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Spiritual Regulation, and at the same time the manner of election is there prescribed : the synod is to nominate two candidates, and present them to the sovereign, of whom ne is to make choice of one. The persons most eligible to this dignity are the archimandrites, and hegumens who belong to the synod ; and, after them, other distinguished archimandrites who are entrusted with affairs to the synod from their dioceses, and, attending in St. Petersburg, give proofs of their abilities in conducting the concerns of the church. In this respect Peter seeins to have made no great innovation or change ; for the election and coöfirmation of the superior clergy in Russia always depended upon the sovereign, though the ecclesiastics had a share in the election.

For the government of his diocese, each bishop has a consistory in the chief city, which is composed of three members, either archimandrites, hegumens, or protopopes, all appointed by the bishop. And subordinate to the consistory are many lesser courts of judicature, called Cantoirs, in which there are generally two members and their secretaries. Appeals lie froin the cantoirs to the consistory, from the consistory to the bishop, and from the bishop to the synod.

The Clergy, Monks, Nuns, &c.—The episcopal order in Russia is distinguished by the different titles of metropolitan, archbishop, and bishop. The titles of metropolitan and archbishop are not attached to the see, as in England ; but are, at present, merely personal distinctions conferred by the sovereign, which give the possessors no additional power, and scarcely any precedence ; for every bishop is independent in his own diocese, or dependent only on the synod.

The clergy are divided into regular and secular. The former are of the monastic order, the latter are the parochial clergy, who are not only allowed to marry once, but formerly, a secular priest could not be ordained without being married; and, if his wife died, he was obliged to quit his priesthood, and either retire to a monastery, or submit to take some inferior office in the church ; so strictly was he“ the husband of one wife.” That practice is now changed ; but still the secular clergy are never permitted to marry twice, unless they relinquish their function, and become laymen.

They are called pupas* or popes, i. e. fathers; and the highest dignity to which they can aspire is that of protopope, or first pope in those churches where there are several. One of this order may indeed be promoted to a bishopric, after the death of his wife, but he must first assume the habit.

* The word papa or pope, was given indiscriminately, in the first ages of Christianity, to all bishops, and in the East, to all ecelesiastics, til Gregory the Vllth ordered it to be reserved to the Bishop of Rome alone. But the separation between the Latin and Greek churches haying taken place before his pontificate, the Greek Christians did not respect this order, and therefore still designate their imferior clergy by "ibe title of papas or popes.

Peter did not think it necessary to suppress monasteries and numneries; but he restricted their number, and enacted laws for their better regulation. Among others, the age before which no person was to be received a monk was fixed at thirty.

Most of the rules that were made for the regulation of monks and monasteries, were, at the same time, nieant to extend to nuns and their societies; for which some additional laws were likewise enacted. By these it is determined that no nun shall receive the tonsure before she is sixty years of age ; at least, never before fifty.

The number of monks is supposed to be upwards of 6,000, and of nuns more than 5,000.-The other priests or ecclesiastics belonging to monasteries and cathedrals are to the nuinber of 2,000.

No Christian country has so few sects and such great union in religious sentiment and practice, as Russia.


With regard to the other independent Greek churches, viz. those of the Georgians and Mingrelians, or, as they were anciently called, the Iberians and Colchians, I have not as yet been able to learn any thing authentic, and of much importance. further than what is told us by Dr. Mosheim, who observes, that the light of the gospel was introduced into Iberia by means of a female captive, in the fourth century, under Canstantine the Great, and that they have declined so remarkably since the Maho:netan doininion has been established in these countries, that they can scarcely, be ranked in the number of Christiaus.

Such, in a more especial manner, is the depraved state of the Mingrelians, who wander about in the woods and mountains, and lead a savage and undisciplined lite ; for, among the Georgians, or Iberians, there are yet some remains of religion, morals, and humanity.

Each of these nations bas a pontiff at their head, whom they call The Catholic, who is obliged to pay a certain tribute to the patriarch of Constantinople, but is, in every other respect, independent on any foreign jurisdiction. They have also bishops and priests ; but these spiritual rulers, says Dr. Mosheim, “ are a dishonour to Christianity, by their ignorance, avarice, and profligacy; they surpass alınost the populace in the corruption of their manners, and grossly ignorant themselves of the truths and principles of religion, they never entertain the least !hought of instructing the people. If, therefore, it be affirined, that the Georgians and Mingrelians, at this day, are neither attached to the opinions of the Moño. physites, nor to those of the Nestorians, but embrace the doc. trine of the Greek church, this must be affirmed rather in con• sequence of probable conjecture, than of certain knowledge, since it is imposible almost to know, with any degree of precision, what are the sentiments of a people who seem to be in the thickest darkness. Any remains of religion that are observable among them, are entirely comprehended in certain sacred festivals and external ceremonies, of which the former are celebrated, and the latter are performed, without the least appearance of decency; so that the priests administer the sacraments of baptism and of the Lord's supper with as little respect and devotion as if they were partaking of an ordinary repast." Yet Richard Simon, in his Critical History of the Religions and Customs of the Eustern Nations, endeavours to remove, at least, a part of the reproach under which the Georgians and Mingrelians labour on account of their suppos ed ignorance and corruption.


