COMMISSIONERS FOR FOREIGN MISSIONS,
D. APPLETON & CO. 200 BROADWAY.
GEORGE S. APPLETON.
In the Introduction to the pamphlet to which the following letter is a reply, it is stated that the first occasion of the controversy was a remark in the Annual Report of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, in 1843,--which remark was to the effect, that the Mission of that Board at Constantinople had been embarrassed by the interference of "individuals who had imbibed errors which now threaten the peace and unity of the Episcopal Churches of England and America." Dr. Anderson, the Secretary, was called upon for information upon this point, and referred to me as the principal one of the individuals alluded to. Now, it may be asked, whence Dr. Anderson had his information with regard to my theological views; and it must be answered--from the missionaries at Constantinople. And if it is farther asked--whence had they any knowledge on the subject, I unhesitatingly answer--'they depended upon their imagination for their facts.' The whole story is one used, if not devised, for no other purpose than to give edge and effect to their criminations. Charges of interference appear more plausible if sustained by the antecedent fact that the person alluded to is in a state of mind from which such interference might be expected. This is the whole reason for the assault in the Annual Report. Individuals, who had imbibed such errors, would be likely to exert such an influence; and if the influence can be attributed to the errors, the missionaries of the Board are more sure to escape uncensured. But if the errors do not exist, what becomes of the inference? And that they do not exist--that the, position which I have uniformly [3/4] assumed among all who know my views, utterly precludes the supposition of their existence, is a most certain truth. Yet it is one which I do not feel called upon to discuss here. This is not a theological essay. I have, therefore, forborne to speak of such matters, farther than to set aside certain items in the missionaries' pamphlet, which might be supposed to have reference to them. And I will here say, that it appears to me one of the most exceptionable things in the whole course of their proceedings, that they have endeavored to put the questions between us on a false issue, and to make the force of their testimony greater by resorting to the unworthy expedient of imputing to me errors of belief, without the faintest shadow of evidence, nay, contrary to every certain indication of truth.
My Dear Friend,
You think it incumbent on me to answer the pamphlet which has lately appeared from the missionaries of the American Board at Constantinople, entitled, "a Letter in Reply to Charges by Rev. Horatio Southgate." You believe that an answer, such as you think the case admits of, will be sufficient to settle, at least in every candid man's mind, the questions that have arisen between us. I address myself, therefore, to the task, and while I mean to speak with the utmost plainness, I hope to speak with perfect charity and kindness. I would not indulge in a single harsh expression, nor entertain a single vindictive feeling. I have no taste for controversy in any shape, and my deepest principles and convictions are averse to the uncharitable and denunciatory language which marks so much of modern controversial writings. Towards these brethren I entertain no feelings but those of kindness and love. Would that we could see eye to eye in those things which concern the Redeemer's kingdom! Would that peace and harmony could ever have prevailed among us, and no differences but those of a generous emulation in well-doing, ever have arisen!
But to my work. I mean to show that unhappy as these differences are, considered in themselves, unhappy as are all differences between Christian men, when so considered, yet in the present instance we have nothing to blame ourselves for in our own Church, and may rightly claim to possess a conscience void of offence toward God and toward man.
The missionaries allude to my former intercourse with them during my first visit to Turkey, in the years 1836-38, and contrast it with what it has been during my second sojourn of the last four years. I went to Turkey in '36 and returned in '38. I went again in 1840, and remained till May 1844. These are the two periods which are contrasted. Now I cheerfully add my testimony to theirs, as to the friendly nature of our intercourse during the first of these periods. It is not in my nature to forget it, nor do my feelings incline me to do so. It was indeed very pleasant--a cordial to my spirit in a weary land. But the matter is a little overstated in their pamphlet. They say (p. 6) that I "sat down to the communion table with them, receiving the sacrament from their hands, and also taking part with [5/6] them in the administration of it." This is incorrect. Never so much as once did I receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion from the missionaries at Constantinople; never so much as once take any part with them in the administration of it. They may, perhaps, refer to a single instance in which I did receive it, from other Congregational missionaries, in another place. If so, why do they speak of sitting down "with us," "receiving from our hands," and "taking part with us? Those who write are the missionaries at Constantinople, and they say expressly, in two different places in their pamphlet, (pp. 5 and 30,) that they speak throughout only of what concerns themselves and their station. But again, they speak of this intercommunion as if it had been a habit with me; whereas I never but once partook of the Communion in connection with Congregational [* The missionaries object to my use of this term on the ground that some of their number are not Congregationalists, but Presbyterians. I use the term only for convenience, and not invidiously. The major part are Congregationalists, and therefore I use that term rather than the other. Both would be an encumbrance.] missionaries in Turkey,--and then, as I have just said, not at Constantinople. It was at Broosa, in the spring of 1838, after I had just returned from my long tour in Persia. I had then been two years without the Sacrament, and was suffering inexpressibly from the privation. I, therefore, communed with my brethren at Broosa. But I did it at the moment with considerable hesitation, and regretted it as soon as it was done. I resolved, moreover, never to do it again. Now, I have not the slightest objection to acknowledge that I have communed with the missionaries at Constantinople, if I have done so. But the truth is, the only intercourse which I ever had with them on the subject of the Sacrament, was in the spring or summer of 1838, after my visit to Broosa, and after my resolution formed there. I was one Sunday morning, through Mr. Schauffler, one of their number, invited to a similar participation, and declined,--the invitation and declining both being done, I believe, in the kindest manner.
Yet now they would fain charge me with an "entire metamorphosis," (p. 8,) because, during the last four years, I have not done that which I never did. But even supposing that I had formerly communed with them, I was then a Deacon, and could not consecrate myself; whereas, during my last sojourn, I was a Priest, and, therefore, under no necessity of going to others. Moreover, during the first period, there was no Church of my own, where I could receive; while, during the last period, there has been an English Church, where I have regularly received. I say this, to show how unjust is their broad inference, even supposing their assertion of former intercommunion to be true. Would they have me leave my own Church, to commune with them?
The truth, I fear, is, they are too earnest in making out a wrong point. They wish to place the present attitude of our Missions, on [6/7] the ground of a change in my views. Now, as I said before with regard to communion, so I say of all, I have not the slightest objection to acknowledge a change in my views on any subject on which it has taken place. I own myself capable of new degrees of knowledge, and of new knowledge on old subjects, and if there is one prayer which I breathe, day by day, with the intensest ardor of my soul, it is that I may be "guided into all truth." But on the subject of the Christian ministry and intercommunion, my views are substantially now what they were in 1838. True, I then attended their preaching, and, as they say, united with them in private prayer. But I did not thereby regard myself as recognizing their ministerial commission. There was no other service which I could attend; whereas, during the last four years, I have had the service of my own Church, and been called, for a considerable portion of the time, to officiate at it. As to private prayer, I told the missionaries, on my return to Constantinople in 1840, that I should have no objection to uniting with them as formerly, if I were in the same circumstances. Then I was a passing stranger; now I had come to establish a Mission and to be a permanent resident. I thought, therefore, a formal united prayer-meeting, which they proposed, inexpedient. No such custom was known at home, and it seemed to me best to follow the practice which prevailed there. I assured them that my feelings towards them were the same as formerly, and that whenever I found myself in one of their houses at the time of prayer, I should be most happy to unite with them. Formerly I had attended their meetings for prayer, as a visitor; now it was proposed to have a united prayer-meeting of the two missions. The two cases seemed to me essentially different. As an individual, without a Mission in the city, I could informally attend their meetings; but being now engaged in a Mission there, the rule, it seemed to me, should be that which prevailed at home. Now, all this statement they pass over, and, in the place of it, say, that the reason of my not consenting to such a prayer-meeting, on my return in 1840, was, "lest it should be supposed by others, that I recognized them as true ministers of Christ, equally with myself." (Reply, p. 8.) All this is a pure invention of their own. They (that is, those of them who were present when I made the statement above given, Messrs. Goodell, Dwight, and Hamlin,) know that no allusion was made to any such reason. They have framed it entirely out of their own imaginations.
I come now to the matter of concealment. When I was with the missionaries, during my first visit, nothing was ever said by them to the native Christians around us, of my being of a different communion from themselves, although the most natural mode of introduction to an Eastern Christian, would be, to say that I belonged to a Church governed by Bishops. But so carefully was allusion to this subject avoided, that even an Armenian associated in their labors, and living in one of their houses, was never informed of the fact, and never so much as [7/8] heard that there was a Church in this country constituted like his own, until he himself came hither and discovered it. In my occasional interviews with this individual in Constantinople, I took it for granted that he had learned from the missionaries who I was, and never thought that he needed any information upon the subject. In all my conversations with him, I spoke as a clergyman of my Church might be expected to speak, of the Eastern ministry and Church institutions; but when I afterwards met him in this country, in 1839, he informed me that he had lately learned of the distinctive existence of my Church, which he had never known before. When I expressed my surprise at his not having recognized me at Constantinople, and alluded to my having repeatedly performed service when he was present, and to my having, on such occasions, used a clerical dress and Prayer Book, he replied that the missionaries sometimes did the same thing, and, therefore, he saw in this no difference between us. This is one instance in which the use of the gown and Prayer Book has tended to conceal the real character of the missionaries from the knowledge of Armenians, and even of men most intimate with them. Of the motive for this use, I do not now speak. I have not said, nor do I now say, that they have adopted it for the purpose of appearing to be members of the Protestant Episcopal Church of this country. In my former pamphlet, (styled unfortunately by the friend who supervised the publication, a "Vindication,"--as if it were the defence of a man on trial,) I simply stated the fact of the use and the effect of it, without at all alluding to motives. Of them, I shall have occasion to speak hereafter.
From Constantinople, I went to Persia in the summer of 1837, and here again I met with missionaries of the American Board at Oormiah. I spent a week with them in their houses, and every attention that kindness or hospitality could prompt, was shown to me. Here I was struck with the fact that nothing was said of my own Church character to the Nestorian ecclesiastics around me, one of whom was Mar Yohanna, since well known in this country. I attributed this, however, to a reluctance to declare the existence of an Episcopal Church in the United States, lest it might operate disadvantageously to the Mission;--and a feeling of delicacy, natural to a guest, prevented me from alluding to the subject. I was, however, well pleased with what I saw there, for the Mission was eminently conservative, though entirely Congregational, and the missionaries, using no extraneous devices, were known for what they really were. If it has become less conservative of late, as the reports which have reached this country would lead us to believe, I deeply regret it. May it not arise from the extreme improbability of Congregationalists' acting long among the Eastern Churches, without exerting an influence tending to their subversion, and this even when they have begun with earnest professions of desiring no such issue, and are continuing to put forth the same professions before the Eastern Christians?
 But to proceed. The missionaries acknowledge their use of the gown, Prayer Book, and the sign of the Cross; for their mode of statement respecting the latter, ("and if the sign of the cross has been made according to this [the English] form, it has been rarely done," &c., Reply, p. 15,) will be regarded as an acknowledgment of the use of it. [* When my former pamphlet was brought to the notice of the American Board, at their late meeting at Worcester, the Rev. Dr. Anderson declared it, "so far as affecting the missionaries or the Board unfavorably, to be UNTRUE THROUGHOUT." Now, the most obnoxious part of all, and that which most unfavorably affected the missionaries, was this use of the dress, Prayer Book, and sign of the cross,--which they now acknowledge. What, then, becomes of Dr. Anderson's charge of falsehood? Does it not turn upon himself?] They say, however, that the gown has been used at burials because 'the people of the country suppose no clergyman to be present when no clerical dress is seen,' (p. 15.) Now, this is what I have myself asserted. The missionaries feel the necessity of appearing to have the external badges of a clerical character, because such badges are in the East uniformly associated with the character. The people of that country have never been accustomed to see clergymen without them. What I meant to say in my pamphlet, of the use of these signs by the missionaries, was, not that they wish to appear to be clergymen of our Church distinctively, for our Church is not in general distinctively known, but that they wish to appear as possessing the primâ facie marks of a clerical character, as they are understood in the East. Now when an Eastern Christian draws the inference that a man is a clergyman because he is wearing a clerical dress, what does this inference amount to? Why, that he is an Episcopal clergyman,--a clergyman of an Episcopal Church,--for they know of no other kind of clergymen or Churches. They infer, from a clerical dress, a clerical character as they understand it. Thus, I say, the use of such a dress by the missionaries tends to deceive, because they do not possess the clerical character inferred from it. They are not ordained by Bishops; they are not clergymen of an Episcopal Church. If they are willing to be known as Congregationalists or Presbyterians, they ought not to appear in a manner which will make a contrary inference certain. Being without Episcopal ordination, they ought not to assume a garb and Prayer Book which imply, in the eyes of Eastern people, such an ordination. Appearing as they would in this country, they will certainly be known as not Episcopalians; and if, in consequence of this, their clerical character is questioned, they can defend it as it is.
