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Deputy Grand Master, 1849-1851
Grand Master, 1852-1854.


1852 1853 1854


TROWEL, 2012

From TROWEL, Spring 2012, Page 8:

Rt. Rev. and Most Wor. George Randall
Apostle in the Wilderness
By Rt. Wor. Walter H. Hunt

1865: Boston, Massachusetts. The Right Reverend George Maxwell Randall has just been anointed as Episcopal Bishop of the territories of Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico. "The cross and mitre are heavy indeed this day," he writes — a modest expression of his deeply conflicted state of mind. After a lifetime spent in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, he is about to embark — at age 55, on the greatest adventure of his life — torn away from all that he knows: his family, his home, his parish, and his brethren in Freemasonry, who elected him to the highest office within their compass — Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts — just a dozen years earlier. He is about to become an apostle in the wilderness.

It is difficult to imagine the world that George Randall entered when he journeyed across the plains to Colorado in 1866. The city of Denver, presently home to more than half a million people, scarcely existed. And since the railroad stopped over there, it was for all intents and purposes the center of civilization. The newly minted bishop's See was enormous: more than 460,000 square miles; and in order to visit the many towns and settlements, he was forced to journey hundreds of miles, mostly inaccessible by train. His travels were mostly by wagon, where he was exposed to privation and danger. He never traveled armed, trusting in God to protect him. A younger man would have found the work arduous, but there were few younger men available; when he first set off across the country, bound for his new home and responsibility, he could only find one clergyman—Reverend William A. Fuller—to accompany him. Far from the comforts of civilized Boston, Brother Randall nonetheless prospered. From his arrival in Colorado in the summer of 1866 until his death in 1873, he traveled across the territory, preaching and ministering. In his Memoir about Rt. Rev. Bro. Randall, George A. Jarvis, who was one of the church's and Brother Randall's greatest benefactors, writes:

When on his visitations, if too far from shelter, his wagon furnished him a better bed than could be found in some places; and sometimes, after a weary day of trial and fatigue, his couch would be of pine boughs.

Wherever he went, a place of some kind could always be found in which he could gather the people together to hear his glad tidings. Many a time the dining room of a hotel served as a chapel; or a grocery store was used, with counter, boxes, and barrels used for pulpit and pews; and several times the voice of prayer and praise ascended from barroom and liquor saloon. But whenever told, "the good old story," delivered with the magnetic power of the earnest bishop, was always attractive.

We cannot hear the voice of Brother Randall a century and a half after his ministry and his service to the Craft, but sources suggest that he was a powerful and dynamic speaker, both on ecclesiastical and Masonic subjects.

George Maxwell Randall was born in Warren, Rhode Island in November, 1810, son and grandson of Freemasons on both sides of his family. His father was a judge in the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, and he was brought up in relatively comfortable circumstances. He matriculated at Brown University and then at the Episcopal seminary in New York. After his ordination he was assigned to the Church of the Ascension in Fall River, an industrial city on the south coast of Massachusetts, where he served with distinction for six years. In May of 1844 he was made rector of the Church of the Messiah in Boston; he held this office until his removal to Colorado more than two decades later.

He first saw Masonic Light in Washington Lodge #3 in Warren, Rhode Island, in 1845; in this town he shortly thereafter received the Capitular Degrees. When he came to Boston he affiliated with Columbian Lodge, a Paul Revere lodge; he was chaplain there and also of the Grand Lodge. He was soon admitted to Grand Lodge office — first as district deputy grand master, appointed by Most Wor. Bro. Simon W. Robinson, then as deputy grand master during the three one-year terms of Most Wor. Edward Raymond, and finally as Most Worshipful Grand Master from 1852 to 1854. He was the second clergyman to hold that office after Rev. Bro. Paul Dean.

During his term as Grand Master he granted charters to six lodges and restored the charters to four more that had gone dark during the anti-Masonic period a few decades earlier. In his first year he had the honor of introducing the Hungarian patriot, Bro. Lajos Kossuth, to the Grand Lodge. His administration was the beginning of a period of enormous growth in the fraternity in Massachusetts, which continued through the terms of his immediate successors Heard, Lewis, Coolidge, Parkman, Dame, and Gardner. Freemasonry was still growing at the time of his demise, a fact that made him singularly proud He spoke of this in a famous address given at the Feast of St. John in December 1871, during one of his infrequent visits to the East. He was at that time the senior Past Grand Master:

"I was not a little surprised to hear my name called on the evening of the annual election, first on the list of permanent members of the Grand Lodge, as the oldest Past Grand Master living. I could hardly persuade myself, that one who felt himself to be yet young should sustain this relative position in this venerable body. But so it is. These annual gatherings, while they exhibit the rapid growth of the Brotherhood, remind us of the fathers who have gone before ..."

He then spoke of the period of trial through which the fraternity had passed:

"We have been reminded that this festival commemorates the fortieth year since the famous Declaration was signed and published by the Freemasons of Boston, and its vicinity, in vindication of the institution against the assaults which the frenzied spirit of anti-Masonry made upon it in 1831. I was a boy in those dark days, but I remember them well. My father was a Mason, firm and unflinching. 1 was early interested in an institution, of which I knew nothing except what I saw reflected in the life and character of those whom I revered. But I was old enough to know something of this senseless crusade ... So dismal was the day, that many true Masons verily thought that the end had come.

"Out of this fiery furnace Freemasonry came forth purified of much of its dross, demonstrating to the world that its work was not yet finished; it yet had a mission among men, and so long as there was a work for it to do, no power of its enemies could destroy its existence or hinder its ultimate progress ... Never in its history has this Brotherhood of olden time had before it a nobler work than it has to-day. The tendencies of the age, the signs of the times, the condition of society, all indicate its work ...

"The star of Freemasonry rose in the East; its course has always been towards the West. It is so to-day. Civilization is making its way across this great continent. Its swiftly flowing tides are bearing forward multitudes, who are to people plains which have been known only as the great American desert. Freemasonry has followed the adventuring emigrant, going from his eastern home. In this new condition of things, this ancient institution finds a fresh field for the exercise of its moral teachings and its active charities ...

"Large numbers of enterprising young men are drawn thither from their distant homes, in search of employment. {Such a man} can claim neither the protection nor the counsel nor the aid of any man among the multitudes whom he meets in the crowded thoroughfares of his new home, and is constantly exposed to cruel imposition. Now, in the absence of those who are to him of blood-akin, it is surely a very great thing to have a Brotherhood which will receive him into its pale, warn him of danger, befriend him in trouble, keep him from the society of the evil, supply his wants when he is destitute, visit him when he is sick, and should he die, will bury his body and send his dying message to bereaved friends far away. This is the mission of this fraternity, along the frontier of our country. But it does something more than this. Its lodge room becomes an asylum, a retreat in the hours of leisure and darkness, where the stranger may find trustworthy companions, and listen to moral teachings, and so cultivate a taste for what is elevating, while he is, in a measure at least, saved from the snares of the destroyer, who walks in darkness, and through the fascination of companionship effects the ruin of the unwary. There are many lodges scattered through that country. Their influence will have much to do with the character of the civilization that is to shape the destiny of great states which are now in embryo; a character which is to be potential for good or for evil in the future of this mighty Republic."

Brother Randall's speech had such impact that it was remembered long after he was gone by those who had heard it. The remarks were given with such sincerity and with such zeal that they deeply impressed his audience, and it was made part of his memorial when he passed from this world to the next two years later.

In Masonry, Brother George Maxwell Randall was truly
 "a light to his brethren and an ornament to the Craft." But 
his greatest work would come after he laid down his high
 Masonic office, and undertook his pastoral mission in the 
American West, where he offered a similar, but distinct,
 kind of light to all that he met, using the power of his 
unequalled voice and the strength of his indomitable will.
Despite his fear at the time of his elevation that he was "too
 old to be transplanted," he made a significant impact in the 
communities of an emerging part of America, exemplify
ing both religious and Masonic virtue.



From Proceedings, Page 1873-173:

The committee appointed to prepare resolutions on the death of Past Grand Master, R.W. George M. Randall, would respectfully submit the following report: —

As the public journals, the ecclesiastical and Masonic publications, have paid their deserved tribute to his great worth, and our Grand Master has added, with great feeling, his appreciation of the eminent ability of our departed Brother, it only remains to the committee to propose suitable resolutions indicative of the love and respect entertained by this Grand Lodge, and their deep-felt regret at the departure of their Past Grand Master and loved Brother, the Rt. Rev. George M. Randall, D.D., Bishop of Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming; one who, having attained his high hierarchical dignity, still kept warm his attachment and devotion to our Institution; whose worth was appreciated by the Grand Lodge of Colorado, who tenderly watched his remains, and publicly expressed their sentiments of love and respect. We shall never forget his noble address, at the banquet of 1871, on the "immortality of Freemasonry."

