T. HATCHARD, 187, PICCADILLY.
MY REVEREND BRETHREN,
You are well aware that it was my original purpose to have assembled you for my Primary Visitation towards the close of the last winter, very soon after my arrival among you. But upon more mature consideration, I determined to defer it until I had obtained some acquaintance with your spheres of ministerial duty, and had also gained some insight into the Indian character, and formed some idea of the prospects of the Church throughout this land.
Nor do I repent of the delay. Even at home, where the circumstances of the dioceses so much resemble each other, where parochial labour in each presents few peculiarities, an interval of time between consecration and a Primary Visitation has been found desirable and profitable. [See the Primary Charge of the Bishop of Ripon, 1838.] How much more then in the case of a colonial [5/6] diocese, where the position of a minister differs in very many points from that at home, where the parochial system cannot always be entirely carried out, where the subject of Ecclesiastical legislation still presents many anomalies, so as to require much patient thought and study to adapt it to the wants of the Church in any case, more especially when that Church is composed partly of those of European habits, partly of those brought in from heathenism! In this way, although I have to acknowledge with gratitude the paternal ad vice and counsel received from many prelates be fore leaving England, particularly from that revered prelate, whom the Providence of God has elevated to the highest position in our Church, and from him, on whom has devolved the charge of ordaining for colonial dioceses, yet I found it impossible to gain from any the exact information which I desired, on those peculiar features which give to a colonial diocese a character altogether its own. From one alone I gained before starting much valuable instruction, many full and satisfactory answers to the questions, which naturally arose in my mind; and the obligation I am the more anxious to acknowledge on this occasion, because I little knew when enjoying his hospitality and kindness, when favoured by him with access to all his papers and documents bearing on the first formation of the diocese of Barbados, that the hand of God was about to remove him so soon from that sphere at once of retirement and labour, in which, after eighteen years of active [6/7] employment abroad, he bad boon so honourably fixed. [The Right Rev. W. Hart Coleridge, D.D., late Bishop of Barbados, and Warden of St. Augustine's College, Canterbury, who received at the College those consecrated at Canterbury, May 29, 1849, and died in the December following.]
But neither the early history of the diocese of Barbados, nor the annals of the Church in Australia and New Zealand, present any exact counterpart of the work, to which God, my reverend brethren, has called us here. The tenure by which this territory is held by the charter of the Hon. Company, the fact that when we gaze on the lakes and rivers and mighty interlying plains of Rupert's Land, not a single city or town meets the eye; the manner in which a small body of settlers planted in it by a benevolent nobleman, forms now the centre of light, the little oasis in the wilderness; the way in which over the rest of the country, the forts are thinly scattered, with but a handful in each professing the Christian faith, and all darkness around;--the method in which the native population seek their subsistence, wandering about from spot to spot, according as the necessity of the chase, the want of fish or of wood may compel them; all this, joined to many other things which readily suggest themselves to your own minds, stamp upon this diocese a distinctiveness of feature, to which, I am bold enough to affirm, no parallel exists at the present hour on the surface of the globe. They give a character to the work of the gospel here, which belongs not [7/8] to it elsewhere; the full idea of which exists vividly impressed in your minds, yet an idea which it is difficult, if not impossible, to transfer to another, in the exact shape in which it occupies and fills the minds of those, before whom the picture is daily spread. It is well for us however, my brethren, often to recur to this, to examine well those circumstances which make our lot peculiar, to dwell on them carefully and patiently, until we feel that the gospel, as a remedial message, is to be adapted to what we see around us. Easy were it to imagine a changed scene, and to allow the mind to roam in forming visionary plans of what under different circumstances might be realized. Our duty is with the present moment; so to study the condition and character of the land wherein we dwell, so to imbibe the idea of it as a whole, as to be prepared for the profitable consideration of the great subject, How shall I best imprint upon it the mark and stamp of heaven? How shall a living Christianity be best diffused among those so different in race and condition, so scattered and destitute, yet in equal need with ourselves of the Saviour, in equal want of the word of life to guide their feet into the way of peace?
For these purposes we ought to study well our position, in order to see clearly where we stand among the churches of God, when and where we are called to work in the Lord's vineyard. Now this is, brethren, the remotest diocese in the west. If we are all travelling westward, as the poet [8/9] lately taken hence has sung, if the gospel's course has been westward, and if it is to be preached as a witness among all nations before the end come, then it has well nigh run its course in this part of this mighty continent. America is nearly embraced. This, the remotest diocese, stretches as far as the rocky mountains, almost within sight of the waters of the Pacific. I should have called it the youngest, the last-formed diocese a week ago; but intelligence has just reached us, that another bishop has been consecrated since, that the diocese of Montreal is separately constituted, so that now the dioceses of British North America are seven. [Another may ere this have been formed by the division of the Diocese of Toronto.] Of these we are the most distant; beyond us there is but one clergyman on the other side of the mountains at Vancouver. Should necessity require, and no means of Episcopal ministration be supplied, I might hereafter have to visit that spot for the purpose of confirmation; or, should the population of Vancouver Island increase, and any number of clergymen be planted in the Columbia, Vancouver might then be suitably selected as a spot for a bishop of its own. Then from China to the Pacific the chain of sees would be complete; from Victoria the eye would pass to Calcutta with her three suffragan bishoprics, from Bombay to Jerusalem, thence along the Mediterranean to Gibraltar, and, crossing the Atlantic to Newfound land, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, Quebec, [9/10] Montreal, Toronto, Rupert's Land, and, if it might be so at a future day, Vancouver. A glowing thought, that the Church of the British Isles should span the world! [Those who are accustomed to give to their classical recollections a Christian application, will excuse me for referring to the passage which always suggests itself to my mind, when I reflect on my position, and look eastward to those who, from the rising to the setting sun, are to be as "lights, holding forth the word of life." AESCHYL. AGAM.]
