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Patriarch of Antioch,* whose jurisdiction extends to Mesopotamia, Syria, Cilicia, and other provinces ; while the Patriarch of Jerusalem comprehends within the bounds of his pontificate, Palestine, part of Arabia, the country beyond Jordan, Cana in Galilee, and Mount Sion. The episcopal dominions of these three patriarchs are extremely poor and inconsiderable ; “ for the Monophysites have long since assumed the patriarchal seats of Alexandria and Antioch, and have deprived the Greek churches of the greatest part of their meinbers in all those places where they gained an ascendant. And as Jerusalem is the resort of Christians of every sect, who have their respective bishops and rulers, that jurisdiction of the Grecian patriarchs is consequently confined there within narrow limits." The revenue of the patriarch of Constantinople is drawn particularly from the churches that are subject to his jurisdiction ; and its produce varies according to the state and circumstances of the Greek Christians, whose condition is exposed to many vicissitudes. “The bishops depend entirely upon a certain tax, levied upon each house within their districts inhabited by Greeks; and they are universally charged with the interest, at least, of large sums, accumulated for ages, in consequence of money levied on the patriarchate, to which each diocese is bound to contribute its quota. By such burdens, the revenues are so diminished as to leave to the most opulent bishop, “ little more,” says Mr. Dallaway, “ than 3001, a year.” And the same defalcation of their original incomes is said to extend throughout the whole ecclesiastical state, from the prelates to the parochial papas, or priests.
The power of the chier patriarch is maintained, on the one hand, by the authority of the Turkish monarch, and, on the other, by his right of excommunicating the disobedient mein bers of the Greek church. His influence with the Porte is very extensive, as far as his own nation is concerned. His memorials are never denied ; and he can, in fact, command the death, the exile, imprisonment for life, deposition from offices, or pecuniary fine, of any Greek whom he inay be inclined to punish with rigour, or who has treated his authority with contempt. And his right of excommunication gives him a singular degree of influence and authority, as nothing has a more terrifying aspect to that people than a sentence of excommunication, which they reckon among the greatest and most tremendous evils. All orders of secular clergy in the Greek church, inferior to bishops, are permitted to marry ; and the married papas are distinguished by a fillet of white muslin round their bonnet
*; 6. When he is not at Constantinople; for so slender and unceriain are the revenues of the patriarchis of Jerusalem and Antioch, that they are obliged to reside at Constantinople, and to depend, in a great neasure, on the bounty of their superior, who, of course, commands their suffrages.
of black felt,* and are never promoted to a higher dignity thau that of proto-papas of the church in which they serve." The regular clergy, we are told, are generally men of a certain education ; whereas the seculars are of the meaner sort, and illiterate in the extreme.
The Caloyeri, or Greek monks, almost universally follow the rule of St. Busil, the convents of females are now few in number; but in both sexes the degree of ascetic proficiency is marked by peculiar habits.
COUNTRIES WHERE FOUND, NUMBERS, &c.-As the Greek church is of the highest antiquity, so, including all its branches, its doctrine prevails at this day over a greater extent of country than that of any other church in the Christian world, and is supposed to be professed by about 30,000,000 of souls. It is professed through a considerable part of Greece, the Grecian islands, Walachia, Moldavia, Sclavonia, Egypt, Nubia, Lybia, Arabia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Cilicia, and Palestine ; all which belong to this article,f being comprehended within the jurisdiction of the patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. At least one half, if not two thirds, of the in. habitants of European Turkey are Greeks ; and if all these be Christians, their number must be very considerable, notwithstanding the harsh treatment, and many hardships to which for several ages they have been exposed.
Among other grievances, all the Greek males, above fourteen years of age, are subject together with all other ragas, i. e. ali who are not of the Mahometan religion, to a capitation tax, called Carach, which“ varies,” says Mr. Dallaway, “ in three degrees, from four to thirteen piastresi a-year ; nor are the nobility liable to any other personal tax : but individuals frequently suffer greatly in their property, without redress.”
