Project Canterbury

The Mind and Work of Bishop King

By B.W. Randolph and J.W. Townroe

With a preface by the Bishop of London.

London: Mowbray, 1918.

Chapter V. First Years of the Episcopate: Aim and Outlook

'THERE were perhaps fewer forecasts as to Bishop Wordsworth's successor than usually happens when a vacancy occurs in the episcopate. It was a time when prophets were often at fault. A well-informed parish priest, with a large knowledge of the English clergy, spent some hours of a wintry day during a period of convalescence, in 1884, in the singular task of "removing" the diocesan bishops and making new appointments. A few years later he found that the only case in which he had come anywhere near the mark was in sending Dr. King to the See of Oxford. A postcard from Mr. Gladstone reached Lincoln at the end of January, 1885; and, although it did not mention any one by name, his correspondent clearly understood that Dr. King would very probably become Bishop of Lincoln. The offer was made on January 28th, and within a couple of days it was announced that the nomination had taken place. There was practically no delay in arriving at a decision. It was not that Edward King had anticipated or desired the appointment. Devotion to the will of God was the ruling principle of his life; and so he had the gift of the pure in heart. We have seen it when he went to Cuddesdon, and again when he accepted the work at Oxford.

It would be almost possible to gather from his writings a series of maxims setting forth the whole praxis of spiritual and secular life as devotion to the will of God. He had always taught others to follow the lightest whispers of the divine will; and, of course, as he said to his friends, he must try to do it himself. Perhaps in some ways it was not so difficult for him as it might have been for others. In spite of all the happiness he had found at Oxford the responsibilities of the Pastoral Professorship had always weighed heavily upon him. It was with real joy and delight, as his letters at the time witness, that he found himself called to what would really be, in a great agricultural diocese, the pastoral work he loved with his whole heart. So the call came, and he simply rose up and followed. It was the third week after Epiphany, and the Christian Year, his constant companion, seems to have been much in his mind, telling of the beauty of goodness often found in the lives of the poor and the power of their prayers. It recalled his Wheatley life and work. In letters to many friends he rejoices that he is to be a "bishop of the poor." He wrote as follows to Dr. Heurtley, Margaret Professor of Divinity and one of his brother canons of Christ Church:--

"Sunday, February, 1885.


"I must thank you, if only in a few words, for your very kind note and good wishes. You will believe me that I go to this new work with mingled feelings. I cannot help feeling the loss of my dear mother again very specially. We came in here together, and I feel that I go out alone; and I shall go to people who will never have known her, as so many here have done. But I am thankful for the opportunity of trying to carry out the high example of courage and trust which she always set me, and I think she would wish me to go.

"I have, as you know, no great gifts, but, by God's goodness, I have a great and real love of His poor; and, if it should please Him to let me be the bishop of His poor and enable me to help them to see more what they are to Him, and what He is to them, I think I shall be happy.

"I shall trust to your prayers for me--at least sometimes. I never can forget the kindness you and Mrs. Heurtley, and all your family, have shown to my dear mother and myself; nor can I thank you enough for the high example of your life. I shall be thankful if I can carry off with me some of that conscientious sense of duty and Christian courtesy which you have ever set before me so abundantly.

"Yours most gratefully and sincerely,


The Diocese of Lincoln had centres where wealth abounded, but it was an agricultural county, and English agriculture was passing through its lean years. It is not perhaps fanciful to read in line after line of the verses of the Christian Year for the third Sunday after Epiphany words that may have seemed to him to point to the new sphere of work, a home where instead of having to make a continual struggle on behalf of belief, the light of faith had found its way; where the light and music of nature filled the dull plains and fens; where Christian worth in simple homes would gladden the pastor's heart even in times of depression; where a great house of prayer and love and full harmonious praise stood "high above." All idealized, of course, but a happy coincidence, and he would delight in it.