Resolved, That the close of such a life is most deeply felt and deplored, particularly in this jurisdiction over which he had presided with such efficiency; yet, in our grief, there comes to our hearts a solemn joy that such an end has rounded and made perfect the story of such a life.

Resolved, That we bear our testimony to his faithfulness and great executive ability as our Grand Master, to his high characteristics as a man, a Brother, a Christian; and that there is nothing to mar the estimate or dim the lustre of his character.

Resolved, That he has left to us his bright name and fame to add to the galaxy of those stars which have irradiated our Masonic firmament.

Resolved, That we tender to the family our warmest, deepest sympathies in this bereavement. May they be sustained by the influences of the teachings of the departed, and by the assurance that a lasting reunion awaits them hereafter.


From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXXII, No. 11, November 1873, Page 332:


We have rarely been called upon to record the death of one whose loss will be more deeply lamented, or more seriously felt, by all to whom be was personally known, than that of the distinguished brother whose name we have placed at the head of this notice. Few clergymen of his own denomination have filled so high a place of activity and usefulness, or more successfully and honorably discharged the duties entrusted to his hands. As a Bishop of the Episcopal Church, his departure, has created a void which it will be difficult, if not impossible, to fill. As a Mason, he has left the testimony,of a name and a character that will endure while eminent services and faithfulness to duty shall be held as worthy of commemoration upon its record.

Bishop Randall was born in Warren, R. I., on the 23d of November, 1810, and graduated .at Brown University in 1835. Adopting the ministry as his future profession, he graduated at the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal church in New York in 1838, and soon after took charge of, the Church of the Ascension at Fall River in this State. He retained the rectorship of that church until May, 1844, when he accepted the charge of the Church of the Messiah in this city, of which he was the founder, and mainly instrumental in building its present convenient structure. He continued to officiate here until his appointment, and .consecration as. Bishop of Colorado in 1866. la speaking of his laborious work in this wild and sparsely settled region of country, the venerable Dr. Twing of New York, in a brief and eloquent address at the commemorative service St. Paul's Church in 
this city on the 7th of October, remarked that "when the deceased
 went to his work in the West he found two clergymen, and two organ
ized churches only. There are to-day in these three territories, Colo
rado, Wyoming and New Mexico, 24 organized parishes, 20 church 
edifices and 15 clergymen. It is believed there is no indebtedness upon
 any of these church edifices. Besides, there are established in that
 jurisdiction three very important institutions of learning: Wolfe Hall 
at Denver, a girls' school, a private institution, which is worth more 
than $100,000; Jarvis Hall, a school for boys, having property worth 
$40,000 or $50,000 ; and Matthews Hall, a theological school, in which 
are many students, young men of the soil, pursuing their studies now.
 These are some of the visible results of a little more than eight years'
 service in such a field. It is a great record. It is an honor to the
 church, and a record that the church can well afford to honor. The
 spiritual results cannot be estimated. .,,

The Rev. Dr. Twjng, at the meeting above referred to, was followed by the Rev. Dr. Vinton of this city, in a brief eulogy of exceeding beauty and loving tenderness. We have not room for it in our pages, nor are we writing a eulogy of the deceased. We cannot forbear, however, to quote, a few sentences from the admirable address of his lifelong friend. "I knew him," said Dr. Vinton, "in his seminary course, and subsequently in his ministry. His early life was one of hardship, but he had manly strength and resolution, His energy seemed almost exhaustless. He had indomitable courage and an elasticity which we seldom see. As a parish minister, he was distinguished for his nervous energy. His conscientiousness, his simplicity in his views of all moral relations, were notable. Anything like deception, or anything which can suggest an idea of wrong doing on his part, cannot be suspected, nor can a clue be found to such characteristics. As a friend, he showed all the attributes of a friend, holding on to them with a pertinacity which was very remarkable indeed. He had a firm manliness which knew no fear or favor/.

He was initiated, into Freemasonry by Washington Lodge No. 3, at Warren. R. I., in 1835,, and subsequently, became its Worshipful Master. In 1846, being then a resident of Boston, he was appointed one of the Chaplains of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts; in 1848, he served as District Deputy Grand Master for the First District, and Deputy Grand Master in the three following years; and in 1852 he was elected Grand Master, and served three years in that honorable office. He was, at the time of his first election, Chaplain of St. Andrew's Lodge of this city, and afterwards took membership in Columbian Lodge. He subsequently passed through all the degrees, and was a member of the De Molay Encampment of this city. In the Scottish Rite he attained to the 32°. In all these bodies he was active and zealous, and never failed, when opportunity offered, to contribute by his talents and personal services, to their prosperity. He was a ready and eloquent speaker, and his Masonic addresses were always characterized by energy of thought and terseness of expression, combined with a thorough knowledge and just appreciation of the subject on which he was speaking.

He died at Denver, Colorado, on Sunday, the 28th of September, and the usual religious and masonic honors having been there paid to his memory, his remains were forwarded to Boston, where they were detained for a few days, that his personal and masonic friends might have an opportunity of once more looking upon him, and bidding him a final farewell. No other Masonic services were performed in this city than the attendance of the officers of the Grand Lodge, and the other Masonic bodies of which he was a member, at the memorial service in St. Paul's Church on the morning of the 7th of October.

In the Rocky Mountain News, published at Denver, of Oct. 1st., we find a full account of the funeral ceremonies which took place over the remains, before their transmission to the East. The News says that the church in which the ceremonies took place was "hung in black — a casket, wreathed in flowers, containing the mortal remains of the dead but beloved Bishop, — the grand and impressive Episcopal service — these were the prominent features of yesterday's obsequies. Never were the living called to pay their last respects to a man who occupied a larger share of the public heart. As the Bishop of his church, as a Christian, as a minister, as a teacher, as a high and exalted character, engaged in a grand and noble work, Bishop Randall was looked up to, respected, loved, honored by all who knew him, and by the community at large, which recognized and appreciated his services in the cause of Christian morals and philanthropy." Nearly all the ministers of the various denominations in the city were present in the church. The funeral procession was formed at Wolf Hall, and consisted of the students of Jarvis Hall, Matthew's Hall, and the School of Mines, clergymen of the Diocese, Wardens and Vestry of St. John's Church, Grand Lodge of Colorado, hearse and pall bearers, most of whom were Masons, including the Governor of Colorado, and Secretary of the Territory. After the usual ceremonies in the church, the procession was again formed, and the remains were conveyed to the Union Passenger Depot, and transmitted by the Kansas Pacific Train, accompanied by Mrs. Randall and son, and John Armor, Esq., Senior Warden of the Parish Church. "It would have been a pleasure to our people," says the News, "could the remains of the beloved Bishop have been interred in this city, and among those in whose hearts he had so large and warm a place. He will sleep with his fathers, far from the scene of his labors, and from the territory for which he did so much. But here his memory will survive; here are his enduring monuments. So long as the Territory of Colorado shall continue to endure ; so long as her civilization shall continue to expand; so long as education shall thrive, and Christianity spread its beneficent influence over society; so long as high personal character, purity and noble endeavor shall incite men to duty and high resolve by the splendor of its example, so long will the name of Randall endure; shedding lustre upon the Church and upon the Christian cause throughout the world."

At the conclusion of the ceremonies, the clergy of the Diocese assembled, and adopted a series of affectionate and appropriate resolutions.

The Masonic fraternity unite with his church in their sorrow for his loss, and in their sympathies for his deeply afflicted family.


From Moore's Freeemason's Monthly, Vol. XXXII, No. 12, December 1873, Page 361:


By Judge Bromwell, H. P. M., P. J. G. W. Grand Lodge of Illinois, on the Masonic character of the Rt. Worshipful George M. Randall, Bishop of Colorado
Delivered before the Grand Lodge of Masons in Denver, Oct. 1st. 1873.

Behold, Most Worshipful Grand Master, the Wisdom, Strength and Beauty which support, establish and adorn the Masonic institution, — which lights its burning tapers and sets up its jewels, alike in every age, and in every land, — whose Grand Lodges sit in all the Capitals of the earth, as well as beside the silent and solemn mountains of this lonely land.

