupils and of
these about 600,000 are in attendance each Sunday. In
addition a great volunteer, army of 107,676 prepare their
lessons and teach their classes on Sunday, many of them
meeting with them again between Sundays. Apart altogether from amounts raised for their local work in
the last twelve months for which figures are available
the Protestant Churches in Canda gave $94,727 through
denominational channels and $78,160 through co-operative organizations for the promotion of religious education.
But what about the children who are not enrolled?
A survey in Lambton County in Ontario last year led
to the conclusion that only about 43 per cent of the
youth were being reached by any form of Sunday School
work, and it is safe to conclude that children whose parents are not sufficiently interested to send them to Sunday School are not receiving any instruction in the homes.
In our own province of British Columbia there are
enrolled in Anglican, Baptist, Congregational, Disciples
of Christ, Methodist, Presbyterian and Reformed Episcopal Sunday School approximately 56,000 pupils. For
the year ending May 1922 the Methodist Church reported that of the total enrolment in Methodist Sunday
Schools twenty-five per cent were of the ages twelve
to seventeen inclusive.   Applying the same ratio we may
[122] estimate that of the 56,000 pupils of the above denominations there would be 14,000 in the 'teen age. Now,
according to the last Dominion statistics there were 49,-
409 of teen age of the ages 12-17 in the province. According to the same census these denominations formed
43 per cent of the population so that 43 per cent of the
49,409 of teen age or 21,245 in all would belong to
these units of which we have seen there are 14,000, or
two out of every three enrolled in our classes on Sunday.
Of this number 6000 are enrolled in groups following the
Canadian Standard Efficiency and Canadian Girls in
Training programs.
While these figures are more encouraging than one
might have expected and indicate that there has been a
real forward movement in this department, we cannot
rest content, for did the Master not say "It is not the will
of your Father which is in Heaven that one of these
little ones should perish." The challenge comes to the
Church today to redouble its efforts until we reach the
last boy and the last girl for Christ.
"O Church of Christ! why brood upon thy loss
The darkest night precedes the rising sun:
Infinite gains await thy future toil;
The children may be won:
Behold the field: it teems with unreaped grain;
Haste to the task, e'er thy day's work be done:
Carry thy sickle where the harvest waves—
The children may be won!
Thou seest the barren fields of worldliness
In hearts whose earthy course will soon be run ;
But elsewhere look with glad expectancy,
The children may be won:
So shall Christ see the travail of His soul:
,So shalt thou reach the glory not alone;
So shalt thou bring thy sheaves with gladness home,
The children may be won."
1123] The A. 0. T. S.
A Community Service Club within the Church
By H. W. Riggs, M.D., F.R.C.S.E.
THE nineteenth century was characterized by overemphasis upon the individual and individual effort.
The freedom of enterprise, so emphasized by the political
economist, led to gigantic industrial foundations which
exploited the community for the advantage of the few
individuals who controlled. Even the Church lost its
perspective, and, in the effort to save the single soul, neglected the soul of the community, the group soul. This
resulted in a period of complacency, when things seemed
to be going very well, and the social organization was
satisfied to let well enough alone. Under this crust of
indifference, however, the fires of unrest were burning.
Visionaries planned many things to waken society to the
necessity of saving its own soul. The eruption of the
World War set in motion the great forces of brotherhood
and group action, which had been seething below the
surface. These forces were organized not only on the
field of battle, but also by the home people. There was
a wondrous outpouring of effort for the benefit of the
social order, which appeared in danger. In this effort,
the community found its soul.
Many regret that apparently this outburst ran its
course and then died. Social service organizations which
had looked for increased activity following the close of
the war, were disappointed with the indifference to appeal.
Time revealed, however, that the current of the forces
of brotherhood and group action had but changed their
course. In the midst of the reaction, when "Jazz" apparently reigned supreme, there appeared that magnificent
[124] group of Community Service Clubs which now dominate
this continent.
Although energized by spiritual truths, which are the
very foundation of the Church, yet these clubs had no
connection with that great body. Thus the great ideals
of brotherhood and service have been brought to wider
functions outside the Church organization.
This is not as it should be. It is recognized that from
fifty to seventy-five per cent of the men of a town or
city do not attend Church. To meet this condition, the
Church must adopt and put into effect a broader plan of
action which will appeal to the men of a community.
Religion appeals to the emotional and idealistic side
of man's nature, but most of men are more at home in
the activities of life. Consequently, unless the Church
body does much more than stimulate the idealism, in men,
that sensitive side of their nature becomes fagged and
unable to respond. Hence men drift beyond the bounds
of relationship with the Church for lack of activity. Only
as man is treated as a social as well as a religious being
will he respond. This the service clubs have endeavored
to do, and an analysis of the reasons for their success
may help.
The psychological bases are found in the desires for
companionship, for activity and in the willingness to
work in groups. Practically all men are desirous of helping the other fellow, but, lacking leadership and group
organization, they do not accomplish much. Fellowship
is necessary for group action, so the luncheon or dinner
at which men learn to know each other begins the process, which is continued by group activity itself. These
facts have been capitalized by the Service Clubs, and the
most successful club is the one that by means of committees gets the most of its members to work.
So the Church in its relationship to men must not
only instruct them and inspire them, but must furnish
directly or indirectly the organization which will create
[126] fellowship and guide activities. It is a psychological
axiom that interest is dependent upon activity, and little
change will be made in the present relations of men to
the Church until men's social energy are organized by
that body.
With such thoughts in mind, an endeavor to meet
the situation in some degree was made. Realizing that a
suburban community would be the best for such an experiment, Kerrisdale Methodist Church was selected.
The hearty co-operation of Rev. J. G. Brown, then pastor,
was given, and at a meeting of men held in December,
1922, steps were taken to organize a community service
club within the Church. As was expected, the idea was
enthusiastically received. The ordinary service club
necessarily has a restricted membership, so that much
good material in the community lies dormant. To these
men the opportunity of fellowship and service made a
great appeal.
The form of organization was simple. Every man,
whether a member of the Church or not, was accepted
for membership. In fact, many who were not in the habit
of going to Church joined for the social enjoyment. In
order to promote fellowship, a monthly supper meeting,
with plenty of singing and a good programme, was decided on. The men were divided into committees, the
Chairmen of which were members of the Executive.
Some committees had to do with the internal working of
the club, such as programmes, while others, the Educational, Community Service and Athletic Committees,
dealt with the community at large. The chief factor considered was to get each man on a committee and get him
working. The choosing of a name and motto gave some
difficulty. After considerable thought, the phrase by
which Jesus summed up His position in the community
was selected for the motto—"I am among you as one
that serves"—and the initial letters of the last four
words were chosen as the designation of the organization
[126] —the A.O.T.S. Club. A great success from the beginning,
this pioneer club has accomplished much for its Church
and community.
The movement very soon spread to other Churches.
Mount Pleasant Methodist Church, after looking the
ground over, decided to adopt the same type of organization. Then Tolmie Street Methodist Church also organized. An important point in the history of the A.O.T.S.
was reached when Rev. E. McGougan of Chalmers
Presbyterian Church, with a group of earnest workers
led by Mr. Clark Maharg, initiated the movement in that
body, thus breaking the bounds of sectarianism and leading to a broader field of opportunity. Later, a club was
organized in the Fairview Baptist Church under the
leadership of Mr. Roy Long. That, in this day, the fundamental ideas of brotherhood and service are of more
importance than creeds and sects was demonstrated by
this spread among the men of different denominations.
This spread of organization necessitated some unifying force to co-ordinate the activities and to furnish
stimulus to the individual clubs. To accomplish this, in
March, 1924, representatives from the five clubs
then organized met to form a central district body. It
was called the District Council of the Lower Mainland,
looking forward to the time when the balance of the
province shall be organized and other district councils
formed. The District Council consists of two delegates
from each club. It has committees to promote the extension of the movement, to educate the clubs in aims
and methods, to increase and co-ordinate the social and
athletic activities and to lead the clubs in the larger community work of the district. One of its first activities
was the holding of the first round up of the clubs. There
was a very enthusiastic supper gathering of over three
hundred men, representing eight clubs, in the gymnasium
which had been built by the Kerrisdale Methodist Club.
The work accomplished by the various clubs was review-
[127] ed and inspiration given for further effort. This round
up is now an annual gathering. The District Council
now represents fifteen clubs, including two from New
Westminster, with a membership of over seven hundred
Such, in outline, is the form of organization of the
A.O.T.S. Movement. The question may be asked wherein
does it differ from other men's Church clubs and what
has it accomplished. It is not primarily a religious teaching body, but rather its object is to bring men under the
influence of the Church by developing their social activities and setting them to work out in the community
the second Commandment enunciated by Jesus. In
other words, the A.O.T.S. is a community service club
within the Church. Experience shows that this work
carried on by men under the influence of the Church's
teaching has led them to realize their divine relationship
and so fulfill the first great Commandment. Many a
man's experience is summed up by
"No one could tell where my soul might be.
I searched for God, but God eluded me.
I sought my Brother out, and found ALL THREE."
In the communities where it is established, there is
an increased friendly feeling, and the people of the district have found that they have a centre for activities on
week days as well as Sundays. Much work has been done
with regard to the activities of young people. This holds
the growing boys and girls to the Church centre. Among
the men themselves, it is surprising to see how interest
in things outside of their own affairs has increased and
how leadership has been developed. This last is one of
the important results. The world today is crying aloud
for strong leadership, and by means of the group action
which is the foundation of the movement, new material
will be discovered and trained to lead the community to
higher ideals.
[128]  The Church and the Liquor Question
By Rev. W. W. Peck, M.A.
Secretary,  B.  C.  Prohibition Association.
In Canada for a considerable time there has been
an increased attention given by all churches to applying the principles of religion to our social life. Our
Lord's prayer "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in
earth as it is in Heaven" has been taken as a program
of life, and serious attention has been given to habits
or usages hindering better social and moral conditions. To a large extent this may be said to account
for the position taken by the Congregational, the
Methodist and the Presbyterian Churches in Canada
on the liquor question. After studying the history of
the liquor traffic, the various futile attempts made to
control it, and its results on the economic, social and
moral life of the people, these churches, in common
with others, have decided that nothing less than the
prohibition in Canada of the manufacture, importation
and sale of alcoholic liquor for beverage purposes can
be regarded as satisfactory.
The argument for Prohibition in Canada is along
the following lines:
(A)    Scientific
If alcohol is good for the individual it is good for
that collection of individuals known as the nation.
Conversely, if alcohol be not good for the individual it
is not good for the nation. It is therefore a duty of
the medical profession, a duty it owes to the individual
and to the state, to give definite pronouncement on the
scientific effect of alcohol. In the United States and
in Great Britain this has been done.
In the journal of the American Medical Association
[130] of July 21, 1917, the Council on Health and Public
Instruction of the A.M.A., made the following declaration that had great influence in bringing national Prohibition :
"We believe that the use of alcohol as a beverage
is detrimental to the human economy. That its use
in therapeutics as a tonic, or a stimulant, or as a
food, has no scientific basis. Therefore be it resolved that the American Medical Association opposes the use of alcohol as a beverage. And be it
further resolved that the use of alcohol as a therapeutic agent should be discouraged."
On June 2, 1924, the United States Supreme Court
ruled that the Supplementary Prohibition Act prohibiting the prescribing of malt liquors for medicinal
purposes, was constitutional. In their decision the
Supreme Court judges stated:
"Neither beer, nor any other intoxicating malt
liquor, is listed as a medicinal remedy in the United
States pharmacopeia. They are not generally
recognized as medicinal agents. There is no concensus of opinion among physicians and medical authorities that they have any substantial value as
medicinal agents; and while there is some difference
of opinion on this subject the question is at the
most debatable, and their medicinal properties, if
any, may, it appears, be supplied by the use of other
available remedies."
The Prohibition statutes of twenty-nine states
prohibit the prescribing of any form of malt liquors
for medicinal purposes. In twelve states no intoxicating liquor of any kind may be prescribed, while in
eleven states pure alcohol only may be prescribed, and
then not more than one pint of spirituous liquor for
the same person in a period of ten days.
[131] In November, 1916, the Central Control Board of
the Liquor Traffic (Great Britain) appointed an Advisory Committee to consider the conditions affecting
the physiological action of alcohol, and more particularly the effects on health and industrial efficiency
produced by the consumption of beverages of various
alcoholic strengths." The Chairman of the Committee was Lord D'Abernon, Chairman of the Central
Control Board of the Liquor Traffic, and associated
with him were eight of the outstanding doctors and
scientists of Great Britain. In December, 1917, they
presented a unanimous report.    They state:
"The present statement is not concerned with
the social evils arising from the excessive consumption of alcohol as a beverage. Nor is it concerned
with ethics, administration or national economy.
We are dealing solely with the physiological facts,
so far as it is possible to ascertain them, in the present position of knowledge."
In the final section of the voluminous report they
summarize their conclusions:
(a) That the main action of alcohol (apart from the
effects of its continued excessive use) is confined
to the nervous system;
(b) That alcohol is narcotic rather than stimulant
in action;
(c) That its nutritional value is strictly limited;
(d) That its habitual use as an aid to work is physiologically unsound; and
(e) That the ordinary use of alcohol should not only
be moderate, but should also be limited to the consumption of beverages of adequate dilution, taken at
sufficient intervals of time to prevent a persistent
deleterious action on the tissues."
In October, 1924, "The Practitioner", founded in
1868, the leading monthly medical journal in England,
[182] issued a special alcohol number. Whilst the volume
is noteworthy as containing the considered judgment
of prominent doctors in Great Britain, perhaps the
most striking feature in the volume is the way in
which writer after writer qualifies any possible favorable reference to the use of alcohol by giving cautions
as to its dangers.
The article on Alcohol in Medicine was written by
Sir Humphry Rolleston, President of the Royal
College of Physicians in London. In his article he
"From the bulk of physiological investigations
on the action of alcohol it appears than alcohol is a
depressant rather than a stimulant and that its effects are more likely to be injurious than beneficial. Numerous experiments prove that alcohol
impairs resistance to infection. In sudden heart
failure and threatened syncope the action of concentrated alcohol on the gastric mucous membrane,
may by reflex action rapidly and powerfully stimulate the heart. But for this purpose ether is equally
effective and has the advantage that it is more
volatile, and that its effect when it subsequently
reaches the heart is more stimulating and less depressing that that of alcohol. Alcoholic drinks
relieve worry, may counteract restlessness and so
may be of use in inducing sleep, but should obviously be employed with great caution on account of the
danger of converting the individual into an addict."
Sir Arthur Newsholme writes:
"There is needed increased and more general
medical action directed to the following ends:
"(1) The drinking of alcoholic drinks between
meals should be forbidden, and the evils resulting
from this pointed out in every family.
[133] "(2) A strong medical opinion should be given as
to the special evil resulting from indulgence in
spirits and in the stronger wines and beers.
"(3) The evil of frequently repeated alcoholic
drinks should be emphasized; and the cumulative
evil effect of alcohol, when insufficient intervals
elapse between meals, should be stressed.
"(4) The utmost care should be exercised to
avoid the possibility of the temporary prescription
of alcohol becoming the starting point of an alcoholic habit.
