Project Canterbury

Mahlon Norris Gilbert: Bishop Coadjutor of Minnesota 1886-1900.

By Francis Leseure Palmer
with an Introduction by Daniel Sylvester Tuttle, Presiding Bishop of the American Church.

Milwaukee: The Young Churchman, 1912.
London: Mowbray, 1912.

Chapter XIX. The Closing Years.

MANY YEARS before the modern phrase became current, Bishop Gilbert lived "the strenuous life." When his labor was lightened in one direction, he found room for increased activity in another. His mind and spirit were always alert, and demanded expression.

When, at last, northern Minnesota had a Bishop of its own he was relieved of much care and travel, but the number of his engagements, or of his sermons and addresses, did not diminish. His annual report for 1898 showed that he had made 174 visitations, and had delivered 329 sermons and addresses. Of these latter, fifteen had been in England and Ireland in connection with the Lambeth Conference, and nine others were outside of the Diocese. At the Convention of 1895 he had been elected President of the American Church Sunday School Institute, to serve for a term of three years. Bishop Gilbert was always interested in Sunday school advancement, and now was sought, even more frequently, as a speaker at Sunday school gatherings and institutes in many dioceses.

In February, 1898, he attended the Fiftieth Annual Convention of Theta Delta Chi, at the Windsor Hotel, New York, and on the evening of February 10, he presided as toastmaster at the Anniversary Banquet, and made a capital address.

Without fear of "entangling alliances," on March first, he addressed a Sunday school gathering at the Woodlawn Park Baptist Church in St. Paul, and a fortnight later he preached to the students of the State University in the Andrew Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis.

For many years it was Bishop Gilbert's custom to spend his Easter as follows: In the morning he would preach at Christ Church in St. Paul; in the afternoon he visited the State Penitentiary in Stillwater, where the prisoners looked upon his coming as a great event; in the evening he would visit Ascension Church, in the same city, administer confirmation, and preach to a congregation which filled the church to overflowing.

At the laying of the cornerstone of the magnificent State Capitol in St. Paul, July 27, 1898, Bishop Gilbert was given a position of honor in the elaborate ceremonies, and pronounced the benediction at the close.

By those services, and by many others like them he fulfilled the wider ministry of his office.

In an open letter in 1898, just before the great revival of missionary interest in the Episcopal Church, Bishop Gilbert made two wise suggestions, which, as since developed, with Bishop Brewer's admirable Apportionment Plan, have done wonders in arousing enthusiasm for missions:

AGITATE! AGITATE! To the Editor of The Churchman:

Your editorials on the subject of missions have greatly moved me. Never before have I so deeply realized the "sleep" which has so heavily fallen upon the Church in regard to that which is the primary object of her existence. You have sounded the bugle note of awakening and advance. How can the Church respond?

Churchmen are inherently as generous as members of other Christian bodies. They simply need arousing. Can this be done? Yes. How? Agitate! Agitate! In what way? In press, in pulpit, in convocation and convention.

Instead of having one Missionary Council during the year in one city, let there be three in different parts of the country. The Missionary Council focalizes missionary interest and enthusiasm. It warms the hearts of the immediate community. It sends the delegates and attendants home with glowing hearts. Why not utilize this splendid and effective agency in a larger measure?

Put into the work at least two field secretaries. Let them go from one end of the land to the other, organizing missionary meetings, addressing congregations, attending diocesan conventions. Let this be their sole duty. They will go with authority; they will be filled with information; they will be the incarnation of the missionary idea.

Other religious bodies do this, and the results are to be seen in the statistics which you have given. We may bewail the lack of opportunity to present missions at the General Convention, but I do not see how this can be avoided. Let us face the situation boldly, and act with wisdom, hopefulness, and courage. Let us fire the Churchman's heart by the living voice.

Bishop-Coadjutor of Minnesota St. Paul, Minn.,
July 23, 1898. (Published in the Churchman, Aug. 6, 1898, p. 182.)

