My dear Brethren,
At the conclusion of the Pastoral Letter, which I addressed to you in September last, I stated that it was my purpose to resume in a few days the work, which sickness had compelled me to suspend for awhile, of visiting the scattered congregations of the diocese. That purpose I have fulfilled. Between the months of September, 1878, and June, 1879, I have visited the British congregations at Marseilles, Genoa, Florence, Siena, Rome, Naples, Malta, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Malaga, Algiers, Tunis, Ajaccio, Hyères, Cannes, Nice, Bordighera, Pisa, Leghorn, Bologna, "Venice, Trieste, Milan, and Turin. The British communities at some of these places I have visited twice, at the beginning and at the close of my tour. Confirmations I have held at Malta, Gibraltar, Algiers, Tunis, Marseilles, Hyeres, Carabacel or Nice, Genoa, Leghorn, Florence, Trieste, Milan, and Turin. Bishop Oxenden, the late Metropolitan of Canada, whose ministrations the congregation of Christ Church, Cannes, enjoyed last season, but who, to the great regret of us all, has now resigned the Chaplaincy for a parish in his native county of Kent, very kindly held a Confirmation for me at Cannes, as, owing to my engagements, I could not be there in the early spring when [5/6] the Confirmation was wanted. For a like cause, Dr. Lay, Bishop of Easton in America, was good enough to hold a Confirmation for me in our church at Rome. In the different places which I visited I was glad to see proofs that the revival of spiritual life, which our Church has exhibited at home during late years, has found its way to our congregations abroad. The Services I found conducted with reverence and decorum, and in most places I was told that they were well attended. It would, however, be an exaggeration for me to say that in no case were improvements needed. Here and there I believe that both pastor and people would allow that a little more life and fervour might be imparted to the Services, and that the music and other accessories of public worship had hardly reached that degree of excellence which is generally attained in England. But travellers, when they are tempted to find fault, should remember that the difficulties to be overcome in effecting improvements in our Public Services abroad are greater than they are at home, while the appliances, helps, and encouragements are generally far fewer.
Complaints have been made to me by some of you that a considerable portion of your congregations, strangers generally to the place, leave the church just before the Sermon is begun, thus avoiding the offertory, disturbing the rest of the congregation, and perhaps hurting the feelings of the preacher. If, in any case, this habit be due to the length or to the dulness of our sermons, or to a difficulty in hearing them, we have no cause to complain; for the fault lies at our own doors; the remedy we have in our own hands. We can throw more life into our sermons; we can diminish their [6/7] length; we can perhaps make them more audible; though there are churches of the diocese in which, whatever efforts we make, no voice, however clear and however powerful, can be heard ! Attempts have been made by hanging wires or flags to deaden the echo, but hitherto entirely without success. If the habit of which I am speaking be due to the fact that many members of your congregations are invalids, and cannot bear the fatigue of a long Service, I venture to suggest that, after the Prayers, there should be a pause of a few moments, to enable invalids to withdraw without causing interruption. This practice already prevails in some churches of the diocese. There are other churches in which the sermon precedes the Communion Office, and the offertory is collected while a hymn is being sung, immediately before the Sermon; and after the Sermon there is a pause, when such persons as choose may withdraw. Though this usage is hardly in accordance with the direction of the rubric, yet I find that it is very commonly followed both at home and abroad; and in cases where there has been an early celebration of the Holy Communion, and therefore some members of the congregation will have already heard the first part of this Office, there is a good reason for its adoption. But if the habit arise from mere impatience, or from a depreciation of sermons, or from a desire to join in an excursion, or to visit a picture-gallery, I can suggest no remedy, unless, indeed, you think it expedient now and then to say from the pulpit a word of kindly expostulation, and to call the attention of your people to the importance which both Holy Scripture and our Church attach to the office of preaching; though it must be confessed that such [7/8] words are not likely to produce much effect, as the persons for whom they are especially intended would no longer be present to be benefited by your remonstrance.
Whatever course you may think right to adopt, I trust that the indifference which a few persons sometimes shew may not tempt you to take less trouble in the composition of your sermons, or to undervalue in any way that part of your clerical duty which belongs to you as dispensers of God's Word. We have, of course, many other duties to perform besides this of preaching. But this duty is one to which the Church of England, in accordance with the teaching of Christ and His Apostles, assigns in the Ordinal and in other parts of the Book of Common Prayer a supreme dignity and importance. If we would faithfully perform the work of our high office, while we are careful to minister the Sacraments and other ordinances of Christ, we shall take special heed to minister His doctrine. Some of you will remember the day when the sermon was considered to be the most important part of Divine Service. This, no doubt, was an extreme and faulty view. The great purpose for which Christians meet in God's House of Prayer is public worship. We assemble together that we may confess our common sins, give thanks for common mercies, receive common benefits, and give praise to our common Lord and Saviour. But there is a danger at the present time that we should go to an opposite extreme, and disparage that part of the pastoral office which consists in preaching. Most important is it for both clergy and people that sound views should be held on this matter. If preaching be neglected, the clergy will lose much of their [8/9] influence, the field of their intellectual powers will be narrowed, and they will sink to that place in public opinion which the majority of our order held before the Reformation, when they were valued merely as the performers of certain religious functions. No less important is it for the laity that preaching should maintain its proper position in the public Services of the Church. The vast increase of books and periodicals on religious subjects, which some persons consider to be a reason for dispensing with sermons, in my judgment, on the contrary, is a reason for regarding them of special value. Few persons have sufficient time and leisure, even if they have the particular experience and ability required, to make a good selection from this mass of religious literature which covers our tables. Men who lead busy and engrossing lives naturally look to the clergy for guidance in the conflicting views which they find in books, or hear expressed in society: and such guidance they have a right to expect; for it is the special business of the clergy to study these subjects, and they should be able to speak of them with that authority which study and experience give.
