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Lights and Shadows of a Long Episcopate
Being Reminiscences and Recollections
of the Right Reverend
Henry Benjamin Whipple, D.D., LL.D.
Bishop of Minnesota

New York: The Macmillan Company, 1899.

Chapter XXIII

AT the General Convention in Baltimore in 1871, I had the pleasure of meeting that great-hearted missionary, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Selwyn, Bishop of Lichfield. I have never heard a missionary address which so moved my heart. He set the heathen before one's eyes in all their wretchedness; and drew such a picture of the infinite love of Jesus Christ, that one could almost see the outstretched arms and hear His voice saying, "Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." I remember with what thrilling words he spoke of the objections made to the carrying of the gospel to the brown races because they were passing away. "The more reason to cry, in the words of the nobleman who came to Jesus, ' Sir, come down ere my child die.'"

Bishop Selwyn was profoundly interested in my Indian missions, and came to Faribault to see me. At a missionary meeting in the Cathedral, he told the story of the mission to the Maoris; of the wrongs which the greed of English-speaking people had heaped upon them; of the power of the gospel to reach their hearts; of his voyages in the mission ship from island to island to gather boys for his school; and he described the life and death of some of those brown Christians in thrilling words.

He spoke of our Indians and the difficulties of our own making in alienating those who welcomed us with open arms. In alluding to my efforts he said:--

"Does not your Saviour look down from heaven and expect you to cheer and help by your prayers and sympathy? The day will come, my brothers, when your children will thank God that the first Bishop of Minnesota was an apostle to these red men."

No one can tell how these addresses strengthened my hands.

Some years later, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Thorold, Bishop of Rochester, who was a lifelong friend of our country, and whose grandfather, when a member of Parliament, had voted against the War of the American Revolution, paid me a visit. He was called the Apostle of Temperance, and he delivered several temperance lectures in Faribault and St. Paul. He cheered me with loving words in behalf of Christian education and missions, and when he accompanied me to White Earth he was received with hearty welcomes by the Indians, who were delighted with his simple, helpful sermons.

The Indian women gave him a feast spread under the forest trees. The table was covered with snow-white cloth; the food was abundant and tempting,--venison, beef, chickens, wild ducks, fish, vegetables, and the whitest of bread. The women were delighted when the bishop told them it would have done credit to any parish in England. The head of the Indian women's guild in simple words thanked the bishop, telling him of the darkness of their lives before the gospel of the Great Spirit had come into their homes.

I heard the bishop describe this visit at a dinner of the "Nobodys' Club" in London, and among other things he said:--

"The North American Indians have all the dignity of the House of Lords, with the difference that the House of Lords never listen, and the Indians always do."

I have spent many happy weeks under the hospitable roof of Bishop Thorold, whose companionship was an inspiration to me. He was an Evangelical of the old school and a most loyal Churchman. I was his guest on a visit to Alaska, our love for each other having begun at our first meeting. Few men have been as blessed as Bishop Thorold in overcoming difficulties, and in using the men of different schools of thought for the extension of the Church and the salvation of souls. He could say, as did St. Paul, "Some, indeed, preach Christ even of envy and strife, and some also of good will, ... I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice."

Upon one occasion Bishop Thorold asked me to go with him to his Cathedral at Rochester to address the district visitors and the catechists of the diocese, of whom there were seven hundred. The bishop held a confirmation in the Cathedral of five hundred persons, at which I delivered the address.

I was the guest of the Very Rev. S. Reynolds Hole, Dean of Rochester, who is a most earnest and instructive preacher, a charming conversationalist, with a fund of recollections of public men and scholars.

With the memory of the pleasant visit comes the fragrance of that marvellous rose garden of worldwide fame.

THE DEANERY, ROCHESTER, July 23rd, 1888.

My very dear Bishop: We are so glad to have a true presentment of one whom we shall always remember with affectionate regard and respect. It will be framed and placed where it will continually suggest happy recollections and bright Christian hopes.

I grieve with you in your separation from your beloved brother, tho' it is only a separation of sight, and tho' we are quite sure that there is a more precious union than ever between us and the spirits in Paradise; that they pray with us and for us, and join their praises with ours. . . .

I am sorely disappointed that I cannot be at St. Paul's, as I contemplated, on Saturday. Some hundreds of workingmen from London and elsewhere are coming here for a service and holiday.