The Consecration took place in St. Paul's Cathedral on the feast of St. Mark. The bishop-elect was presented by the Bishop of Oxford and the Bishop of Ely, two of his staunchest friends on the episcopal bench. The consecrating bishops were Archbishop Benson, Bishop Temple of London, Bishop Mackarness of Oxford, Bishop Woodford of Ely, Bishop Thorold of Rochester, Bishop Wilberforce of Newcastle, Bishop Trollope of Nottingham, Bishop Walsham How of Bedford, Bishop Boyd Carpenter of Ripon, and Bishop Bousfield of Pretoria. Dr. E. H. Bickersteth was at the same time consecrated to be Bishop of Exeter. There was, as the Primate characteristically noted in his diary, "a mighty congregation of the followers of the holy and influential Canon King."

Many had been the hopes and forecasts of his episcopate. Mr. Gladstone had spoken of the high expectations of the Diocese of Lincoln after the reign of Bishop Wordsworth, and his assurance that he could make no better provision to save disappointment than the nomination of Canon King. Canon Scott Holland had written in rapturous words, "It shall be a bishopric of love. The love of God behind, above, and about you! The love of the Blessed Spirit alive with good cheer within! The love of the poor shining from you." Dean Lake of Durham foretold an episcopate that would retain freshness and fervour of feeling in face of all difficulties. Bishop Wilkinson of Truro anticipated its spiritual power. Dr. Liddon, who was the preacher in St. Paul's, gathered the spirit of all these hopes in his sermon, "A Father in Christ." It was a vindication of the office and work of a bishop in the Church of God. Much had happened during the three or four preceding years lend special interest to a pronouncement on the subject by one who was the foremost living preacher in the English Church, whose sermons it was said filled Ludgate Hill with as great a crowd of people on Sunday as was found there on a weekday afternoon. Bishop Mackarness had, on appeal in the Courts, vindicated the right of the bishops to a veto in the case of proposed prosecutions in matters of ritual. Archbishop Tait, acting as a Father in God rather than as a Minister of State, had, on his deathbed, brought peace to the much harrassed and prosecuted Parish of St. Alban's, Holborn. The preacher himself had lately dedicated to Dr. King a volume of sermons, in which he had expressed his opinion that the only hope of relief in the present Church troubles was to be found in the establishment of an Episcopal Court of Appeal for dealing with matters ecclesiastical. The powers vested or to be vested in the bishops formed one of the burning questions of the day. All this added largely to the importance of Dr. Liddon's sermon at the consecration. But it was when the preacher came to the personal aspect of his subject that he touched and thrilled the vast congregation in words that have been often quoted, and that perhaps no other could have so perfectly expressed. The bishops were Fathers in GOD. Such a relationship would depend on moral influences; on the respect inspired by firm and disinterested character; on the attraction exerted by a true love of GOD and man:--

"The eminent scholar and poet, not less saintly in his life than remarkable for his acquirements, who has lately left us, is to be succeeded in the See of St. Hugh by one whose nomination has thrilled the hearts of his brother Churchmen with the deepest thankfulness and joy. Never, probably, in our time has the great grace of sympathy, controlled and directed by a clear sense of the nature and sacredness of revealed truth, achieved so much among so many young men as has been achieved, first at the Theological College at Cuddesdon, and then from the Pastoral Chair at Oxford, in the case of my dear and honoured friend. He is surrounded at this solemn moment by hundreds who know and feel that to his care and patience, to his skill and courage, to his faith and spiritual insight, they owe all that is most precious in life and most certain to uphold them in the hour of death; and their sympathies and prayers are shared by many others who are absent from us in body, but present with us in spirit. Certainly, if past experience is any guarantee of what is to come, if there be such a thing as continuity of spiritual character and purpose, then we may hope to witness an episcopate which--kata taV proagousaV profhteiaV--if current anticipations are not wholly at fault, will rank hereafter with those which in point of moral beauty stand highest on the roll of the later English Church--with Andrewes, with Ken, with Wilson, with Hamilton."

