Christ Church, Oxford,
Sept. 1, 1882.
My dear Brethren,
Once more I appeal to you on behalf of our sailors, scattered as sheep without a shepherd in many a foreign sea-port. The help which you have given of late years to the Diocesan Fund has enabled me to make spiritual provision for our seamen in some of the more important harbours; but there still remain other harbours much frequented by British ships, where the sailors have no opportunities of publicly worshipping God, or of hearing the Gospel of Christ proclaimed. In the Appendix at the end of this Letter you will find a list of the principal ports of the Diocese, and a statement shewing the number of British seamen who visited them in 1879, 1880, and 1881. A portion of these statistics appeared in my Letter of last year. The kindness of the Board of Trade enables me to supply you this year with a more complete statement, giving the number of our sailors who have visited all the ports of the Diocese. On referring to these figures many of you will probably be surprised at the large number of British seamen in the harbours of the Mediterranean and Black Seas, and at the wide field of ministerial labour which they present. This field, to our shame, has been terribly neglected; but I hope to be provided, through the Diocesan Fund, with the [3/4] means of occupying much of this ground hitherto left unoccupied by our Church.
The number of sea-ports given in the list is sixty. At twenty-two only of these is any agency whatever at work for ministering to the British sailors. These are Barcelona, Bilbao, Constantinople, Galatz, Genoa, Lisbon, Leghorn, Madeira, Malaga, Malta, Marseilles, Messina, Naples, Odessa, Oporto, Palermo, Patras, Peirseus, Seville, Smyrna, Sulina, Trieste; and at some even of these the Chaplains, owing to the nature of their appointment, and perhaps also because they feel themselves to lack those special gifts which are needed for effective labour amongst sailors, may be tempted to devote their energies solely to the residents, while the claims of the sailors are overlooked. These twenty-two harbours excepted, all the others are left altogether without provision. It would be impossible to supply all with Chaplains or Scripture-readers. At some the number of sailors is not sufficient to provide either with regular employment; but there are harbours for which no provision is made, where the sailors are sufficiently numerous to employ, and more than employ, the time of a Chaplain or Scripture-reader, or even of both. Such a place is Gibraltar. In 1870 the port of Gibraltar was entered by 50,543 British sailors of the merchant service; in 1875, by 64,902; in 1880, by 83,272; in 1881 the number reached 95,535. You will see that the numbers have nearly doubled in eleven years, and that last year there was an increase of 1,200 on the previous year. There is, as I am assured, no reason to doubt that this rate of increase will be steadily continuous. In [4/5] a letter which the Civil Chaplain at Gibraltar has lately addressed to me respecting the moral and spiritual wants of the British sailors of the merchant service who visit that port, he writes:—
"A very large proportion of these men remain in port only for a brief period, while the ships are coaling, but quite long enough, nevertheless, for an incalculable amount of good to be effected among them by an active Seamen's Chaplain or Scripture-reader, at the trifling cost of some £160 a-year. The influence of a short prayer-meeting, some reminder of divine things, the religious and temperance publications distributed by him on board, would not only benefit the sailors themselves, but be carried by them to the ends of the earth.
"Many a foreign port, containing not one-fourth of the British seamen we have here, has its own Chaplain appointed specially to minister to their welfare; but Gibraltar has thus far no single person to care for their moral and spiritual needs.
"Your Lordship is aware that with my sole charge of the Cathedral Services, the School, Civil Hospital, Prison, Lunatic Asylum, and visitation of the sick, it is wholly beyond my power to attempt the evangelisation of this multitude of seamen also.
"The local government, when petitioned for funds, has declined; the Seamen's Societies at home have exhausted their existing resources, or would most gladly come to our help.
"Under these circumstances I am constrained to appeal to you, feeling confident that if the facts and figures were generally known Christian hearts would be touched, and Christian charity awakened; for England has ever shewn the deepest interest in her sailors, to whose hardships and intrepidity we owe not only our personal comforts and luxuries, but the wealth and greatness of our empire."
