He had a great and all-important place in a very critical moment, to which he brought a seriousness of purpose, a power and ripeness of counsel, and a fearlessness distinctly growing up to the last. It is difficult to see who will bend the bow which he has dropped.
 ... The shock that the sudden announcement of an event so solemn must ever give, was tenfold great to one who, like myself, had been, during the past week, closely associated with him in anxious deliberations as to the best means of meeting the various difficulties and dangers with which the Church is at present surrounded.
He had gathered round him, as was his annual wont, his Archdeacons and Rural Deans, to deliberate for the Church’s interests; and in his opening address, and conduct of a most important meeting, never had he shone out more clearly in intellectual vigour, in theological soundness, in moral boldness, in Christian gentleness and love.
... He spoke upon the gravest questions of the day—questions which require more than they generally receive, delicate handling. He divided from the evil of things, which some in the spirit of party condemn wholesale, the hidden good which lies wrapt up in them, and which it would be sin as well as folly to sweep away. He made every man who heard him feel the blessing of having in the Church such a veteran leader, and drew forth from more than one there the openly expressed hope that as he had in bygone days been the bold and cautious controller of an earlier movement in the right direction, so now he would save to the Church some of her precious things which rude men would sweep away, and help her to regain what is essential to her spiritual existence without risking the sacredness of private life, the purity of private thoughts, the sense of direct responsibility between God and the soul, which are some of the most distinctive characteristics of our dear Church of England.
From his council chamber in Winchester House I went direct with him to the greater council chamber of St. Stephen’s to hear him there vindicate the rights and privileges of his order, and beat back the assaults of those who, in high places, think that by a speech in, or a vote of, either house they can fashion the Church as they please. Never did he speak with more point and power; and never did he seem to have won more surely the entire sympathy of the house.
To gather in overwhelming numbers round him in the evening his London clergy and their families, to meet them all with the kind cordiality of a real father and friend, to run on far into the middle of the night in this laborious endeavour to please—was “the last effort of his toilsome day.”
RETIREMENT OF THE PROVOST OF ORIEL
Guardian, 4th November 1874.