Although however so far removed, we cannot forget that the life and influence and energy of our Church, must be derived in great measure from Britain. England must still be regarded by us as the heart and centre of life, from which the blood circulates to the most distant parts of the body. Our wisdom would be to keep up a lively inter course with the Church, whence we are sent forth; not to labour independently of her, not to frame a code of laws for our regulation differing from those which are in force at home, but rather to adapt, as much as may be, our own internal government to that, which the wisdom of our forefathers has devised, and the experience of ages sanctioned. [The danger of an opposite course is clearly and forcibly stated in a Letter to Sir Robert H. Inglis on Colonial Church Legislation, by the Rev. Henry Venn, 1850.] And yet whenever we cast our eyes towards the Church of our affections, [10/11] the Church in which we were reared and train ed, the Church whose ministrations we are endeavouring to carry out, feebly it may be and imperfectly, in this country, we cannot conceal from ourselves, I cannot conceal from you, my reverend brethren, that much of trouble and trial seem to encompass her. Internal divisions have arisen which cannot be viewed without alarm; and although our Articles and Formularies were framed in so wide and comprehensive a spirit, as to include under them that diversity of opinion, which will ever mark independent minds, yet efforts are now making, which would interrupt the peace which has long reigned within her bosom, and which would settle and mark out definitively, what had been left in some measure to individual judgment. Of this we cannot be unconcerned spectators, as we value the peace of our Church, the doctrinal purity and the unfettered liberty of her children. We must watch anxiously and eagerly the directions which error takes, the sides on which error lurks; and, if God so bless us, seek to discover the means, by which error may be most successfully met, and truth maintained.
Looking then at the tone and spirit of theological writing during the few last years, with the view of discovering the dangers to which we are most exposed, I cannot but apprehend the approach of evil, evil of a different shade and complexion, from a growing indistinctness on three subjects of deep and vital importance.
[12 ] I. The first is very closely connected with the Word of God, and the nature of the impressions which we receive from it. It refers to the subject of Inspiration, the nature and extent of that superintendence, that divine illumination, communicated to the penmen of Holy Scripture. And here I should depart from what I previously stated to be the liberty allowed by our Church, if I were to lay down a theory of my own as binding upon you, or as if it were the only possible one, which an earnest and religious mind could adopt. I know that many, whom I respect and venerate, hold on this point views differing from my own, and so long as the Supremacy of God's word is allowed, the authority of every part of it on the conscience granted, I should not be disposed to quarrel. But is there not in some quarters a disposition to undervalue the letter of the word? Is there not a spirit of bold criticism afloat, which scruples not to discover imperfections in Scripture, which speaks of a part of Scripture as not necessarily inspired, or attributes varying degrees of inspiration to that which God has embraced under one simple and comprehensive term? [pasa grafh qeopneustoV 2 Tim. iii. 16.] It is customary often to speak of the historical and prophetical inspiration as different, and yet I can never understand, how more of inspiration was necessary for Isaiah to prophesy of events seven hundred years distant in the future, than for Moses to write the history of an unfallen world, the history of Paradise and God's [12/13] communion with man there, which happened more than two thousand years before his birth. Or even, as this perhaps is more readily granted, looking at the historical books of Samuel, the Kings, or Nehemiah, how is it that so short a record is given us, so concise an outline, and yet through Divine Providence, one so sufficient to give a perfect history of the world, which but for this existed only in fragments, and never could have been cemented into one whole. In this se lection of material, in this Divine arrangement, I can recognize nothing short of the highest inspiration; the same inspiration which guided the seer and prophet in his noblest flights. For I cannot separate, I cannot unravel that so curiously woven by the Spirit; if any distinguish between history and prophecy, I confess my inability. In Genesis, prophecy marks the opening and closing chapters,--in Exodus and Leviticus, we have the prophecy of word, and that of type and symbol, in Numbers, we have Balaam unfolding the future character of Israel, when their tents were pitched beyond Jordan, stamping them with the seal of prophecy before one foot had yet crossed the sacred river, and in Deuteronomy, we have Moses closing his books (shall we call them of history or prophecy?) when rapt in the Spirit, describing the Jews such as our eyes behold them at the present hour. And so, throughout the books of Scripture, the golden thread of prophecy is so beautifully interwoven with the tissue of the volume, that I should ever fear to draw it out. On [13/14] this ground, I tremble to hear men speak of higher and lower inspiration marking parts of God's volume. For all I would claim the highest inspiration; let us look to it as written within and without with the finger of God. [Is there no such danger, when we hear Bibliolatry disclaimed and derided? Was not a late estimable divine led on wards to question the authority of the Book of Daniel, and did not another eminent writer (not of our own Communion) give up altogether the inspiration of the Song of Solomon? For some of the thoughts on this subject I confess myself indebted to Gaussen's Theopneustia.]
This is, I am aware, a danger into which few of our Church have as yet fallen; it lurks how ever almost unconsciously in many minds. It is an error, the effects of which we see in the unsparing hand of the Socinian mutilating the volume of God, or in the rash speculations of the Neologian of Germany. A little of the leaven has latterly been introduced into our own theology, and it surely is incumbent upon all to analyze well their own conceptions on this subject, to see well what are their real ideas of the agency of God, and the instrumentality of man, as jointly concerned in the inspiration of the Bible.
II. The next subject on which I would notice a growing indistinctness of view, and from which much painful error has already arisen, is the doc trine of Justification. As the very end and purpose of the gospel is to reveal how man can be just with God, so whatever tends to obscure and darken the method of the sinner's acceptance [14/15 ] must weaken its very foundations. And was it not on this point that he, whose was the leading mind in the late movement, which has drawn off from the service and allegiance of our Church so many of her erring sons, was it not on this that he first unsettled the minds of many, sapping and undermining, unconsciously perhaps at that time, the superstructure of the faith? [Newman's Lectures on Justification.] Has it not been once more verified that this is "the Article of a standing or falling Church?" And although many of those, who spoke of this as an odious and unpalatable doctrine, have fallen from our ranks and gone out from among us, yet the un settling effect remains in the minds of many others; the trumpet gives from their lips an un certain sound, and there is not the same simple and bold proclamation of the method, in which being "justified by faith we have peace with God."
