Project Canterbury

The Life of John Travers Lewis, D.D.
First Archbishop of Ontario

By His Wife

London: Skeffington and Son, no date.

Chapter IV. First Journey to London as Bishop

As soon as the Synod was over the Bishop went to England to present himself and his credentials to His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury and to the Bishop of London, both of whom received him cordially and invited him to dinner to meet other bishops. On the first of these occasions he was somewhat perturbed at finding himself the only bishop with a black coat, all the others wearing purple. He apologised for his ignorance, and, on making enquiries, found that a purple coat of the right order would cost £10.

The following are extracts from the Bishop's letters to his wife at this time:

"London, May 26th, 1862. Since I wrote last I have been working hard. I pleaded the cause of the Diocese before the Propagation Society. I found that January is the time for making application, so that I had great difficulty in getting a vote. However, I accomplished it and I was voted for Mission £500 sterling for 3 years. To-day I was before the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and they voted me £200 sterling for 3 years. I hope to increase these votes largely next year.

[49] "I am writing this at midnight, having just returned from an 'At Home' at London House, the town residence of the Bishop of London. On Thursday, Ascension Day, I preach for the Propagation Society as a substitute for the Bishop of Oxford at Eton Chapel, and in the evening dine with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Don't be afraid that I shall get a taste for high life, as I was delighted to get home from a crowd of lords and ladies to-night, and I think the whole proceedings a great bore. Of course, if I were neglected I should not like it, but I vow I should never relish the great state I find my position as a bishop brings me into in London."

"London, May 27th, 1862. I am asked to preach some time this month at the great special Services at Westminster Abbey, which is a compliment. I am to spend Trinity Sunday with the Bishop of Oxford at Cuddesdon, and expect to be at Cambridge on the 9th."

"London, June 1st, 1862. I have just come in from preaching for the S.P.G. at Christ Church, Clapham. We had a grand dinner at the Archbishop's, 26 Bishops present. Mr. David has written to me, and I intend paying him a visit soon and preaching in aid of Ontario Missions in the Cathedral of Llandaff, as the Dean has offered me the pulpit. I have had a letter from Dublin, which informs me that I must be there on June 29th to receive an honorary D.D. (July 1st) degree,"

[50] "London, June 10th, 1862. I have returned from visiting Mr. David in Glamorganshire. I left London on Friday and got there same evening--preached in Llandaff Cathedral in the morning, and at Cardiff in the evening. I go on Saturday to Cuddesdon to spend a few days with the Bishop of Oxford."

"London, June 17th, 1862. To-day I dine with Mr. Cargill, a brother-in-law of Mr. Arch. Campbell, of the Bank, Kingston, Canada; to-morrow at Freemason's Tavern with the S.P.G., the next day with the Lord Mayor, and the next (my birthday) with the Bishop of London. On Sunday I preach in St. George's Church, Hanover Square, and in the evening in Clerkenwell Church. On Monday, the 23rd, I go to Lincolnshire and on to Ireland.

"I was very sorry to leave Oxford to-day, as there were assembled at the Bishop's a very select circle--the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, the Archbishop of York, etc., but I was engaged for some time to Mr. Cargill, and could not disappoint him."

"London, June 20th, 1862. Perhaps you forget that this is my birthday and that I am getting old. I write merely to say that I wrote you on this day. Last night I dined with the Lord Mayor--200 sat down to a banquet of Oriental magnificence. To-night I dine with the Bishop of London, as he gives an annual State Dinner on this day, which is the anniversary of the Queen's accession, as well as of your husband's birth."

