Project Canterbury

Papers of the Russo-Greek Committee


The following admirable letter was addressed to one of the chaplains of the Russian Fleet, while sojourning in New York, in 1863, by the Right Reverend (then Reverend) Dr. A. Cleveland Coxe, who, at our request, has kindly furnished a copy for publication:—


MY DEAR FATHER NESTOR: —I am anxious to give you as a remembrancer of your visit to an Anglo-American Rector some of my thoughts on the great subject of Christian Unity. When you return to your beloved cell, in the Laura, I beg you to read it, at times. Be sure I am often with you in thought, and that our prayers meet before the throne of our glorious High-priest. He will give the answer in due time.

It is a thousand years since, by the sinful conduct of Nicholas I, Bishop of Rome and Prince temporal, the East and West were separated. And it has long seemed too much to hope that this schism might be healed; for he who so wickedly interpolated the Symbol of the Common Faith, thus setting himself up above all Creeds and Councils, succeeded also in imposing on the Western Church a new system of Laws, in defiance of the OEcumenical Canons, making himself so far as he could, Supreme in Christendom, and anathematizing all who would not consent to own the Bishop of Old Rome, as a spiritual autocrat.

Three hundred years ago, we of the Anglican Communion renounced this wicked and monstrous usurpation, and returned to our own Canonical position as a Church which from the primitive ages was autocephalous, like Cyprus. In this we obeyed the voice of the great Council of Nice—which ordained that "the ancient customs should prevail."

Since then, we have reformed our worship in many things, restoring all things by the light of a virgin Antiquity, to the primitive rule. We have, indeed, owing to peculiar circumstances, left many things out of our services which might have been, lawfully, retained; but, as they seem all to have been regarded as things indifferent in the apostolic ages, we have not lost any thing that belongs, of necessity, to the estate of an Apostolic Church.

Yet we have retained some marks or scars of our long servitude to the Roman Pontiff. The words Filioque are yet in the Symbol, although our most learned divines agree that, however true they may be, they are not part of the Faith. Also, we keep our Easter, by the Roman computation, which differs from yours in two ways—viz.: (1) ritually, in the reckoning of February as sometimes including the Moon of Nisan, and (2) scientifically, in reckoning by the New Style. As this second particular is a mere matter for savans, we trust it may be easily settled between the East and West; but the Ecclesiastical matter as respects the Paschal Moon, we suspect may be found more correctly kept by you; for your general rule has always been to change nothing, while the Roman pontiff has ever been innovating.

But, suppose the HOLY SPIRIT should move us to rectify our Symbol, and to hearken to the voice of the Holy Orthodox Apostolic Church, which has never changed these things, nor admitted the usurpations of Old Rome, I ask what then should hinder our communion and fellowship, as enjoined by our Lord and His Holy Apostles?

You have, it is true, your Theology as we have ours; and in these things it is not possible that the differences of a thousand years should be immediately reconciled. But, consider, I pray you, dear brother, the difference between Theology, or School Doctrine, and the Common Faith.

The Faith is an Object, and must be looked upon as the Rock on which the Holy Church is builded; but Theology is the same Faith, in view of the subject; and, of necessity, one sees not, in the same object, all the same sides and lights and shadows which are seen by his neighbour.

The Westerns have their own habits of mind, as also the Easterns, and the Theology of the Westerns has always differed from that of the Easterns, even when their Symbol was the same. Thus the Eastern School always discussed the Divine, and the Westerns the Human, in their different schools. The East studied Theology, but the West Anthropology.

And because men speak many tongues, it must ever be so; some languages colouring the thoughts of good men one way, and another giving the thoughts of the Faithful a different tint.

And perhaps, because Truth is so manifold, GOD himself ordained that such should be the Theology of the churches, each reflecting some true light of the Faith, which like the diamond hath many lustres and yet is but the one living stone.

So that we should "bear one another's burdens," and tolerate these schools of divers Theologies. So long as all hold the same Holy Canon of the Scriptures, and the same Symbol of the Apostolic Church, and the same rule of interpretation—which the primitive Latins did acknowledge, in the age of the Fourth Council—quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus.

For, consider how much should be forgiven and indulged to human infirmities, and to diversities of tongues and customs, now, after a thousand years, during all which time there hath been no General Council of East and West, and of the whole Catholic Church!

Let us ask how we shall ever again be united, unless we begin by tolerating one another in our schools of theology, as local and National customs-while we agree in those things which are universal and of necessity. Wherefore, first of all, let us take note of those things in which we do all agree, and let us glorify GOD, that, after so many and such long divisions, He hath yet preserved such unity of the Faith, among such divers races of Men! And let us remember how those churches of Asia, in the Apocalypse, were some more and some less pure and holy. Yet did the same Lord Jesus Christ stand in the midst of all alike, and held their several stars in the same holy and venerable right hand.

Then let us all, in our several schools of theology, study all together, and for a hundred years, if need be, not only the Holy Scriptures, but the Holy Fathers, especially those of the Holy Apostolic Church, such as Basil and Gregory and Athanasius and Chrysostom, holy Saints whom we all venerate and commemorate with love; and so we shall learn, from the purest Antiquity, what we may tolerate in others, though we need not adopt it ourselves; according as we find those Holy Fathers spoke of things censured and things allowed, in their own days.

And herein let us learn somewhat from the Roman Pontiff. See how he deals with Maronites, Jacobites, Armenians, Nestorians, and your own unhappy Uniates: for if they will but own him for their Supreme Head and Judge, then, presently, he admits them all to his communion, with all their divers rites and traditions, and makes no great scruple concerning their theologies.

Shall we be more merciless than he is, when we undertake to restore the true unity of the Fold of Christ? Shall we not remember Love as well as Faith; and that of the three virtues theological, "Love is greatest," according to St. Paul?

Consider that all branches of the Church do much need to renew their Learning: to study, afresh, the Holy Scriptures; and to ask for the true teachings of the great Doctors in all which they have written. Let an Age of holy studies begin, and let controversy cease; while, to quote the holy apostle, "if in anything we be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto us: Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing."

By this Apostolic maxim of charity we may walk together — "till we all come in the unity of the Faith, unto a perfect Man, unto the measure, of the stature, of the fullness of Christ."

Remember that the "Articles of Religion" of the Church of England, are, in part, the theology of a particular Church; but they are not a Creed, neither are they Articles of Faith, like the XII Articles of the new Theology of the Council of Trent; which are of late made XIII Articles by the decree of the Roman Pontiff concerning the "Immaculate Conception."

Thus, no man is required to profess them, in order to be baptized, or to receive the Holy Eucharist, in the Church of England; nor in America is a formal subscription to them required even of those ordained to the Priesthood, or consecrated to the Episcopate, and yet we are in full communion with the Church of England.

Neither do we anathematize any who do not accept them. Nay, we accept and receive, as brethren, you, our Orthodox brethren, whose Theology is somewhat different, because our Faith is one and the same.

Now, we would that our brethren should do unto us, for CHRIST'S sake, even as we do unto them. "In what is necessary, let us have Unity; in what is not necessary, let us have Liberty; in all things let us have Love."

In the Holy Faith and Love of Christ,

I remain, your brother priest,


The Rev. FATHER NESTOR, &C., &c., &c.


Extract of a letter from the Rev. Dr. J. H. Hill, dated


ATHENS, May 19th, 1864.

