Chapter XVI. Recovery and Progress (1887-1890)
BISHOP PINKHAM'S Consecration on Sunday, August 7, 1887, signalised the beginning of a great week, as it may well be called, in the history of the Church in Rupert's Land--a "time of refreshing," which strengthened the hands and uplifted the heart of Bishop Machray in the midst of his difficulties. The life of a Colonial Bishop, at any rate of a Bishop in a "new country," in which settlement proceeds apace, is one of continual struggle. The two chief problems which Bishop Machray had to confront--the supplying of missionaries to new settlements and the carrying on of his College--dropped, as it were, for a short time out of sight in the presence of the great Church gathering in Winnipeg during that notable week. The occasion was, first, the Consecration of Dr. Pinkham, and, second, the meeting of the Provincial Synod, held at St. John's on August 10, 11, and 12. To take their share in them had come Bishop Horden from Moosonee, Bishop Anson from Assiniboia, form ally known, after this Synod, as Qu'Appelle, and Bishop Young from Athabasca. When the See of Saskatchewan was filled up on that Sunday morning all the Bishops of the Province were met together in Winnipeg, save Bishop Bompas of Mackenzie River, away in his almost inaccessible Diocese farthest north. To Winnipeg also had come distinguished representatives of the Church in England, in the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada, and in the United States.
A wonderful gathering for Winnipeg, still in its first youth as a city--to its Bishop a truly wonderful gathering, inspiring him with fresh hope and renewed confidence. At one time during the week there were in Winnipeg no fewer than nine Bishops of the Church--the five out of the six Bishops of the Province of Rupert's Land, one English Bishop, Dr. Thorold of Rochester, one Bishop from the Province of Canada, Dr. Baldwin of Huron, and two American Bishops, Dr. Whipple of Minnesota and Dr. Walker of North Dakota. The Bishop of Rochester, Bishop Anson's former Diocesan, was making a trip through Canada, and he had brought with him a letter addressed to himself; but for the Synod, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Benson, the Primate of the Province of Rupert's Land. The two American Bishops, whose Sees touched borders with Manitoba, had come to Winnipeg on Bishop Machray's invitation. The Bishop of Huron had also been invited, and he was charged with a special message from his Province. The presence of the visiting Bishops, all in themselves men of eminence, was an eloquent evidence of the unity of the Church, of the accord of Rupert's Land with the Mother Church in England, as well as with "Canada" and the Episcopal Church of the United States.
In addition to these high ecclesiastics there were in Winnipeg at this time the Rev. F. E. Wigram, the Honorary Secretary of the C.M.S., who for several months had been making a round of the Society's missions throughout the world, and was now on his way back to England; the Rev. Canon (afterwards Bishop) du Moulin, and the Rev. Dr. O'Meara, of the Diocese of Toronto, and several American clergy--Dr. Hale, Dean of Davenport, Iowa; the Rev. W. T. Currie, the Rev. J. Trenaman, and the Rev. A. G. Pinkham (brother of Bishop Pinkham), of the Diocese of North Dakota; and the Rev. J. A. Gilfihlan, of the Diocese of Minnesota. Mr. Wigram preached the sermon at the opening of the Synod, and he and the other above-named clergymen were invited to seats on the floor of the Lower House. The presence of these Bishops and clergy made a deep impression in Winnipeg and was most helpful to the Church; Winnipeg, in its turn, made its own impression on the visitors, as did the Church. With respect to the latter, Bishop Thorold said, referring to the Consecration of Bishop Pinkham, and what he had seen in connection with it, that if he were to start back to England immediately and saw nothing more, he had witnessed so much that he would be amply repaid for his long journey by land and sea. The effect produced by the influence of the Church in Winnipeg was voiced by Mr. Gilfillan of Minnesota:
Winnipeg, viewed from a religious standpoint, is wonderful, and puts us in the States to the blush. In that new town of 22,000 inhabitants there are six strong churches of our Communion, with a most admirable band of clergy, and all these churches are well attended, with large numbers of communicants. One church holds 1000 people, and it is nearly always full. We have nothing in the Western States to equal that churchbuilding in that little town of yesterday, away in the wilderness. The musical part of the Service is rendered in a way far superior to anything we have heard in Minnesota.
