Imatges de pÓgina


Government official is not enlarged by his have been there, unless their supporters or being a pauper on those who should be his

owners agreed to pay a just share of the fellow-citizens. Both would be more re- municipal improvements, as their presence spected if they paid their way like other only increases the area to be kept in order, people.

and prevents a greater degree of compact

ness-probably a convenience to him-in SECTARIAN EXEMPTIONS.

the arrangement of the dwellings and places

of business of his fellow-ratepayers. These Of all the abuses that flourish under the examples could be multiplied, did space perpresent system of taxation, that of the ex- mit, in proof of the assertion that exempemption of sectarian institutions and incomes tion is unconstitutional and out of harmony is the most iniquitous. In support of this with the democratic sentiments of the peostatement, the following arguments, showing ple of Canada. the unconstitutionality, the injustice, and That sectarian exemptions, besides being the demoralizing effect of the exemption of unconstitutional, are also unjust, may be sectarian property and incomes, are advanced. most easily exemplified. A man may be

In Ontario, the Constitution demands re- priest to his own household, and his only cognition of only one sect, and that in only altar the family one; yet he is unjustly one respect-the Separate Schools of the compelled to find improvements for instituRoman Catholics. All others are unknown tions from which he derives no benefit, spirito it. Hence a violation of its spirit is wit- tual or otherwise. He may consider nessed in the Legislature compelling the churches unnecessary. One denomination ratepayers of the municipality to recognise gets along very well without a minister, its several classes and all creeds by stipulating members preaching their own sermons, and that the property and incomes of these visiting their own sick and poor ; but this shall be exempt from local taxation. Fur- does not save them from having to pay the thermore, under our system of government, taxes of the ministers of other creeds which and in accord with the genius of our people, it consider them a necessity. The same lot be- . is an admitted principle that all should bear falls the man who has no religion. His right a share in its cost. Taxation was not in-not to entertain a belief or creed cannot be tended to be, and is not, tribute, but a com- questioned ; yet he is forced to pay the taxes mon fund for the general good, to which all of those engaged in preaching doctrines, and should give according to their ability or the of educational corporations disseminating benefit derived. The Constitution never teachings, which he considers false and calintended that a privileged class in this or culated to contract his mental freedom. any other respect should exist. But such a Again, a congregation may not be given to breach has been committed, for it cannot be display, its members being content with a denied that those exempted form a privi- plain church and sufficient ground to set it leged class.

on; the one opposite has massive towers Again, liberty of conscience is secured to or a far-reaching steeple, and occupies a all. To assail it would be to attack the block in the centre of a populous city: yet most sacred of all our civil rights. But is the former has no protection from having to not a man's pocket and conscience unjustly pay towards the improvements encompassassaulted when the Legislature compels ing the costly edifice and the extensive him to recognise all creeds, by forcing him to grounds (from which the public are excluded) provide municipal improvements for the of the latter. property of the bodies which hold and sup- A common case is that of a husband dying port such beliefs ?

leaving a young family unprovided for. The law, in sanctioning local taxation, in- The father has paid a portion of the dicates that it shall bring compensation. taxes of every charitable institution to But it cannot be affirmed that the ratepayer the municipality ; yet when the bereaved derives benefit from this or that church or widow offers her offspring to the managers sectarian institution being surrounded, at of a sectarian orphanage, the answer is that his cost, with all manner of civic improve- the children cannot be received, or that ments and conveniences. If he had his “extra” money will have to be paid, because onn way these institutions would

she is not an adherent of the denomination


which controls the charity. Another says, one shall have the costliest church, the most “My son or daughter will receive a fair edu- artistically laid out grounds, the most commocation at the public schools, yet I have no dious manse for the pastor. To the brotherredress from paying the taxes of sectarian hoods and sisterhoods exemption is an incenschools and colleges, which I do not think tive to accumulate property, instead of tendit necessary my children should attend." ing the sick and teaching the poor. If all A poor man is unable to send his boy to these, church managers included, had to the college of his own or any other denomi- find taxes, they would think more of their nation. He does not, however, escape the spiritual duties—at least they would give less tax collector's demands, and has to provide attention to worldly matters. Exemption for the children of others what he can also tends to the increasing of the number not get for his own. The exemption of of denominations, while a marked sign of denominational schools is unjust to the the times is a union of creeds. It makes public schools. Under it ratepayers not only clergymen dependent, while they should be pay public school rates, but have to pro- independent. vide improvements for the extensive properties held by these sectarian educational

CONCLUSION. corporations.

