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Dagmar the proper instruction in the principles and tenets of the Orthodox Catholic Church. The Baptism of Protestants is recognized as valid by the Russian Church, the more so, that the whole of Oriental Christendom has allowed that Sacrament to be administered, in cases of necessity, by Laymen. It is not Baptism (except in some particular cases,) but Holy Chrism, which is administered by the Eastern Church to converts from other denominations.
“ The question of the Apostolic Succession among Protestants is as yet an open question, at least in respect of the Anglican Church. Dr. Thiersch (Ueber Katholicismus u. Protestantismus) asserts that the Apostolic Succession is best of all (in respect of those of the Augustan Confession) conserved in the Scandinavian Church in Finland. I cannot tell you how earnestly I wish that all these questions could be elucidated, to the general satisfaction of our Churchmen. For our own Church, I hope and pray to see better times; she has been too much neglected by the whole West, and for too many centuries seemed altogether forgotten."
In illustration of the above, I may add, that the Bishops of Finland trace their descent from Peter Manson, Bishop of Westeraes, who was consecrated at Rome in 1524, and, on returning to the North, consecrated the first Reformed prelates ; and that in the reign of John III., the successor of Gustave Wasa, there was a scheme for union of the Northern with the Eastern Church, which was mainly thwarted by the intrigues of the Jesuits.
F. S. May. 15, Craven-terrace, W., Oct. 23, 1864. THE ROMISH CHURCH. MODERN CIVILIZATION AND RELIGIOUS
LIBERTY. We have, again and again, in this Review, proved that the teaching of the Romish Church is utterly hostile to both civil and religious liberty. We have a fresh proof of this, in the Encyclical Letter of Pope Pius IX, issued Dec. 8, 1864, in which the Pope sets bimself, not only against Free Civil Institutions, but against modern Civilization. The following is an extract:
“ There are a great number of men in the present day who, applying to civil society the impious and absurd principle of naturalism, as it is called, dare to teach that the perfect right of public society and civil progress absolutely require a condition of human society, constituted and governed without regard to all considerations of religion, as if it had no existence, or, at least, without making any distinction between true religion and heresy. And, contrary to the teaching of the Holy Scriptures, of the Church, and of the Fathers, they do not hesitate to affirm, that the best condition of society is that in which the power of the Laity is not compelled to inflict the penalties of law upon violators of the Catholic religion, unless required by the considerations of public safety. Actuated by an idea of social government so absolutely false, they do not hesitate further to propagate the erroneous opinion, very hurtful to the safety of the Catholic Church and of souls, and termed delirium by our predecessor, Gregory XVI., of excellent memory, namely, ‘LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE AND OF WORSHIP IS THE RIGHT OF EVERY MAN—a right which ought to be proclaimed and es[April, tablished by law in every well constituted State, and that citizens are entitled to make known and declare, with a liberty which neither the ecclesiastical nor the civil authority can limit, their convictions, of whatever kind, either by word of mouth or through the press, or by other means.''
“And do not omit to teach, that the royal power has been established not only to exercise the government of the world, but above all for the protection of the Church, and that there is nothing more profitable and glorious for the Sovereigns of States and Kings, than to leave the Catholic Church to exercise its laws, and not to permit any to attack its liberty; as our most wise and courageous predecessor, St. Felix, wrote to the Emperor Zenon. It is certain that it is advantageous for the Sovereigns, when the cause of God is in question, to submit their royal will, according to the established rules, to the Priests of Jesus Christ, and not to impose their will upon them.' (Pius VII. Epist. Enevel. Diu satis, May 15, 1800.")
Once, such a document, from Gregory VI. or Innocent III., would have disturbed the peace of the world. Now, it is wholly unnoticed, or received only with contempt, except in nations where that Church has influence enough to plot mischief. In France, the Letter has already produced astounding results. As has been well said, “ the Pope has broken the swords of his friends.” Such men as Montalembert, and Thiers, and the Protestant Guizot, dare not defend the Papacy on such a basis, for they see that the Pope has set himself
against the will of God and the deepest convictions of men. The Emperor has not only forbidden the publication of the Encyclical in France, but he bas at once made Prince Napoleon, the sworn foe of the Papacy, Vice President of the Privy Council.
The Letter, in an Appendix, contains a long Catalogue of “Errors," which are condemned, very adroitly drawn up; in which gross Romish usurpations and social and infidel theories are cunningly blended. The Letter is said to be the work of the Cardinals, and is of the most ultra-montane type.
