PRINTED AT THE RIVERSIDE PRESS.
AT the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church held in Boston, October, 1877, the Joint Committee on Ecclesiastical Relations and Religious Reform made its first Triennial Report, which is now reprinted from the Journal, in the present form, as Document No. IV.
The Joint Committee was reappointed. The Membership and Organization will be found on the following page.
At a meeting of the Joint Committee, held in New York, October 30, 1877, it was upon motion
Resolved,--That the Secretary be authorized to publish 500 copies of the First Triennial Report made to the General Convention at the recent Session in Boston, and circulate them at home and abroad, as heretofore directed with reference to Documents already published.
(Signed) NOAH HUNT SCHENCK, Secretary.
New York, November, 1877.
JOINT COMMITTEE ON ECCLESIASTICAL RELATIONS
AND RELIGIOUS REFORM.
THE BISHOP OF CONNECTICUT, Chairman,
THE BISHOP OF OHIO,
Kokosing, Gambier, Ohio.
THE BISHOP OF PENNSYLVANIA,
708 Walnut St., Philadelphia, Penn.
THE BISHOP OF WESTERN NEW YORK,
See House, Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, N. Y.
THE BISHOP OF LONG ISLAND,
170 Remsen Street, Brooklyn, N. Y.
THE BISHOP OF CENTRAL NEW YORK,
Syracuse, N. Y.
THE REV. NOAH HUNT SCHENCK, D. D., Secretary,
144 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn,
N. Y. THE REV. GEORGE LEEDS, D. D.,
100 Monument Street, Baltimore, Md.
THE REV. THOMAS F. DAVIES, D. D.,
717 Pine Street, Philadelphia, Penn.
THE REV. JOHN FULTON, D. D.,
THE REV. CHARLES R. HALE, S. T. D.,
MR. SAMUEL B. RUGGLES, LL. D.,
24 Union Square, New York.
MR. CAMBRIDGE LIVINGSTON, Treasurer,
44 West Twenty-second Street, New York.
MR. ROBERT M. MASON,
MR. JOHN A. KING,
Jamaica, Long Island, N. Y.
MR. EDWARD H. WRIGHT,
Newark, New Jersey.
1. On Oriental Churches:--
THE BISHOP OF OHIO, REV. DR. FULTON, REV. DR. HALE, MR. RUGGLES.
2. On the Old Catholic Movement in Europe:--
THE BISHOP OF WESTERN NEW YORK, THE BISHOP OF LONG ISLAND, REV. DR. SCHENCK, REV. DR. LEEDS; MR. MASON, MR. KING.
3. On the Church of Sweden and other Churches of Northern Europe:--
THE BISHOP OF CONNECTICUT, REV. DR. DAVIES, MR. LIVINGSTON.
4. On Religious Bodies at Home and Abroad looking to a return to primitive order:--THE BISHOP OF CENTRAL NEW YORK, REV. DR. LEEDS, MR. WRIGHT,
5. On Correspondence with Foreign Chaplains:--
REV. DR. SCHENCK.
Communications for the Secretary should be addressed to Brooklyn, New York.
REPORT OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON ECCLESIASTICAL
RELATIONS AND RELIGIOUS REFORM.
THE Joint Committee on Ecclesiastical Relations and Religious Reform beg to present the following as their Report to the General Convention of 1877:--
This Committee was appointed by the General Convention of 1874 under joint resolutions (see Journal, pages 116, 117, 125, 149, 194, 202), which proposed to place our Church in sympathetic attitude toward "movements in progress throughout Christendom which are preparing the way for a return to Apostolic truth and primitive order," and to "give moral cooperation" to the same.
The members of the Joint Committee are as follows:--
The Bishop of Connecticut, Chairman; The Bishop of Ohio; The Bishop of Pennsylvania; The Bishop of Western New York; The Bishop of Long Island; The Bishop of Central New York; The Rev. Benj. I. Haight, D. D.; The Rev. Noah Hunt Schenck, D. D.; The Rev. George Leeds, D. D.; The Rev. Thomas F. Davies, D. D.; The Rev. John Fulton, D. D.; Mr. Samuel B. Ruggles, LL. D.; Mr. Cambridge Livingston; Mr. Robt. M. Mason; Mr. John A. King; Mr. Court land Parker, LL. D.