Now the true path of safety in any such case, where the substance of the "faith once delivered to the saints" is endangered, is to recur "to the law and to the testimony," to the lively oracles of God, and the authoritative explanation of them as contained in our own Articles. We must, especially in the present day, "examine well the foundations." [Wilberforce's Practical View.] If our object as ministers is to lead man to joy and peace in believing here, and to present him perfect, without spot, and blameless before the presence of God hereafter, we must often ask, How shall these things be? We must [15/16] analyze the medicine provided for us, the balm of Gilead which the good Physician has consigned to our care. And the scriptural answer seems to be furnished by the apostle, when he prays to be "found in Christ, not having his own righteousness, which is of the law, but the righteousness which is of God by faith." In that he prayed to be found on earth; in that he hoped to stand in heaven. And the Articles agree therewith when declaring, "We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ by faith, and not for our own works or deservings." In the merits of Christ we can rejoice as pardoned sinners now; in those merits we can hope to stand accepted and justified before the bar of God hereafter; because "He was made sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." Yet in the doctrinal statement of these great truths, is there not sometimes an indistinct ness, a confusion between sanctification and justification, akin to the doctrines of the corrupt Church of Rome on the subject, a confusion between inherent righteousness and that which is imputed, a confusion between our own best and holiest works, our own righteousness which is but as filthy rags, and that everlasting righteousness, which the obedience of the Saviour to God's perfect law has introduced, and which shall be a garment of glory and beauty to all that believe. [For a full discussion of this subject, see the Lectures of Dr. O'Brien, Bishop of Ossory, on Justification; and for a clear and simple statement, see a short Treatise by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and another by Bishop Wilson of Calcutta.]
 III. But there remains one other subject, on which error seems now to take its stand, and threaten danger to the simplicity of the faith, and that is,--Extreme views of sacramental efficacy. As of the two former errors, the one referred to the word of God, the other to the primary doctrine of the Gospel, so this relates to the channels through which grace is conveyed. Now of the two holy sacraments of our Church, as ordained by the Saviour for our great and endless comfort, we can never speak too highly, nor think too reverently; and yet the eye may dwell so exclusively on these or any other points as to derange "the analogy of the faith," [thn analogian thV pistewV. Rom. xii. 6.] the proportion in which scripture reveals these things. Coincident with the extreme views, to which I refer, is often a depreciation of preaching, regarding which, as the mighty engine by which it has "pleased God to save them that believe," the apostle has said so much. There is also often a depreciation of faith, by which the sinner is at once brought nigh unto God, on which the apostolical epistles enlarge so fully. Is there, then, no distorting of the scriptural analogy, when the two sacraments are dwelt on so exclusively? Is there no danger when something of a sacramental efficacy is claimed for other ordinances, when it is said that they are in some sense sacraments of the Church? Have not the extreme views in question led, as a con sequence, to the melancholy position, that for sin after baptism there is no direct pledge or promise [17/18] of pardon; and in the case of the other sacrament, to views scarcely to be distinguished from the transubstantiation of the Church of Rome? Now here too recourse to the Articles and Formularies would appear at once the safe path; and if it be alleged that difficulty exists, if there be any necessity of reconciling apparent diversity of expression, is it not the fairer course to take the general definition of the sacraments as found in Article XXV., and then contemplate its application to the two sacraments? If of the sacraments generally it is stated, in Article XXV., that "in such only as worthily receive them they have a wholesome effect or operation," if an express Article limits the effects of the Lord's Supper to the worthy recipient, (Article XXIX.,) why may not something of a like limitation be admissible in the construction of Article XXVII.? Are we derogating from the sanctity of a sacrament, if we say a limitation is possible in the one, which all allow in the case of the other sacrament?
But it is said, the case of baptism prevents the admission of any such hypothesis, as there cannot be, in the case of infants, worthiness or unworthiness. Yet here again is it not just to pass from the higher case of the adult to the particular case of infant baptism? In the case of the adult, the benefit and grace are acknowledged to be contingent, not always and universally bestowed; and shall we still say that all children necessarily obtain the fullest gift of God's grace? Are we derogating from the sacredness of the sacrament [18/19] in saying that there may perchance be a limitation in their case?
And here, my reverend brethren, as you may have perceived from these remarks, I cannot but feel grateful to God for the late decision, which has filled the minds of many with terror and alarm. On such an occasion as this I am bound to put you in possession of my own opinion, and something of the grounds on which I have formed it. Far from foreseeing the evil consequences which some anticipate as likely to arise from it, I would regard it as only continuing to us a liberty and latitude which seem to have existed ever since the Reformation. I think the case has been satisfactorily and fully argued from the views of the compilers of our Articles, and proved to be in perfect consonance with the language of charity, on which the whole of our liturgy proceeds. On these grounds, therefore, I do not dwell. One point occurs to me as a strong one and not sufficiently brought forward, which is, that on this question the same writers of our own Church, and the same early fathers, are continually quoted on either side. And what solution, then, can be given of this, that the same writer is cited in favour of views apparently so opposed? Surely it is because there lurks beneath some ambiguity of terms; because there is a sense in which all the baptized are in covenant with God and adopted into his family, while there is also a sense, a higher and peculiar sense, in which those [19/20] alone who are led by the Spirit are in living covenant with Him, possessing "the spirit of adoption, whereby they cry Abba, Father:" that there is a sense in which all the baptized are his children, while there is a higher sense in which they alone are his children who have "the Spirit bearing witness with their spirit that they are the children of God; and if children then heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ." From the fact, then, that writers are quoted as holding the opposed views, I would argue that the higher and fuller blessing is not universally bestowed, that even to those baptized the call is not unnecessary, to examine themselves whether they be born again of the Spirit, whether they be indeed in the faith, to prove their own selves.
The danger, reverend brethren, of such extreme views of sacramental efficacy is twofold, according to the complexion of the mind on which they are brought to bear. Addressed to those without depth of religious feeling, and listened to eagerly by those who wish to rest on something external to themselves, and so to satisfy the alarms of conscience, they lead to Formalism a dependence on those outward signs as necessarily connecting them with God, and ensuring vital union with the Saviour. To minds of a different temperament, to those of a highly meditative and contemplative cast, their tendency is to lead to Mysticism to something of a transcendental theology. They are thus either as opiates, which lull the soul into a false sense of security; [20/21] or they throw a mysteriousness and dread around it, resulting more from the feelings and imagination than the sober realities of the faith. [All, I think, must allow that there was much of mysticism in the sermons of Dr. Pusey on Baptism and the Eucharist. Is there not something of the kind also in such expressions as these, "The sacraments are the extension of the Incarnation:" "Through the sacraments we are united to the man's nature of Christ?"]
