Project Canterbury

Papers of the Russo-Greek Committee

No. I
Documentary Narrative

IN the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, holden in New-York, October, 1862, and on the fifteenth day of the session, the Rev. Dr. Thrall, one of the Clerical Deputies from California, called attention to the fact,

That there were now, in San Francisco, between three and four hundred communicants of the Russo-Greek Church, some of whom had been under his pastoral charge, although not feeling free to receive the communion at his hands, owing to the unsettled relations between their Church and ours. They were about to build a Church of their own, and become organized into a parish; and before long there might be appointed a Bishop of the Russo-Greek Church, who would claim jurisdiction, and thus bring about a conflict with the Bishop of California. This ought to force upon us the consideration of that great question—one of the greatest of questions—the establishment of full ecclesiastical relations with the Russo-Greek Church. He was not prepared to pass an opinion on the subject, and did not suppose that, at this late moment in the session, the House would go into the discussion. He only asked for the appointment of a committee of inquiry and correspondence on the subject, the main object of which would be to present the claims of our own Church as a true part of the Church Catholic, and thus as duly qualified to guide and feed those who might come from the Russian dominions to reside temporarily or permanently among us. Such a movement might at last enable the Anglican and the Greek Churches to present an undivided front to Rome and the infidel.

Mr. Ruggles said that this was the most important question that had been before us. The Anglican and the Russian Churches had been approaching one another gradually for centuries, and at one time the formal union had almost been consummated.

A motion to table the whole subject was made, and lost.

Dr. Mason said that the Church prayed for the conversion of all Jews, Turks, Infidels, and Heretics, and the Greek and Russian Churches were certainly not any one of the four. The Russian and Greek Churches were identified to a certain extent. There had been a civil, but not an ecclesiastical separation, although there was no longer any united ecclesiastical organization, any more than there is between the Church of England and the Church of these United States. It was the duty of every particular or national Church to be in communion with every other which was not heretical or schismatical. None could be heretical which held the Nicene Creed in its integrity. It might have its local or municipal articles—like our 39 Articles—but these were no part of the Catholic Creeds, and no one national Church had a right to propound them as necessary terms of communion with any other. There was nothing essential to communion except the Nicene Creed, and the first four or six Councils. The Council of Ephesus had closed the declaration of the faith so far as the requirements of intercommunion are concerned, and to that point must all Christendom come back, if communion is to be restored. Those who require more, are guilty of schism. The Council of Chalcedon took the same ground; and so does all Christendom except Rome. Any Church rendered itself schismatical by refusing communion with a Church which is in communion with the Catholic Church. No Church can be schismatical in its own position which holds the Nicene Creed in its integrity, and has the Apostolic Succession in its ministry. The Russian and Greek Churches undoubtedly had both these. Again, the Anglican Church had never refused communion with Rome; but Rome had refused communion with England, and by that very act had rendered herself schismatical, having previously, in like manner, rendered herself schismatical towards the Greek Church also. The Greek Church held the authority of the Word of God, and recognised the earlier Councils which were recognised by Rome herself, including the Council of Chalcedon which referred to the British Church as an independent Church. He was sorry to hear the Russian Church called grossly corrupt. Their doctrine about the Holy Eucharist was not identical with the Transubstantiation of Rome; and the Filioque, [A] which the Greek Church does not use, has really no business in the Nicene Creed. The doctrine is true, and the Greek Church admits it; but rightly declares that the insertion of the words in the Nicene Creed was an unauthorized and unlawful intrusion.

The Rev. Mr. Phillips asked if they did not worship images?

Dr. Mason said they did not. Even if they did, it would be no reason for refusing communion with them. The Anglican Reformers did not refuse communion with Rome, though Rome did worship images; neither could we refuse communion on any such ground, unless we make Donatists of ourselves, and refuse communion with all who do something that we disapprove or do not like. The Greek Church has no images or statues (although there are some in the Lutheran Church, and some in our own.) The Greek Church admits only pictures; and we ourselves admit pictures, and so do the Moravians, Swedes and others. There could only be two kinds of schism. He had read all through the works of S. Augustine, (except his treatise on Music,) and had carefully studied the part of Van Espen that referred to the subject. The first kind was, the being destitute of the Apostolic Succession; the second was, the refusing communion with another Church which has both the Apostolic Succession and the Nicene Creed. Nothing else could constitute a sinful schism. This Church of ours, so far from occupying a Novatian or Donatist position on the subject, really presented a centre of communion to all other bodies of Christians in the world.

Dr. Howe thought this subject opened before us a great field of remark, examination, analysis, historical allusion and difference of opinion as to heresy, schism, usages, &c. We were without proper time for the discussion of these questions now; and he thought them very hazardous at any rate.

Dr. Shattuck rejoined, that the resolution only proposed an inquiry, and committed the Convention to nothing.

The resolution offered by Dr. Thrall was adopted almost unanimously, with the preamble, as follows:


, There are many members of the Russo-Greek Church emigrating to the Pacific shores of our country, to whom it is important to present this Church as a true and faithful part of the Catholic Church, in such an attitude as will enable her the more readily to guide such emigrants in Christian faith and practice; therefore,


, The House of Bishops concurring, That a joint committee be appointed to open friendly intercourse with the Russo-Greek Church on the subject, and report to the next General Convention.

In this resolution the House of Bishops failed to concur, and asked for a Committee of Conference, which was appointed.

The Committee of Conference reported the following Resolution, which was adopted by both Houses:


, The House of Bishops [Clerical and Lay Deputies] concurring, that a joint committee, consisting, on the part of this House of, be appointed to consider the expediency of opening communication with the Russo-Greek Church, to collect authentic information bearing upon the subject, and to report to the next General Convention.

The Committee appointed, pursuant to this resolution, were, on the part of the House of Bishops, Bishops De Lancey, Williams and Whitehouse; on the part of the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies, the Rev. Drs. Mahan and Thrall, the Rev. J. F. Young, Mr. Samuel B. Ruggles and Mr. S. Eliott.

Soon after the adjournment of the General Convention the following communication was addressed to the Editor of the Church Journal, by the Rev. George Williams, B. D., of King's College, Cambridge, England:


DEAR SIR,—Ever since I read in your Journal the report of the debate in the General Convention, on the appointment of a committee to consider the question of "establishing intercommunion with the Russo-Greek Church," I have had it in my mind to write to you on the subject, and to seek to be put into communication with the members of that committee. I will state briefly the motive and the object which I have in view.

You may possibly have heard that, in the year 1860, I published, in concert with my friend, Dr. Wolff, proposals for the establishment of a Hostel for members of the Orthodox Greek Church in this University; and I also went to Russia, in that year, to explain to the higher Ecclesiastics the principles on which we proposed to conduct this Hostel. This gave me an opportunity of conversing with many of their eminent religious men, and of ascertaining their disposition towards our Church. But this was not my first visit to Russia. I had resided there for eighteen months, some years ago, and I venture to think that my experience of the Russian Church and people may be of service to your committee.

But I have a higher object in view than a personal one. I cannot help thinking that any advance towards the establishment of relations of amity with the Russo-Greek Church would have a much better prospect of success, if made by our Churches in concert, than by either alone; and as in your case the position of ecclesiastical affairs in California has suggested the necessity of this step; so, in our case, the position of our Bishop in British Columbia, whose Diocese is actually conterminous with a Russian Diocese, seems strongly to press this question on our consideration.

I wished, therefore, to suggest to your committee the desirableness of applying to our Convocation, and inviting them to appoint a committee to correspond and co-operate with them in this business; so that whatever is done may be the joint action of the two Churches; which could not fail, I think, to draw closer the bonds of union between us, as well as to forward the great object which your Church has in view.

I will state to you why I think that this proposal would find favor and acceptance with our Convocation. On the occasion of my visiting Russia in 1860, not only did my own Diocesan, the Bishop of Lincoln, and the Bishop of Oxford, give me letters Commendatory of the most formal character to the Metropolitans of Russia, and to the Holy Governing Synod, as well as to the Patriarchs and others of the Eastern Churches, but others of our Bishops—including the present Primate of England—expressed their hearty interest in the cause, and gave me less formal letters of amity to the same Churches. Besides these, I had a letter from your Bishop Potter, who happened to be in England at the time, and from some of our own Colonial Bishops. Our clergy were equally interested in the endeavor to open friendly relations with these Churches. I may say, by the way, that these letters produced a most favorable impression in Russia, and a record of the fact of their presentation, with the names of the Bishops whose signatures they bore, was entered on the minutes of the Synod.

