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Court is asked, not to vindicate the pursuer's entire freedom in the performance of his sacred office, which is admittedly indelible, but to regulate the manner in which the rites of the Church in question, shall be dispensed by one of its ministers, in the exercise of authority derived from the Church itself. Nothing could better illustrate what appears to the Lord Ordinary to be the fundamental objection to this action.
E. F. M.
THE AMERICAN AND RUSSIAN CHURCHES.
The subjoined account of the progress of negotiations for the renewal of the inter-communion between the Eastern and Western branches of the Church Catholic, extracted from the American Quarterly Church Review, will, we are assured, be read with great interest.
Two providential circumstances seem to make the American Church the best medium of communication between the long-dissevered Churches of the East and West. It possesses in its Eucharistic Office those features of the Eastern rite which it received from the Scottish Church through its first Bishop, the apostolic Seabury; and whatever proceeds from it will be received with respect and favour in the East, in consequence of the friendly relations which have always existed between the Russian Empire and the American Republic.
Some months ago, the Rev. John Freeman Young, Secretary of the Russo-Greek Committee appointed by the General Convention of 1862, having occasion to go abroad, gladly embraced the opportunity, at the request of the Committee, to extend his tour into Russia, in order the more successfully to obtain the information which was the object of appointing the Committee. His return gives us a far more minute and accurate knowledge of the present condition of the Russian Church than has been previously within our reach. His experience while in that distant country also gives us proof, as abundant as it is delightful, of the friendly disposition of the chief Prelates and leading laymen of Russia, and of their readiness to respond to any overtures for inter-communion-should such be made-provided no concession be expected of them which should trench upon the fundamental principles of Truth and Order.
After making the acquaintance of the Russian chaplains resident in London and Paris—both of whom were deeply interested in the movement and anxious to further it to the utmost in their power—Mr. Young arrived in St Petersburg, and waited upon the Vice-Procureur General, Prince Ourousoff ; through whom, and in whose presence, he obtained an interview with the Procureur General. These gentlemen are the Emperor's representatives in the Holy Synod, without whom nothing can be done-being
equivalent to what is called, with us, the “ Lay Element.” The Procureur-General said that, being laymen, it was not for them to express an opinion upon the theological aspects of the question. He, therefore referred Mr. Young to the aged and truly venerable Philaret, Metropolitan of Moscow, as being pre-eminently the man whose utterances on such a point might be regarded as the voice of the whole Russian Church, and whose opinion touching this matter, when communicated to the Holy Synod after an interview with Mr. Young, would in all probability very greatly influence the action of the Synod. He alluded to the cordial reception given in this country to the Russian fleet; and in regard to the manifestation of courtesies, both secular and ecclesiastical, he said, at the close of a very cordial interview, that these tokens of kindness and goodwill were not only expressions of the sentiment of the American people and the American clergy towards the Russian, but no less truly the sentiment of the Russian people and the Russian clergy towards the American.
At Moscow, Mr. Young enjoyed two interviews with the Metropolitan Philaret, of some three hours each, the Vicars of the Metropolitan, Bishop Sabas, and Bishop Leonide, together with the Rector of the Spiritual Academy of Moscow, and two interpreters, being present on both occasions. [Bishop Leonide, by the way, was in his youth a classmate, at the Naval School, of the Admiral Lessoffsky, wholeft us but the other day; and he entered most heartily and thoroughly into the movement.] The Metropolitan's reception was most courteous and cordial; and throughout theinterviews nothing was said on either side that in the slightest degree ruffled or disturbed the friendly tone.
The substance of the conversation was chiefly the asking and answering of questions, as to the state of facts touching the doctrine and ecclesiastical position of the Anglican Communion on the one side, and of the Russian Church upon the other. It was arranged that the chief portions of our Prayer Book should be translated into the Russian language and published, so as to give a more definite idea of the doctrine and worship of our Church. The Metropolitan, at the close of the final interview, expressed his gratification at the letters which Mr. Young had brought from the American Bishops, asking Mr. Young, in return, to “ bear the kiss of peace from him to the whole venerable Hierarchy of the American Church, assuring them of his warmest sympathy and love, and of his earnest prayer and hope that we may soon be one in mind, as we are already one in heart in Christ Jesus.” At parting, he gave Mr. Young his Episcopal benediction, together with the most cordial adieus. During his stay in Moscow, Mr. Young found that the movement was already well among
the leading circles of the laity, and the warmest desires were expressed for a successful issue. So much interest was shown, indeed, that Mr. Young found it simply impossible to accept all the invitations that were so kindly pressed upon him from every side.
On his return from Moscow to St. Petersburg, he had an interview with the Metropolitan of St. Petersburg, who is also President of the Holy Synod, the Archbishop of Moghilleff, a member of the Synod being also present. His
reception here was no less warm and cordial than by the venerable Philaret. He expressed great gratification for himself, and on behalf of the Russsian Church at the movement thus begun, and assured Mr. Young that any step which our Church might see fit to take, would be met by the Russian Church in the Spirit and Love of Christ. He thought it very judicious that a Committee of Inquiry should have been appointed in the first instance, as it would afford the opportunity for a better knowledge of one another, before more formal negotiations should be begun, He read the letters from the American Bishops with care and evident interest, noting the expressions they contained, and testifying his gratification at the tone wbich pervaded them. He said that the sentiments and wishes of the American Bishops in these letters could not but meet with warm sympathy on the part of the Russian Church, which ever prays for the reunion of Christendom, and is ever ready to negotiate with those who desire to stand on the ground of Apostolic Truth and Order, and are willing to admit the Apostolic dignity of the Russian Church. He stated that he would lay these letters of the American Bishops before the Holy Synod on the following day, and invited Mr. Young to visit the Synod at the same time ; remarking, also, that replies to these letters would be sent to the American Bishops. At the close of the interview, the Metropolitan expressed the sincere hope that the movement begun by the American Church, might prove to be the work of our Blessed Lord Himself
, and that, through His Grace, it might result in the great consummation so much desired by both Churches. In parting, he also gave to his visitor the Episcopal benediction.