The General Convention of the Episcopal Church met in the City of Washington from October 5 to 25, 1898. A marked feature of the Convention was the Pilgrimage to Jamestown, Virginia, famous in the early annals of the Colony. On Friday, October 14, three hundred deputies, including twenty-four Bishops, left on a special train for Eichmond, the journey being under the auspices of the Churchmen's League of Washington, assisted by Virginia hospitality. The night was spent at the magnificent Hotel Jefferson, and Saturday morning a chartered steamer took the distinguished company down the James River to solitary Jamestown Island, where stands the ruined tower of the ancient church. There a memorable service was held, reproducing in America something of the spirit which the Churchman feels at Canterbury or Glastonbury. It was on this pilgrimage, on the steamer passing historic battlegrounds and stately country seats, that the writer of this volume had his longest conversation with Bishop Gilbert. On that holiday the Bishop was free from cares, and had abundant leisure to talk of his college days, and of his life work. The day was an ideal one, and will never be forgotten.

The year which followed was marked by an unusual number, even for him, of addresses, patriotic, civic, religious, outside of diocesan routine, but not outside of diocesan usefulness. His journal contains many items like the following: "attended annual meeting of the Sons of the American Revolution, St. Paul"; "gave an address before the Public School Union of St. Paul"; "made an address before the Knights Templar, St. Paul"; "addressed the Y. M. C. A. in St. Louis"; "gave a lecture in South St. Paul"; "addressed the annual meeting of the Y. M. C. A. in Minneapolis"; "took part in the patriotic exercises of Washington's Birthday"; "addressed the Woman's Civic League in St. Paul"; "addressed the Society of American Wars in Minneapolis."

On January 25, 1899, the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, Bishop Gilbert took part in a service which was to link his episcopate with that of his successor. On that day he was one of the consecrators of the Rev. Dr. Samuel Cook Edsall, as Bishop of North Dakota. A little over two years later, Bishop Edsall was elected Coadjutor of Minnesota, and became the third Bishop in that Diocese.

In May, 1899, he made a short visit to St. Louis, the home of the beloved Bishop Tuttle, to take part in an anniversary of unusual character. By the foundation of the late Henry Shaw there is delivered in Christ Cathedral each May what is known as the "Flower Sermon," the design of the founder being that the preacher shall set forth "the wisdom and goodness of God," as seen in nature. On the evening before, there was the annual banquet of the Trustees of the Botanical Garden of St. Louis, at which Bishop Gilbert made an address. On Sunday, May 14, he preached the "Flower Sermon," to a large congregation, from the text, "And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide," Genesis xxiv. 63. This sermon was printed in pamphlet form, and is perhaps his last sermon which was thus printed. It abounds in high thoughts beautifully expressed. Here, as in many of his printed sermons, he quotes the poets--Wordsworth, Bryant, Mrs. Browning.

He speaks again of his own personal experience of nature's healing power:

After months of incessant labor, when my physical powers have become so wearied that disordered fancies creep into my brain, and the burdens of life become almost insupportable, and doubts of my fellow men and of myself and of God get into my soul, in very desperation I flee away from them all, and hie me to some wild, remote mountain valley, far removed from the haunts of busy men, and the very opposite of the conditions under which I have been living. There, where water courses speed onward with an unfettered freedom, where the wild phlox and the rhododendron bloom in untrimmed beauty, where dark fir and scented balsam bend from the mountain sides, where through the foam of the waterfall the brown thrush darts from stone to stone, where the iridescent trout hides in the shadow of a jutting root, and where the song of nature is a song of peace, there I find physical restoration and mental readjustment, there I find in conscious nearness the presence of my Heavenly Father who, before, had seemed to be far away; and in the words of Mrs. Browning:

"I smiled to think God's greatness
Flowed around our Incompleteness,
Round my restlessness, His rest."

This marvellous power of nature to put things human in proper equipoise is God's way. So simple that most men pass it by; so true, so clear, so unmistakable, that God's wisdom and goodness shine out in clearest light. . . .

Nature does not designedly put before us moral and spiritual truths, but to the reverent mind seeking them she reveals them. To the soul hungering and thirsting after righteousness come, from every corner of nature's pulsating life, streams of refreshment, filling its inmost recesses with the elixir of heavenly blessing.

In nature there is such an inexhaustible supply of suggestions toward a purer and higher life that every person should be put in contact with it. Is not this fact being intelligently and practically accepted? Is it not the recognition of this principle that has given life to that significant work in so many of our city churches, generally known as the "Fresh Air Fund?"

"What do these poor people most need?" I once asked the founder of Toynbee Hall, in East London, as I looked upon the fearful abjectness and misery congested there. "More imagination," was his quick reply. "How will they find it?" "By bringing the beauty of the country into the city in more parks, by bringing the city into the country in seaside and country-side settlements." This is the conviction of no mere idealist, but of one who knew the needs of poor humanity as few knew them. "More imagination," yes, to make them see in every tree and flower and breaking wave a vision of a purer, freer, more wholesome life, and so seeing to excite within their breasts a new ambition to be what God wants them to be.