Such, my reverend Brethren, are the directions from which I chiefly apprehend danger at the present hour, the tendencies which we have to dread, as likely to lead to the rash speculations of the Continent and the doctrinal errors of the Church of Rome, the evils of Formalism or a refined Mysticism. Far however be it from me to damp the ardour of hope, or check the sanguine expectation which would look for better things. There are many earnest and eager minds raised up, which are endeavouring to stem the tide of evil; much advance and progress are made in theology, even if some opposing forces are at work. Especially would I notice, as the branch in which most has been done in the last few years, the amount of labour bestowed on the framework of scripture, developing the beauty of its constituent parts, and its symmetry as a whole. Much, very much, has been done in bringing out the traces of the manifold wisdom of God as seen in His own volume its manifoldness and yet its unity its diversity of style, all converging to one simple end and purpose. The structure and gradual [21/22] formation of scripture are thus better understood; and if only such researches are conducted by minds deeply impressed with the inspiration of the volume on which they are engaged, how much of light may yet arise! "Out of the eater shall come forth meat, out of the strong shall come forth sweetness!" [Much was done in Townson's Discourses on the Gospels, and Davison's Discourses on Prophecy. Of more recent works I would refer especially to Stanley's Essays on the Apostolic Age, Dr. Tait's Suggestions to a Theological Student, and Trench's Hulsean Lectures. The last is full of glowing thought on "the manifold wisdom of God" as seen in His word.]
But such errors trouble us not in the more immediate practical duties to which we are called. Indeed I have not much fear of their appearing among ourselves. Called as I have been to the office which I now hold at a very early age, and soliciting on that ground a double interest in your prayers, my confidence would be in the character of my clergy, in their faith ripened in trial and adversity, and strengthened by many a shock. Our practical work removes us from the atmosphere of theological controversy; our distance from home keeps us in some degree of ignorance of it; and yet, as dutiful sons of the Church of England, we cannot be idle spectators of what threatens her interests or affects her peace.
Turning, however, from the painful subject of the errors of others, and looking inwards and around us here, have we no short-comings to deplore no necessity for a spirit of increased [22/23] activity and diligence? Are there no subjects which press themselves upon our notice on such a solemn occasion as this, when met together to stir each other up, to give and to receive words of counsel and exhortation? Are we estimating aright our duties, doing all that we ought all that we might do? A year is almost closing upon us; but a few more days remain of it,--a remarkable year surely, as introducing us to the latter half of the century. If in it events follow each other with as great rapidity as in the former half, how mighty will be the march of events how great the changes which may be witnessed and recorded by those who may see its closing year! Ought we not then, brethren, to endeavour to ascertain our true standing? Could we have a more suitable season for meeting together than the close of this memorable year, a more fitting prayer than the collect for the day, "Merciful God, we beseech thee to cast thy bright beams of light upon thy Church?" Be it ours to copy the pattern of the apostle whom we this day commemorate. His was said to be the martyrdom in will, not in deed; be it ours, if called upon to suffer, to bear it patiently as followers of the Lord Jesus. The spirit of St. John has been said to be the true spirit of controversy. If called upon to contend for the faith, may we do so in the spirit of love, imbibing the spirit which he de rived from his Saviour's breast. [See Suggestions to the Theological Student under Present Difficulties, by A. C. Tait, D.C.L., Dean of Carlisle.] Some have [23/24] thought that, as the world waxes old, the disciples of Christ in the latter day will most resemble the beloved apostle. [See Sermons and Essays on the Apostolical Age, by the Rev. A. P. Stanley, page 262.] If the shadows of evening are around us if anything betoken the approach of the evil of the last times, let us seek to be found as he was, tarrying until Jesus come. For all these purposes the best preparation will be an eye directed often heavenward, soaring aloft in faith and prayer, and a heart and affections dwelling much amid those eternal realities to which the apostle was caught up by the Spirit in that vision, the first chapter of which is the appointed lesson for the morning, the last that for the evening service of the day.
Looking back, then, with the experience of the past, (and yours a much longer and fuller experience than my own,) what are the leading characteristics of your work on which I ought to dwell, what the hindrances which check a greater activity and devotedness to God, what the encouragements which His gracious hand spreads before us?
Now I am inclined to give prominence to the necessary secularity connected with your ministerial work, as distinguishing it from the more exclusively spiritual character of labour at home. This is lessened gradually as a station advances, as it passes from being purely missionary to something of a settled parish. But in the earlier history of all the churches in this diocese, has there not been a great amount of secular labour [24/25] laid upon those engaged in the ministry of the word? And necessarily so. The minister is not only the pastor but the friend, the promoter, not only of the spiritual, but the temporal welfare of his people. His mental energies are anxiously devoted to the rearing of the spiritual temple, but his hands assist at the same time in rearing the fabric of the material temple, if it is to proceed at all; yea, beyond this, his counsel is looked to in the erection of the private dwelling, and in the cultivation of the field. And I do not mention this to wish it otherwise; rather would I feel with joy that it brings us nearer to primitive and apostolic Christianity; that those who have thus laboured with the hand, while labouring also in the word and doctrine, are thereby the closer to him who could say, "These hands have ministered to my necessities, and to them that were with me," and who wrought as a tent-maker, when sojourning at Corinth, that he might not be burdensome to any. You may look then to him as a pattern, my reverend brethren, when yourselves compelled to assist in the sowing of the seed, or in getting from the lakes the winter store, or aiding in erecting for the wandering Indian a comfortable and substantial dwelling. A debt is owing to you for your work and labour of love in these respects; and if this settlement look back with gratitude to the philanthropic exertions of the Nobleman who founded it, [The late Earl of Selkirk.] surely, for the amount of social comfort which we now enjoy, and [25/26] the rich abundance of produce around us, we are not a little indebted to the labours of the clergy, and not least to one still among us, whose name is connected with every church, and whose exertions are closely linked with almost every domestic improvement in the settlement. [The Rev. W. Cochran.]
But, while I notice with praise and approbation what the untiring activity of the clergy has achieved at Red River, and what others are still doing at this hour in their spheres of severer labour in the country, I cannot but feel that this is a snare and a temptation against which it is necessary to struggle. Does it not require an in creased spirituality of mind to counteract the tendency of such employment? Does it not re quire more of prayer, more of watchfulness, a double amount of secret and private communion with God, to repair what is lost by this necessary contact with worldly things? I feel it myself, brethren, and would impress it upon you. More of my own time here has been devoted to the work of education, and intellectual training of the young, than under other circumstances would have been justifiable; but in this I feel that I am preparing some who may be hereafter employed in the ministry of the word; and to others I am imparting a tone of mind which may be of use in improving the general character and aspect of the country. Let us not then, on this account, labour the less, brethren, but let us pray the more, that our daily employments, not exclusively spiritual, [26/27] may even minister to our growth in grace, "being sanctified by the word of God and by prayer."