The words were often recalled with joy and thankfulness in the Diocese of Lincoln. The bishop was a true father in God. He seldom claimed, even in his sermons, the relationship; but it was always there--bright, tender love and sympathy, and yet the firm strength of true fatherhood at the back; the heart always young, but, with it, the power and strength that made men trust him utterly. It was a day of almost unclouded brightness and happiness, and yet there were solemn and anxious thoughts in the bishop's mind. The appointment had called out fierce protests from the extreme wing of the Evangelicals, and the Church Association had tried to make trouble. So far all had gone well. Archbishop Benson's primacy promised to be a primacy of reconciliation. For a time troubles and difficulties might be ahead. There could be no compromise, no failure to uphold the truth, no treason to the Faith. It was St. Mark's Day, and the verses in the Christian Year must have had their message of hope and comfort. If disputes and divisions seem the inseparable lot of the Church in the world to-day, still--

"On their tasks of love and praise
The saints of GOD their several ways
Right onward speed, yet join at last."

The enthronement of Bishop King as the sixty-second Bishop of the Diocese of Lincoln took place in the cathedral on Wednesday, May 19, 1885. Previous to the service the Corporation of the City of Lincoln presented an address to the bishop welcoming him on behalf of the citizens. The bishop, in his reply, thanked the members of the corporation, and the city magistrates who accompanied them, for their kindly words of welcome, and said that it was his most earnest desire in coming to dwell amongst them to join with them in all efforts for the increased welfare of the city and diocese.

A great congregation assembled in the cathedral. The service was a celebration of the Holy Communion, at which the bishop celebrated for the first time in his cathedral church. After the Creed he delivered an address from the sanctuary-steps. Words and phrases that soon became familiar throughout the diocese made here their first appearance. Man's lost happiness could only be regained in fellowship with God. To bring man back again to Himself had been the one purpose of all God's dealings with humanity under the Old Dispensation. It had been made possible by the Incarnation of the Son of God, and was being carried on in the Church He had founded upon earth. It was the bishop's joy and responsibility to be called to share that work in the Diocese of Lincoln, and to ask all, clergy and laity alike, to share that happiness and responsibility with him. They were old and familiar lines of thought, but there was something in the personality of the speaker that gave a new power and force to the message. Everybody felt it. Sentence after sentence, fresh and crisp and clear-cut and appealing, spoken in quietness and simplicity and without any apparent effort, came home to every one in the congregation. There was the simple and fearless expression of his own mind and experience, intensely personal, and yet without the slightest trace of self-assertion. It was one of his special gifts, one of the gifts bestowed so sparingly in the world to-day. It was all perfectly and entirely natural--his gratitude, his trust, his joy and aspiration, his refreshment, his plans for the future, his hope that many of his hearers who lived at a distance would share his hospitality and the refreshment of the cathedral, his sense of divergent thoughts which might exist but must never make separations, his trust and reliance on their prayers. Every one was drawn to him. Here are one or two characteristic sentences from the address:--

"The same spirit of selfish individualism which separated man from God makes man self-willed and separates him from his fellows."

"It is the great work of God to bring man back again to Himself and into loving communion with his fellow men."

"Christ came to reconcile man to God, and man to man, and in time to remove the curse from Nature, and to bring into closer communion man and Nature, man and man, man and God.

"It is our great privilege, yours and mine, to share in this work of reconciliation, so that in God man may find that fullness of rest which apart from Him he cannot find--rest of the mind in knowing the truth, rest of the heart in coming nearer to the personal God in knowledge and love."

"Let there be a right emulation to see who can be quickest to find, who strongest to carry back, who most brilliant to rejoice in the joy that the lost is found."

In the afternoon an address of welcome, signed by four hundred and seventy-nine clergy of the diocese, was presented to the bishop by the Bishop-Suffragan of Nottingham, supported by Canon Wilde and Canon Perry, the proctors in Convocation.