But they say, they have not used such badges in their private meetings for the Armenians. I believe it, and so stated in my pamphlet, (p. 26.) The use of them there would make those meetings to appear to be of a formal, ecclesiastical character, which the missionaries most wish to avoid, as it would at once create the impression that they designed to form a sect. Those meetings are already suspected, and the adoption of clerical badges in them would much [9/10] increase the suspicion. But when such badges are used abroad, before the world, where not the twenty or thirty or fifty Armenians, gathered in a private house, can alone see them, but the whole Christian community of Constantinople, the impression referred to is conveyed to a much greater extent than if they were used in a private meeting. For example, when at the burial of our late Minister, Commodore Porter, Messrs. Goodell and Dwight appeared in gowns and bands, and one or both carrying Prayer Books, was not the impression conveyed to the two or three hundred Eastern Christians present, something more decided, more extensive and more influential in its character, than if the same had been done in an assembly of a few intimate friends within doors? I do not, therefore, see the force of the argument which the missionaries would draw from the fact that they do not use these badges in their Armenian meeting. The impression alluded to, is more distinctly and strongly conveyed by using them elsewhere. And let me say that it makes no difference whether the gown be Lutheran or Episcopal, or the Prayer Book be used as it is, or in a garbled manner. [*The missionaries say that, among other denominations, the Lutheran is represented in their Missions. I know of no Lutheran among them. Mr. Schauffler, the only one, I believe, originally a Lutheran, is a minister by Congregational ordination, and, therefore, I take it, a Congregational minister.] It is the badge which is significant, and not the particular cut or use of it. It is the using of what will at once be recognized as a clerical dress and Church Book, which produces a false impression; the impression, namely, that they are clergymen in the Oriental sense of the term, that is, Episcopal clergymen. I suppose, however, that the two gowns worn on the occasion just alluded to, were not both of them the one 'Lutheran gown belonging to the Mission.' What reason was there for wearing either, or using the Prayer Book? The missionaries say (p. 16) that it has "always" been used "in a spirit of accommodation to the feelings of their English Episcopal friends." But in this instance the person deceased was an American, and of a Presbyterian family, and so, I believe, were all the relatives present. The reason evidently was to produce a certain impression,--the impression before alluded to. It could not have been desired by the family, for though the Prayer Book was there, and apparently used, it was not the Episcopal service, but a certain garbling of it which essentially destroyed the solemnity of the occasion. [*Besides, if it had been desired, there was an Episcopal clergyman there ready to perform it.] First, on coming to the grave, were read the impressive words, "Man that is born of a woman," &c., and then, as if in the service, the extemporaneous remark, "It is calculated that--thousand die every day, and--thousand every hour." [*I have forgotten the exact number mentioned.] Then followed the next sentence, then another extemporaneous remark, and so on. The succeeding paragraph, on committing the body to the earth, was read with essential alterations; the Lord's Prayer was [10/11] omitted; and in place of the last Collects, an extemporaneous prayer, with the book still in hand, was repeated. All this was painful in the extreme, to every English or American Episcopalian present, and showed but too clearly that the Book was not used for the sake of the service.
Now they are these things which seem to me to show the desire of the missionaries to appear to the Eastern Christians as possessing a certain ecclesiastical character,--a ministry which they, without inquiry, will acknowledge real and valid. And when I said that the missionaries would heartily concur in the sentiment of another of their number, that 'he often wished he were an Episcopalian,' I intended it in this sense, that they would be glad to have a recognized clerical character, which involves, in an Eastern man's conception, something Episcopal in being or origin. I did not mean to say that they have any particular desire to be clergymen of the English or American Episcopal Church. [* I did say, and do say, however, that the use of the gown, Prayer Book, sign of the cross, and such like practices, have caused them to be taken for clergymen of one of these Churches; and of this I have given at least two examples in the course of this letter. Two others, at this moment, occur to me, but, for the sake of brevity, I omit them. I will say, however, that the mistake has been a common one, and I could certainly recall, by a slight effort of recollection, many particular instances of it.] I fully acquit them of any excessive affection for either. But I did mean to say,--and now repeat from their own acknowledgment,--that they see and feel the importance of an acknowledged clerical character, and that they are unwilling to take the course which will inevitably lead to the discovery of what their present clerical character consists in.
The testimony which they adduce of an English Episcopal missionary, that he acknowledged their superior advantages as Congregationalists, does not bear upon the subject. He acknowledged, according to their own showing, not the advantage of non-Episcopacy, but the advantage of being subjected to no "canons or rules," which is quite another matter. The missionaries will not deny that, ceteris paribus, an Episcopally ordained missionary has an advantage among Episcopally constituted Churches. If they do deny it, the common sense of mankind is enough to appeal to for the contrary. Of this advantage I am not disposed to boast. I view it with deep humility and with deep sorrow of heart that my own Church has hitherto so little felt the obligation resulting from it. Let us all use our gifts as the Lord has given to us, with no vain-glorying, but with a fearful sense of our accountableness for them. But I must say, as bearing upon the argument in hand, that since my pamphlet was written, I have had the testimony of another Congregational missionary to the same effect as before,--namely, that the Episcopal Church has, in its Episcopacy, a decided advantage for effort among the Oriental Churches,--which, I hope, may settle the matter.
I have been much amused with an argument inserted in the Annual [11/12] Report of the American Board for 1844, (p. 93,) in which Dr. King, a missionary of that Board in Athens, maintains that, inasmuch as he and, he presumes, his other brethren of the Board hold, with the Eastern Churches, that the Procession of the Holy Ghost is from the Father, while we of the Episcopal Church hold it to be from the Father and the Son, therefore, he and his brethren have the advantage over us. Suppose an Eastern Christian should inquire of him, 'As you accept our dogma on this point, I presume you accept the Nicene Creed which contains it?' of what particular advantage would it be to acknowledge that he accepted no creeds whatever?
I will here say, that the lines in my former pamphlet which were printed in "staring capitals," as the missionaries are pleased to call them, were so printed without my knowledge or consent. On the contrary, I was sorry to see it, for it had the effect to draw away attention from the main argument, and fix it upon a mere incident, which was very casually introduced, and which, I believe, was not in my mind five minutes before I wrote it. I did not intend to draw particular attention to the use of the clerical dress, Prayer Book, &c. by the missionaries; but the good friend to whom I sent the manuscript, undertook to make it more conspicuous by doubly underscoring the lines which spoke of it. This has occasioned a great expenditure of words on what might otherwise have been a very subordinate part of the argument. Let the pamphlet be read without this change, and the whole scope of the argument will be much better understood. I assure my brethren, that it was none of my doing that they were so unpleasantly affected by these "staring capitals," standing out in bold relief, the very "head and front of my offending."
The missionaries talk (p. 16) of "pouring absolute contempt on all formal religions by conforming to all forms, so far as they innocently can." But to my humble conception it appears to be doing honor to all, and is so understood, I fear, by the formal "Episcopalians, Lutherans and French" who observe it. I could well understand that the Episcopal dress was contemned, if it were not used; but it is hard to conceive of its being used out of contempt for it. I cannot well imagine what must be the feelings of the missionaries when thus adorned with what they so much despise, nor can I conceive what relief they can have from the oppressive sense of being decked out in "the littleness of mere forms," unless it is in the consoling assurance, which they allude to, that they are thus "gaining the more." If they "had been as uncompromising and unaccommodating in regard to their simplicity of forms as others are in regard to their exuberance," they might have lost the satisfaction of such extra "gains," but it would have been with the advantage of showing forth their "simplicity," and thus protesting against the formalism which they seem so zealous to overthrow. But I see not with what consistency they adopt forms to cure formalism, unless it is upon some homoeopathic principle of missionary labor; nor how they are going to relieve the "poor [12/13] Eastern Christians" of "the enormous weight of their forms and ceremonies," (Reply, p. 8,) if they show themselves so anxious to "conform to all forms." A "missionary whose conscience will permit him to pursue this course, may, indeed, acquire a greater influence over the Bishops and other ecclesiastics of these Churches than a Presbyterian and Congregational missionary" (appearing in his "simplicity") "can expect to do," "but it will obviously be an influence for evil and not for good," since those Bishops and other ecclesiastics, and laymen too, will be prone to imagine there is some greater virtue in forms than they ever supposed, when they thus see men recommending them to their attention by being willing to adopt any that come to hand, and especially if they know that of themselves they have none at all. "If these things be done in the green tree, what will be done in the dry?" If the Presbyterian and Congregational missionaries thus sanction the "weakness," as they call it, of our Eastern brethren, what can they expect of me, but that I should so far sanction it as to retain the forms which I use at home? I do not go beyond the limits of my Church, to "accommodate myself to the great weakness of men," (Reply, p. 16,) while they adopt what their brethren at home preach against and write against without cessation. I use no habit, prayer book, or ceremony, which is not recognized by my own Church, while they exceed all Congregational and Presbyterian bounds, "by conforming to all forms," using a Prayer Book which Presbyterians and Congregationalists here will never, I fear, so far "make themselves our servants" that they "may gain us," as to adopt the use of, and wearing a dress which, in this western world, is often held as no better than a "rag of Popery." My brethren have spoken severely, very severely, of me in this pamphlet, as addicted to forms, and they even use the awful language, (p. 44,) that, "in my mind Episcopacy and a liturgy are far more important than any thing else, even than the precious doctrine of Christ and Him crucified;" but let me say to them, that, in these things, I stop short of themselves, since I use only what I have, and they adopt what they have not. Let no more, then, be said of my addiction to forms. My use of the characteristics of my Church, as a means of influence and usefulness, finds its highest recommendation in their example.
But it seems I not only spoke of their use of the dress and Prayer Book and sign of the cross, but added, "and other such like practices unknown to Congregationalists at home." The missionaries are offended with this, (Reply p. 17.) They say that if I had known of any thing else, I should doubtless have mentioned it, and because I did not mention it, they call in question my "justice, truth, and honesty." Now, I am not in the habit of using words without meaning. I think I may safely say this, as the missionaries themselves give me credit for it. They say, (p. 33,) that "Mr. Southgate is not a hasty man. He acts, usually, with thought and deliberation." I might have thanked them for the compliment, if it were not introduced to [13/14] prove a "malice prepense." But, as it is, it may go to show that even in their estimation, I am not likely to engage in "wholesale charges," or to say what I cannot prove. By "such like practices" I mean, (to take an example,) such things as the observance of our Feasts and Fasts. They are in the habit of keeping, and that by public services for the occasion, Christmas, Good Friday and Easter. There might be some apology for this before the English Church was established in Pera, and when a few English residents attended their worship and could not attend their own. But the same thing has continued since, and an Eastern Christian has once said to me on one of these days, seeing that I was observing it according to our custom at home, "You have, then, the same holydays with the other missionaries, for I have just come from one of their houses," [Mr. Dwight's, I believe he said,] "and they are keeping it also." This may be counted a second instance in which an Eastern Christian has mistaken their character from their adoption of usages unknown to their people in this country. I call this one of the "such like practices unknown to Congregationalists at home," and others can be added if this does not suffice. But I have said enough to prove that I do not speak without knowing what I am about to say, and do not leave things written without considering their nature and their import. I wish to utter no innuendoes, nor to bring "odium" upon others by "indefinite accusations."
