Skip to main content

Full text of "Preaching in the Russian Church : or, lectures and sermons by a priest of the holy Orthodox Church"

See other formats






















All Rights Reserved. 

To the Parish Priests 


Their Assistants, the School Teachers of the 

Church in America, 

This Volume is Respectfully Dedicated 

by their brother,one who knows their labor 

in the tilling of the soil and the 

sowing of the seed. 

Speaking the truth in love. (Ephesians iv : 15. ) 


IN this book I offer to the English-speaking public in 
general, and to the American in particular, a historic, 
theological, and moral review of the Orthodox Eastern 
Apostolic Church, commonly called the Greek-Kussian 
Church, in the form of lectures and sermons, thus en- 
abling them to see the actual practice and teaching of a 
Church which is making herself at home in the West, 
notwithstanding her birth in the East, and which knows 
none other head but Jesus Christ. 

Now and then people are told, chiefly through small 
journalism, that the Emperor of Russia is the head of 
the Orthodox Church. There are some who accept this 
view, and these belong to two classes : the uninformed 
and the prejudiced. It must be made clear that the 
Orthodox Church has three of her Patriarchs residing 
in the Turkish Empire, while about 6,000,000 of her 
members are the subjects of the Emperor of Austria, 
besides which we have to count the Kingdom of Greece 
the Church in Egypt, and three independent branches 
of the Church in the Balkan States. We simply men- 
tion the purely characteristic Orthodox Church in 
Japan, the missions in China, America, and elsewhere, 
together with the Church's congregations in all the 
countries of Europe, which, though peculiarly original, 
in regard to their local premises, are, nevertheless, in 
spiritual relationship with the Great Church of Holy 


Russia, relying upon her for the larger portion of their 
support. And the Russian Church, enjoying in complete 
measure the sympathy of the Orthodox and highly pious 
Ruler of the Empire, does not begrudge Orthodox mis- 
sions her support, which is so often made the subject for 
taunting with suspicions by outsiders who are strangers 
to the Christian spirit of toleration. Thus it is clear 
that the Orthodox Church has no Pope-head ; she is not 
a monarchy, but as the Church of Christ she is Catholic 
and Apostolic. Indeed, it would seem strange to say 
that in this country Queen Victoria is the head of the 
Episcopal Church, beoause the Anglican and Episcopal 
Churches are in close communion. 

Readily do we acknowledge, and sometimes too hastily 
adopt, the results of the great achievements of the 
Western mind and spirit in the affairs of this world; 
but in matters of faith the Eastern is, as it has ever been, 
the source and cradle of everything that is purest, high- 
est, and heavenly. Humiliating though it might appear 
to the haughty spirit of the West, it will at last, and of 
necessity, turn its eyes towards the East and realize the 
saying : Ex Oriente lux! 

A priest of the Holy Orthodox Church. 
San Francisco, on the day of our Lady of Kazan, 1899. 



The Immortality of the Soul . . 9 
The Necessity for Divine Eevelation, 
and the Indications of a Eevealed 

Eeligion 23 

The Authenticity and Truthfulness of 

the Gospel 37 

The True Church of Christ . . .64 
The Education of Children . . .78 
Sermon on New Year's Day . . . 85 
Thoughts on Fast and Temperance . 95 
Sermon on the Gospel of the Prodigal 103 
Sermon Preached on Orthodox Sunday 108 
Sermon Preached on the Third Sunday 

of Great Lent 115 

Sermon for the Fourth Sunday in Great 

Lent 122 

Thoughts for Good Friday at the Pas- 
sions and Burial of Christ . . 128 

8 contents. 

Sermon on the Gospel Eelating to the 

Impotent 133 

Sermon for the Sunday when the Gospel 

of the Blind is Read . . . 143 
Sermon on the Feast of the Ascension 148 
Sermon Preached on Trinity Sunday . 153 
The Condition of Society . . . 160 
Sermon to Those Preparing for Holy 

Communion 165 

Address on Christmas Day . . .169 


God is not the God of the dead, but of the living: for all 
live unto Him. (Luke xx. 88.) 

THERE are many proofs testifying to the 
immortality of the soul, and they differ by 
degrees of strength, and the source from whence 
they proceed. There are proofs of supposition, 
then positive ones, and, finally, decisive proofs. 
We have some in visible nature, others are had 
from the attributes of God's being, and from the 
nature of our soul, and then there are open and 
experimental proofs. 

What do we see in nature? A change of one 
and the same being from one condition to another 
higher form of existence. This is observed more 
clearly, especially, in the world of insects. Take, 
for an instance, the creeping worm and the flying 
butterfly, etc. In the same manner does man 
here on earth undergo two principal forms of 
life, to say nothing of his ages. 

First he is formed and lives unconsciously in 
his mother's womb, then, on being born into the 


world, he lives on the earth. This life is incom- 
paratively higher than the first, yet here the days 
for man are exchanged by dark nights; after days 
of good fortune there come days of misfortune. 
It is natural for him to await a third and better 
life, when he will freely move in the space over 
the earth, where it is eternal day, and where 
there is no sorrow nor sighing. 

Of course this proof is suppositional, but it 
contains no small degree of convincing power. 
The Lord himself has implanted in our nature 
types and foretellings of the better life which is 
to come. 

We also see that the animal kingdom, and man 
as well, are gifted with a generic immortality. 
By transmitting life from generation to genera- 
tion, they will last as long as the earth continues 
in its present condition. And why cannot God 
give to the highest of all creatures, and to 
him who rules over all animals — i. e., to man — 
besides a generical also a personal immortality? 
The Lord is all-powerful. He can create ever- 
lasting beings. He is all-good, and the best 
good is a life which has no end and knows no 

The highest being on earth, — i.e., man, — 
were he not destined everlastingly to glorify the 


eternal God, and were he not immortal, the earth 
would be a sorrowful spectacle of the all-destroy- 
ing and all-devouring death, and God would be 
only the God of the dead, and not of the living 
upon earth. 

There are yet other proofs of the immortality 
of the soul, which rest upon two principles com- 
bined: First, the existence and attributes of 
God; second, upon the nature of the soul. 

The first positive and clear proof of this kind 
is the following: Without a doubt there is a 
God; because He reveals Himself to man, not 
only in his soul, but in visible nature, and by a 
direct manifestation of Himself. He is a being 
all-just, all-holy. In the nature of man's soul 
he has implanted the aspiration for good deeds, 
and the aversion for evil; and there are many 
people who try to do right and accomplish holy 
deeds, while at the same time they bear heavy 
trials of self-renouncement. Yet we see on earth 
that sinners often enjoy good fortune and suc- 
cess, and the just suffer till death, and mostly at 
the hands of sinners. 

If there was no other life for people, in which 
there must be a reward according to actions, 
then God would not be all-just and holy. He 
would not be merciful to the good, while show- 


ing mercy to the unjust ones, and this cannot be 
conceived of God. Therefore, as God is holy, 
there will be another life, in which the sinners 
and the righteous will receive their just reward. 

Another proof of the immortality of the soul 
is like this, but wider in its contents. In the 
mind of man God has implanted a desire for the 
truth, in his will a striving for the good, in his 
heart an inspiration for happiness; but the mind 
of man does not become satisfied with the knowl- 
edge obtained on earth. He sees that it is not, 
by far, complete and perfect. His will meets 
with much resistance in growing in the good. 
Although man labors much for the good while 
on earth, yet he finds himself, by far, undevel- 
oped in a moral sense; he feels the burden of 
sin; his heart finds no true blessedness on earth. 
The thought of eternity and the everlasting is 
rooted in our soul. It is not only that the soul 
possesses the idea of the infinite and most high 
Being, but with the heart and will itself it 
yearns to approach Him. 

Furthermore, what meaning is there in the 
fact that people, by different ways, endeavor to 
perpetuate their name upon the earth, desiring 
to be remembered as long as possible after their 


All mankind, with the exception of a few indi- 
viduals, believe in the future life. Why should 
the Creator implant in the spirit of man such 
lofty aspirations, if they were not to be realized, 
if such hopes were not fulfilled and desires not 
satisfied, — L-e., if there were no better, everlast- 
ing existence? It would not be according to the 
goodness, and the wisdom, and the holiness of 
the Almighty, of which we know. 

Therefore, as it is beyond doubt that there is 
an eternal and all-perfect God, it is also beyond 
doubt that there will be a life without end for 
man, in which the longings of his spirit, or soul, 
will be satisfied. 

Also, many uncommon manifestations of the 
powers of the soul prove its non-materialistic 
and everlasting qualities. Such are: Predictions 
of events in the future; visions of what is going 
on in another part of the earth, at a great dis- 
tance; and distinct foresight of the future, some- 
times at a very long period in advance, and most 
often in images, not only in sleep, but also in a 
wakeful condition. 

The most definite and decisive proofs of the 
immortality of the soul are the theological ones 
which we have from Divine revelation, and also 
experimental ones, in the appearance of the 
souls of people who are dead. 


God has many times revealed Himself to 
people, in different ways, and he still does so, 
through His saints, chiefly in prophecies, signs, 
and miracles. But why has He revealed Him- 
self to people, and does so still? He has and 
yet does so in order to prepare us for the next 
blessed life. 

God has not only revealed Himself to man- 
kind, but he has shown us the way and the 
means by which to attain the better, heavenly 

The Lord, in his revelation, says that the soul 
will live eternally, that it will never die, and that 
man, in his very body, after the resurrection of 
the dead, cannot die. (Luke xx. 36.) 

It would fill a large book to relate all the 
appearances of the soul known of in the ancient 
world. And since the time of Christianity you 
have read or heard of the miracles in the lives 
of the saints. 

If we were to gather authentic facts pertain- 
ing to visions from the spirit world in a period 
nearer to our day, why, they would make up 
several volumes. Not only saints have appeared, 
but sinners, and the souls of common people 
were revealed on earth for the knowledge and 
the assuring of the living in the existence of a 
future life. 


Although it is forbidden Christians to thrust 
themselves, of their own accord, reaching out 
for still more evidence, into the spirit world, as 
well as it is strictly condemned by the Church 
systematically to practice the occult sciences, 
yet, on an occasion like this one, we may, for 
your proper information, relate, of the many, at 
least a few such instances. 

When the Queen of Sweden, Ulrica, had died 
in the castle of Gripsholm, her body was laid in 
a coffin, and in the front room a company of the 
Royal Guards were on duty. Punctually at 
noon-time there appeared in the parlor the 
Countess Stenbok, from the capital of Stock- 
holm, whom the Queen had loved, and the com- 
mander of the Guards led her to the body of 
the Queen, and left her there. 

As she did not soon return, the Captain opened 
the door, but, struck with horror, he fell back. 
On running to his aid, the officers then present 
saw, through the open door, the Queen, who was 
standing in her coffin, and embracing the Count- 
ess Steinbok. The vision seemed to float, and 
then changed into a heavy mist. When it soon 
cleared off, the body of the Queen was lying 
in the coffin, and the Countess Stenbok was 
nowhere to be found in the castle. 


At once a messenger was dispatched with 
information of this incident to Stockholm, but 
word came back, that the Countess had not left 
the capital, and that she died at the time when 
they saw her in the embrace of the Queen. 

Immediately a statement of the facts was writ- 
ten down, and signed by all who saw this vision.* 

Much has been written of the appearances 
of the tvhite woman, at different times, in the 
palaces and castles of Germany, foretelling the 
death of a member of the royal family. Judging 
from a portrait which was found, she proved to 
be the Princess Bertha von Eozenberg, who 
lived in the fifteenth century. 

In December, 1628, she went through the 
apartments and halls of the Berlin mansion, 
and distinctly pronounced these words : u Come, 
thou Judge of the living and the dead. There 
is yet hope of a judgment for me." During 
the present century she appeared to the Queen 
Louise twice, and later on, — on other occasions, 
which you may remember, having read of it in 
the newspapers. 

Leaving these narratives, of which there are 
many in the histories of all nations, we shall 
now take up some facts, which are more appeal- 

* See the second edition of Dr. Shalberg's book, p. 63. 


ing and pleasant, for the reason that they con- 
cern persons who are especially dear to us, being 
members of the Orthodox Church of Christ. 

In 1855 there lived in the town of Epiphany, 
in the Russian province of Tula, a merchant, by 
name Basil Jvanov R., who held the office of 
church-warden at the cathedral. His family 
consisted of himself, his wife, two sons, — Nich- 
olas, 23 years of age, and married; John, 17 
years old, — and three daughters, — Catherine, 
13 years; Raisa, 11; and Alexandra, 6 years. 

On the 10th of April, 1855, which was on the 
eve of the Sunday of the Holy Myrrh-bearing 
Women, Raisa, from fright, was suddenly taken 
with strong convulsions, while at the same time 
she evoked curses against God and His saints, 
but especially against St. Sergius. Medical aid 
afforded no relief to the unfortunate child. 

Two months after the disease began, on the 
11th and 12th of June, Raisa was taken with 
still more terrible convulsions. Becoming con- 
scious, she said that St. Sergius appeared to her, 
that he talked with her, and brought her a church 
loaf, which she ate. It seemed as though she 
ate, her relations said, but they could not see 
the pj-osphora, and attributed this to her sick- 
ness. The unbelief of her oldest brother, Nich- 
olas, was especially painful to the girl. 


In response to the instructions of St. Sergius, 
she requested all in the house to repeat the 
prayer, May God arise, and to make the sign 
of the cross. With great difficulty the mother 
set her fingers and made the sign of the cross 
upon her. It appeared to her that evil spirits 
were leaving her, as she saw, on making the 
form of the cross. 

By another intimation from St. Sergius, an 
image of himself was found in the corner behind 
the sacred pictures, and this was put upon her. 

Desiring to convince her brother of the fact 
of the appearance of the holy man with a church 
loaf, she asked for a glass of clean water, and 
taking some of the water into her mouth, she let 
it out again. Then could be seen crumbs of 
white bread in the water, which no one had 
given her. 

After this she announced that the saint would 
come to her on the 13th date. At eleven o'clock 
in the evening of the appointed day, another 
spasm most frightfully shook her. In half an 
hour after, she arose and said, " Here comes St. 
Sergi," and then went to the window. Having 
opened the window, she let out her arms and 
began talking to some one. After this she 
turned to her brother, and giving him something 


in a paper, tells him to hold it with reverence, 
as something holy. Then was given her, from 
below the window, a cross made of white rib- 
bons. After showing it, she said that she was 
told to return it. At this her face became bright. 
Her parents and the home folk at the same time 
felt a happiness and reverent fear. 

Notwithstanding all their requests to give 
them the cross, she let it down in her hand out 
of the window, and it disappeared. The family 
ran out of the house, which was a one-story 
building, began to look for the cross under the 
window, but could not find it. 

After this she requested her brother to show 
what he held in his hand. There was found in 
the paper a corner-formed particle of a church 
loaf, and some pieces of incense. Upon the 
paper these words were written: "It is Thou, 
O Lord." 

On being questioned by her relations, she 
said that St. Sergius came to her in company 
with a beautiful lad who was girdled with a 
deacon's stole. The holy man took out from 
under his cloak a napkin, out of which he gave 
her the paper and the cross. The paper with 
the prosphora and incense he ordered to be 
kept, but the cross to be returned. He also 


gave instructions that the girl's relations should 
believe, especially the brother Nicholas. Con- 
cerning the lad who appeared with him, he said : 
"He will guard you." 

After this the sick girl became entirely well. 
The next year, in June, 1856, she traveled with 
her mother and sister to the Troitsa Monastery, 
or Lavra of St. Sergi, near Moscow, and her 
mother told the superiors of all that happened. 
The particle of church bread, which she brought 
with her, proved to be the baking of the Monas- 

These events were written down, and as facts 
they were attested to by the signatures of the 
girl's father, mother, and brother, and then by 
the archpriest, the priest, and the deacon of the 
St. Nicholas Cathedral in Epiphany, by each 
separately. Still this occurence was not pub- 
lished in print for six years, only after six years, 
when it was learned that Raisa still continued in 
good health, it was published with the consent 
of Metropolitan Philaret in the journal of the 
Theological Academy of Moscow, This appear- 
ance of St. Sergius occurred 464 years after his 

In 1812, when Napoleon entered Moscow, 
Prince Eugene, the Viceroy of Italy, with a 


division of warriors left Moscow for Zveniqorod 
to pursue the Russian partisans. The Prince 
occupied rooms in the Monastery of St. Sawa, 
who was a pupil of St. Sergius of Radonej. 
About ten o'clock the Prince, without undressing, 
lay down and fell asleep. In the meantime he 
sees a man in a long black habit — whether asleep 
now or awake, he did not know ; by the light of 
the moon he could see the man walk close up to 
him ; he was old, with a grey beard. Then the 
visitor said to him : " Give thy men orders not 
to plunder the monastery; especially see that 
they take nothing from out the church. If thou 
compliest with my wish, then God will have 
mercy upon thee, and thou shalt return to thy 
fatherland well and in safety." 

Next morning the prince gave command that 
the division should return to Moscow ; first, on 
going into the church, he saw by the tomb of St. 
Sabbas a picture of the man who appeared to 
him, and recognizing the image he reverently 
knelt before the relics of the saint and then took 
down in his diary a note of all that happened. 

All the marshals of Napoleon came to their 
end unfortunately, but Eugene remained safe 
and was nowhere wounded in a battle after this. 
He expressed his will to his son Maximilian 


that, should he ever visit Eussia, to go and offer 
his veneration at the tomb of St. Sabbas. The 
son came to Russia in 1839, during the reign of 
Emperor Nicholai Pavlovich, and after the mili- 
tary maneuvers on the field of Borodina, in 
memory of the battle of 1812, he inquired of the 
whereabouts of the monastery of St. Sawa, 
went there with guides, and knelt before the 
grave of the holy man. This event is so well 
known in history that there can be no doubt. 

And so, this earth is a place for our temporal 
residence. It is the nursery of reasonable beings 
for other worlds. Thus, we will, and may be 
soon, taken from the earth. Let us pray the Lord, 
that He give us strength to leave our sins, which 
bring us down into the dark spaces of the uni- 
verse, and that He help us to accomplish deeds 
which take us up into the high, eternally bright 
mansions of heaven. Amen. 


As you believe not me, believe the works which I do, that 
ye may know and understand that the Father is in me, and 
I in the Father, saith our Lord to the unbelieving Jews. 
(John, x. 38.) 

THERE are many religions in the world, 
and each people separately seem to be con- 
vinced that they hold the true faith, which was 
established by God. Why is it that the different 
races of mankind consider their faith to be the 
one Divinely revealed? It is because God has 
revealed Himself to the first people created by 
Him; then, during the course of time, He re- 
vealed Himself to the better people, informing 
them, and others through them, of His holy will. 
Fifteen centuries before the birth of Christ, dur- 
ing the time of Moses, God made known His 
holy will, through Balaam the prophet, who lived 
in the midst of pagans. About this time, or 
somewhat earlier, God appeared — for his pres- 


ence individually may be revealed — to Job and 
his friends. But sooner than this, when nations 
began to leave God, and corrupted, by injurious 
notions, the revealed religion, — then it was that 
evil spirits commenced to deceive them with 
their revelations. Finally, there were persons, 
also, who, abusing the confidence and belief of 
others in Divine revelation, falsely, but craftily, 
set up themselves as messengers from God. 

Why did God, from the beginning, reveal 
himself to people? Because, as we have said, 
the natural knowledge of the human mind con- 
cerning God, even before the fall of man, has 
not the strength, the precision, and the complete- 
ness; yet man is responsible for his actions: he 
is obliged to answer for his attitude toward God, 
to other people, and to himself. Therefore all 
people in general believe only in a revealed reli- 
gion. Some people foolishly say, God has given 
man a mind, and that is enough for him. But 
has not man, even besides his mind, many other 
teachers, in the persons of his parents, teachers, 
and guardians ? Why should it be against rea- 
son to have as our teacher God Himself in those 
things which pertain to God? 

Further, experience shows that mankind is in 
a disordered condition, out of which it cannot 


help itself. Is it natural that people, who are 
considered educated, while not believing in Di- 
vine revelation, should, in matters of knowledge 
concerning the Divine, separate into parties 
which are opposed to ane another? 

1. A certain party, in defiance of sound rea- 
son, says that God, and His law given to people, 
do not exist ; but they suppose that matter, v^ith. 
its invisible power, (nevertheless, it is supposed 
by them that matter has its invisible power and 
law,) has existed forever, and that the world and 
our living is not controlled by a reasonable Law- 

2. There are some which say that everything 
in the world is God; all the things which we can 
see, they say, is the expression of the invisible 
soul of the world, which is unconscious, and gets 
to know itself by an evolution in the different 
forms of life. These so-called theosophists 
thereby ascribe to God Himself all the failures, 
defects, and crimes which proceed from people's 
abuse of liberty. Other faults of these false 
teachings have been pointed out before. 

3. Yet there are others, who recognize God 
as an infinite, perfect spirit, the Creator of the 
universe ; but they do not consider Him as the 


provider of the world, claiming that God, hav- 
ing created the world, gave it at the time, once 
for always, wise laws, and that he does not any 
longer concern Himself immediately about the 
world, but, say they, it governs itself by the 
laws given to it. 