[51] "Derby, June 26th, 1862. I write this from the railway station here, where I am waiting for the train to take me to Chester. I sleep there and go on next morning to Holyhead and Dublin. After preaching in St. George's, Hanover Square, on Sunday morning, and at Clerkenwell Parish Church in the evening, I set off next morning for Cambridge, where I spent the day and night seeing the Colleges, and I visited with sharp feelings the Chapel I was ordained in. I went on Tuesday to the Fen District in Lincolnshire, on a visit to the Revd. H. Mackenzie. I preached the Anniversary Sermon for him of his Mission House Movement. The whole Parish was collected afterwards in a large tent, and myself, Patron, and the Commissioner from Australia to the great Exhibition, made speeches. Next day I visited the superbly grand Cathedral of Ely, and in the evening addressed a meeting on behalf of the S.P.G. I am in good hope that the S.P.G. will give my Diocese £700 for 3 years, instead of the original £500, as the Board referred the matter back to the Committee, with instructions to increase the grant. The other Society, S.P.C.K., as I told you, voted me a block sum of £600, but this also is to be disputed and made, I think, most probably £1,000, so that I have not done badly. I wish greatly that I was homeward bound, and shall endeavour to get through my work by the end of August. I have to preach before the University of Dublin on Sunday, and in Cork on the 6th, and must be in London for the 20th to preach in St. James's, Piccadilly, in the morning, and in Westminster Abbey in the evening."

[52] "Dublin, June 28th, 1862. I crossed over to Chester from Lincolnshire on Thursday and wrote to you from Derby on that day. Yesterday morning I left Chester, arrived here in the evening. To-morrow I preach before the University and get my Degree of A.M. and D.D. on Wednesday. You would scarcely believe the amount of writing I have to do. If I chose I could have a sermon every Sunday for the next six months, and I am beset on all hands by applications to aid the S.P.G. Society."

"Dublin, July 16th, 1862. I preached in Christ Church, Cork, on Sunday morning in aid of my own Missions and got £28 sterling, and in the evening preached in St. Nicholas for the S.P.G., and have not as yet heard what they got. I leave for London to-morrow to preach there twice next Sunday."

"London, July 22nd, 1862. It is a great comfort to me to have the first men and best men in England openly declaring that my epitome of the Centenary is one of the best they ever read. Among others, the Archbishop of Dublin complimented me on it, and I have had a numbers of letters from all parts of England asking me to visit them, and pleading for an introduction on the score of being admirers of my charge. Among the rest the celebrated Dr. Wordsworth, with whom I dined to-day in the Cloisters at Westminster, expressed his admiration. On Sunday evening last I preached in the Abbey, and such a congregation, [52/53] I shall never forget it. It was enough to terrify any man, preaching extempore, to look down on such a sea of heads in such a building. The Bishop of Oxford was present, and he and the Dean told me that my voice rang through the whole nave, and not one word was lost on the vast congregation.

"I shall remain here till the 28th, when I go on a visit to Mr. Caswall at Salisbury and to attend a great S.P.G. meeting there. I have engaged 3 clergymen and 3 candidates for Holy Orders to come out to my Diocese, and shall probably get some more. I have had any amount of applications, but I have only selected a few good men."

"Tighe Dean Rectory, near Salisbury, July 30th, 1862. I am at present staying with Dr. Caswall, of whom you may have heard as having lived once in Brockville. Yesterday we visited Stonehenge, and to-morrow there is to be a great service in Salisbury Cathedral for the S.P.G., after which I return to London. The distress prevailing in the North of England is dreadful, so much so that all the friends I have written to tell me that it would be quite useless my visiting it for the purpose of getting aid for my Diocese, so I have made up my mind to let the matter rest for a future opportunity, and have secured my passage to Boston in the Asia, which leaves Liverpool, August 23rd. The only sermon I have preached for Ontario Missions lately was in St. James's, Piccadilly, on the 20th, and about £27 was sent in to me in consequence, as we had no collection."

[54] On his return to Canada in the autumn of 1862, the Bishop went to Kingston in order to give an account of the work he had done in England.

