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Memoir of the Right Reverend John Strachan
Appendix I

IT will, we are persuaded, be considered by our readers a fitting sequel to the eventful life of the late Bishop of Toronto, which we have attempted in the foregoing pages, to pourtray, to record a few of the tributes which, soon after his decease, were paid to his memory. While these bear pleasing testimony to his character and labours, they furnish some few particulars that illustrate both, which were not known to, or which may have escaped, the writer of the Memoir.


The Church Society of the Diocese of Toronto, at their first Quarterly Meeting held after his decease, on November 13th, 1867, adopted unanimously the following Resolutions:

“Whereas it has pleased Almighty God to take unto himself the soul of our late beloved and venerated Father in God, the Hon. and Right Reverend John Strachan, D. D., LL. D.,

“Be it resolved,

“That recognizing, as we are bound to do, our solemn obligation to bow in all submission to the wisdom and goodness of Almighty God in his dispensations, we would still desire to express with deep sorrow our sense of the irreparable loss which the Church in Canada, and especially in this Diocese, has sustained by the removal of our Chief Pastor.

“That we gratefully confess how abundant were his labours, and how able, just, and impartial was his administration of his extensive Diocese; we thankfully recall the wisdom and prudence with which his far-sighted and comprehensive plans were formed, and the vigour and promptitude with which they were put in execution. .

“That we bear our respectful testimony to his firmness in the assertion of every great principle affecting either the doctrine or the order of the Church; to the blameless purity of his life and conversation, and to the kindness and courtesy which marked his demeanour towards the Clergy and Laity committed to his charge.

“That we have reason to be deeply grateful to Divine Providence that on the severance of the Diocese of Toronto from the ancient Diocese of Quebec, we were privileged to have set over, to mould and form all its institutions, and to guide it for eight-and-twenty years, a Prelate thus unusually qualified for the discharge of the arduous duties of the office to which he was called.

“That we would also recognize with devout gratitude to the Giver of all good gifts, the following more signal instances of our late Bishop’s provident appreciation of the Church’s wants, and of his undaunted energy in the effort to supply them:—First His establishment of the Church Society of this Diocese in A. D. 1842, by the operation of which the injury which would otherwise have resulted to the Church from the alienation of her State endowments, fifteen years later, was without doubt most materially diminished. Secondly. His founding Trinity College, as a place of education for both the Clergy and Laity of our communion, at a time when the Church had been debarred from availing herself any further of the large revenues provided for the purpose of education within this Province, by the beneficence and piety of the British Crown; and, Lastly, his initiation of our system of Diocesan and Provincial Synods, the introduction of which has formed an epoch in the history of the Church, and has placed ourselves and our fellow Churchmen in other Colonies, where the same organization has been adopted, in a position, under God’s good providence, to maintain within our own borders both sound doctrine and Godly discipline.

“That a copy of these resolutions be presented as an expression of our heartfelt sympathy and condolence to the afflicted family of the deceased Prelate, and to our present Diocesan, and be furnished to The Church Chronicle for publication.


At the regular monthly meeting of the Corporation of Trinity College, held this day in the Library of the College, the Right Reverend The Lord Bishop in the chair, the following resolutions were submitted:—

“Moved by the Rev. the Provost, seconded by Mr. Harman, and

“Resolved—“That the Corporation of Trinity College, on the occasion of their first meeting after the lamented decease of the late beloved and venerated Bishop of this Diocese—the virtual founder of this College—for sixteen years the President of their body—and the solicitous guardian of the welfare of the society whose interests are entrusted to their care,—cannot but give expression to their deep sense of the loss they have sustained, and to the affectionate veneration with which they must ever cherish the memory of one who so fully identified himself with the fortunes of the College, whether in its more prosperous or more troublous times.

“Constant in his attendance upon every occasion when his counsel was sought or the weight of his authority required, the late Bishop was no less ready to discover his fatherly regard for this foundation by gracing it with his presence at every public solemnity and every festive assemblage, even when extreme age might well have been pleaded as rendering his absence inevitable.

“A benefactor to the College to no small extent during his life, he has, by his testamentary provisions, given proof of his enduring interest in its welfare, and has strongly indicated how deeply cherished was his desire that the College may long continue to accomplish with increasing efficiency the important purposes for which he laboured to establish it.

