Page images


THE religion established

in Sweden is Lutheran, which

the sovereign must profess, and

is engaged to maintain in the kingdom. Calvinists, Roman Catholics, and Jews, are tolerated. The superior clergy of Sweden have preserved the dignities of the Roman Catholic church. It is composed of the archbishop of Upsal, of eleven bishops, and one hundred and ninety-two provosts, or presidents. The jurisdiction, in ecclesiastical matters, is in the hands of

nineteen consistories. The

number of inferior clergy, comprehending the ministers of parishes, &c., amounts only to one thousand three hundred and eighty seven.”

The diet at Stockholm, in 1779, granted the free exercise of religion to strangers settling in Sweden ; yet so that they should be incapable

of offices in the state, restrained from public schools, seminaries and monasteries, for spreading their opinions, and not allowed public ceremonies and processions.t

It appears from a narrative of a tour through Sweden, lately published in German, that the Swedenborgists are successfully and rapidly propagating their sentiments in that country; and that a large number of the men of genius and science in the kingdom are of that denomination. The two principal associations of the Swedenborgists, are those of Stockholm and London. From them originated the proposition of abolishing the slave trade, and the richest among them have zealously collected immense sums to found the colony of Sierra Leona, on the west coast of Africa.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

* Zimmermann, p. 78, t Erskine, p. 215. f Monthly Magazine for 1798, vol. vi. p. 458.

since the time of Peter the Great by a national council, called the Holy Synod, composed of a president, two vicepresidents, and nine other members. The Russian clergy consist of three metropolitans; viz. those of Kiew and Tobolsk, and the newly appointed metropolitan of Georgia ; of twenty-eight bishops, independent of the metropolitans, and subject to the authority of the synod, who preside over dioceses, called Eparchies, and of proto-popes, popes, and deacons. Marriage is forbidden to the archbishops and bishops, but allowed to the inferior clergy. There are four hundred and seventy-nine convents for men, and seventyfour for women, containing about seventy thousand persons. The convents of monks are governed by presidents, called Archimandrites; those of nuns by women, called Igumenias. Above nine hundred thousand peasants belong

to the estates in possession of

the clergy."

There are numerous ceremonies in the worship of the greek church,t The great sanctification of the waters is periormed at St. Petersburgh twice in the year, in commemoration of the baptism of our Saviour. This ceremony, which is one of the most magnificent in the greek church, is celebrated in the following in annol" .

A pavilion, supported by eight pillars, under which the chief part of the ceremony is performed, is erected on the Moika, a stream which enters the Neva, between the winter palace and the admiralty. This pavilion is painted and richly guilt; on the top is a gilded figure of St. John ; on the sides are pictures of our Saviour, represented in different situations ; and immediately over the hole, which is cut through the ice into the water, the figure of a dove is suspended. This place, which is called I the Jordan, is surrounded with a temporary fence of fir branches. A platform of boards, covered with red cloth, is laid for the procession to go upon, guarded also by a fence of boughs. After the liturgy is finished in the chapel of the imperial palace, the clerks, the deacons, the priests, the archimandrites, and bishops, dressed in their richest robes, and carrying in their hands lighted tapers, the censer, the gospel, the sacred pictures and banners, proceed from the chapel to the jordan, singing the hymns appointed in the office; being followed by the empress, the grand duke, and the whole court. All the troops in the city are drawn up round the place; the standards of the regiments are also planted round it. After the rite is performed with customary prayers and hymns, all who are present have the happiness of being sprinkled with the holy water: the standards of the army and the artillery receive similar consecration, and the ceremony is concluded with a triple discharge of musquetry.

* Zimmermann, p. 44.

t A modern English author asserts, that the church service in Russia is entirely performed in the Sclavonian tongue, which the people do not understand, as it is very different from the modern Russian; and that this service consists in abundance of tritling ceremonies, long masses, singing, and prayers; all which are performed by the priests, the congregation only repeating, “Lord, be merciful to me.” They sometimes add a lecture from one of the fathers; but there are few churches in which serulons are ever delivered, and even in these they preach but seldom. See Payne's Epitome

of History, vol. i. p. 91.