At the end of this year and during January 1863 a dispute occurred in Kingston as to the appointment of Archdeacon Lauder to the Rectory of S. George's, the church selected by the Bishop as the Cathedral Church of the diocese. The Synod of Ontario, like those of Huron and Toronto, conferred the patronage of the Rectories upon the Bishop. Acting under this authority he appointed the Archdeacon, who was a clergyman of many years' standing in the diocese. Immediately an outcry was raised in Kingston, and it was openly stated that the appointment was the promised reward to the Archdeacon for his services in promoting the election of Dr. Lewis to the new See. Indignation meetings were held, and various methods employed to intimidate the Bishop, but without the slightest success. His lordship indignantly repudiated the insinuations that he was guilty of simony, showing also that one of the two Archdeacons he had appointed was a clergyman who had strongly opposed his election to the See.

Under the impression that the Bishop would accept Dr. Lauder's resignation, which had been placed in Jiis hands, the malcontents withdrew all the charges and insinuations; but by this time they had become such a general topic of conversation throughout the Province, and were so often reiterated in the dissenting journals, notwithstanding the withdrawal of them by their originators, that Dr. Lauder requested permission to [54/55] withdraw his resignation, and the Bishop entirely coincided with his views in doing so. Possibly some of the opponents were influenced by their antagonism to Trinity College, of which institution both Bishop and Archdeacon were zealous supporters.

The two following letters, written at this time by Dr. Lauder to the Bishop's Chaplain, may be of interest:

"Brockville, Dec. 6th, 1862. I am much obliged for your sympathy at this trying time. Myself and the Bishop have been cruelly dealt with, but there is a good Providence watching over it, who will bring all right. The conduct of some of the St. George's men has been outrageous in the extreme, but I leave all in the hands of God. I did not seek the position. I find myself by the ordainings of Providence in it, and I think He will sustain me. My trust is in Him. I was willing to resign on the ground of unpopularity, but now they have so aspersed me that I intend to hold to it. All good men will condemn their violent conduct. Thanking you again for your kind sympathy."

"Brockville, Jan. 19th, 1863. I came down here last week and went up to Renfrew to attend the trials about the votes, and regained all but one, which Baker's evidence was required to carry, but he, being sick, was unable to attend, and we lost it, but the Judge has given us a new trial, when we hope to carry it with Baker's evidence. They are still blowing away at Kingston and annoying the poor Bishop. The parishes [55/56] should support him; several have addressed him. Could you not get up an address to him of sympathy? Have no meeting, but get a good address well signed and state the numbers. I suppose you saw in last week's Churchman the address to me from here and the allusion to the Bishop. The Bishop deserves our sympathy. Cartwright and Co. are a horrid set. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem."

In June, 1863, the subject of the kind of teaching given at Trinity College came up, and the following letter, written by the Bishop of Montreal to Bishop Lewis, is of interest:

"22nd June, 1863.

"My Lord Bishop,

"I have looked carefully through the documents your Lordship forwarded to me, whilst I was in England, together with the resolution of the Corporation respecting the controversy on the subject of Trinity College.

"I was asked to examine them, and declare whether I considered the doctrines inculcated therein by the Provost 'were unsound or unscriptural, contrary to the teaching of the Church of England, or dangerous in their tendency, or leading to the Church of Rome.'

"Under the circumstances of the reference, and having myself no jurisdiction or authority whatever in the Corporation, I can only here give expression to my own individual opinion; which I now proceed to do, as best I may be able, and with an earnest desire [56/57] to promote the cause of truth, and do what is just and right.

"I would, however, at the outset, remark that my enquiry has necessarily been a limited one; for only some particulars of the Provost's Theological teaching, which are either objected to by the Bishop of Huron or vindicated by the Provost in the pamphlets forwarded to me, have now been brought under my consideration. It will be needful to bear this in mind, for otherwise it might appear that the points submitted to me occupy a far larger portion of the Provost's teaching than they actually do, which would be unfair alike to him and to the College. This is very strongly and properly urged by the Provost himself, at the close of his first letter to your Lordship: 'In conclusion (he says) I wish to observe that the present controversy is very likely to convey, to the public in general, the impression that, if false doctrine has not been taught in the College, yet at least undue prominence and exaggerated importance have been given to matters of very secondary moment. Your Lordship is well aware that it is not my teaching, but the Bishop of Huron's strictures upon it, which have given this prominence and importance to the matter in question. I do not say this by way of complaint, but simply in self-defence, and for the purpose of abating a not unreasonable prejudice. The objections are, for the most part, on a few short and scattered clauses, not one of which I am prepared to retract, but which I should be very sorry to have made the principal, or even prominent, topics of my teaching.'