It must not be supposed that efforts have not been made in previous years to provide [5/6] ministrations for this vast number of British sailors who annually visit Gibraltar. Appeals have been made, but made in vain. The place which, next to Gibraltar, especially requires help is Constantinople. The Chaplain who, during the spring and autumn, labours among our seamen in the ports of the Danube, has been transferred during the summer months to Constantinople; but the British sailors at Constantinople are sufficiently numerous to claim the undivided services of a clergyman during the whole year. At Carthagena, also, which was visited last year by 8,899 British seamen, a Chaplaincy should be established. If funds sufficient to secure the services of a Chaplain were raised, I should ask him not to confine his attention to the sailors at Carthagena, but from time to time to pay a ministerial visit to the British seamen and British residents at Valencia and Alicante. In the last Letter which I addressed to you I stated that while it would be impossible to build churches or establish Chaplaincies at all places to which our countrymen may wander in pursuit of trade, health, or adventure, neighbouring sea-ports might be combined under one Chaplaincy, the Chaplain being expected to visit the different places according to some definite arrangement, as his services from time to time might be required. Such a plan is already in operation in the ports of the Danube and elsewhere. At Syra a Chaplaincy, till of late years, was supported by the Church Missionary Society, but the post has now been abandoned by that Society; and as the few residents cannot raise more than £60 a-year, there is no clergyman of our communion to officiate in the little church. The residents are anxious that [6/7] the Chaplaincy should be revived. If funds should be provided for fulfilling their wishes, I would instruct the Chaplain to pay periodical visits to the British sailors in the ports of Salonica and Volo, or of Smyrna, if the Consular Chaplain there should need his help.
In maintaining this ministerial work among our merchant seamen I receive assistance from several different quarters. In the first place, the Foreign Office makes a yearly Parliamentary grant towards the maintenance of Chaplaincies at Malaga, Marseilles, Trieste, and Smyrna. As you are aware, a recent act of the Legislature has withdrawn that national support which our Church abroad for many years had received through the endowment of Consular Chaplaincies, and the congregations are now left to provide for their religious wants from their own resources. Strong appeals were made on behalf of Malaga, Marseilles, and Trieste, which, as being much frequented by British sailors, were represented as having exceptional claims for help; and, in compliance with these appeals. Consular Chaplaincies are still retained at these places. The Consular Chaplaincy at Smyrna survives, owing to special rights bequeathed by the Levant Company. These rights, however, have not saved the Chaplaincy at Leghorn, which, together with Corfu, has this year to be added to the list of defunct Consular Chaplaincies. Smyrna receives an annual Parliamentary grant of £300; Trieste, £150; Malaga, £150; Marseilles, £100. The sum received through the Foreign Office is in all £700. This sum is exclusive of the yearly grants made to the support of Chaplaincies to the Embassies at Constantinople, [7/8] Madrid, and Athens, amounting altogether to £700.
Assistance also is given by some Societies of our Church. The Missions to Seamen made the following grants last year:—Malta Harbour £135. 5s. 7d.; the Tagus, £101. 5s.; Bilbao River, £60; Madeira Roads, £20: in all, £316 10s. 7d., St. Andrew's Waterside Church Mission made the following grants:—Genoa, £60; Danube Ports £50; Odessa, £27; Corfu (for boat), £20; Malta, £11. 4s.: in all, £168. 4s. The Colonial and Continental Church Society made the following grants:—Barcelona £40; Bilbao, £60; Messina, £30; Seville, £30: in all, £160. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts made the following grants:—Athens, £15; Lisbon, £11. 5s.; Marseilles, £30; Patras, £15: in all, £71.5s. It should be added that the Missions to Seamen Society has just appointed a Scripture-reader to Marseilles, with a grant of £50 a-year towards his stipend, and that both this Society and St. Andrew's Waterside Church Mission have been very liberal in supplying books for the sailors. It should be stated also that, in addition to the grants made by the Colonial and Continental Church Society towards the support of Chaplaincies at sea-ports, the Chaplaincies in their patronage at Cannes, Hyères, Milan, San Remo, and Turin, have received some little assistance, amounting altogether to £160. The sum total which the Diocese receives from outside in support of pastoral work among British seamen is £1,415.19s. 7d. Grateful as I am for the help given me by the Foreign Office and by the Societies of our Church, I find that it is quite insufficient to supply the wants of the Diocese. If [8/9] the Chaplaincies already established in sea-ports abroad are to be maintained; still more, if new Chaplaincies are to be created, further assistance is absolutely necessary.
