WHEN the history of the Church of England in Canada is written, it will have many a noble life to record, many a deed of devotion, and many a life-long self-sacrifice, worthy of apostolic times. It is impossible to overestimate the permanent influence of those who laid the foundation of Church work in the various dependencies of the Colonial Empire or British Colonies. In the natural course of events the men themselves pass away, but "their works do follow them." The history of the Church in Saskatchewan will ever be associated with the name of Dr. John McLean, first Bishop of Saskatchewan.
The Right Reverend John McLean, first Bishop of the Diocese of Saskatchewan, was born in Portsoy, Scotland, on November 17th, 1828; he graduated at the University of King's College, Aberdeen, was ordained Deacon on August 1st, 1858, and Priest on December 15th of the same year, by Bishop Cronyn, the first Bishop of Huron. He was immediately appointed Curate of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, Ontario, and filled that position until 1866, when he was appointed Archdeacon of Assiniboia (Manitoba), Rector of St. John's Cathedral, Warden of St. John's College (Winnipeg), and Professor of Divinity. He was consecrated to the Episcopate in Canterbury Cathedral on May 3rd, 1874, and died at Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, November 7th, 1886, aged 58 years. Thus Bishop McLean was born, and also lived and died in the last century, but he planned and worked for all the centuries to come and, therefore, he belongs to them all. To say that he was not perfect is only to say that he was human, but his life and work show us what may be accomplished by the grace of God and devotion to duty. We often pray to God to give us His grace to enable us to follow the good examples of those who have departed this life in His faith and fear. For our future happiness, it is just as necessary and proper for us to .pray for His grace to enable us to be useful in this life. Keeping this in view, the following brief record of part of the life and work of one of our missionary leaders of the Church in Canada has been written.
Bishop McLean had to make his own way through college. By hard work and close application to his studies, he won the necessary scholarships that cleared the way to further success. While working for his degree, his mind was drawn towards the sacred ministry, and after taking the required course in theology, he was duly ordained. He told me that when he was priested, he was given the somewhat unique distinction of preaching the Ordination Sermon for himself and those ordained with him, taking as his text, Hebrews 7: 11, "If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?"
His first appointment after ordination, as already stated, was that of Curate of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, Ontario, a post he filled with his characteristic zeal for eight years.
When Bishop Machray came out to Fort Carry in 1865 as Bishop of Rupert's Land, and set himself to the task of reorganizing St. John's College and the work of the Church generally, he at once decided to call to his aid the Rev. John McLean, who had been the friend of his boyhood, his old schoolmate and a fellow-student at college. Mr. McLean immediately responded to this call. He came to the Red River settlement in September, 1866, and on his arrival there was appointed Rector of St. John's Cathedral, and Archdeacon of Assiniboia. Subsequently he became Professor of Divinity and Warden of St. John's College, positions he filled for another period of eight years. We get a little insight into his life during that period by noting what the present Archbishop of Rupert's Land said of him: "The best and most inspiring teacher I ever sat under; arousing in his pupils a keen competition and keeping it up. He used the old Scotch method of teaching classics, making his pupils commit hundreds and thousands of lines of Latin and Greek verse to memory. He was excellent in teaching Latin and Greek prose composition. He had no special mathematical bent, but was a most successful teacher in that subject too. I shall never forget what I owe to him on account of the way he taught me to preach, and especially to deliver my sermons. He committed all his own sermons to memory and delivered them verbatim. I have taken up in the stall of St. John's Cathedral, the manuscript of his sermon and have followed the manuscript while he delivered the sermon word for word--a remarkable feat of memory." The Bishop himself used to say that he could write a sermon, deliver it, put the manuscript away for five or ten years, then take it, and after reading it over once, could deliver it practically word for word without the manuscript. So logical and methodical was his mind, so impressionable and retentive his memory. Notwithstanding this great gift, he was always very careful and painstaking in the preparation of his sermons. He rarely used a manuscript in the pulpit, except on very special occasions, when his sermon was wanted for publication. While engaged at St. John's he organized the congregation of Holy Trinity Parish, and had a small church built. He lived to take part in the ceremony of laying the corner stone of the present magnificent stone edifice in 1883, making a remarkable speech on that occasion.
When the Diocese of Saskatchewan was set apart in 1872, the choice of a suitable man for the position at once fell upon "Archdeacon Mc-Lean," and he was duly consecrated in Canterbury Cathedral on the 3rd of May, 1874. The territory entrusted to him comprised about 700,000 square miles.