[58] "The means, again, with which I am furnished for discovering what is the Provost's teaching respecting any of the points in question, are to some extent insufficient and unsatisfactory. They consist of objections made by the Bishop of Huron, and of the reply of the Provost, which latter, it is evident, must take the form of explanation, or exception, or vindication, rather than of direct statement. In saying this it is not intended to convey the impression that any attempt has been made by the Provost to conceal his opinions or teaching, on the contrary there is manifestly every endeavour and desire to be open, clear, and straightforward. But when Theological questions are treated in the shape of objections and rejoinders--and especially, as in the present case, if these questions are but portions of far larger subjects, obscurity and imperfection, or exaggeration of statement, in a greater or less degree, will often occur.

"In the first place then, I find that several of the points in the Provost's teaching to which strong objection has been taken have reference to matters about which the Church is entirely silent. They are in fact private opinions, respecting which differences may exist without any blame attaching to anyone. They certainly must never be made 'the principal or prominent topics' of the Professors' teaching. If they are entertained, it should be with moderation, and, when mentioned, treated with discretion. Thus the Provost is charged with undue exaltation of the Virgin, in consequence of his teaching respecting Miriam, as being a type of Mary: and, again, of [58/59] 'leading young men in Rome-ward direction 'because he taught' the probable Intercession of Saints.' These both are undoubtedly mere private opinions. But to shew that he was on his guard against any such evil consequences as those with which he is charged, he appeals, respecting the Virgin Mary, 'most confidently to the theological students generally, in proof of the assertion, that he has ever strongly condemned those grievous errors of the Church of Rome, which assign to the Blessed Virgin any other place in the economy of human redemption than that of a humble, yet most honoured, instrument in the hand of Him who made her thus instrumental by causing her to be the Mother of our Lord.' And in regard to the Intercession of Saints, the Provost says he 'must speak of it as a probable opinion; that when speaking of the error of the Invocation of Saints, he must necessarily refer to the 'Intercession of the departed on our behalf.' He thinks that this is necessary because the correct and secure line of defence is to admit such probability, and then shew that this does in no way tend to justify, or even to palliate, the erroneous practice (of Invocation) against which all English Churchmen contend.

"So again with respect to 'the participation in the glorified Humanity of our Lord, by means of the Lord's Supper.' This doctrine, no doubt, has been held and taught by some great Divines, as is well-known to every theologian. When held modestly, and spoken of with that reverential carefulness of thought and expression which an attempt to explain so great a [59/60] mystery demands, it deserves to be regarded with respect. But it should be remembered that it is a doctrine which belongs, not to Theology, in the strict sense of the word, but to Theological Philosophy, if we may so term it: and ought never to be pressed with positiveness, nor set up as a standard of orthodoxy. As to what our Church does teach on this subject there ought to be no doubt. She affirms that the Union betwixt Christ and His Church is so real, so intimate, so perfect, that 'we dwell in Christ, and Christ in us, we are one with Christ and Christ with us.' And this union, the sole source of spiritual life, she believes is with one Christ who is ever perfect God and perfect Man. But whether that union is, in any special way, with our Lord's Glorified Humanity, and not His Divinity, she has never taken upon herself to determine. Here, as in so many other instances, she has been satisfied with declaring the fact itself, so marvellous, so blessed, without making any attempt to explain it: a fact to be accepted with faith and adoration and love, to our eternal benefit, rather than made matter of speculation. In like manner nothing can be more unfaltering and clear than the testimony of the Church of England, as to the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, being the appointed visible means for maintaining this union between the Saviour and His faithful people. But 'how these things are,' she does not expressly define. The subject is one certainly requiring very careful mental training, or some peculiar aptitude for its right apprehension, even if it be thought desirable to refer to it, as a subject for [60/61] devout reflection and study, when the mind shall have become matured by time and discipline. Whether we may agree with the Provost or not in any such opinions, respecting which the Church is silent, yet I do not feel that we have any right to condemn them, though I should in the very strongest manner disapprove if they, or others of a similar class, were made to assume 'prominence or importance 'in a Professor's teaching; of which, however, I have no evidence before me, and the Provost himself expressly denies that they have ever been permitted to assume any such character.

