God’s profaners suffer fatal accidents

There would have been fewer fatal accidents in Upper Canada (Ontario) in 1825 if more people devoted Sunday to worship and rest, as commanded by the “highest authority,” according to the York (now Toronto) Upper Canada Gazette, the voice of colonial authority and the notorious Family Company. The Gazette claimed that two-thirds of the colony’s fatal accidents occurred on Sundays, and seemed to blame the drowning death of a 19-year-old man on “reprehensible” Sunday sports. From the Gazette, July 7, 1825.

We lament with others the untimely death of Mr. John Doyle, aged 19, who was unfortunately drowned in our bay on last Sunday-week; yet we cannot help here noticing the very reprehensible weekly practice, not in this Town only, but throughout the Province, of numbers of young men busying themselves in various sports—and particularly in the diversion of sailing boats, during those hours which should be appropriated, either to the private or public worship of the Supreme Being.

If in England, and in other well-ordered communities, those who tipple in Public Houses during the performance of divine service are punishable by fine and imprisonment, there can be no good reason urged why those who willfully profane the Sabbath, by other practices not less reprehensible, should not be mulcted in some adequate correction.—We have frequently had occasion to remark that fully two-thirds of the fatal accidents which have occurred in this country have happened on that day which has been appointed, from the highest authority, a day of sanctification and of rest.

Unfamiliar Canadian history stories 016


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