Rev. and Dear Brother

:—Your very interesting letter from Berlin reached me a few days ago. * * * *

Your account of your reception in Russia is exceedingly interesting, but I am really not so much surprised, for I have long been aware that there is, au fond, an earnest, and sincere desire for at least a cordial understanding between our branch of Christ's Church and their venerable Church. And here it exists, too; and happily among the people as well as among the clergy. I have had a most pleasing proof of this recently. The Lord Bishop of Gibralter (Dr. Trower, formerly Bishop of Glasgow) made his first visitation lately. He came up from Malta (his usual residence) in a ship-of-war placed at his disposal by the Admiral, with his wife and three daughters, on the 27th April, and remained with us six days. He had previously announced to me his intention, and we were ready for his visit. It happened to be Holy Week of the Greek Church, so he had a good opportunity of seeing the ceremonies of Good Friday and Easter, (1st May). I took him to the Russian church on Good Friday night, and to the Greek Cathedral on Saturday (midnight), when the solemn service of the Anastasis was celebrated by the Metropolitan and Archbishop of Athens and four other Bishops composing this Synod. On Saturday morning I presented the English Bishop to the venerable Metropolitan Theophilus. The interview was a most pleasing one. The conversation was conducted through me as interpreter. Much cordiality and Christian affection was evinced on both sides, and earnest wishes were expressed by both prelates for a closer union and intercommunion between the respective Churches. On taking leave the Metropolitan offered up a solemn prayer for God's blessing ("the giver of every good and perfect gift," he said,) upon the special official act which the Bishop was to perform on the subsequent day, viz.: the rite of confirmation in my little church and on board an English line-of-battle ship in the Peiraeus. I had previously explained to the Archbishop the nature of the rite and the object of the English Bishop's visit to the different English churches in the Mediterranean. On leaving, as on coming together, the prelates exchanged mutual Christian salutations (aspasmos,) i. e., they kissed each other, not on the cheek, as is common on the Continent, but with the lips, on the lips. The English Bishop, however, with a humility that was perfectly sincere and entirely characteristic of this excellent humble-minded Christian prelate, kissed the hand of the Greek Archbishop, " as a son of the daughter Church," he said, "should do to the venerable representative of her venerated mother." " My dear sir," said our Bishop on his way back to our house, "I have derived more pleasure from this visit than from all I have seen of this glorious old Athens--even from our visit to the Parthenon."

A Letter from an English Clergyman.


To the Secretary of the Russo-Greek Committee

SIR: I have much pleasure in enclosing on behalf of myself and two other English priests, a small contribution [?1.] towards the expenses of the Committee engaged on your side in carrying out the admirable project of a re-union between the Holy Orthodox Church of the East and the Anglo-American Church.

Your papers already published are most interesting. I have received a good many copies from my friend the Rev. George Williams of Cambridge, England, and have found eager readers for them all. I hope it will not be long before a second paper is published, giving an account of further proceedings.

Yesterday at the annual Commemoration Festival of the Theological College of Cuddesdon, in answer to the toast, "The Foreign Branches of the Church," the young Count—— who is a student at Merton College in this University, spoke very warmly of the desirableness and comparative facility of union between two Churches which had so much in common as his own (the Russian) and the Anglican.

May God grant it in His own good time, and all honor to those of your branch of our common Reformed Catholic Church who were the first to originate the movement. Many and earnest are the prayers that are now offered in this country for that holiest of all causes the reunion of Christendom. I have a growing conviction that the Reformed Catholic Anglo-American Church will be, in God's Hand, the great instrument in bringing it about, and that a sublime future lies before our great Communion, which already girdles round the globe with its two arms, yours and ours. I am, sir, your faithful brother in Christ,


Reprinted from the Church Journal of June 22, 1865.

Some months ago, the Rev. John Freeman Young, Secretary of the Russo-Greek Committee appointed by the General Convention of 1862, having occasion to go abroad, gladly embraced the opportunity, at the request of the Committee, to extend his tour into Russia, in order the more successfully to obtain the information which was the object of appointing the Committee. His return gives us a far more minute and accurate knowledge of the present condition of the Russian Church than has been previously within our reach. His experience while in that distant country also gives us proof, as abundant as it is delightful, of the friendly disposition of the Chief Prelates and leading Laymen of Russia, and of their readiness to respond to any overtures for intercommunion—should such be made—provided no concession be expected of them which should trench upon the fundamental principles of Truth and Order.

After making the acquaintance of the Russian chaplains resident in London and Paris—both of whom were deeply interested in the movement and anxious to further it to the utmost of their power—Mr. Young arrived in St. Petersburg and waited first upon the Vice-Procurator, Prince Ouroussoff; through whom, and in whose presence, he obtained an interview with the Ober-Procurator. These gentlemen are the Emperor's representatives in the Holy Synod, without whom nothing can be done,—being equivalent to what is called, with us, the "Lay Element." The Ober-Procurator said that, being laymen, it was not for them to express an opinion upon the theological aspects of the question. He therefore referred Mr. Young to the aged and truly venerable Philaret, Metropolitan of Moscow, as being preeminently the man whose utterances on such a point might be regarded as the voice of the whole Russian Church, and whose opinion touching this matter, when communicated to the Holy Synod after an interview with Mr. Young, would in all probability very greatly influence the action of the Synod. He alluded to the cordial reception given in this country to the Russian fleet; and, in regard to the manifestation of courtesies both secular and ecclesiastical, he said, at the close of a very cordial interview, that these tokens of kindness and good will were not only expressions of the sentiment of the American people and the American clergy towards the Russian, but no less truly the sentiment of the Russian people and the Russian clergy towards the American.

At Moscow, Mr. Young enjoyed two interviews with the Metropolitan Philaret, of some three hours each, the Vicars of the Metropolitan, (Bishop Sabas and Bishop Leonide,) together with the Rector of the University of Moscow, and two interpreters, being present on both occasions. [Bishop Leonide, by the way, was in his youth a classmate, at the Naval school, of the Admiral Lessoffsky, who left us but the other day; and he entered most heartily and thoroughly into the movement.] The Metropolitan's reception was most courteous and cordial, and throughout the interview nothing was said on either side that in the slightest degree ruffled or disturbed the friendly tone. The substance of the conversation was chiefly the asking and answering of questions as to the state of facts, touching the doctrine and ecclesiastical position of the Anglican Communion on the one side, and of the Russian Church upon the other. It was arranged that the chief portions of our Prayer Book should be translated into the Russian language, and published, so as to give a more definite idea of the doctrine and worship of our Church. The Metropolitan, at the close of the final interview, expressed his gratification at the letters which Mr. Young had brought from the American Bishops, asking Mr. Young, in return, to "bear the kiss of peace from him to the whole venerable Hierarchy of the American Church, assuring them of his warmest sympathy and love, and of his earnest prayer and hope that we may soon be one in mind, as we are already one in heart in Christ Jesus." At parting he gave Mr. Young his Episcopal benediction, together with the most cordial adieus. During his stay in Moscow, Mr. Young found that the movement was already well known among the leading circles of the laity, and the warmest desires were expressed for a successful issue. So much interest was shown, indeed, that Mr. Young found it simply impossible to accept all the invitations that were so kindly pressed upon him from every side.

On his return from Moscow to St. Petersburg, he had an interview with the Metropolitan of St. Petersburg, who is also President of the Holy Synod, the Archbishop of Moghileff, a member of the Synod, being also present. His reception here was no less warm and cordial than by the venerable Philaret. He expressed great gratification for himself and on behalf of the Russian Church at the movement thus begun, and assured Mr. Young that any step which our Church might see fit to take would be met by the Russian Church in the Spirit and Love of Christ. He thought it very judicious that a Committee of Inquiry should have been appointed in the first instance, as it would afford the opportunity for a better knowledge of one another before more formal negotiations should be begun. He read the letters from the American Bishops with care and evident interest, noting the expressions they contained, and testifying his gratification at the tone which pervaded them. He said that the sentiments and wishes of the American Bishops in these letters could not but meet with warm sympathy on the part of the Russian Church, which ever prays for the re-union of Christendom, and is ever ready to negotiate with those who desire to stand on the ground of Apostolic Truth and Order, and are willing to admit the Apostolic dignity of the Russian Church. He stated that he would lay these letters of the American Bishops before the Holy Synod on the following day, and invited Mr. Young to visit the Synod at the same time; remarking, also, that replies to these letters would be sent to the American Bishops. At the close of the interview, the Metropolitan expressed the sincere hope that the movement begun by the American Church might prove to be the work of our Blessed Lord Himself, and that, through His Grace, it might result in the great consummation so much desired by both Churches. In parting, he, also, gave to his visitor the Episcopal Benediction.

