Chapter XII. College, Cathedral, Provincial Synod (1874-1875)
BY the beginning of 1874 encouraging signs of the growth of Manitoba--an earnest of what was to come--were manifest in several directions, in spite of the fact that, though the means of communication had greatly improved, a tedious and expensive journey was still involved in reaching the country. For a year or two there was a tri-weekly stage between Winnipeg and Fort Abercrombie in Minnesota. Steamers, of the shallow-draught, stern-wheel type, on the Red River, and a tributary, the Red Lake River, ran from Fort Garry to Glyndon in the same State, where connections were made with the railway for St. Paul, Duluth, or Chicago, but as the season advanced the water frequently was too low to permit the vessels to proceed quickly to their destination. Just before the close of navigation (consequent on the setting-in of winter) in 1874, the writer took a week to get from Glyndon, then the terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad, to Winnipeg--a trip now made easily in a few hours by rail.
Yet, notwithstanding the slowness and costliness of travel, Winnipeg, which in 1870 was a small collection of houses, stores," and "saloons" about Fort Garry, with one church, Holy Trinity, in it, had in 1874 a population of 3000, and was commencing to consider itself a city with infinite possibilities before it, while numerous little settlements were springing up on the prairies in the rear of the old parishes on the banks of the Red River and the Assiniboine. Besides Holy Trinity, which had been considerably enlarged by Archdeacon McLean, Winnipeg now had a Presbyterian and a Wesleyan Church. In Kildonan, four miles away, the Presbyterians had started a College, which they afterwards transferred to Winnipeg and developed into the flourishing institution known as Manitoba College. Just across the Red River from Winnipeg the Roman Catholics had had for several years a College and College School at St. Boniface.
While there was thus fairly adequate provision for higher education, ordinary schools had been built or were being built in Winnipeg and elsewhere in the Province, under an Act passed by the local Legislature in 1871. Before that time nearly all the English schools had been conducted by clergymen or teachers belonging to the Church of England. The Act of 1871 put all the common schools under the State, which created two Boards of Education--a Protestant, of which the Bishop was Chairman (not ex officio, but by nomination of the Government), and a Roman Catholic; in the same way, there were two sets of schools, one Protestant and the other Roman Catholic, the former for the English-speaking children, the latter for the French. Though no other arrangement was possible in the circumstances of the country at the time, it later led to a great deal of trouble which came to a head in the "Manitoba Schools Question," that for a long period was an agitating factor in Dominion as well as Provincial politics. In this connection it should be noted that the majority of the settlers coming into the country were English-Canadian or English; so that while in 1871 the population was pretty equally divided between English and French, afterwards the proportion of English to French steadily increased--a process that has continued until at present the French element is comparatively inconsiderable.
The Church was growing with the growth of the country, though many of the new-comers were Presbyterians, Wesleyans, and Baptists. Holy Trinity, even after its enlargement, was soon too small for the requirements of Winnipeg; in 1874 a much larger building was needed, and an effort was made for a new church by Canon Grisdale (now Bishop of Qu'Appelle), which was successful; in 1875 the Rev. Octave Fortin (now Archdeacon) was appointed Rector of Holy Trinity--up to that time all its Services had been supplied from the College-Cathedral centre of St. John's. Settlements had been formed in twenty townships dotted over the prairies, and missions were established in most of them, their Services, as a rule, also being supplied from St. John's.
The additions to the College were completed in the summer of 1874, the whole fabric presenting an attractive appearance. The edifice, which was of wood with the weather-boards painted white, was two storeys in height with a continuous verandah, and formed three sides of a quadrangle; the side facing the river had a low tower in the middle whereon were placed an anemograph and other instruments for registering the vagaries of the prairie winds. The College was one of the meteorological stations subsidised by the Canadian Government; it possessed a fully equipped observatory, and sent daily telegraphic reports of the state of the weather to the Dominion observatory at Kingston and to the Smithsonian at Washington. The building contained class-rooms, library, dining--hall, rooms for lecturers and masters, dormitories for the students and boys, kitchen and servants' accommodation. In 1874 the Bishop, who had removed from Bishop's Court, occupied a set of rooms in the College, consisting of a small bedroom, a somewhat larger sitting-room, and a class-room, all plainly furnished; most of his furniture was left in Bishop's Court, which he handed over temporarily to one of his married clergy.