In choosing subjects for our sermons, we should remember that our prime endeavour should be to quicken, sustain, and deepen the spiritual life of our people. What they should especially obtain from us is guidance in religious difficulty, comfort in bereavement, and such help as by precept and example we may be able to render them in their efforts to lead upright, godly, Christ-like lives. But the religion which the clergy represent is not intended merely for the sanctuary of the conscience or of the temple. It is meant to teach men truth, justice, the duties of [9/10] family and civil life, respect for law and legitimate authority. Unless it be maintained that on becoming clergymen we cease to be Englishmen, we are not going beyond our province if we devote time and thought to the great public questions of the day. Am I wrong in saying that the hours which are now spent by many of us in considering minute details of external ceremonial or subtleties of metaphysical theology, would be far more profitably employed if they were bestowed on those practical subjects which really occupy the mind of the nation, stir its affections, and affect its welfare? Though it is undesirable that the clergy should concern themselves with the political questions of the passing hour, yet in critical times, when great moral principles are at stake, we should be neglecting our duty if we failed to make our voices heard, and our influence felt. That, surely, is a very narrow and false view of ministerial responsibility, which would deter the clergy from expressing their opinion upon matters such as the amendment of the laws respecting the sale of wine and spirits, the promotion of good-will between labourer and employer, the removal of such scandals to our civilization and Christianity as the gambling establishment at Monte Carlo, the abolition of slavery and unrighteous government throughout the world, the furtherance of peace, liberty, justice, and enlightenment among nations. Whenever any of these, or such-like questions, become subjects of popular interest and discussion, it is our duty and privilege, as the censors of morals, the friends of the poor, the upholders of right, the champions of the oppressed, the messengers of peace, to help towards the formation of a sound and righteous public opinion; [10/11] and in dealing with these questions we should remember that, if at times the interests of the immediate present may seem to tell a different story, yet in the long run the best Christian is the best patriot, and the best patriot is the best Christian. If the clergy no longer retain that monopoly of teaching the English people which they enjoyed in earlier days; if public opinion is moulded more by the article in the newspaper and periodical, than by any sentiments which we may express; nevertheless, the privilege which our office confers of addressing our congregations from week to week affords opportunities of gradually moulding, correcting, elevating public opinion, which no other class in the community possesses; and if we never make use of these opportunities, we are surrendering a great sphere of influence, and neglecting a most important field of public duty.
During my stay in Cyprus, I received a most friendly welcome from the Archbishop, and other members of the Greek Church. You possibly read the account which appeared in the public papers at the time. In case it failed to meet your eyes, you may like to have the following short report:--On Dec. the 8th, at noon, I left Malta in Her Majesty's ship "Orontes," which was in charge of Captain E. H. Seymour, son of the Rev. E. Seymour, Canon of Worcester. On the following Tuesday we passed within sight of the island Clauda, Lasea, and the Fair Havens. The Captain had kindly given orders that the ship should be taken near Crete, that we might have a good view of the island. The Captain, the Colonel of the Regiment on board, and I, employed ourselves in studying the account of St. Paul's voyage in these [11/12] regions, by help of the Chart and the Greek Testament. After a good passage of four days we reached Larnaca on the afternoon of Thursday, Dec. the 12th. Shortly after our arrival I landed, and visited the Church of St. Lazarus, and other objects of interest in the place. Before daybreak next morning I again left the ship, which was at anchor about a mile from shore, and between five and six started for Nicosia, about twenty-six miles distant. After a journey of six hours I reached the picturesque capital of the island, where I remained for a day and night as guest of Sir Garnet Wolseley, the High Commissioner. Shortly after my arrival at the Camp, the Greek Archdeacon of Nicosia called upon me, for the purpose of arranging a time when the Archbishop could pay me a visit. While thanking the Archdeacon for the honour which the Archbishop purposed to confer, I said that it was for me to call first upon his Holiness; and shortly afterwards I started for the Archbishop's residence. As I rode into the court, a large number of priests and people were assembled, and the bells of the Cathedral of St. John, adjoining, gave forth a peal of welcome. The priests conducted me up the flight of stairs, at the top of which I was met by the Archbishop, who greeted me cordially, and led me to the hall in which the interview was held. Having thanked the Archbishop for his kindness in offering to entertain me during my stay at Nicosia, I stated that the special object which I had in coming from Malta to Cyprus, was to place in the hands of his Holiness a letter which the Archbishop of Canterbury had commissioned me to deliver, together with a copy of a document prepared by the hundred Bishops of the Anglican branch of the Catholic [12/13] Church, who met last summer in London, under the presidency of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The copy was a translation into Greek and Latin, made by the Bishop of Lincoln. After speaking of the friendly intercourse which I had enjoyed on various occasions with the Patriarch of Constantinople, and other distinguished prelates of the Eastern Church, and of the brotherly feelings which were entertained by the National Church of England towards the Eastern Church