Christ Church, Oxford,
Oct. 18, 1880.
My dear Brethren,
In the last two Pastoral Letters which I have addressed to you I have been forced to call your special attention to the state of the Gibraltar Diocesan Spiritual Aid Fund. The Reports of the receipts and expenditure printed at the end of my Pastoral Letters have shewn during the last few years an excess of expenditure over income. When I was appointed to the Bishopric there was a surplus of £356 19s. 7d. This is now reduced to £88 19s. 6d. This yearly deficit is due to an increase in the number of the Chaplaincies which have received grants. There has been no decrease in the sums contributed; on the contrary, the sums contributed by the congregations under my charge have gradually increased year by year. And for this increase I give you my hearty thanks. But during my tours of visitation I have found here and there colonies of Englishmen without either Church or Chaplain; to supply this need I have felt constrained to establish Chaplaincies, that these persons might have the Sacraments administered to them, and enjoy the benefit of such other services as a Minister of Christ can bestow. Some of these new Chaplaincies having now [5/6] been set on foot through, the aid which you have so kindly and liberally afforded, will in future, I hope, be able to support themselves. But there are others which must always be dependent upon assistance from outside. Such especially are those Chaplaincies which I have succeeded in establishing for work amongst British sailors. If you refer to the Report for last season, printed at the end of this letter, you will see that most of the grants have been devoted to this special object. The only Chaplaincies receiving grants from the Fund which are in no way connected with our sailors are those at Madrid, Capri, and Bournabat. In the case of Madrid and Capri, the grants were needed to call the Chaplaincies into existence: without grants they could not have been established. In the case of the last, the grant was required in consequence of commercial depression, caused by troubles in the East, and by failures on the part of the Ottoman Government to fulfil its engagements. But I hope that these Chaplaincies henceforth will be mainly, if not entirely, self-supporting. The Chaplaincies for promoting spiritual work among our seamen of the Merchant Service occupy different ground. Except in places like Marseilles, Corfu, Smyrna, Leghorn, Malaga, and Trieste, where there are still Consular Chaplaincies receiving small grants from Government, the Chaplaincies for ministering to the wants of British seamen will probably always need assistance from our Diocesan Fund. St. Andrew's Waterside Church Mission to Seamen has given liberal help. But this Society, like most of our Societies, has suffered from the general stagnation of trade which has marked the last few years. Its funds [6/7] are at a low ebb. If it is to continue the many good works which it has already in hand--still more, if it is to extend its operations, as its supporters desire--larger funds must be placed at its disposal. No part of the work which is being effected in the Diocese by help of this Society, and by such aid as you have given me through your contributions to the Diocesan Fund, ought to be abandoned. In fact, to complete the plan which I have formed for work among our sailors in the Bosphorus, the Danube, and the Black Sea, the services of three Chaplains are needed. One should have his head-quarters at Constantinople, and should also visit from time to time the ports in the Sea of Marmora and in the Bosphorus. Another should be stationed at Sulina, where there is a pretty English Church, or at Galatz, or possibly at Bucharest; and besides ministering to our countrymen in these places, he should also regard such Englishmen as may be living at Braila, Eustchuck, Kustendji, and Varna, as under his ministerial charge. A third is wanted at Odessa. When I was at Odessa last autumn, I was told that no less than 428 British vessels had already that year entered the port. On an average there are a hundred British sailors in harbour every day. In the previous year 14,000 British sailors visited Odessa. A Chaplain has just left England to work among these sailors, and to perform the duties of his office as Pastor to the small British Colony living at Odessa. He has also been asked by me to visit now and then other ports to the east of the Black Sea, and in the Sea of Azof, such as Nicolaieff, Kherson, Sebastopol, Kertch, Taganrog, should there be Englishmen at any of these places to need his services. No Chaplain in [7/8] the orders of our Church has hitherto been appointed to Odessa, because till lately the British Colony was mainly Scottish, a Scottish company having been engaged there in executing some public works. When five years ago I proposed to visit Odessa, I was told there was a Presbyterian minister working there, and that the British community was well satisfied with his ministrations. Until the character of the colony was changed by the withdrawal in the main of the Scottish element, and I was asked by the English at Odessa to send them a Clergyman of their own Church, I was reluctant to encroach upon this field of pastoral labour. There are a few other places for which I am anxious to find Chaplains. The Canary Islands, Syra, and Alicante, are of this number. From time to time I have asked our Societies to assist in providing for these places. But, hitherto, lack of funds has prevented them from complying with my request. May I venture to commend these wants of the Diocese on which I have been dwelling to your sympathy and bounty. Some of the congregations under my supervision have always responded with alacrity to any appeal which I have ventured to make for help in our work. My friends at Cannes, Algiers, Nice, Naples, Madeira, Corfu, Ajaccio, Mentone, Oporto, and Lisbon, I have especially to thank. If you cannot enable me to occupy additional ground by establishing fresh Chaplaincies, I hope, at any rate, that you will not allow me to withdraw, for want of funds, from any ground which is already occupied.
There are two enterprises for which I am anxious to secure your aid. One is the establishment of a permanent "Home" for British Sailors at [8/9] Marseilles. The need of such a "Home" will be apparent to all who either visit the port of this city, or read the Appeal which has lately been issued by the British Consular Chaplain and the Committee who have taken this work in hand. It is stated in this Appeal that
"There are but four 'Homes' for the reception of sailors on the coast of the entire European continent. In Britain, it is a seaman's own fault now if he cannot find respectable lodging; abroad, not knowing the language, he is absolutely at the mercy of the vile English-speaking ruffians who are hired to be night and day on the alert, to board incoming vessels, and ply our seamen with surreptitious rum; until, unresisting, they can be led off in triumph to the dens of expectant thieves. It not unfrequently happens that these poor fellows have twelve or fifteen months' hard-earned wages, which ill-fed, ill-clad wives and families in distant homes have been long and anxiously awaiting, but which in the course of ten or fifteen days is entirely dissipated. The man has been drugged, kept semi-intoxicated, his clothes removed to prevent escape; and when the orange is sucked, it is tossed aside.
"The only efficient method of counteracting this organised conspiracy for the plunder and ruin of our seamen, is the establishment of 'Homes' which are now springing into existence at all the larger ports of England and her colonies.
''It is, accordingly, the purpose of the Committee to attempt to found a similar beneficent Institution for the 30,000 English-speaking sailors annually visiting this port. In the 'Home' they would be hospitably received and comfortably entertained at the lowest remunerative cost; their letters and telegrams cared for; their hard-earned wages secured to them by facility of deposit, or of transmission to their families; they would receive reliable local information, and be protected from landsharks and parasites; captains seeking men, and men captains, would here meet and  fulfil their requirements; and last, but most important of all, they would find those who care not only for their bodily, but spiritual welfare.
"The purchase, adaptation, and furniture of a suitable House, near the Docks and facing the sea, would cost about £3,000.
"But while this fund is being raised, the Committee propose to rent a building, and commence a 'Home' on a smaller scale. The Consuls of England, the United States, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, and the largest local Steam-boat Companies, have promised to send seamen to board at such Institution when ready." The temporary building was opened in July in the presence of the Consuls representing the Northern Powers, and of the Captains and Seamen then at Marseilles. The British Chaplain, the Rev. D. S. Govett, tells me that the success which has attended the enterprise has exceeded the most sanguine expectation of the Committee, shewing how real a need was supplied by the institution. Since the Home was opened, it has been continually filled to overflowing by our seamen, some being obliged to sleep on tables and chairs. The Society for Missions to Seamen is endeavouring to raise a special fund for providing a Scripture-Reader. Such a person is much needed, as the work to be done among British sailors at Marseilles is beyond the power of one unassisted Chaplain. The money collected for the "Home" last season at Cannes, Nice, Hyères and Mentone, is being judiciously and economically employed. But, I am told that this sum is rapidly melting away, leaving little or nothing towards the purchase of a permanent building. The French Government has borne testimony to the importance of this institution, by recognising it as of [10/11] "Public Utility," and as such, capable of receiving legacies.
The other enterprise for which I especially want your help is the new English church which is now being built at Rome. In my first Pastoral Letter, addressed to you five years ago, I asked you to support this work. Since that time, the erection of a new church has become an absolute necessity, as the building outside the Porta del Popolo, in which the services of our Church have been held for many years, has been appropriated by the Municipality of Rome for the purpose of improving and enlarging the street. In two years the building will be pulled down; and unless the new church be finished by that time, the congregation will be left without a place of worship. In a printed paper which the Chaplain and Committee have just issued, they state that--
"A site has been obtained within the walls, five minutes' walk from the Piazza di Spagna, at a cost of about £6;000. This includes the price paid for the building outside the Porta del Popolo taken in exchange for the new site, and all expenses of transfer. The work of building the new church is now being carried on from designs by George Edmund Street, R.A.
"A contract has been entered into for the foundations of the whole church and for the brickwork of two-thirds of it, for about £5,500. A further sum of about £8,000 will be required for the stone and marble-work of the whole church, for the completion of the remaining one-third of it, and for the completion of tower.
"An anonymous contributor has given £2,000 on the condition that an additional £2,000 be collected during the year to meet his gift. This has been done, but the money in hand is only sufficient to cover the first contract now entered into.
 "The English Residents in Rome are few, not one hundred in number, and they have already contributed as much as can be expected. A large and expensive church is required for the accommodation chiefly of Visitors.
"Under these circumstances the Committee make an earnest appeal to all those who take an interest in the English Church in Rome, and to Churchmen in general, to assist in this good work, as the sum required is very much greater than can be raised in Rome itself. Our brethren of the American church have built a large church from designs by Mr. Street, R.A., at a cost of not less than £25,000.
"The chancel is intended to be a memorial to the late Honble. H. Walpole, by whose exertions the greater part of the subscriptions was collected. The Church will be the property of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.
"Subscriptions can be paid to the English Church in Rome Building Fund, London and County Bank, 21, Lombard Street, London; or to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, 19, Delahay Street, Westminster."
The Chaplain has been devoting a large portion of his time this summer to the task of issuing circulars, and writing letters, to persons whom he thought likely to take interest in the erection of this church. But he has met at present with little response. He states in these circulars, four thousand of which he has issued, that "we have arrived at what may be called a crisis in our affairs. We have begun the work of laying the foundations, and in a few weeks we shall be called upon to enter into a second contract for the stone-work of our church. For this we have no funds in hand."