Directly after their appointment the Joint Committee met and appointed the Rev. Noah Hunt Schenck, D. D., Secretary, the Hon. Cambridge Livingston Treasurer, and the following Sub-Committees, viz:--
1. On Oriental Churches:
THE BISHOP OF OHIO, REV. DR. FULTON, MR. RUGGLES.
2. On the Old Catholic Movement in Europe:
THE BISHOP OF WESTERN NEW YORK, THE BISHOP OF LONG ISLAND, REV. DR. SCHENCK, REV. DR. LEEDS, MR. MASON, MR. KING.
3. On the Church of Sweden and other Churches of Northern Europe:
THE BISHOP OF CONNECTICUT, REV. DR. DAVIES, MR. LIVINGSTON.
4. On Religious Bodies at Home and Abroad looking to a return to primitive order:
THE BISHOP OF CENTRAL NEW YORK, REV. DR. HAIGHT, REV. DR. LEEDS, MR. PARKER.
5. On Correspondence with Foreign Chaplains:
REV. DR. SCHENCK.
These Sub-Committees at once entered upon the discharge of their respective duties, and, as the fruits of correspondence or the results of travel reported to the Joint Committee at its meetings (three times a year) their contributions to the store of information which the Committee has sought to accumulate. A large proportion of this is not matter designed for publication or material for this report. It has rather been the object of the Committee by personal correspondence, or otherwise, to send out information to those who look to our Church for light and leading, and to gather such knowledge from them as shall enable us to appreciate their doctrinal attitudes and their religious wants. The Joint Committee can but feel that it is inaugurating or attempting to develop in some measure a sentiment of substantial sympathy and a desire for mutual cooperation in love and labor among all those "who profess and call themselves Christians," of whatever name or clime.
 The visit to the East of the Chairman of the Sub-Committee on "Oriental Churches," the Right Reverend the Bishop of Ohio, made directly after the adjournment of the last General Convention, was followed by a Report, made to the Joint Committee by their request, of "Notes on Oriental Churches;" a very valuable paper, replete with information touching the Armenian and Coptic Churches not before possessed by us in any authoritative form. This Report was printed in October, 1875, as "Document I.," and freely circulated throughout the Church. A copy of the same is herewith presented. About the same time the Chairman of this Sub-Committee caused to be published the "Office of the Holy Communion according to the usage of the Coptic Church in Egypt; from the Liturgy of St. Mark the Evangelist; translated by Joseph Hanna, Deacon of the Cathedral Church in Cairo, for the Bishop of Ohio." This has been adopted by the Joint Committee as one of its own publications, and a copy is herewith presented. The Sub-Committee on Oriental Churches has, for two years and more, had in hand a very important work, of which full description is given in the following Reports made to the Joint Committee. The first was presented in October, 1876, and is as follows, viz:--
REPORT ON THE BOOK OF INSTRUCTION IN CHRISTIAN
KNOWLEDGE OF THE ARMENIAN APOSTOLIC CHURCH.
To the Joint Committee on Ecclesiastical Relations and Religious Reform.
The Sub-Committee on Oriental Churches beg leave to report by the following paper furnished by their Chairman.
G. T. BEDELL,
S. B. RUGGLES, Sub-Committee.
It will be remembered that among the books presented to us by the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem was a Book of Instruction in Christian Knowledge. His Eminence referred to it, with special emphasis, as a compendium which would exhibit to our Church their religious principles, and also their present method of inculcating Christianity upon their young people. I understood him to say that it was a modern version of an ancient treatise; and by its title we learn that it is an "Abridgment." The date of its composition does not appear on the title page. Our copy is the second edition, published in the City of Jerusalem, A. D. 1873. Its imprimatur is given by the august names of the Catholicos of Ethmiadzin, the Patriarch Archbishop of Jerusalem, and the Archbishop of Constantinople. It comes to us, therefore, with all authority; and is the more valuable because it represents the present state of religious opinion and teaching in that venerable Church.