Here, in these three small rooms, or rather in two of them, for the class-room was in general use, the Bishop lived for several years, taking his meals in the College dining-room with the masters, students, and pupils, except supper at nine with the masters only. The ordinary fare was always of the simplest; the supper consisted of cold meat with a glass of beer. Though not a total abstainer, the Bishop was an abstemious man. He was not in favour of "Prohibition" by the State, as he deemed self-restraint on the part of the individual a higher and better thing. Once when a "Prohibition wave" swept over the country, a resolution was brought forward in the Synod of the time in strong support of the movement; as no one seemed to have the courage to offer opposition, and the motion was on the point of being passed, the Bishop intervened and said that if the Synod carried it he would feel compelled to exercise his episcopal veto, though reluctantly, and he gave as the ground for this action the reason mentioned above. No more was heard of the resolution. Probably this was the only instance during an episcopate of nearly forty years of the Bishop's stating that he would have to resort to the veto.
The resident staff of the College in 1874 consisted of the Rev. J. D. O'Meara, who prior to the appointment of Mr. Fortin to Holy Trinity was also Assistant Minister of that church, Mr. W. Flett, and Mr. S. P. Matheson, and there were about sixty students and boys in residence and a few day scholars. Nearly all the boarders were natives of the country, a large proportion of them being sons of officers of the Hudson's Bay Company from the interior; once these boys entered St. John's they saw very little of their parents for years, as the distance between them and the difficulty of overcoming it in the holidays were practically prohibitive. After Archdeacon M'Lean left for England in 1873, the Bishop took entire command of the College and College School, and acted in every respect, including the infliction of corporal or other punishment on the idle and refractory, as Warden and Head Master. Archdeacon M'Lean's stipend as Warden of the College and Professor of Systematic Theology was continued to him until, as Bishop of Saskatchewan, he received an income from his See, the Bishop meanwhile doing his work as well as his own. For many years the Bishop gave lectures to the students in Theology, Arts, and Mathematics, and taught in the College School, going through the necessary drudgery--though it never seemed to be drudgery to him--of correcting the innumerable exercises of the boys, and always with the greatest care.
Before passing on to narrate in some detail the chief events of the period included in this chapter, it may be well at this point to notice a side of the Bishop's nature which was little known to the general public, but which greatly endeared him to all who came under its influence--in the course of the years they happily were many. It was displayed, but in the most simple and unaffected manner, in the extraordinary tenderness with which he took care of the students, and especially the boys at St. John's--a tenderness even more maternal than paternal, though, at the same time, he preserved order and discipline, and was the last person in the world with whom any one would ever have thought of taking a liberty. Treating of this, Archbishop Matheson, his successor, sends the following:
I often think that one saw the late Archbishop at his best as Head Master of St. John's College School. Though he was a strict disciplinarian, a believer in the judicious application of the taws, and one who applied it with his episcopal hand where he thought it was needed, yet he was as tender and kind as a mother to the boys under his care.
I can see him yet going through the dormitories in noiseless woollen slippers at twelve o'clock at night, and sometimes later, to see that the boys were all comfortable in their beds, and if the room were chilly and a boy partially uncovered, I have seen him carefully tuck in the bedcover with his own hands. If a boy were suffering from a cold and had any elevation of temperature, his specific was a hot bath, followed by a dose of Dover's Powder. He insisted on preparing the bath water himself, testing it with his hand. If he was doubtful of the accuracy of the hand test he would thrust his forearm into the water. He administered the bath himself and "dried" (he always used that word) the patient with his own hands. I remember how proud I was when, as a Junior Master in the School, I was raised to the dignity of being allowed to take the Bishop's place and bathe a sick boy. When leaving the dormitory and the boys said, "Good-night, sir," I felt that there was a tone of homage and loyalty in their voices that I had never realised before. Up to that time the most I was permitted to do was to hold the candle in one hand and the Bishop's episcopal ring in the other, and, as I saw him, I thought of a Great Person Who came to minister and not be ministered unto, Who girded Himself with a towel and washed His disciples' feet.
What perhaps impressed me most when I was a pupil in his School, a student in his College, or in after-life as a co-worker with him, was his intense devotion to duty and the painstaking care he bestowed on everything he did. A small duty was performed with the same care as a great one. He corrected the Latin exercise of a boy in the First Form with as much care as he did a document in statecraft. What an example he was to all! "What is worth doing at all, is worth doing well." How often he repeated this to us!