The next day, in accordance with the invitation given, Mr. Young visited the Holy Synod, and was introduced by Prince Ouroussoff to the several members of it, by all of whom he was most courteously and cordially received. At the request of the Ober-Procurator, he left the letters of the American Bishops to be deposited in the Archives of the Holy Synod; and at the request of the President of the Holy Synod, he wrote a Note to accompany the letters, giving an epitome of the origin and aim of the movement. This, and the letters also, will be published in our Report to the General Convention.

It will be easily understood that Mr. Young met with a vast deal to gratify and exhilarate the friends of the movement towards intercommunion, which cannot be laid before the public without a violation of the propriety that clothes private conversations with a reserve that is understood by all gentlemen; while other facts will be more appropriately reserved for the Report of the Committee to the next General Convention. We would mention only two incidents, each having its own bearing. The one is, that the courtesy of the Bishop of New York towards the chaplains on board of the Russian fleet that has been for a year past in our waters, in inviting them to officiate in this Diocese during their stay, and in tendering to them his good offices for procuring the use of any one of our city churches for public service with their own people if they should desire it, has been widely made known in the Russian papers, in terms of sincere gratification. [1] The other is, that Mr. Young learned, in St. Petersburg, that immediately after our last General Convention, Archbishop Hughes wrote to a Papal journal published in the city of Rome itself, a detailed account of the whole movement towards intercommunion, then and there begun; —an account which thus closed:—"So the Anglican Communion is going to place itself in a worse position than ever by seeking affiliation and intercommunion with the schismatical Greeks!"

It ought to be widely known among us that one of the first acts of the present Czar Alexander, after coming to the throne, was to order a revision of the translation of the whole Bible in the vernacular, under the direction of the Holy Synod, for publication and unrestricted distribution throughout all Russia. For this purpose it is issued in different forms, and at various prices, all gotten up very neatly, and yet very cheaply. A really nice copy of the whole New Testament can be bought for twelve cents, and in a style of type and paper superior to anything yet turned out at that price by any British or American Bible Society. The Holy Scriptures are now actually bought in immense quantities both by peasants and nobles. The Czar has also ordered steps to be taken for the elevation and improvement of the temporal condition of the Clergy throughout his Empire, and this good work is still going on. In connection with that great measure, the Emancipation of the serfs,—which has filled the civilized world with admiration,—there has been a general movement on the part of the old proprietors to establish schools for the serfs, and to instruct and elevate them in every way, so as to qualify them for the intelligent performance of their new duties as citizens. In Moscow—which is the chief seat and centre of the old nobility of Russia—many of the leading ladies have united in organizing a general Depository for all sorts of approved educational books published in the various Governments of the Empire. They have gone further, and are enlarging the native stock of juvenile literature, not only by translating from foreign languages, but even by writing new works, where suitable ones cannot otherwise be found. As a wish was expressed by some of these ladies for fresh material in this department to translate, reference was made to our Church Book Society, and the offer was made by Mr. Young to send them some of our publications. This matter was presented to the Executive Committee of the Church Book Society at the last meeting. It was of course received with favor. Great gratification was expressed at the kindred work thus going on in Russia; and Mr. Young was authorized to select at his discretion from the list of their publications, and send, such works as he thought might prove to be of service. It was done accordingly; and the box of books is already on its way to Russia, in the frigate Osliaba. The general spirit of the Church and people of Russia is certainly strikingly progressive, and this spirit is nobly led by the present government. The great interest taken by the Emperor and Empress and the Imperial Family generally, in elevating the poorer classes and ameliorating the condition of the peasantry, is a subject of universal rejoicing among all classes of Russians.

On reviewing the whole of this happy movement towards intercommunion, from its beginning in the General Convention of 1862 down to the present moment, its friends have certainly every reason to "thank God and take courage." It seems,—thus far, at any rate,—to receive the blessing of Him who alone "maketh men to be of one mind in an House."

The following is the Resolution of the Executive Committee of the Church Book Society, authorizing the books spoken of in the foregoing account to be sent, which was unanimously passed, at a meeting of the same, on the 13th of June, 1864:—

"The Executive Committee having heard from the Rev. Mr. Young his interesting statement respecting the enterprise and zealous efforts of an Association of ladies in Moscow, to provide an enlarged juvenile literature for the Russian Church, and of their desire for material to help on their laudable work, it was

"Resolved, That the Rev. Mr. Young be, and he is hereby, authorized to forward to the Association aforesaid, at his discretion, copies of any of the publications of this Society, or of any books on its approved list, and to convey to the Association in Moscow assurances of our fraternal and cordial sympathies, bidding them most heartily 'God speed' in their labors of love."

In February, 1865, the following very interesting letter was received from Madame B, in acknowledgment of the donation from our Church Book Society. As the gifted authoress apologizes for her English, it is but just to her to add that it is given without alteration, except a few idiomatic and verbal changes:

Moscow, November 20th, 1864.

To the Rev. J. FREEMAN YOUNG, New York:

Reverend Sir

:—Some days ago, on my return from the country, I had the very great pleasure of receiving your letter, and the enclosed Resolution of your Committee, which I immediately communicated to my associates.

I find it difficult to express to you the satisfaction we all felt at its cordial tone, as well as the deep gratitude with which we received the valuable present sent to us from your distant country, as a mark of fraternal sympathy in our labors. We accept it also as a token of closer union between us; as I firmly believe and trust, that the more our countries know of each other, the more we shall be found to agree upon many important points. Without speaking now of the subject that was the principal motive of your coming to Russia, which I think a subject of far too grave an importance for me to touch upon, I felt this conviction grow stronger and stronger in me as I looked over the books sent by you. As you may well believe, I have not yet had time to peruse them; but glancing over the titles and a few pages here and there, I saw enough to convince me that the same principles which guide us in our labors are those which you act upon; certainly on a larger scale, with more experience, knowledge, and probably more success, than as yet we have attained, being only at the beginning of our work. I saw that love and knowledge of the Word of God, and knowledge of Church doctrine and Church history, are the things you find most important to instil into the minds of your young readers. So do we; and I am sure that many of your books will prove a great help to us, and that in them we shall find much that will be useful to imitate or translate.

As yourself, and in general the Protestant Episcopal Sunday School Union and Church Book Society, have evinced such sympathy and interest in our proceedings, you will perhaps like to know more at length the basis and principles upon which our enterprise is founded, as well as the motives which led to its organization. I feel desirous of explaining them to you, though I own, and you will easily perceive, that I find it somewhat difficult to write in a foreign language; but I hope that you will overlook and excuse the many faults of grammar and syntax that are undoubtedly to be found in my letter.

There has been during the last few years a great intellectual movement in Russia. The desire for knowledge has so considerably increased that schools have been opened everywhere, sometimes in remote villages that till now hardly ever saw a book. Sunday schools have been organized, popular lectures delivered, and cheap circulating libraries founded, wherever there was the least possibility of doing so. All classes have partaken of this general revival. While the poorer classes felt an intense desire to acquire knowledge, the richer and more favored ones began to consider it their duty to help these aspirations of their poorer brethren, which I regret to say they had up to that time considerably neglected. They now earnestly began to help them by all the means they had in their power. Many persons actively employed themselves in organizing schools, in providing books for them, in teaching, in writing, or in publishing popular works. Here in Moscow some ladies have founded a society for publishing useful books. At the same time, popular publications having, by the great demand for them, become a lucrative enterprise in a commercial point of view, there have been printed within the last two or three years considerably more books than during the ten or fifteen years before.

