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Protectionist, and that he adopted a certain cry merely because it was popular. This is a false accusation, for he was Premier in the Government of 1858, when Mr. Cayley, then Inspector-General, introduced and carried the first Protectionist tariff in Canada; and he was still virtually the leader of the Government of Sir George E. Cartier, in 1859, when Inspector-General Galt extended and consolidated the Protectionist work of the year before. Had Sir John, in carrying out Protection, actually gone back on old convictions, he should still be leniently dealt with by those who glorify Sir Robert Peel for having saved his country by turning a political summersault on the question of Free Trade. But this aside, cannot Free Traders see what a fatal admission they make when they admit that Protection is popular ? And cannot they see, further, that the increasing intensity of commercial competition between nations is sure in each and every civilized country to enlist the masses of the people more firmly on the side of Protection, and against the system which would take employment from themselves and hand it over to foreigners ? The time is surely coming when to ask the workingmen of any civilized country whether they are in favour of Free Trade, will be deemed as absurd as it would now be deemed to ask an

Italian whether he thinks that Venice should be restored to the dominion of Austria, or a Frenchman whether he would be willing to cede the Champagne country to Germany; The popular mind is giving a national interpretation to the Scripture precept (implied) that we are first to provide for those of our own household ; and, with Patriotism and Democracy both on its side, Protection will surely carry all before it in the world.

We have, at all events, determined to try what it will do for Canada. The other system has been tried, and has proved a very bad failure, though it is still contended that circumstances, and not the system, were to blame. But we do not here enter

that argument; suffice it to say that a change has been decreed by the authority of last resort—the vote of the Canadian people. The prevailing anticipation is that the new policy will attract capital and population into the country, and certainly some cases bearing this out have already occurred. Should more such cases keep coming up, even our Free Traders may take comfort of a a substantial kind in the non-fulfilment of their own prophecies. We may at least bespeak for the new system the best of fair play, and we may feel sure that the vast majority of Canadians hope it may prove successful.

upon

WHEN shhe Springtime cheer us,

When, ah when ?
When fair June is near us,

Then, ah then !
Then the trees shall burst in leaf,
Winter shall forget his grief ;
Winds shall all forget to moan
In their wild and wintry tone;
Gentle breezes then shall play
Thro' the fragrant woods of Nay ;
Birds shall seek a Northern home,
Bees and flowers together come :
When shall Springtime cheer us,

When, ah when ?
When fair. June is near us,

Not till then ! -From 'APPLE Blossoms.'

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THE
CHE quiet surface of society and

the even course of judicial procedure is occasionally ruffled by attempts to resuscitate old modes of dealing out justice which have little in common with this age in either thought or feeling. Within a year in Toronto the evidence of four persons

-a Jew, a Mahommedan, and two others—have been challenged as incompetent to testify in a court of justice, on the ground of religious opinion. At a recent trial before Chief Justice Moss the evidence of two witnesses was rejected, on the ground that they had not that degree of theological belief which gave value to their oath. In giving judgment on May 12th ult, in a case before the court, the Chief Justice is reported as saying of one witness : 'I am obliged to reject his evidence; he has not that degree of religious belief which the law renders necessary to competency as a witness.'

The legal doctrine is that no person can be allowed to give evidence in a Court of Justice who does not believe in a God who punishes perjury in this world or the next. As the Mohammedan is permitted to swear on the Koran, the Jew on the Old Testament, we may reasonably infer that the Heathen Chinese, whether Polytheist or Buddhist, would be allowed to testify according to that form most sacred to his conscience.

In Canada, and in every civilized country where the English language is spoken, there is an endless variety of religious belief regarding the supreme power and government of the world, also on the nature and duration of future punishment. The degree of

religious belief' on these two points being that which qualifies or disqualifies a witness. As legal justice and common justice, or in other words, common morality, are practically interchangable terms (the legal being based on the moral) what is the social status of a citizen unable to testify; what are the penalties for the expression of obnoxious opinions, socially considered ? Are such citizens excluded from civil rights and duties ? Can they sit on a jury? Are they excluded from the use of the franchise ? If their qualification is challenged, the oath cannot be administered to establish their right to vote. Can they import goods and pass them through the customs, unless they employ some one to swear for them? Can they perform any of the functions of citizens when the oath is administered? If the law will not permit them the privileges of citizenship, is the ordinary citizen expected to be above the sober and solemn wisdom of impartial legal justice? If our behaviour to each other is not superior to the behaviour of the law towards unbelievers, it is equivalent to declaring such persons to be outlaws. But this is not all : if twenty men of good standing in society, or any larger number, who did not possess the de gree of religious belief ' entitling them to give evidence in a court of justice, were eye witnesses to the assassination of the Chief Justice and the proof of the fact depended on their evidence, their oaths would be valueless, and the punishment intended for the unfortunate unbeliever would fall on society.

