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Full text of "Old-time Primitive Methodism in Canada (1829-1884)"

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MRS. R. P. HOPPER 



OLD-TIME 

PRIMITIVE METHODISM 
IN CANADA 

[1829-1884] 



By MRS. R. P. HOPPER 



" If we make religion our business, God will make it 
our blessedness." 



Hr- ; Old. 

M 




TORONTO : 

WILLIAM BRIGGS 

MCMIV 



HORTH YORK PUBLIC UBRARY 
MAIN 



Entered according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year one 
thousand nine hundred and four, by JANE AGAR HOPPER, at the 
Department of Agriculture. 



TO THE MEMORY 
OF MY DEAR FATHER AND MOTHER 

James an& fl&argaret H0ar 

WITH THEIR CONTEMPORARIES 

IS THIS VOLUME 
AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED. 



PREFACE. 



HISTORY, whether civil or religious, is a record of 
the acts of men and women. Mankind is the 
same throughout all generations, in all places ; yet 
each new generation is a surprise, and has the spice 
of variety, because the conditions of life are con 
stantly changing : the temper of one age so differs 
from another that the product is unlike its predecessor. 
Froude says, " The interpretation of human beings is 
as early as the beginning of thought." 

Wherever man dwells, spiritual forces are at work 
in him and through him. A man s creed has more to 
do with his outward life than any chance of birth or 
environment. 

Were I to attempt a whole history of Primitive 
Methodism, I would have to go back to the beginning 
of the nineteenth century, and show the existing 
moral and political conditions of England as a reason 
for the rise of the Primitive Methodist Church. There 
are books now written which do this very thing; 
therefore, what I attempt is something far less pre 
tentious. In this work I shall merely endeavor to 
rescue from oblivion the names of some of the men 
and women, their walks and ways, their talks and 



PREFACE. 

traits, whose lives have influenced our lives, whose 
record is one of personal faithfulness, undaunted 
perseverance, and heroic self-sacrifice. They were 
ordinary people, but their example made human 
living grander. Many of them were poor people, 
but they made the world richer. They were our 
fathers and mothers who started our feet heaven 
ward : who gave us glimpses of the unseen and 
eternal, and who planted in our minds such rules and 
principles of conduct, as have enabled us to weigh and 
measure all material things at their true value. 

If anything humorous should appear in these 
pages, let me humbly apologize ; it is hard to wholly 
suppress the writer s mental make-up. This volume 
is not a prize composition, nor in competition with 
what some other writer more capable may yet do, 
but is written because it is in my power to gather 
up some facts from memory s storehouse ; and, in my 
heart, to weave them as a tribute of affection around 
the names of those who, when this country was young, 
surmounted obstacles, overcame prejudices, lifted in 
tolerable burdens with unflinching courage, and, 
leaning upon Almighty Power, drew all their strength 
from this inexhaustible source. 

The contents of this book has been submitted to a 
committee of our superannuated ministers for in 
spection before publication, and quite a number of 
Primitive Methodists ministers and laymen have 
given valuable aid in compiling this volume. 



yi 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE. 

CHAPTER I. 

CANADIAN METHODISM . . . . . . . . . . 11 

CHAPTER II. 
THE RESTING TIME IN THE FUTURE . . . . 26 

CHAPTER III. 
THEY SORROW No MORE 38 

CHAPTER IV. 

NEW CIRCUITS ARE FORMED 50 

CHAPTER V. 
AN OLD-TIME BACHELOR . . 63 

CHAPTER VI. 

BY STAGE AND ON HORSEBACK 81 

CHAPTER VII. 
THE OLD WAYS OF THE OLD DAYS 92 

CHAPTER VIII. 

MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD 107 

CHAPTER IX. 
THE OLD-TIME CAMP-MEETING 121 

CHAPTER X. 
THE OLD-TIME MEETING-HOUSE 133 

CHAPTER XI. 

FIRST CONFERENCE IN 1854 149 

vii 



CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XII. PAGE. 

LIGHTS AND SHADOWS . . 164 

CHAPTER XIII, 
THE OLD-TIME REVIVAL MEETING 176 

CHAPTER XIV. 
AROUND THE GEORGIAN BAY 190 

CHAPTER XV. 
THE OLD-TIME RELIGION 205 

CHAPTER XVI. 
HARD TIMES ! COME AGAIN No MORE 216 

CHAPTER XVII. 

WATCHMEN ON THE WALLS OF ZION . . . . 227 

CHAPTER XVIII. 
THE OLD-TIME DRESS 241 

CHAPTER XIX. 

RIGHTEOUSNESS THE KEY-STONE OF THE STATE . . 259 

CHAPTER XX. 

HUMAN CHARACTER IMPERISHABLE 272 

CHAPTER XXI. 

WEIGHED IN THE BALANCES . . . . . . . . 289 

CHAPTER XXII. 
METHODIST UNION POSSIBLE . . . . . . . . 302 

CHAPTER XXIII. 
OF ONE HEART AND MIND 313 

CHAPTER XXIV. 

SWEET MEMORIES AND NOBLE RESOLVES . . . . 326 

APPENDIX 334 



vni 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



PAGE. 

THE AUTHOR . . Frontispiece. 

REV. HUGH BOURNE . . . . . . . . . . 16 

REV. WILLIAM CLOWES 16 

WILLIAM LAWSON, ESQ 47 

ROBERT WALKER, ESQ. . . . . . . . . 47 

THOMAS THOMPSON, ESQ. 47 

REV. THOMAS ADAMS . . . . . . . . . . 121 

REV. JOHN TOWLER 121 

REV. WILLIAM GLEDHILL . . . . . . . . 121 

ALICE STREET CHURCH . . . . . . . . . . 144 

BAY STREET CHURCH 144 

CARLTON STREET CHURCH . . . . . . . . . . 144 

REV. JOHN LACEY 201 

REV. WILLIAM LYLE . . . . . . . . . . 222 

REV. JOHN DAVISON . . 264 

REV. JAMES EDGAR, M.D. 299 

REV. WILLIAM ROWE . . . . . . . . . . 299 

REV. ROBERT BOYLE, D.D. 299 

REV. J. C. ANTLIFF, M.A., D.D 324 

REV. THOMAS GUTTERY . . . . . . . . . . 324 

REV. THOMAS CROMPTON 324 

REV. WILLIAM BEE 324 

ix 



Old-Time Primitive Methodism 

in Canada. 



CHAPTER I. 
CANADIAN METHODISM. 

First Methodist Preaching in Eastern Provinces, Lower Canada, 
Upper Canada War of 1812 British Missionaries Separation 
from New York Conference Legal Status of Methodism in 
Canada Primitive Methodism Bible Christians British 
Wesleyans Union of Episcopal Methodists and British Wes- 
leyans Episcopal Methodists Methodist Union Origin of 
Primitive Methodism Mow Cop First Ticket of Membership 
Introduction into Canada William Lawson Robert Walker 
-Thomas Thompson, senior First Missionary Preaching 
Beside the Gallows First Preachers Plan Wexford Rebel 
lion Father in Jail. 

THE Methodism of Canada, which numbers in its 
Sunday Schools about one -half of the childhood of 
the Dominion, had its beginning in a small and feeble 
way. In 1781, the Rev. Wm. Black, who is styled 
the "Apostle of Wesley an Methodism," began his work 
in the Eastern Provinces. The first Methodist preacher 
in Lower Canada was a Mr. Tuffey, a commissary in 
the 44th Regiment, which came to Quebec in 1780. 

11 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

The first Methodist preacher in Upper Canada was 
another British officer, Major George Neal, who, in 
1786, began to preach on the Niagara frontier. It 
will thus be seen that the " Gospel of Peace " was 
first planted in British North America by converted 
soldiers of the British army. The first regular itin 
erant minister to Upper Canada was Wm. Losee, who 
came from the United States to visit his U. E. 
Loyalist relatives and friends, preaching his way 
from Lake Champlain in Canada to Kingston, and 
through the Bay of Quinte townships, until a flame of 
revival was kindled and many were converted. The 
settlers petitioned the New York Conference to send 
a missionary to labor among them, the first class 
being formed by Mr. Losee on the Hay Bay shore, 
February 20th, 1791. 

The Kingston circuit embraced in its boundary all 
the settlements around the Bay of Quinte. In 1788, 
a class had been formed in Augusta, of which Paul 

o 

and Barbara Heck, their three sons, some of the 
Emburys, John Lawrence and others were members. 
At the New York Conference of 1792, held in Albany, 
Losee reported 165 members. 

The War of 1812, not only interfered with agricul 
tural and mercantile pursuits, but hindered religious 
operations. On the restoration of peace the British 
Government sought to increase the population of 
Canada by a people loyal to the British crown. 
Thousands of emigrants came, among whom were 
many Wesleyan Methodists. The English Conference 
now sent men to mission Canada, and in a sparsely 

12 



CANADIAN METHODISM. 

settled country, two societies were struggling in 
mutual envy and variance. The Rev. John Emory 
was appointed delegate to the English Conference to 
adjust difficulties, the result of which was the recog 
nition of the principle that Wesleyan Methodists are 
one body in every part of the world, and they sug 
gested that the American church should retain the 
occupancy of Upper Canada, while the British mis 
sionaries should labor in Lower Canada. This ar 
rangement ended the missionary war. 

In 1828 the Methodists of Upper Canada separated 
from the New York Conference, and became an inde 
pendent body ; so that they might labor more success 
fully for the removal of certain legal disabilities under 
which they were then suffering. The Methodist 
Episcopal Church in Canada was thus organized, the 
Rev. Wm. Case being elected the first general super 
intendent for the time. The Methodists as a body 
were increasing in importance, and even before the 
separation from the New York Conference was com 
pleted, a bill came into effect entitling them to hold 
church property. Another battle had to be fought to 
secure the right of Methodist ministers to celebrate 
matrimony. This had been a source of revenue to 
the English Church, and their hostility was so per 
sistent, that the Methodist Church had to apply 
directly to the King for the Royal assent to a bill for 
that purpose ; the Provincial Executive, in which Dr. 
Strachan s influence was paramount, withholding its 
consent and using all its influence against it. 

In 1829, a Primitive Methodist class was formed in 

13 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Toronto by Mr. Wm. Lawson, a local preacher from 
Cumberland, England. In 1830 the Primitive Metho 
dist Conference in England appointed Rev. Wm. 
Watkins as their first missionary. The Primitive 
Methodist Church was, therefore, the oldest denomin 
ation in Ontario entering the union in 1884, whose 
missionaries were from the British Isles. The larger 
Church, as already stated, being from the United 
States. 

In 1831 the Bible Christian Conference, held at 
Hick s Mills, Cornwall, England, appointed the Rev. 
John Glass as missionary to Upper Canada, and the 
Rev. Francis Metherall to Prince Edward Island. 

In 1832 the Wesleyan Missionary Committee, of 
London, England, again sent out missionaries to 
Upper Canada, and in 1833 a union was effected 
between the Episcopal Methodist Church, and the 
British Wesleyans who had begun operations the year 
before, the new organization taking the name Wes 
leyan Methodist, and discarding the Episcopacy. The 
union was not effected without protest. A respectable 
minority refused to enter. A meeting of these was 
held in the Willowdale church on Yonge Street, for 
the maintenance, continuance or organization of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. Disagreement arose as 
to which body owned the church property. The 
courts finally decided that the majority must rule, 
and the Wesleyan body secured the property. 

In 1837 the New Connexion Conference of England 
sent the Rev. John Addyman to mission Canada. In 
1874, the Wesleyan Methodist Church and the New 

14 



CANADIAN METHODISM. 

Connexion formed an organic union and were called 
from this time " The Canada Methodist Church." It 
was thought to unite all the Methodist denominations, 
but the time was not yet ripe. 

Each of the foregoing is now a part of Canadian 
Methodism, losing its name and individuality in the 
year 1884, when all became one organic body. There 
are six of these who entered the arena at the follow 
ing dates : 

1. The Methodist Episcopal Church of Canada, 

1828. 
2. The Primitive Methodist Church, 1829. 

3. The Bible Christian Church, 1830. 

4. The British Wesleyans, 1832. 

Methodist Episcopal and British Wesleyans united 
and were called the Wesleyan Church, 1833. 

5. Episcopal minority reorganized, 1833. 

6. Methodist New Connexion, 1837. 

Union of Wesleyan and New Connexion Church. 
1874. 

All united in the one body " The Methodist 
Church," 1884. 

Primitive Methodism is one of the original spokes 
in the wheel of Canadian Methodism, which is rolling 
on, with Almighty Power behind it, to crush sin out 
of this land. 

Primitive Methodism did not originate in schism. 
It was not a split from any other body, but, as has 
often been said, was a child of Providence, raised up 
at a time when formality was stifling the zeal and 
earnestness of the Wesleyan Church, to conserve the 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA, 

vitality of all English Methodism. It was essentially 
a gospel to the poor. Hugh Bourne, one of the 
founders, was converted in 1792, at the age of 20 
years. In 1800 he went to Harriseahead to deal in 
timber. It was a rough, godless neighborhood. He 
began to labor for the elevation of the people and 
several were converted. Until 1802 the work of 
revival continued to spread. In 1805 Clowes, Hugh 
Bourne s coadjutor, was soundly converted. He was 
a man of fine physical proportions and magnetic force 
and threw himself with burning enthusiasm into the 
work of evangelization. Through the influence of 
Lorenzo Dow, Bourne and other local preachers 
favored camp-meetings, and held one. This offended 
the authorities of the Wesleyan Church, of which all 
these men were members. In 1804, Hugh Bourne got 
a practical experience of the blessing of entire sancti- 
fication. He paid James Crawfoot out of his own 
means, to labor for the spread of the gospel, and urge 
all converts to join other societies. He had no idea 
of founding another denomination, but simply of 
constraining men to give themselves to the service of 
God. 

The camp-meeting on Mow Cop was held in 
August, 1807. After this, Bourne was expelled from 
the Wesleyan body ; he paid his class money and 
quietly withdrew, still working for the salvation of 
men and urging them to join the Wesleyan or other 
societies. Clowes was also expelled, and a number of 
others, for consorting with, and helping in evangelis 
tic services, held, by what were then called, the " camp- 

16 



CANADIAN METHODISM. 

meeting Methodists." Crawfoot Jiad one district, 
Clowes another and Bourne a third. Sometimes they 
were called Clowesites, but generally the former name 
was given. In 1810, a class of ten converts was told to 
join the Wesley an society at Standley, but they were 
refused membership. Many hundreds had already 
been received, but here came a crisis. It was praise 
worthy to bring them into the fold of Christ, but 
there was also the responsibility of caring for them, 
and some one must do it. James Crawfoot was on 
the Wesleyan plan, and he had the advantage of a 
trial for his offence of aiding in the irregular spread 
of the gospel ; while Bourne and Clowes were driven 
out without a hearing. Crawfoot, in his defence, 
quoted the farewell address of Wesley to the 
preachers of Chester circuit in the year 1790 : 
" Fellow laborers, wherever there is an open door, 
enter in and preach the gospel. Go out quickly into 
the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither 
the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the 
blind ; and the servant said, it is done as thou hast 
commanded, and yet there is room. : He then lifted 
up his hands and with tears flowing down his cheeks, 
repeated, "And yet there is room, and yet there is 
room." After quoting these words, Crawfoot con 
tinued " Mr. Chairman, if you have deviated from 
the old usages, I have not ; I still remain a primitive 
Methodist." The words were prophetic for PRIMITIVE 
METHODIST was the name chosen for the new 
denomination when its formation became a necessity. 
The first ticket of membership was issued May 

17 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 



30th, 1811. The scripture verse upon it was, "But 
we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest, for 
concerning this sect we know that it is everywhere 
spoken against." February, 1812, the name was de 
cided, and the first plan issued. The first Connexional 
chapel was built at Tunstall in 1811, and the main 
tenance of the preachers entrusted to the infant 
denomination of two hundred members. I have two 
of the early tickets of membership, and though they 
are of the same date, are not alike. 



December, 1818. 

. 

Thus faith the Lord 
(land ye in the ways 
aiul fee, and a/k for 
the old puihs, where 
is (he good vpay, and 
walk (herein, and yc 
(ball find rest for your 





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fouls. 



Jet- vJ. 16, 



December /18I8. , 

Whereby are given 
unto us exceeding 
great and precious 
pfioorifes ; that by 
thefe ye might be 
partakers <?f the 

ivine nature. * 
Peter i. 4. 



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If one reads the history of Primitive Methodism in 
England, he cannot but feel that it was a denomina 
tion raised up by God for a special work. The toil 
and suffering, the hunger and persecution they en 
dured, equal anything we read of in apostolic 
short of martyrdom. 

18 



CANADIAN METHODISM. 

If we compare its progress with that of the Wes- 
leyan body in England, it is phenomenal. 

" The first thirty years of the Rev. John Wesley s 
labors have been justly held up as years of marvellous 
success, yet during those thirty years, with the excite 
ment of a new movement, the numerous agencies at 
work, together with intellect and wealth all in its favor, 
the Wesleyan connexion increased at the average 
rate of less than nine hundred a year ; whereas, during 
the first thirty years of the existence of Primitive 
Methodism, a few poor and apparently uneducated 
men gathered together members at the average rate 
of two thousand two hundred and sixty-seven per 
year. They went without staff or scrip, through 
lanes and across moors, were persecuted, tormented, 
imprisoned, but they persevered, and signs and 
wonders were wrought in the name of Jesus. : 

The introduction of Primitive Methodism into 
Canada did not originate with the Primitive Metho 
dist body in England, but with Mr, William Lawson, 
who has been aptly designated the pioneer of Cana 
dian Primitive Methodism. Mr. Lawson was a local 
preacher, class-leader, and steward of a Wesleyan 
Methodist society in Brampton, Cumberland, Eng 
land. A friend of Mr. Lawson, James Johnson of 
Carlisle, a Primitive Methodist, had written a letter 
to him concerning the work the infant denomination 
was doing, and also enclosed a copy of the church 
polity, offering to send a Primitive Methodist mission 
ary to preach at Brampton if desired. This offer was 
accepted, but as the appointed preacher could not 
2 19 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

fulfil his engagement, Mr. Johnson went himself. He 
was accompanied to the open-air service by Mr. 
Lawson, at which there was much spiritual power 
and several conversions. For attending this meeting 
Mr. Lawson was, on the following Tuesday, expelled 
from the society. The superintendent s action not 
being sustained by the preachers meeting held on 
the following day, a deputation waited on Mr. Law- 
son, and requested his re-acceptance of the official 
books he had surrendered, but he declined to accede 
to the request, and connected himself with the Primi 
tive Methodist connexion. William Clowes visited 
Brampton, Cumberland, England, and a great revival 
took place. Robert Walker, with his father and 
mother, were members of this society. 

Three years after there was a failure in the crops, 
which affected all lines of trade. Mr. Lawson felt 
the pressure in his business, and decided to emigrate 
with his family. Robert Walker, who had learned 
his trade with Mr. Lawson, decided to accompany 
him. Rev. John Flesher endeavoured to persuade 
Mr. Lawson not to go, but finally promised to use his 
influence to have a missionary sent out if there was 
an opening, and the light on his pathway grew 
clearer. 

On April 14th, 1829, Mr. and Mrs. Lawson and six 
children sailed from Maryport, Cumberland, for Que 
bec. About a hundred passengers were on board, and 
as occasion offered, Mr. Lawson preached and held 
services. They landed on May 29th, after a six 
weeks sail on the ocean, and, continuing their jour- 

20 



CANADIAN METHODISM. 

ney, arrived in York (Toronto) on June llth. 
Robert Walker remained a year in Quebec, and then 
rejoined the family. 

In July, Mr. Lawson began preaching in the market 
square, and finding a few Primitive Methodists from 
Yorkshire, who desired to find a religious home in the 
denomination where they had been spiritually born 
and nurtured, and where he felt himself specially 
called of God to labor, he invited them to his home 
and formed them into a class. As was fitting, they 
chose him for their leader. Mrs. Lawson was an 
earnest Christian, a very good singer, an ardent, 
enthusiastic church-worker, and assisted at all the 
services. In October a house was secured on Duke 
Street, the first Primitive Methodist preaching place 
in Canada. This proving too small, Mr. Thompson 
offered them his school-house. One cannot help ad 
miring Mr. Lawson s zeal and loyalty to the church 
of his choice. He firmly believed he could do more 
for the advancement of the Redeemer s kingdom in a 
church, where her government was in accord with 
what he believed to be right and just to all, and to 
know his duty was his call to obey. The congrega 
tion still growing in numbers and usefulness, a hall 
was occupied on Colborne Street. Mr. Lawson, Mr. 
Thompson, Sr., and Mr. Robert Walker were all 
local preachers. In 1830 my father, James Agar, 
became a member of this class. He had been a 
Primitive Methodist in Driffield, England, and came 
to America with Mr. Thompson, but spent a year in 
Albany before coming to Canada. Between my father 

21 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

and mother, the Thompsons, Lawsons and Walkers, 
there existed a life-long friendship. Mr. Lawson, Mr. 
Walker and Mr. Thompson laid the foundation of the 
new society ; their names are fragrant, and ever to 
be remembered for piety, benevolence, and usefulness. 
In 1830 Mr. Lawson wrote to the Primitive Methodist 
Conference in England to send a missionary, and they 
responded by sending Rev. R. Watkins, who was then 
in New York. 

Looking at it from our standpoint to-day, we might 
question the wisdom of introducing another Methodist 
community into Canada, but the conditions were all 
different then, and God honoured not only the Primi 
tive Methodist missionaries, but those of the Bible 
Christian and New Connexion who followed in their 
wake. The country was fast filling up with new 
settlers, and Primitive Methodist societies were estab 
lished in many places that were without Methodist 
ordinances, and in this way conserved to Methodism 
many who would have drifted into the world, or have 
been absorbed by other denominations in later years. 

The first report of Mr. Watkins to the English 
Conference of 1830, tells of finding a small society of 
sixteen persons, which had increased to thirty-four, 
with large and attentive congregations. Finding the 
climate did not agree with his family, he returned to 
Albany the following year. In June, 1829, several 
missionaries were sent out to New York. Among 
them were Mr. and Mrs. Summersides and their two 
children. The English Conference appointed Mr. 
Summersides to the Canadian mission to succeed Mr. 

22 



CANADIAN METHODISM. 

Watkins, and a few quotations from his journal will 
explain the situation better than words of mine. 

" Oct., 1831. On the Monday morning we took the 
canal-boat (he was on his way with his family from 
Albany to Utica), and on Thursday morning at 11 
o clock we got to Utica, and here I intended to stay 
and open a mission." 

Here he learned that Mr. Mills, one of the leaders 
from York, in Upper Canada, had been at Utica 
expecting to meet him, but had gone away two days 
before he arrived. Mr. Mills had left a letter saying 
they were in want of a preacher, and desiring Mr. 
Summersides to come as soon as possible. He took 
the canal-boat that same evening, and with his family 
continued their journey. On Sunday they reached 
Palmyra. By Wednesday they were at Lockport, 
sixty-two miles from Canada, with only a few coppers 
left. He bought some bread and milk for his family, 
and sold his watch for four dollars to carry them 
twenty-seven miles farther. On Thursday they 
arrived in York (Toronto), and received a hearty 
reception from Mr. Lawson and family, and the whole 
society, some of whom were on the wharf waiting for 
the arrival of the packet. On the following Monday 
Mr. Summersides was unexpectedly solicited to address 
a large concourse of people assembled in York to see 
a man executed for murdering his child. It was a 
great trial to him, but he was divinely assisted, and 
some were awakened. Almost every day we find him 
visiting, preaching and conducting services. He was 
a zealous minister, and did not spare himself in his 
consecrated toil. 

23 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

At the Quarterly Meeting held in December, there 
were upwards of 100 members. One of the circuit 
plans was sent to the Primitive Methodist Magazine, 
and has thus been preserved. It was headed as fol 
lows : " British Primitive Methodist Preachers Plan 
of the York Mission, Upper Canada." The preaching 
places on the plan were York, Woodill s, P. M. School- 
house, McBride s School -house, Scarborough, Blue 
Bell, Smith s, Centre Road, Churchville, Streetsville, 
Switzer s School-house, Four Corners, Claridge s, 
Paisley s, Don Mills, Wallace s, Thornhill, Nichol s, 
Humber, Haton. 

This circuit extended twenty miles in several direc 
tions, and the minister was without a horse. In con 
versation with Mr. Joseph Law, of Claremont, who 
died recently, he said the preaching in Scarborough 
was in his father s house, and often he was sent to 
Little York with a load on Saturday so as to bring the 
preacher home with him for the next day. Surely 
the word of the Lord was precious in those days. 
This preaching place was afterwards named Twaddel s, 
then Parsonage, and now is called Wexford. The 

O 

names of the preachers on this plan were : W. Sum- 
mersides, J. P. A. Cherry, M. Brodrick, W. Lawson, 
R. Walker, R. Smith, S. Dutton, T. Turley,T. Horsley, 
T. Lowdon, J. Agar, T. Lacup, I. Wilkinson. The 
exhorters were : W. Craig, R. Middleton, D. Walder- 
idge, M. Watson. Some of these names were house 
hold words in my childhood. The name of J. P. A. 
Cherry always seemed to me to give father a bad 
taste in his mouth, so he was seldom mentioned. 

24 



CANADIAN METHODISM. 

During the troublous times of the rebellion in 1837, 
it was easy enough to get into York, but it 
might be difficult to leave it when you pleased. 
Every man was challenged as to his business and 
politics, and often a Reformer was detained. If he 
had been active during election contests, he might be 
held for safe-keeping. My father wanted to go to 
York on business, and mentioned it to Cherry, 
who was an active Tory. Cherry assured father that 
he would see him safely out again ; he could vouch 
for him that he had nothing to do with the rebellion. 
Father trusted him, and on his arrival almost the first 
man he met was Cherry. They shook hands, and 
then Cherry very coolly called a constable and said, 
" Here is a man you had better take care of. No 

/ 

explanation would be taken ; he was walked off to 
jail, and did not get a hearing for two days, when he 
was released through the kindness of some other 
man who knew him. and gave the information that 
he was no disturber of the peace. Father never 
respected Cherry after that. He could not get over 
his chagrin at being imprisoned and sold into the 
bargain. Cherry was a clever man, but was not long 
on the plan, for his conduct was not such as met the 
approval of his brethren. The early local preachers 
were often at my father s, for our house was the 
preachers home. 



25 



CHAPTER II. 

THE RESTING TIME IN THE FUTURE. 

Frost on the Bedclothes Canadian Mission under Hull Circuit 
Twaddel s in Scarboro Victoria Square Daddy Haton 
Field-Meeting on Centre Road Cholera Raging Opening of 
Bay Street Church Rev. Josiah Partington Rev. Wm. Lyle 
Rev. Francis Berry A Field- Meeting A Watch-Night 
Service Niagara and Lundy s Lane Rev. W. Summersides 
Moves to Niagara Wm. Lawson Moves to Brampton A 
Society Formed in Brampton Daddy Nichols Indian Hymn 
A Coat Presented to Daddy Nichols Rhyme Early Bramp 
ton Officials John Law Joseph Law. 

TOIL and not rest was the lot of preacher and 
people in the early days. We read in Mr. Summer- 
side s journal :- 

The last thirteen days I have preached sixteen 
times, led two classes, rode fifty and walked seventy 
miles. At night everything around us has been 
frozen, and the white rime and frost have lain very 
thick upon our beds in the morning." 

, The membership was one hundred and thirty-two, 
and, as there was no General Missionary Committee, 
the English Conference of 1832, placed the Canadian 
mission under the care of Hull circuit. Mr. Summer- 
sides writes of driving nine miles into Scarborough 
and meeting a number of Englishmen who had been 

26 



THE RESTING TIME IN THE FUTURE. 

pious, zealous souls in England, but had backslidden. 
He tried to form a class and six remained. They had 
a weeping time, were fully awake to their loss, 
lamented it, and determined to make a fresh start for 
the better country. 

"Feb y 14, 1832. Travelled into Markham and 
preached in Bro. Haton s house (Victoria Square). 
He had been a member of the Primitive Methodist 
connexion in England. We had a full house and 
after preaching I tried to form a class. About eight 
or ten remained, and I set down four names and 
appointed Wm. Haton leader." 

York circuit was extensive, and as the travelling 
preacher could only take week-night appointments in 
country places, the local preachers sustained the 
services on the Sabbath. Everyday was Sunday so 
far as the travelling preacher s work was concerned, 
and at this time the city minister did not keep a 
horse. It was therefore everyone s thought to sacri 
fice a little for the cause and overcome the difficulties, 
but many miles were measured on foot that the 
gospel might be preached. In country places the 
roads were through the bush, following the blaze 

o 7 o 

on the trees, and when one left Yonge Street, King 
ston Road, the Centre Road, and a few others, 
travelling was a wearing business. Societies were 
established, however, and a moral tone was given to 
the people that still lives, and blesses t"he present 
generation who have had the advantage of growing 
up in pious homes. 

On July 8, 1832, a field-meeting was held on the 

27 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Centre Road, and on the following Thursday Mr. 
Summersides preached beside the jail in York. The 
jailer swore much, and caused the window to be put 
down so those inside might not hear. That night he 
took the cholera, and next day died. The cholera 
was raging at that time and many died every day. 
In July, Mr. Summersides was busy collecting for a 
new chapel in York. At the quarterly meeting on 
Sept. 3rd, great peace and harmony prevailed, and the 
membership numbered one hundred and ninety-five. 
Money, conversions and openings were greater than 
ever before. 

On October 21st, 1832, the Bay Street Church, in 
York, was opened for Divine service. Mr. Wm. Law- 
son preached in the morning, Rev. James Richardson, 
an Episcopal Methodist (editor of their religious 
paper) in the evening, and Mr. Summersides in the 
afternoon. They had large congregations, liberal 
collections and the presence of God in the services. 
The chapel was brick, thirty-six by forty-six, and 
thirty-four feet high, with a basement of stone. The 
gallery and middle of the church had pews, the rest 
was seated with forms. It would seat over five 
hundred. In the basement was an excellent school 
room and two dwelling-houses ; one of which was 
occupied by the missionary, and in his report he says 
he was never better suited with a house ; it being 
warm in winter and cool in summer. The whole 
cost was seven hundred and forty pounds, two or 
three hundred of which was collected before the 
opening. 

28 



THE RESTING TIME IN THE FUTURE. 

In 1833 the Hull circuit sent the Rev. Josiah 
Partington to labor in the Canadian mission. The 
Rev. Wm. Clowes accompanied him to Liverpool, 
helped him to purchase necessaries for the voyage, 
and saw him off. Later in the same year Rev. Wm. 
Lyle was sent out for the Canadian work. When I 
was a child he was called " Daddy Lyle on all the 
country circuits. " Father Lyle was a term of 
dignified respect that belonged to the city ; but in 
the country where he had been as one of the family, 
marrying the boys and girls, baptizing the children, 
and calling the father and mother by their Christian 
names, he touched their inner life ; and the term 
" Daddy Lyle indicated the warm affection with 
which they regarded him. They had no joys or 
sorrows he did not share. He was a man of fine open 
countenance, clear complexion, well made physically, 
and of commanding presence. Wm. Clowes had met 
him and been struck by his gifts and graces. His 
wife was also a preacher, and so acceptable as to be 
chosen for special occasions. At a church opening 
in Claremont her text was : " Wood, hay, stubble." 
Messrs. Lowdon, Arthur, and Berry were employed as 
travelling preachers. Mr. Francis Berry married 
Miss Ann Lawson, and it is their son, Dr. Berry, who 
is so well and favorably known in Epworth League 
work in the United States and at international con 
ventions. 

During 1833, a missionary meeting was held in 
York, at which the collection was 12, a missionary 
society was formed, and six collectors were appointed. 

29 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

The membership had now increased to two hundred 
and forty-five. In September of that year they held 
a field-meeting about two miles out of York and sang 
most of the way there. They carried a banner on 
which was inscribed the words : " In the Name of 
Our God We Will Lift Up Our Banners." Nine or 
ten souls were saved, and a number in great distress 
for pardon left the ground resolved not to rest until 
they obtained peace through faith in our Lord Jesus 
Christ. 

Rev. Mr. Summersides wrote to the Hull circuit 
several times each year, and kept them well posted as 
to their progress. Quite a number of these sketches 
taken from his journal were printed in the Magazine 
so that the whole English membership might be 
informed : 

<{ At a watch-night service Bros. Lyle and Parting- 
ton preached, and Bro. Lawson and myself exhorted. 
After speaking, we invited mourners up to the altar, 
some came forward in great distress, and obtained 
deliverance and went rejoicing home." 

On September 6th, 1833, Mr. Summersides left 
Messrs. Lyle, Partington, Lowdon, and Arthur in 
charge of the York mission and crossed the lake to 
open a mission at Niagara. He walked the same day 
to Lundy s Lane, a distance of fourteen miles, and 
preached there at night. On returning to Niagara, 
he sent a bellman round to inform the people that he 
would preach next day in the Market Square, at 2 p.m., 
and at the school-house at 6 p.m. 

" This was a season of trial, darkness, and conflict ; 

30 



THE RESTING TIME IN THE FUTURE. 

we had no members, nor acquaintances, and the only 
place I could get to stay was a tavern. I wandered 
about in great perplexity of mind, then I began to 
think of what a brother had said in the love-feast in 
York, namely, that thousands of prayers in England 
were going up to God in our behalf for our success in 
soul-saving, so I took courage, and preached twice on 
Sunday to good, attentive congregations, with much 
liberty." 

On Monday he rented a house, returned to York, 
and moved his family on the following Friday. He 
speaks of camp-meetings and protracted meetings 
being held up to August, 1834, with marked and 
continued success, and of having built a church at 
the Falls. 

This mission raised 12 2s. towards the minister s 
salary. In 1834 there was an increase of one hundred 
members on the Canadian mission. 

In 1838 York circuit was divided, and Brampton 
became the head of the new circuit, so that with 
Niagara there were three stations. 

Mr. Lawson had removed to Brarnpton and opened 
out a new store, having disposed of his business in 
York to Robert Walker. This was the means of 
opening up a preaching place in Brampton, and the 
presence of his family was not only a nucleus, but a 
source of strength to the young society. He also began 
farming there, and the services were sometimes held 
in the large farm kitchen, and sometimes at the home 
of Mr. Elliott. In these meetings many were added, 
to the society. It has been said that few men excelled 

31 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Mr. Lawson as a preacher ; his wife and family were 
rarely gifted with musical ability, and under such 
auspicious circumstances there could not be failure. 
When Mr. Lawson asked God for success the sum of 
his duty was expressed, and he labored for what he 
asked. In the religious life he was no idle dreamer, 
and in laboring to convert the world, he did not 
neglect his own spiritual life. 

"Daddy" Nichols was one of the early local preachers 
who came to Canada in 1837 from Norfolkshire, Eng 
land. He lived near Brampton, afterwards at Victoria 
Square, and ended his days near Sharon. He was a 
useful, active, and gifted local preacher. He was the 
father of the Rev. Matthew Nichols, of hallowed 
memory ; a memory so sweet in early Methodism that 
it caused a sort of reverence for his father. Under 
the preaching of Matthew Nichols a whole audience 
would be melted to tears. The father, Robert Nichols, 
or " Daddy Nichols, as we loved to call him, was 
often at the home of my childhood. He was not very 
tall, and wore his hair without any parting the old 
style that looked as if the mother of the house had 
laid a large bowl on the head for a mark, and clipped 
around it with the scissors. He had a sun-burned, 
rosy face, and a bright, smiling expression, as if he 
rose from his bed every morning with a fresh deter 
mination to forgive everybody everything they had 
done, and make a fresh start for the kingdom of 
heaven. He was a joyous Christian, very fond of 
singing, and when he came we generally petitioned 
him to sing his old favorite during the visit. Many 

32 



THE RESTING TIME IN THE FUTURE. 

of the old people will recall it, as he often sang it at 
missionary meetings. 

" In de dark wood, no Indian nigh, 
Den me look heben and send up cry, 
Upon me knee so low ; 
Den God on high in shiny place, 
See me betime wid teary face, 
De Spirit tell me so. 

" God lub poor Indian in de wood, 
Den me lub God, for dat be good, 
Two times me praise and pray ; 
God see me now, He know me here, 
He say poor Indian nebber fear, 
Me wid you night and day. 

" Den me lub God wid inside heart 
He fight for me, He take him part, 
He save him life before ; 
He take away him heart of sin, 
And make him Indian clean widin, 
Me lub Him more and more. 

44 Den when time come poor Indian die, 
Me go great man above de sky, 
And blanket leave behind ; 
Me hab no need of wigwam dare, 
Me better habitation share, 
Wid Jesus good and kind. 

" When me get to dat shiny place, 
Me see my Jesus face to face, 
Me praise Him glad and free ; 
Me nebber tire, me always dare, 
So dat be nough, me end my prayer, 
Amen ! so let it be. 

33 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Mr. Wm. Lawson had moved to Brainpton in 1834, 
and Robert Nichols in 1837, so the society was young 
when he became a member, and his help would be 
valued. I remember hearing my mother speak of 
him being planned to conduct the quarterly meeting. 
He positively refused and insisted on some one else 
doing it. He would give no reason, but some one 
found out it was because he did not think his coat 
was sufficiently respectable to wear while administer 
ing the sacrament. 

Robert Walker, then a young man, took the matter 
in hand ; they had his measure, and a suitable coat 
was made for him. My mother s part was to compose 
a rhyme to accompany the gift. It was a difficult 
matter to present it to him, so it was made up into a 
parcel and placed in the barn where he would rind it. 
On the Sunday morning he brought it into the house 
saying, " some drunken fellow has been sleeping in the 
barn and left without his bundle." On looking more 
closely they found it addressed to Robert Nichols, and 
opening the package they read the following lines : 

" The love-feast s coming ; let us meet 
To tell of Jesus, O, how sweet ! 
Who still holds forth His bounteous hand 
To feed a-nd qlothe poor wretched man. 



i k 



1. 1 



O, scruple not, my friend, to wear 
What God for thee doth here prepare ; 
Give Him the praise, do not thank me, 
In this His goodness you may see. 

If spared this winter you must preach, 
The sons of Adam you must teach, 

34 



THE RESTING TIME IN THE FUTURE. 

That they refrain from every sin, 
The life of faith in Christ begin. 

" O may the word be backed with power, 
Till we are saved to sin no more, 
Be sanctified through Jesus blood, 
And rise to all the life of God. 

" When we get home, we then shall wear 
Clothes that are new and bright and fair, 
Cleansed by the blood spilt on the tree, 
Which flows by faith for you and me." 

Brampton Circuit extended as far as Tecumseth. 
Among the first members were Wm. Lawson and 
family, John Elliott and family, Grandfather Smith 
and family, Robert Smith and family, John Voden 
and family, Joseph Hodgson and family, and the 
Trueman family. George and Lancelot Walker were 
local preachers ; William Pickering was a class-leader ; 
George Walker, who afterwards moved to London, was 
one of the first members of London mission, and his 
name stood first of the local preachers on the London 
plan. He was a fine-looking man. Robert Woodill 
was an official on Brampton circuit and a class- 
leader. Francis Sleightholme was an active official, 
first on the Etobicoke circuit and afterwards on 
Brampton. Isaac Mod eland was an official in Bramp 
ton, but removing to Elora was lost to the connexion. 
He was a good man, of a sanguine temperament, and 
never lost faith in humanity. Mr. Hainstock was a 
class-leader at one of the appointments on the Bramp 
ton circuit, a spiritual man, well respected every 
where. John Kellum was a local preacher on Etobi- 
3 35 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

coke circuit, one of the most reliable of men, a very 
generous financial contributor ; he was one of the 
men whose character never dimmed. Wm. Marshall 
was a local preacher, a steady-going, level-headed, 
prudent, faithful, strong connexional man. His 
daughter married John Green, of Orange ville. Mr. 
Green was a merchant, a genial kindly man, who 
respected other people s opinions, and was a good 
financial supporter. His son, Marshall, came forward 
and took his father s place in the responsibility and 
work of the Primitive Methodist Church ; a man of 
upright character and unusual business ability. 

John Law lived in the " Gore of Toronto " and was 
on the Brampton plan. He was a blacksmith by 
trade, a man of superior piety and intellect, genial and 
friendly. He was often asked to preach funeral 
sermons, and at church openings he ranked with the 
best of the travelling preachers. He was a brother 
of Joseph Law, of Claremont, who was for many 
years the superintendent of the Claremont Sabbath 
School and an official member. 

Robert C. Smith was a local preacher. His daugh 
ter married Rev. Robert Boyle, D.D. Mr. Stoddart 
was a very acceptable local preacher. The old men 
and women of Primitive Methodism did a work that 
still lives in the lives of their children who have risen 
to take their places in Christian work and religious 
activity. Matthew Elliott took a prominent part in 
building St. Paul s Church. Lancelot Walker moved 
the first resolution in the Brampton quarterly board 
in favor of Methodist union, and Jerry Pickering is 



THE RESTING TIME IN THE FUTURE. 

one of the Brampton class-leaders of to-day. St. 
Paul s has a congregation of eight hundred, and is a 
living church still sometimes thirty will take part 
in a prayer-meeting. 

The good seed sown in the farm kitchens of Win. 
Lawson and John Elliott, is not lacking in vitality, 
but under another name brings forth praise to the 
glory of God. The old-time plan would have from 
twenty to thirty preachers ; named helpers, prayer 
leaders, exhorters, local preachers, and the most 
honorable place was at the top of the list. This drew 
out their talents, and as soon as the circuit committee 
thought advisable, they were raised to be local 
preachers. 



37 



CHAPTER III. 
THEY SORROW NO MORE. 

The Bay Street Membership Bay Street Choir Pancake Tuesday 
Joseph Kent Mr. Carliss Some Pets of Long Ago George 
McCluskey The " Musical Monitor " Strike the Cymbal 
Mr. Wetherald Mr. Daniels Joseph McCausland Joseph 
Carbert Robert Walker John G. Walker R. I. Walker- 
Robert Walker s Conference Address Thomas Thompson, 
Senior. 

THE first Primitive Methodist congregation should 
have special mention. Among the earliest members 
who worshipped in Bay Street Church were the 
Lawson family, the Walkers, the Thompsons, Robt. 
and Isaac Middleton, the Cherrys, Buttons, Turleys, 
Lowdons, T. Lacup, J. Agar, Isaac Wilkinson, the 
Smiths, Fensoms, Keys, Mills, Murrays, Turpins, 
Carlisses, Cuttells, Daniels, Kents, McCluskeys, Mut 
tons, Carberts, Wiggles worths, Stones, Bonds, Hutchi 
sons, Sargants, Bells, Swains, Buggs, Wetheralds, 
Sheards, Thomas Robinson, Thomas Burgess, the 
Wrights, Briggs, and others whose names I have 
forgotten or who are of later date. 

The Bay Street choir was led by Edward Lawson. 
My father was a member of it in the olden days and 
was accustomed to lead the singing before there was 

38 



THEY SORROW NO MORE. 

a choir. He had a sweet tenor voice and understood 
the music. I have the manuscript blank note-book 
into which he copied many of the metres from those 
old note-books that we now call ttye " buckwheat 
note-books," because of the queer shape of the notes. 
In the choir we find the names of Edward, John and 
Joseph Lawson, Robert Walker, Geo. McCluskey, 
Jos. Carbert, Mr. Turpin, T. Thompson, Thos. Harris, 
James Daniels, James Agar, Betsy Key, Ann Key, 
Mary Ann Colby, Mary Carbert, Henry Harrison, etc. 
Many of the names of the early Primitive Metho 
dists were as familiar to me as those of the Old Tes 
tament characters, because so often referred to when 
visitors came. The Key girls, who were young when 
my mother was, would come out on " pancake Tues 
day " and call for pancakes. As our home was only 
nine miles from Toronto, it was easy to keep in touch 
with the old membership, and those we failed to see 
we heard about. A few of the children who attended 
Bay Street Church are still living. Mr. Joseph Kent 
built a home in Trinity Square to be convenient to 
the church, and when Alice Street Church was not 
rebuilt after the fire, he moved to Carleton Street, as 
his rheumatism prevented him from walking very far. 
His widow, who has lately died, resided there ; she 
was a dear old Christian woman, whose influence and 
character, in a quiet way, had been telling for good 
during a long lifetime. I remember Mr. Carliss as a 
very pleasant, gentlemanly old man with white hair. 
He kept the Bible Depository. His wife was par 
ticularly fond of cats, and she had several beauties. 

39 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Once, when a little child, I called with mother, and 
found Mrs. Carliss in the deepest anxiety over "Tom," 
who was lying in a rocking chair. She had bought a 
joint of veal and made jelly for " Tom," and she was 
afraid she had given it to him too strong, for " Tom " 
had taken a fit, and jumped from one side of the room 
to the other, etc. The troubles and trials those cats 
were called to endure, and her distress, were hardly 
paralleled in the experience of the young mother with 
her firstborn, teething. She was a lovely old lady 
but her mind had that peculiar bent. 

George McClusky was one of the early class-leaders 
and a local preacher ; a native of Belfast, Ireland, born 
in 1812, and died in January, 1895. He was an im 
petuous Irishman, warm, genial and kindly in his 
disposition. His soul was tuned to harmony, and he 
played the bass viol in the Bay Street choir, while 
Henry Harrison played the flute and Robert Walker 
the melodeon. George McCluskey was never so happy 
as when praising God on " strings and pipes," accom 
panied by the " loud sounding cymbals." The music 
book used at that date was called " The Musical 
Monitor "; a collection of metres and anthems published 
in New York in 1827. It contained the " Hallelujah 
Chorus " from the Messiah, and one my father used 
to sing, and which I liked because there was so much 
go in it. The words were : 

Treble Solo Strike the cymbal, roll the tymbal, 

Let the trump of triumph sound ; 
Chorus Powerful slinging, headlong bringing 
Proud Goliath to the ground. 
40 



THEY SORROW NO MORE. 

Treble Solo From the river, rejecting quiver, 

Judah s hero takes the stone ; 
Chorus Spread your banners, shout hosannas, 
Battle is the Lord s alone. 

(Musical Interlude.) 

Solo See advances with songs and dances 
Female Choir All the band of Israel s daughters ; 

Catch the sound ye hills and waters, etc. 

It surprised some of the young musicians a few 
years ago when the Oratorio was given in Massey 
Hall, to see this old man of nearly eighty years seated 
in a corner with the score in front of him, following 
with intelligent mind and eye the magnificent chorus 
in detail. In his Christian life he was earnest and 
intensely fond of Primitive Methodism. He felt very 
sore when Alice Street Church was not rebuilt on the 
old site, and Methodist union he looked upon with 
disfavor. I can hear his voice yet with his Irish 
accent and pleasant hearty greeting. His widow 
waits a little longer here. 

Mr. Daniels was a gardener in Yorkville. I find 
his name in the Minutes of Conference as a delegate. 
Others might enjoy controversy, but he was a peace 
maker, and amid the heat of debate was always dis 
posed to throw oil on the troubled waters. When the 
camp-meetings were held on Bloor Street West, his 
house was an open door. As a local preacher his style 
was persuasive. The old, old gospel, as preached and 
lived by him, proved that the Christian can keep his 
mind full of truth, his hands busied with noble work, 
and his heart in the exercise of love to God and man ; 

so that to-day I place on record that the lives of Mr. 

41 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

and Mrs. Daniels were made beautiful by the religion 
they lived and professed. 

Mr. Joseph McCausland is a native of Ireland, and 
has been a class-leader for over fifty years. It has 
been said of him " he wears the white flower of a 
spotless life." Ever in his accustomed place in God s 
house, week evening, Sabbath, storm or shine, he is 
there to meet his God. This quiet force of example 
in constancy and integrity for more than half a cen 
tury, has preached a gospel that shall tell upon other 
lives throughout eternity. His willingness to follow 
Christ is the best proof of his ability to lead others in 
the path of life. Wherever Joseph McCausland is 
known he is respected as he well deserves to be. 

Mr. and Mrs. James Wetherald were among the 

O 

prominent members of the Bay Street church. They 
had both been Quakers, but found a field of Christian 
usefulness in the Primitive Methodist body. The 
peculiar style of the Quakers still clung to them. 
Mrs. Wetherald wore her drab shawl and bonnet, and 
with the " thee " and " thou in her conversation, 
evinced a strong personality. They were very lov 
able people and spoke in a soft English voice that 
was quite natural to them. Mr. Wetherald was a 
tall, powerful man ; one who loved and willingly 
believed and received the truth he preached to others. 
His constant theme was the fatherhood of God and 
brotherhood of man, the necessity of the new birth 
and God s love constraining man to return ; the 
power and willingness of God to forgive the vilest 

42 



THEY SORROW MO MORE. 

offender and the indwelling presence of God s Holy 
Spirit the privilege of every sincere Christian. 

Among the early builders of Primitive Methodism 
was the family of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Carbert who 
came from Marston Moor, near the city of York, in 
England, in the year 1844. Only two are now living 
and both reside in Toronto : Dr. Carbert (Joseph) 
and Mrs. Thomas Thompson (Esther). The latter 
are members of the same congregation of sixty years 
ago. 

The Langmuirs were among the early supporters. 
Their presence, faithfulness and financial help made 
them a family to be depended on. 

Mr. Stone was a class-leader and led the largest 
class in Alice Street Church. He was a manufac 
turer, a quiet, industrious business man, pure in his 
life, a man of fidelity, and constant in his support of 
the cause, both spiritually and financially. One of 
his sons is an undertaker, and his family reflect the 
training received in early years. I have heard they 
are well-to-do people living in Toronto. 

I must not forget to recall the name of Mrs. Stone- 

O 

ham and her son Job, who lived in the basement of 
the Bay Street Church, and were the caretakers. 
She generally spoke firsD in the love-feast, then 
closed her eyes and had a refreshing time. 

Mr. Robert Walker was converted under the 
preaching of a Mr. Johnson, a local preacher in 
Brampton, Cumberland. We have already related his 
emigration to Canada and his rejoining Mr. Lawson, 

43 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

with whom he heartily co-operated in laying the 
foundation of the new denomination. He was chosen 
assistant class-leader of the first society formed. 
Robert Walker continued in unbroken membership 
with this society from his arrival in York, in 
1830, till his death in 1885. By his labors and his 
means he did not a little to gain for himself the love 

o 

and respect of the whole connexion, which looked up 
to him as a father. His efforts to promote the cause 
of God were earnestly seconded by his family. His 
eldest son, John G. Walker, was a local preacher and 
an official of the church for several years before his 
death, which occurred in Manchester, England, by 
being thrown from a horse. He passed away at the 
age of thirty, singing a hymn of holy triumph. 

The third son, R. Irving Walker, was a worker in 
the Sunday School, a class-leader and local preacher. 
After his father s death he was chosen steward of 
Carlton Street Church. This office he retained till 
the time of his too early death at the age of fifty -one, 
which occurred in March, 1890. In speaking of him 
to a friend who knew him well, and asking his 
opinion of him as a man, he said : " R. I. Walker 
was a godly man ; a man of position and wealth ; a 
man of high honor and integrity, to strangers a little 
reserved, but genial to his friends who understood 
him ; a man always ready to do what he conceived 
to be his duty, and willing to acknowledge a fault if 
he committed one." He laid one of the corner-stones 
of the Clarernont Methodist Church in 1889, and 
placed a generous donation upon it. The Walker 

44 



THEY SORROW NO MORE. 

family were for many years the largest contributors 
to all the enterprises of the connexion in Canada. 
Mr. Robert Walker, from shortly after his conversion, 
gave one-tenth of his income to religious and bene 
volent purposes. Many a poor man or local preacher 
had a decent suit given him to be made comfortable^ 
or to appear more acceptably in the pulpit. These 
gifts in most cases were known to few beside the 
giver and the recipient. 

As a local preacher Robert Walker was practical, 
and invariably simple and direct in his appeals. He 
had shrewd insight into human character, and though 
often solicited to become President of the Conference, 
his natural modesty and sense of the fitness of things, 
made him decline the honor for many years. In 
1875 his reluctance was overcome, and we find his 
name in the Minutes of the Conference as President. 
In the Conference Ad dress to the church we see his 
originality. 

" Brethren and Sisters in the Lord." 

That his counsel may reach us once more though 
his tongue is silent in the grave, I here give a couple 
of paragraphs : 

" We warn our members against a growing evil, 
namely, loose views and sceptical notions respecting 
Methodist class-meetings. Many object to attendance 
on class as a test of membership ; while outward 
deportment, general Christian character and useful 
ness are overlooked. If the objection be pursued to 
its source, it may in some instances be found in an 
unregenerate heart, and the absence of the witness of 
the Spirit which testifies that we are the children of 

45 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

God. As a rule, those members of the church who 
attend class the best are the brightest Christians, the 

o 

most ready to pray openly, most regular attenders of 
the other means of grace, and the most punctual in 
sustaining the altar of worship in the household. We 
therefore offer it as a privilege, and urge it as a duty. 
" One great hindrance to spirituality to-day is 
conformity to the world. Dress like the world ; talk 
like the world ; dissemble like the world ; mix with 
the world ; dance with the world ; play with the 
world ; join with the world in foolish amusements ; 
go to the theatre and opera with the world ; marry 
with the world ; and the great majority of professors 
who do this are in great danger of finally going to 
hell with the world." 

Robert Walker as a citizen was of good report 
among men. He brought up his family in his own 
church. In his early life, as a local preacher, he 
never shrank from his duty. He travelled far to fill 
his appointments on Brampton, Markham, Etobicoke 
and Scarborough circuits, amid winter s cold and 
summer s heat, over the bad roads of the early days. 
He evinced a noble purpose and heroic devotion to the 
cause that are not forgotten by the church, and that 
now bring him everlasting reward. His intelligence 
was more than average, and by self-culture, travel, 
and a stainless character that was far above suspicion, 
he occupied a high and honorable place among his 
contemporaries of all churches, for his Christian 
charity was wider than any church or creed. Though 
he performed all his civic duties, he never craved 
earthly distinction, ever feeling that he had a higher 

work to accomplish among men. 

46 




WILLIAM LAWSON, ESQ. ROBERT WALKER, ESQ. 

THOMAS THOMPSON, ESQ. 



THEY SORROW NO MORE. 

Mr. Walker excelled most when superintending the 
Sunday School. He won the affection of both teachers 
and children without provoking undue familiarity. 
He was loved, venerated, trusted and obeyed, without 
seeming to rule. His sound judgment, sterling re 
ligion, and untiring effort made him a power in 
winning the young for Christ, and many of the 
Sunday School were trained for usefulness in the 
church. His face would beam with happiness at the 
Sunday School anniversary, and no work was beneath 
him that would make it a success. Love to God and 
humanity was the keynote of the whole. His purse 
was open for all church enterprises. Yorkville, 
Queen Street, Parliament Street and scores of others 
profited by his liberal contributions, and he gave not 
less than thirteen hundred dollars to Hamilton 
Church. His home was a place where the ministry 
ever found a ready welcome. He honored the Lord 
with his substance and so laid up treasure in heaven. 

Thomas Thompson was born in Driffield, October 
12th, 1803. In his thirteenth year he had a sickness 
which left its marks on what might otherwise have 
been a robust frame. His habits were studious, his 
mind was vigorous, and, by the advice of his parents, 
he chose the profession of teaching. After an educa 
tion befitting his calling, he was engaged in the 
families of several Old Country gentlemen as private 
tutor, and after a time built a house and school, and 
started an efficient establishment. On May 23rd, 
1825, he married Rebecca Boyce, of Hull, sister of 
Rev. W. B. Boyce, one of the General Secretaries of 

47 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

the Wesleyan Missionary Society, England. The 
next important step in his life was leaving England, 
with his family and his Christian companions (James 
Agar, well known to old Primitive Methodists, and 
Thomas Lacup), their destination being York. 