In further illustration of this aspect of the Bishop's life at this time, the subjoined extract is taken from a letter written shortly after the death of the Archbishop in 1904 by Mr. Laurence J. Clarke, a pupil in the School in 1874, afterwards a student of the College, and one of the first graduates of the University of Manitoba, which was established, as will be narrated, in 1877:
The Archbishop was more to any of the old boys of St. John's than any one could imagine who was not familiar with the old life in the early days of our experience in the White School on the banks of the Red River. I do not suppose there has ever been between the guiding spirit and head of any institution and those in his charge such an intimacy, warm and unbroken, as there was between his Grace and that small body of boys, first of the Upper School and later of the College and University, in those good old days that none of us will ever forget. I knew him before 1874, and at ten years of age I often sat on his knee after a successful piece of elementary Latin prose--for we were at it even at that age. I knew him much more intimately than I did my father (Mr. Clarke's father, a Chief Factor of the Hudson's Bay Company, resided at Fort Carlton in the Saskatchewan country, hundreds of miles from Winnipeg), and I lived with him much longer than I lived at home. In common with the other old boys of that period which I mention, I can say that for anything we acquired of good we have to thank "The Bishop"--for he was always and ever "The Bishop" to us then.
While thus taking the most active share and the deepest personal interest in the life and work of the College and College School, the Bishop continued to superintend the affairs of his Diocese with the same unremitting care as before, and plan for it and the new Ecclesiastical Province he was creating with the same foresight; he was the kind of man whose capacity seemed to grow with the demands made upon it; like most very busy men, he was never too busy to find time for anything that had to be done, or usually that he wished to do, but in those days the pressure upon him was not so heavy as it afterwards became. Early in the year Mr. Bompas came in from the North, on his way to England, to be consecrated Bishop of Athabasca. Writing to the S.P.G. on January 25, 1874, the Bishop said: "Bompas, a noble fellow, every inch of him a man, has just come from the Arctic Circle, travelling 4000 miles in the last six months, and has gone on to England, where, I hope, he will be consecrated." The biographer of Bishop Bompas tells a story of this visit to Bishop Machray which certainly bears repetition:
It is said that when Mr. Bompas reached the episcopal residence (Bishop's Court, St. John's) the servant mistook him for a tramp (in his travel-worn clothes), and told him that his master was very busy and could not be disturbed. So insistent was the stranger that the servant went to the Bishop's study and told him that a tramp was at the door determined to see him.
"He is hungry, no doubt," said the Bishop; "take him into the kitchen and give him something to eat."
Accordingly, Mr. Bompas was ushered in, and was soon calmly enjoying a plateful of soup, at the same time urging that he might see the master of the house. Hearing the talking, and wondering who the insistent stranger was, the Bishop appeared in the doorway, and great was his astonishment to see before him the travel-stained missionary.
"Bompas!" he cried, as he rushed forward, "is it you?
Mr. Bompas reached England in due course, and though he begged the C.M.S. to find another of their missionaries to be Bishop of the See, was consecrated on May 3 Bishop of Athabasca, while at the same time Archdeacon M'Lean was consecrated Bishop of Saskatchewan, the latter having succeeded in raising a sufficient endowment for his Bishopric. Their Con secration took place in London, the Archbishop of Canterbury (Dr. Tait), the Bishops of London (Dr. Jackson), Winchester (Dr. Browne), St. Asaph (Dr. Hughes), and other Bishops, with Bishop Anderson, officiating. As Dr. Horden had been consecrated Bishop of Moosonee in 1872, the three new Sees that had been taken from Rupert's Land were now filled--to the heartfelt rejoicing of Bishop Machray, who had thus the deep satisfaction of seeing his work prospering in his hands. But though his main efforts henceforth were devoted to the reduced Diocese of Rupert's Land, he never forgot--and sometimes on occasion bade others remember--that he was still Bishop of Rupert's Land in the full sense of the old term, and he always followed with the liveliest interest all that was done in every part of the Sees then or afterwards formed out of Rupert's Land.
