IT was the invariable rule of Bishop WELLES to preach from manuscript, though he frequently extemporized in the course of delivery, to accommodate his discourse to the need of the hour or place.
His manner of preaching was most simple, with the single gesture made with the fore-finger.
In the following selection of Sermons and Addresses, which is necessarily limited, it is purposed to present as far as possible, the scope and discrimination of the Bishop's mind; to let his words answer, for themselves, all questions in regard to matters of doctrinal and polemical interest; also to give what may prove helpful to lay readers in the Diocese and elsewhere.
The higher purpose of the whole Volume, undoubtedly, is to give the key-note of the Bishop's life. With rare power and insight, the Bishop of Chicago, in the memorial sermon on Bishop WELLES, told the motto and purpose of that life:
'"IN QUIETNESS AND IN CONFIDENCE SHALL BE YOUR STRENGTH.'"Isaiah xxx., 15.
"Hung upon the walls of his library, in letters of gold, these words were very familiar to him, who, for fourteen years, discharged the duties of the Apostolic office in this Diocese; they may express the inner realities of his life and point us to the true measure of his greatness.
"This motto, which my departed brother had before his eyes daily, in sickness and in health, is a revelation of his inner life. It furnishes the key-note of his character as a man and a Bishop. * * * Where, if not before the Throne, did he learn the lesson of quietness and confidence? Ah, there let us find the secret of his silent fortitude, his loving patience, his incessant activity, his beautiful cheerfulness, his serenity of soul, when storms raged and the strife of tongues was like thunder in the air.
"Not without manifold infirmities, not without that life-long conflict common to all, between the old Adamic nature and the nature begotten of the Holy Ghost in baptism, did he journey from the font to the grave, but as a man and as an ambassador of Christ, he was always and everywhere dominated by honest desire and endeavor to do the will of his Maker and Redeemer. Transparently true of him was the language of S. Paul, 'For to me to live is Christ.'
"When I speak of my departed brother having trained himself to such a relationship to the Divine will through the long disciplines of frail health, bereavement, and official trials, I would not desire to convey the impression that by severe reaction from abounding evil, he had taken refuge in the dreamy splendors of mysticism.
"I can imagine, that had his lot been cast in that dark epoch at the close of the fourteenth century, when political and ecclesiastical corruption threatened the very foundations of society, his face might have been found among 'the calm sweet faces of the Benedictine monks,' in holy retirement from the hopeless disorder of God-forgetting age."
The sacredness of the spoken word was a living principle in Bishop WELLES' entire ministry. Amid the restless and garish preaching so common to day, the disciplined enthusiasm, which was his, and the intense sympathy of a nature, to whom the Gospel was very real, made the Bishop preach what he indeed believed. "Thou, O God, hast made us for Thyself, and our heart is restless until it rests in Thee."
The memoir brings together three whose willing hands and loving, staunch hearts sustained the Bishop throughout his life, and who now count it a joy to pay this tribute.
It is felt that friends of the Bishop will be glad of this memoir; perhaps with materials at hand, some day, it may be expanded into a Life.
The Journals kept by the Bishop in his youth and early manhood, are full, and reveal a depth and poetic richness which, in his humility, he hid even from those most intimate with him.
When he was elected to the Episcopate of Wisconsin, (The name of the Diocese was changed to that of Milwaukee in 1887) some friends in the East wished to present Bishop WELLES with a set of Episcopal vestments of cope and mitre.
His answer was, that his work in the Diocese was other than restoring the use of the ancient vestments of this office, greatly as that was to be desired. But he believed and prayed that the customary Episcopal habit, because so secular in its origin, would soon give place to the vestments of the Princes of His Spiritual Kingdom who, for the High Priest of the older Dispensation, commanded "Holy garments to be made for glory and for beauty."
It was God's will, however, that Bishop WELLES should wear, at his last Confirmation, the ancient vestments which he so truly held to be a part of our Catholic heritage; and that, too, with an association very dear to him, as the cope came from a church erected by Dr. Pusey, whose bust was before the Bishop in his study, whose character he has been thought to resemble in humility and entire freedom from affectation, and whom he fondly venerated as "one of the noblest examples of consecrated learning, who has left to the Catholic Church an enduring heritage of saintliness."
A second portrait represents the Bishop in the vestments he wore at his final Confirmation.
One very dear to him has said: "I have known only two, one person besides Bishop WELLES, who seemed ready to take up the joys of Paradise without any change from the manner and mode of their life on earth. He seemed ripe for Paradise."
As a Bishop of the Church Catholic, he will be clad forever in the outward and beautiful vestments of his high office. For on earth he was all glorious within, "So merciful that he was not remiss; so ministering discipline that he forgot not mercy" (Consecration office). And so, "when the Chief Shepherd shall appear," may this stainless Prelate and dear Father in God "receive the never fading Crown of Glory," and may it be his supreme joy at that supreme moment to bring with him the Flock over which the Holy Ghost had set him "to feed the Church of God which He hath purchased with His own Blood." Amen.
Youth and Early Manhood
By the Rev. W. T. Gibson, D.D.
EDWARD RANDOLPH WELLES, second son of Gardner Welles, M. D., and Paulina Fuller Welles, was born on the 10th of January, in the year 1830, at Waterloo, where his parents resided, a half-shire town of Seneca County in the State of New York.
His father, who came from an old Church family in Connecticut, was a physician of wide reputation for professional skill and good judgment, was one of the curators of Geneva Medical College, and took high rank in the medical societies to which he belonged. We remember him as a man of exceedingly amiable and gentle nature, with a keenly humorous, but kindly appreciation of the peculiarities of his fellows. We believe he was one of the few physicians of those days who could hardly be said to have an enemy.
EDWARD'S mother was a native of Massachusetts, who came into the Church in her early life, and was a very intelligent, refined and gentle lady, whose happy influence was most marked in moulding the character of her sons in accordance with the obligations and privileges of their baptism.
There is doubtless such a thing as a heredity of goodness also, which Divine Providence seems to have had in view in the institutions and laws of His chosen people Israel. It can be only in this sense, or for this reason, that a true meaning can be attached to Wordsworth's line, "The Child is father of the man."
The same design of Providence was carried into the Holy Catholic Church of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, intended to be the Nurse and Home of all Christian families, which He hath redeemed unto Himself to be a "peculiar people, zealous of good works." "When it has had free play in the life of a nation, as in England now for several centuries, it has realized the Divine promises "unto the third and fourth generation," and has raised up out of its blessed surroundings of infancy and youth, great numbers of noble Christian men, of as high a type of moral excellence and intellectual superiority as was ever illustrated in any age or country of human history.
The old precept to "train up (or catechise) a child in the way he should go," had the promise attached to it fulfilled in this household.
As a genial writer in the Literary Churchman has said: "Thank God that He has made our life all one. Childhood grows into youth, and youth into manhood, and manhood is a childhood for eternity. So that all good habits formed early and retained, go forward, and are carried on in the spiritual ac; count. Samuel the child, becomes Samuel the judge, and Samuel the prophet, and takes his place in the ranks of the loyal and obedient, to whom God's will has become their will, and he joins at last in the unceasing hymn,""The goodly fellowship of the prophets praise Thee." Sweetly and strongly, indeed, did the boy of whom we are writing illustrate these simple but most pregnant words. When the "Evangelical lady" to whom Mr. Gladstone alluded in his review of a recent famous romance, on being congratulated upon the "sensible conversion" of her son, replied, that "Divine grace would find very little to do in her son William" let us hope that it was her motherly instinct protesting against the doctrinal disparagement of Christian training, and a confession that the Baptismal Gift may work from the beginning upon every "member of Christ, and child of God, and inheritor of the kingdom of Heaven."
The writer first became acquainted with the subject of this sketch at the close of the year 1844, when we retired from the editorship of a newspaper in Geneva to take a position as classical teacher, and afterwards as Principal of the Waterloo Academy, an institution at that time of a high order, under the old regime, with special relations to the Regents of the University, and before it had become merged into the public school system of the state. The teacher (as all earnest teachers do) formed the warmest attachment for a pupil who seemed to be full of the enthusiasm of learning. There was absolutely nothing in the nature of taskwork in his studies; all was eagerly and steadily performed con amore. He entered into the spirit of everything and enjoyed the beauties and the poetry of the classics as thoroughly as he learned rules and grammar. He had the advantage, indeed, of quite a number of fellow students of similar ambition, though he was facile princeps of a class of fifteen or twenty, nearly all of whom entered shortly after at Hobart or Hamilton, some of whom have attained high places in life. Young WELLES especially delighted in one exercise of which we made much use, that of written translations both from ancient languages into modern, and from modern into ancient. It was a pleasure to observe the great pains he took even with the merest minutiae, to get the most finished translation that could be made of the speeches in Sallust and Caesar, or difficult passages from Virgil and other authors. This exercise is a far better discipline for imparting command of language with philological accuracy than the usual attempts of boys at "original compositions," which, of course, become necessary in later years of college.
Without going further into details which would transcend our restricted space, these habits will furnish the sufficient key to what his college course would be. He remained at the Academy until he was prepared for the sophomore year, upon which he entered at Hobart in 1847, thus graduating in 1850.
One of the pleasantest reminiscences of these school-days is connected with S. Paul's Church, of which the Rev. D. H. Macurdy and the Rev. Edward Livermore were successively the rectors, who made this one of the most famous parishes in the diocese, both for its parish school as well as its splendidly organized Sunday School. Both of these beloved clergymen were quiet men of refined and scholarly tastes, but their sermons were an education to that people, and took hold of both heart and understanding, while their pastoral work and intercourse with all classes seated them in the affections of their congregation to a degree that was scarcely realized until after their departure. It was the former who baptized the writer, and the latter who baptized the first of the writer's children, and it was from both that he, as well as the subject of this memoir, first learned the true Catholic principles of the Church and the Book of Common prayer, at that time so scantily recognized in ordinary parish teaching and practice. The latter had the habit of catechising the whole school together before the close of each session, and the text book was one that has not since been much improved upon, "Beaven's Help to Catechising" Our boys from the Academy formed one of the classes in this school, and remained steadily under this instruction up to the very time of their departure for college. Such was the training that was found to be full proof against the temptations of college and later life. It was not a cramped and perverted boyhood, moulded into an unnatural and gloomy pattern, such as we have often seen under Calvinistic training; but as we often witness in our boy choirs of to-day, along with perfect subordination and order in the strict performance of duty, there was also free play for the flow of animal spirits"the love of fun and muscular activities, and the life of our boys, both out of doors and in, was one of general happiness and good nature.
His college course was marked by evidences of unusual maturity and thoughtfulness, as well as gentleness and purity of character. It goes without saying that he would be industrious, punctual and thorough in his work. His reverence and sincerity were shown in his compositions, and many of his translations from the German and the Greek evince a subtle and delicate poetic taste. It was while he was in college that his mother died (in 1849.) This event seemed but to intensify the earnest, religious tone and character of his thoughts. His journal, or diary at this time, shows in a wonderful way how the Lord leads His chosen ones through the path of sorrow. No young man could have felt a deeper love for his mother. Among his papers is found a copy of verses, "To My Mother" "that
"Departed, dearest, sainted one,"
owning that there was "nothing of good" in his character or efforts, of which, under God, "she did not sow the seed." The subject of his Commencement oration the next year shows the permanent spiritual effect of such an experience in his case. It was, Via Crucis, via Lucis"an unusual topic, it must be admitted, for a Commencement piece. It was at the same Commencement that the Rev. Dr. Clarke, whom he afterwards induced to become a professor at Nashotah, in his diocese, delivered the Master's oration.
Shortly after his graduation he one day entered the office of a prominent lawyer, a relative by marriage, at Waterloo, with the remark that "whatever life work he might finally undertake, it would do him no harm to study the science of law, for a while." The lawyer expressed a very decided assent to that proposition, not much believing, however, that he would make it his vocation for life.
At the end of about a year of study, he informed his preceptor that, after much reflection upon the subject, his convictions of duty were impelling him to give himself to the ministry of the Church. That gentleman says of him, "He was a model man in all the relations of life, quiet, peaceful, deliberate, self-poised and firm in his convictions when formed."
It was during this period, that for the sake of his health, he occasionally accompanied the writer in a topographical survey of Seneca County, which he was then engaged in making for the late John Delafield, Esq., President of the State Agricultural Society, and the Father-in-law of the present Bishop of Maine. This involved, of course, a good deal of driving and walking in the open air, during one of the pleasantest summers of our recollection, and the confidences and companionship of that period cemented the previous friendship into a mutual love that has lasted through life. We shall never forget the amused expression of his most kindly countenance, on a certain occasion, as we rushed out of a neighboring farm house to the spot in the center of a railway track at its intersection of a highway where we had left our theodolite, expecting to find it demolished by a train that had just shot by without warning. Though at some distance off, he had heard the rumbling, got beforehand with us, and rescued our treasured instrument, though it took some moments to convince us of the reality.
It will be seen from the depth of his character that Mr. WELLES was not apt to act from impulse. We regard it rather as a mark of his deliberate and thorough way of coming to final convictions of duty, that he was not confirmed until in his twenty-third year, on the 7th of March, 1852, by Bishop De Lancey, to whom he was presented with ten others in S. Paul's Church by the Rev. Mr. Livermore.
In the autumn of that year, he entered the family of the Hon. John Magee, formerly a member of congress, and a very prominent and influential citizen of Bath, in Steuben County, as tutor to his children. While here, he was admitted a candidate for orders, Oct. 1st, 1853. He studied more or less under the direction of the Rev. Dr. Wilson, then a professor in Hobart College, who, long before the Training School was founded at Geneva, had prepared many of the graduates of Hobart and others for the ministry, among whom we may be permitted to mention the names of Bishops Neely and Paret, the Rev. Drs. Hayes, Clarke, Barrows, Parke, and many others including the writer of this notice, and whose instructions and personal kindness can never be adequately rewarded in this world.
Mr. WELLES remained at Bath till the summer of 1854, and he always spoke and wrote of this sojourn as among the pleasantest recollections of his life. Those who know anything of the history of this village and its foundation, will at once recognize the propriety of associating it, as to the culture and tone of its society, with such historical interior towns of the state as Geneva, Cazenovia and Cooperstown. The winter of 1852-3 was an annus mirabilis, or an Indian summer protracted far into January, and the walks and drives in the mild hazy atmosphere among those majestic mountains, with the marvellous displays of the aurora borealis in that season, would not be likely to fade from one's memory.
During this period he also had the happiness of renewing intercourse with two college friends, the Rev. R. N. Parke, then doing missionary work at Addison, and Rev. N. Barrows at Corning, assisting them in Sunday School work, as well as by lay reading on occasion.
In November, 1854 he went to Vicksburg, Miss., to take charge of a school for young ladies, at Bishop Green's request, a Bishop for whom Mr. WELLES ever afterwards cherished great veneration, for his kindly and saintly character. His school enjoyed fine success, and his services were greatly appreciated by the people, with many of whom he formed warm and enduring friendship. Yet those were days of much political excitement, and the relations of North and South were greatly strained. We have seen a printed circular letter in which Mr. WELLES at this time was obliged to vindicate himself against a bitter, not to say scurrilous, article in a Vicksburg paper, based upon a casual remark he had let fall in company, to which the editor chose to apply a political construction. The letter shows a manliness and courage in expressing some opinions not popular in that latitude, especially on the repeal of the "Missouri Compromise," which even surprised some of his friends, but which, after all, thus early showed the stuff of which he was made, that enabled him to "stand like an anvil" amid the strife of tongues in the early days-of his episcopate.
In the summer of 1856, Mr. WELLES returned to his home at Waterloo, where he remained until the opening of the new Deveaux College at Suspension Bridge in May, 1857, in which he accepted the position of a teacher, which he occupied until Sept. 28th, 1858. Daring this period, on Dec. 20th, 1857, he was admitted to the diaconate with Jedediah Winslow, at Trinity Church, Geneva, by Bishop DeLancey, Rev. Dr. Bissell, now Bishop of Vermont, preaching the sermon. Mr. WELLES during his diaconate, besides his college duties, officiated pretty regularly at the churches in Lewiston, Suspension Bridge and Lock-port. In the last mentioned place he formed the acquaintance of the late ex-Governor Hunt, who ever held him in high esteem.
In the summer vacation of 1858 (in June) he made a trip to the West in company with his father, and while visiting an old college friend at lied Wing, Dr. A. B. Hawley, was induced to hold a Sunday service. Soon afterwards the congregation organized a parish and sent Mr. WELLES a call, which he received and accepted shortly after his return to Deveaux. Bishop DeLancey ordained him Priest at S. Paul's, Waterloo, Sept. 12th, 1858, and on the 28th of the same month he left for Red Wing, where he held his first services as Rector of Christ Church, Oct. 3d, 1858, which proved to be the beginning of one of the most efficient and successful pastorates of our day.
Parish Priest at Red Wing, Minn.,
By Hon. E. T. Wilder.
On Christmas day, A. D. 1857, the few churchmen, and others who sympathized with them in the movement, of Red Wing, Goodhue County, Minnesota,"then little more than a hamlet"met for consultation with a view to some sort of organization for future church work. Church services had theretofore been holden in the place two or three times only.
At this meeting, A. B. Hawley, M. D., a graduate of Hobart, a classmate and devoted friend of the Rev. EDWARD R. WELLES, then a deacon in Western New York, strongly recommended Mr. WELLES as specially fitted for a point like Red Wing, where the first stone in the foundation for church work was yet to be laid. His recommendations were so favorably received, that he was authorized to open a correspondence with Mr. WELLES upon the subject.
In June, A. D. 1858, Mr. WELLES came to Red Wing and held his first service in the West. At this time Minnesota was but a missionary field, a part of the immense territory under the jurisdiction of Bishop Kemper, of blessed memory.