Nor ought the effect of climate to be omitted, as something against which you have to combat. Now, healthy I believe it to be, although the extremes of heat and cold are so great; yet it is trying, and has an influence of its own. It stands in the way of many social improvements, the period of possible labour being so short; and when the country is bound up for so many months, there is little disposition to indulge in much labour for the sake of mere appearance. Add to this the anticipation, which cannot be banished from the mind, of periodical floods, creating a wide-spread desolation and destruction of property, the uncertainty that any spot, however favourably chosen, may long escape, when the bed and channel of the river or lake are much changed by the melting of the winter snows. All this, as I need not tell you, creates in the native mind an indifference, a quietude, which arrests the attention on first arrival. Am I wrong in saying that some thing of this effect creeps over European minds after a long sojourn here? Ought we not to struggle against the inroads of such a feeling? We certainly have not the enervating torpor which the heat of India often produces; and in the clear, dry cold of winter there is felt an elasticity of spirits which counteracts, in some mea sure, the effect of the summer. Yet still the tendency of the climate is to lead to a degree of apathy uncongenial with spiritual growth. So [27/28] many causes may arise to destroy the effects of labour, that the spirit to labour decays. Climate too hinders in other ways. Are there not many spots in which labourers might be planted, yet where ministerial work would involve much hardship? Why should York, the first spot on which most of us set foot, be still without a Clergyman; why should the shores of the bay towards Churchill, and along the East Main, be still unknown to us? A winter in such spots might certainly be attended with privation and discomfort; but surely climate ought not to discourage, if we consider the self-denying exertions of the Moravians for many years on the coasts of Labrador and Greenland. When one thinks of what that little apostolic band has been enabled to effect in those ice-bound countries, as well as at Gnadendal in Africa, or the Leper Hospital at Hemel-en- Aarde, [See Krantz's History of Greenland, and Holmes's History of the United Brethren, and a Sermon on Behalf of the Moravian Missions, full of interesting detail, by the Rev. J. Stevenson, Vicar of Patrixbourne.] when we find, too, that now clergymen of our Church, under a bishop of our own, are undertaking the work on the coast of Labrador, shall we not be eager to meet them along the Straits, by passing upwards on the East Main? [See the Two Journals of Visits to the Coast of Labrador, by the Bishop of Newfoundland.] But all these difficulties ought to lead us to feel our greater dependence on God, and that is ever a blessed condition. [28/29] The fear of famine, of flood, and of cold, leads us to feel that all we have we derive from God; that it is His to give, His to withhold. On this account I appointed, in spring, special prayers to be used in every church as the waters rose upon us, and when they were withdrawn, and the unexpected plenty of autumn once more greeted our eyes, we joined together in the offering of praise and thanksgiving. Many felt then their dependence on the hand which alone upholds, and your united testimony must be that the threatened visitation has indeed left a blessing behind it. For the measure of health which God has given you for years of labour in this climate, I feel deeply grateful. For one alone would I feel anxious, one who is among us at some risk and sacrifice. In his case, however, it is not only the body weakened through climate; there is also the effect of mental anxiety, the watching for souls, without as yet much of a stirring among the dry bones. [The Rev. A. Cowley.]
But the greatest and most formidable check is still unnoticed, and that is the difficulty which you have to encounter as regards language. Here, of course, I speak especially to those engaged in native work; and yet to which of us is it not a hindrance? We all behold the Indian continually, we gaze upon him as a fellow-creature, possessing the same immortality with ourselves, we notice him as he passes, and he gives and receives the usual salutation of his countrymen. [29/30] He proceeds onwards, and thinks that God has created different races for different ends, and that an insuperable barrier divides the White from the Red man. We know that God has created all of one blood, yet we cannot tell him this; our tongue cannot speak to him of a Saviour, and warn him of the terrors of a world to come. Now it appears a small thing to master the difficulties of a language. And so it might be if it were one; but the number of dialects meets us, and creates a fresh difficulty. Blessed be God, much has been already done among the natives, and the prayers of our own beautiful liturgy ascend up in their tongue every Sabbath day in four congregations at least in this land. But then, in visiting these, I find varieties in each. There are the two races of different tongues, though evidently sprung from one common origin, the Saulteaux and the Crees; and of the latter there is the Cree of the Plains and the Cree of York, of Churchill, and of the Low Countries. I have but little hesitation in adopting the Cree of the Saskatchewan, or that of the Plains, as the purest, or, to use the term, the most classical; but of those around me there are few who speak it in purity of pronunciation and accent. Of those with whom I am myself brought into immediate contact, almost all speak the other, the Chippeway or Saulteaux dialect, and that only in a degenerate form.
Regarding the language itself, however, I have no fears. I have done far less than I anticipated in the time since my arrival in the country, but [30/31] my ear is now pretty well accustomed to its sound, and the vocabulary becomes daily more familiar to me. When the words fill the mind, and suggest themselves to the memory, when, if that day should ever arrive, I can think in the language, I should be much more in a position to write it and reduce it to system; for whatever be its origin, it is, brethren, a noble language, or the remains of a noble tongue. It is very philosophical and systematic, as a reference to that grammar which still stands a solitary one, and to the author of which I bear a willing testimony of gratitude to-day, will prove to any one. [See Grammar of the Cree Language, by J. Howse, Esq.] It is very complex and artificial, as the structure of the verbs alone would be sufficient to show. I do not imagine that it possesses many roots, and that would make the formation of a dictionary (in which one of yourselves has made great progress) comparatively easy. [Rev. J. Smithurst.] Therein it would resemble Hebrew, as it does also in its system of prefixes and affixes, and in its number of conjugational varieties of a single verb. Among the classes into which philologists have divided languages, it has obtained the name of Polysynthetic, from the facility with which it can group together a number of ideas in one word. [This name was first given by M. du Ponceau, and since adopted by Humboldt. For interesting examples and re marks on the general features of the American languages, see Prichard's Researches, vol. v. pp. 302320. See also Schoolcraft's History of the Iroquois, chap. xi.] In this [31/32] flexibility, and the ease with which compound words are formed, it seems to resemble the Greek language; and if, on this very account, the providence of God was seen in making Greek the language of the New Testament and the early Church, in which all the nicer shades of technical theology were readily given, so the possession of a similar feature in the language of this land would give one favourable omen for the translation of God's word and our own invaluable liturgy. To my own ear (it may be from partiality) it sounds now with softness and sweetness, whether in the full Indian service, which I heard at Cumberland, and in which I sought to take a feeble part, or in the sermons of him who is the first native minister, of my own ordination, in the land.