Judging then from these facts, I think there would be a strong sympathy in our Convocation with the feeling that led your General Convention to appoint this committee; and that the committee might reckon upon their hearty co-operation. The Bishop of London's letter to the Metropolitan of Servia, [B] further serves to confirm my conviction that there is an earnest desire among us to escape from our isolation, and to seek, as well as to accord, sympathy among the otter communities of Christendom. Will you kindly communicate these views of mine to the members of the committee, in any way you may think most desirable, and tell them how unreservedly my services are at their command, if I can be of any use to them, here or in Russia.

I must now further inform you, that I have already taken action in the matter, to some extent; of course entirely on my own responsibility, and in a manner that commits no one but myself. Count —— is my very intimate friend, and has close relations with many learned and influential members of his own Church, ecclesiastics and others. I wrote to tell him what your Church had done, and to ask him if he could offer any suggestions as to the best method of proceeding in this very delicate business, and suggesting, as I have above done, the joint action of the two Churches—yours and ours. I yesterday received his answer, an extract from which will, I am sure, be read with interest by your committee. It is dated —, near —, January 4-16, 1863:

"I was glad to hear that the American Episcopal Church had been making advances towards opening communications with ours, and that you intend making a proposition that the Anglican Church should join with it. I think that the present time is more favorable than those selected for former attempts were, as such advances were always suspected to have some ulterior political objects in view. I think that it would be better to prepare the minds of our people for such advances before they are actually made; and, accordingly, if you would send me a sort of prospectus of your views upon the subject, the Priest and Deacon here, who are both men of judgment, would write something about it in one or other of our religious journals. The Priest would also communicate with the Emperor's confessor, M. —, and I may write to the Metropolitan Philaret. As to the manner in which the advances should be made, I think that it would be best to send some properly accredited deputy to the Holy Synod, with a letter containing the proposals which it is desired to make."

This seems to me very encouraging, and I shall send Count—— forthwith your report of the debate in Convention, and ask him to have the substance of it—especially the admirable speech of Dr. Mason, which seems to me so thoroughly sound in principle—translated and published in Russia, with an article thereon. I shall be glad to know that your committee approve of the steps which I have taken in paving the way for their advance; or, at least, that they do not regard me as very obtrusive and officious in meddling with what does not concern me.

As one to whom this endeavor to bring our own Reformed Church into closer relations with the Orthodox Communions of the East has been an object of earnest longing for more than twenty years; and who has watched the proceedings of your Educational Mission at Athens, under the most judicious and able direction of Dr. and Mrs. Hill, during all that time, with most intense interest, as a practical example of the benefits to be derived from a better mutual understanding between ourselves and our brethren of the Eastern Churches, I hope I may be excused for my anxiety to forward this new movement in the American Church towards the realization of my ardent wishes.

Allow me to subscribe myself, dear sir,

Your faithful servant and brother in Christ,


P. S.—Private. On looking over this letter I can see so objection to your publishing it if you think fit; if only you will substitute dashes for the names which I have put in brackets, as I have not asked Count ——’s permission to print his letter; and it would involve some delay to procure it. Of course, all the names are at the service of the members of the committee.

I am curious to know why Dr. Mason, whose speech seems to indicate such a thorough understanding of the true principles of intercommunion between Churches, is not on the committee; or is "Dr. Mahan," whose name appears on the committee, a misprint for "Dr. Mason?"

I will communicate with some members of both Houses of Convocation on the desirableness of appointing a committee to co-operate with yours, so as to prepare them, should yours think fit to act on my suggestion.

About a month later Mr. Williams kindly communicated to the Editor of the Church Journal the following:


MY DEAR SIR, —It is with a feeling of deep gratitude to GOD, that I write to tell you what has been done in the matter of which I wrote to you last month. Acting on the advice of the Bishop of Oxford, who expressed himself most favorably on the movement, it was resolved to send up a petition from the Lower House of Convocation to the House of Bishops on this subject. Mr. Massingberd, Chancellor of Lincoln Cathedral, and Proctor for the Clergy of that Diocese, who has great weight and influence among his brother Clergy, took charge of the petition; and it was very numerously signed by all the most influential members of Convocation; including two Deans, fifteen Archdeacons, and Proctors both of Cathedrals and of Clergy, from all parts of the Province of Canterbury-forty-eight in all. It was then voted by the House that this petition should be sent up to the Bishops through the Prolocutor, so giving it the formal sanction of the Lower House. I send a copy of the petition:

"To His Grace the President and their Lordships the Bishops in the Upper House of Convocation of the Province of Canterbury assembled:

"The humble petition of the undersigned members of the Lower House of the Convocation, Showeth:

"That your petitioners have learned with much interest that, in the recent Synod or Convention of the Bishops and Clergy of the United States of America, certain steps were taken with a view to promote Intercommunion between the Russo-Greek Church and the Anglican Communion:

"That your petitioners believe that the present time may be more favorable than former times have been, for efforts in that direction;

"They therefore humbly pray your Venerable House to use your endeavors to bring about such intercommunion.

"And your petitioners will ever pray," &c.

F. C. MASSINGBERD, Proctor for Lincoln Diocese.
EDWARD BICKERSTETH, Archdeacon of Buckingham.
G. ANTHONY DENISON, Archdeacon of Taunton.
JAMES WAYLAND JOYCE, Proctor Diocese of Hereford.
F. K. LEIGHTON, Proctor Diocese of Oxford.
H. A. WOODGATE, Proctor for Diocese of Worcester.
HENRY BURTON, Proctor for clergy Diocese of Litchfield.
JAMES FENDALL, Proctor Diocese of Ely.
ALWYNE COMPTON, Proctor for clergy Diocese Peterboro'.
AUGUSTUS P. SAUNDERS, Dean of Peterboro'.
JOHN JEBB, D. D., Proctor for clergy Hereford.
W. B. OTTER, Archdeacon of Lewes.
E. HAROLD BROWNE, Proctor for clergy Diocese of Exeter.
J. BARTHOLOMEW, Archdeacon of Barnstaple.
K. W. JELF, D. D., Proctor for chapter of Oxford.
CHR. WORDSWORTH, D. D., Proctor for chapter of Westminster.
W. A. BOUVERIE, Archdeacon of Norfolk.
THOMAS MILLS, Proctor for Archdeaconry of Suffolk.
GEORGE PREVOST, Proctor for clergy of the Diocese of Gloucester and Bristol.
E. A. OMMANNY, Proctor for clergy of Bath and Wells.
JOHN BRAMSTON, Proctor Diocese of Rochester.
HENRY C. BAGOT, Proctor Diocese of Litchfield.
CHARLES F. KENNAWAY, Proctor for the Diocese of Gloucester and Bristol.
HENRY MOORE, Archdeacon of Stafford.
JOHN DOUGLAS GILES, Archdeacon of Stowe.
JOHN HUTCHINSON, Proctor for Litchfield chapter.
JOHN H. HORNER, Proctor Diocese of Bath and Wells.
S. BEST, Proctor Archdeaconry of Winchester.
THOMAS SANCTUARY, Archdeacon of Dorset.
H. T. FOWLKES, Archdeacon of Montgomery.
CHARLES LLOYD, Rector of Chalfort S. Giles (Proctor Diocese of Oxford.)
HENRY MACKENZIE, Proctor for clergy of Lincoln.
JOHN DOWNALL, Archdeacon of Totness.
JOHN C. B. BIDDELL, Proctor for Diocese of Canterbury.
DOUGLAS H. GORDON, Proctor of chapter of Salisbury.
C. A. ST. JOHN MILDMAY, Archdeacon of Essex.
HENRY ALFORD, Dean of Canterbury.
HENRY THOMPSON, Proctor Archdeaconry of Lewes, Diocese of Chichester.
RICHARD BISCOE, Proctor Diocese of St. Asaph.
I. SANDFORD, Archdeacon of Coventry.
RICHARD SEYMOUR, Proctor for clergy of Worcester.
M. HOPPER, Proctor of clergy for Norwich
JOHN GRIFFITH, Proctor of chapter of Rochester.
HENRY GLYNNE, Proctor of chapter of St. Asaph.
WILLIAM CRAWLEY, Archdeacon of Monmouth.
JAMES RANDALL, Archdeacon of Berks,
EDWARD A. DAYMAN, Proctor for Archdeaconry of Dorset.

