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by the blood of a thousand battles and the graves of an illustrious ancestry stretching back into prehistoric times. Byron asserts the imperishability of this people on Grecian soil with as much truth as beauty:
"They fell devoted, but undying;
Signs Of National Resuscitation.
The Greeks are renewing the whole face of the country, and reviving her mineral and agricultural resources. In 1863 the value of their imports and exports were six times as great as they were thirty years before. This may appear to be slow progress in our fast age; but it must be remembered Greece had every thing to re-create, soil, roads, forests, vineyards, public works, herds, and even population; for in the war of independence the greater part of the enterprising Greeks were slain. The truth is, the heroic Greek won territorial desolation on the verge of national extinction. Indeed, it was seriously proposed by the Turkish authorities to exterminate the whole Greek population. The mufti was consulted, and when he decided that the Koran did not allow the slaughter of the innocent with the guilty, he was accused of misinterpreting Scripture, and banished. Immediately the island of Scio was attacked with tire and sword, and in four days beautiful Scio, the seat of modern Greek literature and civilization, was a mass of blood and ashes. Out of a population of one hundred and thirty thousand only nine hundred were left, and these were taken into the markets of Smyrna and sold into slavery and debauch worse than death. But to-day, despite all this carnage and savagery, the commerce of Greece floats on every sea. England alone pays her live millions annually for her products.
This little country is making rapid strides in manufactures. She promises to become the New England of the archipelago. Pireus, a town of eighteen thousand inhabitants, and which ten years ago did not possess a single manufactory, has at the present time more than thirty steam factories, representing as many industries. In the whole kingdom she has eight hundred and twelve factories, twenty-four thousand three hundred artisans employed in them, while the value of their annual products amounts to $28,000,000. Her maritime trade is also very considerable. The amount of this may be inferred from the number of her merchant vessels, which in 1871 was six thousand one hundred and thirty-five, an increase of five thousand one hundred and thirty-five since the close of the war of independence.
The political institutions of Greece are a fair approach to our own government. They have a king, it is true, but he is little more than a permanent president, with less power than the President of the United States. They have a Constitution, a House of Deputies, and universal suffrage. With the exception of full religious toleration, their Constitution secures every right which our Constitution makes sacred; including even the Fifteenth Amendment. In Greece men cannot be bought and sold. A purchased slave, of whatever race or religion, is free from the time he enters Greece. The royalty is only a nominal sovereignty, like that of England. I heard an English gentleman conversing at the dinner-table with a Greek, a member of the Assembly. The Englishman, referring to the limited prerogatives of the king, said, "You have a republic with a king at the head." The Greek quickly retorted, "And you have a republic with a queen at the head." The government and laws of Greece are now well administered. As a result brigandage and the Vlaques, a horde of vagrant nomadic shepherds from whom the brigands sprung, have been suppressed. The Areopagus is again the supreme court of Greece.
The most remarkable feature of the Greek nation to-day is its devotion to education. It is a national passion. Her famous university was founded as late as 1837. Now it enrolls thirteen hundred students, with seventy-two professors, and a library of one hundred and fifty thousand volumes. They have a richly-endowed girls' school, and a whole constellation of other educational institutions for both sexes, and these are all fed by a system of primary schools that penetrate into every nook and corner in the land. The primary schools are both free and compulsory. Besides these there are night schools and lectures, and a system of secondary schools, which are numerously attended. The result is, Greece is plethoric with learning. She has more educated men than she knows what to do with. A . traveler in Greece wanted a dragoman, and asked a member of the government to recommend a suitable man to act as a guide and interpreter. "Why not take my brother?" said the minister of the government; "you will find him just what you want; he is a graduate of the Athens University, speaks several languages, is a civil, obliging fellow, and anxious for a situation."