The question of orthography remains still in some measure unsettled. To a symbolical alphabet or the syllabic system I feel opposed, as it seems to present a double labour to the Indian, to learn the symbols in order to acquire his own tongue, and afterwards our alphabet for the study of the English language. Nor do I see myself the gain of adopting an alphabet differing much from our own, artificial and unnatural al though ours may be. Our object is to teach the Indian through our language, and to introduce him to our habits of thought. Our object is not to lose the amount of labour bestowed on the Cree and Chippeway language in the grammars already compiled, but rather to abridge and [32/33] introduce more of system. A short grammar of the two languages, a few elementary lesson-books and primers might first be prepared; and then we should be the better fitted for the solemn and responsible task of translating the volume of inspiration. All this, my reverend brethren, we must do ourselves, for the fact is, that none of those who speak the language, and interpret for us, understand it grammatically; they can speak, but they cannot analyze, they can give us a sentence, but they cannot parse its words.
For the very use of language as an instrument has to be taught to the Indian. He knows not the Bible, the book of God, and we wish to give him the word of life; but we must take a lower level, and remember at the same time that he knows not any book, nor the value of those mysterious signs which give us the thoughts and feelings of others, who lived and breathed many thousand years ago. And this you must have felt yourselves as a metaphysical difficulty, one may say, impeding your free intercourse with the Indian. You talk to him of the life of the Saviour, His miracles, His crucifixion, and ascension; and the Indian, when you tell him of the blind re stored to sight, or the dead brought to life, answers by producing some tale or legend, which has passed from mouth to mouth, and been received as traditionary truth, of some similar case among themselves. He cannot discover the difference he thinks as much credit may be [33/34] attached to his legend as to our Gospel. He has to learn the value of a book; how its contents travel from age to age, how it can come with the seal of antiquity upon it, and claim the reverence and homage of mankind. He has to learn this of any book, and then he will come to look as he ought upon the book of God, the voice of the Most High speaking to us from heaven.
Let me not be understood as speaking with anything of despondency of the language and its difficulties. Far from it: a mighty step has been taken in the ordination of one native of the soil to plead with his fellow-countrymen in their own tongue. And now that his preparation for orders is over, I hope to have much more time to devote to such studies. In this work I would solicit your freest suggestions: the more immediate consideration of it I would fix for summer. As last winter we held something of a diocesan meeting for mutual conference and arrangement of matters connected with parochial and ministerial duty; so, next summer, when, if it please God, one now absent may be among us, [Rev. J. Hunter.] I hope we may meet as a kind of translation-committee, for the purpose of furthering God's word, and, as its handmaid, our own Prayer-book. If such, so various and complicated, are our discouragements, what, it may be asked, has yet been effected in the land? has any real progress been made?
 My answer is, Look around, and compare the circumstances of the Red River now with what they were thirty years ago. We can scarcely imagine the country without a minister to com fort and encourage the inquirer, to cheer and gladden the sick by his visit, and raise the eye of the dying to a better land. We can scarcely imagine the condition of the family, when no matrimonial bond had been solemnly entered into, no blessing of God invoked on the union: we cannot imagine children growing up without any dedication to the Saviour in infancy, no education to prepare them for their duties in life, none to fit them for an endless eternity. We cannot imagine the dead consigned to the grave without any religious service, no minister to comfort the bereaved and to solemnize the occasion to those left behind. Yet such things must have been: weeks without their sabbath, sick beds without comfort, death beds without hope. And is there no change now? Let the condition of the settlement convince the blindest. There is a very exemplary observance of God's holy day; a good attendance in the house of God; a very large number of communicants, and I hope, at home, much patient and careful study of God's word. We may still be far removed from what we ought to be, as a people living in the fear and worship of God, but, in the retrospect of the past, we must be guilty of the deepest unthankfulness, were we not to say, "What hath God wrought!"
 And, passing from the settlement, what is the effect elsewhere as regards the scattered Indians? To judge of this, you must see (as I have seen) the houses around Christ Church, Cumberland, and the canoes conveying the worshippers to it each Sunday morning; or must pass beyond, and see the little band enjoying this winter, for the first time, the ministrations of a clergyman at Lac La Ronge. [The Rev. Robt. Hunt.] Great already is the influence of the Gospel in those quarters, and very hopeful the prospect as regards the Indian mind. Our position at present I sometimes contemplate in the following way: I compare it with what existed in apostolic times, between the Day of Pentecost and the publication of the first gospel or epistle. Was there not an interval of time when those enlightened by the Spirit at Jerusalem went forth and spread the tidings to others, who in their turn took up the news, and became publishers of the word themselves? Thus, doubtless, many were gathered in, and added to the Church; and yet this was the interval, as was well shown by a late lamented divine, when error crept in, and those heresies, the mention of which at first startles one in the apostolical epistles. [The Rev. Ed. Burton, D.D., Reg. Prof. of Div., Oxford, in his Bampton Lectures. I have not access to the book, and quote only from memory.] And so too very many are they, who brought into the Red River have heard the word of life, and converted by the Spirit have embraced Christianity: very [36/37] many those, who at Cumberland have accepted the glad tidings. When they return to their tents, "out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh:" of one I have personal knowledge, who thus continued speaking for a week together without allowing himself his usual repose, so great was the anxiety to hear him. And yet, we must fear, that some error would be mingled with the truth, and that the amount of error would increase with each successive channel. The word of God then is passing from lip to lip, whether we will or no, and let us not stay the voices of those who would tell it abroad, but let us at the same time endeavour to obtain additional agency, so that none who desire the know ledge may lack it in its purity. The Indians already recognize a power and life in the treasure we possess; they acknowledge that a greater than human arm is with the white man; they feel that on him their arts of conjuring are ineffectual; that "there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither any divination against Israel."