The greetings of congregated Masons from every nation come up to our mountain gates, with the ancient Masonic salutation, "Health, Union and Peace," and the presence of the Patriarchs, Kings, philosophers and artists, who have borne the gavel and worn the symbols of our craft among all nations since the world was young, seems with us still, as we meet on the steps of prudence to join in the words of wisdom and the salutations of truth.

This day an occasion of no small significance calls us together. A Grand Lodge, assembled to maintain the order and dignity of the Ancient Craft, is called from its labors — lays aside its working tools, and putting on the symbols of its mourning, and of its hope and faith in the life immortal, goes out from its tesselled floor to bear the greater and lesser lights, with reverent step in the funeral march of a brother, whose Masonic home lies almost three thousand miles away. At the .same time one whose station is half way between, is called to give feeble utterance in part, to the sentiments which move all hearts assembled and engaged in this fraternal task.

By the request of the Grand Master, which in such a case can be to me nothing less than a command, I stand in your presence, Masters, Wardens, and Brothers, to speak in memory of a departed brother, whose voice and smile, now lost to earth, were lately welcomed by you all with the highest gratification, — one who was at once an object of your affection, respect, and admiration. Of your affectionate regard because of his benevolent sentiments and brotherly sympathy in all your wishes, hopes, and designs: of respect, for the unblemished purity of his life, and a sterling character so long maintained before the world, and which presented so bright an example to society, and brought such honor to our institution; and of admiration for the noble aspirations, untiring energy, comprehensive knowledge, and marked ability displayed by him on every occasion in behalf of his fellow men.

That your Grand Lodge, composed of so many Masons eminent by experience and Masonic knowledge, has seen fit on mature deliberation, to act as it has done on this occasion, may be deemed sufficient proof of the esteem in which our illustrious brother was held among the Masons if the wide-spread Territory represented in this body. Yet no one can doubt, who reflects upon the character of the deceased, the conspicuous part he so long acted upon a widely extended field of public usefulness; the influence he exerted in the building up of Colorado materially, intellectually and morally, and his earnest and steadfast devotion to Masonry in all its orders and operations, even to the day of his death, that the action of this Grand Lodge is fully justified, as being in accordance with the usages of the Craft, and reflects honor upon the motives and sentiments which actuate its members.

In this land where strangers from all parts of the world have so lately assembled to form a community, it is not convenient to learn the private history and circumstances of any. From this cause, and having come from a State very distant from that of the R. W. Brother Randall, I am prevented from laying before yon the facts of his Masonic history, as should and would be done in the land of his nativity, among those who have walked by his side in all the paths of his varied and useful career.

It has been generally known in this community, that in the Lodge, as well as in the Church of his choice, he had long ago risen to the highest honors which each could bestow, and it was apparent to all that he could not be enlisted in the cause of any association or organization secular or ecclesiastical, without shortly being conspicuous among his fellows, whether superiority should depend on learning, intelligence, eloquence, executive ability, or the magnanimous qualities which attract the sympathies and rivet the affectionate regard of the human mind. But it has not been generally known, that next to the religious faith to which he had consecrated his life and all his powers, he held in chief regard and veneration the grand principles of Ancient Craft Masonry, and lost no opportunity of joining in the labors of the Lodge in any capacity, however humble or laborious, if he could thereby contribute to the great and glorious work of rebuilding the temple, and house of the Lord, or make further discoveries for the benefit of the Craft.

Those of our brethren, however, who have been most closely engaged in building up our institution in Colorado, have had continued and abundant proofs of his sincere and active interest in the advancement of our cause, and they well know that on every occasion when called upon, he has exerted himself to the utmost to aid in the work, devoting the influence of his character as well as the resources of his accomplished intellect, to the cause for which the Grand Lodge to-day assembles.

Of the particulars of his Masonic life, I have been able during the few hours since I was called to this duty to learn but little, compared with what might have been ascertained if time had permitted, and access to his books and papers had been possible. Beyond the general fact that he was, and is deemed an illustrious Mason, in a jurisdiction which can boast of pre-eminence in the number and character of its Masonic scholars; that he had been elevated to the Grand East in the most renowned Grand Lodge in the Western hemisphere, and had served with honor to himself and profit to the Craft, I have been able to glean from the few materials accessible; that his services as a Masonic Orator have been in continual requisition in the cities of Massachusetts and adjoining States, upon occasions of the highest interest to the Craft, and that he acquitted himself to the great honor of the institution and gratification of the brethren.

I find in the published proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts so late as the year 1871, at the grand banquet of the Grand Lodge on the 40th anniversary of the Declaration of the Masons of Boston, among the illustrious brethren whose names appear, the Grand Master M. W. S. D. Nickerson introduced our illustrious brother Randall, saying among other things: "His Masonic brethren have conferred upon him another title, only second to that which he bears in the Church. They have distinguished him by the title of Right Worshipful. Brethren, I give you the health of our Senior Past Grand Master, Rt. Worshipful and Rt. Reverend George M. Randall, Bishop of Colorado." After this introduction follows the address of P. G. M. Randall, which only needs to be read in order to show how nobly our illustrious brother represented the dignity of the Craft of Colorado in that far off seat of Masonic intelligence and worth.

Again I find in the published proceedings of the semi-centennial banquet, given by St. Andrew's Lodge in honor of the fifty years membership therein of the illustrious Bro. Charles W. Moore, a letter from Bishop Randall, Past Chaplain of that Lodge, which shows that at that time, (Oct. 10th, 1872) the pen of Bro. Randall was inspired with the same zeal and regard for the institution which had so often before found expression in the masterly eloquence of his tongue. I also learned from the lips of one particularly entitled to speak from actual and intimate knowledge, that to the day of his death his thoughts and affections were with the Craft. So well was this deep interest recognized by the Masons of New England, that when the Grand Masonic procession, with the President of the United States, himself a Mason, at its head, passed through the streets of Boston at the celebration of the Cap Stone of the great Masonic Temple, the procession halted before the home of Bro. Randall—he being absent, and his estimable wife, ever devoted to our cause, having displayed his Masonic badge at the window in honor of the occasion,—and going in, the brethren took his little grandson, who bore the same name, and carried him to the President's carriage, who kissed him and then seated the child beside him. when the procession passed on.

From such incidents, though but a very few out of the great number which I doubt not could be verified, did opportunity permit, may be sufficiently seen the relation which our illustrious brother held to the body of the Craft in his native State.

Nor has he been wanting in name and fame as a man of letters. In theologic lore he has shown such proficiency that works of his pen have not only reached a very remarkable circulation in this country, but in fact have been reprinted across the ocean, in the very seat of English literature — in a land whose history teems with the names of illustrious divines of his own faith and Church, since the days of the Crusades.

But we of Colorado have a special right to pay our tribute of respect to the memory of this lamented brother, from the great influence he exerted by his example, and the results of his unconquerable energy in promoting the welfare of this rising Territory. He was continually building up the waste places of the land, and aiding and strengthening the hands of all who were laboring for the cause of education, refinement, morality, and religion. Thus he founded colleges, schools, and churches, and not only in this Territory, but those that were a thousand miles apart in the neighboring Territories which formed a part of his extensive diocese. Where he could, he built a college. If this could not be done at present, he founded a school. Where he could, he established a church ; if this could not be, he set on foot a mission. By his exertions and influence he secured means abroad, which he brought here to establish valuable institutions and adorn the wilderness with the useful works of art, as if in him dwelt the spirit of our ancient craft, whose mission it was in the olden time to fill the earth with temples, churches and halls of learning, whose foundation stones were laid by Grand Masters, and whose cope stones bore the marks of renowned craftsmen. In the erection of these structures he was carrying on the operative work of Masonry itself, while the benevolent purposes he was accomplishing are one with the sublime objects our institution strives to promote, and for which we assemble here to-day.

Therefore, let all agree that the Grand Lodge of Colorado has done well in signalizing their esteem for brethren of such a character, whether they be Jew or Gentile, devoted to one religious faith, or to another, so that they act from the sublime impulse of love to God and humanity, and labor for the amelioration of our race. For, in the contemplation of Masonry, all alike are brothers, the children of one Divine parent, whose mercy is not strained, but cometh down as the rain and dew, as the starlight and the sunbeam upon all, to nourish, and beautify, and bless.