But let us turn to a more serious matter--the nature of my mission and its relations to the operations of the American Board. The missionaries have gone into a mass of evidence to prove that my designs and my practice have been hostile to them, and that my views are such as militate against all evangelical efforts for the reviving and purifying of the Eastern Churches. Now, of all this I wish to say, that their alleged facts are, in every instance, incorrect, or that they consist of forced and wrong constructions put upon the truth. Let me show it.
When they talk (p. 8) of my going out in 1840, "determined to act on the most exclusive high church principles," they say that of which there is not only no evidence whatever, but which is entirely contrary to truth. Such an idea never entered my mind. During my first visit to Turkey, and when I was on the most kindly terms with them, I conceived the idea of using the character of our Church as a means and instrument of usefulness among the Oriental Communions. It never entered my thoughts to oppose others. The plan was formed while I was still in that country and cordially intimate with them, and I viewed it simply as the use of an instrumentality for the religious welfare of our Eastern brethren,--an instrumentality which the good Providence of God had placed in our hands, and for the use of which we were plainly accountable. My own idea is well expressed in a recent number of the "Episcopal Protestant," a journal which cannot be supposed to take "exclusive" or peculiarly "high church" views on the subject. In its number for December [14/15] 5th, a correspondent, with whom the Editor seems entirely to concur, thus writes : "Our own opinion is that the Episcopal Church, from similar organization, does possess peculiar advantages in her efforts among Oriental Christian Bodies, and that if a Missionary Bishop and his Presbyters, understanding and appreciating the Gospel and imbued with its spirit, should approach with trust in and prayer to Christ these benighted souls, they might be, with the divine blessing, most of all, likely to enlist the sympathies of dignitaries, obtain a favorable hearing, win them to the truth, and ensure a co-operation in the work." I do not know that my earliest and my present idea could be, on the whole, better stated than in this short paragraph. [* I object only to the word "benighted." Twilight, not midnight, is the metaphor which most justly describes the state of the Eastern Churches, when spoken of collectively. Where I see souls eager for knowledge, holding the faith as it is in Jesus with entire sincerity, though but partially instructed; where I see men (as I have seen two in Constantinople alone) giving themselves to horrible torture and to an awful death rather than deny that faith; where I see thousands and tens of thousands holding it in profession, though persecuted, cast down, peeled, and scattered therefor, I cannot say, in strict accuracy of speech, that the darkness of night is justly descriptive of their condition. Oh, when shall we feel that love, and nothing but love, will prevail to win from error and to build up our brethren in their most holy faith? ] It was with a simple, single desire of benefiting spiritually our Eastern brethren, that I conceived and still maintain the necessity and duty of acting honestly and openly in our real character. I believed that it would prove a source of influence, a means of grace, an aid in well-doing. This was the whole of my plan. I made it known to our Foreign Committee, immediately upon my return to the United States in 1838, as you may see one evidence in a communication from me, written a few days after my arrival, and published in the "Spirit of Missions" for February, 1839. I then said, that "my own observations had satisfied me that this was the only plan upon which Missions from the Church of England or of America, to the Churches of the East, should be formed." The 'metamorphosis,' then, of which the missionaries speak, took place in me in the short space of a few months, while I was coming from Constantinople to America. But the truth is, the idea was entertained, the plan was formed, long before I left Turkey, and while I was still in friendly intercourse with them. When I returned to Turkey, they objected to it, they have done so ever since, until, going from suspicion to suspicion, from surmise to surmise, from hostility to hostility, they have, at length, brought rue into this open controversy with them.
But now it is begun, the truth must be known. They acknowledge (p. 6) their objecting to our making known the 'forms and ceremonies, the church order and government' of our Communion. They think it 'undesirable.' But let me ask them, how it can possibly be avoided. An Eastern Christian--let us say, an ecclesiastic--inquires of me, who I am, to what Church I belong, and goes on to ask sundry [15/16] other questions concerning it. Shall I answer him? If I do, I bring to his view, 'forms and ceremonies, church order and government.' If I do not, he fairly suspects my character and my purpose. But more than this, I find that by announcing myself as of an Episcopal Church, by describing to him its order, its ministry, its ritual, its faith, I gain an important advantage with him, I establish a character, I secure a degree of confidence, I awaken respect, and thus obtain a better opportunity for speaking with him of the interests and duties of religion. One of their brethren says, he thinks he has an advantage in being able to say to an Eastern Christian, that he believes in the Procession from the Father. He thinks that it is a recommendation, a passport to confidence, a means of usefulness. I acknowledge it to be so, so far as it goes, though, in his case, nullified entirely by his rejection of the Creed. And is there no advantage in being able to speak of the Three Orders, the early Creeds, a Liturgy, and fifty other things, as ours? And if so, am I not to use them for the purpose? Dr. King actually uses, as I have long since heard, his belief in the Single Procession, as a means of influence; and am I not to use the other things mentioned? This is the whole question, and beyond this I intend nothing.
Again, the missionaries say (p. 18) that we Protestants are all called by the Easterns, without discrimination, 'Lutherans, Freemasons and followers of Voltaire,' the second term (Freemasons) meaning 'Infidels,' in the mouth of an Oriental. Now I acknowledge that such is the case. Our whole Western Christianity is looked upon by those of the Eastern Christians who know nothing about it, that is, by the great mass of them, as a mongrel institution, half Christianity and half Infidelity. But am I to be content with this state of things, so far as I am concerned? Am I to have no influence, for evidently I can have none while lying under this imputation? Or am I to show its untruth by showing who I am? And if I do this, what is it but to make known my Church? I thank my God, that, wherever I have done it, it has at once given me an influence, and that influence I have endeavored faithfully to use for the present and eternal welfare of my brethren.
And now, must I forego this? If not, (and I believe that even these my estranged brethren at Constantinople cannot, with a fair and open conscience, say I ought to forego it,) they at once acknowledge all that I claim, all that I have ever claimed, all that I desire. Still it is obnoxious to them. Let us see why. They say (p. 6) they "have no hostility to Episcopal missionaries as such." But they have hostility to them, if they set forth their 'forms and ceremonies, church order and government,' as such. And why this? Because (and this is the beginning and end of our offence) it sets them forth also, incidentally, as not such, and hence places them at a disadvantage. It makes them known eventually as non-Episcopalians, as destitute of those things by which we declare ourselves. I am sorry for it: I wish [16/17] they were not Congregationalists; I wish they were Episcopalians. But as it is, I see not how the difficulty is to be gotten over, unless they become so, "imitate my example," as they say, (p. 12,) and "come into the Episcopal fold." I assure them they shall be "readily received," 'as readily as I was,' if they come with the same convictions, and nothing will afford me greater pleasure than to aid them in so laudable 'a metamorphosis.'
But they will say that I have acted in hostility to them. To this point I shall now speak, and I humbly pray that I may have grace to speak with that plainness and sincerity which becomes me. I hope I have said enough already, to show that my Mission in 1840 began with no hostility to them. But they refer (p. 19) to the instructions which I received from the Presiding Bishop, and especially to this passage: "You may further state to them, [the clergy and people of the Eastern Churches,] that many of those called Protestants, have rejected, and are still so opposed to, Episcopacy and Confirmation and the use of Liturgies, that an intimate fellowship and connection with them is at present impracticable." Now the missionaries, in arguing upon this, through three whole pages, (pp. 19, 20, 21,) argue upon a palpable misinterpretation.[* And not only in three whole pages consecutively, but they allude to it in other parts, and in fact the main strength of their pamphlet consists in arguments based upon their erroneous interpretation of this single passage. All the rest, so far as the proof of hostility is concerned, is rumor and hearsay, taken from natives.] They take the "intimate fellowship and connection" alluded to, as referring to a union between them, the missionaries of the American Board, and the Oriental Churches, and that we are to instruct the latter that such a "connection" is "impracticable," that is, we are to warn the Eastern Christians against any "fellowship or connection" with non-Episcopal missionaries. But the true sense of the passage is entirely different. The Bishop means to say, as is evident on the very face of his language, that an "intimate fellowship and connection" between ourselves, the American Episcopal Church, and the other Protestants alluded to, is impracticable. The same is plain also from the context; for he goes on to say, after alluding to a fellowship with Rome, as impracticable for other reasons, "Under such circumstances, our thoughts and affections are particularly directed and strongly drawn to our brethren of the Eastern Churches," &c. Now, what is all this but to say that, inasmuch as we cannot have "intimate fellowship and connection" with non-Episcopal, non-Liturgical Protestants on the one hand, nor with Rome on the other, our "thoughts and affections" are 'strongly directed' towards the Eastern Churches? But the missionaries, by putting another, and entirely different, construction upon it, and supposing it to refer to a connection between themselves and the Eastern Churches, and farther taking it for granted, (in that very liberal way of allowing me good qualities for a bad purpose, which I have before alluded to,) that I am obedient to instructions, infer that I have consequently [17/18] warned the Eastern Christians to have nothing to do with them. By removing the false construction, the superstructure of their argument falls to the ground; and although they do mention, by way of hypothesis, on pp. 20, 21, a variety of cases, in which the Instructions, according to their interpretation of them, might have been, or may have been, carried out, yet, as they mention them only as hypothetical cases, I will say no more of them than that they are as visionary as their interpretation of the Instructions themselves. If they mean to specify actual cases of such warning given by me to Oriental ecclesiastics or laymen, they must specify them as facts, not as suppositions. I give no innuendoes; I can take none.
The missionaries, while putting this false interpretation on one passage, entirely omit another in which specific instructions are given, as to our conduct towards other missionaries. The Presiding Bishop says, "You will not, we trust, neglect, on all suitable occasions, to urge the vast importance of brotherly kindness and charity. To the standards and institutions of your own Church it will be your duty steadfastly to adhere. Those standards require that "you maintain and set forward, as much as lieth in you, quietness, peace, and love among all Christian people;" and they do not require that . . . . or that you should appear in hostile array against Christians of any name;--rejoice rather in whatever good they do. Divisions among Protestants is what, more perhaps than any other thing, has disgraced their cause and obstructed their increase. This passage was referred to and partly quoted in my "Vindication," (p. 20.) The missionaries, in replying to that very pamphlet, omit all allusion to it, and, to make out a proof of hostile design in the Instructions, quote another passage, having no reference to my intercourse with other missionaries, and on that put a false construction.
The missionaries say, (p. 19,) that when these Instructions were first published, they expressed to Dr. Robertson and myself their dissatisfaction with the passage above quoted, and that we then replied that they 'must not understand the Bishop literally, that he was an old man and not much acquainted with the business of giving instructions to missionaries' &c. Now I am not near enough, at this present writing, to my reverend brother Robertson, to consult his memory upon the subject, but I most distinctly recollect that this passage was never alluded to between us.[* Since writing this, I have had the unexpected pleasure of an interview with my respected brother, and find that his recollection accords entirely with mine on this and every other point in the pamphlet, in which we were mutually concerned.] There was one passage, in the Instructions of the Foreign Secretary, referred to, and to that we gave what appeared to be a satisfactory explanation. The only passage in the Presiding Bishop's Instructions, which was brought under discussion, was near the commencement, where he says, "There is good reason to hope and to believe that the cultivation of Christian fellowship with [18/19] our brethren of the Greek and Armenian Churches," &c. The word Armenian seemed to have startled the missionaries, and they wished to know whether we intended to direct our labors to them also. We replied that we had no such intention at present, and when they referred to the word in the Instructions, as seeming to include them with the Greeks, we said that the Bishop doubtless was not minutely acquainted with the designation of our fields, and had used the term in a general way, without any particular thought about it. The Bishop, I may further add, both "saw" and "wrote" the Instructions, every word of them, as his own original draft, now before me, testifies. I believe, too, he was a man who was, of all men, least likely to 'pen a passage without a full knowledge of its true import,' though, doubtless he had not a full knowledge of the imports that others might put upon it.