In his reply the bishop said, "My first words must be words of thanksgiving to Almighty God for His unspeakable goodness in granting me the place of a chief pastor in His holy Church." Then followed words of gratitude to the clergy for their "loyal but too kindly-worded address," and one of those sincere and gracious references to his predecessor, Bishop Wordsworth, which were so frequently on his lips during the first years of his episcopate: "I know that under God I owe this loyalty and kindness almost entirely to the example and teaching of him whom not only this diocese, but all true English Churchmen everywhere, revere and love, my great predecessor, in whose well-marked footsteps it will be my great desire to tread." And then, after speaking of the work of the bishop and clergy as St. Paul describes it, "to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus," came one of those simple and moving references which now and again broke through the spirit of Tractarian reserve that nearly always kept inner life and personal experience in the background:--

"I am not very old yet in years, but I have known enough of bodily and mental suffering, both in myself and in others, to be separated, I trust, for ever from the allurements and ambitions of the world. My only reason for coming among you is to do God's will and to help others to find out the will of God as it is made known to us in Christ and by Christ in His Church; that in Christ we may all draw nearer to God and to each other." Here, as one of his friends used to say, was the secret of his untroubled and undisturbed calm in years to come, whatever tributes of praise or words of censure were passed on him. "Let me beg of you to give me forbearance and patience in your judgement of my words and actions, even when we agree; and, when we differ, at least to give me credit for disinterested sincerity." The bishop ended with the expression of a fervent hope that a real personal friendship might soon spring up between the clergy and himself.

It had been a great and wonderful day for the bishop, and really for the diocese. Links of friendship and sympathy had been formed which augured well for the future. The bishop and his clergy knew and trusted one another, and the trust grew and increased as, month by month and year by year, it became more evident that the episcopate of Bishop King was not a ministry of controversy, but always and everywhere a ministry of pastoral love and sympathy. He had a full and definite Gospel to preach, and he delivered it fully and simply everywhere--in the cathedral, in 'great town churches, in the villages, in retreats, in quiet days, at Confirmations--the Gospel of the grace of God, manifested in the Incarnation of His Son, and coming with the fullness of the blessing of Christ in His holy Church.

One who knew the bishop in the early days of his episcopate writes: "I wonder whether I dare try to write reminiscences of the days when he first found himself in Lincoln and began to settle down there. It was all very different from the Oxford life; and yet there was the cathedral with its great broad tower and its memories of great bishops in the past; and its promises and possibilities of the future; and the Old Palace where bishops had lived in the past, and where his house was to be built before so very long. It was at first, perhaps, rather a lonely life, yet with glimpses of the past coming into it. There were all kinds of earnest and good people round him, but he was hardly yet one of them. He had visions of what might be, but he often lived in what had been. Great memories of the past, in which he felt he had, if a small, a very real part, pressed on him--Pusey and Keble and Marriott, and all the great Tractarian traditions. He had been, at any rate, a disciple. It was a background of life, a world into which it was possible to withdraw, from which there came streams of strengthening and steadying influence. New days and new thoughts were ahead, and he had to guide a Church in the midst of them. Many, half the world over, men who had formed his spiritual household at Cuddesdon or at Oxford, would look to him for guidance and direction.

"And then there was the smaller world--the Lincolnshire world--that was to be his first care. It was so different from the surroundings of the last twenty years, so much simpler in a way, and yet with its own complex problems and manifold interests. Perhaps he hardly realized it himself, but in those first days and afterwards he was in a special sense a bishop of the whole English Church, and not merely Bishop of Lincoln. And yet Lincoln and Lincolnshire were his last great gift from his Lord. And it all appealed to him so wonderfully. At Oxford there had of late years been always the terrible task of holding the fortress of belief in God. It had sometimes seemed in absolute danger. The sixties and seventies had been years of immense strain. Here it was different. There was, at any rate, the simple belief in God. It gladdened and helped him, and brought increasing brightness and happiness into his life. It was something to build on. There was hope of bringing the blessings of the Church to the people, even the poorest. Bishop Wordsworth had laid a strong foundation, and he was called to build upon it. In somewhat later days there was the perpetual call and inspiration of the busy city below the hill. It was pleasant on a summer evening, sauntering up and down the terrace of the Old Palace garden, looking over the city to the hill beyond; but "life is not made to loiter on terraces," he used to say. The city, the foundries, the great chimneys, the buzzers calling the men to work, were perpetual inspirations. The men in the streets, the surging crowd at half-past twelve going to dinner, the bright faces, the eager energy, the rapid talk, the children meeting their fathers--how it all touched him. It made him long to win them to the fullness of the Faith. An opportunity soon offered, and he told them what was in his heart. It was at a gathering of foundry men in one of the mess-rooms for the inauguration of the Winter Session of the Chancellor's Night Schools. When it came to him to speak he told the men of the love for Lincoln that was growing in his heart, and--to their immense amazement--of the prayers he prayed for them every morning when he heard them pass on their way to work under his window at Hilton House. The cheer with which they burst in upon his words was the proof and pledge of the friendship they offered him, and which, through all his years at Lincoln, was one of the great happinesses of his life."