The year 1874 was further signalised by the establishment of a "real Cathedral," as he termed it when writing of this new departure to one of the English Societies. St. John's Cathedral, as the church where the Bishop of the Diocese had his cathedra or seat, had been founded by Bishop Anderson; in that sense it was always as real a Cathedral, plain, insignificant little building as it was, as St. Paul's, or York Minster, or Canterbury, or any other of the great and stately Cathedral lanes of England, but a "real Cathedral" meant much more than that in the view of Bishop Machray. Up till 1874 St. John's was practically a parish church--the church for the parish of St. John's, with an Incumbent, who was the Bishop or his nominee; thus, in 1866, he had given it to Arch deacon M'Lean, with the title of Rector, who resigned it on becoming Bishop of Saskatchewan. It had no endowments bringing in a revenue, but it possessed a glebe of several hundred acres, the gift in the old days of the Hudson's Bay Company to their Chaplain; in 1874 this land, no doubt, had a value, but that value was almost entirely prospective and dependent on the growth of Winnipeg, which itself was in the parish. (The "City of Winnipeg" did not at first include the Cathedral lands, but later it did.) There was no provision by the parish for the maintenance of the Incumbent, to say nothing of a Dean and Chapter; yet in 1874 the Bishop gave it a Dean and Chapter--a provisional Dean and Chapter, it might be said, yet containing the substance of the completed system. At the Bishop's instance the local Legislature of that year passed an Act incorporating the Dean and Chapter of St. John's Cathedral, enabling them to hold lands or other endowments, and deal with financial matters like any other corporation. To the Dean and Chapter the Bishop transferred the Cathedral glebe, thus placing the capitular body in the same position as that occupied by the Incumbent of St. John's; in other words, the Dean and Chapter became Incumbents of the parish.
As the Cathedral glebe produced no revenue in 1874 (nor for some years afterwards), there was no income for the support of the Dean and Chapter, and it might almost have appeared that the Cathedral was less of a "real Cathedral" even than before. But had there been a sufficient income for the maintenance of the Dean and Chapter, the Bishop still would have thought the Cathedral was not a "real Cathedral" in the best and fullest sense of the term, even if every stall had been filled. He asked himself, What was a Cathedral? What were its functions? What was it to be to the Diocese--especially to his own Diocese, in its special circumstances? With a profound know ledge of ecclesiastical history, combined with a great reverence for things ancient of good report, he was well acquainted with the story of the old Cathedrals. The Cathedral was the Mother Church of the Diocese it did not come after the parish churches; it not only existed before them, but brought them into being.
"The Cathedral Church of early times," he said, when preaching the sermon on the installation of Canon Grisdale at St. John's Cathedral in 1874, "was the Mission Church of the little band of missionaries that round their Bishop struggled to uplift the Cross and carry the tidings of a Saviour into surrounding heathenism. . . . Afterwards the Cathedral remained the common centre. The Christian world owes almost everything to Cathedrals and like institutions. Amid the dense darkness and untutored roughness of medieval times whatever was elevating and humanising found a refuge there." And the Cathedral was not only the missionary centre, but was also the educational centre, of the Diocese in those times; with the Cathedral were combined the College and the School. The latter aspect of Cathedral life had sometimes not survived to these modern days, but was still to be seen, as, for instance, at Ely, where Canonries were joined with Professorships at Cambridge.
"The great uses of the Cathedral remain," said the Bishop:
First, the Cathedral as the missionary centre of the Diocese; St. John's was, and was to continue to be, the missionary centre of Rupert's Land. In the Western Dioceses of the American Church the Bishops had established Collegiate or Associate Missions around themselves as centres of work--these, the Bishop pointed out, were nothing but a modern form of the old Cathedral; the name might be wanting, but the essential thing was there.
Second, the Cathedral as the home centre of the Diocese, where reunions of the clergy and all Diocesan workers took place around their Bishop, where special courses of sermons were delivered, where Church music was cultivated, and where the Services were performed so as to bring out most fully their spirit and their beauty. St. John's was in time to be and to do all this.
Third, the Cathedral as the educational centre of the Diocese. "The importance of education for our Church," the Bishop said, "cannot be over--estimated. Bishop Jewell at the time of the Reformation well expressed the feelings of the leading Reformers when he said, 'Learning is the life and soul of the Church and of the Christian religion.'" The Cathedral must take the lead in this as in other Church matters, and hence its fit union with Colleges and Schools; thus with St. John's Cathedral were joined St. John's College and the College School.