"It is only by increased compulsion in the form
of restriction on the sale of alcoholic drinks, backed
by the hygienic persuasion of physicians and others,
that we can secure reduction more rapidly than at
present of the alcoholism which is still a chief cause
of crime, disease, destitution, and neglect and impoverishment of families in our midst.
"National experience during the Great War
demonstrated that phenomenal improvement in our
drinking habits and the evils resulting from these
can be secured by the enforcement of drastic restrictions; and it disproved once for all the hoary
fallacy that a nation cannot be made sober by Act
of Parliament, when the enactment carries with it
an effective public opinion."
Professor Ernest H. Starling writes:
"Alcohol is not a good food for muscular work,
and, if taken, this should be at such times and in
such doses that it will have undergone practically
complete oxidation before the time arrives for muscular exercise. There is, as a result of increasing
doses of alcohol, a gradual dissolution of the functions of the central nervous system from above
downwards, beginning with the highest centres and
finally extending to all parts.    In this way we can
[134] account for the four stages described by Mott in the
action of this substance on man."
Sir Richard Douglas Powell writes:
"The 'nipping' habit in which alcohol is taken,
though it may be in small doses, several times a
day, some of them necessarily without food, is the
worst form of alcoholism short of gross excess,
from the longevity point of view; since there has
been no time for the removal of the alcohol and the
blood and tissues are subject to its influence
throughout the day. It used often to be said by the
late Sir Andrew Clark that one and one-half ounce
of whiskey, equivalent to a little more than a pint
of beer, was the physiological dose that could without harm, be taken daily by the average man."
W. McAdam Eccles writes:
"The action of alcohol on mental behaviour is
very significant. 'It loosens ideas and speech which
are not controlled and inhibited by the higher
centres.' Uncritical self-satisfaction of the subject
with his own performances. Disregard of occurrences and conditions, normally evoking caution of
act and word. Trespass of rules and conventions
previously respected. Impaired appreciation of the
passage of time. Loquacity and an argumentative
frame of mind.
"Alcohol diminishes a man's highest powers of
performance and expression, and in so doing, it
releases the best level from control, deliberation,
selfconsciousness, and self-criticism are all weakened. When tested in the balances weighted on one
side by these established facts, alcohol would appear
to be of little value to the individual or to the nation. If this indeed be so then total abstinence and
its safety is better than moderation and its danger."
That the above is of more than mere academic
[135] interest may be seen from the following quotation
taken from the report given on the experience of Life
Insurance Companies:
"To use a statistical average which is possibly
more vivid than a mere comparison of percentages
of deaths, we may take the expectation of life at
age thirty; that is, the average number of years
lived by persons after the thirtieth birthday. According to the experience of the total abstainers
this is on the average a little more than thirty-nine
years, while for the non-abstainers it is three and
one-half years less."
What is sorely needed in Canada is scientific instruction in our public and religious schools, by the
press, and by all teachers of public opinion, on the
dangers that attend the use of alcohol for beverage
purposes. In this instruction the doctors of Canada
should recognize their duty to give light and leading.
(B)    Social
The causes of the alcohol habit are mainly psychological, the drab and monotonous life of the poor and
the ennui of the rich, that is misery or success achieved too early. The effect of alcohol on public morality
will therefore vary according to social conditions, but
the effect of alcohol on character is always in the
direction of reducing the efficiency of inhibitions against anti-social conduct. The relation of
alcoholism to crime is extremely intimate. The
following statements are taken as typical. Dr. W. C.
Sullivan, in "The Drink Problem of Today", page 170,
"Considering the several categories of serious
delinquency we have found that alcoholic intoxication is answerable for about sixty per cent, of indictable crimes of violence, and for a rather higher
[136] proportion of minor offences of the same class.
That it is probably the cause of nearly half the
crimes of lust."
The late Judge Archibald stated:
"I am satisfied that ninety-five per cent, of all
serious crime committed in Canada can be traced
directly or indirectly to liquor habits which stimulate or provide the means to accomplish the ends.
There is no habit in human life so debasing and so
humiliating to the intellectual, moral, spiritual, and
physical development of man as that which is produced by the drink habit."
Sir   Frederick   Mott,   F.R.C.P.,   in   "The   Practitioner," writes:
"We have concluded that chronic intoxication is
responsible for about three-fifths of the homicidal
crimes in England, and that in rather less than half
the cases of sexual crime either chronic alcoholism
or mere drunkenness is the casual condition, the
latter being more usual in rape of adults, while the
violation of children is more often an offence of the
chronic drunkard."
The hard cruel record of the influence of alcohol
on society proves that drinking, drunkenness and the
attending evils, are in direct proportion to the freedom
with which liquor may be obtained.      We give the
following Canadian illustrations.
Consider the arrests for drunkenness in the City of
Toronto in conjunction with the liquor law that existed each year.
Year Legal Status Drunks
1914 Open bars and shops  14247
1915 Hours of sale restricted  11232
1916 Sy2 mos. license; Sy2 mos. O.T.A.   9639
1917 O.T.A. 12 months    4554
[167] Year Legal Status Drunks
1918 O.T.A. 3 months plus Dom. Pro
hibition 9 months    3433
1919 O.T.A. plus Dominion Prohibition   3925
1920 O.T.A. only; Dominion  Prohibi
tion repealed     6130
1921 6y2 months O.T.A. only; 5y2 mos.
O.T.A. plus prohibition of importation     4727
1922 12 months O.T.A. and prohibition
of importation and transportation     4059
It will be seen at a glance that the amount ot
drunkenness and its attending evils depends upon the
freedom with which liquor can be obtained. The
experience of Vancouver has been quite similar. Under
Government Sale, according to the Annual Reports of
the B.C. Liquor Control Board, since their opening the
sales of the seven Government Liquor Stores in Vancouver have been as follows:
June 15, 1921, to March 31, (9*/2 mos.) $2,878,032.54
April 1, 1922, to September 30, 1922....    1,666,313.57
October 1, 1922, to March 31, 1923     1,898,224.10
April 1, 1923, to September 30, 1923....    1,932,639.93
October 1, 1923, to March 31, 1924    2,296,761.45
April 1, 1924, to October 31, 1924    2,281,244.65
According to Vancouver Police Court records the
number of arrests for drunkenness were:
1922 ..
1923 ..
1924 ..
...4 months	
Under Prohibition the fine for drunkenness was
$5.00; under Government Sale $50.00. One result was
that police officers, feeling that $50.00 was too drastic
[138] a punishment, did not arrest drunks unless they had
become a public nuisance. That this was a common
practice throughout the Province may be seen from
the following editorial taken from the "Kamloops
Sentinel" of August 8th,  1924:
"Mr. S. C. Burton, Police Commissioner, is authority for the statement to the City Council that it
is not part of the policy of the Police Commission
to arrest every drunk on the street. 'The police,'
he emphasized, 'have instructions to see such cases
to their home if they can walk at all and are not
obstreperous. If all the drunks were arrested/ he
declared, 'there would be no room for them in the
City jail.'"
Vancouver police statistics also show the intimate
relation that exists between immorality and the freedom with which liquor may be obtained.
Year Legal Status Bawdy House
1918 Prohibition      195
1919 Prohibition      362
1920 Prohibition; importation ban lifted    532
1921 Sy2   mos.   Prohibition;   Cy2   mos.
Government Sale      526
1922 Government  Sale    787
1923 Government Sale      887
1924 Government Sale   1086
When one considers the above statistics, notes the
deadly menace to the morals of the individual and the
home life of the people, it is not surprising that on
May 21, 1923, General Superintendent Rev. S. D.
Chown, D.D., stated at the Annual Conference:
"The Church does not believe in one drop of
liquor for beverage purposes and she is staking her
life upon that issue. We do- not believe in poison,
rags, insanity, crime, cruelty, death; and that is the
[139] voice of Methodism today.   No matter what it costs
us, not one drop."
(C)    Economic
For sometime increased attention has been given
by national leaders to the economics of the liquor
question. It is time that Canada should follow the
lead of Great Britain and the United States in this
In 1916, when the Central Control Board of the
Liquor Traffic in Great Britain, appointed its Advisory
Committee (see page 132), the reasons given by Lord
D'Abernon, Chairman, were:
"The total amount of money devoted to the purchase of alcohol by the inhabitants of these islands
is nearly 50 per cent, greater than the traffic receipts of the whole railway system, including both
goods and passengers; it is more than double the
expenditure on bread, and more than equal to the
expenditure on meat; before the war it was approximately equal to the total revenue of the State, and
was more than eight times the total amount required for interest on the National Debt. Apart from
the economic aspect, it is admitted by all parties
that the misuse of alcohol exercises a considerable
influence on health and longevity, and it is contended by one large section of opinion that it is a main
cause of crime and poverty. The ill effect on individual and national efficiency of excessive indulgence in alcohol is not disputed. It is remarkable,
therefore, that, throughout the world, lack of exact
knowledge still prevails about the action of alcohol
on the human system."
In "The Practitioner" of October, 1924, Sir Arthur
Newsholme, writing on the social aspects of the alcohol problem, states:
[140] "In the year 1923 the average annual expenditure
per head of population, men, women and children,
in Great Britain, amounted to £7:2s as compared
with £7:13s in the preceding year.    This, assuming
that  of  the  total  ten  million  families  only  nine
million  families  take  alcohol,  means  an  average
annual drink bill for each family of £35.    The consumption of beer in 1923 was 930 million gallons,
as  compared with  a  consumption  of 800 million
gallons of milk, which is equal to about two-fifths
of a pint of milk daily for each unit of the population.    The amount spent on drink in 1923 was equal
to the total interest on the National Debt; it was
more than the aggregate amount spent on imperial
defence, education, and national health, including
unemployment insurance; it was four times as much
as was spent on war pensions; and more than four
times as much as the aggregate amount spent on
the relief of the poor and on old-age pensions.    The
amount spent on drink, to take another illustration,
would have paid the rental of every house, farm,
shop,  factory, and estate in Great Britain.  Evidently, then, there need be no housing problem were
there is no drink problem.    And yet the drink evil
is declining."
In the "Century Magazine" of January, 1924, Chas.
Edward Russell writes an article on "Is the World
Going Dry".   Attention is drawn to the experience of
Great Britain with the liquor traffic during the Great
War.    When the war broke out Great Britain had no
stock of munitions as had the continental nations.
However, she sent her men to the front and at once
commanders began to beg and implore for shells; and
the supply was very limited.    The labor of every man
that produced anything and every minute of that labor
became of vital importance, not only of the men that
produced shells or rifles, but of the men that produced
[141] food, clothes, shoes, coal, or other commodities. Efficiency in production suddenly loomed upon the
statesmen as the substance of the whole situation.
"Whether statesmanship believed or disbelieved
in Prohobition as a principle, mattered nothing;
there were the facts with which the Government
had to deal. Working men whose brains were
dulled with beer were inefficient producers. At a
time when every second was precious to the national welfare, beer was causing the loss of time that
mounted into the equivalent of months. It was
largely because of beer that commanders were
clamoring in vain for shells, and the western front
was often silent for their lack. Records kept at
munition and other factories showed that week
after week normal production was never attained
before Wednesday. Everywhere the figures for
Monday and Tuesday were below the mark; often
twenty-two per cent, or even more on Monday, ten
per cent, on Tuesday. The reason was that on
Monday many workers came to their work still
unsettled from their exploits of Saturday night and
Sunday with the clinking cannikin; came unsettled,
or did not come at all, for the absences on that day
were pestilential. Even by Tuesday many had not
rebounded to the natural tension. It would be monstrous, of course, to affirm or to suggest, that
drunkenness was the rule or even common among
British workers; but drink was common, and it was
drink that worked havoc."
In this crisis the skill of British statesmen was
shown. They declared "We must get on with the
war." The brewers were informed that they might
not have the amount of grain that they had been
having. In 1914 the brewers used 52,818,000 bushels
of barley and malt.    In 1918 this had been reduced
[142] to 22,265,000 bushels, but the brewers had added 5,269,-
000 barrels of water to make up the volume of output.
The result was that the nation's consumption of alcohol declined from 92,000,000 gallons in 1913 to 37,-
000,000 gallons in 1918. In the United Kingdom the
total proceedings for drunkenness were 374,749 in
1913, and only 71,306 in 1918. The year 1919 was the
year of greatest sobriety the country had ever known,
and it was also the year of great production efficiency.
Production kept even pace with sobriety.
When the war was over this was not forgotten.
The nation found itself confronted with an enormous
debt, and the question of production efficiency was
still a vital question if manufacturers could compete in
world markets. It was recalled that the United
States, Britain's greatest competitor, had adopted
Prohibition. Skilled observers came to America to
inquire into results. Mr. G. C. Vyle, a British business
man and an anti-Prohibitionist, declared in a speech
at Birmingham, that seven American working men
with the same plant, same materials, same facilities,
would produce more than ten British working men.
He attributed this to the better social and physical
condition of working men.
Mr. C. A. McCurdy, member of the British Parliament for Northampton, stated to the business
men of Leeds, England, that the American worker
was producing three times as much as the British
worker, and gave figures from the shoe industry to
enforce his statement. He added that while in Great
Britain the average output of coal had declined from
312 tons a year for each miner to 259 tons, the average output in the United States had increased from
400 tons for each miner to 681 tons. It was true that
American working men were better paid, but by increasing the efficiency the American workman had worked
[143] a virtual reduction in the relative American wage scale;
otherwise American production would have flooded the
"Early in 1923 the Department of Commerce
in Washington sent abroad one of its skilled observers to note the state and prospects of European
trade. On his return he said he had found the
master producers in all countries looking with wry
faces at the new figures of American production and
production costs. It Was his conclusion, as it was
theirs, that competition would drive Europe in self-
defense to adopt Prohibition."
U. S. Prohibition
On March 12, 1925, Herbert Hoover, Secretary of
Commerce, in an interview at Washington, stated:
"There can be no doubt of the economic benefits
of Prohibition.    Viewing the temperance question
from this angle Prohibition has proved its case.    I
think increased temperance over the land is responsible for a good share of the enormous increased
efficiency in production, which statistics, gathered
by the Department  of  Commerce,  show to have
followed passage of the dry law.    Exhaustive study
from   many   angles   of   Prohibition   over   average
periods ten years apart before and since the war,
would indicate that while our productivity should
have increased about fifteen per cent, due to the
increase in population, yet the actual increase has
been twenty-five to thirty per cent., indicating an
increase of efficiency from somewhere of ten to
fifteen per cent.    There is no question in my opinion
that Prohibition is making America more productive."
On January 3, 1925, Wayne B. Wheeler, L.L.D.,
General Counsel of the Anti-Saloon League of America, made the following statement :
[144] "Uncle Sam starts on his fifth year water-wagon
journey, happy, prosperous and hopeful. Each
month he earns seven billions, saves a billion, pays
premiums on a billion dollars' worth of new insurance, gives in charity $25,000,000 at home and $4,-
000,000 in philanthropic gifts to wet Europe, and
carries in his pocketbook, unbanked, over $400,000,-
000. Meanwhile three million dollars of the public
debt are paid each working day.