On one occasion a person asked him: "Where is the Diocese of Saskatchewan, and how large is it?" He said: "The Diocese of Saskatchewan is in Western Canada; it is bounded on the east by the Province of Manitoba, on the west by the Province of British Columbia at the summit of the Rocky Mountains, on the south by the International boundary line between Canada and the United States, and on the north by the Aurora Borealis and world without end."
He remained in England during that summer collecting funds for the work of the Church in his new Diocese, and during the following winter he paid his first Episcopal visit. He came up by what was called "The Lake Route," Lakes Manitoba and Cumberland, via Fort a la Corne, as far as the Prince Albert settlement, arriving there by dog-train about the end of February, 1875. He secured some land for a church site in the settlement, and made arrangements for the building of St. Mary's Church, the first Church erected in this Diocese for settlers. He went out to the pine forest, where he found a number of churchmen doing voluntary work, hewing the logs for the building--for in those days we had no saw-mills or dressed lumber. He called the men together, spoke a few words of encouragement to them, and knelt down with them in the snow--for it was in the depth of winter--and there commended them and their work to the blessing of God.
The old log church still stands, a mile or two west of the present city of Prince Albert, and the Bishop's body lies buried under the shadow of its walls.
While in Prince Albert settlement, on the occasion of his first visit, he stayed at the Hudson's Bay Company's post, the guest of the officer in charge, Mr. Philip Turner, until the middle of April, when he started back accompanied by Mr. Thomas McKay as far as Winnipeg, on his way to the east, for the purpose of securing more funds and some more missionaries for the work in view. He came back to Prince Albeit in the following September, and soon made arrangements for a more extended visit to other points of his large Diocese. He held his first ordination in St. Mary's Church (then recently built), on the 9th of January, 1876, when Mr. John Hines was admitted to the Diaconate. Here let me quote from a letter written by Mr. Hines some years afterwards in connection with a part of the work and plans of that winter: "The Bishop and Reverend (afterwards the Venerable Archdeacon) John Mackay, drove out to Sandy Lake to visit my new mission and to discuss plans for the future. Mr. McKay used his train of 'husky dogs,' while the Bishop was conveyed out by John Turner in a carriole or toboggan, drawn by a horse. The main object of that visit was to discuss plans looking to the inauguration of a Diocesan Training School, which resulted some three years later in the founding and organizing of Emmanuel College. The initial step taken at that meeting was to request the Church Missionary Society of England to allow Mr. Mackay to be transferred from the Stanley Mission and to take up his residence at Prince Albert for the purpose of assisting in the tutorial work in the newly proposed Educational Institution. And so it came to pass that the first Committee Meeting of the Church Missionary Society ever held west of Winnipeg was held in my little log hut at the Sandy Lake Mission Station, which was established in 1874." This piece of information, not hitherto published, helps to reveal to us the man with a vision, while this humble meeting of "the three Johns" in the little log hut, the "lowly, thatched cottage," marked the beginning of a far-reaching epoch in the educational and missionary history of the Diocese.
The Bishop paid a visit to the Stanley Mission during the winter of 1875-6, travelling by dog-train all the way, via Montreal Lake, etc. The following winter (1876-7) he went as far west as Edmonton. Here he secured land for a church site, and made arrangements for the immediate erection of a church building, which was soon afterwards erected and became the forerunner of the present Pro-Cathedral of All Saints in the City of Edmonton.
Winter travelling in Saskatchewan in those days was not altogether a picnic. There was not a foot of railway line anywhere near the Diocese, nor anywhere in Western Canada for that matter. Travellers in winter had to make their camp in the bush and their bed in the snow, many miles distant from any human habitation; the only roof was the star-studded sky, while the cold might be reckoned by anything down to fifty below zero. They could not lie in bed until the house got warm in the morning, but had to rise up in the intense cold of the early hours, drink down a hurriedly-made cup of hot tea, get ready and travel on again, repeating the programme day after day until they arrived at one or other of the Hudson's Bay Company posts, where missionaries were always sure of a cordial welcome. Of course, summer travelling was usually a delightful outing. So when Bishop McLean made his first and second Episcopal visitations in his Diocese, he did not travel in a Pullman car, but in a toboggan drawn by husky dogs, "a through train," if you choose, to Edmonton, the conductor, trainman and engineer on that occasion being the present Venerable Archdeacon John A. Mackay, who also looked after the dining car and its comforts.
