Nestorians and Their Rituals
With the Narrative of a Mission to Mesopotamia and Coordistan in 1842-1844
By the Rev. George Percy Badger.
Notice by the Editor
[John Mason Neale]
THE absence of the Author from England rendered it, of course, impossible for him to revise the proofs of the present Work. But it also did more than this. It deprived him of the opportunity of consulting the great writers, who, like Le Quien and Asseman, have treated on the doctrines and history of the Nestorians, and of verifying or modifying his statements by their's.
Under these circumstances, he requested me to take charge of the book through the press. I felt it a privilege to be in any way useful in the publication of so very valuable a contribution to the Ecclesiastical History of the East; but the difficulties of the task have not been inconsiderable.
It is no part of my duty, as Editor, to recommend the work. Still, I cannot but observe, that the second volume treats far more satisfactorily of the rituals and theology of the Nestorians than any book yet published in Europe: while the first supplies a desideratum in Ecclesiastical History, the atrocious massacres of Bedr Khan Beg.
Two remarks, however, I must be allowed to make.
The first is, that Mr. Badger is throughout an advocate for the Nestorians, and (naturally, perhaps laudably) takes an advocate's view of his client's side. Few, I suppose, would be satisfied with the concordat he proposes, in which the character and sentiments of Nestorius are left an open question. And in the same way, points of resemblance between the Nestorian and English Communions are discovered with amazing ingenuity.
The second is, that while the schismatical interference of Rome with the Orthodox Eastern Church cannot be too strongly reprobated, the case is widely different in her dealings with the Nestorians. If the Eastern Church makes no efforts among them, why is Rome, any more than ourselves, to be debarred from that duty?
It is to be hoped, however, that English Churchmen will at length awake to the necessity of having an ecclesiastical agent accredited to the East by the synodal voice of the English Church herself. If the following volumes shall in any respect tend to such a result, they will have done yeoman's service both to the Nestorians and to ourselves.
February 12, 1852.