ON the 2d of December, 1884, I left London for St. Petersburg. I passed a day in Amsterdam, with Dutch friends, and spent Sunday in Berlin, where I had the honor of preaching, in the English Chapel, before their Imperial Highnesses, the Crown Princess of Germany and two of her daughters. Monday night, I took the train for Russia. Soon after dark, on Wednesday, as we approached St. Petersburg, Sergius A. Shipoff-Schoultz, Esq., a prominent official in the State Department, a layman most deeply interested in Ecclesiastical questions, especially such as concerned the unity of the Churches, met me at a station a few miles from the capital, and drove me, in a sleigh with three horses abreast (a troika), to his home and mine so long as I would stay with him--at Tsarskoe-Selo. Here he had invited a number of friends to meet me at dinner--among others, Vladimir K. Sabler, Esq., Master of the Chancery (or, as we should say, the Secretary) of the Holy Synod. These two gentlemen, Mr. Shipoff-Schoultz and Mr. Sabler, were simply invaluable friends to me. Busy men us they were, they were always ready to do a kindness. They could usually give me, and always yet me, any information I required, and could make me acquainted with any one whom I desired to know. Introduced by one or the other of them, I had interviews with the Metropolitans of St. Petersburg, Kieff, and Moscow, the Ober-Procurator, and other leading men. The Metropolitan of St. Petersburg, now finishing the fifty-second year of his Episcopate, occupied the same position when he welcomed the late Bishop of Florida to Russia, many years ago. The Metropolitan of Kieff is little his junior. These aged prelates were very kind, but naturally the conversation with them was of a somewhat general character. The Metropolitan of Moscow was born shortly before that of St. Petersburg was Consecrated, and is a man of vigorous intellect. He asked many, and very thoughtful, questions, especially in regard to Anglican Orders. He said he "knew many among us used strong language in regard to Orders, so did many Lutherans, who had not kept the succession. How much did we mean by our words?" I assured him of my belief that there were no Clergy in the world who thought more of the Divine Gift in Ordination than did the Anglican. He asked so many questions about the Anglican Ordinal, that I promised to send him (which I did) Bright and Medd's Liber Precum Publicarum, which he assured me he could, and would, read and study. I saw much of this prelate, both in St. Petersburg and Moscow, and was very much pleased with him. He seems a wise, energetic, and devout prelate. I had the pleasure of presenting to the Library of the Ecclesiastical Academy in St. Petersburg, in behalf of the Syndics of the University Press, Cambridge, England, a copy of Dr. Swainson's Greek Liturgies, receiving in return, to be transmitted to the University Library. Cambridge, with a courteous letter of acknowledgment from the Rector of the Academy, the Bishop of Ladoga, copies of two works written by Professors of the Academy. I had also the pleasure of making the acquaintance of the Proto-presbyter Yanisheff, the late Rector of the Academy (now the principal Chaplain of the Czar), and of Professor Ossinine. These dignitaries took prominent part in the Bonn Conference of 1875. My friend, the Secretary of the Holy Synod, was a member of two important Executive Committees, of the working of which he told me much. One was of the Russian Bible Society, the other a committee for establishing Church schools. I was invited to accompany him to a meeting of each, but on the evening when the Bible Society Committee met, important business prevented his attendance. We were able, however, to attend a meeting of the other. It seems that many of the teachers in the Government schools having been infected with German rationalism, it was thought needful to found, by voluntary effort, distinctively Church, schools, in which a truer education could be given. This effort had so far succeeded, that there was now a Church school in every Parish in the Diocese of St. Petersburg. So earnest were those engaged in the good work, that the funds needed to supplement what could be raised locally were collected without difficulty. At the Committee-meeting which I attended, there were present, and taking part in the discussion, two Bishops and eight or ten leading Clergymen and Laymen.