Believe me to be,
My dear Bishop,
Yours always affectionately,

It was at Selsdon Park that I first met the Rev. A. H. K. Boyd, the late Moderator of the Church of Scotland; a man of the broadest Christian sympathies, of the most varied experiences, and whose writings have made his name a household word in many homes. Dr. Boyd has been foremost in introducing the observance of Christian festivals and liturgical services into the Church of Scotland.

This reminds me of the words of Dr. Macgregor at our last meeting in Edinburgh: "We now keep Christmas and Easter, and some of us Good Friday. The day will come when we shall begin at the manger cradle, and follow our blessed Lord to the mount of His ascension, and then we shall be one."

There are few writers in Scotland who have preserved in their works so many recollections of great scholars, statesmen, and divines, whose friendships he has shared as Dr. Boyd.


My dear Bishop Whipple: Everything you write I read with special sympathy and pleasure. I do not know what to hope on the subject of Unity in Scotland. The fact is, that the great majority of Scotch folk do not see any harm in separation. They talk of "healthy competition," and only seem to take it that division is an evil when they find three or four ministers and places of worship in a parish where one is quite enough; the dissenters thus losing the available dividend of income.

I am quite sure you are right in saying that Unity will never come through controversy. All controversy speedily becomes unfair and bitter. It leaves everybody heated and ruffled. . . .

The year before last I went to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland; but I had not been there for twelve years. And now, by a curious irony, I am to be Moderator of the next Assembly, which meets in Edinburgh in May. If we both live till then, I hope you will remember me in what must be a trying time.

... I have told Longmans to send you my new volume, "To Meet the Day," from which you will see how heartily many of us feel the help of the "Christian Year." For many years in my sermons I have followed it as carefully as any can. I am profoundly interested in all you say as to the necessity of union. All our best men, I believe (Tullock was clear), would accept Episcopacy as a good working system, with venerable associations and great practical advantages. Believe me, with much regard and esteem, Yours most affectionately,
A. K. H. BOYD.

Among the dear friends from England who cheered me by their visits were the Hon. John Walter, Member of Parliament and proprietor of the London Times, and his wife, the niece of the Rev. Dr. Campbell of Row. Archbishop Tait had asked Mr. Walter to visit Faribault when in America and examine my schools. Upon his return to Philadelphia, he was asked by George W. Childs what had most impressed him in the West, and his answer repaid me for much anxiety, "The schools of Bishop Whipple in Faribault." I have the memory of a delightful visit at Mr. Walter's hospitable home, "Bearwood," with Mrs. Whipple and my sister, where we met many interesting people.

Nov. 22nd, 1889.

Dear Bishop Whipple: Many thanks for the copy of your sermons, which I have reread with great, interest. I wish it had been accompanied with a few lines about yourself and your belongings, including the schools and other institutions under your charge.

I hope, in the course of a few days, to send you a book which I think will make a pleasant addition to your Theological Library. It is by my old friend, Bishop Mozley, and is called "The Word "--being an explanation of that expression as used by St. John, and by Jewish and Greek writers respectively. More than that, however, it is a series of charming essays upon a variety of subjects of a moral and social character. . . .

I see you do not take an over-sanguine view of the future; and no wonder--for the powers of darkness seem to have full swing in your country as well as elsewhere. Whether the "good time coming "is reserved for this world or for the next, we do not know; but there will be much trouble first. . . My wife joins with, me in kind regards to yourself and your family; and I am, my dear Bishop,

Yours very truly and affectionately,

In Scotland, where I was often the guest of my friend now in Paradise, Mr. Edward Caird, at his beautiful home Finnart on Loch Long, I first met Dr. James Macgregor of Edinburgh, late Moderator of the Church of Scotland and Chaplain to the Queen. I have never known a more devout student of Holy Scriptures than Mr. Caird. We corresponded for many years, and I recall my first visit to him in 1864, with my friend, Robert B. Minturn. We were deeply impressed by his conversation, which revealed that intimate knowledge of Holy Scriptures which in the past has been the glory of Scotch Christians.

Mr. Caird was one of the founders of the Free Church of Scotland, and for many years he supported a mission school in Palestine. He visited me in Fari-bault, and to his generosity our Divinity School is indebted for many valuable books and diagrams of the tabernacle. Upon my visit to Finnart the peasants from the surrounding highlands were always gathered for the Sunday service. Mr. Caird said to me at my first visit, "Bishop, I suppose this is the first time that the English Prayer Book has been used in this valley."