The Patriarch, surmising that we might have difficulty in translating it, suggested that he would have it put into English for us, because he was anxious that our Church should be assured of the Orthodox character of the tenets of his Church. My brief stay in Jerusalem probably prevented the accomplishment of this purpose. It would have been a great gain to us, for the difficulty of finding a competent translator has been much greater than was supposed. By the care of Rev. Dr. Denison, of our Foreign Committee, attention was called to Mr. M. H. Aghakan, an Armenian student in the University Medical College of New York. He furnished us with a translation of the "Table of Contents," as it appears in the appendix of Document No. I. The glimpse of the character of the book thus furnished awakened in many minds a desire to know more of it. I therefore placed the first chapter in the hands of Mr. Aghakan, as an experiment. He found considerable difficulty, inasmuch as the character in which the book is printed is the ancient Armenian; and it is never easy to transfer theological terms and ideas from an Oriental to our modern language. I have little doubt that the Committee will agree in my opinion that Mr. Aghakan has succeeded well. I have made no alterations except where the meaning could not otherwise be understood; and in no case without consulting him. Where the intention of the author seemed doubtful, I have had the translation reviewed, in my presence, the translator [6/7] reading to me from the original, and the questionable words or phrases being fully discussed. There is a quaintness of expression, which I have not disturbed, that shows the originality of the translation, and will increase your confidence in it. No sooner had I read the first chapter than curiosity gave place to an earnest desire to sit at the feet of these teachers from the East, and to listen to their whole story of the Gospel. And I present to the Committee to-night, all which has thus far been selected for translation; portions which will exhibit its character, its mode of presenting truth, and its harmony with Scripture and in general with the tenets of our own Church.
The distinctive qualities of this valuable treatise are simplicity, unaffected confidence in God's Truth, constant reliance upon and reference to God's Word written, and logical precision and clearness. The golden thread on which the whole argument is wrought is the oneness of the Revelation. There is a continual recognition of the fact that the Old and New Testaments are parts of a whole; and that the Law, the Prophets, and the Gospel compose an undivided and indivisible manifestation of God's revealed will. As I read in this book the evidence of God's unsearchable wisdom in preserving to this ancient Church its heritage of truth, I wonder; am humiliated in the sense of my want of faith in the watchfulness of God the Holy Ghost over these scattered members of the Catholic body; am unspeakably grateful for this revelation of His providential, spiritual care. Whilst I had supposed (and perhaps not I alone) that they were needing instruction from our Missionaries, I find their declarations of the principles of Christ's religion scriptural, pure, and lucid. If the teachers of this Oriental Church are equals of its teachings, and if its practices run parallel with its doctrines, it was not an idle boast by the venerable Patriarch (vide Document No. I. p. 17), that, older than ours, and confessedly Catholic, it is equally Protestant.
I invite special attention to the instructions of this book on the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper. The thought of the scholar is drawn to their spiritual meaning. With respect to the Lord's Supper, the emphasis of instruction is laid on the spiritual preparation necessary in the recipient. Specimens of the translation are furnished (if the Committee so direct) for a document (vide Document No. III.).
'The portions translated, and herewith submitted, are as follows:--
PART I. Chapter I. On Religion.
II. On Faith.
III. On the Confession of Faith [creed].
Section 2. The Oath of Baptism.
4. The Oath of Eucharist.
5. The Oath of Marriage.
6. The Oath of Ordination.
PART II. Chapter II. Introduction to the Study of the Commandments, and the 1st and 2d Commandments.
A brief sketch of incidents in the life of the translator has been furnished at my request, and is added. It will further interest the Committee to know that while Mr. Aghakan has been pursuing his medical studies in New York, on a late 4th of July he was walking out in the evening with a friend, and purposely at a safe distance from the fireworks, as they supposed; but the stick of a rocket descending struck directly in the centre of the pupil of his left eye, and destroyed the sight forever.
The following was submitted as a supplemental Report on October 2d, 1877:--
Immediately after the session of the Joint Committee in New York in October last, your Sub-Committee followed instructions by verifying the accuracy of the translation of the book on "Christian Doctrine" of the Armenian Church, offered at that meeting. A portion was sent to the Patriarch at Jerusalem, through the American vice-consul at that city, with an explanatory letter in Armenian. No [7/8] reply has been received,--probably through the political difficulties which since our October meeting have involved all the Mohammedan provinces, and especially the rich province of Armenia, in disastrous war. Fortunately your Committee obtained the valuable assistance of the Rev. Dr. Van Lennep, late a Missionary of the American Board in Asia Minor, whose thorough acquaintance with the Armenian language enabled him to. review the translation satisfactorily. It is now presented with his corrections, and the Committee are happy to say that Mr. Aghakan's labors receive from him great credit, and his translation is approved as essentially good and true. Correspondence was opened also with Rev. S. C. Malan, Prebendary of Sarum (England), which has resulted in obtaining treasures of his translations from the Armenian and Coptic Liturgies, and other documents relating to the Oriental Churches, invaluable to us, and evidences of his varied learning.