There have been, and there are such people 
still, who worship, not one, but many gods, and, 
at that, not only good ones, but also evil ones, 
which are opposed one to another. To what in- 
consistencies does not the fallen reason come, 
when left to itself in matters which pertain to 
the knowledge of God ! And it thus continues 
for many thousand years, and it seems there 
will be no end to the disputes, in deciding 
the most important questions concerning God 
and the world, among the wise ones of this 
world ; because to the natural powers and mind 
of man there is a fixed limit Take for in- 
stance the natural sciences ; i. e., the different 
studies about the visible world. 

Let man perfect the instruments necessary 
for examining the things of this earth ; let him 
discover new powers and laws which were not 
known to him before; let him enlarge the astro- 
nomical lens, and see new starry worlds, — yet 


in all this he will see only matter with force in 
action, although according to wise laws, never- 
theless according to laws of necessity; and one 
learned man, such as Newton, will pay homage 
at the very name of the Creator, while another, 
such as Leland, will sacrilegiously declare that 
he did not see God, even through the telescope. 
What do the sciences say of man? Should we 
not take the words of Moses concerning the be- 
ginning of the human race as Divinely revealed, 
then, for the want of other historical monu- 
ments, the beginning of mankind and the first 
ages would be covered under darkness of the 
perfectly unknown, and there would be no end 
to the conjectures and disputes concerning the 
beginning of people, the differences of race and 
languages, etc. 

Further, can the science of the soul explain 
and decide these questions : How is the soul 
born of the souls of parents? How does the 
soul act upon the body ? and how is it that the 
soul influences the body ? 

God Himself, to ends which are most wise, 
has ordered it so that the soul's action upon the 
body, and that of the body upon the soul, and 
the connection between them, should remain 
beyond the reach of our self-conscience. If 


man does not know how it is that the soul influ- 
ences the body, then how may he expound and 
define the questions, How did the infinite, 
Divine Spirit bring forth this visible, material 
world? and how does He act upon it? There- 
fore the sound reason of nations calls for a 
faith, and demands a revealed religion; and 
God actually revealed Himself to people, which 
for them was and is necessary, as they cannot 
attain to such knowledge by their own limited 
powers. Amazingly much is the feebleness 
of mind in defining the highest questions of 
knowledge. No less feeble is the fallen will in 
accomplishing good and unselfish works with- 
out special help from God. This has always 
been recognized by the best representatives of 
mankind. St. Paul the Apostle has written: 
For the good which I would, I do not; but the 
evil which I would not, that I practice. For I 
delight in the law of God after the inward 
man; but I see a different law in my members, 
warring against the law of my mind, and 
bringing me into captivity under the law of 
sin. (Bom. vii. 19, 22, 23?) The philosopher 
Seneca, who lived in the same age, asks, " What 
does it mean? for when we desire one thing, we 
are drawn by a something to another." Another 


learned pagan, Ovidius, of the same century, 
has written : " We always strive after that which 
is forbidden, desiring the prohibited. I see and 
value the better, but I follow the worse." Thus, 
as there is a God, it is beyond doubt, also, that 
His revelation and help to man, in regard to 
the knowledge of the Divine, and in striving 
to please God, is necessary, and we have strong 
reasons to show that, of all religions, the Chris- 
tian belief is the only one true faith, established 
by God Himself for the salvation of people; and 
the Christian may say with the holy apostle 
Paul, / thank my God by Jesus Christ; the 
law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has 
liberated me from the law of sin and death. 
(Eom. vii. 25; viii. 2.) 

What are the proofs for the Divine character 
of the Christian religion? They are of two 
kinds. Some are contained in the investigation 
of the qualities of the Christian religion. The 
Christian doctrine is the purest and most ele- 
vated in comparison with the teachings of other 
beliefs. In other religions the ideas of God, and 
His attributes, and His relations to the world, 
are not consistent with sound reason, while 
Christians believe in the Lord God as the most 
supreme Spirit, with a nature which is most 


perfect, eternal, everywhere present, most wise, 
all-knowing, all-powerful, most good, all-holy, 
all-just, most blessed. Although there are mys- 
teries in the Christian faith, such as are the two 
principal ones, namely, the tuinity of persons in 
One, of the same Godhead, and the incarnation 
of the Son of God, which are in most part incom- 
prehensible to the mind; of course it is natural, 
as God in His substance is incomprehensible; 
yet they do not contain, in themselves, anything 
which is contrary to sound reason, but have 
sides that our mind understands. The Christian 
doctrine of the future life and the resurrection 
is also pure and elevated. 

The moral law of the Christian religion is so 
perfect and exalted, that nothing more could be 
added to it. In regard to God, the law of Christ 
commands a filial love, which may prompt even 
the self-sacrifice of one's life for the glory of 
God, if needs be. Jesus Christ has given us a 
commandment, by which we are obliged to have 
a complete love toward our neighbor : Love your 
enemies, bless those who curse you, and pray 
for those who do wrong to you and persecute 
you, that you may be the children of your 
heavenly Father. (Matt. v. 44, 45.) This is 
my commandment, that you love one another, 


as I have loved you. (John xv. 2.) And Christ 
died for people, when they were sinners, — ene- 
mies of God. Finally, in regard to themselves, 
the law of Christ teaches that Christians must 
be humble, patient, self-sacrificing. 

Still, the proof of the truth of religion because 
of its elevated teaching about God and the future 
life, and because of the purity of its moral law, is 
not yet the final decision, because even the most 
exalted teaching may be taken as the invention 
of man. 

The most certain and definite proofs of the 
Divine character of a faith are the immediate 
testimonies of God Himself that the belief is 
true. The testimonies, therefore, must be reve- 
lations of a supernatural order, such as the 
manifestation of the Deity, prophecies, and gen- 
uine miracles. When God Himself appears to 
mankind, saying that this faith is the true one, 
or tests its truth by miracles, then, of course, we 
may not doubt it. 

But, in other pagan religions, there have been, 
and yet may be, revelations, prophecies, and mir- 
acles worked by evil spirits; therefore the reve- 
lations of God, prophecies and miracles also, 
may not be, as it appears, sure proofs. In this 
instance, attention must be given to the power, 
and majesty, and character of the miracles. 


Not being able to deny the miracles of Christ, 
the Pharisees — His enemies — said that He 
worked miracles, and even cast out devils, by 
the power of a higher evil spirit. But the Lord 
answered them, that the kingdom which is 
divided in itself cannot stand. He cast out thou- 
sands, or legions, of demons at once. Moreover, 
He worked such miracles which could not be 
performed by evil spirits. 

When he gave sight to him that was born 
blind, the Jews, quarreling among themselves, 
said: Can the Devil open the eyes of the blind ? 
(John x. 21.) Some of the Pharisees themselves 
said: A sinful man cannot work such miracles. 

Finally, the Lord resurrected the dead, and 
He Himself rose from the dead and ascended 
into heaven. 

Secondly, where the evil spirits act, there the 
teaching concerning God is impure, for it is 
polytheism (like the pagans have) or pantheism, 
and the moral teaching is defective. 

The evil spirits have succeeded in bringing 
people to deify sins and passions. The ancient 
nations had gods of wine, adultery, theft, and 
other hideous things. Therefore, two kinds of 
witnesses together are necessary; a faith is true, 
Divinely revealed, which, in the first place, is 


holy, pure, and exalted, and opposed to evil 
spirits, and which, secondly, is proved by reve- 
lations and miracles, and by miracles noted for 
their great power, and of which there are none 
in other religions; moreover, such ones which 
put the evil spirits to shame, being driven out of 
places in which they have ruled. 

But, as miracles chiefly demonstrate the truth- 
fulness of a faith, as they serve as witnesses for 
God Himself, and as unbelievers use all means 
to overthrow them, it is necessary, therefore, to 
set our attention upon them as proofs of the 
Divine character of the Christian religion. 

In regards to Divine testimonies or miracles, 
no religion on earth may compare with Chris- 
tianity. Miracles, witnessing to the heavenly 
origin of the Christian faith, come from the 
very beginning of the human race down to our 

During 5,500 years — the time of the Old Tes- 
tament — mankind has been preparing — being 
educated through supernatural revelations and 
miracles — to receive the Divine Organizer of 
our faith. Time will not permit to numerate 
the miracles of ancient times. Just now we 
regret that we cannot give, as we should, special 
attention to the great number of Old Testament 


prophecies concerning Jesus Christ, as applying 
directly to His person. The miracles of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, which He worked Himself, 
have been explained to you on many occasions, 
and in the future, no doubt, they will continue 
to be a live source for exhaustless themes of 

We hope to be granted the privilege to explain 
for you, in a short while, other proofs, demon- 
strating the truthfulness of the gospels, and 
finally, with God's help, we will consider Ortho- 
doxy as a sacred distinction in the midst of many 
Christian professions. 

There are such people among Christians who 
are ashamed of miracles. Such Christians are 
ashamed of and deny Christ Himself; and He 
Himself will renounce them before His heavenly 
Father. Our Lord Jesus Christ, during His life 
on earth, has often pointed to miracles as to 
clear and definite proofs of His Divine mission. 

While John the Baptist was confined in 
prison, he sent two of his disciples, for their as 
well as our benefit, to question Jesus: Art thou 
He that cometh, or look we for another? And 
Jesus answered them, Go and tell John the 
things which ye do hear and see: the blind 
receive their sight, and the lame walk, the 


lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, and 
the dead are raised up, and the poor have 
good tidings preached to them; and blessed 
is he, whosoever shall find none occasion for 
stumbling in me. (Matt. xi. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.) 

At another time he said to the Jews, who 
believed not in him, but among whom there 
were many who recognized John the Baptist as 
a saint: i" have witness which is greater than 
John's; the works which the Father hath given 
me to fulfill, these same works which I do, bear 
witness of me, that I was sent by the Father. 
(John v. 36; x. 38.) 

St. John, the Forerunner of Christ, was not 
granted the power to work miracles, no doubt 
because the light of Christ must shine for a 
dark world the clearer of itself. 

Many, says St. John the Apostle, came to 
Jesus and said, that John hath done no miracle. 
(John x. 41.) 

Of His followers our Lord said, in the last 
conversation with His disciples: Believe me 
that I am in the Father, and the Father in 
me: or else believe me for the sake of the very 
works. Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that 
believeth on me, the works that I do shall he 
do also; and greater works than these shall 


he do: because I go unto the Father. (John 
xiv. 11, 12.) 

And before His ascension into the heavens He 
said to the apostles: These signs shall follow 
them that believe: in my name shall they cast 
out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 
they shall take up serpents, and if they drink 
any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; 
they shall lay hands on the sick y and they shall 
recover. (Mark xvi. 17, 18.) 

O Lord ! we are unworthy that Thy wonderful 
powers be made manifest upon us, as they have 
been and still do exhibit themselves through 
Thy saintly followers. Increase our faith in 
Thy works, which Thou hast performed for our 
salvation, and in the miracles of Thy saints. 
Set us aright, O Lord! and save us. Amen. 


AS YOU are aware, we have the gospel of 
our Lord Jesus Christ in the four books 
of the holy evangelists : Matthew, Mark, Luke, 
and John. Whole libraries of books sprung 
up, as it were, from under the pens of the most 
eminent scholars of the world in defense of the 
authenticity of our accepted gospel. Volume 
upon volume may, and in fact are, still being 
written, in proof of the truthfulness of the expo- 
sition we have of the work and teaching of our 
Lord Jesus Christ as laid down in the gospel. 
Even the heathen with their dark histories and 
mysterious traditions have contributed to ex- 
plain from more than one side the hope of the 
nations, the glory of Israel, the light of the 
world. If you are truly educated and take inter- 
est in this special line of study, you can freely 
make these investigations for yourself. 

Unfortunately some who are affected with un- 
belief undertake the investigation of the gospel, 


and the narratives about the miracles of Jesus 
Christ, with the express purpose, not of learn- 
ing the truth, but in order to denounce them. 
These few persons, (whose minds in every case 
were not intended by na'ture to be critical) are 
predetermined and have their minds previously 
biased with a false philosophy, so that, accord- 
ing to their fixed logic, there can be no miracles; 
therefore they must be overturned by all pos- 
sible means, and they have used everything 
within reach of their power against them, but 
they could gain no results. 

Some of the unbelievers in miracles acknowl- 
edge that the gospels were written by the apostles 
themselves, or from the words of the apostles, as 
the church believes, while others contend that 
the gospels, although they bear up the names of 
the apostles and their disciples, were not written 
by themselves, but by others, who lived later. 

If the apostles themselves have written the 
gospels and described the miracles of Jesus 
Christ, then the unbelievers may yet have these 
two explanations for doing away with miracles. 
First — the apostles have agreed among them- 
selves to preach and to write falsehood. But it 
cannot be possible that the apostles should alone 
agree to do such a thing, because many Chris- 


tians who lived in their time would also have 
to acknowledge and preach the untruth. They 
could not attempt such a daring falsity, because 
they would be accused by the contemporaries of 
Jesus Christ; and why should they agree to such 
a thing, when — for their preaching Christ — 
nothing else but sorrow awaited them on earth? 
Besides this God would punish them in the 
future life for the falsehood — especially in such 
an important matter. If we only in this life 
hope in Christ, then we are the most unfortu- 
nate of all people — thus writes St. Paul the 
Apostle to the Corinthians (1 Cor. xv: 15. 19). 
Secondly — some other unbelievers contended 
that the apostles did not understand the works 
of Jesus Christ, and that which was not miracu- 
lous, but natural, yet remarkable, in the life of 
Christ, they received as the miraculous. Never- 
theless, the healing of the blind, the deaf, the 
lame and other incurables, even at an invisible 
distance, only by a word; the changing of the 
water into wine, the walking upon the sea, the 
feeding of five thousand people with five loaves, 
the raising of the dead, His own resurrection, 
and the ascension into heaven — these are such 
deeds, which nohow can be explained in a natu- 
ral way, and is it impossible to be mistaken in 


such like miracles. This "mistaken explana- 
tion" has been cast aside by the unbelievers 

What has been mentioned thus far is not itself 
the defense of the Gospel, for you must under- 
stand that no human fortifications are necessary 
to the Divine Truth of the Almighty. We have 
been simply reminded that proofs of the authen- 
ticity of the gospel do exist, and that they are 
the expression of human thought and energy in 
man's effort to collect his fellow beings and be 
at one with Christ and God. Although the 
Almighty maketh His angels spirits, and His 
servants a fiery flame, yet for our benefit in 
His love He rewards our efforts with His assist- 
ance, and bestows our outreaching arm with 
the sanctity of Divine authority. It is in this 
way that we have a most sure defense for Divine 
things in our human arguments — when they are 
set forth with love for the salvation of our 

The proofs of the truthfulness of the Gospel 
are these: 1. The large number of foretypes in 
the Old Testament, and the prophecies of the 
Patriarchs and Prophets during 5000 years be- 
fore the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, both of 
which are so distinct and connected with his- 


torical facts well known to the whole world. 
These apply directly to the person of Jesus 
Christ the Messiah and also to our times, i. e. 
of the New Testament. A careful examination 
of the proofs under this single head is sufficient 
to convince a sincere seeker of the truth to em- 
brace the gospel and become a Christian. 

2. Second come the testimonies contained in 
all the books of the New Testament. Besides 
the four Evangelists there were others who 
labored in putting the Word of God into writ- 
ing; namely, the Apostles Sts. James, Peter, 
Jude and Paul. The harmony throughout these 
Scriptures is indeed marvelous. It is the prac- 
ticed reader alone who knows how to appreciate 
the beauty of God's power operating in so many 
different characters, at different places, in dif- 
ferent times and under different circumstances. 

3. This proof of the truthfulness of the gospel 
is that influence, which only a subjective 
analysis of the individual life can disclose. 
You hear it in church in the hymns sung by 
the choir. Sometimes children see it in the face 
of their parents and feel it in the presence of 
their teachers. The penitent criminal speaks of 
it within the walls of a prison. The Christian 
soldier glories in it while he falls bleeding. 


Sometimes the ruler obeys its influence. The 
mechanic, the merchant likewise pass by its 
way. The poor widow puts her trust in it when 
she reads the Bible while surrounded by her 
hungry children. The dying sleep reposing in 
the gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. 

4. Another proof in defense of our subject is 
the history of the world. The history of each 
civilized nation, every legal tribunal of justice, 
all of the renowned universities of the earth, all 
of the societies and communities which have a 
strong hope for ultimate moral progress, the 
present condition of the family, the advance- 
ment of womanhood, the fine critical arguments 
of the politician, the pride of universal litera- 
ture, the axiom of science, the investigation of 
the past, the examination of the present, the 
cheerful hopefulness of the serious and busy 
foundation builders of the future, even the glory 
of music and art, in all this we see traces of the 
gospel of Jesus Christ Moreover it is acknowl- 
edged by the world, as plain as black and white, 
that the teaching of the New Testament is be- 
coming rapidly more and more the inseparable 
companion to sober, thinking mankind. Thus 
we have a real objective evidence, moulding 
history before our very eyes, to the proof of the 


truthfulness of the Gospel. Long hours of dis- 
cussion might be devoted to each one of these 
four witnesses of the Gospel separately. But 
you cannot bear with them. If I should under- 
take the gigantic task I would not be able to 
finish it. ' 

5. There is yet a fifth argument in favor of 
Christians. Although the last, it is by no means 
the least of them. This division contains the 
testimony of eye-witnesses and their corre- 
spondence with contemporaries, and other lit- 
erary monuments of the first centuries of our 
era. Upon such important evidence we shall 
dwell now for a few moments. 

In the libraries of Europe, as well as in the 
libraries of the Eastern churches, such as Con- 
stantinople, Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, 
Syria, Egypt, Georgia, Armenia, Mt. Athos, 
Servia, and also Russia, not a few of the manu- 
script gospels of ancient times have been pre- 
served to our day. Some of them belong to the 
fourth century (i. e. They are almost 1600 years 
old). They are the same gospel that we have 
to-day. They describe the same miracles that 
we know of, and as our sacred scriptures have 
been copied from these books, so have they been 
in turn copied from books which were carefully 


and even jealously guarded — as we learn from 
immutable history — of the third, then of the 
second century, and the original books of the 
holy Apostles and their celebrated companions. 
The works of the renowned and learned Origen, 
who wrote his commentaries on the gospels of 
Matthew, Luke and John in the third century, 
and in which the text of the same gospels is 
almost completely contained. Origen flourished 
in the first half of the third century, and be- 
sides this we have the writings of many fathers 
of the church and other Christian workers be- 
longing to the third century, which contain a 
great many quotations from the gospels that 
agree with ours, and concerning the miracles of 
Jesus Christ. Therefore there can be no doubt 
that our Gospel is the same which was read in 
the third century. 

The same must be said of the second half of 
the second century, after the birth of Christ. 
We have such works and publications of fathers 
and Christian writers belonging to this period, 
in which we find many places of the gospels. 
We will point to the ten books against heresy, 
which belong to the reverend martyr Irenaeus, 
the Bishop of Lyons. These books were written 
150 years after the ascension of our Lord, and 


the unbelievers themselves do not doubt that 
Ireneeus is the author of them. In these books 
there are 400 quotations taken from the four gos- 
pels, and they come in the same order in which we 
read them to-day. The texts mentioned refer to 
the same miracles of Jesus Christ. There are 
80 quotations taken from the gospel of St. John. 
St. Irenseus speaks of the evangelists by name, 
and he gives historical information in regard to 
the gospels, which they have written. He af- 
firms that the church, which was spread widely 
in his time, held no more nor less than the four 
gospels, as there are four sides of the earth, four 
winds, as the Lord appeared to the prophet 
Hezekiel, sitting upon four cherubim. Many 
places from the gospels are mentioned also by 
contemporary writers, such as Tertulianus, 
Clement, of Alexandria, and others, so that, upon 
this literature, which has come down to us from 
these Christian men of the second half of the 
second century, and which belongs to them 
without a doubt, the contents of the four 
gospels known to us could be restored. It is 
acknowledged by students that in the last half of 
the second century there has been a translation 
into the Syrian from the Greek language, not 
only of the four gospels, but also of other books 
fo the New Testament known to us. 


We have positive witness in the writings of 
the disciples of the apostles or their contempo- 
raries, who decidedly ascribe the gospels to the 
authorship (of course from the human side) of 
the apostles, or to the disciples of the apostles, 
as is recognized by the whole church. 