On his arrival he opened a school on the corner of 
Jordan and Colborne Streets, and succeeded well. 
Later he built the Mommoth House, on King Street, 
and began a business which prospered with the 
growth of the city. Here he gave ample evidence of 
honorable dealing and business integrity. He was 
naturally shrewd and enterprising, with a persever 
ance, solidity and rectitude of character that kept 
his bark afloat while many went down in the 
financial crisis of 1855-1857. When the end came 
his property and business affairs were adjusted to the 
entire satisfaction of his family. He was a very 
decided Primitive Methodist. His conversion took 
place in 1823. When the family reached York, 
from their boarding house, on the Sabbath morning, 
they heard singing in the street ; on inquiry they 
learned it was a Primitive Methodist service. The 
following morning he found Mr. Lawson and joined 
the society, co-operating with all his might, in all the 
enterprises of the young denomination. He was a 
trustee of Bay Street Church, continuing in the same 
office when Alice Street Church was erected ; from 
this church he passed upward to the general assembly 
whose names are written in heaven. His diary 
showed steady growth in earnestness. He was a 
local preacher. His death was caused by paralysis ; 

48 



THEY SORROW NO MORE. 

he attended church for the last time on October 4th 
1868, and a week later the end came. He was a 
good husband, an affectionate father, a wise coun 
sellor, a consistent Christian and a generous supporter 
of the cause according to his means. The text 
chosen by himself for the funeral service is found in 
Ps. 147 : 11. Rev. John Davison preached from it to 
a large assembly in Alice Street Church. In referring 
to Mr. Thompson, Mr. Davison said : " I knew him 
for forty years, in Driffield and Toronto, and our 
friendship gradually strengthened to the last." 



49 



CHAPTER IV. 

NEW CIRCUITS ARE FORMED. 

Rev. William Summersides Rev. William Jolley Rev. William 
Lyle Niagara is Missioned Brampton Woodill s Bramp- 
ton Officials Rev. James Edgar Hewn Log Church built at 
Woodill s Rev. John Garner comes from England Isaac 
Wilson Hainstock s Mr. Robert Woodill King William 
Tree Albion Branch Markham Circuit Victoria Square 
Jonas and Betsy Coxhead Victoria Square Officials New 
Year s Party Stations for the years 1838184218431844- 
1845 Missionary Subscriptions for 1843 No Spring Mat- 
trasses. 

IN 1838, Messrs. Summersides and Jolley were 
stationed in York, Mr. Lyle at Brampton, and a 
missionary was wanted for Niagara. The member 
ship in York was one hundred and ninety-two, 
Brampton one hundred and sixty-three, and Niagara 
twenty. During the next four years Niagara was 
given up and Markham circuit was formed from a 
part of what had belonged to York. We see 
the multiplication by division, each new centre push 
ing its boundaries in all suitable directions. In 1842 

D 

a protracted meeting was held at Woodill s, on the 
6th line, about six miles from Brampton. The Chris 
tian workers of the Brampton society went in a sleigh- 
load to help in these meetings. Robert Walker s father 

50 



NEW CIRCUITS ARE FORMED. 

and mother were members at Brampton. Old Mrs. 
Walker was a very earnest Christian and the salva 
tion of her children was the burden of her prayer. 
She considered one of her boys very careless, and 
besieged the throne of grace for his conversion. One 
night the power of God arrested him and he yielded, 
but could not get light, and was in great agony of 
soul. A friend called to tell her the good news, but 
was so sorry he was in such distress. "Praise the 
Lord ! Praise the Lord ! shouted his mother, her 
face all aglow, " Never rnind how badly he feels ; 
he s been a wild lad, let him lie in pickle a bit, it will 
do him good." 

At Woodill s appointment there was a large ingath 
ering, and Mr. Robt. Woodill was appointed the class- 
leader. As is natural, a new denomination entering 
a place is likely to meet with some opposition, and the 
greater success that attends its efforts, the more decided 
is the opposing element. To discredit the work a sar 
castic rhyme was made, which runs as follows, (all 
but the name, which I will leave out, and put Thomas 
Trotter instead) : 

" Thomas Trotter killed a pig 
To make the Ranters fat and big, 
When they all sat down to eat, 
Thomas had to eat the feet ; 
When the pig was eat and all, 
Thomas swore his share was small." 

This appointment is now called Woodhill. Among 
the officials there were George Ward, George Figg, 

Robt. Ward, and Francis Ward who moved to Reach 
4 51 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

and became a standard-bearer on that circuit. The 
young minister who conducted the meeting at Wood- 
ill s was a Mr. Harrison, under the superintendency 
of Rev. J. Lacey, of Brampton. In 1848, Rev. James 
Edgar held a revival meeting in Mr. Wilson s farm 
kitchen, and after this increase of thirty members a 
hewn log church was built. It was begun in February 
and opened in May. Rev. John Garner, who had just 
come from England, preached the dedicatory sermons. 
The Rev. James Edgar was a noted revivalist. Wher 
ever you went on the circuits he had travelled through 
out Primitive Methodism, you found official leaders 
and burden bearers in the church, who had been con 
verted under his ministry. His memory is like oint 
ment poured forth. I asked Mr. Isaac Wilson, now of 
Toronto Junction, what he thought of Mr. Edgar. 
His face lit up as he replied. " Mr. Edgar was a force 
in early Primitive Methodism, a devout, earnest, sin 
cere man. You could not but feel the presence of God 
in his prayers and preaching, one of the excellent of 
the earth, loved by all. A clever man, a broad thinker, 
his heart was in his words and they went to the heart. 
He made his home at my house in the early days of 
Methodism, and I have often heard him in his room 
in prayer and supplication," 

Mr. Isaac Wilson was converted in 1840 under the 
ministry of Father Jolley. He joined the Church at 
once, and though Only seventeen years of age, he and 
another companion were planned together as exhorters 
to hold prayer-meetings. Crowds used to gather to 
hear the boys. In 1844, Hugh Bourne attended one 

53 



NEW CIRCUITS ARE FORMED. 

of these meetings, and they prevailed on him to take 
the appointment. It was at Hainstock s, now called 
Sharon, and old Mr. Hainstock said he would rather 
have heard the boys. The Brampton circuit at that 
time was from twenty to thirty miles square, and two- 
thirds of the preaching was done by the local 
preachers. Mr. I. Wilson married Miss Jane Woodill 
and Matthew Nichols performed the ceremony. Mrs. 
Wilson was a gifted and consecrated woman, and a 
very popular local preacher. When she was appointed 
at the home church it was always crowded. For 
many years Isaac Wilson did half as much preaching 
as the circuit minister. There were fifteen appoint 
ments on the Albion circuit when it became separated 
from Etobicoke, and only two ministers. Mr. Isaac 
Wilson was the circuit steward of Albion station 
from its inception until he moved away. 

Rev. Wm. Lomas, Rev. Joseph Simpson, Rev. 
Thomas Lawson and Mr. Isaac Wilson married four 
sisters, the daughters of Mr. Robert Woodill. 

Bolton was the head of Albion circuit and when the 
large brick church was built in 1873 to replace the 
frame edifice, Mrs. Isaac Wilson, who lived six miles 
away, was chosen to lay the corner-stone. 

Mr. Isaac Wilson was superintendent of the Sunday 
School from its organization, and when he was away 
preaching Mrs. Wilson was his alternate. Their son 
now fills the position and is an acceptable local 
preacher. The District Meeting of 1853 made Albion 
a branch of Etobicoke circuit with two preachers. 
The Conference of 1854 made it a circuit. 

53 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Mr. Isaac Wilson s home was the Bethany of all 
the ministers travelling that way, and the old time- 
honored " King William," an immense tree which 
stood at the four corners, was the guidepost to Mr. 
Wilson s house and the church at Salem. The old 
captain, who was the means of having it preserved, 
baptized it with a bottle of rum. His son, driving 
along one day, gave a Romish priest a ride, and 
coming to the tree he insisted on the priest blessing 
it or he could ride no further. After demurring 
awhile and finding the young fellow meant what he 
said, he got out, went round it three times on his 
knees mumbling something as he went, and rode on 
having earned his ride. The other son, finding the 
boys were trying their axes on it as they went to 
chop, drove several pounds of nails into it, which 
proved the strongest kind of argument against fur 
ther molestation of that sort. It stands there to-day 
in primeval grandeur, and may do so for centuries to 
come. 

A few words further concerning Albion circuit 
would doubtless be of interest to the reader. For a 
number of years this station suffered by the con 
stant removal of members to the newer country for 
settlement. In 1854 there were 355 members, in 1876 
the number of removals had reached 511, being an 
average of twenty-five each year. These figures had 
to be replaced every year before an increase could be 
reported. Rev. R. Cade was stationed there in 1858 
and following years, and during his superintendency 
there was a very large ingathering. Though young 

54 



NEW CIRCUITS ARE FORMED. 

and inexperienced in the ways of a new country, he 
was beloved as a faithful minister and successful 
laborer ; honored as an eloquent preacher and a 
desirable platform speaker; and the man} 7 years of 
successful work he gave to the Connexion proved 
that love, confidence and honor were not misplaced. 
The Rev. James Smith found the circuit spiritually 
alive but lacking in suitable church accommodation, 
and with unwavering trust in God and reliance in 
the people, he applied himself to this much needed 
work. During his three years pastorate he built four 
churches, conducting the business in such a manner 
as to leave the societies well able to handle their 
financial obligations without feeling any burden. He 
repeated the same labor on Reach circuit, having 
special ability in this direction, and a love for the 
work. Some ministers build churches, and contract 
such heavy debts, to be met after they leave, that 
depression quenches the spiritual life of the member 
ship, who are oppressed by burdens the} 7 feel unable 
to carry. On both these circuits Rev. Wm. Bee fol 
lowed Mr. Smith, and said that these new churches 
were either entirely free from debt, or in such easy 
circumstances that the remaining indebtedness never 

O 

caused a moment s trouble; but that the churches 
built and ready for use, with the increased hopeful 
ness of the membership, were a great help in pushing 
forward the battles of the Lord. John Frankish and 
Thomas Amy were Mr. Bee s colleagues, good men and 
true, who, as young men, in different years addressed 
themselves perseveringly to the work in faith and 

55 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

prayer, and during Mr. Bee s charge on Albion circuit 
not only were the removals made up, but at the end 
of three years sixty-nine of an increase was reported. 
During the succeeding years Rev. JoKn Garner and 
his colleagues, J. W. Robinson and others, labored 
hard and successfully, the Lord giving them seals to 
their ministry, and reporting an increase of fifty-six 
members. The circuit maintained its position to the 
time of its division under the ministry of Revs. J. W. 
Gilpin, J. Dennis, B. Reeve, J. E. Moore and others. 

Victoria Square was the head of Markham circuit. 
" Daddy Haton, who was a Primitive Methodist in 
England, was the first class-leader and Sunday School 
superintendent. The first church was frame, after 
wards replaced by a brick edifice on the same lot. 
The floor was a succession of steps with the choir 
pew at the back. The door was at the side near the 
pulpit and late comers entered in full view of the 
congregation. Richard Lewis, senior, a brother of 
Thomas Lewis of Bethesda church, was one of the 
earlv class-leaders, and was a member of the first 

V 

society formed in Mr. Baton s house. He has been in 
the better land over fifty years, John Atkinson 
succeeded him as class-leader. The later leaders were 
George Peach, David Hopper and Henry Jennings. 
Henry Jennings name often appears in the Con 
ference Minutes ; he was a thorough Yorkshireman, 
and not ashamed of his brogue, a man who did not 

CT 

yield easily ; outspoken, generous, a good man and 
ready to sacrifice for the cause. David Hopper was 
an example of holy living ; of a stern, uncompromis- 

56 



NEW CIRCUITS ARE FORMED. 

ing disposition naturally, but gentle and mellowed by 
Divine grace ; never absent from the means of grace * 
unless prevented by sickness or old age, his daily life 
in obedience to the command " Seek first the king 
dom of God," etc. 

Joseph Ellarby was a local preacher, a man of 
kindly disposition, and for some years the superin 
tendent of the Sunday School. He was a good sup 
porter and a faithful local preacher, not only on the 
Markham circuit, but on the Pickering branch in the 
early days of Methodism. His only child married 
William Cook, a son of Thomas Cook, of Carrville. 

Jonas and Betsy Cox head were two good old 
people who owned a horse that was never properly 
broken in, and it did as it pleased with them. When 
they got too old to walk to church they drove, and 
there was usually a scene after service. The horse 
would watch out of one eye to see when all their feet 
were in the rig, and then start off full gallop for 
home. They never could get the robes about them 
for Betsy had to grab Jonas if she did not want to 
tumble out. Jonas was a small man who wore a 
little skull cap in church to keep his smooth bald 
head warm, while Betsy weighed over two hundred 
pounds. They both had unbounded confidence in the 
gentle disposition of the beast, and, had one of them 
tumbled out, it would have known, and stopped on 
the instant. It started when it pleased and stopped 
for the same reason, and as Jonas never touched it 
with the whip, it controlled the family. The rest of 
the congregation watched, expecting every moment 

57 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

the buggy would capsize, but nothing ever happened ; 
there seemed to be a perfect understanding between 
the three, for it was an old, old horse that never got 
over being a colt. Jonas and Betsy had been mem 
bers at the Bethel appointment in Pilkington Town 
ship, Peel circuit. Eli Goodwin was the class-leader 
there. Jonas and Eli had disagreed about something 
during the week and hot words had passed between 
them. When the class-meeting came on the Sunday, 
Jonas sat with his elbows on his knees and his head 
between his hands. It never occurred to Jonas to 
walk out of class-meeting, he would as soon have 
thought of turning his back on the Saviour. There 
he sat groaning in spirit until Eli s familiar voice 
inquired " How is it with thee, Jonas, this marnin ?" 
And the answer came in a sorrowful tone, without 
moving or looking up, " I doant feel disposed 
to tell ee, Eli." They were nearly all Cornish at 
that appointment in Peel. Jonas and Betsy have 
gone to meet the loved companions of the long ago, 
where there is perfect knowledge and no misunder 
standings. 

Thomas Martin s family and Oliver Veale s were 
among the old members at Victoria Square, both men 
were officials and moved from the neighborhood 

o 

years ago. 

" Daddy Peach was the class-leader at Peach s 
appointment on the seventh concession of Markham. 
Thomas Hastings, Henry Jennings, junior, Chris 
topher Robinson, Alex. Lee, Henry Hopper and John 
Williamson were all officials, and earnest, faithful men. 

58 



NEW CIRCUITS ARE FORMED. 

For nearly forty years the Sunday School Anni 
versary at Victoria Square was held on New Year s 
day, the tea being served at noon and the programme 
given in the afternoon. The church would be 
crowded to its utmost capacity, for those were the 
days when the children " spoke pieces," and people 
drove for ten miles to hear them, and prizes were dis 
tributed according to the attendance, and tickets 
earned for the recital of verses in the Sunday School 
class. Ten verses for a ticket, ten of these for a large 

O 

one which had a money value, and you could add the 
difference in cash if you wanted a large book like the 
" Sunday at Home." Books were scarce at that date, 
and when the package was opened for distribution at 
Sunday School, everybody s face was beaming with 
pleasure. The " party " was the event of the year to 
the young people, and everybody was happy with the 
exception of a little occasional jealousy, because 
human nature was much the same then as it is now. 

In 1842 the stations were supplied as follows : 

Toronto Wm. Lyle and Matthew Nichols. 

Brampton Wm Jolley. One to be obtained. 

Markham G. Bond. One to be obtained. 

In 1843 there were four circuits : 

Toronto Thomas Adams, John Towler. 

Markham Branch John Allison, M. Nichols. 

Etohicoke J. Lacey, J. Harrison. 

Brampton Wm. Lyle. 

Whitby and Pickering to be missioned by Wm. 
Jolley. 

In 1844 Hugh Bourne came as adviser from the 

59 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

English Conference. The stations for that year 
were : 

Toronto J. Lacey, Matthew Nichols. 

Brampton--Wm. Lyle, W. F. Bradley. 

Etobicoke John Towler. One to be obtained. 

Markham John Allison, J. Garnett, Wm. Harrison. 

Niagara Thomas Adams. 

I have before me the Minutes of the District Meet 
ing held at Toronto, February 18th and 19th, 1845. 
The travelling preachers were stationed as follows : 

Toronto Wm. Lyle, Walton Preston. 

Brampton- -Thomas Adams, William Harrison. 

Etobicoke John Towler, Robert Boyle. 

Markham John Lacey. One to be obtained. 

Whitby and Reach John Garnett. 

Niagara Falls John Allison. 

Brantford Matthew Nichols. 

At this District Meeting Robert Boyle was pledged 
by Etobicoke circuit. Any preacher stationed to 
move must leave his old circuit not later than the 21st 
of February, and be on the new one on or before the 
1st of March. 

At this time the Canadian Branch of Primitive 
Methodism had ten travelling preachers, seventy-nine 
local preachers, eleven hundred and forty-three mem 
bers, eight Sabbath Schools, one hundred and four 
teachers, four hundred and thirty scholars, and seven 
teen chapels. The list of subscriptions for missionary 
purposes is printed in these Minutes, and it might be 
of interest to see what the whole Connexion con 
tributed at that time. The amounts are in pounds, 

60 



NEW CIRCUITS ARE FORMED. 

shillings and pence, as that was how money was com 
puted before this country adopted the decimal system. 

1843, February 25th. 

s. d. 

Robert Walker 2 10 

Thos. Hutchison 2 

Wm. Lawson, John Bugg, T. Burgess, 

each 1 5 

Mrs. Wm. Lawson, J. Carliss, each . . 1 
Miss Lyle, Mrs. Carliss, D. Swallow, 
Thos. Lawson, H. Cunningham, J. 
Edmonds, S. Pearsall, A. Corry, each 10 

R.Hughes 076 

Miss Harnlin. Mr. Carmichael, T. Mut 
ton, Wm. High, Mrs. Wigglesworth, 
W. Kendrew, J. Petch, J. Kent, Geo. 
McCluskey, Jos. Lawson, Thos. 
Robinson, Mrs. T. Robinson, D. 
Lewis, Miss Hussey, James Agar, 
Mrs. Archibald, Thomas Ford, each 050 

B. Green 2 6 

February 17th. 
Missionary Collection at Toronto .... 6 11 3 

Subscriptions 3 16 3 

Collection at Four Corners(VictoriaSq.) 200 

" Sewell s 1 7 9 

" Collomb s 1 19 6 

Brampton Missionary Collection .... 3 5 4 
November 16th. 

Collection at Baldwin s 13 11 

" Hartrnan s 18 10J 

" Pugh s 1 4 10" 

" Agar s 1 4 3i 

Collected on Whitby Mission 6 9 7 1 

December 4th. 

From Brampton Circuit 3 6 3 

61 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

We find the amount collected in 1844 was 24 16s. 
7Jd., and in 1845 they raised 159 10s. Od. Eliza 
beth La wson s Mission Box contained 1 3s. IJd., and 
Esther Carbert s Banking House 2 12s. 6d. 

One item charged against this mission fund was a 
bedstead and cord, 1 15s. lid. Instead of springs, 
wire mattresses and upholstered furniture, they had 
thankful hearts and the art of divine contentment, all 
sharing alike in the common inartistic blessings. 



62 



CHAPTER V. 

AN OLD-TIME BACHELOR. 

Hugh Bourne, Adviser from the English Conference One Night in 
my Father s House His Early Rising The Curtained Spare 
Bed Sketch of his Life Death Obsequies Stations for 
1847 Rev. John Davison Arrives Stations for 1848 Rev. 
John Garner The Garners of England Stations for 1849 
Church Opening in Gait Guelph Station The Old-Time Local 
Preacher Typical Primitive Methodist Home Family 
Worship Learning Scripture Verses --The Minister and 
School Teacher Always Right Sunday Afternoon Balerma 
The Wicked Fiddle and Novel The Old Well with a 
Windlass Protracted Meeting Rev. James Edgar Rev. 
Matthew Nichols Thomas Appleby Rev. Wm. Gledhill 
Rev. J. Lacey at Bowmanville Rev. T. Adams in Reach 
Old Bethel Church at Greenbank. 

AT the English Conference of 1844 the possibilities 
of Canadian Missions received much prayerful consid 
eration, so much so that it was thought best that the 
Venerable Hugh Bourne should visit them, and by 
his counsels and public addresses consolidate and 
extend the work. He sailed on July 3rd, and arrived 
in Toronto on September 1 2th, 1 844. He threw himself 
into the work with characteristic zeal ; visited the 
circuits as opportunity offered, and labored almost 
more than a man of his years should have done. In 
his journal dated January 1st, 1845, he speaks of 

63 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

walking eleven miles to Lambton before breakfast, 
and eight miles farther to Toronto after breakfast. 
These long journeys on foot no doubt brought on the 
disease from which he died eight years afterwards. 
He visited Niagara, the Primitive Methodist churches 
in the United States, and, with his usual economy, 
took a steerage passage on the Montezuma from 
New York to Liverpool the following March. 

Mr. Bourne spent a night in my father s house, in 
that " spare bed that was the joy of my childish 
eyes, with a white roof over it in summer, and a deep 
valence trimmed with wide fringe at both back and 
front. The winter curtains for the spare bed were 
made of drab moreen trimmed with blue velvet. 
They reached to the floor, and you could enclose 
yourself or loop the curtains back at the head and 
foot. It truly was a gorgeous structure. I inquired 
of my cousin if she remembered Rev. Hugh Bourne s 
visit, for it was before my day, and she told me that 
she had the honor of doing up his room. He rose 
about four o clock or a little after, and they could 
hear him at his devotions, for the early Primitive 
Methodist generally prayed aloud. After this he 
tramped about the room for a long time, and they 
could not conceive what all the commotion was about, 
but when she went in after breakfast to do the room, 
the secret was out. He had been taking a bath, and, 
only having the washbowl, was considerably incon 
venienced. The valence below the bed was splashed, 
his wet feet had marked the carpet, but he came to 
breakfast clean inside and out. Plain as he was in 

64 



AN OLD-TIME BACHELOR. 

appearance and odd as he might seem in his manner, 
he did not belong to the great "unwashed throng," 
but was a gentleman in his habits. 

After his return to England he wrote to a friend : 
" If I live to April 3rd, 1852, 1 shall be eighty years 
of age, and truly four score years is a long time to be 
in this world. During the last three years I have 
gone down much in body, and I walk -more slowly 
than I used to do, but in the pulpit I do not feel 
much difference." He was seized with a disease in 
his feet, but he did not murmur. Medical counsel 
was in vain. He could suffer and be strong, for his 
realization of Christ was bright and joyous. To the 
last he was anxious about the prosperity of the con 
nexion, and made many requests " not to forget the 
children." The end came in the autumn of 1852. 
On the day of his departure he was cheerful and 
happy. During the afternoon he fell asleep, and 
when he awoke he seemed to have been conversing 
with someone. He stretched out his hand as if for 
the nearer approach of his visitants, a sweet smile 
mounted upon his countenance, and he said several 
times very distinctly, " Come! Come! His look was 
upward, his hand was raised in triumphant gesture to 
some entrancing object in his view, and then with 
an earnest voice and in emphatic tones he cried, " Old 
companions ! Old companions ! My mother ! " and 
without an apparent sensation of pain, or a lingering 
groan, he 

"Passed through death triumphant home." 

The most prominent feature of Mr. Bourne s char- 

65 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

acter was spirituality. The Rev. C. C. McKechnie 
writes of him as follows : 

" Perhaps no man, not even the saints of the olden 
times, ever lived more habitually in contact and fel 
lowship with the Unseen and Eternal. He spent 
much of his time in privacy ; he regarded company 
with dislike except for spiritual communion or labors 
of love. Privacy was his element, not only or 
specially for literary purposes, but for unfettered 
fellowship with God and things heavenly. At all 
times, in all places and circumstances, he realized a 
sense of God s presence, a vivid apprehension of the 
spiritual and eternal. He moved through the world 
as if it were a world of shadows with which he had 
but temporary connection, and as if he were hastening 
to another and more permanent home." 

As he appeared to his brother ministers he was 
expert in debate, the prevailing characteristics of his 
mind being shrewdness, penetration and a capacity for 
details which made him hard to encounter. He had 
a sharp, caustic, incisive style. He did not care for 
luxuriant rhetoric or redundant verbiage but culti 
vated simplicity and transparency. He did not 
appear to advantage as a preacher. His voice was 
unmusical, his manner ungainly and cold, but there 
was solidity and strength as he proclaimed the truths 
of salvation, which were his constant theme. 

" Hugh Bourne had his faults like other men, he was 
but a man, but he was a noble and saintly man, and 
few men have lived so purely and unselfishly, or left 
a name so widely and ardently cherished as this 
Staffordshire moorlander." 

66 



AN OLD-TIME BACHELOR. 

One gifted with something of the poet s vision and 
faculty has thus sung of his departure to his God , his 
mother and his old companions : 

" God saw the victor die ! The gates of heaven 
Were opened wide ; and on their wings of light 
A bright angelic embassy was sent 
With a triumphant chariot, to bear 
The Prophet home. Hugh saw the blessed sight ! 
His happy spirit saw their first approach, 
Exulting in the prospect of a quick release ; 
And when he in their heaven-lit faces saw 
The greeting smiles of friends who died before, 
He, in an ecstacy of gladness, cried, 
My mother, and my old companions ! 
And, looking upwards to the chariot 
\Vith heart-felt joy, his tabernacle fell ! 
And soon his soul was wafted far beyond 
The range of planets, suns and systems, through 
Ethereal fields, to realms of brightest day. 
And as we in our fancy saw him mount, 
A voice of inspiration, like a peal 
Of thunder, sounded forth the sentence * Write, 
Bless d are the dead who die in Christ the Lord. 

From the Primitive Methodist Magazine we copy 
a description of the obsequies of the Rev. Hugh 
Bourne : 

u Died in the full assurance of hope, at Bemersley, 
near Tunstall, Staffordshire, on Monday, October llth, 
1852, in his eighty-first year, the Venerable Hugh 
Bourne, one of the founders of Primitive Methodism. 

"On the 17th, his mortal remains were conveyed 
from Bemersley to Englesea Brook, in Chesire, where 
they were interred in a newly made vault in the 

5 67 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

burying ground connected with the Primitive Metho 
dist chapel. At nine o clock in the morning the 
singers from Pitts-hill assembled at Bemersley, and 
sang the hymn commencing 

* Shrinking from the cold hand of death. 

The funeral train then advanced from Bemersley to 
Tunstall, a distance of three miles. On the road it 
was joined by the Sunday scholars and teachers from 
Bradley-green, Pitts-hill and Tunstall Primitive 
Methodist schools, and also by members and friends 
from various parts of the country. The assemblage 
as it entered Tunstall was estimated at about 16,000 
persons, among whom was a considerable number of 
travelling and local preachers. Arrived at Tunstall, 
the assembly was addressed in the market-place by 
the Rev. H. Beech, when tears were copiously shed 
by old and young. The procession then proceeded 
towards Englesea Brook, a distance of nine miles 
from Tunstall, the scholars remaining behind, but a 
multitude of persons accompanying it. The singers, 
joined by the majority of people, sang at intervals 
appropriate hymns. The procession passed through 
Red-street to Talk-o -th -hill, where it was met by 
the Sunday School scholars and friends. Passing 
through Audley and Balterly, it continued to gain 
fresh accessions to its numbers from various parts of 
Chesire. The whole country seemed moved. At the 
place of interment a preaching service was held for 
about an hour, conducted by Mr. T. Bateman, white 
the distant comers partook of some refreshment 
provided for the occasion. The funeral service was 
performed by the Rev. Samuel Sanders, superin 
tendent of Tunstall circuit ; after which he made a 
few remarks on the providential event which had 
called together such a concourse of people. The 

68 



AN OLD-TIME BACHELOR. 

Rev. T. Russell, of South Shields, and Mr. B. Higgins 
then addressed the assembly, after which was sung: 

Farewell dear friend, a long farewell, etc. 

Mr. Sanders then concluded the service with prayer, 
and the people dismissed under very serious feelings." 

What a man, and what a funeral ! Sixteen 
thousand people assembled, many of them walking 
all the distance to the place of interment. No 
wonder refreshments were served. Singing hymns 
at intervals for twelve miles ; holy songs of triumph 
such as my own father selected for his funeral : 

" Rejoice for a brother deceased." 

" God buries his workmen but his work goes on," 
so we return to a review of the Canadian men and 
missions. 

In 1847 the ministers and stations were : 

Toronto J. Davison, J. Towler, Wm. Gledhill. 

Brampton John Garnett, J. Edgar (6 mos.), R. 
Boyle (6 mos.). 

Markham--\Vm. Lyle, R. Boyle (6 mos.), J. Shields 
(6 mos.). 

Etobicoke Tbos. Adams, J. Shields (6 mos.), J. 
Edgar (6 mos,). 

Reach and W/iitby F. Berry. 

Guelph Mathew Nichols, W. Flesher Bradley. 

Darlington J. Lacey, W. Preston (3 mos.). 

Rev. J. Davison arrived in Canada July 1st, 1847, 
and made an extensive tour among the stations and 
missions. He was gratified at the progress made 

69 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

and the prospects for the future. There was 23 
subscribed to place a missionary in the Talbot district 
so soon as a suitable man could be found to send 
there. 

Thomas Adams was the Chairman of this District 
Meeting, and George Raper, of Etobicoke, was the 
Secretary. . 

In 1848 the membership stations and ministers 
were as follows : 

Members 

204. Toronto J. Davison, Robt. Boyle. 

163. Brampton John Garnett, T. Bosworth (6 

mos.), J. Edgar (6 mos.). 
292. Etobicoke M. Nichols, J. Edgar (6 mos.), 

T. Bosworth (6 mos.). 
288. Markham Wm. Lyle, J. Shields. 
123. Reach and Whitby Thos. Adams. 
112. Darlington J. Lacey, W. F. Bradley. 

18. Hamilton F. Berry. 
143. GudphJohu Towler, Wm. Gledhill. 

Talbot Mission John Garner. 

John Garner arrived in Canada June 6th, 1848. 
He supplied the Hamilton church for a short time 
when he was appointed to the Talbot mission. He 
married Miss Flesher in England, a daughter of the 
Rev. John Flesher, who compiled the hymn-book in 
1853. Mrs. Garner often visited our home in my 
childhood. I remember her well. Her complexion 
was very fair, she was ladylike in appearance, knew 
what was becoming to her and how to put it on. 
Though plain and quiet in her apparel as any of the 

70 



AN OLD-TIME BACHELOR. 

Primitive Methodists of the olden time, she always 
looked well dressed in her fine white tuscan bonnet 
trimmed with the palest drab. When driving along 
the dusty highway of Yonge Street, this was covered 
with a cream colored silk oilskin, worn in those days 
for travel. The Garners in England might well be 
termed the blue blood of Primitive Methodism. 
William Garner, James Garner and John Garner were 
all eminent ministers of the Gospel. William Garner 
was President of the English Primitive Methodist 

o 

Conference in 1859 and 1861 ; James Garner in 1864 
and 1871, and John Garner, sr., was President in 
1843, 1847, 1850, 1851, 1852, and 1854. Their mother, 
Elizabeth Garner, has lately had a monument erected 
to her memory by the women of English Primitive 
Methodism. The John Garner stationed on Talbot 
mission was a son of John Garner, sr., already men 
tioned, and grandson of Elizabeth Garner. 

The stations and ministers for 1849-1850 were : 

Toronto J. Davison, J. Edgar (6 months), R. Boyle 
(6 months). 

Brampton J. Lacey, R. Boyle (6 months), T. Bos- 
worth (6 months), 

Etobicoke - - Matthew Nichols, T. Bosworth (6 
months), J. Edgar (6 months). 

Markham William Lyle. 

Reach and Whitby T. Adams. 

Gudph John Garner, jr. 

Darlington J. Garnett, William Gledhill. 

Hamilton Francis Berry. 

Talbot J. Towler. 

71 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

" On December 22nd, 1849, the new chapel in North 
Blenheim was opened, and in the evening service two 
souls found peace. In the centre of the township 
they are contemplating the erection of a new chapel." 
John Garner s journal relates that a band of men 
were there, whose souls were fired with love to God 
and man, and they rallied round him and assisted 
nobly in the work. Their names should not be for 
gotten, so I give the list : H. Reid, William Wilkins, 
J. Spiers, J. Masters, A. Erb, J. Taylor, J. Tyson, J. 
Fleming and Mr. Burrows. The work done proclaims 
the character of these men. The strength of their 
hearts came from the soundness of their faith, and 
by daily overcoming the temptations that came to 
themselves. 

The appointments on the Guelph Station in 1849- 
1850 were as follows : Guelph, Gait, New Hope 
(Hespeler), Ellis S. H., Nassagaweya, Wilmot, Blen 
heim, Vipond s (near Hawkesville), Keyworth s (Pilk- 
ington Township), Ruber s (Wellesley Township), 
Colfas (Aberfoyle), Passmore s (Drumbo), Mudge 
Hollow (Canning). Rev. John Garner was the 
travelling preacher. Quite a number of townships 
were embraced in this mission, and a man would 
labor hard if he did nothing more than reach these 
appointments. 

Among the more prominent officials of Gait was 
Mr. William Wilkins. He was converted in Cornwall, 
England, in 1837, in his twenty-first year; and very 
soon after began to preach. Ten years later he came 
to Canada and joined the Bay Street church in 

72 



AN OLD-TIME BACHELOR. 

Toronto. His name was placed on the plan and he 
preached nearly every Sabbath, attending to his 
business during the week. Sometimes Thomas 

O 

Thompson, Sr., who was also a local preacher, would 
say : " Now, Brother Wilkins, I will furnish the 
horse, if you will take my appointment," to which 
Mr. Wilkins would agree. In 1845 he moved to Gait, 
and in 1851 he opened a clothing store. Here his 
services were in constant demand on the Sabbath. 
Being a man of good intellect and superior ability, 
and having a fine library of theological works, with 
an ambition to qualify himself, and a love for the 
work of the Lord, he was more than ordinarily accept 
able to his hearers. He worked faithfully all his 
days for the spread of the truth, and the upbuilding 
of the Primitive Methodist church, to which he was 
devotedly attached. After the union until the close 
of his life, he sent a yearly contribution to the Primi 
tive Methodist society in England, for South African 
missionary work. His name appeared yearly in the 
Minutes of Conference, and he was always a member 
of the General Committee. The grave is not the 
terminus of life, but the track along which we pass 
to endless light, and when Mr. William Wilkins died 
in Gait and was laid to rest in Mount View Cemetery, 
on November 29th, 1888, he left the place where 
friends were weeping, and entered into the brightness 
of eternal rejoicing. " For him to live was Christ, and 
to die was gain. 

O 

For the sake of variety, let me introduce here a 

typical Primitive Methodist home. I will describe 

73 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

my own, because most familiar with it. Here the 
family altar was set up. Father, mother and all the 
professing Christians in the house, were expected to 
take their turn in leading the family worship. This 
generally worked all right, for beginners were less 
timid to start in the home, than in the more public 
services. My cousin, about fourteen years older than 
I, told me of one morning when there was a " terrible 
break." We had a man named Tom Smith ; he never 
was hurt with religion, but father and mother tried 
to think the best of him. He had come out in the 
revival services, and joined the society. It was his 
turn to read and pray in the morning. He got the 
place, and coming to the words " There shall be 
weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth;" he 
halted, and said in a solemn voice : " I suppose them 
that have no teeth will have to gum it ; " and then 
went on. There was no reply ; no countenance 
changed its expression ; but he would, no doubt, hear 
a little on the subject privately, from mother. My 
father was the class-leader. The first Primitive 
Methodist services held in the neighborhood now 
called Newtonbrook, were in father s house, and were 
afterwards taken to the log school-house on the corner 
of Nichol s farm. It was a small and struggling 
society ; the preaching service was in the evening, 
with Sunday School and class-meeting in the morning. 
The church and its services had first claim upon our 
time, thought and money. We had to commit ten 
verses to memory each week from the Gospel of 
Matthew, and I can well remember how I wished the 

74 



AN OLD-TIME BACHELOR. 

gospels had never been written. I thought it would 
have been better if Matthew, Mark, Luke and John 
had died in infancy, since what they had written was 
of no particular use, only to punish children. There 
was far too much religion in our house to suit me. I 
would as soon have thought of having the moon to 
play with, as to be allowed to remain home from one 
service. How I envied the neighbor s children, who 
were sometimes without suitable clothes to appear 
in. I would have enjoyed absence from one service 
to see what it would feel like to be away, while I 
knew the others were all there ; but I never knew, 
for that experience never came. My mother always 
sided with the school-teacher. No matter how un 
reasonable his demands might be, we never heard his 
authority belittled. We must obey him or take the 
consequences. We never heard the minister dis 
cussed unless in his favor. He was God s ambassador, 
and came with his message to us. No matter if the 
sermon was not all that it might be, it was likely 
higher than we all lived up to, and we must receive 
and honor all who spoke in Christ s name. 

My father loved singing ; he had a flute and played 
by note ; so we generally spent all Sunday afternoon 
in sacred song. The " Harmonist " and its supple 
ment, and the " New Lute of Zion," were the books 
we used. I can never dissociate my father from 
music, or recall his memory without a loving remem 
brance of those pleasant hours. Mother never could 
sing. She said herself, the only tune she knew was 
Balerma, and she sang it to 

75 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

0, for that tenderness of heart 
Which bows before the Lord ; 
Acknowledging how just Thou art, 
And trembling at Thy Word." 

She thought she sang Balerma, but I do not know 
even now, whether it was the words or the music, 
that stood for Balerma in her mind. It was like no 
tune on earth ; full of all kinds of little wailing bars, 
going from the minor to the major scale at any 
moment ; but her voice always trembled at the word 
" trembling," and seemed to go down hill a couple of 
times to the end of the verse. She invariably sang it 
the same way, queer as it was, and really thought she 
sang Balerma. We learned the tune, it was so funny. 
I remember with gratitude to-day, that she sang with 
her heart in the congregation, and not with her voice. 
At any moment father might come into the house 
and get down his flute, and spend an hour in perfect 
content. A Roman Catholic hired girl we once had, 
told grandmother, she thought, " He must have been 
born wid a fiddle in his inside, he was so runnin over 
wid music." No matter how busy we were, we were 
expected to go and sing if father had found a new 
tune, or wanted us to sing while he played the tenor. 
Mother always expected us to obey father and grand 
mother on the instant ; and she was generally the 
one who made us do it. " No matter what I told you 
to do, if grandmother says you are to do another way, 
you must mind what your grandmother says." It 
was considered by us at the time very hard discipline, 
but I think now it was right; and it gives me a 

76 



AN OLD-TIME BACHELOR. 

sweeter memory to-day than if it had been other 
wise. 

In those days novel reading was a sin, and a fiddle 
was a terribly wicked thing. It was the devil s 
instrument to snare the young into the dance ; but a 
bass viol was not in the same category because con 
secrated to the service of God. Father never allowed 
us to sing songs, he considered them wicked ; while 
grandmother liked a song, and thought it little short 
of blasphemy for us to be going round the house 
singing hymns, and taking the Saviour s name in our 
mouths, when we were not thinking of what we were 
saying. Grandmother taught me to sing Jamie Riley : 

1 My name is Jamie Riley, 
In Glasgow I was born." 

I had to watch my opportunity to indulge in such a 
luxury. One day while drawing a pail of water at 
the well, and turning the old windlass, as the bucket 
of cool spring water came splashing and dripping to 
the top, I was singing " Nellie Gray with the most 
happy abandonment. Father entered the front door 
in great trouble, and told mother how dreadfully I 
was acting. I could be heard all over the neighbor 
hood, and what an example to other young people. 
Mother came out at once and in a very quiet sympa 
thetic voice said, " Janey dear, I do not want you to 
sing songs when your father is around, you know 
how it grieves him, and you must be more guarded 
in the future." I could see that she was not distressed 
herself about the song, but to see father s mind hurt 

77 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

was a terrible thing. It was well it was presented in 
that light to me, it seemed to moderate the apparent 
unreasonableness of the request. 

In the year 1850, the Rev. James Edgar and the 
Rev. Matthew Nichols held a protracted meeting in 
the log school-house on the Hamilton farm, one-half 
mile west of Claremont. Thomas Appleby, now of 
Wroxeter, for many years a classleader, local preacher, 
and Sunday School superintendent, was converted at 
this meeting. In conversation about the early days, 
Mr. Appleby said he had often ridden twenty miles on 
horseback to an appointment on Markham circuit, 
preached at three places, and returned home the same 
night, arriving sometime before morning if the roads 
were bad. He told me of Mr. Gledhill once preaching 
all round the school-house, and ending as he reached 
the desk again. He then announced the collection, 
and as no one responded at once, he seized his own 
hat, and remarking, " I ll take it up myself, I suppose 
I m as light of foot as anyone," moved around with 
such speed that if the money was not in the hand, the 
startled worshippers had no time to get it. Many 
humorous incidents are related of this eccentric but 
good man. 

The Rev. John Lacey, stationed at Bowmanville in 
the autumn of 1848, opened a new chapel in the 
Township of Clarke. It was twenty-four by thirty 
feet. So much work and material were given, that 
the indebtedness was covered by collections and sub 
scriptions at the opening. The Rev. Thomas Adams 
built a new church in Bassingthwaite s settlement, 

78 



AN OLD-TIME BACHELOR. 

which was dedicated on October 8th, 1848. This 
would be the old Bethel church at Greenbank, which 
has been replaced since by a white brick. The first 
church was twenty-four by thirty feet. There was 
an acre of ground for burial purposes, and it was 
situated on a hill. Rev. John Lacey preached morn 
ing and evening, and the debt was covered by collec 
tions and subscriptions at the opening. It was the 
first place of worship belonging to any denomination 
in the Township of Reach. 

Multitudes of Roman Catholics and Presbyterians 
were coming from Ireland, but very few Primitive 
Methodists reported themselves. The need of qualified 
men for the Canadian field was deeply felt, and the 
District Meeting thought that if the English Con 
ference would send a man out to oversee the whole 
mission work in Canada, it would be an advantage to 
the cause. Woodstock, London, Brantford, and many 
other rising towns had not been missioned for lack of 
men and means to carry forward the work. Rev. 
John Davison speaks of the excellent District Meeting 
they had held, which at that time was the highest 
Primitive Methodist Church court in Canada. Rev. 
John Garnett, of Bowrnanville, reported having 
formed a Sunday School at Bethel Church in 1849, 
in the Township of Clarke, and fifty children were 
present. H. Munroe, Esq., and Mr. J. Motley were 
appointed joint superintendents, and they had a good 
staff of teachers. Bowman ville Sunday School held 
its second anniversary on the 24th and 25th of June. 
The proceeds were satisfactory, and several of the 

79 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

scholars had joined the church during the year. 
Guelph circuit was doing well, and they were asking 
for an additional preacher, and intended building a 
parsonage. Hamilton was prosperous, and their 
additional missionary was extending the work in the 
direction of Grand River and Lake Erie. The world 
was all before them to select their field of toil. The 
early settlers were calling loudly for missionaries, the 
Bible and the Divine blessing ; and with faith in God 
they might expect the flowers of righteous living to 
follow in their path. 



80 



CHAPTER VI. 

BY STAGE AND ON HORSEBACK. 

Rev. John Davison Visits the Western Missions Goes by Stage- 
Attends Tea-Meeting in Hamilton Accompanied by Rev. 
Francis Berry on Horseback Roads Almost Impassable in 
Walpole Township Tuscarora Indian Settlement Garnet 
An Indian Belle David Culph Chief Jacobs Offers Advice 
The Long-House Sacrifice of a White Dog An Indian 
Papoose - - York - - Donaldson s Mills - - Indiana A Learned 
Pig Hamilton Missionary Meeting Mrs. Parsons Ill- 
Cholera Disappearing Gait Church Visited Guelph Rev. 
John Garner Blenheim Nine Conversions in Evening Service, 
Hamilton Middle Road Coulson s Wellington Square The 
Martindales Thomas Peart Chapel Built. 

THE Toronto Quarterly Meeting having decided 
that the Rev. John Davison should visit some of the 
missions, and assist at their missionary services, he 
started on the journey in December, 1849. He went 
by stage to Hamilton, and arrived while they were 
holding a tea- meeting, at which he gave an address. 
It was his intention to establish an Indian mission, so 
the next day Rev. Francis Berry accompanied him on 
horseback to the Township of Seneca, where a pro 
tracted meeting was in progress. He preached, Mr. 
Berry exhorted, some prayed, and several penitents 
came to the anxious form for salvation. His descrip 
tion of the visit to the homes of the Indians, the 

81 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

friends who entertained him and the terrible condi 
tion of the roads will be best understood if given in 
his own language : 

" The next day we rode twenty miles to Walpole, 
visited some members on the Grand River in our way, 
and reached Brother Thurlow s in the evening, on the 
shores of Lake Erie. Here the country is line and 
the settlers are thriving. At sunset we had a beauti 
ful view across the lake and could perceive the high 
lands of Pennsylvania, in the United States, looming 
in the far distance. 

" Sunday 23rd. Preached in a school-room at the 
most distant point of this mission. Bro. Berry also 
addressed the meeting and we afterwards endeavored 
to form a society. After taking a little refreshment 
at Mr. Kent s, a gentlemen from Sheffield, we went 
on to the third line in Walpole and I addressed a full 
house ; we had little time for refreshment, having 
nine miles to travel to the next place. Part of the 
road was almost impassable ; the horses at every 
plunge were nearly up to the girths among ice and 
mud. We reached the place near the Plank Road 
(now called Garnet) a few minutes before time. We 
had a full house and I trust good was done though 
we saw no conversions effected. This township is 
new, containing some of the very best land, and is 
rapidly filling up with settlers from Europe and the 
eastern parts of Canada West. Many of our mem 
bers from our circuits and missions are emigrating in 
this direction and unless we can have more agents, 
and means to sustain them for a while, we shall as a 
body be left out, and the fruits of our former toils be 
lost to the gain of other denominations." 

The next day they left the Dover Road, and 
travelled into the bush to explore the Indian settle- 

82 



BY STAGE AND ON HORSEBACK. 

merit in the Township of Tuscarora, and make a 
house to house visitation. The walking was difficult, 
fallen trees were lying in every direction and their 
progress was impeded by entangled branches and 
swampy places. They reached a chiefs house, he 
was absent, his wife ill in bed, and the squaws and 
children were very shy and timid. Only one boy 
could speak English and he informed them that the 
chief was a Christian, and sometimes interpreted 
when a minister came. They had some religious 
conversation with the boy, and pushed on to another 
clearing where there were some huts, but on their 
approach the women and children fled. They were 
anxious to reach a chief s house who was favorable to 
Christianity, and rode on, but did not know in what 
direction he lived. He was named Crawford. At 
the next habitation they found a young man of 
about twenty, his sister and two little children. The 
girl was very smartly dressed in Indian fashion, with 
silver ornaments and beaded moccasins. The young 
man had a blanket coat and red flannel tied around 
his waist. They could not converse much with them, 
but prayed, and, as the young man could speak a 
little English, they offered him a quarter to conduct 
them to the chief s abode. The chief was standing 
near his house, a tall, powerful man who could speak 
a little English. They told him they wanted to send 
a Christian teacher into the settlement. He was 
friendly but did not care to talk much to them, but 
would talk in Indian to the young man who went with 
them. He said if the Christian teacher came, he and 
6 83 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

his family would hear him. Night was approaching 
and they directed their way to Caledonia, but a heavy 
snowstorm came on and the roads were so bad they 
tried to find shelter, and an Indian whom they met 
directed them to a white man s house. It was the 
home of David Culph and, though they had only one 
room in the house, they made them welcome, and put 
their horses in the cow stable. He was a farmer, 
with a wife, a son, and a daughter, and had lived 
there several years surrounded by Indians with 
whose character he was very well acquainted. He 
was very kind and enjoyed their spiritual conversa 
tion, and promised to go with them next day to visit 
the Indians. He said in that part of Tuscarora they 
were principally of the Cayuga tribe, and in a range 
of three miles there would probably be fifty families. 
They were very indolent and many of them addicted 
to whiskey drinking, which made them wretched 
both temporally and spiritually, but he thought the 
gospel, and education for the children, would soon 
improve their condition. 

The day following was Christmas, and with Mr. 
Culph for guide and interpreter, they visited a Chief 
named Jacobs. He was a venerable old man seventy- 
three years of age, and a real pagan; opposed to 
Christianity, and also to any of his tribe hearing the 
gospel. Mr. Berry addressed him, and told him that 
the children of our people in Toronto, feeling for the 
Indians, had saved their coppers, and designed to sup 
port a teacher to teach his people, if they were willing 
to be taught the knowledge of the true God ; but in 

8* 



BY STAGE AND ON HORSEBACK. 

very broken English and with very much gesture, this 
red man of the forest said : " Christians abuse our 
squaws, send us the fire-water, and drive us from our 
lands. Go and tell Christians these things ; tell them 
to be good, then tell Indian to be good, but Indian 
cannot be changed to be a Christian, he is wild like 
the partridge, cannot be tamed. We Indians pray to 
the Great Spirit. I pray to God in the long-house, 
and tell the tribe about the good and bad place." 
After some more conversation, in which we endeavored 
to place Christ and His salvation before the pagan, 
we asked permission to pray ; we kneeled down and 
called upon our God. The old man and his family 
looked on as they sat and stood around us. We then 
shook hands and took our leave. We were informed 
that this old man sometimes acts as priest at the 
Indian festivals in the long-house, or council-house, a 
large log building which we took notice of on our way 
to his residence. These Indian festivals are held on 
various occasions, at which there are dancing, feasting 
and religious ceremonies intermixed. 

The pagan Indians sacrifice a white dog on occasions 
of calamity, sickness or scarcity. They tie his mouth, 
and without killing him singe him at the fire, and fix 
him on a pole with a bundle of bear skins and sticks. 
When the pole is erected the priest approaches, 
addresses the spirit, deprecates his wrath, and 
implores a mitigation of their troubles ; the whole 
tribe then shout their concurrence. They leave 
the dog and pole, never touching them till they rot 
and fall, 

85 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

They walked through the bush to the house of an 
intelligent Indian of the Mohawk tribe ; his wife was 
an Onondaga squaw. He was a Christian, and for 
merly interpreted for the Baptist mission. He 
received them courteously, and promised that if a 
Primitive Methodist missionary came he would use all 
his influence in his favor, attend his ministry and 
send his children to be taught ; his youngest child 
should be baptized and he would assemble the people 
on the occasion. The little child was two months old 
and was lying on one of the curious Indian cradles, 
the first they had ever seen. It looked like an 
Egyptian mummy to them, but I will let Mr. Davison 
describe it in his own language : " It consists of a 
board on which the child is laced or bandaged, then it 
is wrapped in furs or blankets to preserve the heat ; 
thus it is set upright in a corner, or hung up against 
a wall like a picture ; or the mother, without loosing 
the child from its cradle, fastens it on her back by a 
strap, and carries it about in this manner. Having 
prayed with this kind family of Indians, and exhorted 
them to love and serve God they having, to a limited 
extent, a knowledge of His will, and possessing several 
books in the Mohawk language, from which one of the 
boys at our request read us some passages we shook 
hands and departed. The day was now declining, and 
having got all the information we could, we mounted 
our horses, cleared the woods, and made for the Grand 
River." 

The Hamilton mission wanted to extend and con 
solidate its work by stationing a preacher on Grand 

86 



BY STAGE AND ON HORSEBACK. 

River. Mr. Berry proposed next morning to go to 
the Township of Cayuga, and see a house thought to 
be suitable for a parsonage, and hold a service at the 
plaster beds, where the owner resided. They reached 
the plaster beds in the evening (this is where the old 
Jubilee Church was built at York). They had 
preached there a few times, but the spiritual condition 
of the place was low. One of the settlers wives 
stated there was not a praying person in the place, 
and that all were more or less addicted to drinking to 
excess. The settlers were miners from Durham and 
Northumberland in England, and were employed in 
procuring stone from these beds to make plaster of 
Paris. Some of them had been Primitive Methodists 
in England, and others had heard Clowes, Flesher, 
Bradley, Batty, Oxtoby, Sanderson, and other preach 
ers, and tears stood in their eyes as they recounted 
and longed for the privileges of other days. Mr. 
Davison thought if any places needed their ministry it 
was such as these. On Thursday, December 27th, 
they returned to Donaldson s Mills and held a mis 
sionary meeting, calling on their way at Cayuga, 
which was destined to be the county town of the 

V 

district. An English Church minister preached in the 
school-house on the Sabbath, and as there were no 
other religious services in the village, they made 
arrangements for regular preaching in connection 
with the village of Indiana and Plaster Beds. They 
held a missionary meeting at Cayuga, but the attend 
ance was poor, owing to the exhibition of a learned 
pig at the tavern. A few, after witnessing this great 

87 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

treat, came to hear what the missionaries had to say. 
The speakers also assisted at the missionary services 
in Hamilton on Sunday, and on Monday evening. It 
being the last day of the year, when the missionary 
meeting ended the watch-night service began. Mr. 
Davison preached, and Mr. Berry delivered, at the 
close of the year, a powerful searching address. It 
was a solemn time, and as pilgrims they passed 
another mile-stone on the journey of life, inscribed 
with 1849. Those present entered into a fresh cov 
enant to love and serve God. Mrs. Parsons, the wife 
of the missionary stationed in Hamilton, was in a 
dying state, but happy in God. On the 1st of Jan 
uary Mr. Davison rode on horseback from Hamilton 
to Gait, and was much exhausted, but found the mis 
sion in a prosperous state. 

Thursday, January 3rd, 1849, was a day of public 
thanksgiving, in accordance with the proclamation 
of the Governor-General, for the deliverance from the 
cholera, and Mr. Davison preached in the town hall 
of Gait from Mark 7 : 37, " He hath done all things 
well." The following Sunday the new chapel in Gait 
was dedicated. Mr. William Lawson of Hamilton 
preached in the afternoon, and Mr. Davison morning 
and evening. At the evening service four persons 
were converted. The want of a suitable place in 
which to worship had greatly impeded the work. 
Rev. John Garner was the missionary, and the whole 
society was alive to God. The chapel was in a 
central position, in size thirty by forty feet ; there 
was a house in the rear of the lot, and the whole cost 

two hundred and fifty pounds. On Monday night a 

88 



BY STAGE AND ON HORSEBACK. 

missionary meeting was held, and Mr. Lawson 
occupied the chair with his usual ability. The 
proceeds of the meeting was seven pounds fifteen 
shillings. On Tuesday evening he attended the 
Guelph missionary meeting. It was here the Rev. 
John Garner resided, as it was the head of the 
mission. The next night Mr. Davison attended the 
missionary meeting in New Hope. Two-thirds of 
the people were Lutheran Reformed, and spoke the 
German language. They sang the German hymns in 
the intervals of the speeches, and the German minister 
delivered a forcible address in the German language, 
while Mr. Reed, one of the local preachers, interpreted 
it with good effect. The following day they rode to 
Blenheim, in the county of Waterloo, and had an 
excellent meeting. Blenheim was one of the best 
places on the mission, and the subscription list 
amounted to seven pounds. There were some zealous 
workers among the members, and at a protracted 
meeting that had just closed, some souls were saved. 
One man promised to give land and fifty dollars for 
a new chapel. Many of the settlements near by 
were nearly destitute of the gospel. Mr. Davison 
returned homeward, and on the 13th of January 
again preached in Hamilton. Nine souls came to the 
communion rail to be prayed for. Mr. Berry had 
been carrying on a protracted meeting during the 
week previous, with power and success. I will quote 
from Mr. Davison s letter as follows : 

"On Monday, January 14th, accompanied by Mr. 
Parsons, I travelled into the township of Nelson, and 
held a meeting at Middle Road ; Tuesday night at 

89 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Coulson s, and Wednesday night at Wellington Square. 
All these meetings were overflowing, and the interest 
excited on behalf of the Primitive Methodist missions, 
from the details and explanations given, was, I 
believe, considerably increased. On Thursday night 
I reached home, rather exhausted, after a month s 
tour ; having travelled about three hundred and fifty 
miles over very rough roads, and the weather, at 
seasons, being intensely cold. Everywhere the friends 
received me with the greatest kindness, and God 
blessed the honored and laborious missionaries and 
brethren that assisted me in the various services. To 
God be all the glory. Amen. 

JOHN DAVISON." 
Toronto, January 18th, 1850. 