You must all feel that we ought to have at Rome an edifice which would exhibit the Church of England in its true aspect. We ought to have at Rome [12/13] a representative church. We ought to have a church which would shew by its architectural features, as well as by the character of its services, what is the true nature of our worship when it is displayed in its best and brightest colours. It should be a church of which Englishmen who visit Rome would feel proud. It should be a church which for its grace and dignity Italians would be glad to have within the walls of Rome. It should be a church which would take an honoured place among the many noble edifices which beautify this city of ancient memories. Such a church, besides supplying the wants of our own people, is needed to correct the views of persons who are not of our Communion, and who through centuries of misrepresentation have learnt to look upon us with unfriendly eyes, and to shew them what the faith and worship of the English branch of the Church Catholic really are. Many are the misconceptions which are prevalent on this subject. Often are we calumniated; our very claim to be a part of Christ's one universal Church is called in question. An effectual way of correcting these misconceptions, and refuting these calumnies, is to erect in the heart and centre of the Roman Communion an edifice, to which we can point as faithfully representing our Church in the doctrines which are there preached, in the Sacraments which are there administered, and in the forms and usages which are there observed--an edifice which, while it elicits admiration, and fosters reverence by its majestic and solemn beauty, shall also accord in all respects with the pure, sober, and spiritual worship of our Church and people. It should be understood that this church is intended solely for members of our own Communion. It is not erected [13/14] with any idea of making converts; we are not at Rome to attack the religion of the country which admits us within its gates; we are not at Rome for any controversial purpose. If in our sermons we ever touch upon controversy, this is for the enlightenment of our own people, to arm them against the misrepresentations of propagandists, and to keep the weak, credulous, and impulsive, loyal to the Church of their baptism. Our love for the truth, and our reverence for the past, cause us anxiously to desire the internal reform of the Roman Church, and its return to primitive usage; but we consider that the quietest, the most charitable, the most brotherly way of kindling the spirit of reform, is to endeavour to shew by a living example, that a Church may be at once reformed and Catholic; may meet the needs of the present time, and grow with the world's growth, and yet maintain unbroken its links with the past; may shake itself Tree from those errors and superstitions which the course of ages has gathered, and yet rest on the old foundation of Apostolic order, and ground its teaching on Holy Scripture. The erection at Rome of an edifice worthy of the English Church and people is of such special importance, that I should be glad if you would all, according to your ability, give it a helping hand. The work is of national interest: not only should Englishmen who have visited, or who purpose to visit Rome, afford aid; offertories might suitably be given in our Cathedrals at home, and by all our larger and more wealthy congregations. The Chaplain at Rome informs me that "the residents in Rome have given about £3,300; this is quite as much as we can expect, considering that they are few in number, and none of them are wealthy, and that few have any [14/15] permanent interest in Rome. Visitors give generally, but not to any great amount, as they usually belong to a class who cannot give much. "No wealthy persons, or persons in a high position, now stay long at Rome. They come for a visit of a few days; and when they reside abroad, they generally prefer the Riviera. The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge has granted £105 "as a mark of sympathy with our work, not as commensurate with the greatness of our task."
At the beginning of this letter I referred to the help which I have received from St. Andrew's Waterside Church Mission. Grants during the past twelve months have been given for work done among British sailors at Marseilles, Barcelona, Genoa, Patras, Corfu, Constantinople, Sulina, and Galatz, amounting in all to £373 9s. Presents of books besides have been sent to these places freight-free, and also to Tarragona and Athens. Churchmen in England are apt to forget that there are Christians as well as heathen abroad, who have claims upon the Church's care. Our interests at home are so engrossing, that few give the Church in foreign lands even a passing thought: and if the fact that there are countries beyond our own shores, in which Christian work is being done, or ought to be done, but is not, occurs to our minds, it is only of the heathen that we think. But great and pressing as are the claims which the heathen have upon our sympathy and our charity, they have no right to a monopoly of either. If there be any truth in the saying that "Charity begins at home," our emigrants and our seamen have the first claim upon our care. Moreover it should be remembered, that one of the greatest impediments to missionary success is the ungodly conduct of men who call themselves Christians. [15/16] If our countrymen abroad could be brought to lead lives more worthy of their Christian name, the few missionaries whom we send forth to heathen countries would find their labours very greatly lightened; a great stumbling-block would be removed from their path; their English race and tongue would be helps to them in their work, and not, as now they too often are, a hindrance and a shame. In supporting a Society like St. Andrew's Waterside Mission, we are not only evangelising British sailors and emigrants, we are also indirectly evangelising the heathen. Many proofs have been brought to my notice of the appreciation which sailors feel of the kindly personal sympathy shewn by the Chaplains who visit them on board ship and in hospital. The Secretary of this Society tells me that he often receives warm expressions of gratitude for these visits. A sailor who had been eleven months in hospital at Genoa, speaking on his return to England of the kindness he had received, said that he had suffered much pain, but he could gladly endure it when he saw how much good he was deriving from the kindness and the ministrations of the Chaplain. Till late years, the welfare of our seamen has been sadly neglected by our Church. Though there are several excellent Societies engaged now in the field, such as the Waterside Mission at Gravesend, and "The Missions to Seamen," yet even now Christian work among our sailors hardly receives that attention which it deserves. Such work, so far, at any rate, as the Mediterranean ports are concerned, appears to be supported more liberally by the Presbyterian Church, than by the Church of England. Presbyterian lay agents in some places may be said almost to drive [16/17] the Clergy off the ground. All rivalry and jealousy in work like this are surely neither right nor charitable. In this field there is room for us all, there is work for us all; we need not encroach upon one another's lines; we need not disparage one another's labours.
In my last tour of visitation I travelled over the outer circumference of my diocese, if, in speaking of the congregations committed to my charge, I may use this expression. In October I visited Eastern Europe, and received a very friendly welcome from S. S. Calinic Miclesco, the Metropolitan of Roumania, and from Bishop Melchissedek of Rouman, who happened to be at Bucharest at the time of my arrival. The acquaintance of the latter prelate I had made five years ago, at the Old Catholic Conference of Bonn. To both I presented a copy, in Latin and Greek, of the Lambeth letter of last year. One of the subjects which I discussed with the Metropolitan was the desirability of promoting more friendly relations between the divided Churches of Christendom. He represented the ignorance of many amongst the Greek Clergy as a principal obstacle in the way. Their love of power apparently causes them to cling tenaciously to usages which we should regard as superstitious, but which help to maintain their own ascendancy. As to union, said the Metropolitan, "Dieu le fera, peut-être, mais les hommes jamais." Speaking on the subject of the Roumanian and other Churches of the Greek Orthodox Communion, the Metropolitan informed me that his Church was independent; the Metropolitans of this Communion regard one another as brothers, and the Patriarch of Constantinople as their elder brother. We talked [17/18] also of the Jewish question, which was causing great anxiety at the time. The Metropolitan spoke liberally on the subject, and assured me that the reluctance to admit the whole body of Jews to the full rights of citizenship, in accordance with the Treaty of Berlin, was in no way connected with religious sentiment. If Jews in Roumania were as good citizens and patriots as they generally are in England, there would be no obstacle to their enfranchisement. Besides being unpopular as the great money-lenders, the Jews have all the lowest and most demoralizing trades in their hands.
In my interview with Bishop Melchissedek I inquired why no answer had been sent by the Churches of the Greek Orthodox Church to the communications of the Committee, appointed five years before at the Conference of Bonn. Professor von Döllinger, whom I had visited on my way at Munich, had expressed a wish that I should ask this question. Troubles in the East the Professor supposed to have interfered, and Russia, he said, shewed no desire for approximation. Bishop Melchissedek assured me that the subject had occupied the thoughts of all, but, he added, "we must wait. If the Churches of Christ are ever to have closer union, it must come through the Clergy, who, at present, are not sufficiently educated to desire the boon. Education must strike its roots deeper, before Christians can be brought nearer to one another. "We must be patient." The old man brightened as I entered the room, and seemed much gratified by my visit. There is a clergyman in the orders of our Church working among the Jews, who are very numerous at Bucharest. He educates many of their children, but few converts are made to [18/19] reward him for his labour. One convert he presented to me for Confirmation. During my stay I was the guest of Dr. and Mrs. Mawer, who are now soliciting contributions for the erection of an English church for the use of the small British colony resident at the Roumanian capital.
From Bucharest I took the night train to Jassy, where I stopped for the day. One Englishman only I found there. From Jassy I continued my route by rail to Odessa, where I was most cordially received by the Archbishop of Kherson, who invited me to attend the consecration of part of his chapel, and an Ordination which took place afterwards. A place was assigned me within the Sacrarium. After the service the Archbishop entertained me at luncheon, to which some of the chief civil, military, and ecclesiastical authorities of the place had been invited. In proposing my health, he expressed a hope that the English residents might soon have a church at Odessa, and he promised to give all the help in his power to further this object. He was very anxious that his own Church and the Church of England should become better acquainted with one another. The Governor of Odessa, who had entertained me on the day after my arrival, and the Minister of Police, spoke to the same effect. During my stay at Odessa the Consul-General, Mr. G. E. Stanley, invited the English and American community to meet me one evening, when a general desire was expressed that I should provide them with a Chaplain in the Orders of our Church. On the Sunday I held a service at the Sailors' Home, recently erected, when about 100 persons were present.
Finding that the Crimea was less than a day's voyage [19/20] distant, I determined to visit that historic ground. The Governor gave orders that a private cabin should be reserved for me on board the Russian steamer; the sea was rough, and I found the journey longer than I had anticipated both in going and in returning. As far as I could discover there are only two English families at Sebastopol, and the sole ministerial office that I performed was to baptize two children of an English engineer. During the week I spent in the Crimea, besides riding over the famous battle-fields, I also visited the English cemeteries. Bishop Tomlinson, the first Bishop of Gibraltar, as I have been told, consecrated one of them, that on Cathcart's-hill, but no official records of his Episcopal acts have come to my hands. Bishop Trower was the first who began the practice of keeping a Diocesan Book, in which a notice of all important acts is entered.
