Text enclosed between equal signs appeared in bold face in the original (bold).
CONVERSION OF A HIGH PRIEST INTO A CHRISTIAN WORKER
Edited and Presented by
REV. M. GOLDEN
New York 1912
Copyright Office of the United States of America Library of Congress—Washington, D. C.
In conformity with section 55 of the Act to Amend and Consolidate the Acts respecting Copyright, approved March 4, 1909, said book has been duly registered to the name of Rev. M. Golden, of Rutland, Mass.
Entry: Class A, XXc., No. 251121, Oct. 29, 1909. Copyright, 1910, by REV. MELETIOS GOLDEN. Entry: Class A, XXc, No. 275323, Nov. 10, 1910.
The Trow Press New York
My own loving father, who did sow the seed of a brave Christianity in my young heart, while only eight years of age, calling me by his death-bed, on my knees, with his right hand resting upon my head, in his last words to me, saying:
"My boy, I leave you; God will be your Father, and Jesus His Son your Saviour; keep away from unholy associates, and heed not unlawful advice, but work for righteousness and help those that are in need; and we shall meet again." And his spirit went into eternity; to which destination I direct all my efforts in life.
This Book is dedicated by a grateful son, REV. MELETIOS GOLDEN.
I. FAREWELL 17
II. ARRIVAL 36
III. FIRST DAY IN NEW YORK 49
IV. HIGH PRIEST 57
V. PHILOSOPHY VS. CHRISTIANITY 66
VI. GOD'S PROVIDENCE 76
VII. NEW YORK TO CALIFORNIA 92
VIII. HONORABLE SUBMISSION 104
IX. PRACTICAL EFFECTS OF PRACTICAL TRUTH 114
X. GREEK-AMERIKAN-CHRISTIAN-ASSOCIATION 133
XI. CONCLUSION 151
Rev. M. Golden in Street Attire as High Priest 36
The World's Wonder, Acropolis of Athens, Greece 52
H. R. H. Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, K. G., etc. 68
Rev. M. Golden, the High Priest in Church Ceremonial Attire 84
Rev. M. Golden, Captain of the Salvation Army 100
Rev. M. Golden, the founder of the Greek-Amerikan-Christian-Association 126
Greek Peasant Woman 132
Conversion of a High Priest into a Practical Christian Worker
Edited and Presented by Rev. MELETIOS GOLDEN
Founder of the Greek-Amerikan-Christian-Association.
HIGH PRIEST OF THE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH.
Grand Representative of the St. Stephen's Monastery, Mt. Athos, Turkey.
Archimandrides of the Virgin Mary's Monastery, Salamis and Athens, Greece.
Lieutenant, Officer, in the Royal Gendarmery of Greece.
Grand Chaplain and Orator of the Supreme Council of the A. A. Scottish Rite, Greece.
Captain of the Salvation Army, U. S. A.
Member of the Massachusetts Consistory S. P. R. S., Thirty-second Degree, Boston, Mass.
Evangelist to the Greeks in the United States, etc., etc.
New York. 1912.
In placing this second edition in the hands of my readers I most gratefully acknowledge the splendid assistance of my subscribers, and the kindness with which this book has been received by the General Public, who made it possible for me to accomplish my intended purpose, ever since I left home, that I should give, to the general public, an account of my conversion into a practical Christian worker, knowing that there are a great number of intelligent minds, among the priests, in the Greek-Russian and Roman Catholic churches, who would make good soldiers of Jesus Christ, and some of them might develop into heroes of Truth and Righteousness, if they could only deny themselves of the luxuries and lofty life attached to their priesthood. And this problem of selfishness is an absolute barrier not only to their own Salvation, but to many a soul, who might have been saved from sin, and be converted to God, and usefulness, but for the Priest.
The solution of the problem was the clue which aided me to escape from the labyrinth of doubt; and now, standing upon the rock of unshaken faith, I offer the clue that guided me to others.
A work of this kind is called for by the spirit of the age. Although the signs of the times are said to be propitious, yet there are constant developments of undisciplined and unsanctified minds both in Europe and America, which furnish matter of regret to the philanthropist and the Christian; and though there are great controversies—going on at present; in relation to the man's spiritual interests, central point of all this heated contest has been the "Cross of Christ:" yet the most obnoxious obstacle in the way of progress as to the realization of "God's Kingdom on earth" it is, and from all quarters the same exclamation uttered, the priest.
Men and women entrusted with responsibilities of raising children in the Christ-like way, for the future development of this great country, will find valuable facts in this volume, which I have endeavored to write, in order to meet the exigencies among, not only certain people, but among many well-bred and well-cultured priests.
In criticising this work, the intelligent reader is respectfully requested to take into account the peculiar circumstances under which this book is written.
I was only six years old—in the English language—many miles away from any literary assistance, and fifty miles from the Boston Public Library, where I could derive many testimonies and opinions of undisputable authorities to strengthen my religious opinions and actions, which are tested in the most practical way by all conditions and under all circumstances, from the ostentatious pomp of a high priest to a loving, lowly worker in the slums of Chicago.
The place, where this book is written, is a farm situated in the picturesque county of Worcester, and it might rightfully have attributed to the effect of the inspiring natural surroundings in this farm that I was enabled to master my views in framing them according to the linguistic requirements of the American reader, using the every day language for the historical part of my subject; and maintaining the more classical expression for the men with the tendencies to argue, just to make a show of their higher knowledge, thus trying to excuse themselves for not submitting all their powers to the Will of God.
It has been said, all misery comes to the human race mainly from two causes; firstly, through misconduct: and secondly, through misfortune: therefore; since there is the self-evident truth, in the axiom, that, when the cause is diagnosed, the remedy is near at hand, let us work unitedly to remove the cause of all misery, be it in the Greek people, or Jewish, or Gentiles, and by the light of the Gospel's truth, let us put forth all our efforts, while here on earth, in establishing happiness and good will to all men.
REV. MELETIOS GOLDEN.
NORTH RUTLAND, Mass., 1910.
It was the year 1903, on a very beautiful day, one of those April days, that are well known and appreciated by those who have been fortunate enough to travel around the purple bathed Mediterranean coast, that his royal highness, the prince of Greece, Andreas, went abroad to meet his sweetheart, who afterwards became his wife and princess of Greece. It was a confidential royal talk, the betrothal of Prince Andreas, but for the newspaper man, who learns everything, and he can keep a confidential talk as much as Mrs. Green did when she promised to her husband to keep all to herself that confidential talk they had one night, and the first thing in the morning speaking to Mrs. Jones over the fence she confidentially delivered that confidential talk and in the same manner all over fences and telephones, wherever they were procurable, to save the time, the talk went round the town and came back to Mr. Green's ears, and he only blamed himself for being the fool to trust his wife. So, when Prince Andreas, came down to Piraeus, the seaport of Athens, to board on the fashionable French S. S. Messengerie-Maritime, he was surprised by the throngs of people that gathered at the pier to greet him "good luck" in his royal love affairs, because the Greeks pay more attention to the royal love affairs, than they do in paying their royalties to fatten more highness and highnesses than any other Kingdom on the face of the earth.
The Kingdom of Greece, little more than two millions of people, pay to King George, for his annual allowances six times as much as the ninety millions of people to the President of the United States. And every creature of royal blood, in Greece, draws as high an allowance, as nearer to the throne his or her rights happen to be. Besides, many thousands of acres of the best land in Greece, is granted to the members of the royal family; thus causing the immense emigration of all these Greeks, whom you meet in every corner, in the United States, trying to make an honest living, by shining your shoes, or working in the construction of railroads in America and Mexico.
The Greek, though born and raised among the most beautiful vineyards that made the historical and famous Nectar for the Gods, yet when he leaves his home to go abroad, he takes his last glass of intoxicant, till he settles himself, in a new adopted motherland, and makes a comfortable home for the queen of his heart, because home life is the ideal of every Greek and he is a model as head of the family, in his moderate means trying to raise children to his generation and give them the best he can afford. Hopeful, that some Socrates or Demosthenes might develop out of his offspring. The Greek has never been identified with any unlawful or criminal movement of the so-called Anarchistic or Socialistic. The Greek at all times and under all circumstances is an example as a law-abiding citizen.
Greek history is the pride of all the civilized world, and in the opinion of a most distinguished sociologist, the United States is the Greece of this age, and he thinks that it is the irresistible law of gravitation and sympathy that the tide of emigration draws the Greeks from the ancient Greece into this new and glorious Greece. And the writer was very little surprised when told that Boston is the Hub of America, or in the language of the Archaeologist, the Athens of the United States, and there and then he made his resolution to make his home in Boston, should he ever find the way clear to come to America. The joyful dream of his life has become reality, and for the last six years from his personal observations traveling a little more, perhaps, than the average American traveler, from Atlantic Ocean to Pacific Coast, he is privileged to know that the spirit of the Ancient Greece is not only confined in the Hub, but, hospitality and the love of art and beauty prevails in the very heart of every true American man and woman, even in the remotest village and hamlet, and he has yet to know the time or the place where he did not feel perfectly at home. Therefore, there is no regret on his part for bidding farewell to the land of the Gods and the city which had been the birthplace of taste, of art and beauty and eloquence. The chosen sanctuary of the Muses. The prototype of all that is graceful and dignified and grand in sentiment and action.