In addressing missionary meetings afterwards and giving a description of these journeys, the Bishop would sometimes tell his audience that "he travelled all the way on snowshoes." Quite true! but as he afterwards explained to his hearers, he was sitting on them, as they were tucked away under him in the bottom of his toboggan, an extra pair carried along in case of need.
The Bishop has given us in the following words a graphic pen picture of his field as it was when he first came to it: "The Diocese was a vast area containing about 30,000 Indians, with a few small settlements of white people. There were no endowments, no missionaries, no churches-- everything had to be begun as far as the Church of England was concerned."
There was, however, one ordained missionary, the Reverend J. A. Mackay, now Archdeacon, and he was stationed away out at Stanley, on the Churchill River. Mr. John Hines, then a Lay Missionary of the Church Missionary Society, but afterwards ordained, had recently been stationed at Sandy Lake, about sixty miles northwest of Prince Albert. And there was also one native Deacon by the name of Luke Caldwell, stationed at Fort a la Corne. When Bishop Mc-Lean wrote to his friend, Bishop Machray, appealing for some helpers--even some Lay Readers --he thought it well to support his appeal by quoting the words of St. Paul to Timothy: "Only Luke is with me."
Writing of the condition of things in this "vast area," and the work to be done, he said: "I found it no easy task to induce Churchmen to take sufficient interest in what was then the unknown region of the Saskatchewan to provide for the endowment of a Bishopric, for, unfortunately, just at the time when I commenced the effort in 1873, the first delegation from the Government of the Dominion of Canada failed in the attempt to effect a loan for the projected Canadian Pacific Railway. I was informed by a prominent banker in London, England, who had promised to help me in the effort, that from the turn affairs had taken in reference to the railway project, he had lost all hope of my success, and, therefore, advised me to abandon the effort for that time and return home, I did not, however, follow his advice, but determined to face the difficulties and spare no efforts to overcome them. The result was that before I left England, the sum of nearly $31,000 was actually invested for the Bishopric Endowment Fund, and on my second visit in 1878, the amount invested was raised to nearly $50,000." And so it went on until in his charge to his Synod in 1883, he could speak of the approaching completion of the Bishopric Endowment Fund, and very substantial progress in several other smaller endowments. In all this mark how he had the future in view, and cheerfully realized that he was working for his sue-, cessors, for he said: "I shall be very glad if, as one result of my labours, I can look forward to my successor being able to enter upon the duties of his Episcopate free from the harassing anxieties of a financial character which have formed so marked a feature of my own." To Bishop Mc-Lean, difficulties were looked upon simply as things to be overcome, incentives to redoubled efforts. In speaking to his first Synod of the difficulties and disadvantages under which the Diocese laboured owing to the lack of endowments or lands to provide them, he said: "We are left to grapple, as best we may, with the difficulties of our position. We must not, however, be discouraged, but rather stimulated to increased exertions by the disadvantages under which we labour." He impressed this spirit of perseverance upon all who came within the range of his influence; he energized and enthused others by his own energy and enthusiasm, and he had the happy faculty of cheering a discouraged or depressed worker to make renewed efforts in his work in the face of any and all difficulties. He became so proverbially successful in raising money, that, on one occasion when the Archbishop of Canterbury was introducing him to a Missionary meeting, he said: "I am never very certain about the way to pronounce the name of his Diocese, so perhaps the best I can do is to introduce him to you as the Bishop of 'Catch--What--You--Can.'"
Verily his was no mere post of honour, but one of abundant labours, and into these he threw himself with the energy, enthusiasm and power that characterized his whole career, so that his immediate successor, Bishop Pinkham, now of Calgary, paid him a splendid tribute by saying that " in raising and completing the Episcopal Endowment Fund, in all he did for the endowment of Emmanuel College, in commencing the Clergy Endowment and other funds, he has placed the Diocese of Saskatchewan under a perpetual obligation." The various endowments at the time of his death, in addition to what he secured regularly for current expenses, amounted to over ninety thousand dollars.