Uncle Sam's garage stores 15,552,077 automobiles, seven-eighths of the world's total. He daily
spends over a million dollars on the movies, another
million on the radio, another miflion on outdoor
sports. He has cut over half a million from the
yearly arrests for drunkenness, reduced his penitentiary population by 5,000 in the last year, closed
the doors of many jails once crowded, decreased
alcoholic insanity by two-thirds, and lowered the
alms-house ratio from 91 per 100,000 to 71, the
smallest in our history. Only one drink cure survives for each ten that prospered under license. He
has increased longevity three years per person. He
erected homes for 205,193 families during the first
six months of the past year. His industrial accidents are 250,000 fewer per year than when beer
made men clumsy.
Uncle Sam has 14,246,701 telephones. Few of
his children are poor. He saves $74,000,000 per
year, once spent to relieve drink-caused poverty.
Instead of beer, he buys bonds until one in five are
security holders. Private buyers alone hold over
$4,000,000,000 in foreign bonds, besides the enormous issues of domestic, industrial and public securities.
Over 25,000,000 of his boys and girls are in
school.   Daily over 3,000 new members join his
[145] churches, which spent $250,000,000 in the past year
for new buildings.
In the May, 1925, Monthly Statement issued by
the National City Bank of New York, appears the
"The first quarter of 1925 registered the largest
volume of railway tonnage and the largest volume
of payments through banks ever recorded in the
corresponding period of any year. Foreign trade
is very large and for the nine months of the fiscal
year ended March 31 exports of the United States
exceeded imports by $945,000,000 which compares
with an excess of about $670,000,000 in the corresponding period of the last fiscal year. As to employment and wages, twenty-five per cent, of the
reporting industries already have made plans to
increase their force this summer; sixty-three per
cent, will operate with their present ample force;
only twelve per cent, are making reductions and
these are mostly seasonal. Of the plants twenty-
two per cent, have increased their wages over last
year; seventy per cent, will continue on the present
high wage basis; only eight per cent, are making
According to the American Bankers' Association,
in 1914, the number of depositors in savings banks
was 10,631,586. On December 31, 1924, they numbered 38,867,994. In 1914 the savings banks held $8,728,-
536,000; in 1924, $20,873,562,000. There was an increase of 7,528,501 depositors for the first year of
Henry Ford
In the "Dearborn Independent" of April 25, 1925,
Mr. Henry Ford has the following message:
"After its five years of trial prohibition is not a
failure.    It is the people who have  neglected to
[146] correspond with it who are the failures. If it took
Christianity hundreds of years to obtain a footing,
why should anyone consider five years sufficient for
a try-out of the greatest reform since the introduction of Christianity itself. The good that has already come from it infinitely outweighs the evil,
and the evils that are do not arise from prohibition
but the failure to practice it. We believe that if
the opposition to prohibition were analyzed it would
be found that it was mostly alien. We believe that
every true American is for it heart and soul. We
believe that if prohibition were to be put before the
nation tomorrow there would again be an overwhelming flood of public opinion in its favor. Although the friends of prohibition may not be so
aggressive as its enemies, they are firmer in their
Situation in Canada
That there is need in Canada for careful consideration of the financial situation and the elimination of
everything that decreases production or adds additional burdens, may be seen by examining Government
statistics. On the 31st of March, 1914, the Dominion
debt was $336,000,000 and the rate of interest from
three to three and one-half per cent. On the 31st of
March, 1925, the net Dominion debt was $2,419,843,206,
and the rate of interest about five per cent. On top
of this, last year's deficit on Government railroads
was $54,860,419. The previous year it was $51,697,674.
On May 7th, Mr. Marler stated in the House at Ottawa that on March 31, 1925, the debt to the public
of the Canadian National Railways was $937,913,082.
In addition we have a considerable Dominion pension list. According to a report of the Soldiers' Civil
Re-establishment issued December 31, 1924, there was
paid during the last fiscal year direct to returned men
[147] and their dependents, the sum of $41,570,221. The
cost of administration was $2,485,645 and the total
payments during the year $51,541,824. When one recalls that Canada has not paid anything on the principal of the war debt, one sees how heavy are our
financial burdens and the need for the utmost economy.
President E. W. Beatty, of the Canadian Pacific
Railway, touching on the matter of taxation in a
speech made in Toronto in April, 1925, stated that
$54,024,027 was collected in income taxes throughout
Canada last year, and of the total amount $29,108,746
was collected in the districts of Toronto and Montreal.
He pointed out that a man with an income of $10,000
paid in Canada a Dominion income tax of $619.50. In
1924 in the United States he paid an income tax of
$165 and in 1925 it was anticipated he would pay even
less. The fact that in the United States the income
tax was steadily decreasing must force the conviction
that efficiency and economy is something we should
advocate without ceasing. The "Vancouver Sun" on
April 2, 1925, published in an editorial a table showing
the comparative income taxes paid by a married man
with dependents living in British Columbia and one
similarly situated living in the United States.
$ 95
$ 37.50
That the financial situation has had its influence on
the labor situation may be seen from the following
despatch from Ottawa that appeared in the "Mail and
Empire" on September 4, 1924:
[148] "From Halifax to Vancouver representatives of
provinces and municipalities recited today in a Dominion unemployment conference the distress due
to unemployment and their fears of an aggravation
of this situation in the coming months. From every
city and province came the same story of abnormal
At the annual meeting of the Canadian Bank of
Commerce at Toronto on January 12, 1925, President
Sir John Aird stated in his address:
"We learn on good authority that the U.S. Government has reduced its expenditure from $6,482,-
000,000 for the fiscal year ending June,  1920, to
$3,506,000,000 for the year ending June, 1924, and
yet it has decreased its debt from $250.36 per capita
in August, 1919, to $188.59 per capita June 30, 1924."
At Hamilton on June 1, 1925, Colonel Arthur B.
Hatch, in his Presidential address to the Canadian
Manufacturers' Association, stated:
"Canada is over-governed and under-populated,
a costly combination."
He claimed that Dominion, provincial and municipal taxes took one-quarter of the net production of the
Dominion. One-seventh of this gross production
went into Government coffers. He calculated the
total gross production at $4,485,000,000 last year.
This included agricultural, industrial, and all other
forms of production. The total net production, he
said, was $2,727,000,000, while in the same year the
taxes collected reached $627,900,000.
Provincial Expenditures
When one examines the finances of the provinces
the need for strictest economy and the elimination of
financial  drain is  also  apparent.      In the  Monthly
[149] Statement of the Royal Bank of Canada, August 1,
1923, appears the following table:
Funded Debts of the Provinces
1919 1923
British Columbia  $23,071,936 $78,086,311
Alberta      31,500,200 67,537,986
Saskatchewan       31,420,908 52,772,777
Manitoba      33,890,870 66,331,121
Ontario      66,772,338 224,693,420
Quebec      39,706,613 55,604,926
New Brunswick      17,163,089 26,651,432
Nova Scotia      16,990,000 24,605,913
P. E. 1         773,000 900,268
$261,288,954 $597,184,154
In the "Financial Post" (Toronto) of July 25, 1924,
is given a table showing the expenditures of the provinces :
1917 1919 1921 1923
N. S. .
...$ 2,344,009
N. B. .
... 2,166,904
Que. .
... 9,907,672
Ont. .
... 16,268,567
Man. .
... 6,860,355
Sask. .
... 5,553,965
Alta. .
... 6,752,504
B. C. .
... 9,531,740
$59,872,829 $76,403,973 $112,417,862 $131,425,554
Municipal Expenditures
The fundamental need for a policy of rigid economy is also seen when one considers the question of
municipal expenditure.    The following table showing
[150] the funded debts of the leading Canadian cities in 1919
and 1923 is also taken from the August, 1923, monthly
letter of the Royal Bank of Canada.
Funded Debts of the Cities
Montreal     $112,392,119   $124,328,069
Toronto        90,164,549     136,422,250
Winnipeg        28,129,554       30,465,206
Vancouver        29,062,858       29,049,206
Quebec         14,975,647       15,783,268
Ottawa $        13,375,098       19,747,930
Hamilton         11,913,317       16,003,078
Calgary         16,114,152       18,737,184
Edmonton         21,281,724       30,082,471
St. John   4,968,826 7,375,355
When one considers the above Dominion, Provincial and Municipal indebtedness, one is amazed that six
of the Canadian provinces have given increased facilities to the liquor trade and are now vainly trying to
drink themselves rich. Think of British Columbia,
that according to the Annual Reports of the Liquor
Control Board, from June 15, 1921, to October 31,
1924, has spent $35,000,000 in its Government liquor
stores. Think of Vancouver during this same time
having spent $12,898,792 in its seven Government
liquor stores. And these figures do not include the
amount spent in bootlegging. Think of the Commissioner enforcing the Act deeming it necessary to grant
in Vancouver seventeen club licenses and sixty beer
joints in addition to the seven Government liquor
stores. Think of a Government, noting the tremendous drain of this liquor business on the finances of
the Province, trying to claim that the liquor question
is not a matter for party politics. Think of the Premier giving so much time to the P.G.E., which, according to his own statement made at Mission on March
19, 1923, costs the Province $4,605.71 each day, or a
[151] total of $1,681,084 per year, yet having no policy to
rid British Columbia of this liquor business that is
draining the Province of an equal amount every
In advocating Prohibition the Prohibitionist is not
unmindful of the revenue that is derived from the
liquor traffic. He believes, however, that when the
books are balanced that any revenue from drink is
erroneously "credited", when in reality the damage
caused by the traffic makes it a "debit" entry. He
believes with Adam Smith that "all labor expended
to produce strong drink is utterly unproductive; it
adds nothing to the health of the individual." He
believes with W. E. Gladstone—"Show me a sober
people and I will show you a sure revenue." He believes with John Burns, the British Labor advocate,
that "Drink dissipates the social force, the industrial
energy and the political strength of the people. Give
up drink or give up hope of holding your own in the
industrial world." He believes that to dispense with
the liquor traffic is to dispense with its results: police
court victims, prison inmates, distressed poor, alcoholic inebriates, and that great silent unhappiness that
one may find in the homes of its victims.
The study of the scientific, social and economic
situation forces one inevitably to the conclusion that if
Canada with her unrivalled resources is to gain her
rightful place among the nations, drastic action must
be taken with the liquor traffic with its financial drain,
with its attending social and moral evils. No sympathy need be shown.
The statement made by Attorney-General A. M.
Manson in the House at Victoria on December 16,
1924, is as true of the other provinces as of British
LX58] "I have no sympathy with the brewers. I could
not after my three years' experience. There has
never been a day when the brewers have not spent
every minute doing their utmost to contravene
the will of the people, defy the Government and
tear down the law of the land. To most of the
brewers the meaning of the word 'honor* is unknown."
To secure and to hold Prohibition, since the question of sale is left to the Provinces, amendments must
be secured so that when a province votes for Prohibition automatically the brewers and distillers go out of
Our political leaders must be made to recognize
that a traffic that so influences financial and moral
conditions, must receive very careful consideration
and resolute action on the part of those who accept
the responsibility of representative government.
An intensive educational campaign must be instituted in our schools, in the public press, and by all
teachers of public opinion, teaching the children and
adults the scientific and social results following the
use of alcohol as a beverage.
Boards of Trade and the various service organizations, such as the Rotary and Kiwanis clubs, etc., instead of considering the liquor question as taboo,
should carefully consider so important a matter.
Above all, on the part of every teacher of morals
there must be not only a campaign of education, but
also a campaign of organization. It cannot be that
real followers of Him who came to destroy the works
of evil, and who taught His disciples to pray, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as in Heaven," can
assume anything but a militant position on the liquor
[163] The Business Man in the Church
By G. F. Gibson, Esq.
THE Church is no more immune from the laws of
change and development (if it is to survive and hold
its place) than is any other institution or organization.
The truths and faith of the Church have not changed or been displaced. True it may be that certain
forms of faith and doctrine, which say fifty years ago
were regarded as paramount in importance, may be
not so regarded to-day. The emphasis having perhaps
shifted to some other phase of Truth.
Fifty years ago at least two of the branches of the
Church which are now passing into one body, stood
aloof from each other, in an attitude if not of hostility,
at least of entire independence, simply because each
placed undue emphasis upon what we now consider to
have been minor points of doctrine.
Personal contact, business and social relations,
inevitably brought a friendlier feeling between these
two bodies, a greater tolerance of each other for the
others point of view, so that gradually points of
difference began to fade out, until in the natural order
of things they found themselves moving along on lines
practically parallel, and inevitably working hand in
hand and shoulder to shoulder in many common
In this happy development" a very great deal is
owing to the Businessman's section of the Church.
Time was when if a Businessman began to take a
conspicuous part in the Church's activities, a certain
class of his acquaintance would comment on the fact
with raised eyebrows, but that attitude of mind has,
like others of that period passed into Limbo.
[154] Another fallacy which was at one time regarded
almost as a truism was the belief that the Church and
Business could not work together, that the faith and
high ideals of the Church could not be applied to
business without seriously hampering the latter. This
vicious belief too has been proven by the acid test of
experience, to be so wholly incorrect that the very
opposite may be said to be a general conviction now,
and while there are exceptions as a matter of course to
every rule, it is a fact beyond question that the standards of ethics amongst businessmen, and business
houses is higher to-day than it has ever been, and
this condition has been largely brought about by the
increasing part Businessmen are taking in the activities of the Church, and the impress made by the
Church on the character of its business members.
It is difficult to determine when, how and where
or from what source originiated the wonderful growth
that has taken place in the last half century, until it
has become dominant, that feature of Church work
and life, "Service". While it has always been a tenet
of the Church, outside of its Missionary efforts in
carrying the Gospel to heathen lands, the Church was
oblivious to a great extent, except in occasional scattered instances, to sorrows, suffering and evils all
about her. This reproach cannot be brought against
it to-day.
In coming to a fuller realization of her responsibilities and privileges in this direction, it is difficult to
determine whether it was the church that brought
this question home to the conscience of Businessmen
or whether it Was her Businessmen who forced this
matter on the attention of the Church and made it the
media of their assistance.
However this may be, it is an unquestionable fact
that there is no other channel through which Businessmen can find a readier, more effective or more
[155] economical way of giving a response to the urgings
for their assistance, either in practical personal service
or by means of the current coin of the realm, as circumstance or expediency may suggest.
So strongly has the conviction that he is his
brother's keeper, taken hold of the heart of the Businessman, that we find Service Associations such as
Rotary, Kiwanis, Gyros, etc., all cheerfully endeavoring to carry out some undertaking of real service to
their unfortunate or less fortunate fellows.
While these movements are not under the wing of
the Church, they are composed largely of men who
own allegiance to some branch of the Church so that
the teachings and influences acquired there are finding
expression in such humanitarian services. The cause
of international Good Will and fellowship is receiving
much benefit from the fraternizing of these bodies
regardless of lines and boundaries, and unconsciously
perhaps the almost two thousand year old proclamation, "Peace on Earth Good Will toward men", is
being broadcasted and practiced as never before at
any time.
Conservative—The Church has always been careful, even cautious, in taking any step which involved
a departure from her time honored practices, or which
was not of a definitely religious or devotional character, but the urge and pressure of progress with the
innumerable discoveries and inventions, which are relentlessly forcing radical changes into every realm of
modern life, have widened the vision of the Church
which so long concerned only with the souls of men,
sees at last that there is no phase or human life or
need, in which it is not concerned.
The Church has always been the motive power
behind our Hospitals, Missions, Relief and Rescue
Movements, etc., and in all these works we find
associated with them on their Boards, Directorates,
[156] Committees and Governing bodies, men of affairs,
giving their time, bringing to bear on their problems
of administration and maintenance, their business
training and experience, and contributing generously
of their means for the extension and upkeep of such
philanthropic and redemptive enterprises.
While seeking to carry relief and alleviation to the
unfortunate and suffering, both inside and outside
its fold, the Church has come to see that it is important to keep its fingers on the pulse of the younger element of its own flock, and even in the recreational
needs of its young people it is now keeping its identity
briskly alive. Every congregation now seeks to maintain its baseball, football, tennis, basketball, etc. Clubs
usually under the direction or guidance of some of its
senior members, who remembering perhaps the days
of their own prowess on the diamond or some other
field of athletics, are willing, often anxious to coach
the youngsters in their sports, instructing them in the
finer points of the game and training them in good
clean sport.
This sketch of Church activities and the part taken
by the Businessman in them, brings us to-day to the
point where having through force of circumstances
gradually come together to a point of convergence,
seeing eye to eye, with one mind and purpose before
them, three branches of the Church in Canada, Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian find it possible, and desirable to sink any last remaining points
of difference, and in the interests of the work of
Evangelization, to bring their forces and resources
into one organization for the speedier and more effective carrying on of the great work.
The United Church of Canada has after years of
deliberation and thought and not without many pangs
and sorrows, been launched, and combining the Independence,  the Enthusiasm and Reverence  of the
[157] three bodies sets out upon its Mission, vigorous, alert
and eager, with a freshened spiritual zeal sustained
by the deliberate convictions of its vast army of supporters, who have all of their own choice entered its
ranks, to carry on, and to carry out, the parting injunction of its Great Head and Master, "Go ye into
all the World".
In this great forward move the Businessmen of
the Church have been taken into council at every
step, and their voice and say has been a very influential factor in the final determinations.
The resources of Businessmen will now have an
opportunity for usefulness and service never before
so widely opened to them, and we believe that to-day
as never before, the resources of her Businessmen
their time, thought and means are consecrated to the
service and use of the Church, and it is perhaps not too
much to hope that the day is near at hand when the first
interest of her Businessmen will be the BUSINESS OF
[158] The United Church, League of Nations,
and World Peace
By Mack Eastman
Professor of History, University of British Columbia
1925: Director of General Studies, Research Division,
International Labour Office, League of Nations, Geneva
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make
for peace."   Romans 14:19.
The spirit which animates the Uniting Churches presages good things for the higher life of the Canadian
people. Througn the contagion of this salutary example,
other Christian peoples will in all likelihood be benefitted,
The next question is: Can the spirit of brotherhood
and of Christian co-operation be carried over into the
sphere of international relations?
While no one will claim that war is the only evil
which threatens our modern civilization, yet today all
must realize that war and its aftermath intensify all
other evils and nullify efforts for good. The war-system
is the very antithesis of the gospel of Christ; and the
"next world-war" would be inevitably more destructive
and more diabolical than the last. It would be a worldwide debauch of scientific murder and organized suicide,
of mutual asphyxiation and electrocution. Says Sir
George Foster, "The last war would be to the next war
as the pale moonbeams to the very flames of Hell."
No honest follower of the Prince of Peace can remain
indifferent to the peril which menaces the human race.
Nevertheless, up to the present moment, peace workers
have a right to repeat the exclamation of William Lloyd
Garrison in the fight against slavery: " The apathy
of the people is enough to make every statue leap from
[159] its pedestal, and to hasten the resurrection of the dead."
In the long run, the aphorism holds true that "peoples
have the governments they deserve." In a vaster sense
it may be said that the nations experience the world conditions they merit. Their citizens are passively opposed
to war, but they are. not actively in favor of peace. The
most frightful lesson of modern history has left the mass
of them quite unconcerned about the future. They will
accept peace as a gift, but they will not pay for it.
Even the professing Christians among them lack the
spirit of sacrifice.
Consequently, we find the same lack in the governments that represent them. "On the morrow of the Armistice,"   declared  ex-President  Poincare,   "each  of   the
belligerents resumed  its   'sacred   selfishness.'"
At the ensuing Peace Conference, to quote a British observer, "not a single nation made a single voluntary sacrifice of what is regarded as its own vital, seperate, national interest." Unhappily, each nation was totally
blind to its own selfishness. Never had the peoples of
the world greater need to join in the prayer of Robert
"Oh, wad some power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!"
Since 1919, the spirit of national selfishness has remained the obstacle in the way of progress toward organized peace. It has not been even enlightened selfishness, but short-sighted, timorous and stupid selfishness—not the selfishness of statesmen only, but of the
misguided mass as well. The mass is misled by the
powerful influence of special interests; and enlightened
statesmen dare not do their best and wisest things for
lack of public support. Nevertheless, even if the spirit
of all Christians were exemplary, and that of all nations
[160] were better, the right spirit alone would not suffice.   It
must have a fitting instrument for its expression.
To-day we have such an instrument. In the League
of Nations (rendered possible by modern inventions,
by the progressive annihilation of time and distance)
the aspirations and visions of saints and seers have become a reality. Here we have a frail but living and growing organism through which Christian principles may be
applied methodically and constructively to international
relations. The battle for world peace is not won, but it
is on. The churches of Christendom will see it gained
through their participation, or lost through their abstention. It is useless to criticize the existing League. It is
feeble and faulty. The unique and inspiring thing about
it is that it does exist.
Not only does the League exist, but it works. In
the five years since its birth, it has nipped in the bud five
incipient wars, settled boundary disputes between nations,
protected minorities in newly constituted states, repatriated 500,000 prisoners of war, succoured Greek and Armenian refugees, fought world epidemics, launched crusades against the drug traffic and the white-slave trade,
given Austria and Hungary a new start financially, accomplished numerous other tasks of a humanitarian character, created powerful committees for "intellectual cooperation," established at Geneva the International Labour Office, and founded at The Hague the Permanent
Court of International Justice. In the minds of many this
World Court is the greatest achievement of the League.
Here International Law is at last being codified, and here
the appeal is to justice and reason instead of to force.
This record is extraordinary, when one considers
that the League budget last year amounted to less than
$5,000,000 while the defense bill of Britain alone for this
year totals $625,000,000. Even Canadians are taxed
annually about $33 each for the liquidation of the last
[161] war, and only two cents each for the prevention of
another. When citizens are willing to contribute seriously toward the League, they will soon cease to be taxed
ruinously for armaments. Disarmament is one of the
chief aims of the League. What is true of all citizens,
should appeal with special force to the heart and conscience of Christians. True, the League is not a religious, but a political institution. It is to include all
religions and peoples and not Christians only. Consequently, its Covenant avoids religious phraseology. Nevertheless, it is religious and ethical in its essence; and
it depends for success upon the spiritual forces of all
mankind. Without spirituality and idealism its promise
will fail; and its failure will spell disaster to the race.
Every member of the United Church of Canada
should understand that the Church's cause and the
League's cause are fundamentally the same. Union is
strength, and the influence of the United Church should
be immensely and increasingly powerful in the public
policies of our country. Canada enjoys great prestige in
Europe. Her influence is out of all proportion to her
wealth or population. She can be a beneficent leader in
the League if she will show greatness of soul, remembering that it is blessed to give as well as to receive—to assume responsibilities as well as to make reservations.
Canada's spirit will be in no small measure the spirit of
the United Church.
The most practical way in which individual members,
church societies or whole congregations can strengthen
the League and study its problems, is by joining the
League of Nations Society in Canada, (1) or any of its
branches, and receiving League literature. By the beginning of 1925, in thirty of the fifty-six nations composing the League, there were national societies or un
ci).    Address   General   Secretary,   League   of   Nations   Society,
Carleton Chambers,  Ottawa.
[162]  The Church and the Oriental Question
By Professor Theodore H. Boggs
THE race problem is one of prime importance to the
people of North America. Whether we in Canada or
the people of the United States like it or no, our countries
have become in a quite real sense a "melting pot" of all
races. Europe, Asia and other continents, to be sure,
have their own race problems, but it is probably the case
that in North America we find these problems of race relationship most sharply defined, present on the largest
scale and most urgently calling for solution. Considering for a moment the two Anglo-Saxon countries of this
continent as a unit, we may say that our population is a
heterogeneous assortment of people of varying hue drawn
from all continents and from nearly all countries—there
are some ten million or more negroes, about two hundred
and fifty thousand Orientals and vast numbers of less
divergent racial groups from Europe.
So far as the Oriental is concerned, the Pacific Coast
is the racial frontier of North America. The question
of Oriental immigration lies close to the interest, if not
the heart, of the inhabitants of British Columbia, which,
for Canada, is not only the natural avenue of entry for
the Asiatic people, but is also the region where the
Oriental has chiefly settled.
In underaking this brief survey of Asiatic immigration into the Pacific Coast communities of America, with
particular reference to British Columbia, an attempt will
be made first to explain the very widespread opposition
to the Oriental. This will be followed by an enumeration
of a number of basic considerations which can not be disregarded in the search for an adequate solution of the
problems involved.   And finally, in the third place, the
[164] writer will venture to outline briefly certain of his own
views upon a possible remedial course of action.
Reasons for Opposition
In undertaking to explain the widely prevalent sentiment against Orientals, it may be well at the outset to
declare that it is at bottom probably not a matter of inferiority or superiority of races. It is rather a question
chiefly of practical administration.
Among the various reasons underlying the opposition
to the Oriental, the most obvious, and at the same time
the least rational, is race prejudice, which reveals itself
against immigrants who have a peculiar race mark, whether it be physical or otherwise. This sentiment of group
prejudice has marked the history of human groups
throughout the centuries. Strange people, at once dubbed as foreigners, have been subjected to much ridicule
and contempt. Many sincere efforts toward a better understanding between races have been thwarted by this
instinct of prejudice. It passes under the rather staggering name of enthnocentrism, which implies a pride of
race and culture accompanied by a tendency to undervalue other races and their civilizations, in its developed
form it becomes jingoism. Most immigrant groups have
suffered more or less, at least in the earlier stages, on
account of their own distinctive, and therefore new and
strange, physical characteristics, mode of dress or habits
of life. Of late years the old prejudice against the Oriental has been fanned into a more open race hostility owing to his increased economic competition. Although the
yellow and brown men of Asia are not deemed by careful
scholars to be inferior to the white man in intelligence,
they are, nevertheless, quite different from the white in
certain physical respects. Moreover, their acquired cultural characteristics, the product of other civilizations,
also separate them from the whites. These differences,
whether inborn or acquired, have heightened the preju-
[165] dice on the part of the people of British Columbia and the
Pacific Coast states.
The second reason underlying opposition to the Oriental is the economic. This has steadily assumed greater
proportions with an increase in the number of Orientals.
Its first official appearance occurred in a report, adopted by the British Columbia Legislature during 1876, to
the effect that it was expedient that "steps be taken at as
early a day as possible to prevent this province being
over-run with a Chinese population to the injury of the
settled population of the country."
Owing to his less expensive household economy, together with his willingness to accept less comfortable
conditions of work, the Oriental laborer's competition
must undermine the relatively advantageous position enjoyed by the Canadian workman. The reaction on the
Pacific Coast against the competition of cheap labor is
entirely natural. Immigration at bottom involves a conflict of standards of living. If the disparity between the
standards of two countries be marked, the immigration
"urge" toward the higher standard country will be intensified. And this in turn almost certainly will be accompanied by a correspondingly heightened aggravation
or reaction against the immigrants. The peoples of Eastern Asia have a relatively low standard of living. As a
consequence, the Asiatic immigrant can and does underbid the white laborer. It would appear therefore that a
restriction of Oriental immigration is imperative if the
accepted standards on the Pacific Coast are not to suffer.
The fact that the Orientals as a class are industrious,
law abiding and honest does not help the situation.
The economic competition of the Oriental is felt in
many directions in British Columbia in the fishing industry, retail trade, the tailoring business, agriculture, lumbering, etc. His disposition to possess land is instinctively viewed with alarm as prophetic of the future, if
rigid restriction be not practised.   By 1920, some 14,000
[166] acres of land were owned and nearly 13,000 acres were
leased by Orientals.
During the past ten years they have also turned their
attention quite seriously to the lumbering industries. In
1923 in the lumber industries of British Columbia (including saw-mills, logging, shingle mills, etc.) there were
2476 Japanese, some 4500 Chinese and 1,034 East Indians.
In California, in 1921, the Japanese, who constituted
less than three per cent of the population of the state,
produced 69 per cent of five of the basic state crops and
57 per cent of nine principal crops.
The economic argument against the admission of
the Oriental therefore appears abundantly supported by
disturbing facts. This argument however of itself can
scarcely be deemed convincing and final. With minor
variations it has been invoked at various times during
the past century in the United States against the influx
of low-standard workers from Europe. It was urged
against the Irish over half a century ago and later against
the Italians and others. If the Oriental had a white
skin and therefore was as readily capable as the Irishman and Italian of being assimilated through intermarriage, the economic argument would be no more
sound when applied to him than it was when applied
to cheap laborers from Europe. Moreover if legislation
were enacted making it unlawful to pay wages in any
industry below the normal level of the white man's wage
within that industry the economic argument would be
largely met.
The economic argument therefore, notwithstanding its
very wide popular appeal, does not constitute sufficient
ground upon which to base a policy of total exclusion
of Oriental immigrants. Like the first argument, that of
race prejudice, it exerts a far greater influence than its
real worth can justify.
[167] A third reason for the widespread opposition to immigrants from Asiatic countries lies in the fear that unless rigid restriction be practised the Pacific Coast communities of Canada and the United States will speedily
become crowded by Orientals. This we may call the
weight-of-numbers argument.
In passing, brief reference may be made to the extent to which Orientals have penetrated British Columbia.
The Chinese first entered this Province from California
after the goldrush of 1849. During the early eighties
some two thousand or more were brought in to assist
in the building of the mountain section of the C.P.R. According to the census of 1921 there were nearly 24,000
Chinese in British Columbia, the total throughout the
Dominion being 39,578. The Japanese came later. Their
immigration prior to 1900 was quite negligible. The arrival however of 7,600 during the single year 1908
aroused alarm and in consequence an understanding
was reached with Japan whereby the number of Japanese laborers entering Canada was limited to four hundred
annually. There are some 20,000 Japanese in British Columbia and very few elsewhere in the Dominion.
The third Asiatic race involved in British Columbia's
Oriental problem is the East Indian, popularly known
as the Hindu. The East Indian movement, which began
in 1905, quickly assumed large proportions, nearly 5,000
entering Canada during the two years 1907 and 1908.
The tide however was abruptly checked in 1909 by bringing Indian immigration within the scope of that section
of the Immigration Act which requires on the part of
the immigrant a continuous passage from the country of
birth to Canada. The necessary transportation facilities
to make possible such a passage from India to the Dominion was lacking. It is estimated that there are now some
2,000 East Indians in Canada, practically all of whom
are in British Columbia.   According to the United States
[168] census of 1920 there were resident in that country 61,639
Chinese and 111,010 Japanese.
