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abundant sources of information at hand. Every Colony is represented by its agents in England, and the Christian Knowledge Society has published, at the small cost of twopence each, a series of hand-books upon the Colonies, containing a vast store of most valuable information of great use to emigrants.
But the clergy must remember that the success of emigration depends upon the careful selection of the emigrant. I have found during my visit to Canada, that very strong and very angry feeling has been aroused by the action of indiscreet persons who have thought it right to send out to the Colony those who had lost character at home, or who in other respects were most unsuitable for the wants of the Colony. It may be regarded as a benevolent action to help out to the Colonies a man or woman who has been compromised at home; but it is hardly fair to exercise that benevolence at the expense of the Colony, and to inflict upon strangers a burden which we would not inflict upon our next door neighbour. In this connection I may mention that the reported intention of the Salvation Army to found a home in Canada to which to send fallen women from London, has awakened the deepest hostility. In any case, if such persons are sent, it seems obvious that they should be sent direct to persons willing to receive them, and that a fair and full statement of the case should be made for the guidance of a possible employer. The hardest words which I have ever heard spoken against emigration were uttered by a gentleman in Canada to whom a person of bad character had been sent, recommended by a minister who had concealed the flaw.
Nor again, is it of any use to encourage the idle and the worthless and the drunken to emigrate. Many such have been sent out, very much as rubbish is shot out into the streets; but change of place of itself does not alter character; the worthless or the idler is the same still
, and the probability is that he refuses work, and discredits the whole class of emigrants in the eyes of the colonist. Added to this, he writes home, or perhaps even, after a short experience, returns home and spreads in England false reports of the treatment which he received, in order to cover and conceal his own shame. For all such persons there is absolutely no prospect in any Colony equal to that which England itself affords.
But suppose that the emigrant has taken all the needful preliminary steps, is there nothing more that the Church can do? I suppose that no clergyman would be wishing that one of those who have been solemnly committed to his care should be withdrawn from his influence without his making at least some effort to entrust his sheep to the care of some other pastor. The organisation of the Church of England reaching into the most distant quarters of the globe, readily lends itself to this work. I believe that it would be a wise plan to write beforehand to some clergyman in the town or district to which the emigrant is going, or if this is impossible, then to the bishop of the diocese, with a request that it may be forwarded to the proper person, commending that particular family to a brother's care, and giving such details as may enable the emigrant to be met and welcomed at the first. I can imagine few positions more trying and perplexing than for a man to land in a strange place, with very little money at his command, and perhaps with a family to look after, and not know where to go for information, or what to do for employment. It seems to me that if, at this moment of perplexity, the hand of the Church is stretched out to welcome and to sympathise in doing such work, the Church will be at once occupying her proper place, and also securing the good will of the new emigrant. The Christian Knowledge Society does, in a measure, supply the want, by appointing agents at the principle centres from which emigrants are distributed ; but more than this is needed, and I trust that I shall not be considered to be unduly pressing the point, if I venture to say that it is worth while to write a personal letter in order to secure such help, and to send this letter by post beforehand, rather than leave it to the chance of being delivered by the emigrant himself.
But in addition to the work of the individual clergyman, is there no duty which the Church as an organisation shall discharge? The Church, which supports the Society for Christian Knowledge, and the Colonial and Continental Church Society, and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, can hardly plead that the spiritual needs of Englishmen abroad are beyond her care. Is it altogether beyond reason to hope that the Church itself might organise and carry out a plan somewhat upon the lines of the Universities Mission to Central Africa, which should have for its object the care of the national and spiritual interests of some special Settlement ? There are many schemes for colonisation afloat, but I am not aware that in any case the Church has undertaken the spiritual oversight of the new Colony.
I have been much impressed by the reports which I have received of a Romish settlement established in Canada. This settlement is superintended by a priest, who, in company with several lay members of a farming brotherhood of voluntary workers, went to settle in the land. The first work was to build a Mission House, and to prepare sufficient ground for crops. When the house was built, poor persons were invited to enter the settlement, to whom work and instruction in the methods of work were given, and the new comers being paid either in money or in seed, and working on their own plots of ground, or in the Mission farm under the guidance of the farming brothers. When the settlement is sufficiently advanced, the farming brothers will go elsewhere and start another. This plan secures what seems to be most needed : spiritual guidance; efficient superintendence ; adequate instruction; and sufficient work. The man who arrives there, however poor, is welcome ; and he is not left to his own resources to find out his own way and suffer from his own mistakes, but is helped at every step by the experience of those who have preceded him; and this Setilement is backed by the whole of the powerful organisation of the Church of Rome to ensure its success.
