Project Canterbury

Life of Robert Machray, Archbishop of Rupert's Land

By His Nephew, Robert Machray

Toronto: Macmillan, 1909.

Chapter XVII. Towards Church Consolidation (1890-1893)

ALL Churchmen throughout the Dominion were agreed as to the great desirability--some went so far as to speak of the necessity--of the union of the various branches of the Church of England in British North America, which at this time consisted of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada with nine Sees, the Ecclesiastical Province of Rupert's Land with eight Sees, and four Sees outside the two Provinces--twenty-one Sees in all. One of these last Sees, however, was Newfoundland, which was outside the Dominion. The conception of a united Church in British North America was one that appealed to the imagination, and in Canada gathered round itself a good deal of sentiment of a far from despicable kind--the growing sentiment of Canadian nationalism; it were better called feeling than sentiment. Also it was easy to perceive that the union might have, if rightly directed must have, many practical advantages. Leaving aside mere matters of detail on which all could hardly be expected to see eye to eye in any scheme for the consummation of this union, there was one aspect, and fortunately only one, of the question on which was manifested a serious difference of opinion--the retention of the system of Ecclesiastical Provinces with their Synods under a General Synod or other General Representative Council of the whole Church when united.

Bishop Machray held pronounced views on the question; while he was in favour of the establishment of a General Synod, he was determinedly opposed to the abolition of the Provincial Synods. If the union could only be attained through the dissolution of the Provincial Synods, he was against the union. He said that the best plan for those who were working seriously for a General Synod was to accept existing conditions. With the exception of Dr. Anson, Bishop of Qu'Appelle, all the Bishops of his Province concurred with his views. The subject was keenly debated in Eastern Canada, bringing out much diversity of opinion, though its general trend was friendly to the maintenance of the Provincial Synods. The important Diocese of Montreal, how ever, declared for the dissolution of the Provincial Synods. On the other hand, one or two of the Dioceses in the Civil Province of Ontario had voted for the establishment of more Ecclesiastical Provinces, on the basis of there being an Ecclesiastical Province for every Civil Province. This question, then--the retention or abolition of the Provincial Synods and Ecclesiastical Provinces--became the crux of the whole situation; it came to an issue at the "Winnipeg Conference."

In 1889 the Provincial Synod of Canada appointed a committee, whose business was the gathering together in conference of representatives of all the Dioceses in British North America to discuss and find, if possible, a common basis of union--of "Consolidation," the descriptive phrase selected. This committee communicated by circular with the Bishops and Synods of the Dioceses concerned, and invited two delegates from each Diocesan Synod to a Conference to be held in September 1890. On receipt of the circular Bishop Machray, as Metropolitan of Rupert's Land, took exception to its being addressed to the individual Bishops and Synods of his Province, as the matter lay within the domain of the Provincial Synod, which had already had it under consideration; the committee there upon agreed that the representatives at the Conference of the Province should be appointed by its Synod. It appeared that Winnipeg had been chosen as the scene of the Conference without reference to Bishop Machray, who naturally should have been consulted, but the Bishop made no objection; on the contrary, he suggested, so as to give it every chance of success, that it should be held in Winnipeg in August, instead of September, as his Provincial Synod was called for the former month. The session of the Provincial Synod could be arranged so as to admit the holding of the Conference within the same time. His suggestion was adopted by the committee, who sent out an announcement of the change of date. Delegates to the Conference were appointed by all the Dioceses except Newfound land and Caledonia, the latter Diocese not then being organised, and the position of the former, a See in an independent Crown Colony, being somewhat different from that of the others.

Much exercised in spirit by the approach of the Conference, the influence and decisions of which, from its genuinely representative character, could not fail to be of the highest importance, Bishop Machray prepared for it by writing a paper or tract dealing with the burning question of the maintenance of the Provincial Synods from every point of view. This tract, though comparatively short--he was a man who never wasted words or time--was a masterly presentment of the whole subject, and was largely effective in settling the matter. After tracing the genesis and development of Provincial Church systems historically throughout the world, he adverted to the fact that in the Dominion all the other great religious bodies practically adopted the principle-- the Roman Catholics, the Presbyterians, and the Methodists had Provincial Synods, or their equivalents. The Church in Australia had a General Synod, a provision for Provincial Synods, of which one was in existence, and Diocesan Synods. The only exception to an otherwise universal rule was the Church in the United States, but it was an exception more apparent than real, because the last General Convention of that Church had passed a Canon authorising the formation of a Federate Convention or Council the Dioceses within any State--which was nothing else than a Provincial Synod.