When the lamp of life with him was burning low, as the dying taper by a sacred shrine, and the fluttering pulse grew feebler, and fainter, in the presence of the loving angel of death, the companion of his bosom read from the Holy Writings that psalm of the wonderful singer of Israel, whose golden words can never perish among men or angels,— " How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Jehovah of hosts!" and the dying man of God put forth his quivering hands upon the heads of those most dear to him kneeling by his side, and uttered this benediction: "May the blessing of God the Father, the love of the Son, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all, amen."

These were the last words on earth of the Rt. Worshipful George M. Randall. Let them dwell in our memories as the last gift of a beloved friend, and ring in the chambers of each heart as the music of a higher and better life, lulling the selfish desires and passions of our natures to charity, and harmony, and peace.

Well has it been written, "The chamber where the good man meets his fate is privileged beyond the common walks of life — quite on the verge of heaven."

Well has it been said, "Death is the test of life, all else is vain." Well may we now say, there is nothing good but charity, there is nothing mighty but truth, there is nothing great but God.

And so we have bent above his bier, and have borne him with our hands on the way to the ever grasping sepulchre, with the badge of sorrow upon the left arm, the symbol of affection, sympathy and grief; with the evergreen cassia on the breast, that speaks of the Mason's hope, — the music of instruments in wailing semi-tones that gave forth imperfectly and feebly the yearning and mournful language of our hearts. The solemn step and reverent mien spoke the acknowledgement of our human souls that the will of God is accomplished, "so mote it be." We left his mortal form in darkness, and coldness, and loneliness, and returned in sadness to the place of our assembly. But our hearts remained with the crumbling form, murmuring, "Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust."

It was well! For in that funeral march we saw that which is waiting for each of us, for whom first we knew not; and this terrible reflection flamed up before our souls—this is the end of earth ; to-morrow, that is, sooner or later, but certainly to-morrow, be it soon or late, this shall be done for us. Death is the end of all. But the heart will not be subjugated by this gloomy, this doleful sentence.

It will not say farewell, brother, and forever, but grasping at the half-hidden, half-demonstrated truth, which forces itself upon the inner consciousness, it whispers as to one who yet can hear the secret voice of the soul — called by our ancient Grand Master the "voice of stillness" — farewell, brother, we shall meet again. Go on the way the Master sends thee; the higher degrees of life are beyond the door which is ever open but closely tiled. Go on, as thy trust is in God, follow thy conductor and fear no evil, for the tree of life is beyond the flaming sword.

Go on to join the innumerable host, the grand Masonic procession of all time, which ever presses toward the mystic door; to the veil which Mercy throws before the senses, and to the real life.

The Masters of the great Masonic secret have passed before. Their march is regal, for crowns and sceptres have they borne—sacerdotal, for the mitre and the ephod they did wear, and the Urim vae thummin blazed along their line — holy, for the voice of prophecy,lived upon their lips. From the days of the pillars of Seth until now has been their solemn march. We cannot hail them on their inevitable way, we cannot look within the marvelous veil which shuts them in with its invisible folds. We cannot catch glimpse or whisper of the awful ministrations which welcome each or all from the world of matter to the world of substance ; from the things which perish to the things which are real. We can only note where they have passed, sporting on the sunny uplands of pleasure, or camping with weeping sorrows in doleful vales — the high hill and low valleys of the mortal land, where they shared the mystic bread and wine of Melchizedek, rested by the Patriarch's tent, or slumbered by the rock and ladder of Beth El. We see them pass between the fire and cloud of Yemen's land, and the glimpse of white, and blue, and purple, and scarlet banners shows across the misty plains. The lion, the ox, the man, and the eagle, fragments of their cherubic heraldry, lie scattered in the dust of Nineveh's, and Egypt's unrecorded ages. By the fire and smoke of Sinai are their tents; they bear the cap-stones of all temples, and the sound of their gavels, picks and trowels rise from the quarrying grounds of all art, the secret vaults of all science, and the walls and turrets of every fabric of philosophy and law.

Then farewell, all ye brothers who have passed this way before ui. Yet a little while of task and journey, and we too must heed the Warden's call of the sixth hour, lay aside our working tools, and follow, if we be worthy to stand upon the centre, to the assembly of the just.

In that Sublime Lodge whose length, and breadth, and height are equal; whose jewels are Love, and whose lights are Truth, in all their order, unchanging and eternal, we believe you stand. In that beatified land where the inhabitants shall not say I am sick, but the light of the sun of righteousness forever arises with healing on his wings, we believe you dwell. This is the secret you bore in your mystic ark, still inscribed beneath the sacred arch of our sanctum sanctorum, within the square of Charity and the triangle of Truth.

Masters, Wardens, and Brothers, what is the conclusion of the whole matter ? Has not our Ancient Grand Master made answer for all time? Fear God and keep his Commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.



From Proceedings, Page 1873-340:

RT. REV. GEORGE MAXWELL RANDALL, D.D., BOSTON, Episcopalian. Grand Chaplain 1846, 1847.

REV. AND R.W. BRO. GEORGE M. RANDALL was born in the town of Warren, Rhode Island, on the 23d of November, 1810, and is a graduate of Brown University, of the class of 1835. He graduated at the General Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in New York city, in 1838, and during that year took charge of the Parish of the Church of the Ascension, Fall River, Mass. He removed to Boston in May, 1844, to take the rectorship of the Church of the Messiah, in which he has continued to the present time. He was made a Mason in Washington Lodge, No. 3, at Warren, R. I., in 1845, and received the Chapter Degrees in the same town the following year. He was Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in 1846; District Deputy Grand Master of the First District in 1848; Deputy Grand Master in 1849, 1850 and 1851; and Grand Master in 1852, 1853 and 1854. He was admitted a member of Columbian Lodge, and acted as their Junior Chaplain in 1852 and 1853. He has been their orator on several occasions. He is a ready and eloquent speaker, and his addresses before the Lodge, and also before the Grand Lodge, in his capacity of Grand Master, have commanded the undivided attention of all who heard them. His administration as Grand Master was highly successful.
— History of Columbian Lodge, 1855.

The following letter, written, by request, by Mrs. Morse, daughter of Bishop Randall, appears most appropriately in this connection, and will be read with great interest by Masons, as it shows the great attachment he had for their institution : —

BOSTON, Dec, 1873.

MY DEAR SIR, — In compliance with your request, I very gladly furnish you with extracts from some of the many obituary notices of my dear father. I do not know that I was ever taught to respect Masonry, but I have always entertained the greatest reverence for the Order. Among my earliest recollections at home, and at the home of each grandfather, was the Free Mason's Magazine; to this book seemed to be attached a great dignity. The regard for it may have been in a measure inherited from my father, for I see in the letter written to Mr. Gregory, in acknowledgment of the invitation to attend the banquet given in honor of Mr. Moore, he writes, "In my boyhood, I read the Masonic Mirror, to which my father was a subscriber. My boyish curiosity was not a little exercised in endeavoring to decipher the hieroglyphical characters which ornamented the name of the paper. My father being a Mason, I early learned to respect those who occupied prominent positions in the Fraternity."

"My father must have been a good Mason before he joined the Craft. When he entered college, it was with the intention of following his father's profession, that of a lawyer. During his senior year came that political outbreak, in which, for a time, the Anti-Masons gained the ascendency. Grandfather Randall was then Judge in the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, and being a high and conscientious Mason, lost, for a while, his position. This injustice to so learned and honest a man caused my father to reflect, which reflection resulted in his studying for the ministry.

The property belonging to the Warren Lodge was at this time placed in the hands of my maternal grandfather for safety. My father's affection for Masonry, and for his Masonic brethren, he showed in many ways. When to his care was entrusted the lock of General Washington's hair, he seemed to feel the greatest anxiety for its safety; and never for an hour, while it was under his roof, did he permit his house to be unoccupied. His orders were, in case of an emergency, to let that urn be the first care.

Although his duties were so multitudinous that he is said to have accomplished the work of three men, he always found time to attend the Lodge; and at the time of his death he was under an engagement to deliver a Masonic address. For several years past I think he has on St. John's Day (the Masonic holiday, or gala-day he used to call it) delivered an oration. I am under the impression that last year it was in New Mexico. His several Masonic addresses here I presume you are more familiar with than I am. Twenty-two years ago (May 10, 1852) he, being Grand Master, introduced Kossuth to the Grand Lodge. The address on that occasion is the oldest Masonic address of his I know of in print. Then follow many. Among them is an Address delivered on the celebration of the Centennial Anniversary of St. John's Lodge No. 2, in Providence, R. I., St. John's Day, 1857; an Address delivered before the DeMolay and Virginia Encampments, June 24, 1858; another at the Celebration of the Centennial Anniversary of St. John's Lodge No. 6, at Norfolk, Conn., etc.

