BY RIGHT REV. C. A. SEAGER
SYDNEY GOULD, second General Secretary of the Missionary Society of the Church of England in Canada, was an Englishman, born in St. Giles, Devon, April 23, 1869, one of a family of twelve.
Canada claimed him, however, from his fifteenth year, for in 1883 the family came to this country, settling in London. In that city Sydney spent his youth.
Thus, happily for us, his whole active life was given to the Church in Canada throughout a period, the events of which were of the deepest moment in the development of the country. Our task is to set his colourful figure within the environment of these events since, naturally, every useful man's service arises out of the circumstances of his time. First, however, a glance at early days, and some estimate of the sort of man he was.
Information as to his early days has been available from Mrs. Gould and other members of his family.
It is stated that "he was a serious boy and a great reader," "very studious and quiet." The religious bent of his mind was early in evidence, for, while yet in England, he received a "Certificate of merit awarded to Sydney Gould aged ten" as a result of examination at St. Giles (Public) School for the Bishop of Exeter's Prayer Book Prize.
Of his youth in Canada his brother, Dr. W. J. H. Gould, of Paris, Ontario, says: " He was energetic, learned carpentering, helped to build several houses," and it may be added Exeter Trivett Memorial Church in the Diocese of Huron. His religious bent was also apparent, for "he took a great interest in Church and Y.M.C.A. affairs," and "his heart had always been with foreign missions."
To Mrs. Gould is owed the information that "he had a Mission in connection with Memorial Church, London," now the very important parish of All Saints. To her also is due invaluable knowledge as to the decisive moment of his life. Mrs. Gould states that her husband had told her the turning point in his life came
When he was quite young and going for a walk down Dundas St., London, when he was handed a leaflet announcing an Evangelistic Mission which was then being held. He said he wandered in there and it impressed him so much that he went to see the late Archdeacon Richardson (then Canon), and on his advice made a trip to Toronto and had a long interview with the late Principal Sheraton at Wycliffe College. Shortly after that he came to Wycliffe College to study for the Ministry.
If, as seems likely, his mind had already turned to Foreign Missionary work, he found there the very atmosphere to stimulate his desire. For these were the days of the beginning of the "Wycliffe Missions," afterward the Canadian Church Missionary Society.
The Student Volunteer Movement was then at full tide, and it is no wonder that under the impulse of the spirit prevailing in the College, Arthur Lea and Sydney Gould--fast friends-- should have signed the declaration: "It is my purpose, God permitting, to become a foreign missionary." Of the spirit within the College Gould himself writes: "Those were the days when students were ever breathing the atmosphere of suggestion," and "when the Spirit of Missions moved in the College in the fullness of its creative and directive power." Lea, afterwards Bishop, offered for Japan, and Gould for Persia or Mesopotamia.
These two men were members of a group of no less than ten graduates of Wycliffe College, Toronto, who, in the single decade 1887-1897, went out into the Foreign Mission field of the Church. Wycliffe has made, and still does so, a notable contribution to the ranks of our Missionary staffs both at home and abroad, but none perhaps so notable, as a group, as this First Ten. In addition, they probably helped largely to set the missionary tradition still so strong in that institution.
Gould spent nine years in preparation for his life's work, graduating from Wycliffe in Theology in 1893. Evidently he had in mind the medical side of foreign missionary work, for, following his graduation in Toronto, he proceeded to Queen's, Kingston, from the Medical School of which he graduated in 1897. While in Kingston he served as Assistant Curate to the late Canon Crisp at Portsmouth.
Of Gould's medical foreign missionary work only the briefest outline is possible here. He was sent to Palestine by the Church Missionary Society, in his own words, to "the most difficult of all mission fields," arriving in Jerusalem on December 26, 1897. After filling a temporary post at Nablus, he was placed in charge of the medical work at Acre, on the sea coast of Galilee. During his seven years there his health suffered seriously owing to the moist and trying heat of the coast. It was partly for this reason that in 1904 he was transferred to Es Salt, east of Jordan in the ancient Land of Gilead. In this high interior tableland his health was restored, here he passed from the service of the C.M.S. to that of our own M.S.C.C., and here he remained until 1908.
At this time the Laymen's Missionary Movement, that first great awakening of the men of the Church to the challenge of the world, was in full swing, and Gould returned to Canada on furlough, spending two years in deputational work chiefly in the interests of the Movement.