Goodhue County was sparsely settled. Its inhabitants were largely pre-emptors, and with few exceptions, poor. Its lands were still, to a great extent, government lands. There was no church organization, or church edifice, on the river in Minnesota south of Hastings.
Mr. WELLES visited different parts of the territory, with the calm, deliberate purpose of judging for himself, of the future of the church within its limits. With the clear, practical, discriminating good sense, which, in after life, became so conspicuous, he saw, as few men of his years and associations would have seen, that this field was literally a "land of promise." After full consideration, he accepted the invitation of his Red Wing friends to identify himself with them in their work for the Master and His Church.
He returned to New York, was ordained Priest by Bishop DeLancey, September 12th, 1858, and on the 3d day of October of that year, commenced, at Red Wing, his work as a Priest, in this new field.
Everything was in chaos. There was not even the shadowy foundation of a "Mission Station." At once he took the preliminary steps for the organization of a Parish. Such organization was perfected on the 26th of October, of that year, under the name of Christ Church, Red Wing, Rev. EDWARD R. WELLES, Rector. At that date the Parish numbered seven communicants only, all of whom, save one, were women.
In sketching the life and labors of Mr. WELLES from this point on to the time when he was transferred to another, and a broader field, it is well nigh impossible to speak of him except in direct connection with the fruits of his work.
His labors as Rector were so still and undemonstrative, the stream of his Parish life ran so quietly and smoothly, that his merits as a Parish Priest were seen and appreciated only by results, so closely was his life blended in the life of the Parish. Indeed, the history of the Parish for sixteen years, is his biography for the same period.
For a year and more, services were held in a hall rented for that purpose. In the meantime a large and valuable lot was secured, and a church built at a cost of $3,000"which, as a free church, was consecrated November 29th, 1859"the first church consecrated by Bishop Whipple.
The congregation having outgrown this church, it was removed to the rear of the church lot, and on the 24th day of June, 1869, the corner-stone of the present Parish Church was laid, the address being made by the late Bishop Armitage whose successor, in the providence of God, Mr. WELLES was destined to become.
And here the question will present itself, where in the history of the American Episcopate can another such succession be found? Kemper, Armitage, Welles!
That church (except the tower), was completed at a cost of $24,000, and was consecrated December 19th, 1871.
There is an incident connected with this consecration worthy of record, as indicating in a significant form the influence which Mr. (now Doctor) WELLES had secured over his people. The Parish had never received missionary aid, nor outside help, save only a few comparatively small gifts from the personal friends of the Rector. When the new church was completed, ready for occupancy, there remained an unpaid debt of 88,000. Having raised and paid toward it $16,000, all the members of the Parish felt that they must now, for a time, rest upon their oars. With this feeling, arrangements were made with the Bishop, not for a consecration, but for an opening service. At a vestry meeting holden a few days before the time appointed for that service, after the conclusion of the business for which it was called, Dr. WELLES, in his quiet, suggestive way asked "Is it not possible for us to provide, in some form, for this $8,000 of debt, so that the church can be consecrated?"
Not a member of the vestry had any faith in a movement of the sort. All believed that a "breathing spell" was a necessity, and so expressed themselves. Yielding, however, to his wishes, and perhaps unconsciously imbibing a little of his faith, it was determined to make the effort, yet with the feeling that the task was well nigh hopeless. In this effort, Dr. WELLES, in person, co-operated, and to the surprise of all, Dr. WELLES excepted, in less than two days the unpromising task became an accomplished fact.
This, and many other things akin to it, was his work, the results of his personal influence; and yet the public never heard of them from his lips, except as the generous work of the Parish.
The growth of the Parish from the date of its organization, until Dr. WELLES ceased to be its Rector, was steady and uniform. Statistics are dry, but to the thoughtful reader they often times give facts, not only in a compact form, but with an emphasis that words do not express. It has already been stated that at the date of the organization of the Parish"October, 1857"it numbered seven communicants only. The following table will show the number of communicants, the number of baptisms, the number of confirmations, and the amounts of contributions for purposes outside of the Parish annually, as reported to the Diocesan Council.
This steady increase of contributions for outside purposes, was a source of special gratification to the Rector. With him it was an unquestioned truth that the spiritual life of a congregation, was indicated, not by its contributions for parochial purposes, but by its contributions for missions and other outside work.
The growth and prosperity of the Parish, as thus summarized, was largely, very largely, due, first to the personal labors of Dr. WELLES, and second to his exceptional ability in organizing work for others. Inside the church walls he had few equals, and outside no superiors.
It has recently been said of him by one of our senior Bishops""Take him all in all, he was the best Parish Priest I ever knew."
One leading idea with him was, that everybody should have something to do, that every member of the Parish should, in some direction, be a co-worker with him.
His discriminating good sense here, as elsewhere, was shown in his choice of the agent for any particular duty. Rarely, if ever, were his suggestions in this regard unheeded; and that, too, without a feeling that he was imposing a burden, for he taught, and for a time at least, his teaching was accepted, that the Rector could not, and should not, be expected to do every-thing. There were in all directions, harmony and co-operation, sympathy and affection between Rector and congregation, the legitimate fruits of his personal characteristics, his saintly life and his Churchly teachings.
Next after the daily service, Dr. WELLES' most efficient instrumentalities were the Parish Aid Society, the Guild, including a Parish Library and Reading Room, and the Parish School. With him the daily service was a prominent feature in Parish work from the beginning. In his first anniversary sermon, preached on the second Sunday in Advent, A. D. 1859 (the first Sunday after the consecration of his Church), he said: "But I must express my earnest hope and prayer, that with the free Church it will soon be the wish and desire of the congregation that we should have daily service. For daily service the Book of Common Prayer makes provision. The Church in her fulness"the Church of the Apostles"the Church as she came from the hands of her Divine Master, was to be the daily teacher and comforter of the people in all circumstances and conditions of life. The Church is the House of Prayer, and here should the prayers of the congregation be offered. Daily and freely should the Church doors be opened, consecrating those interests which are blended with the cares and pleasures of each succeeding day. * * * * Who can doubt that daily prayer in the Church would bring down a blessing upon the Parish? It is not meant that public prayer shall take the place of private devotions, but that the one shall strengthen the other."
On the next day, December 5th, the daily service was inaugurated in connection with the opening of the Parish School. All these agencies were in existence, when Dr. WELLES left the Parish. By him the Parish School was always regarded as second only, in importance, to the daily services.
He was untiring in his efforts to make the school all that he desired; not simply a school of merit as such, but an efficient agency also in the Christian training and culture of its pupils. In this he was eminently successful. Not a few of those who have since become zealous and active workers in the Parish, and later in other localities, reached the Church through this channel, and trace their religious life back to their school days in Christ Church Parish School. The school was never self-supporting. Sleepless vigilance, and "a faith that never doubts," were indispensable to its continued existence. Dr. WELLES' tenacity of purpose in this direction, was in precise keeping with the supreme importance which he attached to this instrumentality. In a sermon preached by him on the evening of the day on which his new Church was consecrated (December 19th, 1871), he said:
"When the Sunday School was organized, I did not care to see it harden, as Bishop Doane, of New Jersey, once phrased it, into brick and mortar, for one of my dreams of pastoral life had been an endowed Parish School, including in its instructions all the children of the Parish, and leaving for the Lord's Day a gathering of the children in the Parish Church, for brief catechetical exercises and instruction. * * * Of the great beneficence in any Parish of a well conducted school, I have no manner of doubt. I wish I could feel that the appreciation of Church education was advancing as it should advance. * * * * No Parish can be strong in the true sense of that word, until its members are strengthened in the Faith by a knowledge of Church principles; and the best manual of Church education is the Prayer Book, with its scriptural lessons and evangelical services interwoven into the daily life of the school room. For the future of the Parish, for work to be done here for Christ and His Church, when we are sleeping with the dead, I am striving to place the Parish School upon a firm and lasting foundation."
Dr. WELLES was never content that his work for any cause should be pushed into ruts. He was always looking forward for, and seeking out new channels for work for himself and for others. An illustration of this is furnished by a quotation from his farewell sermon. In that sermon he said: "Had I remained your Pastor, I had thought during the next year to devote myself especially to two objects:
I. Soliciting for the Parish School, subscriptions in the nature of an endowment fund; and,
II. Providing some means by which an annual increase of two or three hundred volumes could be made to the Parish library. These two objects, among the many pertaining to the interests and growth of the Parish, which claim your attention, I especially commend to your thoughtful consideration and liberal care. In all that relates to the prosperity of the Parish, each one of you should feel that the general prosperity is his own prosperity."
Great injustice would be done Dr. WELLES should a notice of his labors, however brief, be confined to his work within his Parish. Few men have been more thoroughly imbued with the missionary spirit than he. It was a part of the web and woof: of his Christian character. As indicated before, it was this fact that largely contributed to his location in Minnesota. Early in 1859, Mr. WELLES began his work in the field outside of his Parish. An occasional service at Cannon Falls was held by the Rev. Mr. Wilcoxson, the missionary located at Hastings. With that exception, this broad section was wholly unoccupied by the Church. In the spring of that year, Mr. WELLES made arrangements for services at Wabasha, and soon thereafter at Lake City, in Wabasha County. For some time thereafter, it was not an uncommon thing for him to hold his service at lied Wing on Sunday morning (leaving his evening service to a lay reader), drive to Lake City for service at 3 P. M., and thence to Wabasha for service in the evening"a distance of nearly forty miles as then traveled, and that, too, over a road not, at all times, the most desirable.
In the meantime he established mission stations in his own county, at St. Johns, on the Cannon, at Belle Creek, at Wells Creek, at Wacouta, at Frontenac, at Florence, at Zumbrota and at Pine Island.
During these years, and in part, at least under his immediate supervision, Parishes were organized and churches erected at Wabasha, Lake City, Cannon Falls, Belle Creek, Zumbrota and Pine Island, and a church built at Frontenac. In this broad field, Dr. WELLES was aided at different times by the following gentlemen, then candidates for, or in Deacon's orders, and all of whom were subsequently ordained to the Priesthood, viz.: C. P. Dorset and S. S. Burleson, of the Diocese of Milwaukee; B. E. Denison, of: the Diocese of Pennsylvania; J. E. Lindholm, of the Diocese of Massachusetts; Daniel Flack, of the Diocese of Western New York, and S. Wardlaw, W. J. Carley and S. P. Chandler, who have gone to their rest"the latter but a few days in advance of his venerated friend.
Mr. Chandler"familiarly known as "Father Chandler""a local Methodist minister, who had been brought into the Church through the influence of Dr. WELLES, upon his ordination to the Diaconate, took immediate charge of the station at Belle Creek, and by him, under the guidance of Dr. WELLES, this general work was extended to Hader, Wanamingo, Cherry Grove and Kenyon. In the progress of time, Rectors were called to the charge of five of these Parishes. In the meanwhile, Dr. WELLES had organized these stations in Goodhue County into what he termed a "convocation," which, first at one point, and then at another, gathered for worship four times a year, and at which there was always a celebration of the Holy Communion. From these convocations, Dr. WELLES was never absent if possible to avoid it; and if absent, he took special care that his place was judiciously filled by another.
As Dr. WELLES anticipated, these services were, in many directions, of great value to these scattered children of the Church. It brought them together. Not infrequently they came ten, fifteen, and even twenty miles to attend them. It helped to create a feeling of brotherhood. It gave them broader and clearer views of the Church and of its methods. Without these "convocations," it would have been difficult, perhaps impracticable even, for Dr. WELLES to have kept the tires burning in all these widely severed stations. But his ability for work"for organized work"in which others, some consciously and others unconsciously co-operated, seemed equal to any emergency; and this was the more remarkable, that everything was done so quietly and with so little apparent effort.
In A. D. 1865, Dr. WELLES was elected Secretary of the Diocesan Council, and in A. D. 1866, when the Diocese for this purpose was districted, he was appointed by his Bishop, Dean of the Southern Convocation. To the first of these offices he was thereafter elected, and to the other appointed annually so long as he remained in the Diocese. In A. D. 1865, and thence on until he became a member of the House of Bishops, he was elected a Deputy to the general convention.
The order of this quiet Parish life, in 1874, was suddenly broken by the announcement of the election of Dr. WELLES to the Episcopate, by the Diocese of Wisconsin. To no member of his flock was this intelligence so startling, and, for a time, so full of sorrow, as to him whose future was thus so directly touched. In addition to all the other considerations naturally involved in the grave question thus so unexpectedly forced upon him, were those growing out of the failing health of Mrs. Welles. Deliberately, prayerfully examining, reviewing and re-reviewing the subject in all its varied forms, he, in this as in all things else, yielded himself to what to him seemed the path of duty, accepting the great trust, sent to the Vestry his resignation as Rector of his Parish, to take effect on the 27th day of September, A. D. 1874.
The Vestry accepted this resignation by the adoption of the following preamble and resolutions:
WHEREAS, By reason of his election to the Episcopate of Wisconsin, the Rev. EDWARD R. WELLES, D.D., has presented to us his resignation as Rector of this Parish, to take effect on Sunday, September 27th, 1874.
Resolved, That with mingled emotions of pride and pleasure at the deserved honor conferred upon our Rector by that election, and of sadness and sorrow over this irremediable loss to us, and to our people, we hereby accept the resignation aforesaid.
Resolved, That we congratulate the Diocese of Wisconsin upon what we are sure time will prove the wisdom of its choice confidently hoping that an early future will show a Diocese as lovingly devoted to its Bishop, as this Parish from its organization has been, and is, to its first and only Rector.
Resolved, That we hereby tender to Dr. and Mrs. WELLES our best and kindest wishes, and the best and kindest wishes of all the members of this Parish, and that our Father in Heaven will bless and keep them and theirs in time and in eternity, shall be our daily prayer.
In A. D. 1860, DR. WELLES married Miss Mary Sprague, of Fredonia, N. Y., a graduate of St. Mary's. N. J. Mrs. Welles was not only a lady of education and refinement, but was possessed of all the instincts of a true and noble woman. In the best sense of the term, she was in all directions a help-meet worthy of such a husband. A meek and humble daughter of the Church, she sympathized with, and aided him as best she could, in all his hopes and plans, for the growth and extension of the Church. Christ Church Rectory was ever the home of a bright and generous hospitality. The fruits of this marriage were four children. Edward S., now of Milwaukee, a Priest in the Church of God; Samuel G., now at Oxford; Pauline, now at Kemper Hall, and Harriet, who, with the mother, was "on the other side," awaiting the advent of the husband and father as he joined them in Paradise. Mrs. Welles was the victim of that fell destroyer, consumption, and was taken home, 1874, shortly before the consecration of her husband to his high and holy office.
Dr. WELLES, as Rector of Christ Church, Red Wing, held his last service September 27th, A. D. 1874. It was a service long to be remembered. Sorrow was in every heart and tears in every eye. The predominant thought was not so much that the Parish was losing an honored and beloved Rector"nor yet that the future of the Parish, as compared with the past, was enshrouded in the mists and clouds of doubt and uncertainty, as that each individual in the congregation was thenceforth to drift farther and farther away from a warm-hearted, personal friend"from one who for long years, by his unselfish and sympathetic nature, had reached the hearts alike of the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the happy and the sorrowful.
It is thus seen, though this chapter touches only upon a few of the more prominent points in the history of his Rectorship, that the life of Dr. WELLES, during these sixteen years, was one of unremitting and unselfish devotion to his Master's work; but the silent influence of his daily life, of his personal example, of his kindly relations with all, whether of his flock or not, of his sympathizing nature, of his undoubting faith, of his appreciation of the dignity and importance of the priestly office, who can appropriately describe? An infallible record, which in the future will be opened to us, can alone give us this history in its simplicity and its entirety.
BISHOP OF MILWAUKEE, BY REV. S. S. BURLESON,
On the night of the; 17th day of June, A. D. 1874. the lightning flashed the following message from Milwaukee, Wis., to Red Wing, Minn.:
MILWAUKEE, June 17,1874.
Rev. Edward R. Welles, D. D.:"You are unanimously elected Bishop of the Diocese of Wisconsin this evening. James deKoven, Lewis A. Kemper, Wm. Adams, Wm. Bliss Ashley, A. D. Cole, J. A. Helfenstein, D. Worthington, Angus Cameron, Wm. P. Ten Broeck, J. B. Doe.
This message was delivered on the following morning. It was startling to the man to whom it was addressed. He had no vaulting ambition, no desire for eminent station in the Church. To have sought it by any means, would have been, in his eyes, sacrilege. He reverenced all offices which had their warrant from the Son of Man, and could not understand how men could dare to seek them of their own mind, or to decline them when "it seemed good to the Holy Ghost" to call.
In the true spirit of great, manly humility, Dr. WELLES thought and prayed for two weeks. Letters of pleasant congratulation and earnest urgency came daily into his hands. The answers to these letters tell how deeply the spirit of the man was moved. His thought was like that of Moses when he said: "Who am I that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?" And we may well believe that the question was answered with the same Divine assurance, fresh in its utterance, though sounding down the generations of the history of God's Church: "Certainly, I will be with thee."
To indicate the urgent manner in which Dr. WELLES was importuned to accept the election, we subjoin a few, selected from many letters"letters whose writers are well known in the Diocese and General Church, as earnest-hearted men of God deeply solicitious for the honor and purity of the Bride, the Lamb's Wife.
MILWAUKEE, June 18, A. D. 1874. REV. EDWARD R. WELLES, D. D.