STATISTICS OF The RUSSIAN CHURCH.-The Union Chrétienne gives a late Report of the Holy Synod of the Russian Church, which, according to custom, was presented to the Emperor. The Church, it says, labored willingly and effectually to promote the emancipation of the serfs, expressing its joy in festive services, and mediating in the few cases where dissatisfaction was expressed. There are 477 convents of men, numbering 5,648 monks, and 4,789 novices; and 137 convents of women, numbering 2,931 puns, and 7,669 novices. They are generally poor, but enjoy a high character for piety and benevolence. There are 50,165 consecrated buildings for worship, and others are being built. The inauguration of the Church at Paris, wbich is so much admired, is hailed as a sign of increasing vitality. There are 87 Bishops, 37,950 priests, 12,444 deacons, and 63,421 other clerics. With the addition of the ecclesiastics en retraite, the number of secular Clergy amounts to 126,164. The temporal condition of the country Clergy, though far from what it should be, is improving. The Orthodox population, omitting those in the army and navy, is 52,034,650;
of those, 37,612,978 communicated at Easter, en bons Chrétiens. The religious condition of the people generally is very hopeful, and a large number of new schools have been founded, very much of the expense of which has fallen upon the Clergy. In 1861, 9,605 converts to Russo-Catholicism are claimed ; 5,519 Raskolniks, 1,019 Roman Catholics, 40 Armenians, 536 Lutherans, 8 of the Reformed persuasion, 427 Jews, 579 Mahometans, and 1,457 Pagans. Numbers of Bulgarians have returned to their allegiance. Missions, in remote places, have been set on foot. 8,000 families of Nestorians have petitioned for leave to join ; and not a little has been done for suffering Christ. ians in the East, who are grievously oppressed.
The Russian Journals contain details respecting the progress of the einancipation of the serfs, up to the month of August last, at which date there were only eight regulating charters still uncompleted, while 111,568 have been already brought into execution, and these refer to estates on which reside 10,001,220 country people. As many as 2,133,043 people have come into complete possession of their plots of land, and of this number, 430,702 bave required no assistance from
A transitory condition is prevalent in provinces like Moscow and St. Petersburg, where the former serfs, rather artizans than cultivators of the soil, bave not the same interest in at present becoming freed from their obligations towards their former masters.
GREECE. In the new Constitution of the Kingdom, there is a provision tole. rating all Creeds, but forbidding any interference with the established Creed of the country, namely, the Greek Church.
“1. The Orthodox Eastern Church of Christ is the established religion in Greece. Every religion is tolerated, and may be freely exercised under the protection of the law. Proselytism, and all interference with the established religion, is prohibited.
“ 2. The Orthodox Church of Greece, acknowledging as its head our Lord Jesus Christ, is in doctrine indissolubly united to the great Church of Constantinople, and to every other Orthodox Church of Cbrist, observing with the same exactitude the Apostolic and Synodic Capons, and the holy traditions. But it is independent of every other Church, and exercises all sovereign rights under the government of a Holy Synod.”
ENGLISH CHURCH AMONG THE ARMENIANS, It will be recollected, that in a late No. of the Review, (Vol. XIV. No. III,) we pointed out the sources of troubles which had arisen among the Missions of the “ American Board,” to the Oriental Churches, and indicated the providential call upon the English Church to be true to the trust committed to her hands. The Bishop of Gibraltar, (Trower,) on a recent visit to Constantinople, performed certain official acts, and the Reformed Church of England was brought more distinctly to the notice of these Armenian Christians, who have separated from the Presbyterian Missions. We are told that "several deputations from among the body of Protestant Armenians, who were until very lately under the supervision of the American Missionary power, have earnestly solicited that one of their officiating ministers should be ordained to the office of Priest, according to the rites and ceremonies of the English Church. It is believed that the Bishop is most anxious to accede to their request; and, for this purpose, owing to the grave and serious import of the application, has submitted the whole question to bis Grace, the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose reply is most anxiously expected by the members of the Armenian Protestant Church."
The Editor of the Colonial Church Chronicle, after observing that the risk of giving umbrage to the American Board is not worth naming, and for reasons, says:-" It would be a real cause for most grave regret, if offense were taken by those ancient Churches-venerable, with all their faults-wbose estrangement from our own communion such earnest and systematic efforts are now being made to abate. Nevertheless, the case is to be looked at in all aspects; and it has to be considered that the Church from which these Armenian Acephali originally departed, at Constantinople, was not the legitimate Church of the land, and still stands in obstinate opposition to the fourth of those Ecumenical Councils, whose decisions we, with the Western and greatest Gregory, reverence as the Four Gospels. We do not, indeed, believe, that the Armenian Church is committed to the fundamental heresy which she thereby seems to countenance ; yet, does it not seem that a regard for Catholicity prohibits the return of these vagrants to whence they departed? If, after exchanging Eutychian proclivities for the predestinarianism of the followers of Geneva, they seek to give in their final adhesion to a sound and primitive doctrine and discipline, is the English Church, whose influence has mainly helped to bring them to a better mind, to reject their application to her for aid, and thereby risk their lapse into utter infidelity ?"
