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Samuel de Champlain et Sieur de Monts

par le Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Avant Champlain, les explorateurs comme Jacques Cartier n’avaient pas réussi à laisser leur marque. Champlain et Sieur de Monts étaient des personnes persévérantes et visionnaires de grande foi qui ont fait d’énormes sacrifices pour frayer un chemin dans cette grande terre du Canada. Avec mon expérience lors de la tournée de réconciliation de La Danse cet été passé, Dieu m’a donné un amour profond pour les personnes francophones qui ont développé notre nation pendant 150 ans avant l’arrivée des Anglais.

 

Samuel de Champlain et Sieur de Monts nous ont donné le cadeau merveilleux de la langue et de la culture française. Champlain, en particulier, a aidé à définir qui nous sommes comme Canadiens. Nous serions bien plus pauvres au Canada sans nos frères et sœurs francophones, sans leur joie de vivre, leur musique, leur danse, et leur flair artistique. Comme l’a déjà dit un poète américain, »le Canada est un pays presque inventé par le cerveau simple de Champlain ».  Un projet de loi privé fédéral C-428 fut rejeté. Ce projet voulait nommer le 26 juin le « Jour de Samuel de Champlain ». Le MP Greg Thompson du Nouveau Brunswick qui présentait ce projet de loi disait: « la plupart de nous savons qui est Davy Crockett, mais plusieurs d’entre nous n’avons jamais porté attention à Samuel de Champlain.

Tandis que beaucoup de Canadiens se rappellent vaguement de Champlain, aujourd’hui peu de personnes ont une idée de qui était l’homme derrière Champlain: Sieur de Monts. Né à Saintonge, en France en 1558, Sieur de Monts était un homme d’affaires français Huguenot à qui avait été accordé une charte exclusive du Roi Henri IV pour le commerce de fourrure dans le nouveau monde. Le Roi Henri IV chargea Sieur de Monts d’établir le nom, la puissance, et l’autorité du roi de la France; d’amener les indigènes à une connaissance de la religion chrétienne; de peupler, de cultiver, et de coloniser les dites terres; de faire de l’exploration et plus particulièrement de chercher des mines de métaux précieux. La charte de 1603 nommait Sieur de Monts comme Lieutenant Gouverneur de la Nouvelle-France, lui donnant autorité sur toute l’Amérique du Nord entre les quarantième et quarante-sixième parallèles (de Montréal à Philadelphie actuelle).

 

Une des conditions de la charte exigeait la colonisation de soixante nouveaux colons chaque année. En 1604, Champlain et de Monts, pères du Canada, ont établi leur première colonie sur l’île de Saint-Croix, sur la frontière entre le Nouveau Brunswick et le Maine, aux États-Unis.  Précédant Jamestown, Virginie (1607) et Plymouth, Massachusetts (1620), Saint-Croix était la première colonie européenne sur la côte nord de l’Atlantique. Des Huguenots (protestants français) et des catholiques romains étaient inclus parmi les 79 premiers colons, avec un pasteur Huguenot et un prêtre catholique. Grâce au décret de Nantes, on a accordé aux Huguenots l’exercice libre de leur foi, une liberté qui a duré jusqu’en 1625. Comme mon épouse et mes enfants ont des racines Huguenotes, j’ai été fasciné d’apprendre que les Huguenots persécutés étaient au premier rang de la bourgeoisie française naissante.

 

On croit que Champlain a choisi Saint-Croix parce qu’elle partageait la même latitude que la France tempérée, supposant que le climat serait semblable. Au lieu de cela, les banquises de glace ont séparé les colons de la nourriture fraîche et de l’eau du continent. Ce premier et seul hiver sur Saint-Croix fut brutalement froid, ayant pour résultat 35 décès causes par le scorbut. Ironiquement les os de ces premiers colons français ont juste été ré enterres cette année à Saint-Croix, après avoir passé un demi-siècle à Temple University, à Philadelphie.

 

La colonie de Huguenot/Acadienne a été déplacée en 1605 à Port-Royal (l’Annapolis moderne royal en Nouvelle-Écosse). Tandis qu’il était à Port-Royal, Champlain a fondé le premier club social de l’Amérique du nord « l’Ordre du Bon temps » dans un effort de briser la monotonie des longs hivers nord-américains. Chacun leur tour, les messieurs préparaient le dîner en essayant de surpasser les autres avec son choix de viande, de vin et de chanson. Pour leur divertissement, Marc Lescarbot, un jeune avocat parisien, a écrit et produit la première pièce de théâtre en Amérique du Nord, « le théâtre de Neptune ».

 

Sieur de Monts a souffert plusieurs revers, y compris le retrait de son monopole du commerce de fourrure en 1608 et l’assassinat de son bon ami, le Roi Henri en 1610. En 1608, Sieur de Monts a envoyé Champlain a Québec, de ce fait fondant la ville de Québec, la première colonie permanente au Canada. « Je suis arrivé là le 3 juillet» a écrit Samuel de Champlain en 1608. « J’ai cherché un endroit approprié à notre colonie, mais je ne pouvais n’en trouver aucun plus commode ou mieux situé que la pointe de Québec ». Champlain y a mis à pied et déploya la fleur de lys, marquant le début de cette ville, ainsi que du Canada.

 

Ma prière est que ceux qui lisent cet article puissent démontrer ce même esprit de pionniers exprimé par Champlain et Sieur de Monts.

 

le Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Recteur, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, Canada V4A 0A5.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, Canada V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 

 


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The Unforgettable Benjamin Franklin

100 top blogs awardBy the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

I remember as a young child being taught Benjamin Franklin’s proverb: ‘Early to bed, early to rise, makes a person healthy, wealthy and wise.’  As my father and I were both early to bed, early to rise, I have a lot of happy memories of time spent together around the breakfast table together at 6am.