As this was all done in the Lower House on the last day of their meeting, all further action in the matter is necessarily postponed until after the adjournment. Convocation meets again on the 19th of May; and I hope that, long ere that, your Committee of Convention will have put themselves into communication with our Convocation, through the President, and that when they re-assemble, a committee of both Houses may be formed to co-operate with your committee.

I would take the liberty to suggest further, as I ought to have done before, that your committee should address the Convocation of the northern as well as of the southern Province, i. e., York as well as Canterbury; that whatever is done, may be the united action of the whole English Church.

Your committee will, I trust, appreciate the delicacy of our Lower House of Convocation, in not proposing to the Bishops any line of action in the matter; and they could not suggest co-operation with your committee, until they knew that this would be agreeable to you. But I have no doubt that this would be the most approved course of action to both Houses, and is obviously that which is most likely to prove effective.

I must now tell you how well things are speeding in Russia, and how the public mind there is being prepared for your advances. I sent my friend, -, The Colonial Church Chronicle, which had extracted your report of the proceedings in Convention. He writes to me as follows, under date of the 4th inst.:

"I am very grateful to you for having sent me The Colonial Church Chronicle; and, according to your desire, an article was written by the Deacon, embodying the intelligence which it contained, with reflections upon it, and will be published in the February number of The Orthodox Review, edited at Moscow. It will contain also a short sketch of the present state of the American Episcopal Church, which we found, with all particulars, in a German work. The Deacon is also preparing another article on the Church in England, which is also extracted from a very sensible work on that subject, published in Germany. This will, I think, excite curiosity in our public, and make them better acquainted with the present state of things in England and America. We shall now wait for information from you, as to what you intend proposing at the next meeting of the Convocation of the Province of Canterbury. At the same time the Priest has written to the confessor of the Emperor, so that you will see we have been doing our best to further the cause."

I trust I shall not get into trouble with your committee for taking upon me so much, without any authority from them. But the distance is so great, and the time so long, that I have ventured to run the risk of being thought [allotrioepiskopoV] rather than allow a golden opportunity to slip. Hoping shortly to receive an answer to my former letter of the 21st ult., I again subscribe myself yours very truly, GEORGE WILLIAMS.

At the first meeting of the Committee, subsequent to these interesting communications from the Rev. Mr. Williams, the Secretary was instructed to communicate to Mr. Williams a suitable response, which is here reprinted from The Colonial Church Chronicle:

33 WEST 24th STREET,
NEW-YORK, April 16, 1863.

REV. AND DEAR SIR,—At a meeting of the Joint Committee of the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in the United States of America, on "the expediency of opening communication with the Russo-Greek Church," holden this day, the following resolution was unanimously adopted:

"Resolved, That the Secretary of the Committee be requested to correspond with the Rev. George Williams, of King's College, Cambridge, to express to him, and through him, at his discretion, to the Convocation of Canterbury, the gratification of this Committee at the interest they have expressed in the object we have in view; with the assurance to Mr. Williams that, while the Committee are not in a position formally to approach Convocation on the subject, they will be glad to give a full and respectful consideration to any action or communication on the part of Convocation."

The object in passing this resolution, it is proper for me to say, was not only to express to you, and through you, at your discretion, to Convocation, our sincere gratification at the interest which both you and they alike have manifested in the matter we have in hand, but likewise to invite correspondence from the Convocation of Canterbury, and to intimate our desire to act in conjunction with our Mother Church.

The phrase "not in a condition formally to approach Convocation," may not, perhaps, be perfectly clear to you without a word of explanation.

The petition of the Lower House of Convocation is, for the Upper House to use their endeavors to "bring about inter-communion with the Russo-Greek Church."

Our powers as a Committee do not extend so far as the action contemplated in this petition. The first resolution which passed our House of Deputies aimed at the appointment of a committee to open a correspondence with the authorities of the Russian Church, upon the subject of inter-communion, and report the results, with such information as might be gathered on the subject, to our next General Convention. In this the House of Bishops did not concur. A "committee of conference" was consequently appointed, which changed "opening a correspondence," to "considering the expediency of communication," &c. Our functions, therefore, only extend to collecting information and considering the expediency of communication, and not to opening directly with the Russian Church any negotiations on the subject. This restriction of our authority precludes, in our judgment, direct action of every kind which would at all commit our Church, and, of course, all formal and final concurrence in the same on the part of others. We can correspond, collect facts, receive proposals from any quarter, and report the same to our next General Convention. But this is all. We are the medium through which the Church of England, or the Church of Russia, may address that body; but we are not authorized to make any overtures to either on its behalf. We should be glad, as a Committee, since the action of your Convocation, were our powers less restricted, but, as it is, we must not venture to transcend their limits. Had your action preceded ours, so that we could have had its great moral support, our Convention would probably have met you on common ground. But, as we were taking the first step, were moving alone and in the dark, it was thought most prudent to proceed very cautiously. Still, our powers may be sufficient for all that our Church is, as yet, prepared for. By the masses of our Communion but very little is known of any of the Oriental Churches; and it would be a good three years' work should we succeed in collecting and diffusing such an amount of information as to prepare our people understandingly, and with the unanimity which would be desirable, to acquiesce in further and direct advances looking to actual inter-communion.

But let me assure you, reverend and dear sir, that, in heart and mind, every member of our Committee is cordially and fully with you. And we shall be greatly gratified by the receipt of any communications touching this matter from the Convocation of Canterbury, or that of York, or any representative body of the Church of England, as likewise from yourself individually, or any of the authorities or members of the Church of Russia. For any items or sources of information respecting the Russian Church, we should be likewise greatly obliged. I have the entire Office-books of the Greek Church in some twenty volumes, the two volumes of Neale's "General Introduction to the History of the Eastern Church," King's "Greek Church in Russia," Blackmore's "Translation of the Catechisms of the Russian Church," and his " Harmony of Russian and Anglican Doctrine;" Mouravieff's "History of the Russian Church," Palmer's "Appeal to the Scottish Church," and his "Dissertations on the Orthodox Communion;" Neale's "Voices from the East," Popoff's "Translation of the History of the Council of Florence;" and other members of the committee may have still other works, though of this I am not informed. Stanley's History and popular books so generally known, I do not of course mention. What other sources of information are there accessible to us in either the Greek, Latin, German or French languages? Any thing of value we shall be glad to know the title and scope of, as likewise the publisher and place of publication, that some one of us may order it for the benefit of our Committee. Any information, or suggestions of any kind bearing upon the matter, in any of its aspects, through whosesoever kindness they may reach us, will be most kindly and thankfully received; for "to collect authentic information" is the principal business for which we, as a Committee, were appointed.

In your second letter to The Church Journal, you inform us that the Russian Deacon at —— was preparing an article, embracing a sketch of our Church, which would be published in the Orthodox Review, and that he was preparing, likewise, another article on the Church in England. Would it not be well to have these articles translated and published in English? It would be a matter of interest, perhaps of moment, to know what the ecclesiastic referred to is publishing concerning us; and it is the more necessary to make sure of its accuracy, from the fact that his materials are gathered from a German source. I will take care to have published in America translations of these articles, and everything, indeed, which will aid us in our object, and which you may think it worth while to send me.

You will be glad to hear that the Rev. Dr. Mason, whose ecclesiastical learning you so justly appreciate, and who declined serving on the Committee, lest it should embarrass his action as a member of another Committee, "On Friendly Intercourse with the Church of Sweden," has been invited by a formal resolution to meet and deliberate with us, and we hope that he will favor us with his judicious counsel.