# Anecdotes of the Russian Empire,


The Russians believe that such virtue remains in the waters after this ceremony, that those taken in the night, when the service is performed in the church, will remain uncorrupt for years, and be as fresh as water immediately taken from the spring or river.” Beside the greek church all other religious professions are tolerated, and enjoy the free exercise of their worship. No person is excluded from any office or employment on account of his religion. Livonia, and some other provinces, which formerly belonged to Sweden, are of the Lutheran persuasion. The Roman Catholics inhabit the Polish provinces, in which the order of the Jesuits is still tolerated,+ and under the government of the catholic archbishop of Mohilow. The jews are tolerated in or near the Polish provinces. The Armenians have a bishop of their own residing at Astracan. In the »rovince of Saratow there are several flourishing settlements

* King's History of the Greek Church, pp. 384, 385.

* The late Catherine the second had granted the Jesuits in her dominions the power of electing a vicar general to preside over the society, with all the privileges which that institution formerly enjoyed, provided only they were compatible with the laws of her empire; and without waiting for the consent of the holy see, she entitled the bishop of Mallo archbishop of Mohilow of the Roman church, The Jesuits in Russia were permitted to live according to their monastic rules; they were allowed to take novices; their colleges were |. ly young men of the most distinguished families in Lithuania and Russia; and nothing was wanting to their complete resurrection, the object of all their hopes and of all their intrigues, but the formal acknowledgment of Pius the sixth, See Life of Pius vi, vol. i. p. 63.


of Moravian brethren. Of the Asiatic nations belonging to this vast empire, some are mahometans ; others worship the dailai lama of Thibet, and others have a form of paganism peculiar to themselves." For three centuries past it has been the practice of the Russian sovereigns to indulge strangers in the free enjoyment of their religious worship ; and under the name of strangers, appear to have been included those numerous tribes, or nations, which have been adopted into the Russian empire by submission or conThis policy has probably been derived from the Turks, and other eastern nations; and it has in latter reigns been enforced by the

necessity of inviting strangers,

in order to carry into effect the great plans of civilization and improvement which have

been transmitted from one

sovereign to another. The account in question was drawn up in the reign of the late empress Catherine, whose mamaging spirit reduced this, like every other public concern, into a system. The following are its essential points: All religions are tolerated in Russia. Christians of every denomination, jew, mahometan, pagan, may each worship his God, or gods, in the way

his father has done before him. Neither is there any thing like a religious test for admission to public offices. The first persons in the civil and military departments, are Greek, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Calvinistic, &c., as it may happen. The sovereign's choice is a sufficient qualification, nothing existing to controul it. Yet there is a national church, strongly marked by its privileges, and perfectly secured against the dread of all other churches' innovation : for though the different sectaries may change at pleasure from one church to another, yet the true native Russian must inviolably adhere to the religion in which he was born— the greek : any change in him is apostacy; and foreign ecclesiastics are forbidden to receive a Russian into their communities. Nay, if a fo– reigner once conforms to the established religion, he is fixed in it for ever. If a foreigner's children, in defect of a clergyman of his own profession, chance to receive baptism from a greek priest, they must likewise ever remain members of the national church. Moreover: in marriages between a Russian and a foreigner, the offspring, without a very particular dispensation from court, must be educated in the greek faith. The marriages, even of strangers, must always be performed according to the Russian mode; but

* Zimmermann, p. 45,


this imposes no subsequent obligation on the parties, or their children.”



THE established religion is the presbyterian, which was introduced in the year 1561, by John Knox, a disciple of Calvin. While the celebrated Scotch historians acknowledge that there were many faults in the character of this re. former, he is allowed to have possessed ardent piety, indefatigable activity, an integrity which was superior to corruption, and a courage which could not be shaken by dangers or death.t

The declared principles of the national church of Scot

land are contained in the Westminster confession of faith.

The highest ecclesiastical authority in Scotland is the general assembly, which we may call the ecclesiastical parliament of Scotland. It consists of commissioners, some of whom are laymen, under the title of ruling elders, from presbyteries, royal burghs, and unlvel'Slties.

[blocks in formation]

Scotland, and its authority does not extend beyond its own parish. The members consist of the ministers, elders, and deacons.—A vast number of seceding congregations are to be found in the Lowlands.: Episcopacy, from the time of the restoration in 1660, to that of the revolution in 1688, was the established church of Scotland. But the bishops refused to recognize King William's title, which involved them in various difficulties. In 1788 the Scotch bishops

Took's View of the Russian Empire,

Appeals are brought from all the other ecclesiastical

* Monthly Magazine for 1799, p. 19,

t See Robertson's and Stuart's Histories of Scotland. f Guthrie, p. 169,

« PreviousContinue »