A letter was also received from the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, urging that our Church should spread its shelter over a portion of the Armenian Church in Asia Minor, to which your Sub-Committee responded instantly, requesting information as to the Church relations of the Christians and Ecclesiastics to whom he referred, which might enable us to present the case to the Board of Missions. No reply has been received,--probably on account of the increasing, political disorders in the East.
The important portions of these several correspondences are annexed. The following results have been reached:--
1. The ancient Liturgy of the Armenian Church has been overlaid by many errors derived from the Roman Church. (Malan, Preface.)
2. The Armenian Church is much more pure than that portion which has yielded to the Roman obedience.
3. Information concerning the Armenian Church, returned by Missionaries in Asia Minor, has been very deficient (vide Rev. Dr. Van Lennep's Letters), and has related chiefly to the portion of this Church devoted to the Church of Rome. Such was the information relied upon by one of your Committee, in reporting to the Foreign Committee twenty-five years ago on the subject of missions to the Oriental Church. (Vide copy of portion of that Report.)
4. The Liturgy of the Orthodox Armenian Church is replete with pure devotion, whilst marred by many untruths and half truths as to the character, intention, and effects of the sacraments; and specially recognizes the offices of the Holy Ghost. This feature is remarkable, especially whilst this recognition is mingled with frequent doctrinal error. ( Vide Malan's translation Armenian Liturgy, pp. 23, 24, 41, 46; Specimen of Devotion, p. 29.)
Attention is called also to a peculiar version of the Nicene creed (p. 32, note 4, 33). There appears in the Armenian "Rite of Baptism" (Vide Malan's translation, p. 318) a sentence to which we call attention. It is annexed.
We can at present recommend no practical measure which will advantage the Armenian Church. The confusion arising from the present war forbids any attempt to influence them. If we could, through our National Government, throw any protection around them, we ought not to refuse, nor to delay whatever action may be necessary. The difficulties of Missionary work among them are so great, as portrayed by the Report to the Foreign Committee already referred to, that we cannot now recommend a reference of the subject to the Board of Missions.
But we do recommend, through the commission to the Church, that we pray earnestly and continually to our Lord Christ that He will save out of the fires now raging around them these ancient Oriental Churches, removing the dross of centuries, but refining their fine gold.
All which is respectfully presented.
G. T. BEDELL,
S. B. RUGGLES, Sub-Committee.
P. S. From the Armenian "Rite of Holy Baptism":
"Then the Priest asks the child's name, gives it him, and lets him down into the water, saying,--
"This N. servant of God, who is come from the state of childhood (or of a [8/9] Catechumen) to Baptism, is baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Bought by the blood of Christ from the bondage of sin, he receives the adoption of a child of the Heavenly Father, to be joint heir with Christ, and the temple of the Holy Ghost"
ULTRAMONTANISM AND THE OLD CATHOLIC MOVEMENT.
On the Old Catholic movement in Europe and its contrast to the counter movement. of Ultramontanism we have the following to present, which was prepared by the Chairman of the Joint Committee upon special request.
A very important as well as interesting subject, which has received the attention of the Committee, is the condition and prospects severally, of the Ultramontane and Old Catholic movements in Europe.
From the reestablishment of the Jesuits by Pius VII. in 1814, that order has been the vigorous promoter of Ultramontanism. All its manifold and powerful influences have been exerted in advancing the most extreme claims of the Papacy. It appears to have kept constantly in view two things, and to have labored for them unremittingly. The first of these was the entire and absolute spiritual supremacy of the Bishop of Rome over the Churches of the Roman obedience; and the second, the restoration of the temporal power--shattered and wrecked as it seemed to be--of the same Bishop. In regard to the former its success has been complete. In reference to the latter, if actual results have been widely different from what was sought, still, the loftest claims have been advanced, and "the good time coming" is hoped and waited for. It is difficult to conceive of a greater contrast than is presented by the language of Leo XII. and that of Pius IX. In 1828, Bernetti, speaking for the former Pope, said to Mr. Huskisson: "We know that we are not what our predecessors were some centuries ago; we are a feeble and decaying power; it.is for our interest to be friends with the great powers of Europe, and with none more than with England. Do not, however, ask us to rescind the edicts of ancient councils, nor to change the principles of our church; this we cannot do; look forward and not backward. Dites nous ce que vous convient, and we will do it if it is possible." In 1864, Pius IX. issued his Encyclical and Syllabus, in which--however the attempt may have been made to explain them away--he revived all the claims of his predecessors; while Jesuit commentaries upon these documents were even more astounding.
