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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 XXXV

WHEN in England many years ago, I was in the House of Lords, standing behind the woolsack. Not knowing the speaker, who arose just after I entered, I asked his name of a gentleman in front of me, whose face was not in view. "It is Lord Derby," was the answer, and turning, he courteously asked if I were a stranger, and proceeded to point out the different members, at the same time making brief and interesting comments upon the more important ones. I at once recognized Mr. Gladstone, whom later I came to know and admire. I was in Oxford at the time Mr. Gladstone stood for the Suffrages of the University, when political 'excitement ran high between his friends and enemies, the result having been that he ceased to be the representative of Oxford in Parliament. I do not remember any election in America where so much bitterness of feeling was exhibited by both parties. His opponents seemed to regard him as a man of sin, who would bring in his train every form of error and rebellion. His friends spoke of him with equal praise as one whose mission was to elevate the people of England and redress the wrongs of the laboring classes. As I listened to these discussions, Mr. Gladstone rose before me as one who had a profound love for humanity, a deep pity for the oppressed, and an unwavering faith in his Master, Jesus Christ. I had many conversations about him with Bishop Wilberforce, who was his personal friend, and although he differed with him on many questions of public polity, he regarded him as one of the greatest intellects and statesmen of England. I then thought, as I do now, that Mr. Gladstone was too great a man to be a consistent follower of any party. Men saw him sometimes on one side, sometimes on the other, but always on the side which he believed to be that of human rights and loyalty to God.

I have listened to many of his remarkable speeches in Parliament, but one of the pleasantest memories is that of the eager expression of gladness on his face, as he sat before me in St. Margaret's Church listening to my story of what God had permitted me to do for the red men, and of the sympathy which he afterward expressed in the work. He presented me with a complete set of his works, which I gave to Seabury Divinity School. I count among my treasures a well-worn walking stick which Mr. Gladstone used for many years, given me at Hawarden Castle. When Mr. Gladstone died, the citizens of many nations joined with England in saying, "A great man has fallen to-day in Israel."


Sept. 4, '97.

Right Rev. and dear Bishop: . . . I hope that your Lordship is now being favored with a good passage back to America, and I also hope that you carry with you satisfactory remembrances and experiences of the Lambeth Conference.

I suppose that we must not at present look for great tangible results from these conferences, but the moral effect, especially in promoting both a sense and a spirit of unity, has been great and will probably be greater yet.

For my own part, and far advanced as I now am in my declining years, as I look back to the condition of the Anglican Church in my youth and make the comparison with what it is now, I can hardly repress my astonishment at what God has wrought on our behalf. I trust that the same can be said of the Church of the United States.

The position of the Archbishop of Canterbury is now very great, and one is tempted to wish that some mode of recognizing it by further title or otherwise could be found, but I hope and fully believe precaution will always be taken against his growing into a Pope.

I remain, Right Rev. and Dear Bishop, With profound respect,

Your most sincere and faithful


I have often been asked my impressions of Dr. Pusey, whom I knew, and whose guest I have been at Oxford. I always felt that I was in the presence of a great intellect and a great saint. On our last meeting I remember with what profound interest he spoke of the new life awakening in the Church of England, and of his faith in the future. He asked many questions about the organization and work of the American Church, and was particularly interested in our Indian missions. He was one morning showing me some of the treasures of Bodleian Library, and our conversation turned upon the free church system.

In answer to my query as to whether the cause of free churches was making much progress in England he said no, and went on to express his belief that the history of the Church and its endowments were so intertwined with the State that they could not be severed without peril to both. Finding that he had misapprehended my question, he said:--

"Oh, you mean free and open seats! There can be no question about that. The Church should always give a like welcome to all."

I recall one of his letters to me in which he emphasized particularly this point. Knowing my interest in eleemosynary work, he gave me a letter to Mrs. Sellon, the founder of the Sisterhood of All Saints, Margaret Street, London, from whom I learned the lines of work done by her sisterhood, which was at that time in its comparative infancy, but which has since spread throughout the world.

I met at Dr. Pusey's Bishop Forbes of Scotland, who was afterward condemned by the Scottish bishops for his views on the Blessed Sacrament. He impressed me as a man of most devout heart.

Dean Burgon was then the preacher at St. Mary's, Oxford. I spent many delightful hours with him, and found him one of the quaintest of men.

