Wednesday, July 27, 1853
“By the grace of God,
We, Nicholas I,
Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias and Czar of Poland, etc.,
Inform all people.
Be it known to our beloved and faithful subjects,
The defence of our faith has always been the sacred duty of our blessed ancestors.
From the day it pleased the Almighty to place me on the throne of our fathers, the maintenance of the holy obligations, with which it is inseparably connected, has been the object of our constant care and attention; these . . . treaties . . . have ever been directed towards upholding the rights of our Church. . . .
But to our extreme grief . . . numerous willful acts of the Ottoman Porte have infringed upon these rights, and threaten finally the overthrow of all that ancient discipline so precious to orthodoxy . . .
we have deemed it indispensable to move our armies into the provinces on the Danube . . .
We do not seek for conquests; Russia does not require them. We seek to vindicate those rights which have been so openly violated.
We are even yet ready to stop the movements of our armies, if the Ottoman Porte will bind itself solemnly to respect the inviolability of the orthodox church; but if obstinacy and blindness will it otherwise, then, calling God to our aid, we leave it to Him to decide our quarrel, and in full confidence in the right hand of the Almighty, we shall move forward on behalf of the orthodox faith. . . .”
To the original of this document the own hand of his Majesty is signed. “Nikolai.”
A letter from Constantinople . . . announces that the greatest activity prevails among the Russian ships in the Black Sea. Ships-of-war are constantly leaving Sebastopol to maintain strict watch along the coast . . .