Project Canterbury














Officers of the Foreign-Born Americans Division,
Department of Missions, National Council,
Episcopal Church.









The Holy Table and Iconostasis

Visitation by Platon, Russian Archbishop of North America and Aleutian Islands, in Roxbury, Mass.

Russian Cathedral, Sitka, Alaska, Erected c. 1850.

The Greek Bishops: Alexopoulos, Boston; Alexander, Archbishop of North and South America; Philaretos, Chicago; Callistos, San Francisco

New Russian Cathedral in New York. Nave of an Episcopal Church made over by Trinity Parish for the Russians in their time of need.

Institution by Armenian Archbishop Tirayre of the Rector of St. Gregory's, New York


MEN and women of the Church are interested in Christian Unity as never before. In many quarters expression is given to the sentiment that the laity could swiftly accomplish unity if the theologians would but step aside. This may be true; it is also true that no lasting unity can be effected by the mere ignoring of facts.

Before unity is achieved love must obtain, and love is based on knowledge. To Episcopalians in America has been given an unprecedented opportunity for acquaintance with most of the many Eastern Churches. Such acquaintance will surely ripen into love. Aware of our own shortcomings, we will not be unjustly critical of the apparent faults of our Eastern brethren. Our sins are the result of inertia; theirs are due to persecution and oppression.

These chapters were delivered as a series of lectures in St. Paul's Chapel, Trinity parish, New York City, daily at noon in the Advent season of 1926. They were literally meant for "the man in the street." Their original character has been preserved, for this book is intended not for scholars and experts, but for the rank and file of Churchmen. The purpose of the series is to indicate how, by unselfish cooperation, a new path toward Christian Unity is being blazed.

Chapter I. East and West.

THE subject which is to hold our attention is one of growing interest among many types of people. The Eastern Churches have been known to many of us as the Churches of the Levant, included in the comprehensive term, the Near East. In recent years these Churches have been brought to our attention in varied ways. The foreign-born Levantine has brought his Church within the threshold of American life. Travelers abroad are being attracted in increasing numbers to the Near East. In Egypt, Palestine, Syria and Greece, Serbia and Russia, the American tourist has stood within the picturesque churches and has felt the appeal of the chant of the Greek, the drone of the Syrian, and the sublime harmonies of the Slav.

Of all strangers within our gates, these Eastern Church people are deserving of special consideration. Protestant Christians from Central and Northern Europe find their logical affinities in America. Roman Catholics are allocated with equal facility. Christians of the Eastern rites have been left largely to themselves. Kinship in doctrine and policy align them to the Anglican communion. A well intended but often over-refined courtesy, combined with a desire to avoid the appearance of proselytizing, has often checked the natural prompting of our clergy to share with them the privileges of the Episcopal Church. Hence in a very real sense they have remained ecclesiastical strangers in our land.

Contacts between Anglican and Eastern Churches have been sporadic, although extended over many centuries. Each has left its imprint upon Anglican thought. The first recorded contact, other than the reputed presence of English bishops at the Council of Nicea, was in the formative stage of the British nation. Our Teutonic ancestors were true to type. Petty kinglets held dominion by tyrannous means. There was called, however, to the see of Canterbury, a Greek monk, Theodore of Tarsus. Through him there was brought to the Anglo-Saxon the first dominant note of the Eastern Church--the spirit of democracy. The time was ripe; and thanks to the influence of the Eastern Church this priceless gift was acquired by our race. So democratic has the [2/3] Eastern Church been from the beginning that no bishop may be consecrated unless the consent of the people is had at the time of consecration. Even the decrees of an Ecumenical Council must await the acceptance of the people before their validity is assured.

The second marked contact was established toward the end of the fifteenth century. With the fall of Constantinople, Eastern scholars were scattered throughout the West. These brought with them copies of the Gospel translated, as was always the custom in the East, into the vernacular. It was a time when Great Britain was restive under the encroachments of a foreign Church. Comfort, encouragement, and inspiration were found in the Word of God. Hence the East's second contribution to Western thought--evangelic truth. This again has always been a dominant note in the religious life of the East. A study even of the liturgy of any Eastern Church will show how insistently the living word of Christ is rehearsed before the people, Eastern Christians have always been more evangelistic than the most evangelistic bodies of the West. They differ in a superior gift of discretion, which has allowed them to retain a more perfect balance.

The last marked contact was the outgrowth of the World War. When lack of racial accord [3/4] seemed to be defeating the consecrated zeal of the Allies, the voice of the East again spoke, in terms of the third dominant note of the Eastern Churches. Venizelos, the Greek, taught the Council of the Nations the efficacy of comity. National armies were placed under an international leader. From that day the triumph of the Allies became merely a question of time. The same note was transferred to the Council of Churches. For a long time we had discussed unity. For centuries the East had practised it. Racial differences are much more acute in the East than in the West. Divisions of temporal powers had resulted in racial Churches. Despite this, neither the integrity of the Church nor essential unity in doctrine and policy has ever been questioned. The Patriarch of Constantinople has ever remained the unchallenged head of the Eastern Orthodox Church, as first among equals.

We thus see that from a purely intellectual side we are justified in speaking of the Church of the East as the Mother of all Churches. It is, however, from the historical and temporal side that the appropriateness of this title is defended. The East saw the rise of the Christian Church. It was the seat of the major missionary activities of the apostles and first disciples. The traditions of the Church were preserved [4/5] in Eastern tongues. The liturgies of the Church were Eastern productions and are colored with Eastern imagery. The essential philosophy of the Christian Church was of Grecian authorship, and the final definition of the faith was fashioned by Grecian theologians. While Rome was the center of heathendom, or was passing through its period of decadence, the strength of Christianity was centered in Constantinople.

Unity, however, was not an abiding quality, even in the East. There was a natural clash between the Hellenic and Semitic type of Christian. This grew out of linguistic confusion and racial conflict. The Semitic mind could not grasp the niceties of distinction in Greek definitions of faith. Disagreement resulted from the effort to translate these exact definitions into the more rigid Semitic tongues. In their confusion Semitic theologians arose in the defense of Orthodoxy, and, as often happens, their vigor in the defense of the faith resulted in over-statements which were condemned by their neighbors as unorthodox. Hence arose the divisions between the Eastern Orthodox Church and that group of separated Churches for which I have taken the liberty of coining the title "Eastern Apostolic Churches." In this latter group we find the so-called Armenian, [5/6] Nestorian, Jacobite, Coptic, and Abyssinian Churches.

It is this two-fold group of Churches that challenges our attention. Christians of both groups are found by the hundreds of thousands in America. They are here as a permanent factor in our national life. There are those who view them merely as exotics, whose very presence brings an element of Eastern superstition which should be absorbed into a vigorous Protestantism. Others there are who view them as misguided sheep who should be welcomed into the bosom of St. Peter. The Anglican mind has been content to view them as members of a sister Church, and as such deserving of attention, courtesy, and consideration.

Within the memory of many of us, our ecclesiastical approach to these Churches has undergone a three-fold change. It is less than twenty years since the sole expression of interest and kinship was found in dramatic union services. This was the dramatic period and awakened interest. Later, lured by a desire for unity, we entered into the conference period, which resulted in a much more perfect understanding. Thus far we shared our development with the Church of England. During these latter years the exigencies of our national life have demanded something more. We are now passing [6/7] through a period of cooperation, in which, in all parts of the country, bishops and other clergy are offering our resourcefulness and the richness of our experience to our brethren of the Eastern rites who are trying to find their place in America.

Chapter II Neither Roman Nor Protestant

ROME is not, though she calls herself such, the Mother of all Churches. It is far more in accordance with the facts, at least in some parts of the world, that Rome has proved herself a stepmother, who has ruled her children not wisely but too well. This will become evident in a later chapter on the Uniat Churches under Rome. Nor is Protestantism the Mother of all Churches. At least in some of its manifestations, it bears a rather strong resemblance to a painted-to-order ancestor. The true mother, Christendom of the East, is neither Roman nor Protestant.

But let us stop a moment in order to define these terms. It is a very necessary precaution because we Americans are prone to use words so carelessly, perhaps especially when we discuss religion. I should not be surprised if someone were to state that I had just claimed that Eastern Christianity is neither Catholic nor [8/9] Evangelical. That is not what I say, nor what I mean. The Churches of the East are neither Roman nor Protestant. I have said nothing about Catholic or Evangelical.

What then is Romanism? What then, in these days, is a Roman Catholic? A Roman Catholic is one who is in communion with the Pope, the Bishop of Rome. That is the briefest and the most comprehensive definition. The Orthodox Church and the other ancient Apostolic Eastern Churches and their adherents are not in communion with the Pope. They are not Roman or, if you prefer, Roman Catholic. All this may seem perfectly obvious, but it is tremendously important because of its bearing on the future of Christian Unity. We Americans, due to our restricted outlook, are too likely to come to the conclusion that the utmost for which we can hope in the way of Christian Unity is a sort of pan-Protestantism, that is, a union of all Protestant Churches, opposed to and opposed by a strongly entrenched Roman Catholic Church. We say, "It's one or the other, Protestant or Roman Catholic." Then we happen to talk with our Greek soda-water dispenser, or to a Syrian vender of laces, and find that he doesn't understand our dilemma, for he, a Christian, is neither Roman nor Protestant; in fact, he is inclined to join the two, [9/10] and Consider the Roman Pope the first Protestant, the first individualistic rebel against ancient united Catholic Christendom. To the Orthodox, Romanism and Protestantism are simply different aspects of this same original heresy.

Do not miss the importance of this point of view in relation to Christian Unity. Whatever primitive Christianity may have been, we non-Roman Western Christians were all at one time under the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. We all claim to have returned to primitive Christianity: "to the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ," say our Protestant friends; "to the pure Christianity of the undivided Catholic Church," say we Episcopalians. But the Churches of the East, while conscious of many shortcomings, have never felt the necessity of what may be called a return to original Christianity, because they are not aware of ever having deviated from it. They are what they were. They never were Roman, and they have not become Protestant. At no time in the first one thousand years of Christian history was the Pope of Rome the accepted lord and master of the Catholic Church throughout the world. Whatever he was, he was not the touchstone of Catholicism. At best he was the most honored patriarch among brother patriarchs. When he [10/11] increased his position of honor to one of power over his brethren, they resented his claims, and there came the separation of the East and the West. Then distinctive Romanism began and developed to its present position. Today the Eastern bishops are what they were when the bishops of Rome in olden times considered them fellow Catholics. Rome, not the East, has essentially changed. According to the Churches of the East, you are a good Roman, but not a good Catholic, if you are in communion with the Bishop of Rome.

Now let us take up another angle of the question--the doctrinal content of Romanism--in order to point out that the Eastern Churches, though Catholic, are not Roman. According to our Roman Catholic friends, you cannot become a Catholic unless you believe that the Bishop of Rome, by virtue of his own position apart from the consent of the Church, is infallible, when, acting as a teacher of the Church, he intentionally defines a matter of faith or morals. The East does not believe this, and it never has believed it. To the East, that is a new doctrine, and the Church exists for the keeping of old truths, not for the invention of new.

I pass over some points which would be interesting, but time does not permit dealing with [11/12] the popular presentation of religion, and I go on to a kindred phase of Romanism which Protestants often consider an essential element of Catholicism, namely, papal autocracy. To put it into every-day language, the Pope rules the bishops, the bishops rule the priests, and the priests rule the people. Thus in the United States a Polish congregation may be asked to obey a German priest, who takes orders from an Irish bishop, who gives heed to an Italian Pope. This is not a far-fetched illustration, and the result is featured by stories in the newspapers of a Roman pastor presented with a brick shower by his flock. Such an arrangement may be excellent Romanism. It is not considered excellent Catholicism by those Eastern Churches, who are what they were in the year 300 or 400. Nationalism may be but a phase of civilization; but it is a phase of crystalline hardness. It is not negligible. Even Rome in this country is popularly considered as an Irish Church, with some Italians, Poles, and a few French and Spanish adherents. The East is more frank. Its Churches are national, but the national Churches are in brotherly fellowship. Together they constitute Orthodoxy. Together they honor, as first among equals, the occupant of the Ecumenical Throne of Constantinople.

In a later chapter we shall endeavor to show [12/13] that the Eastern Church has not hesitated to define dogma where clear scripture makes definition possible. Rome, on the other hand, seems to be characterized by a flair for definitions and quantitative measurements. A theological calculus might be developed from the history of merits, indulgences, quarantines, and other things. The exact effect on God which is produced by one hundred "Our Fathers" would seem to have been appraised.

That is one of the reasons for Protestantism; and one of the reasons why the East never became Protestant is that it never was Roman in this mathematical way. It has been faulted for its vagueness to be sure, and Rome praised for its preciseness. Of course difference in temperament plays a part in this. We Westerners like to know exactly when (day, hour, and minute) a man was converted. The East is content to be vague where the Bible is not precise.

These few allusions must be sufficient to show that the Eastern Churches are not Roman, and in the course of our presentation we have asserted that neither are they Protestant.

What is Protestantism? Again we must, for our purpose, seek for a brief comprehensive definition. That is difficult, for Protestantism is not what it was. It is today a religious "free for all and catch as catch can." It was once [13/14] something more definite. Among other points it included the assertion that groups of Christians could found Churches, interpret the Bible, and lay down beliefs to be accepted by all members. To some extent it may be described, in its beginnings, as a partial and limited Catholicism, assuming various forms. For autocracy of one kind it substituted another. Throwing over Mariolatry, it enslaved itself to Bibliolatry. In places it did away with a penitential Friday, only to deprive Sunday of its Catholic joy. If the layman no longer said "Yes, Father," to a priest it was because the Protestant minister had learned humbly to say "Yes, Sir," to the chief layman of his congregation.

I do not give these instances as a complete picture of Protestantism, but simply in order to indicate that definition is difficult, for Protestantism has never succeeded in being in principle absolutely anti-Catholic.

Perhaps, however, we can best, for our purpose, approach this problem from the point of view of the Eastern Church. In the first place, Orthodoxy believes in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, founded by Christ. This is contrary to the historic position of the Protestant, who denies the foundation of a visible Church by our Lord. The East claims succession through bishops back to the apostles, and [14/15] so to our Lord. Protestantism makes light of such a claim.

The East is intensely sacramental, with its doctrines of baptismal regeneration and of the Real Presence of our Lord in the Sacrifice of the Altar. It lays stress on the well-known seven sacramental mysteries. This is far from Protestantism, which (in many sections) tends to neglect baptism as nothing but a devout ceremony, and to look upon the Holy Communion as a symbol of fellowship only.

The closest agreement between Protestantism and the East is found in the emphasis on the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In short, to the Eastern Christian the Church is a God-given organism, with an apostolic ministry, with a complete sacramental life, with the evangelical teachings of early Christianity kept intact.

I regret that space prevents the inclusion of an address of the Japanese Orthodox Church to the Metropolitan of Kieft on the occasion of the ninth centenary of the baptizing of the Russian nation, stating that: "On the one side is Rome, and we know not tomorrow whether she will give us new dogmas, and on the other side is Protestantism, that tomorrow we may have less than we have today."

It is evident, then, that Eastern Christianity [15/16] is neither Roman nor Protestant. Its aim has been neither to add to nor subtract from the faith once for all delivered to the saints. It is Catholic. It is Evangelical. Does it not then appear that we Americans are not forced to choose between the horns of the dilemma, "either Roman or Protestant?" Here is a group of ancient Churches, holding practically one and the same faith. For centuries we have been separated from them, perhaps fortunately, for Protestant and Eastern Christians have few if any bitter memories of conflict to cherish. No longer are they a distant theory, for millions of them are in the United States, hundreds of thousands are loyal citizens, their churches are spread throughout the land. It pays to study them, and for us such study has been made most easy.

Let me point out a fact known to some of our people, that Eastern Christians and Anglicans, including American Episcopalians, have much in common. Together we differ from Rome, together we differ from Protestants. Ought not the members of both strive to know each other better, that they may blaze the trail for Christian unity? So shall we follow the advice of the House of Bishops of the American Episcopal Church given in 1886: "We do hereby affirm that the Christian unity, now so [16/17] earnestly desired, can only be restored by the return of all Christian communions to the principles of Christian unity exemplified by the undivided Catholic Church during the first stages of its existence."

The Eastern Orthodox Church is today essentially what it was in the first stages of Christianity's existence.