As you may well believe, very many of these publications are far from being really good and useful. Many are scarcely worth reading, from their utter insignificance; many were written hastily, in an off-hand way, with the idea perhaps that anything is good enough for ignorant country people; many are positively bad, and rather pernicious than useful. I regret to say that much of evil has been spread and propagated; many tares have intentionally been sown among the wheat. Modern incredulity and modern materialism have been sadly at work in Russia, as well as in all other countries. Many persons have been infected with notions tending to represent the holy truths of Scripture as something antiquated, Church doctrine as the superstitions of ignorance, Church practice as popular prejudice. Unfortunately they have thought themselves called upon to extirpate in others the doctrines they denied themselves, and to substitute in their place the everyday, trite and low morality which might as well be the common law of a heathen. As no work can be published in Russia without the approval of the Censorship, open atheism certainly could not be preached; but everybody knows how easy it is for an unbeliever to instil his doctrines without openly breaking with established religion. Books for the instruction of the young may be written without any reference to the doctrines of Christianity; the wonders of creation explained without reference to the Creator; and that, as every one may observe, is the favorite theme of atheists, so that the study of nature, of that sublime book that was, from the beginning of the world, to reveal even to the heathen "His eternal power and Godhead," has become for them the principal point upon which they found their denial of God. Christ may be represented as the wisest of teachers, but nothing said of Him as a Saviour; goodness and right be preached only as things good in themselves, but not as a divine law; immortality and future life be entirely passed over as things not existing. Such has ever been the method employed by unbelievers, and the same was employed here. By the help of cheap publications, of Sunday schools and lectures for working people, unsound doctrine was carefully propagated under the name of civilization. Much pains was taken to spread these new notions among the country people, but fortunately these last have been proof against all.

Foreigners that do not thoroughly know Russia can scarcely imagine how deeply, and if we may say so, naturally religious our country people are. Perhaps the cause of it, through so many centuries, may be traced to our earliest history. Russia embraced Christianity at the time when she was just beginning to form herself into a nation; and the holy faith ardently received by the childlike mind, grew with its growth, pervading all the inward being and moulding it to its form and essence. It is to be remembered also that at a time when in almost all Europe the newly converted could hardly know the Divine Law, the Holy Scriptures not being translated, the Slavonian nations had them in their own language, and were carefully instructed to read and understand them,—862 being the date of the translation by Cyrill. [2] Very shortly afterwards most of the writings of the Fathers of the Church were likewise translated, and copies of them widely circulated over all the country; the copying of manuscripts being the principal occupation of monks in our early convents. For a very long time Russia scarcely knew any other literature than religious books (popular songs and legends also, but the greatest part of them are upon religious subjects). Less accessible than the higher classes to the influences of political events, to the outward changes in opinions, manners, and fashions, our country people have carefully kept all their old historical traditions and habits; till now they approve of no other but religious reading. Whenever a peasant calls for a book, you may be sure he means a religious book; a soul-saving or soul-helping book, as such books are generally called (dushespasyetelyenaia, dushepolyeznaia kneha); all other reading he considers almost as a sinful waste of time. The very word civilization, in Russ literally enlightenment, is understood as meaning nothing else but the illumination of the mind by the holy truth.

As may be well believed, all the efforts of the new teachers could scarcely ruffle such a deep current of religious feeling. The country people rejected books in which there was no word of faith, and turned with distrust and almost abhorrence from teachers who did not confess the name of God. Nevertheless these efforts were not quite harmless, inasmuch as they somewhat damped the newly awakened desire for knowledge, and inspired the people with distrust for learning in general, by showing them learning separated from faith.

Some time has since passed. Still the progress of learning and the way of diffusing useful knowledge remain the most important questions of the day. Experience has already shown the most evident truth, that repressive measures cannot effectually stay the propagation of unsound doctrines; that the only sure and efficacious way of combating them is to propagate truth, to facilitate the circulation of good and really useful books, and to make them as accessible as possible to the poorer classes. This is still a great difficulty in our immense country, where railways are yet scarce, and the roads extremely bad almost all the year round; books, therefore, that are sold at moderate prices in the capitals, reach exorbitant prices when forwarded to remote provincial towns: the inhabitants of small towns and villages must be satisfied with whatever books they can get from some wandering pedlar, who sells at four times their value works that find no sale elsewhere. For all these reasons it is extremely difficult in remote towns and villages to get the most indispensable books; even Church books are to be gotten from afar and at immense charges.

All these circumstances have led us to think that it would be extremely well-timed and useful to organize a Depository of books, carefully selected for popular reading, village schools, and the instruction of children; and to make them as accessible as possible to the poorer classes, (sometimes certainly by taking some of the charges upon ourselves,) by buying useful editions and selling them afterwards cheaper than the prices affixed to them. For the attainment of this end our Association was formed, and our Depository of books, having the name of Rouskaia Gramata, [3] is now eight months old. In it are to be found:

1. Church books (all the books indispensable for the Service of the Church,) Bibles, Testaments, Prayer Books, &c.

They can only be printed at the presses of the Synod in Moscow, Petersburg and Kieff. Though sold at these places at moderate prices, they become very expensive when forwarded to remote towns. We have asked and obtained from the Synod the right of being its Commissioners; and getting these books at 10 per cent. below the price at which they are generally sold, we are enabled to send them anywhere without charging anything for their transportation, certainly very often at a loss to ourselves; for example, when we have to send them to some remote places in Siberia, Perm, the Caucasus, &c.

2. The writings of the Fathers of the Church, popular Sermons, explanations of the Bible, and in general, books relating to the history, doctrine, and the rites of the Church.

3. Books concerning the history and geography of Russia, travels, descriptions of the country, biographies, popular songs, and standard works of our most eminent writers.

4. Juvenile literature, books of instruction, and entertaining books for children carefully selected.

5. Books on various subjects, but particularly adapted for popular reading, tales, stories, descriptions of foreign countries, engravings, &c.

All these books are carefully selected from the great quantity that are daily published; and those we particularly approve of and recommend, are marked with our seal. Previous to the beginning of our enterprise, we published advertisements explaining our motives and the principles we mean to act upon; and as it proved, they met with sympathy, the demand for our books being very considerable and daily increasing. As our business extends and our means become larger, we hope that we shall be able to publish more popular books; some of us have already done this privately, but we will do it on a much larger scale, and thus be enabled to sell those works at the lowest possible prices. Many of the books you have sent us are to be translated.

Now I have to name my associates, who join with me in sending their thanks to you, and the members of your Society, for your cordial sympathies, and the present you sent us. They are all, but one, known to you. The Countess P—, and her daughter the Princess M, Mademoiselle T——, whom you met at the Countess B—’s; and finally my particular friend, the Princess T——, whose acquaintance you made at Petersburg. We all ask you to transmit our thanks for the sympathies shown to us, as well as the expression of our own sincere interest in the labors of your Society.

And now I think it quite time to finish my long letter, which, I fear, you will have some difficulty in reading. Very shortly I shall have the pleasure of sending to you the letters of Mr. Chomiakoff, that you wish for. I hoped to send them at the same time with this letter; but the copy is not yet ready, and I do not wish to delay any longer the sending of my letter. You will have them before long.

Will you remember me, etc., * * * and allow me to hope that I shall soon again have the pleasure of hearing from you. All your Moscow acquaintances very much regret that your stay here was so short. Shall we not see you again some day? May God bless you in all your labors. Believe me, my dear sir, truly yours,
A. B——FF.