History and philosophy, oratory and the elements of mathematical science claim as their birthplace the city of Athens, where Paul, the greatest apostle of Jesus Christ, uttered his immortal oration to the Athenians, on the Areopagus (Mars Hill). And he, dignified, temperate, high-minded and learned in all wisdom, of his age, Paul, confessed that he was standing in the midst of the highest civilization, both of his own age and of the ages that had elapsed.
Paul, with his face towards the north having immediately behind him the long walls which ran down to the sea, affording protection against a foreign enemy. Near the sea on the one side the harbor of Piraeus, on the other that designated Phalerum, with crowded arsenals, their busy workmen and their gallant ships. Not far off in the ocean the Island of Salamis, ennobled forever in history as the spot near which Athenian valour chastised Asiatic pride, and achieved the liberty of Greece. The Apostle turning towards his right hand to catch a view of a small but celebrated hill rising within the city near that on which he stood, called the Pnyx, where standing on a block of bare stone, Demosthenes and other distinguished orators had addressed the assembled people of Athens, swaying that arrogant and fickle democracy, and thereby making Philip of Macedon tremble, or working good or ill for the entire civilized world. Immediately before him looking upon the crowded city, studded in every part with memorials sacred to religion or patriotism, and exhibiting the highest achievements of art. On his left, somewhat beyond the walls, the Academy, with its groves of plane and olive-trees, its retired walks and cooling fountains, its altar to the Muses, its statues of the Graces, its Temple of Minerva, and its altars to Prometheus, to Love, and Hercules, near which Plato had his country seat, and in the midst of which he had taught as well his followers after him. But the most impressive spectacle laying on his right hand, that small and precipitous hill "The Acropolis" where clustered together monuments of the highest art, and memorials of the national religion, such as no other equal spot of ground has ever borne. The Apostle's eyes, in turning to the right, would fall on the north-west side of the eminence, which was here and all round, covered and protected by a wall, parts of which were so ancient as to be of Cyclopean origin. The western side, which alone gave access to what, from its original destination, may be termed the fort, was, during the administration of Pericles, adorned with a splendid flight of steps, and the beautiful Propylaea, with its five entrances and two flanking temples, constructed by Mnesicles of Pentelican marble at a cost of 2012 talents, which is the equivalent of about four millions of American dollars. In the time of the Roman emperors there stood before the Propylaea, equestrian statues of Augustus and Agrippa. On the southern wing of the Propylaea was a temple to the Wingless Victory; on the northern, a Pinacotheca, or picture gallery. On the highest part of the platform of the Acropolis, not more than 300 feet from the entrance-buildings just described, stood and yet stands, though shattered and mutilated, The Parthenon, justly celebrated throughout the world, erected of white Pentelican marble, under the direction of Callicrates, Ictinus and Carpion and adorned with the finest sculptures from the hand of Phidias.
Northward from the Parthenon was the Erechtheum, a compound building which contained the temple of Minerva Polias; the proper Erechtheum, called also the Cecropium, and the Pandroseum. This sanctuary contained the holy olive tree sacred to Minerva, the holy salt-spring, the ancient wooden image of Pallas, etc., and was the scene of the oldest and most venerated ceremonies and recollections of the Athenians. Perhaps, for this reason, King George of Greece, in celebrating his 25th anniversary on the Throne, he gave upon this rock of Acropolis, that remarkable banquet to all crowned visitors, 175 in number from every royal family of Europe. At this memorable event, the writer held the office of "man at arms" on the Acropolis, although he was the youngest officer in the Royal Gendarmery of Greece, at the time.
Between the Propylaea and the Erechtheum was placed the colossal bronze statue of Pallas-Promachos, the work of Phidias, which towered so high above the other buildings, that the plume of her helmet and the point of her spear were visible on the sea between Sunium and Athens. Moreover, the Acropolis was occupied by so great a crowd of statues and monuments, that the account, as found in Pausanias, excites the reader's wonder, and makes it difficult for him to understand how so much could have been crowded into a space which extended from the southeast only 1150 feet, whilst its greatest breadth did not exceed 500 feet.
On the hill itself where Paul stood, was the temple of Furies, and in the court house of Areopagus, there was the altar to Athene Areia.
In all historical probability, Paul, stood exactly on this place when, "to the unknown God" as his text, he delivered the understanding of "The True and Living God," who made the world and all things therein, and he made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth.
The writer, consequently, in bidding farewell to his beloved Athens, he knew that he was going as a brother among members of the same family of humanity in a land where man is free to worship God, not in hypocrisy and deceit, but in Spirit and in truth.
On the same beautiful April day that Prince Andreas was going abroad, the writer went aboard on the same S. S. Messengerie-Maritime, unaware of H. R. H.'s presence there, notified only at the last moment by the agent of the company, Mr. Christopher of Piraeus, who was on board himself going to Italy on a business trip. Mr. Christopher, by being a member of the same fellowcraft in which the writer was the Grand Chaplain, he took pains to secure a very comfortable stateroom for his brother Chaplain.
Now I was following Mr. Christopher and an officer of the S. S. to locate myself in the suite provided for me, and as we were obliged to pass through the reception hall there I found myself face to face with the King George, and the following dialogue occurs.
King—Where are you going, Father?
I—On a recreation trip, Your Majesty. (I should have said, on a reformation trip.)
King—I hope you will have a bon voyage.
I—Your Majesty's wish, God grant it to be so, and I pray that His Favour shall crown with joy, all the desires of H. R. H.'s, the Prince, in his journey.
King—With your prayers, Father, I believe H. R. H. will be well successful.
And with one of his well known diplomatic smiles that contain manifold meanings, King George bid us farewell, and in a few moments the big whistle blew and a gentle vibration of the boat gave the notice that we were on the move. I went into my cabin and looking through the hole that was doing duty of a round window, I beheld the monument of Themistocles passing slowly, and when I could see that no more, I felt something melting in my heart and over-flowingly coming up into my eyes in the shape of two drops of burning water. I took them on the tips of my fingers and after kissing them with all the tenderness of a loving heart, I sprinkled them into the apeiron, farewell to my loved ones left behind me, while the big S. S. in full steam was now carrying me faster and faster into the unknown and uncertain.
I did not leave my cabin and there took my meals for two reasons; first, H. R. H. expressed the wish to take his meals at the regular first-class dining table, with all the mortals therein, and I had little desire to meet him anyway; and second because I wanted to be alone to indulge undisturbed in my thoughts and study them and keep notes of them for my future use.
The history tells us that it took thirty years for the greatest philosopher that was ever born to give his definite opinion as to the immortality of the soul. And if a philosopher like Socrates, after thirty years of constant study, he knew one thing, that he knew nothing, it is absurd to dare say that we shall ever know more than Socrates did, and in regard to the most perplexed problem of the human soul we can only rejoice in the fact that we are placed in a more advanced position above Socrates, that we can look upon these problems with more light, and that is the light that comes from Galilee.
Alone as I was in my cabin I thought of Socrates, I thought of Confucius, of Buddha, and in fact I thought of the many ancient and modern leaders of great movements, and of new thoughts, my admiration is insistent to everything that is noble and pure in sentiment and praxis, but there is only one leader, whom my spirit admires the best and I worship him with love and devotion, the man who gave his life for me. I knew I was free through his death and I was happy. The Hierarchical church was opposing me unreasonably; my own dearest and nearest relatives did not understand me, their strongest argument being, how could I sacrifice such a high office and deny a promising greater future and still be in my right mind?
Not being satisfied in my own heart, much less convinced in my mind, I made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, in order to find out whether Jesus was the only Saviour of mankind without the necessity of a priest. It was then and there, while kneeling on my knees upon that rock of Golgotha that came to me with startling force and clearness that I must be a follower of Jesus Christ and not a representative. All men may live on the Christ-like way and be happy, but the man who dares personify himself with the authorities belonging only to Jesus, that man must be a faker; "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" and I knew Jesus was my friend, the only friend left to me, while every other friend had forsaken me. In that little cabin I felt his companionship, and looking at the clock on the dresser I beheld in the mirror a pleasant face smiling at me. The hour was nearly midnight and I retired, singing "He promised never to leave me alone."