Having shown the universality as well as antiquity of Ecclesiastical Provincial systems, he asked why should the creation of a General Synod for Canada call for the extinction of their present Provinces? He took the case of the Church in England; some thought it would be well if the Mother Church had a representative Council for the whole of England, but no one advocated the extinguishing of the existing Provinces of Canterbury and York--"such an idea would be at once scouted." The two Provinces had their own different characteristics, and it was felt that if there were a General Council the smaller assemblies would still have their uses. He continued:

But if ever it was desirable to have a separate Provincial Synod under a General Synod for the whole country, it is surely here. The vast extent and unwieldy character of the Dominion make it desirable to have more frequent meetings of portions of the Church than we can expect of the whole Church. Then, huge as this North-West of Canada is, there is a great community of interest and feeling among its people, and especially among those born in the country, and such feeling is in many respects different from that in Eastern Canada. But this is especially the case with the Church. It has expanded from the one Diocese of Rupert's Land. In our first days we were nursed by the C.M.S., and as our missions under their devoted missionaries have penetrated into and through the vast solitudes of the country, we have been helped by that Society with no niggard hand, and in what, even in these days, would be considered a Churchly manner.

I look over this vast country and, when the Diocese of Selkirk is formed, as I hope will be the case in a few weeks, there is no mission however lonely, no out post, that cannot look for early episcopal visitation and direction--the only awkwardness and inconvenience now being in the divided state of the Moosonee Diocese. It would be very foolish and very wrong in me to take credit for much in this great work. Yet I feel I have a responsibility, which I trust our Province will not generally ignore, but which, if it does, I cannot. I have this sense of responsibility because I feel that the confidence that the C.M.S. have had in me has helped in some measure to this result. And that confidence has been further extended to our Provincial Synod and our Provincial system from the welcome which we have apparently given with a whole heart to the Society's efforts. They have supplied not only missionaries through the vast regions of the North, but Bishops.

And we have met their noble and disinterested care for the Indian by every assurance of arrangements that would suit their views and method of work. We know very well the principles of that Society. Many, perhaps most of us, cherish them as our own. But however that may be, we have arranged for giving independence and a voice in our Provincial Synod to those small distant Dioceses, so that they cannot be over whelmed, and we have arranged for the appointment of Bishops in certain cases by the Society, and it is on the security of these arrangements, and their satisfaction with them, that the C.M.S. have acted. Whatever assurances might be given to us from the rest of Canada, I consider that we would be wanting in good faith if we were to place these arrangements in jeopardy, and I know no way of preventing this but by keeping our Provincial system intact.

He next considered the objections which had been raised against Provincial Synods. It had been alleged that they were in some way unscriptural, because, apparently, they were not mentioned in Scripture. The Bishop replied that the Bible gave no express rules for the future administration of the Church after it had become a great body; hence experience had to be the guide. He was confident that there was a presiding Bishop, presiding over Suffragan Bishops in a Province, before ever there was a Presbyter presiding over one or more Presbyters in a parish, and in the silence of Scripture the guiding of experience was enough. It was said that Provincial Synods in Canada would prevent the Canadian Church from emulating the great Church of the United States, the insinuation being that the division of the former into Provinces was accountable for some supposed deficiency in it when compared with the American. The Bishop said such a deficiency was purely imaginary, and urged the consideration of the "real facts":

We rejoice at the increasing numbers, the growing strength, the noble work in so many directions of the American Church. But let us not deceive ourselves. That Church finds itself in a great country of sixty million souls, with cultivated homes, with persons of vast wealth, with tens of thousands of families and individuals accustomed to travel in Europe, to stay for months in England, entering into the first society more or less, and getting insensibly into touch with the religious predilections and sentiments of that society. It needs little experience or knowledge of the world to learn that there is a great attraction in our Church for the members of such classes. Let us remove these and their large circle of connections from the American Church, and then ask ourselves how far that Church is the Church of the masses or those farmers, labourers, and tradesmen that we have happily largely to minister to, and I am afraid the answer would be too often a sorry one. Indeed, I do not think that if we compare the growth of our own Diocese with the growth of any Diocese of the American Church in proportion to the population, we have any cause to be ashamed.