On Sunday there are no street cars running, nor is there any other desecration of the Lord's Day. The entire popula tion seem to go to church. It is a wonderful contrast to the open ungodliness and unblushing wickedness of any western town of its size and age, and causes us to hang our heads with shame at the contrast. It is also a wonderful tribute to the blessed influence of the Church, which was here all ready to receive the tide of population when it came pouring in, and which moulded it as it came.
The words in italics (the italics are those of the writer of this biography)--words coming, as they did, from an outside but competent observer--are, it will be seen, a voluntary and in some sort an unconscious and unpremeditated tribute also to the faith and foresight of the Bishop, to whose College-Cathedral system, criticised needlessly or ignorantly in certain quarters, the Church in Winnipeg owed in large measure its excellent position; at the start, and for some time afterwards, every Anglican church in Winnipeg had been nourished and sustained by St. John's--in every sense the Mother Church of Winnipeg.
On the Monday after the Consecration a Conference was held in St. John's College of the clergy belonging to the C.M.S. of the Province who had come to attend the Synod; there were also present Mr. Wigram, the Secretary of the Society, some of the Bishops, and others. Several of the missionaries, including Bishop Horden of Moosonee, delivered addresses recounting their experiences among the Indians and the Eskimo; Bishop Whipple, Bishop Baldwin, and Mr. Wigram also spoke. In the evening there was a great missionary meeting in Holy Trinity Church. On the morning of Wednesday the members of the Synod assembled at St. John's College, and marched in procession to the Cathedral, where Divine Service was celebrated, Mr. Wigram being the preacher. In the afternoon the Synod met for deliberation, Bishop Machray as Metropolitan opening the proceedings with the usual Address.
He began with a reference to the death of Dr. M'Lean, the first Bishop of Saskatchewan, whose "great and varied gifts, readiness of utterance, and unceasing devotion" were now lost to the Province. He spoke next of the Consecration of Bishops Young and Pinkham, of the naming of the reduced See of Bishop Bompas as "Mackenzie River," and of the change of the name of the See of "Assiniboia" to "Qu'Appelle." One of the chief matters for the consideration of the Synod, he said, would be the Constitution as amended by the last Synod, and another was a resolution submitted by the Synod of the Diocese of Qu'Appelle urging the desirability of changing the name "Church of England in Rupert's Land" to some other which could be adopted by the whole Church in Canada, more clearly indicating "our geo graphical position." The Bishop expressed himself as unfavourable to such change Then he touched on a subject which was shortly to become the most "live" subject throughout the Church in the Dominion--the Consolidation of the Church in Canada. He said:
I have reason to believe, though I have received no communication from the Metropolitan of "Canada," that a resolution was passed at the last meeting of the Provincial Synod of Canada, favouring some joint action on the part of all the dioceses of our Church in the Dominion. There have also been resolutions passed in Diocesan Synods in the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada with the same view. Ordinarily I should not avail myself of the opportunity given me, as Metropolitan, of addressing you at the opening of the Synod to discuss questions that may come before the Provincial Synod, but my position, in God's providence, in the organisation and development of the Church here is so unique that, as I cannot but have a deep feeling on this subject, so I may be permitted to say a few words upon it.
I am not unfriendly to the formation of a body consisting of representatives of the various Dioceses, if sufficient provision be made to allow of our distant Dioceses being represented. A corresponding body in Australia is known as the General Synod, presided over by the Bishop of Sydney as Primate. What falls in the Australian Church to the General Synod, and what to the Provincial Synod, I am not aware. But I think such a General Synod might consult for as much unity of action as possible in missionary work, and might consider how far common legislative action might be recommended to the several Provinces.
But I am entirely opposed to the merging into one of the Provincial Synods. It is contrary to the policy of the Church in that other great colony, Australia. Though the Bishop of Sydney is Primate of all the thirteen Australian Dioceses, he is only Metropolitan of a Province containing five Dioceses. It ignores the experience of the American Church, in various parts of which a need has been felt for instituting an organisation of Dioceses, similarly circumstanced, into a kind of Provincial body. In Canada itself we find a very different course followed by the Roman Catholic Church, which once had one Province, but which of late years has had it sub divided into several. But whatever may be the action in other portions of the Church, we are so knit together in North-West Canada by long association, by community of feeling and interests, and specially by the sources of help in England by which our Dioceses have been built up and are maintained, that I think any loss of our Provincial independence would be unfortunate and might be disastrous.