Beyond the sources of aid already named, the only other to which I can look in seeking to provide ministrations for the sea-faring classes is the Diocesan Fund. The Diocese has no fixed endowments whatever for this purpose. With the view of placing the Diocesan Fund on a more permanent basis, I should be glad if more of you would become annual subscribers. A few are so already; the number I should like to see increased.
But I must not confine my appeal to members of the Diocese: merchants, ship-owners, and colliery-proprietors, whose ships trade to foreign ports, I ask to give me a helping hand. Hitherto they have given little or no assistance. In the "Word on the Waters," published July, 1882, p. 66, I read:—
"The Missions to Seamen has for some eleven years spent upwards of £100 a-year on personal agency for British and American crews on the Tagus, but it has never received one penny in return towards this object from the firms trading to Lisbon, or from anybody else connected with or interested in seamen at Lisbon. For some fifteen years the Missions to Seamen has been expending about £135 per year for mission agency for British shipping at Malta; but little or no pecuniary return has been received from that island, or from anyone trading with it. A lady in England interested in Malta has, however, nobly raised, year by year, £70 towards the Malta expenditure, a sum lately reduced from untoward causes to £30 a-year.
"Last year it was hoped that a Reader would be appointed for the British shipping at Marseilles, and all the [9/10] English firms trading to that place were communicated with, but with no response; and there was no lady interested in Marseilles to take the matter up. Yet there are tens of thousands of British seamen entering Marseilles annually.
"An appeal comes from the Civil Chaplain at Gibraltar for a Reader for the shipping, but with no offer of pecuniary help from the people of Gibraltar, or from the merchants whose vessels would be benefited, and no suggestion as to a lady interested in Gibraltar who might raise special funds in England for the shipping there. Yet there were 4,038 British mercantile vessels, manned by 95,535 men, which called at Gibraltar in 1881, besides 2,416 foreign ships, manned by 34,045 men; and for these there was not a clergyman or other missionary to minister to their crews.
"These are but samples of the great need of help for British seamen in foreign ports, and of the great difficulty of getting any pecuniary support for this special part of our duty to convey the Word on the waters to the seafaring classes."
In former days sailors were often regarded as mere parts of a ship's machinery: but no merchant holds such views in the present day. No merchant would deny that the sailors who man his ships and make his fortune have claims upon him, and that these claims are not satisfied when he has paid them their wages. No merchant would disown the obligation of protecting the men in his employ from harm and evil, and of promoting, so far as he has opportunity, their highest welfare. If merchants omit to support institutions such as "The Missions to Seamen," "St. Andrew's Waterside Church Mission," and the "Gibraltar Diocesan Fund," I would fain believe that this is because they are [10/11] unconscious that such institutions exist, or because they have never been asked for aid.
Two further suggestions I have to make. One is addressed to the ladies who each autumn fly south to spend the winter and early spring on the bright shores of the Riviera, away from the damp fogs, sunless skies, and icy winds of England. Such persons might turn to good account an unoccupied hour now and then by obtaining support for some enterprise or other established in the Diocese for aiding our sailors. They might choose as the object of their sympathy some sea-port, such as Gibraltar, in which they felt special interest, as having friends residing, or as having themselves once resided, on the rock. Or they might form themselves into a working party, and devote the money produced by a sale of the articles which they might make to some such institution as the Sailors' Home at Marseilles. It is gratifying to find that £102. 8s. was contributed last season by the English at Cannes towards the support of this Home, £92. 16s. of which was an offertory from Christ Church. This Pastoral Letter is written year by year in the hope that it may awaken in the minds of all members of our Church who each season visit the sunny south an interest in the different Christian enterprises which are being promoted in the Diocese, and make them feel that they form a Diocese, and that the special work of the Diocese has claims upon their sympathy and aid. When they leave the white cliffs of England, our Church is not forgetful of her sons and daughters: she follows them to distant shores; she sends her ministers to teach them in their own tongue all that they need to know for [11/12] their souls' health, to feed them with the bread of life, to visit them in sickness, to guide them in perplexity, to comfort them in sorrow, to baptise, instruct, and confirm their children, to speak over their graves the words of hope. All these privileges and means of grace we should forfeit on quitting home, but for our Church's thoughtful care. Now of those enterprises which are being promoted in the Diocese none is so important, none is so deserving of your assistance, as the missionary work which I am anxious to extend among British seamen of the merchant-service. The work is commended to you whom at this moment I have principally in my thoughts, on local as well as on other grounds. Englishmen who dwell on the shores of the Mediterranean are especially bound to provide for the spiritual wants of our seamen who trade to the ports of the Mediterranean and its neighbour seas.