In this manner, and on more than one occasion, did the Bishop expound and enlarge upon his Cathedral system; but, as subsequently will be seen, his statements of its aims and purposes did not save it or him from misrepresentation and even bitter attack later by men who could never have understood either. The charge was made against him that in his zeal for education he had diverted to education funds for missions; the truth was altogether different, the fact being that to render the Cathedral an effective missionary centre he so arranged his Cathedral system that the revenues derived from educational endowments held by St. John's College not only furnished incomes for Professors, but, at the same time, were made available for missions by providing under appropriate statutes that the Professors must be members of the capitular body; that is, that the Dean and Canons of the Cathedral, who were also Professors of the College, were bound to do missionary work in the Diocese, as a recognised part of their duty. In this way, too--by finding incomes for the Dean and Chapter from the revenues of the College endowments--did the Bishop succeed in making his Cathedral still further a "real Cathedral."
In 1874 the Bishop's plans for his Cathedral, like those for his College, were largely a matter of faith, but of what may be called intelligent, forecasting faith; it was not till nearly ten years afterwards that they assumed definite realisation on a scale approaching the scope of his intentions. In 1874 there were but partial endowments for two Professorships--the Chair of Systematic Theology, which had been held by Archdeacon M'Lean, and that had an income of £200 a year; and the Chair of Ecclesiastical History, which the Bishop was gradually endowing chiefly from his own means, and that then had a capital of $7500 (£1500). The actual position was very well put by the Dean of Rupert's Land (Dr. O'Meara) in an article contributed to the Mission Field in March 1900, on "A Colonial Cathedral and its Work," in which he said that when the Bishop laid his plans for the founding of the Cathedral establishment the "assets were several hundred acres of valueless land, a College, with two Theological Chairs partly endowed, and a plain stone church two miles north of the small town of Winnipeg."
To start with, the Bishop gave the Cathedral what has been termed above a provisional Dean and Chapter; he himself was the Dean, and the occupants of his two Archdeaconries were Canons ex officio. To the third Canonry was appointed (1874) the Rev. John Grisdale, a missionary of the C.M.S. who had gone out to Manitoba in the autumn of 1873 for St. Andrew's parish; he had been a missionary in India, but had found its climate so injurious to his health that he had been compelled to seek another field of labour; to his Canonry was attached the Professorship of Systematic Theology, which had been vacated by Bishop M'Lean. The fourth Canon appointed (1875) was a Canadian, the Rev. J. D. O'Meara, whose connection with the College School has already been referred to; he had been Gold Medallist of the University of Toronto, and Head Master of Brantford Grammar School, Ontario. A commencement had then been made of the endowment of a Professorship of Exegetical Theology, and Canon O'Meara held this Chair with his Canonry. In accordance with the Bishop's scheme, both Canon Grisdale and Canon O'Meara combined a great deal of missionary work with the discharge of their Cathedral and College duties. Such, then, were the beginnings of St. John's Cathedral as, in the Bishop's view, a "real Cathedral."
To elect delegates to the Synod of the new Ecclesiastical Province of Rupert's Land, the Bishop called a meeting of the Diocesan Synod on June 10, 1875. In addition to the Bishop, Bishop M'Lean and sixteen clergy assembled at St. John's, amongst them being the Rev. Richard Young, of Clare College, Cambridge (afterwards second Bishop of Athabasca), a missionary of the C.M.S. who had succeeded Canon Grisdale at St. Andrew's; there were also present twenty-two lay delegates; the total numbers showed that the Diocese was growing. On this occasion the Bishop delivered a short Address dealing mainly with the division of the parent See and the organisation of the new Dioceses under their respective Bishops; he had summoned this Synod, he said, for the important object of electing representatives from the Mother Diocese to the first Provincial Synod, which was to be held in the following August, the date having been chosen for the convenience of Bishop Bompas, who thought he would be able to attend it then.
He next referred to the incorporation of St. John's Cathedral by the Legislature, and the Statutes he had given to it, explaining their scope and purpose. He then spoke of the extensions that had been made to the College building, and stated that the funds had been found by a loan to the College of $10,000 (£2000) from the endowment he himself had given to the Chair of Ecclesiastical History--so long as he held that Chair himself; as he did, the College would not be called on to pay interest, but the loan would eventually have to be repaid and re-invested, and the income from it set aside for the Professor who should occupy the Chair. After the Bishop had finished his Address, the Synod elected seven clerical and seven lay delegates to the Provincial Synod, and shortly afterwards was adjourned.
