Illustrated Description Of Russia

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Most religions to be found in the ancient continent have their adherents in Russia. A considerable portion of the less civilized tribes continue, more or less, addicted to their heathen superstitions ; the Jews in all parts of the country, except the centre, from which they are specially excluded, have their synagogues, and freely perform their religious rites; Lutheranism is professed by the great body of Germans and Swedes ; and the Roman catholics form a large majority of the people of Poland. These, however, are only important deductions to be made from the almost universal ascendency of the Byzantine or Greek Church, which possesses numerous important privileges as the religion of the state, and is strong in the affections of the great body of the people, who give a very implicit if not enlightened assent to all its dogmas, and not only willingly perform, but appear to take wonderful delight in performing, its various minute and too often superstitious and even ridiculous ceremonies. In its general toleration of all other sects, it contrasts favorably with the western or Roman catholic church; though it lays itself open to the charge of intolerance toward its own members, by refusing to allow them, under any circumstances, to quit its communion: and when a marriage takes place between one of its members and a person belonging to another church, the children must all be educated according to the tenets of the established or national faith.

The Greek church strongly resembles the Roman or Western catholic church in doctrine, but differs essentially from it in government and discipline. In the early ages of Christianity they formed but a single church; but a schism arose between, the patriarch of Constantinople and the bishop or pope of Rome, a schism which had its ostensible origin in a few words' difference of creed; but it really arose from nothing but the ambition for supremacy of the two catholic prelates. The Roman bishop wished to keep the clergy unmarried, and proclaimed, in his confession of faith, the credo that the Son proceeds from the Father, and the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son, and is equal with them. The Greeks of the East maintained, on the contrary, that the Holy Scriptures do not forbid priests to marry ; that communion should be in two kinds, and that the Holy Ghost does not proceed from the Son, but the Father only, and is equal to them. This was the commencement of the religious quarrel which brought about the separation and division of the Christian church. It was the policy of the monarchs to bring about a reconciliation, if practicable, and councils were called in which the rival pretensions of the two bishops were warmly and earnestly debated ; the difference, instead of being healed, became envenomed, and the church was separated into two denominations, the Eastern or Greek, and the Western or Latin church, each claiming to be the orthodox and catholic church.

The Slavons embraced the Christian religion of the Greek rite, and the bishops of Constantinople accorded them permission to say mass in the Slavonic language; but the Roman bishops interfered, and, by the ascendency of the Benedictines, imposed the Latin rite and communion.

Angry dissensions and bloody persecutions arose from these events ; but we will pass them over, and turn to the annals of the centuries immediately following. The pope of Rome, seeing several Slavic tribes thus withdrawing themselves from under his authority — among them the Armenians and others—tempered and modified his anathemas, and allowed the Greeks of Poland to make the double communion. Moreover, he dropped the catholic formula of the credo, permitted them to say mass in their native tongue, and finally conceded to all their priests, excepting the bishops, the right of getting married. The Armenians likewise obtained these advantages ; and the concessions thus granted form another and striking instance of a schism approved of, or at least countenanced, by the pope.

The church of Constantinople laid the foundations of the Russian church, principally by the action of the Byzantine emperors and their daughters, who, by marrying the savage Ros (as the Russians were called by the Byzantine historians), tried to soften their dangerous neighbors. Generally, it was through the women that Christianity was introduced, and spread among the northern races. Being a daughter of Byzantium, the Russian church very naturally held under the patriarch of Constantinople, and was at that early period wholly independent of any action or interference of the civil power of Russia or of the power of the Grand Duke. After the fall of Constantinople into Turkish hands, one of the patriarchs fled to Moscow, in the sixteenth century, and thus a patriarchate was established there. From this epoch, the Russian church, sheltered by the national independence, has looked on herself as being at the head of the eastern religious family. The patriarchs of Moscow long continued to preserve the independence of the church from the encroachments of the civil power, not, however, without serious collisions with some of the czars, and especially with Ivan the Terrible (Groznoi), who even imprisoned and nearly put to death a patriarch.