He who by his beneficence makes possible the creation of parks and gardens in the heart of our great cities, wherein the man, whose life is cramped and sordid, can "see visions and dream dreams" of something nobler and truer for himself, is the practical philanthropist, the true social reformer.

Noting as I do the ever increasing development of this true philanthropy, ... I look out with hopeful eyes into the future and forecast a brighter day for my brother man. It may not be a Paradise wholly regained, but it will be not unlike that first Paradise wherein the rich life of nature filled all things, and wherein sin was afraid and ashamed to show its face. . . .

The Greek revelled in ideal creations of beauty, but it tended toward animalism; the Christian revels in the glorious beauty of foliage and flowers, and he is lifted out of the sphere of his lower self into the realm of purity.

The world is better to-day than ever before, because man "in the fields" is absorbing more and more the life of God. So this earth of ours is being recognized as prophetic of Heaven, as the prototype of that wondrous country which by faith we see from afar. We wander in the fields rich and fragrant with the flowers of hope, and with expectant eyes gaze onward toward that sun-land wherein wisdom and goodness are enthroned in the person of our Ascended Lord.

During Lent, 1899, the pastor of the People's Church in St. Paul, the Rev. Samuel G. Smith, arranged for a series of lecture-sermons by leading representatives of different Christian denominations. On Sunday evening, March 12, as reported in a St. Paul newspaper, "Episcopalianism had its inning." The probability that the lecture would be regarded in such a light would have deterred some of our leaders from participating in the course, but Bishop Gilbert was never one to hold aloof. He began by saying:

MY FRIENDS:--I avail myself very cheerfully of the invitation that was so courteously extended to me by the pastor of this church to deliver one of the lectures in the course which he had prepared, and more especially because it gives me an opportunity of explaining some positions which I have occupied all my life, and perhaps to remove some prejudices, and to affirm some principles which may be held by others who are listening to me to-night. I would far rather always try to discover the points of contact between the dissevered hosts of the Church than to dwell upon the differences, and I don't think I shall dwell upon the differences very much to-night. As my eye ranges itself over the audience this evening, I feel that there are fewer points of difference than of contact, and I will therefore dwell upon the things that we hold in common. I am very glad to speak of those things wherein we enjoy what might be called a common purpose and a common ambition.

I have been asked to-night to speak on the subject, "Why am I an Episcopalian?" Of course, if I were to state the subject from my own standpoint and a little more satisfactorily to myself, I should probably state it as, "Why am I a Churchman?" but, nevertheless, as names are necessary in order to distinguish bodies from one another, I am perfectly willing to accept this definition and to give my reasons for the position I occupy.

Some years ago, I was preaching in a little town in the western part of the State, and preaching a sermon which seemed to me perfectly natural to preach, . . . and a very excellent Christian woman, the wife of the Baptist minister, came to me and said that she was exceedingly pleased with my sermon, but she couldn't see how it was that a man of my liberal ideas should not stand on the broad platform with the Baptists. I answered as pleasantly as possible, and told her that, perhaps, with further enlightment, I might be able to satisfy her ambition; but, nevertheless, I felt somewhat hurt by it, because it seemed to me to express that general misunderstanding of our Church's position which was so perfectly apparent to me myself.

In the atmosphere in which I have always been reared, I could not preach any less of a liberal sermon; it would not have been possible; it was simply because I was preaching that which had grown out of the teachings of my whole life, and which had been confirmed by my experience. ... It seems strange that any man should talk about the Episcopal Church being narrow. What could be broader than the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of Christ, and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit, and that is the position and teaching of the Episcopal Church. . . . There is not space to quote the Bishop's fourfold argument; it is summed up in his closing words:

Now, my friends, there are my reasons (for my choosing to remain in the Church in which I was born): First, because of its simple Gospel; second, because of its broad and simple faith; third, because of its historic continuity as a part of the Holy Catholic Church; and, fourth, because of its perfection of liturgy.

I am holding what has been handed down to me, loyally and respectfully, because it is a precious legacy; not in the spirit of discord, but in the spirit of the Master, as far as I can, in order that the good things, which are within the treasury of the Church, may be given to others, that they, seeking, may take life again.