The first witness is St. Polycarp, the reverend 
martyr, a disciple of St. John the Divine, and 
other apostles. He was Bishop of Smyrna in 
Asia. An epistle of St. Polycarp to the Philip- 
pians has been handed down to our day. In it 
he says: "Any one who does not confess that 
Jesus Christ came in the flesh, he is antichrist. 
In the epistle of John the apostle and evange- 
list it is said: Every spirit which confesseth 
not Jesus Christ as having come in the flesh, 
the same is not of God, and the same is anti- 
christ." Thus, in the first place, this disciple 
of St. John the Divine speaks of him as the 
evangelist, consequently John has written the 
gospel; and, secondly, to quote literally from 
the first general epistle of St. John, while this 
epistle is perfectly alike in style and thought 
with the fourth gospel, it is to verify the apostle 
John as the writer of this gospel. We see in 
the writings of St. Polycarp indications of the 
gospel of Matthew and other books of the 


apostles. The ab6ve mentioned epistle of St. 
Polycarp to the Philippians is acknowledged as 
originally belonging to him by the most reason- 
able of learned investigators. That St. Poly- 
carp has written this epistle to the Philippians, 
to this his disciple testified, the above mentioned 
reverend martyr Irenaeus, and it is difficult to 
conceive how the genuine epistle of St. Poly- 
carp could have been mutilated or lost and a 
false one spread abroad in its place. The epistle 
of St. Polycarp from the time since it was writ- 
ten has been read in the churches of Asia at 
divine service during the first centuries. It was 
read even in the fourth century. 

Not alone through his writings, but by his 
long life and his death, which was that of a 
martyr, does St. Polycarp still more testify to 
the truth of the gospel. 

By the act of God's providence, not only the 
apostle John, but also some of the disciples of 
the apostles, lived a long life. St. Irenseus, 
that great pillar of the structure of proofs, point- 
ing out the original gospels, testifies that John 
the Evangelist lived to the time of the Emperor 
Trajan, who ascended the throne in 98 A. D., 
and died in 117, consequently this apostle either 
died in the last two years of the first, or in the 


beginning of the second century after Christ. 
This testimony of St. Irenaeus, most accurate in 
itself, as he was the disciple of Polycarp, who 
was a contemporary and disciple of St. John, 
yet it is confirmed by many other ancient wit- 
nesses, who set the date of the death of John the 
Divine in the beginning of the second century. 

The reverend martyr Polycarp, the disciple of 
the apostles, and especially of St. John, lived to 
be about 110 years. He died in 167 A. D. The 
disciple of Polycarp, St. Irenaeus, who was 
bishop of Lyons, in the country now called 
France, was put to death for preaching Christ 
in 202. 

The gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke 
could not be false and appear and be accepted 
by all the churches before the close of the first 
century, as some unbelievers say, and likewise 
the same of the Gospel of John about the year 
150, because the immediate disciples of the 
apostles would not permit an error, and we 
know that St. Polycarp was the leader of all the 
churches in Asia until his martyrdom in 167. 
It was about 160 A. D. when Polycarp went to 
Rome, during the time of Bishop Anecetas, on 
account of a dispute concerning the time of 
celebrating Easter (or the resurrection of our 


Lord), and therefore he knew the condition of 
the churches of the west, as well as of the east. 
If a difference of time in celebrating Easter 
Sunday was the cause of such a warm dispute, 
then what severe quarrels would take place if 
some of the churches had perchance accepted 
false gospels. 

Yet there is not in all the works of the fathers 
and the writers of the second and following 
centuries so much as the hint of a doubt in 
the christian churches, each independent of the 
other, concerning the authenticity and correct- 
ness of the four gospels. The disciple of Poly carp, 
St. Irenseus, who had our four gospels, was also 
acquainted with the condition of the churches 
of both the east and west; for in the east he was 
educated, and in the west he died a bishop. It 
must be remembered that both men, St. Poly- 
carp and St. Irenseus, ended their life by a 
martyr's death for preaching Jesus Christ as 
the Son of God and the Savior of the world. St. 
Polycarp decided to be burned upon a pile 
rather than to renounce Christ. 

We repeat that St. John the Divine had other 
disciples, but who of course did not live so long 
as Polycarp. Nevertheless they could have pre- 
vented during the first half of the second cen- 


tury the spreading of any gospels of Jesus 
Christ and His miracles, which might not have 
agreed with the teachings of the apostles, and 
particularly of St. John, with whom they have 
been in close relations. History has deposited 
for our sake a considerable portion of a letter 
written by St. Irenaeus to his friend, one 
Florinus, in which he says of a certain heresy : 
"Thou has not been taught thus by the 
Presbyters who preceded us, and who listei ted 
to the apostles personally." From this we may 
conclude that Irenaeus and his contemporaries 
have in their youth studied not alone by St. 
Polycarp, but also by other disciples of the 

We may add more facts in connection with the 
testimony of lrenseus. He was a co-laborer 
with and in the episcopate a successor of the 
revered martyr Pothinus, the Bishop of Lyons. 
in the country of the Gauls, the present Franc-. 

Who was St. Pothinus? According to a most 
ancient tradition of the Church of Lyons, he 
was a native of Asia, a disciple of Polycarp. and 
even of the apostles themselves. In the first 
half of the second century he came to Lyons 
and organized a church, for which he was < >r- 
dained a bishop. Fifteen years after his arriya I 


in Lyons, upon his request there were sent 
fco his assistance several men from the east, who 
were qualified to preach the gospel, and among 
whom was the learned St. Irenseus. St. Irenaeus 
became a presbyter in Lyons. In 177 St. 
Pothinus died in prison during a persecution of 
the christians. The year of his death, 177 A. D., 
and his age are clearly certified. In the accounts 
of this age of martyrs, recorded by an eye- 
witness and preserved in the history of Euse- 
bius, it is said of him that he was more that 90 
yean old at the time of his death. Therefore 
they concluded that he was born in 86 A. D., and 
he could have seen the apostle John. There is 
no doubt whatever that he was a contemporary, 
not only of St. Polycarp, but also of many other 
apostolic men, who were disciples of St. John 
the Divine. 

He could have known men who have seen 
other apostles, that died earlier than St. John, 
and who labored in preaching the Gospel in 
Asia, for instance : St. Philip one of the twelve, 
who suffered in Hieropolis during the time of 
the Emperor Domitian (81-96) .Thus, Irenseus 
could have received in Lyocs likewise — of St. 
Pothinus, who was much older than him in age 
— accurate information concerning the eastern 


apostolic churches, also of the holy gospels, and 
especially of the Gospel of St. John. 

Another witness, like St. Polycarp, of the 
truthfulness of the Gospel is Papius, the Bishop 
of Hieropolis. He is known as the disciple of 
the disciples of the Lord. He died about the 
year 120, earlier than Polycarp. In his work 
known as the Five Books of Explanations of 
the Words of the Lord* part of which are 
quoted by Eusebius, the historian, he says — on 
the testimony of the apostles of Jesus Christ — 
that the evangelist Matthew has written the 
words of the Lord in the Hebrew language, and 
Mark has written from the dictation of the 
apostle Peter of what the Lord did and taught. 

Later on another portion of the writings of 
Papius has been discovered, which proves that 
he was acquainted with the Gospel of John. 
Besides this, the historian Eusebius, who had 
read the writings of Papius, affirms that Papius 
took as testimony, words from the first epistle 
of John the Divine ; and as this epistle in word 
and thought is exactly the same as the gospel 
of John, it verifies the fact that John was the 
writer of the gospel. 

*These original documents have been ciscovered in 
Mossoul. The Patriarch of Antioch has recently brought 
them to Paris. 


A contemporary of Poly carp and other apos- 
tolic men was St. Justin, the martyr and phil- 
ospher ; he was profoundly educated and had 
written many works, but many of which, un- 
fortunately, have not reached us. Two of his 
works have come down to us ; they are apologies 
in defense of persecuted christians, one of 
which was handed to the Roman Emperor 
Antoninus Pius about 150 A. D., the other after 
some time was presented to the senate of Rome. 
The martyr Justin has also put to writing his 
dialogue with the learned Jew Triphonus in 
defense of Christianity. What is important for 
us is the fact that the unbelievers could find 
nothing to say against the authenticity of the 
writings of St. Justin, the philosopher, and also 
the fact that he quotes many places from the 
gospels known to us ; from the gospel of 
Matthew, beginning from the first chapter up 
to the last, there are fifty quotations ; from the 
gospel of Luke, about twenty ; from the gospel 
of John, more than fifteen places, and he also 
makes mention of another gospel (i. e. of Mark.) 
He gives the proper name of evangelia to the 
gospel, and also mentions them as the remem- 
brances or memory notes of the apostles and 
their companions. 



To return again to witness concerning the 
evangelist John, it is stated as certain that he 
spent the last years of his life in Ephesus ; 
here he died and was buried, as Policratus, the 
Bishop of Ephesus, who lived in the last part 
of the second century, writes in his letters to 
Victor, the Bishop of Borne ; ancient literature 
has saved the contents of this letter. Moreover 
the Church Universal has always recognized 
this fact. 

As St. Polycarp had for his disciple the 
reverend-martyr Ireneeus, a great witness for 
the evangelical truth, so had the holy martyr 
Justin a disciple in the person of Tacian, a wit- 
ness of the four gospels. He was a learned 
pagan, who studied ancient philosophy, but not 
having found the truth, he turned himself to 
the Christian Church. He was already a full 
grown man when he became a pupil of St. 
Justin in Borne, after which he continued in 
close friendship with him. After the death of 
Justin he went to the east, and in Syria, unfor- 
tunately absorbed in meditation, he attached too 
weighty importance to his own reasoning and 
fell in heresy. He died about 175 A. D. Of 
his many works there came down to us but one 
oration, which is lengthy, and it is against the 


Hellenes or pagans, in defense of Christianity. 

What is especially important, Tacian compiled 
a summary on the ground of the four gospels, 
and which he briefly named Of the Four (Dia- 
tessaron). As this gospel was compiled liter- 
ally according to the four gospels accepted by 
the church, it was in use among a considerable 
portion of orthodox christians in the east for a 
long time for its briefness, and also for less 
difficult labor in copying, it was preferred to the 
complete four gospels. Theodoretos, the Bishop 
of Cyra, during the first part of the fifth 
century found more than 200 copies of this 
gospel in his diocese. He found nothing in 
them which did not agree with the universally 
accepted gospels, only that Tacian has omitted 
the geneology of Jesus Christ and the account 
of his birth according to the flesh from the seed 
of David. In its place Theodoretos distributed 
the original four gospels, and thereby weakened 
the memory of Tacian's sad case of heresy. 

From all the above mentioned it is clear that 
St. Justin, the teacher of Tacian, had accepted 
the original four gospels, no more and no less, 
as the church at first authorized, including of 
course the gospel of St. John. This assertion 
is strengthened by the canon of New Testament 


books, which has come down to us, and which 
has been in use in the church of Rome during 
the time of St. Justin. This canon was dis- 
covered and published by the learned Muratori. 
The first part and the end have been lost ; it 
commences thus : " the third book is the gospel 
according to Luke." Briefly commenting upon 
this gospel, the writer of the canon continues : 
"the fourth of the gospels is John's, one of the 
disciples," and briefly telling about the writing 
of this gospel by John the Divine, he goes on, 
making mention of the book of the ''Acts of the 
Apostles," written by the holy evangelist Luke. 
There is no doubt that the first two gospels in 
the Roman church were those of Matthew and 
Mark, which were known at the close of the 
first century to the apostolic disciple, Papius, 
the Bishop of Hieropolis. The Gospel of 
Mark itself was written by him on the request 
of the Roman christians ; for this we have the 
testimony of St. Clement of Alexandria, a 
learned man of the second century ; a proof of 
this is also the gospel itself, which contains a 
considerable number of Roman words. 

Soon after the death of Pius the first, during 
the time of his successor, Bishop Anecetas, 
about 160 A. D., as we have mentioned before, 


the aged Polycarp, the Bishop of Smyrna, a 
disciple of St. John and other apostles, came to 
Rome on account of a dispute concerning the 
time of celebrating the day of the resurrection 
of our Lord, which had arisen between the 
churches. „And, of course, it was necessary to 
turn to the gospels while speaking about this 
subject. If the Gospel of St. John, undoubtedly 
held by the Roman church at the time, was not 
authentic, St. Polycarp would surely bring the 
case forward, and a dispute would have arisen 
concerning this Gospel, or the Roman church 
would have excluded it from the list of New 
Testament books, but there was no such pro- 
ceeding ; consequently, the gospel of John 
belonged to the apostle himself. 

It must be taken into consideration that in 
all the works of the apostolical men and other 
writers of the first and the earlier part of the 
second century there is expressed a clear faith 
in Jesus Christ, as the Son of God, who was 
incarnate of the Most Holy Virgin on earth, 
who worked great signs and miracles, who arose 
from the dead and ascended into heaven, and it 
is also clearly shown that the christians of this 
period had known none other Christ, but Him 
who is revealed in the Gospel. 


No less important for the proof of our sub- 
ject, at least for these careful treasurers of the 
truth in the early centuries, is the example of 
holy life and also the tradition of the very first 
christians, of whom there were more than 500 
that had seen Jesus Christ. It was but the 
tenth day after our Lord had ascended into 
heaven, and when He sent down upon the 
church power from the Almighty, that over 
three thousand more were added to the fol- 
lowers of Him, whom great multitudes of people 
on many occasions followed when he walked 
upon earth with his twelve, who were them- 
selves in their first simplicity rather sceptical 
believers of only the real — which could be seen 
with the eyes and felt with the hands. 

I hope you will bear cheerfully a moment or 
two longer, while we bring these testimonies of 
ancient literature to a close. Yet, I must admit, 
it has been for your sakes, that this subject is 
considerably abridged. 

About 130 A. D. the holy martyr Codratus, 
who was Bishop in Magnesia, was put to death 
for his faith in Christ. He was a disciple of 
the apostles and a prophet. The reverend- 
martyr Codratus is known for his writing which 
he handed to the Eoman Emperor Adrian in 


126, in defense of the persecuted christians. 
Although this apology has not reached our 
times, yet it was read by Eusebius the historian, 
who quotes from it the following : u The works 
of our Savior (writes Codratus to the Emperor) 
have always been manifest, because they were 
truthful. Those whom He healed and resur- 
rected from the dead were visible — not only 
when He healed and resurrected them, but 
always. They lived not only during His life 
on earth, but remained considerably longer 
after he left us ; some of them have lived to our 
day," i. e. to the time between 80-90 A. D., 
when Codratus was in the prime of life. 

In support of this investigation we bring for- 
ward historical facts, and when such come from 
heretics or even unbelievers, they are the more 
valuable, as the work is shown thereby to be 
impartial, and the Divine to be above the need 
of a human justification. 

Thus, another heretic, Valentine by name, 
boasted that he had received his teaching from 
Theodala, a disciple of the apostle Paul. 
Valentine preached in Egypt between 120-130. 
He settled in Rome about 140 A. D. According 
to the testimony of Iraeneus and Tertullianus, 
writers of the second century, Valentine had 


made use of the whole of Sacred Scriptures. 
In the book of St. Irseneus against heresy, not 
only many parts of the gospels are mentioned, 
but also quotations from the holy apostle Paul, 
which were perverted by the unorthodox ex- 
planations of the Valentinians. The reverend- 
martyr Ippolitus ascribes to Valentine these 
words : "all the prophets and the law speak 
through Demiurgus, the god of non-reason." 
Therefore the Savior saith : "all who came before 
me, the same were thieves and outlaws" Now 
this text is found only in the gospel of St. John. 
It is known also that Heracleon, a disciple of 
Valentine, had written a commentary on the 
gospel of John, considerable parts of which 
have been perserved in Origen's commentary 
on the gospels. Heretics as well as others, 
who lived in the second century, would not 
have accepted of the church the gospel, more- 
over a false one, if their founders and teachers 
who lived in the time of the apostlic men, were 
not firmly convinced of its authenticity. St. 
Ireneus in the second half of the second 
century wrote thus : "Our gospels are strongly 
established" even heretics become their witness; 
quoting from which they expect to uphold their 
doctrine. Heresy, which began to show itself 


so early among christians, was the cause never- 
theless why the first bishops and other leaders 
of the churches kept so diligent a watch over 
the gospels in their original completeness, and 
guarded them from any and all mutilation, 
which some of the heretics attempted, but of 
which they were accused in good season. 

Only recently, in a responsible magazine 
published in the eastern metropolis of America, 
October 28, 1899, the profoundly learned Pro- 
fessor William 0. Winslow, D. D., D. C. L., 
L. L. D. writes : "Among the papyri discov- 
ered at Behnesa by the Egypt Exploration 
Fund is a fragment of the Gospel of St. John, 
which proves to be of the highest importance 
and deepest interest. It antedates all our pre- 
viously known texts by one hundred years or 
more. Our associates have now completed 
their critical study of the text, and a fac-simile 
of it will appear in our volume about ready for 
the press, with a great many documents of the 
first century translated. The papyrus of the 
first chapter of St Matthew (A. D. 150), cor- 
roborating our version of St. Matthew 1: 18-21, 
and the Logia (New Sayings of Christ) were in 
book form. This fragment of St. John is also 
in book form. 


It has been assumed that the form of writing 
in a book or codex dated from the introduc- 
tion of vellum ; but the foregoing and like dis- 
coveries by the Fund show that such fashion 
was in use for christian literature of the earliest 

The St. Matthew and Logia fragments are in 
single leaves, but the papyrus of St. John is on 
a sheet, and is written upon both sides. More- 
over, the first leaf contains St. John I., and the 
second leaf St. John XX. in part ; so that we 
possess one of the outer sheets of a large quire 
between which and chapter XX. were the in- 
tervening eighteen chapters, now lost. This 
book of the Gospel contained about fifty pages. 

It is to be noted that the usual contractions 
for theological words like God, Jesus, Christ, 
and Spirit are used. If such contractions were 
familiar in the second century, they must have 
been introduced much earlier. Do they not 
show the existence of a christian literature as 
early as 100 A. D. ? 

The text, a small uncial, resembles that of 
the Codex Sinaiticus, to which variants of its 
own are added. But the fac-simile will reveal 
this and other characteristics to the scholar 
who sees our coming volume, and the christian 


public will be deeply interested in the publica- 
tion of a text containing the statement, 'The 
Word Was Made Flesh,' which words were 
accepted in the early morning of Christianity as 
very truth. Out of Egypt have I called my 
Son may be transliterated for to-day: 'Out of 
Egypt comes the proofs for the Bible as God's 
revelation to man.' " 

Christianity is not so much in danger of a so- 
called "learned unbelief," as it is of the "little 
faith" and practical unbelief in active life, and 
the spreading of unchristian habits and cus- 
toms, and in danger from the life even of 
christians, which is not according to the gospel. 
Many, Oh many so-called christians of our 
times are in need of having their hearts renewed, 
and deeply impressed with the words of the 
Savior "repent and believe in the gospel." 


WHAT is the Orthodox Church? The 
Orthodox Church is a body or commu- 
nity of people, who, 1 — correctly believe in divine 
revelation; and 2 — who obey a lawful hierarchy 
instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ himself, 
through the holy apostles. In order to belong 
to the Orthodox Church two principal con- 
ditions are required: First — to accurately ac- 
cept, rightly understand and truthfully confess 
the divine teaching of faith; and secondly — 
to acknowledge the lawful hierarchy or priest- 
hood, to receive from it the holy mysteries or 
sacraments, and generally to follow its precepts 
in matters concerning salvation. 

Let us now consider the question concerning 
the true and divine doctrine of holy faith. 

The divine teaching of our holy religion is 
contained in the books of the holy scriptures of 
the Old and the New Testaments, and in holy 
Tradition. The principal dogma (these truths), 

*Tbe author is indebted for assistance in compiling the 
purely theological portions of these papers to the works 
of the M. Rev Dr. Sergius, Archbishop of Vladimir,Russia. 


i. e. the sacramental ones, ( which may also be un- 
derstood as the theoretical) are laid down briefly 
in the "creed," which commences with these 
words: I believe in one God, the Father, and 
which was compiled by the holy fathers of the 
first two universal councils in the fourth cen- 
tury. The moral truths of the orthodox faith 
are contained chiefly in the Ten Command- 
ments given by God to Moses on Mt. Sinai 
which were completed and explained by our 
Lord Jesus Christ in the Gospel and especially in 
the Lord's Sermon on the Mount. 

The doctrine, which does not agree with the 
true understanding of holy scripture and holy 
tradition, which is preserved in the Orthodox 
Catholic Church from the apostles time, is 
termed heresy; translated from the Greek 
language this word signifies separation. Cer- 
tainly it is to be understood that such who sepa- 
rate or draw others away from the body of the 
church by false teaching, thereby they excom- 
municate themselves from her fold. 

Heresy, or injury to the teaching of Christ, 
has begun as early as the times of the apostles. 
St. Paul wrote to Titus, who was bishop on the 
island of Crete: "A man that is a heretic after 
a first and second admonition refuse, knowing 
that such a one is perverted, and sinneth, being 


self condemned." ( Titus iii : 10, 11 ) . The holy 
apostle Paul has written to the Corinthian 
Christians thus : "For there must be also here- 
sies among you, that they which are approved 
may be made manifest among you." 1 Cor. ix: 
19. The bishops, as the successors of the 
apostles, endeavored from the earliest times to 
transmit the teaching of Christ, which they re- 
ceived from the apostles accurately. Thus our 
faith was carefully, even to the letter, trans- 
mitted by tradition. It is plainly understood 
how holy tradition became a channel by which 
truths were conveyed to rising generations, as 
the first bishops themselves received the word 
and also necessary instructions from the 
apostles, not only in writing, but also orally; 
i. e. by word, face to face; therefore it is clear 
that this apostolic tradition was in itself an ex- 
planation of the holy scriptures, as it were — a 
supplement. In regard to holy writ the bishops 
were careful that no false books be counted in 
with the genuine collection, which was left by 
the apostles, and also that the original writings 
of the apostles themselves be not injured or 
marred by heretics through the least addition or 
omission to the text of holy scripture. And 
if a false teacher be found his teachings was at 


once examined by the bishops, and they de- 
clared before the Church universal that such and 
such a doctrine was not known to them, that 
they did not receive it from the apostles, and 
that it did not agree with the doctrine of the 
apostles. Heresy caused the gathering of local 
and general councils, in which the false teach- 
ing was compared with the holy scripture and 
tradition and then rejected. In course of time 
the apostolical tradition, which was transmitted 
orally at first, was gradually, as the necessities 
of the church demanded, committed to writing; 
and it is found in the works of the holy fathers 
and teachers of the first several centuries. 