Philarete, Metropolitan of St. Petersburgh

Philarete, Metropolitan of St. Petersburgh
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After the death of a patriarch, Peter the Great entirely abolished the whole institution, allowing no new election to be made; and thus assumed a part of the power for himself and his successors. He instituted a board, under the name of the sacred or holy synod, formed of metropolitans, archbishops, bishops, and some lower members of the hierarchy, and appointed this synod to attend to ecclesiastical affairs of every kind. The decisions of this body, in spiritual matters, are understood to be wholly independent of the influence of the emperor. As to the administration, the power of the sovereign is supreme. In the synod, it is represented by the procuror, or imperial attorney,., directing the deliberations and the administrative labors of the synod. The emperor nominates the hierarchy, and the synod gives them consecration. Peter the Great, and finally Catherine II., took away from the clergy and the monasteries all their property, which was very large. The whole hierarchy is now supported by the government.

The religious spirit of the Greek church is perhaps more formal and less devout than that of sincere and believing Romanism or protestantism, and that philanthropic piety which is illustrated by the Sisters of Charity, for example, has no counterpart among the Oriental catholics. On the other hand, as during the primitive ages, the church developed itself principally through the Greek mind, and on the basis of the Greek philosophy there prevails in it a tendency to subtile speculation and investigation. In the bosom of Greek Catholicism the so-called heresies of early times, such as Pelagianism and' Arianism, had their origin. The sect of Iconoclasts existed in Constantinople until the fall of the Byzantinian empire, and still has followers in Greece and Russia. Under the Turkish dominion the spirit of sectarian disunion has been checked in the East. In Russia various sects have sprung up, mainly since the fourteenth century. As the free reading of the Bible by the laity forms one of the fundamental usagesof the Eastern church, dissensions have naturally taken place. Thus originated the denomination of Roskolniks, who admit no higher rank in the clergy than that of parish priest; the Duchobortsy, who do not believe in the trinity, and reject baptism; others, again, who do not recognise any clergy at all, and have no churches; and others who emasculate themselves after the birth of the first or second child. The most numerous sect is that of the Starowiertsy, who do not admit the slightest change in the external forms of worship, in the ornaments of the churches, in the manner of sounding the church bells, and in other particulars equally minute.

It can not be said, however, that skepticism in any decided form has yet penetrated into the Eastern church. Nor has this church ever sought to encroach on the civil power, or to step out of its proper sphere in the decision of social or political questions. Religiously, its creed is not exclusive; it holds that whoever is baptized in the name of Christ will be saved. Justice requires us to add that stationary and lifeless as the Eastern church may be called, it has never in all its history used its power and thrown its influence against civilization and its discoveries. The Greek church may safely boast that it would never have excommunicated Galileo, nor protested against the theory of Copernicus, nor condemned vaccination, or the culture of the potato. If much may be said against it in a religious point of view, it is only proper to adduce here what is so decidedly to its credit.

The external manifestations of the whole Eastern church can be summed up in two principal characteristics: an unbounded suspicion and even hatred of all that is Roman or Latin, and an indestructible feeling of nationality. When Pius IX. became pope, he issued an encyclical letter appealing to the Eastern Christians to unite with Rome. This offer raised the wrath of the Greeks and Slavons, and the patriarchs of Constantinople, Antioch, and Jerusalem, violently responded. In the numerous Slavic family this jealousy of Romanism extends toward the Poles, the Tschechs, and the Illyrians, all of whom are looked on with mistrust, as being of the Western church. Latinism is considered by the great mass of the Slavons as a growth strange to the domestic soil and of mischievous and pestilential influence. This national feeling in the Greek church has for centuries influenced the Greeks, and the Slavons south of the Danube, under the Turkish dominion; for centuries it has preserved the independence of Russia, and contributed to raise her to her present state.