The voyage from Piraeus to Naples is said to be the best and grandest in Mediterranean, and in company of a royal fellow traveller might have been interesting even to the most eccentric Yankee, but to me it was a monotonous event, and the second evening while I was walking for some exercise on the deck, H. R. H. came up to me graciously expressing his regrets for not seeing me at the table, and inquiring if I was not feeling well, but he soon noticed my laconical way in excusing my absence, and he withdrew, leaving me alone in my admiration of a grand view on a moonlighted nature in the Mediterranean. And the only thought occupying my mind was; how soon could I get to America? For this reason perhaps, I decided to take steamship for New York at Naples, Italy, instead of going to Marseilles, chief seaport of France on the Mediterranean, thus forfeiting my rights on S. S. Messengerie-Maritime, that had been paid from Piraeus to Marseilles.
Happily, Mr. Christopher was also representing the S. S. Co., of Fabre Line, and the S. S. Germania of the same company was scheduled to depart from the harbor of Naples in a few days. It certainly was a pleasure and an opportunity of which we took advantage to visit the most interesting places in and around Naples, the city of far famous and at the same time notorious, for there the stranger notices, in every step, the beauty of Italian art and the Neapolitan filth combined in the most peculiar texture.
Making good use of the little time which we had at our disposal, we took the train and went up to see the City in which the Pope entombed himself a living mummy rather than to co-operate with the civilized world in building God's Kingdom on earth.
In looking over my memorandums I have just discovered a description that I kept about the Eternal City. The historical facts therein are supported by undisputable authority. And I think it apropos beneficial to my readers, if it will be placed at their hands before the closing of this chapter.
On the river Tiber, about fifteen miles from its mouth in the plain of what is now called the Campagna, stands the famous capital of the Western World, and the present residence of the Pope, the City of Rome. The surrounding country is not a plain, but a sort of undulating table-land, crossed by hills, while it sinks towards the southwest to the marshes of Maremma, which coast the Mediterranean. In ancient geography the country, in the midst of which Rome lay, was termed Latium, which, in the earliest times, comprised within a space of about four geographical square miles the country lying between the Tiber and the Numisius, extending from the Alban Hills to the sea, having for its chief city Laurentum. Here, on the Palatine Hill, was the city of Rome founded by Romulus and Remus, grandsons of Numitor, and sons of Rhea Sylvia, to whom, as the originators of the city, mythology ascribed a divine parentage. The origin of the term Rome is in dispute. Some derive it from the Greek Romee, "strength," considering that this name was given to the place as been a fortress. Cicero says the name was taken from that of its founder Romulus. At first the city had three gates, according to a secret usage. Founded on the Palatine Hill, it extended, by degrees, so as to take in six other hills at the foot of which ran deep valleys that in early times were in part overflowed with water, while the hill-sides were covered with trees. In the course of the many years during which Rome was acquiring to herself the empire of the world, the city underwent great, numerous, and important changes. Under its first kings it must have presented a very different aspect from what it did after it had been beautified by Tarquin. The destruction of the city by the Gauls caused a thorough alteration in it: nor could the troubled times which ensued have been favourable to its being well restored. It was not till riches and artistic skill came into the city on the conquest of Philip of Macedon, and Antiochus of Syria, that there arose in Rome large handsome stone houses. The capture of Corinth conduced much to the adorning of the city: many fine specimens of art being transferred from thence to the abode of the conquerors. And so, as the power of Rome extended over the world, and her chief citizens went into the colonies to enrich themselves, did the masterpieces of Grecian art flow towards the capital, together with some of the taste and skill to which they owed their birth. Augustus, however, it was, who did most for embellishing the capital of the world, though there may be some sacrifice of truth in the pointed saying, that he found Rome built of brick, and left it marble. Subsequent emperors followed his example, till the place became the greatest repository of architectural, pictorial, and sculptural skill, that the world has ever seen: a result to which even Nero's incendiarism indirectly conduced, as affording an occasion for the city's being rebuilt under the higher scientific influences of the times. The site occupied by modern Rome is not precisely the same as that which was at any period covered by the ancient city: the change of locality being towards the north-west, the city has partially retired from the celebrated hills. About two-thirds of the area within the walls, traced by Aurelian, are now desolate, consisting of ruins, gardens, and fields, with some churches, convents, and other scattered habitations. Originally the city was a square mile in area. In the time of Pliny the walls were nearly twenty miles in circuit: now they are from fourteen to fifteen miles round. Its original gates, three in number, had increased in the time of the elder Pliny to thirty-seven. Modern Rome has sixteen gates, some of which are, however, built up. Thirty-one great roads centered in Rome, which, issuing from the Forum, traversed Italy, ran through the provinces, and were terminated only by the boundary of the empire. As a starting point a gilt pillar (Milliarium Aureum) was set up by Augustus in the middle of the Forum. This curious monument, from which distances were reckoned, was discovered in 1823. Eight principal bridges led over the Tiber: of these three are still relics. The four districts into which Rome was divided in early times, Augustus increased to fourteen. Large open spaces were set apart in the city, called Campi, for assemblies of the people and martial exercises, as well as for games. Of nineteen which are mentioned, the Campus Martius was the principal. It was near the Tiber, whence it was called Tiberinus. The epithet Martius was derived from the plain being consecrated to Mars, the god of war. In the later ages it was surrounded by several magnificent structures, and porticoes were erected, under which, in bad weather, the citizens could go through their usual exercises. It was also adorned with statues and arches. The name of Fora was given to places where the people assembled for the transaction of business. The Fora were of two kinds—fora venalia, "markets," and fora civilia, "law courts, etc."
Until the time of Julius Caesar there was but one of the latter kind, termed by way of distinction Forum Romanum, or simply Forum. It lay between the Capitoline and Palatine Hills: it was eight hundred feet wide, and adorned on all sides with porticoes, shops, and other edifices, on the erection of which large sums had been expended, and the appearance of which was very imposing, especially as it was much enhanced by numerous statues. In the centre of the Forum was the plain called the Curtian Lake, where Curtius is said to have cast himself into a chasm or gulf, which closed on him, and so he saved his country. On one side were the elevated seats or suggestus, a sort of pulpits from which magistrates and orators addressed the people, usually called Rostra, because adorned with the beaks of ships which had been taken in a sea-fight from the inhabitants of Antium.
Near by was the part of the Forum called the Comitium, where were held the assemblies of the people called Comitia Curiata. The celebrated temple, bearing the name of Capitol, of which there remain only a few vestiges, stood on the Capitoline Hill, the highest of the seven: it was square in form, each side extending about two hundred feet, and the ascent to it was by a flight of one hundred steps. It was one of the oldest, largest, and grandest edifices in the city. Founded by Tarquinius Priscus, it was at several times enlarged and embellished. Its gates were of brass, and it was adorned with costly gildings: whence it is termed "golden" and "glittering," aurea, fulgens. It enclosed three structures, the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus in the centre, the temple of Minerva on the right, and the temple of Juno on the left. The Capitol also included some minor temples or chapels, and the Casa Romuly, or Romulus, covered with straw. Near the ascent to the Capitol was the asylum (Cities of refuge). We also mention the Basilicae, since some of them were afterwards turned to the purposes of Christian worship. They were originally buildings of great splendour, being appropriated to meetings of the senate, and to judicial purposes. Here counsellors received their clients, and bankers transacted their business. The earliest churches, bearing the name of Basilicae, were erected under Constantine the Great. He gave his own palace on the Caelian Hill as a site for a Christian temple. Next in antiquity was the church of St. Peter, on the Vatican Hill, built A.D. 324, on the site and with the ruins of temples consecrated to Apollo and Mars. It stood about twelve centuries, at the end of which it was superseded by the modern church bearing the same name.
The Cirei were buildings oblong in shape, used for public games, races, and beast-fights. The Theatra were edifices designed for dramatic exhibitions: the Amphitheatra (double theatres, buildings in an oval form) served for gladiatorial shows and the fighting of wild animals. That which was erected by the Emperor Titus, and of which there still exists a splendid ruin, was called the Coliseum, from a colossal statue of Nero that stood near it. With an excess of luxury, perfumed liquids were conveyed in secret tubes round these immense structures, and diffused over the spectators, sometimes from the statues which adorned the interior. In the arena which formed the centre of the amphitheatres, the early Christians often endured martyrdom by being exposed to ravenous beasts.
In modern Rome there are various things to excite the curiosity of the stranger, but in my observations I could only see four elements predominating above everything, monks, nuns, priests and beggars. They form a continued procession all day long of the most spectacular carnival that could be seen in any of the Babylons of the world.