At the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Church Book Society, on the 13th of March, 1865, the foregoing letter having been read, the following Resolutions were, on motion, unanimously passed:

"Resolved, That we have heard with great pleasure the very interesting letter of Madame B—— written on behalf of herself, and her associates of the "Rouskaia Gramata," giving a detailed account of the origin and aims of said Association; and that it be engrossed by the Secretary on the Records of this Committee."

"Resolved, That we record with pleasure the intimation of Madame B —— of her willingness to prepare for our Society a Narrative of the Lives of Cyril and Methodius, and that such a labor of love we should thankfully appreciate.

"Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be forwarded by the Secretary to Madame B——."

The following letter was received, at about the same time, from a highly educated gentleman, to whose care the books were sent:—

I have delivered the parcels directed to Bishop ——, and also the liberal donation of books from the Church Book Society to Madame ——, who is only lately in town, and is preparing a long letter for you. Bishop made a translation of your letter and showed it to the Metropolitan, at whose desire it has been sent to the Academy of —— to be perused by your acquaintance, the learned Rector ——. The Bishop told me that, not confident of his knowledge of foreign languages, he proposed to give an answer to your interesting letter in Russ, as he thinks you can easily find a translator. The American Quarterly Church Review interests him very much, and I have myself read with great pleasure the conclusion of the series of Articles on intercommunion with the Eastern Church; the thoughts therein expressed seem to be in accordance with our own impressions on the subject, and I am anxious that, at the first opportunity, a translation of an essay of the late Mr. Khomiakoff upon the Church, should be sent to you; it is a summary of his views regarding the position of the Orthodox Church towards the other Christian Communions; it has been poorly translated into English, and unfortunately is not at hand this moment. The younger brother of the Princess D—— returned lately from America, and brought from you some numbers of a Church-paper, in which I read with much pleasure a very exact and favorable account of your visit to Russia. Unfortunately I cannot as yet write to you anything new on that subject from our Russian papers. Indeed the only mention that has been made thus far was in one of the numbers of Mr. K——'s newspaper. In a leading article, whilst speaking of the necessity of allowing more freedom to our Clergy, and more independence to the Church in her relations to the State, he says that more latitude in that respect is especially desirable now when theologians of other Communions seek to draw nearer to our Church, on the ground of truth and antiquity, and in illustration of that tendency, he mentions your visit to Russia, and your intercourse with some of our higher Ecclesiastical Authorities. That no more has been published is to be attributed partly to your short stay among us, and partly to the circumstance that your conferences with our Metropolitans were strictly confidential, and that but little respecting them has become generally known. But now Bishop —— proposes to set himself and others to work, and to translate some of the articles in the Church Review, together with some of the pamphlets which were among the things you sent, concerning Anglican Faith and Doctrine. * * * * * * May your intercourse with Russia continue, and lead to happy results; our Metropolitan seems much interested in the attainment of mutual intercommunion.

Do not forget us in your prayers, dear sir, and believe me, always truly yours, M. S. ——

The Rev. J. Long, one of the Secretaries of the English Church Missionary Society, has lately made a tour in Russia, and from his published letters the following extracts on the missionary and religious progress now being manifested in that country, were published in the "Christian Times," of New York, some months since:—

At St. Petersburg I addressed three meetings in private houses, on the subject of Indian Missions; the deepest interest was shown, as evinced by the various questions asked me after the address. At one meeting the audience was chiefly German, and a Russian naval officer translated my address into German; after the meeting, a Russian general came up to me, and proposed many inquiries on the opium question, and on education in India; he himself has long labored here in the cause of education. This meeting was held at the house of a Pole, a thoroughly Christian man, and here all were in harmony, whilst Poles and Russians elsewhere were fighting. A strong interest is taken in Petersburg in the Berlin and Leipsic missions, and J found various missionary periodicals in circulation.

At the close of every meeting, and in private conversation, I have been pressing one subject especially: Is not the time come when evangelical men in Russia should form a Russian Missionary Society, having a Committee at St. Petersburg, which should send out agents to the Russian frontiers, to the Mongolians, Buddhists, Thibetans, and Tartars? I have pressed on the Russians this point, that from their geographical and political position, they can act on Central Asia for Christian objects, in a way that no other nation can; and, as the head of the great Slavonic race, it is their duty so to do. * * * * * After another meeting I held, a Russian noble, a member of the Council of State, was much interested in the proposal of a Russian Missionary Society, and wished to introduce me to the Emperor's physician, a pious man, who takes a deep interest in missions. Accordingly, the next day he took me to the Emperor's palace of Tsarsko Selo, twenty miles from St. Petersburg, where we had an interview with the physician, and he has promised to speak to the Emperor and members of the imperial family, so as to remove obstacles, etc.


I spent an evening lately in Petersburg at the house of the Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the Academy for training priests for the Russian Church. He is well acquainted with our English divinity. He asked me how Dr. Colenso could have been made Bishop, evincing, as his writings show, such ignorance of the Bible. He took me to see the Academy, in which one hundred priests are trained for the Russian Church in towns: they have a three years' preparatory instruction at a Seminary, and four at this Academy, two of which are devoted to philosophy and two to theology. There is a gradual and hopeful improvement in the condition of the clergy of the Russian Church.


Bible circulation is increasing in Russia, and the Holy Synod has itself put in circulation a new and improved version of the Gospels in Russ. The Russian clergy have never made, like the Council of Trent, a decree against Bible circulation among the people. I spent some time lately in the company of Kasim Beg, Professor of Persian at the University of St. Petersburg, who is a Christian, and greatly respected. He told me he had translated the New Testament into the Tartar language, at the express request and with the aid of the Archbishop of Kazan, whom he describes as a man ready for every good work and word. He, in common with others, spoke to me of various elements of good at work in the Russian Church.

At Nijni Novgorod there was an immense assemblage at the fair, probably about two hundred thousand people. Russian friends at St. Petersburg resolved to send this year a colporteur to Nijni for the sale of Bibles, but, before he got halfway, there was such a demand that he sold all his stock and had to write back to St. Petersburg to get a fresh supply for the fair. I saw copies of the Scriptures for sale in some of the shops at Nijni. The Emperor came to Nijni, and it was quite surprising to witness the intense enthusiasm that prevailed towards him among the peasants. I went to service to the cathedral at Nijni: he was present, and the shouts of the peasants as he ascended the steps were quite deafening. [4] He has had the hatred of the nobles, [5] but the good-will of the people. I have had ample opportunities of seeing the working of the emancipation of the serfs; it is literally the waking up of a nation. Schools are multiplying among the peasantry; already there are more than one hundred and fifty thousand children in them, and in consequence, the circulation of the Bible is rapidly increasing A Russian nobleman, who lived in the interior of the country, told me that he had sold or given away about four hundred copies of the Gospels. One of the most hopeful signs of the Greek Church is, she has never interdicted the Scriptures. I have never found among Russians a suspicion of God's Word. The Holy Synod are now publishing an edition of eighty thousand copies of the Testament, which will be sold at 15 copeks a copy, or about 6d.


I was introduced lately to the Bishop of Viborg, who is head of the Russian Academy at Petersburg for training Priests. He informed me that the Russian Church has about 100 missionaries and missionary agents at work in Siberia and the adjacent districts. I spent an evening in company with a Prince Yususoff [Ouroussoff] one of the Chamberlains of the Imperial Court, who is deeply interested in a plan they have for a missionary seminary at Novgorod, and, on my return to St. Petersburg, he wishes to see me about it, and procure any information I can give him as to the best mode of carrying out this plan into practice.