Reverend and Dear Brother:"It is with great satisfaction and hearty thanks to our Heavenly Father, that the undersigned, a committee of the 28th Annual Council of the Diocese of Wisconsin, are permitted to inform you that on Wednesday evening, the 17th inst., in by far the fullest convention ever held in the Diocese, you were unanimously chosen to be its third Bishop. If perfect harmony, after a brief season of painful discord in a heretofore united Diocese, may be regarded as an indication of the special presence and guidance of the Spirit of our Lord, we can but consider this result, which is marvellous in our eyes, as manifestly His work, and a clear expression of His will that you should be placed over us as our chief pastor. The unexampled unanimity with which, at an anxious crisis in our proceedings, your election was made, and, that too, in the first ballot after your name was proposed, and the universal satisfaction with which the announcement of it was hailed, both by the clergy and laity of the Diocese, seems to warrant the conviction, that, under your leadership, the Church in this Diocese will, by God's blessing, be not only restored to its wonted unity and peace, but enjoy great prosperity.
Praying our Lord to guide you to such a conclusion as shall most glorify His Name, and edify His Church, we remain, with sentiments of great respect and affection, your brethren in Christ and the Church,
WM. BLISS ASHLEY, A. D. COLE.
And others of Committee.
MILWAUKEE, June 23, A. D. 1874.
Reverend and Dear Brother:"-At a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Wisconsin, holden on the 18th inst., I was instructed to express to you their gratification that you had been chosen to be our Bishop, and their earnest hope that you would accept the office thus tendered to you, in the Name, and, as we can but think, by the inspiration of the Spirit of our Divine Lord and Master.
Greatly desiring to see you, and hoping ere long to have that pleasure, I am very truly and respectfully,
Your brother in Christ and His Church,
WM. BLISS ASHLEY, President Standing Committee.
MILWAUKEE, June 19, 1874.
My Dear Dr. Welles:"Let me join my own most earnest and loving prayers to the many you will receive from our Diocese, that you may be led by the Holy Spirit to see your way clear to accept the call to be our Bishop. I have had the possibility (never, to my own mind, the probability), before me for some months past, that I might be the one on whom the Diocese might, to some extent, harmonize, and I know how fearful and crushing must be the burden that now rests upon you, in deciding on your duty. But never, as it seemed to me, could men see more clearly the guidance and control of the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, than in this election. For the sake of the suffering Church, for the comfort and cheer of the thousands of loving hearts, who are waiting in anxious suspense for the joyous news of your acceptance, and for the love of the dear Saviour, Who, seemingly is calling you to bear this heavy cross, I pray you to accept.
I believe that you will be universally met, and welcomed, and sustained, by grateful, rejoicing hearts; and that, under your wise care, the wounds already closed, will speedily heal, so that not even a scar remains.
Assuring you of my own most hearty, loving desire and prayer for your acceptance, I am most truly,
Your brother in Christ and the Church,
LEWIS A. KEMPER.
RACINE COLLEGE, June 20.
My Dear Dr. Welles:"You have received, of course, the telegram, the letter of the committee, and, I dare say, before this letter reaches you, you will have met Mr. Ten Broeck, who, with Mr. Cameron, was appointed by us to wait on you.
You have, I dare say, followed in the papers the sad controversies which have agitated us, and thrown a Diocese, hitherto tolerably united, into conflict.
Underneath it all have been grave and serious questions, as well as some personal troubles. We all went to the Council after many and earnest prayers, with the most entire reliance on Almighty God, that He would guide us aright.
The contest lay, as no doubt you know from the papers, between Dr. Kemper and Mr. Brown, of Cohoes. The clergy elected the latter; the laity would not confirm it, even after he had been four times elected. Thus we were at a dead-lock, and there seemed nothing to look forward to but a long and heating contest, or an adjournment of the election.
I had personally, unto Dr. Kemper, made before the Council began, an effort at conciliation, and our recommendation of Mr. Brown was intended in that way; but neither the former nor the latter was successful. Now, however, there seemed a readiness on both sides, and when the committee of conference met, you were finally adopted by us all; and then, as you know, you were unanimously elected.
My object in mentioning these particulars, is to assure you of what seems to us all, most striking, that if ever there was an election which seemed marked by the voice and call of God, it was yours. Not discussed beforehand, unanimous where there had been so much division, unsought in any way, welcomed with so much thanksgiving, one can only feel that it was an answer to the many prayers that have been offered, in very many places, and by numberless hearts, that God would guide us aright.
No doubt the Diocese will involve many labors and cares. There are difficult and important questions to be met; but for you there is this most blessed thought, that all men, of all views, will unite in supporting you, and that God has surely called you to it.
I pray that your duty may seem as clear to you as it does to us; and that He "Whose all-perfect wisdom is our only stay, will counsel, comfort and guide you. For this I shall not cease to pray. For myself and my brethren here, I must add that we all shall join you, with all our hearts and power, in your work in the Diocese, if you come to us, as we feel yon must.
Yours very affectionately,
MINNEAPOLIS, MINN., June 18,1874. My Dear Brother:"The telegraph announces to us this morning the fact of your election to the important Episcopate of Wisconsin. Whilst Wisconsin is to be congratulated, I do not think you are but to be earnestly prayed for by your brethren, that God will give you grace and strength for the great work He has called you to undertake.
What is a gain for Wisconsin, is a loss to Minnesota. But I think we should rejoice to give you up to this greater work, and to feel honored that Minnesota can furnish one so well qualified to lead in the work of the sister Diocese. It will be severing dear ties, to break from your beloved flock at Red Wing, and from our Diocese, but when God calls, we can only hear the voice, and follow where it leads.
You will be remembered in our prayers, dear brother, and may God help you in the great work before you.
Ever your loving brother,
D. B. KNICKERBACKER.
FARIBAULT, June 18,1874.
Dearest Brother:"You know how long I have carried you in my heart, until you and Minnesota were one. You do not know that I often thought no fitter person could take my Bishop's staff, when I lay it down. When I reached Minneapolis on my way home, I heard of your election to the Bishopric of Wisconsin; at once it took a load off my heart for them. I said, "God be praised." I am sure your wise and loving administration will heal all their divisions, and that in unity and love, it will be a second Minnesota. It costs me much to give you up, for you have been the best of fellow-laborers; and I could almost say, "I have none like-minded with you."
But, then, it is for the Lord, and I say, "go, and God go with you." It will be a joy to have you so near, and I think we can arrange some missionary work together. One thing, this is your old home, and always will be; and in no heart will you have a warmer place than .in mine. Of yourself, I have not spoken. You will find it hard to give up home, parish, everything, to feel weak, and have to give counsel to all. * * * Do come over next week Monday, if you can. God bless you.
H. B. WHIPPLE.
COHOES, N. Y., June 23,1874. My Dear Brother: "I congratulate you with all my heart on your election as Bishop of Wisconsin. The unanimous vote which you received seems to promise a full and speedy restoration of harmony and peace to that sadly divided See.
May you be long spared to teach and guide the dear flock of Christ, soon to be committed to you.
I have just heard from my old classmate, the Rev. Dr. deKoven, that motives of conciliation and love had led his friends to cast their votes for me. The same pure thoughts and wishes will constrain them to hold you up in your holy toil. But, chief of all, the Holy Spirit, Who controlled the choice of the Council, will give you wisdom and strength to do the hard work He has laid upon you. With earnest prayer that God may prosper you in all your undertakings, I am truly yours,
J. H. H. BROWN.
By the pleading in these letters, and many others which our space will not permit us to insert, Dr. WELLES was induced, after a prayerful consideration of the subject, to send his letter of acceptance to the special committee. As an indication of his conception of the Episcopal office, and the singleness of heart in which he entered upon the discharge of its sacred duties, we insert the letter of acceptance in full.
LETTER OF ACCEPTANCE: To THE COMMITTEE OF THE 28th ANNUAL COUNCIL OF THE DIOCESE OF WISCONSIN:
My Dear Brethren:"Without any abatement of self-distrust, but after consultation with my reverend Diocesan and others, to whose unanimous judgment my personal convictions are constrained to yield, I would signify, through you, to the Church of Wisconsin, my acceptance of the choice which has fallen upon me to be their Bishop. Never for a moment, during all these days of my anxious and prayerful thought have I lost sight of my own weakness; but to the eyes of others, acceptance is the way of duty, and though I cannot bring, as so many named in your Council could have brought to the service of the Church in your Diocese, the large results of scholarly toil and theological research; yet if the General Church shall ratify your choice, and I shall be consecrated to the office of a Bishop, I will share with every brother in the Diocese the zeal and earnestness in labor and in love which will be ours, if we are Christ's. Should God permit me to sustain and continue the work of those beloved and stainless men, who have occupied this See, it will be a slight thing to have consecrated to such a service, all that I have, and all that I am. As the years pass on"be they many or few wherein we shall be fellow-laborers"if interest and zeal in Mission work shall be deepened in our hearts and manifested in our lives; if Free Churches shall multiply, and daily service and frequent Communions increase; if Parish Schools and homes for Christ's poor, and brotherhoods for Christian works shall increasingly minister to sound Christian culture, and genuine Christian charities, and in all such blessed service all hearts be united in love for our dear Lord, and in love one towards another, we may regard it as a token that God's blessing has crowned our labors. Pray for me, that, the Great Shepherd and Bishop of our souls may help me to be a faithful Pastor in His Church, and a true and loving co-worker, with everyone who labors for the extension of Christ's work upon earth.
With sentiments of deep affection and esteem, I am your brother in the cause and Church of Christ,
EDWARD R. WELLES.
This acceptance called forth a great many letters of happy felicitation and plighted loyalty. There was an expression of hopefulness which was universal throughout the Diocese. The God-speed of many voices cheered on the man who had, in such self-distrust and meek reliance upon God, consented to take into his hands the staff of Kemper and Armitage. It was a badge of honor, but the responsibility was such as might make the strongest quail.
But throughout all this season, whose events called forth all that was best and strongest in the man, the dark shadow of a coming sorrow was brooding over him; a sorrow which was to sunder the ties of his home life, and send him on his way, with only the hallowed memories of that home, and the blessed hope of a coming re-union, to comfort and cheer. The wife of his bosom was dying. And in the certainty of coming bereavement, the newly elected Bishop must hide the presage of sorrow, and seem to rejoice in the joy of his friends and well-wishers. But the chastening power of that sorrow is indicated by him, on the first page of his first conciliar address, where he says: "It pleased our Heavenly Father, that the discipline of a holy sorrow should consecrate with intenser feeling, the weeks of immediate preparation for this sacred solemnity (his consecration). And when, by the laying on of Apostolic hands, I was set apart for the high and holy office of a Bishop in the Church of God, in the very depths and poignancy of grief, I felt how entire in this ordering of Providence, was the dedication of myself, body and soul to the cares, trials, labors, and responsibilities of the Episcopate, knitting up the broken threads of home life in the duties and affections of the Diocese, I give you all that a loving heart and a ready, untiring hand can bring."
In this spirit he bowed before God in submission on the morning of October 12th, when his partner in the holy estate of matrimony entered into the rest that remaineth to the people of God; and, by the help of the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, he went and entered into the bonds of a new love, to which he had been called by a longing Diocese; and on the morning of the 25th day of October, consummated that holy union which was to go on for fourteen years, in work for Him Who is the Heavenly Bridegroom.
The new Bishop reached his Diocese on Saturday, November 14th, and was warmly welcomed by the clergy and laity of the city of Milwaukee. His first official act was performed on the following day by preaching, celebration of the Holy Communion, and the ordination of the Rev. Edward H. Eudd to the priesthood. From that day onward, he lived and labored in the spirit of the charge given him by the Bishop of Minnesota, at the time of his consecration:
"Brother Beloved:"You are to-day to be consecrated to the high and holy office of a shepherd, ruler, and Bishop of the Church of God. For long years you have been my fellow-laborer in missionary work. Through all these years- our hearts have beat as one, in plans and work for our dear Lord. Had it been the will of God, I could have wished that you had still worked with me until He gave to you my Bishop's staff. A nobler heritage is yours, to follow in the footsteps of the apostolic Kemper, and the saintly Armitage. I know your timid heart, and that, like holy men of old, you shrink from such an office. Fear not, the Lord Who calls you will go with you. His grace is sufficient for thee,
"I dare not tell you that you are called to a life of case and comfort. It is hard to lose the clinging loves, and the blessed ties, of a pastor's life. It is hard to bear great burdens, to lead others, where you would rather follow, to teach when you would be a learner, to feel the loneliness of official trust, and have no refuge but to cry as a child to God. It is hard without means, to lay great plans for missions, schools, and homes of mercy, to work bravely when there are so many fellow-disciples of whom you must say, as S. Paul said: 'Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world.' It is hard to hear contentions and strifes, to see alienations and heart burnings, and to know that you are to heal them by the love of Christ. It is hard to bear an office from the Lord Jesus Christ, and have men esteem it only as it makes for their party, to know that your own children in the Lord are striving to see who shall own their spiritual Father. It is hard to give up home, ease, comfort, wife and children, to be a wanderer until God gives you another home. It is hard to enter upon work where the only change which can come to you is in death, that whether the field is barren or fruitful, whether the way is rough or smooth, yet here you must work until you die.
"You will find it hard, and many a time there will go up from your poor crushed heart, an agony of prayer to Jesus Christ, Yet for all its cares and crosses, the love of Him, Who sends you, can make it the happiest life God ever gave to man. Is there any joy in this sinful world like the joy of leading wanderers home? Is it not enough to thrill your heart, that you are chosen to feed the flock which He has purchased with His blood? Fear not; out of your weakness, Christ can make you strong. You bear with you the love of every brother who shares in this holy office. Your comfort is that you are sent by Jesus Christ; your consolation is the joy of the Holy Ghost; your guide is the Revelation of God, and your watchword is the Catholic Faith. May I not ask you not to forget us who are gathered here. Think of yourself as waiting for the commission of your Saviour. Hear Him say, 'I am with you always.'
"If trials come, look up where all is peace; if the way is hard, look onward to the end; if divisions come, heal them by love; if heresies enter the flock of Christ, plead, and weep, and pray, and stand as a rock by the truth as it is in Jesus. Remember as the motto of your life, the best bishop is the truest father; consecrate all you have and are to Jesus Christ.
"Make it your meat to do the will of Him, Who sends you; whether the world goes well or ill, work on bravely, lovingly, and fearlessly, and your work, which seems to you so poor, will be builded on the Rock and so will last forever. AMEN."
Concerning the theological status of the Diocese just previous to, and at the time of the election of Bishop WELLES it may be said, as it is of a certain period of Old Testament history, that "There were giants in the earth in those days."
Certain questions had arisen and been discussed with a force and clearness which had not then, nor has since, been equalled in the American Church.
The questions alluded to, were such as involved the true conception of our Blessed Lord as present in the Holy Eucharist: a true conception of the Priestly office and function in the forgiveness of sins, and a true conception of our rightful heritage in the Church of Catholic life and practice. Preeminent among those who held the advanced view on these subjects, were the then Warden of Racine College, the president of Nashotah House, and the Dean of the Cathedral at Milwaukee.
Opposed to them as leaders, were the then professors of Nashotah House, and rectors of Grace Church, Madison, and St. James' Church, Milwaukee. In the treatment of these questions, as has sometimes been the case before, the warfare was carried on in some measure through the public journals.
While this is allowable, within certain limits, when a man is honest enough to sign his name in full at the foot of his production, it is quite another thing when attacks are made covertly, and statements are mis-stated. The result of the heated debate in the first Council called to elect a Bishop after the death of Bishop Armitage, was the defeat of the Rev. Dr. deKoven for that office; for although he was elected by the clergy, he was rejected by the laity; and adjournment was made without choice.
When men get thoroughly ashamed of themselves, they are apt to behave fairly well for a while. And so it was that when Dr. deKoven announced the name of EDWARD R. WELLES as the one selected by the committee of ten, sent out for the purpose of agreeing upon a single name to be balloted on, there was such a unanimity of thought and action as indicated that every man had just discovered what was the proper thing to do.
In nominating DR. WELLES, Dr. deKoven said: "He is a man of large and varied experience; a devout and earnest Churchman; a man who has shown his zeal for the Church, in the fact that for seventeen years he has been content to do hard missionary work in that Diocese; that his work, under God's blessing, has so prospered that he has not only the charge of his Parish Church and a large Parish School, but keeps up daily services and undertakes also the supervision of a number of Missions. I have heard it stated as fourteen, but the exact number we are not certain about. He is a man who has had great business experience, has been the secretary of the Diocese of Minnesota; has represented it in General Convention; and that which to us all is the highest recommendation, has the warm love and earnest affection of the Bishop of Minnesota, whom, I suppose, we regard as one of the best and noblest Bishops of the Church in this country. For his Churchman ship, his earnestness, his devotion, his missionary labors, in behalf of the Committee of Conference, I nominate to this Convention the Rev. EDWARD R. WELLES, D. D., Rector of Christ Church, in the town of Red Wing, Minn."
From that day there has been little of contention, whether a man must have a low or high conception of holy things, in order to be considered as in good form.
There is a question which came preeminently before the American Church, during the Episcopate of Bishop WELLES, and with which he was largely identified. It is a question of world-wide interest, as involving the rights of the Church Catholic in the persons of her Bishops. We allude to what is known as the Cathedral question. This question has, from time to time, during the existence of the Church in this country, presented itself under different forms, and is to-day a vital question in the Church in the land. It may be long before it u finally settled; it may appear in varied forms; but the power, and the rights, of those who receive the Holy Ghost for the office and work of a Bishop in the Church of God, must finally be proclaimed, understood, and acknowledged, as essential to the unity of spirit and the bond of peace. It was not really a strife of men as against men; it was a difference of conception, and of action under that conception, concerning the appointments of Almighty God. In the Diocese of Wisconsin, it appeared in the form of the Cathedral question. The length and breadth of this question is such as to demand deep and careful study, and an action in accordance with the recorded and traditional status of the Episcopate in its Diocesan rights, in the days of the primitive Church. That there was a Cathedral system in the earlier ages of the Church, is patent to every reader of history. The reestablishment of it must needs be upon a true and proper basis. To fail of this, would be to introduce an element which could not fail to be harmful in its operation, and subversive of the best interest of the Church.
