« 上一頁繼續 »
passage means that the Episcopal church has no connection with “infidels,” &c. : Why say, that “the church” takes no part in “their plans to diffuse the principles of their sects P’’ The application of all this is so plain, that the attempt to argue against it only brings out more fully its meaning and design, and gives a new illustration of what Mr. S. means by “simply representing his own church.” We think our second question has not only answered itself, but cast some light on others which are yet to be asked. 3. Has Mr. S. proved his charge against the missionaries, of a dishonorable and dishonest concealment of their real character. This charge is closely connected with the one of hostility against Episcopal missions, in the following way. “The reason is that they conceive every such advantage [arising from Episcopacy] to place them at a disadvantage. If we are known distinctly as an Episcopal church, they must of necessity be known as Congregationalists. But this they have ever endeavored to conceal. Congregationalism is a root which will not thrive on an Eastern soil. . . . It is natural then that they should wish to conceal their real character, however we may question the propriety of yielding to such a temptation. Nevertheless it has been so far concealed, that in this city, where their mission has been established some thirteen years, the impression still prevails generally among the Armenians, that the Congregational missionaries are clermen of the English church, and am well assured, that till within two or three years, they were all supposed to be bishops. The impression has been strengthened by their adopting our clerical dress, using the Prayer-book, making the sign of the cross in baptism, and other such like practices unknown to Congregationalists at home.” When we read this passage, we
confess ourselves somewhat singularly affected. We should admire its ingenuity, did we not wonder at the audacity which would set it forth as expressing the truth, and were we not struck with horror at its deliberate coolness. It deserves a direct and pointed answer—that answer has been furnished us in a private letter from a friend in that mission, which has come to our hands, unsolicited and unexpected, since we began to write upon this article. We insert an extract on our own responsibility, premising that the friend knew not what impressions these amazing statements of Mr. S. had made on the public, and was moved to write after seeing the charge which we have quoted, affirmed by Mr. S. in the Chronicle of the Church, after the explicit denial of Drs. Anderson and Hawes.
“I wish to repeat to you under my own hand, that for all the intents and purposes for which Mr. S. wrote that charge of concealment, and the proofs of it, as found in the passages of his Vindication in capitals, he has put his hand to what is totally untrue. Not one Armenian or Greek of our acquaintances, in hundreds, knows that we have ever used printed prayers or worn gowns, or supposes that we are bishops, or that we are of the English (Episcopal) church. In no religious exercise with natives did we ever depart from our Presbyterian or Congregational customs. ‘What then have you done, that is the foundation for Mr. S.'s charges, so loudly put forth, and so unflinchingly reiterated * Why I just such things as this. At funerals of embassadors and others we wear gowns, as we would in America. Not knowing French and Italian well, we get what good written prayers of any orthodox sect we can, or write our own, to perform baptismal and other ceremonies for foreign Protestants. The French and German churches have short liturgies: sometimes we use them, for French and Germans. Those churches and the Scotch require gowns to be used; so do some churches at home desire it. But what has all this to do with the natives, with whom we never use written prayers ? But supposing I should 2 Would not all the church praise me, if, not yet knowing the language of the people well enough to extemporize, I should write a prayer so as to lead in devotions 2 As for the ‘sign of the cross,’ compare his accusation with his own retraction in the appendix, where he says, that “all who go with the missionaries do not use the sign of the cross.' But supposing that baptizing the child of a German Lutheran, in which church the sign of the cross is customary, if not obligatory, that it has been used twice or thrice in the history of the mission—still Mr. Southgate never saw it done, never heard of it but from a missionary telling him, and therefore, as found in his accusation, it is an untruth. But I hope and believe that no missionary has ever preached against an Armenian's making that sign. We do preach on its having no merit, but we have higher work than to spend hours in trying to prove to a mind darkened by soul-destroying errors, that this most ancient and not heretical custom is in itself sinful.
The consequences of our course are .