I pass now to other matters. The missionaries evidently did not like the principle of our making known our Church, and objected to it on my arrival in Constantinople in 1840. Others also objected to it, among whom were the Secretary of the American Board, (the Rev. Dr. Anderson,) and a missionary of that Board, as stated in my "Vindication," (pp. 18 and 21.) No unpleasant differences, however, followed. Our intercourse was still friendly, though wanting that earnest cordiality which existed when I was a stranger in the land, and engaged in no distinctively Episcopal Mission. No complaint of "interference" or "hostility" was heard until the fall of 1842, when Dr. Robertson had left the Mission, and I was there alone.[* Early in 1842, and after I had been, since my return from America, a year and a half in the field, it was announced to Dr. Robertson and myself, by letters from the United States, that complaints were there made of our interfering with the missionaries of the American Board. We immediately requested a conference with them, and inquired whether they had any such complaints to make. They (Messrs. Goodell and Dwight being present) replied that they had not, but objected, as they had formerly done, to the Episcopal features of our mission.] Then came the beginning of troubles. I read one day an article in the Missionary Herald, (the monthly publication of the American Board,) to an Armenian, whom I had supposed friendly to the labors of the missionaries, although I knew that he disapproved of certain of their modes of effort on the ground of expediency. He had always spoken kindly of them and of their work, and had been much under their instruction. The article excited him intensely, because it spoke of the desirableness of a schism in the Armenian Church, to which he, it seems, was much opposed. I read it to him merely for the sake of learning his opinion as to the designs of the missionaries in this respect, and strictly forbad it's going farther than to another Armenian, now in this country, and who was then, and had long been, a fellow-worker and most intimate friend of the missionaries. To him I allowed it to be mentioned, for the sake of gaining farther information, and particularly because I knew that he would speak of it to the missionaries, and receive doubtless some explanation upon the subject. I evidently could not question them as to their designs and operations.  But the article went farther, and, without my knowledge and entirely against my wish, was made known among the few Armenians who had been, or were, immediately connected with the missionaries. A considerable excitement was the consequence. I told the missionaries, when they brought the matter to my attention, that I had no thought of doing injury to them in reading the article, that it had gone abroad much to my regret; and I cheerfully consented to do all in my power to arrest its evil effects.[* I expressly told the missionaries, that if I had wished to injure them by the article, I should not have shown it to a private person, and forbidden him to mention it to others, but should have exhibited it in a very different quarter: meaning to the Patriarch. How can they suppose that I had any design of opposing them by it, when it would be perfectly easy, by laying the Herald before the Heads of the Armenian Church, most seriously to injure, if not to overthrow, their mission?] This I did by seeing the Armenians who were excited by it, conveying to them the explanation of the missionaries, just as it was given to me, and earnestly and sincerely entreating them to let the whole matter pass by. This I persuaded them to do, but they insisted upon the suspension of a certain meeting held by the missionaries in one of their houses, for the Armenians; saying that they had long feared its tendencies, lest it might lead to schism. [*This was the first allusion ever made to the meeting, between me and the Armenians themselves. There was not a word in the article concerning it, but they took occasion of the excitement arising upon that article, to bring forward a matter to which they had long objected. I did not approve the meeting. I thought its tendency dangerous, and that other modes of effort might be better adopted. I told the Armenians, therefore, upon their first mention of it, that it was a question between them and the missionaries, and I could have nothing to do with it. I said, however, not one word against the meeting. Could I carry the principle of non-interference farther than this? If I had approved the meeting, I would have defended it. Not approving, I remained silent.] I ascertained, however, from them, that their objections to this meeting were of long standing, and had nothing to do with the article in the Herald, that they had existed months before that article was made known to them. I declined, therefore, to enter into any questions relating to the meeting, as that was a matter between themselves and the missionaries. I merely insisted that no action with reference to it should be based upon the article in the Herald; to which they all agreed, and promised accordingly that the article should be as though it never had been written. Here I supposed my agency ceased. I had read an article in the Herald to an Armenian; it had, much to my regret, gone abroad; when informed by the missionaries that it was doing them injury, I acted at once upon my principle of not interfering with their work, and promptly repaired the injury. The meeting referred to, I afterwards heard, had been suspended, and, after the lapse of two or three weeks, opened again. But with this I had nothing to do. I supposed that every thing between me and the missionaries had been fully settled. No allusion was ever afterward made to the matter among us. I believed it to be entirely past, arranged, and done with, and my thoughts recurred to other things.  At the close of the conference, when I promised to see the Armenians and repair the evil done, we parted with the utmost cordiality. One remarked, I remember, how much better it was thus to have a free explanation, than to suffer things to rankle in secret,--to which apparently all assented. I understood them at that time to say that they did not think my reasons for reading the article were sufficient, but that they believed my word that I had no hostile intentions towards them in reading it, and all appeared to be satisfied with my prompt agreement to repair the injury. So the matter ended. I walked home with two of the missionaries, conversing on other topics, in the most friendly manner. The next day I saw the Armenians, as I have related, and thereafter, excepting a slight allusion to it by one of them, not a word passed between me and the missionaries on the subject. I thought and believed fully that it was a dead matter.
All this occurred in the fall of 1842. The next spring, an English friend told me that he had heard another missionary of the American Board, in another place, mention my having shown an article in the Herald to an Armenian. I expressed my surprise to my friend, that the missionary had not also related how the matter was settled. It never crossed my mind to imagine that the missionary, or any body else, still regarded it as unsettled.
In the summer of 1843, the Rev. Mr. Purdy, a clergyman of our Church, visited Constantinople. Having been a classmate of one of the missionaries, he was much with them. In this way, he heard of many things, and I learned from him that the missionaries were not very cordial towards my Mission. This I knew very well. They did not like my work. They had expressed their aversion to it on its first commencement, in 1840, and I had never seen reason since to suppose that their feelings or opinions had changed. I also did not approve all their operations, and I had freely told them, in the conference of the preceding fall, what I regarded as deleterious and dangerous in their work. But Mr. Purdy did not allude to any matters of complaint as existing among them, on account of any hostility or interference on my part with their labors. He barely referred, (and that I believe in answer to a question from myself whether any allusion had been made to the affair of last fall,) to the fact of one of them having mentioned it; but I did not understand from Mr. P., that they did not regard it as entirely settled. In the full confidence of such a result, I continued until the winter of that year, more than one year after the event occurred. There then arrived at Constantinople an account of the Annual Meeting of the American Board, at Rochester, in September 1843. In that account appeared a statement, made at the meeting by Dr. Anderson, a Secretary of the Board, in which, after alluding to another individual, he referred to me as 'co-operating with--or rather perhaps using--that individual to bring round that state of things which resulted in shutting up Mr. Dwight's church, and in driving Hohannes, his devoted Christian assistant, to this country,' [21/22] and subsequently he added, in reply to a question, that I, calling me by name, 'had co-operated with that individual in all the opposition made to the missionary operations of the Board, and had, as far as my influence had gone, coincided with the Papal missionaries.' The extract containing this, was copied for me by Mr. Homes, one of the missionaries at Constantinople, and handed to me by him, with the remark, that he 'did not know where Dr. Anderson could have got his information.' This was the first account that I received of it, excepting that Mr. Homes had informed me, a few days previously, that such a thing had appeared, and kindly promised to copy it for me from the "Evangelist," as his copy of the paper belonged to another.
Immediately after the appearance of the article in America, the Rev. Mr. Irving, Secretary to our Foreign Committee, addressed a letter to Dr. Anderson, under date of Oct. 5, 1843, requesting to know 'whether it was a correct report, and if so, upon what grounds Dr. A. had felt it his duty to bring so grave an accusation.' Dr. A. replied, under date of Oct. 7, giving his own report of his remarks at the meeting of the Board, which accorded substantially with the newspaper report, with the exception that he 'did not think he made any reference to Papal missionaries while speaking of me.' The whole correspondence appears in the Preface to the missionaries' Letter, to which I am now replying. In answer the question concerning his authority for the accusation, Dr. A. replied, that 'mere newspaper reports could not make it proper for his Society to go into a formal inculpation of me.' Is not this most extraordinary language? He had publicly said things of the most serious character against me. When asked if they were correctly reported, he gives a report which contains, in the main, the same charges. And when asked for his authority, evades the question by referring back to the newspaper report. Is not this, to say the least of it, extraordinary indeed?
A copy of this correspondence was sent to me by Mr. Irving, who referred it to my own judgment to decide whether any farther measures were called for. The whole matter had filled me with astonishment. I knew not what to think. I could not imagine, from what source Dr. Anderson had derived his information, upon what authority he made the charges. My mind turned to the missionaries, but it seemed to me utterly impossible that they could have written any thing upon which Dr. A. could base such a statement; and the remark of Mr. Homes to me, made it clear that nothing of the kind had gone from them. I finally settled down into the impression that as Hohannes, the person referred to in the statement, had gone to America, he must have made some report to Dr. Anderson, which he, Dr. A., had incautiously used in public. Here also there was a difficulty, for Dr. A. must also have had reports of the whole matter from the missionaries, and if those reports spoke the truth, and the whole truth, Dr. A. could never have based his statements on them, nor could he, [22/23] unless most inexcusably, have taken and made public a different report from another individual. I was indeed sorely perplexed, but eventually thought it most probable that Dr. Anderson had allowed himself to adopt some story of Hohannes, and throw it upon the world. When Mr. Irving's letter arrived, and I saw that Dr. Anderson refused to give his authority, I determined to sift the matter to the bottom, and for this purpose I began by addressing the following letter to the missionaries, hoping, by their answer, to get some clue to the mystery.
To the Rev. Wm. Goodell, (for the Mission of the A. B. C. F. M., Constantinople.)
REV. AND DEAR SIR:--
You have doubtless seen a report of the proceedings of the A. B. C. F. M., (under which you and your associates in this city are acting,) at their late Annual Meeting in Rochester, N. Y., which report is contained in the N. Y. Evangelist of Sept. 21, and you have doubtless read the remarks of Dr. Anderson, the Secretary of the Board, at that meeting, in which (as reported by the Evangelist) he said, mentioning me by name, that I had 'co-operated with the Rev. Mr. Badger in all the opposition made to the missionary operations of the Board, and had, as far as my influence has gone, coincided with the Papal missionaries.'
Upon the appearance of this report in the Evangelist, the Rev. Pierre P. Irving, Secretary of the Foreign Committee of the Protestant Episcopal Church, under which I am acting, wrote to Dr. Anderson, asking him whether the report was correct, and if so, upon what authority the charges were made.
Dr. Anderson replied on the 7th Oct., in a letter of which Mr. Irving has sent me a copy. In this letter, Dr. Anderson says:
"In my remarks concerning Mr. Badger, which were made in reply to a call for information with respect to his proceedings, I intimated an opinion that in the interference with our labors at Constantinople, he was not the principal agent.
"Dr. Tappan of Maine desired to know to what other adverse influence I referred.
