MontrealDaily Star, 26 November 1900, Page 10
St Andrew’s Society
The Annual Sermon Preached by Rev Professor Ross atSt Paul’s Church
The Heritage of the Scot
And the Duties Imposed Thereby- the Largest Patriotism of GreaterCanada
The Members of the St Andrew’s Society attended divine service inSt Paul’s Church yesterday afternoon, where the annual sermon was preached by the Rev Prof Ross, of thePresbyterianCollege. The attendance was small.
The sermon was an able effort, emphasizing as it did the heritage Scotchmen had received from their fathers and their duties in connection therewith. Prof Ross took his text from Psalm lxi, 5- “Thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear Thy name.”
After referring to the principles which underlaid the St Andrew’s Society, the speaker went on to say that it was fitting that in the presence of its members some tribute should be offered to those who formed Scottish national character and moulded that type of mental and religious life which Scotchman of the present day were privileged to share. It was proper that before a society called after one whose chief distinction was his unobtrusive service in leading other men to the Redeemer’s feet, they should recall their indebtedness to the fathers who had passed before them From
THEIR SCOTTISH ANCESTORS
Most of them had inherited a good, sound physique, and from their fathers they had received a heritage of mental vigour and moral stability of character. There was a heritage of intellect as well as of physique, although it was more difficult to trace, and seemed subject to more disturbing influences. A craving for knowledge had been one of their most pronounced national characteristics, and had moulded the national life after a distinct pattern. Again, they had inherited from the men of old an ardent love of their country. Patriotism, although the word had been much abused, was itself a noble and inspiring emotion, and every man in whose heart it glowed was enriched by it. It raised him above the meanness of selfishness, and made him a true man; and it must be the foundation of that wider brotherhood which binds the whole race into one. He who was filled with emotion at the thought of his native land, had in him the elements on which philanthropic and missionary zeal could be built. The refining
INFLUENCES OF PATRIOTISM
Could be seen in the history of this land during the past few years. We never realized our dignity and our possibilities as a nation until our enthusiasm for the fatherland rose to the level of undertaking a share in the responsibilities of the Empire among the affairs of men. Our national life, which had long been growing in limb in our mother’s house, suddenly took up the duties of maturity: A nation was born in a day. Nevermore could we go back to the swaddling bands of infancy or the tutelage of early youth. Nevermore could we resume that isolation which befitted the early colonists, scattered here and there among the trees, but which was inappropriate to a people holding half a continent. Among nations, as among individuals, “no man liveth to himself.” From this time onwards, we could not devote our whole attention to the culture of our own citizens and the development of our own resources. We must look abroad on the responsibilities thrown upon the Anglo-Saxon race, upon the advance and education of the country and the hindering of the councils of the wicked who were strong. We must manage our resources as a nation, not only in the training and assimilation of the foreigners who seek our shores, but in helping to administer the stewardship committed to the Empire, for the ameliorations of men.
What were the influences which brought about this departure in our relation to the mother land, and which had caused her to change her cold indifference to Canadian interests into enthusiastic admiration and unstinted praise? There would be many claimants for the honour of initiating anything beneficial and popular, but he thought the impassioned affection of their fellow-countrymen for the fatherland, and the means which they took to keep this feeling alive among their descendants in this land, would be found to have done not a little to bind this Dominion to the land across the sea, and to our beloved sovereign who reigned there.
Further, Scotchmen had received from their fathers a heritage of faith in the living God.
Speaking of the duties which the possession of these heritages imposed upon them, the reverend preacher reminded his hearers that privilege everywhere imposed responsibility. Their primary duty was to hand down the inheritance unimpaired. Of the noble inheritance of their birthright they were but trustees. Attention needed to be given to the maintaining of the traditions of Scottish family life. The ordinances of worship and instruction which proved to be good for themselves would prove to be good for those who came after.