I received an invitation last week to spend an evening with the Grand Duchess Helen, aunt to the Emperor. I went at nine o'clock to the palace of Michalioffsky, a magnificent building, and though she was surrounded with all the pomp of royalty, I found her to be an affable and earnest Christian, who devotes her whole time and princely fortune to doing good. She told me how she had established an institution for training nurses, though her nephew the Czar at first thought it could not succeed; but it has, and she has lately induced the Holy Synod to send a circular through the Russian Empire to encourage the plan. She talked much with me on peasantry and female education in India, and is most anxious for the circulation of the Scriptures in Russia, and for reforms in the Russian Church. Her influence is of great value in this at the present time.


I have visited three out of the four Russian Academies for the training of the Clergy, and I have found great progress is being made in a high and liberal course of study, comprising four years in the academy and six years in the seminary. None of the clergy come from the Universities, but they receive an equally liberal training. These academies, however, are only for a select body of the Clergy; the majority of the Parish Priests are educated at the Seminaries. I spent four days at the Moscow Academy, and had much conversation with the rector on the subject of missions and missionary training. He asked me to send him some books on Church of England Missions for their library, which I will try and procure when I get to England. I met there a missionary from the Caucasus, and spent some time with a very intelligent monk, who was entering on a course of study for three years, in order to go out as a missionary to the Caucasus. I had much conversation on missions with Professor S—— , who has lately returned, after spending a year in England, and he thinks a great reform is gradually taking place with the Russian clergy. I was invited to dine in the convent of Troitza at the feast of St. Sergius, in company with the archbishop and the monks. We sat down 300 to dinner; grace was chanted, and the life of St. Sergius was being read while we dined, but little of it was heard amid the clatter of knives and forks. At Moscow I had two interviews with Bishop Leontides, [Leonidas]. He speaks English, and is the only bishop of the Russian Church who has not been brought up a monk; he served formerly as an officer in the Russian navy. He is a man of enlightened views, anxious for reform, as is Philaret, the Archbishop of Moscow, who reminded me, by his manner and tone of mind, very much of Bishop Wilson; he has done much good to the Russian Church, but the old school have still great influence.

There is evidently a tide setting in in favor of reform; everywhere I found, among the Russian Laity, a wish to know more of the English Church, and to follow England in her religious as well as her political development. The admiration of English institutions is intense in Russia among the upper classes; many Russians, traveling on the continent, are seen in English churches, and have attended the services with pleasure; they have seen so much of Romish intrigue in Poland, that it disposes them in favor of a church which combines apostolical order with evangelical doctrine. Were there more intercourse between religious people in England and Russia, the effects might be very beneficial.

[The Editor is not responsible for any expressions in the foregoing extracts, some of which he would not have used.]

The "Union Chretienne," published in Paris, and edited by the Abb? Guett?e in Roman Orders, and the Archpriest J. Vassilieff, of the Russian Church—a journal which is solely devoted to the sacred labor of producing Unity in Christendom on the ancient foundations—thus speaks of the consecration of the American Episcopal Church in Paris: —

We have already spoken, in the Union Chretienne, of the laying of the corner-stone of this church, which took place a year ago. It was exactly on the anniversary of that interesting solemnity, that the consecration of the new edifice was celebrated, in September last. We made it a duty to assist at this service, even as we did last year at the laying of the corner-stone. The new building is a striking evidence of the Christian charity of the Episcopal Church of America; it has been erected to meet the spiritual needs of Americans who are temporarily or for a longer time resident in Paris; and it will also bear testimony to the Faith, as well as to the institutions of the Episcopal Church of America, which is too little known in the Old World, and which is very incorrectly confounded with "Protestantism."

The Americans are a nation of travellers. They are met everywhere. In Paris they are numerous. The church which has been built was therefore a necessity. We sincerely congratulate the Rev. Mr. Lamson, Priest of the new church, upon having brought his enterprise to a happy completion; and we cherish the hope that the new church will conduce powerfully towards that still greater good work, namely, the union, in the Catholic Truth, of the Oriental and the American Churches. We have already mentioned the movement which is drawing the American Church towards the Christian East. We shall do our best to assist this Providential impulse which urges our transatlantic brethren to labor for the triumph of Catholic Truth. The movement has as yet only begun; but we are persuaded that it will not stop, and that it will march straight on towards the end in view. The erection of this new church at the heart of the Old World will aid it, and we find assurances of this in the discourse pronounced at the consecration. This sermon is a public testimony of the faithfulness with which the American Church has preserved the precious foundations of the Catholic Church.

The distinguished preacher, delegated expressly for the solemnity of this consecration, was the Rev. Dr. Morgan, of New York. The Bishop delegated to consecrate the building was the Rt. Rev. Dr. McIlvaine (Mgr. Mac-Ilvaine), Bishop of Ohio, one of the oldest and most distinguished of the American Bishops.

We were happy to see this venerable Bishop, and the Rev. Dr. Morgan, assist at the public service of the Russian church in Paris, to see them kiss respectfully the Book of the Gospels, and give multiplied proofs of the interest which they took in all the details of the Service. They understood perfectly well that, in the ancient liturgy of the East, everything relates to God, to our Saviour Jesus Christ, to His Word; that everything in it breathes of the Holy Spirit; and that nothing can be discovered in it of the pagan and idolatrous reminiscences which have predominated over true worship in the Church of Rome.

We cherish the hope that the Russian and American Churches, standing so near to one another in this great European centre which is called Paris, will be the two advanced posts of five Christian Communions, which shall ere long embrace one another in that venerable doctrine of the Primitive Church which is The Truth, such as Jesus Christ revealed it to the world.

Impressions of the worship of the Russian Church, as witnessed in the Embassy Chapel in Paris.

By Rev. Dr. W. F. Morgan.

I had been attracted more than once to the Russian chapel by the splendor of the edifice, as well as by the grand impressiveness of the worship, and its apostolical claims and prestige. My attendance was always at evening vigils, and it is impossible to conceive of anything in the use and effect of a ritual, more strange to an American, more absorbing, more solemnizing, than is realized at these vesper services.

The melodious accents of the Sclavonic language, used by the priests in reading the liturgy of S. John Chrysostom, broken at brief intervals by responses from the choir, in a tone and compass of voice such as are nowhere else to be heard, together with the bowings and prostrations of the worshippers, all conspire to arrest and enchain a stranger; and if he be a Protestant, to alarm, and even revolt him, in a measure. Of mere ceremonial, of demonstrative, muscular action, there is more, if possible, in the Russian worship than there is in the Romish; while the churches and chapels of the former are equally filled with pictures, and shrines. But an intelligent and thoughtful stranger soon learns, upon further acquaintance with this service, to ascribe what seems to be excessive and overloaded in worship, to the type of civilization, rather than to the want of integrity in faith and doctrine. In the conception of all things, especially in the conception of things relating to God, there is a wide difference between the orient and the occident-between the Eastern and the Western churches. What is mental with us, is emotional with them. What we restrain, they disclose and intensify. What we limit to simple prayer, or litany, or thanksgiving uttered by the officiating minister, and receiving only our audible amen, they act—they make the body speak the sentiments of the soul—they bow at the name of Jesus—they cross themselves at the mention of Calvary—they break forth into ecstatic praises—they sink into solemn dirges—they fall on their knees—they lie prostrate upon their faces—they kiss the holy gospels—they clasp and press to their lips even the hands and the vesture of their priests, while the gorgeous apparatus of pictures and sensible accompaniments, add still more to the outwardness and active consciousness of their devotions. Upon examination, however, it is found that their root in the soil of apostolicity is as deep and as sound as ours, and that their catechism and creed are almost identical with ours. Shall we judge them harshly because they derive their ideas of worship from one end of the globe, and we from another? Shall we condemn them because they are not Puritans? and deny them fellowship because their mode of approaching our Common Father is more expressive, and energetic, and reverential than our own? God forbid! Happily, our pastor and representative in Paris has been able to make a just discrimination between oriental usages and the apostolic faith; and by fraternal acts of kindness, has won the esteem and confidence of the Russian priests. They frequent his house. They were present at the consecration of the church. They expressed all sympathy and satisfaction on the occasion; only they thought that the services were too cold—too inexpressive—too far short of the significance and the majesty of such an office in the worship, and such an era in the work of the American Church.