"To this, as nearly as I can recollect, I replied, that as no harm could come from the truth, I would frankly say, that, I referred to the Rev. Mr. Southgate, a missionary from the Episcopal Church of this country. Mr. Southgate had unhappily adopted such views of his duty, that he felt himself at liberty to co-operate with Mr. Badger while Mr. B. was at Constantinople, and had acted in opposition to our missionaries, and, as we had reason to believe, was the chief cause of the hostile movement which had constrained Mr. Dwight to [23/24] suspend for a season his meeting for preaching, and had led Mr. Hohannes, (then present,) to come to this country."
Dr. Anderson adds, that he does not think he made any reference to Papal missionaries when speaking of me.
This report of Dr. Anderson's remarks from his own hand, renders it unnecessary to make any farther allusion to the report contained in the Evangelist.
Referring, then, to Dr. Anderson's remarks as reported by himself, the question arises, "Whence had he the information upon which he based them?" It must, of course, have come originally from Constantinople, since the statement made refers wholly to this place, and to myself as resident here, and you--the members of the mission--are the missionaries of the Board in this city and the persons concerned in the remarks that were made. I have been at a loss, however, to imagine how the information could come from you, because I had supposed that the result of our conference more than a year ago was such as to preclude such a charge being made by any of you at that time, and I have since had no intimation of opposition, from you.
It is necessary, however, for the clearing up of the matter, that I should ascertain distinctly whether the charges contained in those remarks come from any member of your Mission. These charges are three: 1. That I have co-operated with Mr. Badger, meaning, of course, in opposition to your operations, since no other co-operation could be a subject of complaint with the Board. 2. That I have acted in opposition to you--the missionaries of the Board. 3. That I was the chief cause of the hostile movement which led to the suspension of Mr. Dwight's meeting.
I ask now, whether these charges have been or are preferred by your Mission or members of your Mission in this city--and if so, upon what grounds they are based.
I make this request for information in the formal performance of duty, and not because I any way doubt that the answer will be such as will allow, what I sincerely desire and pray for, the maintenance of peace between myself and missionaries of other denominations.
I am, Rev, and dear Sir, yours very sincerely,
(Signed,) HORATIO SOUTHGATE.
After a week's delay, the following answer was returned.
REV. HORATIO SOUTHGATE,
At the meeting of the members of this station of the A. B. C. F. M., appointed to be held this afternoon, your letter dated Dec. 4, addressed to us through the Rev. Mr. Goodell, was read. In this [24/25] letter, after having referred us to charges concerning yourself made by Rev. Dr. Anderson, Sec. of the A. B. C. F. M., at the last annual meeting of that Board, you add that you wish "to ascertain distinctly whether the charges contained in those remarks were from any member of our Mission."
As Scribe of the station, I have been instructed to communicate to you, that we see no propriety in its being implied or supposed, that we are responsible for the charges made, or opinions expressed by others, neither do we feel at liberty to enter into any explanation upon the subject,--until we are referred to by them as one of the sources of any part of their information;--and that, in that event, we would freely and willingly make all the exposition that the necessities of the case might require.
It must be obvious that in every thing that concerns the relations of missionaries in these days, the means that the officers of the Boards of Missions possess, for both written and verbal communications with individuals in various situations, are numerous. We think, therefore, that as the Secretary of our Board has been requested by the Secretary of the Episcopal Board, to say "upon what authority the charges were made," we are justified in leaving it to him to answer the same, if he has not already done so.
I have been requested also to add farther, that as regards what you say "you had supposed as the results of our conference," held a year since, that several of our number expressly stated to you at the time, that we were not satisfied with the explanations which you then made as to your course.
Praying for the maintenance of peace between ourselves and missionaries of other denominations, and also for Christian fellowship in our aims and labors,
I am, Rev, and dear Sir, (in behalf of the Station,)
Very sincerely yours,
(Signed,) H. A. HOMES, Scribe.
I can truly say that I was more grieved than vexed at this answer. It betrayed a want of ingenuousness which I was sorry to see. I had not believed that the report on which the charges were based, had gone from these missionaries. It did not seem possible. But if not from them, why had they not plainly denied it? On the other hand, by declining to be held responsible for them, and intimating that they could come from other sources, it still appeared very doubtful whether they were indeed the authors of them.
I answered this letter; they replied; and I answered again; and there the correspondence terminated. As it is not material to the course of my narrative, I have thrown these last three letters together into an Appendix, to which I beg to refer you. You will there see that no satisfaction was offered me as to the authorship of the charges, and that the correspondence turned mainly upon the results of our former conference. [25/26] Thus I remained in the dark, as to the source of the accusations, until a few weeks ago, when, on looking over the reply of the missionaries to my "Vindication," which reply I am now answering, I found, in the Appendix, a letter from the missionaries to their Secretary, dated Dec. 1, 1842, nearly two months after our conference, after every thing had been, to my fullest conviction, perfectly settled, and Mr. Dwight's meeting had been closed and opened again. In this letter, so far from expressing any satisfaction, they blacken my character in every possible way, by doubting my word, misrepresenting my actions, impeaching my motives, and imputing to me doings which I now hear of for the first time. And how has this letter come out? Why, it seems from the Preface to the missionaries' Reply, that when my Vindication was sent to them, the copy was deficient in the latter part, in which I give a full account of the article in the Herald, the reading of it, and the settlement of the whole matter. As this part was wanting when the missionaries replied, they could not answer it. An answer is, therefore, furnished by the Editor, who obtains, from the Secretary of the American Board, this letter, written by the missionaries after the events occurred, and inserts it in the Appendix as the reply to that portion of my pamphlet which was wanting. Thus the whole comes out, and it now appears whence Dr. Anderson had his information when he assailed me in September, 1843, at the meeting of the Board. It was the missionaries themselves who gave this utterly distorted, erroneous, and deeply prejudiced account of the reading of the article in the Herald, our conference, and my own proceedings thereupon. And when they wrote to me, as above-quoted, a year afterwards, declining to be held responsible for any thing for which they were not referred to as authors, and indicating that in other modes such information might reach the Secretary, they knew at the moment that the accusations came altogether from them. And here they are,--the first certain intimation that I have had, whence they came,--contained in a letter written by the missionaries themselves, shortly after the events transpired. If it had been declared to me at the time, that such a letter had been written, I should have been almost as ready to believe that the sun were shining at midnight, as to credit the declaration, unless confirmed by them. It is one of the most astonishing things in the whole history of my intercourse with men.--But I forbear. I do not wish to speak harshly or unkindly. But henceforth I forsake controversy, and retire into the quietness of my own labors in the service of God. Did I dream, has it entered my mind to imagine, during the kind and courteous intercourse that I had with the missionaries in the year following Dec. 1, 1842, that such a letter had ever been written? I would not have believed it possible. But I forgive them, from my heart I forgive them: only let us cease from controversy.
But to return to the letter--the letter of Dec. 1, 1842--the letter containing that sad perversion of the whole truth relating to the affair [26/27] with the Armenians. Mark the results which have flowed from it. What are they? The missionaries write it to Dr. Anderson. The next year, Sept. 1843, he bases upon it an open assault upon me. This is published in the papers. Immediately the whole (so called) religious press is alive with it. A common onset is made upon the Episcopal Church and its Missions. Old Instructions are raked up, and made to live again in new meanings. The story of the Nestorian massacre, as brought about by us, is invented. It is preached about in pulpits, and told through the land. I am instructed to reply to these things. I do it in my recent "Vindication." And now the missionaries appear with a 'Reply to my Charges!' If this is not the most remarkable instance of jumping out of the name of accuser into that of defendant, I know not where we shall look for its parallel.
But to the letter itself, (Reply, pp. 31 et seq.) It would seem that after my promise to acquaint the Armenians with the missionaries' explanation of the article in the Herald, and to prevent any evil arising from it, they (the missionaries) were led to suspect that I was playing false. And on what ground did they suspect it? Why, they heard that I was 'commending the spirit' of the men who had most violently opposed them on the ground of that article, that I was 'in frequent intercourse' with them, and that I conveyed to them a false report of what was said at our conference. (Reply, p. 33.) Now if the missionaries, instead of entertaining these suspicions upon mere native hearsay, had come again to me, I could at once have satisfied them on all these points. I did not commend the violent spirit of those Armenians, but rebuked it plainly, in my interview with them, the next day after the conference with the missionaries, and endeavored most earnestly to soothe and quiet them. I commended only one thing, and that was their general views with regard to the evils of schism in their Church, but at the same time made known to them, in the fullest and plainest manner, the declaration of the missionaries, that they had no intention of creating a schism, and entreated them to believe it. I was not 'in frequent intercourse' with them afterwards, but on the contrary, when the matter was once settled, my intercourse ceased entirely with all but one of them, and with him I made it a settled rule not to converse upon the past or the doings of the missionaries at all, so much so, that I do not believe the subject was talked upon once for a whole year afterwards. Whenever he referred to the missionaries, and began to speak severely of them, I uniformly checked him at once, and told him plainly that I would have nothing to do with any hostilities to them. By pursuing this course with the other of the two referred to by the missionaries as the most bitter against them, I estranged him from me entirely, so that, excepting one or two formal and cold visits from him, I saw nothing of him for a year afterwards, and then only because Dr. Anderson's attack upon me made it necessary for me to go to him to learn his recollection of the settlement of the matter about the article in the Herald. Since that time, my acquaintance with him [27/28] has been perfectly free, and probably will so remain. Dr. Anderson's attack has brought me to the determination to have no reference whatever to the missionaries, in my intercourse with Armenians. I mean to say, that I will not avoid a man's acquaintance merely because he is hostile to the missionaries.
This, however, I did, for the whole year following the amicable settlement of our affairs in the conference of October, 1842. I actually declined forming acquaintance with Armenians who requested an introduction to me,--on the ground of their being hostile to the missionaries of the American Board. Soon after the conference, I was informed by an Armenian, that copies of the Herald were in the hands of another, who had for a long time had them in possession, and that he intended to show them to the Patriarch. I interposed to prevent it, and, through my informant, who refused to give me the name of the individual, succeeded in preventing it. Who the person was or where he obtained those copies of the Herald, I know no more than the missionaries themselves. They, however, know that such copies are to be found in Constantinople, for the Roman Catholics have lately quoted largely from the Herald, in two or three pamphlets which they have issued against the missionaries. Certainly no copy nor part of a copy has ever gone from my hands or from my possession, into the hands of any man in those countries. Furthermore, not long after our conference, it came to my knowledge that a conspiracy of a very formidable character was forming against the missionaries, among influential Armenians. I took occasion immediately to say to one of them, that if it was not at once abandoned, I would appear in open opposition to it, and that I felt sure that my influence with the ecclesiastics was sufficient to crush it. I finally succeeded in dissuading this person from it, and in inducing him to use his efforts to prevent it, in which I believe he succeeded, for I heard no more of the conspiracy. On another occasion, I was in need of a translator, and it was intimated to me that one in the service of the missionaries wished to leave them. I not only refused to employ him, but forbad my informant to mention to him that I was in want of a translator, lest this might induce him to leave with the hope of entering my service.[* I afterwards engaged his services, and he was with me three days in a week, for six months before Dr. Anderson's attack reached Constantinople. During all this time, though we were most familiarly together, and conversing on every variety of topic, he did not hear me utter a single word against the missionaries; while he did hear me speak of them, again and again, in terms of sincere kindness and affection. I engaged his services after he had left the employment of the missionaries, (which he did on account of some inconveniences in the arrangement of his work,) and when he was seeking for other business.] So scrupulous was I to avoid even the appearance of interfering with the affairs of the missionaries. On another occasion, another translator of theirs, (Panayotes,) not only came to me and desired to enter my service, but for weeks continued to importune me. I declined [28/29] his offer, in part on the express ground, as stated to him, that the missionaries might think I had enticed him away; and I did not wish even the suspicion of such a thing to exist. I advised him, therefore, to remain with them. And now this same individual is brought forward as having reported to them various things as said by me, indicative of opposition to them. The truth is, that after my repeated rejection of his services, he ceased almost entirely to visit me,--an event for which I was sincerely glad, as it relieved me of his importunities. Is it possible that he has requited me by bearing to the missionaries tales, which they unhappily were but too ready to receive? Every one of them is a gross misstatement, and only one appears to me worthy of notice. It seems (Reply, p. 38,) that this Greek friend reported to them that I had pronounced 'some of their books very pernicious,' and one in particular, on justification by faith. Now this last was the only one of their books which I ever objected to, in conversation with this Greek; and concerning this, I found no objection to any thing in it on justification by faith, but only to a single passage relating to works, in which passage the duty of good works seemed to be positively denied. I told the Greek that, while faith alone saves, it must be a living faith, producing good fruits to the glory of God. If he made any other representation of my remark, he misrepresented it. The tract, I am now informed, has been altered in a subsequent edition, so as to avoid the very exceptionable mode of statement in the first.