When the settlement at the plaster beds became 
large enough to have a post office, it was named 
York. This was one of the appointments on the 
Grand River circuit. In the year 1860 Rev. Wm. 
Bee was stationed on it, and the Jubilee Church was 
erected at York. The church was so named because 
built in the Jubilee year of the Connexion. There 
were only three or four members at the time, but 
they worked well and earnestly, especially Miss 
Martindale (afterwards the beloved and honored wife 
of the Rev. James Smith). The Martindale family 
were the backbone of the appointment, and the 
self-sacrificing piety and enthusiasm of Miss Martin- 
dale gave such support to the enterprise, as made 
the building of a place of worship possible amid very 
adverse circumstances. The building was dedicated 
by Rev. Thomas Crompton preaching morning and 

evening, and Father Lyle in the afternoon. Father 

90 



BY STAGE AND ON HORSEBACK. 

Lyle in his sermon said, " Now you have got a 
material church, you want a living spiritual church 
to worship in the material one." After opening, 
without a single day s delay, a protracted meeting 
was begun which continued a number of weeks ; at 
its close forty were enrolled to form the spiritual 
church. One who attended the meeting remarked, 
" It was worth all the labor if there had been no one 
but Thomas Peart converted ; " for it was a benedic 
tion to hear him immediately after his conversion 
begin praying for his neighbors, and rising, it was 
said, at five in the morning to pray for them. This 
became a strong appointment and remained so until 
the union. The church was afterwards rebuilt and 
enlarged. Mr. Richard Amy of Peel circuit was a 
great help in the meeting. Mr. Peart was one of the 
oldest settlers in the neighborhood, and many of the 
people came from Weardale, in Durham, Mr. Bee s 
native place. These Old Country people had been 
used to lively meetings in England, and though, 
when they first came out they thought Canada not 
fit to live in, when the baptism of the Holy Spirit 
came upon them, their hearts warmed to each other, 
and the whole of life s conditions brightened, so 
that the unanimous verdict of the people was 
Canada is all right, we can live here now. Some few 
of them are living there yet. 

On May 2nd, 1851, Messrs. Paul and Dudley sailed 
from London on board the Helen for the Canadian 
mission field, which was becoming increasingly im 
portant. 

91 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE OLD WA YS OF THE OLD DA YS. 

Old Time Revival Meetings Rev. Thomas Lawson "The Bower 
of Prayer " The Old Members at Newtonbrook Christiana 
Born Dumb who Learned to Speak Sandy and Hannah - 
Thomas and Catherine Harper Abraham Johnson The Old- 
Time Singing Some People Worth Remembering John Bugg 
Robert Middleton Isaac Wilson Albion Officials Robert 
C. Smith Walkers of Cayuga Circuit Men and Women of 
Reach, Whitby and Scott Townships Etobicoke Officials Ja 
cob Camplin Markham Officials Daddy , Daddy and Vic 
toria Square Choir Daddy Leads Class. 

THE old-time revival service was as regularly 
expected as the winter, and everything had to bend to 
it. The superintendent generally conducted a meet 
ing at one appointment, and his colleague at the 
other. The local preachers supplemented and relieved 
as occasion offered. The earliest I remember, being 
held in the schoolhouse, was conducted by Rev. 
Thomas Lawson. He left the Connexion in 1855 and 
joined the Wesley an body. He was a month in our 
house while the meeting was in progress, and often 
requested my mother to let the children sing " The 
Bower of Prayer," as it was such an inspiration to 
him. We were very young at the time, and mother 

seated us in the big rocking-chair before a large mir- 

92 



THE OLD WAYS OF THE OLD DAYS. 

ror so we would not be lonesome. We did not know 
he was in his room or why we were asked to sing it, 
but could not have been persuaded to do so in his 
presence. I give here the verses, that have been for 
years safely tucked away in the corner of my 
memory: 

" Sweet bower, where the pine and the poplar spread, 
And weave with their branches a roof o er my head, 
How oft have I knelt on your evergreen fair 
And poured out my soul to my Saviour in prayer. 

How sweet are the breezes perfumed by the pine, 
The ivy, the balsam, the sweet eglantine, 
But sweeter, ah sweeter, superlative, were 
The joys that I tasted in answer to prayer. 

The early sweet notes of the gay nightingale 
I heard in my bower, and marked, as my bell 
To call me to duty, while birds of the air 
Sang anthems of praises while I was at prayer. 

But, dear bower, I must leave you and bid you adieu, 
To pay my devotions in parts that are new ; 
Well knowing my Saviour resides everywhere, 
And will in all places give answer to prayer. 

Among the members who worshipped in the old 
log schoolhouse were Joseph Walls, Mary Abram, 
Mrs. Thomas Howe, William High, Betsy Leech, Tom 
Smith, Tommy Mutton, Robert Hughes, Mrs. Hughes, 
Mrs. Thane, Mrs. Fetch, Mrs. Nathaniel Carroll, Mr. 
and Mrs. Wm. Dent, Hannah Dent, Mrs. Cope, William 
Denton, Jane Little, Mary Lucas, Roland Ward, Mrs. 
Ward, Brown Denton, Mr. Banyard, Mr. and Mrs. 

Rogers and Mr. and Mrs. James Bell, who were after- 

93 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METPIODISM IN CANADA. 

wards members of the Claremont Methodist church. 
The greater part of these members had been gathered 
from the world, and, as they were a floating popula 
tion, when they moved they were generally absorbed 
by some other Methodist body, for as yet the Prim- 
tives were very limited in the field of their opera 
tions. I do not think any minister ever had a greater 
anxiety for his flock, than my father and mother had 
for the members of my father s class. If absent, they 
knew why; if distressed in mind, body or estate, 
they were there to relieve. There was a Christian 
sympathy that made them like one family, and with 
earnest entreaty the babes in Christ were trained to 
use their gifts and graces for the glory of God. 
They might be born into the kingdom dumb, but they 
soon learned to use the language of Christianity, and 
were heard in public prayer and testimony, to the 
power of God to forgive sin. 

There was a scene in one of these revival services 
that greatly amused my eldest brother, Thomas. 
Sandy, an Irishman living on a rented farm, got reli 
gion, and was very anxious about his wife, Hannah. 
She had been forward one night at the penitent bench 
but had not found peace. They had talked the mat 
ter over at home, and she had confided to him that 
she could not keep other matters out of her mind, and 
fix it on Christ for salvation. On the second night 
while Hannah was kneeling among the seekers, Sandy 
came up behind her and whispered in her ear, in a 
voice so intense in its earnestness as to be heard all 
over the room, " Now, Hannah, niver mind the horses, 

94 



THE OLD WAYS OF THE OLD DAYS. 

an cows, an pigs, an shape, an hins, an geese, an 
ducks, an turkeys give up all an give yer heart to 
the Lord." It was too much for my brother, Tommy ? 
who was always a wag, and saw the funny side of 
life, even amid Primitive Methodism. He maintained 
that no preacher who appeared on the scene could 
make the meeting half so interesting as Sandy did, 
and if he had his way, Sandy would go out as a 
special evangelist. The old log school-house used to 
be full at the services. Thomas Harper was one of 
the converts. His wife was a Roman Catholic and 
had the stronger will of the two, and as the class- 
meeting was in the morning, she insisted on Harper 
driving with her to the Catholic church at Thornhill, 
which was at the same hour. Before the year was 
over he had joined the Catholic church with his wife, 
and he explained that he belonged to Catherine, she 
had bought him out of the army, and had a right to 
do as she pleased with him. Catherine Harper cer 
tainly was a character. Neither of them could read 
or write, but she was a religious woman according to 
her knowledge and training. She used to swear 
Harper at the beginning of the harvest not to take a 
drop of beer or whiskey but out of her hand until all 
was gathered into the barn, and he never violated his 
oath ; but nothing would induce him to extend the 
time. Mrs. Harper once sent for Mr. Abraham John 
ston, Rev. Charles Fish s father-in-law, and a Wes- 
leyan class-leader, to come and pray with her. He 
lived a mile-and-a-half away, but he answered the 
summons at once, and did as she desired. He was a 

95 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

devout a holy man. Though he did not say so him 
self, others knew it from his life and conversation. 
When Mrs. Harper was asked why she, so zealous a 
Roman Catholic, had sent for Mr. Johnston to pray 
with her, she looked her interrogator in the face, and 
replied, " I was in great pain, an his prayer divarted 
my mind from it, an I felt aisier afther." 

I will describe in another place the old-time preach 
ing, but my joy was in the old-time singing. How they 
did sing in the revival services, and you knew every 
word they said, which was very curious, judged by 
present ideas. One hymn was always to the fore, 
and was a sermon in itself. I will quote a part of it : 

" O ye young, ye gay, ye proud, 
You must die and wear the shroud ; 
Time will rob you of your bloom, 
Death will drag you to the tomb. 

CHORUS : Then you ll cry and want to be 
Happy in eternity. 

" Will you go to heaven or hell ? 
One you must, and there to dwell ; 
Christ will come, and quickly too ; 
I must meet Him, so must you. 

CHORUS : Then you ll cry and want to be 
Happy in eternity. 

" The White Throne will soon appear ; 
All the world must then draw near ; 
Sinners will be driven down, 
Saints will wear a starry crown. 

CHORUS : Then you ll cry and want to be 
Happy in eternity." 

96 



THE OLD WAYS OF THE OLD DAYS. 

Another favorite in the revival services was : 

" Stop, poor sinner, stop and think, 

Before you farther go. 
Can you sport upon the brink 

Of everlasting woe ? 
Hell beneath is gaping wide ; 

Vengeance waits the dread command, 
Soon to stop your sport and pride, 

And sink you with the damned. 

CHORUS : Once again I charge you stop, 

For unless you warning take, 
Ere you are aware you ll drop 
Into the burning lake. 



r> 



The last verse was : 

" But as yet there is a hope, 

You may His Mercy know ; 
Though His arm is lifted up, 

He yet forbears the blow. 
Twas for sinners Jesus died, 

Sinners, He invites to come ; 
None who come shall be denied, 

He says there still is room. 

CHORUS : Once again I charge you stop." 

This hymn was altered in the hymn-book of 1853, 
and was not nearly so realistic. I can remember 
many odd verses that were sung in the revival 
services, such as : 

" There s a lion in the way, I shall be slain ! 
There s a lion in the way, I shall be slain ! 
Well ! Suppose the saying s true, 
And suppose there should be two, 
Jesus grace will bring you through, 

Try, try, again," 

87 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Also: 

" I entered on board her, for who could delay, 

Where so many could sing, could praise and could pray. 
Our Captain is Jesus, His mercy is great, 
Our labor is heavenly, our bounty is sweet. 

Glory be to Jesus ! There s no friend like Jesus. 
Come with us ! Come with us ! Come with us along, 
And we ll all march together to heaven above. 

They always sang in revival services : 
" Come, ye sinners, poor and needy," 

and the responsive song by the women and the men 
with full chorus : 

" Say, brothers, will you meet us ? 
On Canaan s happy shore." 

The Gospel invitation song, sung so heartily even 
by those who did not accept it : 

" We re travelling home to heaven above, 
Will you go ? Will you go ? " 

And always and ever, wherever Methodism plants 
her standard, is sung that immortal hymn by Cowper : 

" There is a fountain filled with Blood." 

That old-time singing echoes in the chambers of my 
heart. 

The old-time preaching was exceedingly vivid. If 
the text was Luke xi. : 32, the congregation might 
suffer by comparison. " The Ninevites believed God, 
you practically disbelieve Him. They delayed not, 
you delay. They repented, you remain impenitent. 

98 



THE OLD WAYS OF THE OLD DAYS. 

They cried mightily to God, to this you are a 
stranger." There was very little chance of sitting 
with smiling complacency and fitting such direct 
preaching on to some one else. If the Divine bene 
volence, the consequences of transgression, affectionate 
appeals, convincing arguments, powerful expostula 
tions did not move them, then they shamed them out 
of their sins by contrast with those who had inferior 
privileges. 

It is well to remember not only the old days and 
old ways but also the old people, many of whom are 
now " clad in brightness." Among the laity were 
many men of whom any church might have been 
proud. Wm. Marshall, of Brampton ; J. Green, of 
Orangeville ; Wm. Wilkins, of Gait ; Isaac Wilson, of 
Albion ; , Lewis W. Purdy, of Sydenham ; W. P. 
Lacey, of Kingston ; Wm. Trebilcock, of London ; 
John Law, of Toronto Gore ; T. M. Edmondson, Jos. 
Kent and John Bugg, of Toronto. Others have had 
special mention in other places, but a word here and 
now about John Bugg. He was a man of large 
rotund figure and hearty manner, with very strong 
sympathy and leaning toward the common people. 
His pocket-book was ready and easily opened for the 
extension of the Redeemer s cause. He was found at 
the social means of grace on time. In his prayer was 
simplicity, hopefulness, certainty and expectancy ; he 
seemed to bring God s promises and present them as 
cheques for payment. He believed God, and you 
caught the thought as his soul was poured out in 
earnest supplication, that 
7 99 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

" We are coming to a king 
Large petitions let us bring." 

He had little sympathy with style, fine churches or 
expensive organs. He lived in the day of small 
things, and it was then he shone with steady lustre. 
He served his day and generation nobly, and his 
name is honored by all who knew him. 

Robert Middleton, one of the earliest local preach 
ers, helped to lay some of the first sidewalk in 
York to keep the people from disappearing in the 
mire. He moved to the Township of York and later 
to George Middleton s farm, below the 8th concession 
of Pickering. He began preaching in his own home. 
In 1842 this was the nucleus of the Bethel society, 
formed by Rev. W. Jolley when appointed to mission 
Whitby and Pickering. Isaac Middleton was also 
a local preacher and Charles Middleton, of Salem, and 
afterwards of Claremont, was one of the Pickering 
circuit officials. In Minto, the Goodwins, Coopers, 
Bramhills, Wilkins and Metcalfs were staunch sup 
porters. Isaac Wilson generally furnished a home 
for the young minister and his horse free of charge. 
His name appeared regularly in the Minutes of Con 
ference. Mrs. Isaac Wilson thought nothing of 
riding thirty miles on the saddle, and preaching two 
or three times on the Sabbath. Toby, her horse, 
should not be forgotten, for he carried his gifted and 
consecrated mistress thousands of miles to proclaim 
the ever-blessed gospel of peace and good-will to 
men. 

On Albion circuit \vas Robert Garbutt, a local 

100 



THE OLD WAYS OF THE OLD DAYS. 

preacher full of fire in his utterances ; James Wood, 
a sound preacher ; George Steer, plain and practical. 
Robert Tyndall used to say : " I m best on my knees." 
Calm was he and sympathetic in prayer. He would 
exclaim with outstretched hand "It s heaven here, 
it s heaven there, it s heaven all around ! Don t you 
feel it brethren ? All felt it, saint and sinner alike, 
for 

" Glory crowned the mercy seat." 

Charles Atkinson and his devoted wife also belonged 
to Albion circuit. He was a good, useful man, gifted 
in prayer, and had a fine groundwork of common-sense. 
The Roadhouses, Monkmans, Browns, Halls, Elliotts, 
McKinleys, T. Cooper and others I have not named 
are worthy of mention as all round supporters of the 
cause. At the meeting of the Quarterly Board on 
Albion circuit there was a short prayer service every 
hour. These financial meetings were often like little 
love-feasts, for men who differed on some points 
could not be crusty when they rose from their knees. 

Robert C. Smith, on the Brampton circuit, was an 
active layman and a very acceptable local preacher. 
Rev. Robert Boyle married his daughter and Rev. R. 
Pattison married his grand-daughter. About 1860 
he moved to Caradoc. 

Mr. C. Walker, of Cayuga circuit, formerly of 
Grand River circuit, was a layman faithful and true, 
a tower of strength to the church and every good 
cause. He was a wise counsellor to the young 

missionary in the early days when the circuit em- 

101 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

braced five townships and fifteen appointments. In 
such a wide area matters might be going wrong at 
one end of it while he was straightening out tangles 
at the other. 

George Raper s name appears in the Minutes of 
Conference. He knew English Primitive Methodism 
well, was generally called on to speak at missionary 
meetings, and could interest an audience. 

T. Spots wood was a good type of the English 
Primitive Methodist and enjoyed a chat with the 
preachers about old times in England. 

Mrs. Markham was one of a noble group of women 
on Reach circuit ; let me name them : 

Mrs. Markham Much power accompanied her 
prayers and experience, and not uncommonly an 
exhortation. She was highly esteemed by all who 
knew her. 

Mrs. Real A very devoted woman with many 
gifts and graces. 

Mrs. Houldershaw She knew of the deep things 
of God, original, wise and good. 

Each of these had a son in the ministry. 

Mrs. Stephenson- -This sister brought much of the 
early Primitive Methodist fire across the ocean, she 
had great help in her husband. He could arouse a 
prayer-meeting or class-meeting wonderfully. They 
had two sons in the ministry. 

In Reach and Whitby half a century ago, at Sand- 
ford and extending into Scott township, were names 
that should be held in remembrance for piety, hospi 
tality, liberality and self-denial. I have named a 
few and now mention John Moore, Moons, T. 

102 



THE OLD WAYS OF THE OLD DAYS. 

Burnham, Widdifields, Wm. Bell, Lafraugh, and 
Taylors, Grays, Malyons, Oxtobys, Collins and 
Pangmans. John Garnett, a retired minister at 
Bowmanville, did splendid work both spiritually 
and financially ; also P. Coleman, M. Joness, G. 
Haines, H. Munroe, M. P. Fielding, Mr. Bone, 
Middleton, Gilbank, Mark Jackson, Hoar, Eas- 
ton, Lorriman, and later, J. Higginbotham, a local 
preacher and a man of ability, who had formerly 
belonged to Alice Street Church, Toronto. On Etobi- 
coke circuit the Rev. Wm. Jolley, a superannuated 
minister, did faithful work in the pulpit. H. McKune 
J. Harrison, Golding, Davis, D. Steel and Carline 
were with others already mentioned good and faithful 
workers. Among the officials were T. Fenney, R 
Thomas, R. and J. Shaw, Richard A gar, Father 
Parsons, Hainstock, Rowntree, Nason and Foster. 

On Markharn circuit in the old days, the Camplins 
lived. Jacob Camplin moved to the tenth of Mark- 
ham, and with a few other members, sustained the 
cause there. They were eminently devout, hospit 
able and generous. After a time they moved to 
Reach, and were among the solid Christian workers on 
that circuit. One of the daughters married Rev. John 

o 

Garner. She died some years ago. Another is mar 
ried to the Rev. James Smith and lives in Parkdale. 

S. Phoenix, G. Wright, W. Oldham, Sawdon, Rice, 
Jackman, Woodgate, Dyke, are all names that appear 
on the Markham plan as local preachers. J. Pretty, 
Pollard, and J. and T. Steel were officials on 
whom the minister could depend generous and faith 
ful in every good work. 

103 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

On Pickering, David Bowes, Frank Bowes, Thos. 
Leaper and J. Sheppard have not been mentioned. 
Miss Sheppard was the first one interred in Bethel 
burying ground on the Claremont circuit, and Rev. 
John Lacey preached the funeral sermon. 

There were sixteen appointments on Markham cir 
cuit, and a few of them had service twice on Sabbath. 

One of the local preachers was Daddy . He 

must have been born about a hundred years ago, for 
he has been at rest a good many years now. He was 
faithful as a local preacher ; never any waiting for the 
preacher to come when he was appointed. He hated 
choirs because they bothered him. Sometime in the 
late seventies an organ was bought at Victoria Square 
and a choir formed. After he had entered the pulpit 
on Sunday morning "Daddy" looked up and saw the 
organ and choir. Here was trouble followed by blank 
dismay, when a young man left the choir pew and 
walked direct to the pulpit. With some trepidation 
he asked : 

" What hymns are you going to sing this morning ? 

" O, Ah don t know ; Ah guess Ah ll fin summut." 

" Well, what do you think you will sing ? 

" O, Ah don t know Oh, for a thousand tongues 
to sing. 

" All right, and what next ? 

" O, maybe, * Talk with us Lord, Thyself rawail. 

"And what will be the next one ? " 

It was no use. " Daddy " had reached the limit of 
endurance, and said in a tone that was a warning to 
his tormentor : 

" Ah ll fin summut w en Ah want it, Ah guess." 

104 



THE OLD WAYS OF THE OLD DAYS. 

The choir got ready two common metres, and 
" Daddy stood up and called to them from the op 
posite end of the church : 

" Did ye fin them hymns ? Ah didn t, but Ah fun 
a couple," and gave out a different hymn altogether. 

After that " Daddy was worried no more. Sev 
eral metres were ready, and speed and application 
made up for " Daddy s perverseness. The choir 
always sang " West s J when he came, and the four 
notes of bass at the beginning of one of the lines were 
invariably left for " Daddy " to sing as a solo, and he 
did it, even if he sang nothing else. 

" Daddy had quite a number of texts, but no 
matter what the starting point, the discourse was 
much the same. He often preached from, " It s a 
fythful sying, an wothy of all acceptytion, etc.," and 
also, " E hev lifted my fate from the mire and kly, 
etc." " Daddy s " texts were an ornamental thing, a 
sort of perch from which he sprang into the sermon. 
One Monday a young man attending school asked me 
how I liked " Daddy s " sermon yesterday. I gave an 
evasive answer, and then he inquired if I had ever 
heard him preach from the text, " For he s ible to sive 
and he s a-villin to sive." I said " Daddy could not 
find that text, nor he either. " No matter," said Joph, 
his eyes twinkling, " I heard him preach from it, and 
a good sermon it was, too. I enjoyed it." 

" Daddy was very excitable at revival services, 
camp meetings, etc. He did not fully enjoy himself 
unless his emotional nature was stirred and he could 
respond. The seats were elevated one above another 

at Victoria Square, and once in a revival service he 

105 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

ran from the back to the front of the seats, stepping 
from one back to the next, and arriving; at the front 

7 c5 

he balanced himself on it, clapped his hands several 
times, and shouted " Glory ! ] Those who saw him 
thought he would break his neck, but his neck was 
all right when he reached the floor. When " Daddy " 
got old some places did not want his services, and he 
was in great distress because he could not preach ; but 
he was planned at Victoria Square once a quarter for 
old time s sake. Teeth or no teeth, " Daddy " wanted 
to give out his texts and preach his sermon. What 
had he one for if not to preach it ? I will never 
forget him telling us how dark his mind was before 
he found the light. His words were, " Wy, bliss ye, 
frinds, afoor Ah was conwatted Ah was as higgorant 
as a Hotmetot." 

Sometimes " Daddy " led one side of the class after 
the public service. When Daddy Woodward, sitting 
on the side seat with a red handkerchief on his head 
to keep the draft off, growled out his Christian ex 
perience, his mouth so paralyzed that he made all 

sorts of faces to speak at all, and "Daddy 3 

stood over him, at the end of every sentence shouting 
" Hi ! hi ! or " Glory ! " in response as it ground out ; 
it took me all my time to consider their good inten 
tions, and not dwell too much on the scene before 
me, or I would have lost my gravity. He made mis 
takes sometimes, but he tried honestly and earnestly 
to serve God in his own way ; and his was an odd 
way, but he was " Daddy," and the world was better 
for his living in it. 

106 



CHAPTER VIII. 

MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD. 

One Primitive Methodist Child Theological Problems The Car 
nal Mind A Strong Imagination A Scotchman who was 
Born to be Lost Bird Songs of Childhood Wild Pigeons 
The Raspberry Patch Barefooted Boys and Girls Pleasure 
Drives in Double Wagons Rev. Wm. Lyle Rev. John 
Davison Port Rowan Mr. Connall Thorn s, Price s and 
Hazon s Settlements Forestville Walpole York Stoney 
Creek Middle Road A Comfortable Business Meeting Rev. 
Wm. Clowes His Life, Work and Death Revs. Nattrass, 
Cade, Barrass and Clarke come to Toronto by Philadelphia 
Zion Field Meeting in Scarborough Trip on the Steamer^to 
Hamilton. 

I CAN only speak for one child, and that is myself. 
I understood the law far better than the Gospel. 
This thought settled itself into my very inmost being 
that he who offends in one point is guilty of all 
and I did not see all that the Gospel could do for me 
in presenting me perfect before God. I felt myself 
from my earliest days a terribly wicked sinner. The 
revival services were calculated to divide the congre 
gation into two classes ; those who were rejoicing, 
working Christians, and those who were on the brink 
of a precipice that was crumbling under their feet, 
and at any moment might precipitate them into the 

107 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

abyss of woe. From my first consciousness I felt the 
wrath of God abiding on me, but it did not make me 
sue for mercy. I wished I had died in infancy. I 
never wanted existence ; why was I born since I was 
sure to be eternally lost ? I could not understand 
how God could be eternal, of course I do not yet 
but I did not see then that there are many things we 
must believe, that we cannot yet comprehend. I was 
not more than four years old when these thoughts 
worried me. My mother took me many a time in 
the afternoon when she went for prayer, and I heard 
her voice in supplication that God would forgive me, 
and take away my rebellious heart, and make me 
His child. I heard a great deal about the carnal 
mind being enmity with God. I felt I had it, and 
had it bad. It seemed a worse disease to me than 
measles or mumps, for I would get over them, but 
this would stick right to me. I do not think my 
brothers and sisters puddled in theology as I did, but 
I felt it a terrible mistake that ever I was born. 
The Lord has His own way of planting us in His 
vineyard, and it was necessary for me to have about 
twenty years mental pounding, to make me glad to 
take His service and protection in His way and not 
mine. There was one thing about the early preach 
ing, it came home to the hearer and fastened like a 
nail in a sure place ; and wherever you were you had 
it with you. I have never wanted to be a child 
again to wrestle day and night with such mental 
turmoil. These thoughts embittered my childhood. 
I had a strong imagination, and the terrors of the 

108 



MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD. 

law were never shown forth, that my mind did not 
improve upon the statement. As I grew up I knew 
the Bible ; could advise people in distress of soul ; 
could quote the promises for their comfort ; but could 
find no rest in them for myself. I was much in the 
condition of a Scotchman whom I once heard talking 
to mother, who considered he was " born to be 
damned." Said he, " Mistress A gar, I hae been in 
thae pertracted meetins; an I hae knelt at thae 
penitent bench ; an I hae seen yin convairted on ae 
side o me ; and yin convairted on the ither side o 
me ; but it aye gaed by me." 

There are bright spots, too, in my childish mem 
ories : the grey bird (song sparrow) singing in the 
dwarf pear tree till all the air was melody ; the 
atmosphere so fresh on Sunday morning and the 
birds so numerous ; the wild canary (goldfinch) sing 
ing as he flew, his course like undulating waves ; the 
meadowlark that we heard in the hayfields as we 
went to school, and the bobolink balancing himself 
on the stalk of timothy as the notes fairly bubbled 
up and tumbled out of his throat " Bobolink, bobo 
link, lingum, lingum, lingum." Those were the days 
when we made soft soap and floated a potato on the 
lye to test its strength, and lifted it out suddenly 
with a chip so we would not be caught. Those were 
the days when the farmers daughters raked up the 
hay into winrows, or spun four skeins of wool on the 
big wheel for a days work ; or put on their fathers 
long boots and gathered sap from the maple trees to 
have a big sugaring off time ; when you ate it off a 

109 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

chip and got your teeth glued together so you could 
not speak. Those were the times when we used to 
have black squirrel pie, and the wild pigeons (passen 
ger pigeons), that we see no more, came in such 
immense flocks and flew so near the ground that 
they were killed by throwing sticks and stones 
among them, and there was great feasting on pigeon 
pie. 

Every other farm had a raspberry patch, and the 
pickers went at daylight to be first on the ground, 
while the riddles and jokes and merriment and 
wit made all the hard toil forgotten. On the way 
home the children stung their faces with mullen 

O 

leaves to have rosy cheeks and look pretty. Those 
were the times when the underwear, working dresses 
and smocks were spun at home, woven at the weavers 
and made up into garments by hand ; the summer 
days when the children went barefooted to school, 
waded in the little pools on the roadside coming 
home, and tried to catch the pollywogs. Then you 
had to knit your own stockings and a knitting 
sheath was made with a goose quill and a piece of 
holland linen. People knit as they walked to a 
neighbor s to issue the invitations for the next quilt 
ing or paring bee. What a happy time those bare 
footed children had, never out of employment, for 
when they tired of playing jackstones they compared 
their toes. One Saturday night I traded off my 
boots with Nellie Sankey, a playmate, because hers 
were cleaned for Sunday and mine were to polish. 
Think of my dismay when I had to go and get my 

110 



MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD. 

own on Sunday morning. Those long black stockings 
for boys, what a nuisance they have always been, 
breaking into holes any minute, and what quarts of 
ink boys waste every month blacking their legs 
where the holes are, so their mothers will not notice 
the white skin shining through. 

We had fresh air then, now we have coal gas. 
Now we consult the doctor for dyspepsia, then we 
did not realize we had stomachs and could digest 
anything that tasted good. We have conveniences 
and benefits now they had not then ; but every good 
thing has its tax, we pay toll upon every advantage. 
There is one truth that remains the same in every 
age and condition of life ; it is the soul that enjoys 
and lives, and he gets most out of life who does the 
most good. The divine law of self-sacrifice brings 
back to every heart that practices it, its own rich 
reward and harvest ; and the power to confer a 
kindness increases with the will to do it. 

The reader may quietly wonder what all this has 
to do with the old time Primitive Methodism, and I 
remind him that all this, and much more that is now 
out of date, entered into the daily life of the early 
Primitive Methodist. Births, deaths and marriages 
belong to every age, but would it not seem curious to 
us now to see a wedding party load up into double 
waggons aud go off for a pleasure drive to make 
room for the setting out of the tables and wedding 
feast, which would be all ready, palatable and abun 
dant on their return ? 

Children of the olden time lived in two worlds, 

111 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

the real" and the imaginary. Giants, ghosts, fairies, 
brownies, banshees, etc., were in the tales told at 
school ; and you generally ran out of a dark room 
for fear a skeleton hand would fall on your back 
before you got out. The daylight people you did not 
fear, but the population of whom no census was 
taken, who inhabited the darkness, made you shiver ; 
they were such an uncanny lot, and you felt safer 
with your eyes shut than open. The witches were 
dead before my time. 

Now it is decided that you can see the reflection of 
your own ghost any time you consult a mirror ; and 
Kingsley argues there must be fairies, because "Water 
Babies " is a fairy story. 

We leave the child and take another look at what 
the grown people were doing. In May 1850, the 
Rev. John Davison was again moving around among 
the missions, preaching for the Rev. Wm. Lyle at 
Don Mills, visiting members and baptizing children. 
It was no easy matter to travel, and as he went to 
Talbot by way of Hamilton he had a long and cheer 
less journey, besides being so afflicted with boils that 
he was laid up for several days. He preached 
at Port Rowan, Brando s and in the Pine Wood 
settlement, in the log house of Mr. Connall, where 
clouds of mosquitoes waged war on them, and the 
intense heat nearly melted them, but he says the pres 
ence of God was in the midst to bless the worship 
pers. He preached at Thorn s, Price s, Hazon s settle 
ment on a week-day, and at a field-meeting at 

Forestville. He speaks in his journal of travelling, 

112 



MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD. 



preaching, labouring and of seals being added to the 
mission and ministry, and of the deep anxiety that 
should be incessantly felt for the salvation of sin 
ners. With the Rev. Francis Berry he went to 
Walpole on Lake Erie and met with the Rev. Thomas 
Lawson, one of the new missionaries from England. 
He arranged for field-meetings at Walpole, Stoney 
Creek, near Hamilton, and one in Middle Road in 
Nelson Township. After this he was in bed two days 
from over- exertion. They also held a field-meeting 
in York, and had fruit for their labors. The heat 
was intense, for it was the 14th of July, but their 
hearts were strong in God. 

" Sunday, July 21st. Field-meeting. This meeting 
was the largest and most respectable I have seen in 
Canada. My soul felt well ; and the love-feast in the 
evening was grand. Brother Lawson led it princi 
pally, God baptizing him afresh, and all the breth 
ren were cheered with prospects of success." 

On Monday he travelled to Walsingham, thirty 
miles, to assist at Talbot quarter day ; preached, vis 
ited and returned to Toronto (100 miles) to attend 
the District Meeting, which, he remarks, was a com 
fortable one " Blessed be God ! " and progress was 
reported. This was on August 2nd, 1850. 

Thanking God for a " comfortable " business meet 
ing was quite proper. They were not always seas- 
sons of unalloyed happiness. It was said by one 
official in the early days, who had come home from 
the business meeting with his mind very much hurt, 
as he sat with his face in his hands all forlorn, 

113 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

" Well, I don t wish any man s death, but, if it pleased 

the Lord to take Brother to himself before 

another business meeting, I do not think I could 
honestly grieve about it." 

It the year 1853, the Rev. William Clowes one of 
the founders of Primitive Methodism, died. He was 
the first missionary sent to Hull. In 1819 he began 
the work, and six months after it became the head of 
a circuit numbering three hundred members. Many 
of the large towns of Yorkshire were missioned by 
him, and Staffordshire, Cheshire, Lancashire, Notting 
hamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire 
shared extensively in his missionary labors. 

Energy was one of his characteristics, but he was 
not less remarkable for his sensibility, and the tend 
erness and sympathy of an affectionate disposition. 
In 1827 he was seized with a nervous affection which 
considerably reduced his strength, and he was per 
manently stationed at Hull with permission to attend 
missionary meetings, preach anniversary sermons, and 
officiate at the dedicatory services of new chapels. 
The principal stations in the connexion now received 
the benefit of his labors and counsels. 

In one of the magazines of 1830 Hugh Bourne 
makes the following statement : 

" W. Clowes has labored above many to establish 
the doctrine of a present salvation, and thousands 
have been converted to God by means of his ministry. 
Indeed, on this point he has no equal in the world, 
and in the whole range of ecclesiastical history, 
ancient and modern, I have found no instance, since 

114 



MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD. 

the days of the apostles, of anyone that excelled him. 
He is, therefore, much hearkened to either when 
he preaches or discourses on the mystery of faith, 
and of a present salvation." 

In these things he continued to excel until his sup 
erannuation in 1842 (the same year that Hugh 
Bourne was superannuated). 

In January, 1833, his true and faithful wife was 
removed by death. His second wife was Mrs. Temper- 
ton, of Hull, a lady of his own years, and every way 
suited to him. They lived in mutual love and happi 
ness till death sundered the union by taking him to 
his rest and reward. In his personal experience and 
conversation he retained the same deep spirituality 
to the end. Everywhere he went, on the decks or 
cabins of the steamboats, on the piers, on coaches or 
pleasure grounds, he was found conversing on divine 
things, and pointing the way to Christ with his early 
success. The sunset of his life was rich and clear, 
and his joy, though not so exuberant or demonstrative, 
as his body weakened, was yet deeper, diviner, and 
more abiding. He was struck by paralysis, and 
though unable to speak, he lifted his hand in trium 
phant gesture, and after a few lingering hours died. 
The news of his approaching end was written to Rev. 
John Flesher, in London, who replied at once : 

" My dear Brother Sissons,- 

" Your report of the stroke which has prostrated 
the man of God is fraught with solemnity. It seems 
to bring on me the solemnities of death, as associated 
with sweet recollections of nearly thirty years friend 
ship with him over whom you are watching. 
8 115 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

" If not yet gone, may his soul be strong for the 
flight from earth to that heaven, where hundreds, if 
not thousands, of his spiritual children will greet him, 
and whither tens of thousands of his affectionate ad 
mirers will shortly follow him ! I can write no more. 

My heart is full. I shout Hallelujah ! J unites 

with me in weeping affection for Clowes, for all his, 
and you and yours. Lord save us ! 

" JOHN FLESHER. 

" Let us know when heaven opens for the soul of 
the mighty one." 

His last public engagement was at a meeting of the 
society in Mason Street chapel, making arrangements 
for the building of a large chapel on Jarrat Street. 
This chapel is sixty by seventy-eight feet, and has 
fourteen hundred sittings, etc., and the tablet bears 
the following : 

Clowes Chapel, 

1851, 
Primitive Methodist Connexion. 

Another monumental chapel has since been opened 
at Cooper s Gardens, London. By subscription a tomb 
has been erected over his grave bearing the following 
inscription : 

Sacred 

To the Memory of 
WILLIAM CLOWES, 

One of the Founders of the Primitive Methodist Connexion, 
Who Died March 2nd, 1851, 

Aged Seventy-One Years. 
* Jle was a Burning and a Shining Light," 

u 



MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD. 

In 1853 four more missionaries were sent to 
Canada, On March 30th, Revs. Clarke, Nattrass, 
Cade and Barrass went on board the City of Man 
chester, bound for Philadelphia. There were five 
hundred on board. This steamer was 280 feet long 
and of 300 horse power. The sailing vessel had given 
way to steam, and instead of six weeks in crossing 
the ocean, they were eighteen days. They sailed 
thirty miles up the Delaware, boarded a train and 
rode thirty miles, and again had a sail of twenty 
miles to New York. They noticed the superiority of 
the steamers, and the absence of class distinctions as 
in the Old Country. After remaining in New York 
two days to see the city, they sailed up the Hudson 
River and passed through Albany, Utica, Syracuse, 
and at nine o clock in the evening reached Niagara 
Falls. They were fifteen hours on the train and had 
covered a distance of six hundred miles. The next 
morning they visited the Falls, but our narrator says 
he could find no words at command to describe this 
wonderful phenomenon. " What a scene ! The guide 
informed us there had been ice thirty feet thick the 
week before, and there were large quantities of snow 
to be seen." 

They travelled by stage from the Falls to Lewis- 
ton, and went on board the steamer Chief Justice, 
and crossed the noble Lake Ontario. At six o clock 
in the evening they landed in Toronto, and were met 
at the wharf by Revs. Nichols and Lawson. The 
next day all the missionaries went to their several 
stations. Rev. Matthew Nichols was stationed in 

X17 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Toronto at that time, and one of the missionaries 
remaining in Toronto went with him to visit the 
outlying appointments and get acquainted with the 
membership. They were not many miles from To 
ronto before the evidences of a newly settled country 
were seen on every hand. The roads were almost 
impassable, the houses new, and the timber was 
lying in all directions just as it had been cut down. 

The population of Scarborough was agricultural 
and widely scattered. They found a neat frame 
chapel well attended. Matthew Nichols had held a 
revival service the previous fall, and scores had been 
converted. Scarborough had been formed into a 
branch of Toronto circuit, and the Rev. Thomas 
Lawson was stationed on it. A parsonage was to be 
erected as soon as possible. Rev. M. Nichols rode ten 
miles up Yonge Street on Sabbath morning, and 
preached at Agar s at half -past ten in the morning, at 
Zion in the afternoon, and at Bay Street in the 
evening. On Monday evening an open-air preaching 
service was held on Elizabeth Street ; Tuesday even 
ing an open-air service was held near the Custom 
House, the audience going to the Bay Street church 
for the prayer meeting. They also preached on 
Caroline Street in the east end of the city. Other 
preaching places mentioned are Summerville on the 
road to Hamilton, Sandhill, Don Mills and Yorkville. 

On July 3rd the anniversary sermons were preached 
in Dunton s neighborhood at Zion Chapel. This was 
the neighborhood of the Sher woods, Scraces, Rodgers, 
Beans, Brocks, Clem. Harris, Flavells, Collingwoods, 

118 



MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD. 

Moons, Emmersons, Johnstons, etc. My brightest 
remembrance of Zion is going to the field-meeting 
held there every summer ; the beautiful drive, and 
taking dinner at Dunton s or Emmerson s. Those 
dinners of hot meat and gravy, or cold ham, with 
white mashed potatoes, with me, eclipsed all the ser 
vices, for I was only old enough to appreciate what 
was impressed upon my physical being. There is a 
peculiar feeling in attending such a religious service ; 
you hear the inflexion of the speaker s voice, the 
reverberation rolling among the trees, while as yet 
you cannot distinguish the words. The branches are 
cracking and twisting about the wheels. You cannot 
escape the holes in the road because it looks level, 
being filled with leaves ; you may as well hold on as 
the road is very uneven. You want a place to tie the 
horse in the shade, and now you are in sight of the 
worshippers sitting on plank seats, improvised for the 
occasion by rolling three logs into position ; two to 
rest the ends of the planks upon and one for a support 
in the middle. The pulpit is probably a farmer s 
market waggon drawn there for the purpose, and a 
few seats placed in it for the preachers ; the service 
has begun, and we get a seat, our boots nearly buried 
in the dead leaves at our feet. Memory recalls the 
singing, the prayers, and the responses, as all hearts 
united in the petition ; " amen " was often heard from 
half-a-dozen people, and if " Daddy " Pointon, a local 
preacher, was there, it would not be long before you 
heard " Glory ! " or " Hallelujah ! " Indeed, if there 
was a realizing sense of the presence of God, it might 

119 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

come from several places in the praying crowd. They 
met to pray and praise and point the- lost to Christ. 
They expected to see conversions, and in their expec 
tations were not disappointed. 

In July, 1853, the travelling preacher from Toronto 
assisted at a field-meeting in Hamilton. He went in 
the steamer Queen of the West, passing on his way the 
celebrated native village in which formerly resided 
the Chippewa Indians, but who, when they became 
surrounded by the white people, migrated westward. 
After a sail of three hours the vessel reached Hamil 
ton, and half an hour later she took fire and burned 
to the water s edge. The cause of the disaster was 
unknown, and the men employed on the vessel lost 
their all. The prayer-meeting began in the Hamilton 
chapel at seven in the morning, and at ten they 
repaired to the bush, where excellent accommodation 
had been provided. About one thousand people 
attended. The speakers were Bros. Davison, Boyle> 
McDougall, Mr. Sheppard (a Methodist Episcopal 
minister), and others. 



120 




REV. JOHN TOWLER. REV. WILLIAM GLEDHILLi 

REV. THOMAS ADAMS. 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE OLD-TIME CAMP-MEETING. 

Rev. Thomas Adams writes to Hull Church Gait, Blenheim 
Township and Woodstock Mission The Old-Time Camp- 
Meeting at Siloam A. Erb John Masters Scarboro Circuit 
Camp-Meeting Cook s Mills Camp-Meeting Pickering Camp- 
Meeting Thomas Lewis George Lewis David Lewis Open- 
Air Preaching in Toronto Sabbath Schools Public Schools 
Normal School Etobicoke Circuit Mission Opened in Orange- 
ville, also in Peel and Wellesley Clergy Reserves Create 
Unrest The Act of 1791 Sir John Colborne Creates Fifty- 
seven Rectories Lord Sydenham s Declaration Rev. Egerton 
Ryerson made Chief Superintendent of Education His Success 
ful Battle for Equal Rights for all Denominations Secular 
ization of Clergy Reserves in 1854. 

IN 1853 Gait was a rising town, situated on the 
Grand River, and settled mostly by Scotch people- 
The chapel erected there was still in debt, though 
other denominations had helped generously. There 
were several Primitive Methodist societies in Blenheim 
Township. Many souls had been converted at Siloam ; 
at Passmore s there was a society of earnest working 
Christians ; at Canning a good chapel in course of erec 
tion, and another one at Jickling s, both of which were 
connexional. About two years before Rev. T. Adams 
had missioned Woodstock and built a neat commo 
dious church. Rev. Robert Boyle assisted at the 

121 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

opening services. They had a good Society there ; 
the surrounding country was thickly populated, and 
it bade fare to become the head of a good station. 
In a letter to the church at Hull, dated August 4th, 
1853, an old-time camp-meeting is described : 

" On Wednesday, June 22nd, we commenced holding 
a general camp-meeting in the Township of Blenheim, 
near Siloam. The place selected was a lovely spot in 
the woods. Here a number of our warm-hearted 
friends had assembled a day or two before to erect 
the tents. There was a large square inclosed and 
well-seated. In front was the preacher s stand and 
tent, and on each side the tents of our friends. At 
each corner of the area a high stone was erected, on 

O * 

which was placed a quantity of pitch pine. When 
the fire was applied to it in the dusk of the evening, 
it produced a most brilliant light in our lovely leafy 
temple. All our dear friends around took a lively 
interest in the work. They gave their time, their 
talents and substance freely on the occasion to make 
the season interesting. It was a faint picture of the 
early Christians at Jerusalem where they had all 
things common. The services were of a delightful 
character. In the morning at six o clock I rang what 
served as a bell, calling the friends to prepare for 
breakfast. At eight the sound was given for family 
prayer in the several tents, and it was pleasant to 
hear the Scriptures read, hymns sung, and prayer 
offered in all the tents at the same time. It seemed 
like a little worshipping village. At ten, at two, and 
again at seven the sound was given for public worship, 
and then at ten the sound was given for all to retire 
to their tents. Some of the friends were so happy 
that they would sing and pray a goodly portion of 
the night, and in the morning we were awakened by 

122 



THE OLD-TIME CAMP- MEETING. 

the birds warbling their Maker s praise in the trees 
over our heads. 

" On Sunday we had a great concourse of people, 
and good order was observed. In the morning nearly 
two hundred persons came forward to partake of the 
memorials of the Saviour s death. The scene was a 
moving one. We could have wished that the lovers 
of the missionary cause in our native land could have 
witnessed us thus worshipping in the woods of 
Canada. Our worthy brethren, Matthew Nichols, of 
Toronto, and R. Parsons, of Guelph, came to our help, 
and labored nobly and effectually in the cause. A 
number of conversions were the fruits of the meetings ; 
but as heavy rain fell on the Sabbath evening many 
were scattered to their own homes before we could 
collect their names. On Monday, about noon, we 
broke up the meeting in consequence of the weather 
being wet, when we marched round the camp-ground, 
singing 

Now here s my heart and here s my hand 
To meet you in the heavenly land, etc. 

Then we took what is called the parting hand 
singing 

Farewell brethren, farewell sisters. 

" There was much weeping. We thought some of 
us will never meet again until we meet in heaven. 
This part of the service was conducted by Brother 
John Masters, our missionary steward, and Brother 
A. Erb, two worthy Dutchmen, who are well-tried 
friends of our rising cause, and zealous local preachers. 

" We believe this is the first regular and efficient 

~ 

camp-meeting held in Canada, at which our people 
dwelt in the bush by day and night. It was to us a 
happy week. We could truly say, it was good to be 
there. 

123 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

" Ours is a very extensive mission. My colleagues 
and I have plenty of room for extending our borders 
if we had but time and strength. Still we mean to 
do what we can. I want the connexion to grow and 
prosper I cannot do with retrograding. Onward ! 
must be our motto. Pray for us, that the Word of 
the Lord may have free course and be glorified. 

THOMAS ADAMS." 

The first camp-meeting that I remember attending 
was at Milne s Hollow, on the Scarboro circuit. My 
father had a tent, and, as mother was unable to go, it 
was considered I might help in the domestic arrange 
ments. Robert Walker had a tent, and the two 
things that stand out in my memory are father help 
ing me to get the meals ready, and Cassie Walker 
being very prettily dressed in pink delaine or cash 
mere. I had my doubts as to the godliness of the 
color and did not think it augured well for the pro 
gress of Primitive Methodism. I did not then see 
how lavishly our Heavenly Father had painted the 
lily, tinted the rose, made the gorgeous sunset and 
spanned the heavens with a rainbow. I had rather 
taken in the idea of the vanity of decking the human 
body that was so soon to be food for worms. 

A camp-meeting was held annually at Cook s Mills, 
now called Carville. People would come for twenty 
or thirty miles from other circuits and rent the tents, 
the lumber for which was very generously loaned by 
Mr. Cook. The price of tents ranged from two 
dollars up according to the size. The meeting would 
last for nearly two weeks and include one Sabbath. 

124 



THE OLD-TIME CAMP-MEETING. 

In 1871 a very successful camp-meeting was held 
in Pickering, on Mr. Isaac Lin ton s farm, near Bethel 
church. Mrs. Linton informed me that during the 
progress of this meeting some of the ministers and 
principal workers lodged with them, and they had 
twenty beds to make up every day. 

In 1872 one was held on Markham circuit at 
Bethesda. Thomas Lewis loaned the lumber for the 
tents, as his sawmill was close by. This camp-meet 
ing was held while Rev. James Smith was superin 
tendent of Markharn circuit, and was the last one I 
attended. A number were brought into the church 
who became standard-bearers of the cause of Christ. 
Mr. Thomas Lewis was a very earnest Christian 
man, of a quiet, gentle disposition, and the kingdom 
of heaven came first in all his calculations. He was 
class-leader at Bethesda, and society -steward, and so 
exceedingly exact and conscientious was he, that the 
identical coins placed on the collection plate were car 
ried in a stout bag or stocking, to be paid in at the 
official business meeting of the circuit. Four of his 
sons were local preachers, their names being on the 
Markham plan, and his second son, George, entered the 
regular ministry, and died the year after the camp- 
meeting. His obituary appeared in the Minutes of 
Conference, and I will copy a few extracts from it : 

Rev. George Lewis, B.A., was born near Bethesda, 
in Markham Township, on May 3rd, 1842. He was 
converted at nineteen years of age, and soon his name 
appeared on the plan. He was educated at Toronto 

University, and was for one year connected with the 

125 " 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

" Institute," after which he was stationed in the 
city of Kingston, where for three years he labored 
with acceptance and success, the station improving 
both numerically and financially. In 1873 he was 
stationed on Toronto Fourth circuit. Here he was 
welcomed, and had laid himself out for extensive 
usefulness, when his earthly career was brought to a 
close. He was attacked by typhoid fever, and think 
ing that a change of air would benefit him, he went to 
his father s residence, where everything that medical 
skill or tender affection could devise, was done to save 
him, but he gradually sank and expired on September 
12th, 1873. He died in calm submission and holy 
fortitude, and now sings the songs of redemption with 
glorified saints. 

David Lewis, his elder brother, was a very accept 
able speaker and a man of eminent piety, who 
gathered his family after each meal for divine wor 
ship. He left secular pursuits and attended college 
with the intention of entering the regular ministry. 
When George came home sick with typhoid fever, 
David waited on him day and night, and contracted 
the same disease, dying shortly after. It was a ter 
rible blow for the aged father, but was borne with 
Christian resignation. They are all buried at 
Victoria Square, and their memory is blessed. Both 
brothers left young families and sorrowing widows 
to mourn their departure. 

The open-air preaching in Toronto was continued 
in the fall of 1853, as long as the weather permitted ; 
and rooms were secured for the services during the 

cold season. 

126 



THE OLD-TIME CAMP-MEETING. 

The increase in membership was greatly reduced 
by the many removals to western and northern parts 
of Canada West. Notwithstanding this the work was 

o 

prosperous, and in all the letters to the Magazine re 
gret was expressed because there were not men and 
resources to follow these members into the new settle 
ments. Hundreds were lost to the connexion and 
swelled the returns of other denominations every 
year. The Bay Street membership had secured an 
eligible site on Alice Street, and 800 had been raised 
by subscription for a new church. A field-meeting 
had been held near Toronto, at which between two 
and three thousand were present, and some were 
brought into the fold of Christ. 

In a letter written at this time, mention is made 
of the earnest attention paid to Sabbath School work, 
and the great preparations made for their annivers 
aries. The one in Bay Street caused such excitement 
that hundreds were unable to gain admission. The 
library had received an addition. The writer also 
referred to the common school which was established 
in every township ; one school for about every three 
thousand acres of land ; and of the Normal School in 
Toronto for the training of public school teachers. 

Etobicoke was a very large circuit before its di 
vision in 1854 George Raper was the circuit stew 
ard, and there were about twenty-seven preaching 
places. Twenty of these were connexional chapels. 

In 1854 they were contemplating the erection of a 
new parsonage. They had a powerful hold or Toron 
to Gore and all along the Humber river, extending into 

127 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 
Vaughan and Albion. A number of the members were 

O 

wealthy and many of them possessed with the mis 
sionary spirit. They expected to raise three hundred 
dollars for the mission fund, besides sustaining their 
own four preachers. At one ef the appointments a 
gracious revival had been in progress and thirty 
added to the church. A Mr. Fox, from Doncas- 
ter, England, had been sent to open a mission in 
Orangeville, and another missionary was to be sent 
to Peel and Wellesley. The English Conference had 
paid groat attention to the address of Mr. William 
Lawson, who had been sent as Canadian Delegate, 
and five more missionaries were expected to enter the 
Canadian work. 

We quote a paragraph from a letter to the Magazine 
at this time which touches the early history of 
Canada: 

"The Clergy Reserves are exciting great attention 
just now. All parties are active in laboring to secure 
a division thereof, according to their several opinions. 
The Imperial Parliament having decided that the 
Provincial Parliament shall settle the vexed question, 
now is the time for action. Bishop Strachan and his 
clergy recently held a convocation in this city, chiefly 
on this very subject. They are seeking to combine 
their energies with those of the Roman Catholics to 

o 

secure the reserves for religious purposes ; and some 
Protestant dissenters, it is said, are even seeking the 
same object. All however, are not thus minded ; for 
a combination is being formed, the object of which is 
the entire and complete secularization of the Reserve 
lands." 

It might be well for the information of any young 

128 



THE OLD-TIME CAMP-MEETING. 

reader who may desire to know a little more of the 
Clergy Reserves mentioned in the above quotation, to 
give a summary of the question that so long agitated 
the country: 

The Imperial Government, by authority of an Act 
passed in 1791, directed the local authorities of Upper 
and Lower Canada, to commence reserving one-seventh 
of the lands for the support of a Protestant Clergy, 
and these lands were to be intermixed with those 
granted to individuals, over every township, in the 
proportion of one-seventh of the whole. Should any 
township be wholly taken up before the Act came in 
force, then blocks of land were to be reserved in 
the nearest ungranted township. These reserves con 
tinued to be made as new townships were surveyed 
until 1838. 

The Clergy Reserve lands in Upper Canada (Prov- 
of Ontario) amounted to two and a half millions of 
acres. These lands were leased until 1829, when 
portions of them were sold. At first the rents received 
from these bush lands were insufficient to defray the 
expenses of surveying and management. For fully 
twenty-five years the Clergy Reserves were a cause 
of political unrest, and a menance to the peace and 
prosperity of the country. Less than one-third of the 
population received three-fourths of the revenue from 
these Reserves. They began to be cleared and rise 
in value. Only the Churches of England and Scot 
land could participate in these funds, because, being 
established by law they had a legal status. 

The people of Canada considered the Act of 1791 

129 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

an imperial interference in a matter of provincial 
concern. The Legislature of Upper Canada was 
almost unanimous in passing bills, during nine 
Parliaments, authorizing the sale of the lands and 
applying the proceeds to education and provincial 
improvements. These bills must pass the Legislative 
Council to receive the signature of the Governor- 
General and become law ; but as the Council was 
in sympathy with the continuance of the Reserves, 
they were voted down. The petitions were pressed 
upon the Colonial Secretary to have the Imperial 
Government interfere, but the feeling in the British 
Parliament in favor of the established church, was 
too strong; and the matter was referred back for 
Canada to deal with. In 1836, Sir John Colborne, 
the Governor-General, on the eve of his departure for 
England, established fifty-seven rectories. These 
from that time became vested property, which must 
be dealt with in the final settlement, and eventually 
formed the commutation fund of the English Church. 
Sir John Colborne s act was considered an outrage, 
and further incensed those who were opposed to an 
established church in Canada. The press was almost 
unanimous against the Reserves, and leaders on both 
sides were heard in all public assemblies, both secular 
and religious. Bishop Strachan defended the rights 
of the English Church, and his appeals were most 
pathetic. Rev. Egerton Ryerson, D.D., a leading 
Wesleyan divine, was the champion of equal rights, 
and stood by the principle that no church should be 

130 



THE OLD-TIME CAMP-MEETING. 

invested with exclusive privileges derived from the 
state. 

The Governor-General of Canada, afterwards Lord 
Sydenham, declared in the most emphatic terms to a 
friend in 1840: "The Clergy Reserves have been 
and are the overwhelming grievance ; the root of all 
the troubles of the Province; the cause of the re 
bellion ; the never-failing watchword at the hustings ; 
the perpetual source of discord, hatred, and strife. 
There is little to divide, nor will there be for the 
next ten or twelve years after deducting the charges, 
but the difficulty lies in the settlement." 