Now, if the machinery of our own Church does not admit of being applied to the execution of a scheme like this, at the very least it might be secured, that to every English settlement, a clergyman should be appointed who might exercise such authority as would come within the range of his instructions, and might act as superintendent as well as spiritual teacher to the settlement. If the work of colonisation should be taken up, as seems not improbable, either by the Government or by some philanthropic organisation, it seems not unreasonable to hope that such supervision shall be secured for every settlement before the members of it leave our shores.
That this is no imaginary need, I may show by a single example. Some little time ago, a few philanthropic people in England made up their minds to do something to alleviate the distress at home by founding a settlement in Canada. Several families were selected and sent out and settled at the expense of persons well known in England to be prominent in all good works. But the spiritual care of the settlement was left, I will not say without thought, but certainly without adequate provision for it : left
, I suppose, with the mistaken idea that the Church machinery of the Colony would be sufficient to meet the needs. In due time the bishop of the diocese wrote to one of the well-known philanthropists to point out the want, and to ask for some help towards supplying it, and was informed that no assistance could be given, and that no more could be done for the Colony than had already been done. Perhaps the philanthropist was right, I do not presume to say, but at any rate it seems to me that here is a deficiency which ought to be met, and that the success of emigration in this form of it, is more likely to be obtained, when all the wants of the new settlers are considered and met; when more care and thought and system are bestowed upon details which may appear to be trifling, or to be sufficiently met by other means, but which to persons cast upon their own resources in a thinly-peopled Colony are of paramount and even vital importance.
To sum up what I have now said, I believe that the Church has a duty to discharge with reference to Emigration ; that the clergy in England, and especially in country districts, may greatly aid in the performance of this duty, (a) by making themselves familiar with the subject, and assisting to divert the outflow of their parishes from the large towns towards our prosperous Colonies; (6) by doing all that they can to prevent the emigration of unfit persons, and (c) by advising the emigrant, and by using the organisation of our Church to secure for him a kindly welcome from some clergymen on his arrival in the Colony he has chosen.
And with regard to the more difficult work to which I have referred, it seems to me, not too much to hope, that if the philanthropic supporters of emigration do not themselves provide, then the Church as represented by her great Missionary Societies, should endeavour to provide for the spiritual interests of every new settlement. I, myself, would go even farther than this, and ask whether the Church of England cannot do what the Church of Rome has done? I cannot believe that either the enthusiasm, or the money, or the men, will be wanting to carry on this grand enterprise on behalf of the poorer classes of this country to a successful issue.
The Rev. J. BRIDGER, St. Nicholas' Church, Liverpool,
Organising Secretary to S. P. C. K. Emigration Committee. The inadequacy of the treatment which the subject of emigration has hitherto received from both Church and State may well cause surprise. Professor Seeley remarks, in his “ Expansion of England,” that "there is something very characteristic
in the indifference which we show towards this mighty phenomenon of the diffusion of our race and the expansion of our State, for we seem to have conquered and peopled half the world in a fit of absence of mind.” This indifference to a great movement cannot continue ; it was possible when our
; home population was less than at present, but now when we consider that it increases about 400,000 yearly, and that, as we are told, “the volume of our capital and business does not increase correspondingly with the population,” it becomes a serious question whether the State should not at once step in, and in co-operation with our Colonies, arrange for a due proportion of this increase to be sent where it is wanted and can be profitably used.
Undoubtedly it is felt that the time has come when the State dare not, and the Church ought not any longer to be mere passive spectators of a movement so all. important as emigration. It is not in my province, on this occasion, to speak of the duty of the State with regard to this question. I am invited to speak on the respon. sibility of the Church in this matter. I take it that most of us agree that emigration is the only solution to the difficult question, “what can be done with our surplus population ?” This being so, the Church's responsibility respecting this most impor. tant movement should be fully recognised. What, therefore, should her action be in this matter? But first let me speak of what is going on in this direction. And here I feel constrained to bear testimony to the great work quietly being done by the clergy and laity in emigrating the poor. The money necessary is often collected and frequently found by the clergy, and I feel that on an occasion like this, even at the risk of being misunderstood, I should speak of what they are doing in this way to relieve the present distress at home. They are nobly supported by many of the influential laity. The Baroness Burdett Coutts' action, for example, in sending to Canada a large number of people from the East end of London last year, will not soon be forgotten.
