Imatges de pÓgina

which promises to become, in a very few years, one of the most interesting in the Empire.

Having with reluctance bid adieu to the tropical climates and their leafy inhabitants, amounting to 11,000 species, and 80,000 single plants, among which we had spent some hours with unfeigned delight, we once more committed ourselves to our sledge-driver, and retraced our steps to the mansion of Count Woronzow, through a freezing atmosphere and thick beds of snow.



[ocr errors]

Churches and Religious Institutions. - Toleration.-Seven Temples of different Communions in one Street.-Divisions of the CLERGY.Contemplated Improvements. - Preaching encouraged as a means of Civilization. The HOLY SYNOD.-Number of Churches and Ecclesiastics. The Metropolitan Church of our LADY OF CAZAN. Military Trophies. - Tomb of Kutusoff, and the baton of Marshal Davoust. Alexander. The Imperial Jewels. Platoff and the Cossacks' gift.-Monastery of ST. ALEXANDER NEVSKOÏ.—The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. - Shrine of the Saint in solid Silver. -The Jewels.-The Cloisters.-The Church of the Annunciation. Monuments of Souvoroff and Miloradovitch. - Tomb of the Naryschkine family, and of the Sheremetieffs. Russian Pantheon.-THE CEMETERY.-Prevailing good taste of the Monuments. The Countess Potemkin. Monumental Column to Lomonossoff. Proposed new Monument to that poet new Church of ST, ISAAC.-Its Plan and Elevation. lossal granite Columns.-Church of ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL.Tombs of the Sovereigns. The CATHOLIC CHURCH.-Moreau's Tomb.-THE LUTHERAN CHURCHES. THE ENGLISH CHURCH.Greco-Russian Church Service.-Religious Ceremonies of the Russians. Imperial Christenings and Te Deums.-Rituals for the celebration of Matrimony. — Invitation to a Wedding. — Church CeBeautiful Prayers. Domestic Scenes. Russian

remony. Funerals.


[ocr errors]

- Grand

The Co

WHAT can they mean by "Liberté des Cultes?" observed the expatriated Mr. C in one of his letters from France, written at the time of the promulgation of the first

[ocr errors]


constitution, in the early days of the Revolution. to my knowledge, the fellows have had no culte at all, for the last quarter of a century," was the next observation. This liberté des cultes is not the kind of toleration which prevails in Russia in matters of religion. There a dominant religion exists, which is called, par excellence, the Orthodox Greco-Russian religion; but it domineers not to the exclusion of every other mode of worship, by constituting those who profess different communions incapable of holding places of trust, or of enjoying the same rights and privileges, in every respect, that belong to a Greco-Russian. How could it be otherwise in an empire, the population of which, amounting, according to the census taken ten years ago, to fifty-three millions of inhabitants, is divided, in point of religious creeds, in the following manner :

[blocks in formation]

besides nearly a million and a half of wandering tribes whose religion is unknown. (See Weydemeyer's Statistical Tables, 1828.)

[blocks in formation]

Every stranger who has seen any thing of the Russian people, even though his stay among them may have been a short one, and that, only in the capital, must acknowledge that with all the outward show of an earnest attachment to the spirit as well as ceremonies of their creed, those who profess the dominant religion are, without exception, perfectly free from every persecuting feeling against other religious persuasions. This spirit of real toleration extends to all classes, and has been the uniform guide of the Government ever since the foundation of the empire. A proof of this is found in the unparalleled example presented to our attention by the Capital, or Imperial residence, the finest and principal street of which contains not fewer than seven temples, dedicated to as many different forms of religious worship. In the Nevskoï Prospekt, we observed the Russian cathedral nearly opposite to the Great Catholic church; the latter not far from the Armenian; the Lutheran distant but a few paces from either; with two other churches for dissenters from them all, and lastly a mosque for the Mahometans! So that, while on great festivals and public thanksgivings, the Imperial Court is seen to proceed in state to the magnificent temple of our Lady of Kazan, with myriads of Greco-Russians; others of their subjects are observed directing their steps to their different places of worship, at the same time and upon the same brief spot of ground, equally bent on addressing the Deity according to their peculiar rites and religious ceremonies, and in their respective languages, without restriction or the fear of persecution

In the general distribution of the hierarchy of its Church, the Greco-Russian religion differs but little from the Roman Catholic with the exception of their supreme head. The one, like the other, has a monastic and a secular clergy; but the attributes and privileges of these divisions, differ in many respects in the one from those existing in

the other. On the principles or tenets of the dominant religion, it is not for me to make a single remark. That task has already been accomplished so fully and so ably, as well as correctly, according to the observations of competent judges, by the late Dr. King, who had been many years chaplain to the British factory at St. Petersburgh, that it would be presumptuous in any one to attempt to do better. What I have to offer on this subject, has reference only to the manner in which the Church establishment is formed under the sanction of the Government, of which it may be said to form a part. For, ever since Peter suppressed the patriarchal authority, and declared himself and his successors heads of the Church; and still more so, since Catherine united the Church property to that of the Crown, substituting other means of support for the clergy; the latter may be said to have become a department of the Imperial Government.

Among the monastic clergy in Russia we find the following gradations or dignities, beginning from the lowest, namely that of Monk or Friar, Hiero-monachs, (deacons and priors,) Hegoumenos, (Abbot,) Archimandrite, Bishop, Archbishop, Metropolitan. Of the various high dignities forming the Church establishment there are three classes exclusive of the Patriarch. In the first, the Metropolitans, to the number of four, are included; in the second, the Archbishops, of which there are thirteen; and in the third, the Bishops, amounting to twenty in number. The Empire being divided into thirty-seven dioceses, each of the members of the three classes has one of the dioceses necessarily under his care.

The secular clergy consists of such persons as, having been ordained by the Bishops as Deacons, after having been clerical students for a certain time, afterwards become priests, and, as such, have a distinct parish

« AnteriorContinua »