Thinking that there might be persons in England who would be glad to read a few lines respecting the last earthly resting-place of our brave countrymen who fell in the Crimea a quarter of a century ago, I wrote a letter which appeared in the "Times" and "Guardian," and which I here transcribe:--
"During the last day or two I have seen most of the British cemeteries near Sebastopol and Balaklava. A few which are in isolated positions, and are difficult of access, I have been prevented from reaching by lack of time. Such as I have visited I found to be now in good order. The inscriptions on the monuments, which in many cases had been effaced by the weather, have this year been recut; and the walls enclosing the cemeteries, which here and there had fallen to ruin, have been repaired. The walls will still require constant attention, as the Tartar herdsmen are in the habit of pulling away the stones to admit their cattle to graze on the herbage. The cemetery on [20/21] Cathcart's-hill, which from its size, its commanding position, and the number of illustrious dead who are buried there, is the most important of our cemeteries, is kept with all that watchful care now commonly bestowed upon our churchyards at home. Her Majesty's Vice-Consul at Sebastopol, who under the direction of the Consul-General at Odessa, has charge of these cemeteries, has this year planted some trees, which, by constant watering, he has coaxed into growing, and a few English flowers, now still in bloom, though the autumn is far advanced. As there are twelve other cemeteries at various distances from one another, it is impossible to treat them all as gardens. The crosses, memorial slabs, and obelisks should be protected, and the surrounding walls preserved; but the graves may be left to the care of nature, which during many months of the year supplies flowers of bright colour and great variety with no thrifty hand. The sites are in all cases well chosen, especially at Balaklava, where the graves are hidden in undisturbed peace and solitude high among the hills which encircle this pretty village of Russian fishermen, with its little land-locked harbour, and picturesque old Genoese castle. The municipal authorities of Sebastopol have given a piece of ground to the extent of seventy feet outwards from the walls which surround the cemetery of Cathcart's-hill. This ought to be secured by means of iron-railings. But the improvement would involve an outlay of £200 or £300. As our cemeteries in the Crimea have since 1861 cost the country £7,733 for repairs, and are maintained at a yearly expense of £55, £25 of which is for guardians' wages, this work should be done by such individuals as may regard the spot with affection from having relations or friends buried there, or by those regiments which served in the campaign. A very small sum from each regiment would defray the expense. The railings are needed; for unless the ground be enclosed, the ownership may possibly hereafter be disputed. The ground, moreover, might be planted with trees, which, if they thrived, would add much to the beauty of the spot. [21/22] The trees with which the French cemetery is stocked have a very picturesque effect. Cathcart's-hill is a prominent object in the landscape; it occupies the very centre of the English position, and is visible on the horizon from all sides, and far away at sea. As we rode thence over the ground on which the battle of Inkermann was fought, the trees and brushwood were bright with their autumnal tints; the solitude was unbroken except by a few cattle grazing here and there; hardly a sound fell upon the ear till we reached the Inkermann valley, when we heard the bells of the quaint old monastery, hewn out in the rock, calling the faithful to Vespers. The setting sun, the autumnal hues, and the faint music of the distant bells accorded aptly with the solemn memories which a visit to this scene of our army's peril must ever awaken in English hearts. The Russian cemetery is said to contain the bodies of one hundred thousand men who perished in the Crimean war; the French cemetery eighteen thousand. We had originally one hundred and thirty cemeteries. These ultimately were reduced to thirteen. Sebastopol still remains, in great measure, what the allied armies left it at the close of the war--a collection of demolished forts, abandoned barracks, and burnt houses--a very picture of desolation. A solemn service was being held in the principal church at the time of my arrival, October the 17th, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the day on which the bombardment began."
The Russian authorities at Sebastopol shewed me great kindness and courtesy; Captain Balck, of the Imperial Navy, entertained me at dinner; Admiral Popojff took me in his steam launch across the magnificent harbour to see the Russian cemetery and the noble church overlooking it, which they have built to the memory of their dead. The scenes of battle are, in all cases, marked by obelisks or monuments, which are very carefully preserved by the Russian authorities. Near the obelisk which commemorates the [22/23] Balakclava charge, I picked some wild flowers. On the monument erected at Inkermann I read inscribed in three languages the words, "In memory of the English, French, and Russians who fell at Inkermann."
From Sebastopol I took a lovely drive of sixty miles, through a country not unlike the Riviera in its beautiful scenery, and its genial climate, to Bidar, Alupka, Livadia, where the Emperor of Russia was then staying, and Yalta.
After this visit to the Crimea I returned to Odessa, and thence travelled by rail to Galatz. At the Russian frontier, Ungheni, which I reached after a cold night's journey, I found that the train which I was told would be in correspondence was not to start till night, and therefore I had to travel across country, deep in mud from recent rain, in a rude vehicle, drawn by four horses abreast, to Jassy, where, after a five hours' journey, I arrived just too late for the train which I hoped to catch. The following evening I reached Galatz, where I was hospitably entertained by the British Consul, Mr. Percy Sanderson, with whom I had consultations respecting the establishment of a separate chaplaincy for the Danube. In the absence of a Chaplain, the prayers of our Church are read, on Sundays, by the British Consul, at the Consulate. This practice, I am glad to find, is habitual with several of her Majesty's Consuls. Independently of the religious benefit conferred, it brings the English residents together, makes them known to one another, and promotes feelings of brotherly kindness and fellowship.
From Galatz I travelled in the steam launch of the Danube Commissioners to Sulina, at the mouth of the river, where I spent a day at the Commissioners' [23/24] Palace. The day being Sunday, I held service in the English church; the lessons were read by Mr. Bigg Wither, whom some time ago I appointed to the office of Lay Reader, and who, when there is no Chaplain present, reads such parts of the service as a layman may read every Sunday morning in this Church.
From Sulina I proceeded by steamer to Kustendji, where I landed for the purpose of visiting the English cemetery overlooking the sea, which had been much injured during the recent war. It formed part of the earthworks raised by the Turks, and afterwards occupied by the Russians. Though the graves were unhurt, the monumental stones had been removed; these I have since learnt are now replaced, and the cemetery is restored to good order, through the kindness of an English gentleman who lives near, and keeps a watchful eye upon our English graves.
On my return to the steamer, I found that a large flock of sheep had been taken on board, together with a crowd of Turkish families, who were leaving their country on its being transferred by the Treaty of Berlin from Turkish to Roumanian hands. We had a tempestuous voyage of twenty-four hours to Constantinople, during which the unfortunate refugees must have suffered terribly, as they had to stay on deck, exposed to the cold wind and drenching rain.
The first week of my visit I was the guest of her Majesty's Ambassador at Therapia, and on the Sunday I performed Divine Service, with the assistance of the Chaplain to the Embassy, for a congregation of ninety persons, in the room used as a chapel at this summer residence of the Ambassador. On the day of my arrival at Constantinople, I paid a visit to the Oecumenical Patriarch, and to the Patriarch of [24/25] Jerusalem. An account of my interview with the Oecumenical Patriarch appears in the current number of the "Foreign Church Chronicle and Review." May I venture to suggest that you should support this periodical by having it sent to you, and by contributing articles from time to time. Some of you, I am glad to find, have already written in its pages. The periodical contains information which you would find interesting respecting our own Church and other Churches on the Continent. The account is here transcribed:--
"The day was wet, and the road was rough, when the Bishop, accompanied by several of the English clergy then at Constantinople, and by a Greek who, though a layman, is a Doctor of Divinity, paid his visit to the Oecumenical Patriarch, in November last. It was an occasion of unusual interest, for the Patriarch had been enthroned but lately: in former spheres he had won the respect of all nationalities, and was known to possess great administrative talent, and to contemplate comprehensive plans of reform.
"Outward signs of renovation were noticed at his very door: it was not now, as under the old régime, into the fore-court of the great church, up that steep flight of steps, and along those creaking floors of what--only in irony--could be called a palace, that the party was ushered. The wand of transformation had changed the scene. They passed before that central gate of evil memory, into the patriarchal garden, to which flowers gave colour and brightness; and entering a hall of oriental fashion, were led up the low gallery that, set midway against the wall, faced the front door, to a suite of lofty rooms, peopled with dark-robed ecclesiastics, into the presence-chamber of the Chief Pastor of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
"This room was handsomely, not extravagantly furnished; and at the upper end three pictures, in the Byzantine style, but of good design and rich in colour, and the archiepiscopal double cross, overhung the chair of office. All was [25/26] in becoming contrast with what one of the visitors remembered of an archiepiscopal palace, in the reception-room of which he heard the rats playing under the divan on which reposed the Head of the Province.
"After the preliminary commonplaces, the conversation was opened by the Patriarch, who told the Bishop of his former pleasure, when he was Bishop of Varna, in meeting his lordship's predecessor. He had been visited at Varna by the lamented Bishop Harris. Then Bishop Sandford, alluding to his intended excursion into Bulgaria, expressed the pain with which he had observed the differences that separated the Greek and Bulgarian Christians. As an Englishman he felt, of course, great sympathy with all who were desirous of enjoying lawful liberty, but the divisions of Christians were always a scandal; unbelievers pointed to these divisions as furnishing ground for deriding that holy religion which yielded, as they said, such bitter fruit. It was surely deplorable that another division should be added to those which had already severed the professed followers of Christ. The Patriarch, allowing this separation of the Bulgarians from the Greeks to be a lamentable event, was forced to regard it as inevitable. No remedy could be effectual unless the root and origin of the difference were removed. And what was the origin of this difference? The question had a political aspect, and unless the policy which gave rise to this movement were renounced, reunion would be impossible. The Bishop spoke of the mischief produced by the tendency, so general in the East, of regarding religious questions from a political point of view.
"The Bishop then alluded to the Old Catholic movement; he said that, passing on his way eastward, he had visited the veteran leader of the party, Dr. Döllinger. The Doctor remarked to him that no answer had been returned from Constantinople to the letters sent to the Holy Synod by the Committee appointed at Bonn to conduct correspondence with the Greek Orthodox Church. The Patriarch answered that a Committee had been formed at Constantinople, and [26/27] instructed to consider the proposals made by the Old Catholics. This Committee had arrived at the conclusion that the communications made by the Old Catholics called for no reply. His Holiness observed, moreover, that the Old Catholics hardly as yet formed a distinct community which could be recognized: they were unlike the great English Church, which held a definite and recognized status. On the Patriarch speaking of the Anglican Church as including many Protestant bodies, occasion was taken to assure the Patriarch that 'Anglican' was not a term convertible with 'Protestant,' and that the Church of England laid no claim to the dignity and responsibilities of being head of all Protestant congregations. The Bishop cited certain acts of intercommunion between members of the Orthodox and of the Anglican Church. He had himself been invited in Corsica to visit a Russian officer, and to hold the Burial Service when he died; and on their side, the authorities of the Eastern Church had sanctioned the like service in the case of English Christians. 'From necessity,' the Patriarch replied. 'Still this was an act of charity,' it was rejoined. 'Rather of necessity than of charity,' answered the Patriarch. 'Whatever I did,' said the Bishop, 'was altogether for charity's sake, and in no wise of necessity.'