generally, and especially towards those members of it who were living in Cyprus, I expressed the hope that those feelings might be greatly strengthened by the near relations into which the two sister Churches would now be brought in the island; and I asked his Holiness to give me his aid in any duties which I might have to fulfil as Bishop of the English congregations that would be formed in the island. It appeared desirable that I should explain the position which English Chaplains who might be stationed in Cyprus would occupy. Their duties, I said, would be to provide for the spiritual wants of their own people; they would be instructed to interfere in no way with the work of the Greek clergy; they would come as their friends and allies, and not as their rivals. The Archbishop, in replying, spoke of the great pleasure he felt in receiving this visit, and said that when I came again to the island, he hoped that I would be his guest. He gladly promised to help me in my work, if opportunity were given, and help needed. He assured me that he shared my desire that friendly relations between the Church, of England and the Eastern Church might be promoted by the presence [13/14] of the English in the island. He was well aware of the brotherly feelings which the Church of England entertained towards his branch of the Church, and he himself was anxious for union between these two sister Churches. The Church of England might render effective aid to him and his clergy by promoting education, which at present was at a low level. Funds and books were wanted. He and his people prayed for the Queen of England, for the High Commissioner, for the Archbishop of Canterbury, for myself, for the other Bishops of the Church of England, and for their flocks. He hoped that the rule of England might further both the temporal and the spiritual welfare of his people, who had suffered long and terribly from misgovernment and oppression. After expressions of brotherly regard had been given and returned, and we had promised one another our prayers, the interview closed. The Archbishop accompanied me to the top of the staircase leading into the court, when we shook hands. The bells of the Cathedral were again rung. The priests kissed my hands after the Eastern custom. After visiting the churches and the bazaar, I rode back to the camp. Next day I returned to Larnaca. The day after this being Sunday, I held Divine Service in an iron building, which had been lent for the purpose by the owner, and had been suitably furnished by some English ladies residing in the place. The Chaplain of the "Orontes," and the Chaplain to the Forces stationed in the island, kindly assisted. About 120 persons took part in the Service. Many Greeks also were present. Immediately after Divine Worship I had to leave in the boat which was waiting [14/15] to take me on board. In the evening the "Orontes" started on its return to Malta, which we reached after a passage of five days.
One object which I have in giving this account of my interview with the Greek Archbishop, is to shew the friendly feelings which the Oriental Church entertains towards the Church of England. As you are aware, many proofs of brotherly good-will had been given me on previous occasions, when I had been travelling in the East. But I would also enlist your active sympathy and aid in support of measures which I trust may be taken for the benefit of our fellow-Christians in Cyprus. Though the rulers of our country may have had political objects only in view when they added the island to the dependencies of the Crown, yet all Christian Englishmen must feel that, by the occupation of Cyprus, great opportunities are placed in our hands of securing the respect and friendship of our Eastern brethren, and of raising their moral, social, and religious condition; and that we should prove ourselves to be bad rulers, and unworthy of the charge committed to us by God's Providence, if we made no effort to turn these opportunities to good account. We ought not selfishly to think of our own interests alone. Steps should be taken by us to promote civilisation, enlightenment, and, above all, that spiritual regeneration, which those who have travelled in Eastern countries know to be sorely needed.
The way in which we can best help our Christian brethren in Cyprus was shewn by the Archbishop, when he asked that we should assist him in the work of education. In rendering such assistance we should be interfering in no way with the Greek clergy; on [15/16] the contrary, we should be conferring upon them and their people a boon which they would heartily welcome. Though the higher Clergy are often cultivated men, having received a good education in the monasteries, or at the University of Athens, or in some few cases at one of the German Universities, many of the village priests are hardly educated at all, and are therefore incompetent to educate others, either by preaching, or by giving instruction in schools. When we consider the low standard of education among both the Greek clergy and their people, we cannot wonder that there is so much formalism in their religion. When a clergy is illiterate, religion necessarily assumes a formal character. It is to be hoped that the English Government may eventually take measures to promote education in the island. Meanwhile we, as individuals, should lend a helping hand in this important work. The island is very ill provided with Schools. Such as exist, are supported in part by the monasteries, in part by the churches to which they are attached; and are described by the English Chaplain, who has been in the island since the beginning of the year, as u extremely inefficient and inadequate to the wants of the population." "No attempt seems to be made really to educate the children, to train their characters, or to teach them how Christians should live in the world." We ought to establish at Nicosia a training-school for teachers, who should be instructed in the English language, shewn how to teach, and then be sent forth as they are wanted to the villages. The English Chaplain should be inspector of this school. A fund for this object has been opened by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts.