Two sub-committees were appointed at our recent meeting, with a view to a division and greater efficiency of labor—one on theological, historical and ecclesiastical points, consisting of the Right Rev. Dr. Williams, Assistant Bishop of Connecticut; the Rev. Dr. Mahan, Professor of Ecclesiastical History in our General Theological Seminary; the Rev. Dr. Thrall, late Rector of Trinity Church, San Francisco; and the Rev. Mr. Young, an Assistant Minister of Trinity Church, New-York. Another, consisting of the Hon. Samuel B. Ruggles, of New-York, one of our most earnest churchmen and distinguished citizens, and President Eliot, of Trinity College, Connecticut, likewise an able and eminent layman, on the Secular as affecting the Ecclesiastical Relations of Russia and America, from the rapidly increasing intercourse of the two nations on the Pacific.

I cannot close this communication without an utterance of thanks to GOD that a decided and earnest movement has so auspiciously begun towards reuniting, in the full fellowship of the Communion of Saints, the two great branches of CHRIST'S vine, which, shooting forth, centuries ago, from the same parent stock in Asia Minor, and trending the one towards the East, and the other towards the West, have at length so extended their growth, as to encompass the globe, and are now beginning to intertwine their foliage on the shores of the Pacific in Asia and America.

GOD grant that the repose which characterizes that majestic Ocean, as compared with other seas, may but symbolize the peace in which, after the storms and tossing of ages, His Church, in the three great Empires now meeting on its shores, shall from henceforth forever unchangeably dwell; and that these preliminary steps towards a restoration of the long lost communion of the East and West, may prove but the harbinger of a restored Catholic Unity, unto the fulfilment of the Redeemer's earnest prayer—"That they all may be one as Thou, FATHER, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they may also be one in Us, that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me."

Very sincerely and faithfully,
your brother and servant in CHRIST,
J. FREEMAN YOUNG, Secretary of Committee.

P. S.—Our next meeting is appointed for the 23d of June, before which we shall have heard, we trust, of the favorable action of your Upper House. This letter is at your service, for any use which you think will subserve the cause we have in hand.

In the month of June a letter was addressed to the Secretary by the Rev. F. C. Massingberd, who first moved this matter in the Convocation of Canterbury, from which the following paragraphs are given, as bearing upon the continuity of this narrative:



I gladly avail myself of the permission of our mutual friend, the Rev. George Williams, who is gone into Germany, and, I believe, from thence into Russia, that I should write to you about the proposal for an attempted renewal of inter-communion with the Churches of the East.

Mr. Williams was so good as to send me your letter soon after he received it, and he afterwards had some copies of it privately printed, which he gave me to distribute among the members of our Convocation, and those especially who had signed the petition to the Upper House upon the subject.

The Bishops did not (as was expected) enter upon this subject, during our late sessions in May. But we are to have another session on July 1st, and then, I hope, they will do so. They were intensely occupied during the few days that we sat in May, as well by the Colenso affair, as by the question of uniting the Provinces of Canterbury and York in one Convocation. And the time allotted to our sessions is so short that important business is often put aside. But still, I hope, they will manage and find time for this, and I am expecting to see the Bishop of ——, next Saturday, to whom I shall not fail to say how anxiously we look for action on their part.

Perhaps if we can get a committee who may be authorized and directed to communicate officially with your committee, this may be the best mode of proceeding, in the first instance; and if such an attempt should do no more, for the present, than bringing together into direct and official communication the Synods of our respective branches of the Anglican communion, surely that will be a subject of thankfulness and hope.
Your faithful brother and Servant in the Lord,
Chancellor of Lincoln Cathedral.

At an adjourned meeting of the Convocation of the Province of Canterbury, July 1st, 1863, the Bishop of Oxford presented to the Bishops constituting the Upper House, the petition of the Lower House of Convocation, already given in this paper.

In presenting the petition the Bishop of Oxford said: This petition is signed by Mr. Massingberd, Archdeacon Bickersteth, Archdeacon Denison, Mr. Joyce, and a large number of members of the Lower House, and would, therefore, in itself command great respect from this House, independently of the extreme importance of the subject to which it refers. If there is one matter upon earth which it would be a blessed thing to help forward, it would surely be the interchange of the visible acts of communion between our own branch of the Church, at home and in America, with the orthodox branches of the Eastern Church. The benefits on both sides must be very great. Those who have studied the controversy with Rome know that there is nothing more important in maintaining our position against the usurpations of Rome than the independent position of the Eastern Church; and if we can strengthen the bonds of intercourse between that Church and ourselves, it would be one of the greatest blessings that can be conceived. The increase of unity among professing Christians would tend more than any thing else to draw down upon us the presence of that Spirit of unity in which rests all our strength. I would ask your Grace to direct the Lower House to appoint a committee to consider the matter, and to communicate with their brethren of the American Church who have taken up the matter, for the purpose of ascertaining whether any steps can be taken, and to report to us the result of their inquiries for our consideration at a future time. I beg to move—

"That his Grace, the President, be requested to direct the Lower House to appoint a committee to communicate with the committee appointed at the recent Synod of the Bishops and Clergy of the United States of America, as to inter-communion with the Russo-Greek Church, and to communicate the result to the Convocation at a future session."

The Bishop of Chichester seconded the motion.

The Bishop of Salisbury said: "I cordially concur in the motion of the Bishop of Oxford. I believe there is a very great want of acquaintance with the condition of the Church in the East, and it is most desirable, for their sakes as well as our own, that we should obtain more information on the subject. At all events, it may lead people to see that if we are isolated from the rest of Christendom, that isolation does not arise from any want of desire to help forward that event which would really be the fulfilment of our blessed Lord's prayer, that we should' all be one;' and although this is a small beginning, I hope and trust that it may yield very good fruit."

The motion was put, and agreed to unanimously.

The committee appointed by the Lower House, pursuant to the action of the Upper House of Convocation, were as follows:

The Archdeacon of Bucks (Bickersteth), the Archdeacon of Taunton (Denison), Dr. Leighton, Lord A. Compton, Sir G. Prevost, Chancellor Massingberd, and the Rev. Messrs. Fendall, Seymour and Randolph; five to be a quorum.

Here ends the documentary narrative of the formation of the American and English Committees on the subject of intercommunion with the Russo-Greek Church; two in name, though in fact but one Joint Committee of the Reformed Catholic Church for considering and reporting upon the delicate and momentous matter of the restoration of communion with the Orthodox Eastern Church—the venerable MOTHER CHURCH of universal Christendom; a Church which, in her saintly and martyr spirit, has withstood, with unflinching and unparalleled heroism, the encroachments of the Papacy, the oppressions of Mohammedanism, the unsparing desolations of barbarian invaders, the corrupting influences of conquered and assimilated heathen nations, and which, with her youth renewed under the fostering care of her ‘nursing fathers,’ the Czars, is now going forth, with truly apostolic zeal, to win unto CHRIST the inhabitants of the almost boundless steppes, and valleys, and mountains of Asia.

From the coasts of India and China our missionaries are moving onward under the influence of the same zeal, and for the achievement of the same glorious end. Soon the outposts of the two Churches will meet face to face. Upon the success of this movement, now just inaugurated, it altogether depends whether they shall meet as strangers and rivals, and, to the apprehension of those whom they seek to proselyte unto CHRIST, as hostile sects, each laboring for its own peculiar ends, or shall meet as brethren beloved; and though differing in rites, and language and manners, yet of the "one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism," one fellowship in "the Communion of Saints," intermingling their sympathies, and prayers, and labors, till in God's own good time, with all Asia evangelized as the blessed result of their united, harmonious labors, they may also intermingle their rejoicings in one vast and mighty chorus of praise.

From the important bearing of this movement upon this single point, it is already awakening the sympathies of those who have at heart our missionary work in the East. The Rev. E. W. Syle, for ten years one of the missionaries of our Church at Shanghai, in China, in a postscript to a business letter to the writer, just after the appointment of our Committee, spoke of the movement in such terms that his permission has been asked to print it in this paper. It is as follows:

P. S.—I note with much interest the doings of the Committee on Inter-communion with the Greek Church, of which you are a member. When in China, I met Count Poutiatine, who gave me a very satisfactory (and to me novel) account of the establishment of Priests, &c., which the Russian Church maintains in Pekin. [D] In the Gulf of Pechili, and on board the "America" (that famous little craft built in New-York for the Russians), I met a Russian ecclesiastic, but could hold no intercourse with him except through the medium of the Chinese language. He seems to have remembered our interview, however; for some months afterwards, he sent me, by General Mouravieft's Secretary, a friendly message, and a request for certain books in Chinese—Scriptures and other books—which I furnished. This was in July, 1859.