"It could but be remarked that the Patriarch seemed to guard himself against even the semblance of concession, and to entrench his position within a barricade of conventional phrases and stately adjectives. He spoke warily, and seemed to be weighing the import of what he should say, or leave unsaid, with the next breath. Even while no one of his attendants was in the room, he appeared to be exercising a politic caution, lest the three pictures which had their six eyes upon him had the power of publishing one incautious word. During the interview, the Bishop dwelt upon the importance of providing a good system of education for the clergy: he was glad to be told that his Holiness was taking measures in this direction: the clergy should be guides to their flocks, qualified to cope with the scepticism of the day, and to foster the spiritual and mental [27/28] life of the people. The Bishop said that he was much pleased with the manifesto, issued by the Patriarch on his elevation to the Patriarchate, on reforms needed by the Church.
"At the close of the interview, the Bishop expressed an earnest hope that the Patriarch would be enabled to recover his stray sheep of Bulgarian race; and the Patriarch thanked the Bishop, and assured him of his hearty wish for a blessing on his charge. With mutual evidences of brotherhood and good-will they parted, but not before the Bishop had alluded to the difficulties of the road by which he had reached the Patriarchal Palace, as sadly symbolizing the obstacles that lay in the way of Christian reunion."
After this interview I presided at a meeting held in the cloisters of the Memorial Church, to consider the best mode of promoting Christian work amongst British seamen in the ports of the Bosphorus, the Danube, and the Black Sea. The Rev. J. O. Bagdon had been very actively engaged in ministering to these British sailors; lately he has been endeavouring to raise funds in England for an extension of this work from the great shipping firms trading to those ports.
The following Sunday, November 16th, I administered the rite of Confirmation in Christ Church, usually called the Memorial Church. The candidates were ninety-one in number; two were Americans, two Swiss, five Jewish converts, and one a Turkish girl, the daughter of Christian converts. The title of Honorary Canon of Gibraltar has been conferred by me on the Rev. C. C. Curtis, in recognition of his long ministrations as Chaplain of the Memorial Church, and of the great services which he has rendered in promoting friendly relations between ourselves and our Eastern brethren, and in making [28/29] his countrymen at home better acquainted with the history and present position of the Oriental Church. After the Confirmation I visited the English Hospital and the Sailors' Home, which had just been erected to the memory of Sir Philip Francis, and was opened a few days after my departure from Constantinople. In the afternoon I preached at the chapel of the British Embassy at Pera. This chapel has been greatly improved since my last visit, through the exertions of Lady Layard, and the recently-appointed Chaplain, Mr. Washington.
At an early hour next morning, in pouring rain, I started with Mr. Washington for Philippopolis. As the train went no further than Adrianople, we stopped there for the night, at the house of Mr. Black, the Manager of the Ottoman Bank, who entertained us hospitably. Before dawn, next morning, we were again in the train, and reached the picturesque capital of Eastern Roumelia on the afternoon of November the 18th. A recent fall of snow sprinkling the mountains and plains between the Balkans and the Rhodope range added beauty to a scene which appeared to need only a good Government to render it an earthly paradise. The Archimandrite Cyril, deputed by the Exarch (the head of the Bulgarian Church) to welcome me to the capital, met me at the station. The Exarch had also sent his carriage, and two Deputies of the Assembly were present to express the good wishes of their body on the occasion. Early next morning the Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church, Mgr. Neophil, called on me, to welcome me on my first visit to Philippopolis on the part of the members of the [29/30] communion which the Archbishop represented. In the course of the day I paid a visit to the acting Governor-General, M. Cristovitch, being introduced by H. B. M. Consul-General at Philippopolis, at whose house I was a guest. Having been invited to be present at the Session of the Assembly of Deputies, I drove to the Hall of Meeting, where a scene of striking interest presented itself. On the presidential chair was M. Gueschoff, and near him his cousin, both of whose lives had been spared during the times of trouble at the intercession of Lord Derby. In the front row were sitting in their special costumes, and side by side, the Jewish Rabbi, the Turkish Mufti, the Armenian chief ecclesiastic, the Roman Catholic Archbishop, the Greek Archbishop, and the Bulgarian Metropolitan. The Bulgarian Protestants were also represented by their chief pastor. One of the Questors, or Tellers, of the Assembly, was a dervish. The subject under discussion was one affecting the Budget of the year. The language spoken was Bulgarian (though there is right of use for Greek and Turkish), and the speeches were short, and seemed to the point.
In the afternoon of the same day I paid a visit to the Exarch of the Bulgarian Church, at his residence in the town. The usual courtesies having been exchanged, I expressed my pleasure at the opportunity of making acquaintance with his Beatitude, adding that all Englishmen, as lovers of liberty and good order, had watched with interest the efforts that had been made by the Bulgarians to secure their present administrative autonomy. The Exarch thanked me for my congratulations and sympathy. In the course of conversation, allusion was made to the [30/31] differences existing between the Orthodox and Bulgarian Churches, which I hoped might soon be healed. In an age when divisions were so many amongst Christians, it was a matter of regret that another should be added to the number. The Exarch assured me that the differences were not on points of doctrine or ritual, but turned upon questions of jurisdiction over certain dioceses in Macedonia; in reality, they were national and political rather than ecclesiastical. It appeared that the Bulgarian Bishops were ready to acknowledge the Patriarch of Constantinople, not only as primus inter pares but as their superior. Turning to another subject, I remarked that England's sympathy had been damped by stories which had been circulated in Europe with regard to Bulgarian behaviour towards Turkish fellow-countrymen in the province. We of course remembered the terrible provocation which had been given during the long years past, and were glad to learn that his Beatitude had been endeavouring to cause Bulgarian and Turk to lay aside all vindictive feelings, and to live side by side in amity and good-will. The Exarch, in reply, said that exaggerated reports had been circulated for political objects, although doubtless many things had been done which no one could justify. He grieved over the evils which had taken place, but now trusted, since hot blood was cooling, that such acts would entirely cease. He believed Europe would soon see, from their moderation and justice, that Bulgarians were worthy of the confidence of England and those other nations who had interested themselves in bringing about their freedom. Remembering that many Bulgarians, and amongst others several Deputies, had received their education at Robert College, at [31/32] Constantinople, I suggested that help might possibly be obtained in England to enable Bulgarian boys to be educated in our country, if such a plan were approved by the Exarch and his clergy. During a conversation on the importance of education both for clergy and their flocks, I was told that the Bulgarians were anxious to have their children well educated, schools for primary instruction having been in existence in most villages for some time, and that the Exarch was giving his attention to the establishment of seminaries for the clergy. The Exarch agreed with me in considering that the clergy especially should be well educated, and qualified to instruct the people by public preaching and catechising. For when they were not so qualified, religion degenerated into a mere observance of outward forms, losing all its spiritual life, and its power of influencing the heart and conduct. It was suggested by me that it might be well to send some of their young theological students to one of the English Universities, or to St. Augustine's College at Canterbury. In conclusion, I thanked the Exarch for his cordial reception, and expressed my hearty desire that mutual good feeling between the Church of the Bulgarians and the Church of England might be promoted. His Beatitude replied that it was his sincerest wish that his people should win the good-will of the great English Church and nation.
Besides paying visits to the Bulgarian Metropolitan and Greek Archbishop, I went to see several families of Turkish refugees. These I found in a deplorable condition. Her Majesty's Consul was making every effort to relieve their wants, until measures should be taken by the authorities for restoring them to their [32/33] former homes. At the British Consulate, in the evening, I had the pleasure of meeting the principal residents of Philippopolis. On the following day the Exarch returned my visit, and entertained me, with my Chaplain, and her Majesty's Consul-General, at dinner. By early dawn the next morning, the Exarch, the Metropolitan, the Greek Archbishop, and several others, together with her Majesty's Consul-General, were at the station to give a last proof of their brotherly goodwill in wishing me 'Bon voyage.'
On Saturday evening, after two days' journey, having again stopped at Adrianople for the night, we arrived at Constantinople. Early next morning we crossed the Bosphorus to Kadikeui, the ancient Chalcedon, where, since my former visit, the English residents have erected a comely church. There we performed Divine Service for a congregation of about ninety persons. After service we visited the English cemetery at Scutari, which is admirably kept. In illustration of the insecurity at present existing under Turkish rule, I may state that during the whole night a policeman was patrolling round the house of my host, Mr. Barker, and a troop of Turkish soldiers was stationed close at hand, for the protection of the English colony. Next day I received visits at the British Embassy from the Archbishop of Imbros and the Protosyngellus, representing the Oecumenical Patriarch, and from the Archbishop of Philadelphia (in Palestine), representing the aged Patriarch of Jerusalem. In the afternoon I went in a caique to Haskeui, to see the school for Jewish children, conducted by the Rev. C, S. Newman, and the Home for Orphan Girls, [33/34] which Mrs. Newman has established. At this Home we saw some Bulgarian girls who had been rescued from the massacre at Batak. There is at Pera another school for Jewish children, in the hands of a Presbyterian minister, and an excellent German Hospital, both of which I visited, the latter under the escort of the German Pastor.
The Church Missionary Society, having already withdrawn its mission from Smyrna and Syra, had given notice to Dr. Kölle, who represents the Society at Constantinople, that his engagement also would shortly cease, the work of converting the Turks to Christianity having apparently made no progress. At his request I wrote to the Society, suggesting that, in the present crisis, it was hardly advisable to take this step. Dr. Kolle also consulted me respecting the trouble in which he found himself involved with the Turkish authorities, who had deprived him of some of his manuscripts, and had imprisoned a Turkish ecclesiastic, who had been helping him by revising a translation he was making into Turkish of the English Prayer-book. This event, which has since engaged the attention of Europe and has passed into history, is proof that the Ottoman Government, though it may allow liberty of conscience to its Christian and Jewish subjects, refuses it to Mahometans.
