Charles Chapman Grafton.

The works of the Rt. Rev. Charles C. Grafton (Volume 4) online

. (page 17 of 21)
Online LibraryCharles Chapman GraftonThe works of the Rt. Rev. Charles C. Grafton (Volume 4) → online text (page 17 of 21)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Holy Governing Synod.

"With the Metropolitan I discussed freely the matters re-
lating to the intercommunion of our respective Churches, and
presented to him a letter which I had prepared on the subject.
This letter, by the good offices of my friend, Mr. Birkbeck,
was translated into the Russian language. There is much
that I would like to state concerning the Metropolitan's kind-
ness and sympathy, but which would hardly be a matter for
so formal a report. To this letter I received subsequently a
formal acknowledgment, which was brought to me in America
by Bishop Innocent. Our communication was referred by the
Holy Governing Synod to a special commission of theologians
to report thereon. At their request I have sent them a number
of books relating to our Church and its Constitution. Sub-
joined to this report is a copy of the letter which I addressed
His Eminence.

"I would say that the letter has been subjected to a not
unkindly criticism by Professor Sokoloff, which was carefully
replied to, removing some of the misconceptions of the professor
and answering some of his arguments, by the Rev. Sigourney
W. Fay, Jr. This correspondence is to be found in the " Ameri-
can-Russian Messenger."

"The result of our visit certainly has been to awaken in-
quiry and to promote kindly feeling between the two Churches.
The practical result we may strive for is such a mutual recogni-
tion as to allow of the Orthodox Church giving to our people,


when abroad and unable to receive ministrations of their own
clergy, the Sacraments in time of need, and of our performing
the same kindly offices for their people when in like situation.

"Again and again I was impressed with the conservative
spirit of this ancient Church, using throughout all these ages
the ancient liturgies inherited from Saints Basil and Chrysostom.
The Eastern Church, it should be remembered, has not, to
any great extent, come under the rationalizing spirit of Western
scholasticism, or gone through the necessary but disturbing
influences and convulsions of the Reformation. She has pre-
served, better than any other portion of Christendom, the
ancient faith, though of course with its Eastern setting of
ceremonial and worship, and her attitude towards us is in
striking contrast with that of Rome. Rome, as the Eastern
ecclesiastics said, asks of us and of you Anglicans submission.
The papacy, with its claim of supreme monarchy and universal
jurisdiction, demands and can demand nothing less, The only
way of union with the Pope is by surrender of our inherited
Catholicity, the destruction of our constitutional Episcopal
system, and absolute submission to the papacy. Of all this
the Eastern Church knows nothing. Like ourselves she is
Catholic, but not papal. She does not ask us to submit to her.
She only asks, in the interest of Christian fellowship, whether
we hold the same inherited Catholic faith. If we do, we are
brothers. And if we are brothers in the faith, then we are

"As the Holy Governing Synod has appointed a Commis-
sion, my suggestion is that a similar Commission be appointed
by our body, consisting of its chairman, two other Bishops,
and two clergy, who shall be a committee to correspond and
confer with that appointed by the Synod, and of which Bishop
Sergius, the President of the Academy, is its head.




" To His Eminence the Most Reverend A rchbishop A ntonius, Metro-
politan of St. Petersburg and Ladoga :

"Accept, we pray you, our greeting in our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ, God of God, Light of Light, by Whom and in
Whom alone salvation is to be found and Who ever liveth and
reigneth, the Head of the Mystical Body, the Holy Catholic
and Apostolic Church.

"We have taken the liberty of sending you by the Right
Reverend Bishop Tikhon, who has so endeared himself to us
and has most kindly undertaken this office of charity, a few
theological books illustrative of our Church's position and

"They may not add anything to your present extensive
knowledge of our communion, but may convey to you our
humble desire that the holy Orthodox faith, so providentially
preserved by you, may become better understood by us, and
that by God's grace the two Churches may grow into greater
accord and fellowship.

"You will hi your goodness not despise our littleness or some
peculiarities that have come from our inherited Westernism,
but will, we believe, make generous allowances for the defects
and the evils to which a Puritan invasion in the past and our
present environment in America have exposed us. The Catholic
revival is gradually developing within our communion and we
ask for it your sympathy, encouragement, and prayers.