Chapter III. Reality of Worship

IN the office of the Foreign-Born Americans Division, hanging high in the right hand corner, there is an ikon. It came from the Cathedral in Tiflis. It is just a beautiful picture of our Blessed Lord in a gold setting; not, however, as He hung on the cross in excruciating agony, but rather the Lord in His glory, the risen, living Lord. On this ikon there are in Russian two inscriptions: "The Lord Omnipotent," and "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another." These two inscriptions strike the dominant motifs of the religion of the Eastern Church: the presence here and now of the living, omnipotent Lord, the center of man's faith and life, and the fellowship of the brethren within His Church.

The birth of the Russian Church was at the end of the first thousand years of the Christian era. This is how it came about, according to a tradition that is probably true.

[19] Some of the ruling princes in Russia, among them Vladimir, had become dissatisfied with their heathenism. Accordingly they sent out a delegation to travel to different lands and observe the various religions, and discover which of them was the best. This delegation went to the Mohammedans, to the Jews, then to Rome, and finally to Constantinople. This was just bebefore the beginning of the schism between the East and the West, when the Pope broke off from the Church. The Latin and Greek forms of worship were by this time, however, quite different. The ambassadors returned to Russia and reported that Christian religion in Rome did not satisfy them, but they were deeply impressed with that of Constantinople. There they had witnessed the great service and Divine Liturgy in all its glory in the Church of the Holy Wisdom, greatest of Christian temples.

Let us quote the report of the embassy:

"When we stood in the temple we knew not whether we were in heaven or on earth, for there is nothing else like it in the world. There in truth God has His dwelling with men. We can never forget the beauty we saw there. No one who has tasted sweets will afterwards take that which is bitter. We can now no longer abide in heathenism."

This Holy Eucharist, or Divine Liturgy as [19/20] the Easterners best love to call it, celebrated by the Patriarch of Constantinople i,000 years ago, is practically identical, not only in words but in ceremonies, with the liturgies celebrated today throughout the Eastern Orthodox churches, including those scattered all over the United States. The Greek is, of course, the same. Only in language do the others differ, Slavonic, Rumanian, Arabic, Tartar, Esquimo, Japanese, English, etc. [We are in this chapter portraying the Eastern Orthodox worship, not the Eastern "Apostolic." Nevertheless the same characteristics apply in general to the Armenian and other separated Churches, though each of them has a different liturgy.]

There are certain general characteristics about Eastern worship that are strongly in contrast to our own. The marks of the worship of the Eastern Orthodox may be classified as follows: Elaborate grandeur, the mystic sublimity of their other-worldliness, homeliness, fellowship. The reality of it all strikes deep into the heart of the Eastern Orthodox worshipper, and also of the Westerner after he has learned to understand and appreciate it. Although the Eastern service is much more ritualistic, nevertheless it is not nearly so formal as ours.

First then, elaborate grandeur, almost exuberance. It is not the same kind of beauty that we are accustomed to in the West. We might [20/21] say that the Eastern Church itself is more like a casket of gems, while our Church might be likened to a stately statue.

Let us look at their churches. There are no pews in them (except in some in America) ; the worshippers most of the time stand. They kneel or prostrate themselves only at special points of the service, or as the spirit moves them to express special devotion.

The church is divided into three parts, the porch, the nave, and the sanctuary or altar, as they call it. The sanctuary contains the Holy Table in the center, and on one side the altar of preparation. It is cut off from the nave by a solid screen, the iconostasis, or ikon screen, in which there are three doors.

There are no statues in the Eastern Church, only ikons; these are not images but painted pictures of our Lord and His Blessed Mother and the saints. On the central doors we find a picture of the Annunciation. On the screen there is an ikon, our Lord on the right and the Blessed Virgin on the left. Other ikons fill the screen, and all the walls are covered with scenes from holy writ or sacred history. Great chandeliers hang from the roof, candles are set about in abundance. The whole effect is like a casket of jewels, sparkling.

The words of the Eastern service also show [21/22] the Eastern love of exuberance. The psalms are all used a great deal, of course, as well as the Holy Scriptures in general, but there is also a peculiar Eastern psalmody which we have not developed in the West. These elaborate unmetrical poems or Christian psalms are centuries old, and were written by the Church fathers. Some are regular parts of the service. There are many special poems for each season and day of the Church year. It is from these that many of our Western hymns are taken.

Then the music. The Russian music is truly celestial. They never use instruments in church because, say they, God made the human voice for worship. The Russian contra bass or octavist sings an octave below the ordinary bass, actually at the same pitch as the low pedal pipes of an organ.

Then, of course, there is the ceremonial with its processions, candles, incense, and gorgeous vestments, elaborate with color and symbolic acts. Everything is symbolic. It all means something real to the worshipper. Where we Westerners need words to express our feelings, the people of the East express their adoration and aspiration in symbol. From childhood they know the meaning of the way they hold their fingers in making the sign of the Cross. The first two fingers and thumb, extended and [22/23] joined, symbolize the Holy and Undivided Trinity, and the last two fingers down against the palm symbolize the two natures of Jesus Christ, Divine and Human.

Second, the other-worldliness of it all. The Orthodox may not be as practical as we are. As has already been said, in their theology they are more vague. In the West we define things. In the East the tone is simpler, more mystical. Their worship brings to them a sense of the other world. In the kits of the Russian soldiers there was always an ikon. They do not worship the ikons, any more than we worship a stained glass window, or a statue, but the ikon to them is an indication, a constant reminder, of the presence of the other world. They live, these Easterners, in the presence of another world, with the angels, the saints, and the Ever Blessed Trinity. This other-worldliness, the practice of the presence of God in their lives, not only at worship in church, but in their homes and everywhere, is characteristic of the Eastern people. In this we can learn much from them, just as they can also learn much from us in other ways.

If you should pass some Orthodox church in an American city on Good Friday, or early Easter morning, you would find the streets crowded with the faithful, come together, as no [23/24] other people do in Holy Week, to worship the Lord.

There was a Russian church in Alaska, and it was Easter Day. All the people went out of the church crying "Christ is risen. He is risen indeed." And just at that moment the top of a great volcano near by blew off. They were too busy, however, doing things more important to pay attention to volcanos, nor did they stop their singing. The presence of the eternal Christ was more important than passing earthly things.

The third mark is that of the homeliness of it. The Eastern Orthodox, men, women, and children, love their church. They love to go there, and are at home there. They kiss the ikon as their dear friend, and of course with a reverence, too, but it is more the simple homeliness of it. They move about freely; the little children play around sometimes. There is nothing stiff or constrained. Yet there is no irreverence in the felt presence of God. Their ofttimes signing of the cross is done much as a Methodist says his "Halleluiah," "Praise the Lord." As I stated above, it means something real to them, and keeps ever before them the foundations of their faith.

Some time ago a priest of our Church was attending a Russian liturgy in St. Nicholas Cathedral, [24/25] New York City. He was standing by the priest at the altar during the most sacred part of the service. A little child left its parents and ran up the steps through the holy doors, and stood beside the priest. If it had been in our Church probably the officiant would have severely turned his embarrassed head, and a shocked usher removed the child; but the Russian priest merely smiled and patted the head of God's little one.

The Easterner does not make his communion as often as we do in the West, but perhaps his preparation is deeper. Sometimes when a little child makes its communion, the father holding it will kiss the child's lips, and so he believes he will receive some of the benefit of the Sacrament. At the end of the service all troop by the priest and kiss the cross which he holds.

Not only is there in it all a simple homeliness, but there is also the bond of fellowship. That is the fourth mark of the reality of their worship. You will find at their worship the richest and the poorest, nobles and peasants, side by side, all worshipping together as brethren, thoughtless of caste. Also they realize the presence with them of their other friends, and all around them the angels and saints and the departed, and our Lord.

[26] Let me describe, to illustrate this, the service of the Prothesis, the preparation of the bread and wine at the beginning of the liturgy. Behind the screen on the side altar of the Prothesis the priest takes the five leaven loaves. Taking one he cuts out of the middle of the loaf a square piece which he calls the Lamb. This he places on the silver or gold paten or plate. That represents our Lord. He cuts another piece and places it to the right, to represent the Blessed Virgin; then others for the orders of angels, then the apostles, saints, the living bishop of the diocese--all are there, and the ruler of the country, which in this country is the President of the United States. Then pieces are cut out and arranged on the paten for the living people that have asked for prayers at this Eucharist, and also for the souls of the dead. After the consecration all these little particles are swept into the consecrated wine, all together, our Lord and His Church, in the fellowship of the Church, the Communion of Saints.

At the end of each Eucharist all those who do not make their communion receive a piece of bread from the other four loaves. These have been waved over the consecrated Elements and then distributed to all the people, and are taken home to the sick or to the shut-ins. This [26/27] custom, the survival of the first century Agape, or Christian love feast, is another means of the fellowship of worship. It is all one family. Such acts have a deep influence on the lives of the people and maintain their touch with God.

Chapter IV. Our Debt to the East

IT IS because the Churches and the peoples of the East centuries ago flung out their banner, far and wide, that we are not today pagans. You may sum up the debt of the West to the East in one word, "Christianity." All I can do is to make somewhat more detailed and interesting this answer to the question, "What do we owe to the East?"

To be sure, Christianity is a universal religion, but in its origin it is Oriental. That is a truism. We of the Western world are inclined to speak and act as though the Church and her Gospel had indeed begun in the East, but that there have been two lines of development, the Eastern and the Western, and with our customary self-satisfaction we are inclined to think that the Western line of development is by far the better of the two; therefore we have neglected any close acquaintance with the Eastern line.

[29] Now, in a measure, it is historically true that there have been these two lines of development of Christianity, or rather the forms and modes in which the religion has been cast. Close acquaintance with the facts reveals that to a large extent our religion seems to have been developed in the East before the Western Churches made their contribution, which contribution is marked not so much by enrichment as by simplification of existing forms of worship. This is of some importance to us, Anglicans or American Episcopalians, for it is sometimes stated that our Book of Common Prayer is not much more than a translation of the services of the Roman Catholic Church. We cannot stop to argue the point; let us grant it, for the sake of argument. It is equally true that the best part of the Roman services comes from the East.

But I am anticipating. Because of our Lord's birth of a Jewish Maiden, the Christian religion developed in Oriental surroundings. Because He used the Aramaic language and expressed Himself in ways best understood by His hearers, His teachings are naturally cast in Oriental form. It would be interesting to imagine the existence of a Christian Church today, still using this language, and its followers still living the pastoral life. Would it not [29/30] naturally have a more intimate, immediate understanding of many of the sayings of Jesus? This is not a matter of imagination, for the Old Church of the East, the "Nestorian" Church (described in a later chapter), fills the description today.

My object in attracting your attention to this is the following: By chance or by Providence, some of the peoples of the earth are more at home in the original atmosphere of Christianity than we Anglo-Saxons. And yet some people seem to believe that real Christianity was discovered in the sixteenth century by some German or some Swiss, or an Englishman!

Is the Bible, i.e. the New Testament, a Western book? It is not. The books of the New Testament were almost all, if not all, written by members of the Eastern Churches and in the Greek language. The Apocalypse is so foreign to our modes of thought that every few years we see a new attempt at its correct explanation. St. Paul was not a Nordic. He was not a Latin. He was an Oriental Jew, with Greek training, Eastern to the core. The writer of the glorious Fourth Gospel soars far above our materialistic Western minds. We owe our New Testament to members of the Eastern Church.

Furthermore, the early centuries of [30/31] Christianity are marked by attacks on the Faith. These attacks were considered and defended by a series of Ecumenical Councils all held in the East. Protestantism in this country, generally speaking, accepts the first four Ecumenical Councils as expressing the true doctrine concerning our Lord Jesus Christ, very God, very Man, one Person, but two natures. There were a few Western bishops present at these councils, but never the Bishop of Rome. He displayed his interest by sending representatives. These great Councils were overwhelmingly Eastern, and to them we owe the preservation of primitive Christian teaching concerning our Lord.

One result of these Councils was the Creed commonly called Nicene--our eucharistic profession of faith, Greek in language and thought.

To sum up, we owe the New Testament, the defense of our Faith and its concise declaration, to the East. Granted that chance determined this, it is still a tremendous debt.

But that is not all, for faith expresses itself in worship. Lex orandi, lex credendi, says the old Latin precept: our prayers manifest the content of our belief. As a matter of course, Christian worship developed chiefly around our Lord's service, the Holy Communion. Several [31/32] types of this chief service developed; all are more or less related. For the most part, these ancient liturgies, as they are called, are Eastern. Rome has for many centuries used a liturgy which differs somewhat sharply from the Eastern services; but to this day "Lord have mercy upon us, Christ have mercy upon us, Lord have mercy upon us" is said in Greek in the Roman Catholic churches. The difference between the Roman Catholic Mass and the Eastern Mass is two-fold. On the one hand we have a typically Western attempt at simplification in the interest of brevity; on the other hand we have a contrast in the formula used for the consecration of the bread and wine. [Our desire for short services seems to have begun 1,600 years ago in the West.]

In all Eastern liturgies we find, first, the Narrative of the Institution of the Lord's Supper; secondly, an Oblation; thirdly, the Invocation of the Holy Spirit to consecrate the elements that they may be the Body and Blood of our Lord.

In the Roman Catholic liturgy or Mass we find no such Invocation of the Holy Spirit. Instead the Narrative of Institution is used as an act of consecration, followed by a curious, illogical, somewhat unintelligible series of prayers. Roman Catholic scholars practically [32/33] agree that their liturgy has lost what once it had, the Invocation of the Holy Spirit to consecrate the bread and wine to be the Body and Blood of our Lord.

If you will turn to the service of the Holy Communion in our Prayer Book, you will find a typically Eastern prayer of consecration. First comes the repetition of our Lord's own words; then the offering of the Oblation; then the calling down of the Holy Spirit. The American Church received this from the Scottish Episcopal Church, which went to Eastern sources for its liturgy. At every celebration of the Holy Eucharist, therefore, we use as the very heart of the service a primitive treasure from the East. From the point of view of Christian Unity this is most important, for here is one of the chief differences between Rome and Eastern Orthodoxy, and one of the chief points of agreement between the American Episcopal Church and the Eastern Churches. [The recently rejected revised Prayer Book of the Church of England contained such an Invocation, which would have made the English Communion Service less Roman than it is.]

As concerns our daily services of Morning and Evening Prayer, they are condensations of the Roman offices. These also, however, derive from Eastern sources. As regards particular [33/34] parts of the services, I can but point out that the same source gives us the Gloria in Excelsis and the Prayer of St. Chrysostom.

Before leaving this part of my subject, I refer to the conclusions of an eminent Roman Catholic liturgist, Dom Ildefonso Schuster, who points out that "from the East, from Jerusalem and Constantinople, come in large measure the dramatic round of fast and festival: Holy Cross Day, All Saints', the penitential season preceding Lent, the feasts of the Blessed Virgin, etc." "And we might add," he concludes, "not only the apostles, but Christ Himself, the Holy Scriptures, the four great councils, the first fathers, many popes, the divine office, monasticism, liturgical music, Rome has received from the Orient." What do we Episcopalians owe Rome when Rome owes so much to the East? Our precious service of the Holy Communion sparkles with Eastern jewels in a Western setting.

If there is one thing in which Protestants take great pride, it is in the singing of hymns. The Episcopal Church is making a special effort to keep at a high standard the hymns used in the worship of Almighty God. In the index of authors in our Hymnal, you find the following ascribed to Greek writers:

[35] O Brightness of the Immortal Father's Face.
The day is past and over.
The King shall come when morning dawns.
Christian! dost thou see them?
Come, ye faithful, raise the strain.
The Day of Resurrection.
Stars of the morning, so gloriously bright.
Let all mortal flesh keep silence.
Let Thy blood in mercy poured.
Fierce was the wild billow.
O happy band of pilgrims.
Those eternal bowers.
Art thou weary.

These and other hymns we owe to the Eastern Church.

Therefore, in Gospel and Creed, in prayer and praise, we are indebted to the East. In ceremonial this also is the case, although here we find ourselves influenced by centuries of Western, i.e. Roman, simplification. To take only one point, the preparation of the Elements of bread and wine before they are placed on the altar. We showed in the previous chapter how the Eastern Church, by the use of a separate altar, magnifies this part of the Holy Communion. With us, as with Rome, the mere use of a credence table is all that remains. But what we have in this we owe to the East, as in many other points of the ceremonial.

And then there are our vestments. What [35/36] shall I say? Where alb and chasuble are worn at the Lord's Supper, we testify to our indebtedness to the Orient; where the priest is content to use a surplice, a comparatively modern Roman vestment, all sense of debt to the East is obscured.