Perhaps the most interesting and affecting event of my visit to Constantinople was the intercourse I had with the Armenian Patriarch, who seemed crushed and almost broken-hearted by the sufferings of his people. The following report of the interview appeared in the "Foreign Church Chronicle and Review" of June last:--
 "The Bishop of Gibraltar, accompanied by the Rev. Canon Curtis, and the Rev. George Washington, paid a visit, on November 25, to his Holiness the Armenian Patriarch Nerses, at Stamboul. On arriving at the Patriarch's residence, the party were received and ushered into his Holiness's presence with special ceremony, passing through a double line of attendants. The Patriarch, accompanied by the Armenian Bishop of Jerusalem, welcomed his Lordship, on this his second visit, with marked cordiality. After the usual interchange of courtesies, the Patriarch took occasion to say, that the sympathy of the English Church was a special support to him in these troublous days. He warmly thanked the Bishop for the kind words which he had spoken at a public meeting, held in London, in July of last year. His former visit, in 1875, he regarded as that of an ange divin (to quote the actual words used), and he hoped that this second one would be the harbinger of brighter days. His Holiness then placed in the Bishop's hands a copy of the letter which he had written to the Archbishop of Canterbury, on receiving the address of the hundred Bishops of the Anglican Communion, assembled at Lambeth, in 1878. The Patriarch took advantage of the occasion to reiterate the assurance that the Church of the Armenians based all its authority and teaching on the Bible. In former days, one of the exercises of every Armenian monk was to copy the Scriptures out from beginning to end. The teaching of their clergy was grounded on these alone. Three times during the year the Bible was publicly read through in their churches. The Patriarch referred to the work done by American missionaries among his people: while he expressed gratitude to them for the services which they had rendered in the cause of education, he deprecated proselytizing as disintegrating both Churches and nations. The Bishop stated that such were the principles of the Church of England: 'We hold that if a Church needs reform, it should come from within, and not from without. When [35/36] we are consulted by individuals, we abstain from detaching them from the Church in which they were baptized. While we are ready to advise, we urge such persons to remain within the fold of the Church, to be centres of light, if light be needed.' The Bishop congratulated his Holiness on the recent return of many Armenians to their Church. This event was evidently a source of great satisfaction to the Patriarch, especially as those thus returning were men of cultivation and enlightenment. The Bishop gathered that it would be a cause of much satisfaction, could arrangements be made for the education, of some of their youth at Oxford or Cambridge, though already many among the wealthy Armenians sent their children to England for education. The solidity of the mental and moral teaching in England, in comparison with that afforded by other countries, was specially commended by his Holiness. Reference being made to the importance of some methodical manner of giving access to certain Armenian MSS., the Patriarch expressed his willingness to aid in any such effort. Returning again to all that his countrymen had suffered, he laid great stress on the comfort which England's sympathy afforded. He placed in the Bishop's hands a short pamphlet, drawn up by himself, and giving statements of some of the terrible evils which his people were compelled to endure at the hands of Kurds, hill-robbers, Turkish soldiers, government officials, and brigands. He made his Lordship understand that England's assistance, and the co-operation of the combined Powers, would be necessary ere any alleviation could be procured. With many expressions of good-will the Bishop and his party then withdrew. The Armenian Patriarch returned the Bishop of Gibraltar's visit on the following day. He brought with him, to introduce to the Bishop, the Rev. P. Ormanian, who lately, with sixty-five other Armenians, had yielded his adhesion to the Armenian Church. The Patriarch presented him as one who could work, together with any others whom the Bishop might [36/37] appoint, in aiding the development of a better knowledge of Armenian Church literature in England. This literature is very rich in ancient monasteries, in spite of the dispersion, through pillage, of many of their literary treasures. At his suggestion his Lordship named the Rev. Canon Curtis, and the Rev. George Washington, Chaplain to the Embassy, to represent him in this matter at Constantinople. In the course of conversation, the Patriarch reiterated his assertion that he considered the Bishop's visit as an angelic mission, and that he came at a time the most opportune, when the sorrows of the Armenians were greater than they had ever been before. He trusted to his Lordship to represent the case at home. The Bishop in replying said, that he was only one among many bishops, and that he had no political influence; but that he would do what he could to bring the sufferings of the Armenians home to the convictions of bishops and other friends in England. But his Holiness must understand that many ecclesiastics, strongly as they might sympathize with the sufferings of Christians in the East, were nevertheless prevented from shewing that sympathy by reluctance to interfere in political questions. He hoped heartily that England would continue to support the cause of the Armenian Christians in Asia Minor, though there were persons who thought that we had undertaken a responsibility which even our shoulders might not be able to bear. The tract of country was vast, roads there were none, the forests were dense, travelling was dangerous, whilst brigands were everywhere abroad; the rivers were bridgeless, and locomotion was difficult. Still, having put our hand to the plough, he trusted we might not look back. His Holiness replied that the difficulties were not insurmountable. What was really wanted was a mixed commission. Two words embodied the measures necessary, Secularization and Decentralization. When asked to define the former, his Holiness explained it as meaning the removal of the incubus of the Sheriat Mahommedan Divine law, [37/38] so called. Under the pressure of this law, the testimony of a Christian is not received in court as evidence, a Christian as such being regarded as incapable of truth. The Bishop then said that he thought that measures had been adopted at Berlin to remove this evil. 'In no one point,' his Holiness answered, 'had the remedies there adopted been applied. A thousand times have I brought these evils to the notice of the Government, and a thousand times has a deaf ear been turned to my supplications. Again and again have I resigned the Patriarchal throne on my prayer being rejected, but neither the Government nor our people would suffer me to retire.' The Bishop asked whether his Holiness did not fear that if, in compliance with his wish, these sentiments were made known, he would incur personal danger. Like a brave, patient Christian, as he has repeatedly shewn himself during these perilous times, he replied emphatically 'Je ne crains que Dieu.' The two prelates agreed that, provided Churches accepted the Creed of Nicea, though there could and need be no fusion, the acceptance of that creed would unite them. National Churches should be independent, differing possibly in many rites and ceremonies, yet acknowledging each other as sister Churches. His Holiness pointed with deep admiration to a passage in the letter of the hundred Bishops assembled at Lambeth, in which this principle was set forth. In concluding his visit, the Patriarch once more expressed his good-will, and dwelt on the fact that Armenia looked to England as the one and only power which could see her rights as a Church and people respected, and relieve them from an agony which had lasted for ages."
The day after that interview I left Constantinople in the Austrian Lloyd steamer. Having stopped for an hour or two at Tenedos and Mitylene, I reached Smyrna after a calm but rainy passage of two nights and a day. Shortly after landing, I paid [38/39] a visit to a Reading-room which a zealous and self-denying English lady had just opened on the Quay. The object of this enterprise is to offer a refuge to those who frequent this busy port, where they can find a room supplied with Bibles in different languages, and also with newspapers and other literature, and can obtain tea and coffee at moderate prices. When the room was first opened, the neighbours, thinking their trade might be in danger, broke the windows; but on discovering that the kind English lady had come simply to work for their good, they ceased to cause annoyance. On entering, I found her at her post, and some sailors and others busily reading. A like scene I witnessed when I paid the room a second visit a few evenings later, just before I entered my boat to join the Italian steamer by which I took my departure. Hanging on the walls were texts from the Bible, and the Nicene Creed in Greek, without the disputed clause. The Spirit of our Lord and Saviour, I felt, had not ceased to stir English hearts, if a lady could bravely leave home, and all home's comforts, with no attendant but a faithful Scottish matron, for the self-denying purpose of working among rude Greeks, Turks, and Jews, in a bustling port of a far-distant land.
The day after my arrival at Smyrna being Sunday, I officiated at an early Service, consisting of Morning Prayer and the Holy Communion, in the English church of Bournabat, a lovely spot, seven miles from Smyrna, where, in the midst of gardens and orange groves, are the villas of some English merchants. The same morning I held a second Service, consisting [39/40] of Morning Prayer, a Sermon, and the Holy Communion, in the chapel attached to H.M. Consulate. Two days afterwards I confirmed in this chapel forty-five candidates, presented to me by the Rev. James D'Ombrain, who, to the great regret of myself and of all members of his flock, whose esteem and affection he has won by his zealous services, has just resigned the Chaplaincy for work in England; having a large family of children, he felt it his duty to return home for their education. According to my custom, I visited the Greek and Armenian Archbishops, Mgr. Paissios, and Mgr. Melchissedek, who received me with great cordiality. At my interview with the former a large number of priests and laymen were present. Here, also, the chief Rabbi of the Israelitish community, an old man of picturesque and noble aspect, called on me to express the gratitude felt by himself and his people for aid and shelter lately rendered to them by members of the Church which I represent, during a time of persecution. There is a thriving educational establishment at Smyrna, conducted by Sister Minne Grosse and other German Deaconesses from Kaiserswerth, where some English girls are receiving their education; on my last visit to Asia Minor, some of the Deaconesses and their pupils accompanied me and the Consular Chaplain on an expedition to the ruins of Ephesus. During the four busy yet pleasant days which I spent at Bournabat, I was hospitably entertained by Mr. Paterson, who, with Mr. Whittall, of Bournabat, may be reckoned amongst the staunchest supporters of our Church in the East. At their villas, and at the residence of Mr. Dennis, Her Majesty's Consul at [40/41] Smyrna, I had the pleasure of meeting the principal members of the English colony.
My next halting-place was Athens, at which I arrived after a bright and pleasant voyage of twenty hours through the picturesque islands of the Archipelago. A boat from H.M.S. "Coquette," stationed at the Piraeus, took me ashore at daybreak on December 6th. During my stay at Athens, which extended over Christmas, I had an interview with the King of the Hellenes, and a friendly visit from the Archbishop of Athens, Procopius, Metropolitan and President of the Synod; as also from two of the Professors of the University, Rhossis and Damalas, whose acquaintance I had made at the Conference of Bonn five years ago, and under whose escort I visited the University and the Theological Seminary. The Archbishop spoke in most friendly terms of our English Church, and expressed a strong desire for "unity" between the two Communions. He told me that the resolutions of the Committee appointed at Bonn had been considered by a Committee of the Greek Synod. One Sunday during my stay in Greece I spent at Aegina, on a visit to an English Clergyman living there. At a Service, attended by the sailors from H.M.S. "Coquette," which took me to the island and back, two Greek priests were present, and, at the request of my host, read the Second Lesson and the Gospel. On the other Sundays and on Christmas Day I officiated, of course, in the English Church at Athens, where I also held a Confirmation; there were twenty-six communicants on Christmas Day. My stay at Athens was prolonged by snowy and stormy weather; the English colony there, and at the Piraeus, is small, and [41/42] mostly consists of English governesses, the more wealthy Greeks being anxious that their children should learn our language. The Chaplain to H.M. Legation invited these ladies to meet me one Sunday afternoon. The large and efficient schools for educating Greek girls, which Dr. and Mrs. Hill have conducted for so many years, are still prospering, though Dr. Hill is now too advanced in years to take any active part in the work: these schools have been an inestimable boon to the Greek people. As no attempt is made to alienate the pupils from the Church of their baptism, they have the hearty approval of the Archbishop, and other authorities of the Greek Church.
At midnight, on the last day of the year, I left the Piraeus in a Greek steamer, and the last sounds I heard as I left the harbour were English voices from H.M.S. "Coquette," bidding farewell to the old year, and giving vigorous welcome to the new. At dawn I drove from Kalamaki, across the Isthmus of Corinth. The historical pines shone brightly against the rising sun of the year's first morning; as we steamed down the gulf from Lutrald with a fresh breeze, the snow-covered heights of distant mountains appeared in clear and rosy outline on either side.
