UEMI REASONS FOR A DISRUPTION 227
The communicants of the " Evangelical Syriac Church,"
which might be termed, from its organisation and creed,
the Presbyterian Syriac Church, numbered 216 in 1857
and 2003 in 1887.
converts, and made them leave his fold. (2) Lack of discipline. The
converts could no longer accept tmscriptural practices and rank abuses
that prevailed, and it became evident that there was no method to reform
them. At every effort the rent was made worse. (3) Lack of teaching.
The converts asked for better care, and purer and "better teaching and
means of grace than they found in the dead language, rituals, and ordi-
nances of the Old Church.
"The missionaries were'slow in abandoning the hope that the Nestorian
Church would become reformed and purified ; but their hope was in vain,
their efforts therefore have been not to proselytise, but to leaven the whole
people with Christian truth. The separation was made in no spirit of
hostility or controversy. There was no violent disruption. The mission-
aries have never published a word against the Old Church ecclesiastics or
"The ordination of the Old Church has always been accepted as valid.
The missionaries and the evangelical bishops have sometimes joined in
the ordination services, and it would be difficult to draw the line when
the Episcopal ordination ceased and the Presbyterian began in the Re-
"The relation of the Presbyterian mission work to the old ecclesiastics
is thus something different from that found among any other Eastern
Christians. The Patriarch in office fifty years ago was at first very friendly
to the missionaries, and personally aided in superintending the building of
mission houses. Subsequently he did all in his power to break up the
mission. The Patriarch now in office has taken the attitude of neutrality,
with frequent indications of fairness and friendliness toward our work.
" The next in ecclesiastical rank is the Mattran (Syriac for Metropoli-
tan), the only one left of the twenty-five Metropolitans named in the thir-
teenth century. The present incumbent recently made distinct overtures
to our Evangelical Church to come to an understanding by establishing
the scriptural basis of things essential, and allowing liberty in things non-
essential. He fails, perhaps, to understand all the scriptural issues
between us, but he has a sincere desire to walk uprightly and to benefit
"Of the bishops, three have been united with the Reform, and died in
the Evangelical Church. The three bishops in Kurdistan are friendly,
and give their influence in favour of our schools.
"A large majority of the priests or presbyters of the Old Church, in
Persia at least, joined the Reform movement, and as large a proportion of
the deacons. In all, nearly seventy of the priests have laboured with the