He had a reverent love for the King James version of the Scriptures, and felt most keenly the mistakes which he believed were in the revised version.

At a meeting of the Fellows of the University at which I was present there was a discussion about a reading-room and library which had been established by the railway operatives, and which they had asked the members of the University to take under their care, with the condition that the dissenting clergy, who were pastors of some of the men interested, might use the hall for lectures. After several speeches in opposition, I was asked my opinion. I said that in America there were many places where the Church was a small minority, and that I doubted if there were a bishop in our communion who would not count it a joy to receive such a reading-room under his care, satisfied that the Church would vindicate herself and win the love of the men.

In the summer of 1897, accompanied by my dear wife, I went to England to attend the fourth Lambeth Conference. It was the loving Providence of God that first made one who is now my helper in all His work my parishioner. Her love and sympathy for the sorrowful and heavy laden, her deep interest in the brown and black races who have so long held a place in my heart drew us together. We were married in the Church of St. Bartholomew in New York by my beloved brother the Rt. Rev. Henry C. Potter. In this gift my Heavenly Father has overpaid me for all the burdens which I have carried for His children.

It was a summer fraught with interest, not only to Churchmen but to all Christendom gathered to pay tribute to the Queen and woman whose Christian influence during the sixty years of her reign has kindled respect and admiration in all hearts, irrespective of country.

The first of the special sermons which I had been asked the preceding winter to preach at this time was in Salisbury Cathedral, June 3, in commemoration of the thirteen hundredth anniversary of the baptism of King Ethelbert, the first Christian Saxon king. It was a memorable service with a congregation of seven thousand persons, seven hundred robed clergy, and fourteen hundred choristers.

I well remember the first sermon I delivered in Salisbury Cathedral many years ago, when I was the guest of my dear friend Mrs. H. Sidney Lear, who has endeared herself to English and to Continental churches by her lives of the great saints and heroes of the Church. I first made her acquaintance at Mentone in 1865, where I often celebrated the Holy Communion for her in her home, and in memory of which she presented me with a beautiful gold Communion service. A glimpse of that life consecrated to the service of the Church may be caught from the following letters.

May 7th, 1873.

My dear Bishop: I cannot help fearing that I have lost a letter from you, as not long ago an envelope reached me, but open, and containing only the printed letter of your two professors. I fancy that it left your hands containing more, and if so, I greatly regret losing your own words. I have just sent you a book of mine--the subject is scarcely fitting for a woman's pen, you will say--" Spiritual Guidance," but I was bidden to do it; and after all, it is only another and wiser author's mind, arranged by me in a different and more modern style, and Mr. Carter's imprimature is meant to put me out of the question. These are days in which all strength of mind, heart, and body seem needed among those who love our Dear Lord and want to extend His Kingdom on earth. But amid all the clouds of misbelief, secular education, and what not, it is comforting to feel that there is a very wide and real growth of deep religious feeling among us, and that among the poorer classes; though in truth the very daylight let in, shows how gross the darkness, still impenetrated, is.

The Athanasian Creed question may be looked upon as settled among us for the present, I suppose. But no doubt the Evil One will only wait his opportunity to renew the attack. It is so evident that all dogmatic belief is the real object of his attempts in this direction.

I have been very much interested in some of the stories you kindly sent me in the winter. There is such a freshness and warmth about them that to me they are very charming. . . .

Believe me, my dear Bishop, always with sincere veneration, Affectionately yours,

THE CLOSE, SALISBURY, July 16th, 1888.

My dear Bishop: My house, hands, and heart have been full, but you have been much in the last.

Dear Bishop, you don't know how much work you did for God, or how deeply your words went into many hearts. There are many who have said that last Monday was a turning-point in their lives. Is it a very selfish thing to ask if you could come here again before you sail for America? I wouldn't ask it only for the exceeding gladness it would be for me to look once more into your face, but I feel as if you might do so much by speaking once more to our pepple gathered as they would be at the sound of your name, either on Sunday or weekday. Will you think about it, and if you say you can't, I will ask no more.

