Deep Cove Crier

 Map of Canada

From Sea to Shining Sea

an article for the February 2006 Deep Cove Crier 

With our Federal election just concluded, I wish to offer congratulations to all who took part in this important democratic process.  I especially wish to affirm the high percentage of Canadians who cared enough about Canada to exercise the sacred privilege of voting.

Ten years ago, I wrote a Deep Cove Crier article about Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley in the entitled ‘On Guard for Thee’: “Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley, a Father of Confederation and twice the Lt. Governor of New Brunswick, rose each morning to start his day with prayer and Scripture reading.  As the 33 Fathers gathered in Charlottetown to discuss and draft the terms of the British North America Act, there were many suggestions on what to call this new "United Canada".  That morning, as Tilley read from Psalm 72:8, he became so convinced that Canada should be a nation under God, that when he came down to the Conference session, he presented the inspired "Dominion of Canada".  The other Fathers readily agreed and accepted.  Today the following words hang in the corridor near the Confederation Chamber in Province House: ‘In the hearts of the delegates who assembled in this room on September 1, 1864, was born the Dominion of Canada.  Providence being their guide, they builded better than they knew.’” Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley

The Term ‘Dominion of  Canada’ beat out the Confederation Father’s other competing names:  "The United Colony of Canada", "the United Provinces of Canada", "the Federated Provinces of Canada”, "the Republic of Canada", "the Realm of Canada", "the Union of Canada", and "the Kingdom of Canada" (strongly favoured by Prime Minister John A. MacDonald!).

The usage of the term ‘Dominion’ was formalized in 1867 through Canadian Confederation.  The letter that established our name to Queen Victoria is signed by John A. Macdonald and explained that Dominion was "a tribute to the principles they earnestly desired to uphold."

Canada coat of arms This Dominion motto was even placed in Latin on our Canadian coat of arms "A Mari Usque Ad Mare" (from sea to sea) drawn once again straight from Psalm 72:8. "He shall have dominion from sea to sea."   Thanks to Canada’s leadership, the term "dominion" caught on throughout the world, also used by Australia and New Zealand.

One day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess.  God’s heart is that every person in Canada will know His redeeming love and mercy.  One way or another, God will have dominion in this great nation from sea to shining sea.

As our Canadian Charter of Rights so clearly states, “... Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law."  Wherever we look in Canada, we find evidence of God’s hand on the founding and growth of our nation.  This February let us all affirm our national anthem in praying "God keep our land, glorious and free".


The Reverend Ed Hird

Rector, St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver, ACiC

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