The weight-of-numbers reason for opposition to the
Orientals is based on two principal circumstances.
1. The great disparity in the density of population
of the Asiatic countries on the one hand and Canada and
the United States on the other. Thus in Japan the population is 383 per square mile as compared with 2 in Canada and 30 in the United States. It is feared that if
restrictions were removed our comparatively sparsely
populated countries would soon be inundated by a huge
tide of peoples from the crowded countries of the Orient.
2. The second ground upon which this argument
rests is the greater comparative fecundity of the Oriental.
This naturally applies chiefly to the Japanese inasmuch
as there are but few women among the immigrants of
the other two races. The marked increase in the number of Japanese women admitted to the country during
the years 1918-20 was followed by a notable change in
the ratio of births of Japanese to Whites. During the
course of about ten years the birth ratio changed from
one Japanese to every 252 Whites to one in every 13. In
the state of California, during the year 1920, children
under five years of age formed 18.3 per cent of the Japanese group, as compared with 8 per cent of the whole
population. However, it is necessary to remember that
the rate of natural increase is always higher in the
first generation of immigrants (whatever the race may be,
whether British, Scandinavian, Italian or Slav.) than in
the subsequent generations. Time will undoubtedly show
the same to be true of the Orientals. Indeed we already
have evidence to support this view. The comparatively
low birth-rate among the Japanese in Hawaii would indicate that the high Japanese birth rate in Canada and the
United States is not due to racial causes.
The weight-of-numbers argument is far sounder than
either of the other two.   It rests on more fundamental
[169] considerations and is deserving of the utmost respect.
And yet it, too, like the other, gains in strength from
the fact that the Oriental because of his color is not
assimilated through intermarriage.
The allusion to race intermixture suggests the fourth
reason against Oriental immigration. It is the argument
of racial assimilation. Although clear biological evidence
against the intermarriage of White and Asiatics is lacking and although the current impression that the Oriental
cannot be successfully assimilated through intermarriage
has not been scientifically tested, yet at least the opposition to racial intermixture is so widespread and so deep
that it cannot be disregarded. The contact of the White
and the Oriental on the Pacific Coast has extended over
three-quarters of a century and for the most part it
has been a continuous story of race misunderstanding
and oftentimes conflict. Genuine racial assimilation of
the Oriental appears to be placed beyond the realm of
the possible, in the near future at any rate, by reason of
the color of his skin. Since the two races do not intermarry readily and racial intermixture must therefore
suffer postponement to the indefinitely remote future,
rigid restriction of Oriental immigration is advisable in
order that the Pacific Coast may escape a future race
problem similar to the existing negro problem of the
United States. This is probably the soundest and most
fundamental of the arguments against the immigration of
Asiatics. Intellectually, they are not inferior and culturally they are capable of being assimilated. But so long
as racial assimilation through intermarriage is not feasible, exclusion must be recommended.
This however does not mean that the Whites and the
Asiatics may not have varied and profitable relations
with each other. A constant mingling in commerce and
culture, a development of a common understanding
"through the spread of education and common ideas, will
undoubtedly," it is declared by a careful student of the
[170] situation, "remove in time to some extent hostilities that
now exist."
But even a moderate degree of cultural assimilation,
or personal adaptation to modes and standards of the
adopted country, cannot take place unless immigration
be narrowly restricted. It is to the interest of the Canadian people as well as to that of the Asiatic residents here
that the latter should be culturally assimilated as early as
possible into Canadian life in order to avoid "a government within a government." To this end, owing to
the wide divergence between the racial antecedents, political traditions, and social habitudes of the people of the
Dominion and of the immigrants from the Orient, a
rigid limitation of numbers is imperative. A policy of
rigorous restriction is, moreover, called for on the ground
that lasting benefit is not likely to accrue to either of the
two groups of people unless harmonious relations prevail between them. A considerable immigration of Orientals will lead to disharmony, in consequence of which
injustice will almost inevitably be visited upon the immigrant.
In seeking to meet the various social, economic, political and religious problems resulting from the presence
of large numbers of Orientals in our Pacific Coast
communities, the Christian Churches have it within their
power to render important aid. A responsibility rests
upon them which they share with schools, universities
and other institutions.
The service which the Churches can best render
in this cause is not a direct one, it is not one that will
be followed at once by definitely marked and ascertainable consequences. Instead it is an indirect one but
not less important for that reason.
Thus the Church obviously cannot pose as an authority in Sociology or Economics. It cannot offer competent
opinions upon race relations, government finance, social
insurance, or the biological and social consequences of
[171] racial intermarriage. But there is an important, perhaps
more important, role for the Churches to play. They
can promote that spirit of honest inquiry and irte.'H-
gent goodwill which is essential to success. They should
present a united front against ignorant prejudice and intolerance and the attendant disposition to tyrannize.
Certain General Considerations Which Should
Not Be Lost Sight of in the Attempt to
Solve the Problems Incident to
Oriental Immigration
1. Solution should not be conceived in a spirit of
exasperation or hysteria.
2. The question is not one of race inferiority; it is
rather one, for the present at least, of race unassimila-
3. The solution effected must be in accord with the
best traditions of international courtesy.
4. We must remember that the peoples of Eastern
Asia have a race pride in their old civilizations reaching
back into antiquity.
5. Needless affront must not be offered to the legitimate pride of race of the Asiatic.
Future Remedial Course of Action
In venturing a remedial course of action for the
future the writer would concede at once the necessity of
rigid restriction of all Oriental immigration, even to
the point of total future exclusion of all Asiatics, other
than tourists, diplomats and consuls, bona fide international traders and students in university or technical
courses. However, such total future exclusion, in the
opinion of the writer, should be accompanied by the
conferment by the people of British Columbia of full
rights of citizenship within the province upon all Orientals who become naturalized. If a policy of total
exclusion for the future be adopted without the grant
[172] of citizenship privileges upon naturalized citizens, the
future cannot fail to be productive of misunderstanding
and mutual recriminations. Exclusion not Expulsion
is urged. Expulsion of those already here is utterly indefensible. We Anglo-Saxons can not afford again so
soon to give occasion for another rendering of Longfellow's "Evangeline." In its Orientalized version the
story would reflect no more favorably upon us than
when applied to the French Acadians. How against
their wishes are we to expel residents within our midst,
especially when some thousands of these Orientals are
Canadian citizens? Some 7,500 Japanese have acquired
citizenship, through naturalization while some 3,500 or
more Japanese can claim Canadian birth. Moreover a
permanent denial of full citizenship privileges to naturalized Orientals cannot be justified on high grounds of
justice nor on the dubious grounds of expediency.
The Dominion Franchise Act is subject to such limitation in its operation within any one province as may be
imposed by the Provincial Franchise Act of the province
concerned. In Canadian provinces other than British
Columbia, a naturalized Oriental enjoys the rights of
a citizen, including the right to vote. In British Columbia, however, the voting privilege is denied.
In support of the plea that full citizenship privileges
should accompany naturalization, it may be pointed out
that in Australia more than 1,200 out of the 2,000 resident East Indians enjoy the franchise, and that 500 Indians in New Zealand possess the same right. It may
be added that the Hon. Mr. Sastri, a distinguished East
Indian, has conceded the right of Canada to practice
total exclusion. His request, therefore, that citizenship privileges be conferred through naturalization upon
resident East Indians in Canada cannot be viewed as
imperilling the quality of Canadian standards of civilization. The general views of Mr. Sastri on this matter
appear to be concurred in by many enlightened members
[178] of the Japanese and Chinese races resident in British Columbia.
Finally it may be urged that the policy of denying voting rights permanently to a considerable section of the
population of one province of the Dominion can scarcely
be deemed to be to the ultimate advantage of even the
white people themselves. A democratic country cannot
well be stratified either socially or racially.
[174] The Joint Union Committee for British
IN promoting Church Union matters in British Columbia during the last year, there were at least three main
things demanding special attention and direction. These
were: (1) the proper presentation of the Church Union
question for the information and education of the people;
(2) the passing of the Church Union Bill through the
Parliament of British Columbia; (3) the taking of the
vote in the congregations of British Columbia.
To have charge of these and all other matters arising,
a large joint Church Union Committee was organized for
the province, with a Central Executive on the coast and
representatives iri the different sections of British Columbia. This committee did an immense amount of work
and to them is due much of the honor and credit for the
success of Church Union in B. C.
Those comprising that committee are as follows:
From the Congregational Church: Rev. A. K. McMinn,
Victoria;, Rev. A. E. Cooke, Rev. J. B. Silcox, d.d.
Messrs. Wm. Warner, R. Willoughby and R. Lundie,
Vancouver. From the Methodist Church: Principal A.
M. Sanford, d.d., New Westminster; Rev. W. J. Sipprell,
d.d., Victoria. Rev. O. M. Sanford, Rev. J. P. Westman,
Rev. J. C. Switzer, Rev. J. W. Miller, Vancouver; Rev.
W. P. Ewing, Nanaimo; Rev. D. M. Perley, Penticton;
Rev. J. H. Wright, Nelson, Rev. B. C. Freeman, Cranbrook; Rev. J. C. Spencer, m.d., Port Simpson. Rev. M.
W. Lees, Smithers; Rev. R. M. Thompson, Chilliwack;
Messrs. R. H. Cairns, R. W. Harris, k.c, Geo. Bell, John
Nelson, Chris. Spencer, W. H. Malkin, Vancouver; and
[175] Messrs. W. T. Reid and D. S. Curtis, New Westminster.
From the Presbyterian Church: Principal W. H. Smith,
d.d., Rev. J. S. Henderson, d.d., Rev. A. E. Mitchell, d.d.,
Rev. J. R. Robertson, Rev. E. McGougan, together with
Messrs. G. F. Gibson, L. G. Lindsay and Judge Grant
of Vancouver; Dr. W. G. Wilson, Rev. Thos Menzies
and Mr. Jos. B. Clearihue of Victoria; Rev. H. R. McGill and Judge Swanson of Kamloops; Rev. T. H.
Mitchell of New Westminster; Rev. J. S. Muldrew of
North Vancouver; Rev. J. F. Neiller of Penticton; Rev.
Jos Ball, Kelowna; Rev. W. F. Burns, Fernie; Dr. C.
M. Kingston, Grand Forks; Rev. J. R. McKinnon, Burns
Lake; Rev, E. B. Arrol, Vanderhoof; and Mr. Kenneth
Irwin, Prince George.
This committee was organized with Dr. A. M. Sanford as Chairman and Rev. J. R. Robertson as Secretary.
Mr. Jos. B. Clearihue of Victoria was chosen as legal
counsel to pilot the British Columbia bill through the
House and in this capacity rendered great service. Dr.
W. H. Smith was chosen to present the case before the
Private Bills Committee and did so in a masterly manner.
Dr. Smith's many other great services were highly appreciated. During the passage of the Bill, Dr. E. Leslie
Pidgeon came from Winnipeg and rendered valuable assistance. In the Victoria District, Dr. W. G. Wilson, Rev.
Thos. Menzies and Dr. W. J. Sipprell gave splendid leadership. In the upper country, Judge Swanson and Rev.
W. F. Burns gave splendid assistance. On the Lower
Mainland, not only did all the members give good service,
but Mr. G. F. Gibson and Judge Grant gave much
special help. Dr. Sanford, as Chairman, proved himself
a capable and wise guide, and the Secretary has been
much appreciated for his many services.
[176]  [178]  REV.    GEORGE   C.    PIDGEON,    M.A..    D.D.
UNITED   CHURCH   OF   CANADA ^^^^^rSHE First General Council rose with a message of hope
m ^ I and confidence to the United Church of Canada. The
^L J experience of those days of deliberation left no doubt
^^^^ that the union was already a spiritual reality beyond
highest expectations. We suddenly became conscious of the fact
that these Churches had already grown together into a real, spiritual union. Each problem or proposal, as it came before us, was
discussed with a frankness that was refreshing, but never for a
moment did there appear even a consciousness of the old lines of
division. It became abundantly apparent that decisions of Church
courts and Acts of Parliament were only incidental to the great
union which has been consummated. If anything were needed to
banish sectional feeling, it was supplied by Dr. Chown's generous
act of renunciation. To see the acknowledged chief of a great
body step aside for no other reason than his own conviction that
it was in the interest of the Church he loved, was to seal that
Church forever to self-forgetfulness and self-sacrifice for the
Kingdom of Ood.
The United Church of Canada is one; let there be neither
doubt nor mistake on that point. As a unit we go forward to
our great undertaking in the spirit and power of our ascended
Two great tasks face the United Church. The first is
spiritual. The wider relationship into which we have entered has
meant a rich experience to all; we need now to give this awakened
spirit a new expression. Oive our people the opportunity and
their renewed joy and power will manifest itself in a way that
will mean the deepening of the spiritual life of believers and the
bringing of many to the Cross. The spiritual necessity was given
precedence over everything else in the decisions of the Council,
and all over the land arrangements should be made for the adequate expression of this richer spiritual movement.
[181] The second task that confronts us is missionary. We are
the United Church of Canada; w& must therefore see that-^ the
entire religious need of the nation is met. We have our own
people to attend to wherever they may go, and if our Church is
to be national in any real sense whatever others are not doing
is also our responsibility. Moreover, some of the greatest foreign
mission fields in the world are under our care, and almost their
entire working force is entering the United Church. These heroic
ambassadors of the Cross must receive full support and ample
funds provided for a new missionary advance. Some losses have
been sustained, but the spirit of our Church will develop new
resources to meet the needs.
"Our sufficiency  is  of  Cod."    "In all  these  things we  are
more than conquerors through Him that loved us."
[182]  REV.   S.   D.   CHOWN,   D.D.,   L.L.D.
[184] ENY fair consideration of the subject must convince an
impartial observer that the essential things in Church
Union are separated by the whole diameter of being
from the spirit and substance of the controversy which
of late marked the Movement. More essential far than even unity
itself is the strengthening of character and the enrichment of the
spiritual life of ministers and people of the uniting churches.
Church Union means much more, and is very different from the
vision which has hitherto haunted even many of its advocates.
It will not introduce us to a dormitory filled with flowery beds
of ease, but to a workshop of immense proportions and unmeasured tasks. The attainment of its high purposes will require a
striking spiritual advancement, breaking up the fountains of the
great deep of our souls, so that God may have His own way completely with those who adhere to it.
In this new departure the disciples of Christ are being called
back to the establishment of the first principle and practices of
ideal Christianity. Many of its demands are as yet hidden beneath
the surface of the Movement, but when fully realized, they will
afford an opportunity for spiritual culture, and expansion of
sympathy such as the Church of Christ has not known for centuries; and in some aspects of it, such as the world has never
seen. It already appears that the spirit of a great renunciation
must possess the United Church of Canada if it fulfill the high
purpose of God. It will not be easy to enter into the Kingdom
prepared for it. This fact will not occasion wonder when the
thought of the people is enlarged and adjusted to perceive the
real significance and value of this new spiritual adventure. Every
real advance of the Church of Christ is saturated with sacrifice.
Sacrifice is the life-blood of the Kingdom of God. The difficulties associated with any spiritual problem are to be accepted as a
divine challenge to greater personal consecration. The will of
[185] Providence is often discerned in the very hindrances which beset
its fulfilment. The ease of the march never proves that the
soldiers of Christ are on the right route. In the race which
Heaven sets before the Christian only great hearts win through
to the goal.