When it is said that the Cathedral question came prominently forward during Bishop WELLES' Episcopate, it is not to be understood by the reader that it originated then. On the contrary, it had its beginning in the Diocese much earlier; even as far back as the time of Bishop Kemper. It was agitated in the Diocesan Council as early as the year 1865. There had been much discussion of it before Bishop Armitage came to the Diocese in 1867. He declared the fact of such discussion, and the apparent intention of adopting the Cathedral system, as being one thing which strongly influenced him to come to the Diocese as Bishop.
In the year 1868, the Diocesan Council memorialized the General Convention on the subject; asking for such legislation as would admit of the establishment of the Cathedral in the city of Milwaukee, for the Diocese of Wisconsin. The memorial was drawn by the Rev. Dr. Adams, and signed by Bishop Kemper, Bishop Armitage, forty-five priests and fifty laymen of the Diocese. "This memorial enunciates the See principle, enlarging upon, (1) the Bishop as the successor of the Apostles, (2) the city as the place of the Bishop, (3) the Bishop's Church or Cathedral, as the mother Church of the whole Diocese; and the Bishop's residence as the centre of his work, the very focus of all influences whereby the propagation of the Gospel can be organized, pressed on, facilitated."
It was presented in General Convention by Dr. Adams, and such legislation was had as would give to the Diocese full authority to establish a Cathedral, and act upon the See principle. This action of the General Convention was the first ever taken by that body in this direction. As there was no precedent to follow, in developing the Cathedral idea in this country, it was necessarily a thing of rather slow growth. It could not be modeled after the English plan, for that would give a Church which in not a Bishop's Church at all, but a Dean's. The only exception to this operation of the English system, is the Cathedral of Truro, the last established before this writing, by the present Archbishop of Canterbury, in which there is a return to the Primitive Cathedral system. We will state in this connection, that there has been a recent revision of the statutes of Litchfield Cathedral, looking in the same direction. So the American Cathedral system, in its incipiency, must be experimental, and the organization merely of a tentative character, until experience, through change, had indicated that which must be permanent.
The whole Diocese was ready to express a grateful appreciation of the Cathedral plan, though very few seemed to know what that plan was. Even the wisdom of Bishop Kemper seemed at fault here. Instead of taking initiatory action himself, he committed it to Bishop Armitage, who felt his way, as best he could, in the manner and method of establishing the first American Cathedral. It is not strange that this formative process went on to the end of Bishop Armitage's life.
When Bishop WELLES was called to take up the reins of government in Wisconsin, he inherited this undeveloped work. For four years he continued the policy of his predecessors. He would have done so for a longer time, but was forced into action by the undue and disrespectful haste of some of the clergy of the Diocese. It was such an act that obliged the Bishop, in 1878, to offer as a counterpoise for the consideration of the Council, a canon which was left among the papers of Bishop Armitage, in his own hand-writing, and which had been formally considered and agreed upon by a committee of the Council of 1873.
But before the committee could report, in accordance with the resolution constituting it, Bishop Armitage died, and the whole matter was left in abeyance until such time as legislation might be desired. The charge so often made, that Bishop WELLES precipitated "the Cathedral War" upon the Diocese, has never been true. And it is due to his memory to make a comparatively full and orderly statement, of the leading facts of the Cathedral controversy in the Diocese of Wisconsin.
From the time of his consecration in 1874, to the Diocesan Council of 1877, the Bishop was holding tentatively in accordance with the policy of Bishop Armitage, with reverent regard to his memory, the Cathedral status and work. At this Council, the Rev. Dr. Egar proposed a canon entitled "Of the Organization and Unity of the Church in the City," (see Journal of 1877, pages xxii., xxiii. and xxiv.,) which was referred to the Committee on Canons. The design of this canon was to supersede the See principle and Cathedral organization, by the establishment of a city chapter, in which all authority should be lodged. The adoption of this canon proposed would have been a complete nullification of Cathedral existence, even in a concurrent way.
At the Diocesan Council of 1878, the Bishop used the following language in his address: "This is the Cathedral work as it stands to-day. My judgment is to let it develop itself by a natural growth, patiently guided and regulated by the best wisdom we can bring to bear upon it, but not to cast it, by hasty legislation, into any iron system. And this was the judgment of Bishop Armitage. But at this same Council of 1878, the Bishop calls the attention of the body to the fact of the appointment of a committee by the Council of 1873, to confer with Bishop Armitage as to the organization of the Cathedral, and to the further fact that the committee had agreed upon the proposed canon printed on pages xxxv., xxxvi. of the Journal of 1878. But in relation to that document, the Bishop goes on to say (page xxxvii.): "I ask that there shall be no legislation in respect to this at the present time. I will myself appoint the officers, that the canon may be put in operation as soon after the Council as I can arrange to do it. The Cathedral chapter, so organized, will have abundant time and opportunity to consider fairly, and test experimentally, all the provisions of the canon, and to suggest and make such improvements, as, in their wisdom and experience, may seem best; and then the canon will be presented to the Council for its consideration, and, if approved, be adopted as the permanent organization of the Cathedral."
On the 10th day of December following, the Bishop, in accordance with the plan presented by him to the Council of the Diocese, appointed the persons to hold office until such a time as the Bishop and Diocesan Council should put into operation a Cathedral canon. Of those appointed, the Rev. Dr. Keene, and Rev. W. H. Throop declined to serve, in reference to whose declinations, the Chapter, at a subsequent period of its session, put upon record its "expression of great regret at the declinations of the reverend Rectors of St. John's Church and St. James Church, Milwaukee, asking them to reconsider their action, and take part in the work of the Chapter."
Let it be remembered, that at the canonical time for holding the Council of 1878, the Bishop was dangerously ill. The Council met, and adjourned to meet again on the 19th day of November. On the 26th day of June, the Bishop was able to leave Milwaukee, and on the 4th day of July, sailed from New York for England.
About the middle of September, a letter appeared, ostensibly written by twelve laymen of the three parishes in the city of Milwaukee, addressed to the three Rectors of said parishes, desiring "to learn the true status of the so-called Cathedral in Milwaukee, whether it is in accordance with the See system; and whether anything can be canonically, or otherwise, done, or undone, to relieve the Bishop, and to realize the hopes which once existed in the city and the Diocese, of establishing a harmonious and efficient organization of the Church in this city."
In apparent answer to this ostensible letter, there appeared a pamphlet over the signatures of the three Rectors, and entitled: "The See Principle and the Cathedral Church in the Diocese of Wisconsin." One of the most remarkable features of the pamphlet was, that the style of it was so very similar to that of the letter which called it forth, that a careful observer might be forced to conclude that the twelve laymen must have written it themselves.
The first knowledge the Bishop, who was in England, had of the pamphlet, was by a letter from Dr. deKoven in these words:
"My dear Bishop:"I can only write a line to say that Doctors Fulton, Keene, and Mr. Throop have printed a pamphlet against the Cathedral, which seems to me most wicked.
"It is full of honeyed words for yourself, but really is an arraignment of the work of Bishop Armitage and your own.
"I suppose it will have been sent to you. If not I will beg Spalding to have one reach you at Waterloo.
"Whether amongst us, we shall make an answer before your return, I do not know.
"No one can answer it but yourself. As it represents you as an unwilling, or rather willing, but deluded or unfortunate victim of the Cathedral, I can scarcely write with patience of it."
On October 12th, Dr. deKoven wrote again:
"In regard to matters in Wisconsin, I believe you have only, clearly and distinctly, to state to your Diocese what you want in regard to the Cathedral, to have your people, clerical and lay, rally around you. The fact that the three city Rectors have felt it necessary to represent you as weighed down by the Cathedral, and as an unwilling captive who needs to be delivered, is proof that they know this.
"Whatever you think to be best, nine-tenths of the Diocese will gladly accept. My dear Bishop, I welcome you back with all my heart, as many more will also. God will bring peace and good even out of the storms, and sure victory to the right. Ever affectionately your son in Christ,
A prominent layman of the Diocese wrote, just after the Rectors' pamphlet was issued: "We, here at home, miss you greatly now. We are loyal as ever, and we only look to our leader for such strength as he only can give in such an emergency"not, however, forgetting the great Head of the Church, from Whom we must all seek our strength."
But, meanwhile, the pamphlet was being sent by busy hands into every portion of the Diocese, to sound the war-cry for the laymen in the city whose hearts were "so ardently longing for peace." The dear Bishop, far away in England, striving in patience for restoration of health, must have had recalled to his mind the words spoken to him by Bishop Whipple in the consecration sermon: "It is hard to bear an office from the Lord Jesus Christ, and have men esteem it only as it makes for their party; to know that your own children in the Lord are striving to see who shall own their spiritual Father. If trials come, look up where all is peace; if the way is hard, look onward to the end; if divisions come, heal them by love; if heresies enter the flock of Christ, plead, and weep, and pray, and stand as a rock by the truth as it is in Jesus. Remember, as the motto of your life, 'the best Bishop is the truest father.'"
Those who knew Bishop WELLES in his daily life, and could best judge of the motives from which he acted, can well understand how such an in junction, at such a time, would be stamped upon his heart and life, with the seal of God the Holy Ghost. The man who has such an imprimatur, will work tenderly towards men, but loyally towards God. If he has an inheritance of responsibility for Holy Church, he views it first on the God-ward side. Receiving his fatherly office by the Spirit of the All-Father, he will "do always the things that will please Him." The Bishop received a copy of the pamphlet just before he sailed on his return voyage, and, in prayerful sorrow, pondered its unjust arraignment of his work.
And his sorrow was the more intense, from the fact that some of those same laymen were among those who had been active in the matter of memorializing the General Convention, for the establishment of the Cathedral system as one of the most desirable agencies in Diocesan work. He had just had the privilege of attendance on the Second Lambeth Conference, and through it, had come to be quickened to a fuller realization of the great mission and duty of the Church of God, through the office and work of her Bishops, and of their great responsibility in the teaching of all nations.
And so with a vision of faith akin to that of the Beloved Disciple in Patmos, he returned to his work, arriving in the Diocese on the 30th day of October, but little more than two weeks before the time appointed for the adjourned session of the Council.
It is not necessary to say that the Bishop was hurt. It goes without saying. Had any asked him, "What are these wounds in thine hands?" he might well have answered: "Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends." The pamphlet of the city Rectors had not been answered. It did not enter into the heart of this Father in God, to war with his own children. He had learned to "endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." And herein was his great strength. With the derived patience of the Man of men, he went calmly on. The Council met on the 19th of November. During the session, an answer was made to the pamphlet of the three city Rectors. It was from the pen of Dr. deKoven, and it was made with the Bishop's knowledge and consent. It was an unsparing exposure of misquotations from history, misconceptions of primitive usage, and malicious subtlety in logical deduction, contained in the pamphlet. It defended the Bishop against the charge of the diversion of means from the missionary fund for the support of a Cathedral staff, and enumerated, and sustained, the principle, that a Cathedral Church, in its inception and work, must be, to the fullest extent, Diocesan in its character, and not merely urban, or local. There was great skill shown, both in the pamphlet and in the answer. But the answer was a refutation of the pamphlet.
It was at this Council, that Dr. deKoven did his last work for the Diocese. On the morning of the 21st, he rapped at the door of the Bishop's sleeping room, and asked permission to enter. The Bishop, who had not yet arisen, gave the permission. The Doctor entered and said: "Bishop, I did not close my eyes last night. This strain and worry is more than I am able to bear. I must go home. I do not believe that I shall be able to come to a Council again." The words seemed almost prophetic; for before the next Council, he was, in the words which he used concerning Bishop Armitage, in answer to the Rectors' pamphlet,""at rest, where the Church is no longer militant. In Paradise there are no Parishes and only One Cathedral, which needs no candle, neither light of the sun, because of the resplendent radiance of the Lamb without spot or blemish."
With all the high sensibility of a loving soul, he was loyal to his Bishop and to the Church. In his death, on the 19th of March following, the Bishop mourned the loss of a dear friend, and faithful counsellor. But still it was a joy to his heart to be able to give such a man to the rest of the people of God.
At the Council of November 19th and 20th, 1878, the Bishop, in his Address, refers impliedly to a charge made in the pamphlet of the city Rectors to the effect, that the Cathedral congregation was twenty times greater burden upon the Bishop's time and strength, than that of any other Parish in the Diocese, in these words: "I have no more care or responsibility for the detailed work of the Cathedral congregation, than for any other in the Diocese, and it makes no more drafts on my time."
Such was the spirit of opposition on the part of the city Parishes to the organization of the Cathedral, as a Diocesan and general work, that they made charges of a most extraordinary character. Some of these charges appeared in a letter signed at a meeting at the office of Finches, Lynde & Miller, February 15th, 1879, only a month before the death of Dr. deKoven, in which they gravely repeat the charge, that "diversion of the general missionary funds of the Diocese was made, to defray the expenses of the Cathedral staff, and the necessary expenses of the Cathedral work." This letter was, in the main, a reiteration of the charges made in the pamphlet of the city Rectors.
In reply to this charge, the Bishop published in the Wisconsin Calendar for April, a full statement of all the appropriations made for twenty years past, showing conclusively that the funds had, during all that time, been appropriated in strict accordance with the direction of the Board of Missions.
An amusing feature of the laymen's letter was a very indefinite charge against the Bishop, concerning what he was going to do. The Bishop frankly admitted, that against such a charge he was not able to make a defense. But he asked the baptized and communicant signers of the "Letter," not to hesitate to correct the errors into which they had unfortunately fallen, in this matter of giving their signature without knowledge of facts stated over them.
A letter was published in response, by three laymen, disclaiming all intention of charging the Bishop with being partaker, indirectly, in the theft which the letter impliedly charged that a careful reader of the letter cannot escape the conviction that the "blunt" was its chief point. The letter of the three laymen, disclaiming this, insists upon the right of direction in canon, ritual and official ministration as in the people, quorum magnapars fui. To quote from this letter concerning the purpose of the one signed at the meeting, at the office of Finches, Lynde & Miller: "The whole pith and purpose of the laymen's address, was to protest, and to present statements of fact and of argument against the proposed Cathedral Chapter, as unnecessary, undesirable and dangerous in itself, and in its natural and logical development, and against the way it was attempted to be established as unauthorized and arbitrary. * * It was also a protest against attempts to lead our people back to the doctrines, practices and institutions of the dark ages, in the name of progress, by whomsoever such attempts should be made."
Let the reader bear in mind, that at the last Council before these words were penned, the Bishop had earnestly asked that no legislation should be had, and no attempt made to cast the Cathedral organization into any iron form; but that only a tentative and experimental course be followed, to determine what was wisest and best for final adoption.
But a year before this, those very laymen had sought to cast it into an iron form, through the canon of Dr. Egar, and to make themselves, and their fellows in the City of Milwaukee the sine qua non of all action for the Diocese, or rather to purloin an institution which was intended to be Diocesan, and restrict its action and influence for local aggrandizement.
The dark ages never conceived a darker design for marring the beauty and staining the purity of the Bride of Christ.
No matter, from their point of view, if some of the signers of the "Laymen's Address" were unbaptized and non-communicants.
There is no recognition by the world of the deep personality involved in the words, "As the Father hath sent Me, so send I you." The mission is universal in its outreach; and action under it must needs involve, on the part of the chief Pastor and successor, in fact, and in right, of the office of the Apostles, the consideration, that his office is for the whole of the Church in his Diocese, and not for local honor and emolument.
It was with a true apprehension of the organic life and character of a Diocese, that Bishop WELLES entered upon his work. Into that work, he brought a measure of unselfishness which was rare as it was beautiful. Willing to spend and be spent, he turned not back when misunderstanding of his motives, and misjudgment of his action, came into the lot of his trial. No one who did not know him in the quiet of his private life, can estimate, in any true measure, the calm steadiness of purpose which moved him onward in the discharge of the present duty, and in his outreach to the things beyond. Conscious of weakness, he yet knew his strength. The key note of his endurance sounds in the words of S. Paul: "I can do all things through Christ, Which strengtheneth me." Standing by his coffin, and looking back through the years, one who had known him well could understand how
"He went about his work"such work as few
Ever had laid on head, and heart, and hand
As one who knows where there's a task to do,
Man's honest will must Heaven's good grace command
Who trusts that strength, will, with the burden grow,
God makes us instruments to work His will,
If but that will we can arrive to know,
Nor tamper with the weights of good and ill."
One day the writer of this said to him: "Bishop, do you know that twenty millions of dollars are arrayed against you, in this work of the Cathedral organization and development?" he raised his eyes, slowly, and with a steady look, as of a faith which seemed to behold things afar off, quietly answered: "Yes; but what are twenty millions of dollars, compared with the duty of a Bishop of the Church of God?" The sublime conceptions of such a faith, are the spies which bring back the Eshcol pledges, to assure of the fruition of the corning days. Such faith is sweeter than knowledge, for it is knowledge fulfilled. The man who allows earth's tinsel to outshine Heaven's pure gold"who allows the near hillocks of time to rise up and overtop the distant mountains of eternity, cannot behold the glory from afar. But he who takes God at His word, and endures "as seeing Him Who is invisible," abides not in the shadow of the cloud, of doubt. And so with this "member of Christ" this "child of God," this "inheritor of the kingdom of Heaven." As child, and youth, and man, and priest, and bishop, his humility, and faith, (because they were so true) never realized how grand they were. On one occasion the writer said to him, half in jest, half in earnest: "Dean, we shall want to make a Bishop of you, somewhere, some day." With an expression of pain and of reverent awe upon his face, he replied: "Oh! I hope not; my ambition is to live and die in this parish."