Dr. Ryerson was made Chief Superintendent of 
Education in 1844. He was a man possessed of all 
the mental qualifications for the position, and was 
endowed with diplomatic tact, combined with great 
energy and decision. He took the ground that the 
Protestant dissenting churches, had more right to 
these funds than the Church of England. Upper 
Canada had been a province for sixty years, with a 
representative government, and for the first half of 
that time, the churches of England and Scotland 
could scarcely have had an existence in Canada. In 
1815 there were only four resident Church of England 
ministers, and in 1818 only one of the Church of 
Scotland, so that the Protestants of Upper Canada, 
must have been indebted to the ministers of other 
Protestant denominations, and were a religious, in 
telligent and loyal people during all that period of 
time. With pen and voice, his zeal for the cause 
9 131 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

never flagged. Having taken up the weapons of 
warfare in a good, honest, patriotic and religious 
spirit he never laid them down until he won for our 
young Canada equal rights for all her citizens, and 
after a settlement of all just claims, the Clergy 
Reserve lands were secularized, and devoted to the 
purposes of education, that all the young might 
equally participate in the benefit. This vexed 
question received its quietus, and was taken out of 
the arena of politics in 1854, after the Union of 
Upper and Lower Canada. 

On October 17th, 1854, John A. Macdonald intro 
duced a bill to secularize the Clergy Reserves, pro 
viding that the proceeds of the sales of such reserves 
be apportioned among the municipalities of cities and 
counties, in proportion to population. 



132 



CHAPTER X. 

THE OLD-TIME MEETING-HOUSE. 

Movable Pulpit Sunday School Boys Bible Class S. S. Anniver 
saryTallow Candles York Mills P. 0. No Envelopes Ex 
pensive Postage Red Hymn-Book Johnny Gainer Church 
Opening Walpole Mission Old Stage-Coach Caledonia 
Riding on Horseback A Welshman A Norwegian Alfred 
Thurlow Mr. Montgomery Mr. Wren Mr. Kent Rev. 
Thomas Adams Rev. Matthew Nichols Rev. Wm. Towler 
Rev. John Towler William Lawson John Elliott Reunion 
of Ministers at Carlton Street Church Rev. William Jolley 
Jolley s Pills Bethel Society in Pickering Sketch of Rev. W. 
Jolley. 

THE first school-houses in rural sections were con 
structed of logs. A row of desks was built around 
the wall and a bench was placed in front of it. The 
stove was in the centre and three forms were set 
around it leaving the front open. The union of two 
sections caused a brick building to be erected in a 
more central place in our neighborhood, and the old 
school -house came to be used for the Primitive Meth 
odist services. There was a movable pulpit, the floor 
of which was raised about eight inches ; and a board 
at the top held the Bible and candlesticks. When all 
the forms were needed for the grown people, the little 

folks were expected to sit on the tops of the desks. 

133 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CAMAJDA. 

The Sunday School was held there. We recited 
verses, received tickets and exchanged them for their 
value in books. The boys in the Bible class were a 
lively crowd, and generally selected a lesson among 
the genealogies. The teacher was not a good reader 
and had to struggle to meet the requirements of his 
position, for no boy was guilty of pronouncing a 
name until the teacher decided what it was to be. 
There was at weekly battle with such names as 
Jehoshophat. Artaxerxes and the three Hebrew chil 
dren. Issacher was I-sash-er, with a strong emphasis 
on the sash, and every boy exerted himself to say it 
exactly like the teacher. What quiet fun they got 
out of it, calling each other Ab-ed-knee-go, or Ar-tax- 
er-ooj-is all the week after. How human those boys 
were as they stood the Bibles in a row on the desk 
behind them and gave the end one a tip, while the 
whole lot fell clap- clap-clap when the room was the 
the quietest. As I remember them, they acted just 
as boys do nowadays, and were not one whit better. 

The anniversary occasions were great events ; 
talked about all the year until the next one came. 
Once we were not treated to a tea, but each child 
received a glass tumbler full of candies with three 
striped red and white sugar sticks standing straight 
up in the centre. I have had many treats of different 
kinds in all the years since then, but nothing ever 
came so near my highest ideal of happiness as that 
event. The Sunday School of those days was not 
all that could be desired, but the Scriptures were 
read and became familiar to us, and the singing was 

134 



THE OLD-TIME MEETING-HOUSE. 

hearty. How the children s throats would swell as 
they poured their whole soul into the old chorus 
" O that will be joyful." The preaching service was in 
the evening. Tallow candles were used for lighting. 
I remember when father bought the six tin candle 
sticks that hung on the wall ; the backs being bright 
and new reflected the light, and they were gorgeous 
affairs. That was before I had seen fireworks, but I 
can truly say that no pyrotechnical display ever gave 
me more complete satisfaction. They cost ninepence 
each and I wondered how father could be so lavish in 
his expenditure, as I knew he would have to pay for 
them himself ; but I 1 considered it was an expense 
that need never be repeated, as they would do for all 
the coming years. Newtonbrook, Willowdale and 
Lansing were as yet unnamed. Thornhill was two 
miles north of us, but our post office was at York 
Mills, three miles south, because on the way to 
Toronto. At that time letters were written on fools 
cap with the last page blank ; they were folded and 
fastened with sealing-wax, and then addressed on the 
outside. I see by an old Magazine that five 
letters sent from New York to England cost one and 
three pence each. The trouble of writing to your 
friends at that time was not so much considered as 
the price of carrying. 

One great event that stands out in my memory > 
and gives me a glow of comfort even yet, was the 
purchase of a hymn-book, bound in red leather, 
owned by my younger sister and myself, and bought 
with our Sunday School tickets. What a sacrifice 

135 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

we made if we saw some one near us without a book, 
and courtesy demanded that we give up ours. The 
old-time meeting-house has gone ; but the memory of 
it is as fresh as if of yesterday. I see the solemn 
expectant faces of the worshippers, who had come to 
enter into the presence of the Unseen, and draw 
supplies of strength for the battles of the coming 
week. 

Some one may want to know if the old log school- 
house is standing yet. It is gone, as well as those 
who worshipped in it. The last time I was in it, it 
was used for a dwelling-house. Johnny Gainer, a 
Roman Catholic, had rented it for a home to house 
his four little motherless children. The eldest, a girl 
eight years old was his only housekeeper, and she 
made a wonderful little mother considering her age 
and experience. She could not, however, do the 
family sewing in addition to being cook and house 
maid, and caring for her three younger brothers. 
When her gown wore thin and tatters began to adorn 
it, my mother sent rne, a girl of fourteen years, to 
measure Mainy Gainer up and down and round 
about, to see if my every day home-made flannel 
dress would cut into proportions that would fit the 
little housekeeper. It was an important mission 
on which I went, with tape measure, paper and 
pencil. I wanted the length of the sleeve fore and 
aft, the skirt length, around the waist, the length 
under the arm, and then, like any other dressmaker, 
I filled my mouth with pins and tried on the waist 
lining. It was a wiser thing to do than laying her 

136 



THE OLD-TIME MEETING-HOUSE. 

on a newspaper and blocking her out with a pencil ; 
and with common-sense, a little labor, the old dress 
and good linen thread to sew on the hooks and eyes, 
the garment was completed. When I fastened it on 
Mainy, we both considered it a great success. Her 
eyes danced for joy, but when the father came home 
and saw her so comfortable, he rushed down, bubbling 
over with thanksgiving. " Oh ! Mrs. Agar, but it 
was the kind thing ye did for my little Mainy. 
Sure God put it in yer heart to cover the little 
Mainy ; an yer gums won t be cowld till yer in 
heaven for what ye did for my poor little Mainy. 
May the heavens be yer bed and glory be yer pillow, 
for it was the driss I didn t know where to get for 
little Mainy. An whin the cowld comes an Mainy 
is warm, it will comfort us all, Mrs. Agar; an I 
don t know how to thank ye for the kind act ye did 
for little Mainy, and may the Great God lave, as it 
were, a bag of glory in yer little way, ye were so 
good to my little Mainy," etc. 

On December 23rd, 1854, a new chapel was opened 
on Walpole mission, and the members requested one 
of the ministers from Toronto for the opening. He 
went by steamer to Hamilton, from thence by stage 
through Caledonia to Jarvis, the remainder of the 
journey was on horseback, and in December a very 
disagreeable mode of travel. Caledonia, at that time, 
bade fair to be a town of some importance. The 
Great Western Railway, open between Niagara Falls 
and London, passed through it ; but, being so near 
Hamilton, Caledonia lost while the city gained. The 

137 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

new settlers were of all nationalities ; at one home 
family worship was conducted in the Welsh language, 
and though only a log shanty it was hallowed by this 
daily act. It was two miles from this home of Mr. 
Harris to the new chapel, and the road was through 
the bush. The people came in sleighloads, and the 
building was filled. It was situated on the plank 
road, and its seating capacity was about two hundred. 
The old-time plank road was very good and easy to 
drive over when new, but who can describe it when 
it began to wear out ; a series of ups and clowns, little 
better than the old corduroy roads built through 
swamps. The ministers were entertained at the home 
of a Norwegian settler ; at family worship the host 
read a portion of Scripture from his Danish Bible, 
but offered prayer in English. Another settler had a 
Spanish father and a German mother. Mr. Alfred 
Thurlow was the founder of Primitive Methodism in 
that neighborhood, and presided at the missionary 
meeting. Rev. Thomas Adams and others addressed 
the audience. The speakers had a sleighride to the 
church behind a yoke of oxen. Oxen were much used 
at the stumping and logging bees in the neighborhood 
their strength and steadiness made them preferable to 
horses for that kind of work. The speakers rode four 
miles farther to the home of Mr. Montgomery, who 
had been nearly drowned the day before while cross 
ing the river on the ice. They next stopped at 
the home of Mr. Wren, formerly of Whitb}^, 
Yorkshire, where they held a missionary meeting in 

138 



THE OLD-TIME MEETING-HOUSE. 

the school-house. Rev. Mr. Wood, an Episcopal 
Methodist minister, spoke also and gave some inter 
esting details of the introduction of Methodism into 
Canada. He said two preachers came from New 
York to Long Point on Lake Erie, and were twenty- 
two days in performing the journey, which now takes 
two or three. The deputation, in company with Mr. 
Adams, then proceeded to Williamsville, to the abode 
of Mr. Kent, of the Independent denomination, for 
merly a resident of Sheffield. They were very hos 
pitable people, and valuable friends of the connexion. 
They held a tea-meeting at four o clock in the court 
house, had a good attendance, and in the evening a 
missionary meeting, at which Mr. Kent presided. The 
missionary subscriptions reached 17. They next 
visited Alfred Thurlow s home, two miles from 
Williamsville on the shores of Lake Erie. Mr. Thur- 
low carne from near Dan by, Whitby circuit, York 
shire. He had been a local preacher, and on settling 
there five years previously, began preaching in his 
own house, and from that beginning the Townships 
of Walpole, Rainham, Oneida, Seneca and Canborough 
were formed into a mission, on which were stationed 
Rev. Thomas Adams and Rev. J. R. Stephenson, and 
another was needed. There were at this time one 
hundred and seventy members, two chapels, and a 
parsonage had been built, besides the prospect of the 
mission being self -sustaining in a short time. Rev. 
Adams and a brother minister rode forty-five miles to 
Hamilton in a snow-storm that beat in their faces the 

139 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

whole way, but arrived in time to help Rev. Matthew 
Nichols in the watchnight service, and had a refresh 
ing time. 

What labors and hardships the first ministers had 
to undergo ! The Rev. Wm. Towler and his brother, 
Rev. John Towler, belonged to the vanguard. Rev. 
Wm. Towler came from England in 1845 or 1846, as a 
Superintendent of Missions, visiting the churches both 
in Canada and the United States. He died very sud 
denly in New York in 1846. Mrs. Wm. Towler was 
also a very attractive preacher, and was engaged for 
church openings. In 1843 Rev. John Towler was sent 
as a missionary from England. We insert a sketch of 
his life, kindly favored by his son, Dr. Towler, of 
Winghain : 

" The Rev. John Towler was born in Yorkshire, 
England, December 25th, 1813. He entered the 
ministry of the Primitive Methodist Church in Eng 
land when about twenty-two years of age, and soon 
became quite popular and successful as a preacher 
and platform speaker, filling pastorates in Leeds, 
Halifax and other places in the Old Land. In the 
year 1843 the English Conference sent him as a mis 
sionary to Canada, where, after a long and stormy 
passage across the Atlantic, he, with his wife and 
accompanied by the late Thomas Adams, arrived in 
May of that year. The old Bay Street Church, 
Toronto, was the centre of his first missionary charge. 
After some time spent in the city he was stationed in 
Brampton, Etobicoke, Guelph and other places. As a 
sample of pioneer missionary work in those early days 
of hardship and toil, it may be mentioned that Guelph 
station, so called, comprised an area of thirteen town- 

140 



THE OLD-TIME MEETING-HOUSE. 

ships, requiring four weeks to make the circuit of the 
entire field, and that mostly on horseback. Nine 
years of such toil was too much for even a rugged 
English constitution, and in 1851 Mr. Towler was 
forced, through broken health, to take a supernumer 
ary relation, and a year or two later he was superan 
nuated. After living for about nineteen years near 
Hawksville, in the County of Waterloo, he removed 
to Brantford, where he resided until November, 1886, 
when he, with his wife and youngest daughter, again 
removed, to make Wingham his home, in order to be 
near his son, W. B. Towler, M.D., and his daughter, 
Mrs. Robert Mclndoo. He was not spared, however, 
to live long there, for on the eleventh of the following 
March he did not survive a stroke of paralysis, and 
passed away in happiness and peace, one of his last 
utterances being It is all peace within/ 

"A funeral service was held in the Methodist 
Church, when a sermon was preached to a crowded 
house by the late Rev. Robert Boyle, D.D., who was 
an old-time associate and fellow-laborer with him on 
mission fields, and who was taken into the Primitive 
Methodist Church as a probationer by Mr. Towler. 
He died in his seventy- third year and was laid to rest 
in the Wingham Cemetery. His widow, Ann Flesher 
Bradley, who survived him for nearly six years, was 
a niece of the late Rev. John Flesher, of England, a 
prominent preacher, author, and compiler of the 
Primitive Methodist Hymn Book, and her only 
brother, William Flesher Bradley, was also for a short 
time one of the early pioneer young preachers in 
Canada. Mr. Towler s cabinet photograph may be 
seen, along with those of other pioneers, in the Carl- 
ton Street Methodist Church, Toronto, the old Bay 
Street congregation referred to above." 

Mr. John Elliott and Mr. Wm. Lawson were 

141 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

among the first settlers in Brampton. The Elliotts 
were a numerous family. Rev. Robert Boyle was the 
family chaplain. He married three generations of 
this family in one day, and the baptism of one of 
the children cost one hundred dollars to bring the 
infant and Mr. Boyle in touch with one another. Mr. 
John Elliott was a whole-souled Christian, loyal and 
steady going ; a generous supporter, whose home was 
ever open with hearty welcome to the minister. 

Mr. Wm. Lawson moved to Brampton in 1834, pur 
chased a farm, and carried on a country store. In 
1847 he removed to Hamilton, where, with his two 
sons, he opened up a large clothing business, Here, 
again, he was the chief agent in organizing a Primi 
tive Methodist Society. He was a man of piety and 
ability. Few men could preach better, and for many 
years he did as much on the Sabbath as a travelling 
preacher. He was at every Conference, and for a 
long period of time held some of the most responsible 
positions. His family were very earnest church 
workers, and most of them inherited the mother s gift 
of song. The last Conference he attended was in 
1873, and he took a conspicuous part in the business 
and debates. One who was present said, " The power 
and earnestness with which he spoke surprised even 
his most intimate friends and greatly delighted them, 
but his end was drawing near." On January 31st, 
1875, he attended the sacramental service in the 
Hamilton Church and offered the closing prayer. On 
February llth he was taken sick at the home of his 
daughter in Hamilton, and on the 16th of the same 

142 



THE OLD-TIME MEETING-HOUSE. 
/ 

month he departed to be with Christ, being in his 
82nd year. His name will long live in the memory 
of the Church, and of the hundreds to whom he was a 
spiritual father and who were his crown of rejoicing. 
He had weight in the Conference ; his advice was 
always listened to. He had shrewdness, business 
ability, an earnest desire to win souls, a spirit of self- 
sacrifice, and was a constant supporter of all that 
would advance the best interests of the connexion. 
His sons were active officials in the church. His son, 
Joseph Lawson, lately collected and presented to 
Carlton Street Church a large frame containing the 
photos of all the ministers of the congregation (except 
Rev. Wm. Jolley and Rev. Matthew Nichols), from its 
beginning as Bay Street, afterwards Alice Street and 
now Carlton Street congregation. 

We clip the following from the Toronto Globe of 
March 7th, 1902 : 

SEVENTY YEARS A CHURCH. 

A REUNION OF OLD MINISTERS AT CARLTON STREET METHODIST 

CHURCH. 

The part that Carlton Street Methodist Church 
has taken in the history of Methodism in 
Ontario, for over half a century back, was happily 
recalled to mind by a ceremony that took place in the 
school of the church on Thursday night, when there 
was unveiled a group picture containing the portraits 
of some forty pastors and laymen who have been 
actively connected with the church since its founda 
tion, seventy years ago. 

These photographs were secured by Mr. Joseph Law- 
son, who was one of the old Primitive Methodists in 

143 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Toronto, and his daughter, Miss Lawson, and were 
very handsomely framed. 

Mr. Thomas Thompson, a member of the church for 
over fifty years, presided, and in the audience were 
many superannuated ministers, former pastors of 
Carl ton Street Methodist Church. 

The group picture, which was covered with the 
Union Jack, was unveiled by Mr. Joseph Lawson, and 
three other pictures hanging above and on either side 
of the group picture attracted no little attention. 
One was the first church, built in 1833, an unpreten 
tious brick building, standing where is now the 
National Club on Bay Street. The hens at that time 
evidently found their living in the streets, judging 
from the picture. The second engraving shows the 
Primitive Methodist Church erected on Alice Street 
in 1854, an improvement in size and architecture upon 
the original structure, and the last is the present 
edifice, erected in 1874. 

The opening exercises were conducted by Rev. Dr. 
Smith, the pastor, and addresses were made by Rev. 
Dr. Cade, Rev. Joseph Markham, Rev. Wm. Herridge, 
Rev. Henry S. Matthews, Rev. John Goodman, Rev. 
Win. Bee, Rev. W. J. Hunter and Rev. J. V. Smith. 

A vote of thanks was passed to Mr. Joseph Lawson 
and Miss Lawson for their services in securing the 
photographs. Songs were given by Rev. Mr. Turk 
and Rev. Mr. Kirby. 

Rev. Mr. Jolley was another of the very early 
preachers, and was a superannuate before the first 
Canadian Conference was held. He was a Yorkshire- 
man, and was eleven years old when the last century 
dawned. A druggist by profession, converted among 
the Wesleyan Methodists and one of their local 
preachers ; at the age of thirty-four he joined the 

144 




CARLTON STREET CHURCH, 1874. ALICE STREET CHURCH, 1854. 

BAY STREET CHURCH, 1832. 



THE OLD-TIME MEETING-HOUSE. 

Primitive Methodists, and desiring a wider field of 
usefulness, gave up his business and became a travel 
ling preacher. He was fourteen years in the ministry 
in England and six in Canada. In 1838 he was in 
Toronto, in 1842 in Brampton, in 1842 and 1843 on 
Brantford mission and on the Whitby and Pickering 
mission, and in 1844 he superannuated. He was not 
a large man, and his very prominent black eyebrows 
seemed to overshadow his face. There was no super 
annuation fund then, and though Mr. Jolley had 
married a lady in comfortable circumstances, he did 
not care to eat the bread of idleness. He manufac 
tured medicines again, as in his younger days, and left 
a quantity on sale every time he visited us. He 
alwavs received a cordial welcome, and was an 

V 

honored guest at our home. As a small child I was 
puzzled to know how he made the little pills so round, 
and those eyebrows fascinated me. Mother had the 
utmost confidence in the pills, and recommended them 
to her friends as harmless because a Primitive Metho 
dist preacher had made them. The pills were done up 
in boxes at a York shilling, and larger boxes at one 
shilling and three pence each. 

I never think of Mr. Jolly but I think of a joke in 
connection with those pills. My brother and I were 
sent to the barn to get some peas for soup, and we 
noticed a lot of grey ones that looked exactly like the 
pills, for sugar coated pills had not yet arrived. 
Jimmy suggested that I get a pill box and put some 
in, which was soon done, and the other box moved 
aside, so that the peas would be used. After mother 

145 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

retired she called, " Janey, dear, bring me the pill box 
and a drink of water/ She opened the box, put one 
far back on her tongue, took a drink and swallowed 

o 

it. It seemed a big fuss to be making over a grey 
pea. Jimmy coughed in the next room, and the effort 
was too much ; I burst out laughing, and my face 
was so full of merriment it told the tale. " Go this 
minute," said mother, "and bring me the pill box. 
That was nothing but a grey pea." I owned up, and 
she laughed at the joke, for she could enjoy one 
as well as anybody. 

When Mr. Jolley was on the Whitby and Pickering 
mission he started the society at Bethel, on the present 
Claremont circuit. On October 6th, 1843, he preached 
in the log school-house on the north-west corner of 
the ninth concession and Bethel sideroad. There was 
only a small congregation, and the people were so 
widely scattered it was difficult to get one. He 
announced there would be revival services during the 
week, that there would be good congregations and 
souls saved. They were to be much in prayer and 
give themselves to the work. At the conclusion of 
the meeting he stood up and gave three unearthly 
whoops, so suddenly, that people sprang from their 
seats in startled surprise. The next day he mentioned 
to a friend that there would be a good turn out, they 
would come far and near to hear the crazy man preach. 
His words were verified, and a very successful meeting 
was held. Isaac Linton was one of the converts. His 
wife was a member of the Wesleyan body before she 
was married, but joined the infant society with her 

146 



THE OLD-TIME MEETING-HOUSE. 

husband. Among the first members were Mr. and Mrs. 
Richard Ward, Mr. and Mrs. John Collins, Mr. and 
Mrs. Isaac Middleton, Robert Middleton and family, 
Mr. and Mrs. Sheppard and others. The school house 
not being very comfortable, they held the meetings in 
Mr. Linton s farm kitchen. Isaac Middleton s name 
was put on the plan as an exhorter. Robert Middle- 
ton was local preacher and class-leader. In 1889, 
when the Claremont Methodist church was erected, 
Mrs. Linton, because of her seniority of membership, 
was chosen to lay one of the corner stones. Besides 
their subscription, she placed one hundred dollars on 
the stone as her offering, and made forty pies for the 
dinner in connection with the opening of the new 
church, which we considered amusing at the time, for 
she was quite an old lady and made them all herself. 
Mr. Isaac Linton died in 1883 at the age of eighty- 
eight. He was a quiet earnest Christian, and his 
death was a loss to the Claremont church. Mrs. 
Linton survives the members of that first class 
formed at Bethel. Richard Ward and his family 
were constant contributors to the cause of Methodism, 
and faithful earnest Christian workers. Mrs. Ward, 
senior, outlived her husband she died in 1895. 
George Burgess, their son-in-law, and brother of 
Thomas and Francis Burgess, who were both local 
preachers, said he had helped to build seven churches. 
As the society grew, Moses Linton, Thomas Leaper, 
George Burgess, Thomas Saddler, Mrs. George Middle- 
ton, Thomas Day, Thomas Appleby, David Bowes, 
Mrs. Reid, Frank Bowes, Mrs. Tawn, Archie Pilkey 
10 147 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

and James Bell were among the standard bearers of 
the cause. Mr. Jolley started influences that will 
never die, and men and women who were converted 
in the Bethel revival service have gone to be stars in 
his crown of rejoicing. A lengthy obituary is printed 
in the Conference minutes of 1871, written by the 
Rev. John Garner. Mr. Jolley was born at Kilton, 
Yorkshire, in 1789, and died June 19th, 1870. Hun 
dreds were brought to God during his ministry. In 
1838 he married the widow of Mr. Joseph Stone- 
house, who now mourns his loss with his two sons 
and a daughter by her first marriage. The union was 
a suitable one, and the results were peace, comfort 
and happiness in the domestic circle. The letters to 
his son for some time before his death breathed an 
increasingly devotional spirit, and he gave him much 
instruction relating to the work of the ministry. 
After his superannuation he was no less faithful in 
working for the salvation of souls. He had more 
than ordinary mental power, a wiry constitution, and 
uniform, consistent piety. His last illness was general 
decay and breaking up of his constitution, His son, 
Rev. W. C. Jolley, was five years in the Primitive 
Methodist ministry when this event occurred. Mr. 
Jolley, senior, could never be persuaded to have his 
picture taken, or it would have been in this volume 
with other pioneer ministers. 



X48 



CHAPTER XL 

FIRST CONFERENCE IN 1854. 

An Unworldly Man of the Olden Time Rev. Wm. Gledhill His 
Letter to Daddy Haton " Whoa Fanny " The Bunk His 
Indian Dress Low Shoes and Knee Breeches Returns to 
England Sir Francis Crossley Little by Little the Acorn 
Grew Mr. Wm. Lawson Delegate to English Conference- 
Canadian Conference Formed Delegates to Conference of 
1854 Stations and Ministers Book Room Religious Paper 
Testing of Probationers Prohibition Rev. John Davison 
Conference Temperance Meeting Missionary Meeting. 

AMONG the names of the first Canadian Conference 
I find that of Mr. Gledhill, a prince in the pulpit, a 
man of saintly character, who carried in his pure, con 
secrated soul the innocency of childhood. He was 
never married, and did not know the meaning of the 
sweet word home, with wife and children round him, 

when he was wearied with mental and bodilv toil. 

/ 

He lived not according to the ways of this world. 
Mr. Isaac Wilson said in his young days Mr. Gledhill 
was a study for the boys. A granddaughter of 
" Daddy " Haton found one day in an old book a letter 
Mr. Gledhill had written to her grandfather, the 
class-leader at Victoria Square. It tells better than I 
can the inner life of the man, and with Mrs. Hall s 

permission I copy it for the reader. As we read it, 

149 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

every paragraph breathes a heavenly atmosphere. 
Whether the sentences are introspective, retrospective, 
or prospective, he appears as scarcely an inhabitant of 
this earth, but merely a sojourner on his way to the 
better land, to which all his business here was tending, 
in which all his thoughts were ending. His body here, 
but his mind so continually living in and for the 
other, that truly his citizenship was in heaven ; and 
his highest ambition to take a goodly company along 
with him to the celestial home his soul longed for. 

CLARKE, Oct. 28th, 1853. 

Dear Elder Brother and Sister Haton :- 

Your unworthy brother, William Gledhill, through 
Christ the world s Redeemer, this morning can experi 
mentally say unto Jehovah the Triune God, O my 
God and my Father, I accept Thee with all humble 
thankfulness ; am bold to take hold of Thee, O my 
King and my God. I subject my soul and all its 
powers to Thee, O my glory ; in Thee I will boast all 
the day. O my Rock, on Thee I will build all my 
confidence and my hopes. O Staff of my life and 
Strength of my heart ! The Life of my joys, and Joy 
of my life ! I will sit and sing under Thy shadow ; 
and glory in Thy holy name. 

The divine life wants continual nourishment, as 
well as the natural life, to replenish its languid 
desires ; to revive its holy energies, and to awaken its 
solicitude for sacred enjoyments. Dost thou ever 
retire into thyself and spend any time in this needful 
work ? Enter into thy closet, and when thou hast 
shut thy door, pray to thy Father in secret, and thy 
Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 
Continue to love the ordinances of divine grace. Let 
the Word of God be the standing rule of your life ; 

150 



FIRST CONFERENCE IN 1854. 

always be a blessing to the church militant. Through 
the goodness of God I am yet on the gospel plains, 
and by the grace of God I trust I ever shall be, while 
this side the grave. I love Jesus because He first 
loved me. 

Happy, if with my latest breath 

I may but gasp His name ; 
Preach Him to all, and cry in death, 
Behold, behold the Lamb ! " 

I am enjoying a good state of health, and have 
done ever since I saw you last ; to God be all the 
glory. Are you doing well in your Sabbath School ? 
God bless the teachers, and all the friends, and the 
children of your Sunday School. Amen and Amen ! 
My prayer is that your circuit may be in a prosperous 
situation ; love your preachers and the brethren in 
general. Give rny kind love to them. We are likely 
to do well in this circuit this year. I have a good 
colleague. Brother Garner and his wife and his little 

O 

son are all well, thank God. If we only take hold of 
God by faith and prayer, we shall prevail. Push the 
battle to the gate. Courage ! Hallelujah ! Success 
is on the Lord s side. Bless God, my soul is on a 
flame. While I hold my pen upon this paper I see 
the angel flying in the midst of Heaven, having the 
everlasting gospel to preach. The whole earth shall 
bow at the feet of Jesus. The Holy Ghost fill you 
and your preachers unutterably full of glory and of 
God/ 

My Dear Brother, Sister and Benefactors, I thank 
you for the favors and mercies shown to me, less than 
the least of all saints ; I wish I could help you also to 
an estate here, but a sure one awaits us all in Heaven. 
Let us go with full assurance to the throne of grace, 
and demand in Jesus name the earnest of it. God 
sanctify all trials and blessings to you. The former 

.151 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

word is useless, because trials from our Heavenly 
Father are but blessings of another kind. Hold out 
faith and patience and a praying life a little longer 
and yours is the crown. Give my kindest respects to 
your granddaughter. I mean Ann Walker, and tell 
her I hope to meet her in Heaven. Give my love to 
Mr. and Mrs. Lacey and their children. Tell Mr. 
Lacey I received his letter, and that it met with a 
hearty reception from rne. Have the kindness to give 
my kind love to his colleagues. We opened our new 
chapel on the 16th inst. Glory be to God ! While I 
was preaching three souls cried for mercy on the last 
Tuesday night. 

I am your affectionate Brother in Christ Jesus. 

WILLIAM GLEDHILL, 

Minister of the Gospel. 

Mr.Gledhill lived on the hill- top of Christian experi 
ence. He was a peculiar looking man. A tall figure, 
spare and bony ; if you saw him once you would 
know him ever after, even if you forgot other faces. 
A great many stories are told about him and his 
manner of life. His pony was named Fanny. She 
was his confidante, and never repeated what he told 
her to relieve his mind. As he journeyed he talked 
to her, and as he never used a whip he had to coax 
her, reason with her, and tell her the bad results sure 
to follow if she did not move a little faster. " Now 
do go on, you will have me late and that will not do." 
He was known several times to tie her in a fence 
corner and run for his appointment, coining back for 
her after the service was over, and rebuking her for 
the trouble she was giving him by her obstinate ways. 

152 



FIRST CONFERENCE IN 1854. 

A man meeting him on horseback one day inquired 
" Where are you going, Mr. Gledhill ? The response 
was, " I m bound for heaven." He did not think it 
wise to mention the first place he might stop at, so 
curiosity was baulked, but he told the unvarnished 
truth all the same. He never was known to betray 
any confidence that was reposed in him. He married 
Thomas Appleby to Ann Ward, near Balsam (Richard 
Ward s daughter). The roads were in such a condition 
that it was hard for the pony s feet to find a solid 
bottom. He rode twenty miles that day on horseback 
to perform the ceremony, and it was wearing on both 
man and beast. When about two miles off his 
destination, a neighbor in a field shouted, " Good-day, 
Mr. Gledhill, I suppose you are going to rnarry 
Appleby and Ann"; the answer came," It s a nice day, 
Mr. Johnson, but the roads are bad, bad, very, very 
bad. It is hard on the beast, and I have been nearly 
all day coming from my appointment last night ; yes, 
the roads are bad, very, very bad/ By that time he 
was past, and, relating the circumstance to Mrs. 
Appleby after, he remarked, " I would have suffered 
a tooth to be drawn before I would have told 
anyone." 

The Appleby s, like most of the early settlers, began 
in humble circumstances. They had a bedstead in the 
bedroom, and a bunk doubled up in the kitchen, which 
formed a seat for the day time, but when let down at 
night, a bed was made in it. It held the bedding 
inside, and was a common piece of kitchen furniture 
when space was limited. Mr. Gledhill spent a night 

153 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

at Appleby s, and the morning after Mrs. Ward said 
to him, " Why did you go to Appleby s, I ll warrant 
they put you in the bunk ; now, didn t they ? " 
A smile came over Mrs. Ward s face, as he said quite 
innocently, " I caught my mare with a bit of salt this 
morning." He was very ill about the year 1850, and 
wasted away till his clothes hung loosely on his 
shrunken frame. At a field meeting held at this time 
at Bethel, Pickering branch, he was very anxious to 
preach, but on account of his health, was only 
permitted to do so on condition that he would spare 
himself and be very quiet. That was his intention, 
but when he warmed up he forgot all about his 
former resolution, and Mr. Lacey, an older minister, 
whispered to him, " Thou s at it again, Billy." He 
quieted for awhile, when suddenly he leaped straight 
up and down several times shouting, " I ve got the 
devil under my feet ! " " I ve got the devil under 
my feet ! " " Glory ! Glory ! Glory ! " shouts Daddy 
Pointon, in a voice that made everybody jump, 
for Daddy Pointon at a field meeting was like 
a box of gunpowder waiting for a match to go 
off. Mr. Appleby, in describing the scene, laughed till 
the tears came at the very remembrance of it. There 
is no doubt but most of the Primitive Methodists 
would be a little amused at such odd proceedings; 
but in those days there was no restraint, everybody 
could respond how, when and where he pleased. 

On one of Mr. Gledhill s charges he preached 
occasionally to the Indians. They made him a chief s 
suit, and when he preached to them, he wore the 

154 



FIRST CONFERENCE IN 1854. 

dress which they had presented to him. Sometimes 
he wore his Indian dress at missionary meetings on 
other stations, and crowds came to see it. 

When he retired from the Christian ministry he 
returned to England to spend the remainder of his 
days with his sister, who was married to Sir Frances 
Crossley. He said he must appear as a gentleman in 
his sister s house, and got a suit with knee breeches, 
low shoes and buckles, never thinking that the styles 
had changed for old men since he had left, many 
years before. He wore the new clothes at a missionary 
meeting in Kingston, and the story goes that a 
brother minister jokingly remarked to him, " Why, 
Brother Gledhill, I m surprised, I had no idea you 
had such a shapely limb." The reply came in a low 
tone, " Hush ! I must be candid with you : I ve on 
seven pairs of stockings to make the calf look right." 
This story, by moving about, has increased to thirteen 
pairs ; it likely began with three. The stories that 
are told of Mr. Gledhill would fill a book, and his 
name is never mentioned that you do not hear of 
" Fanny." He knew nothing about a horse before he 
came to Canada, and he always let it boss him. If it 
rubbed up against the fence to miss the mud holes, it 
did as it pleased ; and when it came in close contact 
with the stakes and riders of the old snake rail fences, 
Mr. Gledhill s voice would be heard remonstrating. 
First he would advise in proper English, and then as 
the danger increased he would lapse into broad 
Yorkshire : " Come noo Fanny, thou ll ha e me off ! 
Come noo ! Come noo ! : Off he would flop and go 

155 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

sprawling, and as he gathered himself up he would 
chide Fanny and say, " Ah tell d thee thou d ha e me 
off; it s too bad Fanny." 

In 1861 he left for England, and in 1863 and 1864 
he was stationed in Driffield, Yorkshire. In 1867 he 
was superannuated. His brother-in-law, Sir Francis 
Crossley, was a Member of Parliament from 1859 to 
1872, and represented the North-west Riding of 
Yorkshire. Sir Francis lived at Bellvue, Halifax, 
Yorkshire, and had a summer residence called Somer- 
leyton Hall, Lowestoft, Suffolk. I do not know the date 
of the Rev. Wm. Gledhill s death, but feel sure he has 
passed through the pearly gates, and now walks the 
golden streets. 

In the year 1829 the first Primitive Methodist 
society was formed ; in 1830 the first minister sent 
from England. In 1842 there were four prosperous 
circuits, viz : Toronto, Brampton, Etobicoke and 
Markham, whose connexional business was transacted 
by their several quarter-day boards. At the English 
Conference, held at Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1842, 
these four circuits were set off into a separate district, 
and from that time held annual District Meetings. 

In 1853 the work was so greatly enlarged that it 
was divided into two districts. There were now 
fifteen stations, twenty-three preachers, and two 
thousand two hundred and thirty-six members, and 
the two districts of Toronto and Hamilton reported 
annually to the English Conference, of which they 
formed a part. A steady increase continued until 
1860, when the number of principal stations was 

156 



FIRST CONFERENCE IN 1854. 

thirty-two ; missions and missionaries, forty ; and 
members, four thousand two hundred and seventy- 
four. 

It had been found very inconvenient to manage 

the business of the connexion as an outlying depend 
ency of the English Conference, and a greater measure 
of home rule was desired. In 1853 the Canadian 
authorities requested Mr. Wm. Lawson to attend the 
English Conference, held that year in the ancient city 
of York, and lay the matter before it. He complied, 
and was successful in obtaining the consent required. 

Mr. Lawson, with his usual generosity, gave the 
money allowed for his expenses to a benevolent 
object. When the first Conference met the following 
year he was appointed its Secretary, and also Secre 
tary of the Connexional General Committee, which 
office he filled until 1858. 

The Canadian Conference could now station its 
own ministers, and conduct its own missionary opera 
tions. It appointed one minister and one layman as 
representatives to the English Conference, either 
from brethren in Canada or England, as was found 
most convenient. A grant of money was annually 
given by the English Conference to the Canadian 
Conference, to distribute as they might deem best. 

Primitive Methodism in Canada had now arrived 
at manhood had attained its majority, and hence 
forth was to do business on its own account ; nor had 
it any need to be ashamed of its vigor and proportions. 

The First Canadian Primitive Methodist Conference 
was held at Brainpton, County of Peel, commencing 

157 



OLD TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

on April 27th, and closing May 1st, 1854. The Con 
ference roll of members was as follows : 

Rev. John Davison General Committee Delegate. 
Robert Walker General Treasurer. 
Wm. Lawson Corresponding Secretary. 

DELEGATES FROM THE FOLLOWING DISTRICTS- 

Toronto. Rev. John Lacey, Rev. Wm. Lyle, Rev. 
Matthew Nichol, Charles D. Maginn, Wm. Nason, 
George Brunt, John Elliott, Thomas Burgess, John 
Sherwood. 

Hamilton. Rev. Thos. Adams, Rev. Robert Boyle, 
Rev. Robert Parsons, Alfred Thurlow, Lancelot 
Walker, Win. Gilchrist, Walter P. Lacey, Robert C. 
Smith, John Masters. 

At this Conference Revs. Robert Parsons, Joseph 
Simpson, Thomas Lawson and William Lomas were 
ordained. 

The stations and their respective ministers were as 
follows: 

TORONTO DISTRICT. 

Toronto E. Barrass, J. Nattrass. 
Scarborough Branch S. Driffield. 
Etobicoke J. Garner, W. Gledhill, W. Jolley, Sup. 
Markham J. Lacey, R. Cade. 
Laskey Branch T. Foster. 
Darlington J. Edgar, R. Paul. 
Albion J. Simpson, J. Markham. 
Reach and Scott Missions W. Lyle, J. G. Mont 
gomery, D. Gustolow. 

158 



FIRST CONFERENCE IN 1854. 

Kingston and Portland Missions M. Nichols, J. 
Clarke, J. Milner, J. Houldershaw. 

HAMILTON DISTRICT. 

Brampton W. Newton, W. J. Dean. 

Hamilton R. Boyle. 

Walpole and Grand River T. Adams, J. R 
Stephenson. 

Blenheim R. Poulter. 

Gait and Guelph Missions J. Davison, T. Dudley. 

Orangeville and Brant Missions W. Lomas, R. 
Stephenson, R. Condle. 

Peel and Wellesley Missions J. Ryder, T. Fox, 
J. Towler, Sup. 

Woodstock Mission R. Parsons. 

London Mission W. Stephenson. 

Paris and Brantford Missions T. Lawson. 

At this Conference a committee was named to 
digest and mature a plan for establishing a connex- 
ional Book Room ; another committee to issue a pros 
pectus for a religious weekly journal, and a third 
committee to draw up a deed-poll for the security of 
church property. Resolutions were passed giving the 
opinion of the Conference that the Clergy Reserves 
ought at once to be secularized, and the proceeds go 
into the Consolidated Revenue Funds of the Province 
for general purposes. Another resolution instructed 
that a petition be forwarded to the Legislative 
Assembly praying them to enact a Prohibitory Liquor 
Law at their next session of Parliament. 

Rev. John Lacey was made President of the first 

159 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Conference, and Wm. Lawson Secretary. The connex- 
ional increase for the year was eight hundred and 
sixty-seven ; the loss by deaths and removals five 
hundred and twenty-two, leaving a net increase of 
three hundred and forty-five members. Three minis 
ters were received from England during the year : 
W. J. Dean, J. R. Stephenson and Robert Stephenson, 
and a request was forwarded to the English Confer- 
erence to send out five more. From the Pastoral 
Address by the President we quote a few sentences : 

" Hold up the hands of your preachers by constant 
attention to the means of grace with your households. 
Never be absent unless necessity compels. Pray 
earnestly for the preacher that God may bless his own 
word in the conversion of sinners. Hear with candor 
and in faith. Be cautious in expressing your opinion 
of preachers in your family or among the unconverted. 
Remember the prayer-meetings, and especially the 
class-meetings, which form the strength and sinews 
of our churches." 

After this came special advice to class-leaders to be 
zealous, lively, pointed and short in all their public 
exercises ; and interested in all that concerned their 
little band, especially the absent or those who were 
declining in piety. Upon all the membership was 
urged the importance of family prayer and reading 
the Scriptures in their own household. 

There was considerable vitality in this first Con 
ference, and a manifest willingness on the part of its 
members to do their best in uprooting the evils that 
were entrenching themselves in this young country. 

Young men were needed for the work, and the 

160 



FIRST CONFERENCE IN 1854. 

Conference had the power to call them out, but not 
every one who might apply could be received into the 
ministry. A young man must be ready to lead in 
prayer-meeting in his own society ; his life must be 
blameless; he must support the cause with his means; 
and thus he would be placed on the plan as a prayer- 
leader. If his gifts and graces developed, he would 
soon be raised to an exhorter, and would be given one 
or two appointments with some other local preacher 
who was glad of an assistant, or was in sympathy 
with him. He would do what he was able, but the 
service would not wholly depend upon him, and hav 
ing good backing it prevented nervousness. The 
next grade would be that of local preacher. If he 
desired to enter the ministry, his name must have 
been on the plan as an acceptable local preacher for 
six months, he must be recommended by his Quarterly 
Meeting as a man of piety, good natural ability, etc- 
The District Meeting next considered the matter, and 
if it approved, his name was passed on to Conference 
to be received on trial, which lasted four years. It 
also meant four yearly examinations, and a journal 
which accounted for every day s work during certain 
seasons of the year. Every year there came from the 
various District Meetings young men recommended 
by their Quarterly Boards to seek admission to the 
ministry in the travelling connection. These young 
men were placed under superintendents, or put in 
charge of small stations, circuits or missions. The 
sphere was limited. They perhaps had no library, 
no commentary ; all they had was in some instances 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

their Bible and an odd book they might borrow. 
They brought their own common-sense, and they 
leaned with all their powers on the promise of the 
Holy Spirit for help. Wesley s sermons were a boon; 
such clear, practical expositions of the Word of God. 
There was nothing to please the ease loving. The 
conditions were severe, with not very much to cheer, 
inspire, or reconcile them to their work. They were 
tested to prove whether they were ready not only to 
toil but to suffer for the gospel ; the only joy they 
could have was in success. Their prosperity was well 
earned, and in this way they learned to endure hard 
ness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. These were the 
old-time Methodist preachers, and they were either 
developed into grand veterans of the cross or became 
disgusted with the conditions and left ; in either case 
the denomination was benefited by the result. 

The Conference of 1854 approved of and recom 
mended for use the new Hymn Book compiled by Rev. 
J. Flesher. The District Meeting was to be composed 
of one travelling preacher and two lay delegates from 
each circuit, and one travelling preacher and one lay 
delegate from each mission, to be chosen at the official 
meeting preceding the District Meeting. The various 
District Meetings were to elect from among themselves 
four travelling preachers and eight lay delegates to 
attend the Annual Conference. The religious services 
of the Conference began with a temperance meeting 
in the Wesleyan Church. The missionary meeting 
was held on Friday evening ; the Sacrament was ad 
ministered to all the ministers and delegates on 

162 



FIRST CONFERENCE IN 1854. 

Saturday morning, and the Conference supplied the 
pulpits of the churches in and around Brampton on 
the Sabbath. 

Rev. John Davison reported to the Magazine that 
the Conference had produced a wide and favorable 
impression on the public mind for good ; established a 
stronger union among the ministers and official breth 
ren ; and given a more vigorous impetus to the 
mission work. He also emphasized the great need of 
more zealous, qualified men for the Canadian mission 
field. 



11 163 



CHAPTER XII. 

LIGHTS AND SHADOWS. 

The Old Style of Other Days Bay Street Sunday School Jonathan 
Milner, Missionary to Portland Letter from Matthew 
Nichols Peggy Kingston Campsall s Biography of Matthew 
Nichols Obituary of Matthew Nichols Ceremony of Laying 
Corner-Stone of Alice Street Church More Missionaries 
Arrive Come by Philadelphia Rev. Thomas Crompton 
Rev. Wm. Rowe Camp-Meeting at Cook s Mills Jasper 
Gilkinson M. S. Gray Conference of 1855. 

MINISTER S in the early day hardly ever had the 
title " Reverend " prefixed to their names, it was 
simply Wm. Lyle, Wm. Summersides, Wm. Jolly, 
John Garner. In the Conference Minutes the names 
of ministers and laymen were all in the same sized 
type; so that if you did not know the ministers 
names, you could not tell which were laymen. There 
were two laymen for every minister sent to Con 
ference, so that the votes of the laymen would balance 
the extra eloquence or influence of the ministers- 
The minister s were not to " lord it over God s 
heritage," but were only elder brother s in the Church. 
A layman might be appointed President of the 
Conference, or of any church court. If a minister 
occupied the chair, he was obliged to put to the 

164 



LIGHTS AND SHADOWS. 

meeting any motion properly made and seconded. 
A minister in almost every instance occupied the 
chair, but he was there by virtue of his appointment 
thereto, and not by right of his office. The same 
simplicity extended through the ranks of the member 
ship, and Christian names were used among old 
friends, instead of the more formal " Mr." and " Mrs." 
When " Daddy Lyle came to visit us he always 
came to see James and Margaret, and so he addressed 
them. He had married them, and was a very 
welcome guest in our home. Having mentioned 
these little peculiarities of Primitive Methodism, we 
will once more note the progress of the connexion. 

The Bay Street Juvenile Missionary Society ap 
pointed Mr. J. Milner, one of the Sabbath School 
workers in Toronto, as its missionary. Matthew 
Nichols made his first visit to Portland Mission, just 
before he died, and wrote an account of it to a friend 
in Toronto. Portland Township was twenty miles 
north of Kingston. Mr. Nichol s first visit was to 
the home of Mr. Carnpsall, a native of Lincolnshire 
He was a Primitive Methodist local preacher in 
England, and was glad to unite again with the 
church since they were within reach. Mr. Campsall 
and Mr. Nichols went fifteen miles in a buggy to 
Ernest Township to visit a local preacher, a Mr. 
McLean, who had expressed a desire for the Primitive 
Methodists to visit his neighbourhood. Mr. McLean 
was an intelligent and excellent man, of great in 
fluence in that section of country. There was every 
prospect of a good society being formed there, and on 

165 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

returning to Campsall s they found Bro. J. Milner 
had opened his commission to a large congregation. 
On July 12th, 1854, Messrs. Nichols, Milner and 
Campsall, started on foot to mission other parts, and 
form appointments. They first went to Chambers 
Mills. Mr. Chambers came from near Nottingham, 
England. His father was a Primitive Methodist, and 
the early preachers had held services in his barn in 
England. An appointment was made for preaching 
in the school-house at Chambers Mills. They next 
went to Wolf-swamp School-house, and after preach 
ing to a large and attentive congregation, returned 
home to Mr. Campsall s rather tired and jaded. 

The next day the same three men took a more 
northerly route to a wilder part of the township, 
Mr. Campsall acting as guide. They went on foot, 
and after travelling for miles, oppressed with heat, 
bitten by musquitos, sore of foot, and very thirsty, 
they came to the log shanty of Peggy Kingston. 
There was no chair nor anything else worth much, 
but Peggy kindly brought them a pail of water, and 
appeared to feel highly honored that she had the 
opportunity of waiting upon them. It was as a home 
a picture of poverty, and yet it appeared to be the 
abode of happiness. They next reached the house of 
Mr. Jonas Tinder a mile further on where there was 
very little preaching, and arranged for services in 
the future. After giving instructions to Mr. Milner, 
Mr. Nichol s returned to Mr. Campsall s, and from 
there to Sydenham on Saturday, to be ready for the 
services on the Sabbath. During the week he had 

166 



LIGHTS AND SHADOWS. 

travelled about eighty miles, and thirty of them on 
foot. He wrote, " Tell the boys there are eight 
preaching places on the mission ; that we intend 
working with all our might, so that they may have 
a prosperous mission. Tell them, and the friends in 
Toronto to pray for us." Mathew Nichols wrote the 
letter from which this is taken on August 4th, and 
on the 17th he died of cholera. 

We find the biography of Matthew Nichols in the 
Magazine of June, 1855, from the pen of Rev. James 
Edgar : " He was born on January 13th, 1821, at 
Bodlam, Norfolk, England. His parents, Robert and 
Elizabeth Nichols, with their children, emigrated to 
America in 1837, and settled in Brampton, Chinga- 
cousy, Canada West. In 1838 the subject of this 
sketch was apprenticed to Mr. William Marshall, a 
long tried friend of Primitive Methodism ; and during 
his apprenticeship, obtained religion at a prayer- 
meeting held in the house of Mr. John Elliott, senior. 
His conversion was so striking and satisfactory that 
he was not troubled with doubts respecting its 
validity. The result of his conversion was obvious 
to all ; the lion was changed into the lamb, and the 
vulture into the dove. His name soon appeared on 
the plan as an exhorter, and according to the usage 
of the church it. passed upwards to a place among 
the local preachers. While a local preacher his zeal 
and success were so pronounced that the church 
urged him to enter the ministry. He acceded, be 
lieving it to be his duty to devote himself wholly to 
the preaching of the gospel. The Toronto circuit 

167 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

was the scene of his first exertions in the ministry, 
and the year 1841 the commencement of his itinerant 
career, an era in his existence to be remembered 
with the highest and holiest gratitude through 
eternity. 

" The broad seal of God s approbation was stamped 
upon his labors in Toronto. The barrenness of the 
desert prevailed in many parts of the circuit ; but the 
youthful evangelist succeeded in breaking up those 
unfruitful parts with the ploughshare of truth ; and 
after watering them with tears and enriching them 
with the agonizing prayers of faith, he saw them 
blooming with the fertility of the garden of God. 
Of the fruits thus secured, many remain until this 
day, while others have been gathered into the garner 
of God. Markham next shared his labors, and the 
gospel, which in Toronto was successful to the pulling 
down of the strongholds, was here still more so. The 
circuit was large, the appointments far apart, the 
roads extremely bad, homes few, and many of them 
cheerless, the discouragements numerous and formid 
able, but none of these things moved him, and the 
results of his labors were very encouraging. He was 
recalled to Toronto, and after completing his second 
term was re-appointed to Markham, where he labored 
with success and with benefit to his own soul. He 
was next stationed on the Brantford mission, after 
which Mr. Nichols was sent to open the Guelph mis 
sion, where the writer s acquaintance with him com 
menced. On this mission he was an entire stranger, 

168 



LIGHTS AND SHADOWS. 

and had to practice self-denial, suffer privations, 
endure fatigue, and perform labors sufficient to wreck 
a Herculanean constitution. There was not a member 
on the mission when he went, and not a home where 
he could go excepting that of the Messrs. Tyson. The 
anxiety he underwent was incredible, and more than 
once was he strongly tempted to abandon his post of 
toil and care ; but he happily overcame the tempta 
tion and continued his work. He completed his pro 
bation on this circuit and formed a matrimonial 
alliance with Miss Eliza Irwin, who cheered him on 
during the toils of life, and now feels the incalculable 
loss she has sustained by his death. Etobicoke circuit 
enjoyed the benefits of his labors after he removed 
from Guelph, and here, as in other places, his powers 
were tried to their utmost tension, and with signal 
success. The church put on the vestments of zeal, the 
armor of God ; the powers of darkness were routed ; 
many souls were turned from the power of Satan unto 
God. Markham again enjoyed his ministrations, and 
during his stay received an impetus which will tell on 
the well-being of many souls through the limitless 
ages of eternity. The church was moved to her 
centre, raised to action, led forward against the batta 
lions of hell, and achieved glorious victories. Revivals 
became general in the circuit, and exerted their genial 
elevating influences on masses of minds, lifting the 
fallen from moral degradation, restoring the prodigal 
to the arms of parental affection, reforming the 
vicious, demonstrating the glory of Protestantism, the 

169 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

adaptation of the gospel to the wants of men, and the 
willingness and ability of Christ to save to the 
uttermost. 

" The District Meeting of 1852 stationed Mr. Nichols 
for Toronto, and the appointment was evidently 
approved by God. During the two years of his con 
tinuance, prosperity prevailed in every department of 
the work. The Scarborough part of the circuit was 
made into a branch, and has since become a circuit, 
with surplus funds to support a second preacher. A 
beautiful brick chapel was also commenced in Toronto, 
which will be completed during the ensuing summer. 
Love united minister and people in a holy fraternity, 
and his removal from Toronto was generally regretted. 

" The conference of 1854 stationed Mr. Nichols for 
Kingston, to which he in due time repaired. He 
entered upon his work there with his usual fixedness 
of purpose, and he had formed his plans for a pro 
tracted assault on the empire of darkness during the 
fall and winter ; but God had other work for him to 
do, and called him to it. His last Sabbath on earth, 
August 13th, was spent in the house of God at Kings 
ton, preaching and administering the sacrament. The 
services were remarkable ; a heavenly influence per 
vaded the sanctuary, and both minister and people 
enjoyed an earnest of celestial blessedness. He led 
the prayer-meeting on the Monday evening, and a 
class-meeting on Tuesday, was taken with the cholera 
on Wednesday, and died on Thursday, August 17th, 
1854. He did not speak much during the attack, in 
consequence of the sufferings occasioned by the disease. 

170 



LIGHTS AND SHADOWS. 

Dying testimony was not essential from Mr. Nichols ; 

like Whitfield, he had given abundant evidence of it 

t~> 

during life. 

" He was a laborious minister, an exemplary Christ 
ian, a genuine friend, an affectionate husband, a tender 
parent, a judicious counsellor, and a man of integrity 
and purity. He has left a widow and three orphans, 
the youngest born seven days after his death. May 
the blessings of the God of Israel ever rest upon 
them." 

" They have laid him slowly, softly, 

Down to sleep ; 
Where the dreamless, wakeless, slumber 

Still and deep ; 

O er his eyes the lids are folded 

Closely now ; 

And the dark hair falling damply 

O er his brow. 

May we meet him in that far off 
World of light ; 
In the Eden land afar, 
Where the pure and sinless are." 

JAMES EDGAR. 

It is questionable if the death of any other minister 
or layman could have caused such universal grief 
where he was known. People s affections were twined 
around Matthew Nichols, for his great loving heart 
went out to them, and his most earnest desire was the 
salvation of men. He lived just long enough to set an 
example of how much a thoroughly consecrated man 
could do, and died at the zenith of his usefulness, 
having done as much in a few short years as many 

171 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

another faithful minister has done in a whole lifetime. 
He lives now, where time is not measured by years, 
in never ending bliss. 

His obituary in the Conference Minutes states :- 
" He had attained a spirituality of mind, a nearness 
to God, a deeper insight into the human heart, a 
clearer conception of the simplicity of faith and 
efficacy of the atonement which in a very peculiar 
manner prepared him for the ennobling work of 
saving souls. But alas ! while the whole hemisphere 
of his future was bright, the fatal shaft descended 
and smote him. His family and the church have 
sustained an irreparable loss. He had travelled 
nearly twelve years in Canada with marked success 
in every station." 