 There is another work which we have to accomplish in Cyprus, and in which I am anxious to awaken your interest. While I was at Nicosia, the capital of the island, I was shewn a fine old church, then in the hands of a Turk, and used by him partly as a granary, partly as a stable. It appeared to me that, rather than build a new church, we should secure this ancient and now desecrated edifice, and convert it into an English house of prayer. The High Commissioner and other English authorities approved of the plan, and the Greek Archbishop, when the subject was named to him, also expressed approval. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts has just taken a perpetual lease of the building and ground. We are prevented by Turkish law from absolutely purchasing these, as they are Turkish ecclesiastical property. The church bears the name of S. Nicolas, the patron of sailors. It is a remarkable fact that in the fourteenth century there was at Nicosia a church which went by the name of "S. Nicolas of the English," and is so styled in old records. You will find a notice of this church in a lecture delivered last year at Oxford by the Regius Professor of History. As you may not have an opportunity of reading this lecture, I will give you a short account of the church.
When Acre, which was the last fortress in Palestine that surrendered to the Turks, was in 1291 finally compelled to yield, and the forces of the Cross had withdrawn from the Holy Land, some found a home in Cyprus, and among them the Order of S. Thomas of Acre, a small semi-religious knightly Order of Englishmen. This Order had been founded [17/18] by the sister and the brother-in-law of Becket, and possessed a hospital, built on the site of the house where Becket was born, and a church on the spot where now is the chapel of the Mercers' Company. During the Crusades the Order settled at Acre, and devoted themselves to the office of burying the dead. At the siege of Acre the Order is represented as leading the five thousand soldiers whom the English king, Edward I., had sent to Palestine. Such members of the Order as survived the siege settled at Nicosia, where they possessed a church called "S. Nicolas of the English." The story of the appearance of S. Nicolas and S. Thomas to the London Crusaders in a storm at sea in 1189 or 1190, as Professor Stubbs suggests to me, probably had something to do with the establishment of the Order; and the connexion between S. Nicolas and the English is clearly due to the fact that the English were sailors. Various religious ceremonies are recorded in ancient documents as having been held in this church. It seems to have been the place in which the Masters, Priors, and Custodes of the Order were appointed to their offices. The name continually appears in the registered acts of the Order. Speaking of one such ceremony, Professor Stubbs thus writes: "the ceremony was performed in the Church of S. Nicolas of the English, in the city of Nicosia; one of the many churches which formerly, according to Father Stephen of Lusignan, adorned that city, but of which any relic would now, since the Venetians destroyed 130 in the process of fortification, scarcely be looked for." Whether the desecrated church of S. Nicolas, which I saw in Nicosia, was originally built by funds from London, and is that very edifice in which Englishmen worshipped [18/19] five or six hundred years ago, I have not as yet been able to discover. At any rate, the church bears the same name. The style, moreover, is transitional. Whatever its history, if we make it our church, we shall have in it a bond connecting us, if not with this knightly Order of Englishmen who lived at Nicosia in days long past, yet with our Eastern brethren, whose forefathers worshipped in it before it was seized and desecrated by the Turks. Moreover, it is not to the credit of our own Church and country that we should remain any longer in the island without possessing a place of religious worship. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts receives subscriptions for this work of restoration. The Chaplain tells me that he is informed by competent authority that no actual building will be required, though some walls which the Turks have erected, and the débris, which has accumulated to a height of three feet above the real floor, must be removed; the internal surface of the walls must be thoroughly cleaned, scraped, and pointed; and suitable furniture must be provided. Some mud huts, also, contiguous to the church, should be pulled down. The work ought not to be begun till we have £500 at least in hand; but surely there should be no difficulty in raising two thousand pounds, which would be the sum required to do the work effectively.
Besides the Chaplain to Her Majesty's Forces, there will soon be two Chaplains in the island, one nominated to his charge by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, the other by the Colonial and Continental Church Society. The former has been in Cyprus since the beginning of the year; Larnaca, Nicosia, and the neighbouring country I [19/20] have assigned to him as the field of his labours. The latter is just leaving England; his sphere of duty will be at Limasol. He is an Armenian by birth, a native of Antioch, a B.A. of the University of Cambridge, lately admitted to Deacons' and Priests' Orders by the Bishop of Winchester. Neither Chaplain will seek to make proselytes from the Greek Church, though both will be ready to help in the work of education, so far as they have means and opportunity. If purity of doctrine and spirituality of worship are needed by the Oriental Church, the best mode in which we can supply this need is to preach pure doctrine, and to maintain spirituality of worship in our own Services. It is by shewing to the Eastern world what the Church of England really is, when its principles, doctrines, and worship are exhibited in their true colours, and not by making here and there a few stray proselytes, that we shall render most effective aid to the work of internal reformation; and such internal reformation must first take place before we can hope to see the accomplishment of that union for which the Archbishop of Cyprus expressed his earnest desire, and for which all true Christians must heartily pray.