In order to get a glimpse of the spiritual progress of the work during the first eight years of his Episcopate, let us note what he said in his charge to the first Synod he convened in August, 1882: "It may be interesting to compare the state of our missions now with what it was when the Diocese was organized in 1874. Then we had only two clergymen, one at Stanley Mission, English River, and one at the Nepowewin Mission. We have now sixteen clergy on the list of the Diocese besides the Bishop. We have also ten catechists and schoolmasters, while the number of our mission stations is twenty-nine." We may note here that four years later, in his charge to the last Synod over which he presided in August, 1886, he spoke of having then twenty-two clergy and seven catechists in charge of mission stations--"so mightily grew the Word of God and prevailed." The preacher at that Synod spoke of the number of missions amongst both whites and Indians in the different parts of the Diocese, extending from the Rocky Mountains on the west to Lake Winnipeg on the east, and said: "Educational institutions have also been established. By the prayerful and incessant efforts of our good and energetic Bishop, several schools have been erected and are in use in different parts of the Diocese, and Emmanuel College has also been built and established within a few minutes' walk of where we are now met together. It has done a good work in the Diocese for both the white and the red man, and many of our missions among both are now supplied with pastors and teachers who were trained in it for that purpose. The success of the past gives us hope for the future. God has acknowledged and blessed the efforts that have been made. He has 'lifted up the light of His countenance, and caused His face to shine upon us/ " Bishop McLean was a very skilled debater, a clear, lucid and forceful speaker, either with preparation or on the inspiration of the moment, always ready. He always felt sorry for any clergyman who made the excuse of not being prepared to preach. "Why," he would say, "I am never unprepared. I am always ready to preach on even the shortest notice." He was eloquent and perfectly at home either in the pulpit or on the public platform, and on almost any subject. The announcement that he was to
preach or speak always drew a good audience. He could interest the most highly educated and refined, while "the common people heard him gladly." The central theme in all his preaching was "Jesus Christ and Him Crucified." He made everything lead up to this point. He was always in his happiest mood when preaching the Gospel of Christ; so we naturally find that among his most intimate friends and companions were such men as Bishop Baldwin, Bishop Du-Moulin and Bishop Sullivan. These men were always delighted to have him occupy their pulpits whenever he was in Eastern Canada. Like them, he was a most interesting conversationalist and excellent story teller, and was possessed of a great store-house of anecdotes which he could use at any time to suit the occasion. He was very happy in relating experiences connected with his work in raising funds for his Diocese. Two of these I select at random from memory: Returning from England on one occasion, he had to stay in New York over a Sunday, and wishing, as usual, to use it to good account, he went to the celebrated Reverend Dr. Tyng to ask for permission to occupy his pulpit on Sunday. Dr. Tyng hesitated at first, saying that his congregation had been appealed to so frequently of late that he doubted the advisability of allowing any more appeals to be made to them, and besides that New Yorkers knew little or nothing about Saskatchewan. However, after a little further conversation on the subject the Doctor approved of the request, saying in his own way: "Well, it is an old saying that the oftener you milk a cow, the more milk she will give. You may occupy the pulpit and state your case." He did so, with the happy result that Dr. Tyng became one of his ardent supporters, gave the Bishop a generous contribution towards his work, and urged his congregation to do likewise.
On another occasion he crossed the ocean in company with another Bishop from one of the Colonies, who was going to England on a mission similar to his. As soon as the vessel arrived, Bishop McLean went direct to the offices of the Missionary Societies to interview the officials in the interests of his Diocese, and succeeded in securing very substantial assistance. Meeting the other Bishop some time afterwards, he asked him how he was getting along. He said he had not done much yet; he had had some circulars printed and sent out, but he had not received any response worth speaking about, and that when he went to see the officers of the Missionary Societies they told him that the Bishop of Saskatchewan had been there some time before and had secured practically all they had to promise at present, and he asked our Bishop how he was managing to do so well. "My dear friend," said our Bishop, "I left my friends in the country to take care of themselves for a while longer, my circulars are still unprinted and unwritten, but as soon as we landed in England I went direct to the Missionary Societies to interview them in the interests of my Diocese."
He was a many-sided man, but not a "two-faced" man. He was your friend or your opponent, and you knew it. He was a man of great vision, but by no means a "visionary." He foresaw, as very few men did, the future greatness of this country. He planned and built accordingly. In addressing Eastern audiences, he pictured in glowing terms the resources and possibilities of Western Canada, describing as with prophetic foresight the settlements, villages, towns and cities that were destined to cover this land; and this, mark you, when many who were then called great statesmen ridiculed the vision, saying the country was not worth building a railway through, that it could not furnish enough to pay for the grease that would be required to keep the wheels moving. The answer, as to which was the true prophet, is quite easy for us to give at this day. How pathetic it appears that to Bishop McLean it was given to see only the dawn of what he foretold, the first low wave of the mighty sea of humanity which has rolled and is even now rolling in, over the vast prairies of the south and west, and into the boundless forests of the north and east!