On arriving at Patras I was met by the Chaplain and the Treasurer of our English Church, and escorted by them to the Consulate, where I was kindly entertained during my stay of five days. On Sunday I confirmed two candidates, one from Patras, the other from Zante. The little English colony at Zante has just sustained a great loss by the death, in his eighty-eighth year, of Mr. Barff, an eminent merchant and [42/43] banker, who had spent most of his life on the island, and in younger days was a friend of Byron, on whose efforts in the cause of Greek independence he loved to dwell. The concourse at his funeral was a striking proof of the estimation in which he was held; all Zante was there; and after the Service, which was performed by the English Chaplain, three addresses in Greek were delivered over his grave, one of them by an Archimandrite of the Greek Church. As the English community at Zante has greatly decreased in numbers of late years, I have thought it desirable to unite the Chaplaincy to that of Patras. The Chaplain will make Patras his headquarters, and from time to time visit the neighbouring island. A fair measure of success has attended his labours among British seamen, who visit these parts in great numbers during the early autumn, when the currant crop is ready for exportation. We have lately lost the faithful services of the Rev. Neville Lawrence, who has resigned the Chaplaincy at Patras for one at Fribourg.
An Austrian steamer took me from Patras to Corfu, where, immediately upon my arrival, I confirmed twelve candidates, presented to me by the Consular Chaplain. From the careful report of his ministerial work which the Chaplain presents to me each year, I find that this beautiful island is still a favourite winter resort of the English, and that the church is well attended by sailors from English yachts and from Her Majesty's ships, as well as by the members of some forty English families who make Corfu their home. Sir Charles Sebright (Baron D'Everton), who has zealously filled the office of Her Majesty's [43/44] Consul at Corfu for many years, had lately resigned, but was still residing on the island. He has always been a judicious and loving supporter of our Church, and has often given me valuable help by his counsels.
My next resting-place was Naples. As I crossed the Adriatic to Brindisi, I felt, as members of our branch of the Church must often feel in passing from Eastern to Western Christendom, that I was quitting a land of Christian brotherhood, for a land in which I must not look for any such recognition, but, so far as the Church of the country is concerned, must expect to be regarded as an alien and an intruder. At Naples I spent six pleasant and quiet days, as the guest of an English friend, at Capo di Monte. Besides preaching on Sunday in our English Church, during my stay I confirmed eight young persons, and presided at the annual Church meeting. At Palermo, which I visited next, I held a Confirmation, as also at Messina. At Messina there were twelve, and at Palermo three candidates. The Chaplain at Messina, who is a Sicilian by birth, and was once a Roman Priest, but afterwards worked in India under Bishop Cotton as a Missionary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, holds evening Services for his countrymen, who attend in large numbers. He tells me that he never advises his countrymen to leave their own communion, as his object is not to form a Church within a Church, but simply to draw them from idolatrous practices to a purer faith, and a more spiritual worship. He is aware that in these labours he is acting on his own responsibility, [44/45] the sanction which I have given to his ministrations covering only such duties as he performs in his capacity of Chaplain, appointed by the Colonial and Continental Church Society, to the few British residents at Messina.
A storm detained me for a fortnight at Catania, no Italian vessel venturing to face the gregala or "euroaquilo," which, as when it wrecked St. Paul on the shores of Malta, blew for fourteen days.
During the three weeks I spent at Malta, I held a confirmation in our Cathedral. The attendance at the Services in this church, I am glad to find, are greatly improved, especially at the Service in the evening, when many soldiers are usually present. The Chaplains, civil, naval, and military, together with Bishop Courtenay, who was spending the winter on the island, met me on one occasion at Sliema, in the parsonage bequeathed by Bishop Trower to the see, to discuss certain matters affecting our common work. The authorities of Malta had been considering the best way of remedying the evils, to which I drew your attention last year, caused by the excessive number of licensed drinking-shops in the island, but no active measures had as yet been taken.
From Malta I went in a steamer of the Peninsular and Oriental Company to Gibraltar, where I held two Confirmations; one in the Cathedral for civilians, one in the "King's Chapel" for the military. It was at the expressed desire of the Chaplains that I departed from my usual practice of confirming military and civilians together. The Rev. J. C. Edghill has been obliged by ill-health to leave his post as Chaplain to Her Majesty's Forces; he had so won his way [45/46] to the hearts of the men by his earnest and forcible preaching, as well as by his unwearied labours to promote their good, that his departure is much lamented. Before I left Gibraltar I presided at a meeting of the residents, civil, naval, and military, belonging to the Church of England, to consider the present anomalous position of our Church in this colony. Our connection with the State was dissolved by the revocation of Letters Patent on my appointment to the Bishopric seven years ago. Several attempts have since been made to obtain a restoration of the Church to its original position; but as these have failed, we are anxious either to have a constitution given us by the authorities at home, or to be left free to frame one for ourselves. The meeting was attended by all the influential members of the English community, and resolutions embodying the principles on which it seemed desirable that such a constitution should be based were carried unanimously. After the meeting, a copy of the resolutions was presented to His Excellency the Governor, with a request that he would be pleased to forward the same to Her Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies. Since my departure great improvements have been made, mainly through the zeal of the new Chaplain, in the Cathedral. The chancel has been raised, and choir-seats erected in front of the Canons' stalls; the organ has been removed from the high gallery which it occupied at the west end to the north aisle, and other changes made, such as to render this church more worthy of its name and rank as the Cathedral of the diocese. A Bazaar, which the Governor, Lord Napier of [46/47] Magdala, kindly opened with a few words of goodwill, was held during my stay, to help in defraying the cost of these improvements, which all who know that grotesque edifice, must feel to have been greatly needed. If these are not successful in destroying the echo, which has hitherto bafl3.ed the efforts of Governors, Bishops, and Colonels of the Royal Engineers, who, ever since the building was first erected, have tried to remedy this defect, by shifting the pulpit, by erecting sounding-boards, by hanging wires and flags, by filling every vacant corner with soldiers, nothing remains but the hope, that some munificent person may one day follow the example of Queen Adelaide, who built a cathedral for us at Malta, and give a second cathedral to the sister Crown Colony of Gibraltar. The spectacle of a regiment of soldiers seated in a distant part of the Cathedral, not one of whom can hear a word that comes from the preacher's lips, is hardly calculated to elevate his spirit, cheer his heart, or fire his eloquence. If a new cathedral should be ever built, attached to it should be a house for the Chaplain, who might bear the title of Dean; and in this Deanery rooms might be reserved for the Bishop, who, at present, like the Chaplain, has no house, and cannot even find suitable lodgings. During my last, as on previous visits, I was hospitably received by His Excellency the Governor.
With great sorrow I hear that Dr. Scandella, a Vicar Apostolic of the Roman Church, who exercised Episcopal functions for Roman Catholics at Gibraltar, has lately died. Though belonging to a Communion which isolates itself from other branches [47/48] of the Church of Christ, he gave me a cordial welcome on my first visit, as on all my subsequent visits. He had a kindly heart, and though not backward in promoting the interests and raising the position of his own Church in the colony, he shewed himself liberal and tolerant in his views, sympathies, and acts. The civil Chaplain of our Church paid a well-deserved tribute to his merits by attending the funeral. If I had been at Gibraltar, I should have asked to be allowed the privilege of shewing the same mark of respect to the deceased Bishop.
At Gibraltar, I received the sad tidings that the Rev. E. Lovegrove, who had laboured faithfully among British sailors, and other members of our community at Barcelona, had been taken to his rest. From Gibraltar I visited Algiers and Malaga, in both which places I held Confirmations. At Malaga we lose the valuable services of the Rev. T. J. Scott, who is much beloved by the English colony there. At Algiers I spent the Easter season, at the pretty villa of one of the main supporters of the Church on that sunny shore. As the number of English visitors at Algiers has greatly increased, and our church last season was full to overflowing, a second church will probably soon be needed, at Mustapha Superieur, where most of the English villas are situated.
A small Spanish boat took me from Gibraltar to Cadiz, which, after a stormy and uncomfortable passage, I reached just in time to catch an English steamer bound for Lisbon. Here I confirmed forty-two candidates, presented to me by the Rev. T. G. Pope, who was my host during this, as during previous visits. At Oporto, which I visited next, and [48/49] where an English merchant had hospitably placed his house at my disposal, I confirmed twenty candidates. There were seventy-five communicants at the morning service on Whitsunday. On one afternoon during my stay I had the pleasure of meeting the English community at the Factory-house, where they assembled at the Chaplain's invitation.
A journey by rail of two nights and a day, brought me to Madrid, where I spent Trinity Sunday. The morning Service was attended by a congregation of seventy persons: in the afternoon I confirmed seven English ladies. Since my last visit, the large room at the British Legation, which is used as a chapel, had been provided with suitable furniture, through the exertions of the Chaplain, the Rev. B. S. Dawson. He, too, has just resigned his Chaplaincy for a benefice in England: he has been an active, judicious, and popular Chaplain. The British cemetery at Madrid, which I visited, is kept in excellent order through the watchful kindness of an English officer, who for many years has made this duty his especial care, and has been accustomed to read the Burial Service over the remains of any British residents who might die during vacancies in the Chaplaincy.
The last English community which I visited in my tour, was at Bilbao, where I spent three days as the guest of the recently-appointed Chaplain. On Sunday, May 31st, Services were held in the morning at Portugalete, near the mouth of the river Nervion, in the neat little wooden church which Sir John Brown, the Chairman of the Bilbao Iron Ore Company, has liberally provided for the English engaged in this business, and for the sailors, of [49/50] whom, at the lowest computation, 10,000 annually visit the port of Bilbao. The church was crowded; after Morning Prayer I confirmed seven girls and two boys. In the afternoon a Service, at which I preached, was held, in a hired room at Bilbao, eight miles distant from Portugalete. This Chaplaincy is aided by grants from the Colonial and Continental Church Society, the Missions to Seamen, and the Gibraltar Diocesan Spiritual Aid Fund. Occasional Services are held by the Chaplain in one or other of the ships in the river. A Committee is raising funds to provide the English seamen with an Institute, at Luchana, half-way between Bilbao and the mouth of the river, and a principal loading-place of the ships.
My tour of visitation ended on the last day of May at Bilbao. Thence I travelled to Biarritz, where I spent a couple of days at the house of the newly-appointed Chaplain. Leaving Biarritz on June 3rd at 1 P.M., I arrived in London at 5.30 p.m. the next day.
Before bringing this letter to a close, I must give my hearty thanks to the Chaplains, Consuls, Ambassadors, and other friends, who have helped me on my way, by their kindness, their counsels, and their hospitality. But for such assistance, this long and interesting tour would have lost much of its brightness and its enjoyment, if indeed it could have been accomplished at all.