His son Mr. James Caird visited me shortly after the Indian outbreak of 1862. He was much interested in my Indians and aided me in caring for them at a time when I was greatly perplexed. Like his father, his heart is full of sympathy for the poor, and his good works, which are many, will follow him.

On my first visit to Edinburgh I was the guest of Dean Ramsay, beloved and honored by all who knew him. He charmed his friends by his vivid portraitures of Scotch character, and many of the stories which he has related in his book of reminiscences I have had the pleasure of hearing from his own lips. To American Churchmen he was dear as being an honored son of the Church which gave to us the Episcopate.

The following letter shows the spirit of the sainted man:--

23 AINSLEE PLACE, EDINBUSQH, January 11th, '70.

Rt. Rev. and Honored Bishop: I have yours of Jan. 4th, and I need not say how much pleasure I received in finding you had not forgotten your visit to the Northern Capital. I can assure you we often talk of your visit with much interest, and we are always glad to have any intelligence regarding your immense work before you in your Minnesota diocese. . . . Churches are torn with division--the Church itself is torn and divided. Borne is in a ticklish state. Let us have men who will do the work of the Church. Give me the few and zealous laborers, not in fields of controversy and in squabbles, but in good solid plans for making some men Christians and some men better Christians than before. . . .

I crave your blessing, and am respectfully and affectionately, Yours ever,


Admiral Ramsay, brother of the dean, and the chief of the police went with Mr. Minturn and myself through the closes of Edinburgh, where we saw scenes too awful for words. Mr. Minturn's generous heart was so touched by the sad story of a poor girl and two children, that he provided the means to place the girl in a refuge and the children in a hospital.

I visited Scotland at the time of the centennial of Bishop Seabury's consecration when memorial sermons were preached by the American bishops and clergy in the principal churches. I preached in Glasgow at St. Mary's. The services in Aberdeen were deeply interesting, and the hospitality unbounded. I was the guest of General Sir Harry and Lady Lumsden. The sermon by Bishop Williams was wise and fitted as always for the occasion.

At the great meeting in Victoria Hall, where several thousand persons had assembled, addresses were made by the Bishops of Aberdeen, Winchester, Albany, and Minnesota. My address was kindly received, and in a tribute paid me by the Bishop of Moray, Dr. Kelly, this testimony to the life of missions touched me:--

"Some of us may remember the passionate lament of John Henry Newman at the close of his career in the English Church, in which he charges his spiritual mother with dry breasts. Had he but waited with more faith and patience till our own day, he would have realized that this was the last charge which could be laid against a church that has nourished and brought up such sons as these brave standard-bearers of the Christian army in Africa and India, in China and Japan, in Australia and New Zealand, in Canada and the United States, in South America and in the Islands of the Sea."

I spent a week with my friend Lord Cairns, then Lord Chancellor of England, at his home near Leith, and one of the pleasantest memories of the visit is that of a gathering of all the tenants of the estate in the great hall. A bountiful feast, old games, gifts of clothing, books, and dolls made a charming gala day, at the close of which I made a brief address and gave the benediction.

The peasants in the Highlands cannot forget the persecutions which their fathers suffered. Lord Cairns told me a story of a peasant who was reading the Book of Revelation at family prayer. He read slowly:--

"And thar ware a great red dragoon in heaven--"

"Sandy, Sandy," his wife interrupted, "thar never ware a red dragoon in heaven, leastwise not one of Claverhouse dragoons."

"Jenny," replied Sandy, "it is in the Book! "

"Ah well, the Book is true," responded Jenny. "Read on, Sandy."

"And the great dragoon ware cast out of heaven," continued Sandy, at which Jenny joyfully clapped her hands and cried:--

"Thank God! I knew no red dragoon could stay in heaven!"

Bishop Wilberforce was with a friend at Killie-crankie, where a good woman had been showing them the different places of interest. As the bishop turned away, some one said to the woman:--

"Do you know who that is?"

"Na," was the answer, "but he seems a gude mon." When told that he was a bishop, she exclaimed:--

"A bishop! A bishop! Mair is the pity! I doot whether he can be saved."

The first English Church Congress which I attended impressed me deeply. Men as wide apart as the antipodes met on a platform, and gave and took hard blows in the best of humor. With it all there was an underlying earnestness which told of a living, working Church. The missionary aspect of the congress was most marked, and no men were received with more enthusiastic cheers than those who were in the forefront of Christian work. The meetings for workingmen were thronged, and the speakers exhibited great tact in reaching the hearts of their hearers. Some of the bishops were especially happy in this, and there were deafening cheers when men like Bishop Wilberforce, Selwyn, Goodwin of Carlisle, and Magee spoke.