And now while in Rome, we might ask the question: Who founded the church at Rome? The question is equally interesting, if not important to the Protestant and to Catholic. The Romish church assigns the honour to Peter, and on this grounds an argument in favour of the claims of the Papacy. But strict search in and about all the obtainable sources of knowledge, it does give no sufficient reason for believing that Peter was ever even so much as within the walls of Rome. Thus, by all inspired documents there is one title clear left to Pope and his scheme, "unaccountable falsifier." As an ordained High Priest in the Greek Orthodox Church, I have been for many years studied in this particular subject. The Libraries in Mount Athos gave me all the opportunities that the high and exalted position, which I held, could afford, to find the truth concerning the claims of the Pope. The Fathers of the Church, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, John Chrysostomus, and all the host of Ecclesiastical authorities agree unanimously that the Lord Jesus never intended to concede any right of supremacy, to Peter, over the other apostles. Otherwise He (Jesus) would never have said those wonderful words (Matt. 20, 25, etc.), and Peter himself disclaiming the assertions of the Papacy (Pet. 1, 5, 3, etc.). And it is certain that there is no instance on record of the apostle's (Peter) having ever claimed or exercised this supposed power, but on the contrary, he is oftener than once represented as submitting to an exercise of power upon the part of others, as when, for instance, he went forth as a messenger from the apostles assembled in Jerusalem to the Christians in Samaria, and when he received a rebuke from Paul. Now as a matter of fact, if Peter was ever Great, that was, when he repented for denying his Master. Repentance, therefore, is the only hope left for the Pope, if he ever expects to hear the blessed voice "Feed my sheep."
In these days of enlightenment and progress, while humane feelings are taking the place of spite and hatred among the civilized nations, and religious prejudice is giving way to good will and tolerance, Rome is, from the Vatican point of view, the stumbling-block of every honest effort in the purification of the individual heart and the uplifting of the millions of souls that are downtrodden under the sandals of hyenical monks. When the Pope, a few months ago, rejected Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Fairbanks, two models of manhood and virtue, he made it clear to the world that he is suffering incurably, from barbaritis, and that his case is hopeless. But, it is to be hoped that as Rome is already regenerated politically and socially, so, we pray that in not far distant day, Rome, shall also be regenerated spiritually.
In the meantime we shall continue our journey, and now we hurry back to take the S. S. Germania from Naples to New York. And when I was well located on board, I kissed good-bye to my friend and brother Christopher, thanking him for his assistance and bidding to the old world FAREWELL! FAREWELL!
Sunday morning the 16th of May, 1903, the very handsome S. S. Germania, cast anchor in the docks of Brooklyn. Indeed, there is no particular significance in a steamship arriving in the harbor of Brooklyn and New York, for they come by hundreds from all parts of the world, every day in the week and many of them every Sunday of the year. It is for the diligent observer that there are more lessons to be drawn from a day passed along the Brooklyn bridge than there are in the most exclusive circles of the 400. And if I am allowed to make any comparison at all I should put it in the following short sentences. The former lessons would be of a heart from which all arteries transport the necessary elements to keep up undiminished the vitality of this great cosmopolitan body, while the latter uncontrovertibly is only a part of the body, and unfortunately it is the stomach that consumes lavishly even to the core all that the whole body can produce. Yet to an every day passer-by neither when he travels across the Brooklyn bridge rubbing elbows with the scores of the masses of humanity that hasten their way unconsiderate by nobody, nor when in his big red or yellow automobile hurrying up Fifth Avenue he is planning in his mind a new scheme how to make more money, or he is the heir of riches untold and many millions are waiting for him to be scattered in all winds, his social standard to keep up and his neighbor's honor to bring down and as a rule to accomplish his own destruction, the time is of no value unless there is some profit in it for the only scope in his life is self gratification.
The S. S. Germania in splendor and commodities could proudly be called the Mauretania or Lucetania of the Fabre Line, a very commendable company judging from the good officials and desirable attendants we had on board the Germania. Her arrival at the present voyage had exceptional significance, and if every S. S. which arrives this side of the ocean had parallel instances it would be only a matter of time when all the legislators which are engaged in making the emigration laws would find themselves out of business, because the Kingdom of God that knows no divisions and no distinctions of nations and races should soon be established to make a heaven on earth and there it would be one Lord—one faith—one baptism for all human races, and all men could then move in the different parts of the world without any credentials and they could be welcome everywhere as members of the same family do when they live within the boundaries of love.
Since the invention of Logos in the art of making history worth reading, through the ages the historian derives his intelligence from all sources apt to contribute to his object and unsparingly he treats zoology, botany and all kingdoms ending in some kind of y, just to serve his purpose successfully. And the writers of the Scriptures are not exempted to this rule, inspired as it were, they mentioned almost every known and unknown animal which our forefather Noah saved in his Ark, and if the ass plays so an important part in the Book of books, Germania surely is entitled to some consideration in the history of my conversion.
It will be impossible for me to even attempt to skiagraph all that took place on board the Germania from the time we left Naples of sunny Italy till we arrived in the docks of Brooklyn, eleven and one-half days' voyage with only a short stop at Gibraltar, that fortified rock for which Great Britain is ready to play all her power just to maintain that dry and ungraceful rock, but, the key of two seas, and in Azores Islands to exchange mail, our journey was a never to be forgotten continual holiday.
One odd incident that kept our merriment all these days, was the symptomatical number thirteen. The S. S. Germania was carrying on board several hundred emigrants, mostly from sunny Italy, they were representing all conditions and descriptions coming to America to make their fortune, which but a few exceptions is a sweet hope into every emigrant's heart and though often proves to them that it was only a dream, and there are millions of emigrants all over this land who after many years of hard work they are still struggling for a mere existence, yet they come and they shall continue to come for it is the rule of the universe; they simply cannot resist the law that governs and moves the Sympan. And the S. S. Germania was well occupied in its various compartments, but there were only ten of us voyagers in the reserved first cabins, and at meal time with the first Captain at the head of the table and one Commissioner representing the Government and the first physician of the boat then we made up the number 13; and though I am not a superstitious person I was the first one to call the attention to that fact, and there the fun began. The fellow voyagers insisting that should any danger of tempestuous and stormy gale threaten their safety they had to cast lots to know for whose cause the evil came, and as I was the only representative of the religious sentiment, in all probability I had to undergo the same experience as Jonah had, yet our fears did not even approach any realization but instead as it was desirable to all on board we enjoyed a very pleasant voyage all the way and the Captain himself unreservedly with his boyish cheerfulness expressed his gratification for all that came out so perfectly satisfactory. And the Captain being desirous to commemorate the agreeable event he gave the night before our arrival at Brooklyn a unique banquet in the big reception hall with various symbolical decorations in honor to his excellency the number 13. And to make the event more memorable the Captain himself went around the boat visiting all the emigrants and selecting 13 of the most musical Italian boys and girls with their harps, mandolins and tambourines, a perfect stringed band, and while our merriment was in its zenith he conducted them on the upper deck where the reception hall was located into the adjoining room and without warning we began to hear the waves vibrating through the walls into our hall and soon our ears were filled with divine melodies. They were playing Tosca, Puccini's most inspired composition and the translation of these people behind the walls it really contained that pathos which all artists agree, yet unable to explain how so many children of sunny Italy became world-wide famous for the embodiment of that musical and harmonious pathos of which Tosca is the favorite piece of the greatest living tenor Caruso.
In an unfortunate event that occurred to me some time ago I lost the names of my fellow voyagers on that memorable trip on the Germania, yet I can well recollect that there were two American newly-wedded couples from the western cities, just returning home from their extensive honeymoon trip abroad, and there was a gentleman, very refined and well cultured in literature whom we called, the Athenian, as he hailed from Boston, which in the language of all foreigners is the Athens of the United States, and there was the Jew merchant from Chicago, and another gentleman, an Italian professor, who was going to occupy an exalted position in one of the Roman Catholic Institutions in New Orleans, and to our delight there was Miss Maria, the only beloved daughter of Dr. Achilles Rose of New York. Dr. Rose is not only a very prominent practitioner as a physician in New York, but he is acknowledged as an eminent authority by the most exclusive Academies of Europe concerning medical matters, as well as a great linguist in the ancient and modern languages, and a number of publications contributed to the scientific research are the monuments of his convincing penmanship. His daughter had just finished a long course in the best college "Arsakeion" exclusive institution for girls in Athens, Greece; and she was well qualified to teach the Ancient and Modern Greek language as well as any professor in the American colleges and universities. I had to go carefully myself in order to keep pace with her in the exactness of pronunciation of the Greek words, and when listening to her telling some of the joyful experiences she experienced in learning this wonderful Greek language I felt like a Sunday school scholar impressed by her rhythmical and melodious harmony in pronouncing every word and sentence that sound like the old Greek music which even Apollo himself would be glad to listen to.
With Miss Maria Rose there was Miss Margaret, a tall slender figure with every characteristic of a genuine Kentucky girl, a very respectable maiden, she was caressing for Miss Maria Rose with motherly tenderness, she was the playmate and constant companion of Miss Maria now passing the bridge of her teens; yet Miss Margaret could not tolerate seeing her leaning on the rails of the Germania, she appeared presumably afraid that some terrible whale might swallow her little Maria whom she loved as much as a mother could love her own child, a pleasure which she never had, to know and to love a child of her own, and Maria appeared to appreciate the kindness of her governess.