In 1910 he returned to Palestine, and became Chaplain at St. George's Collegiate Church, and Medical Officer in charge of St. Helena's Nursing Home in Jerusalem. The Bishop made him Honorary Canon of St. George's, a title he was permitted to retain until his death.
His period of service in Jerusalem, however, was brief, for in the same year he was chosen General Secretary of the M.S.C.C. Bishop Blyth's reference to his work is significant: It "gave very high satisfaction throughout the Mission." Indeed, plans for a wide extension of it were in hand when his call to Canada came.
Gould's own account of his reception of the news is interesting. Writing of himself in the third person, he says:
At the end of September, 1910, he was outside St. Helena's Nursing Home, not far from the north-east corner of the city, engaged in unpacking a new table for surgical operations, when he received the cable notifying him of the resignation of Canon Tucker, first General Secretary of the M.S.C.C., and of his election to that office by the Board of Management.
The impression the news made upon him is indicated by a later reference to his call to "take up the onerous duties" of that office.
What sort of man was this new General Secretary? The writer remembers well his own interest in the answer to this question. What personal endowments did he bring to his work? It is the man of later years who is now in mind. Time brought "increase in wisdom," of course, and Gould is here pictured as one sees him in the full maturity of his powers.
First the possession of a strong body/broad of shoulder and deep of chest. His great physical vigour may have been impaired by the recurrent illnesses at Acre, though there was no outward evidence of it. He certainly never spared it as General Secretary. Incessant travel, the wearing of an active mind against ever-present problems, and of an ardent spirit against the exacting limitations of his position, would have taxed the hardiest. But the heart affection, which first showed itself, as far as we know, early in 1937 and which caused his death, may well have found its incipience at Acre. For the purposes of the M.S.C.C., however, his physique served for more than a quarter century as an abundant fountain of energy.
His mind was of unusual natural vigour, fed and strengthened by such academic influences as circumstances made possible. His early studious bent of mind plainly made full use of his opportunities in this direction, for one qualified to judge remarked years later that, "he was a highly educated man." Two at least of his mental characteristics were constantly in active evidence to those with whom he worked.
The first was thoroughness; his mastery of detail. Words which he once wrote of another may well be repeated of himself: "A man who is slovenly and inaccurate in his methods cannot, in the nature of things, bear or discharge a heavy responsibility." Again and again, in the discussions of the innumerable problems and difficulties of the M.S.C.C., particularly in the meetings of the Executive Committee, his knowledge of detail, his retention of valuable facts, was astonishing; much more so, however, his ability to marshal them in effective relevancy to the particular issue. For his mind was not merely receptive; it was creative. The value of such a combination of qualities is, of course, of the highest kind.
His mind was also singularly endowed with intuitive yet disciplined imagination--that fruition of intellectual capacity by which its possessor is able to construct from the significance of existing facts what their future outcome is likely to be and to act accordingly. The secret of its operation lies in the word "principle." No expression more often occurred in Gould's addresses and writings than "principle," except the two other great words, "Gospel" and "unity." Existing facts, interpreted as to their significance and drift by a relevant principle, is the process out of which emerges "A right judgment in all things." The enormous practical value of this faculty those nearest Gould in the work of the M.S.C.C. know best, for they were guided and inspired by it time after time. It will appear more than once in the course of this memoir.
Behind the strong body, the vigorous mind, lay a deeply emotional nature. This may surprise some, who did not happen to be close to him and who were often repelled by his apparent austerity. To such he seemed unapproachable and cold. The truth is the exact opposite. His was a spirit singularly responsive to beauty in nature and in life.
It is hard to recall any of his public addresses which did not frequently glow with the deepest feeling, amounting at times even to excitement. Behind this, however, lay utter sincerity and truth, for he was never merely rhetorical. Those who accompanied him on some of his many travels, and who came very close to him indeed, bear striking testimony to this tender side of his character. Dr. Gisborne writes:
He was a man of the tenderest and most loving disposition. This was particularly evidenced by the way children, and, strange to say, dogs were attracted to him.
Such an ardent nature, controlled by a lofty purpose, has available an irresistible energy, an internal altar-flame, quickening every faculty and bringing the whole man "into subjection" to an absorbing object.
This was precisely the case with Gould. If of the three words already quoted as most frequently upon his lips and in his Reports, "principle" was one, another (and the chief) was "Gospel." Like the great Apostle to the Gentiles, whose own fiery, energetic character had been "apprehended of" Christ and who had become His "bond-slave," Sydney Gould was Christ's man. Not, however, in any pointlessly subjective sense. His devotion projected itself objectively upon "The Kingdom." That Christ's Spirit might rule in sovereign power in the hearts of men everywhere became the passion of his life. Upon it everything within him was focused, bringing "every thought into the captivity of Christ."