On the other hand, the Greeks in Turkey enjoy several privileges ; for, besides the patriarchate, to which they may aspire, the Ottoman government has, for some ages past, conceded to them four posts of the greatest honour and emolument that a subject can enjoy, viz. the dignity of hospodar, or governor of the two fertile provinces of Moldavia and Walachia, with the title of prince, and the offices of body physician, and chief drogoman or interpreter, of the imperial" court. Yet the value of these appointments must be much lessened, from the the circumstance of their being held only at the pleasure of the Sultan.
* Mr. Dallaway observes, that they likewise i wear long bearis universally ;” a practice which formerly was common, if it does not still extend, to all the clergy of all orders and descriptions.
ř Yet the exact number of Christians who are members of the church now under consideration cannot easily be ascertained, as no inconsiderable proportion of the Christians within these bounds belong to the other Eastern Churches, or to other communions.
I A piastre is equal to about 4s. sterling, or somewhat more
The Greeks have not, properly speaking, any universities ; and the chief seminaries of education for the members of their church are established on Mount Athos, in Macedonia, now called Monte Sancto, or the Holy Mount, where there are twenty-two monasteries, and about 4000 monks, and at the monastary of the Apocalypse, in the island of Patmos ;“ but I am credibly informed,” says Mr. Dallaway, “ that the latter contains, at this time,” (1797) “ three professors only, and less than 100 students.”
Nothing can be conceived more deplorable than the state of the greater part of the Greeks, ever since their subjection to the oppressive yoke of the Ottomans. Since that fatal period, almost all learning and science, human and divine, have been extinguished among them. They have scarcely any schools, colleges, or any of those literary establishments that serve to ennoble human nature ; and the ignorance that reigns among them, has the worst effect upon their morals. Those few that surpass the vulgar herd in intellectual acquirements, have derived this advantage, not from having studied in their monasferies, but from the schools of learning in Sicily or Italy, where the studious Greeks usually repair in quest of knowledge, or from the perusal of the ancient Fathers ; "and more especially," says Mosheim, “ of the Theology of St. Thomas, which they have translated into their native language.”.
Yet, notwithstanding these assertions are built upon the clearest evidence, and supported by testimonies of every kind, inany of the Greeks deny, with obstinacy, this inglorious charge, and exalt the learning of their countrymen since the revival of letters.
It is a fact, however, that, within a few years past, schools of various kinds have been established by the Greeks, some of them Colleges for a liberal education, which are furnished with able instructors, and are in a flourishing state. No portion of Christendom is in a more interesting state, at the present day than the Greek church. At the fall of the Turkish Empire, which seems to be an event not far distant, this church will probably take the lead in the re-establishment of Christianity in the ancient countries of patriarchs, prophets and apostles,
SECTION II. Eastern Churches not subject to the Patriarch of Constan
tinople. THE RUSSIAN GREEK CHURCH. Rise, HISTORY, AND CHANGES INTRODUCED BY PETER THE Great.-Of those independent Greek Churches which are
governed by their own laws, and are in communion with the patriarch of Constantinople, but are not subject to his jurisdiction, there is none but the church establishment in Russia that is of any note in the Christian world ; the rest, i.e. the Georgia ans and Mingrelians, “ are sunk in the most deplorable ignorance and barbarity that can possibly he imagined."*
The accounts which have been given of the introduction of Christianity into Russia, are so fabulous and ridiculous, that they are sufficiently refuted by their own absurdity. Some have pretended, that the country was converted by the apostle St. Andrew. Another tradition, equally groundless, and still more absurd, reports, that Si. Anthony of Padua, converted them to the Christian faith ; and adds, that the saint swam over the Levant upon a great mill-stone, and then rode to Novogorod upon it! Another account says, that Wladimir was convinced of the truth of the Christian religion, by seeing the book of the New Testament thrown into a large fire, and from thence taken out unburnt and unhurt. What we learn with most appearance of probability is, that the Grand Duchess Olga, or, as her name is pronounced, Olha, grandmother to Wladimir, was the first person of distinction converted to Christianity in Russia, about the year 955, and that she assumed the name of Helena, at her conversion ; under which name she still stands as a saint in the Russian kalendar.-Methodius, and Cyril the philosopher, travelled from Greece into Moravia, about the year 900, to plant the gospel ; where they translated the service of the church, or some parts of it, from the Greek into the Sclavonian language, the common language, at that time, of Moravia and Russia ; and thus it is thought that this princess imbibed the first principles of Christianity. And, being herself fully persuaded of its truth, she was very earnest with her son, the Grand Duke Sviatoslav, to embrace it also ; but this, from political motives, he declined to do. In the course, however, of a few years, Christianity is said to have made considerable progress in that nation.