Although all heretics, whoever they be, do not 
belong to the church, yet, judging from the 
character of their false teaching, some are nearer 
to her, while others are greatly separated from 
her, and therefore the church receives into her 
communion the repentant heretics differently; 
namely — by three distinct offices during public 
worship. These offices were formulated in the 
time of the general councils. If we are spared 
we shall in some future time explain these of- 
fices, and also what differences and contradic- 
tions there are in the heresies themselves. Now 
we continue to briefly review the orthodox faith. 


The principal dogma of our religion are these : 
1 — The doctrine of God as He is in His being; 
one God in substance, but in three persons; the 
trinity consubstantial and undivided; the Father 
unoriginate; the Son begotten of the Father be- 
fore all ages; and the Holy Ghost, who proceeds 
from the Father. 2 — The doctrine of the Son 
of God, as the Savior of the human race; the 
second person of the Most Holy Trinity, the Son 
of God, who was incarnate for our salvation of 
the Most Holy Virgin Mary, who suffered and 
died in the flesh, arose again; ascended into the 
heavens, and he shall come again to judge the 
living and the dead. 3 — The doctrine of the 
Holy Ghost, as the sanctifier and perfecter of 
the salvation of mankind; that He is sent on 
earth by the Father for the merits of Jesus 
Christ, and abides in the holy, Catholic and 
apostolic church, preserves in her the orthodox 
teaching of faith unimpaired and saves the faith- 
ful chiefly by means of the holy mysteries (or 
sacraments), regenerating, enlightening, edify- 
ing and strengthening in the spiritual life. 
Upon these truths are founded also the other 
dogma of the christian religion; viz: That of 
the Mother of God,* the veneration of the 

* See the author's Eitnal, Services and Sacraments of 
the Eastern Apostolic Church. 


saints of God, sacred images, the administra- 
tion of the church, etc. 

We have already learned that the true con- 
fession of faith by itself is not sufficient for 
salvation. Of necessity another condition is 
required to belong to the Orthodox Church, and 
that is the recognition of a lawful hierarchy 
(or priesthood), the reception of sacraments 
from the same hierarchy, and obedience to it in 
matters concerning salvation. In a com- 
munity of christians in which there is no law- 
ful bishop, who is the dispenser of the gifts of 
saving grace,there are no sacramental gifts of the 
Holy Ghost, there can be no mystery of the body 
and blood of Christ, and where the Holy Ghost 
and Christ are not present, who sacramentally 
abide in christians, there, of course, can be no 
church. Sacred scripture testifies to this very 

Let us turn our attention to the eighth chap- 
ter of the Acts of the Apostles. What do we 
read there? At the time when a great persecu- 
tion arose against the church in Jerusalem aud 
the holy archdeacon Stephen was stoned to 
death, then the christians, excepting the 
apostles, scattered in different places of Judea 
and Samaria. The deacon Philip, who came 


into the city of Samaria, preached Christ there. 
The people with one heart gave heed to what 
Philip said, seeing the miracles which he 
worked; for the unclean spirits came out of 
many; some they left" with wild cries, and many 
who were impotent and lamed became whole. 
And there was great joy in that city. There 
was a man in that place, one Simon by name, 
who before this practiced sorcery and con- 
founded the people of Samaria, giving himself 
out as some one great. Many followed him, 
saying that he had the power of God. But 
when they believed Philip, who spoke to them 
of the good tidings of the kingdom of God and 
of the name of Jesus Christ, they received bap- 
tism of him, both men and women. And so did 
Simon believe, and after being baptized he re- 
mained with Philip, and, seeing the great 
powers and signs which were manifested, he 
wondered. The apostles, who were in Jerusa- 
lem, having heard that Samaria received the 
word of God, sent to them Peter and John, who, 
having come, prayed over them thai^hey might 
receive the Holy Ghost, and laying their hands 
upon them they received the Holy Ghost. 
Upon seeing that, by the laying on of the 
apostles' hands, the Holy Ghost was given, 


Simon brought them money, saying: Give me 
this power, that upon whomsever I lay my 
hands the same will receive the Holy Ghost. 
But Peter said unto him : Thy silver perish 
with thee, because thou hast thought to obtain 
the gift of God with money. Thou has neither 
part nor lot in this matter. 

From this history it can be seen that during the 
time of the apostles there were grades in the 
hierarchy. Philip, who was one of the seven dea- 
cons, notwithstanding that he received grace 
for the office of a deacon from the apostles, not- 
withstanding that by the Holy Ghost, who was 
with him, he performed many great works, yet 
he could not bring down the Holy Ghost upon 
the Samaritans, whom he had baptized. But 
when the apostles Peter and John had come 
they prayed and laid their hands upon them. 
Then the Holy Ghost came down upon them 
and was manifested in signs and miracles. The 
apostles transmitted the power of conferring 
the Holy Ghost only to the bishops. In other 
parts of the same book of the Acts of the Apos- 
tles, and in the epistles of St. Paul to Timothy, 
the Bishop of Ephesus, and to Titus, the Bishop 
of Crete, there are plain statements pertaining 
to the grade or office of presbyter, which is a 


middle oDe, between the episcopate and dia- 

Which hierarchy is the true and lawful one? 
It is the priesthood which had retained, and 
continued to follow these conditions. 

1 — In the first place such a hierarchy is true, 
which received the grace of the Holy Ghost 
from the apostles themselves in an unbroken 
line of succession from one to another. If, for 
instance, in a certain locality the bishops and 
priests were found to be wanting, the succes- 
sion being broken, and in their absence the 
laity elected new ones and lay their hands upon 
them, and proclaimed them to be bishops and 
presbyters, such a hierarchy would be unlaw- 
ful and without grace, as the laity cannot 
transmit that which they do not possess them- 
selves — the grace of the priesthood. In the 
time when the erring church of Eome was the 
cause of the Protestant separation in the six- 
teenth century, there was not a bishop in any of 
the countries that sided with them, excepting in 
England alone,* where protestantism appeared 
later than in Germany. The Protestants com- 
menced to elect and establish presbyters them- 

* Individually we have not the power to assert that 
the Church of England has retained all the conditions 
whereby she may not be an erring branch of the Catholic 


selves, and these ministers not only baptize, 
but they officiate at a so-called communion 
service, which of course is not a valid sacra- 
ment, as the ministers have no apostolic ordi- 
nation, and they are not presbyters. 

As we learn from history, it is only such a 
hierarchy which is authentic — that received 
the grace of the priesthood from the Lord 
Jesus Christ's apostles themselves, through an 
unbroken succession of the lawful heirs of this 
sacrament. And this is necessary. As the 
inclination to sin is transmitted successively 
from one to another by inheritance in the con- 
ception and birth of the body, thus also grace, 
that is the power of God, which wipes away sin 
and gives strength in struggle with it, for the 
merits of the new Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ, 
being bestowed, it is transmitted uninter- 
ruptedly by the laying on of episcopal hands in 
the priesthood, by anointing all christians with 
holy chrism, and also through sacred acts and 
visible forms in other sacraments. 

2. Secondly, an authentic hierarchy is such, 
which confesses all the truths of boly religion, 
for there are heresies which entirely deprive 
bishops and priests of the ministerial grace. 

3. Thirdly, a priesthood to be lawful must 


administer the sacraments orderly, according 
to the rules of the holy church Catholic, not 
changing essential actions, as there are acts and 
conditions in the rites of mysteries that are es- 
sential, without which a certain sacrament may 
not be valid. Should a sacred minister violate 
an essential rule he is subject to degradation, if 
the violation has been intentional, or, at least, 
the mystery is void of power. The seventh 
rule of the apostolic canon enjoins: "Should 
any one, bishop or presbyter, administer not 
three immersions in baptism in commemoration 
of the death of the Lord, but one, let him be cast 
out." And those who were baptized by one 
immersion, it was ordered that they should be 
rebaptized. If a priest should consecrate 
chrism himself, and anoint the newly baptized 
with it, such an act would not be the mystery of 
unction with chrism, because it would be the 
usurpation of the rights and the power of a 
bishop, and such a thing is forbidden presby- 
ters by the sixth rule of the Council of Carth- 
age. Should a bishop or priests use only water 
in place of wine in the mystery of communion, 
as some heretics do, such an offering would not 
be a true sacrament. 
4. Fourthly, to be a lawful and true hierarchy 


the same must be governed and must govern 
its spiritual charge according to the rules of the 
holy apostles, the seven ecumenical councils 
and other laws which are accepted by the 
Orthodox Church in general. Having aposto- 
tized from these universal or Catholic church 
regulations, the Roman church invented a 
doctrine concerning the supremacy of the 
Bishop of Rome over all the christian churches. 
This has been one of the chief causes of the 
Romish schism or separation from the Ortho- 
dox Catholic church. 

5. A fifth condition necessary for proving the 
lawfulness of the priesthood is its unity with 
the Orthodox Church in the spirit of peace arnd 
love. Whoever destroys the unity, except for 
a genuine and important cause, and the bishops 
and priests together with christians who follow 
them, that separate themselves from the higher 
church authorities, are excommunicated from 
the church, according to the rules of the 
apostles and the canons of the councils. 

The Orthodox Church, which is one, is one 
spiritual body, animated only by the Holy 
Ghost, having only one head — the Lord Jesus 

The Orthodox Church is holy, not having 


spot or wrinkle or any such thing (Ephes. v: 
27). She sanctifies sinners by her teaching 
and sacraments. 

The Orthodox Church is Catholic, i. e. col- 
lective, because she was organized by the Lord 
Jesus Christ for the salvation of all people in 
the whole world, and she is the gathering of all 
true believers in all places, times and peoples. 

The Orthodox Church will continue on earth 
until the second coming of Christ, imperishable 
and not conquered by any powers of hell. In 
regard to holy doctrine, she is blameless and 
will ever remain unchangeable, as she has 
abiding in her the Holy Ghost, the spirit of truth, 
therefore she is, according to the apostle, a 
pillar and the foundation of truth (ITim 3: 15). 
The existence of the lawful hierarchy and the 
administration of the holy mysteries will never 
cease in the church. 

The Lord Jesus Christ himself had said: I 
will build my churchy and the gates of hell will 
not prevail against her } and again : Behold I 
am with you alway, even unto the end of ages. 
Therefore, it is the duty of the christian to 
obey the church, for, outside of her, there is no 
salvation. If thy brother neglect to hear the 
church, let him be to thee as an heathen man 


and a publican (Matt, xviii: 17), saith the 

May God, who is glorified in the Trinity, 
help us by His grace to become, through our 
membership in the church militant on earth, 
members of the church triumphant in heaven, 
that we may glorify His all-honorable and 
majestic name with the angels and saints for- 
ever, without end. Amen. 


WE DESIEE to tell you of some thing, 
which is of the utmost importance. We 
find it necessary, unfortunately, to repeat in a 
measure what has been told you several times. 
We speak plainly, without a flourish of words, 
because we feel our responsibility before God — 
if we be misunderstood. We desire to remind 
you of our parish or church- school. To learn 
to read and write you send your children to 
school. You know that you must do it. But 
how many of you think of the serious obligation 
of rightly and thoroughly preparing your 
children for the life which they must live after 
only a few years ? Some, indeed, give their 
attention to what they call a decent education 
for their children, for which and for whom they 
would not fall back of any one, but be as good 
and as nice as other people in town. If you 
send your children to school to study grammar 
and arithmetic, (the future mainstay of the 
"home" are often compelled to leave their homes 


to learn even cooking and dancing), why will 
you not be just as eager to send them to school 
where they will study religion ? If you are 
truly interested in the welfare of your children, 
why do you not watch as strictly, but once a week, 
how they attend to their lessons in the study of 
the Law of God, as you do in some home-work, 
which the children seemed to be forced to have 
prepared within the next twelve hours for their 
public school ? You must obey God, above the 
public and all other masters, or lose your souls 
for the responsibility which rests upon you for 
the present and future welfare of your children. 
Where there is intellect, there always will be 
knowledge. Still, you must educate the child. 
Teach the boy and girl geography and history ; 
but if you do not train the child's will, in order 
not only to please you, its parents, but to bend 
before the holy will of Him, who is the only 
just re warder of good and evil, then you are a 
failure as a christian. Where there is no dis- 
cipline, there is no constancy. Where there is 
no law, there is no order, no peace, no everlast- 
ing happiness. If no tender sympathies re-echo 
in the heart of the young, away have been cast 
the time and labor in teaching — be it botany or 


What a pity ! we see young children at the 
age of ten, whose very brains seem to be rattling 
with numerical problems, while they have not 
the good manners to step out of the way of an 
old person, or even the common human feeling 
of a desire to aid in distress. I have seen even 
young men and young women stand gazing on 
one of their company, who was fainting from 
exhaustion, without the offer of the most simple 
service — to fetch a cup of cold water. 

However regular athletic exercises are at- 
tended to, no matter how carefully the lessons 
in physiology are prepared, little iudeed, will 
they profit your children, if they know not the 
steps, up which they must climb to seek the 
Highest. If you, fathers and mothers, are 
christians, then we ministers of the Word may 
rest in the quiet hope that your children have 
been taught dutifully and rightly to praise the 
All-majestic Creator at morn, likewise in midday, 
confessing each themselves before God, and 
openly before all men, confessing God, while at 
night they humbly implore His mercy. But if 
your children do not invoke their Guardian- 
Angel, if they do not bless the most pure 
Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, and fall 
down in humble devotion, supplicating for the 


grace of our Heavenly Father, then you are not 

It is a sad fact, which must be recorded in 
this earthly judgment seat of God, and the 
truth of this fact is as bitter for me, as it is for 
you. Nevertheless, we acknowledge and accept 
the truthful bitterness with the hope, that it 
will prove to be a healing remedy, which will 
bring peaceful and sweet results. 

There are parents belonging to our congrega- 
tion in San Francisco, who go to the matinee 
with their children, not giving a thought before 
hand to the character of the play ; they teach 
the little ladies and gentlemen, i. e. the future 
men and women of a christian land, to buy and 
select wearing apparel, which is pleasing to the 
eyes of the world, whether it be healthful and 
sensible, or not. Yes, they are "up to the 
times," they visit the classes of the public 
schools ; they receive and fix their signatures 
to monthly school reports. Ah! if they would 
but fix the character of the school itself. If 
their children are tardy for five minutes they may 
not go to school without a written excuse. Yet 
it is in the power of the citizens of this country 
to have laws enacted, which would protect their 
youn<* from being crammed with "ologies" and 


"isms," and insure their healthful growth and 
the teaching of good sense. 

How is it with our church schools? All our 
children do not attend, and their friends and 
christian neighbors do not take interest enough to 
invite them to go with their children. The par- 
ents do not visit our school, but once a year, and 
then — when we are not at work. What is our 
home-work for the children? Only a little of 
that which is the greatest. A very little, once or 
twice a week, of the commandments of God and 
the gospel of his Son, Jesus Christ. And no 
one to think about it ; no one at home to see 
that the life-work of the family is done! Dur- 
ing the short hour that we manage to collect a 
few unruly children, we must study and repeat, 
for even prayers are not learned in the home. 

Beloved christians! we need your co-opera- 
tion. We may sow the seed, but — remember — 
the influence of your home is the sunshine 
which heats the ground. So then ask your- 
selves, is not the wind too chilly, and the sun 
too low to strike its rays direct? We may trim 
the plant, but it is your duty to keep watering it. 
Oh ! if you would but water the precious plants 
of your gardens with prayerful tears! We 
invite you to visit our school, from time to time, 


during lesson hours. If we were asked, how 
many of us pray together with children, the 
conscieutous would answer, a very, very few ; 
only several in a congregation of three hundred 
souls. Generally, of an evening, the children 
are sent to bed ; and sometimes some one calls 
out, say your prayers first. And from time to 
time there is a prayer, but more often there is 
only the "saying." Must I explain that christian 
children should be followed to their uight's 
rest; in most cases they should be "put" into 

It is the duty especially of parents to see that 
their children pray correctly, and also to pray 
with them in an audible voice themselves. Let 
this not be an act of routine. Do not for a 
moment think that it will become a daily 
routine. This reasonable discipline, when 
you kneel by the side of tender childhood 
and see the little ones pray, will lighten 
in your own heart — at the same time 
that it does in theirs — the fire of heavenly love. 
Moreover, your prayers must be the prayers of 
the Orthodox Church of Christ. Our Mother 
church has but one infallible model of prayer — 
given to her by our Lord Jesus Christ. It is an 
invocation, petitions, and a doxology ; in other 


words, a call, a request, and a praise. If you 
will concentrate your minds upon the subject 
of each one of these divisions, then your prayer 
will not be a "saying," but an "offering." 
Again we ask you to give us your dutiful atten- 
tion and assistance in the work of teaching our 
children. If not for the sake of your own com- 
fort in old age and sickness, let us for the sake 
of their Almighty Father in Heaven, and our 
Judge, awaken in their hearts the love for that 
which is holy and truly beautiful. Amen. 


Thy Kingdom Come. (Matt, vi: 10). 

THE first day of a new year may not be kept 
as a holy day and a day of quiet by every 
one, as the Church enjoins that it should be, yet 
it is a day, nevertheless, peculiarly distinguished 
from other days by every thinking man and 
woman. New Year's Day is looked upon by 
some with that awe, which is always respectful 
before the mysterious. For some it has a 
strong fascination, which is expressed in their 
holiday-making, often bordering on senseless 
hilarity. For others it is a short day into 
which they vainly strive to encompass eternity, 
or even the one year which it represents. 

The merry callers, together with the pleasant 
entertainers, and the busy crowd of elders, to- 
gether with the happy ones of new and young 
fortune, cannot hide from us even on New 
Year's Day in the great congregation of human 
kind those faces that look on us with serious 
mien, those eyes of careful thought, that wist- 
ful gaze of longing, those eyes that burn with 


a desire. Some of these last named are those 
who were, so to illustrate, moulded into an 
image of melancholy composure, whom painful 
anxiety could not conquer and make of their 
rich natures absolute pessimists, by robbing 
them of their last hope; and some are those 
who have force, power, hidden away down in 
their souls, who persevere, quietly abiding their 
time, when they may openly and fully cherish 
their own desires, satisfy their secret aspira- 
tions, and gain the end of their passion — strong 
ambition. Some again are the ones who very 
nicely put on their back the sheep's skin, but 
inwardly they are the ferocious wolf. They take 
you with their soft hand, but nothing is left 
you; sweetly they look upon you with quiet 
eyes, but you find yourself to be lost; they kiss 
you, and you are betrayed by Judas. Still we 
find among the last mentioned, i. e. of those 
with serious and longing mien, such characters 
as cannot be influenced aside from the path they 
chose for their life walk, either by wealth or by 
social happiness, nor can poverty or misery eat 
and destroy their individuality. Fame, position, 
science, art, comfort and society's opinion call 
out to them : To you will I give all this author- 
ity t and the glory of them. . . . if you will 


but worship me, it shall be yours. No, to the 
mighty ones of this world answer they; is it 
right to hearken unto you, rather than unto 
God? This little flock of the chosen ones go 
steadily along the narrow path. Praising the 
Almighty Creator they draw near, and before 
the awful presence of the Supreme Being they 
pray, without condemnation and with boldness 
they dare to say : Father, our Father, who art 
in heaven! hallowed be Thy name, Thy king- 
dom come, preserve us from the taint of the 
world, so that the evil spirit with his passions 
and servants may not rule over us; teach us to 
worship Thee in the spirit and in the truth, 
so that the changing etiquette of a vanishing 
sphere, and the vain philosophy of time servers 
may not harm nor forbid us to call to Thee: 
"Lord, Thy kingdom come." 

"I wish you a happy new year." Such is the 
universal greeting on this day among friends. 
Man salutes man on the first day of a new 
year and expresses the hope that the new year 
may be a happy one for each. Ah! and so it is 
happiness, the aim and end of all, which is the 
one thing most desired. That is what chris- 
tians ask for when they pray to God: Thy 
kingdom come. And it is just for this purpose 


that this altar was built for us. That was the 
desire of our fathers, who contemplated over 
thirty years ago to organize a parish and have 
a house of prayer in this city, and which they 
realized, thanks to the christian sympathy of 
the holy synod of the Kussian church. 