This establishment of Parish schools is one instance of the practical character of the Russian people, who are not apt to talk much of what they are going to do, but when they are convinced that a thing should be done, they do it. Let me give another instance. The father of my friend, Mr. Shipoff-Schoultz, a short time before his death, saw a drunken priest. Making inquiry into the circumstances, his sympathy was excited, as well as his indignation; for he found that the poor man, who had some abilities and aspirations, led somewhat such a home life as did the judicious Hooker. He talked much with his wife of his need, if the condition and character of the Clergy were to be improved, of doing something for the education of their daughters; for these would not only be enabled to add to the comfort and happiness of their childhood's home, but they would, in all likelihood, become the wives of other Clergy. When he died, leaving two young children, his widow felt that the best monument she could raise to her husband's memory would be the carrying out his charitable wishes. With the help of the late Empress of Russia, then the Crown Princess, by whom she was well known, and who was greatly interested in her pious designs, she founded, near the Palace at Tsarskoe-Selo, a School for Priests' Daughters, in which thousands of girls have been trained up to lives of usefulness and happiness. The pious foundress died a few years since, at a good old age, and her place has been taken by a noble lady who gives her services for the love of the work. The school, which I was glad to visit, has about one hundred and seventy-rive boarding pupils--bright, happy-looking girls. There are two (perhaps more) similar schools in Russia one at Yaroslav, founded by a sister of the foundress of that at Tsarskoe-Selo; another I visited at Kieff.
When I took leave of the Metropolitan of Moscow, who was then in St. Petersburg on Synodical business, he asked me how long I intended staying in Moscow, and when I told him, he urged me to prolong my visit, in order to attend the consecration of a Bishop, which he intended to hold there, on a day he mentioned the first consecration in the new Cathedral Church of Our Saviour. Although it involved some change in my plans, I at once said that, "invited by the Metropolitan, and for such a service, I should certainly remain for it." On the day, a Bishop took me to the Cathedral, lent me his own copy of the Office to be used, and saw that I was placed where I could see and hear all that was done. At this service, which was a very impressive one, a brief, but earnest, sermon was preached by the Metropolitan. I was invited to dine, after the service, with the Metropolitan, the Bishops, and a few of the leading Clergy; and then another Bishop went with me to my hotel.
From Moscow I went to Kieff, the cradle of Christianity in Russia. I could not have been more fortunate than I was in the time of my visit, arriving there the day before the Epiphany. That festival is made much of throughout Russia, but it is the special fête-day of Kieff, for there is commemorated yearly the baptism, at the bunks of the Dnieper, of great multitudes of people, A.D. 992. The day of the festival, I attended Divine Service at the Cathedral, a most interesting church, built by the Grand Duke Yaroslav, A. D. 1087. I was then taken to the borders of the river, where a special service was performed. After this, I went to a grand banquet, to which I had been invited, given yearly, by the municipality, to the chief officials, ecclesiastical and civil. Here I was set in a place of honor, next to the Dean of the Cathedral. The Dean told me that the next day lie would introduce me to a Priest who would take me to see whatever was most worth seeing in Kieff. He was as good as his word. But how shall I describe my priestly guide? He began speaking in French, and did it so well that I expressed my surprise. ''No wonder," said he, "I was born in France." "But I hope," he added, "that the Archangel's trump, when it sounds, will waken me up from Russian soil." I passed a delightful day with this monk aristocratic enough for a prince--this Frenchman more Russian than the Czar. It seems that, dissatisfied with the tendency of things in France, social, political, religious; loathing Ultramontauism on the one hand, and the irreligion to which it gave occasion, by reaction, on the other, he had become a Russian monk. One of the first things he said to me was, "Do you know Bishop Cleveland Coxe?" I told him that I bad that privilege, which I highly appreciated. "Have you his likeness with you?" I had to confess, regretfully, that I had not. "Oh," said he, "I have read some of his writings in the Union Chretienne, and I admire them so much, they are so satisfactory, and show such a lovely spirit." He was much gratified by my promise to send him a photograph, and some of the writings of the Bishop of Western New York. While at Kieff, I was glad to have the opportunity of paying my respects to Michael, Metropolitan of Servia, forced, by Austrian political intrigue, to resign the position he had long held most honorably, and now living in retirement at the Podolsky Lavra. This Most Reverend Prelate has for many years manifested a deep interest in regard to Church unity, and was, from the time of its foundation, a Patron of the Eastern Church Association of England.
From Kieff I went to the Crimea, visiting its famous battle-grounds, and also the ruins of ancient Kherson, not far from Sebastopol, where St. Clement, of Rome, received the martyr's crown, and where Vladimir, the first Christian prince of Russia, was baptized, A.D. 988.