"There is one passage, under the head of 'Priestly Absolution,' respecting which I should have wished for further explanation. The Provost speaks of 'the pardon accorded on private confession to God, as contingent and provisional, though sufficient for our immediate necessity, while its more full and formal conveyance is reserved to follow on that confession, which is made, when we assemble and meet together, as members of a divinely constituted organisation, to receive the gifts and to avail ourselves of the ministries which pertain to the Body of Christ.'

"Now it is no doubt to be presumed, in the case of all truly penitent sinners, who may have confessed their sins unto God in private, whatever fulness of mercy may then have been bestowed upon them, that they will, at the earliest opportunity, seek also to make confession to God in the public services of the Church; and the neglect of such act of solemn and prescribed worship would go far to prove that their previous sense of sin, and its acknowledgment, had [61/62] been in themselves imperfect, and therefore wanting in their complete results to them. But certainly the Church has never attempted to explain exactly the nature of the blessing which is annexed to public confession, or nicely to adjust its relation to that pardon which God may be pleased at the time to bestow upon all true penitent sinners, whenever, or wherever, they turn to Him. Great care seems to have been taken by such Divines as the authors of the Homilies and the Ecclesiastical Polity to guard against the doctrine that by words of Absolution 'all things else are perfected to the taking away of sin.'

"I have only further to remark that I believe there is no suspicion that any one of the students who have now during twelve years been subjected to the Provost's teaching, has left the Communion of the Church of England to join the Church of Rome; and as far as I can judge of the general tenor of his teaching from the tone and spirit of the documents before me, whatever difference of opinion I may entertain on some points, respecting which a liberty is allowable to all, I should not believe it to be such as would be likely to lead to any such result. "Believe me, my Lord Bishop,

"Yours very faithfully and sincerely, (Signed) F. Montreal."

At this time the Bishop's children saw very little of their father, for he often left home early and always returned late and tired. They wondered what they could do to help him. Two of his little daughters [62/63] proposed keeping hens, so that "Papa might have a real fresh egg every morning," and this egg was always to be the first laid in the nests. One morning two eggs were found, and after much discussion both were boiled, in the hope that Papa would eat both, as both had been laid for him. One of the boys remarked that Papa couldn't eat two eggs. "Why can't he?" replied his sister. "Because he has no vocation," remarked the boy. The Bishop, who had previously left the table to see to some urgent matter, returned during this discussion, and one of the little girls eagerly asked, "Papa, why can't you eat two eggs?" He replied: "Because one is sufficient."

Often during his visits at different houses, after refusing the many made dishes for breakfast, the Bishop would ask his hostess if he might have a boiled egg, to which she would reply: "Sure, and your lordship wouldn't think of a boiled egg."

His different hostesses often twitted him with looking admiringly at the delicacies on the table and then resolving what he could do without, choosing just the plainest fare. A lady in the United States once remarked: "He ain't worth entertaining." Both in the United States and Canada, very sweet and savoury dishes were often thought to be a necessity.

As to his diocese, a herculean task lay before the Bishop of Ontario. The country was growing rapidly. The diocese, though new, was in point of territory immense, and was almost entirely a missionary field. The Bishop moved cautiously, though very anxious to build up the Church. One of his proposals was [63/64] that weekly, instead of monthly, celebrations of the Holy Communion should be held. This suggestion was not received with approbation. The people had been accustomed to the monthly celebration ever since the Church was built. A few assented. The Bishop, however, put the matter to them with such earnestness, "it being our Lord's last command," that it was resolved to try the weekly celebrations, and all who voted for them promised to attend. On the first occasion the Church was well filled, chiefly by those who had voted against them, many of those who voted for them being conspicuous by their absence.