I am conscious of the shallow treatment which exigencies of space force me to give to a great subject. In some degree, however, I have given a swift glance at an abiding fact, our debt to the East. So far as I have described it, it is a debt to past performance. But there is more. Succeeding chapters will bring before you incidents from recent centuries, tales from years just passing into memory, which will show that Christendom is under deep obligation to the East in these days. Stories of loyalty despite persecution, of faithfulness unto death. The fiendish policies of the Russian bolshevist, the modern rifle of the Turk, have proved ineffective in their attack upon the religion of Jesus Christ, as held by Eastern Christians. Many have suffered, many have died, but their Church remains unconquered.

Chapter V. Anglican and Eastern Cooperation

WE have been discussing various aspects of the relation of the Eastern Churches to the other Churches of the world.

In this chapter we will consider the relationship and, to some extent, the cooperation between the Church of the East and the whole Anglican communion.

The initial contact between the Churches of the East and the Church of England has already been mentioned, namely, the calling to England, as Archbishop of Canterbury, of a Greek monk, Theodore of Tarsus. At that time not merely was contact established, but a policy of Church life adopted which continues to this day.

There were no other important contacts until we come to the seventeenth century, when we find people from the East, bishops, archbishops, priests, and deacons, and many students, coming to England on various missions [37/38] and for instruction. This continued during the course of the eighteenth century. In the early part of the last century contacts were more frequent. With the fall of Turkish rule in Greece, people came in closer contact through sympathy--sympathy of mind, sympathy of aspiration--with the people of that little kingdom. In 1821, while the war was still going on, refugees came to England. Their message crossed the ocean.

In 1828, the Episcopal Church appointed its first foreign missionaries--missionaries of the gospel of help, comfort, and encouragement to the Churches of the Near East. In that year, the Rev. Mr. Robertson was sent to Athens, and later the Rev. Mr. Hill. They established what is known as the Hill School for the education of Grecian girls, and in Athens today the leading institution is the Hill School for Girls, established by our Church, and now administered entirely by the Greek Orthodox Church itself. Most women of culture speak with pride of their days in that splendid school for which our Church is responsible. Then, a few years later, about 1835, a number of English archeologists went into the farther Near East, Kurdistan and Mesopotamia. They brought back reports that set people thinking of what needed to be done in that country. [38/39] Word again came to America, and there was held in the year 1836 in Philadelphia a meeting of the congregation of old St. Andrew's Church, which pledged the expenses for a three-year mission, under our Board of Missions, to the Churches of the Near East. So there was established a very substantial contact between our Church and those Churches which had for centuries lived in isolation.

The Rev. Horatio Southgate spent his three years going from place to place, not, indeed, to win converts, but trying to explain that there was across the ocean a group of Christian people who would study their life and history, and who felt not merely a common interest, but a sympathetic love for their Church, and desired to express it through actual sympathetic, constructive cooperation. There came at the same time agents from the Church of England, who traversed the same country, and gave the same message of help. And then after many years, there came a deluge of letters from these ancient Churches, asking that the Anglican communion come over and help. Later, in the year 1842, we established our first foreign episcopates. The Church chose two bishops who were to be the first missionary bishops: one to China, another for Constantinople. The work
[39/40] was begun in Constantinople before the work in China. Then came a period of conflict with the Turk; confusion as to the duties and rights of our bishop made inevitable his recall.

Later on we find that the General Conventions of the early sixties, despite domestic problems, had before them one thought which seemed to be uppermost in the minds of those who were trying to form a policy: "What is to be our relation to the Churches of the Near East?" They were prepared to help, but for some reason lethargy came upon them and nothing was done.

Within the past two decades a newer type of approach has been developed, largely in America, because of the great influx of foreignborn people who are members of these ancient Churches. Speaking generally, we have approached them in three ways. In our early contact with the Eastern Church we thought in terms of a dramatic presentation, of a sort of vague unity of spirit, a sort of similiarity of manner, despite a contrast in methods. Then came the day immediately preceding the war when our differences were ignored, and we thought in terms of unity between the East and the West. Finally came the close of the war when we had to think in terms of particular problems, and the thought uppermost in our [40/41] mind since then has been comity or the cooperation of brethren.

Therefore, our program today is one of cooperation, trying to work out common problems, each with the other, for our mutual good. This type of work is possible only in America. There are not a large number of foreign born in England, where they still think along academic terms, tending toward the development of a program of unity.

Here, perhaps, is the best place to tell for the first time publicly of the great initial act tending toward unity, instituted by the Patriarch of Constantinople.

We have heard more or less from the Church papers of the recognition of Anglican orders by members of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and its confirmation by the Patriarch. I feel that the time has arrived to give some brief statement of just what occurred. [This chapter is one of Dr. Emhardt's.]

I was visiting Constantinople as a representative of the National Council of our Church. The Patriarch Meletios, who had been in America when we were thinking in terms of paper agreements, had seemed very anxious to have some formal act of unity pronounced by the two Churches. I stated to him that there were these difficulties: that we never [41/42] understood the people of the East, and to a much greater extent his people did not understand the people of the West. Even by his own group I was asked at times whether I was not a High Church Protestant, stating that they had no conception of the fact that the Church of England or the Episcopal Church of America stood before the world as a body not merely officially but ecclesiastically distinct from the other groups that surround us. I was asked the course to pursue. I told them that all that was necessary was "merely a pronouncement on your part that you recognize us as part of the great Orthodox system."

He replied that this matter had been under consideration for the past two years, and that a documental report had been drawn up over a year ago by the acting head of their theological seminary. The result was a reference to Professor Comnenos, and for days together with him and other members of the Holy Synod we analyzed not merely the teaching of the Episcopal Church, but also the many doctrinal points in which the attitude of the Eastern Church was misunderstood. It was most evident that unity with the Eastern Church or recognition of our ordination could not be based upon an ex parte interpretation.

He then promised me that on a certain day [42/43] he would give his decision. Pressing matters caused a postponement. I had to leave then for Russia. When I came back I found the document had not been prepared. It required another wait, after which documents were given, addressed to the Archbishop of Canterbury, as the head of the Anglican communion, and a copy to myself, as the representative of our Church.

Since then there has been an equally manifested desire on the part of the other patriarchates to do likewise. The other Churches are only waiting until the great ecumenical conference, when they may get together, and ask not merely for us to receive them and to recognize them as brethren, but to aid in the bringing about of peace in Christ's Church on earth, bringing together the shreds of that garment rent by the perverse will and ambition of men.

Chapter VI. Constantinople Eastward to New York

IT IS difficult for a stranger to live down a bad reputation, even when it is wholly undeserved. Faults and failings entirely unfounded are imputed often by friends as well as enemies, and the imputation persists. The same is true of a Church. Dean Stanley, one of the first Anglicans who wrote a history of the Eastern Churches and tried to be sympathetic, stated categorically: "This great Eastern Church * * * nevertheless today is not a missionary Church, never has had missions." Since this statement was published the idea crystallized into an axiom.

Nevertheless such a reputation is absolutely contrary to fact. It applies only after the Eastern Churches had fallen under the yoke of the Moslem.

The spread of Christianity to non-Christian people has from the earliest times been similar in the East and in the West, with, the exception [44/45] that in part of the East Mohammedanism obliterated the results of early conquests, and made impossible further missionary activity.

In the first centuries, beginning with St. Thomas and other apostles, missionaries going forth two by two carried the gospel even further East throughout the Persian Empire, and beyond it, till they touched the coasts of India and on through China, to the far bounds of the Pacific itself. Of these conquests of the Cross, and how the second century missions still remain in India today, we will tell in a later chapter, "Assyria, the Land of the Wise Men."

About the year 800, when the waves of various barbarian invasions had ceased to form an impassable barrier to the north, the Church of Constantinople, center of civilization and of Christendom, sent forth her missionaries along the upper shores of the Black Sea, and to Bohemia. By the year moo we find established autocephalous, i.e., independent, Churches of the Serbs, Bulgarians, and Rumanians, and later of the Georgians. At this time also the famous Greek monks, Cyril and Methodius, converted the Bohemians. To accomplish their purpose they were obliged to invent a Slavonic alphabet and introduce the art of writing. Thus Bibles and prayer books were translated into the vernacular. The ninth century also [45/46] saw the conversion of the Russians, and ever northward the course of apostolic labor took its way, and when two centuries later the Mongolian Tartar swept over Russia, the Slavic Church conquered its conquerors.

Steadily as the years and the centuries rolled by, the Slavic missionaries covered the vast steppes of central and eastern Russia and reached the shores of the White Sea. Siberia was opened to the Russian Empire, and the Church followed the course of empire, converted the heathen, and established new dioceses.

All the way from the heart of Russia to the Pacific, in a vast territory larger than the United States and Canada together, were found heathen peoples and tribes of many varieties; the Lapp and Esquimaux of the north with their witch doctors and fantastic superstitions, and in the south a variety of Buddhism in the peoples of Thibet; while among the Tartars, Mohammedanism had made great strides. Tens of thousands of these Mohammedans were converted to Christianity by the Russians. At a certain period there were, as in other parts of the world, wholesale conversions under political pressure. During the reign of Elizabeth II, 430,000 were converted to Christianity, but many such reverted.

[47] After a while the Russian Church formulated a more careful policy, and by the nineteenth century true conversions with long preparation for baptism and slow but sure growth became the rule.

The nineteenth century marks the rapid spread of what we term modern missions, when the Roman Church and the Anglican and the Protestant Churches of Europe and America sent out, as never before, missionaries to the untouched heathen in the most distant corners of the world. In this world progress, the Russian Church nobly fulfilled her part throughout Siberia, especially on the southern border, from the Caspian Sea to the Pacific, Japan, Kamchatka, across the bridge of the Aleutian Islands, and down through Alaska. In China her mission has not amounted to much, although there were 400 Orthodox Christian Chinese killed in the Boxer rebellion. A short time before the World War she established a Korean mission.

The reality and thoroughness of these missions can best be shown by telling the story of three Russian missionaries who may be justly called, because of their devotion, ability, and results, the three greatest missionaries of the nineteenth century. They were Ilminski, Nicolai, and Innocent.

[47] Nicolas Ivanovitch Ilminski (1822-91), professor of Eastern languages in Kazan University and the Ecclesiastical Academy, was a translator rather than active missionary, but the result on missionary extension of his work is perhaps without parallel, and the "Ilminski system" became the recognized system of translation for the Russian Church. He was a great scholar with a wonderful gift for learning languages. The Tartar literary language was founded on Moslem Arabic, because the Tartars had no written language of their own. Yet the many Tartar tribes had each their own dialects quite different from this Moslem literary Tartar. Hitherto the Russian Church had been obliged to use this. Ilminski brought about the translation of the Bible, liturgical books, and books of instruction into the many colloquial Tartar languages. For years he made his home and study among the Tartars and many other peoples, and in all his translations used the help of natives. His translations were not always made from the Slavonic but from the original Hebrew and Greek. During the last half of his life, he was constantly called upon to guide the specialists and translators as well as the scholarly missionaries in the field, in all parts of the vast mission field of Russia, Siberia, and Alaska. Thus it came about that [48/49] peoples who had never before had a written language, heard in their own familiar tongue, and were taught to read, the Bible, prayers, services, catechisms, educational works, and text books. Some of these languages were the Tartar, Yakut, Buriat-Tungus, Gold, Votiak, Mordva, Tcheremis, Ostiak-Samoyede, and Kirgis languages, and the Aleut. No other Church or missionary society has accomplished work at all comparable to this.

On the occasion of his death, the great patron of Ilminski, Pobedonostzeff, procurator of the Holy Synod, wrote: "Some years ago in Alsace, in the town Mulhausen, the respected pastor of the Reformed Church Matthieu founded an establishment under the name of Biblical Museum, and began to collect there editions of the Holy Scriptures from all the world in every possible language and dialect. Having heard from someone that there existed in Russia some sort of translations into native languages he addressed himself to me for information, and was utterly amazed at receiving from me an enormous box of native translations of the Holy Scriptures, published in Kazan--having an entirely erroneous idea of our Church life, the Lutheran pastor had never expected anything of the kind from us."

[50] A missionary of the Disciples of Christ bears this testimony to the second of these laborers in the Lord's vineyard:

"Archbishop Nicolai, Japan's greatest missionary, has had few equals since Paul's day. He was of royal descent, and was born at Melyoza, Russia, in 1836. His mind was turned to Japan by reading the diary of Rear Admiral Golownin, who had been in Japan in 1811. Though young, he was appointed in 186o as chaplain to the newly opened Russian consulate at Hakodate. He journeyed overland across Siberia, and, after spending the winter at Nicolaievsk, reached Hakodate in July, 1861. In April, 1868, he secretly baptized his first three converts. The first convert was Takuma Sawabe, a Shinto priest, who had burst into his room with the intention of killing him as an enemy of Japan. The young chaplain persuaded him that he could not justly condemn Christianity without studying it. The bigoted priest yielded to the suggestion and thus came to faith. By 1872, when the first Protestant church was established in Yokohama, Pere Nicolai had already baptized more than a score. In his fifty-two years of missionary service, much of the time he was the only foreigner. From the first, only ten other [50/51] missionaries were associated with him. He translated the New Testament besides several books of the Old Testament. He read and wrote with ease the most difficult of Chinese ideographs. His labors were prodigious; he loved the people, and upon the Church and its clergy he has left an ineradicable impress of his towering personality." [F. E. Hagin, in The Cross in Japan.]

Innocent (1797-1871) was the nineteenth century apostle to the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, and Kamchatka. Few if any missionary labors since St. Paul himself are comparable to his. Would there were space for many pages about him. In 1823 at the call of the Holy Synod, John Veniaminoff, later called Innocent, son of a village sexton, volunteered. Taking his wife, one-year-old son, mother, and brother, he traveled by river and horseback across the northern wastes to the Pacific, and by sailing vessel finished his three months' journey to Unalaska in the Aleutians, an island about the size of Vermont. Thirty years earlier the first Russian mission had begun on Kodiak Island, but progress had been slow. For ten years Father John lived among the gentle Aleuts, making many perilous voyages in a skin boat to other islands. He won the hearts of the natives by his humility and apostolic fervor. He invented an alphabet and translated Gospels, liturgy, and [51/52] school books into their strange language, and wrote a beautiful little book for his, people which later was used by the peasants throughout Russia, called The Way to the Kingdom of Heaven. He taught his flock carpentering and mechanical arts, and built his churches with his own hands. He introduced vaccination against smallpox. He organized and taught schools. The population of Unalaska gave up their superstition and became Christians. Then for five years at Sitka he won the selfish and revengeful Kolosha Indians to the Faith and Life.

In 1840 he returned to Russia to plead for a larger mission. While he was in Moscow his wife died. He was made bishop, and after seeing that his six children were all settled, he returned to Sitka. Then voyaging to Kamchatka, he traveled 3,000 miles by dog sled in the bitter winter, and organized a diocese. After many similar journeys he established another diocese in the Amoor country along the Chinese border. Each heathen race required a new translation of Church and school books. For forty years he thus labored, and at the age of 70, in 1867, was called back to succeed the great Philaret as Metropolitan of Moscow. In his last years, while administering effectually the most important archdiocese of Russia, he organized the "Orthodox Missionary Society," [52/53] and was ever mindful of the thousands of his children in the four dioceses which he had established on the borderlands of Asia and America.

From the days of Innocent up to the present incumbent, Alaska has had a regular line of Russian bishops, although the sale of Alaska to the United States in 1867 and the coming of missionaries of other Churches has lessened the scope and influence of the Orthodox mission. For years our Bishop Rowe and the Russian bishop have been on most friendly terms, and often arrange to visit each other's mission stations.

In 1872 the Russian episcopal see was transferred from Sitka to San Francisco. In 1898, Tikhon, who was destined to be Patriarch and Confessor, if not Martyr of the Russian Church under the Bolsheviks, became bishop and then archbishop, with the title of Archbishop of North America and the Aleutian Islands. In 1905 he moved his headquarters to New York, and consecrated a vicar bishop for Alaska.

Chapter VII. Break-up of the Turkish Empire

WE HAVE been considering thus far somewhat of the glory, the strength, and the enduring purpose and zeal of the Eastern Orthodox and Apostolic Churches.

In the following chapters we are to examine these Churches in active operation, and also cooperation with us of the West, trying to meet the problems which one by one arose before them during the course of the present century. Especially will we tell of what has happened in America. But back of that there is another page of history.