Instead of waiting the usual three years, Bishop King held his Primary Visitation in October, 1886, after he had been eighteen months in the diocese. It was written with great thought and care, chiefly during a summer holiday at Buxton. He had gained, it is evident from the contents of the charge, a full and sufficient knowledge of the circumstances of the diocese; and he was anxious to make the delivery of his primary charge to the clergy and churchwardens an opportunity for putting forward as fully and clearly as possible what he felt to be the aim and purpose of his episcopate.

It is the nearest approach to a piece of constructive theological work that Bishop King ever undertook. It was often thought that he might some day write a great book on Christian Ethics; but the demands upon his time and powers soon made it evident that such a task could never be undertaken. This must be the reason for dealing in some detail with the charge and the circumstances of its preparation and delivery. He had entered with fullest sympathy into the work of the Church in the diocese with his extraordinary power of seeing the best everywhere, and judging rather by what was being aimed at than by what was being actually accomplished. He had visited a very large number of parishes, and made hosts of friends. His frank sincerity and his enthusiastic love of goodness had largely disarmed any lingering suspicions or opposition. Some of the odd and amusing stories of these days are ben trovato, though they may have had no other foundation. His meeting, for instance, on a station platform a clergyman who was generally supposed to be in many ways fiercely opposed to the new bishop: "They tell me you are my greatest opponent in Lincolnshire. I am sure we shall be good friends when we get to know one another"; or the merry twinkle of his eye when a severe Evangelical layman, who was on some public occasion entertaining him at luncheon with the chilliest of exact courtesy, passed the salt to the bishop: "We must be friends now that we have eaten salt together."

The Confirmations had brought him into touch with the young men and girls and children of the diocese, of whom he had confirmed more than five thousand. A number of new churches had been consecrated, and he had seen the diocesan organizations and their committees at work. There was much that gave grounds of hope. "Of all the answers to my visitation questions there is only one instance in which definite unbelief is mentioned. In the main our people are believers in God and in our Lord Jesus Christ; they are baptized; they hold to the Bible; they are frequent in prayer and praise. Truly in all this there is matter for great thankfulness and hope." "I do not gather from the visitation returns that actual godlessness is as prevalent amongst us as I have sometimes feared." It must be borne in mind that in 1886 Lincolnshire was much more outside the main current of English thought and experience than it is to-day. There were no really large towns, and the majority of the people lived quiet lives in the country with a steady, if not altogether enthusiastic, respect for the traditional religion of the countryside.

The form and contents of the charge clearly show how much all this had impressed the writer. He begins by taking it for granted that faith in God and respect for a Christian standard of life are more or less to be found everywhere; and while he urges that definite teaching is necessary to make these things secure, he feels able to build upon them the great work he was convinced he had been sent to Lincoln to accomplish--"To bring home to the people, and especially to the poor, the blessings of the Church." The expression occurs time after time in the charge. It shows clearly and distinctly the bishop's mind as to the great aim and purpose of his episcopate; "What is the special work, then, which God has called me to do? If I am not too presumptuous in speaking so definitely of myself in relation to God I will say, I hope, if it be His will, that my work may be to bring home to the hearts of the people, and especially of the poor, the blessings of the Church." "It seems to me that to this point God has been bringing us during these last thirty years. The very foundations of the Faith have been assailed; but, thanks be to God, they stand for many of us firmer than before, or rather we stand firmer in our relation to them."

The bishop is emphatic in the expression of his conviction that Faith in God can only attain its full measure in the Church, and that Christian character can only be perfected in the power of the Holy Spirit and by graces ministered through the Church of Christ.