Benjamin Franklin picture

Benjamin Franklin had the common touch. As a brilliant philosopher, he shared wisdom through short pithy sayings like ‘He that lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas.’  Many of Franklin’s sayings are so well known that people confuse them as coming from the Bible. ‘God helps those who help themselves’ is from Benjamin Franklin, not from Jesus.

Many of his sayings were published in Poor Richard’s Almanack, a book series that has had a profound impact on North American culture and identity. Some would say that the middle class dreams and ideals can be traced back directly to Benjamin Franklin’s homespun philosophy. Many of us unknowingly quote Benjamin Franklin on a regular basis: haste makes waste; no pain, no gain; and nothing is certain but death and taxes. Most of Franklin’s sayings were about encouraging diligence, honesty, industry and DH Lawrencetemperance.  Franklin saw the Judeo-Christian ethic as “the best the world ever saw or is likely to see.”

Not everyone liked Benjamin Franklin. DH Lawrence said: “I do not like him….that barbed wire moral enclosure that Poor Richard rigged up….Benjamin Franklin tried to take away my wholeness and my dark forest, my freedom.”

Benjamin Franklin’s father had intended that his son Benjamin train to be a clergyman, but lacked the resources to do so. Instead Benjamin became a printer and an inventor.  Benjamin Franklin is world-famous for his kite experiments with lightning, proving that lightning was made up of electricity. Some see him as the world’s first electrician.  While visiting England, he attached his latest invention, the lightning rod, to St Paul’s Cathedral.  He also created hot-water pipes to warm up the chilly British House of Commons. Other significant Franklin inventions were bifocals and the Franklin stove.

Benjamin Franklin was far ahead of his time in terms of understanding workplace toxicity.  As a printer, he discovered that newspaper workers were being poisoned through handling hot lead type, causing stiffness and paralysis. Franklin found out Benjamin Franklin lightningthat this lead poisoning was also affecting glazers, type-founders, plumbers, potters, white-lead makers and painters.

Benjamin Franklin was so successful in business that he retired at age 42 and devoted the rest of his life to public service. He moved to England twice in order to help the relationship between England and its American colonies. While in England, Franklin wrote most of his autobiography at the home of the Bishop of St. Asaph, Jonathan Shipley. His book became the world’s most popular autobiography, and has been translated into most major languages.  Franklin’s autobiography was the one book which Davy Crockett had when slaughtered at the Alamo.

Despite his being a strong Royalist, Benjamin Franklin ended up being resented by the British House of Lords who publicly humiliated him for his efforts to bring reconciliation between England and its American colonies.  This was Franklin’s tipping point where he became a strong advocate for Independence. As America’s first postmaster general, Franklin was also put in charge of establishing the first US currency.  In the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, Franklin recommended that Americans give up tea drinking as a way to fund their new government. The constitution’s phrase ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident’ was the direct result of Franklin’s editing.  Franklin was the only one to sign all four of the USA’s founding papers: the Declaration of Independence, the treaty with France, the Benjamin Franklin Great Sealpeace accord with Britain, and the Constitution.  His unsuccessful proposal for the American Great Seal was to have Pharaoh being swallowed by the Red Sea, along with the words ‘Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.’

Franklin’s greatest popularity was among the French who lined the streets when he entered Paris as the USA’s first foreign diplomat. The French saw him as a simple frontier sage, and promptly put his likeness everywhere, causing the French King to become very jealous. Without Franklin’s winning the moral and financial support of the French, it is doubtful that the United States would have survived.

Franklin was a very complicated, even tragic individual with strong approach/avoidance tendencies. He loved the United States but spent most of his last years in England and then France. His relations with the opposite sex were muddled and confused.  He loved his wife and family but was away more than at home and suffered a painful split with his son William over politics.

Despite Franklin’s reputation as a religious skeptic, he went out of his way in his newspaper to promote the Rev George Whitfield who led North America’s first Great Awakening in 1739-1741.  As a scientist, he was amazed that Whitfield’s voice could be whitfieldpreachingheard without amplification by over 30,000 people at one time.  Franklin published all of Whitfield’s books and posted his sermons on the front page of his Philadelphia Gazette.  Whitfield wrote to Franklin, saying: “As you have made a pretty considerable progress in the mysteries of electricity, I would now humbly recommend to your diligent unprejudiced pursuit and study the mystery of the new-birth. It is a most important, interesting study, and when mastered, will richly answer and repay you for all your pains.”

After jealous clergy closed their pulpits to Whitfield, Franklin and other trustees built a large hall where Whitfield could preach. Franklin commented: “It was wonderful to see the change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants.” After the revival ended, Franklin converted the hall into the Academy of Philadelphia which later became the University of Pennsylvania.

As Governor of Pennsylvania, Franklin in 1748 proposed a day of fasting and prayer. In 1778, Franklin wrote to the French Government, saying: “Whoever shall introduce into public affairs the principals of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world.”, recommending that every French home have a Bible and newspaper, and a good school in every district.

Benjamin Franklin 2 pictureAt the 1787 American Constitutional Convention, Franklin commented: “the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?” On that basis, Franklin arranged that prayers led by local clergy would be held each morning before Assembly business. Franklin said: “If I had ever before been an atheist, I should now have been convinced of the Being and government of a Deity!”

Franklin memorably commented: “Think of three things: Whence you came, where you are going, and to whom you must give account.”  May each of us, like Benjamin Franklin, be willing to be accountable to God in the midst of life’s challenges.

 

 

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-author of the award-winning Battle for the Soul of Canada

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, Canada V4A 0A5.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, Canada V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca