Proposal of the Russo-Greek Committee
To issue a Series of Monthly Papers, respectfully addressed to the Bishops, Clergy, and Laity of the United States.
FATHERS AND BRETHREN:
Through the kind interest and liberality of several Churchmen of New York, in assuming the risk, the Committee are enabled to send the accompanying very interesting Paper to all the Bishops and Clergy of the United States.
They avail themselves of the opportunity which this wide distribution affords, to announce to the Church their desire to issue Monthly Papers, till the meeting of our General Convention next October.
The following Series is proposed, subject to such modifications as to the subjects of the Articles, or the order of their publication, as the acquisition of new matter, or other circumstances, may render expedient.
MAY. Translation of several Sermons by distinguished Russian Metropolitans.
JUNE. Translation of the Offices of Baptism, Confession, and Ordination.
JULY. Miscellanies, and extracts, after the manner of our First Paper.
AUGUST. Translation of the Liturgy of S. John Chrysostom.
SEPTEMBER. Intercommunion practically considered.
OCTOBER. History and characteristics of the Russian Church, with a general account of her Missionary labors to the present time.[A]
Instead of some of the foregoing subjects, or in addition to them all, should the contributions warrant it, some of the following may be given: A Translation of Chomiakoffs, and Alexander de Stourdza's Essays on the Doctrines of the Orthodox Church.
Chomiakoffs Letters on the same subject, which are promised, and daily expected, from Russia.
Massons Apology for the Greek Church, it being the work of a Scotch Presbyterian who resided for twenty years in Athens.
This Series, or its equivalent, it is proposed to issue monthly, as before stated, and to subscribers only, unless the contributions to the Publishing Fund should be sufficient to enable the Committee to send them, as they would be glad to do, to all the Clergy. The terms for the Series will be Five Dollars in advance. Those who have already contributed five dollars, or more, will be considered as subscribers to this Series, without further contributions, though further contributions will, of course, be acceptable. Should not the amount contributed be sufficient to defray the expense of the whole Series, it will be applied, so far as it will go, to the publication of the more important articles, for subscribers only.
The response of the Church to the appeal for funds which was made in the First Paper issued by the Committee, has made evident the necessity of putting this matter into the shape of a definite subscription. While the tone of the letters which covered the contributions was generally most gratifying and encouraging, the writers expressing the warmest interest in the movement, and their readiness to make further contributions if it should be necessary, it was generally remarked that they had no idea of the amount necessary from individual contributors. No one knew how general the contributions of Churchmen would be, nor how many Papers the Committee intended to issue. Besides, it was announced, immediately after the First Paper was issued, that the Secretary and Editor of the Committee had sailed for Europe, and it was supposed by many that no more Papers would be published till his return. All these circumstances combined left the Publishing Fund in arrears, to the amount of nearly one hundred dollars, till the issue of the Third Paper recalled the attention of the Church to this subject, which has resulted in contributions to a sufficient amount to meet the deficiency previously existing, and leave a balance on hand, as the following statement will show:
Rev. Milo Mahan, D. D.,. $5 00
Rt. Rev. H. J. Whitehouse, D. D., $25 00
Rev. Wm. Croswell Doane,. 5 20
Rev. W. F. Brand, 1 00
Rev. J. J. Robertson, D. D., 12 00
Rev. David J. Lee, 1 00
Rev. J. H. Hopkins, jr. (not including $10 paid by him for translations from the Russian) 20 00
Rev. Sam'l Hollingsworth,. 10 00
Rev. Leighton Coleman, 1 00
Rev. J. Theodore Holly, 1 40
Rev. Chas. W. Rankin, 1 00
Mrs. Eliza B. Boston, 5 00
Edward A. Collum, Esq., .30
Rev. Wm. Allan Johnson, 1 00
Rev. Chas. R. Hale, U. S. N., 2 00
The Misses Chamberlaine,. 5 00
Rev. L. W. Gibson, 1 00
Rev. N. Pettit, 1 00
Rev. James Abercrombie, 1 00
Rev. Henry Gregory, D. D., 2 00
Rt. Rev. Jackson Kemper, D. D., 5 00
Rev. James H. Smith, 5 00
Rev. James D. Vaulse,.. 1 27
Rev. B. H. Betts, 2 00
Rev. Samuel Cox, 2 00
Hon. Sam'l H. Huntington, 2 00
Rev. W. C. MacFarland, Ox ford, England, 10s
Rev. G. W. Huntingford, Oxford, England, 5s.
Rev. P. G. Medd, Oxford, England, 5s.
Rev. J. Freeman Young, 50 00
Rev. C. W. Morrill, 5 00
Rev. Edward H. Cumming, 1 00
Rev. F. C. Brown, 2 00
Hon. A. H. Churchill, 1 00.
Rt. Rev. J. Williams, D. D., $10 00
Rt. Rev. A. C. Coxe, D. D., $5 00
A member of St. Stephen's Church, East Haddam, Conn., 2 50
Hon. Sam'l B. Ruggles, 50 00
Rev. Morgan Dix, D. D., 50 00
Rev. T. W. Coit, 15 00
John B. Stebbins, Esq., 5 00
Rev. Malcolm Douglass, 1 00
Rev. Samuel B. Bostwick, 2 00
F. A. Jewett, Esq., 5 00
W. B. Douglass, Esq., 5 00
Miss H. L. Folsom, 6 00
Miss M. E. Bainbridge, 5 00
Amount of contributions, $345 17
From sale of copies of First Paper, 10 15
Total, $355 32
Cost of First Paper (3,250 copies) including $52.41 for postage-stamps and mailing, $210 96
Cost of printing 500 copies of Third Paper, 30 25-$241 21
Balance on hand, 114 11
From the foregoing statement it is manifest to every one to whose notice it may come, what is requisite on the part of the Church to enable the Committee to discharge the duty entrusted to them, as they are ready and most anxious to do. What is necessary on the part of the Laity, it should rather be said, for poor, and poorly paid, as the Clergy generally are, they are abundantly willing, according to, and beyond, their means, as a glance at the foregoing list of contributions will show, all except fourteen of the whole forty-nine being from Clergymen. Are there not a score or more of Laymen who are ready to make contributions of twenty-five, fifty, or a hundred dollars each, in furtherance of this great and important work? The movement is confessedly the most momentous one which has agitated the Church since the Reformation in the sixteenth century. The American Church has the honor of standing out before the world as the leader in this great and truly Christian enterprise. Her action has struck a chord in the heart of the Mother Church of England which has thrilled her even to her extremities. The venerable Orthodox Church of the East, which, single-handed and alone, has for a thousand years most valiantly resisted the many corruptions and usurpations of Rome, to which the whole West succumbed, and under which it groaned till they were cast off at the Reformation, has wept tears of joy at the news that the great Reformed, yet Catholic and Apostolic, Communion of the West is desirous of renewing with her the long interrupted relations of sympathy and love. "This is none other than the work of Jesus Christ," the Metropolitan of Petersburg and President of the Russian Synod remarked to the writer, "and the American Church could only have been prompted to it by the ever blessed and peace-inspiring influences of the Holy Spirit of God. . . . How could you have doubted our readiness cordially to meet you, and embrace you to our hearts, in the spirit of the Gospel of the loving and sympathizing Saviour?" "I would only suggest that we begin at once," [B] said the saintly and venerated Patriarch of the Russian Church (and Author of the accompanying Paper); at the close of a second three hours' interview, in reply to the question whether his superior wisdom and experience had anything to suggest, as to the proper manner of conducting this important movement.
Are we ready to begin at once? On the contrary, does not almost every one feel that we are quite too little informed, as a Church, respecting the whole matter, to venture at present anything of the kind? But how is this evil to be remedied, except by sustaining the Committee in putting within reach of all, the very information so much needed and desired? Unless we are active, and in earnest, we shall in the near future behold the Russian Church, which many are fain to consider very greatly behind ourselves in learning, piety, and general enlightenment, exhibiting, in the liberal views and catholic feelings of her Hierarchy, the fruits and results of these very things, to an extent that we will be neither prepared nor disposed to reciprocate.
Surely, the Laity of the American Church, wealthy, intelligent, and earnest-minded, as so many of them are, will not permit a movement which has begun so auspiciously, and promises ultimately, with God's good blessing, such momentous and world-wide results, to languish at its very inception for the want of only a few hundred dollars. Those who fear most as well as those who hope most from this movement, are alike interested in sustaining the labors of the Committee, inasmuch as our aim is to make accessible to all, so far as possible, and at the smallest expense to each one, approved expositions of Oriental doctrine, and the authorized formularies of instruction and worship of the whole Orthodox Church; and these, too, in their entireness, that all may have a correct basis for the impartial and just conclusions, which all alike desire to attain. Let the Laity, therefore, lend their efficient aid to this enterprise, and let every Clergyman who is at all interested, call the attention of his people to it, besides doing, each for himself, what he can, and then the Committee can not only send copies of all these Papers to every one of our poorly paid Clergy, (most of whom are unable to subscribe five dollars,) but will be able to do a great deal more than they have ventured, as yet, to propose, or even to contemplate.
Arrangements have been made with the Executive Committee of the Eastern Church Association, of the Church of England, for obtaining all their Publications in sufficient quantities to supply the subscribers of five dollars; to all of whom they will be mailed as soon as received.
Copies of the Papers already issued by this Committee can be had at 25 cents each, on application to Mr. Duncan, 762 Broadway, and Mr. Pott, No. 5 Cooper Union, 4th Avenue, excepting No. II, which was published only in the Church Review, from want of funds to issue it in separate form.
All contributions to the Publishing Fund, should be sent to the Rev. J. Freeman Young, 30 Laight Street, New York.
[A] There is another work too voluminous to be published as a Paper, which the Committee are exceedingly desirous of making accessible to American Churchmen, and propose to publish by subscription. It is entitled, "On the duty of Parish Priests;" and is the Text Book on the Pastoral Office, in all Theological Seminaries and Schools, not only throughout the Russian Empire, but throughout the Oriental Church, wherever the Slavonian dialects are spoken, or read. If the maxim be true, "as with the Priest so with the people," this volume is invaluable for making known to us what is the actual teaching and spirit of the Russian Church, as it shows what all Candidates for Holy Orders are taught to teach the people, and how they are instructed to perform all the Duties of the Sacred Office. It will be reprinted from Blackmores Translation, an octave of 150 pages, and will be edited, with an Introduction and Notes, by the Rt. Rev. Horatio Potter, D. D., D. C. L., Bishop of New York.
It will be furnished at $2 a copy (half what it would cost to import it), and subscribers of any sum exceeding two dollars. will receive copies to the full amount of their subscriptions. It will be sent, as soon as issued, by post (prepaid), on receipt of the money.
Will not wealthy Laymen subscribe for copies to present to the Students of our several Theological Seminaries? Will not some Christian man or woman in every Parish in the land, subscribe for a copy to present to his or her Pastor? And will not every one especially who is interested in the Russo-Greek movement, lend his aid likewise by subscribing to this publication, the importance of which cannot be overstated for correcting the deplorable misconception now so generally prevailing, that the Russian Church is a threefold mixture of Christianity, Barbarism, and Popery! All Remittances should be sent to the Secretary of the Russo-Greek Committee.
[B] Begin negotiations, the Metropolitan meant, on the subject of intercommunion. Upon the reply being made that the Committee had no power to negotiate, nor even to correspond with the Authorities of the Russian Church on this subject, but only to collect facts, and report to our next General Convention, the Metropolitan inquired when this would be. It was replied in October of 1865. "It is a pity to lose so much precious time," he rejoined, "and let us begin, at any rate, to cultivate each others acquaintance. This we can do by mutual correspondence, exchange of literature, and by embracing, and even seeking opportunities for the exchange of Christian courtesies, and mutual tokens of brotherly love."