These words, spoken, as they were, in private, with all the earnestness of truth, show the loyalty of the man to the present duty which God had laid on him. They are an index to his character and course of action, in all official stations to which he might be called.
An answer to the charges in the letter of the three laymen appeared in the Calendar for May, 1879.
At the beginning of the answer, the Bishop says:
"A Diocese, like every other corporation, has its distinctive life, its habits of thought, its traditional mode of looking at, and dealing with, the problems of work that come before it. Views change slowly, and should do so. Sudden revolutions, whether in Church or State, are undesirable, and usually there is a conservative spirit of self-protection, which rises up against them.
"Changes have to be made from time to time, to meet the demands of the hour; but they need to be made with caution and deliberation. The opposition with which changes are generally met, helps to secure this; and while, if factions are conducted on the 'rule or ruin' principle, opposition may do harm, yet, ordinarily, it results in good. Measures are, in consequence of it, carefully scanned; the motives in proposing them are considered; principles are established; and the final action is apt to be wise, according to the light and wisdom with which an investigation has been conducted.
"In coming into a Diocese, therefore, it is necessary that a Clergyman, and especially a Bishop, who intends to 'sow the fruit of righteousness in peace,' should familiarize himself with her traditional action; should study her modes of thought; should examine her legislation, and understand the character of the men who have impressed themselves upon her life.
"To do this, is with most strangers a spontaneous impulse of courtesy and respect; but it should be more; it should be, and will be with thoughtful and conscientious men, a matter of principle as well; for if one be not so actuated, he is apt, in proportion to his influence or position, to disturb that harmony of action which is essential, above all things, in religious matters.
"This comprehension of the organic life and character of a Diocese, as evinced by the past, is as necessary to a new-comer, as that he should understand the conditions of the present; and that he should know the men with whom he will have to act, and by whom he will be more or less influenced.
"Impressed with these views, your Bishop, when coming into the Diocese and undertaking his duties, has endeavored to understand her life and legislation, comprehend the work she has undertaken, and the part she has to act in the sphere assigned her, in this portion of the Church of God.
"He has not tried to revolutionize her life according to his own judgment or self will; but in company with those she has trusted and honored, who obey her canons and respect her fair fame, he has endeavored to put himself into full sympathy with her, and to carry on her life, which, in his judgment, has been both Scriptural and Churchly.
"He believes he will be found, as he certainly desires to be with Bishop Kemper and Bishop Armitage, and in harmony with the men who were associated with them, and who held up their hands ia the good work they did in their day and generation.
"In view, then, of the questions agitated at the present time, and of the charges and imputations freely made of innovation, and of deviation from old paths, your Bishop thinks it best, in order to avoid misapprehension, to reproduce some of the declarations and actions of the Diocese, and of her Bishops, in regard to certain of the points at issue."
The Bishop then proceeds to speak of the action of the Diocese, as expressed in the Memorial to the General Convention of 1868, wherein the Council makes the representation "that the Episcopate is the Missionary order of the Church, and has been so constitutionally from the beginning, Bishops being not only successors of the Apostles, but themselves Apostles; the one order having the direct and immediate commission and command to 'go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.' * * * Bishops, therefore, or Apostles, are, and ought to be, the leaders of the Church in every onward step and progress; the pioneers of all our work in the conversion of the world to Christ, according to their name, Apostles"the first sent forth into new spheres of Christian Missionary enterprise."
The committee to draft this Memorial had been appointed in the year 1866. The Bishop called attention to the fact, that this action was in consequence of a Resolution offered by Mr. Jas. Kneeland, one of the signers of the letter which called forth the city Rectors' pamphlet.
The lay element appointed and serving on this committee, were Messrs. Jas. Kneeland, Winfield Smith and John P. McGregor.
Bishop Kemper, in his address of that year (1866) says:
"I still venture (perhaps from long habit), to view the whole Diocese as Missionary ground, and shall probably continue to do so while bodily and mental strength are bestowed. This view of duty I must urge as an apology far not calling your attention to a Cathedral, and Episcopal residence, or a fund for the support of your Bishop.
"I confess I have neither time nor inclination, to give much serious thought to these and kindred subjects, although I shall cordially concur in any efforts in relation to them, which you may please to put forth."
In Bishop Armitage's Address in 1869, occurs the following:
"By common consent, Milwaukee was to be made the See of the Diocese of Wisconsin, and my residence was virtually fixed in this city, by the offers and resolutions which followed my election in your last Convention.
"Accordingly, in our earliest consultations, the Bishop [Kemper] assigned to me the organization of Church work in this city, in reference to its Diocesan relations. Much of my time has been given, and must still be given, to the effort to strengthen the Church in this centre."
In his Address to the Council of 1869, Bishop Armitage says:
"I may be expected to speak of the progress of the work entrusted to me by the Bishop (Kemper) and virtually, by the Convention, on my first coming to the Diocese; viz.: the establishment of the See Principle, the gradual erection of Milwaukee into the See of Wisconsin. * * * With the Bishop's (Kemper) approval in every important step, and with his kind confidence throughout, I have done what I could under the very peculiar difficulties of the task; and can report, at least, an outline traced, though the filling in may be far in the future. * * *
"As Clergy and people learn to appreciate the Church's Mission, and work, apart from Parish organization, and the possibility of its being carried on, by and under the Bishop, not only without interference with Parishes, but even for their help and benefit, more will be done, not only in Milwaukee, but in other cities, on the principle of the See" the plan which seems new, because it is a return to the old,"which will make its way, not only because of primitive precedent and authority, but because it is commended by practical common sense." 
In 1873 Bishop Armitage says: "I shall never see it (the Cathedral system) all worked out, but I know that some will by-and-by; and it is worth living for, and dying for, to lay the foundations of it all. * * * No Parish can be interfered with, or anything but helped, by a genuine Cathedral work; and I ask only for the time necessary to show it, to secure the admission of that fact, even from those who doubt whereunto this will grow."
Such were the mind and spirit of the two predecessors of Bishop WELLES in the Episcopate of Wisconsin, and the work came to him as a holy heritage.
His conception of it is clear in his own words: "Your Bishop, in coming into this Diocese, cannot have read its mind and purpose amiss; he cannot see that he has acted otherwise than his predecessors have done, and the Council has authorized (and declared to be the ancient and right way), in continuing this work, in taking the lead in forming it, in assigning person's to the care of it:"
Concerning the charge of innovation in the matter of Sisterhoods, the Bishop quoted from the Address of Bishop Kemper, to the Annual Council of 1866, the following words:
"Whatever may be the zeal and devotion of the Clergy, (and I thank God, that no Bishop can be surrounded by a more faithful band of fellow-workers,) our progress depends mainly, almost exclusively, indeed I may say, under God, upon the hearty, active, personal cooperation of the laymen and women of the Church. It is theirs to hold up, and strengthen, the feeble hands of the Clergy, * * * to give, so far as their proper influence can effect it, their sons as standard bearers of the Cross; to unite (under proper circumstances and regulations), in Christian brotherhoods and sisterhoods, through whose agency most effectual comfort and consolation can be imparted to the distressed and the dying. In these, and many such like ways, are you, dear brethren of the laity, called on by the Master and the Church, to help forward the blessed work which, remember, the Lord has entrusted to us all."
Bishop WELLES quotes, also, from the Annual Address of Bishop Armitage in 1869: "Of city mission work, of a sisterhood devoted thereto, of Church Schools and of a Diocesan office, I hardly dare call attention to the beginnings we have; but any one of them only lacks hearty cooperation, and means of support, to make it what we would own with pride." 
"With these declarations on the part of Bishop Kemper and Bishop Armitage, sustained and legalized by the Diocese, as appears in the note below, is it not evident that this work, too, was an inheritance that came to the third Bishop of Wisconsin? Would not the Christian conscience of a thoughtful man, realize a responsibility to God and the Church, for the development of work thus passed on from holy hands to holy hands, and endorsed by the legislative action of the Diocese? And are not these facts, and these thoughts of true responsibility, an overwhelming answer to the charges of revolutionizing, innovation and self-sufficiency, deviation from old paths, alleged against the Bishop in the letter of the three laymen, and maliciously continued, or ignorantly repeated, even now?
At the Annual Council of 1879, the Bishop delivered his Address in lieu of the customary Council Sermon. In the Address, he used these words, in which, be it remembered, for the first time, he advised legislation upon the subject of the Cathedral:
"An all-important question to be considered at this Council is that of Cathedral organization. As your Bishop, I desire to speak plainly and frankly to you on this subject. The Ordinal of the Church in its office of consecration, places the Bishop over the Diocese in which he is to preside as the father and pastor of the flock. It requires him to be an example to God's people, in patience, humility, holiness, in all Christian graces, but especially, as I would note in this connection, in that zeal and desire for the extension of God's kingdom on earth, which shall make him the Chief Missionary of his Diocese. The powers inherent in his office, the authority he wields, are all from God, and to be used for His glory, and for the extension of His Church. The Bishop needs his home to be the centre of unity for his Diocese, and a kindly hospitality. He needs his Diocesan office where the official papers of the Diocese may be gathered, arranged, systematized; he needs his band of helpers that he may as Chief Missionary, work effectively where he sees the need of mission work; he needs his Church"a Church forever and entirely free, wherein, through the ministry of his Cathedral staff, ho may arrange and secure an unbroken round of services-daily morning and evening prayer, Sunday and Holy clay Communion at the least; better still, if there could be each morning a Celebration of the Blessed Sacrament. The Bishop's Church should surely be one patterned after the Prayer Book, as regards the continuous service of prayer and praise, and the Bishop should feel that from that Church a beneficent influence might go out to pervade the Diocese.
"As I said in my last Address, ''My judgment is to let it develop itself by a natural growth, patiently guided and regulated by the best wisdom we can bring to bear upon it, but not to cast it by hasty legislation into an iron system.' * * 'To put this plan into operation in the tentative way which I propose"the wisdom of which I think all will undoubtedly acknowledge"it is necessary that the Bishop should appoint the first Chapter. If I can gather around me in this Chapter, clergy and laity in whose wisdom, experience, and love for Christ and His Church, I have unwavering confidence, I look forward to the time when I can present to the Council a perfected plan of Cathedral organization.'
"It will be seen by these declarations, and by my words and acts in forming the Chapter, that the Canon was tentative, not final; that it was then designed, at this Council, to propose the Canon in an amended form, and that whenever a Canon should be agreed upon by the Bishop and the Council, this temporary Chapter would pass out of existence. Nothing more surprising "more utterly unreasonable can be imagined, than the fierce assault made upon my action; and surely to have influenced the Diocese, it was not necessary that the circulars containing this attack should have been sent to all parts of the country.
"My object in organizing the Chapter was threefold: To assist me in the care and supervision of this valuable property; to advise with me in regard to the precise work of which the Cathedral was the centre and the very focus;' to counsel with me in regard to the perfected Canon in contemplation. The last of these offices it has performed; and I lay before you, at this Council, a Canon, by no means perfect, but, I trust, to some extent, perfected, and I ask for it, at your hands, patient consideration. Two or three principles contained, I deem essential to any Cathedral organization. One is, that the Bishop should have the nomination "of those" who are to work with him; another, that the Church should be Diocesan; another that the Bishop should have the veto power upon the acts of the Chapter, so that he may guide and control the work for which he is responsible. A fourth point is that the legislation expressed in the Canon shall be as little and simple as possible. The less there is connected with formulating and setting into operation even the essential departments of this work, the wiser and better. Time and experience will indicate what is most needed.
"There are many reasons for desiring an early organization of the Cathedral Chapter, if it can be secured with the confidence of the Diocese.
"One thing more must be kept in mind throughout. The Cathedral, to be of any value, must be always contemplating work"hard, honest work.
"No true Bishop will ever seek to lord it over God's heritage. No devout and reverent Priest will ever make his own self-will the measure of his duty. No layman worthy of the name, will ever refuse personal effort and a free-will offering for the support of his Pastor and the work of the Church, because everything in the Parish and in the Diocese is not in strict accordance with his will, or fancy, or desire. And surely no Parish will refuse to do its allotted, constitutional, Canonical work in that Diocesan body of which it is a constituent part, unless unreasoning prejudice holds sway. But always, whenever and wherever such prejudice controls, there trouble, and shame, and inefficiency ensue, and then comes confusion, and every evil work. Where one is really seeking to live and act in accordance with the will of God, personal feeling is subordinated to the higher claim of duty. If in all the work upon which we are now entering, there is the one wish to do God's work in the way most pleasing to Him, then our labors will be crowned with blessings. No legislation in the Diocese should be taken that does not secure the hearty approval of the three constituent parts"the Bishop, and a large majority of Clergy and laity. It is far better to work on in the old way, than that by any present legislation one element should be tyrannized over by another; or that there should be in any mind a well-founded grievance. No teaching can possibly be more pernicious than that which inculcates division between the members of the One Body, and no teacher more harmful than one who sows dissension, and says that there are divided interests in the Household of Faith.
"Another principle is that Christians should be very careful to cultivate a respect not only for law, but for the officers who are appointed to carry out the law.
"No organization can long maintain itself, which makes little of those who express its will"least of all the Church, if it makes little of those whom God has set in it, to be subject to His guidance, and to express His will in it and through it.
"Another principle, and it seems strange one should ever have occasion to enunciate it, so evident it must appear, is: That members of the Church should not bring out matters, which concern the Parish or Diocese alone, to the notice of the general world. A brother Bishop has spoken words which I heartily endorse. Offenses must needs come, 'but why,' he says, 'must they be submitted to a public who can neither appreciate nor adjudge them? Is it not, before a Christian, Churchly conscience, an unlawful use of the mail, a perversion of the press, to thrust into notice the differences and distractions of the Parochial or Diocesan Households of Faith? The good sense of the Church and the love of peace should, as far as may be, let these things abide where they belong.'
"And now, Brethren, I commend you unto God in all the work for which you are gathered here.
"If we desire nothing but the glory of God and the extension of His Church, then our labors will be in a spirit of love; and that Wisdom which is from above, pure, peaceable, gentle and easy to be entreated, will give us a right judgment in all things."
The Canon, read by the Bishop in his Address, was presented by the Rev. Dr. Adams on the afternoon of the first day of the Council, and was referred to the Committee on Canons.
Following the reference, was a Report of the Committee on Privilege; and then, immediately, the Rev. Dr. Fulton presented five proposed Canons of the Cathedral which were referred to the Committee.
Immediately, the Rev. Dr. Egar proposed two Canons on the Cathedral and Council of the See; he was followed by Mr. Moses M. Strong, who proposed a Canon on the Cathedral property, and all were referred to the Committee on Canons. It seemed, in some respects, to recall the condition of the Light Brigade and their charge at Balaklava, as described by Tennyson in his memorable lines:
"Can(n)on to right of them,
Can(n)on to left of them,
Can(n)on in front of them,
Volley'd and thonder'd."
At the evening session of the Council, it was "Resolved, that the Canon presented in the Bishop's Address be taken up by the Convention, discussed and passed upon, section by section." And by vote of the Council, such consideration was made the order of the day at ten o'clock the following morning.
The forenoon of the following day was consumed in dilatory pleas, on the part of those opposed to the Canon. This obstructive action aroused the indignation of those favorable to the legislation, and they determined to push the matter to a conclusion. Before the opening of the afternoon session, the Bishop asked one of his Clergy to state to him, the present condition of the mind of the body of the Clergy. He was answered that three courses were possible: First, an indefinite postponement of the whole matter; second, the putting of the Can on upon its passage and forcing it to adoption; third, the appointment of a committee of fourteen, with the Bishop as chairman, to which the proposed Canon and all Canons relating to the subject, should be referred; and that all further consideration of the question be postponed to the next Council.
The Bishop considered for a moment, then said: "The way of peace is always the best way. I will choose the committee." The Clergyman said: "Bishop, the first man whom you will appoint on that committee, will be the Rev. Dr. Fulton." He answered: "It most certainly will."
The Council was called to order, and Mr. H. G. Winslow, of Racine, offered the resolution for the appointment of a committee of fourteen, "to act with him," the Bishop, "in framing a Canon, or Canons, for the organization of the Cathedral, to be presented to the next Council."
This was the critical period in the legislation of the Council of the Diocese, and the culminating point of what has been so often called, "the Cathedral war."
On the evening of this day, the Rev. F. Durlin, on the invitation of the Bishop, preached, in the Cathedral, the sermon at a Memorial Service for Dr. deKoven.
It was a singular sermon, leading the hearer along in anxious questioning, until the peroration was reached; when, after having enumerated many instances of what the world calls defeat, the preacher closed with a beautiful and eloquent tribute to the memory of James deKoven:
"But, remember, we did not know him, never should have known him, except for his defeat, and defeat, and defeat. The world, in its blindness, would not, could not, cannot let such a man alone. He is sure to be assailed on all sides, with all the weapons of its savage warfare. Oh, how the blind Giant will rage against the unresisting meekness, and purity, and love, and holiness of such an one.
"He won a great immortal victory; and he won it as all the Saints have and must, by and through the world's victory over them.
"But, you say, the world had no quarrel with James deKoven, did not oppose, did not fight against, did not defeat him; the Church did that; he suffered defeat in the house of his friends. Yes, but the weapons that were used against him, were the weapons of this world. They were forged in its fires, sharpened on its files, and wielded with the strength of its own vindictiveness.
"A man must be tried in all ways, and in every way here, before we can know certainly whereof he is made. And the last severe test comes when he meets his foes; in his manner of conducting the battle, and even more trying, his behaviour towards them after their defeat, and his own defeat,"especially the latter. And so, how could we ever have known James deKoven, our brave comrade in arms, except he had had that great 'fight of afflictions' with the world, and except he had suffered defeat? Defeat? Yes, but a victory only possible to be won thus! A victory such as the Truth, and the Faith, and the Church have not won almost since the flames of martyrdom were quenched. 'I have overcome the world.' Beloved, if we carve those words on the marble reared to the memory of James deKoven, they will be true words there, and they will forever point to the source and origin of his marvellous power, the matchless strength and symmetry of his character, the lofty heroism of his life, and the sweet, fascinating spell that will cling forever to his name and memory."