"Our Church has preserved the Apostolic Succession and
the three holy orders of the ministry, and in her formularies
has not departed, we humbly trust, from any essential or dogma
of the Orthodox faith. There has been of late years a great
revival of spiritual life in the whole Anglican Communion, a
better comprehension of the Catholic and Orthodox theology,
and a growing desire for a recognized fellowship, especially with
the venerable Churches of the East.

"May we venture to say to your Holiness that in the ap-


preachment of the two communions that portion of the Angli-
can Church which is in the United States stands the nearest
to your venerated body. Politically the governments of the
two countries, Russia and the United States, have always
maintained most happy relations, and our Church here in
America is unlike the Church in England, in being free from
any State control, and so free to act in its recovery of Catho-
licity and its intercourse with other Churches. The thirty-
nine Articles do not form a portion of our Prayer Book, though
bound up with it, and subscription to them is not required by
us as it is in England. Our Liturgy and Eucharist differs
from that in the English Book in that the doctrines of the
Priesthood, Altar, and Sacrifice are more explicitly and fully
stated. Our Canon for the Consecration of the Holy Elements
is far more full, with a distinct offering and presentation of the
Holy Sacrifice, and has the formal Invocation of the Holy

"We use for the most part leavened bread in the Holy
Eucharist, though unleavened wafers are allowed. It has been
an almost universal custom with us to mingle a little water
with the wine before the consecration of the elements. When
some years ago an effort was made by some to forbid the use
of incense, our Church refused to pass any prohibitory canon.
We have, however, to acknowledge that this Scriptural and
Evangelical symbol is as yet but very partially used among
us. In Baptism immersion is provided for by our rubrics, but
pouring, not sprinkling, is allowed, which is usually done three
times, one at the mention of each name of the Blessed Trinity.
We hold that there is but one 'Ap^i; in the Godhead, and that
the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father as the One Eternal
Source and Fountain of Life, through the Son. While holding
this faith as one, we believe, with yourselves, there seems to be
a growing feeling that the Filioque Clause, which, without
ecumenical authority, was added to the Creed, should be

"Along with yourselves we repudiate the Papal Supremacy
and Rome's modern dogmas of the Papal Infallibility and the


Immaculate Conception. We reject the Romish doctrine of
Purgatory and the relief of the souls of the faithful by the
application of the superabundant merits of the saints through
the papal system of indulgences. We venerate Mary, the
Ever Virgin and Ever Blessed Mother of God, but do not hold
with Roman doctors that she is the Neck of the Mystical Body
of Christ and that all graces must pass to us from Christ the
Head through her. We accept all that the recognized Ecu-
menical Councils of the Church have decreed and, as the canon
of the English Church requires, hold that the Holy Scriptures
should be expounded in conformity with the teachings of the
ancient Fathers.

"Yet we have to confess that our Church is not all that the
Divine Master would have it be, and the cruel marks inflicted
by the stripes of past ages can be seen upon her. Like one
recovering from a long illness and just regaining strength, we
turn to the East and stretch out our hands and ask for sym-
pathy and counsel and Christian fellowship.

"The future of the world's progress lies chiefly with the
Slavonic and the English speaking peoples. The progressive
colonizing work of the Latin race is mostly done. The Latin
Church can no longer dominate the West. Recognition and
established fellowship between the Eastern and the Anglican
Communions, as it would do so much towards forwarding
Christ's Kingdom, is that for which we earnestly pray, and
make known in our great Master's Name our desires unto

"Asking ever your remembrance at the holy altar, with our
profound esteem and reverence in Christ,

Your most humble servant in the Lord,




"To His Eminence the Most Reverend Antonius, Metropolitan of
St. Petersburg and Ladoga, Presiding Member of the Most Holy
Governing Synod of Russia, and Archimandrite of the Lama
of St. Alexander Nevski:

"It is with deep respect and fraternal charity we address
you and through you the Most Holy Synod of the Orthodox
Russian Church. The Church in the United States of America
has established a Commission, consisting of nine Bishops,
together with a number of priests and others of learning and
influence, on Ecclesiastical Relations. We hereby transmit to
you a letter from the Right Reverend Bishop of Central
New York, who is its presiding officer, certifying our member-
ship of the Commission, and we have received a formal request
from its secretary to prepare a report after conference with
yourselves on the relation between the two communions.