Bishop Kelly wound up Monday's long and happy day by a few touching and helpful words, referring to what you had said in the morning, and bidding us remember that if our hearts were stirred within us, such enthusiasm must take shape to be pleasing to God in one way or another of offering ourselves and our possessions to His service. Believe me ever

Most gratefully and affectionately yours,

It would be a great gladness to all my household to have you here again. I think you would be touched at some of the homely things that are said. While the guest of Mrs. Lear I had the pleasure of calling upon the widow of Bishop Moberly, and of telling her of the great help which I had found in my early ministry in the bishop's book, "The Great Forty Days," when our Lord unfolded to His disciples the laws of the Kingdom of God on earth of which He would be King. I loved Bishop Moberly, one of those beautiful souls who in life and teaching speak always of Christ and His Church. The following letter was written at the time of his consecration:--

BRIGHTON NB. 2d Nov., 1869.

My dear Brother: Excuse my tardiness in acknowledging your most kind and welcome words of greeting which reached me in Westminster Abbey on Thursday last,--that great day to me and mine when I was consecrated to the work of God in the high and holy office of a Bishop. Surrounded as I was by a multitude of clergy and other friends, I felt a very peculiar pleasure in the sense of the sympathy of a bishop of that Sister Church, to which I have been accustomed to look with very great interest and affection, feeling sure that she has tried, and is trying, with much blessing and success, the path which ere long we in England shall be called to try. .... With much sense of your kindness, beg to remain, My dear Bishop,

Your very faithful friend and brother, GEORGE SARUM.

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Wordsworth, Bishop of Salisbury, whose guests we were on the occasion of my commemoration sermon has inherited the scholarly attainments of his father, the great Bishop of Lincoln, and no one has done more than he to cement the bonds of the Anglican Churches throughout the world.

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Creighton, Bishop of London, one of whose consecrators I was in 1891, delivered an address in the town hall of Salisbury the evening preceding the service at the Cathedral on the character and mission of Augustine. With an heroic faith Dr. Creighton is grappling with the social problems of that great metropolis over which he is shepherd. His "History of the Papacy" is one of the most interesting productions of the time, remarkable for its diligent research and collection of facts.

On Whitsuntide I preached the Eamsden sermon before the University of Cambridge,--a sermon which was published for circulation by request of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. We were the guests of the Vice-Chancellor at Sidney Sussex Lodge. I had not been in Cambridge since 1888, when I preached before the University, and it was a pleasure to meet the many friends who have given me so warm a welcome. Among them, at the home of her son, the Rt. Rev. John Selwyn, was the widow of my dear friend, the Bishop of New Zealand and Lichfield.

Bishop John Selwyn possessed many of the traits which made his father the great missionary bishop of the Church of England. After twelve years of heroic service in New Zealand his strong constitution became so enfeebled by exposure and illness that he was compelled to resign, but he still preserved all of his missionary zeal, and kindled enthusiasm in the hearts of others by his letters and addresses. We were one day speaking of his father, and in answer to my remark that he was one of the finest specimens of physical manhood that I had ever seen, he told me a story of two charwomen who, seeing the bishop for the first time, stood gazing after him in wide-eyed astonishment.

"Who be 'e?" asked one.

"'E be the new Lord Bishop," was the answer. "But I wad na want to be a leg o' mutton afore 'e! "gasped the woman.

On the last morning of our visit in Cambridge Bishop Selwyn walked through rain and mud before breakfast to bid us good-by, and as I looked into his genial face as he told a last inimitable story, I little dreamed that within a few brief weeks he would have entered into that higher service above.

As my thoughts linger over the great-hearted father of this departed brother, who was so much to me in the early days, the memory of still another comes before me,--his successor, Bishop Coleridge Patteson, one of the gentlest souls that ever lived. Like her martyred brother, Miss Patteson has a heart aglow for missions; and an afternoon spent in her home was as the voice of the departed.

On Trinity Sunday I preached in Holy Trinity, where Shakespeare is buried, at Stratford-on-Avon, and in the afternoon addressed five hundred children at the first children's missionary meeting ever held in this church. We were guests of Dr. and Mrs. Arbuthnot at the pleasant old vicarage.

On our way from Stratford-on-Avon to Southwell we stopped in London to hear the Oratorio of the Messiah with its grand chorus of four thousand voices. But beautiful as it was, the memory would come of Jenny Lind, whom I had several times heard in that exultant outpouring, "I know that my Redeemer liveth."