Shortly after the consecration these priests met us, by appointment, at the house of the Rector, and, at parting, invited us—the Bishop of Ohio, the Rector, and the speaker, to be present at the approaching vigil, and occupy seats within their sanctuary—a portion of their Temple into which the priests alone enter, and completely screened from the outer place of worship. The invitation was accepted, and on the evening named the Bishop of Ohio and the two clergymen just mentioned, were received, with every mark of courtesy and fraternal warmth, at the door of the sacred enclosure, by the arch-priest, Vassilieff. The very greeting which met us will serve to show how ardent and demonstrative these Eastern brethren are; for each of us received upon either cheek the salutation of a kiss, and other tokens of a most affectionate welcome. This reception took place at mid-service, and at the conclusion all the officiating clergy of the chapel came forward and offered us the assurances of their brotherly love. The eminent Abb? Guett?e was also of the company, and joined in these friendly interchanges with visible delight. It was an occasion, sir, of most profound and touching interest. All formality and reserve were laid aside, and, as if relying upon our sincerity and good faith, everything in the holy place which could interest us, was brought to view and explained—the sacred vessels—the priestly vestments,—and, with especial solemnity, the magnificent volume of the Holy Gospels, superbly embossed and illuminated. An impulse which could not be resisted, led our venerable Bishop to bow his head and press his lips to the glittering cover of the Book, and we, attending presbyters, must have been colder than marble statues not to have followed his example. It was the gospel of God's dear Son, and these were brethren; our hearts were enlarged—all differences were forgotten. We had the same faith, the same gospel, and in that hour, and in those sweet offices of fellowship, we tasted the living joy of Christian unity.

[Paper read before the Christian Unity Society.]

The following letter, received a few months since from the Princess ——, will explain itself, and will show, moreover, with what discriminating appreciation and unfeigned interest the Russian Laity speak and write of the movement for intercommunion. It would add somewhat to the weight, perhaps, of what the accomplished writer so strikingly says, could the reader be informed of her distinguished position. But this cannot be done without danger of incurring her displeasure:—

REVEREND SIR:—It is now almost a year since I first had the pleasure of receiving your valuable paper, the Church Journal. I have ever since felt a longing to express to you my grateful feelings for such a proof of your friendly remembrance. My very insufficient knowledge of English has alone interfered with my desire of writing to you; but the growing interest of your Journal, and the deep sympathy I feel for your earnest and generous endeavors to promote Church-union, determine me to plead indulgence for my incorrectness of language, and pray you to accept the sincere, though very defective expressions of my sympathy and esteem. May more worthy lips than mine join in the hearty prayer for unity in peace—and for the blessing of God upon your work. Certainly one of the means of attaining to unity will be to dispel prejudices, accumulated during many centuries, around the ancient Eastern Church, and all her earnest adherents will be happy to peruse your valuable publications.

A serious inquiry into the doctrines of the Church will prove the difference between Greek and Latin Catholicism; the first has been true to a spirit of liberty, united to respect for antiquity, whilst it has nothing approaching to the despotic and mercenary tendencies that pagan and domineering Rome has left as a fatal inheritance to the present successors of its centralizing power. The decline of the unlawful authority that has so long tyrannized human conscience, seems to mark an epoch of renovation for Christianity, and should not America lead the way in this great work? * * * * * * * * In Europe many prejudices stand as a barrier between the Latin and the Oriental world. Different branches of the Oriental Church, indeed, are quite differently circumstanced. One portion suffers, perhaps, from too much officious protection and government interference, whilst the other mourns under the fatal consequences of Turkish oppression and persecution. These embarrassments cannot exist in your land of liberty; and the Church as it was formed by the Apostles, in a spirit of Brotherhood, Love and Liberty, can expand, without restraint, for the benefit of mankind. May such be its high destiny in your favored country. * * * *

I should be most happy in any way to participate (according to the limits of my humble means) in your generous and Christian work. One of my friends, famous in our literary world, proposes to send you for the Church Journal, some remarks on interesting points of our church history; others propose a subscription, [6] when some thing shall have been effectually done I will inform you of it; but let me hope that however mean our offerings, you will regard them with Christian indulgence, and will accept them as a proof of our sympathy and esteem.

Let me once more plead your indulgence for my bad English, and accept, Reverend Sir, the assurance of my respectful feelings.


Letter from the Metropolitan of Corcyra to the Rev. Dr. W. Fraser, of Alton, England:

CORCYRA, the 10th November, 1864.

REVEREND SIR:—With great gratification I received your letter of the 24th of October last, in which you were so kind as to communicate to me the information respecting the establishment of "The Eastern Church Association," in which you solicit me and my comprovincial Bishops to take part, and to enrol our names in the list of its patrons. I indeed am grateful for the honour which is proffered me, and at the same time I award the praise which is its due to the said Association, which has undertaken this work well pleasing to God. And from my heart I pray that their pious purpose may have a happy and favorable result. At the same time, as you know, Reverend sir, after the union of the Seven Islands with the Kingdom of Greece, the archieratic throne of Corcyra has been put under the jurisdiction of the Holy Synod of Greece; and on this account, you will understand, that I can do nothing in the matter on which you write to me separately from the same Holy Synod to which I am now subject. You write, Reverend sir, that you earnestly desire the union of the Christian Churches. But, believe me, that the Orthodox Eastern Church of Christ, which has continued always peaceable and very forbearing, and has never at any time injured other Christian Churches by proselytism or other means, unceasingly prays that the schisms of Churches being ended and all heresy having died away, the innovations having been laid aside which have been introduced into very many of the Divine doctrines and sacraments, and the ancient customs and rites, the much longed for day may come in which all Christian Churches may be united into one, having one Head Our Lord and God Christ Jesus, and for such a desirable unity the Orthodox Eastern Church makes request fervently to God each day, in both her morning and her evening holy services. Imploring for you from God all that is good, I remain, your Reverence's humble servant, and one who earnestly prays to God for you. +ATHANASIUS, Metropolitan of Corcyra.

To the Rev. W. FRASER, D.C L., Alton, England.

Extract from the charge of a Scottish Bishop on the Reunion Church of Christendom:

"The deepest thinkers of the day are stretching forth to a unity which shall comprehend all these scattered members. They feel that if the sixteenth century was one of dispersion, the nineteenth and the twentieth must be one of re-union, if the Son of Man, when He cometh, is to ‘find the faith (as the original Greek is most correctly rendered) on the earth.’ While, on the one hand, opinions hitherto held in solution are being precipated, and men are being called, as they never have been called before, to choose between a Christianity organized, hierarchical, and dogmatic, and a scepticism implying sinful uncertainty of mind; on the other hand, as the means of locomotion are developed, and true Christian civilization advances, prejudices are being insensibly worn down, religious bitterness is giving way, and men are coming to see that truth without love is an impossibility in the order of grace. And, as in the century preceding the Reformation, earnest men of all hues of opinion looked forward to the assembling of a General Council as the great cure of the evils of the day, so now may not we, laying to heart the great dangers we are in from our unhappy divisions, hope and labour, and pray for the hour when the Church of God shall again come together in its glory and strength, when, compelled by the crushing assaults of the common foe, and animated by the earnest desire of peace, all who believe in the Divinity of our Blessed Saviour, and in the necessity of a visible Church as His organ, shall assemble under the guidance of God Himself—when every question shall be calmly discussed, every claim candidly weighed—when misunderstandings shall be righted, logomachies explained—when love shall hold the balance, and the Word of God be arbiter—when the Holy Ghost shall be present, and Christ Himself, as 'our Peace,' 'shall send the rod of His power out of Zion,' and drawing all hearts to Himself, 'will raise the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and will raise up its ruins and build it as in the days of old.' (Amos ix. 11.)"