The above statements, which are given as they were uttered, are important, not only because they set forth thus early the attitude of the Bishop towards Church Consolidation in Canada--an attitude from which he did not recede--but also because they had a deter mining influence on the attitude of the Church in Rupert's Land on the question when it came to be debated at the "Winnipeg Conference" held in 1890. In the Lower House a resolution, in which the Bishops concurred, was passed on the motion of the Rev. E. S. W. Pentreath (afterwards Archdeacon), to the effect that, as the time had come to draw closer together the scattered portions of the Church of England in Canada, the Provincial Synod of Rupert's Land reciprocated the desire of the Provincial Synod of Canada to establish closer relations, and while not committing itself to any scheme of union, would appoint a committee to communicate with the Committee appointed for a like purpose by the Provincial Synod of Canada, so as to provide for a Conference for discussing a basis of union. A copy of this resolution was handed to Dr. O'Meara of the Diocese of Toronto, and a member of the Provincial Synod of Canada; he was invited by the Lower House to address it on the subject of Church Consolidation.
This Provincial Synod--the fourth regular meeting, but in point of fact the fifth meeting--was by far the most representative Synod that had met in the Province. Not only were there five out of the six Bishops of the Province present in the Upper House, but delegates from or of the' six Dioceses attended the sessions of the Lower House. Rupert's Land had thirteen, seven clerical and six lay delegates; Saskatchewan, five clerical delegates; Qu'Appelle, six clerical and one lay delegates; Mackenzie River, three clerical and one lay delegates; Athabasca, two clerical and two lay delegates; and Moosonee, two lay delegates. Some of these delegates, it is true, were not from the Dioceses they represented, but were members of the Diocese of Rupert's Land, who were duly commissioned, however, for their office. Soon after the opening of the Synod there was a joint meeting of the two Houses to welcome the visiting Bishops and clergy. On this occasion the Bishop of Rochester made a short congratulatory speech, which he concluded by reading the letter written to him by the Archbishop of Canterbury:
LAMBETH PALACE, S
20th July 1887.
MY DEAR BROTHER--When you are, by God's gift and guidance, at Manitoba, in the Synod, say one word for me, I beg you, to that gathering. May He "qui concilio olim apostolico illi etiam insideat Synodo." Would that He would pour out grace for them proportioned to the vastness of the task to which they set their unfearing hands, and surely He will, for He gives strength in proportion to the need, and the Bishops of Qu'Appelle and Rupert's Land are charged full of the sense of what it is to work in such horizons as theirs are. If there are any other Bishops there (as there will be), assure them that we find blessings descend on counselling which are far richer than the blessings on solitary planning and working, and I do pray God for both clergy and laity there, that He will work out unity first among them, and then by and through them. What a work God sets before the Churches of English tongue and English lore! May England herself be worthy of them and their love.--Your most affectionate brother,
The Right Reverend
The Lord Bishop of Rochester.
Much business was transacted by this Synod, although a good deal of it was of a routine nature. Its principal acts were the accepting and adopting of the Constitution as passed at the last Provincial Synod (1884), the formation of a joint committee on the revision of the Provincial Canons, and another to inquire into the restrictions imposed on colonial clergy in England, the resolution on Church Consolidation already referred to, the making of the Civil District of Alberta into a See distinct from Saskatchewan, the Bishop of Saskatchewan remaining Bishop provisionally of both Sees, and the appointment of a joint committee on the Metropolitical See of the Province. The Memorial of the Diocese of Qu'Appelle, asking that the name "Church of England in Rupert's Land" be changed, was "laid on the table."
One of the most affecting incidents of this memorable Synod was the speech made by the aged Prolocutor of the Lower House, Archdeacon Cowley, in reply to a vote of thanks, passed by the House standing, for his courtesy in the chair, a vote which also expressed the hope that he might long be spared to the Church. The venerable Archdeacon, in replying, spoke of himself as the only member of the Synod who united the past with the present; he had known the first missionaries in Rupert's Land; he had been forty-six years in the country, and in the natural course of events could not expect to live much longer, but whatever power or ability God might give him would gladly be devoted to further His work.... A month later the Archdeacon died--September 11, 1887. Preaching soon after the Archdeacon's death, the Bishop, who felt it very much, said:
I came here (to the Diocese) at a very critical time. It w clear that there soon was to be a great change; it was necessary that the Church should be prepared for that change. It was necessary that without delay there should be arrangements for self-government, self-support, and the training of a ministry of our own. Many good men would have hesitated in giving their support to what was proposed. It would have been very easy to create suspicion at home. . . . I was young and untried. . . . The loyal support and cordial help of Archdeacon Cowley were very useful.