There is nothing which stimulates diocesan work as does an interest in missions. At a meeting of the Massachusetts Colonial Council a member objected to foreign missions, saying:--

"We have not religion enough at home to send any abroad."

A wiser man replied, "The more religion you send abroad, the more you will have at home."

Bishop Brooks said, "It is a shameful thing to make our lack of devotion to Jesus Christ the excuse for not carrying the gospel to the heathen."

I was asked to deliver a missionary address shortly after the Indian massacre, and a friend said to me:--

"You have a great work to do in Minnesota, and I advise you not to speak of Indian missions for they are a failure, and you cannot afford to have the Church look upon you as an enthusiast."

It stung me, and I began my address by repeating my friend's advice, and then said:--

"The best illustration which I have ever heard of the philosophy of missions is the story of an infidel master who said to his Christian slave: ' Jim, you are the biggest fool I ever knew. You are always talking about faith in God, and I suppose you think that if the Lord should tell you to jump through that stone wall your faith would take you through.' ' Massa, dat's easy 'nough,' was the answer. ' If de Lord tell Jim to jump frou dat stone wall, it's Jim's business to jump, and de Lord's business to git Jim frou.' "

I have often been touched by the offerings of our Indians for missions; for when they have no money they bring pieces of bead work, birch-bark mokuks of sugar, or some other form of handiwork, and even the little children bring small gifts.

Christian folk would care more for missions if they knew more about missions. We of the clergy need to get so near to our Master that our hearts will glow with His love; and then the stories of missionary life will touch the hearts of men who will feel that "we, too, must pray, and work, and give." When we grasp the hand of the Saviour we shall reach out the other hand to help some weary one, and when He has put into our hearts the child's cry, "Our Father," we shall remember wandering brothers and long to lead them home. It is not enough for us to claim our lineage in an Apostolic Church. The Church of Laodicea had unquestioned orders, but was blind and naked.

At the time of my first visit to England many of the livings were the gifts of private persons, the living being made a sinecure for some dependent friend. On one occasion, while staying with friends in the country, I heard the parish incumbent say in a sermon upon the Holy Scriptures, "I think I may say, without reasonable fear of contradiction, that the Holy Scriptures promote good morals." Which was certainly a very safe assertion. Thank God that all this is changed through the influence of such men as Bishop How, Bishop Carpenter, Charles Kingsley, Frederick Robertson, and others of different schools of thought. It can now be said, "The gospel is preached unto them."

In visits to Europe I saw much of the work which Christian men are doing for those whom--God forgive us--we call the "submerged classes."

In Paris I met the Rev. Dr. McAll, a simple-hearted man of God who, after the Franco-Prussian war, went to Paris, knowing nothing of the language, and started his mission. The first French words which he learned were, "God loves you."

Services were held every evening at the Mission Halls, which were filled with congregations made up of laboring men and women, with a scattering of soldiers. I spoke to the people in many of the missions, and they listened as if the gospel were a new revelation from heaven. Many of these men and women who had been baptized were infidels who had drifted away from the Church, and the simple story of the love of Jesus Christ brought its healing message to their hearts, and nothing could be more touching than to look into their eager faces and hear their earnest ejaculations, "Merci! Merci! "

Dr. Theodore Evans asked permission of the prefect of police to establish a mission like the McAll Mission. The prefect replied, "Plant as many as you please; where there is a McAll Mission we need fewer police."

Miss de Bruen has done wonderful work at Belle-vue. She had been laboring in the Mild May Park Mission and while visiting a friend in Paris she went out to Pere La Chaise. It was the day after five hundred Communists had been shot, and their friends had come to visit their graves. Many had written on a slip of paper, "Eevenge," which they had buried in the graves. One old woman whose husband and son had been shot was beating her breast and crying, "I have lost all! I have lost all! "Breathing a prayer that she might speak a word of comfort to the poor soul, Miss de Bruen touched the woman and said, "Mother, you think that you have lost all; but you have not lost the love of God."

The woman grasped at the thought, and the Communists gathered about Miss de Bruen while she talked to them of the pitying Saviour. When she returned to her friend she said:--

"I am going to Bellevue to live with these poor people."

Her friend exclaimed, "Live at Bellevue! It is not safe for a soldier--much less for a woman! "

"I know that they are bad," was Miss de Bruen's answer, "but no one is too bad for the love of the Saviour, and I must help them."