"Together with these we are honored in being the bearer of
a letter from our venerable Primate, the Right Reverend Dr.
Clark, the Bishop of Rhode Island, who was the oldest living
Bishop in Christendom, and who, since we set out on our jour-
ney, has passed to his rest; and who bade us communicate to
you his brotherly greetings in our Lord and the desire of his
heart that as the Church is one in union with her Divine Head,
so unity may find an increasing expression in Christian recog-
nition and fellowship.

"There seems to be, if we mistake not, a growing desire
among Christians in these latter days, now that the multi-
form oppositions of Satan and the foretold sign of the Son of
Man (the cross of persecution) are becoming more manifest,
together with an increasing spirituality in the Church (like
the promised budding of the fig-tree), for Christians everywhere,
under the promptings of the Holy Spirit, to draw together and
to beckon to their partners in the other ships to come to their
aid. And it is to the ancient and venerated Churches of the
East, so invulnerable in their inherited orthodoxy, so clear in


their conception of the Church as a spiritual organism of which
Christ is the ever living and ever present Head, that we of the
farther West naturally turn. We turn to the East and look
towards Jerusalem with the eyes of children towards a mother.

"Turning to those things on which we are agreed, we may
say that both communions regard the Church as a Divine
Society founded by Christ Himself, which is visible in so far
as it is upon earth and invisible in so far as it is in heaven.
Both alike regard it as one spiritual organism of which the
Incarnate Son of God is the Head and the Holy Spirit is the
indwelling Light and Life. And our mutual conception of this
Church is that it is one, holy, Catholic, and Apostolic.

"Both agree that the Church is a race of kings and priests,
but while all Christians partake of the priesthood, they are not
all pastors. We agree that the hierarchy consists of Bishops,
priests, and deacons, and that these ministers succeed by an
ordination from the Apostles.

"We concur in holding that the Church hath authority in
controversies of faith. We alike believe that the Holy Spirit
dwells within the Church, certifying its utterance by the
agreement of the whole Body. We believe the Holy Spirit
guides the Church into all Truth by bringing to its remembrance
all and whatsoever the Lord revealed, and enabling it to pre-
serve the faith once delivered to the saints.

"Both Churches regard as Holy Scripture those books of
which there was never any doubt in the Church, and hold the
Holy Scriptures to be the Word of God. We believe that the
Church is limited in her definitions to the original Depositum
Fidei, which is contained in Holy Scripture as it is received and
interpreted by the Church, which is the witness and keeper of
Holy Writ. Of what is and what is not contained in Scripture
the Church is the final and authoritative judge. We thus
agree in professing the Faith, which we alike hold, to be a
sacred deposit to which nothing can be added and from which
nothing can be taken away.

"We have thus as points of agreement the same belief con-
cerning the Church, the priesthood ; and our conception of the


Sacraments as channels of grace, and the necessity of our union
with Christ by a living, loving faith is like your own.

"Together we condemn the following errors of the Church
of Rome:

"We reject the papal monarchy, with its claims to a supreme
pontificate separate from the priesthood, as possessed inde-
pendently or inherently of legislative, judicial, and executive
power, as being the Head of the Church, the Vicar of Christ,
the Centre of Unity, the source of all jurisdiction.

"We reject the additions made to the Creed by Pope Pius
IV., and the more modern dogmas of the Papal Infallibility,
and the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

"We alike repudiate the Roman doctrine of a purgatory of
satisfaction, and of a treasury of saintly merits dispensable by
the Roman Pontiff, and of indulgences.

"We both reject, in our common belief in the Communion
of Saints, the Latin idea of servitude which would make us not
only desire and ask for their prayers and offer on their behalf,
but suppliantly invoke them for grace or mercy or salvation.