When we think of the Churches acting on the inspiration of the followers of our Lord, and going forth conquering and to conquer; when we think of the religion of Christ in Asia and Europe, reaching to the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Atlantic on the other--throughout the whole extent of the then known world--we wonder why the whole world is [54/55] not prostrate before the throne of the triumphant Christ. But history teaches us that there was a dark spot in the development of the life of the Christian Church. When people learned to think more of exact definitions, when they began to think more of temporalities and temporal power within the Church of God, confusion was brought to the minds of the people who still lived in the great open plains. They thought of the powers of the one God. They contrasted the simplicity of the life of Christ with the grandeur that the Church believed necessary as an expression of wholehearted devotion to Christ. With this background they were ready to listen to the words of any new and great prophet who should arise.

When, during the course of the seventh century, Mohammed sprang into prominence, and through certain physical weakness received revelations, he found that they were ready to listen. We must remember that Islam is an abortive form of Christianity, that substituted obedience to direct and fixed commands for the more difficult appeal for growth in Grace by applying the principles of the Gospel. The reward of the faithful was not the beatific vision but the eternal enjoyment of earthly pleasures, and added to all this was the promise made to warlike nomadic people that he who [55/56] gave his life for the faith should enjoy a larger measure of heavenly joy.

So this new faith spread like wildfire through the desert of Arabia, extending into the surrounding country. In some parts of the world, the Crescent triumphed over the Cross. The great Church of the Assyrians, the so-called Nestorian Church, which extended to China and almost to the shores of the Pacific, came under the tyranny of Islam. People were brought into subjection. Christians everywhere were forced to acknowledge the new prophet. The little Church of Mosul alone was permitted to retain some of its own religion. Then in future years there came the onrush of the hordes of Asia, sweeping like locusts throughout Persia, Mesopotamia, sending out the tentacles of their destructive forces further westward. They penetrated the continent of Europe, dominating all the territory from Persia to the Mediterranean. They conquered northern Africa and penetrated Europe by way of southern Spain. During the fifteenth century, not satisfied with their conquests in Asia, they crossed over into Europe. There, because of discord caused by personal ambitions, the great catastrophe of the Christian world occurred in 1453, when the body of Greeks who had defended the city of Constantinople, deserted. By [56/57] their natural allies and victims of intrigue, were forced to give the imperial city into the lands of the Turks. The whole Eastern world went into darkness. Nationalities were obliterated as nationalities. Religion was suppressed, and the hope of the people seemed to have been extinguished. We of the West benefitted by the overflowing of the refugees at that time, who brought new learning and new interpretations of Christ.

Let us consider, therefore, for a brief space, the Christian world under the thralldom of the impossible Turk. There are two things that have always marked the Turk's relationship to Christian people. They accepted the Christian ecclesiastical organization as such; the various patriarchs were maintained, if not in their splendor, at least in their dignity. The racial entities were respected so long as they pertained to the Church, but the open profession of Christianity was to a great extent forbidden and propagation of the Christian faith practically suppressed. The national life was of course entirely quenched. Under these conditions there remained but one expression of the national entity of these several races which made up the Turkish empire. That was the ruling patriarch, or the presiding archbishop or metropolitan of the particular race.

[58] The people were forced to worship in hidden caves and corners of the earth. Hence while they preached Christ, and while they kept alive the spirit of the religion of their fathers, of necessity they preached the national spirit. There was always before them the recollection of the splendor of the ancient days when their own countries stood forth in strength and power, and were the upholders of the national interpretation of the faith of Christ. And so, by means of the Church, people were taught to think of the former glory of their fathers.

The Turk, in all his tolerance, in time became more or less oppressive. People of Western culture, especially people of Christian culture, were more progressive in their business methods, more successful in their endeavors. Thus the periods of prosperity which arose again and again were followed by repressions, sometimes by persecution. This condition continued without any important break until the beginning of the nineteenth century, when the little kingdom of Greece asserted its independence and became the first to assist in the break-up of the Ottoman Empire.

Next we can follow, step by step, the breaking away of Rumania, Serbia, Bulgaria--the bursting forth of the national spirit which had [58/59] been nourished through the dark ages of the East by the Church of each race--until in 1912-13 we see the united forces of these little kingdoms pressing the Turk into narrower and narrower confines. It was only through the jealousy of the greater nations of the world, the "great powers," that they were prevented from expelling the Turk altogether from Europe. All this affected only the continent of Europe. Asia was still under the Turk. During the World War the Turk made his great mistake and allied himself with the Central Powers. At the outbreak of the war he still controlled considerable territory, but when the war ceased we find him practically stripped of all control over Christian people, except for the few who remained in Constantinople, and in the neighboring country of Angora.

The Church of Jerusalem was free, the Holy City under the protectorate of a Christian nation. The valiant Assyrian race, free; the people of Syria, the whole Eastern shore of the Mediterranean, free. Practically all the various Eastern Churches that we have been considering were free.

Then again there came the intrigue of Western nations. This intrigue of powers, jealous each of the other, has brought about a [59/60] humiliating catastrophe. It was the return of part of this land to the Turk, and the destruction of the remnants of state Churches in Asia. Thus today we see Christianity obliterated in that section given Greece by treaty, and sovereignty given, as a result of the selfishness of man, into the hands of the Turk.

Today we find these peoples standing before the world as individual entities. They lived under the Turk. Education, especially education of separate peoples, was suppressed. They had entered under that thralldom as the intellectual lights of the world. They came out with that light almost extinguished. They came out as people distinct from the other nations of the world, with one marked characteristic. Religion is an essential part of the national and political life of their country. In their governments, side by side with the Ministry of Education, stands the Ministre des Cultes (the Ministry of Religion). The Church and Church affairs receive the same respect, the same proportion or amount of support as is given to any other department of the national government. Remember, that it is not the state that tolerates the Church, but the Church that made the nation.

So, when you and I meet these people here in our native land, we ought to, take into [60/61] consideration that inevitably the Church is for them the historic medium for the expression of national consciousness and ambition.

The first endeavor of these people as they come to our land is to establish their national organization, which takes place, not in a common meeting place, but in the organizing of the Church of God, the upbuilding of an ecclesiastical organization; and so we deal with them not as small groups of people stranded on our shores, not as a mere body of people who have some hope to keep alive their native glory, but people who come here to maintain the traditions of the religion of their fathers. In our dealings with them we must respect this allegiance to the Mother Church. Our relationship is not merely with the groups here in this country, but with their people abroad who are trying to work out in some way a common program between the authorities of their fatherland, and with those who live among us in this country.

The great purpose that our American Episcopal Church should set for itself with regard to those who have been freed from the oppression of the unspeakable Turk is to be their aid, comfort, and strength, and share what we have to share with them. Those gifts with which God has especially endowed us here in America, the [61/62] gifts that we treasure, and which they yearn to have shared with them, are the gifts of education and the opportunity to preach a Christianity free from any admixture of political motives.

Chapter VIII. Two Million in the United States.

THERE are at the present time over two million members of the Eastern Churches here in the United States. In the foregoing chapters we have given, as was necessary, the background of this great section of Christendom, which these neighbors of ours represent. Now we come to the United States of America, where they are all about us. They are of various nationalities: Russians, Greeks, Syrians, Rumanians, Serbians, Albanians, Bulgarians. All these are of the great Eastern Orthodox Church. Of these we will treat in this and the following chapters. After that we will tell of those other Eastern Christians in America; the Uniats under Rome, mostly Ruthenians, and our many Armenian brethren and the Assyrians of the Nestorian and Jacobite Churches.

Doubtless many of you have passed through the middle of Pennsylvania and looked out of the train windows at the coal mines and towns [63/64] and cities, and you remember seeing there churches with spires like turnips turned upside down, and queer triple crosses upon them. Many of these are Russian Orthodox churches. Some are Uniat. Or go to sections of almost any large city in the United States, and you see foreign-looking churches. All over the United States you will find the Eastern clergy, about 900 in all, ministering to as many of their people as they can reach.

Over a hundred years ago the Eastern Orthodox Church entered America by way of Bering Strait. We have seen how Bishop Nicholas moved his Cathedral from Sitka to San Francisco. He was succeeded by the saintly Tikhon, who later was called back from America, just as many other missionary bishops have been called back, to higher honors. In after years Tikhon became Patriarch of Russia. The Russian Cathedral was moved to New York under Tikhon, and located on East 97th Street, just off Fifth Avenue. At present it is under a cloud, temporarily, as will be later related. Our St. Augustine's Chapel has been converted into the present Cathedral. Tikhon was followed by other archbishops, and today His Eminence, Metropolitan Platon, is generally acknowledged as the ruling bishop of the Russian Church in America.

[65] Toward the latter part of the nineteenth century a large number of Greeks immigrated here. They settled in various parts of the country. As soon as communities were formed in a city, they would immediately build a church and call a priest. As archbishop, Alexander was sent to them, with a Cathedral on East 72nd Street, in New York. A fuller account of the Greeks and other racial groups will be given later.

At the present time Metropolitan Platon has four vicar bishops under him; Archbishop Alexander has three. There is an independent Serbian bishop, Mardary, whose headquarters are in Chicago. The Syrians have two bishops, one under the Russian Church, and one under the Patriarch of Antioch. The other Orthodox have no racial bishop.

Since the war, the condition of the Eastern Orthodox Church in this country has been very sad, because the political divisions and revolutions in Europe have closely affected conditions here. We have thus constant interference in American dioceses and parishes by foreign prelates, and the result is various warring factions.

Because these people are here, our neighbors and Christian brethren, it is our duty to open our eyes to their presence, and treat them as [65/66] neighbors and Christian brethren. Our own Episcopal Church has done much in this cause of brotherhood. In the past year or two almost all of the Christian Churches of America have awakened to the fact of their presence, recognizing more and more the reality of their religion, and realizing that these, our fellow Americans, not only have the right to worship according to their own ways, but should be helped to do so.

Our contact with Eastern Christians in America has been of three kinds:

The first way was by united services with them. There was here, active before the war--there is still in England--a society called the Anglican and Eastern Churches Association, composed of members of our Church and members of the various Eastern Orthodox Churches. That association met and discussed mutual matters and held joint services. This was good to open the way, although it did not go very far.

At several of our General Conventions these Oriental prelates were formally received as guests, and appeared in the opening procession. From time to time other joint services have been held, which tend to a courteous understanding and friendship. Nevertheless sometimes such services have catered too much to [66/67] the spectacular, and we now have gone beyond this stage of "showing off together.

An important instance of a joint service of the right kind occurred two years ago in Trinity Church, New York City. The rector told me at the time when we were arranging for it, that it would be the same kind of service that was held after the death of Queen Victoria and President Wilson. It was a memorial service for the great Patriarch Tikhon of Russia. There were present our own Presiding Bishop; Metropolitan Platon, representing the Russian Church, who made the address; Alexander, the archbishop of the Greek Church; and Aftimios, Syrian vicar bishop under Platon. There were also present representatives of the Armenian Archbishop Tirayre, various Oriental priests, as well as our clergy and representatives of our National Council. Such a service of fellowship in honor of this great martyr was indeed a fitting act of friendship.

The second way by which Americans have been drawn nearer to the Eastern Churches is through the visits of distinguished foreign prelates. In 1919, Platon, the present Russian Archbishop of America, at that time Metropolitan of Odessa and Kershon, came to America on a mission of friendliness to this country, and especially to our Church. He attended [67/68] our General Convention in Detroit, and had a place of honor in the procession, next to our Presiding Bishop.

Then came the famous orator and theologian, Archbishop Nikolai from Serbia. Serbia had been swept off the map in the war, and Archbishop Nikolai, who had been living in England in close contact with the English Church, made a deep impression in America, going about not only to our churches but to others and speaking at many gatherings. He was present at the consecration of Bishop Manning of New York. His power as an orator and the spiritual depth of his message made people realize that the Eastern Church can produce great men.

The Metropolitan of Athens, Meletios, after the fall of Venizelos, came here as an exile. He was cordially received by Americans of different communions. Soon came the monarchist overthrow in Greece, and Meletios was elected Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, the highest honor in the Eastern Orthodox Church--this while he was still in America. At the service in the Russian Cathedral in his honor there were present Bishop Gailor, the president of our National Council, and the Greek Bishop Alexander, in addition to the Russian Orthodox bishops. Meletios was the [68/69] celebrant at the Divine Liturgy. Soon after he went back to be Patriarch of Constantinople, where after a year he was driven out by the Turks. His visit here increased the respect of Americans for the Orthodox Church. His portrait, painted by a Greek artist in America, hangs in the Clergy Club of New York, of which he has been made an honorary member.

Now we come to the third, and by all odds the best and most effective way of contact. It is the practical cooperation of living and working together here, and learning by mutual help to have confidence in each other. To bring home to Americans this fact and its significance is the chief aim of this book.

The cooperation between the parishes of our Episcopal Church and those of the Eastern Orthodox Church has increased to an amazing extent all over the country. We will give many instances of this in other chapters. Let us note some here to illustrate the point:

First, an illustration of neighborliness: In Yonkers, New York, someone called attention to the fact that there was right around the corner from our church a Russian parish that had been there for twenty-five years. Their choir was invited to sing in our church. Our priest and people visited their church. The Girls' Friendly Society invited the girls of the Russian [69/70] church to their meetings. A general spirit of friendliness and helpfulness developed and has continued.

Again, we lend our churches to visiting priests in all parts of the country. Often the Eastern clergy put their people in our priests' care until they come again.

There are not enough Eastern Church priests, and they cannot begin to minister to all of their people. Therefore, their people look to our clergy for ministrations, and we give them, where they cannot reach a priest of their own. But our purpose is to keep them loyal to their own faith, not to make Episcopalians out of them.

In Syracuse, New York, the Russians had no church of their own. Soon after the war they called a priest, and our church, Trinity, housed them for a while in the chapel. This is separated from the main church only by a thin wall. There on Sunday after Sunday they held their Liturgy, while we were having ours. I asked the rector of that church if the noise of the singing of the Russians disturbed his services. He said "Yes, but they were our guests, and we were glad to have them there. If my people could not hear my sermon, I would come down into the aisle." After they became strong enough, the Russians built a church of their own.

[71] The Greek, Russian, and Armenian authorities, and others, ask our national office and city missionaries to do what they can to help look after their people in various ways. The Children's Court of New York requested our office to obtain a decision from the Orthodox bishops in regard to placing delinquent children. At our suggestion, Metropolitan Platon and Archbishop Alexander wrote definitely to the judge that they desired that Orthodox children be sent not to Hebrew, not to the "Catholic," but to the so-called "Protestant" institutions, and that where these are of the Episcopal Church, as most of them are, they should be sent to them.

At Ellis Island, New York's port of entry, our Church representatives consider the Eastern Church immigrants part of their responsibility, and the Eastern Church bishops have requested that this be done by us.

Moreover, in hospitals, the Eastern Orthodox expect our chaplains to minister to all their people, unless they can obtain a priest of their own.

The Foreign-Born Americans Division publishes "Daily Prayers and Prayers in Sickness" in a number of languages with English translation in parallel columns. Among them are those in Rumanian, Arabic, Russian, Greek, and [71/72] Armenian. These are not our prayers at all, they are the familiar prayers of the Eastern Churches, selected and translated for us by Eastern bishops or priests.

All this is practical cooperation, working together, and I could tell a number of most interesting stories of the good that has been done. The Foreign-Born Americans Division is charged by our National Council, representing the whole Church, with keeping in touch with the Eastern Church leaders. There are many ways in which we continually help them to reach their people, and render practical assistance in their troubles and their difficulties.

Chapter IX. Greeks in America

THE general background of the Greek Church has been portrayed in the chapter on The Break-up of the Turkish Empire. This chapter, after giving a little more of the historical background, will tell of our Greek neighbors in America. The Greek race has existed for more than four thousand years, older, except in point of language, than even the Hebrew. The modern Greek language is as much like the ancient Greek as our modern English is like that of Chaucer. The various Greeks all over the United States know the history of their people, and they are justly proud of it--the wonderful civilization of ancient Greece, the Greece of our Lord's time and St. Paul's labors, and the Byzantine Empire.