The people were very ignorant on episcopal matters, the power of a bishop, or the need of one, and were very strong in their own convictions, in spite of the fact that many of them had never been baptised or confirmed. The idea seemed to be that, having voted for the Bishop, the latter was bound to fall in with their ideas of administration. When they realised that the Bishop was determined to continue on his own lines, they reduced the pew rents at the Cathedral to one shilling a pew, in order to make it impossible to pay the clergy. The Bishop met this difficulty by preaching himself, when the Cathedral was crowded and the collection far exceeded the pew rents. The Bishop had always been against pew rents, and had written in favour of free and open churches, especially cathedrals.

A meeting was held in the City Hall, and he was warned not to walk to it for fear of his being thrown over the cliffs, All threats of bodily injury had no [64/65] effect on a man of his intrepid courage, with a physique that even his enemies had to admire, and he walked alone over the cliffs that night to the meeting. When he got there he found the hall crowded, several of those present being his best friends and supporters. After listening to all the prejudices against him, the Bishop replied in a voice trained to command--calm and penetrating--that in his position, which had been legally confirmed by the Church in England and by Her Majesty's Government, he could only rule on the lines which his conscience dictated. Amid the uproar that followed a voice rang out clear from one of his friends, saying that any dissentients would be turned out, and all the Bishop's supporters rose and stood by him. It was an evening to be remembered, and the result was lasting.

In 1864, the Bishop was able to announce to his Synod that the clergy had increased from fifty-one to seventy-three and, he added, "it would have been possible to have added largely to this number if I had seen my way clear to the decent maintenance of additional labourers; but it seemed to me better policy to increase our missionaries only in the ratio of our ability to support them, rather than run the risk of encountering afterwards all the disheartening effect ot a reaction and a diminution in the number of the clergy, who would inevitably have been forced to leave the diocese."

The Bishop began to realise how little Church of England people had been taught to take their part in the burden of its financial needs. They could not [66/67] be true members of a Church and stand aside. From time to time he urged the necessity of liberality on the part of the members of the Church as the only sure method of securing progress. He urged the formation of a Sustentation Fund and a Widows' and Orphans' Fund, and was able to state to his Synod in 1865 that nearly 12,000 dollars had been subscribed towards the 20,000 dollars that he was anxious to raise for a Mission Fund, or a Sustentation Fund for the diocese. The S.P.G. had promised 5,000 dollars, provided 20,000 dollars should be raised within the diocese. It was not, however, until 1870 apparently, that this fund reached 21,000 dollars.

The Bishop was always very happy in his Confirmation services, and was one of the first to confirm individually, with both hands, that each candidate realised the power of a personal touch. His able addresses contributed much to recommend the Church in every parish that he visited, for her distinctive doctrines were always forcibly dwelt upon. No one could fail to grasp the meaning of Confirmation after listening to him. In calm, dignified language, without notes of any kind to rely upon, he would place before his hearers a train of scholarly, yet simple, reasoning that would defy refutation. He did much to show the importance of the Holy Communion, the reception of which, he always insisted, was the bounden duty of every member of the Church. This was at a time when quarterly, or, at the most, monthly celebrations were largely the practice, and Bishop Lewis, in words which sometimes seemed startling, [66/67] always pointed out the weakness of this practice. His great desire was to make communicants of all the candidates confirmed by him, and therefore he almost invariably himself administered the Holy Communion immediately after the Confirmation service.

It was no infrequent sight on a week-day to see a crowded church, perhaps in some rural district, the people listening earnestly, even wonderingly, to the Bishop, as he pleaded for obedience to the touching command of the Saviour: "This do in remembrance of Me," and to see young people, on whom he had just laid his hands in Confirmation, coming forward and kneeling to receive the Blessed Sacrament for the first time, followed by their relations and friends.