So onward, upward, homeward, heavenward, may I travel. Baptists and Methodists and Presbyterians and Roman Catholics and Lutherans and others are all traveling heavenward. I know, thank God that I know, that if we are faithful to the old faith, faithful to the word which is Christ's, if we build our foundations on Him alone, that the things that divide us shall pass away, and we shall be united in the Eternal Kingdom. Amen.

Anyone who has studied the lives of those who have been raised, to high office recognizes that in many cases the opportunity creates the man. It is not always so; some are made and some are marred by positions of influence and authority. If, with President Cleveland, one recognizes that "public office is a public trust," it is probable that the incumbent will develop in unforeseen ways to fulfill his ministry. Others, led astray by the glamour of rank and a false sense of the dignity of their station, make shipwreck.
Bishop Gilbert on three occasions put into words his own experience in the episcopate, his own difficulties, his own ideals. In the sermon which he preached at the consecration of Bishop Graves, he said:

Brother beloved, the Church, our venerated Mother, is calling you to-day, and bidding you to go forth into a field of marvellous opportunities. Before you, as one of her chosen leaders, she sets an open door. It is a door which, while it opens into a land of promise, opens also into a life of toil and care and burden-bearing, which endeth only at the grave. . . . How my heart goes out to you now in this solemn hour of consecration! How it throbs with sympathy as the future with its burdens rises before me! Do I not know, and ought I not to tell you of its isolation, of the wakeful hours of the night watches, when the bleating of the sheep without shepherds will ring and re-ring in your ears; of the wandering across the prairies, of the tiresome car journeys, of the homelessness, for a Bishop has no home, of misconstructions and misunderstandings of motives, of the ofttimes crowding down of the spiritual by the constant pressure of the material? All these things you see now as in a glass darkly, but they will surely come. We would not disguise them. Yea, these are the burdens of the Episcopate--and these are its glories, too. Glories, because to endure hardships for Christ, to spend and be spent in His service, to lay down your life if need be for Him, all this is to feel that you are treading in His very footsteps. Men talk about the honor of being a Bishop. Yea, it is a great honor, but most an honor in its sacrifices.

In the sermon preached at Bishop Barker's consecration, Bishop Gilbert, mindful of the charge made to him at his own consecration, said:

It is indeed an honor to be a Bishop in the Church of God, but let that take care of itself. In faithful service, in constant duty-doing, in loving ministrations, will you most truly show forth its honor and dignity.

Some years later, after a still wider experience, Bishop Gilbert summed up the ideals of the Episcopate. It was in a sermon of great beauty and power which he preached at the "Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Beginning of Bishop Hare's Work in South Dakota." It was preached in St. Mark's Church, Aberdeen, at the time of the annual Convocation of 1898, on the evening of Thursday, September 15. The text was:

I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. ... Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? I Kings, iii. 1, 9.

Bishop Gilbert applied these words as expressing Dr. Hare's hesitation and humility when the call had come to him to take up the work of a Missionary Bishop. He showed with what consecration he had entered upon the office, and with what ability and success he had done his difficult work:

We are not to look for the full outcome of the Church's work in our own generation; but I confidently affirm that in South Dakota, and elsewhere throughout our new land, in another generation the claims, the faith, the teachings of this Apostolic Church of ours will be universally understood, recognized, and in a large measure accepted. In the confidence of this hope the Bishop who lays foundations labors patiently, cheerfully on. Disappointments, nay even disasters, may come; his most cherished plans may fail; but working with God he tries to do his duty as he sees it, and leaves the results in the Almighty's hands, knowing that the Church is founded upon the rock, even Jesus Christ, and that "the gates of hell cannot prevail against her."

Did time permit, I would dwell upon some of these fundamental truths for which a leader of God's hosts, a Bishop, must stand. Such thoughts are germane to an occasion like this, and in reality ought to be declared. He must represent in his own personal work and character all that enters into the upbuilding of the Kingdom of righteousness among a people. As the living exponent of this principle he can be no time-server. . . . His voice must ever be heard with no uncertain sound on the side of "temperance, soberness, and chastity." Because he sees and knows the unique importance of the pure Christian home, he must defend it as with a shield. . . .