Now to make up the list of the ten voyagers there was also your obedient servant, coming over to America to study religious, social and industrial conditions. An account of his reasons for taking this step shall be given later on. At this time I must proceed to complete my acquaintances on board the Germania. From the first day on board I find myself in very friendly terms with every one of my fellow voyagers, and before I knew it I was the father of them all. As a High Priest dressed in my church garbs, they just pasted in front of my name the monkish title, Father, which I never accustomed myself though my official church name consists of about a half a dozen titles.
The Captain of the Germania, a typical French gentleman very agreeable in all his ways, with my little French enabled me to make myself understood. I had the pleasure of passing many a moment in pleasant conversation with him, and when I wanted to speak to the Americans, my heart was longing to learn all I could from them, as they were so kind to me, and with Miss Maria's assistance I never went lonesome, her acting as interpreter between me and the Americans, for by that time I was not able to even pronounce correctly a sentence in the English language.
With all these acquaintances my time was well occupied and to my personal delight, by chance, I found my constant companion in the person of Dr. Lucretius, the first physician of the Germania, an Italian gentleman. By tokens and signs we found that both of us belong to that great body of men that knows each other as brothers in every corner of the inhabited world. It was he, Dr. Lucretius, who came to my cabin on the morning of the 16th of May, at about 5 a. m., and knocking at the door, said, Father Golden, we are now entering into the harbor of New York, and if you want to enjoy a grand view of the surrounding country you had better come out on the upper bridge. I shall be there waiting for you to explain some of the most beautiful sceneries that you have ever looked upon in your life. And he was correct, without any exaggeration, for when I leaped from my bed and dressed myself as fast as I could I went to meet my friend and brother, Dr. Lucretius.
Rushing up to the bridge I greeted him "Bonjorno, mio fratello" shaking his hand at the same time, almost I cried out, this certainly is an artificial imitation of the entrance to Bosphorus, and if it were not for that great statue and mausoleum of Liberty, which I could see ahead of me, I would surely believe that I was dreaming, it is like entering the harbor of Constantinople, and just at this point, looking into the face of my esteemed friend, Dr. Lucretius, I said to him; let us hope that the day is not far distant when we shall salute the God-giving Liberty in the heart of the great city of Constantinople. That was six years ago and every word I said it came out of my mouth as a prayer of my heart in all my sincerity. Today I do thank God for it is a reality. Turkey is free! But she is like a child; she needs the guidance of a strong hand to guide her in the path of righteousness and love to God and bring her to Christ who is the only one to give Liberty and Freedom "For whom He made free, is free indeed." Turkey has accomplished the greatest part of her own salvation, yea, she has done more than many of the so-called Christian empires expected her to do. They are now rubbing their eyes, and of course it is their purpose in order to save their commercial interests, they are going to put in her way all the obstacles they can to overthrow the new Constitution, and if Turkey fails in her reformation this time, it would not be only her own fault. A great share of the responsibility rests upon the shoulders of every American man and woman who solemnly declares to stand by and be a protector of the principles laid down by Washington, the father not only of his own country, but most of the civilized world. Unless America arises equal to the occasion there is every reason to entertain all kinds of fears from the Middle and Western Europe's diplomats.
How many American active missionaries are there in Constantinople, Smyrna, Aidin, Saloniki, Adana, Ephesos and every city in Turkey today working for the regeneration of the people who dared and successfully broke down from his throne a Sultan? Wake up, my dear reader and gird yourself with the noble armor of your manhood and your womanhood and do the best, the very best of your ability to help the millions of mothers and children over in Turkey, they are starving for spiritual food, they are crying to you as your own brothers and sisters of the same family of humanity; will you close your ears and not listen to their cry? or will you open your heart, your sympathy and your pocket-book and send off all the missionaries you can to do the work? I pray that you will, and God will reward you in Heaven and down here He will keep the days of your life sweet in splendid memory that you have done your part in the salvation of all mankind.
The opportunity may occur again to discourse this very heart aching subject. Now, as we approach the colossus of Liberty, Miss Maria Rose made her morning appearance and before we all could exchange the "Bon Jour" salutations to her, she gracefully grasped the gentleman from Boston by the arm and walking up and down the bridge with soldierly step, began in an apparently joyful voice to sing, audibly "My Country 'tis of thee, sweet land of Liberty" and just as she was getting more enthusiastic in her song, the gentleman from Boston uttered a loud cry "Strawberries—fresh strawberries," and as by explosion a heartiest laughter went out of every mouth on the bridge, and the waves received on their wings that expression of our gratitude to carry it to the end of their destination, while the Germania drew us nearer and nearer to the land of the free and the home of the brave.
A call came to us all at this moment that the custom officers from New York were already in the reception room waiting for us to make our declarations in accordance with the customary law, and by the time I had complied with my duties, to that respect, I heard a stentorian voice "Cast Anchor" and turning around in a semi-circle, with center on my right toe I endeavored to unfold the meaning of the exciting motion. Sailors and officers of the boat rushing in all directions, it seemed as though they were preparing for a great battle, and determined to win. The big S. S. Germania was tied in the docks of Brooklyn and every voyager was ready to bid her farewell. The steward of my cabin, uncalled, he was on my side, and the thought came to me that it was his last chance for his gratuities from me anyway. He looked upon my face like a child expecting his Christmas presents, and said, with a fainting smile, Father, your trunk is on its way to your destination and here is your valise and I am awaiting your pleasure to direct you to the Sixth Avenue Elevated Station, which will take you to the 123rd Street and Seventh Avenue, Harlem, according to your wishes to reach your dwelling place. The bell of the Germania was ringing eight o'clock a. m., when I was bidding farewell to my steward with the instructions how to reach the Elevated Station, and turning to the first corner from the docks of Brooklyn, a familiar voice I heard behind me calling "Father," and instantly a hand took hold of the sleeve of my garment, and looking backward I saw Miss Maria Rose with her governess, Margaret, and the gentleman from Boston, who was still holding my garment, and in good humor said, he, in his broken French, Now Father, we could not tolerate to see you go all alone in the streets of New York dressed in these robes, because if you only attract the curiosity of some mischievous children there is no telling what may happen to you, if they mistake you as a carnival dressed this way just for sport; but, Miss Maria Rose, hastened to aid, interrupting the gentleman, Father, you have good luck, today is Sunday and early in the morning you will be saved from great things which might happen to you otherwise. Besides we are going as far as 59th Street and the gentleman from Boston, he is going to take the train at 125th Street, Harlem, and there you will be within a few blocks from the house you desire to go to.
They bought the ticket for me and soon the Elevated was crossing the Brooklyn bridge. The grand panorama on both sides of the bridge brought the thought into my mind that if the architects of America were able to accomplish such a wonder as this, they would certainly have easier times to build the Babel Tower without any confusion of tongues; but my breath went out of my breast and for a moment I thought that the beating of my heart stopped, when we reached that curving at 110th Street and 8th Avenue, New York. The magnificent sight from that tremendous height, looking to my left at the mammoth advertising boards, the velvety green fields and at the top of the hill that Episcopal church, which will be when finished another architectural wonder, and looking to my right at the Central Park which we just swiftly passed, now I see the flat roofs of the buildings and on many of them the washing of the family hanging, forgotten perhaps, from last Saturday, it is indeed a grand sight which the inhabitants of New York in that section, by being accustomed to it, very little appreciate.
9.30, my friend from Boston, said, as we were descending the stairways on the 125th Street and 8th Avenue, as he looked at his time-piece. If it were not for my train which I must take at 9.58 I would gladly accompany you to your place, yet, said he, you only have two blocks to walk southward and one eastward and you will see the number on the left hand side, and with a cordial hand shake he jumped on the electric car passing at the moment on 125th Street towards New York-Boston R. R. station, to board his train, and I started on my way to the place where I was going to make my temporary home.