Another objection to Provincial Synods was that financial help from Eastern Canada to Rupert's Land was, and would be hindered by their existence. The Bishop said he could not believe this was the truth. But he had never been sanguine that a union of the two Provinces would bring much pecuniary assistance to Rupert's Land, because, so far as mere organisation went, he regarded the Diocesan arrangements of the Church in the Province of Canada as seriously in the way of any united missionary effort of the Church--each Diocese being wrapped up in its efforts for itself. And surely the fact of their having a separate organisation in Rupert's Land should not make Churchmen in Eastern Canada averse from supporting them in their missions, seeing that the Church in Eastern Canada, though a separate organisation, had received much help from outside. And if it was thought that the confedera tion of Rupert's Land with "Canada" meant a leaning of the former on Canada at once in place of England for support, they might well hesitate to move a step forward--"Canada" having thus far done so little, comparatively, for North-West missions.

In fact, when we compare what "Canada" has done for Algoma ("Canada's" most necessitous missionary Diocese) with what English aid has accomplished for us, I am inclined to think that as far as there is any risk of our losing any of the sympathy and help of England, we are just joining Canada early enough. We are not at all able in this Province yet to part company with the Mother Church of England. If there is any notion of encouraging this, then if we are asked to cross the stream, we have every reason not first to burn the bridge of boats behind us. Further, though very friendly to confederation, I have no sympathy with it as any assertion of the time having arrived for our professing an independency of the Mother Church, and of our being of age to be a law unto ourselves.

For myself while I would welcome a confederation of the Church of England in the Dominion, and the formation of a General Synod, I have no hesitation in saying that if Eastern Canada demands, as the condition of union, that this our Province be dissolved, then we should firmly reply that we shall hold to our Province, and put off the union to a future and, we hope, not distant day, when we have no doubt the advantage of Provinces under a General Synod will be fully recognised. . . . 1 cannot but think that those whose minds are as clearly made up as mine is would act most frankly, while they would probably save the wasting of much valuable time, by passing a resolution (in the Provincial Synod) that this Province would only enter the confederation on the understanding that there would continue to be Provincial Synods under a General Synod.

This Church state-document, as it may well be called, was read by the Bishop at a meeting of the delegates to the Provincial Synod of Rupert's Land from the Diocese of Rupert's Land; the delegates at once requested the Bishop to have it printed and circulated among all the delegates attending the Provincial Synod, and throughout the Church generally. The Synod assembled on August 13, 1890, and was not closed until five days later. Four Bishops comprised the Upper House on this occasion--Rupert's Land, Qu'Appelle, Athabasca, and Saskatchewan and Calgary; the Lower House consisted of nearly seventy delegates, representing the seven organised Dioceses of the Province--Rupert's Land, Moosonee, Saskatchewan, Athabasca, Qu'Appelle, Mackenzie River, and Calgary. The delegates to the Conference arrived at Winnipeg in the same week, and there was much friendly exchange of greetings and of views. It was soon evident that while all were enthusiastic for the union, and full of hope as to the result of the Conference, there was a marked spirit of sympathy, conciliation, and good feeling, which found expression notably in the sermon with which the Synod was opened, the preacher being the Bishop of Toronto (the late Archbishop Sweatman), who took as his text, "Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Eph. iv. 3).

The main subject before the Synod, apart from the usual routine business, was the union Bishop Machray touched upon it in his Metropolitical Address, and referred to the approaching Conference. He warmly welcomed to Winnipeg the distinguished Bishops and others from the rest of the Church who had come to attend it. Turning to the special affairs of the Province, he mentioned that since the last Synod the Diocese of Calgary had been organised independently of the Diocese of Saskatchewan, though Bishop Pinkham remained for the time Bishop of both Sees, and that, at Bishop Bompas's request, there would be proposed a further division of the Diocese of Mackenzie River, the north-western portion of which would be formed into a separate Diocese, it would be suggested, to be called Selkirk (afterwards Yukon). Negotiations with respect to this division had been going on for some time between Bishops Machray and Bompas and the C.M.S., and the Society had agreed, in the event of the division being authorised by the Provincial Synod, to find the income for the new Bishop. With increasing years Bishop Bompas had experienced greater difficulty in visiting properly the vast tract included in his Diocese of Mackenzie River, had begged the Society to relieve him of part of it in this manner, and the Society, anxious to do anything for Bishop Bompas, one of its many heroes, had gladly consented. Selkirk was the eighth See to be taken out of the original Diocese of Rupert's Land.