In the early days of his episcopate it was to the C.M.S. that the Bishop looked for assistance; the Society had confidence in the opinions and advice of their trusted missionary, the Archdeacon; the Archdeacon had consistently supported him in his plans, and in that way had largely contributed to the success of the organisation of the Diocese. "We lose with him," said the Bishop to the Diocesan Synod which met on October 26 of that year, "an experience and knowledge of the country and the people that cannot be replaced." At this Synod also, in going over the tale of the losses of the Church, he spoke of the late Bishop of Saskatchewan as "a grand example of the most entire devotion of gifts to the Master's use." But it was not of losses only that he spoke; he was able to speak of a turn in the tide of affairs, of the improving prospects of the country and, consequently, of the Church, in the Address with which he opened this Synod; there had been a bountiful harvest which "had filled the hearts of our farmers and all our people with hope and gladness."
Yet the solution of the problem of providing missionaries for the new settlements was as difficult as, or more difficult than before. Deducting the Church population in Winnipeg and in the Indian missions, there remained scarcely 20,000 members of the Church scattered throughout Manitoba, amidst a population of 80,000. "The problem before the Church is the supplying of the means of grace to this very small body of our people scattered about in hundreds of settlements over the face of a territory as large as England." The Church in Eastern Canada had never had to face such a problem, and the difficulty of solving it had been intensified by the "marvellous supply of ministers that some of the other bodies have been enabled by their co-religionists elsewhere to bring into some portions of the field." He quoted a statement that the Presbyterians' supply of services in Manitoba gave an average of a meeting-place for worship for every nine families of their denomination, a state of things which led to the loss of members of the Church in such districts as the Church could not occupy, and also, by contrast with what others were able to do, made Church people more exacting and more readily dissatisfied. He pleaded for more self-denial "on the part of our people till our settlements are stronger."
Meanwhile a substantial addition had been made to the Church Endowment Fund; private donations had amounted to £500, which had been met with £1000 from the S.P.G. and £500 from the S.P.C.K. The total amount now invested for this Fund was $32,700 (about £6600). The English Societies continued their grants. But there were still at least ten districts where resident clergymen were required. The Bishop hoped, however, that with the improved prospects of the country several of the vacant missions would be filled up, perhaps all, before the next meeting of the Synod. On the other hand, there was always the difficulty of getting suitable men, even if the means of supporting them was in hand. Work in the Colonial missions did not make equal appeal, to men of the noblest spirit of self-sacrifice, with work in the slums or in foreign missions. "The vice, ignorance, wretchedness, and want of religion of the masses in the crowded parts of the great cities of the old country, and the teeming millions in darkness in heathen lands, lay on such noble spirits a necessity which our wants cannot." The remedy lay in their own hands--they must train up men for themselves; once again the Bishop drove home the necessity of their maintaining their College.
He devoted some remarks to a consideration of the relations that should exist between the College and the University of Manitoba. So far the University had not had Professors; the teaching had all been done by St. John's and the other Colleges, but with the broadening out of subjects set for examination, the Colleges could not much longer overtake the necessary tuition, and University Professors would have to be appointed. The Colleges, however, would still have a great part to play. His view was that for some time to come the College Professors should teach the usual Classics and Mathematics, and that the University Professors should teach Natural and Applied Science and Modern Languages, while contentious subjects, as between themselves and the Roman Catholics, such as History, remained with the Colleges. But eventually the University would teach in all branches of learning, and then the Colleges would hold the same relation, or a similar relation, to the University as the Colleges of Oxford and Cambridge hold to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. He had no notion of any competition, as it were, between the Colleges and the University. Continuing, he said:
I have always accepted the clause in the University Act, "There shall be no professorship or other teachership at present in this University," as meaning that at some time in the future such professorships in the University would be established, and I have worked for St. John's College with the hope buoying me up that we had not before us what I should regard as the hopeless task of building up a College, supplying the requirements as regards instruction of a great University of the present day, but simply a home in that University, in which the sons of our Church people and any other students coming to us may, amid their secular studies and instruction, meet together daily as a family for morning and evening prayer, may have a supervision as regards their conduct, and may be carefully directed in their studies.