He was a man of large ideas; he attempted great things for God; he expected great things from God, and he was not disappointed; he acted in the living present, heart within and God overhead, but he always planned and worked with his eye on the future. I may best illustrate this by quoting the words of his immediate successor, the present Bishop of Calgary. In his charge to the first Synod over which he presided in Prince Albert in 1889, he said: "Bishop McLean had large ideas and very ardent hopes as to the position and usefulness of Emmanuel College. He intended to establish a training school for Black-foot students at Calgary as a branch of it. The college was to be the nucleus of the University of Saskatchewan, the statute for which was passed by the Dominion Parliament in 1883 (twenty-two years before Saskatchewan became a province), and shortly before his death he made provision for examinations in theological subjects with a view to granting the title of Licentiate in Theology by Emmanuel College, and for reading for the degree of Bachelor of Divinity of the University. These ideas I have not seen my way to attempt to carry out. In my judgment they are in advance of the requirements of the country, and with the concurrence of leading clergy and laity with whom I took counsel on the occasion of my first visit to Prince Albert, they are, for the present, in abeyance. Several leading gentlemen have most kindly consented to act as members of a College Council which I have called into existence, the Bishop being ex-officio president, and it is my most earnest wish and prayer that with their kind co-operation and the sympathy and support of all its old friends, and the Diocese at large, Emmanuel College may prove what Bishop McLean meant it to be--an important and vigorous centre of higher education in connection with the Church."
Which one of us to-day would say that these ideas are in advance of the requirements of the country? The present condition of the country, the needs of the Church, the position, aims and ambitions of Emmanuel College in Prince Albert, to which we may add the establishment of schools in the Diocese of Calgary, amply justify the large ideas and the far-reaching vision of Bishop McLean. In his charge to his first Synod, held at Prince Albert in the year 1882, he said in connection with this subject: "The need for trained native help was felt to be so pressing that I attempted soon after I came to the Diocese to carry on the work of training at Prince Albert, but I soon saw that no real good could be done without the establishment of a regular and permanent Diocesan institution." And so was born the idea of what was afterwards to be known as Emmanuel College, for he said further on: "The origin of Emmanuel College was in the sense of need I entertained for a trained band of interpreters, schoolmasters, catechists and pastors, who would be familiar with the language and modes of thought of the people, etc." But, as we have seen, the plan was afterwards greatly enlarged. I have heard him telling a story to illustrate this need. It was that of a missionary who was addressing a band of Indians through the medium of an untrained interpreter. The missionary began his address with the words "Children of the Forest, etc." Bishop McLean laughingly said that the poetic effect of this fine phrase was rudely destroyed by the untrained interpreter, who flattened it out by translating it: "Little men among the big sticks."
While the preliminary work of Emmanuel College had been carried on for some time previously by Bishop McLean alone, and in his own study, the work of erecting the buildings was begun in 1879, and in that same year, on the first day of November, All Saints' Day, the College was formally opened with divine service in St. Mary's Church, although the main building was not ready for occupation until the following year. We had no stately mansions in those days, so we luxuriated in log huts. Bishop McLean's log residence and the little log schoolhouse nearby were used as classrooms, another log building some distance away was utilized as a tutor's residence, while a fourth one served as the residence for the other tutor, and as a dormitory and dining-room for the students. Of the two tutors then appointed, one is happily still with us, the Venerable Archdeacon Mackay. It was here, under the Bishop himself, who was an excellent scholar, a born teacher and an experienced and enthusiastic professor, that the first high school work of the North-West Territories was done.
When the Bishop announced the name by which the college was to be known he said he had chosen the name "Emmanuel" after much thought and prayer, and he hoped it would not be merely a name but a reality--"God with us" --to guide and bless in all the work of the college for His own glory. That prayer has been heard, and we may rest assured that the answer to it will be continued just as long as the same spirit prevails in the Council of the College. He was a man of prayer, a firm believer in prayer and the efficacy of prayer, private and public, family and congregational. He would never formulate any plans or venture on any enterprise without first engaging in earnest prayer for the guidance and blessing of God. This was one of the secrets of his success in all his work.