Happiness — that was the mission object of 
the apostles, who walked the earth. It was for 
our happiness that Jesus Christ came and com- 
menced for the whole world and all time a 
new and everlasting year. Did not even the 
heavens and their spiritual ministers proclaim 
it? Yea, face to face and heart in heart, did 
Mary encompass it. To Joseph it was in a 
dream. It was gloriously indicated to the 
learned magicians by a moving star. But for 
the peasant on the fields the angels sang. Yes, 
for this gift to humankind, for this happiness 
of the new year to the world the spiritual 
powers of heaven thanked the Lord. They 
sang: Glory to God in the Highest, and on 
earth peace, good will toward men. 

As we to-day commence another period by 
which we measure that which we call time, and 
as we feel that this time is gliding past us, 
flowing swifting beyond our reach, and strip- 
ping us, too, of that which we sometimes think 


belongs to our person, we surely ought give 
serious thought to the one thing so needful, to 
the happiness we wish our friends from year to 
year, to the great boon our spirits yearn for, 
even though it be on our part sometimes un- 
knowingly. Let us renew within us the 
faculties of our soul, so overburdened with a 
generally prevailing materialism. Let us re- 
new within us our hearts, and prepare a clean 
habitation for this great gift. Let us strengthen 
our desire, once elevated, and let us reach out, 
and accept, and follow this great happiness of 
God in man! O God, save us from the rule 
which our own severally different, irreligious 
and selfish opinions create, and from the king- 
dom of darkness, and let The kingdom come! 

It is often just so with the life of a man as 
the traveler of great deserts experiences. He 
now is under the hot sun with no water, and 
then the cold atmosphere of the night finds him 
without a roof. With sore foot and tired eye 
he goes along until he comes to an oasis ; the 
fresh scene dispels the monotony; his heavy 
heart is gladdened. Such an oasis we find even 
in the barren hearts of all men of the world; 
but not so often, not so fruitful and so refresh- 
ing as in the life of an humble and obedient 


believer in the Allguiding Providence of God. 
Oh, christians! watch for those bright moments 
in your life. Prosper in the real happiness 
and shine forth in the darkness of a sinful 
world — a light to others. Stop on these green 
and fresh pastures. Best. Look over the past 
and examine the way. Consider the different 
kinds of temptations you underwent. Know 
thyself; where were you the weakest? Which 
place on the road was it the most difficult to 
pass? How have you come out of the battle? 
What is it you have lost? Did you gain any- 
thing? If so, is it good for your salvation? 
Can your neighbor profit by it? 

Let us hear Solomon, the wisest of all earthly 
born, the richest and greatest king of his time; 
let us hear what he says in one of those bright 
moments of his life, when he was most fit and 
capable to rightly diagnose his self-examination. 
He says : "7 have seen all the works that are 
done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity 
and vexation of Spirit. 1 communed with my 
own hearty saying, Lo, I am come unto great 
estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all 
they that have been before me in Jerusalem; 
yea, my heart hath great experience of wisdom 
and knowledge. And I gave my heart to know 


wisdom, and to know madness, and folly : I per- 
ceived that this also is vexation of spirit. I 
made me great works, I builded me houses, I 
planted me vineyards. All kinds of trees and 
flowers I had in my gardens. I made me pools 
of water. I got me servants and maid servants. 
I gathered me also silver and gold. I was 
great. Also my wisdom remained with me. 
Then I looked on all the works that my hands 
had wrought, and on the labor that I had 
labored to do, and, behold, all was vanity and 
vexation of spirit, and there was no profit 
under the sun * * * When we read farther 
on and come to the close of Solomon's repent- 
ant confession, he says: "Let us hear the con- 
clusion of the whole matter, fear God and keep 
His commandments, for this is the whole duty 
of man. For God shall bring every work into 
judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be 
good, or whether it be evil." 

On this New Year's Day, when we look over 
the past and see our mistakes, our weakness, 
our folly, and our sins, and* when from to-day 
we look to the future with renewed hope, wish- 
ing as much as ever before — a happy new 
year, our good resolutions must be carried out 
with a strong will. When we learn to seek our 


happiness in that one thing above all needful; 
when we learn to bend our wills to the pleasures 
of that Supreme Will, which rules all, then we 
will have found the good portion, which shall 
not be taken away from us. The Kingdom of 
God will have come. 

But to some I know this appears to be a hard 
saying. It is well to talk about such high 
things, but how can we practice a heavenly life 
upon earth, they question. Certainly the 
thought about earthly things is indispensable to 
our earthly life. Do but observe how we 
abandon things heavenly, for things earthly, 
and we shall find it not so difficult to put aside 
earthly things for things heavenly. We limi t 
the time we employ in works of charity and 
religious practice, in order to have more time 
for worldly things. Some times we go into the 
Church of God, and at the same time we are 
thinking of that which engages our minds at 
home and at our business. And some times, 
even, while standing bodily in the house of 
prayer, our thoughts are attracted elsewhere, 
by our worldly affections, or by the passions 
which rule in us; even the very prayer of some 
is tainted by flitting worldly thoughts ! Now do 
the very reverse. Do that which is necessary 


for your earthly existence, but endeavor not to 
extend it beyond the necessary, and strive to 
liberate yourself as much as possible from such 
labor, in order to have more time and freedom 
for works of piety. Kestrain your thoughts 
from earthly things, not only when standing 
before God in His temple, but wherever you 
may be, when obliged to busy yourself with 
earthly things, occasionally turn away your 
thoughts and especially your desires for them, 
and lift up your heart unto heaven and God. 
When you set about worldly affairs, remember 
God, and ask for His blessing and assistance; 
when you go to rest, remember God and give 
thanks unto Him for His assistance in your 
labors, and for the gift of rest. 

Thus we may unite every earthly work, not 
contrary to the law of God, with a love of things 
above, and, so to say, change earthly and visible 
things, into things heavenly and spiritual. 
When thou lookest upon the sun, said once a 
saint, seek the true sun, for thou art blind. 
When thou turnest thy gaze upon light, turn 
towards thy soul, and see whether thou hast 
there the true and blessed light, which is the 

May the light of our Lord Jusus Christ illu- 


mine, may His Spirit strengthen each of us, 
and may our walking according to His Word 
and His Life, lead us all here upon earth to set 
our affections on things above, and thereby con- 
duct us to the blessed contemplation of Him in 
heaven, where reigneth supreme the happiness 
of all sincere seekers of the true new year. 


MAN, having received his present being, 
consisting of a visible body and intel- 
lectual, immaterial soul, is a being complex. 
But the nature and -worth of both the just 
named parts are not of equal value. The body- 
is made as an instrument that is moved by the 
order of a ruler; the soul is designed to govern 
and command it, as the superior of an inferior. 
The soul, receiving from the intellect and rea- 
son the means by which it makes distinctions, 
may, possessing such a quality of distinction, 
separate the truly beautiful from its common 
imitation; it may perceive God as the Creator 
and Designer, not only of that which is under- 
neath our feet and received by our senses, but 
that, also, which is hidden from the eyes, and 
of which the immaterial mind may contemplate, 
having the power of imagination at its command. 
Practicing, as the godly one, in righteousness 
and virtue, she aspires unto divine wisdom, and, 


obeying its laws and commands, withdraws as 
much as possible from the desires of the flesh, 
comes nearer to God, and strives by all its 
strength to ally itself with the good. The 
particular and most important object of this 
sacred philosophy is temperance; as it is the 
mind, which is not disturbed, but free of all in- 
fluences of pollution, arising from the stomach 
or other senses, that has a continual action and 
contemplates the heavenly, the things pertain- 
ing to its own sphere. 

And so it behooves us, the lovers of all things 
pure, the lovers of the word of God, yea — even 
christians, to love the present time, which our 
holy church has set apart for a special oppor- 
tunity of obtaining greater grace in the sight 
of God. We should hail with joy such an op- 
portunity! The time I refer to is the Advent 
Lent. We should love this fast as the teacher 
of sobriety, the mother of virtue, the educator 
of the children of God, the guardian of the 
unruly, the quiet of the soul, the staff of life, the 
peace that is firm and serene. Its importance 
and strictness pacifies the passions, puts out 
the fire of anger and wrath, cools and quiets the 
agitation produced by over-eating. And, as in 
summer time, when the sweltering heat of the 


sun hangs over the ground, the northern breeze 
proves a blessing to the sufferers, scattering the 
closeness by its pleasant coolness, so does like- 
wise fast, destroying the overabundance of heat 
in the body, which is caused by gluttony. Prov- 
ing to be of so much benefit to the soul, Lent 
brings the body no less benefit. It refines the 
coarseness of matter, releases the body of part 
of its burden, lightens the blood vessels that 
are often ready to burst with an overflow of 
blood, and prevents them becoming clogged, 
which may happen as easily as it occurs with a 
water pipe, that, when being forced to maintain 
the abundance of water pressed into it by a 
powerful machine, bursts from the pressure. 
And the head feels light and clear when the 
blood-vessels do not nervously beat, and the 
brain does not become clouded by the spreading 
of evaporations. Abstinence gives the stomach 
ease, which relieves it from a forced con- 
dition of slavery, and from boiling like a boiler, 
working with a sickly effort to cook the food it 
contains. The eyes look clear and undimmed, 
without the haze that generally shadows the 
vision of a glutton. The activity of the limbs 
is stable, that of the hand firm; the breath is 
regular and even, and not burdened by pent-up 


organs. The speech of him who fasts is plain 
and distinct; the mind is pure, and then it is 
that the mind shows forth its true image of 
God, when, as if in an immaterial body, it 
quietly and undisturbedly exercises the func- 
tions belonging to it. The sleep is quiet and 
free from all apparitions. Not to extend 
unnecessarily, we may sum up by saying that 
fast is the common peace of the soul and body. 
Such are the beneficent results of a temperate 
life; and such are the precepts of a christian 
life. It is a law of the Holy Church, which 
prescribes that we should fast during the Lenten 

Do you not know that angels are the constant 
watchers and guardians of those that fast, just 
as the demons, those very friends of greasy 
stuffs, those lovers of blood and companions of 
drunkards, are the associates of those that give 
themselves up to debauchery and orgies during 
such a holy time as lent. The angels and saints, 
as also the evil spirits, ally themselves with 
those they love, they become related with that, 
which is pleasing to them. Every day in our 
life God points out a lesson to us concerning 
the eternal life, but we very seldom heed it; 
in a word, we generally don't care! Oh, is this 


not terrible to think of? And yet no one man 
will deliberately, so to speak, attempt to slight 
the Almighty Creator, no one who is capable of 
using his understanding in the very least de- 
gree. But yet, beloved brethren, we do it! 
we, day after day, in our worldly habits uncon- 
sciously say: "I don't care!" Have we a right 
to do anything at all unconsciously, when He, 
in whose hand the very breath of our life 
flutters as a very weak, little thing, when He, 
I say, bestowed upon us this conscience? Over 
and over again we dare to directly disobey 
God's commands. It is a terrible thing to fall 
into the hands of the Living God. But the 
Lord of Hosts is long-suffering, and to repent- 
ant christians He is the Father of Mercies. 
Yet it behooves us, christians, to zealously 
watch every step we take, to be sure that we are 
w Iking in the path, that our Holy Church not 
only pointed out, but, as it were, even cut out 
for us by the stream of martyr's blood, by the 
wisdom of the Holy Ghost abiding in the 
sainted bishops of the universal councils, the 
night labor of praying and fasting fathers, and 
a host of pure, self-sacrificing, obedient women, 
such as Mary, Thekla, Barbara, Makrina. The 
church says that in time of Lent we must fast, 


and we should not disobey, because our Holy 
Church is the Church of God, and she tells us 
what God Himself wills that we should do. If 
we have all the learning of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, it will appear as a blank before the simple 
words of the church, spoken in the power of the 
Spirit of God. We can not, and we have no 
right (for who gave us such a privilege), to 
excuse ourselves. We are with good inten- 
tion, in simplicity of heart to obey the com- 
mandments of the church, and not worry about 
adapting ourselves to the ways of the church, 
for when we obey with our whole heart, with a 
strong desire to fulfill the holy command- 
ments, then our Holy Mother Church adapts 
herself to the weakness of her faithful children. 
But let us turn back to the lesson pointed out 
for us. We may every day learn a new lesson 
about the next life, which is of so much im- 
portance, that the examples in this life are in- 
exhaustible. Look around and observe. In this 
instance look into the kingdom of animals and 
birds. See the clean dove hovering over places 
that are clean, over the grain field, gathering 
seed for its young. Now look at the unsatiated 
raven, flapping its heavy wings around the meat 
market. And so we must strive to love a 


temperate life, that we may be beloved by 
angels, and hate all unnecessary luxury, so as 
not to fall with it into communion with de- 

Let us return with our memory to the com- 
mencement of our race, and experience will 
testify to that which we sometimes make light 
of. The law of fasting would not be given to 
us, had not the law of the first abstinence been 
transgressed. The stomach would not be 
named as an evil-minded thing, had not the 
pretext for pleasure entailed after it such con- 
sequences of sin. There would be no need of 
the plow and the laboring oxen, the planting of 
seed, the watering shower, the mutual change of 
the seasons of the year, the winter binding in 
fetters and the summer opening up all things. 
In a word there would be no need of such 
periodically repeating toil, had not we, through 
the mistaken pleasure of our first parents, con- 
demned ourselves to this round of labor. Yet 
we were on the way of leading another kind 
of life, in compaiison with what we see now, 
and which we hope to regain once more, when 
we are liberated from this life of passion by 
the resurrection. Such is the mercy of God's 
condescension towards us, that we should be 


again restored to the former dignity, which we 
had enjoyed through His love to man, and 
which mercy we did not carefully keep. Fast 
is a type of the future life, an imitation of the 
incorruptible existence. There are no feast- 
ings and sensual gratifications over there. 

Do not flee from the difficulty of fast, but set 
up hope against the trial, and you will obtain 
the desired abstinence from food. Repeat to 
yourself the words of the pious: "Fast is 
bitter, but paradise is sweet; thirst is torment- 
ing, but the spring, from which he who drinks 
will thirst never again, is at hand." The body 
is importunate, but the immaterial soul is 
much stronger — strength is dead, but nigh is 
the resurrection. Let us say to our much crav- 
ing stomach what the Lord said to the tempter : 
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every 
word of God. Fast is not hunger, but a little 
abstinence from food, not an inevitable punish- 
ment, but a voluntary continence, not a servile 
necessity, but a free selection of the wise. 
Prayand you will be strengthened; call, and a 
prompt helper will come to your assistance. 


(First read: Luke xv. 11-32.) 

YOU HAVE heard to-day's gospel. The 
parable of the "prodigal son" is not a thing 
new to you. You have heard of, you have seen 
the prodigal sin, and fall low, down, deep into 
all the consequential miseries of iniquity. If 
you do not know, you have heard of the bound- 
less mercy of a pitying God. You may under- 
stand how a good father takes back to his heart 
his beloved child, once lost, but found again. 
You know the parable of the prodigal son. 
Then why is it that the church, year after year, 
recalls to our memory this parable? She does 
so in order to strengthen us in the way of salva- 
tion. Until we have passed the final limit, and 
receive our sentence at the hands of the Divine 
Judge, we belong to the Church Militant, i. e. 
while we are on earth, we are obliged to continu- 
ally struggle for the good. 

In order to obtain conscientious peace, love, 


spiritual prosperity, and holiness, we must 
always battle with the evil. The more high 
and purely spiritual the condition is, which we 
strive to attain, the more fierce is the fight, and 
our warfare must be constant with wrong, infi- 
delity, superstition, prejudice, and corruption. 
Indeed, we must overcome ourselves, we must 
get the better of self. 

You, no doubt, have seen men and women 
wasting their living in the most hideous visible 
form of sin, but dare you stand in the awful 
presence of the Most Pure Being and Creator, 
and say that you are not a prodigal? Do you 
not wish to come back to God — the Heavenly 
Father? Sinners, yes, we are sinners! One of 
the greatest meditators on the ways of Divine 
Providence — the Prophet-King David- -in his 
confession to God, says: "Thy commandment 
is very broad." And, in this light, there is not 
a commandment, or a law, which we -have not 

Surely my time was not spent with harlots, 
some might say, but did you make careful use 
of your time, which is not yours, for it belongs 
to Him who gave it, and did you without wasting, 
treasure it so that it now bears a hundred fold 
of profit, pleasing to the Keceiver of virtue in 


abundance? I Lad never lost control of myself, 
so that, by unawares, my table prove to be a 
scanty board of husks, and my companions a 
herd of swine. Yet, you may not assert that 
you beautified your soul with a holy character, 
nor did you .enrich your intellect with an ever- 
lasting wisdom; and your heart, is it clean, does 
it expand so that the Holy Ghost freely makes 
His abode there? Does it know the needy and 
the deserving? Does it go out toward its neigh- 
bor, yearning to share with its very existence — 
giving up all self-interest, and even the com- 
forts of an earthly life? 

We, all of us, make up one household. We 
are members of one and the same family. And 
you will never taste of true happiness, nor 
know what it is to be blessed, until you have 
learned this lesson. You may be a younger 
son or daughter, but if you be the prodigal, 
remember, that in your Father's House there is 
bread enough, and to spare-, come to yourself; 
consider your life, remember the free and con- 
fiding innocence of your first youth, now that 
you are firmly fastened, and yet lost, look within 
and find yourself. And when you have found 
yourself, you will easily find God. He will see 
you, while you are coming, yet far off, your 


Father, and He will be moved with compassio?i, 
He will fold you in His arms and kiss you. 

If you are not a younger member of the 
family, may you not be the elder son of the 
Father? You may not be a lavish spendthrift, 
nor a wanderer, and you may enjoy the quiet 
of home, but are you secure? The enemy may 
sow tares in the field of your heart, while you 
are comfortably asleep. You may live in your 
father's house faithfully and continually, you 
may have the oversee of all the work, and the 
servants, yet are you secure? No, if you do not 
give yourself concern of the whereabouts of 
your younger brother, you are not secure for 
all time. You may be the oldest, you may 
know all the secrets of the household, the keys 
of all chests and doors may be in your posses- 
sion, you may live in the Grace of God, and 
enjoy the light of your Heavenly Father's 
countenance, still, remember the elder son in the 
parable! For the want of charity for :m erring 
one, a sinner, an inexperienced one, for one 
who labored under a wrong opinion, he — the 
heir and first-born — came in danger of losing 
all at the end. He was the cause of much 
anxiety to his father who came out and en- 
treated him. This one's pride (a false pride it 


was) that suffered. The father had to reason 
with his son, who thought his sense of justice 
was being injured. In the absence of virtue, 
and charity — the principal one — we see the 
elder son blind to his own condition, for he 
dared to assert his rights, while justice belonged 
to the real owner, his loving Father. 

And now, my brethren, if we be the elder 
members of God's family, let us think of the 
responsibility, and not fall from Grace, but con- 
tinue in His House. To the young, and to the 
prodigal, if their conscience be not yet lost, the 
Divine voice calls, come to your Father, and 
tell Him all, He waits with open heart. Amen. 


Who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God 
that alone doest wonders. 

ON THIS first Sunday in Lent, the Church, 
in memory and in thanksgiving for her vic- 
tory in the struggles and labors in protecting 
the true Faith against the contentions of evil- 
minded heretics, celebrates the "Triumph of 
Orthodox Christianity," and for this reason we 
call this day 4t Orthodox Sunday." 

It was in 787 A. D. that the Church, in Uni- 
versal Council assembled, decreed, among other 
resolutions and canonical acts, that it was lawful 
for Christians to use in their private and public 
worship sacred images, i. e., pictures of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, His Holy Mother, of the 
Saints, and sacred events in Biblical and Chris- 
tian history, but, of course, when divine ador- 
ation was ascribed to God alone, and when rev- 
erence is offered in honor of His works — the 
objects which these cherished pictures represent 
to us. 


The Christian doctrine necessary for our sal- 
vation, as revealed in Sacred Scripture and 
Tradition, has been expounded and delivered 

for usyjrom all mixture of human and heretical 
interpretation, by the Seven Great Councils. 
The one mentioned before was the last, namely, 
the Seventh Ecumenical Council. These coun- 
cils defined the teaching concerning the Persons 
of the Most Holy Trinity in the one God-head, 
the advent in the world of the Son of God, the 
relations between ourselves and our Saviour, 
the relations between the Church Militant on 
earth and the Church Triumphant in heaven, 
the Providence of God in our reward and in 
our punishment, the Apostolic Succession and 
Hierarchical Economy as necessary for the con- 
tinuance of Christ's work in the world, the seven 
Sacraments, etc. 

It was not long, however, when again heresy 
began to show itself in some of the branches of 
the Church, and when some ambitious people 
would impose upon the Church their personal 
and fallible opinions. To ward off the false 
shoots and upstarts, and to remind the Chris- 
tians of the binding rules and canons of the 
Seven General Councils, a large assembly of 
Holy Fathers and teachers gathered in Con- 


stantinople in 842 A. D., under the protection 
of the good Empress Theodora, and, mindful of 
the Divine Judgment pronounced of the Holy 
Ghost though it was by the condescendingly 
lovable Apostle St. Paul that if any man love 
not the Lord Jesus Christ let him be Anathema 
Maranatha, they declared: " To those who re- 
ject the councils of the Holy Fathers and their 
traditions which are agreeable to Divine Reve- 
lation, and which the Orthodox Catholic Church 
piously maintains, anathema " ! 