Reviewing the position of the Church as a whole, he said they had no reason to be ashamed or down hearted. Their organisation, institutions, the number and character of the clergy, their churches and Services, compared favourably with those of any Diocese he knew. There was admittedly a lack of clergy; they should receive more money and men from outside, but it might be no evil thing in the end that there should be a struggle with difficulties, in order that they should be stirred up honestly and with self-denial to do their utmost He declared, "I think we may well thank God and take courage."
During that winter a new effort was taken in hand. The Dominion Government approached the Bishop with a view to the establishment of an Industrial School for Indian children, to be organised and "run" by the Church. The Government offered $5000 towards the cost of a suitable building, and $100 annually for the maintenance of each child up to the number of 80 pupils--the Church was to do the rest. The Bishop resolved that the Church, pressed as it was, should take the matter up, as it seemed a plain duty to try to do what it could for such an undertaking, for which, besides, considerable help might be expected from outside.
In 1888 the greatest event in the history of the Church of England as a whole was the Lambeth Conference which was held in July. Having been in England so lately, the Bishop was rather unwilling to go there so soon again, but thought it incumbent on him as Metropolitan of Rupert's Land to attend the Conference. Some weeks before he left Winnipeg for London, he was asked by cable by the Vice-Chancellor to preach the Annual Commencement Sermon at Cambridge, and his acceptance hastened his departure from the Diocese. Leaving Winnipeg late in May, he was in Cambridge early in the second week of June, the journey having occupied about twelve days-_a fact significant of the great change which had taken place with respect to the erstwhile isolation of Rupert's Land from the rest of the world. At Cambridge the Bishop met many of his friends, amongst them Mr. Williams-Ellis and his wife, who had come over from their place in Wales to meet him, and to be present with him on the occasion of the conferring of degrees on Prince Albert Victor, the eldest son of the Prince and Princess of Wales (now the King and Queen), on Cabinet Ministers, and other personages. From Cambridge the Bishop went to London, and had long interviews with the Secretaries of the Church Societies. He afterwards spent several days with the Bishop of Rochester at Seisdon Park, thus returning the visit of Dr. Thorold to himself in Winnipeg in the previous year. At Selsdon he met Dr. Perry, the Bishop of Iowa, who, in a narrative entitled The Third Lambeth Conference, thus wrote of him:
Here we met most pleasantly the Metropolitan of Rupert's Land, whose work has been that of an Apostle, and the story of whose success quite carries one back to the days of apostolic triumphs for the faith. We had met this most interesting and accomplished prelate at Cambridge, where we sat vis-à-vis at the famous lunch at the Fitzwilliam Museum, on the occasion of the giving of the honorary doctorate to Prince Albert Victor and other notables, but it was a most enjoyable experience to be for several days with one whose wide experience in episcopal work, particularly in shaping the educational system of an ecclesiastical province, made his every word of value, and his advice worthy of the closest attention and following.
After participating in what was called, appropriately enough, the "Canterbury Procession"--the visit of the Bishops to the "Chair" of St. Augustine, from whence Archbishop Benson delivered an address of welcome--Bishop Machray was back in London for the opening of the Conference, which took place on July 3 at Lambeth Palace, when Bishop Whipple of Minnesota preached a remarkable sermon. "The words of Bishop Whipple were very touching," said Bishop Machray, when speaking to his next Synod of the Conference, "especially to one like myself so fully sympathising with him in his affectionate longing for unity among all calling themselves Christians." Six subjects were selected for discussion at the Conference. Bishop Machray was asked by Archbishop Benson to take part in opening that on "Authoritative Standards of Doctrine and Worship," but declined, because, to quote his words, "the subject had not received from me such consideration as would entitle me to open it before such an assembly, and also I felt uncertain as to the exact bearing of the words--a difficulty which I found not peculiar to myself:" The Bishop, however, served on four committees--on the Care of Emigrants, on Home Reunion, on Authoritative Standards, and on General Questions.