"We both reject all the rationalizing processes of the Latins
concerning the grace of God and the Sacraments, and especially
their audacious reasonings concerning the Blessed Sacrament
of the Body and Blood of the Lord. And we both affirm that
it is the same carnal rationalizing, the same reliance on natural
reason, which causes dogmas to be added in Rome and taken
away in Geneva, and which by confounding faith and opinion
has destroyed the assurance of the Faith both among the
Latins and Protestants.

"Turning now to matters requiring explanation, one prob-
ably is in the non-use by us of the term ' transubstantiation.'
Let us state what our doctrine is and why we do not use this

"The Anglican Church has had a double contest, one in the
deliverance of herself from Latinism and the other from Protes-
tantism. At the time of the Reformation in the sixteenth
century there was a popular belief, known then as the Romish
doctrine of transubstantiation, which held that the elements


at the time of consecration were so physically changed that
they ceased to exist and remained in appearance only. This
the Reformers rejected on the ground that it overthrew the
nature of a sacrament, which must consist of two parts. When,
on the other hand, Protestantism denied the reality of the
Presence of our Lord's Body and Blood, then, in the seven-
teenth century, the Anglican Church made further and more
explicit statement of her doctrine and embodied it in her official
Catechism. She then declared that the outward part or Sign
was bread and wine, but that the inward part or Thing was the
Body and Blood of the Lord. She moreover stated that the
grace or benefit the faithful received was the strengthening and
refreshing of their souls. By making these distinctions be-
tween the Sign, the Thing, and the Grace, the Church condemned
the subjective theory of Protestantism. For we are not taught
by our Catechism that the outward sign or form is the eating or
drinking of the elements, but that the outward part or sign is
the bread and wine; and we do not say that the inward part
is the reception of the Body and Blood of Christ, but that the
inward part or Thing is the Body and Blood of the Lord.

"This doctrine was protected in the Articles of Religion.
For though never regarded as a Confession of Faith, and the
one on General Councils (the twenty-first) having been omitted
in America, and signature to them not being by us required,
yet they may be referred to in explanation of the doctrine con-
tained in the Catechism, which is of universal obligation. Thus
it is said in Article 28 that the Body of Christ is given, taken,
and eaten only after a heavenly and spiritual manner. Here
the objectivity of the presence of Christ's Body in the Sacra-
ment as occasioned by the consecration is asserted, for the Body
to be given and taken must be there before it is received.
And as to the heavenly and spiritual manner, we read in
Aquinas, ' Summa,' IDE. 75, that the Body of Christ is not in
the Sacrament in the manner in which a body is in a place,
but in a certain spiritual manner which is proper to this Sacra-
ment. In heaven It (the Body of Christ) exists after the
manner of a body, but in the Sacrament It does not exist


after the manner of a body (in that it does not occupy space),
but in a spiritual manner ('De Eucharistica/ V.).

"In Article 28 we read that the means whereby the Body of
Christ is received and eaten is faith. It does not say made
present by faith, nor given by faith, but received and eaten by
faith. Here, too, our Reformers followed Aquinas, who says:
'In order to understand the excellency and heavenly dignity of
this Sacrament, it is to be noted that although all the Sacra-
ments of the Church have their effect by the faith of the Pas-
sion of Christ, and also from faith and through faith profit
only the faithful unto salvation, this is nevertheless to be said
most especially of the Sacrament of Faith.'

"Our twenty-ninth Article states that the wicked eat not
the Body of Christ; and the wicked who receive the Sacrament
are not thereby made partakers of Christ. The Article in its
Latin form uses accipere and sumere for receiving, percipere for
the interior eating or manducation of the Lord's Body. It
thus says that they, the wicked, eat and yet they do not eat.
They eat because they receive the Sacrament; nevertheless
they eat not because they do not percipere, partake of Christ.

"Our Church believes in a change, or /leraySoA^, effected by
the consecration. Before that act the elements are simply
bread and wine; after that they are what our Lord's holy
Word declared them to be, His Body and Blood. This change,
effected by the power of the Holy Ghost, is a divine mystery.
We do not, like the Latins, dogmatize about it. As the term
' transubstantiation,' as used in the West, is popularly under-
stood to involve the Aristotelian distinction between sub-
stance and accidents, we do not use it. We believe your great
and saintly theologian Philaret eliminated these terms from
translations prepared by him of the Council of Bethlehem. If
you could explain to us that your use of the term does not
involve as a dogmatic statement the Tridentine exposition, we
see no reason why we should not be in accord.