On the subject of discipline and order, I have but little to remark. In the former there is more of strictness than at home, long may it remain so! It depends much on the respect with which the individual clergyman is regarded, and the authority which he is thus enabled to exert over his people. Such hitherto has been your control quietly exercised over your flocks, that as regards the approach to the Lord's table, you have been able to observe a most wholesome vigilance. You [37/38] have been able to keep back those, of whom you stood in doubt; and allowed none to draw near for the first time, without previous application to yourselves. I have only to request you to persevere in the same spirit, acting in this painful part of your duty with the utmost tenderness and circumspection.
As regards external order and ritual conformity, there is as little necessity to say much. In the services conducted in St. Andrew's church, in the Middle and Indian churches, there is scarcely an improvement which I could desire, and to them I may add Christ Church, Cumber land. All is done, which can recommend the simplicity of our beautiful services to the hearts of the humble worshipper; and surely, the prayer and adoration of our last Sunday within these walls lead us, who have come from afar, to feel that worship is of no time and place. [The Ordination Sunday, when the congregation exceeded 1000, and the number of communicants was about 300.] All seemed then of one heart and mind in the sanctuary, and while we enjoyed communion together before God, we felt the blessedness of that communion of saints, which is the best earnest and foretaste of heaven.
Of the services in other places I cannot speak. Where the congregation is an infant church, gathered from heathenism, some latitude must be allowed the clergyman in abridging the service, as is the case in India. [This is done I find at Manitoba.] He must avail himself of [38/39] the assistance of the best interpreter, until a translation of the Prayer-book is completed and sanctioned by authority. If at the Upper Church some things still remain, which may require change, it is because I am unwilling to make any alteration, until the tenure of that church is finally settled, and the question of the Church-lands decided. [This question is, in some measure, similar to that of the Clergy Reserves in Canada.] Of the favourable arrangement of this long agitated point during the next summer I have every assurance.
Shall however our exertions be limited to these spots already occupied, shall nothing be done to gain fresh stations? These may call for some remark. Of new stations under contemplation, I would mention five. The district of the Assiniboine, in which I hope hereafter to place the Church of St. James, I may regard as already commenced, service being held in a licensed school-room, and I trust it may prove a blessing to the growing population of that river. Moose Lake too I may consider as commenced, as to it Mr. Hunter has already paid periodical visits. There, during the present winter, a catechist is labouring. [He is supported by a part of the Grant, made to me for diocesan purposes by the Christian Knowledge Society.] It will form Mr. Budd's more immediate charge when he can leave Cumberland, and there, I hope, a goodly number will, in a month or two, be baptized by him. As his first ministerial sphere, let it have an especial place in [39/40] our prayers. Two others, Moose Fort, James's Bay, and Swan River, were offered to me by the Hon. Company. From the former the Wesleyans have latterly withdrawn, and I hope it maybe occupied in summer by a clergyman from the Church Missionary Society, who will gradually open communication and intercourse with the Indians at Albany, Rupert's House, and the East Main. In Swan River I have no immediate prospect of a clergyman, and am therefore obliged to forego a sphere, where, I believe, the Indians are promising and anxious for instruction. Of York I have already spoken, and would only further say, that I feel it a reproach that, when the vessels annually arrive from England, there should be no clergyman and representative of our Church to meet and welcome them.
To sum up then my own labours, and our pre sent numbers and condition. Two churches have been consecrated, that of St. Andrew's, Red River, and Christ Church, Cumberland, with the burial-ground of the latter. Two Ordinations have been held; at the first one deacon, at the second one deacon and two priests were ordained. Be sides this, there have been five Confirmations, four at the Red River and one at Cumberland. The number of clergy at the present moment, with myself, is ten. Of the nine, four have, I may say, parochial charges, including that of the Assiniboine. The other four have native charges, and more purely missionary work. Indeed, that of the Indian settlement I may surely call a [40/41] parish, as also that of Cumberland: when I think of the two churches, the worshippers and the communicants, they are like "fields which the Lord hath blessed." May the other two soon possess living worshippers and a material temple! To these we have only to join Mr. Budd, as assisting at Cumberland and labouring between that and Moose Lake. Nor ought I to forget the one laborious and earnest-minded catechist, who has prepared the way for Mr. Hunt, and is now his fellow-helper in the work. [Mr. James Settee.]
On education, you may expect me to say some thing, but time forbids me to enter upon the subject at length. To the schools of the settlement I can bear willing and conscientious testimony. They are very numerous, more so than the population would require, were it not that the houses are built only on the bank of the river, and chiefly on one side. A solid, substantial, and scriptural education is thus afforded . There is no excuse for any child growing up without instruction, as in each school there is a proportion of free scholars, through the liberality of the Church Missionary Society. There is, as the result of these schools, together with the respective Sunday-schools, an amount of intelligence among the young which agreeably surprised me on first coming hither, and from which I augur the happiest consequences as regards the rising generation.
Besides these, there is the higher school, almost [41/42] I may say consigned to my care, by him who lived not to see me in the flesh: conducted with great zeal and activity for many years by that lamented clergyman, whose name and memory I would ever hold in reverence. [The Rev. J. Macallum.] Dying the day of my entrance into the Red River, his wish was that the first offer of it should be made to me by those whom he left behind. And God seemed to direct me not to refuse. It has laid upon me more of labour, but that labour has been its own reward. To it, in anticipation of the future, I have given the name of "St. John's Collegiate School." Should I be permitted to rebuild the church there, it would be St. John s, my own cathedral church, called so after the apostle of whom we think to-day. Near it would be re built then, if circumstances permit, with more of architectural plan, the collegiate school. As a part of it, at present and hereafter, it may be a separate building, would be the institution for the training of a native ministry, St. John's College. And over all, whether the youth training in wisdom's ways and growing daily in earthly know ledge, or those to be prepared in theological study for the service of the sanctuary, I would inscribe as the motto of duty and of hope, "In thy light shall we see light."