The Monophysites first made their appearance in the fiftli century, and Jacob Albardai, or Baradæus, as he is called by others, who flourished about A. D. 530, restored the sect, then almost expired, to its former vigour, and modelled it anew ; hence they were called Jacobites from him.*

This denomination is commonly used in an extensive sense, as comprehending all the Monophysites, excepting the Armenians ; it however more strictly and properly belongs only to the

Asiatic Monophysites, of which Jacob Albardai was the restorer and the chief ; and as these differ in some points from the Copts and Abyssiniais, I here propose to consider the Jacobites in this last sense, as limited by Dr. M‘Laine.

The head of the Jacobites is the Jacobite patriarch of Antioch, who, from the fifteenth century downwards, has always taken the name of Ignatius, with a view to shew that he is the lineal successor of St. Ignatius, who was bishop of Antioch in the first century, and consequently the lawful patriarch of Antioch.

In the seventeenth century, a small body of the Jacobites abandoned, for soine time, the doctrine and institutions of their ancestors, and embraced the communion of the church of Rome. This step was owing to the suggestions and intrigues of Andrew Achigian, who had been educated at Rome, where he imbibed the principles of Popery ; and, having obtained the title and dignity of patriarch from the Roman Pontiff, as

* Some of the most violent agents in the French Revolution were Jacobites, from which the term Jacobin has become a political appellation.

sumed the denomination of Ignatius the XXIV. After the death of this pretended patriarch, another usurper, whose name was Peter, aspired to the same dignity, and taking the title of Ignatius XXV. placed himself in the patriarchal chair : but the lawful patriarch of the sect had credit enough with the Turks to procure the deposition and banishment of this pretender : and thus the small congregation which acknowledged his jurisdiction, was entirely dispersed.

Since then, the Jacobites have ever persevered in their re• fusal to enter into the communion of the Church of Rome, notwithstanding the earnest entreaties and alluring offers that have been inade, from time to time, by the Pope's legates, to con: quer their inflexible constancy.

THE COPTIC MONOPHYSITES, OR COPT$. This name has long been used to comprehend all the Christians in Egypt, who do not belong to the Greek Church, but are Monophysites, and in most respects Jacobites. Some families of Copts are to be found in the Delta ; but they chiefly inhabit the Said, or Upper Egypt, where, in some instances, they occupy whole villages. History and tradition attest their descent from the people whom the Arabs conquered, i. e. from that mixture of Egyptians, Persians, and particularly Greeks, who, under the Ptolemies and Constantines, were so long masters of


The gospel was preached early in Egypt ; tradition says by St. Mark, and the patriarch of Alexandria is still considered successor to St. Mark there, as the Pope is to St. Peter at Rome. Before the incursions of the Saracens, the vulgar tongue of the Egyptians was called Coptic; but, since the sixteenth century, the Arabic is generally spoken in Egypt. The Christian liturgy is however said to be still in Coptic, though “ the priests understand little of it ; get prayers by heart, and pray without understanding.” The Copts are said to be very fond of the bustle of rites and ceremonies that succeed each other with rapidity. They are always in motion during the tiine of service : the officiating priest, particularly, is in continual motion, incensing the saints, pictures, books, &c. every moment ; and they have many monastaries where the monks bury themselves from society in reinote solitudes. Their nunneries are properly hospitals ; and few enter them but widows reduced to beggary. They have a patriarch. whose jurisdiction extends over both Egypts, Nubia, and Abyssinia, and who resides at Cairo, but he takes his title froin Alexandria. He has eleven or twelve bishops under him, besides the Abuna, or bishops of the Abyssinians, whom be nominates and consecrates.

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Next to the patriarch is the bishop or titular patriarch of Jerusalem, who also resides at Cairo, because there are but few Copts at Jerusalem; he is, in effect, little more than the bishop of Cairo, except that he goes to Jerusalem every Easter, and visits some other places in Palestine near Egypt, which own his jurisdiction. To hiin belongs the government of the Coptic church, during the vacancy of the patriarchal see. The ecclesiastics are said to be in general of the lowest ranks of the people, and hence that great degree of ignorance that prevails among them. The patriarch makes a short discourse to the priests once a-year ; and the latter read Homilies, or rather legends, from the pulpit on great festivals, but seldom preach.

As greater error in regard to religion no where prevailed than in Egypt before the Christian æra, so no country ever exhibited more sincere or greater Christian piety than Egypt, and the north of Africa in general, for the first three ages of the church. We read of synods of 200 bishops assembled there ; of 164 bishops under one metropolitan, in one province alone, viz. Zengitana, where Carthage stood ; and of some hundreds of bishops expelled from thence by Gensericus, king of the Vandals. And whereas, in times of persecution, the Christians of various other countries were apt to return to idolatry, the Africans were kept in the true religion, by the blessing of God, on the zeal and diligence of St. Cyprian, Arnobius, Tertullian, Origen, St. Augustine, and other able and pious men in that quarter of the world.

But now, how amazing the change ! little more than the mere shadow of Christianity can be seen in Egypt, and in point of numbers, there are not to be found there more than 50,000 Christians in all.



As to the Abyssinian Christians, they surpass considerable the Copts, both in their numbers, their power, and their opu. lence ; nor will this appear surprising, when it is considered that they live under the dominion of at least a nominal Christian Emperor. They, nevertheless, consider the Coptic Alexandrian pontiff as their spiritual parent and chief, and instead of choosing their own bishop, receive from that prelate a primate, whom they call Abuna, (i. e. our father) and, according to some, Catholic, whom they acknowledge as their spiritual ruler, and who, as well as the patriarch himself, is generally of the order of St. Anthony. But the emperor has a kind of supremacy in ecclesiastical matters. He alone takes cognizance of all ecclesiastical causes, except some smaller ones reserved

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