In June, 1860, General Ignatieff, the Russian minister, came to Shanghai, and visited our mission schools there, conversing quite freely about educational and ecclesiastical matters. I remember quite well his honest indignation at the illiberality and exclusiveness of the Roman Catholics, as exhibited in their proceedings in China. Truly, it would have been a comfort at that time to have met on a footing of recognition with Greek churchmen; for there were seven sorts of Christians in Shanghai; and we, of the American Church, were only able fully to fraternize with our brethren of the Church of England.

Those who are made to feel, as a missionary does, the evils which spring from the existing divisions among Christian missionaries, and who know the comparative weakness of that divided front which they present to the common enemy—the world—feel an inexpressible longing for the realization of that unity which our Saviour's prayer indicated, and for the reason which it suggests, "That they all may be one, that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me."

The gratification and hope awakened by this enterprise in another department of our missionary work—that to the decayed Churches of the East—may be learned from the following extracts from letters of the Rev. Dr. Hill, Missionary of our Church at Athens, Greece. The faithful contributors to this mission will rejoice to learn what important results have sprung from Dr. Hill's persevering labors of love, as evidenced by the remarkable circumstances under which the Greek nation have just elected a PROTESTANT King, and related by Dr. Hill in the following extract from a letter to the Spirit of Missions: ATHENS, May 18, 1863.

"These preliminary remarks lead me to the subject I have chiefly in view in this communication." At the outset of our Mission, and for some years after we were settled here, there existed a profound ignorance about our Church throughout the East. In Greece, England was only known as one of the three ‘protecting powers;' but of the Church of England (much more of the sister Church in America—of which we were the representatives) there was a profound ignorance. We were known to be Protestants, but with this name were associated some very crude notions of two individuals, Luther and Calvin, to one or other of whom, as 'Heresiarchs,' we were supposed to belong. They also were aware that we were not Papists (a sort of negative recommendation for the Greeks.) It may truly be affirmed that not until the small English church (S. Paul's) rose up in Athens, did they begin to realize—I should rather say, fully to realize—that we were Christians! When the Church of Greece became independent of the Patriarchate at Constantinople in 1850, and began to be governed by a Synod of her own Bishops, who held their permanent sittings in Athens, frequent opportunities of friendly intercourse with the higher clergy presented themselves; and among other topics, the agreement between the Church of England and that in our country to which we belonged was explained to the satisfaction of the inquirers. The first practical example of the perfect unity subsisting between the two Churches (my appointment in 1845 as chaplain to the English legation) made a great impression upon the Greek population, and especially upon the Bishops. The little church in which I officiated every Sunday, which had recently been built and consecrated, was the first public exhibition of the services of the Church of England to the Eastern Church; for before that period those services were confined within the walls of a private house, accessible only to our own members. They attracted (as they still do) the greatest attention; and the order, decency and solemnity of Divine worship were (as they still are) the themes of the admiration of the clergy and laity of the Greek Church. The effect of this public exhibition of the order and symmetry of our Church has not, however, been limited to a mere admiration of these things; it has led to inquiries into our doctrines and to a sifting of opinions, and a casting off of old prejudices, and, at length, to a remarkable expression of public sentiment upon one of the most important but delicate points connected with the choice of a sovereign, namely, the religion (to use the common but incorrect expression) of the future King.

"And I now declare, with my strongest emphasis, my intimate persuasion that the silent influence of your mission in Greece, during the last thirty years, in the first place, and then the effect, as I have already hinted, produced by the public services of our Church-leading first to inquiry, and then to satisfactory information respecting our Protestant doctrines and worship-have gradually brought about this striking change in public opinion. The high wall of prejudice has been thrown down, and a people, the most sensitive of all others on the subject of their religion and their Church, have twice within the last four months unanimously chosen a Protestant prince as their King, without any conditions whatever, and this too, with a determination and pertinacity which really appear to us who know all the history of the famous fortieth article of the Constitution of 1844, to be truly marvellous." [C]

The notions of the enlightened Greeks on the subject of Apostolic unity ate not by any means as vague now as they were in 1836. My conclusions, drawn from my intercourse with the Greek clergy, and from the examination of what is really taught and held in the Church of free Greece, are, that the Holy Scriptures, and the evangelical doctrines drawn from that pure source, as set forth, summarily, in the Nicene Creed, are the only standard to which she clings with pertinacity. Believing this fully, the possibility of unity with her on those principles has often been suggested to my mind; but I was scarcely prepared to see those views so remarkably brought out by others with whom I have never held any communication whatever on the subject. The conversation (for it can hardly be called debate) that arose at the close of our late General Convention, about the Russo-Greek settlers in California, took me by surprise, and I was greatly interested in much that was said on that occasion by the Rev. Drs. Thrall and Mason. The latter Rev. brother, among other excellent remarks, said that "it was the duty of every particular or National Church to be in communion with every other which was not heretical or schismatical; and none could be heretical which held the Nicene Creed in its integrity." He also said on that occasion: "This Church of ours really presents a centre of communion to all other bodies of Christians in the world." But these views, which seemed to give tangibility to the secret musings of my own mind, are with still greater force touched upon by Canon Wordsworth in the eloquent speech already alluded to, on the occasion of the Rev. Mr. Mackenzie's motion in Convocation on the 12th February last. The following extract will, I am sure, be read with great interest:

"This motion points our attention to our relations with our own people, and to what is going on abroad. Now, when we look to the Eastern part of the world, we may see very much of promise and of hope. When we look to the West, which is now torn by a civil war, we shall also find there cravings for peace. It is one of the circumstances of the times, that must be extremely interesting to us, as showing, in a most touching manner, the longing which exists for Christian unity, that at a period when America is convulsed with a great civil war, the fathers of the American Church should have met quietly in Synod, and discussed the best mode of extending the right hand of fellowship, and holding out the olive branch of peace to their brethren of the Eastern Church. It shows us that God's Holy Spirit is moving as it were on the face of the waters, and we trust that in due time it will bring forth a beautiful creation out of the chaos. (Cheers.) When we look at the Eastern Church, we shall find that there is good reason why we, too, should follow the steps which these our American brethren have taken, and why we should greatly desire to further, so far as we can, all the wise measures that may be devised for the revival of inter-communion between the Churches of the East and our own." (Loud cheers.)

In a letter dated May 28th, Dr. Hill resumed this subject, quoting, after some introductory remarks, the conclusion of Dr. Wordsworth's speech, as follows:

"If we, in this Church of England, can in any way assist in bringing about so happy a result, then our name will be blessed by posterity; then we may, even in our own time, reap some of the fruits that may grow from our revivified powers; and those who may come after us, and may sit in this house when we are gathered to our fathers, may be witnesses to us that we did some little in our day, by the blessing of God, for the restoration of the Church on its ancient foundations of Christian truth, apostolic order, and catholic love." (Loud cheers.)

Canon Wordsworth was followed on concluding his remarks by Chancellor Massingberd, who said: "I should not have attempted to address the house at all, after the speech of Canon Wordsworth, (for I almost fear lest I should weaken in any manner the effect of that eloquent address to which we have listened with so much delight,) were I not able to supplement his statements with respect to the wide-spread spirit of curiosity that exists on the continent with respect to the Anglican Communion."