It is but simple truth to say that on account of the presence
of this spirit of sacrifice in the inaugural services of the new
church there was manifestly present a sense of transcendant
spiritual sublimity, and a feeling of gracious power unprecedented
in the experience of any, person who was there. This is a matter
of universal testimony. Throughout the sessions of the First
General Council there was no trace of any denominational bias,
nor the emergence of any effort to obtain personal advantage.
Since the close of this great Council I have heard no expression of desire to change any of the decisions reached but all
acclaim their faith in a most worthy and fruitful future.
\J~*^s  O^Ctnxjyi —
Rev. John Knox Wright, a son of the manse, was educated at Knox College, Toronto. His first charge was at
Knox Church, London, Ont., after which he spent five years
in the Foreign Mission work in Trinidad. He came to this
Province in 1899, and did much pioneer work and afterwards labored in Cooke's Church, Chilliwack, and in 1901
was called to Chalmers Church, Vancouver. In each of
these fields he toiled with unwearied zeal and great acceptance. His greatest work was in connection with the B. &
F. Bible Society in which he devoted all his energies for
fourteen years as Secretary and the present strong position
of the Society is due to his great activities and organizing
ability. In 1913 Westminster Hall conferred on him the
degree of D.D. as a tribute to his labors and scholarship.
He passed away at his home in Kerrisdale on February 11th,
[187] REV.   EBENEZER   ROBSON.   D.D.
The Rev. Ebenezer Robson was born at Perth, Ont.,
January 17th, 1835. His parents came from Jedborough,
Scotland. In 1857 he entered Victoria College as an undergraduate and was ordained in 1858. His first appointment
in British Columbia was Fort Hope, then to Nanaimo, and
after six years pioneer work he returned East on account
of Mrs. Robson's health.
He returned to British Columbia in 1880, being stationed at New Westminster. When the first Conference was
organized in 1887, Dr. Robson was elected President, being
then pastor of Homer St. Church. He moved from place to
place until, in 1900, after 42 years in the ministry, he was
superannuated. He still carried on the work of his Master,
but without the responsibility of a pastoral charge until
1910. Dr. Robson's life was filled with the work and
labor of love. In all parts of the country and by all sections of people he was known and loved. Throughout the
whole of his ministry his devoted wife shared with him the
toils and joys of his great mission. Such a life could be
lived only as it drew inspiration from the Unseen, Our Lord
and Saviour Jesus Christ. He passed peacefully to his reward on May 4, 1911.
[189] REV.    JAMES    TURNER
The Rev. James Turner was born in the village of
Gorton, County Tyrone, Ireland, in March, 1842. He was
educated and confirmed in the Church of England and was
converted at a good old time Presbyterian revival. As a
lad his conduct was exemplary and as he grew into manhood
his character became more intensely religious. In 1869
he went to London and entered the London City Mission.
As the result of his work he contracted a severe illness,
and was on his recovery ordered to a dry climate. He arrived in Toronto July, 1870, taking his sister, Mrs. James
Weir, completely by surprise.
Rev. Dr. Evans (leader of the pioneer party of missionaries to B.C.) was pastor of the church he was attending
and invited him to accept a vacancy near St. Mary's in the
London conference, but he felt at the time he could not
accept the responsibility. He shortly after took the call
and at the end of three years he met Rev. A. E. Russ who
had just returned from B.C. and within an hour the need
of a missionary in that field had so thrilled him that he
volunteered to go. He was ordained by Rev. Dr. Rice at
Hamilton. Mr. Turner was stationed at New Westminster
as assistant to Mr.  Russ.
His wonderful record of self sacrifice and labor of love
for the cause of his Master throughout British Columbia and
the Yukon is thrilling in its beautiful devotion to duty.
He endeared himself to all classes and his memory will be
ever green to Christians throughout Canada.
He passed on to his rest on August 12th, 1916, at the
ripe age of 74 years.
On May 20th, 1922, a memorial in the form of a granite
cross was erected to his memory at Mountain View Cemetery.
[191] [192]
W.    H.    SMITH.   M.A.,   PH.D.,    D.D.
PRINCIPAL    WESTMINSTER     HALL The United Church of Canada in the
Coming Days
By Rev. W. H. Smith, M.A., Ph. D., D.D.
Principal of Westminster Hall, Vancouver, B. C.
The consummation of the organic union of the Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches in
Canada is such a unique event in the annals of Christianity that any attempt to forecast the future of the new
church must be regarded as the result of a study of the
underlying principles which operate in the spiritual realm
rather than as any suggestion of any prophetic insight
on the part of the writer. Looking backward over the
history of churches and types of doctrine it cannot be
doubted that these have followed well defined principles of human nature in relation to both truth and error,
and that such persist or fail not because of the claims of
their advocates but because they have been rooted in
truth or sought to draw their support from wells which
could hold no water. With the growth of the modern
scientific ideal and method it may safely be assumed that
in the future all systems which are based upon falsehood will lose their appeal and only those which are
based upon reality will abide. In seeking to estimate the
place of the United Church in the life of Canada, and
especially in British Columbia, there are three main considerations :—
1. The spiritual contributions which each of the
churches have brought in to the United Church.
These great churches arose at a time when Christian
people were seeking to find a type of organization which
would embody and adequately express their own spiritual experiences and ideals.    Dissatisfaction with exist-
[193] ing conditions must have been very real when men would
forsake the churches of their fathers and lay the foundations of different types. We can never understand
the full meaning of the contribution of the churches
until a careful study is made of the systems against which
they protested and the yearning they sought to express.
It is impossible to do this, within the limits of this article. The only thing possible is to state the main facts
in a few sentences.
A. The Contribution of Congregationalism.
The two main streams arose in England and the United States. As the underlying ideals are substantially
the same one summary will be sufficient. It is essential
to remember that Congregationalism is a definite type
of church government, distinct from Episcopacy on the
one hand and Presbyterianism on the other. It arose
during the persecutions of Mary when refugees were
compelled to flee to the Continent, where a small group
conceived the idea of laying aside the superintendency
of pastors and elders and to vest all power in the hands
of congregations. Against the tyranny of existing rulers
these feeble folk determined to leave existing organizations and found others in which their ideals could function. The long struggle through which Congregationalism passed bears eloquent testimony to its passion for
spiritual freedom and the right to self-determination.
In looking at the ideal of truth and life which found
it necessary to adopt such a type of church government
it is well to bear in mind that these early leaders believed that Jesus Christ was the only head of the Church,
that the Word of God was its only statue book, that the
visible churches are distinct assemblies of godly people
gathered out of the world for purely spiritual purposes,
that these separate churches have full power to choose
their own officers and to maintain discipline and that in
respect to all internal management they are each inde-
[194] pendent of all other churches and equally independent
of all state control. From the days of Robert Browne in
1571, who was regarded as the founder of English Congregationalism, until the eighteenth century these principles were maintained, amid all the persecution and suffering inflicted upon their advocates. With the recognition of religious freedom it was felt that closer communion among such congregations and with sister churches was desirable. It was the beginning of a more
compact organization and wider fellowship which made
possible later developments.
Congregationalism in Canada is the outcome of the
blending of several branches and shares in the same general attitude toward the fundamental principles of the
original churches. It is the smallest of the uniting churches but for the nobility of ideal, fidelity of purpose and
the sacrificial spirit it is worthy to stand beside the finest
achievements of the Reformation.
B.    The Contribution of Methodism.
So great has been the influence of Methodism that it
has been called the third epochal religious movement in
the history of Protestantism in England. Isaac Taylor
speaks of it as the starting point of our modern religious history. Methodism did not originate as a protest
against the existing type of church government but as
a demand for a fuller spiritual experience and a more
aggressive service. There was no intention in the mind
of the founders to create a separate church organization. At the time Puritanism had lost its zeal and evangelical fervour, and had become tainted with deism,
whilst the Established Churches were being forsaken by
their worshippers and the spiritual interests of the masses
were neglected. Methodism was born in the minds and
hearts of a few Oxford students, prominent among
whom were John and Charles Wesley and later Whitfield,
who in 1729 formed an association for Bible Study and
[195] religious conversation. In addition these men began
to visit the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned. They
stressed the idea of the value and the necessity of personal work and testimony. When these ideals had been
tested the leaders felt called to adopt such as their life
work. Almost immediately the movement they originated assumed great proportions. The new type of
preaching swept the land, multitudes were convicted of
sin, conversions occurred amid most remarkable physical and mental experiences and meetings were soon
held in the open air where tens of thousands gathered
under scenes of unparalleled interest. As the work developed prominence was necessarily given to lay-preaching
and travelling evangelists. It might almost be said
that the admission of the lay-preacher determined the
history of Methodism in its formative period. The next
important feature was the organization of converts into
classes or class-meetings. The type of life demanded
of converts was indicated in the General Rules which
required clean living, observance of the institutions of
the Christian religion and consecrated service and testimony. Whilst Wesley did not elaborate any system
of theology he stressed the practical aspects of Christianity as demanding regeneration and sanctification. Each
of these assumed a somewhat novel aspect as being removed from the current thought of the times. The marvellous successes of Methodism throughout the world
can be traced to these original convictions which exalted
definite spiritual experience of the new Christian life,
readiness to use consecrated lay workers in evangelism
and a determination by practical use of the means of
grace and testimony to attain the highest possible standard of living. Methodism in Canada is the product of
various streams from the original sources and carries
the same fundamental convictions modified in the light
of ever widening knowledge and ever changing social
[196] C.    The Contribution of Presbyterianism.
Presbyterianism was fortunate in adopting a Biblical
name to designate its type of church government. The
word Presbyter, elder, whilst common in the New Testament and during post-apostolic times disappeared before
the growing prominence of the episcopate. Calvin restored the idea and the consequent form when he organized the Church at Geneva, in 1541. His order was pastors, teachers, elders and deacons. It was in Scotland
that the eldership came to its maturity after the presby-
terate was established in 1560. It must be remembered
that Presbyterianism is essentially a system of church
government, not a system of doctrine. Whilst generally
speaking Presbyterianism throughout the world has
adopted the same system of doctrine, other churches
have adhered to that same system although adopting different type of church government. The Pan-Presbyterian Confederation declares that it is "the alliance of
the churches throughout the world, holding the Reformed
Faith and organized on Presbyterian principles." In
Scotland where Presbyterianism was first firmly rooted,
although greatly handicapped by the loss of most of the
resources of the Church at the hands of political leaders,
its achievements were noteworthy and have challenged
the admiration of the world. Prominent were the demand for popular education, a high standard of training for the ministry, the struggle for the maintenance
of the spiritual independence of the church, the pronounced missionary spirit and the demand for a democratic spirit in government. The various branches
throughout the world have cherished similar convictions.
In Canada Presbyterianism is the result of the union
of various types of churches, an achievement clearly
showing the desire for the substance rather than the form
of vital organization. The relation of the church to
its Confession has been the occasion of much controversy.
[197] Originally, it served as a bond of union for the church, a
guarantee of the loyalty of its teachers to the truth as
therein expressed, but primarily as an expression of the
faith of the Church. At best it was always a Subordinate Standard, the one supreme standard being the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. The Confession
merely set forth the Church's interpretation of the Scriptures at a certain time. As such it is a mile post on the
march toward perfection. The church has so regarded
it and has modified it from time to time as fuller conceptions of truth became assured. The idea that the Confession is to bind the faith and conscience of the church
finds no support in history as every church has felt free
to modify the Confession in the light of growing experience. To take any other position dooms the church
either to stagnation in its thinking or to dishonesty in
its subscription.
The United Church is thus the substance of the faith
and practice of these three churches. Each brings a
notable contribution. There are certain great things held
in common, such as the acceptance of the Scriptures as
the supreme standard of faith and morals, the non-liturgical ideal of worship, the emphasis upon personal experience and their desire for communion and union with
all the people of God. But they also bring certain distinctive gifts and treasures. Congregationalism appeals
for freedom and independence in congregational life and
work. This is satisfied by the Act of Incorporation
by which existing congregations continue to enjoy their
present privileges and the United Church has the right
and power to modify its standards as thought necessary.
Methodism brings its emphasis upon personal spiritual
experience, its ability to use lay-workers in the church,
its stirring Evangelistic message and its insistence upon
the social implications of the Gospel. As these were
shared by the other churches Methodism will find no
change in the United Church.    Presbyterianism brings
[198] a well defined system of church government by Presbyteries, which is substantially the system of Methodism
under-another form, an historic sense of spiritual independence and democratic ideal in working out destiny.
It must not be imagined that any one of these is
even at the present distinctive of any of the Churches.
They were the common heritage of all although not
equally stressed in the past. No one before the Union
could clearly trace or distinguish the old historic differences. Such differences as pertained to education,
missions, evangelism, administration have really disappeared in the fuller life and faith of the churches so that
the United Church combines the best in each and all
whilst omitting that which was outgrown. The great
processes which have been going on in these three churches have been going on in all growing churches so that
the United Church is so true to Presbyterianism that it
will be a member of the Pan-Presbyterian Alliance
so true to Methodism that it will have its place with Universal Methodism and also with Congregationalism. It
stands the sum and substance of all that has made each
great and worthy in the past.
2. The World in Which the Church Must Function.
Before it is possible to forecast the probable contribution of the United Church to the highest interests
in Canada and the world it is necessary to have some
reasonable appreciation of the conditions in which the
church must do its work. The relation of the Eternal
Message to human life has always been condiitoned by
the knowledge and experience of the age in which it was
delivered. When the people dwelt in Egypt or Palestine the revelation was made on the background of their
experience. It was the age of sacrifice. When it was
presented in Apostolic and Post-Apostolic times it was
on the background of Greek Philosophy. In the Middle
Ages and Modern times the peculiar background deter-
[199] mines the manner in which the gospel reaches the human heart. It must be vitally related to the ordinary experiences of the people. The world today is a different
world from that in which the three uniting churches originated, different in knowledge, cosmic viewpoint, social
relations and international ideals. The Great War only
hastened the overthrow of outworn forms and institutions but the process was working long before the war.
A new world is emerging from the confusion of the past
and already certain main outlines appear.
A. Its Physical Oneness.
Physically and geographically the world is known.
There are no new continents to discover. The nations
are in closest touch. The ideals and methods are rapidly
becoming standardized in the practical affairs of life. In
a short time the great thought currents, hopes and fears,
successes and failures of the race will find an answering
response in every heart.
B. Its Widening Knowledge.
Science is coming to its freedom and power. The result is that the age demands reality. Truth alone will
stand the searching test of life. The old world of super-
stitution is rapidly vanishing and something of the universality and validity of reason, law and order are taking its place. Many places still exist where the light
of science and spiritual truth have not penetrated but
the circle of knowledge and truth is ever widening and
will ere long embrace all peoples. Religion is one of the
realms of life passing under review. In the days of isolation religion could remain tribal, but all tribal religion
must pass with the passing of the tribal conception of
life. Science stands vitally related to genuine religion
and each sustains, purifies and fortifies the other. The
deeper and wider knowledge of personality leads inevitably to God, the ultimate source of all truth and to Jesus
Christ who reveals and interprets God to men.