Three months of last winter I spent in Malta. There was a vacancy in the Chaplaincy at Sliema, and no one to fulfil the duties but myself and the Chaplains to Her Majesty's Forces, for whose assistance, readily and frequently given, I render my hearty thanks. There was also important business affecting the position of our Church in the island to be settled. When the letters patent which created the See of Gibraltar were revoked, the Bishop lost [20/21] whatever jurisdiction those letters patent had conferred, and whatever powers belonged to him as a corporation sole. It was necessary, therefore, that the property in Malta which belonged to the See, and had been vested in the Bishop, should be legally secured. This property consisted of a church and a freehold house and garden at Sliema. The church, house, and garden, were gifts made to the bishopric by Bishop Trower, whose intention was that the Bishop should occupy the house--the palace at Valletta having been lost to the See--if such at any time should be his pleasure, and he were willing to render himself responsible for performance of Divine Worship either by himself or by his Chaplain. The church was built mainly at the expense of Bishop Trower. My immediate predecessor, Bishop Harris, also added a small piece of land to this property, and moreover made provision for the endowment of the chaplaincy by a gift of £2,000, held in trust by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. A plan has lately been proposed for uniting this Chaplaincy at Sliema, which is in the patronage of the Bishop, with the Chaplaincy to the Government at Valletta, which is in the patronage of the Crown. But as the plan was found to be inconsistent with the wishes and intentions of my predecessors, as expressed in their acts of donation, and moreover was strongly opposed by such English residents at Sliema as worship in the church there, it has not been carried into effect. The right of ownership in the property has been transferred by an Ordinance enacted by the Government in Malta, and approved by the Secretary of State for the Colonies, from the [21/22] Bishop--who, being no longer a corporation sole, is unable legally to hold it--to a Commission consisting of five persons, four of whom are to be appointed by the Crown, or by His Excellency the Governor of Malta, the Bishop being ex officio always a member. The Commission is to have no other powers over the property but those of mere administration. Whatever rights were granted to the Bishop by the acts of donation are secured. The Commission has just been appointed.
Besides this property at Sliema, there is also property belonging to the Church of England at Valletta. Queen Adelaide, who spent the winter of 1838-9 in the island, built at her sole expense a large church on the site of an old auberge. In a letter dated March 16, 1844, and addressed by Earl Howe to the Secretary of State for the Colonies (the late Lord Derby), it is stated that the church was "intended" by Queen Adelaide "for the worship of Almighty God, the accommodation of the Protestant inhabitants of the island of Malta, and Her Majesty's land and sea forces employed there," and that the Queen Dowager "placed this edifice in the hands and under the protection of the Queen's Government." It is not, however, specified in this letter whether the Local or the Imperial Government is meant. Moreover, the letter was not an act such as the law requires for the conveyance of real property. "The right of ownership" in this property has now been "transferred" by the Ordinance, of which I have before spoken, to the "Anglican Church," which is to be represented by the Commission, in which the property at Sliema is also vested. As far as I can discover, no public [22/23] document exists stating the wishes of Queen Adelaide respecting the rights which the Bishop of Gibraltar should have in the church which she erected. As this question has been raised, I thought it desirable to make enquiry of the Rev. John Kyle Wood, Canon of Worcester, who accompanied Her Majesty as Chaplain during the visit to Malta. Canon Wood thus writes:--"In reply to your enquiry as to the wish of Queen Adelaide, in respect to the relation of the Bishop to the church which she erected at Malta, I have no hesitation in saying that Her Majesty built the church in the hope and expectation that it would become, as it was regarded by Bishop Tomlinson, the first bishop, the episcopal seat of the diocese. Her Majesty felt an anxious desire for the formation of the See, and by this means materially promoted it. Nothing, I am sure, could have been more opposed to the Queen's mind, than that the Bishop's authority in the edifice should be for a moment doubted. I was with Her Majesty during her residence in Malta, and well remember the consideration by which she was influenced in committing this church to the protection of the Government." The letters patent by which the See of Gibraltar was created in 1842 are in perfect accord with these words. It is declared in them that the Bishop of Gibraltar and his successors, "may perform all the functions peculiar and appropriate to the office of bishop within all churches, chapels, and other places within our island of Malta and its dependencies which now are, or may hereafter be founded, set apart, or used for the service of Almighty God, according to the ritual of the said united Church of England and Ireland, and more [23/24] especially within the church now or late founded by the pious munificence of our dearly beloved Queen Adelaide, the Queen Dowager, in the city of Valletta, and also by himself or themselves, or by the Archdeacon or Archdeacons, or the Vicar-general, or other officer or officers hereinafter mentioned, exercise jurisdiction spiritual and ecclesiastical within the said cathedral church of the Holy Trinity, and throughout the said Diocese of Gibraltar, and also within the churches, chapels, and other places aforesaid, in the island of Malta and its dependencies, according to the ecclesiastical laws now in force in England." It is declared also "that the Bishop of Gibraltar and his successors may exercise and enjoy full power and authority to grant licences to officiate to all Rectors, Curates, Ministers, and Chaplains of all the churches, or chapels, or other places, within our said possessions of Gibraltar and Malta, wherein Divine Service should be celebrated according to the rites and liturgy of the Church of England." Archdeacon Cleugh, who was Chaplain to the Government at the time when the church was built and the See established, informs me that the church of St. Paul, at Valletta, was built under the supervision of the Bishop, and that the original design was materially altered through his recommendation. The consecration was delayed for some time owing to a disagreement between the Bishop, who desired that it should be called a cathedral, and the Governor of Malta, who objected to that name being given to the edifice. Eventually the Bishop and the Governor agreed upon a compromise, and it received the unmeaning name of a collegiate church. But though not called a cathedral, it was always treated [24/25] as such by the Bishop, in accordance with the wishes of Queen Adelaide. In writing these words my object has been to put on permanent record the principal facts bearing upon the position of our Church in Malta, and to shew what were the intentions of Queen Adelaide in erecting the church of St. Paul at Valletta, and of my two immediate predecessors in the gifts which they made to the bishopric of a church endowment, land, and house at Sliema. Circumstances are greatly altered since the establishment of the bishopric, which apparently was started on a scale rather too ambitious. The letters patent, as I have said, have been revoked; the Bishop is now appointed by Royal Mandate; whatever authority he possesses is purely of a moral, voluntary, or consensual character. The diocese, if this term may be used of the scattered and isolated congregations which are under his supervision, has been greatly enlarged: consequently, he can no longer reside in Malta, except for a few weeks from time to time. But so far as the altered circumstances admit, I trust that these intentions of Queen Adelaide, and of my predecessors, may always be faithfully observed.