Every American Greek knows well of the thousand years of the great Greek empire, from 300 to 1453 A. D., when Constantinople was the center of civilization, until the Turk [73/74] finally conquered. Then the greatest church of Christendom, Hagia Sophia, Holy Wisdom, became a Mohammedan mosque. After this for 400 years came the dark ages. During these centuries, the light of civilization, Christianity, and nationality itself were kept alive by the Church. The Greek of the present day owes everything to his Church. At last in 1821 came the first of the Balkan wars, when Archbishop Germanos raised the banner of the Cross, and the Greeks flocked to it. For seven years was fought the Greek Revolution, and then the foreign powers gave Greece only a little part of what was really hers. It was not until 1913 under Venizelos that they got back some part of what belonged to them. Then came the Great War, and all that followed it. The fall of Smyrna blotted out the last of the seven Churches in Asia. The selfish powers truckled to Turkey, the hope of Constantinople failed, and Hagia Sophia still continues as the temple of the prophet of Islam.

We know much of the Near East Relief work; but what Greece herself did for the Greek exiles driven out of Asia Minor is far more than any American money was able to accomplish. At one time she taxed herself twenty-five per cent of her capital, and Greeks in America have generously helped.

[75] Now the Church of Greece within the confines of the republic of Greece at the present day is larger than our own American Church. It has between eight and ten million people. The constant political changes and difficulties have held back its development. Nevertheless you find therein as great theologians as any. In the Conference on Faith and Order at Geneva, three years ago, American Protestants were surprised to find that the most forward-looking minds were those of the Greek representatives.

There has come to my desk recently, a copy of a Greek Orthodox catechism, published in England, for the English speaking Greeks. It is done by a Greek priest in London, and the Greek Bishop in England (Germanos) has written an introduction to it. It is a remarkable work and was awarded the prize in Athens. It would be an excellent thing for us to study.

The Greeks began to come to this country about forty years ago, and they came in greater numbers as time went on, until the war. There are between 300,000 and half a million in the United States at the present time. More than any race that is becoming part of our population are the Greeks distributed everywhere. You scarcely find a city or town where there is not at least one Greek. There are twenty-five thousand Greeks in New York, thirty thousand [75/76] in Chicago, and large colonies in many other cities. There are plenty of well-to-do Greeks, who have made their thousands, and in some cases millions. They are a patriotic people. They are easily assimilated. There is a national society called Ahepa (American Hellenic Educational Patriotic Association), whose principle is to make good citizens of the Greeks. Sixty thousand Greek-Americans fought in our armies during the war. There are no radicals among the Greeks. They are business people, and they get out of the factories as soon as they can and start in business of their own.

In Philadelphia our old St. Andrew's Church, which in 1836 took up the first collection for a mission of help to the Near East, was sold a few years ago to the Greeks and is now the Church of St. George. They have a school with American and Greek teachers. It has little children and also non-English speaking older children and adults. They send out a bus daily for the children. Their object is to prepare the children for the public schools.

The first thing the Greeks do when they come to America and become resident in any numbers in a city or town is to establish what they call a Greek community, with its organization and officers. Of these Greek communities over 'so exist now in all parts of the United [76/77] States. Let us note what is the main object of a Greek community. If we Americans got together in a city of Greece, I doubt if we would form such a "community." Their main object is to call a priest and establish a church. Its officers are the vestry of the church, for in Greece patriotism and faithfulness to the Greek Orthodox Church are synonymous. Take the city of Lowell. There were at one time sixteen thousand Greeks there, though now many have moved elsewhere. When the Greeks flocked there twenty years ago they formed the Greek community and built a large and beautiful church. There are four Greek churches in New York.

The Greeks have four bishops. Archbishop Alexander, who has his Cathedral on 72nd Street, near Lexington Avenue, New York City, and his See House in Astoria, Long Island, consecrated two bishops, both of whom speak English very well: Alexopoulos, who recently built a large Cathedral in the Fenway is Bishop of Boston and has been in America many years; Johannides, who studied at our Nashotah Seminary, where the Greeks now send many of their theological students, is Bishop of Chicago. Callistos has recently been consecrated for San Francisco.

Now let me tell you of some instances of [77/78] practical cooperation, which do not seek unity but practise comity. The Greeks are scattered, and have not enough priests, therefore we minister to them, as to our own people, where they have no churches of their own.

In Pottsville, Pa., one of our good Church women happened to find that there were just two Greeks in the town, therefore she did the right thing, became acquainted with them and asked them to come to our church. They were delighted because they knew what our Church was before they emigrated from Greece. They have come regularly ever since, and contribute to the church, are prominent members of the men's clubs, and when there are church suppers they usually run them. In Peekskill, N. Y., the rector of a church said that one of the best men he had was a Greek. Our Church's object is to keep them in their own faith, and not to make Episcopalians out of them, not to proselytize them.

There are probably five hundred of our churches that have some touch with the Greeks. We often lend our churches to the visiting clergy. Again, we cooperate with them where they have parishes. Here is an example:

Dr. Emhardt, three or four years ago, was planning to go through Salt Lake City, and telegraphed to the priest in charge of the Greek [78/79] church that he was coming. There were two factions in this Greek church, but when they learned that a national officer of the Episcopal Church was coming, they got together and a delegation met Dr. Emhardt at the station. They had a great service, both factions together, over a thousand people in their church, and peace was restored. They took up a collection of $2,000 and in addition $600 for relief in Greece. Since that time our bishop, dean, and people have been in close touch with them as a sister church.

Recently the Greek Cathedral in Chicago burned down. Immediately Dr. Thomas, rector of one of our largest and most fashionable churches in Chicago, told the Greek bishop he could have the church for Holy Week and Easter services. Thus the Greeks were enabled to keep their Easter in a church large enough to hold them. Bishop Johannides and his diocesan council were using the diocesan council rooms as the guests of our bishop the last time I was in Chicago.

Now, let us give two instances of how we helped the Greeks in establishing their own churches:

In Shreveport, La., our rector wrote that there were 300 Greeks who had no church, no priest. Therefore, the priest of our parish [79/80] and one of the vestry got in touch with leading Greeks and offered our chapel to them for their services, and suggested that they get a Greek priest to come occasionally. There was organized an association of which our rector and vestryman were honorary members. Soon the Greeks called a priest, a Doctor of Divinity, who used our chapel regularly for his services. They have now built a large church. Our rector told me that the most outstanding parish of any denomination in the city now is that of the Greek Orthodox.

There was a colony in Portland, Me., where there were some 200 Greeks, so the dean of our Cathedral got in touch with them, and the same thing happened. They used the parish hall for services for two years, and had many social gatherings which our people attended. The Greeks have now bought a fine old Colonial, church in the best section of the city. At one time, while the Congregational church next door to our church was being altered, the dean offered them the use of our parish room for their Sunday school. So there at noon were the Congregational children, descendants of the Pilgrim Fathers, holding their Sunday school amid the lingering odors of incense from the Greek service.

In much the same way we helped establish [80/81] a Greek parish in San Antonio, Tex. Old St. Paul's parish, Richmond, Va., is in close touch with the Greek parish of St. Constantine, and so I might go on giving examples, from all over the country, of helpful touch with the Greeks, of our confidence in them, and their confidence in us.

Chapter X. Rumanian, Serbian, Syrian Neighbors

IT WOULD be possible and interesting to cite a number of instances of cooperation, here in America, with Rumanians, Serbs, and Syrian neighbors, just as we did in the case of the Greeks. And we might tell of their distribution in this country, and of the conditions surrounding them. In similar vein we could devote some time to the comparatively few Bulgarian and Albanian Orthodox in America.

However, what is said elsewhere regarding our fellowship with Greeks and Russians must be taken as typical of our relations with all the Orthodox. It is better for our purpose that we should give our attention to the causes and meaning of perplexing differences, political and ecclesiastical, abroad, and the effect upon our neighbors of these races.

For example, the term Greek is a generic term; there are, however, Greeks and Greeks. In recent years the Greeks of Europe have [82/83] taken over the responsibility for the Greeks of Asia Minor. The past one hundred years were spent by the former in freedom, but by the latter under the domination of the Turk. More than that, the Greek of Europe is no more closely related to the Greek of Asia Minor than we of America are related to the French-speaking natives of the Channel Islands. Each speaks a different language, just as we and these remote cousins in the Channel Islands speak a different language. When we go to the other countries, we find the same conditions. There is Rumania, free from the Turks. North of them in Bessarabia were a body of people of the same racial stock, living under the domination of Russia. Toward the West were other Rumanians living under the rule of the Hungarians, each, for a time and season, a distinct group. The same is true of the Serbians: the little kingdom of Serbia, Serbs living in the north under one rule, and in the west under still another.

So one of the great problems of recent years has been the effort to bring together these various groups, separated by time and circumstances, bound together in a spirit of brotherly accord, but still subject to the difficulties of intrigue from within, and much more so from without. We know, for example, a movement [83/84] developing in America to bring about the independence of the Rumanians in Transylvania from the Rumanians of the central government of Bucharest.

In a milder way this goes on elsewhere, everywhere tending to bring discord, confusion, not merely in the Council of Nations, but before the central power of each independent kingdom. It is no wonder, therefore, that when we try to consider, in a general way, our attitude toward these various groups that we are brought face to face with a most confusing problem. We think of it all as part of the dissatisfied spirit of independence, of self-assertion, self-will dominating the council of a national group. Then we come to our own country and try to consider the various Churches, and we find a curious condition of affairs. The Rumanians who came here during the early days, having no Church of their own, and desiring religious protection, placed themselves under the protectorate of the Russian Orthodox Church. Later they became stronger and more self-assertive. Now they desire their independence, but along with this came recently people from Bessarabia, the Russian portion of Rumania, demanding individual recognition. So with the people from Transylvania. Among the Rumanians today we find, therefore, three [84/85] groups of people, bound together in a spirit of unity, each trying to express this in individual ways.

It would seem that out of these tangles almost the only way that they can find any unity of life and purpose is under the guidance of our own Church. The only council that was ever held by the Rumanians in America was held under the honorary presidency of one of our priests, who was able to keep before them the desire to remain a united Church.

We come next to the Serbians. We find the same difficult grouping. There are those in Bosnia and Herzegovina who had been absorbed by Austria, who form their own individual groups; there are those who remained part of the central power of the Serbian government; there are those who have been part of Hungary; each different, not in the essential things of life, but in their political outlook and in their social and educational ideals.

And so we could turn from country to country, and show the way in which confusion has been wrought.

The Syrians divided into three different ecclesiastical bodies, each expressing some aspect of the influence that affected them at home. For many years the Syrian Church in its weakness was under the protectorate of the Russian [85/86] government. Naturally it has had Russian affinities in this country. Since the close of the war, the Syrian nationality has stood by itself, and it has tried to express itself here. Another section of independent Syrians, representing a distinct group, comes here with the same intention and purpose. Hence, in viewing the great problem of the unity of the Church as affecting the Near East Churches, we have to consider its varied background, with the confusion that came more or less from accidents of life, not because of the faith of their Church, but because of confusion which did come in the Councils of Nations.

But one thing despite their differences always characterizes these groups at home. They have retained the one mode of worship. They have always acknowledged the one central figure as the Patriarch of their national Church. In perfect contrast to that picture we have the Roman policy, where, in a place like Syria, we find three different papal Churches, three different rules expressing themselves in three different types of religious polity. It is the great spirit of Orthodoxy, the belief in the united faith of a united Church, that makes these people after all one unit, which makes them think of the day when they can come together. They are working this problem out.

[87] The Rumanians in Russia, Rumanians in Transylvania, and the Rumanians of the old kingdom are trying to solve this problem, and so are the Serbs and the Greeks. In a more comprehensive way, despite the marked racial difference, so are the people of Syria. They feel that in some way they have inherited a trust given them by Almighty God, which is theirs to be treasured as their contribution for the welfare of a united Church. While they differ politically among themselves, while they live among the uncertainties that belong to confused national life, there is one thing they recognize, a conviction which has maintained their hope of unity and mutual help. They know there is here in America a sister Church, which is very like unto their own, which tries to understand them, which has no ulterior motive, to which they can turn for encouragement and guidance. They realize that the Episcopal Church is such a Church, that we are their hope and we are the natural leaders to take them from their confusion into a more glorious and better life. Not to a more abiding faith, but to unity of purpose, deeper devotion in hastening the world's salvation through that common faith that belongs to us as fellow members in the great Church of God.

Chapter XI. A Bolshevik Invasion of America

LET us now turn to the Russians and consider one of the most diabolical plots ever promulgated against Christianity, and its extraordinary results in America.

It is well known that under the Czars the Russian Orthodox Church was a State Church. Owing to this relationship many abuses had crept into the religious administration, even as they did in England. The revolution of March, 1917, released the Russian Church from State control and left it free to adopt a program of reforms. In August of that year a Church council (sobor) met in Moscow to enter upon this work. Greater emphasis was laid on preaching. To the laity was given a larger share in Church administration. The Patriarchate (abolished by Peter the Great two hundred years before) was reestablished and Tikhon elected Patriarch.

This orderly process of reform, however, [88/89] came to an abrupt end with the advent of Bolshevism, a form of government confessedly atheistic and materialistic. In the first four years of its sway, twenty-eight bishops and over twelve hundred priests of the Orthodox Church were foully murdered. Believers were persecuted and tortured. Religion was attacked in every possible way, but especially by obscene ridicule.

Nothing, perhaps, better illustrates the fiendish ingenuity of the Soviet government than its formation of a nation-wide band of young people, united against religion. A great demonstration took place Christmas Day, 1922, when anti-religious pageants were given, especially burlesques of the Nativity of our Lord. The Moscow parade numbered 20,000 young people. "An endless procession of gods and priests of the world . . . the yellow Buddha, with his crooked legs; Marduk of Babylon, and the Orthodox Mother of God. The Pope of Rome . . . the Protestant pastor . . , the Russian priest . . . what a fine work has been accomplished." "Here is the Divine Baby in the arms of Mary, clad in the helmet of the Red Army."

Such demonstrations took place all over Russia. You ask how it was possible to muster so many young people against the faith of their [89/90] fathers? Remember that Bolshevism has a carefully worked out campaign against religion, and that it does not permit the clergy or the teachers to instruct in religion those who are under eighteen. Doubtless, too, hysterical impulse played a part, for a promised Easter demonstration of greater magnitude fell flat.

I pass over the moral conditions in Russia. Even Soviet Russia realizes, in 1928, that it has appalling problems on its hands. Family life is almost a thing of the past. Hordes of homeless children wander over Russia.

All this was part of a deliberately adopted policy of the government. Surely no Church could sing the praises of Bolshevism, surely no bishop or priest could see in it the coming of the Kingdom of God!

The winter of 1921-22 saw Russia in the grip of famine. Tikhon, the Patriarch, offered to raise funds for relief of the sufferers; he offered to sell the non-ecclesiastical treasures of the Orthodox Church. This was not permitted by the government, which saw here an opportunity to deal a heavy blow to religion, under the veil of humanitarian sentiment. It insisted on the confiscation of all the Church's valuable treasures, including chalices and other consecrated objects. Note that there was no [90/91] mention made of the possible sale of the extremely valuable crown jewels, worth, according to newspaper reports, several hundred million dollars.

When the agents of the government began their raids on churches and monasteries, the fury of the people knew no bounds. Rioting took place at many points, and the agents met with unexpected resistance. Priests were arrested for obstructing the execution of the law, and after "trial" many were sentenced to death.

It was evident that no man was safe, since the government did not hesitate, in May, 1922, to imprison the Patriarch himself. Cowardly hearts manifested themselves. Some bishops and priests began making overtures to the Bolshevik government, which seeing how advantageous would be a split in Orthodoxy, looked with favor on the renegades. These, without the necessary canonical consent of the Patriarch, convened a Church Sobor (convention) in 1923.

Certain facts in connection with this Sobor are important. Not only was it called under sanction of the Soviet government, but it was also controlled by it. In return, the convention expressed its approval of Sovietism as being the nearest approach to the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. It declared that Russian [91/92] Orthodox believers were in duty bound to spread the gospel of Sovietism throughout the world. It appointed and consecrated one John Kedrowsky as Bishop of America. Kedrowsky is here in New York City.

It is said that this priest was chosen archbishop because he was the only American citizen present at the Sobor of 1923. His career had not marked him out as extraordinarily fitted for spiritual leadership. He is a married man, and according to the practice of the whole Orthodox Church, a married man cannot be a bishop. This rule can be changed by an Ecumenical Council only. The Eastern Orthodox Churches do not, however, in any way recognize his claim.