[200] C. Its Deepening Social Passion.
The age is alive with a demand for a real democracy. Human wellbeing is becoming the standard by
which all activities and institutions are being tested. It
means that not only the individual but society itself
must be redeemed.
Into this world the United Church enters. Before the
church can fulfil the function the Master assigned His
church it must be able to present its message in the clear
light of world humanity, of reality in knowledge and experience and with a passion for world brotherhood.
i 3.   The Contribution of the  United Church in the
Present and Future.
It has already been pointed out that the United
Church stands in the forefront as a church which unites
great spiritual forces and ideals which have made each
of the three churches effective in dealing with the peculiar problems which have confronted them in their history. It is a church in which the essential elements have
combined and the things which separated in the past have
been eliminated. With the united wisdom, experience,
leadership and spiritual aspirations it faces the new tasks.
The work which must be done is in a measure new. The
conversion of the individual the spiritual upbringing of
the young, the sanctification of the growing saint, the
comfort of the sorrowing and the dying with many similar ministrations will all remain and must remain until
the Master comes again. But it is evident that the Kingdom of God must come, that God's will must be done
on earth as in heaven, that business, society, governments,
industry must all be saved or permeated with the Christian ideal and spirit. Whatever may have been the actual
programmes and achievements of any of the churches
in the past it is evident that these have been but the beginnings and the real victories have yet to be won. It
is in this wider sphere of Christian leadership and power
[201] that the future of the United Church lies. It ought to be
frankly stated in this connection that there is only one
remedy for all the ills of life both individually and socially and that is the healing, uplifting, purifying power of
the Spirit of God which comes in and through the Gospel
of Jesus Christ. The future of the United Church seems
radiant with promise and hope because it possesses several factors which the Uniting Churches did not enjoy in
their former relations as separated churches. The following suggest some of the possibilities:—
A.   The Life of the People will be Greatly Enriched.
It is a commonplace that the better educated a man is,
the wider his knowledge and the truer his human instincts
and relations, the more valuable he is to the Church and
society. Denominationalism inclines to run along well defined ecclesiastical lines. The contrast between the man
who knows only his own Church organization and the man
who knows that of all the Churches marks the differences between one who sees the Kingdom of God from
one angle and one who sees it from all angles. In the
past the members of the uniting churches were trained
largely along their own church lines and knew the treasure found there. In the United Church the members,
especially the young people, will be trained in a three-fold
heritage of history and experience. They will know
the riches of the combined treasures of these churches
and see things in the wider range and sympathy. All this
will mean a training in appreciation which is a necessary"
preliminary to seeking the establishment of the wider
brotherhood. It is but a beginning, but a hopeful beginning. The years preceding the consummation of the
union have revealed how rich the history and fellowship
of the negotiating churches are and how little was vitally
known of these riches until the years of intimate fellowship led into the new highways studded with heroic figures and fragrant with the prayers of the saints.   This
[202] new possibility will make much easier similar fellowship
with churches which may yet find their destiny in a wider
B. The Theological Expression of our Christian Faith
will be More Biblical and Less Metaphysical.
This is not the place for tracing the rise of the systems of dogma but it is well to bear in mind that they
were not the outcome of Biblical material in the light of
that material alone but the result of attempts by the
church to interpret Christian ideals and truth on the background of philosophical and ecclesiastical conceptions.
The tendency of every age has been to attach an air of
finality to its confessional statement. In the past and
present this tendency has been so exalted that the Confessional statement has been regarded as final and that
any attempt to think beyond it or in opposition to it must
be regarded as disloyal to the truth as held by the church.
Ministers who were independent enough to do so were
accused of heresy and frequently disciplined or expelled.
It is evident that if the Church is ever to know the
truth in its fulness or ever to become one as Jesus prayed
his people might1 be one that progress in the apprehension
of truth ought to be the principle of a genuine Christian
life and ought to be welcomed and encouraged. The
United Church of Canada has achieved the legal right
and power to do what the Uniting Churches always
claimed the spiritual right and power to do to modify
its subordinate standards in the light of growing knowledge until truth is attained. This means that the
United Church faces the future with an open mind,
expecting the Spirit of Truth to reveal Himself and to
be led forward. The full significance of this will be
apparent only when the Church feels the obligation to
restate its doctrinal position in the light of the demand
from the spirit of the age in which it lives. Such restatement is already urgent and the continuous upheavals
[203] and unending attacks upon all who do not think in terms
of the past disclose the sadly distracted condition of
many who should have attained peace and assurance instead of the uncertainty and fear so prevalent in many
C. The efficiency of Christian Service will be greatly
This is so evident that any elaboration is unnecessary. It will be found, first, in ministerial efficiency.
Students will be better trained, better provision be made
for such training, ministers will have work guaranteed,
better salaries, better provisions for more favourable
opportunities, better provision for old age or infirmity.
Second, in congregational w'ork. Many charges will be
open the whole year instead of part time, many placed under ordained men, weak charges will be strengthened and
the material resources consolidated. As a factor in unifying the community life a new day will dawn. Third,
in supervision. This will include such departments as
education, publications, administration. In a Church
such as the United Church there is urgent need for specialists, which could not well be provided in the past.
D. The Appeal to the Incoming Nations.
Whilst the strength of denominationalism in the past
ought to be carefully estimated it is a matter of common
knowledge that these lines are rapidly disappearing. Already the congregations of the United Church contain
members of several denominations. The complexity of
modern life is unfavorable to the perpetuation of denominational peculiarities. The United Church holding the
Reformed Faith will in many instances be the cementing
factor in holding together those of the Reformation
traditions. Community life will be stronger and more
sympathetic and those who would not be able to accept
some of the demands of the former denominations will
be able to accept the principles of the United Church.
[204] This is especially true of the people coming from the
Orient. The demand for a United Church represents
the desire to find their Christian life in a church approaching the essential realities of the Kingdom rather
than in a church which has adopted the forms of Western
Christianity in the various types of denominations. With
this new attitude in the Orient it is reasonable to believe
the United Church will be in a much stronger position to
carry on its work in the foreign fields.
E. The greater efficiency in all work on behalf of
righteousness and social reform.
The success of any movement dealing with the social
and moral life of the people depends largely upon the
intelligent wide-spread knowledge and sympathy of
the people. There can be no doubt that the successes
of temperance reform were largely due to the quiet
work done with the young people a generation ago. With
the passing of legislation much of this work was
dropped and we now have a constituency which must
again be educated in fundamental principles of temperance. The value of united effort on behalf of social
and moral reform is finding abundant illustration in many
of the newer movements, but the more closely these are
linked with the Church and inspired by Christian ideals
the better will be the outcome. The United Church will
present a programme of leadership both educational inspirational which will rally the young people as well as
the men and women round the standard of a clean, progressive national and social life.
Other aspects of the place of the United Cburch in
our :ommon life will readily suggest themselves. But
it must not be overlooked that one of the greatest contributions will be the appeal which will come in the justification for the union by means of spiritual results
achieved. The eyes of the whole Christian world are
fastened upon the United Church, and should the great
[205] adventure succeed it will open the door to others who
timidly shrink from similar action. The new day is just
dawning. It will require many years to make all the adjustments and to eliminate all the unnecessary machinery.
It will demand patience, forbearance and courage to endure throughout these formative years. The unseemly
aspects associated with the union bulk much too largely
in many eyes. History gives the true perspective. Within
a short time these unworthy elements will disappear. The
real significance of the movement must be estimated when
we bear in mind that before long Canada may have 50,-
000,000 and British Columbia 5,000,000 inhabitants. To
have been able to unite these three churches and to unite
the Christian forces for the glory of the Master will be
viewed as an achievement entitled to be ranked as one
of the most significant since the Reformation. Then
the present distresses and turmoil will seem very small
indeed. History will scarcely record what many today
magnify. The great spirit of the centuries will have
judged the whole transaction and the final vindication of
the union will be the greater glory which will crown the
brow of Him who alone is the King and Head of the
The final consideration to which all else is preparatory
and contributory is that the hope of the United Church
rests primarily on its capacity for spiritual interpretation
and leadership. The uniting Churches throughout their
history have manifested these gifts in a marked degree.
To adequately set forth these capacities would be to write
the inner history of the three Churches. But if the spiritual contribution of each is considered separately there
stands out a record of magnificent achievement. Now
that the three streams have united the volume of testimony is correspondingly enlarged. Call the long roll of
outstanding scholars whose constructive works have enriched the thought and life of the whole Christian world,
of orators whose messages live as flaming tongues with
[206] Apostolic vision and zeal, of preachers whose steady
bringing forth from the treasure house things both new
and old have enabled men and women to endure in the
ordinary toil of life and face great emergencies with
faith and hope born of the Eternal Spirit, of evangelists
who have shaken continents with their prophetic insight
into the urgency of the Divine Call, of missionaries who
have pierced the night of heathenism and in the light of
God have created a Christian civilization where formerly
stood temples to gods made with hands, of social reformers who challenged great evils in the civilization of their
day and succeeded in moulding organized society on
lines approaching the divine pattern, and of that innumerable multitude who in the quiet of their own hearts
and homes have communed daily with God as their
Friend, and it cannot be doubted as their united testimony goes forth into all the earth that the capacity for
spiritual interpretation and leadership has been the distinctive characteristic of the Churches.
The long experiences and struggles of the past have
led to a vital appreciation of the value of spiritual freedom to follow Christ as the very essence of the Church's
life. Nothing must come between Him and His Church.
His mind alone determines its destiny, His gospel alone
determines its message and His Spirit alone determines
the attitude the United Church must take to all problems.
With such a heritage it is reasonable to believe that the
United Church is on the eve of a new day of spiritual
Through the trying days of opposition and disappointment, this capacity for spiritual leadership has been tested and found worthy. The wonderful spirit of brotherhood and goodwill, the deepening life of fellowship and
patience, can only be understood as springing from the
presence of the Indwelling Spirit of Love and Grace. As
the United Church faces the trying years of reconstruction and the long road of service following the successful
[207] . accomplishment of this initial task, the achievements of
the past justify the assurance that the same grace will
still abide and continue to lead as the pillar of cloud by
day and of fire by night. It is evident that the United
Church has the human resources of mind, spirit and
financial treasure necessary to fulfil its high destiny and
mission when Jesus Christ is given His proper place of
authority and leadership. As the Hebrews were standing upon the banks of the Jordan eager to enter the
Promised Land, Moses issued the proclamation, "Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders
among you." The "tomorrow" to which he referred was
but the beginning of wonders which increased until Jesus
came to bring every human life into the Promised Land
of peace, purity, joy and power. So with the United
Church. We stand at the beginning of wonders. Hundreds, it may be thousands, of years may pass before
the full story of achievement can be written. So far as
we are concerned, the one great concern ought to be such
sanctification of life and resources as will enable the
people going forward to see clearly the shining way and
to walk therein with a firm and steady step until every
resource is laid at the Master's feet for consecrated service and the tongue of fire shall rest upon every worshipper. Few of the charter members of the United
Church will live to see the completion of one chapter of
the new acts which will be written, but all may at least
work and die in the faith and vision which inspired Oxen-
ham when he penned these lines:
Here or hereafter we shall see it ended,
This mighty task on which our hearts are set;
If from beyond, then with the vision splendid,
We shall look back and never know regret.
[208] The Polity of the  United Church of
By Rev. B. H. Balderston, B.A.
A GOOD many years ago Dr. John Watson of Liverpool hurt the feelings of Methodist people when he
stated that the Methodist system of Church government
was without authority. Wesleyans were simple minded
to take offence in this way, for it has now come to be
pretty generally accepted that when our Divine Master,
Jesus, had given His life and principles of living to the
world, He left it to each succeeding generation and to
every country to make its own statement of creed and
to formulate its own Church Polity. Dr. George Pidgeon,
in his tour across this continent in the interests of Church
Union, declared that hitherto we had no Canadian Christian Church, that our Churches were all imported. Right
in Vancouver we hear people speaking of "our Scottish
Church," "our English Church," "our Dutch Church"
and some time ago a movement was on foot to organize
a "Russian Church" in our city. If, under Divine guidance, there is in our Dominion today a real Canadian
Christian Church in the making, let us thank God and
take courage.
Dr. Pidgeon declares that the United Church will be
-the first truly Canadian Christian Church. He goes on to
declare that in its statement of doctrine, in its organization and forms of worship, the Roman Catholic Church
is the product of the Roman Empire; that in the same
way the Anglican and Methodist Churches are English
Churches, as is also the Congregational Church; that
likewise the Presbyterian Church is a Scottish Church.
[209] He further shows that these Churches having been extended into Canada were still more or less foreign to
Canada. He claims, however, that now the United
Church, with all its organization and statement of doctrine, is a real expression of Canadian Christian thought
and life. With tremendous emphasis, he proceeds to set
forth the large place that this new Church will fill in the
life of Canada. The background for Dr. Pidgeon's statement is apparent. The polity and statement of doctrine
of the Greek Catholic Church, for instance, are bound to
be the expression in some measure at least of the forms
of Greek thought, the civilization and the system of Government in which they were cradled. In regard to the
Protestant Churches of Canada, however, while statements of creed have remained largely as they were formulated in the countries of the old world, is it not a fact
that the plans for carrying on the work of the Church
have been changed and adapted fairly well to the conditions of a vast developing country.
Take, for example, the way in which the Presbyterian
Church set aside the "Call System" in appointing ministers to their fields of labor in the Great West. As a mat-
etr of record, it may be stated that in the past, during
the last thirty years, most of the Presbyterian ministers
have been first appointed to their fields by Home Missionary Committees collaborating with Superintendents
of Missions. During these years, the casual observer
thought that in the case of the Home Mission fields the
Presbyterian ministers were called to their fields by the
congregations and that the Methodist ministers were sent
in arbitrarily by a Stationing Committee, when, as a
matter of fact, in the working out of the Methodist system, where the Stationing Committee meets at the time of
meeting of the annual conference, a representative from
each Home Mission field was usually present and became
often a medium between two representatives of his district on the Stationing Committee and the minister who
[210] was a candidate for appointment to the Mission. On the
other hand, the Home Mission Committee of the Presbyterian Church has often found it necessary to appoint a
man to a field when it was not convenient to consult even
one representative from that field. This is a case of shaping the government of a Church to the needs of the work.
As a matter of argument, one might be prepared to show
that in many cases it was the Presbyterians that had the
"Stationing Committee," while the Methodists recognized
the "call system." Further, in regard to independent
charges, all three Churches have to all intents and purposes been appointing their ministers on practically the
same plan. Rarely does a Stationing Committee stand in
the way of an unanimous agreement arranged between a
minister and a congregation acting through its Quarterly
Official Board. The Settlement Committee will, we may
assume, be equally reasonable in dealing with such arrangements when placed before it for final settlement.
There is a case on record where practically the only appointments made, according to the first draft of the station sheet, that stood were those which had already been
arranged between ministers and the Churches concerned.