The Eastern church differs from the Roman in making the Holy Spirit proceed from the Father alone, and in denying purgatory, for which it does not find a satisfactory authority in the bible. It admits the same number of sacraments as do the Roman, but holds that baptism should be performed by immersing the whole body three times in water. Confirmation is administered after the ceremony of baptism by any priest, and not, as with the Romans, exclusively by the bishops. Transubstantiation is recognised in the administration of the communion as well as in the sacrifice of the mass, without, however, making the host an object of special worship. The communion consists, in partaking of both bread and wine, the first leavened, the second mixed with water. Confession is obligatory; but it may be general, or special, or auricular, as the penitent chooses. Extreme unction is bestowed not only on the dying, but when desired, on persons who are ill to any extent. Predestination is not admitted, nor the transfer of superabundant merits from one sinner to another, nor special indulgences for the dead or living. Though this church raises the Virgin above angels, seraphim, and cherubim, it does not accord to her the same prominent influence in heaven as do the Romans; though, in common with them, it recognises the worship of saints, relics, and holy places. It abounds in holy days, and observes and prescribes more fasts than the Roman church.

Costumes of the Greek Church- Bishop and Priest.

Costumes of the Greek Church - Bishop and Priest.
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The liturgy and ceremonies claim to be strictly conformed to those used in the earliest times of Christianity. The mass consists in the offering or sacrifice, the reading of the gospel, the epistles, the recital of the Lord's prayer, the Nicene creed, and other prayers aloud with the congregation, as was practised by Chrysostom and other primitive fathers. Preaching is considered as a secondary matter. No instrumental music whatever, but only choral singing, is used in the churches, and no stools, chairs, or benches, are allowed. Paintings are admitted, but no sculptures of stone, metal, or wood. The professed aim is to adhere exclusively to the authority of the gospels, and to the traditions transmitted by the apostles to their successors. Thus the authority of the fathers of the church is recognised so far as it is confirmed by the (Ecumenic councils. " The Russian clergy are divided into two classes, the " white" or secular clergy, and the " black" or cloistered clergy. The appellations are derived from their respective dresses, the one being clothed from head to foot in black, the other performing divine service in white robes adorned with gold.* Of the cloistered clergy, or monks, the Eastern church has only one order, instituted by St. Basil, one of the primitive fathers of the (Ecumenic church. Prom among the white clergy, who must be married, the curates are taken, as are the other ranks of the hierarchy below the rank of bishop. All bishops must be unmarried, and monks. The members of the white clergy must be married, or at least engaged, before receiving the final consecration; but they can not marry twice, and on becoming widowers are obliged to enter a monastery. Thus a priest takes most devoted care of his wife to the utmost of his means and power. It is therefore proverbial among the people, to be as happy as a popadia, or the wife of a pope, which is the title of a priest, and is derived from the word papa.

* Although the name of the white clergy is, as is remarked in the text, derived from the color of their official robes, that of the other class is taken from their monastic or ordinary costume. While officiating as ministers of religion, their vestments, in both form and color, are regulated by the character of the service in which they are engaged. The costumes of several of the dignitaries of the Greek church (including that of a bishop, who must be one of the monastic order) in their official character may be seen in the engravings given above, and which, we may as well say here, en passant, are from designs taken from life by Paul Durand, and may therefore be relied on as correct. That of the metropolitan of St. Petersburg, on page 535, was also drawn from life, by Giraud. The white clergy, also, though officiating in white, generally wear brown or some darker color as their ordinary habit. Kohl remarks that many as are the risnitzi (wardrobes) of the Russian churches that have been seen by travellers-; to whom, moreover, the popes have often been goodnatured enough to serve as clothes-horses, it would yet be difficult by any expenditure of words to give even a feeble picture of a priest in pontificalibus. Such things must be left to the painter. It is enough to say that the enormous mass of gold and silk stuffs of various kinds which the Russian clergy, like the catholic, have, in the course of centuries, laid their hands on, is such, that the toilet of the vainest worldling is moderate and modest in comparison.