The other suggestion is addressed more especially to the British Consuls, Vice-Consuls, Chaplains, and Church Committees in foreign sea-ports. Application may well be made by such persons to the shipping agents and captains of English merchant-ships, that each vessel entering harbour should be invited to contribute five shillings, or some such trifling sum, towards the maintenance of the Church, Sailor's Home, or Institute. This plan is in use at Marseilles, Trieste, and in other sea-ports. At Marseilles the contribution from the shipping is the most important item of the Chaplain's stipend, amounting last year to £105. A charge of five francs is entered in the account presented to each captain of an English vessel at the Consulate. It [12/13] is explained that the charge is quite optional, but I am told that it is very rarely refused. Wherever in addition to the English Church there is also a Scottish Presbyterian Church, owing to the unhappy jealousy between two Churches, this contribution is not solicited.
You may be sure that good will come of any help which you may give in answer to this appeal. You may not see the fruit with your own eyes; but sow in faith, and the harvest will follow. The Secretaries to our seamen's societies and the Chaplains assure me that the opportunities of reaching the sailors, and of influencing them for good, are often far greater in foreign ports than in ports at home. At centres of transhipment, where the vessels remain for many days, the men are easily accessible, as they generally remain with their vessels, and are glad to see a fellow-countryman after working-hours, and readily listen to words which, if spoken elsewhere, would fall on deaf ears. In home ports, on the other hand, no sooner is a ship safe in harbour than the sailors leave, and are lost to si£ht. Commander Dawson, R.N., Hon. Secretary to the Missions to Seamen, speaking of the openings for evangelistic work on the British merchant-ships in the Mediterranean, thus writes in letters which I have lately received:—
"Except in the roadsteads, we have no such excellent opportunities on board the English ships in the home ports. There would be every disposition to increase our work abroad if we had the means."
"We still hold that work on board ships in foreign ports is more useful than work among sailors in home ports; but we cannot get any support for work abroad, except [13/14] where an individual undertakes to act for us in respect of a given port in raising funds."
All who have had experience of ministerial work among sailors affirm that though it be hard, perilous, and at times disappointing, heart-breaking work, yet patience, courage, and perseverance earn rewards which far more than compensate for all the roughness, all the exposure to cold and storm, all the difficulties, toil, and danger which the work frequently entails. The reward consists in the hearty welcome given by the sailors when confidence and goodwill are won, in the gratitude of their warm hearts for Interest shewn in their welfare. In the moral and spiritual Improvement which self-denying labour In their behalf never fails to produce. In harbours where the sailors receive ministerial attention the old drunken habits of the sea are observed gradually to disappear, habits of sobriety, habits of thrift, habits of devotion taking their place. The very men who before had been missionaries for evil on whatever shore they landed, not seldom are converted Into missionaries for good. It would be difficult to over-estimate the value of Sailors' Homes, Institutes, and Hospitals, as providing the Chaplains and Scripture-readers with opportunities of making the acquaintance of the sailors, and protecting them from evil If a Chaplain attend regularly, he may often be able to screen them from the crimps who Infest every port, and are ever on the alert to decoy the sailors, as soon as they quit the shelter of their ships. Into dens of Intemperance and vice. He can shew them how, by transmission-notes, they can send their wages beyond the reach of these harpies, safely home to wife [14/15] or child. By little acts of kindness, by the loan of a book or newspaper, by some small luxury in the hour of sickness, by a few words of advice in difficulty, of comfort in sorrow, he may win entrance to a seaman's heart, and so pave the way for the higher influences of his mission.