shown on page 32 of the “Vindication,' where Mr. S. charges, as he has to me, that persons “taught by us' do not make the sign of the cross, and rebuke those who do. The whole gist of Mr. S.'s accusation is, in saying that we do all these things for the sake of concealing our own deformities. That is the untruth second. We do none of these things, any more than would any American clergyman whose lot is cast in any foreign city of mixed Protestant sects, languages and customs, would be obliged to do.” This familiar and frank statement, and the more formal one in the pub
lished “reply' of the missionaries, are triumphantly satisfactory, so far as the facts and motives of our brethren are concerned, and give us ample room for conclusions in respect to the truth and honor of Mr. Southgate's charge. But the charge has such an air of “cool atrocity” about it, as well as manifest absurdity, that it deserves analysis, as a “psychological” phenomenon. Upon the mind of an Episcopalian, it would and could make but one impression. The members of any sect naturally think themselves well known abroad, as the naked
African prince, with a court of a
half-dozen negroes, very naturally asked what was said of him at Paris.” Far be it from us to intimate, that our Episcopal friends are less exposed to this infirmity than others, or would be less inclined to suppose their church not familiarly known in its dress and usages at the city of the Sublime Porte. They would very naturally suppose that things look to the eyes of the oriental Christians as to their own, and that a plain Congregationalist might be under very strong temptations to pass himself as an Episcopalian, and would dread to have the concealment exposed. They might be excused for not knowing, even if Mr. Southgate could not, that the robe, the liturgy, the sign of the cross, are none of them Episcopal peculiarities, and would innocently receive the charge as probable and true, and shrink with horror at this deceitful trifling with the “ark of the Lord.” For such this charge was written ; to such it was addressed; upon such it has produced its effects. But we wonder greatly, that this letter should have been deemed so altogether triumphant by the traveled and intelligent men, who make up the House of Bishops and Missionary Board, that they should back it up and give it so tremendous a sanction, as to invest its author with a bishop's robes, even before an answer appeared. So much for the intent of the charge, and the impression which it was fitted to produce. Mr. S. seems to have been rather alarmed at the fire of his own gun. He did not think the charge was so heavy, the report would be so loud, and the recoil so tremendous.
* Mr. Southgate bitterly complains, that he was not introduced to these orientals by the missionaries, as a clergyman of the Episcopal church. We hope our readers, if they have occasion to introduce a China-man to their friends, will not forget to add, that he is from “the celestial empire.”
“As guns well aimed at duck and plover, Bear wide and kick their owners over,”
so was it with Mr. Southgate's. Forthwith he begins to soften the charge. In his original letter he i. implies the intent to deceive.
n his letter in the “Church Chronicle,” after the denial at the meeting of the Board, he affirms the fact of the concealment, with the saving clause, “whether so intended or not.” In his “Reply” to the reply of the missionaries, he also says: “What I meant to say in my pamphlet, of the use of these signs by the missionaries, was, not that they wish to appear to be clergymen of our church distinctively, for our church is not in general distinctively known, but that they wish to appear as possessing the prima facie evidences of a clerical character, as they are understood at the East. Now when an Eastern Christian draws the inference that a man is a clergyman because he is wearing a clerical dress, what does this inference amount to ? Why, that he is an Episcopalian—a clergyman of an Episcopal church—for they know of no other kind of clergymen or churches.” “What I meant to say,”—why did you not say it? Such an explanation will hardly do, in a case where “the meant to say” and “the did say” signify things that are so wide asunder. But what is it that Mr. Southgate meant to say *
Simply this—that if a man, by word or act, sets himself forth as having a “clerical character,” he must, by the ignorance of the people, be considered an Episcopal clergyman, or belonging to some church in which there are bishops. So that a Congregationalist or Lutheran must never appear as a clergyman, for fear of doing the very dishonest thing of concealing their character! and to avoid the concealment, they must be content modestly to waive their claims to be clergymen / The American or Prussian embassador may not have a clerical resident in
his family, of the Congregational
or Lutheran church, because the deceit will be committed of passing them off as Episcopalians. If this is all Mr. Southgate “meant to say,” then has he committed an insult upon his church and the American public, by giving a very different impression. That impression was such, that the Episcopal editor to whom the manuscript was entrusted, regarded it as worthy of being printed in “staring capitals,” as being the most damning proof against the mission, for which Mr. S. apologizes, as “extra wadding,” that made his gun go off too hard. In the very act of charging concealment on the missionaries, he masks and conceals his own meaning, so that the words as they should “meet the ear,” should excite amazing wonder, even with Episcopalians, that they could be true. The answer to all this, whatever the meaning may be, is this. The Frank population at Constantinople either do not know or care enough about the Episcopal church to be deceived, or they know too much. Mr. Southgate says, and the missionaries say, and common sense says, that Englishman, American, Infidel, Lutheran, are with them equivalent and unchangeable terms. How absurd to talk of deceiving such men, by members of one sect assuming the badge of another It e
would be just as reasonable as if two English noblemen, one a knight of the blue and the other of the yellow ribbon, should be traveling in the heart of Brazil or at Timbuctoo. All at once, the court of St. James is astounded by the intelligence, that the knight of the blue ribbon has stooped to the base and uncourtly act of attempting to pass himself off with a yellow ribbon, knowing the passion of the African for the latter color, to the great scandal of his majesty's liege subjects, and the injury of the peace of the realm.” But what is supremely amusing is this: “The impression has been strengthened by their adopting our clerical dress, using the Prayer-book, making the sign of the cross in baptism, and other such like practices unknown to Congregationalists at home.” Not one of these badges or signs is peculiar to Episcopalians. Not one of them is Episcopal; and we have in these words the assertion that our brethren have sought to pass themselves off as Episcopalians, by signs which are no signs of an Episcopalian. Oh, Mr. Southgate Having been deacon, and priest, and almost a bishop, how could you have been so serenely unconscious, that there are Protestant liturgies in use besides “the Book of Common Prayer,”— that the sign of the cross is used in churches non-Episcopal, and that the gown is not “our clerical dress * How could you have been ignorant that John Davenport, that most radical of Independents, is painted in a gown, as truly as Rich
* Within a few months, the newspapers told us that some silly New Yorkers were sporting the “royal scarlet,” which in England is the exclusive livery of the “ princes of the blood.” We think it will be hardly complained of at Washington. In this case there is no deceit, because, if the New Yorkers know anythin about the matter, they know too .# to be imposed on, and if they know nothing, there is no deceit possible.