It should also be pointed out that barely one per cent of the hundred million communicants were followers of the so-called "Living Church" which convened the false Synod of 1923, or of the other bodies which have arisen since that time. The Russian people are still, for the most part, loyal to the Patriarch Tikhon's successor, even though he may be in a Bolshevik prison.

We are confronted with a most anomalous situation. Due to the confused state of affairs in Russia, the courts of the state of New York have found it necessary to accept as the Russian Orthodox Archbishop of America this [92/93] John Kedrowsky, whom the Orthodox Churches reject as non-Orthodox.

It is a situation fraught with dangerous possibilities. Kedrowsky was a member of the Soviet-sanctioned, Soviet-controlled Sobor of 1923, which proclaimed the duty of spreading Bolshevik ideas throughout the world. He is the chosen emissary of a group which thought it neither stupid nor blasphemous to compare the program of this atheistic Russian government with the ideals of the Kingdom of God. Today he is enthroned in the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Nicholas, on West 97th Street, just off Fifth Avenue, in New York City.

Here in America there are, it is estimated, about one million communicants of the Russian Orthodox Church, with over 300 parishes scattered throughout the United States and Alaska, Canada, and the Aleutian Islands. Should John Kedrowsky succeed in his endeavors, he will control 300 centers from which to spread the spirit of Bolshevism. In the mining districts of Pennsylvania alone there are sixty-six Russian parishes which Kedrowsky is attempting to control. Surely that is significant. To date he has attracted few followers; but religious affairs have been so confused abroad that the average Russian communicant might [93/94] easily be pardoned if he eventually accepted this prelate.

Most of us know more about Bolshevik propaganda in China than about the same movement within our own land. Nowhere, however, are the lines which lead back to the Third Internationale more clearly marked than in this case.

Chapter XII. The Episcopal Church to the Rescue

IN order to understand the situation of the Russian Church in America, let us go back a little before continuing the story. Remember the Church of Russia, what it was. In God's own time we know it will be restored to its former glory. Even now in Russia, though the hierarchy is broken and bewildered, faithful priests in all parts of the vast country are ministering in crowded churches. Religion is not dead, nor will it ever be. It was a great Church, over one hundred million strong, a Church with wonderful seminaries, a great history behind it. True it was, as have been other Churches, including that of England for a period, under the heel of the government, though the Czar was not the spiritual head of the Church. The Russian Church came to America over the Pacific Ocean, to the Aleutian Islands, from Alaska to San Francisco about a hundred years ago, and then on to New York. It had a theological [95/96] seminary at Minneapolis, which was later moved to Tenafly, N. J., and then to the Cathedral in New York. A number of Russian priests are American born and trained. Just before the war there were about 300 parishes in the diocese of North America and the Aleutian Islands, flourishing and peaceful. And faithful priests in most of these parishes are ministering still to their people.

Back in 1866 there was born in a little village in Central Russia a boy whose father was a priest. At the early age of 20 he succeeded in following his father's footsteps and became a priest, and, like every other Eastern Orthodox secular priest, he was married before he was ordained. They had one child, a girl, who is still living. When he was 28 his wife died. He left his village parish and went to Kieff, where he studied in the great Academy, and on his graduation from there became a monk and a professor in the Academy.

In the year 1902, Platon Rojdestvensky was made a bishop and became the dean of that ancient theological seminary in the city which is the mother of the Church of Russia. Six years later, because of his popularity, he was selected as the representative to the Duma, and the following years he was sent to America to be archbishop. He was in New York for seven [96/97] years, and then, to the sorrow of Americans and Russians, he went back to Russia and became Bishop of Kishineff. He was later made the Exarch of Georgia, and in 1917, with the general approval of the Russian clergy, he was appointed the President of the All-Russian Holy Synod, the ruling body of this Church of over a hundred million. When the revolution came, and the Czar was deposed, the Church, led by this Exarch, brought together for the first time in 200 years the great Sobor or council. Most, if not all, the Russian dioceses were represented in that Sobor, including the diocese of North America. Immediately after the election of the Metropolitan of Moscow, Platon was elected one of the five Metropolitans of the Russian Church; his title was Metropolitan of Odessa and Kherson.

In 1919 he came to America on a visit, and attended our General Convention in Detroit. While he was on his way back to Russia the Bolsheviks took Odessa, and it was impossible to return.

It is interesting to know that Platon was one of the great men of the Russian Church who fought bravely against the persecution of the Jewish people. As a young bishop, in his ecclesiastical vestments, he went out into the streets and ordered the mob, at the risk of his [97/98] own life, to stop immediately the bloodshed and plunder. Years later, as Archbishop of Kishineff, he stopped the pogroms there in 1915 and prevented the very possibility of their development by drastic measures. As a result no more pogroms were heard of in his diocese. He was famous for this, and also criticized by some for it.

How different is the life history of the great Metropolitan Platon from that of the man who now is legally occupying the Russian Cathedral of America. Kedrowsky was a bell ringer who emigrated to America and was befriended and ordained by Tikhon, then the archbishop. He was never more than an obscure priest, and of late years a suspended one.

During the war, the Russian Church in America was cut off from its annual subsidy from Russia of $100,000. Then came unfortunate mismanagement of the finances of the Russian Church here under Archbishop Alexander. So it was that in 1922 Platon was sent here to investigate matters, and as a result of his investigations Alexander left America, and Platon became the ruling bishop of the archdiocese of North America in 1922. He had a terrific task to restore order, and to win back the confidence of the people. He transferred the seminary to the Russian Cathedral. The [98/99] Rev. C. Thorley Bridgeman, assistant secretary of our Foreign Born Americans Division, taught at the Russian Seminary in that year, and the Y. M. C. A. gave part of its surplus war funds to the upkeep of that institution, and also to the republishing of the English translation of the Russian Liturgy. This was a good work, and they deserve great credit for what they did. When forced to give up this help the seminary was closed.

It was in 1924 that Kedrowsky, after a hurried visit to Russia, where he was made archbishop by the schismatic Synod, came violently on the scene. Suddenly, he and his wife and a priest appeared at the 97th Street Cathedral. They entered the basement door and some of the Russians found them "sitting in the dining room of Metropolitan Platon's house." The police were called in and they left. Since that time the matter has been in the courts, and the lower court rendered a decision favorable to Metropolitan Platon, which was appealed.

The next day after the incident at the Cathedral, the story was on the front page of papers, and kept there for several days. Bishop Manning of New York came out with a strong statement supporting Metropolitan Platon. Bishop Gailor, president of our National Council, did the same. Our own office issued a [99/100] statement. After a while there was a convention in Detroit where delegates from most of the Russian parishes came together to support their great Metropolitan. The convention was held in one of our parish halls and the service in our Cathedral, showing that our Church understood the situation and desired to stand behind the Metropolitan, as we have done ever since. Then in April, 1926, the higher courts of New York reversed the first decision of the lower court. This only covers New York, however, and is accepted in no other state. The Cathedral was taken over by Kedrowsky and Platon was removed, to the great sorrow of all the Russians and of his many American friends.

So far as I know, there is but one church of the 300 parishes that has in any way supported or acknowledged the Bolshevik archbishop. It is terribly absurd, if it were not so sad. They are all loyal, and none of the courts outside of New York has rendered any decision favorable to Kedrowsky, and, in fact, the action of the Synod which elected Kedrowsky in Russia in 1923 has not been acknowledged by the next Russian Synod. No Orthodox body has acknowledged him as yet.

After that our National Council in 1926 passed the following resolutions:

[101] "RESOLVED: That the National Council of the Episcopal Church has learned with regret the necessity which led the Court of Appeals of the State of New York to issue a decree which removed from the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Platon, the parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church in the commonwealth of New York, and hereby expresses its sympathy to the Metropolitan Platon and the members of the Russian Orthodox Church.

"BE IT RESOLVED, We commend the clergy and congregations of the Russian Orthodox Church located in the several dioceses to the fraternal interest of the bishops and clergy thereof ; and suggest that in the event an effort to remove any of these parishes from the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Platon be made, advice be sought from the Presiding Bishop.

"BE IT RESOLVED, That inasmuch as the Russian Church has turned to the Episcopal Church for advice and direction in meeting the difficulties likely to arise from this situation, we approve any proper steps taken by an officer or officers of the council acting with the advice of the Presiding Bishop, to aid the Russian Orthodox Church in the crisis it is facing."

The Russians themselves organized, with the help of a famous lawyer of the Episcopal Church, the Russian Church Assistance Fund. Following are the names of the executive committee:

Haley Fiske, chairman of the board; George Zabriskie, treasurer; John Livingston, Serge Rachmaninoff, I. I. Sikorsky, Prince Serge Gagarin, Alexis R. Wiren, trustees.

[102] Its aim is to make the Russian Church in North America self-supporting and able to withstand the attacks of atheistic communism. The cost of litigation has drained the severely depleted treasury of the Russian archdiocese.

When Metropolitan Platon was driven out, Trinity parish of New York came to the rescue and performed a great act of Christian brotherhood. They first invited the Russians to use the porch of St. Augustine's Chapel for the services. Then the corporation of Trinity parish voted $30,000 to make over St. Augustine's Chapel, on Houston Street, dividing it, two-thirds and one-third, with a sound-proof partition. The larger part is used as the Russian Cathedral, the smaller part with the original chancel contains an Episcopal church, where the small congregation still worships. Russian artists in New York have competed to do the decorating, and a well known ecclesiastical artist has done the work. On Easter Day, 1927, the Metropolitan celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the new, beautiful, and spacious Cathedral. Trinity parish also voted $2,500 a year for a residence for the Metropolitan. They are renting the church to the Russians at $1.00 a year.

This is one of the greatest missionary acts that could be undertaken. Besides furnishing [102/103] the Cathedral, it enables the Russian Church to reach thousands of their people who live in the East Side section, heretofore far from their own church. That is true Christian fellowship. We are trying to help them in their troubles, and thank God for the opportunity.

Also the great parish house, next door to the big church where our City Missionary Society has a flourishing community house, has been opened to the Russians, in all its activities, and a Russian secretary appointed on the staff. A room has been set apart as a Russian tea room, and Russian dramatics and choruses have been organized.

Across the street from St. Augustine's is the place where Trotsky used to have his office.

Such is the story of "the Episcopal Church to the rescue." Another kind of rescue deserves mention. Out of Russia were driven by the Bolshevists 200,000 of the upper class of Russians to Constantinople. Then the Turks drove them out of Constantinople. A few thousand of them, as many as our quota will allow, came to this country. Our Church discovered them up in Harlem, in the Negro district. There were about two thousand of these Russian emigres, doing anything they could to make a living, people of the higher classes of Russia. I went to one of their entertainments; there was [103/104] a famous bass who sang, and a dancer from the imperial ballet, and the beautiful girl who served Russian tea was the daughter of a Russian admiral. Our St. Andrew's Church took them in, gave them a new center of hope and life. The Metropolitan sent them a priest, and they held their services in our church between the times of our services for about a year. They used our large parish house for all sorts of social gatherings and daily religious education of the children.

Then with the advice of our rector and our national office, the Russians bought a house for church and school. They tore down the garage on the land, and the man who bossed the job happened to be the general who in war was in charge of all the Russian railroad operations. They still used our parish house. Last year they bought a good sized church, formerly belonging to the Methodists and later to the Knights of Columbus.

Much the same thing has happened in Los Angeles, where our Church also befriended the Russian exiles.

Chapter XIII. Uniat Churches Under Rome

NO term that I hear is more misunderstood than "Uniat," and no task more difficult to undertake than to ascertain the relation of the Episcopal Church to the large body of Christians at home and abroad, known as the Uniats. In the development of Christianity there has occurred, about every five hundred years, a great movement that resulted in the division of the Church. During the fifth century, divergent thought concerning doctrine and faith caused a large division between the East and the farther East. A little more than five hundred years later, during the eleventh century, there occurred another great division, caused by the consideration of temporal power. Then, about five hundred years later, in the sixteenth century, there came the great division in the West, due to desire to try to reform some of the practices in the Church of the Living God. Then 500 years elapsed, and today we are trying to [105/106] approach the whole problem of the Church of Christ from a new point of view, that of comprehension, leading through comity to actual unity within the Church of God.

It is to the second of these divisions to which our thoughts now turn. We all know the history of the struggle between the East and the West, and how in the year 1084, largely because of political conditions, there came a distinct division between the Church of which the Bishop of Rome was the head, and the Church of the four Patriarchates of whom the Patriarch of Constantinople was the leader. They acted as two separate branches and have acted so ever since. There was no effort made to bring them together save for the Great Council of Florence, which for a moment seemed to succeed, but the high hope raised at that conference soon melted away.

Before this council a new movement came to the Church. Not merely the division between the East and the farther East; between West and the Orient; but the Church of Rome, which claimed ascendency over all the Churches of the world, sought to extend her influence to Churches wherever they were found. During the years of the Crusades she controlled, for times and seasons, many of the individual Churches of the East, by means of the force of [106/107] arms. I merely cite the case of the Church in Cyprus, where for many, many years, under the crusaders and their leaders, the Orthodox Church existed always under the direction and under the control of the archbishop, who received his authority from the Papacy. This was a very anomalous position, in which people belonging to one group of Christians were forced to submit in obedience to one who by them was viewed as a prelate of a foreign Church. This condition in all its abnormal aspects continued for a long season. Toward the end of the sixteenth century there came the rise of the Jesuit Order, and a little later the organization of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. With them there not only arose the desire to have dominion over the Churches of the East, but by means of a definite missionary policy, inspired by men of real zeal for what they felt was the essential interpretation of the faith of Christ, an undermining influence entered into these Eastern Churches.

We find the missionaries of Rome at work in Antioch, throughout all of Asia Minor, in East Poland, in Hungary, in Rumania, in various parts of the Ottoman Empire in Europe, trying by means of individual conversion to bring people into touch with the Church of Rome. They found, however, that the [107/108] conditions of the East were very different from those of the West. The people had endured suppression under the Turk, they had been deprived of educational opportunities, the very life of the Church seemed ebbing; but they had before them the picture of the historic Church in its power and grandeur as it had come down from their fathers. So the Jesuits assumed that it was the right of the Roman Church to express itself in terms of the worship, the practice, and polity of the Church that was uppermost in the minds of the common people. They adopted a new system. They would say to these people, "We will take you as we find you, with your worship, with your polity, with your native language, give you protection with all that it means, on condition that you acknowledge, by the mere mention of a name, the authority of the Bishop of Rome." Hence we have from that day to this a picture of Christian people in the East, worshipping after the same manner as the Eastern Orthodox Church, with a married priesthood, using the native language of the people, yet protected by and owing obedience to the Bishop of Rome.

If time permitted we could show how this movement gained among the Jacobites of Syria and became the accepted Roman missionary [108/109] principle for all of the Near East and of Eastern Europe. The propaganda expressed itself under three types of domination. In the one, the creation of a practically independent Church, with a patriarch of its own, who could choose his own subjects and ordain them, and merely report in a more or less formal way to the Holy Father. We think again of groups who were worshipping after the manner of the Eastern Church, retaining their customs, but still under the direction of a Latin bishop. In that country they speak of the Latin Church, because the Orthodox Church there is known as the Church of the Romans.

The third group was more or less scattered and was under the direction of one who was the delegate of the Pope of Rome, known as the apostolic delegate. We find a very curious cornmixture in some places. In Syria, under the Papacy, there are three distinctive Churches: a so-called Maronite Church, composed of a united racial group under a patriarch of its own; secondly, a body of converts from the Eastern Orthodox Church; thirdly, a group of Syrian converts in direct touch with the Papacy by means of an apostolic delegate. Three bishops, representing three types of people, three different relationships, in obedience to the same Holy Father.

[110] In "Hungary there is one group owing obedience to a bishop of the Latin rite; another owing obedience to a bishop of the Uniat rite. In Ruthenia, Poland, and Rumania it is the same. But the great contradiction is the strong Uniat Church in Italy, surrounding the Holy City, and part of it in the Holy City itself. There you find people accepting the married priesthood, using the ancient service of the East and all its customs, who receive ordination from and owe obedience to a Latin bishop.