The circumstances of his death were exceedingly 
sad. His wife was ill at home, so ill that it was 
deemed best not to mention the fact. His body was 
interred at once, and his wife began to wonder why 
he did not return or write. He had been in his grave 
some days before she knew that she should see his 
face no more, until she joined him in the better land. 
He was the spiritual father of so many earnest 
Christian workers, and his death was mourned by 
every circuit where he had labored, as if one had 
gone from their own fireside. He was of such a 
winsome, loving disposition, that he made his friends 
life friends. Revivals began on nearly every circuit 
where he travelled, for he was a " Prince with God " 
and prevailed. His name was a household word, 
and ever spoken with tenderness. Mrs. Nichols 

172 



LIGHTS AND SHADOWS. 

brought up the three little girls so early orphaned. 
One married Mr. Carter, of Hamilton, another married 
Rev. Coverdale Watson, who died in British Columbia, 
and the remaining daughter is the wife of Rev. R. J. 
Stillwell. Rev. Matthew Nichols and Rev. Isaac 
Tovell, D.D., are first cousins, their fathers having 
married sisters. 

In the same Conference Minutes there is the obitu 
ary of Rev. J. R. Stephenson, who had been sent out 
by the English Conference, and was stationed on 
Walpole Mission. He labored only three months 
when all his earthly engagements were brought to a 
premature and affecting termination. While bathing 
in Lake Erie on the morning of August 4th, 1854, he 
accidentally fell over the edge of a submerged rock, 
and was drowned. He died in the twenty -fifth year 
of his age and the third of his ministry. His father 
was one of the officials on Reach circuit. 

The ceremony of laying the corner-stone of the 
Alice Street Chapel in Toronto the new brick church 
which Matthew Nichols had so earnestly advocated 
was celebrated on October 4th, 1854. Hon. J. H. 
Price laid the corner-stone, and Rev. E. Barrass 
delivered an address on the origin of the Connexion, 
its doctrines and discipline, after which a collection 
amounting to fifty dollars was taken up. The same 
evening there was a public tea in the Temperance 
Hall, two hundred and fifty partaking of it. The 
price of admission was Is. 10d. Hon. J. H. Price 
occupied the chair, and among the speakers were 
Rev. J. Richardson, Presiding Elder, Methodist Episco- 

173 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

pal Church ; Rev. A. Lillie, D.D., Prof. Theology in 
Congregational Academy, Upper Canada ; Rev. R. 
Burns, D.D., Knox Free Church ; Rev. T. Goldsmith, 
Methodist New Connexion ; Rev. J. Nattrass and Rev. 
E. Barrass. Mr. Baxter presided at the organ. The 
proceeds were 32. The amount raised previously 
for building the new church was seventeen hundred 
pounds. 

The Rev. Thomas Crompton and family, with the 
Rev. Wm. Rowe and family, departed from Liver 
pool for the Canadian mission field, on the steam 
packet America, and touched at Halifax, but did not 
disembark until they reached Boston, on Friday the 
18th of August, 1854. Rev. Wm. Stephenson met 
them on board, and they started by rail for Canada. 
They remained overnight at Springfield, Mass., 
ninety-eight miles from Boston, and the following 
morning boarded the train at 6 a.m., and rode five 
hundred miles to Hamilton. The ministerial ranks 
had been thinned, not only by the two deaths already 
recorded, but Rev. R. Boyle was ill and another young 
minister had resigned. The Rev. Wm. Rowe was 
appointed to take Mr. Boyle s work in Hamilton, and 
the Rev. Thomas Crompton was to fill the vacancy in 
Kingston. Cholera was very prevalent. Eight hun 
dred had died from it in Hamilton, and a great 
number in Toronto and Kingston. The heat and 
drought had been intense. 

On August 23rd, Mr. Crompton went by boat to 
Toronto, and remaining over night attended a juven 
ile missionary meeting held in Bay Street church. 

174 



LIGHTS AND SHADOWS. 

On the following day he took the steamer again for 
Kingston. Mr. Crompton describes Lakes Erie and 
Ontario, the lesser two of the Great Lakes, as larger 
than all England, and yet only as small ponds in this 
great land. He speaks of Kingston being an old city 
and once the seat of government for Upper Canada. 

The Conference of 1855 was held in Toronto, and 
Revs. John Nattress, James Clarke, Richard Paul, 
Wm. Newton, Thomas Dudley and Wm. Stephenson 
were ordained. A children s fund was established, 
based on a tax of ten per cent, on the ordinary 
income of the station. At this time a minister on a 
country station received a salary of three hundred 
and twenty dollars per year, an allowance for horse 
keep and a parsonage, and each child under sixteen 
was paid thirty-two dollars per annum out of the 
children s fund. 

A connexional camp-meeting was to be held at 
Cook s Mills (Carrville), Vaughan, on June 15th and 
consecutive days. The deputation to attend were the 
President and Secretary of Conference, Revs. Wm. 
Lyle, J. Garner, Wm. Gledhill, R. Boyle, J. Edgar, 
R. Poulter, W. Rowe, J. Nattrass, J. Houldershaw and 
Mr. Wm. Lawson, with the ministers on Markham 
circuit. Those desiring tents were to communicate 
with Thos. Cook, Esq., Rupert s P.O. (Maple), early in 
June. The thanks of the Conference was given to 
Mr. Jasper Gilkinson for a gift of land in the city of 
Hamilton ; and to Mr. M. S. Gray, for an acre of land 
in Brant mission for connexional purposes. 



175 



CHAPTER XIII. 
THE OLD-TIME REVIVAL MEETING. 

Etobicoke Circuit Squires Neighborhood ^Rev. Joseph Simpson 
Mr. Garbutt Old-Time Revivals "Born Again "Rev. 
Thomas Crompton Rev. Jonathan Milner Old-Time Workers 
Kingston, Portland, Bath Road Missions-- Wingham 
Markham, Brampton, Etobicoke and Scarborough Missionary 
Meetings Some Scarborough Officials John Sherwood 
Charles D. Maginn Duncan Fitzpatrick George Pearson- 
Henry Scrace Parsonage Appointment John Smith Old 
Willie Fitzpatrick Lost in the Bush The Hymn on the 
Preachers Plan Cradle song Brampton Town Streetsville 
Dixon Bay Street Ladies Aid Henry M. V. Foster Wm. 
Nason Mrs. Nason Mrs. Foster Three more Missionaries 
Revs. Wood, Swift, Nattrass. 

THE District Meeting of 1853, appointed two 
preachers to the Albion branch of Etobicoke circuit. 
This enabled them to spread their work, and among 
the new places visited was Squires neighborhood a 
place where many Roman Catholics were settled. 
The Rev. Joseph Simpson was one of the ministers, 
and he described a field-meeting held there with an 
attendance of six hundred people. Mr. Garbutt a 
local preacher, formerly of Scarborough, England, 
was one of the speakers. Mr. Squires gave them 
half an acre of land for a church and burial-ground. 

176 



THE OLD-TIME REVIVAL MEETING. 

The new church, a frame building, was opened on 
November 26th, 1854. Sermons were preached 
morning and evening by Mrs. Isaac Wilson, a much 
esteemed local preacher, and in the afternoon by 
Kev. Joseph Simpson. A neat house was purchased 
in the village of Bolton for a parsonage. Several 
souls had been converted at field meetings, and the 
station was prosperous. 

One writer, at this time, speaks in eulogistic terms 
of Canada, the land of his adoption. He said it was 
making astonishing progress in all kinds of material 
and social improvement, and was rapidly rising in 
wealth, agricultural products, commerce, intelligence 
and population. A great many emigrants from all 
parts of the world were coming to settle in the 
country. 

In July, 1854, Scarborough branch had been made 
into a circuit and was doing well. They had erected 
a neat parsonage at Wexford, and a beautiful brick 
chapel. Two places had been added to Etobicoke 
circuit; they had held their missionary meetings at 
four appointments, and the income was 15 more 
than the previous year. 

In 1855 the Rev. Thos. Crompton described six 
protracted meetings held on the Kingston and Port 
land missions ; scores had been converted mainly 
in places where no religious societies had pre 
viously been formed. The first meetings were 
at Leatherland s, eight miles from Kingston. Rev. 
J. Clarke was the junior minister. Men and 
women crowded to the penitent form. Mr. Cromp- 

177 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

ton had never seen such mourning and weeping 
on account of sin, and when they found peace the 
old log school-house rang with the joyous shouts of 
new-born souls. Two families, Mr. Leatherland s and 
Mr. Gordon s, who had for months been very kind to 
them, each, had three members converted at the 
services. 

The second series of meetings was in Ashley s 
school-house, about twenty miles from Kingston, in 
Portland Township. Drunkenness, swearing and 
their associate evils had long prevailed in that local 
ity. There had been no preaching there for nine 
years previously. In three weeks thirty persons were 
brought to Christ and united in church fellowship. 
In the third series of meetings at Russel s school- 
house, fourteen miles from Kingston, they were in 
formed that the people in that neighborhood did not 
care much for Methodist meetings, and there seemed 
no prospect of doing much good. Nevertheless, a 
gracious influence attended the services. The house 
was filled, and the man and his wife who did not like 
Methodist meetings were among the first converted. 
The meetings continued for five weeks, and the holy 
fire burned brightly all the time. More than forty 
additions to the church was the result of this effort. 

At the missionary meeting held in Kingston 22 
was realized, and when all were held they would 
reach 60. The mission was only four years old, 
and it had three hundred members. We have men 
tioned only three of the six protracted efforts. Rev. 
Jonathan Milner conducted some of them, almost 

178 



THE OLD-TIME REVIVAL MEETING. 

without help, and with signal success. There was 
hard toil and no membership to assist, but sheer 
determination with strong faith in God brought the 
inevitable results. 

One of our superannuated ministers told me there 
were many names he remembered with great pleasure 
on the Kingston and Bath Road missions. There 
were the Dougans, Blyths, Days, E. Graham ; also 
John Graham and his worthy wife, and the Gordons, 
Leatherlands and Purdys. On the Napanee work, 
which was always weak, there were Messrs. R. Jones, 
Hogg, Williamson, Paul, Ham, and Mr. and Mrs. 
Chambers and family. On Wingham circuit among 
the Christian workers were Fretwells, Jewitts, Well- 
woods, Olivers, Joyrits, Taylors, Ferriers, Scotts, and 
in later years Thomas Appleby, a liberal contributor, 
a local preacher and faithful worker, who moved from 
Claremont, and who now resides in Wroxeter. In the 
early days of toil and anxiety, in the hard times that 
followed the Crimean war, it was good to find these 
brethren and sisters, with hope and courage, willing 
to help lift the burden and cheer them with their 
unflinching determination to stand by the young 
cause, 

In 1855, Markham circuit embraced more or less of 
six or seven townships ; it had a few excellent chapels 
and some good societies. It had three travelling 
preachers. At four missionary meetings the circuit 
raised sixty pounds, but expected to reach one hun- 
hundred pounds when all the meetings were held. On 
Etobicoke circuit one hundred pounds was contributed 
12 179 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CAMADA. 

by four of the principal places. On Scarborough 
circuit a chapel tea-meeting was held at Barren s 
church (Bethesda) ; crowds came from Toronto and 
elsewhere. They had built a brick church and driv 
ing shed, and they were out of debt. The missionary 
meetings on the circuit were enthusiastic, and the 
Scarborough circuit was prosperous. During the 
year 1854, fifty-four thousand emigrants had landed 
in Canada, and the probability was many would 
settle where there were no religious ordinances. The 
obligations of the Christian were pressed home at 
every missionary meeting, that these new settlers 
might not be without the gospel. 

Among the local preachers who came to our home 
was John Sherwood, son of Christopher Sherwood, 
who was also a local preacher ; and both men were 
officials at Zion chapel on the Scarborough circuit. 
John was a man of good height, with dark eyes and 
a clean shaven face, surrounded by a short black 
beard. He was a bachelor all his life, a man of quiet 
demeanor and sterling piety. His sermons, though a 
little slow in delivery, were earnest and evangelical. 
He was always faithful to his appointments, gener 
ally coming on horseback. 

Duncan Fitzpatrick and his cousin William Maginn, 
frequently came together ; sometimes one preached 
and sometimes the other. Duncan was over six feet 
arid William Maginn was under-sized. We children 
enjoyed seeing them together on account of the con 
trast. I was not so well acquainted with Mr. Maginn, 
but his father, Charles D. Maginn, was one of the 

180 



THE OLD-TIME REVIVAL MEETING. 

pillars of the connexion. He and his wife were very 
hospitable ; you were received with open arms and 
given a whole-souled Irish welcome. Charles D. 
Maginn was nearly always a member of the General 
Committee, attended Conference, and was one of the 
most generous financial contributors. He was a man 
of fine build, with pleasant open countenance and 
kindly spirit. His home was always open for the 
preachers, and he took it as a favor if they would 
share anything he had. He was well to do, and built 
a beautiful brick residence near Wexford, which can 
now be seen from the C.P.R. train. I never view it 
but that my memory recalls the happy old couple 
who never outlived their courting days, whose lives 
were pleasant, whose deaths were triumphant and 
whose memory is blessed. Duncan Fitzpatrick was 
one of the excellent of the earth. He was well edu 
cated for his day, and for a time taught school. He 
was a great reader and a good reasoner, and he liked 
to understand a subject and view it in all its bearings. 
He was a member of the General Committee, attended 
Conference, and a staunch supporter of, and an in 
defatigable worker for the advancement of Primitive 
Methodism, but the cause of Christ was dearer to 
him than any denomination, and we find he was 
among the early advocates of Methodist union. 

The name of George Pearson is found in the 
Conference Minutes; he lived at Mai vern, Scarborough, 
and was for many years class-leader, steward and 
local preacher. The minister alway found a welcome 
in his home. John Smith, of Markham, with his 

181 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

family, were faithful and devoted supporters of the 
church on Scarborough circuit. Mr. Smith was one of 
the very best class-leaders, and a generous contributor 
to the church funds. Their house was always a home 
for the minister, and many incidents of their untiring 
interest in the minister s welfare could be told by 
men who labored on the circuit. I remember Henry 
Scrace, of Zion, as another of the old guard ; % a class- 
leader and steward, regular and faithful in his 
attendance at service, and also in the discharge of his 
official duties. At Bethel appointment, the several 
members of the Walton family were for many years 
among those who were prominent in Christian useful 
ness. Wallace Walton was class-leader and steward 
until his removal from the township. 

At the parsonage appointment we mention Father 
Richardson and family, old Mr. and Mrs. Brooks, the 
lonson family, the Maginns, Fitzpatricks and others. 
Robins , Byes , Wilson s and Dewsberry s families 
were all on Scarborough circuit, with means, labor 
and hospitality, contributing to the best interests of 
the church. Old Willie Fitzpatrick, the father of 
Duncan, and the grandfather of the Rev. J. D. Fitz 
patrick, as well as the brother of Mrs. C. D. Maginn, 
was a local preacher of the long ago. He was once 
preaching at Davenport, which was then reached for 
the most part by a path through the bush, indicated 
by the blaze on the trees. A little beyond Mr. Fitz- 
patrick s own farm, near the Don river, a tree had 
fallen across the path. Going, he noted the direction 
he must take to get around it when coming back. 

182 



THE OLD-TIME REVIVAL MEETING. 

When he was that far on his way home, after his 
evening appointment, he went around the tree ; tried 
first one way and then another to get on the path, got 
bewildered, and could not tell which way he was 
going, so finally sat down to wait for the coming day. 
He dare not sleep, for wild beasts were then roaming 
the forests. He tied his horse and waited, but it was 
a long, long night. With the first rays of morning 
light he found the path, mounted his horse, and with 
a thankful heart wended his way home to tell of his 
night vigil. 

If the minister learned a new piece of music he 
had the hymn printed on the preachers plan. It was 
sung in the congregation, and the people bought the 
plan to have the words. One of these hymns in my 
very early days was :- 

" There is a happy land, far, far away, 
Where saints in glory stand, bright, bright as day ; 
O, how they sweetly sing, worthy is our Saviour King, 
Loud let His praises ring, praise, praise for aye." etc. 

Some old Primitive Methodists while reading this 
hymn will find it touch a chord in their memory. It 
was the cradle song of many a mother, and infancy 
was lulled to sleep by its soft cadences. 

In the July number of the Magazine for 1855, we 
find a very interesting letter from W. J. Dean, in 
which he describes the Brampton circuit and gives 
more information about the place and less about his 
own feelings than we generally find in these letters. 
I will also mention the fact that he tells how many 

183 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

dollars were raised at the missionary meetings, 
instead of giving it in pounds currency as the other 
writers did. From this fact we judge that decimal 
currency was in common use, though we do not find 
the financial returns in the Minutes printed in dollars 
and cents untill 1858. The letter reads as follows : 

" Dear Editor, Believing that to you and your 
numerous readers, Good news from a far country is 
always acceptable, I feel prompted to send you an 
account of our doings during the last few months in 
this circuit. 

We have five connexional chapels, six other preach 
ing places, two Sabbath Schools and one hundred and 
ninety-eight members. Brampton, (so named after 
Brarnpton in England, by J. Elliott, Esq., one of 
the first settlers in the place, and one of the oldest 
members), is a large and flourishing village about 
twenty-six miles from the city of Toronto. It con 
tains a population of two thousand inhabitants, has 
a steam mill, twenty-two stores or shops, several 
taverns, two foundries, furniture manufactories, a 
court-house, market-house, school buildings, Presbyter 
ian church, Free Presbyterian church, Wesleyan 
church, and a Primitive Methodist church (brick), and 
parsonage. The Grand Trunk Railway passes through 
the place. 

As a proof of the rapid progress of places in this 
province, I may remark that ten years ago, when our 
church was built, Brampton contained only a few 
scattered frame houses, and twenty-five years 
ago was all bush; our cause has also progressed with 
the place. We have now a crowded congregation, a 
large society, and a flourishing Sabbath School. We 
started protracted services on February 18th, 1855, and 
closed on Sunday, March 18th. The congregations 

184 



THE OLD-TIME REVIVAL MEETING. 

were large, a deep interest was taken in the services, 
many persons were awakened, and about twenty 
converted to God. Brother Boyle, though afflicted, 
rendered us efficient aid in holding these services. 

O 

" Streetsville is a flourishing village, ten miles from 
Brampton, about equal to it in size, and contains an 
Episcopal church, a Wesleyan church, an Episcopal 
Methodist church, a town hall, several flour and saw 
mill, stores, taverns, and a Primitive Methodist church, 
built twenty-two years ago. Our cause here, however, 
has passed through a variety of changes, sometimes 
we have occupied the place, at others it has been re 
moved from the plan. About twelve months ago it 
was re-missioned, and a small society formed, but 
through various causes our interest continued very 
feeble for some time. On January 21st we began a 
protracted meeting, and although the cold was severe 
and the snow very deep, the services were well at 
tended; sinners were aroused and cried aloud for 
mercy, and found salvation through the blood of the 
Iamb. The result of this meeting is, eighteen has 
been added to the society, and there is an increase of 
piety among the members, and the congregations are 
large. 

"Dixie is a small settlement about nine miles from 
Brampton ; we preach in a small log building, but in 
tend to build a new brick church in spring. We com 
menced a protracted meeting on February 5th, and 
although the weather was colder than has been known 
for forty years, the congregations were good. The 
church entered nobly into the work and six persons 
obtained the blessing of pardon. May the work be 
gun continue to flourish. 

"In financial matters we are improving as a circuit. 
We had an excellent Sunday School anniversary at 
Brampton at which we raised 11. We have pur 
chased additional furniture for the parsonage, collected 

185 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

nearly two hundred dollars for the mission fund, and 
will defray all expenses connected with the circuit 
and the erection of Dixie chapel. Our prospects are 
very hopeful, so we thank God and take courage. As 
far as I can judge, our cause is on the increase in this 
province. The chief obstacles to our connexional 
prosperity, are the migratory habits of the people 
and the lack of preachers. Many societies are reduced 
and often broken up through removals ; we therefore 
greatly want an additional number of efficient preach 
ers to extend our borders and save to the connexion 
those who remove to parts of the province where we 
have no services. We do hope there are some of our 
junior brethren in the ministry who are willing to 
leave country and friends and lay themselves on the 
missionary altar, saying Here am I, send me. 
They would find here a kind people, willing and 
ready to receive them, and to do what they can to 
ward supporting the cause of God, etc. 

I am yours, in Christ, 

WILLIAM JOHN DEAN." 

Brampton, April 13, 1855. 

The Primitive Methodist missionary meeting of 
the Toronto circuit was held in Richmond Street 
Wesleyan church, the largest in the city. The audi 
ence was large and the Hon. J. R. Price presided. 
The addresses were excellent, and the meeting satis 
factory. A Ladies Aid had been formed in Bay Street 
church and the ladies held their first bazaar in St. 
Lawrence Hall, at which they made 112. The 
children s department amounted to 16. 

Henry M. V. Foster was an official at Smithfield, 
Etobicoke. He died in 1896, and the quarterly 

board sent a resolution of sympathy to his widow, 

186 * 



THE OLD-TIME REVIVAL MEETING. 

who now lives in Weston. He was a very intimate 
and lifelong friend of the Rev. R. Boyle, and a con 
stant contributor to all the enterprises of the church. 
Wm. Nason was a local preacher and a member of 
Zion chapel in Etobicoke. He came from England in 
1841 or 1842 and taught school in the Gore of 
Toronto. In 1845 he returned to England for his 
bride, and they came out in a sailing vessel. He was 
a class-leader and Sunday School superintendent, a 
man of mental ability, one in touch with the young 
people. He had that rectitude of life that is a 
surer guarantee of wisdom than any power of 
intellect. He was a general merchant in Weston 
after his marriage. I saw his widow at the age of 
85 years, as pink and white as a girl of sixteen. As 
I looked at her so bright and fresh looking, I recalled 
the lines of the poet : 

" I remembered my God in the days of my youth 
And he hath not forgotten my age." 

Mrs. Foster is a woman of strong mental make up, 
and one who must have shown marked business 
ability ; she is a cousin of Mr. Parker, of Glasgow, ex- 
reeve of Uxbridge Township, and was always a 
staunch Primitive Methodist. 

The next communication to the connexion in 
England tells of the safe arrival of Brothers Wood, 
Swift and Nattrass in Toronto. 

" Dear Secretary, Through the blessing of Divine 
Providence, brothers J. R. Swift, T. Nattrass and 
myself, arrived in safety at Toronto, August 17th, 

187 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

1855. Our protracted stay in Liverpool, previous to 
sailing, was made as agreeable as possible by the kind 
friends with whom we were boarded, and Mr. Oscroft, 
who interested himself much in our welfare. While 
crossing the mighty deep, we found the Lord ever 
present. Our happiness was only interrupted by 
sea-sickness, which is common to those who cross the 
ocean. We have arrived at a very opportune period. 
Yesterday was the time for holding the annual field- 
meeting, which in England would be called a camp- 
meeting. This was a tine introduction for us to the 

C? 

people of Toronto. In the morning we missioned the 
city in Primitive Methodist style, and thence pro 
ceeded to a beautiful place beneath some shady trees, 
previously fitted up with seats, which in the afternoon 
were occupied by some two thousand attentive 
hearers. Your three young missionaries were highly 
delighted with the privilege of preaching on the 
occasion, and the people appeared not less so in hear 
ing. On the whole the day s services have made a 
very favorable impression on our minds in behalf of 
Canada. A deep solemnity seemed to pervade the 
whole assembly, and many said it was good to be 
there. We have met with a very cordial reception at 
the homes of the Rev. E. Barrass, Mr. R. Walker 
and Mr. T. Thompson. The committee will meet this 
evening to appoint where our stations shall be. And 
now we earnestly solicit the prayers of our dear 
people in England, that we may be endued with 
power from on high, and thereby be qualified for the 
great work in which we are engaged. 

GEO. WOOD." 

Rev. Geo. Wood has been a very successful minister 
of the word of life. He is a man of gentle, kindly 
spirit, a sincere man, one who has been respected and 

188 



THE OLD-TIME REVIVAL MEETING. 

loved wherever he has labored. I remember his 
bright blue eyes that shone with honest affection, and 
the sympathetic tones of his voice, and the soft warm 
pressure of his hand as he greeted the children in 
my father s house. I have not seen him for a great 
many years, but I know from past knowledge and 
early memories, that his presence must be a benedic 
tion to the neighborhood where he dwells. 



189 



CHAPTER XIV. 

AROUND THE GEORGIAN BAY. 

St. Vincent Mission Rev. Timothy Nattrass Moving by Ox-Cart 
Meaford Cape Rich A Log Mansion Hare for Supper 
Twice at Church in Three Years Riding to Church on a 
Jumper Near Neighbors a Mile Away Rev. Robert Stephen- 
son Roads Blockaded with Snow Nine Indian Callers The 
Indians Even Up Opening of Napanee Mission Growth of 
Toronto A Yoke of Oxen in Toronto Cost of Alice Street 
Church Conference of 1856 Total Abstainers Pastoral 
Visiting Prayer for the Royal Family Rev. John Davison s 
Opinion Russel s Corners Chapel Mr. James Murton An 
Old-Time Camp- Meeting near Sydenham Old-Time Illumina 
tion Loud Sounding Horn Calls to the Unconverted Rev. 
John Lacey Final Handshake in Camp-Meeting Style. 

A REQUEST sent to the Conference of 1855 to send a 
missionary to St. Vincent Township being favorably 
received, the Rev. Timothy Nattrass was appointed. 
A sketch of the trip on the Northern Railway and 
his safe arrival at his destination was sent for publi 
cation. It described the Indians, who stared at the 
train with wondering gaze at Bell Ewart ; the short 
period of time that had elapsed since the country was 
all forest ; the large buildings in Collingwood which 
was then the terminus of the railway ; the immense 
steamboats plying between there and Chicago; the 

190 



AROUND THE GEORGIAN BAY. 

Georgian Bay teeming with fish, which were sent to 
New York and other cities ; the sail by steamer from 
Collingwood, past Meaford to McLauren s Point (Cape 
Rich), arriving at three in the afternoon, and finding 
on inquiry that he was still seven miles from his 
destination. He left his luggage, walked through the 
bush, guided by the blaze on the trees, and reached 
the log habitation of Mr. William Denton, who was a 
little surprised at his arrival, not having received his 
letter. He was warmly welcomed, and found the 
mission already opened, as Mr. Denton had been 
preaching at a few of the most needy places in the 
township. Mr. Denton offered the missionary a home 
and board free of charge, and promised to assist all 
in his power in the work. 

The whole of the next day (September 12th, 1855) 
was spent in getting Mr. Nattrass luggage from the 
Point by ox-cart, a very slow mode of conveyance. 
Occasionally they tried to ride, but were in danger of 
being thrown topsy-turvey into the mud. The walk 
and lake breeze sharpened their appetites, and being 
very hungry, they called at a house on the way and 
were made welcome to the best they had, without 
money and without price. The next day they ram 
bled off to establish preaching places, and heard tales 
from the early settlers of the hardships they had 
endured when they lived for weeks at a time on 
nothing but potatoes ; and when finally they raised a 
little wheat, they had to travel one hundred miles to 
find a grist mill, through a forest infested with wild 
beasts. In 1855 Meaford was likely to be a place of 

in 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

some importance, and the Government had granted 
them 1,000 toward building a harbor. The rain fell 
heavily the first Sabbath, and but two services could 
be held in the day on account of having to travel 
through the forest. A number of the places had only 
a service once a fortnight. Eight preaching places 
were established. 

In conversation with Mrs. Denton, who now lives 
in Toronto, I inquired what she could tell me of the 
opening of St. Vincent mission and the good old times 
they had in their log mansion. She smiled and said, 
" Life was not a playground in the new country, but 
I was contented amid it all. Where my husband and 
little girl and my home were, there was my world ; 
and I was happy, though it was a mistake going 
there, for neither of us had been brought up to such 
a life." 

She remembered very well the coining of the 
missionary, the Rev. Timothy Nattrass. It was in 
September, 1855. He left the boat at Cape Rich, or 
the Point as it was then called, and walked over to 
the eleventh line of St. Vincent. He had written he 
was coming, but the post-office being eleven miles 
away, at Meaford, they had not yet received the 
letter. When he arrived Mrs. Denton had a hare for 
supper ; he was very hungry with the walk, and 
enjoyed the meal. One of the preaching places was 
on the lake shore, and another at Willis school-house. 

Mr. Denton tilled appointments every Sabbath, but 
though they were there three years it was only twice 
she had the privilege of attending a preaching service- 

192 



AROUND THE GEORGIAN BAY. 

One meeting was in their own house, and the other 
was on the ninth line of St. Vincent, at Burchill s 
school-house. The Rev. Samuel Tear, a Wesleyan 
Methodist minister from Owen Sound, preached. 
Horses were no use to travel through the woods, and 
it was too far to walk. A young married woman she 
knew started one Sunday on a jumper drawn by 
oxen. They got along all right for a time, but about 
half-way through the bush the tongue broke, and her 
husband was obliged to fasten the chains to the sides. 
Then the progress was slower than ever, because the 
jumper would strike a log on one side or a huge stone 
on the other, and sometimes the low runner had to be 
lifted or the woman and baby would tumble over, 
aud having to work their passage so much of the 
way, the service was over when they arrived. Mrs. 
Denton said it was often lonely so far from any 
house ; and when at last a neighbor settled about a 
mile away and she heard their rooster crowing, it gave 
her quite a cheerful feeling. In the bush one has 
plenty of time for meditation the door is not besieged 
with callers. Every day would be a receiving day if 
the visitors would only come ; but people learn to be 
thankful for small mercies. 

Life has its limitations in every new country. I 
remember my grandmother visiting Mrs. Denton, who 
was her eldest granddaughter, while they lived in 
St. Vincent, and during the year that Rev. Timothy 
Nattrass resided in their home. It happened one day 
in the spring time, after the potatoes were all used, 
that a heavy snow-storm came. The grist of wheat 

193 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

was at the mill, aud the roads were so filled with 
snow-drifts that traffic was impossible. The flour in 
the home was all consumed, and they could neither 
get to the mill nor to a neighbor to borrow. Mrs. 
Denton was in a dilemma, but finally cooked a large 
piece of lean beef, and served it under the name of 
bread, to eat with the cold roast pork. Grandmother 
said it was a merry meal. For six weeks at a time, 
Mrs. Denton would not see the face of a female, save 
that of her own little girl. The log house was small, 
and when the door was open in summer time, occa 
sionally a squirrel would run in and out again. 
Sometimes settlers put up a small shanty until the 
house was built, but then restriction in space had its 
own compensation, for one could lie in bed and put 
wood in the stove. 

In the month of March, 1857, Robert Stephenson 
was the missionary, and Mr. Denton went with him 
to hold missionary meetings in the Township of 
Collingwood. A very severe snow-storm came on 
and they could only hold one meeting. The roads 
had to be broken before they could leave the neigh 
borhood either to hold other meetings or return home. 
The family made them welcome were they were stop 
ping, though they were poor. The bed was good and 
clean, but all they had to put on the table was bread, 
onions and tea. The woman apoligized, saying their 
meat was done, the butter also, and the hens had not 
begun to lay. What was lacking in variety she 
made up in friendliness. On their return home, Mr, 

194 



AROUND THE GEORGIAN BAY. 

Stephenson remarked how good it was to be back, 
and sit down to such a comfortable meal. Mrs. 
Denton inquired about how they were entertained 
and learned the facts. " After all," said Mr. Denton, 
" we could manage for a few days when we were 
doing nothing, but I pitied the poor men who had to 
chop all day on such rations." The deer would often 
come near the little home, and one morning they 
found one among the cattle. There was a deer lick 
on the farm that is a spring running through rock 
that gives it a salty taste. One day Mrs. Denton was 
alone in the house with her little one, pursuing her 
household duties, when the door was struck several 
times with a sharp stick. On opening it she was 
surprised and not a little frightened to see nine 
stalwart Indians at the door, who kept repeating 
what sounded to her like, " Bukkity! Bukkity! Buk- 
kity ! She enquired if they wanted a drink, but they 
pointed to their open mouths and said " Bukkity." 
She motioned for them to come in, and placed water, 
cups, butter, and all the bread and provisions she had 
011 the table. She showed them the tray of dough, 
and buns ready to cook, and then taking her child 
with her into her room she fell on her knees and 
asked God to protect her from harm. They soon 
knocked on the table, and when she appeared they 
said, " Good-dy, Good-dy, Good-dy," and took their 
departure. This happened in the fall, and during the 
winter three of them returned, hauling a quarter of 
beautiful venison on a sled. They carried this in and 
13 195 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

left it upon the table with nods and smiles. She 
asked if they were " bukkity," and one replied, " No. 
no, not bukkity," and smiling they went out. 

The following letter from Rev. Geo. Wood to the 
Primitive Methodist Magazine will show the manner 
of opening a new mission : 

" Upon my arrival in Canada the Missionary Com 
mittee appointed me to open a mission in Napanee 
and its suburbs. Napanee is a nourishing village of 
some 1,800 inhabitants, and bids fair to be a large 
town at no very distant period. Assisted by Brother 
Crompton and a local preacher from Kingston, I 
opened my mission September 23rd, 1855, by holding 
a field meeting. The day was fine, and the congre 
gation large and very attentive. Five sermons were 
preached on the occasion, and the origin and char 
acter of our connexion, with the object of our 
mission, was explained ; and although we continued 
the services from ten o clock in the morning until 
between three and four in the afternoon, without 
breaking up for dinner, the congregation remained to 
the last. Previous to this meeting the voice of a 
Primitive Methodist missionary had not been heard 
in this locality ; and many people appear surprised at 
hearing that such a people have an existence. 

" The following day Brother Crompton returned to 
his station, leaving the writer alone, not having one 
member to begin with. Numerous openings, how 
ever, soon presented themselves for missionary toil, 
from which six of the most necessitous places have 
been selected. By preaching three times on the 
Sabbath, and travelling twelve miles, I supply each 
place with Sabbath preaching once a fortnight. In 
the number eight concession, near Hay Bay, I have 
held a protracted meeting, which has continued 

196 



AROUND THE GEORGIAN BAY. 

three weeks. The place had become proverbial for 
immorality Sabbath desecration and intemperance, 
with their attendant evils, being fearfully prevalent. 
Having to enter into the conflict single-handed, the 
aspect of things appeared gloomy and discouraging 
for a time ; but the Spirit s two-edged sword soon 
began to cut deep. With throbbing hearts and 
streaming eyes, mourners came forward publicly 
to the penitent form, and cried aloud for mercy, 
which they obtained through faith in our Lord Jesus 
Christ. A class has been formed of ten members, all 
hopefully converted to God. Others notorious for 
wickedness, have been awakened ; but cannot as yet 
be received into the society on account of the peculiar 
circumstances which a life of sin has brought them 
into. An excitement is produced throughout the 
neighborhood. Perceiving a power at work more 
than human, some have said it was witchcraft. They 
will probably learn better before long. Were another 
missionary sent to this station, abundance of work 
might be found for us both. Primitive Methodism, 
in its original simplicity and fire, seems just adapted 
to the necessities of this fine country. 

G. WOOD. 

" Napanee, Canada West, 
" November 14th, 1855." 

Primitive Methodism in Toronto has already been 
fully noted in these pages, but a few sentences about 
Toronto itself as it appeared in 1856, might be of 
interest to the reader : 

" Toronto is the metropolis of Western Canada, and 
though it is a city of recent date, it is one that will 
compare either in its public or private buildings, with 
any other city of its size. Tn the year 1791, it con- 

197 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

tained two families of Mississaga Indians ; in 1801 
there were three hundred and thirty-six inhabitants; in 
1817 they had increased to twelve hundred, and now, 
in 1856, it is supposed to contain nearly fifty thou 
sand. For several years its progress was small, and 
its appearance somewhat gloomy. Its former name 
was Little York, and in consequence of the disagree 
able state of its streets, the want of sidewalks, etc., it 
was usually designated Muddy Little York/ 

" When I was a child stories were told, too ludicrous 
for insertion here, of loaded teams disappearing in 
the mud, but it is quite true that certain low places 
along Yonge Street were in such a boggy condition 
at particular seasons of the year, that loaded wagons 
would stick fast, the horses being unable to extricate 
themselves without assistance ; and a woman on 
Yonge Street who owned a yoke of oxen, hired them 
to pull the teams and loads out of the mud, at a 
York shilling each, and made most of her living that 
way. 

" For the last twenty years the progress of the city 
has been astonishingly rapid. Its log shanties have 
given place to neat frame or elegant brick buildings, 
not a few of which are of the most costly and superb 
character. Its once muddy streets are now macadam - 
ized, and well-planked sidewalks are kept in good 
order, so that the pedestrian can travel with comfort 
from the centre to the suburbs of the city. 

" Its public buildings afford ample evidence of the 
wealth of the citizens, and reflect great credit on all 
concerned. These are Trinity College, Knox College, 

198 



AROUND THE GEORGIAN BAY. 

the Normal School, the Lunatic Asylum, two cathed 
rals (Episcopalian and Roman Catholic), the Mechanics 
Institute, the Public Schools, banks, the long lines of 
stores on business streets and the elegant villas that 
abound on every hand. There are twenty-five 
churches in this city, some of large dimensions and 
beautiful architecture. The denominations repre 
sented are Roman Catholic, Episcopalian, Wesleyan, 
New Connexion, Primitive and African Episcopal 
Methodists, Congregational, Baptist, Unitarian, Dis 
ciples and Presbyterians of four kinds Old Kirk, 
Free Church, United and Reformed. 

"The early Primitive Methodist ministers were 
Revs. Watkins, Summersides, Jolley, Lyle, Lacey, 
Adams, Towlers (Wm. and John). Bay Street 
church, built in 1832, was sold for 1,250. The land 
for Alice Street church cost 6 per foot. The 30th 
of December, the day before the opening, a heavy snow 
storm blockaded the city. Rev. E. Barrass preached 
in the morning from Haggai ii., 9, Rev. J. Borland in 
the afternoon, from Eph. iv., 4-6 ; Rev. J. Edgar in 
the evening, from Prov. xi., 30 : He that winneth 
souls is wise. On January 9th a grand soiree was 
held, and Mr. Wm. Lawson presided. The opening ser 
vices produced 115 19s. 8d. The total cost was 
3,500. 1,000 was raised by subscription, which 
began with 200 and ended with Is. 3d. Mr. 

C5 

Walker and son collected 31 in England. The 
friend who subscribed 200, paid the expense of the 
gas fitting, which cost 100, and presented an elegant 
communion service for sacramental occasions. The 

199 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

body of the church and galleries contain seven 
hundred and ten sittings." 

o 

I will not take space to enumerate all the different 
committees annually appointed by Conference, 
because they were much the same as those in the 
Methodism of to-day. The Friendly Society was an 
English institution, and was managed after the man 
ner of our Superannuation Fund. Those who were 
in it paid yearly, and drew an annuity for old age. 
Many of the missionaries sent from England were 
members of it, so an agent was appointed by the Con 
ference to look after the business connected with it. 
All the Conference committees were wheels within 
wheels for the facilitation of the Conference business. 
One thing strikes me particularly in studying these 
old Conference Minutes, and that is the steady and 
continual insistence upon all the officials of circuits 
being total abstainers. So many Old Country people 
had been brought up with altogether different notions 
about a glass of beer or wine, that year by year the 
whole force of the Conference was brought to bear 
on the subject, that the right idea might be instilled 
into the minds of the people, and that all might be 
clean who bore the vessels of the Lord or were called 
by His name. 

In 1856, a new chapel was built at Russell s 
Corners on the Portland Mission. Rev. Joseph Simp 
son was the missionary, and canvassed the neighbor 
hood for subscriptions. Mr. James Murton had 
given them an acre of ground for connexional pur- 

200 




REV. JOHN LACEY. 



AROUND THE GEORGIAN BAY. 

poses. The building was dedicated on August 
24th, Rev. John Nattrass preaching two appropriate 
sermons to large audiences. It was a frame edifice 
30 x 36 feet, painted inside and out. Two-thirds of 
the cost had been subscribed, and they expected to 
pay off the debt during the year. This congregation 
built according to its need, and was able to pay for 
it an excellent example for all modern congrega 
tions. The camp-meeting appointed by Conference 
for the three missions of Kingston, Portland, and 
Napanee, was held near the village of Sydenham 
Loughborough, and commenced on Friday, July 3rd, 
1857. Rev. John Lacey was superintendent of the 
Portland mission. Rev. James Edgar and Rev. Thos. 
Crompton travelled nearly two hundred miles to be 
present at the opening. 

" Nature here presented herself in her native forms 
of wild, rugged, yet beautiful grandeur, and the tents 
were pitched and other conveniences made ready in 
the midst of a dense forest. 

" Here the servants of the Most High God met to 
worship Him, preach the gospel, and unite to promote 
a revival of religion. It filled one with awe to enter 
into the thick bush by a cart-road, with the primeval 
forest towering up into the sky. For seven hundred 
yards the tall beech, maple and pine closed in on 
either side of you, and then you came to a consider 
able area, where most of the trees and brushwood 
were cleared away, the few remaining trees branching 
out and forming a leafy roof over your head. Tiers 

201 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

of seats were in the centre of the enclosure, nearly 
fenced in with the tents of the people, and the minis 
ters large tent stood at the end. The platforms at 
the corners were covered with earth, to hold the blaz 
ing pine knots used for illuminating purposes, that 
throw such a ruddy, weird light up into the trees 
overhead. 

" Revs. Wm. Gledhill and Thos. Crompton preached 
on Friday. The people had been praying for the 
power of the Holy Ghost, and some had the 
blessing of entire sanctification. Revs. Wm. Gledhill, 
J. Edgar and T. Nattrass preached on Sunday. Many 
believers came seeking a clean heart, and daily the 
penitent bench was thronged with sinners seeking a 
present salvation. The congregations were summoned 
with a loud sounding horn ; some of the prayer-meet 
ings did not close until two in the morning. The 
preaching was well adapted to the occasion, with 
more than ordinary fluency, freedom and power. 
The law was proclaimed in thunder tones. The dread 
language of Sinai pierced the sinner s ears and smote 
his soul. Anon, the gospel of salvation was preached 
with melting pathos, " in strains as soft as angels use," 
and we soon saw hearts softened. The tongue of fire 
spoke. The Word was not delivered with a cold, un 
sympathetic heart, or in a stiff pedantic manner, iDut 
in gushes of fellow-feeling; warm from the speaker s 
heart, and with affectionate utterance. Bro. Lacey 
conducted the meeting, and displayed great tact and 
good judgment, and all who took part did so with 

202 



AROUND THE GEORGIAN BAY. 

agreeableness and energy. The testimony seasons 
were grand ; cloud after cloud of witnesses rose in 
attestation of the glorious fact that the blood of 
Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin. 

The above is a part of a letter written by the Rev. 
Thos. Crompton for the Magazine. The camp-meeting 
closed in the usual manner, with the procession and 
farewell songs, accompanied by the final handshake, 
and weeping time, that came at the close, because so 
many would never meet again, till they sang the song 
of Moses and the Lamb on the other shore. 

At the Conference of 1856, which met at Hamilton, 
Revs. Robert Cade, Isaac Ryder and George Wood 
were ordained. This Conference decided that each 
travelling preacher on a country station should estab 
lish not fewer than eight preaching places, if possible. 
That meant eight congregations to visit ; but the 
visiting in those days was pastoral rather than social, 
lasting from half an hour to an hour, a little talk 
about the soul, a portion of Scripture read, a prayer, 
and on to another house. 

Ministers and local preachers hereafter were desired 
to pray for the Royal Family and all in authority, as 
they believed the British Government to be the best 
in the world. In 1856, 1,000 was raised for mis 
sionary purposes, an advance of 300 on the previous 
year. 

In the Conference address by the Rev. John Davi- 
son we read as follows : " No intellectual or physical 
superiority in our ministry, no liberalism in our 

203 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

church polity, no executive cleverness in applying 
recent acts of Conference or discipline will save us or 
give stability to our enterprise without more religion. 
Let us be more than ever devoted to knee work, pri 
vate pleading with God. Remember the family altar, 
never omit family devotion." 



204 



CHAPTER XV. 

THE OLD-TIME RELIGION. 

An Old- Time Local Preacher Wm. Mutton The Gospel Ship 
Arrives in Port Room for Millions More Peel and Wellesley 
Mission Moses and Aaron, Miriam and Rebecca Old-Time 
Religion Officials at Pilkington Christians Without Wrnikles 
Mr. Bee and Family Shipwrecked Singing Worth Remem 
bering Walsingham Mission First Anniversary of Alice 
Street Church Alice Street Church Burned Carlton Street 
Church. 

ANOTHER of the local preachers who broke to us the 
bread of life was Mr. William Mutton, of Toronto. 
He was ever greeted by a crowded house. The 
young folks wanted to witness the performance ; 
the Christian people were benefited by his message. 
He had been a seafaring man a ship s carpenter, 
and his phraseology was all in line with his old 
calling. He was a large man with a clear complexion, 
cheeks like rosy-streaked apples, and very blue eyes. 
He was of an excitable temperament, and as he 
warmed to his theme, his theme warmed him. It 
would have been better had the pulpit been station 
ary, as it was, it moved in any direction it could 
move. He had a slight provincialism that made him 
pronounce here " yer ; " but a fluent, joyous speaker, 
and as he described the ark of salvation battling 

205 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

with the waves, or bounding over the billows, every 
sail filled with the heavenly breeze, there was a 
happy abandon of all conventionality. His arms 
swayed, his whole being physical and mental was on 
the go. The candlesticks on the pulpit would com 
mence to dance, and presently one would topple over, 
and while father would be picking this up, straighten 
ing the tallow candle and getting it lighted, away 
would go the other. Mr. Mutton always seemed to 
be hampered for space, and sometimes the Bible itself 
got a tip over. Nothing, however, disturbed his 
serenity ; he was utterly oblivious of all his surround 
ings. He might, both arms outstretched and his face 
aglow, be picturing the vessel carried safe into harbor, 
angels beckoning a welcome to the saved, and the 
hallelujahs of the redeemed mingling with those of 
the company who had finished the voyage and were 
for ever landed on the blissful shore- 

" Far from a world of grief and sin 
With God eternally shut in." 

At this moment the singing would begin and the 
lights would be needed. Father never enjoyed 
" Daddy Mutton in the pulpit on account of the 
labor it entailed. Besides, having the care of the 
singing it taxed his nerves too much. The sermon 
was generally ended by the singing of 



> . 



The Gospel ship has long been sailing, 
Bound for Canaan s peaceful shore ; 

All who wish to sail to glory, 

Come, and welcome, rich and poor. 
206 



. V 



. . 



It 



THE OLD-TIME RELIGION. 

CHORUS : Glory, glory, hallelujah ! 
All her sailors loudly cry ; 
See the blissful port of glory 
Open to each faithful eye. 

Richly laden with provisions, 

Want, her sailors never knew ; 
Faith s strong hand takes every blessing, 

Now the prize appears in view. 

CHORUS : Glory, glory, hallelujah ! 

Millions she has safely landed 

Far beyond this mortal shore ; 
Millions more are in her sailing, 

Yet there s room for millions more. 

CHORUS : Glory, glory, hallelujah ! 

Waft along this noble vessel, 

All ye gales of gospel grace ; 
Carrying every faithful sailor, 

To his heavenly landing place. 

CHORUS : Glory, glory, hallelujah ! 

Port your helm, we re into harbor ; 

By your anchor, sailors, stand ; 
Welcomed by your Great Commander 

To the joys at His right hand. 

CHORUS: Glory, glory, hallelujah ! 

" Come, poor sinners, get converted, 
Sail with us o er life s rough sea ; 
Then with us you will be happy, 
Happy through eternity. 

CHORUS: Glory, glory, hallelujah !" 

Mr. Mutton was a good man with an earnest, 
honest, enthusiastic desire, to win men from sin to 

207 



< . 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

righteousness, out of darkness into light, out of 
sorrow into joy, out of anxiety into peace. It shone 
in his face ; he preached as if it was his greatest 
honor and happiness to be the bearer of such a grand 
message, and his sentences seemed full of one 
thought : 

" O that the world my Saviour knew 
Then all the world would love Him too." 

He was a much esteemed visitor in our home, loved 
for himself and the work s sake ; and after he had 
filled an appointment, we children examined the plan 
to see when he would be there again, so as to be able 
to inform others who would inquire. People had 
faith in his piety and earnestness, and the meeting 
was orderly. Any uproar there was had its centre 
of operation in the pulpit, and was brought about by 
his own spiritual exaltation. It was very easy in 
the olden time for a local preacher to shine as a saint 
at the other end of a wide circuit, while he might be 
merely tolerated at home ; but that was not the case 
with " Daddy " Mutton. He always had a good 
audience in Alice Street, where he worshipped, and 
he was a drawing card to the boys and girls at the 
quarterly love-feast, when the sexton was installed as 
doorkeeper, and you had to show your ticket of 
membership to pass through. At that time the 
minister would sit in the vestry for twenty minutes 
before time, and anyone desiring to be present 
applied for a ticket of admission. The question 
propounded by the minister was, " Have you a 

208 



THE OLD-TIME RELIGION. 

desire to flee from the wrath to come ? And I am 
afraid some of the children answered in the affirma 
tive who did not flee for some time after. 

The old Peel and Wellesley mission is worthy of 
particular mention, especially the Bethel appointment 
in Pilkington, now a part of the Alma circuit. It 
was once my privilege to arrive at the parsonage in 
the evening, quite unexpectedly, and I found the 
choir practising for some anniversary. I was intro 
duced to Moses Auger, Rebecca Auger and Samuel 
Auger ; there were a few more named Moses and 
Aaron and Eli and Samuel, but when they mentioned 
Miriam Harper it was the last straw on the camel s 
back, and I could not restrain a smile. To cover my 
seeming rudeness, I explained that I had only now 
taken in the scene, they had been crossing the Red 
Sea out of Egyptian bondage and Miriam was leading 
the host in a thanksgiving song ; so we all had a 
laugh from my point of view. They had the old-time 
religion at Bethel, and that is why I want to mention 
them. They were very hospitable and loved each other. 
Most of them were Cornish or Devonshire, and these 
people make splendid Methodists. The class-leader 
was Eli Goodwin, a thoroughly good man who had 
every one s confidence. He was also a local preacher 
and a man of great devotion and strong faith. He 
did not lean his whole weight on the minister to be 
petted and carried to heaven ; but was a man who 
could make sacrifices and bear burdens. In the 
Missionary Report for 1859, we notice, " Annie and 
John Goodwin s missionary sheep, four dollars." 

209 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Mr. Samuel Auger was also a class-leader and the 
father of a large family. Thomas and Richard, his 
sons, entered the ministry. He was intensely loyal 
to the connexion, and earnest in his Christian life. 
He was the friend of the preachers and loved to have 
them in his home. 

Mr. C. Amy was another of the officials. He was 
a solid Christian man, one you could depend upon in 
all the services, always at the prayer-meeting and 
taking a leading part, but not very demonstrative. 
He did not shout his religion so loud as he lived it, 
but his example was always talking, even when his 
voice was silent. His wife was a grand woman, and 
so was their daughter (afterwards Mrs. Harper); 
both were gifted in prayer and the very best help 
in revival services. Thomas Amy, their son, is still a 
minister in Canadian Methodism, having entered the 
work in 1865. The name of Richard Amy, another 
son, also appears in the Conference Minutes as a 
delegate. The family owed much to the wise counsel 
of such a noble mother. 

Mr. F. Harper s name appears in the Minutes of 
Conference. He was an official, a man of strong 
determination who could make himself do anythiug 
he believed to be right, whether it were pleasant or 
disagreeable. He gave as his opinion that when 
young converts took to their Bibles for guidance, 
they would stand ; because if truly converted they 
would want to know what God said to them, but if 
careless in this respect, he did not know how it would 
turn out. Wm. Sturtridge was a class-leader and 

210 



THE OLD-TIME RELIGION. 

one of the most reliable men on Peel circuit. He was 
circuit steward, a good spiritual and financial helper, 
a man of sound sense. His opinion was well worthy 
of consideration. Thomas Whale was also a useful 
layman, a faithful local preacher and a generous 
supporter of the connexion for many years. 

George Wright was an official and local preacher in 
later years, and one of the brightest. He was a very 
original speaker, and apt in home-made illustration. 
He once preached from the text, " That he might pre 
sent it to himself a glorious church, not having spot 
or wrinkle, or any such thing ; but that it should be 
holy and without blemish." He said some people you 
would meet with were good people, but not fit for 
heaven according to your idea, because of the corners 
on their characters. They were cranky, always hit 
ting against other people and making them feel sore. 
You could not say they would not enter heaven, 
because they were clean. He illustrated it by the 
wash hung out on the line. It is all clean and white ; 
you cannot detect a spot on it ; but it is not yet fit 
for use. It must be ironed to take all the rough, ugly 
wrinkles out ; and so must we be put under God s 
discipline of trial, and suffering, and bereavement, and 
perhaps financial loss, before we are fit to be presented 
without spot or wrinkle. He was frequently the 
delegate to Conference, and is a leading man in the 
church to-day. 

In 1856 the Rev. Wm. Bee came out from England 
to enter the ministry here as a probationer ; his wife 
and child were with him. On entering the Gulf of 
14 211 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

St. Lawrence, it was so foggy the vessel ran on Bird 
Rocks, and they were shipwrecked. He and Mrs. Bee 
were parted for six weeks. A vessel passed and did 
not lie by ; another came and took off the women and 
children, numbering about two hundred. Nearly four 
hundred were left on the wreck, and they were there 
from Monday till Wednesday. Mrs. Bee and her 
little child were taken to the quarantine ground at 
Quebec. She was a whole month without hearing a 
word from her husband. The first move of the four 
hundred was to Bryan Island, near which they were 
wrecked. There were only two inhabitants on it. 
Two schooners landed them there, and they were on 
the island fourteen days. Their food was very scanty, 
only potatoes and a few sea biscuit. One man offered 
twenty-five cents for a sea biscuit. Three schooners 
moved them from Bryan Island to Pictou, where they 
were detained fourteen days ; and then the govern 
ment schooner moved them to the quarantine ground 
at Quebec, where Mr. Bee saw his wife again. Their 
infant boy died the day after landing. He had the 
measles at the time, and taking cold it was impossible 
to save him. Mrs. Bee, during that whole month, rose 
every morning by daylight to watch for a vessel or to 
get tidings of her husband. The other passengers 
would ask how many vessels had passed by since 
morning. It was a period of most terrible anxiety, 
as neither one knew whether the other was living or 
not. 

Peel and Wellesley mission was Mr. Bee s first 
station, and after so great hardships in coming to the 



THE OLD-TIME RELIGION. 

country, it was no small comfort to be placed among 
such a kind-hearted people. Mr. Bee said he held a 
revival service there in 1856 at which there was a 
large ingathering. He stated that for a country 
appointment the members were unequaled in a revival 
meeting. An unusual number could lead in prayer, 
and the congregational singing he never heard excelled. 
Their voices were musical, and so many could sing 
well and in perfect time. They had no instrument, 
but they could take all the parts of a tune. They had 
some Old Country music with fugues, and they could 
all modulate their voices, or sweep in a volume that 
carried all the congregation in one burst of song. It 
would stimulate one to hear them, and the man who 
could not speak with such support, amid such inspir 
ing influences, should never attempt it anywhere. 

In 1857, Rev. Richard Paul was stationed at Wal- 
singham mission. It had been opened the year before 
by Rev. W. J. Dean, who had organized three classes, 
and reported eighteen members ; but his health failing 
he returned to England. Mr. Paul reported holding 
two field-meetings, and a revival service held in 
G. W. Newman s workshop, which was seated for the 
evenings, when twenty-two were brought into the 
church. They had successful missionary meetings, at 
which Rev. W. Lomas and Rev. Jas. Smith was the 
deputation. Meetings were held at Silver Hill, Mor- 
den s and St. William s. They had excellent congre 
gations, and the income was 13. 