Thence, over the dark Euxine, to Constantinople. Calling to pay my respects to the Patriarch, I found that he was so ill with bronchitis that it had been necessary to remove him to a distant residence for complete quiet, and he was not allowed to see any one. I was courteously received by his representative, the Metropolitan of Heraclea--with some of whose writings--when he was known as ' Gregory of Byzantium, Metropolitan of Chios"--on the Armenian question, showing an interest in and a knowledge of the principles of Church unity, I was well acquainted. We had a very interesting conversation. Beside taking part in Divine Service with my friend Canon Curtis, in charge, since it was first built, of the Crimean Memorial Church at Pera, Constantinople, I read prayers, on a week day, across the Bosphorus, in the English church at the ancient Chalcedon, now Kadi-keui.
While I was in Constantinople, the Armenian Patriarchate in that city was vacant. Learning, however, that the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem was on a visit to the capital, I called on him. He informed me that, about one hour before my visit, a choice of a person to fill the vacant See had been made, but that, as it would be necessary to await the berat of the Sultan before the office could be entered upon, I might not unlikely find the Patriarch-elect, who was then at Jerusalem, still in the Holy City when I arrived there, and he kindly gave me a letter to him. I also called, with Canon Curtis, on the Armenian Archbishop of Bechik-Tache. A translation of an interesting letter which I received from this Archbishop in 1874 is printed in the Report of the Russo-Greek Committee, in the General Convention Journal for that year. He spoke of two great needs of his people--one, that their Clergy should be better educated than had been found practicable by them in their poverty; another, that the Holy Scriptures might be published, in an acceptable translation, for circulation among the people, at a reasonable price? The translation published by the British and Foreign Bible Society was even less liked by the Armenians than the Revised Version by the mass of English-speaking people. He assured me that there was a translation which was as much a standard among them as the Authorized Version with us, and which, though differing, as ours did, in some respects, from the spoken tongue, was, like it, understood and loved. It had been many years since an edition of this version had been published, and copies were rare and high-priced. If English and American Churchmen would furnish the plates for a new edition, he would himself gladly superintend the publication, and see that the books were disposed of at cost. He thought they should be sold for not over fifty cents per copy. When in England, afterwards, I spoke of this matter to influential Churchmen, and also to some leading members of the Society of Friends, who seemed favorably impressed. I have not heard whether anything has yet been done in regard to it.
From Constantinople I went to Smyrna and Ephesus names renowned in Christian story--and then to Athens. I had known Dr. Hill, with whom and his wife I had long corresponded, but it seemed to me that, familiar as I was with the history of their work, the half had not been told me. I visited their schools, now under the charge, respectively, of Miss Masson and Miss Muir, so long associated with the honored founders, time and again. I heard the recitations, took part in the religious services, and talked of the schools with representative Greeks--the Metropolitan of Athens, the Archbishop of Syros, and others who were enthusiastic in their encomiums. It is almost impossible for those who have not visited Greece to realize how deep and wide-spread has been the influence of Dr. and Mrs. Hill, and of the schools they founded. In response to a telegram from the Archbishop of Syros, I went over to his island Diocese, and spent a day with him, finding him very warm-hearted and intelligent.
From Athens to Alexandria is but a short run, in a steamer. Finding that the Patriarch of Alexandria was in Cairo for a few days, I took the train, the next morning, for the capital city. The day after, I was received, at an appointed time, with all courtesy. But when the Patriarch found that two letters which he had framed and hung on the wall of his reception-room were written by me, his manner became most affectionate. Of his own motion, he offered me a letter commendatory to the Patriarch of Jerusalem, in this he speaks of me as "an old correspondent" of his, and begged his brother Patriarch to show me all kindness. He inquired particularly in regard to the different members of the Ecclesiastical Relations Commission, and "wished he could write to each of them, but that would be too much for an old man like himself." He was several years past eighty. He expressed great interest in our work of trying to restore lost Church unity, through the promotion of mutual knowledge, and the cultivation of mutual good-will. On parting, he gave me his blessing, and assured me of his prayers. His Librarian, taking me to see the books and manuscripts in the Patriarchal Library, showed me the copies of the General Convention Journals which I had sent the Patriarch. I had seen the like at Constantinople, and afterward saw such in the Library of the Patriarch of Antioch. The Librarian spoke of a lacuna in the Library, which much distressed him. Cyril Lucar, when Patriarch, had given the chief treasure of this Library, that most valuable MS. of the Scriptures, the Codex Alexandrinus, to King Charles I. of England. It was now one of the most valuable possessions of the British Museum. But the Library whence it came had no copy of it, of any kind. Although several different editions had been published, no one had thought to send a copy to them, and they were too poor to buy. On my return to England, I mentioned the matter to the Archbishop of Canterbury. His Grace desired me to write a formal statement of the facts, which he could lay before the Trustees of the Library of the British Museum. On his doing so, they at once resolved to send the venerable Patriarch, for his Library, a copy of the magnificent fac-simile of the MS., over one thousand large quarto pages, the size of the original. A letter from the Patriarch, referring to this gift, is printed on page 15 of this pamphlet.