Home Reunion was a subject very near the Bishop's heart; in his opinion it transcended every other before the Conference, and his desire to give any help in his power to advance such union was one great reason of his overcoming his unwillingness to attend. The committee was presided over by Dr. Barry, the able and forceful Metropolitan of Sydney; and it after wards was known that the report of this committee led to an animated discussion which turned mainly on the question of the recognition by the Church of non-episcopal Ordinations. Bishop Barry took the view that in special circumstances episcopal Ordination was not indispensable. In addressing his Synod Bishop Machray said that, while he could not forget that in very early years he became quite convinced that the threefold Order of the Ministry had been the normal rule of the Church since the beginning, he saw no difficulty-, in special cases, of accepting Presbyterian Orders. This, however, was by no means the opinion of the majority of the Conference, who recommitted the report presented by Dr. Barry; in the result the Conference held that episcopal Ordination was necessary for reunion.
Between its sessions as a Conference and the meetings of its committees practically the whole of July was taken up. During the month the Bishop read a paper on the Church in Rupert's Land before the S. P. G. and before the S. P.C. K. He told these Societies how he, "in the Providence of God, had been present at the birth of a new people," and spoke at length of the growth, past, present, and future, of his adopted country, comparing its prospects with the existing condition of the American States lying immediately south of its frontier. He presented once more the special features of Church work in Manitoba and the North-West--the numerous, far-scattered, sparsely-peopled settlements, and the difficulty of pro viding them with clergymen, and the important place occupied in the land by the institutions he had founded, reinforcing as usual his statements with copious statistics. During the month he also preached in Westminster Abbey and in many of the London churches. At the close of the Conference he went with many other Bishops to Durham, on the invitation of the Bishop of Durham, where he received the degree of D.D. from its University. Later he paid a short visit to the Archbishop of York. Early in August he greatly enjoyed being present at the silver wedding of his friends, the Rev. C. Alfred Jones, his Commissary, then Vicar of Dedham, and Mrs. Jones. The time he had allowed himself for this visit to England was too short to permit him to see all his friends, but the Conference gave him an opportunity of meeting many of them. September saw him back again in Winnipeg.
The Diocesan Synod met on October 30 and 31, and November i, and the Bishop, in the customary Address, gave an account of his visit to England, and dealt with other matters of current interest. Amongst the latter topics, he referred to receiving a resolution of the Synod of Toronto on the union of the Church in British North America under one ecclesiastical jurisdiction, which spoke of making the Ecclesiastical Provinces of Canada conterminous with the Civil. The Bishop characterised this resolution as impracticable, as it made no effort to adapt its suggestions to existing circumstances. These suggestions, if acted upon, would dissolve the present Provincial Synods. "If our friends in the Eastern Provinces (of the Dominion), who are anxious for union," said the Bishop, "would accept existing conditions and work for a General Synod to represent the present two Ecclesiastical Provinces and that of British Columbia, which may shortly be expected, they would be likely to secure their object more readily. I should personally be determinedly opposed to any other arrangement. But I am quite willing for this, if it can be established under conditions satisfactory to us in view of the difficulty of our representatives attending." It was on this basis that the Consolidation of the Church eventually took place.
In April 1889 the Bishop wrote a long letter to Prebendary Tucker of the S.P.G., in which he mentioned some interesting facts about the country and the Diocese. The population of Winnipeg had grown to 25,000, but the country still felt some of the evil effects of the "Winnipeg Boom." There had been a great development in railways, and the past year had been one of clear advance; their circumstances were improving; there was nothing wrong with the country; its Church people were doing all they could for the missions, but they were not in a position to do enough. The Home Mission Fund required about $17,000 (£3400) and its income for the previous year had been about $14,000 (£2800) leaving a shortage of $3000 (£600). How was this to be made up? Here was the ever-recurring problem caused by insufficient means. There was the hope that "Canada" would do more for them, and they needed every penny the Societies could give them--indeed, their needs were ever increasing. He asked the S.P.G. for increased grants. He wrote in a similar strain to the C.C.C.S., mentioning that there were now 800 settlements in his Diocese, but only 150 centres for Services supplied or partly supplied by the Church. The people did nobly in giving, but, said the Bishop, "we are only a small body of some 25,000 Church people--men, women, and children."