First Day in New York
It is not my purpose in this little volume to make any boast of myself as an historian. Bookmaking is not my profession; neither do I propose to go into extensive details more than it is necessary to harmonize the coincidents of events as they occurred and the effect they produced in the development of an unusual Christian career, and God knows that my only desire is to reconcile the opposing privileges of a meek and lowly Christian worker, to be equal if not greater to those of a High Priest who in his fulness of life though one of the most active ecclesiastical officials in the highest circles of church and society, his firm belief in success, knowing of no fear, and daringly climbing up in higher ranks among philosophical societies, holding such an exalted position in the most ancient Christian church. The church that holds the undisputable proof as the first authentical apostolic establishment with founder the apostle of the Gentiles himself. And who is the student of the Scriptures, be he a Christian or philosopher of the Epicurean or the Stoic system that could reasonably argue that the oration on the Areopagus made by Paul to the Athenians being the masterpiece and model of the most convincing speeches ever made in the Christian era? That this High Priest, while enjoying all the comforts and privileges belonging to his high office, together with its honors and gorgeous trappings, does not attach any over-weening importance to ecclesiastical dignity, neither does he consider a "comedown" the step he has taken, but he gives the simple, yet convincing reason that he just follows the process of evolution in Christianity, doing the will of his Master who promised to all mankind one Lord—one Faith—one Baptism. And for the last six years he has proven that it is possible for a man to begin from the very bottom of life, his nearest and dearest relatives opposing him, with no friends to understand his desires and his ambitions, to be a wanderer in a great country like the United States, and travel from the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific Ocean, proud to always be able to support himself and also help someone on his way. Exercising the principle of the Apostle Paul, working hard for his living, stranger not only to the ethics and customs of the people whose sympathetic hearts he was coming to win, but unable to even put two sentences together in their own language, and today here he is to tell you the story, as true as your beautiful breath that keeps your soul and body alive, and the only favor he asks from you is that when you severely criticise the grammatical and syntactical site in the execution of this work, you may in your kindness, remember that his only resource to derive any philological assistance, was a twenty-five cent Webster's dictionary, bought from a second-hand book store.
This is my first day in New York. And looking around to find the number of the house where I was going to stay, my thoughts were so animated as to feel that all the arteries and veins of my body through my feet were kissing the ground upon which my heart would soon appease with its Maker.
A few people, going to the Low Mass, I should judge by the solemnity of their walk, men and women, sent curious glances at the stranger dressed in the robes on the street. By this time approaching the 7th Avenue and not finding the desired number I was just directing my steps towards a gentleman dressed in some kind of uniform to inquire about the place, when a young man tipped his hat in front of me and raised the finger of his right hand and pointed to the sign of the florist's store just a few steps backwards. I could then plainly read the name on the board above the door. It was the name very dear to me, which, with longing heart I was looking for. Almost immediately a man came out from that same store with a broad smile on his face and with a gentle bow, as though asking my permission, he took my valise thus relieving me just in time, and leading the way into the store I saw another gentleman behind a counter preparing a large floral design from the rarest flowers of the season, for the funeral of a most distinguished politician of Harlem.
Although I yield to no man in the appreciation of a good smiling face and here I had two of them and the most typical faces which are prominent in the making of this heterogeneous republic, John, representing the Huguenot and Dutch, and Jack whose father and mother were Irish, and Jack was Irish too. Both these gentlemen with pantomimic actions in a few words which now I know were English words but at that time I could not tell if they were Chinese or Hindoo. They tried to make me understand that Mr. George N., whom they knew I was looking for, as they had heard him speaking of me and they saw my photograph, and they were waiting notification of my coming, and that they were struck by ecstasy at my sudden appearance, he was at breakfast and that he would soon be back so I had better step into his office and rest myself while waiting for him. The expectancy to meet my friend George N., it lengthened every moment for me waiting in that little office. Twenty-four years since I saw him last when I was only ten years old, and even if I had not seen his photograph in all these years I could distinguish him among ten thousand. He was my first teacher in the grammar school; neighbor in my home and a very great distant relative. He always took especial interest in my scholarship. My childhood and school days were not all that I could desire for me, to be, for I was an orphan, yet it was that orphan who always carried the first or the second honors in the annual examinations. It was for this reason, perhaps, that my teachers were all well pleased with my progress. The past is only a memory, yet when we look back in the light of our sincerity we can trace every point and every reason that contributed to our success or failure in our lives. It is not a vision neither is there a mere kinetoscope procession. The High Priest is here waiting to meet his teacher with the same solemnity as in the old school days when he had to meet his teacher after some of his occasional mischiefs. With these and other agreeable memories relishing my time in that office, I heard a loud applause in the store and the words "Father is here," aroused my inquisitiveness and before I could leave my chair, there was at the door of the office standing the man whom I wanted to see. Sturdy and resolute with two slow steps he now extends a welcome hand to me and as he called me by my childish nickname in response said, I, my teacher! Yes, said he, How do you do my Father? Why didn't you let me know when you were coming so I could meet you at the pier; How long have you been wandering to find this place? And many other complimentaries, but, you must, he went on saying, change your appearance at once, for I am not going to disgrace myself and you too, if we dare to walk on the streets with you dressed in robes like this. Let us go up stairs in my room, and I believe you can be fitted with a new suit of clothes made to order for me which I was ready to try on today, as the tailor just sent them here a little while ago. Then you must have a very clean shave, my goodness, there is a whole mask to come off your face and the long black hair you have, you can make some money by selling it to any fashionable lady. Now, Father, you have to hurry, because the barber shop closes at 12 o'clock and you only have the necessary time to change your dress.
The clothes which George N. offered for my transfiguration with the exception of being made for a man one inch taller than my own stature they didn't look very awkward upon me and to escape curiosity he took me through the alleys of a narrow passage into the 124th Street, where an elderly German kept a barber shop and when he was through cleaning that over burdened head of mine, he was almost exhausted, and liable to a fine, if any policeman happened to see him working on Sunday after 12 o'clock. The barber closed the door of his shop allowing time for us to just step out and we hastened our way back to the store, now walking on 7th Avenue. Jack, whose name already is mentioned here, is one of the leading flower decorators in New York City. He could make a cross of flowers look like a picture, and he could make a bouquet for the most particular bride, he could decorate a little chapel around the corner and make it look as artistic as he could decorate a rich mansion in the most exclusive Riverside Drive. Jack made as much money as any of his high grade fellow traders in Harlem, and he had no home responsibilities, his widow mother being what we might call well-to-do, for she owned considerable real estate in that vicinity, yet, Jack, every Monday morning had to obtain a loan for his carfare, and more than half a dozen young ladies all around Manhattan were particularly interested in Jack's welfare. This is Sunday and one o'clock in the afternoon, and Jack should be enjoying his holiday, and there were already two of his female chums waiting for him on the sidewalk. Yet Jack had always some more time to spare to accommodate his employer George N., who as now entered the store he gave the synthematical pass-word "that's all," which in the language of the employer and employees it means "The boys may now go home."
But Jack, as he took a glimpse on me, in all his Irish calibre he almost screamed: Help! St. Patrick, what a metamorphosis is this? Is that you, Father? You look now to me more like a butterfly out of a caterpillar than anything in Ireland. Say, girls, calling his friends from the outside, come in you girls, I take the honor to introduce you to the Father ..., but, my soul, I am ashamed to call you Father, so fashionable a gentleman as you look now. You shall not call me Father, said I, as long as you see me dressed like a gentleman. I shall not, Jack said, and with his girls took his departure, while George N., who interpreted all this merriment, took a fresh white rose and put it in my buttonhole. Let us go for lunch, said he and I followed gladly for I felt it was a timely call.
As George N. is a bachelor he takes his meals in no particular place, anywhere from Harlem Casino or Palm Garden or Manhattan Club to a ten cent lunch counter. Today he took me into a dollar a plate restaurant on 125th Street. Before I was through with my dinner, George N. made the remark to me saying "if you always enjoy the American cooking the way I observe you doing, you will never starve in America, I assure you." It was the wisest prophecy that George N. ever made about my future in America.
After dinner we visited Grant's Tomb on Riverside Drive and on our return he gave me instructions how to find the Waldorf Astoria hotel where Aleck, one of his nephews had a position, and that Aleck would make arrangements for the night for me and that the following morning George N. would wait for me to discuss my plans for the future. I left him and when I was in my room which Aleck provided for me, the time was well nigh midnight.
After the day's excitement I hoped that a good night's rest would refresh me anew and the next morning would find me prepared for the work I chose to devote my future life in this New World. With a lightning quickness my mind examined all my past life and with the same speed I made my conclusions that there was no more any pleasure for me to look back, neither was there any attraction in that garb which so often is the representation of hypocrisy itself. I felt so happy for my decision and with a grateful heart I bent on my knees in prayer to Him who lay down His life for my freedom and my salvation, and as an evidence of my good health, the night passed undisturbed in sound sleep and in the morning when Aleck called me for breakfast I felt that every fibre of my body was springing for action, and with the last touch leaping from my bed the first day of new life went into history.
For the benefit of those who ignorantly, if not deliberately by deceit, misled to believe that the priest has any authority, which the truly converted Christian could not exercise, the present chapter is offered in the spirit of love without any fear of contradiction or dispute, because the facts given here are well established upon the Scriptural Truths and the reader may at all times maintain the proofs to disprove refutable arguments of persons whose only purpose is to serve their own individual interests.
The priest, one who officiates in secret offices, it is the definition given in Webster's dictionary. And from the most authentic Biblical concordances we derive the following information: The priest under the law was a person consecrated and ordained of God, not only to teach the people and pray for them, but also to offer up sacrifices for his own sins and those of the people. The priesthood was not annexed to a certain family, till after the promulgation of the law of Moses.