On another day, I called on the Coptic Patriarch, between whom and the venerable Sophronius I understand that very kind relations exist. The Patriarch of the Copts cpoke of the joy with which, when a young man, he had heard of the coming of missionaries, to teach his poor country people; but alas! he soon found that most of these were more eager to pull down than to build up--offering bread, they gave a stone. They needed help in their poverty, but it was the help of Christian brethren which they desired, not that of proselyters. I saw and conversed with a number of intelligent Copts, making their acquaintance through the Rev. George Greenwood, sent to Egypt by the Archbishop of Canterbury, on a mission of inquiry.
Passing through the land of Goshen by rail, I reached the Land of Promise in forty hours, instead of the forty years of Israel's wanderings. I need not dwell on the overpowering thoughts and feelings that fill heart and mind at the sight of the hills and plains trodden, full eighteen hundred years ago, by His blessed feet, for our redemption. It is to be feared, indeed, that many who visit the lands of the Bible let their thoughts dwell too exclusively on the past, forgetting that as, during the vicissitudes of many, many centuries, God left not Himself there without a witness, so He has His faithful ones there still. For twelve hundred and fifty years, with a slight intermission at the time of the Crusades, Christians have been little better than slaves in their Lord's own land. Oppressed and had in subjection, kept in poverty and ignorance, what wonder if one sees tokens of naturally resultant evils? But, in truth, there are many there now, and have ever been, to worship their Lord with a child-like devotion, in which we might well wish to share. If some of them have unhappily succumbed to trials which adversity brings, have we stood up, as well as they, against our peculiar temptations, those of comparative prosperity? It is easy to point out the mote in a brother's eye, forgetful of the beam in one's own. It is easy to go to eastern lauds, as so many do, to find fault with Christian brethren there, "thanking God that we are not as other men are. or even as "these poor Orientals. But the wonder, to one who carefully studies the facts of the case, is not that things are not better than they are, but that, considering everything, there is so much there that is good and admirable. Thankfully appreciating the great advantages God has given us, and for which we must give account, may we not think of our brethren in the Lord, of Syria and Palestine, as in an especial sense the followers of those who were first called Christians, and of their Patriarchs and Bishops as, in a very special way, successors of the Apostles?
Arrived in Jerusalem, one of the first things I did, after worshipping in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, was to call on my friend, Mr. Mansouroff, a near relative of the Governor-General of Moscow, Prince Dolgorouky, and himself a leading statesman of Russia, and leave with him, to be laid before His Blessedness, Nicodemus, Patriarch of Jerusalem, my letters of introduction. An invitation to come to the Patriarchate soon followed, and there I had the heartiest of welcomes. The Patriarch bade me "come thither whenever I had time and felt so inclined, to remember that he was my friend, and to ask for whatever I desired." Alluding to the letters of introduction, he said: "How is this? The Patriarch of Alexandria says you are an old correspondent of his, and you have not written to me. What is the meaning of it?" I responded that I had written to two of his predecessors, and my letters were unanswered. "Oh," said he, "they were old, and in infirm health, and had many troubles; their not answering did not mean anything. But write to me; I will answer your letters." (In a little over a year, I have had five letters from him.) The Patriarch had been so exceedingly kind in his expressions, that I fear that at first I gave him credit for using language of Oriental hyperbole, which he might be surprised to find taken literally; but I soon found that I was the recipient, directly and indirectly, of all kinds of attentions from him. There were naturally, in the weeks before Easter, many special services. I had always notice of these. At the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where I very frequently attended, I had my regular place, with the Bishops. When I went on excursions into the country, as to Bethlehem, Hebron, Jericho, etc., I had letters securing to me every courtesy and kindness, from Ecclesiastics and others, as "a special friend of the Patriarch." And so, at last, I summoned up courage to say to one of the Patriarch's Chaplains, whom I had come to know well: "There is one thing which I specially desire--to