It is, undoubtedly, to be remembered that in 1828 what was called "Catholic Emancipation" was impending in England; and it was, as undoubtedly, judicious, whether in Roma or in Great Britain, to minimize all claims likely to give offence, and to smooth away all obstacles to what was so eagerly desired. Making, however, every allowance for that, the amazing contrast still remains. This contrast is due to the efforts of the Jesuits.
It can hardly be necessary to set forth here the detailed steps by which they advanced to the consummation of their plans in regard to the spiritual supremacy of the Roman Pontiff. A step forward, when it could be taken, and no step backward, was their rule. Under the three predecessors of the present Pontiff they were perpetually advancing; and when Pius IX. returned from Gaeta with Antonelli for his Prime Minister, he who had signalized the opening of his Pontificate by commanding a French Oratorian to vindicate the memory of Clement XIV. from Jesuit slanders became the puppet of the order, and the control of the Roman Church passed into its hands. The way was open and easy. In 1854, the Pontiffs abrogated the functions of the Episcopate by summoning it simply to stand by and witness the promulgation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. In 1870, the Episcopate abrogated its own functions by the Decree of Infallibility, and the triumph of Jesuitism was, in this direction, complete.
In theory quite as great an advance was made in regard to the temporal power of the Roman Pontiff. Theory and fact, however, are not always in accord, and they were notably out of accord in the present case. How it was in 1828 has been already stated. Gregory XVI. came to the Pontificate just in time for the Jesuits to avail themselves in some quarters of the reaction from the revolutionary movements of 1830. It was a strange sight to see those who, when they [9/10] could, tied up the instruction of the young in the strongest bonds, making "Liberty of Teaching" their watchword in France, and under it, gaining, in 1848, what elsewhere they denied to others. Hopes of gain for the Papacy were, doubtless, entertained in connection with the Prusso-Austrian war of 1866. But the results of that war, terminated by the battle of Sadowa, looked in a totally different direction. They destroyed German dualism, and unified Italy. Nor was the FrancoPrussian war of 1870 more helpful to the Papacy, though Jesuit intrigue certainly pushed it on in the hope of humbling the great Protestant power of Europe, and thereby gaining something for the Pontiff in his civil and political relations. The memory of it is too fresh in all minds to need to be even stated.
Within the last few months the agitation for the restoration of the temporal power--never abated, it must be borne in mind, in claim, however much shattered in fact--has been renewed, under circumstances and with plans of operation that ought to receive the careful attention of all thinking men.
Localized for the moment in France, this movement is to be carried by organized action into every civilized country in the world. All the machinery which the Roman Church can command is to be set at work for its furtherance. If the utterances from the Vatican are in any degree true, it is intended to gather into it the faithful in all lands, and to make it the grand crusade of this nineteenth century.
Against all these Ultramontane developments, carrying with them changes in Doctrine, Organization, and Worship, it is needless to say that the Old Catholic movement is a protest. Its original ground was that the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of 1854, the Encyclical and Syllabus of 1864 and the Decree of Infbllibility of 1870 had so changed the status of the Roman Church that no man could continue in its communion and still adhere to the Catholic Church of Christ. True as such a position was, it was, obviously, not the whole truth, and could not be maintained as such. It was a right point of departure; it could not be a final resting place.
If the acts of 1854 and 1870 had abrogated the proper functions of the Episcopate, and so to all intents and purposes destroyed it, it was equally true that its primitive and Apostolical character, as set forth by St. Cyprian, had long before been taken from it by the usurpation of the Roman See, and it had become a satrapy and lieutenantship of the Pontificate. If, in the dogma of 1854, a new and unheard of doctrine was imposed upon the Church, it was equally true that many other doctrines just as novel and unheard of had been imposed at Trent in 1565. In short, the Old Catholic movement in its inception was committed to a principle which must carry it on to other and further results.
Such results have been attained in matters pertaining to Divine Service and the ministration of the Sacraments, to doctrine, and to the Christian life. It is impossible, however, to enumerate them here, and we must refer all those who seek full and accurate information to the pages of the Foreign Church Chronicle for the current year. We wish this very valuable magazine might be in the hands of our clergy and laity generally. If advance in the line of reform has been less rapid than some might desire, it has always been moving in the right direction, and under the guidance of careful thought and study, and, what is much to be noted, not under the guidance of any single mind, nor shaped by one master.