How much good may be done by a minister of Christ who devotes himself to pastoral work among British sailors, may be seen from the results of the visit on which, as I stated in my last Letter, Canon Scarth, the Vicar of Holy Trinity, Gravesend, and Hon. Secretary of St. Andrew's Waterside Church Mission, had then just started. The history of this visit I will give in Canon Scarth's own words:—
"Under medical advice I was told to winter abroad; but as I felt able to do work, I determined to see what I might do in the Suez Canal. It offered a grand field for such a mission as ours, for nearly 200,000 people passed through it last year, and nothing was being done there by the Church for either the English residents or sailors. Instead of this great mercantile enterprise making the desert bloom like the rose it has produced a town, Port Said, which has the reputation of being the most vicious and depraved in the East. I made arrangements to pass next winter there, and work as a volunteer, as the mission had no funds to spare. Permission was received from the Bishop (the Anglican Bishop at Jerusalem); and the Archbishop of Canterbury gave me his authority to take in hand such work for the Church."
On arriving there at the end of last year, Canon Scarth eno£aeed a suitable room for a church, where he held services during the winter and spring: he also undertook mission-work on board ship, and once a-month held services at Suez. He obtained [15/16] from the Suez Canal Company a free concession of land for an English Church, a Sailors' Home, and a Sailors' Hospital, and formed local committees for each. On leaving Egypt for England, he made provision for a continuance of the services at Port Said, which were regularly held, one Sunday only excepted, to the day when the place was occupied by the British forces. Though Port Said is beyond the sphere of my episcopal duties I was twice there last spring, and found Canon Scarth occupying a prophet's chamber, and devoting his best energies to this well-chosen and hitherto neglected field of labour.
If in any of these words I have been treading ground over which we have already travelled together in previous Letters, I must plead in excuse that I wish my words to go beyond the limits of my Diocese. The appeal which they contain, though addressed primarily to you, is addressed also to merchants trading with foreign ports, and to all who take interest in the good of our sailors. And who should not take interest? Have we not all to thank our sailors for some luxury, for some comfort, for some necessary of life? Have we not all to thank our sailors for the security of our shores, for the safety of our homes, for the greatness of our commerce, for the dignity which belongs to England as mistress of the seas? Our Church holds rank and title as the National Church. In what better way can we justify this her title and rank as the National Church of a country which is the largest mercantile power in the world, than by making strenuous efforts to promote the true welfare and recover the affections of her sailor-sons?
 During last season I held Confirmations at Turin, Cannes, Genoa, Florence, Rome, Naples, Malta, Nicosia and Polymedia Camp in Cyprus, Smyrna, and Milan. The places are named according to the order in which the Confirmations were held. 135 candidates in all were confirmed: 78 young women, 57 men or boys. Malta supplied 39, Smyrna 31, Milan 15, Cyprus 13, Naples 11, Florence 9. On Christmas Day I preached at Rome, on Easter Sunday at Jerusalem, on Whitsunday at Smyrna, and on Trinity Sunday at Athens.
A comely little English church, thanks mainly to the efibrts of Sir Montagu M'Murdo and Mr. Gibb, has been built at Alassio, and was opened for divine service on Christmas Day last year. The patronage is placed in the hands of the Bishop of Gibraltar, the property being conveyed to the Bishop of London and his successors in the see, as the Diocesan, from not having letters patent, is unable to hold the property in his official capacity.
On April 9 the foundation-stone of the new English church in the Via Babuino at Rome was laid by Her Majesty's ambassador. Sir Augustus Paget. My engagements in the far East prevented me from taking part in the service. The work, indeed, was begun a year before the stone was laid. A bed of concrete, to the depth of 30 feet below the surface of the street, had been prepared, arches on which the floor rests had been erected, and foundationwalls built. This bed of concrete has consumed the entire materials of the old convent which occupied the site, and load upon load of bricks and mortar besides. The present financial position of the church, as given to me by the Rev. H. W. Wasse, the Chaplain, is as follows:—A sum of £17,000 has been [17/18] raised; the ground, with legal expenses, has cost £6,000; the removal of former buildings, the foundations, and law-suits, have cost £6,000 more; there remains in hand £5,000. The outer walls, which, according to the contract, are to be finished by January next, will exhaust this sum. The work must then cease, unless further funds be provided. But the sympathy and liberality of Churchmen in England, I am sure, will never allow us to suffer so great a discredit as the abandonment of this work would bring upon our Church. Besides the £5,000 which we have now in hand, we require for the pillars of the clerestory, windows, roof, floor, heating apparatus, and fittings, a further sum of £5,000 at least. A new contract for the completion of the work ouo£ht to be concluded at the besfinnino' of 1883. We should bear in mind that the room outside Porta del Popolo, which we at present use for divine service, and for which we pay a rent of £100 a-year, is held on an uncertain tenure. Unless the new church be soon completed, the congregation may find themselves without a building in which to meet for public worship.