Does the reader think of another life as he reads these words? Comes there not to him, from Faith Hill, in the cemetery at Forest Home, Milwaukee, the echo of those words of the great Apostle to the Gentiles: "I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith," and of those words of the Master, "I have overcome the world?"
At the Council of 1880, having met several times during the year, the Committee of Fourteen, by their chairman, Dr. Adams, presented a Canon "Of the Cathedral," which was referred to the Committee on Canons, and on motion of the Rev. E. R. Ward, the consideration of the Canon reported by the Committee of Fourteen, was laid on the table indefinitely.
At the Council of 1881, no definite action was had upon the subject of Cathedral Canon, or organization, it being expected and understood, that the Committee on Revision of Constitution and Canons, appointed to report in 1832, would insert in their report the necessary provision, embodying the expressed will of the Council in regard to the Cathedral.
At the Council of 1882, the Bishop, in his Address, made a full and exhaustive review of the subject of the Cathedral, from the time of the initiatory action to memorialize the General Convention, extending through the Episcopate of Bishop Armitage, and his own Episcopate to that date, in which review the subject is fully treated.
The Committee on Revision of Constitution and Canons had reported articles XIII. and XIV. of the Constitution, and Title IV., Canon III., upon the subject of the Cathedral, which were adopted and embodied.
At the close of the Council, the Bishop made a brief address, the only one of the kind ever made by him. In it he refers to the Constitutional and Canonical establishment of the Cathedral by unanimous vote of the Council, and says: "In your recognition of the Cathedral, in the brief article in the Constitution, and the short Canon, everything that I desire has been accomplished. I look to you, my brethren of the Clergy, and you, my brethren of the laity, to aid by your sympathy, and your advice, in the work I have before me, in the matter of Cathedral organization. It is the Bishop's Church, and therefore the Church of every Clergyman, and every layman of the Church in this Diocese. I anticipate the happy day, when, the debt of $12,000 on the Cathedral being paid, and the Chancel built, with appropriate seats therein for every Clergyman in the Diocese, the Bishop with his Crown of Presbyters, and representatives from every Parish and Mission in the Diocese, gathered in the Church, the Cathedral of Wisconsin, may be solemnly consecrated. God grant that it may come in our day!"
In the year 1884, the tenth year of the Bishop's consecration, a Jubilee Service was held in the Cathedral on All Saints' Day, and the debt upon the Cathedral and Cathedral Hall was extinguished, thus fulfilling, in part, the earnest prayer of the Bishop's heart, in his closing Address at the Council three years before.
At the session of the Council in 1883, the Bishop, in his Address, referring to the growing Churchly character of the Cathedral Service and work, uses these words:
"And when, in the spirit of the Church, we multiply the forces at our command, and with methods and teachings consecrated by ages of reverent use, do the Master's work,"though that work may not come into public notice at once, and may not gain the popular applause and commendation, which at times are given to efforts of a more pretentious character,"we may be assured that results will be manifest in the deeper earnestness of individual Christian lives, in more reverent and general regard for the Holy Communion, and a constant increase in all kinds of good works.
"But the obligations of the disciple are not fulfilled even when there is strict and conscientious attention to the duties of the Parish, if the work ends there. A most vicious spirit it is which at times pervades Parishes. The vice of Congregationalism, or independency, which, in this connection, is but another name for selfishness, the spirit which, so long as one's own wants, spiritual or temporal, are satisfied, recks little whether the world around perishes or not. The antidote for all this is the Missionary Spirit. If our hearts are warm with Christian zeal, then we will pray for the success of Mission work, talk about it, and, as God has blessed us, give for it. Every Parish, every Mission, every congregation, should throw itself into this work with all its might."
A pleasing incident in the work of this Council, was a suspension of the Rules, and a presentation to the Bishop of a Pastoral staff from his clergy, by the Rev. Dr. Wright. The staff was planned by the Rev. Dr. Hopkins, was unique in design, and beautiful in workmanship. It was a testimonial of the love and loyalty of his Clergy, in recognition, by them, of the patience of his life and character, as a tender and true Father in God. It was intended by them as a surprise to their spiritual head, even as the child joys in the secrecy of the preparation of his or her Christmas gift, for an honored and beloved parent. But it pains us to record, that this loving purpose and action was not a secret to the Bishop, but had already come to his knowledge in a very painful way. For he received, anonymously, and with evident malice prepense, on the part of the sender, a Milwaukee paper, containing both a communication, in regard to the proposed presentation of the staff, and an uncivil editorial, both in ill accord with the character of gentlemen, and the obligations of Christians. Some men, who, no doubt, profess and call themselves Christians, and listen and respond to the petition that all such "may be led into the way of truth, and hold the faith, in unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life," had wickedly taken it upon themselves, as laymen, to cast stones at their Father in God, and to flout at the action of the Clergy in presenting the staff. They even went so far as to demand, presumptively, a right to take part in that which was intended to be done only by those in Holy Orders, following the ill example which was set for men in the days of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.
But, contrary to the purpose, and despite the malice of these persons, it was a joy to the heart of the Bishop, to receive this token of the love, and loyalty of his sons in the Lord.
In felicitous language, he commented upon the symbolism of design shown in the staff, tracing the historic continuity of the Church, in her Apostleship from the days of Gregory the Great, to the death of the saintly and martyred Armitage. To the donors, and to all of truly Catholic spirit in the Diocese, it has been a pleasure, that this badge of holy office, and token of awful responsibility was, for five years, borne in thankful love to God, and to his children in the Church, by our departed Shepherd.
There are men in society, who never can be gentlemen; they have not the capacity. They can not attain to a true conception of the gentlemanly character. They have not, and, not having, can never understand, or appreciate, the high sensibility through which the heart of a delicate nature is often caused to quiver, and bleed, by the low and coarse touch of those who are but seeking food for derision and a mark for mirth. There are petty persecutions and insolences, which tell as deeply and fatally upon the life of a sensitive soul, as would the assassin's knife upon the body. There is many a martyrdom for Christ and for His Church, which does not, indeed, know the stake and fagot, the cross, or headsman's sword; but which is no less real, through the secret and hidden pain which tells so fearfully on the inner life of a gentle soul, which suffers, and dies, and makes no sign.
The writer of this has in his possession, articles from the public print, and anonymous letters, which would kindle the glow of indignation in the cheek of any honorable man, and should make the authors blush for shame; for such attacks were the iron that entered deepest into the Bishop's soul.
In the words of one who knew and loved the Bishop, "this steady stream of obloquy, falling on the public ear like the incessant plapping of Barnes Newcome's talk, has its effect on nerve, and brain, and fibre. Constant dropping wears away the rock; continual ramming at a man's heart will affect, though it were brave as the heart of a lion." And these are the hidden causes of things in the life, which medical science cannot correctly diagnose, and which its remedies cannot heal.
The wounded dove covers the hurt with her wings; the stricken hart flees to the water brooks, and the Christian gentleman, who is wounded in the house of his friends, hides the secret pain from the eyes of all but Him, Who is the Living Water, and Who, in the hour of mortal pain, said: "I thirst."
But such is the portion of the great-hearted servants of Jesus Christ, until the end of time. It is in fulfilment of the Master's assurance, "In the world ye shall have tribulation;" and the heart going on its way with the sickening sense of being misunderstood, finds its comfort in the further assurance, "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
The Council of 1884 was the tenth anniversary of the Bishop's elevation to the Episcopate. On the second day of the Session, the Rev. Dr. Kemper offered a Resolution, seconded by the Rev. Dr. Ashley and adopted by a rising vote:
"Resolved, That this Council hereby offer to the Bishop, as the tenth anniversary of his Episcopate approaches, the assurance of their sincere love and loyalty; of their deep sympathy with him in all the trials and disappointments that belong to his high office, and of their prayers for God's blessing upon him and his work."
In his Address, the Bishop gave the summary of growth in ten years in the Diocese:
"These ten years have been to your Bishop years of ceaseless work and very great anxiety, and not few nor inconsiderable were the hindrances which at times were put in his way, and the burdens which were added to his necessary cares; but the burdens and hindrances have been as a feather's weight when put in the balance against the confidence, the interest and the active sympathy which, all through the Diocese, have given him helpful assurance of readiness to cooperate in the Church's work, and, by the grace of God, the work of the Diocese has prospered and grown. In 1875, the census of those counties of the state comprising the Diocese of Wisconsin shows the Diocese to have contained a population of 845,293; in 1880, the population was 890,618; and the estimated population at present is about 920,000, the increase being about 8 per cent, for the nine years. The number of communicants in the Diocese reported in 1875 was 3,358; in 1883,4,789, being an increase of about 45 per cent, against the increase in population of 8 per cent. The Parishes and Missions reported in 1875 numbered 80; in 1883,108; being an increase of 35 per cent.
"There have been built in the Diocese, during these ten years, thirty-two Churches and Chapels, and eleven Rectories, and at Watertown, Mineral Point, Racine, Elkhorn, Janesville, Portage and other places considerable improvements have been made in Church property, in interior decorations, repairs and desirable changes. There have also been built in this time, S. John's Home, Milwaukee, and S. Luke's Hospital, Chippewa Falls."
On the 27th day of September, 1884, the Standing Committee of the Diocese sent out a circular to the Clergy and congregations, relating to the Tenth Anniversary of the Consecration of Bishop WELLES. All were asked to give their prayers and their alms in behalf of the Cathedral, that all indebtedness thereon might be cancelled on All Saints' Day. The Bishop preached a Memorial Sermon on Sunday, October 26th, and on Friday, the 31st, the Vigil of All Saints, began the Jubilee Services. The Bishops of Springfield, and of Tennessee, were present on the occasion. The preacher was Bishop Seymour. In his Sermon he traced the history of the American Church from the time of Bishop Seabury, showing, by the light of history, the continuity of the Church in its Ministry, Sacraments, and Ritual, from the earliest days until the present.
The Feast of All Saints on this year, was made memorable, in the history of the Diocese, by the fact that it witnessed the liquidation of the Cathedral debt, by lifting the mortgages which had encumbered the property since 1868, and the solemn presentation of them on the Altar. It was a glad and happy season, to those who had borne the burden through the long term of years, looking forward in hope for the consummation that day reached. The preacher of the Sermon was the Bishop of Tennessee. He dwelt on the function of a true Cathedral, and congratulated the Diocese on the success which it had attained. One pregnant sentence was: "A Bishop who plays Cathedral in a Parish Church; will fail, and deserves to fail."
On the 14th of December, the Bishop read in the Cathedral, the letter of resignation of the Rev. Dr. Spalding, as Dean of the Cathedral. The Bishop had refused, repeatedly, to accept Dr. Spalding's resignation, and consented, only on being convinced that the good of Dr. Spalding's health required that acceptance be made. For years, Dr. Spalding had stood bravely by Ms Bishop, through good report and evil report; and in a spirit of loyalty, had often borne the reproach of things for which he was not to blame. The Diocese of Milwaukee will ever owe a debt to Dr. Spalding, for his courage and steadfastness in times of the greatest trouble and uncertainty.
At the Council of 1885, the Bishop, in his Address, after speaking of the Jubilee Services at the Cathedral, and his thankfulness for the then present condition of the Cathedral property, goes on to say:
"In a few years, by the help of God, the debt will be removed from that portion of the block on which the Chapel, and School, the Clergy House, and Church Home stands, and then the Diocese of Wisconsin will be in possession of a property of great value, and of an organized work as real in its character and as churchly and Catholic in intention and manner, as can be found in any Diocese in the land. * * *
"The opening of the Church Book Store in Milwaukee is one of the gratifying and important events of the year. If an interest is felt and manifested all through the Diocese, great good will be accomplished through this agency. An acquaintance with the store will show that it is controlled by one who knows what a Church book store should be, and whose business management will commend it to all who deal there. The stock of Church books for the family, the study, the closet, the Sunday and Parish schools, will always be full. Abundant provision will be made for the Advent and Lenten seasons, and for Christmas and Easter. If there is an appreciation of this work, we may, in a few years, have an excellent Church publishing house in our midst, and be enabled to do incalculable good in the way of Church instruction and extension.
It may seem to the reader, that an undue prominence has been given in this portion of the Memoir, to the Bishop's course of action in reference to the Cathedral organization and development. Such a thought would be natural to one unacquainted with all the environments of the Bishop's position. There would not have been this fulness of statement, had the writer not known that the one great point on which the memory of Bishop WELLES needs vindication, in the minds and hearts of many who may read these pages, is this Cathedral question. It is important that the reader should know how much, and what manner, of work was inherited by him in this thing. To make the matter clear it was needful to go into the history of the legislation of the Diocese, and the action of its three Bishops. This statement will serve, to the candid reader, as an apology for treating of this matter to an extent which otherwise would have been undesirable.
It will be apparent to many, that if any man in modern times ever had a true conception of the Episcopate, with its weight of duties and responsibilities, that man was our late Father in God, EDWARD RANDOLPH WELLES. As one set to rule and feed the flock of Christ, he must be both to himself, and to his people, not only the Chief Missionary, but the Chief Pastor of his Diocese.
In the Spirit of the Master, he must go out into the highways and hedges, must travel the wilderness and prairie to seek for the Master's scattered sheep, and to call to the knowledge and grace of a Saving "Faith, those who know not God. In his primary Address, the Bishop said:
"We all know that in this city, hundreds, it may be thousands, are perishing for lack of knowledge; that in crowded alleys and close rooms all about us, there are people who lie in a darkness more dense than that of the heathen who know not God. * * * It is a part of a Bishop's work, aside from those functions, which, in an especial manner, pertain to the Episcopate, to 'rescue souls for whom Jesus was Incarnate; to guide to Him men who scarcely know that He died and lives again; to comfort the penitent; to heal the broken-hearted; to sympathize with the unhappy; to bring souls to Christ.' "
But in his See city, the duty was plain to his own heart, that he must be the Chief Pastor of his Diocese; and in his Cathedral, by doctrine, worship, and ritual, establish and conserve that which was best and truest, for the development of the spiritual life in the Parishes and Missions of his Diocese.
If there be a need of the Cathedral system, the need must lie in this very thing. The system is not one for domination, but for example in work and worship and subordination through the example. The Cathedral is the Church of the Diocese. If the principle of Ecclesia Docens is true of the General Church, that of Cathedra Docens must be so in Diocesan limits. To insure unity, such as God requires in the Body of Christ, there must be loyalty unswerving in Parishes and Missions, to the principles of the Cathedral, and its work. The bane of Parochial Congregationalism must be neutralized, and made innocuous. It is true, that the work of the Parishes, as such, must go on unrestrained in all things lawful; but looking for uniformity in ritual, and worship, to the example of the Bishop in his Cathedral Church, to show forth as the representative of Jesus Christ, such example to the flock, calls, indeed, for the wisdom that is first "pure, then peaceable, easy to be entreated, full of faith and good works, without partiality, and without hypocrisy."
So sure as the promise of Christ is true, "Lo, I am with you always," will He guide the hearts and minds of His under-shepherds, if they seek to Him in humble prayer. And guidance by them of those to whom they are sent, is the duty of their office, and acceptance of that guidance, is the duty of the flock, Clergy and laity, in each Parish and Mission.
It is known to many, that Bishop WELLES took great interest in, and endorsed the work of Parochial Missions. These Missions strive to accomplish in the Church's way, that which is sought to be done by the Revival system in Sectarian Bodies. The seasons of Advent and Lent, by their very spirit and design, are fitted as no others can be for such work. And it was this knowledge, which caused the Bishop so cordially to adopt and encourage the holding of Parochial Missions in his Diocese. In this the Cathedral Church set the example, and the Missioners were called by the voice of the Bishop.
It was with the Bishop, a John-Baptist realization of the coming of the Lord, and the need of a preparation for the Kingdom of Heaven. He would awaken the wilderness echoes, with the warning which called men to Christ at the first, would teach them to desire Him ere they beheld Him.
The Parochial Mission may be called an experiment, but an experiment of faith; a faith in the power of Jesus to open the blinded eyes, and unstop the deaf ears, a faith whose continuous realization was the life "that I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." The result at the Cathedral was such as to secure the Bishop's approval, and cause him to commend the adoption of the Parochial Mission system, as a proper way and means of the promotion of Christ's Kingdom.
The Bishop's constitutional habit of thought upon holy things, was such as to lead him ever to seek to connect the new with the old. He thought, with reverence, upon fasting and prayer, as the way of preparation for holy work; the examples of Moses and Elijah, of John Baptist, and the Son of Man, stood before his mind as proofs of this need; he could not but conclude that manhood's need then, is manhood's need now; and so he exhorted his Clergy to seek, by this means, in retirement from the world for a season, an increased measure of the Spirit of the Living God, to help them in the work of reclaiming the wandering, and calling sinners to repentance. In other words, he advocated Retreats for the Clergy, and impressed the use of them, by precept and example. Through and by this, there has, as we may say, been established in this Diocese as an outgrowth of the Cathedral work, an Annual Pre-Lenten Retreat of the Clergy. This Retreat has always had the personal supervision and thought of the Bishop. It is not too much to say, that many Priests of the Diocese have gone back to their work from the Retreats, with hearts newly kindled, and the lines of duty more clearly defined. "The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth shall be watered also himself."