The prevailing religion of Greece is that of the Greek Church, which is separate and distinct from the Greek Church of Russia, and differs but little from the Roman Catholic. It is the established Church, and affiliates more with the Oriental Patriarchates than with either the Russian, Greek, or Latin Churches. The late learned Alexander Lycurgus, Archbishop of Cyclades, and friend of Mr. Gladstone, went to Jerusalem for ordination and true apostolic succession. Rome was too diluted. It is, however, one with them in faith, ritual, superstition, and sin. The parish priests are said to be ignorant and dissolute; they are of the peasant class, and entirely dependent on voluntary contributions for their support. They must be married men, and cannot, therefore, be promoted, for the canon law requires the bishops to be celibates or widowers. I was told two priests were in prison, and several bishops had been sent to the monasteries for bribery and fraud. They bought their bishoprics, corrupted the voters, and oppressed the people. A teacher in a Protestant school told me the law required the parish priest to come to the school periodically and catechise the children. She also said it was her custom to tell the stupid man what to say when he had any moral advice to give.
I attended a service on Thursday morning in the Greek Church. Not understanding the language or motions, I supposed the priests were preparing to perform the marriage ceremony for a well-dressed and handsome couple who stood by themselves in a recess. But the service being short, the supposed bride kissed the crucifix held up to her, and both retired, passing quite near me, entered a carriage, and drove away. It proved to be King George and Queen Olga. The young king looks amiable, and is said- to be quite democratic and unassuming, whether of choice or necessity does not appear. He is a Lutheran, and has a private chapel and chaplain in his palace, while his wife is of the Greek Church of Russia. The government gives but a meager support to the higher clergy. The Metropolitan Bishop of Athens receives but one thousand and seventy-five dollars; other bishops less. From this and other facts it would seem that the Greek Church has not a stronghold in Greece. A pure and earnest type of religion, I am persuaded, would rapidly commend itself to the people. As a result of the ecclesiastical degeneracy in Greece the educated men are reported to be infidel. Therefore the learning of this rising Greek microcosm of letters threatens to become a mighty power of mischief, because unsanctified.
Now, what is vital Christianity doing to resuscitate this dead Church, or to supersede it? 'What Protestant agencies are at work to leaven the Greek schools with evangelism, and regen-. erate the head and heart of the Hellenic race? I found five Protestant organizations represented in Athens. The first and oldest mission is that of the Protestant Episcopal Church, founded more than fifty years ago by Dr. and Mrs. Hill. They are still there, though the doctor has passed into the venerable state of emeritus superannuation, being an octogenarian of eighty-six years. His work chiefly consists in teaching schools. He employs American ladies as teachers, and they make part of his family. Dr. Hill fraternizes more with the Greek Church than with the other Protestant missionaries. I was told that the Greek priests are so well pleased with him, that they have intimated a willingness, in case of his death, to give him a funeral. His schools are large, and, though subject to the inspection and teaching of the Catechism by the Greek priests, they are evangelical in their tendency.
The second mission is Congregational, under Dr. Constantine, supported through a committee composed of the president and professors of Amherst College. Dr. Constantine preaches every Sabbath to a congregation of forty, with a Sunday-school of the same number. He has written and published a commentary on the New Testament in modern Greek. The doctor is doing a good work, and if all his irons were made red hot by a baptism of the Holy Ghost he would burn his way into the Greek heart.
The Presbyterians of the South are represented in the person of Rev. Mr. Kalipatharkis, a man of Greek origin, like his colleague, Dr. Constantine. His work, however, is more discursive. He itinerates, and depends more upon public preaching. In this line he meets with some opposition and danger from violence. He, too, has a good school, and is evidently diffusing an evangelical influence. Another Greek, Rev. Mr. Sacularis, represents the Baptist Church, and is doing similar work, with the same moderate success.
The Woman's Union Foreign Missionary Society, whose head-quarters are in New York city, had two female workers in Athens. One of them, Mrs. Fluhart, is a Methodist. Excepting this lone prophetess, in this abnormal relation, Methodism has no part or lot in the matter of Greek evangelization. These ladies impressed me as being both earnest and •spiritual, and they had a most interesting school. Since we were there the government officers required them to hang a picture of the "Virgin" on the wall of the school-room, and allow the priests to come in and catechise the children. This they refused, and the school was closed. They have now gone to Cyprus, where John Bull will see that they have fair play.
I might mention another agency, which will show the unrest and struggles of the Greek mind in relation to religion.
There lives in Athens a materialist, who has published the English Prayer Book in the native language, to which he has appended moral exhortations. Being a man of wealth, he circulates the book gratuitously. He professes to be influenced by motives of patriotism, and justifies his inconsistency on the ground that morality and religion are necessary to the existence and prosperity of the State. There is, also, an association