Again, a Bishop of the Church must be the upholder of law. The wild ebullitions of anarchistic socialism in their various manifestations, defeating as they do the very purposes for which society is founded, are to find their true antidote in the acceptance of those principles of brotherhood which are embodied in the life and teachings of Christ. There can be no unity without fraternity, without the acknowledgement of the Fatherhood of God. For this, the Church stands. If she be true to the teachings of her Founder, she grasps men of every station with an impartial hand, and cries out, "Sirs, ye are brethren." A Bishop must be the active promoter of this divine spirit, and his life and work must know no distinction between the rich and the poor, the employer and the employed. Men will interpret the Church through him. . . .

A Bishop must be the defender of the Faith once delivered to the Saints. He cannot compromise it. . . . He cannot minimize its supernatural power. . . . So standing firm, he shall be a rallying point for men shaken by the uncertainties of the times, and in him they will see and grasp that calm confidence in the unshaken and unshakable truths of the eternal, which shall give them the sure measure of repose. . . .

Finally, a Bishop must be the veritable incarnation of the spirit of charity, love; for love is the fulfilling of the law. The greatest of Christian virtues must find in his heart a willing, congenial home. With it he can extend the olive branch of peace to weary men; by it he can most truly advance the cause of Christian unity; through it he shall draw men near to the heart of the Church, where the inexhaustible fount of love is found. . . . To his loving heart, expanding ever with sympathy, will come the storm-tossed and distressed; into his ear of paternal affection will they freely pour the story of their sorrows and troubles, and find themselves comforted and strengthened by the touch of a loving soul."

The Diocesan Council of 1899 was the last which Bishop Gilbert attended. It met in Faribault, and was memorable as the fortieth anniversary of the election of Bishop Whipple, which was celebrated with appropriate honors. At the banquet held in the Armory, on the evening of June 7, among other distinguished speakers, Bishop Gilbert was called upon to respond to the toast, "The Diocesan and the Coadjutor."

He began "by paying a very tender and beautiful tribute to Bishop Whipple. The relation between them, he said, had been not only that of co-laborer, but also the nearer and dearer one of father and son."

In closing, Bishop Gilbert spoke most beautifully of the harmony which had ever sweetened and hallowed his peculiar relationship as Coadjutor with the Diocese and its first Bishop. "I was never more surprised nor more grieved," said he, "than on hearing another Coadjutor Bishop once say that he thought the position a most vexing one to fill on account of friction. Never has it been so to me--trials there have been and hard work, and I have been at times, I fear, a fractious son--but the great loving heart and broad charity of my superior and father have ever made the relation a blessed and happy one, and when the time comes for the Diocese of Minnesota to choose their next Bishop Coadjutor, I hope he may have as loyal and as loving support from both Bishop and people as I have had."

Then, addressing himself to Bishop Whipple, the younger Bishop most earnestly wished for the older the best which could come to him in the years during which he still trusted his presence might be a continued benediction to his people."

In this address, and in conversation with friends, Bishop Gilbert several times expressed the feeling that he would not outlive the Diocesan. The work of the undivided diocese had told heavily upon him, and his hair and beard were strongly marked with white. He had never spared himself from exposure, and his friends thought he took very poor care of his health. One act of the Council promised to bring some relief; the Diocese was once more provided with a General Missionary. The Rev. Charles Edgar Haupt, in September, entered upon this office. Mr. Haupt had already founded the Deaconess Home and Training School, which was doing a most excellent work; he now took up the task of visiting the weaker parishes, and those that were vacant or in some special need. In this field he showed untiring devotion, accomplishing great good, and relieving the Bishop of much care.

In the spring of 1899, Mrs. Gilbert had a severe illness, and was for several months in St. Luke's Hospital. By special resolution of the Council, it was requested of the Bishop "that so far as possible he will cancel all engagements that may take him from her side." In the summer, while Mrs. Gilbert was convalescent, his sympathy was called in another direction. Mrs. Harriet Foote Tuttle, his former teacher, wife of his dear friend, Bishop Tuttle, died suddenly on August 18. Bishop Gilbert hastened to St. Louis, and officiated at the funeral, and gave the comfort of his loving heart.

Naturally, this summer, there was no outing in the far West. As Mrs. Gilbert's health improved, the Bishop began to make occasional visitations, and by September he was in the midst of his usual routine. This one month is marked by an address in Duluth, at the meeting of the State Board of Charities and Corrections; by an address in St. Paul at the fiftieth anniversary of St. Paul's Lodge of Freemasons; by an address, at the Commercial Club in St. Paul, in behalf of a proposed National Park in Northern Minnesota; by attending a reception to University students in Minneapolis; and by a journey to Kansas, where he preached the sermon at the Diocesan Convention, and addressed the Daughters of the King and the Woman's Auxiliary. These and twenty other engagements well filled the time.