In the summer of 1889 he was present at the first meeting of the Synod of the Diocese of Calgary, which had been definitely separated from Saskatchewan at the last Provincial Synod, Bishop Pinkham being Bishop of both Dioceses until an episcopal endowment was obtained for Calgary. It was arranged that when that came about, as it did some years later, Bishop Pinkham was to have his choice of either See--eventually, he elected to be Bishop of Calgary. Later in the summer Bishop Machray held a Visitation of some of the Indian missions, holding Confirmations at Staggville, Fairford, Lac Seul, Frenchmen's Head, and Islington. He had not been able to see these missions for some time, and he was delighted to observe the very decided progress since his last visits; the Services were entered into most reverently, and the converts were growing in self-reliance; at the points he touched he found that the Indians were nearly all completely turned away from paganism to Christianity. In the meantime the new enterprise of the Indian school, mentioned in a previous paragraph of this chapter, had been prosecuted with success. Land had been acquired in St. Paul's parish--the parish of which the Bishop had acted as Incumbent in the early years of his episcopate; a building had been erected, and the Rev. W. A. Burman, who had had charge formerly of the Sioux Mission, was appointed Principal.
There was a distinct improvement in the country in 1889, with an increase in the number of immigrants; Manitoba at last emerged from the dark shadows cast by the Boom. On the other hand, there was not much gain in strength in the missions; whilst many new settlers came, some of the old settlers moved farther west, and the immediate effect of immigration was a call for the formation of new missions, and a division of the most unwieldy of the old--the latter a process which was bound to go on with increasing force as settlement increased. But where were the funds to come from?--the same ever-harassing question. The Bishop thought it improbable that more help could be got from England than was already being obtained, but there was good ground for expecting greater assistance from Eastern Canada. At the request of the Executive Committee of the Diocese--the organisation which acted as the standing council of the Bishop, and was elected annually by the Synod--Dean Grisdale had attended a recent meeting of the Provincial Synod of Canada, and had received welcome and encouragement. The Metropolitan of "Canada" had written that the Church in Eastern Canada would extend a hearty welcome to a representative, duly accredited by the Bishop, on behalf of the Home Mission Fund of Rupert's Land. Now and again in the past something had been done by various persons in the way of raising funds in Toronto and Montreal and other cities and towns of Canada; there now seemed to be promise of largely increased assistance. The people of the Diocese, too, were raising more for the Church among themselves.
On the other hand, the Bishop had to deplore two losses sustained at this time by the Diocese--the death of two of its most prominent laymen, Mr. C. J. Brydges and the Hon. Thomas Norquay. The former had acted as Honorary Treasurer of the Synod for years--ever since the Bishop had handed over to the Synod the management of the finances of the Diocese; the other had been Premier of Manitoba, and a member of all the councils of the Church. Mr. Brydges was a man of great financial ability and know ledge, which he had placed freely at the service of the Church. "It is a great gain for the Church," said the Bishop to his next Synod, "when a layman of the influence, position, and place in the public estimation which Mr. Brydges had, takes an active part in the administration of its affairs. There is not only the immediate benefit of his own help, but the example affords such encouragement to others to rise to a like self-surrender, and devote themselves and their gifts to the service of the Lord." Mr. Norquay had been educated at St. John's College, and, notwithstanding the demands made upon him by his absorbing political life, had always found time to assist the Bishop and the Church, especially with respect to legislation. He had been a lay delegate of the Conference which had resolved itself into the first Synod of Rupert's Land, and had been a delegate at all the Diocesan and Provincial Synods. He was greatly attached to the College; with four of his sons, all alumni of St. John's, he had driven over in the early summer to see the College Sports.
Mr. Norquay's party, which was Conservative, had been defeated at the provincial elections a year or two previously, and a Liberal administration had come into power. In 1890 this Liberal Government passed two Acts abolishing the dual system of education that had obtained in Manitoba since 1871, and creating a Department of Education, consisting of an Executive Council and an Advisory Board, the latter being composed of four members appointed by the Department, two by the teachers of the schools, and one by the University. The new legislation did away with State-aided denominational schools--in this case Roman Catholic schools--and laid it on the Advisory Board to prescribe the form of religious exercises to be used in schools. The passing of these Acts caused the rising of a great storm both in the Province of Manitoba and throughout Canada, which raged for several years. The practical effect of this school legislation was that religious teaching almost disappeared from the schools, as the Government was bent on a distinctively secular education, and controlled through its four nominees the action of the Advisory Board. The Bishop was elected the representative of the University on the Board, and its other members paid him the compliment of making him its Chairman. Needless to say, the turn events had taken with respect to education was deeply disappointing to him.
