Previous Pioneers of Ontario (1923) Next

 

192   THE PIONEERS OF OLD ONTARIO

period the congregation should be free either to re-elect the retiring officials or to choose others in their stead. The only restriction placed on the choice of trustees was that such officers should be members,—"members" being defined as those "who had been admitted to the Lord's table and were on the communion rolls of the church." The deed went further than making provision for periodical elections; it provided also that any trustee could be deposed before the expiration of his term, at a meeting called for the purpose and on the majority voting yea. There you have, written in a church deed a century old, the principle set forth in the recall plank in the U.F.O. platform of to-day; a feature still considered radical by present day political organizations.

Nor did the declaration of the right of the people to govern themselves end even here. The grant specifically stated that the congregation might go so far as to change the form of worship in the church on a two-thirds majority calling for such change.

The spirit written into that deed, the clear enunciation of the principle of government by the people for the people, seems to have entered into the minds and hearts of the whole community. Certain it is, at least, that nowhere in the Upper Canada of that day did the champions of responsible government receive stouter support than in The Scotch Block; and, when hope of securing redress by agitation seemed at an end, The Block contributed its quota to those who stood ready with Lyon Mackenzie to give the final proof of fidelity to a cause held


Previous Pioneers of Ontario (1923) Next