It would be worse than in vain, to go through all the surmises and rumors and false constructions, on which the missionaries, in the two or three letters in their Appendix, which have been introduced by the Editor, from the files of the American Board, endeavor to make out a case of hostility. They are all as easily explained and set aside as that just given, in which, by the way, the missionaries pretend to find a design of turning the Greek away from them, whereas, I had not only refused to take him out of their employment, but had advised him to remain in it, and in mentioning to him the passage just referred to, did it for the express purpose of inducing him to use his influence with the missionaries to prevent such statements. And that same Greek can, if he will, testify with how much kindness and tenderness I ever spoke to him of the missionaries themselves.
The missionaries farther doubted, whether I had been sincere with them in the promise made at the conference, because one of the Armenians subsequently told them, that in excusing the article in the Herald, I stated that the missionaries 'were sorry for it, and had written it under excitement and passion.' Now, Mr. Dwight, the author of the article, did say to me, at the conference, that the article was written 'under exciting circumstances,' and added, 'I would not write such an article now;' and Mr. Goodell said that, 'if strictly weighed, there were some things in it that looked objectionable.' This I said to the Armenians, and urged it sincerely as a reason for [29/30] not judging the article severely. Furthermore, the Armenian, it seems, said that certain portions of the article, which appeared contrary to the idea of a schism by the missionaries themselves, I did not read; and the missionaries, hearing this subsequently to the conference, went back to their former impression, that I had read it for the purpose of injuring them. Now, again, if the Armenian said this, he told a falsehood, for I did read those portions of the article distinctly, and remember it well to this day, particularly from the circumstance of our stopping and conversing about them. Besides, this Armenian who is reported as saying that I did not read those parts, must have been the one to whom the article was read. Now this same individual came to me after the interview with one of the missionaries in which these parts were pointed out to him, and, instead of telling me that any such portions were shown him, informed me that the missionary (Mr. D.) declared that there was nothing about schism in the article, that he then proposed to Mr. D. to have the whole translated into Armenian, and Mr. D. demurred. What now does all this show, but the injustice of taking native reports, to contradict my pledged word? I told the missionaries that I would do my best to prevent any injury from the article. Accordingly I did go to the excited Armenians, and did most sincerely, solemnly and faithfully urge them to regard it as if it had never been written, and to believe the word of the missionaries, that they did not intend a schism. I succeeded with them entirely, as it appeared to me. I supposed the whole matter settled and the missionaries satisfied. But they, taking up these false reports from natives, deemed them sufficient to overthrow my word, and wrote this letter to their secretary, misinterpreting every thing, and throwing every blame that a perverted construction could devise, upon me. He, the secretary, thought this sufficient ground to assail me upon, at the next annual meeting of the Board, and from that followed all this controversy.
And now, am I to be blamed for it? He who knoweth all things knows with what sincerity I labored to efface from the minds of the Armenians, every evil impression that had arisen from the article, and how thereafter I kept myself, with the most diligent caution, aloof from every thing that might, in any way, be interpreted as interference with the missionaries of the Board. Oh, they have utterly misread my heart when they wrote that letter to the Secretary. But it was written; and now the consequence is, that since the attack of Dr. Anderson, they have placed me in a position which otherwise I might never have occupied.[* Various things said by the missionaries in their pamphlet, refer to a date later than that of Dr. A.'s attack. But let me remind them, that nothing subsequent to that date can be allowed to enter into the accounts that we are now settling.] It is not a position of hostility, but of indifference. My work will go on, as if their own did not exist. No one is to be avoided because he is their enemy, nor will his acquaintance be received for any such reason. The full agency of my Church [30/31] will be carried out, as if they were not in the field. Controversy must cease here. My appointed work must be done, without any reference to theirs. I have hitherto worked in chains, from an oversensitive desire to avoid even the appearance of offence. I have now no such desire, nor do I desire to give offence. Past experience has taught me that it may be taken without being given. For such taking I give myself no uneasiness. My work will go steadily forward without regard to evil surmises or evil reports. They cannot affect it in my own Church; and beyond that, I must cease to give myself any concern. Kindness and gentleness, forbearance and love, will, I hope, mark its course. Sure I am, it shall not be disgraced by unfair dealings or by evil speaking. It shall not be engaged in any warfare with the Missions of the American Board. It shall do its own work, with its own means, and in its own way; and others, doubtless, will do the same with theirs.
I am, my dear friend, yours most sincerely,
New-York, Jan. 1, 1845.
I have already said that I would not go into the explanation of all the minute particulars, in the way of surmises, wrong constructions and false inferences, with which the Reply of the missionaries, and still more their private letters to their Secretary, now first brought to light in the shape of an Appendix to that Reply, abound. They serve to show in how sensitive and suspicious a state of mind, they have viewed my acts and interpreted my motives. I cannot think that such things call for a reply. I have explained enough of them in my Letter, to show how unfounded they are, and farther than this I can hardly make up my mind to give them serious attention. They are swept away and disproved by the whole scope of the argument; for if what I have said be true, they are necessarily false. Yet you think that there remain a few, that it may be worth while to notice, rather because other wrong inferences may be made from my silence, than because they are of any real weight in themselves. I will, therefore, set aside two or three more of them, and there will then remain, I believe, nothing which any candid person can think deserving of an answer.
The first which I notice, is on p. 11. The missionaries there say, that I 'told a pious native friend of theirs, that I sometimes go to the Greek Church, and make the sign of the cross, and perform the other ceremonies just as the Greeks do.'--The Italics belong to the missionaries.--Again, on the same page, they say that 'they have been informed more than once, by the individuals to whom I gave the advice, that I have instructed the people to obey their bishops in every thing, [31/32] even when commanded to bow down before pictures, and pray through the intercession of the Virgin Mary and the Saints.' Here, again, the italics belong to the missionaries, unless they are the work of some friendly editor, who omitted to put them into "staring capitals," and so to make a "clinching argument" of it, as the missionaries say mine were intended to be.--But what is it to "perform the ceremonies just as the Greeks do?" It is, when you enter a Church, to buy a taper at the door, and light it, and attach it before some picture. It is to bow down before the picture, cross yourself before it, and kiss it,--and this you may continue to do, bowing, crossing, and kissing, for five minutes, or a quarter of an hour. I do not say that all the Greeks do this, but the mass of uninstructed Greeks undoubtedly do. I have seen hundreds, however, who do it not at all, and I seldom or never saw a Greek clergyman do it. However, this, speaking in general, is 'performing the ceremonies just as the Greeks do.' Now, of course, the missionaries believe that I do this. True, I am a clergyman of a Protestant Church. True, I receive the Thirty Nine Articles, and the twenty-second among the rest. True, I glory in the English Reformation. But what is all this against the testimony of "a pious native friend?" True, they never saw me do it; nor do they pretend that any body else ever saw me do it, not even their "pious native friend." But they heard him say that he heard me say that I do so "sometimes." True, I am under most solemn ordination vows, which utterly forbid my doing any such thing. But what are they against the word of "a pious native friend?" Of course, the missionaries believe it. And why should they not? It is a common infirmity of our human nature, to make ourselves a standard for judging others. And if the missionaries can so far "accommodate themselves to the great weakness of men," as to use "an Episcopal gown" or "an Episcopal liturgy," why may not I also "show myself immeasurably exalted," as they say, "above all the littleness of mere form and ceremony," by bowing down before a picture or lighting a taper before it? "By thus conforming to all forms," "I pour absolute contempt upon them."--But, no. Men who have forms, love them, and are disposed to cling to them. It is men who have none, who are in the fairest way to become latitudinarians in this particular. The missionaries might, according to their principles, run into almost any extreme. They have only to satisfy their private judgments that they "innocently can" bow down before a picture; and this also might be done upon the principle that they are not worshipping it, but only "pouring contempt" upon it. But I am bound, by positive rules, within certain limits, and it is as unlawful for me to transgress on the one side as on the other. I need not add, that the story of the "pious native friend" of the missionaries, (who, as he speaks of the Greek Church, is doubtless the same Panayotes before mentioned,) is a fiction. I remember once telling him that I had no objection to the sign of the cross, if used with solemnity and devotion, inasmuch as it was recognized and [32/33] practiced by my own Church, in one of her Sacraments; and I thought that it was in itself an impressive confession of the Christian faith, especially in the midst of Mussulmans who despise it. Out of this, it would seem, he fabricated, or the missionaries, misunderstanding him, constructed for him, the story in the pamphlet.
So of the other; only a little worse; for this story of the advice to 'bow down before pictures,' &c., if a Bishop commands it, was once brought to my notice by the missionaries themselves. I then, plainly enough, rectified it. And now they bring it out, without a word of my denial, and call it, with the other, "painful evidence" of my "pleading for" and "practicing" the "errors of those Churches." Doubtless it was "painful" for them to say such things, to take the word of a native or two, and not only allow it to set mine aside, but also to lead them to withhold my own and put the "native" testimony forth in undisputed prominence. Very "painful" indeed. Well, one would think that such operations must be "painful."--I would affectionately remind the missionaries of a process of their own commending, which, I believe, they will find an easier one. When I corrected this last statement, Mr. Dwight said, "Well, now you see how erroneous things may be said, and you ought to be careful how you credit evil reports about us."
The missionaries say again, (p. 9,) that 'if Episcopal missionaries preach justification by faith alone without the deeds of the law, and regeneration properly explained, they will as surely and speedily be spurned by the Eastern Churches as any of their Presbyterian or Congregational brethren.' They also say, (p. 10,) that the 'tests of orthodoxy' in those Churches are such things as 'one or two natures in Christ,' 'leavened or unleavened bread in the Sacrament,' 'the sign of the cross with two fingers, three fingers, or one finger,' the 'intercession of Saints,' 'worship of pictures,' &c. Now I must say of this whole category of 'tests,' that never, in my intercourse with the Eastern Churches, have I met with it, excepting the first point, which is matter of high and important doctrine. The Syrian, Armenian, and Abyssinian Churches are in full communion with each other. Yet they differ in some of these tests. I have never seen an Eastern clergyman or an Eastern layman of respectable intelligence, who did not regard matters of faith alone as tests of orthodoxy. The statement of the missionaries is, I must be allowed to say, a caricature,--true only, if true at all, of the lowest and most unenlightened of the laity. Of the Heads of those Churches, I positively know, that it is wholly false; and they, not the most ignorant of the laity, are to be regarded as uttering the voice of the Church. Why should we speak of those Churches in any other than terms of strict accurateness? Why should we say of them here, what we should never say there?