Speaking of Jenny Lind, recalls an amusing incident connected with the Rev. Enmegahbowh. It was in the early days of our Indian missions, and Enmegahbowh had gone East with some of the chiefs to raise money for the Church of St. Columba at White Earth. He met with an enthusiastic reception, and Jenny Lind sent for him and his four chiefs and exhibited much interest in his work. To use Enmegahbowh's words in describing the interview:--

"She listened to my story and asked many questions; then she said: ' I want to give you something for your work. Tell me how much you want.'

"We sat like dumb beasts. No one dared to name a sum. We thought if we said too much, she would not give us anything; and if we said too little, she would not give us as much as was in her mind. The silence grew very long. I thought we might lose all, and I said five hundred dollars.

'Oh,' she said, ' you have not said enough.' And when I looked at the cheque, it was one thousand dollars."

Another great event of Enmegahbowh's life was his visit to the White House to see the President, which he described with a merry twinkle in his eyes.

"That day I was big Injun and had more people around me than even the Great Father had."

While guests at the home of the Et. Rev. Dr. Ridding, the beloved Bishop of Southwell, it was a great pleasure to meet several grand standard bearers of the cross from remote parts of the earth. The Rt. Rev. Dr. Tucker, Bishop of Uganda, whose blessed work I have long watched, stirred my heart to the depths as I listened to the story of what may well be called a miracle of missions. While in 1883 there were but five Christians in Uganda, there are now more than two hundred houses of Christian worship built by the natives; sixty thousand persons can read the gospel, while ten thousand copies of the New Testament in circulation have been purchased by the natives. Bishop Tucker presented Mrs. Whipple with a beautiful leopard skin which was killed and tanned by one of the Christian chiefs.

At a missionary meeting in the Southwell Minster where I delivered an address, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Awdrey, then Bishop of Osaka but since translated to South Tokyo, gave a most interesting account of work in Japan, dwelling particularly on the tenacity of the Japanese character as being both an advantage and a disadvantage in the progress of Christianity.

An interesting address was also made by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Montgomery, Bishop of Tasmania.

The Bishop of Southwell, whose heart is full of love for missions, was one whose voice was gladly heard in the conference; in listening to him I was always reminded of Bishop Hobart's motto, "Evangelical Truth and Apostolic Order."

The hospitality of Southwell Priory is a charming memory. Lady Laura Ridding, daughter of the Earl of Selbourne, late Lord Chancellor of England--a name honored in America as one of the greatest jurists of the age--is beloved and revered for her interest in all good work.

In June we returned to London to be present at the Jubilee functions, and the following Sunday thanksgiving services were held in the churches throughout England. The Very Rev. Dean Bradley was the preacher at Westminster Abbey and gave a graceful and masterly presentation of the Christian influence of Queen Victoria throughout her reign, drawing illustrations from the monuments witnessing to consecrated lives which have been placed in the Abbey during the last sixty years. Dean Bradley's sermons are marked by a peculiar terseness of expression which leaves an indelible impression upon his hearers. I had the pleasure of listening to a course of sermons delivered by him many years ago on the Book of Ecclesiastes. They were given on week days, and I was struck by the great number of educated Jews present, who listened with profound interest to the words of the preacher.

It is delightful to hear Dean Bradley's personal reminiscences of the late Dean Stanley. The following incident shows the wonderful chivalry of Dean Stanley toward men who held views antipodal to his own. At the time that the Rev. Dr. Ward, who afterward entered the Roman Church, was to be tried for his heretical views by the authorities of Oxford, Stanley met him and asked if he had prepared his defence.

"No," replied Ward, "and I do not intend to do so."

"That will never do," answered Stanley; "you must make one."

And Stanley wrote a defence for Ward which was accepted, an incident so strange that it would seem incredible had it not been confirmed by Ward himself.

The special thanksgiving service read by the Archbishop of Canterbury was held at the west front of St. Paul's Cathedral, the Queen remaining in her carriage at the foot of the steps. The centre was occupied by the archbishops and bishops, numbering nearly two hundred.

The scene from this point, embracing as it did the magnificent procession of native and colonial troops, army and navy, the representatives of foreign potentates, and the surging mass of human beings from every walk and condition of life, was one to stir the heart of the onlooker. Mrs. Whipple remarked that "the most obdurate subject from the Celestial kingdom must have felt a dawning sentiment that there might be a corner for women hereafter."