The other English church in Rome, which we owe mainly to the indefatigable zeal of Dr. Gason, is now legally conveyed to trustees. There have been difliculties connected with the property of this church which for some time prevented me from giving my licence to the Chaplain; but these difficulties, as I am assured by the Registrar of the Diocese, are now satisfactorily settled, and the Chaplain, therefore, will hereafter be duly licensed.
During last spring I paid a visit to Egypt and Palestine. The English churches in these countries are not under my supervision; but the [18/19] Anglican Bishopric at Jerusalem having been vacant for some time, the Archbishop of Canterbury intimated that if I would perform any episcopal duty that might be required by the congregations, I should be greatly helping the English Church in those regions. At Cairo I had an interview with the Archbishop of the Coptic Church, and at Jerusalem with the Greek and the Armenian Patriarchs and the Syrian Bishop. A very hearty welcome was accorded to myself and my friends, of whom the Dean of Chester was one, and deep sympathy was expressed in the welfare of the English Church and people. The Armenian Patriarch referred with gratitude to the efforts which are being made in England to promote education among his countrymen, and spoke of the meeting held last summer for this purpose in the Jerusalem Chamber, under the presidency of Dean Stanley, whose death he deplored. Much as we should all endeavour to promote closer relations between ourselves and our fellow-Christians in the East, we cannot travel in these distant lands without discovering that reform is greatly needed by those historic Churches. Spiritual life in many of them is at a very low ebb. My hopes for the regeneration of the East rest mainly upon the endeavours which are being made by Englishmen and Americans to further education among the inhabitants. Schools have been established at Cairo, and in many towns of Palestine and Syria, by Miss M. L. Whately, Bishop Gobat, Mrs. Bowen-Thompson, Mrs. Mott, and by Societies in England, some belonging to our Church, some to other communions. We made it our practice to visit these schools wherever they were to be found. On arriving at a new place it was easy to discover [19/20] whether a school existed there by the appearance of the children, whom curiosity drew to our tents. The brightness and friendliness of their faces, the intelligence of their answers, the cleanliness and order of their attire, we found by experience to be sure tokens that a school was near at hand, spreading light and life among the people. At Jaffa, Lydda, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Ramathain-Zophim, Nablus, Nazareth, Tyre, Zidon, Beyrout, Damascus, Zehleh, and Baalbec, we came upon flourishing schools, and at some of them we examined the children in Scripture, and heard them sing Christian hymns, and in not a few our own national anthem. The Orphanage conducted by Miss Dickson at Nazareth, situated on a beautiful and commanding site over that city, which is enshrined in Christian hearts as havingf been once the home of our Redeemer's boyhood, youth, and early manhood, is a model of cleanliness and comfort. Between fifty and sixty orphan Syrian girls are educated there, with all the advantages and refinements of a happy English home. At Beyrout I had the pleasure of attending a gathering of a thousand children, who are being educated under the careful and tender direction of Mrs. Mott. It would be difficult to exaggerate the help which is being rendered by the American College established at Beyrout towards the advancement of Christian civilization and enlightenment in Syria. Institutions such as these we ought, in my opinion, especially to aid. If we would promote the cause of Christ's kingdom in the Holy Land. It was Impossible not to feel profound depression at seeing spots unsurpassed on earth for sacred interest, as having been trodden by Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, and by One greater and [20/21] holier than them all, now sunk, through Mahommedan misrule and the unchristian rivalries of Christian Churches, in uttermost squalor and degradation. The only gleams of sunshine amid the gross darkness which overshadows the land radiate from these schools which English, American, and German philanthropy have planted.
May it be a good omen that on Gerizim, the mount of blessings, I met for the first time our young English Princes, then, like ourselves, pilgrims in the Holy Land!