He then read a passage of the letter from a Russian nobleman, quoted by Mr. Williams in his letter to The Church Journal, already given on page 12, and then said:

"I will only add that, as I listened to the speech of Canon Wordsworth, I could not help reflecting that, if the glorious prospect which he so eloquently opened before our eyes should be realized, what will be the feelings with which the Christian world will regard the conduct o f our own Reformers and the work which they effected? How could heir memory be so vindicated, their greatness be so established, their names be so enshrined in the heart of all lovers of the Gospel and of the universal Church of CHRIST, as by seeing such results emanate from their work, and by seeing that through the instrumentality of the Church which they reformed, the blessings of peace and unity, of evangelical truth and Catholic order, have been restored to universal Christendom!" [Cheers.] In a letter dated July 24th, 1863, addressed to the Spirit of Missions, Dr. Hill further says: The recent proceedings in the Convocation of the province of Canterbury, which you have no doubt seen, in reference to the movement which originated in our General Convention last year toward the inter-communion of our Church with the Eastern Church, have been published in our Greek papers, and I am happy to say this movement has been greeted with great delight on the part of the higher clergy and the enlightened laity. Many of our distinguished friends have been making anxious inquiries of me about this matter. They uniformly express their gratification, and their wish that something practical may grow out of it. I shall, no doubt, have much to write to you on this interesting subject when our public affairs are settled. From Russia, too, indications of the spirit in which our advances when made are likely to be met, have indirectly reached us, and they are of the most gratifying and hopeful character. A weekly paper, L' Union Chretienne, conducted in Paris by the Gallican Priest, the Abbe Guettee, and the Arch-Priest Wassilieff, Chaplain of the Russian Embassy at Paris, has devoted a considerable portion of its space to the discussion of the principles involved in this movement since the action of our General Convention a year ago. In the numbers for May 17th, 24th and 31st, of the present year, the leading editorials are devoted to this subject. The truly Christian and Catholic spirit of the articles will surprise many, and delight all of us Occidentals. We translate as much of the series as we are able to give, premising that each of these editorials is written over the signature of the Arch-Priest Wassilieff, whose statements are entitled to more than ordinary weight, not only from his position and ability, but from what is understood of his personal relations with some of the higher ecclesiastics of the Church of Russia. The first article of the Series commences as follows:

"Reflections upon the desire manifested by the Anglican Church, of entering into Communion with the Oriental Catholic Church:

"Some Bishops and Priests of the Anglican Church have, quite recently, made known the pious desire of entering into relations with the Oriental Catholic Church, with the view of establishing a union between this Church and their own. It is the love of sound doctrine, it is zeal for the science of Theology, and for the salvation of souls, which has inspired them with this holy resolution, as we have learned with pleasure and profound gratitude to the Saviour, source of all good and light. Knowing the peaceful and charitable spirit that animates the Orthodox Church, we believe that we interpret her sentiments when we say that her heart leaped for joy at the news that she would be able to give the kiss of peace to the great and venerable Anglican Church.

"It was without her complicity, or, at least, without her taking any direct part, that the Anglican Church was formerly driven by the Bishop of Rome to a breach of unity with the Oriental Church. Having cut themselves off from the beneficent restraints of their Eastern brethren, the Popes of the middle ages exerted themselves to the utmost to place under their yoke this ancient Church, whose roots are in the East, and to which St. Gregory the Great devoted a solicitude so Christianlike and disinterested. Roman ambition did not fully succeed in its design of bringing her under its domination, as the Anglican Church always preserved to some extent her original independence, and attachment to ancient tradition. "By acting, however, with a perseverance worthy of a better cause, and with the strategy which she calls prudence, Rome inoculated her with the poison of innovation, and dealt heavy blows to h6r ancient discipline. It was only by an entire separation that the Anglican Church freed herself from the Roman bondage. In the work of purification to which her doctrine and discipline were then submitted, she acted on her own responsibility, and as a distinct Church. If the promoters of the Reformation in Germany and Switzerland afforded her any assistance, their co-operation, so far from being beneficial, brought with it only the elements of trouble and disaster, as these Reformers had placed themselves too much outside of the Catholic idea. They were too much isolated in their opposition to Rome, and had followed exclusively their private inspirations. Thus, their action was rather disintegrating than restorative. We venture to say, that the Anglican Pastors, if left to themselves, would have brought about better results, and would have pursued a more successful course in re-establishing primitive doctrines, as they endeavoured to do.

"It would have been well for them in such a case to be free from all feeling of irritation, and to be on their guard against yielding to their aversion to every thing that came from Rome. Now it is certain that their antagonism to the pretensions of the Pope was too deeply seated to allow them the calmness necessary in a work so important as that of the Reformation of a Church. Although such a feeling was just, it must be granted that it would not be a good counsellor, and that it would have a tendency to make one exaggerate. Is it not true that the Prophets, urged by a passionate zeal, have sometimes gone beyond the limits of the Divine will. As for us frail mortals, then, who do not receive particular revelations, we cannot be too much on our guard against passion, when we undertake any holy work. If we add that the internal controversies excited in England by the religious Reformation served only to nourish passion, we will the better comprehend that the work of the Reformation in England was not accomplished with all the calmness that could have been desired."

In the second article the Arch-Priest says: We do not hesitate to say that the Anglican Reformation has left untouched a great Catholic foundation, which places it within the power of that Church to renew at pleasure the bonds of fraternity with the ancient Universal Church. Let it be understood that we do not here speak of the Roman Church. Romanism and Catholicism are incompatible ideas; they differ from each other as do the particular and the universal. Therefore, a re-union of the Anglican with the Roman Church as it is, is properly considered impossible. The Anglican Church will never submit to the yoke of the Papacy. Her religious convictions, as well as the national aspirations, are irresistibly opposed to any such thing. The Anglican Church will be no one's slave.

To whom does the Anglican Church apply in renewing her relations with the Orthodox Church? To the faithful successors of the great and holy Bishops of antiquity, of Bishops whose orthodoxy no one has disputed, or rather whose sound doctrine has been attested and received by the Catholic Church as conformed to Evangelical and Apostolical teaching. There, in the Christian Orient, yet stand and will always remain, the four Patriarchs placed by the (Ecumenical Councils at the head of ecclesiastical government: the Bishop of the mother of Churches, Jerusalem; the first and true successor of St. Peter, the Bishop of Antioch; the second successor of the first of the Apostles (by St. Mark) the Bishop of Alexandria; the successor of the first called of the Apostles, St. Andrew, Apostle of Byzantium, that is to say, the Bishop of Constantinople, raised by the General Councils to the permanent rank of Patriarchate, by reason of the dignity of his City, which had become the Capital of the Empire. In the face of this fourfold Patriarchate, the authority of the Bishop of Rome, so much boasted, is very feeble, when he isolates himself in his pretended unity; because he is but the fifth part of the honorable and governing council of the ancient Church, and but the third part of the succession of St. Peter, which, according to the teaching of the greatest of the ancient Popes, Saint Gregory the Great, resides in the three great Sees of Rome, Alexandria and Antioch. Around these brethren, the oldest in honor and equal in the Episcopal authority, are grouped the successors of the other Apostles, the Bishops of the ancient Sees. But if they are happy in having succeeded the disciples of Jesus CHRIST—Saint Paul, St. John, St. James, St. Philip and St. Bartholomew-their principal glory is to have preserved intact the depository of the Doctrine, the Spirit and Constitution of the Church of the Apostles.. To the present day, this Church preserves its ancient organization, in regard to the unity and solidarity of the Episcopate, from the fact that absolutism is banished from its bosom, and so error and innovation cannot be introduced. The Oriental Patriarchs and Bishops, therefore, when answering Pius IX., had good reason for offering, as an incontestible proof of their fidelity to the Ancient Church, this consideration-that each and every one of them regarded himself as entrusted with the care of the Church, and that no one of them would be able to change any thing without meeting with resistance from the others.

"With us," say the Patriarchs and the Oriental Bishops, "innovations could neither be introduced by the Patriarchs nor by the Councils, because among us the safeguard of religion resides in the entire body of the Church; that is to say, among the people themselves, who desire that their religious dogmas should remain forever immutable, and conformed to those of their fathers, as has been proven by the fact that many Popes after the schism, and some Patriarchs following them, could come to no agreement about any thing." Rome having made innovations, acted logically when she, on the one hand, reduced the Bishops to slavery, and on the other removed the faithful Laity from all participation in religious affairs. As one would expect, the papacy has thus gained in power, but the Church has lost, in consequence of its servility and indifference. From what we have said, the Anglican Church will lose none of its liberty nor religious activity by uniting itself to the Orthodox Catholic Church. Her Bishops, on the contrary, will enlarge their sphere of action. Instead of being simple Shepherds of a particular Church, they will become pillars of the Universal Church. The Anglican Laity will be no longer deprived of their dignity and importance in the Church, for Orthodoxy ought to live in all the elements of which the Catholic Society is composed. In the third article the argument for the unchanged orthodoxy of the Oriental Church is still pursued: "By a decree of Divine Providence," it continues, "Russia embraced Christianity at precisely the same time that the West slackened the bonds which united it to the Oriental Church. Now the Russian Church has been, from its origin, ten centuries ago, dependent upon the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Becoming finally independent, though preserving its freedom and some details of discipline authorized by Apostolic practice, this Church bears testimony that the Oriental Church was, at the time of the Roman schism, such as we see it to be now.