Bishop McLean was an apostle of hard work, and of work well and thoroughly done. With him it was: "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might." "Work while it is called day, for the night cometh when no man can work." I have often heard him saying: "What is worth doing at all is worth doing well, and what is not worth doing well is not worth doing at all." He used to say: "People say we make mistakes. Well, so we do, and we may make some more mistakes, for the man who never made a mistake never made anything else; but of one thing I am certain, and that is that they will never be able to accuse us of making the greatest mistake of all, and that is the mistake of doing nothing." He was a diligent, hardworking student, too, all his life long. He said that when he was a boy he used to carry a Latin grammar in his pocket and study it in his spare moments. At home, he tried to have regular hours for study. When he went on a journey he always took some books along with him to study on the way. In camp it was no unusual thing to see him walking about reading his book, and then afterwards discussing the contents of it with his travelling companions. The writer enjoyed this delightful experience on more than one occasion while driving with the Bishop between Qu'Appelle and Prince Albert, a journey of some two hundred and fifty miles. This was in pre-Pullman days, when the canoe and the horse and buckboard did the duty. I have heard him condemning in no uncertain terms the idea so many young men have that, when they get through their college or university course, obtain their degrees and are ordained, their student days are ended and their education finished. "Why," he said, "I am just as much a student now as I was in my college days over thirty years ago."
Bishop McLean was an ideal Parish Priest, a great believer in the good old-fashioned house-to-house pastoral visiting, not merely to talk about crops, financial prospects and other material subjects--this he would do, but not leave the other undone. He told me that when he had the pastoral charge of a Parish he never thought of visiting his parishioners in their homes without the reading of Holy Scriptures and prayer as the best way to promote the spiritual life of the Parish, and this practice he kept up as well while he was Bishop. He often quoted the old saying that "a house-going parson makes a Church-going people."
He was a very firm advocate of the Holy Bible as we have it; his practice was "to the law and to the testimony" with everything. When he was drilling us in such books as "Pearson on the Creed" and "Browne on the Articles," books replete with Scripture quotations and references, his advice was: Learn by heart all the texts of Scripture quoted or referred to--they are the very soul and marrow of the book. Men's arguments may pass away, but the word of God endureth forever." In his churchmanship he was by conviction a strong Evangelical. Some called him a "broad churchman," and he was broad in more senses than one--he was broad ecclesiastically, he was broad mentally, he was broad sympathetically, he was broad physically and he was a broad Scotchman; but to him the work of the Church was really one. He did deputation work for the different missionary societies and obtained help from all. On one occasion when he went to do deputation work for the S. P. G. in an extremely Evangelical district in England, he took as the subject of one of his addresses the question: "Why should an Evangelical man support the S. P. G.?" and he gave as one of his reasons that in the Colonies the S. P. G., like all the missionary societies was, and had to be, just as broad and comprehensive as the Church of England. At that time, four or more English societies were helping him in the work of his Diocese.
In the missionary work of the Diocese he drew no distinction between the white man and the red man. He taught that the same Christ died for both, that the company of the redeemed is made up of all tribes, etc., and that "God hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the whole earth."
In his attitude towards all other denominations, he would say: "Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and in truth." He was never envious or jealous of their success. I have never heard him say an unkind or uncharitable word regarding any of them. While he always considered that his own cause was the best and most deserving in the world, he would point to the good works of others and urge us to go and try to do better. He gloried in the success of any other man in a good work.
Like many other pioneer missionary heroes, such as Bishop Bompas and Bishop Horden, Archdeacon Vincent, Reverend Henry Budd and others, he was buried near the central scene of his labours, in the .old 'St. Mary's Cemetery, Prince Albert. Part of his monument is to be seen there, a larger part of it is in the stone walls of the present Emmanuel College building, in the endowments connected with this college, in the Bishopric Endowment Fund of this Diocese, and in a large portion of that of the Diocese of Calgary which, in his day, was a part of this Diocese. "And by these he, being dead, yet speaketh." He had a special work to do for the Church of God. He was specially fitted for it and he did that work with all his might. In the accomplishing of that work he was in labours abundant, in journeyings often, in weariness and painfulness, but the signs of an apostle were wrought and he was immortal till his work was done.