These are among the subjects which crowd upon my mind, when called on to address you. These, as you will readily believe me, are the subjects which occupy my daily thoughts. These [42/43] subjects "the care of all the churches," few though they be and beyond this, there is the longing for fresh openings, when I look upon the land in its length and breadth. It is this longing which wears the spirit at times, as you can your selves testify, and which is the peculiar portion of a missionary Bishop. The population appears small; but how are they to be approached and gathered together? Conferences with Indians I have held from time to time, messages of inquiry I have sent. Three of these are not without hope, though at the time unsuccessful: the one with the Indians of Beaver Creek, in consequence of Mr. Cochran's self-denying visit there; another with those of Lac la Pluie; the third, in which there was no drawback, with those of Swan River. [I have since arranged to send the present catechist at Manitoba to commence the work there in spring, and, I trust, prepare the way for a clergyman hereafter.]
Ungrateful however should I be, and ill-fitted to discharge my duty as your representative on this occasion, were I not to acknowledge the munificence and liberality received by the Church in Rupert's Land.
To the Church Missionary Society I know not how the debt of gratitude can be discharged. It is her happy satisfaction to feel, that she has been the founder and cherisher of the Church in this land. Munificently has she contributed towards this object from year to year, not alone supporting the clergyman, that was but a small thing, but constantly clothing, feeding, and supporting [43/44] the poor Indian and his family. The outlay has been great, but the return has been far greater, many rescued souls, many bright crowns of glory. We thank them for the past, in the name of the poor Indian, as well as of the European settler; we pray them not to withdraw their outstretched hand of mercy. A little we have this year endeavoured to do in return; far more would be done had the people ability, had they the power to convert in a British market their corn into money; what they could give, that, I bear witness, they have given cheerfully and liberally.
To the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge I have to acknowledge our obligations for the liberality of their votes to the Church in Rupert's Land at their meeting the day before I quitted England. Of the £300 assigned to me for diocesan purposes, most of the churches have reaped some benefit. £50 were given by me towards the completion of the church in which we are now assembled; £50 towards the erection of the school, which will, I hope, soon meet the eye between the parsonage and church.
To the Bible Society you were all of you much indebted before my arrival for their unvarying kindness from year to year. In my own name I have to thank them for two large grants, by which I hope a depot of Bibles in English, French, and Gaelic, may be kept at York, Cumberland, and the Red River.
From the Society for the Propagation of the [44/45] Gospel I have not yet derived aid; but I am not without hope, that a memorial which I have sent home may lead them to make a grant for the support of one clergyman at least. As they are connected already with all the other dioceses of British North America, so I trust they will not refuse to take some interest in this, the remotest and not the least needy.
To these noble and venerable Societies, in praise of which I need not speak before you, my reverend brethren, I have ventured to add one among ourselves for the benefit of the diocese exclusively; a Diocesan Church Society for grants to Schools or Churches, or the salaries of Clergymen. It will be to aid those spots where parishes are gradually formed, and from which missionary assistance is consequently withdrawn. It exists as yet only in name; [This fund, as yet, only amounts to £130. It is not my intention to draw from it until a considerable sum shall have been raised.] my chief wish is to make it a centre for legacies, should any from a distance wish to benefit the country permanently, or should any, who have acquired wealth in it, desire, after the example of him whose munificent bequest founded the bishopric, to leave behind some token of their anxiety for the welfare of those, through whose labour they have amassed their riches. [The late Alex. Leith, Esq., Chief Factor in the H. H. B. Company's service, Cumberland.]
And are there not those besides, whom we are [45/46] bound to thank to-day? Although our eager wishes for the spiritual welfare of the Indian may at times go beyond the views of the Hon. Company, to whom God has committed the government of this land, yet surely we ought to make some acknowledgment for the courtesy and kind ness, which have marked an intercourse of many years. From their representatives I have myself experienced great attention, and have ever found my suggestions met in a friendly and cordial spirit. To the Hudson's Bay Company, along with the bequest referred to, we are solely indebted for this bishopric. I have a satisfaction in feeling that I am supported, not by distant liberality, but from this very soil, and to this soil it is my wish to dedicate all I derive thence, and whatever of strength and energy I possess. One thing, I am aware, is still wanting, that we should in our public services unite in prayer to God for those bearing rule in the land, that they might ever use the power, of which they are stewards, with a view to the glory of God, and the best and highest interests of those committed to them. Such a form of prayer I hope shortly to sanction, as used in other colonies and dependencies of the British Empire.
And now, my reverend brethren, I dismiss you to your work; and may the Lord strengthen and bless you in it. It is a work of difficulty, as has been sufficiently shown; it is a work in which I would be engaged with you heartily and fervently. My own is no easy task, so to lay the foundation, [46/47] so to consolidate the Church of Christ, as its first Bishop here, that damage may not be received in anything. Great the responsibility of commencing episcopal ministrations here: yet this I feel that I scarcely do, as the visit of the Bishop of Montreal, by his winning and conciliatory manners, smoothed the way, and presented our church in the most favourable aspect, and disarmed many a prejudice even before my arrival. We are now, I trust, stronger, although still a little band; already we double the number of those engaged in the ministry the winter before I came. What may be the future destiny of the land we know not; whether the gradual diminution of the means of subsistence, the failure of the chase and fishery, the increasing want and distress of the Indian population, may bring in a brighter day of Gospel light, is know only to God. Our concern with them is as immortal beings, whose souls we must endeavour to save. And with our flocks already gathered in, our concern is for eternity, to labour as those to whom will soon be addressed the solemn words, "Where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock?"
Return then, brethren, to preach and minister to your flocks, and may it be in the fulness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ. Preach to them affectionately, so that they may feel, that they live in your hearts, and that you long for their souls. Preach to them fully "the whole council of God;" dwell not on favourite and isolated [47/48] texts; but keep to the proportions and "analogy of faith," as it stands before you in the volume of Scripture. On this ground adopt often expository preaching, passing through books and larger portions of the word; thereby you will relieve your own consciences, and best consult the everlasting welfare of your people. They have to learn God's word; let them have more than detached texts explained to them. Be diligent students, that you may be faithful preachers. Deal also in explanation of the services of the Church, for then, they will not only love what they hear from the pulpit, but they will love and reverence those prayers, in which they first commune with God and His word, before they listen to the words of man. And, what you preach, live; be a pattern and example to the flock; lead them in their journey heavenward, and then, "when the Great Shepherd," who is at once their Shepherd and ours, "shall appear, you shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away."