While I was at Malta, a meeting of the Church of England Temperance Society was held in the Military Gymnasium. A large number of British soldiers and sailors attended the meeting, and some of them at its close joined the Society. All Englishmen who have at heart the welfare of our soldiers and sailors, or the credit of our Government, must be pained at the excessive number of drinking-shops allowed in Malta. At the end of last year there were in Malta and Gozo, for a population of 149,270, no less than 1700 of these houses. In Malta alone there were 1554: in the city [25/26] of Valletta 394. It was stated by the Chief Secretary in a debate which took place in Council ten years ago, on a Eeport presented to the local Government on these drinking-shops, that there was at that time in Valletta and the adjoining towns one for every six dwellinghouses, and in Valletta itself one for every four dwelling-houses. Since that time the number has increased. In the last five years there has been an addition of more than 500. The cost of a licence to sell wine and spirits in Valletta and the adjoining towns is only four pounds a-year; in other parts of the island, and in Gozo, it is only four shillings a-year. Any person, male or female, is qualified to hold a licence, unless he or she has been positively convicted of crime. The drinks sold in these places are described as being of a most intoxicating or even poisonous nature. The houses in many cases are dens of vice, and yet they are tolerated in the most frequented and most respectable parts of Valletta. Now that public attention has been called to this great and increasing evil, it is to be hoped that steps may soon be taken to reduce the number of these houses, and to make them more respectable. The Maltese were a temperate people before we took possession of the island, but to our shame be it said, we have taught many of them our national vice. These drinking-shops, however, are not intended so much for them, as for our own soldiers and sailors. There are persons who maintain the paradox that the multiplication of drinking-houses lessens, rather than increases, the evils of intemperance. They say that it prevents the noisy from collecting in large groups: it thus diminishes the likelihood of disturbance of the public peace; it gives less scope and opportunity to really bad fellows of [26/27] contaminating their comrades. But whatever force there may be in this argument, all experience certainly proves that the way to diminish evil is to make it difficult. Half of the evil that is done in the world comes of the ease with which it is done. When temptations are increased, vice is increased: when temptations are diminished, vice is diminished. Temptations, by being removed from sight, are in many cases forgotten, and eventually are outlived. Withdraw the facilities for gratifying a bad passion, and that bad passion, from not being gratified, will lose its power. Provide the facilities for gratifying a bad passion, and that bad passion will gain fresh power from every fresh indulgence. Regulations respecting drinking-houses will not convert confirmed drunkards into models of sobriety, but they may prevent sober men from being converted into models of inebriety. Regulations respecting drinking-houses will not annihilate vice, but they will limit immensely its range. Since this meeting of the Church of England Temperance Society was held, efforts have been made by the representatives of the Society, and by others interested in the cause of Temperance, to counteract the attractions of these drinking-shops, by the establishment of a coffee-house, and by other like measures.
During my stay in the island I was gratified by receiving a request from the Chaplains to Her Majesty's Army and Navy then in Malta, that I should administer to them the Holy Communion, and deliver them an address. As you are aware, the Naval and Military Chaplains are not under my superintendence. With this request I very gladly complied. After divine service in the church of [27/28] Holy Trinity, Sliema, we had an interesting discussion on the modes in which we could mutually help one another in our respective fields of work.