The first anniversary of Alice Street Church was 
celebrated on Sabbaths, December 14th and 21st, 1854, 

213 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA 

when sermons were preached by the Rev.Dr. Burns, Pro 
fessor of Church History, Knox College ; Rev. Henry 
Wilkinson, (Wesley an) ; Rev. Thomas Crompton from 
Darlington, and Rev. William Stephenson from Ham 
ilton. The church was crowded and the collections 
liberal. A tea-meeting was held on the 16th ; about 
three hundred persons attended. Mr. William Lawson 
presided, and the meeting was addressed by Revs. A. 
Lillie, D.D., J. Jennings, A. Marshall, J. Borland and 
Thos. Crompton. Two lectures were delivered by 
Rev. Wm. Stephenson, of Hamilton, on the evenings 
of the 22nd and 23rd. The subjects were " Luther 
and Protestantism," and " Moral Evil." The proceeds 
of the anniversary was over 80. The bazaar held 
by the ladies in June was a success, and they gave the 
trustees 136 to be applied to the debt ; 220 remained 
as a floating debt, and 750 was secured by mortgage. 
They were arranging for the services of a city mis 
sionary for a few months, and special services were 
being held daily for a revival of God s work. 

Alice Street Church was burned down in 1873 ; the 
property was sold, and the trustees erected a fine 
building more suited to the needs of a growing church 
on a site more remote from the business part of the 
city. The present church (Carlton Street), of the late 
Alice Street congregation, cost $50,000 and the organ 
86,000. The school-rooms attached to the Carlton 
Street Church are large and commodious. The Rev. 
Dr. Rice pronounced them the best arranged for their 
purpose of any in Canada. Some of the older mem 
bers of the congregation no doubt regretted the sell- 

214 



THE OLD-TIME RELIGION. 

ing of the Alice Street property, and placing the 
building on another site ; but time has proved that 
here the building is more central for the congregation, 
and in the residential part of the city. Churches are 
built not alone for the present, but with an eye to the 
future needs of the people. The singing in Carlton 
Street Church at the present time is considered equal 
to that of any church in Toronto, and while sweet and 
artistic, is devotional. 



215 



CHAPTER XVI. 
"HARD TIMES! COME AGAIN NO MORE." 

Old-Time Prayer-Meeting Officials in Reach Preachers Plan of 
1851 Conference of 1857 Rev. William Lyle Writes Con 
ference Address The Great Financial Crisis in 1857 Rev. 
John Davison Appointed Missionary Secretary and Book 
Steward Rev. Robert Boyle 111 Cause of the Hard Times 
High Interest on Loans Depression Everywhere Odd Con 
tributions for Missions Rev. William Lyle Superannuates 
Conference of 1858 and 1859 Riding to Conference on Horse 
back Rev, John Lacey s Letter No Educational Institution 
Rev. Matthew Gray 111. 

THERE is no way in which a person so fully reveals 
the pages of his soul as in public prayer. Man only 
has a soul, a shrine, and an altar. The camel may 
kneel before he lies down to rest, but his spirit has no 
communion with the thought and will of God. He 
feels no moral obligations, though he may be taught 
to refrain from wrong doing by the suffering it entails. 
This desire on the part of man for prayer and worship 
is a sign of the divinity of the human soul. Saint 
Augustine has beautifully said, Thou hast made us 
for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find 
rest in Thee. The old-time prayer-meeting was 
known to those who attended as a place 



. t 



Where heaven comes down our souls to meet, 
While glory crowns the mercy seat." 

216 



"HARD TIMES! COME AGAIN NO MORE." 

Robert Ward, of Brampton, and his wife Hannah, 
loved a prayer-meeting. It is told of them that they 
went on a visit to his two brothers, who lived on the 
eighth concession of Reach. As they drove along past 
the parsonage, which was built on the corner of John 
Ward s farm, they heard singing and stopped to listen. 
They are having a prayer-meeting in there, and it is 
just the place to find the folks ; let us stop, cover the 
horses, and go in. He felt drawn like the bee to the 
flower; Robert Ward could not miss a prayer-meeting 
that it was possible to attend. They entered very 
quietly while the people were at prayer. A verse 
was sung while they were on their knees, and then a 
halt for a moment, when Robert Ward s voice was 
heard. He was in his element, and with his whole 
soul breathing out to God in thanksgiving and holy 
desire, all was forgotten but that he was in the 
presence chamber of the Eternal. The other wor 
shippers caught the fire, and with one heart shouted 
their responses. His wife followed as soon as he 
ceased and they had a blessed meeting. His soul was 
fed before his body, but these things were secondary 
matters. A prayer-meeting or revival service was an 
intoxicating pleasure to him, and this world s business 
was out of his thoughts while services were in progress. 
He was a local preacher, and many were brought into 
the kingdom of Christ through his endeavors. Francis 
and John Ward, his brothers, with Robert Dobson, 
were the nucleus of the old Bethesda appointment on 
Reach circuit. I once asked an old resident of Reach 
if he had ever been at one of those old-time prayer- 

217 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

meetings where the members expected to take part ? 
< Yes," said he, his face lighting up, " and how I 
would like to attend such prayer-meetings again." 
They were generally opened by Francis Ward. He 
was a spiritually minded man, emotional, with a 
high voice. He would announce a hymn and lead in 
prayer, probably followed by Richard Watson, a man 
with a clear mind, solid, with a rich experience and 
considerable originality of thought. John Ward would 
next sing a hymn in line with the condition of the 
meeting at that point, perhaps followed by Robert 
Dobson, the circuit steward for years ; a man quiet 
and retiring, but earnest in his Christianity, firm and 
constant. Jacob Camplin now has a hymn ; he was 
always short and pointed in his prayer, but filled with 
the unction of the Holy Spirit. Now would be heard 
the responses, " Glory ! " " Praise the Lord ! " Christ 
opher Scott prays; a faithful man, always in his place, 
and his voice heard. The meeting would now fall into 
the hands of the younger men and women. Frank 
Dobson, James Camplin, George Ward, C. J. Dobson, 
and the Page boys ; Mrs. Francis Ward, Mrs. Robert 
Dobson, and Mrs. Jacob Camplin, a woman gifted in 
prayer. Father Stephenson was a man whose face 
was bright and shining with the Spirit s presence. It 
was worth going to church to look at him. 

The Bethesda prayer-meeting was appointed on the 
plan, and all the membership tried to be there. There 
was no exhorter or preacher, and it was conducted in 
manner by the officials of the circuit. 

Daddy " Hazzlewood was a class-leader at Mount 

218 



"HARD TIMES! COME AGAIN NO MORE." 

Carmel and " Daddy Fewster was another at the 
same appointment. John Stonehouse was a devoted 
staunch supporter of the cause at Stonehouse s 
appointment. His name appears frequently in the 
Minutes of Conference. A friend of whom I inquired 
concerning him said : " He was a fine man ; a worthy, 
good man ; he carried the burdens of the society of 
the church built on his own land, and his son was 
killed at the church door hauling lumber for it. It 
was a severe testing of a good man s faith, but he 
could say like Job, Though He slay me yet 
will I trust in Him." The moral heroes whose lives 
are not written on earth are registered in heaven. 
Andrew Moore was a local preacher at Sandford. He 
was a man of gentle kindly disposition, very quiet in 
his delivery. He has two sons in the ministry ; one 
is in the United States and the other is Rev. J. E. 
Moore, of the Bay of Quinte Conference. Father 
Frankish was a man of saintly character. He was 
the father of Rev. John Frankish and Rev. Win. 
Frankish, both earnest consecrated men who died 
early in life. Mr. Wm. Crozier was a local preacher* 
fiery, earnest, vehement, a veritable son of thunder. 
Joseph Lee was from the old Bethel appointment, 
now Greenbank ; one of the very best workers,, and a 
superior helper at camp-meetings. He had a slight 
impediment in his speech, in ordinary conversation a 
hindrance to expression, but in singing, prayer or 
preaching, scarcely noticeable. What power he had 
in prayer, and what sacrifices these consecrated Chris 
tian people would make ! At camp-meeting time they 

219 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

would leave home for a week, bake up and take along 
huge quantities of provisions, and when these were 
exhausted send for more. John Howsam also stut 
tered a little. A man met him one day and inquired 
the way to Uxbridge. After four or five attempts to 
say the word you, he jerked out " O go on, you ll get 
there before I can tell you." He was a good man, 
could hardly speak to you without singing and he could 
sing beautifully. Father Houldershaw was a warm 
hearted Christian and a faithful supporter of the 
cause. His son, Richard Houldershaw, was a stand 
by of the society where he lived. 

James Burnett was a local preacher at Greenbank 
and Wm. Mercer, of East Whitby, was also an accept 
able local preacher. Besides these names I have men 
tioned, on the Preachers Plan of the Reach mission 
for 1851, the names of Frances Harper, M. Malyon, 
C. Adams, J. Wedge and H. Shell appear. 

In 1857 the Conference was held in Brampton and 
the Rev. Timothy Nattrass was the only one ordained. 
A vote of thanks was given by the Conference to M. 
Gray for the gift of an acre of land in Brant for con- 
nexional purposes ; to Charles D. Maginn for an acre 
of land in Osprey ; to Isaac Wilson for half an acre 
in Garafraxa, and to J. Ketchum, junior, for a lot in 
the village of Melville. 

A camp-meeting was to be held in Kingston and 
Portland Missions in the month of June, under the 
direction of the Rev. John Lacy ; and one in Markham 
or Etobicoke. Owing to the cost of living there was 
an increase in the ministers salaries. The period of 

220 



"HARD TIMES! COME AGAIN NO MORE." 

removal was changed to the thirty-first of May, this 
was the time when ministers should be on their new 
stations. 

The following resolution is found in the Conference 
Minutes: "That the thanks of this Conference be 
given to Brother William Lawson for his long and 
valuable services as Missionary Secretary, and that a 
superior copy of the Holy Scriptures be presented to 
him as a token of affectionate esteem." 

It was a customary thing for the Conference to 
appoint a fast day for the connexion, and this year it 
was to be on the first Friday in October. 

The Rev. Wm. Lyle wrote the Conference Address. 
He spoke of personal piety as the foundation of all 
true prosperity in the church. Next to personal 
holiness he advocated family religion : " The 
family is an institution of God. It is intended 
to subserve important purposes in the destiny of the 
human race. A well trained family is the best 
legacy that a parent can leave to the world. Let the 
services at our domestic altars be conducted in such a 
spirit and manner that they may be seasons of 
hallowed enjoyment, exerting an untold influence on 
the moral welfare of our children and domestics 
amid all the changing scenes of mortal life. Instruct 
your families in the doctrines and morals of the 
gospel ; seek the conversion of your children and the 
family shall become the nursery of the church." 

Rev. Wm. Lyle, one of the senior ministers who 
had long laboured in word and doctrine, and whose 
praise was in all the churches throughout the work, 

221 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

was compelled through infirmity to superannuate. 
A most gratifying resolution of regret was passed by 
the Conference. 

Rev. Wm. Lyle was born in Cornwall, England, on 
May 19th, 1795, and died at Yorkville, November 
27th, 1873. He was converted when twenty-one 
years of age, and shouted God s praise. He then 
began to labor to bring others into the same blessed 
experience, and was very useful as a class-leader and 
local preacher. In 1826, he entered the Primitive 
Methodist ministry, and was sent to Canada in 1833. 
He was stationed in Toronto four times ; Markham, 
twice ; Brampton, twice ; Etobicoke, twice ; and 
Laskay, once. He was superannuated in 1858. He 
was a studious minister, a faithful pastor, a true 
friend, a most indulgent father, a wise adviser, and a 
devoted Christian. He was one of the pioneer 
ministers, a man of fine physique, and one of the men 
who excelled in the early days in establishing 
righteousness in this new country. His memory is 
revered. 

The year 1857 was marked by a great financial 
crisis. From the address to the English Conference 
we copy the following : " Nearly all the institutions 
in the New World have tottered under its pressure 
and many have fallen. Our church, in common with 
others, has been burdened, and is still struggling with 
difficulties. Notwithstanding the panic which has 
convulsed our country, we have made progress 
numerically. After supplying all deficiencies, we 
report an increase of three hundred and nine mem- 

222 





REV. WILLIAM LYLE. 



"HARD TIMES! COME AGAIN NO MORE." 

bers. The important grant from the English Mission 
ary Society has enabled us to assist our young and 
struggling missions which otherwise could not subsist. 
The Rev. John Davison s appointment as Missionary 
Secretary and General Book Steward has been of 
signal benefit." 

The hard times were caused not only by the failure 
of the crops at this time, but there had been for two 
years previously, an unusual inflation. Wheat had 
been selling as high as two dollars per bushel, and 
other commodities in proportion. Farmers had 
invested in bush farms, expecting high prices to 
continue. The Crimean War, which had been the 
cause of such excessive values in all food products, 
was over ; the crops failed, debts were maturing, and 
interest must be paid. 

In an agricultural country, when the farmer does 
not make ends meet, the result is business stagnation. 
Men who had money to loan, could get as high as 
twelve per cent., and some unprincipled money-lenders 
sometimes charged twenty-five per cent. Business 
men went to the wall ; no one trusted his neighbor. 
Extravagance gave place to the most rigid economy, 
and everyone felt the pinch. Many ministers on mis 
sions did not get a living, and when the return of good 
times came, it was but to eat up the debt that had 
slowly accumulated during the depression. 

The dearth, or failure of crops, was not in Canada 
alone, but covered most of the United States. It was 
not only the wheat crop, but every other article 
grown. Turnip seed was in some cases sown three 

223 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

times, and yet failed. Only a few raised enough food 
for their own cattle, and many animals were slaught 
ered to prevent death by starvation. Many a man 
incurred more expense in growing the grain than all 
the results would bring. A journalist of that date 
says : 

" From January to December there were 313 
failures in Canada West, amounting to nearly three 
and a half millions of dollars. The poor, in cities 
especially, are suffering, and soup kitchens have come 
to their relief. Rich people start subscriptions, and 
contribute very liberally to help those in need. In 
the counties of Bruce and Perth there is the greatest 
amount of destitution. Great numbers of families 
are living on potatoes and turnips. There are one 
thousand families in Michigan on farms, and not one- 
fourth of them have the means of subsistence until 
next harvest. Two years ago all over this continent 
the sun of prosperity was shining ; to-day all is 
gloomy. Men are plunged into debts, which years 
of prosperity will not be too much to cover." 

Financially, the missions were in a deplorable state. 
and tales of distress were related at missionary meet 
ings. The collectors did their best, but in only a few 
places did the contributions reach what was given in 
previous years. Two ladies were collecting, and were 
informed that if they would get a certain hill down, 
they should have 5 for their collecting book. They 
applied to the young men in the locality, and raised 
a bee, and soon the work was accomplished, and the 
amount promised was paid by the Council having 
charge of the road. A farmer s daughter was 
given a bag of potatoes if she would carry them 



"HARD TIMES! COME AGAIN NO MORE." 

out. She made her exit carrying her treasure. The 
potatoes were taken to the missionary meeting, and 
after the close, were auctioned four times, realizing 
17s. 6d. The English Conference of 1858, voted 
500 for Canadian missions, and yet their was a 
deficiency that depressed all connected with the work. 
It was no one s mistake, heedlessness or carelessness ; 
God did not give the increase, and some learned 
lessons in economy and prudence that served them 
well when the better times returned. 

In 1858, Revs. Joseph Markham, Jonathan Milner, 
J. R. Swift and M. H. Mathews were ordained. A 
camp-meeting was appointed by Conference to be 
held at Portland during the summer, and another at 
London mission under the direction of Rev. Wm. 
Rowe. It was decided to publish a semi-monthly 
connexion al paper, to be called the Christian Journal. 

The Conference of 1859 was held at Victoria Square, 
and was opened on April 15th. The early date of the 
Conference was to allow the official returns of the 
year s business to be reported to the English Con 
ference, and compiled in their minutes as a part of 
their statistics. The roads at this time were at their 
worst. Very few of them were gravelled ; the frost was 
out and the mud to the wagon hubs. R. P. Hopper, 
a boy of fifteen, drove nearly twelve miles in a double 
waggon to Richmond Hill station to meet the dele 
gates. For some cause none of them were there, and 
he had to measure the distance back again. Most of 
them arrived on horseback, the general mode of con 
veyance when the mud was deep. Rev. Robert 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Stephenson was ordained at this time. The increase 
in the membership for the year was 439. Brampton 
district was formed at this conference, so that there 
were now Toronto, Hamilton and Brampton districts. 
Rev. John Lacey was president, and in a letter to 
England shows the disadvantages under which the 
connexion were laboring. We will copy a part of it 
as follows : 

"Nearly all other religious societies in this country 
have some literary institution, in which young men 
are being trained for their ministry. Our defect in 
this matter we have felt, and do feel, as the age 
becomes literary in its character. Another difficulty 
in our way is the larger salaries held out to ministers 
by older and wealthier societies. This prevents young 
men of education and talent who are somewhat in 
fluenced by considerations connected with this life, 
from entering our ministry; and in inducing some 
ministers who have been with us to seek a wealthier 
and more comfortable home elsewhere. This country 
has been for two years laboring under commercial 
pressure caused by a shortage of crops, as agriculture 
is the stamina of this continent s financial prosperity. 
We regret to state that Matthew Gray, one of our 
laborious missionaries, has had to retire from the 
regular work of the ministry in consequence of physi 
cal prostration, nevertheless we hope his useful life 
will long be spared, and that through his instrumen 
tality many souls may be born for Christ." 



226 



CHAPTER XVII. 
WATCHMEN ON THE WALLS OF ZION. 

The Old-Time Preaching To the Sinner To the Believer Luke- 
Warm Christians Strong Meat for Men The Times Change 
Metropolitan Railway Hogg s Hill Yonge Street The Arch 
at Newton brook William High Temperance Sentiment 
Joseph Law Brass Candlesticks The Northern Railway 
An Irishman Cook s Omnibus and Cooksville Stage " Room 
for One More" Colored Carpet Bags Conference of 1860 
More Districts Formed Book of Discipline Christian Journal 
Jubilee of Primitive Methodism Important Legislation 
Rev. Wm. Frankish Mrs. Barren An Old-Time Mother in 
Israel The "Bairn" in the Barn Rev. James Edgar. 

As I remember the old-time preaching, there was 
nothing soothing about it to self-satisfied Christians 
or impenitent sinners. The unconverted were shown 
to be standing on the edge of a slippery precipice, on 
the brink of everlasting woe, dead in trespasses and 
sins, with neither desire nor power to help themselves. 
Believers were to examine themselyes, and were 
warned against luke-warmness, which was loathsome 
to God. It was shown in empty formality, their 
prayers lacked the holy fervency and fire, the deep 
emotion, the influential unction that distinguished the 

O 

prayer of the heart, or the deep panting for the living 
God. They lacked zeal for the salvation of sinners; 

15 227 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

they had neither the humility of the publican, the 
earnestness of the Philippian jailor, nor the persever 
ance of Jacob. The causes of lukewarmness were 
flinching from duty, spiritual sloth, neglecting the 
closet duties, giving way to little sins, indulging in 
petulant temper, immoderate attention to dress or 
worldly business, improper company, and reading 
literature that drew the mind away from God. Luke 
warmness was highly contagious. When it crept into 
a church and fastened on a few members, it spread 
and eat away the church s power. The hearers were 
warned and intreated to mourn on account of their 
state, and come to Christ that he might restore their 
diseased souls, and fill them with joy in the Holy 
Ghost. The whole church was expected to work. 
They were not saved to be happy and comfortable 
themselves, but to tell another the way of salvation. 
They were to be living witnesses. Christian testi 
mony and public prayer were insisted upon, for 
dumb Christians would die. Every preaching service 
was a heart-searching time. They were to have their 
lamps trimmed and burning, and oil in their vessels, 
for any moment they might hear, " Behold the Bride 
groom cometh." Such was the old time preaching, 
which kept our fathers and mothers working seven 
days a week at their religion ; and they thrived on it 
too. That kind of preaching was strong meat for 
men who had put on the whole armor of God, and 
could take long marches into the enemies camp and 
win triumphs for the cross ; for men and women who 
could endure hardness as ood soldiers of Jesus 



o 
228 



WATCHMEN ON THE WALLS OF ZION. 

Christ. They had praying power, fighting zeal, and 
suffering grace ; but in our day of luxurious living, 
even our spiritual life is more effeminate; and we 
have need to be fed with milk. The pulpit in my 
childhood kept the pew up to high-water mark ; 
and the pew in return measured the preacher by his 
success in applying the gospel remedy to men s 
diseased souls. 

How different everything is as well as preaching. 
When I see the electric cars of the Metropolitan 
Railway whizzing past my childhood s home, I recall 
how often I have heard the opinion expressed that 
" no cars would ever come up Yonge Street, for 
Hogg s Hollow (York Mills) could never be filled up 
and no cars could climb Hogg s Hill." That hill was 
the terror of all travellers. Teams with grain would 
have to rest three or four times, before the weary 
straining horses could reach the top, and then with a 
face of pleasant jocularity the toll-keeper popped out, 
his breath freezing in the frosty air, and made the 
driver pay for the privilege of climbing that awful 
hill. Had it been a good road he would not have 
minded it, but under the circumstances he mounted 
his load once more and drove on, feeling he had been 
made the victim of a practical joke. That hill was a 
dangerous place, and in one instance that I know of, 
came very near being the scene of a tragedy. Wm. 
Frisby, of Victoria Square, and his wife, were riding 
to Toronto on a load of grain. He got off to fix some 
thing that had gone wrong with the wagon tongue ; 
the horses were unhitched, and the prop under the 

229 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

wheel gave way ; the wagon ran back, burst the 
guard on the side of the hill, and rolled over and over 
away down into the gully. Mrs. Frisby jumped as 
soon as she felt the wagon moving and saved her 
life ; a few seconds later, and she would have been a 
mangled corpse. Some of the grain bags burst, the 
shelving of the wagon was broken, but otherwise, 
little harm was done. 

Before a railroad was built in Canada Yonge Street 
was the main thoroughfare to Toronto, and droves of 
farmers wagons would follow each other on the way 
to and from market. What clouds of dust they 
would raise, the teamsters looking as dirty as if at a 
threshing machine. Before it would subside another 
lot would come, and the big feet of the farm horses 
would make the air as thick as ever. We children 
used to run down to the arch built in the road a 
high stone culvert that spanned the brook. Here we 
threw chips in spring to see them sail ; but in summer 
the brook dried up and we stood underneath to hear 
the rumble overhead, which was like thunder. That 
culvert is there still, and though it must have been built 
nearly one hundred years ago has never needed repairs. 
Living right on the street, with accommodation for a 
horse and a welcome for all, our house was the stop 
ping place of all the ministers who travelled the road 
to and from Toronto. What a continual coming and 
going there was, and such earnest religious conversa 
tions on the progress of the work. The prospects and 
trials were all unburdened, and as their prayers went 
up we heard God s blessing asked upon us each byname, 

230 



WATCHMEN ON THE WALLS OF ZION. 

not only that we might be kept in the way everlast 
ing, our trials sanctified to our spiritual advancement, 
but that His blessing might also be upon our basket 
and our store, to give us increased happiness, and 
power for further usefulness in God s cause. 

Billy High, of Maple, was one of the regular callers, 
and father was ever anxious about his spiritual wel 
fare. He had been converted while at our house 
before his marriage, and father was his first class- 
leader. He seemed as one of the family and ever 
welcome to the cup of tea, for nothing stronger was 
in use in our home. In the early days, however, the 
temperance sentiment was so lax in some neighbor 
hoods, that toddy might be made for anyone who 
desired it, before they started home on a winter s 
night after the cottage prayer-meeting was over. Mr. 
Joseph Law said, he had seen the kettle steaming and 
singing over the fire-place during the meeting, and 
heard the invitation given to all who wished to have 
a little toddy. 

In my childhood days you seldom saw a carpet, 
unless a couple of strips in the best bedroom ; and 
there was quite a rivalry among the young women of 
the neighborhood as to which parlor floor could be 
made the whitest. It was scrubbed every week 
whether soiled or not ; microbes had an uneasy time, 
for the cleaning went on all the year round. The 
age of paint that preceded the carpet age had not yet 
arrived. The brass candlesticks, trays and snuffers 
were like beaten gold, ready and waiting for com 
pany. Two candles were considered enough to light 

231 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

a room, and the best candlesticks would hold the 
" number six " candles (six to the pound), while those 
who lived less luxuriously used the " number eights." 
Candle moulds were in all the farmers houses, and 
the beef and sheep s tallow was manufactured for 
home consumption. At first coal oil was thought to 
be very dangerous, and a lamp was regarded with 
distrust. It was considered that it might explode at 
any moment without the least provocation, and only 
a grown-up person was allowed to light one. The 
bricks of the hearth at the open fireplace were 
reddened every two weeks with Venetian red mixed 
with buttermilk, and if you accidentally stepped on it 
you soiled the white floor ; while the andirons were 
well polished with blacklead. 

I remember going to Thornhill station, on the 
Northern Railway, to see the cars for the first time. 
Father took us in the " democrat." It was almost 
considered as tempting Providence to allow children 
to go anywhere near them. After the most solemn 
promises that we would not go a foot nearer than 
father allowed us to, we got into the " democrat 
and started off amid the most intense excitement. I 
know mother prayed for us, that we might all be 
brought home again in safety. We did not think we 
could get a good look any place but where they 
stopped, as they went so fast. An Irishman on the 
seventh of Vaughan, describing the caution needed 
in riding on the train, said : " You must mind and 
not pit your head out o the windy, for if ye did it 
wid jist be snapped aff ye like a surak." No accident 

232 



WATCHMEN ON THE WALLS OF ZION. 

happened, and we had a treat that might not be 
repeated for years to come. 

How the old ways of transportation have changed. 
The electric railway up Yonge Street doing the work 
once accomplished by Cook s omnibus. What a 
difference for the traveller ! How I remember the 
loud rattle of that bus passing the door at half-past 
eight in the morning going to Toronto and at six in 
the afternoon returning. It was packed full inside 
with passengers, and as there was always " room for 
one more " within, they sat in layers if there was no 
seat. The top had an iron railing, and was loaded 
with colored carpet bags, an occasional trunk, or men 
whose feet dangled down the sides. How it swayed 
and swept, regardless of the dust three or four inches 
deep, passing all the strings of farm wagons, in haste 
to arrive at Richmond Hill on time. Sometimes 
there were four horses, and that approached a circus 
in our childish imagination. Cook s bus and the 
Cooksville stage, were considered among the things 
that would always be ; but modern invention sweeps 
everything we once doted on to one side, and upsets 
all our old-time notions of locomotion. It gives me 
satisfaction to recall how much solid enjoyment we 
took out of very trifling matters. My first and only 
doll cost a penny ; it was a wooden one with a 
painted face, and it had joints. It was handsomely 
dressed in black glazed lining, and was a beautiful 
object. The only disappointment I felt as I looked 
at it was, that it could not think. 

We turn from these pages of lighter vein, and once 

233 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

more consider the progress of the connexion. At the 
Conference held in Ebenezer Chapel, Etobicoke, in 
1860, Rev. Wm. Bee, Rev. James Smith and Rev. 
Wm. Cook were ordained. The whole work was re 
arranged and six districts formed : Toronto, Bramp- 
ton, Hamilton, London, Guelph and Kingston. The 
work was becoming more cumbersome, and business 
was facilitated by the division of labor, letting each 
district consider its own needs, devise its own schemes, 
and promote its own interests. 

A Book of Discipline was to be prepared for the 
connexion in Canada; a large committee was ap 
pointed to examine and decide on the manuscript for 
publication ; six months was the time allotted for the 
work, and Rev. John Davison was to convene the 
committee and compile the book. 

Ministers were to ascertain the views of the 
membership regarding making the Christian Journal 
a weekly paper at $1.50 per annum, and send in a 
subscription list to see if the change was warranted 
by the returns. " The " Jubilee " of the founding of 
Primitive Methodism was to be observed throughout 
the work and subscriptions taken for the missionary 
society, or for the formation of a connexional Book 
Room as the donor might decide. 

Now comes a very important piece of legislation : 
"All the Conference probation ministers who are 
stationed as superintendents, shall have the necessary 
authority to solemnize matrimony." The death of 
Rev. William Frankish is mentioned in the address 
to the English Conference. He was a very estimable 

234 



WATCHMEN ON THE WALLS OF ZION. 

young man. He came with his parents from York 
shire, England, about the year 1841. They settled 
in Pickering Township and afterwards removed to 
Reach. They bore such a character for earnest, 
honest, hearty endeavor, in all that pertained to the 
kingdom of God, that to this day their names are 
fragrant in both the neighborhoods where they 
lived. 

Mrs. Barron of Bethesda Church, Scarborough, was 
a small woman with a clear white complexion and a 
spiritual appearance. She was earnest, sincere, 
whole-hearted and sympathetic, a mother to all 
the ministers in kindly offices and with encouraging 
words. The key-note of her life was unselfishness ; 
the unseen world was intensely real to her, and the 
cause of God had the supremacy in her thought and 
affection. Her faith was childlike in its simplicity 
and she lived in an atmosphere bright with her 
Heavenly Father s smile. She was an elderly lady 
when I was a child, and appointed missionary 
collector because she could gather more than anyone 
else. About the year 1858, a new Wesley an Metho 
dist church was built at Newtonbrook, and the Scar 
borough circuit withdrew its appointment. After this 
father joined the Wesley an body and led the week- 
night class, but Mrs. Barron came yearly for his mis 
sionary subscription. She was telling us that John 
Bond, of Toronto, had always given to her, but that 
he told her he had lost so much she would have to 
excuse him. It hurt her, and she replied "John 
Bond, Ah sail tell the Lod o thee." "Nay, nay, 

235 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Nannie," said he, " thee inaunt gae tellin the Lod o 
me ; wafc did Ah gie ye last year an Ah ll gie ye the 
same." " Sae Ah telled him, an he gav me the 
money." Her face fair shone as she described it. 
" Ah telled him I knew John Bond wad dae wat 
was reet. Aye hinny, we dinna loss wat we gie tae 
God s cause." 

During my father s last illness he sent for Nannie 
Barren to come, for said he " She is like my own 
mother to me. She spent a week with us and her 
presence was a benediction. The dear old lady used 
to sit at father s bedside and talk to him. One day 
she told him about a grand revival that took place in 
Cumberland, England. She and a number of others 
went. It was three miles, and she had her " bairn " to 
carry ; but that was nothing when the meetings were 
so good, and they were needed to help. After the 
meeting was over, some were shouting and praising ; 
some had not got liberty, and they were speaking a 
word to them as they walked along. " It seemed as 
if the glory of the Lod had filled the place ; we could 
hardly hod the blessing we had gat, we were sae 
happy." When she was nearly a mile away she 
suddenly remembered her baby in the barn where 
the meeting was held, and some of them came back 
with her to get it. " And theer Jeames, ma bairn, 
was sleeping fast and soond on his little bed of hay, 
as warn as in his bed at home, an I gat him and 
started oot again. Ay hinny ! tae think I forgat me 
bairn " ; and the dear old lady laughed till she 
doubled over at the very thought of doing such a 

236 



WATCHMEN ON THE WALLS OF ZION. 

thing. Her face was so bright when she laughed it 
was a tonic to look at her. How we enjoyed her 
talks about the early days, and the wonderful mani 
festations of the Holy Spirit s presence. 

I told Dr. Edgar when he came out to visit father 
how kind Mrs. Barron had been to come, and how 
she had helped us. " Yes," said he, " her presence is 
always a blessing ; she has few equals ; she is worth 
her weight in gold." Nannie Barron, as the old Meth 
odists used to call her, gave the very best evidence of 
the power of religion in a kind, useful and godly life, 
controlled by the Divine Christ, whose love seemed 
to illuminate her whole being. What a grand privi 
lege it is to have known such people. The Bible 
characters seem so much farther away in point of 
time, and life was less distracting then ; but here is 
one who had exactly the same circumstances that we 
have, the same daily cares and round of homely 
duties, whose life still speaks, and, like the rose, yields 
fragrance after death. 

Rev. James Edgar, M.D., a devoted and successful 
pioneer Methodist minister, died in his 64th year at 
his residence 62 Isabella Street, Toronto, after an 
illness of about ten days, on April 28th, 1886. Dr. 
Edgar was born at Dundas, December, 1822. At an 
early age he began school- teaching near his native 
place, at the same time studying with the design of 
ultimately practising medicine. About this time he 
attended religious services held by Rev. Thomas 
Adams, a very godly and earnest Primitive Methodist 
minister, and he was at those services converted. He 

237 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

at once devoted himself zealously to Christian work. 
It soon became apparent that his scene of labor was 
to be in the Christian ministry, to which he was 
called in the year 1846, by the Primitive Methodist 
Church. He was twice stationed at Brampton, four 
times in Toronto and Kingston. Markham, Scarboro, 
Bowmanville and other circuits were fields on which 
he labored with great acceptability. For thirty-four 
years he devoted himself with great earnestness, to 
the holy work to which, with all his heart, he believed 
himself called of God. When preaching there was 
evidently in him a depth of feeling and anxiety for 
the salvation of his hearers, which brought them 
into sympathy with him, and not many people would 
listen to his sermons unmoved ; hence he was an 
effective and successful minister of Christ. 

Dr. Edgar s conversion was the great event of his 
life. All worldly distinctions were cold and devoid of 
charm, unless they were lighted with the beams that 
shine from the Saviour s face. His conviction of sin 
was so deep, his abhorrence of sin was so gennine, his 
appeal for pardon at the mercy-seat so sincere, that 
the joy and peace arising from forgiveness was a 
wonderful transformation. His piety was devout. 
The sacred communings and covenants of his soul 
with his God show the intense spirituality of his life. 

" I stand and survey the past hazy and dreamy, 
full of dangers and difficulties but through all God 
has led me safely. Ten thousand blessings I have 
enjoyed, temporal and spiritual, and still they come 
regularly and bountifully. I take thy light yoke and 

238 



WATCHMEN ON THE WALLS OF ZION. 

easy burden, Christ. I trust in the merits of Jesus 
only. No prayers, no tears, no vows or promises 
Jesus only. I leave all with Thee, blessed Saviour. 

December 9th. 1884. J. E." 

Often when he preached at field-meetings and 
camp-meetings thousands were moved by his appeals. 
He was quiet and retiring in his disposition and had 
no ambition for prominence, yet when chosen Presi 
dent of the Conference he performed its duties with 
courtesy and grace. He was manly, pure and noble. 
Dr. Edgar never seemed to think church business his 
forte, but rather preaching, pastoral work and revival 
services, in all of which he excelled. His kindly dis 
position made him a welcome guest everywhere, and 
gave him great influence for good among all classes of 
people. His knowledge of medicine opened to him 
doors of usefulness, so that he was enabled to minister 
both to the physical and spiritual welfare of his 
people. 

In the year 1880 Dr. Edgar s health failed some 
what and he took the position of a superannuated 
minister, settled in Toronto, and devoted himself to 
the practice of medicine, preaching occasionally on 
the Sabbath. His last sickness was bilious fever. 
From this he suffered ten days when congestion of the 
brain followed, and twenty-four hours after he quietly 
departed to the home beyond. Many sorrowed for 
the loss of so good and kind a benefactor, especially 
the poor. He loved men, and no wail of human woe 
ever broke upon his ear without awakening sympathy. 

239 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

He healed the sick, fed the hungry, clothed the naked. 
With unwearied feet and loving heart he exhausted 
himself in the service of others, and " ceased at once 
to work and live." 

Dr. Edgar left a widow, three daughters and a son 
to mourn his departure. One of the daughters is 
married to the Rev. S. Cleaver, M.A., D.D., of the 
Toronto Conference. 



240 



CHAPTER XVIII. 
THE OLD-TIME DRESS. 

Old-Time Missionary Meeting William Denton Joseph Lund 
William Lund An Old-Time Local Preachers Meeting Laskay 
Plan Laskay Officials Daddy Sandwich Conference of 1861 
Imposition of Hands Jubilee Fund Pastoral Address 
Stations for 1862 Conference of 1863 School Bill University 
Question Conference of 1864, 1865, 1866 John G. Walker- 
John Bugg Rev. John Davison Superannuates Complimentary 
Resolution Old-Time Dress Caps Worn by Babies and Brides 
Feathers, Flowers and Flounces only Worn by the Worldly 
John Flynn and the Priest Daniel Flynn becomes a 
Protestant. 

AT one of the appointments on Laskay Station, a 
good revival service was proceeding week after week, 
when the missionary meeting made a break that all 
regretted. Those were the times when loads of 
young people would drive for miles to one of these 
meetings to have a jolly evening and hear all kinds 
of ridiculous stories and witty jokes, the object of 
which was to draw a crowd, augment the collection, 
and increase the subscription list. It was the same 
in all the Methodist bodies until the more earnest 
Christians requested that the missionary anniversary 
be held on the Sabbath. Upon the evening in 
question the superintendent minister was absent as 

one of the deputation to another circuit, and the 

241 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

young minister was to read the report. William 
Lund and another local preacher were there, but the 
day had been very stormy, and the roads so bad that 
the speakers expected were not on hand to begin. 
The crowd, however, filled the church, and the 
meeting was held. The addresses were earnest and 
pointed, and Mr. Denton, the chairman, gave a few 
closing words as a prelude to the collection. He 
spoke of their Divine Master, who unlearned the love 
of this life that He might live the life of love to all 
men. He said the love of Christ should constrain 
men. The covetous, miserly heart could not grasp 
the idea of pure, unselfish love. We all had our full 
measure of selfishness ; every day we had to battle 
with it. The material things of this world loomed up 
before us, and prevented us laying up our treasure in 
heaven. We needed to sit loose to the world. If we 
upheld Christ, we upheld all creation. The light of 
the gospel was needed to permeate the dark places 
of the world. The poor woman in the gospel brought 
the precious alabaster box of ointment and broke it 
over the Saviour s feet, and the odor of that ointment 
filled the world to-day. The criticising Judas was 
there with his miserly comment, but the criticising 
disciple might easily become a hypocrite. " Some of us 
may be able to do but little, but let us see to it that 
we do that little. Serve God with the dollar you 
have, you may never have two to give. Whatever 
we do let it be our precious box something we 
want to do for His glory. The Master and not man 
must measure our ability." The meeting all through 

242 



THE OLD-TIME DRESS. 

had proceeded in this spirit, and the local preachers 
were divinely assisted. Just before he ended one of 
the deputation arrived. Mr. Denton announced that 
as it was a little late the collection would be taken 
up. While the plates passed around he remarked 
upon the grand meeting they had, and how the spirit 
and presence of God had been blessing them, and 
showing them their privilege and their duty. They 
were pleased that one of the deputation had arrived, 
and he hoped that nothing would be said or done to 
disturb the devotional feeling that had characterised 
the earlier part of the meeting. The address that 
followed was short but solid, without the usual 
nonsense, and the missionary meeting was a help 
rather than a hindrance to the revival services. 
" In fact," said Mr. Denton, when he was telling me of 
it years ago, " it was the best missionary meeting 
I ever attended, and William Lund was at his best." 

Joseph and William Lund were brothers, and very 
earnest Christian men. Mr. William Lund was a fine 
looking man, large, with a benign countenance and 
with great powers of language. Flowery speech was 
more natural to him than to Joseph, but Joseph Lund 
touched life at more points, had a wider view of men, 
and was a better reasoner. Joseph Lund was a very 
intimate friend of William Denton, and they loved 
each other as brothers. They often went to preach 
together, for the helpful converse they had by the 
way. They each seemed to have the power of open 
ing the understanding of the other, and it was their 
highest purpose to be helpful in the divine life, 
16 243 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Joseph Lund took a hopeful view of life ; he felt every 
cloud had its silver lining. He was a very genial 
man and kindly in all his acts. He could see a joke 
and enjoy it. The local preachers on Laskay circuit 
held a meeting periodically to correct each others 
faults. There was one estimable brother, who while 
preaching was continually putting his hands in his 
trousers pockets and pulling them out again. It was 
nervousness made him do it, but it spoiled his preach 
ing. Joseph was appointed to caricature the proceed 
ing. One after another had asked for honest criticism, 
and finally Joseph Lund got up and laid bare one or 
two trivial faults, and then started his hands going, 
saying how hard it was to call up the faults of a 
brother preacher who was doing his best, perhaps al 
together unconcious of what might be glaring faults in 
the eyes of another. Into and out of his pockets both 
hands sped, all the time he was taking the brother s 
part, and apologizing for what he was doing, till 
the whole meeting was in an uproar of merriment, 
while the man who got the lesson was as amused and 
thankful as any ; and no doubt seeing how ridiculous 
it looked profited by the exhibition. Joseph Lund 
was a wagon-maker and lived at Teston, on the fifth 
concession of Vaughan, but worshipped at Hope Church 
on the fourth. He was useful in his day and gener 
ation, and of his means contributed generously to all 
the enterprises of the church. 

" He died in 1875. The last religious meeting he 
attended was at Laskay, where he occupied the chair 
at the missionary meeting. On his return home he 

344 



THE OLD-TIME DRESS. 

caught a cold from which he never recovered, but 
went home to God on February 18th, 1875. He was 
a good man and feared God above many. He had 
been a local preacher 34 years. He traveled a short 
time. His death is a loss to the station." 

(The above quotation is from the missionary report 
to the Primitive Methodist Magazine.) 

Laskay station raised $500 for missions that year, 
being Si 30 more than the year before. 

William Lund lived at Cook s Mills. He was a 
merchant, and on retiring sold his business to Mr. 
Denton. It was not my privilege to meet Mr. William 
Lund so f equently as his brother, but I remember him 
as a man of gentle disposition. I should consider 
him a lover of books, and one who would enjoy a 
quiet, retired life. He was much respected and his 
word was as good as his bond ; he aimed at faithful 
ness, and lived according to his profession. His son 
follows the medical profession. 

If we look at the minutes of the first Canadian 
Conference, held in 1854, we find Laskay branch 
named. It was a large station with a long list of 
local preachers. I have not been able to get an earlier 
plan than one dated October, November, December in 
1868. The preaching places then were, Laskay, Noble- 
ton, 8th con. King, Salem, Elliot s, Glenville, Hope, 
Carrville, Patterson, Thompson s, Ebenezer. The 
circuit steward at that time was James McGee, who 
owned a lumber mill. The society stewards were J. 
Johnson, J. Hambly, W. Bailey, G. Walker, J. Stony, 
G. Willliams, J. McGee, J. Coombs, S. Thompson, and 

245 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

H. O. Wells. The preachers were Rev. John Gar 
ner, Rev. W. Johnson and W. Nixon, T. Reynolds, 
Jos. Lund, Wm. Lund, D. Archibald, T. Burgess, T. 
Welbourne, W. Denton, W. Western, W. Kirby, H. 
Diceman, J. Johnson, J. Ireland, D. White, G. Meggison, 
W. Reynolds (on trial), J. Grimshaw (exhorter) and 
C. Nixon. 

Mr. Joseph Baldwin lived at King, and was a 
liberal financial supporter and frequently a member 
of Conference; a fine, useful man of mature judg 
ment. He owned flour mills, was an official member, 
quiet and unostentatious. Thomas Burgess was a 
cooper in his employ, an earnest Christian, a solid 
speaker, and faithful in filling his appointments. The 
Archibald family lived at the 8th line of King ; they 
were earnest church workers. The Hambly s were 
members of the 9th line King appointment. John 
Hambly was a merchant at Nobleton and a class 
leader ; his house was ever a home for the preachers. 
Charles Hambly was a class-leader and exhorter ; the 
Hambly s were about the first settlers in the neigh 
borhood, and came from Nova Scotia. Wm. Nixon, 
father of Rev. Wm. Nixon, lived at Hope appoint 
ment ; he was one of the trustees of the church built 
on his land. He was a well-to-do farmer and a 
staunch supporter of the cause, financially and spirit 
ually. Mr. Thomas Cook was a great financial help 
to the society at Cook s Mills (Carrville), and gener 
ally provided a home for the young minister and 
his horse free of charge. He was frequently a mem 
ber of Conference. His sons, William and Thomas, 



THE OLD-TIME DRESS. 

are official members at Carrville, and his son 
George is steward at Hope appointment. John 
Coombs is a class-leader and a useful man in the 
Sunday School at Carrville, and Mr. Booth, father of 
Rev. W. B. Booth, is also an official. Richard Thomas, 
Samuel Thompson, Matthew Mortson, Mr. Robinson 
and John Hartney were all officials at Thompson s 
appointment. " Daddy ; Sandwich was the class- 
leader. He lived on Richmond Hill, and a sceptic 
there said he was the only Christian that he knew, 
who lived up to his profession. Every Sunday morn 
ing, rain, snow, sunshine or blizzard, Daddy Sandwich 
would start out to walk five miles to Thompson s 
church. An appointment was started half-way, near 
the toll-gate, where Robert Brunskill worshipped, 
and they tried to get him to join there, but Daddy 
positively refused, saying he had feathered his nest at 
Thompson s and must go there. 

In 1861, Rev. George Watson was the only one 
ordained at Conference. John Davison was left 
without a station ; he was editor of the Christian 
Journal, Book Steward, and General Missionary Sec 
retary. The permission of the Conference was given 
to sell the old chapels in Kingston, Guelph and 
Orangeville, and prudent energy was to be exercised 
to erect new ones in more suitable localities, for which 
object help might be solicited in any part of the 
work. 

The question of the " Imposition of Hands " in the 
conference ordination service was to be considered by 
the March quarterly meeting of each station, as a 

247 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

subject of legislation to be settled at the next Confer 
ence. The jubilee fund received a large amount of 
discussion, and strong pleas were made for a larger 
subscription list for the Christian Journal. Revs. 
William Herridge, Matthew Henry Moody and 
Matthew Henry Matthews were ordained in 1862. 
Eight Conferences have elapsed since I recorded the 
stations, so will introduce them that the new names 
and places since 1854 may be noted. The work was 
enlarging in all directions, new places had been 
missioned, missions had become circuits, and old 
circuits had been divided. 

TORONTO DISTRICT. 

Rev. John Davison Editor Christian Journal, Book Steward, 

and General Missionary Secretary. 
Toronto Robert Boyle, George Haigh. 
Markham John Nattrass, Wm. Monkman. 
Bowmanville Wm. Herridge, Walter Reid. 
Scarboro 1 John Garner. 
Reach Joseph Markham, Job Roadhouse. 
Pickering Branch George F. Lee. 

BRAMPTON DISTRICT. 

Brampton Robert Cade, Henry Steele Matthews. 
Etobicoke Wm. Rowe, James D. Ogilvie, W. Lyle and 

W. Jolly, Supernumeraries. 
Albion Wm. Lomas. One to be obtained. 
Laskay Thos. Dudley, Wm. Cooper. 
Orangeville James Smith, Richard Hassard. 
Osprey Robert Stephenson. 
Collingwood Matthew Henry Matthews. 

248 



THE OLD-TIME DRESS. 

HAMILTON DISTRICT. 

Hamilton James Cheetham. 
Walpole John Lacey. 
Brantford Wm. S. Hughan. 
Paris Abraham Hey worth. 
Grand River John Goodman. 
Walsingham Edward Lawton. 
Blenheim Wm. Bee. 

GUELPH DISTRICT. 

Guelph Timothy Nattrass, 

Gait Thomas Adams. 

Peel and Wellesley Jonathan Milner, Wm. Codville ; John 

Towler, Supernumerary. 
Brant Thomas Foster. 
Minto Wm. Cook. 
Kincardine John D. Gilbert. 

LONDON DISTRICT. 

London Thomas Crompton. 

Bosanquet Samuel P. Lacey, John Nichol. 

MacGillivray James Clarke. 

Stratford J. R. Swift, Richard Auger, One to be obtained. 

Plympton George Watson. 

Chattham Isaac Ryder. 

Caradoc James S. Boyes. 

Stanley Matthew H. Moody. 

Jubilee Mission Richard Paul. 

KINGSTON DISTRICT. 

Kingston Geo. Wood. 
Portland James Edgar, William Pike. 
Napanee Wm. Newton, Thomas Phipps. 
Collinsby Charles Roffe. 
Piccadilly One to be obtained. 

249 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

" The name of the Darlington circuit shall be 
changed to Bowmanville circuit." All local preachers 
and officials were urged to become total abstainers, 
and at the district meetings ministers were to report 
how many temperance meetings they had held during 
the year. In the Conference Address to the English 
Conference, it is said that "a stronger denominational 
patriotism and a deeper tone of spiritual and convert 
ing power is growing amongst us." 

In 1863, for the first time, we find the delegates 
names placed in the columns in the Minutes, under 
the heading of lay and ministerial. It is much more 
convenient, but it is strange that such an innovation 
was allowed. There is also an extensive use of the 
Reverend before the ministers names, showing that 
the earlier simplicity, which made the minister a 
member of the church and an elder brother only, 
was beginning to wane. Rev. Wm. Shakel Hughan, 
Rev. Samuel P. Lacey, and Rev. George Haigh were 
ordained. 

Two resolutions relating to educational matters 
were passed : 

1. SCHOOL BILL. " That this Conference views 

with regret the Separate School Bill for Canada 

West, now before the Legislature. It regards that 

Bill as a direct effort on the part of the Roman 

Catholic Hierarchy to undermine and destroy our 

present excellent school system, as well as to foster 

and perpetuate party dissentions, engender political 

strifes, and check materially the prosperity of our 

beloved country, and that at the expense of the 

250 



THE OLD-TIME DRESS. 

Protestant public. The Conference still more deeply 
regrets the support rendered to this Bill by those 
professing Protestant principles." 

2. UNIVERSITY QUESTION. "That whereas this 
Conference believes there ought not to be any sembl 
ance of connection between church and state in this 
country ; and whereas it is further convinced that it 
is wrong for the Legislature to vote public money to 
any educational institution connected with any re 
ligious denomination ; therefore, be it resolved : That 
this Conference views with disapprobation the efforts 
being made by certain churches in this Province to 
obtain grants of money from the government in aid 
of their educational institutions ; and that it further 
regrets to see the persistent endeavors made to sub 
vert the endowment of the National University for 
the purpose of aiding colleges under denominational 
control." 

Peel and Wellesley mission was to become a circuit 

A camp-meeting was to be held in Peel and Well 
esley, and another on London District. 

Rev. John Goodman, Rev. G. F. Lee, Rev. A. 
Heyworth, Rev. Wm. Pyke and Rev. Wm. Monkman 
were ordained in 1864. Revs. Cade and Clarke, on 
a visit to England, were authorized to request that 
the Canadian Conference be allowed to meet at a 
later period ; after due consideration the request was 
granted. In one year more Peel and Wellesley 
circuit was divided and Hawkesville became a 
mission. 

In 1865, the Rev. James Boyes, Rev. H. S. Matthews, 

251 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Rev. Richard Auger and Rev. Richard Hassard were 
ordained. The Yorkville trustees received permis 
sion to sell their church property prior to the erection 
of a new church. Mr. John G. Walker was a large 
contributor to the Yorkville church, the congregation 
of which now worships at St. Paul s on Avenue Road. 
He was also the largest contributor to the Queen 
Street church, now called Euclid Avenue. The Con 
ference thanked Mr. John Bugg for the gift of land 
for Queen Street church. Mr. Bugg offered the 
Christian workers of Alice Street congregation a 
frame house, if they would move it near the Don and 
use it for mission purposes. The offer was accepted. 
It had to be sawn in two and taken two miles along 
the city streets. It cost $800 to pay this expense 
and fit it up for a mission church. Rev. John Good 
man collected the money required, and the congrega 
tion started under such peculiar circumstances is the 
one that now worships in the new King Street 
church, and promises to be a power for good in the 
evangelization of the masses. The Conference passed 
a vote of thanks to Robert Walker, Esq., for his 
generous gift of land and church on Parliament 
Street (not the present structure but the one that 
preceded it). Mr. Walker also made additions to 
Alice Street church, that the Sabbath School and 
class-meetings might have increased accommodation. 
A committee was appointed to arrange and carry out 
a scheme whereby some provision might be made for 
Rev. John Lacey on his retirement from the regular 

ministry. 

252 



THE OLD-TIME DRESS. 

In 1866 Rev. Job Roadhouse and Rev. Walter Reid 
were ordained. Mitchell and Kirkton were made 
separate stations, and London and McGillivray became 
mission circuits. The death of Mr. John G. Walker 
occurred in England from being thrown off a horse. 
The Conference in great sorrow, passed the following 
resolution to mark the sad event : " That a memoir 
of "the late John G. Walker be got up by the Book 
Committee for general circulation." 

The Rev. John Davison, after more than forty 
years of uninterrupted and arduous labor, the last 
nine of which he had been Missionary Secretary, 
retired in 1866. The Conference passed unanimously 
the following resolution : " Resolved That we can 
not allow our venerable Brother John Davison to 
retire from the offices he has so long and so efficiently 
filled, without placing on record our high appreciation 
of his character as a man, a Christian and a connex- 
ional officer, and we hope that his life will be spared 
for many years to come, and that we may still be 
benefited by his ripe counsels and experience." 

A paragraph from the Pastoral Address will be of 
interest to the reader as recalling a troublous period 
in our country s history :- 

"As an expression of our sentiments in regard to 
the threatened invasion of our country by the Fenian 
hordes, a most loyal resolution was carried by acclam 
ation and forwarded to His Excellency the Governor- 
General, pledging our Conference to the integrity of 
our national institutions, the person and throne of our 
Queen, and the sacredness of the Empire." 

253 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Some of my young readers may not be very much 
interested in Conference facts or even connexiorial 
figures, and for their sakes I will insert a few pages 
of what may be more pleasing to them, as showing 
the difference between the earlier and present Meth 
odism on the subject of dress. The clothing of the 
early Primitive Methodist was quiet in color and 
plainly made. When Hugh Bourne visited at Mr. 
Carbert s in Toronto, he noticed Miss Carbert s dress 
was fastened at the neck with a gold pin, and when 
she left the room he inquired if she was a member of 
the Society. On being informed that she was, he in 
structed Mrs. Carbert on the sin of conforming to the 
fashions and vanities of the world in wearing gold or 
broidered apparel. James Crawfoot, one of the early 
missionaries in England, whose salary Hugh Bourne 
paid out of his own pocket, was a Quaker and 
dressed like them. He was a successful preacher, had 
much spiritual insight and great influence over 
Bourne and Clowes. It is more than probable that 
this very unfashionable man led the styles for the 
whole connexion with reference to dress. My mother 
wore good clothing but refrained from wearing 
flowers, feathers, ornaments or jewelery of any kind, 
except her wedding ring. She did not wear a collar, 
but a square of white brussels net doubled in half 
under her dress and laid in folds above it at the neck. 
She was married in a white cap trimmed with pink 
ribbon ; but that was a special occasion, lilac and 
buff being used after until the black caps were uni 
versally worn. A fine woollen or cloth shawl was her 

254 



THE OLD-TIME DRESS. 

garment for winter, and a black satin shawl, either 
plain or brocaded, for summer. It is not likely she 
ever looked in a fashion book until her life was 
nearly over, and missing its import, would have 
judged of its merits more as a literary production. It 
was not her way to criticise other people s dress ; it 
was of greater moment to her what their characters 
were. She felt that for herself plain attire was suit 
able and in keeping with godliness. She was over 
sixty before she wore a coat. At first she wore her 
shawl over it, thinking it made her look " giddy." 
Infants wore caps in those days. People were scand 
alized if the child s head was seen bare, and thought 
that the life was endangered by such foolhardy con- 
dcut. Frills and flounces were avoided in orthodox 
Primitive Methodist families, and ministers did not 
wear a watch-chain, but a black silk guard. 

My mother stands in my memory as the central 
figure in our home. She was intensely energetic, a 
good housekeeper, and kept everyone moving. We 
were counselled to " watch the clock " and see how the 
time was going. She produced the greatest comfort 
with the highest economy. As a result of her Scotch- 
Irish training she did not expect quite so much from 
a boy as a girl ; but father was more inclined to be 
lenient to his girls. We were not allowed to shirk 
our duties ; no one would inquire how long it took to 
dust a room, but they would see at once if it was not 
done right. Mother had little respect for girls who 
sat with their toes in the fire waiting for some man to 
take care of them. Above all things she desired 

355 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

godliness for her children. After godliness and 
industry came education. How she did prize it 
before wealth, social position, dress or accomplish 
ments. Life was a most interesting thing to mother, 
because she had a purpose and lived in its fulfilment. 
Labor in her mind was a moral tonic, and she kept us 
employed to keep us from evil. She was always busy 
at home, but she performed many loving ministries in 
other homes. She knew and loved her Bible, and was 
round the sick and dying with acts of help and words 
of comfort. Her quick and ready sympathy made her 
to many a counsellor and guide. She could find 
something good in everyone s character, and was pre 
eminently a peacemaker ; she could probe and do it 
gently. " Perhaps, my dear, she does not see it as you 
do." " It is always better to put up with a little and 
have peace." " It is always better to suffer wrong 
than to do wrong." " Keep quiet and say nothing, do 
not be the one to make trouble." " Sometimes people 
have worries we do not know about, and the least 
said is the easiest mended, the quietest way is the 
best, pray for the Lord to guide you, dear." Generally 
both sides came, and after the storm the calm was 
prized. Mother had broad Christian charity, and the 
Roman Catholic hired girl was expected to move 
around on Sunday morning to get to her church at 
Thornhill on time. 

