Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Children of Peace

There once was a group of people in the region I live in, that lived a life that we all aspire to live now. If this group had not dismantled, would the world be a different place today?

(the Lynn Tucker hisorical serial #1)
(Click any photo to make it larger)

I have mentioned before that the history in Canada is very recent. Major things that happened here are on record from the early 1700's. So for some of you, this seems so recent, that it would not have much bearing in the history of your land. In Canada, in the early 1800's, the area where I live was the wilderness. A rough forested, and hilly land with many rivers running through the area, and a single road that progressively was being extended to become the longest street in the world. The road is called Yonge Street. In 1802 Yonge Street was a dirt path that lead through the forest to Newmarket. The future would extend Yonge Street approximately 1500 miles to Rainy River, near the Minnesota Boarder with Ontario.

Newmarket area land was being offered up cheap to folks emegrating to Canada. The buz was that this area may be the future area of a huge settlement, that may one day be the Capital City, because it had a large watershed and fertile land with plenty of forest to cut so people could build a town.

In 1801 a family set out from the United States to settle in Canada, in the area of York. David Willson, his wife, and his two children set off to move to York from New York. When they reached York (which is now Toronto) they signed a land deed to take on large property in the specific area which is now represented by Newmarket, and the town of Sharon(which was called Hope). I say both of the current town names because the families in this area actually travelled long distances between the boundaries of these two towns to conduct their business, and reflect their faith.

Mr Willson and his family affiliated themselves with a group of Quakers that had originally come from Pennsylvania to settle in Canada. These Quakers were called the society of "Friends". The Quakers had been around since the 1700's, they were called a Christian group, yet they followed no creeds. They believed in the Spirit of God within each man, and the divine personal connection each person has with God. There was no hierchy in the Quaker meeting house. Yet there were guidelines, that David Willson challenged within the group.

It isn't that he was against their practices, it was the interpretation of the guidelines that he felt were taken too literally; and for this he was asked to leave the society of "Friends". In doing so, approximately six other families, who shared his viewpoint walked away from the group, to form their own sect called The Children of Peace.I am not about to do a large study on the "Friends" movement of the Quakers, for I do not want to get off the topic I chose. I will outline the guidelines of which the Children of Peace decided to practice in their own meeting house.

In 1814 The Children of Peace were able to hold their first meetings. These first years The Children of Peace held the meetings within Mr Willson's home. Then a log building, and afterword, by 1819 they had their first church.

At the Meeting-house, in 1818 the first harvest home dinner was held outside where they would soon begin to build what we will call The Music Hall. The future looked bright for The Children of Peace. They were raising money and followers through this time. They raised money with chairs. Every person required a chair to sit in the Meeting-hall. So a price was put on the purchase of chairs for the families. Each person attending donated the money for the number of chairs their family required.

The area where the Children of Peace were settling their properties for the faith was the town of Hope (now Sharon).
Their ideals of faith, fellowship and business were well defined.
Unlike the Quakers, the Children of Peace believed that through music man could express themselves in the Spirit much more effectively. The Children of Peace did not practice any conformity of dress. So the members
were not obligated to wear certain colours, or dampen the cut of their clothing. There were no religious tests bywhich members would be sought who could conform to a standard of faith or Godliness. Equality was forefront in their beliefs. Women were held on equal standard in the Meeting-hall, and there was no head person who ran proceedings in the Church. Everyone had an equal participation in the education of the faith. As well as the equality within the sect, the sect ruled that they would only do business with folks who would strike fair deal. The idea was not to get a great deal so you come out ahead. All deals with the sect meant that only trade that was equally fair to both parties would be excepted. If both parties did not win equally the deal was scrapped. So there was no undercutting involved, for the Children of Peace would not see anyone get a short stick when it came to business.

This practice of business made the Village of Hope the most economically adventages place in all of Canada for as long as the Children of Peace existed.

The Bible and The People

The Children of Peace believed that the Holy Bible was a guideline to faith. They kept the Bible opened to the Ten Commandments in the centre of their place of worship, the Meeting-house(church). And in that place it stood, and never touched. For the Children of Peace felt that the Bible's good guidelines were to be read by the people on their own, and the effect of this knowledge was to be put in practical life experience terms, and then spoke upon in the Church. The members were to speak of their own life and the effect that God in their world has made them feel.
So this group never conformed to the Christian ideas of the Collect, Epistel and Gospel.

to be continued......
The photographs are taked at the Historical Archives of the Sharon Temple


chumly said...

I like the idea that all children should be peaceful. Adults could sure follow their lead. As always there is something to learn reading your posts.

Mandy said...

Hello Lynn,

If I'm posting this in the wrong place, just move it :=)

Thank you so much for the Halloween goodies, they arrived yesterday. They were really delightful gifts and so much thought had gone into the items. Both hubby and I were excited opening everything.. the cats were curious as well!

We were even playing with the bangles last night in bed, making all sorts of shapes in the dark (hehe). I love the witch, she's adorable, and of course the other knitted items are too.. Gawd I don't know where to start... it was just ALL so lovely.

Thank you again Lynn for such a wonderful gift box!

Mandy xx

Candy Minx said...

This is COOL, I look forward to part two...