October was equally busy. Bishop Gilbert showed his fraternal spirit by speaking at the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the Baptist Church in St. Paul, attended sessions of the Woman's Auxiliary, the Sunday School Institute, the Daughters of the King, and the Minnesota Church Club. He was also present, though he did not speak, at the National Church Congress held in St. Paul. On October 14 he took part in the services commemorative of the fortieth anniversary of the consecration of Bishop Whipple. A notable occasion was a meeting of the Labor Association in the People's Church, St. Paul, at which Bishop Potter preached, and Bishop Gilbert read the prayers. In this month also, Bishop Gilbert made his last visit to St. Louis, to attend a meeting of the House of Bishops, and while there spoke at missionary meetings and preached.

November 22, the Commercial Club honored Archbishop Ireland, the well known prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, by a large reception at which many distinguished persons were present. Of Bishop Gilbert's speech of congratulation only an abstract is preserved. He said in part:

We who are present to-night are united in a bond that is something more than a civic bond, a bond of brotherhood in a very ideal sense, all looking to the uplifting of the city in righteousness and morality. This occasion is one of peculiar significance. I rejoice in my heart to pay a tribute to one who is a leader in all that makes for righteousness. Archbishop Ireland would be a leader in any city on earth. The whole world honors him for the same qualities that have brought him such admiration in the city of his home. He stands not only as the citizen of no mean city, but as one of the leaders of the Nineteenth Century.

On Thanksgiving Day, which this year fell upon St. Andrew's Day, Bishop Gilbert preached in the morning at the Cathedral in Faribault, and then, as he had done for many years, attended the great Thanksgiving Dinner at Seabury Divinity School.

In December, Bishop Gilbert was present at the opening of the fine parish house of St. Paul's Church, Winona, of which the Rev. Theodore Payne Thurston was rector.

On December 17, as President of the Minnesota Society of the Sons of the Revolution, he presided at a notable service in Christ Church, "In Commemoration of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Death of George Washington, First President of the United States of America." He also preached the sermon, with his usual patriotic enthusiasm and eloquence.

On December 18, he presided at a meeting of an association for promoting Church work among laboring men, and, perhaps as a result of his evident good will, he was asked, a few days later, to address a meeting in the interest of labor in the Trades and Labor Hall, St. Paul.

Bishop Gilbert ended the year by an address, on December 31, before the Young Men's Christian Association.

[To give completeness to the narrative, two or three events of later history are here set down.

Bishop Whipple outlived Bishop Gilbert by over a year and a half. On returning to Minnesota in the spring of 1900, Bishop Whipple planned to ask at once for another Coadjutor, but, following the advice of one of his older clergy, he deferred this, and decided that he would, so far as possible, make once more a general visitation of the Diocese. With youth renewed like the eagle's, the venerable Bishop, almost in his eightieth year, performed the duties of his office, confirming over six hundred, and delivering 239 sermons and addresses, with unabated power. His death came on September 16, 1901, and he was buried beneath the altar of his Cathedral in Faribault.

Before his death, and by his request, the Council elected a Coadjutor. The choice of the Diocese, which was known to coincide with that of the Diocesan, was the Rt. Rev. Samuel Cook Edsall, D.D., Missionary Bishop of North Dakota. During Bishop Gilbert's last illness, Dr. Andrews, hoping to relieve him of some anxiety, suggested that the Diocese would gladly invite some other Bishop to take the spring visitations. Bishop Gilbert assented, saying more than once, "Send for Bishop Edsall!" After Bishop Gilbert's death this was done, and Bishop Edsall made several visitations in Minnesota. In this way, and by other visits, he was well known in the Diocese, and seemed eminently qualified in ability and spirit to succeed Bishop Gilbert.

In accepting the office of Coadjutor, Bishop Edsall asked to remain as Bishop of North Dakota till the General Convention, which was to meet in October, should approve his translation. His request was granted, but in the meanwhile, Bishop Whipple ended his long Episcopate. Accordingly Bishop Edsall succeeded as Bishop of Minnesota, and was formally inducted into office at a solemn service held in Christ Church, St. Paul, November 5, 1901.]

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