This council sat in convention during the first 
week of Great Lent. While fasting and pray- 
ing they collected all the decisions of the Seven 
General Councils. When Sunday came they 
marched in solemn procession, bearing the holy 
cross, sacred images of our Lord, the Blessed 
Virgin and the Saints, being followed by a mul- 
titude of Christians devoutly chanting under 
the leadership of the learned monk well known 
by the name of St. Theodore the Studious, his 
newly composed hymn which you have heard 
to-day and which translated reads thus : "To 
Thy most pure Icon (image) we bow down, 
O Blessed One, praying for forgiveness of our 
sins, Christ our God; for, of thine own will, 
thou didst condescend to ascend the cross in 


flesh, and thereby to deliver thy creatures from 
the yoke of the enemy. Therefore, we thank- 
fully cry unto thee, Thou hast filled all things 
with joy, O our Saviour, thou who earnest to 
save the world." 

Having come into the cathedral of St. Sophia 
this religious and noted assemblage offered the 
most impressive praise service, or "Te Deuin," 
ever known in the grand liturgies of the Holy 
Orthodox Church. We have in the words of 
the Psalmist David the key-note which re-echoed 
in the thunder of anathemas and resounded in 
the peals of praise of this complete and uni- 
versal thanksgiving service : Who is so great a 
God as our God? Thou art the God that alone 
doest wonders! Here were recounted all the 
false teachings condemned by the Ecumenical 
Councils, and even persons were anathematized 
for willfully adhering to heresy, who did not 
repent of their sins, and earnestly seek the truth 
by their return to membership in the Church of 
Christ. Among such were those "who deny 
the existence of God, and unreasonably main- 
tain that the world existeth of itself, and that 
all things happen through fate and without the 
providence of God; those who insolently dare 
to say that the All-pure Virgin Mary, before her 
bringing forth, in her bringing forth, and after 


her bringing forth, was not a virgin ; those who 
believe not that the Holy Ghost gave wisdom 
to the Prophets and Apostles, and through them 
proclaimed to us the true way to everlasting 
salvation, and that He confirmed them by won- 
ders, nor believe that now He dwelleth in the 
hearts of the faithful and true Christians, lead- 
ing them into all truth; those who deny the 
immortality of the soul, who reject the councils 
of the Holy Fathers, and the traditions unani- 
mous with the divine revelation which the Orth- 
odox Catholic Church with veneration preserv- 
eth; those who defame and blaspheme the holy 
icons which the Holy Church useth to remem- 
ber the works of God and of His Saints, so that 
they who look upon the same may be incited to 
fear God and to imitate what they see; and 
those who say the icons are idols." 

It may be necessary before we proceed to ex- 
plain the word anathema; it means condemn- 
ation and excommunication until restored after 
sincere repentance. In some cases it may not 
be only a temporal ban, but a curse. Indeed, 
there are some members of the Church to-day, 
Christians, who do not fully realize that the 
Church of Christ is a living organism, which, 
through the supernatural indwelling of the 
Holy Spirit, exists as a moral being, empowered 


within her sphere not only to bless, but also to 
curse. Such ones of course do not read the 
Bible. Those who studied the Epistles of the 
Apostles know that it was required of the Cor- 
inthians to put away from among themselves 
that wicked person (1 Cor. v: 13). Likewise the 
command was given to Titus, hear: A man that 
is an heretic after the first and second admoni- 
tion reject (Tit. iii: 10). Did not our Lord 
Jesus Christ say : If thy brother neglect to hear 
the Church, let him be to thee as an heathen 
man and a publican? (Matt, xviii: 17.) And 
again our Lord speaks: Whatsoever ye shall 
bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and 
whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be 
loosed in heaven (Matt, xviii: 18). 

Since the time of this council which we have 
just now been considering, the Church, annually, 
until our day "has celebrated the triumph of 
Truth over heresy, and blessed the memory of, 
as well as commended the work of all them that 
by words, writings, teachings, and sufferings, as 
also by a life well-pleasing to God, have con- 
tended for Orthodoxy as her defenders and 
helpers." Among those now living are named : 
The Koyal and Imperial Benefactors, the Ortho- 
dox Patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria, 
Antioch,and Jerusalem, the Holy Synods of the 


Kussian and other Orthodox Churches, the Most 
Eeverend Bishops, the Keverend Clergy, all 
right-believing Christians who, through saving 
faith and good works, are expecting everlasting 
blessedness. Thus the Church to-day in most 
of the Diocesan cathedrals throughout the 
world, while joyfully praising and honoring 
them that submitted their understanding to the 
obedience of the Divine revelation, and have 
contended for the same by following the Holy 
Scriptures and holding fast the traditions of the 
primitive Church, at the same time "humbly 
supplicates Almighty God for those who, by 
heresy or by schism, have set themselves against 
His evangelical truth that He may soften their 
hearts, open their ears that they may recognize 
His voice, heal their corruptions and deliver 
them out of error." 

When we see how the Lord of creation and 
the Shepherd of His elect flock has preserved 
His Church undefiled and whole through long 
ages of the most terrible temptations, and when 
we hear the prophet cry out that God wills 
no one to be lost, but that all may come to re- 
pentance and to the understanding of truth, we 
can not else but cry out: Who is so great a 
God as our God ? Thou art the God that alone 
doest wonders. 


Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and 
take up his cross and follow me. (Mark viii. 34). 

THIS third Sunday of Great Lent is the first 
day of the Holy Cross week. In the midst 
of this holy season the Church allows her chil- 
dren to taste of the sweetness of the tree. In 
the course of his forty days' journey over the 
solitary wilderness of penance, the weary way- 
farer comes to a tree, its shade inviting, its fruit 
beneficial. He throws off his burden, with com- 
posure and confidence he nestles at the foot of 
the wood, and is refreshed. And this is just 
what the Church of God prepares for the sin- 
cere followers of Jesus Christ. Were we capable 
of understanding the Almighty's plan, carried 
out by the Church for our salvation, what con- 
solation and benefit, both spiritual and tem- 
poral, would be ours. 

Whosoever will come after me, let him deny 
himself, and take up his cross and folloio me. 
This is what Jesus said to the multitude that 


followed him. They followed Him, some from 
curiosity, anxious to see a miracle performed, 
others in earnest, eager to listen to the w r ords 
that came from the lips of Him, who taught as 
one having the power, while there were those 
which followed in humble obedience, grateful 
tor the charity bestowed on them, or on their 
loved ones, by the Prophet of Nazareth, and, 
alas! there were some that dogged every step of 
this Good Shepherd, who led his human flock 
over the green hills of Galilee, or quenched 
their thirst with living water down in the valley 
of Jordon } spies — which were to take Him and 
put Him to a horrible death — nailing Him hands 
and feet to a crossed wood. As he turned to- 
ward the people He addressed them, saying : 
For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain 
the whole world and lose his own soul. Who- 
soever shall be ashamed of me and of my words 
in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him 
also shall the Son of Man be ashamed when he 
cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy 
angels (Mark viii: 36, 38). 

Jesus has nowadays many followers desirous 
of consolation, but few of tribulation. All de- 
sire to rejoice with Him, few are willing to 
endure anything for Him. Many reverence His 


miracles, few follow the ignominy of His cross. 
What cross is it which our Lord would have 
us bear? Hardships, sickness, slander, perse- 
cutions, poverty, desertion of friends, the heavy 
cares of public responsibility, yea — and death 
itself. We may for a time be forsaken of God; 
sometimes we are troubled by our neighbors, 
yea — and by those whom we love dearly; and 
what is more, oftentimes we may even become 
weary of ourselves. If Christ bore the cross 
for all mankind, Christians are expected to help 
carry the cross of at least some of their neigh- 
bors. But how? By bearing in patience the 
failings and weakness of our neighbor. By not 
becoming ill-tempered when a brother or sister 
sets forth his or her opinion as to this or that. 
By hushing the serpent's hiss of envy, and 
showing sympathy and gladness when one either 
above or beneath us proves himself worthy of 
public praise, though we ourselves may not be 
so much as noticed. By denying ourselves the 
wicked pleasure of making jest of a soul which 
goes about acting strangely, and especially when 
we do not understand nor see plainly the results 
of such conduct. By denying ourselves the 
luxuries which may supply the want of many 
who suffer misery. 


Whosoever will come after me, let him deny 
himself, and take up his cross and folloiv me 
(Mark viii: 34). O bow powerful is the pure 
love of Jesus, which is mixed with no self- 
interest, with no self-love ! Are not those to be 
called mercenary who are ever seeking conso- 
lations? The Holy Fathers of the Church tell 
us that " such are lovers of themselves, but not 
of Christ. Where shall one be found, the Holy 
Fathers continue, who is willing to serve God 
for naught?" In their great fervor to serve, in 
their deep and vast love for God, the Holy 
Fathers had not noticed how they themselves 
were growing into perfection by following our 
Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, in their persons and 
lives we have many types and good examples 
unto the salvation of our souls; yea, and unto 
the salvation of the world. And so we must 
lose all that which unites us to this world that 
is passing away. If we link our life with and 
make it one with that of the common animal, 
subject our reason to vain pursuits and the bet- 
ter qualities of our spirit to passions of the flesh, 
then we lose our life, for dust will go to dust. 
But ivhosoever shall lose his life for the sake 
of Christ and the Gospel, the same shall save it; 
i. e., he who is dead to self, when one becomes 


separated from the principles which make one 
long for the pleasure and desire of this world's 
life, in which there is no thought for eternity, 
the same shall save his life, though he seem- 
ingly perish in discomfort and suffer banish- 
ment at the hands of a self-idolizing society, for 
he lives through Christ and the Gospel with the 
spiritual life which never grows old and is ever- 

Daring the whole of this week the Church is 
continually reminding us of the cross. And 
many a weary soul is sighing for rest. . . . 
Shall my burden be lessened? There seems to 
be for some no end to sickness. The cares of 
duty are constant and heavy. There are those 
which cannot find a friend who could under- 
stand their inmost soul and soothe their troubled 
conscience. Oh! that God would give me that 
inward peace, they cry without faith and in de- 
spair. Deny yourself all passions which are 
prompted by selfish motives and by interests, 
which will pass away as the light of day is lost 
in the darkness of night; deny these passions 
all gratification whatever. What a hard lot ! 
you might say. The circumstances surround- 
ing our lives are very pressing. . . . What will 
people say? We must keep up with the rest of 
the world. We are in a pitiable condition. No 


one should criticise us. We should be left to 
do as we please. But the Church says we must 
give up the pleasure of being even a little 
ambitious. Yes, the Church of Christ says: 
Forsake all false ambition. Christians, be not 
discouraged. The Infinite Wisdom itself watches 
over your salvation. In selfishly moping over 
our own woes, over our little cross, have we for- 
gotten the Cross of Christ? The Church, then, 
will remind us of it. 

This week is set aside for the worship of the 
cross. Here is the tree of life. The cross that 
our Lord Jesus Christ carried to Mount Calvary 
and made it an altar, on which He offered him- 
self up to God the Father as a sacrifice. Let us 
come to the shade of this tree and rest. This wood 
has been planted for our own benefit. Let us in 
holy meditation bring to our mind the suffering 
of that bleeding form outstretched above us, 
although it is difficult and for some impossible 
to feel for one moment the anguish of that 
cross, borne all the weary way from Bethlehem; 
then our little crosses, which we have merited 
by our sins, will not be a yoke of thorns, but 
an altar on which we may offer up to God our 
love. Our course is not finished. The road lies 
before. . . . Lent is still in season. Now, while 
we enjoy the protection of the cross, let us also 


supply ourselves with strength, i. e., the Grace 
of God, for the journey is not finished and 
the way is so uncertain. Let us refresh and 
strengthen ourselves with a supply of the fruit 
of the wood. The fruit is the flesh and blood 
of our Saviour, who was sacrificed in order to 
appease the righteous wrath of the Infinite God 
for the sins of all mankind, beginning with the 
disobedience of Adam. Shall not our Creator 
receive us when we humbly and gratefully come 
to Him together with His infinitely beloved, 
His Only-begotten, as the Light which is of 
Light, His Son Jesus Christ? 

Christians, ye who come to this tree, go not 
away without tasting of its sweet fruit. Our 
Holy Church brings us this week to the cross 
to be refreshed by renewing our spirit, so that 
our own cross be not a burden but a blessing. 
Do we forget our duty towards our Mother 
Church? Yes, unfortunately some do. May we 
not let go unheeded the advice of the parent, 
which has given us birth in baptism for a new 
life, but come to the foot of the cross and cast 
off our yoke of sins, be absolved of all that 
which is impure and wicked, either in thought, 
or in desire, or in deed, by confession, and in 
holy communion with Jesus Christ be recon- 
ciled to God. Amen. 


For He {Jesus) taught His disciples, and said unto 
them: the Son of Man is delivered up into the hands of 
men, and they shall kill Him; and when He is killed, 
after three days He shall rise again. (Mark ix: 31). 

CHRIST the Saviour, having spoken the sor- 
rowful word that they shall kill Him, adds 
the joyful ones that He on the third day shall 
rise again, concluding thus that we may know 
that after sorrows there always follows happi- 
ness. If there were no temptations there would 
be no crown, no hardships, no rewards; were 
there no conflicts, nor would there be any hon- 
ors, no sorrows, no comforts; if there were no 
winter there would be no summer. 

And this we may observe not only in people, 
yet also in the seeds which are thrown into the 
earth; and here a heavy rain and much cold are 
necessary, so that a stem spring up green, bear- 
ing its ear of plenty. Let us sow also in the 
time when spiritual misfortune visits us that we 
may reap in the summer; let us sow tears that 


we may reap happiness. According to the 
Prophet of God : They that sow in tears shall 
reap in joy (Ps. cxxiii: 5). Not so beneficial 
is the rain which pours over the seeds as the 
rain of tears, which gives the power of growth 
and ripens the seed of piety. As the tiller of 
the soil cuts deep into the earth with his plow, 
preparing a safe place for the seed that they 
may hide in the very bowels of the earth and 
safely take root, thus also should we with mis- 
fortune and sadness, as with a plow, touch the 
depths of our heart. 

The holy Prophet would convince us thus, 
saying: Tear open your hearts but not your 
garments. Let U3 tear open our hearts so that, 
if there be any evil plant or evil thought within 
us, we may pluck it out with the root and cleanse 
the field for seeds ct holy devotion. Lf we do 
not renew the field now, if we do not sow now, 
if we do not shed tears now, when it is Lent — 
in this time of sorrow and fast — at what other 
time, then, shall we be afllicted ? Can it be in 
the time of ease and pleasure? No, it cannot 
be then, for ease and pleasure lead to careless- 
ness, while sorrow compels the soul, which is 
beset with many attractions on all sides, to look 
within itself. 

The farmer having sown the seeds, which he 


gathered with much labor, prays for rain; and 
one, not knowing the work, with amazement 
looks upon all, and, perhaps, thinks so within 
himself : "What is that man doing? He throws 
away that which he gathered; but not that only, 
he yet carefully mixes it with the earth; and 
that is not all, for he prays that what he has 
sown may decay." Quite contrarily does the 
farmer when he sees the coming clouds over- 
shadow the sky he rejoices, for he does not look 
at the present, but to the future; he doe3 not 
tliiuk of the thunder, but of the sheaves; not of 
the decaying seels, but of the yellow ripe stalks. 
Thus should we look, not at the sorrow of the 
present, but at the benefit which is derived from 
it. If we be on our guard, we will not only 
suffer no evil from sorrow, but derive much con- 
solation; but if we be careless, the very enjoy- 
ment of quiet will turn to be hurtful for us. To 
the careless one thing and another is evil, but 
to the diligent one thing and another is profit- 
able. As gold retains its brightness when it lies 
in the water, and becomes still brighter when it 
is cast into the furnace, so we see the very oppo- 
site when if clay and straw are put into water; 
the one dissolves, the other rots. Now this is 
just the case with the righteous and the sinner; 
the first living in quiet remains bright like the 


gold which was put into the water, and being 
afflicted with temptation becomes brighter still, 
as the gold which passed through the fires of 
the refinery. But the sinner, although enjoying 
ease, dissolves and decays, as the straw and clay 
thrown into water or the furnace, where it burns 
and perishes. 

Let us not be sad for present misfortune. If 
you have any sins, they will be easily uprooted 
by sorrow. And if you are the possessor of a 
virtue, it will become brighter for having under- 
gone temptation. If you will continually watch, 
you will be beyond the reach of harm, as the 
cause of falling generally is not the kind of 
a temptation, but the carelessness of those 
tempted. And so, if you would enjoy quiet, do 
not seek pleasure, but strive to make your soul 
capable of being patient, because if this quality 
is wanting in you, you will not only be con- 
quered by temptation, but sooner fall a prey to 
the spirit of desolation which ease will bring 
upon you. As the storms of wind do not uproot 
a strong wood with its roots, but on the contrary 
from constant blowing on from all sides it be- 
comes firmer, so does the holy soul, although 
overwhelmed with afflictions, it bends not, but 
becomes invigorated with a higher energy. How 
might we, a generation of the New Covenant, 


become justified and forgiven when we with 
difficulty overcome human temptations, while 
Job, the much afflicted, outbore with such alac- 
rity a most sore temptation in the days before 
Grace, of the Old Dispensation? 

Are you sad, beloved, because the Most Good 
Provider through sorrowing brought you to the 
thought of eternal salvation? God can put an 
end to-day to all troubles; but He will not de- 
stroy sorrow until He sees a change in us, until 
repentance really and strongly works within us. 
The goldsmith will not take the metal from the 
fire before it is purified, and God will not with- 
draw the tempest clouds before we are perfected 
by corrections. He who sends the affliction 
knows when the time comes to hold its stay. 
A player of the cithern does not tighten too 
much the strings, else they snap, nor does he 
freely loosen them, else the harmony of sound 
be lost. So does the Lord with our souls, which 
He will not leave in continual ease, nor in ever- 
lasting sorrow, ordering the one and the other 
according to His wisdom. The Almighty does 
not allow us to enjoy quiet without a change 
that we may not become more careless; nor 
does He keep us ever in sorrow that we may not 
fall in despair. Since we are occupied with this 
question, let us decide to wait for our Heavenly 


Father's own time for putting an end to troubles, 
while we ourselves will pray and lead a life of 
devotion : because to turn to righteousness and 
live in the faith belongs to our obligation, but 
to quiet our sorrow is the work of God. God 
who is mightier than you, who are afflicted in 
temptation, desires to quench that fire, but He 
waits for your salvation. Therefore, as sorrow 
is begotten from ease, likewise we should wait 
for sorrow to give us quiet. It is not always 
winter, nor always summer ; the tempest does 
not always blow, nor does the quiet always last ; 
it is not always night, nor all one day. Thus 
also with us when we are sad, a change comes, 
we feel lighter, our hope is stronger — if we pray 
aud in time of sorrow continually thank God. 

And so let us enclose ourselves on all sides 
with truly good and charitable works, and 
thereby be saved from the anger of God. Let 
us make the members of our body the organs 
of righteousness ; let us teach the whole body 
to serve only the cause of virtue. Then we will 
be delivered from present dangers, appease the 
Most High, and reach that inexpressible bliss, 
of which may we all be made worthy by the 
Grace and love for us of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
through Whom be glory to the Father with the 
Holy Ghost, now, ever and forever. Amen. 



IT was our earnest desire to pursue the story 
of our Saviour's trials and His crucifixion; 
but when I looked on Him whom they pierced, 
my spirit failed before the terrible sight ; I 
could not watch with Him another hour, and yet 
I could not leave the hallowed scene. It seemed 
as though I saw Him brought back from Herod 
where the soldiers mocked Him. I followed 
Him through the streets again as the cruel 
priests pushed through the wild crowd and 
hastened Him back to Pilate's court. My ears 
sounded with the cry : Crucify Him, crucify 
Him! Give us Bar abbas, the robber; let Bar ab- 
bas go; but Christ, the King of the Jews, Jesus, 
the Saviour, He must die I And there He stood, 
who loved me and gave Himself for me, like a 
lamb in the midst of wolves, with none to pity 
and none to help Him. 

As Jesus Christ hung apparently helpless 
upon the cross, He had only to utter the word, 


and in a moment more than twelve legions of 
angels (what an invincible force of energetic 
beings!) would be ready to succor and defend. 
But to have shunned all pain and anguish, to 
have refused the cup which His Father had 
given Him, to have rejected the cross — this 
would have been to leave man to his doom; this 
He could not do. And so, He saved others. 
Himself He could not save. 