Costumes of the Greek Church. Deacon and Sub-Deacon.

Costumes of the Greek Church. Deacon and Sub-Deacon.
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The white or married clergy form, in reality, a distinct caste; the male children following, generally, the condition of the father. This is, however, the result of usage rather than of law. Nay, they even intermarry among themselves. Thus the clergy form a class somewhere between the nobility, the bourgeoisie, and the people—less than the first, and superior to the two others. As a class, the clergy can not enter the nobility on an equal footing; and that very few marriages between them take place is, perhaps, principally on account of the poverty of the priests. For the children of the clergy to enter the body and share the occupations of the burghers would be looked on as a loss of caste. Few, therefore, of this class enter the public service, civil or military; and on the other hand, no nobleman ever takes "orders," with exception of now and then an old military veteran retiring to monastic life.

The code of law, the Swod Zakonoff, gives the following definitions of the position of the clergy: The monasteries and convents are divided into three classes, and the dignity and precedency of their respective abbots and abbesses accords with this arrangement. The higher clerical hierarchy, formed from the monks, consists of the metropolitan, the archbishop, the bishop, the igumen or abbe, etc. The titles of the white hierarchy are: protopresbyter, superdeans, deans, presbyters, protodeacons, deacons, sub-deacons, and common priest.

Any one who takes monastic orders must receive the permission of the synod. The men must be thirty years of age—women, forty. If the candidates belong to the taxed class—that is, if they are burghers, peasants, or serfs — they must produce a permission from their special superior. Married persons, or those not divorced, can not take orders unless both parties do it, and when there are no children under age. One can leave the order by permission of the superiors, and return to the social class to which he belonged before. For seven years, however, he can not live in the country where he was a monk, nor in either of the two capitals. Monks are exempted from military service, from the capitation tax, and from corporeal punishment. They can not own villages of serfs, or carry on trade.

The order of the white clergy can be entered by any one, with the exception of serfs. The wives and children of the clergy enjoy the privileges of this class, though they may personally belong to a lower order." Thus the children of priests, with few exceptions, are not obliged to look for another social position. They are exempt from military service.

A priest can abandon his vocation and return to worldly life by the permission of the synod. (A Roman catholic priest never can.) Such a one returns to the social class to which he previously belonged, but he can not enter the public service until ten years after his renunciation.

In all religious and disciplinary affairs the clergy are subject to and judged by their own hierarchy. In civil matters the case comes before the civil court, assisted by a deputy clergyman. Deacons and common priests are not liable to corporeal punishment. Clergymen can not own estates or serfs except when they are born nobles, or are decorated with a distinction bestowing nobility. They can own houses in cities, and farms in villages, but they can not carry on trade. If the children of clergymen enter the military or civil service, they enjoy the privileges conferred on the children of personal nobles.

The Roman catholic and the Greco-Armenian clergy enjoy the same legal privileges as the orthodox. Each possesses its own special hierarchy, whose decisions must be confirmed by the sovereign. The protestant clergy, which consists, principally, of Lutherans and Calvinists, have a hierarchy according to their own special organization. Those wishing to be ordained are obliged to go through a whole course of protestant theological studies, in one of the Russian universities, and then to pass an examination before their own superiors. No one can be a preacher under twenty-five years of age. Exceptions are allowed by the special permission of the minister of the interior. It is under the control of this administrative department that all the denominations, not orthodox or Greco-Russian, are placed. Individuals subject to the capitation tax must be furnished with an exemption from it before their ordination. Foreigners must have the permission of the ministry to preach, or to be settled over parishes.