The suffering taxpayers are further mulct- Without doubt, one of the strongest ared in the taxes of wealthy sisterhoods and guments against exemptions of all kinds is brotherhoods, whose policy has ever been that of the “unearned increment.” The to accumulate property, in mortmain, and untaxed property is constantly increasing in restrict their own number, and who derive value, owing to the construction of improvelarge revenues from teaching, the practice of ments round it, and toward the cost of industries, and the produce of their farms which it contributes nothing. Its market and gardens. There is practically no limit value is always augmenting at the expense to which these corporations cannot reach in of surrounding property. It has only to be acquiring property and holding it in the left alone, and its value accumulates enorname of some church or charity-conse- mously. On the other hand, on assessed quently, free from taxation. They may keep property, a sum, equal to the amount for fifty, one hundred, two hundred good pay- which the property is rated, is paid every ing pupils, and hold sufficient land in the forty-five or fifty years in the way of municiheart of some centre of trade from which pal taxes. That is, the tax-payer really reenough or almost enough is raised to sup- purchases his property at the end of fifty ply the fraternity themselves and their pay- years, while the “ exempted,” at the end of ing guests; yet these same people fail to the same time, finds his property has doubled admit that they are under any obligation to or trebled in value without the least expense the public which supplies them with roads, or exertion on his part. light, water, and a host of other conveniences. Were all property taxed alike, those large The taxpayer has no means of knowing charitable and sectarian institutions, with the receipts and expenditures of these their extensive grounds, which now have corporations whose taxes he pays. He is locations in the centres of cities, would be beyond knowing whether, while he is strug-compelled to seek accommodation in coungling to pay the taxes imposed on him, the try places, where taxation is lower. More "exempted” ministers, professors, brothers, room would then be left in the cities and and sisters are not taking the affairs of this towns for the demands of commerce, while life very easily and probably saving money. these institutions and their inmates would

But besides being unconstitutional and be none the worse for their transfer beyond unjust, sectarian exemptions are also demo- the city or town limits. ralizing. The exemption of denomina- The abuses that flourish under exemption tional properties has removed a necessary are numerous; they are growing, and derestraint, and encouraged extravagance in mand speedy attention. President Grant,

, church and sectarian buildings. It has in a late message to Congress, alluded to materially assisted in the development of the the evils that were the outcome of exempsentiment that finds expression, not in which tion, and said complete assessment was the creed shall do the most good, but in which only remedy. In Quebec, the exempted


property is said to be one-third of the whole,

all property.

Make every one who shares and forms the heaviest burden of the people in the advantages conferred by municipal of that Province. In Ontario, the exempt- expenditures share also in the cost. Let ed corporations are getting more numerous, none be privileged. Place it beyond the and the property exempted more extensive; power of a municipality to exempt a factory, but a vigorous agitation for the abolition or any person or thing. If the municipality of all exemptions is also coming to the desires to aid any individual, charitable corfront. A movement is on foot to have poration, or industry, let it give a bonus, a return ordered at the coming session of but do not permit exemption in any shape the Assembly, of all exempted property or form. When such a course is adopted, through the Province. The public will then none can complain of injustice ; all will be best able to judge of the perniciousness receive full compensation for their taxes, of the system. The true remedy is to tax and no privileged classes will exist.







ROGRESS! Progress is now the uni- mood, and to which I would invite attention,

versal cry urging man on to improve. is the extraordinary aspect of warlike affairs, ment;—to some attainable and, frequently, and the tendency of every new advance in to some visionary good. It is a watchword military art to ensure merciless slaughter more pregnant with meaning than the old and wholesale destruction. The very words, fashioned"Onward"; for"On," or "Onward” usages of civilized war, have always been

; implied nothing beyond a brave dash of en- sufficiently incongruous, but they seem now terprise, fortunate or desperate as it might to have reached a climax of absurdity that happen ; but Progress imports that the for- should make the angels weep. Civilization ward movement must be beneficial to the and a competition of Armstrong and Whithuman race.

worth cannon ! Civilization and armed Acknowledging this as a general approx. rams! Civilization and beautiful shelling;

: imation to truth, though too much carried and such shells and such accuracy! Civilto a boastful length and too often directed ization and unerring rifle practice! Surely to mistaken objects, I have pondered upon if Civilization goes on at this rate, by the some of the phenomena exhibited by the time a little more Progress is made, there age in which we live. I confess to having will be nobody left to enjoy it-except the lost myself in the tangled maze of Civiliza- last woman, perhaps, for the male fighting tion at which we have arrived and in which moiety of mortal kind must all have been we are working our way amid strange moral exterminated results and curious contradictions. The Let us look back—not to remote antiquity questions will still arise in my mind : Are or savage life, where bows and arrows, boomwe better or worse than our forefathers ?

erangs, assegays, clubs, tiny darts blown Are we wiser and less foolish ? Are we through a tube, and lethal instruments of happier, in our generation, or more content- flint, bronze, or iron, sufficed for all the pured ? Do we cherish the nobler human vir- poses of destruction; but to the epoch when tues and practise the blessed Christian pre- gunpowder was invented and applied in cepts more or less ? In answer, I shall only various ways to the business of killing. observe, I am not an optimist.