celebrate the Holy Communion according to the Anglican Rite in some part of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Greeks, Armenians, and Latins hold such a celebration at the Holy Sepulchre itself, Copts and Syrians hard by. I should like to hold such a service, for myself; but especially do I desire that, where so many Churches, differing as they do in so many things, thus unite in paying honor to our dear Lord, my own Church should be represented. The Patriarch told me to ask for anything I wished, and he is so kind he would not like to say 'No' to anything I asked, but he might feel that he could not say 'Yes.' But there are many rooms and passages about the church; perhaps, with his tacit permission, I might use one of these for the purpose. Do you speak of the matter before him, and see how he feels. If you think I could ask the favor of him, I will do so with all my heart. If this would be an embarrassment to him. I will say nothing more about it." The next day, I saw the Chaplain, who said he had spoken of the matter to the Patriarch, who had at once said: "Certainly, Dr. Hale can have the use of the Chapel of Abraham for the purpose, whenever he wishes it; and say to him that if he has need of anything for the service, he has only to ask for it." I had everything I needed, but in order to ask for something, I said: "There are two things for which I shall he very thankful--a piece of the bread that you use in the Holy Communion, daily, and to have a verger stand at the door of the Chapel, to say to the people who are in the habit of coming there to pray, that all is right; that, on the one hand, I am there by authority, and, on the other, that their coming in and going out quietly will not at all disturb me and those who worship with me." The Chaplain assured me that it should be as I wished, and then took me to see the Chapel of Abraham, showing me that while it was in a part of the church which travelers were not apt to visit, it was within the walls, and under the roof, of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and not more than thirty feet from the place where our Blessed Lord was believed to have been crucified--the sacrifice of Isaac by his father on "one of the mountains of Moriah" being commemorated as nearly as might be to the scene of the Great Sacrifice of which it was the type. There were some English friends at Jerusalem who I knew would be glad to join with me in such a service, and one of them, being a Clergyman, I asked him to take some of the services with me; and so, beginning with Palm Sunday, we kept up a daily celebration there during the rest of our stay in the Holy City. I used the American Liturgy, my friend that of the English Church, until the last day, when, with my strong feeling of our indebtedness to Scotland, I felt that its Liturgy should be used there, and celebrated according to the Scottish Rite. After our own service on Palm Sunday, I attended the Greek Service, where the Patriarch, with several Bishops assisting, officiated most impressively. During this service, the Patriarch called me to him, and gave me a palm branch, which I guard as a precious keepsake, bearing which he bade me follow him in the procession about the Tomb of our Saviour. After the service, I dined with the Patriarch, the Bishops, and some of the Clergy. One of the Bishops speaking to me of my service, I told him "what a gratification it had been to me, and that it would be a pleasant thing for me to remember so long as I lived. He responded at once, "So it will be to us." This large-hearted Bishop, then the Metropolitan of Scythopolis, is now the Patriarch of Antioch.
While I was in Jerusalem, a very unusual event took place. A small church, having fallen into a ruinous condition, had been rebuilt, and was to be consecrated. I was bidden to come to the Patriarchate, at six o'clock in the morning, and join in the procession to the Church. The place assigned me in the procession was with the Metropolitan of Scythopolis, and next to the Patriarch. At the Church, I was placed with the Bishops. The services were of a very interesting character.
Soon after my arrival in the Holy City, I called on the Armenian Patriarch-elect of Constantinople, to whom, as I have said, I had a letter of introduction. One day, when I was at the Greek Patriarchate, an official came to announce to His Blessedness, Nicodemus, that the Sultan had signified his approval of his Armenian brother's election to Constantinople, and as soon as I conveniently could I hastened to tender my congratulations to this Prelate, with whom I had formed a pleasant acquaintance. The Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, whom I had seen at Constantinople, having returned home, sent for me to come and see him. though at the time quite ill, and confined to his bed.