The first Provincial Synod of Rupert's Land--another landmark--met at St. John's on August 3 and 4, 1875. On August 3 Divine Service was held in the Cathedral in the morning, the Litany being read by Archdeacon Cowley, and Holy Communion administered by the Bishops of Rupert's Land, Moosonee, and Saskatchewan. After the conclusion of the Service, the Synod was opened by an Address from the Bishop of Rupert's Land; he began by regretting the absence of Dr. Bompas, the Bishop of Athabasca, who, after all, had found it out of his power to be present, but had sent a communication of his views. The other Bishops had drafted a Constitution to be submitted to the Synod, and Bishop Machray said he believed that Bishop Bompas would be most fully a consenting party to it. Continuing, the Bishop said:
The Report of the Lambeth Conference of Anglican Bishops (1867) suggested that where a Provincial Synod does not exist it should be formed through the voluntary association of Dioceses for united legislation and common action; that the particular mode of effecting this in each case must be determined by those concerned; and that the action should have the concurrent assent of his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, to whom the Bishops that are extra-Provincial have taken the oath of canonical obedience. The case with us is very simple. The Dioceses have all been formed out of the Diocese of Rupert's Land under a Canon recognising an Ecclesiastical Province, and the Archbishop of Canterbury has himself been mainly instrumental in bringing the effort to a successful issue. I have, however, obtained from his Grace his express consent that the Synod of the four Western Dioceses of North America should take in hand the question of the formation of themselves into a separate Province, and his assurance that he will give to what I may forward to him from this Synod the fullest consideration.
I think, looking at the vast extent of this land, it may be questioned whether it will ever be desirable for the Western Dioceses to be incorporated in one Provincial system with either the Eastern or British Columbia, though we may have some time a Council or Assembly for the whole Dominion. If the progress of the country should make intercourse easy and lessen differences of condition, it will, on the other hand, vastly increase population and multiply local subjects for deliberation. In the American Church there is a widespread desire for Provincial organisations. And in the Roman Catholic Church in Canada the old Ecclesiastical Province of Quebec, which included most of the country, has been divided into three Provinces, of which one has its Metropolitical See at St. Boniface, close to us. At present our circumstances are so exceptional, the interests of our Dioceses are so bound up with each other, politically as well as religiously, and, above all, it is so absolutely necessary that that great Society (the C.M.S.), on which throughout this huge country we at present mainly depend, should have the fullest confidence--a confidence amounting to certainty--that any Provincial action will be suited to the circumstances and exigencies of missionary work, that it is scarcely possible for us to do anything else than pursue the action we have taken.
After stating that Bishop Anderson, his predecessor, was in full sympathy with the formation of a Provincial system for Rupert's Land separate from that of "Canada," he went on to consider the representation and voting of the Dioceses in the House of Delegates--the solution of any difficulty in their circumstances was the adoption of voting by Dioceses, if required, as was allowed in the General Convention of the American Church. Further, there was the contingency of a distant Diocese not being represented at all; that difficulty had been met in the Province of South Africa by making the Acts of a Synod where this occurred provisional till sanctioned by the Diocesan Synods. He next touched on the "important and difficult question" of the appointment of the Bishops. In the case of a large Diocese with self-supporting congregations its Synod would elect its Bishop, but that stage had not yet been reached in the Province of Rupert's Land, in which the Bishoprics and the congregations were still missionary organisations, and the matter might perhaps be deferred for a few years, when the mind of the Church might be more made up. For the present it would be better to leave the appointments in the hands of the Arch bishop of Canterbury. In conclusion the Bishop said on this point:
Let me then commend this question to the solemn consideration of the House of Delegates. I am sure that all must feel that the Bishopric is not to be treated simply as a prize. The work of the Church must, under God, be greatly de pendent on the Bishop for many a day. I need not say that in wishing the patronage for a time to be with the Archbishop of Canterbury, I have no sympathy with seeking a Bishop elsewhere if the suitable man were already in the country. I have already quite sufficiently shown this. More than that, I dare venture to say that if such a man clearly stood out he would be quite as likely to be appointed in this way as in any other.