"Let us go back a few centuries to genuine antiquity. About the middle of the fifth century the Monophysite heresy appeared, whose aim was to deprive the MAN-GOD of his human nature, and thus to sap the entire plan of Redemption." The Copts, as the surviving debris of the Monophysites, the Nestorians, the Armenians and the Georgians, are then successively referred to in proof of the unquestionable orthodoxy of the Eastern Church from the identity of doctrine, between the orthodox and separated branches (excepting the peculiar dogma of each heretical branch, for which it was cut off from Catholic Communion), though no communion or ecclesiastical fellowship has been had between them for twelve or fourteen hundred years. To these proofs of the unchanged orthodoxy of the Catholic Oriental Church, the pastors and theologians of the Church of England are invited to give their serious consideration; and that, too, in the logical and practical consequences which follow upon the correctness of the writer's positions. The third article thus concludes:

"The true Catholic Church, in seeking for unity, does not confound it with uniformity. As to matters of opinion, while she is faithful to Apostolic discipline, yet in its application she is tolerant of national peculiarities. It is a principle with her to allow every people their own Liturgic tongue, and their national independence; her end being the salvation of souls, and her kingdom being not of this world, she does not intermeddle with political affairs.

"Then, brethren of England, you may, with entire confidence, extend your hand to us, as we, with respect and in all sincerity, extend ours to you.


The foregoing extracts from L’Union Chretienne are sufficient to show the catholic and enlightened spirit in which that able periodical is conducted. The warm approbation of their labors which the editors are receiving from the Oriental Church, is one of the most hopeful signs of the times. We append two letters from Patriarchs, as a most gratifying conclusion of this paper: Joachim, by the grace of God Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome, and OEcumenical Patriarch: Most reverend Arch-Priest Joseph Wassilieff, most pious and honorable Abbe Guettee, whose learning is so widely useful, and who represent the editors' staff of L’Union Chretienne, our well-beloved and valued sons in the Lord: The grace, the peace, and the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you! We are not ignorant, well-beloved sons, of the courageous and useful works of the editors of L’Union for the integrity of the faith of Christ: on the contrary, we have long praised it, and bestowed our blessing upon it, when we received with joy the delightful letter of Your Piety, together with the precious collection of your journal. Thus, having more perfectly conceived your aim, we rendered thanks to God, "who willeth that all should be in union, and giveth mighty words to them that preach it." We regard, indeed, as the work of God, not only the salutary thought which has inspired a labor so useful to the body of the Church, but also the perfect concord which exists between you, and which enables you to labor as brothers in Jesus Christ. The meritorious end which you pursue with sincerity, the legitimate means which you employ, the sure guides which you follow, the solid basis on which you lean, the marvellous sweetness of your words, which enters the ears not as the clap of thunder, but as the light breeze which gently penetrates souls,-it is thus that your words are worthy of the God whose cause they assert; and whose service finds its perfection not by vehement speech but by sweetness. You will receive, without doubt, well-beloved sons, the recompense from God of the pious works which you have undertaken for so holy a cause. As to our Orthodox Church of the East, she has always grieved for the alienation of her Western sisters, once so venerable; and more especially ancient Rome. Yet she consoles herself by consciousness of her innocence, for she did not provoke at first, any more than since she has perpetuated or strengthened, the division. Nay, she has never ceased to offer, with tears, fervent prayers to her God and Saviour who maketh of two one, breaking down the middle wall of separation between them, that He may bring all Churches into one unity, giving them sameness of faith and the communion of the Holy Ghost. And that she may cause Him to hear her, she shows Him the marks of her martyrdom, and the wounds which she has through so many ages received on account of her Catholic Orthodoxy from those who envy her, who trouble her tranquillity and her peaceful life in Jesus Christ. For these causes: Our Humility and the Holy Synod of Most Holy Metropolitans, our brothers and coadjutors in the Holy Ghost, having been informed, especially by your letter, of the divine zeal which inflames you for the desired union of the Churches, are filled with spiritual joy; we crown your holy work with the most just praises; we pour forth for you the most ardent prayers, and we bestow on you and on your fellow-laborers, our fullest benediction, Patriarchal and Synodal. And as we have seen with joy, in the letter of Your Piety, one Western and one Eastern priest united in the same love for the truth joining their names as brethren, so may we, one day, by the grace of that God whose judgment and mercies are infinite, behold the sister Churches of East and West embracing each other with sincerity and truth in the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of peace, to the end that we may be one body, and only one, in Jesus Christ, to the glory of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the most Holy and Undivided Trinity.

His grace and benediction be with you.

Indictum the 5th, August 23d, 1862.
JOACHIM, Archbishop of Constantinople, who blesseth you in JESUS CHRIST.
PAISIUS, Metropolitan of Cesarea, who blesseth you in JESUS CHRIST.
PAISIUS, of Ephesus, who blesseth you in JESUS CHRIST.
METHODIUS, Vicar-General of Carpathos, who blesseth you in JESUS CHRIST.
STEPHEN, Metropolitan of Laressa, who blesseth you in JESUS CHRIST.
SOPHRONINES, of Arta, who blesseth you in JESUS CHRIST.
CHRYSANTHUS, of Smyrna, who blesseth you in JESUS CHRIST.
MELETIUS, of Mitylene, who blesseth you in JESUS CHRIST.
DOROTHEUS, of Demetrias, who blesseth you in JESUS CHRIST.
DIONYSIUS, of Melenia, who blesseth you in JESUS CHRIST.
MELESIUS, of Rhascoprescene, who blesseth you in JESUS CHRIST.
ANTHEMUS, of Belgrade, who blesseth you in JESUS CHRIST.
AGAPEUS, of Grebenna, who blesseth you in JESUS CHRIST.

Most learned Archpriest Joseph, and Abbe Guettee, children dearly beloved of our Humility, in the LORD. The grace of GOD and our Saviour JESUS CHRIST be with you! We have experienced great delight, and regard ourselves as highly favored in the reception of your filial letter. In reading it we are deeply impressed with the sacredness of the object which your paper has in view—an object beneficial to all nations—and with the zeal with which you are laboring for its accomplishment. We hasten to express our approbation of your labors, from which we have experienced a pleasure like to that afforded us by a great Festival. Strive then earnestly that, having reached the goal, you may receive your reward. Our blessing will accompany you in your laudable efforts, so zealous, and at the same time so pleasing to GOD. We blessed with both our hands, and we do bless with all our heart, these efforts, and your labors for the union of all the Churches. We also pray GOD the FATHER to hasten this true union which is so much desired by all Christians. From the time we became acquainted with your undertaking, we have not ceased to pray GOD that your efforts may be crowned with success, and to beseech JESUS CHRIST to make his will perfectly known to you, and to imbue you with wisdom and prudence. May our Heavenly FATHER grant you His Holy and Life-giving SPIRIT, to illumine, to strengthen, to lead you always in the right way, and to put into your mouth arguments strong and unanswerable, that you may contend zealously and courageously for the Church of CHRIST, and preach the doctrines of GOD. Thus the Name of our LORD JESUS CHRIST will be glorified in you, and you will be glorified in Him, by the grace of our GOD and LORD JESUS CHRIST.
JAMES, Patriarch of Alexandria.
ALEXANDRIA, April 13th, 1863.