Through the courtesy of Rev. Sydney Deane, Master of the Lodge in which my father took his first degrees, I have learned the following facts, which I will copy : —

"Your honored father, George Maxwell Randall, was raised to the sublime Degree of a Master Mason in Washington Lodge, Warren, Rhode Island, Aug. 11, 1845. The usual fee was paid by him, and deposited with the Treasurer of the Lodge, after which it was unanimously voted, that a sum equal to the amount of the fee be presented to Bro. George M. Randall, 'he being the son of a Master Mason.' In 1850, Aug. 24th, 25th, and 31st, he received the Degrees of Chapter Masonry, being exalted to the Royal Arch on the latter named day. He retained his relation to both the Lodge and the Chapter until his death.

"On the 24th of April, 1866, being in town, he requested that he might meet his brethren in Lodge, and the record shows a large attendance. The scope and spirit of the address are fresh in the minds of the brethren who heard it, even to this day, such was its character.

"He commenced his address by expressing his deep attachment to the Lodge, and the love he had for its members. He spoke of the interest and pleasure he had experienced by the repeated examinations of the old record-books, and impressed upon them the importance of preserving them.

"The topic treated was the work which God had assigned them to do. The subject was divided into the following subdivisions : first, our duty as Christians; second, our duty as Masons; third, our duty as heads of families; and, fourth, our duty as citizens.

"This address was particularly affecting in some of its portions. He announced his determination to live and die connected with the Lodge, hallowed to him by so many associations, and said if a son of his lived to attain the age of twenty-one years, and was found worthy to be made a Mason, he hoped he would be made a Mason in this Lodge, because it was home. He wanted his son to read the old records, which had given him so much pleasure, and which contained so much of the active life of his family. He spoke of his going away, and his impression that he should not meet the assembled brethren again, desiring to impress them with the importance of fulfilling all the duties of life. This impression was prophetic, for he never met with them again. The address was impressive, and affected the members present profoundly. The records further show, that, Sept. 30, 1873, the Master announced the sorrowful tidings of the death of our worthy Brother, the late Bishop of Colorado, Bro. Geo. M. Randall, etc., etc.

"Nov. 4, 1873. A Special Communication of the Lodge was held for the purpose of holding a memorial service for our late Bro. M.W.G.M. Geo. M. Randall; all the officers of the Lodge and a large number of the Brethren were present. The Master announced the object of the Special Communication, pronounced a eulogy, and the impressive burial service of the Order was performed, and the sacred scroll deposited. It was a solemn and impressive service. This closes the record, with the addition of the fact, that the Brethren of the Lodge, with the officers, desired to bury their beloved Brother with the usual public rites of the Order, but learned that the Brethren in Boston and Colorado had performed the sad services."

If I have not trespassed already too much upon your time will you allow me, in behalf of my mother, to thank members of the Columbian Lodge for the beautiful tribute they paid to the memory of my sainted father. We have received many touching acknowledgments in various forms, but none do we prize more highly than the resolutions lately received from the Lodge of his adoption.

Respectfully yours,

The Rt. Rev. George Maxwell Randall, D.D., whose death in the very height of his usefulness and success the Church mourns, was son of Judge Randall. He was born in Warren, R. I., in 1810, and graduated at Brown University in 1835. His first charge as a clergyman of the Church was that of the Ascension, Fall River. He afterwards removed to Boston, and became rector of the Church of the Messiah, then worshipping in Redman Hall. Here he remained for twenty-one years. He took a prominent part in the affairs of the Church in Massachusetts, and exerted a wide influence. He was for some time editor of the Christian Witness, and was several times chosen Deputy to the General Convention. In the years 1862 and 1865 he was elected Secretary of the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies. Several of the productions of his pen have become extensively known, while that one little Tract, Why I am a Churchman, has deservedly assumed a permanent place in our controversial literature. He was consecrated Missionary Bishop of Colorado, with jurisdiction in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, in Trinity Church, Boston, Dec. 28, 1865. In that field his labors were truly Herculean. He never shrank from a duty, and points the most distant and difficult of access were reached in the face of obstacles which would have appalled a less ardent Missionary of the Cross, while Jarvis Hall and Wolfe Hall will remain monuments of his industry and devotion.

The following tribute is from the pen of a prominent New England clergyman: —

"IN MEMORIAM. — He hath fought a good fight. He hath kept the faith.

"The Rt. Rev. George Maxwell Randall is to be counted henceforth among 'the glorious company of the apostles,' and few accomplish the work of an apostle better than he hath done. He magnified his office grandly; by a devotion to his ministry that never knew abatement; by a fearlessness that shunned no danger; by a steadfastness that never faltered; by a self-sacrifice that reckoned no cost; by indomitable energy; by singular wisdom, — and by a oneness of aim for Christ and Christ's Church and Christ's children that has not often been our privilege to witness. We have never known a clergyman that carried the Bible in his hand so constantly as Bishop Randall did — not ostentatiously, so much as that all his time should be profitably spent. His readiness, and clearness, and logicalness, and fervor, and efficiency in debate, were remarkable; and the attention of an audience never flagged when he was on the floor of the Convention, on the platform in a public meeting, or in the pulpit in God's house.

"The bishop's economy was remarkable, and yet he was no niggard in the household or the Church. As a pleader to elicit the charities of the Church, he was (may we say?) unequalled; but all that he obtained he used successfully for the enlargement and maintenance of the kingdom of our Lord. His tract on the Church has, probably, made thousands of good churchmen throughout all the United States. Exemplary as a father, loving as a husband, true as a friend, mighty in word and work as a bishop, and as a Christian devout, George M. Randall leaves behind him memories richer than rubies, memories fragrant with the atmosphere of Paradise. S. B. B."

The above article is from a Church newspaper, and was written by Rev. Samuel B. Babcock, D.D., of Dedham, who was a strong personal friend of the Bishop. Dr. Babcock deceased only a few weeks after this tribute to his friend.

At the communion service of the bishops, in Grace Church, New York, Oct. 24, 1873, Bishop Clarkson addressed the bishops as follows: —

"Our revered and beloved father, the venerable Presiding Bishop, has requested me to add to the solemn service of to-day, a few remarks concerning our dear departed brother, the late Missionary Bishop of Colorado.

"It was just eight years ago this very day, I believe, the 24th of October, that he was chosen by the General Convention, to the high office whose various, delicate, and arduous duties he discharged with so much wisdom, so much fidelity, and so much single-mindedness.

"I think we may safely say that the Church, in all her history since the days of St. Paul, can point to but few episcopates of eight years' length, in which so much was so thoroughly accomplished.

"By a fervency, earnestness and industry, rarely ever seen among men, Bishop Randall wrote, yea, engraved permanently, the splendid record of A full lifetime, in a little more than the space that men usually take to arrange and perfect their plans of work.

"When he took possession of his missionary jurisdiction, it was an entirely new, and, except to adventurous gold-hunters, an almost unknown country; but no gold-hunter ever went to Colorado with more faith and with more enthusiasm to gather precious ores, than did her first great-hearted bishop on his sublime mission, to scatter and deliver there the still more precious treasures of the Gospel and the Church.

"Those men, dreadfully in earnest in behalf of earthly riches, all on fire with the passion for sudden wealth, saw in him a man who was just as much in earnest after the better riches of the world to come — a man, all aflame 'with celestial fire,' and they yielded to him what Christian earnestness always oompels from men,— respect, admiration, confidence, and a following. And so the Churoh in the East saw in him a man who was thoroughly and intensely in earnest, and, therefore, means without stint poured itself out to aid him; and churches and institutions, and parishes and clergymen grew up around him, and gathered about him, as if by the operation of the fabled lamp of Oriental story.

"It is remarkable how true is the measurement that the public takes of a man whose work is done, as it were, in its sight, and how easily and invariably it detects the sham from the real, and how readily it discriminates between the truehearted and the mere make-believe.

"And if ever there was a judgment that was universal of a man, when the grave had closed over him, and his work had ended, it is the judgment that is to-day everywhere rendered of Bishop Randall, to wit: 'Here was a man whose heart was in his work.' No life was ever a better illustration of St. Paul's fine sentence, 'And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as unto the Lord.'