Before that time the first born of every family, the fathers, the kings, the princes, were priests, born in their city and in their own homes. Cain and Abel, Noah, Abraham and Job, Abimelech and Laban, Isaac and Jacob, offered themselves their own sacrifices. In the solemnity of the covenant that the Lord made with his people at the foot of Mount Sinai, Moses performed the office of meditator, and young men were chosen from among the children of Israel to perform the office of priests. But after that the Lord had chosen the tribe of Levi to serve him in his tabernacle, and that the priesthood was annexed to the family of Aaron, then the right of offering sacrifices to God was reserved to the priests alone of this family.
Duties of the priests: The priests were required to prove their descent from Aaron, to be free from all bodily defect or blemish; must not be observed mourning except for near relatives; must not marry a woman that had been a harlot; or divorced, or profane. The priest's daughter who committed whoredom was to be burned, as profaning her father. The priests were to have the charge of the sanctuary and the altar, which being once kindled the priest was always to keep it burning. In later times, and upon extraordinary occasions, at least, they flayed the burnt-offerings and killed the Passover. They were to receive the blood of the burnt-offerings in basins and sprinkle it around about the altar, arrange the wood and the fire, and to burn the parts of the sacrifices. If the burnt sacrifices were of doves, the priest was to nip off the head with the finger nail, squeeze out the blood on the edge of the altar, pluck off the feathers, and throw them with the crop into the ash-pit, divide down the wings, and then completely burn it. He was to offer a lamb every morning and evening, and a double number on the Sabbath, the burnt-offerings ordered at the beginning of months, and the same on the feast of Unleavened Bread, and on the day of the First Fruits; to receive the meat-offering of the offerer, bring it to the altar, take of it a memorial, and burn it upon the altar; to sprinkle the blood of the peace-offerings upon the altar around about, and then to offer of it a burnt-offering; to offer the sin-offering for the sins of a ruler or any of the common people; to eat the sin-offering at the holy place; and the same way to offer offerings for all the kinds of sin and the priest should eat these offerings at the holy place; to offer for the purification of women after child-birth; to judge of the leprosy in the human body or garments (it is remarkable that the Jewish race from the beginning, has been all through the ages a heavy victim of leprosy). The priest was to make the ointment of spices; to prepare the water of separation; to act as assessor in judicial proceedings; to encourage the army when going to battle, and probably to have charge of the law.
The emoluments of the priests: The perquisites of the priests were many and various, and as Philo calls them very rich, and this statement holds good all the way down to the Christian priest who inherited most of the virtues of his Jewish predecessors. Thus no wonder for the priests to keep their people in dense ignorance of the historical originality of the priesthood. And the high priest, besides all duties and privileges already mentioned as common to him and the ordinary priest, he must not marry a widow, nor a divorced woman, or a profane, or that had been a harlot, but a virgin Israelitess. He must not eat anything that died of itself, or was torn by beasts; must wash his hands and feet when he went into the tabernacle to offer the mass. The high priest was the divinely inspired judge and truly he was the supreme ruler till the time of David, and again after the captivity. He would ask counsel of the Lord if a new ruler was worthy or not and accordingly grant or regret the appointment of the ruler. It is the privilege which the Pope derives from Eleazar and trying to exercise this privilege against the rulers of Europe for fifteen centuries became the menace in the progress of humanity. The high priest had also unlimited power upon the funds of the sanctuary. And it may be out of proportion in this book to give a complete description of all the privileges and regalia of the high priest, yet the reader could easily imagine the frivolities unfortunately existing even today in the ceremonial dress of the high priest, and to confirm this fact he only has to enter in the first Russian or Greek or Roman Catholic church at any day of some special celebration and there he cannot help but observe an imitation of the lamentable vanity of a high priest of the old Jewish faith. And the truth is visible to the naked eye. Would ever sincerity and priesthood meet in one and the same person it would make the most paradox phenomenon, and such exceptional occurrences are very rare in the ecclesiastical horizon, for virtue and priesthood are the very logical antithesis, and chemically speaking they are protogon matters not yielding to adulteration. Between priesthood and Christ there is an abyss of argument, but there is no bridge to join both sides. Priesthood on one side in the most pharisaic manner imposing its superfluous authority upon all mortals. And Jesus the Christ of God with his wounded side, in the most emphatic manner, condemning the pharisaic scheme, which is a continuation in the Greek—Russian—Roman Catholic church: "For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on man's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers." And if the words of the blessed Christ himself speaking in the 23d chapter of Matthew, have no effect upon the consciousness of the priest, there is all vain to any other way trying to bring him into the light of wisdom. In the history of all mankind there are three distinct stages of priesthood, and in its two former stages it had been a complete failure, in its present stage is falling so fast, and it is condemned, already, by all reasoning minds, that it is only a matter of time before the human race shall be free from these parasites. The priest, of the Jewish faith, failed because he was inhuman, the priest of the Greek idolatry failed, because he was a philosophical fraud; and the priest of the present time, shall fail, because he is the very opposing visible enemy of God's kingdom. The sacerdotal office of the priest, is anti-christian.
Here we shall attempt to only describe one piece of the dress of the high priest, the breast-plate (rationale); a gorget, ten inches square, made of the same sort of cloth as the ephod, and doubled so as to form a kind of pouch or bag, in which was to be put the urim and thummim, which are also mentioned as is already known. The external part of this gorget was set with four rows of precious stones; the first row, a serdious, a topaz, and a carbuncle; the second, an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond; the third, a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst, and the fourth, a beryl, an onyx and a jasper, set in a golden socket. Upon each of these stones was to be engraven the name of one of the sons of Jacob. In the ephod in which there was a space left open sufficiently large for the admission of this pectoral, were four rings of gold, to which four others at the four corners of the breast-plate corresponded; the two lower rings of gold being fixed inside. It was confined to the ephod by means of dark blue ribbons, which passed through these rings; and it was also suspended from the onyx stones on the shoulder by chains of gold, or rather cords of twisted gold thread, which were fastened at one end to two other larger rings fixed in the upper corners of the pectoral, and by the other end going around the onyx stones on the shoulders, and returning and being fixed in the larger ring. And a splendid ornament upon the breast was a winged scarabaeus, the emblem of the Sun, and the unavoidable portion of the ceremonial dress peculiar to the high priest was the miter, mitre or Cidaris, a head gear of gold and silver and precious stones whose magnificence we would not dare to describe in this work, but the reader may in his life be fortunate enough to see one of these wonderful paraphernalia on the head of some of the now-a-days self-styled representatives of Jesus Christ, who came to seek and save the lost and he did not make of himself a show in these follies of the old Jewish faith that proved a failure.
That the priests in Israel more than once by their indulgence went down to idolatry, the old testament abounds in evidences, but I shall only mention the incidents of Eli the high priest and his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas. Josephus says, the high priest had also the very idolatrous symbolical meanings of every part of his dress, which being made of linen signified the earth; the blue color denoted the sky, being like lightning in its pomegranate, and in the noise of its bells resembling thunder. The ephod showed that God had made the universe of four elements, the gold relating to the splendor by which all things are enlightened, the breast-plate in the middle of the ephod resembled the earth, which has the middle place in the world. The girdle signified the sea, which goes around the world. The sardonyxes declared the sun and moon. The twelve stones are the twelve months of signs of the zodiac. The mitre is the heaven, because above all. The seven lamps upon the golden candlesticks represent the seven planets, and so on every article had a reference to some particle of the Egyptian Deities. But the time came when man understood better God's plan of salvation. And divinely inspired they fearlessly stopped all these idolatrous practises.
Who could dare say, at the beginning of the sixteenth century that God could only through Jesus Christ save a soul without the necessity of a priest? Yet today even the priest himself would not dare say, not in a civilized community, that his presence is necessary for the forgiveness of sin. But what of the millions of people that are drifting away from God with the idea, that the priest is taking care of their souls? Am I criticising the priest? God forbid, for I am not. There are good and bad priests, as far as their personal character is concerned, as there are good and bad professional Christians, I have met in my Christian experience. But I will say, in the authority of the word of God, that the man who diligently searcheth the Scriptures and sincerely read his Bible and still he insists in holding his sacerdotal office and call himself a priest, he is deceived or he is deceiving.
"Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec." Christ is the only priest, holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens, who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's; for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
The Church makes men high priests which have infirmity but the power of God makes every man a high priest, who offers up himself to live and work for the salvation of all. "Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." God's promises are true and the reader has only to study the Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews, to be convinced that the sacerdotal office of the priest sooner or later has to go out of existence as the spirit of Christ spreads upon the hearts of men and women and the knowledge of His salvation makes them "Priests unto God and His Father" and thus establish God's kingdom upon the solid foundations of love. Then shall they all be made unto kings and priests, and they shall reign upon the earth. (Rev. 1-6, etc.)