This passionate absorption was the achievement of a strong and dominant will. Once a course of action became clear, nothing could divert his efforts. Considerations of expediency or of what was "politic under the circumstances" were brushed aside. This does not mean that he was without wisdom in affairs. He had far too keen a sense of fact and reality to be merely wilful. Indeed, occasions might easily be recalled when, upon fresh evidence, he reversed his line of action, the most notable being perhaps in 1934 in the matter of native Bishops for Honan and Mid-Japan. What is meant is that the merely politic and expedient, by which effective action is so often paralyzed, had no weight with him whatever. This means courage.
It is this that explains his apparent austerity. A certain impersonality did indeed mark his actions; sometimes it marred them. No man is perfect, and faults of character are usually the reverse side of virtues. Gould's utter, strong-willed absorption in a single purpose certainly led him to disregard what may be called (in a non-academic sense) the "humanities." When a group of anxious, puzzled men have wrestled for three-quarters of a day with some of the countless problems of our missionary undertakings, it is not weakness of character which causes them to succumb to an offer of afternoon tea. Nor is it waste time by any means. It is significant, too, that in the enlargements which have taken place in the Church House, of course under his direction, there is not a corner where men may relax to smoke and chat and clear their minds. To Gould such things, and perhaps others more important still, were not worth consideration. This was a mistake. You may not have either a nation or a Church on a war-footing all the time. It made possible a certain unpopularity which was undoubtedly his, creating a misunderstanding of a warm and affectionate heart.
Such natures as his, too, are always victims of a certain shyness, resenting exhibitions of feeling, and clothing them unconsciously with a defensive armour of austerity to hide a romanticism of which, in their hearts, they are a little afraid.
So, too, such a nature, so centralized, cannot avoid a certain impatience with what it deems irrelevant. It is apt to be influenced too much by the logic of a situation, forgetting that men are moved and held by logic least of all things. This, unfortunately, issues in a real lack of sympathy.
That such a temperament should occasionally be subject to depression is inevitable. Yet in many years' association with Gould the writer recalls but one moment of its public manifestation. In the depths of the depression of the 'thirties when, year after year, the Canadian southern Middle West suffered devastation, the suggestion did once escape him that in the Western Plains there might be repeated the story of the Desert of Sahara.
Such was the man who on January 1, 1911, assumed "perhaps the most onerous and difficult position in the Church," that of General Secretary of the M.S.C.C.
He succeeded a man of unusual energy, devotion and creative ability, the Reverend L. Norman Tucker, first General Secretary, who from 1902 to 1910 was the organizer and moving spirit of the M.S.C.C. It will be remembered "that, down to 1913, this was the period of Canada's greatest expansion. Its natural resources began to be perceived; the West opened up. The results of Confederation, made effective by the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1886, were emerging. They had been retarded for ten years by a "boom" which followed the completion of the railway. It collapsed about 1890, leaving the following decade bankrupt and disheartened. By 1896, however, things began to move. A main plank in the policy of the Laurier Government, elected in that year, was the development of the Canadian West. As a result, a great tide of immigration began to flow in that direction, mainly from Eastern Canada, Great Britain and also to a large extent from the United States. The figures are impressive, for from 1900 to 1910 a total of nearly a million and a half immigrants entered Canada. By 1910 the tide was at full flow. The new General Secretary therefore was called upon from the outset to face the missionary problem of the New Canada.
It must be remembered that the M.S.C.C. had hardly passed the initial stages of its development at this time; it was only eight years old. No wonder that the sudden challenge of the New Canada, to say nothing of the Foreign Field, now also a growing responsibility, presented a staggering task to the new Secretary. There were other serious matters, too. Our Indian and Esquimaux work was at a critical stage, for in 1903 the C.M.S. had served notice of its intention to withdraw from this Field, to become effective in 1920.
Such was the situation generally when Gould began his work. It was complicated by differences of opinion as to policy within the M.S.C.C. itself, particularly with regard to Indian work. Providentially, sufficient time had elapsed for the separate missionary organizations, the D. and F.M.S. and the Canadian C.M.S., which functioned before the creation of the M.S.C.C., to have merged deeply into the larger unity of the latter. Tucker's work had proven that such a unity was not only feasible but to an extraordinary extent an accomplished fact.