Proud of the discovery of so fearful an agent, But the immediate source of my reflective a few grand efforts were made to demon

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strate its irresistible power. Little did the and distinct action aimed at individual life. strategists of those days dream of three hun- Civilization and the progress of science has, dred pounders, or of batteries of such huge however, improved upon this unsatisfactory monsters as were truly their ne plus ultra, state of things; and the rifle has superseded What they did produce were boasts of won the old brown-bess. Instead of the hapder! There was Mons. Meg, which still dis- hazard rattling volley, you have the stealthy plays her amazing size in Edinburgh Castle ; rifle with its sharp twang. There is nothing there was The Gun on the Cliff at Dover to be seen of “the pomp and circumstance which bragged,

of glorious war," but there is a crack from

behind a tree or a bush, and a fellow-crea“Charge me well and sponge me clean, I'll lay a ball on Calais Green.”

ture on the opposite side falls forward in the

agonies of death. He has been admirably There are the long cannon and the gigantic picked out (covered, as they call it) and most mortar, brought from distant lands, to adorn expertly slain; and our sure marksman goes St. James' Park, the former plotted to Fies

on to shoot as many more as he can discover chi a King; and there are probably a score to aim at; and, having disposed of some ten more of notable historical pieces, to show or a dozen unfortunate persons, in the how contemptible were the utmost slaughter. triumph of success he heedlessly exposes ing devices of former times when compared himself, and is brought down by a bullet with the improvements and progress in civ- from an unseen hand, as accurate as his own ilization which are being so interestingly de- in the civilized mode of murder which has veloped in our day. Their poor solitary made brown-bess a laughing stock. In the specimens sink into absolute insignificance training now there is Science : Science

In the more ordinary course of smaller triumphs in the sights, for all distances, which ware there was the famous brown-bess which enable the proficient drill to lay the enemy maintained its reputation for two hundred | low as certainly as if his breathing body years. At first the clumsy match-lock took so

were a target and his warm heart a bull's long a time in loading, blowing up the match, eye. and going off, that it was not so deadly as Long ago, and through the ages of raw was expected ; especially as a good deal re- ignorance, the warriors were at immense mained of the casing in armour, such as was trouble in constructing battering rams, and, worn in chivalrous battle when man met under the best shelter they could manage, man in brave encounter, and the victory fell knocking away at the walls of towns in deto the stoutest or most skilful. In this there spite of hot pitch and boiling lead poured ruthwas something like manliness and fair play; lessly on their heads, and big stones hurled and the glory of conquest was rarely dark- down upon them by the besieged with a ened by the infliction of death. And even crushing impartiality. Miserable contrivwhere the brown-bess was most advanta- ances! Look at the iron-plated rams, as geously employed and at close quarters, to its yet only employed on the sea, but speedily credit be it recorded, it is astonishing to to be constructed for land service, and mark think how few were killed in proportion to the mighty improvement. While it is a questhe ammunition expended !

tion whether the enormous cannon can deThe vollies were noisy enough—the sol- stroy wholesale the armed fortifications diers were directed to fire low and they seem which are to be opposed to them, it is highly to have fired not only low but high. They satisfactory to know we have such machines, were also warned to put their trust in Provi- which with a single poke of their beaks can dence, and keep their powder dry; but some extemporize noyades of splendid efficacy. how it happened that owing to the promis- Those of the sanguinary French revolution cuous nature of the fight, few enemies fell were paltry expedients, drowning a few aristo a very liberal allowance of gunpowder. tocrats or suspects, whom it would have

In the slaughter that was committed in been tedious to guillotine ; but our merrythis way, the troops come under the descrip- make style of execution is of a grander order. tion of mere instruments. They manoeuvred with one blow it staves in the side of a and fired away as they were led and ordered ; vessel, and in ten minutes every soul of the but they were almost unconscious of the cas- crew is in eternity. Just as you have seen ualities they produced—there was no direct cruel people plunge a trap with poor mice under water till dead, so the skilled pilot of fenders. Forlorn hopes and storming are the ram, by an exquisite act of seamanship, no doubt “suggestive " epithets signifying a in a moment sends several hundred human vast amount of desperate daring and sufferbeings, full five fathoms deep, to be seen no ing ; but after the “affair" is over, there are more on the face of the wonderfully civilized only a few hundreds or thousands hors de earth.

combat ;-out of the battle, indeed, and dy. War is treated as a game. The shambles ing in hospitals or thrown in their ghastly have their games, though the marrow-bones shapes into bloody graves. Then we hear and cleavers are almost obsolete. Not so the of “ admirable shell practice,” almost every shambles for mankind. On the contrary bomb scattering the limbs of those among the pastimes increase in number and attrac- whom it bursts all around its horrid area. tiveness; and the most innocent nomencla- | And we have a Drumhead Court, at which ture is coined for the varieties. A populous the wretched foredoomed culprit or culprits city is sacked. How much is expressed in are simply arraigned for some disobedience that little word. Thirty thousand men, wo- of orders, summarily convicted and immedmen, and children are devoted to the brutality iately hanged, or, as a favour, shot. On a of an infuriated soldiery reeking with blood larger scale is the more fatal measure of a and hot from their own narrow escape from Special Commission to try offenders or foes wounds or death. They are let loose to by military law. In plain parlance it is simgratify every fiend-passion of lust and re- ply a psuedo-irresponsible method of cutting venge upon the miserable inhabitants whose off any number of adversaries whom it would only offence is that they have been forced not look well to massacre, poison, or even to endure the cruel tyranny and oppression imprison for the brief period that intervenes of that other band which previously commit- between incarceration and natural death. ted every outrage upon them as their de

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