"Whether he was preaching the Gospel of Christ in the wayside school-house, or talking to the Church's children in his diocesan schools, or pleading for his jurisdiction in some palatial eastern church, or explaining the Church's customs and her services to some stage-ride companion in his long and weary journeys, he was the same earnest, hearty, fervent, real man, 'and by this, he conquered' everywhere and always.

"We read about, and talk about, the martyrs of the Church in early days, and in Reformation times, and in heathen lands of our own age, and give them credit and glory, and canonize them; but here was a bishop who was as truly a martyr to work and to duty, for Christ's sake and the Church's as any holy man of the past ever was for truth and for the faith.

"Not Ignatius among the lions, nor Polycarp in the fires, nor Patteson amid the savages, yielded up their very lives with a sublimer heroism than did the noble souled bishop, whose translation to rest and peace we now commemorate. Yes, if it be true, that throughout eternity there shall glow upon the martyr's brow the most lustrous crown, then may we be sure that one who so untiringly labored for Christ, and who so evidently died for Christ's work, has, indeed, gone to an exceeding rich reward. And though we believe that it was the unremitting and the overwhelming work, and the necessity for it, that brought him to his grave, we do not, we dare not, speak of his death, as if it were, in any sense, a needless or an unnatural sacrifice. By no means. Why should not men die in and for the work of the Church?

"Is it not better, as a good bishop once said, 'to wear out, than to rust out,' in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ? Of what account, in the measurements of eternity, can be the few short years of a little lifetime, that men who are solemnly consecrated to God's work, may save and spare by lives of ease and care-taking? Humanly speaking, if he had not crowded the toils and the achievements and the anxieties that might fairly have covered and glorified an episcopate of a quarter of a century, into one of less than one-third that duration, Bishop Randall might have lived fifteen or twenty years longer; but Bishop Randall, in his grave to-day, is more to be envied, yea, a greater blessing to the Church, in his example, than if he had lived longer, and had been less devoted, less unselfish, and less laborious.

"What does the Church more need this day, to inspire with enthusiasm and to arouse with activity the young men who are putting on the armor of the Lord's anointed host, than the glorious record of just such a life and just such a death as this was, — the striking and splendid figure of one who absolutely was content 'to know nothing but Christ and him crucified,' — who, literally, was willing and able 'to spend and to be spent' for the glory of God and the souls of men?

"Nor was it merely for his earnestness and his industry that the memory of our beloved brother is to be revered. All the kindlier traits of our nature were beautifully exhibited in his cheerful, happy, and genial life. He was positive without being harsh, firm without being inconsiderate, and holy without the shadow of cant. Indeed, it is very seldom that a human life presents such a combination of excellent and admirable qualities. He was well-grounded and well-furnished as a theologian; effective as a preacher; wise as an administrator; and patient as a master-builder.

"And when to all these qualities there was added that indomitable energy, with that unwearied zeal of which we have spoken, it is no marvel that his short episcopate was so brilliant in its achievements, and so highly blessed to his diocese and to the Church.

"I remember very well how he himself felt, and what he said, for we were on terms of closest intimacy, when the announcement came to him, eight years ago to-day, that the bishops had chosen him to carry the Church's banner to the Rocky Mountains. I remember also what other good people said then, 'That he was too old to be transplanted,' that his life amid the culture and elegancies of Boston was no fit preparation for 'journeys in the wilderness, and for frontier fare and roughness.' But in this, as in a thousand instances like it, how does the whole after history show that it was indeed the work and the choice of the Holy Ghost, and not the work and choice of men like ourselves!

"For what man with the dew of his youth yet upon him, and with the warm blood of early maturity yet coursing through his veins, could have endured fatigue more bravely, or would have laid out, and carried out larger plans of travel and of toil? And what man, even to the manor born, could have fitted in more evenly and smoothly to the new life of the border land?
"It is a happy fact that the Church has need of all kinds of labor, and of all kinds of laborers; and it is a happy thought also, that when a man has really ' the root of the matter in him,' the entire consecration of his whole nature and being to the service of God, that he is hardly ever misplaced; and that whenever God calls him, he can find the ways and the means to glorify him, and to benefit his fellow-men.

"And so is it true that no man is ever necessary for the work of the church, that however great may be the gap made in the ranks by the fall of some brave and strong and great soldier of Christ, the Lord's reserve force is always sufficient for the needs of his Church.

"Let us not despair then, even of worthily filling, under the Spirit's guidance, the vacancy we now deplore. And let us all, dear fathers and brethren, pray to-day for a more complete consecration of ourselves to the blessed and awful work of rulership in God's house.

"The day for the rendering of our account cannot be far off; and must be very near to some of us. Bishop Randall was the fifth of our number that has been called away since we met in Baltimore two years ago; one-tenth of the whole stricken from the roll in this little while. May the Great Shepherd and Bishop of Souls fit and prepare us for the change that must soon come to us all, and happy shall we be, in that solemn hour, if it can be as truly said of us, as we can say to-day of dear Bishop Randall, 'He loved his work, and did it well, and was faithful to the end.'"


A Sermon in Loving Memory of the Right Reverend Father in God, George Maxwell Randall, D.D., Bishop of Colorado, who entered into rest, September 28, 1873, the Eve of All Angels, preached in St. John's Church, Denver, Sunday morning, October 19, 1873, by the Rev. Walter H. Moore. IN PACE ET IN DEO.

By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. — Ep. to the Hebrews, xi. 8.

To the long line of the Church's saints, apostles, confessors, martyrs, who have set bright examples of self-consecration, and illustrated in their lives the triumph of faith, the name of GEORGE MAXWELL RANDALL has been added. Our bishop has gone to join the glorious company of the apostles in paradise. He has finished his course, and now rests from his labors. In the rest which remaineth to the people of God he prays effectually and fervently for the work which he loved so well, and for which he gave his life.

The funeral train, which moved from these plains to his distant burial-place upon the Atlantic coast, seemed to be borne upon a wave of sorrow which swept over the church from the mountains to the sea. Yet, though hearts were heavy, and tears fell fast, and anxious forebodings overcast the future, that solemn pageant seemed a triumphal procession. We forgot, for the while, the sense of our own loss, as our souls swelled in thanksgiving to God for that bright example. We laid our warrior to rest with almost joyful pride, that, having proved himself a valiant soldier of the cross, he had fallen as his chivalric soul would wish to die,— at the front, with sword drawn, with harness on, and face to the foe. Well then do we take up the inspired chant and sing, in the face of death, "Though he were dead, yet shall he live." Where is thy sting, O death; where, O grave, thy victory? Thanks be to God which giveth us the VICTORY through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Eight years ago the General Convention of the Church elected Dr. Randall to the Missionary Episcopate of Colorado. That call was to him a terrible voice summoning him to leave his home, his kindred, his father's house, to go to the distant West. This frontier was then an unknown land. The work of the Church was scarcely begun. It was uninviting, difficult and dangerous. At a time of life when most men begin to think of rest and retirement, when they look to feel the approach of age, and seek to make provision for declining years, he was called to a task from which a young man, in the flower and vigor of his strength, might well have shrunk. It seemed cruel to send him to such a distant and hard field. We could not believe that be would accept the burden. But the Church knew the man better than we thought. He had served her faithfully and effectually through many years of active and laborious work. She knew his vast executive ability, his indomitable strength of purpose, his unflagging zeal, his restless energy and seemingly exhaustless capacity for work. She singled him out for the heavy burden of a Missionary Episcopate, as the man of all others who could lay the foundations of Christ's kingdom broad and deep in this growing and mighty West. That call was to him as the call of God to Abraham. He suffered the same trial of his faith. He had lived his whole life in New England. Born and brought up in Rhode Island, his first parish was in the neighboring State, within eight miles of his native town. Soon he was summoned to a wider sphere in the City of Boston. There, in that city which he loved so well, he lived and labored as a parish priest for two and twenty years. His heart was knit to his people in those sacred ties of the pastoral relation. He was their father; they his children. He had baptized them and their children. He had been with them in joy, and shared in that grief in which a stranger may not intermeddle. His home was among them. His family was about him. The love of his people, the deep esteem of the community, the warm regard of his bishop and brethren in the priesthood, anchored him to that spot where the best and greater portion of his life had been spent. Suddenly, unexpectedly, he was called to leave all this, to uproot those firmly bound ties, and to exchange his peaceful, happy home-life for the trials, and harassing anxieties, and homeless wanderings, of a Missionary Bishop. Who can doubt that for the moment he was staggered and hesitating? He was a man. He could not easily sunder relations which were dear to him. He loved his dear ones with all the love of his great heart. He clung to them with all the fondness of his unselfish nature. His spirit quaked at the sacrifice which he must make. Yet, if it was clearly his duty, he could not hesitate. But let him be convinced that it was the voice of God calling him to this trial, and he would go forth to death if need be. It may not be that the workings of his heart should be rudely exposed to view. This great struggle was known only to himself and to God. We may not seek to know through what experiences of God's mercy and grace he came to see his duty. Still I may be pardoned if, with filial love and reverent heart, I lift the veil for a moment and show to you, his people, whom he bore in his heart before God, something of the trial which preceded that triumph of faith.