This difference, by the way, has never been composed. It has lain dormant all these years, but during this present year 1943 has again come to the surface, to be settled, satisfactorily, let us hope, for good.
It is not surprising, therefore, that Gould's watchword, like that of his predecessor, was "unity." Probably it would have been in any case, for his mind was orderly, abhorring the chaos of disunity. If "principle" explains his quality of judgment, and "Gospel" represents his deepest impulse, "unity" tells the story of his guiding method.
Since to his practical mind the primary consideration was unity in method and effort in the Church he served, it followed that both must proceed along the lines of the organization of the Church as it actually exists. Ours is an Episcopal Church, a fact of deep practical significance of which Gould never lost sight. It was not a matter of a "theory of episcopacy"; there is in truth very little theory about it in any case. To Gould it meant the type of organism with which his efforts must accord and to which his methods must fit. So it does to all of us necessarily; the point now is that Gould perceived clearly the practical significance of it as a working "principle." From it he never swerved, though tempted at times sorely enough.
From this practical point of view the fact tended both to weakness and to strength. Its strength lay, since the formation of the General Synod, in the existence ready to hand of a clear-cut "departmented" institution, by this time measurably conscious of its mission. Its weakness lay in the fact that the Episcopal, Diocesan and Provincial system of the Church in Canada had unavoidably developed a one-sided growth owing to the vast size of the country and sparsity of population. Lying for over a hundred years in scattered parts along the edges and at the centre of a great region, having no national unity or centre of organization, it was inevitable that diocesan (and sometimes provincial) consciousness should be overgrown. "Rights" became attached to local bodies which are really proper to the whole, and which turn out to be constitutional "wrongs" once the whole begins to function. Thus, while the M.S.C.C. is organized on a Dominion basis, the Church, except to a limited degree through the General Synod, presents no such picture. At the heart of the missionary method of the Church, therefore, lies a serious anomaly which, again and again, has yielded very practical difficulties to the M.S.C.C. Indeed, over the years some queer things have arisen from this anomaly.
That Gould experienced this disadvantage we know, but his loyalty to the system was never shaken. That with others he later tried to remedy it by constitutional action is another matter.
His career as General Secretary has four more or less distinct phases or periods, each presenting a situation full of problems and difficulties, opportunities and achievements. Indeed, a story of Gould's work might well be captioned "Difficulties Overcome," with emphasis on "Overcome."
For the first of them, 1911 to 1913, an illuminating bird's-eye view is afforded in Gould's "Report" to the Board for 1912, in April, 1913. He characterizes that year as "a critical one," for he saw many lines of growing movement culminating then in crowding opportunities of real or apparent advance.
In the Overseas Field he saw a staff of missionaries increased in the nine years of the existence of M.S.C.C. from twenty, in the Church's only scene of foreign work, Japan, to thirty-nine, exclusive of missionaries' wives. The list included two Bishops and five qualified medical missionaries. He saw the Church advanced from a position of official responsibility for but one Overseas Field, to the care of two Dioceses and a Missionary District in India.
The Diocese of Honan, China, founded in 1908, under the Rt. Rev. William C. White, consecrated its Bishop in 1909, was yielding ever-growing opportunities of successful missionary work, and demanding more and more of the Church in money and personnel.
In 1911, in the much older Field of Canadian missionary endeavour, Japan, a great forward step was taken in the erection of the Canadian Diocese of Mid-Japan, with the Rt. Rev. James Heber Hamilton, consecrated in 1912, as its Bishop.
By action of the Board of Missions (at that time the General Synod) in 1912, the Canadian Missionary District of Kangra in India became a responsibility of the M.S.C.C., and that "critical" year represents the first year's work under the leadership of the Rev. R. H. A. Haslam. It is true that the Canadian Church merely took over the existing work of the C.M.S., but it had done so with a definite understanding that much-needed new developments would be fostered.
These instances, China, Japan, India, are sufficient to indicate why 1912 was a "critical year." In addition, upon the soul of the General Secretary lay also responsibility for Overseas Work in South America, Eastern and Central Africa, Egypt and Palestine. From his vantage-point of 1912 he surveyed "fields white unto harvest." But the labourers were few and means scanty. Nevertheless, he opened his Report for the year with the following stimulating note:
Praise and thanksgiving, always prominent in any official gathering of the Church of God, should be especially emphasised at this time and on this occasion in connection with the work of the Missionary. Society of the Church of England in Canada.