From a speech of the Bishop of Oxford on "Reunion with the great and venerable Churches of the East: "The work would be best done by endeavoring not to interfere with other national Churches in their nationality and independence, but to communicate with them in loving offices, and in imparting to them and receiving from them the truth. The Church of England herself had much to learn, and much to gain, and to suppose that they were altogether right, and others were altogether wrong, was the most unchristian attitude that any Church could assume. (Hear, hear.) The insular situation of the Anglican Church, which the terrible abuses of the Papacy had forced reluctantly upon her, had been at the root of most of her deficiencies, and of many of her present greatest dangers. It was impossible for any national Church not to feel, in the maintenance of truth, the exceeding evil which sprung from isolation, and those things would express themselves in their national character, and fix themselves in all the rules and outward forms of the Church. Thus there came to be something like a peculiarity of aspect even as to the truth, and the dropping of one single portion of the truth very soon evinced itself in the disturbance of the whole Creed. (Hear, hear.) Nothing nourished more an unhumble spirit than an assertion of independent rights, and that spirit forced upon the reformed Church by the corruptions of Rome had tended to impair her gentleness and humility' Nothing more opened the heart than that which promoted sympathy between Christian brethren everywhere, and nothing more narrowed the heart than that which tended to substitute the successes of a sect for the increase of Christ's truth throughout Christendom. (Cheers.) If they were to grow in the great virtues of humility and love, no means could be greater than those which brought them in any degree back again to a real inter-communion between the separated branches of the great Church of Christ. (Cheers.)


An extract from an editorial of the "Colonial Church Chronicle," for July, 1865:

"For the guidance of those who would promote the great and praiseworthy object of Catholic intercommunion, these two canons may safely be laid down: First. That no compromise involving a departure from Apostolic doctrine and Church order is admissible; 2d. That approximation to Rome, whose usurpations have been the chief cause of the unhappy divisions of Christendom, is as unlawful as it is inexpedient. Upon what basis then, it may be asked, may the restoration of Catholic intercommunion be brought about? The answer to this question, which at one time seemed to be surrounded with formidable. difficulties, is in itself simple and easy enough; and is felt to be so more and more, the more the possibility of such intercommunion is inquired into and discussed in the several branches of the Church Catholic. The Apostolic basis of Church communion throughout the world was at the beginning, and there is no reason why it should not be so now, continuance in the Apostles' doctrine and fellowship. Let the coordinate authority of the Episcopate, in its succession from the Apostles, and the Apostolic Doctrine as defined by the OEcumenical Councils, be recognized as the only essential requisites for intercommunion; and let the freedom of all the Churches, in ordering their internal discipline subject to the Apostolic authority of the Episcopate, and in framing their own formularies of faith and worship in conformity to Apostolic doctrine as defined by the Great Councils, be mutually respected; and intercommunion, as opportunities may arise, and occasions may require, will follow as a natural result. To such intercommunion it is not necessary that the development of the Episcopal organization should be the same in all the Churches; that their expression of Apostolic doctrine should by them all be cast into the same mould of language; or that their forms of worship and ritual observances should be the same in all. Granted that in some Churches the constitution. of the Episcopal government has undergone certain. modifications, such as the appointment of Metropolitans and Patriarchs, on the one hand, and on the other, of Suffragan and Assistant Bishops, while in others the equality of rank of all who are invested with the Episcopal office, has been preserved; granted that different Churches have seen fit to adopt for their own use special formularies and tests of doctrine rendered necessary for the preservation of the faith under their peculiar circumstances; granted that in their modes of worship great varieties of practice have grown up, that their usages and ceremonies differ materially one from another, some of them carrying ceremonial to an undue excess, while others run into the opposite extreme of simplicity, approaching to baldness,—granted all this, what hindrance is there to intercommunion, if the basis of Apostolic Truth and Order be held by them all in the spirit of charity and mutual forbearance? If amidst all these diversities some things be found less conducive to edification, the very fact of intercommunion, affording an opportunity for friendly comparison, will be the most likely means to procure, not by way of constraint, but by spontaneous assimilation, both the removal of excrescences, and the supply of deficiencies. Uniformity of regulations, of expressions, of forms and ceremonies, is neither requisite nor attainable, even if it could be shown to be in itself desirable. That a nearer approach to uniformity, would be conducive to more general and more hearty intercommunion, and in that sense desirable, is no doubt true. But to bring this about, the Way is, not for the different Churches to dictate to each other terms of intercommunion, but to leave each other free to order themselves in matters not affecting the essential common basis of Apostolic doctrine and government. Agreement in all those things which have been left by the Apostles to the discretion of each Church ordering herself under their successors, never can be made the basis, though it is sure to be increasing by the result, of Catholic intercommunion. And for this consummation all Christian hearts in all the Churches of Christendom may, and assuredly will, devoutly pray."

[1] The Metropolitan of Moscow, referring to the offer to the Chaplains, said with a good deal of emphasis "They ought to have accepted it." On the reply being made that they had no occasion, as all the Orthodox attended service on board the ships, and received the Holy Communion, his Eminence rejoined—"Notwithstanding, they should have accepted it, in order to shew their appreciation of the courtesy, and the reciprocation of the sentiments which prompted it on the part of the Orthodox Church; and I am sorry they did not."—Editor.

[2] It is to be regretted that foreign historians in general have paid so little attention to the beginning of Christianity among the Slavonian races; and I believe that a narrative of the lives of our blessed Apostles (Cyrill and Methodius) might be an interesting book even for your juvenile readers. Could I write English more fluently, I should like to translate it for you. Perhaps I shall try to do it yet, hoping that you will correct the faults.

[3] It is somewhat difficult to translate this word Gramata. It means in general the knowledge of reading and writing; sometimes it designates the word alphabet; sometimes anything that is written; a letter, a chart.

[4] Only an eye witness of it can fully appreciate the immense popularity of the present Emperor. The day after the arrival of the Editor in Petersburg was the anniversary of the entrance of Alexander I. into Paris. Thirty thousand troops were reviewed at noon-day by the Emperor, and in the evening there was a grand concert given of fifteen hundred performers. The Emperor was present; and although the performance had commenced, as is the universal custom, with the Imperial Hymn, after it had progressed for a while, the multitude shouted with deafening cries, "Boje Tzaria Chrene," (the first line of the National Hymn,) drowning the immense orchestra, which, stopping in mid-performance, took up the thrilling strains demanded by the multitude, and when the Hymn was finished, it was encored with the most deafening shouts, until it had been performed three times over in immediate succession. An English lady who had resided in St. Petersburg nearly forty years, informed the writer of this circumstance on the following day, remarking that it was without a parallel in the history of St. Petersburg, and a scene never to be forgotten by those who witnessed it.—Editor.

[5] The impression which the Editor received from several weeks daily intercourse with the nobles of St. Petersburg and Moscow, by no means accords with this statement of Mr. Long. The usual remark respecting the Emperor and his policy, was:—"No one can doubt the high and noble motives of the Emperor, or question his devotion to the welfare of his subjects, and especially to those of the humbler classes. We feared he was progressing too rapidly, but results have not justified our apprehensions, and the wisdom of his policy is now generally conceded."—Editor.

[6] In about three weeks after this letter was received, it was followed by a remittance of ?20, "from three or four Russians," to the Publishing Fund of the Russo-Greek Committee.—Editor.

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