To the Bishops, Clergy and Laity in the United States of America: The response of the Convocation of the Province of Canterbury to the action of our late General Convention in appointing the Russo-Greek Committee, and the interest which this movement is awakening in the Oriental Church, admonish the Committee that their duties are likely to prove no less laborious than they are important. So much has already come to hand which the Committee think will interest and gladden the whole Church, that it was resolved, at a recent meeting, to issue a series of Occasional Papers, provided the funds shall be contributed to meet the necessary expense. The Secretary was requested to assume the duties of editor, and, as the first number of the series, he has prepared what may be called a Documentary Narrative of the movement from its inception at our late General Convention until the present time. A copy of this number will be mailed to every Bishop and Clergyman of the United States, and to every Lay Deputy of the late General Convention. Hereafter, should the contributions to the publishing fund warrant it, a copy will be sent to the Bishops, Clergy and Lay Contributors. If the funds shall not be sufficient for this, but enough for something less, copies will be sent to the Bishops and Contributors only, whether Clerical or Lay, as the size of the edition very materially affects its cost. The single item of paper in the present issue is more than half of the entire expense. There is now ready for publication the correspondence between the English Non-Jurors and the Russian Ecclesiastical authorities, upon this same subject, a hundred and fifty years ago. It has never been published as a whole, and can be had in no one volume. Other papers are likewise in course of preparation. Indeed, all the members of the Committee are earnestly engaged on one or other matter of general interest to the Church, and of fundamental importance to the intelligent and conservative progress of this movement. The results of laborious research and patient' investigation bearing upon this interesting and momentous subject, will no doubt, if published, be acceptable to the Church. Yet the Committee must be guided by the indications of the Church's desire in this matter, as practically expressed in the contributions offered. All remittances should be directed to the Secretary of Committee, care of E. M. Duncan, 762 Broadway, and will be duly acknowledged as soon as received.

By order of the Committee.

W. H. DE LANCEY, Chairman.
J. FREEMAN YOUNG, Secretary.
New-York, November 2d, 1863.


[A] For the information of any who may not understand this allusion of Dr. Mason, it is proper to remark that reference is made to the interpolation of the Nicene Creed by the Latin Church, in the Article relating to the Procession of the HOLY GHOST,—"Who proceedeth from the FATHER and the Son." The clause "and the SON" was not originally in the Creed as set forth and sanctioned by the great (Ecumenical Councils, and used for centuries by the whole Church throughout the world. It began to be inserted in the 7th and 8th centuries, upon no higher authority than some Spanish and French Provincial Councils. Arianism having overrun Western Europe, and especially Spain, the Catholics were naturally desirous of asserting our LORD'S divinity in the strongest possible way, in opposition to this heresy. They were unwilling that any attribute should be ascribed to the FATHER, even in regard to the Procession of the HOLY GHOST, which the SON had not; and hence they ventured so far as to tamper with the Church's universal Creed. The opposition aroused by this movement at first, may be inferred from the grave admonition of Alcuin, pre-eminently the Doctor of his time:—

"Beware, beloved brethren, with the whole power of your minds, of the new sects of Spanish error; follow the steps of the holy Fathers in the Faith, and join yourselves, in most sacred union, to the Universal Church. For it is written, Remove not the ancient landmarks which your Fathers have set. And refuse to insert novelties in the Creed of the Catholic Faith; and refuse to accept, in ecclesiastical offices, traditions unheard by former times; advance along the public road of Apostolic doctrine, nor turn from the King's Highway, by the bye-paths of any novelty, to the right hand nor to the left."

Even Pope Leo III., though himself holding the doctrine of the double procession, when waited upon by a deputation from the Council of Aix la Chapelle, A. D. 809, to obtain his approbation for inserting the new clause "Filioque" in the Creed, so far from giving this interpolation his countenance, he caused the Creed of Constantinople (Nicene), in its original form, to be engraved on two tablets of silver, on the one in Greek, and on the other in Latin, and these to be suspended in the Basilica of St. Peter, to bear perpetual witness against the growing innovation. To Nicholas I. it was reserved to insert this clause in the Creed at Rome, and thus bring upon the Papal Church the chief guilt of the great schism of 1054:—a schism, to use the language of our great Bishop Pearson, "never, thenceforth, to be reconciled, till the word Filioque be omitted from the Creed."

The position of the Oriental Church touching this matter, with the reason for it, as given by a contributor to The Church Review, to whom it was stated by the Patriarch of Constantinople, is so well explained, that we quote it in this connection:

"The Creed," he said, "is our common patrimony. It is neither your property nor ours. It is the joint heritage of the Church of Christ. If a father should leave to his children an estate in common, in which each and all had equal right and interest, it would not be lawful for one of the sons to alienate a portion of the property, or to alter its condition, without the assent of the others, And yet, this you have done with our common heritage, the Creed of the Catholic Church. I see you have the doctrine of the Procession from the Son in your Litany. Of that I have nothing to say. Your Litany is your own. It was not put forth by General Council. But we feel that you do us a wrong in altering, without our consent, the Creed, which is no more yours than ours. If such a practice is tolerated, the Church of Christ is left without any sure Faith whatever. If you may make one alteration, you may make many, until you shall have done away with every doctrine in the Creed. There is a great principle involved in this matter, in which you are interested as much as we. We are all bound to protect the Catholic Faith. If one may tamper with it another may; and so, in the end, we shall be like the sects, having no settled Faith at all. You may say that this is not probable. I reply, If what you have done is right, other changes are right. The way is open for them; and you cannot answer for the result."

[B] The letter alluded to by Mr. Williams is given by Mr. Denton in his Servia and the Servians, page 84, as follows:


"Quum quidam ex hujusce Dioceseos Clericis, vir reverendus Gulielmus Denton, nuper ex Orientalibus Europae partibus regressus, nos certiorem fecerit, te eo in Servia peregrinante comiter et benigne usum esse, statuimus tibi, Vir maxime reverende, gratias agere propter hanc tuam erga Ecclesiam Anglicanam ct Presbyterum nostrum benevolentiam.

"Hodie Londini ex omnibus fere orbis terrarum regionibus complures congregati sunt, artinm liberalium amore incitati et studio pacis triumphos celebrandi. Nobis liceat, in hoc tot tamque variarum gentium coetu, Deum opt. max. precari ut Christi Ecclesive partes diu sejunctas charitatis et vere fidei vinculo constringat, et gregem tibi Frater commissum, plurima, eheu, per hos dies perpessum, abunde consoletur optimisque Spiritus Sancti donis perpetuo adornet. Vale, Frater, vivasque et Tu et Ecclesia tua.

"Ita precatur,

"Frater tuus,
"Archibaldus Londinensis."
"Datum Fulhamice prope Londin. V. Kal. Sep. MDCCCLXII."

[C] The fortieth article of the Constitution of 1844 (extorted from King Otho by the Revolution of Sept. 15th, 1843) was introduced with the express design of throwing every possible obstacle in the way of the succession of the Bavarian Roman Catholic Princes—Otho having no children. The article simply declares that "the future kings of Greece must profess the religion of the country." The Bavarian Government, and, indeed, all the Roman Catholic Courts in Germany, were not able to succeed in getting this article erased from the Constitution. The three protecting powers—England, Russia and France—declined to meddle with it; and it was the unceasing source of anxiety, the irEpa caKavaiXov here and in Germany. And yet, marvellous to think of, it was at once and quietly abandoned when the idea got hold of the Greeks of choosing Prince Alfred of England as their future Sovereign. When that attempt failed, numerous were the inquiries that were made of us about the religion of the young Danish Prince, and when they heard that he was a Lutheran Protestant, they were only half pleased. "We should have much preferred (they said) that he had been a Protestant of the Church of England."

[D] The "novel" account, referred to but not stated by Mr. Syle, of the establishment of the Russian mission at Pekin, was substantially as follows: In 1684 a fortress on the River Amoor was defended by about four hundred Cossacks against a very numerous army of the Chinese. After displaying prodigies of courage they were, at length, compelled to capitulate by famine. The Chinese Emperor was so pleased with the courage of these men that he allowed them to settle at Pekin, and have their own church there, which has subsisted from that time to the present day. The head of this mission, Innocentius Koulchinsky, who was greatly distinguished for his holiness, was appointed the first Bishop of Irkutsk, in Siberia. This college or settlement has supplied the interpreters through whom the vast commerce and important negotiations between Russia and China have been conducted, and may yet exert an important influence, it is to be hoped, in the great work of evangelizing the Chinese Empire.

Project Canterbury