Next winter and spring I hope to hold Confirmations in Southern France and Italy. The Chaplains of British congregations in these countries would be doing me a kindness, if they would tell me the time when it would be most convenient to them and to their [50/51] flocks that I should hold these Confirmations. Letters addressed to me at Christ Church, Oxford, which is now my permanent address in England, will always be forwarded.
At the end of this Letter are printed two speeches which I delivered at the Church Congress held three weeks ago at Leicester. As the time allowed to each speaker is necessarily limited, I was obliged to curtail them in the delivery. My reason for inserting them in this Letter is that they state the principles on which, in my opinion, we should act in furthering schemes of reform in the Churches of the East, and in Churches belonging to the Roman Communion, respectively.
Believe me to be,
My dear Brethren,
Your sincere friend and brother,
C. W. GIBRALTAR.
SPEECH DELIVERED AT THE CHURCH CONGRESS AT LEICESTER, SEPT. 28, ON "THE CONDITION OF THE GREEK CHURCH AND OTHER CHURCHES OF THE EAST IN RELATION TO THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND."
ONE object for which the Bishopric of Gibraltar was established, as some of you may call to mind, was to promote mutual knowledge and friendly relations between the Church of England and the historical Churches of the East. This object my predecessors, and I following in their steps, have endeavoured to fulfil. But in spite of our efforts, many a cloud of ignorance, many a cloud of prejudice, many a cloud of misconception, arising from the deliberate and persistent misrepresentations of centuries, still remain to be rolled away. At Smyrna I find that men are popularly divided according to their religious opinions into three classes. Christians, Catholics, and Englishmen. Last November I had an interview with the Oecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, and from words which fell from his lips I gathered that even he supposed, or pretended to suppose, that the Church of England was called into existence at the time of the Reformation, and was the recognised head of all Protestant sects scattered over Christendom. Though I assured the Patriarch that the Church of England only washed her face at the Reformation, and that she could count almost as many grey hairs as her venerable and orthodox Sister of Constantinople, I am not sure that he was disabused of his error. Now if we are ever to be brought into more intimate relations with our Eastern brethren, the first step which we have to take is to remove these misapprehensions, and to shew by such communications as our Bishops and others may have with Eastern ecclesiastics, by the character of the churches which we build in Eastern lands, by the nature of [53/54] the services which we hold in those churches, by the doctrines which we preach, by the books which we circulate, by the lives which we are seen to lead, and, I must also add, by the judgment and discrimination which we exhibit in dealing with such members of the Eastern Church as may visit these shores, what really are the principles, faith, worship, and discipline of our Church when they are displayed in their true colours. In this work of refuting misrepresentations, and removing such suspicion and estrangement as misrepresentations have produced, no institution has rendered more signal service than the Anglo-Continental Society, and no individual has rendered more signal service than the zealous and learned Founder and Secretary of that Society, Prebendary Meyrick, as may be seen by any one who will read the correspondence which my friend has lately been conducting with certain distinguished members of the Eastern Church. Nothing could exceed the heartiness of the welcome which has uniformly been given me by Bishops, Archbishops, and Patriarchs of the Eastern Church, when I have visited such places as Bucharest, Odessa, Constantinople, Philippopolis, Smyrna, Athens, and Cyprus. Now what is the reason why I have been received with so much honour, and with such open arms? What is the reason why Eastern Prelates have attended Public Services which I have held? One reason is that I belong to a Church which is known to entertain very friendly feelings towards the Oriental Church, and which shews the reality of those friendly feelings by abstaining from all proselytising raids among her flocks. Often have I been thanked for adopting in this matter a different policy from that followed by the American missionaries. All praise is due to these American missionaries for their brave, persevering, self-denying efforts in promoting education, in relieving distress and suffering, in furthering the good cause of freedom and civilization. But their policy of inducing individuals to forsake the Church of their baptism and of their country, and then leaving them in the cold, forlorn, isolated position of Christians without a Church, I believe to be a most mistaken policy. Equally [54/55] mistaken I hold to be that policy which would plant in these Eastern lands a new Church, constructed on the model either of the Church of England, or of the Church of Rome, or of any other Church, actual or ideal. There are enough divisions already in the Church of Christ. If another is to be added, at any rate let ni3t the parentage of this fresh schism lie at our door. It is lamentable to reflect that not one of these ancient Churches but is at this moment suffering from schism. From documents revealing the inner life of these Churches, which I had the privilege of consulting when I was last at Constantinople, I learnt that the seeds of discord and schism are being sown in the Church of the Chaldean Christians at Mosul, in the Church of the Syrian Jacobites, in the Church of the Gregorian Armenians, in the Church of the Catholic Armenians, in the Church of the Bulgarians in the Province of Saloniki, in the Church of the Greek or Orthodox Christians of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Now what enemy is sowing this evil seed? What enemy is endeavouring, partly by intrigues conducted secretly at Embassies, partly by Missions sent directly to these Eastern Churches, to bring them under his yoke? The enemy is no other than that old, persistent, deadly foe to moral and spiritual liberty; that old, persistent, deadly foe to liberty in all its forms, to the liberty of individuals, to the liberty of Churches, to the liberty of nations; that old, persistent, deadly foe to liberty, who in the late war, which, whatever its sins, brought liberty to thousands upon thousands of oppressed Christians, scrupled not to give his sympathies and his prayers to the oppressor, and now scruples not to form an alliance with the same heathen oppressor; which oppressor, perceiving that the suppression of these free and troublesome Churches would relieve him of embarrassment, is only too glad to abet the Vatican in its policy of disintegrating and then absorbing these ancient and hitherto independent communities. This policy of disintegration, which the Church of Rome pursues, is surely not a policy which the Church of England is going to follow. Our policy should be the direct opposite. Our policy should be to foster all [55/56] healthy, independent, spontaneous growth,--to uphold the principle of national self-governed Churches; where we see disunion, we should promote union; where we see bondage, we should restore liberty; where we see individuals, congregations, Churches, detached from the system to which they rightly belong, we should seek to bring them back again. In any plan which we may entertain for helping these Churches, our first principle should be to do nothing that could interfere with their independence, their authority, their solidarity, their nationality. As we respect and value our own liberties, we should respect and value theirs. Otherwise we are sure to forfeit confidence and to provoke antagonism. So close is the bond that unites Church and nation in the thoughts of Armenians, Bulgarians, Greeks, that to weaken the Church is to weaken the nation, to disintegrate the Church is to disintegrate the nation, to uphold the unity and solidarity of the Church is to uphold the unity and solidarity of the nation. What, for example, makes a people like the Armenians love and venerate their Church? What but the knowledge that, scattered far and wide as they have been for centuries, living in many different lands amidst alien races and creeds, but for their Church they could never have preserved their separate national individuality, but would long ago have been absorbed? What makes Greeks at Athens staunch supporters of their Church? They may not be very regular in attending its services; they may not be very orthodox believers in its doctrines; but they loyally uphold their Church; and for this reason, that the Church is in their eyes an essential element of the national life; churchmanship is with them only another name for patriotism. In like manner I should advise that, whatever project we may form for bringing these Churches into closer relations with ourselves, nothing should be done to interfere with their distinctive forms and usages. We have no thought of changing our own rites and ceremonies, so, unless they be absolutely superstitious, we need not ask our Eastern brethren to change theirs. Any attempt at fusion would be as [56/57] unadvisable as it would be chimerical. These Eastern Churches are very jealous of their national usages, as the Bishop of Rome lately learnt to his cost, when he ventured to interfere with the usages of the Catholic Armenian, and of the Catholic Syrian Church, and in both cases provoked rebellion by the interference. Our Eastern brethren may appear childishly fond of kissing those icons or pictures which hang in their churches. They may invoke the saints in the public liturgies. They may render an excessive homage to the Blessed Virgin. They may hold formal and material views, very different from, our own, respecting the Sacraments. They may wear vestments which an English, Scottish, or Irish Bishop might look upon with suspicion. They may attach too much value to the observance of fast or festival, and too little value to the observance of the great moral duties prescribed by our religion. They may not always shew a very scrupulous regard for those manly virtues of truthfulness and honesty by which Englishmen set such store. Their clergy may be very poor, and in some cases very illiterate. They may have taken slight pains to keep abreast of modern thought and progress. They may have fed their people on the dry husks of orthodoxy and formalism, and neglected to quicken their mental, moral, and spiritual life. While our eyes are open to these defects, as the e3"es of their own Archbishops and Patriarchs, who are generally men of learning and culture, are open, we must remember that it is these Eastern Churches which we have to thank for whatever knowledge of Christian truth, whatever observance of Christian principle, whatever reverence for the name of Christ, still survives in these lands. We should remember also that the spirit of these people has been broken by ages of mis-rule, that the iron of a most cruel oppression has entered into their soul, and that if men are for centuries treated as slaves, they inevitably acquire the vices of slaves. We should remember, also, to our shame, that during this long night of crushing bondage no helping hand, no words of sympathy, no kindly and brotherly thoughts, [57/58] reached them from Western Christendom. More than this I might say. Were I to affirm that it is owing to the petty, miserable, despicable jealousies of the great Christian powers, that the chains of this bondage have not been broken long ago, I should be stating a plain historical fact. But I forbear to trespass on this dangerous ground, and will confine myself to the strictly ecclesiastical and religious aspect of the subject. It cannot be denied that reform is greatly needed in these Eastern Churches. But such reform should be effected within the Churches, and by the Churches themselves. If we come across individuals who are dissatisfied with the doctrine or the ritual of their Church, while we help them with our counsel, and cheer them with our sympathy, we should exhort them not to forsake the Church of their fathers, but to remain there, as centres of life and light to their own people. Our principle should be that of the great Apostle who said, "Brethren, let every man in that state wherein he is called there abide with God." Alive to the differences which separate us from our Eastern brethren, we should be alive also to those things in which we are at one. We are at one in the reverence which we pay to the same Holy Scriptures. We are at one in having the same Creeds. We are at one in having the same Apostolic orders, and the same Sacraments. This common ground we have already; and we may reasonably hope that as the gates to Western civilization are opened, this common ground will widen. But we must be patient. Things are not yet ripe for union. Any hasty, impulsive, ill-considered step in this direction would retard, and not advance the cause. The mists of ages are not to be scattered in a day. Estrangements and schisms, which have lasted for twelve hundred years and more, are not to be healed by a single Conference. Much may be done by mutual intercourse; much may be done by friendly discussion; much may be done by acts of brotherly sympathy; much may be done by education; much may be done by good government; much may be done by wise, persevering, energetic use of the opportunities so unexpectedly placed in our hands by our [58/59] acquisition of Cyprus, and our protectorate of Asia Minor. The eyes of Christians in the East have long been turned to England, as the country whence deliverance would one day come. We have opportunities at this moment of elevating the religious life of the Oriental Churches and of shaping their destinies, such as we never had before, and such as no other nation in the world possesses. Independently of our material power, we have this great moral power, that we are trusted, that we have the confidence of our fellow-Christians, that we are known to be lovers of liberty, and, as such, to be desirous of promoting, and not of prejudicing, their independence. God grant that we may rise to the full height of these opportunities. God grant that we may not belie these hopes and expectations which men build upon us as the deliverers of the East. God grant that we may have eyes to see the suppliant hands which Armenians and other races in Asia Minor stretch forth toward our shores, imploring sympathy and aid. God grant that we may have ears to hear the cry for light, life, and liberty, which has been ascending for centuries to heaven from many an oppressed Church, from many a down-trodden people. God grant that we may burst the fetters of our selfish isolation, and awake to the duty which our position as a living branch of Christ's Catholic Church entails, of succouring in this hour of their sore need these suffering members of our common brotherhood. The Turkish Empire is fast crumbling to pieces, and hastening to its well-merited doom. To restore, revive, regenerate, the old Churches in these lands, to turn anarchy and chaos into law and order, is England's great work and mission. The ideal for which, as Churchmen, we should strive, is an intercommunion of national, independent, self-governed Churches, embracing all who accept the Nicene Creed, which, as we all know, before the introduction of the disputed clause, was the one condition of union required by the Church of Christ. None of us may live to see this ideal attained; but the sanguine may reflect that ideals, if wisely conceived, and wisely, bravely, perseveringly pursued, have a marvellous way of working themselves into realities.