In speaking of the Old Catholic movement in Europe, we have not taken into account the two divisions under which it presents itself, that, namely, in Germany, and that in Switzerland.
At the last Old Catholic Synod, held in Bonn during Whitsun week of the present year, the number of Old Catholics in Germany was reported as having reached 53,640 souls, being an increase of 3,832 over the total of the previous year. These were gathered into 121 congregations, ministered to by fifty-nine priests. The excess of congregations over clergy is very striking; and in view of it, it is asserted "that with twice the number of working clergy the Old Catholic statistics would double their present strength."
At the last Swiss synod, held in Bonn, it appeared that the number of priests was seventy, and of parishes sixty-six; that the baptisms for the year were 1,182, and the confirmations 3,098. There has been, therefore, "a steady, although very small, advance along the whole line."
 If the growth has not been all that in the first eagerness of hope was anticipated; if the love of some has waxed cold; if difficulties have arisen that could not have been foreseen; if while more active and extended work has been developing, the early enthusiasm may appear to have somewhat abated and the first flush of hope to have somewhat faded, surely that is nothing more than always occurs in the life-work of individuals or of organized bodies of men. He will measure badly and estimate erroneously who, in such matters, shall make the passive emotion of the outstart his only standard, and forget to look rather at the active habit into which that emotion, if it is more than an ephemeral feeling, will be sure to settle. We believe that, judged by this true standard, the Old Catholic movement has in it an abiding life; a life which is destined to enter largely into all movements for the advancement of Christian unity.
It was said many years ago, by a godly and learned divine of our own Church, that as men, if they desire to recover the unbroken beam of light which has been spread out into the prismatic spectrum, must go behind the point where the prism was inserted, so we, if we desire to recover the unity of the Church and the Faith, must go back to a period which antedates those diversities of human opinion that have given us our shattered and discordant Christendom. Towards this point, we believe, the Old Catholics have been constantly, if quietly, moving. When all shall have reached it, if in God's mercy they do reach it, then there will come a true unity, because it will be a unity in the truth.
In January, 1876, the Sub-Committee "on the Church of Sweden and other Churches of Northern Europe" requested a paper upon the Church of Sweden from the Rev. J. P. Tustin, D. D., who for a long time had resided in that country and made himself very familiar with the structure and administration of the Scandinavian Church. He had enjoyed peculiar facilities for obtaining accurate information, and by his long residence had been able to cancel or confirm the impressions received by contact with the ecclesiastical life in that land. In response to the request of the Sub-Committee a communication from Rev. Dr. Tustin was received and printed as "Document II.," entitled "The Church of Sweden," a copy of which is herewith presented. In addition to the free circulation given to this paper in pamphlet form, it was reprinted in one of our Church journals, and a large number of copies distributed among our Scandinavian population, now numbering some 400,000.
The Sub-Committee "On Religious Bodies at home and abroad looking to a return to primitive order" have nothing which they desire embodied in this report, beyond the simple statement that their attention is constantly directed to those who may, sooner or later, in the wonderful changes now making in the religious world, desire and even demand a word of counsel and a hand of sympathy, such as may be given personally and unofficially at any time by members of this Committee especially appointed to exercise these kindly offices of Christian and Catholic cooperation.
The correspondence with the Chaplains of our Churches in foreign lands has been conducted with more or less frequency as circumstances have justified, but has during the three years that the Joint Committee has been in operation always afforded a facile and reliable channel of communication between the Church abroad and at home, through which has flowed valuable information upon many matters embraced in the scope of the operations of the Joint Committee.
The subject of Marriage as between members of our Church and Roman Catholics, solemnized in foreign lands, has been presented to the attention of the Joint Committee, and they have instituted a wide correspondence upon this subject, which is still prosecuted, and with the prospect of most satisfactory results. Letters are already on file from eminent diplomatists and ecclesiastics which, with others soon to be received, will place your Committee in a condition to throw much light upon this vexed question.
 Your Committee feel that the office intrusted to them is one of great importance, and would earnestly invite the cooperation of their brethren at home and abroad to aid them in the successful discharge of their duties.
In behalf of the Joint Committee,
NOAH HUNT SCHENCK, Secretary.
BOSTON, October, 1877.