Thus he writes in his journal, a month after his election: "The great question of the acceptance of the Missionary Episcopate has borne heavily upon my mind — more and more heavily — from the moment of its first announcement. It has caused me to be deeply depressed. I have sought the divine direction. I have tried to look to God for the manifestation of his will, that the way of duty may be made plain to me. The feelings of my family, those who are nearest and dearest to me; the expressions of my parishioners; the manifestations made by my clerical brethren; the opinions and wishes expressed by persons within and without our communion, which need not be put upon record; the conflicting judgments of individuals; the representations of the greatness; the difficulties and dangers of the field; my physical condition; my age; the great change in life which it must involve; the state of things in my parish, never so promising; my situation in Boston, never so happy, — all these bear with a great weight upon me. Yet, in all the excuses which I attempt for declining this unanimous call of the Church, I find them centering at last in what is simply a matter of selfishness. This conflict has been severe. Shall I go? Is it a call of God? If it be, can I, dare I resist? The time draws near when I must decide. With my dear ones I kneeled down and prayed; and, when we rose from our knees, acting, as I trust under the impulse and direction of the Holy Ghost, I then and there decided to accept. May God bless that decision to his glory, and give me the help of his grace, that I may do the duty to his acceptance in extending his cause and kingdom for the salvation of souls in Christ."

And again, upon the day of his consecration, he writes: "The cross of the mitre seemed heavy indeed to-day. It was my weakness and selfishness that made it so. I thought too much of the sacrifice I was to make, and too little of the glory of doing God's will, by obeying his call. I was almost crushed by the act that translated me from a Presbyter to a bishop But God's grace is all sufficient for me. In him is my strength, in Christ is my trust. I can do all things, and endure all things, and accomplish all things, with his presence and blessing; and so I now take the staff and go forward in fear and faith." He felt the need of such master-building so pressingly that he gave freely of his love, his energies, his private means, his life itself. It was an entire self-abnegation. His unvarying reply to all entreaties to spare himself, was, "After I have done all that can be done, I shall be laying foundations only." We need not speak of the self-denial and economy which he used in order to spare the more of his own means to the Church's interests. He would not have it known. Suffer it to be in secret until the Lord shall declare it openly.

I cannot trust myself to speak of the strong love and kindly affections which characterized his private life. Men thought him cold, and unsympathizing; but how little they knew him. They knew nothing of that deep and strongly rushing tide of sympathizing and affectionate feeling which wore deep channels in his heart. He was not a man to wear his heart upon his sleeve; but they who were near enough to him to see the quivering lip and tear-stained eye knew that a great soul expanded itself in generous and kindly affection. We may know that this was so, by the constant affection which he bore to his distant friends and to the scenes of his boyhood. He seemed to live two lives. He was a thorough Western man. He loved the West. He was identified with its interests; he labored to build it up; he was enthusiastic in its praises; he revelled in the rejuvenation which his life in it had brought to him. Yet, deep down, under all that, was his love of his native hills and the sounding sea; of his kindred; of his father's home. He loved to revisit those scenes. He hastened in pious pilgrimage to stand in prayerful memory over the graves of his father and mother. He would say at times that, when he became too old and feeble for active work he would return to his native village, and end his days among his dear ones, in the house where his parents lived for sixty years of wedded happiness, and there be laid to rest in the sacred ground where slept his loved ones gone before.

But it was not for him to realize this fond anticipation. It was hardly possible to think of Bishop Randall as inactive and superannuated. Such restless, energetic natures wear out; they seldom rust out. And so it was with him. The heavy burden which the Church lays upon her Missionary Bishops broke him down. His powers, constantly strained to the utmost tension, snapped, and he fell. He was sent to build up waste places, to plant the Church, to preach the Gospel, to tell dying men the wondrous story of the cross, to show that the Church kept pace with the aggressive movements of civilization. . . . The varied interests of his diocese, his immense correspondence, the business perplexities incident to his office, the wants and sorrows and condition of his own parishioners, all received his prompt and intelligent attention. Quick in decision and resolute of purpose, he met them all with ready solution. It is wonderful to see the exactness of his accounts and records; how down to the day when he laid aside his pen forever, every letter is answered, every dollar received or expended recorded, and every act of his ministry registered. For years he seemed to have set his house in order at the close of each day, lest the angel of death should find him unprepared; and now that he has passed to his place in the church in paradise, his works shall follow him and proclaim with trumpet tongue the wisdom and devotion of his administration, and his children in the Lord shall rise up to calL him blessed. . . .

In the close of this good man's life, we caught the certainty of his everlasting glory in the radiance which streamed from his triumphant labors upon his dying head; and as with parting breath he gave his dear ones blessing, we felt that it was the earnest of that blessing which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall one day pronounce upon that faithful servant. He has entered into his rest. The wail of sorrow which burst from the whole church when these heavy tidings smote upon the bereaved hearts, was exchanged for the note of triumphant faith, as we bore him proudly to his grave. The Church which weeps for her own loss, rejoices for his gain, and sends up to the ear of her Divine Lord, the prayer of faith, "Lord Jesus, grant him rest, and let thy perpetual light shine upon him."
— Denver Press.

Death of the Protestant Episcopal Bishop of Colorado.

A great and good man has gone. A pure and noble spirit has departed to Him who gave it. Full of years and of honors; beloved by his people; respected by the world; in the midst of a successful Christian and educational work, there has fallen in this city one who has taken a leading part in moulding the culture and civilization of this whole Rocky Mountain region, and whose power and influence will leave an indelible imprint upon its immediate as well as its remotest future. Having been chosen Missionary Bishop to Colorado, Bishop Randall arrived in the territory in June, 1866; making the journey across the plains in a stage-coach. He came, as a pioneer, to lay the foundation of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Rocky Mountains, and to identify it with the growth and civilization of Colorado. . . .

The bishop's labors were unceasing; he travelled annually over his entire diocese; from Silver City, eight hundred miles to the southwest, on the farthest borders of New Mexico, to the outposts of the Wind River valley, five hundred miles northward, he journeyed each season, enduring hardships, encountering dangers, suffering deprivations, preaching the Gospel of Christ, establishing schools and churches, and performing the various sacred duties of his high office. Never was there a more faithful, untiring, devoted worker; seldom has such labor been more visibly or abundantly rewarded.

In the midst of this great work Bishop Randall has fallen. The Master, whom he loved so well, and in whose service he spent his life, has at last called him home to his house of many mansions. It became evident, some months ago, that he was giving way under his burden of duties. At the end of the last Lenten season, whose services he conducted as rector of this parish, he was much enfeebled. Easter was hardly past, however, when he started southward, going as far as Silver City, New Mexico, and performing an arduous journey of over fifteen hundred miles — mostly by stage-coach — in about seven weeks. Returning to Denver his physical health was evidently improved; but his vital energies had suffered from overwork and want of rest. The Commencement Exercises of Wolfe and Jarvis Halls immediately occupied his time; and were followed by a tiresome and exhaustive trip through Wyoming. Again returning to Denver, he resumed his many duties with that tireless energy for which he was so noted.

