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(1918) With: Jesse W. Brooks - Tema: Russia
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Prof. Michael A. De Sherhmin 55
with passports under strict control of the police, and the latter wished
to know the motives of Mr. and Mrs. Hoijer for taking such interest
in them, we were told that it was necesary to obtain the protection of
authorities for carrying on that benevolent work. As cases were re-
corded of traveling agents who recruited parties of young girls and
supplied the harems of Turkey with them, the police suspected our
friends to be such agents.
We had to go to the Minister of the Interior, the man who was over
the police of the whole empire. I wrote a petition to the Minister of the
Interior and Mr. Hoijer and myself went to that official arrayed in our
best clothes. The minister showed absolutely no interest in the noble
and charitable work of Mr. and Mrs. Hoijer. He tried to shake off any
responsibility from himself. He pretended the matter belonged to the
department of the chief of police. But we knew it was only an empty
excuse. This Count Dimitry Tolstoi had been one of the Czar’s
strongest advisers for a policy of reaction and intolerance. Some steps
taken to sweeten and to purify the lot of poor women, who had become
victims of the social evil did not appeal to the heart of the bureaucrat.
I was determined not to leave one stone unturned and I could not
be easily turned away by empty official excuses. Besides although a
Russian I told Count Tolstoi that I looked upon the good work of Mr.
Hoijer as my own work.
That is what puzzled the Count. How could a young man who
seemed to be a Russian of education go in, heart and soul, for that sort
of rescue work with a foreign evangelical missionary. A Russian young
man had his own church, and it would not cast the least shadow over
his loyalty to that church if he were to take the opposite view from
Mr. Hoijer on such matters.
Poor, Misguided Russia
Count Tolstoi therefore inquired of what religion I was. I answered:
"I am a Christian." He said then: "We have no such faith or creed
in Russia. We have Orthodox Church people, we have Roman Cath-
olics, Lutherans, Armeno-Gregorians, Reformed Church people, but we
have no such denomination among our religions."
Poor Russia! God is just and righteous and loving. It is because
Russia ignored among her official creeds the simple Christian faith that
she became a prey to demagogues, to dreamers and to clever rogues. It
is because Russia’s bureaucracy terrorized the people with a church,
which made no distinction between the voice of conscience and the
word of the human ruler, that Russia’s bureaucracy must now reap the
consequences of their absurd logic.
I would consider myself happy if those of us, who have the cause of
God’s kingdom at heart, who love the Gospel message and who long for

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