The affairs of the Lutheran church are administered by consistories, all of whose members take the oath of fidelity to the sovereign. Though a protestant clergyman be not noble born, yet, as long as he remains in this vocation, he enjoys the rights of personal nobility, and thus is exempted from the capitation tax. Houses in cities, owned and inhabited by them, are free from military quartering and from taxes. The protestant clergy have the right to organize a fund for their widows and orphans, with the permission of the respective consistories and of the minister. They can not carry on trade, or be artisans or mechanics. They can not be attorneys in lawsuits not their own, or those of their wives or children; neither can they be guardians of orphans without a special permission of the consistory. In matters concerning their clerical condition, they are subject to the discipline of the hierarchy; in all others they are under the action of the general laws. When, in a criminal affair, an arrest of a clergyman is to be made, the consistory is to be instantly made acquainted with it. They can not be subjected to corporeal punishment. The widows and children of the protestant clergy enjoy all the privileges of personal nobles, with the exception of those born after the father has renounced the order. Widows and children enjoy for one year the income of the departed clergyman. One abandoning the order, and not being either a hereditary or personal noble, is obliged to select a new mode of life, and become inscribed in a corporation according to his choice. A clergyman can be dismissed and degraded by a criminal verdict, as well as for the transgression of his duties, by the judgment of his special hierarchy. A clergyman, condemned to death, or to an infamous punishment—as for example to the pletnia (a kind of whip which now generally replaces the knout), or to the mines, or to be branded—even if afterward he should be pardoned, can not recover his clerical standing, or the privileges connected with it.

The clergy of the Greek or Russian church are educated in ecclesiastical schools, kept by monks, and in monasteries, to which schools children of all other classes have likewise access. The regular theological instruction is given there in separate classes. Children of priests can frequent other public schools—the gymnasia and universities, and generally, next to the class of the nobles, they have the easiest access to the means of instruction and education. The number of dioceses of the orthodox church amounts to nearly seventy, and that is also about the number of archbishops, bishops, and suffragans.

The incomes of the Russian clergy are exceedingly small; the convents, with few exceptions, are very poor since Peter and Catherine II. deprived them of their lands and their serfs, and reduced all monks and nuns to small pensions of the state. A metropolitan receives, as such, four thousand paper roubles (about eight hundred dollars); an archbishop has three thousand, and a bishop something less. In this proportion the incomes decrease, till in the lowest ranks, their incomes often do not exceed the wages of a maidservant with us. The poor nuns, when they offer their little works to travellers, often complain of their poverty with melancholy faces; they receive only twenty-five roubles yearly (about five dollars), and what more they want they must work for or beg.

It is not to be supposed that either nun or metropolitan could exist on such incomes as these. All must, therefore, be in the receipt of some extra revenue. The three metropolitans have each one of the greater lavras, or monasteries of the first rank. These convents serve them as residences, and the incomes annexed in lieu of benefices. When the metropolitans officiate at funerals, baptisms, &c., among the nobility, very considerable presents are made them, amounting often to five hundred or a thousand roubles. Taken at the utmost, however, the income of a metropolitan never can amount to more than thirty or thirty-five thousand roubles a year.

The bishops, all additional sources of revenue included, have seldom more than twelve thousand roubles a year. Each bishop has a monastir (convent of the second class), whose income belongs to him, and it must also be observed that all the superior clergy have residences found them, in their convents or within the city, and are maintained and furnished with everything necessary, from servants and horses, down to dogs, cats, spoons, and plates, at the cost of the crown. The greater number are also provided with a country residence, with arable land, domestic animals, and furniture.

The lower classes of priests have, it is true, none of these things; but neither do they starve. Every Russian, even the most miserly, seems to take a pleasure in filling them with good things. Kohl mentions a very rich, but very avaricious nobleman, who begrudged himself everything, but who, when a priest came to dine with him, produced all his best wines ; a pope rarely came quite sober out of his house, and the holy man's carriage would be packed with all sorts of dainties in addition.

Russian Nun.

Russian Nun.
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The poor nuns seem to be in the worst condition, because they come so little in contact with the world, which might else bestow somewhat more on them. They must literally live by the labor of their hands ; they may sometimes even be seen sowing and digging in the few poor fields which a convent here and there possesses. They sometimes repair their own walls, and there is a church in Nijnei-Novgorod, said to have been built by the hands of nuns, probably under the direction of an architect, from the ground to the summit of the tower. They usually knit and weave stockings, silk and woollen girdles, purses, and other articles of clothing, and embroider priestly robes and draperies for wealthier churches and convents.