The Provincial Synod having declared for the retention of the Provincial Synods, and having adjourned its session at noon on August 15 the Conference was opened in St. John's College at two o'clock on the same afternoon, there being present 7 Bishops, 33 clergy, and laity. Ten members of the committee of the Provincial Synod of Canada, at whose instance the Conference was summoned, were present:

The Bishops of Toronto (Dr Sweatman), Huron (Dr. Baldwin), and Nova Scotia (Dr. Courtney); the Revs. Canon Partridge (Nova Scotia), W. A. Young (Huron), Canon White (Ontario), the Hon. D. L. Hanington, Q.C. (Fredericton), and Messrs. R. W. Heneker, D.C.L. (Quebec), Charles Jenkins (Huron), and R. T. Walkem, Q.C. (Ontario). In addition to these delegates from Eastern Canada, that part of the Dominion was also represented by delegates from its various Synods: Mr. C. N. Vroom (Fredericton), Canon (afterwards Bishop) Thornloe (Quebec), Archdeacon Lindsay and Dr. Leo H. Davidson (Montreal), Rev. J. Langtry, D.C.L., and J. George Hodgins, LL.D. (Toronto), Archdeacon Dixon and Mr. J. J. Mason (Niagara), and Dean Innes and Mr. W. J. Imlach (Huron). British Columbia sent two representatives, both from the Diocese of New Westminster, Arch deacon Woods and Mr. Delacey Johnson.

The Provincial Synod of Rupert's Land declared all its members to be delegates; there were present the four Bishops, and the following clergy (twenty-four) and laity (fifteen): Dean Grisdale, Archdeacons M'Kay and Phair, Canons Cootnbes, Flett, Matheson, O'Meara, and Pentreath, and the Revs. F. Baker, W. E. Brown, W. A. Burman, H. B. Cartwright, A. W. F. Cooper, A. E. Cowley, L. Dawson, A. L. Fortin, A. W. Goulding, G. Holmes, A. Krauss, E. K. Matheson, J. F. Pritchard, J. P. Sargent, J. W. Tims, and A. H. Wright; and Colonel Bedson, Messrs. H. S. Crotty, H. Fisher, W. G. Fonseca, T. Gilroy, Sheriff Inkster, J. P. J. Jephson, F. H. Mathewson, W. J. Meirose, W. R. Mulock, Q.C., W. Pearce, J. Summer, J. Taylor, W. White, and Joseph Wrigley. To offset the numerical preponderance of Rupert's Land, voting was to be "by Dioceses."

Bishop Machray was appointed President of the Conference, and Canon Matheson (Rupert's Land) and Dr. Leo Davidson (Montreal) were selected as its Secretaries. After considerable discussion, in the course of which Bishop Anson, Archdeacon Lindsay, and Dr. Davidson advocated the dissolution of the Provinces with their Synods, while Bishops Baldwin and Pinkham, Dean Grisdale, and others, spoke for their retention, two resolutions were passed: (1) That this Conference is of opinion that it is expedient to unite and consolidate the various branches of the Church of England in British North America; (2) That in any scheme of union the Conference affirms the necessity of the retention of Provinces under a General Synod. The second resolution was carried by a large and decisive majority--to the deep satisfaction of Bishop Machray, who had been rather afraid that the project of union would fall through owing to the proposal to do away with the Provinces and their Synods.

Mr. Charles Jenkins, one of the secretaries of the committee appointed by the Synod of "Canada," submitted a memorandum which embodied the chief points of a probable basis of a Constitution for a General Synod. This memorandum was referred to a committee appointed by the Conference to draft an outline Scheme for a General Synod. The committee consisted of Bishops Machray and Sweatman, Dean Grisdale, Dr. Langtry, Canons Partridge and O'Meara, and Mr. C. Jenkins, Dr. Heneker, and Mr. Wrigley. They brought in their report on August i 6, and what was known as the "Winnipeg Scheme," which was this report with some amendments, was passed unanimously by the Conference. The Scheme provided for a General Synod, consisting of two Houses--a House of Bishops, and a House of Delegates chosen on a proportionate basis from the clergy and laity by the Diocesan Synods. The President of the General Synod, who was to be styled Primate, was to be elected by the Bishops from among the Metro politans. The Synod was to have power to deal with all matters affecting the general interest of the Church within its jurisdiction, but none of its Canons or resolu-- tions of a coercive character or involving penalties or disabilities was to be operative until accepted by the Provincial Synods, or the Synods of Dioceses not included in a Province. The following were suggested as properly coming within its jurisdiction

(a) Matters of doctrine, worship, and discipline.

(b) All agencies employed in the carrying on of the Church's work.

(c) The missionary and educational work of the Church.

(d) The adjustment of relations between Dioceses in respect to Clergy Widows and Orphans' Funds and Superannuation Funds.

(e) Regulations affecting the transfer of Clergy from one Diocese to another.

(f) Education and training of candidates for Holy Orders.

(g) Constitution and powers of an Appellate Tribunal.