There were a great many Roman Catholics in 
Newtonbrook. Daniel Flynn swife and family were all 
Protestants, though he was a Catholic. His son, John 
Flynn, had been lingering with that terrible disease 

25S 



THE OLD-TIME DRESS. 

consumption. I remember one stormy night when 
the rain was pouring down, and the mud, snow and 
slush were ankle deep, a tap came to mother s bed 
room window, and old Ben., Flynn s hired man, said, 
" Mrs. Agar, John is dying, and he sent me up to ask 
you to come down and pray with him. I have a lan 
tern, and will wait for you." "All right," said 
mother, and she dressed and went with him. On the 
way down he told her that Dan., his father, had gone 
for the priest to Thornhill, and John wanted her there. 
As soon as she arrived John took her hand and said, 
" Mrs. Agar, I am dying, I won t see morning; father 
will have the priest, and I want no nonsense over me, 
I am not a Catholic, and I want you to pray for me 
and promise me that you won t leave this room until 
I am dead or give you permission." He was all 
excited, so mother promised to do as he requested, and 
he grew quieter. A Roman Catholic neighbor who 
had been roused to keep watch, now entered, and see 
ing mother, demanded what brought her there. " I 
came/ said she, " because I was sent for ; I do not go 
where I am not wanted." " You ought to be at home 
in bed," said he. " Well," said mother, "just as soon 
as I am not wanted here I will go home, don t let my 
presence worry you ; I will take no harm until then." 
In a short time the father returned with the priest, 
who ordered everyone out of the room. John turned 
his head to mother and said, " Mrs. Agar, I want you 
to stay with me." Then looking at the priest he said, 

" Father , I am no Catholic. I did not want 

you sent for. I am sorry you had to come. I am 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

trusting in Jesus Christ my Saviour. I have been a 
Christian for some years, and as I have lived so will I 
die a Methodist." The priest gave a sniff of disgust, 
and soon left the house ; and mother said she never 
felt more sorry for any one than the poor old father, 
who believed his son would be eternally lost if he did 
not receive the last rites of the church and be buried 
in consecrated ground. A few years ago the old man 
died at the age of ninety-six, and died a Protestant. 
The Methodist minister used to read and pray with 
him, and he always wanted to hear the chapter the 
minister had read at his first call, about the crucifixion. 
Creeds were never mentioned. Near the last, one of 
the family thought it wise to send for the priest, 
whose first words on entering the sick-room were, 
" Dan., where do you want to be buried ? " In 
Willowdale beside my wife," said he. " Good-day," 
said the priest, and departed. Dan. had found a surer 
hope than he could place in rites and ordinances. 
The Lord has his own way of leading men into rest 
and peace. 



258 



CHAPTER XIX. 

RIGHTEOUSNESS, THE KEYSTONE OF THE 

STATE. 



Confederation of the British Provinces Conference of 1867 Theo 
logical Institute Methodist Union Conference of 1868 Rev. 
Wm. E. Cooper Act of Incorporation Stations for 1869 
Conference of 1870 Probationers Journal Rev. JohnDavison 
visits English Conference Daniel McLean, Esq. Conference 
Breakfast Sketch of Rev. John Davison Mrs. Davison 
Childhood s Memories Memorial Service Rev. Robert Cade s 
Reminiscences Rev. John Frankish Rev. Henry D. Gifford 
Rev. John R. Swift Rev. S. Antlifi, D.D. Rev. Thomas 
Guttery Methodist Union. 

THE year 1867 witnessed the confederation of the 
British Provinces to be called the Dominion of Can 
ada, and the Conference sent an address of congratu 
lation to the new Viceroy. A Theological Institute 
had been started with Rev. Thomas Crompton as 
tutor. Yorkville was made into a branch circuit. 
The names, ages and years each minister had travelled 
were placed in the Conference minutes. There was 
$2,000 increase in the missionary funds for the year. 
The following sentence, culled from the ordination 
address by Rev. John Davison, foreshadows the great 
subject which was destined to work such vast changes 
in Canadian Methodism : 

17 259 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

It has been suggested among some ecclesiastical 
politicians that there should be only one METHODIST 
CHURCH in Canada that all should be bolted to 
gether, and one grand frigate launched on her 
triumphant course; but whether this bolting or 
" absorption " would answer all the purposes contem 
plated, is to me very questionable. As I hold that 
our church is the Child of Providence/ having a 
special mission, not originating in division, nor a 
branch riven from any parent stock, I say guard its 
ancient landmarks from being obliterated. Exercise 
your judgment and earnest prayers to secure the 
spiritual advantage of our country." 

Kev. Wm. Rowe was appointed Book Steward and 
General Secretary. Revs. Wm. E. Cooper, David 
Simpson, Edward Whitworth, Rounding Pattison and 
James Walker were ordained in 1867. 

Revs. Thomas Auger, Wm. Thornley, James Stone- 
house and Thomas Griffith were ordained in 1868. 
Revs. Thomas Dudley, W. C. Jolley and Richard 
Auger were made supernumeraries. We copy the 
following resolution of Conference : 

" That this Conference, while bowing with resigna 
tion to the will of God in the removal by death of our 
dear brother, Wm. E. Cooper, yet desires to place on 
record its deep regret that so promising and estimable 
a minister of our Lord Jesus Christ should in the 
morning of his life have been taken from us." 

Very feeling reference was made to this sad dispen 
sation in the Conference address for the year. 

The Conference of 1869 applied for an Act of In 
corporation, and appointed a committee to attend to 

260 



RIGHTEOUSNESS, THE KEYSTONE OF THE STATE. 

the matter. The following ministers were ordained 
at this Conference : Revs. Wm. Clowes Jolley, Thomas 
Amy, James Parker Bell, John Wesley Gilpin, James 
Campbell and Charles E. Stafford. The Rev. George 
Lewis, B.A., was appointed English and classical tutor 
at the Institute. 

The Stations for 1869 were as follows: 

TORONTO DISTRICT. 

Toronto Circuit John R. Swift, Henry Harris, John 
Davison, Sup. 

Yorkville Branch Wm. Herridge, Win. S. Hughan, Wm. 
Lyle, Sup. 

Mark\am Charles E. Stafford, Eli Middleton. 

Pickering J. W. Walker. 

Bowmanville John Goodman. 

Scarboro James Edgar, Jesse Burdge. 

Reach Wm. Bee, Wm. Huggins, John Frankish, Sup. 

Bruce Mints Wm. Thornley. 

BRAMPTON DISTRICT. 

Brampton Robert Boyle, Wm. Johnston. 

MobicokeJ. S. Boyes, Luke Hall, T. J. Reid, prov. ; W. 

Jolley, Sup. 

Albion John Garner, John Ockley, Joseph Bell. 
Laskay George Wood, Robert McKee. 

Orangeville H. S. Matthews, Isaac Wilkinson, J. Simp 
son, Sup. 

Rosemount Job Roadhouse. 

HAMILTON DISTRICT. 

Hamilton W. Reid, J. J. Haylock. 
Grand River Richard Paul, 
Walpole Thomas Amy. 
Blenheim, Samuel Keetch. 
Brant/ord Thomas Griffith. 

261 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Parts Win. Pyke. 
Walsingham Thomas Auger. 
Woodstock James Cheetham. 

GUELPH DlBTRICT. 

Guelph John W. Gilpin, Thomas Adams, Sup. 

Peel Matthew H. Matthews, Richard Auger, Sup. 

Hawksville Wm. Lomas, John Fowler, Sup., Isaac 
Ryder, Sup. 

Minto Wm. Monkman. 

Brant George Watson, George Nixon. 

Kincardine Amos Knapp. 

Jubilee Richard Hassard, J. J. Thompson. One to be ob 
tained. 

Arthur Timothy Gavin. 

LONDON DISTRICT. 

London Joseph Markham, T. W. Jolliffe, John Nattrass, 

Sup. 

Bosanquet Abraham Heyworth, Reuben Toye. 
McGillivray Edward Whitworth, Benjamin J. Brown. 
Stratford and Mitchel George Haigh, W. C. Jolley. 
Plympton James Campbell. 
Chatham James Stonehouse, William Bielby. 
Caradoc William Newton. 
Kirkton Charles Roffe. t 

KINGSTON DISTRICT. 

Kingston James Smith. One to be obtained. 

Portland Wm. Cook, William C. Allen. 
Napanee George F. Lee, John Clarke. 
Collingsby Rounding Pattison. 
Hinchinbrook Dunning Idle. 

BARBIE DISTRICT. 

Barrie Jonathan Milner. One to be obtained. 
Osprey James Walker, T. Foster Sup., R. Stephenson, 

Sup. 

262 



RIGHTEOUSNESS, THE KEYSTONE OF THE STATE. 

Bradford Thomas Dudley, John A. Windsor. 
Gollingwood David Simpson. 
Artemisia J. W. Robinson. 
Muskoka Thomas G. Scott. 
Stayner J. D. Gilbert. 

At the following Conference, 1870, Rev. George 
Lewis, B.A., William Huggins and Luke Hall were 
ordained. James S. Boyes, through ill health was 
forced to take a supernumerary relation, while John 
Nattrass and William Cook were superannuated. 
Each probationer was to keep a journal for three 
months during the first three years of his probation, 
and the whole of the fourth year, and these journals 
were to be submitted to the Board of Examiners. 
Ministers in the yearly report were required to answer 
the question:- 

" Has he visited fifteen families weekly on an aver 
age during the year? If not, how many has he 
visited? If fewer than this number, reasons why 
must be given, and the Conference shall decide whether 
they are satisfactory." 

Rev. John Davison was appointed to visit the 
English Conference of 1869 ; after addressing the 
Canadian Conference of 1870, they passed a resolution 
of thanks, and desired that the report might be pub 
lished in pamphlet form. Thanks were given to Mr. 
Robert Walker for his services at the English Con 
ference, and for entertaining the Canadian Conference 
at breakfast ; also to Mr. Daniel McLean for a gift of 
$500 to the Gore Street Church, Hamilton. 

" John Davison was born near Neweatle-on-Tyne in 

263 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

1799, and was converted by the agency of Wm. Norris, 
a Staffordshire potter, who had gone to Newcastle, and 
who was an earnest Primitive Methodist local preacher. 
Mr. Davison joined the first society formed in New 
castle, and shortly began to exercise his gifts in call 
ing sinners to repentance in the surrounding villages. 
In 1823 he was called to the ministry by the Hull 
quarterly meeting, and the following twenty-four 
years were spent on some of the most important cir 
cuits in the north of England. In 1840 he was 
requested to go to Australia as Superintendent of 
Missions, but declined. When, however, a similar 
request was preferred in reference to Canadian mis 
sions, he complied. He reached Toronto in August, 
1847. After residing three years in the city, he was 
stationed on the following circuits : Grand River, 
Hamilton, Brampton, Gait and Guelph mission. In 
1857, he was appointed General Missionary Secretary 
and Book Steward, which brought him again to Tor 
onto, where he continued to reside until his death in 
1884. In 1866 he was superannuated, after being 
engaged in the active work forty-three years. He not 
only tried to do good with his tongue but also with his 
pen. In 1840 he compiled the journals of Wm. Clowes, 
and in 1854 published the life of the same eminent 
evangelist, who, under God, ranks with Hugh 
Bourne as one of the founders of the connexion. It 
may be remarked in passing that Mr. Davison mar 
ried the step-daughter of Rev. Wm. Clowes, on 
October llth, 1825. On coming to Canada Mr. Davi 
son found no denominational periodical, and he there- 

264 







REV. JOHN DAVISON. 



RIGHTEOUSNESS, THE KEYSTONE OF THE STATE. 

fore ventured, on his own responsibility, to commence 
a monthly paper, The Evangelist, that had a good 
circulation, but was afterwards merged into the 
Christian Journal, which was started at the Confer 
ence of 1858 with Mr. Davison as its editor. This 
position he held till his superannuation. He also 
compiled the first Book of Discipline. Outside his 
own denomination he was loved and esteemed, and the 
confidence of the general public in him was shown by 
his appointment by the Government to a place on the 
Senate of Toronto University, which he held from 1863 
to 1873. Among the last words this venerable ser 
vant of God uttered when dying, were : I have done 
what I could for the Church and the world ; my work 
is done. We doubt not the Master greeted him on 
his entrance into His presence with Well done \ 

I was acquainted with Mr. and Mrs. Davison. They 
both have a place in my memories of childhood. They 
were a fine-looking couple and would be noticeable in 
any gathering as more than ordinary people. Mr. 
Davison was a dignified-looking man, with an excel 
lent physical make-up, and a face that was the index 
of a soul above all self-seeking. There was the mark 
of self-possession and refinement in his bearing, as of 
one whose intellect was not occupied with trivial things, 
He was naturally capable, and would have made a 
success in any calling that required prudence, fore 
thought and perseverance. He was without any de 
sire for ostentatious display, but his nobility of char 
acter, his unassuming modesty, his innate worth called 
out the unstinted courtesy he gave to others, and 

265 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

made his counsel sought in the Conference, and his 
opinions listened to with deference. When he became 
aged, the term " Our Venerable Father Davison " 
meant all and more than the words implied. Mrs. 
Davison was a beautiful woman, large and well-pro 
portioned, her complexion was clear and rosy as the 
morning, and her face full of character and sweet 
ness. As a child, I liked to sit and look at her. Her 
voice I can hear yet as she addressed one of her 
grandchildren : " Now, lovey, you are a very privi 
leged girl to be invited here to-day with grandma," 
etc. She always called her friends " lovey," and lived 
in the sunshine she carried with her. 

The last time I met Mrs. Davison was at Grimsby 
Park. We were introduced as strangers, but upon 
my inquiring if she were not the Mrs. Davison who 
used to visit my mother, we found we were old 
friends. She knew our Christian names and our 
husbands names, and wanted to hear all the par 
ticulars of mother s death, and for half an hour I had 
to unravel the family history. She was delighted, 
and so was I, to renew the old friendship. How she 
talked of mother and the old times. They never 
die who live in the hearts they leave behind them; 
and may they have a gladness as sweet as the 
memory of them is to-day. In some bright clime 
we ll sometime say " Good-morning ! )! 

Rev. Robert Cade, D.D., in his address at the 
memorial service of Mrs. Davison, remarked : 

" Having known Mr. and Mrs. Davison for nearly 
forty years, I rejoice in the opportunity to bear my 

266 



RIGHTEOUSNESS, THE KEYSTONE OF THE STATE. 

testimony to their purity in life, their dignity in the 
conduct of affairs, and their quenchless zeal in the 
cause of Jesus Christ. Mrs. Davison was a Christian 
at thirteen, a true helpmeet as a minister s wife, a 
faithful mother, a widow whom it was a benediction 
to visit, a saint serving the Lord above reproach for 
seventy-three years, it may indeed be said she has 
lived. " 

" What a cluster of clever, consecrated women were 
those Primitive Methodist preachers wives who came 
to Canada forty-five and fifty years ago. The saintly 
names of Mrs. Towler, Mrs. Lacey, Mrs. Lyle, Mrs. 
Adams, Mrs. Compton come before me now, and not 
by any means least, though lingering longer among 
us, the now glorified Mrs. Davison. And what a 
heritage we had in the men who kindled the holy fire 
on many an altar in this land. Matthew Nichols who 
rode on the crest of a wave of perpetual revival 
enthusiasm ; John Lacey, exhaustless in resources and 
famous as a preacher; Wm. Jolley, who could not rest 
without conversions ; James Edgar, who lived more 
in heaven than upon earth ; local preachers of remark 
able acceptability, who never wearied of their work ; 
and devout women not a few Mothers Carbert, 
Thompson, Walker, Lawson, etc. Mrs. Wm. Lawson 
lived a glorious life. She had the promise that she 
would see all her children saved, and she saw them 
saved, and her dying chamber was like a Mount of 
Transfiguration. " I seem to feel the touch of precious 
vanished hands, and hear the sounds of voices that are 
still." 

267 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Rev. John Frankish and Rev. Henry Gifford died 
during the conference year from the same cause. 
Both contracted severe colds while holding protracted 
meetings and never recovered, but passed away in less 
than a year. Rev. John Frankish was a brother of 
Rev. Wm. Frankish, whose family history has been 
noted. Rev. John Frankish was four years in the 
work, and died on November 26th, 1869. He was 
interred at Bethel burying-ground on the Claremont 
circuit. He was a very successful worker, and was 
loved wherever he labored. Rev. Henry D. GifFord 
was born in the Township of Clarke, in the County of 
Durham. He was a school teacher and converted on 
the Bosanquet Circuit. He was only two years in the 
ministry, and died on the 8th of January, 1870, in his 
24th year. The work of winning souls was very dear 
to him, but he was perfectly resigned to the will of 
God. His body lies in the cemetery at Forest. In the 
above, three young men died in youth, and no doubt 
the " spare bed," away from all fire, and damp from 
continued frost was a " death trap " to many an un 
suspecting youth. The conditions of life were very 
severe, and many a man s health was sacrificed. Rev. 
Thomas Auger, Rev. J. Cheetham. Rev. R. Hassard 
and Rev. W. Cook had to withdraw from preaching 
through ill-health. The Educational Institute was 
discontinued during the year 1870, and young men 
attending the Toronto University for two years, under 
the superintendence of the Toronto ministers, were 
allowed one year on their probation. 

The Pastoral Address in 1870 was from the Presi- 

268 



RIGHTEOUSNESS, THE KEYSTONE OF THE STATE. 

dent, Rev. John R. Swift, and was intensely earnest 
and soul searching. I copy a few sentences : 

" How is it the sheaves are so few and the church 
so lean. Are we diminishing in the mighty talent 
which gives the qualification for winning souls ? Are 
we permitting indifference or carnality to render 
powerless those forms of service which gave such 
brilliancy and glory to the history of our church in 
the days gone by ? We ask brethern, in the solemn 
presence of God, and in prospect of the judgment, if, 
when the pale faces in the sepulchre flame again with 
life, and their searching visions fasten on us in the 
awe struck assembly, will they accuse us of feeble re 
bukes, time serving palliations, or cruel neglect ? Can 
we see sinners waste their substance, and hurry on to 
the deep dark gulf of woe, without putting forth 
strenuous effort to turn this tide of souls toward the 
throne of God and of the Lamb." 

In 1871 the Rev. Samuel Antliff, D.D., uncle of the 
Rev. J. C. Antliff, M.A, D.D.,of the Methodist Church, 
was sent out to visit the Canadian work. He was the 
English General Missionary Secretary. So many 
ministers were ill, and so many had resigned, that con 
siderable correspondence took place, and as a result 
Revs. Porter, Lidstone, Willis, Waits, Bryant and 
Thompson were sent from England for the Canadian 
work. The ministers ordained at this conference were 
Revs. Jesse Burdge, Eli Middleton, Thos. W. Jolliffe, 
Joseph J. Haylock, John Fletcher Porter, Joseph E. 
Lidstone ; and Rev. Jas. Cheetham was superannuated. 
Rev. Thomas Guttery of the English Conference was 

269 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 



invited to be minister of Alice Street church, Toronto 
He was an able speaker, and filled the charge with 
great acceptance. Rev. J. R. Swift applied for an 
English station. The Committee regretted his depar 
ture, but allowed him to return. Rev. W. S. Hughan 
received permission to visit England for three months. 
Rev. Wm. Rowe was appointed General Secretary, 
Book Steward, and Editor of Christian Journal; 
Rev. Samuel Antliff, D.D., was chosen to be President 
of the Conference ; we find the following in the 
Pastoral address : 

" The selection of the Rev. Samuel Antliff, D.D., has 
been a happy one. His ripened experience, matured 
judgment, scholarly attainments, and sanctified 
eloquence, proved him to be eminently fitted to 
represent a body which has in its ministry and com 
munion many whom God delights to honor. As our 
president, Mr. Antliff did us good service. His 
sermons and addresses on public occasions were of the 
highest order, and the crowds which gathered to hear 
him evidenced the acceptability of his ministrations." 

The subject of Methodist Union was again before 
the Conference, and the following resolution carried : 

" That however desirable in some respects an amal 
gamation of all the Methodist Churches in the 
Dominion is, yet in view of the action of some of the 
Methodist bodies on this subject, and the relation we 
sustain to the Home Body, and which relation we wish 
to retain, we deem such amalgamation at present 
impracticable." Methodist Union was discussed for a 
day and a half, with more than ordinarily free and 

270 



RIGHTEOUSNESS, THE KEYSTONE OF THE STATE. 

unreserved expression of views on the subject, and the 
^oregoing resolution was carried by a large majority. 
The Conference knew the membership did not desire 
it. The connexion was prosperous, ministers salaries 
rising, and it was hardly to be expected that a Con 
ference whose laity were two to one in its composition, 
would pass a resolution excluding themselves from 
the highest court of the church. The laity laid down 
the plank of lay delegation, stepped out on it, and 
stood firm to be carried in on that foundation, or 
stand solid where they were. 



271 



CHAPTER XX. 

HUMAN CHARACTER IMPERISHABLE. 

Conference of 1872 Rev. Thomas Crompton Mrs. Crompton- 
Conference of 1873 Adverse Vote on Methodist Union Rev. 
James S. Boyes Rev. Wm. Rowe Conference of 1874 
Montreal, Manitoba and St. Catharines Mrs. McLeod of 
Kingston Letters of Condolence Stations for 1875 Proposed 
Basis of Methodist Union Conference of 1876 Rev. James 
Cheetham Rev. Isaac Ryder Yorkville Parliament Street 
and Don Mills People Officials of Bowmanville Etobicoke 
Worthies Henry Childs Hamilton Friends John Chater 
Joseph Ryan "Daddy" Woodward A Rolling Collection 
A Laughing Chorus Successful Revival Services. 

THE Conference of 1872 met in London. Revs. 
Thomas G. Scott, James Thompson, Reuben Toye and 
George Nixon were ordained. Revs. Thomas Cromp 
ton and J. S. Boyes were superannuated. The 
columns of the Christian Journal were to be opened 
for a (< respectful and temperate discussion on the 
subject of Methodist Union ; " they might as well 
have asked the editor to serve up cool boiling water. 
A committee was appointed to draw up a basis of 
union acceptable to this Conference, to be reported 
at next Conference ! (An ambitious task !) Eight 
new stations were to be formed by the division of 
large circuits, giving the following : Pickering, 

272 



HUMAN CHARACTER IMPERISHABLE. 

Amaranth, Malton, Clifford, McGillivray West, Oro, 
Dover, Ravenshoe. 

Rev. Jarnes Ferguson and Rev. G. Reeve were sent 
out by the English Conference for the Canadian work. 
Rev. Wm. Rowe was allowed to take a voyage to 
England for his health. Rev. Thomas Crompton, 
through affliction, was forced to seek superannuation, 
and a resolution was passed making mention of his 
faithful service to the church for thirty-seven years 
as Pastor, Editor, Theological Tutor, Book Steward 
and General Missionary Secretary. The language in 
which it was expressed was most sympathetic and 
complimentary. Rev. Wm. Bee was appointed Book 
Steward and General Secretary. Rev. Thomas 
Guttery edited the Christian Journal during Rev. 
W. Rowe s absence. 

The Rev. Thomas Crompton was born in Bury, 
Lancashire, England, February 10th, 1817, and died 
in the city of Hamilton, Canada, April 24th, 1886. 
He was of godly ancestry and was converted at thir 
teen years of age. His spiritual history was marked 
by powerful intellectual quickening. He was a 
diligent student, and at sixteen years of age became 
an exhorter. The church, knowing his rare gifts and 
spiritual qualifications, called him to the ministry at 
eighteen years of age. He was ordained in 1840. 
His aims were lofty, his motives pure, his life fully 
consecrated, and he filled some of the most important 
stations in the English Conference. The need of 
missionaries caused him to come to Canada in 1854. 
He was stationed in Kingston, Bowmanville, London, 

273 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Etobicoke and Markham. In 1866 he was appointed 
Book Steward, Missionary Secretary and Editor of 
the Christian Journal. These offices he resigned, 
except the editorship, when he was made Theological 
Tutor of the Institute. After his superannuation he 
was busy with his pen. He had previously published 
a book on " The Agency of the Church " which had a 
large circulation. His brother ministers knew him as 
a sterling man, of genuine Christian character ; a loyal 
Primitive Methodist of a broad catholic spirit ; a 
staunch and steadfast friend, truthful, transparent 
and manly. Intellectually he was original, strong in 
thought, clear in conception, powerful in argument. 
His end was very peaceful. After giving his blessing 
and counsel to his children, he closed his eyes in 
death, and his happy spirit passed into the heavenly 
daybreak. His brother ministers carried his body to 
a quiet place in Burlington cemetery. 

Mrs. Crompton survived her husband for some 
years. She was eminently fitted for the sphere she 
filled by natural disposition, mental culture and 
divine grace a womanly woman, a noble mother, a 
wise counsellor to husband and children. Her home 
was the sphere of her most intense activity, but she 
also sacrificed and labored, as opportunity offered, for 
all the interests of the church. Her maiden name 
was Martha Blackburn, and for forty-six years she 
cheered her husband in his earthly pilgrimage. They 
are reunited and live in the sunshine of God s pres 
ence forever. 

Revs. Dunning Idle, John W. Robinson, Wm. C. 

274 



HUMAN CHARACTER IMPERISHABLE. 

Allen. Robert McKee, George H. Thompson, John F. 
Oekley, Benjamin J. Brown and Goram A. GifFord 
were ordained in 1873. Revs. Wm. Lomas, Wm. Rowe 
and J. R. Swift were superannuated. The ministerial 
invitation system was adopted, and a minister might 
stay five years if invited to do so. 

At this Conference the question of Methodist Union 
was fully and ably discussed, and after very calm con 
sideration and by an overwhelming majority, it was 
requested that our ministers and people avoid any 
further agitation on the subject, as there was no 
prospect of any basis being secured which would 
include the leading principles for which as a people 
we have been distinguished. " To agitate further 
would be to disturb, divide, and weaken our societies. 
Let us cultivate the holiest friendship with the Lord s 
people of other communities, but let our great work 
be soul saving. Let us show we are not unworthy 
either of the fathers whom God honored in raising 
up Primitive Methodism, or of the generous aid 
afforded us by our brethren in England from year to 
year ; nor yet of that solemn stewardship which the 
Lord Jesus Christ has so evidently entrusted to us." 

Rev. James S. Boyes was born in Montreal April 
4th, 1840. In 1853 the family removed to near 
Chatham. He was early brought to Christ, and at 
seventeen years of age became a local preacher. 
While engaged in school -teaching he became convinced 
that he ought to enter the Christian ministry, and his 
way was opened to a place in the Primitive Methodist 
Conference. He labored in Paris, Caradoc, Toronto, 
18 275 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

and Etobicoke circuits with acceptance and success. 
In 1870, being troubled with sore throat, he took a 
year s rest, but his work was done, and on November 
5th, 1873, in the thirty- third year of his age, he passed 
away to the home of the saints. He was an able 
minister of Jesus Christ, possessed good business 
ability, and was fully in earnest in his efforts to do 
good. 

Rev. Wm. Rowe, through ill health caused by over 
work, was obliged to request superannuation. The 
Conference of 1873 passed a lengthy resolution of 
sympathy on his retirement, recording their appreci 
ation of the ability with which he had filled the 
offices of General Missionary Secretary, Book Steward, 
and Editor of the Christian Journal, accompanied by 
a prayer for his speedy restoration to health. As a 
pastor he was most successful. While stationed in 
London the whole district was greatly indebted to 
him, being mostly formed by his watchful oversight 
in the interests of the work. London Church was 
built during his pastorate, and in 1859 he was 
permitted to canvass throughout the connexion in the 
interests of the building fund. The Rev. James 
Smith, his colleague, had charge of the circuit during 
his absence and did faithful work. In Toronto the 
church never prospered more than during Mr. Rowe s 
superintendency. Churches were erected on Parlia 
ment Street, Queen Street, a new church built at 
York ville, and the ministerial staff increased from two 
to four ordained men and one probationer. After his 
return to England, with improved health, he labored 



HUMAN CHARACTER IMPERISHABLE. 

for several years as principal of one of the connex- 
ional educational establishments. He is a man of fine 
presence, very gentlemanly in manner, kindly in 
disposition, a good preacher, a faithful pastor, and one 
of the best administrators of the Church. He still 
renders service as health and opportunity permit, 
preaching in many parts of England. He is very 
kindly remembered by a great many friends in 
Canada, and is very highly respected in England, not 
only by his own denomination, but by all the free 
churches whose pulpits he occasionally fills. He 
appears to be enjoying a pleasant relaxation after a 
long and active day. May his eventide be bright. 

In 1873 Rev. Thomas Guttery succeeded Mr. Rowe 
as editor of the Christian Journal, but the Carlton 
Street Church objected to their minister doing any 
thing but his own pastoral work, and in 1874 Rev. 
Wm. Bee was appointed editor. Mr. Bee had too 
much work without this, and when Mr. Guttery was 
stationed at Yorkville he was re-appointed editor. 

In 1874 Mr. Robert Walker resigned his position as 
connexional treasurer, and his son, Mr. R. I. Walker, 
was appointed in his place. Mr. Robert Walker was 
made a life member of the General Committee and 
Conference. Missions were opened in Manitoba, St. 
Catherines and Montreal. The English Conference 
sent out $6,000 of missionary money, $3,000 being 
a special grant. Mrs. McLeod of Kingston deeded a 
house to the connexion in the city of Kingston for a 
parsonage, and the thanks of the Conference were 
forwarded. Revs. Joshua Dyke, Thomas Boyd, James 

277 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Ferguson, John S. Corcoran, Charles Mattenly and 
Robert Thompson were ordained in 1874, and the 
following year (1875) Rev. John Dennis, Nathaniel 
Wellwood, Henry Parish, Thomas Sims and George 
Reeves were received into full connection. 

Letters of condolence were sent to the families of 
the late Messrs. J. Baker, of Collinsby, H. Munroe and 
M. Joness, of Bowmanville, Joseph Lund, of Laskay, 
E. Baker, of Grand River and William Lawson, of 
Hamilton, all of whom died in the Lord. These men 
had been members of Conference and standard bearers 
in the cause. Mr. William Lawson left a property to 
the Hamilton West Mission, and trustees were ap 
pointed to receive it from his executors. 

STATIONS FOR 1875. 

TORONTO DISTRICT. 

Rev. Wra. Bee, Editor of Christian Journal, General 
Missionary Secretary and Book Steward. 

Toronto, First Thomas Glittery, John Davison, Sup. 

Toronto, Second James Edgar, Wm. Lomas, Sup. 

Toronto, Third Thomas Griffith. 

Toronto, Fourth George Wood, John F. Ockley. 

Markham John Goodman. One to be obtained. 

Pickering Robert McKee. 

Boumianville Robert Cade. 

Scarborough William Thornley, C. O. Johnson, Thomas 
Dudley, Sup. 

Reach Rounding Pattison, T. B. Avison, Thomas Foster, 
Sup. 

Sandford Joseph Markham. 

278 



HUMAN CHARACTER IMPERISHABLE. 

BRAMPTON DISTRICT. 

Brampton Thos. W. JollifFe, Thos. Sims. 
Etobicoke John Garner, Wm. Rodwell. 
Malton James Smith. 

Albion Matthew H. Matthews, John Dennis. 
Laskay Walter Reid, George Jacob Reeve. 
Orangeville Jonathan Milner, Joseph Simpson, Sup. 
Rosemont George Ferguson Lee. 
Amaranth Joshua Dyke. 

HAMILTON DISTRICT. 

Hamilton Wm. Herridge. 

Grand River G. H. Thompson. 

Walpole Robert Thompson. 

Blenheim Henry Parish. One to be obtained. 

Brantford Luke Hall, John Towler, Sup. 

Falkland Amos Knapp. 

Walsinyham John S. Corcoran. 

Woodstock George Clark, James Cheetham, Sup. 

St. Catherines W. C. Allen. 

GUELPH DISTRICT. 

Guelph Eli Middleton, Thomas Adams, Sup. 

Peel Richard Hassard. 

Hawksville James Walker, Isaac Ryder, Sup. 

Minto Charles Mattenly. 

Brant Thomas G . Scott. 

Kincardine George Watson. 

Jubilee Charles S. Willis, Joseph E. Lidstone, Albert 

Sims. 
Arthur Thomas Bryant. 

LONDON DISTRICT. 

London Wm. S. Hughan, C. J. Dobson, John Nattrass, 

Sup., Timothy Nattrass, Sup. 
Bosanquet Richard Paul, Wm. Cook, Sup. 

279 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Forest Robert G. Roscamp. 

McGillivray Wm. Newton. 

West Branch Thos. Hancock. 

Stratford James Parker Bell. 

Mitchell Thomas Boyd. 

Plympton Benjamin J. Brown. 

Chatham Abraham Heyworth, Jamea E. Moore. 

Dover Richard Auger. 

Caradoc Wm. Huggins. 

Woodham Dunning Idle. 

Newbury and Bothwell John R. Swift, Sup. 

KINGSTON DISTRICT. 

Kingston John F. Porter. 

Portland Thomas Amy, Thos. Coupland, John Lacy, Sup. 

Roblin James Ferguson. 

Collinsby Nathaniel Wellwood. 

Hinchingbrook Charles Howarth. 

Montreal John Nichols, Wm. Nixon. 

BARRIE DISTRICT. 

Barrie Robert Boyle, Thomas Crompton, Sup. 

Oro Samuel Thompson. (Under Barrie superintendent. ) 

Bradford Charles Lazenby. 

Osprey Edward Whitworth, Robt. Stephenson, Sup. 

Collingwood James Thompson. 

Artemisia John W. Robinson. 

Bracebridge John W. Gilpin. One to be obtained. 

Orillia Henry Harris. 

Three Mile Lake W. H. Law. 

Leave of absence was given to Rev. G. J. Reeve 

n 

and Rev. E. Middleton to visit England during the 
spring of 1876. 

Again we copy from the Minutes of Conference : 

280 



HUMAN CHARACTER IMPERISHABLE. 

" Methodist Union. Basis to be submitted to the 
committee of the Methodist Church of Canada : 

" 1. That any basis of union to be acceptable to us 
shall admit an equal number of laymen to ministers 
in all church courts, and have equal rights with min 
isters to take part in all the business of said courts. 

"2. That all business meetings be allowed to elect 
their own chairman and circuit quarterly meetings 
to nominate their own officials. 

" 3. That the following be a committee to confer 
with the executive of the Methodist Church : Revs. 
R. Boyle, T. Crompton, W. Bee, and Messrs. R. Walker, 
R. I. Walker and D. McLean. The last named to be 
the convener. That should the said committee of the 
Methodist Church of Canada give us an assurance of 
their acceptance of our principles as forming a basis 
of union, that this question shall during the year be 
submitted to our people for their vote. The method 
by which this vote shall be taken to be decided by 
the General Committee." 

The Christian Journal was to be open for a fair 
and impartial discussion of the subject, and the space 
limited to " not more than two columns at one time." 

The Pastoral Address, referring to the foregoing, 
states : " We hope said resolutions will prevent all 
agitation, render discussion unnecessary, be the cause 
of mutual confidence, peace, harmony, and unity of 
effort among ourselves, and promote the most friendly 
feelings and Christian unity between us and all other 
religious denominations. 

In 1876 Revs. C. O. Johnson, William Nixon and 
James E. Moore were ordained. 

Rev. James Cheetham was born at Middleton, near 

281 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Manchester, England, on July 28th, 1811, and died in 
Florida, November 26th, 1876. In his twenty-second 
year his soul was set free, and he began leading others 
to Christ. Not only were his nine brothers and 
sisters won for Jesus, but many of his neighbors were 
converted to God. In 1838 he entered the ministry, 
and in 1856 emigrated to Canada. He labored very 
successfully in many important stations. In 1870 his 
health failed, and in 1871 he superannuated. In 
1876 he knew his work was done, an abscess broke 
inwardly and his earthly journey was soon ended. 
His comfort came from the presence of God in the 
valley, and he has entered into his Master s joy and 
is forever at rest. 

Rev. Isaac Ryder was born in 1804, in Norfolk, 
England. He was converted while serving in the 
army in India. When his term was completed he 
emigrated to Canada, settled in Kingston, and entered 
the Primitive Methodist ministry in 1852. He 
labored earnestly for fourteen years, and superan 
nuated in 1865. His home was in the village of Lin- 
wood, where he preached faithfully the gospel of 
Christ. He was ill only ten days, and at the last 
passed away suddenly from all earth s conflicts to be 
forever with the Lord. 

A few more laymen s names should be mentioned, 
friends tried and true, who stood by the connexion 
when their loyalty was of most value : 

Wm. Trebilcock, of London, was a faithful, earnest, 
devoted supporter, who made the interests of the 
church his own ; a class-leader and a pillar in the 

282 



HUMAN CHARACTER IMPERISHABLE. 

church ; also a man of business ability and forethought. 
His daughter Miriam married the Rev. James Fergu 
son, of the London Conference. Mr. Trebilcock was 
Vice-President of the Conference in 1882. 

Thomas Martindale, wife and daughter, of York, on 
the Grand River circuit, were most reliable members, 
constant and generous ; and when the first pig was 
butchered in the fall one half of it was sent to the 
minister s family. These old-fashioned ways are 
nearly out of date, but this act showed their hearts 
were in the right place. Charles, John and James 
Walker, at the stage road, Providence Church, and 
Thomas and Daniel Baldwin, were all local preachers 
and active, useful men. Most of them entered the 
regular ministry of the Primitive Methodist Church 
or some other denomination. 

John Green came to live in Orangeville in 1863, and 
one of the ministers said of him, " He was one of the 
noblest spirited men, the most liberal and most 
Christian man I ever knew. Largely through his aid 
and influence the commodious Primitive Methodist 
Church in Orangeville was built. He was a great 
blessing to the town, and a true friend to the church 
until the close of his life here." 

John Bugg s name has been mentioned before ; he 
gave very liberally to the Yorkville, King Street, 
Queen Street and Davisville Churches. The Barrens 
and Smiths at Parliament Street, the Demills and 
Daniels at Yorkville, the Taylors and Morses at Don 
Mills, and many others at each of these places were 
the salt of the earth where they dwelt. 

283 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Mr. R. Easton was a liberal supporter, an ardent 
Primitive Methodist, and also a strong unionist, a 
very useful, energetic official on Bowmanville circuit. 

Matthew Joness was one of the pillars of the 
Church in Bowmanville, a man conscientious and 
liberal in all his conduct : a class-leader who led by 
example as well as precept. His son-in-law, George 
Haines, was with him in all the church work. John 
Higginbotham was a local preacher, a zealous and 
influential man in the cause of his Master. Thomas 
Hoar was for years the gifted and efficient leader of 
the choir, and his noble wife was an active, popular 
and successful factor in church and temperance work. 
Thomas Spotswood was a local preacher, and Chester 
Power a real power for good in the world. The 
Kellums, Wards, Dales, Lyles, Sleightholmes, 
Thomases, Acrows and Mashinters were pious and 
useful families on Etobicoke circuit. The Lewis, 
Hopper, Lemon and Steele families on Markham cir 
cuit were all-round earnest Christian people. Father 
Lewis knew the Scriptures thoroughly, and his life 
was in harmony with them. Henry Childs, of London, 
superintendent of the G.T.R. car works, was a liberal, 
constant, long-tried Primitive Methodist. 

In Hamilton Church were Mr. and Mrs. Carter, 
Edmund Furniss, a Yorkshire-man, a marble mer 
chant and a Sunday School superintendent both before 
and after union, all staunch Primitive Methodists. 
Humphrey Arthur and Mr. D. Parks were both 
worthy officials and many times members of Confer 
ence. John Chater was a devoted, earnest, sincere 

284 



HUMAN CHARACTER IMPERISHABLE. 

Christian, a local preacher of more than ordinary 
ability, a church member who was always found at 
the prayer-meeting for spiritual refreshing and to 
strengthen his brethren. On Claremont circuit, 
Orillia mission and in Gait his life and character 
never dimmed, but stood out before men ; he was 
most loved and appreciated by those who knew him 
best and longest. He left earth suddenly one 
moment walking the pavement in Gait, the next the 
streets of the New Jerusalem, that home for which 
he lived and longed. All the sorrow was on this 
side of the curtain ; on the other side there was a 
coronation. No gem can be polished without friction, 
no man perfected without trial. A gem will stand 
the process of beautifying, and John Chater s trials, 
borne with Christian resignation, made his character 
bright and beautiful. He was a brother-in-law of the 
Rev. John Goodman. 

Mr. Joseph Ryan, of Guelph, was a faithful local 
preacher, and his wife one of the most lovable Chris 
tian women. They died before the Twentieth Cen 
tury Fund movement, and the Paisley Street Church 
(of which they had been members) in loving remem 
brance of them placed their names on the historic roll. 
Nor should we omit to mention the Welsh family, the 
Grahams and Hockins, whose memory is cherished. 
Mr. S. Tyrrel is still doing noble work in Paisley 
Street Church, Guelph. 

I will now try to picture " Daddy Woodward, and 
may he live on these pages for " we ne er shall see his 
like again." He was a member of Victoria Square 

285 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Church in Markham Township. He was an old man 
when I first saw him, thirty-five years ago. He had 
been a tailor, but was so palsied that his limbs were 
not under his control. He could start them off and 
they would race him ; first, bang up into a fence 
corner, then on to his two canes, one in each hand, and 
again into the next fence corner he would come with 
all his might. If you met him you moved to the 
other side of the ditch, or he might tumble against 
you with a force that would knock you over. He 
was like a paring machine with several cogs broken 
off, which at each revolution stops. This disability 
did not prevent him starting out to walk a mile or 
two in warm weather to take dinner with the other 
members of the church, who received him with 
brotherly kindness at any time he came. Certain 
families followed the changes of the moon in sending 
him supplies, and they tried to get the loaf there 
while it was warm, or he might enquire next time he 
saw them why they had sent him stale bread. He had 
a little store, and got twice the value of anything be 
cause it was " Daddy " who sold it. He kept a school 
for children in the first class, and taught them in the 
most antiquated manner. W-h-o he pronounced woe, 
and if the children were told another way at home 
they had to take " Daddy s " pronunciation while 
with him or suffer the consequences. After a time 
he could not get to church alone, and two of the mem 
bers carried him there on Sunday morning, and 
placed him on one of the side seats at the front. His 
red handkerchief was soon on top of his head to keep 

286 



HUMAN CHARACTER IMPERISHABLE. 

the cold air off, while the fringe of thin white hair 
streamed down to his coat. He might have said, 
with one of Dickens characters, " my legs are queer," 
but he did not complain ; they were all the legs he 
had and he tried to uphold their respectability. He 
told his Christian experience every Sunday, but his 
mouth being paralized, too, I have no idea what it 
was. With all his odd ways and jerks his hoary head 
was a crown of glory to him, because he was found in 
the way of righteousness. He was mostly as cross as 
a bear, but everyone knew that " Daddy meant 
right, and though he had neither kith nor kin his 
pathway to the grave was made easier by loving, 
kindly Christian ministries. He looked for a better 
country, and the shiny bald head was laid to rest 
years ago. " Daddy loved his Bible, the promises 
were his, and now he enjoys eternal youth. 

There were all kinds of people in the early days of 
Methodism and a variety of experiences for the 
minister. At a railway station, where a sawmill 
stood surrounded by a forest, one of our ministers, in 
the year 1863, discovered quite a large population 
without any religious services. He began to preach, 
and the lumbermen put up a shanty in which to wor 
ship. They attended a series of week-night services 
and some gave their hearts to God. Feeling that 
" even so hath the Lord ordained that they who 
preach the gospel should live of the gospel," one of 
the converts asked the minister to announce for a 
collection on the following evening. There was a 
large attendance of liberal men, and the hat passed 

287 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

round had seen service. Some things are not made 
for heavy responsibilities and that hat crown was one 
of them. As the hat was being carried to the minister 
the vessel gave way at a point unthought of, and the 
coins, copper and silver, rattled and rolled on the 
boarded floor. The pulpit felt the need of more 
grace, and extra staying properties to preserve proper 
decorum. Willing hands assisted in finding the 
scattered coins, when suddenly the man holding the 
hat called out, " I say, Jim, you let this money alone ! 
I know you. You se be as likely to pocket some of 
it as not." Jim, who had been very active, subsided, 
but the ministerial dignity followed the example of 
the hat crown and collapsed. Poor human nature 
could stand no more, and there was a laughing chorus 
without piano accompaniment, while the financial 
business was carried to a successful termination. 

Six miles from this sawmill, in a closely settled 
community, a revival service was held and sixty- 
seven souls added to the Lord. 



288 



CHAPTER XXL 

WEIGHED IN THE BALANCES, 

Methodist Union Association Formed Sixteen Reasons for Metho 
dist Union Open Conference in Shaftesbury Hall Leading 
Ministers and Laymen Invited Four Subjects for Discussion 
The Debate Animated The Meeting a Safety-Valve Rev. 
Robert Boyle A Pioneer Primitive Methodist His Love of 
Books Brampton his own Parish Memorial Service. 

METHODIST union was once a question that stirred 
and warmed the blood of the greater part of Primitive 
Methodism. The older people viewed it with dis 
trust ; the rising generation could see no reason why 
they should not go with the crowd. We shall quote 
a sentence from the Pastoral Address as found in the 
Minutes of Conference for 1861 : 

Rev. Robert Boyle, the President, urged parents to 
train their own children in denominational attach 
ment. It pained him to see them seeking a religious 
home in other denominations. 

" Teach them by precept and example to love the 
church in which they were nurtured when tender 
and young. Dear brethren, our own churches have 
the first and strongest claim upon the children of our 
own societies. Let us bring them up as far as possible 

289 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA 

within the inclosure of our own fold. Let us counsel 
them in this matter." 

Some circuits were so opposed to union that they 
looked upon all ministers who favored it as traitors 
to the connexion. They considered them as men 
who simply wanted to find easy positions and fat 
salaries. The union party on the other hand were 
so convinced of the righteousness of the cause, that 
they resented the action of the Conference in trying 
to muzzle people and prevent discussion, when the 
delegates who passed such an arbitrary motion in 
1873 were not elected to Conference on that issue, 
and consequently their vote could not be a test vote 
of the church. At the close of the Conference, there 
fore, an association was formed to keep the union 
ball moving, educate the masses, labor on and trust 
in God till success was reached. To this end, a 
pamphlet of seven pages was printed on the subject, 
and widely circulated among the membership. The 
reasons given for union were as follows : 

1. Union was Scriptural 

2. All the essentials of Methodism are common to 
all its branches. 

3. The branches of Methodism simply divide the 
same work. 

4. All the doctrines, usages, hymns, etc., are the 
same. 

5. Money was sacrificed for denominationalism 
that should be spent for the conversion of the 
heathen. 

6. We are responsible for the right use of our means. 

290 



WEIGHED IN THE BALANCES. 

7. The tendencies of the time point to union. 

8. Rivalries and divisions should not exist in the 
great Methodist family. 

9. Four ministers and four churches were to sup 
port in many places, where one could do the whole. 

10. One Methodist body could take a strong 
position in the social and educational work of 
Canada. 

11. If we waste our resources we must take a 
second place. 

12. The growth, wealth, and power of Popery need 
a united Methodism to confront it. 

13. The arguments for union are based on Chris 
tian principle and the general prosperity of Metho 
dism. 

14. A desire for strength and efficiency is not a 
consistent charge of disloyalty. 

15. That if lay delegation and a general name 
were conceded we should accept union. 

16. That the glory of God would be promoted 
infinitely beyond the conception of the most sanguine 
advocates of Methodist union. 

These pamphlets were very generally distributed, 
and pretty generally thrown into the waste basket 
unread. The following names were attached : Rev. 
Joseph Markham, Rev. Thos. Griffith, Rev. James 
Edgar, Rev. Jonathan Milner, Samuel R. Briggs, 
Esq., Daniel McLean, Esq., W. D. Fitzpatrick, Esq., 
John W. Cox, Esq. 

On April 14th and 15th, 1875, an open conference 
was held in Shaftesbury Hall to consider the subject 

19 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

of Methodist Union. This meeting was called by 
Rev. Thomas Griffith, Rev. Thomas Guttery, R. I. 
Walker, Esq., Daniel McLean, Esq., Robert Walker, 
Esq., Thomas Thompson, Esq. and Samuel Briggs, 
Esq., the latter acting as secretary of the committee. 

The circular calling this meeting spoke of Metho 
dism as a vital force in Christendom, referred to the 
amalgamation of the New Connexion and Wesleyan 
Methodist Church, the friendly attitude of the 
united church, and proceeded : 

"There are amongst us brethren who think that 
the interests of the Redeemer s kingdom would be 
advanced by a further unification of Methodism, and 
others believe we have been called of God to a 
distinct work and should remain separate. It is now 
proposed to invite all who are interested in this 
question to meet together for informal, brotherly and 
prayerful consultation. Your attendance is desired 
and the following explanations are given : 

" First. It is in no sense a mere party meeting 
except that it is confined to Primitive Methodists. 
It is intended to be neither union nor anti-union, but 
simply a meeting for free and full and brotherly 
consultation. 

" Second. This being the case, no resolution will 
be proposed in any way committing the members of 
the meeting on this subject. 

" Third. Nothing shall be allowed that shall 
appear in the slightest degree to commit the con 
nexion to either one policy or another." 

These invitations were sent to all the ministers and 
most of the leading laymen of the denomination, and 
the attendance at the meeting was fairly representa- 

292 



WEIGHED IN THE BALANCES. 

tive as to numbers on both sides ; but the discussion 
was one-sided, from the fact that while those who 
called the convention together advocated Methodist 
union, those opposed to it attended the meeting 
simply to watch the proceedings but take no part in 
the controversy. The topics to be brought before 
the meeting were not printed on the circular of 
invitation, and were all opened by men in sympathy 
with the union movement. It was a union committee 
that called the convention together, as those opposed 
to it considered it treasonable to the connexion whose 
highest court had requested all agitation on the 
subject to cease. From reading the report of this 
informal (pronounced by some infernal) conference, 
we find the committee had chosen the following 
subjects for discussion : 

" I. The Numerical and Financial Position of Our 
Church in Canada, Past and Present." 

" II. The Geographical Position of Our Work in 
Canada." 

"III. The Distinctive Features of Methodism in 
Canada. What are they ? " 

" IV. Are we justified in expending our means and 
energies for the further prosecution of Church Work 
in Canada as a separate denomination ? 

Some of the papers read were fair and took an all 
round view of the matter ; others showed only the 
dark side, and for this reason were opposed as only 
partly true. They treated of the vast sums expended, 
but did not state any assets in church property. It 
was not considered fair to report on the unproductive 

293 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

parts of the work only, and not consider the progress 
of the connexion as a whole. One brother opposed 
to union said he had prepared a statement for the 
Conference of 1873 comparing the connexion as a 
whole with the other Methodist bodies in the 
country, and it gave a different showing for nearly 
the same period of time. From 1857 to 1873 the 
percentage of increase in the Methodist Episcopal 
Church was 61 ; in the Wesleyan Methodist 67 ; in 
the New Connexion 63 ; and in the Primitive Metho 
dist 115. The distinctive features of Methodism in 
Canada were shown to be : Love to the common 
brotherhood and the Methodist Church in particular ; 
self-abnegation, or laboring to ameliorate the condi 
tion of others ; aggressiveness, adhesion, equality, 
holy consecrated zeal, and, lastly, making the best 
possible use of the means and appliances at hand. 
The last subject considered was whether Primitive 
Methodism was justified in expending means and 
energy for the further prosecution of church work as 
a separate denomination. The paper introducing 
this topic was a very impartial consideration of the 
matter, and was handled in a kindly spirit. A 
brother who knew English Primitive Methodism 

c5 

well spoke of the distinctive work they did in 
England because they worked in an empty place, 
where work was needed and not being done, so that 
it would be an error to put an end to Primitive 
Methodism there ; but here they were doing no work 
that other churches were not doing equally well. 
There was a solemn responsibility on those who 

294 



WEIGHED IN THE BALANCES. 

expended the money subscribed for Christian work. 
The missionary money in England was raised by 
very great self-denial, thousands of people paid it in 
by pennies. Last year $6,000 was sent to us in 
Canada ; we needed it for a crisis, but was it a right 
position ? In London, England, there were probably 
two millions of people for whom there was no church 
accommodation provided. 

" London has seventy times the population of 
Toronto ; in London we have twenty ministers, in 
Toronto we have five. In Birmingham we have 
three ministers with a population of 300,000. In some 
villages here there are three ministers to a handful of 
people. In the Methodist Church the ministry have 
a rank above the people, but this is a question for 
the people. Their home is not to be wrested from 
them, and we must not overstrain official powers. If 
the people do not want union, then union men must 
wait for ib or give it up. There was another point : 
The connexional authorities in England had an abso 
lute right to be consulted on this great question. He 
believed the brethren who advocated union desired in 
the most loyal and respectful manner to consult the 
authorities at home. He had the most profound 
confidence in the honored men who stood at the helm 
in England. Twice he had been permitted as a 
visitor to be present at the committee room, at 
Sutton Street, London, and he had been struck and 
impressed by the clear insight, sound judgment, 
intelligent bearing and cautious wisdom of the vener 
able men who filled connexional offices at home. 

295 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

He would feel the most perfect confidence in submit 
ting any question to these men. He thought the 
time was near when a deputation, able and impartial, 
should be sent to England on this question, and we 
may be sure it will be considered and dealt with in a 
candid, intelligent and judicious manner." 

The discussion brought out the fact that in many 
places Primitive Methodism could only succeed at the 
expense of inflicting injury upon other churches that 
were in the field before them. Another questioned 
whether Methodism as a whole would not be better if 
we stayed out of the union, even if a proper basis 
were found. Wesleyan Methodism in England would 
not have been as it is but for the potent influence by 
its side. If we had only one Methodist Church, she 
would lose in energy as she increased in wealth. 
Another opposed union because the people did not 
want it, and those who felt the financial responsibility 
of the work were worried and discouraged by this 
agitation. It was doing serious harm. The older 
circuits were losing their missionary enthusiasm, 
while men on mission fields were dependent upon the 
missionary society for their living. 

A large number of the reports were printed for 
circulation, but some of the best men who had been 
the means of calling the open conference together, 
felt that they had overstepped the bounds of pro 
priety, and many of the reports were never mailed. 
This gathering did several things that were of the 
highest utility. It served as a safety valve to let off 
some of the high pressure that might have burst weak 

296 



WEIGHED IN THE BALANCES. 

places in the machinery. It served to let daylight in 
where the doors and windows had been bolted against 
the light. It proved that men could be exactly 
opposite in their ideas, and yet be equally sincere and 
earnest. It showed the other Methodist bodies who 
felt this small and insignificant body might be glad 
to unite on any terms they might dictate, the kind of 
material they had to deal with if union were effected. 
It proved to the largest Methodist body that if such 
concessions were not made as would bring all four 
denominations together in one solid whole, there 
might be a union of the minor bodies, which would 
mean a stronger opposition for the coming time. It 
also showed to all who were interested, that Primi 
tive Methodism even in its divided state, was a unit 
in having lay delegation in the Annual Conference, 
and it preserved for us to-day the reasons for and 
against union, for this meeting was indicative of the 
thought that stirred the rank and file of the member 
ship. 