A little and comely church has lately been built for the English community at Tunis, through the exertions, mainly, of the Rev. E. B. Frankel, the Chaplain stationed there by the Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews. The day of my arrival being Sunday, I held a Confirmation in this church at the close of Morning Prayer, and confirmed 13 young persons, English and French; 110 attended the service, and 31 received the Holy Communion. During my stay I also visited the Jewish schools, which are under the superintendence of the Chaplain; from the answers made by the children, they appeared to be well taught: the boys' school had on its books 140, the girls' school 260 members. Though they are taught the doctrines of the Christian religion, and repeated to me long passages of Holy Scripture, none are baptized Christians; they are deterred from taking this step, as I was informed, by fear of persecution. It is deemed inexpedient to press upon them the duty of making any open avowal of Christianity. It is an interesting fact that the Greek Church at Tunis has been for centuries under the protection of the English Government. The Greek Archimandrite called upon me, and escorted me to the steamer when I left for Bona, the ancient Hippo Regius. In visiting these spots I was treading on ground hallowed by the footsteps of St. Cyprian and St. Augustine. But it was a saddening thought that both civilization and religion now stood at a far lower level than that which they had reached long centuries ago. The [28/29] only monument to mark the home of St. Augustine is a modern insignificant shrine, defaced by numberless autographs of tourists. Hardly a trace remains of Carthage; nor seems there any hope that brighter days will ever dawn upon this once famous, but now desolate land, until some civilized and Christian power give to the inhabitants the blessing of good government, as England is now giving to Cyprus.
It has been arranged, as a temporary measure, that the Chaplain who labours among the British sailors at Constantinople, should hold a Service in the English church at Sulina on thirteen Sundays in the year; but if funds were available, and a suitable clergyman could be found willing to undertake the duty, it would be desirable to appoint a separate Chaplain for this work, and to entrust him with a kind of roving commission, to visit from time to time Odessa, Varna, Galatz, Kustendjie, Roustchouk, and any other places in those regions where Englishmen are to be found. When I tell you that 400,000 sailors in British ships visited Constantinople last season, you will see that there is more than enough work at Constantinople to need the undivided services of a Chaplain. The St. Andrew's Waterside Church Mission gives liberal support to this chaplaincy; it is also rendering very efficient help to work among British seamen in many other ports in this diocese. If the Society is to maintain the good work which it has in hand, larger funds must be placed at its disposal; all who are interested in the welfare of British seamen must desire to see that work not only maintained, but also developed and extended. During last season, I am glad to find, [29/30] offertories were given to this Society by the British congregations at Corfu, Patras, San Remo, and Cannes.
There are special reasons why at the present time we should give liberal help to work in foreign ports. Not only have the grants made by Parliament to Chaplaincies at these ports been greatly reduced of late years, but the British residents have become fewer, and are less able to support such work. Owing to the invention of steam and of the telegraph, the merchants now rarely live with their families abroad, but are represented by agents; the residents, therefore, so far from being in a position to aid work done among British seamen, require support to enable them to maintain the local churches. In contributing, therefore, to the funds of the Societies which provide for the spiritual wants of British seamen abroad, we are not only aiding that special work, we are also aiding the local churches.
A new Chaplaincy has been established at Bilbao, for British miners and sailors, under the auspices of the Colonial and Continental Church Society. A little church has just been built, by the kind liberality of Sir John Brown, on ground given by the Directors of the Bilbao Iron Ore Company. A grant has been made to this Chaplaincy from the Diocesan Fund. "The Society for Missions to Seamen" has also made a grant, on the condition that the Chaplain visit the ships, hold services afloat, and send a monthly report of the work. The Committee of the Society for Missions to Seamen lays great stress upon the monthly numerical return of the ships visited, being anxious to prevent work on shore being substituted for work on board ship. It is, no doubt, desirable that British [30/31] sailors should be brought to church, and be taught to take pleasure in the services conducted in church; but, as the Captains very often refuse to allow the men to go on shore, it is of great importance that they should be regularly visited on board ship. These visits are appreciated, though at the time when they are paid the Chaplain may not always receive a very cordial welcome. The sailors see from these visits that an interest is taken in their welfare; they moreover get to know the Chaplains by face; they take note, in the places where the visits are paid, that they have a friend whom they may consult when they are in sorrow, or trouble of any kind, and who would be glad to lend them a helping hand in the trials of their hard and dangerous lives; they find that when they leave the shores of England they are not forgotten, but that the Church of England follows them into foreign lands, and has representatives there, to continue the work begun at home.
When I was at Trieste, I was informed by the Chaplain that every British vessel which puts into that port pays, through the British Consulate, a contribution to our Church there, whether the vessel be staying for a short or for a long period, whether the Captain be, or be not, a member of the Church of England. It was satisfactory also to learn that Nonconformists, as well as Churchmen, frequently attend our services.
Mr. Thomas Brassey, M.P., offers, through the Society for Missions to Seamen, a prize of £25 for the best essay on "Lay Work in the Merchant Navy." Possibly some of you may know persons who would be willing to compete.
In consequence of the change, which in deference [31/32] to the wishes of our American brethren the Conference of Anglican Bishops, holden last year at Lambeth, made as regards the Day of Intercession for Missions to the Heathen, some of you will be unable to observe this day in your churches, as your congregations will have dispersed before the Rogation-days. In reply to a question which some of you have addressed to me, I have stated that it would be a pity to deprive your people of the opportunity, which the observance of the day affords, of contributing to the funds of our two great Missionary Societies; and that it might be well still to hold a service on St. Andrew's Day, and to address your congregations on the subject of missionary-work, saying one or more of the special collects which you have hitherto used. But in this matter you know better than I can possibly know what course would meet the wishes and requirements of your several congregations.