And he had to look inward, as well as abroad, upon the twelve Missionary Dioceses in the Canadian Church, where stirring events were afoot. The "critical year" stood out high in the swirl of human movement in the period already referred to as that of Canada's greatest expansion. It is impossible, except for those here at the time, to imagine the fever of enthusiasm for Canada then, particularly in the Motherland. This was the day of flood-tide of immigration, which reached its height of 402,432 in 1913. This was the day, too, of the (English) Archbishops' Western Canada Fund, a huge total of voluntary gifts which sent hundreds of English Clergy flocking to the West. It was said at the time that Dr. Winnington-Ingram, Bishop of London, was seriously considering volunteering himself. This was the day also of the (again English) Mission of Help. Well-prepared and organized groups of experienced Missioners journed through the West, holding Missions everywhere, particularly in the larger towns and cities.
The Reports of the Bishops of the Missionary Dioceses all ring with one note: "Remarkable development."
And there were other Home responsibilities: work among Jews, and among Orientals in British Columbia, the Church Camp Missions, and the Columbia and Prince Rupert Coast Missions. One other Canadian Field lay deep in the heart of the Secretary from the beginning to the end of his service--that of the aboriginal races of Indians and Esquimaux. Gould lived to see, after the C.M.S. withdrew its support, our Indian educational work placed upon its present broad foundation, and the Esquimaux work fostered by one of its veteran missionaries, the Right Reverend A. L. Fleming, Bishop of the Arctic.
The Missions to Indians and Esquimaux enter in a peculiar manner into the very fibre of the Canadian Church. Their story is one of the most thrilling in the whole history of Missionary effort. If, therefore, the Church of England in Canada should by any means, through a failure in recognising the hour of entrance, and in coming adequately to their support, it will suffer a loss in the continuity and fullness of its life for which activity in no other sphere will be able to compensate.
These are the words of a leader watching a critical situation under a deep sense of responsibility, "thinking ahead," interpreting in the power of constructive imagination a future issue to his people.
"The Field is the world " at Home and Abroad, and the record of the "critical year" shows the figure of the General Secretary standing with his Master on its mountain-top of vision, beholding "The Kingdoms of the world and the glory of them."
The Church of the time was not altogether unresponsive, though its missionary vision was dim, as it is even now. In the nine years the income of the Society had risen from $72,764.00 to $167,385.15, but "what are these among so many.
Nevertheless the increase in giving shews a stirring of spirit in the Church itself particularly as to Canadian work owing to the growth of the West, the inflowing tide of immigration and an apparently unclouded future.
One great influence, strong, gentle and increasing, at hand to help, was that wonderful organization, the Woman's Auxiliary. Little may be said here on this happily familiar subject, but the fact that the total contribution of the W.A. in 1941 was $265,882.08, a sum approximately equal to two-thirds of that contributed through the Dioceses under Budget Apportionment, shows what the W.A. means to the Church.
Still another missionary energy, fresh and strong, sweeping like a wind of God through the Church, was also available at this time, and mightily effective, for within the period of this study the power of the Divine Spirit in the Church was extraordinarily manifested. His hand raised up the Layman's Missionary Movement, whose rise, wonderful effect and final absorption in the Forward Movement are well within the recollection of older men. Its aim was not primarily the raising of money, but education and inspiration. It swept the country, indeed the whole continent and far beyond. It transformed the lay mind, and was really the first awakening of the laymen of the Church to the Vision and the Task. It did, however, raise as by magic the standards of giving to the broad work of the Church.
Thus from the outset of his work Gould's hands were upheld by an awakening spirit in the Church as such, by the growing strength of the W.A., and by the Laymen's Missionary Movement. He needed all the help available, for his was a heavy task.
The second phase of Gould's career, 1914 to 1917, presents a wholly different scene. A heavy financial depression and a dreadful world-war fill the picture now. Gould describes the situation as a "crux and crisis."
The spring of 1913 found the country awakening to the fact of one of those cyclic depressions from which an unstable financial world suffers. The Church, of course, felt it immediately. Reporting in the spring of 1914, Gould speaks of "a stringency of funds." The reports of the missionary Bishops are full of it. "The widespread financial depression" threatens the work "with disaster in consequence," "men thrown out of employment," "our local populations have shrunk." A certain bishopric Endowment Fund is held up "owing to financial conditions at present prevailing," etc., etc. So run the reports; how different is the tone from 1912.