Now, these people have been transplanted to America, and here is where one of the most difficult problems of modern ecclesiastical life arises. They came here in large numbers, mostly from Eastern Poland and Eastern Hungary, people known by the general designation of Ruthenians. They came to a country in which the Roman Catholics know only the Latin rite. They were placed in communities where people were accustomed to a celibate priesthood; and where the beauty and grandeur we find in the Eastern service are unknown. When they made approaches they were repelled by one of the greatest archbishops of America. For several years their priests continued work, and in the meantime the people, knowing that after all they were practically the same as the Russian Orthodox Church, came [110/111] to the conclusion that their natural allegiance was with that Church. Many congregations placed themselves under that jurisdiction. As late as 1919 a large body of these people, many hundreds of thousands in number, were ready to submit to the Church in Russia, when they found that political conditions rendered that impossible. To meet this, for a time the Papacy overruled the decision of the American bishop, and sent a bishop to these Uniats. He died at the time of the great movement I have just mentioned.

The climax in the affairs of the Russian Church made it most undesirable for these people to try to approach the Russian archbishop. They approached our own Church. Our own Church has a very definite policy. We are not a proselytizing organization. It is not our policy to offer inducements for people to leave another communion and come to our own. To meet this difficult position the Roman Church resorted to the appointment of two other bishops for these Uniats. But they were brought face to face with conditions in an average community, where in one block there was a Latin church, worshipping in the accepted manner of the Roman Catholic Church, with a celibate priest, while at the corner there was a service of an entirely different nature, [111/112] in the native language of various races under the leadership of a married priest.

As a result these people are leaving in groups. They are establishing their own congregations. Some of them are under bishops whose orders are more or less questionable, or at least irregular, and in their perturbation they are turning again to our own Church for help, counsel, and advice, and possibly protection. Those of us who have to deal with the foreign-born today have no more difficult problem facing us than that of trying to determine what is our actual duty to these brethren of another Church, who found their position impossible in this strange land, who want to remain Catholic, who are being driven to schism, and we hope that in some way we can help them out of their difficulties. The problem is not easily solved. Our duty is not clear; our method of assistance, if any assistance is to be given, not determined. We commend our brethren of the Uniat faith, of the Uniat rite, these men who want to remain Catholic, who would like to be Catholic after their own ancient manner and custom, who appeal to us for guidance, and protection, to your love and your prayers, that God may sustain them and guide them.

Chapter XIV. Twentieth Century Martyrs

WE shall now give our attention to a Church which perhaps can claim more martyrs than any other in the long history of Christendom, namely, the Armenian Apostolic Church. Its martyrs are so numerous, due to the literally wholesale manner in which the Turks carried on their butchery, that names of individuals are practically unobtainable. Indeed it would be unfair to single out bishops or priests, when laymen and women, boys and girls, even babies were slaughtered in numbers incredible.

Americans have found it difficult to believe the stories of suffering brought by eyewitnesses; but the proof was beyond gainsaying. We then felt that surely there must be something amiss with these people if they roused the Turks to such heights of fury. Some have found it cheaper to believe that it was the Armenians' own fault than to contribute to their relief.

[114] Of what sort then are these people? Let one of the world's most esteemed men, Lord Bryce, answer: "Among the peoples of Western Asia the Armenians are unquestionably the strongest; and what I have seen of them both in their own country and in America . . . leads me to believe them to be, in point of industry, intellect, and energy, the equals of any of the European races." That is strong testimony from the lips of a statesman accustomed to weigh his words. Such a nation doubtless has its undesirable members, but certainly in no greater proportion than others, our own included.

The reasons for Turkish hatred are admirably stated by the Rev. Dr. James L. Barton, once president of Euphrates College, Armenia. "In no commercial enterprise, no form of industry, no profession, and in no institution of learning in Turkey do the Armenians take second place. Armenia's greatest crime is that in contact with its Turkish neighbors it has far outstretched all the rest in enterprise and industry; and in religion it has stood firmly against the persecution of its Mohammedan over-lords, refusing to exchange Jesus Christ for Mohammed."

In other words, we have absolutely no excuse for ignoring this nation and its Church. [114/115] Perhaps I ought to say this Church and its nation, for it is doubtful whether anywhere else does a nation owe more to the Church. There are indeed three classifications as to religion, into which Armenians are divided--Gregorian, Roman Uniat, and Evangelical. But the Gregorian (Armenian Apostolic Church) includes 95 per cent of the race. Rome may claim 3.5, Protestantism 1.5 per cent. And the Protestant group, I know, still loves the old Mother Church. The Roman group has not forgotten it.

Old indeed is that Church. Today a vast desert separates Armenian lands from Palestine, but that desert is the result of Turkish misrule. Two thousand years ago the distance was easily covered. According to a tradition, which may not lightly be dismissed, both St. Bartholomew and St. Thaddeus preached the Gospel and suffered martyrdom in Armenia. According to verifiable history, King Tiridates was converted to Christianity in 301 by St. Gregory the Illuminator, after whom the native Church is still called Gregorian. Thus the Armenians may rightly claim that theirs is the oldest national Christian Church.

This ancient Church distinguishes between dogma and doctrine. "The 'dogma' is drawn from the sacred books and expressed in a formula [115/116] clear and distinct." This dogma must be believed. "Doctrine" is an explanation, not binding on the faithful. Dogmas are practically confined to the decisions of the first three general councils, those held at Nicaea, Constantinople, and Ephesus, which alone are considered ecumenical by the Armenians.

In harmony with other Eastern Churches, the Gregorians accept seven Sacramental Mysteries--Baptism, Confirmation, Communion, Confession, Ordination, Marriage, and Unction of the Sick.

The worship of the Church centers, of course, around the Holy Eucharist. The liturgy used derives from that ascribed to St. Basil and its celebration is accompanied by the customary primitive ceremonial adjuncts--incense, lights, and colorful vestments. Only recently I read a remarkable article in which an American girl, graduate of one of our colleges, testified to the uplifting influence of the Armenian Eucharist. The same effect was experienced by a prominent Presbyterian minister within recent years. He felt that the Armenian Apostolic Church had a glorious gift of worship.

As regards the constitution of this Church, it holds, of course, firmly to the Apostolic Succession. But nowhere in the East do laymen [116/117] and laywomen have so decisive a voice as in the Armenian Apostolic Church. This has been the case for centuries. They are eager for reform. They realize that much must be changed to bring the old Church into line with modern environment. But when you are trying to keep your men from torture unto death, your women from rape, your babies from starvation, you are not in a position to gather a council to discuss suitable changes in the liturgy ! Prayer Book revision is surely difficult enough in peaceful America. Nevertheless, in orphanages managed by the Near East Relief, shortened Armenian Mass is used, by authority, so that the children may take part in the entire service. I wonder whether the bishops of the Episcopal Church are as considerate of our American boys and girls in this respect. Are they all ready to give our children an easily understood Eucharist? The Armenian bishops have done so for their children.

Such is the Church, primitive in the Faith, modern in its democracy and its endeavor to meet present conditions, whose children have been slaughtered by the hundreds of thousands.

Our new path to Christian Unity leads through this oldest national Christian Church as we find it in the United States. Let me illustrate. [117/118] A congregation of the Armenian National Apostolic Church is being formed in the City of Newark, N. J. When Archbishop Tirayre officiated several months ago, Grace Episcopal Church was used by him. The mayor of Newark, Mr. Thomas Raymond, a Churchman, is interested in this project. This group of Armenians has begun the holding of occasional services in St. Barnabas' Church, Newark, whose rector (Father Montgomery) was born in Turkey. The preacher on a recent occasion was a secretary of the Foreign-Born Americans Division of the National Council of the Episcopal Church.

It is, of course, most interesting to stand at one of our own altars by the side of an Armenian priest, as, in his ancient vestments, he celebrates the Holy Eucharist. At his right stood a deacon, almost constantly swinging the censer which was ornamented with low-toned bells. The entire service, lasting about three hours, was sung. The deep, strong voice of the priest, the high tenor of the deacon, the bright voices of the girl choir, and the clear, soaring "Amens" of a little seven-year-old boy produced an indescribable effect. It was, of course, not our Prayer Book service, but the ancient Armenian liturgy in the Armenian language. Nevertheless, a young Episcopalian who was [118/119] present for the first time recognized the Epistle, the Holy Gospel, and the Consecration.

There was an element of sadness about the service. I found out that some of the younger Armenians present had never before been at a service of their own Church.

There are today over 100,000 Armenians in the United States, as against 4,000 in 1890. Of this number over 8o per cent claim membership in the Gregorian Church. Scattered throughout the country there are about twenty organized parishes and four missions ministering to some 30,000 people. This situation leaves 5o,000 who cannot possibly worship in accordance with their traditional faith. Sometimes it is years after a burial before a priest can be secured to read the last service for the departed. There are so few Armenian priests in this country, and not many of these have had the training which would enable them to minister adequately to a congregation accustomed to American modes of living and thinking. -

An exception is the Rev. Bedros Hagopian. At one time a candidate for Holy Orders in our own Church, he graduated from the General Theological Seminary. Through the ForeignBorn Americans Division he was brought to see the need of the Armenian Apostolic Church in America. After a post-graduate course in the [119/120] Armenian Seminary in Jerusalem he was ordained deacon and priest in the Holy City in 1927, and today he is rector of the Armenian Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator, New York City. Would that our Church could find and assist in the equipment of other men of like caliber! As year follows year the unshepherded thousands grow more and more apathetic, and the young men and women grow up ignorant of their own venerable Church.

It must not be thought that the Armenians themselves are to blame for this state of affairs. In 1889, when there were less than four thousand of them in the United States, the colony in Worcester, Mass., petitioned their patriarch in Constantinople for a priest. Archimandrite Joseph Sarajian was sent, and on July 28, 1889, the first Armenian Mass on American soil was said in the Grand Army Hall. On the first Sunday in October of that year this priest said Mass for his people in Grace Episcopal Church, New York City. Twenty organized parishes in about thirty-five years is not a bad record for a Church whose people came here, for the most part, as poverty-stricken refugees, as the waves of Turkish persecution swept over their native land. But it is true that a people who for almost sixteen hundred years preserved Christianity in a hostile [120/121] environment, often at the cost of their lives, are losing it in "Christian" America.

All of our priests extend a cordial welcome to these un-churched Armenians. The sacramental privileges of. the Episcopal Church are theirs to use, without any thought of disloyalty to their own glorious Church. But the welcome of the priest must be sustained by that of his people.

I end on the note on which I began--Martyrdom. In 1915, when the nations of the world had their attention distracted, Turkey brought about the death of almost a million Armenians. Yet these people still hope for the day when, having regained their independence, they may strengthen their Church and bring the Moslem Turk to the feet of Jesus Christ.

Chapter XV. Assyria, the Land of the Wise Men

DURING the course of the eleventh century, there came as a pilgrim into the land of Mesapotamia, and down into the city of Bagdad, a Chinaman who was a follower of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the course of time, he became a prominent bishop in the ancient Church of Assyria. Before the time of his final elevation he desired to make a pilgrimage to a part of the Christian world which he heard existed beyond the Mediterranean Sea. He crossed over into Greece, went to Constantinople, and found a Church established, a Christian Church in the West. He heard that over in Italy there were also Christians, and he went there. He found that an officer of the Church, known as the Pope, had just died, and all the cardinals of the Church had gathered together to elect another Pope. He was with them for some time.

Then he went on in his journey, because he [122/123] had heard that even farther West there were Christians. He met Edward I, King of England, in France, and he found they were Christian brothers, and this Chinese administered the Holy Communion to Edward I. He then came back to Rome, where they had chosen for Pope one Nicholas. The new Pope said that he was surprised to know that there were Christians in the East. The Chinaman said he belonged to the Assyrian Church, which was larger than the Church of the West, because it covered the whole of the East. It began at the Mediterranean and went down to India, through Turkestan, extended through China, and up into Siberia, and "it is pleasant news for us to know that we have Christians of our own faith here in the West." And so they fraternized for a few days together, and after they had administered the Holy Communion each to the other, the Chinese member of the Assyrian Church went back to his home, and afterward was made head of that great Church. He belonged to the Church of which we are to speak today--the "Church of the oldest Christian people."

The Assyrians were the first people to accept, as a race, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They were the people who could best understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ because they [123/124] spoke, and speak to this day, the language our Lord Himself spoke. They were able to understand the Christian Church because the Jews, centuries before, had been taken captive into their own country, because some of the most treasured books of the Old Testament were written in their own land. Zechariah saw his visions among the Assyrians. Jonah had his experience in the capital of the Assyrians, the great city of Nineveh, across the river from the present city of Mosul. The hope of a Savior had penetrated their darkened religion of these days, and when the unknown star appeared in the East, the Assyrian seers, or magi as we call them, crossed the desert and came to the place where the young Child lay.

They became, in the early days, a national Church, and a very strong Church. When Mohammed began his struggle eastward for supremacy for the Moslem hordes, he had to contend with the power of the Christian Church as exercised through these Nestorian Christians, who carried the religion of Christ Triumphant to China and on to the Pacific. It was only when the hordes of the Mohammedans rushed over Asia Minor, destroying everything that lay before them, that this body of Christian people were forced to mountain recesses in the hills of Kurdistan, where they remained [124/125] until the outbreak of the Great War. And then, because they alone, of all Christian people under Turkey, dared as a nation, as a united body, to cast in their lot themselves with the Allies, they were driven from their ancestral homes. Today they are wanderers, homeless, upon the face of the earth. I wish I could tell of the tragic death of their Patriarch and of their sufferings.

This nation alone of all those who suffered because of Turkey has so far been neglected on the physical side by the American relief agents. On the spiritual side, however, activity has not been wanting.

It was way back in the year 1836 that our Church was awakening to a consciousness of the fact that we had Christian brothers in the East. St. Andrew's Church, Philadelphia, for three years financed the expenses of a priest, the Rev. Horatio Southgate, who was to survey the condition of the ancient Churches of Mesopotamia, in the hope that in some way we could assist them. He returned, and, after he had made his report, went back again to the Near East as one of the first two missionary bishops of the Episcopal Church, with the title "Bishop of Constantinople."

Following this came great interest on the part of the Church of England. There had been [125/126] great archeological discoveries. The fact that there was a nation and Church akin to the Church of England became known, and from then on until 1884 there took place a series of diplomatic relations and correspondence between the Archbishop of Canterbury and the head of the Assyrian Church.

At that time, through the interest of Archbishop Tait, there was established among the Assyrians a new type of missionary work, the type our Church sought to establish in the early beginning--a mission of help; not to convert these people from the "error" of their ways, but to help them remain good staunch Christian people, following the faith of their fathers, practising the rites of their fathers, trying to bring to their people, in their own way, the vital truth of the Gospel, augmented by the assistance and cooperation and, whatever enlightenment we of the West could give.

In this work, from the very beginning, our own Church was interested. We contributed to the support of this work. Assyrians were brought to America and educated in our General Theological Seminary. One of these priests went back and became a very important missionary in that country.

At the close of the war, however, difficulties came upon the work of the Church of England. [126/127] She was subjected to the conditions which obtained after the war. Every action was viewed from a political point of view. She was unable to carry on the work. Therefore, the burden of the work being conducted has been upon a few of us who have tried to raise sufficient funds to maintain that mission and keep the work alive.

In 1922, in discussion with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the latter said he felt that he could not ask the Episcopal Church to assume any responsibility. In 1924 I had the privilege of spending some time among these people, noting their enthusiasm and zeal, knowing that at the same time they presented the most pathetic picture I had seen anywhere of the sufferings of human beings.

A people who had fought the Turk vigorously, a nation that started from the mountains of Kurdistan 250,000 strong, after having held the Turkish and German army at bay while the British forces were able to accumulate in the region of Bagdad, forced at last by the collapse of the Russians to retreat from their ancient home under the leadership of a woman who has recently been in this country, Lady Surma de Bait Mar Shimun, trekked across the hostile desert lands, assailed morning, noon, and night by Turk and Kurd and [127/128] Persian, arriving near Bagdad with a mere handful of their people left.

We obtained the consent of the Archbishop to establish a definite work, known as the American Branch of the Archbishop of Canterbury's mission, operating with the approval of the National Council of the Episcopal Church. We sent two missionaries there in July, 1925. One has returned, another I hope will soon go out. There we have tried to continue the work the archbishop had done, letting these people know that here in America is a body of people believing almost the same as they do, sympathizing with their adversity, willing to do our part to lead them from their difficulties to higher and better things.

I was talking to a Protestant minister who has just returned from a careful survey of religious conditions in the Near East. He said that the most striking thing that he had seen in all of his visits (he did not know of my interest) was the work of the Episcopal Church in Mosul, and he came back feeling that there was hope for the Near East when Christian people view the call to serve God in a manner such as that.