ard Hooker, that most conservative of all churchmen;–that the Scotch, the French and German churches require the gown; and that even in Boston, where we look for the most Puritanic of all usages, this usage is not esteemed antiPuritanic, but in that city Dr. Beecher was once amazed to find a gown upon his own shoulders ? Above all, how could you be so ignorant of the progress of “church principles,” as not to know, that it has been decided at last, by high Episcopal authority in England, that the gown, so far from being an Episcopal, is not even an ecclesiastical habit, and that henceforth every true Episcopalian must preach in the surplice 2 But again, Mr. S. speaks of “other such like practices.” The missionaries ask what he means; to which he replies, “they are in the habit of keeping, and that by public services for the occasion, Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter.” But are these practices purely Episcopal Ask a Lutheran, and he will tell you, No; that these “fasts and feasts” are kept, “and by public services,” in his church. It is well that “the American church,” in the examination of a candidate even for the episcopate, is somewhat indulgent, else Mr. S. might have failed even in his knowledge of what is and what is not the glorious excellence of his own church. “Walk about Zion, and go round about her: Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces.” We need not ask whether Mr. Southgate has sustained this charge. 4. What is to be the character and influence of the Episcopal mission at Constantinople 2 Upon what principles is it to be prosecuted 2 What attitude does it hold towards the dead and corrupt oriental churches 2 What will be its relation to the missionaries and the missions of the American Board 2 These questions and others like them throng in upon us with a fearful interest. We can not avoid the attempt to answer them. It is from its relation to this point, that this controversy presents a higher than any personal interest. It is important indeed, that our missionaries should be understood, so that, if they can be, they may be vindicated. But it is more important that we should know, and that the Episcopal church should know, what we are to expect from them on the missionary field. Our questions may be answered in a word. This mission was planned, and is to be conducted by Mr. Southgate, whose history and principles have been somewhat illustrated by the facts adduced ; which history and principles may be summed up in the remark of a friend, somewhat witty and somewhat true, “that Mr. Southgate went to Turkey to convert the Greeks, and the Greeks converted him.” This Mr. S. is now a bishop, and as such, is sufficiently irresponsible to give him the largest liberty to “represent his own church” after his own fashion, which church must very patiently submit to the operation. Butlet us look at our questions more closely. What is the Gospel, what the Christianity, which this mission is to preach * The answer is, it is not the Gospel which it preaches, but the “Gospel in the church,” or “Catholicity.” When it meets man in his sin and ruin, and declares to him salvation by Christ—
it does not bid him know his sin, then
go directly to Christ and receive a free pardon and divine assistance— and tell him that if he thus believes, he shall be saved, and if he does it not he shall be damned—whether in the church or out of the church. It tells him that to be saved in the appointed way, a man must be united to Christ, by belonging to the church —that he is a member of the church by being baptized—that the grace of Christ is dispensed through the sacraments, and a man is to grow
in grace, by a due and believing participation of these sacraments— that the sinner is justified by faith it is true, but it is by faith in Christ, as approached by the ordinances and prayers of the church, rather than as approached by the sinner alone.
This, let it be understood, is the Gospel which Bishop Southgate will preach at Constantinople. This, the Episcopal church will preach through him. We care not to describe it by a name—but this is the thing—this the doctrine—these the principles which Bishops Whittingham and McIlvaine—Bishops Doane and Eastburn, and Doctors Seabury and Milnor must proclaim, and for which they must solicit the contributions of their flocks. It is true that in words Bishop Southgate professes “the doctrine of justification by faith alone,” and declares it to be “the very basis and foundation of all sound theology.” It is also true that he holds that it is through the church and by the sacraments, a man receives from Christ, pardon and eternal life—if he receives him in the way appointed, and that the Gospel which reveals Christ, reveals also, that he is effectually to be received by union with “the church.” Our authority for this assertion is Mr. Southgate himself. We are well aware that he has given no explicit avowal of his “church principles”—and we are well aware of the reason why. We know that he says it is most impertinent to reason from a man's principles on church matters, to what his conduct is likely to be ; and that he refuses to define his views, lest he make his “reply” “a theological essay.” We are as well aware as he himself— though not perhaps as sensitively, that there may be other reasons why an explicit avowal of these principles might not tend to unity at home or abroad. His recent work on the Syrian church, however, gives ample satisfaction, that he adopts a very high, if not the very highest