Prior to 1890 there had been an agitation with respect to the schools. At the Diocesan Synod, which met on October 29 and 30, 1889, a large portion of the Bishop's Address was devoted to a consideration of the school question. He reminded the Synod that before the transfer of the country to the Dominion the Church had had a primary school wherever there was a clergyman. When the Red River Settlement passed into the Province of Manitoba, the Church saw such advantages in a national system of schools, and such reason to have confidence in its administration, that it cordially acquiesced in it, trusting that the schools would be worthy of a Christian people, and give an education in which the religious interests of the children would not be neglected. The reason why he had given up so much time, which he could ill spare, to the Board of Education had been the hope that by conciliation a measure of religious education would be secured that would be reasonably satisfactory to the Church and other bodies. The Roman Catholic Church, however, had had separate schools up to 1889. He did not criticise the attitude of the Government; he contented himself with stating that the English plan of administering education, in which separate schools had their place, seemed to him the best. The really serious question was that of the education to be given.
As it was in every way desirable that the peoples of the country should be amalgamated, he thought it was right that the boys and girls belonging to the Church should be educated with the other young folk in the common schools. But what education was to be given them? Was it to be an education that kept out of view those divine sanctions which are the real foundations of morality, an education that took no notice of the Christian Faith, "to which we owe our modern civilisation, and from which we receive the hope of our life"? Such an education, he believed, would in the end be a poor one for both the individual and the State. So far as he could see, the only serious objection to religious worship and teaching in primary schools lay in the divisions of Christianity--other objections were without force in view of the greatness of the desired end. He thought it was not difficult to draw up a scheme giving a considerable, to his mind an adequate, amount of religious teaching which would be acceptable to the various religious bodies. Personally he held no extreme view, but he believed it was perfectly possible for the Churches to agree on an adequate selection of lessons from the Bible; then there were broad places of agreement in the Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments.
The Synod, at which were present thirty-six clergy and forty-three laymen, passed a resolution endorsing the Bishop's views, and asserting the necessity, in the truest interests of education, of some non-sectarian religious teaching in the public schools. The Bishop was asked to name a committee to confer with representatives of other religious bodies in regard to the subject. Another important matter before this Synod was the report of the committee on the Metropolitical See, who submitted this recommendation:
That although this Diocese has now obtained the right of electing its own Bishop, yet with a view to the retention of the Diocese of Rupert's Land as the permanent Metropolitical See, it is willing that in case of a vacancy occurring at any time in the See the Bishop (who shall also be Metropolitan) be chosen in the following manner, viz, three names to be chosen by the Synod of the Diocese of Rupert's Land, of whom the House of Bishops must select one to be both Bishop of Rupert's Land and Metropolitan of Rupert's Land.
Naturally there was a lively discussion over this difficult question, but in the end the report was received, and the Bishop was asked to appoint a committee to confer with the Provincial Synod on the subject. The Bishop was very much pleased that there was a fair prospect of this matter, in which he took the deepest interest, being settled.
Their legislation with respect to schools was not the only action of the local Government which disturbed the Bishop at this time. In the spring of 1890 the Legislature passed a clause in a Municipal Law which terminated the exemption from taxation of churches (of every denomination) and surrounding church land to the extent of two acres. The law, however, raised such a feeling throughout the country that it was speedily repealed, so far as taxation on churches was concerned.
Prosperity marked the year 1890 in both country and Church. In the early months there was an increase in immigration; Winnipeg and the settlements "went ahead." The Church boldly entered on several new missions, and by the summer all the old missions and seven or eight new ones had resident clergymen; the Church was "growing satisfactorily," wrote the Bishop to a friend. But this year is chiefly memorable because in it took place the meeting of that Conference at Winnipeg that prepared the way for the Consolidation of the Church throughout Canada, which was consummated three years later.