I am a witness almost daily to deeds of mercy of this kind. One lady, ever ready to help any good work, writes thus : "Should you know of any girls of good character who are in danger of going astray through bad influences, and would like to go abroad, let me know, and I will pay their passage to another country.”
The Church of England Waifs and Strays Society should also be mentioned here. On behalf of this Society I was asked to purchase a suitable house for a Home for little girls in Canada. During my visit to that country last year, I saw a beautiful place which was for sale. The price and the fitting up of the Home would cost about £1000. The sum was to be paid in three years. On my return I told the excellent and energetic Hon. Secretary of the Society, Mr. E. de M. Rudolf, of this property, and recommended its purchase. An appeal was drawn up, the Bishop of Bedford, Mr. Rudolf, and myself signed it, and in a few months the whole of the amount was given, so that instead of taking the three years to pay the purchase money in, we did not take much more than three months. It is now in full working order. I took out this spring the first party of little girls, and several others have been sent out since. We are now anxious to do something for the boys. I have just had a very valuable piece of land offered me, on which to put up a building, and we are only waiting now for another £1000, when we shall have our Boys' Home. This money will come, I feel sure. I mention these instances because they tell of a work going on in the Church for the benefit of our surplus population, of which, perhaps, only a few are aware.
It must, however, be a matter of regret, and should cause no little shame, that the Church has hitherto had no distinct organisation for the emigration of children, the first attempt being, so far as I know, the scheme to which I have already alluded: and when we consider that after all it is the young people who make the best emigrants, it surely is surprising that she should leave this work to other hands. Right well, however, has it been done by Roman Catholics and others, whose names will readily occur to you. They have, indeed, earned the gratitude of all for their self-denying and successful efforts in promoting the emigration of children. But can the Church, dare the Church, look on, and take no steps to look after her own little ones? She, through her great Missionary Societies, recognises the responsibility of attending to the spiritual condition of the heathen and our colonists abroad. Should she not equally recognise her duty in looking after the young, who, year by year, are sent out of the country by thousands? I have received applications from different Unions and Societies in various parts of England, asking me if I can take the Church of England children to Canada, and put them in Homes in the same way the Roman Catholics are doing. To my sorrow, and I might say shame, I am obliged to say that at present the Church of England has no special Homes in the colonies for the reception of these little ones.
Surely this ought not to be? I am not saying one word against those noblehearted people who are doing this work. I, for one, wish them God speed. But as firm believer in the teaching of my Church, I feel that sending out children who have been baptized and brought up in her fold, without knowing whether those children will have an opportunity of attending her ministrations in the colony where they may be sent, is, to say the least of it, a condition of things that requires on the part of Church people at home, immediate attention. This indifference to what some may consider a small matter is, I am convinced, a source of weakness to the Church, both at home and in the Colonies: therefore an institution like the Church of England Waiss and Strays Society should be gladly welcomed and heartily supported. Such efforts as these that I have mentioned are steps in the right direction, but they only touch the fringe, so to speak, of the matter. Surely if the Church were to throw herself heartily into this movement, satisfactory results would soon be seen. At the present time she may be said to be on her trial, and although testimony is borne on every side to the activity now being displayed by her clergy, there are still many and powerful enemies who are crying out “ down with it, down with it, even to the ground.” [She has to show that she is a faithful mother to her children, and only let it be seen that she is desirous, in the first place, of course, to promote the spiritual welfare of the people, and anxious also to look after their temporal well-being, she need then fear nothing from her enemies.
Now in this great subject of emigration she has an opportunity of showing that she really is the Church of the people, that she recognises her responsibility to them. When no employment can be found for many thousands of our industrious poor ; when the bitter cry of distress is continually being heard on all sides ; when we hear of parents starving themselves to feed their children, and little ones being sent of a morning, to work or to school, without a morsel of food passing their lips before leaving home; when many, who have formerly been tolerably well-to-do, are now sunk into the very lowest depths of want and despair through the prevailing distress, and cases of this kind are perhaps the most terrible of all; when all these things are going on around us, and we know it, I say it is no time for any one, least of all a clergyman, to sit still and do nothing.
In this unfortunate state of things, is, I say, to be found the Church's opportunity for doing a great work. With her wonderful parochial machinery, both at home and abroad, when every parish might become an emigration centre, surely there ought to be no difficulty in her taking the leading position in initiating and carrying out such a comprehensive system of emigration that would be of the greatest possible benefit to the poor at the present time. Thanks to the Society for Promoting Christian