The Easter Day at Jerusalem was one of the most memorable days of my life. The Patriarch told me to come to the Patriarchate about ten o'clock Easter-Even. There I met the Patriarch, the Bishops, and some of the principal Clergy, vested in their richest robes, and we went in procession through the streets, lighted by the Paschal moon and by naming torches, to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where appropriate Easter-Even services were held. The Patriarch having suggested that it would be very pleasant! for us to hold our Easter morning service at the same-time, an official came, about half an hour after midnight, to conduct me through the dense crowd, to the Chapel of Abraham. It was very delightful, while officiating, to hear the distant sound of the Greek chant, in the same most venerable building, and to realize that in different tongues, and with rites not quite the same, we were engaged in a like service of Eucharistic joy, paying honor to Him who "by His death hath destroyed death, and by His rising to life again hath restored to us everlasting life." The Greek service was much longer than the Anglican, and we returned, when ours was over, to the Sepulchre. I was standing very near to the Sacred Tomb, when the Patriarch entered it, and soon came out again, announcing, in Greek and in Russian, "Christos aneste! Christos voskrese!" (Christ is risen!) As he passed me, he took me by the hand and in a low voice repeated to me the glad tidings, "Christos aneste!" and told me the response I should make: "Alethos aneste!" (He is risen indeed!) At the conclusion of the service, about four o'clock, we returned to the Patriarchate in procession, to the strangely mingled light of moon and torches, there being now added that of various colored flames burnt upon neighboring house-tops. After a festal breakfast, I went upon the roof of the Church, to see the sun rise over Olivet, and then to ray room, for a sleep of an hour or two, after twenty-four hours of wakefulness. I was bidden not to be long absent, for I was to join the procession which, between ten and eleven, went, again from the Patriarchate to the Church, for other services. Arrived at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, we went to the part of it which belongs specially to the Greeks. This is called the Anastasis, or the Church of the Resurrection. It is very noticeable how our Eastern brethren, making much at all times of our Lord's resurrection, seem to enter into the spirit of St. Paul's words: "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again." After a short service, the Patriarch took his seat on his throne within the Sanctuary, and read, in Greek, the first verse of one of the Easter Gospels. Then a Bishop read the same verse in Arabic, and other Ecclesiastics read it successively in Sclavonic, in Russian, in Turkish, in English, in Latin, and in French; and there were those present in the large gathering, from well nigh "every nation under heaven," to whom each of these tongues was familiar. Then the bells rang, and another verse was read, in like manner, and then again another, until the Gospel was finished. At its close, the bells rang a long and merry peal. After this, the Bishops present went up to the Patriarch, kissed and embraced, and exchanged the Easter greeting: "Christos aneste, alethos aneste." Then, Patriarch and Bishops sitting in chairs placed before the iconostasis, corresponding partly to what we might call the "choir screen," the Patriarch holding in his hand a picture of the Resurrection, the Bishops a like picture or a copy of the Gospels, first the Clergy, and then the people, went to pay their respects to their Chief Pastors, kissing first the book or picture held in the hand, and then the hand itself, and giving the Easter greeting. I followed among the last of the Priests, but the Patriarch would not let me kiss his hand, as they did, but kissed and embraced me before all, as if I had been a Bishop, the Metropolitan of Scythopolis (now the Patriarch of Antioch) and others following his example.
Time would fail me to tell of the interesting things I saw and heard in the three or four weeks I spent, at Jerusalem, among the most eventful and satisfying weeks of my whole life. The time came for me to leave, for I had engagements in Europe. It was with real sorrow that I bade adieu to His Blessedness Nicodemus, Patriarch of Jerusalem. He had been so thoughtful and affectionate, that I could not resist saying to him: "Had you been my own father, you could not have been more kind." "Now, do you mean that," was his response, "or are you saying it merely out of compliment?" "I never said a truer word in my life," I answered, "for I cannot think of anything you could have done for my pleasure or advantage here that you have not done." He seemed much affected, and, embracing me, gave me his blessing, and assured me of his prayers.