The Bishop realized, in a marked degree, in his own thought and action, the expansive power of the increased spiritual life, as related to the great work of Missions. He sought to impress this upon the heart of his Diocese. In his Council Address of 1887, his last before the final breaking down of his health, he says:
"The real strength of the Diocese is in the increase of spiritual life in individual souls, that so the life of the congregation is inspired with a holy purpose; in the case of any disciple, when once the love of God becomes the dominant principle, all coldness, and neglect, and delay, pass out of sight, and then giving, and doing, in the Church, for the Church, are matters of privilege. * * * All work in the congregation, of whatever kind or character it may be, whether of the Auxiliary or of a more strictly Parochial character, must always have Church Missions or Church Extension in view. There must be in all our methods of work, a recognition of the underlying fact, that the true ecclesiastical unit is the Diocese, and not the Parish. That congregation is always the strongest in everything that is Churchly and enduring, which is furthest removed from Parochial selfishness. A great and vital principle determines the character of our ecclesiastical system"determines it, I mean, as to its reality, "Whatever it may be in name, real power is regulated by adherence to the principle of Diocesan unity. Departure from that principle entails loss and weakness in the Parish, and in the Diocese. The recognition and application ensures strength in the congregation; it nourishes growth and expansion, and ministers to the real character and strength of the Diocese. Every baptized child of God should desire to extend the Church, and to help make manifest, throughout the length and breadth of the Diocese, its conservative Catholic life. In all that pertains to the work of the Church, the thought of extension should incite to prayers and alms."
From the time of his ordination to the Diaconate, Bishop WELLES understood the principle expressed in Ecclesia Docens, as including the Mission of the Church in every sphere of life, especially in that of the education of the young. This was evidently his thought, when a tutor in DeVeaux College, and when he came to the Diocese of Minnesota, to take charge of the Parish at Ked Wing, he established, as soon as possible, as an integral part of his work"the Parish School. That school was sustained continuously during his entire Rectorship, and the strengthening of the Parish by it, in every way, made an indelible impression upon his mind. It is not strange, that the result of this should have been seen in his attachment to the schools of his Diocese, and that his love for the Christian education of the young, should have made him the earnest friend and advocate of all effort in that direction. It brought him into closer relationship with both teachers and students, and intensified his influence in each school of his Diocese, in which he had either advisory power, or official direction. His sympathy and fellow feeling with students, was a marked feature of his character. The memory of his own school life seemed to dwell with him in such force, as to lead him unconsciously into the lives of all students who came into touch with him.
Remembering the injunction to S. Peter, "Feed my lambs," he seemed, as it were, to carry the young in his heart. There is, in all his Council Addresses, constant and affectionate reference to the Schools of the Diocese, including Nashotah, Racine, Kemper Hall, Fond du Lac and S. John's, Delafield, and the Cathedral Parish School. His influence in these schools deepened, in a marked degree, especially during the later years of his Episcopate. He was held in fond veneration by teachers and students alike, and the words of the students' organ at Racine, in the notice of the Bishop's death, are truly affectionate and discriminating:
"His kind face and words won the love of every boy who knew him, and by his ability to remember something of each one, he made them feel that they held a distinct place in his mind. In truth, he was their ideal Bishop; and even those who saw him only as he was with us in our chapel services, instantly felt that deep respect which he always commanded. As one in writing of him has already quoted, 'the peace of God was in his looks'"not in his looks only, but throughout his whole life, amid the trials and anxieties of his great work, the peace of God was felt diffusing its blessing on all with whom he came in contact."
At Nashotah, he seemed, as it were, to revive and to recall the genius and spirit of James Lloyd Breck. In Racine College, the Bishop felt the deepest interest from the beginning, kindled, doubtless, to greater intensity by the warm and loving welcome, and transcendent loyalty, of that gallant and knightly soul, James deKoven.
When Dr. deKoven died, the Bishop took charge of the College, for the time being, so that it became, in a manner, an inheritance from his departed friend.
A Priest of this Diocese said, not long ago: "When the Life of Bishop WELLES is written, as it will be one day, his constant remembrance and thought of the schools of the Diocese, can not be too plainly shown. On every visitation, he seemed to carry them in his heart, ever thoughtful of the welfare of them all. No other proof is needed of this, than the constant and affectionate reference to the schools in his Council Addresses, and in the Calendar."
It may have been his loyalty to the memory of James de Koven, that gave him special interest in the welfare of S. John's Academy, Delafield. Such interest he surely manifested, and the prosperity of the school, at this time, is due largely to his wise advice, and fatherly oversight. One of his last conversations with the writer, was of the need, in this school, of increased accommodation for pupils, and the expressed conviction of its great value to the Diocese, under its present direction, as an agency for training young men in true Christian manliness, to the honor of God in His Church; and almost his last official act in his Diocese, was the Confirmation of a class of boys in this school.
The fact that Kemper Hall was a memorial of the first Bishop of the Diocese, would, of itself, have commanded the Bishop's loving regard. But the intimate relation into which he was brought, during the first years of his Episcopate, with this school, by reason of its financial difficulty, and his long continued oversight of it, intensified an interest which could not have ceased to be life-long.
In 1878, at the Lambeth Conference, he said, in a debate on Sisterhoods: "It is only a question of time as to their general acceptance. Both in New York and Boston, I, myself, have examined the actual work of the Sisters, and my firm judgment is, that the need of Sisterhoods will make itself increasingly felt, in the Educational and Charitable works of the Church."
This judgment of his, was confirmed by the lapse of years; and the Sisters of S. Mary, on taking charge of Kemper Hall, found in their Bishop an earnest, faithful friend. There were those who, with unreasoning prejudice, looked upon the Sisters with suspicion, and treated them with scorn. Cruel aspersions were cast on the Bishop for giving them support in their work. We refer to this, only as indicating the persecution that the self-denying must suffer for righteousness' sake.
But the work at Kemper Hall has gone on, winning gradual respect from its enemies; and the time will come, when the wish of the Bishop respecting the Sisters, and the School, shall be realized. Speaking of their taking permanent possession of Kemper Hall, as their centre of western work, he says, in a private letter: "In my judgment, this ranks as one of the most important events of my Episcopate."
In the Council of 1886, the Committee, to whom was referred so much of the Bishop's Address as related to Kemper Hall, reported the following Resolutions, which were adopted:
"Resolved, That the Council has heard with great satisfaction of the disposition made by the Trustees of the Memorial School to the first Bishop of Wisconsin, and desires to place on record its sense of indebtedness to the Sisters of S. Mary for the earnest work they have done in the past, amid so many discouragements.
"Resolved, That we rejoice in the fact that arrangements have been completed which guarantee their permanency in the Diocese, and we pledge them our earnest co-operation and support in the educational work in which they are engaged.
"Resolved, That the Secretary be instructed to transmit a copy of these resolutions to the Sister in charge at Kemper Hall.
L. H. MOREHOUSE, J. M. EVANS, SAM'L. EALES."
This action of the Council, endorsing the policy of the Bishops, commits the Diocese irrevocably to the support of Kemper Hall, as a prominent Diocesan Institution.
During the time of the Bishop's Rectorship at Red Wing, he sustained the service of daily morning prayer in the Church. In those earlier days, there was no railway communication in Minnesota. The travel was by steamboat on the Mississippi. One morning a steamer landed at the levee, about the time that the Church bell rang for service. A lady passenger, hearing the bell, asked what it meant, and was answered, that it was the bell of the Episcopal Church, ringing for morning prayer. She asked the captain how long the boat would remain at the levee. Finding that it would be two hours, she went to the Church, and attended the service. On going out from the Church, she asked one of the parishioners, the Rector's name. Years afterwards, when he had come as Bishop to Wisconsin, and was planning the erection of S. John's Home, Bishop WELLES received, one day, a letter containing a cheque for $3,000.00, and recalling the incident of that morning service in the Church at Ked Wing, years before. The writer asked that the Bishop use the money enclosed for any work to which he desired to apply it. It was used in the erection of S. John's Home. This charity for the aged Mothers of the Church, was always dear to the heart of the Bishop, and one of the sweetest evidences of the depth of his Christian and fatherly love.
In his letter of acceptance, the Bishop had said: "If the General Church shall ratify your choice, and I shall be consecrated to the office of a Bishop, I will share with every brother in the Diocese, the zeal and earnestness in labor, and in love, which will be ours, if we are Christ's." It is a joy to many, to feel how faithfully this promise was fulfilled. There was in him, a deep sympathy with, and loyalty to his Clergy in all their trials. Never had Priests of God a more faithful Father, or more tender friend. In silence, and with secrecy, his hand helped to ease the weight of many a burden. From his own means, which were never large, it was not seldom that he gave to relieve the needs of his Clergy. Only the day of God will reveal the extent of his Christian love in this regard, when the Master shall say, 'Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me.'"
It was not only to the Clergy that his love went out. Almost every layman in the Diocese had felt the grasp of his Bishop's hand, and the love of his Bishop's heart. It is written of the good Shepherd, "He calleth His own sheep by name;" and as it is written, so it was fulfilled in this Chief Pastor of the flock. It was proverbial in the Diocese, that the Bishop always remembered a countenance, and never forgot a name. This fact assured his people that he bore them in his heart. The reciprocity of love's great law, called for a return, and in thousands of cases it was faithfully made; and to him this was God's great recompense, for much that he was called on to endure. It was singularly pleasant to see how large a portion of his correspondence, was with children, boys and girls, and little ones. Many of them will treasure, in their after life, the letters written by his hand, as being blessings, for which God's holy Name be praised.
At the Council of 1887, which was virtually the last one at which he presided, and made a full and regular Address, he spoke pregnant words on two questions which were, and are, occupying the mind of the Church; viz.: the attendance at Celebrations of the Holy Communion for prayer, and meditation, and worship; and the change of the name of our Branch of the Church Catholic.
"Dear Brethren of the Clergy and Laity," his Address begins: "I greet you to-day with a heart full of gratitude to Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, for His loving kindness. He has mercifully preserved me during the various chances of enforced journeyings, and restored me from a state of serious weakness, to a most benign condition of increasing health and strength. From my place of rest and quiet, I often thought of, and dwelt upon, the changes which the years have wrought in the Diocese, since I came to be your Bishop. One by one, men high in position and revered throughout the Church, have rested from their labors, and the places which once knew them so well, know them no more in earthly toil. The secret of the Saints was surely with such devout souls as deKoven, and Cole, and Kemper, and Lance, and Livermore, not to mention others of the brethren, who, in these years, have fallen asleep. The teachings of these saintly men bear fruit perennially. I am sure that throughout the Diocese there has been, in the last decade, a general and wholesome spiritual growth. The more frequent Celebrations of the Holy Communion attest a deeper appreciation of the Church's precious doctrine of the Real Presence of our dear Lord, in the Sacrament of His Body and Blood. We cannot over-estimate the wondrous power of that great Sacrifice. We cannot, with our poor faculties, measure or rightly value the gift that is vouchsafed to the soul that devoutly and faithfully communicates. The highest act of worship on earth, the hour of special heartfelt devotion to the Incarnate God, is surely the time for us to make our prayers with a greatly quickened faith. At the Altar in the Cathedral chapel, morning after morning, prayer is made for the Diocese, and may we not believe that for the sake of the Holy Sacrifice which we there continually offer before God, our prayer will be answered?
"In many Parishes there is now weekly and Holy Day Communion. There are three daily Celebrations in the Diocese. When we recall the words of the Master, that, in receiving His Body and Blood in Holy Communion, we are made sharers of His life, with what gratitude should every true disciple note the increase in frequency of this service of Eucharist. For, if there is one doctrine more plainly taught in Holy Scripture than another, it is this most blessed one of the spiritual Presence of Christ in the Sacrament. Can we doubt that as this precious truth is more fully grasped by the disciple, the soul will be filled with a holy zeal in the service of God; that the offering which, in the Prayer of Consecration, we individually make"' Here we offer and present unto Thee ourselves, our souls and bodies' "will be a great and blessed reality, and the assurance of the Divine Presence will strengthen and comfort the child of God, in the life of devotion and consecration.
"In the early years of my ministry, I sought in my missionary work to establish it as a custom at all the stations in my jurisdiction, that the entire congregation should remain during the Celebration of the Holy Communion, for I felt that no words of man could so preach the Gospel of the Crucified Saviour, as does the Eucharistic Office. I could conceive of no better preparation on the part of the baptized child for Confirmation and Holy Communion, than attendance upon the service as a devout non-communicating worshipper. And where can the humble Christian, the devout penitent, the striving soul, find such an atmosphere for prayer and supplication, for spiritual communion with Jesus, as before the Altar and at the very hour of the great Oblation? I have in mind a devout soul, who, troubled and perplexed for a long time in regard to the Holy Communion, found great comfort in remaining during the service, and at length, peace and joy, as an earnest communicant. And many a time, I doubt not, would the service and the sermon gain immeasurably in influence and effect, if non-communicants remained in prayer and meditation during the Divine Liturgy. Many more would leave the house of God, at such a time, in a frame of mind conducive to spiritual growth and less inclined to worldly gossip and frivolous criticism. * * * *
"THE NAME QUESTION.
"It will be remembered that on the third day of the session of the General Convention which met in Boston, in 1877, the Rev. Dr. deKoven read the preambles and resolutions offered and passed in the Convention of Wisconsin touching the change of name, and the appointment of a constitutional commission to which that and other proposed changes might be referred. It will be remembered, also, that Dr. deKoven, in his speech said: 'I hope that we may call ourselves 'Protestant Episcopal' just so long as it actually represents our condition. Let us be true, whatever else we are. It may be in accordance with our state of mind, to give a name to our Church which represents one feature in our manifold organization, and which represents one feature alone. It may suit our present condition to describe ourselves in that process whereby, in the course of its history, the Anglican Church washed its face! That may suit our present condition; but I believe that the day will come when this Church will demand, not that an accident of its condition, not that a part of its organization, should represent it to the world, but that its immortal lineage, which dates back to the time of our Saviour's sending the Holy Ghost upon His Church, shall truly represent it, and that we only have a right to exist as we are a true member or branch of the Holy Catholic Church, protesting against Roman error and holding with all our hearts, in the words of the Lambeth Conference, to that faith which alone can be preserved in its purity and its integrity, as it is 'taught in the Holy Scriptures, summed up in the Creeds, held by the primitive Church, and affirmed by the undisputed General Councils.'
"The name question is now fairly before the Church, and it will be settled in a spirit of fairness and justice. The time will surely come, it may be sooner or later"for in a matter of this kind a few years are of little account"when the American Church will put aside that misleading title, but she will not do it until there is a general and hearty concurrence in the change. This is not a party measure; its success will be no party triumph. It is simply a manifestation of the Catholic nature of the Church, an assertion of what we all believe that to be a Catholic is not to be necessarily a Roman; that we are Catholics because we are baptized into the Catholic Church, and that branch of the Church, of which we are members, descends from and retains all the essential elements of the one Church of Christ, and the name of the Church is the one name enshrined in the Creeds. And when, in some future General Convention, the final vote shall be taken, and Diocese after Diocese shall record its affirmation, it will be a matter of grateful joy to the Bishop and deputies of this Diocese to recall the fact that a deputy from Wisconsin, in behalf of the Diocese of Wisconsin, was the first to propose this change to the General Convention."
There is every reason to think, that these questions will come up for consideration and action at the next General Convention; and these words of the Bishop are put on record in this Memoir, to indicate his habit of fashioning his judgment by careful consideration, in anticipation of the time when necessity for action should come to him.
We have now reached the period of time, at which the work of Bishop WELLES was substantially finished. Just before the 20th of January, 1887, he confessed his inability to contend longer against failing health, or to continue for some months the work of his office. So he left his Diocese to seek restoration in the climate of Florida, his brother, Dr. Samuel R. Welles journeyed with him, and remained for some time, giving the loving care of a brother, and the skill of a physician, to induce, if possible, an early return of strength to the "poor, worn-out" body and toil-worn mind. The Bishop remained some months at the hospitable homes of both the Rev. Lyman Phelps, and at the Southern home of Bishop Whipple. His letters, during this season, were filled with pleasant and cheerful descriptions of the country, and climate of Florida, and of the enjoyment he felt, in respite from labor, in the Sunny South. It was not until nearly the close of the winter, that he could speak with decided confidence of renewed health.
He returned to his home on the 21st day of May, and took up his work. His friends trembled for the result of his application. It seemed as if he were working beyond his strength, but with the spirit of a man who feels that he has a great work to do, and but little time to do it, he went on steadily with his labor of love. To the suggestion of friends that he should, in some way seek relief, either by asking for help from other Bishops, or by the election of an assistant to bear the burden for him, he quietly answered, "Not this year."
At Christmas time, he officiated in the Cathedral, but soon after, was obliged to suspend his labor, and keep his rooms until after Mid-Lent, when he tried to resume his work, but was obliged to return to the Clergy House. He had overtaxed his strength; but on Palm Sunday he tried to stand again at the post of duty, administering Confirmation at S. Paul's, S. James' and S. John's Churches, Milwaukee, and, on Easter Day, at the Cathedral. He could do no more, and grievous illness followed. His attendant physicians, at this time, were Dr. Wm. Fox, of Milwaukee, and Dr. S. B. Sperry, of Delafield, Wisconsin. To both of these gentlemen and to Dr. Wylly, who attended him in the South, Bishop WELLES was deeply attached.
In the early part of May, he rose from a sick bed with an earnest purpose of continuing his work, but was able to do but little.
On Monday morning, May 2nd, had come a message announcing the death of the Rt. Rev. Dr. Brown, Bishop of Fond du Lac. Bishop WELLES was just convalescing, and the news was a great shock. He was not able to attend at the burial of Bishop Brown, but on the morning appointed for it, a Memorial Celebration of the Holy Eucharist was offered in the Bishop's Oratory, his son officiating, the Bishop and the writer being present, and receiving. In his final and informal Address to his Council a month later, the Bishop says: "My relation to Bishop Brown was that of brotherly affection; in all my own cares of administration, I found him a sympathetic and wise counsellor; and in all the important work and movements in his Diocese, I was deeply and prayerfully interested. * * * In the death of Bishop Brown, not only his Diocese, but the whole Church in the Northwest, has sustained a sore and grievous loss; and very grave is the responsibility resting on the Clergy and laity of the Diocese, to choose one to take up the work of this heroic Bishop, and continue in his Spirit, to develop the many interests which he fostered, and which tell, at once, of his Catholic Spirit, and undaunted courage."
