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Protectionist, and that he adopted a Italian whether he thinks that Venice certain cry merely because it was pop- should be restored to the dominion of ular. This is a false accusation, for Austria, or a Frenchman whether he he was Premier in the Government of would be willing to cede the Chan1858, when Mr. Cayley, then Inspec- pagne country to Germany, The tor-General, introduced and carried
popular mind is giving a national inthe first Protectionist tariff in Canada; terpretation to the Scripture precept and he was still virtually the leader of (implied) that we are first to provide the Government of Sir George E. for those of our own household; and, Cartier, in 1859, when Inspector-Gen- with Patriotism and Democracy both eral Galt extended and consolidated on its side, Protection will surely the Protectionist work of the year be- carry all before it in the world. fore. Had Sir John, in carrying out We have, at all events, determined Protection, actually gone back on
to try what it will do for Canada. The old convictions, he should still be len- other system has been tried, and has iently dealt with by those who glorify proved a very bad failure, though it is Sir Robert Peel for having saved his still contended that circumstances, and country by turning a political summer- not the system, were to blame. But we sault on the question of Free Trade. do not here enter upon that argument ; But this aside, cannot Free Traders suffice it to say that a change has see what a fatal admission they make been decreed by the authority of last when they admit that Protection is resort— the vote of the Canadian popular ? And cannot they see, fur- people. The prevailing anticipation is ther, that the increasing intensity of that the new policy will attract capital commercial competition between na- and population into the country, and tions is sure in each and every civi- certainly some cases bearing this out lized country to enlist the masses of the have already occurred. Should more people more firmly on the side of Pro- such cases keep coming up, even our tection, and against the system which Free Traders may take comfort of a would take employment from them- a substantial kind in the non-fulfilselves and hand it over to foreigners ? ment of their own prophecies. We The time is surely coming when to ask may at least bespeak for the new the workingmen of any civilized system the best of fair play, and we country whether they are in favour of may feel sure that the vast majority Free Trade, will be deemed as absurd of Canadians hope it may prove sucas it would now be deemed to ask an cessful.
HEN shall Springtime cheer us,
When, ah when ?
Then, ah then !
When, ah when ?
Not till then ! -From ' APPLE BLOSSOMS." RELIGIOUS BELIEF IN COURT,
BY W. B. COOK, TORONTO.
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 degree of religious beliefentitling 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
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 a 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 the death 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. 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
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 al. sert 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 soever, &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 Engaction, &c., and shall suffer imprison- land, a thing of the past, and justice ment for the
space of three years with- demands the same legal protection for out bail or mainprize," &c. This Act, every colonial citizen.
ROUND THE TABLE.
LL the Court circles and courtly an escape from their kind father and
newspapers of Europe are feli- have undermined his strong walls and citating the Czar at his providential are about to be free, the Czar places escape' from the hand of the assassin, shepherds at the outlet to stop his and execrating the villain who would straying sheep, grim Corydons with have slain the father of his people. It muskets for crooks and bayonets for may offend some guests at the table pipes, and the Imperial father kills round which we sit, but for the life of those children of his with as little me I cannot refrain from uttering my compunction as Corydon feels when he feeble disavowal of such sentiments. kills his Sunday's mutton. With If ever assassination were permissible knout, and sabre, and musket shot, or laudable, it is so at Russia in this with banishment and proscription, year of grace. The father of his people with the fetter,chain, and ball, on body keeps his children under his paternal and mind alike, with the forced labour (but not the less iron-shod) heel. If of the unhealthy mine, with the barethey show signs of the slightest intel- ly-masked mockery of justice dealt out ligent sympathy with ideas of liberty by military tribunals, the Czar mur(God help them ! they can hardly so ders the flower of his people. Other much as dream of such a subject with nations are sorry for it, would gladly impunity) presto! they are under sur- see it stopped ; will do nothing, say veillance, dogged, trapped, arrested on nothing to stop it, nay, feel at heart a suspicion, goaded into some trifling selfish pleasure that Russia is thus overt sign of discontent, thrown into flinging away her chances in the great a prison whose only portal opens to the race, is thus sinking herself in the route of Siberia. His fatherly care depths of a self-inflicted barbarism. does not always please these children, But let one of the down-trodden men who being men in years, and feeling turn on the oppressor with knife or that their nation, too, is no longer in pistol, and how the Te Deums burst its infancy, consider their Czar a trifle forth if hand or heart fail him ! over careful over their well-being. I fully agree, my humanitarian Sometimes they are rash and criminal friend, with your hatred for assassinaenough to approach their great father tion. It is un- n-English, you say. Quite and king with a prayer or petition, true, but it does not become more begging to be allowed a voice in the moral when practised on an extensive disposition of their own affairs. It is scale with a large army of officers and only the younger and better educated officials for performers and the state men who rise to this height of wicked prisons of Russia for the theatre. Let audacity, and they do not as a rule get assassination and capital punishment a chance to repeat the crime. At be abolished together by all means, but other times when a knot of these des- —as was well said—let messieurs les perate men have been simmering in assassins commence the innovation, gaol for several years, guilty of the un- and above all let their Emperor, Alex pardonable offence of thinking for ander, set the example. themselves and bidding others to do
BARRIE. likewise, and when they have planned