A Canon of Discipline had been proposed by the Bishops; it was a necessary measure, said the Bishop; the Canon was brief, avoiding vague terms, such as "frivolous conduct," to which any meaning might be attached, but he hoped it would be sufficient for meet ing any case. And the draft of the Constitution which had been prepared was also brief, and left much to be filled in by the Diocesan Synods, a course which the Bishops thought most suited to their present stage of development. He next declared the Synod opened, and directed the House of Clerical and Lay Delegates to organise and elect a Prolocutor. After naming Archdeacon Cowley as Chairman till the House of Delegates had elected a Prolocutor, the Bishop and the other Bishops left the Lower House and went to their own House.
The House of Delegates appointed Archdeacon Cowley Prolocutor and Canon Grisdale Secretary. The Archdeacon was a member of the House ex officio; Rupert's Land was represented by seven clerical and seven lay delegates; Athabasca had one clerical and one lay delegate; Moosonee and Saskatchewan were unrepresented, as the late introduction of clergy into these Dioceses had made it inconvenient for the clergy to leave them. The House proceeded to consider the draft of a Constitution, and spent the rest of the day's session upon it, sending up some amendments to the Upper House, several of which the Bishops accepted wholly or partially. The Lower House deferred the reconsideration of the partially-accepted and rejected amendments till the following day. Next morning Divine Service was held in the Cathedral, when Dr. Whipple, Bishop of Minnesota, preached. He had come, with several of his leading clergy, to Winnipeg, not only in fulfilment of a promise he had made to Bishop Machray, but also because he wished to be present at this first Provincial Synod as a sign of brotherly sympathy. A man of fine presence and great gifts, especially of the gift of eloquence sometimes passionate, sometimes persuasive, Bishop Whipple was known all over the American continent for his warm advocacy of the cause of the Red Indians, when to say a good word for them was thought little less than criminal in the United States. In the course of a remarkable sermon he said:
My beloved brother in the Apostleship has invited me to speak to you to-day. It is a great pleasure to meet so many of our kinsmen in the Lord. You come from widely separated fields, each bearing his own burden of cares and trials, to confer together concerning the interests of the kingdom of God. I turn aside from those questions of ritual and doctrine, upon which it is most fitting that you should receive instruction from your own spiritual fathers, to speak as a brother to a brother of Christian work.
Brethren, yours is a missionary Church. It has been sent of God to reclaim and save these heathen races which are sunk in heathen sin, and to lay broad and deep a noble Christian civilisation. There is everything to excite in you a holy enthusiasm in Christian work. In Manitoba and Saskatchewan you are feeling the first wave of that incoming population which will make your country swarm with millions of souls. To you, as to us in the United States, God is sending the people of every tongue and clime and kin to be fused into a new race. Our Anglo-Saxon race has been chosen of God to receive into itself these divers peoples, and to give them its customs and traditions and laws. When you remember that since the Christian era there have been few such marked commingling of races, we must ask why our English-speaking race has been called in the providence of God to this mission. I believe it is because the Church of the Anglo-Saxon is a pure branch of the One Catholic and Apostolic Church.
To your infant Church is committed the work of laying the foundations of schools, hospitals, churches, and houses of mercy. In these new fields a Bishop's life is one of deferred hopes. He must lay the foundation in faith, and build with prayers and tears. It may be that he is only chosen of God to lay the corner-stone; but God will find another to complete it. There is no failure in work for God. Was it a failure when the good Bishop of Montreal came here through the pathless forests to visit a few scattered missions in the wilderness? Was the life of good Bishop Anderson a failure, when through long years he did an apostle's work in these northern solitudes? Was it a failure when the dying Indian gave his son, Henry Budd, to God, whose name has nerved many to deeds of faith? Was it a failure when you sent M'Donald to preach Christ on the Yukon River, in the wilderness of the Arctic Circle? There is no branch of the Church that has had greater rewards for heroic faith. . . . You have never made an effort for this poor race (of Red men) which has been unrewarded. The story of your early missions reads like that of the deeds of faith in the early Church. It was this story that touched my heart to plead for our wretched heathen.
Brethren, if ever there was a body of Christians who ought to be careful to maintain good works it is this Synod. I pray you in Christ's name leave unto others those questions which vex the Church with contentions and strifes. Be content to preach Christ, and work in His Church. Speak to men plainly, in His words, of the conditions of salvation. Hold up, as the ensign over you in every battle with falsehood and error, the dear old Creeds. Set forth in His name His Divine Sacraments. Do not attempt to define what God has not defined. Do not attempt to lay bare to human eyes what God has not revealed. Introduce no customs which will make yours a household divided against itself. Work and pray; hope on and hope ever. You who now go forth bearing precious seed and weeping, shall come again, bringing your sheaves with you.