Our Lord for a long time bore His cross, as 
though He felt not its weight; even from the 
time of the most helpless age of humanity, when 
He was born in the smallest town of the smallest 
kingdom on the earth, when there was no home, 
no cradle for Him, and when, except His humble 
mother with her guardian, none but a few shep- 
herds took any interest in His birth, He bore 
His cross till at length He was completely de- 
livered up on it. We could not follow Jesus 
throughout in His earthly life. During these 
holy days we have but endeavored to follow Him 
only through a few of the last scenes of His 
entire sacrifice. In a measure we understand, 
and we feel in His sufferings, as His body, in its 
weight drooped, being sustained but by four 
nails, as the cross was raised over the multitude 
of people on the hill and then the shock as it 


went down into its socket Only a chosen few, 
and likewise in a small measure can they under- 
stand how He — who prayed, Father forgive 
them, for they knoiv not what they do — has 
stretched out his arms on the wood in order to 
embrace a sinful world. But no mortal knoweth 
how the Word teas with God, and the Word 
was God. The Word of God is not bound by 
death. As a word from the lips dies not entirely 
away at the moment its sound ceases, but rather 
gathers new strength, and passing through the 
senses penetrates the minds and hearts of the 
hearers, so also the Hypostatical Word of God, 
the Son of God, in His saving incarnation, 
whilst dying in the flesh, fills all things with 
His spirit and might. Thus when Christ waxeth 
faint and becometh silent on the cross, then is it 
that heaven and earth raise their voice unto Him, 
and the dead preach the resurrection of the 
crucified, and the very stones cry out. And the 
sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple 
was rent in the midst; and the earth did quake 
and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened, 
and many bodies of the saints which slept arose. 
O sinful man, O nature, bereft of perfection. 
O reason, a mind earthly winged, down low, 
stoop thou under cover of repentant shame be- 


fore the light of this grave. Christian, there is 
no other place for thee to-day but by the Cross 
of Christ. " Broken and distributed is the Lamb 
of God, which is broken, yet not severed, which 
is ever eaten, yet never consumed, but sanctify- 
ing those that participate." Therefore come, ye 
sons of toil and. ye daughters of Eve; come, 
come, ye citizens of the easy-going wide world; 
see, His side is now and forever opened for us. 
O mother, sufferest thou for thy children ? Bring 
them to the tomb of Jesus and quiet thyself in 
the stillness of His silence. Brother, sister, 
behold in the Saviour thy kinsman. And thou 
poor, lonely wanderer, here He quietly lies in 
one place that thou may est find Jesus, thy only 
Friend. We come, who labor in Thy infinite 
sorrow for the sins of mankind, we who are 
heavy laden with our infirmities, we come and 
supplicate before Thy breathless form. 

Uniting all things in one, grant that we all 
may inseparably be one with Thee and Thy 
Father, O Lord Jesus Christ ! Thou that recon- 
cilest all, grant that all may be of one mind in 
faith and in love toward Thee. Thou that bears 
not with the envious and contentious, destroy all 
wicked heresy and separations. O Jesus ! Thou 
that lovest and pitiest, gather into one flock all 


wandering sheep. Thou that givest peace to all, 
still the voice of spite and dispute among those 
who call upon Thy name. Thou who communi- 
catest to us the very Body and very Blood of 
Thyself, grant that we truly be flesh of Thy 
flesh and bone of Thy bones. O Jesus, the God 
of our hearts, unite us with Thee, now and for- 
ever. Amen. 


John v: 15. 

JESUS went up to Jerusalem. These are the 
words which begin the Gospel appointed to 
be read at the Liturgy on this Sunday. How 
many thousands must have hurried to those 
feasts in honor of the One irue God, in that 
splendid city of types and symbols of things 
not yet made clear, and to be manifested in the 
midst of pagan and barbarous nations ! It must 
have been a great multitude that almost continu- 
ally went up to Jerusalem. So did our Lord 
Jesus Christ go with them. He was in the crowd, 
sometimes known, but most often His own re- 
ceived Him not. Those who went up to Jeru- 
salem in those days went to the only one Temple, 
where the only divinely authorized priesthood had 
offered the one acceptable type of the all-avail- 
able sacrifice. To be understood, in plainer lan- 
guage, we may say of them that they went to 
church. There is nothing extraordinary; the 
going is a simple fact of going to church. But 


how did they go? Absurd? Does it seem to 
you so? Certainly, it seems that most people go 
along in the same way. At the bottom of the 
movement which makes people go somewhere, 
there is an intention, and I think that when peo- 
ple go to church they go with a fixed purpose. 
If you ask how they go, with the purpose of 
disclosing their one or several intentions, then I 
answer with the word of God as recorded by 
St. Paul : For who among men knoweth the 
things of a man, save the spirit of the man, 
which is in him? Even so the things of God 
none knoweth, save the Spirit of God. But for 
our edification and salvation on this as well as 
on several other memorable occasions, we are per- 
mitted to see and to learn how our Lord Jesus 
Christ went up to Jerusalem, and consequently 
how He went to Church. 

He went to Jerusalem at the feasts in order to 
give a larger number of people an opportunity 
of seeing and hearing the Truth. He went to 
the house of His Father, and openly manifested 
His power as the Son of God. Before the doc- 
tors and lawyers He testified to the Old Testa- 
ment prophecies as the Messiah. He passed by the 
way of sufferers so that He might help them, and 
where He was not expected, there He was found. 


He gave courage to those who had lost hope, and 
those who hoped on and long He rewarded with 
His grace. Where an angel by stirring the 
water cured a sick one in a year, He, the Lord 
of Angels, heals both body and soul, be it of 
one, or a hundred, or a thousand, and now as 
He did then and ever will as long as one be 
found who will surrender himself as others have 
done : Lord, thou canst make me whole ! 

But let us return to Bethesda, not because it is 
the public hospital where lay a multitude of the 
needy, but because, as impotent folk ourselves, 
we will find there on this occasion the bread of 
life and the very source of the never-ending 
stream of living water. Let us follow Christ 
through the five porches, where a certain man 
icas which had been thirty and eight years in 
his infirmity. When Jesus saw him lying, and 
knew that he had been now a long time in that 
case, He saith unto him : Wouldst thou be made 
whole? The sick man answered Him: Sir, I 
have no man, when the water is troubled, to put 
me into the pool; bid while I am coming another 
steppeth down before me. 

Why is it that Jesus passed by all the others 
and stopped by this one ? He did so in order to 
show His power and also His love for mankind : 


His power, because the disease had become in- 
curable and the weakness of the sick one was 
beyond hope ; His love for mankind, because 
the Provider and Merciful One, in preference to 
others, looked upon such who were especially 
worthy of pity and charity. Let us not quickly 
pass by this place without giving our attention 
to the thirty-eight years during which this sick 
one continued in his weakness. Let all who 
struggle with continual poverty, or pass their 
lifetime in sickness, or those who find themselves 
in difficult and threatening circumstances, or 
cast down in the storm and tempest of sudden 
troubles, let them all hear of it. No one can be 
so faint-hearted, so mean and unfortunate as not 
to bear all that happens to us manfully and 
with all cheerfulness, when looking upon this 
special one at the watering place of Bethesda. 
If he suffered for twenty years, or ten, or only 
five years, would they not be sufficient to break 
the strength of his soul? But he remains in 
that condition for thirty-eight years, and does 
not break down in spirit, but shows great 
patience. Hear his wisdom, for indeed a Chris- 
tian may lend ear to this sick one's philosophiz- 
ing. Jesus came up and said to him : Woiddsi 
ikon be made whole? Who does not know such 


a thing? Why of course the impotent desired 
to become well. Then for what reason does he 
ask? Certainly not because of ignorance: for 
Him who knows the secret thoughts of people, 
that which was apparent and open to all was to 
Him the more so simple. Why does He ask? 
As He said to the centurion : I will come and 
heal him, not because He did not know at first 
what his answer would be, but because foreseeing 
and knowing well the answer He wished to 
give the centurion the opportunity to disclose 
before all his piety, which was concealed as 
if under a shadow, and to say : Lord, I am 
not worthy that Thou shouldst come under 
my roof. So also this impotent, of the nature 
of whose answer He knew, the Lord asks does 
he wished to be healed, not because He knew 
that not himself, but for the purpose of giving 
the sick one a chance to speak out of his mis- 
fortune and to become a teacher of patience. 
If the Savior had healed this man silently, we 
would have lost much by not learning of the 
strength of his soul. 

Christ does not rule the present only, but He 
offers to the future also His condescending and 
great care. In the impotent He showed us a 
teacher of patience and courage for all times to 
come, having put him to the necessity of answer- 


ing the question : Wouldst thou be made whole? 
But what of him? The impotent was not 
offended; he did not become angry; he said not 
to the inquirer: Thou seest me infirm, thou 
knowest that my sickness is of long standing, 
and thou inquirest, do I desire to regain my 
health ? But did you come to laugh at my mis- 
fortunes and to make light of other people's 
troubles ? You know how faint-hearted the sick 
become when they lay in bed even one year; but 
whose sickness lasts for thirty-eight years, does 
it not become natural for such a one to lose all 
better knowledge, wasting away in the course of 
so long a time? The impotent, however, said 
nothing like this, nor even thought of it, but he 
answered with much modesty : Sir, I have no 
man, when the water is troubled, to put me into 
the pool. See how many troubles unitedly 
grieved this man : his disease, his poverty, and 
the absence of a lifting, a helping hand. While 
I am coming, another steppeth down before me. 
This is that which is the saddest of all, and it 
ought to have softened even a stone. Does it 
not seem as if you can see this man each year 
creeping along until he has crept up to the very 
side of the pool, then stopping each year just 
before the reach of a bright hope? And it is 
the more burdensome, as he experienced this not 


for two, or three, or ten, but for thirty-eight 
years. He did everything in his power, but did 
not obtain the result; the labor was accomplished, 
but the reward for labor went to another one 
during all these many years; and, what is more 
burdensome, he saw others healed. 

The good fortune of others around us compels 
us to plainly see in the contrast our own mis- 
fortune ; it was the same then with the impotent. 
Nevertheless, for so long a time he struggled 
with sickness, with poverty, and with loneliness, 
seeing that others were healed, while he himself, 
although he always tried, but never could reach 
his desire, and not hoping in the future to liber- 
ate himself of suffering, with all this against 
him he did not retreat, but renewed his endeavor 
each year. And we, if we once pray to God and 
do not obtain what we have asked for, we imme- 
diately become disappointed and fall into extreme 
carelessness, so that we stop praying and lose 
fervor. May we according to worth praise the 
impotent, as we may in the same way condemn 
our negligence? What justification and forgive- 
ness may we expect when he was patient for 
thirty-eight years, while we become despondent 
so soon. To this one it has been said : Arise, 
take up thy bed and walk. And if we be or be 
not infirm in body, or soul, mind, character, or 


condition, it is in every instance demanded of us 
all to take up our cross and to follow Him, our 
Lord Jesus Christ, with whom, after a faithful 
following, we shall see ourselves gloriously resur- 

Because Jesus did these things on the Sab- 
bath the Jews persecuted Him. When perse- 
cuted for doing the works which proclaimed Him 
to be the Redeemer of the world, did our Lord 
justify Himself before His enemies and prove 
the Divine right of His most exalted mission? 
If He did not, then how could we, even to this 
day, hope in our salvation? Let us see how 
Jesus, on this occasion, has justified Himself; 
for the manner in which He proves His inno- 
cence shows us whether He belongs to the num- 
ber of such who are ruled, or to the free, to 
those who serve, or whether He is of those who 
command. His action seemed to be a great 
iniquity, a sin against the law ; for he who once 
gathered wood on the Sabbath was according to 
the law stoned to death for carrying a burden on 
the Sabbath (Num. xv: 32, 36). Now Christ was 
accused of the same crime, namely, that He did 
not keep the Sabbath. Does He ask forgiveness 
as a servant and as a man under subjection, or 
does He appear as one who has power and inde- 
pendence as a Master, who is above the law and 


who Himself giveth the commandments? How 
does He justify Himself? My Father , says He, 
worketh even until now, and I work. Do you 
see His might? If He was lower or lesser than 
the Father, then what He had said would not be 
counted in His acquittal, but it would be to a 
greater accusation and to a greater condemna- 
tion. If one does something which is lawful to 
be done only by one who is above Him, and then 
having been taken and given to judgment, he 
says : as another higher one has done so, I also 
have done so, he would not only free himself 
from the charge in this way, but he would sub- 
ject himself to a greater accusation and sentence, 
because to take upon one's self that which is 
above one's dignity can be done only by a self- 
conceited and proud person. Therefore, if Christ 
was lower than the Father, then what He had 
said would not be to His justification, but to a 
greater condemnation. But as He is equal with 
the Father, there is no fault in the words of 
Jesus Christ. 

To understand the better what has been said, 
let us remember that His disciples had once 
broken the Sabbath in the field by pulling ears 
of corn and eating them ; now He violated it 
Himself ; the Jews accused them, and now they 
accuse Him. We will now investigate as to how 


He clears them and how He justifies Himself, so 
that we may learn from the difference between 
one and the other of the superiority of His 
justification. How did He justify His disciples ? 
Have you not read what David did when he 
hungered? (Matt, xii: 3.) Defending creature- 
servants, He calls to mind David, a fellow-serv- 
ant like unto themselves, but justifying Himself 
He reaches out with His speech to the Father : 
My Father workeih, aud I work. Perhaps some 
one might ask : What kind of work does Jesus 
speak of, if after six days God rested from all 
His works? (Gen. ii: 2.) It is the everyday, the 
continual guidance and providence, for God not 
only made all nature, but He also keeps His 
creation. Do you refer to the angels, the arch- 
angels, or to the higher powers, and, in a word, 
to all things visible and invisible? Yes, all are 
under His providence, and if it would go outside 
the realm of His activity, then it falls to pieces, 
becomes destroyed and would perish. And so 
our Lord, desiring to show that He is the pro- 
vider and not the object of providence, the 
worker and not the object of activity, He has 
therefore said : My Father worketh, and I work, 
thereby proving His equality with the Father, 
and to whom with the Holy Ghost be all glory 
now and to ages of ages. Amen. 


(Read first the ninth chapter of St. John.) 

THIS is the Gospel for to-day. What lesson 
have we to learn on this day? We must 
find the substance in these words, and feed on it, 
for it is spiritual food. When we have digested 
this Divine food, it will be assimilated with our 
natures, and our humanity will become purer, 
brighter, stronger, yea — and perpetual, so long 
as it lives with the Word of God, for hath not 
the Savior Himself said when the devil tempted 
Him who hungered in the wilderness : That 
man shall not live by bread alone, but by every 
ivord that proceedeth out of the mouth of God? 
So then, have we considered the Gospel while 
being read? If so, we find that the principal 
subject of it is the miracle which was worked by 
our Lord Jesus Christ. Next, we observe the 
man who was the object of the miracle, and 
finally we get a perspective of the condition. 
The circumstances which surrounded this mira- 
cle were most unfavorable for the blind man's 


confirmation in the faith, although he succeeded 
against such materialistic odds, and likewise for 
an open manifestation of the glory of the "Won- 
der-worker Himself, yet the greatness of which 
became the more conspicuous as passion-bound 
opinions, systems and classes strived to over- 
come or, in the least, to belittle it. 

When 1 stop to meditate, it seems that I am 
transported to the green hills of Judea, where 
the common folk of both hill country and popu- 
lous valley are all astir with lively discussions 
in the midst of their every-day duties, as in their 
homes they go about to and fro, and, mind you, 
it is all about religion and politics; religion first 
and politics after — insomuch as it is related with 
the proud nature of a people, who boasted of 
being the chosen race of God, who expected His 
messenger, and were to be ruled by none other 
than the Messiah Himself, unto all ages. It 
was a day of expectations, indeed. The intellect 
of the masses had been sharpened to a turning 
point. The very "times" themselves were full 
with signs. Everybody was inquiring. The 
people willingly divided themselves into two 
sets : those that taught and those that were 
taught. The nearer that some of them had got- 
ten to the truth, the more danger there was of 


taking falsehood for the truth, and thereby more 
danger of two blind men falling into one pit. 
Passions, although with a semblance of a highe r 
quality, yet human and materialistic, ruled the 
hour. In such a midst Christ, the only true 
teacher of men, had come. No one condemned 
false doctrine so energetically as this teacher 
had done, and no one had taught with such in- 
vincible strength and power as He did. Now 
the whole company of teachers arose against this 
One, and, notwithstanding their divisions, they 
knew how to agree in one and the same decision 
which suited them all, and that was : That He led 
the multitude astray (John vii: 12), He speak- 
eth blasphemies (Luke v: 21), He perverteth 
our nation (Luke xxiii: 2), and, at the end, for 
His teaching said they : He is worthy of death 
(Matt, xxvi: 66). But they could not destroy 
the work of Him, whom they hated, for the peo- 
ple did see in Him The Great Prophet (Luke 
vii: 16). Above His calling as a teacher, He 
had the merits of a miracle worker. What now 
could His angry enemies do or say against this ? 
Now they would do as they have done at that 
time, viz: murdered Him. But His works re- 
main, and for that the glory of His resurrection 
is the brighter. When the different conditions 


of a changing world, together with the many 
representatives of opinions have exhausted their 
machinery, all their means, and wasted their fine 
scholastical dialectics, while the simple facts, 
told by him who had once been blind, remain as 
simple facts, which he — who now sees — will not 
renounce, then society answers and says to the 
followers of Jesus Christ: "You were altogether 
born in sins, and do you teach us?" When Chris- 
tians cannot be subdued, nor compelled to follow 
the ways of politicians or the world in general, 
then they are left all to themselves. And they 
cast Him out. 

The Son of God, manifesting His power in 
miracles that we may desire Him alone and 
thereby become strong in faith — this is the les- 
son that we are to learn to-day. Now the learned 
tell us that the nineteenth century (which hap- 
pily is in its death-throes) requires "advanced 
thought." I wish the nineteenth century was 
over; we have heard it bragged about so much 
that one actually gets sick with the nineteenth 
century. We are told that this is too sensible a 
century to need or accept the same Gospel as the 
first, second and third centuries. Yet these were 
the centuries of martyrs and confessors, the cen- 
turies of heroes, the centuries that conquered all 


the gods of Greece and Eome, the centuries of 
holy glory, and all this because they were the 
centuries of the Gospel. But now we are so 
enlightened that our ears, strange to say, really 
ache for something fresh, and under the influ- 
ence of so-called refined literature (how about 
ordinary novels?) our beliefs are dwindling 
down from mountains to ant-hills, and we our- 
selves from giants to pygmies. 

By God's grace some of us abide by the 
Orthodox Faith, and mean to preach the same 
Gospel which the saints received at first. It is 
a foundation which we dare not change. It must 
be the same, world without end, for Jesus Christ 
is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever. Amen. 


And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He 
went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 
which also said: Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing 
up into heaven f (Acts i: 10, 11). 

THE " two men in white apparel," who imme- 
diately after the ascension of the Lord ap- 
peared to the Apostles and asked them why they 
stood gazing up into heaven, were without doubt 
themselves inhabitants of heaven; therefore it 
is not to be supposed that this was displeasing 
to them, or that they desired to direct the gaze of 
those men of Galilee elsewhere. No. They de- 
sire only to put an end to the inert amazement 
of the Apostles when saying: Why stand ye 
gazing up into heaven? Having aroused them 
from their amazement, they draw them into medi- 
tation, and teach them and us with what thoughts 
we should gaze into heaven, following our Lord 
Jesus who hath ascended thither. This same 

* This sermon was written and delivered by the author 
a few days after reading a most beautiful, but lengthy, 
sermon in the Russian language by the celebrated Met- 
ropolitan Philaret of Moscow. 


JesiiSy they added, which is taken up from you 
into heaven, shall come in like manner as you 
have seen Him go into heaven. 

The disciples of the Savior then beheld the 
exact fulfillment of His words which Mary 
Magdalene had recounted to them: I ascend 
unto my Father and your Father, and to my 
God and your God. They could not but con- 
clude that those joyful visitations which He had 
bestowed upon them during the forty days after 
His resurrection from the dead, those instructive 
conversations with Him, that palpable commun- 
ion between them and His divine humanity, were 
at that moment ended. When neither hand nor 
voice could any longer reach Him, they followed 
Him with their eyes, eager to detain Him; they 
looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went 
up. We can conceive what an immeasurable 
bereavement the Apostles must have felt after 
the ascension into heaven of Jesus, who was all 
and everything in the world to them; and it is 
this very bereavement for which the heavenly 
powers hasten to console them when telling them 
that this same Jesus . . . shall come. 

In considering the circumstances of the ascen- 
sion of Christ into heaven, we may first note the 
blessing which He then gave to the Apostles, 


and it come to pass, says the Evangelist Luke, 
while He blessed them He was parted from 
them and carried up into heaven. What an end- 
less current of the grace of Christ is thus re- 
vealed unto us, Christians ! The Lord begins a 
blessing, and before its completion ascends into 
heaven; for while He blessed them He was car- 
ried up into heaven. Thus even after His ascen- 
sion does He still continue invisibly to impart 
His blessing. It flows and descends continu- 
ously upon the Apostles; through them it is dif- 
fused upon those whom they bless in the name 
of Jesus Christ; those who have received the 
blessing of Christ through the Apostles spread 
it among others; and thus do all who belong to 
the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church become 
partakers of the one blessing of Christ. As the 
dew of Hermon that descended upon the moun- 
tain of Zion, so does this blessing of peace de- 
scend upon every soul that riseth above passions 
and lusts, above vanity and the cares of the 
world; as an indelible seal does it stamp those 
who are of Christ in such a manner that at the 
end of the world He will by this very sign call 
them forth from the midst of all mankind, say- 
ing, Come ye blessed! 