Then fell the blow of the worst war in history, producing, of course, a wholly new set of conditions and problems for the Church. Immigration stopped; capital was diverted. By the time it ended half a million men of Canada had been in the ranks of the Army, and growth in the West ceased. Grants and gifts from England, lavished upon the Church, were cut off or reduced.
Here was a handy excuse for all troubles; people blamed the war. As a matter of fact, it had little to do with the depression, which had arrived before it broke out. The flow of immigration had already decreased by fifty per cent. from Britain alone. Indeed, war work materially relieved the depression, and the situation stimulated Canadian Church giving. The income of the M.S.C.C. in 1914-1915 increased in both years by approximately $15,000.00.
Gould's "crux and crisis" was not a financial one. It lay in a threatened conflict of interest qetween the Overseas work of the M.S.C.C. and that of the Canadian Missionary Dioceses. Feeling was acute. An eager Canadian Missionary Bishop, seeing his work, in recent years so rich in promise, suddenly crippled because of growing demands Overseas, may be excused for some bitterness towards the M.S.C.C., however really unreasonable this might be.
Such a situation threatened both the spirit of unity in the Church, so dear to Gould's orderly soul, as well as the work itself. He therefore devoted almost the whole of his "Report" in April, 1915, to that sort of factual, reasonable and practical elucidation of the situation at which he was an adept.
For the reassurance of the Canadian Bishops, as well as of the very large number specially interested in Foreign work, he does not hesitate to say:
Should the exigencies of the Society require, and the needs of the Canadian work demand, a temporary slowing up of the development of the foreign work, members of the Society at home may rest satisfied that good and telling work is being done.
Always hopeful, pointing out the bright side, Gould reminds the Board that the present "crux and crisis" was not only inevitable but beneficial.
Bright prospects Overseas are something to be grateful for. Besides, the situation contains a challenge to the giving power of the Church, not yet by any means fully exercised; so he stresses the necessity of education and inspiration of the people by the parish clergy, improved depu-tational service, Summer Schools and other means, all concentrated upon "the sole and only object of increasing the income of the M.S.C.C." For, "so far, the principle of concentration and direction, particularly in the Foreign Fields, has developed faster than that of giving power." The latter has not "had time to produce the necessary advance in interest, intercession and income." The Church is, therefore, by implication, challenged to rise to the opportunities of its great mission, at home and abroad.
Thus Gould dealt with "the crux and crisis." Nothing is more characteristic of his mind and method than his Report in 1915.
If slang were permissible, the epithet exactly describing the third phase of Gould's career, 1918 to 1930, would be "hectic." For more than half the period the missionary Church was a storm-tossed, wind-beaten ship with Gould at the helm.
At first, however, the wind blew from a favourable quarter, and the ship safely reached the harbour of the Anglican Forward Movement's successful outcome.
Reconstruction, after such a war as had now ended, was urgent in the Church as everywhere else. So far as the Anglican Church was concerned, one particularly pressing demand called for immediate action. The deadline of 1920, when the C.M.S. was to withdraw all assistance in grants for Indian and Esquimaux work in Canada, loomed near. Action, delayed by the depression of 1913 and by the war, was imperative. This was the direct concern of the M.S.C.C. and was the immediate occasion of the Anglican part in the general Forward Movement. Gould, therefore, necessarily assumed leadership.
On Friday, Sept. 13 (as events proved a propitious date), the General Synod, then in Session, preliminary investigations having been made, launched the Movement, naming a committee (all laymen) to draft a "suggested scope" and to set the wheels going. The all-inclusive character of the "scope" adopted is shown in the words, "to make an immediate survey of the total financial needs for work coming under the supervision of the General Synod." Organization was set up and the Anglican Forward Movement began. The only references relevant here are, first, to its Director, as Gould was named, and to its final results.
Words cannot convey an adequate impression of Gould as Director, as the writer, who acted as Director of the movement in the Diocese of Toronto, holds him vividly in mind. He was a fiery spirit animated by a keen brain flinging every energy into this great Movement. He needed his clear head. Countless questions called for answer, situations for quick and sure judgment, weird misunderstandings to be cleared away, all essential to the success of the Movement. Unsuspected issues calling for changes in method arose time after time. For example, it was a stroke of strategical genius which conceived the idea of stimulating diocesan energy by undertaking that those Dioceses which attained or exceeded their objectives should receive back large sums for their own urgent needs. This took place in the very midst of the Movement.
As to financial results, they were amazing. The total amount allotted to the Dioceses was $2,607,000.00; the total subscription, $3,471,608.00, nearly $865,000.00 "over the top." The Church, under capable leadership, had indeed risen to the occasion.