It is impossible for me to take space to give a 
proper account of the spirited, warm debate, on the 
subjects discussed, which called out the earnestness of 
the men on both sides, and which Rev. James Edgar 
deplored as having the appearance of party spirit. 
The debate was certainly animated, and furnishes 
pleasant reading, for who does not love a good hearty 
fight when there is anything worth contending for. 
However at the time the report was printed it was 
not much relished. Many Primitive Methodists felt 
that the union men were pulling the house down over 

297 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

their heads and then calling the attention of the 
world to what an old barracks it was ; that the union 
men were discrediting the connexion to the member 
ship where they labored, and diverting the minds of 
the people from soul-saving, which was the first busi 
ness of the church, and the key to success ; that these 
men were dividing the church into two parties and 
bringing about such a disastrous condition of affairs 
that the connexion would be compelled to seek union 
at any price; that Canadian Primitive Methodism 
was pledged to the English Conference which had 
vested rights because of the large sums of money sent 
out yearly, and that we could not consummate union 
without dishonor ; that it was not probable the larger 
bodies would concede lay delegation in the annual 
Conferences, and until they did show their willing 
ness, the agitation was a continual source of weakness 
that must result in the overthrow of the connexion. 
Many hearts ached with sorrow as they felt dark 
days coming on that the old time glory had departed 
when they were all of one heart and one mind. The 
Conferences would meet, and instead of unity there 
would be disagreement; instead of sympathy there 
would be contention, instead of confidence there would 
be suspicion ; and instead of faith and hope for the 
future there would be discouragement. 

O 

Men in connexional office at this time were under a 
severe strain. They had to be true to the interests of 
the Home Society, and yet conduct business so as not 
to antagonize those who differed from them on the all 
absorbing question, for they needed their sympathy 

298 




REV. ROBERT BOYLE, D.D. REV. JAMES EDGAR, M.D. 

REV. WILLIAM ROWE. 



WEIGHED IN THE BALANCES. 

arid co-operation in the Canadian work. Though the 
anti-union men attended the meeting determined to 
take no part in the debate, under the intense pressure 
they were forced to defend themselves, and did it in a 
manner highly creditable to themselves and the con 
nexion. Those who desired union wanted the 
Journal s columns to advocate their cause, but the 
editor was the servant of the Conference which had 
voted discussion should cease. Under these circum 
stances the honor was more than counterbalanced by 
the worry, and it required a steady head and fearless 
heart, with Almighty guidance, to steer the connex- 
ional bark. 

We will change the subject and give a sketch of 
the life of a pioneer minister, well and widely known 
throughout Primitive Methodism in Canada. 

The Rev. Robert Boyle, D.D., was called into the 
Primitive Methodist ministry as a probationer in 
1845. He was a native of Tipperary, Ireland, and 
was converted in early life under the preaching of the 
late Rev. Wm. Gather. He was superannuated in 
1878 through failing health. He early took front 
rank among his brethren, was made Secretary of 
Conference in 1858, and in 1861 and 1873 was elected 
to the Presidency. He was an upright and con 
scientious man the very soul of honor, with the 
heart of a child, affectionate, tender, and true. He 
was bright as the morning and sunny as the day ; his 
native wit was fresh and cheery as the verdure on 
the hills of Erin. He was one of the humblest of 
men, and yet possessing an unusual superiority of 

299 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

mental equipment. He had great sympathy for his 
brethren in the ministry, and often rendered valuable 
assistance to young probationers in the prosecution of 
their studies. He had a large library and was at his 
best in the presence of his books. His study was his 
sanctuary ; there he held rare fellowship and blessed 
intercourse with the great and good of all the ages. 
A few years ago the Senate of Victoria University by 
a unanimous vote conferred upon him the degree of 
Doctor of Divinity. 

As a minister, Dr. Bovle was successful in turning 1 

t/ O 

many to righteousness. During one of his pastorates 
in Brampton the town was visited with one of the 
greatest revivals it ever enjoyed. Some of his 
spiritual children are preaching the gospel in Canada, 
and others in the United States. He preached more 
sermons to St. Paul s congregation than any other 
man, for he was stationed there by Conference fifteen 
times. He once said to rne with a merry twinkle in 
his eye : " I had a standing invitation to Brampton ; 
if no other station wanted me, I could always go 
there." 

Robert Boyle was best loved where he was longest 
known. He had a wide circle of acquaintance and 
friendship ; homes far and near sat in the shadow of 
a great grief when this friend of God and man was 
removed. Parents, children and grandchildren shared 
a common sadness, for he who had consecrated them 
in baptism, joined them in marriage, and laid away 
their precious dead, had been transferred from the 
record of the living to join the great majority of his 

300 



WEIGHED IN THE BALANCES. 

spiritual children, and be welcomed by the greater 
part of his old-time contemporaries in the heavenly 
inheritance. He left to mourn for a short time in 
loneliness and grief, the wife who had journeyed with 
him since their lives were young, and four sons and 
two daughters, who sorrowed for the loss of a wise and 
loving father. He died in Brampton on February 
27th, 1896, and was interred in the cemetery two days 
later, in the fifty-third year of his Christian ministry, 
and the seventy-first of his age. Rev. J. A. Rankin, 
the pastor, conducted the services, and spoke in 
sympathetic terms of the relationship existing between 
them. Rev. M. L. Pearson, President of the Con 
ference, Dr. Dewart, Dr. Sims, Rev. W. Herridge, 
Rev. J. Goodman, Dr. Barrass, Rev. J. E. Lancely and 
Dr. Parker were present and took some part in the 
ceremonies; a tribute from Rev. J. Philp, D.D., a 
former pastor, was read. Dr. Potts had been requested 
by Rev. R. Boyle, to take some part at his funeral if 
he should survive him, and, being in a distant part of 
the province at the time, suggested a memorial 
service, which was held on March 15th in St. Paul s 
Church. His text was from Acts 20 : 24. The 
Doctor paid a high tribute to the excellent worth, 
sterling integrity, and unswervable, true Christian 
character of the deceased. 



301 



CHAPTER XXII 

METHODIST UNION POSSIBLE. 

t 

Conference of 1877 Rev. Wm. Herridge a Delegate to English 
Conference Conference of 1878 Methodist Union Impracti 
cable Rev. J. Dyke Rev. II. Paul Rev. Charles Lazenby 
Conference of Ib79 Letters of Condolence -- Mrs. Robert 
Walker Conference of 1880 Rev. G. J. Reeve Terrible 
Catastrophe in London, Ont. Conference of 1881 Rev. John 
Garner Rev. John Lacey Rev. Thomas Adams Conference 
of 1882 Methodist Union in Feasible Rev. M. H. Matthews- 
Rev. J. B. Avison Rev. W. S. Hughan. 

THE Conference of 1877 was held at Aurora. Revs. 
W. Rod well, C. J. Dobson and Charles Lazenby were 
ordained. Rev. J. F. Porter and Rev. G. Clarke 
returned to England. Letters of condolence were 
sent to Rev. Jonathan Milner, Rev. Thomas Boyd, 
Mrs. Ryder and Mrs. Cheetham. Rev. W. Reid was 
allowed leave of absence to visit England, and Rev. 
W. Herridge was appointed one of the delegates to 
the English Conference. In the address to the English 
Conference, which he carried as a letter of introduc 
tion, he was referred to as " One who has travelled 
among us in this land for twenty years, w T ho has 
occupied our best stations, and is in high esteem 
among his brethren." 

Rev. Albert Sims was ordained in 1878. John 

302 



METHODIST UNION POSSIBLE. 

Bugg, Esq., was made a life member of the General 
Committee and Conference. A resolution was passed 
by this Conference which declared Methodist union 
impracticable on account of differences in church 
polity between the contracting bodies ; and advising 
all further discussion on the subject to cease. Letters 
of condolence were sent to the Rev. J. Dyke, Rev. R. 
Paul, and the widow of the Rev. Charles Lazenby, 
who met his death by drowning. He was a native of 
Yorkshire, England, and came to Canada in 1872. 
He labored with ability and success on Bracebridge 
and Bradford stations. The Conference of 1877 
stationed him at Plattsville, and after a few weeks his 
life terminated suddenly while bathing in the River 
Nith. He was a genial, friendly man, given to reading 
and study, and promised to become more than an 
ordinary preacher. His death was much lamented by 
his sorrowing widow and the community, for he 
was a faithful, laborious minister. 

At the Conference of 1879, Revs. Thos. Coupland, 
J. B. Avison, and R. L. Ockley were ordained. Rev. 
Thomas Guttery was superannuated and returned to 
England. Rev. Richard Auger was also superan 
nuated. Rev. J. C. Antliff, M.A., B.D., came from 
England and was appointed Editor of the Christian 
Journal. The thanks of the Conference were con 
veyed to Mr. R. I. Walker and Mrs. C. Tackaberry for 
the receipt of $400 to the mission fund being the 
amount of legacy left thereto by the late lamented 
Mrs. Robert Walker. Letters of sympathy were sent 
to William Wilkins, of Gait, James Walker, R. Pat- 

303 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

tison, Mrs. Reeve and Robert Walker, in their family 
affliction and bereavement. It was the prayer of the 
Conference that God would sustain them and ulti 
mately reunite them and their loved ones in the home 
above. 

Out of one thousand and nine official members, nine 
hundred and thirty- three were reported to be total 
abstainers. Ministers were to discourage Sabbath in 
terments, and instruct the membership to abstain 
from worldly conversation, Sunday travelling, and 
whatever would desecrate the Sabbath. 

Rev. G. J. Reeve died during the year. He was a 
native of Terrington, Norkfolk, England. He realized 
the saving change in 1864, and was placed on the plan 
as an exhorter, often accompanying his father who was 
a Primitive Methodist local preacher, to his appoint 
ments. In 1871 he entered the regular ministry; in 
1872 he came to Canada and served his probation with 
credit to himself and honor to the church. He was a 
good and useful minister, had a clear scriptural ex 
perience, and possessed elements of power which were 
daily maturing. He suffered long weary months of 
affliction with cheerfulness, patience, resignation and 
a continuous interest in his work. His death occurred 
on February 16th, 1879. He was buried in the vil 
lage of Sandford, and there awaits all that was mortal 
of a faithful and much lamented Christian minister. 

The conference of 1880 was held at Orangeville. 

O 

Revs. Joseph Aston, Paul Flint, J. J. Noble and S. P. 
Barker were ordained. Robert Walker, Esq. and Rev. 
J. C. Antliff, M.A., B.D., were appointed to attend the 

304 



METHODIST UNION POSSIBLE. 

(Ecumenical Council of Methodism, to be held in Lon 
don, England, in August 1881. Letters were written 
to Revs. Edgar, Antliff, Hughan, Griffith, Boyle and 
Adams offering the affectionate sympathy of the Con 
ference in the loss they had sustained, or afflictions 
through which they had passed or were then passing: 
The Rev. James Edgar and the Rev. Robert Boyle 
were superannuated. Very sympathic reference was 
made to this event in the Conference Pastoral Address. 

" The leaders of our beloved Isarael. who in the 
past led on the hosts to victory, men of strong vigorous 
intellect, and unwavering trust in God, whose labors 
have been abundantly blessed to vast numbers of the 
people of Canada, now through the infirmities of age, 
or physical weakness brought on by excessive labors, 
have been necessitated to relinquish their beloved em 
ployment and retire from active service. We also 
missed such men as Brother Wilkins, C. D. Maginn, 
and other veteran laymen, who in the past have liber 
ally sustained and earnestly labored for the interest 
of the church they loved so well." 

A terrible catastrophe occurred near London on May 
24th, 1881. An excursion steamer which ran between 
London and Springbank, a pleasure resort four miles 
down the river Thames, was returning in the evening 
heavily laden with passengers. As she neared the 
city the crowd moved to the side of the boat next to 
the landing, when, with scarcely a moment s warning, 
the steamer (a flat bottomed vessel) capsized ; the 
whole superstructure gave way, and the entire com 
pany of passengers and crew were thrown, a strug- 

305 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

gling, panic-stricken mass, into the water. The river 
at this point is scarcely eight feet deep and not more 
than ninety feet wide, yet in spite of the most heroic ex 
ertions on the part of friends on the shore, and of many 
of the passengers who had freed themselves, nearly two 
hundred and fifty were drowned or crushed to death- 
This overwhelming calamity sent a thrill of horror 
throughout the land, accompanied by a wave of sym 
pathy for the bereaved. Only three days after the 
conference met at Kingston and sent the following 



message: 



" To the Mayor of London, 

Dear Sir, We hasten at this opening session to con 
vey to you and the citizens of London, the unani 
mously expressed sympathy of this Conference with 
you and the citizens of London, in your overwhelming 
distress, and our earnest prayers to Almighty God 
that you rnay be divinely sustained in this unparal 
leled calamity. 

M. N. MATTHEWS, President. 

T. BRYANT, Secretary." 

A reply to the telegram was received from Mayor 
Campbell, of London, thanking the Conference for its 
prayers and its kind expression of sympathy. 

Revs. John Dobson, Henry Harper, Abraham Tonge, 
George Baker, H. D. Tyler and J. A. Rowe were 
ordained in 1881. 

The Conference Committee on Temperance, in their 
report, expressed thankfulness that a temperance text 
book had been introduced into the curriculum of the 
public school. 



METHODIST UNION POSSIBLE. 

From the Pastoral Address we quote : " This year 
death has been doing its work in our midst. With 
sorrow we record the departure of two of our fathers, 
the Rev. Thomas Adams and the Rev. John Lacey, 
These veterans in our Israel labored long and faith 
fully in promoting the spiritual life and interests of 
the denomination. How much we owe to these noble 
sires the last day will make known. 

" Rev. John Garner, a brother beloved, who has 
served the connexion faithfully for thirty-two years 
in the active ministry was necessitated to seek super 
annuation. He felt this step to be one of great trial 
to him. Much sympathy was shown this useful and 
able servant of God. May the evening of life to our 
brother be one of sunshine and joy ; and when the 
summons shall come for him to go, may he enter into 
the rest that remaineth." 

Rev. John Lacey, one of the Canadian pioneer 
ministers, was born January 1st, 1798, in London, 
England. He was converted at fourteen years of 
age and was soon on the plan, being known as the 
boy preacher. About the year 1821, he was called 
into the regular ministry of the Primitive Methodist 
denomination by the Hull Circuit. The possession 
of a retentive memory gave him an extensive know 
ledge of the Scriptures, and qualified him for ever 
increasing usefulness. In 1836 he emigrated to 
Canada, and travelled on the following stations : 
Markham, Toronto, Brampton, Etobicoke, Laskay, 
Bowmanville, Portland, Albion, Walpole and Blen- 

- ^t 

heim. He was more than one term on several of the 
20 307 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

foregoing stations, and labored with great success. 
He was President of the first Canadian Conference, 
and filled the office again in 1859. He was super 
annuated in 1865, and went to reside at Sydenham, 
the connexion having evidenced the high esteem in 
which he was held by buying him a homestead at 
this place. Here he lived over fifteen years, ripening 
for heaven, a model superannuated minister, serving 
the church to the extent of his ability. He died 
April 10th, 1881. On Tuesday his funeral was 
attended by all the ministers on the district, and a 
sermon was preached by Rev. J. E. Lidstone. 
" Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord." 

Rev. Thomas Adams was also one of the pioneer 
ministers. He was born in Coleford t Gloucestershire, 
England, in 1809. He was converted when nineteen 
years of age, entered the Primitive Methodist ministry 
in 1832, and emigrated to Canada in 1844. His first 
station was Toronto. He was president of the second 
Conference held in Canada in 1855. He was a 
happy Christian, and his pulpit ministrations were 
never lacking in spiritual power. The heavenly in 
fluence he carried with him proved he was a man of 
remarkable spiritual devotion. He excelled in family 
visiting, and did much good by his pious visitations. 
He was superannuated in 1865, settled at Gait, and 
was held in the highest esteem by all the religious 
denominations of the town. His death was triumph 
ant. He desired nothing to be put on his gravestone 
but his name, his age, and " a sinner saved by grace." 
He said, " At a soldier s funeral they play the dead 

308 



METHODIST UNION POSSIBLE. 

march, why not sing at mine, for / am an old soldier 
of the cross." His wish was complied with, and as 
the funeral cortege moved through the streets, Chris 
tian people sang the hymn he had chosen for the 
occasion : 

Hark a voice divides the sky, 
Happy are the faithful dead ; " etc. 

So lived and died this man of God. 

At the Conference of 1882 Revs. S. W. Holden, 
W. B. Booth, W. McDonald, W. J. Weatherill, R Stil- 
well, R J. Stilwell and G. S. Robinson were ordained, 
and Rev. C. S. Willis was superannuated. The Con 
ference passed a resolution in favour of Methodist 
union, and appointed a committee to confer with the 
committees of other Methodist bodies to prepare a 
basis of union. The names on the committee were : 
Revs. Wm. Bee, R. Boyle, H. Harris, J. Milner, J. C. 
Antliff, T. Griffith, and Messrs. R. I. Walker, M. M. 
Elliott, J. Green, E. Crompton, T. M. Edmondson, the 
president and vice-president as ex-officio members, 
Rev. T. Griffith to be convener. If union were not 
effected this committee was to lay before the other 
Conferences the desirability of amalgamating small 
societies in sparsely settled districts, for greater econ 
omy of men and money. Resolutions of sympathy 
were sent to the families of Revs. M. H. Matthews 
and J. B. Avison, both of whom died during the year. 

The Conference considered it advisable to acquaint 
the English Conference with the attitude of the 
Canadian Primitive Methodist Conference toward 

309 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Methodist Union, and to this end the following letter 
was sent : 

" The Primitive Methodist Conference in Canada 
to the Primitive Methodist Conference, or General 
Committee, in England, greeting. 

" Dear Fathers and Brethren, We would respect 
fully bring to your notice at this earliest opportunity 
the following resolution of the Conference now in 
session, on the question of Methodist Union : That 
this Conference is prepared to admit the possibility, 
desirability and feasibility of a unification of Method 
ism in this Dominion. 

"The motion was passed by a large majority. For 
some years past we have felt the strong tendencies of 
religious events in this country drawing, as by an 
almost irrisistible influence the scattered elements of 
Methodism together. The numerous branches of the 
Methodist church found in thinly populated districts, 
and the migratory habits of the people, have rendered 
it impossible in many places for even the most efficient 
man to build up strong societies, and have involved 
years of earnest toil, for which very inadequate results 
have been obtained. 

" We would gladly have made any sacrifice of a 
financial character, if we believed we were doing the 
best that could be done for God and could see good 
prospects of permanently establishing our denomina 
tion in this country. 

"Our love for the parent cause in England prompts 
us to say, that we are not unmindful of the fact that 
much that is dear in our religious history we owe to 
Primitive Methodism, and that for many years we 
have received substantial help from your hands. No 
initiative has been taken as yet, in reference to a basis 
of union, but we have felt it our duty to submit the 
case to you first of all. When a practicable basis can 

310 



METHODIST UNION POSSIBLE. 

be found, that would be honourable and acceptable to 
us as a people, we trust we shall have your counsel 
and acquiescence. 

" This whole matter has come upon us spontaneously 
without agitation. The pressure brought to bear 
upon us by the consideration given to this subject by 
other Methodist branches, the force of public senti 
ment influenced by the (Ecumenical Council to some 
extent, and the fact that many of our quarterly meet 
ings have sent union legislation strongly endorsed by 
several district meetings, have resulted in this issue. 

" With a solemn consciousness of the leading hand 
of God in this movement, we submit the matter to 
your affectionate consideration. 

" Yours in the Lord Jesus, 

" JOHN GOODMAN, President. 
" RICHARD PAUL, Secretary. 

The Rev. M. H. Matthews died at Yorkville, De 
cember 28th, 1881. He laboured extensively and 
successfully on many of our large and important cir 
cuits. The Conference of 1881 elected him president. 
He was highly esteemed by ministers and people, 
being an earnest, plodding, pure-minded, Methodist 
preacher. His discourses were instructive, forcible, 
and scriptural. His illness was short, his confidence 
in Christ strong and abiding. He left a widow and 
five children to mourn the loss of a loving husband 
and father. 

Rev. J. B. Avison was the adopted son of Robert 
Wilson, Esq., of Mono, who educated him for the 
ministry. He was converted early in life. He was 
stationed in Reach, Toronto and Scarborough. He 
married Miss Baimer of Toronto. An insiduous dis- 

311 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

ease undermined his constitution, and he went to the 
Pacific coast for his health, but deriving no benefit 
returned to Squire Wilson s, where his life closed 
February 14th, 1882, at the early age of twenty-nine 
years. " He was not, for God took him." 

Another Primitive Methodist minister has lately 
crossed the river of death. Rev. W. S. Hughan was 
born in Oxfordshire in 1832, and died in Alliston, 
Ontario, on June 2nd, 1903. He entered the ministry 
in 1859, and labored with success on a number of the 
principal stations until his superannuation through 
failing health. He was faithful in his work. His 
sermons were thoughtful, pointed, and intensely evan 
gelistic. He had good administrative ability and rose 
to official position, being elected secretary of Confer 
ence, and then to the presidential chair. He was a 
manly man and a true friend. His loss will be felt, 
but death to our brother was infinite gain. 



312 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

OF ONE HEART AND MIND. 

Basis of Union Union Committee in Session Carlton Street 
Church Dr. Williams Dr. Carman Superannuation Fund 
Levelling Up A Mathematician Circular Letter Rev. 
Jonathan Milner Stations of Conference for 1883 Rev. R. 
Pattison Basis of Union Submitted to Membership Delegates 
to First General Conference at Belleville English Conference 
Acquiesce Address of Conference Levelling-Up Fund Rev. 
Wm. Bee Friendly Society Connexional Officers. 

THE joint committee of the four Methodist bodies 
met in Carlton Street Church, Toronto, on December 
6th, 1882. After the acquiescence by the English 
General Committee in 1882, (which is mentioned in 
the Conference Minutes of 1883), the committee as 
appointed by the Conference of 1882 met those of 
the other churches. As I looked down from the 
gallery of the church on the white-haired men there 
assembled, I thought I never saw so many heads with 
skylights. Dr. Williams was manifestly excited ; he 
did not relish the union. Every word he spoke was 
written that he might be tethered, and not go beyond 
prudence. His address was handed to the sten 
ographer. He looked the impersonation of dignity. 
Dr. Carman was cool and logical ; he stood by the 

313 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Episcopacy, and would not budge an inch. The 
Primitive Methodist delegation did little fighting, as 
many of the more thoughtful men in the larger 
bodies believed that lay delegation was more in 
harmony with the spirit of the age, and would add to 
the future stability of Methodism ; the vote, there 
fore, was ready without much argument. Though a 
few of the wisest and best men in all the four 
contracting bodies did not approve of union, still an 
amicable spirit was in all the churches a disposition 
to yield all minor points ; the feeling that to stop 
family quarrels and bring about the reign of love 
and mutual good- will was worth many sacrifices. In 
the Primitive Methodist Church there was an increas 
ing kindliness toward each other, and men who could 
never have been driven into union, could be led to 
think that though they might not like it personally, 
it was their duty to make a reasonable surrender, if 
the multitude of counsellors decided differently. 

The subject of union was considered under seven 
heads : 

1. Doctrine, General Rules, Ordinances. 

2. Church Government General Conference, 
Annual Conference, District Meeting, Quarterly 
Meeting. 

3. Church Property. 

4. Church Funds Superannuation Fund, Mission 
ary Fund, Contingent Fund, Children s Fund. 

5. Book and Publishing Interests. 

6. Educational Interests. 

7. Miscellaneous Recommendations. The Com- 

314 



OF ONE HEART AND MIND. 

position of the First Conference, Expenses of General 
Conference, Transfer of Ministers, Submitting the 
Basis of Union, and the Time and Name of the United 
Body. 

The debt on Primitive Methodist church property 
caused no difficulty after the union. An unused 
church in Woodstock had a debt remaining upon it, 
but it was sold for the amount to the Salvation 
Army. The Loan Company refusing to release the 
trustees and accept the Army as security, Rev. 
Jonathan Milner and Rev. Wm. Bee became responsible 
for them, and as the payments became due the Army 
discharged the debt, so that no application for help 
was sent to the Union Church Relief Fund. 

The Superannuation Fund gave the most trouble. 
The three Western Conferences of the Canada 
Methodist Church had an invested capital of $91,000, 
and by division among the ministers of these Con 
ferences according to years of travel, etc., amounted 
to so much per capita. The Primitive Methodist 
Conference was requested to measure up by investing 
as much as was required after their Book Room stock 
was counted as would make them have an equal 
claim on the Superannuation Fund. It was here that 
Jonathan Milner did such good service. He was a 
natural accountant, and he did the work entrusted to 
him so well as to merit and receive the thanks of his 
brother ministers, whose abilities ran in other 
channels. 

A circular letter was sent to all the contracting 
bodies giving the reasons why Methodism should be 

315 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

one, and urging the people to allow no prejudice, 
worldly motives, selfish aims, doubts, suspicions, party 
spirit, old jealousies or fancied injuries to prevent 
a wise and efficient direction of the resources 
of the church in her men, her institutions and her 
money. It was urged that the rivalries and jealousies 
of the past had hindered God s work and that har 
mony and brotherly love would increase the fellow 
ship of the Spirit and consequent revival of God s 
work. This letter, that is too lengthy to give here, 
was signed by 

S. D. Rice, Pres. Canada Methodist Church 

John Goodman, Pres. Primitive Meth. Church. 

W. Pascoe, Pres. Bible Christian Church. 

A. Carman, Bishop, Meth. Episcopal Church. 

Alex. Sutherland, Secretary of Committee. 
Rev. Jonathan Milner was a native of Yorkshire, 
England. He was born in 1830 and died in 1901 at 
his late residence, 770 Bathurst Street, Toronto. 
Early in life he came to Tpronto, and was a member 
of the Bay Street Church. While attending the 
ministrations of the Rev. James Caughey his spiritual 
life was greatly quickened, and the vows he took in 
solemn consecration were held sacred to his dying 
day. In the pulpit he was earnest, practical and 
Scriptural ; he looked for immediate results and saw 
many converted. In church finances, grappling with 
heavy debts and putting troubled circuits on the way 
to prosperity he did his full share, always succeeding. 
After his superannuation his work among the poor 
increased. He held every office in the power of his 

316 



OF ONE HEART AND MIND. 

brethren to bestow, from exhorter to President of 
the Conference. Beginning in 1854 as a missionary 
on the Kingston District, he gave fifty years of 
faithful work to benefit others. He labored in 
Toronto, Hamilton, Stratford, Woodstock and Barrie ; 
on some of these twice. To those who gathered 
round his dying bed he said, " It is all right, 
children," and passed into eternal rest. He left a 
widow, two sons and two daughters. 

"How blest the righteous when he dies. " 

The Conference of 1888 met in Carlton Street 
Church, Toronto. Revs. John Stonehouse, William 
Walker, Sylvester Fisher, Charles J. Curtis and John 
A. Troll ope were ordained. A letter of condolence 
was sent to the widow of the Rev. Rounding Pattison, 
who had died during the year. 

The stations for the year, and the last published 
for Primitive Methodism as a separate organization in 
Canada were as follows : 

TORONTO DISTRICT. 

Rev. Wm. Bee General Secretary and Book Steward. 
Rev. J. C. Anttiff, M.A., B.D. Editor Christian Journal. 
Toronto First Rev. J. C. Antliff, M.A., B.D., Rev. John 

Davison, Sup. ; Rev. J. Edgar, M.D., Sup. ; Rev. J. 

Dennis, Sup. 

Toronto Second C. O. Johnson ; one to be obtained. 
Toronto Third T. W. Jolliffe, W. B. Booth. 
Toronto Fourth T. Sims. 
Toronto Branch J. Bedford. 
Marlikam W. A. Rodwell, L. Phelps. 

317 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Unionville W. S. Hughan, A. Bedford. 

Pickering P. Flint. 

Bowmanmlle J. Dyke. 

Scarboro R. Stilwell. 

Reach R. Hassard, J. W. Patterson. 

SandfwrdN. Wellwood, J. A. Trotter, T. Foster, Sup. 

P.M. Colony C. S. Willis, Sup. 

BRAMPTON DISTRICT. 

Brampton T. Griffith, M.A. 

Brampton North R. Boyle, Sup. 

Brampton South H. Harper. 

Etobicoke D. Idle ; one to be obtained. 

Malton G. Wood. 

Albion East J. Smith ; one to be obtained. 

Albion West C. J. Dobson. 

Laskay L. Hall. 

Aurora W. Thornley, P. Jones. 

Orangeville W. Reid, J. Simpson, Sup. 

Amaranth G. F. Lee. 

Rosemont3. Thompson. 

HAMILTON DISTRICT. 

Hamilton J. Goodman. 

Or and River W. Newton. 

Walpole G. Baker ; one to be obtained. 

Plattsvilleti. Whitworth. 

CathcartS. W. Holden. 

Walsingham W. Walker. 

Woodstock Robt. Cade, J. Towler, Sup. 

St. Catharines J. A. Trollope. 

GUELPH DISTRICT. 

Guelph J. W. Robinson, J. H. Dyke. 
Peel A. W. Tonge. 
Haivksmlle J. Ferguson. 
Minto J. Walker. 

318 



OF ONE HEART AND MIND. 

ListvwettR. C. Burton 

Brant J. Stonehouse, J. Garner, Sup. 

Ripley R. Paul. 

Wingham J. Markham ; one to be obtained. 

Arthur J. J. Noble, T. Dudley, Sup. 

Grey R. Hoskins. 

LONDON DISTRICT. 

London E. Middleton, T. Nattrass, Sup. ; J. R. Swift, 

Sup. 

London EastJ. E. Moore. 
Forest R. Thompson. 
McGillivray E. Crompton. 
McGillivray WestTV. C. Bunt. 
Stratford W. Herridge. 
Mitchell and Sebringville J. W. Gilpin. 
PlymptonT. Amy, G. Jewitt. 
Dover T. Coupland. 

Chatham R. Auger, Sup. ; A. Hey worth, Sup. 
Charing Cross D. H. Taylor. 
CaradocG. H. Thompson ; one to be obtained ; W. 

Huggins, Sup. 
Woodham G. Watson. 
Dresden T. Edwards. 

KINGSTON DISTRICT. 

Kingston H. Harris. 
Loughboro J. E. Lidstone. 
Collins BayS. Fisher. 
Hinchinbrooke To be supplied. 
Montreal To be supplied. 
Lachute C. J. Curtis. 

BARRIB DISTRICT. 

BarrieJ. Milner, T. Crompton, Sup. 
O ro W. Macdonald. 
Bradford W. J. Weatherill. 

319 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Osprey J. Dobson, R. Stephenson, Sup. 

Cottingwood R. J. Stilwell. 

Artemisia J. S. Corcoran ; one to be obtained. 

Bracebridge T. G. Scott. 

Orillia R. McKee ; one to be obtained. 

Three Mile Lake To be supplied. 

Gravenhurst To be supplied. 

Victoria To be supplied. 

Rev. T. Bryant returns to England. 

The Conference of 1884 met in Brampton. Rev. 
Thomas Griffith was president and Rev. J. W. Gilpin 
secretary. At this Conference Revs. John Bedford, 
W. C. Bunt, D. H. Taylor and J. W. Patterson were 
ordained. This was the last Conference of the con 
nexion and the minutes were not published. 

Rev. R. Pattison was born at Bainton, Yorkshire, 
England, in 1838, and died at Laskay, Ontario, 
December 4th, 1882. He came with his parents to 
Canada when twelve years of age. His conversion 
was four years later, and he at once became mighty in 
prayer. As a boy he was given to reading and medi 
tation. In 1863 he entered the regular ministry and 
was appointed to open a mission in Muskoka, where 
he suffered untold hardships. He labored on Albion, 
Caradoc, Reach, Woodstock, Laskay, etc. He loved 
preaching. Twenty-nine years out of forty-four were 
spent in a forcible and fearless presentation of the 
power of Gospel truth by both his voice and 
life. He was only five days ill when God called 
him to his Heavenly inheritance. His body lies in 
the graveyard of Union church, Malton circuit, to 
await the resurrection of the just. 

320 



OF ONE HEART AND MIND. 

In January 1883, a Basis of Union was submitted 
to the membership of the Primitive Methodist body. 
The votes cast were 3,892, not one-half of the mem 
bership : Yeas, 3,205 ; Nays, 662. Eighty per cent, 
of those who voted approved of it. The delegates to 
the General Conference of the proposed united Meth 
odist Church were : 

Ministerial Revs. J. C. Antliff, M.A., B.D., Wm. 
Bee, W. Herridge, J. Goodman, R. Cade, T. Griffith, J. 
Mark ham, J. Milne. 

Vice Delegates. Revs. T. Crompton, R. Boyle, H. 
Harris, G. Wood. 

Lay Delegates. Messrs. R. Walker, J. Green, R. I. 
Walker, I. Wilson, W. Trebilcock, T. M. Edmondson, 
J. Kent, L. W. Purdy. 

Vice-Delegates. Messrs. J. Lawson, M. Treadgold, 
W. Oldham, R. J. Fleming. 

A lengthy letter of acquiescence was sent from the 
Primitive Methodist authorities in England, and we 
quote one sentence which speaks for itself : 

" We are of the opinion, after maturely considering 
the question in all its bearings, that it would be 
unwise on our part to offer any opposition, provided 
the process of unification be conducted and consum 
mated on fair and honorable terms, as we have reason 
to believe they will be." 

At the Conference of 1883, Methodist Union was 
the all-absorbing question, and never before had there 
been such unanimity of feeling and action on the 
part of all the contracting churches, as during the 
previous year. The large majority in all the churches 

321 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

believed the hand of God was in it. A different spirit 
prevailed a readiness to give and take to adjust 
differences and overcome prejudices. In all former 
attempts to bring about union there had been more 
of the jealous we-can-do-without-you feeling, which 
was promptly met by a corresponding coolness and 
lack of interest in the matter. " But when the ful 
ness of time had come " and the Lord put his spirit 
in all their hearts, their was an easiness of approach, 
and a readiness to yield on all sides that made the 
barriers give way, and with one heart and mind all 
set to work to remove the hindrances and difficulties, 
so that they might see eye to eye and perfect such a 
union as should auger well for the future prosperity 
of the consolidated body. The basis of union had 
been accepted by the people, the committee had been 
thanked for their labors and the Conference had 
appointed delegates to attend the General Conference 
to be held in Belleville in September, at which the 
union was expected to be consummated on such a 
basis as would secure to the laity of Methodism in 
Canada, a due share of power and responsibility in the 
government of the Church, and prove acceptable to 
all parties. We shall quote from the Conference 
Address as follows:- 

" Should the present proposals for union be success 
ful we trust, that none of you will allow any personal 
objections or local prejudices to prevent your accept 
ance of what has been done on your behalf with the 
best intentions, but that you will in every case, and 
by every means in your power, endeavor to make the 
union a grand success, in the name of our Lord and 

322 



OF ONE HEART AND MIND. 

Master, whose blessing we should earnestly implore, 
that wisdom from above may be granted. 

" We have also adopted plans by which when found 
necessary the financial aspect of this business will be 
laid before you, and your co-operation asked to enable 
our church to meet its share of the financial burden 
this union involves. We trust that a very liberal 
and hearty response will be given, especially by those 
whom God has prospered in the world. 

"In conclusion we implore you not to allow the 
union movement or anything else, to lessen your 
attachment to Christ, or to His Church on earth. By 
the diligent use of every means of grace, private 
prayer, family devotion and public worship, seek to 
maintain that vital union with Christ which is indis 
pensable to a happy personal experience, and a useful 
Christian life." 

In response to this appeal, Canadian Primitive 
Methodism subscribed about $14,000, and $5,000 was 
paid from the connexional funds. With this assist 
ance our ministers entered the union with equal 
claims on the Superannuation Fund and in the Book 
Room Establishment. 

During the winter of 1884, the Rev. Wm. Bee, 
being in England, was desired to settle with the 
Missionary Committee. Dr. Antliff was going to 
England in the spring, and was requested to arrange 
for the equitable claims of the Canadian ministers to 
be paid on their withdrawal from the Itinerant 
Preachers Friendly Society. The settlement was 
satisfactory to all concerned. 

The Rev. Wm. Bee had two terms at the Book 
Room, being General Secretary during the same 
21 323 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

periods. In 1877 he was stationed on a circuit, and 
in 1878 returned to the office. He was delegate to 
the English Conference in 1878 as Canadian repre 
sentative. A subscription was taken up in 1878 to 
relieve the embarrassment of the Book Room, and it 
was thought in selling off the stock to enter the union 
these monies would be required to balance accounts ; 
but when all was finally settled there was a balance 
in favor, and the twelve hundred dollars subscribed 
remained intact, and went to assist the ministers in 
the levelling-up fund. The Finance Committee were 
delighted and passed a complimentary resolution. 
The Conference of 1884 held at Brampton, the last of 
the Primitive Methodist Conferences in Canada, 
passed the following resolution : 

" That, as the Rev. Wm. Bee has been for the space 
of twelve years our Missionary and General Secretary 
and Book Steward, and year after year attended to 
all the financial interests of the connexion and the 
meetings of our Finance Committee, we have had the 
benefit of his ripe experience as a financier, and have 
been helped by his counsel. We would place on 
record our expression of gratitude to our Brother for 
all his services, and the help afforded the denomina 
tion." 

Among the ministers who have served the church 
in connection with the Book Room and Christian 
Journal mav be mentioned Rev. John Davison who 

%/ 

was Book Steward and Editor from 1858 to 1866. 
The Rev. Wm. Rowe was five years in the Book 
Room, and from 1871 to 1873 in the editorial chair. 

324 




REV. THOMAS GUTTERY. 
REV. THOMAS CROMPTON. 



REV. J. C. ANTLIFF, M.A., D.D. 
REV. WILLIAM BEE. 



OF ONE HEART AND MIND. 

He returned to England in 1873 on account of ill 
health. The Rev. Thomas Guttery came from the 
English Conference in 1871 and returned to England 
in 1879. He was pastor of Alice Street Church in 
Toronto for five years, and afterwards of the York- 
ville Church. He edited the Christian Journal with 
ability, and was an eloquent preacher. The Rev. 
Thomas Crompton was editor from 1866 to 1871. No 
minister of the denomination has been honored with 
official position for the same length of time as Rev. 
Wm. Bee, as has been already noted. The Rev. J. C. 
Antliff, M.A., D.D., was editor from 1879 to 1883, 
when the Christian Journal was merged into the 
Christian Guardian. He was the minister of Carlton 
Street Church from 1878 till 1884, and was honored 
by being elected Secretary of the first General Con 
ference of the United Church at Belleville in 1883. 



325 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

SWEET MEMORIES AND NOBLE RESOLVES. 

Fifty Years Active Ministry Memories Unravelled A Judicial 
Minister A Grand Revivalist A Walking Cyclopaedia A 
Born Eccentric A Popular Divine A Man all Soul and Sym 
pathy A Solid Speaker Three in the Apostolic Succession 
A Business Ecclesiastic A Brilliant Preacher A Waiting 
Company Distinguished Laymen Honorable Women The 
Work Accomplished The Chambers of Memory One Family 
The Great Invitation. 

APPENDIX. All Laymen who have been Members of Conference 
List of Conferences with Presidents and Secretaries Also the 
Time and Place where held. 

A LETTER written to Rev. Robert Cade, D.D., now 
superannuated and living in Toronto, brought a reply 
which will be of interest to the reader, and from 
which I shall take the liberty of quoting : 

" My more than fifty years active ministry in this 
cause, should give me perhaps more than any other 
man now living, unless it be Mr. Garner, a large 
acquaintance with the men and their work, their 
early struggles and successes, great revivals, influence 
upon other churches, and the ultimate drifting into 
the union. 

" It all seems to me like a dream, and I am left 
almost alone, for a few days, of that race of men who 
subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained 
promises, and stopped the mouths of lions, in this 

326 



SWEET MEMORIES AND NOBLE RESOLVES. 

land fifty years ago. May I lay a wreath or two 
around their memory before they are forgotten. 

" John Davison. Brilliant in his prime, of splendid 
appearance. General Book Steward and General 
Secretary for many years. Kind, calm, judicial and 
judicious, in whom we all had every confidence. He 
died in Toronto with these words upon his lips : * I 
believe in the communion of saints, the forgiveness of 
sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life ever 
lasting. 

"Matthew Nichols. A man marvellous in revival 
work. How he overwhelmed a whole congregation 
with emotion while preaching from the text, What 
mean ye to weep and to break mine heart. He died 
early and suddenly of cholera, in Kingston, in 1854. 
His work was great in success, and remains to this 
day. 

"John Lacey. A walking cyclopaedia in divinity. 
A man whom men crowded to hear, a father in the 
church in this land, and one of all men whom I most 
revered and loved. He sleeps well in the village 
cemetery at Sydenham. 

" William Gledhill. A born eccentric. Simple as 
a child, pure as an angel, timid as a hare, but whom 
everybody loved. Anecdotes told of him would take 
up a large space in a volume. He wrote us saying 
he was going home to his sister s to die, and die he 
did soon after, and died well. 

" Robert Boyle. Sensitive, clever, popular, much in 
demand among the churches. Conscientious to the 
last. He made his mark for God and good upon his 
generation. 

" James Edgar. A man nearly all soul and sym 
pathy. The law of kindness was on his lips and 
none of his steps did slide. His death caused 
universal sorrow among us. 

327 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

" William Rowe. The ideal Christian gentleman, 
a man of administrative ability, who filled the highest 
connexional offices with great acceptance. 

" Tkomas Crompton Solid as a preacher, four 
square in all his transactions. A man of large 
mentality, he had few equals in the pulpit or as a 
writer. 

" William Jolley, William Lyle, Thomas Adams- 
All three in the best sense, in the apostolic succession, 
Mr. Jolley wanted to hear no name in the pulpit but 
the name of Jesus. Of Mr. Adams it was said to be 
a rare thing to meet him without finding a subscrip 
tion book in his hand, in the interest of some 
struggling church. 

" Jonathan Milner did more than any man among 
us in improvement of church property. He had a 
genius for business. He piloted the chuuch as it went 
into the union, in a financial sense, so that Primitive 
Methodism went in with honor. He loyally worked 
for his Master till the end, 

" Thomas Guttery came to Canada later; he was 
brilliant and popular, and died in the meridian of his 
days. 

" It would be a pleasure were I permitted to name 
some of the worthy workers who are yet with us 
waiting for the angel James Smith, Joseph Mark- 
ham, William Herridge, William Bee, George Wood, 
G. F. Lee, J. Goodman, John Garner the patriarch of 
us all The old fire burns in him still his soul is 
marching on his face shines like the faces of the 
saints in the old pictures. I saw him a year ago in 
his home, and the sight of him was a benediction. A 
good many others did fine work in their generation. 
E. Middleton has lately been laid aside from his loved 
work, and some are doing good work still. Notably 
Thomas Griffith, James Cooper Antliff, James E. 

328 



SWEET MEMORIES AND NOBLE RESOLVES. 

Moore, C. J. Dobson J. W. Gil pin, Thomas W. Jolliffe, 
E. Whitworth, and many others too numerous to 
mention. 

"The church was greatly enriched by distinguished 
laymen, and honorable women not a few. Primitive 
Methodism came to this colony when the settlers most 
needed help. The people were poor, and settlements 
few and far between. Roads were bad and the 
preacher s work was hard. Religious privileges were 
rare ; commercial stagnation had settled over the 
country. Political rights were only in their infancy, 
and the people were sad and sullen. The spirit of 
annexation was in the air, but the settlers from the 
Old Land increased, and brought with them their 
praying power ; and aided by a faithful ministry, 
mighty revivals took place and spread over the 
country. Many hundreds of our converts joined other 
churches, where we were unable to reach them. Altars 
were built in a multitude of homes, a holy evangelism 
was kindled which spread over the province, liberal 
ideas were fostered, loyalty to the British throne 
promoted, and kindness to other churches cultivated. 
In no small measure Primitive Methodism in this 
country, in its faithful sowing of the incomparable 
seed, aided in producing the rich harvest of spiritual, 
numerical and national blessing Canada enjoys 
to-day. 

"The early Primitive Methodists were mighty in 
praying power; notably, Father Nichols, who went 
about the country telling the people they were God s 
property. Richard Agar, an official on Etobicoke 
circuit, told me that no laborer left his employ un 
converted. Marvellous were some of our women. 
Mrs. William Lawson told me that she could not die 
until she saw all her eleven children converted. God 
gave her request. Her death was the most triumphant 
spectacle I ever witnessed." 

329 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA. 

Dr. Cade s letter reads like a concentrated extract 
of condensed, double distilled Primitive Methodism; 
and yet, he was one of the earliest and strongest 
advocates of Methodist union. The Rev. John 
Goodman thought it would be a greater blessing 
to coming generations to permeate all Canadian 
Methodism with the principle of lay delegation, 
thus bringing it in line with the democratic ten 
dency of the age, than any success, triumph or 
advancement we could attain by remaining a separate 
body. Besides the names mentioned by Dr. Cade, 
there were a number of men who did good work and 
gave their services unstintedly ; but to do justice to 
these men of later years would have made the volume 
too costly for general circulation. The year 1860, 
seems the natural dividing line between the earlier and 
later Canadian Primitive Methodism. About that date 
there appears to have been a departure from the 
earlier simplicity, a broadening out in the publication 
of a religious newspaper, the establishing of a Book 
Room, the use of the word reverend before ministers 
names, the multiplication of men and means, the 
amelioration of the conditions of life, and such a 
general similarity to the other Methodist bodies, that 
it soon became unnecessary to remain separate, since 
there was nothing to distinguish them but a name 
that had almost come to lose its significance. 

Early Primitive Methodism in Canada is not an 
ancient chronicle ; it does not belong to antiquity ; 
yet day by day its history is slipping away past into 
the long ago. As all history is simply biography, it 

330 



SWEET MEMORIES AND NOBLE RESOLVES. 

becomes us to study these men and women, to enquire 
of those who knew them, how they thought, the way 
they acted, what they achieved, that the record may 
be kept as the inheritance of future generations, to 
stimulate to deeds of noble daring. Pope has truth 
fully said : 

Years following years steal something every day, 
At last they steal us from ourselves away." 

All who bore the name of Primitive Methodist in 
Canada will soon have crossed the river. The last 
Canadian Conference has met ; the die is cast ; there 
is nothing of us any more as a separate body. Let us 
catch the spirit of such noble sires and feel the call of 
duty upon us all to lift the human race upward 
toward the perfect ideal, the man Christ Jesus. Let 
us hold by the old time-honored usages which raised 
the babe in Christ to be the stalwart Christian, able 
to do and dare for God. Stand by the class-meeting 
and weekly prayer-meeting what they did for our 
fathers and mothers words cannot express. 

As I study the lives of the early Primitive Metho 
dists, they were men of high moral nature, and as 
such they lived nobly. They were men of courage, 
honesty, truthfulness the foundation of all goodness 
in man. They were men of faith, who considered a 
good conscience of priceless value. The theological 
problem of evil did not cause them so much worry as 
how to get rid of the evil itself, and their greatest 
solicitude was to be able to so account for their faith, 
that it might lead others into such blessed peace. 

331 



OLD-TIME PRIMITIVE METHODISM IN CANADA 

There was a spontaniety and naturalness in their 
spiritual life, that made all their acts regal, hearty 
and graceful. They did not practice the social lie to 
keep up appearances, because their lives were trans 
parent. They felt the nobility of labor, and the dis 
grace of idleness. It was their business to be, not to 
seem. They lived in the constant communion and 
fellowship, that gave satisfaction to every condition 
of life, that overcame the anxiety the natural man 
has, and enabled them to welcome each day s trials or 
joys, as a blessing from their Heavenly Father s hands, 
so that they were pleasant in their lives. Their love 
gave them joy, their benevolence made them happy. 
The sunshine of living came from perfect trust, and 
all the promises were theirs. Oh, the memories of 
the fathers and mothers of Primitive Methodism ! 
The earnestness that led us as little children to the 
closet for prayer ; the heart s desire, that in audible 
petition made us feel in the presence chamber of the 
Eternal. How the very tones of their voices stir in 
the chambers of memory like breezes from the better 
land! 

They minister as in the past, our blending spirits thrill, 
New strength and courage we derive, we worship with 
them still. 

Methodist union was not a product of human 
ingenuity. No amount of argument could overcome 
prejudice it rather increased antagonism ; but when 
the walls of separation were lowered, so that the 
different denominations could shake hands over them 

332 



SWEET MEMORIES AND NOBLE RESOLVES. 

and look into each other s eyes, they came together 
with such an affinity that separation could no longer 
be maintained. They were not obliged to unite they 
wanted to. The same spirit was moving on all hearts. 
" Blood is thicker than water," and all of one family 
and name, they meet in one house to forget old 
discords. Their hearts are with one another and 
against evil only and always. Surely this is the 
wisdom that cometh from above, that informs men s 
minds, and influences them even against their own 
inclinations, like an olive branch of peace, springing 
from the heart, blooming on the tongue, nurtured by 
the mind, and bearing fruit in generous action. 

The sanctified common-sense of the four Methodist 
bodies has at last become condensed into one com 
pound, partaking of the nature of all its component 
parts, and labelled for the public at large as " The 
Methodist Church." All the earnestness of the Bible 
Christian, all the solidity of the Canada Methodist, 
all the dignity of the Episcopal, all the burning zeal 
of the Primitive Methodist, has combined to rear a 
structure with open doors for humanity, and into it 
any one may enter who possesses in his heart a desire 
to flee from the wrath to come. 

Methodism echoes from every pulpit the last in 
vitation sent by the beloved disciple as he worshipped 
on the Isle of Patmos : " And the Spirit and the 
Bride say corne ; and let him that heareth say come ; 
and let him that is athirst come ; and whosoever will, 
let him take the water of life freely." 



333 



APPENDIX. 



The names of the following laymen are found in the Confer 
ence Minutes between the years 1854 and 1883 : 



Charles Atkinson 
W. Anstead 
Wm. Ascombe 
G. Aulsebrook 
Humphrey Arthur 
Samuel Auger 
Richard Amy 
Thos. Appleby 
J. Ackrow 
George Brunt 
Thos. Burgess 
Jos. Baldwin 
John Baker 
Wm. Ball 
John Bugg 
S. R. Briggs 
G. Bowling 
J. Brown 
Wm. Bird 
Thos. Cook 
P. Coleman 
W. Carline 
J. Cook 
C. Cousins 
Wm. Chapman 
John Curtis 
G. Cook 
E. Crompton 
J. Coombs 
E. B. Crompton 
Wm. Daniels 
J. Darling 



Henry Jennings 
George Jewett 
Matthew Joness 
J. Johnson 
W. Oldham 
C. Bugg 
Joseph Kent 
John Kellam 
John Keyworth 
John Kent 
Wm. Lawson 
W. P. Lacey 
Joseph Lawson 
W. Lawrence 
Thos. Lawson 
Fred. Lill 
C. Lane 
Joseph Lee 
Frank Lyle 
Joseph Lund 
Chas. Larne 
John Law 
W. Lake 
W. Lund 
J. Linton 
John Masters 
Wm. Marshall 
C. D. Maginn 
W. Masters 
James Motley 
Wm. Mutton 
J. Higginbotham 

334 



E. T. Hewson 
H. Rawlings 
John Sherwood 
Robt. C. Smith 
R. Sargant 

W. Sturtridge 
T. Spotswood 

F. Sanderson 
Christ. Sherwood 
F. Sleightholme 
John Stonehouse 
J. Simpson 

J. Smith 
R. Shaw 
Alfred Thurlow 
Wm. Tuer 
John Thomas 
W. Trebilcock 
Thos. Thompson 
Thos. Thompson, jr. 
J. Trevaskis 
M. Treadgold 
Robt. Walker 
Lancelot Walker 
Thos. Windott 
Wm. Wilkins 
Thos. Hoar 
John Ward 
Isaac Wilson 
J. T. Wilson 
Geo. Wright 
Thos. Ward 



APPENDIX. 



John Dixon 
Henry Dougan 
Robert Dobson 

C. A. Dyke 
W. Dennis 
P. W. Day 
John Elliott 
Joseph Ellarby 
M. M. Elliott 
R. Easton 

D. R. Ellis 

T. M. Edmoiidson 
W. D. Fitzpatrick 
Wm. Fielding 
Geo. Flint 
Michael Fisher 
R. J. Fleming 
Wm. Gilchrist 
Richard Goulding 
M. S. Gray 
Matthew Gray 
Wm. Graham 
John Green 
W. Gould 
J. Gardner 
Eli Goodwin 
W. S. Gordon 



Wm. Hocking 
Isaac Modeland 
Isaac Middleton 
John Middleton 
Wm. Nason 
G. Newman 
Samuel Nicklin 
Mr. Milnes 
John Milner 
Jas. McGee 
D. McLean 
James Murray 
Thos.McMurray 
Abiah Middleton 
Thos. Leaper 
Robt. Parsons 
J. Poore 
Thos. Passmore 
J. Percy 
L. W. Purdy 
A. Purnell 
D. Parks 
G. Pearson 
G. Raper 
Jos. Ryan 
Jos. Robinson 
R. P. Hopper 



John Wilson 
Robt. Ward 
R. I. Walker 
J. W. Wood 
B. Wemp 
Roland Ward 
Wm. Wade 
Wm. Wilkinson 
G. Walker 
Thos. Whale 
Geo. Ward 
James Wood 
John Woodworth 
H. A. Wartman 
Wm. Harrison 

E. Wreford 

W. H. Woodgate 
D. Wright 
T. R. Whale 
T. Williamson 
W. Wellington 
G. F. Youle 

F. Harper 
J. Hart 

G. Hudson 



335 



CANADIAN PRIMITIVE METHODIST 
CONFERENCES. 



NO. 


DATE. 


President. 


Secretary. 


Place. 


1 


1854 


Rev. John Lacey ... . 


William Lawson, Esq. . . 


Brampton 


9 


1855 


" Thos. Adams. . . . 


Rev. E . Barrass 


Toronto. 


3 


1856 


" John Davison 


" Wm. Rowe 


Hamilton 


4 


1857 


" Wm. Lyle 


" James Edgar 


Brampton 


5 


1858 


" Thos. Crompton 


" Robert Boyle 


Toronto 


6 


1859 


" John Lacey 


Timothy Nattrass . 


Victoria Square 


7 


1860 


" Wm. Rowe 


" John Garner 


Etobicoke 


8 


1861 


" Robt. Boyle 


" Jonathan Milner . . 


Brampton 


q 


1862 


" James Edgar. 


" J. R. Swift 


Hamilton 


10 

11 


1863 
1864 


" John Nattrass .... 
" John Garner 


" Thos. Crompton. .. 
Wm. Rowe 


Toronto 
Brampton 




1865 


" John Davison 


* Wm. Lomas 


Kingston 


13 


1866 


" W^n. Lomas . . 


John Nattrass 


Bowmanville 


14 


1867 


" Robert Cade 


Joseph Markham. . 


Toronto 


15 


1868 


" Jonathan Milner 


" James Smith 


Hamilton 


16 


1869 


" Robert Boyle. . 


" William Bee 


Brampton 


17 


1870 


" J. R. Swift 


George Wood 


Toronto 


18 
19 


1871 
1872 


" S. Antliff, D.D.... 
" Joseph Markham 


Wm. Herridge .... 
" Wm. Newton 


Brampton 
London 


90 


1873 


" Robert Boyle 


" Henry Harris 


Toronto 


91 


1874 


" S. Antliff, D.D. 


" Walter Reid 


Toronto 


22 
93 


1875 
1876 


Robert Walker, Esq 
Rev. G. Lamb 


" Wm. S. Hughan ... 
John Goodman .... 


Guelph 
Toronto 




1877 


" Wm. Bee 


" C. S. Willis 


Aurora 


95 


1878 


" H. Harris 


" M. H. Matthews.. 


London 


96 


1879 


* James Smith 


" Thos. Griffith 


Brampton 


27 


1880 


" W S Hughan 


" T. W. Jolliffe.. 


Orange ville 


28 
99 


1881 

1882 


" M. H. Matthews.. 
" John Goodman 


" Thomas Bryant . . . 
" Richard Paul 


Kingston 
Aurora 


30 


1883 


" W^m. Herridge 


" Robt. Cade 


Toronto 


31 


1884 


" Thos. Griffith .... 


" J. W. Gilpin 


Brampton 













336