In summing up the life and character of Bishop Randall we may premise by saying that no estimate can be placed upon the value of his services in behalf of the Protestant Episcopal Church; of Christianity; of education, and of the wellbeing of society. He was a pioneer in the highest sense of the word, and possessed all the qualifications which fitted him for the task which was devolved upon him. He has laid in this Rocky-mountain country the broad foundations of the Church, upon which, with God's help, those who come after him must build. He was possessed of a liberal mind, which he had trained by years of close study and application. He was an excellent elocutionist, and had most of the qualities of a first-class orator. In his sermons he used the purest and choicest English, many of his productions being models of rhetorical finish. He was a close reasoner; and enjoyed in a high degree that quality which enabled him to place a proposition before his readers in the clearest possible manner. As an able, learned and eloquent divine, he had few equals. His sermons were always practical; and he could expound the Christian truth in a manner that at once won the heart and convinced the understanding. He presented Christianity, not as a complex and confusing series of theological dogmas, but as a system of truth a compliance with which made men happier, better, nobler, and gave assurance of a life hereafter.

"Religion is a life," he was wont to say, to those who sought him for counsel and advice. Were there more who could preach and teach the truth as Bishop Randall did, there would be fewer unbelievers and less wickedness in the world. To these excellences of mind and method Bishop Randall added those of an exact and farseeing business man. Herein lay much of the success he achieved. In his social intercourse he was cordial and friendly. His conversation was always entertaining and instructive. His habits were strictly temperate in every particular. He indulged in but one excess — work.

Such is a brief and imperfect sketch of the life of Bishop Randall. It is not difficult to class him among those whose names live after them, and whose services exercise a never-failing influence upon human affairs. He was one of those efficient, quiet workers, who stamp their character upon their times, and become the sources from which flow those strong currents which direct the course of future events. With the growing civilization of the Rocky Mountains Bishop Randall has identified himself. He has aided in shaping our social, mental and Christian development. Others have built railways, developed mines, encouraged agriculture, created commerce, and given impetus to our material advancement. Bishop Randall has built churches, established schools, and set in progress those varied reforming and regenerating influences, without which society would become a wreck, and civilization a shame. We cannot judge of the greatness of his work by what we see about us. We must cast our eyes to the future, and estimate its far-reaching and broad-extending influence upon generations yet unborn. The West loves to honor its pioneers in every branch of the noble work which has fallen upon those who have settled upon its great plains and along its mountain slopes; and Colorado will always fondly remember those of her adopted sons whose services were spent in shaping her future, and in endowing her social and material life with those elements which give vigor and force and power to her civilization.

Among these there will be no name more distinguished, no memory more revered than that of George M. Randall, the first bishop of Colorado. — Denver News.

I pressed him to take that needful rest he so much required, as all those who dearly loved him could see that he was overtaxing his mental and bodily powers. "No, no," was his quick reply. "There is too much to do, and no one but myself to do it. If I die, as you say, in discharge of my duty — well,"— and he hesitated a moment and quietly added, " i" would rather wear out than rust out." — "But, bishop, would not a longer life be productive of greater usefulness?" He answered, "We do not know. It is enough that the labor is before me to do, and that God gives me strength to do it." No one, but those directly around him, could conceive of the continuous labor he was accustomed to perform daily; he never seemed to have an hour's cessation for rest. It was diocesan work. It was personal superintendence of the two large educational institutions founded and kept alive by him. It was extended parish and missionary work, and it was an extended correspondence seldom equalled in amount by any business man in the country.

Those who knew him have often heard him remark, "I never leave a letter unanswered." And yet he was flooded with inquiries from all parts of the country. There were inquiries from the clergy, from attorneys, physicians, mechanics and farmers. Questions asked by invalids by the hundreds, and by those who wished to invest money or change their location. There seemed no end of the letters, and all expected a personal reply — and all received a reply. Anyone acquainted with business can conceive of the infinite labor of such a correspondence, and of the hours it robbed the unselfish bishop of proper rest. Yet even here, crowded with work, which would drive to destruction an ordinary man, Bishop Randall would leave his desk and walk two miles to perform baptism for some poor woman's dying child, or attend the funeral of some nameless unfortunate who had come to the mountains in the vain hope of benefiting his health.

Every Sunday, for the last year of the bishop's rectorship in Denver, besides holding two full services in the parish of St. John's, he rode ten or twelve miles into the country, no matter what was the state of the weather, to hold missionary services at some station he had personally established. And yet for all this, though wearied and weak, as he naturally would be on Monday morning, he came into the dining-hall, at the first stroke of the bell, with that quick, elastic step so familiar to all who knew him, noticing every one, and with kindly words and glances sending life and vigor into the hearts of all assembled. His presence was always cheering, although sick and wearied, as he considered it his duty not to check the life of others by his sufferings, but to rouse cheerfulness and personal enjoyment, even if he himself were afflicted in body and mind. Bishop Randall thought not of self, but lived a bright example of the power of Christ's Gospel, showing the blessed spirit of charity in every act of his daily life. Thus endeared to all with whom he came in contact, by a gentle sympathy carried to a point which was very remarkable, his personal influence was greater than that of any other man in the territory of Colorado.

It has been truthfully said that no funeral procession ever passed through the city of Denver, which called forth so many tears and sad looks from the spectators who lined the streets.

A touching incident preceded his final loss of consciousness on the Friday before his death. As his faithful wife knelt at his bedside, offering up her silent, though earnest petitions for him she loved so dearly, he placed his hands upon her head and with eyes turned heavenward gave her the Apostolic benediction. It was the last act of his episcopal authority, and that act to call down blessings upon the head of her who was soon to be left a sorrowing widow. — Written by a clergyman of Colorado.

To the editors of the Standard of the Cross: —

In the sudden bereavement which has fallen upon the Church in the death of the Bishop of Colorado, the first thought of all interested in that field is, Where shall be found a worthy successor ? It is needless to eulogize our departed father in God. His works are a sufficient eulogy, and a fitting monument. "He being dead yet speaketh." To those who knew him in his Western work, there are many thoughts which can find for themselves no fitting utterance. And yet one can hardly forbear expressing, in fragmentary and disconnected form though it be, some reflections upon his more, distinguishable traits of character.

There is perhaps no phrase that expresses his character so well as that of St. Paul, "Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord." He was not a man of extreme sensibilities, but perhaps the world never saw — certainly the American Church has never seen — a man of such intense fervency of spirit. He was literally consumed in the zeal of his heart, and of him we may echo the words of the Psalmist, "The zeal of thine house hath eaten me." It was perceptible in everything that he did. In his daily conversations, in his business, at his meals — everywhere, one could not but be impressed with the fact that he was completely absorbed in his work.

Such natures as his, when they are aroused, are the very hottest and full of spirit to the nature of the work before them.

He could tolerate in his clergy any fault but slothfulness. He was not given to interfere with their modes and customs of work so long as they worked with earnestness and zeal. And by his own example he inspired them with that enthusiasm which is so contagious in that country. It was impossible for any one of them to say or even to feel that he required too much of them; that they worked too hard or overtasked themselves, with his example before them. For no man could do more than he did. He was impatient even of the time necessary to go from one point to another.

But now that it has pleased the Great Bishop to call him to that rest prepared for the people of God, the Church may perceive what he in his life would never allow, that he was overworked. As I write I can see the quiet smile with which he would meet any question that he was doing too much; and we all remember in those accounts of his in the Church papers of his long journeys, the frequency of such words as "the bishop returned much refreshed by his journey of sixteen hundred miles." But we who saw him day by day could perceive the fact that he was overworked. His will would not allow him to give way, and there was no falling off from year to year in the amount of work done; there would have been a yearly increase if it had been possible to got more than twenty-fpur hours into each day. But all at once the machinery stopped, and the fervent spirit has entered into Paradise. Who can repress the pious aspiration that after such labor he may rest in peace?

Has not the Church a lesson to learn ? Has she not a lesson to learn from "unregenerate humanity ?" Do we not need a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Bishops? Rather, is not the Church forgetful that she is such a society? Let us hope that this immense tract, three hundred and thirty thousand square miles, may now be given in charge of at least two chief pastors. And let us not fear an inadequate support. The more numerous such demands become, the more freely are they met. And let there be no further occasion for the remark that the Church overworks her faithful servants.

– S. J. F.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. XII, No. 4, January 1917, Page 120:

Born in Warren, R. I., November 23, 1810. Died Sept. 28, 1873. Became an Honorary Member of Columbian Lodge December 20, 1851. Graduated from Brown University in 1835. He came to Boston in 1844 and became the Rector of Church of the Messiah. Was later made Bishop of the Diocese of Colorado, N. Mexico and Wyoming. Made a Mason in Washington Lodge No. 3 at Warren, R. I., in 1835. Was Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts in 1852, 1853 and 1854. Ready and eloquent speaker.


Speeches of George Randall





Grand Masters

Sermon on the Diaconate, 1860