The launching of the Forward Movement had been timely indeed, for by 1920 the weight of the real aftermath of the war began to be felt in "the inordinate rise in costs," and in a deep financial depression inevitable in a time of deflation and readjustment. Things brightened up, however, later on, for a time at least.
But advantage can sometimes be taken of difficulties, and out of those prevailing at the time arose the purchase of the Church House, Toronto. The pressure of rising costs for rented office quarters gave the occasion, and on April 1, 1922, the Society entered into possession, having effected, despite a large mortgage, "a decided net saving under rent charges." The property and the subsequent enlargements of the building have never been a direct charge upon the Church. Surplus interest in the Reserve Fund, rents for space and royalties have met all costs for this indispensable addition to the Church's equipment.
Meanwhile the eye of the General Secretary has been roving the Field of the World. In 1923 and 1924 he reports on his personal visits to India, China and Palestine in 1922, the great value of which is obvious.
His report on what was going on in India is particularly timely. The Anglican Communion there was undergoing radical changes. Up to this time the Church in India had been legally part of the Church of England, with all the serious limitations arising from the administration of a ''Colonial" Church by Canterbury and the English Government. A Bill was successfully navigated through the British Parliament by which "the Church in India, Burmah, and Ceylon will be freed from all real, or apparent, connection with the State and be erected into an ecclesiastical province organized under its own Provincial Synod." Gould's report in 1923 sets forth the change, particularly in its bearing upon the mind and action of our work there, for "the field is the world," and in absorption in local pressing affairs it is well to be reminded of the fact.
Turning again now to the home scene, the temperature is once more rising. Gould in 1926 remarks, "competent observers of all types are agreed that the prevailing conditions indicate the passing of the years of depression."
Prosperity, too, warranted the organization of the Arctic Mission Fund, "our most recent effort of reorganization and extension." The unification of this great Mission across the whole North by arrangement with the Bishops concerned under an Archdeacon of the Arctic, the Venerable A. L. Fleming, is reported in 1927, fore-runner of later and much greater developments.
Perhaps the most notable event of the time was the very ambitious, much-needed and arduous undertaking of the Anglican National Commission. It deserves fuller reference than can be given here, since it was one for which Gould was largely responsible, from which he hoped much and to which, in addition to existing duties, he gave three years of time and strength.
The Commission itself consisted of seven Bishops, fifteen Clergy and fifteen laity. Its decisive action was to appoint three Field Commissioners to visit personally every part of the Church and to make recommendations to the next Session of the General Synod. As the Field Commissioners actually did visit every diocese in Canada except the Arctic and Yukon (though this was done later in Yukon by the Primate), the magnitude of the task may easily be imagined. The members of the Field Commission were the Bishop of Niagara, now Primate, Canon Gould and Chancellor Gisborne.
Gould acted as Secretary of the Commission, and the thoroughness of all he did has already been commented on. The recommendations of the Commission, with some amendments, were adopted by the General Synod in 1931, and thus became Resolutions of that body itself, a fact whose great significance has not only been largely overlooked, but, one fears, often utterly disregarded in action.
A few of the Recommendations have been acted upon. The transference of the Diocese of Moosonee to the Province of Ontario is one of them, though this proposal had been actively mooted for many years. The creation of the new Dioceses of Saskatoon and the Arctic, the latter particularly dear to Gould's heart, were two others. The most radical and important of them, a Recommendation greatly to enlarge and strengthen the authority of the General Synod, has been adopted by every Provincial Synod in Canada (the bodies most affected) except one, and cannot be put into effect until the consent of that Synod has been secured.
On the whole, the results of the undertaking seem not commensurate with the prodigious character of the labours involved. Yet these Recommendations are as sown seed, and who can forecast the mystery of their future fruitfulness?
With the end of the "hectic" decade 1920 to 1930, we stand on the verge of the closing years of Gould's great service. Would that they had contained peace and progress! Unhappily, as he looked out from the vantage point of the Session of the General Synod in 1931, such was far from the fact. Already shadows of the world's worst depression fell upon the Synod. In 1926 Gould had expressed an exuberant optimism as to Canadian prospects. It proved to be unjustified, for an "unprecedented industrial and economic depression" prevailed. Valiant efforts are called for, particularly for the Canadian missionary work in the Middle West.
No wonder, since markets for Western wheat had vanished and good prices with them. The situation was deeply aggravated, too, by a strange period of drought, soil-shifting and rust, which devastated the southern section for years.
