Saint John Globe – St. John, May 14, 1883

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Last evening Rev. Dr. Macrae preached an admirable sermon, suggested by the approaching celebration of the Centennial. The rev. gentleman chose as the basis of his discourse, Deut., 26th chap. 5th verse:— "And thou shalt speak and say before the Lord thy God, a Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt with a few and became there a nation, great, mighty and populous" and 6th chap, 12th verse:—Then beware lest thou forget the Lord thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt and out of the house of bondage. After touching generally upon the matter of reviews and celebrations he made brief allusion to the Loyalists and the causes which compelled them to seek their new home and then proceeded to institute a comparison between the Loyalists and the Israelites of old, pointing out in what respects their experiences were similar and in what dissimilar. He dwelt at length upon the devoutness of the Jewish nation, their loyalty to their God, and expressed the wish that some of this ancient spirit might find a tangible expression amongst us in the present day. The Loyalists, he admitted, were a devout people and did much to link the life of the community with a living faith. Their very loyalism was a part of their religion, no faith without loyalty, no loyalty without faith. Faith in God means loyalty to Him, loyalty to everything that is good and true. Every believing man, said the speaker, is a loyalist indeed. In this respect, however inapplicable in others, let us claim the name of loyalists. When the Israelites commemorated their history they rejoiced in every good the Lord gave them. Why not we? Israel's history was a marvelous one, ours still more marvelous. In certain respects it is unprecedented in the history of humanity, not perhaps so much in this community but with humanity at large. Let us not forget when celebrating our centennial that material progress is as much a part of God as spiritual. Israel gave thanks for material blessings. Why not we? The rev. speaker, in remarking upon the advances of civilization since the advent of the Loyalists, pointed out that then slavery was a tolerated institution. Its influence was extended to these free shores and we are told that slaves were even bought and sold by the Loyalists. Now slavery is gone. May not the past, said he, be accepted as a guarantee for the future; may we not hope that one other century will witness the banishment of that terrible slavery, intemperance. He considered at length what were among the right elements of festivity and what might be done to render this centennial memorable. Among them he pointed out that there might be increased liberality in a religious direction towards seamen, lumbermen and to the people in the sparsely settled districts of our Province. An asylum of some kind in which juvenile criminals could be placed would be a fitting centennial tribute to which we might point with pride. God, said the speaker, asserts his right to all the secular properties of man. And is not this forever more true? The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. The Loyalists dispossessed other peoples of their lands as the Israelites did the Canaanites. Let us be God's almoners in our life time. We owe a debt to the men of the past. By their toils our blessings were rendered possible, — politically, socially and religiously we are receiving many benefits and obligations from them. We are under an obligation to grow in all moral and spiritual excellence. The whole book of Deuteronomy, he said, suggests the fundamental principle of man's prosperity. If we expect to be prosperous we must maintain our religious life — this is the only condition. On this point the rev. gentleman enlarged, concluding by exhorting his hearers to remember that it was to God they owed all their blessings material and spiritual, and to him should all the praise be given. Rev. D. D. Currie delivered his sermon on the United Empire Loyalists; in the Centenary Church last evening to la large congregation. The sermon was founded on the words found in Ecclesiastes, first chapter and fourth verse: “One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh." The discourse was of an historical character and principally consisted of an able recount of the events connected with the exodus of the U. E. Loyalists from the States after the war of Independence, in which series of occurrences the preacher placed the landing of our own Loyalists in a prominent light before the audience. Rev. John Read, pastor of the Exmouth street Methodist Church, and other Ministers in the city also made special reference yesterday evening to the events which are to be celebrated next Friday.