(h) The erection, division, or rearrangement of Provinces; but the erection, division, or rearrangement of Dioceses, and the appointment and consecration of Bishops within a Province, were to be dealt with by the Synod of that Province.

The Scheme provided that the first meeting of the General Synod was to be held in Toronto on the second Wednesday of September 1893, and convened by the Metropolitan senior by consecration.

Bishop Machray and Churchmen of the North-West generally were well pleased with the Scheme, which, when the Provincial Synod of Rupert's Land resumed its session, was unanimously adopted, the necessary changes in the Constitution of the Provincial Synod being carried without a dissenting voice. Among these changes was the abolition of the Primacy of the Arch bishop of Canterbury over the Province of Rupert's Land. It may be noted in passing, that it was suggested, during the discussions on the Scheme, that the Primate of the united Church under the General Synod should be styled Archbishop, but the idea was not taken up, though one of the Diocesan Synods of Eastern Canada, a year or two before, had voted that the Metropolitans should be Archbishops. The "Winnipeg Scheme" was not received throughout Eastern Canada with unmixed approval, and for a time Consolidation was in jeopardy.

Assembling on October 28, 1890, the Diocesan Synod of Rupert's Land was addressed by the Bishop on the subject. He spoke of the Conference and its Scheme as a "great step towards the union," but he was careful to state that it was not a step, as some seemed to imagine, towards separation from the Mother Church of England. And there was still a grave divergence of opinion to be seen with respect to the retention of the Provincial systems; though the Scheme had apparently been adopted unanimously by the Conference, yet there were signs, since it had broken up, of the reopening of debate on this point. He warned the Church that if the matter was again to be considered an open one, and individual Synods declined to be bound by the resolutions of the Conference, it would probably be much more difficult to get such agreement on it again.

The growth of the Diocese was shown by the large numbers attending this Synod; at this time there were 58 clergy and 90 lay delegates on the list, though all were not present. The country continued on the CC up grade," land was again rising in value, settlement was increasing, and the outlook was much more hopeful. Many new churches were being built, and old ones were being enlarged or improved. Want of funds prevented the Church from placing missionaries in several new settlements, but still a large part of the field was occupied. The Indian missions were in a prosperous condition; between Easter 1889 and Easter 1890 the Bishop confirmed 300 Indians; the Indian Industrial School, established at St. Paul's, was doing well. The Bishop said to this Synod that the Church "had reason to be proud of it." St. John's College held its ground, though its debt was a heavy burden. The old College had been abandoned, and both students and boys were now housed in the new College. Of the former there were 23, 11 of whom were theological students, and of the latter there were; between them the College building was crowded.

Such, in brief:, was the position of the Diocese at the close of twenty-five years of the Bishop's episcopate--he had reached Red River Settlement in October 186 and it was now October 1890. In concluding his Address to the Synod, he referred to the twenty- fifth year of his episcopate having passed, and said, "The Diocese under me is very different from that which I undertook in early years with the thought and the hope of being allowed to do some service for the cause of Christ." He had now to face difficulties which he had not then contemplated--great difficulties, but he would remain at his post so long as he felt he was able to cope with its duties. The Synod replied in a resolution "We consider it a matter for supreme and most heartfelt thankfulness to Almighty God that this Diocese should have enjoyed for so long a period the wise guidance, the fostering care, and statesmanlike administration of our Bishop, and we should regard as nothing short of a calamity alike to the Church and the community at large any step that for many years would lead to the severance of the connection between Bishop and Diocese." This resolution was passed with acclamation, all members standing and singing "Praise God from whom all blessings flow."

Among the acts of the Provincial Synod of this year was one respecting the Metropolitical See of the Province. To retain it for the Diocese, the Diocesan Synod had resolved to leave the appointment of its Bishop to the Provincial House of Bishops, having first submitted three names for their selection. The Provincial Synod adopted this plan, with an alteration which, Bishop Machray said to the Diocesan Synod of 1890, was more favourable to the Diocese--instead of three names to be submitted, there were to be two. The question of religious education in the primary schools of Manitoba came up again in the Bishop's Address, but he dealt with it much more exhaustively in an Address to the Synod of 1893.