Poor as the Russian clergy appear to be with respect to revenue (some English bishops having, perhaps, alone, as much as half the dukhovenstvo or hierarchy of Russia), they are rich enough in titles, which are sometimes a yard or two long. If a person enter the apartment of a metropolitan, and address him, the title runs thus: "Vuissokopreosswashtshennaishi Vladiko" or if he write to him: uYewo Vuissokopreosswashtshenstvo Milostivaishu Gossudariu i Archipastuiru" The principal word may be translated: " His most high holiness." The whole address is something like: " His most high holiness the most dear and gracious lord, the lord arch-pastor."

All these titles are most rigidly observed in addressing a letter; in addressing them personally, a little less strictness is permitted. Yet these very persons, who so load them with verbal honor, are not thereby deterred from sometimes laying aside all respect for the most high holinesses in a veryunceremonious manner. So long as he is engaged in the performance of his functions the priest is treated with extreme reverence. Not only the laity kiss the hand of the chief priests after the service, but the inferior priests do the same when they receive the chalice, bible, or anything else from them; and without the church, when the priests make state visits, the ladies kiss the hand of the meanest of them, on which account many carefully cherish a pretty hand, and decorate and perfume it when they pay these visits. These two occasions excepted, the priests enjoy no great personal influence or consideration. A priest's advice is seldom asked in family matters; even the domestic chaplains in great houses are there to perform divine service only, and never penetrate into the interior of families, as the Romish clergy do. The Russian peasant, in cases of difficulty, rather turns to his saints' pictures, and invokes the sacrament rather than the priest who comes with it. It is remarkable, also, how little the people in the streets or houses of public entertainment seem held in check by the presence of a priest. Rarely is one seen appeasing a dispute, or exerting any moral authority to restore order; he passes on like any other indifferent person. Moral influence, indeed, they have little or none; only with the saints in their hands are they feared or respected — only as directors of religious ceremonies — not as interpreters of the living word of God.

How much more the Russian people are devoted to their pictures than their priests was proved in the most striking manner in the reign of Catherine by an occurrence in Moscow. During the prevalence of an epidemic sickness, the government had caused a picture of the "Varvarian Mother of God," one of the most revered in the city, to be removed and put aside in a church, to withdraw it from the frantic kisses of the people, who in thus supplicating for help only spread disease further. The affair caused a riot. The people broke into the church, and compelled the priests to restore the picture to its place. The government thereupon applied to the metropolitan, who took it on himself again to remove the Varvarian Mother; which so irritated the people that they fell upon the metropolitan in the public streets, killed, and tore him in pieces. The priests naturally reap as they have sown. As they preach no lessons of reason or morality, they have no moral lever to put in motion; and as they only inspire reverence in their magnificent pontificalibus, little or none by their example and personal qualities, the hem of their gold-embroidered yepitrakhils are constantly kissed, while their brown, every-day tunics, we are assured, often meet with hard knocks. The government uses them no better. The temporal power sometimes makes considerable inroads on the spiritual without calling the priests to counsel; and priests, like other public officers, are liable to hard reprimands and severe punishments. They may be sent to Siberia, or degraded to serve as common soldiers. The milder punishments are suspension from the exercise of their office, and degradation to the lowest offices in the church, or to the condition of ordinary monks. It is a well-known fact, that those who, on leaving seminaries, directly take orders as secular priests, though they obtain livings more quickly, never rise to the higher dignities of bishop or archbishop. They serve either as deacon and sub-deacon; or if, after leaving the seminary, they enter some other spiritual academy, they may become popes immediately. They have a right to marry like other men, but as they may only marry once, after the death of his wife a priest usually retires to a convent.