In giving an account of the appearance and manner of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, perhaps I cannot do better than to quote from a letter I received, not long since, from Canon Liddon, dated "Mount of Olives, Jerusalem, May 3, 1886." He says: "I have had the happiness of seeing a great deal of the Orthodox Patriarch, . . . and I heartily echo your words about him. The Patriarch is a very remarkable man--as we should say in England, a strong man. He would be distinguished in any position in life. As he sits in his chair, and receives visitors of all kinds, with the resource and tact and dignity which are his characteristics, I am reminded of Raffaelle's picture of Pope Julius II., only there is an unworldliness in the look, as well as in the speech, of Nicodemus, which it is no lack of charity to say was wanting in Julius. His personal ascendency was, I think, remarkably displayed in the way in which he awed, by a look, the unmanageable crowds in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, on Easter Eve and Easter Day; and the impression one thus gains about him is confirmed by conversation on any subject of religious importance."
The Patriarch gave me letters to the Metropolitan of Nazareth, the Archbishops of Mount Tabor and Irenopolis, and to the leading Priests at Nablous and Tiberias. The Metropolitan of Nazareth was exceedingly kind, and yet I was quite taken aback by his reception of me; for when I handed him my letter from the Patriarch, his first remark was, "Yon ought not to have called on me." "Why not?" I ventured timidly to inquire. "Because it was my place to call on you." "But you," I replied, "are a Metropolitan, and I am but a Priest." "Never mind." said he; "if I had known you were here, I should have called on von." It seems he had heard from the Patriarch about me before I came. After a pleasant call, when I rose to take my leave, he accompanied me, acting as my guide to various sacred places; and when at length we parted, and I went to my tent, he quickly followed and returned my visit. He seemed a very earnest and devout man. One thought he gave me is a very pleasant one to have associated in the mind with memories of the place "where He was brought up." We were speaking of Church unity, and I said that while my constant prayers and most earnest labors were directed toward bringing it about, I doubted if I should ever see the longed-for result. "Oh, but you will," was his eager response. Then, comprehending his moaning, I said, "I mean not in this life." "But," he answered, "the unity of the Churches is coming, and coming soon, and whether we see it in this world, or from the next, what is the difference?" What a blessed thought it is, that if we do God's will, the end will be attained; and whether we see it here, or from there, what is the difference? "He that soweth and he that reapeth shall rejoice together." I was too short a time in Nablous to present my letter, and at Mount Tabor the Archbishop was absent. At Tiberias, the Priest showed me some very ancient ruins, which he believed to have dated, in part at least, from our Lord's time, and over which, incorporating them into the building, he hoped to erect a Church. At Damascus, the Archbishop of Irenopolis was in charge during the vacancy of the Patriarchal See, the venerable Hierotheus, from whom I had received several kindly-letters, having died while I was in Jerusalem, and his successor having not yet been appointed. Books which I had sent the late Patriarch were shown me in the reception-room.
In conclusion, I may be permitted to mention a matter growing out of my visit to Jerusalem. The Patriarch had told me much of the Theological School of the Holy Cross, a short distance from the city, an institution in which he was greatly interested. Wishing to give a slight token of my appreciation of his kindness, I told him, as I was leaving, that I should send him from London, some books for the library of this Seminary. He seemed much gratified by my promise. When I came to England, I mentioned the matter to a few friends, who asked that they might add their gifts to mine. The result was, that before returning to America, I was enabled to send a box containing about $200 worth of books, the gift of the Bishops of Durham and Salisbury, the Archdeacons of Rochester and Bristol, Canons Liddon and Bright, the Rt. Hon. A. J. B. Beresford Hope, M. P., and others. These gifts were most highly appreciated by His Blessedness. A recent letter from the Patriarch tells me of the receipt of some valuable books presented by the University of Cambridge. Canon Westcott and Dr. Swainson had promised me to use their influence toward obtaining such a grant from the most valuable publications of the University.
I need hardly say to any who know me, or to many who know of me, that in my visit to the East, I did not go as a flatterer, any more than as a fault-finder. I was always thoroughly an Anglican. But with those Eastern brethren, I took the ground that we were not only followers of one Lord, but that, in most important points, our respective Churches were in full agreement. I believed that they did not always understand us, or we them, so there were not a few seeming differences. I was convinced, however, that many of these were apparent, rather than real. I always avoided controversy, when I could do so with courtesy, but was ever ready to give, and to ask for, frank explanation, when I had reason to think mistakes might exist on either side. Everywhere I was received as a brother in Christ, with the utmost kindness. God grant that those so linked to us in faith, hope, and charity now, may be joined in the bonds of an external Communion when it shall seem good in His eyes.