It was felt in Winnipeg and throughout the country that the passing of the twenty-fifth year of the Bishop's episcopate should be marked in a fitting manner by a presentation, and a sum of $2000 (£400) was collected in a very short time. Knowing very well that the Bishop would not accept any money for himself the committee who had the presentation in hand consulted him what was to be done, and it was arranged that a portion of the funds collected was to be spent on a fine brass lectern for the Cathedral, and the balance handed in a cheque to the Bishop, who should devote it to whatever Church object he chose to select. The presentation was made at Bishop's Court two days before Christmas 1890, by the committee, Dean Grisdale speaking for the clergy, and Mr. Wrigley, Chief Commissioner of the Hudson's Bay Company, for the laity. The Bishop, who was much moved, responded in a brief speech, touched on the past and present of the Diocese, and reiterated his intention to remain as its Bishop so long as he felt able to do justice in any way to the demands of the position. The lectern was bought, suitably inscribed, and placed in the Cathedral; the cheque for the balance was for over $1500 (£300); this sum the Bishop from other gifts made up to $2000, and gave to the Endowment Fund of St. John's College. This presentation, as an appreciation of his work by the Diocese, and as a token of the goodwill of all classes in the country, greatly encouraged the Bishop.

So far this narrative has dealt chiefly with what may be called the major incidents of the Bishop's episcopate and metropolitanship; it need hardly be said that all these major incidents had depending on them a great number and variety of minor incidents, but the constant introduction of the latter--to say nothing of other small matters, small, but going to make up the sum of a man's life--would have made this biography too crowded with details and too long. But it is worth while to pause awhile to take a brief glance at him and his life from day to day.

In 1890 he was in his sixtieth year, with health still perfect, intellect of exceptional vigour, force of character that had grown with the years, a capacity for work unabated and astounding, and a wide and deep experience in dealing with men and affairs--in a word, a great personality. His tall figure had filled out, and was at once striking and commanding. His unusual height, his face with its beautifully domed forehead, now lined, his fine eyes, powerful nose, great moustaches and beard turning white, instantly attracted attention wherever he went. He looked the leader of men he was. His habitual expression was thoughtful, serious, a little anxious, seldom severe. At times when the tender or humorous side of life appealed to him his expression changed wonderfully--the eyes grew soft with sympathy or sparkled with laughter. He knew how to deal with the boys of the College School, whose Head Master he was for so long, not less well than with the clergy and laity of the Diocese, whose Synods he "managed" with a light but firm hand. Regarding this capacity for controlling men, Archbishop Matheson sends the following:

By means of a little quiet humour he had a wonderful faculty of relieving a situation at meetings when matters had become tense, and angry feeling was developing. I remember an instance of this at a meeting of the Synod. A very worthy clergyman was speaking of the danger of taking books "with out care and examination" from a certain Church depository. In a very dramatic manner, with an almost tragic tone, he exclaimed:

"Fancy, your Grace and gentlemen, what happened to me at one of my country appointments. I gave as a prize to one of the children a Prayer Book brought from this very depository. It was a district filled with the staunchest of Protestants; in fact, the father of the child was an Orangeman. I wrote the name of the child in the book, but, fortunately, before giving it I happened to turn over the leaves and, will you believe it, I discovered on the next page nothing short of a picture of the Virgin Mary!"

Amid the silence which followed, the Archbishop paused, as if waiting for something to happen, and then said:

"Mr --------, what was the matter with the picture? 'Was it badly drawn?" and then added, as the silence continued, "We will now go on with the next business." The party spirit which was being aroused in defence of the Church depository was drowned in the laughter which followed.

On another occasion an aged clergyman was criticising some of the younger men for lack of pastoral visitation. His remarks were causing some irritation and were likely to call forth some sharp rejoinders. He ended by exclaiming, "Why, my lord, I have known myself to drive twenty-eight long miles into a lonely district to visit one lone woman, and I never returned empty. I generally had a bag of oats or something else put into my buggy." Looking up with a twinkle in his eye the Bishop asked, "Mr. --, about how many times in the year did you visit that lone woman? -- not too often, I hope."

About the beginning of the 'eighties the Bishop ceased to live in the College--the "old College"--and took up his residence in Bishop's Court, the very moderate-sized wooden building, originally constructed of logs, which repeated alterations and improvements, always at his own expense, had made into a fairly habitable dwelling. Here he did most of his work, rising betimes in the morning and going late to bed, living the simplest of lives. His forenoons were occupied with correspondence, lectures in the College, and classes in the College School; frequently his dinner was that of the College students and boys. At this time he was taking Higher and Ordinary Mathematics with the students preparing for the University, as well as helping with other University subjects. As the writer had been compelled by ill-health to resign the chair of Ecclesiastical History, the Bishop again took up the Professorship, adding part of its stipend to the Endowment for it. These lectures made him acquainted with the students. A large part of the care of the College School had now been handed over to Canon Matheson, the Deputy Head Master, who resided in a house attached to the old College, but the Bishop still saw to the general supervision. As has been said, the old College was abandoned in 1890, and has since been pulled down.