“Resolved—“ That the above resolution be communicated to the members of the family of the late Bishop, with the respectful assurance of the deep sympathy of the Corporation with them under the loss they have sustained.

“Resolved—“ That as a further mark of respect to the memory of the deceased Prelate, the meeting of the Corporation do now adjourn.”

“The resolutions were unanimously carried, and the Council adjourned.

“Bursar and Secretary. “Trinity College, 12th Nov., 1867.”

A few days after, a Deputation of Clergymen waited upon the present Bishop of Toronto, with the following address :—

“To the Right Rev. Alexander Neil Bethune, D.D. & D.C.L., by Divine permission, Lord Bishop of Toronto,

“Right Reverend Father in God,—

“We, the Clergy of the Diocese of Toronto, desire respectfully to approach your Lordship on your assuming the full charge of this Diocese, in consequence of the demise of our late revered Bishop, with an expression of dutiful submission; of sincere regard for your person and office; and of our purpose, by God’s help, to do all we can to render your Episcopate a blessing to yourself and to the Diocese.

“We fully enter into your Lordship’s feelings in regard to the heavy and momentous responsibilities, which, in the providence of God, have now devolved upon you; and we earnestly pray God to grant you grace and strength sufficient for the duties of so high and difficult a position.

"It must, however, be a source of great comfort and encouragement to your Lordship to know, that you so long enjoyed a very large share of our late revered Diocesan’s confidence; that you had a deep hold on his warmest affections, and that you have the benefit of a thorough knowledge of his views on all matters of importance in connection with the Diocese.

"We congratulate your Lordship on having had the honour of taking part in the late Conference of Bishops at Lambeth, from which we anticipate the best results, and in which our late revered Bishop took a deep interest; and we cordially welcome your Lordship on your safe return to your native land, and to the discharge of your highly important duties.

"And, in conclusion, we pray that the mantle of our late revered Bishop, your long and tried friend, may rest upon you.



"My Dear Brethren,— 

"I pray you to accept my best thanks for the kind manner in which you have addressed me; assuring me of your fraternal regard, and of your desire to aid me with your hearty co-operation in fulfilling the duties to which, in the ordering of Divine Providence, I have been called. From this assurance I shall, under the weight of the responsibility that has now devolved upon me, feel a strong support and encouragement.

“We can never fail to bear in grateful memory the manner in which this large and important Diocese was administered by our departed Bishop; with how much zeal and self-denial his labours were pursued; how in the ruler we always discerned the father; with what patience and gentleness he met the difficulties and trials that occurred; with what impartiality and tenderness he demeaned himself to all.

“With a full persuasion that gifts and graces are not bestowed on men alike, and that few can hope to reach the example our departed Bishop has bequeathed to us, it shall be my effort, as it shall be my constant prayer, to carry out, in the spirit that actuated him, the plans and purposes for the welfare of this Diocese and of the Church at large, which he devoted his best energies to promote.

“It was my privilege to attend the recent Conference at Lambeth Palace, and to share in its deliberations; a Conference, I believe, which will mark an era in the Anglican communion, and from which will accrue large benefits and blessings to our Mother Land, and all its wide-spread dependencies and allies.

“I thank you for the cordial welcome with which I am met on my return; and very much would it cheer and encourage me if I could hope that the mantle which has dropped from our departed father may be seen to have rested on me.

“Toronto, November 15th, 1867;

The Church Society of the Diocese of Huron, passed the following Resolution at a meeting held on the 4th of December, 1867:

"Moved by Yen. Archdeacon Brough, seconded by Rev. Canon Bettridge,

“Resolved,—That the Members of the Church Society of the Diocese of Huron, availing themselves of this their first meeting since the decease of the late lamented Bishop of Toronto, desire to express to their brethren of the sister Diocese their deep and heartfelt sympathy under a dispensation, which, though special to Toronto, is felt, we feel assured, with no small emotion, by every Diocese throughout this Dominion.

“The event which claims our condolence, though, in the course of nature, not altogether unexpected, yet upon its occurrence filled every heart with grief and called forth from all orders of society and from every religious denomination a manifestation of respect truly impressive, but grateful especially to those who at the period of his death or through times past, enjoyed the Episcopal oversight of so valued and devoted a Prelate.

“In every expression of esteem and every evidence of respect shewn to the memory of the late Bishop of Toronto, the members of the Diocese of Huron desire to assure their brethren that they most truly and heartily participate.”

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