There is, of course, much in the charge that is now perfectly familiar to all Church people. The bishop deals at length with difficulties which were often encountered in teaching the doctrine of the Holy Catholic Church, and the remedies he proposed to meet them. He had received his own deepest religious experience in the days when a vivid faith in the Church was almost a new thing for English people. It had been bound up for him with the deepest and best things of his spiritual life. At times, perhaps, even with his extraordinary gift of intellectual and spiritual sympathy, he found it difficult to understand the coldness and indifference, and even prejudice and suspicion, with which so many people regarded this Article of the Apostles' Creed.

But although there is much that is quite familiar in the bishop's exposition of his subject, there is one passage which must be quoted at length, and which may almost be said to be his own contribution to the doctrine of the Church:--

"Another more subtle difficulty lies in the apparent paradox in the use of media. The soul is jealous of any interference between itself and God. Possessing powers for the enjoyment through eternity of the unveiled vision of God, the soul is impatient of the mediatorial kingdom; it feels the restraint of times and places and persons; it longs for the Communion with God and with the saints in heaven, where the Lord is the Temple. This fear of interference between the soul and its God makes the soul jealous of Sacraments, of Priesthood, of Creeds, of a Church, even in some cases of a Bible.

"This jealousy for union with GOD is worthy of the greatest respect and consideration, for it speaks of a great past, and is a pledge of a still greater future. But it needs fatherly instruction and correction. We are on our way back again to God, but it is as those who have fallen from God, and we need the discipline of times and places and persons, if we are to inherit the fullness of the freedom that is prepared for us, and to follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. We need to consider the apparent paradox that by separation and limitation God is reconciling the world back again to Himself. God loved all the world, yet He chose one nation to be His own; God loved the chosen people, but He chose one particular tribe to minister in holy things. He loved all the sons of Levi, but chose the family of Aaron to be His priests. God was in all the world, yet He chose Jerusalem to be the city where He would dwell. In the language of Scripture, 'God deviseth means that His banished be not expelled from Him.'"

It is, as Bishop Magee ("who, of all the bishops at that time on the bench, possessed the acutest and most vigorous intellect") wrote at the time, "a thought which runs out very far and very deep under all our Christian life. The impatient instead of the 'patient waiting for Christ' is seen, when we come to think of it, to be the source of no small part of our ecclesiastical and even our personal errors and troubles."

Extraordinary changes passed over English national life as well as over English religious life between 1829, the year Edward King was born, and 1910, the year he died. The England in which he grew to manhood was almost beyond description different from the England of his episcopate. In 1829 the population of the country was under twelve millions, in 1910 it was close on forty millions. It was the era of the growth of the great towns and great centres of population. At its beginning the Church seemed effete, worn out, useless; at its end, it had passed through strange and marvellous revivals, and was once more upon its trial, facing a new world with new challenges and new perils. Edward King lived his life of eighty years through it all. He had in some degree faced and measured it, and he had without dispute left a real mark upon the religious life of his times. He would have said, and of course it is true, that he had only a share in what a large number of men were engaged in doing; but his influence was, perhaps, more widespread than that of most of them.

The Oxford Movement had brought the claims and powers of the Church to the front again. Its leaders were men of calm and studious lives, only thrust into prominence by unwelcome controversies and persecutions. The movement was at first an appeal to the clergy, but it soon began to feel its way into the towns. It was hopeless to expect that a clergy trained, or rather untrained, as the English clergy had for the most part been, could cope with the spiritual needs of the great masses of the people gathered in the growing towns and cities of the land.