In the afternoons there were lectures or work for the school, interviews, committee meetings, calls to receive or make--an endless business repeated each week-day. In the evenings there were letters, often very long, to write--his correspondence was large and he had no secretary--lectures to prepare, exercises to correct, problems to set, plans to make, and the like. So would pass Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays. On Saturdays there was Sunday's duty to be prepared for--sermons and addresses. He generally had a very full day's work on Sunday, a Confirmation or other Service somewhere in the Diocese, often involving much travelling by either train or buggy. A life of hard work--always. To him the "office of a Bishop was not so much one of honour as of work," as he once said, quoting from St. Bede.

In the proper sense of the term he had no relaxations, and certainly he had no amusements. But he had one hobby. Bishop's Court had a fine old garden, and he took some pleasure out of it occasionally by trying to induce some long-irresponsive fruit-trees to grow--no easy matter in that semi-arctic winter climate. Several times, and at considerable expense, he brought numbers of these fruit-trees to Winnipeg from the south, and had them planted in his garden; sometimes they bore fruit, and then he was as pleased as a little child. At first, more often than not, they died from grasshoppers or other pests, blight, or frost, but towards the end he had quite a little orchard of apple-trees. This hobby of his had its useful side; he wished to prove that, if proper care were taken, Manitoba was a fruit country as well as a wheat country. The following anecdote, apropos of this hobby, is sent by Archbishop Matheson:

Illustrative of his regard for boys, his love for his garden, and pride in his apple-trees, almost the only apple-trees bearing fruit in Manitoba at the time, I will tell you what happened when I called to see him in the autumn before his death, when he walked with extreme difficulty, on account of the weakness' in his back, by the aid of two sticks.

"Have you seen my tree with the large apples on it?" he asked. "They are perfect beauties; come out with me, and I'll show them to you."

With that he led the way to the garden. When he entered it, and had proceeded some distance towards the apple- tree, he exclaimed:

"Oh, these naughty boys! . . . The apples are all gone; let us go back."

Noting his great disappointment, I felt indignant with the boys and remarked:

"Why, your Grace, don't you get a dog, and keep him in your garden to protect it?"

"Matheson, the dog might bite the boys," he replied, and quietly wended his way back to Bishop's Court.

During 1890 a Church monthly paper or magazine was started, called the Rupert's Land Gleaner, under the editorship of Canon O'Meara and the Rev. W. A. Burman. From the number for January 1891 is taken a list of some of the Bishop's engagements during a fortnight of his life at this time

January 6.--The Bishop presided at a meeting of the Provincial Advisory Board of Education.

January 7.--The Bishop presided at a meeting of the (University) Isbister Trustees.

January 9.--The Bishop presided at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Diocese.

January 11.--The Bishop preached a sermon for Indian Missions at Holy Trinity, Winnipeg.

January 12.--The Bishop in the morning celebrated the Holy Communion in the Cathedral, and delivered an address on missions; in the evening, took the chair at a missionary meeting in Winnipeg.

January 16.--Bishop presided at a meeting of the Indian Missions Committee.

January 17.--Bishop presided at a meeting of the committee of the Provincial Synod on Canons.

January 20.--The Bishop presided at a meeting of the C.M.S. committee for the Province of Rupert's Land.

Undoubtedly the most outstanding event in the history of the Church in Rupert's Land in 1891 was the Consecration of the Yen. Archdeacon Reeve as Bishop of Mackenzie River. Bishop Bompas, on the further division of the original See of Athabasca, to which he had gone in' 1874 as first Bishop, elected to retain that portion of it called Selkirk (Yukon), and relinquished the title of Bishop of Mackenzie River to the new Bishop. Dr. Reeve was consecrated at Winnipeg, on November 21, by the Bishops of Rupert's Land, Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan and Calgary, and the Bishop of North Dakota (Dr. Walker), and the Assistant Bishop of Minnesota (Dr. Gilbert). Bishop Reeve was a missionary of the C.M.S., who had done excellent and arduous work in the far north. The chief event of 1892 was the resignation of Bishop Anson, whom a sense of duty compelled to retire. "He did not retire, however, till he had left a happy memorial of his episcopate in the completion of an endowment of £10,000 ($50,000) for the Bishopric" of Qu'Appelle, as Bishop Machray, referring to him, said to the Provincial Synod of 1893.