Notwithstanding the great extent of territory embraced in his Diocese, he made it his business to visit all the mission stations at certain intervals, from Lake Winnipeg in the north-east to Fort MacLeod and the foothills of the Rockies in the south-west, and it was while on one of his long journeys in the interests of the work that he met with the injury which caused his early death. He left Prince Albert soon after the meeting of his last Diocesan Synod in the month of August, 1886, for the purpose of visiting the missions in the western portion of his Diocese, going as far as Calgary and Edmonton. Having finished his work there, he prepared for the return journey homeward. As he and those with him in the "democrat" wagon were going down the steep hill at Edmonton, the horses became unmanageable, plunging about until they overturned the vehicle. The Bishop was thrown out violently, sustaining very severe internal injuries. He was taken back into the Fort, where he received all possible care and treatment. It became apparent after some days that the injuries were of a nature that might terminate fatally. The Bishop, knowing this, determined to make a final effort to reach his home in Prince Albert, where his family resided. To drive overland was out of the question, as he could not possibly stand the jolting of the wagon for a distance of some five hundred miles, and there was no railway nearer than two hundred miles to either Edmonton or Prince Albert. Only one possible way remained, and that was to float down the North Saskatchewan River, which flows past both places. It was decided to make the attempt. A small boat was procured and fitted up so that a bed for the Bishop could be made in it. Thus equipped, and in company with one of his sons and two hired men, the Bishop embarked and started on his five-hundred-mile voyage down the river on his last journey. It was the month of October. The days were not very warm and the nights were cold. The Bishop suffered considerable discomfort on the voyage, especially owing to his enfeebled condition, but the feeling that each evening they were a day's march nearer home helped to buoy him up. They travelled early and late, a lonely voyage without a settlement to vary the monotony until they reached Battleford, two-thirds of the journey accomplished. Here they procured some necessary comforts and supplies and resumed the voyage. In due time they arrived at the landing place in Prince Albert. With a thankful heart and expressions of sincere gratitude to God, the Bishop was quickly conveyed to the care and comfort of his own house--home once more for a short while. The best medical advice available was speedily procured. All was done for him that human love and kindness could do, but it soon became evident that the injuries he had received, aggravated as they were by the cold and discomforts of the voyage down the river at that time of the year, were more than even his rugged constitution could combat successfully; and although he appeared to rally somewhat at the first, he gradually became weaker until at length God called him to his long home, and that valiant soldier and servant of Christ laid aside his armour on Sunday morning, the 7th of November, 1886, at the early age of fifty-eight years. His death was mourned throughout the length and breadth of Canada wherever his merits, name and work were known. In his own immediate Diocese, the feeling of both the clergy and laity was: "My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof." The feeling of the Church in Western Canada was voiced by the late Archbishop Machray, then Metropolitan of Rupert's Land, when, addressing the Provincial Synod in 1887, he said: "Such were his great and varied gifts, readiness of utterance and unceasing devotion, that his death is a great loss to our whole Ecclesiastical Province." The feeling in Eastern Canada was beautifully expressed by the late Bishop DuMoulin, at that time rector of St. James' Cathedral, Toronto, when, speaking on this event on the following Sunday to his congregation, he said: "The Church throughout the whole of Canada will miss him. This congregation will miss him in a very special manner, and I shall miss him as a life-long personal friend and brother in the Lord," while the verdict in England was fittingly given expression to by the Rev. F. E. Wigram, then the secretary of the Church Missionary Society, who said: "If ever man's actions testified his realization of his responsibility as God's agent for fulfilling a work entrusted to him, surely by his life and work Bishop McLean gave such testimony."
For over twelve years he laboured abundantly as Bishop of Saskatchewan, and the work he accomplished in that period for the Church of Christ will stand as a lasting monument to his untiring zeal and persevering energy. His memory is enshrined in the hearts of many whom he was instrumental in bringing to Christ and helping along in a life of usefulness, and if it is true that "it is better to be nobly remembered than to be nobly born," then Bishop McLean belonged to the true nobility. His life and work have been an inspiration to many, and he has left to us all the noble example of a life of hard, earnest, faithful work for God. I close with the well-known words, which Bishop McLean often repeated, which he adapted slightly and adopted as his own:
"Lives of great men all remind us
We may make our lives sublime
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of Time.
Footprints which perhaps another
Sailing o'er Life's solemn main,
A discouraged, struggling brother
Seeing, may take heart again."