That is the challenge laid down to the Episcopal Church today. These people, representing the oldest type of Christianity, still [128/129] speaking the language our Lord spoke, the only avenue of approach without great difficulty to the Moslem, are facing extinction--extinction from the physical side because American philanthropy has neglected them; facing, what to them is more essential, the penalty of educational neglect. Their bishops, the only leaders of their people, the guardians of the priceless gift of Apostolic succession, are reduced to four men aging very rapidly. The ignorance of the people, of their priests, of their deacons, is so great that there are none capable of becoming their spiritual leaders unless the Episcopal Church, which is undertaking this work, may in a short time produce men worthy to serve in the high office in the Church of God, on whom their bishops may, through the laying on of hands, transfer the priceless treasure that has been theirs through the ages. So we commend to your attention the effort the Church is trying to put forth to save these people.

Our interest in these people has not been confined to the work overseas. The Assyrians in America are few in number--ten thousand souls would be a large estimate. These are mostly to be found in Connecticut, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Michigan. The bond of sympathy for this little group always has been [129/130] strong. We respect their ancient traditions and their self-sacrificing effort to maintain the integrity of their struggling Church abroad as well as at home.

As with all other Eastern Churches, our policy has been one of service. We believe that they represent a distinct type of Christianity and have a real contribution to make to American Christianity. Any effort to absorb them would be a breach of faith to fellow Christians who turned to us in their hour of need.

Advice and frequently counsel has been given them in many of their vexing problems. Some financial aid has been extended them by parishes and dioceses, as well as by the National Council. Most of their congregations worship in our church buildings. Unhappily the little band of Assyrians is rent with discord. There is friction between Assyrians from Kurdistan and Assyrians from Persia; between the people of the mountains and the people of the plains. Lately an additional element of discord has been brought in by the intrigue of the Metropolitan of Malabar, Mar Timotheus, who recently visited America with credentials from the Patriarch, Mar Shimon. As a result of his visit division has rent the Church again, by the secession of a large number whom Mar Timotheus has turned against the Patriarch.

[131] These differences should cause no condemnation. They are natural concomitants of disorganized groups of vigorous people. The problems and worries they offer are out of all proportion to the size of their communion. We believe that they are worth saving even from themselves. Our earnest hope is that the continued patience of a sister Church may teach them to forget differences and petty jealousies. Some day it is hoped that by our mutual effort the ancient Church of the East may recover its pristine glory and flourish even here in America.

Chapter XVI. An American in Jerusalem

WE ARE considering in this chapter the pioneer effort of the unique type of missionary work undertaken by the Episcopal Church. In 1921 our National Council passed a resolution in which the term "missions" was made to connote not merely the preaching of the Gospel to the heathen, or Church extension in our own land, but also cooperation with weaker sister Churches, especially those of the Near East, in meeting the spiritual needs of peoples trying to adjust themselves to a new economic and intellectual environment. The same session authorized the appointment of educational chaplains for the Churches of the Near East, to be supported by special offerings given on Good Friday.

The program adopted by the committee appointed to supervise this work is the simple one of cooperation with the Eastern Churches in their effort to develop a priesthood adequate [132/133] to the changed conditions which confront them. Priests of our Church with fitting training and other intellectual preparations are placed upon faculties of established theological schools of Eastern Churches, as interpreters of Western ideas and practical methods in pastoral work. Their mission is solely that of co-laborers with other members of the faculty in an effort to preserve and strengthen these ancient Churches.

After a very careful survey of the field and the many requests for chaplains of this type, Jerusalem was chosen as the first center. This not only follows the biblical order of making a "beginning at Jerusalem," but affords a laboratory for a work of an experimental type unequalled elsewhere.

In Jerusalem is to be found an aggregation of ruling prelates of the leading divisions of the Christian Church unparalleled elsewhere in Christendom. Around all is an environment of evangelical inspiration and invitation to peace to be found in no other place. Amid this is religious confusion, discord, and sometimes strife. Yet prophets of today as well as yesterday see in Jerusalem the center of Christian Unity and World Peace. It is to such a place that we sent our first torch bearer to enlighten their minds with our message of good will and [133/134] enkindle their hearts with the gospel of accord among nations.

The most insistent appeal came from the Patriarch of the Armenian Church, Monsignor Tourian. One of his suffragans, Bishop Papken, a man of Western university training, had spent several years in America in close touch with the office of the Foreign-Born Americans Division.

The Rev. Charles Thorley Bridgeman, assistant secretary of the division, was chosen as our first educational chaplain with the approval of the National Council.

Before he could be sent, it was necessary to determine his exact ecclesiastical status. Anglican work in Jerusalem is within the jurisdiction of the Anglican and the East Mission, of which the Bishop in Jerusalem is prelate. While this is a mission of the Anglican communion as a whole, the bishop is commissioned by the Archbishop of Canterbury. It was necessary, therefore, to define the relationship of an American priest acting within the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury. A satisfactory agreement was reached by which a priest commissioned by the American bishop in charge of European churches serves under a license of the English bishop having immediate jurisdiction.

Mr. Bridgeman was sent to Jerusalem [134/135] primarily to develop a seminary that would meet the growing needs of the Armenian nation. The success of his mission has exceeded our expectations. The seminary of the Armenian Church has been revitalized. The work has grown to such an extent that immediate assistance has become imperative. In addition to this, his work as a liaison officer to the other Eastern Churches has been one of increasing value. By agreement with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Mr. Bridgeman can enter into no negotiation without the consent and counsel of the Bishop in Jerusalem. Thus far he has been able to render invaluable assistance to the Anglican communion with the full approval of his immediate superior. It is hoped that he has been able to demonstrate that, so far as the Episcopal Church is concerned, our desire is merely to serve. So far as the policy of the National Council is concerned, there is no desire to receive especial recognition or to perform any act for the praise of men. We endeavor to keep continually before us that we are but agents of the mission of good will to the Eastern Churches as formulated by the Anglican communion. The Episcopal Church is but a unit providentially placed so as to express in a visible form the attitude of the whole communion.

[136] In addition to his efforts within the Armenian Church, Mr. Bridgeman has in season and out of season lent himself to the promotion of every good work that interpreted the attitude of his communion. He has tried to be a faithful servant of the Anglican bishop, ministering as occasion demanded to the British element. When Americans, irrespective of Church affiliations at home, have needed counsel or advice, Mr. Bridgeman has been an ever ready servant.

The Greeks in Jerusalem have found in our chaplain an adequate interpreter of their wishes and program. No organization faces a more difficult program than these historical protectors of the Holy Sepulchre.

The Jacobite Church in Jerusalem, perhaps the weakest and most neglected of all ancient Christian Churches, has seen new light and been inspired with new hope through Mr. Bridgeman's ministrations. A veil of confidence prevents a revelation of the service rendered to this Church at the present time. Some day the veil will be withdrawn and the world will know that Mr. Bridgeman has endeavored to interpret the vision vouchsafed the Episcopal Church of America.

This work has been extended into Mosul, and is prepared to render further service. The accidents of history have given the American [136/137] Church certain temporal resources by means of which we are permitted to perform a work for the Anglican communion. Even this obligation could not be assumed unless we felt that we were the servants of the Universal Church in conserving to the world those elements of faith and worship which pertain especially to the indigenous Church of the East.

Chapter XVII. A New Near East Relief

WE ARE to discuss in this chapter a new type of Near East relief work. We all know of the great work that has been done by American charity, during the past nine or ten years, in behalf of the physical needs of those in the Near East. We are told of the hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, who have been saved by the timely intervention of our country. The nations of the world have looked on and marvelled. They marvelled that people could continue for so long a time and not become weary of well doing. Leaders in those countries look upon our work and marvel, because, as was aptly expressed to me some years ago by the Serbian Bishop Nikolai, we care so much for the bodies of people and so little for their souls. While we have nourished and kept alive the animal thing, while we have created aspirations concerning welfare in this world, while we have kindled hopes which possibly cannot be [138/139] fulfilled, we have allowed their souls to drift. There has been a sporadic attempt made to do something for the spiritual needs of orphans who are garnered into our orphanages of the Near East Relief, but nothing adequate or really self-sustaining.

One may assert without fear of contradiction that American charity organizations have done nothing to stabilize the religious conditions of the Near East. I do not feel that, as a result of all the millions of dollars that have been spent upon the orphans of the Near East, any real contribution has been made to the spiritual welfare of that country.

On the other hand, I know that these ancient Churches are weaker today because we of America, in our zeal for helping these stranded people in their bodily needs, have been content therewith, and so the rebuke comes to us from wise men of the East, "Why so much for the body, why so little for the soul?"

To get our picture, we must go back a series of decades. We referred before to the interest in the Near East that occurred at the time of the break-up of the Turkish Empire, and how our Church established schools in Athens. We have noted the interest we took in Mesapotamia and Persia. As far back as 1836 our Church began to think of its duty toward the [139/140] ancient Churches of the Near East. Then we think of other religious bodies who entered in. They entered in with the same ideal we had, trying to help these Churches struggling for reestablishment. They thought of them, however, as people more to be guided and directed, often re-directed along lines that belong to the Protestant tradition. They wanted to make their Churches strong by purging them of what to Protestantism was superstition or even idolatry.

And so we find confusion growing within these ancient Churches because of the well-intentioned endeavor becoming really in practice a perversion of faith. In time the old Churches, thanking their friends for coming to them, said they could not follow whither they were trying to lead. Then came the establishment of the socalled Protestant missions in the Near East, which I believe have been a great detriment, not only spiritually but physically, to those struggling nations. The Turk was wily. He knew how to handle the situation. The Church had split. The old Church stood before the Sultan in certain grandeur and strength, despite its poverty, despite its ignorance. Its heads were recognized officers in the empire. They could administer justice and protect to a certain degree their own people. But the Turk [140/141] thought: "We have no longer an individual great millet (as they call it) but it is split into two divisions"--one which was Protestant, and one, as they called it, the Roman, because in Turkish lands the word Roman applies not to the Latin Church but to the great Church of the East. It was so with the Armenians; so with the Syrians; so with each group that came before them, as divided bodies, with a new Protestant leader and a Protestant head.

There was created in the minds of American Protestant missionaries a desire to try to win converts. They were supported by the enthusiasm of the people at home. They could not get converts from the Moslems. Nearly a hundred years, and the expenditures of large sums of money have not obtained sufficient converts from the Moslems to count on the fingers of your two hands. But here was a naturally Christian type of people, and so the inroads were made into the old established Churches. Large sums of money were spent, and an independent group created, and after eighty or ninety years there are split congregations. These Eastern Protestants number only a few thousands, who nevertheless feel that in some way because they are supported by the Western people they are in a class by themselves, individually singled out by the Providence of [141/142] Almighty God, or by the canniness of the American nation. People who are not the outstanding leaders of the race, people often of an inferior type, prompted to a great extent by enthusiasm not wholly religious, have been taught to follow another creed.

Then came, after the completion of the Great War, a new standard of thought, a new measurement of man's ideals. Our work of the Near East Relief was started, started largely by Protestant missionaries who soon saw the task before them as one that could not be solved by the Protestant program. We were there to make our imprint upon the whole of their life. The result has been that many of our great religious leaders, men of all religious bodies, have become conscious of the deeper moral obligations that we have for the maintenance of the religious forces of the Near East. They have at last discovered that the vital religious force is not found in the Protestant mission, but in the ancient Apostolic Churches. The people everywhere are awakening to the consciousness of the fact that if the Near East is to be saved for God, it can only be done by way of strengthening these ancient Churches. The majority of missionaries abroad may complain, but their leaders at home are seeing things from a different point of view, [142/143] and so today there is being worked out a program of cooperation between most of the leading religious bodies, between all the great religious educational organizations, between most of the organizations interested in the physical and social welfare of the people of the Near East. This program has the common end and purpose of trying to give the best that we have in America to the ancient Churches of the Near East, for their betterment, for their strengthening, in the hope that they may be so equipped that they may meet the demands of a newer age.

On the other hand, the Churches on the other side have become conscious of their own weakness, conscious of the fact that the educational developments of the world have swept by, while the Turk had kept them in subjection, conscious that poverty has overtaken them, while opportunities for expansion are at their doors.

So, one by one, during the past four or five years, these Churches have approached our own communion with the request that we send them leaders; that we present to them the key to our own progress, if it is progress, here in America, and help them to attain for their own people the enrichment which they feel we possess here in America.

[144] With the knowledge of this appeal, other religious bodies are willing, at least so far as their leaders are concerned, to forget their differences, forget that they are there as proselytizing bodies, and lend themselves to the task of upbuilding and strengthening these Eastern Churches. There is no task before Christianity today that is more important than this. I am glad to say that as far back as 1921 our National Council, when the challenge was put to them, stated that the term "missions" did not merely connote Church extension for the propagation of the Gospel to the heathen, but also included assistance to weaker Churches who needed the help of our Church.

In but a few years our great work of physical salvage of the Near East will have been accomplished. The Near East Relief as an organization will have passed out of existence. The spiritual responsibility will still remain. People taught to use their minds, people endued with renewed vigor of body, are to be left in the Near East for weal or woe. And those of us who know them appreciate how terrible a menace to humanity the unreligious resident of the Near East is. His Church has been the source of national existence. The Church has been the sustaining power of his life, zeal to the Church has been one of the [144/145] inspiring principles of his existence, and woe betide the world if it is going to stand by and say that our mission is fulfilled, because material life has been sustained and bodies have been nourished and intellectual ambition enkindled. It spells not success, but failure.


THE conditions surrounding these groups of Eastern Christians are pathetic indeed. They represent the most war-ridden parts of Europe. Many are identified with most direful massacres. The prelates of some of the home Churches are in virtual bondage. All owe allegiance to an impoverished Mother Church in the Near East. At home and abroad we find the resultant poverty, ignorance, and incompetence among the rank and file of the clergy. Behind it all we see a real splendor.

Most of these Churches have recently emerged from a four-hundred year thraldom to the Turk. Yet even under durance, they preserved the national language and traditions; and through the Church arose successively the kingdoms of Greece and the other Balkan states. All this could not have happened had there not been an alluring richness in the cultures of these Churches and unusually vital and sustaining forces in their civilization. Nor can we forget that it was from these stocks that we [146/147] inherited all that is best in our own civilization. The Bible is a Near East product, treating of the universal principles growing out of Near Eastern life, ideals, and aspirations. The acme of ancient culture was attained by the Greeks; and centuries later it was brought back to Europe through the genius of Assyrian subjects of the Caliphate.

The essence of this strength and vitality is found in the basic principles of their civilization. The Near Eastern civilization was based upon religion and agriculture, inextricably interwoven. Seed time and harvest were sources of hope and fulfillment of promise, the objects of prayer, and the cause for thankfulness. All things were in the hands of God, whose Presence they felt as they basked in the glorious sunshine or gazed on the starlit heavens. In the West, education and industry are the essential factors in civilization. Man develops the cunning of his mind, and through his intellect speeds up commerce and increases the efficiency of his machine. "By my own right hand, by the clarity of my brain, have I gotten it," seems to be the burden of his song. Eastern civilization has persisted and sustained millions in contentment for thousands of years and promises to endure. Western civilization is still goading man on with restless dissatisfaction and [147/148] uncertainty. Already one questions whether it can endure.

In contrasting these two types of civilization, one is minded of an event by the seaside of Tiberias. Our Lord is passing by and sees two fishing outfits being stowed away for the night. At His word they launch out into the deep and let down their nets for another draught. St. Peter mans the first boat; in his impetuous way he is the first to obey. His net is so filled that it begins to break as he hauls it in. He calls to his partners in the other boat, St. James and St. John, for aid. By their combined efforts they bring the net to the shore.

Let us see in this an allegory of what we have just said. St. Peter has been accepted as the disciple of Western Christianity. It is the Petrine principle that has moulded our Western life, both Protestant and Catholic. He is prompt, impetuous, successful, and to a degree effective--but not quite. He needs the aid of his partners of other temperaments. The quieter, calmer, yet more resourceful efforts of his partners, who with equal justice have been accepted as the exemplars of the East, are needed. The product of the contemplative life as seen in St. James and St. John must be linked with the fiery zeal of St. Peter, if the immediate task is to be accomplished.

[149] So it is in our efforts to effect the best for mankind. For some ten centuries we have followed the method of St. Peter, yet neither the world's perfection nor mankind's redemption has become an established fact. Has the time not come when we should question the sufficiency of our chosen method and heed the experience of those of other training and bespeak their aid? Then doubtless by our united efforts we may draw our net safely to land and place it at the Master's feet.

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