And so, again, of 'justification by faith.' If I ask the missionaries, which is the most corrupt of the Eastern Churches, they will undoubtedly say, the Greek. And now, if they can show me a clearer or [33/34] more accurate statement of this precious and ever blessed doctrine--a doctrine which, with my whole heart and soul, I cling to, as the life of the Christian, the very basis and foundation stone of all sound theology--if they can show me, in any Protestant standard, a more full and accurate exposition of it than I can show them in the most approved theology of the Greek Church, I have yet to learn where that standard is. [*The missionaries, (p. 38, Note,) quote, with no dissent, apparently with approval, the remark of their Greek friend, in which he asserted the doctrine of justification by faith to be the doctrine of his Church. They will not say it is more so than of the other Eastern Churches. I said, in the conversation alluded to, "The doctrine of a dead faith is no doctrine of your Church or of mine." "But," he replied, "the doctrine of justification by faith is a doctrine both of your Church and mine." "Certainly," I said, "but it must be a living faith bringing forth good fruits to the glory of God." "Undoubtedly," he replied; and so the conversation ended. Did he, indeed, so grossly misreport me as the missionaries say?] True, this doctrine is overlaid, in practice, by numerous inventions of man. True, it is seldom taught, nor is any other branch of theology generally taught, with clearness and fidelity. But I have never yet seen the Eastern Christian who would not willingly abide by the standards of his Church, when pointed out to him; and however this is a mode of impressing truth which the missionaries, from their indifference to the testimonies of truth in the Eastern Churches themselves, little care for or wot of, yet I know, in my humble experience, that nothing is so efficacious to carry home the truth to the heart and mind and thence into the life of an Eastern Christian, as this same appeal, where it can be made, to the teaching of his own Church. I never stated, I cannot state, the great doctrine of justification by faith more clearly or more strongly than I have stated it to Oriental ecclesiastics, and I never yet saw the man who would not at least acknowledge it theoretically, however little he seemed to lay its searching test to heart. It is not as in the Church of Rome, where this doctrine has been, authoritatively and by Council, set aside, for so I consider the Decrees of Trent, taken as a whole, each acting upon the other, to have done. In the Eastern Churches it has never been controverted, and thus their standards bear a glorious testimony to it, a testimony which I trust one day will be light and life to them.
The missionaries do not understand the power of a formal ecclesiastical recognition. They know not what it is to be able to go to the Heads of the Eastern Churches, and show themselves possessing the great features of a Christian Church, as those communions judge of them, and must judge of them at first sight, viz., the outward signs and tokens of a Christian community. They know not the power for good which there is in such an introduction. They know not how it enables one to be received in something like an authoritative character, and in that character to speak of the true faith and holy living. They know not how it strengthens him to protest against error, nor how he can [34/35] claim to be heard as having a right so to protest. But I will say, that, with Eastern ecclesiastics every where, I have found that by such an introduction, and by that alone, I could effectually take my stand against errors in teaching or errors in practice; and the discussions which I have had upon those very points which the missionaries would fain show me as patronizing, have been most plain, decided and faithful. No, I stand by my Church as she is. I glory in her as Reformed; I rejoice in her as Primitive. I recede not from any principles of the Reformation. I mourn over such retrocessions. It had its frailties; as what work in human hands has not its frailties? Did not the work of the blessed Apostles, as their own Epistles testify, have its frailties also? [*See, for example, such passages as Acts xv. 37-39, and Gal. ii. 11-14.] But who can derogate from such an undertaking because every human act in it was not impeccable? Let us wonder rather, and adore the goodness of God to His Church, that it exhibited so little of what was blameworthy, so far as the Church was concerned. And let every thought of depreciation and disparagement be put to shame by the glorious results--the Church purified, the ancient faith re-established, the Sacraments restored in their purity, and faith in Christ, and love working from faith, made again, as most certainly they were in olden times, the acknowledged source of life in the Church, and of life to every individual believer.
I see nothing more that needs a notice, unless it may be the extraordinary declaration, on the 28th page of the missionaries' pamphlet, that 'there is no very material difference between the Eastern Churches and the Papal Church.' What can they mean? Is the non-recognition of the Papal supremacy no material difference, nor the rejection of Purgatory, of Communion in one kind, of Clerical celibacy, of the Apocrypha, of judicial Absolution, of the Worship of Images, and even, by some of the Eastern Churches, of Pictures,--are these not 'material?' And yet, these are, by no means, all the differences. The Eastern Churches have not committed themselves, on the doctrine of Justification, nor on the opere operato efficacy of the Sacraments, nor on Transubstantiation, as the Church of Rome has done. And is this "no material difference?" Let us say there is no life, or but little life; let us say that the truth as it is in Jesus, is very imperfectly taught; let us say that formalism has crept in and eaten out the heart of piety; let us say that the Sacraments are often, or generally, very perfunctorily administered and received; let us say that the blessed doctrines of the Gospel, in their spirit and power and life-giving efficacy, are not always, nor widely preached; let us say that various corruptions and superstitions have supervened upon the original structure of Christianity; but let us not, in charity and truth, let us not, say that there is still 'no material difference between the Oriental Churches and the Communion of Rome.' Let justice prevail, truth [35/36] be spoken, faithfulness be shown, and love be exercised. Let us think of our brethren as they are, speak of them as they are, and treat them as they are, remembering ourselves the 'hole of the pit whence we have been digged,' and the tender mercies of our God towards us, that as 'He has loved us and laid down His life for us,' so we should love and 'lay down our lives for our brethren.' Let us approach them with fidelity, yet with gentleness; with truth, yet with compassion; with fearlessness, yet with meekness; and the Lord will bless and 'establish the work of our hands upon us, yea, the work of our hands He will establish it.'
But I have done. There are several minor points, such as 'turning away Armenians from them,' (p. 25,) using my influence against them with the Patriarchs, (p. 21, note,) &c., which are virtually disproved in the body of my letter. There is an allusion to a 'Frank' who spoke against them in the bazars, (p. 32,) and it looks as if they supposed it was I. I can only say, it was not I. They speak (p. 33) of the article in the Herald having been known to me long before it was read to an Armenian, of its having been brought forward in our first conference in 1842, by Dr. Robertson, and 'explained apparently to our satisfaction.' But they forget to add, that I said I did not believe that this was the article brought forward by Dr. R., or if it had been referred to by him, it was without any concert with me; that it might have been so alluded to by him, at our first conference in '42, but if it was, I was giving no attention at the moment to what was going on, and did not know of it; that when I saw it, a few days before reading it to the Armenian, it was entirely new to me, and I firmly believe and am perfectly certain that I never saw it before. Now the missionaries omit all this in their letter to their Secretary, of Dec. 1, 1842. What wonder, then, he thought he had sufficient ground to attack me upon?
But enough. When the missionaries, at my conference with them, Oct. 1842, seemed at first disposed to regard me with distrust, I said to them, "You appear to be in a suspicious state of mind towards me. Why is this?" Mr. Dwight replied, that 'my church had been getting so high and exclusive of late, that they did not know but that I might have imbibed the same feelings.' I replied, that 'I wished to be judged by what I am, and by what I profess.' And so it is now. When I declare myself hostile to them and determined to oppose them, they will know it to be so. Until then, they may deal in vague conjectures, but I cannot answer them; they may suspect, but their suspicions will be groundless; they may misinterpret, but I cannot turn aside to correct every misinterpretation; they may send home unamiable reports, but I cannot reply to them. My work must be in peace, not in strife. My mind and my body must be occupied in higher duties than controversy. I find my time short enough for more serious concerns, and my spirit worldly and weak enough to need a more spiritual aliment. I have no heart for strife; nor do I think it [36/37] becomes the office to which my Church, and, I trust, my God has called me. That office I have solemnly vowed to exercise in the "maintaining and setting forward, as much as shall lie in me, quietness, love, and peace among all men;" and my earnest desire, my daily prayer is, that I may be faithful to the vows that I have taken upon me, and seriously, soberly, and righteously do my appointed work.
APPENDIX. CONTINUATION OF THE CORRESPONDENCE CITED ON PP. 23, 24.
Rev. H. A. Homes, Scribe of the Mission of the A. B. C. F. M at Constantinople.
In answer to your note of yesterday, I beg to say, that of no past event is my recollection more distinct and complete, than of the satisfaction which was expressed by several members of the Mission of the A. B. C. F. M., (during my conference with them a year ago,) as to the point which was the subject matter of that conference, viz., my motive and intention in showing an Article in the Missionary Herald to an Armenian. This satisfaction was apparently concurred in by all, and a few days after, you yourself declared to me, in my house, that "the brethren were gratified with the results of the conference." From that time to the present, I have had no intimation to the contrary from any member of the Mission, unless the expression in your note of last evening is to be so interpreted.
If there is any doubt remaining on this point, I will, upon its being made known to me, undertake to make the matter clear in a manner that will place my motive beyond question. For this purpose, however, it will be necessary to revive the subject among the Armenians.
As to my general views and course, (which were made, farther perhaps than propriety warranted, the subject of a desultory conversation at the conference,) it could never enter my mind to seek for them the approbation of any others on earth than the Committee or the Church to which I am responsible.
The only overt act alleged by Dr. Anderson, in his remarks at the meeting of the Board, was the suspension of Mr. Dwight's services, and the only agency imputed to me in that matter, was the showing the article alluded to. Upon this point, (the question being whether I did it from any evil or hostile motive,) I distinctly understood the members [*Messrs. Goodell, Schauffler, Dwight, and Homes.--H. S.] of the Mission present at the conference, to express their entire satisfaction. It was with this understanding alone, that I consented to act as a mediator between your Mission and the Armenians, which I evidently could not have done, if I had not been assured that you were yourselves satisfied upon the question of my intentions. It was, indeed, in answer to an assurance of this kind from Mr. Dwight, that I undertook the office. Mr. D said, "I believe you, I am satisfied that you had no intention to injure us, and, therefore, I think that you ought to do all in your power to prevent the evil consequences." I declared my readiness to do so, and the mode of acting was then pointed out, to which I assented. If there are any other charges of hostility or interference, I will undertake to meet them when they are specified, and I farther pledge myself to show repeated instances, in the course of the past year, in which, unknown [38/39] to you, I have saved your Mission from disasters far more serious than the suspension of a meeting for a few weeks.
As to Hohannes being " led" or "driven" to America, I am surprised that the Report of the Board (Abstract) should speak of that as a "persecution" which was to him a consummation most earnestly desired, in which he had repeatedly begged me to assist him.
Permit me to add, that the only motive of my former communication to Mr. Goodell, was, to take a step towards bringing out clearly my position, which is to represent my own Church, and do the work committed to me, without assuming hostility towards, or speaking evil of the missionaries of other denominations. I have taken this position solely from the conviction, ( to which I have been led by earnest prayer and reflection,) that it can only be, under common circumstances, a detriment to the cause of our Blessed Saviour, to present to the Eastern Christians, a spectacle of strife and contention.
Having assumed this position, I shall not abandon it for any less cause than that which induced me to take it. When the interests of the Redeemer's kingdom appear to me to be receiving injury from any act of yours or of others, I trust that I shall not hesitate to use my utmost influence to avert the evil, and, in such case, I would know no difference, unless it might be in the particular mode of proceeding, between a missionary of my own Church and another. But that I do not mean to be drawn into any opposition by merely personal motives, is, I think, sufficiently apparent from the fact that I have already passed over in silence many things concerning myself and my Church, reported to me as coming from members of the Missions of the A. B. C. F. M. in this city and in other places. Out of the things thus reported, I could, were it consistent with decent self-respect, not to say with the principle that I have adopted, frame a series of charges, as severe, perhaps, as any that were ever presented to a Missionary Society.
A more direct, may I not justly say, a more frank and open answer to my communication, might have enabled me to show my position more distinctly. I cannot count it my loss alone that it has not been shown, but it may be a loss to the cause of Christ, and so far it is a loss both to you and me.