"Another subject for explanation concerns the saints. We
believe as well as yourselves in the Communion of Saints.
We recognize the fact that the Church is a living spiritual


organism and that a constant stream of prayer flows from us
to those now with the Lord in glory and from them to us. We
know that they without us are not made perfect, but that
their graces here and there, and glory there, were obtained by
the united prayers of the Church past, present, and future
prayers which were foreseen, or rather always present in the
sight of God. And we believe that we also benefit by the
prayers which they offered while on earth and still offer in
heaven. We do not object to asking God to accept their
prayers for us, nor to what is called an oblique invocation, and
since, if they know our prayers at all, it is by a revelation of
God, it would seem that there is no doctrinal difference between
direct and indirect invocation. We, however, agree not with
the doctrine of the Romans which sets up the relation of patron
and client between those who are brethren, and introduces
the idea of servitude between the children of a common Father.
We desire the prayers of all saints, not as omnipotent or omni-
present, or as in themselves sources of grace or virtue, but as
worshipping together with us in the Church of God. We
reverence profoundly above all the saints the Ever Blessed
Virgin, the Mother of God, but are shocked at the position
assigned her by Roman theologians as the Neck of the Mystical
Body through whom, from the Head, all grace must pass.

"What we desire explained by our Eastern Brethren is the
prayer in their offices; 'Most Holy Mother of God, save us.'
Have we received the correct interpretation of it when we are
told, the use of the word 'save' is similar in its theological
meaning to the expression of St. Paul when he said he became
all things to all men that he might save some? Does it mean
with you that the Ever Blessed Virgin was an instrument or
minister of the Incarnation and the second Eve, as St. Justin
and St. Irenaeus have written? Do you not with us repudiate
the Latin idea that she is a co-Redemptress? Afraid as we are
of modern Romanism, will you, out of your orthodoxy, not
alky our people's fears?

" Concerning the number of the divine mysteries it does not
appear to us that there is any essential difference between the


Churches. The Anglican Church holds that there are two
which are generally necessary to salvation, and five other ' com-
monly called sacraments.' It is to be observed that the word
'generally' in the Catechism, which is written in Elizabethan
English, does not mean 'commonly' as is now the use, but
'universally' as it is used in our English Old Testament. As
being 'means of grace' the above seven belong to the same
category. But we make a distinction, and divide them as your
theological writer Komiakoff did. There are two which belong
to the Church considered hi relation to Christ and the Church's
eternal being, and others as concerned with the Church on
earth in its temporal and militant condition. The matter and
form of the two were ordained by Christ and are unalterable;
the matter and form of the others are subject to the regulation
of the Church. The anointing of the sick has fallen largely
into disuse among us, partly, we believe, from a rejection of
the Roman belief and practice that it was to be used chiefly as
a preparation for death. But we have a prescribed office for
the sick. We administer Confirmation, following the Apostolic
custom of laying on of hands of the Bishop only, while you allow
the priest to minister with chrism blest by the Bishop. We
believe the grace conveyed by either mode is the same.

"The greater barrier perhaps between us is our use of the
Filioque in the Creed. This we inherited through our con-
nection with Western Christendom. May God in His great
mercy and love so enlighten us that this cause of division may
be removed. It is certainly to be admitted as a great satis-
faction that there is between us no difference in doctrine. We
both believe hi but one 'A-pxrj hi the Blessed Trinity. We
both deny that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son in the
same manner hi which He proceeds from the Father. We of
the Anglican Church accept the doctrine of St. John Damascene.
If then we believe the same Faith, why may we not come to
some agreement? We see, or think we do, how impossible it
would be for the Orthodox Eastern Church to alter its expres-
sion of the Faith. To do so would involve an acknowledgment
of the Papal Supremacy and its right to make an addition to


the Creed. We, on the other hand, have broken with the

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 17 19 20 21

Online LibraryCharles Chapman GraftonThe works of the Rt. Rev. Charles C. Grafton (Volume 4) → online text (page 17 of 21)