And now, my brethren, let us consider how 


needful it is for us to endeavor to gain now and 
to preserve this blessing of the Ascended Lord, 
which descends upon us also through the Apos- 
tolic Church. If we have received and preserved 
it, we shall, at the future advent of Jesus Christ, 
be called together with the Apostles and the 
saints to participate in His kingdom : Come ye 
blessed! But if, when He shall call the blessed 
of His Father, this blessing either be not found 
in us, or we be found in possession only of the 
false blessing of men who themselves have not 
inherited the blessing of the Heavenly Father 
by grace and in the sacraments, then what will 
become of us? Yea, I say, let us consider this 
vital point before the opportunity be taken away. 
The day of the Lord cometh as a thief in the 
night. From this same unexpectedness of His 
second coming our Lord Himself draws for us 
Christians a saving warning : Watch, therefore, 
for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 
Do not be led away by curiosity or credulity, 
and beware of such ones who pretend to know 
more than Christ hath granted them to know. 
Let us endeavor rather to know what failings we 
have, to number our transgressions, and to seek 
a limit to them in repentance. Let us take heed 
lest the children of this world and our own pas- 


sions lull our spirits into sleep, till the approach 
of that longed for, yet dreadful hour: When 
the Lord come. 

The blessing of the Lord come upon you by 
His grace and love towards man, always, now, 
and ever and unto the ages of the ages. 


There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, 
the Word, and the Holy Ohost; and these three are one. 

THE Orthodox Faith is this, that we worship 
One God in Trinity, and the Trinity in 
Unity, neither confounding the persons (hypos- 
tasis), nor dividing the substance (Symbol 
d'Athanasius). What will it profit us when we 
study deeply concerning the Trinity, if we be 
found lacking in humility and thereby are dis- 
pleasing to the Most Holy Trinity? It is not 
for us to search into the incomprehensible mys- 
tery of Divinity. If we would approach any 
where within a reasonable approach to the Divine 
Mind, we, who are of the lower ones, should 
always endeavor to be pleasing companions to 
those who are of the higher ones, so that we may 
fervently glorify the thrice illumined Deity to- 
gether with the angels, singing with that faith, 
which is the assurance of things hoped for, the 
e st of things not seen: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord 


of Sabbaoth, heaven and earth are full of Thy 

"Some may say," as St. Cyril of Jerusalem 
lias long ago rightly surmised, " if the nature or 
substance of God is infinite, then to what pur- 
pose do we speak of it? But shall I abstain 
from taking water out of the river for my use, 
though a small measure, because I cannot drink 
up the whole river? Is it because my eyes can- 
not contain the whole of the sun himself, I should 
not, as much as is necessary, make use of the 
daylight? And if I were to enter some large 
garden, the fruits of which I could not eat up, 
would you, for this reason, have me leave the 
garden altogether hungry?" Indeed we need 
the water, we need the sunlight, and the fruits 
of good endeavor and religious labor we enjoy. 
Therefore we should, and it is our bounden duty 
to learn of that knowledge, which the Creator 
has been pleased to reveal of Himself to His 
Church, without giving ourselves to vain specu- 
lations, and probing into mysteries not neces- 
sary for our temporal welfare, much less so for 
our eternal salvation; and while not attainable 
to our limited mind, sometimes because of the 
presence of sinful pride, sometimes on account 
of deceit and feeble support in false systems 


and individual schemes, but chiefly because a 
drop does not contain the ocean, a particle of 
creation cannot embrace the earth, the worlds, 
and that wisdom and power which ordered the 
universe and established the laws by which it is 
preserved. ' 

To learn of the Supreme Being and concern- 
ing the Holy Trinity in the God-head, we need 
not go far; the philosopher cannot make clearer 
the light itself; we need not question the astron- 
omer; and surely the majority of mankind only 
become puzzled when they singly weigh the cor- 
roborations of the geologist. Just look around 
and you will see on the space of a few yards of 
earth a great quantity of heterogeneous beings 
and natures, existing in the same air and by the 
same material food in substance as we do; yet 
some are adapted to life in the air, some move 
only in the water, and others are subjected to 
several certain limited forms of existence upon 
the land, while man, by his intellect and by his 
will, adapts himself to his surroundings in such 
a measure that he controls all other forms of 
animal life, and even overcomes natural obstacles 
by a force which is above nature. Thus we see 
man is created in the likeness of the Most High 


After all these ages we cannot find in the ad- 
vanced theories of modern literature an hypoth- 
esis that may compare with the plain statement 
of facts by the Holy Fathers during the first 
centuries of Christianity, as we have them con- 
cisely epitomized by St. John of Damascus. He 
says : " The Divinity is indescribable and in- 
comprehensible. For no one knoweth the Son, 
but the Father, and the Father no one knoweth 
save the Son (Matt, xi: 27). And also the Holy 
Ghost knoweth that which is of God, as the 
spirit of man knoweth the things of a man 
(1 Cor. ii: 11). Beside the first and blessed 
Being no one ever knew God, unless God had 
revealed Himself to some one ; no one, not only 
of mankind, but no one of the celestial powers, 
nor of the Cherubim and Seraphim. Yet God 
has not left us entirely ignorant of Himself. 
The very knowledge of the existence of God 
the Creator has Himself implanted in our nature. 
And creation itself, the government of nature 
and its preservation proclaim the greatness of 
God. Above this, first through the law and the 
Prophets, then through His only begotten Son, 
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, God revealed 
to us as much knowledge of Himself as we are 
capable of containing. Therefore, all that has 


been given us by the law, the Prophets, the 
Apostles, and the Evangelists, we accept, acknowl- 
edge, and respect, and we seek nothing more. 
Thus God, as the Omniscient One and the Pro- 
vider of that which is profitable for each one of 
us, has revealed all that is for our good, and kept 
in silence that which we are not capable of con- 
taining. Being satisfied thereby, we will keep 
to this, not transfixing the borders of eternity 
and not overstepping Divine tradition." 

In the light of Divine revelation it becomes 
clear to our reason that, excepting the one, true, 
most perfect God, another cannot exist, because 
the most wise, most powerful, the most High and 
perfect Being must be only one, beside whom 
there is no other. 

The Christian Faith is the religion of the 
Most Holy Trinity. And this is nowhere so 
plainly demonstrated as it is in the books of the 
New Testament. The preacher with the hearers 
and doers of the Word would be unequal to the 
task to take up at this moment for examination 
the great number of testimonies we have in the 
history of the New Testament concerning the 
Orthodox Faith, in which we worship One God 
in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity. But this is 
not all. If you turn to the books of the Old 


Testament, it can be seen that the Patriarchs of 
the nations and the saints of old had almost as 
clear a conception of the nature of God as we 
Christians, and believing in One God they at the 
same time worshipped, more or less consciously, 
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The 
Most Holy Trinity, while distinct in Persons, is 
of equal Divine Substance, and equal Majesty. 
We do not belittle the awful magnitude of this 
Truth when we follow the example of the Holy 
Fathers by taking various illustrations from 
created life to help us in some measure grasp 
this doctrine of the Divine Three in One, and 
One in Three. In man's soul the image of God 
is more or less reflected. Take for instance the 
memory which recalls the hour of Divine Lit- 
urgy, the understanding which reasons upon the 
duty of public prayer, or considers the excuses 
that might be pleaded for staying at home, and 
then the will which chooses one course or the 

And now let us remember that, although we 
are among the weakest members of all creation, 
we may become, by being faithful Christians, 
partakers of the Divine Nature (2 Peter i: 4) 
that by the grace of the Holy Ghost, who has 
regenerated us, we are all the children of the 


Heavenly Father and brethren to His only be- 
gotten Son (John i: 12, 13, Luke xiii: 21). Thus 
we may come into the closest moral relations 
with the Triune God Himself, if only, believing 
in Him and earnestly drawing toward Him with 
hope, we shall love Him with our whole heart, 
with our whole soul, and with our whole mind 
(Matt, xxii : 27). Then, without doubt, the promise 
of the Savior will be fulfilled for us. Jesus said : 
If a man love me, he will keep my word, and 
my Fedher will love him, and will come unto 
him, and make our abode with him (John xiv: 13). 
And then also we will understand the meaning 
of these words of the Apostle : Know ye not 
that ye are a temple of God, and that the Spirit 
of God dwelleth in you? (1 Cor. iii: 16). Amen. 


HOW long will it thus go on ! When will 
the baptized become active Christians, so 
that the pastors may give their attention to the 
conversion of the heathen? What a terrible 
battle we must fight. Already the fire of hell 
is in the world. Great cities are multiplying 
throughout the land. The farmer, as the word 
is defined in our dictionaries, is a thing of the 
past. It is now the land-owner with a mansion 
in the city, a yacht on the sea, and with a private 
train across the continent. There are compara- 
tively but a few laborers in the fields — too poor 
to support families. The quiet country homes 
are becoming few, shall I say precious? I fear 
not so, because people are fast losing their 
ability to rightly estimate the value of things. 
Most of the cities in all the world are over- 
crowded. The female portion of the population 
is most conspicuous. A stupid craze after 
unwholesome fashions is the one all-absorbing 
passion of the majority of women. There is no 


room for gardens and yards ; most of the chil- 
dren in San Francisco are actually brought up 
in the streets. Oh, how few of them feel the 
blessed influence of a Christian home ! Young 
men and young women are continually " on the 
go," as they say. And this "go" is a nervous, 
unsteady rush to " keep up with the times." And 
after all their hurry nothing is left but steam 
and vapor, for they are empty, as empty as the 
changing and vanishing world can be. Yet they 
fret and inquire : " Where shall we go to and 
what shall we see? What shall we do? Oh ! 
what can we do?" If you promenade along the 
broad avenue or pass through the narrow lane, 
if you visit the meeting halls in the city or look 
into the factories, everywhere you see that same 
all-devouring gaze of the bold young woman, 
who stares with a kind of artificial movement of 
the eyes. And sometimes you hear even so- 
called Christians say that it is a weakness of 
character in one who has the downcast eyes of 
modesty, the blush of innocence. Such people 
do not know the live sense and fine impulse of a 
pure conscience. When a young man puffs 
tobacco smoke or shows his teeth with a dis- 
approving smile in the presence of and at the 
conversation of older people, then society is 


wrong; something is the matter with his family. 

In view of all this, beloved, the preacher of 
the Word of God is obliged by a terrible oath 
he has given before he received the gift in 
Apostolic succession at his ordination, to present 
to you the whole of the Truth, not a part of it. 

The number of unmarried people is increas- 
ing. And there are some married people who 
say: "We do not want children, because we 
want to have as much pleasure as possible." 
This is a false position, for in a Christian mar- 
riage one kind of pleasure is not allowed con- 
tinually. Christians marry for the sake of God 
and His law as much as they do for themselves. 
But Christians who remain single renounce 
marriage and live holy for the sake of God and 
Him alone. Thus we find that the family tie is 
abused, as well as the single state. Courtship 
of young people just out of school is not to be 
advised, because it often leads to debauchery. 
A courtship running through long years also 
gives occasion to sin and a species of wrong- 
doing to God, for the heart and its love are 
stolen from God and thrown away on a man. 

Throughout all the long centuries of Chris- 
tianity there have been in the Church heroic 
members, young people of both sexes, who by 


the grace of God have kept their souls pure and 
intact, and have dedicated to the honor of God 
the noblest attribute of their human life, namely, 
an untarnished purity of soul and body. Such 
persons have had the courage and such un- 
bounded confidence in God's assistance that, 
although living in the world and its dangers, 
though threatened by the cravings of their own 
individual passions and by the temptations of 
the devil, yet they have succeeded bravely in 
preserving this treasure even in a frail earthen 
vessel, have carried it uninjured through life's 
long journey here below, and have finally pre- 
sented it to their Lord. 

Christian heroes and heroines, you who have 
imitated or who still do imitate the sublime ex- 
ample of the Most Blessed Virgin, the Church 
admires your spirit of sacrifice as she does that 
of the holy martyrs, who in a few hours finished 
their contest and proved their fidelity to God 
and their faith; because you have to combat, to 
suffer, and to sacrifice your whole life through. 
With joy and veneration do the angels look down 
upon you, for you resemble themselves. With 
motherly affection and with mighty power does 
the Holy Virgin Mary when you earnestly pray 
throw her sheltering omophorion around you, 


for you are her pupils and imitators. "With the 
sweetness of divine love the heavenly Bridegroom 
will fill your heart and more than compensate 
you for the fleeting, transient, worldly love that 
you have laid down at His feet. The eternal 
Judge will find you waiting like the wise and 
prudent virgins who all through life carry in 
their hands the pure oblation of love and the 
burning light of good example. Therefore, faith- 
ful to the end, He will invite you to the eternal 
wedding feast in heaven. Amen. 


Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that 
bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and 
drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation unto 
himself. (1 Cor. xi: 28, 29.) 

THESE words oi the Apostle are terrible, 
and so are they as the truth unfailing. 
Verily the judgment is heavy and the damnation 
terrible for the one who receives the body and 
blood of Christ without due honor and without 
such a disposition of the spirit as is required. 
A terrible judgment has befell that apostate 
people who sentenced our Lord Jesus Christ to 
be crucified, when they cried: His blood be on 
us and on our children (Matt). But that unfor- 
tunate people did not know the mystery of the 
incar iation of the Son of God, and committed 
that greatest crime in blindness and ignorance : 
For had they known, says St. Paul, they should 
not have crucified the Lord of Glory. Of how 
much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall be 
worthy of such an one, who was born in Chris- 
tianity, from childhood taught in the mysteries 
of the faith, and notwithstanding all this, hath — 


by light-heartedness and carelessness — trodden 
underfoot the Son of God, and hath counted the 
blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sa?icti- 
fted, an unholy thing, and hath done despite 
unto the spirit of grace (Heb. x: 29). 

Hence the reason why the Church with such 
care strives to prepare us for the reception of 
the life-giving mysteries of Christ by fast, prayer, 
repentance. After a few moments when the cup 
of the covenant shall be brought out, unto which 
we must approach in order to reanimate within 
us, renew and strengthen our covenant with 
Jesus Christ, we will hear the last call of the 
Church which summons thus: With fear of 
God and faith approach ye. In those sacred 
moments let be hushed within us all other 
thoughts, let be banished from our souls all 
other feelings, besides those unto which the 
Holy Church would elevate our spirits. Let us 
draw near with fear of God, faith and love, 
that we may be partakers of the life eternal. 

That we may inspire within us that sacred 
fear, let us consider: Where are we now? Be- 
fore whom do we stand? Unto what do we ap- 
proach? Where are we? Moses, Moses, called 
God to His selected leader of Israel, draw not 
nigh hither : put off thy shoes from off thy feet, 
for the place whereon thou standest is holy 


ground (Ex. iii: 5). Since the place unto which 
God once descended has become sanctified, and 
to which the man who was called the friend of 
God could not approach without care, then how 
much holier is the place which is sanctified by 
such often repeated descensions of the Holy 
Ghost at the consecration of the terrible mys- 
teries upon which even the angels look with 

Before whom do we stand? It is the God of 
unapproachable glory, from whose presence it 
was once that Mt. Sinai blazed and trembled; 
the God Almighty, who spake and it was done; 
He commanded, and it stood fast; that which is 
not, He nameth a thing existing; He maketh to 
die and maketh to live; He lowereth unto hell 
and raiseth up again; the God All-holy, who 
bears not with iniquity and shuns unrighteous- 
ness; the Lord, a jealous God, who exacts of 
children the sins of fathers even unto the third 
and fourth generations; the God All-righteous, 
who came down to see the wickedness of the 
citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah, and which 
cities the heavenly flame swallowed up. It is 
true that God appears to us here in His body 
and blood, without external grandeur and glory, 
without terrible manifestations; for, were it 
otherwise, we would say as the Israelites had 


said: Let not God speak with us, lest we die. 

Unto what do we approach? To the Divine 
Body, which Simeon, the saintly old man, had 
ouce received in his hands with holy fear; to 
the Divine Body, by the touch of which the sick 
were healed, the leprous cleansed, and which 
the demons feared; before the nakedness and 
wounds of which the sun darkened, the earth 
quaked, the rocks brake; to the most Glorious 
Body, which ascended into the heavens and 
upon which the Cherubim and the Seraphim 
look with fear. True it is that it appears to us 
in the form of common food, but were it other- 
wise we would say with Peter : Depart from me, 
for I am a sinful man, O Lord! (Matt, v: 8). 
And so it is here we stand, such is the presence 
we stand before, and such is that unto which we 
approach. Great is the gift we receive from the 
hand of the Lord. Holy is His most pure body, 
holy is His life-creating blood, and therefore let 
us approach the cup of the covenant with greater 
care and more fear that we may not be scorched 
with its flame, that we may receive the flesh and 
blood of Christ not unto judgment and con- 
demnation, but unto the cleansing, the sanctifi- 
cation, and the enlivening of our nature decay- 
ing in sin. Amen. 


THE Orthodox Catholic Church celebrates 
to-day the nativity of our Lord and Savior 
Jesus Christ. 

Christmas day is generally observed as a holi- 
day throughout the world. And verily it should 
be a day of rejoicing. I say rejoice, for, glory 
to God in the highest, we are now enabled to 
obtain peace on earth, as the good will of our 
Creator and Judge has been proclaimed to all 

Unfortunately we now often see in the world 
a decline in religious celebrations of Christian 
festivals,* just as in political and civil holidays 
we now often notice a tendency to withdraw from 
public scenes to one's own narrow sphere of 
privacy, personal comfort, and individual satis- 
faction. Such conditions are detrimental to so- 
ciety at large. The first cause of it all is the 
family — the home from which all men and 

* The majority of churches in San Francisco (as is the 
general rule in America) are closed and have no purely 
religious services whatever on the 25th of December. 


women take into the world the form of their 
future character. The nation which is devoid 
of lessons in religion and patriotism in the 
family — which is the fountain source of all 
learning — such a nation is going to destruction. 
Since we to-day magnify Christ, the giver of 
life, who now was born in the flesh for our sake 
of the unwedded and most pure Virgin Mary, 
we may most appropriately, as duty bound, con- 
sider the worth of our celebration. When we 
hear the teaching of Him who to-day was a little 
child seeking shelter with the cattle and sheep, 
and remember that He said, I am the way, and 
the life, and the truth, and also, the truth will 
make you free, we are impressed with the exalted 
character of Him whose mission it was and is 
to gather all mankind into the one fold of the 
Only Shepherd. And our Lord says the truth 
will save us. We must study the truth to the 
full measure of our competency, and know our 
Lord Jesus Christ the Savior. We must use 
our God-given intellect and discern true doctrine 
from falsehood. We must worship God with our 
whole being, body and soul, consequently we 
develop our reason (as our faith grows stronger) 
and praise the Lord understandingly. For when 
we worship with the inspiring feeling of our 


heart only, we bring a half offering. The offer- 
ing must be whole. 

When we study the different forms of worship 
of different people who are considered Christians, 
we see that some bow in adoration with fervent 
devotion, while others with exultant heart sing 
loud praise, as if carried away in ecstasy, de- 
priving the spirit of one of its faculties, i. e., 
adoration. Now, this is according to science, 
and those who have studied psychology know it. 
True and complete science is always compatible 
with religion. The Orthodox and Apostolic 
Church has ever held that man must offer praise 
from a warm heart while devoutly adoring the 
Sublime both physically and spiritually, and at 
the same time following truthful doctrine. Yes, 
we must seek and study the truth. I do not say 
we can at once perfectly know it, for we must 
first comprehend God, who is the truth. When 
we become Christ-like we know the truth, and 
the truth makes us free. 

The Church is the treasure house of God upon 
earth. I offer these precious gems to you, hoping 
you will take them away to your homes, safely 
guarded in a grateful heart, and earnestly ponder 
over them, seeking God in prayer accompanied 
by a pure life. For only then we may enter 


into the true spirit of this celebration and rightly 
comprehend the hymn we sing : " Christ is born ! 
Ye faithful, glorify! Christ from the heavens, 
Oh come to greet Him ! Christ upon the earth, 
be ye lifted on high! Sing to the Lord, all the 
earth ! And in gladness praise him. O ye na- 
tions ! for he hath been glorified !" Amen. 

Sent to any part of Europe or America on 
receipt of price, $1.00. * 

N. B. — The Proceeds from the sale of this 
Book to go to the Fund for the erection of a 
New Cathedral in San Francisco. 
Address : 

Consistory of the Orthodox Church, 

1715 Powell St., San Francisco, 

peice 50 cents (217 p.p.)- 

The Ritual, Services, and Sacraments of the 
Orthodox Eastern Apostolic Church, together 
with parallel teachings of other Churches, 
Price 30 cents in paper, by the same author, 
sent to any address on receipt of price. 


YB 27908