+ SOPHRONIUS, BY THE MERCY OF GOD, POPE AND PATRIARCH OF THE
[L. S. ] GREAT CITY OF ALEXANDRIA AND OF ALL EGYPT.
Most Reverend Priest, Charles R. Hale, the beloved and most dear Child, in the Lord Jesus, of our Humility, Grace be to your dear Reverence, and Peace from God, with the assurance of our Prayers and Blessing.
Returning to Alexandria from the place where we went for rest, in the Island of Leros, we found at the Patriarchate proofs of the filial affection toward us of your dear Reverence, viz.: "The History of the Patriarchate of Alexandria," and of that "of Antioch," by that learned theologian Neale, now at blessed rest; and, with these, "The New Testament," and the "Rudiments of Theology," of the Very Reverend Archdeacon John P. Norris, given to our Humility at the instance of your Reverence, and the photographic fac-simile of the Codex Alexandrinus (which, in former times, belonged to the Church of Alexandria), and which, at the instance of the Most Reverend the Archbishop of Canterbury, and at the request of your dear Reverence, was given by the honored Trustees of the Library of the British Museum.
We are at a loss for words adequately to express the sentiments which fill our hearts, in view of the proofs of affection for our Humility, and of reverence for the Church over which we bear rule, shown in time past, and now also, by your Reverence. Instead thereof, we pray God the Rewarder to recompense yon in this present life, granting you continued health and length of days, and in the better life to come to give you a crown of righteousness, as one who has fought well the good fight for the unity of the Churches of God, which unhappily are divided. We pray him also to strengthen you in your untiring labors. May His grace and boundless mercy, with our prayers and blessing, be with your Reverence. Amen.
The Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria,
Your fervent well-wisher in Christ.
Alexandria, December 18, 1885.
+ NICODEMUS, BY THE MERCY OF GOD, PATRIARCH OF THE HOLY CITY JERUSALEM AND OF ALL PALESTINE.
To the Very Reverend the Dean of the Cathedral Church at Davenport, in the United States of America, the beloved Son, in Christ our God, of our Humility, Charles R. Hale, Grace be to your dear Reverence, and Pence from God.
Receiving, with much fatherly affection, the filial letter of your beloved Reverence, dated the 5th of last month, we derived from it great pleasure--in the first place, because it told us of your safe arrival in the United States of America after your long absence from it, and then because it informed us of your appointment as Dean of the Cathedral Church in Davenport. Well knowing the virtues with which you are adorned, having made proof of them whilst you were in this Holy City, our Patriarchal See, we were delighted at your just and worthy appointment, and from the bottom of our heart we congratulate you upon it, praying Almighty God to grant you strength and power for the fitting discharge of the duties entrusted to you, and that you may show yourself approved in all things.
Expressing thus our congratulations and prayers, we assure you that we have always a most pleasant remembrance of you, and shall ever have an unchanging, fatherly affection for you. Nor do we forget your good disposition, and the honor and reverence which you always showed toward our most holy Mother of Churches, nor how, through you, leading Bishops of the Anglican Church, both in England and America, have expressed their sentiments of kindness and regard; wherefore, in our prayers to our true God and Lord Jesus Christ, we do not forget to seek from Him that, filled with mutual love, we all may be one, united in one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, in the unity of the Spirit speaking to us through the Apostles, those heralds of God, and through the General Councils.
Our mutual friend, the Rev. Arthur Carr, has sent to us lately some valuable books, presented to us by the Senate of the University of Cambridge--a gift which greatly pleased us, both on account of the dignity of the givers and the value of the books given.
During the Easter season lately past, we had here the Rev. Henry P. Liddon, D.D., Canon of St. Paul's, London. We were greatly pleased to make the acquaintance of this learned man, who most devoutly took part in all the holy Services of the Sacred Passion and of the Glorious Resurrection of our Lord.
Asking you to give our greeting in the Lord to the Most Reverend the Bishop of Iowa, and to say that we would most thankfully receive a copy of the book of which you tell us, we make an end to this letter, awaiting with an affectionate interest news of your welfare, and invoking upon you the grace of God.
In the Holy City Jerusalem, June 28,1886.
+ NICODEMUS, of Jerusalem.
Who prays for you.