Your answer precludes the necessity of farther communication upon the subject of the charges, and I can see no propriety or utility in repeating a request to Dr. Anderson which has once been made to him in vain. [*The missionaries, in a letter to their Secretary, dated Feb. 7, 1844, and given in the Appendix to their pamphlet, say, as a reason for not informing me whether Dr. Anderson's charges came from them, that "for aught they knew to the contrary, he (Dr. A.) had made known the grounds on which the charges had been made." It is here implied (and in my next letter, of Dec. 18th, it is distinctly stated) that Dr. A. had not complied with the demand made upon him for his authority.--H. S] Such other measures as the case seems to me to demand, I shall, of course, adopt, and while I believe that you will find them, if they should ever come to your knowledge, in strict conformity with the principle that I have avowed, I would now repeat my earnest desire, not for myself, but for Christ's sake, that peace, charity, and kindly speaking, (of all things most conducive to "Christian fellowship,") may characterize both our personal intercourse and our private conduct towards each other.
Believe me, with sincerest regards, yours, dear sir, very truly,
(Signed) HORATIO SOUTHGATE.
Wednesday evening, December 13, 1843.
P. S. In saying above, that "your answer precludes the necessity of farther communication upon the subject of the charges," I wish to be understood as speaking of the question of their origin. So far as I am personally [39/40] concerned, my object is virtually as much answered by no one's taking upon himself the responsibility of their parentage, as it would have been by a fair and open assumption of it. But as far as relates to the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the members of your Mission upon the point which was the occasion of our conference a year ago, I do expect a plain and unequivocal answer. This is the only point open between us, and the only point on which your Secretary has based a specific charge. Upon this point, therefore, I ask, whether the members of your Mission were satisfied or dissatisfied with my explanation, and I make this request on the ground that the declaration in your letter may be interpreted as throwing a doubt upon it. If there are any other charges, (which must, of course, be confined to acts of hostility or interference with you,) I ask, either to know them, or that they cease hereafter to be preferred in any manner, secret or open. All this, I think you will see at once to be a fair Christian right, and as such you will cheerfully grant it.
Constantinople, December 16, 1843.
REV. HORATIO SOUTUGATE--
I am directed by the members of the station, to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of December 13, in answer to theirs of December 12.
We wonder that you should have had any "doubt" as to what "interpretation" to put upon our expressions in that letter, of dissatisfaction with your previous explanations. The assertion we there made, and which we now repeat, "that we were not satisfied with the explanations which you then made as to your course," is, we think, as plain as language can make it. This want of satisfaction refers in general to the whole range of topics upon which we then conversed. We did indeed at the time (and as you also say) express a satisfaction, but it was with one of the results of that conference, inasmuch as you then promised to do what you could to disabuse the minds of certain Armenians, that had been prejudiced by hearing the disjointed extracts which you had read to them from the Missionary Herald. It was not understood, however, in this agreement of yours, that you was to become a "mediator," as you term it, between us and them, but that you consented to perform an act of reparation for an injury which had resulted from your own act, and which we hoped also you might regard as a Christian duty.
We feel constrained in addition to the above, to make several distinct declarations in reference to sentiments found in your letter. And the first is, that we have never imagined or implied that you were hostile to us personally; nor have we cherished any feelings of hostility to you personally, although much in your letter seems to have been written under that impression. And we may add, we have not given in any quarter even an "intimation of opposition" to your own labors, unless they unfortunately seemed (even if without cause) to be hindering the labors of Evangelical Missionaries or other evangelical Christians in these lands.
Our second declaration is, that we do not wish to impugn or judge your "motives" in any line of conduct you may have marked out for yourself, or have actually followed. Nor do we deny that you conscientiously adhere in that line of conduct, to what you may consider as your duty to the Church of Christ, or to your "position" in your own Church. We do and shall only take notice of such events as affect our sphere of labors, according as they come within our knowledge; and must leave it to others, who may also become acquainted with the same events, to judge of the motives whence they had their rise.
And lastly, we must remark, that should the principles you avow, of holding yourself always ready to "use your utmost influence to avert" any evil which you may fancy our doings may threaten to the "interests of the Redeemer's kingdom," lead you any time to any acts of interference with our labors, we shall feel fully authorized to report to our Society all such proceedings. Nor do we feel that in such a case, any "fair Christian right," calls upon us to communicate to you our intention of doing so; or justifies you in demanding of us "to cease to prefer" "such charges" "in any manner, secret or open." You could not fairly impeach our conduct in making such reports; for we are fully as willing to have this rule applied to us, as we are to apply it to others.
In conclusion, we confidently and fearlessly appeal to you to communicate to us, or to the public, any of the "many things concerning your church or yourself, reported to you as coming from members of the Mission of the A. B. C. F. M. in this city," and which you have any evidence to believe were indeed uttered by us. And we trust that from the answer we should make, all would be satisfied, that we have said nothing of which you could not speak with "decent self-respect," or which you could reasonably condemn.
It seems to us, that if, as is the fact, Mr. Hohannes through a threatened "persecution" obtained the "consummation earnestly desired" by him of going to America, it is not surprising that the thing should be spoken of by its right name. Paul had for a long time earnestly, but in vain, desired to see Rome, and at last his desire was accomplished. Yet no one conceals the fact under any softer language, than to say that he went a prisoner in bonds.
We see no occasion for continuing this correspondence farther. Our only reason for writing as much as the above has been to give the "plain and unequivocal" answer which you requested, "as to the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the members of our station on the point which was the occasion of our conference a year ago:" and then, for our own sakes, briefly to throw off as far as our simple denial can avail, the imputations contained in your letter of personal hostility to you, or of misjudgment of your motives.
Praying that we may grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
I remain, my dear sir,
In behalf of our Station,
Very cordially yours,
(Signed) HENRY A. HOMES,
Scribe of the Station.
P. S. I would add here in my own behalf, in reference to the use you make of a sentiment which you allege that I expressed in your own house, that the explicit object of my visit to you at that time was that I might obtain better satisfaction as to how you came to show the copy of the Herald, and that I told you, that after all that had been said, it seemed to me to be an inexplicable thing.
Mr. Dwight requests me also to add for him, that whatever he may have said at that conference conditionally or directly expressing satisfaction on any point, yet still he expressly stated his dissatisfaction with the reasons you offered for showing the Herald. H. A. H.
Pera, December 18, 1843.
Rev. H. A. Homes, Scribe of the Mission of the A. B. C. F. M., Constantinople.
MY DEAR SIR:
I have thought much upon the subject of our correspondence since I received your letter of the 16th, and particularly upon the point whether I [41/42] should desire a conference with the members of your Mission.[* This allusion to a conference arises from the fact, that, after sending his letter of Dec. 16th, Mr. Homes called upon me, and in a friendly conversation which occurred, suggested that, instead of continuing the correspondence farther, we should have a conference. It was happy that we did not, for the result of the other now appears to have been a little worse than nothing.--H. S.] It seems to me, however, that I ought, in justice both to you and to myself to put down in writing the following statement:
1. That nothing is farther from my thoughts than to believe that you are influenced by feelings of "personal hostility" to me. I do not believe it. I believe that whatever you have done or may do, has arisen, or will arise, from a conviction of duty to interests far higher than "personal," the interests of Christ's kingdom; and that to me personally and privately your feelings are perfectly kind and Christian. Such are also my feelings towards you, as all who hear me speak of you in my most private conversations, can testily.
2. That I did not mean to ask, whether you were satisfied with my "reasons" for reading the article in the Herald to an Armenian, (by the way, I read the whole, and not "disjointed extracts,") but whether you were satisfied that my motive--my feeling towards you therein, was not to injure or oppose you. I remember very well Mr. Dwight's saying in our conference, that he did not think the reasons which I gave, sufficient to warrant my reading the article; but he also said, in so many words, apparently concurred in by all, that he believed my solemn declaration that I had no hostile motive towards you in doing it. The reasons stated for my reading the article, may not have seemed to you such as ought to have induced me to read it, and yet you might acquit me of any hostile intention therein; which was actually the course the matter took at the conference. I also believed Mr. Dwight's declaration, when he said, that he had no intention of creating a schism in the Armenian Church, but I did not thereby say that I thought the reasons which he gave for writing that article sufficient to warrant its being written.
3. I did not mean to ask, that before reports concerning me or my work are sent home, they should first be communicated to me. What I asked was this--that all charges, (if any existed,) relating to the past, should now be brought forward and settled, or if you should not think it worth while to do this, that they should "cease to be preferred." I wished merely to settle every thing that had past.
4. I do not think that we are bound, in reporting home with regard to the doings of others, to institute first an inquiry concerning motives, but I am sure you will agree with me, that when we happen to have received a solemn and express declaration of innocence of motive, it is but fair to mention it in our reports, and if there has been an effort to prevent or repair injury arising from an act, we ought also to mention that. This is but obeying the Saviour's golden rule.
5. I have always supposed that your Mission reported to the Committee the suspension of Mr. Dwight's meeting and the cause. This would be a matter of course. But I also supposed that the report must have contained a fair statement of my declaration and of my effort to prevent injury. I never doubted that it did contain such a statement. If so, how could Dr. Anderson make a public charge against me, of being the chief cause of the suspension of the meeting, without alluding to these qualifying circumstances? [*In their letter to their secretary, of Feb. 7, 1844, before alluded to, the missionaries remark, upon this passage of my letter, "Mr. S. cannot conceive upon what you based your public charge against him of being the chief cause of the suspension of our meeting, if our report of the affair contained a fair statement of his declaration of innocent intention and of his effort to repair injury. The fact is, that his subsequent conduct did not increase our confidence in the honesty of his desire to counteract the evil he had done." Ah, this fatal suspicion, founded on native report, ruined every thing, and has occasioned us this long controversy. But it is done. I return to it no more--H. S.] I could only account for it by supposing that he had heard other reports [42/43] from other quarters, of not so fair a character, and that he had based his charge on them. When, therefore, I wrote my note to Mr. Goodell, I fully expected that you would answer it by denying that such a bare charge, without the attending qualifications, had gone from your Mission, and that this would be one step towards tracing it to the source whence it did come, which I conjectured to be an individual not connected with your Mission. This was the cause of my writing. I had not the remotest thought of entering into controversy with you, nor did I anticipate so protracted a correspondence.
6. It is unnecessary to trace the matter farther. Dr. Anderson did not judge it best to give his authority, and your first letter forbids me to assume that you are responsible. To search farther would only be for my private satisfaction, and this might cost me more trouble than I have time to spare.
7. The "plain and unequivocal" answer which I desired, was to the question whether you were satisfied that I had no intention of injuring or opposing you, in reading the article in the Herald to an Armenian. Upon this point I had your plain declaration at the conference, but some general expressions in your first letter of last week seemed to me capable of an interpretation which might throw a doubt upon it, and, therefore, I asked the question again. Your last letter assures me that there is no design of "impugning my motive," which is all that I asked.
8. There seems, therefore, no occasion for pursuing the subject farther. If there were, I would not hesitate to ask for a conference, as the best mode of making ourselves fully understood.
9. Let me, then, in conclusion, say, that I sincerely believe your great object to be the salvation of souls. This also is my aim and my highest ambition. Our end, then, is one, and if we differ, it is in the means and modes of attaining it. What I do, I do for this end, and I would not take a step or adopt a measure which I did not think adapted to promote it. We may differ in judgment as to our measures, but I hope it will ever be with Christian charity for each other, and with the sincere conviction that each is laboring for the great end in the way that seems to him conscientiously best. When we speak of each other, may it be with fair allowance for each other's ends and aims. I regret, I grieve, that we do not in all things see eye to eye, even on earth. I wish that we might; I pray that we may. But if not, I humbly hope, that we may all, in God's good time and by His unmerited mercy, reach that blessed world where we shall be one, under Christ our Head, who shall be all in all.
Believe me, my dear sir,
Yours very sincerely,
(Signed) HORATIO SOUTHGATE.