In my last letter I said a few words about the registration of baptisms, marriages, and burials. To what I then said I would add that blank forms on parchment, to record the registration of baptisms, marriages, and burials of British subjects in the Diocese of Gibraltar, may always be had of Messrs. Shaw, Fetterlane, London, E.C., at the cost of one shilling each, or if forms on paper be preferred, at the cost of six shillings per quire. In answer to an application which, at my request, was addressed to the Registrar-General at the beginning of this year, he wrote that "he was not aware of any provision for the transmission to him of certified copies of entries of marriages solemnized by Chaplains in the Diocese of Gibraltar. The only marriage registers which he supplied were those required [32/33] for the use of the Clergy and Registrars of marriages in England and Wales. The registration of baptisms and burials was not a matter within his province, and he did not issue any forms for the purpose of such registration." Such being the case, I advise you to send at the close of every year copies of your registers to Messrs. Day and Hassard, 28, Great George-street, Westminster, S.W., who will deposit the same at the Principal Registry of the Province of Canterbury, at 5 Dean's-court, Doctors' Commons, London.
A word on the Gibraltar Diocesan Spiritual Aid Fund. You will see by referring to the report of receipts and expenditure for last season, that the expenditure has again exceeded the income. Two years ago there was a balance of £289 12s. 1 d. in hand; last year there was a balance of £206 0s. 9d.; this year there is a balance of £169 3s. 2d. only. Unless there be a slight increase in the contributions during the season now opening, it will soon become necessary to reduce the grants. This course I should be very sorry to adopt. Some congregations of the diocese have always contributed very liberally. There are a few from which I expect no aid, as they have a difficulty in providing for their own wants; but most even of those which are so situated could contribute a little. It is a mistake to restrict our thoughts and sympathy to ourselves: it is good for us always to have a care for others. Moreover, by supporting this Diocesan Fund, you are giving a kind of unity to the diocese. Independent and isolated as our congregations are, they have a common work and a common life, and by assisting such members of the common body as require assistance, [33/34] you shew that you take an interest in this common work, and are anxious to sustain this common life.
There are at present under my supervision eighty congregations. Nine of these are in connection with the Foreign Office, which aids them by a small grant; the remainder are chiefly or entirely dependent upon their own resources, a few receiving help from one of the Church Societies. The diocese contains many small, and yet not unimportant, Communities, which from their limited numbers and means, are unable without assistance to maintain a Chaplaincy. It is chiefly for the benefit of Communities of this class that the "Gibraltar Diocesan Spiritual Aid Fund" was established. It was felt that grants of from £20 to £50 might often be the means of preventing the abandonment of Chaplaincies suffering, as at the present moment, under temporary difficulties from political troubles, or from vicissitudes of commerce; while they might call into existence others, by rendering available contributions otherwise inadequate to the support of a Chaplaincy. The withdrawal of the Grants made until lately by Parliament through the Foreign Office to the Consular Chaplains has increased the difficulties with which the work of our Church has to contend in Foreign Countries. But I trust that funds may be raised to replace the sums withdrawn, and prevent any part of our work from being abandoned. All moneys should be paid to the account of the G. D. S. A. F., with Messrs. Hoare, 37, Fleet-street, London, E.C. Grants are given for the current year only: if, therefore, their renewal is desired, a fresh application should be made by letter addressed to me at 28, Great George-street, Westminster, London.
 It is my purpose to start to-morrow on a visit to the Eastern parts of the diocese. The tour will involve much travelling by sea, for which I have no special fondness; but from the kindness which I have received on previous visits, I feel sure of a welcome, and I believe that I shall be accompanied by the good wishes of you all. May our Heavenly Father bless and prosper you in all your labours for the good of His people, and the advancement of His kingdom.
Believe me to be, my dear Brethren,
Your sincere Friend and Brother,
C. W. Gibraltar.
A list of the Candidates, giving all their names in full and their ages, and signed by the Chaplain, should be handed to the Bishop before the Service. No Candidate should be presented under the age of fourteen. The Candidates should be so seated that the faces of all may be seen by the Bishop when he puts the appointed question, and delivers his Address; if any seat intervene between him and them, it should be left unoccupied. The Service, except when otherwise appointed, is the Order of Confirmation only. At the beginning of the Service a Hymn is sung, after which the Chaplain of the Church reads the Preface. While the Preface is being read the Candidates stand, the rest of the congregation being seated. When the Preface is ended, the Candidates resume their seats. The Bishop then delivers an Address. At the conclusion of the Address, the Candidates rise from their seats, and the Bishop puts to them the appointed Question, which, every one audibly answers. The Answer having been given, and the Suffrages said, the Bishop says the First Collect. Then there is a short pause for silent Prayer; after which the Veni Creator is sung, the Candidates all kneeling. When this Hymn is ended, the Candidates come forward one by one to be confirmed. The Bishop confirms each Candidate separately, one only kneeling before him at a time, and a second standing in readiness behind. The Amen which follows each imposition of hands is sung. The Candidates, in approaching and in returning, should take different ways to avoid confusion. When all have been confirmed, the Bishop generally delivers a second short Address; those who have been confirmed being seated. After this Address, the Bishop says the remaining Prayers. A third Hymn is then sung, and the Service is concluded with, the Benediction.