It is a fair inference that by the time the final draft was
read for information to the Conference, the lay representatives from the various circuits and missions where
changes in appointments were contemplated had found a
place on the Stationing Committee. If one could only get
away from mere names and consider principles, it is difficult to see how the plan for appointing ministers to their
charges under the "Settlement Committee" of the new
Church differs materially from the actual working plans
of the negotiating Churches. The machinery is probably
a little better and is more up-to-date and is more democratic, seeing that the Settlement Committee, the successor of the Home Mission Committee and the Stationing
Committee, is composed of laymen as well as ministers.
Under the new system of appointment, neither ministers
[211] nor laymen have any privileges taken away from them
that they enjoyed under the old systems.
In practically all of the arrangements for the government of the new Church the same holds true. There seems
to be just as we would expect, a wise adaptation, coordination and development of the systems that have been
functioning in the three negotiating Churches. Each
charge will have its Official Board, representative of the
congregation or congregations forming one pastorate. The
Board will appoint representatives to the Presbytery; the
Presbytery to the Annual Conference; the Annual Conference to the Biennial General Council, the highest governing body of the Church and the one endowed with legislative functions. Incidentally, it is interesting to note the
nomenclature—Presbytery, a Presbyterian term; Annual
Conference, a Methodist term; General Council, a Congregational term—when, on the 10th of June, the presiding officer of the General Council shall have been chosen,
the matter of the name that shall be given to the new presiding officer will hardly wreck the new Church. The
Council might be well-advised, however, not to call this
"overseer" a Bishop. Most of us are not much concerned
about the name so long as the right man is chosen and he
does his work efficiently. Presbyterian ministers will hardly retire because of the new Church, through its Presbytery and Conference, shall name a "Settlement Committee," and Methodist ministers will, no doubt, continue
to itenerate though they no longer have a "Stationing
Committee" to send them on their way.
According to the "Basis of Union," one of the duties
of the Annual Conference is as follows: "To see that as
far as possible every pastoral charge within its bounds
shall have a pastorate without interruption and that every
effective minister shall have a pastoral charge, and to effect this through a Settlement Committee, which it shall
appoint annually." Yes, if one forgets names and deals
only with realities, we shall find that practically every
[212] piece of machinery that has been functioning in our old
Churches is being carried over to be set up in the new
Church in better shape and, we trust, to be worked even
more efficiently. A Methodist describes to a gathering
of Presbyterians John Wesley's Class Meetings and the
Leaders' Meeting and goes on to tell of the work of the
new order of workers known as District Visitors: the
Presbyterians whisper to each other, "We take care of
all that through the Elders and the Session." Again, a
Presbyterian explains the work of the Elders and the
Session to a body of Methodists, and they declare, "Our
Class Meetings and District Visitors cover the same
ground." In some cases, however, the Class Leaders and
District Visitors have not been functioning, and sometimes a Session has become fossilized. Can we not
trust the General Council of the new church to make such
arrangements for the setting up of the new Session in
every United Church that it shall have a chance to be
more efficient than all the organizations of which it shall
have become the successor? And shall we not have the
whole work of Religious Education and Evangelism
so ordered and so carried on that the Church shall be
more powerful and more efficient than ever before ?
Within certain limits the General Council shall have
authority "to legislate on matters respecting the doctrine,
worship, membership and government of the church."
This is subject to the approval of the Presbyteries and
if need be of the Pastoral charges, and second, to the
teaching of the New Testament, and third, the condition
that no rights of existing charges shall be interfered
with. With such safe guards we ought to be willing to
trust the General Council, that is to say we ought to
be willing to trust God and trust ourselves. The General Council will, of course, be composed of our appointed
representatives; the congregations appointing the Official
Board; the Official Board setting up the Presbytery; the
Presbyteries   constituting  the  Annual  Conference;  the
[213] Annual Conferences appointing the ministers and laymen to represent them in the General Council; equal
numbers of ministers and laymen finding their place in
Presbytery, Conference and Council; laymen predominating in Official Board with a minister as Chairman. And
yet, some of the people who ought to have remained with
their church and to have come into Union, hold up their
hands in holy horror saying, "Certainly we would, even
now, go into the United Church if the Church would
bind herself to preach the doctrines of the basis of union and to abide by its laws; but the General Council
has authority to change everything and may do so at its
very first meeting." What a terrible plight all are in!
Albeit the church may change her plans, she has the
authority of Parliament to do so. The United Church
type says only, "This is the best we now know, but it
doth not yet appear what we shall be." Tremble ye;
ye that are satisfied and seek nothing better. Yea, tremble ye, ye cowards, ye Medes and Persians, who fear
to launch out into the deep and trust God and your
brethren; ye that have seen it all and know all and have
no understanding of the message which came to Paul
from Jesus, saying: "I have appeared unto thee for this
purpose to make thee a minister and a witness both of
these things which thou hast seen, and of those things
in which I will appear unto thee." Yea, rather cease
from trembling and have faith, for it is of God that one
of the laws of the new church is, that she shall have
power to change her own laws. We are only at the
mercy of God and of ourselves.
But have we not been earnestly and deliberately working on this basis of union for twenty years? Are we
not, now, just completing the building, according to the
carefully worked out plans ? Who ever heard of a sane
family putting so much into the construction of a new
home and forthwith starting to tear the whole structure
down the year they began to live in it?    On the other
[214] hand, if the family increases and needs to extend its
borders; if some day, new alliances seem to be desired;
if the resources of the family, material, intellectual and
spiritual, increase and they need a place for a library
and increased accommodation for the expressions of hospitality and brotherhood; if they have developed plans
for letting in more of Heaven's sunlight; surely no
law, civil or ecclesiastical, will stand in the way of needed
alterations or extensions. Should we thus bind ourselves
and our successors for all time to come to the past or to
this present ? God and truth do not change but we ought
to change, and surely more light and wisdom may yet
come to His church, and we ought to go on, humbly ready
to follow where the Spirit of God will lead; and this God
will enable us to do unless we bind in iron clothes ourselves and our heirs. Did not that great good man of
God, John Knox, protest when the Scottish Parliament
set out to interfere with the freedom of the General Assembly, saying, "Take away the freedom of Assemblies
and you take away the Evangel." The words spoken by
Pastor John Robinson addressing his little band of Congregationalists on their way to the new world seeking,
"freedom to worship God," "Believe me God shall yet
break forth with new light upon his Word," are received
today as the message to the United Church of the incoming Congregationalists.
The new Church stilt hears the command of God "Go
forward." The new Church is no place for the person
who will stick to his little boat and hug the shore: if
his craft is not seaworthy he must get one that is and
launch out. If the best is yet to be; if it really is God's
will that Canada should be Christianized and the dark
places of the earth should have the gospel of Jesus, then,
what government or what church would dare limit the
work of God in His Church today, and shackle the minds
of men that they should not enlarge their plans, amend
their laws if need be, or even make new laws in harmony
[215] with the larger visions oi God's ways of working with
mankind in establishing His Kingdom in their lives ? The
reactionary who is afraid to go on with his denomination
into the great new Church reminds us of a certain foreign professor on the continent of Europe who is described by the late Henry Drummond—"I used to be
concerned about religion," said the professor, "but religion is a great subject. I was very busy; there was
little time to settle it for myself. A Proestant, my attention was called to the Roman Catholic religion. It
suited my case and instead of dabbling in religion for
myself I put myself in its hands. Once a year," he
added, "I go to Mass." That professor if he were living
in Canada today would not enter the United Church. He
would, if he could rouse himself, bitterly oppose a Church
that claimed the right to grow in grace and knowledge,
and when occasion required, the right to change its own
The attitude of the new Church is this—Our polity,
the whole basis of union, is the best expression of our
life and thought just now. We are seeking for more
light and wisdom and larger service. When greater demands are made upon us and we face new responsibilities we believe that the Spirit of God will still be with us
and we shall hold ourselves in readiness to follow where
He shall lead, no law of State or Church daring to make
us afraid.
[216] Forward Looking
By His Honour Judge J. D. Swanson.
THE Church Union issue has created a great sea of
controversy. Should Presbyterians remain as they
were or go forward into Union with the Methodists and
Congregationalists of Canada? The contest has had
its source partly on racial lines, the preservation of the
Scottish type as against the English type. Presbyterians were unconsciously placed in a separate and
distinct category, the product of centuries of Scottish
training and culture. The Congregationalists, the Independents of England, having their roots back in Crom-
wellian days; and the Methodists the more recent outgrowth of the religious revival of the 18th century in
England were placed in another. The former are so
essentially of the Scottish soil, and the latter of
the Southern Kingdom. Between the two Kingdoms
there never was much love lost in the old days, and
strangely this tradition seems to survive, and finds its manifestation even in this new land. The Empire it is true is
a congeries of very different types of people, who try
to get along fairly well together. It is natural that
there should be local clannishness and racial groupings
for social, fraternal and religious purposes. To many
Presbyterians, the Presbyterian Church is regarded as an
institution worthy of reverence and preservation along
with other distinctly Scottish characteristics. They wax
eloquent over the "Church of our Fathers." True the
racial urge for the Church of their fathers is not I think
the deepest secret of the ardor to preserve their Church
It is a matter of psychology largely.   It is in part ex-
[217] plainable by the Conservative mental attitude as distinct
from what may be called the more progressive mental
attitude. I use these terms in their wide generic sense.
The former finds expression in the glorification of the
great and noble traditions of the ages. England thrills
to the call of her historic past, Oxford's centuries' old
romantic past is full of glamour, her eyes are turned to
the past and to the glories of her history and of her
Country. Her very atmosphere is redolent with a haunting beauty and the great traditions of the English people.
Scotland, too, thrills to the story of her past, her achievements in letters, in science, in law, industry and thrift,
and in her Puritan religion. Many noble minds of today
who do not think as we do on Church Union, have been,
under the spell and lure of the past, as they contemplate
our Church and her form of worship. They are unwilling to change, to be shaken out of their comfortable security. They have the mental attitude of Lord Melbourne, whose attitude to the reforms pressing forward
in his day, was as Lord Morley puts it "Let us alone,
let us alone."
There is the glorious call of our past, but what of the
vision splendid of the future? In all reforms through
history the two attitudes seem to have prevailed, those
of the conservative or stabilizing voices like Lord Melbourne's crying out "Let us alone," and of the fervent
crusading reformers, whose eyes are turned towards the
future consumed with a desire for what they believe to
be for the betterment of the human race. Between these
two contending forces our progress as a people has always been made. This Church Union problem is just another manifestation of the same different mental attitudes.
Should we rest content with the achievements and the
glories of the past, or with the spirit of adventure in our
blood press on into the light of further discovery in the
realm of freedom and the uplifting of our fellow man?
As citizens we feel the greatest respect for those of
[218] the other negotiating churches. Their Clergy today are
as well educated as ours, their services are as reverential as ours. We have for several decades been drawing
more closely together; we associate together in every activity of life in the closest manner, at school, at college,
in business, in social, fraternal and service clubs. Why
should we baulk at the closest union of Church life and
worship of God? Our doctrines are one, and our polity
is being accepted without a murmur by our negotiating
brethren. They have given us proof of the greatest
Christian kindness, brotherly love, patience and forbearance during all the unfortunate strife in our Presbyterian ranks. Let us therefore go forward into this wider
Christian fellowship courageously assured that it will
work out for the higher good of our Church and nation.
This is a new land. A great future is about to dawn
for Canada. Her vast territory and almost untouched
resources will within the next fifty years ensure the
making of a great nation of this Dominion. We have an
outlook such as no other land has. In our Confederation
of widely separated provinces, regional or sectional antagonisms and conflicting interests prevail. Canada's
greatest need at this hour is unification. Where can
we more effectively get the dynamic force to unify our
people than from the Church? If the Christian Church
presents a divided front how can we hope to bind the
state together in the firm bonds of closer brotherhood and
good citizenship? To this great task the Church must
concentrate its forces and lead the way, and in unity of
faith and understanding so enthuse our people with the
bountiful love of Christ and the wonderful heritage which
has been handed down to us, that in due season, when the
sacrifices and sorrows of today are forgotten in the fullness of accomplished Christian and national unity, Canada will be that beacon of light which will lead the nations
to goodwill and worldwide peace.
Fifty years ago the first Moderator of the Presby-
[219] terian Church in Canada, a union of the four separate
branches of the Church then existing, Rev. Dr. John
Cook, in Montreal on June 15th, 1875, said in effect:
"This day of union marks an historic day for Canada, the
union of all branches of Presbyterianism in Canada.
Canada is leading the way for the world. It is only
prophetic of what will one day grow into a wider Christian unity of those who hold with us the same doctrines
of our Faith." How prophetic these words seem today!
Surely fifty years from now will again amply justify
the brave and unselfish endeavours of the men and women of today who seek to exemplify in this vital way
the Saviour's prayer that we all may be one. With the
militant courage of the pathfinding pioneering fathers
and mothers of our race who sought to build up this
new land in righteousness and peace w« greet this great
day of unity, "For the multitude of them that believed
were of one heart and one soul."
Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in lesus* love,
The fellowship of Christian minds
Is like to that above.
[220] The United Church of Canada
A Spiritual Evaluation
By Rev. J. R. Robertson, m.a.
IN the Dominion of Canada the 10th day of June, 1925,
is the greatest day in church history, the like of which
the world has not seen since Luther nailed his thesis on
the church doors at Wittenberg. It is a day of spiritual
significance comparable and commensurable with the
Day of Pentecost sending out a thrill and throb to hundreds of thousands of Christian people in the homeland,
and a glad inspiration to thousands more beyond the
The United Church of Canada was given legal birthright by Federal Act of Parliament passed on July 19th,
1924, and by Provincial Acts enacted by the various Provincial Parliaments all of which harmonized in making
June 10th, 1925, the legal birthday of the United Church,
and all of which recognized the spiritual right of the
Church to determine its own destiny, the spiritual liberty
of the church to state or restate its own creed, and the
spiritual independence of the Church to act and govern
by its own constitution.
The inauguration of the United Church of Canada
took place on June 10th, a day of high solemnities. In
the great Arena the 350 commissioners who formed the
First General Council were compassed about with a great
gathering x>f 8000 witnesses who lined the galleries to the
roof and participated in the three great sessions of that
day. The morning session was a great act of worship.
The uniting churches came together in the Processional
Hymn, "The Church's One Foundation." The procession was headed by four leaders of the uniting Churches
followed by the 350 commissioners of the Council with
the singing led by 250 choir voices and joined in by the
[221] chorus of the whole arena. The central act of worship
in this inauguration was the Holy Communion in which
8000 took the bread and the cup, served by 280 elders,
who  from a brief message "Except a com of wheat
die and I if I be lifted up " all entered
into the holy of holies in the silences and solemnities of
the union where all were one in Christ. This central
act of worship was also accompanied by similar acts of
worship in many other centres throughout Canada and
the verbal greetings and telegraphic messages from many
churches in many parts of the world gave testimony to
the universal interest in the spiritual union of the United
Church of Canada.
The composition of the United Church of Canada
comprises the three main denominations of the Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches in Canada. An idea of the dimensions of this United Church
can be suggested by a few figures: Based on the last
Dominion census of 1921 the population was as follows:
Congregational, 30,574; Methodist, 1,158,744; Presbyterian, 1,408,812; a total of 2,598,130, or at the present
time an approximate conservative estimate of two and
three quarter millions to comprise the family constituency of the United Church. The communicant membership of these three uniting bodies was: Cong