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| wyleshen, 1940

On the evening of Monday last, a public meeting
*was held in the County Hall, in this town, for the pur-
pose of receiving communications respecting the pre-
sent state of the Christian churches in the East, and ta
consider the duty and responsibility of the Church of
England towards their fellow churches of Asia and
Africa. The Hon. and Rev. Lord W. Russell was ad-
vertised to take the chair; but, owing to his lordship's
absence, the cause of which was not stated, the chair
was occupied by the Rev. A. Isham. The attendanco
was very respectable, and more numerous than we
ever remember to have witnessed upon a similar ucca-

The Rev. J. J. Spear commenced with an appropriate

The Rev. CHAIRMAN briefly stated the object of the meeting. He commenced with congratulating the friends of the cause upon the numerous attendance, as affording convincing evidence that considerable interest was felt in the object of their presedt meeting. All should bail with satisfaction the project of a friendly communication being opened between the Church of England and the Oriental churches, There was too much reason to fear that at present England was known more by her efforts to extend the commerce of her merchants and by her warlike enterprises than by the religious efforts of the members of her church to propagate the life-giving doctrines of the gospel. The impression which this state of things bad given rise to it was important to change for the better. It was important that England should be known by her efforts to spread abroad the pure doctrines of Christianity. The eastern churches were ready and anxious to open a friendly coinmunication with us, and it was evident that much good would be accomplished by our acceding to their wish. The rev, chairman then related an anecdote, tending to show the anxiety of the Armenians for spiritual assis Ince; and concluded with expressing his hope that the interest now felt in this matter would spread, and that exertions would speedily be made to teach our brethren in the east what are the pure doctrines of Christianity.

The Rev. Mr. Moses in proposing the first resolution,

" That this meeting recngnizes the claim which the Orienta Churches have upon the Church of England, as a part of the universal church, for our sympathy, our prayers, and our assisco dwelt upon the claims of the eastern churches to the assistance of the members of the Church of England, and stated that the efforts proposed to be made were not opposed to tha feelings of those for whoin it was proposed to make them. The bishop of the Coptic church bad frequently expressed his earnest desire to receive assistance frain the Church of England. As Bombay, the religious services superintended by Dr. Karr had been attended by Syrian Christians, and there was abundant evidence to prove that the inembers of the Syrian and other eastern churches would be glad to avail themselves of any instruction and assiste ance we micht proffer them. In the course of bis inquiries, Dr. Buchanan had found only one copy among the whole of the eastern churohes, and he took away with bim that copy, promising to supply them with more on his arrival at home. For a long time, the Syrian Christians had heard nothing of Dr. Buchanan, and the name of that worthy gentleman was execrated among them as one who had deprived them of their only copy of the scriptures. After a time, however, Dr. Buchanan perforined his promise, and sent them a large quantity of copies of the Holy Scriptures, and the name of that man who was once so execrated is now held in the highest esteem and veneration, The state of the Greek church was like that of the Coptic and Syrian churches. There were 100 churches now in India, the pulpits of which were open to priests of the Church of England, and he had no doubt that such


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The Rev. W. FREMANTLE seconded the resolution proposed by Mr. Money. It was a great encouragement to see so many persons taking an interest in this subject. It was one full of importance to us as churchmen and as individuals; for in it were involved the grand principles of episcopacy and primitive truth. It was important also to Dissenters; and, if any such were present, he hoped they would receive with candour the statements he was about to make. He was a churchman, and, he hoped, conscientiously so. He believed the principles and doctrines of the Church of England to be founded on the word of God; did he feel otherwise, he would not for a single moment retain his connexion with the establishment. Should he, therefore, say any thing bearing on the question of church and dissent, he hoped those who differed with him would at least bear with him, and consider the advantages which were likely to result from a patient study of the subject, and particularly that of episcopacy in connexion with the subject before them. Little is known of the state of the eastern churches, because the country in which they exist, having been for cen(uries in the hands of the Mahomedans, all access to Christians, except in isolated instances, such as those of Bruce, Buckhard, Park, and other solitary travel. lers, has been denied. But within the last few years such a change has taken place in the opinions and politics of the Easterns, that we are able to obtain fuller information upon the subject. The east is the field of ecclesiastical antiquity; and, if we would search for traces of primitive truth, we inust seek for them there. Whence came the Christian religion ? From the east. Where was the Christian church first established ? In the east. Where was the first form of church disci. pline established? In the east. Let us then take a survey of the past and present condition of those who, from the very first ages, have maintained the narne and worship of Christ in the midst of the darkness with which Paganism and Mahomedanism have shrouded those regions-ihe eastern churches ! What are they? Some think they are the seven churches of Asia, spoken of in the Apocalypse. But this is not the case. By these churches we mean those nominal Christian churches now existing in Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, Armenia, Abysinnia, Greece, Russia, anit India, who have from the first retained in their formularies the essentials of truth, but who have in externals grievously fallen from the purity and simplicity of the gospel, and are sunk in bigotry, superstition, and ignorance. A brief sketch of their origin will serve to give a general idea of their opinions. Time was when the whole church of Christ was of one mind, and when all who were denominated Christians belonged, in the strict sense of the word, to the “Universal or Catholic church.” By degrees errors and heresies sprung up, and, as they rose, councils were assembled for the purpose of deciding as to the standard of truth. In these The word of God was the basis of decision, To the first seven general councils he (Mr. Fremantle) begged to direct their particular attention. The first council was that of Nice, held in the year 325, in which the heresy of Arius was condemned. The second was that of Constantinople, in the year 381, in which the heresy of Macedonius was condemned. The third was that of Ephesus, in 431, which condemned the opinions of Nestorius, who held that there were not only two natures but also two distinct persons in the son of God; he refused, therefore, to give the title of Mother of God to the Virgin Mary. Some held that he was unjustly condemned, and resisted the decision of the council. Hence arose the Nestorian church, which exists to this day. They seem to have held the name rather than the error ot' Nestorius, for the distinction which they maintain is more in the mode of expression than in reality. The fourth council was held at Chaleedon, in 451, when the doctrines of Eutyches, and the Monophysite heresy (which taught that there was

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