At the request of the Rt. Rev. Dr. Legge, the scholarly Bishop of Lichfield, I delivered an address in the Lichfield Cathedral. We were guests at the Bishop's Palace which holds for me so many pleasant associations, as it is one of the many homes which in the past have given me a gracious welcome. My last visit was when Bishop Maclagan, now Archbishop of York, was in residence, he having been the sixth Bishop of Lichfield who has held the position of Archbishop of York. Shortly before our visit the restoration of the Chapel of St. Chad's, which had been buried in rubbish for centuries, was completed,--the result, I believe, of the energy and generosity of the present Dean of Lichfield, the Very Rev. Herbert Luckock.

We spent several pleasant days at Harrow with the Rev. Dr. Weldon, its head-master, who had asked me to preach to the boys and to make them an address upon Indian missions. These schools of England with their hundreds of years of history behind them are not only nurseries of the Church, but they reveal the secret of the strength of the nation; and the hold which they have upon the hearts of England may be seen when it is remembered that they number in their long line of distinguished headmasters the four late Archbishops of Canterbury. Dr. Weldon told me among many incidents, showing how truly the spirit of religion is incorporated into school life, that when his boys won a game of cricket or succeeded in getting into the first eleven they were sure to be at the early communion the next Sunday as a Thanksgiving.

My first acquaintance with Dr. Weldon, who has recently been consecrated Metropolitan of Calcutta, was at a meeting of the British Bible Society some years ago, when I heard him make a most impressive speech in defence of the Bible in reply to assaults which had been made upon its sacred pages.

In speaking of Harrow, I am reminded of one whose face it is always a pleasure to see,--Sir John Kennaway, who brought his son down to Harrow to hear my address; for on whatever soil a boy may be reared, interest in the North American Indian seems to be ingrained. There are few laymen in England who are more deeply interested in missions, and who have a more loving sympathy in work that is being done everywhere for humanity.

The Lambeth Conference went into retreat on the 30th of June. The opening sermon was preached in Westminster Abbey on the evening of July 1, by the Most Rev. Dr. Maclagan, Archbishop of York. It was a deeply spiritual discourse on the influence of the Holy Ghost as the Guide and Helper of the shepherds of Christ in His work. It was a sermon which made one long to steal away from the busy crowd to impress its truths upon the heart.

At the beautiful service held in Canterbury Cathedral on the 3d of July, preceded by an early service in the venerable Church of St. Martin, the address of welcome by the Archbishop of Canterbury was worthy the occasion. The archbishop's generous words at the close of the conference touched all hearts: "I am afraid that there have been times when your presiding officer has shown the spirit of a schoolmaster, but I assure you as he has listened to your earnest words, you have made him feel as though he were a boy in the sixth form."

At a garden party given on this occasion by Dean Farrar, to whom I arn indebted for many acts of hospitality in the past, I had the pleasure of meeting many old friends. We were guests of Dr. and Mrs. Hodgson at the old palace occupied by King's School, of which Dr. Hodgson is head-master.

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Talbot, with whom we spent a delightful ten days, I first met as Warden of Keble College,--a loyal son of the Church, alive to all the responsibilities of his office, he is worthy to be the bishop of the venerable see of Rochester. It was a great pleasure to meet here Lady Frederick Cavendish, the sister of our hostess, not only because her heart and hands are hi all good work, but as the widow of the late Lord Cavendish, whose memory is cherished in America as the devoted friend of her institutions, and whose untimely death in Ireland produced a shock wherever pure manhood is honored.

At the 4th of July banquet given by the American Society in London, I was asked to respond to the toast, "the Presidents of the United States." There were present Ambassador Hay, General Miles, Mr. Henry White, Ex-Vice-President Stevenson, and other distinguished Americans. It is my impression that these social meetings in London grew out of the banquets which George Peabody gave to Americans in London at the annual recurrence of the national festivals. They are patriotic reunions which deepen the affection for their native land in the hearts of those who are temporarily absent from it.

I have given no account of the personnel of the Lambeth Conference as I could not do so without danger of omitting many most worthy of regard. Many of the foreign missionary bishops carried in their bodies the marks of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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