The grossest outrage may be com

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mitted by the greatest rascal, and this point J. S. Mill says : 'under society may have neither defence nor pretence that atheists must be liars, protection. The late J. S. Mill says: the law admits the testimony of all 'the assumption on which this is who are willing to lie, and rejects grounded is that the oath is worthless only those who brave the obloquy of of a person who does not believe in a publicly confessing a detested creed future state ; a proposition which be- rather than affirm a falsehood. A tokens much ignorance of history in law thus self-convicted of absurdity, those who assent to it (since it is so far as regards its professed purpose, historically true that a large propor- can be kept in force only as a badge tion of infidels, in all ages, have been of hatred, a relic of persecution; a persons of distinguished integrity and persecution, too, having the peculihonour); and would be maintained by arity that the qualification for underno one who had the smallest concep- going it is the being clearly proved tion how many of the persons in the not to deserve it.' greatest repute with the world, both The subterfuges which this law perfor virtue and attainments, are well mits are of serious moment. Any known, at least to their intimates, to person, by assuming the position of be unbelievers.' A man who does not an unbeliever, may shield å criminal accept the doctrine of future punish- and defeat the ends of justice. There ment may be the only witness to rails is no means of ascertaining whether being torn up which caused thedeath of belief or unbelief is real or pretended. many persons and the destruction of If there was, there is no law against a much property, or he may be the only change of mind. Hence, a man may witness to a brutal murder which has give evidence in one case and refuse it shocked the moral sense of the whole in another without risk of punishcommunity. When placed in a witness ment, as it is impossible to prove that box to testify to the fact, he candidly a man has not altered his opinion on admits that he does not possess the the question of God and a future life. • degree of religious belief ' which the The difficulties and dangers prophelaw demands, but believes that a re- sied as sure to follow

any

alteration in spect for truth is the cement which holds the administration of the oath in society together, and asserts that the England prevented any amendment penalties for perjury are wise and just. worthy of the name for 113 years. So far, however, from being consider- After a severe and protracted struggle, ed a credible witness, and his evi- quakers were allowed to affirm ; after dence taken as to the facts within wards other religious bodies who conhis knowledge, his mouth is closed, scientiously objected to swear were justice is defeated, and the enemies permitted the same privilege. When of good society are let loose again it was found that none of the disasto repeat their misdeeds in pos- trous results which were so confidently sibly more aggravated forms. To predicted, followed, those outside the make the matter more absurd, and pale of Christianity were also permitjustice a mockery, an ordinary trust- ted to make affirmation; and, as the worthy citizen is denied the privilege confidence of man in man widened, ingranted to a criminal. A whiskey in- dividual and collective justice was former's oath would pass unchallenged found to be placed on sounder prinafter repeated convictions for perjury, ciples. while a well-intentioned heretic, whose Notwithstanding the number of alword would be taken by all who terations and amendments on the Oath knew him, notwithstanding his ob- Question which have taken place in noxious opinions, would be put out of England between 1813 and 1875, Cacourt as unqualified to testify. On nada, a province of that nation, is

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still under the intolerant statutes of with its penalties, was in force in the George 3rd, 1792, excepting in a few mother country till the 21st July, 1813, cases regarding rectories which were when the 53 Geo. III., ch. 160, sec. 2, amended when the English Church was passed repealing its provisions was disestablished here. Those who so far as the same relate to persons doubt this may consult the summing denying as therein mentioned respectup of the late Chief Justice Harrison in ing the Holy Trinity.” But as the Pringle v. Napanee, at Osgoode Hall, Act was held to be merely an affirmaJune 29th, 1878. The case will be tion of the Common Law of England, found in Queen's Bench Reports, No. the effect of its partial repeal has been 6, vol. 43; but particularly on page