Those only who submit to the severities of a conventual life, and, renouncing the happiness of marriage altogether, live only as half men, are esteemed worthy of the highest spiritual dignities. They reach them by the several steps of novice, monach (monk), hieromonach (chief monk),archimandrite (abbot), and so on. A nun is called monakhina, an abbess iyumena, denominations all taken from the Greek. The higher clergy also take masters' and doctors' degrees at the academies.

The ranks of the clergy are recruited partly from themselves, partly from the lower classes of the people. The number of pupils obtained in their own families is not inconsiderable, for in Russia, also, the marriages of priests are usually very fruitful. The journal of the ministry for the interior gives on an average five children for every priest's marriage; this is for St. Petersburg. In the interior of the empire the average may be higher. The sons of priests generally follow the profession of their father; they are called popovichi. The extra demand is supplied by the free peasants and the burghers. The children of the nobles seldom or never enter the church as in catholic countries. " During an abode of several years in Russia," says Kohl, " I heard of but one employe who entered a convent in consequence of domestic misfortune; and of two officers who took the same step, from what motives I know not. I once found a German protestant in a Russian convent, whose talents andeducation had at his outset in life promised him a very advantageous career."

So much for the outward condition and position of the Russian clergy. For the inward it must be owned, when we consider the whole system and its fruits during the course of centuries, and when we compare their deeds with those of the priesthood in other countries, they are a very insignificant body. They have done nothing super-excellent for the arts or for science, nor produced men who in any respect have done humanity great service. They lived, eat, drank, married, christened, buried, absolved, and died; and on the whole they have not clone much else. There are, it is true, notabilities among the Russian clergy, but they are such only in Russia.

Some things, however, are to be said in praise of the Russian priesthood. They are not less than other Russians distinguished for their toleration in matters of religion. It is true the matter does not lie very near their hearts; because they have few thoughts or ideas connected with it, which have become firm convictions, and are maintained as such ; they are, therefore, peaceful, not so much out of dislike to quarrelling as from a want of zeal and energy. It is a merit in them, nevertheless. Nowhere does this tolerant spirit appear in a more favorable light than on the frontiers of the Russian and Polish provinces. Here there are in many places only Greek and Roman catholic priests, and no protestant pastor. Should it happen that a foreign protestant is in want of spiritual assistance in sickness, or should the body of a protestant require burial, it is almost invariably the catholic who, in an inhuman and unchristian manner, refuses his spiritual aid, while the Russian gives his without hesitation. In such cases foreigners always apply to the Russian rather than to the catholic priests. Seldom is an unkind word heard from Russian priests when speaking of a person of a different faith; and those who understand German, will even go frequently to the Lutheran churches to hear the preachers. In the Baltic provinces, when the military, who happen to be stationed there, have no Russian church within reach, the Russian priests never hesitate to perform divine service in a protestant church, and in the interior it has happened that they have lent their own churches to protestants. In Austria, protestant churches are only called prayer-houses. In Russia the priests treat them as on an equal footing with their own. Neither do they hesitate to bury their dead in the same churchyards with the protestants. The cultivated part of the priesthood are much more inclined to the protestant than to the catholic party; more to rationalism than mysticism. Their libraries prove it. Niemeyer's works, his bible, the Stunden der Andacht, Schleiermacher's writings, and Neander's Church History, are frequently met with. The works of the other party are, on the contrary, very rare. When some recent occurrences in the Baltic provinces and in Poland are called to mind, it may be thought that the Russian priesthood are somewhat less tolerant now than formerly; and, in fact, it is only natural that, with the proud exaltation of political power, the church should also begin to lift up her head. As the government seeks to advance the political creed, the church may endeavor by more urgent zeal and greater energy to spread " the one and only true faith ;" but if the church does take her share in the conquests, and appears to progress in those provinces, it does so certainly far less from its own impulse than in consequence of commands emanating from a higher quarter.

Russians at Prayer.

Russians at Prayer.
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Sears, Robert. An Illustrated Description of the Russian Empire. New York: Robert Sears, 1855