SPEECH DELIVERED AT THE CHURCH CONGRESS, SEPT/29, ON "EFFORTS TOWARDS REFORM IN FOREIGN CHURCHES, AND THE ATTITUDE OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND TOWARDS THEM."
IT appears from the speeches and addresses which we have just heard, and from the manner in which those speeches and addresses have been received, that in the opinion of many persons here towards Churches of the Roman Communion we ought to assume an attitude very different from that which yesterday we were recommended to assume towards the historic Churches of the East. "Reformatio fiat intra ecclesiam" was our motto yesterday. It was acknowledged that reform was needed in these Oriental Churches; but the reform was to be made within the Churches, and by the Churches themselves; and the way in which we were to help in the work was by spreading knowledge, by promoting education, by endeavouring to exhibit in our own Services, and in our own conduct, the principles of a Church at once reformed and catholic, and by kindling through such exhibition the spirit of reform in those ancient and stationary communities. But, in dealing with Churches of the Roman Communion, it seems to be considered that we should promote reform by supporting outside the existing Churches other and rival Churches, into which members of the existing Churches should be drawn. In the one case, we are not to proselytise, nor to encourage proselytism; in the other case, if we are not ourselves to proselytise, we are to help others in the work. In the one case, we are to reform without destroying the existing Churches; in the other case, if we are not to destroy the existing Churches, we are to destroy the existing organization. The modern Vatican Church is to be swept away as an intruder; and the old Catholic and National Churches in France, in Germany, in Spain, are to be raised from the grave in which they have long been buried, and restored to new and independent life. Now, are we acting in conformity with the principles of our [60/61] Church in adopting this bold and exceptional course? This is the question which we have to consider. It is a question of grave and solemn importance. It is a question requiring extreme caution. It is a question demanding most anxious thought, and I think that I must add, far more anxious thought than it commonly receives of English Churchmen at home. The Church of England is now bursting the shell of its insularity, or isolation, and is opening her eyes to the fact that there are Christian Churches outside the shores of these islands, outside the shores of our colonies, outside the shores of our sister America; and that towards these Christian Churches we have distinct and important duties to perform. Now it is of great moment that, before we cross the lines within which we have hitherto been content to walk, and enter upon this new, untrodden, unexplored ground, we should cautiously feel our way, and not allow ourselves to be drawn into any rash or ill-considered course. There are apparently persons here who tread fearlessly. They feel the ground to be perfectly safe beneath their feet. They have no scruples; or if they have any, they shelter themselves behind an old precedent of the Catholic Church: they shelter themselves behind that principle on which orthodox Bishops acted centuries ago in their conflict with Arianism: they shelter themselves behind those words of St. Cyprian, who affirms that there is but one Episcopate, held in common by all Bishops, and possessed in full by every individual Bishop. Every individual Bishop, according to this principle, has extra-diocesan, extra-provincial powers: every individual Bishop is a universal Bishop: the whole world is his diocese: if the truth of Christ be in danger, if the salvation of Christ's redeemed people be imperilled, if the love of Christ constrain, there is no corner of the earth where a Bishop is not free, or rather is not in duty bound, to exercise his powers. This is a very startling principle; but, startling as it sounds, it is one on which Christian Bishops in early days, when necessity compelled, not unfrequently acted. It must be remembered, however, that there is another precedent, principle, or canon, of equal [61/62] authority, and of very different purport, which prescribes that no Bishop or Priest shall exercise his functions in the Diocese of a foreign Bishop without consent of that foreign Bishop. To justify a return to the earlier precedent, it seems to me that two things are essential; the circumstances must be exceptional, and they must be pronounced by competent authority to be exceptional. If every Bishop were free to step into another Bishop's Diocese, and every Clergyman were free to step into another Clergyman's parish, whenever such individual Bishop or Clergyman were personally of opinion that the true Gospel was not being preached, there would be an end of all order and discipline within the Church. Some persons seem to consider that the Hundred Bishops of the Anglican Communion who met two years ago at Lambeth pronounced judgment on this question. "We no doubt stated in the Letter which we issued on that occasion that all sympathy was due from the Anglican Church to such persons and communities as protested against the usurpations of Rome, and were drawn to us in the endeavour to free themselves from the yoke of Roman error and superstition: we stated also that we were ready to offer all help to such persons and communities, and such privileges as we could offer consistently with the maintenance of our own principles, as enunciated in our formularies. But as we were merely a consultative assembly of individual Bishops, without any definite constitution, it may be doubted whether we were competent to deal with practical questions such as these which have been brought to our notice this afternoon. But though neither such a Conference of Bishops as met the other day at Lambeth, nor we ourselves assembled to-day in this Congress at Leicester, have authority to settle this question, there can be no doubt in the mind of any one who has travelled in the countries of Southern Europe, and has seen with his eyes, and heard with his ears, that the circumstances of the Roman Church in these lands are very exceptional, and would seem to justify us in adopting a very different policy in regard to that Church from the policy which [62/63] yesterday we were advised to adopt in regard to the Churches of the East. Consider, for example, the position which the Greek and the Roman Churches respectively assume towards ourselves. While the one always gives us a hearty welcome when we visit eastern lands, always treats us as brethren, never dreams of proselytising; the other not only arrogantly rejects our communion, but, by the system of proselytising which it adopts, sows seeds of discord and schism in our congregations, and in our households, marring the peace of our homes, separating pastor and people, parent and child, husband and wife. Such provocation, of course, if it were the only ground, would not of itself justify an entrance into a foreign Diocese, except for the special purpose of providing for the wants of our own people who were neglected in that foreign Diocese. An act which is in itself schismatical, would not cease to be schismatical, because done in retaliation or in self-defence. But there are other grounds. Consider the position which the Church of Rome and the Churches of the East respectively assume in regard to the Holy Scriptures. The distrust with which the Church of Rome regards the Holy Scriptures, the dread it evinces of their authority, the reserve with which it allows them to be read, are in striking contrast to the treatment which they receive at the hands of the Eastern Church, which shews no such distrust, no such dread, no such reserve. Members of the Eastern Church may not read the Holy Scriptures very diligently; there may be, or appear to be, a discrepancy between the teaching of the Holy Scriptures and some received doctrines of the Eastern Church; but this Church herself is not aware of any such discrepancy, and always appeals to the Holy Scriptures in support of her doctrines. Consider the position which the Roman Church and the Oriental Church assume in regard to reform. While the authorities of the Eastern Church acknowledge the need of reform, and the first act of the new Oecumenical Patriarch was to issue a Manifesto urging reform, the authorities of the Roman Church proclaim that their Church is infallible, and therefore [63/64] irreformable, and that any one who declares it to need reform is anathema. It stands to reason that a Church which claims to be infallible cannot reform without repudiating such claim. By confessing itself to need reform, it confesses itself to have taken steps which need to be retraced; in other words, it confesses itself to be a fallible, and not an infallible Church.
These, as it seems to me, are reasons, and many more might be added, why, in dealing with the Roman Church, we are justified in abandoning our general policy of abstention, and in giving our sympathy and, so far as the principles of our Church allow, our support to such isolated congregations as are anxious for reform, and themselves ask us for assistance. Christianity occupies a very critical position in Southern Europe at the present moment. While Vaticanism still retains its hold on the ignorant and credulous, the manly and thoughtful are falling away into scepticism, and the masses are drifting into indifferentism. None can travel in those sunny lands without seeing that, though the Roman Church may still nurture, as we hope, many a bright example of simple faith and earnest piety, yet, so far as the intelligence, the progress, the life of those countries are concerned, it has proved a failure, and that the failure is all the greater in lands like Spain, where it has ruled under the most favourable circumstances, and with undivided empire. In France it is scorned by the strong manhood of the nation, who not only reject that type of Christianity which it presents, but are now actually marshalling their forces in open and direct antagonism. There is one and only one way of saving men from these three evils--Vaticanism, scepticism, indifferentism--and that way is the revival of national and independent Churches, Scriptural in their doctrine. Apostolic and Primitive in their discipline and forms of worship. But how are such Churches to be revived? This is a question requiring most careful consideration and the utmost caution. We must not make rash experiments. We must not plant exotics. We must not support systems which are not of native growth. We must [64/65] not help work which is merely destructive. We must not disturb and unsettle, unless, in place of that which we withdraw, we have a solid faith and a true Church to offer. In all appeals that may be made to us, the Rulers of our Church should scrupulously examine the special circumstances of each case, and see whether they have assumed a size and importance which would justify the Church of England in interposing. We must not act on insufficient information. We must not embark on enterprises which would lower the dignity of our Church, or bring into question her wisdom. These cautions are given not to damp enthusiasm. They are given to provoke enquiry. They are given to ensure circumspection.
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 [65/66] 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.
There are at present under the supervision of the Bishop of Gibraltar 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, especially at sea-ports, which from their limited 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 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 or reduction of the Grants made 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. 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 the Bishop at Christ Church, Oxford