Philosophy vs. Christianity
In Plato's dialogue upon the duties of religious worship, a passage occurs the design of which appears to be to show that man could not, of himself, learn either the nature of the Gods, or the proper manner of worshiping them, unless an instructor should come from Heaven. The following remarkable passage occurs between Socrates and Alcibiades:
Socrates—"To me it appears best to be patient. It is necessary to wait till you learn how you ought to act towards the Gods, and towards men."
Alcibiades—"When, O Socrates, shall that time be? And who shall instruct me? For most willingly would I see this person, who he is."
Socrates—"He is one who cares for you; but, as Homer represents Minerva as taking away darkness from the eyes of Diomedes; that he might distinguish a God from a man, so it is necessary that he should first take away the darkness from your mind, and then bring near those things by which you shall know good and evil."
Alcibiades—"Let him take away the darkness, or any other thing, if he will; for whoever this man is, I am prepared to refuse none of the things which he commands, if I shall be made better."
Philosophy, led the Greeks to Christ, as the Law did the Jewish. The wisdom of the world in their efforts to give truth and happiness to the human soul, was foolishness with God, and the wisdom of God—Christ crucified—was foolishness with the philosophers, in relation to the same subject; yet it was divine Philosophy. An adopted means, and the only adequate means, to accomplish the necessary end. Said an apostle in speaking upon this subject, the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ Crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block and unto the Greeks foolishness. But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the Power of God, and the wisdom of God. The Jews, while they require a sign, did not perceive that miracles, in themselves, were not adopted to produce affection. And the Greeks, while they sought after wisdom, did not perceive that all the wisdom of the Gentiles, would never work love in the heart. But the apostle preached—Christ crucified—an exhibition of self-denial, of suffering, and of self-sacrificing; love and mercy, endured in behalf of men, which, when received by faith, became "The power of God, and the wisdom of God," to produce love and obedience in the human soul. Paul understood the efficacy of the Cross. He looked to Calvary and beheld Christ crucified as the Sun of the Gospel system. Not, as the Moon, reflecting cold and borrowed rays; but as the Sun of righteousness, glowing with radiant mercy, and pouring warm beams of life and love into the open bosom of the believer.
It is stranger that among philosophers of succeeding ages there has not been wisdom sufficient to discover, from the constitutional necessities of the human spirit, that demand for the instruction and aid of the Messiah which Socrates and Plato discovered, even in a comparatively dark age. And in the whole history of human mind there is not a more instructive chapter at once stranger and sad, interesting to our curiosity and mortifying to our pride, than the history of Platonic philosophy sinking into gnosticism, or in other words, of Greek philosophy merging in Oriental Mysticism; showing, on the one hand the decline and fall of philosophy, and, on the other, the rise and progress of Syncretism. Perhaps, also, it is the most remarkable instance on record, that out of the religious, moral, and political, in one word, the intellectual corruption which brings on the fall of great and mighty nations, as it doubtless was with Babylon and Thebes, and so we know it to have been with Athens and Rome, God's providence educes pure principles and higher hopes for the nations and people that rise out of their ashes, and who, if they will be taught wisdom and principle, righteousness and peace, by the errors and sufferings of those who have preceded them, may rise to higher destinies in the history of men's conduct and God's providence.
The reader most sincerely is asked to devote the required time in any public library and study this very interesting subject of "Gnosticism" from which the most detrimental system in the Christian era was originated, "The Monasticism." In this ecclesiastical order the writer had been distinguished with the rank of "Archimandrites."
To what extent the celibacy of monks and nuns debased the fundamental principles of Christianity there are a number of publications whose authors are eye-witnesses of the orgies practised in their own monasteries, and the writer in his superior office in two of the leading monasteries had had the opportunity to acquire all the necessary evidence to demolish every one of these hell-pits, to many a young man and young woman innocent, otherwise, before entering there, and drive away all these parasites that have no consideration to any civil or moral law and live upon the sweat of the brow of the long-suffering Church slaves.
Within the bounds of philosophy, at this stage of our progress it will be useful to recapitulate the conclusions at which we have arrived, and thus make a point of rest from which to extend our observations further into the plan of God for redeeming the world, for "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the House of Israel." This view is the more appropriate as we have known in the history of God's providence with Israel, which presents them as a people prepared (so far as imperfect material could be prepared) to receive the model which God might desire to impress upon the nation. They were bound to each other by all the ties of which human nature is susceptible, and thus rendered compact and united, so that every thing national, whether in sentiment or practise would be received and cherished with unanimous, and fervent, and lasting attachment; and, furthermore, by a long and rigorous bondage, they had been rendered, for the time being at least, humble and dependant. Thus they were disciplined by a curse of providence, adopted to fit them to receive instruction from their Benefactor with a teachable and grateful spirit.
Their minds were shaken off from idols; and Jehovah, by a revelation made to them, setting forth his name and nature, had revealed himself as Divine Being, and by his works had manifested his Almighty power: so that when their minds were disabused of wrong views of the Godhead, an idea of the first, true, and essential nature of God was revealed to them, and they were thus prepared to receive a knowledge of the attributes of that Divine essence.
They had been brought to contemplate God as their protector and Saviour. Appeals the most affecting and thrilling had been addressed to their affections; and they were thus attached to God as their Almighty temporal Saviour, by the ties of gratitude and love for the favor which he had manifested to them.
When they had arrived on the further shore of the Red Sea, thus prepared to obey God and worship him with the heart, they were without laws either civil or moral. As yet, they had never possessed any national or social organization. They were therefore prepared to receive, without predilection or prejudice, that system of moral instruction and civil polity which God might reveal, as best adapted to promote the moral interests of the nation.
From these conclusions we may extend our vision forward into the system of revelation. This series of preparations would certainly lead the mind to the expectation that what was still wanting, and what they had been thus miraculously prepared to receive, would be granted: which was a knowledge of the moral character of God, and a moral law prescribing their duty to God and to men. Without this, the plan that had been maturing for generations, and had been carried forward thus far by wonderful exhibitions of Divine wisdom and power, would be left unfinished, just at the point where the finishing process was necessary.
But besides the strong probability which the previous preparation would produce, that there would be a revelation of moral law, there are distinct and conclusive reasons, evincing its necessities.
The whole experience of the world has confirmed the fact, beyond the possibility of scepticism, that men cannot discover and establish a perfect rule of human duty. Whatever may be said of the many excellent maxims expressed by different individuals in different ages and nations, yet it is true that no system of duty to God and man, in any wise consistent with enlightened reason, has ever been established by human wisdom, and sustained by human sanctions; and for many reasons, such a fact never can occur.
But, it may be supposed that each man has, within himself, sufficient light from reason, and sufficient admonition from conscience, to guide himself, as an individual, in the path of truth and happiness. A single fact will correct such a supposition. Conscience, the great arbiter of the merit and demerit of human conduct, has little intuitive sense of right, and is not guided entirely by reason, but is governed in a great measure by what men believe. Indeed, faith is the legitimate regulator of the conscience. If a man has correct views of duty to God and men, he will have a correct conscience; but if he can, by a wrong view of morals and of the character of God, be induced to believe that theft, or murder, or any vice, is right, his conscience will be corrupted by his faith. When men are brought to believe—as they frequently do in heathen countries—that it is right to commit suicide, or infanticide, as a religious duty, their conscience condemns them if they do not perform the act. Thus that power in the soul which pronounces upon the moral character of human conduct, is itself dependent upon and regulated by the faith of the individual. It is apparent, therefore, that the reception and belief of a true rule of duty, accompanied with proper sanctions, will alone form in men a proper conscience. God has so constituted the soul that it is necessary, in order to the regulation of its moral powers, that it should have a rule of duty, revealed under the sanction of its Maker's authority; otherwise its high moral powers would lie in dark and perpetual disorder.
Further, unless the human soul be an exception, God governs all things by laws adopted to their proper nature. The laws which govern the material world are sketched in the books on natural science; such are gravitation, affinity, mathematical motion. Those laws by which the irrational animal creations are controlled are usually called instincts. Their operation and design are sketched, to some extent, in treatises upon the instincts of animals. Such is the law which leads the beaver to build its dam, and all other animals to pursue some particular habits instead of others. All beavers, from the first one created to the present time, have been instinctively led to build a dam in the same manner, and so their instinct will lead them to build till the end of time. The law which drives them to the act is as necessitating as the law which causes the smoke to rise upwards. Nothing in the universe of God, animate or inanimate, is left without the government of appropriate law, unless that thing being the noblest creature of God: the human spirit. To suppose, therefore, that the human soul is thus left unguided by a revealed rule of conduct, is to suppose that God cares for the less and not for the greater: to suppose that He would constitute the moral powers of the soul so that a law was necessary for their guidance, and then revealed none: to suppose, especially in the case of the Israelites, that he would prepare a people to receive, and obey with a proper spirit, this necessary rule of duty, and yet give no rule. But to suppose these things would be absurd; it follows, therefore, that God would reveal to the Israelites a law for the regulation of their conduct in morals and religion.