The next day, in accordance with the invitation given, Mr. Young visited the Holy Synod, and was introduced by Prince Ourousoff to the several members of it, by all of whom he was most courteously and cordially received. At the request of the Procureur General, he left the letters of the American Bishop to be deposited in the Archives of the Holy Synod; and at the request of the President of the Holy Synod, he wrote the following Note to accompany the letters, giving an epitome of the origin and aim of the movement. As an evidence of the scrupulons fidelity with which Mr. Young kept himself within the line of his instructions, during this interesting and most important tour, we give this Note in full :To his Eminence ISIDORE,
Metropolitan of St. Petersburg :My LORD METROPOLITAN :-I have the honour to present to you, Lordship the accompanying letters of commendation and fraternal saluta
tion in the Lord, from several Bishops of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, which is, as your Lordship is well aware, an offshoot of the ancient and venerable Church of England.
His Excellency the Procureur-General of the Holy Synod suggested when I had the honour to lay these letters before him, that as they are the first which have been written to the Hierarchy of the Oriental Church by the Canonical Bishops of any Independent National Church since the Great Schism with reference to reunion, it would be very gratifying to the Synod if, on my return to America, I would leave them to be deposited in its archives. With this kind suggestion it gives me great pleasnre now to comply, begging to assure your Lordship that many others of our Bishops would have had great pleasure in joining in these greetings, had they known in due time of the opportunity for this, which my contemplated visit would afford.
The letters accompanying are from the following seven of our forty
Bishop of Michigan.
Bishop of Western New York.
Bishop of Pennsylvania
Bishop of Maine.
Assistant Bishop of Connecticut,
Bishop of New York.
Assistant Bishop of Pennsylvania. Standing alone amidst the numerous Protestant Communions by which she is surrounded, because of her tenacious adherence to the Apostolical Succession of her Priesthood, her Catholic Liturgy, Creeds, Traditions, and Ceremonies, the great Anglican Communion, of which the American Church is a considerable part, ever since her release from the thraldom of the Papacy, has regarded with interest and lively sympathy the venerable Orthodox Church of the East.
This sentiment was strengthened by the publication in our language, some fifty years ago, of Platon's Catechism, Dr. King's Rites and Ceremonies of the Greek Church, and some other similar works. But it has received a greater impulse more recently by the publication of the Primer and Catechisms of the Russian Church, Mouravieff's History of the same, and other standard Russian works, together with the well-known and valuable labours of the Rev. Dr. John Mason Neale.
Yet the occasion for calling forth the expression of these sentiments, by any action on our part was wanting, till the settlement of a considerable number of Russians in San Francisco, and the desire of several of them for the ministrations of our priesthood (in the absence of their own) with the prospective increase of this intercourse on the Pacific, admonished us that the time had arrived when the two Churches should enter upon the consideration and definition of their mutual ecclesiastical relations.
Remembering our Redeemer's earnest prayer, “ that they all may be one,” and knowing the charitable spirit which has ever characterised the Orthodox Church of the East, the American Church has not hesitated to take the first step in this momentous matter : and from the many important points of agreement and few of difference between us, the hope is entertained on our part, that without the surrender of fundamental principles on either side, and on a strictly Catholic and Ecumenical basis, with the blessing of the Great Head of the Church on our mutual efforts, a harmonious understanding may in due time be attained.
The end contemplated by the movement of the American Church referred to in these letters, may be stated in a few words to be :—The attainment of a more accurate knowledge of the Orthodox Eastern Church than we are as yet in possession of, making known to her Hierarchy at the same time, as opportunities may serve, our well-established claims to recognition as an integral portion of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church ; having ultimately in view (should it appear feasible and desirable when we come to know each other better) such mutual recognition of Orders and Sacraments, as will allow members of the Anglo-American Communion to avail themselves of the offices of the Eastern Church, with the consent of its Bishops and clergy, without renouncing the Communion of their own Church ; and as will permit members of the Eastern Church, with like consent, as occasion shall serve, to avail themselves of the ministrations of the Anglo-American Church, without forfeiting thereby the privilege of Church membership in their own Communion.
With assurances of the unceasing prayers of the Faithful of the
JOHN FREEMAN YOUNG,
of the American Episcopal Church. St. Petersburg, April 21, 1864.
It will be easily understood that Mr Young met with a vast deal to gratify and exhilarate the friends of the movement towards inter-communion, which cannot be laid before the public, without a violation of the propriety that clothes private conversations with a reserve that is understood by all gentlemen ; while other facts will be more appropriately reserved for the Report of the Committee to the next General Convention. We would mention only two incidents, each having its own bearing. The one is, that the courtesy of the Bishop of New York towards the chaplains on board of the Russian fleet that has been for a year past in our waters, in inviting them to officiate in this Diocese during their stay, and in tendering to them his good offices for procuring the use of any one of our city churches, for public service with their own people if they should desire it, has been widely made known in the Russian papers in terms of