Early in 1893 the great missionary Bishop of Moosonee, Dr. Horden, died. In May of that year the Rev. William John Burn, Vicar of Coniscliffe, near Darlington, was appointed Bishop of Qu'Appelle in succession to Bishop Anson, who had returned to England; Bishop Burn was consecrated in London by the Archbishop of Canterbury (Dr. Benson); the Bishops of London (Dr. Temple), Bangor (Dr. Lloyd), Christ Church (Dr. Julius), St. Andrews (Dr. Wilkinson); and Bishops Mitchinson (formerly of Barbadoes) and Anson. In August 1893 the Rev. Jervois Newnham, a graduate of McGill University, Montreal, was appointed Bishop of Moosonee in succession to Dr. Horden; his Consecration took place in Winnipeg, the officiating prelates being the Bishops of Rupert's Land, Athabasca, Saskatchewan and Calgary, Qu'Appelle, and North Dakota. So, in the late summer of 1893, the tale of the Bishops of the Province was complete Dr. Machray, Rupert's Land; Dr. Bompas, Selkirk; Dr. Young, Athabasca; Dr. Pinkham, Saskatchewan and Calgary; Dr. Reeve, Mackenzie River; Dr. Burn, Qu'Appelle; Dr. Newnham, Moosonee--seven Bishops and eight Sees.

Diocesan Synods were held on October 28 and 29, 1891, and on January 11, 12, and 13, 1893. The Bishop was able to announce that the General Endowment Fund of the Diocese had been raised by several thousand dollars from gifts, including a donation of $1000 from a "Manitoba farmer," and large grants from the S.P.G. (£500) and the S.P.C.K. (£1000). The annual income from this Fund now amounted to about $2500 (£500). But the missionary needs of the Diocese were ever increasing, and there was the usual struggle about ways and means; for the first time for some years the funds for the missions were insufficient, the deficit amounting to over $2000. To organise more thoroughly the Diocese from the point of view of contributing to the missions, a General Missionary, the Rev. George Rogers, who had been Rector of Brandon, was appointed. The sum to be raised in the country for home missions in the year 1893-94 was placed at $6000 (£1200). The General Endowment Fund of the College had been increased to £10,000 ($50,000), but the debt incurred in building remained the same heavy burden, about £12,000, ($60,000). To cope adequately with the University work taxed the resources of the College, but the local Government had passed an Act providing for a University Professoriate which, when established, would relieve the strain on St. John's and the other Colleges. These were the main points in the Bishop's Addresses, with the exception of two subjects--religious education in the primary schools and Church Consolidation.

With respect to the question of religious education in the common schools, the Bishop spoke at considerable length to the Synod of 1893, and his observations were afterwards published and widely distributed in pamphlet form. Having admitted that a good secular education was a necessity, he asked what was its effect when unaccompanied by religious instruction. There were data available for answering this question: such an education had existed in France for ten years, and in the Colony of Victoria for twenty; full evidence had been collected of the effects of non religious education in these countries. The Bishop tabulated certain inferences from these effects: pure secular education leads to a growing want of appreciation of the importance of religion, to a growing want of familiarity with Scripture, to a deterioration of tone and character in the young; the attempt to teach morals apart from the Bible fails, and the efforts to supply religious instruction independently of the schools fail; a system of pure secular education fails to be a genuinely national system. Referring to the primary schools of Manitoba, the Bishop said that there was no religious instruction in them, but on the other hand there were, as part of the routine of the schools, a prayer concluding with the Lord's Prayer, a reading from the Bible, and the inculcation of the Ten Commandments--"not small things in themselves," but not enough from the Church point of view. For the present, however, the Church was helpless; all its efforts being centred necessarily on the support of its missions, there were no funds for separate Church schools. "But," said the Bishop, "if things remain as they are, and still more if they get worse, our clergy must be very different from the 20,000 clergy of the Mother Land, if after some years, when it becomes practicable, they do not encourage schools of our own."

As late as January 1893, it was a little doubtful, owing to the attitude of some portions of the Church in Eastern Canada on the Provincial Synods Question, if the projected Consolidation of the Church would be carried further. The Bishop's attitude was shown in the closing words of his Address to the Synod of 1893:

The confederation scheme was considered by the Provincial Synod of Canada, and has again been sent down by it for the consideration of its Diocesan Synods. It is impossible to say what changes may still be proposed, and what may be the attitude of our Provincial Synod to these and to the changes already approved by the Provincial Synod of Canada. We, of course, can only be bound by the action of our own Province. Whether, however, a General Synod meets in September or not, it seems desirable that this Synod should elect representatives.

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