It is fully ascertained that, about the end of the tenth century, the Christian religion was introduced into Russia, chiefiy through their connexion with Greece ; and coming from this quarter, it was very natural that the doctrine and discipline of the church of Constantinople should become at first the pattern of the church of Russia, which it still continues to follow in the greatest part of its offices. Hence likewise the patriarch of Constantinople formerly enjoyed the privilege of a spiritual supremacy over the Russians, to whom he sent a Metripolitan* whenever a vacancy happened.
* Mosheim's Eccl. Hist. vol. v. p. 259.
7.Vetropolilans had the government of a province, and Suffragan bishops under them, and were so called from their usually being the bishops of the capital city of the province. Mosheim tells us, that in the fourth century, they had likewise the archbishops under them;
Little occurred in the ecclesiastical history of Russia, except perhaps the rise of the sect of the Raskoliki, which excited considerable tumults and commotions in that kingdom, till Peter the Great ascended the throne of Russia; who, in the beginning of the eighteenth century, made some remarkable changes in the form and administration both of its civil and ecclesiastical government.
This great prince made no change in the articles of faith received among his countrymen, which contain the doctrine of the Greek church ; but he took the utinost pains to have this doctrine explained in a manner conformable to the dictates of right reason, and the spirit of the gospel; and he used the most effectual methods to destroy, on the one hand, the influence of that hideous superstition that sat brooding over the whole nation ; and, on the other, to dispel the ignorance of the clergy, which was incredible, and that of the people, which would have surpassed it, had ihat been possible.
To crown these noble attempts, he extinguished the spirit of persecution, and renewed and confirmed to Christians, of all denominations, liberty of conscience, and the privilege of performing divine worship in the manner prescribed by their respective liturgies and institutions. This liberty, however, was modified in such a manner, as to restrain and defeat any attempts that might be made by the Jesuits and other members of the church of Rome, to promote the interests of Popery in Russia, or to extend the jurisdiction of the Roman pontiff beyond the chapels of that communion that were tolerated by law; and particular charge was given to the council, to which belonged the cognizance of ecclesiastical affairs, to use their utmost care and vigilance to prevent the propagation of Roinish tenets among the people. All this caution had, no doubt, arisen from the repeated efforts of the designing pontiil's of Pome and their missionaries, to extend the papal empire over the Greek churches, under the pretence of uniting the two communions ; and, with this view, a negotiation was entered into in 1580, under John Basilides, Grand Duke of Russia, who seems to have had political ends to answer in pretending to favour this union. But, although the professed object of this negotiation failed, the ministry of Posscuin, the learned and artfui Jesuit, who was charged with the mission on the part of the Roman pontilf, was not without fruit among the Russians, especially among those residing in the Polish dominions.
Proposals for uniting the tiro communions had been made by different Popes, as Honorius III., Gregory IX., Innocent IV., Gregory XIII., and last of all, by the Academy of Sorbonne in 1718; but the Russian Sovereigns and the nation have always remained firm and true to their religion : at the same time, all religions, without exception, are tolerated in Russia. In the year 1581, in the reign of Czar John Vasilievitz, Pope Gregory
but Metropolitan and Archbishop have long been almost synonymorte, and their oilices also much the gaine.