THE STATE AND PROSPECTS OF THE CHURCH IN IRELAND.—The Rev. Dr. A. Hume has published a work on the “Results of the Irish Census of 1861, with a Special Reference to the Condition of the Church in Ireland," in which he shows as follows: " The diminution in the entire population in twenty-seven years is 27•1 per cent; on the part of the Church, 13.4; of Roman Catholics, 30; of Presbyterians, 18.6; of other Dissenters, 44.7 per cent. Losing so heavily, says Dr. Hume, the Roman Catholic per centage for all Ireland fell from 80.22 in 1834, to 777 in 1861; while that of the Church rose from 10.7 to 11.9, and of the Presbyterians from 8:98 to 9."
In one respect these figures of Dr. Hume show the influence of the Roman Catholic Religion on the social and moral condition of the people. The influence of the Confessional is often extolled by Romish writers as guarding female virtue. We believe it to be exactly the reverse. We should anticipate such a result, and facts prove it Roman Catholics, though the Roman Catholics of Lancashire amount to only 11 per cent. In other words,' says Dr. Hume, in comparison with their respective numbers, there are six and a half times as many Roman Catholics as Protestants the inmates of our gaols.'" He says, that “ brothel-keepers and prostitutes exist in unusually large Roman Catholic proportions,” or that, in the whole province of Connaught, comprising nearly a million of souls, there is not a single prostitute connected with any class of Protestants whatever."
Dr. Hume says, “that in Lancashire itself, out of twenty. six rioters at Staley bridge during the cotton distress, twenty-one were Irish Roman Catholics, and that a recent Parliamentary return shows that there were 1,663 prisoners in six of the principal jails of Lancashire during the present year, Lancaster, Preston, Liverpool, Kirkdale, Salford, Manchester; that of these, 1,174, or 72 per cent, are
to be so.
ENGLISH CHURCH IN WESTERN AFRICA. On the occasion of the consecration of the Rev. SAMUEL CROWTHER, a Negro, in a letter addressed to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Committee of the Church Missionary Society pointed out
" That the foundations of a Native Church in Western Africa were laid more than fifty years ago, by the devoted and self-sacrificing labors of European missionaries; that the Church had been gradually extended and brought to maturity by a succession of European and native laborers, till at present it may be estimated at nearly 20,000 members, comprising twenty-two native ordained ministers, and eighty native teachers and catechists; that the native Christians are chiefly resident in the colony of Sierra Leone, where nine parishes have been formed under as many native ordained ministers, these ministers being independent of the Church Missionary Society, and under the direct superintendence of the Bishop of Sierra Leone, and wholly supported by the contributions of their people; that other native members of the Church bave settled at various points along the coast, while at Lagos and Abeokuta, 1,300 miles from Sierra Leone, another native Church, comprising nearly one-fourth of the whole number of Church members, is rising up, under the pastoral care of European missionaries and native ministers—the latest accession to the Christian Church being on the banks of the River Niger, 1,500 miles from Sierra Leone, where none but native ministers and teachers have yet labored, and where between 100 and 200 converts bave been collected. The Diocese of Sierra Leone comprises only the British colonies on the coast; and as the Bishop resides in Sierra Leone, the western extremity of the diocese, Episcopal visits to the distant colony of Lagos are necessarily rare, and to parts beyond the limits of the letters patent, especially to the River Niger, hardly practicable. Hence many native teachers are waiting for ordination, and many converts of long standing are deprived of the rite of Confirmation.”
According to the Colonial “Blue Book" of England, recently issued, there was in 1860 a population of 41,624 in the colonies of Sierra Leone, and 11,418 dwellings. Of the population, 15,692 were liberated Africans. and 22,593 had been born within the limits of the colony. Of the whole population only 3,351 still remained Pagans, and only 1,734 were Mohammedans. There were 15,130 Methodists, and 12,954 Episcopalians; 11,016 children were taught in the schools that year. Christianity has done much for the civilization and happiness of the people of that portion of Africa, and will do more.