held to be merely a repeal of its pen294. In citing decisions and opinions alties ; Rex v. Waddington, &c. It of eminent judges, the Chief Justice would appear to be in force in this colquoted 9 and 10 Will. III. ch. 32, in- ony with all the penalties, notwithstandtituled, “An Act for the more effec- ing the repeal of the penalties in Engtual suppression of blasphemy and pro

land.(See report cited.) As every faneness reciting “That if any person city has many good citizens who neior persons, having been educated in, ther feel nor believe as their forefaor at any time having made profession thers did in 1792, it is worthy of our of the Christian Religion, shall by consideration, whether it might not writing, printing, teaching or advized be for the general good, that the law, speaking, deny any one of the persons as in England, should be so altered of the Holy Trinity to be God, or as- that every sane citizen should be alsert or maintain that there are more lowed to testify by affirmation, subject Gods than one, or deny the Christian of course to all the penalties of perjury Religion to be true, or the Holy Scrip- for swearing falsely on oath. tures of the Old and New Testament The mother country has adopted to be of Divine authority, and shall be this with beneficial results. No one thereof convicted by oath of two or there can shirk the responsibilities more credible witnesses, such person of a citizen by withholding his evior persons for the first offence shall be dence where it is important, nor be adjudged, and incapable, and disabled subject to the insults of Counsel or the in law to all intents and purposes

what- derision of the Court, for affirming in 80ever, &c., &c., and if a second time

preference to swearing. The temptaconvicted, shall thenceforth be dis- tion to rob, or to defraud those who abled to sue, prosecute, plead or use any cannot legally prosecute is, in Eng. action, &c., and shall suffer imprison- land, a thing of the past, and justice ment for the space of three

demands the same legal protection for out bail or mainprize," &c.

This Act,

every colonial citizen.

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years with

ROUND THE TABLE.

Α'

LL the Court circles and courtly

newspapers of Europe are felicitating the Czar at his providential escape' from the hand of the assassin, and execrating the villain who would have slain the father of his people. It may offend some guests at the table round which we sit, but for the life of me I cannot refrain from uttering my feeble disavowal of such sentiments. If ever assassination were permissible or laudable, it is so at Russia in this year of grace. The father of his people keeps his children under his paternal (but not the less iron-shod) heel. If they show signs of the slightest intelligent sympathy with ideas of liberty (God help them ! they can hardly so much as dream of such a subject with impunity) presto! they are under surveillance, dogged, trapped, arrested on suspicion, goaded into some trifling overt sign of discontent, thrown into a prison whose only portal opens to the route of Siberia. His fatherly care does not always please these children, who being men in years, and feeling that their nation, too, is no longer in its infancy, consider their Czar a trifle over careful over their well-being. Sometimes they are rash and criminal enough to approach their great father and king with a prayer or petition, begging to be allowed a voice in the disposition of their own affairs. It is

younger and better educated men who rise to this height of wicked audacity, and they do not as a rule get a chance to repeat the crime. At other times when a knot of these desperate men have been simmering in gaol for several years, guilty of the unpardonable offence of thinking for themselves and bidding others to do likewise, and when they have planned

an escape from their kind father and have undermined his strong walls and are about to be free, the Czar places shepherds at the outlet to stop his straying sheep, grim Corydons with muskets for crooks and bayonets for pipes, and the Imperial father kills those children of his with as little compunction as Corydon feels when he kills his Sunday's mutton. With knout, and sabre, and musket shot, with banishment and proscription, with the fetter, chain, and ball, on body and mind alike, with the forced labour of the unhealthy mine, with the barely-masked mockery of justice dealt out by military tribunals, the Czar murders the flower of his people. Other nations are sorry for it, would gladly see it stopped; will do nothing, say nothing to stop it, nay, feel at heart a selfish pleasure that Russia is thus flinging away her chances in the great race, is thus sinking herself in the depths of a self-inflicted barbarism. But let one of the down-trodden men turn on the oppressor with knife or pistol, and how the Te Deums burst forth if hand or heart fail him !

I fully agree, my humanitarian friend, with your hatred for assassination. It is un-English, you say. Quite true, but it does not become more moral when practised on an extensive scale with a large army of officers and officials for performers and the state prisons of Russia for the theatre. Let assassination and capital punishment be abolished together by all means, but —as was well said- let messieurs les assassins commence the innovation, and above all let their Emperor, Alex ander, set the example.

BARRIE.

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