At the Cathedral during May, the Bishop confirmed supplementary classes from S. James' and S. John's Churches, and classes from Christ Church and S. Luke's, Milwaukee.
On the 24th of May, he attended the Commemoration Service, and administered Confirmation at Kemper Hall, Kenosha.
The following letter will explain a very pleasant occurrence connected with the Bishop's proposed departure for England:
DIOCESAN OFFICE, MILWAUKEE, May 28, 1888.
My Dear Mrs. Hearding:"It does, indeed, give me pleasure to thank you, and, through you, the many kind friends in the Diocese, who have united in presenting me, on the eve of my departure for the "Lambeth Conference," a beautiful set of robes, including rochet, stoles, and cassocks, and to express the grateful appreciation such acts of love and sympathy always bring to the heart of Your friend and Bishop,
E. R. WELLES.
On the 29th, the Bishop Confirmed a class at Sussex, and on the 30th a class at S. John's Academy, Delafield. This was his final visitation.
His last official acts were on Sunday, June 3rd, when he blessed the Memorial Bell at Christ Church, Milwaukee, of which his son was Pastor; and on "Wednesday, the 6th, with a face resplendent with the joy and beauty of another life, he delivered, what, perchance he knew, was his last Address to the Diocese.
It had been in his mind to sum up, in a measure, the work of his Episcopate at this time. But he was* not well enough to attempt any formal address. With the condition of the Cathedral he had reason to rejoice. Two years before he had said:
"In the financial report made (at the close of the first year of Dean Mallory's incumbency) to the Cathedral congregation, there is an item of interest in regard to expenditures which I wish to commend to the Diocese. The Parochial, or Congregational expenditures for the year, as reported, are $3,810.26; the Diocesan, $1,032.15; the general, $107.99. In a total of $4,940.40, all of which came through the offertory, the congregation contributed $1,140.14 for objects in the Diocese or General Church, nearly one-quarter of the offerings for the year being given to the work of the Church outside the Cathedral. This I consider a good example for every congregation in the Diocese."
The report to the Council of 1888, was 508 Communicants in the Cathedral. In 1872 there were 171 reported.
The voluntary offerings, as found in the report of the Treasurer of the Council and Board of Missions for the year ending June, 1888, of the Cathedral and Parishes of Milwaukee, may be given:
All Saints' Cathedral.. $426.24
S. John's ....... .......$ 36.77
S. James'............... 206.96
S. Paul's................ 254.57
In his final Address, Bishop WELLES says:
"The year present has been one of very marked results. The zeal, energy, and persistent labors of the Clergy are apparent everywhere. Nothing can be more admirable than their tone and spirit. With the increase of vested choirs, and the multiplication of services, the work of the Church is deepening throughout the Diocese. Early Eucharists were almost universal on Easter morning. In many of the congregations in the Diocese, there is an increasing desire to add to the dignity and devotion of the Celebration of the Holy Communion, and one manifestation has been the disposition for the entire congregation to remain during the Divine Office, and not to impair its solemnity by an unauthorized departure from the church, losing the precious teaching of the Liturgy, losing the great opportunity of intercessory prayer, and losing that Benediction of the Peace of God which passeth all understanding. The real power of the Historic Church, is the firm conviction that she is supernatural, that the Sacraments she administers were committed to her by Almighty God, and we cannot overestimate the preciousness of our Baptism into Christ's Church, nor the unspeakable value of that Sacrament, wherein He comes to us, Who feeds us with His Body and Blood."
On the conclusion of the Address, the Council took recess, that each member might say "good-bye" to his Bishop, and bid him God-speed. More than ever before, did he look the Bishop, in his gentle and lovable dignity, that last hour among his children, as he, their dear Father, passed through their midst, to begin his journey abroad. Going on by easy stages, he reached his birth-place, Waterloo, N. Y., on Saturday afternoon. He passed a quiet Sunday in his old home. On Monday, he left for New York, and on Tuesday, June 12th, sailed in the steamship Arizona for England, accompanied by his sons, and the Bishop of Indiana. The weather was pleasant during the passage, and the Bishop greatly enjoyed the voyage; the more so, because of the opportunity afforded of recalling, with the Bishop of Indiana, the memory of the old days of pioneer work in the Diocese of Minnesota. Landing at Liverpool on the morning of the 21st, the Bishop, with his sons, went directly to Stuffynwood, Derbyshire, Mid-England,
This was the home of Mr. and Mrs. Paget, who had cordially invited "the Bishop to make their home his headquarters, during his sojourn in England."
It had been the Bishop's intention to travel considerably in England, should his health permit. He had spoken to the writer, of a determination to visit Doone Valley, Exmoor, and see the Doone Slide and Bag worthy Pool, descriptions of which he had greatly enjoyed, in listening to "Lorna Doone," during his convalescence.
At the opening sessions of the Lambeth Conference, the Bishop was present for four days, but found his attendance greatly fatiguing.
On invitation, he attended a banquet given by the Lord Mayor to the Bishops. During the remainder of his stay, at that time, in London, he was the guest of the Archbishop of Canterbury, at Lambeth Palace. The final service of the Conference, was in S. Paul's Cathedral, London. Though convinced that attendance upon it would be very fatiguing to himself, the Bishop could not forbear the enjoyment of attending the service, the like of which had never before been seen in England. At the conclusion of the function, the Bishop was greatly exhausted, and returned immediately to Stuffynwood, where, during the residue of his stay in England, all that loving hands and hearts could do, was done to give him pleasure, joy and peace.
From Stuffynwood, he went, for brief visits, at Baslow with Dr. and Mrs. Branson, uncle and aunt of the late Rev. E. R. Ward, visiting Chatsworth and Haddon Hall; and at the house of Dr. Kirby Kittoe and family (formerly of this Diocese), he spent a week, in Oxford. He enjoyed meeting the Rev. Dr. Bright, the Rev. Dr. Paget, Father Benson, and others. He saw considerable of the University life, entering his younger son as an undergraduate at this time.
From Stuffynwood, he also went up frequently to London, to consult physicians of eminence in regard to his health. With the exception of these visits, and a short attendance at the final sessions of the Conference, he passed the time of his sojourn in England at Stuffynwood. Many incidents, during his stay, brought vividly back to himself, and the friends around, the thought of the Patriarchal days. For many yearn, a Bishop had not been seen at Stuffynwood and the surrounding country, but the traditions of the olden time lingered among the people, and many, both at Stuffynwood, and in his journeyings, came to him for the Apostolic blessing, and departed, rejoicing that they had been thus privileged.
On Sunday, September 16th, at the request of the Bishop of Southwell, Confirmation was administered by Bishop WELLES in the Church of the Holy Trinity, Shirebrook, to 36 Candidates. The Bishop was habited in the ancient vestments of cope and mitre, and the service was deeply impressive in its character.
It was his last ministration in this office of the Church, and one which will long be remembered by those present, because of the venerable and apostolic appearance of the Bishop, as well as the earnestness of his address to the Candidates before and after the Sacrament of Confirmation.
The last official act of the Bishop's life, was a Celebration of the Holy Eucharist at S. Chad's Chapel, on the estate at Stuffynwood, on the eve of S. Michael and All Angels, September 28th.
To those receiving, the thought that he was ready "to depart on the morrow, and that they should see his face no more," gave to this service an unusual solemnity. The household had learned to love him during his sojourn among them; and his final words of Benediction, came as an unction from on high to their waiting hearts. One of them writes: "Since news has come that the pure, gentle, kind Bishop has entered into rest, Stuffynwood has been a house of mourning."
On the afternoon of the 29th, the Bishop set sail in the steamer Alaska, from Liverpool, on his return home, accompanied by his elder son, and his old and tried friend, the Bishop of Indiana. He reached New York City on the morning of Sunday, October 7th, and departed the same day for Waterloo, arriving there greatly fatigued by the journey, about 11 o'clock on the 8th.
It was thought that a few days' rest would recruit his strength and admit of his going on to his Diocese. On Sunday, October 14th, he received at the hands of his son, the Holy Communion, and which was indeed his Viaticum. A large opal picture of the Reredos of S. Paul's Cathedral, London, was used for an Altar piece.
On Wednesday, the 17th, serious symptoms made their appearance, of a character new in the case, and calculated to excite grave apprehension in regard to the Bishop.
On Thursday, S. Luke's Day, he was to have had a Celebration of the Holy Eucharist, but the sensitiveness of his stomach would not admit of his receiving. In the afternoon he signed officially his letter to the Standing Committee, which was read in the Cathedral by Dr. Ashley, on the day of the Bishop's burial.
On the morning of Friday, the 19th, the Bishop was told that it was considered that he could not recover. During the day he arranged matters of business, and other matters of a more personal character, with the calmness and deliberation which had marked his life, and did not fail him when his mortal hour drew near. During the afternoon, his weakness became great, but his mental faculties remained unimpaired.
From time to time, he would speak of his condition, and gave direction concerning the service of his burial. There was no shrinking back with fear of the inevitable, but a calm joyfulness of on-looking, as to a condition of enlarged being with Christ, the Master. His was, indeed, the faith that overcometh the world, and this faith strengthened more and more, as the lamp of this life burned lower. His dying words were the recital of the Nicene Symbol, with affirmation at the close: "In that faith I have lived, in that faith I die."
It was the soul's testimony, not to men only, but to Him in Whom he had endured. The fight of afflictions may gather around such a life, but cannot quench the calm courage which looks on to the end, and hears the voice of the Master in His promise 'to him that overcometh.'
To the Litany of the Dying, which was then recited, he made full and touching responses, and as the Commendatory Prayer was read, he was breathing his last. There was no change during the final hours in manner, voice, or act; the Bishop looked into the face of the King of Terrors, as he would into the face of a friend. The quiet and natural gentleness, which so many remember as marking his life, marked preeminently his death. As he had walked with his friends, so he had walked with God; and then with his friends he walked with God, and was not, for God took him.
He passed to the rest of the People of God at 15 minutes past 12 o'clock in the early morning of Saturday, October 20th, dying at his birthplace in the midst of his family, concerning, which he said: "If I could have chosen myself, I would have had it so."
On the morning of Sunday, the 21st, a Requiem Service, the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist, was held in the room where he died, his son officiating, and his sorrowing relatives receiving comfort from the Master, in the nearest approach that mortal man can make to the Being of the Living God, on this side the grave.
On the afternoon of Monday, a service was held at the house, by the Rector of the Parish at Waterloo, the Rev. Dr. Doty, of Rochester, and the Rev. Dr. Brainerd, of Auburn, assisting. It was a comfort to the family in their sorrow, that the Hon. E. T. Wilder, of Red Wing, Minn., a Parishioner and firm friend of the Bishop during the whole of his life as a Parish Priest, was also present, and accompanied them to Milwaukee.
Meanwhile, tidings of the Bishop's death had gone over the land. On the arrival of the train from the east, at midnight, on Tuesday, at the Northwestern Depot, in Milwaukee, the great body of the Clergy, and many of the laity, were at hand to receive all that was mortal of their revered Father in God. Clad in cassock and biretta, they bore the body, by frequent relays, allowing no vehicle to be used. Through the streets, the dark robed procession wended its way, while the Cathedral bell was sobbing over a sleeping city, the sorrow of a widowed Diocese.
Among those, thus bearing the body of their Bishop, were some who had known him from the days of his Diaconate; and, in the bonds of a friendship cemented by years of trial, had learned to know, as no others could, and love the gentle and fearless soul, which had passed to the joys of its waiting rest in the Paradise of God.
A brief service was held on arriving at the Cathedral. A watch of the Clergy was set by the coffin, which was continued unceasingly, through frequent reliefs, until the hour of burial on Thursday. Vested in surplice and stole, one member of the watch stood at the head of the coffin, while the other kneeled at the foot; and through the long hours of day and night, was heard the continuous voice of prayer and thanksgiving for the state of the Church Militant, and for the state of the Church Expectant.
On Wednesday morning there were two early Requiem Celebrations of the Blessed Sacrament in the Cathedral. On Thursday, the day of the burial, the early Requiem Celebration at 7 o'clock, was by the Bishop's son, at which about 200 made their Communion, many of whom were old time friends of the Bishop. There was a second Celebration by the Dean of the Cathedral at 8 o'clock, and a third by the Bishop of Minnesota at & o'clock, at which large numbers received.
At 11:30 o'clock, the long procession of Bishops, Clergy and Choristers, entered the Cathedral at the main door, and passed to the Chancel and choir, the Bishop of Chicago reading the sentences; the large, vested choir chanting the Burial Anthem. The Rev. Dr. Ashley read the Lesson, and the Letter of the Bishop to the Standing Committee.
In the High Requiem Celebration, the Bishop of Springfield was Celebrant, the Bishops of Western Michigan and Chicago, Gospeller and Epistoler. It was a choral service"the one the choir had prepared to welcome the Bishop on his return from abroad. To describe the grandeur of this service, its teaching of the Resurrection, its power to soothe the heart aching at the vision of death, its clear testimony that the Blessed Sacrament, in prayer for living and departed is the true comfort and solace, as it is the joy and glory, of such a time, is not for human words. Even the organ seemed instinct with life to recognize the altered conditions, and to breathe forth tones of higher and deeper joy in fervent Alleluia,
"For all the Saints who from their labors rest."
Using the words advisedly, one could say it was a grand Christian burial.
From the Cathedral, the cortege took its way to Faith Hill, in Forest Home, where the place for the Bishop's rest had been given with delicate consideration by the Trustees of the Cemetery.
The Bishops of Minnesota and Indiana"tried friends of the olden time"read the Service at the grave. The Choir sang Bishop WELLES' favorite hymn, "Lead, kindly Light." Then the Benediction from the Bishop of Minnesota, and this stainless Servant of God was "at rest." And on this, the 25th of October, the fourteenth anniversary of his consecration to the high and holy office of a Bishop, the Pastoral Staff, badge of his office, was borne back to the Cathedral, draped with the badge of the sorrow of a mourning Diocese.
All the services, in each and every feature, were what the Bishop would have wished; and preached, as no other words could do, the grand, sustaining truth of the "Communion of Saints" in the Catholic Church.
"Angels, and living Saints, and dead,
But One Communion make;
All join in Christ, their Living Head,
And of His love partake."
This Memoir shall be closed with words from the Church Eclectic, words written by that life-long friend of Bishop WELLES, who already has told of his youth and early manhood, and whom the Bishop chose, with the venerable President of the Standing Committee of this Diocese, to present him at his consecration to the office of a Bishop in the Church of God:
"Never before were the expressions of grief and tributes of sorrowing affection at the loss of a Bishop more widespread, more deep and unaffected, than in the Diocese of Wisconsin on the death of Bishop WELLES. The Calendar for November is a striking witness of what a marvellous hold, a saintly and loving Father in God will gain upon the hearts of a whole people, who personally knew him, and to whom they were almost all personally known by name. Such a character is like the 'ointment poured forth,' of which the aroma pervades the whole Church. There can be no mistake about the genuine testimony of love and admiration, and gratitude to God for His faithful servant, that shines out in the multitude of letters received at his funeral, as well as in the action of the various Parochial and Diocesan bodies.
"Dr. deKoven's beautiful speech in nominating Dr. WELLES for Bishop, fourteen years ago, and the unanimity of his election, all the laity and sixty-nine of the seventy-two Clergy voting for him, were but the forecast of what was expected and what has been realized"an administration of singular devotion, zeal, urbanity and integrity, fulfilling, as closely, perhaps, as it is ever given to mortal to do, the requirements of the Ordinal, to be 'a wholesome example in word, in conversation, in love, in faith, in chastity and in purity.' Oh, what are all technical, ecclesiastical, party differences, in comparison with this standard! As infidelity, with all its opposition, has an unerring sense of the transcendent superiority of the Eaith of the Gospel, so the world recognizes in a true Christian character something it cannot gainsay. Thus the secular press of Milwaukee, says: 'His official work in Milwaukee publicly illustrated the grace of a splendid sustained unselfishness, in contemplation of which all the world ought to profit,' in days when the idolatry of covetousness takes on the dignity of a religion."
"Lord, all-pitying Jesu, blest,
Grant him Thine Eternal Rest."
 These words of Bishop Armitage sound like prophecy when we realize the fact that Wisconsin was the pioneer in Cathedral action in 1868, and that at the close of the tenth year of Bishop Welles' Episcopate in 1884, seventeen dioceses and six Missionary Jurisdictions had formed Cathedrals, and six other Dioceses declared in favor of the system; making a number of twenty-nine out of sixty Dioceses and Jurisdictions.
 There is reason to think that in these words, Bishop Armitage was recurring to the fact of his previous correspondence with some English Sisters, in reference to their purchasing the property known as Kemper Hall. And this is the more apparent from the Record pages 77 and 78 of the Journal of 1868, as follows: '"Whereas, this Convention has learned with pleasure, that an Association of English Sisters is prepared to assume the purchase and charge of Kemper Hall, if satisfactory arrangements can be made for their reception; therefore. Resolved, that this Convention extends a hearty welcome to these self-denying laborers in our Redeemer's cause, and that the members of this Body pledge themselves to earnest and personal efforts, to aid the Sisters in building up at once, under the supervision of our Bishops (Kemper and Armitage) an institution for the education of girls, in the highest branches of human learning suited to their sex, and in the faith and practice of this Church," etc.