The world picture, also, was deeply disturbing; clouds lay on all horizons, to "gather, gloom and fold," in the night of another and far more dreadful world-war.
Then, sorrow upon sorrow, in August, 1932, burst the awful revelation of the loss of the Endowment Funds in the Province of Rupertsland. A guilty silence, too long maintained, was broken, and the Church rang with news of disaster.
When Bishop Machray began his work in the Lone Land of the Prairies in 1865, the country was virtually a wilderness. In order, therefore, to hold and administer very considerable funds, raised in England largely, he was compelled to have himself constituted legally as a "corporation sole.'' No steps were taken by his successor to alter the arrangement, which just drifted on administered virtually exclusively by a man who had the confidence and esteem of all.
Owing to the inclusiveness of the law of Manitoba, as in some other Provinces, governing trust investments, the funds were, quite legally, invested in securities which turned out badly. Unfortunately the man in question tried to ''juggle" them, no doubt in the hope that things would eventually turn out all right. Certainly he never tried to benefit personally. The tragic outcome was inevitable, and investigation showed a defalcation of no less than $771,842.
The M.S.C.C. was deeply involved, for five Missionary Bishoprics lost their endowments. What of Gould under this stunning blow?
Reminding the Church that "in quietness and confidence shall be your strength," he set to work and, authorized by the Board of Management and the Executive Council, launched two special appeals to the Church, one of a current character to meet the immediate maintenance needs, and the other to restore the lost capital. This is the well-known Restoration Fund.
Just one year later he was able to report, with what triumph may be imagined, "that not a single piece of work affected fell into abeyance, that not a single stipend remained unpaid, that not a single pension remained unhonoured even for a single week." A true leader had again inspired and led, and an intelligent, loyal body of people had followed to success. At the General Synod Session in 1937 Gould rejoices "in the fact, that with contributions in cash of $804,851.13 to the Restoration Fund, of $103,050.64 to the Maintenance Fund, of interim interest earned $66,757.32, total receipts of $974,659.09, every loss had been made good, every pension, stipend and other obligation paid." Let the Church he loved so well and served with his very life rejoice with him in this his last triumph in "difficulties overcome."
One of the shadows which fall heaviest across the placid sunset of approaching age is the disappearance by death of those with whom association has been close and intimate over the years. The familiar voices so often raised on behalf of ''the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God" have died away; honoured presences, made dear by comradeship in the Great Cause, have vanished into the silence beyond the Veil.
Upon the General Secretary fell this shadow as, at the Session of the General Synod in 1937, the passing of Archbishop Stringer, Dean L. Norman Tucker, the Reverend George E. Simmons, first clerical colleague of Bishop White in China, Mr. G. B. Nicholson, and Mr. G. C. Coppley was reported. The same shadow was soon to be deepened by his own death.
To the distress of his colleagues this Synod Session revealed the fact that the end of Sydney Gould's active service on earth was, at best, not far off. The keen mind was clouded, the great spirit missed the vigorous physical instrument which had served it so well. That he should cling to a hope of continued service was natural; and was evidenced by the fact that he counted upon attending the forthcoming Madras Missionary Conference.
Two happy scenes afford a fitting close to this brief story, the first in Calgary. The annual meeting of the Board of Management assembled there on September 17, 1935. It was the twenty-fifth anniversary of Gould's election as General Secretary. The memory of those stormy years was vivid in every mind, and throughout them the indomitable figure who, in occasionally clearing weather, but mostly in storm and danger, had so safely navigated the missionary ship of the Church. The Board marked the occasion by a Resolution of deep appreciation which at best could but feebly express what was in the hearts of all. Plans were also made more adequately to mark the occasion later.
The following November, in the new and beautiful board room in the Church House, a bronze tablet commemorating Gould's great service, together with a full record of its outstanding features, was unveiled. If the feeling at Calgary in the Board of Management had been deep and sincere, that of the members of the Executive Committee, at a meeting of which the tablet was unveiled, most of whom had had long and close association with Gould, may be imagined.
That Gould received these and many other marks of recognition, appreciation and honour at the hands of the Church during his lifetime, in a greater degree perhaps than most men, is happily true. On November 18, 1938, he "fell on sleep," one more of the great and gracious figures, clerical and lay, who have served and adorned the Church they so deeply loved. His greatest honour surely is that his "works do follow him," and that those who laboured longest with him and knew him best, cherishing many memories in their hearts, sorrow most of all "that they should see his face no more."