She had at this time a children's hospital, a school, a home for nurses, and a free dispensary. As Miss de Bruen met us at the gate, thirty or forty men and women were waiting for entrance.

"I shall give these people tickets," Miss de Bruen explained, "and to-morrow they will be admitted first. I have three hundred in the building now,--all that we can care for to-day. We ask but one thing of these patients,--that they shall attend a short service of half an hour before our physician prescribes for them. We read a few verses of scripture, sing a hymn, have a prayer, and an address of fifteen minutes."

Thirty thousand sufferers had received help from the dispensary in one year. I did not need Miss de Bruen's whisper, "When you address them, Bishop, remember that many of them are infidels," to melt my heart into a message that brought tears to many eyes.

The day of the funeral of Gambetta handbills were printed and given to the populace, "Vive Gambetta! France mourns for her son! Hear what the Lord Jesus Christ says: ' If any man believe in Me, although he were dead, yet shall he live.' Believest thou this? ' Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.' "French peasants cherish words linked with a name they love, and some of these handbills were framed and hung up in their houses.

I found evidences of an awakened spiritual life in the work of evangelization among the people of Spain. I arrived on a Spanish vessel at Barcelona to find the Carlists and General Prim's soldiers fighting in the streets, and we could not land until one party or the other had conquered. It was a trial of patience to remain on the very uncomfortable vessel under a broiling sun. The passengers were furious in their denunciations, but the old captain only answered, "Remember the patience of God."

I had the pleasure of hearing Castelar and others speak in the Cortez, and was received most hospitably by the Duke of Montpensier.

Every day during Holy Week in Seville there were processions of moving tableaus representing the lives of the Patriarchs, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Arrest, the Trial, and the Crucifixion of our Saviour. For the most part it was an empty pageant, but now and then kneeling peasants could be seen whose faces showed that to them'it brought the story of man's redemption. On Maundy Thursday I witnessed the washing of the disciple's feet, and on Good Friday the elevation of the cross. During this holy season I attended some services held in upper rooms, where men and women listened with profound earnestness to the story of the love of God. I believed that those services by unordained men would react on the clergy and teach them that the only cure for sinful hearts lay in preaching Christ and Him Crucified.

I met a saintly Roman priest in the library of the Escurial who asked me if I were a Roman priest, and his response to my answer has lingered in my memory.

"It is sad that they who love Jesus should differ. We will tell it to Jesus and some day we shall be one."

I spent several weeks at the Alhambra which, added to all else, has the charm of its memories of Washington Irving, whom my attentive old guide remembered. At parting from this good Benzaken I added a sovereign to my good wishes, at which, with glistening eyes, he exclaimed:--

"May the Blessed Virgin protect you. I shall always keep in my heart the memory of your kindness. I shall now be able to buy a lottery ticket."

"A lottery ticket?" I ejaculated.

"And why not?" was the answer. "Can you tell me of any other way by which I shall own my own house, drive in my own carriage? There is one great prize--quien sabe el Deus."

It was a revelation of the cause of much of the misery which is found in this fair country.

The English cemetery at Malaga is one of the dearest places I found in Spain. For many years the bodies of heretics were buried in the sand of the seashore. Those graves brought their lessons of charity. The new constitution of Spain gave foreigners the right to worship according to their accustomed forms of faith while residing in Spain.

In Madrid, at the request of the British Minister, Mr. Layard, I preached in the chapel of the Embassy. Hon. John Hay was our Secretary of Legation, and I am indebted to him for many acts of kindness and sympathy in my Indian work. The sympathy felt by Mr. Hay for my Indians may be seen from the following letter:--


My dear Bishop Whipple: I return you, with many thanks, your report. I read it with great interest and renewed pain, remembering that since it was written many new chapters have been added to the bloody record of our inhumanity. It is impossible to deny the truth of what you say, and yet it seems equally impossible to cure the mortal malady of avarice and cruelty which is at the bottom of the whole business. If there were more people actuated like you, by motives of Christianity and honor, the evil could be mitigated, if not abolished. But the prospect does not look hopeful. . . .

Mrs. Hooper is still here, but goes to Toledo on Saturday and thence to Valencia. I accompany the ladies to the city of the Goths and then return here for a few weeks more.

Thanks to your therapeutic skill, I am quite well again, and ready for summer work.

With sincere assurance of respectful regard, I remain, Your obliged and faithful friend.and servant,


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