It was the beginning of the problem which almost overwhelms the Church to-day. The clergy need to be trained, and the twenty-five years of Edward King's life that followed his ordination were devoted with marvellous success to a share in this great work at Cuddesdon and Oxford. Previous chapters have attempted to give some idea of his influence in training and moulding men for work in the large town parishes. He lived and worked quietly in the background, but the work told. It had a simplicity and intensity which sprang from a heart aflame with pastoral love, and passionately interested in human life and character. The episcopate gave him the opportunity of bringing the same influence into the villages and towns of Lincolnshire. It would be interesting indeed if he had kept a diary of thoughts and hopes and impressions, something that would have shown the secrets of his inner life. Nothing of the kind has been found among his papers. If he ever made such notes he must have deliberately destroyed them. Perhaps he felt that his whole outlook on life and the world was too simple to commit to writing. He used laughingly to say that he had only four or five sermons, and that his chief perplexity was to find fresh collars and cuffs for them. He meant that "one thing was needful." Perhaps too he felt, as so many others have felt these last forty years, that the changing circumstances and claims of life were demanding, not, perhaps, so much new statements of the Faith--that is one and unchanging--as ever-new applications of its claims to guide and direct souls in the manifold intricacies of daily life and conduct. There has, however, been found a short but touching and interesting fragment, in which the bishop, during a few quiet hours at the beginning of a holiday in 1887, set down in one of his sermon notebooks some thoughts on his own life at that time, and his hopes and plans for the future. The notes are fragmentary and incomplete, but they are, perhaps for that very reason, the more interesting.

They are, so far as they go, a sketch and outline of thoughts and plans which occupied his mind throughout his episcopate. They were written on his mother's birthday. He is just starting for his holiday abroad, and the date is:--

"Aug. 21, 1887.

"Ah! what do I not owe to this day, my dearest mother's birthday!

"I fear of late I have sadly fallen from her bright example. Her brightness and unselfish cheerfulness in making others happy even in her own broken widowed life at Cuddesdon and at Oxford. How was it? Not by crushing out the family life and love which remained, but by a singular continuance of her own life encircled in its own peculiar communion with God--by the continuing sense of duty which pervaded her life--religious, domestic, social. Her devotions, attendance at church, devotional reading, etc., household duties, family letters--keeping the family together--letters on business, presents, visits, calling on neighbours--all this was done on a principle of duty which gave her a peculiar independent satisfaction, and left upon others a sense of strength and brightness which was most refreshing and invigorating.

"And how am I to follow this?

"Only as she did, by God's help.

"By maintaining my own communion with Him in the midst of all my work--St. Bernard's Vacare Considerationi. ["Get time to think," as the bishop often quoted it.]

"Communion implies union of the thought and conscience, regulated human will with the divine will.

"By study.

"Where am I?

"Thank God, more restful than I once was. How can I be thankful enough for Cuddesdon and Oxford? Most wonderfully God has answered my indefinite desire.

"The Catholic Faith, D.G., I never doubted; only, may God give me grace to see His truth with sufficient clearness to know and do His will.

The basis of ethics, and the characteristics of heathen and Christian ethics, D.G., Oxford made clear to me and more strong than ever.

"(a) Personality.
"(b) Responsibility.
"(c) Freedom.
"(d) Power.
"(e) Duty.

"Personal ethics send me to social ethics.

"Man finds his individual perfection in the State, with the aid of external law.

"This brings me to where I am, and points to two considerations and lines of future study.

"The Catholic Church, as the one state or city of God in which man, through the supernatural assistance provided for him and in the Communion of Saints, finds his highest individual perfection and happiness in the love of God and of his neighbour.

"'Fecisti nos ad Te, Domine,' etc.

"I must read the history of England generally; give especial attention to the constitutional development, the history of the growth of our constitution.

"This I ought to do to understand the indefinite national sentiment which strongly influences people of very different degrees of knowledge.

"This I ought to do to fit myself, if it please God, for any opportunities of work which may come to me in the House of Lords.

"This I ought to do in order that I may help the people not to lose the high ethical opportunities offered them in different kinds of local government--parochial, county, etc.; regarding such systems as opportunities for united exercises of social, political, national life.

"This I ought to do to fit myself for the work in Convocation, so as to remove as far as possible all needless antagonism between true national loyalty and the extra-national duties to the Church.

"I must try to arrange a course of English history in different groups.

"I must study the Catholic Church. Thank God, not for myself, but to see how I may bring it home to the hearts of the people.

"Dissent is wrong and ought not to be.

"A divided Christendom is wrong, and ought not to be."

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