At the Provincial Synod of the Canadian Church, held on September 20th, 1865, after much discussion, it was unanimously agreed, upon the motion of the Bishop of Ontario, to urge upon the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Convocation of his Province that means should be adopted "by which the members of our Anglican Communion in all quarters of the world should have a share in the deliberations for her welfare, and be permitted to have a representation in one General Council of her members gathered from every land."

This Resolution was not allowed to sleep peacefully on the Minutes Book of the Synod, but the Bishop immediately sought to give it effect by gaining from the House of Bishops leave to visit the [67/68] Archbishop of Canterbury, which was granted. After proper arrangement had been made for his absence, the Bishop left for England on his sole responsibility. Archbishop Longley listened very attentively to him, and then said that such a step as he proposed would be without precedent. The Bishop replied: "That may be so, but let Your Grace make a precedent." He shook his head and again repeated "entirely without precedent," and there the interview ended. The Bishop, however, called on His Grace again and again, and eventually received a letter in the handwriting of the Archbishop, "thanking him for the honour of his calls and saying that he had seventeen bishops dining with him that night and would be very pleased if the Bishop of Ontario would join the party." Evening prayer would be said at six-thirty. Of course, he went, and, as usual, lost no opportunity of interesting the bishops in the reason for his being in England instead of in Canada, and explained that the Church in the colonies was ripe for such a gathering as that for which he pleaded. There were differences in the Church which needed to be sought out and put right, and he ended by saying: "Your Grace, do we not all belong to the same family? Why should we not meet? "

The Archbishop promised to think the matter well over, and eventually wrote: "The meeting of such a Synod is not by any means foreign to my own feelings. I cannot, however, take any step in so grave a matter without consulting my episcopal brethren in both branches of the united Church of England [68/69] and Ireland, as well as those in the different colonies and dependencies of the British Empire."

In May 1866 the Convocation of Canterbury appointed a committee to "consider and report upon" the Canadian address, and the whole subject was fully debated in Convocation in the following spring. Eventually the Lower House conveyed to the Archbishop of Canterbury "a respectful expression of an earnest desire that he would be pleased to issue an invitation to all the bishops in communion with the Church of England to assemble at such time and place, and accompanied by such persons as may be deemed fit, for the purpose of Christian sympathy and mutual counsel on matters affecting the welfare of the Church at home and abroad."

In the Upper House, Archbishop Longley took the utmost pains to "diminish the doubts and difficulties" of some of his brethren, and later His Grace issued an invitation to all the Bishops of the Anglican Communion, then 144 in number, to a meeting at Lambeth. The invitation was accepted by 76 bishops. The first Lambeth Conference was held from September 24th to 26th, 1867. On September 28th, thirty-four bishops attended a closing service in Lambeth Parish Church, when the Holy Communion was celebrated by the Archbishop, and the sermon preached by Bishop Fulford, of Montreal. It had originally been proposed that this service should be held in Westminster Abbey, but Dean Stanley refused to allow the Abbey to be used for it, suggesting a doubt as to what Church the bishops belonged! After correspondence with [69/70] the Bishop of Ontario, Dean Stanley gave his consent for the Abbey to be used under certain conditions, which the Conference did not feel able to accept.

On December 10th a further session of the Conference, or such members of it as had remained in England, was held at Lambeth Palace, when eight reports were presented.

The result of this first gathering of Bishops is admirably given by Lord Archbishop Davidson in the volume published by the S.P.C.K., entitled The Six Lambeth Conferences 1867-1920.

While in London, the Bishop received a letter from the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol asking him to meet the Bishop of Grahamstown and himself, who, with the Bishop of Oxford, would then go on to Lord Derby's to state to him their views on the Colonial Bishops' Bill.

At this time the Bishop saw a good deal of the Archbishop of York and several of the bishops, who invited him to visit them, one of them remarking that the influence of his presence was like a breath of fresh air, which was a compliment to Canada. The general lament was that he was not twenty-six years older! The Bishop of Oxford extracted a promise from him that on his return to Canada he would purchase for him a black stick, with a crutch handle!

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