The Synod reassembled in the afternoon, and its first act was to welcome the Minnesota clergy and invite them to take seats on the floor of the House. After considerable discussion, and a conference with the. Upper House, the Constitution was passed by the House of Delegates, as also by the House of Bishops. The Lower House transacted some other business, and received a recommendation from the Upper House of prayers to be used in the Province for the Governor-General and Lieutenant-Governor, for the Legislatures, and for the meetings of the Provincial and Diocesan Synods. The two Houses then met together, and through the Bishop, now by the passing of the Constitution Metropolitan of Rupert's Land, presented an address of welcome to Bishop Whipple, which expressed their deep sense of his kindness in coming to be with them at "this important epoch in our Church's history." Bishop Whipple replied in appropriate terms, and then the Metropolitan closed the Synod, congratulating all on the excellent spirit with which the various propositions before them had been treated.
Condensed, the Constitution of the Church of England in Rupert's Land was as follows:
I. The four Dioceses of Rupert's Land, Moosonee, Saskatchewan, and Athabasca formed an Ecclesiastical Province under the Presidency of a Metropolitan, the Archbishop of Canterbury being Primate.
2. The Church of the Province stood by the Standards of Faith and Doctrine of the Church of England, received the Book of Common Prayer, and the Ordering of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons as therein set forth, accepted the English version of the Bible, and disclaimed the right of altering the Standards of the Church. It provided, however, that the Church was not prevented from accepting alterations in the version of the Bible or the formularies of the Church which might be adopted by the Church of England, or from using special prayers drawn up by its own Bishops.
3. The Provincial and Diocesan Synods were declared to be the legislative bodies of the Church of the Province, the former to deal with questions of common interest to the whole, the latter with matters of local interest.
4. The Provincial Synod was to consist of the Bishops of the Province and of Delegates chosen from the clergy and laity of the Province, the Bishops deliberating in a House of Bishops, and the Delegates in a House of Delegates; one House could confer with the other when occasion arose. Before proceeding to business the Houses were to meet together for the formal opening of the Synod, and meet again at the close of the session to hear the official notification of the acts of the Synod. The clerical and lay Delegates were to consist of not more than seven of each Order, to be elected by each Diocesan Synod. Provision was made for voting by Orders" and "voting by Dioceses" when necessary. Unless three Bishops were present, and unless three Dioceses were represented in a Provincial Synod, its acts were to be provisional until accepted by the Diocesan Synods. All acts to have force had to be sanctioned by both Houses. The Provincial Synod was to meet every fourth year on the second Wednesday in August, but the Metropolitan could summon an emergency meeting. [Afterwards it was arranged that the Provincial Synod should meet every third year.]
5. The Constitution of the Diocese of Rupert's Land was to remain unaltered for the present. The Synods of the new Dioceses were to be called by their respective Bishops as soon as possible.
6. In case of vacancies, the appointments to the Sees of Rupert's Land and Saskatchewan were to rest with the Archbishop of Canterbury until there were twelve clergymen in either Diocese supported by endowment or by their congregations, when the Diocesan Synod was to elect a Bishop, subject to the election being confirmed by the House of Bishops. The C.M.S. were to have the appointment to the Sees of Moosonee and Athabasca so long as the Bishops were supported by that Society.
7. Bishop Machray was appointed Metropolitan.
8. Bishops might be consecrated either in England or in Rupert's Land.
9. Dioceses might be subdivided by the Provincial Synod with the consent of the Bishops affected.
10. Assistant Bishops might be appointed in certain eventualities.
11. The Metropolitan convoked and presided over the meetings of the Provincial Synod, and over the House of Bishops when it met as a Court for the trial of a cause or for hearing an appeal.
12. A Canon of Discipline provided for the trial of Bishop, Priest, or Deacon for crime or immorality, heresy or false doctrine, and wilful violation of the Canons and Regulations of the Provincial or Diocesan Synods.
13. The Constitution could not be changed except by a two-thirds majority of the House of Bishops, and a two-thirds majority of each Order of the House of Delegates.