The English Branch of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem purposes to establish in the first home of the Order, and the scene of its earliest labours, a British Hospice and Ophthalmic Dispensary. There can be no doubt in the mind of anyone who has travelled in Palestine, that the poorer classes suffer terribly from diseases of the eye, and that such an institution would be a oreat boon to the country. In parts of the Holy Land medical help is not to be obtained. Once and again, during our recent tour, the sick entered our encampment, asking if we could give them aid. "Medical Missions" have been established here and there by our countrymen. One such "Medical Mission," maintained by some English ladies, I visited at Jaffa on the day I landed. Many a scene of sickness and suffering which I witnessed during my tour called to my thoughts the picture given us by St. Mark, "and at even when the sun was set they brought unto Him all that were diseased;" and that other picture drawn by the first Evangelist, which represents our Redeemer as "going about all Galilee," not only "teaching in their synagogues," and "preaching the Gospel of the [21/22] kingdom," but also "healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people."
After leaving Palestine I spent a fortnight in Cyprus, where I visited the English residing at Larnaca, Famagousta, Nicosia, Cyrenia, Limassol, and Polymedia Camp. My thanks are due to the authorities in the island for their great kindness and hospitality. At Nicosia and Polymedia Camp I held Confirmations; and there, as also at Larnaca, I consecrated portions of ground set apart by the Government of the island for English cemeteries. They are all well chosen and picturesquely situated. The services of consecration were attended, not only by our countrymen, civilian and military, but also by the Archbishop of Cyprus, the Bishops of Citium and Cyrenia, and other dignitaries of the Greek Church. At a meeting of the English residents, held during my stay at Nicosia, under the presidency of Sir Robert Biddulph, the High Commissioner, it was resolved to build a church, and to appeal to the English public for subscriptions. The condition of the island is greatly improved since my visit in December of 1878. It is now well supplied with roads, and new forests are being planted. In a ride which I took in company with the High Commissioner across the island I found the inhabitants apparently prosperous, happy, and contented with English rule. In contradiction of the opinion generally entertained respecting the climate, I was assured that the island was very healthy.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has commended to the Clergy of his Diocese the use of a Prayer for our soldiers and sailors engaged in the war in Egypt. This Prayer you will find in the [22/23] Appendix to this Letter, and I should be glad if you would use it in public service as long as the war lasts. The effects of the war were very soon felt in parts of the Diocese. Malta was visited by a vast number of refugees, who fled thither from Alexandria. They arrived in absolute destitution, having nothing but the clothes in which they escaped, and these in tatters. The ladies resident in the island, English and Maltese, came nobly to their relief, organizing a committee to supply the women and children with clothing, and to lessen in this and other ways their heart-rending misery. Appeal was made to the English at home, and met with liberal response.
The cause of Christian education has lost a great friend and support in the Rev. Dr. Hill, who died at Athens on July 1, having reached the advanced age of ninety-one. Though an American by birth, he held for some years the Chaplaincy to the British Legation at Athens. For more than half-a-century Dr. and Mrs. Hill have devoted themselves to the work of educating Greek girls, rich and poor. There is hardly a home in the Greek kingdom which has not to thank Dr. Hill for instruction given to one or more of its members. While determined that in his schools education should not be severed from religion, he was equally determined not to shake the religious faith of his pupils, or detach them from the Church of their country. Adopting a course different from that of the American and other missionaries, he provided that in all the schools under his charge the children should be taught by their own clergy, and in accordance with the formularies of the national Church. If by the respect which he thus shewed towards the Greek [23/24] Church he forfeited the approval of a few less liberal friends at home, he secured the complete confidence of the Greek people and the success of his enterprise. Long will he live in Hellenic hearts for the love which he bore to the country of his adoption, and for his self-denying labours in furthering her reeeneration.
Whilst I write these words our Church and country are in the deepest anxiety, owing to the dangerous illness of our Chief Pastor, the Primate of all England. Prayers, I hope, will be offered by you all, both in your own homes and in your churches, that it may please God to prolong a life so valuable to his friends, so valuable to the Church, so valuable to the whole nation.
As my plans are at present arranged, I purpose in the autumn to visit the English Congregations in Gibraltar, Spain, and Portugal. During the coming winter and spring I hope to extend my tour of visitation to Malta, Sicily, Italy, and southern France, and to hold Confirmations where they may be needed. If the Chaplains whom this intimation may concern would give notice to their flocks of my purpose to hold Confirmations, I should be much obliged. Directions for the Service will be found at the end of this Letter.
That God may bless and prosper you in all your labours to promote His glory, and the good of His redeemed people, is the daily prayer of your sincere
Friend and Brother,
C W. GIBRALTAR.