Landing of the Loyalists: Celebration of 120th Anniversary Begun.

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Landing of the Loyalists: Celebration of 120th Anniversary Begun.
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Landing of the Loyalists Celebration of 120th Anniversary Begun. One hundred and twenty years ago today the Loyalists landed where the city of St. John now stands. Their descendants here began the celebration of the anniversary last evening, when they gathered in large numbers in Trinity church and heard a sermon uplifting and ably appropriate delivered by Rev. Dr. W. O. Raymond. This evening the celebration will be continued at an at home given by the Loyalist Society in the rooms of the Church of England Institute. Dr. Raymond’s text last evening was Phillipians lv., 3: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good repute, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things.” In introduction he referred to the qualities of those men whose landing here was thus commemorated, which made them worthy of remembrance. History, he said, was of value chiefly as it chronicled the lives of men and deeds such as are characterized in the text as worthy of thinking upon. Though there might have been unworthy men among them, the majority of those Loyalists were actuated by pure and honest motives. Though in a minority in their land they had stood firm for their principles when such standing meant persecution, ostracism and even death. In the cause of their King and their flag they had shown courage and fidelity. Twenty-five thousand of them fought beside the British regulars through that fierce struggle, and the homes of many of them along the banks of the Hudson and in the Carolinas tell of their bravery and faithfulness unto death. There was nothing in their strength and courage for us to be ashamed of. Considered in other ways they were equally worthy. Even their enemies admit that they were the flower of their country. Among them were many distinguished men. On our supreme court bench today were no men of more erudition and scrupulous integrity than those from among the Loyalists who long ago filled similar positions. We had no reason to be ashamed of our forefathers intellectually. The humbler ranks of the settlers were also made up of men of sturdy virtues, said Dr. Raymond. In this connection he read from the memoirs of Lieut. Jas Moody of New Jersey, of General Skinner’s brigade, to show that those men who left comfortable homes, farms and businesses to settle in an unknown wilderness had come to the decision which exiled them after hard consideration and a practical appreciation of the worth of both sides of the question. Continuing, he spoke of the gigantic folly of the new republic in driving out 70,000 of its best people to found another nationality at its very doors to perpetuate the memory of a grievous wrong. But the congregation were not assembled, he said, to recall any such memories but to rejoice in their own growth, and while not abating their loyalty, to be glad of the union between this and the neighboring country. Speaking of the common sneer at the toryism of the early Loyalists legislators he wondered if among those who worked under responsible government today would be found men more honest or patriotic or more ready to stand by duty and principle and hold aloof from the corruption in politics which was now the greatest danger to our state. The national life of the country was at stake in this matter, and the outcome would show the success or failure of responsible government. The people of St. John, he said, had reason to thank God for their prosperity and the opportunity which had come to them. If they arose to a sense of their duty and responsibility now they would in truth become the citizens of no mean city. We appreciate, he said, the sacrifices of the men who founded St. John on the rugged rocks where it stood, even though we allow their monuments to be scattered under foot and permit the lowest element of the city to make their resting place a carousal ground. Yet their principles stand and cannot be advocated too strongly, for the strength of the community rests upon them. We require today the same spirit that made those men ready for work and sacrifice for a cause. But how afraid we are to be in a minority or to advocate unpopular ideas. Standing in a city founded by Loyalists we should not lose sight of the virtues in them, but looking at their examples should set up a like standard of nobility of character, should have the courage of our convictions instead of the miserable desire for expediency.